Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 06, 2008
Smoking is major risk factor for stroke in China
Smoking is a major risk factor for stroke in China, accounting for about one in seven strokes in men, researchers reported in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Epidemiologic study links low maternal education to intellectual disabilities in offspring
Using a epidemiologic approach, researchers at three universities have discovered a key indicator for increased risk of mental retardation in the general population.

Low-cost reusable material could facilitate capture of carbon dioxide from power plants
Researchers have developed a new, low-cost material for capturing carbon dioxide from the smokestacks of coal-fired power plants and other generators of the greenhouse gas.

Move over Galileo, it's Science 2.0
In a provocative article in this week's Science magazine, the University of Maryland's Ben Shneiderman, one of the world's leading researchers and innovators in human-computer interaction, says it's time for the laboratory research that has defined science for the last 400 years to make room for a revolutionary new method of scientific discovery.

Breath of the ocean links fish feeding, reefs, climate
An ocean odor that affects global climate also gathers reef fish to feed as they

Scientists successfully treat new mouse model of inflammatory bowel disease
Researchers trying to improve cancer immune therapy have made an unexpected find: They've produced the most accurate mouse model to date of inflammatory bowel disease, a cluster of conditions that afflict approximately 1.4 million Americans with abdominal pain, constipation and diarrhea.

Research suggests link between screen displays and musculoskeletal strain in schoolchildren
A new study by human factors researchers in Australia suggests that students' posture is affected by the height at which they view classroom learning materials.

Forest Service's earth science expertise captured in new report
A new publication of the Pacific Northwest Research Station captures the 2004

Rett syndrome research reveals high fracture risk
Researchers at Perth's Telethon Institute for Child Health Research have found that girls and young women with Rett syndrome are nearly four times more likely to suffer a fracture.

Wandering albatrosses follow their nose
The first study of how individual wandering albatrosses find food shows that the birds rely heavily on their sense of smell.

U of I researcher develops power-packed soy breakfast cereal
Breakfast of champions? That would be a soy protein-packed, low-fat, high-fiber cereal that meets the requirements for three different FDA health claims and leaves you feeling full so you won't be tempted to eat again until lunch.

Rock: Electrons run through it
Chemical reactions on one side of a hematite crystal can send electrons through the bulk of the mineral to another side, new research shows.

Parental supervision during high school may curb college drinking problems
Parental monitoring can reduce high-school drinking and, as a result, have a protective effect on students' drinking at college, says research published this week in the online open access journal Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy.

Controlling most atoms now possible
Stopping and cooling most of the atoms of the periodic table is now possible using a pair of techniques developed by physicist Mark Raizen at the University of Texas at Austin.

Smoking doesn't make you happy
A study of 9,176 individuals has shown that smoking does not make you happy.

Torrefacto-roasted coffee has higher antioxidant properties
Torrefacto-roasted coffee has higher antioxidant properties than natural roast, according to the dissertation defended by a biologist of the University of Navarra, Isabel López Galilea.

Rutgers research reveals how deadly food poisoning and bioterrorism toxins could be tamed
A powerful plant toxin, ricin, widely feared for its bioterrorism potential, may one day be tamed using findings about how the toxin attacks cells.

Corporate voluntary environmental programs don't perform as well as expected, new study shows
A new study by researchers at George Mason University suggests that companies which participate in voluntary environmental programs do worse in their attempts to help the environment than those that do not take on these programs.

MRI/PET scanner combo
Two kinds of body imaging -- positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance imaging -- have been combined for the first time in a single scanner.

State, UH teaming up to reduce (ob)noxious air emissions
A University of Houston partnership that helped Houston avoid the title of America's smoggiest city will soon help reduce emissions all over the state thanks to an $8.8 million grant from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Brain network linked to contemplation in adults is less complex in children
A brain network linked to introspective tasks -- such as forming the self-image or understanding the motivations of others -- is less intricate and well-connected in children, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

American Association for Cancer Research hosts 2008 Annual Meeting
The AACR Annual Meeting features the latest cutting-edge findings in laboratory, translational and clinical cancer research.

