Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 19, 2009
Research explores interactions between nanomaterials, biological systems
Tremendous growth in the development of nanomaterials with enhanced performance characteristics which are being used for commercial and medical applications prompts UCLA researchers along with colleagues in academia and industry take a proactive role in examining the nano-bio interface to identify potential risks of engineered nanomaterials and explore methods for safer designs for use in drug delivery therapeutics and commercial products.

Athletes, spectators faced unprecedented air pollution at 2008 Olympic Games
Particulate air pollution during the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing constantly exceeded levels considered excessive by the World Health Organization, was far worse than other recent Olympic Games, and was about 30 percent higher than has been reported by Chinese environmental experts -- even though some favorable weather conditions helped reduce the problem.

New supplement may help slow sight loss in elderly
Queen's University Belfast academics have helped develop an antioxidant supplement which may slow down sight loss in elderly people.

Growth in German children
German children are taller than 30 years ago, but the increase in height observed during the last century has become slower.

Phthalic symbol
Immobilized microbes can break down potentially harmful phthalates, according to researchers in China, writing in the International Journal of Environment and Pollution.

Generation of a severe memory-deficit mutant mouse by exclusively eliminating the kinase activity of CaMKIIalpha
A Japanese research group, led by Dr. Yoko Yamagata of the National Institute for Physiological Sciences, has successfully generated a novel kinase-dead mutant mouse of the CaMKIIalpha gene that completely and exclusively lacks its kinase activity.

The SIB recognizes the next generation of bioinformaticians
The SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics today announced the winners of the 2009 SIB Best Graduate Paper and the SIB Young Bioinformatician Award at the 7th annual [BC]2 Basel Computational Biology Conference.

Mayo researchers: Dramatic outcomes in prostate cancer study
Two Mayo Clinic patients whose prostate cancer had been considered inoperable are now cancer free thanks in part to an experimental drug therapy that was used in combination with standardized hormone treatment and radiation therapy.

New book explores the global airline industry
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics is pleased to announce the publication of a new book,

Herschel's daring test: A glimpse of things to come
Herschel opened its

Study of agricultural watersheds and carbon losses
Scientists at Purdue University investigate the impacts of manure application, crop rotation and the rate of nitrogen application on carbon losses in several agricultural watersheds over a six-year span.

Cutting greenhouse gases could grow the economy
Over £14 ($23) billion more in products and services could be produced in Northern Ireland's economy each year if greenhouse gas producing resources were used as efficiently as they are in the rest of the UK, a research group at Queen's University Belfast has predicted.

Drive for good quality medicines, foods reinforced by USP agreements with Chinese drug authorities
As part of its efforts to improve the quality of medicines and food ingredients worldwide, the US Pharmacopeial Convention this week reached three new cooperative agreements with Chinese drug control authorities.

Researchers observe single protein dimers wavering between two symmetrically opposed structures
Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute, the University of California, San Diego, and Ohio State University have used a very sensitive fluorescence technique to find that a bacterial protein thought to exist in one

'Smallpox -- The Death of a Disease'
For over 3,000 years, hundreds of millions of people have died or been left scarred by the incurable disease smallpox.

Green tea may affect prostate cancer progression
According to results of a study published in Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, men with prostate cancer who consumed the active compounds in green tea demonstrated a significant reduction in serum markers predictive of prostate cancer progression.

BRIT1 allows DNA repair teams access to damaged sites
Like a mechanic popping the hood of a car to get at a faulty engine, a tumor-suppressing protein allows cellular repair mechanisms to pounce on damaged DNA by overcoming a barrier to DNA access.

Safety-critical software put under scrutiny
A research center to develop product-focused certification standards and processes for critical software applications is being established at McMaster University.

Study finds that tobacco companies changed design of cigarettes without alerting smokers
A new study from Harvard School of Public Health researchers shows that tobacco manufacturers have continually changed the ingredients and the design of their cigarettes over time, even if those changes have exceeded acceptable product variance guidelines.

Plant communication: Sagebrush engage in self-recognition and warn of danger
Sagebrush engaged in self-recognition and communicate danger to their

GEN reports on alternative feedstocks for ethanol production
Scientists say they are forging ahead in developing replacements for petrochemical fuels that will be cost-competitive and renewable while having a minimal impact on the environment, reports Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News.

MSU lands $2.1 million grant to take part in national autism study
Michigan State University has been awarded a three-year, $2.1 million federal grant to serve as the data coordinating center for the largest epidemiological study ever on autism.

Young offenders' health critical to rehabilitation
The physical and mental health needs of juvenile offenders should be treated as a priority if offenders held in detention have any real hope of rehabilitation, according to new research from the University of Adelaide, Australia.

Explore the quantum and cosmos, June 30, 2009, at the World Conference of Science Journalists
Question: What do Alain Aspect, Kip Thorne, Anton Zeilinger, Sir Martin Rees, Raymond Laflamme, Neil Turok, Joseph Emerson and Simon Singh all have in common?

University of Nevada, Reno mathematician receives nuclear energy grant to study reactors
University of Nevada, Reno mathematics researcher and faculty member Pavel Solin can help make a nuclear reactor run more efficiently, and he will be using scientific computing to prove it as part of a national effort to develop the next generation of nuclear technologies.

3 to 6 months to lose weight gained in pregnancy is normal
Once the baby arrives, many new mothers want to return to their former weight quickly -- just like film stars who appear in the media in bikinis just weeks after giving birth.

Troubled waters: Low Apalachicola River flow may hurt gulf fisheries
Reductions in the flow of the Apalachicola River have far-reaching effects that could prove detrimental to grouper and other reef fish populations in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico, according to a new Florida State University study that may provide new ammunition for states engaged in a nearly two-decade water war.

Domestication of Capsicum annuum chile pepper provides insights into crop origin and evolution
Chile peppers have long played an important role in the diets of Mesoamerican people.

Punishment and prisons -- leading criminologist argues for a new way of thinking
Prison should be abolished in its current form, according to Joe Sim, professor of criminology at Liverpool John Moores University.

Science fiction turns into reality
It might be a long elevator ride, but sometime in the near future astronauts might be able to grab a ride for future space exploration.

Mechanics: Ordinary meets quantum
Physicists at Caltech have developed a new tool that can be used to search for quantum effects in an ordinary object.

UGA researchers achieve breakthrough in effort to develop tiny biological fuel cells
University of Georgia researchers have developed a successful way to grow molecular wire brushes that conduct electrical charges, a first step in developing biological fuel cells that could power pacemakers, cochlear implants and prosthetic limbs.

Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation awards prestigious fellowships to 17 top young scientists
The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on supporting exceptional early career researchers and innovative cancer research, named 17 new Damon Runyon Fellows at its May 2009 Fellowship Award Committee review.

UC Davis grant zeroes in on novel asthma diagnosis and treatment
An entomology professor at the University of California, Davis, who discovered a novel therapeutic target for treating inflammation, has received a three-year $750,000 grant from the American Asthma Foundation to investigate whether his discovery will work on asthma, a chronic disease affecting 300 million people worldwide, including 23 million Americans.
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