Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 21, 2008
Mutation in human gene helps protect against fatal malaria
New research out of the University of Toronto shows that not everyone who is bitten by a malaria-infected mosquito develops life threatening health problems.

Brain reacts to fairness as it does to money and chocolate
The human brain responds to being treated fairly the same way it responds to winning money and eating chocolate, UCLA scientists report.

Powerful antenna attached to NASA's GLAST satellite
The powerful antenna system that will enable NASA's Gamma-ray Large Area Telescope to communicate with stations on Earth has been successfully connected to the spacecraft in the Astrotech payload processing facility near NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla.

Life expectancy no longer improving for large segment of the US population
A new study published in PLoS Medicine has found that between 1983 and 1999, the death rate in women increased in a large number of the worst-off counties in the US, primarily because of chronic diseases related to smoking, high blood pressure, and obesity.

Obesity, inactivity as common among cancer survivors as rest of Canadians, study shows
New research from the University of Alberta, supported by the Canadian Cancer Society, shows that many cancer survivors in Canada are overweight and inactive, which could put them at risk for health problems, including their cancer returning.

Los Angeles Times writer wins Wistar Institute Science Journalism Award
The winner of the 2008 Wistar Institute Science Journalism Award is Terry McDermott, a Los Angeles Times staff writer.

Chocolate bar shown to lower cholesterol
The results of a University of Illinois study have demonstrated an effective way to lower cholesterol levels -- by eating chocolate bars.

3M Health Care announces new 3M Rapid Detection Flu A+B test
3M Health Care, a leader in infection prevention for more than 30 years, today announces plans to introduce the 3M Rapid Detection Flu A+B Test, a sensitive assay designed to deliver reliable, qualitative and objective electronic results in 15 minutes.

Coke or Pepsi? Being distracted can make you more susceptible to ads
When distracted, those who were initially neutral towards both brands strongly tended to choose the brand that had been paired with positive images or words in the earlier task.

Researchers detail chemotherapy's damage to the brain
A commonly used chemotherapy drug causes healthy brain cells to die off long after treatment has ended and may be one of the underlying biological causes of the cognitive side effects -- or

The Antarctic deep sea gets colder
The Antarctic deep sea gets colder, which might stimulate the circulation of the oceanic water masses.

Effective cancer immune therapy through order in the blood vessels
Researchers at the German Cancer Research Center have discovered a key molecule that is responsible for the characteristic immature structure of blood vessels in malignant tumors.

We are family -- but advertisers often miss the point
Even though most Americans think of themselves as part of a family -- and many list

A chilling glimpse inside the minds of dangerous criminals
Dr. Jack Levin, professor of sociology and criminology at Northeastern University, utilizes 25 years of firsthand experience to provide insight into what makes serial killers tick in his new book

Crop management strategies key to a healthy Gulf, planet
Improved management of crops and perennials could go a long way toward alleviating the problem of hypoxia, which claims thousands of fish, shrimp and shellfish in the Gulf of Mexico each spring.

Teenage suicides: Study advocates greater family support
Research published in the open access journal, BMC Psychiatry, has highlighted a key role for general practitioners in organizing long-term, individually formulated support schemes for those affected affected by teenage suicides.

Carnegie's Bjørn Mysen named Geochemical Fellow by Geochemical Society
The Geochemical Society and the European Association for Geochemistry has announced that Bjørn Mysen, senior scientist at Carnegie's Geophysical Laboratory is one of seven scientists named a Geochemical Fellow for 2008.

Carnegie Mellon studies how climate change impacts food production
The old adage,

Scientists to explore global change-public health connection
Understanding the interactions that occur among climate, environment, and infectious disease is critical to informing public policy decisions and protecting public health, and will be the focus of the American Institute of Biological Sciences 61st Annual Meeting.

Migraine increases risk of severe skin sensitivity and pain
People with migraine are more likely to experience exacerbated skin sensitivity or pain after non-painful daily activities such as rubbing one's head, combing one's hair and wearing necklaces or earrings, compared to people with other types of headache, according to a study published in the April 22, 2008, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac -- April 16, 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.

