Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 12, 2009
A new measure for the malignancy of melanoma
A growth factor which promotes the formation of new blood vessels in a tumor indicates disease progression in malignant melanoma.

Drawing enhances emotional verbalization among children under the shadow of drug-addicted fathers
Emotional-verbal ability is crucial for growth and for social skills, so enabling a child to increase ability of expression and sharing by means of drawing pictures is beneficial in contributing to the efficiency and effectiveness of therapy

The navel: A single, safe surgical access route for kidney extraction
The team of Dr. Antoni Alcaraz of Hospital Clínic de Barcelona has removed a kidney from a woman diagnosed with kidney cancer, through a single opening.

Options for a new Britain: A report card for Britain
The most ambitious independent policy review in the UK for over a decade is published this week and makes challenging reading for both government and opposition.

Bioabsorbable stent safe and effective after 2 years
Bioabsorbable polymer drug-eluting stents are safe and effective in patients with single coronary artery lesions after two years, with no cardiac deaths, retreatment of diseased lesions, or stent thromboses reported.

Seismological Society of America honors Coloradan David Wald for public service
Throughout his career, David Wald, Ph.D, has expanded the reach and application of seismic data through development of widely-used programs such as ShakeMap and

Meet the expert sessions at the 24th Annual EAU Congress
At the forthcoming 24th Annual EAU Congress in Stockholm, which will start on Tuesday, March 17, the EAU will be organizing three

Studying the female form
Researchers in Japan have turned to mathematics to build a computerized 3-D model of the female trunk that could help lingerie and other clothes designers make more sensuous, comfortable and better fitting product ranges.

Children living near green spaces are more active
In this study of children aged 8-10, for every additional park located within a half-mile of their home, girls were twice as likely to walk to school.

Discovery may lead to development of safer immunosuppressants
Immunosuppressive treatment is necessary to prevent rejection of an organ after transplant and has great potential for treating chronic inflammatory diseases.

Families are feeling the stress of economic crisis, researcher finds
There is no question that the recent economic crisis has wreaked havoc on companies and on families across the country.

New investigational treatment for bladder cancer, identified with Columbia-developed research model
A new investigational therapy for the treatment of bladder cancer has been identified.

Unraveling the roots of dyslexia
By peering into the brains of people with dyslexia compared to normal readers, a study published online on March 12 in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, has shed new light on the roots of the learning disability, which affects four to ten percent of the population.

Researchers develop a structural approach to exploring DNA
A novel approach for uncovering functional areas of the human genome by looking at its three-dimensional structure extends the familiar analysis of sequencing of DNA bases, according to a team of Boston University and National Institutes of Health researchers.

Researchers develop a new technique to date forensic death based on corpse microorganisms
This system, related to thermo-microbiology, will permit to determine more accurately the time of a death which has not occurred under controlled natural conditions or as a consequence of a crime.

K-State biologist collaborating with researchers in Africa on grassland sustainability, biodiversity
Research is examining the sustainability of the grasslands and conserving the biodiversity within them.

First high-resolution images of bone, tooth and shell formation
Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology have for the first time made high-resolution images of the earliest stages of bone formation.

Ralph J. Archuleta wins top honor in seismology
Since beginning his career, Ralph J. Archuleta has established himself as a master researcher, leader and teacher.

SDSC to host 2 workshops bridging humanities and high performance computing
The San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego, will host two-day workshops designed to promote ongoing collaboration between humanities scholars and high performance computing centers to capitalize on recent, significant advancements in digitally based information technologies.

A walk through Gaelic history and culture
Communities living on the Atlantic coasts of Ireland and Scotland must rediscover their shared Gaelic heritage to secure a peaceful and sustainable future, argues a new book by sustainability expert and walking enthusiast Joseph Murphy.

Framingham Heart Study launches new project to develop blood tests for heart disease
The landmark Framingham Heart Study is launching a major initiative to discover risk factors and markers that could lead to new blood tests to identify individuals at high risk of heart disease and stroke.

Synthetic Biology: The Next Biotech Revolution Is Brewing
Early applications of synthetic biology may be adequately addressed by the existing regulatory framework for biotechnology, but further advances in this emerging field are likely to create much greater challenges for the US government, according to a new report authored by Michael Rodemeyer of the University of Virginia.

Researchers progress toward AIDS vaccine
Rutgers AIDS researchers may have turned a corner in their search for a HIV vaccine, taking a piece of HIV that permits the virus to enter cells, putting it on the surface of a common cold virus, and then successfully immunizing animals with it.

Patients who wake up with stroke may be candidates for clot-busters
Giving clot-busting drugs to patients who wake up with stroke symptoms appears to be as safe as giving it to those in the recommended three-hour window, according to researchers at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston.

