Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 30, 2008
Intensive insulin therapy protects kidneys in critically ill patients
For critically ill patients, intensive insulin therapy to keep blood sugar at normal levels reduces the risk of acute kidney injury, reports a study in the March Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Government dietary guidelines, unintended consequences and public policy
In the years following the government promotion of a low-fat diet, obesity in America has reached almost epidemic levels.

NightHawk Radiology exclusive radiology provider for high-risk plaque research initiative
NightHawk Radiology signs on as exclusive radiology provider for innovative high-risk plaque research initiative.

New adhesive mimics gecko toe hairs
A new antisliding adhesive developed by UC Berkeley engineers may be the closest man-made material yet to mimic the remarkable gecko toe hairs that enable the tiny lizard's gravity-defying feats.

Researchers investigate links between prostate, cadmium, zinc
Cadmium exposure is a known risk factor for prostate cancer, and a new University of Rochester study suggests that zinc may offer protection against cadmium.

A taxing issue: How human T-lymphotropic virus
Researchers have identified a potential new mechanism through which human T-lymphotropic virus type-1 causes leukemia in adults.

American College of Preventive Medicine calls on ABC to cancel 'Eli Stone' episode
The American College of Preventive Medicine, a national medical specialty society representing primary care and public health physicians who administer individual and community immunization programs, has called on ABC to cancel or revise the medical content of its program,

Allergic disease linked to irritable bowel syndrome
Adults with allergy symptoms report a high incidence of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, suggesting a link between atopic disorders and IBS according to a study published this month in Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the scientific journal of the American Collegeof Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Brown mathematician David Mumford wins prestigious Wolf Prize
David Mumford, a pioneering Brown University mathematician, has won the 2008 Wolf Foundation Prize in Mathematics, one of the world's top science prizes.

Consumption of fruits may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease
Apples, bananas, and oranges are the most common fruits in both Western and Asian diets, and are important sources of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

How do multiple deployments affect soldiers and their families?
Studies over the years have shown that highly stressful situations like divorce, natural disasters and accidents can produce immediate and long-term physical and emotional problems for the victim.

Scientists achieve major genetics breakthrough
University of Adelaide geneticist Dr. Jozef Gecz and a team of Belgium and UK scientists have achieved a major breakthrough in discovering the causes of intellectual disability.

New light on dark energy
Astronomers have used ESO's Very Large Telescope to measure the distribution and motions of thousands of galaxies in the distant universe.

Accelerated head growth can predict autism before behavioral symptoms start
Children with autism have normal-size heads at birth but develop accelerated head growth between six and nine months of age, a period that precedes the onset of many behaviors that enable physicians to diagnose the developmental disorder, according to new research from the University of Washington's Autism Center.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory to play central role addressing key questions in plant biology
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory will play a central role in an important new initiative called the iPlant Collaborative, funded by the National Science Foundation.

Squeezed crystals deliver more volts per jolt
A discovery by scientists at the Carnegie Institution has opened the door to a new generation of piezoelectric materials that can convert mechanical strain into electricity and vice versa, potentially cutting costs and boosting performance in myriad applications ranging from medical diagnostics to green energy technologies.

Mercury's magnetosphere fends off the solar wind
The planet Mercury's magnetic field appears to be strong enough to fend off the harsh solar wind from most of its surface, according to data gathered in part by a University of Michigan instrument onboard NASA's Messenger spacecraft.

Physicists explain dance marathon of wispy feature in roiling fluids
Theoretical physicists at the University of Chicago are suggesting how thin spouts of magma in the Earth's mantle can persist long enough to form hotspot volcanism of the type that might have created the Hawaiian Islands.

Cosmetic products may cause fatal infections in critically ill patients
Healthy consumers can handle the low levels of bacteria occasionally found in cosmetics.

Deep brain stimulation may improve memory
A new study found that hypothalamic DBS performed in the treatment of a patient with morbid obesity unexpectedly evoked detailed autobiographical memories.

Cummings School receives Rockefeller Foundation grant
The Rockefeller Foundation has awarded the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University a grant to assess veterinary health services in Indonesia and consider how advanced training of Indonesian veterinarians can enhance Indonesia's capacity to prevent and control infectious diseases shared by animals and people.

Markets of biodiversity and equity in trade: An illusion?
The Convention on Biological Diversity, adopted at the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit of 1992, bore the objective of providing a legal and political framework for the conservation of biodiversity.

Study analyzes best approach for treating abdominal aortic aneurysms
The largest study to date of over 45,000 Medicare recipients who had been treated for abdominal aortic aneurysms shows that endovascular repair, a less invasive way to treat the condition compared with open surgery, has the best health outcomes for patients.

