Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 26, 2009
Respiratory risk from hospital cleaning fluids
Cleaning fluids used in hospitals may pose a health risk to both staff and patients.

Tiny but toxic: MBL researchers discover a mechanism of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease
Particles of amyloid beta that have not clumped into plaques severely disrupt neurotransmission and delivery of key proteins in Alzheimer's disease, two new studies by MBL scientists show.

Federal funding gap cited for research on human health impacts due to climate change
Climate change will seriously impact public health, but the United States has yet to allocate adequate research funding to understand and prepare for these impacts.

Study assesses impact of fish stocking on aquatic insects
The impact fish stocking has on aquatic insects in mountain lakes can be rapidly reversed by removing non-native trout, according to a study completed by US Forest Service and University of California, Davis, scientists.

Dust plays larger than expected role in determining Atlantic temperature
The recent warming trend in the Atlantic Ocean is largely due to reductions in airborne dust and volcanic emissions during the past 30 years, according to a new study.

Pest management specialist Charles Summers wins prestigious Woodworth Award
A University of California entomologist whose career spans 39 years in the pest management of field and vegetable crops, is the winner of the prestigious Charles W.

Hormone-mimics in plastic water bottles -- just the tip of the iceberg?
Plastic packaging is not without its downsides, and if you thought mineral water was

Team IDs genesis of mass migrations
For the first time, MIT engineers and colleagues have observed the initiation of a mass gathering and subsequent migration of hundreds of millions of animals -- in this case, fish.

Transforming medical diagnosis with new scanning technology
A new technology which dramatically improves the sensitivity of magnetic resonance techniques including those used in hospital scanners and chemistry laboratories has been developed by scientists at the University of York.

Fitter frames: Nanotubes boost structural integrity of composites
Professor Nikhil Koratkar of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has demonstrated that incorporating chemically treated carbon nanotubes into an epoxy composite can significantly improve the overall toughness, fatigue resistance and durability of a composite frame.

Intruder alert: Tel Aviv University's 'Smart Dew' will find you!
Dewdrop-sized motes serve as invisible security guards.

Hebrew University professor's work leads to FDA approval for product
A material developed at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem that is designed to prevent adhesions (scar tissue) following surgery has led to approval by the US Food and Drug Administration of a product for use in pediatric cardiac surgery patients.

Peter Baumann named Howard Hughes Medical Institute Early Career Scientist
Stowers Institute Associate Investigator Peter Baumann, Ph.D., has been named an Early Career Scientist with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

New way to make stem cells avoids risk of cancer
A team of scientists has advanced stem cell research by finding a way to endow human skin cells with embryonic stem cell-like properties without inserting potentially problematic new genes into their DNA.

UW-Madison scientists excise vector, exotic genes from induced stem cells
A team of University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers reports that it has created induced human pluripotent stem (iPS) cells completely free of viral vectors and exotic genes.

Deep sea floor mining is subject of international colloquium at WHOI
Scientists, policymakers, environmentalists, and industry representatives will gather next week at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to discuss the issue of mining precious metals from the seafloor.

Gorilla gets MRI at Bronx Zoo
Talk about house calls! The Wildlife Conservation Society thanks The Brain Tumor Foundation and its

2 NYU scientists named Howard Hughes Medical Institute's Early Career Scientists
Two researchers from NYU School of Medicine have been named Early Career Scientists by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Symmetry math sheds new light on fundamental physics
A team of researchers from Perimeter Institute, Cambridge University, and Texas A&M has for the first time estimated, from mathematical symmetry arguments, the size of a fundamental imbalance pervading the subatomic world.

Meeting to examine FDA requirements for manufacturing PET radiopharmaceuticals
SNM and the International Partnership for Critical Markers of Disease are co-hosting an in-depth meeting on Friday, May 1, 2009, examining FDA requirements for manufacturing positron emission tomography radiopharmaceuticals.

The AACR commends Senators Kennedy and Hutchison on the 21st Century Cancer ALERT Act
On Thursday, Senators Edward M. Kennedy and Kay Bailey Hutchison introduced legislation that will renew the war on cancer by modernizing and advancing the national cancer program of the United States.

UK astronomers observe asteroid before it crashes into Earth
UK astronomers, using the Science and Technology Facilities Council's William Herschel Telescope on La Palma, observed a rare asteroid as it was hurtling towards our planet and have captured the only spectrum of it before it exploded in our atmosphere.

