Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 28, 2008
Sedentary lifestyles associated with accelerated aging process
Individuals who are physically active during their leisure time appear to be biologically younger than those with sedentary lifestyles, according to a report in the Jan.

Scientists propose test of string theory based on neutral hydrogen absorption
Ancient light absorbed by neutral hydrogen atoms could be used to test certain predictions of string theory, say cosmologists at the University of Illinois.

Cell signaling in cervical cancer; gene variant impairs glycogen synthesis
Featured in the upcoming edition of PLoS Medicine are

EPA takes first step in filling nanotech information gaps
The US Environmental Protection Agency published today in the Federal Register its plan for the Nanoscale Materials Stewardship Program under the Toxic Substances Control Act.

Stem cell treatment for brittle bones in the womb
The extraordinary results of an in utero stem cell treatment could lead to a new treatment for babies with brittle bones, as well as a range of other disabling conditions, according to a maternal-fetal medicine researcher, now based at The University of Queensland.

Tiny avalanche photodiode detects single UV photons
Researchers at Northwestern University's McCormick School of Engineering have demonstrated visible-blind avalanche photodiodes capable of detecting single photons in the ultraviolet region (360-200 nm).

Scientists explore factors contributing to DNA mutations
A team of Penn State University researchers is the first to conduct a genome-wide study to compare the relative importance of factors that contribute to DNA mutations, which are implicated in cancer and over 40 neurological disorders.

Cats' family tree rooted in Fertile Crescent, study confirms
The Fertile Crescent of the Middle East has long been identified as a

Device zeroes in on small breast tumors
A new medical imager for detecting and guiding the biopsy of suspicious breast cancer lesions is capable of spotting tumors that are half the size of the smallest ones detected by standard imaging systems, according to a new study.

Intervention program boosts health, reduces symptoms in breast cancer patients
Psychological interventions for cancer patients do more than just ease emotional distress -- they directly improve health, new research suggests.

Researchers at Peoria Pulmonary Associates to study airway bypass procedure for emphysema
Researchers at Peoria Pulmonary Associates today announced the start of the EASE Trial, an international, multicenter clinical trial to explore an investigational procedure for advanced widespread emphysema/COPD.

National Institutes of Health funds new center for reproduction and infertility research at Illinois
The NIH will fund a center for reproduction and infertility research at the University of Illinois.

Rice wins innovation award for international program
NanoJapan, a unique, Rice University-based program that combines a traditional study abroad experience in Japan with a targeted undergraduate research internship in nanotechnology, has been awarded the Institute of International Education's prestigious Heiskell Award for Innovation in International Education.

UD launches 'FIBER' e-journal for international fashion and apparel industry
Did you know that many brand-name blue jeans sold in the United States are made in Guatemala?

Conspicuous social signaling drives the evolution of chameleon color change
In dwarf chameleons, evolutionary shifts in the capacity for color change are associated with increasingly conspicuous signals used in contests and courtship rather than by the need to match different backgrounds.

New study finds resistant organisms at core of soft contact lens corneal infections
New research shows that corneal infections associated with soft contact lenses are fueled and made resistant to treatment by the formation of a highly resistant structure of microbial cells held together with a glue-like matrix material.

In vivo visualization of alternative splicing
The Feb. 1 cover of G&D features an unprecedented use of fluorescent proteins to visualize developmentally regulated alternative mRNA splicing in a living organism.

2 microRNAs promote spread of tumor cells
Scientists at The Wistar Institute and their colleagues have identified two microRNAs that promote tumors' deadly spread.

Researchers map signaling networks that control neuron function
In the first large-scale proteomics study of its kind, researchers at the University of California-San Diego School of Medicine have mapped thousands of neuronal proteins to discover how they connect into complex signaling networks that guide neuron function.

ACPM concludes insufficient evidence to recommend routine prostate cancer screening
The American College of Preventive Medicine has found there is insufficient evidence to recommend for or against routine population prostate screening with digital rectal examination or measurement of the serum tumor marker, prostatespecific antigen.

New kind of transistor radios shows capability of nanotube technology
Carbon nanotubes have a sound future in the electronics industry, say researchers who built the world's first all-nanotube transistor radios to prove it.

Baffin Island ice caps shrink by 50 percent since 1950s, says CU-Boulder study
A new University of Colorado at Boulder study has shown that ice caps on the northern plateau of Baffin Island in the Canadian Arctic have shrunk by more than 50 percent in the last half century as a result of warming, and are expected to disappear by the middle of the century.

Regular marijuana use increases risk of hepatitis C-related liver damage
Patients with chronic hepatitis C infection should not use marijuana daily, according to a study published in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Brain drain of doctors from Pakistan, and more
Featured in the upcoming issue of PLoS Medicine are

Number of Russian women smokers has doubled since Soviet collapse
The number of Russian women who smoke has more than doubled since the collapse of the Soviet Union, according to new research.

