Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 28, 2008
Brookhaven scientists explore brain's reaction to potent hallucinogen
Brain-imaging studies performed in animals at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory provide researchers with clues about why an increasingly popular recreational drug that causes hallucinations and motor-function impairment in humans is abused.

NC State physics advance leads to a better understanding of optics at the atomic scale
An advance by North Carolina State University physicists improves our understanding of how light interacts with matter, and could make possible the development of new integrated-circuit technologies that result in faster computers that use less energy.

Language skills develop at 6, say researchers
Psychologists at the University of Liverpool have discovered that children as young as six are as adept at recognizing possible verbs and their past tenses as adults.

'Sticky nanotubes' hold key to future technologies
Researchers at Purdue University are the first to precisely measure the forces required to peel tiny nanotubes off of other materials, opening up the possibility of creating standards for nanomanufacturing and harnessing a gecko's ability to walk up walls.

UCLA study identifies factors leading to hospital admission for heart failure
Nearly two out of three patients have one or more precipitating factors that may contribute to hospital admissions nationwide for heart failure, according to a new UCLA study.

Nobel laureate Dr. Linda Buck elected to American Academy of Arts & Sciences 2008 Class of Fellows
Nobel laureate Linda Buck, PhD, member of the Basic Sciences Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, has been elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, or AAAS, one of the nation's oldest and most prestigious honorary societies and independent policy-research centers.

Are nanobots on their way?
The first real steps towards building a microscopic device that can construct nano machines have been taken by US researchers.

Stevens' Center for Science Writings honors environmental critics with Green Book Award, April 30
Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger, whose critiques of the environmental movement have provoked widespread reconsideration of its methods and goals, have won the 2008 Green Book Award from Stevens Institute of Technology's Center for Science Writings.

Few studies consider the appropriate measurements for assessing clinical trials in children
Very few studies have asked what the appropriate measurements are for assessing treatments in clinical trials in children, according to a systematic review of pediatric clinical research conducted since 1950.

Genes for common heart condition and kidney problem identified
A gene that can cause the heart to become enlarged, greatly increasing the risk of heart attacks and heart failure, is identified today in a new study.

Epilepsy drug causes bone loss in young women
Young women who took the commonly used epilepsy drug phenytoin for one year showed significant bone loss compared to women taking other epilepsy drugs, according to a study published in the April 29, 2008, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Single-celled bacterium works 24-7
Researchers at Washington University in St. Louis have gained the first detailed insight into the way circadian rhythms govern global gene expression in Cyanothece, a type of cyanobacterium (blue-green alga) known to cycle between photosynthesis during the day and nitrogen fixation at night.

Before fossil fuels, Earth's minerals kept CO2 in check
Over millions of years carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere have been moderated by a finely-tuned natural feedback system -- a system that human emissions have recently overwhelmed.

Springer publishes anthology with the Nanoethics Group
Springer and the Nanoethics Group have released a collection of important papers addressing a range of near-term issues related to nanotechnology's ethical and social implications.

Ancient ecosystems organized much like our own
Analyses of Chengjiang and Burgess Shale food-web data suggest that most, but not all, aspects of the trophic structure of modern ecosystems were in place over a half-billion years ago.

SAGE launches new journal -- ICAN: Infant, Child & Adolescent Nutrition
Obesity and corresponding diseases such as diabetes are more and more common.

Leading measurement training validated by National Skills Academy for Manufacturing
The National Skills Academy for Manufacturing announces that it has validated the dimensional measurement training framework designed by the National Physical Laboratory.

Predicting breast cancer patient outcome: MUHC researchers identify new genes
New studies from a team of researchers from the Research Institute of the MUHC and McGill University show that the environment surrounding breast cancer cells plays a crucial role in determining whether tumor cells grow and migrate or whether they fade away.

Christopher Hoffman receives AMS Centennial Fellowship
Christopher Hoffman of the University of Washington has been awarded the prestigious AMS Centennial Fellowship for the 2008-2009 academic year.

American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac -- April 23, 2008
The American Chemical Society's News Service Weekly PressPac contains reports from 36 major peer-reviewed journals on chemistry, health, medicine, energy, environment, food, nanotechnology and other hot topics.

Virtual world therapeautic for addicts: UH study shows
Patients in therapy to overcome addictions have a new arena to test their coping skills -- the virtual world.

Spinal cord injury research hampered by animal models, says new study
Research on traumatic spinal cord injuries is hampered by a reliance on animal experiments that don't accurately predict human outcomes, says a new study in the upcoming edition of the peer-reviewed journal Reviews in the Neurosciences.