Linking knowledge with action for sustainable development
On April 3 and 4, the National Academy of Sciences will hold a meeting to identify and promote practical interventions that could better link knowledge with action in pursuit of sustainable development.

UA-led research team awarded $50 million to solve plant biology's grand challenge questions
The National Science Foundation has awarded a University of Arizona-led team $50 million dollars to create a global center and computer cyberinfrastructure within which to answer plant biology's grand challenge questions, which no single research entity in the world currently has the capacity to address

DNA technique yields 3-D crystalline organization of nanoparticles
In an achievement some see as the

Blue-eyed humans have a single, common ancestor
New research shows that people with blue eyes have a single, common ancestor.

Iowa State researcher studies how enzymes break down cellulose
Iowa State University's Peter Reilly is working to understand how the structures of enzymes influence their mechanism and activity in breaking down cellulose.

Systems biologist finds novel solutions to fundamental biological problems
The European Molecular Biology Organization and the Federation of European Biochemical Societies announced Naama Barkai of the Weizman Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, as the first-ever winner of the FEBS/EMBO Women in Science Award.

Finding the door to a parallel universe
If there were a wormhole linking us to a parallel universe, how would we spot it?

Treatment capitalizes on unique qualities of radioisotope to prolong lives of brain tumor patients
In a study to determine safe dosages of the isotope astatine-211 for patients with recurring brain tumors, researchers were pleasantly surprised to find that not only was the isotope's potency sufficient to kill residual cancer cells without damaging sensitive healthy brain cells, but the patients experienced longer survival rates.

Newborn brain cells modulate learning and memory
Boosted by physical and mental exercise, neural stem cells continue to sprout new neurons throughout life, but the exact function of these newcomers has been the topic of much debate.

Study paves way for development of macular degeneration cures
A new study of age-related macular degeneration, the disease that affects more than nine million Americans, will pave the way for the biopharmaceutical industry to develop better treatments and cures, according to the Foundation Fighting Blindness, which partially funded the research.

Genetics researcher at Children's Hospital selected as Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator
Vivian Cheung, M.D., a pediatric neurologist at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, has been named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.

After more than 100 years apart, webworms devastate New Zealand parsnips
What could be lower than the lowly parsnip, a root once prized for its portable starchiness but which was long ago displaced by the more palatable potato?

Center for Science Writings presents: 'Big Fat Lies: The Truth about Diet, Exercise and Obesity'
The Center for Science Writings at Stevens Institute of Technology presents,

Study reveals improved prediction of prostrate cancer
Scientists are another step closer to understanding why some people suffer from life-threatening diseases such as cancer.

Stock price correlated to likeability of Super Bowl ads
When TV viewers like a company's Super Bowl commercial, the company's stock price goes up, according to a study by researchers in the University at Buffalo School of Management and Cornell University.

Molecules may help predict survival in liver cancer
Tiny molecules that help cells regulate which proteins they make might one day help doctors predict which liver-cancer patients are likely to live longer than others.

Gene variant linked to moderated symptoms of beta-thalassemia
Beta-thalassemia is a potentially life-threatening disease that affects red blood cells.

Increased hurricane activity linked to sea surface warming
The link between changes in the temperature of the sea's surface and increases in North Atlantic hurricane activity has been quantified for the first time.

African seed collection first to arrive in Norway on route to Arctic seed vault
Twenty-one boxes filled with 7,000 unique seed samples from more than 36 African nations were shipped to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, a facility being built on a remote island in the Arctic Circle as a repository of last resort for humanity's agricultural heritage.

Hot liquids release potentially harmful chemicals in polycarbonate plastic bottles
When it comes to Bisphenol A exposure from polycarbonate plastic bottles, it's not whether the container is new or old but the liquid's temperature that has the most impact on how much BPA is released, according to University of Cincinnati scientists.

Penn researchers discover new target for preventing and treating flu
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have now provided a new strategy for designing drugs that target resistant viral strains of inflenza tupe A by solving the three-dimensional structure of a viral protein called the M2 proton channel.

Babies excrete vaccine-mercury quicker than originally thought
February's issue of Pediatrics offers another reason to rethink blaming the spike in autism diagnoses on thimerosal, a mercury-containing preservative routinely used in several childhood vaccines until the late '90s.

Where in the world
New research from the University of Bristol shows for the first time that global positioning systems technology can be used to show how children as young as three find their way around.

