Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 12, 2008
Nanomaterials show unexpected strength under stress
In yet another twist on the strangeness of the nanoworld, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Maryland-College Park have discovered that materials such as silica that are quite brittle in bulk form behave as ductile as gold at the nanoscale.

3 new honorary doctors at Karolinska Institutet
Each year, Karolinska Institutet's Board of Research confers the title honorary doctor to persons who by their actions in different ways have promoted activities carried out at the university.

Rare North Island brown kiwi hatches at the Smithsonian's National Zoo
Early Friday morning, March 7, one of the world's most endangered species -- a North Island brown kiwi -- hatched at the Smithsonian's National Zoo Bird House.

Enrollment completed in 2 pivotal phase III studies of the investigational cancer drug vandetanib
AstraZeneca has completed patient enrollment in two pivotal phase III studies for vandetanib, the company's investigational, once-daily oral anticancer drug, for the second-line treatment of nonsmall cell lung cancer.

ORNL part of project to help power developing nations
With a proposed fiscal year 2009 budget of $20 million, the effort by the Department of Energy, Oak Ridge National Laboratory and partners to develop grid-appropriate reactors is gaining steam.

ETH Zurich researchers test high-speed WLAN network
With the aid of multiple antenna technology, ETH Zurich researchers have succeeded in quadrupling the existing transmission rate of conventional networks from 54 megabytes per second (Mbps) to 216 Mbps.

ESF's European ice core project EPICA receives prestigious Descartes Prize
The research project EPICA, one of the European Science Foundations most successful and longest running research networking programs, is one of this year's winners of the Descartes Prize for Research.

Radioimmunotheraphy after chemotheraphy safe and effective for follicular non-Hodgkin lymphoma
Radioimmunotherapy with the radioactive drug yttrium-90 ibritumombab tiuxetan, following chemotherapy with fludarabine and mitoxantrone, is feasible, well tolerated, and effective in patients with follicular non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Henry Ford Hospital to study effectiveness of a new procedure that may help emphysema suffers
Researchers at Henry Ford Hospital today announced the start of the EASE (Exhale Airway Stents for Emphysema) Trial, an international, multicenter clinical trial to explore an investigational treatment that may offer a significant new option for those suffering with advanced emphysema.

IOF announces Progress in Osteoporosis now available free online
The International Osteoporosis Foundation has announced that its quarterly review journal, Progress in Osteoporosis, is now available free online to help readers keep up with the flood of new information and research developments.

Increasing nitrogen pollution overwhelms filtering capability of streams
Increasing nitrogen runoff from urban and agriculture land-use is interfering with our streams' and rivers' natural processes for reducing this pollutant before it endangers delicate downstream ecosystems, reports a nationwide team of 31 ecologists, including two from the MBL (Marine Biological Laboratory) Ecosystems Center.

Ibuprofen destroys aspirin's positive effect on stroke risk
Stroke patients who use ibuprofen for arthritis pain or other conditions while taking aspirin to reduce the risk of a second stroke undermine aspirin's ability to act as an anti-platelet agent, researchers at the University at Buffalo have shown.

Stars of astronomy to shine at Queen's University Belfast
The risk of asteroid impact will be just one of the topics discussed in Belfast next month when Queen's welcomes 650 of the world's leading space scientists and astronomers.

Small streams mitigate human influence on coastal ecosystems
This week, a team of scientists that included Cary Institute ecologists Dr.

Healthy rivers needed to remove nitrogen
Healthy streams with vibrant ecosystems play a critical role in removing excess nitrogen caused by human activities, according to a major new national study published this week in Nature.

$2.1 million NIH grant advances U-Iowa child health research
The University of Iowa Department of Pediatrics has been awarded a five-year, $2.1 million grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, part of the National Institutes of Health, to continue a mentorship project that helps junior faculty members embark on research careers.

Study raises caution on new painkillers
A new class of painkillers that block a receptor called TRPV1 may interfere with brain functions such as learning and memory, a new study suggests.

Inhaled tuberculosis vaccine more effective than traditional shot
A novel aerosol version of the most common tuberculosis vaccine, administered directly to the lungs as an oral mist, offers significantly better protection against the disease in experimental animals than a comparable dose of the traditional injected vaccine, researchers report this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Whale music captivates NJIT Professor David Rothenberg for new book, CD
Whale sounds from thump to song have long struck a chord with NJIT humanities professor, writer and musician David Rothenberg.