Doctors prescribing more drugs and ignoring guidelines to help lifestyles of heart disease patients
Young patients with heart disease are smoking more and twice as many suffer from diabetes compared to 12 years ago.

New research shows that your looks, creditworthiness may go hand in hand
New research suggests that a person's appearance may play a role in whether they are deemed trustworthy by financial lenders.

Rabies deaths from dog bites could be eliminated
Someone in the developing world - particularly in rural Africa -- dies from a rabid dog bite every 10 minutes.

A diet rich in calcium aids weight loss
Boosting calcium consumption spurs weight loss, according to a study published in the most recent issue of the British Journal of Nutrition, but only in people whose diets are calcium deficient.

Revealing new applications for carbon nanomaterials in hydrogen storage
An international research team, involving Professor Rajeev Ahuja at Uppsala University and researchers in the United States, set out to understand the mechanism behind the catalytic effects of carbon nanomaterials.

Not enough vitamin D in the diet could mean too much fat on adolescents
Too little vitamin D could be bad for more than your bones; it may also lead to fatter adolescents, researchers say.

Scientists create mouse model of melanoma that generates hope for the use of targeted therapies
UCSF researchers have developed a new mouse model that allows them to replicate normal pigment cells at the earliest stages of conversion to malignant skin cancer in humans.

Wind shifts may stir CO2 from Antarctic depths
Natural releases of carbon dioxide from the Southern Ocean due to shifting wind patterns could have amplified global warming at the end of the last ice age -- and could be repeated as man-made warming proceeds, a new paper in the journal Science suggests.

Tracking tigers in 3-D
New software developed with help from the Wildlife Conservation Society will allow tiger researchers to rapidly identify individual animals by creating a three-dimensional model using photos taken by remote cameras.

Stem cell infusion and hyperbaric oxygen treatment improve islet function in diabetes
A study examining if patients with type 2 diabetes could benefit from patient self-donated stem cell infusion combined with before and after hyperbaric (above normal pressure) oxygen treatment has found significant patient benefits in terms of improved glycemic control and reduced insulin requirements.

Facemasks help prevent adverse cardiovascular effects caused by pollution
Diesel exhaust causes arteries to lose their flexibility. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal Particle and Fibre Toxicology found that exposure to engine pollution resulted in arterial stiffness in a group of healthy volunteers.

'Peking Man' older than thought; somehow adapted to cold
A new dating method has found that

Blue sky research reveals trends in air pollution, clears way for new climate change studies
A University of Maryland-led team has compiled the first decades-long database of aerosol measurements over land, making possible new research into how air pollution changes affect climate change.

A sustainable water supply for Brasilia
The UFZ presents a new water project at the ECOGERMA environmental technology fair in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Physicists offer new theory for iron compounds
A new theory published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences attempts to both explain and predict the complex quantum behavior of an iron-based class of high-temperature superconductors.

Radio series on women in science wins Gracie Award
A series of radio programs about the changing role of girls and women in science and engineering -- funded by the National Science Foundation -- has won recognition as the winner of two 2009 Gracie Awards.

Dr. Wiley Larson co-authors paper on the role of systems engineers in the aerospace industry
Dr. Wiley Larson, Director of the Space Systems Engineering Program at Stevens Institute of Technology's School of Systems and Enterprises, recently co-authored the paper,

Experienced air traffic controllers work smarter, not harder, making up for normal mental aging
Older air traffic controllers can head off mid-air collisions at least as well as younger controllers, using experience to compensate for age-related declines in mental sharpness, a new study finds.

Researchers take first look at the genetic dynamics of inbreeding depression
Declines in reproductive success due to inbreeding are probably due to a few key genes that influence other genes, said University of Illinois animal biology professor and department head Ken Paige, who led the study.

New national education program available for internal medicine physicians
The American College of Physicians and Pri-Med Institute have joined forces to launch

Tobacco use will continue, possibly grow, during recession, Georgia State expert says
Even though tobacco use is expected to kill 6 million people worldwide and drain $500 billion from the global economy each year -- according to a new report co-authored by a Georgia State University tobacco expert -- the recession will most likely do nothing to reduce use.

Older patients with 1 type of heart failure may receive little or no benefit from drugs
People over 80 years of age suffering from a certain type of heart failure do not appear to benefit from most commonly prescribed heart medications, according to a study conducted at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute and published in the March 15 issue of the American Journal of Cardiology.

Biofilms: Even stickier than suspected
Researchers find evidence for evolution in a single-species biofilm, a type of bacterial colony known to resist antibiotics and clog medical devices.

