Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 25, 2008
First global malaria map in decades shows reduced risk
About 35 percent of the world's population is at risk of contracting deadly malaria, but many people are at a lower risk than previously thought, raising hope that the disease could be seriously reduced or eliminated in parts of the world.

More elderly Americans are living with heart failure
The number of elderly individuals newly diagnosed with heart failure has declined during the past ten years, but the number of those living with the condition has increased, according to a report in the Feb.

Blood testing for mood disorders
There are to date no objective clinical laboratory blood tests for mood disorders.

Krauss awarded $1.2 million to document endangered languages
During the next three years, University of Alaska Fairbanks professor emeritus Michael Krauss will lead a team of veteran linguists in documenting these and other endangered languages in and near Alaska.

STOP terrorism software
Researchers at the University of Maryland's Institute for Advanced Computer Studies have developed the SOMA Terror Organization Portal allowing analysts to query automatically learned rules on terrorist organization behavior, forecast potential behavior based on these rules, and, most importantly, to network with other analysts examining the same subjects.

About one-quarter of women with HIV want to become pregnant
One in four women who have tested positive for HIV expect pregnancy and motherhood to be a part of their future.

The danger of blindness after ophthalmic surgery
The injection of gas into the eye, as is performed in various ophthalmic surgical procedures, can cause blindness by expanding the eye.

We are what we drink
University of Utah scientists developed a new crime-fighting tool by showing that human hair reveals the general location where a person drank water, helping police track past movements of criminal suspects or unidentified murder victims.

Al Gore, Tom Stoppard and Amos Oz Are 2008 Dan David Prize winners
Three $1 million awards are to be presented at Tel Aviv University.

Omololu Falobi Awards for Excellence in HIV Prevention Research Community Advocacy presented
Two advocates have received the inaugural Omololu Falobi Award for Excellence in HIV Prevention Research Community Advocacy.

Compost can turn agricultural soils into a carbon sink, thus protecting against climate change
Applying organic fertilizers, such as those resulting from composting, to agricultural land could increase the amount of carbon stored in these soils and contribute significantly to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, according to new research published in a special issue of Waste Management & Research.

Elsevier's Illumin8 research tool helps corporate research professionals answer R&D questions
The product is Elsevier's latest online solution that transforms its high value content into actionable knowledge, in formats that fit into the professional's workflow.

Rats on islands disrupt ecosystems from land to sea, researchers find
Seabird colonies on islands are highly vulnerable to introduced rats, which find the ground-nesting birds to be easy prey.

Study details link between obesity, carbs and esophageal cancer
Cases of esophageal cancer (adenocarcinoma) in the US have risen in recent decades from 300,000 cases in 1973 to 2.1 million in 2001 at age-adjusted rates.

Study examines long-term outcomes following blood clots
Patients who develop a blood clot in their legs (deep vein thrombosis) or lungs (pulmonary embolism) are at risk for experiencing another blood clot within three years, and patients with pulmonary embolism have a higher risk of death, according to a report in the Feb.

FSU College of Medicine researcher seeks to uncover new cancer therapies
With a four-year, $707,000 grant from the American Cancer Society, Yanchang Wang, assistant professor of biomedical sciences in the Florida State University College of Medicine, hopes to learn how a particular enzyme could possibly help put the brakes on the runaway cell division process that occurs in many forms of cancer.

Iowa State researchers help piece together the corn genome's first draft
Iowa State University's Patrick Schnable and Srinivas Aluru contributed their expertise in corn genetics and supercomputing to a $32 million, three-year project to assemble the corn genome sequence.

5th annual Keys bonefish population census results announced
Results are in from the fifth annual Bonefish Population Census in the Florida Keys.

Mood markers isolated in blood open informative window into brain functioning and disease
Indiana University School of Medicine researchers have isolated biomarkers in the blood that identify mood disorders, a breakthrough that may change the way bipolar illness is diagnosed and treated.

Hormone therapy increases frequency of abnormal mammograms, breast biopsies
Combined hormone therapy appears to increase the risk that women will have abnormal mammograms and breast biopsies and may decrease the effectiveness of both methods for detecting breast cancer, according to a report in the Feb.

Anti-HIV gel proven safe, tolerable for women
An experimental anti-HIV gel is safe for women to use on a daily basis, according to researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Butterfly fish 'may face extinction'
A beautiful black, white and yellow butterflyfish, much admired by eco-tourists, divers and aquarium keepers alike, may be at risk of extinction, scientists have warned.

