Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 25, 2008
Hospital patients are discharged earlier on busier days
A new study suggests that patients are discharged earlier than expected on days when hospitals face highest demand.

New nanoscale process created by UCSB scientists will help computers run faster and more efficiently
Smaller. Faster. More efficient. These are the qualities that drive science and industry to create new nanoscale structures that will help to speed up computers.

NIH awards Clemson bioengineer $1.5 million to improve durability of tissue heart valves
The National Institutes of Health has awarded Naren Vyavahare, Hunter Endowed Chair and professor of bioengineering at Clemson University, more than $1.5 million over four years to develop durable bioprosthetic heart valves.

Growth in the global carbon budget
The Global Carbon Project posted the most recent figures for the worlds' carbon budget, a key to understanding the balance of carbon added to the atmosphere, the underpinning of human induced climate change.

MIT solves 100-year-old engineering problem
As a car accelerates down a hill then slows to follow a hairpin turn, the airflow around it cannot keep up and detaches from the vehicle.

A 'wild cousin' emerges from family tree of exploding stars
Astronomers may have discovered the relative of a freakishly behaving exploding star once thought to be the only one of its kind.

New UNC laboratory to help track and control tropical diseases
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health has established a new Gillings Innovation Lab to track and map tropical infectious diseases such as malaria, using state-of-the-art molecular and demographic methods.

Animals farmed for meat are the No. 1 source of food poisoning bug, study shows
A study, based on DNA-sequence comparison of thousands of bacterial samples collected from human patients and animal carriers, found that 97 percent of campylobacteriosis cases sampled in Lancashire, UK, were caused by bacteria typically found in chicken and livestock.

MU researcher suggests revision of food stamp application process
An estimated 35.1 million Americans live in

Scientist proposes explanation for puzzling property of night-shining clouds at the edge of space
An explanation for a strange property of noctilucent clouds -- thin, wispy clouds hovering at the edge of space at 85 km altitude -- has been proposed by an experimental plasma physicist at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), possibly laying to rest a decades-long mystery.

Candesartan can increase regression of retinopathy in type 2 diabetes
Treatment with candesartan can increase regression of retinopathy in type 2 diabetes and reduce incidence of retinopathy in type 1 diabetes.

English health care system failing to encourage breastfeeding
The English health care system is failing to encourage breastfeeding and a national strategy to promote breast feeding is urgently needed, say experts on today.

What can we do for prevention and therapy of anaerobe-associated infections?
The aim of this study was to detect in vitro secretory inhibitor of platelet microbicidal protein phenotypes of faecal anaerobic isolates from patients with diarrhea.

Are we spending too much on health?
In this poor economic climate and period of lower growth is it time to consider limiting spending on health care budgets?

Quantum leap in hi-tech performance
The brave new world of quantum technology may be a big step closer to reality thanks to a team of University of Calgary researchers that has come up with a unique new way of testing quantum devices to determine their function and accuracy.

The wild, hidden cousin of SN 1987A
Over a decade after it exploded, one of the nearest supernovae in the last 25 years has been identified.

Study reveals homeowner perceptions in fire-prone areas
Most residents in fire-prone communities surrounded by the San Bernardino National Forest have taken steps to protect their homes from wildland fires, according to a US Forest Service study completed this summer.

Metal-organic frameworks feel the pressure of Argonne scientists
Scientists at US Department of Energy's Argonne National laboratory are putting the pressure on metal-organic frameworks.

OHSU Cancer Institute researcher: radiation, immunotherapy gives greater effectiveness
Oregon Health & Science University Cancer Institute researchers have found the right formula of radiation and immunotherapy for fighting lung cancer tumors in mice, which they hope will translate to better treatment in human lung cancers.

New recommendations for better corporate portfolio management
Distinguished panel explores obstacles and best practices.

2008 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge winners announced
Seeing the world of science through a photographer's lens or through other forms of media can dazzle the creative mind.

Crime definition and control are central to the transnational condition
Article Uses Criminology Perspective to Enhance the Study of the Global System

Women do not recover their muscle strength as fast as men
Women are four times more likely than men to experience a broken forearm and require a cast (immobilization).

