Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 28, 2009
Study: Newspapers located closer to the Mexican border slant news coverage of immigration
A new study released by Rice University in Houston finds that California newspapers located closer to the border of Mexico routinely provide a more negative slant on immigration in general news reporting and on their opinion pages than the state's newspapers located further away from the border.

SNM and coalition of professional organizations call for action
SNM and a coalition of eight other organizations have issued a white paper urging Congress to take steps to maintain adequate supplies of Molybdenum-99 (Mo-99), a radioactive substance that is the basis for a common medical isotope used in more than 80 percent of all nuclear medicine procedures.

Study: Bariatric surgery patients have 67 percent lower chance of complications at top hospitals
The HealthGrades Fourth Annual Bariatric Surgery Trends in American Hospitals Study released today identifies 88 hospitals as

UK's aero-engine industry and supply chain boosted by investment in innovative new technology
Rolls-Royce are set to play center stage in an investment program totaling £40m ($66 million) that aims to strengthen the supply chain for the UK's aero-engine industry and accelerate the development and introduction of low carbon aircraft engine technology.

Australia gets $72 million for the GMT
The Australian government has announced that it will provide $88.4 million AUD ($72.4 million USD) to help fund the revolutionary 25-meter Giant Magellan Telescope to be sited at Las Campanas Observatory in Chile's high-altitude Atacama Desert.

Extinct rodent species discovered
An international team of scientists has discovered an extinct rodent species, based on fossil tooth remains found in Alborache, Valencia.

Researchers team up to provide new hope for childhood hunger
A St. Louis-based team of plant and physician-scientists with a vision of eradicating malnutrition throughout the developing world today announced the formation of the Global Harvest Alliance, a humanitarian effort involving St.

Stem cell research: From molecular physiology to therapeutic applications
Stem cell research promises remedies to many devastating diseases that are currently incurable, ranging from diabetes and Parkinson's disease to paralysis.

Extinction crisis looms in Oceania: Landmark study
Governments must act urgently to halt loss of habitats and invading species that are posing major threats to biodiversity and causing species extinctions across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, according to a landmark new study.

Sex in the Caribbean: Environmental change drives evolutionary change -- eventually
Hungry, sexual organisms replaced well-fed, clonal organisms in the Caribbean Sea as the Isthmus of Panama arose, separating the Caribbean from the Pacific, report researchers from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Fast release of data leads to rapid changes in clinical practice for drug-eluting stents
Use of drug-eluting stents dropped from 90 percent of all stents to less than 60 percent after negative data were released and publicized.

Study: Being active as a preschooler pays off later in childhood
Being active at age 5 helps kids stay lean as they age even if they don't remain as active later in childhood, an effect University of Iowa researchers call

Scientists expect wildfires to increase as climate warms in the coming decades
As the climate warms in the coming decades, atmospheric scientists at Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and their colleagues expect that the frequency of wildfires will increase in many regions.

1 in 6 health workers won't report in flu pandemic -- study by Ben-Gurion U. researchers
A study conducted by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health indicates that approximately 16 percent of public health care workers will not report for work in a pandemic flu emergency, regardless of the severity.

Microbes and their hosts -- exploring the complexity of symbiosis in DNA and cell biology
The unique association between microorganisms and their hosts, whether insects, plants or mammals, provides a fascinating view into how microbial symbionts adapt to changing biological environments.

URI awarded $13 million grant to develop vaccines for emerging infectious diseases
URI Professor and EpiVax CEO Annie De Groot has been awarded a $13 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to pioneer the development and application of an integrated gene-to-vaccine program targeting emerging infectious diseases.

Test helps in fight against lung infections and for treating other life-threatening infections
A new test developed by Edmonton-based Innovotech Inc. will now allow doctors to more accurately identify the right antibiotics required to treat serious, chronic infections that are biofilm-based.

Common household pesticides linked to childhood cancer cases in Washington area
A study by Georgetown's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers finds a higher level of common household pesticides in the urine of children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), a cancer that develops most commonly between 3 and 7 years of age.

Interventional cardiology treatments and their impact on heart disease to be presented at TCT 2009
Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics is the annual Scientific Symposium of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation.

NASA and NOAA'S GOES-14 satellite takes first full disk image
The latest Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, GOES-14, provided its first visible full disk image of Earth on July 27, at 2:00 p.m.

Homicide by mentally ill has risen in England and Wales
The number of people killed by individuals suffering from mental illness in England and Wales increased between 1997 and 2005, figures released today show.

Study shows cancer vaccines led to long-term survival for patients with metastatic melanoma
Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian today announced promising data from a clinical study showing patient-specific cancer vaccines derived from patients' own cancer cells and immune cells were well tolerated and resulted in impressive long-term survival rates in patients with metastatic melanoma whose disease had been minimized by other therapies.

