Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 13, 2006
UIC researchers link maternal smoking during pregnancy to behavior problems in toddlers
A University of Illinois at Chicago study published in the July/August issue of the journal Child Development reveals a link between smoking during pregnancy and very early child behavior problems.

Hard-working at school, sluggish at home
This study found that students' conscientiousness predicts how much effort they put into homework.

Taking on the interoperability challenge
Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) software design is billed as the next great IT wave, ushering in a new era of efficient network services, cross-organisational business cooperation and potentially whole new sectors.

Protein potentially links diet, obesity and asthma
Australian researchers have identified a new protein -- adipocyte/macrophage fatty acid-binding protein aP2 -- in human airway epithelial cells that regulates allergic airway inflammation in asthma.

Children's ideas about fairness may depend on race
Researchers from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania found that racial discrimination can appear in a new form labeled,

The first science ever with APEX
This week, Astronomy & Astrophysics is publishing a series of 26 articles dedicated to the first science done with the 12-m sub-millimeter telescope Atacama Pathfinder EXperiment (APEX).

Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology
This edition of the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology includes: Different Packaging Conditions May Effect Spoilage of Refrigerated Beef, New Self Test Found to be Effective at Cervical Screening, and Waterfowl May Contaminate Drinking Water with Bacteria Harmful to Humans.

Putting your computer to work to fight against malaria in Africa
While you are sending an email or surfing the Web, your computer could be helping to tackle one of Africa's major humanitarian challenges, malaria.

Travelers advised about rare virus in Indian Ocean Islands
The authors of a Case Report in this week's issue of The Lancet warn travelers about exposure to the rare chikungunya virus in Indian Ocean Islands.

Smoking to blame for more than half of difference in men's mortality risk across class lines
The direct correlation between lower socioeconomic status and mortality risk is well known, but a new study by the University of Toronto and the University of Oxford is the first to determine that more than half the difference in risk of death between men in the highest social strata and those in the lowest can be attributed to smoking.

Bacteria give up secrets in war waged on plants
The secret weapon of bacteria -- the way they get a foothold in plants to launch an invasion -- is less of a secret.

Witonsky honored with Pfizer award for work with EPM disease in horses
Sharon Witonsky, associate professor in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, has received the Pfizer Award for Research Excellence for her work with equine protozoal myeloencephalitis, a neurologic disease that affects horses.

First direct observations of spinons and holons
The theory has been around for more than 40 years, but only now has it been confirmed through direct and unambiguous experimental results.

March of Dimes urges federal legislation for IOM prematurity report
The March of Dimes will strengthen its national Prematurity Campaign in response to today's release of the Institute of Medicine report,

Equine Medical Center records successful year for neonatal foals
Premature delivery is as big a problem with baby horses as it is with baby humans.

36 hour news cycles, secret lives of pebbles, cloudburst theory and entangled entanglement
Physicists publishing in Physical Review Letters reveal the 36 hour cycles of online news, delve into the secrets hidden in pebble shapes, present a new theory of sudden cloudbursts, and achieve the first experimental demonstration of entangled quantum entanglement.

Geological Society of America 2006 Annual Meeting
More than 6000 geoscientists will gather at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia 22-25 October for

Dartmouth researchers study trends in how movies depict cigarette use
Dartmouth researchers have determined that youth-rated movies contain more images of cigarette smoking than R-rated films.

Sharply-tuned nanostrings work at room temperature
Using a fast, low-cost fabrication technique that allows inexpensive testing of a wide variety of materials, Cornell University researchers have come up with nanoscale resonators -- tiny vibrating strings -- with the highest quality factor so far obtainable at room temperature for devices so small.

N.J., Pa., N.D. students named to US Chemistry Olympiad team
The U.S. Chemistry Olympiad team won three silver medals and one bronze in the just-concluded 38th annual International Chemistry Olympiad in Gyeongsan, Republic of Korea, July 2-11.

Pathway toward gene silencing described in plants
Biologists at Washington University in St. Louis have made an important breakthrough in understanding a pathway plant cells take to silence unwanted or extra genes using short bits of RNA.

Electronic patient record 'serious threat' to patient confidentiality
Doctors in this week's BMJ have their say on whether patients should have to opt in or out of electronic patient records.

Training for parents could help child anxiety disorders
Special skills workshops for parents of anxious young children could offer a breakthrough in addressing this difficult problem, according to psychologists at The University of Manchester.

