Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 25, 2007
Weekend labor shortage
Two new studies show that as the number of elective Caesarean sections rises, more babies are born during the week and fewer come into the world at weekends.

YES2 student payload released from Foton-M3
The Second Young Engineers' Satellite was activated and separated from the Foton-M3 spacecraft earlier today.

'Kissing cousins'
Understanding whether inbreeding accounts for early mortality is a long-standing concern in demographic research.

September/October Geological Society of America Bulletin media highlights
Geology topics of interest include: Loma Prieta earthquake aftershocks (1989-1990) reveal the fault zone had the strength of normal crust instead of being abnormally weak; reconstruction of the Chicxulub ejecta plume; and analysis of the Araguainha peak-ring impact crater in central Brazil.

MR spectroscopy identifies breast cancer, reduces biopsies
Proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy used in conjunction with magnetic resonance imaging can aid radiologists in diagnosing breast cancer while reducing the number of false-positive results and invasive biopsies, according to a study focusing on nonmass-enhancing breast lesions.

American Cancer Society report finds breast cancer death rate continues to drop
A report from the American Cancer Society finds the breast cancer death rate in the US continues to drop more than two percent per year, a trend that began in 1990 and is credited to progress in early detection and treatment.

Program for treating depression appears to improve work productivity, be cost-effective
Employees seeking treatment for depression who participated in a program that included a telephone outreach intervention had fewer symptoms, worked more hours and had greater job retention than participants receiving usual care, according to a study in the Sept.

Saltwater crocodiles can find their way home
Three crocodiles relocated from their homes in Far North Queensland have been tracked swimming between 10 and 30 kilometers per day according to a collaborative research project by the University of Queensland, Australia Zoo and Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
The following papers are featured in the upcoming edition of the Journal of Neuroscience:

Clever plants chat over their own network
Recent research from Vidi researcher Josef Stuefer at the Radboud University Nijmegen reveals that plants have their own chat systems that they can use to warn each other.

Molecular profiling can accurately predict survival in colon cancer patients
Researchers in the Netherlands have developed a method of accurately predicting which patients with colon cancer are most likely to have their disease recur after surgery and who would, therefore, be likely to benefit from additional chemotherapy.

Tough enough for Mars, but deinococcus is from Earth
Results of a recent study titled

New chemotherapy regimen prolongs survival in difficult-to-treat childhood brainstem gliomas
Spanish researchers told the European Cancer Conference in Barcelona that they have found that a chemotherapy regimen of irinotecan and cisplatin produced rapid clinical responses in childhood brain stem glioma, and shrank the tumors by more than 20 percent in all six children enrolled in a clinical trial.

Online game helps people recognize Internet scams
Carnegie Mellon University computer scientists have developed an interactive, online game featuring a little fish named Phil that can teach people how to better recognize and avoid email 'phishing' and other Internet scams.

Nosespray vaccine using aloe vera has exciting potential, researcher says
Researchers at Texas A&M University are participating in developing a medicine that is worth sneezing about: a treatment for influenza that forms a jelly when sprayed into the nose.

Sense of taste different in women with anorexia nervosa
Although anorexia nervosa is categorized as an eating disorder, it is not known whether there are alterations of the portions of the brain that regulate appetite.

Cardiologists and heart surgeons meet for 'Controversies and Advances' conference
Stem cell therapy for cardiac regeneration and the controversial issue of medicine and the media will be the focus of the keynote addresses at the seventh annual 'Controversies and Advances in the Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease' conference.

George Mason University professor receives $2.6 million NIH grant to study Alzheimer's disease
George Mason University professor of psychology, Raja Parasuraman, has received a $2.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to conduct research regarding the detection and prevention of Alzheimer's disease.

City birds better than rural species in coping with human disruption
New research shows birds that inhabit urban areas can adapt to a much larger range of conditions than their rural cousins.

Under-used colon cancer screening test is effective
New Kaiser Permanente study in Journal of the National Cancer Institute shows that an under-used fecal occult blood test specific for human blood is a better screening test for colon cancer than the stool screening tests most frequently used -- the unrehydrated guaiac test and the sensitive GT -- because it finds more polyps and cancers.

