Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 10, 2008
Magnesium associated with lower risk for some strokes in male smokers
Male smokers who consume more magnesium appear to have a lower risk for cerebral infarction, a type of stroke that occurs when blood flow to the brain is blocked, according to a report in the March 10 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Deadly disease eliminated in children under 5 years of age in Uganda
Hib meningitis has been virtually eliminated in young children in Uganda just five years after the country introduced Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine nationwide, according to an independent study.

Finally, the 'planet' in planetary nebulae?
Astronomers at the University of Rochester, home to one of the world's largest groups of planetary nebulae specialists, have announced that low-mass stars and possibly even super-Jupiter-sized planets may be responsible for creating some of the most breathtaking objects in the sky.

Health problems in Persian Gulf War veterans higher due to chemical exposure
A study by researchers at the University of California-San Diego School of Medicine shows there is increasing evidence that high rates of illness in Persian Gulf War veterans can be explained, in part, by exposure to certain chemicals, including pesticides and nerve agents.

Injection of human umbilical cord blood helps the aging brain
When injected into aged laboratory animals, human umbilical cord blood cells improved the brain's microenvironment, decreasing inflammation in the brain, increasing neurogenesis, and restoring some lost capacity of stem/progenitor cells to proliferate and differentiate into neurons.

Physicists: After 30 years of study, rare particle confirms prediction
High-energy physicists devoted to recreating the conditions at the beginning of the universe have for the first time observed a new way to produce those basic particles of atoms, protons and neutrons.

A common genetic mechanism discovered in nitrogen-fixing plants
An IRD team, working jointly with a laboratory of the University of Munich, has been engaged in a long-term project aiming to decipher the recognition mechanisms that are the basis of associations between plants, bacteria and fungi.

Recurrent low-grade carcinoma of the ovary less responsive to chemo than more common ovarian cancers
Recurrent low-grade serous carcinoma, a rare type of ovarian cancer, is less sensitive to chemotherapy and therefore more difficult to treat than more common high-grade ovarian cancers, according to researchers from the University of Texas M.

Non-human primates convey meaning through call combinations
Researchers have made what they say is the first experimental demonstration that a primate other than humans conveys meaning by combining distinct alarm calls in particular ways.

Biopsy techniques have made PSA test less predictive
A new study suggests that improved biopsy techniques make PSA less useful in prostate cancer screening.

Micronesian Islands colonized by small-bodied humans
Since the reporting of the so-called

Marine bacteria's mealtime dash is a swimming success
Goldfish are able to dash after food flakes at mealtime, reaching them before they sink or are eaten by other fish.

Evolved resistance to deadly toxic newts
Who wins in the arms race between predators and prey?

Long-term muscle improvements shown in gene therapy study in mice
Injecting a gene responsible for making a specific protein into a mouse that's used as a model for muscular dystrophy can lead to long-term improvements in the animal's muscle size and strength, a new study shows.

Glaucoma associated with increased risk of cardiovascular death in black patients
Black patients with diagnosed and treated glaucoma and those with high pressure in their eyes appear to have an increased risk of death from cardiovascular causes, according to a report in the March issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

March/April 2008 Annals of Family Medicine tip sheet
Highlights from the March/April issue of Annals of Family Medicine research journal.

Laser treatment transforms MDF producing startling image of rare wood grains
Researchers at WMG at the University of Warwick have devised a way of using a laser that transforms MDF giving it a surface finish that looks like some of the most expensive wood grains.

Stunt doubles: Ultracold atoms could replicate the electron 'jitterbug'
Ultracold atoms moving through a carefully designed arrangement of laser beams will jiggle slightly as they go, two NIST scientists have predicted.

Offspring of parents who both have Alzheimer's disease may be more likely to develop the illness
Adult-age offspring of parents who have both been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease appear to have an increased risk of developing the disease compared with the general population, according to a report in the March issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Key found to breakthrough drug for clot victims
A team of researchers at Oregon Health & Science University and Washington University in St.

Nasal polyps from analgesics
If a patient develops respiratory problems after taking analgesics, this indicates that the active substances are poorly tolerated.

Low levels of PYY hormone a very early indicator of type 2 diabetes
It may soon be possible to take a simple blood test and predict whether or not someone has low levels of a particular molecule, predisposing them to the development of type 2 diabetes.

Largest physics meeting of 2008 in New Orleans
More than 7,000 scientists will attend the American Physical Society meeting in New Orleans to discuss the latest developments in everything from quantum computers to artificial neurons.

March of Dimes seeks answers to preterm birth
The March of Dimes Foundation awarded $3.5 million to 10 scientists who are trying to stem the growing pace of preterm birth by studying the role genes and heredity play in premature births and how the rate of fetal lung development, infection and other factors may trigger labor.

