Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 02, 2006
Pigment formulated 225 years ago could be key in emerging technologies
A mixture of zinc oxide and cobalt, first formulated in 1780 as a pigment called cobalt green, appears capable of allowing electrons to be manipulated magnetically at room temperature without losing its magnetism.

Imaging challenges theory of high-temperature superconductivity
By scanning at the scale of individual atoms, Cornell researchers have found evidence that challenges conventional theory about how high-temperature superconductors work.

Sandia researchers solve mystery of attractive surfaces
Rough hydrophobic surfaces, self-assembled by nanotechnology techniques, attract each other under water over long distances by lowering the pressure between them.

Columbia U receives $16.9M award to study origin and health effects of arsenic in ground water
Researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Center for International Earth Science Information Network announced that they have been awarded a five-year, $16.9 million grant renewal from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS) Superfund Basic Research Program (SBRP).

Breastfed babies cope better with stress in later life than bottle fed babies
Breastfed babies cope better with stress in later life than bottle fed babies, suggests research published ahead of print in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

All work, no perks for Hispanic forest labor in the US
Forest management is hard work in the United States, but it is even tougher if you are Hispanic.

Rhode Island physician honored nationally for establishing first HIV menopause clinic
Susan Cu-Uvin, M.D., a physician at the Miriam Hospital and an associate professor at Brown Medical School, received national recognition today by the Ladies' Home Journal for establishing the nation's first known HIV Menopause Clinic designed to understand the compounded effects of menopause on women with HIV.

New system provides power, water and refrigeration from one source
When hurricanes, wars or other emergencies force authorities to respond, three essentials top their list of must-haves: water, electricity and refrigeration.

Tiny inhaled particles take easy route from nose to brain
In a continuing effort to find out if the tiniest airborne particles pose a health risk, University of Rochester Medical Center scientists showed that when rats breathe in nano-sized materials they follow a rapid and efficient pathway from the nasal cavity to several regions of the brain, according to a study in the August issue of Environmental Health Perspectives.

Computer-aided detection improves early breast cancer identification
Computer-aided detection improves breast cancer identification in both screening and diagnostic patients according to a recent study done by a private practice radiologist in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Progress in battle against life-threatening acute allergy
Up to 15 percent of the population has to contend at some time with anaphylaxis: a suddenly serious allergic reaction that can be life-threatening.

Gout increases risk of heart attack, according to University of Pittsburgh study
People with gout are at increased risk of having a heart attack, according to a University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine study published in the August edition of the journal, Arthritis & Rheumatism.

Huygens scientific archive data set released
ESA's Huygens probe successfully descended through the atmosphere of Titan, Saturn's largest moon, and safely landed on its surface on January 14, 2005.

Study shows how protein raises antibody output
Cancer immunologists here have discovered how a protein on the surface of antibody-making immune cells boosts the amount of antibody the cells make.

Uterine cancer may be clue to inherited syndrome
A new study suggests that women with endometrial cancer should be screened for inherited mutations that could lead to a high risk of several other cancers.

A sub-stellar Jonah
Using ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have discovered a rather unusual system, in which two planet-size stars, of different colors, orbit each other.

Quick -- what's that smell?
Researchers at the Monell Chemical Senses Center have found that taking as little as a hundred milliseconds longer to smell an odor results in more accurate identification of that odor.

Cat parasite may affect cultural traits in human populations
A common parasite found in cats may be affecting human behavior on a mass scale, according to a scientist based at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

AGU Fall Meeting: News media registration and hotel booking now open
The American Geophysical Union's Fall Meeting returns to San Francisco, December 11-15, 2006.

Brain's 'gambling circuitry' identified
From gamblers playing blackjack to investors picking stocks, humans make a wide range of decisions that require gauging risk versus reward.

Autonomous lenses may bring microworld into focus
When Hongrui Jiang looked into a fly's eye, he saw a way to make a tiny lens so

New method of using nanotube X-rays creates CT images faster than traditional scanners
Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have developed a new method to create computed tomography (CT) images using carbon nanotube X-rays that works much faster than traditional scanners and uses less peak power.

Heat waves kill in areas without businesses to draw older citizens
Severe heat waves kill more people in neighborhoods where there are few inviting businesses to draw older people out of their apartments, new research suggests.

Some (bumblebees) like it hot
Bumblebees prefer warmer flowers and can learn to use color to predict floral temperature before landing, a new study reports.

Optical breakthrough makes 'Lab-on-a-Chip' possible
Georgia Tech researchers have found a way to shrink all the sensing power of sophisticated biosensors -- such as sensors that can detect trace amounts of a chemical in a water supply or a substance in your blood -- onto a single microchip.

BIDMC's Shapiro Simulation and Skills Center receives American College of Surgeons accreditation
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's Carl J. Shapiro Simulation and Skills Center has been formally accredited as a Level 1 facility by the American College of Surgeons (ACS), the first in Boston and New England -- and one of only six inaugural certified centers in the United States -- to provide simulation-based skills training to health care students and professionals from all medical and surgical disciplines.

Mapping system tells skin cells whether to become scalp, palm tissues, Stanford study finds
Global-positioning system aficionados know that it's possible to precisely define any location in the world with just three geographic coordinates: latitude, longitude and altitude.

