Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 25, 2006
U of M hosts business planning for pandemic influenza
The University of Minnesota's Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy, together with the US and Minnesota Chambers of Commerce, are hosting a national summit to advise business and industry in planning for pandemic influenza.

University of Utah surgeon returns from Iraq to help start-up company fight cancer
Dr. James McGreevy will have little time to rest as he returns from duty in Iraq as a flight surgeon.

NASA presents at American Meteorological Society annual meeting
NASA researchers will present findings on a variety of Earth science topics at the American Meteorological Society 86th Annual Meeting Jan.

Online ear and hearing diagnosis to break sound barrier
In an Australian first, an online 'decision support system' is being developed to enable general practitioners to speed up the diagnosis of ear and hearing conditions.

Master genetic switch found for chronic pain
In experiments with mice, researchers have found that eliminating what appears to be a master genetic switch for the development of pain-sensing neurons knocks out the animals' response to

Of mice, men, trees and the global carbon cycle
Researchers have found a universal rule that regulates the metabolism of plants of all kinds and sizes and that may also offer a key to calculating their carbon dioxide emissions.

Breast ducts: A new site for cancer treatment?
Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers are studying whether delivering chemotherapy drugs directly to breast

Microbiology text tells stories, offers online resources
A new general microbiology textbook aimed at undergraduate students comes with not one, but two online resources.

Hunt for planets outside solar system uncovers a small one
Perhaps edging closer to finding planets that harbor life, astronomers have discovered the smallest planet yet identified outside our solar system.

Hurricane Katrina: Who was hit? Who will return?
The images were accurate: The Gulf Coast's poor, black residents were hit hardest by Hurricane Katrina, according to findings by a Brown University sociologist.

Penguins okay with human visitors-- for now
Penguins are found to adjust quickly to tourists, though the long term impact has yet to be determined.

Closer to home
Using a relatively new planet-hunting technique that can spot worlds one-tenth the mass of our own, researchers have discovered a potentially rocky, icy body that may be the smallest planet yet found orbiting a star outside our solar system.

AGU journal highlights - 25 January 2006
In this issue: Aerosols delay manmade warming of the world's oceans; Ships make clouds brighter and higher close to European harbors; Onset conditions for ionospheric storms; Forecasting volcanic eruptions; Severe near-surface permafrost degradation is possible during the 21st century; Localized erosion affects national carbon budget.

American Chemical Society calls on President to address US innovation, competitiveness
American Chemical Society (ACS) President E. Ann Nalley, in a letter to President George W.

Anxious fathers make caesarean ops more painful for mothers
Fathers who are anxious during a caesarean operation may increase the pain experienced by the mother after the delivery of their baby, according to new research published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine.

Use your brain, halve your risk of dementia
Research from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) provides the most convincing evidence to date that complex mental activity across people's lives significantly reduces the risk of dementia.

Robot set loose to film your insides
A camera-carrying robot that can rove around inside the stomach or abdomen can help give surgeons a better view on the area being operated on.

IEEE-USA commends senators for introducing 'Protect America's Competitive Edge (PACE) Act'
IEEE-USA commends Sens. Pete V. Domenici (R-N.M.), Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), and Barbara A.

Study on hypertension indicates racial disparity among Hispanics
Hispanics in America who self-identify as Black are suffering higher rates of hypertension than their Hispanic counterparts who identify as White, according to research conducted at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

Satellites show Amazon parks, indigenous reserves stop forest clearing
Though conservation scientists generally agree that many types of protected areas are needed to protect tropical forests, little is known about the comparative performance of inhabited and uninhabited reserves.

Trauma-center care significantly lowers risk of death
According to the results of a nationwide study conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and the University of Washington School of Medicine, care received at a trauma center lowers by 25 percent the risk of death for injured patients compared to treatment received at non-trauma centers.

'To be or, or ... um ... line!'
What gives actors their seemingly effortless memory capabilities? Could acting teach us something about memory and cognition, and could acting principles help those with memory problems?

Researchers discover smallest planet outside solar system
Astronomers from Princeton and other institutions have discovered the smallest planet found outside of our solar system using a technique that researchers believe will uncover others that potentially harbor life.