Kaiser Permanente study finds diabetes doubling before motherhood
A Kaiser Permanente study in Diabetes Care that found diabetes before motherhood more than doubled in six years among 175,249 teenage and adult women.

Is happiness having what you want, wanting what you have, or both?
Some argue that happiness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have.

Tight blood pressure control not enough to temper kidney disease in African-Americans
Even when their blood pressure is kept strictly under control with the best available medicine, African-American patients with chronic kidney disease continue to lose their kidney function over time, research led by a Johns Hopkins team shows.

Cause and affect: Emotions can be unconsciously and subliminally evoked, study shows
Most people agree that emotions can be caused by a specific event and that the person experiencing it is aware of the cause, such as a child's excitement at the sound of an ice cream truck.

Milan Fiala, M.D., receives 2008 Alzheimer Award
Milan Fiala, M.D., UCLA Orthopedic Hospital, has been chosen as the recipient of the 2008 Alzheimer Award presented by the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease for his outstanding work,

African-Americans have 5 times higher amputation rate
A new study from Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine has found people in African-American communities in Chicago have a five times higher rate of lower limb amputations than people in the predominantly white suburbs and exurbs.

The Gerontological Society of America awards new Hartford Doctoral Fellowships
Four outstanding doctoral students have been chosen as the newest recipients of the prestigious Hartford Doctoral Fellowship in geriatric social work.

Boost for 'green plastics' from plants
Australian researchers are a step closer to turning plants into 'biofactories' capable of producing oils which can be used to replace petrochemicals used to manufacture a range of products.

Decision making, is it all 'me, me, me'?
Psychologists find evidence that it's not.

Osteoporosis drug may be associated with irregular heartbeat
Alendronate, a medication used to prevent fractures in women with osteoporosis, may be associated with an increased risk of atrial fibrillation, a type of abnormal heart rhythm, according to a report in the April 28 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Medicines sold for 17 billion NOK in 2007 in Norway
Medicines to the value of 17.4 billion Norwegian kroners were sold last year in Norway -- the equivalent of 3,700 kroner per inhabitant.

UTSA hosts North American Energy Summit, May 1-2
The University of Texas at San Antonio hosts the inaugural North American Energy Summit, May 1-2, at the UTSA Downtown Campus Buena Vista Building.

Investigators unveil new drug discovery tool for Alzheimer's disease
An article in the April issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease presents a detailed characterization of a new drug discovery tool for Alzheimer's disease.

Cell-based therapy shows promise in patients with Parkinson's disease
A novel cell therapy using retinal pigment epithelial cells attached to tiny gelatin bead microcarriers implanted in the brain can improve the symptoms of patients with moderate to advanced Parkinson's disease.

Use of hemoglobin-based blood substitutes associated with increased risk of death, heart attack
An analysis of studies involving the use of hemoglobin-based blood substitutes indicates their use is associated with an increased risk of death and heart attack, according to a JAMA study being released early online, and will appear in print in the May 21 issue of JAMA.

New analysis finds daycare attendance early in life cuts childhood leukemia risk by 30 percent
Children who attend day care or play groups have about a 30 percent lower risk of developing the most common type of childhood leukemia than those who do not, according to a new analysis of studies investigating the link.

Pharmaceutical use in Norwegian fish farming in 2001-2007
The Norwegian Institute of Public Health has published an overview of sales of various drugs used in fish breeding in Norway from 2001-2007.

CSIRO unveils a new class of fatty acids
CSIRO researchers have discovered a new class of fatty acids -- alpha-hydroxy polyacetylenic fatty acids -- that could be used as sensors for detecting changes in temperature and mechanical stress loads.

Brown opens Institute for Molecular and Nanoscale Innovation
Brown University hosts a three-day forum May 5-7, 2008, to highlight the opening of its Institute for Molecular and Nanoscale Innovation.

Exercise related to lower heart disease risk in overweight women
The risk of heart disease in women associated with being overweight or obese is reduced but not eliminated by higher levels of physical activity, according to a report in the April 28 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

New computer applications allow to classify Iberian pig meat automatically
Samples have been automatically identified with a degree of success over 97 percent.

Aquaculture concept leaves judges 'goggle eyed'
Ronald Hoenig and Aaron Welch, graduate students at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, won first place in the High-Potential Venture category at this year's 6th Annual Leigh Rothschild Entrepreneurship Competition.