DOE to invest $250 million in new bioenergy centers
The U.S. Department of Energy will spend $250 million to establish and operate two new Bioenergy Research Centers to accelerate basic research on the development of cellulosic ethanol and other biofuels.

San Diego supercomputer team backs firefighters in recent 'Horse' wildfires
Firefighters facing fast-spreading wildfires, especially in remote areas where communications and other resources are scarce, can now add 'cyberinfrastructure' to their firefighting arsenals.

Study evaluates effectiveness of sonographically guided therapy in professional soccer players
Soccer players with posterior ankle impingement can return to athletic activity rapidly with the use of a sonographically guided injection of steroid and anesthetic, according to a recent study conducted at Leeds Teaching Hospitals in Leeds, U.K.

The secret life of semen
Semen could have far bigger role to play in reproduction than just acting as the primary carrier for sperm.

Superalloy joining for extreme applications using Transient Liquid Phase diffusion bonding
The high mechanical strength and corrosion resistant nature of oxide dispersion strengthened (ODS) superalloys puts them in demand for use in extreme applications such as turbine engines and heat exchangers.

Predators prefer to hunt small-brained prey
Predators such as leopards and chimpanzees consistently target smaller-brained prey less capable of escape, research at the University of Liverpool has shown.

GSA announces three recipients of 2006 Distinguished Service Award
Three geoscientists will receive the Geological Society of America Distinguished Service Award for 2006.

Key fat and cholesterol cell regulator identified, promising target
Researchers at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital have identified how a molecular switch regulates fat and cholesterol production, a step that may help advance treatments for metabolic syndrome, the constellation of diseases that includes high cholesterol, obesity, type II diabetes and high blood pressure.

Increased odds of rheumatoid arthritis in women smokers without genetic risk factor
Smoking increases the chance of developing rheumatoid arthritis in women who otherwise lack genetic risk factors for the disease, reveals research published ahead of print in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Dick Kerr to receive GSA 2006 Public Service Award
Dr. Richard A. Kerr, senior writer at Science, is recipient of the 2006 Geological Society of America Public Service Award.

Research leads to first treatment for drug-resistant HIV
Doctors have their first FDA-approved tool to treat drug-resistant HIV thanks to a new molecule created by a Purdue University researcher.

Proteins as parents
A team from the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada) succeeded in producing proteins with new mechanical properties through the combination of two

Wastewater treatment and concrete construction chemical produced using a new process
Water and shelter, two of the fundamental needs for human life and the provision of both is tied to the commercially important chemical sodium aluminate (NaAlO2).

Nanotechnology being used to improve biocompatibility of human prosthetics and implants
As populations of the world age the current trend is that people are not slowing down in their later years.

RNA interference methods highlighted in Cold Spring Harbor Protocols
The current issue of Cold Spring Harbor Protocols, published online today, features new, freely available methods for using RNA interference (RNAi) in mice and Drosophila.

Knee bone marrow lesions may be hereditary
Bone marrow lesions in the knee, a cause of pain in patients with knee osteoarthritis, may be hereditary.

Researchers develop risk predictor for dementia
A team of researchers have developed a new method to predict dementia risk that could help to identify individuals who might benefit from intensive lifestyle consultations and drug interventions.

Stroke risk should determine anti-clotting treatment
Risk factors for stroke should be used to determine whether anti-clotting therapy is given to people with an irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation (AF), according to revised Guidelines for the Management of Patients with Atrial Fibrillation released today by the American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association and the European Society of Cardiology.

New method for producing catalyst materials to reduce sulfur content in petroleum fuels
Increasingly strict environmental legislation is being applied to motor vehicle emissions.

Study compares difference between MDCT and digital radiography in orthopedic patients
Multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT) using high-quality 2-D formatting is highly recommended as the primary imaging technique for the evaluation of bone healing, according to a study done by radiologists at the Medical University of Vienna in Vienna, Austria.

Older age a risk factor for brain hemorrhage in patients on and off common blood thinner therapy
Older patients with atrial fibrillation have higher rates of major hemorrhage in the brain whether or not they are using a common blood thinning therapy, according to a new study.

More regulations make Web sites less trustworthy, study shows
Placing strict controls and regulations on website operators does not make the Internet more secure and private for users, a new study shows.

Only poor pay and low status of pediatrics helped women doctors buck discrimination
Actively barred from pursuing medical careers elsewhere, women paediatricians were able to carve out careers in the specialty because it paid poorly and carried insufficient status, reveals a brief history of the profession, published ahead of print in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Commonwealth Fund commission says the US health care system needs thorough transformation
A panel of prominent leaders from all sectors of the health care system today issued its Framework for a High Performance Health System for the United States.

SNM expands mission to improve patient care by advancing molecular imaging and therapy
SNM, an international scientific and professional organization of more than 16,000 physicians, technologists and scientists, announced that it has redefined its core mission and intends to

Pure novelty spurs the brain
Neurobiologists have known that a novel environment sparks exploration and learning, but very little is known about whether the brain really prefers novelty as such.

UK recommendations on the availability of common painkillers are being contravened
U.K. recommendations concerning the availability of the common painkiller paracetamol are apparently being contravened, suggests a study in Postgraduate Medical Journal.

Novelty aids learning
Exposure to new experiences improves memory, according to research by UCL (University College London) psychologists and medical doctors that could hold major implications for the treatment of memory problems. 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