Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 19, 2008
Researchers make new electronics -- with a twist
They've made electronics that can bend. They've made electronics that can stretch.

Angular observation of joints of geckos moving on horizontal and vertical surfaces
New research shows that gecko's joints rotated more quickly the greater the speed, and the swinging scope of forelimbs stayed nearly at 59 degrees when swinging forward.

Track your fitness, environmental impact with new cell phone applications
Planning on gobbling a few extra treats this holiday season?

International dairy award goes to researcher from Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen
Professor Ylva Ardo, Faculty of Life Sciences, has been granted the prestigious 2008 IDF Award for her significant contribution to dairy research worldwide.

TECNALIA leads Spanish research in future Internet
The TECNALIA Technological Corporation is leading research in Spain on The Future Internet through projects within the 7th EU Framework Program such as m:Ciudad, MUGGES and 4WARD, with the aim of promoting a structural change in the Network of Networks and designing of a new architecture capable of providing the services of the next decades.

Florida Tech scientists earn NSF grant to study age of stars
Oswalt and his team will determine ages by studying the chromospheres, or outer atmospheres, of stars like the sun.

2 new compounds show promise for eliminating breast cancer tumors
Two new compounds created by a University of Central Florida professor show early promise for destroying breast cancer tumors.

A model to measure soil health in the era of bioenergy
The loss of soil organic matter due to poor land-management practice threatens farmlands, and while the use for crop residues as feedstock for biomass ethanol and bio-based products increases, these materials no longer contribute to the health of the soil.

Uncovering secrets of life in the ocean
Scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory and the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology now explain the remarkable ability of marine zooplankton to swim towards light.

GU/GUMC researchers present more than 100 scientific abstracts at Neuroscience 2008
Researchers from Georgetown University and Georgetown University Medical Center's Departments of Neuroscience, Psychology, Physiology and Biophysics will present more than 100 research abstracts at the Society for Neuroscience's 38th annual meeting, Nov.

Landmark study defines benefits of early HIV testing and treatment for infected infants
Testing very young babies for HIV and giving antiretroviral therapy immediately to those found infected with the virus dramatically prevents illness and death, according to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Cedars-Sinai researchers present new findings at neuroscience meetings
Researchers from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center are presenting recent findings during the 38th annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.

American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac -- Nov. 19, 2008
The American Chemical Society News Service Weekly Press Package with reports from 36 major peer-reviewed journals on chemistry, health, medicine, energy, environment, food, nanotechnology and other hot topics.

Global warming predictions are overestimated, suggests study on black carbon
A detailed analysis of black carbon -- the residue of burned organic matter -- in computer climate models suggests that those models may be overestimating global warming predictions.

Fluid dynamics virtual press room now open
The virtual press room for next week's 61st Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics in San Antonio is now open.

US military technology protects critically endangered goliath grouper
The Ocean Research & Conservation Association and its collaborators announced the world's first use of an acoustic underwater camera to survey juveniles of goliath grouper in mangrove habitats.

Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News reports on the trend toward predictive toxicogenomics
Biotech scientists increasingly are applying genomics technologies to toxicology research to better understand the effects of novel drug candidates on a variety of organ systems.

UTSA Institute for Cyber Security launches technology incubator
The University of Texas at San Antonio Institute for Cyber Security launched its new Internet security incubator designed to develop and assist in commercializing promising technologies that address major cyber security and privacy issues.

Primary care provides patients with better outcomes at lower cost
Literature review documents critical importance of primary care as part of solution sought by president and Congress for health care reform.

Biomarkers used to predict chronological and physiological age
How old are you really? Chronological age is easy -- count forward from birth.

Prognosis after attempted suicide impaired by psychiatric disorder
People who have attempted suicide at some point in their lives are more likely to actually succeed in committing suicide at a later date.

Global Sourcing Council's annual meeting to focus on global e-waste challenges, Dec. 3
The Global Sourcing Council will hold its Annual Meeting on Wed., Dec.

Very low birth weight is a risk factor for 1 cause of CKD
Individuals who were underweight at birth are at increased risk of developing a condition called secondary focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, according to a study appearing in the January 2009 issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

How do bacteria swim? Brown physicists explain
Brown University physicists have completed the most detailed study of the swimming patterns of a microbe, showing for the first time how its movement is affected by drag and a phenomenon called Brownian motion.

First trachea transplant without immunosuppression
Tissue engineering has made possible this doubly innovative operation -- the first trachea transplant and the first tissue transplant to be performed without the need for immunosuppression.

Biomedical research profits from the exploration of the deep sea
A study published in the scientific journal PLoS ONE highlights how the exploration of the ocean depths can benefit humankind.

Garlic chemical tablet treats diabetes 1 and 2
A drug based on a chemical found in garlic can treat diabetes types 1 and 2 when taken as a tablet, a study in the new Royal Society of Chemistry journal Metallomics says.

