Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 16, 2007
Participation by physicians in the voting process is unimpressive
With healthcare issues returning to the forefront of public attention, physicians might be expected to participate in elections at a relatively high rate.

Science academies issue statements on energy efficiency, innovation
The US National Academy of Sciences joined 12 other national science academies today in calling on world leaders -- particularly G8 leaders who will meet in June -- to address global climate change and energy-access issues by promoting low carbon-emission energy systems and more efficient use of energy.

New study examines 'brain's own marijuana'
A researcher at the University at Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions is investigating the

Clinical trial data for Perforomist Inhalation Solution to be presented at ATS on May 20, 2007
Clinical trial data for Perforomist Inhalation Solution will be presented at ATS on May 20, 2007.

Will the healthcare workers go to work during disasters?
When disaster strikes, getting care to the victims is at the top of everyone's attention.

A giant leap for space activities in Europe: Ministers to adopt European Space Policy in Brussels
Ministers in charge of space activities in ESA's Member States and those responsible for the internal market, industry and research in the European Union's Competitiveness Council, are meeting in Brussels on Tuesday, May 22 to adopt the European Space Policy.

Cracks on Enceladus open and close under Saturn's pull
Cracks in the icy surface of Saturn's moon Enceladus open and close daily under the pull of Saturn's gravity, according to new calculations by NASA-sponsored researchers.

New technique for 'weighing' black holes
ESA's XMM-Newton has helped to find evidence for the existence of controversial Intermediate Mass Black Holes.

Scientists discover new life in the Antarctic deep sea
Scientists have found hundreds of new marine creatures in the vast, dark deep-sea surrounding Antarctica.

Investigating coral reefs to help understand past and future climate change
Increasing Earth temperatures and rising sea levels. Both of these are effects of climate change.

The quest for an effective HIV vaccine presents new possibilities, challenges
A vaccine that prevents HIV infection remains an important goal in the fight against AIDS, but the current top HIV vaccine candidates may not work in this way, say scientists at NIAID.

Soy estrogens and breast cancer: Researcher offers overview
Are soy products healthy additions to a person's diet, safe alternatives to hormone-replacement therapy or cancer-causing agents?

Better health twice as likely for nonsmokers who live and work with smoking restrictions
In the first study of its kind to evaluate how smoking restrictions in the workplace and at home affect health status, researchers at the Mailman School of Public Health found that nonsmokers who live under both a total household and total workplace smoking ban are over two and a half times more likely to report better health than those without smoking bans.

Working with Inuit community is part of scientific expedition
When Elizabeth Thomas, a graduate student at the University at Buffalo, travels this month to Baffin Island in the northeast Canadian Arctic, she not only will be sampling sediments from the bottom of frozen lakes, she also will be educating a native Inuit class about global warming, taking local schoolchildren on a sediment-coring field trip and may participate in a call-in radio show with translators that will be broadcast in Inuktitut, the local language.

EPA and nanotechnology: Oversight for the 21st century
A new report by J. Clarence (Terry) Davies,

Scientists discover cost-effective ways to improve crop output in Uganda
A team of American and Ugandan researchers worked with local farmers to test low-cost soil management alternatives in eastern Uganda.

Africa's doctors' access assessed
Problems with passwords, electricity power outages and meddling librarians often come between African postgraduate doctors and free online journal articles.

New breakthrough treatment for spinal cancer patients at Mount Sinai
The Mount Sinai Medical Center is the only hospital in New York City using the Novalis Shaped Beam Surgery System on spinal cancer.

New book provides unprecedented look at role of religion over a lifetime
A new book by University of New Hampshire Professor Michele Dillon provides an unprecedented portrait of the dynamic role religion plays in the everyday experiences of Americans over the course of their lifetime.

Exposure to mercury preservatives before birth is no higher in children with autism
The increase in the number of diagnosed cases of autism in recent years has sparked concern that environmental toxins may cause this complex disorder.

Testing the taser on human subjects -- preliminary physiological measurements
There has been some controversy regarding the use of the Taser in controlling subjects in police custody, including reports of deaths.

Next generation of Latino drug abuse experts at UH to learn, teach
National experts on drug abuse in the Latino community will be at the University of Houston for a weeklong conference to address current issues and research, and guide new scholars as they study the problem.

