Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 03, 2008
3rd international conference examines interactions between music and the brain
The effects of musical experience in young children and the role of music in the rehabilitation of stroke patients will be among the many topics on the agenda as experts from around the world gather in Montreal, Canada, for the international conference

Schistosomes, hookworm and trichuris infections synergize to increase the risk of anemia
New research published June 4 in the open-access journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases provides evidence that the risk of anemia is amplified in children simultaneously infected with hookworm and schistosomes or hookworm and trichuris, when compared to the sum of risks for children with singular infections.

Magnetic sensor that brooks no interference
A novel magnetic sensor for the first time detects tiny fluctuations in a small magnetic field -- even when there is a strong magnet right beside it.

Most ongoing diabetes trials do not include outcomes important to patients
An analysis of ongoing randomized clinical trials (RCTs) in diabetes finds that only about 20 percent have as primary outcomes results that patients consider important, such as illness, pain, effect on function and death, according to a study in the June 4 issue of JAMA.

Honeybee dance breaks down cultural barrier
Asian and European honeybees can learn to understand one another's dance languages despite having evolved different forms of communication, an international research team has shown for the first time.

Veterinary medicine contributes $3.3 billion to New England economy
Veterinary medicine contributes $3.3 billion to the economies of New England -- and the region faces a shortage of as many as 658 veterinarians by 2014, according to a study released today by the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.

Mammalian neurogenesis breaks into the most static brain region
In work published in this week's issue of PLoS ONE and coordinated by senior author Luca Bonfanti, new neuronal progenitors were found to be produced in the cerebellum of young and adult rabbits.

Revolution in rain forest monitoring with MacArthur grant
Tropical rain forests are treasure houses of biodiversity, but there has been no effective way to inventory and monitor their plant species over large areas.

Virginia Tech researchers find human virus in chimpanzees
After studying chimpanzees in the Tanzania's Mahale Mountains National Park for the past year, Virginia Tech researcher Dr.

Study finds link between amphetamine abuse and heart attacks in young adults
Young adults who abuse amphetamines may be at greater risk of suffering a heart attack, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have found.

NARSAD researchers identify specific genes and family traits linked to mental illnesses
New findings from research supported by NARSAD and conducted by Harvard-affiliated scientists are providing important clues into how genes work to impair various aspects of attention, memory and perception -- the behaviors associated with many psychiatric illnesses, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression.

Novel 'noise thermometry' may help redefine international unit of temperature
After seven years of work, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have built a system that relies on the

HSPH researchers discover natural inflammation-fighting mechanism in body-fat cells
Reporting in the journal Cell Metabolism, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health said they have shown for the first time that fat-storing cells, or adipocytes, contain a protective anti-inflammatory immune mechanism that prevents the cells from over-reacting to inflammation-causing stimuli, such as fatty acids in the diet.

Firearm suicide and homicide rates associated with level of background check
States that perform local-level background checks for firearms purchases are more effective in reducing firearm suicide and homicide rates than states that rely only on a federal-level background check, according to a new study by researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee.

Despite vaccine, public should not get complacent about pneumococcal disease
Although the childhood pneumococcal conjugate vaccine has been a boon in reducing the incidence invasive pneumococcal disease, the public and the medical community must not get complacent, as nonvaccine strains, some resistant to antibiotics, are on the rise, say scientists at a meeting today in Boston.

Professional society honors PNNL scientist
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory chemist Julia Laskin has received the Biemann Medal, the highest honor granted to a young scientist by the American Society for Mass Spectrometry.

Agent in red wine found to keep hearts young
How, scientists wonder, do the French get away with a clean bill of heart health despite a diet loaded with saturated fats?

Highest ever levels of post-traumatic stress found in Uganda
Uganda has the highest rate of post-traumatic stress and depression ever recorded, following extremely high of civilian exposure to violence and poor healthcare, a study published in BMC Psychiatry says today.

U of M sets course for cure of fatal childhood skin disease
Physicians at the University of Minnesota and University of Minnesota Children's Hospital, Fairview have set the path to a cure for a young boy's fatal genetic skin disease, recessive dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa, by using a cord blood and bone marrow transplant.

Yale Environment 360 magazine launches online
Environment 360, a new online magazine dedicated to covering the global environment, is launching today.

Finding out what the Big Bang and ink jets have in common
It often turns out there is more to commonplace everyday events than meets the eye.

Instant messaging proves useful in reducing workplace interruption
Employers seeking to decrease interruptions may want to have their workers use instant messaging software, a new study suggests.

