Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 29, 2009
NYU physicists show way to count sweets in a jar -- from inside the jar
The question of how many sweets are in a jar depends on the shapes and sizes of the sweets, the size of the jar, and how it is filled.

Why we learn more from our successes than our failures
In the July 30 issue of the journal Neuron, Earl K.

Large trees declining in Yosemite
Large trees have declined in Yosemite National Park during the 20th century, and warmer climate conditions may play a role.

Threat of resistance to artemisinin-based anti-malarial drugs highlighted by new study
Malaria parasites in western Cambodia have become resistant to artemisinin-based therapies, the first-line treatment for malaria, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine today.

Cognitive testing, gender and brain lesions may predict MS disease progression risk
Cognitive testing may help people with inactive or benign multiple sclerosis better predict their future with the disease, according to a study published in the July 29, 2009, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Overconfidence among teenage students can stunt crucial reading skills
Too much confidence among teenage students can be harmful. In a study that reinforces the danger of indiscriminately bolstering a child's self-esteem -- whether the child earns that distinction or not -- the results show a clear connection between overconfident students and low reading comprehension, and suggest recommendations for parents and teachers.

'Microfluidic palette' may paint clearer picture of biological processes
NIST researchers have created an innovative device called a

New research reveals mothers need infant feeding information
A systematic literature review of mothers' experiences with bottle-feeding found that while mothers recognize the benefits of breastfeeding, those who bottle-feed with infant formula do not receive adequate information and support from their health-care providers and thus, ultimately put their baby's health at risk.

Human resource managers, not legislatures or courts, defined equal opportunity in the workplace
New research from Harvard University demonstrates how human resource managers, not legislatures or courts, defined equal opportunity and anti-discrimination policies in the workplace.

American Chemical Society announces first class of fellows
The American Chemical Society has announced its inaugural class of 162 ACS Fellows to be honored for their professional contributions to the science as well as their outstanding service to the Society.

JNCI news brief: Older cancer patients have more frailty than other seniors
Older people with a history of cancer are more likely to have disabilities and be frail and vulnerable than older adults who have not had cancer, according to a study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, published online July 29.

Cardiovascular risk after ischemic attack predicted by ultrasound
Ultrasound can be used to determine a patient's heart risk after a transient ischemic attack.

Childhood adversities have a predictive role in peptic ulcer
According to the findings of Health and Social Support Study in Finland, childhood adversities have a predictive role in peptic ulcer.

Caltech researchers link tiny sea creatures to large-scale ocean mixing
Using a combination of theoretical modeling, energy calculations, and field observations, researchers from the California Institute of Technology have for the first time described a mechanism that explains how some of the ocean's tiniest swimming animals can have a huge impact on large-scale ocean mixing.

Reprogramming human cells without inserting genes
Scientists at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and CellThera have discovered a novel way to turn on stem cell genes in human skin cells without the risks associated with inserting genes or using viruses, opening a new avenue for reprogramming cells that could lead to treatments for a range of diseases and injuries.

Jet-propelled imaging for an ultrafast light source
A particle gun tested at Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source and soon to be installed at SLAC's Linac Coherent Light Source fires liquid droplets less than a millionth of a meter in diameter, hundreds of thousands of times a second or faster.

NIST scientists study how to stack the deck for organic solar power
A new class of economically viable solar power cells has come a step closer to reality as a result of recent work at NIST, where scientists have deepened their understanding of the complex organic films at the heart of the devices.

Therapy should extend beyond childhood
By systematically analysing MRI changes occuring in the brains of children with the metabolic disease glutaric aciduria type I researchers at Heidelberg University Hospital have succeeded for the first time in demonstrating reversible and permanent brain damage as well as elucidating its temporal evolution.

Safety of combat military vehicles examined
A Queen's University Belfast academic is working on research that could help protect the lives of military based in Afghanistan.

New book delivers insight, solutions to civil war conflict
In his new book,

Improving AF situational awareness with smart satellite imagery
Researchers from the University of Southern California and small business Geosemble Technologies are improving US Air Force situational awareness with software that presents vast amounts of map data in a more manageable format for its commanders in theater.

Gene developed through conventional breeding to improve cowpea aphid resistance
The cowpea or black-eyed pea, as it is more commonly known, is a New Year's tradition for good luck.

JDRF launches online service to connect people with diabetes with clinical trial information
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, a leader in setting the agenda for diabetes research worldwide and the largest charitable funder and advocate of type 1 research, announced today that it has launched an online service for people with type 1 diabetes and their families to easily find information about clinical trials for drugs, treatments and therapeutics for diabetes and its complications.

Sharpest views of Betelgeuse reveal how supergiant stars lose mass
Using different state-of-the-art techniques on ESO's Very Large Telescope, two independent teams of astronomers have obtained the sharpest ever views of the supergiant star Betelgeuse.

Shake, rattle, no roll: Construction guide for earthquake-resistant buildings
A guide for designing buildings using steel moment frames to resist earthquakes has been published by NIST as part of its support for the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program.

