Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 26, 2006
Scientists at the University of the Basque Country succeed in cooling solid material with laser
A team of researchers at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) have experimentally demonstrated something that other scientists have been trying to achieve for decades: the cooling of erbium-doped materials with laser light.

The future of race-based medicine
Health experts, researchers and opinion leaders from across the country will meet in Northern California for a national conference on genomics, health and race.

Global coral reef assessment built on NASA images
A first-of-its-kind survey of how well the world's coral reefs are being protected was made possible by a unique collection of NASA views from space.

GroPep awarded key patent for infertility treatment in Europe
Adelaide biotechnology company, GroPep, has achieved a major development milestone in its infertility drug program with the granting of European patent number 1028743.

Lower levels of anti-inflammatory proteins may contribute to chronic widespread pain
A new study examined cytokine profiles in patients with chronic widespread pain and found that they had significantly lower levels of the anti-inflammatory cytokines IL-4 and IL-10.

Metabolic Engineering VI
This sixth conference in a series explores the use of metabolic engineering, the application of molecular biology techniques such as recombinant DNA, to the development and improvement of biotechnological processes for the production of valuable pharmaceutical agents and organic compounds such as antibiotics, anti-cancer agents, monoclonal antibodies, vitamins, amino acids, organic acids and many others.

Multi-tasking adversely affects brain's learning, UCLA psychologists report
Multi-tasking affects the brain's learning systems, and as a result, we do not learn as well when we are distracted, UCLA psychologists report this week in the online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Plenty of nothing: A hole new quantum spin
Scientists have created a tiny quantum wire that carries an electric current by exploiting the gaps -- or holes -- between electrons.

A more powerful and efficient engine for rice: the C3-C4 challenge
A major international scientific effort was launched last week to develop and use a radical new approach to boost rice production and avoid potential rice shortages, or even future famine.

High-tech hydrogen scooter designed to sell clean technology
An industrial design engineering graduate from Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands has designed and built a working prototype of a scooter that can be powered by hydrogen.

Something in the air: Nanoparticles and ...?
The world's first machine to simultaneously measure two vital properties of airborne nanoparticle pollution is going on an overseas trip to a leading atmospheric chemistry laboratory in Switzerland.

Sandia-developed device determines how well wind turbines operate
Sandia's Wind Energy Technology Department has developed a device, the Accurate Time Linked Data Acquisition System (ATLAS II), to help engineers determine efficiency and health of wind turbines.

NYU becomes part of CERN project to explore fundamental nature of matter
A team of New York University physicists has joined a world-wide collaboration to investigate the fundamental nature of matter and the basic forces that shape the universe.

Medical device test center expands capabilities to help reduce potential interference
New wireless technologies that improve security, commerce and entertainment may also carry a down side: potential interference with implantable medical devices such as pacemmakers, defibrillators and drug-infusion pumps.

Worker ants store fat to share with colony members during times of need
In a fascinating new study from the September/October 2006 issue of Physiological and Biochemical Zoology, Daniel A.

NIH grant of $665K awarded to Rhode Island Hospital
A 5-year grant from the NIH enables researchers at Rhode Island Hospital to continue exploring the connection between H. pylori and gastric cancer.

Baylor Institute for Immunology research receives $3 million grant to create cancer vaccines
Baylor Institute for Immunology Research (BIIR), a component of Baylor Research Institute, has been awarded a three-year, $3 million grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to develop vaccines against melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer.

Lower estrogen levels are a risk factor for knee osteoarthritis
A study examined estradiol, the primary estrogen in premenopausal and early perimenopausal women, along with two of the hormones into which it breaks down, to determine if their levels are associated with an increased risk of developing osteoarthritis (OA) in women.

Rutgers College of Nursing professor elected Academy of Emergency Nursing Fellow
A Rutgers College of Nursing faculty member, Linda Scheetz, was elected as a fellow to the Academy of Emergency Nursing.

Schizophrenia diagnosis gets help from the brain
A computer program that can probe the regions of the brain affected by schizophrenia could lead to earlier diagnosis of people with the disorder.

New genetic findings add to understanding of OCD
Obsessive-compulsive disorder tends to run in families, but scientists are still working to understand how and why.

