Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 03, 2007
Brain's 'social enforcer' centers identified
Researchers have identified brain structures that process the threat of punishment for violating social norms.

A nation divided over health care? Not so fast
According to results of the American College of Surgeons' new

Mathematicians defy gravity
Mathematicians at the University of Bristol, UK, have shown that small drops can defy gravity and travel up hill -- even on an incline as steep as 85 degrees -- if the surface vibrates up and down sufficiently strongly.

Researchers: No faking it, crocodile tears are real
When someone feigns sadness they 'cry crocodile tears,' a phrase that comes from an old myth that the animals cry while eating.

EGEE hits 100,000 jobs per day and counting
Enabling Grids for E-sciencE announced today at the EGEE'07 conference in Budapest that they have successfully managed unprecedented computing workloads over the summer months of July, August and September.

UCSB's Dean Matt Tirrell wins William H. Walker Award from AIChE
Matthew Tirrell, dean of the College of Engineering and the Richard A.

Toothy dinosaur newest to come out of southern Utah
The newest dinosaur species to emerge from Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument had some serious bite, according to researchers from the Utah Museum of Natural History at the University of Utah.

Jamestown awarded National Historic Chemical Landmark designation
The origins of the American chemical enterprise will be designated the 60th National Historic Chemical Landmark in a special ceremony on Oct.

Researchers develop targeted approach to pain management
Scientists have combined a normally inactive lidocaine derivative with capsaicin, the 'heat'-generating ingredient in chili peppers, to produce pain-specific local anesthesia.

Battling virus disease of watermelon with bottlegourds
Two scientists with the Agricultural Research Service, which is the chief intramural scientific research agency of the US Department of Agriculture, are screening bottlegourds for genetic resistance to ZYMV.

New York City's infant mortality rate declined in 2006
New York City's infant mortality rate -- widely regarded as a barometer of a population's general health -- fell slightly in 2006.

Advances in physics recognized by 2008 IOP Awards
The Institute of Physics' 2008 awards have today, Wednesday, Oct.

Cell skeleton may hold key to overcoming drug resistance in cancer
Researchers have uncovered a new way in which a cell protein protects cancer cells from a wide range of chemotherapeutic drugs, identifying a possible target for improving treatment outcomes for patients.

Hartford Foundation awards grant to address geriatric social work shortage
The Gerontological Society of America has received a five year, $5 million renewal grant from the John A.

New volume chronicles recent insights into Earth's interior
A new volume published by the Geological Society of America focuses on techniques that have opened new windows of observation into Earth processes.

Treatment blocks pain without disrupting other functions
A combination of two drugs can selectively block pain-sensing neurons in rats without impairing movement or other sensations such as touch, according to a new study by National Institutes of Health-supported investigators.

Columbia to award 2007 Horwitz Prize to three generations of teacher-student scientists
Columbia University will award the 2007 Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize to Joseph G.

How do patients choose the best treatment for their disease?
The diagnosis has come in, and it's not good. Worse, the patient has to choose from treatment options that are sometimes contradictory and risky.

Malaria product portfolio would benefit from greater cohesion amongst stakeholders
Malaria drug and vaccine research is booming. According to a report launched today in the UK by Australian researchers at the George Institute for International Health, 16 new malaria vaccine candidates are now in clinical trials; six new malaria drugs are about to reach the market; and by 2011 we will have up to 12 new antimalarial drug product registered.

Linking 2 molecular pieces of the Alzheimer's puzzle
Researchers have uncovered a biological link between the protein whose mutation causes early-onset Alzheimer's disease and a gene variant linked to late-onset AD.

Nature leads the way for the next generation of paints, cosmetics and holograms
A plant-like micro-organism mostly found in oceans could make the manufacture of products, from iridescent cosmetics, paints and fabrics to credit card holograms, cheaper and

$1.4M grant to fund FSU autism research
Estimates indicate that 1 out of 150 children will be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, but most will not be diagnosed until they are almost ready to start kindergarten.

