Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 24, 2006
AGU Fall Meeting abstracts and sessions now online, Gore to speak
All 1,120 sessions and 13,023 abstracts for 2006 Fall Meeting have been posted on the AGU Web site and are fully searchable.

Heavy, chronic drinking can cause significant hippocampal tissue loss
The hippocampus, a brain structure vital to learning and memory, is likely vulnerable to damage from heavy and chronic alcohol consumption.

Adolescent brains are insensitive to alcohol for a short time, but at great cost
Adolescent brains can compensate for some of alcohol's effects, including intoxication and hangover.

IEEE-USA president cites need for high-tech national strategy on offshoring
Because the offshoring of U.S. engineering and other high-skill jobs to developing countries is increasing, America needs a coordinated national strategy to maintain its technological leadership and promote job creation, IEEE-USA President Ralph W.

UA receives $3.5 million to improve advanced math education
A team of University of Arizona researchers and educators is revamping the training of mathematicians to help provide a workforce savvy in the types of advanced mathematics that industry and academia need.

Early Bronze Age mortuary complex discovered in Syria
An ancient, untouched Syrian tomb that wowed the archaeological world on its discovery by Johns Hopkins University researchers nearly six years ago is not alone.

Always keeping a safe distance
Max-Planck researchers in Dresden have discovered why biological loads do not get caught up when being transported through cells.

Imaging experts perform cardiac scans by remote control
UCLA radiologists and Siemens Medical Solutions have developed remote-control software that enables an off-site imaging expert to operate a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine via the Internet.

Ultraviolet light reveals secrets of nanoscale electronic materials
An international team of scientists has used a novel technique to measure, for the first time, the precise conditions at which certain ultrathin materials spontaneously become electrically polarized.

'Virtual' colonoscopy considerably more expensive
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center researchers have found that

Trotting with emus to walk with dinosaurs
One way to make sense of 165-million-year-old dino tracks may be to hang out with emus, say paleontologists studying thousands of dinosaur footprints at the Red Gulch Dinosaur Tracksite in northern Wyoming.

Women's skin tone influences perception of beauty, health and age
A study published in the latest issue of the journal Evolution and Human Behavior, used three-dimensional imaging and morphing software to remove wrinkles and furrows from pictures of women, leaving skin tone as the only variable.

Special report on the Khan network: Where is the justice?
North Korea is among several countries that benefited from the global black market in nuclear technology orchestrated by disgraced Pakistani scientist A.

Remote-control MRI exam performed over the Internet
Radiologists have developed a remote-control mechanism that allows an experienced off-site operator to control a magnetic resonance imaging machine by logging onto the Internet from a personal computer.

Racial disparities universal in Medicare health plans, study finds
Blacks do not achieve the same health outcomes as whites in managed care plans under Medicare, the nation's largest health insurance program, according to a study conducted by Brown Medical School and Harvard Medical School researchers.

Law-abiding majority willing to engage in illegal and unfair practices in the market place
Research published today in the British Journal of Criminology suggests that the respectable middle section of society is actively and widely involved in deviant activity as a response to their perceived unfairness of market practices.

Women feel less trusting at work than men do, study shows
Women feel less trusting in their relationships at work than men do, a new study shows.

New fertility guidelines limit embryo transfers
New fertility treatment guidelines from the American Society of Reproductive Medicine call for a limited number of embryos -- in some cases only one -- to be transferred during in-vitro fertilization procedures.

Killing brain tumors from within: A 'Trojan horse' approach
A new method for targeting malignant brain tumors through inducing the cancerous cells to

National Academies advisory: Native African vegetables
Sub-Saharan Africa is home to hundreds of indigenous vegetables -- most of them resilient enough to thrive in poor soil -- that have fed Africans for tens of thousands of years.

Is humanitarianism in a post 9/11 world headed for a crisis?
A new report finds serious gaps between the principles of humanitarian action and the perceptions of aid beneficiaries in Afghanistan and other countries.

Hubble yields direct proof of stellar sorting in a globular cluster
A seven-year study with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has provided astronomers with the best observational evidence yet that globular clusters sort out stars according to their mass.

Researcher at M. D. Anderson Cancer Center receives $250,000 carcinoid tumor research grant
The Caring for Carcinoid Foundation has awarded a $250,000 grant for carcinoid research under the direction of Lee M.

SRI medication effective in treating compulsive hoarding patients
In a paper published online in advance of publication in the Journal of Psychiatric Research, Sanjaya Saxena, M.D., director of the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders Program at UCSD School of Medicine, reports the surprising finding that the serotonin reuptake inhibitor medication, paroxetine, is effective in treating patients with compulsive hoarding syndrome.

