Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 23, 2008
Computer-based tool aids research, helps thwart questionable publication practices
A new computer-based text-searching tool developed by UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers automatically -- and quickly -- compares multiple documents in a database for similarities, providing a more efficient method to carry out literature searches, as well as offering scientific journal editors a new tool to thwart questionable publication practices.

Synthesis of natural molecule could lead to better anti-cancer drugs
In early 2007 a marine chemist reported in the Journal of Natural Products that a new natural compound derived from an uncommon deep-sea sponge was extremely effective at inhibiting cancer cell growth.

Trailblazers don't always come out ahead
It's not always best to be first, finds a new study from the Journal of Consumer Research.

NIST building facility for hydrogen pipeline testing
A new NIST laboratory will evaluate tests, materials, mechanical properties and standards for hydrogen pipelines.

NIH announces new initiative in epigenomics
The National Institutes of Health will invest more than $190 million over the next five years to accelerate an emerging field of biomedical research known as epigenomics.

For creating new field of science, Texas chemist wins international prize
Allen Bard, professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Texas at Austin, was awarded the 2008 Wolf Prize in Chemistry jointly with Professor William Moerner of Stanford University.

AASM statement on use of sleep medications
The following is a statement from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine on the use of sleep medications.

Cigarettes leave deadly path by purging protective genes
A University of Rochester scientist discovered that the toxins in cigarette smoke wipe out a gene that plays a vital role in protecting the body from the effects of premature aging.

Does mood matter?
Sure, you're more likely to give things a favorable evaluation when you're happy, and a negative evaluation when you're sad.

Seismic images show dinosaur-killing meteor made bigger splash
The most detailed 3-D seismic images yet of the Chicxulub impact crater may modify a theory explaining the

Engineering chimeric polypeptides to illuminate cellular redox states
An interdisciplinary research team from the University of Illinois' Institute for Genomic Biology reports the design of chimeric redox-sensitive polypeptides as the first step towards development of the FRET-based biosensors for visualizing redox potentials and oxidative stress in live cells via optical microscopy.

Mental and physical exercise delays dementia in fatal genetic disease
Scientists at Melbourne's Howard Florey Institute have discovered that mental and physical stimulation delays the onset of dementia in the fatal genetic disease, Huntington's disease.

What role do teachers play in America's educational crisis?
When we hear studies asserting that American students rank near the bottom of all students from the world's economically-advanced nations in math and science, questions inevitably arise.

ASU receives 2 grants to develop new types of solar cells
Two grants to Arizona State University for development of new solar energy technologies show how ASU's solar energy research has grown in new and important ways.

British social attitudes -- the 24th report
The cultural standpoint of the British public towards the traditional family unit, equal opportunities in the workplace, poverty, citizenship and national identity are among the central themes in the latest British Social Attitudes report -- the leading social research survey in Britain, published today by SAGE.

Ants and avalanches: Insects on coffee plants follow widespread natural tendency
Ever since a forward-thinking trio of physicists identified the phenomenon known as self-organized criticality -- a mechanism by which complexity arises in nature -- scientists have been applying its concepts to everything from economics to avalanches.

WHOI geochemist awarded for contributions to studies of the physics of the Earth
The US National Academy of Sciences has selected Stanley Hart of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution as the 13th recipient of the Arthur L.

Driving proves potentially hazardous for people with early Alzheimer's
A new study by researchers at Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University finds that people with Alzheimer's disease experienced more accidents and performed more poorly on road tests compared to drivers without cognitive impairment.

JILA solves problem of quantum dot 'blinking'
Scientists at JILA have found one possible way to induce quantum dots to emit photons faster and more consistently, without their characteristic blinking.

Study: How much you're willing to pay depends on what you were just doing
Your shopping buddy turns to you and asks,

Low-income US children less likely to have access to qualified teachers
Children from low-income families in the United States do not have the same access to qualified teachers as do wealthier students, according to a University of Missouri study.

No time before Valentine's Day? You'll pay more for a gift just to avoid a negative outcome
With time to spare before Valentine's Day, you consider a number of grand ways to demonstrate your affection.

Evolutionary phenomenon in mice may explain human infertility
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found that field mice have evolved a unique way of ensuring faster fertilization, a phenomenon which could explain some cases of infertility in humans.

Cross ownership has positive effect on local media coverage, MU researcher finds
A study at the University of Missouri found that cross-owned television stations produce a greater percentage of local programming news content when compared to other network-affiliated stations in the same market.

Nanotubes go with the flow
Kahp Suh and his colleagues from Seoul National University have developed a technique for aligning nanotubes over large areas based on the flow of a nanotube-containing solution through nanochannels.

ESOC hosts visit from UK science minister
The UK Minister of State for Science and Innovation, Ian Pearson, visited ESA's Operations Center today in the first-ever such visit from a British state secretary.

How to choose among presidential candidates you don't particularly like
This election season, we're finding out that some choices are indeed tougher than others.

Your personality type influences how much self-control you have
A new study from Northwestern introduces personality types used frequently in consumer research to the realm of self-improvement.

Experimental procedure induces tolerance to mismatched kidney transplants
Four of five patients participating in a trial of an experimental protocol designed to induce immune tolerance to HLA-mismatched kidney transplants have been able to discontinue immunosuppressive drugs.

Antarctic ice loss speeds up, nearly matches Greenland loss
Ice loss in Antarctica increased by 75 percent in the last 10 years due to a speed-up in the flow of its glaciers and is now nearly as great as that observed in Greenland, according to a new, comprehensive study by UC Irvine and NASA scientists.

