Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 05, 2008
'T-ray' breakthrough signals next generation of security sensors
A new generation of sensors for detecting explosives and poisons could be developed following new research into a type of radiation known as T-rays, published today (Feb.

UK's largest charity announces increase in funding to almost £4 billion over 5 years
The Wellcome Trust, the UK's largest independent funder of medical research, today announces plans to increase its spending to almost £4 billion over the next 5 years in what is believed to be the largest ever charitable spend within the UK.

Chemical signature of manic depression discovered by scientists
People with manic depression have a distinct chemical signature in their brains, according to a new study.

Stevens researchers provide oversight for three-year mariculture program in Egypt and Israel
Researchers in the Center for Maritime Systems at Stevens Institute of Technology have been awarded a grant from the United States Agency for International Development that is focused on enhancing mutual cooperation between scientists from Egypt and Israel through scientific collaboration.

Why do earthquakes stop?
Why do some earthquakes terminate along a fault, while others jump or step-over a gap to another fault?

Welfare concerns for broiler chickens underlined by DEFRA-funded study
The huge increase in growth rates of broiler chickens means more than a quarter of these intensively-reared birds have difficulty walking, according to a comprehensive survey carried out by the University of Bristol.

ESA presents Mars in 3-D
Mars is about to come into 3-D focus as never before, thanks to the data from the Mars Express High Resolution Stereo Camera.

What are the long-term causes and consequences for the young homeless?
According to recent studies, more than half of the world's 6 billion people live in cities, many in overcrowded and ramshackle dwellings, lacking basic services, such as safe water and adequate sanitation.

RNA-associated introns guide nerve-cell channel production
Researchers have discovered that introns, or junk DNA to some, associated with RNA are an important molecular guide to making nerve-cell electrical channels.

Hand-held computers prod older adults to exercise more, Stanford study shows
Today's younger generation may reckon that

Older women more susceptible to depression than older men
Older women are more prone to depression and are more likely to remain depressed than older men, according to a new study by Yale School of Medicine researchers in the February Archives of General Psychiatry.

DNA 'barcode' identified for plants
A 'barcode' gene that can be used to distinguish between the majority of plant species on Earth has been identified by scientists who publish their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal today (Monday Feb.

Disrupted genetic regulation causes common disturbance in metabolism of fat
The disease familial combined hyperlipidemia is a common cause of disturbed metabolism of fat and early heart attacks.

Design the first map of active faults in the Gibraltar Arc to prevent earthquakes
Researchers from the University of Granada characterised the physical and mechanical properties of the Earth's crust of this area of intense seismic activity.

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

Don't blame the trees: Social factors, not forests, dictate disease patterns
A new study published Feb. 6 in the open access journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases suggests that socioeconomic factors best explain patterns of the infectious disease American Cutaneous Leishmaniasis in Costa Rica.

2008 Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation awarded to Dr. Marie-Joëlle Rochet from IFREMER
Dr. Marie-Joëlle Rochet, a research scientist at IFREMER (The French Research Institute for Exploitation of the Sea) has been awarded the prestigious Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation to determine which of two commercial fishing approaches is least harmful to the delicately balanced marine ecosystem.

Smoking marijuana associated with increased risk for gum disease
Regular use of marijuana in young adulthood is associated with periodontal disease, according to a study in the Feb.

On the origins of orogeny
When Raymond A. Price, the great Canadian structural geologist, was a student in the 1950s he wrote an essay titled

Maine Medical Center/Tufts University School of Medicine establish unique medical school partnership
Tufts University School of Medicine and Maine Medical Center announce the establishment of a new partnership with a

Drug fights cystic fibrosis
An experimental drug, PTC124, has proven effective in treating cystic fibrosis in mice, according to a new study.

New figures reveal changing patterns of stroke and heart disease-related deaths in Europe
New figures published in the European Heart Journal show there are still large variations between and within European countries in the numbers of stroke and heart disease-related deaths.

Boston University astronomers map full extent of Mercury's comet-like tail
Boston University astronomers released today new images of Mercury that capture both the source regions of and, for the first time, the extraordinary length of the planet's comet-like tail.

Feed the birds: Winter feeding makes for better breeding
Keep feeding the birds over winter: that's the message from research by the University of Exeter and Queen's University Belfast, published today in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters.

Springer to publish new society journal in cardiology
Springer and the International Society for Cardiovascular Translational Research are founding a new, quarterly biomedical publication called the Journal of Cardiovascular Translational Research.

