Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 17, 2009
Christopher McCulloch receives the IADR Research in Oral Biology Award
The 2009 Research in Oral Biology Award will be presented to Dr.

New strategy to weaken traumatic memories
In the Feb. 1 issue of Biological Psychiatry, published by Elsevier, a group of basic scientists shed new light on the biology of stress effects upon memory formation.

Engineer devises ways to improve gas mileage
A mechanical engineer at Washington University in St. Louis is developing techniques that will lessen our monetary pain at the pump by reducing the drag of vehicles.

Stanford researchers develop biodegradable substitutes for wood, plastic bottles and other materials
Stanford University researchers have developed a synthetic wood substitute that may one day save trees, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and shrink landfills.

Mood player creates the right atmosphere
Melancholic songs, dance rhythms or romantic background music? The mood player can recognize musical characteristics and sort songs according to moods.

Lior Shapira to receive IADR Basic Research in Periodontal Disease Award
Dr. Lior Shapira, from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel, is the 2009 recipient of the Basic Research in Periodontal Disease Award.

Vigilant windows
Is someone sneaking around in front of the window trying to break in?

Nutrigenomics -- developing personalized diets for disease prevention -- part 2 just published in OMICS
The relationships between food, nutrition science, and health outcomes have been intensively analyzed over the past century.

Silicone ear looks just like the real thing
To look at Matthew Houdek, you could never tell he was born with virtually no ear.

Study shows moderate intensity walking means 100 steps per minute
It is recommended that people engage in 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity daily, five times a week.

NASA researchers find clues to a secret of life
NASA scientists analyzing the dust of meteorites have discovered new clues to a long-standing mystery about how life works on its most basic, molecular level.

Mo Kwan Kang receives the IADR Young Investigator Award
The International Association for Dental Research is presenting the 2009 Young Investigator Award to Dr.

New study on biethnicity in the workplace
New research carried out at the University of Leicester suggests that Barack Obama has become a

Financial security, more than money alone, may be key to happiness, Princeton study says
A study of the mental state of the modern American woman by a Princeton University psychologist has found a powerful link between concerns over financial security and satisfaction with one's life.

How big (or small) is large?
Trousers have to be tried on -- the variation between size labeling and actual clothing size is huge.

Fish health claims may cause more environmental harm than good: UBC-St. Michael's researchers
The health benefits of fish consumption have been over-dramatized and have put increased pressure on wild fish, according to a new research published today in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Carnegie Mellon researchers apply new statistical test
Carnegie Mellon University's Cliff I. Davidson, Joseph B. Kadane and Nanjun Chu have found polluted air in the highly populated East end areas of Pittsburghare more affected by major sources in the city's southeast than previously thought.

IADR Oral Medicine and Pathology Research Award presented to UCLA professor
The International Association for Dental Research is presenting its 2009 Oral Medicine & Pathology Research Award to Dr.

Researcher who developed a powerful in vivo model receives IADR Isaac Schour Memorial Award
Dr. Pamela Gehron Robey is the recipient of the 2009 Isaac Schour Memorial Award, which will be presented by the International Association for Dental Research at its 87th General Session & Exhibition in Miami, Fla., on April 1, 2009.

Lehigh researcher awarded $1.8 million NIH grant
Lehigh University assistant professor of neuroscience Michael Burger has been awarded a $1.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health's National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders for his research titled

Better by design: Engineering flu vaccines
Rice University scientists will discuss a new computerized method of testing the effectiveness of both bird flu and seasonal flu vaccines at the American Physical Society's meeting in Pittsburgh this week.

Emotions can help predict future eating disorders
A Ph.D. thesis at the University of the Basque Country has analyzed the role played by a number of emotional variables, such as the way in which negative emotions are controlled or attitudes to emotional expression, and to use these variables as tools to predict the possibility of suffering an eating disorder.

Understanding mental illness through gene-environment interactions
Biological Psychiatry, published by Elsevier, is very pleased to present a special section of its Feb.

