Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 16, 2007
Hunting martian fossils best bet for locating Mars life, says ASU researcher
Hunting for traces of life on Mars calls for two radically different strategies, says Arizona State University professor Jack Farmer.

Changes in west coast marine ecosystems significant
The California Current system has experienced significant changes during the past decade, resulting in dramatic variations in the ecosystem, characterized by shifts in phytoplankton production, expanding hypoxic zones, and the collapse of marine food webs off the western coast of the United States.

Programmed for obesity
Environmental chemicals found in everyday plastics and pesticides may influence obesity.

AAAS Panel -- Sustainable aquaculture critical to feed the world
A scientific panel revealed today that rising global demand for healthy seafood has exceeded wild capture fisheries' ability to provide all fish meals demanded by consumers.

UGA researcher receives grant to study risks of jet fuel exposure
A University of Georgia College of Public Health professor has received a $650,000 grant for research that aims to better understand the health risks posed to military personnel and civilians who work with jet fuel.

'Watching atoms move' is goal of powerful new X-ray sources
Applied and engineering physics professor Joel D. Brock describes powerful new X-ray technology, recently tested at Stanford University, in a perspective piece for Science magazine.

Is biodiversity the future of farming?
If we can design complex farming systems that are less energy intensive, more resilient in unstable climates, and that begin to out-produce industrial monocultures, the economic advantages may be an incentive to change, says author Fred Kirschenmann, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, in the March-April 2007 issue of Agronomy Journal.

Tools to measure and restore connectivity in agricultural landscapes
Michele Schoeneberger, project leader of the National Agroforestry Center in Lincoln, NE, will present

European approval of HIV drug darunavir will provide a potent new option with Fuzeon
Today's approval of the new protease inhibitor (PI) darunavir (boosted with ritonivir) provides physicians with the opportunity to build a potent new treatment combination with the fusion inhibitor, Fuzeon.

Over 50s have the highest carbon footprint in the UK
Over 50s have the highest carbon footprint, yet are most concerned over climate change and are calling for stronger leadership from the government to combat global warming, according to new research published today by the Stockholm Environment Institute at the University of York.

US Military Cancer Institute partners on cancer trial
The United States Military Cancer Institute (USMCI) and Generex Biotechnology Corp., announced that they have entered into a Phase II clinical trial for a novel peptide vaccine for breast cancer.

Custom-made cancer cell attacks
Imagine a cancer treatment tailored to the cells in a patient's body, each person receiving a unique treatment program.

US needs to plan for climate change-induced summer droughts
The western United States has experienced increasing drought conditions in recent years -- and conditions may worsen if global climate change models are accurate -- yet the country is doing little to prepare for potential catastrophe.

New weather, old pipes challenge nation's water supply
The difficult separation of drinking water and sewage may face more challenges than its aging infrastructure can withstand as unpredictable weather conditions produce floods that beset the nation, a Michigan State University water expert says.

Old food meets new technologies, leaves food for thought
There are big changes driven by small forces in two of the oldest industries of the US economy -- agriculture and agricultural production.

Old dinosaur research leads to new honor
A lifelong obsession with fossils led to Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council grantee Robert Reisz discovering the oldest known dinosaur embryos and the oldest known reptile that stands on two legs.

Springer in joint project with the Italian Society of Internal Medicine
Starting this year, Springer will publish Internal and Emergency Medicine (IEM), the official journal of the Italian Society of Internal Medicine (SIMI).

IPY welcomes IPCC's 'strong and definitive statement' on climate change
Scientists overseeing International Polar Year have welcomed the first part of the fourth assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change.

It's not easy being green
When it comes to ethanol, it's not easy being greener.

Linguistics expert to speak on language extinction, conservation
University of Alaska Fairbanks professor emeritus Michael Krauss will speak on language extinction during his presentation this week at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting in San Francisco.

CIRM awards $5.9 million to Burnham Institute
Burnham Institute for Medical Research will receive $ 5,925,878 in grants awarded from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine as part of the first research grants approved under Proposition 71, the Stem Cell Research and Cures Act, adopted by California voters in November 2004.

