Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 15, 2006
Mood affects young and old differently, study finds
The effect of mood on how people process information changes greatly as they age, suggests new research from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Radar altimetry revolutionises the study of the ocean
Imagine a space tool so revolutionary it can determine the impact of climate change, monitor the melting of glaciers, discover invisible waves, predict the strength of hurricanes, conserve fish stocks and measure river and lake levels worldwide, among other scientific applications.

Atoms in new state of matter behave like Three Musketeers: All for one, one for all
An international team of physicists has converted three normal atoms into a special new state of matter whose existence was proposed by Russian scientist Vitaly Efimov in 1970.

Astronomers, at last, get a chance to size up a brown dwarf
Astronomers at three research institutions, including UW-Madison, report the discovery of a pair of young brown dwarfs in mutual orbit, a discovery that has enabled scientists to weigh and measure the radius of brown dwarfs for the first time.

The Green Revolution comes to Laos
Between 1990 and 2004, rice production in Laos increased from 1.5 million to 2.5 million tons - an average annual growth rate of more than 5 percent, making the small underdeveloped nation one of Asia's star performers in rice research and development.

USC, Rice to develop bacteria-powered fuel cells
A team of microbiologists, engineers and geochemists from the University of Southern California and Rice University are joining forces to create bacteria-powered fuel cells that could power spy drones that fit in the palm of a hand.

Gene influences antidepressant response
Whether depressed patients respond to an antidepressant depends, in part, on which version of a gene they inherit.

Cells in mucus from lungs of high-risk patients can predict tumor development
In a group of high-risk patients, a test that examined DNA from cells expelled in sputum for evidence of

Let me hear your body talk: UH scientists mine biomedical data
Five University of Houston researchers are teaching computers how to listen when your body talks.

Study finds incidence of hypertension reduced with early intervention
Treating pre-hypertension with medication and lifestyle modifications reduces the risk of patients progressing to hypertension, a new study involving researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center has concluded.

Research team identifies cause of memory loss
A research team has for the first time identified a substance in the brain that is proven to cause memory loss.

Book offers a viable alternative to fossil fuel
Introducing a technology that could significantly alleviate our energy problems,

Astronomers report unprecedented double helix nebula near center of the Milky Way
Astronomers report an unprecedented elongated double helix nebula near the center of our Milky Way galaxy.

Pepper component hot enough to trigger suicide in prostate cancer cells
Capsaicin, the stuff that turns up the heat in jalapeƱos, not only causes the tongue to burn, it also drives prostate cancer cells to kill themselves, according to studies published in the March 15 issue of Cancer Research.

Drinking pink liquid may lead to a black tongue
Dentists are often the first to diagnose and treat oral reactions, especially since many reactions occur with medications used in excess or in combinations with other drugs, such as vitamins and herbs, according to a report in the March-April 2006 issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry's (AGD) clinical, peer-reviewed journal.

Braces align crooked teeth and boost self-esteem
Orthodontics are often necessary to help improve the stability, function, and health of an individual's teeth; otherwise, many people would be at higher risk for gum disease, tooth decay, and tooth loss because of improper teeth positioning in their mouth, according to an article in the January 2006 issue of AGD Impact, the newsmagazine of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).

Elsevier brings the best of Chinese research to an international audience
Elsevier, a world-leading scientific and healthcare publisher, announced today that it is launching a collection of Chinese journals on ScienceDirect.

Long-term antidepressant therapy best treatment for depression in old age
Antidepressant treatment is the most effective way to prevent recurrence of depression in people over the age of 70, according to results of University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine research published in the current issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Evolution in action: Why some viruses jump species
Researchers studying strains of a lethal canine virus and a related human virus have determined why the canine virus was able to spread so quickly from cats to dogs.

Uncovering how bone marrow stromal cells can potentially regenerate brain tissue
Japanese researchers have found a piece of the

The cosmic dance of distant galaxies
Studying several tens of distant galaxies, an international team of astronomers found that galaxies had the same amount of dark matter relative to stars 6 billion years ago as they have now.

'Fringe' plastic surgery procedures more hype than reality, ASPS says
Vaginal rejuvenation, pectoral implants, buttock implants and calf augmentation have been touted in the media recently as the

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center researchers find ginseng may improve breast cancer outcomes
Ginseng, one of the most widely used herbs in traditional Chinese medicine, may improve survival and quality of life after a diagnosis of breast cancer, according to a recent study by Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center researchers.

