Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 13, 2007
Physicists tailor magnetic pairings in nanoscale semiconductors
In the March 8 issue of Nature, researchers at Stanford, Harvard and Israel's Weizmann Institute of Science reported that they have built a two-channel Kondo system in a semiconductor nanostructure.

1-parent households double risk of childhood sexual abuse
Adult men who grew up in one-parent households are more likely to have been abused as children, according to a study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania's School of Medicine.

NOGLSTP participates in global marathon -- 24 hours of engineering insights for women
The National Organization of Gay and Lesbian Scientists and Technical Professionals, Inc (NOGLSTP) is proud to be a participant in the third annual

Obese patients run higher risk of post-operative complications
Obese patients have a significantly higher risk of complications following surgery, including heart attack, wound infection, nerve injury and urinary tract infection, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Michigan Health System.

Confusion over right-of-way may be adding to pedestrian road trauma
Confusion about right-of-way rules could be contributing to pedestrian crashes at signal crossings, zebra crossings, pedestrian refuges and brick-paved sections of roadway, according to a new Australian report.

Star family seen through dusty fog
Images made with ESO's New Technology Telescope at La Silla by a team of German astronomers reveal a rich circular cluster of stars in the inner parts of our Galaxy.

New Bench Book helps judges make speedy decisions about pressing public health cases
To give judges and their legal staff some guidance on cases that involve thorny issues such as pandemics and bioterrorism that may come before them in a public health emergency, the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Public Health Preparedness in conjunction with the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts today released a report titled Pennsylvania Public Health Law Bench Book.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
The following articles will be featured in the upcoming issue of the Journal of Neuroscience:

Infection detectives use disease 'fingerprints' to track common infections in children
Infectious disease specialists at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found a new method for identifying suspect viruses and bacteria that cause some of the most common acute infections in children.

Geologist troubleshoots silica problem at geothermal plants
In the debate over alternative energy resources, geothermal technology has received scant media attention.

Belly fat may drive inflammatory processes associated with disease
As scientists learn more about the key role of inflammation in diabetes and heart disease, new research from Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Depressed mothers can still be good moms
The pilot study of 11 mild to moderately depressed mothers and their babies showed that when the women were taught how to react to their babies' emotional cues, the infants responded with heightened levels of interest and joy, even though their mothers' depression levels did not change.

New Washington study shows OB anesthesia equally safe when provided by CRNAs or anesthesiologists
Obstetrical anesthesia, whether provided by Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists (CRNAs) or anesthesiologists, is extremely safe, and there is no difference in safety between hospitals that use only CRNAs compared with those that use only anesthesiologists, according to the results of a new study published in a recent issue of Nursing Research.

National Academies advisory: March 21 briefing on geospatial data and disaster management
Successful response starts with a map: Improving geospatial support for disaster management, a recently released report from the National Research Council, recommends ways to increase and improve the use of geospatial resources in disaster management and urges greater investment in the training of personnel, coordination of agencies, sharing of data, planning and preparedness, and the tools themselves.

New species of snapper discovered in Brazil
A popular game fish mistaken by scientists for a dog snapper is actually a new species discovered among the reefs of the Abrolhos region of the South Atlantic Ocean.

Videotaped confessions can create bias against suspect, study finds
Police often videotape interrogations of suspects for use in criminal trials.

Study of drug therapy for compulsive buying yields a puzzle, Stanford researcher says
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine say they are puzzled by findings from their new study indicating that an antidepressant, which previously showed promise in treating a behavioral disorder known as compulsive buying, did not result in a sustained benefit for the patients who took it.

Biologists develop large gene dataset for rice plant
Scientists have reported development of a large dataset of gene sequences in rice.

Autism gene identified by researchers at Yale working with a global research consortium
Yale School of Medicine autism experts Fred Volkmar, M.D. and Ami Klin are part of a global research consortium from 19 countries to identify a gene and a region of a chromosome that may lead to autism in children.

Stability of mRNA/DNA and DNA/DNA duplexes modulates mRNA transcription
The distribution of the four nucleotides along the DNA sequence encodes the genetic information in living systems.

