Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 26, 2009
Why saints sin and sinners get saintly
A new Northwestern University study suggests that people with ample moral self-worth in one aspect of their lives can slip into immorality or opposite behavior in other areas -- their abundant self-esteem somehow pushing them to balance out all that goodness.

A new plan for Panama's Coiba National Park and World Heritage site
New management plan for Panama's Coiba National Park will ensure that endemic wildlife and Pacific marine corridor will be conserved.

NYC science symposium marks Gruber Prize program 10th anniversary
The Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation International Prize Program will celebrate its 10th anniversary on July 1, 2009, with an event at Rockefeller University in New York City.

DOD, VA should take stronger steps to combat tobacco use in military, veteran populations
Because tobacco use impairs military readiness, harms the health of soldiers and veterans, and imposes a substantial financial burden on the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, these agencies should implement a comprehensive strategy to achieve the Defense Department's stated goal of a tobacco-free military, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine.

Researchers see evidence of memory in the songbird brain
When a zebra finch hears a new song from a member of its own species, the experience changes gene expression in its brain in unexpected ways, researchers report.

Springer book receives prestigious award in earthquake research
The Springer book

Immigration makes Spanish pensions system more sustainable
Researchers from the University of Valladolid have constructed a demographic and economic simulation model called

NSF awards $399,939 to study science impacts of economic stimulus package
The National Science Foundation today awarded $399,939 for two research projects designed to use the science initiatives funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to advance understanding of the impact of science investments.

Enzyme fights mutated protein in inherited Parkinson's disease
An enzyme that naturally occurs in the brain helps destroy the mutated protein that is the most common cause of inherited Parkinson's disease, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found.

Making nanoparticles in artificial cells
Two processes can be used to control the size of nanoparticles, which could serve as tiny light sources.

Further gene mutations linked to autism risk
Pieces in the complex autism inheritance puzzle are emerging in the latest study from a research team including geneticists from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Trial shows promise for arthritis drug
A clinical trial of masitinib, a drug in development for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis, has shown it to be well-tolerated and effective.

Ultrasensitive detector promises improved treatment of viral respiratory infections
A Vanderbilt chemist and a biomedical engineer have teamed up to develop a respiratory virus detector that is sensitive enough to detect an infection at an early stage, takes only a few minutes to return a result and is simple enough to be performed in a pediatrician's office.

Sightseeing helicopter crashes in Hawaii decrease following FAA regulations
An emergency rule intended to reduce the number of deaths and injuries associated with Hawaiian air tours was followed by a 47 percent reduction in sightseeing crashes, according to a new study by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

New guide to tropical seedlings: Essential to climate change research
The enormous trees forming rainforest canopies bear little resemblance to their seedlings, many described for the first time in the new field guide,

$2.25 million grant to help unravel the effects of early child abuse
This summer, the University of Rochester's Mt. Hope Family Center will begin a large-scale, comprehensive study of the effects of child abuse.

Study shows 1 in 25 deaths worldwide attributable to alcohol
Research from Canada's Center for Addiction and Mental Health featured in this week's edition of the Lancet shows that worldwide, one in 25 deaths are directly attributable to alcohol consumption.

Race origins and health disparites
To understand health disparities, researchers need to understand how today's racial categories evolved from the negative assumptions made hundreds of years ago to justify slavery.

University of Kansas becomes first US public university to pass an open access policy
Scholarly articles -- the method by which a professor presents original research results -- normally are published in peer-reviewed journals and available only through paid subscriptions.

Dolphins get a lift from delta wing technology
Dolphins are supremely agile swimmers, but it wasn't clear how their fins help them maneuver though water.

Researchers pinpoint a new enemy for tumor-suppressor p53
Researchers at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center have identified a protein that marks the tumor suppressor p53 for destruction, providing a potential new avenue for restoring p53 in cancer cells.

Inhaled growth hormone safe for children deficient in this key protein
A multicenter clinical trial led by a Riley Hospital for Children endocrinologist has found that inhaled growth hormone is well tolerated by children with GH deficiency and that this easy-to-use method can safely deliver GH to the blood stream.

