Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 09, 2009
Annual dose of zoledronic acid better than daily bisphosphonates at improving bone density
Patients who take glucocorticoid drugs (such as prednisolone or prednisone) to treat a variety of inflammatory/immune-mediated diseases (such as rheumatoid arthritis or asthma) can suffer side effects such as bone loss, leading to excess risk of fractures.

First results from Penn's balloon-borne telescope BLAST
The study, published in the current issue of Nature, reveals that the Far Infrared Background, or FIRB, originates from individual galaxies some 7 to 10 billion light years away.

Tax lobbying provides 22,000 percent return to multinational firms, KU researchers find
A recent tax law change provided a tax break to the corporations by lowering their tax rate 85 percent on certain worldwide income.

IEEE Green Technology Conference kicks off with wind energy tutorial
The first IEEE Green Technology Conference will begin with an introduction to wind power systems tutorial on April 16 at the Holiday Inn Hotel Towers in Lubbock, Texas.

Life sticks: UC San Diego bioengineer's sticky insights published in journal Science
Sticky is good. A University of California, San Diego, bioengineer and colleagues provide insights on the

Stem cell therapy makes cloudy corneas clear, according to Pitt researchers
Stem cells collected from human corneas restore transparency and don't trigger a rejection response when injected into eyes that are scarred and hazy, according to experiments conducted in mice by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Small RNAs can play critical roles in male infertility/contraception
University of Nevada School of Medicine scientists in the Department of Physiology and Cell Biology have discovered insight into the reproductive workings of the male sex chromosome that may have significant implications for male infertility and contraception.

Study: Privatized Philly schools did not keep pace
Public middle-grades schools placed under private management in 2002 as part of a state-run overhaul of the Philadelphia School District did not keep pace with the rest of the city's public schools, according to a study published in the American Journal of Education.

Solomon Islands earthquake sheds light on enhanced tsunami risk
The 2007 Solomon Island earthquake may point to previously unknown increased earthquake and tsunami risks because of the unusual tectonic plate geography and the sudden change in direction of the earthquake, according to geoscientists.

Penn biologists discover how 'silent' mutations influence protein production
University of Pennsylvania biologists have revealed a hidden code that determines the expression level of a gene, providing a way to distinguish efficient genes from inefficient ones.

Gambling threatens national security, new book warns
A two-decade surge of legalized gambling is chipping away at US security and military readiness, not just the bank accounts of bettors, a comprehensive new collection of research on the hazards of gambling warns.

MIT: New insights into perception
In the classic waterfall illusion, if you stare at the downward motion of a waterfall for some period of time, stationary objects -- such as rocks -- appear to drift upward.

New therapeutic strategy could target toxic protein in most patients with Huntington's disease
Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have designed tiny RNA molecules that shut off the gene that causes Huntington's disease without damaging that gene's healthy counterpart, which maintains the health and vitality of neurons.

New drug shows promise in treating drug-resistant prostate cancer
A new therapy for metastatic prostate cancer has shown considerable promise in early clinical trials involving patients whose disease has become resistant to current drugs.

Gene fusion discovery may lead to improved prostate cancer test
A newly discovered gene fusion is highly expressed in a subset of prostate cancers, according to a new study.

Understanding risk to Seattle's high-rise buildings from a giant Cascadian earthquake
What is the risk to high-rise buildings in Seattle from a giant earthquake?

ARVO 2009 award recipients
The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology is pleased to announce its 2009 award recipients.

Milestone tumor virus publication by Elsevier journal Virology
A recent special edition of the Elsevier journal, Virology, reviews the past, present and future of the exciting field of small DNA tumor viruses.

MIT: How you feel the world impacts how you see it
In the classic waterfall illusion, if you stare at the downward motion of a waterfall for some period of time, stationary objects -- like rocks -- appear to drift upward.

New insight into an old reaction: Adenylylation regulates cell signaling
A new study reveals the importance of adenylylation in the regulation of cell signaling from bacteria to higher organisms.

