Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 08, 2009
Scientists identify key gene that protects against leukemia
Researchers at UCSF have identified a gene that controls the rapid production and differentiation of the stem cells that produce all blood cell types -- a discovery that could eventually open the door to more streamlined treatments for leukemia and other blood cancers, in which blood cells proliferate out of control.

Telemonitoring changes the working practice of cardiac nurses
The 9th Annual Spring Meeting of the European Society of Cardiology Council on Cardiovascular Nursing and Allied Professions, organized in cooperation with the Irish Nurses Cardiovascular Association, is being held at the Royal Dublin Society, Dublin, Ireland, on April 24-25.

Nano changes rise to macro importance in a key electronics material
By combining the results of a number of powerful techniques for studying material structure at the nanoscale, a team of researchers from NIST, working with colleagues in other federal labs and abroad, believe they have settled a long-standing debate over the source of the unique electronic properties of a material with potentially great importance for wireless communications.

Field stations foster serendipitous discoveries in environmental, biological sciences
North America's biological field stations have long been home to a rich legacy of research results, scientists say, making them important places for serendipitous discoveries in the biological and environmental sciences.

Chinese slimming capsules
Taking herbal food supplements is certainly not free of risk.

Impact of floods on soils
Researchers in the Midwestern United States have examined the effects of flooding on soil, and have discovered new ways in which short-term ponding conditions can affect soil aggregation and the chemistry of the soil-water system.

Biomedical researchers invited to design experiments for the International Space Station
The National Institutes of Health and the National Air and Space Administration are partnering to conduct biomedical experiments that astronauts could perform on the International Space Station.

New software streamlines medical device
e-Zassi.com has expanded its online product application so members can extract critical technical and business-related traits and attributes from new medical device technologies to facilitate the ability of innovators and others involved in medical device invention to deeply analyze and forecast the opportunities and the challenges from time of invention throughout all development and commercialization phases.

Parkinson's disease medication triggers destructive behaviors
A new study conducted at Mayo Clinic reports that one in six patients receiving therapeutic doses of certain drugs for Parkinson's disease develops new-onset, potentially destructive behaviors, notably compulsive gambling or hypersexuality.

Einstein researchers devise a fast and sensitive way to detect ricin
Scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have developed a simple, accurate, and highly sensitive test to detect and quantify ricin, an extremely potent toxin with potential use as a bioterrorism agent.

NCAR tests system to steer drivers away from dangerous weather
NCAR scientists this month are testing a technological system to alert drivers to nearby hazardous weather conditions.

Heartburn medications do not ease asthma symptoms
A new study of adults with inadequate asthma control without significant heartburn shows that heartburn medication does not help control their asthma symptoms.

CFI awards $854,098 to University of Montreal and partners
Research infrastructure at the University of Montreal and two of its affiliated research centers has received a boost, thanks to the Canada Foundation for Innovation and matching funds from the Government of Quebec and the private sector.

Key protein in cellular respiration discovered
Many diseases derive from problems with cellular respiration, the process through which cells extract energy from nutrients.

Ancient diatoms lead to new technology for solar energy
Engineers at Oregon State University have discovered a way to use an ancient life form to create one of the newest technologies for solar energy, in systems that may be surprisingly simple to build compared to existing silicon-based solar cells.

GOCE's 'heart' starts beating
GOCE's highly sensitive gradiometer instrument has been switched on and is producing data.

ISU researcher identifies protein that concentrates carbon dioxide in algae
An Iowa State University researcher has identified one of the key proteins in microalgae responsible for concentrating and moving CO2 into cells.

Middle school youth as young as 12 engaging in risky sexual activity
Middle school youth are engaging in sexual intercourse as early as age 12, according to a study by researchers at The University of Texas School of Public Health.

UNH: Pavement sealcoat a source of toxins in stormwater runoff
Driveways and parking lots may look better with a layer of sealcoat applied to the pavement, but the water running off the surface into nearby streams will be carrying more than just oxygen and hydrogen molecules.

