Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 03, 2009
Next-generation software system for flood warning and risk analysis to be developed
Researchers from King's College London and Hohai University are together developing a ground-breaking software system, the Novel Early Flood Warning System (NEWS).

University of Cincinnati study finds needle biopsies safe in 'eloquent' areas of brain
Specialists at the Brain Tumor Center at the University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Institute have concluded that performing a stereotactic needle biopsy in an area of the brain associated with language or other important functions carries no greater risk than a similar biopsy in a less critical area of the brain.

A billion-year ultra-dense memory chip
Berkeley Lab researchers have created a unique new memory storage medium that can pack thousands of times more data into one square inch of space than conventional chips, and preserve this data for more than a billion years.

Study evaluates use of diaper alarm for toilet training children
A new study appearing in Neurology and Urodynamics evaluates the use of a daytime diaper that uses a musical

People who wear rose-colored glasses see more, University of Toronto study shows
A University of Toronto study provides the first direct evidence that our mood literally changes the way our visual system filters our perceptual experience suggesting that seeing the world through rose-colored glasses is more biological reality than metaphor.

UNEP report details surprising green energy investment trends worldwide
Some $155 billion was invested in 2008 in clean energy companies and projects worldwide, not including large hydro, a new report launched today says.

Carnegie's Wendy Freedman co-recipient of Gruber Cosmology Prize
The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation awarded the 2009 Cosmology Prize to Carnegie's Wendy Freedman; Robert Kennicutt of the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge; and Jeremy Mould at the University of Melbourne School of Physics.

Freedman, Kennicutt and Mould share 2009 Gruber Cosmology Prize
The co-recipients of the 2009 Gruber Cosmology Prize are Wendy Freedman, director of the Observatories of the Carnegie Institution of Washington in Pasadena, Calif., Robert Kennicutt, director of the Institute of Astronomy at the University of Cambridge in England and Jeremy Mould, professorial fellow at the University of Melbourne School of Physics.

Oxygen + MRI might help determine cancer therapy success, researchers find
A simple magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test involving breathing oxygen might help oncologists determine the best treatment for some cancer patients, report researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

ESC Congress 2009: World's biggest cardiology meeting to be held in Barcelona
The European Society of Cardiology Congress 2009, the world's biggest international meeting in Cardiology will be held in Barcelona, Spain, from Aug.

Single women gaze longer
A study by neuroscientist Heather Rupp and her team found that a woman's partner status influenced her interest in the opposite sex.

New research contributes to defense of Earth's technologies
Leicester scientists have implemented a new radar mode to create a clearer picture of space weather.

Changing climate likely to make 'super weed' even more powerful
Researchers at the University of Delaware have discovered a new reason why the tall, tasseled reed Phragmites australis is one of the most invasive plants in the United States.

UT Knoxville-led team starts first-ever Tennessee Valley earthquake survey
A new research project at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, funded by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission will provide the first-ever record of seismic activity in the Tennessee Valley, providing not only new information on past quakes but insight into future activity.

Obesity does not worsen asthma, but may reduce response to medications
Obesity has been linked to whole host of conditions, ranging from heart disease to diabetes and cancer.

Small molecules mimic natural gene regulators
In the quest for new approaches to treating and preventing disease, one appealing route involves turning genes on or off at will, directly intervening in ailments such as cancer and diabetes, which result when genes fail to turn on and off as they should.

Innovative method to teach tots about personal cleanliness
A Tel Aviv University researcher notes the importance of handwashing for pre-schoolers.

Waiting times too long for bariatric surgery
Obesity is now acknowledged as a chronic disease with a number of related complications, and its prevalence has reached alarming epidemic proportions.

Scientists discover new genetic immune disorder in children
Your immune system plays an important function in your health -- it protects you against viruses, bacteria, and other toxins that can cause disease.

Wage gap linked to customer bias
Customer satisfaction surveys have become a common source of performance feedback for employees and organizations.