GSA Northeastern Section to meet in Buffalo this month
Approximately 700 geoscientists will gather March 27-29, 2008, for the 43rd Annual Meeting of the Northeastern Section of the Geological Society of America.

Sun's corona is both hot and kinky
Astrophysicists are having a heated debate over the wave structure of the Sun's corona -- a debate which may one day influence solar weather forecasting and the theory behind fusion reactors.

JCI online early table of contents: March 6, 2008
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, March 6, 2008, in the JCI:

More premature children are at high risk of disability and poor brain function
In very premature children, the levels of brain and motor impairment increase with decreasing gestational age.

Gintis' perspective piece in Science reviews recent behavioral game theory research
In a Perspectives piece appearing in the March 7 issue of Science, SFI External Professor Herbert Gintis, reviews recent behavioral game theory research by Herrmann, Thöni and Gächter.

U of I scientists aim to overcome allergic reactions to soy
If you're allergic to soy, help is on the way.

Researchers discover the structural alphabet of RNA
A team of bioinformaticians at the Université de Montréal report in the March 6 edition of Nature the discovery of a structural alphabet that can be used to infer the 3-D structure of ribonucleic acid from sequence data, providing new tools to understand the role of this important class of cellular regulators.

'Surgery' looks at inventions and innovations by surgeons
Surgeons are uniquely positioned to recognize areas for improvement in patient care and to develop innovative solutions to meet those needs.

New protein discovery helps researchers understand autoimmune diseases
APS-1 is an rare hereditary disease where the immune system attacks the body's own organs.

High levels of estrogen associated with breast cancer recurrence
Women whose breast cancer came back after treatment had almost twice as much estrogen in their blood than did women who remained cancer-free -- despite treatment with anti-estrogen drugs in a majority of the women -- according to researchers in a study published in the March issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Cell recycling protects tumor cells from anti-cancer therapy
Autophagy is a process by which a cell degrades its own components.

New research from the University of Bristol aims to eliminate Streptococcus infections
Professor Howard Jenkinson in the department of oral & dental science at the University of Bristol has been awarded a grant of £285,000 from The Wellcome Trust to research ways to combat diseases caused by Streptococcus bacteria.

Your brain on Krispy Kremes
What makes you suddenly dart into the bakery when you spy chocolate-frosted donuts in the window, though you certainly hadn't planned on indulging?

Smoking and high blood pressure: a double blow for bleeding stroke risk
Smoking may exacerbate the increased risk of a blood vessel bursting inside the brain (intracerebral stroke) already faced by people with high blood pressure, according to a new study in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association.

'Smart money' identifies superior mutual funds
A new study published in the Journal of Finance explores the economic significance of

Native Americans, scientists to discuss climate change at landmark symposium
Leading representatives from indigenous and scientific communities will take part in a landmark climate change symposium at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder.

USP Convention and Chinese Pharmacopoeia Commission sign Memorandum of Understanding
The US Pharmacopeial Convention and the Chinese Pharmacopoeia Commission this week signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the purpose of working together to strengthen the quality of medicines and foods in the United States and China.

Japan can draw on experience to drive action on global health systems at G8 summit
The forthcoming G8 summit in Japan represents a vital opportunity for the world's richest nations to drive forward action on health systems -- and the host nation can draw on its own good record to fuel that drive.

When the chips are down -- soak them!
Pre-soaking raw potatoes before frying can reduce the formation of acrylamide.

Quasicrystal mystery unraveled with computer simulation
The method to the madness of quasicrystals has been a mystery to scientists.

Launch of Web-based tool to predict risk of bone fracture
It will soon be possible for anyone over 60 to predict their individual risk of bone fracture with the aid of a simple web-based tool, developed by the Sydney-based Garvan Institute of Medical Research.

Mizzou, Iowa researchers take first step to create cystic fibrosis model using pigs
The median lifespan for those with cystic fibrosis is 36 years, and lung disease is the major cause of mortality.

Researchers see history of life in the structure of transfer RNA
Transfer RNA is an ancient molecule, central to every task a cell performs and thus essential to all life.

