Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 18, 2009
Argonne, UC scientists reach milestone in study of emergent magnetism
Studying simple metallic chromium, the joint UC-Argonne team has discovered a pressure-driven quantum critical regime and has achieved the first direct measurement of a

An easy way to find a needle in a haystack by removing the haystack
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena and their colleagues from the Czech Academy of Sciences in Prague have developed a new method to quickly and reliably detect metabolites, such as sugars, fatty acids, amino acids and other organic substances from plant or animal tissue samples.

Successful, even during the crisis
The Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft's total funding hit a new record level of 1.4 billion euros ($1.9 billion) last year.

Antibiotics-resistant gulls worry scientists
The resistance pattern for antibiotics in gulls is the same as in humans, and a new study by Uppsala University researchers shows that nearly half of Mediterranean gulls in southern France have some form of resistance to antibiotics.

New tracking approach will help protect polar bears
A new approach to tracking polar bears, developed by Queen's University researchers, will shed more light on the potentially endangered Arctic animal and help boost the economy of Canada's north.

Traumatic brain injury caused by exposure to explosive blast presents critical challenge
Blast-induced traumatic brain injury has reached critical levels in modern-day warfare.

Nearly half of older patients projected to die while waiting for kidney transplant
Forty-six percent of patients over age 60 currently on the waiting list for a kidney transplant will die before they receive an organ from a deceased donor, reports an upcoming study in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Nationwide telemedicine networks are essential for successful health care reform
The US health care system is in critical need of basic change to enable more equitable, effective, efficient care.

Stevens' Business Process Management Day, June 22, 2009
The Howe School of Technology Management at Stevens Institute of Technology will hold its third annual Business Process Management Day, this coming Monday, June 22, 2009, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., at the Babbio Center for Technology Management on the Hoboken campus.

Scientists create first comprehensive computer model of sunspots
In a breakthrough that will help scientists unlock mysteries of the sun and its impacts on Earth, scientists have created the first-ever comprehensive computer model of sunspots.

7th annual [BC]2 Basel Computational Biology Conference 'Molecular Evolution' June 18-19, 2009
The SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics and the Biozentrum of the University of Basel's 7th annual [BC]2 Basel Computational Biology Conference,

Link between light touch and Merkel cells solves 100-year mystery
Light touch -- the sense that lets musicians find the right notes on a keyboard, a seamstress revel in the feel of cool silk, the artisan feel a curve in material and the blind read Braille -- truly depends on the activity of Merkel cells usually found in crescent-shaped clusters in the skin, said researchers from Baylor College of Medicine and colleagues in a report that appears in the current issue of the journal Science.

Global health funding soars, boosted by unprecedented private giving
Well-heeled donors, private corporations and average citizens sending money to their favorite charities are changing the landscape of global health funding, according to a study in the Lancet by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

Discovery of a water snake that startles fish in a way that makes them flee into its jaws
Forget the old folk tales about snakes hypnotizing their prey.

4th ESU master class on medical treatment for urological cancer held in Barcelona, Spain
The 4th ESU Master class on medical treatment for urological cancer is organised by the European School of Urology on June 27-28, 2009, in Barcelona, Spain.

CO2 higher today than last 2.1 million years
Researchers have reconstructed atmospheric carbon dioxide levels over the past 2.1 million years in the sharpest detail yet, shedding new light on its role in the Earth's cycles of cooling and warming.

Study promotes educational reform based on school self-management
Researchers from the University of Murcia have investigated the issue of cooperation between families and schools, and are proposing changes be made to the organizational structure of schools to allow families to take an active part in managing them and to take on joint responsibility for their educational programs.

Data: Actual imaging use far below president's recommended 95 percent utilization rate for Medicare
The amount of time imaging equipment is in use in outpatient settings does not approach use rates President Obama and the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission recommend Medicare utilize to calculate reimbursement for imaging, according to data recently collected by the Radiology Business Management Association, a national association of business professionals in radiology.

Another JDRF partner moves research forward with collaboration agreement for diabetes treatment
JDRF industry partner Bayhill Therapeutics Inc., based in California, entered into a collaboration agreement with Genentech Inc., a wholly owned member of the Roche Group, to further develop and potentially commercialize a novel antigen-specific immunotherapeutic designed to reverse the immune response that causes type 1 diabetes.