UTSA, Southwest Research Institute and CPS Energy form Energy Research Alliance of San Antonio
The University of Texas at San Antonio, Southwest Research Institute and CPS Energy have formed the Energy Research Alliance of San Antonio to explore new solutions to the energy challenges we face today and will face in the future.

University of Miami nurse awarded prestigious national fellowship to improve health care
A national fellowship program focused on expanding the role of nurses to lead change in the US health-care system has been awarded to Elias Provencio-Vasquez, Ph.D., N.P., F.A.A.N., F.A.A.N.P., associate professor at the University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies.

SRI and SDK announce breakthrough performance in OLED devices for solid-state lighting applications
SRI International, an independent nonprofit research institute, and Showa Denko K.K., a Japan-based chemical industry company in partnership with Itochu Plastics Inc., have achieved record-breaking results using SRI's new cavity organic light-emitting diode technology and SDK's light-emitting polymers to produce a highly efficient light source that could one day replace incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs.

Stress signals link pre-existing sickness with susceptibility to bacterial infection
A new study published in Disease Models and Mechanisms, shows that the stress signaling protein, AMPK, facilitates infection by harmful bacteria.

Mathematical modeling predicts response to Herceptin
Cancer researchers are turning to mathematical models to help answer important clinical questions, and a new paper in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, illustrates how the technique may answer questions about Herceptin resistance.

AFOSR-funded researchers among PECASE award winners for 2009
Eleven AFOSR-funded researchers have been named winners of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers for their pursuit of innovative research and community service.

Nitrous gases and zinc in the crosshairs
The Senate Commission for the Investigation of Health Hazards of Chemical Compounds in the Work Area established by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft has issued the MAK and BAT Values List for 2009.

High calcium level in arteries may signal serious heart attack risk
Researchers may be able to predict future severe cardiac events in patients with known, stable coronary artery disease using coronary calcium scoring, according to a new study.

'Corrective genes' closer thanks to enzyme modification
Scientists from the Universite de Montreal and McGill University have re-engineered a human enzyme, a protein that accelerates chemical reactions within the human body, to become highly resistant to harmful agents such as chemotherapy, according to a new study published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Study finds human population expanded during late Stone Age
Genetic evidence is revealing that human populations began to expand in size in Africa during the Late Stone Age approximately 40,000 years ago.

New drug for children with high-risk leukemia
Research conducted at Tel Aviv University has indicated a drug already in clinical trials for a blood disease common in adults may be relevant for acute childhood leukemia.

Humans 'damaging the oceans'
Mounting evidence that human activity is changing the world's oceans in profound and damaging ways is outlined in a new scientific discussion paper released today.

Breaking barriers with nanoscale lasers
Collaborating engineering research teams at Arizona State University and in the Netherlands have found ways to make nanolasers smaller, opening up possibilities of integrating lasers more effectively with electronics components.

Freshwater fish at the top of the food chain evolve more slowly
For avid fishermen and anglers, the largemouth bass is a favorite freshwater fish with an appetite for minnows.

Smokeless tobacco safer than smoking
Smokeless tobacco products, as used in Europe and North America, do not appear to increase cancer risk.

Field Museum scientist describes first vertebrate to live in trees
In the Late Paleozoic (260 million years ago), long before dinosaurs dominated the Earth, ancient precursors to mammals took to the trees to feed on leaves and live high above predators that prowled the land, Jörg Fröbisch, Ph.D., a Field Museum paleontologist has concluded.

Queen's leads water-tight training in India
A team of scientists at Queen's University has been chosen to lead a top research and training program to prevent groundwater poisoning in India.

Early online releases from Annals of Internal Medicine
Below is information about two early release studies that are appearing online on July 28.

First genetically engineered malaria vaccine to enter human trials
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute scientists have created a weakened strain of the malaria parasite that will be used as a live vaccine against the disease.

Actions taken over the next decade to demonstrate and deploy key technologies will determine US energy future
With a sustained national commitment, the United States could obtain substantial energy-efficiency improvements, new sources of energy, and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions through the accelerated deployment of existing and emerging energy technologies.

Forest response project FACEs the end
After 12 years, an experiment focused on forest growth and climate change comes to an end, and researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are eager to collect and analyze data to see if their predictions match results.

New links between lucid dreaming and psychosis could revive dream therapy in psychiatry
Similarities in brain activity during lucid dreaming and psychosis suggest that the previously discredited technique of dream therapy may be useful in psychiatric treatment, according to a European Science Foundation workgroup.

MEK4, genistein and invasion of human prostate cancer cells
Researchers have identified MEK4 as a pro-invasion protein and the target for genistein, a dietary compound, in prostate cancer cells, according to a new study published online July 28 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Targeted therapy from within: Presentation at AAPM meeting in Anaheim
A group of researchers at Johns Hopkins University has designed nanoparticles that can carry cancer-treating radioisotopes through the body and deliver them selectively to tumors.

Wildfires set to increase 50 percent by 2050
The area of forest burnt by wildfires in the United States is set to increase by over 50 percent by 2050, according to research by climate scientists.

