Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 10, 2008
Does the Internet really influence suicidal behavior?
People searching the Internet for information about suicide methods are most likely to come across sites that encourage suicide rather than sites offering help and support, finds a study in this week's issue of the BMJ.

Penn researchers discover 'modus operandi' of heart muscle protein
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have discovered that a protein called leiomodin promotes the assembly of an important heart muscle protein called actin.

European Cancer Resolution will benefit patients and all those who treat and care for them
An initiative to combat cancer in the enlarged European Union has been adopted in a plenary session of the European Parliament today (Thursday, April 10).

AMNH scientists grace Science & Nature covers
The research of two curators from the American Museum of Natural History will grace the covers of the journals Science and Nature this week.

Dr. Mom was right -- and wrong -- about washing fruits and vegetables
Washing fresh fruits and vegetables alone -- even with chlorine disinfectants -- may not be enough to reduce the risk of food poisoning.

The coldest brown dwarf ever observed
An international team of astronomers has discovered the coldest brown dwarf star ever observed.

Mayo Clinic identifies treatment target for liver cancer recurrence and survival
Protein sulfatase 2 may provide one of the keys needed to begin the design of new therapies.

Huge increases in funding for both maternal/child health but more needed and some missing out
There have been huge increases in donor funding to aid maternal, newborn and child health in recent years, with a near-doubling of funding per child in the 68 Countdown priority countries.

Attending religious services predictive of fidelity
A new study published in the Journal of Marriage and Family reveals that attendance at religious services predicts marital fidelity.

AGU journal highlights -- April 10, 2008
This release summarizes significant geoscience findings recently published by AGU: Landslide triggered Italian tsunami previously linked to quake, Particle formation in lower atmosphere feeds clouds, Measuring atmospheric metal to estimate interplanetary debris, Earth hums along with unexpected tune, Revealing Yellow River's erosion and sediment patterns.

Triple threat: Young macho men with serious injuries often abuse alcohol
Men with serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injury or spinal cord injury, must deal with a range of emotions.

Hurricane forecasters adopt NCAR radar technique
The National Hurricane Center will implement a new technique this summer to continually monitor landfalling storms.

Maximizing species protection with unprecedented conservation roadmap
An international team of researchers led by UC-Berkeley biologists has developed a remarkable new roadmap for finding and protecting the best remaining holdouts for thousands of rare species that live only in Madagascar, an island nation considered one of the world's jewels of biodiversity.

Medical staff require training on intercultural awareness
Medical staff require professional interpreters and specific training on intercultural awareness, a new study published in the open access journal BMC Health Services Research suggests.

And the first animal on Earth was a ...
A new study mapping the evolutionary history of animals indicates that Earth's first animal -- a mysterious creature whose characteristics can only be inferred from fossils and studies of living animals -- was probably significantly more complex than previously believed.

Blood vessels: The pied piper for growing nerve cells
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have discovered that blood vessels in the head can guide growing facial nerve cells with blood pressure controlling proteins.

Atmospheric scientists gear up for collaborative airborne campaigns
Better understanding of Arctic haze is just one aim of concurrent airborne campaigns that have begun in Fairbanks.

Biomarkers may reduce need for biopsies
Data presented at this week's 28th Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions of the ISHLT suggest the potential of a significant impact of using biomarkers to reduce the need for biopsies and personalize transplant patient care.

Research presented at ISHLT shows promise of addressing critical organ shortage and
Data from experimental work on the use of organs from cardiac arrested donors will be presented this week at the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation's 28th Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions.

UCR cell biologist co-leads joint international conference on wound healing
Manuela Martins-Green, a professor of cell biology at the University of California, Riverside, is co-leading the scientific program of an international conference on wound-healing in San Diego, Calif., this month.

American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac -- April 9, 2008
This issue of the American Chemical Society News Service Weekly Press Package (PressPac) is a special edition with selections from scientific presentations scheduled for the ACS' 235th national meeting in New Orleans.

