Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 04, 2008
Social psychology can be used to understand nuclear restraint
Social psychology is the study of how people and groups interact.

Massive cancer gene search finds potential new targets in brain tumors
An array of broken, missing and overactive genes have been identified in a genetic survey of glioblastoma, the most common and deadly form of adult brain cancer, report scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

Syracuse University partners with Serum Institute of India to develop vaccines for children
A unique partnership between Syracuse University and the Serum Institute of India could lead to better access to life-saving vaccines for children living in some of the most impoverished areas of the world.

Gladstone scientists identify genetic link that may neutralize HIV
A genetic target may provide a significant new opportunity for vaccine or therapeutic development.

Ancient DNA evidence points to woolly mammoths' dynamic past
The largest study ever conducted of DNA evidence extracted from long-dead woolly mammoths points to a rockier past for the iconic Ice Age giants than many had suspected.

Action as a goal may be too broad, new research suggests
A series of experiments conducted by researchers at the University of Illinois suggest that society's emphasis on action over inaction may lead to unforeseen consequences.

Digitized student
A researcher on a short trip to a foreign country, with little money, but a digital camera in hand has devised a novel approach to digitizing foreign archives that could speed up research.

Potential remedy for the 'mental fog' in cancer patients
Cancer patients have complained for years about the mental fog known as chemobrain.

Normal ALT levels may mask advanced fibrosis in liver disease patients
Patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease may have normal alanine aminotransferase levels in spite of having advanced fibrosis, according to a new study in the September issue of Hepatology, a journal published by John Wiley & Sons on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Last-ever look at ESA's gravity satellite GOCE
As preparations for the launch of GOCE Sept. 10 continue on schedule, an important milestone has just been achieved as engineers at the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia say farewell to the satellite as it is encapsulated in the two half-shells of the launcher's fairing.

Infectious, test tube-produced prions can jump the 'species barrier'
Researchers have shown that they can create entirely new strains of infectious proteins known as prions in the laboratory by simply mixing infectious prions from one species with the normal prion proteins of another species.

To your health: EPA announces safe drinking water research
Let's raise our water glasses and toast to America's health.

Independent medical assessment of hunger strikers is vital: Force feeding has no place
The vital issues surrounding independent medical assessment of hunger strikers and force-feeding are discussed in the lead editorial in this week's edition of the Lancet.

'Getting better' conference to address developments in neurocritical care
Specialists in the field of neurocritical care will gather for the Sixth Annual Cleveland Neurocritical Care and Stroke Conference on Sept.

Parsing the genome of a deadly brain tumor
The most comprehensive to-date genomic analysis of a cancer -- the deadly brain tumor glioblastoma multiforme -- shows previously unrecognized changes in genes and provides an overall view of the missteps in the pathways that govern the growth and behavior of cells, said members of the Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network in a report that appears online today in the journal Nature.

Women who binge drink at greater risk of unsafe sex and sexually transmitted disease
Binge drinking (5 or more alcoholic beverages at one time) is associated with risky sexual behaviors.

Bisphenol A linked to metabolic syndrome in human tissue
New research from the University of Cincinnati implicates the primary chemical used to produce hard plastics -- bisphenol A -- as a risk factor for the metabolic syndrome and its consequences.

Fingerprint find in decade-old double murder probe
A decade old US double murder probe has received a new breakthrough following investigations by a University of Leicester forensic scientist at Northamptonshire Police.

Cornell gets $10 million NSF grant to establish new sustainability institute
Could a computer model help stabilize the tuna population? Can we compute how to transition to ethanol fuel without jeopardizing food production?

DNA shows that last woolly mammoths had North American roots
DNA tests have proved that the roots of the iconic woolly mammoth are North American, not Asian, as previously thought.

Interactivity means more activity for students
The British government has invested more money in Interactive Whiteboards in its schools than any other government in the world.

Molecular evolution is echoed in bat ears
Echolocation may have evolved more than once in bats, according to new research from the University of Bristol published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

New evidence on the robustness of metabolic networks
Biological systems evolve in ways that increase their fitness for survival amidst environmental fluctuations and internal errors.

International team reveals first prognosticator of survival in aggressive cancer
The tumor suppressor gene pRb2/p130 may provide the first independent prognostic biomarker in cases of soft tissue sarcoma, according to an international collaboration of researchers, including scientists at the Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine at the College of Science and Technology at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA, the department of human pathology and oncology, University of Siena and the Center of Oncological Research of Mercogliano in Avellino, Italy.

Better guidance urgently needed for doctors in child protection cases, say experts
Better guidance is urgently needed for doctors in child protection cases to prevent them from being deterred from acting to protect children, says an editorial online today.