IBEX spacecraft detects fast neutral hydrogen coming from the moon
NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) spacecraft has made the first observations of very fast hydrogen atoms coming from the moon, following decades of speculation and searching for their existence.

NOAA forecast predicts large 'dead zone' for Gulf of Mexico this summer
NOAA-supported scientists from the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, Louisiana State University, and the University of Michigan are forecasting that the

Autonomous robot detects shrapnel
Bioengineers at Duke University have developed a laboratory robot that can successfully locate tiny pieces of metal within flesh and guide a needle to its exact location -- all without the need for human assistance.

Cancer-causing protein can also help fight the tumors it causes
Tel Aviv University research uses the Ras protein to fight its own malign effects.

Mate selection: How does she know he'll take care of the kids?
Throughout the animal kingdom brilliant colors or elaborate behavioral displays serve as

People think bottled water is healthy ... sort of
A small study has shown that people tend to believe that bottled water is somehow healthier than water from the tap.

U-M researcher and colleagues predict large 2009 Gulf of Mexico 'dead zone'
University of Michigan aquatic ecologist Donald Scavia and his colleagues say this year's Gulf of Mexico

School program cuts problem behaviors in fifth graders in half
A study by Oregon State University researchers suggests that school-based prevention programs begun in elementary school can significantly reduce problem behaviors in students.

Humans related to orangutans, not chimps, says new Pitt, Buffalo Museum of Science study
New evidence underscores the theory of human origin that suggests humans most likely share a common ancestor with orangutans, according to research from the University of Pittsburgh and the Buffalo Museum of Science.

Proceedings of NIAID workshop on immunity to malaria published
On March 16-17, 2009, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, convened a workshop to encourage more immunologists to enter malaria research and to foster scientific collaborations that may help lead to the development of effective malaria vaccines.

Study highlights massive imbalances in global fertilizer use
A scientific study of three corn-growing regions of the world documents massive imbalances in nitrogen fertilizer use, resulting in malnourishment in some areas and serious pollution problems in others.

Antibiotics take toll on beneficial microbes in gut
In mice, scientists have shown two types of antibiotics can cause moderate to wide-ranging changes in normally diverse, beneficial gut microbes.

World's fastest and most sensitive astronomical camera
The next generation of instruments for ground-based telescopes took a leap forward with the development of a new ultra-fast camera that can take 1,500 finely exposed images per second even when observing extremely faint objects.

UNH researcher receives presidential environmental award
University of New Hampshire professor Frederick Short was co-recipient of the prestigious Coastal America Partnership Award -- the only environmental award of its kind given by the US president -- for his contributions to a project that restored eelgrass to coastal salt ponds in Rhode Island.

Global health programs improve specific health outcomes but can constrain health systems of poor countries
The emergence of global health initiatives, e.g., the Global Fund and PEPFAR, has resulted in a striking expansion of key health interventions in recent years, from which millions have benefited.

Scientists capture the first image of memories being made
The ability to learn and to establish new memories is essential to our daily existence and identity; enabling us to navigate through the world.

Benefit of glinides is not proven
The benefit of glinides in the treatment of type 2 diabetes is not scientifically proven.

UF astronomy team among first to use massive new telescope
A team of University of Florida astronomers is among the first in the world to make scientific-quality observations of the heavens using the newly completed Gran Telescopio Canarias, the world's largest optical telescope.

Method for computing evolutionary trees could revolutionize evolutionary biology
Detailed, accurate evolutionary trees that reveal the relatedness of living things can now be determined much faster and for thousands of species with a computing method developed by computer scientists and a biologist at the University of Texas at Austin.

Argonne technology enables high-speed data transfer
GridFTP, a protocol developed by researchers at Argonne National Laboratory, has been used to transfer unprecedented amounts of data over the US Department of Energy's Energy Sciences Network, which provides a reliable, high-performance communications infrastructure to facilitate large-scale, collaborative science endeavors.

Aerobically unfit young adults on road to diabetes in middle age
Most healthy 25 year olds don't stay up at night worrying whether they are going to develop diabetes in middle age.

Anxious parents misdiagnose milk formula intolerance
Some parents may be unnecessarily switching infant milk formulas for their healthy infants.

Long-term care costs exceed yearly income for many Calif. seniors living alone
Long-term care costs exceed median income for seniors living alone in more than half of California counties, according to new data released today by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development.