Deactivating a cancer growth promoter
Three enzymes called phosphatases that shut down a molecule called SRC-3 (steroid receptor coactivator 3) could provide a new pathway for fighting cancer, particularly tumors of the breast and prostate, said researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in a report that appears in the current issue of the journal Molecular Cell.

Save-the-date: Major nanotech, energy, and biomed meeting
Next month in Boston, the AVS 55th International Symposium & Exhibition will showcase research from across the spectrum of science and engineering devoted to discoveries on the edge-in a vacuum, at interfaces, in plasmas, and in other controlled environments used to develop new materials and technologies.

Continuous glucose monitoring in diabetic pregnant women lowers risk of complications
Continuous glucose monitoring as part of antenatal care for women with diabetes improves maternal blood glucose control and lowers birth weight and risk of macrosomia (excessive birth weight in babies), according to a study published on today.

Rice University economist available to discuss financial crisis
The current financial crisis is first and foremost a crisis of confidence.

Protecting patient privacy the new fashioned way
In a study published in the September-October issue of the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, Jeff Friedlin, D.O., of the Regenstrief Institute Inc. and the Indiana University School of Medicine, writes about the Medical De-identification System (MeDS), a highly accurate and speedy computer software program he has developed and successfully tested for de-identifying patient information while retaining the essential data key to medical research.

Galloping and breathing at high speed
A team of researchers has been working to unlock the secrets of equines.

Community-based behavior-change management lowers neonatal mortality in poor settings
A preventive package of interventions such as birth preparedness, clean delivery and cord care, thermal care (including skin-to-skin care), and breastfeeding promotion can reduce neonatal mortality in poor countries where many births take place at home and high-risk practices are common.

Oldest known rocks discovered
Canadian bedrock more than four billion years old may be the oldest known section of the Earth's early crust.

Scientists identify novel inhibitor of human microRNA
Scientists at The Wistar Institute and their colleagues have identified, for the first time, a molecule that can regulate microRNAs -- short strands of RNA that play a vital role in gene expression and are closely associated with cancer.

What is the role of interleukin-10 in ischemia-reperfusion injury?
Ischemia-reperfusion injury of the small intestine is consequently a critical problem that is important.

New technologies for better network management
The EUREKA-funded CELTIC MADEIRA project, winner of the 2008 CELTIC Excellence Award, has successfully applied new ways to manage large telecommunications networks using a Web-based interface.

Cholesterol-lowering drugs and the effect on muscle repair and regeneration
Primary human cell study finds simvastatin at high doses may have a negative impact on the body's muscles.

Gene variant boosts risk of fatty liver disease, UT Southwestern scientists discover
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found that individuals who carry a specific form of the gene PNPLA3 have more fat in their livers and a greater risk of developing liver inflammation.

Experts discuss climate change during UH lecture series
Noted energy and environment experts are addressing the implications of climate change for the world and for the Houston area weekly at the University of Houston through November.

Anabolic steroids provide a competitive edge in power lifting years after doping has ended
Steroid use has been suspected in sports where building muscle strength, rather than endurance, is paramount.

Send your name around the Earth on NASA'S Glory mission
Members of the public can send their names around Earth on NASA's Glory satellite, the first mission dedicated to understanding the effects of particles in the atmosphere and the sun's variability on our climate.

Social class dictates cancer risk
Cervical and lung cancer are more common in poor people while rates of breast cancer and melanoma are higher in the wealthy.

Government involvement in the economy increases ethnic rebellion
Ethnic violence rarer in countries where free market dominates than in those where state plays greater economic role.

Stalagmites may predict next Big One along the New Madrid Seismic Zone
Small white stalagmites lining caves in the Midwest may help scientists chronicle the history of the New Madrid Seismic Zone -- and even predict when the next big earthquake may strike, say researchers at the Illinois State Geological Survey and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Pigs bred with cystic fibrosis provide model to mimic human disease
Cystic fibrosis continues to be a lethal disease for humans despite the identification of the problematic gene two decades ago.

Surgery unnecessary for 95 percent of those with asymptomatic carotid stenosis
Research led by Dr. David Spence of Robarts Research Institute at the University of Western Ontario shows that with more intensive medical therapy, the risk of stroke has become so low that at least 95 percent of patients with asymptomatic carotid stenosis would be better off with medical therapy than with surgery or stenting.

