Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 06, 2006
Solitons could power molecular electronics, artificial muscles
Scientists have discovered something new about exotic particles called solitons.

Anxious, depressed people over 65 turn more often to alternative therapies
People over 65 who are depressed or anxious turn to complementary or alternative medicine more often than older people who are not anxious or depressed -- but not to treat their mental symptoms.

Disfiguring facial infection in young children can be prevented
Noma -- A disfiguring infection that leads to rapid destruction of the face and mouth in young children -- can be prevented by a number of known measures, state the authors of a Seminar in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Drug abuse among Katrina evaucees focus of $1.5M study at UH
The National Institute on Drug Abuse has awarded a three-year, $1.5 million grant to the University of Houston's Office for Drug and Social Policy Research (ODSPR) to study substance use and other health consequences among Katrina evacuees living in Houston.

Cancer researchers confirm brain tumor genetic subtype informs treatment, predicts outcome
Research confirms that determining the genetic composition of brain cancers can better inform doctors and patients for treatment options and prognosis.

BioMed Central Journals join Medscape Publishers' Circle
Eighteen open access journals published by BioMed Central have been added to Medscape Publishers' Circle, BioMed Central announced today.

UCLA leads national effort to address New Orleans' mental health needs
To address the enormous mental health needs of New Orleans, UCLA psychology professor Vickie Mays is leading a national effort to provide mental health education and training -- including to New Orleans' parents, families, the clergy, and mental health providers -- Aug.

2007 ARVO/Pfizer Ophthalmics awardees announced
The ARVO Foundation for Eye Research announced today that Lloyd P.

Established eBay sellers get higher prices for good reputations
EBay sellers with established reputations can expect about 8 percent more revenue than new sellers marketing the same goods, a new University of Michigan study shows.

Ancient raindrops reveal the origins of California's Sierra Nevada range
One of the longest ongoing controversies in Earth science concerns the age of California's Sierra Nevada, the tallest mountain range in the continental United States.

Researchers get closer to preventing Alzheimer's disease
A recent study directed by Mount Sinai School of Medicine identifies a faulty molecule in the brain found in cases of mild cognitive impairment (MCI).

Rust never sleeps: new SRM aids coated steel industry
NIST has developed a new reference material to aid quality control in the steel coatings industry.

Prion disease infectivity causes heart damage in mouse study
Laboratory mice infected with the agent of scrapie -- a brain-wasting disease of sheep -- show high levels of the scrapie agent in their heart several hundred days after being infected in the brain, indicating that heart infection might be a new aspect of this disease, according to a research paper released online today by the journal Science.

Gassendi crater -- clue on the thermal history of Mare Humorum
This mosaic of two images, taken by the advanced Moon Imaging Experiment (AMIE) on board ESA's SMART-1 spacecraft, shows the inside of crater Gassendi on the Moon.

Carnegie Mellon computer poker program sets its own Texas Hold'em strategy
A Carnegie Mellon University computer scientist has demonstrated that you don't necessarily need to know much about poker to create a computer program that can play a winning hand of Texas Hold'Em.

Tuberculosis must be tackled among socially excluded groups
Tuberculosis cannot be controlled unless the disease is tackled effectively among socially excluded groups, warn experts in this week's BMJ.

Researchers create broadband light amplifier on a photonic chip
Cornell University researchers have created a broadband light amplifier on a silicon chip, a major breakthrough in the quest to create photonic microchips.

Treating hepatitis C recurrence after liver transplantation
A new study on recurring hepatitis C in patients who underwent a liver transplant found that better results were achieved when using a combination of pegylated interferon (a longer-acting form of the drug) and the antiviral drug ribavirin than standard interferon and ribavirin.

American Society of Hematology announces recipients of the Minority Medical Student Award
The American Society of Hematology (ASH) has selected nine medical school students to participate in the 2006 Minority Medical Student Award Program (MMSAP).

Composer reveals musical chords' hidden geometry
Composers often speak of fitting chords and melodies together, as though sounds were physical objects with geometric shape -- and now a Princeton University musician has shown that advanced geometry actually does offer a tool for understanding musical structure.

Stress management: X-rays reveal Si thin-film defects
NIST researchers have demonstrated a sensitive X-ray imaging technique to track crystal-structure flaws from one layer to the next in the complex multi-layer wafers used to make high-performance strained-silicon semiconductor devices.

Coordination of primary health care and hospital care reduces readmission in COPD
A study published in the European Respiratory Journal describes the usefulness of an integrated and coordinated intervention of primary health care and hospital health care.

Tigers get a business plan
The Wildlife Conservation Society has launched an ambitious new program that calls for a 50 percent increase in tiger numbers in key areas over the next decade, according to an article in this week's journal Nature.

New blood test detects non-alcoholic steatohepatitis
A case-control study has found that a simple test can indicate the presence of non-alcoholic steatosis by measuring caspase 3-generated cytokeratin-18 fragments in the blood.

Mayo Clinic, Indian Health Service form education, research and clinical practice collaboration
On Monday, Mayo Clinic and the Department of Health and Human Services, on behalf of the Indian Health Service (IHS), will sign a Memorandum of Understanding pledging to collaborate in seeking ways to reduce the burden of cancer and other diseases in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.