Omega-3 fatty acids appear to impact AMD progression
Omega-3 fatty acids found in fatty fish such as tuna and salmon may protect against progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), but the benefits appear to depend on the stage of disease and whether certain supplements are taken, report researchers at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University.

Patients with lower urinary tract symptoms more likely to suffer from metabolic syndrome
Researchers have determined that individuals with mild to severe symptoms of lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) are more likely to suffer from metabolic syndrome, a collection of cardiovascular risk factors thought to be linked by insulin resistance).

British Climate Act 'failed before it started'
The British Climate Act is flawed and comprised of unrealistic and unobtainable targets, writes US academic Roger A.

WPI provost and department head elected American Society for Engineering Education fellows
John A. Orr, provost and senior vice president at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and WPI Chemical Engineering Department Head David DiBiasio were elected fellows of the American Society for Engineering Education during the organization's annual meeting in Austin, Texas, on June 17.

To protect threatened bat species, street lights out
Slow-flying, woodland bats -- which tend to be at greater risk from extinction than their speedier kin -- really don't like the light, according to a study published online on June 18 in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication.

Johns Hopkins researchers edit genes in human stem cells
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine have successfully edited the genome of human- induced pluripotent stem cells, making possible the future development of patient-specific stem cell therapies.

Light sensor breakthrough could enhance digital cameras
New research by a team of University of Toronto scientists could lead to substantial advancements in the performance of a variety of electronic devices including digital cameras.

McGill University receives almost $63 million under CFI program to support 5 research projects
Dr. Denis Therien, vice-principal (research and international relations) of McGill University today welcomed the Canada Foundation for Innovation's investment of $32,649,184 supporting five projects led by Dr.

Could older population have enough exposure to past H1N1 flu strains to avoid infection?
A letter to the editor by Rhode Island Hospital infectious diseases specialist Leonard Mermel, D.O., identifies characteristics of the outbreak of H1N1 in 1977 and speculates its impact on this pandemic.

Teens are heading in wrong direction: Likely to have sex, but not use contraception
Between 2003 and 2007, the progress made in the 1990s and early 2000s in improving teen contraceptive use and reducing teen pregnancy and childbearing stalled, and may even have reversed among certain groups of teens, according to the study

Norway, Japan prop up whaling industry with taxpayer money
The governments of Norway and Japan are using taxpayer money to subsidize their unprofitable whaling industries, according to a first-time analysis of the economics of whaling.

Improved method developed to test carcinogen risk
Researchers at Oregon State University recently completed the largest animal study ever done in the field of toxicology, and the findings challenge some basic concepts about how to determine what level of a cancer-causing compound can be considered safe.

Elephant-size loopholes sustain Thai ivory trade
Legal loopholes and insufficient law enforcement mean that Thailand continues to harbor the largest illegal ivory market in Asia, says a new report from the wildlife trade monitoring network TRAFFIC.

Targeting tumor behavior may lead to new liver cancer drugs
Ohio State University cancer researchers used computational and genomic methods to identify possible anti-cancer agents that target multiple genes simultaneously.

Ancient drought and rapid cooling drastically altered climate
Two abrupt and drastic climate events, 700 years apart and more than 45 centuries ago, are teasing scientists who are now trying to use ancient records to predict future world climate.

Study: Economic value of NOAA's geodetic services at $2.4 billion
The NOAA-managed National Spatial Reference System, the official US government source for precise latitude, longitude and elevation measurements, provides more than $2.4 billion in potential annual benefits to the US economy, according to a new independent study.

Human eye inspires advance in computer vision from Boston College researchers
Novel algorithms developed by a pair of Boston College professors allow computer visualization software to see moving objects faster and with greater accuracy.

Global health funding quadruples over 17 years but some of poorest nations still missing out
Research shows that funding for health in developing countries has quadrupled over the past two decades -- from $5.6 billion in 1990 to $21.8 billion in 2007.

Using math to take the lag out of jet lag
Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital and the University of Michigan have developed a software program that prescribes a regimen for avoiding jet lag using timed light exposure.

Size did matter -- evidence of giant sperm found in microfossils
The mystery of giant sperm present in some living animal groups today has now taken on a new dimension -- in one group of micro-crustaceans new evidence shows that it is a feature at least 100 million years old.

