Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 21, 2008
Insect release proposed to control exotic strawberry guava
US Forest Service scientists with the Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry have submitted a proposal to release a Brazilian insect to control the spread of strawberry guava, a South American tree that has invaded and degraded native HawaiĆ­an ecosystems since it was introduced in 1825 as a garden plant.

Researcher strives for watershed moment
According to the World Health Organization, water scarcity affects four out of every 10 people around the world and population growth, urbanization and increased domestic and industrial water use are making the problem worse.

ICU physicians less likely to discuss prognoses with African-American patients
An important study raises concern about the way intensive care physicians approach patients and families facing serious end-of-life medical decisions.

Israeli study finds obstructive sleep apnea is health factor from day 1
Obstructive sleep apnea in very young children may cause some of the adverse cardiovascular health consequences seen in older children and adults with the condition, according to researchers in Israel, who will present their findings at the American Thoracic Society's 2008 International Conference in Toronto on Wednesday, May 21.

Baker Institute study, conference weigh risks for global energy markets
In recent years, a growing scarcity of energy commodities worldwide has heightened concerns about key geopolitical risks and threats, such as conflict in the Middle East, terrorism and resource nationalism.

Relocation of endangered Chinese turtle may save species
There are only four specimens of the Yangtze giant softshell turtle left on Earth -- one in the wild and three in captivity.

Elevated serum HBV DNA level increases risk of hepatocarcinogenesis?
Chronic hepatitis B virus infection is still a worldwide health problem.

2 LA BioMed researchers named Heroes of Emergency Medicine
The American College of Emergency Physicians today announced it has recognized Marianne Gausche-Hill, M.D., F.A.C.E.P., and Robert Hockberger, M.D., F.A.C.E.P., as Heroes of Emergency Medicine, an honor the organization bestows upon emergency physicians who have made significant contributions to emergency medicine, their communities and their patients.

Studies provide insights into lung disease and lung function in young adults
Two studies being presented at the American Thoracic Society's 2008 International Conference in Toronto on Wednesday, May 21, provide insights into lung disease and lung function in young adults.

RNA toxicity contributes to neurodegenerative disease, University of Pennsylvania scientists say
Expanding on prior research performed at the University of Pennsylvania, Penn biologists have determined that faulty RNA, the blueprint that creates mutated, toxic proteins, contributes to a family of neurodegenerative disorders in humans.

Halting methane squanderlust
The pipes that rise from oil fields, topped with burning flames of natural gas, waste fossil fuels and dump carbon dioxide into the air.

Fluorescent nano-barcodes could revolutionize diagnostics
A new technology with research and clinical application including the early detection of disease has been invented and developed by University of Queensland researchers.

New journal focuses on progress, problems in treating heart failure
The American Heart Association launches its second new specialty scientific journal, which focuses on heart failure.

Iraq war service: A risk factor for bronchiolitis?
A large group of soldiers returning from Iraq have been diagnosed with bronchiolitis, a disease affecting the small airways of the lung, according to Vanderbilt University Medical Center physicians who will present their findings at the American Thoracic Society's 2008 International Conference in Toronto on Wednesday, May 21.

A promising biomarker to diagnosis gastric and colorectal cancer
RASSF1A, a tumor suppressor gene located in 3p21.3 region, is thought to play a pivotal role in human cancer development.

Earth may hide a lethal carbon cache
Carbon locked away deep within the Earth's crust could have profound implications on our climate, according to a meeting in the US last week.

Metabolic syndrome predicts diabetes in the elderly, but not cardiovascular disease
Metabolic syndrome -- a combination of medical disorders thought to increase risk of both diabetes and cardiovascular disease -- in fact only increases the risk of diabetes in the elderly.

Is laparoscopic biliary tract reoperation feasible and safe?
Laparoscopic biliary tract reoperation has a reasonable operating time, low conversion rate, low intra- and postoperative complication rate, and short postoperative hospital stay.

Ocean acidification -- another undesired side effect of fossil fuel-burning
Up to now, the oceans have buffered climate change considerably by absorbing almost one third of the worldwide emitted carbon dioxide.

Experts from 10 countries develop first evidence-based definition of lifelong premature ejaculation
Twenty-one experts from 10 countries have developed an international evidence-based definition of lifelong premature ejaculation (PE) that they hope will provide more consistent diagnosis and treatment and enable the results of clinical trials to be compared.

A biomimetic jumping microrobot
Researchers from the Laboratory of Intelligent Systems at EPFL are unveiling a novel, grasshopper-inspired jumping robot at the IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation May 21 in Pasadena, Calif.

Smoking is addictive, but quitting is contagious
A study of 12,067 people over a period of 32 years has found that people quit smoking in droves.

Challenges of HIV-1 subtype diversity
A review article in the New England Journal of Medicine explores the genetic variation of HIV-1 and its implications for preventing and treating the disease.

Understanding the functions of diversity
Biodiversity is fundamental to human life. It meets our material and cultural needs and ensures the stability of ecosystems.