African fruits could help alleviate hunger and bolster rural development
Africa's own fruits are a largely untapped resource that could combat malnutrition and boost environmental stability and rural development in Africa, says a new report from the National Research Council.

A pilot program for harvesting Kodiak rockfish
In 2007, fishing for Pacific rockfish took place in the Central Gulf of Alaska under a 5-year pilot program that incorporated fishery cooperatives instead of the usual

As a river runs through it, a Death Valley stream offers insights into flooding and climate change
Death Valley's Furnace Creek Wash, diverted in 1941 to protect a village from flooding, has carved through the sandy hills and bedrock of Gower Gulch to reveal the forces original landscape and changing channel dynamics exert on the responses of diverted rivers and streams, according to research published in the February edition of the journal Geology.

Analysis calls for medical device information to better serve patients and doctors
The approval process for medical devices does not involve the same rigorous review used for pharmaceuticals, and this needs to change in order to improve health outcomes, say researchers from the University of California-San Francisco.

New process makes nanofibers in complex shapes and unlimited lengths
The continuous fabrication of complex, 3-D nanoscale structures and the ability to grow individual nanowires of unlimited length are now possible with a process developed by researchers at the University of Illinois.

Virginia Tech plant scientist leads study on genomics of parasitic plants
Three types of parasitic plants, each exhibiting a different degree to which it needs its host, are the subject of a three-year, $1.5 million study at Virginia Tech to catalog genes essential to parasitism.

Study shows variety of approaches help children overcome auditory processing and language problems
A study comparing four intervention strategies in children who have unusual difficulty understanding and using language found that all four methods resulted in significant, long-term improvements in the children's language abilities.

Gene predicts heart attack response and cardiac damage
A protein influences the response of the heart to a lack of oxygen and blood flow, such as occurs during a heart attack.

Jefferson neurosurgeons using new liquid treatment for wide-neck brain aneurysm
Neurological surgeons at Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience are among the first surgeons in the United States using an FDA-approved liquid system for treating wide-necked brain aneurysms, which could eventually replace current treatments.

UMass Medical School study finds patients diagnosed with coronary heart disease continue poor diets
More than 13 million Americans have survived a heart attack or have been diagnosed with coronary heart disease, the number one cause of death in the United States.

Revolution in understanding of ion channel regulation
A study at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago published this week in the online version of Biophysical Journal proposes that bubbles may control the opening and closing of ion channels.

Urinary dysfunction troubles men who undergo prostate removal
A University of Florida study in a recent issue of Urologic Nursing underscores the need for health care practitioners to educate their patients about the physical and psychological effects of prostate removal.

Females decide whether ambitious males float or flounder
Aggression, testosterone and nepotism don't necessarily help one climb the social ladder, but the support of a good female can, according to new research on the social habits of an unusual African species of fish.

In nature -- and maybe the corner office -- scientists find that generalists can thrive
The assignment of duties in a single cell, ocean life or even a small business does not have to be defined by a division of labor where every individual has a specific role, according to biologists at Ohio State University.

Brown joins alliance to increase robotics education and research
Brown University has joined the Advancing Robotics Technology for Societal Impact Alliance supported by the National Science Foundation, in an effort to boost the number of African-American students pursuing computer science and robotics.

Anemia treatment may be a double-edged sword
A study in February's Journal of Clinical Investigation finds that erythropoietin, commonly given for anemia, promotes blood-vessel growth in the eye, an effect that could either improve/worsen disease for patients with cancer, diabetic retinopathy, or retinopathy of prematurity.

Porous structures help boost integration of host tissue with implants, study finds
Results published today in FASEB by researchers at Columbia University, including Jeremy Mao of the Columbia College of Dental Medicine, demonstrate a novel way of using porous structures as a drug-delivery vehicle that can help boost the integration of host tissue with surgically implanted titanium.

Paired earthquakes separated in time and space
Earthquakes occurring at the edges of tectonic plates can trigger events at a distance and much later in time, according to a team of researchers reporting in today's (Jan.

From diabetes to roller coasters, student research recognized at UH contest
Improving data storage, impacting human health and strengthening structures are on the agenda for three students at the University of Houston pursuing research in superconductivity and advanced materials.

DNA is blueprint, contractor and construction worker for new structures
DNA is the blueprint of all life, giving instruction and function to organisms ranging from simple one-celled bacteria to complex human beings.

More religious women less likely to get an abortion
A new study in the journal Social Science Quarterly reveals that religious women are less likely to obtain abortions than secular women, not because religious women have stronger pro-life attitudes, but because religious women are more likely to lead a sexually conservative lifestyle. 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