Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 07, 2009
Preterm births rise 36 percent since early 1980s
Nearly 543,000 babies were born too soon in 2006, according to new government statistics released Wednesday.

Adolescents with arthritis need more information when transitioning to adult care
Helping adolescents with arthritis develop the skills and secure resources to assure that their health care needs are met as they transition to adulthood is an important issue in the US.

New MicroBiome Analysis Center to explore health effects of microorganisms within the human body
The human body contains billions of microorganisms. Microbial cells in the human gut are estimated to outnumber human cells by 10-to-1 in healthy adults, according to the National Institutes of Health, but very little is known about the ways in which these minute life forms influence health and disease.

Low level herbicide use can damage potato reproduction
A recent study examining the development and reproduction of plants and the effects that herbicides can have upon those processes has shown that treating potato plants with low levels of herbicide application can have a detrimental effect on crop yields.

Half-baked asteroids have Earth-like crust
Asteroids are hunks of rock that orbit in the outer reaches of space, and scientists have generally assumed that their small size limited the types of rock that could form in their crusts.

Florida professor creates endowment for insect scientists
Dr. Nan-Yao Su, a professor of entomology at the University of Florida, has donated $250,000 to the Entomological Society of America for the establishment of an endowment to award creative entomologists who have demonstrated the ability to find alternative solutions to problems that significantly impact entomology.

Converting adult somatic cells to pluripotent stem cells using a single virus
A Boston University Medical School research team has found a more efficient way to create induced pluripotent stem cells using a single virus vector instead of multiple viruses in the reprogramming process.

Promising new drug being evaluated as possible treatment option for fragile X syndrome
A pilot trial of an oral drug therapy called fenobam has shown promising initial results and could be a potential new treatment option for adult patients with Fragile X syndrome.

Studies examine genetic determinants of ADHD
A special issue of American Journal of Medical Genetics: Part B: Neuropsychiatric Genetics presents a comprehensive overview of the latest progress in genetic research of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

American Association for Cancer Research hosts Science of Health Care Disparities Meeting
Although racial and ethnic differences in treatment and outcomes among cancer patients are well known, little is understood about the underlying causes and what can be done to solve a seemingly intractable problem.

Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago, joins ExCell study
Children's Memorial Hospital and the Gamida Cell -- Teva Joint Venture announced today that Children's Memorial has joined a select group of cancer centers in Europe, the United States and Israel, actively enrolling patients for the ExCell study.

Avian flu becoming more resistant to antiviral drugs, says University of Colorado study
A new University of Colorado at Boulder study shows the resistance of the avian flu virus to a major class of antiviral drugs is increasing through positive evolutionary selection, with researchers documenting the trend in more than 30 percent of the samples tested.

6th International Chronic Total Occlusion Summit to be held Feb. 5-6, 2009, in NYC
The Sixth International Chronic Total Occlusion Summit is a two-day conference featuring state-of-the-art technologies, research findings and new developments in therapeutic procedures that are essential for interventional cardiologists to optimize procedural success in chronic total coronary occlusions.

Louisiana Tech physicists highlight top 10 science stories of 2008
Discover, one of the world's premier science and technology news magazines, released its list of the top 100 stories for 2008 and features two projects involving physicists from Louisiana Tech University in its top 10.

Absence of CLP protein can be indicative of oral cancer
Human calmodulin-like protein (CLP) is found in many cell types including breast, thyroid, prostate, kidney and skin.

NASA balloon mission tunes in to a cosmic radio mystery
Listening to the early universe just got harder. A team led by Alan Kogut of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., today announced the discovery of cosmic radio noise that booms six times louder than expected.

Cost containment focus could have consequences for health care delivery
The drive toward containing health care costs could have the unintended consequence of reducing physician productivity, impairing quality and perhaps even increasing costs, two Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center physicians suggest in a New England Journal of Medicine

P2P traffic control
Could a concept from information technology familiar to online file sharers be exploited to reduce road congestion and even traffic accidents?

Risk management critical to corporate strategy
With the consequences of the current financial crisis spreading to the real economy, lawmakers are exploring new regulations to govern the financial markets.

Health-care providers and patients differ on views of knee replacement
Total knee replacement is a common treatment for osteoarthritis, a disease affecting more than 20 million Americans.

