Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 26, 2007
Cave records provide clues to climate change
Using stalagmites found in two different caves in Borneo, Georgia Tech researchers found that the tropical Pacific may play a much more active role in historic climate change events than was previously thought.

Study finds post-traumatic stress symptoms in adolescent children of cancer patients
A new study by Dutch researchers has found that adolescents may suffer from severe symptoms of post-traumatic stress when a parent is recently diagnosed with cancer and that parents tend to underestimate the problems.

World leaders need to remain alert to latest scientific thought on climate change
A new Institute of Physics' report,

New Delft material concept for aircraft wings could save billions
Building aircraft wings with a special aluminium fiber combination makes them nearly immune to metal fatigue.

New drug makes weight loss safer
Dr. Nir Barak of TAU has adapted a well-known drug used to treat vertigo for a new purpose: to treat obesity without dangerous side effects.

Nickerson leads on Stevens-Columbia NSF software grant
The National Science Foundation has awarded Stevens Institute of Technology and Columbia University a research grant, titled 'Externalizing Thought: Improving the design of software through diagrams.'

C-diff infection 4 times more likely to kill patients with inflammatory bowel disease
Clostridium difficile infection is four times more likely to kill patients with inflammatory bowel disease, suggests research published ahead of print in the journal Gut.

North America's northernmost lake affected by global warming
Analyses conducted by researchers from Université Laval's Center for Northern Studies reveal that the continent's northernmost lake is affected by climate change.

Program provides blueprint for recruiting minorities to science and engineering
The Model Institutions for Excellence Program funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration has developed a body of work over the past 11 years demonstrating successful strategies for recruiting under-represented minority students to science and engineering fields and supporting their successful completion of science degrees.

Impact of Arctic heat wave stuns climate change researchers
Unprecedented warm temperatures in the High Arctic this past summer were so extreme that researchers with a Queen's-led climate change project have begun revising their forecasts.

Researchers double cell phone memory through software alone
Computer engineers at Northwestern University and NEC Laboratories America, Inc.

Thriving hybrid salamanders contradict common wisdom
A new UC Davis study not only has important findings for the future of California tiger salamanders, but also contradicts prevailing scientific thought about what happens when animal species interbreed.

Conference on sustainable transportation is Oct. 29-31
The UC Davis Institute of Transportation Studies will co-sponsor the transportation conference

New keys to keeping a diverse planet
Human activities are eliminating biological diversity at an unprecedented rate.

Mustafa al'Absi Ph.D. and national team awarded major NIH grant
Mustafa al'Absi, Ph.D., and a team of national collaborators have received a four-year grant of $1.6 million from the National Institutes of Health for their research,

Doctor-aided suicide: no slippery slope
Contrary to arguments by critics, a University of Utah-led study found that legalizing physician-assisted suicide in Oregon and the Netherlands did not result in a disproportionate number of deaths among the elderly, poor, women, minorities, uninsured, minors, chronically ill, less educated or psychiatric patients.

Top 10 social skills students need to succeed
Reading, writing, 'rithmetic and... good manners? Researchers have found that 10 basic social skills such as taking turns, listening and simply being nice are just as important to children's academic success as the subjects they study, and that students can and should be learning these skills in the classroom.

'Jumping genes' could make for safer gene delivery system
To move a gene from point A to point B, scientists and gene therapists have two proven options: a virus, which can effectively ferry genes of interest into cells, and a plasmid, an engineered loop of DNA that can do the same thing, albeit usually only on a short-term basis.

Grub's passion for plastic causes water loss
Research by the NSW Department of Primary Industries has found that a small white grub is responsible for water leaking from sub-surface drip irrigation pipes used by some lucerne growers.

Capsule endoscopy diagnoses more Crohn's disease recurrence after surgery than colonoscopy
Research from La Fe University Hospital in Valencia, Spain shows that capsule endoscopy diagnoses more Crohn's disease recurrence after surgery than colonoscopy.

Does the victim affect snake venom composition?
A snake's intended prey might affect the type and evolution of toxins in their venom, research published in the online open access journal BMC Evolutionary Biology shows.

Energy ministers' conference: collaborating on Canada's energy future
New pledges to increase inter-governmental cooperation in advancing regulatory efficiency, collaborate on the development of new energy technologies and improve energy efficiency highlighted the annual meeting of Canada's Council of Energy Ministers today.

10 Einstein faculty to receive honors at special academic convocation
Ten faculty members at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University will be honored at a special academic convocation on Tuesday, Oct.

