Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 07, 2007
Do shopping lists promote or prevent healthy choices?
A new study reveals an unexpected situation when you may opt for a sinful dessert like cheesecake over a healthy alternative like a fruit salad.

Obesity and environmental chemicals -- New research probes potential link
Could your couch be making you fat? A team of researchers at the University of New Hampshire is investigating whether the increasing ubiquity of chemical flame retardants found in foam furniture, carpeting, microwaves and computers might be related to the climbing rate of obesity in the United States.

Prototype space probe prepares to explore Earth's deepest sinkhole
Scientists return this week to the world's deepest known sinkhole for tests of a NASA-funded robot called DEPTHX, designed to survey and explore for life in one of Earth's most extreme regions and potentially in outer space.

Carnegie Mellon's Pradeep Khosla awarded CyberEducation Award
Carnegie Mellon University's Pradeep Khosla received the prestigious Cyber Education Champion Award from the Business Software Alliance during a gala celebration March 6 in Washington, D.C.

Study finds antibiotic resistance in poultry even when antibiotics were not used
A surprising finding by a team of University of Georgia scientists suggests that curbing the use of antibiotics on poultry farms will do little -- if anything -- to reduce rates of antibiotic resistant bacteria that have the potential to threaten human health.

Farmed salmon could become an invasive species in forest streams
Farmed fish escaping from marine net pens might become an invasive species in British Columbia, Washington and Alaska.

Omega-3s boost grey matter, findings may explain why omega-3s seem to improve mood
Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish like salmon, are associated with increased grey matter volume in areas of the brain commonly linked to mood and behavior according to a University of Pittsburgh study.

The antenna bride and bridegroom
The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA), an international telescope project, reached a major milestone on March 2, when two 12-m ALMA prototype antennas were first linked together as an integrated system to observe an astronomical object.

National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research activities
During the 85th General Session of the International Association for Dental Research, meeting in conjunction with the 36th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Dental Research, convening March 21-24 at the Ernest N.

When washed in sunlight, asteroids hit the spin cycle, Cornell researchers find
The sun is a cosmic spinmeister. Using the highly sensitive radar telescope at the Cornell University-managed Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico and Goldstone antenna in California, Cornell astronomers have confirmed a theory that sunlight and the asteroid's shape determine how an asteroid's rotation evolves.

US child health system needs total overhaul, UCLA researchers say
According to UCLA researchers, the current U.S. child health system is failing to produce the kind of health outcomes that it could and should because it is powered by outdated logic, outmoded organization, and inadequate and misaligned finance strategies.

Not as happy as you thought you'd be?
Wonder why half of all marriages end in divorce? According to a new study from the Journal of Consumer Research, we are more likely to pay attention to disappointment than to the ways in which our experiences exceed our expectations.

Nanomaterials in Biology and Medicine
On April 10 and 11 the National Academy of Sciences' Sackler Colloquium series will hold a colloquium on the development of nanoscale materials that can probe the human body and diagnose medical conditions such as tumors.

Researchers identify ovarian cancer biomarkers
Researchers have identified markers unique to the cells of blood vessels running through ovarian tumors.

To buy or not to buy: What you decide affects how you'll feel next time
Consumers spend substantial proportions of their expenditures on products they had not intended to buy.

Plant size morphs dramatically as scientists tinker with outer layer
Jack's magical beans may have produced beanstalks that grew and grew into the sky, but something about normal, run-of-the-mill plants limits their reach upward.

Undergrad: Mothers in African study undereducated on diarrhea
Ethiopian mothers' beliefs about diarrhea can lead to inappropriate treatment for their children's life-threatening condition, a 20-year-old Johns Hopkins University undergraduate concluded after field research in Africa.

Unlocking the secrets of high-temperature superconductors
Although it was discovered more than 20 years ago, a particular type of high-temperature (Tc) superconductor is regaining the attention of scientists at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory.

Solar power at play
For the very first time, astronomers have witnessed the speeding up of an asteroid's rotation, and have shown that it is due to a theoretical effect predicted but never seen before.