Artificial event horizon generates hawking radiation
A simulated black hole generated in the lab could split entangled pairs in the way Stephen Hawking predicted.

Regular low dose aspirin cuts asthma risk in women
A small dose of aspirin on alternate days can cut the risk of developing asthma among women, suggests a large study, published ahead of print in Thorax.

AACR-Bardos Awards for Undergraduate Students announced
To foster interest in cancer research careers among the next generation of young scientists, the AACR will provide an opportunity for 10 undergraduate students to experience the field first hand at its Annual Meeting 2008 through the AACR-Thomas J.

10 questions shaping 21st-century earth science identified
Ten questions driving the geological and planetary sciences were identified today in a new report by the National Research Council.

European ice core project EPICA receives the European Union Descartes Prize
The research project EPICA is one of this year's winners of the Descartes Prize for Research awarded by the European Union on March 12 in Brussels.

Copolymers block out new approaches to microelectronics at NIST
NIST researchers reported at the March Meeting of the American Physical Society how they have improved manipulation of so-called block copolymers -- polymers made of a mixture of two or more different molecule building blocks that are tethered at a junction point -- which can form arrays of tiny dots that could be used as the basis for electronic components that pack terabytes (1000 gigabytes) of memory in something as small as a pack of gum.

Implantable medical devices may expose patients to security, privacy risks; solutions suggested
Implantable cardiac defibrillators that are equipped with wireless technology are vulnerable to having private medical information extracted -- and even having the devices reprogrammed -- without the patients' knowledge.

Bower Award and Prize 2008 goes to Springer author Takeo Kanade
The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia has awarded the Bower Prize 2008 to Dr.

New lab test predicts risk of kidney injury after surgery
A simple laboratory test may provide a new way for doctors to identify patients at risk of developing potentially severe acute kidney injury after surgery -- up to three days before the problem would otherwise be detected, reports a pilot study in the May 2008 issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Jules Verne on track for long journey to ISS
Following an overnight recovery operation, Jules Verne ATV's propulsion system has successfully been restored to full robustness.

UM coral scientist Peter Glynn wins award for scholarly activity
Dr. Peter Glynn, professor at UM's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science was selected to receive the Provost's Award for Scholarly Activity.

Single-crystal semiconductor wire built into an optical fiber
A process has been developed for growing a single-crystal semiconductor inside the tunnel of a hollow optical fiber.

Early bird doesn't always get worm, UNC researcher finds
Competing against older brothers and sisters can be tough work, as any youngest child will tell you.

York investigates evolving 'swarm' robots
A groundbreaking project involving 10 European partners including the University of York is to investigate how swarms of miniature robots can work and evolve together.

Workshop assesses interactions between climate, forests and land use in the Amazon Basin
On February 25 and 26, over 50 scientists gathered for a two-day workshop in Manaus, Brazil, to discuss the current state of knowledge on the feedbacks between deforestation and climate in the Amazon and what research is required to avoid catastrophic change.

Many teens spend 30 hours a week on 'screen time' during high school
While most teenagers (60 percent) spend on average 20 hours per week in front of television and computer screens, a third spend closer to 40 hours per week, and about 7 percent are exposed to more than 50 hours of

Research could put penicillin back in battle against antibiotic resistant bugs that kill millions
Research led by the University of Warwick has uncovered exactly how the bacterium Streptococcus pneumoniae has become resistant to the antibiotic penicillin.

Streams natural filters, if not overloaded
Streams are natural filters that help remove and transform pollutants that drain from surrounding watersheds, including excess nitrogen from human activities.

Geotimes: The impending coastal crisis
Coastlines are the most dynamic feature on the planet. In the March issue, Geotimes magazine looks into the risks of increased development along our coastlines and what that means for erosion, flooding and future development.

Killer fungus spells disaster for wheat
A wheat disease that could destroy most of the world's main wheat crops could strike south Asia's vast wheat fields two years earlier than expected, leaving millions to starve.