Child soldiers
Some 300,000 combatants under age 18 -- some as young as six and 40 percent of them girls -- are illegal recruits in more than 30 conflicts around the world, experts say in a new United Nations University book that explores accountability for war crimes by children without indirectly exposing them to even more dangerous combat assignments.

Lehigh scientist receives NHGRI grant to streamline, expand use of genome sequencing
By detecting a single base, says Dmitri Vezenov, scientists can sequence the genome without fluorescent lables and purification steps and make sequencing accessible to the average physician, biology lab or medical lab.

Black patients have poorer outcomes on quality of care measurements in Medicare health plans
Black patients in Medicare managed care health plans often have poorer outcomes for treatment of common and important conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol, compared to white patients, according to a study in the Oct.

Disparities may limit patient access to surgical procedures at high-volume hospitals
UCLA researchers report that race/ethnicity and insurance disparities may limit patient access to complex surgical procedures at high-volume California hospitals.

Racial disparities high in Medicare plans
Numerous studies show the African Americans receive worse quality of care relative to white Americans across a broad array of medical conditions -- disparities that can significantly harm patients or reduce quality of life.

Behavioral and emotional problems common among children with developmental disabilities
Children and adolescents with developmental disabilities often have emotional and behavioral problems, and these problems can persist as the person grows older, according to a study in the Oct.

Chemistry professor named outstanding Louisiana researcher
Dr. Yuri Lvov, a professor of chemistry at Louisiana Tech University, has been recognized as the state's outstanding researcher concerning materials and emerging technologies.

Yale journal identifies products that cause greatest environmental damage
Cutting-edge research identifying the types of products that cause the greatest environmental damage is the focus of a special issue of Yale's Journal of Industrial Ecology.

Cougar predation key to ecosystem health
The general disappearance of cougars from a portion of Zion National Park in the past 70 years has allowed deer populations to dramatically increase, leading to severe ecological damage, loss of cottonwood trees, eroding streambanks and declining biodiversity.

Viral marker of human migration suspect
A benign virus previously used as a marker in tracing human migration may be unreliable, according to researchers at Penn State.

Soot from wood stoves in developing world impacts global warming more than expected
New measurements of soot produced by traditional cook stoves used in developing countries suggest that these stoves emit more harmful smoke particles and could have a much greater impact on global climate change than previously thought, according to a study scheduled to appear in the Nov.

UT Southwestern participating in nationwide study on leading cause of vision loss for seniors
UT Southwestern Medical Center is participating in a nationwide study investigating whether modified combinations of vitamins, minerals and fish oil products can slow the progression of vision loss from age-related macular degeneration.

New, hands-on science demos teach young students how volcanoes 'blow their tops,' spew lava
Geologists at Rutgers University have created three hands-on demonstrations that show how heat and pressure underground move rocks and earth to build up volcanic mountains, and in some cases, cause them to literally blow their tops.

New theory for mass extinctions
A new theory on just what causes Earth's worst mass extinctions may help settle the endless scientific dust-up on the matter.

When is a supersolid not quite so super?
Brown University physicist Humphrey Maris and colleagues Satoshi Sasaki and Sebastien Balibar of the l'Ecole Normale Supérieure have narrowed the field of possible explanations for the weird behavior of supersolid helium.

Consortium aimed at benefitting humanity
Dr. Box Leangsuksun, an associate professor of computer science at Louisiana Tech University, has his sights set on improving humanity through an advancement of technology.

Naturally occurring enzyme can break down key part of Alzheimer's plaques
Scientists have identified a naturally occurring enzyme that can break down a key component of the brain plaques characteristic of Alzheimer's disease.

Mayo Clinic researchers recommend embryo transfer delay for at-risk women
Mayo Clinic researchers have determined a method to achieve the best results for the mother's health and birth of a live baby for women who undergo in vitro fertilization who demonstrate risk of ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome.

Genetic variation impacts aspirin's effectiveness in preventing colon cancer, Dartmouth study finds
Dartmouth researchers are among a team of doctors that have learned more about how people may or may not benefit from taking aspirin in the effort to curb colon cancer.

Springer and Hebrew University to collaborate on mathematics journals
Springer and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel, have signed an agreement to distribute and sell the Israel Journal of Mathematics and the Journal d'Analyse Mathématique.

Flu vaccine appears safe for young children
Use of the influenza vaccine in children six to 23 months is not associated with an increased risk for a medical visit for any serious conditions, according to a study in the Oct.

