Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 01, 2008
National Inventors Hall of Fame welcomes 2008 inductees
On May 2-3, 2008, the National Inventors Hall of Fame welcomes its 36th class of inductees.

Trends in heart mortality reversing in younger women
Coronary heart disease mortality in younger women could be on the rise, according to findings in the open access journal, BMC Public Health, published by BioMed Central.

Healthy lifestyles become a political affair
Experts from all over Europe will gather from today in Paris to exchange scientific knowledge, professional experiences, upgrade skills and propose strategies to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease across the continent.

Female jumping spiders find ultraviolet B rays 'sexy'
A report publishing online on May 1 in the journal Current Biology, a publication of Cell Press, provides the first evidence of an animal using ultraviolet B rays to communicate with other members of its species.

UF scientists discover compound that could lead to new blood pressure drugs
Using a powerful supercomputer, University of Florida researchers processed 140,000 prospective drug compounds to find one that dramatically lowers blood pressure, improves heart function, and prevents damage to the heart and kidneys in rats with persistent hypertension.

Managing risk in an increasingly hazardous world
If you have a nagging feeling that life is getting increasingly hazardous, you may be interested in the new book,

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, May 2008
The following contains story ideas from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The 'choking game,' psychological distress and bullying
The 2007 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey Mental Health and Well-Being Report revealed approximately seven percent report participating in a thrill-seeking activity called the

Researchers develop new ultrasensitive assay to detect most poisonous substance known
Scientists at City of Hope and the California Department of Public Health have developed a new ultrasensitive assay to detect botulinum neurotoxin.

Shire to present ADHD treatments scientific data at American Psychiatric Assoc. Meeting
Shire plc, the global specialty biopharmaceutical company, will present key scientific data on its Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder treatments, lisdexamfetamine dimesylate, methylphenidate transdermal system and the investigational non-stimulant treatment under FDA review, guanfacine extended release, at the American Psychiatric Association annual meeting May 3-8, 2008, in Washington, D.C.

Drug-resistant tuberculosis on the increase in the UK
A changing population structure and ongoing migration have increased cases of drug-resistant tuberculosis, according to a study published on bmj.com today.

Phase of clock gene expression in human leukocytes correlates with habitual sleep timing
The phase of clock gene expression in leukocytes, assessed in the absence of the masking effects of light-dark and sleep-wake cycles, correlates with habitual sleep timing.

Instant messaging -- a new language?
Dr. Pamela Takayoshi and Dr. Christina Haas, Kent State associate professors of English, along with four Kent State undergraduate researchers examined the language of instant messaging.

Nature paper describes technique for extracting hierarchical structure of networks
Santa Fe Institute researchers Aaron Clauset, Cristopher Moore, and Mark Newman show that many real-world networks can be understood as a hierarchy of modules, where nodes cluster together to form modules, which themselves cluster into larger modules -- arrangements similar to the organization of sports players into teams, teams into conferences, and conferences into leagues, for example.

Obesity worsens impact of asthma
Obesity can worsen the impact of asthma and may also mask its severity in standard tests, according to researchers in New Zealand, who studied lung function in asthmatic women with a range of body mass indexes.

Searching the heavens
A new space mission, due to launch this month, is going to shed light on some of the most extreme astrophysical processes in nature -- including pulsars, remnants of supernovae, and supermassive black holes.

The sweet world of soil microbiology
Hands-on activities can help instructors to communicate difficult scientific concepts and stimulate student thinking.

Princeton University survey finds 'pain gap'
A novel study that attempts to paint the most accurate and detailed description yet of how Americans experience pain has found that a significant portion of the population -- 28 percent -- are in pain at any given moment and those with less education and lower income spend more of their time in pain.

New method for processing rape evidence could eliminate crime-lab backlogs
Approximately 250,000 items of sexual assault evidence are mired in three- to 12-month backlogs awaiting analysis in US forensic laboratories.

Carnegie Mellon technique accelerates biological image analysis
Researchers in Carnegie Mellon University's Lane Center for Computational Biology have discovered how to significantly speed up critical steps in an automated method for analyzing cell cultures and other biological specimens.

