Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 27, 2009
Dementia drugs may put some patients at risk, Queen's study shows
Effects associated with several commonly prescribed dementia drugs may be putting elderly Canadians at risk, says Queen's University geriatrics professor Sudeep Gill.

Weed resistance to glyphosate in genetically modified soybean cultivation in Argentina
The rapid expansion of industrial agriculture and the globalization of the food system have favored the decline and deterioration of agro-ecosystems thus increasing biodiversity loss.

Study: Teachers choose schools according to student race
A study forthcoming in the Journal of Labor Economics suggests that high-quality teachers tend to leave schools that experience inflows of black students.

Energy efficiency standards for appliances should include upstream costs
The US Department of Energy should consider gradually changing its system of setting appliance energy-efficiency standards to a full-fuel-cycle measurement, which takes into account both the energy used to operate an appliance, as well as upstream energy costs -- energy consumed in producing and distributing fuels from coal, oil and natural gas, and energy lost in generating and delivering electric power.

NJIT business prof says first-quarter bank profits will soon prove ephemeral
NJIT finance professor Michael Ehrlich predicts that the strong profits reported by banks in the first quarter will soon be followed by more losses.

Contrary to guidelines, compression stockings do not reduce the risk of blood clots after stroke
Thigh-length graduated support stockings do not reduce the risk of blood clots in stroke patients.

Music played to premature babies may lessen pain and improve feeding habits
Music played to premature babies may help to reduce their pain and encourage better oral feeding, suggests research published ahead of print in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Rare radio supernova in nearby galaxy is nearest supernova in 5 years
Robotic telescopes and dedicated satellites now search the sky for exploding stars, but not all supernovas are visible to optical, ultraviolet or X-ray telescopes.

UGA licenses new Bermuda grass that thrives in sun and shade
An internationally recognized turf grass researcher from the University of Georgia has developed a new Bermuda grass that thrives in sun, but also produces healthy turf in areas with less than half the light normally required for healthy Bermuda grass.

Research suggests new cellular targets for HIV drug development
Focusing HIV drug development on immune cells called macrophages could help combat the disease, according to University of Florida researchers.

Stand Up to Cancer awards $73.6 million for novel, groundbreaking cancer research
Stand Up To Cancer, the charitable initiative supporting groundbreaking research aimed at getting new cancer treatments to patients in an accelerated timeframe, has reached a significant milestone, awarding the first round of three-year grants -- that total $73.6 million -- to five multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional research Dream Teams.

First 'nanorust' field test slated in Mexico
Rice University researchers today announced that the first field tests of

Following a healthy lifestyle is on the decline in the US
Despite the well-known benefits of having a lifestyle that includes physical activity, eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables, maintaining a healthy weight, moderate alcohol use and not smoking, only a small proportion of adults follow this healthy lifestyle pattern, and in fact, the numbers are declining, according to an article published in the June 2009 issue of the American Journal of Medicine.

Air Force funds new generation of energy efficient UAVs
With Air Force funding, a team from the University of Michigan is working on a project to integrate solar power cheaply and easily into the base materials used to build unmanned aerial vehicles.

Worldwide report shows increase in assisted reproduction: 250,000 babies (approximately) born in 1 year
Assisted reproductive technology is responsible for an estimated 219,000 to 246,000 babies born each year worldwide according to an international study.

5 outstanding young gastroenterologists receive AGA Foundation 2009 Research Scholars Award
The Foundation for Digestive Health and Nutrition has announced the 2009 American Gastroenterological Association Foundation Research Scholars.

Few food adverts during children's TV are likely to be banned under new regulations
Advertisements shown during children's television before new restrictive regulations were introduced were not any more focused on unhealthy food than adverts shown at other times, according to research published ahead of print in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Berkeley Lab scientist co-leads breast cancer 'dream team'
Life Sciences Division Director Joe Gray of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will co-lead a biological, genomic and computational study of breast cancer, with the goal of matching a tumor's genetic and molecular profile with the therapy that has the best chance of treating it.

