Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 03, 2008
Inside college parties: surprising findings about drinking behavior
In this issue: Most studies of college-student drinking have looked at the individual, and have relied on self reports; New findings gathered from on-the-spot observations show that parties with drinking games can predict higher blood-alcohol concentrations (BrACs).; and Young women at theme parties, especially with sexualized themes and costumes, drink more heavily than men.

Walk away menopausal anxiety, stress and depression
With more menopausal women seeking natural therapies to ease symptoms, a new study has found that simply adding a brisk walking routine can reduce a variety of psychological symptoms such as anxiety, stress and depression.

UGA researchers receive $9 million in grants to study barriers to effective addiction treatment
More than 23 million Americans age 12 or older need treatment for substance abuse and addiction, yet only a fraction -- less than 10 percent -- actually receive it.

Antipsychotic drugs should not be used routinely to treat aggression
Antipsychotic drugs do not reduce aggression in people with intellectual disability, and their prescribing in routine practice should be reviewed and alternatives examined, according to an Article in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Thyroid treatment no 'quick fix' for weight loss in children
Parents of overweight children often desire a 'quick fix' for the problem and request thyroid tests, but, unfortunately, screening for hypothyroidism is not the answer, says a new study.

The Journal of Biomolecular Screening garners Association TRENDS Bronze Award
The Society for Biomolecular Sciences and SAGE are pleased to announce that the Journal of Biomolecular Screening has won a Bronze Award for best

Govt. of Canada invests in Newfoundland and Labrador Co. to build next-generation Internet portals
The Honorable Loyola Hearn, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, on behalf of the Honorable Gary Lunn, Minister of Natural Resources, today announced $2 million in funding for a contract with Compusult Limited of Mount Pearl, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Plate tectonics may take a break
Plate tectonics, the geologic process responsible for creating the Earth's continents, mountain ranges, and ocean basins, may be an on-again, off-again affair.

Treatment with NAC is associated with better outcomes for children with liver failure
A new retrospective study on the effects of N-acetylcysteine on children with acute liver failure not caused by acetaminophen poisoning has found that the treatment was associated with a shorter hospital stay, higher incidence of liver recovery, and better survival after transplantation.

Elsevier launches new journal: Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering
Elsevier announced today that it is launching a new journal, the Journal of Natural Gas Science and Engineering.

Human hormone blocker found to help prevent obesity and diabetes: study
A new study finds that a chemical found in the body is capable of promoting weight loss, improving insulin resistance and reversing diabetes in an animal model.

Gene dose affects tumor growth
Researchers at Johns Hopkins and Ohio State University have found that the number of copies of a particular gene can affect the severity of colon cancer in a mouse model.

Mobile metal atoms
A team led by Hans-Jörg Deiseroth in Siegen, Germany reports the characterization of the most conductive representative of the man-made argyrodite minerals made of lithium, phosphorus, sulfur, and bromine atoms, a potential material for lithium-ion batteries used in mobile devices.

Study finds most TV prescription drug ads minimize risk information
Prescription drug ads on television first hit the airwaves just over a decade ago, but a new University of Georgia study finds that most of them still do not present a fair balance of information, especially when it comes to the risk of side effects.

Novel anticancer strategy moves from laboratory to clinic
Researchers have developed a novel anti-tumor compound that represents a distinct strategy: targeting one of the most important

Death knell for the death penalty
The death penalty is barbaric and the entire practice should be ruled unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court, states the lead Editorial in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Catheter chaos: Hospitals lag in preventing common infection
Right now, one in four hospitalized Americans has a urinary catheter.

Gene therapy can reduce long-term drinking among rodents
In this issue: Certain genetic factors may both increase and protect against the risk of developing alcoholism; The aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2*2) allele is considered protective against alcoholism; and Intravenous administration of an anti-Aldh2 antisense gene can curtail long-term drinking among rodents.

Smithsonian scientists highlight environmental impacts of biofuels
Biofuels reduce greenhouse-gas emissions in comparison to fossil fuels. In the Jan.

Stardust formed close to sun
Samples of the material picked up during the NASA Stardust mission indicate that parts of the comet Wild 2 actually formed in an area close to the sun.

2 explosive evolutionary events shaped early history of multicellular life
Scientists have known for some time that most major groups of complex animals appeared in the fossils record during the Cambrian Explosion, a seemingly rapid evolutionary event that occurred 542 million years ago.

Strange-behaving crystals could have impact on research, technology
Aperiodic, rule-bending crystals are the focus of an article that appears in the Jan.

Why some depressed girls can't smell the roses
New TAU research links depression to loss of the sense of smell, suggesting that the blues may have biological roots.

FDA approves additional dosage strengths of Vyvanse
Shire announced the FDA approval for three additional dosage strengths for Vyvanse, which are expected to be available in retail pharmacies in the second quarter of 2008.

