Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 13, 2006
Commercial marketing in schools may discourage healthy nutrition environment for students
Commercial activity permitted in schools, such as soft drink ads; the use of Channel One broadcasts in classrooms; sales incentives from soft drink bottlers; and exclusive beverage contracts, may discourage a

Male circumcision reduces HIV risk, study stopped early
A University of Illinois at Chicago study has been stopped early due to dramatic preliminary results indicating that medical circumcision reduces the risk of acquiring HIV during heterosexual intercourse by 53 percent.

Botulism study could lead to new vaccines and treatments to counter bioterrorist attacks
Of all the weapons in the bioterrorist arsenal, none is as potent as botulinum neurotoxin, which causes botulism -- a potentially fatal disease with symptoms that include severe paralysis of the limbs and respiratory muscles.

Discovery sheds new light on cause of earthquakes
Research at the University of Liverpool into a large fault zone in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile has produced new insight into how fluid pressure can cause earthquakes.

Effect of tobacco ads may backfire
Anti-smoking advertising sponsored by tobacco companies not only has no negative effect on teen smoking, it may actually encourage youngsters to smoke, a new study suggests.

Turning 'delayed' to 'on time' goal of UH professor in aircraft turbulence studies
Gridlock on airport runways is a common part of travel, but one University of Houston mechanical engineering professor is researching ways to reduce airport delays by making runways usable more quickly.

Pioneer in operations research awarded 2007 Stockholm Prize in Criminology
Alfred Blumstein, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University and a pioneer in Operations Research, has been awarded the prestigious 2007 Stockholm Prize in Criminology for his research into how criminals' activities vary over the course of their criminal careers.

Elsevier announces partnership with Chinese Society of Particuology
Elsevier is pleased to announce a cooperation with the Chinese Academy of Sciences to publish China Particuology, the only English bi-monthly publication on the science and technology of particles in China.

Heavy smokers who cut back still take in more toxins than light smokers
University of Minnesota tobacco researchers have found that heavy smokers who reduce their number of daily cigarettes still take in two to three times more total toxins per cigarette than light smokers.

Steroid-free medication lowers rejection rate for kidney transplants
Kidney transplant recipients are typically required to take daily steroids as part of their anti-rejection medications.

Nano design adjustment may help find, clear some water contaminants
Experiments designed to test discrepancies in theoretical computational chemistry have turned up a barely two-angstrom difference that may lead to a new approach to locate and remove dangerous toxins such as perchlorate and nitrates from the environment.

Study reveals clean air challenge for major Asian cities
Hundreds of millions of city dwellers breathe air so polluted with chemicals, smoke and particles that it dramatically exceeds World Health Organization limits with major impacts on health and the environment.

Study finds oysters can take heat and heavy metals, but not both
Could low-level heavy metal pollution be combining with warm water temperatures to fatally weaken sea life?

Mass. General leading international trial of novel breast cancer drug
A clinical trial of a new targeted breast cancer drug, led by physicians at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, has begun enrolling patients.

Rice takes zeolite design into 21st century using teragrid
Rice University physicist Michael Deem is taking zeolite design into the 21st century using a combination of supercomputers at the University of Texas at Austin and disused computing cycles from more than 4,300 idling desktop PCs at Purdue University to create a database containing more than 3.4 million atomic formulations of the porous silicate minerals.

New tool being tested at Penn to halt recurrence of atrial fibrillation
Clinical researchers at the University of Pennsylvania Health System are starting a trial utilizing a new mechanism to treat the heart when its electrical pulses essentially short-circuit, referred to as atrial fibrillation (A-Fib).

Leibniz Prize winners 2007 announced
Ten scientists and academics to receive Germany's most highly endowed research award.

Russian capabilities benefit the hydrogen economy
The Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has brokered a cooperative partnership between a US firm, a Russian Institute and its scientists for commercialization of a miniature hydrogen gas sensor with improved reliability and response time.

U of Illinois professor tout health benefits of Hispanic foods and beverages
Your trip to that Mexican restaurant on Friday may be the smartest thing you did for yourself nutritionally all week.

CU study reveals pros and cons of therapy for lead exposure
Lead chelation therapy can lessen learning and behavioral problems due to lead exposure, but the therapy adversely affected rats with no lead in their systems, a Cornell study shows.

Greater cooperation needed for advancement of stem cell research
Tissue regeneration strategies, such as stem cell research, have undergone notable developments over the past two decades.

Flexible electronics advance boosts performance, manufacturing
In a study published in the December 14 issue of the journal Nature, researchers at Stanford and the University of California-Los Angeles point the way toward manufacturing truly useful flexible electronics with high-performance organic transistors.

Over 500 sudden unexplained deaths every year, mostly in young men
Every year there are potentially more than 500 sudden unexplained deaths in England, reveals a nationwide study published ahead of print in the journal Heart.

Leicester breakthrough in eye disease
Researchers at the University of Leicester have identified for the first time a gene which causes a distressing eye condition.

Forsyth scientists discover early key to regeneration
Science may be one step closer to understanding how a limb can be grown or a spinal cord can be repaired.

Yes, Virginia, some snowflakes can look the same!
Snowflakes, one of the most recognizable and endearing symbols of winter, reveal some fascinating lessons about chemistry and science in general, according to a scientist at Ritsumeikan University in Japan.

Molecular structure reveals how botulinum toxin attaches to nerve cells
A group of researchers, funded in part through two of NIAID's Regional Centers of Excellence for Biodefense and Emerging Infectious Diseases, has provided a rare atomic glimpse of the initial step one of botulinu's toxins takes to gain entry into human neurons.

Drug that chokes off tumor blood vessels offers new hope to lung cancer patients
Patients suffering from the most common type of lung cancer experienced a 20 percent improvement in overall survival in a national clinical trial of a drug that chokes off the blood vessels nourishing tumors, a multicenter study has found.

