Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 13, 2009
The Association for Gerontology in Higher Education congratulates new fellows, awardees
The Association for Gerontology in Higher Education, the educational branch of the Gerontological Society of America, is proud to announce its 2009 fellows and awardees.

Teens with cancer present unique psychological issues
In a study of teens with cancer, Melissa Carpentier, Ph.D., of Indiana University School of Medicine, reports that aspects of dating relationships were significantly related to the teens' quality of life, distress and health behaviors.

Antibiotic resistance: A rising concern in marine ecosystems
A team of scientists, speaking today at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, called for new awareness of the potential for antibiotic-resistant illnesses from the marine environment, and pointed to the marine realm as a source for possible cures of those threats.

Researchers find new biomarker for fatal prostate cancer
New research findings out of Wake Forest University School of Medicine and the University of Wisconsin may help provide some direction for men diagnosed with prostate cancer about whether their cancer is likely to be life-threatening.

Pre-verbal number sense common to monkeys, babies, college kids
Elizabeth Brannon, an assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience at Duke University, studies how human adults and infants, lemurs, and monkeys think about numbers without using language.

UT Houston launches stem cell study for acute stroke patients
A first-of-its-kind stem cell study to treat acute stroke victims is being launched by investigators at The University of Texas Medical School at Houston.

Social support during breast-feeding helps humans have more children
The fact that human mothers have support from family while they're breast-feeding may be a key strategy that enables humans to reproduce more rapidly than other primates, new research suggests.

Tiny details in three dimensions
They are borne by ticks and can cause acute and chronic symptoms in joints, muscles and the nervous system -- the bacteria that cause Lyme borreliosis, which 80,000 people in Germany contract every year.

Tracking the digital traces of social networks
Northwestern University researchers have studied the massive online virtual world Second Life to test whether or not certain social theories are true.

IEEE-USA president praises Intel for investing in America
IEEE-USA President Gordon Day praises Intel for its decision to spend $7 billion over the next two years to build advanced manufacturing facilities in the United States.

Swimmers at public beaches show increased risk of exposure to contagious staph bacteria
University of Miami's Oceans and Human Health Center along with Florida DOH, CDC and EPA jointly sponsor a first-ever epidemiological study of sub-tropical ocean beaches and present preliminary findings at the AAAS meeting in Chicago.

When it comes to elephant love calls, the answer lies in a bone-shaking triangle
Caitlin O'Connell-Rodwell, an ecologist and consulting assistant professor in otolaryngology at Stanford University School of Medicine, has been studying elephant communication for more than 15 years.

Cheap love costs the Earth
Ecology and conservation biologist at the University of Leicester, Dr.

Device aims to decrease wait period for patients needing immunotherapy
Researchers from the Children's Cancer Hospital at the University of Texas M.

Arizona environmental economist says invasive species is part of the price of doing business
When the sun rides low on the horizon and winter chills wrap us all in down and fleece, global trade brings blueberries from South America, oranges from Israel.

Figuring out green power -- MSU scientists speed up discovery of plant metabolism genes
Michigan State University researchers are dramatically speeding up identification of genes that affect the structure and function of chloroplasts, which could lead to plants tailored specifically for biofuel production or delivering high levels of specific nutrients.

Tree lizard's quick release escape system makes jumpers turn somersaults
Lizards have the ultimate quick release escape system. When in a predator's grips, they drop their tails to escape.

Biofuels, like politics, are local
Field work and computer simulations in Michigan and Wisconsin are helping biofuels researchers understand the basics of getting home-grown energy from the field to consumers.

Male fertility expert Marvin Meistrich elected AAAS Fellow
Illuminating the molecular details of normal sperm development, demonstrating how chemotherapy or radiation can leave a man or boy sterile, and pursuing ways to restore fertility have earned a major honor for a scientist at the University of Texas M.