Osteoporosis drug Fosamax linked to heart problem
Women who have used Fosamax are nearly twice as likely to develop the most common kind of chronically irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation) than are those who have never used it, according to research from Group Health and the University of Washington published in the April 28 Archives of Internal Medicine.

Diabetes drugs may be related to fracture risk
A widely used class of diabetes medications appears to be associated with an increased risk for fractures, according to a report in the April 28 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Researchers light up lungs to help diagnose disease
Researchers at the University of Sheffield have developed innovative technology which illuminates a person's lungs and helps clinicians identify if they are functioning correctly.

Copper nanowires grown by new process create long-lasting displays
A new low-temperature, catalyst-free technique for growing copper nanowires has been developed by researchers at the University of Illinois.

Research findings open new front in fight against AIDS virus
A research group supported by the National Institutes of Health has uncovered a new route for attacking the human immunodeficiency virus that may offer a way to circumvent problems with drug resistance.

Warning buoys for right whales installed along Massachusetts Bay
Endangered North Atlantic right whales are safer along Massachusetts Bay's busy shipping lanes this spring, thanks to a new system of smart buoys.

For good or ill Ireland gains another mammal species
A recent study, soon to be published in Mammal Review, details the discovery of a mammal which has never been seen before in Ireland.

Scientists reveal evolutionary intricacies of Rickettsia pathogens
Scientists have unveiled some of the evolutionary intricacies of rickettsial pathogens by analyzing over a decade's worth of genomic data.

What does it mean to be alive?
Understanding the concept of a

MIT professor will lead science team for NASA satellite to map Earth's water cycle
MIT's Dara Entekhabi will lead the science team designing a NASA satellite mission to make global soil moisture and other measurements essential to the accuracy of weather forecasts and predictions of global carbon cycle and climate.

MIT tracks carbon footprints of different lifestyles
An MIT class has estimated the carbon emissions of Americans in a wide variety of lifestyles -- from the homeless to multimillionaires, from Buddhist monks to soccer moms -- and compared them to those of other nations.

Thyrotropin levels may be associated with coronary heart disease mortality in women
Women with increasing levels of thyrotropin within the normal range appear to have a higher risk of fatal coronary heart disease, according to a report in the April 28 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Engineering educator wins NSF CAREER Award for research using cyber-tools, cyber-environments
Krishna P.C. Madhavan, assistant professor of engineering and science education in the School of Computing, has received a $511,824 National Science Foundation CAREER Award for research on how cyber-tools and cyber-environments better enable learning in engineering disciplines.

High self-esteem is not always what it's cracked up to be, says UGA psychologist
High self-esteem is not the same thing as healthy self-esteem.

Scientists find stem cells for the first time in the pituitary
A team of researchers led by scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have for the first time identified stem cells that allow the pituitary glands of mice to grow even after birth.

'New' ancient Antarctic sediment reveals climate change history
Recent additions to the premier collection of Southern Ocean sediment cores at Florida State University's Antarctic Marine Geology Research Facility will give international scientists a close-up look at fluctuations that occurred in Antarctica's ice sheet and marine and terrestrial life as the climate cooled considerably between 20 and 14 million years ago.

Will you be misdiagnosed? -- how diagnostic errors happen
How frequently do doctors misdiagnose patients? While research has demonstrated that the great majority of medical diagnoses are correct, the answer is probably higher than patients expect and certainly higher than doctors realize.

Biomarkers identified for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine researchers report the first evidence of a distinctive protein signature that could help to transform the diagnosis and improve the monitoring of the devastating lung disease idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in this month's edition of PLoS Medicine.

Involving partners of pregnant women in Africa to improve AIDS prevention
In the Ivory Coast, an IRD team conducted a two-year follow-up of a group of women after the offer of an HIV test during pregnancy.

Transitioning patients with pediatric disease to adulthood
Twenty to 30 years ago it was not unusual for children with serious congenital or developmental conditions to die before reaching adulthood.

Clumps of red and white blood cells may contribute to sickle cell disease
It's long been known that patients with sickle cell disease have malformed,

Hormone therapy in postmenopausal women associated with increased risk of stroke
Postmenopausal women taking hormone therapy appear to have an increased risk of stroke regardless of when they started treatment, according to a report in the April 28 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

The Gerontological Society of america Announces 2008 Hartford Faculty Scholars
Ten outstanding geriatric social work faculty members have been chosen as the newest inductees into the Hartford Faculty Scholars Program, a venture funded by the John A.
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