Analysis of RNA role in spreading disease advances study of damaging plant infections
Recent research that links specific pieces of RNA to an infectious organism's duplication and spread could lead the way to the prevention of viroids, pathogens that can kill or damage food crops and other plants.

Cancer survivors have low levels of physical activity and high levels of obesity
A new study reveals that many cancer survivors are inactive and obese, which may negatively affect the control of their disease.

NYU researchers ID new class of photoreceptors, pointing to new ways sights and smells are regulated
The identification of a new class of photoreceptors in the retina of fruit flies sheds light on the regulation of the pigments of the eye that confer color vision, researchers at New York University's Center for Developmental Genetics report in a new study.

Life expectancy worsening or stagnating for large segment of the US population
Overall life expectancy in the US increased more than seven years for men and more than six years for women between 1960 and 2000.

Survey offers first-ever look at treatment practices for nonepileptic seizures
A new nationwide clinician survey provides the first comprehensive look at what is community care or

Patients arriving at hospitals in off hours get slower, less care
Heart attack patients arriving at hospitals at night, weekends or holidays were slightly less likely to receive emergency angioplasty or receive it in a timely fashion.

Sharper image: UH optometrist establishes sports vision clinic
The standard eye chart only covers letters and numbers, but athletes need above average vision to track balls hurtling toward them at alarming speeds.

Mascoma and UT join in $26M DOE grant
The development of a sustainable biofuels industry in Tennessee has taken another leap forward.

Counting every thought: What consumers see when looking at ads
Thought-listing exercises are frequently used by researchers to gauge people's reactions to advertisements.

Death rates decline following coronary bypass surgery regardless of hospital volume
Rates of death following coronary artery bypass graft surgery have declined since 1997 while the number of procedures performed has decreased, according to a report in the April issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

How stereotypes can lead to success
Stereotypes can boost as well as hinder our chances of success, according to psychologists from the University of Exeter and St.

Study reveals inaccuracies in studies of cancer treatment
Certain biases may exist in observational studies that compare outcomes of different cancer therapies, making the results questionable.

Women's networks critical to survival during Hurricane Katrina
According to a University of Missouri researcher, some people survived Hurricane Katrina because of quick action from key women who, through pre-existing social networks, were able to mobilize for successful evacuation.

AMS April science highlights
This release contains story ideas and tips about upcoming AMS meetings, papers in our peer-reviewed journals, and other happenings in the atmospheric and related sciences community.

Lizard hunting styles impact ability to walk, run
The technique lizards use to grab their grub influences how they move, according to researchers at Ohio University.

Arctic ice more vulnerable to sunny weather, new study shows
The shrinking expanse of Arctic sea ice is increasingly vulnerable to summer sunshine.

Advanced life support in ambulances doesn't benefit trauma patients
New research from the Ontario Prehospital Advanced Life Support project shows there is no benefit -- and perhaps harm -- to providing advanced life support to patients with trauma injuries prior to transport to hospital.

Pathogen virulence proteins suppress plant immunity
Researchers have identified a key function of a large family of virulence proteins that play an important role in the production of infectious disease by the plant pathogen Phytophthora sojae, which damages soybean crops, resulting in $1-2 million in annual losses in the United States and much more worldwide.

How much progress has there been in vaccinating against Hib in the Americas?
In a policy paper in this week's PLoS Medicine, M.

Cancer cells spread by releasing 'bubbles,' according to an MUHC study
A new fundamental mechanism of how tumour cells communicate has just been discovered by the team of Dr.

Vitamin D in brain function
Scientists at Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland ask whether there is convincing biological or behavioral evidence linking vitamin D deficiency to brain dysfunction and concluded that there is ample biological evidence to suggest an important role for vitamin D in brain development and function, and that supplementation for groups chronically low in vitamin D is warranted.

Chemotherapy causes delayed severe neural damage
Cancer treatment with chemotherapeutic agents is often associated with delayed adverse neurological consequences -- an occurrence often referred to as

Afghan government becoming more open to private investment for mining projects
Although rich in oil, gas, copper, iron, gemstones and other resources, years of deforestation, desertification, over-grazing and a quarter century of violence have ruined Afghanistan's environment and economy.