First-ever study to link increased mortality specifically to carbon dioxide emissions
A Stanford scientist has spelled out for the first time the direct links between increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and increases in human mortality, using a state-of-the-art computer model of the atmosphere incorporating scores of physical and chemical environmental processes.

Complexity of financial services industry
The financial services industry is complex and financial service professionals are becoming less distinguishable and more inter-related, according to a new RAND Corp. report issued today.

A crystal that nature may have missed
Some secrets of the beauty of a diamond can be uncovered by a mathematical analysis of its microscopic crystal structure.

U of M physicist reads the history of the solar system in grains of comet dust
Four years ago, NASA's Stardust spacecraft chased down a comet and collected grains of dust blowing off its nucleus.

Red dust in planet-forming disk may harbor precursors to life
Astronomers at the Carnegie Institution have found the first indications of highly complex organic molecules in the disk of red dust surrounding a distant star.

Smell-wars between butterflies and ants
Caterpillar deception is also a matter of smell, and there is an ongoing co-evolutionary arms race in smell similarity between cheaters and their victims.

UO plays key role in LIGO's new view of a cosmic event
An international team of physicists, including University of Oregon scientists, has concluded that last February's intense burst of gamma rays possibly coming from the Andromeda Galaxy lacked a gravitational wave.

US presidential candidates and their views on scientific issues
What are the United States presidential candidates' positions on scientific topics ranging from evolution to global warming?

Shape-memory polymers designed for biomedical applications
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are developing unique shape-memory polymers, which change shape upon heating, to open blocked arteries, probe neurons in the brain and engineer a tougher spine.

Treating severe pneumonia in children can be done safely and effectively at home
Home treatment of severe pneumonia in children with oral antibiotics is as safe and effective as treatment in hospital, according to an Article in this week's issue of The Lancet.

Mom's obesity during conception phase may set the stage for offspring's obesity risk
Researchers have examined whether fetal exposure to gestational obesity leads to a self-reinforcing viscious cycle of excessive weight gain and body fat which passes from mother to child.

Chemotherapy has safely improved long-term survival in women with hormone-resistant breast cancer
In women with hormone-resistant breast cancer (i.e., oestrogen-receptor negative breast cancer), even the older chemotherapy regimens of the 1970s and 1980s were safe and have improved long-term survival, according to an Article in this week's issue of The Lancet.

The dopamine transporter gene influences alcohol withdrawal seizures
In this issue: The intensity of alcoholism is typically defined by the severity of alcohol tolerance and/or withdrawal; and Scientists investigated the role of polymorphisms of the dopamine transporter (DAT1) gene in withdrawal; Four polymorphisms -- the DAT1-VNTR, rs27072, rs27048, and rs2963238 -- appear to alter the risk of alcohol-withdrawal seizures.

Children are introduced to sipping and tasting alcohol in the home
In this issue: Very little is known about alcohol use by children; New findings show that the introduction to alcohol use may occur as early as eight or 10 years of age, and is an experience that typically occurs in the home; and Sipping and tasting reflect exposure to parental alcohol use in the home and do not reflect a proneness to engage in delinquent behavior or other problem behaviors.

Springer founds new journal Air Quality, Atmosphere and Health
Springer is founding a new quarterly journal called Air Quality, Atmosphere and Health.

Bright light therapy eases bipolar depression for some
Bright light therapy can ease bipolar depression in some patients, a University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine study has found.

Internists say they prescribe placebos on occasion
In the first study examining American physicians' use of placebos in clinical practice in the 21st century, 45 percent of Chicago internists report they have used a placebo at some time during their clinical practice researchers report in the January issue of Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Researchers use neuroimaging to study ESP
Researchers from Harvard University have used neuroimaging to study the existence of ESP.

No link between acid reflux and survival
Study provides reassuring evidence that people with acid reflux symptoms do not have an increased risk of death, finding no difference in survival rates between sufferers and nonsufferers.

Life at the jolt
Researchers at the Biodesign Institute are using the tiniest organisms on the planet 'bacteria' as a viable option to make electricity.

North Atlantic warming tied to natural variability; but global warming may be at play elsewhere
A Duke University-led analysis of available records shows that while the North Atlantic Ocean's surface waters warmed in the 50 years between 1950 and 2000, the change was not uniform.

UVa biomedical engineering study shows magnetic field can reduce swelling
A recent study by University of Virginia researchers demonstrates that the use of an acute, localized static magnetic field of moderate strength can result in significant reduction of swelling when applied immediately after an inflammatory injury.

Earthquake 'memory' could spur aftershocks
Using a novel device that simulates earthquakes in a laboratory setting, a Los Alamos researcher and his colleagues have shown that seismic waves -- the sounds radiated from earthquakes -- can induce earthquake aftershocks, often long after a quake has subsided.

Novel mechanism for long-term learning identified by Carnegie Mellon researchers
Practice makes perfect -- or at least that's what we're told as we struggle through of multiplication tables and piano scales -- and it seems to be true. 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