US soldiers in Iraq fighting drug-resistant bacteria after injuries
US soldiers in Iraq do not carry the bacteria responsible for difficult-to-treat wound infections found in military hospitals treating soldiers wounded in Iraq, according to an article to be published electronically on Wednesday, May 16, 2007, in Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology.

The Institute of Ecosystem Studies recognized by the Wildlife Society
The Wildlife Society recently presented the Institute of Ecosystem Studies with a Certificate of Recognition for its Deer Management Program.

Growing nerve cells in 3-D dramatically affects gene expression
Nerve cells grown in three-dimensional environments deploy hundreds of different genes compared with cells grown in standard two-dimensional petri dishes, according to a new Brown University study.

NASA scientists pioneer technique for 'weighing' black holes
Two astrophysicists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., Nikolai Shaposhnikov and Lev Titarchuk, have successfully tested a new method for determining the masses of black holes.

Frictional heating explains plumes on Enceladus
Rubbing your hands together on a cold day generates a bit of heat, and the same process of frictional heating may be what powers the geysers jetting out from the surface of Saturn's moon Enceladus, according to a new study.

Female auto crash rates increase alarmingly; airbags can be dangerous for tall and small people
Automobile crashes remain the leading cause of death for adolescents and young females are beginning to show an alarming increase in fatal automobile crashes related to alcohol use and a failure to use seatbelts.

Herpes infection may be symbiotic, help beat back some bacteria
Mice with chronic herpes virus infections can better resist the bacterium that causes plague and a bacterium that causes one kind of food poisoning, researchers report in this week's Nature.

Permanent ice fields are resisting global warming
The small ice caps of Mont Blanc and the Dôme du Goûter are not melting, or at least, not yet.

Animal study leading to new treatments for hemorrhagic shock and uncontrolled abdominal hemorrhage
Blood loss due to severe internal injuries requires rapid action to prevent mortality.

From the deep -- Researchers find new species of sea anemone
Researchers cruising for creatures that live in the deepest parts of the Pacific Ocean found a new species of sea anemone living in the unlikeliest of habitats -- the carcass of a dead whale.

American College of Physicians commends introduction of Bipartisan Health CARE Act
The American College of Physicians this morning commended Marcy Kaptur and Steven C.

ScienceDirect development partners
In June 2006 ScienceDirect launched its new Development Partner program.

Aspirin use during pregnancy could reduce risk of pre-eclampsia
Women who receive aspirin or other antiplatelet drugs during pregnancy are at lower risk of pre-eclampsia, conclude authors of a study published early online and in an upcoming edition of the Lancet.

Inexpensive 'nanoglue' can bond nearly anything together
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a new method to bond materials that don't normally stick together.

Fingerprint instead of blood sample
British scientists working with David A. Russell made it possible to use fingerprints to reveal drug and doping transgressions and to diagnose diseases, as they write in the research journal Angewandte Chemie.

UC Irvine researchers reveal first images of brain changes associated with memory
University of California, Irvine researchers have developed the first images of the physical changes in brain cells thought to underlie memory, a discovery that is already uncovering clues about memory loss linked to cognitive disorders.

Violent sleep disorder linked to a form of dementia
Mayo Clinic researchers and a group of international collaborators have discovered a correlation between an extreme form of sleep disorder and eventual onset of parkinsonism or dementia.

Hives ferment a yeasty brew, attract beetle pest
The honeybee's alarm signal may not only bring help, but also attract the small hive beetle.

Iowa State scientists demonstrate first use of nanotechnology to enter plant cells
A team of Iowa State plant scientists and materials chemists are the first to use nanotechnology to penetrate plant cell walls and simultaneously deliver a gene and a chemical that triggers its expression with controlled precision.

Elsevier launches the Clinics on ScienceDirect
Elsevier has announced the addition of 56 prestigious titles from the Clinics to its premier electronic platform, ScienceDirect.

Nutrition and heredity are genetically linked
A challenging goal in biology is to understand how principal cellular functions are integrated so that cells achieve viability and optimal fitness under a wide range of nutritional conditions.

Exposure to mercury preservatives before birth is no higher in children with autism
The increase in the number of diagnosed cases of autism in recent years has sparked concern that environmental toxins may cause this complex disorder.