Development of DNA drugs gives hope to lupus patients
A generation of DNA-like compounds, class R inhibitory oligonucleotides, have been shown to effectively inhibit cells responsible for the chronic autoimmune condition lupus.

Geographic isolation drives the evolution of a hot springs microbe
Sulfolobus islandicus, a microbe that can live in boiling acid, is offering up its secrets to researchers hardy enough to capture it from the volcanic hot springs where it thrives.

Triage technology with a Star Trek twist
Triage technology comes with a Star Trek twist, at the US Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology Directorate.

DFG establishes nine new collaborative research centers
Effective July 1, 2009, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft will establish nine new Collaborative Research Centers.

Minor league hockey players unable to identify concussion symptoms, study says
When Chicago Blackhawk's leading scorer Martin Havlat returned to the ice for game four of the Western Conference Final after sustaining a concussion only two days earlier, questions were raised surrounding his swift return.

NSF announces funding for Alaska Region Research Vessel
The National Science Foundation has announced that the Alaska Region Research Vessel will be the first project funded from NSF's portion of the nation's economic stimulus funds, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Swine flu experts gather at New York Academy of Sciences May 28
The latest information on the 2009 swine influenza (H1N1) outbreak is the subject of a landmark symposium hosted by the New York Academy of Sciences on Thursday, May 28.

Sharing surgical lessons from the Canadian field hospital in Afghanistan
Lessons learned at the Canadian-run military hospital in Kandahar, Afghanistan could help surgeons prepare for civilian disasters, according to a London, Ontario physician who has served two tours at the hospital.

LIVESTRONG and Penn Medicine announce partnership to bring online care plan tool to cancer survivors
The Lance Armstrong Foundation and Penn Medicine announced today a four-year partnership to further develop and disseminate the LIVESTRONG Care Plan Powered by Penn Medicine's OncoLink.

City rats loyal to their 'hoods, scientists discover
In the rat race of life, one thing is certain: there's no place like home.

Team develops DNA compounds that could help treat lupus
A research team led by a University of Iowa investigator has generated DNA-like compounds that effectively inhibit the cells responsible for the most common and serious form of lupus.

Scientists find formula to uncover our planet's past and help predict its future
A novel method of reconstructing missing data will shed new light on how and why our climate moved us on from ice ages to warmer periods as researchers will be able to calculate lost information and put together a more complete picture.

Male or female? Coloring provides gender cues
Our brain is wired to identify gender based on facial cues and coloring, according to a new study published in the Journal of Vision.

SETAC Europe addresses global ecosystem health in Gothenburg
The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry will host 1,550 scientists from around the world to address the theme of

Why some prostate cancer returns
A study being presented this week at ASCO finds that men with a low oxygen supply to their tumor have a higher chance of the prostate cancer returning, as found by increasing prostate-specific antigen levels following treatment.

Dream team targets key driver for breast, ovarian, endometrial cancers
A Dream Team of leading cancer researchers will accelerate development of drugs to attack a mutated molecular pathway that fuels endometrial, breast and ovarian cancers, funded by a three-year $15 million grant awarded today by Stand Up To Cancer.

Brain activation can predict the strategies people use to make risky decisions
Watching people's brains in real time as they handle a set of decision-making problems can reveal how different each person's strategy can be, according to neuroscientists at the Duke University Medical Center.

Shatter-resistant brassicas
An international team of scientists has cracked the problem of pod shatter in brassica crops such as oilseed rape.

NAU discovery could help feed millions
When scientist Loretta Mayer set out to alleviate diseases associated with menopause, she didn't realize her work could lead to addressing world hunger and feeding hundreds of millions of people.

NSF announces first major award under American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
The National Science Foundation made its first major award under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to construct the Alaska Region Research Vessel.

