Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 29, 2007
Abel Prize 2007 goes to Springer author S.R.Srinivasa Varadhan
The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has awarded the Abel Prize for 2007 to Springer author S.R.Srinivasa Varadhan of the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, New York University.

Amateurs and professionals combine observations to produce detailed picture of double asteroid
The main belt asteroid Antiope is among the few binary asteroids discovered in recent years, yet even through the Earth's largest telescopes it appears as merely two bright blobs orbiting one another.

Atlas of Science Literacy completes mapping of science-learning pathways
As K-12 teachers prepare to help students meet new science-learning requirements this fall, two of the world's largest science and science education organizations today joined forces to release a set of maps showing how science literacy can develop over time.

Overfishing great sharks wiped out North Carolina bay scallop fishery
Fewer big sharks in the oceans led to the destruction of North Carolina's bay scallop fishery and inhibits the recovery of depressed scallop, oyster and clam populations along the US Atlantic Coast, according to an article in the March 30 issue of the journal Science.

A new milestone for polar and marine research
The Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research is receiving more than 5 million Euro from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research.

1 out of every 3 arthritis sufferers is affected in ability to work
A new study estimated the prevalence of Arthritis-attributable work limitation (AAWL) in adults between the ages of 18 and 64 and examined characteristics related to AAWL in this age group.

2 Rutgers College of Nursing professors study patients with prostate cancer
Two Rutgers College of Nursing faculty members are conducting a study to develop and test a targeted intervention to reduce symptoms and improve the quality of life of patients undergoing prostate cancer treatment.

WSU researchers pioneer new ground in Web technology
Amit Sheth, Ph.D., is pioneering the next generation of Web technology with applications in diverse fields ranging from defense and thwarting terrorism to health care and financial services.

Higher corporate taxes may attract foreign investment
A team of leading economists has challenged the current political drive to cut corporate taxes -- with new research showing that countries with higher taxes and higher social welfare spending are more successful in attracting overseas investment.

'Cold fusion' rebirth? Symposium explores low energy nuclear reactions
Researchers say they have new evidence that the phenomenon formerly known as 'cold fusion' -- now called 'low energy nuclear reactions' -- has evolved and is supported by rigorous, repeatable experimental data.

Selling customers the short end of the stick
Groucho Marx famously said he wouldn't want to join any club that would have someone like him as a member.

'The eyes have it' -- Autism research yields surprising results
Autistic children are able to interpret the mental state of others by looking at their eyes, contrary to previous research, a new University of Nottingham study has found.

Should single parents stay that way?
Single parents concerned about the developmental health of their children may want to choose new partners slowly and deliberately.

UCSD researchers identify critical receptor in liver regeneration
In studies in mouse models, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have found that a cellular receptor involved in triggering cell death is also a necessary component of tissue repair and regeneration immediately following liver injury.

Advances in personalized medicine on agenda for 54th Society of Nucelar Medicine Annual Meeting
The potential of molecular imaging and therapy and the power of nuclear medicine -- and their impact on patient care -- will be explored as more than 4,000 doctors, technologists, scientists and pharmacists from around the world attend SNM's 54th Annual Meeting June 2-6 in Washington, D.C.

Researcher examines polymers created with poultry feathers
Justin Barone, associate professor of biological systems engineering at Virginia Tech, is investigating ways to create biodegradable plastics from agricultural byproducts such as poultry feathers and eggs that would be comparable to petroleum-based plastics.

Still some way to go in tackling racism in mental health care
Mental health services in England and Wales have been accused of being institutionally racist.

Improvements in population data needed to support humanitarian relief and development efforts
Every year, millions of people worldwide are displaced because of natural or industrial disasters or social upheaval.

London asthma sufferers get space-based help
The city of London has launched an innovative service, funded by ESA, which delivers air pollution alerts and health advice via SMS text messages to those who suffer from asthma and other conditions vulnerable to poor air quality.

Cool findings -- Nanotubes could improve thermal management in electronics
As the electronics industry continues to churn out smaller and slimmer portable devices, manufacturers have been challenged to find new ways to combat the persistent problem of thermal management.

New algorithms from UCSD improve automated image labeling
Electrical engineers from UC San Diego have made progress on a different kind of image search engine -- one that analyzes the images themselves.

Should EU patient information laws be relaxed?
In 2002 the European parliament voted resoundingly against allowing drug companies to provide information about their products directly to patients.

Scientists identify cells responsible for relapse after treatment in common childhood cancer
Researchers led by Professor Murray Norris in the Molecular Diagnostics Program at the Children's Cancer Institute Australia used a highly sensitive technique to characterize the small population of unique leukaemia cells responsible for relapse in patients diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL), the most common cancer in children.

Aptia Solutions spun out from University of Nottingham
State-of-the-art software being launched by a University of Nottingham spin-out company is well positioned to make many industries much more efficient.

Gladstone scientists identify critical gene factor in heart development
Researchers at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease announced they have identified a critical genetic factor in the control of many aspects of heart form and function.

MIT device draws cells close -- but not too close -- together
In a popular children's game participants stand as close as possible without touching.

