Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 05, 2009
Erosion of the Yucca Mountain crest
The Yucca Mountain crest in Nevada has been proposed as a permanent site for high level radioactive waste.

Computer-based phone calls raise awareness, control of blood pressure
An automated system that regularly contacts hypertension patients helps them to reduce their high blood pressure.

Ethnicity affects timing and access to cardiac care
Ethnicity is having a significant impact on timely access to cardiac care in Calgary and likely across Canada as the population's ethnic diversity grows, according to new research led by a team from the University of Calgary.

NIH grants $122 million in Institutional Development Awards
The National Center for Research Resources, part of the National Institutes of Health, announced today it will provide up to an estimated $122 million over the next five years to fund Institutional Development Award Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence in seven IDeA-eligible states.

Marine scientists return from expedition to erupting undersea volcano
Scientists who have just returned from an expedition to an erupting undersea volcano near the Island of Guam report that the volcano appears to be continuously active, has grown considerably in size during the past three years, and its activity supports a unique biological community thriving despite the eruptions.

La Jolla Institute announces 2.0 launch of major database to aid vaccine development worldwide
Key improvements in a major infectious disease database that will aid vaccine development worldwide were unveiled today with the 2.0 launch of the National Institutes of Health-sponsored Immune Epitope Database and Analysis Resource.

SRI International receives $100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations grant
SRI International announced today that it has received a US$100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

CT scans increase cancer risk estimates in multiply-imaged emergency department patients
Physicians should review a patient's CT imaging history and cumulative radiation dose when considering whether to perform another CT exam, according to researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, and Washington University School of Medicine, St.

Still irritating after all these years: Study of adult children and parents
The majority of parents and adult children experience some tension and aggravation with one another, a new study says.

Why parents miss their children's immunization visits
According to a new study led by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, there are several factors that contribute to children missing immunization visits.

King's-led consortium wins €1 million EU funding for Chinese medicine research
King's College London successfully led a consortium bid for €995,100 ($1,330,000) of EU funding for a ground-breaking research project that will play an important role in the unification of Western and Chinese approaches to medicine.

Gene may 'bypass' disease-linked mitochondrial defects, fly study suggests
By lending them a gene normally reserved for other classes of animals, researchers have shown they can rescue flies from their Parkinson's-like symptoms, including movement defects and excess free radicals produced in power-generating cellular components called mitochondria.

MedImmune presents new data showing burden of RSV disease
MedImmune today announced results from a recent study it sponsored, performed by the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, Calif., assessing risk factors for respiratory syncytial virus infection requiring medical treatment in infants born at 33 weeks gestational age or later.

Probiotics may be able to help you keep fit and slim
Nutrition researchers from LIFE -- Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen and Chr.

Experts forecast future of technology innovation in China
A distinguished panel of experts hosted by the US Office of Naval Research shared their perspectives on the cultural and political factors influencing technological innovations in China, Friday, May 1.

Estrogen controls how the brain processes sound
Scientists at the University of Rochester have discovered that the hormone estrogen plays a pivotal role in how the brain processes sounds.

Better water use could reduce future food crises
If the overall water resources in river basins were acknowledged and managed better, future food crises could be significantly reduced, say researchers from Stockholm Resilience Center, Stockholm University, Stockholm Environment Institute and Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

Current level of oyster farming unlikely to have substantial impact on Drakes Estero ecosystem
A new report from the National Research Council finds a lack of strong scientific evidence that the present level of oyster farming operations by Drakes Bay Oyster Co.

Extra support helps obese women cycle to and from work
Increased daily exercise can prevent diabetes and cardiovascular disease in obese women, but getting started and maintaining new habits is a challenge.

New editorial in the FASEB Journal raises concerns over dietary supplements
As the FDA warns consumers to stop using Hydroxycut products, a new editorial published in the May 2009 issue of the FASEB Journal shows that this FDA warning is not unique.

Study finds link between hot flashes and lower bone density in women
Women with vasomotor symptoms, which include hot flashes and night sweats, had lower bone density than those without VMS.

Research opens up new horizons to the design of customized medicines against breast cancer
Scientists of the UGR report that gene expression profile study is a

Battery-powered vehicles to be revolutionized by Universite de Montreal technology
Thousands of small electric scooters, bicycles and wheelchairs throughout Europe and Asia are powered by LifePO4 -- a material used in advanced lithium-ion batteries developed by Universite de Montreal researchers.

Unique electronic strategy alerts physicians to latest clinical information on H1N1 flu
Using electronic alert technology developed by researchers from the Regenstrief Institute in collaboration with the Marion County Health Department, for the first time an electronic public health alert was received by doctors in the same way that they receive laboratory data, radiology reports, hospital discharge summaries and other clinical information.

