Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 27, 2007
From volunteering and social activism to civic participation
If increasing antagonism towards traditional democratic practices and institutions is to be reversed, local political authorities must be willing and able to move beyond consumer satisfaction and public consultation to more deliberative and participatory politics, says a new booklet

MIT bioengineer advances survival, promise of adult stem cells
MIT researchers have developed a technique to encourage the survival and growth of adult stem cells, a step that could help realize the therapeutic potential of such cells.

Single photon detector wins UC San Diego engineering research competition
With a flash of light, photons simultaneously fly toward the face of a person waiting to be identified for security purposes.

Scripps Oceanography research studies shed new light on blue whales and their calls
Using a variety of new approaches, scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego are forging a new understanding of the largest mammals on Earth.

Proteasome activator enhances survival of Huntington's disease neuronal model cells
These remarkable results demonstrate for the first time that it is possible to intervene therapeutically in the proteolytic pathways and organelles that participate in the specific degradation of misfolded and abnormal proteins.

National Academies Advisory: March 5 lecture on ocean acidification
The lecture, presented by the National Research Council's Ocean Studies Board, will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, March 5, in the Baird Auditorium of the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History.

Brain maps online
Digital atlases of the brains of humans, monkeys, dogs, cats, mice, birds and other animals have been created and posted online by researchers at the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience.

Universities in £1.5M drive to cut cost of solar power
Chemists, physicists, materials scientists and electrical engineers in Manchester and London are embarking on a £1.5M project to develop new and potentially cheaper ways of generating solar power

Asia-Pacific has the biggest diabetes burden in the world
A new finding, from the Asia-Pacific Cohort Studies Collaboration (APCSC) and published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Clinical Nutrition, shows that up to 12 percent of cardiovascular deaths in the region (heart disease and stroke) are due to diabetes.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
The following articles are featured in the upcoming issue of the Journal of Neuroscience: Neurosteroids and Tonic GABAergic Inhibition; Engineering Astrocytes as Injury Repairmen; The Homunculus, Up Close and Personal; A Forward Genetic Screen in Mice for Recessive Deafness.

Common cold virus may kill breast cancer cells
Australian scientists believe they may be able to use a common cold-producing virus to successfully treat breast cancer patients, in a way that is much less debilitating than chemotherapy.

How do I love me? New study presents a twist on the conventional narcissist
Conventional wisdom suggests that narcissists have negative self views which are masked by their grandiose self-concept.

Task force recommends greater use of exercise testing in chronic disease
Exercise testing can be a powerful tool for diagnosing chronic heart and lung conditions and measuring responses to treatment, according to new research published in the European Respiratory Journal.

Unique tomatoes tops in disease-fighting antioxidants
Deep red tomatoes get their rich color from lycopene, a disease-fighting antioxidant.

Music genes and musical geniuses
Music under the microscope: The relation between biology and genetics and human music, its peculiarities and reasons.

Vitamin D deficiency widespread during pregnancy
Even regular use of prenatal multivitamin supplements is not adequate to prevent vitamin D insufficiency, a condition that is linked to rickets and other musculoskeletal and health complications and found to be widespread among women during pregnancy, particularly in the northern latitudes, University of Pittsburgh researchers report in the current issue of the Journal of Nutrition, the publication of the American Society for Nutrition.

Benefits of more homework vary across nations, grades
A study of global homework patterns suggests that the benefits of more homework assignments to boost student test scores may vary widely according to the grade level, the quality of a nation's schools and the perceived value of homework.

New insights into autoimmunity and depression
A new study sheds light on the brain pathways of depression in general and in central nervous system dysfunction in SLE in particular.

New guide to sharks and rays of Indonesia
At least 20 new species have been discovered in the first comprehensive survey of Indonesia's sharks and rays since the 1850s.

City ants take the heat
Most people remain unaware of the more rapid warming that has occurred within major cities.

