Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 14, 2009
Physical activity, mood and serious mental illness
Indiana University researchers combined experience sampling during random signaling throughout the day with physical activity measures recorded on study participants' accelerometers.

Greening the Internet Economy
California Public Utilities Commission and UC San Diego host a conference, Jan.

New model system may better explain regulation of body weight
A new mathematical model of the physiological regulation of body weight suggests a potential mechanism underlying the difficulty of losing weight, one that includes aspects of two competing hypotheses of weight regulation.

Calories from home-cooked recipes grow over time
Research shows that calories in recipes have increased over time.

Exercise improves walking in peripheral arterial disease patients
Some 8 million people in the US have debilitating peripheral arterial disease, which impairs their ability to walk and robs them of life's simple pleasures.

Learning science in informal environments
Anyone who has visited a science museum, gone on a nature walk, or watched a science program on public television knows that one need not be in a classroom or lecture hall to learn about science.

Free-range chickens are more prone to disease
Chickens kept in litter-based housing systems, including free-range chickens, are more prone to disease than chickens kept in cages, according to a study published in BioMed Central's open access journal Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica.

Exoplanet atmospheres detected from earth
Two independent groups have simultaneously made the first-ever ground-based detection of extrasolar planets thermal emissions.

Telephone support after traffic accidents reduces problems and improves quality of life
People involved in road accidents were 35 percent less likely to complain of pain and discomfort if they received a follow-up phone call from a nurse three weeks after the incident.

Yale survey: Americans eager to reduce their energy use
Many Americans have already taken action to reduce their energy use and many others would do the same if they could afford to, according to a national survey conducted by Yale and George Mason universities.

Energy-efficient water purification made possible by Yale engineers
Water and energy are two resources on which modern society depends.

Paper refutes notion that eating a certain cereal will result in more male babies
Could eating cereal really make it more likely for someone to have a boy baby than a girl baby?

Study uses bone marrow stem cells to regenerate skin
A new study suggests that adult bone marrow stem cells can be used in the construction of artificial skin.

Web site design affects how children process information
A new study in the journal Psychology & Marketing investigates the influence of Web site design on children's information processing.

Einstein researchers discover a protein that amplifies cell death
Scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have identified a small intracellular protein that helps cells commit suicide.

Scientists uncover evolutionary keys to common birth disorders
The work of Forsyth scientist Peter Jezewski, D.D.S, Ph.D., has revealed that duplication and diversification of protein regions (

Biodiversity passes the taste test and is healthier too
Cattle and sheep grazed on natural grasslands help maintain biodiversity and produce tastier, healthier meat, according to a study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

University of Leicester archaeologist uncovers evidence of ancient chemical warfare
A researcher from the University of Leicester has identified what looks to be the oldest archaeological evidence for chemical warfare -- from Roman times.

Researchers identify new protein that triggers breast cancer
Canadian researchers have identified a new protein in the progression of breast cancer.

New drug holds out promise of normal diet for sufferers of devastating PKU genetic disease
A new pharmaceutical being developed by researchers at McGill University and the McGill University Health Centre -- along with colleagues at the Scripps Research Institute and BioMarin Pharmaceutical Inc.

Common soil mineral degrades the nearly indestructible prion
A team of Wisconsin researchers has found that a common soil mineral, an oxidized from of manganese known as birnessite, can penetrate the prion's armor and degrade the protein.

Pediatric vaccine effectively prevents pneumococcal meningitis
A standard pediatric vaccine used to prevent several common types of life-threatening infections also effectively reduced the rates of pneumococcal meningitis in children and adults, according to a University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine study published in the Jan.

Global financial crisis makes it vital for G8 to deliver on existing global health commitments
The global financial turmoil must not sway G8 nations from their existing commitments to global health or from their commitment to strengthen health systems, showcased at the Tokyo summit in July 2008.

Director of WPI's Metal Processing Institute elected to the Armenian Academy of Sciences
Diran Apelian, Howmet Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and founder of its Metal Processing Institute, has been elected a foreign member of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia.

Study finds that odors can alter gene expression in an olfactory neuron
In a study of how sensory neurons in the microscopic worm C. elegans process smell, researchers at University of California, Davis, have discovered the first evidence that a chemical in the environment changes gene expression within a sensory organ in its own specific way.

Economic status affects obesity rates in Mexican-American and white women
Obesity continues to increase for women in the United States, particularly among African-American and Mexican-American women.

Game of two halves leads to brain asymmetry
A tug-of-war between the two sides of the brain causes it to become asymmetrical, according to research published today in the journal Neuron.

Midlife coffee and tea drinking and the risk of late-life dementia
Midlife coffee drinking can decrease the risk of dementia/Alzheimer's disease later in life.

Bangladesh introduces new vaccine to prevent severe forms of child pneumonia and meningitis
Today, Bangladesh introduces a new combination vaccine that will protect its children against five killer diseases in one injection, including, for the first time, the deadly bacterium Haemophilus influenzae type b that causes some severe forms of pneumonia and meningitis.

Jumbo-sized discovery made in Malaysia
New data released today by the Wildlife Conservation Society and Malaysia's Department of Wildlife and National Parks reveals that a population of endangered Asian elephants living in a Malaysian park may be the largest in Southeast Asia.

New report on science learning at museums, zoos, other informal settings
Each year, tens of millions of Americans, young and old, choose to learn about science in informal ways by visiting museums and aquariums, attending after-school programs, pursuing personal hobbies and watching TV documentaries, for example.