External focus improves postural stability in patients with Parkinson's disease
Patients with Parkinson disease may be able to improve their postural stability by directing their attention to the external effects of their movements rather than to the movements of their own body, according to a study published in the February 2009 issue of Physical Therapy, the scientific journal of the American Physical Therapy Association.

3 Johns Hopkins researchers named Howard Hughes Medical Institute Early Career Scientists
Three researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have been named Early Career Scientists by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Mayo study shows simple finger device may help predict future heart events, such as heart attack
Results of a Mayo Clinic study show that a simple, noninvasive finger sensor test is

M. D. Anderson launches graduate program in cancer metastasis
A one-of-a-kind graduate program that focuses on the most lethal aspect of cancer will open this fall at the University of Texas M.

Study shows that exercise reduces migraine suffering
While physical exercise has been shown to trigger migraine headaches among sufferers, a new study describes an exercise program that is well tolerated by patients.

Scripps scientists find structure of a protein that makes cancer cells resistant to chemotherapy
A research team at the Scripps Research Institute has obtained the first glimpse of a protein that keeps certain substances, including many drugs, out of cells.

Garvan to play a role in International Cancer Genome Consortium
Minister for Health and Aging, the Hon. Nicola Roxon MP, announced today that Australia would make a substantial contribution to the International Cancer Genome Consortium by tackling pancreatic cancer, one of the deadliest cancers and fourth most common cause of cancer death.

Nanyang Technological University and University of California, Berkeley pursue research alliance
UC Berkeley and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, aims to achieve new peaks in research excellence through collaboration in three research areas which are of significance globally -- synthetic biology, stem cells and energy efficiency.

Large users of zopiclone assessed as impaired
A new study from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health shows a positive link between the amount of the hypnotic (sleeping medicine) zopiclone in the blood and the chance of being assessed as impaired in a clinical examination.

On Being a Scientist: A Guide to Responsible Conduct in Research, third edition
New from the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine, offers researchers -- especially early career scientists and their mentors -- guidance on the ethical conduct of scientific research.

Climate change aims need to be better integrated
Specific measures to tackle climate change, such as emissions trading, will only be successful if they are coherently supported by other government policies addressing economic and social issues, says a report published today by the Partnership for European Environmental Research.

Do Americans have an identity crisis when it comes to race and ethnicity?
Say goodbye to Italian-Americans and German-Americans and say hello to Vietnamese-Americans, Salvadoran-Americans and a bunch of other hyphenated Americans.

M. D. Anderson gives first Margaret Kripke Legend Award to Margaret Foti
Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D. (h.c.), chief executive officer of the American Association for Cancer Research, today received the inaugural Margaret Kripke Legend Award from the University of Texas M.

UC Davis bench-to-bedside research: Promising treatment in clinical trials
A new drug developed at the University of California, Davis to treat diabetes, hypertension and inflammatory has entered Phase II of human clinical trials to evaluate its efficacy.

Nutritious new low-sugar juice targeted for diabetics, individuals with high blood sugar
Scientists in China are reporting development of a low-calorie, low-sugar vegetable juice custom-designed for millions of individuals with diabetes and pre-diabetic conditions that involve abnormally high blood sugar.

Mayo clinic: Retired national football league linemen have high incidence of sleep apnea
Sleep disordered breathing, also known as sleep apnea, is highly prevalent among retired National Football League players, and particularly in linemen, according to Mayo Clinic research.

URI scientists reveal mechanism that regulates cancer-causing gene
Two URI scientists have revealed how a cancer causing protein is regulated by reactive oxygen species -- a type of stress signal.

Gene variants may determine lung function and susceptibility to maternal smoking
A tiny variation within a single gene can determine not only how quickly and well lungs grow and function in children and adolescents, but how susceptible those children will be to exposure to second-hand tobacco smoke, even in utero, according to researchers from the University of Southern California.

Salk Institute signs strategic alliance with sanofi-aventis
The Salk Institute today announced that it has signed a strategic alliance agreement with sanofi-aventis, establishing a joint program that supports cutting-edge research and promotes an exchange of discoveries focused on scientific advances and therapeutic applications.

Mending a broken heart: Study offers closer look at 'broken heart syndrome'
Researchers from the Miriam Hospital created a registry of 70 patients with the medical phenomenon known as

Data suggesting that omacetaxine can eradicate leukemic stem cells may offer a breakthrough for CML
The experimental drug omacetaxine under development by ChemGenex Pharmaceuticals has been shown to kill leukemic stem cells in mouse models of drug-resistant chronic myelogenous leukemia.