September PerMIS workshop takes measure of intelligent system performance
Researchers involved in advancing artificial intelligence in robots and other systems will gather September 21-23 at NIST for the ninth annual Performance Metrics for Intelligent Systems workshop.

New computer simulation helps explain folding in important cellular protein
Scientists at the University of Georgia have created a two-step computer simulation (using an important process called the Wang-Landau algorithm) that sheds light on how a crucial protein -- glycophorin A -- becomes an active part of living cells.

Mars and Venus: Short- and long-term success of male to female kidney transplants
Female recipients of kidneys from deceased male donors demonstrate an increased risk of allograft failure in the first year after transplant, but show no increased risk after ten years, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Low prevalence of HPV infection may be tied to poor prognosis for blacks with head and neck cancer
Researchers at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer have found that head and neck cancer patients who test positive for the human papillomavirus (HPV) have much better survival rates than patients who don't have the virus, according to a new study in the journal Cancer Prevention Research.

Want responsible robotics? Start with responsible humans
When the legendary science fiction writer Isaac Asimov penned the

Re-examination of T. rex verifies disputed biochemical remains
A new analysis of the remains of a Tyrannosaurus rex that roamed Earth 68 million years ago has confirmed traces of protein from blood and bone, tendons or cartilage.

Is it possible to differentiate GISTs from leiomyomas by endoscopic ultrasonography?
Endoscopic ultrasonography is a valuable imaging tool for the diagnosis and evaluation of gastric gastrointestinal stromal tumors.

If bipolar disorder is over-diagnosed, what are the actual diagnoses?
A year ago, a study by Rhode Island Hospital and Brown University researchers reported that fewer than half the patients previously diagnosed with bipolar disorder received an actual diagnosis of bipolar disorder after using a comprehensive, psychiatric diagnostic interview tool -- the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV.

Early warning: Key Alzheimer's brain changes observed in unimpaired older humans
New research has uncovered an early disruption in the process of memory formation in older humans who exhibit some early brain changes associated with Alzheimer's disease (AD) but show little or no memory impairment.

EphA2-targeted therapy delivers chemo directly to ovarian cancer cells
With a novel therapeutic delivery system, a research team led by scientists at the University of Texas M.

PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative and Crucell to test new malaria vaccine approach
The US-based PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative, the United States Agency for International Development Malaria Vaccine Development Program, and Dutch biopharmaceutical company Crucell N.V. today announced a collaboration to accelerate development of a promising type of malaria vaccine.

'Artificial Golgi' may provide new insight into key cell structure
Scientists in New York and North Carolina are reporting assembly of the first functioning prototype of an artificial Golgi organelle.

Less common procedures less common than thought
The American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery announces the results of its 2009 Less Common Cosmetic Procedures consumer survey.

Are imaging features of hepatic angiomyolipoma related to its clinical setting?
Hepatic angiomyolipoma is a rare benign mesenchymal neoplasm. Preoperative diagnosis is difficult because of its varied imaging features and non-specific clinical presentation.

Organic food not nutritionally better than conventionally produced food
There is no evidence that organically produced foods are nutritionally superior to conventionally produced foodstuffs, according to a study published today in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Errors in diagnosis of depression lead to over and under diagnosis in primary care
A meta-analysis of more than 50,000 patients has shown that general practitioners have great difficulty separating those with and without depression, with substantial numbers of missed and misidentified.

Diabetes gene raises odds of lower birth weight
Pediatric researchers have found that a gene previously shown to be involved in the development of type 2 diabetes also predisposes children to having a lower birth weight.

Bizarre walking bat has ancient heritage
A bizarre New Zealand bat that is as much at home walking four-legged on the ground as winging through the air had an Australian ancestor 20 million years ago with the same rare ability, a new study has found.

Journal of Foot & Ankle Surgery now abstracted and indexed by Thomson Reuters
Elsevier announced today that the Journal of Foot & Ankle Surgery, the official journal of the American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons, has been accepted for coverage by multiple Thomson Reuters abstracting and indexing services, including Journal Citation Reports.

Probe position may change results in liver stiffness measurements in transient elastography
Transient elastography by Fibroscan has become a useful tool to measure liver stiffness in chronic liver disease.

Little-known protein found to be key player
Italian and US scientists have found that a little-understood protein previously implicated in a rare genetic disorder also plays critical role in building and maintaining healthy cells.

Douglas-fir, geoducks make strange bedfellows in studying climate change
Scientists are comparing annual growth rings of the Pacific Northwest's largest bivalve and its most iconic tree for clues to how living organisms may have responded to changes in climate.

Research shows rates of severe childhood obesity have tripled
Rates of severe childhood obesity have tripled in the last 25 years, putting many children at risk for diabetes and heart disease, according to a report in Academic Pediatrics by an obesity expert at Brenner Children's Hospital, part of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

LSUHSC contributes to revealing targets to reduce racial disparity in prostate cancer deaths
The latest findings of the North Carolina-Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project reveal potential new targets for reducing racial disparities in prostate cancer survival and highlight the importance of the health care delivery system.

