Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 08, 2006
Diabetes can lead to gum disease in childhood; onset is younger than previously recognized
New research from Columbia University Medical Center has shown that the destruction of the gums can start in diabetic children as young as six years old.

National Inventors Hall of Fame announces 2006 inductees
Continuing its commitment to honor invention and innovation, the National Inventors Hall of Fame Foundation has recognized the 2006 group which includes eight living inventors who represent accomplishments that have bettered our quality of life.

University of Kentucky author captures national attention with 'Lost Mountain'
After spending a year watching Lost Mountain change from a dense, glorious ecosystem to barren land, Erik Reece's soul was stirred to respond to the loss with his first book

Student-friendly GIS leads to real-world science inquiry and fulfills NRC report's recommendations
A report by the National Research Council urging educators to teach K-12 students to think spatially and use geographic information systems (GIS) to do so underscores the importance of educational research underway at Northwestern University.

MIT researchers fired up about battery alternative
Just about everything that runs on batteries -- flashlights, cell phones, electric cars, missile-guidance systems -- would be improved with a better energy supply.

Study explains unexpected conductivity of nanoscale silicon
A team of UW-Madison engineers demonstrated that when the surface of nanoscale silicon is specially cleaned, the surface itself facilitates current flow in thin layers that ordinarily won't conduct -- a potentially significant finding for nanotechnology applications.

Scientists re-engineer a well-known antibiotic to counter drug resistance
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have successfully re-engineered a well-known antibiotic to insure its effectiveness against sensitive as well as resistant enterococci, a common strain of bacteria responsible for widespread hospital infections.

Wiley wins two 2005 PSP awards and three honorable mentions
Global publisher John Wiley & Sons, Inc., is proud to announce that it is the recipient of two awards and three honorable mentions in the 2005 Professional/Scholarly Publishing Division (PSP) Annual Awards Program of the Association of American Publishers.

How sperm crack the whip
Researchers have identified a key component of the mechanism spermatozoa use to abruptly convert their tail motion from a steady swimming undulation to the whip-cracking snap that thrusts them into an egg.

Capturing the electrical activity of sperm
Researchers at Children's Hospital Boston and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute have, for the first time, captured the electrical activity of a single sperm cell.

Georgia Tech develops technology for more compact, inexpensive spectrometers
Georgia Tech researchers have developed a technology to help spectrometers analyze substances using fewer parts in a wider variety of environments, regardless of lighting.

Children fare better at pediatric trauma centers
A study by researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and Children's Research Institute concludes that the risk of death for injured children is significantly lower when care is provided in pediatric trauma centers than in non-pediatric centers.

Persistent fatigue may be the best way to predict onset of postpartum depression
Persistent fatigue immediately following birth may be the best signal to determine whether a woman will develop postpartum depression, a new study suggests.

HIV risks reduced when mothers teach daughters about disease
Low-income African American teen girls in Chicago continue to be at high risk for contracting HIV, but the risk decreases when their mothers teach them about the dangers of the disease, according to a new study at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Gap widens between black/white kids' asthma hospitalizations and death
Fifty percent more black children than white children are hospitalized for asthma, and 25 percent more black children than white children are dying from asthma, according to a report in the February issue of Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

Constructal theory predicts global climate patterns in simple way
A unifying physics principle that describes design in nature predicts, in surprisingly straightforward fashion, the basic features of global circulation and climate, according to researchers at Duke University's Pratt School of Engineering and the University of Evora in Portugal.

FDA Centennial, 1906-2006
The Food and Drug Administration regulates consumer products that make up one-quarter of the US economy.

Declining snowpack cools off CO2 emissions from winter soils, says U. of Colorado study
A recent decrease in Rocky Mountain snowpack has slowed the release of heat-trapping carbon dioxide gases from forest soils into the atmosphere during the dead of winter, according to a new University of Colorado at Boulder study.