Most elementary schools in California will fail to meet proficiency requirements by 2014
A study led by the University of California, Riverside shows that nearly all elementary schools in California will fail to meet the Adequate Yearly Progress requirements for proficiency by 2014, the year when all students in the nation need to be proficient in English Language Arts and mathematics, per the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.

Ecosystem researchers to hold science briefing
On Thursday, Sept. 25, six leading ecosystem researchers invited by the Association of Ecosystem Research Centers, a member organization of the American Institute of Biological Sciences, will present policymakers in Washington, DC, with key findings on carbon sequestration in different ecosystems.

Springer to partner with the Canadian Anesthesiologists' Society
Springer will partner with the Canadian Anesthesiologists' Society to publish the Canadian Journal of Anesthesia/Journal canadien d'anesth├ęsie starting in January 2009.

Sexual practice of polygyny skews genetic variability
Researchers have found DNA evidence that polygyny, the practice among males of siring children with multiple female partners at the same time or successively, has led to an excess of genetic diversity on the X chromosome relative to the autosomes.

Pertussis: Adults can fall severely ill too
Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is not just a childhood disease.

Powerful nearby supernova caught by web
One of the nearest supernovas in the last 25 years has been identified over a decade after it exploded.

Swede honored with photography prize for virtual autopsy techniques
The 2008 Lennart Nilsson Award for scientific photography will be presented to Swedish physician Anders Persson, M.D., Ph.D., in recognition of his innovative techniques for capturing 3-D images inside the human body.

Reducing work commutes not easy in some cities, study suggests
Shorter work commutes are one way to reduce gasoline consumption, but a new study finds that not all cities are equal in how easy it would be to achieve that goal.

For insulin sensitive overweight patients, 1 session of exercise improves metabolic health
Exercise decreases everyone's insulin resistance and therefore reduces the chances of developing diseases such as type 2 diabetes.

Mayo Clinic discovery may help diabetic gastric problem
Mayo Clinic researchers have found what may provide a solution to one of the more troubling complications of diabetes -- delayed gastric emptying or gastroparesis.

Lessons from the Iditarod
Racing sled dogs are best known for their

UNC project helps students with mental illnesses, support services prepare for 'what if' scenarios
Nationally, an estimated 15 percent of students experience some form of mental illness such as major depression while in college.

New research finds workers more prone to lie in E-mail
A pair of recent studies suggest that E-mail is the most deceptive form of communications in the workplace -- even more so than more traditional kinds of written communications, like pen-and-paper.

New approach to gene therapy may shrink brain tumors, prevent their spread
Massachusetts General Hospital researchers are investigating a new approach to gene therapy for brain tumors -- delivering a cancer-fighting gene to normal brain tissue around the tumor to keep it from spreading.

Researchers develop new model for cystic fibrosis
In a first, researchers at the University of Iowa and the University of Missouri have developed a pig model for cystic fibrosis (CF) that appears to closely mimic the disease in human infants.

From 12 years onward you learn differently
Eight-year-old children have a radically different learning strategy from twelve-year-olds.

Spacing, not size, matters in visual recognition, NYU researchers find
You might think that the farthest distance at which you can hold a book and still read it quickly is determined by the size of the letters.

The Rett Syndrome Research Trust launches operations
The Rett Syndrome Research Trust, a newly established nonprofit organization, is pleased to announce the launch of our operations and Web site.

October 2008 GEOLOGY and GSA TODAY media highlights
GEOLOGY topics include the fossil conservation of organic tissues, including guts, gills, muscles, and eyes, as carbon; an habitable zone model for recovery after major extinction; the complex response of biodiversity to both climate and tectonics; the

Just in time for school: free Adeona service tracks stolen laptops
Researchers at the University of Washington have created the first free laptop theft-protection tool.

Women recover muscle strength more slowly than men
Women's muscles may require longer, more intensive rehabilitation after bed rest and cast immobilization, as reported today by the Institute for Neuromusculoskeletal Research at the Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine.

Brand attitudes improve when product is paired with favorable actor
Evaluation of brand decreases when paired with a negatively viewed actor.