Protein from tick saliva studied for potential myasthenia gravis treatment
Saint Louis University researchers find that a protein in tick saliva shows promise as a potential treatment for the debilitating neuromuscular disorder myasthenia gravis.

COPD-related problems hard to swallow
Patients with moderate to severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease exhibit a disordered breathing-swallowing pattern that may account for their higher risk of aspiration pneumonia, according to new research from the University of Pittsburgh.

Pregnant women who smoke, urged to give up before 15-week 'deadline'
Women who stop smoking before week 15 of pregnancy cut their risk of spontaneous premature birth and having small babies to the same as nonsmokers, according to research published on today.

High prevalence of infection with three recently discovered human polyomaviruses
A majority of the human population has been exposed to newly discovered KI (KIV), WU (WUV), and Merkel cell (MCV) human polyomaviruses, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Colorado.

Drop in daddy long legs is devastating bird populations
Research shows how climate change is having an impact on upland bird species such as the golden plover.

Doctors differ on whether hospices should follow CPR guidelines
Experts in two papers published on today disagree on whether cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) guidelines should apply to hospices.

Public transit users 3 times more likely to meet fitness guidelines: UBC research
A new study by researchers at the University of British Columbia suggests taking public transit may help you keep fit.

Discovery of protein that reactivates herpes simplex virus helps solve medical mystery
Research in PLoS Pathogens appears to solve a long standing medical mystery by identifying a viral protein, VP16, as the molecular key that prompts herpes simplex virus (HSV) to exit latency and cause recurrent disease.

'Painter' supercomputer comes to life at Louisiana Tech
The Louisiana Optical Network Initiative gained another 4.77 teraflops of computing power recently with the activation of the

UT Southwestern scientist named Howard Hughes Medical Institute Early Career Scientist
Dr. Russell DeBose-Boyd, associate professor of molecular genetics at UT Southwestern Medical Center, has been appointed a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Early Career Scientist.

Palomar Observatory is last stop on 24-hour webcast linking telescopes around the globe and in space
Around the World in 80 Telescopes, part of the International Year of Astronomy's 100 Hours of Astronomy Cornerstone Project of global outreach activities, will begin on April 3.

UF scientist tapped by Howard Hughes Medical Institute to pursue 'best ideas'
A University of Florida scientist whose interest in embryonic development and evolution led him to discover the molecular building blocks that shape appendages ranging from feet to flippers was named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Early Career Scientist today, a distinction given to only 50 researchers in the United States.

Birds do it, bees do it; termites don't, necessarily
Scientists at North Carolina State University and three universities in Japan have shown for the first time that it is possible for certain female termite

MCTP bought Genomatix NextGen Sequencing analysis stations
The Michigan Center for Translational Pathology at the University of Michigan installed a Genomatix Mining Station and a Genomatix Genome Analyzer at its labs in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Two Hutchinson Center researchers named HHMI Early Career Scientists
The Howard Hughes Medical Research Institute today announced that two researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center -- Drs.

US migrant health, compensation for night-shift work, and the Pope
The three editorials in this week's Lancet focus on US migrant health, compensation for breast cancer sufferers who have done night-shift work, and the Pope's recent announcement on AIDS and condom use.

New MRI signaling method could picture disease metabolism in action
Duke University chemists are using modified magnetic resonance imaging to see molecular changes inside people's bodies that could signal health problems such as cancer.

Nanoparticles in cosmetics/personal care products may have adverse environmental effects
Using aquatic microbes as their

Vindictiveness doesn't pay
Vindictiveness doesn't pay. This has been demonstrated by a current study at Bonn and Maastricht Universities.

2009 ESCEO-IOF Alliance for Better Bone Health Young Investigator Award presented to Dr. Nick Harvey
Dr. Nick Harvey of the MRC Epidemiology Resource Center, University of Southhampton, was presented with the 2009 ESCEO-IOF Alliance for Better Bone Health Young Investigator Award at the ECCEO9-IOF meeting held in Athens from March 18-21, 2009.

Methodspace: New social network aims to bring together practical support in research methods
SAGE, the world's leading independent academic publisher has today launched; a public social network dedicated to the discussion of research methods online.

Changes in gene may stunt lung development in children
Mutations in a gene may cause poor lung development in children, making them more vulnerable to diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease later in life, say researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health and the German Research Center for Environmental Health.