Participants in studies used as basis for Medicare decisions differ from beneficiaries
The clinical trials used by Medicare for making decisions about coverage for cardiovascular products or services include participants who differ from Medicare beneficiaries in age, sex and country of residence, according to a report in the Jan.

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation reports upward trend for key health outcomes
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation reported today that key indicators of health for people with cystic fibrosis -- including lung function and nutritional status -- are rising nationwide across its accredited care center network.

JDRF to establish an autoimmunity center at University of Colorado Denver
Researchers at the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes at the University of Colorado Denver have new resources in their fight against type 1 diabetes: The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation has approved funding for the establishment of a JDRF Autoimmunity Center at the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, only the seventh in the nation.

Researchers find that middle-aged misery spans the globe
Using data on 2 million people, from 80 nations, researchers from the University of Warwick and Dartmouth College in the US have found an extraordinarily consistent international pattern in depression and happiness levels that leaves us most miserable in middle age.

Zoologists: Lusty voles, mindless of danger, mate like rabbits
Forgetful Casanovas are lucky in love.

New polymer could improve semiconductor manufacturing, packaging
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Polyset Co. have developed a new inexpensive, quick-drying polymer that could lead to dramatic cost savings and efficiency gains in semiconductor manufacturing and computer chip packaging.

Pancreatic cancer: The smaller the tumor, the better your chances, study shows
The odds of surviving cancer of the pancreas increase dramatically for patients whose tumors are smallest, according to a new study by researchers at Saint Louis University and the M.D.

Feds fund study of drug that may prevent radiation injury
The Department of Defense has commissioned a nine-month study from Rice University chemists and scientists in the Texas Medical Center to determine whether a new drug based on carbon nanotubes can help prevent people from dying of acute radiation injury following radiation exposure.

Stroke victims may benefit from stem cell transplants
Two studies published in the current issue of Cell Transplantation examine the potential for cell transplants to benefit stroke victims.

Opening day for a home of the future
The first of six properties designed to show case state-of-the-art energy efficient housing will be officially opened on Wednesday Jan.

Study finds increasing rates of diabetes among older Americans
The annual number of Americans older than 65 newly diagnosed with diabetes increased by 23 percent between 1994 to 1995 and 2003 to 2004, according to a report in the Jan.

Naked mole-rats bear chili pepper heat
Scientists have used gene therapy to restore sensation in naked mole-rats, strange rodents that lack a key neurotransmitter that causes prolonged pain perception in other mammals.

A difficult youth is a good thing for a fish, report scientists at UC-Santa Barbara
A tough early life turns out to be a good thing for a fish, according to scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

International solar physics conference set June 1-6 at Montana State
An international conference on the sun-Earth-space relationship will be held June 1-6 at Montana State University.

Crew oxygen for ISS loaded on Jules Verne
Three weeks into delicate fueling operations, Jules Verne Automated Transfer Vehicle has also been successfully loaded with oxygen.

University of Chicago launches research program in catastrophic deformation
The University of Chicago has received a $1.8 million grant from the W.M.

Snorers appear more likely to develop chronic bronchitis
Frequent snoring appears to be associated with the development of chronic bronchitis, according to a report in the Jan.

Over-the-counter eardrops may cause hearing loss or damage
A new study, led by researchers at the Montreal Children's Hospital of the MUHC, has revealed that certain over-the-counter earwax softeners can cause severe inflammation and damage to the eardrum and inner ear.

Virtual reality teaches autistic children street crossing
Recent research conducted at the University of Haifa found that children with autism improved their road safety skills after practicing with a unique virtual reality system.

New nanotube findings by Stanford researchers give boost to potential biomedical applications
Now it can be said with certainty: what goes in, does come out, at least with regard to carbon nanotubes and mice.

Researchers confirm genetic alteration that triggers prostate cancer in mice and man
A team of researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has confirmed that a molecular change found in human prostate cancers triggers the growth of prostate cancer in mice and in human cell lines.

Hyperfast star proven to be alien
A young star is speeding away from the Milky Way so fast that astronomers have been puzzled by where it came from; based on its young age it has traveled too far to have come from our galaxy.

Diuretics comparable to or better than other hypertension drugs in patients with metabolic syndrome
Use of calcium-channel blockers, alpha-blockers or angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors appears to offer no advantages in improving clinical outcomes compared with use of diuretics when treating hypertension among individuals with metabolic syndrome, according to a report in the Jan.

NASA-funded instrument nails nova
First results from a new NASA-funded scientific instrument at the W.

Elephant engineers
An examination of the connections between elephants and lizards appears this month in the journal Ecology, where a researcher reports that the elephants' eating habits have a strong influence on the lizards' habitat choices.

