Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 16, 2009
Slight changes in climate may trigger abrupt ecosystem responses
Slight changes in climate may trigger major abrupt ecosystem responses that are not easily reversible.

NYU scientist receives DOE's massive computing project award to develop magnetic fusion energy
Choong-Seock Chang, a research professor at New York University's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, has received a US Department of Energy award to carry out ultra large-scale computation using the Cray XT supercomputer at the department's Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

Pre-emptive treatment helped curtail skin toxicity with panitumumab
With a pre-emptive, prophylactic skin regimen, patients who receive panitumumab for treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer may be able to avoid some of the skin-associated toxicities according to data presented at the 2009 American Society of Clinical Oncology Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium.

Astronomers find dust around a primitive star
Astronomers have found evidence to suggest that during the early stages of the universe, cosmic dust -- the building block for the formation of planets and life throughout the cosmos -- was partially created by the gradual death of carbon stars, dispelling theories that it comes solely from stars that have exploded.

Scientists find new structural motif in key enzymes is essential to prevent autoimmune disease
Scientists from the Scripps Research Institute and the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation have found a specific mutation that leads to the development of severe autoimmune kidney disease in mice.

Neurons show sex-dependent changes during starvation
Researchers found that nutrient deprivation of neurons produced sex-dependent effects.

Report calls aerosol research key to improving climate predictions
Scientists need a more detailed understanding of how human-produced atmospheric particles, called aerosols, affect climate in order to produce better predictions of Earth's future climate, according to a NASA-led report issued by the US Climate Change Science Program on Friday.

NYU'S Naor wins 2008 Salem Prize
Assaf Naor, an associate professor at New York University's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, has been awarded the 2008 Salem Prize for his contributions to the structural theory of metric spaces and their applications to computer science.

Arctic heats up more than other places
Temperature change in the Arctic is happening at a greater rate than other places in the Northern Hemisphere, and this is expected to continue.

Canada-US scientists discover gene responsible for brain's aging
According to a new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, a research team from the Universite de Montreal, Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has identified a gene that controls the normal and pathological aging of neurons in the central nervous system: Bmi1.

Blumberg to discuss currents and tides of Long Island Sound
Dr. Alan F. Blumberg, Director of the Center for Maritime Systems at Stevens Institute of Technology, will present a lecture, Feb.

Swiss and Dutch health systems provide lessons for US on achieving universal coverage
A new Commonwealth Fund study says that policies in the Switzerland and Netherlands that achieve near-universal coverage and low administrative costs can help inform the US health-care reform debate.

JDRF-funded researchers discover proteins regulating human beta cell replication
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, funded by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, have discovered that adult beta cells have the ability to replicate with the help of a protein known as cdk6.

Why you can't hurry love
Scientists have developed a mathematical model of the mating game to help explain why courtship is often protracted.

Free antibiotics: The wrong prescription for cold and flu season
With an epidemic of antibiotic-resistant infections growing, experts are warning grocery-store pharmacies that antibiotics giveaways are an unhealthy promotional gimmick.

Leading research agencies announce new international competition: 'The Digging Into Data Challenge'
Today, a new, international competition called the

Key protein that may cause cancer cell death identified
A human protein called Bax-beta (Baxβ), which can potentially cause the death of cancer cells and lead to new approaches in cancer treatment, has been identified and characterized.

Enhanced gas yield and storage of greenhouse gas
On Jan. 15-16, more than 70 scientists came together at the GFZ German Research Center for Geosciences for the start of the project CLEAN (CO2 Largescale EGR in the Altmark Natural-Gas Field).

Kick-off for the International Year of Astronomy 2009
Astronomers from around the world have gathered in Paris for the start of the International Year of Astronomy 2009 (IYA2009), the largest network ever for sharing the wonders of the universe with the public.

Coastal barrier island researchers learn lessons from Ike destruction
More than 20 coastal barrier island researchers came to Galveston Island in early January -- from New England, the Pacific coast and all points between where ocean meets US soil.

2 Samoans selected as interns in new US Forest Service program
The US Forest Service's Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry has named Fa'afo'i Tony Maugalei and John Ah Sue as interns in its Professional Internships in Pacific Terrestrial Island Ecosystem Management program.

Salt reduction may offer cardioprotective effects beyond blood pressure reduction
Decreasing one's sodium intake can improve blood vessel health and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, along with many other health benefits.

Dartmouth researchers identify potential cancer target
Dartmouth Medical School researchers have found two proteins that work in concert to ensure proper chromosome segregation during cell division.