Blood tests reveal tobacco smoke residues in non-smoking New Yorkers
More than half of nonsmoking New Yorkers have elevated levels of cotinine in their blood -- meaning that they were recently exposed to toxic secondhand smoke in concentrations high enough to leave residues in the body.

James Webb Space Telescope first flight mirror completes cryogenic testing
The first mirror segment that will fly on the James Webb Space Telescope, built by Northrop Grumman Corporation, has completed its first series of cryogenic temperature tests in the X-ray and Cryogenic Facility at the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.

Award-winning paper looks at consumer response to really new products
According to researchers David Alexander, John Lynch and Qing Wang, consumers prefer new products that are familiar over highly innovative, unfamiliar products whose use requires behavior change.

Rush University Medical Center orthopaedic experts examine overhead
Baseball season is underway. With the pros, college and high school teams taking to the baseball diamonds and Little Leaguers soon to follow, orthopedic specialists at Rush University Medical Center are cautioning players to be aware of and take precautions against throwing injuries.

Soybean component reduces menopause effects
Soy aglycons of isoflavone (SAI), a group of soybean constituent chemicals, have been shown to promote health in a rat model of the menopause.

Community provides essential support to military families
The deployment of military personnel to active war zones, which involves issues of separation, time away from home, and eventual reunion, increases the vulnerability of their families.

Scientists pierce veil of clouds to 'see' lightning inside a volcanic plume
Researchers hit the jackpot in late March, when, for the first time, they began recording data on lightning in a volcanic eruption -- right from the start of the eruption.

Shared equipment can lead to hepatitis B outbreaks
Patient-to-patient transmission of hepatitis B virus can occur as the result of routine clinical practices incorrectly thought to be risk-free.

Traditional media provide more comprehensive news than citizen media and blogs, MU researchers find
Researchers from the University of Missouri School of Journalism recently completed a comprehensive comparison of citizen journalism sites (news sites and blogs) and traditional media Web sites.

New report recommends nuclear policy on the path toward nuclear disarmament
In Prague, President Barack Obama called for a world without nuclear weapons.

New research shows children take a toll on marital bliss
New research shows most couples experience a decrease in marital satisfaction once they had their first child.

Presentation of the first GPON analyzer
TECNALIA Technological Corporation and the Aragon-based company, TELNET-RI, have developed the GPON-Doctor by TECNALIA, an innovative product that enables locating, analyzing and evaluating the GPON Network

International climate change researchers meet, review latest findings
Top international climate scientists are meeting this week at the University of Maryland to lay the groundwork for improving regionalized climate change forecasts and for developing the advanced computing models needed to make these projections, says the chair and host, UM's Antonio Busalacchi.

Wristbands ease nausea with cancer treatment
Cancer patients who wore acupressure wristbands had much less nausea while receiving radiation treatment, making the bands a safe, low-cost addition to anti-nausea medication, according to a study published in the Journal of Pain and Symptom Management by University of Rochester Medical Center researchers.

AIAA to host 'Inside Aerospace,' an international forum on building and retaining the global aerospace workforce
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics is pleased to announce that it will host Inside Aerospace -- An International Forum for Aviation and Space Leaders on May 12 and 13, at the Doubletree Hotel Crystal City, Arlington, Va.

Best-selling authors and physicians from NYP/Weill Cornell discuss diet, surgery and bone health
From diet to surgery to bone health, medical experts and authors answer all your questions at the seventh annual Iris Cantor Women's Health Center Press Luncheon, hosted by Fox 5 medical reporter Dr.

COST Foresight 2030
Foresight 2030 brought together 20 leading scientists, researchers and industry representatives from around the world.

Software improves P2P privacy by hiding in the crowd
Researchers at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University have identified a new

Study: Treatment for acid reflux does not improve asthma
New research suggests that a widely used treatment for persistent acid reflux among asthmatics doesn't actually improve their quality of life.