Study of unexplained respiratory infections leads researchers to new virus
An ongoing effort to identify the microorganisms that make us sick has discovered a new virus potentially linked to unexplained respiratory infections.

New study: Pycnogenol reduces heart failure
A study to be published in an upcoming edition of the journal of Cardiovascular Toxicology reveals Pycnogenol natural pine bark extract from the French maritime pine tree, helps prevent damage that high blood pressure causes to the heart.

To what extent are emergency departments being used for primary care?
There is some belief that emergency departments (ED) are being used for nonemergency medical care.

Hexavalent chromium in drinking water causes cancer in lab animals
Researchers announced today that there is strong evidence a chemical referred to as hexavalent chromium, or chromium 6, causes cancer in laboratory animals when it is consumed in drinking water.

Protocol for treatment of sepsis can reduce hospital deaths
More than 215,000 people will die of sepsis in the United States each year, more than 750,000 will require hospital treatment, and the costs will be nearly $17 billion.

How will responders respond?
Hospital staffing is key in disaster planning, especially within the emergency department.

Infants with bronchiolitis may benefit more from albuterol
Bronchiolitis, a wheezing much like asthma in adults, is responsible for many hospital admissions of infants.

Ottawa aggressive protocol for acute atrial fibrillation is successful
There is no consensus on emergency department (ED) management of acute atrial fibrillation (AAF) or atrial flutter (AAFL).

Award-winning staffer honored by peers
After 18 years in research administration, an associate director of the Texas Center for Superconductivity at the University of Houston can now add

Decorated professor adds Farfel Award to his long list of honors
One of the most decorated scholars in his field, Fazle Hussain, mechanical engineering professor at the University of Houston, now adds the 2007 Esther Farfel Award to his list of accomplishments.

Cow protein aids in treatment of gastrointestinal disorder
Recent evidence suggests that therapy currently used to treat Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection, a major cause of upper gastrointestinal disorders, is unsuccessful in around 25 percent of cases.

Newly identified mechanism for silencing genes points to possible anti-cancer strategies
Scientists are only beginning to appreciate the extraordinary degree of control exercised over every step of the gene-to-protein production process.

Media events planned for 2007 American Society of Gene Therapy meeting, May 30-June 3
The American Society of Gene Therapy invites members of the press to a media-only event designed to highlight some of the latest and most promising developments in gene therapy products and related technologies.

Journal details how global warming will affect the world's fisheries
Watching the ebb and flow of populations of fisheries around the world can provide some insight into understanding the effects of global warming on our planet, according to a group of researchers writing in the summer 2007 issue of Natural Resource Modeling.

ACE inhibitors help preserve kidney function in IgA nephropathy
For young patients with the kidney disease IgA nephropathy, early treatment with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors can reduce the long-term risk of irreversible kidney damage, suggests a study in the June Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Decoding protein structures helps illuminate cause of diabetes
Now, chemists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have designed a powerful analytical tool capable of measuring molecular structures quickly and accurately enough to catch moving proteins in mid-fold and see the shapes of intermediate steps.

Routine HIV screening in the ED is cost effective and well liked by patients
Using new and highly publicized CDC guidelines for HIV screening, a university-based Emergency Department implemented opt-out screening in Washington, D.C., where HIV infection rates are known to be high.

First demonstration of new hair follicle generation in an animal model
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have found that hair follicles in adult mice regenerate by re-awakening genes once active only in developing embryos.

Implanting dopamine generators in brain cells obtains improvement in Parkinson's in monkeys
Implanting dopamine generators -- dopaminergics -- in brain cells has produced improvement in the symptoms in Parkinson's, according to the results of tests carried out with monkeys by the Navarra University Hospital, led by Dr.

Smoking and sleep top the list of lifestyle factors impacting oral health
There are many lifestyle factors that can impact a person's health, such as nutrition, amount of sleep, mental stress, tobacco use and exercise.

Effect on breast tumors of DNA alternations in 3 genes described
Cancer epidemiologists at the University at Buffalo have identified specific genes that are most likely to become cancer promoters when exposed to a process called DNA promoter hypermethylation.

Scientists seek useful traits in wild cottons
If you have Mom's smile, Dad's eyes and Grandpa's laugh, you might wonder what other traits you picked up from the genealogic fabric of the ol' family tree.

