Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 02, 2008
URI launches behavior change campaign to reduce energy use on campus
A survey of energy use practices on campus has led the University of Rhode Island to launch a unique behavior change campaign aimed at reducing wasteful behaviors in residence halls.

Risk of death may be higher with drug commonly used during cardiac surgery
The risks of death are probably higher with aprotinin, a drug commonly used to control blood loss and transfusions during cardiac surgery, compared with lysine analogues, according to a study to be published in the Jan.

Horizon Therapeutics announces 2 pivotal HZT-501 Phase 3 trials meet primary endpoints
Horizon Therapeutics Inc., a privately held biopharmaceutical company, today announced that two pivotal Phase 3 trials evaluating its lead investigational product candidate, HZT 501, met all primary endpoints.

Gene which protects against lung cancer identified
A study led by researchers at the University of Nottingham has identified a gene that protects the body from lung cancer.

Hypersensitivity reactions to the quadrivalent HPV vaccine are rare
Hypersensitivity reactions to the quadrivalent HPV vaccine (4vHPV, Gardasil) are uncommon and most schoolgirls can tolerate subsequent doses, finds the first evaluation of the quadrivalent HPV vaccine published on today.

These shells don't clam up: Innovative technique to record human impact on coastal waters
Using stable isotope techniques, Dr. Ruth Carmichael of the Dauphin Island Sea Lab and her colleagues have demonstrated it is possible to identify and trace wastewater inputs to estuaries and coastal food webs by studying the organic matrix in the shell of the hard clam Mercenaria mercenaria.

Is empty nest best? Changes in marital satisfaction in late middle age
The phrase

Elsevier's 'Referex' engineering e-books database adds 300 new titles
New books from William Andrew Publishers are the first added from a third-party publisher.

Avalanches -- triggered from the valley
When slab avalanches thunder into the valley, winter sports fans are in danger.

First study to examine rare injuries and conditions of US high school athletes
Rare injuries accounted for 3.5 percent of high school athletes' injuries 2005 through 2007, according to the first study to examine rare injuries and conditions of US high school athletes.

Study links child hunger and poor health to unstable housing
A new study shows that children whose families move frequently or live in overcrowded conditions are more likely to suffer from hunger and poor health than those in stable housing.

HER2 levels may aid in treatment selection for metastatic breast cancer
Findings published in the Dec. 1, 2008, issue of Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, show lapatinib benefits women with HER2-positive breast cancer, while women with HER2-negative breast cancer or those who express EGRF alone derive no incremental benefit.

ESA satellites focusing on the Arctic
The Arctic is undergoing rapid transformation due to climate change, pollution and human activity.

The shocking statistics of child abuse in high-income countries
Child maltreatment is far more common than suggested by official statistics of children assessed by child protection services.

Analysis supports use of surgery to treat medication-resistant epilepsy
Persons with temporal lobe epilepsy who do not respond to medication could receive a substantial gain in life expectancy and quality of life by undergoing surgery of the temporal lobe part of the brain, according to an analysis reported in the Dec.

New holographic method could be used for lab-on-a-chip technologies
Researchers at Purdue University have developed a technique that uses a laser and holograms to precisely position numerous tiny particles within seconds, representing a potential new tool to analyze biological samples or create devices using nanoassembly.

Too much commitment may be unhealthy for relationships, UH psychology professor says
Researchers at the University of Houston report that partners who base their self-worth solely upon the outcomes of romantic interactions may experience depression and anxiety and ultimately undermine their relationships.

Rutgers receives US$10 million to establish Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health
Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, has received a four-year, $10 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to establish the Institute for Food, Nutrition and Health, on its George H.

Nuclear science for food security
The International Atomic Energy Agency today called for increased investment in a plant breeding technique that could bolster efforts aimed at pulling millions of people out of the hunger trap.

USC researchers head global effort to study genetic risks that contribute to psychiatric diseases
A multi-institution team of investigators led by researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California has received US$19 million in funding from the National Institute of Mental Health for a groundbreaking effort to collect genetic information on tens of thousands of patients in order to study the genetic risks for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Patient photos spur radiologist empathy and eye for detail
Including a patient's photo with imaging exam results may enable a more meticulous reading from the radiologist interpreting the images, as well as a more personal and empathetic approach, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.