Rat study suggests why teens get hooked on cocaine more easily than adults
New drug research suggests that teens may get addicted and relapse more easily than adults because developing brains are more powerfully motivated by drug-related cues.

Thousands of volunteers needed to help bring cure for cancer closer
Researchers, who are in the process of developing a blood test that may diagnose breast cancer up to four years earlier than a mammogram, need the help of thousands of people living in the East Midlands.

Study: Counseling trauma victims causes secondary trauma
In a study of several hundred New York City social workers after Sept.

Survival rates appear lower for scalp and neck melanoma than for other sites
Individuals with melanoma on their scalp or neck appear less likely to survive for five or 10 years than those with melanoma at other sites, according to a report in the April issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

What's not to like? Why fondness makes us poor judges, but dislike is spot-on
How good are we at guessing other people's likes and dislikes?

Scientists test device to track medication adherence in patients with HIV/AIDS
Scientists have developed a breath monitoring device that may help prevent the emergence of drug-resistant strains of HIV by monitoring medication adherence in high-risk individuals.

When positive thinking leads to financial irresponsibility like compulsive gambling
Looking on the bright side can lead to irresponsible financial behavior, reveals a paper from the June 2008 issue of the Journal of Consumer Research.

Larger skin lesions appear more likely to be melanomas
Skin lesions larger than 6 millimeters in diameter appear more likely to be melanomas than smaller lesions, according to a report in the April issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Children with ADHD should get heart tests before treatment with stimulant drugs
Statement highlights: The side effects of stimulant drugs, like those used to treat ADHD are usually insignificant, but are important to monitor for children with ADHD and certain heart conditions.

Nasal surgery associated with improvements in quality of life for those with sleep apnea
Nasal surgery to remove obstructions from the airway is associated with improvements in quality of life for patients with obstructive sleep apnea and symptoms of nasal blockages, according to a report in the April issue of Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Mammography may be beneficial to all women, regardless of age
According to researchers at the University of Texas M. D.

Biology of Reproduction highlights
The following articles are featured in the upcoming issue of Biology of Reproduction.

Improving quality of life for brain tumor patients
A new neuroimaging study at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital at McGill University aims to ensure the highest quality of life for patients by assessing their cognitive skills before, during and after brain tumor surgery.

Developmental changes in adolescence raise men's heart disease risk
The risks and protection from cardiovascular disease appear to emerge during adolescence.

University of Oklahoma takes part in upcoming feasibility study
Through an international, competitive bidding process, the University of Oklahoma was recently selected by the Meteorological and Hydrological Service (DHMZ-Državni hidrometeorološki zavod) of the Republic of Croatia to undertake a comprehensive modernization Feasibility Study for the DHMZ.

Cancer could return unless stored ovarian tissue undergoes adequate testing before re-implantation
Cancer patients who have been successfully treated for their disease face the prospect of its return if stored ovarian (or testicular) tissue is transplanted back into their bodies without adequate checks, according to researchers at two university hospitals in Israel.

Starbucks to make contribution to
In celebration of Earth Day -- Starbucks and Conservation International today announced the beginning of a new campaign to engage consumers to join their efforts to address climate change and create a better future for coffee farmers.

High eBay shipping costs: When do surcharges affect the purchase price?
Ever find a bargain online, only to realize that shipping doubles the cost?

Most lethal melanomas are on scalp and neck
People with scalp or neck melanomas die at nearly twice the rate of people with melanoma elsewhere on the body, including the face or ears, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have found.

Europe spends nearly twice as much as US on nanotech risk research
A new analysis by the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies indicates that European nations are investing nearly twice as much as the US in research primarily aimed at addressing the potential risks of nanotechnology.

US sees decline in number of general surgeons
The number of general surgeons per 100,000 Americans has declined by more than 25 percent during the past 25 years, according to a report in the April issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Melanoma lurks in larger skin lesions, NYU researchers find
Skin lesions that are about the size of a pencil eraser are more likely to be melanomas, a deadly form of skin cancer, than smaller moles, according to a new study led by NYU Langone Medical Center researchers.

Computer scientists develop solutions for long-term storage of digital data
Although the digital age is well under way, one crucial detail remains to be worked out -- how to store vast amounts of digital information in a way that allows future generations to recover it. 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