Setting sights on the drugs of the future
Researchers at the University of Nottingham have joined forces with one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies, AstraZeneca, to single out potential medicines of the future.

Biologists call for better choice of model organisms in 'evo-devo'
Research in evolutionary developmental biology, known as

New book presents neurobiology from an evolutionary perspective
A new book,

Fish oil helps statins reduce coronary events in Japanese patients
Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), found naturally in fish oil, could be additionally cardioprotective for people taking statins to lower cholesterol, according to an Article in this week's issue of the Lancet.

The impossible siblings
Combining precise observations obtained by ESO's Very Large Telescope with those gathered by a network of smaller telescopes, astronomers have described in unprecedented detail the double asteroid Antiope, which is shown to be a pair of rubble-pile chunks of material, of about the same size, whirling around one another in a perpetual pas de deux.

Wiley-Blackwell publishes Polar Research for the Norwegian Polar Institute
Global publisher, Wiley-Blackwell, which is part of John Wiley & Sons Inc., today announced publication of Polar Research, Issue 1, Volume 26, on behalf of the Norwegian Polar Institute.

Elementary school classrooms get low rating on high-quality instruction
For all the current emphasis on standardized testing and teaching requirements, the quality of elementary school instruction is mediocre at best, according to a study from the NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development study published in the March 30 issue of Science magazine.

Physical activity associated with lower risk of work-related repetitive strain injury
A new study estimated the prevalence of work-related repetitive strain injury and found that being physically active during leisure time is associated with a decreased risk of this type of injury.

A new, nanoporous ceramic filter offers hope to kidney-dialysis patients
EMV Technologies LLC has received a Phase I STTR grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a prototype.

HIV study prompts call for revision of breastfeeding guidelines
A study by scientists at the Africa Centre for Health and Population Studies, South Africa, has shown that exclusive breastfeeding can significantly reduce the risk of HIV transmission from mother to child in infants aged under 6 months when compared to those also given solid foods or replacement feed (i.e. formula milk).

Aggression, rather than celebration, drives alcohol consumption in rugby spectators
Research news published today in Criminal Behavior and Mental Health drew two main findings from a survey of rugby supporters entering and leaving the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff: Spectators in the winning and drawing groups rated themselves as more aggressive than those whose team just lost; and more aggressive spectators intended to drink more alcohol after the match.

Prototype for long wavelength array sees first light
Astronomers at the Naval Research Laboratory have produced the first images of the sky from a prototype of the Long Wavelength Array, a revolutionary new radio telescope to be constructed in southwestern New Mexico.

Supermarket surgeries 'a wake-up call for the profession'
Last week, the government announced plans to let supermarkets and retail pharmacies provide GP services, particularly in under doctored areas.

Exclusive breastfeeding lowers babies' risk of postnatal infection with HIV
When HIV-positive mothers breastfeed exclusively, their babies have only a low risk of postnatal infection with HIV.

Sandia handheld instrument assesses dental disease in minutes
According to a paper in the March 27 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a recently completed pilot study conducted with the University of Michigan shows that a Sandia handheld device determined in minutes -- from a tiny sample of saliva alone -- not only if a patient has gum disease but quantitatively how advanced the disease is.

Lack of care for older breast cancer patients
Older women with breast cancer get a lower level of care than younger women, researchers at the University of Manchester have found.

New chemistry approach promises less expensive drugs
With a newly discovered method of assembling organic molecules, chemists may have found a way to sidestep many of the expensive and hazardous barriers that stand in the way of drug development.

Overfishing large sharks impacts entire marine ecosystem, shrinks shellfish supply
Fewer big sharks in the oceans mean that bay scallops and other shellfish may be harder to find at the market, according to an article in the March 30 issue of the journal Science, tying two unlikely links in the food web to the same fate.

LCT reports major step forward for islet transplantation in diabetes patient
Living Cell Technologies has published evidence outlining the survival and identification of live porcine islet cells and insulin production in a human patient with diabetes 10 years after he received a micro-encapuslated pig islet cell transplant.

Repeated long haul flights cause problems for air crew
Menstrual cycle problems and transient psychotic disorders are just some of the dangers faced by air crew who repeatedly work long haul routes, according to a Seminar in this week's issue of the Lancet.

Protein averts cell suicide but might contribute to cancer
Scientists have discovered how an unusual protein helps a cell bypass damage when making new DNA, thereby averting the cell's self-destruction.

Technique creates metal memory and could lead to vanishing dents
Crumpled kitchen foil that lays flat for reuse. Bent bumpers that straighten overnight.

MIT's ocean model captures diversity of underwater forests
Scientists at MIT have created an ocean model so realistic that the virtual forests of diverse microscopic plants they

All roads lead to GUN1
Scientists have identified three different signals that indicate damage to chloroplasts -- the photosynthetic factories of plant cells that give plants their green color -- but little is known about how the signal gets passed on to the nucleus.

Warm winter also in the Arctic
Central Europe is not the only place where the past, warm winter has caused record temperatures. 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