Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 26, 2008
Researchers study hidden homicide trend
Gun-related homicide among young men rose sharply in the United States in recent years even though the nation's overall homicide rate remained flat, according to a study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Scientists find how neural activity spurs blood flow in the brain
New research from Harvard University neuroscientists has pinpointed exactly how neural activity boosts blood flow to the brain.

$1.8M awarded for metastatic colon cancer research
Through the generous philanthropic support of the Littlefield 2000 Trust, the American Association for Cancer Research is pleased to announce three recipients of the 2008 Jeannik M.

Ovarian cancer's specific scent detected by dogs
Groundbreaking research in the June issue of Integrative Cancer Therapies published by SAGE explored whether ovarian cancer has a scent different from other cancers and whether working dogs could be taught to distinguish it in its different stages.

Journal of Nuclear Medicine's impact reaches new heights
The Journal of Nuclear Medicine -- the flagship publication of SNM -- has once again been recognized for its exceptional quality and influence as an academic and professional resource.

Elsevier announces agreement with Portico
Elsevier announces an agreement with Portico, a not-for-profit digital preservation service, to aid ScienceDirect in addressing the challenges of eBook preservation.

Weizmann Institute scientists discover how an injured embryo can regenerate itself
Weizmann Institute scientist Prof. Naama Barkai and her colleagues have developed a mathematical model to describe interactions that occur within genetic networks of an embryo, answering the age-old question of how half embryos are able to maintain their tissues and organs in the correct proportions despite being smaller than a normal sized embryo.

Exposing the sensitivity of extreme ultraviolet photoresists
Researchers at NIST have confirmed that the photoresists used in next-generation semiconductor manufacturing processes now under development are twice as sensitive as previously believed.

10 percent of healthy people in study had injury from 'silent strokes'
MRIs on healthy Framingham offspring found that about 10 percent had experienced a silent stroke.

LA BioMed researcher named 'Hero of Emergency Medicine'
Dr. Diane M. Birnbaumer becomes the third LA BioMed researcher to be named a

UC Riverside bioengineer receives high honor from chemical engineers
Jerome Schultz, a distinguished professor and chair of the department of bioengineering at the University of California, Riverside, has been recognized by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers as one of the

Pregnancy may help protect against bladder cancer
Pregnancy seems to confer some protection against bladder cancer in mice, scientists have found.

Study finds safer, more efficient medication for hepatitis B treatment
Patients with hepatitis B who did not respond to lamivudine therapy had a better virological response after switching to entecavir for a year.

New study examines the validity of epo testing
Epo is a hormone sometimes misused by athletes to boost their endurance.

Doctors must step up to the challenge of climate change
Doctors must lead by example on climate change, according to experts in this week's BMJ.

Facebook concepts indicate brains of Alzheimer's patients aren't as networked, Stanford study shows
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine used concepts borrowed from the popular social networking site to analyze the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease.

New system devised to guide doctors treating patients with symptomatic myocardial bridging
What type of intervention, if any, should cardiologists offer their patients who have a heart abnormality called myocardial bridging and symptoms of heart problems?

Ancient Mexican maize varieties
Because of its importance as food, the need to improve yield, and the challenges presented by changing climate, the maize genome of the B73 cultivar is being sequenced.

Most HIV transmission for men and women in Africa is within marriage or cohabitation
Since most heterosexual HIV transmission for both men and women in urban Zambia and Rwanda takes place within marriage or cohabitation, counseling and testing for couples should be promoted, as should other evidence-based interventions that target heterosexual couples.

'Early bird' project really gets the worm
Scientists from the LSU Museum of Natural Science, or MNS, recently participated in a project joining together the most prominent ornithological research programs in the world.

Device blocking stomach nerve signals shows promise in obesity
A new implantable medical device, developed in collaboration with Mayo Clinic researchers, shows promise as a reversible and less extreme alternative to existing bariatric surgeries, according to findings published in the current issue of the journal Surgery.

July-August Geological Society of America Bulletin media highlights
The July/August GSA Bulletin features studies on the eruptive processes recorded in Colorado's San Juan Mountains; some of West Antarctica's oldest known ice and the climatic record it might reveal; the effect of humidity on erosion, faulting, and asymmetry in the mountains of Columbia; the influence of clay on debris-flow hazards; northern Australia's branching and growing Magela Creek; and the story of future earthquake potential as told by submerged paleoshorelines off the California Continental Borderland.

A simple therapy for brain injury
Severe brain injury due to blunt force trauma could be reduced by application of a simple polymer, polyethylene glycol or PEG, mixed in sterile water and injected into the blood stream -- as reported in BioMed Central's Journal of Biological Engineering.

Study links gastric bypass surgery to increased risk of kidney stones
Morbidly obese patients who undergo a particular type of gastric bypass surgery called Roux-en-Y gastric bypass are at an increased risk of developing kidney stones -- small, pebble-like deposits that can result in severe pain and require an operation to remove them -- earlier than previously thought.