2008 Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation awarded to Fan Meng; first Chinese fellow
Fan Meng of China, a visionary leader who implemented most of the first marine protected areas in China's rapidly industrializing Guangdong Province, has been awarded the prestigious 2008 Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation.

Carnegie Mellon gets NSF award
Carnegie Mellon's Jeremy Michalek has received the National Science Foundation's Faculty Early Career Award.

Researchers identify a worldwide-distributed clone of bacteria responsible for Legionnaire's disease
A study published online today in Genome Research describes new insights into Legionella pneumophila, the bacteria responsible for most cases of Legionnaires' disease.

How crystal becomes a conductor
Squeeze a crystal of manganese oxide hard enough, and it changes from an electrical insulator to a conductive metal.

Satellite data to deliver 'state-of-the-art' air quality information
The European Environment Agency has finalised an agreement with an ESA-led consortium to provide unparalleled information on air pollution, which contributes to the premature deaths of hundreds of thousands of Europeans annually.

Avian origins: new analysis confirms ancient beginnings
Did modern birds originate around the time of the dinosaurs' demise, or have they been around far longer?

Cannabis indicated as possible risk for gum disease in young people
People who regularly smoke marijuana could be at increased risk for gum disease.

Research shows a daily does of beetroot juice can beat high blood pressure
Researchers have discovered that drinking just 500ml of beetroot juice a day can significantly reduce blood pressure.

2008 Pew Fellowship in marine conservation awarded to UM Rosenstiel's Dr. Andrew Baker
Coral reef scientist Dr. Andrew C. Baker has been awarded the prestigious 2008 Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation to help protect reef corals from climate change.

Half of patients undergoing cerebrovascular stent placement respond poorly to clopidogrel
A study by researchers at Rush University Medical Center, published in the February issue of the American Journal of Neuroradiology, finds that half of patients undergoing cerebrovascular stent placement did not respond well to clopidogrel.

Cross-border partnership to research earthquake activity in Middle East
Palestinian, Jordanian and Israeli researchers build new partnership to monitor regional earthquakes.

Bug guts map brings scientists closer to understanding different bugs' role in the body
Scientists have made a major step towards understanding precisely which bugs in the gut are involved in which processes in the body, by mapping the different species of bugs living in seven members of the same Chinese family.

Heavy marijuana use linked to gum disease
Heavy marijuana use has been found to contribute to gum disease, apart from the known effects that tobacco smoke was already known to have.

William F. Balistreri, M.D., honored with Distinguished Service Award by AASLD
William F. Balistreri, M.D., editor of the Journal of Pediatrics, has been honored with the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases 2007 Distinguished Service Award, recognizing his sustained commitment and contribution to the AASLD as well as to the liver disease community.

Weight training melts fat and improves metabolism, says study of obese mice
When it comes to losing weight, pumping iron may be just as important as running on the treadmill, suggests a new study in the February issue of Cell Metabolism, a publication of Cell Press.

Is political orientation transmitted genetically?
As reported in this week's issue of

Novel small molecule therapy shows benefit for anemic patients via hydration of red blood cells
Researchers are identifying innovative therapeutics for sickle cell anemia that focus on specific factors in the disease's progression, such as the important role of hydration of the red blood cells.

Seeing our spouses more negatively might be a positive
While our relationships with children and best friends tend to become less negative as we age, we're more likely to see our spouses as irritating and demanding.

Optical Atomic Clock: A long look at the captured atoms
In the case of one of the candidates for an optical clock which is developed at Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, an optical grating clock with strontium atoms, the loading of cold atoms into an optical grating has been optimized to such an extent that approx.

Antarctic expedition provides new insights into the role of the Southern Ocean for global climate
In the Southern Ocean, large quantities of surface-drifting plankton algae are able to significantly reduce the carbon dioxide content of surface waters.

New devices to boost nematode research on neurons and drugs
A pair of new thin, transparent devices, constructed with soft lithography, should boost research in which nematodes are studied to explore brain-behavior connections and to screen new pharmaceuticals for potential treatment of parasitic infections in humans, report 10 scientists at three institutions.

'Weight training' muscles reduce fat, improve metabolism in mice
Researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine have demonstrated that in mice, the use of barbells may be as important to losing weight and improving health as the use of running shoes.

Scripps scientists peg wind as the force behind fish booms and busts
Scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have now shed light on the puzzle by proposing a plausible mechanism behind the mystery: wind.