Chinese takeaway in the Wadden Sea
Shore crabs catch their food at food-rich spots and subsequently eat it elsewhere.

Simulation reveals how body repairs balance after damage
Georgia Tech and Emory researchers have created a computer simulation that sheds new light on how the nervous system reinvents its communication with muscles after sensory loss.

Rehabilitation significantly underused after heart attack and bypass surgery
Despite strong evidence that cardiac rehabilitation reduces disability and prolongs life, fewer than one in five people receive rehabilitation services after a heart attack or coronary bypass surgery, according to a Brandeis study in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Other highlights in the Sept. 25 JNCI
Also in the Sept. 25 JNCI are a study on accuracy in prostate cancer diagnosis, a commentary about redefining cancer stem cells, a review of how the tumor microenvironment plays a role in drug resistance and an alternative phase II trial design.

The eyes can be the portal to a person's health
A study that will use a simple eye test to save the lives and limbs of diabetics is one of seven QUT projects funded in the latest round of National Health and Medical Research Council grants.

'Genes and environment' grant funds close look at nature-nurture overlap in common diseases
Johns Hopkins' McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine is one of two gene-hunting facilities in the nation to win a new $11.7 million four-year federal grant to rigorously sort out how such environmental factors as diet, exercise, stress and addictions interact with people's individual genetic makeup to affect their risk for disorders as wide-ranging as cancer, diabetes, tooth decay and heart disease.

Study shows how the zebrafish gets his stripe
Scientists have discovered how the zebrafish (Danio rerio) develops one of its four stripes.

How adhesive protein causes malaria
Researchers at the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet and the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control have identified the biochemical mechanism behind the adhesive protein that give rise to particularly serious malaria in children.

Breast cancer survivors optimistic, yet lack critical information on reducing recurrence
The majority of breast cancer survivors consider themselves stronger after having the disease, according to new survey results released today.

Breast cancer susceptibility gene predicts outcome and response to treatment in lung cancer
Researchers have found that the breast cancer susceptibility gene, BRCA1, plays a significant role in nonsmall cell lung cancer.

Hormone-driven effects on eating, stress mediated by same brain region
A hormone system linked to reducing food consumption appears to do so by increasing stress-related behaviors, according to a new study.

New book presents successful strategies for probing genetic variation
The first manual specifically geared towards genetic variation studies has just been released by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

NASA finds Greenland snow melting hit record high in high places
A new NASA-supported study reports that 2007 marked an overall rise in the melting trend over the entire Greenland ice sheet and, remarkably, melting in high-altitude areas was greater than ever at 150 percent more than average.

Research warns that human papillomavirus might cause bladder cancer
The study, carried out by the Department of Microbiology of the University of Granada has analyzed 44 articles written by experts on this matter from all around the world.

Radiologists identify early brain marker of Alzheimer's disease
Researchers using functional magnetic resonance imaging have found a new marker which may aid in early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, according to a study published in the October issue of Radiology.

Consumption of omega-3 fatty acids associated with decreased risk of type 1 diabetes
Preliminary research suggests that in children at increased risk for type 1 diabetes, dietary intake of omega-3 fatty acids was associated with a reduced risk of pancreatic islet autoimmunity, which is linked to the development of diabetes, according to an article in the Sept.

Toll charges reduce travel time
A smart introduction of a variable toll charge, with different rates at different departure times, reduces traffic jams.

New animal and plant species found in Vietnam
World Wildlife Fund scientists said today that the discovery of 11 new species of animals and plants in a remote area in central Vietnam underscores the importance of conservation efforts in the ancient tropical forests of the region.

Patients with coronary artery disease appear to have increased prevalence of colorectal tumors
Patients in Hong Kong who were newly diagnosed with coronary artery disease had nearly twice the prevalence of colorectal tumors and cancers, with this association stronger in persons who had smoked or have the metabolic syndrome, according to a study in the Sept.