Reading to young children improves language and cognitive development
English-speaking mothers who read to their very young children have toddlers with greater language comprehension and higher cognitive scores by age 2, while children whose Spanish-speaking mothers read to them exhibit these advances at age 3.

Early childhood behavior predicts adolescent alcohol and drug use
Children's ability to control their behavior and to adapt their self-control to external demands has been found to predict the onset of alcohol and illicit drug use in adolescence.

Paleontologists establish first age distribution of non-avian dinosaur population
For the first time, scientists have established the age structure of a non-avian dinosaur population.

Rice University press reborn as nation's first fully digital academic press
Rice University is resurrecting its academic press as the first fully digital university press in the United States.

NASA explains puzzling impact of polluted skies on climate
NASA scientists have determined that the formation of clouds is affected by the lightness or darkness of air pollution particles, which also impacts Earth's climate.

Defining the limits of computerized physician order entry systems
In the July 12 issue of The American Journal of Managed Care, sociologist Ross Koppel, Ph.D. of the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, analyzes two well-known medical information technology systems -- CPOE (computerized physician order entry) and DSS (Decision Support Systems) -- in light of a study published in the same issue.

Lower child-to-caregiver ratios translate to better care
In the first experimental study of its kind, it was found that reducing the ratio of children to caregivers in child care centers increased the quality of interactions.Throughout 64 child care centers, 217 caregivers were observed during two play episodes -- one with three children and one with five.

Wild meerkats school their young
University of Cambridge scientists have discovered that older meerkats teach pups how to obtain food by incrementally introducing dead, injured and then live prey.

Researchers discover inhibitor of infection by HPV
Researchers have found that carrageenan, a compound derived from red algae and found in commercially available products such as sexual lubricants and baby food, is a potent inhibitor of the human papilloma viruses (HPV).

Teens more vulnerable to peer influences from popular, well-liked classmates
Researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill found that adolescents are more susceptible to engaging in aggressive and risky behavior under the influence of popular, well-liked classmates.

Tackle 'aesthetic' genital surgery in rich countries before criticizing traditional practices
We need to tackle

Deaf children to benefit from first Michael Young Prize
Dr. Diana Burman is the winner of the first ever Michael Young Prize, sponsored by The Young Foundation and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Self-esteem key to not letting the job get in the way of your relationship
Do we feel accepted by our partners no matter how good or bad our professional life is going?

Childhood autism more widespread in the UK than previously thought
The prevalence of childhood autism and related disorders in the UK may be substantially higher than previously thought, according to an article in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Half of social inequalities in male mortality due to smoking
Men of lower social class, income, or education have a two-fold increased risk of dying than men in higher strata, and half of this difference is attributable to smoking, reveals a paper published online today by The Lancet.

Tumor wizardry wards off attacks from the immune system
Like the fictional wizard Harry Potter, some cancerous tumors seem capable of wrapping themselves in an invisibility cloak.

Boosting killer cells might improve breast-cancer drug
Preliminary research suggests that a drug that targets a particular type of breast cancer might be more effective if patients are also given a substance made by the body that stimulates certain immune cells.

APS awards more than $150,000 in fellowships to middle and high school science teachers
The American Physiological Society (APS) awarded its 2006 Frontiers in Physiology Professional Development Fellowships to middle and high school teachers in IL, SC, NM, IN, OH, KY, NJ, SD, LA, CA, MD, NY and DC.

Scientists identify protein with a crucial role in cell death
Ageing, and the processes of deterioration that go with it, are largely attributable to cells that die off in a controlled manner.

Sharply-tuned nanostrings work at room temperature
Using a fast, low-cost fabrication technique that allows inexpensive testing of a wide variety of materials, Cornell University researchers have come up with nanoscale resonators -- tiny vibrating strings -- with the highest quality factor so far obtainable at room temperature for devices so small.

Print deal makes Connexions leading open-source publisher
Rice University's Connexions today announced an on-demand printing agreement with QOOP Inc. that will allow students and instructors anywhere in the world to order high-quality, hardbound textbooks from Connexions' -- in most cases for less than $25.

British government violating right of failed asylum seekers to health care
The British government is violating the right of failed asylum seekers to health care, according to an editorial in this week's BMJ.

