Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 09, 2008
Long-term care fraught with uncertainties for elderly baby boomers
The continued decline of the nursing home -- once the mainstay care for the frail elderly -- and an upsurge in popularity of assisted living will lead to many dramatic changes in long-term care, according to a University of Florida expert and editor of a new book on the subject.

Money makes the heart grow less fond... but more hardworking
Money is a necessity: it provides us with material objects that are important for survival and for entertainment, and it is often used as a reward.

Control switches found for immune cells that fight cancer, viral infection
Medical science may be a significant step closer to climbing into the driver's seat of an important class of immune cells, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Mayo Clinic spearheads research to discover unsuspected gene for atrial fibrillation
Mayo Clinic researchers have found a gene mutation linked to one family's hereditary form of atrial fibrillation.

Brain activity encodes reward magnitude and delay during choice
Good things may come to those who wait, but research has proven that humans and animals actually prefer an immediate rather than a delayed reward.

Flu-infected fly cells reveal dependencies of the virus
By giving fly cells the flu, scientists have identified scores of host genes the pathogen requires for successful infection, revealing a raft of potential new pressure points to thwart the virus.

Nanotechnology oversight: An agenda for the new administration
Few domestic policy areas that the new administration must address will have greater long-range consequences than nanotechnology -- a new technology that has been compared with the industrial revolution in terms of its impact on society.

New book by NJIT architecture professor focuses on urbanism
The University of Chicago Press has published Modernizing Main Street: Architecture and Consumer Culture in the New Deal by Gabrielle Esperdy, an associate professor in the New Jersey School of Architecture at NJIT.

Discovery of key malaria proteins could mean sticky end for parasite
Scientists funded by the Wellcome Trust have identified a key mechanism that enables malaria-infected red blood cells to stick to the walls of blood vessels and avoid being destroyed by the body's immune system.

Male kidneys for men only?
The gender of donor and recipient plays a larger role in kidney transplants than previously assumed.

HIV prevention researchers to compare common ARV as a pill and vaginal gel in unique study
Researchers have launched the first trial directly comparing the pill and vaginal gel formulations of the antiretroviral drug tenofovir to answer key questions about their use as HIV prevention in women.

Researchers find new mode of gene regulation in mammals
Researchers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, have discovered a type of gene regulation never before observed in mammals -- a

Obese men have less semen, more sperm abnormalities, and should lose weight before trying for a baby
Obese men should consider losing weight if they want to have children, a scientist told the 24th annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology today.

Birmingham University to lead new third sector research center
The University of Birmingham will lead a new Third Sector Research Center dedicated to analyzing the impact of the sector's activities.

A short and sweet diagnosis for cancer?
A team of scientists from the Dublin-Oxford NIBRT Glycobiology Laboratory have developed a system which can pinpoint potential

Scripps research scientists reveal key structure from ebola virus
Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have determined the structure of a critical protein from the ebola virus, which, though rare, is one of the deadliest viruses on the planet killing between 50 and 90 percent of those infected.

CSIRO Climate Adaptation Flagship launched
CSIRO launched a multimillion dollar research program in Canberra today which is designed to boost Australia's ability to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Stanford scientists: Orbiting gamma-ray observatory begins search for odd space objects
The researchers have stopped holding their breath. The $690 million observatory they sent into orbit June 11 has awoken to begin its observation of the gamma-ray light from celestial mystery object such as black holes, spinning neutron stars and dark matter.

Molecular motor works by detecting minute changes in force
Researchers discovered that the activity of a specific family of nanometer-sized molecular motors called myosin-I is regulated by force.

Swerve left to avoid that satellite
Tel Aviv University investigates protection against dangerous space debris.

Human Factors Journal celebrates 50 years
In 33 papers that highlight pivotal research and significant discoveries in the field of human factors/ergonomics, Human Factors authors demonstrate the power of HF/E to improve the human-system interface.

Gene therapy research in developing world raises ethical red flags: experts
Early stage gene therapy clinical trials are recruiting patients from the developing world, providing medically deprived populations access to interventions that show promise but have largely unknown effects in humans.

LSUHSC awarded $10M+ COBRE grant
LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans has been awarded $10,058,325 in funding over five years by the National Center for Research Resources, a part of the National Institutes of Health.

NOAA takes first broad look at soot from ships
Tugboats puff out more soot for the amount of fuel used than other commercial vessels, and large cargo ships emit more than twice as much soot as previously estimated, according to the first extensive study of commercial vessel soot emissions.

A stress meter for fault zones
Scientists from Rice University, the Carnegie Institution of Washington, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have measured how changes in stress in rocks near an active fault affect changes in the speed of seismic waves at depths where earthquakes begin.