Secreted protein sends signal that fat is on the way
After you eat a burger and fries or other fat-filled meal, a protein produced by the liver may send a signal that fat is on the way, suggests a report in the December issue of the journal Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication.

Why the 'perfect' body isn't always perfect
The hormones that make women physically stronger, more competitive and better able to deal with stress also tend to redistribute fat from the hips to the waist, according to Elizabeth Cashdan, an anthropologist at the University of Utah.

Invasive garden ants as new pest insects in Europe
A new study, published in the online, open-access journal PLoS ONE, illuminates where Lasius neglectus, a new ant that was discovered in 1990, comes from, how it organizes its supercolonies, and how it attained its pest status.

AASM responds to the Institute of Medicine's report on fatigue and medical resident hours
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine commends the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies for its independent analysis of current duty-hour regulations for medical residents.

Engineers: Wireless crib monitor keeps tabs on baby's breathing
Radar -- the technology that tracks enemy bombers and hurricanes -- is now being employed to detect another danger: when babies stop breathing.

Twin study defines shared features of human gut microbial communities: Variations linked to obesity
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have catalogued the microbial species in the guts of lean and obese female twins and their mothers, finding that each individual carries a unique collection of bacteria, although the communities are more similar among family members.

Understanding the daily variation in atmospheric pressure
For over two centuries, meteorologists were puzzled by the observation that atmospheric pressure in the tropics peaks at 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. nearly every day.

Brand-name drugs do not appear superior to generic drugs for treating cardiovascular diseases
Contrary to the perception of some patients and physicians, there is no evidence that brand-name drugs are clinically superior to their generic counterparts, according to an article in the Dec.

EEGs show brain differences between poor and rich kids
Prefrontal cortex activity in children from low socioeconomic levels is lower than in similar children from well-off families.

Carnegie Mellon, U at Buffalo receive $4.7 million to advance public transport for disabled
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and the University at Buffalo, State University of New York, are collaborating on a five-year, $4.7 million effort to advance public transportation for people with disabilities by joining computer science technology and principles of universal design.

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child -- a vital tool for child protection
The vital role of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in child protection is discussed in the final paper of the Lancet series on child maltreatment, written by Dr.

Clues about controlling cholesterol rise from yeast studies
Having discovered how a lowly, single-celled fungus regulates its version of cholesterol, Johns Hopkins researchers are gaining new insight about the target and action of cholesterol-lowering drugs taken daily by millions of people to stave off heart attacks and strokes.

Subtitles do not guarantee hearing-impaired viewers a total comprehension of television messages
Researchers at the UAB Department of Basic, Developmental and Educational Psychology have studied the level of comprehension of subtitled television programs by groups of students who have a severe or profound hearing impairment.

Using the other guy's toolkit: Similarities of pumping blood, oil examined
Scientists and engineers from two of the nation's largest industries -- medicine and energy -- will come together Dec.

Exposure to secondhand smoke reduced
As the connection between second-hand smoke and coronary heart disease became clearer and legislation was passed to reduce such passive smoking, exposures have been reduced.

Concordia University researcher develops image processing system that detects moods
A Concordia University researcher is developing a computer image processing system that detects and classifies human facial expressions.

Ecological impact of African cities
African cities are growing faster than anywhere else in the world.

Up to 2 drinks per day not linked with higher risk of irregular heart beat for women
Women who have up to two alcoholic drinks per day do not appear to be at increased risk of atrial fibrillation (irregular heart beat), but drinking more than that amount is associated with a higher risk, according to a study in the Dec.

Omega Centauri -- the glittering giant of the southern skies
Omega Centauri is one of the finest jewels of the southern hemisphere night sky, as ESO's latest stunning image beautifully illustrates.

Radiological Society of North America research: Cancer risk from cardiac CT overstated
Radiology and cardiovascular researchers from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, S.C., today present new data that shows the risk of cancer from exposure to radiation during computed tomography for cardiovascular disease has been overstated and that new estimates are several times lower than previously published conclusions.

Carnegie Mellon CyLab survey unveils major gap
A recent Carnegie Mellon University CyLab survey of corporate board directors reveals a gap in board and senior executive oversight in managing cyber risks.