Sexual performance may hold key to men's health
Men's pride in sexual performance may help the fight against increasing obesity, according to internationally regarded expert on obesity, men's health and ageing Professor Gary Wittert.

Mayo Clinic proceedings highlights research about cardiovascular benefits of omega-3 fatty acids
Thousands of research studies have documented how the oils known as omega-3 fatty acids can benefit the cardiovascular system, particularly among people diagnosed with coronary artery disease.

The hand can't be fooled, study shows
New research suggests that humans are not as fooled as they seem when viewing visual illusions.

Invasive species can produce 'hotspots of evolutionary novelty,' study shows
Researchers writing in the March 11 issue of Current Biology, a publication of Cell Press, now show that, in addition to their destructive tendencies, invasive species can also have a surprisingly

Alarming growth in expected CO2 emissions in China, finds UC analysis
The growth in China's carbon dioxide emissions is far outpacing the previously expected trajectory for the country, making the goal of stabilizing atmospheric greenhouse gases even more difficult, according to a new analysis by economists at UC Berkeley and UC San Diego.

Treatment for mild asthma leads to improved lung function
A study by the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research in Sydney is the first to demonstrate that in patients with very mild or well-controlled asthma, regular treatment with low dose ICS leads to significantly better day-to-day lung function.

How do infections and toxins launch a cell's self-destruct and alarm system?
Some cells self-destruct peacefully. Others, exposed to toxins or infections, spill a chemical warning when they die.

University of Pittsburgh researchers crack code of 3-D structure in key metabolic protein
Using X-ray crystallography, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have become the first to decipher the three-dimensional structure of an enzyme that plays a crucial role in glycerol metabolism -- a discovery that could lead to important advances against obesity, diabetes and a potential host of other diseases.

Pandemic flu may be well mitigated until vaccine is available
An outbreak of pandemic influenza in the US could be mitigated with prompt implementation of social-distancing measures combined with antiviral treatment and prophylaxis until a vaccine is available.

Media highlights for February in Biophysical Journal
A new and notable article titled

US rush to produce corn-based ethanol will worsen 'dead zone' in Gulf of Mexico: UBC study
The US government's rush to produce corn-based ethanol as a fuel alternative will worsen pollution in the Gulf of Mexico, increasing a

Trash today, ethanol tomorrow
University of Maryland research that started with bacteria from the Chesapeake Bay has led to a process that may be able to convert large volumes of all kinds of plant products, from leftover brewer's mash to paper trash, into ethanol and other biofuel alternatives to gasoline.

Virtual reality and computer technology improve stroke rehabilitation
A new computer program, developed in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Haifa, will be able to identify the type of brain damage a patient has had, to calculate the probability of recovery and recommend the most effective ways to treat the patient.

Gender bias may affect care of people with osteoarthritis, study finds
Unconscious prejudices among doctors may explain why women complaining of knee pain are less likely than men to be recommended for total knee replacement surgery, a study in today's issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal suggests.

Snakes vault past toxic newts in evolutionary arms race
Rough-skinned newts harbor in their skin massive doses of the same deadly toxin found in blowfish.

New alliance announced today
A new partnership is announced today between one of the world's newest universities and Imperial College London.

World's top scholars come to Rice to discuss Judas
This week Rice University will host 30 world-renowned international religious studies experts as they examine the newly found Tchacos Codex that contains the Gospel of Judas, the Apocalypse of James, the Letter of Peter to Philip and a fragment of Allogenes and Satan.

Disease leads to vision loss more often in blacks
Black people are more likely to lose vision as a result of idiopathic intracranial hypertension, or increased pressure in the brain, according to a study published in the March 11, 2008, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Size does matter: Researchers adapt drug dosing to body size
University of Queensland researchers are leading the charge in adapting drug dosing to a society that is changing shape.

American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac -- March 5, 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.

Lung damage in babies with congenital heart disease under study
Trying to understand and stop the collateral lung damage that can occur in babies with congenital heart disease is the focus of a new study.

Research shows promise for potential new gene therapy strategy for muscle-wasting diseases
Investigators in the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital have identified the role of a protein that could potentially lead to new clinical treatments to combat musculoskeletal diseases, including Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Mouse model for mesothelioma reproduces human disease
Scientists have established a mouse model for human malignant mesothelioma that will provide valuable insight into cancer development and progression along with new directions for design of therapeutic strategies.

All done with mirrors: NIST microscope tracks nanoparticles in 3-D
A clever new microscope design allows nanotechnology researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology to track the motions of nanoparticles in solution as they dart around in three dimensions.