A promising approach in the prevention and treatment of pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic cancer is one of the most lethal human cancers and continues to be a major unsolved health problem.

Sentara begins international trial -- open at only 24 US locations
Researchers at Sentara Cardiovascular Research Institute begin a new international study to explore the safety and effectiveness of stents to open airways of patients with advanced emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Brain imaging study provides new insight into why people pay too much in auctions
Auctions are an old and widely used method for allocating goods that have become increasingly common with the advent of internet auctions sites such as Ebay.

Sequella receives $2.3M NIH grant for the development of tuberculosis antibiotic drug SQ641
Sequella, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on commercializing products to treat infectious diseases of epidemic potential, today announced that it received a $2.3 million, three-year Small Business Innovative Research grant from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases for the development of SQ641, a promising new tuberculosis drug with potential to provide early and prolonged bacterial clearance during the intensive phase of TB treatment.

Risky behaviors on TV may be modeled by inexperienced viewers
Inexperienced viewers are more likely to mimic unsafe behavior on TV, regardless of the consequences displayed.

Majority of children vaccinated against hepatitis B not at increased risk of MS
The majority of children vaccinated against hepatitis B are not at an increased risk of developing multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a study to be published in the Oct.

Advance offers revolution in food safety testing
Microbiologists at Oregon State University have developed a new technology to detect illness-causing bacteria -- an advance that could revolutionize the food industry, improving the actual protection to consumers while avoiding the costly waste and massive recalls of products that are suspected of bacterial contamination but are perfectly safe.

Published ENT surgical innovations fall drastically
The number of cases of surgical innovation published in otolaryngic medical journals has fallen drastically since the late 1980s, leading researchers to question the impact of government oversight over surgery, according to research presented during the 2008 American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO, in Chicago, Ill.

Discovered: world's largest tsunami debris
A line of massive boulders on the western shore of Tonga may be evidence of the most powerful volcano-triggered tsunami found to date.

Stevens strengthens Dominican Republic's Early Warning System for Inundations
Stevens Institute of Technology's Center for Maritime Systems began a project to strengthen the Early Warning System for Inundations in the Dominican Republic.

Community-based behavior change management cuts neonatal mortality in half
A community-based program that reinforces basic childbirth and newborn care practices can reduce a baby's risk of death within the first month of life by as much as 54 percent, according to a study in rural India led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in collaboration with CSM Medical University in Lucknow, India.

Bio-imaging mass spectrometry techniques reveal molecular details about complex systems
Georgia Tech's new Center for Bio-Imaging Mass Spectrometry allows researchers to visualize the spatial arrangement and relative abundance of specific molecules -- from simple metabolites to peptides and proteins -- in biological samples.

Discovery offers new understanding of diabetes drug target
Team from University of Leicester reveal how the protein PPAR gamma binds to eight fatty acids.

New research on hot topics in aging to be presented at GSA's Annual Scientific Meeting
The Gerontological Society of America is inviting all journalists to attend its 61st Annual Scientific Meeting -- the country's largest interdisciplinary conference in the field of aging -- from Nov., 21-25, 2008.

US and Russian academies joint report on uranium enrichment and nonproliferation
Driven by high prices for fossil fuels and concern about climate change, many nations are planning to build their first nuclear power plants, and they will need enriched uranium for fuel.

Simple device which uses electrical field could boost gas efficiency
A simple device which attaches to a vehicles fuel line near the fuel injector and creates an electrical field could boost gas efficiency as much as 20 percent.

McGill researchers find oldest rocks on Earth
McGill University researchers have discovered the oldest rocks on Earth -- a discovery which sheds more light on our planet's mysterious beginnings.

Army can boost mission success by better managing
By better managing environmental issues during deployments, US Army units can gain tactical and strategic advantages that will help in combat and post-conflict operations, and boost overall mission success, according to a RAND Corporation study issued today.

Zeroing in on Wi-Fi 'dead zones'
Rooting out Wi-Fi

NAS announces 2008 Communication Award winners
The National Academies today announced the recipients of its 2008 Communication Awards.

Researchers discover that growing up too fast may mean dying young in honey bees
New study shows that transitions to aerobically-expensive behaviors in organisms living free in nature can have important consequences affecting the pace of aging. 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