Team demos safety of RNA therapy
Researchers from MIT, Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and other institutions have demonstrated the safety of a promising type of genetic therapy that could lead to treatments for a wide range of diseases such as cancer.

Enzyme's second messenger contributes to cell overgrowth
Scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have uncovered a novel pathway by which hormones elevated in inflammation, cancer and cell injury act on cells to stimulate their growth.

No evidence physician-assisted death leads to 'slippery slope'
There is no evidence that legalised physician assisted suicide, results in disproportionate numbers of vulnerable people having their lives ended prematurely by doctors, finds research in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

Experimental drug shows promise in advanced kidney cancer
A new drug has shown promise in patients with advanced kidney cancer whose options run out after their tumor fails to respond to the cutting edge therapy.

Alcohol and cancer: is drinking the new smoking?
Researchers at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health have clarified the link between alcohol consumption and the risk of head and neck cancers, showing that people who stop drinking can significantly reduce their cancer risk.

Got stress? It could impact breast cancer recurrence
Women diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer who have also endured previous traumatic or stressful events see their cancer recur nearly twice as fast as other women, according to a report by a University of Rochester Medical Center scientist.

NIH/NCI renews and extends nationwide license for Genomatix software and databases
Genomatix Software Inc., the newly incorporated subsidiary of Genomatix Software GmbH, has announced that it has renewed and extended its software licensing agreement with the NCI/NIH for the fourth consecutive year.

Glycemic index values are variable, report researchers
Researchers from Tufts University reported that multiple glycemic index value determinations using a simple test food, white bread, resulted in a relatively high level of inter-individual and intra-individual variability.

Yale scientists make 2 giant steps in advancement of quantum computing
Two major steps toward putting quantum computers into real practice -- sending a photon signal on demand from a qubit onto wires and transmitting the signal to a second, distant qubit -- have been brought about by a team of scientists at Yale.

$22 million gift from Alfred Taubman launches new biomedical research institute
A new and extraordinary $22 million gift from A. Alfred Taubman to the University of Michigan is making possible a new institute, with a mission of supporting fundamental research to advance the understanding of the causes, treatment and prevention of a broad range of human diseases.

Mice teeth explain the troubles with human wisdom teeth
The scientists of the Institute of Biotechnology at the University of Helsinki have found out that mice teeth can explain human troubles with the wisdom teeth.

UT Southwestern researchers identify antibodies linked to kidney transplant rejection
UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers, collaborating with colleagues in Germany, have for the first time identified antibodies associated with transplant rejection of otherwise healthy kidneys.

Nanobiosym awarded $2 million DTRA contract
Nanobiosym Inc., announced today that it has been awarded a highly competitive $2 million contract from the US Defense Threat Reduction Agency, a branch of the US Department of Defense.

Doping technique brings nanomechanical devices into the semiconductor world
With the help of a device capable of depositing metals an atom at a time in the materials used in computer chips, a team of University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers has successfully blended modern semiconductor technology and nanomachines.

Versatile engineer and cultivator of innovation to receive honors
During its 2007 annual meeting, the National Academy of Engineering will present two awards for extraordinary achievement.

Carnegie Mellon system makes any digital camera take multibillion-pixel shots
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon and NASA have built a low-cost robotic device that enables any digital camera to produce breathtaking gigapixel panoramas called GigaPans.

New type of drug shows promise in attacking melanoma in an innovative way
An experimental drug that attacks cancer in an entirely new way has shown promise in treating advanced melanoma, delaying progression of the disease and prolonging the lives of patients.

Emphasizing the 'precision' in precision agriculture
Australian researchers report in Agronomy Journal that they developed a simplified protocol for growers to convert complex yield and soil data into pertinent information.

Discovery supports theory of Alzheimer's disease as form of diabetes
Insulin may be as important for the mind as it is for the body.

Black Caribbeans do better in America than in England
Black Caribbeans living in America enjoy better health, higher incomes and less discrimination at work than both their English counterparts and black Americans, according to the first international comparative study of these populations.

Model for the assembly of advanced, single-molecule-based electronic components developed at Pitt
A template for creating one-molecule wide wires for crafting molecular level organic semiconductors is published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Plants can be used to study how and why people respond differently to drugs
While prescription medications work successfully to cure an ailment in some people, in others the same dose of the same drug can cause an adverse reaction or no response at all.

Using catalysts to stamp nanopatterns without ink
Using enzymes from E. coli bacteria, Duke University chemists and engineers have introduced a hundred-fold improvement in the precision of features imprinted to create microdevices such as labs-on-a-chip.

Engineered eggshells to help make hydrogen fuel
Engineers at Ohio State University have found a way to turn discarded chicken eggshells into an alternative energy resource.