Caltech scientists discover mechanism for wind detection in fruit flies
Tiny, lightweight fruit flies need to know when it's windy out so they can steady themselves and avoid being knocked off their feet or blown off course.

Rice report shows lessons from Hurricane Rita not practiced during Ike
A new Rice University report released yesterday, exactly six months after Hurricane Ike slammed the Texas Gulf Coast, suggests that people did not practice the lessons learned from Hurricane Rita.

UF study: Preserved shark fossil adds evidence to great white's origins
A new University of Florida study could help resolve a long-standing debate in shark paleontology: From which line of species did the modern great white shark evolve?

Telehealth for diabetes promotes aging at home, not in the hospital
Researchers report on large study that found that telemonitoring of health of diabetes patients resulted in significantly fewer deaths than in a similar group that was not monitored.

Cells get two chances, not just one, to fix their mistakes
Cells have two chances to fix the same mistake in their protein-making process instead of just one -- a so-called proofreading step -- that had previously been identified, according to new research.

Juvenile justice study: Minority youths of single parents more likely detained
Circumstances like school truancy, living in a single-parent household or having family members with criminal records were more likely to land minority teens in detention than their white peers.

Well-known enzyme is unexpected contributor to brain growth
An enzyme researchers have studied for years because of its potential connections to cancer, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and stroke, appears to have yet another major role to play: helping create and maintain the brain.

Cracking the spatial memory code
Researchers have shown that they can tell where a person is

Treatment of European coronary patients fails to meet standards of international guidelines
Large proportions of European coronary patients are failing to achieve lifestyle, risk factor and therapeutic targets for the prevention of further disease, according to results of the third EUROASPIRE survey.

Fighting global warming offers growth and development opportunities
Combating climate change may not be a question of who will carry the burden but could instead be a rush for the benefits, according to new economic modeling presented today at

Parkinson's-linked mutation makes neurons vulnerable to calcium-induced death
A new study reveals the mechanism by which a genetic mutation linked with Parkinson's disease renders dopamine neurons particularly vulnerable to cell injury and death.

Evolution in health and medicine
Evolution, genetics and medicine share a long and distinguished tradition.

UAB's Lisa Guay-Woodford earns top international nephrology prize
University of Alabama at Birmingham professor Lisa Guay-Woodford, M.D., will receive a top international award in nephrology, the Lillian Jean Kaplan International Prize for Advancement in the Understanding of Polycystic Kidney Disease, given by the PKD Foundation and the International Society of Nephrology.

3 Case Western Reserve faculty ranked amongst the world's top Alzheimer's disease investigators
Three Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine researchers were listed in the Top 100 Alzheimer's disease investigators according to a study conducted by Collexis Holdings Inc. published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

1-stop-shop for seamount managers and researchers: Launch of new SeamountsOnline portal
A free online portal, SeamountsOnline (, is providing deep-sea researchers and managers with new tools for finding and accessing information on the biological communities that live on seamounts (undersea mountains), facilitating improved management of seamount resources, and conservation of seamount habitat.

Federal government should give greater support to decision makers coping with climate change
Many state and local officials and private organizations are basing decisions -- such as how to build bridges or manage water supplies -- on the assumption that current climate conditions will continue, but that assumption is no longer valid. 

New aerosol observing technique turns gray skies to blue
Tiny, ubiquitous particles in the atmosphere may play a profound role in regulating global climate.

Hyperbaric treatment for autism reports significant clinical improvements
Hyperbaric treatment for children with autism has reportedly led to improvements in the condition, though previous studies were uncontrolled.

Work stress associated with adverse mental and physical health outcomes in police officers
Exposure to critical incidents, workplace discrimination, lack of cooperation among coworkers and job dissatisfaction correlated significantly with perceived work stress among urban police officers, according to a study by researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

Genomatix gets patent for comparative genomics method
The patent relates to a sophisticated method for identification of networks of functionally related regulatory DNA sequences in different eukaryotic species.

Researchers devise new way to explore DNA
A team that includes researchers from the National Institutes of Health has found a new way of detecting functional regions in the human genome.

Better health and prosperity in Europe via improved clinical research
Improved patient-oriented research in Europe will benefit European citizens and the European medical industry and facilitate the transfer of scientific discoveries from the laboratory bench to the bedside.

Past president of ACP to chair IOM panel on comparative effectiveness
Past president of the American College of Physicians and current editor of Annals of Internal Medicine, Harold C.

Major NSF grant boosts UNH research on hormonal genomics
Stacia Sower, professor of biochemistry and director of the Center for Molecular and Comparative Endocrinology at the University of New Hampshire, has received a $420,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for research on brain and pituitary hormones and receptors.

