Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 01, 2008
Nanoscale carbon materials research wins the 2008 Julius Springer Prize for Applied Physics
Dr. Phaedon Avouris of IBM and professor Tony Heinz of Columbia University were presented with the 2008 Julius Springer Prize for Applied Physics on Sept.

Groundbreaking discovery may lead to stronger antibiotics
The last decade has seen a dramatic decline in the effectiveness of antibiotics, resulting in a mounting public health crisis across the world.

MU scientists 'see' how HIV matures into an infection
After improving the sensitivity of nuclear magnetic resonance, researchers at the University of Missouri actually watched the HIV-1 protease mature from an inactive form into an active infection.

Rice scholar available to comment on non-voters in 2008 election
Lyn Ragsdale, the dean of social sciences and the Radoslav A.

Are we trading energy conservation for toxic air emissions?
New research shows certain countries and some US states stand to benefit from the use of compact fluorescent lighting more than others, and some places may even produce more mercury emissions by switching from incandescent light bulbs to CFLs.

NSF awards 14 materials research science and engineering centers
The National Science Foundation announces 14 Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers awarded as a result of the 2008 MRSEC competition.

Genes influence effectiveness of weight-loss drug
Obese patients with a specific genetic make-up lose more weight when taking the weight loss drug sibutramine and undergoing behavioral therapy compared to those without this genetic make-up.

Jefferson awarded multi-million dollar grant from National Eye Institute for new clinical trial
Researchers at the Farber Institute for Neurosciences at Thomas Jefferson University and the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University were recently awarded a $3.7 million grant from the National Eye Institute to study depression in patients diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration.

Zooming way in, technique offers close-ups of electrons, nuclei
Providing a glimpse into the infinitesimal, physicists have found a novel way of spying on some of the universe's tiniest building blocks.

Genes affect weight loss drug effectiveness
A study conducted by researchers at Mayo Clinic shows that obese patients with specific genetic makeup had enhanced response to the weight loss drug sibutramine, while others who lack these genetic factors lost little or no weight.

Loss of the protein target of lithium disrupts normal mouse embryonic heart development
One drug used to treat bipolar disorder is lithium, an inhibitor of GSK-3 proteins controversially linked to congenital heart defects.

Nitrogen applied
Recent study results have shown have shown that using nitrogen fertilizer on off-season cover crops can not only increase the biomass of these crops, but can also have a beneficial effect on the nitrogen levels in the soil for the cash crop planted during the summer season.

Vitamin C supplements may reduce benefit from wide range of anti-cancer drugs
In pre-clinical studies, vitamin C appears to substantially reduce the effectiveness of anti-cancer drugs, say researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Breakthrough optical technology to assess colon cancer risk, accuracy
Researchers at NorthShore University HealthSystem and Northwestern University have discovered that fiber optic technology can for the very first time effectively measure blood levels in the colonic lining (mucosa) in humans, thus having potential applications for analyzing risk of colon cancer.

Green coffee-growing practices buffer climate-change impacts
Chalk up another environmental benefit for shade-grown Latin American coffee: University of Michigan researchers say the technique will provide a buffer against the ravages of climate change in the coming decades.

Adolescent insomnia linked to depression and substance abuse during adolescence and young adulthood
A study in the Oct. 1 issue of the journal Sleep shows that adolescent insomnia symptoms are associated with depression, suicide ideation and attempts, and the use of alcohol, cannabis and other drugs such as cocaine.

Temple psychologists honored for contributions to psychology
Two internationally recognized members of Temple University's psychology faculty have been honored for their career achievements and contributions to the field by the two leading professional organizations in psychology.

Research suggests doctors should consider kidney-sparing surgery
A study of almost 1,500 kidney cancer patients treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center suggests that surgery to spare as much kidney tissue as possible may improve overall survival in patients who also have reduced kidney function at the time their cancer is diagnosed.

Increasing significance of medical case reports: Innovative journal leads the way
The importance of case reports has long been recognized among surgeons, but this identification is now spreading, with the announcement today from the Journal of Medical Case Reports, that it has published its 500th case report.

