Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 25, 2009
Health experts urge supermarket pharmacies to 'get smart' about free antibiotics
As influenza season shifts into high gear, with 24 states now reporting widespread activity, the nation's infectious diseases experts are urging supermarket pharmacies with free-antibiotics promotions to educate their customers on when antibiotics are the right prescription -- and when they can do more harm than good.

UB-designed ventilator can safely sedate ICU patients for less
A new, recently licensed medical device developed by University at Buffalo researchers would introduce into intensive care settings the powerful and effective method of anesthetizing patients that works so well in the operating room.

Media coverage affects perceptions of climate change
Climate change will not be taken seriously until the media highlights its significance, say researchers at the University of Liverpool.

Naturally produced estrogen may protect women from Parkinson's disease
Women who have more years of fertility (the time from first menstruation to menopause) have a lower risk of developing Parkinson's disease than women with fewer years, according to a large, new study by researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.

Political rhetoric divides Danes and immigrants
Over the last 30 years politicians have grouped Danes and Muslim immigrants into

Random antenna arrays boost emergency communications
First responders could boost their radio communications quickly at a disaster site by setting out just four extra transmitters in a random arrangement to significantly increase the signal power at the receiver, according to theoretical analyses, simulations and proof-of-concept experiments performed at NIST.

First Lithosphere media highlights -- February 2009
The premier issue of the Geological Society of America's newest journal, Lithosphere, is now available.

Addiction: Insights from Parkinson's disease
A new comprehensive review by researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University and the University of Cambridge, England, provides vital insights into the neurological basis of addiction by investigating Parkinson's disease patients, who in some instances develop various addictions when undergoing medical treatment.

Researchers win award for best clinical paper in orthopedic physical therapy
University of Delaware researchers have won the American Physical Therapy Association's award for the best clinical paper in orthopedics published in 2008.

Stages of sleep have distinct influence on process of learning and memory
Research on the sleeping brain has revealed some fascinating stage-dependent interactions between areas involved in formation and storage of long term memories.

AGU 2009 Joint Assembly in Toronto, Canada: News media registration and hotel booking open
News media registration and hotel booking at special rates are now open for AGU's 2009 Joint Assembly in Toronto, Canada.

Updated recommendations for protecting wireless, remote access data
Telecommuting has freed many to work far from the confines of the office via laptop, but the price of working from a cafe table is the danger that a public network will not keep the data that passes through it safe.

New cause of critical illness hypeglycemia identified
The endocrinologic basis of pediatric critical illness hypergylcemia differs depending on the disease processes.

Models present new view of nanoscale friction
Friction is a force that affects any application where moving parts come into contact; the more surface contact there is, the stronger the force.

La Jolla Institute signs exclusive license agreement with Medimmune on major asthma discovery
A major asthma discovery by a researcher at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology has been licensed by MedImmune, a leading innovation-focused biotechnology company and wholly owned subsidiary of AstraZeneca PLC.

World economic recession won't jeopardize the Square Kilometer Array
Delegates at the SKA Forum in Cape Town agreed that the Square Kilometre Array project presents a unique opportunity to invest in critical science infrastructure and skills.

UMMS researchers publish DNA identification of czar's children
The final DNA analysis of recently unearthed remains identify the missing members of the family of Nicholas II, the last czar of Russia, murdered in 1918.

Predicting risk of stroke from one's genetic blueprint
The ability to predict a person's lifelong risk of stroke would allow clinicians to advise individuals at high risk.

Being a fair sportsman: Ethical decision making a shot at doping prevention?
A new study, which is being funded by the World Anti-Doping Agency from 2009 until 2011, will analyze the effectiveness of a new approach in doping prevention focusing on ethical training.

Certified teachers + modern instruction = better public school math scores
In another

Brain encodes complex plumes of odors with a simple code
In the real world, odors don't happen one puff at a time.

13,000 Clovis-era tool cache unearthed in Colorado shows evidence of camel, horse butchering
A biochemical analysis of a rare Clovis-era stone tool cache recently unearthed in the city limits of Boulder, Colo., indicates some of the implements were used to butcher ice-age camels and horses that roamed North America until their extinction about 13,000 years ago, according to a University of Colorado at Boulder study.