Chest pain center accreditation linked with better outcomes in heart attack patients
Hospitals accredited by the Society of Chest Pain Centers have been shown to perform better in the heart attack core measures established by Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services as compared to nonaccredited hospitals, according to a national study led by an Emory University researcher.

Scientists learn how food affects the brain
In addition to helping protect us from heart disease and cancer, a balanced diet and regular exercise can also protect the brain, and ward off mental disorders.

Research highlights problems of predicting birthweights in obese mothers
Obesity is a risk to mother and baby, but American researchers have found a method that tackles the problem of predicting birth weights when mothers have a BMI of more than 30, making ultrasound measurements difficult at full term.

Diabetes linked to male infertility; excess sugars in the body have direct effect on sperm quality
Diabetes in men has a direct effect on fertility, a scientist told the 24th annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology on Wednesday 9 July.

Lehigh to lead $9.6M national research center for serious behavior disorders
Dr. Lee Kern, program coordinator and professor of special education at Lehigh University's College of Education in Bethlehem, Pa., will lead researchers at seven universities in establishing the National Research and Development Center on Serious Behavior Disorders at the Secondary Level.

U-M study: Herceptin targets breast cancer stem cells
A gene that is overexpressed in 20 percent of breast cancers increases the number of cancer stem cells, the cells that fuel a tumor's growth and spread, according to a new study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Brown-led team finds evidence of water in moon's interior
A Brown-led research team has for the first time found evidence of water deep within the moon.

Some drugs increase risk of falling: UNC researchers
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have created a list of prescription drugs that increase the risk of falling for patients aged 65 and older who take four or more medications on a regular basis.

Gender, time of day affect response to vaccination
A new study in the journal Psychophysiology reveals that men, but not women, vaccinated in the morning produced a better peak antibody response to both hepatitis A and the influenza strain.

Fruit fly gene study could yield new flu treatments
Scientists may be able to stave off influenza infection by targeting one of more than 100 proteins inside host cells on which the virus depends.

Vaccinated infants well-protected against severe pneumococcal infection in Norway
In 2006, a pneumococcal vaccine was introduced in the childhood vaccination program in Norway.

Survey: Most effective dental braces are least attractive
When it comes to the attractiveness of orthodontic braces, less metal is better, according to a recent survey.

Hepatitis C virus may need enzyme's help to cause liver disease
A key enzyme may explain how hepatitis C infection leads to serious liver diseases, reports the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

Aerosol toxins from red tides may cause long-term health threat
NOAA scientists reported in the current issue of the journal Environmental Health Perspectives that an algal toxin commonly inhaled in sea spray, attacks and damages DNA in the lungs of laboratory rats.

NOAA and partners to survey German subs sunk off North Carolina during World War II
NOAA will lead a research expedition July 7-26 to study the wrecks of three German submarines sunk by US forces in 1942 off the coast of North Carolina during the Battle of the Atlantic.

Kidney disease linked to lower medication use after heart attack
Patients with kidney disease -- especially end-stage renal disease requiring dialysis -- are less likely to receive recommended medications after a heart attack, reports a study in the September 2008 Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

New fossil tells twisted tale of how flatfishes ended up with two eyes on one side of head
A newly identified fossil and the reinterpretation of known fossils, fill in a

Children's Hospital Oakland receive NIH grants
Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland in California ranked among the top 5 children's hospitals in the country to receive National Institutes of Health grants in 2007.

Ionophore reverses Alzheimer's within days in mouse models
Scientists report a remarkable improvement in Alzheimer's transgenic mice following treatment with a new drug.

Early earthquake warning: New tools show promise
Using remarkably sensitive new instruments, seismologists have detected minute geological changes that preceded small earthquakes along California's famed San Andreas Fault by as much as 10 hours.

Pressured proteins: A little pressure in proteomics squeezes 4-hour step into a minute
Many coaches inspire better performance by pressuring their teams. Now, proteomics researchers are using pressure to improve the performance of their analyses.

The Internet, alcohol and sleep
Girls moving through adolescence may experience unhealthy levels of weight gain, but the reasons for this are not always clear.

River damming leads to dramatic decline in native fish numbers
Damming of the Colorado, alongside introduction of game fish species, has led to an extensive decline in numbers of native fish.

Frequent dialysis may benefit but at what cost?
More frequent hemodialysis sessions might improve the health of patients with end-stage renal disease, but under reasonable assumptions of expected benefit, the overall costs are likely to increase, according to a study appearing in the September 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

Can microorganisms be a solution to the world's energy problems?
Microorganisms once reigned supreme on the Earth, thriving by filling every nook and cranny of the environment billions of years before humans first arrived on the scene.

