Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 02, 2009
Overweight kids experience more loneliness, anxiety, MU study finds
As childhood obesity rates continue to increase, experts agree that more information is needed about the implications of being overweight as a step toward reversing current trends.

Sexist jokes favor the mental mechanisms that justify violence against women
These are the conclusions of research work carried out at the University of Granada in a sample of 109 18-26-year-old university male students.

New focus on the moon
NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera has taken and received its first images of the moon, kicking off the year-long mapping mission of Earth's nearest celestial neighbor.

Research reveals what drives lung cancer's spread
A new study by researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center reveals the genetic underpinnings of what causes lung cancer to quickly metastasize, or spread, to the brain and the bone -- the two most prominent sites of lung cancer relapse.

Printable batteries
For a long time, batteries were bulky and heavy. Now, a new cutting-edge battery is revolutionizing the field.

Researchers unite to distribute quantum keys
Researchers from across Europe have united to build the largest quantum key distribution network ever built.

In the eye of the storm: Why some people stayed behind
Hurricane Katrina was the largest natural disaster in US history, claiming the lives of more than 1,800 victims and causing well over $100 billion in damage along the Gulf Coast.

A rush of blood to the head -- anger increases blood flow
Mental stress causes carotid artery dilation and increases brain blood flow.

Scientists 'rebuild' giant moa using ancient DNA
Scientists have performed the first DNA-based reconstruction of the giant extinct moa bird, using prehistoric feathers recovered from caves and rock shelters in New Zealand.

The problem with self-help books: Study shows the negative side to positive self-statements
In times of doubt and uncertainty, many Americans turn to self-help books in search of encouragement, guidance and self-affirmation.

Stanford bioethicist and colleagues call for federal regulation of genetic ancestry testing
The lack of federal regulation in instances of DNA use will be addressed in the Policy Forum section in the July 3 issue of Science by Sandra Soo-Jin Lee, Ph.D., of the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics, and colleagues from four other universities.

Virus-resistant grapevines
Viruses can cost winegrowers an entire harvest. If they infest the grapevines, even pesticides are often no use.

Second Life data offers window into how trends spread
Do friends wear the same style of shoe or see the same movies because they have similar tastes, which is why they became friends in the first place?

MIT researchers find new actions of neurochemicals
Although the tiny roundworm Caenorhabditis elegans has only 302 neurons in its entire nervous system, studies of this simple animal have significantly advanced our understanding of human brain function because it shares many genes and neurochemical signaling molecules with humans.

UT scientist receives hemophilia research award
Keri Smith, Ph.D., an assistant professor of pathology and laboratory medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, has received a Career Development Award from the National Hemophilia Foundation.

Report calls for new initiative to improve math education for preschoolers
To ensure that all children enter elementary school with the foundation they need for success, a major national initiative is needed to improve early childhood mathematics education, says a new report from the National Research Council.

Brain malformations significantly associated with preterm birth, Wake Forest research shows
New research out of Wake Forest University School of Medicine provides for the first time a solid scientific answer for the long-standing question of whether there is an association between preterm birth and brain malformations.

Natural compound stops retinopathy
Researchers at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center have found a way to use a natural compound to stop one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States.

Indigenous populations now ravaged by lifestyle illnesses -- and swine flu potentially catastrophic
The world's almost 400 million indigenous people have low standards of health -- traditionally related to malnutrition, poverty, environmental contamination and prevalent infections.

Liverpool to strengthen health research in Africa
Researchers at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and the University of Liverpool will work with universities across Africa as part of a £30 million ($49 million) initiative to strengthen research into science and health on the continent.

'Jumping gene' diminishes the effect of a new type 2 diabetes risk gene
Research has identified a new gene associated with diabetes, together with a mechanism that makes obese mice less susceptible to diabetes.

U Alberta researcher in same group as Darwin and Hawking
John Vederas, a University of Alberta professor in the department of chemistry, has been named to the Royal Society, the national academy of science of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.

NASA's Fermi Telescope reveals a population of radio-quiet gamma-ray pulsars
A new class of pulsars detected by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope is solving the mystery of previously unidentified gamma-ray sources and helping scientists understand the mechanisms behind pulsar emissions.

All in sight
A new measurement system for the detection of whales is used for the first time on board of the research vessel Polarstern.

Underlying causes of the health gap between and Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples
In the second of two reviews in this week's Lancet, the underlying causes of the health gap are studied, and the authors attempt to provide an Indigenous perspective to understanding these inequalities.

