Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 18, 2007
Brain-injured war veterans show a faster decline in cognitive functioning as they age
A study of Vietnam war veterans who suffered brain injuries during the conflict has found that the men show a faster decline in their cognitive functioning as they grow older than veterans without such injuries.

Members named to Blue Ribbon Task Force on a Sustainable Digital Future
With literally every

Nano-Science Center to coordinate EU-project
The Nano-Science Center at the University of Copenhagen has been chosen to coordinate a research appropriation of 2.5 million euros from the European Union's Seventh Framework Program.

Unsupervised children are more sociable and more active
Youngsters who are allowed to leave the house without an adult are more active and enjoy a richer social life than those who are constantly supervised, according to a study conducted at UCL and reported in a special edition of the journal Built Environment (Dec.

'Do not resuscitate' orders lack standardization in hospitals
A national effort to standardize color-coded wristbands would remove the potential for errors.

Yale launches landmark VIRGO study of young women with heart disease
The largest, most comprehensive study of young women with heart attacks -- VIRGO (Variation in Recovery: Role of Gender on Outcomes in Young AMI patients) -- was recently launched at Yale School of Medicine with a $9.7 million National Institutes of Health grant.

Family ties that bind: Maternal grandparents are more involved in the lives of their grandchildren
As families gather round for the winter holidays, some faces may be more familiar than others.

Solar cells of the future
A new material, nano flakes, may revolutionize the transformation of solar energy to electricity.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
The following articles are featured in the upcoming issue of the Journal of Neuroscience:

Cancer and arthritis therapy may be promising treatment for diabetes
An antibody used to treat certain cancers and arthritis also greatly delays type 1 diabetes in mice.

Rhode Island Hospital to study driving ability of cognitively impaired elders
Rhode Island Hospital has received a renewal of a $1.5 million grant from the National Institute on Aging to continue to examine the driving abilities of elderly drivers.

Study investigates cannabis use among university students
New information published in the Journal of Applied Biobehavioral Research explores University students' motivations for using or not using cannabis and found various factors that might encourage use.

'False-positive' activation of cardiac catheterization may occur in some with suspected heart attack
Physicians caring for patients suspected of having a heart attack may trigger

Twin study indicates genetic basis for processing faces, places
A new study of twins indicates that the genetic foundation for the brain's ability to recognize faces and places is much stronger than for other objects, such as words.

Rutgers neuroscience may hold key to hearing loss remedy
A Rutgers University team is opening new doors to improved hearing for the congenitally or profoundly deaf.

Emory, Ohio State launch partnership in predictive and personalized health care
Emory University and the Ohio State University Medical Center have formed the Alliance for Predictive and Personalized Health -- a partnership aimed at transforming health care into a more patient-centered system that integrates scientific breakthroughs in genomics and molecular biology with advances in communications and information technology.

Fetal surgeon shows for first time that laser procedure may treat vasa previa
A University of South Florida fetal surgeon successfully treated in utero a rare but potentially devastating prenatal condition, which, if undetected, is frequently deadly for newborns.

Sandia supercomputers offer new explanation of Tunguska disaster
The stunning amount of forest devastation at Tunguska a century ago in Siberia may have been caused by an asteroid only a fraction as large as those postulated in previously published estimates, Sandia supercomputer simulations suggest.

Early surgical treatment contributes to better outcomes in gallstone pancreatitis cases
Although delaying surgical treatment remains the standard of care for patients with severe gallstone pancreatitis, a new study published in the December issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons shows that, contrary to widespread belief, early cholecystectomy -- or surgical removal of the gallbladder -- significantly reduces hospital stays in patients with mild to moderate gallstone pancreatitis with no increase in complications or mortality.

Dolphin 'therapy' a dangerous fad, Emory researchers warn
People suffering from chronic mental or physical disabilities should not resort to a dolphin

Profile waviness artifact for toothed gear flanks
The precise measurement of periodic surface textures on the flanks of toothed gears is becoming increasingly important since it allows conclusions to be drawn with regard to their functional properties (such as wear, efficiency and operating noise) within drive assemblies.