Enzyme discovery may lead to better heart and stroke treatments
A Queen's University study sheds new light on the way one of our cell enzymes, implicated in causing tissue damage after heart attacks and strokes, is normally kept under control.

UCAR weather forecasts aim to reduce African meningitis epidemics
The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research will provide long-term weather forecasts to medical officials in Africa to help reduce outbreaks of meningitis.

Researchers at IRB Barcelona produce more data on key genes in diabetes
A study performed by the researcher Marc Liesa, a member of Antoni Zorzano's lab at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine, describes a new control pathway of a gene responsible for mitochrondrial fusion, a process that contributes to the correct function of these organelles.

Astronomers catch binary star explosion inside nebula
The explosion of a binary star inside a planetary nebula has been captured by a team led by UCL researchers -- an event that has not been witnessed for more than 100 years.

Between success and failure
No less than one quarter of second-generation immigrants in the Netherlands drops out of school.

Leeds researchers reshape the future of drug discovery
Scientists in Leeds, UK, have devised a new way to create the next generation of man-made molecules in a breakthrough that could revolutionize drug development.

Medical journalists need improved conflict-of-interest standards, say Dartmouth researchers
Researchers call for greater scrutiny of the relationship between medical journalists and the health care industries they cover.

Report finds extensive use of illicit alcohol
The consumption of illicit or noncommercial alcohol is widespread in many countries worldwide and contributes significantly to the global burden of disease, according to a new report by the International Center for Alcohol Policies.

Scientists sequence woolly-mammoth genome
Scientists at Penn State are leaders of a team that is the first to report the genome-wide sequence of an extinct animal.

Congressional Briefing on Civic Engagement
President-elect Barack Obama has voiced support for an expanded federal commitment to volunteer service, so civic engagement advocates are preparing to work quickly with congressional leaders to enact service legislation early in the 111th Congress.

Genetic screening no better than traditional risk factors for predicting type 2 diabetes
Screening for a panel of gene variants associated with the risk for type 2 diabetes can identify adults at risk for the disorder but is not significantly better than assessment based on traditional risk factors such as weight, blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

Kidney injury puts elderly individuals at high risk for developing serious kidney disease
Acute kidney injury, which is often caused by trauma, illness, or surgery, predisposes elderly individuals to the most serious form of chronic kidney disease, known as end stage renal disease, according to a study appearing in the Jan.

New Hebrew University excavations strengthen identification of Herod's grave at Herodium
Analysis of newly revealed items found at the site of the mausoleum of King Herod at Herodium (Herodion in Greek) have provided Hebrew University of Jerusalem archaeological researchers with further assurances that this was indeed the site of the famed ruler's 1st century B.C.E. grave.

Scientists exploring new compounds to target muscular dystrophy
Using a drug-discovery technique in which molecules compete against each other for access to the target, scientists have identified several compounds that, in the laboratory, block the unwanted coupling of two molecules that is at the root of muscular dystrophy.

Jefferson researchers define ideal time for stem cell collection for Parkinson's disease therapy
Researchers have identified a stage during dopamine neuron differentiation that may be an ideal time to collect human embryonic stem cells for transplantation to treat Parkinson's disease, according to data presented at Neuroscience 2008, the 38th annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.

More at-risk teens and young adults engaging in anal intercourse
A new study by researchers at the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center suggests that the incidence of heterosexual anal sex is increasing among teens and young adults.

Researchers shed new light on catalyzed reactions
Rice University scientists searching for a better way to clean up the stubborn pollutant TCE have found a new way to watch the molecules break apart as individual chemical bonds are formed and broken.

Worker ants of the world, unite! You have nothing to lose but your fertility
The highly specialized worker castes in ants represent the pinnacle of social organization in the insect world.

Scientists are high on idea that marijuana reduces memory impairment
The more research they do, the more evidence scientists find that specific elements of marijuana can be good for the aging brain by reducing inflammation there and possibly even stimulating the formation of new brain cells.

New insight into the controls on a go-to enzyme
Scientists at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have gained new insights into regulation of one of the body's enzyme workhorses called calpains.

Metcalf Institute publishes book about communicating climate change
The Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting has published a book to help scientists and journalists communicate more clearly and effectively with one another about climate change.

Survival of head and neck cancer patients is greatly affected by coexisting ailments
Current estimates for head and neck cancer survival are largely inaccurate because they widely disregard many of the most common diseases such patients have in addition to their primary cancer, says Jay Piccirillo, M.D., a head and neck specialist at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Carnegie Mellon, Sun collaborate on continued development of Alice programming environment
Sun Microsystems is teaming with Carnegie Mellon to support the continuing development of Alice, the university's innovative, Java technology-based computer programming environment that teaches students to program Java software while having fun creating 3-D animations, stories and video games.

Study suggests attending religious services sharply cuts risk of death
A study published by researchers at Yeshiva University and its medical school, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, strongly suggests that regular attendance at religious services reduces the risk of death by approximately 20 percent.

Carnegie Mellon developing automated systems to enable precision farming of apples, oranges
Two groups of researchers at Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute have received a total of $10 million in grants from the US Department of Agriculture to build automated farming systems.