Problem: implant infection, solution: nanotech surfaces
For the first time, engineers have created surfaces for orthopaedic implants that reduce the presence of bacteria.

Major initiative proposed to address amphibian crisis
Fifty of the leading amphibian researchers in the world have called for a new Amphibian Survival Alliance, a $400 million initiative to help reduce and prevent amphibian declines and extinctions, an ecological crisis of growing proportion that is continuing to get worse.

Genetics behind developmental brain disorders may play a wider role with congenital diseases
Findings of a recent genetic study on developmental brain disorders may be the

Warming climate plays large role in Western US wildfires, Scripps-led study shows
A new study led by scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego implicates rising seasonal temperatures and the earlier arrival of spring conditions in connection with a dramatic increase of large wildfires in the western United States.

Discovery of genetic mutation in Florida beach mice suggests extinct mammoth had light and dark fur
Biologists at the University of California, San Diego have found that the main color differences among Florida's mice -- which are darker on the mainland, but lighter on the barrier islands to blend in with the white sand dunes -- are largely due to a simple genetic mutation.

UCI receives $1.6 million grant to study eye training and brain mechanisms
A UC Irvine cognitive scientist has been awarded more than $1.6 million over five years to study limitations in how people process visual information, and how training can improve performance when the task is dependent on visual analysis.

Drug combination may slow male breast cancer growth
Medical oncologists want to know whether a new drug combination can slow the progression of male breast cancer, a rare disease that often goes undiagnosed until it's in an advanced stage.

Corals switch skeleton material as seawater changes
Corals have the never-before-observed ability to build their skeletons out of different minerals depending on the chemical composition of the seawater around them.

Children in families with no adult in paid employment 13 times more likely to die
Children in the UK whose parents are long-term unemployed or who have never worked are thirteen times more likely than children at the top end of the socio-economic scale to die from an injury or poisoning incident, according to a shocking new study published in today's British Medical Journal.

Independent experts needed to save UK's NHS from failure and privatization
If the UK's National Health Service (NHS) is to be saved from failure and privatisation its future should be planned by those independent of any personal conflict of interest, states the author of a Comment in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Recently released prisoners in England and Wales at high risk of suicide
Recently released prisoners in England and Wales are at a much greater risk of suicide than the general population, according to a study in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Improving your diet may not help you beat stress
New research shows that some dietary interventions may not prove effective in helping tackle stress and poor health.

UF study sheds light on cystic fibrosis-related diabetes
A University of Florida study in animals suggests diabetes in cystic fibrosis patients is not caused by the destruction of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas -- as is often the case in patients with the traditional form of type 1 diabetes -- but by differences in how these cells function.

Cell survival depends on chromosome integrity
As part of a large National Institutes of Health-funded Technology Centers for Networks and Pathways project, Johns Hopkins researchers have discovered protein machinery important for cells to keep chromosomes intact.

Regular paracetamol use could reduce ovarian cancer risk by almost a third
Regular paracetamol use could reduce ovarian cancer by up to 30 percent, according to Dr.

Whooping cough 'endemic' among UK school children
Nearly 40 percent of school age children in the United Kingdom who visit their family doctor with a persistent cough have evidence of whooping cough infection, even though they have been fully immunized, finds a study published on today.

Poorest children face highest risk of death from injury
Children from the poorest families in England and Wales face greater risks of dying from injury than children in all other social groups, finds a study published on today.

More large forest fires linked to climate change
Large forest fires have occurred more frequently in the western United States since the mid-1980s as spring temperatures increased, mountain snows melted earlier and summers got hotter, according to new research.

Statins stop hepatitis C virus from replicating
A new study shows that statins, which are typically used as anti-cholesterol medications, can inhibit the replication of the hepatitis C virus (HCV).

University of Minnesota researchers take new look at cellular suicide
A protein whose regular job is to help repair severed DNA molecules will, in some cases, join forces with another protein to do the opposite and chop the DNA to bits, according to new research at the University of Minnesota.

Researchers aim to cut future need for liver transplants
University of Edinburgh scientists have identified primitive liver cells -- possibly dormant from the earliest developmental stage of a human being -- which have the potential to mature into different cells types and help repair a failing liver.

Researchers find link between developmental exposure to pesticide and Parkinson's risk
A team of Emory University researchers has found a connection in laboratory mice between developmental exposure to the pesticide dieldrin (now banned from use) during gestation and lactation and an increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease (PD).

Prion find points way to test for human 'mad cow' disease
In the July 7, 2006, issue of the journal Science, researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) describe experiments that may soon lead to a test that will enable medical science to estimate how many people are infected with the human form of mad cow disease, which can take as long as 40 years before manifesting itself.

U of I scientist develops enzyme inhibitor that may slow cancer growth
University of Illinois scientist Tim Garrow, in collaboration with Jiri Jiracek of the Czech Academy of Sciences, has applied for a provisional patent on a class of chemicals that has future therapeutic uses in medicine, specifically cancer treatment.

New ion trap may lead to large quantum computers
NIST physicists have designed and built a novel electromagnetic trap for ions that could be easily mass produced to potentially make quantum computers large enough for practical use. 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