Johns Hopkins Children's Center to lead largest-ever study on kidney disease in children
The early progression of chronic kidney disease in children and teens is poorly understood, but a national research team led by Johns Hopkins scientists is launching the largest-ever study to learn more about this often-stealthy killer.

Take one small black hole
Physicists have so far failed to detect the hypothetical particle, the Higgs boson, which is supposed to give all other particles their mass.

Saving antiretroviral treatment in long-term HIV-positive patients
HIV-positive patients who have been receiving long-term antiretroviral treatment are less likely to respond to subsequent rounds of treatment, according to a review in the August issue of the Lancet Infectious Diseases.

CEO of GSK talks about HIV in the developing world
J-P Garnier, CEO of the pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, talks about the company's role in providing HIV drugs for the developing world, in an exclusive interview with The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Improving livestock health, trade and human livelihoods in Africa
Increasing international trade of livestock is a potentially useful poverty reduction strategy in developing nations.

Human behavior changes the number of strains of infectious diseases
Simple models predict that only one strain of an infectious disease can exist at one time, but observation suggests otherwise.

Groundbreaking research highlights myriad health benefits of flavanol-rich cocoa
Newly published research on the circulatory benefits of flavanol-rich cocoa, including the first observed brain and cardiovascular blood flow improvements, are highlighted in the latest issue of the Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, in a supplement that focuses on the potential health benefits of flavanol-rich cocoa.

Native-born blacks more likely to marry whites than other blacks
Breaking away from previous marriage and cohabitation studies that treated the U.S. black population as a monolithic culture, a new Cornell study finds significant variations in interracial marriage statistics among U.S.-born blacks and black immigrants from the Caribbean and Africa.

Who calls for stronger collaboration between HIV/AIDS and TB programs in the developing world
The head of WHO's Stop TB program has called for better coordination of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis screening and treatment programs in the August issue of the Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Helium atoms sent by nozzle may light way for new imaging approach
A newly devised nozzle fitted with a pinhole-sized capillary has allowed researchers to distribute helium atoms with X-ray-like waves on randomly shaped surfaces.

Male praying mantids prefer not to be victims of sexual cannibalism
Female praying mantids are notorious for sexual cannibalism -- that is, for eating their male partner during mating.

UF scientists discover evolutionary origin of fins, limbs
The genetic instructions used to construct and position our limbs were being perfected more than half a billion years ago in fish, not along the sides of the body where the fins that preceded human arms and legs sprouted, but at the midline that runs along the backbone and belly.

Island universes with a twist
If life is like a box of chocolates -- you never know what you will get -- the universe, with its immensely large variety of galaxies, must be a real candy store!

New MRI technique quickly builds 3-D images of knees
A faster magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data-acquisition technique will cut the time many patients spend in a cramped magnetic resonance scanner, yet deliver more precise 3-D images of their bodies.

American Society of Plant Biologists Annual Meeting August 5-9 in Boston
The American Society of Plant Biologists will meet jointly with the Canadian Society of Plant Physiologists at their annual meeting.

Identifying medical proxy should be part of routine medical care
One-third of married individuals choose someone other than their spouse as a surrogate for medical decisionmaking.

EGNOS follows the Tour de France
The riders in the Tour de France were tracked again this year by EGNOS, the European navigation system that allows precise positioning via satellite.

Homeland Security awards $3 million to Rutgers-led research consortium
The United States Department of Homeland Security has announced a $3 million grant to Rutgers University to lead a consortium researching advanced information analysis and computational technologies.

Prebiotics can cut development of skin allergy in babies at high risk
Prebiotics can cut the chances of developing atopic dermatitis in babies at high risk of the disorder, suggests a study published ahead of print in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Feltrinelli International Prize awarded to Berkeley Lab's Saul Perlmutter
Astrophysicist Saul Perlmutter, leader of the international Supernova Cosmology Project, has won the €250,000 Feltrinelli International Prize in Physical and Mathematical Sciences of Rome's Lincei Academy, awarded once every five years in this field.

