Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 16, 2008
DARPA awards research team $1.2M grant to study surface enhanced Raman scattering
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded a $1.2 million grant to an interdisciplinary team of Harvard University researchers to study surface enhanced Raman scattering for the first phase of a potential three-year effort.

Students who use 'clickers' score better on physics tests
Hand-held electronic devices called clickers are helping college students learn physics, according to a series of research studies.

First human use of new device to make arrhythmia treatment safer
On June 16, 2008, Barbara Ganschow of Palatine, Ill., became the first person in the world to be successfully treated with a new device designed to make it safer and easier for heart specialists to create a hole in the cardiac atrial septum.

First worldwide analysis of cancer survival finds wide variation between countries
Cancer survival varies widely between countries according to a worldwide study published online today in Lancet Oncology.

Kidney damage caused by iodinated contrast material thought to be overestimated, study shows
The use of iodinated contrast material may be less damaging to the kidneys than previously recorded, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, NY.

New paper addresses myths, realities of government retiree health care crisis
While some states are taking adequate steps to address the cost of retiree health-care benefits, others -- including New Jersey, New York, California and North Carolina -- are facing tens of billions of dollars in so-called

Fuel from food waste: bacteria provide power
Researchers have combined the efforts of two kinds of bacteria to produce hydrogen in a bioreactor, with the product from one providing food for the other.

Eruptions wiped out ocean life 94 million years ago
University of Alberta scientists contend they have the answer to mass extinction of animals and plants 93 million years ago.

American Society for Microbiology honors Victor de Lorenzo
The 2008 American Society for Microbiology GlaxoSmithKline International Member of the Year Award is presented to Victor de Lorenzo, professor of research, National Center of Biotechnology of the Spanish Research Council, Cantoblanco-Madrid, Spain.

Weizmann Institute scientists' new technique gets to the root of cancer
In two complementary studies, Weizmann Institute scientists have developed a new method for reconstructing a cell's 'family tree,' and have applied this technique to trace the history of the development of cancer.

Can you be born a couch potato?
In two genetic analyses performed on mouse hybrids descended from strains known for their high and low levels of physical activity, researchers have located six single and several interacting sets of genes that have a large effect on the animals' predisposition to engage in physical activity.

Brown papers reveal widespread, hardworking water on ancient Mars
Papers by Brown University scientists show that water on ancient Mars was pervasive and was working hard, changing the minerals below ground and on the surface.

With $2M NIH grant, FSU becomes 1 of world's top imaging centers
At Florida State University, the collective strength of biomedical research and the scientists who lead it has earned a $2 million High-End Instrumentation grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Ouch! Taking a shot at plague
Endangered black-footed ferrets aren't exactly lining up to be stuck with a vaccine, but in an effort to help control an extensive outbreak of plague in South Dakota, some of the ferrets are getting dosed with a vaccine given by biologists.

Good news for veggies
Many heavy meat eaters believe they eat a lot of meat because of the taste.

Continuation, competition and flexibility
DFG and the German Science Council submit a white paper on the further development of the Excellence Initiative.

Largest review of office-based plastic surgery confirms safety in accredited facilities
A study examining plastic surgery procedures performed in accredited outpatient facilities found that office-based surgery is as safe as surgery performed in hospitals.

After ER visit, many patients in a fog, U-M study finds
Every year, more than 115 million patients enter emergency rooms at hospitals around the nation.

Congress overrides president's veto of Medicare bill: $300 Million for type 1 diabetes secured
Congress yesterday was successful in overriding President Bush's veto of the Medicare legislation, including funding for diabetes research, that was passed by the House last month and by the Senate last week.

American Society for Microbiology honors Mary Ann Moran
The inaugural 2008 American Society for Microbiology D.C. White Research and Mentoring Award is being presented to Mary Ann Moran, Distinguished Research Professor, Department of Marine Sciences, University of Georgia, Athens.

New amfAR grants look to optimize current HIV treatment and strive for a cure
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, will award more than $1.4 million in grants to fund 12 new research projects whose findings may fundamentally change the way HIV/AIDS is treated.

Asthma and other allergies tied to absence of specialized cells
When it comes to allergies, both the problem and the solution are found within us.

Men and women may need different diets: research
Diet can strongly influence how long you live and your reproductive success, but now scientists have discovered that what works for males can be very different for females.

American Society for Microbiology honors Vickie S. Baselski
The 2008 American Society for Microbiology TREK Diagnostic ABMM/ABMLI Professional Recognition Award is presented to Vickie S.

A new way to weigh giant black holes
How do you weigh the biggest black holes in the universe?

Researchers discover link between organ transplantation and increased cancer risk
Researchers have determined a novel mechanism through which organ transplantation often leads to cancer, and their findings suggest that targeted therapies may reduce or prevent that risk.

Using magenetic nanoparticles to combat cancer
Scientists at Georgia Tech have developed a potential new treatment against cancer that attaches magnetic nanoparticles to cancer cells, allowing them to be captured and carried out of the body.

D-cycloserine may improve behavioral therapy treatment for anxiety
Anxiety is a normal human response to stress, but in some, it can develop into a disabling disorder of excessive and irrational fears, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, or post-traumatic stress disorder.