Mayo researchers help discover genetic cause for primary biliary cirrhosis
Researchers have discovered a novel molecular path that predisposes patients to develop primary biliary cirrhosis, a disease that mainly affects women and slowly destroys their livers.

Sulphur in just one hair could blow a terrorist's alibi
A team of Spanish and British scientists has developed a

XMM-Newton takes astronomers to a black hole's edge
Using new data from ESA's XMM-Newton spaceborne observatory, astronomers have probed closer than ever to a supermassive black hole lying deep at the core of a distant active galaxy.

Melting Greenland ice sheets may threaten Northeast United States, Canada
A melting of the Greenland ice sheet this century may drive more water than previously thought toward the already threatened coastlines of New York, Boston, Halifax and other cities in the northeastern United States and in Canada, according to new research led by NCAR.

What goes down, must come up: Earth's leaky mantle
Research in this week's Nature takes aim at a conundrum that's long vexed geoscientists: How to reconcile convection of the Earth's mantle with observations of ancient noble gases in volcanic rocks.

Contracts adding legal twist to family health care
Financial contracts to care for sick or aging relatives -- nearly unthinkable just a decade ago -- are drawing new interest as everyday Americans wrestle with the time and expense of providing long-term health care, a University of Illinois legal expert says.

Biologists: Greening Arctic not likely to offset permafrost carbon release
As the frozen soil in the Arctic thaws, bacteria will break down organic matter, releasing long-stored carbon into the warming atmosphere.

Understanding plants' overactive immune system will help MU researchers build better crops
A plant's immune system protects the plant from harmful pathogens.

The first hyperspectral scanner in Spain
The Infotech Unit at TECNALIA has recently acquired a hyperspectral scanner from the Finnish SPECIM company, the first of its kind in Spain and which will enable the study in depth of applications that require the analysis of images with wavelengths that are not visible.

'Father of green chemistry' Paul Anastas to head EPA research
President Obama has nominated Paul Anastas, Yale's Teresa and H.

A bad performance is better than no performance at all
Many songbirds learn their songs early in life from a role model.

$18 million awarded to TGen and University of Pennsylvania for pancreatic cancer research
Dr. Daniel Von Hoff, TGen's Physician-In-Chief, and Dr. Craig B.

First comprehensive guidelines for managing medullary thyroid carcinoma published in Thyroid journal
New guidelines designed to standardize and optimize the diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of patients with medullary thyroid carcinoma, an uncommon and challenging form of thyroid cancer, have been developed by the American Thyroid Association and published online ahead of print in Thyroid, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert Inc.

New rotors could help develop nanoscale generators
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have developed a molecular structure that could help create current-generating machines at the nanoscale.

Study shows CGM devices also benefit people with type 1 diabetes
People with type 1 diabetes who have already been successful in achieving recommended blood sugar goals can further benefit from using continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) devices, according to results of a major multicenter clinical trial by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

Researcher garners major award from NIH for further exploration into the mechanisms of obesity
Timothy J. Bartness, regents' professor of biology at Georgia State University, has received a multimillion dollar award from the National Institutes of Health to further research into the biological mechanisms of obesity.

People with parents who fight are more likely to have mental health problems in later life
People with parents who were violent to each other are more likely to have mental health problems when they grow up, reveals research published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Type 1 diabetes cases in children under 5 to double by 2020
Cases of type 1 diabetes in children under 5 years of age across Europe will double by 2020 (from 2005 levels) if present trends continue.

Liu Young Investigator Award presented to Kevin Bruhn, Ph.D.
Kevin Bruhn, Ph.D., is the winner of the third annual Liu Young Investigator Award, a $10,000 honor aimed at nurturing excellence and providing support for a young scientist on the LA BioMed campus.

History of hyperactivity off-base, says researcher
A Canadian researcher working in the UK says doctors, authors and educators are doing hyperactive children a disservice by claiming that hyperactivity as we understand it today has always existed.