UC Riverside biologist receives prestigious MacArthur Fellowship
Cheryl Hayashi, a biologist at the University of California, Riverside, and a national expert of the genetic structure of spider silk, has won a $500,000 MacArthur Fellowship, one of the most prestigious awards in the country.

Fluid theory confirmed by Foton
In scientific research, there is great satisfaction when theoretical work is eventually supported by experimentation.

Survey reveals ignorance and confusion about cancer amongst the elderly
Elderly Spaniards have very poor knowledge about cancer, its causes, treatment and prevention according to research carried out amongst people living in and around Barcelona and presented at the European Cancer Conference today.

New use for stem cells found in war on terrorism
For more than a decade, Steve Stice has dedicated his research using embryonic stem cells to improving the lives of people with degenerative diseases and debilitating injuries.

October Geology and GSA Today media highlights
Topics include: discovery of exceptionally preserved soft-bodied biotas in Ontario and Manitoba, Canada; discovery of an arctic lake containing sediments 200,000 years old; dffects of ancient Mayan deforestation and agriculture on soil erosion in northern Guatemala; a new catalog of episodic tremor and slip for the Cascadia subduction zone; and a new model of Sierra Nevada volcanism and uplift.

Tufts University biologists link Huntington's disease to health benefits in young
Hypothesis by Tufts University researchers explain prevalence of the disease by suggesting that people with Huntington's disease are healthier in childbearing years and have more children than general population.

Study expected to boost research for hearing and balance therapies
Despite the compelling need for new treatments, hearing and balance research and development efforts have been hindered by the relative scarcity of inner ear hair cells.

'Making the Case': special double issue of Critical Inquiry
What makes an occurrence an interesting case, a scandalous case, an exemplary event?

Antwerp artist and brilliant market thinker
The successful 16th century artist Joos van Cleve from Antwerp had a good working method and a well-considered marketing plan.

Fruits and veggies not likely linked to colon cancer risk
Eating fruits and vegetables was not strongly associated with decreased colon cancer risk, according to a study published online in the Sept.

A new look at the proton
Dutch researcher Paul van der Nat investigated more than three million collisions between electrons and protons.

Spatial patterns in tropical forests can help to understand their high biodiversity
In a study published in the American Naturalist a German-Sri Lankan research team has now undertaken thousands of spatial pattern analyses to paint an overall picture of the association between tree species in one of these plots in Sri Lanka.

Research at Rice may help explain aspects of synesthesia
A research team led by Rice University psychology professor Tony Ro has published its findings that may help to explain the phenomenon known as synesthesia, in which stimulation of one sensory pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory pathway.

Mobility-enhancing device developed at University of Alberta will receive prestigious da Vinci Award
Over a decade in the making, the WalkAide System is a small device that makes a big difference for its users.

Workplace depression screening and enhanced treatment improves productivity, lowers employer costs
Enhanced and systematic efforts to identify and treat depression in the workplace significantly improves employee health and productivity, likely leading to lower costs overall for the employer, according to a study published Sept.

Researchers set new record for brightness of quantum dots
By placing quantum dots on a specially designed photonic crystal, researchers at the University of Illinois have demonstrated enhanced fluorescence intensity by a factor of up to 108.

Do migratory birds 'see' the magnetic field?
Every year millions of migratory birds fly towards their wintering quarters and come back in next year's spring to breed.

Studies: Children obese due to a host of unhealthy pressures
Unhealthy options and pressures influence nearly every part of children's daily lives, according to studies released this week in a special supplement of the American Journal of Preventative Medicine.

Scientists, policymakers and industry leaders gather to discuss ocean iron fertilization
On Sept. 26-27, scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution will host an international, interdisciplinary conference on the proposed

Stem cells show promise for treating Huntington's disease
Paying close attention to how a canary learns a new song has helped scientists open a new avenue of research against Huntington's disease -- a fatal disorder for which there is currently no cure or even a treatment to slow the disease.