Berkeley scientists bring MRI/NMR to microreactors
In a significant step towards improving the design of future catalysts and catalytic reactors, especially for microfluidic

Drug helps brain tumor patients live longer
People who receive high doses of the chemotherapy drug methotrexate to treat a certain type of brain tumor appear to live longer than people receiving other treatments, according to research published in the Jan.

Morphine dependency blocked by single genetic change
Morphine's serious side effect as a pain killer -- its potential to create dependency -- has been almost completely eliminated in research with mice by genetically modifying a single trait on the surface of neurons.

Study finds genetic link to human herpes susceptibility
There's a high probability that people who are prone to herpes simplex virus outbreaks can inherit that susceptibility through their genes, University of Utah researchers report in a new study.

McMaster test detects the most prevalent respiratory viruses
The new test simultaneously detects the most prevalent respiratory viruses, including flu and the common cold, helping doctors more accurately diagnose patients.

AAAS/EurekAlert! build bridges with Middle Eastern science community through journalism fellowships
EurekAlert!, the global science news service operated by AAAS, in cooperation with the National Association of Science Writers in the United States and the Arab Science Journalists Association, is happy to announce the recipients of the 2008 AAAS Fellowships for Reporters in Developing Regions, sponsored by Elsevier.

Mental health screenings, risk behavior interventions needed in juvenile justice system
A new study by researchers at the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center in Providence, R.I., finds that kids who have been arrested and are depressed are more likely to use drugs and alcohol and engage in unsafe sexual behavior that increases their HIV risk.

Lessons from evolution applied to national security and other threats
Could lessons learned from Mother Nature help airport security screening checkpoints better protect us from terror threats?

El Nino at play as source of more intense regional US wintertime storms
The next time you have to raise your umbrella against torrents of cold winter rain, you may have a remote weather phenomenon to thank that many may know by name as El Nino, but may not well understand.

Diuretics excel in drug comparison trial involving hypertension/metabolic syndrome
Diuretics were associated with reduced heart disease in a drug comparison trial involving 23,077 people with both high blood pressure and the metabolic syndrome, a cluster of risk factors for heart disease, report researchers from the University of Texas School of Public Health and Case Western Reserve University in the Jan.

Cutting caffeine may help control diabetes
Daily consumption of caffeine in coffee, tea or soft drinks increases blood sugar levels for people with type 2 diabetes and may undermine efforts to control their disease, say scientists at Duke University Medical Center.

Bad news for coastal ocean: less fish out, means more nitrogen in
The study, the first to examine the world's 58 coatal regions, shows how failing to maintain ecosystems in a sustainable manner has wide-ranging consequences.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory researchers race against time to save Tasmanian devils
A delegation of Tasmanian government officials traveled halfway around the world to visit Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, to lend their support and extend their gratitude for research aimed at understanding a unique transmissible and rapidly spreading cancer that threatens the very existence of Tasmanian devils.

Downsized heart aids bypass surgery
An estimated one in 20 patients undergoing a common operation to boost blood supply to the heart and to ward off repeat heart attacks may do better if their surgeons also remold the heart to a near normal size, by cutting and suturing together stretched muscle and scar tissue resulting from the initial attack, according to cardiac surgeons at Johns Hopkins.

American Chemical Society's weekly PressPac -- Jan. 23, 2008
The American Chemical Society News Service Weekly PressPac contains reports from 36 major peer-reviewed journals on chemistry, health, medicine, energy, environment, food, nanotechnology and other hot topics.

Leading researchers meet to discuss latest research in seismology
Leading researchers will meet to present their latest research in seismology, including hazard assessment, volcano seismology, extreme ground motions, archaeoseismology, unique challenges to research that spans the California/Mexico border, and more.

Cancer Vaccine Consortium and Cancer Vaccine Collaborative unite under the Cancer Research Institute
Two global cancer vaccine initiatives comprising industrial and academic efforts have united in close cooperation under the nonprofit Cancer Research Institute to establish a unified voice in the cancer vaccine field, providing a major new resource to academia, industry, and governmental agencies involved in cancer vaccine discovery and development.

Genetic material under a magnifying glass
Volker Deckert and his team at the Institute for Analytical Sciences in Dortmund have developed a method that could provide a way to directly sequence DNA by Raman spectroscopy and atomic force microscopy.

AGU journal highlights -- Jan. 28, 2008
In this issue: Doubling of snow in western Antarctic Peninsula; Good news for larch trees: more wildfires in boreal forests as climate warms; Expansion and contraction of Mars' exosphere with solar cycle; Cyclonic and anticyclonic motion in upper ocean; Sea-surface stratification from global warming shifts phytoplankton habitat; and Melting Canadian ice caps. 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