Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 05, 2007
UT Southwestern urologist uses Botox to treat debilitating condition
Eight years ago, Lynette Kunz suffered a severe spinal cord injury that left her a quadriplegic and sufferer of involuntary bladder contractions.

Cognitive 'fog' of normal aging linked to brain system disruption
Comparisons of the brains of young and old people have revealed that normal aging may cause cognitive decline due to deterioration of the connections among large-scale brain systems.

Experimental Biology 2008 meets in San Diego April 5-9
More than 12,000 biological and biomedical scientists will gather for Experimental Biology 2008.

Energy lab sets aggressive greenhouse gas reduction goal
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has pledged to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 75 percent from 2005 to 2009 as part of NREL's participation in the Environmental Protection Agency's Climate Leaders program.

Diesel exhaust fumes affect people with asthma, finds study on London's Oxford Street
Diesel exhaust fumes on polluted streets have a measurable effect on people with asthma, according to the first study looking at exhausts and asthma in a real-life setting, published on Dec.

Stanford researchers say climate change will significantly increase impending bird extinctions
Where do you go when you've reached the top of a mountain and you can't go back down?

Reviewers agree on osteoarthritis of the knee
Concerns over the cardiovascular safety of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs led to the publication of several sets of fresh guidelines on the treatment of knee osteoarthritis.

New choices for patients: Transfusion-free medicine for Jehovah's Witnesses and transfusion-wary
Transfusion-free Medicine for Jehovah's Witnesses and Patients Wary of Blood Transfusions was pioneered at Pennsylvania Hospital Center for Bloodless Medicine and Surgery in Philadelphia.

Early voters hold most power in primaries, say Brown economists
As voters in Iowa and New Hampshire prepare to head to the polls for the 2008 presidential primary season, new research by two Brown University economists shows just how much power these early voters hold.

Implanting embryonic cardiac cells prevents arrhythmias
When Cornell researchers and others transplanted living embryonic heart cells into cardiac tissue of mice that had suffered heart attacks, the mice became resistant to cardiac arrhythmias, thereby avoiding one of the most dangerous and fatal consequences of heart attacks.

InStream Media in agreement with BIG Interactive
InStream Media LLC, a Stevens Institute of Technology Technogenesis Company, has signed a distribution agreement with BIG Interactive of Singapore to distribute InStream's embedded digital communications product to Singapore's cable television market and other outlets.

U of Minnesota study finds gap in health rates between socioeconomic classes unchanged
Over the past century, the United States has witnessed historic advances in public health and medicine that have contributed to improved health and a significant increase in life expectancy for all socioeconomic groups.

Odd little star has magnetic personality
Observations that included the Gemini Observatory show that a very low-mass star has unexpected magnetic activity and a hot spot that could cover one-half of its surface.

The aging brain: Failure to communicate
A team of Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers has shown that normal aging disrupts communication between different regions of the brain.

Scientists identify gene that influences alcohol consumption
Researchers applied a variety of genetic and analytic techniques to mice having nearly identical genetic background, but differing in their preference for alcohol, to identify a chromosomal region, and ultimately a gene, associated with alcohol preference.

'Flying Fish' unmanned aircraft takes off and lands on water
Flying fish were the inspiration for an unmanned seaplane with a 7-foot wingspan developed at the University of Michigan.

Vega main engine test in Kourou
A prototype of the P80 rocket motor, which will power the first stage of ESA's new small launcher -- Vega, was successfully tested on Dec.

Beating hospital yeast infection
Increasing numbers of critically ill patients develop fungal or yeast infections, which are associated with high mortality.

Study questions impact of hemoglobin variations on mortality in dialysis patients
For patients with dialysis-related anemia, the risk of death is increased when hemoglobin levels remain persistently low over a period several months -- not necessarily when they fluctuate over time, according to a study in the Jan.

Brain systems become less coordinated with age, even in the absence of disease
Using neuroimaging, researchers have identified that among older individuals, brain systems are less likely to be in sync with one another, even in the absence of Alzheimer's disease.

Dads break bones of children more often than moms
Dads break or fracture the bones of their children far more often than moms, and they tend to inflict their abusive rage on infants younger than 5 months old, according to a study in Child Abuse & Neglect.