Women whistleblowers suffer more discrimination, INFORMS-published study suggests
Women who alert authorities to their organizations' wrongdoing perceive they suffer more retaliation than do men, reports an initial study published in the current issue of Organization Science, a journal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

New study shows race significant factor in death penalty cases
New research by Scott Phillips, associate professor of sociology and criminology at the University of Denver, shows racial disparities in death penalty cases in Harris County, Texas.

4 out of 5 high blood pressure related deaths occur in developing world
Long thought to be a problem only for high income countries, now 80 percent of deaths connected to high blood pressure occur in the developing world.

Early treatment of stomach infection may prevent cancer
Based on research using a new mouse model of gastritis and stomach cancer, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology say that prompt treatment of Helicobacter pylori infections reverses damage to the lining of the stomach that can lead to cancer.

'Dynamic duo' develops framework for Earth's inaccessible interior
A new model of inner Earth constructed by Arizona State University researchers pulls past information and hypotheses into a coherent story to clarify mantle motion.

Legalizing the production of opium for medical use is neither viable or necessary
Proposals to legalize the production of opium in Afghanistan for medical use are unworkable and unnecessary, says the Minister of State for Africa, Asia and the United Nations in an editorial in this week's BMJ.

UM gets only US lab for WiMAX next generation wireless apps
The MAXWell Lab at the University of Maryland is home to the first WiMAX Forum endorsed applications lab in North America, the university and WiMAX Forum have announced.

Geotimes: Venturing to Venus
What can be gained from a new mission to Earth's twin planet?

Wakame waste
Bacteria that feed on seaweed could help in the disposal of pollutants in the world's oceans, according to a new study by researchers in China and Japan.

May 2008 Ophthalmology highlights
Research highlights from the May 2008 issue of Ophthalmology include: New findings on vitamin E and cataracts in women; Good vision and longer life; and a Possible cause of glaucoma.

Haunted by hallucinations: Children in the PICU traumatized by delusions
Nearly one in three children admitted to pediatric intensive care will experience delusions or hallucinations, which put them at higher risk for post-traumatic stress symptoms, according to a new study of children's experiences in a pediatric intensive care unit.

Environmental fate of nanoparticles depends on properties of water carrying them
The fate of carbon-based nanoparticles spilled into groundwater -- and the ability of municipal filtration systems to remove the nanoparticles from drinking water -- depend on subtle differences in the solution properties of the water carrying the particles, a new study has found.

Genetic breakthrough explains dangerously high blood glucose levels
Canadian, French and British researchers have identified a DNA sequence that controls the variability of blood glucose levels in people.

Reduced emergency room visits for elderly patients attributed to 'virtual' health care team approach
Elderly patients suffering from chronic illnesses who receive

Discovery has implications for heart disease
A study, led by University of Iowa researchers, reveals a new dimension for a key heart enzyme and sheds light on an important biological pathway involved in cell death in heart disease.

Astronomers discover new type of pulsating white dwarf star
University of Texas at Austin astronomers Michael H. Montgomery and Kurtis A.

Montana State University research reaches Supreme Court of India
Montana State University research about pollution in the Ganges River has reached the Supreme Court of India, producing some optimism among MSU scientists.

Link between sleep fragmentation and daytime napping in older adults
Deficiencies in nighttime sleep are associated with daytime napping in older adults.

Global warming linked to caribou-calf mortality
Research to be published on July 12, 2008, reveals that fewer caribou calves are being born -- and more of them are dying -- in West Greenland as a result of a warming climate.

Cold Spring Harbor Protocols features classic approaches for analyzing chromosomes
This month's issue of Cold Spring Harbor Protocols features two classic methods for chromosomal analysis.

Studies test new approaches to islet transplantation
Researchers from 11 medical centers in the United States, Canada, Sweden, and Norway have begun testing new approaches to transplanting clusters of insulin-producing islets in adults with difficult-to-control type 1 diabetes.

Limitations of charcoal as an effective carbon sink
Fire-derived charcoal is thought to be an important carbon sink.

Biomarker predicts malignancy potential of HG-PIN lesions in the prostate
Men whose prostate cancer screenings show high grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia may find themselves in limbo,

Sleep duration related to having the metabolic syndrome
A study published in the May 1 issue of the journal Sleep is the first known to report that short and long sleepers are more likely to have metabolic syndrome, or a combination of medical disorders that increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

In a global economy, trust is a critical commodity
In the global economy, corporate collaboration is becoming a necessity, making trust critical to the success of joint business ventures.

