Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 17, 2008
Largest study of its kind implicates gene abnormalities in bipolar disorder
A large genetic study of bipolar disorder has implicated machinery that balances levels of sodium and calcium in neurons.

APA task force calls for reframing research to address resilience among black youth
African-American youth have proven they can bounce back after facing hardship and adversity, yet the majority of studies on this population still focus on the negative outcomes of risk factors, according to a task force of the American Psychological Association.

Newly detected air pollutant mimics damaging effects of cigarette smoke
A previously unrecognized group of air pollutants could have effects remarkably similar to harmful substances found in tobacco smoke, according to a report scheduled for presentation at American Chemical Society national meeting in Philadelphia in August.

Better oxygen systems in developing nations reduce child pneumonia mortality and are cost effective
Introduction of improved oxygen systems in developing nations reduce child pneumonia mortality and are cost effective compared with other public-health interventions.

Playing video games offers learning across life span, say studies
Certain types of video games can have beneficial effects, improving gamers' dexterity as well as their ability to problem-solve -- attributes that have proven useful not only to students but to surgeons, according to research discussed Sunday at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association.

Analysis of Lake Washington microbes shows the power of metagenomic approaches
Today's powerful sequencing machines can rapidly read the genomes of entire communities of microbes, but the challenge is to extract meaningful information from the jumbled reams of data.

Synthetic moleculues could add spice to fight against cancer
Seeking to improve on nature, scientists used a spice-based compound as a starting point and developed synthetic molecules that, in lab settings, are able to kill cancer cells and stop the cells from spreading.

Hydrogels provide scaffolding for growth of bone cells
Hyaluronic hydrogels developed by Carnegie Mellon University researchers may provide a suitable scaffolding to enable bone regeneration.

Adults easily fooled by children's false denials
These findings have important implications for forensic child sexual abuse evaluations.

Toward plastic spin transistors
University of Utah physicists successfully controlled an electrical current using the

Mount Sinai researchers discover technology that silences genes
Mount Sinai researchers have developed a new gene silencing technology that could be used to target genes that can lead to the development of certain diseases.

Survivors of 1918 flu pandemic protected with a lifetime immunity to virus
New research has discovered that infection and natural exposure to the 1918 influenza virus made survivors immune to the disease for the remaining of their lives.

Suicide in Asian Americans
Family conflict increases risk of suicide attempts.

Improved technique determines structure in membrane proteins
By combining custom-built spectrometers, novel probe designs and faster pulse sequences, a team led by Illinois chemistry professor Chad Rienstra has developed unique capabilities for probing protein chemistry and structure through the use of solid-state nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy.

New 52-city report examines use of wastewater in urban agriculture
As developing countries confront the first global food crisis since the 1970s as well as unprecedented water scarcity, a new 53-city survey conducted by the International Water Management Institute indicates that most of those studied (80 percent) are using untreated or partially treated wastewater for agriculture.

Chemists move closer toward developing safer, fully-synthetic form of heparin
Chemists are reporting a major advance toward developing a safer, fully-synthetic version of heparin, the widely used blood thinner now produced from pig intestines.

APA resolves to play leading role in improving treatment for gender-variant people
The American Psychological Association urged psychologists today to take a leading role in ending discrimination based on gender identity, calling upon the profession to provide

Suicidal thoughts among college students more common than expected
More than half of 26,000 students across 70 colleges and universities who completed a survey on suicidal experiences reported having at least one episode of suicidal thinking at some point in their lives.

1918 flu antibodies resurrected from elderly survivors
Ninety years after the sweeping destruction of the 1918 flu pandemic, researchers at Monroe Carell Jr.

Heads-up study of hair dynamics may lead to better hair-care products
From frizzy perms to over-bleached waves,

Researchers create safer alternative to heparin
Robert Linhardt has spent years stitching together minuscule carbohydrates to build a more pure and safer alternative to the commonly used and controversial blood thinner heparin.

Cataloguing invisible life: Microbe genome emerges from lake sediment
A UW-led team has taken a sample of Lake Washington mud and successfully sequenced a complete genome for an unknown microorganism.

Antidepressants may impair driving ability, new research finds
People taking prescription antidepressants appear to drive worse than people who aren't taking such drugs, and depressed people on antidepressants have even more trouble concentrating and reacting behind the wheel.

Biracial Asian Americans and mental health
Biracial Asian Americans are twice as likely as monoracial Asian Americans to have been diagnosed with a psychological disorder, UC Davis researchers report.

Monash team learns from nature to split water
An international team of researchers led by Monash University has used chemicals found in plants to replicate a key process in photosynthesis paving the way to a new approach that uses sunlight to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. 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