Fruit flies' response to wind offers new window to neural circuits
Try this at home: If fruit flies are buzzing around your kitchen, switch on your hairdryer and aim it at the flies.

Body-mass index above ideal range causes large increase in mortality
A study of around 900,000 adults has revealed a body-mass index above the ideal range of 22.5-25 kg/m2 leads to increased mortality rates.

HPV vaccine may prevent preterm births
Chronic human papilloma virus (HPV) infections can lead to cellular changes in the cervix that can be a pre-stage to cervical cancer.

DOE awards UGA $3.1 million to support complex carbohydrate study nationwide
The Department of Energy has awarded the University of Georgia Complex Carbohydrate Research Center a four-year, $3.1 million grant to continue as a national resource for researchers who study the complex carbohydrates of plants and of microbes that interact with plants.

ECO 2009 -- the 17th European Congress on Obesity
Come to Europe's premier obesity conference and hear about new research on the whole spectrum of obesity science, from the causes and consequences of obesity to prevention and treatment.

4 of Saturn's moons parade by their parent
A new Hubble image shows four of Saturn's moons circling the ringed planet.

OFC/NFOEC features breakthroughs in next-generation ethernet, metamaterials, networks
The world's largest international conference on optical communications begins next week and continues from March 22-26 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego.

Dr. King receives IADR Craniofacial Biology Research Award
Dr. Gregory King, professor and chair of the Department of Orthodontics at the University of Washington, Seattle, is the recipient of the 2009 Craniofacial Biology Research Award, which will be presented by the International Association for Dental Research at its 87th General Session & Exhibition in Miami, Fla., on April 1, 2009.

Elephant shark genome sequence leads to discovery of color perception in deep-sea fish
The elephant shark, a primitive deep-sea fish that belongs to the oldest living family of jawed vertebrates, can see color much like humans can.

NJIT's Priscilla Nelson will be inducted into Honorary Civil Engineering Society
The newly established Academy of Geo-Professionals, established by the American Society of Civil Engineers, will induct NJIT professor of civil engineering Priscilla Nelson, Ph.D., the former provost, into its inaugural class on March 18, 2009.

Female mammals follow their noses to the right mates
Historically, most examples of female mate choice and its evolutionary consequences are found in birds.

New edition available for essential virology reference
ASM Press announces the latest edition of an essential reference volume in one of the most dynamic and rapidly changing fields of clinical medicine.

Medical costs for one premature baby could cover a dozen healthy births
March of Dimes released a report at the US Chamber of Commerce meeting showing that medical costs businesses pay to care for one premature baby for a year could cover the costs for nearly a dozen healthy, full-term infants.

London murders: Stats theory shows numbers are predictable
Leading statistician Professor David Spiegelhalter claims today that the number of murders in London last year was not out of the ordinary and followed a predictable pattern.

Big and small dents
The satellite GOCE measures the Earth's gravity field with an unprecedented accuracy.

IADR Wilmer Souder Award presented to University of Colorado professor
The 2009 Wilmer Souder Award is being presented to Dr.

New tumor markers determine therapy intensity
Characteristic changes in the DNA of medulloblastoma, the most frequent malignant brain tumor in childhood, indicate precisely how aggressively the tumor will continue to spread and what the chances of disease relapse are.

Geoscientists set to discuss climate change, water resources and more
An overarching theme for the meeting is climate change, and technical sessions will highlight cutting-edge scientific research on such topics as the vulnerability of salt-marsh ecosystems to sea-level rise, better understanding the role of arc collisions in orogenesis and developing research around the relationship between surface-lithosphere dynamics in collisions, road salt, arsenic and other environmental contaminants in hydrologic systems, and geoarchaeology as a tool for better understanding of human societies, culture and environment.

Alessandro Riva receives IADR Salivary Research Award
Professor Alessandro Riva, University of Cagliari, Italy, is the recipient of the 2009 Salivary Research Award from the International Association for Dental Research, to be presented at its 87th General Session & Exhibition in Miami, Fla., on April 1, 2009.