Astronomers discover missing link for origin of comets
An international team of scientists that includes University of British Columbia astronomer Brett Gladman has found an unusual object whose backward and tilted orbit around the Sun may clarify the origins of certain comets.

Hallucinations in the flash of an eye
Dominic H. ffytche at the Institute of Psychiatry in London reviews what we do know and moves the field forward, by introducing a new experimental approach to studying hallucinations as they occur.

Outpacing climate change with atmospheric research collaboration
Tiny particles in air create smog, seed clouds and control how much of the sun's heat makes it through the atmosphere, and yet are the least understood aspect of climate research.

Obese people with asthma have nearly 5 times greater risk of hospitalization for asthma
A study by Kaiser Permanente found obese people with asthma are 4.6 times more likely to be hospitalized for asthma than non-obese people with asthma.

Global sea-rise levels by 2100 may be lower than some predict, says CU-Boulder study
Despite projections by some scientists of global seas rising by 20 feet or more by the end of this century as a result of warming, a new University of Colorado at Boulder study concludes that global sea rise of much more than 6 feet is a near physical impossibility.

Discovery challenges fundamental tenet of cancer biology
Yale researchers have identified an unusual molecular process in normal tissues that causes RNA molecules produced from separate genes to be clipped and stitched together.

Theory of the sun's role in formation of the solar system questioned
A strange mix of oxygen found in a stony meteorite that exploded over Pueblito de Allende, Mexico nearly 40 years ago has puzzled scientists ever since.

Should nurses replace GPs as frontline providers of primary care?
Should nurses be the frontline providers of primary care, taking the place of general practitioners as the first point of patient contact?

New NIST publication series addresses design of earthquake-resistant structures
As part of its support for the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program, NIST has released a publication that provides guidelines for designing a special type of structural frame used in regions with high seismic activity.

Firms with high analyst coverage engage in excessive external financing and capital spending
Study explores the influence of abnormal analyst coverage on external corporate fundraising.

31st Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium
The CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium features the latest cutting-edge findings in laboratory, translational and clinical breast cancer research.

Down-staged liver cancer associated with good post-transplant outcomes
Patients with liver cancer can become viable candidates for transplantation if their tumors respond to treatment, a new study suggests.

Middle schoolers and alcohol: Tips for parents from AAAS
The first few weeks of middle school are a frenzy of friends, parties and school events.

More off-premise alcohol outlets can lead to more injuries among neighborhood children
Injuries are the leading cause of death among children ages one to 14 in the United States.

Stress urinary incontinence paper retracted
A Comment in this week's edition of the Lancet explains why the journal has decided to retract a paper from the published record

Interdisciplinary volume on biological rhythms serves as both primer and in-depth resource
A new book from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press,

Older Vietnamese report more mental health problems
Vietnamese Americans over 55, most who came to the United States as political refugees, report more mental health problems than non-Hispanic whites, according to a UC Irvine Center for Health Care Policy analysis of state data.

Living donor liver transplants may drastically decrease mortality from liver failure
Patients with acute liver failure could be saved by a transplant from a living donor, according to a new study in the September issue of Liver Transplantation, a journal by John Wiley & Sons.

You can be replaced: Immune cells compensate for defective DNA repair factor
A new mouse model has provided some surprising insight into XLF, a molecule that helps to repair lethal DNA damage.

Gait may be associated with orgasmic ability
A new study found that trained sexologists could infer a woman's history of vaginal orgasm by observing the way she walks.

Gene therapy prevents blindness in an animal model of mitochondrial dysfunction
Scientists have created an animal model suitable for testing and validating gene therapies for treatment of a common mitochondrial dysfunction that causes loss of vision.

Tel Aviv University researchers create new stem cell screening tool
A bioinformatic system takes adult stem cell research to a new level.

NIST studies how new helium ion microscope measures up
Researchers at NIST are probing the newest microscope technology to further improve measurement accuracy at the nanoscale -- a critical capability for setting standards and improving production in the semiconductor and nanomanufacturing industries.

Designing solutions for problems of 'predatory lending' first requires understanding when it exists
There is not a universally accepted definition of predatory lending by policy makers, regulators or people involved in the mortgage business.

Research in AJN shows increase in private and public place infant abductions
The American Journal of Nursing announced today results from a study, based on 23 years of data collection, identifying new trends in nonfamily infant abductions.

Major flooding risk could span decades after Chinese earthquake
Up to 20 million people, thousands of whom are already displaced from their homes following the devastating Chinese earthquake, are at increased risk from flooding and major power shortages in the massive Sichuan Basin over the next few decades and possibly centuries.