JCI Table of Contents: July 13, 3006
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online 7/13/06 in the JCI, including: Protein potentially links diet, obesity, and asthma; A gut reaction: neonatal Fc receptor guards against intestinal infection; Embryonic mutation of FGFR3 gene linked to thickening of the skin; Inflamed about the A2B adenosine receptor in the lung; and SXR and NF-kappaB crosstalk links drug metabolism and inflammation.

Tyrannosaur survivorship -- tough times for teens
A massive dinosaur death bed in Alberta has helped map out the animal's life span and thrown doubt on long-held theories about how one species lived, says new research conducted in part at the University of Alberta.

What's wrong with selling kidneys?
Doctors in this week's BMJ debate the issue of selling kidneys.

Brown engineers use DNA to direct nanowire assembly and growth
A small but growing number of engineers are using nature's engineer -- DNA -- to create nanomaterials that can be used in everything from medical devices to computer circuits.

Fertility technique not effective for all couples with difficulty conceiving
A technique commonly used as the first-line treatment for couples that have difficulty conceiving is not effective for those with a 30 percent chance of natural pregnancy, according to a study in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Duke researchers link newly discovered gene to hereditary neurological disease
Scientists have linked a recently discovered gene to a rare nervous system disease called hereditary spastic paraplegia, for which there is no cure.

Fear of liability risks patient care
The medical malpractice liability system may be preventing doctors from giving patients the best care, state the authors of a Review of medical liability in this week's Lancet.

Asthma -- obesity connection
A new asthma gene provides an unexpected link between asthma and obesity according to a research team at Sydney's Garvan Institute, who are also part of the Cooperative Research Centre for Asthma and Airways.

Basic, regular training helps doctors treat alcoholism
A few hours of extra training can dramatically improve doctors' ability to treat alcohol-dependent patients.

Rosalind Franklin University and VA collaborate on amputation risk prevention profile
The North Chicago Veterans Affairs Medical Center and researchers at Rosalind Franklin University's Center for Lower Extremity Ambulatory Research (CLEAR) have teamed up to prevent amputations through an assessment system for high-risk diabetic patients.

Sub-millimeter astronomy in full swing on southern skies
The Atacama Pathfinder Experiment 12-m sub-millimeter telescope lives up to the ambitions of the scientists.

Moderate exercise improves survival rates for colon cancer survivors
People who have been treated for colon cancer can substantially reduce the risk that the disease will return and improve their overall chance of survival by engaging in regular exercise, according to new research by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists.

Toddlers exposed to cigarette smoke in utero exhibit greater behavioral problems
Toddlers who were exposed to cigarette smoke in utero exhibited higher levels of behavior problems from 12-24 months.

Centuries of land-use practices profoundly impact earth system, UNH scientists report
In a paper published in the July 2006 issue of Global Change Biology, University of New Hampshire scientists and coauthors show that land-use activities over the last 300 years have substantially altered the land surface in ways that are likely to have had profound effects on the Earth system.

UCR researchers determine genetic origin of California wild radish
UC Riverside scientists studying the genetic makeup of wild radishes in California have determined that the California wild radish is descended from hybrids between two species: cultivated radish and the weed called jointed charlock.

No increase in punitive damages awards, study shows
The current debate on tort reform appears to be based on false assumptions about juries, judges, and punitive damages awards.

Bird brains shrink from exposure to contaminants
The regions in robins' brains responsible for singing and mating are shrinking when exposed to high levels of DDT, says new University of Alberta research -- the first proof that natural exposure to a contaminant damages the brain of a wild animal.

Gene mutations responsible for Rett syndrome in females present sporadically in males
Gene mutations that are responsible for the majority (70 to 80 percent) of cases of Rett syndrome (RTT) in females are not always lethal in males prior to birth, refuting previous assumptions, and can occur sporadically in infant males without a family history of the disorder.

Political allegiance impacts brain's response to candidates
A new UCLA imaging study finds political party allegiance affects the brain activity of partisans viewing the faces of candidates.

Study: Boys trail girls in literacy scores
A new study by University of Alaska Fairbanks Professor Judith Kleinfeld indicates that boys, regardless of their socioeconomic status, lag behind their female peers in language arts.

HIV infection requires B cells with special protein, University of Pittsburgh researchers report
HIV infection of T cells requires activation of a molecule on the surface of B cells, a finding that reveals yet another pathway the virus uses in its insidious attack on the immune system, report University of Pittsburgh researchers. 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