Breast MRI spots other cancers, may alter treatment plan
MRI, which is not routinely administered to women who plan to undergo a lumpectomy, can find additional cancerous areas in the breast that previously evaded detection, discover cancer in the opposite breast that standard imaging tests such as mammography and ultrasound missed, or determine a tumor is actually larger than expected.

YouTube breeding ground for anti-vaccination views
As cold and flu season hits this year amid growing debate over the necessity of vaccinations, University of Toronto researchers have uncovered widespread misinformation in related videos on YouTube.

Atomic bomb survivor, scientists mark 60 years of long-term radiation study
First known as the Atomic Bomb Casualty Commission, the study group was reorganized in 1975 to form the Radiation Effects Research Foundation, which is now a cooperative Japan-US research organization.

New drug reduces abdominal fat accumulation and improves lipids in HIV-infected patients
Treatment with an investigational drug that induces the release of growth hormone significantly improved the symptoms of HIV lipodystrophy, a condition involving the redistribution of fat and other metabolic changes in patients receiving combination drug therapy for HIV infection.

Scientists strike blow in superbugs struggle
Scientists from the University of Manchester have pioneered new ways of tweaking the molecular structure of antibiotics -- an innovation that could be crucial in the fight against powerful superbugs.

A pain-free window into painful neuropathies
Scientists have demonstrated a new technique for detecting a painful nerve condition known as neuropathy, which affects millions of people with diabetes and many other patients as well.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation: An effective treatment for depression
For the first time in a large-scale study, transcranial magnetic stimulation has been shown to be an effective, non-drug treatment for major depression.

New study finds biodiversity conservation secures ecosystem services for people
Healthy ecosystems that provide people with essential natural goods and services often overlap with regions rich in biological diversity, underscoring that conserving one also protects the other, according to a new study.

Astronomers find puzzling dwarf star with complex magnetic fields
Typically, little M-dwarf stars -- the most common type of star in the galaxy -- are cold, quiet, and dim.

Asacol treats UC symptoms of isolated proctitis
Data from two Phase III clinical trials support that Asacol, an oral, nonsteroidal medication that belongs to the class of agents known as 5-aminosalicylic acids, is an effective and well-tolerated treatment for patients with all extents of ulcerative colitis, including isolated proctitis.

Iowa State engineer develops laser technologies to analyze combustion, biofuels
Terry Meyer, an Iowa State University assistant professor of mechanical engineering, is using laser technology to develop advanced sensors capable of analyzing the combustion inside engines, power generators and heating systems.

MIT: Missing protein may be key to autism
A missing brain protein may be one of the culprits behind autism and other brain disorders, researchers at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory report in the Dec.

Respiratory infections linked to increased heart attacks and strokes
A new study, which appears today in the online edition of the European Heart Journal, has found strong evidence that recent respiratory infections increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes, both of which are more common in the winter.

Latest Integrated Microbial Genomes data management system update release
Version 2.4 of the Integrated Microbial Genomes data management system, a resource provided to the scientific community for microbial genome data analysis, has now been released.

E-governance practitioners, researchers to meet next week in Macao
Electronic governance can help make government processes at all levels more efficient, effective, transparent and citizens-oriented.

Close families raise more independent adults
New research at the University of Haifa found that, contrary to common belief, young adults who maintain a close or moderate relationship with their parents exhibit greater independence in their personal lives than those who have a distant relationship.

GBIF making the search for biodiversity research resources easier
The Global Biodiversity Information Facility, Biodiversity Information Standards and the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh have signed a memorandum of cooperation to build an internet-based biodiversity collections index.

Mental health treatment extends lives of older patients with diabetes and depression
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine report that older adults with diabetes and depression are half as likely to die over a 5-year period when they receive depression care management than depressed patients with diabetes who do not receive depression care management.

Smell experience during critical period alters brain
Genes may provide the land, but experience defines the landscape.

Pheromones identified that trigger aggression between male mice
This study is the first to identify protein pheromones responsible for the aggression response in male mice.

UTSA Manufacturing Center awarded $375,000
National Science Foundation has awarded the University of Texas at San Antonio $375,000 to help support new research laboratories in UTSA's new Center for Advanced Manufacturing and Lean Systems.

SMART-1: Travel maps of the lunar north pole
A new map obtained with SMART-1 data shows the geography and illumination of the lunar north pole.

The closest look ever at native human tissue
Seeing proteins in their natural environment and interactions inside cells has been a long-standing goal.