Seniors with type 2 diabetes may experience memory declines immediately after eating unhealthy meal
Adults with type 2 diabetes who eat unhealthy, high-fat meals may experience memory declines immediately afterward, but this can be offset by taking antioxidant vitamins with the meal, according to new research from Baycrest.

Sudden hearing loss could indicate future stroke
Patients hospitalized for sudden hearing loss were more likely to suffer a later stroke than some other patients.

Elevated biomarkers predict risk for prostate cancer recurrence
A simple blood test screening for a panel of biomarkers can accurately predict whether a patient who has had prostate cancer surgery will have a recurrence or spread of the disease

Elsevier announces 2007 journal impact factor highlights
Elsevier today announced highlights of its Journal Impact Factor performance in 2007.

CCNY researchers demonstrate effectiveness of contrast agent Cytate in detectcing prostate cancer
Researchers at the Institute for Ultrafast Spectroscopy and Lasers at The City College of New York have conducted time-resolved fluorescence measurement and optical imaging studies that demonstrate the efficacy of Cytate as a fluorescence marker to detect prostate cancer.

Lack of fragile X and related gene fractures sleep
Lack of both the fragile X syndrome gene and one that is related could account for sleep problems associated with the disorder, which is the common cause of inherited mental impairment, said a consortium of researchers led by scientists at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Hard work while fatigued affects blood pressure
A new study in the July issue of the International Journal of Psychophysiology, finds that when fatigued individuals perceive a task as being achievable and worth doing, they increase their effort to make up for their diminished capability due to fatigue.

Standards set for energy-conserving LED lighting
Scientists at NIST, in cooperation with national standards organizations, have taken the lead in developing the first two standards for solid-state lighting in the United States

Higher temperatures helped new strain of West Nile virus spread
Higher temperatures helped a new strain of West Nile virus invade and spread across North America.

Asteroid-hunting satellite a world first
Canada is building the world's first space telescope designed to detect and track asteroids as well as satellites.

RNA engineering to combat series of illnesses wins Kaye Award for Hebrew University dean
Research that has yielded success in controlling certain errors in gene expression as a safer and more effective alternative to conventional drugs has won for Prof.

Oak Ridge pegged for national ecological network
Dozens of instruments to be deployed on the Oak Ridge Reservation and other sites around the nation will provide valuable information related to climate change, biodiversity and invasive species, infectious diseases and other areas of interest.

Oxygen ions for fuel cells get loose at low(er) temperatures
Seeking to understand a new fuel cell material, a research team has uncovered a novel structure that moves oxygen ions through the cell at substantially lower temperatures than previously thought possible.

Treatment with buprenorphine should be widespread to reduce heroin dependency problems
Treatment with buprenorphine increases the time heroin addicts remain abstinent and the time taken for them to relapse compared with naltrexone and placebo.

Faulty DNA repair could be a risk factor for lung cancer in nonsmokers
People who have never smoked but whose cells cannot efficiently repair environmental insults to DNA are at higher risk of developing lung cancer than those with effective genomic repair capability, according to researchers from the department of epidemiology at the University of Texas M.

Treatment for cigarette, alcohol and drug use in pregnancy improves outcomes for mom and baby
Pregnant women who receive treatment for substance abuse early in pregnancy can achieve the same health outcomes as pregnant women with no substance abuse, a Kaiser Permanente study in the Journal of Perinatology found.

Why do people vote? Genetic variation in political participation
A groundbreaking new study finds that genes significantly affect variation in voter turnout, shedding new light on the reasons why people vote and participate in the political system.

Starvation hormone makes for small mice, study finds
Chronically high levels of a recently discovered starvation hormone markedly stunt the growth of mice, reveals a new study in the July Cell Metabolism, a publication of Cell Press.

New clinical trial for patients with asbestos-associated lung cancer
The Mesothelioma Center within the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital and Columbia University Medical Center is now recruiting patients for a clinical research study of a new targeted radiation and chemotherapy protocol for pleural mesothelioma, a cancer of the lung's lining that is almost always caused by previous exposure to asbestos.

Higher coffee consumption associated with lower liver cancer risk
A new large, prospective population-based study confirms an inverse relationship between coffee consumption and liver cancer risk.

Neuroscientist Michael Gazzaniga awarded Humboldt Prize
Michael Gazzaniga, professor of psychology at UCSB and director of the SAGE Center for the Study of the Mind, has received the Humboldt Research Prize in recognition of lifetime achievements in science.

Algae from the ocean a sustainable energy source of the future
Research by two Kansas State University scientists could help with the large-scale cultivation and manufacturing of oil-rich algae in oceans for biofuel.

NIST releases preview of much-anticipated online mathematics reference
NIST has released a five-chapter preview of the much-anticipated online Digital Library of Mathematical Functions.