Researchers and students to develop small CubeSat satellites
A satellite about the size of a loaf of bread will be designed and built at the University of Michigan and deployed to study space weather, thanks to a new grant from the National Science Foundation.

Study reveals specific gene in adolescent men with delinquent peers
Birds of a feather flock together, according to the old adage, and adolescent males who possess a certain type of variation in a specific gene are more likely to flock to delinquent peers, according to a landmark study led by Florida State University criminologist Kevin M.

Infrared echoes give NASA's Spitzer a supernova flashback
Hot spots near the shattered remains of an exploded star are echoing the blast's first moments, say scientists using data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

UC Berkeley study tests impact of terror warnings on presidential race
Contrary to earlier studies that found that the threat of terrorism favors conservative leaders, a national field study conducted by UC Berkeley sociologists shows that government-issued terror warnings may reduce support for Sen.

Learning to shape your brain activity
A study in the Oct. 1 issue of the journal Sleep shows that the successful manipulation of sensorimotor rhythm (SMR) amplitude by instrumental SMR conditioning (ISC) improved sleep quality as well as declarative learning.

Young galaxy's magnetism surprises astronomers
First direct measurement of a young protogalaxy's magnetic field yields a result opposite of that expected for an object seen as it was when the Universe was about half its current age.

Whether combat or peacekeeping, PTSD impacts veterans' well-being
Deployed peacekeeping veterans with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) have significant impairments in health-related quality of life according to research by Dr.

3-D CT scans lead to more successful treatment of varicose veins in the lower extremities
3-D CT scans provide a more comprehensive view of complex varicose veins (one of the most common diseases in the world) in the lower extremities, according to a study performed at the Seoul National University Hospital in Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Research about plant viruses could lead to new ways to improve crop yields
An interdisciplinary group of scientists has obtained the first detailed information about the structure of the most destructive group of plant viruses known: flexible filamentous viruses.

Structures of important plant viruses determined
New structural details of plant viruses responsible for more than half the viral damage to crop plants throughout the world have been revealed by scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory and collaborating institutions.

Scientists keep an eye on Texas
Not only are more than 8,000 international scientists coming to Houston this weekend to participate in the first-ever Joint Annual Meeting of seven scientific societies, but they are bringing focus to issues of local and state concern to Texans.

New findings indicate HIV/AIDS pandemic began around 1900, earlier than previously thought
New research indicates that the most pervasive global strain of HIV began spreading among humans between 1884 and 1924, not during the 1930s, as previously reported.

Television viewing and aggression: Some alternative perspectives
Psychologists investigated the effect that exposure to violent TV programs has on negative behavior in children from different ethnic backgrounds.

AVS 55th International Symposium & Exhibition, Oct. 19-24
The AVS 55th International Symposium next month in Boston will showcase research from across the spectrum of science and engineering devoted to research on such topics as nanotechnology, alternative energy, materials research and medicine.

Emerging model organisms featured in CSH Protocols
This month's issue of

Researchers use nanoparticles to deliver treatment for brain, spinal cord injuries
Purdue University researchers have developed a method of using nanoparticles to deliver treatments to injured brain and spinal cord cells.

More star births than astronomers have calculated
More newborn stars are apparently emerging around the universe than previously assumed.

Short RNAs show a long history
Findings: MicroRNAs and piRNAs, two classes of small RNAs that regulate genes, have been discovered within diverse animal lineages, implying that they have been present since the ancestor of all animals (about a billion years ago).

CSIRO's UltraBattery goes global in the auto sector
The CSIRO-invented UltraBattery is set to have a global impact on greenhouse gas emissions after Japan's Furukawa Battery Co., which has already begun production of the UltraBattery, and US manufacturer, East Penn, today signed an international commercialization and distribution agreement for the technology.

Will patients stick to physical therapy? Questionnaire can help doctors predict
Patients' responses to a simple questionnaire can reliably predict whether they will adhere to physical therapy after spine surgery, Johns Hopkins researchers suggest in a new study.