Autonomous Antarctic observatories gather space weather data
An international scientific consortium has successfully developed a series of autonomous observatories in Antarctica that for the first time provide critical year-round

Research sheds new light on inflammatory disease
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found that understanding the precise timing of communication between cells that coordinate the body's response to disease could be key to new drug developments.

Selected personal letters of Max Perutz are released in new book
Nobel Prize-winning scientist Max Perutz was a campaigner for humanitarian causes, essayist and advocate of science.

Ancestors of African Pygmies and neighboring farmers separated around 60,000 years ago
All African Pygmies, inhabiting a large territory extending west-to-east along Central Africa, descend from a unique population who lived around 20,000 years ago, according to an international study led by researchers at the Institut Pasteur in Paris.

Towards a natural pacemaker
Artificial heart pacemakers have saved and extended the lives of thousands of people, but they have their shortcomings -- such as a fixed pulse rate and a limited life.

Researchers find promotion is bad for mental health and stops your visiting the doctor
New research by economics and psychology researchers at the University of Warwick has found that promotion on average produces 10 percent more mental strain and gives up to 20 percent less time to visit the doctor's.

New method for detection of phosphoproteins reveals regulator of melanoma invasion
Scientists have developed a new approach for surveying phosphorylation, a process that is regulated by critical cell signaling pathways and regulates several key cellular signaling events.

Genes from tiny algae shed light on big role managing carbon in world's oceans
Scientists from two-dozen research organizations led by the US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute have decoded genomes of two algal strains, highlighting the genes enabling them to capture carbon and maintain its delicate balance in the oceans.

New laser technique advances nanofabrication process
University of Maryland chemistry Professor John Fourkas and his research group have developed a new laser technique called RAPID (Resolution Augmentation through Photo-Induced Deactivation) lithography that creates ever smaller computer chip features without the use of expensive ultraviolet light.

The 'myths' of Coca-Cola
An editorial in this week's Lancet criticizes a celebrity-endorsed magazine advert, published in Australia, which branded notions that Coca-Cola could make children fat or rot their teeth as

Biological FM signal maintains inflammation in cancer, asthma and other diseases
A study published tomorrow in Science examines a key player in conditions such as cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis and asthma and has shown that cells use a sophisticated communication system to coordinate responses to infection and maintain inflammation in the body.

£2.8 million grant to raise standards in maternal and newborn health
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine have been awarded £2.8 ($4.1) million to improve maternal and newborn health in five target countries -- Zimbabwe, Kenya, Bangladesh, India and Sierra Leone.

Novel method predicts impact of a covert anthrax release
A new statistical method that can estimate the origin and time of an aerosolized release of the pathogen causing anthrax, following detection of the first few cases has been developed.

Digging up evidence of 400-year-old global trade and wealth
Nearly 70,000 beads manufactured all over the world have been excavated at one of the Spanish empire's remotest outposts, the Santa Catalina de Guale Mission that is now part of St.

NASA twin spacecraft may reveal secret of Moon's origin
Two identical NASA spacecraft are preparing to enter a point in the universe that may eventually answer the question of how our moon was born.

Scientists pinpoint the 'edge of space'
Where does Earth stop and space begin? 118-kilometers above the ground, according to University of Calgary scientists who created an new instrument that is able to pinpoint the so-called

Deadly parasite's rare sexual dalliances may help scientists neutralize it
For years, microbiologist Stephen Beverley, Ph.D., has tried to get the disease-causing parasite Leishmania in the mood for love.

Ivory tower needs to adapt to online media landscape, scholar says
Education professor Michael A. Peters says universities need to embrace new online media, social networks and a culture of

Cloud computing brings cost of protein research down to Earth
Medical College of Wisconsin researchers have developed a set of free tools called ViPDAC (virtual proteomics data analysis cluster), for use in combination with Amazon's inexpensive

Research shows sharp rise in hospital admissions for children's dental care
Researchers from Peninsula Dental School and the UCL Eastman Dental Institute have used data from the Hospital Episodes Statistics resource to identify a marked increase in the number of hospital admissions for children with caries and other dental conditions, between 1997 and 2006.

