Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 20, 2009
Mayo Clinic study suggests those who have chronic pain may need to assess vitamin D status
Mayo Clinic research shows a correlation between inadequate vitamin D levels and the amount of narcotic medication taken by patients who have chronic pain.

NIH funds research center for women's reproductive health at Einstein
The National Institute of Child Health and Development of the National Institutes of Health has awarded Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University a $7.5 million grant to establish a Specialized Cooperative Center Program in Reproduction and Infertility Research.

UC Cooperative Extension team wins Circle of Life award
A nine-member University of California Cooperative Extension team recently won the annual Circle of Life award from the California Rice Commission for two decades of dedication, commitment and accomplishments to the rice industry.

New ecopsychology journal will premiere in spring 2009
Ecopsychology -- an emerging field that explores the psychological origins of environmental issues and ways in which ecology and psychology interact on individual, societal and global levels -- is the focus of a new online peer-reviewed journal, Ecopsychology to be launched by publisher Mary Ann Liebert Inc. this spring.

Queen's scientists discover giant solar twists
Scientists at Queen's University have made a finding that will help us to understand more about the turbulent solar weather and its affect on our planet.

UB engineers prove that carbon nanotubes are superior to metals for electronics
In the quest to pack ever-smaller electronic devices more densely with integrated circuits, nanotechnology researchers keep running up against some unpleasant truths: higher current density induces electromigration and thermomigration, phenomena that damage metal conductors and produce heat, which leads to premature failure of devices.

How to increase the efficacy of local excision of rectal cancer
Local tumor excision preserves anal, urinary and sexual function in patients with low rectal cancer.

A severe vomiting sickness with chronic cannabis abuse
Marijuana, a commonly abused drug among high school and college students is linked to a severe form of vomiting syndrome and compulsive bathing behavior.

Stevens' Center for Science Writings presents: 'Ravens at the Feast,' with Bernd Heinrich, April 1
The Center for Science Writings at Stevens Institute of Technology will host

'Delicious' new grape debuts
Researchers at the University of Florida have introduced

New study finds daily drinking is biggest risk factor in serious liver disease
Long-term daily drinking, rather than weekly binge drinking, is by far the biggest risk factor in serious liver disease, according to a new report from the University of Southampton, published in Addiction.

Abnormal EKG can predict death in stroke patients
People who suffer an ischemic stroke and also have an abnormality in the heart's electrical cycle are at a higher risk of death within 90 days than people who do not have abnormal electrical activity at the time of emergency treatment, according to new research.

Flight of the bumble (and honey) bee
Honeybees and bumble bees are predictable in the way they move among flowers, typically moving directly from one to another in the same row of plants.

Penn medicine draws road map for elimination of central line-associated bloodstream infections
Central line-associated bloodstream infections fell by more than 90 percent during the past three years at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania due to a novel, multipronged approach.

Liver cell adenoma or hepatocellular carcinoma?
Liver cell adenoma is a benign tumor of the liver parenchyma that is associated with the use of oral contraceptives or with glycogen-storage disease.

Lombardi research: Monoclonal antibodies primed to become potent immune weapons against cancer
New research suggests that monoclonal antibody therapy of cancer can be improved to be much more powerful than it is today, says a researcher at Georgetown University Medical Center's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in the March 21 issue of the Lancet.

Lancet study supports new, highly effective treatment for blood disorder
Patients suffering from a blood disorder that prevents proper clotting have the option of a new medication that may dramatically improve their health.

Joint ESA/NASA mission using SPICE to explore the center of the solar system
An imaging coronal spectrograph called SPICE (Spectral Imaging of the Coronal Environment), designed by scientists and engineers at Southwest Research Institute in Boulder has been selected by ESA and NASA for the European Space Agency's Solar Orbiter mission to explore the innermost regions of the solar system from the closest distances to the sun ever attempted.

Castrate resistant prostate cancer: New therapeutic approaches
Today Dr. Martin Gleave of the Vancouver Prostate Centre in Canada gave a lecture about new approaches to treat castrate-resistant prostate cancer during the 24th Annual Congress of the European Association of Urology in Stockholm, Sweden.

GOCE successfully completes early orbit phase
ESA's GOCE satellite was formally declared ready for work at 1 a.m.

Right warfarin dose determined by 3 genes
Researchers at Uppsala University, together with colleagues at the Karolinska Institute and the Sanger Institute, have now found all the genes the determine the dosage of the blood-thinning drug warfarin.

Genetic sleuth solves glaucoma mystery
Dr. Michael Walter is one good gumshoe. The University of Alberta medical geneticist has cracked the case of WDR36, a gene linked to glaucoma.

Eczema in children is increasing, but diet is not the cause
One in five children are now affected by this skin condition, which is often associated with an allergy.

Acetaldehyde in alcohol -- no longer just the chemical that causes a hangover
A new study published today in the journal Addiction shows that drinking alcohol is the greatest risk factor for acetaldehyde-related cancer.

