Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 18, 2009
Children who are dissatisfied with their appearance often have problems with their peer group
Being satisfied with one's appearance is one of the most important prerequisites for a positive self image.

Engineer: Computer learning, electrical stimulation offer hope for paralyzed
Trainers have used it for decades to help athletes build muscle.

Symposium to look at genetic basis of exercise
How many genes play a role in the body's ability to adapt to exercise?

SNM Symposium on Multimodality Cardiovascular Molecular Imaging
This two-day symposium focuses on advances in stem cell therapy, leading-edge research in imaging technology and targeted imaging of the cardiovascular system, including imaging of cardiovascular receptors, vascular biology, myocardial metabolism and myocardial repair.

Press statement on new CDC MMWR on Klebseilla pneumonia Carbapenemase-producing organisms
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today released new infection control recommendations on Klebseilla pneumoniae Carbapenemase-Producing Organisms, one of the most treatment-resistant gram-negative bacterium.

5th annual Templeton-Cambridge fellowships awarded to 10 noted journalists
Ten prominent journalists from the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada have been selected for the fifth annual Templeton-Cambridge Journalism Fellowships in Science & Religion.

Ongoing worldwide shortage of medical isotopes could threaten patient care, says expert
A University of Nottingham expert is calling on the government to provide substantial new investment into the production of medical isotopes or face a dangerous shortage that threatens to compromise patient health care.

PSA screening cuts deaths by 20 percent
Screening for prostate cancer can reduce deaths by 20 percent, according to the results of the European Randomized Study of Screening for Prostate Cancer published online today, March 18.

Research shows biopsy of recurrent breast cancer can alter treatment
For women with recurrent breast cancer, the treatment the doctor chooses is usually based on the properties of their original breast cancer.

Mothers have key role in family life for children with technology dependencies
Creating a family life incorporating the care needs of a child dependent on technology is a daunting task.

Hippo ancestry disputed
Hippos spend lots of time in the water and now it turns out (or researchers argue), they are the closest living relative to whales.

Lab-on-a-chip homes in on how cancer cells break free
Engineers have invented a method to help figure out how cancer cells break free from neighboring tissue, an

Factors associated with decline in child kidney function identified
Characteristics associated with proteinuria -- a predictor of decline in child kidney function -- have been identified, according to a study appearing in the March 2009 issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

Study identifies human genes required for hepatitis C viral replication
Massachusetts General Hospital researchers are investigating a new way to block reproduction of the hepatitis C virus -- targeting not the virus itself but the human genes the virus exploits in its life cycle.

Employee cardiovascular health relates to psychological well-being
A Kansas State University researcher has found a link between physical and mental well-being that employees and employers may be able to capitalize on to improve both the health, and potentially the wealth, of their organization.

Particle oddball surprises CDF physicists at Fermilab
Scientists of the CDF experiment at the Department of Energy's Fermilab announced yesterday, March 17, that they have found evidence of an unexpected particle whose curious characteristics may reveal new ways that quarks can combine to form matter.

Scientists closer to understanding how to control high blood sugar
Scientists are closer to understanding which proteins help control blood sugar, or glucose, during and after exercise.

Preterm birth rate drops
The rate of preterm births (less than 37 weeks gestation) dropped to 12.7 percent in 2007 from 12.8 percent in 2006, a small but statistically significant decrease. the March of Dimes hopes the finding will prove to be the start of a new trend in improved maternal and infant health.

ONR and GM partner to test advanced fuel cell vehicles of the future
As the global automobile industry considers alternative energy sources to replace the traditional internal combustion engine, Jessie Pacheco, a mail clerk at Camp Pendleton, has been making his rounds to Marines in General Motors Chevrolet Equinox fuel cell vehicles (FCVs).

Swimming pool game inspires robot detection
Scientists have used a popular kids swimming pool game to guide their development of a system for controlling moving robots that can autonomously detect and capture other moving targets.