New data on link between cancer and nutrition discussed at European symposium
European experts in cancer and nutrition are meeting in Zurich, Switzerland, late this month to discuss cutting-edge research in one of the most important and fiercely debated topics in cancer prevention: the link between diet and cancer.

AGU journal highlights -- March 12, 2009
Featured in this release are research papers on the following topics:

'Mind-reading' experiment highlights how brain records memories
It may be possible to

Phytoplankton is changing along the Antarctic Peninsula
As the cold, dry climate of the western Antarctic Peninsula becomes warmer and more humid, phytoplankton -- the bottom of the Antarctic food chain -- is decreasing off the northern part the peninsula and increasing further south, Rutgers marine scientists have discovered.

Why should Iowa remain the first presidential primary?
A new study finds that Iowa reflects the diversity of America more than most other US states and is well-placed to deserve its status as the first presidential nomination primary.

Patients who gave up smoking before surgery had half as many complications afterwards
Smokers who took part in the eight-week intervention were more than twice as likely to be smoke free at 12 months as those in the control group and had much lower post-op problems than smokers (21 percent vs.

First-in-class compound proves safe, tolerable in preventing blood clots
A new drug derived from magnolia trees appears to be able to uncouple two important functions of thrombin in blood clot formation and may offer a way to better control the potentially dangerous complications of bleeding and clot formation during procedures to open blocked coronary arteries, say researchers at the Duke Clinical Research Institute.

'Fridges and washing machines liberated women': researcher
The advent of modern appliances such as washing machines and refrigerators had a profound impact on 20th century society, according to a new Université de Montréal study.

Recipe for the perfect James Webb Space Telescope mirror
Mirrors are a critical part of any space telescope, and the James Webb Space Telescope's mirrors are made of a special element that will enable it to withstand the rigors of space and see farther back in time/distance than any other telescope now in operation.

'Mind-reading' experiment highlights how brain records memories
It may be possible to

Survey explores medical care for children with autism using complementary alternative medicine
In a national survey conducted by the University of Minnesota, primary care physicians report that they are more likely to ask patients with autism about complementary alternative medicine use and desire more CAM education for this population.

Body clock regulates metabolism, finds UCI study
UC Irvine researchers have discovered that circadian rhythms -- our own body clock -- regulate energy levels in cells.

A variant form of amyloid beta hinders amyloidogenesis and the development of Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease causes misfolding and aggregation of a protein fragment known as amyloid beta and its deposition as plaques in the brain.

Missing piece of plant clock found
A newfound molecule links morning and evening components of the plant daily clock, forming a connection long predicted to be an important element of a reliable biological timepiece.

'Climate change: Global risks, challenges and decisions'
Following a successful International Scientific Congress attended by more than 2,500 delegates from nearly 80 countries, preliminary messages were summed up.

Weighing the options after life-altering stroke
Choosing to have aggressive brain surgery after suffering a severe stroke generally improves the patients' lives and allows them to live longer, according to research by neurologists at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Genetic differences help protect against cervical cancer
Women with certain gene variations appear to be protected against cervical cancer, according to a study led by scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and reported in Clinical Cancer Research.

Argonne scientists reveal interaction between supersonic fuel spray and its shock wave
Shock waves are a well tested phenomenon on a large scale, but scientists at the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and their collaborators from Wayne State University and Cornell University have made a breakthrough that reveals the interaction between shockwaves created by high-pressure supersonic fuel jets.

Estrogen activates critical lung genes to improve lung function following preterm birth
Estrogen may be a new postnatal therapy to improve lung function and other outcomes in preterm infants, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found in an animal study.

Female birds 'jam' their mates' flirtatious songs
When a single female is nearby, female antbirds will sing over the songs of their male partners in an apparent attempt to keep their messages from getting through, according to a new report published online on March 12 in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication.

Random network connectivity can be delayed, but with explosive results, new study finds
A trio of mathematicians studying random networks has provided new evidence that connectivity can be appreciably delayed, but only at a cost.

Multiple route bone marrow stem cell injections show promise to treat spinal cord injury
A joint American and Ecuadorian research team has found that injecting a patient's own bone marrow cells directly into the spinal column using multiple routes was effective in treating spinal cord injury, returning some quality of life but without serious adverse events.

The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope provides new evidence for dark matter around small galaxies
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has uncovered a strong new line of evidence that galaxies are embedded in halos of dark matter.

Miaki Ishii honored with Richter Early Career Award
In her young career, Miaki Ishii, an assistant professor of earth and planetary science at Harvard University, has made two groundbreaking discoveries in geophysics that have fostered intense debate and subsequent research that has changed the understanding of deep Earth seismology. 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