Major gene study uncovers secrets of leukemia
Investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have discovered previously unsuspected mutations that contribute to the formation of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common cancer in children.

Study reveals depressed elderly risk early death
Depression in elderly people is causing early mortality, a University of Liverpool study has found.

Should possession of extreme pornography be illegal in the UK?
Diary note for forward planners: human rights experts, feminists, representatives of pressure groups, councils and the police are meeting to debate whether possession of extreme pornography should be illegal.

Scientists find genes involved in the battle between Hessian flies and wheat
Wheat has ways to battle Hessian fly larvae that nibble on the plant's leaves and can destroy crops worldwide, but the larvae that survive eventually evolve methods to overcome plant defenses.

Queen's studies find new links between wine, fermented foods and cancer
New findings by a Queens University research team dispel the popular notion that eating so-called

A gatekeeper for the US drug industry
At long last, the US is considering a government body, similar to the UK's National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), to review evidence on which drugs work well and whether they are cost-effective.

Researchers 'sniff out' emissions from feedyards
Setting up an air quality trailer in the midst of cattle pens at a feedlot will help measure gaseous emissions, said a Texas Agricultural Experiment Station researcher.

NREL scientists win Dan David Prize in Future category
Two scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory have been named Dan David Prize Laureates for 2007.

Scientist converts UK nuclear energy policy
The process by which Sir David King, Tony Blair's science advisor, refocused attention toward climate change and nuclear power was a

Researchers learn what sparks plant growth
A secret long held by plants has been revealed by Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers.

CDX2 -- A protein that promotes leukemia
Researchers from Harvard Medical School, Boston, have found that most individuals with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) inappropriately express a protein known as CDX2 in their leukemic cells and that CDX2 has a causal role in the pathogenesis of AML.

85th General Session, International Association for Dental Research
Did you know that osteoporosis can be detected using ordinary dental x-rays?

A year of added life more valuable for the young, study suggests
Many important health policy issues, such as the allocation of avian flu vaccine in a pandemic or mandatory HPV vaccinations for young women, require policy makers to decide healthcare priorities for different age groups.

Female chimps keep the bullies at bay
Female chimpanzees may have found a fool-proof way to ensure they mate with only the highest ranking males, namely those with important social and physical characteristics that their offspring may inherit, according to a new study.

Biofuels: An advisable strategy?
Biofuels have been an increasingly hot topic on the discussion table in the last few years.

Springer to launch new series Undergraduate Topics in Computer Science
Springer will publish the first three volumes in its new Undergraduate Topics in Computer Science (UTiCS) series in April 2007.

Carbon dioxide and the ocean
Global increases in temperature are just one facet of a much larger issue that scientists at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science are dedicated to uncovering.

Human pubic lice acquired from gorillas gives evolutionary clues
Humans acquired pubic lice from gorillas several million years ago, but this seemingly seedy connection does not mean that monkey business went on with the great apes, a new University of Florida study finds.

Mine runoff continues to provide clues to microbial diversification
Pink slime at the surface of water trickling through an old mine in California is proving to be a treasure for researchers in their quest to learn more about how bacterial communities exist in nature.

Sign language at your fingertips, anytime, anywhere
The world's first sign language dictionary available from a mobile phone has been launched by the University of Bristol's Center for Deaf Studies.

NASA and USGS produce most detailed satellite views of Antarctica
Researchers from NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Golden, Colo., have woven together more than a thousand images from the Landsat 7 satellite to create the most detailed, high-resolution map ever produced of Antarctica.

Scientists uncover link between ocean's chemical processes and microscopic floating plants
Scientists have discovered that increased levels of ocean acidity and carbon dioxide concentrations have resulted in unexpected changes in oceanic chemical processes.

Scientists find a solar-powered asteroid
An international research team led by Academy Research Fellow Mikko Kaasalainen has found an asteroid whose rotation receives an extra kick from solar radiation.

Dialysis patients with metabolic syndrome show increased risk for heart disease
A study of kidney dialysis patients found that nearly 70 percent had metabolic syndrome, a set of symptoms that is a predictor of cardiovascular disease, at the time they initiated maintenance dialysis.