Patients with heart failure often overestimate life expectancy
Many patients with heart failure have survival expectations that are significantly greater than clinical predictions, with younger patients and those with more severe disease more likely to overestimate their remaining life span, according to a study in the June 4 issue of JAMA.

Magnet-controlled camera in the body
Images from inside the body? It can be done with tiny cameras which the patient has to swallow.

Biodesign's Rittmann offers promising perspectives on society's energy challenge
For Biodesign Institute researcher Bruce Rittmann, the threat of global warming also presents a significant opportunity for innovation and fresh solutions to today's energy challenges.

Low-cost airlines are now the new major players
Leading low-cost airlines with a preference for small, inexpensive airports are now the largest airlines in the United States and Europe, according to an MIT expert on airport design and operations, who said that airport planners in major metropolitan areas need to accept this paradigm shift and build flexibility into airport design.

CSHL scientists trace causal link between a tumor suppressor gene and liver cancer
Scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have taken the search for cancer-causing genes an important step forward.

Members of European Parliament discuss food labeling and heart health
Members of the European Parliament Heart Group meet today, June 3, in Brussels, to discuss the link between nutrition and cardiovascular diseases and how labeling of food can help people choose products that are better for their hearts and vessels.

The breathing lifeline that comes at a price
A research collaboration between the universities of Nottingham and Leicester is to use computer modelling of lungs based on information collected from real patients to look at the best way of using ventilators to treat patients while minimizing the risk of injury.

A new satellite remote sensing tool for improving agricultural land use observation
An IRD team, with support from the CNES1, used high-resolution images taken by the Taiwanese remote sensing satellite FORMOSAT-2 to make an extensive study of two semi-arid farming regions -- one in Morocco and the other in Mexico.

Possible new approach to purifying drinking water
A genetic tool used by medical researchers may also be used in a novel approach to remove harmful microbes and viruses from drinking water.

Gene that magnetically labels cells shows potential as imaging tool
Mammalian cells can produce tiny magnetic nuggets after the introduction of a single gene from bacteria, scientists have found.

A wafer of polyethylene
A research team led by Stefan Mecking at the University of Konstanz has developed a new method to produce wafer-thin layers of polymer materials, which may be used as protective coatings.

Alaska Space Grant program launches B.E.A.R.
The Alaska Space Grant Program and the Arctic Amateur Radio Club formed the Balloon Experiment And Research Program -- or B.E.A.R. for short -- in December 2007.

Rice study shows why more than 25 percent of new CEOs last less than 3 years
An increasing number of CEOs are exiting their positions prematurely, according to a study by Yan Zhang at Rice University's Jones Graduate School of Management.

FSU, UM to share $7 million grant to study autism early intervention
Researchers know that early intervention is the key to better outcomes for children with autism spectrum disorders, but the effectiveness of intervention with very young toddlers is not yet known.

UNH receives $380,000 grant to study organic dairy as closed ecosystem
University of New Hampshire researchers have received a significant grant to study UNH's organic dairy research farm as a sustainable closed agroecosystem, exploring viable strategies for becoming energy independent.

GE Energy to market SNS-developed detector electronics system
GE Energy, manufacturer of Reuter Stokes radiation detection equipment, has signed a technology transfer agreement to market the electronics and software associated with the SNS 8Pack neutron detector system, an award-winning design for a system of sensitive neutron detectors developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Study finds healthy intestinal bacteria within chicken eggs
The conventional wisdom among scientists has long been that birds acquire the intestinal bacteria that are necessary for good health from their environment, but a new University of Georgia study finds that chickens are actually born with those bacteria.

Low HDL cholesterol from gene variation not associated with increased risk of ischemic heart disease
Lower levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol due to a gene mutation is not associated with an increased risk of ischemic heart disease, according to a study in the June 4 issue of JAMA.

NASA targets GLAST launch for June 7
NASA has set June 7 as the new target launch date for the Gamma-ray Large Area Space Telescope, or GLAST, from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Geology and biology meet in the history of US southwestern desert surface waters
The history of surface waters in the arid deserts of the US southwestern Great Basin and lower Colorado River region has fascinated scientists for over two centuries.

The Healthcare Foundation of NJ awards grant to Rutgers College of Nursing's Rachel Jones
The Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey awarded a one year $154,400 grant to Rachel Jones, a Rutgers College of Nursing faculty member, to create a series of 12 videos aimed at reducing HIV risk sexual behavior among young urban women.

Family history of colorectal cancer linked with reduced risk of cancer recurrence
Among patients with advanced colon cancer receiving treatment that includes chemotherapy, a family history of colorectal cancer is associated with a significant reduction in cancer recurrence and death, with the risk reduced further by having an increasing number of affected first-degree relatives, according to a study in the June 4 issue of JAMA.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
The following articles are featured in the June 4 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience

Fraunhofer frontline themes: Tomorrow's opportunities
People need an affordable health-care system, security, energy, communications, mobility and a clean environment.