Campaign spending affects electoral outcomes
In Canada, campaign spending limits for candidates during a federal election are stipulated by the Canada Elections Act.

Cancer: Another step towards medication
The Myc-gene plays an important role in cell regulation; in about 50 percent of all tumors this gene is mutated.

Researchers identify genetic markers for aggressive head and neck cancer
Scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have identified genetic markers that signal poor outcomes for patients with head and neck cancer.

DEIMOS joins MARS and its satellite of instruments on seafloor
The planet Mars has a moon named Deimos, so it seems only appropriate that the ocean observatory MARS in Monterey Bay have its own DEIMOS.

US trial shows no early mortality benefit from annual prostate cancer screening
The prostate cancer screening tests that have become an annual ritual for many men don't appear to reduce deaths from the disease among those with a limited life-expectancy, according to early results of a major US study involving 75,000 men.

MIT: Why we have difficulty recognizing faces in photo negatives
Humans excel at recognizing faces, but how we do this has been an abiding mystery in neuroscience and psychology.

Penn researchers identify new protein important in breast cancer gene's role in DNA repair
A new study has identified genes associated with the BRCA1 protein and their involvement in the DNA repair pathway, helping to clear the way for researchers to better understand what goes wrong when the BRCA1 gene is mutated and the repair pathway goes haywire.

Global poverty is still a priority
Of the 6 billion people sharing our planet, almost half live under the poverty line of $2 per day.

TGen's Dr. Von Hoff wins award for cancer research
Dr. Von Hoff, who also is Chief Scientific Officer of TGen Clinical Research Services at Scottsdale Healthcare, will be recognized in the category of Health Care Research in a special report this month in Arizona Business Magazine.

Earth's crust melts easier than previously thought
A University of Missouri study published in Nature this week has found that the Earth's crust melts easier than previously thought.

Pilot study shows effectiveness of new, low-cost method for monitoring hand hygiene compliance
Epidemiologists and computer scientists at the University of Iowa have collaborated to create a new low-cost, green technology for automatically tracking the use of hand hygiene dispensers before health-care workers enter and after they exit patient rooms.

Pitt receives $4.7 million award to reduce hospital-acquired infections
The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine has received a four-year, $4.7 million grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Health to find new ways to stop deadly hospital-acquired infections that often are resistant to treatment.

Domestic and international influences shape the politics of R&D and innovation
In the last three decades, research across the social sciences has made great advances in the political economy of technological change (also called innovation or R&D).

Andrill demonstrates climate warming affects Antarctic ice sheet stability
A five-nation scientific team has published new evidence that even a slight rise in atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, one of the gases that drives global warming, affects the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

Imatinib plus surgery improves recurrence-free survival in gastrointestinal stromal tumor patients
Patients given adjuvant imatinib after surgery to remove gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) experience increased recurrence-free survival compared with those given placebo.

Vaccine against CMV shows promise in clinical trial
A new vaccine has the potential to be the first to prevent maternal and congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection, according to a University of Alabama at Birmingham study published in the March 19 edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Unique nerve-stimulation device proves effective against epilepsy
Americans, and is frequently resistant to drug treatment, and often surgery.

Tobacco makes medicine
Tobacco isn't famous for its health benefits. But now scientists have succeeded in using genetically modified tobacco plants to produce medicines for several autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, including diabetes.

BU School of Medicine receives $10.5 million pledge
Boston University School of Medicine has received a pledge of $10.5 million to create a Breast Cancer Research Center, including an assistant professorship and an international scholars training program, from a Boston University School of Medicine graduate who wishes to remain anonymous.

What's driving specific patterns of gene expression among cell types?
Providing another tool to help to understand gene regulation on a global scale, a nationwide research team has identified and mapped 55,000 enhancers, short regions of DNA that act to enhance or boost the expression of genes.

