Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 23, 2009
Researchers develop new and efficient breast biopsy technique
Researchers have developed a new breast biopsy technique that could lead to decreased procedure times, and reduced patient discomfort and morbidity, according to a study performed at Roberts Research Institute, the University of Western Ontario and London Health Sciences Center, London, Ontario, Canada.

NASA lunar mission successfully enters moon orbit
After a four and a half day journey from the Earth, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, or LRO, has successfully entered orbit around the moon.

New research discovers link between smoking and brain damage
New research which suggests a direct link between smoking and brain damage will be published in the July issue of the Journal of Neurochemistry.

Feather fibers fluff up hydrogen storage capacity
Scientists in Delaware say they have developed a new hydrogen storage method -- carbonized chicken feather fibers -- that can hold vast amounts of hydrogen, a promising but difficult to corral fuel source, and do it at a far lower cost than other hydrogen storage systems under consideration.

Afghani children suffering from post-traumatic stress
Children who live in Afghanistan are more prone to developing PTSD.

Sociologists to explore 'The New Politics of Community' in San Francisco Aug. 7-11
More than 5,000 sociologists will convene in San Francisco this August to explore ideas and scientific research about how community affects contemporary social issues as part of the American Sociological Association's 104th annual meeting.

Monitoring bone density in older women is unnecessary and potentially misleading
Monitoring bone mineral density in post-menopausal women taking osteoporosis drugs (bisphosphonates) is unnecessary and potentially misleading, concludes a study published on today.

Notre Dame study provides insights into how climate change might impact species' geographic ranges
A new study by a team of reseachers led by Jessica Hellmann, assistant professor of biological sciences at the University of Notre Dame, offers interesting insights into how species may, or may not, change their geographic range (the place where they live on earth) under climate change.

Ability to literally imagine oneself in another's shoes may be tied to empathy
New research from Vanderbilt University indicates the way our brain handles how we move through space -- including being able to imagine literally stepping into someone else's shoes -- may be related to how and why we experience empathy toward others.

IEEE-USA and Small Business Administration partner to assist high-tech entrepreneurs
To assist high-tech entrepreneurs starting new businesses, IEEE-USA and the US Small Business Administration have signed an agreement pledging mutual cooperation in promoting, strengthening and expanding small business development throughout the country.

Longer life linked to specific foods in Mediterranean diet
Some food groups in the Mediterranean diet are more important than others in promoting health and longer life according to new research published on today.

McGill conference examines impact of economic crisis on the hungry
The global economic crisis has had a devastating impact on the world's hungry.

'Bycatch' whaling a growing threat to coastal whales
Scientists are warning that a new form of unregulated whaling has emerged along the coastlines of Japan and South Korea, where the commercial sale of whales killed as fisheries

U of M study finds new insight on therapy for a devastating parasitic disease
University of Minnesota Medical School researchers have discovered an important new insight into how a commonly prescribed drug may work to treat those infected by a parasitic flatworm.

Scientists block Ebola infection in cell-culture experiments
Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have discovered two biochemical pathways that the Ebola virus relies on to infect cells.

300 billion weather forecasts used by Americans annually, survey finds
Close to nine out of 10 adult Americans obtain weather forecasts regularly, and they do so more than three times each day on average, a new nationwide survey by scientists at NCAR has found.

Underweight and extremely obese die earlier than people of normal weight, study finds
Underweight people and those who are extremely obese die earlier than people of normal weight -- but those who are overweight actually live longer than people of normal weight.

A new take on growth factor signaling in tamoxifen resistance
Differences in growth factor (GF) signaling may cause the poor prognosis in some breast cancer cases.

Southwest Nano Consortium established
An announcement was made today at the 2009 Nano Renewable Energy Summit in Denver that nanotechnology stakeholders in five states in the Southwest United States, along with northern Mexico, are joining forces to create the Southwest Nano Consortium.

A urine test for appendicitis?
Appendicitis is the most common childhood surgical emergency, but can be hard to diagnose, often leading to either unnecessary surgery or serious complications when the condition is missed.