Area creek studied for rangeland effects on water quality
Elevated levels of bacteria in streams can affect water quality, the health of the aquatic ecosystem and activities such as fishing, swimming and wading, a Texas Agricultural Experiment Station researcher said.

Amazon River reversed flow
Ask any South American dinosaur which way the Amazon River flows and she would have told you east-to-west, the opposite of today.

EUREKA project puts child safety first
Conventional seats are often complicated to install and include a number of separate parts.

The tyranny of suburbia: How changing places is still a very middle class thing
The class system is alive and well when it comes to people moving up the housing chain, according to a study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), which talks of

Significant amount of binge eating occurs in restaurants
Contradicting the common perception that binge eating is typically done in private, a significant amount of bingeing occurs in restaurants -- according to a recent study published in the November issue of SAGE Publications' Western Journal of Nursing Research.

A new research project to examine the impact of prenatal and childhood environmental factors
Enabled by a project grant worth EUR 190,000 awarded by the Emil Aaltonen Foundation, researcher Kati Heinonen-Tuomaala will launch a new project entitled Aetiology of mental and behavioural disorders: Exposure to adverse prenatal and childhood environments.

Researchers use novel three-dimensional imaging technique
Using an innovative three-dimensional imaging technique, a team of UCLA researchers have tracked how Alzheimer's disease spreads through the hippocampus -- the area of the brain linked with memory -- in a pattern consistent with the known trajectory of neurofibrilliary tangle dissemination, an accumulation of diseased proteins in the brain cells.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
The following stories are in the upcoming issue of the Journal of Neuroscience: A non-cell-autonomous effect of IP3 receptors, Determining sites of synapse formation, Multitasking in the leech and MeCP2 and Transynaptic BDNF signaling.

Minorities, uninsured less likely to receive care at high-volume hospitals
Compared to white patients, black, Asian and Hispanic patients and those who are uninsured are less likely to undergo complex surgery at high-volume hospitals, which have been associated with better outcomes, according to a study in the Oct.

The glutamate decarboxylase 1 gene may play a pivotal role in developing alcoholism
Gamma-aminobutyric acid is the major inhibitory neurotransmitter in the brain.

Alcoholism may cause decreased density of neurons in the orbitofrontal cortex
The orbitofrontal cortex may play an important role in risky decision making, impulsive behaviors, and disturbances in reward processing that tend to accompany addiction.

Research selected for 2006 American College of Gastroenterology Governor's award
Studies led by Piet de Groen, M.D., and William Sandborn, M.D., of the Mayo Clinic Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, will be honored today at the American College of Gastroenterology Annual Scientific Meeting.

Pulmonary hypertension discriminates by race, gender
African American women have the highest mortality rate for idiopathic pulmonary arterial hypertension, according to new research presented at CHEST 2006, the 72nd annual international scientific assembly of the American College of Chest Physicians.

American research finds twins more likely to have premature menopause
Identical and non-identical twins are three to five times more likely to have a premature menopause than other women, according to American research published online (Wednesday, October 25) in Human Reproduction.

Electronic chip, interacting with the brain, modifies pathways for controlling movement
An implantable electronic chip may help establish new nerve connections in the part of the brain that controls movement.

VIP's importance to temperature regulation may be pre-empted by substance P
An elusive neurotransmitter pathway in the skin may have been isolated by University of Oregon researchers, a discovery that, if confirmed, would be a leap forward in understanding how temperature regulation occurs.

Blood markers predict risk for recurrent stroke and mortality
People who have just suffered their first ischemic stroke, a blood clot in the brain, often have elevated inflammatory biomarkers in their blood that indicate their likelihood of having another stroke or an increased risk of dying, according to Columbia University Medical Center researchers at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

Childhood abuse can impact victims' adult relationships
Abused children may have a difficult time developing adult relationships with new people who reminded them of their abusive parent, even if only implicitly, according to a recent study published in the November issue of Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, an official publication of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, published by SAGE Publications.

Olive Leaf report documents promising therapeutic interventions for 9-11 workers
In a special report published in the September/October issue of EXPLORE: The Journal of Science and Healing, Claire Haaga Altman, President and Dr.

Researchers find 'zip code' spurs cargo transport in neurons
Getting molecular cargo from the cell body to the synapse of nerve cells is crucial for learning and memory, even for survival of the cell itself.

UAF anthropologists to study religion after socialism in Russia
The National Science Foundation recently awarded a half-million dollar grant to University of Alaska-Fairbanks cultural anthropologists Patty Gray and David Koester for a study of religion in northern Russia over the last two decades. 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