Researchers show small robots can prepare lunar surface for NASA outpost
Small robots the size of riding mowers could prepare a safe landing site for NASA's Moon outpost, according to a NASA-sponsored study prepared by Astrobotic Technology Inc. with technical assistance from Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute.

NEXT, the most ambitious project ever undertaken in Europe for developing machinery of the future
The Basque technological center, Fatronik-Tecnalia, is leading the NEXT (Next Generation Production Systems' project), within the VI European R+D Framework Program.

Diets that reduce calories lead to weight loss, regardless of carbohydrate, protein or fat content
In a randomized clinical trial led by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and Pennington Biomedical Research Center of the Louisiana State University System, a comparison of overweight participants assigned to four different diets over a two-year period showed that reducing calories achieved weight loss regardless of whether carbohydrate, protein or fat content was emphasized.

Big-hearted fish reveals genetics of cardiovascular condition
Researchers have found that a human vascular condition called cerebral cavernous malformation is caused by leaky junctions between cells in the lining of blood vessels.

Argonne scientists pinpoint mechanism to increase magnetic response of ferromagnetic semiconductor
When squeezed, electrons increase their ability to move around. In compounds such as semiconductors and electrical insulators, such squeezing can dramatically change the electrical- and magnetic-properties.

Crab claws pack strengthening bromide-rich biomaterial
Next time you have an unlucky encounter with a crab's pincers, consider that the claw tips may be reinforced with bromine-rich biomaterial 1.5 times harder than acrylic glass and extremely fracture resistant, says a University of Oregon scientist.

NIST and French lab to study weathering of advanced composites for bridges and piers
NIST has signed an agreement to collaborate with the French National Scientific and Technological Institute to investigate the use of fiber-reinforced polymer composites in high-strength, civil-infrastructure applications such as wind turbines or bridges and piers.

Vanderbilt scientists invent world's smallest periscopes
A team of Vanderbilt scientists have invented the world's smallest version of the periscope and are using it to look at cells and other microorganisms from several sides at once.

Caltech scientists find evidence for precise communication across brain areas during sleep
By listening in on the chatter between neurons in various parts of the brain, researchers from the California Institute of Technology have taken steps toward fully understanding just how memories are formed, transferred and ultimately stored in the brain -- and how that process varies throughout the various stages of sleep.

Heart-healthy, low-cal diets promote weight loss regardless of fat, protein and carb content
Heart-healthy diets that reduce calorie intake -- regardless of differing proportions of fat, protein, or carbohydrate -- can help overweight and obese adults achieve and maintain weight loss.

Brain mechanism recruited to reduce noise during challenging tasks
New research reveals a sophisticated brain mechanism that is critical for filtering out irrelevant signals during demanding cognitive tasks.

Winners of Tyler environmental prize announced
Two scientists, from Penn State and Scripps, who found warning signs of climate change in the upper atmosphere and in the deepest ice sheets will share the 2009 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement.

Yale researchers find new piece in Alzheimer's puzzle
Yale researchers have filled in a missing gap on the molecular road map of Alzheimer's disease.

Economy could reduce colorectal cancer screening rate
Even in the best economic environment, only half of the people who need colorectal cancer screening receive the life-saving test.

Study analyzes 2006 California heat wave's substantial effect on morbidity
An extreme heat wave affected much of the state of California during mid- to late July 2006, breaking daily maximum temperature records in many regions of the State.

Scientists eavesdrop on the exciting conversations within cells
Scientists have discovered the secrets of a sophisticated molecule that plays a role in many aspects of human health from fertility to blood pressure; digestion to mental health.

Cross-dressing rubidium may reveal clues for exotic computing
Researchers at the NIST/UMd Joint Quantum Institute have learned how to

Researchers capture wave of brain activity linked to anticipation
Neuroscientists at Georgetown University Medical Center have, for the first time, shown what brain activity looks like when someone anticipates an action or sensory input which soon follows.

