Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 06, 2006
Mother's depressive symptoms contribute unfavorably to parenting practices
When mothers experience symptoms of depression after the birth of their children they are less likely to breastfeed, play with, read to or perform other interactive parenting tasks with their newborns, according to a study conducted by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Columbia University.

Selection tool could revolutionize hiring, online dating
With the assembly line, Henry Ford created a unified production process that revolutionized the manufacturing industry.

Undergrads compete for American Physiological Society Bruce awards at Experimental Biology
Twelve finalists for the David S. Bruce Undergraduate Research Awards in physiology will present their research at the Experimental Biology 2006 conference April 1-5 in San Francisco.

Some heart patients vulnerable to mental stress
University of Florida cardiologists have identified a group of heart disease patients who appear especially vulnerable to the physical effects of mental stress.

Scientists find brain function most important to maths ability
Scientists at UCL (University College London) have discovered the area of the brain linked to dyscalculia, a maths learning disability.

SAGE launches research journal focusing on women, girls, and crime
SAGE Publications, in association with the Division on Women and Crime of the American Society of Criminology, is pleased to launch a new international journal, Feminist Criminology.

Understanding the actions of others requires the frontal cortex
By stimulating the frontal cortex in adults, researchers have shown that this part of the brain is essential for understanding other people's actions.

Mexico City field campaign to study megacity pollution
An international team of researchers has headed into the field for one of the most complex campaigns ever undertaken in atmospheric chemistry: a month-long investigation of air pollution as it flows downwind from Mexico City.

Genetic perversity: Smoking & gene avert Parkinson's
It has long been known that smoking offers some protection against developing Parkinson's disease and now a Queensland University of Technology PhD researcher has found out part of the reason why.

Prenatal pesticide exposure and high blood pressure and a decreased ability to copy shapes
Children in Ecuador whose mothers were exposed to pesticides while pregnant had increased blood pressure and diminished ability to copy geometric figures as compared to a control group, according to an epidemiological study in the March issue of Pediatrics.

Finding a virus is not all bad news
A technique for analysing the genetic sequences of viruses in animals is yielding valuable informatioin quickly and cheaply.

Aspirin to prevent heart disease is beneficial in a wider range of men
Taking aspirin to prevent coronary heart disease is beneficial and cost-effective for a wider range of men.

Repeated test-taking better for retention than repeated studying, research shows
Despite their reputation as a cruel tool of teachers intent on striking fear into the hearts of unprepared students, quizzes -- given early and often -- may be a student's best friend when it comes to understanding and retaining information for the long haul, suggests new psychology research from Washington University in St.

Human factors issues in firearms design and training
Firearms, unlike many tools, lack the standardization of design and training that could greatly reduce unintended injury and death.

Carbon fiber cars could put US on highway to efficiency
Highways of tomorrow might be filled with lighter, cleaner and more fuel-efficient automobiles made in part from recycled plastics, lignin from wood pulp and cellulose.

Mining the human genome for signs of recent selection
Applying their newly developed method, the authors search International HapMap Project data representing three populations for signals of recent selection across the human genome.

Electrons flying 'backwards' in Saturn's sky
Polar lights are fascinating to look at on Earth. On other planets, they can also be spectacular.

Studies suggest new targets for tuberculosis treatments
With the hope of designing more effective treatments for tuberculosis (TB), scientists from the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory and collaborating institutions have published the first detailed reports on the biochemistry and structure of a protein-cleaving complex that is essential to the TB bacterium's survival.

UK receives $5 million for quality improvement in child welfare
A major grant is allowing the University of Kentucky College of Social Work to lead the nation in determining the impact of efforts to privatize child welfare services.

World's oldest ship timbers found in Egyptian desert
The oldest remains of seafaring ships in the world have been found in caves at the edge of the Egyptian desert along with cargo boxes that suggest ancient Egyptians sailed nearly 1,000 miles on rough waters to get treasures from a place they called God's Land, or Punt.

SCAI scientific sessions attract world-renowned invasive/interventional cardiologists
More than 200 studies on the latest in cardiovascular care will be presented in Chicago, May 10-13, 2006, when the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI) convenes its 29th Annual Scientific Sessions.

Johns Hopkins scientists exploit novel route to reverse enlarged hearts in obese mice
Working on genetically engineered obese mice with seriously thickened hearts, a condition call cardiac hypertrophy, scientists at Johns Hopkins have used a nerve protection and growth factor on the heart to mimic the activity of the brain hormone leptin, dramatically reducing the size of the heart muscle.