UTSA wins San Antonio Area Foundation grant to further chlamydia research
The San Antonio Area Foundation's Semp Russ Foundation has awarded UTSA a $32,000 grant to study the role of CD8-positive T-cells in chlamydia infections.

Climate and transport -- what does the future hold?
How will climate change affect when, where and how we travel?

How adolescent girls manage stress
Greater influence over everyday life, emotional support, and cultural and recreational activities help to enable teenage girls to withstand stress.

$19 million to Washington University scientists to decode microbe DNA and explore links to disease
The National Institutes of Health has awarded scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

New way to fix leaking mitral heart valves safe in initial testing
A novel method to seal leaking heart valves was proven safe in its first use in heart failure patients.

Need something? Talk to my right ear!
We humans prefer to be addressed in our right ear.

Antibiotic prescribing should be standardized across Europe to help tackle resistance
Antibiotic prescribing for respiratory illnesses should be standardized across Europe to help reduce inappropriate prescribing and resistance, say experts in a study published on today.

Care management reduces depression and suicidal thoughts in older primary care patients
Depression in older adults too often goes unrecognized and untreated, resulting in untold misery, worsening of medical illness, and early death.

NIH expands Human Microbiome Project, funds sequencing centers and disease projects
The Human Microbiome Project has awarded more than $42 million to expand its exploration of how the trillions of microscopic organisms that live in or on our bodies affect our health, the National Institutes of Health announced today.

Campaign survey: Dems exploit new individual donor advantage and superior voter mobilization
Preliminary results from a large-scale survey of campaign donors are released in association with an event Tuesday in Washington, D.C.

Disappearing dolphins clamour for attention at whale summit
Small whales are disappearing from the world's oceans and waterways as they fall victim to fishing gear, pollution and habitat loss -- compounded by a lack of conservation measures such as those developed for great whales, according to a new WWF report.

ADHD genes found, known to play roles in neurodevelopment
Pediatric researchers have identified hundreds of gene variations that occur more frequently in children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder than in children without ADHD.

How to confirm the causes of iron deficiency anemia in young women
A research group from Italy showed that a pre-endoscopic serological screening for Helicobacter pylori and celiac disease may help to confirm the causes of iron deficiency anemia in young women.

Biomarkers predict brain tumor's response to therapy
A report in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, highlights a new biomarker that may be useful in identifying patients with recurrent glioblastoma, or brain tumors, who would respond better to anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy, specifically cediranib.

Anxiety's hidden cost
The effect of anxiety on academic performance is not always obvious but new research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council suggests that there may be hidden costs.

Researchers looking at climate change, culture to predict land abandonment in Russia
A study using socio-demographic data and NASA satellite images will incorporate population trends, cultural factors and climate change to predict land abandonment patterns in Russia.

Waste water treatment plant mud used as 'green' fuel
Catalan scientists have shown that using mud from waste water treatment plants as a partial alternative fuel can enable cement factories to reduce their CO2 emissions and comply with the Kyoto Protocol, as well as posing no risk to human health and being profitable.

A Canada-wide technology platform for mapping the human interactome
The Canada Foundation for Innovation announced the award of $9.16 million for the creation of a national technology platform aimed at mapping the human interactome.

Impact Factor names Cell top research journal
For the second year in a row, Cell is ranked cell biology's top research journal, according to new data released in the 2008 Journal Citation Reports published by ThomsonReuters.

Children's Hospital Oakland scientists first to discover new source for harvesting stem cells
A groundbreaking study conducted by Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland is the first to reveal a new avenue for harvesting stem cells from a woman's placenta, or more specifically the discarded placentas of healthy newborns.

Changes in brain architecture may be driven by different cognitive challenges
Scientists trying to understand how the brains of animals evolve have found that evolutionary changes in brain structure reflect the types of social interactions and environmental stimuli different species face.

Molecular typesetting -- proofreading without a proofreader
Researchers at the Universities of Leeds and Bristol have developed a model of how errors are corrected while proteins are being built.

NTU wins lion's share of prestigious Ph.D. scholarships in environmental and water technologies
Five out of six recipients of this year's National Research Foundation Ph.D.