ESA to recruit new European astronauts
With ESA astronauts working in the Columbus laboratory onboard the International Space Station and the first of ESA's new ATV cargo ships having delivered fresh supplies to the station, ESA's human spaceflight activities have entered a new era.

Every death counts: Saving the lives of South Africa's mothers, babies and children
The authors of three South African health reports on maternal, neonatal and child deaths have come together to launch a new report titled

Social integration affects mental health of immigrant men and women in unexpected ways
Social integration affects the mental health of non-Western male immigrants in a positive way.

Give patients NHS money to buy their own care
Patients with long-term, chronic conditions should be given money to organize and purchase their own care, according to an article in this week's BMJ.

Children and mothers are dying because those with power to act are failing to
A call to reduce maternal and child mortality rates is made by the Lancet Editor Dr.

Wine may protect against dementia
Wine may protect against dementia There may be constituents in wine that protect against dementia.

Researchers classify Web searches
Although millions of people use Web search engines, researchers completed by show that -- by using relatively simple methods -- most queries submitted can be classified into one of three categories.

Mosquito mating mechanism could lead to new attack on dengue and yellow fever
Cornell researchers have identified a mating mechanism that possibly could be adapted to prevent female mosquitoes from spreading the viruses that cause dengue fever, second only to malaria as the most virulent mosquito-borne disease in the tropical world.

USF professor gives historical look at physiology and WWII air war
World War II-era physiologists helped solve physiological problems related to flight, research that helped pave the way for an Allied victory in the air.

Removal of superficial tumors in esophagus by endoscopy can avoid extirpation of this part
The removal through endoscopy of tumors that affect only the superficial layers of the esophagus can avoid complete extirpation of this part of the digestive tract.

Popcorn-ball design doubles efficiency of dye-sensitized solar cells
By using a popcorn-ball design -- tiny kernels clumped into much larger porous spheres -- engineers can more than double the efficiency of a type of solar cell at converting the sun's rays to electricity.

Elastic stresses influence formation of leaf veins
Elastic stresses may play a crucial role in determining a leaf's venation pattern, according to a joint Argentinian-French study published April 11 in the open-access journal PLoS Computational Biology.

Monell scientist Mark Friedman awarded Guggenheim Fellowship to study diet and obesity
Monell Center scientist Mark I. Friedman, Ph.D., has been selected to receive a 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship to pursue his work on diet and obesity.

Less than one-quarter of priority countries on track to reach MDGS on maternal/child mortality
Less than one-quarter of 68 priority countries are on track to reach millennium development goals on maternal and child mortality.

Where's the glue?
For more than 20 years since the discovery of high-temperature superconductivity, scientists have been debating the underlying physical mechanism for this exotic phenomenon.

'Black gold agriculture' may revolutionize farming, curb global warming
Fifteen hundred years ago, tribes people from the central Amazon basin mixed their soil with charcoal derived from animal bone and tree bark.

Health system policy gaps and conflicts hindering the route to MDGS for many priority countries
Many priority Countdown countries have policy gaps hindering their progress towards MDGs for maternal and child mortality.

Researchers develop new conservation map for biodiversity hotspot
A conservation biologist at the University of York is part of an international team of researchers that has developed a remarkable new road map for protecting thousands of rare species that live only in Madagascar.

Researchers pilot new electronic system for infectious illness
Scientists have created a set of computer programs that use electronic medical records to help clinicians and public officials detect contagious illness and automatically report them to public health departments.

African medical research and training receives Wellcome boost
The Wellcome Trust, the UK's largest medical research charity, has today announced a £20 million investment in research and training in Africa.

Forecasters implement new hurricane-tracking technique
A new technique that helps forecasters continuously monitor landfalling hurricanes, giving them frequent and detailed images of a storm's location, will be implemented this summer.