Liver tumors associated with metabolic syndrome differ from other tumors
A new study suggests that the metabolic response to obesity and insulin resistance, particularly as it pertains to the liver, differs among ethnic groups in the US African-Americans are more resistant to the buildup of fat in the abdominal adipose tissue and liver, and to high triglyceride levels associated with insulin resistance.

Scripps research scientists develop general-purpose method for detecting trace chemicals
A team of scientists at the Scripps Research Institute has developed a method of sensitively detecting specific chemicals in the laboratory -- a discovery that may lead to a host of new ways to monitor a variety of chemicals in nature.

Into the eye of the helix
A deep new image of the magnificent Helix planetary nebula has been obtained using the Wide Field Imager at ESO's La Silla Observatory.

Study examining role of genetics and environment in type 1 diabetes
Another 200 newborns in Georgia and Florida with high-risk genes for type 1 diabetes will be enrolled over the next year in a long-term study to determine how genetics and environment cause the disease.

European satellites provide new insight into ozone-depleting species
Using data from the satellite-based MIPAS and GOME-2 instruments, scientists have for the first time detected important bromine species in the atmosphere.

Dust factory in a dead star
Interstellar space dust from a dead star identified by a research team led by the University of Nottingham could unlock some of the mysteries of the early universe.

AGU journal highlights -- Feb. 25, 2009
Featured in this release are research papers on the following topics:

Study predicts when invasive species can travel more readily by air
Global airlines be forewarned: June 2010 could be a busy month for invasive plants, insects and animals seeking free rides to distant lands.

New orthopaedic society launched to promote research, use of biologic treatments
Recognizing the potential of regenerative medical technology to treat musculoskeletal disorders, internationally-renowned scientists have formed a new society for collaborative research and dissemination of information.

Reproductive factors may protect women from Parkinson's disease
A large new study provides evidence that longer exposure to the body's own hormones may protect women from Parkinson's disease.

Compounds that trigger beta cell replication identified by JDRF funded researchers
Researchers at the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation have identified a set of compounds that can trigger the proliferation of insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, using sophisticated high-throughput screening techniques.

Nanotechnologists gain powerful new materials probe
Researchers at NIST and The Johns Hopkins University have constructed a unique tool for exploring the properties of promising new materials with unprecedented sensitivity and speed, potentially allowing them to identify quickly those most useful for nanotechnology and industrial applications.

Scientists find gene that modifies severity of cystic fibrosis lung disease
Researchers have discovered a gene that modifies the severity of lung disease in people with the lethal genetic condition, cystic fibrosis, pointing to possible new targets for treatment, according to a new study in Nature.

GUMC young scientist selected postdoc Fellow at National Space Biomedical Research Institute
The National Space Biomedical Research Institute has selected Daniela Trani, Ph.D., of Georgetown University Medical Center as one of four young investigators in the nation for its 2008-2010 Postdoctoral Fellowship Program.

Rush University Medical Center experts present latest research findings at AAOS meeting
Leading orthopedic surgeons and other clinicians from Rush University Medical Center are presenting new basic and clinical research findings at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons annual meeting in Las Vegas, Nev., on Feb.

Ethnic differences found for fatty liver disease and insulin resistance
A new study suggests that the metabolic response to obesity and insulin resistance, particularly as it pertains to the liver, differs among ethnic groups in the US African-Americans are more resistant to the buildup of fat in the abdominal adipose tissue and liver, and to high triglyceride levels associated with insulin resistance.

Physical therapy is effective for management of low-back pain
A new review article published in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons should help convince many patients with low back pain to consider physical therapy as a first line of treatment for their condition, according to the American Physical Therapy Association.

Boston University School of Medicine receives grant
Boston University School of Medicine has received an initial grant of $260,000 from the Lincy Foundation to support a curriculum development project at the Yerevan State Medical University in Armenia.

New ASCO/AUA guideline recommends men and their doctors discuss using 5-ARIs to reduce prostate cancer risk
A newly released joint guideline produced by the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Urological Association recommends that healthy men who are screened regularly for prostate cancer and show no symptoms of the disease should talk to their doctors about using a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor (5-ARI) to prevent the disease.