Dwarf cloud rat rediscovered after 112 years
Scientists rediscovered the highly distinctive greater dwarf cloud rat, last seen in 1896.

Study shows power of police and fire officers as injury-prevention messengers
Most local TV newscasts feature news of car crashes, fires and other injury-causing events, but relatively few contain information on preventing such injuries, a new study finds.

Biomarker predicts malignancy potential of HG-PIN lesions in the prostate
Men whose prostate cancer screenings show high grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia may find themselves in limbo,

Spiraling nanotrees offer new twist on growth of nanowires
When University of Wisconsin-Madison chemistry professor Song Jin and graduate student Matthew Bierman accidentally made some nanowire pine tree shapes one day -- complete with tall trunks and branches that tapered in length as they spiraled upward -- they knew they'd stumbled upon something peculiar.

NICE and its decision not to approve rheumatoid arthritis drug abatacept
The failure of the UK National Institute for Clinical Excellence to approve treatment of the rheumatoid arthritis drug abatacept on the National Health Service is discussed in the lead editorial in this week's Lancet.

Computer programs help drug abusers stay abstinent, Yale researchers find
Drug abusers who used a computer-assisted training program in addition to receiving traditional counseling stayed abstinent significantly longer than those who received counseling alone, a Yale University study has found.

A significant difference in the sleep disturbances among Alzheimer patients, caregivers
Sleep disturbances among Alzheimer patients vary significantly from those of their family caregivers, and that, surprisingly, poor sleep in either the patient or caregiver is not necessarily linked to disturbed sleep in the other.

Researchers explore altruism's unexpected ally -- selfishness
Just as religions dwell upon the eternal battle between good and evil, angels and devils, evolutionary theorists dwell upon the eternal battle between altruistic and selfish behaviors in the Darwinian struggle for existence.

Young children rely on one sense or another, not a combination, studies find
Unlike adults, children younger than eight can't integrate different forms of sensory input to improve the accuracy with which they perceive the world around them, according to a pair of studies reported online in Current Biology, a publication of Cell Press, on May 1.

Harmful blood glucose levels linked to defective gene
A genetic mutation that can raise the amount of glucose in a person's blood to harmful levels is identified today in a study in the journal Science.

A consistent, worldwide association between short sleep duration and obesity
A study published in the May 1 issue of the journal Sleep is the first attempt to quantify the strength of the cross-sectional relationships between duration of sleep and obesity in both children and adults.

Flower power may bring ray of sunshine to cancer sufferers
Dr. Jonathan Harris, a senior lecturer in Queensland University of Technology's Faculty of Science, and Ph.D. student Joakim Swedberg, both from the University's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, are working on the naturally occurring molecule, and have received over $600,000 worth of grants this year to support their research.

Study finds TV portrayals of mental health professionals influence willingness to seek therapy
It seems like there's an ever growing number of portrayals of mental health therapy sessions on network television.

Study raises questions about prostate cancer therapies targeting IGF-1
Therapies under development to treat prostate cancer by inhibiting the ability of insulin-like growth factor to activate its target receptor could have unexpected results especially if a major tumor suppressor gene -- p53 -- is already compromised,

Study in 7,000 men and women ties obesity, inflammatory proteins to heart failure risk
Heart specialists at Johns Hopkins and elsewhere report what is believed to be the first wide-scale evidence linking severe overweight to prolonged inflammation of heart tissue and the subsequent damage leading to failure of the body's blood-pumping organ.

Global warming affects world's largest freshwater lake
Russian and American scientists have discovered that the rising temperature of the world's largest lake, located in frigid Siberia, shows that this region is responding strongly to global warming.

Largest study to date finds benefits of ICDs in children
More and more children with congenital heart disease are receiving implantable cardioverter-defibrillators to maintain proper heart rhythm.

The National Association of School Nurses selects SAGE to publish its journal
SAGE, the world's fifth largest journals publisher, will publish the Journal of School Nursing and the NASN Newsletter for the National Association of School Nurses beginning in August 2008.

