Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 13, 2008
Scientists overcome nanotech hurdle
When you make a new material on a nano scale how can you see what you have made?

Causes for sexual dysfunction change as people age
Sexual dysfunction is not an inevitable part of aging, but it is strongly related a number of factors, such as mental and physical health, demographics and lifetime experiences, many of which are interrelated.

Emory study of former child soldiers yields new data to guide mental health interventions
Former child soldiers in Nepal are more than twice as likely to suffer from symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder as Nepali children who experienced war trauma as civilians, according to a study led by Brandon Kohrt, an Emory University graduate student.

Textbook for one of most-taught community college courses available free
Rice University's Connexions, one of the most-visited online sites for open-educational resources, today announced it is making a popular textbook available free this fall for one of the country's most-attended transfer-level community college courses -- elementary statistics.

Sky islands: metaphor or misnomer?
New modeling research from Eric Waltari of the Sackler Institute of Comparative Genomics at the American Museum of Natural History and Robert Guralnick from the University of Colorado at Boulder demonstrates that the

Keeping an eye on the surroundings
Researchers led by Martin Gruebele and Martina Havenith have been able to detect changes in the protein-water network during protein folding in real time using kinetic terahertz absorption.

Protein key to control, growth of blood cells
New research sheds light on the biological events by which stem cells in the bone marrow develop into the broad variety of cells that circulate in the blood.

Extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis found in California
In the first statewide study of extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR TB) in the United States, California officials have identified 18 cases of the dangerous and difficult-to-treat disease between 1993 and 2006, and 77 cases that were one step away from XDR TB.

APA task force recommends dissemination of evidence-based practice
An estimated 15 million American children are diagnosed with a mental disorder, but only about a quarter of them are getting appropriate treatment based on scientific evidence.

Advances in Atmospheric Sciences named Rising Star by ScienceWatch
The Springer journal Advances in Atmospheric Sciences was recently named a Rising Star among geosciences journals by

A direct gaze enhances face perception
Gaze direction is significant for the processing of visual information from the human face.

UCI neuroscientist awarded $3 million state stem cell grant
California's stem cell research funding agency today awarded a UC Irvine neuroscientist $3 million to study and generate a cell type that keeps the brain and spinal cord healthy.

Oceans on the precipice: Scripps scientist warns of mass extinctions and 'rise of slime'
Human activities are cumulatively driving the health of the world's oceans down a rapid spiral, and only prompt and wholesale changes will slow or perhaps ultimately reverse the catastrophic problems they are facing.

SAGE to publish Journal of Dental Research beginning in 2009
SAGE, the world's fifth largest journals publisher, is pleased to announce that it has signed an agreement to publish the Journal of Dental Research beginning in 2009.

Commercialization aim of grant supporting technology that destroys cancer cells
Technology called

Bringing Martian samples to Earth -- preparations outlined in journal Astrobiology
A critical component of NASA's Mars exploration program involves bringing planetary samples back to Earth for in-depth analysis, plans for which are detailed in the latest issue of Astrobiology, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert Inc.

Durham scientist explores Sichuan fault
Durham University expert, Alex Densmore, is to explore the fault lines that caused the May 12 earthquake in China that killed 69,000 people.

Robot vehicle surveys deep sea off Pacific Northwest
The first scientific mission with Sentry, a newly developed robot capable of diving as deep as 5,000 meters (3.1 miles) into the ocean, has been successfully completed by scientists and engineers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the University of Washington.

ADM supports Iowa State research and development of biorenewable technologies
Archer Daniels Midland Company of Decatur, Ill., is joining ConocoPhillips in supporting five Iowa State University research projects.

Air pollution damages more than lungs: Heart and blood vessels suffer too
According to an article published in the Aug. 26, 2008, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, air pollution has both short- and long-term toxic effects that injure the heart and blood vessels, increase rates of hospitalization for cardiac illness and can even cause death.

Using live fish, new tool a sentinel for environmental contamination
Researchers have harnessed the sensitivity of days-old fish embryos to create a tool capable of detecting a range of harmful chemicals.

Duke-NIEHS team shows how DNA repairs may reshape the genome
Researchers at Duke University Medical Center and at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences have shown how broken sections of chromosomes can recombine to change genomes and spawn new species.

NIH scientists find a novel mechanism that controls the development of autoimmunity
Scientists at the NIH have found a mechanism in the immune systems of mice that can lead to the development of autoimmune disease when turned off.

A recipe for saving the world's oceans from an extinction crisis
Jeremy Jackson, senior scientist emeritus of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, asserts in the Aug.

Smells like bees' spirit
When bumblebees return to the nest from a successful foraging mission, they produce a pheromone which encourages their nest mates to also go out and find food.

Sensitivity to antidepressants linked with TrkB-mediated neural proliferation
Scientists have unveiled a functional link between production of new neurons and the effectiveness of antidepressants in an animal model.

Study finds a wide variety of errors in testing process at family medicine clinics
The largest study to date of testing errors reported by family physician offices in the United States found that problems occur throughout the testing process and disproportionately affect minority patients.

Clemson scientists put a (nano) spring in their step
Electronic devices get smaller and more complex every year. It turns out that fragility is the price for miniaturization, especially when it comes to small devices, such as cell phones, hitting the floor.