Queen's study connects obesity with nervous system
A discovery by Queen's biologists and their students sheds new light on the genetic roots of obesity -- a condition that is increasing dramatically in North America and has been linked to heart disease, diabetes and some forms of cancer.

Touch screen voting a hit; critics miss mark on security, study says
Electronic voting technology, especially touch screen systems, easily pass the tests of voter confidence and satisfaction, but users still make too many mistakes and ask too often for help, says a major new study led by the University of Maryland and conducted with the University of Rochester and the University of Michigan.

NIST helps heat pumps 'go with the flow' to boost output
NIST researchers are working to improve even more the performance of air-source heat pumps -- which already typically deliver up to three times more heating energy to a home than the electric energy they consume -- by providing engineers with computer-based tools for optimizing heat exchanger designs.

Why immigration divides America will be tackled at UCSD Economics Roundtable, Feb. 13
One of the nation's leading authorities on the economics of immigration, University of California, San Diego Professor Gordon Hanson, will speak on the topic

Genetic difference predicts antidepressant response
Researchers have identified subtle genetic variations that predict the efficacy of two widely used antidepressant drugs.

Engineers use blood's hydrodynamics to manipulate stem, cancer cells
A tiny, implantable device has pulled adult stem cells out of a living rat with a far greater purity than any present technique.

Kids learn more when mom is listening
Kids may roll their eyes when their mother asks them about their school day, but answering her may actually help them learn.

New method enables design, production of extremely novel drugs
A new chemical synthesis method based on a catalyst worth many times the price of gold and providing a far more efficient and economical method than traditional ones for designing and manufacturing extremely novel pharmaceutical compounds is described by its University at Buffalo developers in a review article in the current issue of Nature.

RAND study finds path to diversity success varies
Companies recognized for exemplary diversity may follow a core set of motives and behaviors, but best practices alone do not always contribute to a high level of diversity, according to a RAND Corporation study released today.

The RNA drug revolution -- a new approach to gene therapy
RNA interference represents an innovative new strategy for using small RNA molecules to silence specific genes associated with disease processes, and a series of review articles describing the state-of-the-art and potential therapeutic applications of RNAi and microRNAs will begin with two review papers in the January 2008 issue (Volume 19, No.

Videos extract mechanical properties of liquid-gel interfaces
Researchers at NIST and the University of Minnesota have demonstrated a video method that may make it possible to make remote, noninvasive measurements of the interaction of fluids and solid surfaces, data important to a host of phenomena including blood coursing through vessels, lubricated cartilage sliding against joints, and ink jets splashing on paper.

Making every shower an electric storm
Here's something residents of cloudy northern Europe should appreciate: a way of using rain to generate power.

LSU, Yale team study agricultural impact on Mississippi River
According to a study published in Nature by researchers at LSU and Yale University, farming has significantly changed the hydrology and chemistry of the Mississippi River, injecting more carbon dioxide into the river and raising river discharge during the past 50 years.

Ecologists, material scientists pursue genetics of diatom's elegant, etched casing
Scientists have discovered of whole subsets of genes and proteins that govern how one species of diatom builds its shell.

Health insurance co-payments deter mammography use
A new Brown University study shows that even small health insurance co-payments have a big effect on mammography rates.

Stanford study finds transplant patient thrives 2 years after stopping immunosuppressive drugs
Stanford researchers describe a patient's case in a brief report to be published in the Jan.

Sports machismo may be cue to male teen violence
The sports culture surrounding football and wrestling may be fueling aggressive and violent behavior not only among teen male players but also among their male friends and peers on and off the field, according to a Penn State study.

Coal-fires science: Ready to ignite around the world
In spite of the human suffering and environmental dangers they cause around the world, naturally burning coal fires and coal fires ignited by human activities receive little attention from the media, compared to other environmental catastrophes.

Less education may lead to delayed awareness of Alzheimer's onset
A review of epidemiological data has found evidence that people who spend fewer years in school may experience a slight but statistically significant delay in the realization that they're having cognitive problems that could be Alzheimer's disease.

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology announces Discovery Scholarship awardees
KAUST announces the first group of Discovery Scholarship recipients. More than 170 Discovery Scholarship have been awarded.

Concrete flow researchers to use Argonne supercomputer
Argonne National Laboratory has announced that a team of researchers at NIST has been awarded 750,000 central processing unit hours on the IBM Blue Gene/P supercomputer at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility.

Nitrogen fixation process in plants to combat drought in various species of legumes
The regulation of the biological fixation of nitrogen in hydric stress conditions varies with the different species of legume plants studied.

Follow the launch of ESA's Columbus space laboratory live at ESA and DLR
With NASa's recent confirmation of the launch of Space Shuttle Atlantis on Thursday, Feb.

Stem cells could be used for cardiac repair
Top cardiologists meet to examine the latest data and scientific advances in the field of heart failure.

What's fear got to do with it?
The education world is under more scrutiny than ever before.

Researchers identify brain's 'eureka' circuitry
Researchers have found the brain region that controls the decision to halt your midnight exploration of the refrigerator and commence enjoyment of that leftover chicken leg.

New Antarctic ice core to provide clearest climate record yet
After enduring months on the coldest, driest and windiest continent on Earth, researchers today closed out the inaugural season on an unprecedented, multiyear effort to retrieve the most detailed record of greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere over the last 100,000 years.

Quality control mechanism tags defective sperm cells inside the body
Defective sperm cells do not pass through the body unnoticed.
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