Heart attack patients with financial barriers have poorer recovery and quality of life
About one in five heart attack patients report having financial barriers to health care services, and these patients are more likely to have a lower quality of life and increased rate of rehospitalization, according to a study in the March 14 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on access to care.

Mechanisms involved with tumor relapse identified
Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University's Massey Cancer Center studying the interaction between the immune system and cancer cells have identified interferon gamma as one of the signaling proteins involved with tumor relapse.

High-deductible health plans linked to fewer emergency room visits
Patients who switched to high-deductible health plans went to the emergency department 10 percent less than patients who remained in traditional plans, according to a new study by the Department of Ambulatory Care and Prevention (of Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care).

New cell type identified in cancer development
A team of scientists, led by Dr. Jian-Xin Gao, a researcher in the department of pathology at Ohio State University Medical Center, has identified a new set of cells he calls precancerous stem cells (pCSCs).

Keeping the body in sync -- the stability of cellular clocks
A study in Switzerland uses the tools of physics to show how our circadian clocks manage to keep accurate time in the noisy cellular environment.

Protein overexpression at heart of heart failure
In a paper in this week's PLoS ONE, Roger Hullin of the Swiss Heart Center Bern, Jan Matthes of University of Cologne, Germany, and collaborators in both Germany and the USA demonstrate an up-regulation of expression of an accessory subunit of the L-VDCC complex (beta 2-subunit) that is responsible for the altered channel behavior in human heart failure.

Specialist centers increase chance of surviving abdominal aortic aneurysm surgery
People with abdominal aortic aneurysms stand a better chance of surviving if they are operated on at hospitals that see large numbers of these patients than if they are treated at smaller regional hospitals with fewer such patients.

Darwin's famous finches and Venter's marine microbes
Although the Galápagos finches were to play a pivotal role in the inception of Darwin's theory of evolution through natural selection, he had no inkling of their significance when he collected them during his voyage on the HMS Beagle.

Periodontal diseases may aggravate pre-diabetic characteristics
Periodontal diseases may contribute to the progression to pre-diabetes, according to a new study that appears in the March issue of the Journal of Periodontology.

Jet engines help solve the mysteries of the voice
Although scientists know about basic voice production -- the two

Due to cost, heart attack patients often avoid follow-up care and medication
A lack of funds to pay for medical treatment and prescriptions is common among heart attack patients and leads to a worse recovery, more angina, poorer quality of life and higher risk of re-hospitalization, according to a study by researchers at Yale School of Medicine.

Global ocean sampling expedition
The Sorcerer II GOS expedition, data sampling and analysis is described.

12-step screening may help reduce sudden death in young athletes
A 12-point screening process could help reduce sudden cardiac death in high school and college competitive athletes, according to an updated American Heart Association scientific statement.

Fossil shows human growth at least 160,000 years ago
An international team of scientists have found that the oldest member (160,000 years old) of the genus Homo shows a modern human life history profile.

UCSF policy expert presents recommendation for health coverage
A health policy specialist at the University of California, San Francisco has developed a strategy to provide universal health care for major and chronic illness for everyone by instituting a plan that incorporates aspects of both a single-payer model and a plan similar to a preferred provider organization, known as a PPO.

William O'Brien, Jr., PhD, receives the 2007 AIUM William J. Fry Memorial Lecture Award
The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM) will present William O'Brien, Jr., PhD, with the 2007 William J.

US businesses not prepared for aging workforce
A national survey by the Boston College Center on Aging and Work shows many US companies are not prepared for the shortfall in labor, experience and expertise that will accompany the retirement of the baby boomer generation.

Grant to Yale from Simons Foundation to explore genetic causes of autism
Researchers at the Yale School of Medicine Child Study Center and 10 other institutions will share a $10 million gift from James and Marilyn Simons of the Simons Foundation to create a databank of DNA samples from autism patients around the country.

UGA research may lead to reassessment of some foundations of statistical mechanics
A new research paper, just published in the online version of the journal Physical Review Letters by M.

Stress and nerve cells survival in rats; finding may open window for depression treatment
A single, socially stressful situation can kill off new nerve cells in the brain region that processes learning, memory and emotion, and possibly contribute to depression, new animal research shows.

