Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 06, 2009
Amid rising childhood obesity, preschoolers found to be inactive
A study of children enrolled at 24 community-based preschool programs finds that preschoolers are inactive for much of their preschool day, with 89 percent of physical activity characterized as sedentary.

Host shift triggers cascading effect on ecosystem, research finds
A major cause for biodiversity may be biodiversity itself, says evolutionary ecologist Andrew Forbes of the University of California, Davis, whose newly published research shows that when the apple maggot shifted hosts from the hawthorn to the apple, that triggered a cascading effect on the ecosystem.

First North American antenna enables next phase in ALMA Observatory
The first of twenty-five North American antennas has been formally accepted by the Joint ALMA Observatory in Chile.

National Academy of Engineering elects 65 members and 9 foreign associates
The National Academy of Engineering has elected 65 new members and nine foreign associates.

Famous fossil Lucy scanned at the University of Texas at Austin
Researchers at the University of Texas at Austin, in collaboration with the Ethiopian government, have completed the first high-resolution CT scan of the world's most famous fossil, Lucy, an ancient human ancestor who lived 3.2 million years ago.

Interest in Texas wheat improves as quality goes up
Finding out what the customer wants and then working toward that goal is paying off for Texas wheat producers, according to a Texas AgriLife Research wheat breeder.

It's the hard work that fosters responsibility in teen programs
Researchers surveying more than 100 high schoolers involved in 11 different summer and after-school programs find that it's not the fun and games of these programs but the tough tasks -- those that ask young people to make sacrifices and do difficult things for the good of the group -- that are most likely to foster responsibility and self-discipline.

Long-sought protein structure may help reveal how 'gene switch' works
The bacterium behind one of mankind's deadliest scourges, tuberculosis, is helping researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and Brookhaven National Laboratory move closer to answering the decades-old question of what controls the switching on and off of genes that carry out all of life's functions.

US science education organization updates analysis
A revamped edition examines the media, polls, new legal challenges, intelligent design in the courts and more.

Wireless drug control
Electronic implants that dispense medicines automatically or via a wireless medical network are on the horizon.

NOAA-N Prime environmental satellite successfully launched
A new environmental satellite that will improve weather forecasting and monitor environmental events around the world soared into space this morning after a picture-perfect launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif.

Complete Genomics releases proof-of-concept data for its sequencing technology for the first time
Mountain View, California-based Complete Genomics, Inc. released proof-of-concept data for its human genome sequencing technology for the first time yesterday evening.

Cracking a controversial solid state mystery
Scientists can easily explain the structural order that makes steel and aluminium out of molten metal.

Losing weight can cure obstructive sleep apnea in overweight patients
For sufferers of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a new study shows that losing weight is perhaps the single most effective way to reduce OSA symptoms and associated disorders, according to a new study in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, one of the American Thoracic Society's three journals.

Do children understand how feelings affect school performance?
A new study of 70 five-, six- and seven-year-old children and adults finds that children -- like adults -- understand that negative emotions can cause poor school performance and that levels of interest, effort and classroom noise can also affect performance.

Good news: Teenagers found willing to help their parents
New research examines teenagers' and parents' feelings when it comes to young people's obligations to help their parents in everyday situations when requests clash with personal desires.

New genes involved in acute lymphoblastic leukemia play fundamental role in prognosis of the disease
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Penn study shows how electronic medical records can be used to test drug efficacy
Implications for circumventing studies too costly or unethical for clinical trial.

NSF-funded workshops help young researchers teach science
Early career scientists will leave the lab this summer to apply their scientific skills to effective teaching, at workshops held around the country by Michigan State University and partners.

9 institutions officially sign agreement for 25-meter Giant Magellan Telescope
The Giant Magellan Telescope Corporation is pleased to announce that nine astronomical research organizations from three continents have signed the Founders' Agreement to construct and operate the 25-meter Giant Magellan Telescope at Las Campanas Observatory in the Andes Mountains of Chile.

Team led by Scripps Scientists increases understanding of two types of blindness
A collaborative team of scientists from the Scripps Research Institute and other institutions has shed light on the causes of and potential treatment for two blinding conditions known as macular telangiectasia and retinal angiomatous proliferation, types of macular degeneration.

Routine scans for low-back pain do not improve outcomes
Physicians should not immediately order routine scans for low-back pain unless they observe features of a serious underlying condition, researchers in the Oregon Evidence-Based Practice Center at Oregon Health & Science University report.

Canada-wide study on slow progressors to investigate new treatments for HIV
As part of a nation-wide investigation, a team of researchers will work to develop new strategies to fight AIDS.

First North American antenna enables the ALMA Observatory to do its thing
Astronomers today celebrated the formal acceptance of the first North American antenna by the Joint ALMA Observatory.

Two UCLA faculty members elected to National Academy of Engineering
Two faculty members from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

New guideline for prescribing opioid pain drugs published
A national panel of national pain management experts has published the first comprehensive, evidence-based clinical practice guideline to assist clinicians in prescribing potent opioid pain medications for patients with chronic non-cancer pain.

Suicidal thoughts in Army vets 'under the radar,' says specialist
University at Buffalo researcher John Violanti, Ph.D., a specialist in suicide among police officers, is preparing to conduct a study on suicide risk among returning veterans.

How to think like a mathematician
Mathematicians are often considered to be a world apart, more Archimedes than average Joe.

Nine leading researchers join Stephen Hawking as distinguished research chairs at PI
This significant event in the field of science business involves an international roster of renowned scientists committing to new Distinguished Research Chairs at Canada's Perimeter Institute

Young teens really are shortsighted, but don't blame impulsivity
A study of 900 ethnically and socially diverse people ages 10-30 uses a questionnaire and experimental task called delay discounting to show that teens are shortsighted more due to immaturity in the brain systems that govern sensation seeking than to immaturity in the brain systems responsible for self-control.

Effects of smoking linked to accelerated aging protein
A University of Iowa study is apparently the first to make a connection between a rare, hereditary premature aging disease and cell damage that comes from smoking.

OCRF and GCF fund new ovarian cancer symptoms study
Today, the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF), in partnership with the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation (GCF), announced that Barbara Goff, M.D., Director of Gynecologic Oncology at the University of Washington, has been named to lead the OCRF Ovarian Cancer Symptoms Study.

Accidental discovery has potential for new applications in packaging
A recent discovery at Case Western Reserve University may help keep food and drugs safer and fresher longer and electronic equipment dryer and more secure than ever before -- all at a lower cost.

Efficacy of stents is improved when their placement is determined by arterial blood flow measurement
Reperfusion therapy in the form of percutaneous coronary intervention is now the recommended first treatment for victims of acute myocardial infarction.

Case Western Reserve research finds that the lack of specific gene plays role in autism
It is estimated that three to six out of every 1,000 children in the United States have autism - and the number of diagnosed cases is rising. 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