Breakthrough in birth-defect research
Scientists have discovered how to prevent certain craniofacial disorders in what could ultimately lead to at-risk babies being treated in the womb.

UCLA study finds that broccoli may help boost the aging immune system
The study findings show that sulforaphane, a chemical in broccoli, switches on a set of antioxidant genes and enzymes in specific immune cells, which then combat the injurious effects of molecules known as free radicals that can damage cells and lead to disease.

Extra cash from government program linked to better child development
Children in impoverished families that received extra cash from a government support program were taller, less likely to be overweight, and scored higher on cognitive, motor and language tests, compared with kids in families that got less money, says a new UC-Berkeley-led study

Early to bed early to rise ... depends on the TV schedule in your time zone
In their forthcoming article for the Journal of Labor Economics, the authors of

First survey of New Yorkers on climate change finds majority worried about impacts
A new survey of New Yorkers finds that most are convinced global warming is happening now and more should be done by key leaders to help New York City deal with climate change.

Chronically elevated blood sugar levels disable 'fasting switch'
Continually revved up insulin production, the kind that results from overeating and obesity, slowly dulls the body's response to insulin.

Synthetic peptoids hold forth promise for new antibiotics
Drug-resistant bacterial infections are a growing concern, and much research has been devoted to finding new classes of antibiotics to fight them.

Carnegie Mellon researchers create invisibiity cloak
Carnegie Mellon University's Michael Bockstaller and Krzysztof Matyjaszewski have created a version of Harry Potter's famed

Large binocular telescope achieves first binocular light
The Large Binocular Telescope on Mount Graham, Ariz., has taken celestial images using its twin side-by-side, 8.4-meter (27.6 foot) primary mirrors together, achieving first

Stevens chemists identify compounds to lure nutria, a rat-like pest ravaging Gulf Coast wetlands
A 10-pound rodent pest called nutria ravaging southern wetlands in the US, which has been especially damaging to the marshland ecology in the Mississippi Delta following Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, may have finally met its match thanks to molecular science that includes the work of Professor Athula B.

Einstein researchers genetically engineer immune cells into potent weapons for battling HIV
By outfitting immune-system killer cells with a new pair of genes, scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University transformed them into potent weapons that destroy cells infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Giant panda genome to be sequenced
BGI-Shenzhen is pleased to announce the launch of the International Giant Panda Genome Project.

Pinpoint accuracy: DNA vaccines that home in on DCs are more potent
One strategy being pursued to develop new vaccines against infectious diseases is DNA vaccination.

Hybrid materials: Exciting interdisciplinary field offering future solutions for industry
Elsevier, the world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, announced today Hybrid Materials 2009: the First International Conference on Multifunctional, Hybrid and Nanomaterials which will take place in Tours, France, March 15-19, 2009.

Cash transfer program in Mexico leads to better health and development of children
Increasing the cash transfer component of Mexico's Oportunidades program is associated with better outcomes in child health, growth and development.

HiRISE discovers a possibly once-habitable ancient Mars lake
Scientists studying images from The University of Arizona-led High Resolution Imaging Experiment camera on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter have discovered never-before-seen impact

Function of molecular switch pinpointed in severe congenital neutropenia
Researchers cleared an important hurdle to clarifying the molecular mechanics behind Severe Congenital Neutropenia, a deadly disease characterized by a deficiency of neutrophils -- mature white blood cells important to fighting infection and disease.

London School of Hygiene celebrates new $59 million Gates funding
The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has been awarded grant funding totalling $46.4 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and $12.7 million from other partners, to help find new and effective ways of treating and preventing malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.

Low micro-RNA level linked to high gene activity in AML
A new study suggests that acute myeloid leukemia (AML) may occur in part because abnormally low levels of a particular microRNA result in the over-activity of two genes important to the disease.

Quitting smoking -- it's never too late
Of all the times of life to give up smoking, a recent study from the Peninsula Medical School shows that on retirement is best.

How worms protect their chromosomes: thereby hangs a surprising tail
A team of scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies has discovered that the roundworm C. elegans constructs the protective tips of its chromosomes -- known as telomeres -- with a little more panache than do mammals, a finding that could deepen our understanding of the interrelationship of aging and cancer.