Longer bouts of exercise help prevent childhood obesity
Children who exercise in bouts of activity lasting five minutes or longer are less likely to become obese than those whose activity levels are more sporadic and typically last less than five minutes each, Queen's University researchers have discovered.

Earth's crust melts easier than thought
Earth's crust melts easier than previously thought, scientists have discovered.

Few friends combined with loneliness linked to poor mental and physical health for elderly
Although not having many close friends contributes to poorer health for many older adults, those who also feel lonely face even greater health risks, research at the University of Chicago suggests.

Professor Jean-Yves Reginster is announced winner of the prestigious Pierre Delmas Award
Professor Jean-Yves Reginster of Belgium, a founding member of the IOF Board and IOF General Secretary from 1998 to 2007, was awarded the prestigious Pierre Delmas Award.

Study finds how brain remembers single events
Single events account for many of our most vivid memories -- a marriage proposal, a wedding toast, a baby's birth.

IAPETUS project to enable extending useful life of aircraft and increase their reliability
TECNALIA is leading the IAPETUS project, within the European Union 7th Framework Program, and aimed at developing a new technology for repairing aircraft by means of composite patches applied to both aluminum and to the new generation of compound materials aircraft.

Heart failure strikes younger African-Americans at the same rate as older Caucasians
Heart failure -- a disabling and often deadly form of heart disease -- is hitting African-Americans in their 30s and 40s at the same rate as Caucasians in their 50s and 60s, according to a study featured as the lead article of the March 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Ecological insect pest management for Guam
Agriculture professionals on Guam and the region will benefit from SARE grant for integrated pest management.

Americans support action on global warming despite economic crisis
Even in the midst of a growing economic crisis last fall, over 90 percent of Americans said that the United States should act to reduce global warming, according to a national survey released today by researchers at Yale and George Mason Universities.

Georgia State/Georgia Tech Center for Advanced Brain Imaging to expand brain, mind research
Georgia State University and the Georgia Institute of Technology are opening a new center that will provide researchers around Atlanta with a dedicated magnetic resonance imaging scanner to further study into the mysteries of the brain and mind.

6.5 million more patients might benefit from statins to prevent heart attacks, strokes
Millions more patients could benefit from taking statins, drugs typically used to prevent heart attacks and strokes, than current prescribing guidelines suggest, Johns Hopkins doctors report in a new study.

Medicine's small business practices should be supported by federal budget
Speaking from his perspective as a physician who practiced for nearly 30 years in a small medical practice in rural Virginia, Jeffrey P.

Scientists cable seafloor seismometer into California's earthquake network
Earthquake monitoring stations are almost always on land, but what about the 70 percent of the Earth's surface under water?

Spinal taps carry higher risks for infants and elderly, study shows
An X-ray-guided spinal tap procedure fails more than half of the time in young infants and should be used sparingly, if at all, for those patients, according to a new study done by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prizes 2009: 6 young researchers recognized for outstanding achievements
Four women and two men have been chosen to receive this year's Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize, Germany's top research award for young scientists.

NASA's Fermi mission, Namibia's HESS telescopes explore a blazar
An international team of astrophysicists using telescopes on the ground and in space have uncovered surprising changes in radiation emitted by an active galaxy.

Regular exercise reduces depressive symptoms, improves self-esteem in overweight children
Less than an hour of daily exercise reduces depressive symptoms and improves self esteem in overweight children, Medical College of Georgia researchers say.

Atomic fountain clocks are becoming still more stable
They are at present the most accurate clocks in the world: caesium fountain clocks furnish the second accurate to 15 places after the decimal point.

West Antarctic ice comes and goes, rapidly
Researchers today worry about the collapse of West Antarctic ice shelves and loss of the West Antarctic ice sheet, but little is known about the past movements of this ice.

Zinc oxide gives green shine to new photoconductors
Northwestern University researchers have designed a high-performing photoconducting material that uses zinc oxide -- an environmentally friendly inorganic compound found in baby powder and suntan lotion -- instead of lead sulfide.