UBC study may solve age-old mystery of missing chemicals from Earth's mantle
Observations about the early formation of Earth may answer an age-old question about why the planet's mantle is missing some of the matter that should be present, according to UBC geophysicist John Hernlund.

The fine line between stability and instability -- when do gas giants reach the point of no return?
Astronomers at UCL have identified the point at which a star causes the atmosphere of an orbiting gas giant to become critically unstable.

Overweight adolescents projected to have more heart disease in young adulthood
A new study investigating the health effects of being overweight during adolescence projects alarming increases in the rates of heart disease and premature death by the time today's teenagers reach young adulthood.

Collision avoidance technology for mine haul trucks
Today's mine haul tracks are massive vehicles in which drivers have limited vision and cannot see anything within around 30 meters.

City dwellers look to backyards when deciding to head to slopes
City dwellers are less likely to head to the slopes when their backyards are bare, even if New England ski resorts have many feet of packed power and ideal skiing conditions, according to new research from the University of New Hampshire.

New UC Davis study finds physician style and HMO affiliation impact lengths of patient visit
Apart from a more complicated medical case, what makes different physicians spend different amounts of time with their patients?

EMBO Installation Grants help 9 scientists set up in Europe
Nine talented life scientists will receive the 2007 EMBO Installation Grants, assisting them to relocate and set up their research groups in Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Portugal and Turkey.

Study shows pine bark naturally reduces osteoarthritis knee pain
A double-blind, placebo-controlled study published in the journal Nutrition Research reveals Pycnogenol, an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, improved physical function by 52 percent in patients suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee.

Biomarkers for inflammatory disease
Gene-expression profiles might be used to identify prognostic biomarkers for Kawasaki disease, and help to unravel the underlying biology of the illness, research published this week in the online open access journal Genome Biology reveals.

PSU $5.7 million grant to help families and youth avoid substance abuse, behavior problems
Penn State University has received a $5.7 million federal grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to continue the development of community partnerships that strengthen families and help young people avoid substance abuse and behavioral problems.

Louisiana Tech professor is Small Times' Innovator of the Year
Dr. Yuri Lvov, a chemistry professor in Louisiana Tech's Institute for Micromanufacturing, has been named Small Times' 2007 Innovator of the Year, beating candidates from Princeton University and companies across the nation.

Major breakthrough toward the treatment of HIV/HAART-associated Lipodystrophy Syndrome
The HIV/HAART-associated Lipodystrophy Syndrome is a common side-effect of antiretroviral medications to treat HIV infection.

Major physics breakthrough in understanding supersolidity
Physicists at the University of Alberta, located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, are reporting a major advance in the understanding of what appears to be a new state of matter -- supersolidity.

Rutgers professor Jay Rosenblatt receives international award
Rutgers University emeritus professor Jay S. Rosenblatt, groundbreaking researcher in the fields of parental behavior and parent-young relationship, recently was presented with the Senior Investigator Award from the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology.

Household chemical may affect breast development
A chemical found in household fittings has been found to affect the development of the mammary gland in rats and further studies will be required to determine if the presence of this chemical could lead to breast cancer.

This is your brain on violent media
Columbia scientists show that a brain network responsible for suppressing behaviors like inappropriate or unwarranted aggression became less active after study subjects watched several short clips from popular movies depicting acts of violence.

World's most endangered gorilla fights back
In the wake of a study that documented for the first time the use of weaponry by Cross River gorillas to ward off threats by humans, the Wildlife Conservation Society announced today new field surveys to better protect this most endangered great ape.

Springer founds new electronic journal Head and Neck Pathology
Springer announces the launch of a new quarterly publication Head and Neck Pathology.

World class in Systems Biology is the aim
Switzerland wants to become a world leader in Systems Biology.

How stress alleviates pain
One way to alleviate the pain of banging your shin while on a hike is to encounter a grizzly bear -- a well-known phenomenon called stress-induced analgesia.

Did early Southwestern Indians ferment corn and make beer?
The belief among some archeologists that Europeans introduced alcohol to the Indians of the American Southwest may be faulty.

Herbal extract found to increase lifespan
The herbal extract of a yellow-flowered mountain plant indigenous to the Arctic regions of Europe and Asia increased the lifespan of fruit fly populations, according to a UC-Irvine study.

Humans appear hardwired to learn by 'over imitation'
Children learn by imitating adults and will change what they know about an object to mimic adult behavior. 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