AGI looks at geoscientist salaries by years of experience
The American Geological Institute Workforce Program reports on geoscientist salaries by years of experience in the most recent Geoscience Currents.

Gene therapy could save kids from a lifetime of eating cornstarch
A gene therapy treatment that restores a missing liver enzyme in test animals could provide a cure for a rare metabolic disorder in humans, according to Duke University Medical Center researchers.

Novel discovery by Einstein scientists could lead to much-needed kidney failure treatment
The unwanted activation of an important cell-signaling pathway may play a role in two kidney problems that are major causes of end-stage renal disease, scientists at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have found.

ASN members visit Capitol Hill to promote World Kidney Day and CKD awareness
The American Society of Nephrology, in partnership with the National Kidney Foundation and The American Society of Pediatric Nephrology, will celebrate the third annual World Kidney Day Thursday, March 13.

Protein deficiency leads to faster fat burning in mice, study shows
Researchers have developed a new, lean mouse with characteristics suggesting that someday, using medication to manipulate a specific protein in humans could emerge as a strategy to treat obesity and disorders associated with excess weight, such as diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Preschoolers benefit from daycare program to prevent obesity
A preschool-based intervention program helped prevent early trends toward obesity and instilled healthy eating habits in multi-ethnic 2- to 5-year-olds, according to a report presented at the American Heart Association's Conference on Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism.

First empirical study demonstrating that populations of nerve cells adapt to changing images
Neuroscientists studying the mind's ability to process images have completed the first empirical study to demonstrate, using animal models, how populations of nerve cells in visual cortex adapt to changing images.

Revealed: the secrets of successful ecosystems
The productivity and biodiversity of an ecosystem is significantly affected by the rate at which organisms move between different parts of the ecosystem, according to new research out today (March 13, 2008) in Nature.

Quitting smoking in pregnancy boosts chances of easygoing child
Giving up smoking during pregnancy may boost the chances of giving birth to an easy going child, indicates research in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Researchers find cause of severe allergic reaction to cancer drug
Clinicians have been perplexed by the fact that some patients given the drug cetuximab -- an immune-based therapy commonly used to treat persons diagnosed with head and neck cancer, or colon cancer -- have a severe adverse reaction to the drug.

DNA detectives find genetic markers for lung cancers most likely to recur
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have uncovered clearly recognizable genetic alterations in tumors and tissue removed from patients with early-stage lung cancers that look like good predictors of which of these cancers are more likely to recur.

A protein that triggers aggressive breast cancer
SATB1 is a nuclear protein well known for its crucial role in regulating gene expression during the differentiation and activation of T cells, making it a key player in the immune system.

Caspase-12: MUHC researcher finds new defense mechanism against intestinal inflammation
The body's first line of defense against pathogenic bacteria that we ingest may not be the immune system but rather the cells that line the intestine.

ORNL study shows hybrid effect on power distribution
A growing number of plug-in hybrid electric cars and trucks could require major new power generation resources or none at all -- depending on when people recharge their automobiles.

From the backyard to the ocean: New study shows streams act as key nitrogen filters
As spring arrives, tourists at beaches will face the reality of

Is a cup of tea really the answer to everything -- even anthrax?
A cup of black tea could be the next line of defense in the threat of bio-terrorism according to new international research.

The yin and yang of genes for mood disorders
Individual genes do not cause depression, but they increase the probability of having a depression in the face of other accumulating risk factors, such as other genes and environmental stressors.

Researcher provides tool to enable determination of age of anchovies with greater precision
Biologist Pablo Cermeño Villanueva defended his PhD thesis at the University of the Basque Country, providing a tool to determine the age of anchovies with greater accuracy on a monthly or even weekly basis, thus enabling studies of the earliest phases of life to be undertaken.

Obesity chokes up the cellular power plant
The machinery responsible for energy production in fat cells is working poorly as a result of obesity.

Medications plus dental materials may equal infection for diabetic patients
What many diabetic patients may not know is that the medications that help control healthy insulin levels may lead to unexpected events at the dentist's office.

Fertility in developing countries: words into action
For almost 30 years the benefits of modern infertility treatments have been largely confined to couples in developed countries.

Body identification by facial reconstruction will cost less time and money
Scientists from the Physical Anthropological Laboratory of the University of Granada have developed the most complete existing database used to pin down facial features of an individual from an analysis of his skull.

