Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 06, 2009
Love handles put the squeeze on lungs
A new study has found that a high waist circumference is strongly associated with decreased lung function -- independent of smoking history, sex, body mass index and other complicating factors.

Debt relief leads to development in Zambia
A new economics thesis from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, shows that, contrary to long-held assumptions, debt relief leads to higher levels of own investment in the case of smaller debts.

UConn chemists find secret to increasing luminescence efficiency of carbon nanotubes
University of Connecticut chemists have found a way to greatly increase the luminescence efficiency of carbon nanotubes by wrapping them in a chemical

New edition of the Tobacco Atlas catalogues catastrophic toll of tobacco worldwide
The World Lung Foundation and the American Cancer Society have published the Tobacco Atlas, Third Edition and released an online version of the document at

Cooperative threat reduction programs should be revamped to address 21st century threats
The White House should lead the reformulation of US Cooperative Threat Reduction programs to focus on combating international terrorism and other current threats, says a new congressionally mandated report from the National Research Council.

Tools for more accurate dosage of drugs against HIV/AIDS and malaria
A doctoral thesis presented at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, shows that it is possible to describe and quantify the relationships between dose, concentration and effectiveness of several drugs against HIV/AIDS and malaria.

Springer author earns top prize from the American Physical Society
Ramamurti Shankar has been chosen as the 2009 winner of the Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize.

e-Biosphere 09: International conference on biodiversity informatics
Using the latest information technologies to accelerate the pace of taxonomy and the important contribution to human well-being being made in this way is the focus of the e-Biosphere 09 International Conference on Biodiversity Informatics in London June 1-3.

'Holy powder' ingredient makes membranes behave for better health
Revered in India as

Molecule tracking reveals mechanism of chromosome separation in dividing cells
In examining how a cell evenly separates its genetic material before dividing, scientists looked closely at a nano-scale apparatus, the kinetochore, located on each chromosome to learn how it makes strong but dynamic attachment to fibers that lengthen and shorten to move chromosomes.

Synthetic biology can help extend anti-malaria drug effectiveness
Synthetic biology can not only provide a simple and much less expensive means of making artemisinin, the most powerful anti-malaria drug in use today, but can also help extend the drug's effectiveness.

Less costly, more accessible and as effective: Simplified treatment for sleep apnea
Diagnosing and treating obstructive sleep apnea may soon become much less expensive and arduous, thanks to new research showing that a simplified program using experienced nurses, home ambulatory diagnosis and auto-titrating continuous positive airway pressure machines to titrate CPAP pressures is not inferior to the traditional model which relies on specialist physicians and sleep studies.

Bristly spheres as capsules
German researchers led by Horst Weller and Stephan Foerster have produced amphiphilic hybrid particles made of a water-insoluble inorganic nanoparticle at the core surrounded by a bristle-like layer of hydrophilic polymer chains.

NSB names recipients of 2009 Public Service Awards
The National Science Board has selected recipients of the 2009 NSB Public Service Award: Roald Hoffmann of Cornell University, and the American Chemical Society's Project SEED summer research program.

SIAM wins ASAE's 2009 Associations Advance America Award of Excellence
The Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics is one of only 21 organizations nationally to receive an Award of Excellence in the first round of the 2009 Associations Advance America Awards program.

Survey: Few physicians support private banking of umbilical cord blood
A survey of physicians has found broad support for the position that parents should not bank their newborns' umbilical cord blood in a private blood bank unless another member of the family is at risk for a blood disease that will require a stem cell transplant.

Rice psychologist explores perception of fear in human sweat
When threatened, many animals release chemicals as a warning signal to members of their own species, who in turn react to the signals and take action.

Children seriously affected when a parent suffers from depression
Life is hard for the children of a parent suffering from depression.

Both Latino and non-Latino women likely to accept HPV vaccination for selves and children
Most women responding to a survey conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital clinics indicated they would be willing to be vaccinated against the human papillomavirus and to have their daughters and even sons vaccinated in order to prevent cancer in their children.

Blood test predicts chance of dementia
VIB researchers connected to the Born-Bunge Institute and the University of Antwerp discovered the amount of growth factor progranulin in blood is a predictor of Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD).

SIMONE's e-mail feel-good factor
A computer model called SIMONE, for Simulator for Interruptions and Message Overload in Network Environments described in the latest issue of the International Journal of Simulation and Process Modeling, could help solve e-mail overload in busy organizations and companies.

Evidence of earliest known domestic horses found in Kazakhstan
The earliest known domesticated horses were both ridden and milked according to a new report published in the March 6, 2009, edition of the journal Science.

Brain tumors: New therapy surprisingly successful
The combination of two drugs produces a critical improvement in the treatment of certain brain tumors.

WOMEN-CORE, women in construction scientific research
The WOMEN-CORE project has been established to address the under-representation of women working in construction research.

If plants could talk, what would they say?
If plants could speak they will boast about being part of remedies such as the common aspirin to a leukemia drug derived from the rosy periwinkle.

Nurses and allied professionals at heart of cardiovascular prevention and management programs
The management of heart failure -- whose incidence continues to increase -- is a good example; helping heart failure patients with self-care will be one of several recurring themes at this year's Annual Spring Meeting on Cardiovascular Nursing.

Giving doctors the complete picture
Regenstrief Institute researchers have developed a physician decision-support tool to overcome barriers and complement physician-to-physician communication processes.

Penn vet researchers identify a critical growth factor that stimulates sperm stem cells to thrive
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine and Pennsylvania State University have identified for the first time a specific 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