Massive study of Madagascar wildlife released
Using data from thousands of species of lemurs, frogs, geckos, butterflies, ants and plants, scientists from the Bronx Zoo-based Wildlife Conservation Society, University of California, Berkeley and other organizations have completed an analytical colossus for Madagascar that will guide plans to safeguard the island's unique natural heritage.

New Scripps Research study finds T cell multiplication unexpectedly delayed after infection
In a surprising outcome that overturns the conventional wisdom on the body's immune response to infection, scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have shown that T cells do not begin proliferation until up to three days after infection.

Against the odds, Tanzania on target to meet millennium development goal for child mortality
Whilst many African nations have made little or no progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goal for reducing Child Mortality, Tanzania is on target to meet the goal thanks to a combination of key interventions in child health.

Flowers' fragrance diminished by air pollution, University of Virginia study indicates
Air pollution from power plants and automobiles is destroying the fragrance of flowers and thereby inhibiting the ability of pollinating insects to follow scent trails to their source, a new University of Virginia study indicates.

Stem cells and cancer: cancer pathways that also control the adult stem cell population
Speaking today (April 10 ) at the UK National Stem Cell Network Annual Science Meeting in Edinburgh, professor Alan Clarke from Cardiff University describes his work to investigate a mechanism that normally drives adult stem cells to repair the intestine.

Picture this: Explaining science through drawings
If a picture is worth a thousand words, creating one can have as much value to the illustrator as to the intended audience.

SAPPHIRE trial shows long-term benefit of carotid stenting as alternative to surgery
Carotid artery stenting is an effective option for high risk patients who are not eligible for surgery, according to a long-term study published in this week's New England Journal of Medicine.

Fraud attempt in a paternity test modifies action protocol in DNA tests
Detection of a fraud attempt in sample taking for a DNA analysis is modifying forensic scientists' action protocol: It will be compulsory for the donor to wash his mouth out before a witness.

Scientists uncover the potential to control adult stem cells
Research being presented today (April 10) at the UK National Stem Cell Network Annual Science Meeting in Edinburgh represents a step towards the use of adult stem cells to repair damaged tissue.

Attraction at the atomic level
Princeton researchers discover that electrons with the strongest repulsion in one situation are the most adept at superconductivity in another.

American Pain Society announces recipients of Clinical Centers of Excellence Awards
The American Pain Society today announced the recipients of its second annual Clinical Centers of Excellence in Pain Management Awards recognizing the nation's outstanding pain care centers.

Female vets face twice the fertility risk
West Australian researchers have voiced concern in light of findings which reveal female veterinarians who fail to safeguard themselves from X-rays and anesthetic gases face double the risk of miscarriage.

Tackling depression in cancer patients can extend life
David Spiegel highlights a research article for Faculty of 1000 Medicine that supports aggressive treatment of depression in cancer patients to extend their life expectancy.

AIAA announces new e-book initiative
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics is pleased to announce a new e-book initiative to make its unique content available in electronic form, allowing for unprecedented ease and flexibility of access.

Grand Canyon may be as old as dinosaurs, says new study
New geological evidence indicates the Grand Canyon may be so old that dinosaurs once lumbered along its rim, according to a study by researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder and the California Institute of Technology.

Twin findings raise hopes of improved anemia treatments
A new understanding of how red blood cell production is controlled could lead to improvements in the treatment of the blood disorder anemia, according to West Australian medical researchers.

Scientists ask whether microscaffolding can help stem cells rebuild brain after stroke damage
Inserting tiny scaffolding into the brain could dramatically reduce damage caused by strokes the UK National Stem Cell Network Annual Science Meeting will hear today (April 10).

Absence of clouds caused pre-human supergreenhouse periods
In a world without human-produced pollution, biological productivity controls cloud formation and may be the lever that caused supergreenhouse episodes during the Cetaceous and Eocene, according to Penn State paleoclimatologists.

Just like penguins and other primates, people trade sex for resources
Female penguins mate with males who bring them pebbles to build egg nests.