Media health reporting: Accuracy improving but still a way to go
New research on the reporting of medical treatments in the media shows slight improvements in accuracy but the overall quality of health reporting remains poor.

Depressed people have trouble learning 'good things in life'
While depression is often linked to negative thoughts and emotions, a new study suggests the real problem may be a failure to appreciate positive experiences.

Study finds biological clue in brain tumor development
Scientists at the University of Nottingham have uncovered a vital new biological clue that could lead to more effective treatments for a children's brain tumor that currently kills more than 60 percent of young sufferers.

Black girls are 50 percent more likely to be bulimic than white girls
An important new study challenges the widespread perception that bulimia primarily affects privileged, white teenagers such as

'Colorblindness' hurts minority employees, but multiculturalism inspires their commitment
A new study by psychologists at the University of Georgia shows for the first time that whites' beliefs about diversity can hurt or help their minority peers.

Protein is key to embryonic stem cell differentiation
Investigators at Burnham Institute for Medical Research have learned that a protein called Shp2 plays a critical role in the pathways that control decisions for differentiation or self-renewal in both human embryonic stem cells and mouse embryonic stem cells.

Conflicts of interest in clinical research
Although paying finder's fees to researchers and clinicians to identify study participants could compromise the recruitment process and harm human lives, many medical schools fail to address this conflict of interest in their Institutional Review Board policies.

New research suggests common anti-seizure medications may increase risk of cardiovascular problems
An important clinical repercussion in the treatment of epilepsy has been discovered by a research team led by Scott Mintzer, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Neurology.

Liking sweets makes sense for kids
New research from the University of Washington and the Monell Center indicates that this heightened liking for sweetness has a biological basis and is related to children's high growth rate.

Research yields potential target for cancer, wound healing and fibrosis
Research conducted by Allison Berrier, Ph.D., assistant professor of oral and craniofacial biology at the LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Dentistry, and colleagues, provides insights that may help scientists design novel approaches to control wound healing and fight diseases such as cancer and fibrosis.

Exclusive marketing contracts best when competition is fierce, Rotman study finds
Agencies selling marketing services are often faced with the dilemma of whether to sell a service exclusively to a single firm in a given market category or to work with more than one.

Experimental vaccine shows promise in preventing cytomegalovirus infection
Each year, approximately 8,000 infants in the United States develop severe hearing, mental or movement impairments after becoming infected with cytomegalovirus (CMV), a common virus passed onto them while still in the womb.

Changing the price of foods may significantly affect Americans' weight
A new article published in the Milbank Quarterly explores how food prices can affect weight outcomes, revealing that pricing interventions can have a significant effect on obesity rates.

Charter school students more likely to graduate, attend college
Students at charter schools graduate and attend college at significantly higher rates than students at traditional public schools, according to a Rand Corp. study led by a Michigan State University scholar.

IOF-Servier Young Investigator Research Grant awarded to Australian researcher
Dr. Roger Zebaze, Research Fellow at the Department of Endocrinology, Austin Health, at the University of Melbourne has been named the winner of the IOF-Servier Young Investigator Research Grant.

Shellfish and inkjet printers may hold key to faster healing from surgeries
Using the natural glue that marine mussels use to stick to rocks, and a variation on the inkjet printer, a team of researchers led by North Carolina State University has devised a new way of making medical adhesives that could replace traditional sutures and result in less scarring, faster recovery times and increased precision for exacting operations such as eye surgery.

It's for the birds
On Nov. 1, 1933, Mrs. Bruce Reid recorded seeing both a male and female ivory-billed woodpecker in Texas.

Parents failing to recognize their children's risk for obesity may be contributing to epidemic
With 17 percent of US children between ages 2 and 19 classified as obese, new research shows that parents may not be recognizing their own children's risk factors. 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