UW scientists unravel critical genetic puzzle for flu virus replication
Much is known about the genes and inner workings of flu viruses.

Even with more free time, women feel no less rushed, study finds
While more free time sounds like a good thing for everyone, new research suggests it is a better deal for men than it is for women.

Two new lakes found beneath Antarctic ice sheet
Two lakes locked beneath the Antarctic ice are described in the recent issue of Geophysical Research Letters.

Penn to test new thermal energy procedure to reduce asthmatic symptoms
Up until now, if you suffer from asthma, medication has been the only treatment available to you for relief.

Congressional bills introduced to increase US research funding and competitiveness
Three bills would substantially increase federal investments in physical science research and education, increase tax incentives for industry to invest in research and development and establish a new class of student visas for doctoral candidates studying math, engineering, technology and science.

UQ Australian of the Year will continue to fight for women's health
Professor Ian Frazer will use his profile as Australian of the Year to help ensure his cancer vaccine reaches those who need it most - women and girls living in poverty.

XMM-Newton scores 1000 top-class science results
XMM-Newton, ESA's X-ray observatory, continues its quest for the unknown.

Trace the money
Max Planck researchers in Goettingen find universal rules governing the way humans travel - a breakthrough for the mathematical prediction of the spread of epidemics.

Yale study: Not enough metals in earth to meet global demand
Researchers studying supplies of copper, zinc and other metals have determined that these finite resources, even if recycled, may not meet the needs of the global population forever, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researchers identify gene mutation as major cause of Parkinson's in Ashkenazi Jewish patients
The study findings demonstrate that a specific mutation in a single gene is a major cause of Parkinson's disease among Ashkenazi (Eastern European) Jews - opening the door to genetic testing for early detection of the disease for this group and genetic counseling.

Dark energy enigma won't go away
Eight years after astronomers discovered the existence of dark matter -- the force that dominates the universe -- we still know very little about it.

Carbon nanotubes that detect disease-causing mutations developed by Pitt researcher
University of Pittsburgh researcher Alexander Star and colleagues at California-based company Nanomix, Inc., have developed devices made of carbon nanotubes that can find mutations in genes causing hereditary diseases, they report in the Jan.

Studies examine withholding of scientific data among researchers, trainees
Several studies have described how researchers may withhold the results of their studies from other scientists or deny them access to data or materials.

Internet game provides breakthrough in predicting the spread of epidemics, report scientists
Using a popular internet game that traces the travels of dollar bills, scientists have unveiled statistical laws of human travel in the United States, and developed a mathematical description that can be used to model the spread of infectious disease in this country.

Experts to address use of patient-reported outcomes in clinical trials at joint Mayo-FDA forum
Dozens of medical research experts will assemble Feb. 23-25 in Chantilly, Va., to discuss how patient-reported outcomes should be developed, validated, interpreted and used in clinical trials.

Guiding principles for facial transplantation unveiled
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery (ASRM) today unveiled a landmark joint document, Facial Transplantation-ASPS/ASRM Guiding Principles, to assist plastic surgeons considering participation in facial transplantation procedures.

International breast health guidelines
Specific recommendations for improving breast-health care and cancer treatment in countries with limited resources have been published by the Breast Health Global Initiative, an international coalition of doctors, scientists, policy makers and advocates led by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and the Susan G.

Warning of risk to breast cancer patients from vaginal oestrogen
Breast cancer specialists from one of the UK's leading cancer centres are cautioning doctors of the risks in prescribing vaginal oestrogen to breast cancer patients being treated with the new aromatase inhibiting drugs, anastrozole, letrozole and exemestane.

It's far, it's small, it's cool: It's an icy exoplanet!
Using a network of telescopes, including the Danish 1.54m telescope at ESO La Silla (Chile), astronomers discovered a new extrasolar planet significantly more Earth-like than any other planet found so far.

Hypertension data may mask racial disparities among Hispanics
Black Hispanics in America are suffering higher rates of hypertension than their Hispanic counterparts who are white, a new study finds. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to