Delft University of Technology designs language development toy for autistic children
Helma van Rijn has developed a toy that uses a new method for teaching words to autistic children.

Certain cognitive behavioral therapy appears beneficial for female veterans with PTSD
Using a cognitive behavioral therapy called

New DNA study helps explain unique diversity among Melanesians
Small populations of Melanesians -- among the most genetically diverse people on the planet -- have significant differences in their mitochondrial DNA that can be linked to where they live, the size of their home island and the language they speak.

Researchers safely regenerate failing mouse hearts with programmed embryonic stem cells
Mayo Clinic researchers have safely transplanted cardiac preprogrammed embryonic stem cells into diseased hearts of mice successfully regenerating infarcted heart muscle without precipitating the growth of a cancerous tumor -- which, so far, has impeded successful translation into practice of embryonic stem cell research.

Public welcomes workers with intellectual disabilities, Queen's poll finds
People with intellectual disabilities (ID) should be included in the workplace, and supported in their efforts to get there, say a majority of respondents in a Queen's University poll on public attitudes toward employing people with ID.

The link between rheumatoid arthritis and cancer
The first study to investigate whether patients with RA who develop cancer have a decreased rate of survival, featured in the March 2007 issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism, also examined the impact of rheumatic disease on overall cancer incidence.

UC San Diego computer science grad student wins Symantec fellowship
A third-year Ph.D. student in the Computer Science and Engineering department of the UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering has won one of three Graduate Fellowships from Symantec Research Labs for the 2007-2008 academic year.

First direct electric link between neurons and light-sensitive nanoparticle films created
The world's first direct electrical link between nerve cells and photovoltaic nanoparticle films has been achieved by researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and the University of Michigan.

A hidden twist in the black hole information paradox
Professor Sam Braunstein, of the University of York's Department of Computer Science, and Dr.

Magnetic resonance microscopy research lands professor NSF award
Montana State University engineering professor Sarah Codd has won a $400,000 National Science Foundation Career Award to advance her teaching and research in magnetic resonance microscopy.

Brain works more chaotically than previously thought
The brain appears to process information more chaotically than has long been assumed.

New research explores the role of ethnicity in breastfeeding peer counseling
The American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization recommend that mothers breastfeed throughout the first six months of their baby's life.

Biophysical Society announces new and notable symposium speakers
The Biophysical Society has announced the speakers for the new and notable symposium at the Society's 51st Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Md.

Change in webcast time for Wednesday event on NIOSH Nanotechnology Research Center progress report
The earliest and most extensive exposures to engineered nanoparticles are most likely to occur in the workplace.

Size matters ... if you're a rodent
Promiscuity is common among female rodents, leading to competition between the sperm of rival males over who fertilizes the eggs.

Delays and lack of communication to primary care physicians common after hospital discharge
Primary care physicians often do not receive adequate patient information from the hospital-based physician following discharge, according to a review article in the Feb.

MRI identifies 'hidden' fat that puts adolescents at risk for disease
Single-slice magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a fast, non-invasive way to measure intra-abdominal fat, which when excessive, may put children and teenagers at risk for developing heart disease, diabetes and other illnesses.

LLNL researchers review bio detection technologies
In an effort to detect biological threats quickly and accurately, a number of detection technologies have been developed.

UW scientists unlock major number theory puzzle
Mathematicians have finally laid to rest the legendary mystery surrounding an elusive group of numerical expressions known as the

Promising blood cancer researchers in Europe to receive award to study in US
The first recipients have been selected for a new international scholarship opportunity, sponsored by the European Hematology Association and the American Society of Hematology, for scientists in training or the early phase of their careers.

The planetary adventure continues -- Mars Express and Venus Express operations extended
ESA's Mars Express and Venus Express missions, to explore our nearest neighbor planets Mars and Venus respectively, will continue to operate until early May 2009.