Color sudoku puzzle demonstrates new vision for computing
Researchers at the University of Warwick's Department of Computer Science have developed a color-based sudoku puzzle that will help sudoku players solve traditional sudoku puzzles but also helps demonstrate the potential benefits of a radical new vision for computing.

APIC launches 'Targeting Zero' initiative to eradicate infections deemed preventable by CMS
This release announces Targeting Zero, an Association for Professionals in Infection Control 2008 campaign.

ISIS Second Target Station -- protons on target!
The ISIS Second Target Station Project at the STFC Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire achieved a major milestone on Fri., Dec.

A research of the UGR shows the genetic predisposition to develop alcohol abuse
The research reveals that a subject's brain with low beta-endorphin levels becomes accustomed to the presence of an exogenous surplus, diminishing its own supply and triggering dependence on an external source -- in this case, alcohol.

Why diving marine mammals resist brain damage from low oxygen
Certain animals -- including dolphins, whales and sea otters -- appear to be protected by elevated levels of oxygen-carrying proteins in their brains, according to a study by researchers at UC Santa Cruz.

Deep Impact extended mission heads for comet Hartley 2
NASA has given a University of Maryland-led team of scientists the green light to fly the Deep Impact spacecraft to Comet Hartley 2 on a two-part extended mission known as EPOXI.

FDA approves Bystolic, a novel beta blocker
The US Food and Drug Administration has approved Bystolic (nebivolol) for the treatment of hypertension, also known as high blood pressure.

Cold feeling traced to source
For the first time, neuroscientists have visualized cold fibers -- strands reaching from sensory neurons near the spinal cord to nerve endings in the skin tuned to sense different types of cold.

IOF applauds NOS on NICE Guidance appeal success and urges continued efforts
The International Osteoporosis Foundation has applauded the appeal success of the National Osteoporosis Society, in the matter of the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence's guidance for the primary and secondary prevention of osteoporotic fracture, and has called for continuing efforts to ensure that clinically appropriate and scientifically robust guidance is made available.

University of Maryland researchers develop 2-D invisibility cloak
A University of Maryland research team has used plasmon technology to create the world's first invisibility cloak for visible light.

Vitamin B12 function may be diminished by excessive folate
In a study of adults aged 20 and over, researchers at Tufts University showed that homocysteine and methylmalonic acid are at much higher levels in individuals who have a combination of vitamin B-12 deficiency and high blood folate levels than in individuals who are also vitamin B12 deficient but have normal folate levels.

Bangladesh to dramatically expand technology that doubles efficiency of urea fertilizer use
Using current broadcast technology, most nitrogen is lost to the air and water, and rice plants actually use only one bag of urea in three.

Significant changes in plastic surgery expected in 2008
Disappointed with results from the last few years' much ballyhooed

An ambulance man for muscle damage
Researchers of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory's Mouse Biology Unit, Italy, and the Harefield Heart Science Centre of Imperial College London, have now discovered a molecular signal that helps muscle regenerate and protects it from atrophy.

UT-Houston's Northrup and colleagues uncover genetic link to spina bifida
Researchers at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston have discovered an association between genes regulating glucose metabolism and spina bifida.

Intensive training post-spinal cord injury can stimulate repair in brain and spinal cord
Intensive rehabilitation training for patients with spinal cord injuries can stimulate new branches growing from severed nerve fibers, alongside compensatory changes in the brain, say Canadian researchers.

Measuring the density of ultra-pure water
For the description of ocean currents accurate measurements of the density of sea water are of great importance.

Weather, risky business for some
Liz Claiborne, Target and the makers of M & M candies all have meteorologists on their payroll, and now, a team of Penn State meteorologists and economists are investigating how best to model weather's impact on various business sectors and how to educate future forecasters to understand and operate in a business atmosphere.

Safer, more accurate radiation therapy for expecting mothers
Developing fetuses are extremely sensitive to radiation, which poses an impossible dilemma for expecting mothers in need of screening or treatment for cancer.

Fizeau interferometers for surfaces with different reflectivity
Due to their stable design, Fizeau interferometers are used to determine the topography of surfaces such as, e.g., plane surfaces.