MSU researchers link carbon markets and tree-planting to fight poverty, protect the Earth
Michigan State University scientists are combining sustainable forest production with emerging carbon markets in a unique effort to help some of the world's poorest people grow trees that will boost their standards of living and slow climate change.

Latin America must cut blood pressure to thrive
Combating high blood pressure is a global challenge. But while developed countries have enjoyed reductions in cardiovascular disease over recent decades, Latin America has been less fortunate.

LSUHSC research identifies enzyme that makes survival molecule for key vision cells
Research led by Dr. Nicolas Bazan, Boyd Professor and director of the Neuroscience Center of Excellence at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, identifying an enzyme that makes neuroprotectin D1 which specifically and selectively protects retinal cells key for vision, will be published in the June 26, 2009, issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Melon research sweetened with DNA sequence
People smell them, thump them and eyeball their shape. But ultimately, it's sweetness and a sense of healthy eating that lands a melon in a shopper's cart.

Rating attractiveness: Study finds consensus among men, not women
Hot or not? Men agree on the answer. Women don't.

FSU research group wins $1 million grant to study nuclear fuels
A Florida State University researcher has received a $1 million, five-year grant from the US Department of Energy for a study that could lead to the design of better nuclear fuels and safer and more efficient reactors to generate nuclear power.

Engineers research effects of heat expansion on economically efficient bridge design
Kansas State University researchers are studying the effects of integral bridge expansion resulting from heat to make these types of bridges a more viable alternative.

Cellulose-hydrogen production from corn stalk biomass by anaerobic fermentation
The Department of Chemistry, Zhengzhou University, China-Research, has shown the enhanced cellulose-hydrogen production from bio-pretreated corn stalk by mixed culture in batch tests and a 5 L bioreactor, respectively.

Xie Lab uncovers molecular machinery related to stem cell fate
The Stowers Institute's Xie Lab has revealed how the BAM protein affects germline stem cell differentiation and how it is involved in regulating the quality of stem cells through intercellular competition.

Trio of signals converge to induce liver and pancreas cell development in the embryo
Understanding the molecular signals that guide early cells in the embryo to develop into different organs provides insight into ways that tissues regenerate and how stem cells can be used for new therapies.

Success of the academy approach?
A complex picture is emerging about the controversial Academies program.

Language change can be traced using gigantic text archives
Historical collections that include everything ever written in a dozen American and British newspapers since they started are now available electronically.

New research may help address radionuclide contamination at DOE sites
Five years from now, lab scientists will be able to better determine how, when and why plutonium moves in soil and groundwater.

Insulin analogue glargine possibly increases cancer risk
The risk of cancer possibly increases if patients with diabetes use the long-acting insulin analogue glargine instead of human insulin.

Concordia University announces $3,348,402 CFI investment to support infrastructure
Judith Woodsworth, president and vice-chancellor of Concordia University welcomes an investment of $3,348,402 in funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation that will provide leading-edge infrastructure support to three outstanding faculty members.

Implant bacteria, beware: Researchers create nano-sized assassins
Infected implants now have a foe. Brown University researchers have created a nanoparticle that can penetrate a bacterial-produced film on prosthetics and kill the bacteria.

Uncovering how cells cover gaps
Researchers at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, Germany, came a step closer to understanding how cells close gaps not only during embryonic development but also during wound healing.

Corals stay close to home
New DNA analysis reveals that corals are more closely related than previously thought, and these results have significant implications for coral conservation.

Tryptophan deficiency may underlie quinine side effects
Researchers have found that the anti-malarial drug quinine can block a cell's ability to take up the essential amino acid tryptophan, a discovery that may explain many of the adverse side effects associated with quinine.

Dietary fat linked to pancreatic cancer
High intake of dietary fats from red meat and dairy products was associated with an increased risk of pancreatic cancer, according to a new study published online June 26 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. 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