Protein receptor cools passion of 'kiss and run' nerve cells
A team of neuroscientists report that packets of neurotransmitters, once thought to release all or none of their chemicals, can be modified.

Interoperability standards events set for March 13-17
Too many software standards can be just as bad as no standards at all, especially if those standards don't address the issue of

Record-breaking luminosity boosts discovery potential at Fermilab's Tevatron collider
The record-breaking performance of the Tevatron collider at the Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory is pushing the search for dark matter, supersymmetric particles and extra dimensions to new limits.

Emergency departments score poorly in child-saving drills, Hopkins study finds
A mock-drill study conducted in a third of North Carolina's hospital emergency departments (EDs) revealed that nearly all failed to properly stabilize seriously injured children during trauma simulations, according to a team of researchers at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and Duke University Medical Center.

Depressive symptoms in adolescent girls may be related to increased risk of partner violence later
Teenage girls with symptoms of depression may have a higher risk of subsequent physical abuse by their partners than those who don't have symptoms of depression, according to a study in the March issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Chemists report progress in quest to use hydrogen as fuel for cars and electronic devices
Chemists at UCLA and the University of Michigan report an advance toward the goal of cars that run on hydrogen rather than gasoline.

Data published in PNAS show antibodies can be made 10 times more toxic to cancer cells
New research shows antibody drugs can be made as much as 10 times more powerful against tumor cells.

New NSF aircraft to probe hazardous atmospheric whirlwinds
Today, the nation's most-advanced research aircraft will take flight on its first science mission.

The world's fastest measurements of molecular vibrations
When atoms or molecules are subject to a short, intense laser pulse, they emit high-frequency ultraviolet radiation.

Mining in Northern Ontario: Building relationships with Aboriginal communities
Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) and the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM) have released a new video designed to provide Aboriginal communities with a better understanding of the mining industry in Northern Ontario.

Scientists issue unprecedented forecast of next sunspot cycle
The next sunspot cycle will be 30 to 50 percent stronger than the last one, and begin as much as a year late, according to a breakthrough forecast using a computer model of solar dynamics developed by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colo.

Hurricanes, other vortices seize energy via 'hostile takeovers'
Researchers have a new take on the question of how hurricanes and other fluid vortices gain energy.

5,000 rare diseases need drugs, but Europe only approves a handful each year
Only 18 drug applications for treating people with rare diseases were approved in Europe between 2000 and 2004, despite the fact that there are currently more than 5,000 conditions needing medication.

Crystal structure library gets a 'data lift'
Through two years of meticulous evaluation studies, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have helped ensure that scientific instruments that identify crystal structures will have the best possible data.

Tip sheet Annals of Internal Medicine, March 7, 2006, issue
Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for March 7, 2006 include:

Experimental atomic clock uses ytterbium 'pancakes'
Scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) working with Russian colleagues have significantly improved the design of optical atomic clocks that hold thousands of atoms in a lattice made of intersecting laser beams.

Scientists issue unprecedented forecast of next sunspot cycle
The next solar cycle will be 30-50 percent stronger than the last one and begin as much as a year late, according to a breakthrough forecast using a computer model of solar dynamics.

Improving recovery from spinal cord injuries: $3.7 million grant will create rehabilitation network
A new $3.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health awarded to GUMC will help improve outcomes for individuals with spinal cord injuries by creating an interdisciplinary research network in spinal cord injury and rehabilitation throughout the Washington, DC region.

Study indicates dramatic rise in antibiotic-resistant community-acquired staph infections
Staph infections resistant to antibiotics, previously only associated with hospitalization or prior contact with the healthcare system, are now widespread in the community and rising dramatically, according to a new study from Emory University School of Medicine and Grady Memorial Hospital.

New study confirms the ecological virtues of organic farming
Organic farming has long been touted as an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional agriculture.

Tomorrow's endangered species: Act now to protect species not yet under threat
Conservationists should be acting now to protect mammals such as North American reindeer which risk extinction in the future as the human population grows, according to research published today.

Anemone genes reveal versatile building blocks for body plans
The same set of genes responsible for establishing the bilateral body axes in animals as diverse as flies and frogs have been found to play an unexpected role in patterning an animal with a different body plan -- a simple sea anemone.

Taipan venom no snake oil
A blood-clotting protein in taipan venom has been identified by Queensland University of Technology PhD researcher, Liam St Pierre, to rapidly stop excessive bleeding during vascular surgery and major trauma.