Trial finds tenofovir gel safe for daily use and most women adhered to study regimens
A vaginal microbicide containing a drug normally used to treat HIV is safe for sexually active HIV-negative women to use every day over an extended period.

Scientists unravel the genetic coding of the pea
The pea is one of many important crop species that is unsuited to the Agrobacterium-based genetic modification techniques that are commonly used to work with crops.

Tracking your carbon footprint
An innovation called Carbon Hero may help reduce global warming by making people more aware of their carbon footprint.

Engineers demonstrate a new type of optical tweezer
Researchers at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences demonstrated a new type of optical tweezer with the potential to make biological and microfluidic force measurements in integrated systems such as microfluidic chips.

Faux Fido eases loneliness in nursing home residents as well as real dog, SLU study finds
A doggie robot works about as well as a real pooch in making nursing home residents feel less lonely, a Saint Louis University study finds.

Crystal bells stay silent as physicists look for dark matter
Scientists of the Cryogenic Dark Matter Search experiment today announced that they have regained the lead in the worldwide race to find the particles that make up dark matter.

Lemurs' evolutionary history may shed light on our own
After swabbing the cheeks of more than 200 lemurs and related primates to collect their DNA, researchers at the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy and Duke Lemur Center now have a much clearer picture of their evolutionary family tree.

Iowa middle school wins IEEE-USA National Engineering Award
Harding Middle School of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, won the IEEE-USA Best Communications System Award during the National Engineers Week Future City Competition National Finals on Feb.

Krill discovered living in the Antarctic abyss
Scientists have discovered Antarctic krill living and feeding down to depths of 3000 meters in the waters around the Antarctic Peninsula.

Autism's origins: Mother's antibody production may affect fetal brain
The mothers of some autistic children may have made antibodies against their fetuses' brain tissue during pregnancy that crossed the placenta and caused changes that led to autism, suggests research led by Johns Hopkins Children's Center investigators and published in the February issue of the Journal of Neuroimmunology.

Many stroke, heart attack patients may not benefit from aspirin
Up to 20 percent of patients taking aspirin to lower the risk of suffering a second cerebrovascular event do not have an antiplatelet response from aspirin, the effect thought to produce the protective effect, researchers at the University at Buffalo have shown.

Columbia geneticists uncover new gene involved in determining hair texture and density in humans
A Columbia University Medical Center research team has discovered a new gene involved in determining hair texture in humans.

Genomatix integrates genome-wide open chromatin from next generation sequencing
Genomatix applied its Next Generation Sequencing analysis pipeline to genome wide open chromatin data as recently published by Boyle et al in

Scientists to explore life's mysteries through encyclopedic 'macroscope'
The first 30,000 pages of a 1.8 million page online Encyclopedia of Life will be unveiled Feb.

Attack of the invasive garden ants
An ant that is native to Eurasia is threatening to become the latest in a procession of species to invade Europe, as a result of inadvertent human introduction.

Study examines antibiotic use among nursing home patients with advanced dementia
Antibiotics appear to be frequently prescribed to individuals with advanced dementia in nursing homes, especially in the two weeks before death, according to a report in the Feb.

GP's databases could identify tens of thousands with undiagnosed diabetes in UK
Researchers who examined blood test records in a survey of over 3.6 million patient records held by UK GP surgeries have found thousands of cases of probable undiagnosed diabetes.

Study finds recent trend of growing US disparities in health not inevitable
In the most comprehensive study to date addressing this debate, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health found that, as overall health improved (as measured by a decline in mortality rates), inequities in health both shrank and widened between 1960 and 2002.

Hebrew SeniorLife researcher finds
An article co-authored by Susan L. Mitchell, MD, MPH, of Hebrew SeniorLife's Institute for Aging Research reports that nursing home residents with advanced dementia are frequently prescribed antibiotic medications, especially during the two weeks before death.

Scientists identify proteins that help bacteria put up a fight
Scientists have identified the role of two proteins that contribute to disease-causing bacteria cells' versatility in resisting certain classes of antibiotics.

Acne may prevent people from participating in sport and exercise, says research
Acne patients who are highly anxious about their skin condition say they are less likely to participate in sport or exercise, according to new research at the University of Bath.

Balancing computing power, storage demands goal of Virginia Tech CAREER project
Employing a Scalable Hierarchical Framework, which is designed to provide reliable high-performance storage, Ali R.