World-first to predict premature births
Australian researchers and a pathology company have joined forces to develop a world-first computerised system which may reveal a way to predict premature birth with greater accuracy.

Scientists reveal changes to embryonic stem cells caused by Down syndrome
Scientists investigating the mechanisms of Down syndrome have revealed the earliest developmental changes in embryonic stem cells caused by an extra copy of human chromosome 21 -- the aberrant inheritance of which results in the condition.

Unsuccessful drug against anxiety opens a novel gateway for the treatment of cancer
An unsatisfying drug for anxiety reveals to scientists a promising novel anti-cancer drug target, state researchers from the University of Helsinki, Finland.

Gene enhancer in evolution of human opposable thumb
Scientists have discovered gene enhancer, known as HACNS1, that may have contributed to evolution of uniquely opposable human thumb, and possibly also modifications in ankle or foot that allow humans to walk on two legs, according to paper published in Science, Sept.

Eli and Edythe L. Broad make unprecedented gift to endow Broad Institute of Harvard & MIT
Los Angeles-based philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad announced today that they have increased their total gift to the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT to $600 million.

Studies spot numerous undiscovered gene alterations in pancreatic and brain cancers
HHMI investigators have detected a multitude of broken, missing, and overactive genes in pancreatic and brain tumors, in the most detailed genetic survey yet of any human tumor.

Gaining a better understanding of kidney diseases
By introducing a genetic switch in mice it is possible to increase or decrease the production of specific protein molecules in their kidneys.

NSF funds new center to bring together biologists, mathematicians
Biologists and mathematicians from around the world will take part in a new institute dedicated to bringing top researchers together to find creative solutions to pressing problems in both scientific fields.

Society of Interventional Radiology applauds report's uterine fibroid embolization recommendations
The Society of Interventional Radiology, a national organization of nearly 4,500 doctors, scientists and allied health professionals dedicated to improving health care through minimally invasive treatment interventions, applauds the recommendations of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists that uterine fibroid embolization

Scientists peel away the mystery behind gold's catalytic prowess
Using the world's most powerful microscopes for chemical analysis, scientists have pinpointed where the conversion of CO to CO2 occurs when gold is supported on iron oxide.

New 'trick' allows HIV to overcome a barrier to infection
Researchers have discovered a new

New guide explores making the most of Social Security
Many older Americans may be shortchanging their golden years by tapping into Social Security too soon, according to a University of Illinois expert who has studied the federal retirement program for nearly two decades.

Parallel 'nano-soldering' technique chosen for year's top-50 by Nanotech Briefs
A new electroplating process that simultaneously joins many silicon nanowires to many pre-patterned electrodes was selected for a 2008 Nano 50 Award by Nanotech Briefs.

The Cancer Genome Atlas reports first results of comprehensive study of brain tumors
The Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network, a collaborative effort funded by the National Cancer Institute and the National Human Genome Research Institute of the National Institutes of Health, today reported the first results of its large-scale, comprehensive study of the most common form of brain cancer, glioblastoma.

Comprehensive genetic blueprints revealed for lethal pancreatic, brain cancers
The complete genetic blueprint for lethal pancreatic cancer and brain cancer was deciphered by a team at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

NC State aims to develop 'internet for energy' at new NSF engineering research center
The National Science Foundation announced today that North Carolina State University will lead a national research center that aims to revolutionize the nation's power grid and speed renewable electric-energy technologies into every home and business.

New think tank researches health policy and professionalism
Quick turnaround research on the hottest topics of the day related to health policy, medical professionalism, medical education, and physician practice -- is the goal of the Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research, recently created as an innovative think tank at the Indiana University School of Medicine and Riley Hospital for Children.

ISU researchers help map first plant-parasitic nematode genome sequence
Iowa State University researchers have contributed to the release of the annotated genome of one of the most destructive nematodes: Meloidogyne incognita -- the southern root-knot nematode, as reported recently in the journal Nature Biotechnology.

Birds' harmonious duets can be 'aggressive audio warfare,' study finds
Researchers reporting in the Sept. 4 Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, have new insight into the motivating factors that drive breeding pairs of some tropical bird species to sing duets.

Petascale climate modeling heats up at University of Miami
University of Miami faculty member Ben Kirtman is collaborating with colleagues at NCAR, COLA and the University of California at Berkeley to generate new

Study reveals link between Apobec3 gene and neutralizing antibody response to retrovirus
Scientists have uncovered new evidence that strengthens the link between a host-cell gene called Apobec3 and the production of neutralizing antibodies to retroviruses.

A fine-tooth comb to measure the accelerating universe
Astronomical instruments needed to answer crucial questions, such as the search for Earth-like planets or the way the Universe expands, have come a step closer with the first demonstration at the telescope of a new calibration system for precise spectrographs.