For crickets, parasitic flies can stop the music
Love hurts -- really bad, for some unlucky crickets, anyway.

1 in 3 drivers under 'the limit' for alcohol still test positive for drugs
One in three drivers suspected of driving while

Manchester makes contribution to improving global health
A University of Manchester researcher has won a prestigious award for an innovation that could help deliver pollution-free water to people around the world.

Study helps explain why botulinum toxin is so deadly
New research from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and Scripps Research Institute shows how the astonishingly powerful botulinum toxin uses a unuque navigational strategy to latch onto nerve cells, the first step in inactivating them.

UCR-led research team detects 'top quark,' a basic constituent of matter
A group of 50 international physicists, led by UC Riverside's Ann Heinson, has detected for the first time a subatomic particle, the top quark, produced without the simultaneous production of its antimatter partner -- an extremely rare event.

Identification of carbon dioxide receptors in insects may help fight infectious disease
Mosquitoes use the carbon dioxide people exhale as a way to identify a potential food source.

Year-round contraceptive, elimination of menstrual cycles safe, study shows
Researchers for the first time have demonstrated the safety and effectiveness of continuous-use oral contraceptives that can eliminate menstrual cycles.

Flu shot effective against drifted influenza, nasal spray vaccine less so
During a year in which the circulating strains of influenza showed genetic differences from the strains in vaccines, the traditional killed-virus flu shot was found to be effective in preventing influenza in healthy adults.

Staying together with kids -- Relationships benefit when new parents get help
The birth of a first child is usually an exciting and eagerly anticipated milestone in any committed relationship, yet research suggests it can also be the beginning of the end for many couples.

Geologists finding a different Mars underneath
In the first-ever exploration of a planet by sounding radar, scientists are finding an older, craggier face of Mars buried beneath the surface.

CIHR-funded research in Kenya
A Canadian Institutes of Health Research-funded randomized controlled trial conducted in Kenya has demonstrated that male circumcision is an effective measure for reducing HIV incidence in young men.

New observations on properties of water
Recent experiments on the properties of water by Anatoli Bogdan, Ph.D., University of Helsinki, reveal information relevant for cloud physics and even cryopreservation science.

Massive gun 'buyback' doubled fall in Australian gun deaths
The chances of gun death in Australia dropped twice as steeply after 700,000 guns were destroyed in a national firearm

Seeing a neurotoxin's deadly grip
Two Howard Hughes Medical Institute research teams working independently have discovered new information about how the botulinum neurotoxin shuts down neurons with deadly efficiency.

Antibiotic ear drops favored over popular oral antibiotics for ear infections
A multicenter study on treating common ear infections in children with ear tubes adds to a growing body of evidence that favors antibiotic ear drops over antibiotics swallowed in pill or liquid form in such cases, a UT Southwestern Medical Center researcher reports.

Wild tigers need cat food
A landmark study by the Wildlife Conservation Society and US Geological Survey says tigers living in one of India's best-run national parks lose nearly a quarter of their population each year from poaching and natural mortality, yet their numbers remain stable due to a combination of high reproductive rates and abundant prey.

Nursing home or hospital: State policy has big impact on elderly
In a groundbreaking national study, Brown University researchers have traced the connections between state nursing home policies and resident hospitalization rates.

Travel ban could reduce spread of SARS or other infectious diseases
Restricting travel could help reduce the spread of infections like SARS by more than 50 percent.

Feet, rather than fists, the most dangerous bodily weapon to use in assaults
Feet, rather than fists, are the most dangerous bodily weapon available, reveals research on violent assaults, published in the journal Injury Prevention.

Researchers complete seismic borehole in Kentucky
Researchers have completed drilling a 1,948-foot deep, four-inch diameter borehole for instruments to measure seismic activity in the central United States.

New dyslexia theory blames 'noise'
Kids with dyslexia can't block out distractions, say a group of new studies.

Cambridge led team discovers gene mutation which prevents carriers from feeling pain
Researchers have discovered a gene mutation which prevents the otherwise healthy carriers from sensing pain, after studying three related families with a rare genetic disorder in northern Pakistan.

U. of Colorado study finds growing up in bad neighborhood not as harmful as expected
There's good news for children growing up in bad neighborhoods in a comprehensive, 8-year study led by University of Colorado at Boulder.

Moderate drinking may help older women live longer
A study published in Journal of the American Geriatrics Society finds that moderate alcohol intake (1-2 drinks/day for 3-6 days/week, depending on alcoholic content) may lead to increased quality of life and survival in older women.

Rensselaer licenses microscope technology to Thorlabs
An innovative microscope technology invented by researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has been licensed by Thorlabs Inc., a manufacturer of photonics products.

Future of nanotechnology discussed by experts
Many people believe nanotechnology will be the key to solving many of the world's most pressing medical problems, while others believe it could lead to a potential disaster.

Nalco Company and Argonne National
Nalco Company, the global leader in industrial water treatment, and Argonne National Laboratory today announced a joint research partnership to develop advanced technologies to reduce, reuse and recover power plant cooling water.

Mount Sinai and EXACT Sciences announce study results on study stool DNA testing for colon cancer
Mount Sinai School of Medicine and EXACT Sciences Corporation (NASDAQ: EXAS) announced today the publication of results from a prospective, multi-center study of stool DNA testing.

Soil nutrition affects carbon sequestration in forests
On December 11, USDA Forest Service (FS) scientists from the FS Southern Research Station unit in Research Triangle Park, N.C., along with colleagues from Duke University, published two papers in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Science that provide a more precise understanding of how forests respond to increasing atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, the major greenhouse gas driving climate change. 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