Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 22, 2008
How much risk can you handle? Making better investment decisions
Many Americans make investment decisions with their retirement funds. But they don't always make informed judgments.

Asthma monitoring on the Web
An inexpensive web-enabled device for measuring lung function in patients with asthma and other disorders is being developed by researchers at Texas Instruments, in Bangalore, India, and co-workers.

The big gulp: consumers avoid extremes in soda sizes
As portion sizes have increased, Americans' waistlines have expanded. And as a new study demonstrates, consumers are tricked into drinking more soft drinks when retailers eliminate small drink sizes.

Part of the in-group? A surprising new strategy helps reduce unhealthy behaviors
Public health campaigns intended to reduce unhealthy behaviors like binge drinking and eating junk food often focus on the risks of those behaviors.

Munich researchers discover key allergy gene
Together with colleagues from the Department of Dermatology and Allergy and the Center for Allergy and Environment of the Technische Universität München, scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München have pinpointed a major gene for allergic diseases.

Life isn't 2-D, so why should our encyclopedias be?
Biologists and biochemists are now able to access 3-D images of biomacromolecules underlying biological functions and disease.

Yale undergrads' Amazon trip yields a treasure trove of diversity
A group of Yale undergraduates have discovered dozens of potentially beneficial bioactive microorganisms within plants they collected in the Amazon rain forest, including several so genetically distinct that they may be the first members of new taxonomical genera.

Healthy people and enhancement drugs
Healthy people are more willing to take drugs to enhance traits that are not fundamental to their identity.

Western Transportation Institute to study drowsy and distracted teen driving
This fall, researchers at the Western Transportation Institute will begin a study of Montana's driver's education program and how it affects the way teenagers look at drowsy and distracted driving.

Elephant legs are much bendier than Shakespeare thought
Through out history everyone though that elephants walk on inflexible column like legs.

NJIT awards ceremony to feature notable physicist
NJIT will mark, once again, the new school year with University Convocation, an annual celebration and awards ceremony recognizing students, faculty and staff accomplishments.

Montana State University picked as home for Wind Applications Center
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has named Montana State University as the home for Montana's new Wind Applications Center, which means more wind-related coursework and research for MSU students and a demonstration turbine on campus.

Gene therapy anti-cancer research featured in Scientific American
Magazine's special cancer edition focuses on a pair of University of Alabama at Birmingham doctors because of their research into a field call viral gene therapy, or virotherapy.

Health journalists face translation challenge, MU researchers find
University of Missouri researchers conducted a national survey and found that the majority of health journalists have not had specialized training in health reporting and face challenges in communicating new medical science developments.

Research finds America's elderly suffering abuse
A new study concludes that nearly 13 percent of America's aged citizens suffer some form of abuse.

A reason to smile: New immigrants respond best to oral hygiene campaign
Tapping into the desire to have an attractive smile is the best motivator for improving oral hygiene, and new immigrants are the most receptive to oral health messages.

GOCE Earth explorer satellite to look at the Earth's surface and core
The European Space Agency is about to launch the most sophisticated mission ever to investigate the Earth's gravitational field and to map the reference shape of our planet -- the geoid -- with unprecedented resolution and accuracy.

Kalyon wins Society of Plastics Engineers' 2008 Research Award
Dr. Dilhan M. Kalyon, professor of bhemical engineering and director of the Highly Filled Materials Institute at Stevens Institute of Technology, has won the Society of Plastics Engineers' 2008 Research Award (in memory of John C.

Dense tissue promotes aggressive cancers
New research may explain why breast cancer tends to be more aggressive in women with denser breast tissue.

M&Ms as diet food? 100-calorie pack misconceptions
Beware of mini-packs and mini-foods, especially if you're a dieter.

Women exposed to negative life events at greater risk of breast cancer: BGU study
Happiness and optimism may play a role against breast cancer while adverse life events can increase the risk of developing the disease, according to a study by Professor Ronit Peled at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel.

'Nutraceuticals' could prevent diabetes
A new book by Dr. James W. Anderson gives an overview of glycemic health and highlights the use of novel and upcoming nutraceutical ingredients.

Powerful donor motivators for fundraising
People are more likely to donate to pledge drive appeals when fundraisers tap into peoples' desire to help others, according to a new study.

Public involvement usually leads to better environmental decision making
When done correctly, public participation improves the quality of federal agencies' decisions about the environment, says a new report from the National Research Council.

Even seaweeds get sunburned
It is red, it burns and itches: a sunburn on our skin.

Going from ulcers to cancer
Researchers have uncovered a big clue as to why some of the bacteria that cause stomach ulcers pose a greater risk for serious problems like stomach cancer than others; it turns out these bacteria can exploit the surrounding stomach cells to protect them from the immune system.

Stellar still births
The systematics of celestial bodies apparently needs to be revised.

SNM and ASTRO team up to advance molecular imaging and cancer research
SNM and the American Society for Therapeutic Radiation and Oncology will cosponsor a symposium this fall examining the impact of translational advances on radiation oncology and cancer imaging.

UC San Diego engineers part of nationwide effort to make buildings earthquake safe
Engineering researchers from UC San Diego and the University of Arizona have concluded three months of rigorous earthquake simulation tests on a half-scale three-story structure, and will now begin sifting through their results so they can be used in the future designs of buildings across the nation.

Seeing through tooth decay
Dental caries afflict at least 90 percent of the world's population at some time in their lives.

A room with a viewpoint: conservation messages and motivation
People are more likely to reuse hotel towels if they know other guests are doing it too.

High-tech innovations needed to help prevent economic crisis in health care and improve quality
The United States should develop a comprehensive strategy on the growing need for technological innovations to help prevent the impending economic crisis in health care and to improve the quality and convenience of care, according to a report from the 2007 conference

Operations research promises continued gains for HIV treatment in resource-limited countries
A new collaborative study by researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College and the Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS Initiative explores how to combine engineering science with medical care to guarantee the long-term success of these treatment programs.

UC Davis researchers define characteristics, treatment options for XXYY syndrome
Researchers at the UC Davis M.I.N.D. Institute and the Children's Hospital in Denver have conducted the largest study to date describing the medical and psychological characteristics of a rare genetic disorder in which males have two

Low-income? No car? Expect to pay more for groceries
Households located in poor neighborhoods pay more for the same items than people living in wealthy ones, according to a new study.

Action research helps people make positive changes
Certain kinds of research can help improve social problems, according to a new study.

Charities take note: Personal relationships increase donations
People tend to be more sympathetic to people suffering from the same misfortune as a friend.

When charities ask for time, people give more money
According to new research in the Journal of Consumer Research, simply asking people a question about whether they're willing to volunteer their time leads to increases in donations of both time and money.

Iowa State University experts can discuss new FDA produce irradiation rule
Iowa State University faculty members Dennis Olson and Sam Beattie are available for interviews on the new FDA regulation that will allow fresh spinach and iceberg lettuce to be irradiated to kill illness-causing bacteria.

MSU biofilms research helps set standards for everyday products
MSU researcher Darla Goeres is using a $1.7 million US Environmental Protection Agency contract to develop new standards for growing, sampling and treating biofilms.

Chips are down as Manchester makes protein scanning breakthrough
Scientists at the University of Manchester have developed a new and fast method for making biological

Pay attention! Small packages may lead to overeating
Tempting treats are being offered in small package sizes these days, presumably to help consumers reduce portion sizes. 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