Second Galileo spacecraft prepares for launch
Yesterday, members of the media visited ESA-ESTEC, the agency's European Research and Technology Centre, to see and learn about GIOVE-B, the second Galileo in-orbit validation satellite, before it is packed for shipping to the launch site.

NIST 'quantum logic clock' rivals mercury ion as world's most accurate clock
An atomic clock that uses an aluminum atom to apply the logic of computers to the peculiarities of the quantum world now rivals the world's most accurate clock, based on a single mercury atom.

Drugs like aspirin could reduce breast cancer and help existing sufferers
Experts who reviewed studies on NSAIDs and breast cancer have concluded that there is sufficient evidence to suggest that these popular non-prescription drugs could, if used correctly, play an important role in preventing and treating breast cancer.

Nations and conservation groups seek plan to protect 'Ghost of the Himalayas'
Snow leopards -- the world's most elusive big cat -- roam the high mountains across 12 Asian nations, from Afghanistan to Uzbekistan.

Researchers control growth rate of replacement blood vessels, tissues
Researchers have discovered a way to control the growth rate of replacement tissue and the formation of new blood vessels, which solves one of the vexing problems of growing replacement tissue to treat injuries and trauma in humans.

Genetic manipulation might model cystic fibrosis
Cystic fibrosis is caused by mutations in the gene responsible for making the protein CFTR.

Increasing food quality risks are affecting global food supply chain
A new study from the Journal of Supply Chain Management illustrates the real potential for contamination of globally sourced foods and proposes a conceptual framework of supply chain quality management.

Multiple resource management is focus of new technical report
The Forest Service's most recent

Cooperation, punishment and revenge
Research from the University of Nottingham has shed new light on the way in which people co-operate for the common good -- and what happens when they don't.

New guidelines update recommendations on colorectal cancer screening
A new guideline on colorectal cancer screening released March 5, 2008 by an expert group representing a broad spectrum of health care organizations, including the American College of Gastroenterology, the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and the American Cancer Society, offers recommendations for various alternatives for colorectal cancer detection and states a strong preference for screening tests that can prevent colorectal cancer.

Story ideas from the Journal of Lipid Research
Animal models have been invaluable in understanding how gene mutations physically affect a complex organism.

Clean coal agreement with China
In an important step towards a greener global future, Australia and China signed a formal international agreement for clean coal research today in Beijing.

Colonoscopy used to identify and remove flat colon lesions
A study released this week from researchers at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Healthcare System in California shows that non-polypoid colorectal neoplasms or flat colon lesions, are more common in Americans than previously thought and may have a greater association with cancer compared to polypoid neoplasms or the more commonly diagnosed colorectal polyp.

Immunization instead of medication to control blood pressure
Immunization against angiotensin II could lower the blood pressure of patients with high blood pressure and improve treatment adherence, and eventually replace traditional medications for treatment of this common and sometimes life-threatening condition.

Engineered protein shows potential as a strep vaccine
A University of California-San Diego-led research team has demonstrated that immunization with a stabilized version of a protein found on Streptococcus bacteria can provide protection against Strep infections, which afflict more than 600 million people each year and kill 400,000.

Fugitive cancer cells can be blocked by stopping blood cells that aid them
Cancer cells get a helping hand from platelets, specialized blood cells involved in clotting.

Story ideas from Molecular and Cellular Proteomics
Researchers have conducted a detailed molecular survey of how heart muscle proteins change over time in diseased tissue, revealing clues that may lead to earlier diagnosis of heart disease.

Changes in ocean conditions in Sargasso Sea potential cause for decline in eel fishery
American eels are fast disappearing from restaurant menus as stocks have declined sharply across the North Atlantic.

Intensive interventions boost at-risk first-graders' reading development
First-graders in Oregon and Texas, identified as at-risk because of a lack of early literacy skills, showed dramatic improvements across a range of reading measures after receiving extra instructional time systematically designed to enhance reading development, according to researchers at two institutions. 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