Method of predicting clear air turbulence could make flights smoother in the future
A new method of forecasting clear air turbulence will be published this week in the Journal of Atmospheric Sciences.

New $5M grant will fund research advances in solar and other renewable energy technologies
The Houston-based Welch Foundation granted the Center for Electrochemistry at the University of Texas at Austin $5 million to start the Renewable Energy Initiative, an effort to promote advances in renewable energy technologies.

Acupressure calms children before surgery
An acupressure treatment applied to children undergoing anesthesia noticeably lowers their anxiety levels and makes the stress of surgery more calming for them and their families, UC Irvine anesthesiologists have learned.

Mysterious snippets of DNA withstand eons of evolution, Stanford study
Small stretches of seemingly useless DNA harbor a big secret, say researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Shade trees can protect coffee crops
The use of shade trees in coffee plantations is declining, but evidence suggests the trend may make the crop more susceptible to extremes of temperature and precipitation that are likely to become more frequent with climate change.

Earth scientists keep an eye on Texas
Dozens of papers at the 2008 Joint Annual Meeting, Oct.

Emissions rising faster this decade than last
The latest figures on the global carbon budget to be released in Washington and Paris indicate a four-fold increase in growth rate of human-generated carbon dioxide emissions since 2000.

HIV drug maraviroc effective for drug-resistant patients
As many as one quarter of HIV patients have drug resistance, limiting their treatment options and raising their risk for AIDS and death.

Facet joint effusion and interspinal ligament edema: major sources of lower back pain
New MR techniques show that facet joint effusion (the collection of fluid in the spinal joints) and interspinal ligament edema (swelling of the interspinal ligaments) are major sources of lower back pain, according to a study performed at Baskent University Hospital in Ankara and Alanya Research Center in Antalya, Turkey.

Excluding inmates from health research thwarts advancement of public health
More and more persons with mental illnesses, addiction disorders, and chronic and infectious diseases receive their medical care in a jail or prison, according to the October issue of the Journal of Correctional Health Care, published by SAGE.

First-of-its-kind cancer conference planned Oct. 11 for Arizona's Native Americans
The Arizona Myeloma Network, working with other non-profit groups throughout Arizona, is planning its first Fort Defiance Cancer Awareness and Advocacy Conference focusing on the health challenges facing Native Americans.

Changes in sex steroids associated with menopause
A study in the Oct. 1 issue of the journal Sleep shows that the increased rate of follicle stimulating hormone change that occurs during menopause is associated with increased objective sleep duration but poor subjective sleep quality.

USC security randomization application studied for use by air marshals
Representatives from the Federal Air Marshals Service visited USC to explore how the ARMOR operations randomization system created by Viterbi School of Engineering researchers could be integrated into its operations.

Core needle breast biopsy safe for patients taking blood thinners
It is safe to take anticoagulants (blood thinners) before core needle breast biopsies, according to a study performed at the Elizabeth Wende Breast Clinic in Rochester, N.Y.

Urbanization in Africa at dawn of 20th century marked outbreak of HIV
Painstaking reconstruction of viral DNA and RNA sequences from decades-old tissue samples is beginning to yield a clearer picture of HIV's evolutionary history from its beginnings.

Disease diagnosis in just 15 minutes
Testing for diseases such as cancer and multiple sclerosis could soon be as simple as using a pregnancy testing kit.

Use it or lose it? Researchers investigate the dispensability of our DNA
Our genome contains many genes encoding proteins that are similar to those of other organisms, suggesting evolutionary relationships; however, protein-coding genes account for a small fraction the genome, and there are many other DNA sequences that are conserved across species.

ACP enthusiastically supports preserving Patient Access to Primary Care Act
The 126,000-member American College of Physicians today said it enthusiastically supports the Preserving Patient Access to Primary Care Act introduced Sep.

Sirtris' review of sirtuin therapeutics for diseases of aging in Nature Reviews Drug Discovery
Sirtris, a GSK company focused on discovering and developing small molecule drugs to treat diseases of aging such as type 2 diabetes, announced today that it published a new review article on the growing body of sirtuin research and its potential to treat diseases of aging such as type 2 diabetes, mitochondrial disorders, inflammation, cancer and heart disease.