Inhaled nitric oxide reduces lung disease in premature babies
Delivering nitric oxide to the lungs of premature, very-low-birth-weight infants during their second week of life improves their chances of surviving without chronic lung disease, according to a national study of nearly 600 babies.

NASA Africa mission investigates origin, development of hurricanes
Scientists from NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, universities and international agencies will study how winds and dust conditions from Africa influence the birth of hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean.

Invasive plants prefer disturbance in exotic regions over home regions
One of the most invasive exotics in the western United States, the yellow starthistle, is successful both at

Scientists image 'magnetic semiconductors' on the nanoscale
In a first-of-its-kind achievement, scientists at the University of Iowa, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Princeton University have directly imaged the magnetic interactions between two magnetic atoms less than one nanometer apart (one billionth of a meter) and embedded in a semiconductor chip.

Sound investment: A new mathematical method provides a better way to analyze noise
Even though the brain has only a small fraction of its sensory receptors dedicated to sound, the human auditory system is lightning fast.

UCI researchers 'text mine' The New York Times, demonstrating ease of new technology
Performing what a team of dedicated and bleary-eyed newspaper librarians would need months to do, scientists at UC Irvine have used an up-and-coming technology to complete in hours a complex topic analysis of 330,000 stories published primarily by The New York Times.

Penn researchers calculate how much the eye tells the brain
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine estimate that the human retina can transmit visual input at roughly 10 million bits per second, similar to an Ethernet connection.

Older, more rounded and artier applicants make better medical students
Older, artier and better rounded applicants, with at least one year's work experience would make better medical students and happier doctors, suggests a leading educationalist philosopher in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

Real-time decision-support system can save lives
Making the right decision when you are under pressure can make the difference between success and failure in many safety-critical applications.

Early treatment prevents lasting breathing problems in some premature babies
Results from two large, multicenter clinical trials demonstrate that when given within the first few weeks of life, inhaled nitric oxide helps prevent chronic lung disease in some very low birthweight premature infants.

Thieves promote stable coexistence among desert rodents
The warm deserts of North America are hopping with multiple species of kangaroo rats and pocket mice despite limited seed resources.

NICE gives backing for the use of advanced biological therapies to treat severe psoriasis
The U.K. National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has today issued guidance for the use of the targeted biological therapies, Enbrel® (etanercept) and Raptiva® (efalizumab), to treat adult patients with severe plaque psoriasis.

UK hosts international digital design conference
Agenda is set for ACADIA 2006, four-day digital design event that will include lectures, workshops in cutting-edge software, an international exhibition featuring models and visualizations, research papers, works-in-progress presentations and plenary session paper presentations by leading-edge researchers and academics from over eighteen different countries.

Old pulsars still have new tricks to teach us
The super-sensitivity of ESA's XMM-Newton X-ray observatory has shown that the prevailing theory of how stellar corpses, known as pulsars, generate their X-rays needs revising.

National response needed in India to bring HIV epidemic under control
India's HIV epidemic is not yet contained, says a review in the August issue of the Lancet Infectious Diseases published online today.

New test could keep babies from contracting deadly infections
Women are tested for group B streptococcus during pregnancy, but current screening methods can leave some babies at risk for contracting an infection from the bacterium.

Regular multivitamin use near time of conception significantly reduces preeclampsia risk
Women considering becoming pregnant may reduce their risk of developing preeclampsia as much as 72 percent by taking a multivitamin supplement regularly three months before conception and during the first trimester, according to a University of Pittsburgh study available online now through an

The Mount Sinai Medical Center recognized for excellence in bariatric surgery
The Mount Sinai Medical Center has been named a Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence by the American Society for Bariatric Surgery (ASBS).

Challenges to improving adolescent nutrition in Bangladesh and Tanzania
While a great deal of research has been conducted on child and adult malnutrition in developing countries, there are only a handful of studies on adolescent malnutrition.

CU study finds connection between sound and meaning in words
A new Cornell study describes a series of linguistic experiments showing that the sounds (phonology) of a word can indicate whether it is a noun or a verb.

Where are the supermassive black holes hiding?
European and American scientists, on a quest to find supermassive black holes hiding in nearby galaxies, have found surprisingly few. 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