Newly revised handbook of space technology now available
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics is pleased to announce that the third edition of the Handbook of Space Technology is now available through AIAA's Library of Flight series.

Johns Hopkins scientists out a gene for gout
Having partnered last year with an international team that surveyed the genomes of 12,000 individuals to find a genetic cause for gout, Johns Hopkins scientists now have shown that the malfunctioning gene they helped uncover can lead to high concentrations of blood urate that forms crystals in joint tissue, causing inflammation and pain -- the hallmark of this disease.

Medical insurance documents shed light on kidney transplant patients' health
Billing claims from health insurance companies can provide insights on the long-term health of kidney transplant patients, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

Got ear plugs? You may want to sport them on the subway and other mass transit, researchers say
Recent public health studies on the US mass transit system have identified several sources of environmental hazards associated with mass transit, including excessive noise.

Natural deep earth pump fuels earthquakes and ore
For the first time scientists have discovered the presence of a natural deep earth pump that is a crucial element in the formation of ore deposits and earthquakes.

Call for primary care reform from AAFP, ACP and AOA
Leaders of three national organizations representing nearly a third of a million physicians today visited Capitol Hill offices to express their continued concern for America's patients who do not have access to primary care physicians.

Caltech researchers explore how cells reconcile mixed messages in decisions about growth
The cells in our body are constantly receiving mixed messages.

Size did matter
The mystery of giant sperm present in some living animal groups today has taken on a new dimension.

Magnetospheric Multiscale mission enters implementation phase
Southwest Research Institute has received confirmation from NASA Headquarters that the Magnetospheric Multiscale misson has been approved to begin its implementation phase.

Stroke survivors report loss of sexual desire, blurred gender roles, anger and fatigue
Researchers have come up with four key recommendations for clinical practice after speaking to 16 married stroke survivors aged between 33 and 78.

Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology
The following are tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology:

'Ballooning' spiders grounded by infection
Money spiders infected with Rickettsia bacteria are less likely to

University of Oklahoma presents meteorological recommendations to the Republic of Croatia
Representatives from the University of Oklahoma College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences presented recommendations for a comprehensive modernization of the Croatian Meteorological and Hydrological Service to the government of the Republic of Croatia in Zagreb, Croatia, on June 18.

Sunspots revealed in striking detail by supercomputers
In a breakthrough that will help scientists unlock mysteries of the Sun and its impacts on Earth, an international team of scientists led by the National Center for Atmospheric Research has created the first-ever comprehensive computer model of sunspots.

Research vessel Polarstern starts 24th Arctic season
German research vessel Polarstern, operated by the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association, will begin its 24th Arctic expedition on Saturday, June 20.

Sudden collapse in ancient biodiversity: Was global warming the culprit?
Scientists have unearthed striking evidence for a sudden ancient collapse in plant biodiversity.

$16.8 million study will breathe new life into cancer battle
University of Manchester scientists are among a multinational collaborative group to have been awarded €12 ($16.8) million for cancer research by the European Union.

The straight poop on counting tigers
The Wildlife Conservation Society announced today a major breakthrough in the science of saving tigers: high-tech DNA fecal sampling.

NOAA report finds threats to California's Cordell Bank Marine Sanctuary
A new NOAA report on the health of Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary indicates that the overall condition of the sanctuary's marine life and habitats is fair to good, but identifies several emerging threats to sanctuary resources.

Success of Socrates Fellows program shows after 1 year
For ninth-grader Priscilla Maestro, it is just a normal day in her biology class at Castle Park High School in Chula Vista as she and fellow students evaluate mock samples of urine and blood as part of learning a medical procedure used by hospitals and clinics to determine diabetes in patients.

Cerebrospinal fluid shows Alzheimer's disease deterioration much earlier
It is possible to determine which patients run a high risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and the dementia associated with it, even in patients with minimal memory impairment.

Online tutorials help elementary school teachers make sense of science
Interactive Web-based science tutorials can be effective tools for helping elementary school teachers construct powerful explanatory models of difficult scientific concepts, and research shows the interactive tutorials are just as effective online as they are in face-to-face settings, says a University of Illinois expert in science education.

The BBVA Foundation presents its Frontiers of Knowledge Awards
The event marks the coming-of-age of these international prizes, whose eight categories, rigorous selection process and combined purse of 3.2 million euros place them among the world's foremost award schemes 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