Don't let cyberspite destroy your good name
For buyers and sellers on websites like eBay, bad comments against your name can cost you your livelihood.

Why do astronauts suffer from space sickness?
Centrifuging astronauts for a lengthy period provided Dutch researcher Suzanne Nooij with better insight into how space sickness develops, the nausea and disorientation experienced by many astronauts.

Does patient outcome depend on who they are or where they go for care?
Does the success of a procedure depend on how often it is performed at a hospital or by a particular surgeon?

A missing link settles debate over the origin of frogs and salamanders
The description of an ancient amphibian that millions of years ago swam in quiet pools and caught mayflies on the surrounding land in Texas has set to rest one of the greatest current controversies in vertebrate evolution.

Modeling how we see natural scenes
Sophisticated mathematical modeling methods and a

NOAA proposes rule to prevent commercial harvesting of krill
NOAA's Fisheries Service issued a proposed rule in the Federal Register to prohibit the future harvesting of krill between three and 200 miles of the coasts of California, Oregon and Washington.

Montana State University researchers map iron transport protein
Montana State University professor Martin Lawrence and doctoral student Anoop Sendamarai have published their work on mapping the human protein Steap3, which plays an important role in the absorption of iron into the bloodstream.

Many paths, few destinations: How stem cells decide what they'll be
The conventional view of how stem cells differentiate assumes that cells are

Quitting smoking helps social life
Smoking is bad, it turns out, not only for your physical wellbeing but for your social health, too -- with smokers increasingly edged out to the margins of social circles, according to new research from Harvard and UC San Diego.

Saltwater sleuths: Seeking clues to help determine the ages of fish and shellfish populations
Sandy Sutherland looks through the lens of the microscope at tiny sections of fish earbones, known as otoliths, each showing annual bands of growth.

NASA presentations at American Geophysical Union Joint Assembly
Researchers will present findings on a variety of NASA-related Earth and heliophysics topics at the 2008 Joint Assembly of the American Geophysical Union.

Climate change does double-whammy to animals in seasonal environments
New research shows that plant-eating animals in highly seasonal environments, such as the Arctic, face two climate-related challenges in locating nutritious food.

Evidence mounts against DHEA use in treating cognitive decline
DHEA supplements are widely-available and touted as a preventive agent for many chronic diseases.

A scientific first: A supernova explosion is observed in real time
As members of a team analyzing data from the first real-time observation of a supernova explosion, Weizmann Institute scientists are finding confirmation for their model of the process and helping to solve unanswered questions.

Worcester Polytechnic Institute announces 2008 Chairman's Exemplary Faculty Prize winners
David S. Adams, professor of biology and biotechnology, and Alexander E.

How to diagnose primary malignant fibrous histiocytoma?
Primary malignant fibrous histiocytoma of the pancreas is a rare, distinct clinical entity.

Biodiversity as a natural resource
What will the loss of biodiversity cost us in the long term?

EARLINET, European research for climatic change analysis
EARLINET, European research for climatic change analysisExperts from 12 European countries collaborate in an observation network that allows a better knowledge of particles (aerosol) present in the continent's atmosphere.

USC stem cell study sheds new light on cell mechanism
Research from the University of Southern California has discovered a new mechanism to allow embryonic stem cells to divide indefinitely and remain undifferentiated.

Gatekeepers are discovered in the human cell 'shredder'
Human cells make use of a

A foamy drink and the future of food
The Omnivore's Dilemma revealed the centrality of commodity corn in the modern industrialized agriculture system.

Better business decisions with real-time data
Real-time access to manufacturing data is essential to modern factories.

Possible biological explanation for C-section-linked allergies and asthma found
Scientists believe they may have identified a biological explanation for the link between cesarean-section delivery and risk of allergy and asthma in childhood.

Baker Institute study finds continuing upward pressure on retail gasoline prices
With the price of a barrel of oil hovering around $120, US drivers can expect to pay more at the pump in the near future, according to a new study by Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.

NASA's Swift satellite catches first 'normal' supernova in the act of exploding
Astronomers, for the first time, have caught a normal supernova at the moment of its birth -- the first instant when an exploding star begins shining brighter than billions of stars combined.

UW scientists join hunt for 'God' particle to complete 'theory of everything'
University of Washington scientists played a central role in building part of the Atlas detector, part of the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, which goes online this summer and is hoped will resolve some long-standing physics problems.

Doctors can unmask deceptive high-risk breast tumors using genetic profile
A unique genetic signature can alert physicians to high-risk breast tumors that are masquerading as low-risk tumors, according to research at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Smokers flock together, quit together
When smokers kick the habit, odds are they are not alone in making the move.

Low-intensity case management cuts COPD-related hospital visits in half
A new study has found that patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease who are at high risk for hospitalization or emergency room visits from exacerbations or complications benefit from simple low-intensity case management.

Brain's 'trust machinery' identified
The brain centers triggered by a betrayal of trust have been identified by researchers, who found they could suppress such triggering and maintain trust by administering the brain chemical oxytocin.