Researchers find ways heat-loving microbes create energy
Curiosity about the microbial world drove Jan Amend, PhD, an associate professor of earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St.

More evidence mammals, fruit flies share make-up on function of biological clocks
A study by researchers at New York University and the University of London offers additional evidence that mammals and fruit flies share a common genetic makeup that determines the function of their internal biological clocks.

Depression, anxiety in girls linked to higher body mass index in women
Depression and anxiety disorders during childhood may be associated with a higher body mass index (BMI) into adulthood for women but not men, according to a study in the March issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Ironman study redefines fine-tuned: Balance training time with blood pressure variability
With Winter Olympics memories waning, consider the Ironman sweatbath. An Austrian team's study sheds new insights into training for - and recovering from - the tortuous Ironman competition.

How to grow a bigger brain
Hatchery-reared steelhead trout show increased growth of some parts of the brain when small stones are scattered on the bottom of their tank, according to a new study by researchers at UC Davis.

Genomatix partners with Research Instruments Pte Ltd for Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand markets
Genomatix Software GmbH of Munich (Germany) said today that Singapore-based Research Instruments Pte Ltd (RI) will distribute the Genomatix line of products in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand.

Postpartum depressive symptoms in mothers associated with some unfavorable parenting practices
Mothers who have symptoms of depression two to four months after the birth of their children may be less likely to perform parenting tasks that involve active interaction with their infants, including breastfeeding, playing and reading books, according to a study in the March issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

'Extinction-proof' population sizes cannot be predicted from species traits
Many have shown that the relative susceptibility of species to human-caused decline and extinction can be predicted by traits such as body size, ecological specialization, dispersal ability, fertility, and so on.

Flu in the subtropics
A new study shows that tropical and subtropical countries suffer far more illness and death during flu outbreaks than previously imagined, with both hospital admissions and deaths rising considerably during a flu outbreak.

Genetic factors, neuroticism may be associated with future development of anorexia
In a large study of Swedish twins, anorexia nervosa appears to be moderately heritable and linked to neurotic behavior early in life among women, according to an article in the March issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Smallest Triceratops skull ever found provides clues to dinosaur's growth
The nearly complete skull of a baby Triceratops - a three-horned, tank-like dinosaur from the Cretaceous - is now giving paleontologists insights into how these creatures grew.

Advance hastens practicality of superconductors
Nobody completely understands superconductors. So fathom how James S. Schilling, PhD, led a team that makes the phenomenon work better.

Against pulmonary fibrosis
The biotech companies Digna Biotech and Biotherapix have signed an agreement to jointly apply their patented products towards the development of a treatment for pulmonary fibrosis.

Depressed older adults more likely to become cognitively impaired
Older adults with depressive symptoms are more likely than those without depression to develop mild cognitive impairment (MCI) within six years, according to a study conducted by researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center and the University of California, San Francisco.

Study of 2004 tsunami forces rethinking of giant earthquake theory
The Sumatra-Andaman earthquake of Dec. 26, 2004, was one of the worst natural disasters in history, largely because of the devastating tsunami that followed.

Manchester scientists create new bio-gel for 3D cell culture
Scientists at The University of Manchester have created a new type of 'bio-gel' which provides a pH neutral environment for culturing cells in 3D, as published in the journal Advanced Materials (March 2006).

Satellites ensure safe passage through treacherous waters in Volvo Ocean Race
The Volvo Ocean Race yachts have safely rounded Cape Horn on the fourth leg of their round-the-world adventure thanks to the help of radar satellites steering them away from dangerous icebergs.

Mars radar missions seek data on water, ice caps, crust
Two Mars orbiter missions will open new vistas in the exploration of Mars through the use of sophisticated ground-penetrating radars, providing international researchers with the first direct clues about the Red Planet's subsurface structure.

Rheumatoid arthritis does not increase risk of hearing loss, Mayo Clinic study finds
Mayo Clinic researchers have found that people with rheumatoid arthritis are no more likely to have hearing loss than other members of the general population.

Dying of excitement
For neurons, overexcitement is deadly. To avoid this, brain cells must sop up unneeded neurotransmitters from the synapse through membrane-bound transporters.

Sex chromosome genes influence aggression andmaternal behavior, say UVa researchers
It has been well documented that, across human cultures and in most mammals, males are usually more aggressive and less nurturing than females.

