Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 29, 2006
Firefighter radios may fail during high-temp fires
A recently NIST study shows that first responders can't rely on their unprotected handheld radios even in routine firefighting situations, much less in higher-temperature fires, where good communications are especially crucial.

Urgent call to action issued to protect world's most vulnerable populations from influenza pandemic
The influenza pandemic of 1918 killed more than 50 million people.

Tamiflu significantly reduces the risk of death from influenza
Tamiflu (oseltamivir), is effective in reducing the risk of death associated with seasonal influenza in severely ill patients, according to new data presented today.

Many urinary stones can be treated without surgery
For many patients with urinary stone disease, treatment with a calcium-channel blocker or an alpha blocker can greatly improve their likelihood of passing their urinary stones, which may help these patients avoid surgery, according to an analysis by the University of Michigan Health System.

Preventive ovary removal linked to early death in younger women
Women younger than 45 years who have both ovaries removed surgically and do not receive adequate hormone replacement therapy are more likely to die from several causes, according to an article in the October issue of the Lancet Oncology.

Robot wheelchair may give patients more independence
Engineers at NIST are developing a robotic system that may offer wheelchair-dependent people independent, powered mobility and the ability, depending on patient status, to move to and from beds, chairs and toilets without assistance.

UI teams up with Cubs star, Celtics owner to fight eye disease
At a news conference today in Chicago, Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee announced his partnership with Boston Celtics CEO and co-owner Wyc Grousbeck and the Carver Nonprofit Genetic Testing Laboratory at the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A.

Study defines effective microbicide design for HIV/AIDS prevention
Duke University biomedical engineers have developed a computer tool they say could lead to improvements in topical microbicides being developed for women to use to prevent infection by the virus that causes AIDS.

Manganese can keep toxic hydrogen sulfide zones in check in aquatic systems
Manganese, in trace amounts, is essential to human health. Now a research team from the University of Delaware, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, the University of Hawaii and Oregon Health and Science University has discovered that a dissolved form of the mineral also is important in waterways such as the Black Sea and Chesapeake Bay, where it can keep toxic hydrogen sulfide zones in check.

Tests may help answer questions about GMOs and allergies
The potential of genetically engineered foods to cause allergic reactions in humans is a big reason for opposition to such crops.

Exercise prior to hip and knee replacement reduces need for inpatient rehabilitation
A study published in the October 2006 issue of Arthritis Care & Research examined whether an exercise program prior to hip or knee replacement would benefit patients in terms of function, pain, and muscle strength before or after surgery.

An infectious agent of deception, exposed through proteomics
How Salmonella escapes detection by macrophages, turning predator cells to prey complicit in promoting infection, has seemed impossibly complicated, a needle-in-a-haystack proposition involving thousands of proteins, the building blocks that carry out cells' vital functions.

Using contrast enhanced sonography improves diagnosis of liver and spleen injuries
Contrast-enhanced sonography shows liver and spleen injuries better than non-contrast enhanced sonography, according to a study conducted at the University of California, Davis School of Medicine department of radiology in Sacramento, Calif.

Weight training does not increase strength but may slow progression in OA patients
A new study examines the effects of strength training on the incidence and progression of knee osteoarthritis affects in older adults.

Model homes offer national IAQ impact results
Engineers at NIST have developed a database of U.S. residential housing to help conduct nationwide analyses of ventilation, air cleaning or moisture control strategies to reduce indoor air pollution.

Dr. Robert Hatcher to receive AGI's Ian Campbell Award for 2006
The AGI Medal in Memory of Ian Campbell for 2006 will be awarded to Dr.

Einstein's magnetic effect is measured on microscale
A gyromagnetic effect discovered by Albert Einstein and Dutch physicist Wander Johannes de Haas has been measured at micrometer-scale dimensions for the first time at the NIST.

Emergency tests focus on lab radioactivity analyses
Working under severe time pressure, government laboratories can analyze radioactive samples fairly quickly, but with variable accuracy, and sometimes relaxed quality control procedures, according to an analysis of two federally organized tests of the labs' emergency preparedness.

IUFRO conference on forest landscape restoration
The International Conference on Forest Landscape Restoration will be held May 14-19, 2007.

Study identifies part of brain responsible for tone deafness
A new study has discovered that the brains of people suffering from tone deafness are in fact lacking in white matter.