Archaeologists trace early irrigation farming in ancient Yemen
In Yemen, new evidence of ancient transitions from hunting and herding to irrigation agriculture have been found.

$2 million computer will help unravel major medical ailments
A federal grant will allow Johns Hopkins researchers to purchase a powerful $2 million computer that will speed up their efforts to find new ways to diagnose and treat brain disease, heart illnesses, cancer and other medical ailments.

Comrades to consumers
A fascinating new study in the Journal of Consumer Research looks at the role advertising has played in China's transformation.

Gene variant found in those with African ancestry increases odds of HIV infection
A variant of a gene found only in people of African ancestry increases the odds of becoming infected with the human immunodeficiency virus by 40 percent, according to a long-term study of African Americans reported in the the journal Cell Host & Microbe, a publication of Cell Press.

American Society for Microbiology honors Lauren Mashburn-Warren
A 2008 American Society for Microbiology Raymond W. Sarber Award is being presented to Lauren Mashburn-Warren, graduate student, Ph.D. program in Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Texas at Austin.

Reconstruction the brain morphology of Homo Liujiang cranium fossil by 3-D CT
High-resolution industrial computed tomography was used to scan the Homo Liujiang cranium fossil, and the three-dimensional virtual brain image was reconstructed.

A new method to weigh giant black holes
How do you weigh the biggest black holes in the universe?

Worldwide gulf in cancer survival between 31 countries and between black and white people in USA
The first study to provide directly comparable data on cancer survival from many countries around the world has revealed huge variations between and within 31 countries, including the UK.

New approach sheds light on ways Circadian disruption affects human health
A study by researchers in Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Lighting Research Center provides a new framework for studying the effects of circadian disruption on breast cancer, obesity, sleep disorders and other health problems.

American Society for Microbiology honors Regina S. Van Brakle
The 2008 American Society for Microbiology Scherago-Rubin Award is being presented to Regina S.

Spotted hyenas can increase survival rates by hunting alone
In a paper recently published in the journal Animal Behavior, Smith, a student in MSU's department of zoology, shows that while spotted hyenas know the value of living together in large, cooperative societies, they also realize that venturing on their own now and then to hunt for food is often the key to their survival.

New protocol streamlines therapy that makes more kidney transplants possible
A new therapy developed at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center improves transplant rates and outcomes for patients awaiting living- and deceased-donor kidney transplantation, according to a study published in the July 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

New findings show diverse, wet environments on ancient Mars
Mars once hosted vast lakes, flowing rivers and a variety of other wet environments that had the potential to support life, according to two new studies.

Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle to receive Regional Policy Award from ESA
Gov. Jim Doyle will be the first recipient of a prestigious award given by the nation's largest group of ecologists at the 93rd Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America on Aug.

A high tech, high stakes game of hide and seek
At the 2008 Workshop on Precision Indoor Personnel Location and Tracking for Emergency Responders, to be held at Worcester Polytechnic Institute Aug.

5.634 -- the new impact factor of European Urology underlines the journal's outstanding position
Elsevier, a leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information, announced that European Urology, the official journal of the European Association of Urology, has a newly released impact factor of 5.634.

American Society for Microbiology honors Steven A. Rosenberg
The 2008 American Society for Microbiology Abbott Laboratories Award in Clinical and Diagnostic Immunology is presented to Steven A.

American Society for Microbiology honors Marvin Whiteley
A 2008 American Society for Microbiology Merck Irving S. Sigal Memorial Award is being presented to Marvin Whiteley, Assistant Professor, Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Texas at Austin.

American Society for Microbiology honors Jo Handelsman
The 2008 American Society for Microbiology Roche Diagnostics Alice C.

Genetic cause of innate resistance to HIV/AIDS
Some people may be naturally resistant to infection with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Psychological and social issues associated with tooth loss
During the Academy of General Dentistry's 56th Annual Meeting & Exhibits in Orlando, Fla., July 16-20, H.

Confronting Ethics of Pandemic Influenza Planning: 2008 Summit of the States
National summit will be held in Indianapolis July 14-15 to prioritize concerns for medical triage, treatment and safety during influenza pandemic.

Tobacco industry manipulated cigarette menthol content to recruit new smokers among young people
Researchers at Harvard School of Public Health explored tobacco industry manipulation of menthol levels in specific brands and found a deliberate strategy to recruit and addict young smokers by adjusting menthol to create a milder experience for the first time smoker.

People predict budgets better on annual basis
A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research found that people who made annual budgets were more accurate than those who made monthly ones.

Booster vaccination may help with possible future avian influenza pandemic
New evidence suggests that a booster vaccination against H5N1 avian influenza given years after initial vaccination with a different strain may prove useful in controlling a potential future pandemic.

New model explains why we overestimate our future choices
When people make choices for future consumption, they select a wider variety than when they plan to immediately consume the products.

American Society for Microbiology honors Katharine R. Clapham
A 2008 American Society for Microbiology Raymond W. Sarber Award is being presented to Katharine R.

Decisions under pressure: it's all in the heartbeat
A person's heart rate can reveal a lot about how they make decisions when feeling stressed, a Queensland University of Technology academic says.