Precourt Institute for Energy Efficiency awards first faculty research grants
The Precourt Institute for Energy Efficiency has awarded its first competitive research grants to members of the Stanford faculty.

Analysis of millions of US births shows association between birth defects and preterm birth
An analysis of nearly 7 million US live births found that about 8 percent of babies born preterm had a birth defect -- more than twice the rate as full-term infants.

Information network on good practice in health care for migrants and minorities
Queen Mary, University of London, is among a consortium of academic and research institutions from 12 European countries to launch a new online facility aimed at helping health-care providers give adequate care to migrant and minority populations in Europe.

Gladstone scientists reveal the genetics of fat storage in cells
New research has revealed the genetic determinants of fat storage in cells, which may lead to a new understanding of and potential treatments for obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

UNC study firms up promise of potential new cervical cancer screening tool
New research into the causes of cervical cancer appears to lend weight to the promise of a potential early detection method that could help prevent the disease.

A better method of chemosensitivity testing on gastric cancer
A team from Shanghai Sixth Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiaotong University predicted and evaluated the efficacy of individualized assay-directed chemotherapy in Chinese gastric cancer patients using 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazolyl-2)-2,5-diphenyltetrazolium bromide (MTT) assay, and found that in vitro chemosensitivity is putatively associated with and in vivo clinical outcome as detected by survival analysis.

The new discovery about pathophysiology of intestinal irritable syndrome
The exact pathophysiology of intestinal irritable syndrome remains unknown, although various mechanisms including gastrointestinal dismotility and visceral hypersensitivity have been well studied in IBS.

Carnegie's Ho-kwang (Dave) Mao elected to Royal Society of London
Carnegie Institution scientist Ho-kwang (Dave) Mao has been elected as a Foreign Member of the Royal Society of London, the National Academy of the United Kingdom and one of the world's most prestigious scientific societies.

Supernova birth seen for first time
Astronomers have seen the aftermath of spectacular stellar explosions known as supernovae before, but until now no one has witnessed a star dying in real time.

New Jersey's 2008 Annual State of the Shore report, May 22
On Thursday May 22, 2008, Dr. Jon Miller of Stevens Institute of Technology and the Coastal Process Specialist for the NJMSC/NJ Sea Grant Program will present the 6th annual State of the Shore report on the condition state of NJ beaches, as we head into the peak Jersey Shore tourism season.

Landmark study reveals superiority of bivalirudin in heart attack patients at 30 days
The New England Journal of Medicine published results of the HORIZONS AMI trial which showed the use of the anticoagulant bivalirudin following angioplasty in heart attack patients reduced net adverse clinical events by 24 percent compared to the standard treatment, as well as reduced the risk of overall mortality by 33 percent and cardiac mortality by 38 percent.

Transplanted bone marrow stromal cells lead to hepatocellular carcinoma?
The safety and efficacy of hepatic stem cells derived from bone marrow stromal cells should be adequately confirmed before any therapies are tested in humans.

New study finds most North Pacific humpback whale populations rebounding
The number of humpback whales in the North Pacific Ocean has increased since international and federal protections were enacted in the 1960s and 70s, according to a new study funded primarily by NOAA and conducted by more than 400 whale researchers throughout the Pacific region.

Argonne scientists develop way to predict properties of light nuclei
Scientists have spent 70 years trying to predict the properties of nuclei, but have had to settle for approximate models because computational techniques were not equal to the task.

Plague of kangaroos threatens one of Australia's last remaining original native grasslands
Australian Department of Defense is currently culling hundreds of kangaroos on the outskirts of the capital Canberra that have produced heated discussions and hit international headlines.

Storn winds blow in Jupiter's Little Red Spot
Using data from NASA's New Horizons spacecraft and two telescopes on or near Earth, an international team of scientists has found that one of the solar system's largest and newest storms -- Jupiter's Little Red Spot -- has some of the highest wind speeds ever detected on any planet.

Observation of X-rays from birth of supernova leads to all-out effort to record stellar death
NASA's Swift satellite caught the rare birth of a supernova earlier this year, allowing astronomers to rapidly deploy ground-based telescopes to follow its evolution and learn about normal stellar explosions.

Scientists discover how common vaccine booster works
In an online paper in the journal Nature, Yale University researchers funded by NIAID explain how a common ingredient in many vaccines stimulates and interacts with the immune system to help provide protection against infectious diseases.

Virtual biopsy can tell whether colon polyp is benign without removal, Mayo researchers say
A probe so sensitive that it can tell whether or not a cell living within the human body is veering towards cancer development may revolutionize how future colonoscopies are done, say researchers from the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla.

Analysis of millions of US births shows association between birth defects and preterm birth
Babies born preterm were more than twice as likely to have major birth defects as full-term infants, according to a new analysis of nearly seven million US live births published online this week in the Springer journal Maternal and Child Health Journal.

Energy crops take a roasting
A process used to roast coffee beans could give Britain's biomass a power boost, increasing the energy content of some of the UK's leading energy crops by up to 20 per cent. 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