Hubble sees dark matter ring in a galaxy cluster
A team of astronomers used the Hubble Space Telescope to find the best evidence yet for the existence of dark matter, present in the form of a ghostly ring in a galaxy cluster.

Mechanism of microRNAs deciphered
Researchers from the European Molecular Biology Laboratory have developed a new method that uncovered the mode of action of microRNAs in a test tube.

IMS updated recommendations on postmenopausal hormone therapy
The Updated Recommendations express the views of the International Menopause Society on the principles of hormone therapy in the peri- and postmenopausal periods.

Ruling out pulmonary embolism with a simple bedside protocol
Although pulmonary embolisms (PE) are the second-leading cause of sudden death in the US, blood tests and ultrafast CT scanning to detect PE are being used on so many patients that over 90 percent of these tests are negative.

Clinical guidelines for blood conservation during cardiac procedures developed
A team of medical experts led by a Virginia Commonwealth University anesthesiologist and a thoracic surgeon from the University of Kentucky has established a set of clinical guidelines to help physicians decrease the need for blood transfusions in high-risk patients during cardiac operations.

DNA analysis suggests under-reported kills of threatened whales
A new study analyzing whale meat sold in Korean markets suggests the number of whales being sold for human consumption in the Asian country is much higher than that being reported to the International Whaling Commission -- putting threatened populations of coastal minke whales further at risk.

Pediatric cancer stem cell identified: understanding the origin of ERMS
As published in the June 1 issue of Genes & Development, Dr.

There's much more to a walk in the park
Researchers at the University of Sheffield have found that parks rich in species are not only beneficial for the environment but also for people's general well-being.

From ink to optics, study of particle mixtures yields fundamental insights
Since the invention of ink over 3,000 years ago, people have exploited the unique properties of colloids, in which particles of one substance are suspended in another.

Post-traumatic stress disorder 10 times higher in New Orleans than in the general public
Hurricane Katrina was the most significant natural disaster to strike the United States.

Rare soft-shell turtle, nesting ground found in Cambodia
One of the world's largest and least studied freshwater turtles has been found in Cambodia's Mekong River, raising hopes that the threatened species can be saved from extinction.

Asthma study shows patients have more options to control disease
People with mild asthma that is well-controlled with twice-daily use of inhaled steroids may be able to reduce inhaler use to once a day -- or switch to a daily pill -- according to new research conducted at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and 20 other centers.

Some children are born with 'temporary deafness' and do not require cochlear implant
Clinical research conducted in the Department of Communication Disorders at the University of Haifa revealed that some children who are born deaf

Islam book project funded by Carnegie Fellowship
Binghamton University political scientist Ricardo René Larémont will receive $100,000 to support his next book project through a prestigious and competitive fellowship program offered by the Carnegie Corp. of New York.

Huge waves that hit Reunion Island tracked from space
The origin and movement of waves reaching up to 11 meters that devastated France's Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean on Saturday evening have been detected with ESA's Envisat satellite.

Media invited to attend 7th International Conference on Bipolar Disorder June 7-9
More than 1,000 researchers, clinicians and mental health advocates are expected to attend the Seventh International Conference on Bipolar Disorder, June 7-9 at the David L.

Salmon tracking program expands to California
A successful pilot program launched last year that used genetics to determine the river origin of Chinook salmon caught off Oregon's central coast will begin its second season this month and expand to the entire coast off Oregon as well as to northern California waters.

AGU Journal Highlights -- May 16, 2007
In this issue: Three Gorges Dam shrinks Yangtze delta, New exam yields healthier prognosis for Arctic permafrost, Mapping flood waves from space, Imaging Earth's deep mantle near the core-mantle boundary, CloudSat satellite tracks tropical clouds and rain, El Nino plays with tropical instability waves, and Improving land-surface model hydrology.

Conservation group and energy company partner to inspire environmental protection
Conservation International (CI) and BG Group, plc (NYSE: BRG), a global, integrated natural gas company, will kick off their three-year Conservation through Photography Alliance in downtown Houston with the premier of a photography exhibition entitled A Future for Life.

Canada reaffirms commitment to clean energy technologies at international meeting
At the International Energy Agency Ministerial meeting, the Honorable Gary Lunn, minister of Natural Resources, committed to continued partnerships to achieve a clean, secure, global energy supply. 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