Aspirin recommendation underscores need for physicians and patients to discuss benefits and risk
The President of the American College of Preventive Medicine commended the US Preventive Services Task Force today for its recommendations on aspirin use for primary prevention of heart attack and stroke, released in the March 17 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine, citing its improved specificity over previous guidelines.

Collagen injections can help some incontinence patients when surgery fails, researcher finds
Collagen injections can benefit women who still suffer from stress urinary incontinence even after urethral or periurethral surgery, a UT Southwestern Medical Center researcher has found.

Brothers in arms
Influenza, or flu, is an unpleasant affair with fever, cough, as well as head and body ache.

Dr. Hunter receives IADR Biological Mineralization Award
Dr. Graeme Hunter, University of Western Ontario, Canada, is the recipient of the 2009 Biological Mineralization Award, which will be presented by the International Association for Dental Research at its 87th General Session & Exhibition in Miami, Fla., on April 1, 2009.

Strict labor market regulation increases global unemployment, study shows
A study by the University of Bath has shown that unemployment is increased in countries that have stringent labor market regulations.

Bioethanol scientist Birgitte Ahring speaks at Frontiers in Biological Sciences seminar series
Washington State University at Tri-Cities's Birgitte Ahring, Ph.D., will speak on the current state of generating biofuels from biomass during the inaugural talk in the Frontiers in Biological Sciences seminar series, March 23, 2009, at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash.

Mighty diatoms: Global climate feedback from microscopic algae
Tiny creatures at the bottom of the food chain called diatoms suck up nearly a quarter of the atmosphere's carbon dioxide, yet research by Michigan State University scientists suggests they could become less able to

Medication does not appear to reduce progression of atherosclerosis
Compared to placebo, the drug pactimibe did not effect certain measures of atherosclerosis for patients with familial hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol levels), but these patients did have an increased incidence of cardiovascular events such as heart attack and stroke, according to a study in the March 18 issue of JAMA.

The human tragedy of denying AIDS
Since the discovery of HIV and the ensuing AIDS epidemic, a frightening group of people has spread destructive misinformation -- and outright denials -- about the virus.

EAU launches new clinical guidelines for 2009 -- kidney cancer
A number of updated guidelines will be presented at the 24th Annual Congress of the European Association of Urology held in Stockholm, March 17-21.

Tufts University professor receives IADR Pharmacology/Therapeutics/Toxicology Award
The International Association for Dental Research has selected Dr. Athena Papas, from Tufts University, Boston, Mass., as the 2009 recipient of the Pharmacology/Therapeutics/Toxicology Research Award.

Study tracks increasing use of CT on pregnant women
Researchers have found that over a 10-year period radiologic exams on pregnant women have more than doubled, according to a new study.

Study gives more proof that intelligence is largely inherited
A new type of brain imaging scanner shows that intelligence is strongly influenced by the quality of the brain's axons or wiring that sends signals throughout the brain.

MicroRNA undermines tumor suppression
Scientists at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and the National University of Singapore have discovered the first microRNA capable of directly tamping down the activity of the well known tumor-suppressor gene, p53, While p53 functions to prevent tumor formation, the p53 gene is thought to malfunction in more than 50 percent of cancerous tumors.

Animal families with the most diversity also have widest range of size
Somewhere out there in the ocean, SpongeBob SquarePants has a teeny-tiny cousin and a humongous uncle.

Vitamin D may not be the answer to feeling SAD
A lack of vitamin D, due to reduced sunlight, has been linked to depression and the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, but research by the University of Warwick shows there is no clear link between the levels of vitamin D in the blood and depression.

U of I study: When a violent marriage ends, is co-parenting possible?
When a marriage that has included violence ends, is co-parenting possible?

Dr. Hujoel receives IADR Behavioral, Epidemiological and Health Services Research Award
Dr. Philippe Hujoel, professor at the University of Washington School of Dentistry, Seattle, is the recipient of the 2009 Behavioral, Epidemiological and Health Services Research Award, which will be presented by the International Association for Dental Research at its 87th General Session & Exhibition in Miami, Fla., on April 1, 2009.