NJIT chemists cook up new strain of carbon nanotubes
Kitchen chemistry is alive and well at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) as chemical researchers report cooking up a new and more water- soluble strain of carbon nanotubes.

Red grapefruit appears to lower cholesterol, fight heart disease
A grapefruit a day -- particularly the red variety -- can help keep heart disease at bay, according to a new study by Israeli researchers.

Antipsychotic drug may block addiction, UIC researchers find
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have discovered that a long-approved oral antipsychotic drug can stop the addictive properties of opioid painkillers in mice.

Cutting middle management kills productivity
Companies that cut middle managers jeopardize their productivity more than save costs, a study from McMaster University suggests.

Sydney scientists discover and license breakthrough anti-inflammatory treatment
Scientists from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research have developed what could be the next big blockbuster treatment for inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and asthma.

First simultaneous cochlear implant operation for WA
A 25-year-old man will undergo Western Australia's first ever simultaneous bilateral cochlear implant operation on Thursday 9 February at St John of God Hospital in Subiaco.

Titania nanotubes create potentially efficient solar cells
A solar cell, made of titania nanotubes and natural dye, may be the answer to making solar electricity production cost-effective, according to a Penn State researcher.

New images capture virus in extraordinary detail
Fifty years after MIT researchers pioneered the use of electron microscopy to study viruses, MIT scientists have helped produce the most detailed images yet of the tiny infectious agents.

Brain images show individual dyslexic children respond to spelling treatment
Brain images of individual children with dyslexia before they received spelling instruction show they have different patterns of brain activity than do good spellers when doing language tasks.

Doctors fail to recommend colon cancer tests for low-income patients
Fewer than nine out of 10 low-income, medically underserved minority patients at risk for colorectal cancer receive a recommendation for colorectal cancer screening by physicians at government-supported community health centers, according to a study by Northwestern University researchers.

Adding nanotubes makes ordinary materials absorb vibration
A new study suggests that integrating nanotubes into traditional materials dramatically improves their ability to reduce vibration, especially at high temperatures.

Saw palmetto no better than placebo for enlarged prostate
Saw palmetto, an herbal extract commonly taken to improve urinary symptoms in men with enlargement of the prostate gland, is no more effective than a placebo, according to a new study.

Sweeping under control
The Integrated Circuit Design group (DCI), part of the Computer Architecture and Technology Department at the Informatics Faculty of the University of the Basque Country (Donostia- San Sebastian campus) have recently been awarded first prize at the II (2004-2005) Innovation and Knowledge Event.

Feb. 13 Program for African-American History Month
Lawrence D. Bobo, director of Stanford University's Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity, will give the keynote address at a National Academies program celebrating African-American History Month.

High resolution 'snapshots' detail dynamics of a cocaine antibody
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have revealed for the first time a series of molecular structures of a specific cocaine-degrading monoclonal antibody Fab' fragment during the complete catalytic process - a chain of events that breaks the drug into nontoxic pieces.

UCSD/Boston University find antidepressants may affect fetus
UCSD School of Medicine collaborative study with Boston University's Slone Epidemiology Center found an increased risk of persistent pulmonary hypertension in newborns. of mothers who were prescribed antidepressants in late pregnancy.

Uganda pulls plug on Lake Victoria
A report published this week shows that Uganda is secretly draining Lake Victoria, flouting a 50-year-old agreement designed to protect the lake and the millions of people who rely on it for their livelihoods.

Climate change and human health: Present and future risks
Climate change will affect health in many ways -- mostly adversely, state the authors of a Review published early online today (Thursday February 9, 2006) by The Lancet.

Air ambulance research identifies best intubation method
Research has identified the most effective way to insert breathing tubes in air ambulance patients on the way to the hospital.

Disks encircling hypergiant stars may spawn planets in inhospitable environment
The discovery of dusty disks -- the building blocks of planets -- around two of the most massive stars known suggests that planets might form and survive in surprisingly hostile environments.

Removing DNA repair gene causes metabolic syndrome
Researchers discovered that removing a gene involved in repairing damaged DNA causes mice to develop the metabolic syndrome.