Research highlights of the October 2008 issue of Ophthalmology
This month's Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, includes reports on the first large-scale visual acuity assessment of preschool children, the Baltimore Pediatric Eye Disease Study.

Childhood wheezing with rhinovirus can increase asthma odds 10-fold
Infants who experience viral respiratory illnesses with wheezing are known to be at increased risk for developing asthma later during childhood.

Case Western Reserve University researchers track Chernobyl fallout
More than 20 years later, researchers from Case Western Reserve University traveled to Sweden and Poland to gain insight into the downward migration of Chernobyl-derived radionuclides in the soil.

Computer hardware 'guardians' protect users from undiscovered bugs
As computer processor chips grow faster and more complex, they are likely to make it to market with more design bugs.

New book offers proposals for dealing with juveniles who commit crime
Drawing on the best available evidence in adolescent development, a Temple University developmental psychologist and a Columbia University law professor offer a new approach to criminal law as it pertains to juveniles.

Sweat it out: UH study examines ability of sweat patches to monitor bone loss
Some health assessments that are routinely carried out on Earth are not practical when the

Hay fever may be best treated with self-adjusted dosing
Hay fever, the often seasonal allergy that affects between 10 and 20 percent of the American population, is best controlled through a course of patient-adjusted dosing, according to new research published in the September 2008 edition of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery.

Asian-white couples face distinct pregnancy risks, Stanford/Packard
Pregnant women who are part of an Asian-white couple face an increased risk of gestational diabetes as compared with couples in which both partners are white, according to a new study from Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and the Stanford University School of Medicine.

BioScience tip sheet, October 2008
The press release lists peer-reviewed articles that will be published in the October 2008 issue of BioScience and provides a brief description of each one; copies are available to reporters.

Beta-blockers reduce mortality in patients with COPD after vascular surgery
In the first study to directly examine the effects of beta-blockers on surgical patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), researchers have found that, contrary to previous thought, beta-blockers significantly reduce mortality in COPD patients.

Case Western Reserve University project ties soil conservation and river management together
Sediment in rivers comes from erosion of the landscape as well as the erosion and collapse of the banks themselves.

CT scans change treatment plans in more than a quarter of ER patients with suspected appendicitis
CT scans change the initial treatment plans of emergency physicians in over a quarter of patients with suspected appendicitis, according to a study performed at the University of Washington Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Wash.

40th edition of Gray's Anatomy celebrates 150 years as the world's preeminent anatomical reference
Elsevier, the leading publisher of medical and scientific literature, announces the publication of the 40th edition of the most famous anatomical reference in the world, Gray's Anatomy: The Anatomical Basis of Clinical Practice.

UT Battelle brings students closer to science in 4 counties
Students in Morgan, Roane, Scott and Sevier counties are getting new lab equipment for their science classrooms, thanks to a $47,500 gift from UT-Battelle.

New study indicates link between weight gains during pregnancy and dieting history
Women with a history of dieting or other restricted eating practices are at risk of gaining an inappropriate amount of weight during pregnancy.

War from the ground up
The connection between geology and the history of the Civil War has fascinated Robert Whisonant since his undergraduate days, and now Whisonant has teamed up with geomorphologist Judy Ehlen, both of Radford University, to take history, military history in particular, a step deeper -- into the geology beneath the soldiers' feet.

Saliva proteins could help detection of oral cancer
Clinicians could detect oral squamous cell carcinoma, a form of oral cancer, using a simple test that detects proteins in saliva, according to a report in the Oct.

First detection of magnetic field in distant galaxy produces a surprise
Using a powerful radio telescope to peer into the early universe, a team of California astronomers has obtained the first direct measurement of a nascent galaxy's magnetic field as it appeared 6.5 billion years ago.

Getting help for depression and anxiety has significant long-term benefits
University of Alberta researcher Ian Colman and his team performed a study to see the long term effects of taking antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications.

JCI online early table of contents: Oct. 1, 2008
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Oct.
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