Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 22, 2009
Researchers identify missing target for calcium signaling
An international study led by Ohio State University researchers describes one of the missing triggers that controls calcium inside cells, a process important for muscle contraction, nerve-cell transmission, insulin release and other essential functions.

Telescope upgrade turns data stream into a torrent
A major upgrade of CSIRO's radio telescope near Narrabri in NSW, which will turn the instrument's data stream into a torrent, is almost completed.

Early-bird commenters well-positioned to frame public policy
A new study in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management demonstrates that public commentators who participate during the early phases of regulatory policymaking play an important agenda setting role.

Adolescent risk-taking has major consequences when it comes to marriage
A national study of data collected over 12 years finds that delinquent teens marry earlier than their peers, while substance-abusing teens -- especially girls who abuse marijuana -- marry later than peers, if at all.

Drinking 100 percent fruit juice is associated with lower risk of obesity and metabolic syndrome
New research presented today at the Experimental Biology 2009 meeting finds that consumers of 100 percent fruit juice (adult men and women) were leaner, had better insulin sensitivity and had lower risk for obesity and metabolic syndrome -- a cluster of conditions that increases risk for stroke, heart disease and diabetes.

Olympus advances technology for laparo-endoscopic single-site surgery
Olympus America Inc. formally introduced its advanced technology platform that now allows surgeons to perform minimally invasive single-site surgery through the umbilicus (belly button), which may result in less abdominal trauma, less post-operative pain, less internal/external scarring and improved recovery for patients.

New findings in taste and smell
Scientists from around the world will present cutting-edge findings on the current status of taste and smell.

University of Texas at Austin engineer elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Adam Heller, an acclaimed chemical engineering research professor and professor emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin, has been elected a fellow into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, along with Nobel Peace Prize laureate Nelson Mandela, actor James Earl Jones, US Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and singer/humanitarian Bono.

Test for hormones in blood not reflective of hormones in breast tissue; breast cancer risk
Many studies determine hormone levels in the blood as a marker of breast cancer risk.

Field Museum paleontologist leads study on two new dinosaurs from China
A team of researchers from China and the US have excavated a treasure trove of dinosaur skeletons from Early Cretaceous rocks in the southern part of the Gobi Desert.

Adolescent binge drinking may compromise the brain's white matter, necessary for information relay
White matter integrity is essential for the efficient relay of information within the brain.

California high school exit exam gets a failing grade in Stanford study
Graduation rates for low-achieving minority students and girls have fallen nearly 20 percentage points since California implemented a law requiring high school students to pass exit exams in order to graduate, according to a new Stanford study.

Solar wind tans young asteroids
A new study published in Nature this week reveals that asteroid surfaces age and redden much faster than previously thought -- in less than a million years, the blink of an eye for an asteroid.

Alarming increase in drug-affected newborns
A new Australian study has found that the number of newborns suffering serious drug withdrawal symptoms is now more than 40 times higher than in 1980.

Animals that seem identical may be completely different species
Animals that seem identical may belong to completely different species.

Benefit of grapes may be more than skin deep
New animal studies show a grape-enriched diet can help lower blood pressure and reduce damage by boosting defenders against damaging oxidative stress.

Mysterious space blob discovered at cosmic dawn
A team of astronomers, led by Carnegie's Masami Ouchi, have discovered a mysterious, giant object that existed when the universe was only 800 million years old.

Eating fatty fish once a week reduces men's risk of heart failure
Eating salmon or other fatty fish just once a week helped reduce men's risk of heart failure, adding to growing evidence that omega-3 fatty acids are of benefit to cardiac health.

Prison punishes more people than just the inmates
More people live behind bars in the United States than in any other country, but the American prison system punishes more than just its inmates -- it also takes a toll on the health of friends and loved ones left behind.

Publication in peer-reviewed journal highlights RESPeRATE as effective hypertension treatment
InterCure Ltd., a medical device company publicly traded on the Tel-Aviv Stock Exchange, today announced that RESPeRATE -- the only medical device cleared by the FDA and CE-approved for the adjunctive treatment of hypertension -- is highlighted as an effective treatment for high blood pressure in the April issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

Plants could override climate change effects on wildfires
A study published by an Montana State University researcher shows that a region's vegetation, along with temperature and moisture, plays a major role in the frequency of wildfires.

IUPUI study reports inherited impulsivity predicts alcoholism
Solving the age-old chicken and the egg dilemma, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis researchers report that genetic predisposition to impulsivity is a trait predictive of alcoholism.

