Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 11, 2006
NSF awards Temple $3.5 million to establish Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center
With an eye toward helping educate children and prepare the technological workforce needed to compete in today's global society, the National Science Foundation has awarded Temple University a two-year, $3.5-million grant to establish a Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center.

The day LISA Pathfinder hung in the balance
At the core of ESA's LISA Pathfinder mission sit two small hearts.

Study could help transplant surgeons predict rejection/tailor medications
A Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC transplant surgeon and researcher has received a grant from the National Institutes of Health to study genetic factors that could predispose transplant recipients to rejection.

Rising ocean temperatures, pollution have oysters in hot water
Oysters exposed to high water temperatures and a common heavy metal are unable to obtain sufficient oxygen and convert it to cellular energy, according to a new study presented at the American Physiological Society conference,

Bad blood between boys and girls
Women infected with dormant toxoplasmosis are more likely to give birth to boys than women who are Toxoplasma negative, according to research published in Springer's journal Naturwissenschaften this week.

Jefferson cardiologists find drug is effective in reversing deadly problem in coronary angioplasty
Researchers in the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at Thomas Jefferson University have found that nicardipine, a commonly available calcium channel blocker, is effective in reversing the

Development of Tide laundry detergent receives historical recognition
The development of Tide will be designated a National Historic Chemical Landmark on Oct.

Saturn's rings show evidence of a modern-day collision
Scientists on NASA's Cassini mission have spied a new, continuously changing feature that provides circumstantial evidence that a comet or asteroid recently collided with Saturn's innermost ring, the faint D ring.

Novel mechanism of action of new drug for MS identified
Virginia Commonwealth University researchers have identified a unique mechanism of action of a new drug that shows great promise for the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Children of allergy sufferers prone to same problem
Infants whose parents have allergies that produce symptoms like wheezing, asthma, hay fever or hives risk developing allergic sensitization much earlier in life than previously reported, according to a study by Cincinnati researchers.

16 outstanding researchers receive Singapore's highest honor in science and technology
The NSTA awards, the pinnacle achievement of science and technology in Singapore, have been awarded to three groups and five individuals.

Composting may be alternative in wake of horse slaughter bill
The American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act, making its way from the U.S.

Speed is the name of the game for researchers
Cutting-edge computer technology designed for use in game consoles like the PlayStation 3 will power complex research software at the University of Manchester.

USC-led study suggests little benefit from antipsychotics in Alzheimer's
Alzheimer's patients prescribed antipsychotic drugs for delusions, agitation or aggression do no better than those who take a placebo.

Researchers publish largest genome-wide study of prostate cancer in African American men
Researchers from 14 institutions across the country today announced the results of the first genome-wide linkage study of prostate cancer in African Americans.

Rapid sea level rise in the Arctic Ocean may alter views of human migration
Scientists have found new evidence that the Bering Strait near Alaska flooded into the Arctic Ocean about 11,000 years ago, about 1,000 years earlier than widely believed, closing off the land bridge thought to be the major route for human migration from Asia to the Americas.

Does missing gene point to nocturnal existence for early mammals?
A gene that makes cells in the eye receptive to light is missing in humans, researchers have discovered.

Harvesting machine driving mesquite-to-ethanol potential
Knocking down mesquite hasn't been a problem in the past.

Antipsychotic medications used to treat Alzheimer's patients found lacking
Commonly prescribed antipsychotic medications used to treat Alzheimer's patients with delusions, aggression, hallucinations and other similar symptoms can benefit some patients, but they appear to be no more effective than a placebo when adverse side effects are considered.

Study estimates 655,000 excess Iraqi deaths since start of war
An estimated 655,000 more Iraqis have died as a consequence of the March 2003 military invasion of Iraq than would have been expected in a non-conflict situation, according to an Online/Article published today (Thursday October 12, 2006) by the Lancet.

Internet of long-term benefit for depression
Mental health researchers at the Australian National University have found that brief Internet-based interventions for depression are not only immediately effective, but have a significant positive long-term benefit that may be as effective as active psychotherapies.

New treatment for post-concussion syndrome pioneered at UB
Sports medicine specialists in the University at Buffalo's Sports Medicine Institute have developed a new method for treating athletes who sustain post-concussion syndrome that, unlike the conventional approach, allows athletes to maintain conditioning while recovering gradually from the injury.

Study by Children's Hospital and Carnegie Mellon explains crucial deficit in children with autism
Young children with autism appear to be delayed in their ability to categorize objects and, in particular, to distinguish between living and nonliving things, according to a breakthrough study by researchers at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University.

New study reveals postcode lottery for rheumatoid arthritis treatment
Survey reveals widespread contravention of government policy and NICE guidance.

Einstein's Dr. Susan Band Horwitz elected to Institute of Medicine
Susan Band Horwitz, Ph.D., distinguished professor and co-chair of the Department of Molecular Pharmacology and the Falkenstein Professor of Cancer Research at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, has been elected to the Institute of Medicine.

Pitt receives $2.75 million to prevent spread of flu in public schools
The University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health (GSPH) has been awarded a two-year, $2.75 million grant from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop a school-based early warning system to identify cases and early outbreaks of influenza.

Giant insects might reign if only there was more oxygen in the air
The delicate lady bug in your garden could be frighteningly large if only there was a greater concentration of oxygen in the air, a new study concludes.

Micro-robots take off as ARC announces funding
Micro-robots that can

People who self-censor opinions also avoid public politics
Americans who are reluctant to openly express their opinions when they believe others disagree also tend to avoid publicly visible political activity, such as working for a political campaign or circulating petitions, a new study shows.

