Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 12, 2006
Scientists build brain box computer
Scientists at The University of Manchester are to build a new type of computer which mimics the complex interactions within the human brain.

Radon testing as a campus community service
Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer -- attributable to an estimated 20,000 deaths in the United States per year from exposure to the gas, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Coming soon: 3-D imaging that flies 'through' and 'around' cancer
Stanford University researchers demonstrated for the first time the ability to create 3-D positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) images for

Brain-computer link lets paralyzed patients convert thoughts into actions
A multi-institutional team of researchers has found that people with long-standing, severe paralysis can generate signals in the area of the brain responsible for voluntary movement and these signals can be detected, recorded, routed out of the brain to a computer and converted into actions -- enabling a paralyzed patient to perform basic tasks.

High humidity is a risk factor for heart attack deaths among the elderly
High humidity, even in a relatively mild climate, boosts the risk of a heart attack among the elderly, reveals research published ahead of print in Heart.

Women at greater risk from working long hours
Women who work long hours are more likely than men to indulge in unhealthy behaviors such as snacking, smoking and drinking caffeine.

Eye blood vessel width may indicate coronary heart death risk
The caliber of the small veins and arteries in the eye may be a good indicator of a middle aged person's chances of dying from coronary heart disease, suggests research published ahead of print in Heart.

International rice industry prepares to gather in India
Held every four years, the International Rice Congress (IRC) will bring together all aspects of the rice industry with a special focus on the latest research, science, and technology.

ESOC flight controllers ready for MetOp launch
Flight controllers at ESOC, ESA's Space Operations Centre, are continuing training for LEOP, the launch and early orbit phase, in preparation for MetOp's 17 July start.

Researchers gain insight into why brain areas fail to work together in autism
In people with autism, the brain areas that perform complex analysis appear less likely to work together during problem solving tasks than in people who do not have the disorder, report researchers working in a network funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Treatment developed for patients with medically unexplained symptoms
Doctors at Michigan State University have developed a revolutionary treatment plan that will allow primary care physicians to more effectively treat people who suffer from medically unexplained symptoms.

After the Big Bang: Project explores seconds that shaped the universe
Kent State faculty and graduate students are among a team of physicists who recreated the material essence of the universe as it would have been mere microseconds after the Big Bang.

Transgender experience led Stanford scientist to critique gender difference
Ben Barres has a distinct edge over the many others who have joined the debate about whether men's brains are innately better suited for science than women's.

Flying over the cloudy world -- science updates from Venus Express
On 20 April 2006, after its first 9-day, elongated orbit around Venus, ESA's Venus Express started to get closer to the planet, until it reached its final 24-hour long orbit on 7 May.

NYU Child Study Center offers unique summer experience for children with ADHD
As parents and teachers know, children with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) can thrive in a setting that emphasizes achievement and success and maintains consistency and, therefore, predictability.

New NIAID program aims to model immune responses and key infectious diseases
A new program at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), aims to better understand the complex biochemical networks that regulate the interactions between infectious organisms and the human or animal cells they infect.

Warning signs for potential re-abuse of children identified
Doctors have identified a set of warning signs that could increase an abused child's risk of further abuse.

How parachute spiders invade new territory
Researchers have developed a new model that explains how spiders are able to

Controlling movement through thought alone
For the first time, a team led by Brown University researchers is publishing detailed clinical trial results that show a tiny new brain sensor allowed a quadriplegic to open a prosthetic hand, control a robotic limb and move a computer cursor -- using thoughts alone.

Laser tweezers sort atoms
Physicists of the University of Bonn have taken one more important hurdle on the path to what is known as a quantum computer: by using 'laser tweezers' they have succeeded in sorting up to seven atoms and lining them up.

Increased risk of hantavirus forecast for US southwest
The Four Corners region of the United States (where Ariz., N.M., Colo. and Utah meet) will be at greater risk for hantavirus outbreak this year than in 2005, say scientists at Johns Hopkins University, the University of New Mexico, and other institutions.

Sleep deprivation doubles risks of obesity in both children and adults
Research by Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick has found that sleep deprivation is associated with an almost a two-fold increased risk of being obese for both children and adults.

People with a sweet tooth eat more fruit, study finds
People who like sweets eat more fruit than salty-snack lovers, and people who love fruit eat more sweets than vegetable lovers do, according to two Cornell University analyses.

New procedure safer for detecting fetal anemia
An innovative, non invasive ultrasound procedure to detect anemia in the fetus during high risk pregnancy is safer for patients, according to a study to be published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday, July 13.

