Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 31, 2007
Less television and more gathering around the dinner table prevents
Sitting down to a family meal more often and cutting down on television watching can help keep children from becoming overweight, according to a new University of Missouri-Columbia study.

How does your brain tell time?
For decades, scientists have believed that the brain possesses an internal clock that allows it to keep track of time.

US HUD secretary to deliver keynote at Rutgers-Camden
US Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson will deliver the second Richard C.

Theory stretches the limits of composite materials
In an advance that could lead to composite materials with virtually limitless performance capabilities, a University of Wisconsin-Madison scientist has dispelled a 50-year-old theoretical notion that composite materials must be made only of

Inadequate communication reduces benefits of mammogram screening for black women
Black women may not get the full benefits of mammogram screenings because the results are not adequately communicated, according to a new study by Yale Public Health researchers in the March issue of American Journal of Public Health.

Oral wounds heal slower in women, older adults, study finds
Wounds in the mouth heal more slowly in women and older adults, a new study at the University of Illinois at Chicago reveals.

Study tests oral insulin to prevent type 1 diabetes
Researchers have begun a clinical study of oral insulin to prevent or delay type 1 diabetes in at-risk people, the National Institutes of Health announced today.

At the most selective universities, immigrants comprise a disproportionate number of black students
In a groundbreaking new study from the American Journal of Education, researchers from Princeton University and the University of Pennsylvania reveal that first- or second-generation immigrants comprise a disproportionately high percentage of the of black student population at US universities, with the percentage increasing in proportion to the selectivity of the institution.

Assessing the cost of juvenile arthritis
A new study examined direct medical costs of children with JIA and found that the economic impact was substantial.

Athlete's 'rituals' important for overcoming performance anxiety
Dry mouth, sweaty palms and rapid heart rate are just a few symptoms of increased anxiety, the kind an athlete might feel before the big game.

Physicist to be recognized for helping 'revolutionize astronomy'
Studying stars has never been so easy, thanks to Washington University's Ernst Zinner.

Study reveals Aussies' social obsession with mobile phones
One in five Australians are potentially addicted to their mobile phones, according to the results of a new national survey by the Queensland University of Technology.

Food-mood connection: The sad are twice as likely to eat comfort food
People feeling sad tend to eat more of less-healthy comfort foods than when they feel happy, finds a new study co-authored by Cornell's Brian Wansink.

Lavender and tea tree oils may cause breast growth in boys
A study published in this week's issue of the New England Journal of Medicine suggests that repeated topical use of products containing lavender oil and/or tea tree oil may cause prepubertal gynecomastia, a rare condition resulting in enlarged breast tissue in boys prior to puberty, and for which a cause is seldom identified.

Inexpensive fun fuels text messaging growth
Fun technology coupled with economical pricing fuel young adults' burgeoning use of text messaging, according to new research conducted by the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University.

Link found between muscle damage during childbirth, condition causing fallen bladder, uterus
New research from the University of Michigan Health System establishes one of the strongest connections yet discovered between muscle damage that can occur during vaginal deliveries and pelvic organ prolapse, a condition that causes the uterus, bladder or bowel to fall down later in a woman's life.

Can antioxidants protect scuba divers?
A new study, published in the Journal of Physiology, shows that acute oral intake of largely accepted antioxidants Vitamin C and E prior to a scuba dive can reduce alterations in cardiovascular function, particularly acute endothelial dysfunction, that are caused by a single field air dive.

From Sheffield to Singapore, international Grid battles malaria
Malaria kills more than one million people each year, most of them young children living in Africa.

Firewood unintentionally transports emerald ash borer
What could be more harmless than a bundle of firewood?

Research team uses satellite to track Earth's water
For the first time, a team of scientists from the University of Colorado and NASA has used a spaceborne instrument to track the origin and movements of water vapor throughout Earth's atmosphere, providing a new perspective on the dominant role Earth's water cycle plays in weather and climate.

RAND study finds higher quality outpatient care greatly benefits chronically ill patients
The quality of outpatient medical care received by people with chronic health problems has a direct impact on the quality of their daily lives, according to a study by researchers from the RAND Corporation and UCLA that is among the first to link better outpatient care to improved health outcomes among non-elderly patients.

