Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 08, 2009
New nanotube coating enables novel laser power meter
The US military can now calibrate high-power laser systems, such as those intended to defuse unexploded mines, more quickly and easily thanks to a novel nanotube-coated power measurement device developed at NIST.

Will the economic crisis lead to major societal changes?
Will poverty lead to major societal changes? A new theory of social change and human development by UCLA professor Patricia Greenfield offers insights into the future.

Researchers identify the gene responsible for a rare form of congenital anemia
The identification of the causal gene can now offer patients and their family members direct molecular confirmation of their condition, allowing them to know whether they are sufferers or asymptomatic carriers of the disease.

NIST issues first reference material for tissue engineering
NIST last week issued its first reference materials to support the new and growing field of tissue engineering for medicine.

The day the universe froze
Imagine a time when the entire universe froze. According to a new model for dark energy, that is essentially what happened about 11.5 billion years ago, when the universe was a quarter of the size it is today.

Hubble to receive high-tech James Webb Space Telescope technology
Scientists and engineers now creating new technologies for NASA's James Webb Space Telescope, have realized they can be used to enhance the Hubble's Advanced Camera for Surveys in the upcoming servicing mission.

Terahertz waves are effective probes for IC heat barriers
By modifying a commonly used commercial infrared spectrometer to allow operation at long-wave terahertz frequencies, researchers at NIST discovered an efficient new approach to measure key structural properties of nanoscale metal-oxide films used in high-speed integrated circuits.

Herpes medication does not reduce risk of HIV transmission
A recently completed international multicenter clinical trial has found that acyclovir, a drug widely used as a safe and effective treatment to suppress herpes simplex virus-2, which is the most common cause of genital herpes, does not reduce the risk of HIV transmission when taken by people infected with both HIV and HSV-2.

Case Western Reserve to receive more than $3M from NIDA
The Center for Proteomics and Bioinformatics and the Case Center for AIDS Research at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have a received a $989,108 grant from the National Institute of Drug Abuse at the National Institute of Health, with the ability to receive a total of $3,007,946 by 2011.

Study examines novel PFO closure system
A new device designed to close a common heart defect known as a patent foramen ovale is safe and effective at 90-days follow up, according to a new study released today at the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions 32nd Annual Scientific Sessions in Las Vegas.

The cardiovascular benefits of daily exercise in school children are evident even after 1 year
School children as young as 11 can benefit from a daily exercise program in reducing their levels of several known risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Study: Vibration plate machines may aid weight loss and trim abdominal fat
New research suggests that, if used properly, vibration plate exercise machines may help you lose weight and trim the particularly harmful belly fat between the organs.

Personalized nutritional information sent through mail helps improve diets
Researchers led by Kim Gans, associate professor and co-director of the Institute for Community Health Promotion, have found that sending customized nutritional materials through the mail helped low-income ethnically diverse people eat more fruits and vegetables and improve their diets.

Bacteria play role in preventing spread of malaria
Bacteria in the gut of the Anopheles gambiae mosquito inhibit infection of the insect with Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite that causes malaria in humans, according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Putting Influenza A H1N1 in its place
An editorial published online first by the Lancet Infectious Diseases says that the existing flu crisis could can be seen as a timely exercise in preparing health authorities for a far more devastating pandemic.

Study finds African-Americans at greater risk after PCI
A study from one of the largest public health systems in the country has found that African-American patients experienced significantly worse outcomes after angioplasty and stenting than patients of other races, though researchers are not sure why.

In-depth change needed to meet future Internet demands
To meet the future needs in the growth of the Internet infrastructure, an in-depth change is required.

Massive decline in rates of coronary death in Iceland are largely attributed to risk factor reductions in the population
In the 25 years between 1981 and 2006 mortality rates from coronary heart disease in Iceland decreased by a remarkable 80 percent in men and women aged between 25 and 74 years.

Rep. Dan Lipinski to speak on stem education
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics is pleased to announce that Congressman Dan Lipinski (Il.-3rd), chair of the US House of Representatives Science and Technology Committee's Subcommittee on Education and Research, will deliver a keynote address at 8:15 a.m, on Wednesday, May 13, at

New study: Home energy savings are made in the shade
Trees positioned to shade the west and south sides of a house may decrease summertime electric bills by 5 percent on average, according to a recent study of California homes by researchers from NIST and the US Department of Agriculture.