Climate change not the only factor controlling distribution of plant species
Biogeographers have long recognized that the spatial distribution of plant species, at a coarse resolution, mainly reflects each species' climatic requirements.

Routine ECGs for newborns would identify life-threatening heart condition
Italian heart specialists are calling on health care providers to give urgent consideration to introducing ECG screening for all babies at around three to four weeks of age to detect a life-threatening genetic condition called long QT syndrome.

Intensive care use has ramifications on health care costs, Mayo Clinic study finds
Spending on intensive care, which today comprises 30-40 percent of hospital costs, may go even higher as the population ages, according to a new Mayo Clinic study.

Trust in global computing
Access to distributed mobile resources by software agents of all types promises much for global computing.

State of Our Unions 2006
Are parents merely whining? Or is there an objective reason for their distress?

Donor T cells change the fate of stem cells in transplantation
In a study published July 1 in the journal Blood, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine researchers suggest that donor T cells change the fate of blood stem cells.

New source of multipotent adult stem cells discovered in human hair follicles
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have isolated a new source of adult stem cells that appear to have the potential to differentiate into several cell types.

Friend or foe: Could a protein linked to Alzheimer's be related to vision loss in seniors?
Researchers at Saint Louis University School of Medicine have received nearly half a million dollars from the National Eye Institute to study a protein thought to be linked to Alzheimer's disease and its possible relationship to age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in people over 60.

One therapeutic dose of radiation causes 30 percent spongy bone loss in mice
Mice receiving just one therapeutic dose of radiation lost as much as 39 percent of the spongy portion of inner bone, reducing the inner bone's weight bearing connections by up to 64 percent and leaving it more vulnerable to fracture.

Carnegie Mellon researchers discover key deficiencies in brains of people with autism
In a pair of groundbreaking studies, brain scientists at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh have discovered that the anatomical differences that characterize the brains of people with autism are related to the way those brains process information.

Tiny tremors and earthquakes provide intriguing clues about seismic activity, study finds
The elusive science of earthquake prediction has been reinvigorated in recent years with the discovery of

Researchers discover communication signal for tissue development
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have discovered a communication signal between cells that plays an important role in cell adhesion and detachment.

Fitting software to students
Some students

EU Nanotechnology Projects in Action in Munich at ESOF2006
The European Union's exhibition area at ESOF2006 features nanotechnology research as an up-to-date example of how science and communication can and have to work together.

Clubs pay the price: report shows luck determines football managers' tenure
This was Sven Goran Eriksson's last World Cup as England manager, but according to a recent Cambridge study his next job may not be based on his managerial ability, but on the luck of his team alone.

Study shows pine bark naturally decreases severe chronic venous insufficiency
Recent findings published in the journal of Clinical and Applied Thrombosis/Hematosis show a significant symptom reduction of CVI in patients after supplementing with Pycnogenol® (pic-noj-en-all), an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree.

Allergy battle could be won in five years, says scientist
Allergies such as asthma, eczema and hay fever could be snuffed out within five years thanks to pioneering work at The University of Manchester.

Brain-computer link allows paralyzed patient to manipulate devices by thought
A patient with a spinal cord injury was able to produce brain signals associated with intending to move his paralyzed limbs, signals picked up by an implanted sensor and translated into electronic impulses that allowed him to control a computer cursor and manipulate mechanical devices.

Late talking toddler: New research debunks the myth
New research findings from the world's largest study predicting children's late language emergence has revealed that parents are not to blame for late talking toddlers.

Study shows that parasites form the thread of food webs
Scientists have discovered that parasites are surprisingly important in food webs, and their findings appear in a report published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

American Chemical Society national meeting: San Francisco, Sept. 10-14
Mark your calendars for a science extravaganza as the American Chemical Society holds its 232nd national meeting in San Francisco, September 10-14.

SMART-1 view of crater Sulpicius Gallus
This mosaic of three images, taken by the advanced Moon Imaging Experiment (AMIE) on board ESA's SMART-1 spacecraft, shows the area close to the Sulpicius Gallus crater on the Moon.

Beyond lipids: understanding the mechanics of atherosclerosis
Atherosclerotic narrowing and hardening of coronary arteries typically appear first at vessel branches, and a study in the October issue of Cellular Signalling reports that the type of mechanical stretching found at those branches activates a cellular protein known to damage cells.

People living alone double their risk of serious heart disease
People who live alone double their risk of serious heart disease as those who live with a partner, suggests research in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Paint-on semiconductor outperforms chips
Researchers at the University of Toronto have created a semiconductor device that outperforms today's conventional chips -- and they made it simply by painting a liquid onto a piece of glass. 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