Surgeons perform world's first pediatric robotic bladder reconstruction
A 10-year-old Chicago girl born with an abnormally small bladder that made her incontinent has become the first patient to benefit from a new robotic-assisted bladder-reconstruction procedure.

Montana State partnership receives $66.9M for carbon sequestration
The US Department of Energy on Monday awarded $66.9 million to the Big Sky Carbon Sequestration Partnership at Montana State University to fund a project that will inject a million tons of carbon dioxide into the sandstone rock layer beneath southwestern Wyoming.

New platinum-phosphate compounds kill ovarian cancer cells
A new class of compounds called phosphaplatins can effectively kill ovarian, testicular, head and neck cancer cells with potentially less toxicity than conventional drugs, according to a new study published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Study identifies causes of bone loss in breast cancer survivors
Osteoporosis is a growing concern among breast cancer survivors and their doctors because certain cancer drugs can cause bone loss.

Jupiter's shrinking red spot
Ever since the ancient thinker Archimedes shouted

Deep brain mapping to isolate evidence of Gulf War syndrome
As a congressionally mandated report reveals one of every four veterans of the 1991 Persian Gulf conflict suffers from Gulf War syndrome, statistical scientists at Southern Methodist University are analyzing brain scan images from a nationwide sample of veterans displaying symptoms.

Researchers: Ban on fast food TV advertising would reverse childhood obesity trends
A ban on fast-food advertisements in the United States could reduce the number of overweight children by as much as 18 percent, according to a new study co-authored by economists with the National Bureau of Economic Research.

UT trainees tackle health information technology issues
Many health care providers are overloaded with information and more is coming.

K-State economist's research on low-income homeowners
Programs that help low-income and minority individuals and families purchase a home may be doing more harm than good, according to a Kansas State University economist.

Urban trees enhance water infiltration
The management of stormwater in urban areas is often focused on restoring the hydrologic cycle disrupted by extensive pavement and compacted urban soils, but now a group of researchers have been investigating innovative ways to maximize the potential of trees to address stormwater.

Systems biology brings hope of speeding up drug development
Almost every day brings news of an apparent breakthrough against cancer, infectious diseases, or metabolic conditions like diabetes, but these rarely translate into effective therapies or drugs, and even if they do clinical development usually takes well over a decade.

ADHD medications do not cause genetic damage in children
In contrast to recent findings, two of the most common medications used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder do not appear to cause genetic damage in children who take them as prescribed, according to a new study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and Duke University Medical Center.

Major conference on food, Dec. 1-2, 2008
The world's largest alliance on agricultural research will convene more than 700 leading food and environmental scientists, policy makers and donor representatives in Maputo, Mozambique, on Dec.

Carnegie Mellon theory of visual computation reveals how brain makes sense of natural scenes
Computational neuroscientists at Carnegie Mellon University have developed a computational model that provides insight into the function of the brain's visual cortex and the information processing that enables people to perceive contours and surfaces, and understand what they see in the world around them.

NAS announces initiative to connect entertainment industry with top experts
The National Academy of Sciences announced today the creation of

Medical societies: Adults need vaccines
The American College of Physicians and the Infectious Diseases Society of America have released a joint statement on the importance of adult vaccination against an increasing number of vaccine-preventable diseases.

Bloomberg School awards Goodermote Humanitarian Award to Soledad O'Brien
The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has awarded CNN anchor and special correspondent Soledad O'Brien the Goodermote Humanitarian Award for her efforts while reporting on the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina and the 2004 Asian Tsunami.

Climate change opens new avenue for spread of invasive plants
A team of researchers from the Netherlands and the University of Florida has found that plants that range beyond their normal distribution because of warming climates may have advantages over native plants.

The physics of star-forming clouds and the urban environment
From the collapse of star-forming clouds to the flow of the molten Earth's core, from the combustion of gasoline in your car engine to the coursing blood in your veins, from the aerodynamics of flight to the concentration of microscopic animals in the ocean, many of nature's most fascinating phenomena are forms of fluid flow.

Elsevier announces launch of PM&R in partnership with the AAPM&R
Elsevier, a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, is pleased to announce the January 2009 launch of a new medical journal in partnership with the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation -- PM&R, the journal of injury, function and rehabilitation.

Animal and biological science highlights: San Antonio Fluid Dynamics Conference, Nov. 23-25
From dolphins to clams to flying creatures like hummingbirds and bats, many of nature's most fascinating creatures exhibit forms of fluid flow.

Rational or random? Professor models how people send e-mails
How do people respond to e-mails? Rationally, responding to the most important first, making sure the process is efficient?

Rutgers researcher's study cites media violence as 'critical risk factor' for aggression
You are what you watch, when it comes to violence in the media and its influence on violent behavior in young people, and a new paper, lead-authored by Rutgers University, Newark, researcher Paul Boxer, provides new evidence that violent media does indeed impact adolescent behavior. 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