AACR supports the nomination of Andrew von Eschenbach as the commissioner of the FDA
The American Association for Cancer Research, the world's oldest and largest organization dedicated to cancer research, enthusiastically supports the nomination of Andrew von Eschenbach as new commissioner of the U.S.

Avian Influenza: Breaking News, Public Health and Surveillance Readiness
HHMI symposium in Washington, DC, on March 23, 2006, will examine how the 1918 influenza pandemic may serve as a model for understanding the impact of a global influenza pandemic in the 21st century.

Prediction of a prokaryotic RNA-silencing system
Researchers have used computational methods to predict what could be a prokaryotic RNA-silencing mechanism similar to the eukaryotic RNA- interference system.

Eclipsing brown dwarfs provide new key to the star formation process
Discovery of an eclipsing pair of brown dwarfs in the Orion Nebula has provided the first direct measurements of the mass, size and surface temperature of these failed stars, information that can help astronomers understand the general process of star formation.

Reducing fine particulate air pollution cuts mortality risk
Investigators who extended the Harvard Six Cities fine particulate air pollution study by eight years found that reduced levels of tiny particle pollution during this period lowered mortality risk for participants.

ICON funds UCSB survey of nanotechnology best practices
The International Council on Nanotechnology (ICON) has commissioned a review of best practices in nanotechnology safety from researchers at University of California, Santa Barbara.

Subsidized killing of carnivores fails to protect US sheep industry
Decades of US government-subsidized predator control has failed to prevent a long-term decline in the sheep industry, according to a study by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), which says that market forces - not predators - are responsible for the drop-off in sheep numbers.

UCR researchers grow bone cells on carbon nanotubes
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have published findings that show, for the first time, that bone cells can grow and proliferate on a scaffold of carbon nanotubes.

New 'stars' in formation of nerve cell insulation
The insulating myelin sheath enwrapping the cable-like axons of nerve cells is the major target of attack of the immune system in multiple sclerosis.

NHGRI announces new sequencing targets
The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), today announced its latest round of sequencing targets, with an emphasis on enhancing the understanding of how human genes function and how genomic differences between individuals influence the risk of health and disease.

Vaccinated adults less likely to die from pneumonia
Adults hospitalized for pneumonia who have received the pneumococcal vaccine are at a lower risk of dying from the disease than those who haven't been vaccinated, according to an article in the April 15 issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, now available online.

Video of New Orleans 17th Street levee model illustrates IPET preliminary findings
The US Army Corps of Engineers Hurricane Katrina Interagency Performance Evaluation Task Force (IPET) has released video footage of a small-scale centrifuge model of the 17th Street Canal.

Neuroscientists discover new cell type that may help brain maintain memories of smells
Neuroscientists have discovered a new cell type in the part of the brain that processes our sense of smell.

U of M researchers identify cause of memory loss
Researchers at the University of Minnesota Medical School and the Minneapolis VA Medical Center have for the first time identified a substance in the brain that is proven to cause memory loss.

A new view of asthma's cause
A newly recognized type of cell may play an important role in causing asthma, perhaps explaining why current therapies sometimes fail, report researchers from Children's Hospital Boston in the March 16th New England Journal of Medicine.

New language transforms business reporting
By smartly tagging data and content, an XML family offshoot is revolutionising business reports.

Researchers test new way to quit smoking
Using nicotine substitutes before quitting cigarettes may improve the chances of staying smoke-free.

Brookhaven scientists working toward practical hydrogen-storage materials
Hydrogen-storage materials hold the promise of supporting many exciting new technologies, such as clean, efficient hydrogen fuel cells for automobiles.

Saved by 'sand' poured into wounds
QuikClot is a sand-like material developed for the military which when poured into a wound can stop bleeding within seconds - saving lives.

Troubling times for embryo gene tests
Last week, a case in the US highlighted the potential costs to labs or hospitals for returning wrong results of fetal genetic tests.

Rare Chinese frogs communicate by means of ultrasonic sound
First came word that a rare frog (Amolops tormotus) in China sings like a bird, then that the species produces very high-pitch ultrasonic sounds.

Imaging single molecules opens new way to study gene expression, protein production
A team led by NIH Director's Pioneer Award recipient X.

Salmonella caught red-handed
New ways of developing urgently needed antibiotics against pathogens - this is what scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology and of Biochemistry, in co-operation with colleagues at Hannover Medical School have discovered.