Study identifies how tamoxifen stimulates uterine cell growth and cancer
University of California -- San Francisco researchers have identified a new

Existing Parkinson's disease drug may fight drug-resistant TB
Existing drugs used in the treatment of Parkinson's disease could be repositioned for use in the treatment of extreme drug-resistant tuberculosis, which kills about 2 million people each year, according to a study led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego.

Poor health among indigenous peoples a question of cultural loss as well as poverty
Health problems of Indigenous peoples around the world are intimately tied to a number of unique factors, such as colonization, globalization, migration, and loss of land, language and culture.

Center receives grant renewal for hypertension and vascular disease studies
The Hypertension and Vascular Research Center at Wake Forest University School of Medicine has received renewal of a multimillion dollar grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health to continue the development of new approaches to treat hypertension and vascular disease.

Integrated optical trap holds particles for on-chip analysis
A new type of optical particle trap can be used to manipulate bacteria, viruses and other particles on a chip as part of an integrated optofluidic platform.

New type of El Nino could mean more hurricanes make landfall
A new study, in the journal Science, suggests that the form of El Nino may be changing potentially causing not only a greater number of hurricanes than in average years, but also a greater chance of hurricanes making landfall.

Ferns took to the trees and thrived
As flowering plants like giant trees quickly rose to dominate plant communities during the Cretaceous period, the ferns that had preceded them hardly saw it as a disappointment.

Grant received for eye disorder research
Researchers at the Peninsula Medical School in Plymouth and Exeter have received a grant of £9,600 ($15.7 thousand) from the Northcott Devon Medical Foundation to continue its research into the genetic causes of eye movement disorders.

Gene's novel role may provide key to treating liver and neurodegenerative diseases
Singapore scientists have made a novel discovery about how gene,

Learning from locusts
A similarity in brain disturbance between insects and people suffering from migraines, stroke and epilepsy points the way toward new drug therapies to address these conditions.

MIT and CDC discover why H1N1 flu spreads inefficiently
A team from MIT and the Centers for Disease Control has found a genetic explanation for why the new H1N1

New book by USC professor details the economics of climate change policies
As the US Congress considers enacting historic

'Genetic arms race' between bacteria, viruses subject of stimulus grant
The oceans teem with microscopic bacteria that produce much of Earth's oxygen as they absorb carbon dioxide greenhouse gas.

Rampant helper syndrome
The Archaea are very primitive single-celled organisms, sometimes living under extreme conditions.

Mars data published in Science this week
Four papers in the journal Science this week offer new details about the history of water on Mars, gleaned from the 2008 NASA Phoenix Mars Mission that was operated from the University of Arizona.

Perfect pitch study offers window into influences of nature and nurture
Practice, practice, practice might get you to Carnegie Hall, but for aspiring musicians, there's new evidence that genes may influence one's ability to get there, as well.

AGU journal highlights -- July 2, 2009
Featured in this release are research papers on the following topics: Ancient supervolcano's eruption caused decade of severe winters; Understanding fault movement during Wenchuan earthquake; First direct measurement of lunar backscatter from solar wind; Reducing uncertainty in estimates of global sea level rise; Boost in freshwater content of Arctic Ocean; Data gaps in records hinder detection of climate trends; Glaciers cause seismic activity in Iceland; and more.

JNCI news brief: Improving the biomarker pipeline for early cancer detection
Several statistical and biological issues need to be addressed in order to improve biomarker identification for early detection of cancer, according to a commentary published online July 2 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Doubts cast on credibility of some published clinical trials
Randomized controlled trials are considered the

Climate change and the mystery of the shrinking sheep
Changing winter conditions are causing Scotland's wild Soay sheep to get smaller despite the evolutionary benefits of having a large body, researchers report in a study that shows how climate change can trump natural selection.

Ben-Gurion U. researchers reveal connection between cancer and human evolution
Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have discovered that gene mutations that once helped humans survive may increase the possibility for diseases, including cancer.

Pinpointing origin of gamma rays from a supermassive black hole
An international collaboration of 390 scientists reports the discovery of an outburst of very-high-energy gamma radiation from the giant radio galaxy Messier 87, accompanied by a strong rise of the radio flux measured from the direct vicinity of its super-massive black hole.

Plants' internal clock can improve climate-change models
The ability of plants to tell the time, a mechanism common to all living beings, enables them to survive, grow and reproduce.

Biological warfare in bacteria offers hope for new antibiotics
Scientists are to study a group of proteins that are highly effective at killing bacteria and which could hold the key to developing new types of antibiotics.

Evolution: Crabs go deep to avoid hot water
Researchers from the National Oceanography Center, Southampton, have drawn together 200 years' worth of oceanographic knowledge to investigate the distribution of a notorious deep-sea giant -- the king crab.