Preoperative radiation may improve survival rates in advanced rectal cancer patients
A new Geisinger study shows that preoperative treatment for rectal cancer shouldn't be a

Revised hours and workloads for medical residents needed to prevent
A new report from the Institute of Medicine proposes revisions to medical residents' duty hours and workloads to decrease the chances of fatigue-related medical errors and to enhance the learning environment for these doctors in training.

Drug marketing techniques may be risking patient safety
With new drugs being reviewed by regulatory agencies and then released onto the market faster than ever before, patients' safety is being compromised, warns a study published on today.

From sheet metal elements to host cells: DFG launches 10 new collaborative research centers
On Jan. 1, 2009, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft will launch 10 new collaborative research centers.

Particulate emissions from laser printers
Do laser printers emit pathogenic toner particles into the air?

Disappearing superconductivity reappears -- in 2-D
Scientists studying a material that appeared to lose its ability to carry current with no resistance say new measurements reveal that the material is indeed a superconductor -- but only in two dimensions.

Drop in cancer deaths tied primarily to gains in behavior and screening
Behavior change and improvements in screening have contributed equally and substantially to the 13 percent decline in cancer mortality rates, according to new research from David Cutler, an economist at Harvard University.

Operations engineering for more efficient operating rooms
Work by specialists from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering has led to significant improvements in turnover times for operating rooms at three California safety net hospitals, allowing

Ship-in-a-bottle kit on a microchip
Remote-controlled with a magnetic field, aggregates of plastic particles on a microchip function like stirrers and pumps.

A human approach to computer processing
A more human approach to processing raw data could change the way that computers deal with information, according to academics at the University of Nottingham.

Nearly 5 percent of the US population suffers from persistent depression or anxiety
In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers have developed estimates for both the prevalence of chronic psychiatric illness in the general population and how often individuals suffering from such illnesses receive appropriate treatment.

Workbook co-authored by UH psychologist offers self-help for those suffering anxieties
A new workbook co-authored by a University of Houston psychologist takes readers who suffer anxiety on a journey of self-discovery in order to reach recovery.

Broccoli compound targets key enzyme in late-stage cancer
Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables have long been known to have anti-cancer benefits, and UC Berkeley researchers have now found out why.

Toys made of liquid wood
Most plastics are based on petroleum. A bio-plastic that consists of one hundred percent renewable raw materials helps to conserve this resource.

Baker Institute fellow urges new look at government 'Web-tapping'
The technology of government surveillance has changed dramatically and the rules governing surveillance should be changed accordingly.

Use of rapid response team in hospital not linked with reduction in cardio arrests or deaths
Although there is an effort to implement rapid response teams in hospitals throughout the country, new research suggests that they do not result in a reduced rate of cardiopulmonary arrests or deaths, according to a study in the Dec.

Forensic science conference to be hosted by the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at ASU
The Center for the Study of Law, Science, & Technology at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University will host an international conference on April 3-4, 2009, in Tempe, Ariz., on the future of forensic science, with special attention to the highly anticipated report of the US National Academy of Sciences,

Climate change setback for acidified rivers
Climate change is hampering the long-term recovery of rivers from the effects of acid rain, with wet weather offsetting improvements, according to a new study by Cardiff University.

Cold Spring Harbor Protocols features tissue culture methods for immune cells and neurons
This month's issue of Cold Spring Harbor Protocols features two articles detailing experimental culture methods for cells from the immune system and the nervous system.

Doing research on the Web: New teaching tool pushes students to analyze online materials
Students doing research for their classes are increasingly turning to online resources, which raises concerns among many academic instructors who have questions about the quality of material found on the Internet.

Einstein researchers develop technique to count messages made by single genes
Researchers from Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University describe a technique for looking more precisely at a fundamental step of a cell's life: a gene, DNA, being read into a message, mRNA.

Mini heart attacks lessen damage from major ones
Researchers have discovered one potential mechanism by which briefly cutting off, then restoring, blood flow prior to a heart attack lessens the damage caused.

India terrorism by the numbers
A long history of terrorism in India precedes the recent coordinated attacks in Mumbai.

New test for depression
A new universal test to predict the risk of someone succumbing to major depression has been developed by UCL researchers.