Stevens wins Excellence in Technology Education Award
Stevens Institute of Technology has been selected by the New Jersey Technology Council to receive its 2007 Excellence in Technology Education Award, in recognition of the Institute's consistent success in defining the role of the modern technological university.

Safety measures for Grand Prix racing drivers haven't worked
Most of the measures introduced over the past decade to boost the safety of Grand Prix motor racing have not cut death rates or curbed speed, as intended, suggests an analysis published ahead of print in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Digital cable goes quantum
Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have transferred information between two

Studies suggest key correlation between lung cancer subtype and treatment outcomes
In clinical research, patients with advanced nonsmall cell lung cancer that are classified as having a nonsquamous histology achieve statistically significant higher survival when treated in the second-line setting with ALIMTA (pemetrexed for injection) when compared to histologically similar patients treated with docetaxel.

Life-giving rocks from a depth of 250 km
If our planet did not have the ability to store oxygen in the deep reaches of its mantle there would probably be no life on its surface.

Married esophageal cancer patients fare worse in some quality of life aspects than single patients
In a surprising finding, American scientists have found that when battling esophageal cancer, married patients don't fare as well as their single counterparts in certain aspects of their quality of life.

Acupuncture does not reduce radiotherapy-induced nausea, but patients believe it does
Despite widespread belief among cancer patients and health care professionals that acupuncture helps relieve nausea caused by cancer treatment, new research in radiotherapy has found it does not.

Study on joint attention has implications for understanding autism
A hallmark of human nature is the ability to share information and to comprehend the thoughts and intentions of others.

Possible safer target for anti-clotting drugs found
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine have identified a new molecular target in the process of blood clot formation, which seems to reduce clotting without excessive bleeding, the common side-effect of anti-clotting agents.

Study makes progress in zoning in on biomarkers for better colon cancer treatment
New research presented at the European Cancer Conference has yielded a clearer picture of which biomarkers could help doctors more precisely target the treatment of colon cancer, bringing closer the day when patients who will not benefit from chemotherapy are spared it, while those that will, get the more aggressive treatment they need.

MicroRNA convicted of triggering metastasis
While past studies have shown that some microRNAs cause normal cells to divide rapidly and form tumors, this one offers proof that a microRNA can also cause tumors to metastasize.

Sodium loses its luster: A liquid metal that's not really metallic
When melting sodium at high pressures, the material goes through a transition in which its electrical conductivity drops threefold.

Study shows autism symptoms can improve into adulthood
Hallmarks of autism are characteristic behaviors -- repetitive motions, problems interacting with others, impaired communication abilities -- that occur in widely different combinations and degrees of severity among those who have the condition.

Helping older people use technology can save lives
Making technology easier to use for older people is the focus of a Queensland University of Technology research team which has attracted $280,000 in funding in the latest round of the Australian Research Council's Discovery Projects scheme.

Less invasive lymph node biopsy method could spare thousands unnecessary operations
Using an ultrasound-guided fine needle to biopsy lymph nodes could spare thousands of melanoma patients every year worldwide from having to undergo unnecessary and sometimes unpleasant surgery to verify whether their cancer has spread, new research indicates.

Study probes the legalities of cyber-bullying
A research team led by Queensland University of Technology wants to help stop today's school cyber bullies from becoming tomorrow's boardroom bullies.

'Re-plumbing' liver helps beat cancer
A procedure that temporarily diverts blood leaving the liver during chemotherapy could prolong the lives of people with primary or secondary tumors.

Mixing large doses of both acetaminophen painkiller and caffeine may increase risk of liver damage
Consuming large amounts of caffeine while taking acetaminophen, a widely used painkiller, could potentially cause liver damage, according to a preliminary laboratory study.

Smithsonian scientists working to save microscopic threatened species
The Smithsonian's National Zoo recently acquired 12,000 new animals -- microscopic Elkhorn coral larvae harvested by National Zoo scientists in Puerto Rico -- as part of an international collaborative program to raise the threatened species.

Staying sharp in Washington, D.C.
Brain health needs of aging African-Americans and Hispanics will be the focus of a Staying Sharp session on Oct.

Why quitting may be good for you
Are there times when it is better to simply give up?

Researchers discover forests of endangered tropical kelp
A research team led by San Jose State University and the University of California, Santa Barbara has discovered forests of a species of kelp previously thought endangered or extinct in deep waters near the Galapagos Islands.

New approach to improving diarrhea in infants with probiotics
Each year more than half a million infants worldwide, primarily in developing countries, die from diarrhea caused by rotavirus. 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