Media ignores health consequences of drinking and driving among young celebrities
The recent drinking and driving arrests of celebrities -- Paris Hilton, Nicole Ritchie, Michelle Rodriguez and Lindsay Lohan -- yielded widespread news coverage, however, very little of it offered any public health context, according to a new report by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Injury Research and Policy.

German researchers make significant strides in identifying cause of bacterial infections
Several bacterial pathogens use toxins to manipulate human host cells, ultimately disturbing cellular signal transduction.

Scientists identify host factors critical to dengue virus infection
By painstakingly silencing genes one at a time, scientists at Duke University Medical Center have identified dozens of proteins the dengue fever virus depends upon to grow and spread among mosquitoes and humans.

Telesso initiates post-market head-to-head peripheral IV catheter study
Telesso Technologies Limited, a global health care company, announced today that Miami Children's hospital is the first site to enroll patients in a head-to-head trial evaluating its FDA-approved guide wire-assisted peripheral IV catheter versus the industry's gold standard device for peripheral IV placement.

Research team wins funds to unravel a DNA mystery
An international research team headed by two researchers from the University of Adelaide, Australia, has been awarded a $900,000 grant to help unravel the phenomenon of

100 questions to conserve global biodiversity
Conservation experts from 24 world-leading organizations including the WWF, Conservation International and Birdlife International have identified one hundred key scientific questions that, if answered, would help conserve global biodiversity.

Breaking the ties that bind: New hope for biomass fuels
Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers have discovered a potential chink in the armor of fibers that make the cell walls of certain inedible plant materials so tough.

New hope for advances in treating malaria
Researchers at the University of Leeds have developed chemicals which kill the most deadly malaria-causing parasite, Plasmodium falciparum -- including those resistant to existing drugs.

Instead of fighting breast cancer, immune cell promotes its spread
Researchers at the UC San Diego School of Medicine and the Moores UCSD Cancer Center have new evidence that a type of immune system cell thought to be part of the first line of defense against breast cancer may also help promote its spread.

Do good looks get high school students good grades?
Although previous studies show that physical attractiveness is associated with success in the labor markets, this study posits that grooming and personality are stronger predictors of academic success in high school for boys and girls, respectively.

Hormone therapy offers potential protective effect against colon cancer in older women
In a large study, a national team of researchers led by Mayo Clinic scientists observed that self-reported use of hormone therapy was associated with a significantly lower colorectal cancer risk.

LSUHSC public health researcher finds reason for weight gain
Liwei Chen, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of epidemiology at the LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Public Health, is the lead author of a research paper showing that weight gain and obesity are more linked to an increase in liquid calories, particularly sugar-sweetened beverages, than calories from solid food.

Researchers report 'moderately large' potential for red tide outbreak in Gulf of Maine region
The potential for an outbreak of the phenomenon commonly called

Why you may lose that loving feeling after tying the knot
Dating couples whose dreams include marriage would do well to step back and reflect upon the type of support they'll need from their partners when they cross the threshold, a new Northwestern University study suggests.

The herbal remedy: Teens use cannabis for relief, not recreation
When legal therapies let them down, some teens turn to cannabis.

Financial barriers to attending college affect academic goals in young students
If a student thinks they won't be able to afford a higher education -- if the path towards college feels closed to them -- they may conclude that studying and homework are a waste of time.

Fossil evidence of missing link in the origin of seals, sea lions, walruses found in Canadian Arctic
Researchers from the United States and Canada have found a fossil skeleton of a newly discovered carnivorous animal, Puijila darwini.

Blood transfusions and outcomes
An exhaustive review and analysis of the medical literature by a panel of experts at the International Consensus Conference on Transfusion and Outcomes held this month in Phoenix concluded that there is little evidence to support a beneficial effect from the greatest number of transfusions currently being given to patients.

Genetics can mediate vulnerability to alcohol's effects during pregnancy
Drinking alcohol during pregnancy can lead to teratogenesis, the development of embryonic defects.

Olivier Voinnet awarded 2009 EMBO Gold Medal
Olivier Voinnet from the CNRS Institute of Plant Molecular Biology in Strasbourg, France, is awarded the 2009 EMBO Gold Medal.

Study: Public service an option in exchange for mortgage relief
The debt-saddled US government doesn't have to just give away billions of taxpayer dollars that will help struggling homeowners stave off foreclosure, according to a new study by a University of Illinois law and labor expert.