ESA launches first Earth Explorer mission GOCE
This afternoon, the Ggavity field and steady-state Ocean Circulation Explorer satellite developed by the European Space Agency was lofted into a near-sun-synchronous, low-Earth orbit by a Rockot launcher lifting off from the Plesetsk cosmodrome in northern Russia.

MIT scientist launches special nanoscience symposia at ACS National Meeting
Angela M. Belcher, Ph.D., a noted scientist from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will deliver Keynote Address in Nanoscience at the American Chemical Society's 237th National Meeting on March 22.

Use of religious coping associated with receiving intensive medical care near death
Patients with advanced cancer who used their religious faith to help cope were more likely to receive intensive life-prolonging medical care such as mechanical ventilation or cardiopulmonary resuscitation during their last week of life, according to a study in the March 18 issue of JAMA.

MRSA study suggests strategy shift needed to develop effective therapeutics
USA300 -- the major epidemic strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) causing severe infections in the United States during the past decade -- inherits its destructiveness directly from a forefather strain of the bacterium called USA500 rather than randomly acquiring harmful genes from other MRSA strains.

UCSF professor to be presented with the IADR H. Trendley Dean Memorial Award
Dr. Jane Weintraub, University of California at San Francisco, has been selected as the 2009 recipient of the International Association for Dental Research's H.

Early detection of second breast cancers halves women's risk of death
A group of international researchers has found the first reliable evidence that early detection of subsequent breast tumors in women who have already had the disease can halve the women's chances of death from breast cancer.

1 in 4 Americans lacks timely access to optimal care during time-sensitive medical emergencies
Although most Americans live close to some type of emergency room, as many as one in four Americans are more than an hour away from the type of hospital that's most prepared to save their life during a time-sensitive medical emergency, according to a new University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine study published in the journal Annals of Emergency Medicine.

Researcher wins $2.6 million grant for depression care study
With the nation's economic crisis contributing to greater workplace stress, providing effective mental health care for employees may be more important than ever.

Europe now has a scientific authority on CO2 storage
CO2GeoNet, Europe's Network of Excellence working on the geological storage of carbon dioxide (CO2), will meet in Venice on March 18-20, 2009, to present highlights from five years of research and development carried out by hundreds of scientists to an audience of policy-makers, public authorities, industry executives, regulators, NGOs, EC representatives, engineers and scientists attending from across Europe, Australia, Canada, Iran, Japan and the United States.

Synthesizing the most natural of all skin creams
While occupying a watery environment, the newborn manages to develop a skin fully equipped to protect it in the world.

NSF-funded researchers deploy submarine to understand the mechanics of Antarctic ice sheets
A team of British and American scientists has successfully deployed an autonomous robot submarine on six missions beneath an Antarctic ice shelf using sonar scanners to map the seabed and the underside of the ice as it juts out over the sea.

IEEE-USA awards $3,000 in honoraria to 2 journalists
For the first time, IEEE-USA has awarded two $1,500 honoraria to recognize print and electronic journalists who have added to a greater public understanding of the contributions of engineering and computer professionals to society.

Wheat experts from 40 countries gather in Mexico as battle intensifies against plant plague
The world's leading wheat experts from Australia, Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas -- invited to Mexico by Nobel Prize Winner Norman Borlaug -- today reported significant progress in developing new varieties of wheat capable of resisting a virulent form of an old plant disease that threatens wheat production worldwide.

Love at first aria
A passion for opera starts with an initial explosive, emotional experience.

Contrary to widely held beliefs, romance can last in long-term relationships, say researchers
Romance does not have to fizzle out in long-term relationships and progress into a companionship/friendship-type love, a new study has found.

Slimmer, stickier nanorods give boost to 3-D computer chips
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a new technique for growing slimmer copper nanorods, a key step for advancing integrated 3-D chip technology.