House Appropriations chairman honored for science, engineering, technology leadership
Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, was honored last week for his leadership and commitment toward the United States remaining a global leader in science and innovation.

Vise squad: Putting the squeeze on a crystal leads to novel electronics
A clever materials science technique that uses a silicon crystal as a sort of nanoscale vise to squeeze another crystal into a more useful shape may launch a new class of electronic devices that remember their last state even after power is turned off.

UCLA scientists discover ultrasonic communication among frogs
UCLA scientists report on the first frog species that can communicate using purely ultrasonic calls, whose frequencies are too high to be heard by humans.

Job loss can make you sick, new study finds
In the face of rising unemployment and businesses declaring bankruptcy, a new study has found that losing your job can make you sick.

A nimbus rises in the world of cloud computing
Cloud computing is a hot topic in the technology world these days.

High-pressure compound could be key to hydrogen-powered vehicles
A hydrogen-rich compound discovered by Stanford researchers may help overcome one of the biggest hurdles to using hydrogen for fuel -- namely, how do you stuff enough hydrogen into a volume small enough to be practical for powering a car?

Skin color clue to nicotine dependence
Higher concentrations of melanin -- the color pigment in skin and hair -- may be placing darker pigmented smokers at increased susceptibility to nicotine dependence and tobacco-related carcinogens than lighter skinned smokers, according to scientists.

NSF director Arden Bement awarded Japan's Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star
Today in Tokyo, the government of Japan awarded Arden L.

Managing Douglas-fir forests for diversity
Creating diverse forests for multiple uses is important to natural resource managers and landowners.

Graves' disease: Quality of life and occupational disability
One in two patients with Graves' disease suffers impairments to their everyday lives.

System that regulates blood pressure is amiss in some healthy, young blacks
When stress increases blood pressure, a natural mechanism designed to bring it down by excreting more salt in the urine doesn't work well in about one-third of healthy, black adolescents, researchers report.

Demmler-Harrison honored for devoted work with pediatric society
Dr. Gail Demmler-Harrison has been awarded the Society for Pediatric Research 2009 Thomas Hazinski, M.D,.

Grant supports Boston College physicists in 1 of country's new energy frontier research centers
A US Department of Energy grant to enhance the nation's energy security will team Boston College physicists Zhifeng Ren and Cyril Opeil, SJ, with colleagues from MIT and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

MiP Consortium awarded €11 million by EDCTP
The global Malaria in Pregnancy (MiP) Consortium, led by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, has been awarded €11 million ($14.74 million) by the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership to undertake three new strands of research in Africa.

Increased food intake alone explains the increase in body weight in the United States
New research that uses an innovative approach to study, for the first time, the relative contributions of food and exercise habits to the development of the obesity epidemic has concluded that the rise in obesity in the United States since the 1970s was virtually all due to increased energy intake.

Caltech physicists detect entanglement of one photon shared among four locations
Scientists at the California Institute of Technology have developed an efficient method to detect entanglement shared among multiple parts of an optical system.

No insurance? No colonoscopy
John M. Inadomi highlights the disparity in colorectal cancer screening among different socioeconomic and ethnic groups in US society in a recent review published by F1000 Medicine Reports.

UAB professor receives HudsonAlpha Innovation Prize
Dr. Casey Weaver, University of Alabama at Birmingham professor of pathology, has been awarded the 2009 HudsonAlpha Prize for Outstanding Innovation in Life Sciences.

High rise fire study provides insight into deadly wind-driven fires
Fire researchers at NIST have just published two reports providing details of how wind affects fires in high-rise buildings.

Aerosol: A key piece of the climate change puzzle
Fitting all the different pieces of the climate change puzzle together is one of the major challenges of our age.

Sexual violence against girls in Africa linked to STD incidence
A UNICEF-funded study from Swaziland has shown that sexual violence against female children is linked to lifetime STD contraction, pregnancy complications or miscarriage, unwanted pregnancy and depression.

30-year follow-up study: 'Tremendous' impact of smoking on mortality and cardiovascular disease
Non-smokers live longer and have less cardiovascular disease than those who smoke, according to a 30-year follow-up study of 54,000 men and women in Norway.

More evidence for the benefit of exercise in cardiovascular disease -- and even in heart failure
In new studies presented at the congress exercise is shown to improve markers of heart disease in patients following coronary artery bypass surgery, to improve event-free survival rate in coronary patients better than stent angioplasty, and to improve markers of disease in heart failure patients, a group usually thought amenable to little more than palliative care.
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