Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 11, 2008
Thailand, Vietnam, Cuba: Examples of poorer countries that have improved primary health care
Despite problems including political instability, low income per person, and high HIV/AIDS prevalence, some countries have made substantial progress in primary health care, such as Thailand, Vietnam, Peru and Brazil.

Particle physics, podcasts and pajama party
Today marks the startup of the Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland -- the first time protons circulate through its full 27 km circumference.

Making Alma-Ata a reality, now and going forward
In the last of the eight-paper Series in the Alma Ata special issue, a call for action is made by Lancet Alma-Ata Working Group, represented by professor John Walley.

Superconductivity can induce magnetism
Researchers from the Université de Montréal, the Paul Scherrer Institute, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, and the Los Alamos National Laboratory publish their results in the prestigious journal Science.

Clinical trial for new tuberculosis vaccine
With annually 2 million deaths and 9 million new cases, there are more victims of tuberculosis than of any other infectious disease, apart from AIDS.

Scientists watch as listener's brain predicts speaker's words
Scientists at the University of Rochester have shown for the first time that our brains automatically consider many possible words and their meanings before we've even heard the final sound of the word.

Novel tuberculosis vaccine in Germany in clinical phase
For the first time in more than 80 years a promising live vaccine against tuberculosis has passed into the clinical phase in Germany: Since Monday of this week the new vaccine, which goes by the designation

UC Riverside botanist to study role of plants in southern California's drought
Botanist Louis Santiago of UC Riverside has been awarded a grant to study how Southern California's plants affect the region's drought.

Latest child mortality figures published -- 9.2 million child deaths in 2007
The latest child mortality figures from UNICEF are published in a Comment in this week's Alma Ata special issue of the Lancet.

New study on rural HIV care has economic and health implications
An Indiana University study found that HIV care providers in rural Indiana report significant stigma and discrimination in the rural medical referral system surrounding issues of HIV and substance abuse.

K-State professor's USDA research shows mad cow disease also caused by genetic mutation
New findings about the causes of mad cow disease show that sometimes it may be genetic.

Delft University of Technology patent for manufacturing radio isotopes
Thanks to a newly-developed technology at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, global shortages of radio isotopes for cancer diagnosis could be a thing of the past.

Ice core studies confirm accuracy of climate models
An analysis has been completed of the global carbon cycle and climate for a 70,000 year period in the most recent Ice Age, showing a remarkable correlation between carbon dioxide levels and surprisingly abrupt changes in climate.

BRCA mutations among Asian-Americans may be more common than predicted
Summary of a study published online Sept. 8, 2008, in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, showing that computer models commonly used to decide who might benefit most from genetic testing under predicted the number of Asian-American women with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations.

As good as it gets?
Albert Einstein once quipped,

Watch and learn: Time teaches us how to recognize visual objects
In work that could aid efforts to develop more brain-like computer vision systems, MIT neuroscientists have tricked the visual brain into confusing one object with another, thereby demonstrating that time teaches us how to recognize objects.

A stronger future for the elderly
Experts at the University of Nottingham are to investigate the effect of nutrients on muscle maintenance in the hope of determining better ways of keeping up our strength as we get old.

Hurricane Ike tracked by ESA's Envisat
Residents along the Gulf Coast are bracing for Hurricane Ike as it travels over the Gulf of Mexico after ripping through Cuba and Haiti.

Small changes to transport systems could mean big benefits for older people
A new study has pinpointed how simple, low-cost measures could revolutionize older peoples' ability to use transport systems effectively, safely and with confidence.

Yale astronomer discovers upper mass limit for black holes
There appears to be an upper limit to how big the universe's most massive black holes can get, according to new research led by a Yale University astrophysicist.

Luck gave dinosaurs their edge
By comparing early dinosaurs to their closest competitors, the curuotarsans, Steve Brusatte of the American Museum of Natural History and colleagues have found that dinosaurs had no special ability to dominate the landscape for 160 million years.

Violence against women impairs children's health
Violence against women in a family also has serious consequences for the children's growth, health, and survival.

3-D technology signals global growth for Durham University spin-out firm
Durham University spin-out company Reinnervate, which is revolutionizing the way cells are grown in the laboratory, is preparing for commercial manufacture and global sales after securing £750,000 funding in a deal led by NorthStar Equity Investors, a venture capital firm specializing in early-stage high-growth technologies.