Neutral HIV presentations more likely to be considered inviting, study finds
A recent study found a method to increase enrollment among high-risk individuals in HIV prevention programs.

Project aims to reduce complications, multiple surgeries with biodegradable implantable devices
Dozens of engineers and doctors from universities and industries around the world will collaborate on a five-year, $18.5 million project announced Sept.

Researcher says: No-till practices show extended benefits on wheat and forage
With more than 3 million acres of wheat in north Texas, 50 percent or more of which is grazed by 1 to 2 million head of cattle, it is important to look at tillage practices and their effect on forage production, said a Texas AgriLife Research expert.

Researchers decode viral process that prepares cells for HIV infection
With the publication of a study led by Yuntao Wu, assistant professor in George Mason University's department of molecular and microbiology, the medical community is one step closer to understanding how the human immunodeficiency virus attacks cells in the immune system.

Study: Delaying evolution of drug resistance in malaria parasite possible
There's no magic bullet for wiping out malaria, but a new study offers strong support for a method that effectively delays the evolution of drug resistance in malaria parasites, a University of Florida researcher says.

Caught in a trap: bumblebees vs. robotic crab spiders
Bumblebees learn to avoid camouflaged predators by sacrificing foraging speed for predator detection, according to scientists from Queen Mary, University of London.

Yale researchers find 'junk DNA' may have triggered
Out of the 3 billion genetic letters that spell out the human genome, Yale scientists have found a handful that may have contributed to the evolutionary changes in human limbs that enabled us to manipulate tools and walk upright.

CEOs hired from outside a firm are more likely to be dismissed
Composition of nominating committee, hiring from the inside key to successful CEO decision making.

Low-birth-weight children should have their blood pressure checked, researchers find
Blood pressure in low-birth-weight children younger than 3 years of age not only can be measured but should be, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found.

Nanotechnology and the FDA: size matters
The Food & Drug Administration issued in July 2007 its Nanotechnology Task Force Report.

Thumbs up -- a tiny ancestral remnant lends developmental edge to humans
Subtle genetic changes that confer an evolutionary advantage upon a species, such as the dexterity characteristic of the human hand, while difficult to detect and even harder to reproduce, have nevertheless generated keen interest amongst evolutionary biologists.

Bottoms up: Better organic semiconductors for printable electronics
Researchers from NIST and Seoul National University have learned how to tweak a new class of polymer-based semiconductors to better control the location and alignment of the components of the blend.

Keeping an eye on intruders
Electronic fingerprinting, iris scans, and signature recognition software are all becoming commonplace biometrics for user authentication and security.

UVA reports promising method for reducing MRSA infections in hospitals
In a study published in the Sept. 3, 2008, issue of Surgical Infections, UVA researchers report that switching between two antibiotics, linezolid and vancomycin, every three months in the surgical ICU decreased the MRSA infection rate from 1.9 to 1.4 patients per 100 admissions.

Rhode Island Hospital study finds link between obesity, type 2 diabetes and neurodegeneration
New research from Rhode Island Hospital found that obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus can contribute to mild neurodegeneration with features common with Alzheimer's disease -- the first study to show that obesity can cause neurodegeneration.

Intellectual work induces excessive calorie intake
A Université Laval research team has demonstrated that intellectual work induces a substantial increase in calorie intake.

Sudanese refugee medics return to where they are most needed -- Sudan
Following their escape from war-torn Sudan, their upbringing in Cuba and several years in Canada, 11 Sudanese-Canadian doctors have graduated from a special medical training program, and have gone to where they are needed most: Sudan, their home country.

Various interrelated factors contribute to conflict in Colombia
A new study in Latin American Politics and Society highlights the multifaceted nature of the Colombian conflict, identifying the factors that are driving conflict and illustrating how disregard for the range of these factors lends support to policies that do not enhance prospects for peace.

Collaboration between researchers yields more comprehensive portrait of brain cancer
A team including researchers at the HudsonAlpha Institute and Stanford University, together with colleagues from a number of other organizations, today publishes a comprehensive analysis of genomic variation in the brain cancer glioblastoma.

A light bulb and a few chemicals
Princeton scientists have discovered a way of stimulating organic molecules that they expect will prompt researchers to create materials from new kinds of chemical reactions.

Study firmly shows no connection between measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism
In a case-control study, the presence of measles virus RNA was no more likely in children with autism and GI disturbances than in children with only GI disturbances.

Child safety seats and lap-and-shoulder belts effective in preventing serious injury
Study reveals that lap-and-shoulder seat belts perform as well as child safety seats in preventing serious injury. 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