Study indicates cancer preventive effect for statins
The commonly used prescription statin drugs may have a protective effect in the prevention of liver cancer and lead to a reduction in the need for gallbladder removals.

Stowers researchers develop whole genome sequencing approach for mutation discovery
The Stowers Institute's Hawley Lab and Molecular Biology Facility have developed a

Irregular heart rhythm before or after cardiac catheterization linked to risk of death
Certain heart attack patients who experience a rapid, abnormal heart rhythm before or after a coronary artery intervention or stent placement have a significantly higher risk of death within 90 days of the procedure, according to a study in the May 6 issue of JAMA.

Scientists demonstrate effect of confining dielectrics on semiconductor nanowire conductivity
Researchers at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, in collaboration with researchers from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, have demonstrated, for the first time, that the activation energy of impurities in semiconductor nanowires is affected by the surrounding dielectric and can be modified by the choice of the nanowire embedding medium.

Program reduces hospital and emergency department use among homeless adults with chronic illnesses
An intervention that provided housing and case management to homeless adults with chronic medical illnesses reduced hospitalizations and emergency department visits, according to a study in the May 6 issue of JAMA.

Princeton to receive $20 million to establish Energy Frontier Research Center
Princeton University will be home to a new $20 million energy research center for combustion science, as part of a federal initiative to spur discoveries that lay the groundwork for an economy based on clean replacements for fossil fuels.

'Coral Disease Handbook: Guidelines for Assessment, Monitoring and Management'
University of Guam Associate Professor Laurie Raymundo is senior editor and co-author of a new book on the etiology and management of coral diseases,

How social insects recognize dead nestmates
When an ant dies in an ant nest or near one, its body is quickly picked up by living ants and removed from the colony.

Parents of internationally adopted children advised to verify children's immunization levels
A study by the division of global child health at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine cautions adoptive parents not to rely solely on vaccination records when gauging their internationally adopted children's immunizations.

Pitt study on alcohol reveals drinkers not only zone out -- but also are unaware that they do
A new study out of the University of Pittsburgh suggests that a moderate dose of alcohol increases a person's mind wandering, while at the same time reducing the likelihood of noticing that one's mind has wandered.

Flu pandemic in prison
When pandemics occur, correctional facilities are not immune. With more than 9 million people incarcerated across the globe 2.25 million in US jails and prisons alone it is vital that correctional officials and health professionals be prepared for a worst-case scenario that involves pandemic influenza reaching inmates and staff.

InDevR's FluChip detects and distinguishes swine-origin H1N1 from human influenza viruses
InDevR of Boulder, Colo., and the Influenza Division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta confirmed today that a version version of InDevR's FluChip can detect and distinguish swine-origin H1N1 influenza A viruses from seasonal influenza viruses (A/H1N1 and A/H3N2) as well as the deadly avian A/H5N1 virus.

Depression does 'make your brown eyes blue'
It's more than just feeling bad. Clinical depression affects the way we process information in the brain, negatively affecting memory, attention span, and the brain's ability to learn new things.

Examining TLR4 influences of B cell response
Chronic inflammation, which is at the root of multiple diseases, links periodontal disease to increased incidence of cardiovascular disease.

Searching for pollution in the Caribbean
The hot Caribbean sun bore down on a Honduran naval boat as it criss-crossed the waters of Puerto Cortes, Honduras' main port and one of Central America's most important seaports.

GEN highlights emerging biotechnology clusters
Although Boston, San Francisco, San Diego and Cambridge (UK) are always near the top of most biotechnology cluster lists, other areas around the world are starting to pop up on the life science radar screen, reports Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News.

Pfizer shows support for open access
Pfizer today announced details of a membership agreement with BioMed Central to cover publication costs for research articles published by its researchers.

ESA's Earth observation missions: Sharing teams and facilities boosts efficiency
With ESA's family of Earth observation missions expanding, it makes sense to share operations engineers across satellites and conduct mission control from a combined Dedicated Control Room.

Extreme makeover: Stanford scientists explore new way to change cell's identity
Scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine have now shown that skin cells can be coaxed to behave like muscle cells -- and muscle cells like skin cells -- solely by altering who they hang out with: the relative levels of the ingredients inside the cell.

Does new swine flu virus kill by causing a 'cytokine storm'?
The swine flu outbreak that began in Mexico and continues to spread around the globe may be particularly dangerous for young, otherwise healthy adults because it contains genetic components of the H5N1 avian influenza virus, which can induce a

Study plunges standard theory of cosmology into crisis
Do we have to modify Newton's theory of gravitation as it fails to explain so many observations?

'Emergent' consumers offer best new product concepts
Authors develop and test emergent nature construct, in which

Vanderbilt University receives $100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations Grant
Vanderbilt University announced today that it has received a $100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Even mildly premature infants have increased risk of a common respiratory tract infection
Even mildly premature infants (gestational age 33-36 weeks) have an increased risk of medically attended respiratory syncytial virus infection, the leading cause of lower respiratory tract infection in infants and young children and can lead to pneumonia, according to a Kaiser Permanente study.