A world novelty for an improved tsunami early warning
After completing their simulation component in the German-Indonesian Tsunami Early Warning System, the team for tsunami modeling of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association has presented the currently leading software system for tsunami events with the potential for catastrophe.

Big brains arose twice in higher primates
After taking a fresh look at an old fossil, John Flynn, Frick Curator of Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History, and colleagues determined that the brains of the ancestors of modern neotropical primates were as small as those of their early fossil simian counterparts in the Old World.

Flatfish fossils fill in evolutionary missing link
Recently rediscovered flatfish fossils have filled a puzzling gap in the story of evolution and answered a question that initially stumped even Charles Darwin opponents of evolution have insisted that adult flatfishes, which have both eyes on one side of the head, could not have evolved gradually.

Room temperature superconductivity
Scientists at the University of Cambridge have for the first time identified a key component to unraveling the mystery of room temperature superconductivity, according to a paper published in today's edition of the scientific journal Nature.

MED-EL Corporation announced today new data regarding FineHearing technology, available only with the MAESTRO cochlear implant system.

Study puts solar spin on asteroid moon formation
Asteroids with moons, which scientists call binary asteroids, are common in the solar system.

Depression after stroke: A neglected problem
People who have had a stroke and the people who are close to them need more support in order to manage the consequences of stroke.

Coal-generated CO2 captured in Australia -- a first
In a first for Australia, carbon dioxide has been captured from power station flue gases in a post-combustion-capture pilot plant at Loy Yang Power Station in Victoria's Latrobe Valley.

How will the Arctic sea ice cover develop this summer?
The ice cover in the Arctic Ocean at the end of summer 2008 will lie, with almost 100 per cent probability, below that of the year 2005 -- the year with the second lowest sea ice extent ever measured.

Moon water discovered: Dampens Moon-formation theory
Using new techniques, scientists have discovered for the first time that tiny beads of volcanic glasses collected from two Apollo missions to the Moon contain water.

Significant impact factor boost for scientific journal Genome Research
Earlier this month, ThomsonReuters released the 2007 Journal Citation Reports, which includes impact factors for the world's most important scholarly journals.

Verbally aggressive mothers direct their children's behavior
A new study in Human Communication Research reveals that verbally aggressive mothers tend to control their children's choice of activities as well as use physical negative touch, along with directives, when trying to alter their child's actions.

10 people killed by new CJD-like disease
A new form of fatal dementia, which resembles Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease, has been discovered in 16 Americans, 10 of whom have already died from the disease.

URMC, FDA to collaborate on national data repository for heart research
The University of Rochester Medical Center will collaborate with the US Food and Drug Administration to develop a national repository of data that will aid academic and industry researchers studying the electrical activity of the heart.

Avatars as communicators of emotions
Current interactive systems enable users to communicate with computers in many ways, but not taking into account emotional communication.

Controlling the size of nanoclusters: First step in making new catalysts
Researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory and Stony Brook University have developed a new instrument that allows them to control the size of nanoclusters -- groups of 10 to 100 atoms -- with atomic precision.

Researcher say that ICSI may be over-used in some countries
New figures on assisted reproduction technology in Europe show that there has been an explosion in the use of ICSI to treat infertility, the 24th annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Barcelona heard on Wednesday.

Seasonal programmed brain cell death foiled in living birds
Neurons in brains of one songbird species equipped with a built-in suicide program that kicks in at the end of the breeding season have been kept alive for seven days in live birds by researchers trying to understand the role that steroid hormones play in the growth and maintenance of the neural song system.

Human embryonic stem cells developed from 4-cell embryo; world first may lessen ethical concerns
For the first time in the world scientists have succeeded in developing human embryonic stem cells from a single cell, or blastomere, of a 4-cell stage embryo, the 24th annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology heard today.

Pre-earthquake changes detected in the crust
Although measurement techniques surrounding earthquakes have improved enormously over the last few decades, it has remained very difficult to measure changes in the crust that could enable earthquake prediction.

NJIT architect professor advocates best-building practices for high wind regions
More than ever before, building design and construction can be significantly improved to reduce wind pressures on building surfaces and to help better resist high winds and hurricanes in residential or commercial construction, said NJIT architecture professor Rima Taher, Ph.D.

UC San Diego researchers enhance lithography light sources
A breakthrough discovery at UC San Diego may help aid the semiconductor industry's quest to squeeze more information on chips to accelerate the performance of electronic devices. 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