Mapping the crocodile genome
The first ever genetic linkage map for a non-avian member of the Class Reptilia has been developed.

Duke scientists create airway spheres to study lung diseases
Using both animal and human cells, Duke University Medical Center scientists have demonstrated that a single lung cell can become one of two very different types of airway cells, which could lead to a better understanding of lung diseases.

NPL and University of Surrey sign £10M deal
The National Physical Laboratory and the University of Surrey have signed an agreement to collaborate on the delivery of a GBP10 million ($16.5 million) program to translate the results of research into innovation that makes a real-world difference.

Invigorated muscle structure allows geese to brave the Himalayas: UBC research
A higher density of blood vessels and other unique physiological features in the flight muscles of bar-headed geese allow them to do what even the most elite of human athletes struggle to accomplish -- assert energy at high altitudes, according to a new UBC study.

Chicago team uses artificial intelligence to diagnose metastatic cancer
When doctors are managing care for women with breast cancer, the information available to them profoundly influences the type of care they recommend.

Is paperwork suffocating British clinical research?
Concerns are being raised by a growing number of British academics that bureaucratic overload is stifling their ability to undertake clinical research, compromising the future of this activity in the UK, and ultimately doing patients a disservice.

Game utilizes human intuition to help computers solve complex problems
A new computer game prototype combines work and play to help solve a fundamental problem underlying many computer hardware design tasks.

Biologists rediscover endangered frog population
For the first time in nearly 50 years, a population of a nearly extinct frog has been rediscovered in the San Bernardino National Forest's San Jacinto Wilderness.

Male germ cells can be directly converted into other cell types
Researchers have found a way to directly convert spermatogonial stem cells, the precursors of sperm cells, into tissues of the prostate, skin and uterus.

NHLBI stops study of pulmonary hypertension treatment in sickle cell patients
NHLBI has stopped a clinical trial testing a drug treatment for pulmonary hypertension in adults with sickle cell disease nearly one year early due to safety concerns.

Sunbeds (UV tanning beds) and UV radiation moved up to highest cancer risk category by International Agency for Research on Cancer
The International Agency for Research on Cancer has moved sunbeds (UV tanning beds) up to the highest cancer risk category -- group 1 --

Icy exposure creates armored polymer high tech foams
Chemists and engineers at the University of Warwick have found that exposing particular mixtures of polymer particles and other materials to sudden freeze-drying can create a high-tech armored foam that could be used for a number of purposes, including a new range of low power room temperature gas sensors.

University of Toronto helps to 'barcode' the world's plants
An international team of scientists, including botanists from the University of Toronto, have identified a pair of genes which can be used to catalog the world's plants using a technique known as DNA barcoding -- a rapid and automated classification method that uses a short genetic marker in an organism's DNA to identify it as belonging to a particular species.

Study sheds light on squirrel psychology
The ability of grey squirrels to learn from observing others is highlighted in a new study The research shows how squirrels can quickly learn from watching their peers, particularly if it relates to stealing food.

Fox Chase researchers uncover one force behind the MYC oncogene in many cancers
DLX5, a gene crucial for embryonic development, promotes cancer by activating the expression of the known oncogene, MYC, according to researchers from Fox Chase Cancer Center.

Teeny-tiny X-ray vision
The tubes that power X-ray machines are shrinking, improving the clarity and detail of their Superman-like vision.

NRL's Large Area Telescope explores high-energy particles
NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope is making some exciting discoveries about cosmic rays and the Large Area Telescope aboard Fermi is the tool in this investigation.

Forecasting cancer recurrence
Two people with the same kind of cancer who receive the exact same treatment may nevertheless have different chances of their tumors coming back years later.

American Society for Cell Biology 49th annual meeting
The annual conference will feature the latest research about cancer stem cells, host-pathogen interactions and other cell biology topics.

New chlamydia test offers rapid, pain-free test for men
A new urine test developed with funding from the Wellcome Trust will allow doctors to diagnose chlamydia infection in men within the hour, improving the ability to successfully treat the infection on the spot and prevent re-transmission.

Stories we tell about national trauma reflect our psychological well-being
A new study by psychologists at the University at Buffalo and the F.

E-Noses: Testing their mettle against fly noses
CSIRO scientists have developed a new system for comparing the sensory performance of electronic noses against that of the fly -- a breakthrough which should lead to improved e-nose performance.

Naming evolution's winners and losers
Mammals and many species of birds and fish are among

Nanotech particles affect brain development in mice
Maternal exposure to nanoparticles of titanium dioxide (TiO2) affects the expression of genes related to the central nervous system in developing mice.

Maternal, paternal genes' tug-of-war may last well into childhood
An analysis of rare genetic disorders in which children lack some genes from one parent suggests that maternal and paternal genes engage in a subtle tug-of-war well into childhood, and possibly as late as the onset of puberty. 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