Prasad to present paper at India Aeronautics International Conference
Stevens Institute of Technology Professor Dr. Marehalli G. (MG) Prasad has been invited to give a presentation on his recent findings on noise reduction for the aircraft industry during the AERO INDIA 2009: International Seminar on Aerospace-Perspectives and Trends in Technologies.

Scientists glean new insights into convection in planets and stars
A new study by UCLA planetary scientists and their colleagues in Germany overturns a longstanding scientific tenet and provides new insights into how convection controls much of what we observe on planets and stars.

3 Palauans selected as interns in new US Forest Service program
The US Forest Service's Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry has named Uelbil Puanani Michael, Omekrael Sadang and Sheldon Siksei as interns in its Professional Internships in Pacific Terrestrial Island Ecosystem Management program.

Spallation Neutron Source gets initial go-ahead on second target
The US Department of Energy has given its initial approval to begin plans for a second target station for the Spallation Neutron Source, expanding what is already the world's most powerful pulsed neutron scattering facility located at DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

New infant feeding and obesity research adds insight to ongoing issue
Dr. David Barker's research, featured in the February edition of the Journal of Nutrition, finds that the protective effect of breastfeeding on obesity disappears by age 7.

Brown researchers work out structure of TIGAR, a possible cancer flag
Brown University researchers Hua Li and Gerwald Jogl have determined the three-dimensional structure of TIGAR, an enzyme whose presence in the body can warn doctors that cancer may follow.

2 Pohnpeians selected as interns in new US Forest Service program
The US Forest Service's Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry has named Fa'afo'i Tony Maugalei and John Ah Sue as interns in its Professional Internships in Pacific Terrestrial Island Ecosystem Management program.

Progress made in understanding causes and treatment of endometriosis
Endometriosis is a poorly understood chronic disease characterized by infertility and chronic pelvic pain during intercourse.

Evolutionary process more detailed than previously believed, study shows
New evidence from a study of yeast cells has resulted in the most detailed picture of an organism's evolutionary process to date, says a Texas A&M University chemical engineering professor whose findings provide the first direct evidence of aspects, which up until now have remained mostly theory.

Weill Cornell science briefs: December 2008-January 2009
Weill Cornell Science Briefs is an electronic newsletter published by the Office of Public Affairs that focuses on innovative medical research and patient care at Weill Cornell Medical College and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

Players love the game not the gore
The next time a loved one brandishes a virtual shotgun in their favorite video game, take heart.

David Rose to present Howe School lecture on new technologies and business models, Jan. 29
Internationally known technology expert David S. Rose will present a lecture at Stevens Institute of Technology, Jan.

Charles Drew University executive vice president selected to be Research!America ambassador
Research!America honored Dr. Keith C. Norris, the executive vice president for Research and Health Affairs at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, by naming him an

Fishdunnit! Mystery solved
In a new article in Science, an international team of scientists has solved a mystery that has puzzled marine chemists for decades.

Seasonal variation in blood pressure
A French study reported in the Jan. 12 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine has found a strong correlation between blood pressure and outdoor temperature in a large sample of the elderly.

UC Davis researchers seek to map the brain patterns of Alzheimer's disease
Researchers at UC Davis have launched an innovative study to determine whether closer examination of magnetic resonance imaging scans can detect the onset of Alzheimer's disease even before patients begin to show the symptoms of cognitive decline that are the hallmarks of the condition.

Is there a relationship between sleep-wake rhythm and diabetes?
An international research team with German participation including Helmholtz Zentrum München, among other institutions, has succeeded in identifying a new gene variant which is associated with elevated fasting glucose levels and a high risk for type 2 diabetes.

UGA study may give hope that ivory-billed woodpeckers still around
Until credible sightings popped up three years ago, the scientific world was in agreement that ivory-billed woodpeckers had gone the way of the dodo.

African-Americans have worse prognosis at colorectal cancer diagnosis
African-American patients with colorectal were more likely to present with worse pathological features at diagnosis and to have a worse five-year survival rate compared to Caucasian patients, according to a study conducted by researchers at Thomas Jefferson University.

3 Kosraeans selected as interns in new US Forest Service programs
The US Forest Service's Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry has named Maximilian Nithan, Jacob Sanney, and Rickson Johnithan as interns in its Professional Internships in Pacific Terrestrial Island Ecosystem Management program.

Postnatal depression can possibly be prevented drug-free
A heart-to-heart chat with a peer has proven an effective way to prevent postnatal depression in high risk women, cutting the risk of depression by 50 percent, according to a University of Toronto nursing study published in BMJ Online today. 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