Unrelated and mismatched cord blood transplantation can still help children with deadly conditions
An unrelated cord blood transplant, even from a mismatched donor, can be effective in treating children with a host of life-threatening diseases and disorders including cancer, sickle cell anemia, and other genetic diseases, according to researchers in the Duke Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program.

Genetic differences between yeasts greater than those between humans and chimpanzees
There may be greater genetic variation between different yeasts of the same species than between humans and chimpanzees.

Texas researchers provide emissions data for livestock industry
A group of Texas-based researchers provided answers for the nation's cattle feeding industry after it was given a very short window by the US Environmental Protection Agency to begin reporting ammonia and hydrogen sulfide emissions.

Findings raise new questions about evolution of hormones in mammals
The recent developments of noninvasive techniques such as tracking mammals to gather feces, and sensitive assays for fecal hormone metabolites, have allowed the formulation of a more complete picture of the relationships among behavior, social systems and hormone function in mammals in the wild -- sometimes contradicting findings in the lab.

Duke ecologist preaches 'natural' security for homeland defense
Global society is undergoing rapid political and socioeconomic changes, to which our security measures must adapt.

The science suggests access to nature is essential to human health
Considerable research supports the idea that nature is essential to the physical, psychological and social well-being of the human animal.

What is a virus? Research suggests a broader definition may be needed
The strange interaction of a parasitic wasp, the caterpillar in which it lays its eggs and a virus that helps it overcome the caterpillar's immune defenses has some scientists rethinking the definition of a virus.

New surgical option for wrist arthritis
Breaking a fall, such as a tumble on the sidewalk, with your hands and wrists is everyone's natural reflex.

Nanogenerators produce electricity from running rodents and tapping fingers
Could hamsters help solve the world's energy crisis? Probably not, but a hamster wearing a power-generating jacket is doing its own small part to provide a new and renewable source of electricity.

Periodontitis and myocardial infarction: A shared genetic predisposition
A mutual epidemiological relationship between aggressive periodontitis and myocardial infarction has already been shown in the past.

Study provides additional evidence that potato chips should be eaten in moderation
A new study published in the March 2009 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition by Marek Naruszewicz and colleagues from Poland suggests that acrylamide from foods may increase the risk of heart disease.

New resource for teachers, public on how to recognize science when you see it
How does science work? While scientists are often hard put to explain the process, a new resource called

Strength through diversity
Tiny light-emitting diodes with optical microsystems that can produce all the colors of the rainbow, a new method for producing printed circuit boards -- Fraunhofer researchers are showing innovative developments at the nano tech 2009 exhibition in Japan.

The remarkable story of research on Jupiter's Moon 'Europa'
Unmasking Europa describes in clear but technically accurate terms -- and with extensive illustrations -- the remarkable history of research on Jupiter's Moon Europa over the last four decades.

UK leading the way in corneal research
Extremely intense X-rays from Diamond - the UK's national synchrotron - are helping to advance research into the understanding and treatment of eye diseases.

4 NASA Goddard scientists named 2009 elected AGU Fellows
Four scientists at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. have been named Fellows of the American Geophysical Union.

Gladstone scientists reveal that fat synthesizing enzyme is key to healthy skin and hair
Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes of Cardiovascular Disease have found that an enzyme associated with the synthesis of fat in the body is also an element in healthy skin and hair.

Research suggests pollution-related asthma may start in the womb
Children born in areas with increased traffic-related pollution may be at greater risk of developing asthma due to genetic changes acquired in the womb, according to new research from the University of Cincinnati and Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.

Bioenergy scientists to discuss latest innovations at conference in Washington, D.C., March 10-13
Scientists from all over the United States -- who study how to make sustainable bioenergy products -- will meet at the Sun Grant Initiative Energy Conference, March 10-12, in Washington, D.C.

Following peanut product recall, six in ten Americans taking steps to reduce risk of sickness
A new national survey conducted by the Harvard Opinion Research Program at the Harvard School of Public Health finds that the vast majority (93 percent) of Americans have heard or read about the recent ongoing recall of peanut products.