New study shows that in horse play, adult-to-young ratio is key
Adults of many animal species play a crucial role in the social development of youngsters.

GEN reports on Madoff scandal's impact on the life sciences
While the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme led to the collapse of the Picower Foundation, a major benefactor for life science research, many bioindustry observers view the fallout from the scandal as a minor consequence in the larger economic picture, reports Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News.

Frankincense oil -- a wise man's remedy for bladder cancer
Originating from Africa, India and the Middle East, frankincense oil has been found to have many medicinal benefits.

Cretaceous octopus with ink and suckers -- the world's least likely fossils?
New finds of 95-million-year-old fossils reveal much earlier origins of modern octopuses.

Mechanism of Alzheimer's suggests combination therapy needed
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine have discovered a mode of action for mysterious but diagnostic protein snarls found in the brains of Alzheimer's patients that suggests a one-two punch of therapy may be needed to combat the neurodegenerative disease.

AADR is awarded $250,000 to fund Bloc Travel Grant
The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research awarded the American Association for Dental Research a multiyear Bloc Travel Grant in the amount of $250,000, which will fund the grant through 2013.

Regulatory molecule for tumor formation or suppression identified by Singapore, US researchers
One of the small regulatory molecules, named microRNA-125b, is a novel regulator of p53, an important protein that safeguards cells against cancers, Singapore and US scientists report in the March 17, 2009, issue of the journal Genes & Development.

Drug being used to improve cognition affects dopamine, suggesting potential for abuse
Preliminary research in healthy men suggests that the narcolepsy drug modafinil, increasingly being used to enhance cognitive abilities, affects the activity of dopamine in the brain in a way that may create the potential for abuse and dependence, according to a study in the March 18 issue of JAMA.

Geriatric Oral Research Award presented to Michael MacEntee
Dr. Michael MacEntee, from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, is being presented with the 2009 International Association for Dental Research Geriatric Oral Research Award at the 87th General Session & Exhibition of the IADR in Miami, Fla., on April 1, 2009.

Brain abnormality found in boys with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
Researchers trying to uncover the mechanisms that cause attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and conduct disorder have found an abnormality in the brains of adolescent boys suffering from the conditions, but not where they expected to find it.

Studies show that nice guys finish first in business world
When it comes to leading a team tasked with developing new products and bringing them to market, new research from North Carolina State University shows that being nice and playing well with others gives you a very real competitive advantage.

Researchers clone key sperm-binding proteins
New treatments for infertility could be closer to reality, thanks to a discovery from scientists at the University of Montreal and Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital Research Center.

Link between religious coping and aggressive treatment in terminally ill cancer patients
In a new study of terminally ill cancer patients, researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute found that those who draw on religion to cope with their illness are more likely to receive intensive, life-prolonging medical care as death approaches -- treatment that often entails a lower quality of life in patients' final days.

Goodbye needle, hello smoothie
Instead of a shot, someday getting vaccinated against disease may be as pleasant as drinking a yogurt smoothie.

Stevens faculty release study on free-space optical communication in Optics Express
Three members of the faculty at Stevens Institute of Technology recently collaborated on a paper focusing on free-space optical communication, which appears in the latest issue of Optics Express, a premiere optics journal currently in circulation.

UK robot sub searches for signs of melting 60 km into an Antarctic ice shelf cavity
Autosub, a robot submarine built and developed by the UK's National Oceanography Center, Southampton, has successfully completed a high-risk campaign of six missions traveling under an Antarctic glacier.

UCSF professor to receive IADR Pulp Biology and Regeneration Award
The 2009 Pulp Biology and Regeneration Award is being presented to Dr.

Lung cancer: Molecular scissors determine therapy effectiveness
Metastasizing cancer cells use a kind of molecular scissors to cut a trail for the cancer when it invades surrounding tissue.

Grand prizes might help induce sports 'hot streaks'
Dangling a lucrative financial carrot at the end of a professional sport season can cause certain players to exert the effort necessary to put together a string of successful performances, sometimes known in sporting circles as a
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