DNA repair mechanisms relocate in response to stress
Some DNA repair enzymes can relocate to the part of the cell that needs their help, a team of scientists has found.

Psychiatric disorders are common in adults who have had anorexia
Many adults who were diagnosed as teenagers to be suffering from anorexia nervosa cannot work due to psychiatric disorders.

New nanogenerator may charge iPods and cell phones with a wave of the hand
A new nanogenerator may charge iPods and cell phones with a wave of the hand.

Drinking very hot tea can increase the risk of throat cancer
People are advised to wait a few minutes before drinking a cup of freshly boiled tea today as a new study, published on, finds that drinking very hot tea (70 degrees C or more) can increase the risk of cancer of the esophagus, the muscular tube that carries food from the throat to the stomach.

The host makes all the difference
For some people it is a certainty: as soon as the annual flu season gets underway, they are sure to go down with it.

MSU researcher links cholesterol crystals to cardiovascular attacks
For the first time ever, a Michigan State University researcher has shown cholesterol crystals can disrupt plaque in a patient's cardiovascular system, causing a heart attack or stroke.

Individualized stroke treatment available for patients, though underutilized
Nearly 90 percent of the 700,000 strokes that affect US patients each year are caused by a blockage of blood vessels supplying the brain, known as ischemic stroke.

Study unravels why certain fishes went extinct 65 million years ago
Large size and a fast bite spelled doom for bony fishes during the last mass extinction 65 million years ago (the same one that led to the extinction of thousands of species of flora and fauna, including dinosaurs).

Clarke clarifies pattern recognition theory
Recent commentary has suggested that the extent to which anomaly theories have become ingrained in the minds of academics and popular commentators alike has led to certain common assumptions and misconceptions about Clarke's pattern recognition theory of humor.

Status of the Geoscience Workforce 2009 Report now available in print
The American Geological Institute has published a print edition of the Status of the Geoscience Workforce 2009 Report.

Biomaterials Asia 2009 conference highlights leading biomaterials science in Asia
Elsevier announced today, that Biomaterials, the leading journal in the field of biomaterials science, will host Biomaterials Asia 2009 in Hong Kong from April 5-8 to highlight the latest Asian research developments, institutions and individuals in biomaterials science.

Combating weight gain caused by antipsychotic treatments
Antipsychotic drugs, such as olanzapine (Zyprexa), risperidone (Risperdal) and quetiapine (Seroquel), are commonly used to treat psychotic disorders like schizophrenia, but also bipolar disorder.

ACC/AHA updated heart failure guidelines focus on key research findings, clinical advances
Updated guidelines on the diagnosis and management of heart failure will help physicians incorporate the latest research findings into the treatment of patients with this complex and disabling disease.

More frequent treatment of children with trachoma could more effectively reduce infection
Due to a form of

University of Minnesota expert on smart grids and smart grid security speaks on Capitol Hill today
Massoud Amin, University of Minnesota professor of electrical and computer engineering, will speak to members of the US Congressional Research and Development Caucus during a briefing on the US power grid and energy in the nation's capitol today, Thursday, March 26.

Face recognition: the eyes have it
Our brain extracts important information for face recognition principally from the eyes, and secondly from the mouth and nose, according to a new study from a researcher at the University of Barcelona.

New study suggests Rx estrogen delivery through the skin may show safety benefits as opposed to oral delivery
Transdermal delivery of estrogen therapy available by prescription

Gabon establishes national ethics committee
As the number of health research conducted in sub-Saharan Africa increases, so does the need for improved review of the ethical and scientific rigor of these trials.

Evolutionary origin of bacterial chromosomes revealed
Researchers have unveiled the evolutionary origin of the different chromosomal architectures found in three species of Agrobacterium.

Concern over inappropriate diagnosis and treatment of thyroid problems
More and more people are being inappropriately diagnosed and treated for underactivity of the thyroid gland (known as primary hypothyroidism), warn doctors in an editorial published on today.

Whitehead member Peter Reddien named HHMI Early Career Scientist
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute has awarded Whitehead Member Peter Reddien an Early Career Scientist appointment, a six-year funded position that allows him to pursue his innovative biomedical research.

Aspirin as prevention for cancer: Both more evidence and safer versions of aspirin needed
Evidence exists for the protective effects exerted by aspirin on cancer, especially colorectal cancer. 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