Rochester study shows ethnic disparities in medicare claims
African-Americans and Latinos are more likely to underestimate how long it has been since their last routine screening test for disease -- such as a mammogram, Pap smear or cholesterol test -- according to a University of Rochester study that matched patient recollections with Medicare documentation.

Large collaborative effort provides first publicly available genetic data for Parkinson's research
Two online/articles published by the Lancet Neurology pave the way for future research into possible genetic associations in Parkinson's disease, as data from hundred of patients and healthy controls are, for the first time, made publicly available.

Efficacy of once-daily Avelox for complicated abdominal infections highlighted at ICAAC
The efficacy of monotherapy with the once-daily, broad-spectrum antibiotic AVELOX® in the treatment of complicated intra-abdominal infections was highlighted in two clinical data presentations by researchers here at the 46th annual Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy 2006, Schering-Plough Corporation reported today.

Swedish researcher launches unique search engine for the Web
The Sweden-based company Polar Rose will soon be introducing a Web-based search engine that can find photographs of people by analyzing pictures and identifying faces.

Bacteria for better ice cream and artificial snow no longer depends on trek to poles
The search for a type of bacteria that creates better ice cream and artificial snow has suddenly become a lot easier, thanks to a discovery by Queen's University biologist Virginia Walker.

'Living While Black' index measures variety of stress factors for African Americans
Penn State researchers have developed a

NJIT researchers help Texans employ transportation technology
Transportation planners from Houston, Texas, recently commended researchers at New Jersey Institute of Technology for enabling them to make better use of a technology product developed to assist in the transportation project funding process known as the Transportation, Economic and Land-Use System or TELUS.

NSF awards Texas Advanced Computing Center $59 million for high-performance computing
The National Science Foundation has made a five-year, $59 million award to the Texas Advanced Computing Center at the University of Texas at Austin and its partners at Arizona State University and Cornell University.

'1491' wins 2006 Best Book Award from the National Academies
The National Academies today announced the recipients of its 2006 Communication Awards.

UGA researchers discover cell-wall carbohydrate that is crucial to anthrax bacterium
Researchers at the University of Georgia, collaborating with scientists at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, have discovered the structure of a unique cell-wall carbohydrate in B. anthracis.

Thermal imaging shatters arousal gender gap myth
McGill study shows women become aroused as quickly as men.

Hold the Hookah: Researcher warns against trendy tobacco use
The growing fad of smoking tobacco through a waterpipe, sometimes known as a hookah, is rapidly turning into a worrisome epidemic, according to a Georgetown University researcher who says smokers who think this form of tobacco use is less toxic than cigarettes are wrong.

Survey: Insecurity, Xenophobia extremely high in Iraq
New survey data finds the Iraqi public demonstrates the highest levels of intolerance of foreigners and other social out-groups out of 80 countries for which data is available, along with extraordinarily high levels of ethnic solidarity.

UVA researchers find that hotel guests with colds can leave their germs behind after checkout
A group of researchers led by a team from the University of Virginia Health System found that adults infected with rhinovirus, the cause of half of all colds, may contaminate many objects used in daily life, leaving an infectious gift for others who follow them.

Study calls for 39 percent more family physicians
A study released this week on the U.S. physician workforce calls for a 39 percent increase in the number of family physicians to meet the escalating health care needs of the American people.

Australia, South Africa, short-listed for giant telescope
Australia and South Africa have been short-listed as the countries to host the Square Kilometre Array (SKA), a giant next-generation radio telescope being developed by scientists in 17 countries.

New treatment for severe malaria
The most dangerous form of malaria is difficult to treat and claims two million lives a year.

Close-up on highlands near crater Pentland
This high-resolution image, taken by the advanced Moon Imaging Experiment (AMIE) on board ESA's SMART-1 spacecraft, shows an area close to crater Pentland on the Moon.

Common cold may be just a fingertip away due to environmental contamination
A common cold can be just a fingertip away thanks to the high rate of viral contamination of environmental surfaces that a cold sufferer can leave behind, according to a study in hotel rooms by investigators from the University of Virginia and Reckitt-Benckiser (LON: RB), the world's number one household cleaning company (excluding laundry).

Medical College of Wisconsin secures key contract from US HRSA
The Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, announced that the Center for International Blood and Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) has been awarded the Stem Cell Therapeutic Outcomes Database contract by the US Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). 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