Free shopping in a virtual bazaar of gene regulation data
An international team has opened a virtual bazaar, called PAZAR, which allows biologists to share information about gene regulation through individually managed 'boutiques' (data collections).

Research points towards early cancer detection
Scientists at Cardiff University School of Medicine have achieved greater understanding of telomeres -- small DNA structures which have a role in the onset of cancer.

Gene-chip studies provide new leads in treating lung disease of premature newborns
Some 20 to 40 percent of extremely premature infants suffer abnormal lung development leading to bronchopulmonary dysplasia, a chronic lung disease that can cause long-term breathing problems.

Clemson physicist addresses international forum on thermoelectric energy
Energy lost from hot engines could save billions of dollars if it could be captured and converted into electricity via thermoelectric devices, Clemson University physicist Terry Tritt told scientists gathered in Dallas for the world-renowned NanoTX '07 conference.

Cilia: small organelles, big decisions
Johns Hopkins researchers say they have figured out how human and all animal cells tune in to a key signal, one that literally transmits the instructions that shape their final bodies.

Naturally-occurring apple compounds reduce risk of pancreatic cancer
Eating flavonol-rich foods like apples may help reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer, especially in smokers.

Earlier detection of cervical cancer through HPV DNA testing could permit longer screening interval
Using human papillomavirus DNA testing detects the lesions which lead to cervical cancer earlier than do conventional cytological techniques.

Umbilical cord gene expression signals premature babies' lung disease risk
Diagnosing a risk of fatal lung disorders may be possible by analyzing the umbilical cords of premature babies, according to research published in the online open access journal Genome Biology.

USC granted $8.4 million for autism research
A multi-institution team led by USC faculty has received a five-year, $8.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health for an ambitious effort to survey the genetic, physical and behavioral profiles of children with autism.

Computer science researchers explore virtualization potential for high-end computing
Virginia Tech researchers are developing a new framework for customizing the system software environment that hosts the execution of parallel applications, on emerging supercomputers built from multicore processors.

American College of Physicians recommends flu vaccination for health-care workers
The American College of Physicians recommends that an annual influenza vaccine should be required for every health-care worker with direct patient care activities.

Study reveals that immigrant teenagers eat better than Spanish teenagers
The study, carried out at the University of Granada, shows that immigrant teenagers eat much more fruit, vegetables, cereals and juice than Spanish teenagers.

APL astronomer spies conditions 'just right' for building an Earth
An Earth-like planet is likely forming 424 light-years away in a star system called HD 113766, say astronomers using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

Differing attitudes found between women and doctors concerning menstrual suppression
More than the two thirds of the women in a national survey say that they are interested in suppressing their menstrual periods but many of them aren't sure if it's safe.

Combination vaccines okay for infants, study shows
Good news for new parents -- a University of Rochester recently published in the Journal of Pediatrics shows that no efficacy or safety is compromised when clinicians administer a new combination vaccine that streamlines the newborn immunization schedule.

UC San Diego physicists tackle knotty puzzle
Electrical cables, garden hoses and strands of holiday lights seem to get themselves hopelessly tangled with no help at all.

Black holes, galaxies young and old visible in massive mapping of the night sky
Pitt researcher part of core group behind survey of 10 billion years of galactic development.

UT Southwestern investigating hypothermic technique in treating pediatric head injuries
UT Southwestern Medical Center has been selected to take part in an $11.5 million multicenter clinical trial that is examining the effectiveness of induced hypothermia as a therapy for brain swelling in children who have suffered severe traumatic brain injuries.

Stopping atoms
A paper, published today in the Institute of Physics' New Journal of Physics, demonstrates how a group of physicists from the University of Texas at Austin have found a way to slow down, stop and explore a much wider range of atoms than ever before.

Promising Phase 3 trial results show biologic therapy ustekinumab significantly improved psoriasis
The first reported findings from an international, Phase 3 study showed that more than two-thirds of patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis receiving two doses of ustekinumab (CNTO 1275) achieved at least a 75 percent reduction in psoriasis at week 12, the primary endpoint of the study, as measured by the Psoriasis Area and Severity Index.