INL nuclear materials detection technology wins national security award
Research proven to safely detect hidden nuclear materials smuggled into ports and across borders has earned the 2008 $25,000 Homeland Security Award sponsored by the Christopher Columbus Fellowship Foundation and AgustaWestland North America Inc.

Syntermed licenses Emory ERTb software for enhanced cardiac imaging
A comprehensive software package designed to significantly improve the quality and accessibility of nuclear cardiology images has been licensed by Emory University to Syntermed, an Atlanta-based nuclear medicine imaging and informatics software company.

NSF awards two grants to Stevens for nano/micro device fabrication and nano sensor development
A team from Stevens Institute of Technology has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation for the project,

Researchers develop nano-sized 'cargo ships' to target and destroy tumors
Scientists have developed nanometer-sized

'Naked-eye' gamma-ray burst was aimed squarely at Earth
Data from satellites and observatories around the globe show a jet from a powerful stellar explosion witnessed March 19 was aimed almost directly at Earth.

How can China and the US work together to address climate change?
How can China and the United States work together to stop global climate change?

Stem cell regeneration repairs congenital heart defect
Mayo Clinic investigators have demonstrated that stem cells can be used to regenerate heart tissue to treat dilated cardiomyopathy, a congenital defect.

A snapshot of the transformation
Researchers have achieved a milestone in materials science and electron microscopy by taking a high-resolution snapshot of the transformation of nanoscale structures.

A second career for a growth factor receptor: keeping nerve axons on target
Neurons constituting the optic nerve wire up to the brain in a highly dynamic way.

UT Knoxville wins 2 $3M National Science Foundation research and education grants
Two research groups from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, have won $3 million grants from the National Science Foundation to create new graduate research and education programs designed to train tomorrow's top scientists.

Springer signs cooperation agreement with Indian Institute of Technology Madras
Springer, one of the leading publishers in the fields of science, technology and medicine, has signed a co-publishing agreement with the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, on the occasion of its 50th anniversary.

Making snack food choices
People who are asked whether they would choose between a

Frank testifies in support of copyright protection for scientific publishers
Martin Frank, the executive director of the American Physiological Society and coordinator of the DC Principles Coalition, testified before a US House subcommittee today in support of HR 6845, the Fair Copyright in Research Works Act.

Listeriosis infection primer for health-care providers and the public
With the current outbreaks of listeriosis in Canada, CMAJ is releasing guidelines for health-care professionals and the general public about symptoms, who is at risk, symptom management and how to reduce the risk of listeriosis.

The viability of hydrogen transportation markets: Chicken or egg?
Hydrogen may well be the new gasoline. But where's the nearest

CDC awards Clemson researcher $700,000 to study black lung prevention
Black lung disease is not a problem of the past: members of the mining work force continue to die from it and associated ailments.

National study finds post-traumatic stress disorder common among injured patients
Suffering serious injury can have long-lasting implications for a patient's mental health, according to the largest-ever US study evaluating the impact of traumatic injury.

Mobile phones help secondary pupils
Ask a teacher to name the most irritating invention of recent years and they will often nominate the mobile phone.

NJIT architecture professor opens Newark conference with challenge to revitalize Newark buildings
With a charge not to tear down Newark's older buildings, but to rehabilitate them, NJIT research professor Deane Evans, an architect and executive director of NJIT's Center for Architecture and Building Science Research will open Newark's Green Future Summit tomorrow morning at NJIT.

Playboy founder embodies American Dream; changes American culture
From his highly publicized lifestyle to his risqué magazine, to his multimillion dollar company, Hugh Hefner has played a leading role in reshaping America's social values.

New research could hold the key to keeping older people fit for longer
A carefully framed combination of moderate exercise and nutritional supplements could help older people maintain an active lifestyle for longer.

Harnessing new technology to keep older people behind the wheel for longer
A new study has highlighted the key role technology could play in extending the age at which people can drive safely on our roads.

Scientists isolate cancer stem cells
Cancer prevention researchers have discovered a protein marker that allows them to isolate cancer stem cells from regular cancer cells.

Key enzyme for regulating heart attack damage found, Stanford scientists report
Marauding molecules cause the tissue damage that underlies heart attacks, sunburn, Alzheimer's and hangovers.

Newly discovered molecule promises better treatments for heart attacks, heart surgery
A research team of scientists at Stanford and Indiana universities schools of medicine reports in the Sept.

A strict Mediterranean diet can help reduce deaths from major chronic diseases
Sticking to a full Mediterranean diet provides substantial protection against major chronic diseases including heart disease, cancer and Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease, according to a study published on today.