Abandoning net neutrality discourages improvements in service
Charging online content providers such as Yahoo! and Google for preferential access to the customers of Internet service providers might not be in the best interest of the millions of Americans, despite claims to the contrary, a new University of Florida study finds.

Lectures, Keynoters, Symposia highlight International Dental Research meeting
Following is a summary of the key lectures, symposia, and workshops that will anchor the 85th General Session of the International Association for Dental Research, convening here March 21 at the Ernest N.

Double-star systems cycle between big and small blasts
Certain double, or binary, star systems erupt in full-blown explosions and then flare up with smaller bursts, according to new information gathered by NASA's Galaxy Evolution Explorer (GALEX) and analyzed by a team of astronomers, including postdoctoral researcher Mark Seibert of the Carnegie Observatories.

On a diet? You'll spend more on impulse purchases
People who exercise self control in some way, such as dieting or trying not to look at or think about something, will tend to make more impulse purchases if given the opportunity, explains a study from the March issue of the Journal of Consumer Research.

85th General Session and Exhibition of the IADR
Thousands of dental researchers from around the world will convene in New Orleans, March 21-24, for the 85th General Session of the IADR.

Drivers and passengers on the road to cancer
Scientists at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute have carried out the broadest survey yet of the human genome in cancer by sequencing more than 250 million letters of DNA code, covering more than 500 genes and 200 cancers.

A jet of molecular hydrogen arising from a forming high-mass star
A team of European astronomers offer new evidence that high-mass stars could form in a similar way to low-mass stars, that is, from accretion of gas and dust through a disk surrounding the forming star.

Wet distiller's grains could play a role in cattle diets
Wet sorghum distiller's grains can be fed in a steam-flaked corn ration without affecting efficiencies, said two researchers.

Thinking big about things small
A new report by former EPA official Mark Greenwood, Thinking Big About Things Small: Creating an Effective Oversight System for Nanotechnology, urges policymakers to focus more attention on how core assumptions about risk assessment and risk management that underlie existing health and environmental regulations will translate from the macro world to the nano world.

Will baby boomers retire in worse shape than predecessors?
Americans in their early to mid-50s today report poorer health, more pain and more trouble doing everyday physical tasks than their older peers reported at the same age in years past, a recent analysis has shown.

The giant that turned out to be a dwarf
New data obtained on the apparent celestial couple, NGC 5011 B and C, taken with the 3.6-m ESO telescope, reveal that the two galaxies are not at the same distance, as was believed for the past 23 years.

New report: Explosive growth changes salmon industry
A new report, the first to take a comprehensive look at market competition between wild and farmed salmon, sheds new light on the contentious and complex issues surrounding farmed and wild salmon.

Despite their heft, many dinosaurs had surprisingly tiny genomes
They might be giants, but many dinosaurs apparently had genomes no larger than that of a modern hummingbird.

Conference honoring UH professor attracts researchers from United States, abroad
Eminent computational scientists from Europe and the United States will gather in Houston for the USA Conference on Applied and Numerical PDEs (partial differential equations) March 9-10 to acknowledge the career achievements of Roland Glowinski, a University of Houston math professor.

Transport interrupted -- Texas A&M biologists trace cause of early blindness to tissue defect
Researchers at Texas A&M University are shedding light on a rare form of early blindness, identifying the cells involved and paving the way for possible therapies to treat or even prevent what is currently an incurable disease.

Bacterium could treat PCBs without the need for dredging
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have discovered a tiny bacterium that could one day transform the way we remove polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from our environment.

New study: Pine bark significantly reduces endometriosis
A new study to be published in an upcoming edition of the Journal of Reproductive Medicine reveals that Pycnogenol, an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, significantly reduces symptoms of endometriosis by 33 percent.

Study takes next step -- Why women suffer more knee injuries
Female athletes are up to eight times more likely to suffer knee injuries during their careers than males, and now researchers may be closer to understanding why.

Nothing to do with it
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