War more traumatic than tsunami
The long-running civil war in Sri Lanka is causing more mental health problems and social breakdown than the catastrophic 2004 tsunami, according to research published in the online open access publication International Journal of Mental Health Systems.

MIT aids creation of neural prosthetic devices
MIT researchers have developed a new algorithm to help create prosthetic devices that convert brain signals into action in patients who have been paralyzed or had limbs amputated.

Earthquake experts at Tel Aviv University turn to history for guidance
The best seismologists in the world don't know when the next big earthquake will hit.

Trial seeks 'genetic fingerprint' for predicting drug effectiveness
University of Cincinnati physician-scientists believe identifying a genetic

Rutgers College of Nursing faculty member Rachel Jones wins New York Times Nurse Award
Rutgers College of Nursing faculty member Rachel Jones has been selected to be the recipient of the Nurse Educator of the New York Times 2007 Tribute to Nurses Award.

Linking cigarette smoke and obesity: What our genes and environmental factors tell us
Identifying biomarkers for the key environmental risk factors responsible for two diseases that significantly contribute to death and disease of hundreds of thousands annually will be the initial focus of a new center being established at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

First astronomer inducted into National Women's Hall of Fame
Judith Pipher, professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Rochester, will be inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame on Oct.

New deep space images of distant strip of sky to be available on Google
A global project to map a distant strip of the universe is releasing its data today to scientists and the public to be used as part of Google Sky, a new feature of Google Earth.

2007 ozone hole 'smaller than usual'
The ozone hole over Antarctica has shrunk 30 percent as compared to last year's record size.

50 years after Sputnik
Fifty years after Sputnik1 -- the first artificial satellite -- was launched into orbit, October's special issue of Physics World looks back at the story of that particular mission and examines some of key issues of modern satellite technology, from navigation with GPS and Earth observation to the dangers of

Left main coronary artery disease can double or treble heart risk in siblings
German researchers have found that heart disease of the left main coronary artery is often an inherited condition that clusters in families.

Digital pioneer wins national physics prize
The American Institute of Physics is awarding Texas Instruments' Larry J.

A brainy idea 25 years in the making
A discovery made 25 years ago about how the brain controls blood pressure regulation is only now being explored with the help of scientists from the Howard Florey Institute.

MU physicist defends Einstein's theory and 'speed of gravity' measurement
Scientists have attempted to disprove Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity for the better part of a century.

St. Jude settles century-old debate on origin of mammalian network of lymphatic vessels
Investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital settled a century-old debate on the origin of the mammalian lymphatic vasculature -- the network of vessels and capillaries critical to various essential housekeeping functions in the body.

Brain needs perfection in synapse number
Like Goldilocks, the brain seeks proportions that are just right.

Freshman class sparks start-up company
Thinking like an entrepreneur begins early for students at Wake Forest University, where last year six freshmen got so excited about their first-year seminar in biophysics they started a company.

Spouses often mirror each other's health habits
If one spouse exercises, quits smoking, stops drinking alcohol... the other spouse is more likely to do the same.

Stomach stem cell discovery could bring cancer insights
University of Michigan researchers have for the first time identified progenitor cells in mouse stomachs in a region where cancer often begins.

Flu vaccine in painless skin patches under development at Emory, Georgia Tech with NIH grants
Flu vaccine delivered through painless microneedles in patches applied to the skin could soon be an alternative to delivery through hypodermic needles, according to researchers at Emory University and the Georgia Institute of Technology.

EMBL reaches north
Today the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, the University of Helsinki, Finland, the University of Oslo, Norway, and UmeƄ University, Sweden, officially launch their new Nordic EMBL Partnership for Molecular Medicine.

'Extreme' teenagers
Adolescents have grown taller and put on weight over the last 30 years, but the problem of underweight teens may be worse, a study in the online open access journal BMC Public Health suggests. 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