M. D. Anderson study finds strong relationship between high body mass index, pancreatic cancer
In reviewing the weight history of pancreatic cancer patients across their life spans, researchers at the University of Texas M.

Adenoviral vector specifically targeted to EphA2 receptor in pancreatic cancer cells
A research group from the Netherlands developed a novel adenoviral vector that allowed an increased entry of adenovirus into human pancreatic cancer cells.

Partner relationship as a buffer against stress
A good partner relationship can act as a buffer for those exposed to work-related stress.

Salt block unexpectedly stretches in Sandia experiments
To stretch a supply of salt generally means using it sparingly.

Is 31P MRS a useful tool for evaluating early acute hepatic radiation injury?
31P magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) has been widely used to detect liver metabolism in vivo for decades.

MBE for flood risk special professor
A University of Nottingham special professor, Edward Evans, has been awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honors List for services to environmental science.

Ontario women live longer but don't prosper: Study
While Ontario women live longer than men, a majority are more likely to suffer from disability and chronic conditions, according to a new women's health study by St.

European climate change reports launched in Brussels
Two new reports examining climate change adaptation and policy making across Europe will be launched today in Brussels in the presence of Peter Gammeltoft, head of Unit

Marking anorexia with a brain protein
Eating disorders are frequently seen as psychological or societal diseases, but do they have an underlying biological cause?

Prairie dogs: influencing the accumulation of metals in plants?
Elemental hyperaccumulation in plants is hypothesized to represent a plant defense mechanism.

Outsmarting swine flu pandemic
Mathematicians, biostaticians and public health officials from across North American will gather at Arizona State University June 25-28 to focus on understanding, possibly mitigating the spread of the H1N1 flu virus.

New agreement to link up Europe's polar research
More than 26 leading scientific institutions across Europe are signing up to closer research cooperation through a new European Polar Framework agreement today in Brussels.

UT School of Public Health researchers develop game for HIV-positive youth
Researchers at the University of Texas School of Public Health have developed a game for HIV-positive youth, +CLICK, designed to reduce secondary transmission of the virus.

NASA awards aircraft catalog blanket purchase agreements
NASA has selected five contractors to receive Aircraft Catalog Blanket Purchase Agreements, that will allow the agency access to a variety of airborne platforms to conduct airborne science research and range support including, radar surveillance and telemetry relay capability.

Mouse model of Parkinson's reproduces nonmotor symptoms
Nonmotor symptoms of Parkinson's include digestive and sleep problems, loss of sense of smell and depression.

Meckel's diverticulum masked by intermittent recurrent subocclusive episodes
The article presents the case of a seven-year-old boy with a one-year history of recurrent periumbilical colicky pain with associated alimentary vomiting, symptoms erroneously related to a cyclic vomiting syndrome.

AOSSM presents prestigious research awards
In order to recognize and encourage cutting-edge research in orthopedic sports medicine, the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine will present eight research awards and two grants during its annual meeting, July 9-12 in Keystone, Colo.

Common ECG finding may indicate serious cardiac problems
A common electrocardiogram finding that has largely been considered insignificant may actually signal an increased risk of atrial fibrillation, the future need for a permanent pacemaker and an increased risk for premature death.

NJIT membrane separation technologies expert to receive upcoming top honor
Kamalesh Sirkar, Ph.D., distinguished professor of chemical engineering at NJIT and internationally renowned expert in membrane separation technologies, will be the recipient of the NJIT Board of Overseers Excellence in Research Prize and Medal.

A project to reduce manufacturing costs of making automobile structure components
TECNALIA Technological Corp. is taking part in the European PROFORM consortium, the aim of which is the development of a new concept for the manufacture of structural parts for the automobile, based on the variable profile forming, together with finishing operations using laser and electromagnetic forming (noncontinuous local details along the whole length of the part), thus reducing manufacturing time and cost.

Researchers to reveal aging's origins on global stage
Four of the biologists who described the underlying causes of aging will soon share their findings with an international audience during a symposium at the upcoming World Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics, taking place from July 5-9, 2009, in Paris, France.

In pursuit of a happiness gene
Tel Aviv University researches twins to find a biological door to the bright side.

