Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 08, 2009
Springer launches SpringerImages
Springer Science and Business Media has launched SpringerImages, a growing collection that now includes over 1.5 million scientific images, tables, charts and graphs, spanning all scientific subject areas.

Stem cells' 'suspended' state preserved by key step, scientists report
UCSF scientists have identified a gene that is essential for embryonic stem cells to maintain their all-purpose, pluripotent state.

2,000-year-old statue of an athlete sheds light on corrosion and other modern challenges
The restoration of a 2,000-year-old bronze sculpture of the famed ancient Greek athlete Apoxyomenos may help modern scientists understand how to prevent metal corrosion, discover the safest ways to permanently store nuclear waste, and understand other perplexing problems.

The next health tsunami: Noncommunicable diseases
The International Diabetes Federation, the International Union Against Cancer and the World Heart Federation called today on the UN's Economic and Social Council to take immediate action to avert the fastest growing threat by noncommunicable diseases to global health.

Possible drug target found for one of the most aggressive breast cancers
Van Andel Research Institute investigators have identified a gene that could be an important therapeutic target in the treatment of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer.

Plastics chemical retards growth, function of adult reproductive cells
Bisphenol A, a chemical widely used in plastics and known to cause reproductive problems in the offspring of pregnant mice exposed to it, also has been found to retard the growth of follicles of adult mice and hinder their production of steroid hormones, researchers report.

Blur's noise and distortion reversed
Errant pixels and blurry regions in a photo, whether digital or scanned, are the bane of photographers everywhere.

From slam poetry to plain language for health care
The doctor speaks

Inflammation may trigger Alzheimer's disease, Saint Louis University findings suggest
New Saint Louis University research sheds light on what causes Alzheimer's disease and suggests a possible therapy.

Do bilingual persons have distinct language areas in the brain?
A new study carried out at the University of Haifa sheds light on how first and second languages are represented in the brain of a bilingual person.

Map of your brain may reveal early mental illness
Northwestern University researchers are producing topographical maps of people's healthy and schizophrenic brains in an effort to develop the first scientific tool for early and more definite diagnosis of mental disorders such as schizophrenia.

Restoration technology revolutionized
Dennis J. Fasbinder, D.D.S., M.A.G.D., A.B.G.D., will help dentists decrease the amount of time that patients' spend in the office by leading a discussion and providing information about using computer-assisted design and computer-assisted machining technology at the Academy of General Dentistry's 57th Annual Meeting, which takes place in Baltimore, Md., July 8-12, 2009.

Irish-led research team rule out link between specific antibodies and spina bifida
New research, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows that a woman's risk of having a child with a neural tube defect, such as spina bifida, is not linked to folic acid related auto-antibodies.

Mothers of children with autism have higher parental stress, psychological distress
Mothers of children with autism had higher levels of parenting-related stress and psychological distress than mothers of children with developmental delay.

University of Toronto astronomer part of team that finds new way to study supernovae
An international team of astronomers has found a better way to examine the origins and evolution of galaxies that form following supernova explosions -- the starting point for the formation of galaxies when a star explodes -- and they have discovered new supernovae in the process.

David Yap receives Amethyst Award
Dr. David Yap has been presented with the prestigious Amethyst Award from the Ontario Public Service.

Health clinic conditions may be to blame for decrease in primary care physicians
Adverse work conditions may be to blame for the decline in the number of primary care physicians nationwide, according to a study published in the latest issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Army study improves ability to predict drinking water needs
When soldiers leave base for a three-day mission, how much water should they bring?

Health Physics Society 54th Annual Meeting
How does Hollywood impact radiation perception? Can we treat cancer with microscopic particles acting like a Trojan horse?

Henk J. Scholten receives Lifetime Achievement Award
Dr. Henk J. Scholten has been awarded the Environmental Systems Research Institute's Lifetime Achievement Award for his significant contribution to advancing the science and technology of geographic information systems throughout his career.

Anti-angiogenesis treatment improves hearing in some NF2 patients
Treatment with the angiogenesis inhibitor bevacizumab improved hearing and alleviated other symptoms in patients with neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2).

Faster, more cost-effective DNA test for crime scenes, disease diagnosis
Scientists in Japan are reporting development of a faster, less expensive version of the fabled polymerase chain reaction, a DNA test widely used in criminal investigations, disease diagnosis, biological research and other applications.

Evidence-based information about complementary and alternative medicine treatments now available
More than one-third of Americans use complementary or alternative medicine.

Matter over mind
A new study suggests activities combining movement and force tax our brains to capacity, countering a long-held belief that difficulty with dexterous tasks results from the limits of the muscles themselves.

