Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 26, 2008
NSF awards $1 million to develop artificial market for dynamic spectrum sharing in wireless networks
Because of the rapidly growing demand for wireless communications, the limited availability of spectrum for wireless communication, and apparent under-utilization of some spectrum bands, policy- and decision-makers want to design efficient wireless spectrum markets.

Researchers study how pistachios may improve heart health
Going green may be heart healthy if the green you choose is pistachio nuts, according to researchers at Penn State who conducted the first study to investigate the way pistachios lower cholesterol.

Physical therapists say appropriate exercise can help prevent ACL injuries in female athletes
The American Physical Therapy Association is urging female athletes -- particularly soccer players -- to consider a new warm-up program to help lower their growing risk of anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries.

Naval Research Laboratory's HICO-RAIDS experiments ready for payload integration
The Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean and the Remote Atmospheric and Ionospheric Detection System, both developed at the Naval Research Laboratory, are ready for payload integration following a fast-paced program of development and test.

Don't blame cities for climate change, see them as solutions
Cities are being unfairly blamed for most of humanity's greenhouse gas emissions and this threatens efforts to tackle climate change, warns a study in the October 2008 issue of the journal Environment and Urbanization.

News from the October 2008 Journal of the American Dietetic Association
The October 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association contains articles and research studies you may find of interest.

UW science photo takes second in national contest
With a photograph that embodies the unexpected -- and sometimes breathtaking -- outcomes of science, University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate student Jenna Eun has won second place in the 2008 Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge, sponsored by the National Science Foundation and Science magazine.

Expanding communities mean less green space
The Netherlands is becoming more crowded. A green and open landscape is increasingly regarded as a leisure space for urban dwellers, and people are keen to retain it.

Lava flows reveal clues to magnetic field reversals
Ancient lava flows are guiding a better understanding of what generates and controls the Earth's magnetic field -- and what may drive it to occasionally reverse direction.

The making of Dig It! the Secrets of Soil exhibit
The Smithsonian's design team will explain details about the making of this major exhibition featured at the Natural History Museum.

Don't forget the vitamin A when working with its carrier protein
In a recent study funded by USDA and NIH, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison led by Sherry Tanumihardjo, discovered that not only was the carrier protein for vitamin A, retinol-binding protein (RBP), elevated in obese individuals compared to leaner controls, but some of it was not attached to vitamin A.

Climate change experts seize the day: Oct. 7, 2008
James Hansen, one of the world's leading authorities on present-day climate change, will speak to scientists at the Joint Annual Meeting of GSA/SSSA-ASA-CSSA/GCAGS, bringing the message that if humanity wishes to preserve a planet similar to that on which civilization developed, CO2 must be reduced to below the present atmospheric amount.

Tsunami invisibility cloak, dark energy v. the void, sorting nanotubes with light, and more
Acoustic invisibility experiments point the way to a novel type of tsunami protection; dark energy may be an illusion, provided we're living deep inside a real big empty; nanotubes are tiny, but sorting them just got a little easier; and the new meta-screen is key to super fine focusing.

$4.8M NIH grant aids interstitial cystitis research
A five-year, $4.8 million grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, part of the NIH, will support five interrelated research projects on interstitial cystitis.

Wetlands restoration not a panacea for Louisiana coast
Counting on wetlands restoration projects to protect storm buffeted infrastructure along the Louisiana Coast is likely to be a

Flood-alert system eased fears at Texas Medical Center
A long-term collaboration between Rice University and the Texas Medical Center paid off during Ike when researchers predicted accurately that Brays Bayou would not overflow its banks.

2008 Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge winners announced
The National Science Foundation along with the journal Science, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, today announced the winners of their sixth annual International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge.

Foam reactor is 10 times more energy efficient
There is considerable worldwide demand for new types of reactors for the rapid and well- controlled production of high value chemicals.

Advice from research: Market visiting rights to Antarctica
Tourism on Antarctica is increasing and that can form a threat for the vulnerable South Pole area.

Good research, low costs
Dutch researcher Mirjam Moerbeek used a Veni grant to investigate how best to design a study with nested data at a reasonable cost.

Global science community to gather in Mozambique
The global scientific community will gather in Maputo, Mozambique, Oct.

Rice University establishes National Corrosion Center
Rice University has established a National Corrosion Center where researchers will develop better technology for preventing corrosion -- a problem that is estimated to cost $276 billion a year in the US.

100 million years AD
University of Leicester research on what legacy humans will leave in the rocks.

Optimism experts handicap the presidential election with about 6 weeks remaining until Nov. 4
Researchers have determined that the most optimistic candidates win more than 80 percent of presidential elections dating back to 1900.

New way to make malaria medicine also first step in finding new antibiotics
University of Illinois microbiology professor William Metcalf and his collaborators have developed a way to mass-produce an antimalarial compound, potentially making the treatment of malaria less expensive.

Tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology
The following are tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology:

Engineer: Head-first slide is quicker
With baseball playoffs heating up and the World Series right around the corner, it's guaranteed that fans will see daring slides, both feet-first and head-first, and even slides on bang-bang plays at first.

Research underway to give sleep apnea sufferers relief and rest
Having a good night's sleep is proving elusive for six percent of the population.

Toddlers' focus on mouths rather than on eyes is a predictor of autism severity
Scientists at Yale School of Medicine have found that 2-year-olds with autism looked significantly more at the mouths of others, and less at their eyes, than typically developing toddlers.

Conaway Lab identifies novel mechanism for regulation of gene expression
The Stowers Institute's Conaway Lab has demonstrated that an enzyme called Uch37 is kept in check when it is part of a human chromatin remodeling complex, INO80.

MU scientists go green with gold, distribute environmentally friendly nanoparticles
Until recently, scientists couldn't create gold nanoparticles without producing synthetic chemicals that had negative impacts on the environment.

NWO modifies the Innovational Research Incentives Scheme
NWO is modifying the Veni, Vidi and Vici subsidy programs.

NASA's dirty secret: Moon dust
The Apollo Moon missions all share a dirty secret.

Incoming HSPH Dean Julio Frenk receives Clinton Global Citizen Award
Julio Frenk, who will become Dean of Harvard School of Public Health in January, 2009, has received a Clinton Global Citizen Award.

Endoscopy may not be necessary in asymptomatic children after caustic ingestion
A new study from researchers in Italy reports that endoscopy may not be necessary in children who show no symptoms after a caustic ingestion.

Carbon sinks: Issues, markets, policy
Experts will examine how terrestrial and ocean sequestration of carbon can potentially reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and mitigate global warming.

Scientists unmask key HIV protein, open door for more powerful AIDS drugs
Scientists have provided the most detailed picture yet of a key HIV accessory protein that foils the body's normal immune response.

An ethical argument: Include pregnant women in research
Why aren't pregnant women included in most clinical trials? That's the question posed by leading bioethicists at Duke University Medical Center, Johns Hopkins and Georgetown Universities, who say it's time to confront the challenges that have led to the exclusion of pregnant women from important research that could positively impact maternal and fetal health.

Penn biophysicists create new model for protein-cholesterol interactions in brain and muscle tissue
Using 3,200 computer processors and long-established data on cholesterol, a clearer picture emerges of a protein involved in inflammation, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, addiction and more.

UI researchers find potentially toxic substance present in Chicago air
Although the industrial compounds known as polychlorinated biphenols or PCBs have been found in previous air samples collected in the city of Chicago, University of Iowa researcher Keri Hornbuckle says that a new study of Chicago air sampled between November 2006 and November 2007 found PCB11, a byproduct of the manufacture of paint pigments and a potentially toxic substance, present throughout the city.

Oldest known rock on Earth discovered
Canadian bedrock more than 4 billion years old may be the oldest known section of the Earth's early crust.

Penn presents inaugural symposium on applied mathematics and computational science
The University of Pennsylvania's new graduate program in Applied Mathematics and Computational Science is hosting its inaugural symposium to spotlight the frontiers of research and provide a resource for members of the news media.

Do 'light' cigarettes deliver less nicotine to the brain than regular cigarettes?
So-called light (low) nicotine cigarettes act in a similar way to regular cigarettes by occupying most of the common nicotine receptors in the brain.

All students proficient on state tests by 2014?
The law known as No Child Left Behind, enacted in 2002, set an ambitious goal: that across the nation, every state would test students annually in reading and math, and that the number of students scoring at the level of

No oxygen in Eastern Mediterranean bottom-water
Research from Utrecht University shows that there is an organic-rich bed of sediment in the floor of the Eastern Mediterranean.

Looking for water on Mars
A Decagon designed thermal and electrical conductivity probe is mounted on the robotic arm of NASA's Phoenix Scout Lander, helping in the search for water on Mars.

9 prestigious grants for the Netherlands
The European Research Council has announced the first results for the Advanced Grant competition.

Argonne scientists peer into heart of compound that may detect chemical, biological weapons
A light-transmitting compound that could one day be used in high-efficiency fiber optics and in sensors to detect biological and chemical weapons at long distance almost went undiscovered by scientists because its structure was too difficult to examine.

Researchers investigate impact of stress on police officers' physical and mental health
Policing is dangerous work, and the danger lurks not on the streets alone.

MU researcher finds new method to create cancer drugs
When doctors treat cancer patients, they like to have different

Field of the future -- ecological experiment simulates conditions in 2100
A new experiment to find out how British plant ecosystems may be affected by future changes to climate and biodiversity is underway at Imperial College London.

Physicists find that size matters when initiating an object's movement through grains
Physicists have discovered that the size of grains, such as sand, above a buried object is important in determining the force required to begin raising the object.

NASA data show Arctic saw fastest August sea ice retreat on record
Following a record-breaking season of arctic sea ice decline in 2007, NASA scientists have kept a close watch on the 2008 melt season. 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