Simple strategy could prevent half of deadly tuberculosis infections
By using a combination of inexpensive infection control measures, hospitals around the world could prevent half the new cases of extensively drug resistant tuberculosis, according to a new study in the Lancet by researchers at Yale School of Medicine.

Researchers hope to provide chronic fatigue syndrome answers
University of Calgary researchers have launched a study into the physiological basis of chronic fatigue syndrome in hopes of creating conclusive tests to aid in diagnosis of the condition.

Phylonix granted broad European patent for transplanting human cells into zebrafish
Phylonix Pharmaceuticals today announced that it recently received a broadly issued European patent EP 1 135 531 B1:

What's health care like in America's prisons and jails?
A person is sentenced to prison in America to be punished for a crime.

Plant geneticists find veritas in vino
Viticulture, the growing of grapes to make wine, is an ancient form of agriculture.

Stanford's nanowire battery holds 10 times the charge of existing ones
Stanford researchers have found a way to use silicon nanowires to increase the storage capacity of Lithium ion batteries by 10.

Childhood exposure to disadvantaged neighborhoods negatively affects verbal ability
Researchers at Harvard University, New York University and the University of Chicago have shown that childhood exposure to disadvantaged neighborhoods appears to have a lasting negative effect on verbal ability.

Health care savings, coverage for all could lower spending $1.5 trillion over 10 years
Guaranteed health insurance for all combined with several federal policy options to achieve health care system savings could result in $1.5 trillion in reduced spending over 10 years, according to a new Commonwealth Fund report prepared by Fund staff and the Lewin Group for study by the Fund's Commission on a High Performance Health System.

Government of Canada announces further investments to control the mountain pine beetle in Alberta
Members of Parliament Mr. Chris Warkentin (Peace River) and Mr.

U of M researchers develop new online tool in fight against spread of HIV
A new Web-based software program is the latest tool University of Minnesota researchers are using to help fight the spread of HIV.

Efficiency of satellite telecommunications for civil protection agencies
Enhancing interoperability during European civil protection operations is the objective of an ESA project named Decision.

Colon cancer screenings may not pay off and could pose harm to some
Even though current guidelines advocate colorectal cancer screenings for those with severe illnesses, they may bring little benefit and may actually pose harm, according to a recent study by Yale School of Medicine researchers published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Virginia Tech students' research could give the Beach Boys a new surfing song
Four Virginia Tech engineering science and mechanics students have completed

Link between chronic kidney disease and oxygen-deprived tissue
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have discovered how low-oxygen conditions can worsen chronic kidney disease.

CMS tracking detector successfully installed
Installation of the world's largest silicon tracking detector was today successfully completed at CERN.

Study of bear hair will reveal genetic diversity of Yellowstone's grizzlies
Montana State University's library of 400 grizzly bear hair samples will be analyzed to determine the genetic diversity of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem population.

Study suggests polls overestimate support for Obama, underestimate back for Clinton
A new national study of voters who say they might vote in Democractic primaries and caucuses shows a striking disconnect between their explict and their implicit (or unconscious) preferences.

Final preparations for first human-rated spacecraft to be lauched from Europe's Spaceport
For the first time in 40 years of space activities, a silent revolution is taking place at the European launch site in Kourou.

Mutant gene identified as villain in hardening of the arteries
A genetic mutation promotes hardening of the arteries.

No need for reduced alcohol consumption in later life
Provided they stick to the same guidelines about alcohol consumption as younger adults, regular moderate drinking poses no additional risks to the

Scripps Research discovery leads to broad potential applications in CovX-Pfizer deal
A catalytic antibody discovery made at the Scripps Research Institute has formed the basis of the upcoming acquisition of biotechnology venture CovX by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, Inc.

A single bone mineral density test predicts 'silent' spinal fractures years later
A single bone mineral density test given 15 years earlier predicted a woman's risk of developing fractures to her spine over time, according to a JAMA study, led by investigators at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

New neuroimaging study identifies 'brain signature' for cigarette cravings
A new brain imaging study by researchers in the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania shows that cigarette cravings in smokers who are deprived of nicotine are linked with increased activation in specific regions of the brain.