Palonosetron with dexamethasone effective at preventing nausea/vomiting after chemotherapy
Palonosetron is as effective as, and in some ways better than, granisetron in preventing the nausea and vomiting that is often experienced after highly emetogenic chemotherapy, conclude the authors of a phase III comparator trial that is published in an article online first and in the February edition of the Lancet Oncology.

You can look -- but don't touch
Consumers are often told that if they break an item, they buy it.

Ahead of the games: Test will catch sports cheats on new endurance drugs
Avoiding detection just got harder for drug cheats who try to use a particular range of untested, but potentially enhancing, compounds.

New study suggests winter babies face socioeconomic disadvantages
A new study by a pair of University of Notre Dame economists examines why babies born in winter face socioeconomic disadvantages.

Study on origin of mutation that causes fatal familiar insomnia
A Ph.D. thesis at the University of the Basque Country has studied the origin of the mutation that causes fatal familiar insomnia.

Gene abnormality found to predict childhood leukemia relapse
Scientists have identified mutations in a gene that predict a high likelihood of relapse in children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).

Study: Excessive use of antiviral drugs could aid deadly flu
Influenza's ability to resist the effects of cheap and popular antiviral agents in Asia and Russia should serve as a cautionary tale about US plans to use the antiviral Tamiflu in the event of widespread avian flu infection in humans, scientists say.

Researchers discover target that could ease spinal muscular atrophy symptoms
There is no cure for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a genetic disorder that causes the weakening of muscles and is the leading genetic cause of infant death, but University of Missouri researchers have discovered a new therapeutic target that improves deteriorating skeletal muscle tissue caused by SMA.

Logical reversal
During an economic downturn companies, particularly in the computer sector, could gain an advantage of their competitors by adopting reverse logistics, according to researchers writing in the International Journal of Environment and Sustainable Development.

Lost in translation
The enzyme machine that translates a cell's DNA code into the proteins of life is nothing if not an editorial perfectionist.

Restoring trust harder when it is broken early in relationship
In relationships built on trust, a bad first impression can be harder to overcome than a betrayal that occurs after ties are established, a new study suggests.

'It takes 2 to know 1': Shared experiences change self-recognition
Looking at yourself in the mirror every morning, you never think to question whether the person you see is actually you.

Study to explore ethical challenges health professionals face while caring for children with LTNMDs
The Greenwall Foundation recently awarded two core faculty members of the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics a grant that will allow Drs.

Tilting at wind farms
A way to make wind power smoother and more efficient that exploits the inertia of a wind turbine rotor could help solve the problem of wind speed variation, according to research published in the International Journal of Power Electronics.

Male crickets with bigger heads are better fighters, study reveals, echoing ancient Chinese text
In a study published in the Dec. 24 issue of the online, open-access, peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE, Judge and co-author Vanessa Bonanno show that males with larger heads and mouthparts are more successful in fights with smaller-headed rivals.

Mountaineers measure lowest human blood oxygen levels on record
The lowest ever levels of oxygen in humans have been reported in climbers on an expedition led by UCL doctors.

Montville resident and NJIT professor receives engineering honors
Nirwan Ansari, of Montville, a professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering at NJIT, has received two notable honors.

Spookfish uses mirrors for eyes
A remarkable new discovery shows the four-eyed spookfish to be the first vertebrate ever found to use mirrors, rather than lenses, to focus light in its eyes.

US teens feel prepared for careers in science, tech, engineering, math, yet many lack mentors
American teens are embracing the subjects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics with increasingly positive attitudes; yet many lack the necessary encouragement from mentors and role models in these fields, according to this year's Lemelson-MIT Invention Index.

Renaissance capitalist: New research answers mystery about illegitimate daughter of pope
In popular legend, Lucrezia Borgia stands falsely accused of poisoning her second husband.

False light: Reflection from human structures leads creatures into peril
Smooth, dark buildings, vehicles and even roads can be mistaken by insects and other creatures for water, according to a Michigan State University researcher, creating

Metabolic syndrome risk for veterans with PTSD
Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are more likely to have metabolic syndrome than veterans without PTSD.

Heart valves implanted without open-heart surgery
An innovative approach for implanting a new aortic heart valve without open-heart surgery is being offered to patients at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center.

Polarized light pollution leads animals astray
Human-made light sources can alter natural light cycles, causing animals that rely on light cues to make mistakes when moving through their environment.