Maths provides answer to airport security puzzle
High flyers will enjoy faster and safer travel in the future, thanks to mathematicians at the University of Manchester and airport security specialists Rapiscan Systems.

Updated Iraq survey affirms earlier mortality estimates
As many as 654,965 more Iraqis may have died since hostilities began in Iraq in March 2003 than would have been expected under pre-war conditions, according to a survey conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Al Mustansiriya University in Baghdad.

Daily weighing and quick action keeps pounds off
Most successful dieters regain the weight they lost. But new research shows that stepping on a scale every day, then cutting calories and boosting exercise if the numbers run too high, can significantly help dieters maintain weight loss.

Most important actors in the growth process of neurons identified
Defects in the growth process of our neurons often underlie brain or nerve diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease or multiple sclerosis.

Have traits, will travel: Some butterflies travel farther, reproduce faster
Researchers have uncovered physiological differences among female Glanville fritillary butterflies that allows some to move away from their birth place and establish new colonies.

Tipsheet: Focus on gait training, pain relief, pressure ulcers and hearing aid training
The current issue of the Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development focuses on articles involving gait training, caregiver distress, pain relief, total hip arthroplasty, pressure ulcers, integrated prosthetics, hearing aid training and more.

UCF researchers' breakthrough may help industry create more powerful computer chips
The successful use of EUV light by optics professor Martin Richardson marks a milestone in an industry-wide effort to create the most efficient and cost-effective power source for the next generation of chip production.

Three Columbia psychiatry researchers receive top awards from largest psychiatric philanthropy
Leading Columbia University Medical Center and New York State Psychiatric Institute faculty, Jeffrey A.

Few clues about African ancestry to be found in mitochondrial DNA
Mitochondrial DNA may not hold the key to your origins after all.

We need better yardstick to measure digital divide, researcher says
University of Washington researcher contends we're doing a poor job of figuring out who's being left behind in the digital world.

Lighting the way: UH, AboveNet flip the switch to enormous bandwidth
Houston has become a key stop on the information superhighway thanks to a partnership between the University of Houston and fiber optic provider AboveNet Communications, who provided a $3.5 million dark fiber optical network to UH.

Nano competition debuts at Oak Ridge National Laboratory
A nanotechnology-oriented forum bringing together academia, industry and budding entrepreneurs, will be held April 2-4, 2007, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

A ruler of gold and DNA
Scientists from the US Department Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California at Berkeley have developed a ruler made of gold nanoparticles and DNA that can measure the smallest of life's phenomena, such as precisely where on a DNA strand a protein attaches itself.

Nanoparticle assembly enters the fast lane
The speed of nanoparticle assembly can be accelerated with the assistance of DNA, a team of researchers at the U.S.

AGU journal highlights -- Oct. 11, 2006
In this issue: Antarctic iceberg breakups possibly caused by storm-induced sea swells from far away; The Little Ice Age affected the tropics; New technique for determining ionospheric electron temperature; In select case studies, MODIS-Terra is better than MODIS-Aqua at measuring mineral dust aerosols; Anomalous current system off California caused marine birds to abandon breeding colonies; 18-month signal found within the Indian Ocean Dipole; and Many earthquake swarms start not with a bang but a whimper.

Cell Press to launch new journal, Cell Host & Microbe
Cell Press, the publisher of ten scientific journals including Cell and Neuron, is proud to announce the launch of a new journal focused on the interactions between microbes and their hosts.

Mouse tests predict drug response in relapsing pancreatic cancer patients
By slicing up bits of patient tumors and grafting them into mice, Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center specialists have figured out how to accurately

Structure of enzyme offers treatment clues for diabetes, Alzheimer's
Researchers from the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory have deciphered the three-dimensional structure of insulin-degrading enzyme, a promising target for new drugs because it breaks down not only insulin but also the amyloid-beta protein, which has been linked to the cognitive decline of Alzheimer's disease.

Convening kidney health in Copenhagen
Set to convene an eminent group of nephrologists, endocrinologists, cardiologists and bone specialists, this auspicious meeting on the bone and the kidney represents a vital step in translating the critical cross-talk between two key regulators of calcium, magnesium and phosphate metabolism: the bone and the kidney.

A film of the heavens
Astronomers from the Max-Planck-Institutes for Astronomy in Heidelberg and for Extraterrestrial Physics in Garching have joined with colleagues world-wide to form a consortium that will exploit a powerful new survey telescope on Haleakala on the island of Maui (Hawaii).

Faster, more accurate tuberculosis test developed
A simple and rapid new tuberculosis test has been developed by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the Imperial College London, Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, in Lima, Peru.

Cassini finds more rings highlighted by telltale small particles
Images taken by NASA's Cassini spacecraft, looking in the direction of the sun, have provided scientists fresh insights into the dynamic nature of the rings and, in particular, the creation of new rings made from tiny particles released from larger bodies.

Patchwork strategies may be best for restoring Texas rangelands
A patchwork quilt approach may best suit landowners trying to repair many years of overgrazing, continuous stocking and fire suppression on Texas rangelands, said a Texas Agricultural Experiment Station researcher.

Adult survivors of childhood cancer face long-term health problems, says co-author of national study
Survivors of childhood cancer may face long-term health problems well into adulthood, as reported in a multicenter study of over 10,000 adults who survived a childhood battle with cancer.

Telemedicine robots help improve health
University of Queensland telemedicine researchers are using a robot named Eliza to conquer the tyranny of distance and improve delivery of specialist medical care to the bush. 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