Dinosaurs' 'superiority' challenged by their crocodile cousins
In a paper published today in Science, Steve Brusatte and Professor Mike Benton challenge the general consensus among scientists that there must have been something special about dinosaurs that helped them rise to prominence.

Easier-to-hit 'targets' could help older people make the most of computers
Older people could make better use of computers if icons, links and menu headings automatically grew bigger as the cursor moves towards them.

Seeing through the skin
A Tel Aviv University researcher illuminates the unseen world of

The 'satellite navigation' in our brains
Our brains contain their own navigation system much like satellite navigation, with in-built maps, grids and compasses, neuroscientist Dr.

30 years on -- Alma-Ata more relevant today than ever
It is now 30 years since the 1978 Alma-Ata Declaration on Primary Health Care.

Integrated primary care needed to cope with huge increase in chronic disease burden in Africa
Integrated primary care based on scale-up of antiretroviral therapy for HIV is essential to tackle the sustained and increasing burden of chronic infectious and noncommunicable disease in Africa.

Tobacco/salt control, combination drugs, and simple mental health interventions must be used
An integrated approach, including salt and tobacco control, cheap combination drugs for cardiovascular disease and simple, easily-applied mental health interventions, must be used to tackle the chronic disease time-bomb.

The IMF says journal editorial documents dramatic increase in survival since the 1980s
The International Myeloma Foundation today said survival outcomes have improved dramatically for patients with multiple myeloma, cancer in the bone marrow that affects blood cell production.

Mate selection more biologically determined in some human populations
Some human populations may rely on biological factors in addition to social factors when selecting a mate.

Saltwater solution to save crops
Technology under development at the University of New South Wales could offer new hope to farmers in drought-affected and marginal areas by enabling crops to grow using salty groundwater.

My, what big teeth you had! Extinct species had large teeth on roof of mouth
Paleontologists have found a previously unknown amphibious predator that probably made the Antarctica of 240 million years ago something less than a hospitable place.

Brown-led research team proposes new link to tropical African climate
A Brown-led research team has proposed a new link to rainfall and temperature patterns in southeast Africa.

LRC named recipient of US Green Building Council's 2008 Green Building Research Fund grant
The Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has earned the notable distinction of receiving one of only 13 first-ever research grants awarded by the US Green Building Council.

UCL academics awarded prestigious prizes for work on the heart
Two UCL academics have received prominent international awards from the European Society of Cardiology, in recognition of their work to understand and treat conditions of the heart.

Risk of breast cancer mutations underestimated for Asian women, Stanford study shows
Oncologist Allison Kurian, M.D., and her colleagues at the Stanford University School of Medicine were perplexed.

Simple therapy delivered by community workers can reduce depression in mothers in poorer countries
A simple cognitive behavioral therapy-based program that can be delivered by ordinary village-based primary health workers can massively reduce depression in mothers in resource-poor settings.

Internet-based instruction effective for teaching health-care professionals
A study led by a team of education researchers from Mayo Clinic and published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association concludes that Internet-based education generally is effective.

Maternal and child primary health care: Community participation and health interventions
The fifth, sixth and seventh papers in the eight-part Series in the Alma-Ata special issue of the Lancet focus on community participation and interventions for maternal, newborn and child primary health care.

Flies, too, feel the influence of their peers, studies find
Researchers have found that group composition affects individual flies in several ways, including changes in gene activity and sexual behavior, all mediated by chemical communication

Task-shifting to nurses and lay health workers may contribute to achieving the Alma-Ata vision
Task-shifting from doctors to nurses and from health professionals to lay providers may contribute to achieving the Alma-Ata vision of primary health care for all.

US Department of Justice awards NJIT $254,889 to continue developing gun technology
The Department of Justice has awarded NJIT $254,889 to continue developing childproof child-safe gun technology.

JCI online early table of contents: Sept. 11, 2008
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Sept.

Arctic science conference to focus on northern sustainability
More than 150 scientists are expected to attend the 59th annual American Association for the Advancement of Science Arctic Division conference in Fairbanks, Alaska, Sept.

Book breaks new ground in the study of economics and forest threats management
The US Forest Service Southern Research Station today announced the publication of

Shorter-duration training of health workers could aid scale up of child-survival interventions
Strategies for scaling-up the number of health care workers trained in integrated management of childhood illness and other child-survival interventions could be just as effective with shorter periods of pre-service training. 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