Amphibians respond behaviorally to impact of clear cutting
The number of amphibians drastically decreases in forest areas that are clearcut, according to previous studies.

Measurement technique probes surface structure of gold nanocrystals
Finding the key to gold's chemical reactivity (or that of any metal nanocrystal) has been difficult, as few measurement techniques work at the nanoscale.

Confronting the challenge of antimicrobial resistance
Drug resistance is making many diseases increasingly difficult -- and sometimes impossible -- to treat, according to Anthony S.

Maternal obesity not strongly linked to obesity in offspring says study
Greater maternal body mass index during offspring development does not have a marked effect on offspring fat mass at ages nine to eleven years, according to a new study from the University of Bristol published today in PLoS Medicine.

Bringing Second Life to life: Researchers create character with reasoning abilities of a child
A group of researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is working to engineer video game characters with the capacity to have beliefs and to reason about the beliefs of others.

KAUST announces academic excellence alliance partnership with Imperial College London
Partnership between KAUST and Imperial College London will help establish academic curriculum, nominate founding faculty and establish collaborative research direction for the new international university in Saudi Arabia.

Pain in fibromyalgia is linked to changes in brain molecule
Researchers at the University of Michigan Health System have found a key linkage between pain and a specific brain molecule, a discovery that lends new insight into fibromyalgia, an often-baffling chronic pain condition.

Potential brain cancer drug for children may damage bones
A novel drug that fully eliminated brain tumors from mice in a dramatic 2004 study has shown a darker side -- causing permanent bone damage in younger mice.

Investigator attendance at review board reviews: hindrance or help?
Inviting researchers to attend institutional review board sessions designed to approve these same investigators' requests to conduct research involving human subjects doesn't seem to affect the efficiency of the process one way or the other, a new study led by Johns Hopkins bioethicists suggests.

ESA leads endeavour to save Earth Science data
The amount of information being generated about our planet is increasing at an exponential rate, but it must be easily accessible in order to apply it to the global needs relating to the state of the Earth.

Physicists and engineers search for new dimension
Researchers in the Department of Physics and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech are exploring the possibility of an extra dimension -- an imperceptibly small dimension, about one billionth of a nanometer.

Researchers confirm discovery of Earth's inner, innermost core
Geologists at the University of Illinois have confirmed the discovery of Earth's inner, innermost core, and have created a three-dimensional model that describes the seismic anisotropy and texturing of iron crystals within the inner core.

Outlook improves for patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma over past decade
Five- and 10-year survival rates for patients with non-Hodgkin lymphoma appear to have increased from the 1990s to the early 21st century, according to a report in the March 10 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Handheld DNA detector
A researcher at the National University at San Diego has taken a mathematical approach to a biological problem -- how to design a portable DNA detector.

Student Pugwash USA launches science policy election guide for young voters
Addressing questions about climate change, energy security, and other concerns expressed by young voters in a recent survey, Student Pugwash USA launched

Diesel exhaust inhalation stresses your brain
If the smell of diesel exhaust isn't enough to make you avoid getting a lungful, new research now shows that even a short exposure to the fumes can affect your brain.

Workman Lab characterizes novel regulator of chromosome function
The Stowers Institute's Workman Lab has shed new light on a novel histone acetyltransferase protein complex called ATAC.

IT pros with MBAs earn 46 percent more, says Management Insights study
IT professional with MBAs earn 46 percent more than IT professionals with bachelors' degrees and 37 percent more than IT professionals with masters' degrees other than an MBA, according to the Management Insights feature in the current issue of Management Science, the flagship journal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

Late treatment with letrozole can reduce breast cancer recurrence risk
Treatment with the aromatase inhibitor letrozole can reduce the risk of breast cancer recurrence even when initiated one to seven years after a course of tamoxifen therapy.

Cardiac effects associated with breast cancer treatment appear lower with dose-dense chemotherapy
A new pilot study by investigators at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center found that breast cancer patients can be treated safely with a

Out of step or leading the parade? Public opinion on income support in Alberta
A University of Alberta study has looked into public opinion on one of the most contentious political topics in Alberta's history, namely the two waves of welfare reform initiated by the Conservative government from the mid-90s onward.

Kidney cancer surgery often determined by surgeons' practice style, not medical factors
A new study reveals that the type of surgery a patient with kidney cancer receives depends more on the surgeon's preference than on the patient's tumor size, demographic characteristics, or general medical health.

Domestication of the donkey
An international group of researchers has found evidence for the earliest transport use of the donkey and the early phases of donkey domestication, suggesting the process of domestication may have been slower and less linear than previously thought.