Extinction most likely for rare trees in the Amazon rainforest
Common tree species in the Amazon will survive even grim scenarios of deforestation and road-building, but rare trees could suffer extinction rates of up to 50 percent, predict Smithsonian scientists and colleagues in the Aug.

Climate change threatens 1 in 5 plant species
One in five of Germany's plant species could lose parts of its current range, a study by scientists at the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and the French Laboratoire d'Ecologie Alpine reveals.

Neuroscience research with implications for national security
The intelligence community often monitors global trends in scientific and technological research to identify advances that could affect national security.

DOE JGI Director Eddy Rubin highlights the genomics of plant-based biofuels in the journal Nature
Genomics is accelerating improvements for converting plant biomass into biofuel -- as an alternative to fossil fuel for the nation's transportation needs, reports Eddy Rubin, Director of the US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute, in the Aug.

Infant sensitivity to negative emotional expressions develops at around 6 months
Scientists working in the Academy-funded Research Program on Neuroscience have discovered important changes in the way that infants react to another person's face at age 5-7 months.

Are young men and women divided over housework, abortion?
Young people from 10 countries around the world have shared their views on housework and abortion issues in a new study from the University of Adelaide, Australia.

International Red Cross adopts cholera prevention program in Kenya, developed by Hebrew U. students
A cholera prevention program developed by students of the Hebrew University-Hadassah Medical School's International Masters in Public Health Program has been adopted by the Red Cross in Kenya.

New robot scouts best locations for components of undersea lab
Like a deep-sea bloodhound, Sentry -- the newest in an elite group of unmanned submersibles able to operate on their own in demanding and rugged environments -- has helped scientists pinpoint locations for two observation sites of a pioneering seafloor laboratory being planned off Washington and Oregon.

Can tourism and wildlife ever mix?
Ecotourism may be having an unexpectedly damaging impact on wildlife.

UNC researchers find MSG use linked to obesity
People who use monosodium glutamate, or MSG, as a flavor enhancer in their food are more likely than people who don't use it to be overweight or obese even though they have the same amount of physical activity and total calorie intake, according to a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health study published this month in the journal Obesity.

Protein complementarity may offer new insights into autoimmune diseases
The discovery of

Elsevier announces new journal partnership
From the beginning of 2008 the respected Journal of Immunological Methods, has become the Official Journal of the Association of Medical Laboratory Immunologists.

Declaration opposes transplant commercialism, transplant tourism and organ trafficking
All countries should take steps to govern organ donation and transplantation, thereby ensuring patient safety and prohibiting unethical practices, according to an article appearing in the Sept.

Cocaine-induced synaptic plasticity linked to persistent addictive behaviors
The persistent nature of addiction is its most devastating feature.

Aerospace engineer earns Oak Ridge Associated Universities Ralph Powe Junior Faculty Award
The Powe award to Michael Philen of Virginia Tech will support research in adaptive structures, smart materials, bio-inspired systems and materials, and structural dynamics and control.

New theory for latest high-temperature superconductors
Physicists from Rice and Rutgers universities have published a new theory that explains some of the complex electronic and magnetic properties of iron

Measuring the 'Colbert Bump'
Democratic politicians receive a 40 percent increase in contributions in the 30 days after appearing on the comedy cable show

Study finds not all hearing aids are created equal
Consumers with hearing loss might think they are saving significantly more by purchasing over-the-counter hearing aids, but they most likely will be disappointed -- or could be taking risks -- when purchasing such aids, according to MSU research.

Hollywood hair will be captured at last: details in SIGGRAPH 2008 paper
Imagine avatars of your favorite actors wandering through 3-D virtual worlds with hair that looks almost exactly like it does in real life.

Perceived level of intimacy within a relationship predicts relational uncertainty
Fluctuations in perceptions of relationships are meaningful aspects of nonmarital romantic relationships.

Indonesia has had the most cases of human bird flu and also one of highest mortality rates
Development of better diagnostic methods and improved case management could speed-up identification of bird flu cases in humans (H5N1 influenza), and in turn lead to faster treatment with antiviral drugs to decrease Indonesia's extremely high mortality due to the disease.

Earth moves in unique ways
Earth is unique in comparison to the solar system's other silicate-metal planets -- in addition to its oceans and oxygen atmosphere, Earth is the only planet that exhibits plate tectonics.

IADR/AADR moves publication of Journal of Dental Research to SAGE Publications Inc.
The International Association for Dental Research and the American Association for Dental Research sign agreement with SAGE Publications Inc. to start publishing the Journal of Dental Research in January 2009.

Trapping white blood cells proves novel strategy against chronic viral infections
A drug that sequesters white blood cells in lymph nodes can allow mice to fight off a chronic infection by a virus that causes meningitis.

Trapping white blood cells proves novel strategy against chronic viral infections
A drug that sequesters white blood cells in lymph nodes can allow mice to fight off a chronic infection by a virus that causes meningitis.

White blood cell uses DNA 'catapult' to fight infection
US and Swiss scientists have made a breakthrough in understanding how a type of white blood cell called the eosinophil may help the body to fight bacterial infections in the digestive tract, according to research published online this week in Nature Medicine.

Turning waste material into ethanol
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory and Iowa State University have developed a method for converting crop residue, wood pulp, animal waste and garbage into ethanol.

Childhood dairy intake may improve adolescent bone health
Dairy is recognized as a key component of a healthy, balanced diet. 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