Fighting the swine flu pandemic with mathematics
As swine flu spreads across America, good data can make all the difference in controlling it.

Fruit and vegetable intake in pregnant women reduces risk of upper respiratory tract infection
Boston University School of Medicine researchers have observed in a study of pregnant women that consumption of at least seven servings per day of fruits and vegetables moderately reduced the risk of developing an upper respiratory tract infection.

Communicating science to decision makers
Many researchers, particularly those involved with projects with implications for environmental or public health management and policy, want to communicate research findings to appropriate decision makers, news media outlets or the general public.

Robot learns to smile and frown
A hyper-realistic Einstein robot at the University of California, San Diego, learned to smile and make facial expressions through a process of self-guided learning.

First evidence that weed killers improve nutritional value of a key food crop
Scientists are reporting for the first time that the use of weed killers in farmers' fields boosts the nutritional value of an important food a crop.

Language skills in your 20s may predict risk of dementia decades later
People who have superior language skills early in life may be less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease decades later, despite having the hallmark signs of the disease, according to research published in the July 9, 2009, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Human sperm created from embryonic stem cells
Researchers at Newcastle University have created human sperm from embryonic stem cells.

Post-transplant combo can replace toxic immune-suppressing drugs in monkeys
A combination of costimulation blockers and alefacept can replace calcineurin inhibitors, the mainstay drugs given to transplant patients, in preventing graft rejection after kidney transplants in monkeys.

Contaminated site remediation: Are nanomaterials the answer?
A new review article appearing in Environmental Health Perspectives focuses on the use of nanomaterials for environmental cleanup.

Our 'caveman logic' embraces ESP over evolution
Why in a modern world do more people believe in ESP, ghosts and angels than evolution?

Genetic factors implicated in survival gap for breast, ovarian or prostate cancer
A new finding reveals that African-American patients with breast, ovarian, and prostate cancer tend to die earlier than patients of other races with these cancers, even when they receive identical medical treatment and when socioeconomic factors are controlled for.

Clean fuels could reduce deaths from ship smokestacks by 40,000 annually
Rising levels of smokestack emissions from oceangoing ships will cause an estimated 87,000 deaths worldwide each year by 2012 -- almost one-third higher than previously believed, according to the second major study on that topic.

Variants of 'umami' taste receptor contribute to our individualized flavor worlds
Using a combination of sensory, genetic, and in vitro approaches, researchers from the Monell Center confirm that the T1R1-T1R3 taste receptor plays a role in human umami (amino acid) taste.

Is obesity an oral bacterial disease?
In this climate of concern over the increasing prevalence of overweight conditions in our society, investigators have focused on the possible role of oral bacteria as a potential direct contributor to obesity.

New heart disease risk score outperforms existing test
An independent external validation of QRISK -- a new score for predicting a person's risk of heart disease -- has shown that it performs better than the existing test and should be recommended for use in the United Kingdom by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence.

Forest fire prevention efforts will lessen carbon sequestration, add to greenhouse warming
Widely sought efforts to reduce fuels that increase catastrophic fire in Pacific Northwest forests will be counterproductive to another important societal goal of sequestering carbon to help offset global warming, forestry researchers at Oregon State University conclude in a new report.

Looking at leisure to promote mental illness recovery
Thanks to a new grant from the NIH, researchers in Temple University's Department of Therapeutic Recreation will partner with surrounding communities to develop a program that will promote leisure activities as a way to support mental health and well-being.

Professor Fisher receives ASEE's Beer and Johnston Award
Dr. Frank Fisher, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, director of the Nanomechanics and Nanomaterials Lab, and co-director of the Graduate Nantoechnology Program at Stevens Institute of Technology, was recently awarded one of the two 2009 Ferdinand P.

NTU professor discovers method to efficiently produce less toxic drugs using organic molecules
Professor Zhong Guofu, from NTU's School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, has successfully created the first study where an organocatalyst is able to be

Scholthof named 2009 American Phytopathological Society Fellow
Dr. Herman Scholthof, professor of plant pathology and microbiology at Texas A&M University, has been named a 2009 American Phytopathological Society Fellow.

Easter Island compound extends lifespan of old mice
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and two collaborating centers report that rapamycin, a compound first discovered in soil of Easter Island, extended the expected lifespan of middle-aged mice by 28 percent to 38 percent.

Mathematics in 10 lessons
Mathematics is seen by many as an impossible subject to overcome.

Work in mice will contribute to the study of hereditary diseases that lead to blindness
Scientists of the UGR use a new technique consisting of the induction of neuronal degeneration for intense light exposure in the mouse's retina, an experimental model of retinitis pigmentosa.