Advanced-stage ovarian cancer patients with BRCA live longer, may respond better to treatment
Two abstracts underscoring the importance of testing for BRCA1/2 mutations in women with ovarian cancer were presented at this week's Society of Gynecologic Oncologists 39th Annual Meeting on Women's Cancers, by researchers from the University of Texas M.

HPV vaccine reduces abnormal pap test results
In testing GARDASIL reduced abnormal Pap test results by 43 percent compared to women not given the vaccine, according new research.

Microscopic 'astronauts' to go back in orbit
When space shuttle Endeavor blasts off on March 11, some tiny

Are existing large-scale simulations of water dynamics wrong?
A study published in this month's Vadose Zone Journal implies that large-scale simulations of water dynamics in soil may be imprecise to completely wrong.

Make or break time for osteoporosis treatment
Women who do not comply with treatment instructions for osteoporosis or who do not respond to treatment are more likely to suffer further fractures, which seriously affects their quality of life.

INL-led team achieves nuclear fuel performance milestone
Researchers at the US Department of Energy's Idaho National Laboratory, in partnership with three other science and engineering powerhouses, reached a major domestic milestone relating to nuclear fuel performance on March 8.

Scientists simulate pandemic influenza outbreak in Chicago
By using computer simulations and modeling, an international group of researchers including scientists from the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech's Network Dynamics and Simulation Science Laboratory have determined how a pandemic influenza outbreak might travel through a city similar in size to Chicago, Ill.

Pew Institute teams with Chantecaille Cosmetics to protect global marine life
Pew Institute for Ocean Science announced today that Chantecaille, a luxury cosmetics company, will donate five percent of the proceeds of its new

UCF researchers discover a new protein family implicated in inflammatory diseases
A newly discovered new protein family may play an important role in preventing inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, some forms of cancer and even heart disease.

New nanotechnology television series does 'sweat the small stuff'
The Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies and National Science Foundation will host the Washington, D.C., premiere event for the television series

Malignant tumor or benign cyst?
The results of a study presented today at the Society of Gynecologic Oncology's 39th Annual Meeting on Women's Cancer offer a promising development on the path toward better management of ovarian cancer.

Cooperation between figs, wasps and parasites proves 3 is not always a crowd
The larvae of pollinating wasps in the inner flowers of figs are safe from parasitic wasps.

New NIST detector can 'see' single neutrons over broad range
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Maryland have developed a new optical method that can detect individual neutrons and record them over a range of intensities at least a hundred times greater than existing detectors.

New technique puts DNA profiling of E. coli on fast track
Using new genetic techniques, scientists are unlocking the secrets of how E. coli bacteria contaminate food and make people sick.

NJIT overseers to award NJIT physicist new medal and prize
The first NJIT Excellence in Research Prize and Medal will be awarded to Philip R.

Poor sleep more dangerous for women
Researchers at Duke University Medical Center say they may have figured out why poor sleep does more harm to cardiovascular health in women than in men.

New UC analysis shows alarming increase in expected growth of China's carbon dioxide emissions
China's CO2 emissions are far outpacing previous estimates.

New purdue facility aims to improve NASA moon rocket engine
Purdue University engineers are conducting experiments using a new hydrogen facility to help NASA create designs to improve the cooling efficiency and performance of the J-2X rocket engine, critical for future missions to Mars and the moon.

Real and virtual pendulums swing as 1 in mixed reality state
Using a virtual pendulum and its real-world counterpart, scientists at the University of Illinois have created the first mixed reality state in a physical system.

A fossilized giant rhino bone questions the isolation of Anatolia, 25 million years ago
The discovery of a fossilized giant rhinocerotoid bone has led researchers to the discovery that, contrary to the generally accepted belief, Anatolia was not geographically isolated 25 million years ago.

Research team develops systems that process and understand spoken language, especially Basque
A research team drawn from the department of systems and automation engineering of the Polytechnic University School and from the Faculty of Informatics at the Donostia-San Sebastián campus of the University of the Basque Country and led by lecturer Miren Karmele Lopez de Ipiña, is developing systems that process and understand spoken language and automatically obtain information particularly from Basque radio and television.

National Museum of Health and Medicine hosts Brain Awareness Week 2008
The National Museum of Health and Medicine of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology will host its ninth annual Brain Awareness Week this March 10-14, 2008, sponsored by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives.

Post-stroke clot-busting therapy beneficial for patients on aspirin
Patients given a clot-busting drug following stroke appear to have better outcomes if they were already taking anti-platelet medications, despite an apparent increased risk for bleeding in the brain, according to an article posted online today that will appear in the May 2008 print issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. 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