Human ES cells progress slowly in myelin's direction
Scientists from Wisconsin University have successfully created, from human embryonic stem (ES) cells, cells that can make myelin, opening up new possibilities for basic and clinical research.

Public trust doctrine could aid management of US oceans
Since Congress lifted a moratorium on offshore drilling last year, federal lawmakers have grappled with the issue of how best to regulate US ocean waters to allow oil, wave and wind energy development, while sustainably managing critical fisheries and marine animal habitats.

Physicists discover important step for making light crystals
Ohio State University researchers have developed a new strategy to overcome one of the major obstacles to a grand challenge in physics.

Can downloads predict impact for scientific articles?
While the number of times a scientific article is cited by other articles is currently the gold standard for ranking its impact, online publishing offers another measure: the number of unique downloads.

CSHL researchers explain process by which cells 'hide' potentially dangerous DNA segments
Heterochromatin is the super-condensed portion of the cell's genetic material that hides unneeded genes and potentially dangerous DNA sequences such as transposons from the cell's DNA-activating machinery.

Scorpion biodiversity
Scorpions possess resistance to high temperatures and the ability to conserve water for long periods of time, and as a result thrive in hot and arid parts of the world.

Study assesses new surgical procedure for regenerating cartilage in damaged knee joints
Rush University Medical Center is testing a new procedure, called the Cartilage Autograft Implantation System, for regenerating damaged articular cartilage in the knee joint to relieve the pain of osteoarthritis.

The impact of 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake -- 20 years later
The Loma Prieta earthquake transformed the earthquake sciences and engineering and remains a major focus of study, some twenty years later.

California's central coast earthquake hazards: New information about recently identified faults
Seismologists are re-evaluating the earthquake potential of the Central Coast, a very complex tectonic region located west of the San Andreas Fault, between Monterey Bay and the Western Transverse Ranges.

Pitt, Berkeley researchers reconstruct seashells to model nervous system function
The enchantingly colored seashells that lend beaches their charm could also provide information about how the brain converts memories and sensory information into action, according to research from the University of California at Berkeley and the University of Pittsburgh published online April 7 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Journey to the Martian arctic with space explorer April 16
Peter Smith, principal investigator of NASA's Phoenix Mars Mission, will highlight the novel spacecraft's discoveries in the

Device protects transplanted pancreatic cells from the immune system
Scientists at Burnham Institute for Medical Research and the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine have demonstrated in mice that transplanted pancreatic precursor cells are protected from the immune system when encapsulated in polytetrafluorethylene.

The science of design
Temple podiatrists release the first commercially available shoe designed using the latest in foot and ankle research.

More women with early stage breast cancer choosing double mastectomies
A University of Minnesota cancer surgeon and researcher has found a dramatic increase in the number of women diagnosed with the earliest stage of breast cancer choosing to have both breasts surgically removed.

7th [BC]2 Basel Computational Biology Conference
The seventh Basel Computational Biology Conference 2009

Avotermin could give accelerated and permanent improvement in scarring
The drug avotermin (Juvista) could provide accelerated and permanent improvement in scarring following injuries.

UNC study: Scientists identify chemical compound that may stop deadly brain tumors
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine have identified a compound that could be modified to treat one of the most deadly types of cancer, and discovered how a particular gene mutation contributes to tumor growth.

Monitoring Yellowstone earthquake swarms
Analysis of the recent swarm suggests epicenters migrated north over the 12-day period and maximum hypocenter depths abruptly shallowed from 12 km to 3 km depth at the time of rapid cessation of activity on Jan.

Early administration of antiretroviral therapy can improve survival
This study analyzed information from more than 45,000 patients in Europe and North America and combined data from 15 international cohorts. 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