Who benefits from antidepressants? US health inequities
In the next PLoS Medicine are the articles

Yale scientist honored for academic innovation and leadership
Erin Lavik, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Yale, was honored recently by the Connecticut Technology Council as one of their 2008 Women of Innovation.

Honey bee invaders exploit the genetic resources of their predecessors
Like any species that aspires to rule the world, the honey bee, Apis mellifera, invades new territories in repeated assaults.

Largest meat recall in history 'only the tip of the iceberg'
Gail A. Eisnitz, chief investigator for the Humane Farming Association and author of

Mechanism of blood clot elasticity revealed in high definition
Blood clots can save lives, staunching blood loss after injury, but they can also kill.

When free trade was fair trade
As thousands flock to 'Fairtrade Fortnight' events all over Britain later this month, Free Trade Nation, a new book by professor Frank Trentmann, director of the Economic and Social Research Council-funded Cultures of Consumption program, shows that ethical consumerism was already flourishing over a century ago.

African sleeping sickness could be eliminated say tropical disease experts
In the next PLoS Medicine are the articles

OHSU Cancer Institute research gives hope for chemo holidays for men with advanced prostate cancer
Oregon Health & Science University Cancer Institute researchers, in a first-of-its-kind study, have found that even men with advanced prostate cancer can take a much-needed safe break, or holiday, from chemotherapy.

Silica smart bombs deliver knock-out to bacteria
Bacteria mutate for a living, evading antibiotic drugs while killing tens of thousands of people in the United States each year.

LA BioMed study finds hormone therapy increases frequency of abnormal mammograms, breast biopsies
Combined hormone therapy appears to increase the risk that women will have abnormal mammograms and breast biopsies, and it may decrease the effectiveness of both methods for detecting breast cancer, according to a report in the Feb.

America's 50 best hospitals 2008 released by HealthGrades
HealthGrades, the nation's leading independent healthcare ratings organization, today identified America's 50 Best Hospitals, an elite class of top-performing facilities.

Washington University unveils draft sequence of corn genome
A team of scientists led by Washington University in St.

First malaria map in 40 years shows extent of disease burden
The first global malaria risk map to be developed in forty years has highlighted the 2.37 billion people at risk from one of the world's deadliest diseases.

How the atmospheres of Mars and Venus are affected by carbon monoxide
Modeling of the Earth's atmosphere has acquired economic importance due to its use in the prediction of ozone depletion and in measuring the impact of global warming.

Elsevier enhances clinical decision making with suite of Clinical Decision Support solutions
With a deep understanding of healthcare workflow and more than a century of experience as a global medical publisher, Elsevier is broadening its efforts to provide interactive clinical reference and clinical decision support tools that help providers make optimal decisions at the point of care.

ETH Zurich competence center ESC introduces energy strategy
To even begin to combat climate change effectively, CO2 emissions have to fall sharply: to 1 ton per capita per year.

10-year trends in heart failure
Conventional wisdom holds that as the US population ages, the incidence of heart failure will continue to rise.

Global malaria map
In the next PLoS Medicine are the articles

American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac -- Feb. 20, 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.

Scripps expedition provides new baseline for coral reef conservation
An ambitious expedition led by scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC-San Diego to a chain of little-known islands in the central Pacific Ocean has yielded an unprecedented wealth of information about coral reefs and threats from human activities.

Media highlights in the March 1 issue of Biophysical Journal
The March 1 issue of Biophysical Journal, published by the Biophysical Society, is now available online.

Vikings did not dress the way we thought
Vivid colors, flowing silk ribbons and glittering bits of mirrors -- the Vikings dressed with considerably more panache than we previously thought.

Switchyard for single electrons
PTB scientists achieved to transfer very small charge

Royals weren't only builders of Maya temples, archaeologist finds
An intrepid archaeologist is well on her way to dislodging the prevailing assumptions of scholars about the people who built and used Maya temples.

2 oxygenation events in ancient oceans sparked spread of complex life
The rise of oxygen and the oxidation of deep oceans between 635 and 551 million years ago may have had an impact on the increase and spread of the earliest complex life, including animals.

Test can reduce recurrence of breast cancer
A new test that examines large sections of the sentinel lymph node for genes expressed by breast cancer could reduce the risk of recurrence and multiple surgeries, doctors say. 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