Researchers find less invasive, highly accurate methods
Using two different endoscopes together is better than using one to stage lung cancer, and is also much more precise and less invasive than the surgical method now most commonly used, researchers at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., report in the Feb.

Chemical chaperone could open door to treatment of neurological disorder
An unexpected finding turned out to be a clue leading researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Less invasive methods may provide accurate means to determine lung cancer stage
An evaluation of several endoscopic biopsy methods suggests that a

Queensland businessman is 'one in a million'
A retiring Queensland businessman has given the 18,700 Australians diagnosed with prostate cancer each year hope for a new treatment by donating $1 million to a Brisbane research project .

2008 Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation awarded to Dr. Ussif Rashid Sumaila
Dr. Ussif Rashid Sumaila, an Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia Fisheries Centre in Vancouver, Canada, is among five ocean experts to be awarded the prestigious 2008 Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation, which supports critical marine conservation projects around the world.

Gargantuan galaxy NGC 1132 -- a cosmic fossil?
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has captured a new image of the galaxy NGC 1132 which is, most likely, a cosmic fossil -- the aftermath of an enormous multi-galactic pile-up, where the carnage of collision after collision has built up a brilliant but fuzzy giant elliptical galaxy far outshining typical galaxies.

Supplementary approach to malaria
Could a simple vitamin A and zinc supplement help protect young children from malaria?

Obesity may be wired in the brain, rat study suggests
A predisposition for obesity might be wired into the brain from the start, suggests a new study of rats in the February issue of Cell Metabolism, a publication of Cell Press.

Patients at risk of adverse events within 3 months after stopping certain ACS therapy
Patients who receive the anti-platelet medication clopidogrel following an acute coronary syndrome (such as heart attack) appear to be at greater risk of a heart attack or death in the first 90 days after stopping clopidogrel treatment, according to a study in the Feb.

First European Lung Cancer Conference
The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer and the European Society for Medical Oncology are pleased to announce the 1st European Lung Cancer Conference, a joint meeting presenting the cutting edge of clinical and basic research in a multidisciplinary educational and scientific event.

Reducing cancer panic
New research has allayed some panic about suspected cancer-causing agents, such as deodorants, coffee and artificial sweeteners.

Collaboration needed for strengthening medical research in Europe
Public spending on medical research in Europe should be doubled over the next ten years to ensure health and welfare for Europe's citizens and to nurture a thriving European medical research industry.

Scientists obtain core samples from subsea fault system off Japan
Scientists aboard IODP scientific drilling vessel Chikyu collected 5,000 samples from the seismogenic zone known as the Nankai Trough.

Whole grain diets lower risk of chronic disease
Diets with high amounts of whole grains may help achieve significant weight loss, and also reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, according to a team of Penn State researchers at University Park and the College of Medicine.

Chronic pain harms the brain
People with unrelenting pain are often depressed, anxious and have difficulty making simple decisions.

Pew Institute for Ocean Science awards 5 fellowships in support of global marine conservation
The Pew Institute for Ocean Science today announced the 2008 recipients of the Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation, the preeminent fellowship in support of ocean conservation.

National survey shows minority children experience multiple disparities in health care
There is a lack of equity in health care for minority children in America, according to data gathered in a nationwide survey and analyzed by a UT Southwestern Medical Center researcher.

Dr. Andrew Constable awarded 2008 Pew Fellowship in marine conservation
Dr. Andrew Constable of Australia, Leader of the Antarctic Marine Ecosystems program at the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre in Tasmania, has been awarded the 2008 Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation to help prevent unsustainable exploitation of Antarctic krill fisheries.

Argonne breakthrough may revolutionize ethylene production
A new environmentally friendly technology created by scientists at the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory may revolutionize the production of the world's most commonly produced organic compound, ethylene.

Plan expedites alternatives to animal testing
A new plan to further reduce, refine and replace the use of animals in research and regulatory testing commonly referred to as the 3Rs was unveiled today at a symposium marking the 10-year anniversary of the Interagency Coordinating Committee on the Validation of Alternative Methods.

Novel molecules developed at UB can boost vaccine potency
Two novel proteins studied by a University at Buffalo professor of microbiology and immunology appear to have the potential to enhance the production of antibodies against a multitude of infectious agents.

Carnegie mellon visiting scholar identifes vulnerable areas
A new international study release today warns that ecosystems and societies are at risk from ongoing warming of planet. 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