It takes 2 to tango
Not only the receiving, but also the transmitting terminal of a nerve cell's synapse is highly adaptable.

New mammography technology effective in detecting breast cancer
A study has found that positron emission mammography, a new technique for imaging the breast, is not affected by either breast density or a woman's hormonal status, two factors that limit the effectiveness of standard mammography and MRI at detecting cancer.

Vaccine and drug research aimed at ticks and mosquitoes to prevent disease transmission
Most successful vaccines and drugs rely on protecting humans or animals by blocking certain bacteria from growing in their systems.

What makes the heart 'tick-tock'
Researchers have new evidence to show that the heart beats to its own drummer, according to a report in the December issue of the journal Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication.

Most US organizations not adapting to climate change
Organizations in the United States that are at the highest risk of sustaining damage from climate change are not adapting enough to the dangers posed by rising temperatures, according to a Yale report.

Child maltreatment: 3 other perspectives
A further three comments are included with the Lancet series on child maltreatment, the first written Professor Dr.

Plants display 'molecular amnesia'
Plant researchers from McGill University and the University of California, Berkeley, have announced a major breakthrough in a developmental process called epigenetics.

Thrombosis patients face greater risks than previously believed
Researchers at McGill University and the affiliated Jewish General Hospital warn that in addition to the well-known risks of pulmonary embolism, deep venous thrombosis patients also face postthrombotic syndrome, a poorly understood, long-term complication not addressed by traditional treatment approaches like blood thinners.

Professionals significantly under-report child abuse
Child abuse in most settings is significantly under-reported -- even by the schools and community health services that have continuous contact with children.

Large health differences between population groups in Norway
There are large health differences between groups of immigrants in Oslo.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
The following articles are featured in the Dec. 3 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience:

Old as you want to be: Study finds most seniors feel younger
Older people tend to feel about 13 years younger than their chronological age.

When childhood dies
The Lancet series on child maltreatment, in conjunction with Royal College of Pediatrics and Child Health, is opened with a comment by Lancet editor Dr.

Portable CT increases chance of stroke survival and recovery
New research has found that the availability of a portable eight-slice computed tomography scanner in an emergency room can significantly increase the number of stroke victims who receive a potentially life-saving treatment.

New approach eliminates software deadlocks using discrete control theory
Software deadlocks are the catch-22s of the computer world. These common bugs can freeze the machine when different parts of a program end up in an endless cycle of waiting for one another as they access shared data.

MU researcher calls for increase in sexual assault awareness programs on college campuses
The statistics for sexual assault are unsettling; the Department of Justice reports that one in five college women will be the victim of attempted or actual sexual assault during their college years.

UH Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital gains international recognition for ECMO treatment
The Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Center at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital recently received the Excellence in Life Support Award from the Extracorporeal Life Support Organization.

New publishing partnership for Energy for Sustainable Development
Starting in January 2009 Elsevier will be the official publisher of Energy for Sustainable Development.

Scientists produce illusion of body-swapping
Cognitive neuroscientists at the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet have succeeded in making subjects perceive the bodies of mannequins and other people as their own.

House Ear Institute, TGen and Belgian researchers identify gene in age-related hearing loss
Researchers discovered a common variant in the GRM7 gene, which they believe may be associated with susceptibility to glutamate excitotoxicity and hearing loss.

Replacing corn with perennial grasses improves carbon footprint of biofuels
Converting forests or fields to biofuel crops can increase or decrease greenhouse gas emissions, depending on where -- and which -- biofuel crops are used, University of Illinois researchers report this month.

Interventions against child maltreatment and the impairment it causes -- what works?
Although a broad range of programs for prevention of child maltreatment exist, there is still uncertainty about which programs are effective.

Experts discuss applying systematic review to the field of nutrition
Performing systematic reviews of nutrition related topics raises unique challenges not often encountered in the field of medicine.

CT colonography offers 1-stop screening for cancer and osteoporosis
New research reveals that computed tomography colonography, also known as virtual colonoscopy, has the potential to screen for two diseases at once -- colorectal cancer and osteoporosis, both of which commonly affect adults over age 50.

Elsevier announces the 2008 supplement of Reproductive Health Matters
Second trimester abortion: women's health and public policy. 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