Memory in honeybees: What the right and left antenna tell the left and right brain
The idea that all vertebrate species, even nonhuman ones without any linguistic skills, have an asymmetric brain seems to be finally accepted.

Scientist study bacterial communities inside us to better understand health and disease
The number of bacteria living within the body of the average healthy adult human are estimated to outnumber human cells 10 to one.

New Zealand bird outwits alien predators
New research published in this week's PLoS ONE, led by Dr.

Brown researchers work toward ending cartilage loss
Brown University nanotechnology engineer Thomas Webster has published a first-ever study that shows how a surface of carbon nanotubes combined with electrical pulses could help regenerate cartilage naturally in the body.

Can we 'wipe out' MRSA?
A study by the Cardiff University's Welsh School of Pharmacy looked into the ability of antimicrobial-surface wipes to remove, kill and prevent the spread of such infections as MRSA.

Earth observation highlighted at UN biological diversity conference
Addressing the global issue of biodiversity loss, participants from all over the world recently gathered in Germany to attend the UN's Convention of Biological Diversity Conference of Parties.

Finding clues for nerve cell repair
A new study at the Montreal Neurological Institute at McGill University identifies a key mechanism for the normal development of motor nerve cells (motor neurons) -- cells that control muscles.

Climate change could impact vital functions of microbes
Global climate change will not only impact plants and animals but will also affect bacteria, fungi and other microbial populations that perform a myriad of functions important to life on earth.

American College of Rheumatology presents recommendations for rheumatoid arthritis therapy
Developed for specialist clinicians familiar with assessing disease activity and severity.

Eating and weight gain not necessarily linked, study shows
A new study at UCSF shows that increased eating does not necessarily lead to increased fat.

Parasitoid turns its host into a bodyguard
In a recent publication in PLoS ONE, a research team offer evidence that behavioral changes of a host are beneficial to the parasite in the field.

Electricity from the exhaust pipe
Researchers are working on a thermoelectric generator that converts the heat from car exhaust fumes into electricity.

Thinness vs. obesity not directly linked to eating habits, study suggests
Whether you are fat or thin isn't directly determined by your eating habits, suggest researchers who report new findings made in worms.

Glaucoma report points to increased costs
A new Center for Eye Research Australia/ Access Economics report shows the cost of glaucoma will more than double in the next two decades.

How drug that blocks cholesterol absorption from the diet works
A new study sheds light on the action of the drug ezetimibe (trade name Zetia), which is used to treat high cholesterol.

Holistic understanding: Ag chemicals in the environment
Scientists at the US Geological Survey studied diverse agricultural settings using a whole-system approach to assess how environmental processes and agricultural practices interact.

Groundbreaking UC San Diego research study to measure 'how much information?' is in the world
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, today announced a new study to quantify the amounts and kinds of information being produced worldwide by businesses and consumers alike.

A survivor in Greenland: A novel bacterial species is found trapped in 120,000-year-old ice
Scientists have discovered a new ultra-small species of bacteria that has survived for more than 120,000 years within a Greenland glacier at a depth of nearly two miles.

Heart failure patients miscalculate life expectancy
Many patients with heart failure -- especially younger ones and those with more severe disease -- significantly overestimate how long they going to live, say Duke University Medical Center researchers.

Microsurgery on the brain of the fruit fly leads to new insights into irreparable nerve injuries
Every year, one million Europeans are confronted with potentially irreparable brain or spinal cord injuries resulting from traffic accidents.

Increased incidence of melanoma found in rheumatoid arthritis patients treated with methotrexate
A chronic, inflammatory disease of unknown origin, rheumatoid arthritis affects about 1 percent of adults worldwide.

Average shoppers are willing to pay a premium for locally produced food
Research suggests the average supermarket shopper will pay a premium price for locally produced foods, providing some farmers an attractive option to enter a niche market that could boost their revenues.

DFG establishes 8 new Collaborative Research Centers
On July 1, 2008, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) will establish eight new Collaborative Research Centers.

Scientists develop 'cyborg engineering' for coronary bypass grafting
A team of London scientists have taken a major step in making the use of artificial veins and arteries in coronary bypass grafts a reality.

Antibacterial wipes can still spread bacteria
A new study by a team of researchers at the Welsh School of Pharmacy, Cardiff University, Wales, UK, has found that antimicrobial-containing wipes currently used to decontaminate surfaces in hospitals can spread pathogens after first use. 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