Center for Secure Cyberspace to host 2nd Cyber Research Workshop
The Center for Secure Cyberspace, a collaborative effort of Louisiana Tech and Louisiana State universities, will host the 2nd Annual Cyberspace Research Workshop on Monday, June 15, 2009. at the Shreveport Convention Center in Shreveport, La.

Simple drug treatment may prevent nicotine-induced SIDS: Study
A new study has identified a specific class of pharmaceutical drugs that could be effective in treating babies vulnerable to Sudden Infant Death syndrome (SIDS), because their mothers smoked during pregnancy.

Freedman, Kennicutt and Mould share $500,000 Gruber Cosmology Prize
The 10th anniversary of the Gruber International Prize Program, which began with the Cosmology Prize in 2000, will be celebrated in July.

Effective over-the-counter prostate cancer test kit likely in next few years
An over-the-counter prostate cancer test kit could be coming to a pharmacy near you, thanks to the collaborative work of a University of Central Florida chemist and M.D.

NIST physicists demonstrate quantum entanglement in mechanical system
Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have demonstrated entanglement -- a phenomenon peculiar to the atomic-scale quantum world -- in a mechanical system similar to those in the macroscopic everyday world.

IU workshop Aug. 3-7 offers proven strategies for future virtual world developers
With an estimated 17 million users in English-speaking virtual world games alone, they are communications outlets that corporations and educators must take seriously.

Sedatives may increase suicide risk in older patients
Sleeping tablets have been associated with a four-fold increase in suicide risk in the elderly.

UGA grad program expands to prepare teachers to work with secondary students with autism
An innovative University of Georgia graduate program in special education that has prepared scores of Georgia teachers to work with elementary-age students with autism over the last several years has received a new four-year, $793,000 federal grant to train teachers to work with similarly challenged secondary-age students.

Diet may reduce risk of prostate cancer
A new review published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics assessed whether certain modifications in diet have a beneficial effect on the prevention of prostate cancer.

Could new government regulations lead to increased use of physical restraints?
A new Congressional mandate changing hospital reimbursement could inadvertently lead to an increased use of physical restraints, according to a Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center gerontologist.

Health, life insurers hold billions in tobacco stocks: NEJM article
More than a decade after researchers first revealed that life and health insurance companies were major investors in tobacco stocks, prompting calls upon them to divest, US, Canadian and UK-based insurance firms presently hold at least $4.4 billion of investments in tobacco.

Estrogen linked to lowered immunity in fish
Exposure to estrogen reduces production of immune-related proteins in fish.

Cornell hosts workshop on large-scale wind power, June 12-13
To harvest the wind: Cornell University will host

Cantabrian cornice has experienced 7 cooling and warming phases over past 41,000 years
The examination of the fossil remains of rodents and insectivores from deposits in the cave of El Miron, Cantabria, has made it possible to determine the climatic conditions of this region between the late Pleistocene and the present day.

Springer signs co-publishing agreement with Indian Statistical Institute
Springer, one of the leading publishers in the fields of science, technology and medicine, has signed a co-publishing agreement with the Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata, for one of their prestigious publications Sankhya-Indian Journal of Statistics.

Lack of coordination in comparative effectiveness research risks redundancy and unnecessary cost
In order to reap the potential rewards of comparative effectiveness research, policymakers and researchers need a better understanding of the current capacity for conducting these studies in the United States, how best to design them, and the potential role of cost in evaluating treatments, according to two new reports from AcademyHealth.

Scientists uncover mode of action of enzyme linked with several types of cancer
Scientists at the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer of the University of Montreal have discovered a key mechanism used by cells to efficiently distribute chromosomes to new cells during cell multiplication.

Hydrogen peroxide marshals immune system
Using the zebrafish as an animal model, researchers have discovered that the body uses hydrogen peroxide to sound the alarm when a tissue has been injured.