New therapy found to prevent heart failure
A landmark study has successfully demonstrated a 29 percent reduction in heart failure or death in patients with heart disease who received an implanted cardiac resynchronization therapy device with defibrillator (CRT-D) vs. patients who received only an implanted cardiac defibrillator (ICD-only).

Emory researchers announce Phase III study of progesterone for traumatic brain injury
Emory University officials this week announced the third phase of a groundbreaking study to evaluate the effectiveness of the hormone progesterone on acute traumatic-brain-injured patients.

How to text message and avoid pain
While it is well known that excessive text messaging can result in sore thumbs, less is known about its possible effects on the neck, arms and hands.

Weather forecasts of great value to Americans, survey finds
Close to nine out of 10 adult Americans obtain weather forecasts an average of more than three times each day, a new nationwide survey by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., has found.

Notre Dame study describes evidence of world's oldest known granaries
A new study co-authored by Ian Kuijt, associate professor of anthropology at the University of Notre Dame, describes recent excavations in Jordan that reveal evidence of the world's oldest known granaries.

Magnetic field on bright star Vega
Astronomy & Astrophysics publishes the first detection of a magnetic field on the bright star Vega.

Weight-loss surgery could lower cancer risk in obese women
Weight-loss surgery (bariatric surgery) could be associated with reduced cancer risk in obese women, but not in obese men, according to an article published online first and in the July edition of the Lancet Oncology.

Nanyang Technological University young technopreneur scientist wins inaugural Don Quixote Fund Award
Dr. Adrian Yeo Piah Song from Nanyang Technological University, is the first recipient of the Don Quixote Fund Award 2009.

Being overweight, obese during early adulthood associated with greater risk of pancreatic cancer
Young adults who are overweight or obese have an increased risk of pancreatic cancer, and being obese at an older age is associated with a lower overall survival rate for patients with pancreatic cancer, according to a study in the June 24 issue of JAMA.

Heart electrical conduction abnormality believed not to be serious may pose cardiovascular risks
New research indicates that a finding on a routine electrocardiogram that signals a disorder of the electrical conducting system in one part of the heart and previously believed to be benign is associated with an increased risk for atrial fibrillation, the implantation of a pacemaker or death, according to a study in the June 24 issue of JAMA.

Migraines with aura in midlife associated with increased prevalence of brain lesions in older age
Middle-aged women who had migraine headaches with aura (sensory disturbances, such as with vision, balance or speech) had a higher prevalence of brain lesions when they were older, compared to individuals without similar types of headaches, according to a study in the June 24 issue of JAMA.

Lack of happiness hormone serotonin in the brain causes impaired maternal behavior in mice
A lack of serotonin, commonly known as the

Researchers work to create more permanent joint replacements
With the help of a $3.1 million grant from the National Institutes of Health, University of Missouri researchers, in collaboration with colleagues at Columbia University in New York City, will expand their biological joint technology that uses living tissue instead of plastic and metal to replace damaged joints.

Campaign donors survey: Women and young people behind Obama's small donor success
A survey of

Energy-saving method checks refrigerant level in air conditioners
Engineers have developed a technique that saves energy and servicing costs by indicating when air conditioners are low on refrigerant, preventing the units from working overtime.

Radiation dose drastically reduced during whole chest MDCT
Emergency physicians who evaluate patients with nonspecific chest pain using whole chest multidetector CT (MDCT) combined with retrospective electrocardiogram (ECG) gating can reduce the patient radiation dose by 71 percent using MDCT combined with prospective ECG triggering instead, according to a study performed at the University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle.

Study shows Chronix technology using serum DNA can identify early presence of disease
A new publication confirms the potential diagnostic and prognostic utility of using circulating fragments of DNA, known as serum DNA, to detect early stage disease.

Famous sloop 'Clearwater' will carry environmental sensor, sending data to Stevens' maritime lab
Later this week, researchers at Stevens Institute of Technology will equip the sloop Clearwater with instrumentation that will provide real-time transmission of position, time, surface water temperature, salinity and dissolved oxygen concentrations in the northern area of the Hudson River. 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