Survival data presented from phase II study of hormone-resistant prostate cancer patients
The results from a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, Phase II study of ZD4054 -- a specific endothelin A receptor antagonist -- were delivered today at the 14th European Congress of Clinical Oncology (ECCO, Sept.

Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies and Consumers Union collaborate on 'ConsumersTalkNano'
Today, the Wilson Center's Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies, in collaboration with Consumers Union -- publishers of Consumer Reports magazine and Consumer Reports Online -- announces a major effort to reach out to the American public and engage them in an important online conversation about the possible risks and benefits of nanotechnology and consumer products.

Scientists spot sneaky 'neurodegenerative' iron at the European synchrotron
Scientists suspect that iron accumulation plays a role in neurodegenerative processes such as Parkinson's disease, but its distribution in neurons has never been observed because of the lack of techniques to do so -- until today.

Poll reveals public awareness of nanotech stuck at low level
National survey findings released today indicate that Americans' awareness of nanotechnology remains low.

Canada's mining sector surging ahead
With the economic performance of Canada's mining industry the strongest in many years, federal, provincial and territorial mines ministers concluded the 64th Annual Mines Ministers' Conference today.

Divorce reduces chance of new, successful relationship
After a separation or divorce the chances of marrying or cohabiting again decrease.

Victims of child maltreatment more likely to perpetrate youth violence, intimate partner violence
Some people are caught in a cycle of violence, perhaps beginning with their own abuse as a child and continuing into perpetration or victimization as an adult.

Male voice pitch predicts reproductive success in hunter-gatherers
According to a new study by researchers with Harvard University, McMaster University and Florida State University, male hunter-gatherers with lower-pitched voices have increased reproductive success, possibly as a result of increased access to mates.

University biologist publishes book on bird speciation
A University of Chicago biologist and world-renowned expert on bird speciation has compiled eight years of research and writing into a recently published book,

New molecular clock from LLNL and CDC indicates smallpox evolved earlier than believed
Smallpox is older than thought, according to results of a new technique reported in the Sept.

Baby booms and birth control in space
Stars in galaxies are a bit similar to people: during the first phase of their existence they grow rapidly, after which a stellar birth control occurs in most galaxies.

Printing in 3-D
It is a simple matter to print an E-book or other document directly from your computer, whether that document is on your hard drive, at a web site or in an email.

US hospitals report infections increasing in frequency and cost
A new review of inpatient data from US hospitals shows that the number of infections caused by a common bacterium increased by over 7 percent each year from 1998 to 2003.

Online game feeds music search engine project at UC San Diego
UC San Diego electrical engineers and computer scientists are working together on a computerized system that will make it easy for people who are not music experts (like the senior author's mom) to find the kind of music they want to listen to -- without knowing the names of artists or songs.

ESA and India tighten relations at IAC 2007
The 58th International Astronautical Congress is taking place this week from Sept.

Phase II study shows HRPC patients with bone metastases see improved survival with ZD4054
New Phase II data presented today suggest that ZD4054, a novel compound in development for the treatment of men with hormone-resistant prostate cancer, could offer a promising improvement in overall survival in men with metastatic HRPC who were asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic for pain.

Immune system modulation can halt liver failure in animals
Massachusetts General Hospital researchers have a developed a totally new approach to treating liver failure -- manipulating the immune response.

PET scans can accurately detect a breast tumor's response to chemotherapy
Researchers in Australia have shown that positron emission tomography that uses a radioactive sugar molecule is more useful than mammography and ultrasound in predicting a breast tumor's response to chemotherapy and, therefore, the patient's ultimate likelihood of survival.

Possible replacement found for common colorectal cancer test
A new version of a colon cancer screening test effectively detects colorectal cancer and may be a good replacement for the test that is currently used, according to a study in the Sept.

Mutation of the COX2 gene can double or treble a woman's risk of ovarian cancer
Researchers in Portugal have discovered that a specific mutation of the COX2 gene seems to play a role in the onset of ovarian cancer, increasing women's susceptibility to developing the disease. 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