Graduate students win prestigious prizes for their work
Each year, the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics awards SIAM Student Paper Prizes to the most outstanding papers submitted to the SIAM Student Paper Prize Competition.

Many characteristics of Mars, including ice, are similar to Earth, paper says
Mars gets as far as 250 million miles away, but many parts of it closely resemble places on Earth, including its landscape, history of water, soil and even its weather, says a Texas A&M University researcher in the current issue of Science magazine.

VLBA locates superenergetic bursts near giant black hole
Combining gamma-ray telescopes with the supersharp radio

News media registration open for 20th World Diabetes Congress
News media registration for the biennial meeting of the International Diabetes Federation is now open.

Children with autism need to be taught in smaller groups, pilot study confirms
Since the 1970s, there has been much debate surrounding the fact that individuals with autism have difficulty in understanding speech in situations where there is background speech or noise.

New targeted therapy finds and eliminates deadly leukemia stem cells
New research describes a molecular tool that shows great promise as a therapeutic for human acute myeloid leukemia, a notoriously treatment-resistant blood cancer.

Nursery programs for corals receive TLC from NOAA this Independence Day
As the nation celebrates its birth on the 4th of July, University of Miami Prof.

Climate change and the mystery of the shrinking sheep
Milder winters are causing Scotland's wild breed of Soay sheep to get smaller, despite the evolutionary benefits of possessing a large body, according to new research due to be published in this week's Science Express.

Survival rates for elderly receiving hospital CPR did not improve from 1992 to 2005
A study of elderly patients receiving CPR in hospitals shows that rates of survival did not improve from 1992 to 2005.

A question of height
Intelligent countryside management could improve the survival chances of animal and plant species threatened by climate change.

Pacific Northwest forests could store more carbon, help address greenhouse issues
The forests of the Pacific Northwest hold significant potential to increase carbon storage and help mitigate greenhouse gas emissions in coming years, a recent study concludes, if they are managed primarily for that purpose through timber harvest reductions and increased rotation ages.

UCLA scientists find molecular differences between embryonic stem cells and reprogrammed skin cells
UCLA researchers have found that embryonic stem cells and skin cells reprogrammed into embryonic-like cells have inherent molecular differences, demonstrating for the first time that the two cell types are clearly distinguishable from one another.

Liverpool to strengthen health research in Africa
Scientists at the University of Liverpool and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine will work with universities across Africa as part of a £30 million ($49 million) initiative to strengthen research into science and health on the continent.

Visit to the doctor: The supply of additional private services is increasing
Panel physicians are increasingly offering individual health services to patients with statutory health insurance.

UT multimedia program increases middle school interest in science
Middle school students who were part of a unique science learning program developed by the University of Texas School of Public Health showed significant increases in interest and achievement scores compared to other students, a recent study found.

JNCI news brief: Hepatitis B virus mutations may predict risk of liver cancer
Certain mutations in the DNA of the hepatitis B virus are associated with the development of liver cancer and may help predict which patients with HBV infections are at increased risk of the disease, according to a large meta-analysis in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, published online July 2.

Study shows PET can measure effectiveness of novel breast cancer treatment
A new study published in the July issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine shows that positron emission tomography scans in mice can be used to determine whether a novel type of breast cancer treatment is working as intended.

Mexican wives' mental health dives when husbands work in US
A new study finds that Mexican wives who stay home when their husbands immigrate to the United States for work have poorer mental health than a comparison group.

Bioethicists lead call for public debates on future uses of stem cells
More than 40 scientists, bioethicists, lawyers and science journal editors are calling on their colleagues, policy makers and the public to begin developing guidelines for the research and reproductive use of stem cell-derived eggs and sperm, even though such use may be a decade or more away.

Prostate cancer patients disease free after 5 years likely to be disease free after 10 years
Prostate cancer patients who receive brachytherapy and remain free of disease for five years or greater are unlikely to have a recurrence at 10 years, according to a study in the July 1 issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics, the official journal of the American Society for Radiation Oncology.

Research output in developing countries reveals 194 percent increase in 5 years
The partners of Research4Life announced today at the World Conference of Science Journalists 2009 that a new research impact analysis has demonstrated a dramatic rise in research output by scientists in the developing world since 2002.

Heart transplant recipients can improve fitness and perform high intensity workouts
Heart transplant recipients' cardio-respiratory fitness is around 30 to 50 percent lower than age-matched healthy sedentary individuals.

LRO's first moon images
NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has transmitted its first images since reaching the moon on June 23. 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