High blood pressure still sneaking past doctors, Stanford study shows
Despite the well-known dangers of high blood pressure, major shortfalls still exist in the screening, treatment and control of the disease even when patients are getting a doctor's care, according to a study from the Stanford University School of Medicine.

More than a quarter of Americans experience pain
More than a quarter of American men and women report feeling pain at any point in time, and those with lower incomes and less education spent more time in pain and had higher than average pain.

The IARC candidates exposed!
The names of seven possible candidates to succeed Peter Boyle as director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer are exposed today in an early online report in the Lancet Oncology, with the issues discussed in an accompanying editorial in this week's Lancet.

World first: researchers develop completely automated anesthesia system
Researchers at McGill University and the McGill University Health Center have performed the world's first totally automated administration of an anesthetic.

Remote monitoring improves heart failure patients' health, may reduce hospital readmissions
Study highlights: Study from Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, comparing remote monitoring to usual care in 150 heart failure patients.

Iowa State-ConocoPhillips collaboration advances 26 research projects in first year
A little more than one year ago ConocoPhillips and Iowa State University announced an eight-year, $22.5 million research program.

US honor for professor Jerry Adams
The National Academy of Sciences of the United States has announced that WEHI'S professor Jerry Adams has been elected a member of this prestigious organization of scientists and engineers.

Stanford researchers synthesize compound to flush HIV out of hiding
Stanford chemist Paul Wender and coworkers have found a way to synthesize better bird dogs, agents that can be tailored to flush HIV out into the open where the immune system and antiretroviral therapies can destroy it.

Does it matter that medical graduates don't get jobs as doctors?
In 2007, 1,300 UK medical graduates were unable to secure training places, and this shortfall looks set to be repeated this year.

FSU geochemist challenges key theory regarding Earth's formation
Working with colleagues from NASA, a Florida State University researcher has published a paper that calls into question three decades of conventional wisdom regarding some of the physical processes that helped shape the Earth as we know it today.

Scripps Oceanography Research pegs ID of red tide killer
Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have identified a potential

Would tricyclic antidepressants help those with inflammatory bowel disease?
It is thought that intestinal inflammatory conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease are exacerbated by depression.

Highlights from the May 2008 Journal of the American Dietetic Association
The May 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association contains several articles and research studies of interest.

Woody and aquatic plants pose greatest invasive threat to China
The relatively recent expansion of China's overseas trade probably accounts for China's being less invaded than the United States by alien plants, but the potential for invasion of China by shrubs, trees, climbers and aquatic plants is high.

Immunotherapy for peanut allergy should be available in 5 years
Some form of immunotherapy is expected to be available for peanut allergy within the next five years.

Birdsongs give insights into learning new behaviors
Young songbirds babble before they can mimic an adult's song, much like their human counterparts.

New research on hearing health underscores the importance of better hearing and speech month
Three studies published in the May 2008 edition of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery reveal substantial new findings in several areas of hearing health, including research that indicates that patients with profound hearing loss benefit substantially from having cochlear implants placed in both ears, rather than one, as is the common practice.

Rutgers research partner Stemcyte, Inc., expands to New Jersey
StemCyte, an umbilical cord blood stem cell company, moves into New Jersey to be closer to its university research collaborator.

JCI online early table of contents: May 1, 2008
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, May 1, 2008, in the JCI, including: Would tricyclic antidepressants help those with inflammatory bowel disease?; Genetic mutations linked to permanent neonatal diabetes mellitus identified; Bacteria blunt subsequent responses by iNKT immune cells; Not all cells respond the same way to insulin; and others.

Male seahorses are nature's Mr. Mom, Texas A&M researchers say
Male seahorses are nature's real-life Mr. Moms -- they take fathering to a whole new level: pregnancy.

The technology to make 'Speed Racer' cars
Cool cars! University of Cincinnati students are racing to finish

Americans hard to contain on potted plant expenditures
When it comes to using plant-filled pots on the porch or around the landscape, Americans are hardly able to contain themselves.

Oxygen depletion: A new form of ocean habitat loss
Scientists confirm computer model predictions that oxygen-depleted zones in tropical oceans are expanding, possibly because of climate change.

Antidepressant found to alleviate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome in adolescents
Researchers at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA have found that low-dose antidepressant therapy can significantly improve the overall quality of life for adolescents suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS.
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