Liberate Men!
A new dissertation from UmeƄ University in Sweden deals with the association Liberate Men! and what happens when a group of individuals tries to challenge the prevailing gender order.

Stopping plants from getting sick
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) grantee James Kronstad grew up on Oregon wheat farms and witnessed first-hand the damage that fungi can do to crops.

Physics graduate student creates graphene resonator
Scott Bunch found that a single sheet of graphene, a form of carbon that is just one atom thick, can be isolated and used as an electromechanical resonator.

Nobel laureate Burton Richter to speak about future of particle physics
On Feb. 16, at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Francisco, Richter will speak about the future course for elementary particle physics.

USC receives nearly $3.4 million for stem cell research
Researchers from the University of Southern California received approximately $3.4 million from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine for stem cell research.

Taking AIM at post-stroke depression
A new straight-forward care management program is significantly more effective than usual care in improving depression in stroke survivors.

Cellulosic ethanol: Fuel of the future?
In his 2007 State of the Union address, President Bush outlined his plan to reduce the nation's dependency on foreign oil by requiring the production of 35 billion gallons a year of renewable and alternative fuels by 2017.

Better freshwater forecasts to aid drought-plagued west
Western droughts wreak social, economic and environmental havoc. Yet the ability to predict drought at seasonal lead times -- months or longer -- has scarcely improved since the 1960s.

New class of targeted cancer drugs shows promise in slowing progression of recurrent prostate cancer
A new class of targeted anti-cancer drugs that blocks the human epidermal growth factor (HER) receptor family shows promise in prolonging the lives of patients with recurrent prostate cancer, a new Cedars-Sinai study shows.

Long road ahead in developing effective avian flu vaccination strategy, Stanford expert says
The near inevitability that influenza will explode into a pandemic in the coming few years has kept researchers searching for a way to prevent the worst effects of infection.

ALTRAN: Industry experts address technology challenges at Altran Innovation Conference
The Altran Innovation Conference took place Feb. 7, 2007, and was attended by over 230 people, including European Commission officials, MEPs, Altran officials and industry experts.

NASA THEMIS mission adds five spacecraft to the Sun-Earth flotilla
Tonight NASA plans to launch its five THEMIS scientific satellites onboard a Delta-2 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida USA, to join the spacefleet of Sun-Earth connection explorers -- four from the ESA Cluster mission and two from the CNSA/ESA Double Star mission.

Rewarding fat rats
When rats and other animals choose things that leads to a

Researchers identify factor in pathogeensis of graves' disease
Investigators at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed) have found evidence that continues to implicate insulin-like growth factor receptor (IGF-1R) in the development of Graves' disease.

ASU professor says engineers need to look at sustainability in different light
Engineers, trained to be object problem solvers, need to look at sustainability in a different way than they would approach other subjects in order to fully understand it, according to Arizona State University researcher Brad Allenby.

Newly discovered West Coast arrhythmias cause
Oceanographers, climatologists and ecologists at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting report that unusual ocean conditions and marine die-offs are changing the way scientists think about the future of ocean resources off the US West Coast.

Lanzerotti speaks at AAAS symposium about space weather
Most people leave home without checking the space weather report.

New analog circuits could impact consumer electronics
Advances in digital electronic circuits have prompted the boost in functions and ever- smaller size of such popular consumer goods as digital cameras.

Altered ocean currents disturb ecosystem off Northern California and Oregon coast
In 2005, a delay in the arrival of a seasonal, nutrient-rich ocean current off the coast of Northern California and Oregon led to reduced influx of barnacle and mussel larvae to rocky shores, researchers report.

Charting our health by the stars
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council grantee Peter Austin and three other researchers have just completed a survey of hospital visits in Ontario, Canada, showing that, compared to people born under other astrological signs, Virgos have an increased risk of vomiting during pregnancy, Pisces have an increased risk of heart failure, and Libras have an increased risk of fracturing their pelvises.