Guidebook for drug regulatory submissions
Professionals working to submit major documents to the Food and Drug Administration are guaranteed to encounter numerous unexpected and daunting hurdles.

Continent-sized radio telescope takes close-ups of Fermi active galaxies
An international team of astronomers has used the world's biggest radio telescope to look deep into the brightest galaxies that NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope can see.

Antibody gives cancer the recognition it deserves
Researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center, in collaboration with colleagues at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, have shown that an engineered antibody called DTA-1 led to rejection of 50 to 60 percent of tumors in a mouse model of melanoma.

Diabetes, obesity and hypertension increase mortality in hepatitis C patients
The specific impact of metabolic syndrome on mortality in hepatitis C patients has been revealed by new research to be presented on Sunday April 26 at EASL 2009, the Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Pain relievers ibuprofen and naproxen may delay -- not prevent -- Alzheimer's disease
A new study shows that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as the pain relievers ibuprofen and naproxen do not prevent Alzheimer's disease, but they may instead delay its onset.

US science adviser, other top officials to speak at April 30-May 1 AAAS S&T Forum
The White House science adviser, the Canadian science minister and leading House science committee members are among the speakers at the 34th annual Forum on Science and Technology Policy of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Measuring snow with a bucket, a windmill and the sun?
In Maine, government scientists have figured out how to measure snowfall in remote areas with a bucket, a small windmill and the sun -- all the while saving money, energy and ultimately helping to save lives.

Plants absorb more carbon under hazy skies
Plants absorbed carbon dioxide more efficiently under the polluted skies of recent decades than they would have done in a cleaner atmosphere, according to new findings published this week in Nature.

Pain relievers seem not to prevent Alzheimer's disease in the very elderly
A new study shows that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as the pain relievers ibuprofen and naproxen, do not prevent Alzheimer's disease or other forms of dementia.

Palliative care skills training needed for health-care staff in sub-Saharan Africa
A new study, led by Lucy Selman and colleagues from King's College London, has found that patients with incurable, progressive diseases and their family carers in sub-Saharan Africa often do not receive enough information about the patient's disease and its management, which impacts negatively on their ability to cope with illness.

Sea Grant report synthesizes recent research on New York's clams
New York Sea Grant announces the release of

Double-lung transplants work better than single for long-term survival
Having both lungs replaced instead of just one is the single most important feature determining who lives longest after having a lung transplant, more than doubling an organ recipient's chances of extending their life by over a decade, a study by a team of transplant surgeons at Johns Hopkins shows.

Enhancing competition in the deregulated European gas distribution market
The EUREKA E! 3688 INTELLGAS project has developed a cost-effective and easy-to-use approach to forecasting gas consumption up to 48 hours ahead to keep the wholesale price of gas purchases under control.

Marine scientists warn of potential for spring, summer red tide outbreak in Gulf of Maine
The potential for an outbreak of the phenomenon called

$10 million Simons Foundation gift supports new initiative with Institute for Advanced Study
The Rockefeller University and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, N.J., have established a joint initiative in biology supported by a $10 million gift from the Simons Foundation.

Developmental drug helps protect against radiation damage
A drug currently under development at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine protects cells from the damaging effects of radiation exposure, a new study suggests.

Students least informed about environmental science are most optimistic
Will problems associated with environmental issues improve in the next two decades?

Commonly used ulcer drugs may offer treatment potential in Alzheimer's disease
In a new study, published in the May issue of Elsevier's Experimental Neurology, scientists at the University of British Columbia have discovered that drugs commonly used to treat ulcers have significant neuroprotective properties, which appear to be enhanced when used in combination with ibuprofen, a widely used anti-inflammatory drug.

UBC research finds molecular 'key' to successful blood stem cell transplants
University of British Columbia researchers have discovered a

Using combinatorial libraries to engineer genetic circuits advances synthetic biology
The process of selecting and blending genes to create artificial networks -- synthetic biology -- holds promise for many applications.

If not for the Holocaust, there could have been 32 million Jews in the world today
If it were not for the Holocaust, the number of Jews in the world would likely today be at least 26 million, and perhaps even as much as 32 million, says Prof.

Winners announced in the Elsevier Grand Challenge
First and second prize winners design life science tools of the future.

Afghanistan declares its first national park
The United States Agency for International Development and the Wildlife Conservation Society applauded Afghanistan's National Environment Protection Agency, which announced today the establishment of the country's first internationally recognized national park.