Eating ice cream may help women to conceive, but low-fat dairy foods may increase infertility risk
Drinking whole fat milk and eating ice cream appears to be better for women trying to become pregnant than a diet consisting of low-fat dairy products such as skim milk and yogurt, according to new research published in Human Reproduction journal.

UT-Houston scientists develop new procedure to differentiate human embryonic stem cells
Molecular scientists at the UT Health Science Center at Houston have developed a new procedure for the differentiation of human embryonic stem cells, with which they have created the first transplantable source of lung epithelial cells.

NSF funds new Rutgers plant biomaterials initiative
The National Science Foundation has Rutgers scientists looking to plants as a source of materials for cardiovascular stents, bone and tissue grafts, antiviral and antibacterial food packaging, and personal care products.

The secret of Dutch tapwater unveiled in new textbook
The public drinking water supply in the Netherlands is one of the best in the world.

Celebrity endorsements less effective for many products, says research
Advertisements featuring endorsements by celebrities such as David Beckham are less effective than those featuring ordinary people, new research suggests.

Use of some antioxidant supplements may increase mortality risk
Contradicting claims of disease prevention, an analysis of previous studies indicates that the antioxidant supplements beta carotene, vitamin A and vitamin E may increase the risk of death, according to a meta-analysis and review article in the Feb.

Mailman School of PH professor creates first searchable database of Indian patents
Mailman School of Public Health's Bhaven Sampat, Ph.D., has created a dataset of all published Indian patent applications and patents, which is now available on a free Web site where professionals can search for pending applications.

CNSE reports breakthrough in production of exposed images using ASML EUV R&D lithography tool
Less than six months after taking delivery of the world's first full-field extreme ultraviolet (EUV) research and development tool (ADT), the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering of the University at Albany announced that it has produced the world's first exposed images while using the tool in a development environment.

McGovern Institute Scolnick Prize awarded to David Julius
The McGovern Institute at MIT announced today that David Julius, a physiologist at the University of California at San Francisco, will be the 2007 recipient of the Edward M.

Life-saving technology may address unique needs of women in heart failure
The American Heart Association, reports that women are 26 percent more likely than men to suffer heart failure and death as their first symptom of cardiac disease.

RAND study finds walking more likely in neighborhoods with more 4-way intersections
People are more likely to walk when they live in neighborhoods where there are more four-way intersections and a diverse mixture of businesses, according to a RAND Corp. study issued today.

HPV infection common among females in US
Data from a national study suggests that about one in four US females between the ages of 14 and 59 years may have the sexually transmitted infection human papillomarivus (HPV), according to a study in the Feb.

New study demonstrates nicotine's role in smoking behavior
A new study from the Center for Addiction and Mental Health and the National Institutes of Health reveals that nicotine use is highly addictive in primates.

Nectar is not a simple soft drink
The sugar-containing nectar secreted by plants and consumed by pollinators shares a number of similarities to fitness drinks, including ingredients such as amino acids and vitamins.

Milky Way black hole may be a colossal 'particle accelerator'
The black hole at the center of our Milky Way could be working like a cosmic particle accelerator, revving up protons that smash at incredible speeds into lower energy protons and creating high-energy gamma rays, University of Arizona astrophysicists say.

Cancer cells forming blood vessels send their copper to the edge
New information about a link between the growth of blood vessels critical to the spread of cancer and the copper in our bodies has been discovered by researchers from the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago, using a beamline at the Advanced Photon Source.

Why migrate? It's not for the fruit
Why do some birds fly thousands of miles between breeding and nonbreeding areas every year while others never travel at all?

TU Delft proves that seismic noise measurements work in practice
Background noise from the earth can provide a wealth of information about the earth's crust, which can, for example, be used when searching for new oil fields.

Innovative treatment for migraines combines Botox and surgery
Five years ago, Sharon Schafer Bennett suffered from migraines so severe that the headaches disrupted her life, kept her from seeking a job and interfered with participation in her children's daily activities. 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