Reversing ecology reveals ancient environments
Stanford researchers with collaborators at Tel-Aviv University have now laid the foundation for opening a window to the past using a technique called

Ad click-through rate lower than previously thought
The rate of ad clicks from sponsored and nonsponsored links was reported in a recent study conducted by researchers from Penn State and the Queensland University of Technology.

Johns Hopkins safety team works to eliminate bloodstream infections in the nation and the world
A widely heralded Johns Hopkins safety initiative to reduce bloodstream infections in intensive care units was implemented in 30 states starting Feb.

Plants are political hot potatoes
A group of leading UK scientists and social scientists led by the ESRC Genomics Forum, based at the University of Edinburgh, calls for joined-up thinking on the emerging politics of plants.

Polar research reveals new evidence of global environmental change
Multidisciplinary research from the International Polar Year provides new evidence of the widespread effects of global warming in the polar regions.

40 minority scientists receive travel fellowships to Experimental Biology 2009 in New Orleans
One of the nation's oldest and most respected nonprofit science organizations will provide more than $68,000 in travel fellowships to underrepresented minority students and scientists to attend the Experimental Biology conference in New Orleans, April 18-22.

NASA Goddard's Lee Feinberg elected as a 2009 Fellow of SPIE
Lee Feinberg, of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., was elected as a fellow of the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.

BUSM researchers encourage use of potassium iodide
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine are strongly encouraging prenatal vitamin manufacturers to use only potassium iodide and not other sources of iodine in their products.

All prejudice isn't created equal; whites distribute it unequally to minorities
The Declaration of Independence may proclaim that all men are created equal, but American whites tend to distribute their prejudice unequally toward certain members of minority groups.

NIH awards $15.9 million to CCNY and Memorial Sloan-Kettering to create partnership
The National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Institute has awarded the City College of New York and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center a $15.9 million grant to implement a unique partnership in cancer research, education, and outreach.

Molecular Oncology accepted into Thomson Reuters index
Molecular Oncology, published by Elsevier on behalf of the Federation of European Biochemical Societies, has been accepted by Thomson Reuters (formerly ISI), for inclusion in the Science Citation Index Expanded, Biosis Previews and Biological Abstracts.

University of Alberta and NINT researchers make solar energy breakthrough
The University of Alberta and the National Research Council's National Institute for Nanotechnology have engineered an approach that is leading to improved performance of plastic solar cells (hybrid organic solar cells).

Healthy food availability could depend on where you live -- so does the quality of your diet
The availability of healthy food choices and your quality of diet is associated with where you live, according to two studies conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Oceanic seesaw links Northern and Southern hemisphere during abrupt climate change
Very large and abrupt changes in temperature recorded over Greenland and across the North Atlantic during the last Ice Age were actually global in extent, according to an international team of researchers led by Cardiff University.

Managing microRNAs
Two independent, upcoming G&D papers lend new insight into the expression of microRNAs and their targets during vertebrate development.

Soil carbon storage is not always influenced by tillage practices
Recent research conducted at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada studied the impacts of tillage and nitrogen and phosphorus fertilization on carbon storage, revealing that the effect of no-till on carbon sequestration can be variable depending on soil and climatic conditions and nutrient management practices.

New findings measure precise impact of fat on cancer spread
Researchers at Purdue University have precisely measured the impact of a high-fat diet on the spread of cancer, finding that excessive dietary fat caused a 300 percent increase in metastasizing tumor cells in laboratory animals.

Probing and controlling 'molecular rattling' may mean better preservatives
NIST researchers have discovered a fundamental property of mixture behavior that might help extend the life of many things including vaccines, food and library books.

Gallbladder removal through vagina offers minimally invasive alternative
Physicians at Northwestern Memorial Hospital successfully removed a patient's gallbladder through the vagina, making them the first in the Midwest and the third in the country to perform the innovative procedure.

Lowering blood pressure prevents cardiovascular events and deaths in dialysis patients
Lowering blood pressure protects dialysis patients from major cardiovascular events and death, and treatment with blood-pressure lowering drugs should be routinely considered for patients undergoing dialysis.

Statement by Arden L. Bement Jr., on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
The National Science Foundation is humbled and honored by the recognition of the Foundation's role in stimulating the American economy with its inclusion in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. 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