World's largest ocean observatory takes shape
Canada is taking the world on a 25-year nonstop research expedition -- into the deep ocean.

UK space science innovation brings inward investment
Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire is set to become the European center of a major international organization, and with it bring investment into the UK economy, thanks to the innovative, world-leading science of space spin out company Orbital Optics Ltd.

Research shows that 'invisible hand' guides evolution of cooperative turn-taking
It's not just good manners to wait your turn -- it's actually down to evolution, according to new research by University of Leicester psychologists.

Forsyth scientists suggest linkages between obesity and oral bacterial infection
A scientific team from the Forsyth Institute has discovered new links between certain oral bacteria and obesity.

Report shows the power of US cities to mitigate climate change and steps they need to take to adapt
US cities are starting to plan ways of coping with climate change, says a new report.

No psychological risk in children next-born after stillbirth
There is no evidence that children next-born after stillbirth are clinically at risk compared to children of nonbereaved mothers, according to a study published today in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

The most effective teachers are in a class of their own
Knowledgeable, innovative, skilful, fun-loving, caring, supportive, task and pupil centered -- it's official -- the most effective teachers are in a class of their own.

Spontaneous assembly
Self-assembling and self-organizing systems are the Holy Grails of nanotechnology, but nature has been producing such systems for millions of years.

Explosive growth of life on Earth fueled by early greening of planet
Earth's 4.5-billion-year history is filled with several turning points but one of the biggest is the Cambrian explosion of life, roughly 540 million years ago, when complex, multicellular life burst out all over the planet.

Astrophysicists solve mystery in Milky Way galaxy
A team of astrophysicists has solved a mystery that led some scientists to speculate that the distribution of certain gamma rays in our Milky Way galaxy was evidence of a form of undetectable

New way to make sensors that detect toxic chemicals
Ohio State University researchers have developed a new method for making extremely pure, very small metal-oxide nanoparticles.

LSUHSC research helps link schizophrenia to specific DNA region
For the first time, an international group of researchers has found genetic evidence linking schizophrenia to a specific region of DNA -- on chromosome 6.

Shaw to receive prestigious honor for plant pathology research
The 2009 Alexopoulos Prize will be given to Dr. Brian Shaw, Texas A&M University assistant professor of plant pathology and microbiology.

PM&R accepted for abstracting and indexing in MEDLINE
Elsevier, a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, is pleased to announce that PM&R -- the journal of injury, function and rehabilitation, the official scientific journal of the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation -- has been accepted for coverage by MEDLINE, just six months after its launch in January 2009.

Most neuropsychological tests don't tell Alzheimer's disease from vascular dementia
Most of the cognitive tests that have been used to decide whether someone has Alzheimer's disease or vascular dementia have not been very helpful when used alone.

Field Museum conducts archaeological excavation at 'The Place of the Dead'
Scientists previously believed pre-Hispanic Zapotec rulers carried around human femurs as a symbol of power and legitimacy, as evidenced from a carved lintel at the site of Lambityeco, where a ruler is depicted with a femur in his hand.

Giant supernovae farthest ever detected
UC Irvine cosmologists have found two supernovae farther away than any previously detected by using a new technique that could help find other dying stars at the edge of the universe.

Media tend to doomsay when addressing environmental issues
This study, undertaken by researchers from the University of the Basque Country, analyzes the role played by the media in creating and spreading a stance regarding the protection of the environment, sustainable development and natural heritage.

Forsyth Medical Center participating in Avastin trial for new glioblastoma patients
The Derrick L. Davis Forsyth Regional Cancer Center at Forsyth Medical Center is one of the first sites in the country to participate in a national trial of the experimental drug Avastin to treat glioblastoma, a fast-growing tumor of the brain or spinal cord.

$11.5M awarded to Boston College for TIMSS 2011
The TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center at Boston College has been awarded more than $11.5 million to conduct TIMSS 2011, the latest in a continuing series of far-reaching, influential global assessments of student achievement in math and science.

Researchers identify potential patient safety risks among methadone maintenance treatment patients
Boston Medical Center researchers have identified potential safety risks among methadone maintenance treatment patients due to the quantity and accuracy of medical record documentation.

Researchers enlist DNA to bring carbon nanotubes' promise closer to reality
Scientists and engineers from DuPont and Lehigh University, writing in Nature magazine, report a new method of disentangling CNTs from a mixture and purifying them into separate species of the same electronic type.

Landmark project to map genomics of complex ant systems
Emory researchers are tapping the latest-generation DNA sequencing technology to become the first explorers of the genomics of agricultural ant societies. 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