U-M scientists identify major psoriasis susceptibility gene
University of Michigan scientists have found a common genetic variation in an immune system gene that makes people much more likely to develop psoriasis - a disfiguring inflammatory skin disease.

Understanding heat flow at the nanoscale is the goal of Virginia Tech/NSF CAREER project
Scott Huxtable will use laser techniques -- timed by the picosecond, or one-trillionth of a second -- to determine at the nanoscale how heat is transferred across the boundary between two materials.

Transplantation Report 2005
Three-year survival rates for heart and lung transplantion patients have improved dramatically in the last 15 years.

New test of snow's thickness may 'bear' results key to polar climate studies, wildlife habitat
A NASA-funded expedition to the Arctic to map the thickness of snow has a legion of unexpected furry fans hailing from one of the world's coldest regions: polar bears.

Student entrepreneurs: New sensor will help guarantee freshness
Grocers, florists and even pharmacists may soon have a better way to monitor the quality of the products they get from suppliers: a sensor that will tell how long before a product spoils or passes its expiration date.

Minimally invasive approach can work for many thyroid patients
Many patients with diseased thyroids have two safe, effective treatment options that can dramatically reduce the size of their neck incisions and speed recovery, researchers say.

Tariq Ramadan on the global ideology of fear
Europe's most controversial Muslim leader speaks about fear and the need to educate oneself above it.

Harvard Six Cities Study follow up: Reducing soot particles is associated with longer lives
An eight-year follow up to the landmark Harvard Six Cities Study has found an association between people living longer and cities reducing the amount of fine particulate matter, or soot, in their air.

Smoking interferes with brain's recovery from alcoholism
Smoking appears to interfere with the brain's ability to recover from the effects of chronic alcohol abuse, according to a study conducted by researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center.

Metabolites of pharmaceuticals identified in wastewater
University at Buffalo chemists have for the first time identified at wastewater treatment plants the metabolites of two antibiotics and a medial imaging agent.

Study finds pathological gambling runs in families
Problem gambling runs in families according to a University of Iowa study published online in the journal Psychiatry Research.

Molecule by molecule, new assay shows real-time gene activity
Chemists at Harvard University have developed the first technique providing a real-time, molecule-by-molecule

10.2 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures in 2005 - up 11 percent
More than 10.2 million cosmetic plastic surgery procedures were performed in the United States in 2005, up 11 percent from 2004, according to statistics released today by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).

Maintenance treatment prevents recurrence in older adults with single-episode depressions
People age 70 and older who continued taking the antidepressant that helped them to initially recover from their first episode of depression were 60 percent less likely to experience a new episode of depression over a two-year study period than those who stopped taking the medication.

Cardiovascular flow disturbances study aimed at improving diagnosis and treatment
Pavlos Vlachos will construct experimental models of the cardiovascular system through which fluids can be pumped.

The case of the 'second tongue'
Body piercing is popular today in the United States and other western societies.

Molecule targets and kills tumor cells, starves blood supply
A man-made chemical compound called ARC causes tumor cells to die but leaves normal cells unharmed, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago report in a study highlighted in the March 15 issue of Cancer Research.

Duke biologist/poet is up to 'animal mischief'
Rob Jackson's biological and environmental research explores the scientific intricacies of global warming and biodiversity.

Century of data shows intensification of water cycle but no increase in storms or floods
A review of the findings from more than 100 peer-reviewed studies shows that although many aspects of the global water cycle have intensified, including precipitation and evaporation, this trend has not consistently resulted in an increase in the frequency or intensity of tropical storms or floods over the past century.

Scientists discover reason behind ear canal in Chinese frog: Ultrasonic communication
A rare Chinese frog is able to communicate ultrasonically, the first time a non-mammal has been found to be able to do so.

Older people more successful than younger in quitting smoking
Older women appear to quit smoking and stay off cigarettes in higher numbers than men in their age group, and older men and women are more likely to quit if they have recently received a diagnosis of cancer, according to researchers at Duke University Medical Center.

The best of the best in published scholarship
Five Springer books made the list of Outstanding Academic Titles, published in the January 2006 issue of Choice magazine.

How the brain sees people in motion
A swaying tree and a moving person activate distinctive areas of the brain's visual cortex, since recognizing people is essential for social interaction.

Magnetic nanoparticles facilitate separations in 'one-pot' multi-step reactions
Using the unique properties of new nanometer-scale magnetic particles, researchers have for the first time separated for reuse two different catalysts from a multi-step chemical reaction done in a single vessel. 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