New compound shows promise in halting HIV spread
A new compound has shown promise in halting the spread of HIV by preventing the virus from replicating.

Women in polluted areas at higher risk of cardiovascular disease
Women living in areas with higher levels of air pollution have a greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease and subsequently dying from cardiovascular causes, according to a University of Washington study appearing in the February 1 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Canadian-US science pact to improve monitoring of land cover, biodiversity and climate change
Natural Resources Canada and the US Department of the Interior's Geological Survey have launched a high-tech satellite mapping initiative that can better monitor changes in the combined land cover of two of the world's largest nations.

Decoy pill saves brain cells
A decoy version of a brain receptor fools a toxic enzyme, breaking a feedback loop that leads to widespread neuron death in stroke, Alzheimer's and other degenerative diseases.

Mechanism of hallucinogens' effects discovered
The brain mechanism underlying the mind-bending effects of hallucinogens such as LSD, mescaline, and psilocybin has been discovered by neuroscientists.

Performing surgery on a beating heart may be safer
According to a review of the latest clinical trials, coronary artery bypass surgery performed on a beating heart, without the aid of a heart-lung machine, is a safe option that leads to fewer negative side effects for bypass patients.

MU researchers to study how changes in infrastructure affect physical activity behavior
The American Obesity Association reports that 64.5 percent of adults in the United States are overweight and 30.5 percent are obese.

Erectile dysfunction influenced by race and ethnicity
According to a new study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, erectile dysfunction is highly prevalent across white, black and Hispanic populations in the United States.

Breakthrough in nanodevice synthesis revolutionizes biological sensors
A novel approach to synthesizing nanowires (NWs) allows their direct integration with microelectronic systems for the first time, as well as their ability to act as highly sensitive biomolecule detectors that could revolutionize biological diagnostic applications, according to a report in Nature.

Hungry for a Super Bowl victory?
Hungry for a Super Bowl victory? The Super Buffet table may end up making the final score.

Effectiveness of over-the-counter decongestant questioned in new study
The only over-the-counter (OTC) oral decongestant currently available without restriction may be less effective than previously thought, according to a new study.

Passive smoke in workplace increases lung cancer risk
An analysis of nearly two dozen studies confirms the association between passive smoke in the workplace and an increased risk of lung cancer, according to a report in the American Journal of Public Health.

Leeches ferry infection among newts
Parasite-carrying bloodsucking leeches may be delivering a one-two punch to newts, according to biologists, who say the discovery may provide clues to disease outbreaks in amphibians.

Endangered shortnose sturgeon saved in Hudson River
For the first time, a fish identified as endangered has been shown to have recovered -- and in the Hudson River near New York City, report Cornell's Mark Bain and colleagues in the online publication PLoS ONE.

American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting in Chicago
The AERA Annual Meeting in Chicago hosts more than 14,000 participants in 2,000-plus peer-reviewed sessions and spotlights the 2007 theme:

How SMART-1 has made European space exploration smarter
A unique way to travel to the moon, new technologies successfully tested and brand-new science: a few months after the end of the SMART-1 mission scientists and engineers gathered to recap on these and all the other achievements of the first European mission to the moon.

Noise echoes in cell communications
Can't hear? Turn up the white noise, says a team of Rutgers-Camden professors who have produced a mathematical explanation for the benefits of noise.

Prostate cancer patients see high survival rates with seed implants
More than 90 percent of men who receive appropriate radiation dose levels with permanent radiation seed implants to treat their prostate cancer are cured of their cancer eight years after diagnosis, according to a study released in the February 1 issue of the International Journal for Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics, the official journal of ASTRO.

Huddling and a drop in metabolism allow penguins to survive the South Pole cold
Emperor penguins endure their incubation and fast for four dark and bitterly cold months each year.

Solanacae Genome Project gets $1.8 million NSF grant
Cornell and the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research at Cornell have received a grant to continue leading an international effort to sequence the tomato genome and to create a database of genomic sequences and information on the tomato and related plants.

30+ AIDS vaccine clinical trials in 24 countries, research occurring on every continent
The International AIDS Vaccine Initiative's (IAVI) January 2007 Annual Issue of VAX, an editorially independent bulletin on AIDS vaccine research published by IAVI, reports that 13 new preventive AIDS vaccine trials were initiated in eight countries around the world in 2006.