Intelligent home environment
Many aging people would like to live independently as long as possible within their own homes.

Seeing the forest and the trees helps cut atmospheric carbon dioxide
Putting a price tag on carbon dioxide emitted by different land use practices could dramatically change the way that land is used, according to research presented today at the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting.

Molecular motors in cells work together, study shows
Molecular motors, the little engines that power cell mobility and the ability of cells to transport internal cargo, work together and in close coordination, according to a new finding by researchers at the University of Virginia.

Stronger effort needed to prevent mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders in young people
The federal government should make preventing mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders and promoting mental health in young people a national priority, says a new report from the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine.

Breaking the barrier: Discovery of anti-resistance factors and novel ocean drugs
Investigations into coral disease, red tides and other marine environmental issues have led to discoveries of new chemicals as a source for pharmaceuticals.

Village bird study highlights loss of wildlife knowledge from one
Our ability to conserve and protect wildlife is at risk because we are unable to accurately gauge how our environment is changing over time, says new research out today in Conservation Letters.

The law of the weakest
Researchers of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munchen have shown in computer simulations that in a cyclical competition of three species, it is nearly always the weakest species that comes out as victor -- while the other two are condemned to extinction.

Nanoscopic changes to pancreatic cells reveal cancer
A team of researchers in Chicago has developed a way to examine cell biopsies and detect never-before-seen signs of early-stage pancreatic cancer, according to a new paper in the Optical Society journal Optics Letters.

AAAS Symposium: Emerging threats to tropical, temperate and ocean ecosystems
Three conservation scientists describe new threats and research needs for tropical, temperate and ocean ecosystems.

What biology and evolution can teach us about our safety: A tribute to Darwin
What do biology and evolution teach us about our own security?

X-ray eyes bring us closer to early diagnosis of Parkinson's disease
It is estimated that 4 million people world-wide are suffering from Parkinson's, a complex disease that varies greatly among affected individuals.

Researchers: Guillain-Barre syndrome after HPV vaccine needs monitoring
The HPV vaccine does not increase the risk of developing Guillain-Barre syndrome, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 61st Annual Meeting in Seattle, April 25 - May 2, 2009.

Engineers create intelligent molecules that seek-and-destroy diseased cells
Current treatments for diseases like cancer typically destroy nasty malignant cells, while also hammering the healthy ones.

AAAS Annual Meeting speakers report some success stories from marine science
Doom and gloom has become such a standard refrain when discussing the state of ocean ecosystems that it is easy to forget that some real progress is being made, says Jeremy B.

Diamond's latest results mark the first step towards a world reclassification of viruses
Prof. Dave Stuart, Director of Life Sciences at Diamond -- the UK national synchrotron -- and head of the Structural Biology Laboratory at Oxford's Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics will unveil the structure of a biological protein from the vaccinia virus at the prestigious American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago.

African initiative trains students, explores geophysical mysteries
Earthquakes, volcanoes and the African superplume are only some of the phenomena under investigation through AfricaArray, a program that establishes geophysical observatories, trains African and American students and examines geophysical phenomena on the African continent.

Are people smarter than pigeons? AAAS Annual Meeting speakers report on animals with 'social smarts'
Emerging evolutionary studies are revealing that animals have

Animals successfully relearn smell of kin after hibernation
Animals can re-establish their use of smell to detect siblings, even following an interruption such as prolonged hibernation.

AGI releases the report 'Status of the Geoscience Workforce: K-12 through Community College'
The American Geological Institute Workforce Program has completed the report

Quantum twist: Electrons mimic presence of magnetic field
An international team of scientists led by a Princeton University group recently discovered that on the surface of certain materials collective arrangements of electrons move in ways that mimic the presence of a magnetic field where none is present.

Dealing with taxonomic uncertainty for threatened and endangered species
As part of a symposium on
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