Caltech scientists control complex nucleation processes using DNA origami seeds
The construction of complex man-made objects -- a car, say, or a pizza -- almost invariably entails

Ma and Pa solutions to global warming
The prairies offer opportunities for capitalizing on environmentally friendly farming practices and potentially useful agricultural waste to produce jobs, economic growth, commercial opportunities, and renewable energy sources, according to a perspective article published in the current issue of the International Journal of Private Law.

Aerosols may drive a significant portion of arctic warming
Though greenhouse gases are invariably at the center of discussions about global climate change, new NASA research suggests that much of the atmospheric warming observed in the Arctic since 1976 may be due to changes in tiny airborne particles called aerosols.

Earth under global cooling
Thirty-four-million years ago, Earth changed profoundly. What happened, and how were Earth's animals, plants, oceans and climate affected?

Vitamin D may exacerbate autoimmune disease
Deficiency in vitamin D has been widely regarded as contributing to disease, but a review appearing in Autoimmunity Reviews explains that low levels of vitamin D in patients with autoimmune disease may be a result rather than a cause of disease.

Wiley-Blackwell and the American Heart Association present new book series
The American Heart Association has partnered with Wiley-Blackwell to publish a new series of medical references, the American Heart Association Clinical Series, designed to help physicians translate scientific and technological advances into better patient care.

X marks the spot: Ions coldly go through NIST trap junction
NIST physicists have demonstrated a new ion trap that enables ions to go through an intersection at temperatures ten million times cooler than prior similar trips.

Beautifully varnished -- using renewable
How do you make a scratch-resistant varnish using sugars and vegetable oils?

First screening in Italy on children's health in prison
A group of pediatricians in the Catholic University of Rome have evaluated the health of babies living in prison with their mothers in the main jail of Rome, Rebibbia.

Did a nickel famine trigger the 'Great Oxidation Event'?
The Earth's original atmosphere held very little oxygen. This began to change around 2.4 billion years ago when oxygen levels increased dramatically during what scientists call the

Joslin study identifies 'good' energy burning fat in lean adults
Researchers at the Joslin Diabetes Center have demonstrated that adult humans still have a type of

UBC, U of T team helps solve mystery of starlight's origins
Scientists from the University of Toronto and the University of British Columbia have helped unveil the birthplaces of ancient stars using a two-ton telescope carried by a balloon the size of a 33-story building.

How tumor cells move
If cancer cells lack a certain protein, it could be much easier for them to penetrate healthy body tissue, the first step towards forming metastases.

Caltech researchers train computers to analyze fruit-fly behavior
Caltech scientists have trained computers to automatically analyze aggression and courtship in fruit flies, opening the way for researchers to perform large-scale, high-throughput screens for genes that control these innate behaviors.

Purple does not stand for prevention in asthma
The so-called purple pill, known popularly as Nexium and and esomeprazole to physicians, did not reduce asthma symptoms in patients who did not have symptoms of heartburn, said researchers, including one from Baylor College of Medicine, in a report that appears today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Prune juice not necessary: New research should make bowel movements easier
If you hate prune juice and chalky fiber supplements, just sit down and relax.

Quantum computers will require complex software to manage errors
Highlighting another challenge to the development of quantum computers, theorists at NIST have shown that a type of software operation, proposed as a solution to fundamental problems with the computers' hardware, will not function as some designers had hoped.

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev signs collaborative contract with Bayer CropScience
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev has announced the establishment of a research collaboration with Bayer BioScience N.V., a subsidiary of Bayer CropScience based in Ghent, Belgium, to develop solutions to these challenges.

A strong business plan is most important when investing in start-ups
When making investments, investors look for start-ups that have a strong business plan and a strong management team.

Research could lead to new non-antibiotic drugs to counter hospital infections
Lack of an adequate amount of the mineral phosphate can turn a common bacterium into a killer, according to research to be published in the April 14, 2009, issue of PNAS.