Paradoxical Alzheimer's finding may shed new light on memory loss
Who'd a thunk? Younger brains show evidence of more memory loss than those with Alzheimer's.

Rivers great and small can fight pollution, if given chance
Big rivers typically get the credit for being powerful and mighty, but a sweeping national study shows that when it comes to pollution control, even little streams can pack a punch.

Researchers develop a method to select eggs with the best chance of leading to successful pregnancy
A research team supervised by Université Laval scientist Marc-André Sirard has identified genetic markers that allow the selection of eggs with the best chance of leading to successful pregnancy after in vitro fertilization.

Scripps Florida awarded $7.6 million grant to develop novel treatment for Parkinson's disease
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded a $7.6 million multi-year grant to Scripps Florida, a division of The Scripps Research Institute, to develop the next generation of medication to treat Parkinson's disease.

Scientists show that streams are critical to preservation of oceanic coastal zones
The plight of the world's oceans is dire, according to recent studies, through insults from human-derived activities, such as nitrogen runoff from terrestrial watersheds.

American Cancer Society science reporters briefing to feature latest developments in cancer
The American Cancer Society invites medical and science reporters to attend a special briefing on Friday, March 14 in New York City to learn what's new in the fight against cancer.

Growing old together: Yeast, worms and people may age by similar mechanisms
A study published online today in Genome Research provides new insight into the evolutionary conservation of the genes and pathways associated with aging.

LLNL researchers create tool to monitor nuclear reactors
International inspectors may have a new tool in the form of an antineutrino detector, that could help them peer inside a working nuclear reactor.

Scientists identify new longevity genes
Scientists at the University of Washington and other institutions have identified 25 genes regulating lifespan in two organisms separated by about 1.5 billion years in evolutionary change.

UTSA receives $822,000 from Kleberg Foundation to enhance scientific research
The Kleberg Foundation awarded The University of Texas a gift of $822,000 to purchase three high-powered electron microscopes.

Family cardiac caregivers may have higher heart disease risk
Caring for a family member with a serious heart ailment may increase your risk of cardiac disease, according to a report presented at the American Heart Association's 48th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology & Prevention.

Astronomers find grains of sand around distant stars
In a find that sheds light on how Earth-like planets may form, astronomers reporting this week in the journal Nature say they have found the first evidence of small, sandy particles orbiting a newborn star system at about the same distance as the Earth orbits the sun.

Streams remove significant amounts of nitrogen, preventing downstream 'dead zones'
Small streams play a significant role in retaining human-generated nitrogen, serving as the kidneys of watersheds by removing nitrogen before it ends up in estuaries and oceans, finds a paper published this week in the journal Nature.

Emotional 'bummer' of cocaine addiction mimicked in animals
Cocaine addicts often suffer a downward emotional spiral that is a key to their craving and chronic relapse.

Icy Promethei Planum
Promethei Planum, an area seasonally covered with a more than 3500 meters thick layer of ice in the martian south polar region, was the subject of the High Resolution Stereo Camera's focus Sept.

To bet or not to bet: How the brain learns to estimate risk
Researchers from EPFL and Caltech have made an important neurobiological discovery of how humans learn to predict risk.

Study helps explain fundamental process of tumor growth
Nearly 80 years ago, scientist Otto Warburg observed that cancer cells perform energy metabolism in a way that is different from normal adult cells, but it has not been known exactly how tumor cells perform this alternate metabolic feat, nor was it known if this process was essential for tumor growth.

ORNL study finds rivers play part in removing nitrogen
Tiny organisms play a powerful role in removing nitrate, a form of nitrogen pollution caused by human activity, in streams, according to a study by a team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and published in Nature.

The price paid for higher energy is highly dangerous to teeth
Previous scientific research findings have helped to warn consumers that the pH (potential of hydrogen) levels in beverages such as soda could lead to tooth erosion, the breakdown of tooth structure caused by the effect of acid on the teeth that leads to decay.

Extra vitamin D in early childhood cuts adult diabetes risk
Vitamin D supplements in early childhood may ward off the development of type 1 diabetes in later life, reveals a research review published ahead of print in the Archives of Disease in Childhood. 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