Democracies with separation of powers less likely to stop using torture
A system of checks and balances in government is usually regarded as a good thing, except when it comes to the probability that a nation will stop its use of government-sanctioned torture, according to a Florida State University study.

American Association for Clinical Chemistry's Annual Meeting
More than 200 presentations on medicine and science will be held during the AACC's meeting July 27-31 in Washington.

Categories help us make happier choices
Most of us have stood in a supermarket aisle, overwhelmed with the array of choices.

Protein transports nutrients believed to protect against eye disease
Scientists have identified the protein responsible for transporting nutrients to the eye that are believed to protect against the development of age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of vision loss in elderly Americans.

Context is everything: New research uncovers key to consumer preferences
New research in the Journal of Consumer Research reveals that a product's attractiveness can shift depending on the other choices that are available at the time.

Genetic variation increases HIV risk in Africans
A genetic variation which evolved to protect people of African descent against malaria has now been shown to increase their susceptibility to HIV infection by up to 40 percent, according to new research.

Tips on how to build a better home for biological parts
Researchers at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech have compiled a series of guidelines that should help researchers in their efforts to design, develop and manage next-generation databases of biological parts.

Galderma announces approval for Differin gel 0.1 percent in Japan
Galderma Pharma S.A., a global specialty pharmaceutical company focused on dermatology, announced today that Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare has approved Differin Gel 0.1 percent (adapalene), a novel topical treatment for acne vulgaris in Japan.

Raw deal for foreign brides in Taiwan: study
More than a quarter of a million women have been sold as wives and baby-makers in South East Asia, but they are getting a raw deal in health care and social inclusion.

NEJM: Low-fat diets not best for weight loss: New study by Ben-Gurion U. of the Negev
BGU study reveals that low-carbohydrate and Mediterranean diets may be just as safe and effective in achieving weight loss as the standard, medically prescribed low-fat diet, according to a new study published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.

Virtual world is sign of future for scientists, engineers
Purdue University is operating a virtual environment that enables scientists and engineers to interpret raw data collected with powerful instruments called dynamic atomic force microscopes, representing a research trend, with tools for other applications also being developed.

People only eat 1 when the chips are brown
Dr. Don Henne isn't wasting his degree when he's standing by the deep fryer waiting for potato slices to turn brown.

American Society for Microbiology honors Stephen C. Edberg
The 2008 American Society for Microbiology BD Award for Research in Clinical Microbiology is being presented to Stephen C.

Stevens alumnus, professor working together to fight obesity with Switch2Health products
Seth A. Tropper, past co-founder of the successful Stevens spin-off Plasma Sol and current CEO of Switch2Health, and Dr.

Teen smokers struggle to kick the habit; most want to quit and can't
Most teenagers who smoke cigarettes make repeated attempts to quit but most are unsuccessful, according to new research from the Université de Montréal, funded by the Canadian Cancer Society, published in the American Journal of Public Health.

Drugs industry protecting 'morally unacceptable' patent system
Major drugs companies are using fierce lobbying tactics to protect a pharmaceutical patent system that is

Fossils and layers: Solving the terrane puzzle of the North American cordillera
Tectonostratigraphic terranes comprise a huge portion of real estate in western North America.

Great Ape Trust to provide home for entertainment orangutans
A group of orangutans who appeared in Hollywood films, television commercials and magazine advertisements is being relocated to Great Ape Trust of Iowa -- a significant move that begins to close the curtain in the United States on the decades-long use of orangutans in the entertainment industry.

Brand names subconsciously afftect people's shopping goals
Even 60 milliseconds of exposure to a brand name such as Wal-Mart or Tiffany can alter consumers' subconscious goals, according to new research in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Drug lowers body's 'set point' to control hyperparathyroidism in dialysis patients
A medication called cinacalcet -- an important part of treatment to control high levels of parathyroid hormone in patients receiving dialysis for end-stage renal disease -- works by resetting the balance between calcium and PTH levels, according to a study in the November Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

NIH awards more than $33 million to fund state-of-the-art research equipment
Today, the National Institutes of Health announced that 18 research institutions in 15 states will receive High-End Instrumentation Awards to purchase the latest innovations in advanced research equipment.

Study shows increased education on nanotech, human enhancement increases public concerns
Educating the public about nanotechnology and other complex but emerging technologies causes people to become more

New research from Rhode Island Hospital may help predict outcomes for stomach cancer patients
Researchers at Rhode Island Hospital have identified two potential molecular markers that may predict outcomes for patients with stomach cancer, one of the most common and fatal cancers worldwide.

Do birds have a good sense of smell?
Sight and hearing are the most important senses for birds -- this is at least the received wisdom.

MDCT, virtual gastroscopy and MPR images differentiate malignant and benign gastric ulcers
Multidetector CT using virtual gastroscopy and post contrast enhanced multiplanar reformation images can be useful in differentiating between malignant and benign gastric ulcers, according to a recent study conducted by researchers from Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.

New kind of MRI enables study of magnets for computer memory
What is there to see inside a magnet that's smaller than the head of a pin?
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