Certain states more aggressive with anti-smoking policies
A new study published in the journal Contemporary Economic Policy assesses the impact of state attributes on the likelihood that a state adopts policies to limit youth access to tobacco.

Stop prescribing heartburn medication to asthma patients without acid reflux
For nearly 20 years, doctors believed severe asthma symptoms such as coughing, sneezing and breathlessness were partly triggered by acid reflux.

New JHM policies tighten rules on industry interactions
Johns Hopkins Medicine has adopted a new policy that significantly limits interactions with industry while ensuring effective, principled and appropriate partnerships with drug and medical device makers.

DFG opens new office in Tokyo
The president of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation), Professor Matthias Kleiner, will open the DFG's new foreign representative office in Tokyo on April 15.

Business, scientific, higher education groups laud President Obama's commitment to science
More than 200 US business, scientific and higher education organizations commend President Obama's commitment to science and innovation.

ARVO announces inaugural class of fellows
The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology is honored to announce the 2009 inaugural class of distinguished fellows.

Test predicts who will develop end-stage renal disease
Measuring kidney function by assessing two different factors -- glomerular filtration rate and urinary albumin levels -- helps determine which patients with chronic kidney disease will develop end-stage renal disease, according to a study appearing in the May 2009 issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

Vitamin D deficiency related to increased inflammation in healthy women
A University of Missouri nutritional sciences researcher found that vitamin D deficiency is associated with inflammation, a negative response of the immune system, in healthy women.

Enzyme therapy slows kidney function decline
For men with Fabry disease, enzyme replacement therapy with agalsidase alfa slows deterioration of kidney function, reports a study in the online edition of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Meat for sex in wild chimpanzees
Wild female chimpanzees copulate more frequently with males who share meat with them over long periods of time, according to a study led by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany, published in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE April 8, 2009.

Drug shows activity in men with advanced prostate cancer
A new multi-center study shows that an experimental drug lowers prostate specific antigen levels -- a marker for tumor growth -- in men with advanced prostate cancer for whom traditional treatment options have failed.

A new link between nickel, methane gas and the evolution of complex life forms on Earth
Kurt Konhauser and his team have a new theory on what caused the decline of methane producing bacteria 2.7 billion years ago and the subsequent rise of oxygen levels.

NC State researchers find soy may aid in treating canine cancers
Researchers at North Carolina State University are looking to soy as a way to make traditional canine cancer therapy more effective, less stressful for the dog and less costly for the owners.

Acid reflux without symptoms does not worsen asthma
A commonly used treatment for acid reflux does not improve asthma symptoms or control in patients who do not have symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux, according to a new study supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and by the American Lung Association.

Study shows that HIV antiretroviral treatment should start earlier
A new analysis of more than 45,000 people with HIV in Europe and North America suggests that the minimum CD4-cell count threshold for initiation of combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) should be 350 cells per μL of blood.

Scientists develop method for comprehensive proteome analysis
Investigators at Burnham Institute for Medical Research have deciphered a large percentage of the total protein complement (proteome) in Schizosaccharomyces pombe (S. pombe) fission yeast.

Stop commonly prescribing stomach-upset drugs for asthmatics without serious heartburn
Lung experts from Johns Hopkins and elsewhere are calling on physicians to suspend the routine use of potent heartburn medications in asthmatics solely to temper recurrent attacks of wheezing, coughing and breathlessness.

Study compares sound from exploding volcanoes with jet engines
New Scripps study of low-frequency sound from Mount St. Helens and Tungurahua volcanoes provides explanation for how the large-amplitude signals from eruptions are produced

High-dose radiation improves lung cancer survival, U-M study finds
Higher doses of radiation combined with chemotherapy improve survival in patients with stage III lung cancer, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Study finds students with Experience Corps tutors make 60 percent more progress in critical reading skills
Tutoring children in and after school isn't new, but how much does it really help in critical areas like reading?
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