Women's access to donated kidneys declines with age, particularly compared with men
Younger women have equivalent access to kidney transplants compared with their male counterparts, but older women receive transplants much less frequently than older men, according to a study appearing in the March 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

Control of blood vessels a possible weapon against obesity
Mice exposed to low temperatures develop more blood vessels in their adipose tissue and metabolize body fat more quickly, according to a new study from Karolinska Institutet.

First Science from the Compact Light Source: A miniature synchrotron for your home lab
Today, at the 39th Winter Colloquium on the Physics of Quantum Electronics, Ronald Ruth, Ph.D., president of Lyncean Technologies, announced that the Compact Light Source, a miniature synchrotron, has achieved three key milestones using its unique X-ray beam: first scientific publication featured by the Journal of Synchrotron Radiation on its January 2009 cover, first micro-tomographic images from the CLS, and the first protein crystallography data set.

HWI scientist first in world to unravel structure of key breast cancer target enzyme
Most people know that breast cancer is the most common cancer among women affecting about 1 in 8 women in the United States and the second leading cause of cancer death in women, after lung cancer.

Repeat C-section before 39 weeks raises risk of neonatal illness
Women choosing repeat cesarean deliveries and having them at term but before completing 39 weeks gestation are up to two times more likely to have a baby with serious complications including respiratory distress resulting in mechanical ventilation and NICU admission.

To climate-change worries, add 1 more: Extended mercury threat
Mercury pollution has already spurred public health officials to advise eating less fish, but it could become a more pressing concern in a warmer world.

Director experience with acquisitions improves firm performance
A new study in Strategic Management Journal examines how the nature of outside directors' prior experience, and resulting expertise, will influence the performance of a firm's performance.

New year brings new hope to children born with cleft lip, palate
Building on a tradition of volunteering and philanthropy, members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons will usher in 2009 by demonstrating,

Researchers measure elusive repulsive force from quantum fluctuations
Researchers from Harvard University and the National Institutes of Health have measured, for the first time, a repulsive quantum mechanical force that could be harnessed and tailored for a wide range of new nanotechnology applications.

Scientists take off on historic mission to measure greenhouse gases that have an impact on climate
HIAPER, one of the nation's most advanced research aircraft, is scheduled to embark on an historic mission spanning the globe from the Arctic to the Antarctic.

NIH grants Phylonix Phase II SBIR to develop high-throughput in vivo zebrafish assays
Phylonix Pharmaceuticals Inc. today announced that it has been awarded a $1,250,369 Phase II Small Business Innovation Research Grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health to develop in vivo zebrafish assays for assessing drug effects on Cytochrome P450s.

Unique skeletal muscle design contributes to spine stability
The novel design of a deep muscle along the spinal column called the multifidus muscle may in fact be key to spinal support and a healthy back, according to researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine.

NO help: Nitric oxide monitoring does not help most children with asthma
A recent multicenter prospective study found that calibrating medications based on daily monitoring of the fractional exhaled nitric oxide and symptoms in asthmatic children showed no significant improvement over medicating based on daily symptom monitoring alone.

Human genomics in China
The latest special issue of Science in China Series C: Life Sciences focuses on the human genome project in China, and it coordinately explore the trend and goal of the future development of this academic discipline.

Penn State meteorologist to receive research award
Fuqing Zhang, professor of meteorology, Penn State, will be the sole recipient of the American Meteorological Society's 2009 Clarence Leroy Meisinger Award for promising atmospheric scientists who have recently shown outstanding ability and are under age 40 when nominated.

Scientists publish first ever evidence of asteroids with Earth-like crust
Two rare meteorites found in Antarctica two years ago are from a previously unknown, ancient asteroid with a crust similar in composition to that of Earth's continents, reports a research team primarily composed of geochemists from the University of Maryland.

China's food economy benefits small, poor farmers
One of the most significant changes in China's agricultural economy over the past 15 years has been the rise of horticulture.

Metabolic syndrome a risk for veterans with PTSD
Veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are more likely to have metabolic syndrome than veterans without PTSD, according to a study led by Pia Heppner, Ph.D., psychologist with the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Veterans Affairs of San Diego, VA Center of Excellence for Stress and Mental Health.

Destroying amyloid proteins with lasers
Researchers have found that a technique used to visualize amyloid fibers in the laboratory might have the potential to destroy them in the clinic.

Martian rock arrangement not alien handiwork
A new study published in the journal Geology explains how pebble-sized rocks organize themselves in evenly spaced patterns in sand. 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