Cold-water eddy 'monsters' mighty current off Sydney
Studies of satellite data have revealed a major sea eddy in the Tasman Sea off one of Australia's major east coast cities -Sydney, New South Wales.

Emergency Medicaid for immigrants goes to childbirth
An analysis of state Emergency Medicaid spending contradicts assumptions about emergency care provided to recent immigrants, researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the Carolinas Center for Medical Excellence have found.

Pregnancy complications account for majority of Emergency Medicaid costs for undocumented immigrants
A large majority of the Emergency Medicaid expenditures in North Carolina are for childbirth and complications of pregnancy for patients who are undocumented immigrants, although spending for undocumented elderly and disabled patients is increasing at a faster rate, according to a study in the March 14 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on access to care.

'Generalist' genes linked to a variety of learning disorders
According to a review in the premier issue of Mind, Brain, and Education, the latest research into learning disabilities suggests that 'generalist' genes are responsible for a wide range of learning disorders.

Prefrontal cortex loses neurons during adolescence
Researchers have found that adolescence is a time of remodeling in the prefrontal cortex, a brain structure dedicated to higher functions such as planning and social behaviors.

Sleep disorders can impair children's IQs as much as lead exposure
Three decades ago, medical investigators began sounding the alarm about how lead exposure causes IQ deficits in children.

Why aren't humans furry? Stone-Age moms could be the answer
Medical Hypotheses, an Elsevier publication, has announced the winner of the 2006 David Horrobin Prize for medical theory.

Health care system for aging nerve cells
Uncontrolled neuronal death in the brain often gives rise to neurodegenerative illnesses like Parkinson or Alzheimer disease.

AIUM honors ultrasound pioneers at the 2007 AIUM Annual Convention
Lennard Greenbaum, MD, president of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM), along with other luminaries in the field of ultrasound, will present awards to several individuals who have significantly contributed to the field of medical diagnostic ultrasound at the 2007 AIUM Annual Convention in New York City, NY, on March 16, 2007.

A short walk helps smokers quit
Smokers should do short bouts of exercise to help them resist the temptation to light up, say experts at the University of Exeter.

Press registration -- World Congress of Nephrology, April 21-25, 2007, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The World Congress of Nephrology (April 21-25, 2007, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) represents a unique opportunity for the global nephrology community to come together, share and exchange ideas, and collectively address current and future challenges faced by renal clinicians and scientists.

Penn study on olfactory nerve cells shows why we smell better when we sniff
Unlike most of our sensory systems that detect only one type of stimuli, our sense of smell works double duty, detecting both chemical and mechanical stimuli to improve how we smell.

First new waterborne aquaculture drug in 20 years approved
Twelve years of rigorous research by USGS scientists helped lead to the approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the first waterborne drug for fish diseases in more than 20 years.

Insomnia drug can improve brain function
A new study reported that zolpidem, a drug normally used to treat insomnia, temporarily improved brain function in a patient suffering from akinetic mutism, a condition in which the person is alert but cannot speak or move.

Uninsured often receive less medical care, take longer to improve after sudden health change
Among individuals who experience a change in health caused by an unintentional injury or new chronic condition, those without insurance are more likely to have difficulty obtaining recommended medical care and more likely to experience larger declines in short-term health, according to a study in the March 14 issue of JAMA, a theme issue on access to care.

Making sense of the world through a cochlear implant
Scientists at University College London and Imperial College London have shown how the brain makes sense of speech in a noisy environment, such as a pub or in a crowd.

Aging boosts chances that a family line will be long-lived
Scientists puzzling over why organisms evolved aging as a strategy have found that allowing one individual to carry all the cellular damage inflicted over time, rather than dividing it between two organisms during reproduction, increases the chances that the individual's line will reproduce for many generations to come.

A new focus for health care reform -- realigning competition around patient value
The health care policy debate is stuck in a place that undermines physicians and the nation's health.

How long is a child a child?
An international research team led by scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Leipzig, Germany) and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (Grenoble, France) has found evidence that some of the earliest members of our species had evolved our characteristically long developmental period, and most likely our extended childhood, over 160,000 years ago.

Alien predators are more dangerous than native predators
Introduced predators such as foxes and cats are twice as deadly as native predators to Australia's unique native animals, says new research.
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