'Preschool for all' would help nation, say 2008 Grawemeyer Award winners
Making preschool available to all children age three and older in the United States would carry great benefits, say three Yale scholars who have won the 2008 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Education.

PNNL's Richard Smith named to prestigious Scientific American 50 list of outstanding leaders
Richard D. Smith, Battelle Fellow at the US Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has been named one of 50 outstanding leaders in the 2007 Scientific American 50.

Does treating worms in people with HIV slow progression to AIDS?
There is evidence that co-infection of Helminth worms may result in a more rapid progression of HIV infection to AIDS.

Evolution tied to Earth movement
Scientists long have focused on how climate and vegetation allowed human ancestors to evolve in Africa.

Study finds outcomes of high-risk cancer operations in 80-year-olds worse than reported
New research published in the December issue of The Journal of the American College of Surgeons shows that outcomes of high-risk cancer operations in 80-year-olds are considerably worse than reported in case studies and published survival statistics, which may lead to unrealistic expectations about the safety of these operations in the elderly.

Forest Service launches Web-based forest threats viewing tool
The Forest Service's Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center recently launched its forest threats summary viewer, a tool that will provide images, threat distribution maps, additional forestry contact information, and brief descriptions about forest threats throughout the eastern US.

Unique porous copper structure enables new generation of military micro-detonators
Tiny copper structures with pores at both the nanometer and micron size scales could play a key role in the next generation of detonators used to improve the reliability, reduce the size and lower the cost of certain military munitions.

Intergalactic 'shot in the dark' shocks astronomers
A team of astronomers has discovered a cosmic explosion that seems to have come from the middle of nowhere -- thousands of light-years from the nearest galaxy-sized collection of stars, gas and dust.

Top 10 advances in materials science selected by Materials Today
What are the defining discoveries and great developments that are shaping the way we use materials and technologies today?

Researchers train the immune system to deliver virus that destroys cancer in lab models
An international team of researchers led by Mayo Clinic have designed a technique that uses the body's own cells and a virus to destroy cancer cells that spread from primary tumors to other parts of the body through the lymphatic system.

Variable light illuminates the distribution of picophytoplankton
Tiny photosynthetic plankton less than a millionth of a millimeter in diameter numerically dominate marine phytoplankton.

BMI criteria for obesity surgery should be lowered, UT Southwestern researchers suggest
UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have found that the existing body mass index criteria for obesity surgery often excludes a group of obese patients at risk of cardiovascular disease.

Built-in exercise monitor predicts fitness
A series of studies over the last two years, culminating in three academic papers in the past two months, has shown a consistently close correlation between actual and perceived exertion in people of all levels of fitness.

Faster X-ray interferometers due to single-photon interference
By means of X-ray interferometers, lengths down to the mm range can be measured with a resolution of less than one nm.

Women with osteoporosis, previous vertebral fracture have increased long-term risk for new fracture
Over a 15-year period, women with low bone mineral density and a previous vertebral fracture had an increased risk of a new vertebral fracture compared to women with normal bone mineral density and no previous fracture, according to a study in the Dec.

Ant invaders eat the natives, then move down the food chain
The Argentine ant, Linepithema humile, is one of the most successful invasive species in the world, having colonized parts of five continents in addition to its native range in South America.

RNA interference therapy heals growth deficiency disorder in a live animal
A team of Vanderbilt researchers have demonstrated for the first time that a new type of gene therapy, called RNA interference, can heal a genetic disorder in a live animal.

Move over, silicon: Advances pave way for powerful carbon-based electronics
Bypassing decades-old conventions in making computer chips, engineers developed a novel way to replace silicon with carbon on large surfaces, clearing the way for new generations of faster, more powerful cell phones, computers and other electronics.

Study examines imaging procedures for diagnosing blood clots in the lung
New research indicates that a diagnostic strategy using computed tomographic pulmonary angiography may be a safe alternative to conventional lungs scans (known as ventilation-perfusion scans) for excluding the diagnosis of pulmonary embolism (blood clots in the lung vessels), although CTPA may detect more clots, according to a study in the Dec. 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