Should I stay or should I go? Neural mechanisms of strategic decision making
A new study demonstrates that when faced with a difficult decision, the human brain calls upon multiple neural systems that code for different sorts of behaviors and strategies.

University of Hawaii at Manoa professors co-author adolescent obesity study
Drs. Timothy Halliday and Sally Kwak, economics professors at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, recently published a paper in Economics and Human Biology titled,

Technique eradicates problems in most patients with Barrett's esophagus
A procedure that uses heat generated by radio waves to treat Barrett's esophagus, a condition caused by acid reflux (severe heartburn), can eliminate signs of the potentially cancer-causing disorder and reduce the risk that the disease will progress.

Sea-level rise may pose greatest threat to Northeast US, Canada
The melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet this century may drive more water than previously thought toward the already threatened coastlines of New York, Boston, Halifax and other cities in the northeastern United States and Canada, according to new research.

A genetic link to premature ejaculation
Premature ejaculation can be embarrassing, but a new study suggests that it might be a genetic disorder.

Stanford's Woods Institute awards new round of Environmental Venture Projects
The Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford has awarded four new Environmental Venture Projects grants for interdisciplinary research aimed at finding practical solutions promoting global sustainability.

Swiss Initiative in Systems Biology launches new projects
SystemsX.ch, the Swiss Initiative in Systems Biology, supports six further large Research, Technology and Development Projects.

New mouse model of depression/anxiety enhances understanding of antidepressant drugs
A recent study finds that the antidepressant effects of drugs like Prozac involve both neurogenesis-dependent and -independent mechanisms, a finding that may lead to development of better treatments for depression and anxiety.

Lesson from the past for surviving climate change
Research led by the University of Leicester suggests people today and in future generations should look to the past in order to mitigate the worst effects of climate change.

New therapy enlists immune system to boost cure rate in a childhood cancer
A multicenter research team has announced encouraging results for an experimental therapy using elements of the body's immune system to improve cure rates for children with neuroblastoma, a challenging cancer of the nervous system.

Landmark UNC-led study finds radiofrequency ablation is effective treatment for Barrett's esophagus
A landmark clinical trial led by a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researcher concludes that radiofrequency ablation is an effective treatment for dysplasia in people with Barrett's esophagus, a condition that can lead to deadly gastrointestinal cancer.

Research suggests we are genetically programmed to care about climate change
Humans may be programmed by evolution to care about the future of the environment, suggests research published today.

Lombardi scientist brings 'Dream Team' breast cancer research effort to GUMC
It's called a

Evidence of macroscopic quantum tunneling detected in nanowires
A team of researchers at the University of Illinois has demonstrated that, counter to classical Newtonian mechanics, an entire collection of superconducting electrons in an ultrathin superconducting wire is able to

Yale study: Most polluted ecosystems recoverable
Most polluted or damaged ecosystems worldwide can recover within a lifetime if societies commit to their cleanup or restoration, according to an analysis of 240 independent studies by researchers at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.

Common migraine pain condition also prevalent in cluster headache
A pain condition common in people with migraines also has a high prevalence in patients with cluster headache, according to a study conducted by researchers at the Jefferson Headache Center at Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience.

When is it safe to hire someone with a criminal record?
Carnegie Mellon University researchers have created a model for providing empirical evidence on when an ex-convict has been

Unsafe neighborhoods disable the elderly
Elderly people who live below the poverty line and perceive their neighborhoods to be dangerous are more likely to have a mobility disability.

A connected world gives viruses the edge
This paper explores the importance of dispersal to the evolution of parasites and suggests that as human activity makes the world more connected, natural selection will favor more virulent and dangerous parasites.

Peering deep into space
University of Miami professor of physics in the College of Arts and Sciences, Joshua Gundersen is part of an international research team that built an innovative new telescope called BLAST (Balloon-borne Large-Aperture Sub-millimeter Telescope) and launched it to the edge of the atmosphere, where it discovered previously unidentified dust-obscured, star-forming galaxies that could help illuminate the origins of the universe.
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