New cell imaging method identifies aggressive cancer cells early
Fluorescence that illuminates a specific protein within a cell's nucleus may be a key to identifying cancer virulence and to developing individualized treatment, according to researchers at Purdue University and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

CPSC cites NIST research in Mattress Safety Advance
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued an improved flammability standard for mattresses and mattress foundation sets last month that should significantly reduce deaths and injuries in bedroom fires started by such common open-flame sources as lighters, candles and matches.

Reducing teens' intake of sugary drinks
Children's intake of sugar-sweetened drinks has surged in recent decades, in step with the rise in childhood obesity.

Gene Sequencing and the Future of Agriculture
On April 3 through 5 the National Academy of Sciences will hold a colloquium on the fundamental breakthroughs in the sequencing of certain plants that could affect the future of food and agriculture.

The high percentages of depression have been greatly exaggerated
According to widely reported community-based research, almost half the US population suffers from depression.

Antidepressants may be associated with modestly increased risk of suicidality in children
An analysis of data from 24 clinical trials suggests that antidepressant medications may be linked to a modest increase in the risk of suicidal thoughts and behaviors in children, according to an article in the March issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

New research shows bats have complex skills to deal with 'clutter'
Recordings of sonar vocalizations synchronized to high speed video images reveal adaptive changes in vocal-motor behavior of echolocating bats as they catch insects in varying vegetation.

Simple test could predict major complications in sickle cell patients
Researchers have found that a simple test for an enzyme called LDH may have significant importance for determining major risk factors in adults with sickle cell disease.

The dual functions of sight - perception and action - demonstrated for first time
The dissociation in the visual system between two separate functions - one that enables us to identify objects and the other to interact with them - has been clearly demonstrated for the first time in healthy humans by researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Training improves sound localization in ferrets
After training on a behaviorally relevant task, adult ferrets rapidly adapt to altered auditory localization cues by reweighing the less distorted spectral cues of the stimulus.

Active inbreeding avoidance in wild capuchin monkeys
A 14 year behavioral and genetic study of a population of wild capuchin monkeys has shown that fathers almost never mate with their daughters, even though alpha males sire the majority of offspring produced by females unrelated to them.

Human impacts on natural systems is topic of National Science Foundation forum
On Thursday, March 9, 2006, the National Science Foundation will hold its fifth annual mini-symposium on Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER).

Nanoparticles create biocompatible capsules
An innovative strategy of mixing lipids and nanoparticles to produce new drug and agricultural materials and delivery vehicles has been developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

With a sense of timing, hummingbirds know when they've last emptied a flower
By observing rufous hummingbirds revisiting flowers that refill with nectar at regular intervals, researchers have found that these birds can remember when they last visited individual flowers.

Scan of human genome reveals evidence of more than 700 recently evolving genes
By scanning the entire human genome in search of genetic variations that may signal recent evolution, University of Chicago researchers found more than 700 genetic variants that may be targets of recent natural positive selection during the past 10,000 years of human evolution.

A high-speed camera records turbulence
Turbulence can be found everywhere: in the sun and in a cup of coffee, in a turbine engine and in biology.

New Opportunities in the European Research
Intelligence in Science has announced details of the seminar entitled:

Mispairs in genetic material make protein synthesis more efficient
Writing March 6 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a University of Wisconsin-Madison bacteriologist reveals that mispaired nucleotides in transfer RNA actually make the molecule more adroit, enhancing its ability to build proteins.

Stowers scientists demonstrate mechanism of vertebral formation
Jacqueline Kim Dale, PhD, formerly a Senior Research Associate at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, and Olivier Pourquié, PhD, Stowers Institute Investigator and an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, have demonstrated that the long-studied family of transcription factors called Snail is expressed in a cyclic fashion during the formation of the vertebral precursors in the mouse and chick embryo.

Rutgers professor to receive APS award for principles to compute properties of matter
Rutgers physics professor David Vanderbilt next week receives a major American Physical Society award for developing principles to compute the basic properties of matter.

New organic substrate
The wood shavings from sawmills can be used to produce an organic substrate for use in intensive crop growth in containers.

Should heart attack care be more like trauma care? Study suggests regional system could be feasible
A new study shows that 79 percent of Americans live within an hour's ambulance trip of an angioplasty-performing hospital -- an important finding in the ongoing debate over whether to make heart-attack care more like trauma care by taking some patients to hospitals that provide advanced treatment.
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