K-State researcher: Poverty is rooted in US education system
Inequalities are rooted in many areas of the US education system, and the current system's relationship with poverty has not improved, according to a Kansas State University researcher.

NOAA, US Coast Guard: New ocean current data to improve search and rescue activities
A new set of ocean observing data that enhances the ability to track probable paths of victims and drifting survivor craft should improve search and rescue efforts along the US coast.

Pfizer supports open access publishing for researchers in low-income countries
Today, Pfizer announced an agreement with BioMed Central to launch an open access waiver fund which will support automatic waivers of publication fees for authors from low-income countries.

CSHL scientists discover specific small RNA pathways protect germ line from transposons
Animal germ line cells, such as sperm and ova, protect their genomes against transposon-inflicted damage via an immune system operated by a family of proteins called Piwi and Piwi-interacting RNA molecules (piRNAs).

What separates dangerous blood vessel plaques from benign ones
Researchers say they have evidence to explain what separates your average blood vessel plaque from those that are at high risk for triggering the development of dangerous -- even fatal -- blood clots.

Mealtime interaction encourages hospitalized seniors to eat more
Sharing a meal in good company can stimulate the appetite -- particularly among hospitalized seniors -- according to a new Universite de Montreal study published in the Gerontologist.

3T MRI detects 'early' breast cancer not seen on mammography and sonography
3T MRI, a powerful tool for evaluating patients with a high risk of having breast cancer, can detect a significant number of lesions not found on mammography and sonography, according to a study performed at the University of Toledo Medical Center, Toledo, Ohio.

Genetic make-up influences biased economic decision-making, study shows
How would you respond if you were told that you had an 80 percent chance of surviving an operation -- would you give consent?

DHS official to discuss SECURE partnerships at IEEE Homeland Security Conference
Dr. Thomas A. Cellucci, DHS chief commercialization officer, will discuss

Arrythmia associated with heart attacks linked to higher risk of death
Heart attack patients who develop serious arrhythmia in connection with procedures to open blocked arteries face a significantly higher risk of death for several months after the procedure, when compared to similar patients who do not develop such complications, according to new research from Duke University Medical Center.

Researchers find snippet of RNA that helps make individuals remarkably alike
Uniformity, or singleness of form, is a general property of life.

Novel antibody prevents infection by hepatitis C virus
Taking aim at a leading cause of liver failure in the United States, a team of scientists at the Massachusetts Biologic Laboratories of the University of Massachusetts Medical School has developed a human monoclonal antibody that neutralizes the hepatitis C virus.

Theory shows mechanism behind delayed development of antibiotic resistance
Inhibiting the

Flow of potassium into cells implicated in schizophrenia
A study on schizophrenia has implicated machinery that maintains the flow of potassium in cells and revealed a potential molecular target for new treatments.

Underwater robot with a sense of touch
Maintenance of offshore drilling rigs or underwater cables, taking samples of sediment -- underwater robots perform a variety of deep-sea tasks.

Research at Columbia University Medical Center shows why certain arterial plaques can turn deadly
A common misconception about arterial plaque is that it inevitably leads to a heart attack or a stroke.

Study reveals 'sobering' decline of Caribbean's big fish, fisheries
Sharks, barracuda and other large predatory fishes disappear on Caribbean coral reefs as human populations rise, endangering the region's marine food web and ultimately its reefs and fisheries, according to a sweeping study by researcher Chris Stallings of the Florida State University Coastal and Marine Laboratory.

Elevated level of certain protein in urine linked to increased risk for blood clots
Preliminary research suggests that higher than normal levels of the protein albumin in urine is associated with an increased risk for blood clots in the deep veins of the legs or lungs (venous thromboembolism; VTE), according to a study in the May 6 issue of JAMA.

Lessons from Schon -- the worst physics fraudster?
How did a 31-year-old physicist working at Bell Labs in New Jersey get away with possibly the worst case of physics research fraud known?

Novel gene predicts local recurrence in early onset breast cancer
A newly discovered gene known as DEAR1 is mutated in breast cancer and is an independent predictor of local recurrence-free survival in early onset breast cancer, a research team headed by scientists at the University of Texas M.

New Antarctic seabed sonar images reveal clues to sea-level rise
Motorway-sized troughs and channels carved into Antarctica's continental shelves by glaciers thousands of years ago could help scientists to predict future sea-level rise according to a report in the journal Geology this month.

Little or no evidence for some swine flu interventions
The Lancet today publishes online first an editorial and a world report, plus a comment from Lancet Infectious Diseases Editor John McConnell, on the swine flu outbreak (now referred to as influenza A(H1N1)).
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