Duke University professor selected to receive prestigious AIAA award
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics is pleased to announce that Professor Earl H.

Timing is everything
As published in the February 1st issue of G&D, a team of European scientists has identified a key regulator of male puberty.

Sustainability, environmental education highlight carnegie mellon presentations at AAAS Meeting
Sustainable engineering, climate change policy and environmental education will be the focus of presentations given by faculty from Carnegie Mellon University during the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting, Feb.

Novel Ames Lab composite may replace depleted uranium
Armor-piercing projectiles made of depleted uranium have caused concern among soldiers storing and using them.

Study indicates different treatment may be needed for infection-related breathing problems
New research suggests that different treatments may be needed for chronic asthma, depending on whether it results from allergies or lung infections.

Natural fiber may take extra pounds away
A natural fiber already found in many food products could be an important new weapon in the war against obesity, according to University of Calgary researchers beginning the first human study of the product.

Exercise has no effect on risk of knee osteoarthritis
A new study examined the effects of physical activity over a long period in older adults, many of whom were overweight, and found that exercise neither protects against nor increases the risk of knee OA.

Garlic hope in infection fight
Garlic has been hailed a wonder drug for centuries and has been used to prevent gangrene, treat high blood pressure, ward off common colds and is even believed by some to have cancer-fighting properties.

Semiconductors for ultra-large integrated circuits and thin film transistors
The conference covers developments in semiconductor technology, in particular, ultra-large scale integrated (ULSI) circuits and thin film transistor (TFT) arrays.

Barrow receives a $105,600 grant to study neurofibromatosis
The Department of Defense Neurofibromatosis Research Program recently awarded Barrow Neurological Institute at St.

Phase III trials of cellulose sulfate microbicide for HIV prevention closed
CONRAD, a reproductive health research organization, announced today that it has halted a Phase III clinical trial of cellulose sulfate -- a topical microbicide gel being tested for HIV prevention in women -- because preliminary results indicated that cellulose sulfate could lead to an increased risk of HIV infection in women who use the compound.

Biogen Idec acquires Brandeis spin-out
Syntonix Pharmaceuticals, a spin-out company formed by Brandeis University, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Children's Hospital Boston announced today that it was acquired by biotech giant Biogen Idec.

Chromium picolinate shows greater benefits in diabetes care than other forms of chromium
Nutrition 21 Inc. (NASDAQ: NXXI) reported today that a peer reviewed analysis on chromium picolinate was published in the current edition of Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics.

MIT develops nanoparticles to battle cancer
On a quest to modernize cancer treatment and diagnosis, an MIT professor and her colleagues have created new nanoparticles that mimic blood platelets.

Remote device allows cardiologist to monitor patients daily at their homes
An easy-to-use in home monitoring device for patients is changing the way doctors monitor the health of patients with implanted defibrillators.

Spirituality plays role in breast cancer information processing for African-American women
The American Cancer Society estimates that more than 178,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer and more than 40,000 will die as a result of breast cancer in 2007.

Leading advocates express support for microbicide research, despite disappointing trial results
HIV prevention advocates from three major civil society organizations today emphasized the importance of continued research into new HIV prevention options, despite the recent discontinuation of the phase III effectiveness trials of the microbicide candidate, cellulose sulfate (CS).

Take fatigue seriously, says University of Alberta researcher
Instead of dismissing grumblings about being tired or exhausted, people should take these complaints seriously before they lead to a worsened health state or even death, says a University of Alberta researcher investigating fatigue.

Space technology benefits medical community
A group of researchers has developed a miniature device to help physicians characterize Raynaud's disease and measure treatment effectiveness.

Prion disease treatable if caught early
Studies in mice have indicated that the effects of prion disease could be reversed if caught early enough.

Rats on a road trip reveal pollution-heart disease risk
Rats that rode in a truck on the New York State Thruway between Rochester and Buffalo and were exposed to the same highway pollution that motorists encounter, showed a drop in heart rate and effects on the autonomic nervous system, according to a study published this month in the journal Inhalation Toxicology.

'Electric' fish shed light on ways the brain directs movement
Scientists have long struggled to figure out how the brain guides the complex movement of our limbs, from the graceful leaps of ballerinas to the simple everyday act of picking up a cup of coffee.
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