In 'novel playground,' metals are formed into porous nanostructures
Cornell researchers have developed a method to self-assemble metals into complex nanostructures.

Researchers identify promising cancer drug target in prostate tumors
Scientists at Dana-Farber report they have blocked the development of prostate tumors in cancer-prone mice by knocking out a molecular unit they describe as a

Study suggests a little milk could go a long way for your heart
Grabbing as little as one glass of lowfat or fat free milk could help protect your heart, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Town hall meeting at UCSB to focus on stem cell research
Top scientists will present the current the state of research on stem cells at a UC Santa Barbara-sponsored town hall meeting July 18 from 2-4 p.m. in the Hatlen Theater.

'Electron trapping' may impact future microelectronics measurements
Using an ultra-fast method of measuring how a transistor switches from the

SEX4, starch and phosphorylation
Mutational and structural analyses by Dr. Zeeman and his colleagues have revealed that starch degradation in Arabidopsis leaves at night differs significantly from the versions traditionally described in textbooks.

Huge genome-scale phylogenetic study of birds rewrites evolutionary tree-of-life
The largest ever study of bird genetics redraws the avian evolutionary tree, challenges current classifications, alters our understanding of avian evolution, and provides a resource for future studies.

New process creates 3-D nanostructures with magnetic materials
Materials scientists at NIST have developed a process to build complex, three-dimensional nanoscale structures of magnetic materials such as nickel or nickel-iron alloys using techniques compatible with standard semiconductor manufacturing.

Improving university recruitment process may increase female surgical faculty, study finds
New research published in the June issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons shows that improving the university recruitment strategy and process could raise the number of women faculty in medicine.

Quadrennial nonlinear analysis event honors federation founder
The 2008 World Congress of Nonlinear Analysts will meet in Orlando, Fla., July 2-9.

Avalon Pharmaceuticals names lead development candidate in beta-catenin inhibitor program
Avalon Pharmaceuticals announces the nomination of AVN316 as a lead clinical development candidate in its Beta-catenin Pathway Inhibitor program.

Portable device effective in zapping away migraine pain
A novel electronic device designed to

How to build a plant
Dr. Sarah Hake and her colleagues, George Chuck, Hector Candela-Anton, Nathalie Bolduc, Jihyun Moon, Devin O'Connor, China Lunde and Beth Thompson, have taken advantage of the information from sequenced grass genomes to study how the reproductive structures of maize are formed.

The future of the NHS, polyclinics and the first health of the nation summit
2008 marks the 60th anniversary of the UK National Health Service, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the World Health Organization.

Chronic kidney disease -- unnoticed, common, increasing and deadly
Many people in the world are unaware of the existence and implications of chronic kidney disease.

Unique pheromone detection system uncovered by UT Southwestern researchers
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have overturned the current theory of how a pheromone works at the molecular level to trigger behavior in fruit flies.

MySpace looks to USC to help servers keep up with users
Computers -- including giant network servers -- store data in two places: cache and disk, with only cache data instantly accessible.

Beyond chess: Deep green models rapid change for combat commanders
Can an artificial intelligence program anticipate military surprises? The USC Information Sciences Institute is playing a $7.6 million part in a DARPA research effort aimed at creating a system that can do so, one that might help future combat commanders in the field anticipate enemy moves.

'No men allowed' in women's secret world
From the Petri dish in the controlled environment of a sterile laboratory to the faraway fields of another country, virtually anything can be the topic of scientific study.

Ronin an alternate control for embryonic stem cells
Like the masterless samurai for whom it is named, the protein Ronin chooses an independent path, maintaining embryonic stem cells in their undifferentiated state and playing essential roles in genesis of embryos and their development, said Baylor College of Medicine researchers who reported on this novel cellular regulator in the current issue of the journal Cell.

What price for a more effective health care system?
The pressures from an aging population on the rising costs of health care in Australia will be the subject of the third annual Menzies Oration to be held at the Australian National University tonight.

Understanding the desire for 'freshness' -- a first step towards saving water
Earlier this year the government announced a new strategy for a more efficient and sustainable use of water.

Should doctors be increasing their carbon footprint by flying to medical conferences?
Every year thousands of doctors and scientists fly to meetings all over the world, but with climate change accelerating, can this type of travel be justified, two doctors debate the issue in this week's BMJ.

On the boil: New nano technique significantly boosts boiling efficiency
A new study from researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute shows that by adding an invisible layer of the nanomaterials to the bottom of a metal vessel, an order of magnitude less energy is required to bring water to boil.

Quantum computing breakthrough arises from unknown molecule
In a Nature Physics journal paper currently online, the researchers describe how they have created a new, hybrid molecule in which its quantum state can be intentionally manipulated -- a required step in the building of quantum computers.

What it's like to be a bat
Not many people think about what it's like to be a bat, but for those who do, it's enlightening and potentially groundbreaking for understanding aspects of the human brain and nervous system. 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