Does service learning produce better engineers, attract women to the field?
Tufts' School of Engineering researchers have launched a study to determine the extent to which service-learning might help engineering programs attract and retain students, particularly women.

AGA announces recipients of prestigious recognition awards
Through its prestigious recognition awards, the American Gastroenterological Association honors several individuals each year for their outstanding contributions and achievements in gastroenterology.

Partnership to accelerate Trudeau Institute discoveries to patient care
The Trudeau Institute and Health Research Inc. have established a unique partnership aimed at advancing the commercialization of medical and scientific discoveries made at the institute to maximize their benefit to public health worldwide.

Improvements in diagnosis and treatment linked to reduced risk of death in patients with brain hemorrhage
Improvements in diagnosis and treatment over the past 30 years have led to a 17 percent decrease in the likelihood of death from aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (the bursting of a blood vessel on the surface the brain) in the general population, according to an article published online first and in the July edition of the Lancet Neurology.

Common diabetes drug may 'revolutionize' cancer therapies
Researchers at McGill University and the University of Pennsylvania have discovered that a widely used anti-diabetic drug can boost the immune system and increase the potency of vaccines and cancer treatments.

Hospitalized patients need better understanding of CPR and outcomes
Many hospitalized patients overestimate their chance of surviving an in-hospital cardiac arrest and do not know what CPR really involves, a University of Iowa study has shown.

MDCT angiography leads to successful treatment of severely blocked arteries in the legs
MDCT angiography leads to accurate recommendations for successful treatment of patients with critical limb ischemia, sometimes allowing the patients to avoid more complicated surgery, according to a study performed at the Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.

Stepping up minority recruiting
This summer, Temple University School of Medicine launches Step Up, which gives twelve selected minority students, who are interested in a health profession, their first

Despite increased danger, youth gang members still feel safer
Children who join gangs feel safer despite a greater risk of being assaulted or killed, according to federally funded research led by a Michigan State University criminologist.

New MIT radio chip mimics human ear
MIT engineers have built a fast, ultra-broadband, low-power radio chip, modeled on the human inner ear, that could enable wireless devices capable of receiving cell phone, Internet, radio and television signals.

Electronic pill shows its smarts by measuring pH levels in digestive tract
An electronic diagnostic tool called the SmartPill is swallowed by patients in order to take measurements as it travels through the gastrointestinal tract.

Recent smoking-cessation research highlights importance of keeping teens from smoking
Despite the efforts of college students to quit smoking, recent research conducted by Joyce M.

Soap-sniffing technology encourages hand washing to reduce hospital-acquired infections, save money
Using sensors capable of detecting drugs in breath, new technology developed at University of Florida monitors health-care workers' hand hygiene by detecting sanitizer or soap fumes given off from their hands.

Medicare Part D too complicated for seniors to identify lowest-cost plan
In the face of rising health-care costs, a new study has found that older adults were less likely to identify the plan that minimized their total annual cost and were likely to mistakenly think they had chosen the lowest-cost plan.

Brain irradiation in lung cancer
A national Radiation Therapy Oncology Group study led by a Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center physician at Froedtert Hospital in Milwaukee has found that a course of radiation therapy to the brain after treatment for locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer reduced the risk of metastases to the brain within the first year after treatment.

5 Spanish centers join a study for a new leukemia and lymphoma treatment technique
The Gamida Cell-Teva Joint Venture announced today that five prestigious cord blood transplantations centers in Spain, three in Barcelona and two in Valencia, have joined the ExCell study.

Data on investigational drug TMC207 for MDR-TB published in New England Journal of Medicine
Interim results from an ongoing phase 2 trial of the investigational drug TMC207 for the treatment of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis, published in the New England Journal of Medicine June 4, 2009, show the addition of TMC207 to a five-drug background regimen resulted in a significant increase in the proportion of MDR-TB patients achieving a negative sputum culture and a significantly shorter time to culture conversion.
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