Radio frequency executives headline IEEE International RFID Conference
Three industry executives from leading RFID companies will be featured speakers at the third-annual IEEE International Conference on RFID next week in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.

Caltech scientists show why anti-HIV antibodies are ineffective at blocking infection
Some 25 years after the AIDS epidemic spawned a worldwide search for an effective vaccine against the human immunodeficiency virus, progress in the field seems to have effectively become stalled.

Humanin peptide linked to neuronal cell survival and regulation of glucose metabolism
Recent studies have shown that the mitochondrial peptide Humanin (HN) protects against neuronal cell death such as happens in Alzheimer's disease.

Self-healing concrete for safer, more durable infrastructure
A concrete material developed at the University of Michigan can heal itself when it cracks.

New understanding of dengue virus points way to possible therapies for dengue fever
NIAID-funded researchers have identified cellular components in mosquitoes and in humans that dengue virus uses to multiply inside these hosts after infecting them.

Science Chicago a world-class success
As the year-long Science Chicago initiative enters its final months, the world's largest science celebration is being declared a huge success.

Americans ambivalent toward single-parent families
The increase in single-parent families was a dramatic social change of the 20th century.

Reef boom beats doom
Marine scientists are astonished at the spectacular recovery of certain coral reefs in Australia's Great Barrier Reef Marine Park from a devastating coral bleaching event in 2006 when high sea temperatures caused massive and severe coral bleaching in the Keppel Islands.

Majority of doctors skeptical of organ transplantation practices in China
The globalization of health care and the growth of

TECNALIA is designing a structure to house optical sensors that enhance aircraft safety
TECNALIA is taking part in the European

A warm TV can drive away feelings of loneliness and rejection
Not all technology meets human needs, and some technologies provide only the illusion of having met your needs.

Brown anthropologist examines stigma of infertility in Nigeria
New research by a Brown University anthropologist investigates the cultural context and consequences of infertility within two high-fertility populations in Nigeria.

PDAs, more education help doctors follow cholesterol treatment guidelines
A new study by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine suggests that patients with high cholesterol receive better care when physicians use a variety of tools to learn and apply a clinical practice guideline for treating the condition.

Rwanda becomes first developing nation to introduce vaccine for pneumococcal disease
International leaders in global health will join Rwandan government officials at a press conference in the coming days in Kigali to announce the first national immunization program against pneumococcal disease in a developing country.

NIST develops powerful method of suppressing errors in many types of quantum computers
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have demonstrated a technique for efficiently suppressing errors in quantum computers, an advance that could eventually make it much easier to build useful versions of these potentially powerful machines that, in theory, could solve important problems that are intractable using today's computers.

American Journal of Nursing voted one of the most influential journals of the century
The American Journal of Nursing today announced recognition as one of the

Genes influence impulsive behavior, preceding the development of alcoholism
Highly impulsive behavior is prevalent in drug addicts and alcoholics compared to those without addictions.

New study shows chewing gum can lead to better academic performance in teenagers
New research to be presented at the American Society for Nutrition Scientific Sessions and Annual Meeting at Experimental Biology 2009 shows chewing gum can lead to better academic performance in teenagers in a classroom setting.

NC State researchers 'clear away the dust,' get better look at youngest supernova remnant
Researchers at North Carolina State University have used a mathematical model that allows them to get a clearer picture of the galaxy's youngest supernova remnant by correcting for the distortions caused by cosmic dust.

'Nature vs. nurture' study of deceased donor pairs in kidney transplantation
The implications of a new study could improve the outcomes, and potentially survival rates, for some of the thousands of individuals who undergo kidney transplants each year.

Carnegie Mellon's Jay Apt to testify
Carnegie Mellon's Jay Apt is scheduled to testify at a hearing of the US House of Representatives about energy security act.

Vitamin K with sorafenib showed anti-tumor effects in pancreas cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma
A combination of sorafenib and vitamin K had an effect in vitro on both human pancreas cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma, according to researchers from the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson.

The price of pain and the value of suffering
A new study reveals that demand for pain relief is almost completely dependent on pain experienced in the recent past and the available cash on hand.

Children's Hospital Oakland is first pediatric hospital to use 'laboratory-on-a-card' technology
Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland is the first children's hospital in the country to use groundbreaking technology that could revolutionize the way blood is analyzed at pediatric hospitals. 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