Institute for OneWorld Health hosts global health seminar at AAAS Annual Meeting
The Institute for OneWorld Health, the first nonprofit pharmaceutical company in the United States, will bring together a distinguished group of the world's experts in global health for an all-day seminar on Friday, February 16, at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Francisco.

No reason to panic over 2005 increase in murder rate, reports Carnegie Mellon U. Professor
It remains unclear whether the country faces a new wave of violent crime, says Carnegie Mellon University's Alfred Blumstein.

Vet College gets grant to develop fish virus diagnostic technique
Cornell researchers are fine-tuning a new technique they developed to rapidly detect a deadly fish virus that has increasingly appeared in the Great Lakes and neighboring waterways.

New research reveals historic 1990s US crime decline
According to new research by a UC Berkeley law professor, the U.S. crime rate dropped dramatically during the 1990s, producing the longest and deepest crime decline since World War II.

Americans believe global warming is real, want action, but not as a priority
Most Americans believe global warming is real but a moderate and distant risk.

Penn researchers replace organ in adult mice using 'single-parent' stem cells
Single-parent stem cells can proliferate normally in an adult organ and could provide a less controversial alternative to the therapeutic cloning of embryonic stem cells.

More communication of climate change science won't spur problem solving, says CU researcher
The notion that more information about the science of human-caused climate change will spur effective problem solving by American society is just flat wrong, according to a University of Colorado at Boulder climate policy analyst.

Health Canada approves cold and flu medicine
Health Canada, the Canadian government regulatory agency, has approved wide-ranging new health claims for COLD-fX, the most popular cold/flu remedy in Canada.

First X-ray detection of a colliding-wind binary beyond Milky Way
Imagine two stars with winds so intense that they eject an Earth's worth of material roughly once every month.

Not just babbling
For many years, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council grantee Janet Werker has done research on how infants listen to speech and look for patterns.

Johnson & Johnson announces call for nominations
Johnson & Johnson today announced that it will accept nominations for the 2008 Dr.

Biomedical engineers advance on 'smart bladder pacemaker'
Duke University biomedical engineering researchers have moved a step closer to a

Birth rate, competition are major players in hominid extinctions
Modern human mothers are probably happy that they typically have one, maybe two babies at a time, but for early hominids, low birth numbers combined with competition often spelled extinction.

Sequencing human history -- The genetics and commerce of personal ancestry
Reporters are invited to cover the next Genetics and Public Policy Center's Genetics Perspectives on Policy Seminar (GenePOPS),

First X-ray detection of a colliding-wind binary beyond the Milky Way
Imagine two stars with winds so powerful that they eject an Earth's worth of material roughly once every month.

Handheld 'T-ray' Device earns new $30,000 Lemelson-Rensselaer Student Prize
'T-rays' have been touted as the next breakthrough in sensing and imaging, but the need for bulky equipment has been an obstacle to reaching the field's potential.

Bioenergy from the forest: Can it be made sustainable?
John Stanturf, project leader of the Center for Forest Disturbance Science in Athens, GA, will present

IDIBAPS participates in European Network on antibiotic resistances and hospital infections
Mosar is the first European project aiming to control the appearance and propagation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria involved in hospital infections.

UI researcher finds gender gap narrowing among victims of certain crimes
Although the gender gap among victims of homicide and robbery has remained relatively stable over the last 30 years, the gap has closed significantly for aggravated and simple assault because male rates of victimization have declined faster than female rates.

Fixed versus growth intelligence mindsets: It's all in your head, Dweck says
Stanford psychologist Carol Dweck says that people's self-theories about intelligence have a profound influence on their motivation to learn.

Studies of population genetics, evolution are an exercise in bad taste
Scientific studies of why foods such as Brussels sprouts and stout beer are horribly bitter-tasting to some people but palatable to others are shedding light on a number of questions, from the mechanisms of natural selection to understanding how our genes affect our dietary habits.

UCI awarded $3.5 million for stem cell research
UC Irvine scientists were awarded $3.5 million in the first wave of stem cell research funding from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, its governing board decided today. 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