NASA climate scientist honored by American Meteorological Society
NASA climate scientist James E. Hansen has been chosen by his peers to receive the 2009 Carl-Gustaf Rossby Research Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the American Meteorological Society.

Sandia adopts new agreement forms to allow universities/industry to use facilities
Sandia National Laboratories is adopting two new Department of Energy model agreements that will simplify the way universities and industry use the Labs facilities.

Biophysical Reviews makes debut in 2009
The International Union for Pure and Applied Biophysics and Springer will launch the journal Biophysical Reviews in spring 2009.

First ground-based detection of light from transiting exoplanets
This week, Astronomy & Astrophysics is publishing the first ground-based detections of thermal emission from transiting exoplanets.

Nations that sow food crops for biofuels may reap less than previously thought
Global yields of most biofuels crops, including corn, rapeseed and wheat, have been overestimated by 100 to 150 percent or more, suggesting many countries need to reset their expectations of agricultural biofuels to a more realistic level.

Study shows surgery provides good long-term outcomes for patients with gastrointestinal cancers
New research published in the January issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons shows that laparoscopic removal of gastrointestinal stromal tumors is safe and effective, with a disease-free survival rate of nearly 80 percent after an average follow-up time of three and a half years.

World breakthrough in treating premature babies
Adelaide researchers have made a world breakthrough in treating premature babies at risk of developmental disorders.

Morbidly obese patients face high risk for complications after colectomy
New research published in the January issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons shows that morbidly obese patients are at higher risk than normal weight patients for complications after colectomy -- surgical removal of all or part of the colon -- for the treatment of cancer.

Even stars get fat
Researchers have discovered evidence that blue stragglers in globular clusters, whose existence has long puzzled astronomers, are the result of

Alcohol exposure in the womb affects 'teenage' booze behavior
Rats whose mothers were fed alcohol during pregnancy are more attracted to the smell of liquor during puberty.

EPSRC Pioneers '09 Science Event, Olympia, March 4, 2009
Businesses will get the chance to access exciting cutting-edge research ideas at a major event being organized by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council on March 4, 2009.

'Stellar cannibalism' is key to formation of overweight stars
Researchers have discovered that the mysterious overweight stars known as blue stragglers are the result of

Study shows how defective DNA repair triggers 2 neurological diseases
Scientists at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have teased apart the biological details distinguishing two related neurological diseases -- ataxia telangiectasia-like disease and Nijmegen breakage syndrome.

Violence and values in the Middle East: Lebanon survey
As fighting continues in Gaza, a University of Michigan survey of neighboring Lebanon illuminates some of the values underlying the use of violence in the Middle East.

Mass privatization in communist countries increased male mortality throughout 1990s
The rapid and massive privatization of state assets that took place after the break-up of the Soviet Union was an important factor in the dramatic increase in death rates that followed the political transition in the early 1990s.

Results show surgical safety checklist drops deaths and complications by more than one third
An international pilot study involving the Toronto General Hospital, a teaching hospital affiliated with the University of Toronto, and other hospitals from around the world, has found that using a Surgical Patient Safety Checklist significantly reduces surgical complications and mortality.

MUHC and McGill scientists explain genetic disease first discovered in Quebec 24 years ago
Scientists at the MUHC and McGill University have identified a gene essential for the uptake of vitamin B12 in human cells.

Zebrafish journal publishes skin pigmentation studies that shed light on the evolution of race
A special series of papers in the peer-reviewed journal Zebrafish provides a comprehensive look at future directions of research on pigment biology

'Window into the brain' reveals deadly secrets of malaria
Looking at the retina in the eyes of patients with cerebral malaria has provided scientists with a vital insight into why malaria infection in the brain is so deadly.

Hospitals demonstrate surgical safety checklist drops deaths and complications by more than a third
Hospitals in eight cities around the globe demonstrated that the use of a simple surgical checklist during major operations can lower the incidence of deaths and complications by more than one third.

Nanotech in your vitamins
The ability of the Food and Drug Administration to regulate the safety of dietary supplements using nanomaterials is severely limited by lack of information, lack of resources and the agency's lack of statutory authority in certain critical areas, according to a new expert report released by the Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies.

Repressive protein plays unexpected role in odor adaptation
New research provides valuable insight into the molecular mechanisms that allow experience to influence behavior.

New tool could prevent needless stents and save money, Stanford cardiologist says
Doctors may be implanting too many artery-opening stents and could improve patient outcomes -- and ultimately save lives -- if they did more in-depth measurements of blood flow in the vessels to the heart.

Brain mechanisms of social conformity
New research reveals the brain activity that underlies our tendency to

Most support Alzheimer's research based on family consent
By the time they have been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, many patients' decision-making ability is so impaired that they cannot give informed consent to participate in research studies.

Deplorable medical conditions in Gaza
An editorial in this week's Lancet highlights the terrible medical conditions in Gaza, saying that the violence there is taking a terrible toll on civilian populations.

More chip cores can mean slower supercomputing, Sandia simulation shows
The multicore dilemma: More cores on a single chip don't necessarily mean faster clock speeds, a Sandia simulation has determined.

Study examines live birth rates following in vitro fertilization
When deciding whether or not to pursue IVF treatment, the obvious question of most patients is,

Early childhood diet may influence future health
Surprising new research by University of Calgary, faculty of kinesiology researcher Dr.

University of Toronto physicists resolve a paradox of quantum theory
University of Toronto quantum physicists Jeff Lundeen and Aephraim Steinberg have shown that Hardy's paradox, a proposal that has confounded physicists for over a decade, can be confirmed and ultimately resolved, a task which had seemingly been impossible to perform. 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