UK researcher identifies just 8 patterns as the cause of all humor
Evolutionary theorist Alastair Clarke has today published details of eight patterns he claims to be the basis of all the humor that has ever been imagined or expressed, regardless of civilization, culture or personal taste.

Knoxville site of global Quark Matter Conference, March 30-April 4
Physicists from 35 countries and nearly 200 institutions are coming to Knoxville, Tenn., March 30-April 4, for the International Conference on Ultra-Relativistic Nucleus Collisions, hosted by the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Environmental cleaning intervention reduces transmission of multidrug-resistant organisms in ICUs
A new study presents hospital cleansing methods to reduce spread of infectious diseases such as MRSA and VRE.

Brown-led team offers first look at how bats land
A Brown University-led research team has documented for the first time how bats land.

The sunlight solution for better health
Sunlight is a vital component of good health, particularly for the production of vitamin D.

Gulf War veterans display abnormal brain response to specific chemicals
A new study by UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers is the first to pinpoint damage inside the brains of veterans suffering from Gulf War syndrome -- a finding that links the illness to chemical exposures and may lead to diagnostic tests and treatments.

Illinois researchers evaluate highway rest areas for wind power
University of Illinois researchers performed an in-depth study for the Illinois Center for Transportation and the Illinois Department of Transportation to determine the feasibility of using wind to provide electrical power at highway rest areas, weigh stations and team section buildings.

Cathepsin B increases apoptosis in fulminant hepatic failure
Recent evidence suggests that cathepsin B contributes to cell apoptosis.

Cardiac arrhythmias are often accompanied by sleep-disordered breathing
Breathing during sleep is often impaired in patients with atrial fibrillation.

Finding twin Earths is harder than we thought
Does a twin Earth exist somewhere in our galaxy? Astronomers are getting closer and closer to finding an Earth-sized planet in an Earth-like orbit.

University of Washington scientists one step closer to stopping bone loss during spaceflight
By simulating spaceflight conditions through the use of long-duration bedrest, researchers at the University of Washington have found -- for the first time -- a way to prevent bone loss in a specific region of the hip.

New initiative to support pediatric migraine research is announced
Today, the Migraine Research Foundation announced a new initiative to promote and support research in pediatric and adolescent migraine called For Our Children.

Recent grant supports research trainees
A new initiative, funded by the Nancy Lurie Marks Family Foundation, will provide nearly $5 million over six years to support Harvard Medical School faculty and students interested in autism and related neurological disorders.

Malnutrition risk underappreciated in laryngeal cancer patients
Almost half of all patients with cancer of the voice box (larynx) who receive radiotherapy treatment will experience malnutrition, according to new data presented at the European Society for Medical Oncology's Symposium on Cancer and Nutrition.

New technique used to profile anthrax genome
Scientists at Georgia Tech have used a new approach, known as RNA-Seq, to profile the gene expression of the bacterium that causes anthrax.

SPCG-4 trial: Update on watchful waiting versus radical prostatectomy
In 2005, the Scandinavian Prostate Cancer Group Study 4 reported that radical prostatectomy improved prostate cancer survival compared with watchful waiting after a median of 8.2 years of follow-up.

Scientists find solution to solar puzzle
Scientists from the University of Sheffield and Queen's University Belfast have made a unique discovery which will help us understand one of the most puzzling features of the sun.

Research to secure a safe water supply
World Water Day on Sunday, March 22, aims to raise public awareness of the increasing scarcity of clean drinking water on our planet.

An even-handed analysis of environmental policy
In his new book,

'Stent 4 Life': A campaign is launched to increase the use of primary PCI in acute coronary patients
A campaign which will reduce mortality in patients with acute coronary syndromes has been launched today by a coalition which includes the ESC Working Group on Acute Cardiac Care and the European Association of Percutaneous Cardiovascular Interventions.

Study quantifies racial disparities in cancer mortality rates between blacks and whites
A new study finds that the disparity in mortality between blacks and whites is almost entirely due to the fact that African-Americans are more likely to get cancer in the first place.

Water acts as catalyst in explosives
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory scientists have shown that water, in hot dense environments, plays an unexpected role in catalyzing complex explosive reactions.

2-day results predict ultimate response to therapy in chronic hepatitis C
A new study suggests that previously noted low rates of successful hepatitis C virus therapy in African-Americans are in large part due to very early differences in the antiviral activity induced by interferon.

A quarter of the world's population depends on degrading land
A new study published in the journal Soil Use and Management attempts for the first time to measure the extent and severity of land degradation across the globe and concludes that 24 percent of the land area is degrading -- often in very productive areas.

Motor proteins may be vehicles for drug delivery
Specialized motor proteins that transport cargo within cells could be turned into nanoscale machines for drug delivery, according to bioengineers.

Latest data on UK cancer survival fuel debate over effectiveness of NHS cancer plan for England
The National Health Service cancer plan for England shows some beneficial effect on survival, although wide regional variations remain; more follow-up data are needed before the true impact of the cancer plan can be fully established. 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