MIT: How strong is a hurricane? Just listen
MIT researchers think there may be a better, cheaper way of determining how powerful a hurricane is.

The good and bad side of anti-cancer compounds
Two recent studies by researchers at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center provide a potential mechanism by which investigational anti-cancer compounds known as HDAC inhibitors specifically damage cancer cells as well as clues about possible adverse effects of these compounds -- findings with important implications for their clinical use as cancer therapies.

New partnership creates Center for Turkish Studies at Kent State
This week, Kent State University, in Kent, Ohio, and Bahçeþehir University in Istanbul, Turkey, signed an agreement to create a Center for Turkish Studies at Kent State.

Cognitive tests are the best way to select medical students
Cognitive ability tests are the best way for medical schools to select their entrants, rather than interviews and psychological tests, says an editorial in this week's BMJ.

Iowa State University researcher looks to use nanoparticles for food safety
Byron Brehm-Stecher is researching the potential of using silver nanoparticles to improve the safety of the world's food supply.

Sharing the road
Come summer, we will once again marvel at the amazing athletic skills of Olympic athletes while in fact, the simple act of walking is no less remarkable.

Sweet nanotech batteries
Nanotechnology could improve the life of the lithium batteries used in portable devices, including laptop computers, mp3 players and mobile phones.

Impairments in language development can be detected in infants as young as 3 months
Uncover how the brains of infants distinguish differences in sounds and it may become possible to correct language problems even before children start to speak, sparing them the difficulties that come from struggling with language.

Mental health cultivated on the farm
Time down on the farm with animals could provide some therapeutic benefit for people with mental illness, according to researchers writing in the open access journal Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health.

Researchers find mass media campaigns useful
Two University of Kentucky researchers from the department of communication have learned that targeted mass media campaigns can be effective in convincing young adults to adopt safer sex practices.

Moving to the UK worsens maternal health behaviors
After women immigrate to the UK their maternal health behaviors worsen as their length of residency increases.

Developing cancer treatments directed at critical developmental pathway
Researchers from penn colleagues discovered that the Notch signaling pathway, which determines the development of many cell types, and is also implicated in some cancers, is not universally essential for the maintenance of stem cells.

Not all smoke alarms created equal
If you thought all smoke alarms were equally effective, think again.

Computation to unravel how genes are regulated and shed light on how cells become different
A closer alliance between computational and experimental researchers is needed to make progress towards one of biology's most challenging goals, understanding how epigenetic marks contribute to regulation of gene expression.

Scientists develop new model for protecting biodiversity
In an era of climate change, pollution, and rapid habitat loss, it's all too easy for doom and gloom to prevail when discussing conservation issues.

Flying off course
Migratory birds make mistakes in terms of direction, but not distance.

Study shows doctor's offices can help stem abuse of Oxycontin, other narcotic painkillers
A new study shows how doctor's offices and clinics can identify patients who may be diverting or misusing narcotic painkillers such as Oxycontin, and steer them to help, while preserving access to the drugs for patients who truly need them to control their pain.

Despite progress, coverage gap for key interventions in maternal/child health remains wide
Despite most countdown countries having made gradual progress since 1990, coverage gaps for key interventions in maternal and child health remain wide.

Getting forgetful? Then blueberries may hold the key
If you are getting forgetful as you get older, then a research team from the University of Reading and the Peninsula Medical School in the South West of England may have good news for you.

Scientists develop strategy to rapidly describe outbreak strains with next-generation DNA sequencing
Following an outbreak or a bioterrorist attack, standard DNA sequencing and analysis of a pathogen genome for rapid identification of genetic changes or manipulations is time-intensive and likely impractical during an emergency.

Journey to the center of the earth: Discovery sheds light on mantle formation
Uncovering a rare, two-billion-year-old window into the Earth's mantle, a University of Houston professor and his team have found our planet's geological history is more complex than previously thought. 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