Review shows male circumcision protects female partners from HIV and other STDs
A statistical review of the past medical files of more than 300 couples in Uganda, in which the female partner was HIV negative and the male was HIV positive, provides solid documentation of the protective effects of male circumcision in reducing the risk of infection among women.

Medicines are key to preventing poor health
An approach to health care that focuses on using all available methods to prevent disease and poor health is to be welcomed, Medicines Australia said today.

Common reflux treatment linked to life threatening bowel infection in premature infants
Researchers in a National Institutes of Health network have found that premature infants given a common class of non-prescription drugs used to treat acid reflux are slightly more likely to develop a potentially fatal bowel disorder than are infants who are not treated with the drugs.

Two NIH initiatives launch intensive efforts to find roots of common diseases
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced the creation of two new, closely related initiatives to speed up research on the causes of common diseases such as asthma, arthritis and Alzheimer's disease.

Kengo Hirachi receives 2006 Bergman Prize
Kengo Hirachi, a mathematician at the University of Tokyo, has been awarded the 2006 Stefan Bergman Prize.

ASU professor details weather extremes in new book
Need a good book for a rainy day? Look no further than Arizona State University geography professor Randy Cerveny's recently published

First disease-specific (breast cancer) protein library opens new drug paths
In research that could significantly advance the pace of drug discovery in the fight against breast cancer, Harvard Medical School investigators announce in today's online Journal of Proteome Research that they have created the first publicly available library of reliably expressible proteins of a human disease, in this case for breast cancer.

Robot assisted surgery more accurate than conventional surgery
A new study from Imperial College London shows that robot assisted knee surgery is significantly more accurate than conventional surgery.

Vitamin D inhibits progression of some prostate cancers
Vitamin D can inhibit the spread of prostate cancer cells by limiting the activity of two specific enzymes, scientists report.

International Conference on the History of Alchemy and Chymistry
More than 30 papers are expected, covering a wide range of topics from various time periods and cultural contexts, and featuring approaches from several disciplinary perspectives.

Environmental impact statement planned for USAMRIID facilities at Fort Detrick
The US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick, Maryland, will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement related to construction and operation of new facilities.

Medical research must put public interests before commercial decisions, warns pharmaceutical faculty
Doctors employed by pharmaceutical companies must put patients before medical research, even if it brings them into conflict with their employers.

Brain scans may predict cognitive decline in normal people
Brain scans may detect neurological changes in people who exhibit no outward signs of cognitive decline but who later develop dementia or mental impairment, according to the results of a new UC Berkeley-led study.

Georgia Tech accelerates drug discovery with new IBM supercomputing cluster
IBM and the Georgia Institute of Technology today announced that one of the world's most powerful supercomputing clusters will anchor Georgia Tech's new Center for the Study of Systems Biology.

Data security: A problem in search of a mathematical theory
The need for security in electronic communications is crucial in today's world.

Preventing toxic side effects of inflammatory disease therapy
Researchers at UCSD School of Medicine have developed a mouse model that could help scientists develop better drugs to fight autoimmune and inflammatory disorders such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Rockabye baby: Research shows gentle singing soothes sick infants
A project led by a researcher from the University of Western Sydney has found that music therapy can help sick babies in intensive care maintain normal behavioural development, making them less irritable, upset and less likely to cry.

'Roof of the world' tells tale of colliding continents, Earth's interior
Geologists have learned that the height of the Tibetan Plateau, a vast, elevated region of central Asia sometimes called

Sex: It's costly but worth it. Just ask a microbe
Microbes were assumed to be asexual organisms, but a study shows that they also produce offspring when they mate with other microbes.

Elsevier congratulates its award winning authors and editors
Elsevier is pleased to announce that five of its professional and scholarly books were honored by The Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division (PSP) of the Association of American Publishers (AAP) at the 2005 Awards for Excellence in Professional and Scholarly Publishing yesterday. 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