Freshly crushed garlic better for the heart than processed
A new study reports what scientists term the first scientific evidence that freshly crushed garlic has more potent heart-healthy effects than dried garlic.

JNCI news brief: Antibody linked to chemotherapy drug inhibits ovarian cancer in lab
A novel anticancer agent, consisting of a monoclonal antibody linked to a chemotherapy drug, showed substantial anti-tumor activity in ovarian cancer cell lines and in mice, according to a study published online July 29 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Health benefits of physical activity more pronounced in women
A long-term study of over 8,700 middle-aged men and women provides some of the first race- and gender-specific data on the cholesterol effects of physical activity, with the interesting result that women, particularly African-American women, experience greater benefits in their cholesterol levels as a result of exercise than men.

When it comes to going green, people want smaller gains now, not bigger gains later
People make environmental choices the same way they manage money, preferring smaller gains right away to bigger gains later, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.

'The Cost of Bad Behavior'
Rudeness in the workplace comes with a hefty price tag.

Cosmic dance helps galaxies lose weight
A study published this week in the journal Nature offers an explanation for the origin of dwarf spheroidal galaxies.

Developing gene therapy to fight blindness
An international team of scientists and clinicians from the United States and Saudi Arabia are working to develop gene therapy for treating a rare, hereditary retinal disease.

Scientists obtain real time snapshot of the learning process
To learn from experience, it is essential to know whether a past action was associated with a desired outcome.

Cancers set to 'explode' in Latino/a populations, UI researcher says
The Latino/a population in the United States is expected to triple by 2050.

Experimental treatment halts hypoxic-ischemic brain injury in newborns
Inhibiting an enzyme in the brains of newborns suffering from oxygen and blood flow deprivation stops brain damage that is a leading cause of cerebral palsy, mental retardation and death, according to researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

Physician trust, early screening reduces disparities for prostate cancer
Men who have a regular, ongoing relationship with a health-care provider are more likely to receive prostate cancer screening and less likely to be diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer, regardless of their race, according to a University of North Carolina study published in the current issue of the journal Cancer.

Video game minority report: Lots of players, few characters
The first comprehensive census of video game characters finds Latinos nearly invisible and women and other groups underrepresented.

US Forest Service funds fadang research
The Western Pacific Tropical Research Center at the University of Guam has been awarded a continuation grant from the US Forest Service to sustain their ongoing efforts to study the threats to Guam's important cultural and biological resource, the fadang tree.

Scientists create energy-burning brown fat in mice
Researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have shown that they can engineer mouse and human cells to produce brown fat, a natural energy-burning type of fat that counteracts obesity.

College students who feel 'invincible' unlikely to accept vaccines, MU researcher finds
In a new study, a University of Missouri researcher has found that students who feel invulnerable, or invincible, to physical harm are unlikely to get an HIV vaccine.

Myth, reality and gun crime
The assumption that gangs are at the root of gun crime in the UK is overstated, according to a study published today in a special issue of Criminology and Criminal Justice, published by SAGE.

Reducing salt intake can lower blood pressure
A low-salt diet can contribute towards lowering blood pressure in adults in the medium term.

Nanotubes take flight
In a paper published this month in Nano Research, Hauge's Rice University team describes a method for making

ASTRO announces 2009 Fellows
The American Society for Radiation Oncology is pleased to announce its 2009 class of ASTRO Fellows.

Pregnant women with H1N1 flu should start antiviral treatment as soon as possible while those who are well should be vaccinated
An article published online first and in an upcoming edition of the Lancet shows that pregnant women could be at increased risk for complications from H1N1 flu.

Mental, emotional and behavioral disorders can be prevented in young people
A new article published in the Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing assesses the recently released government report on preventing these disorders among young people.

Researchers link jellyfish, other small sea creatures to large-scale ocean mixing
The ocean's smallest swimming animals, such as jellyfish, can have a huge impact on large-scale ocean mixing, researchers have discovered.

Does peripheral T lymphocyte subpopulations correlate with hepatitis B virus load?
The clear differences in the peripheral T cell subpopulation profile in different clinical stages of chronic HBV infection and the strong relationship of peripheral T lymphocyte subpopulations with HBV load are illustrated in a new study in a large cohort of subjects which conducted by Professor Jing You and her colleagues in China and Thailand.

UCSF researchers identify new drug target for Kaposi's sarcoma
UCSF researchers have identified a new potential drug target for the herpes virus that causes Kaposi's sarcoma, re-opening the possibility of using the class of drugs called protease inhibitors against the full herpes family of viruses, which for 20 years has been deemed too difficult to attain.

US guns fuel Canada and Mexico crimes, UK gun crime remains rare
Guns smuggled from the US arm criminals in Canada and Mexico, contributing to a higher murder rate in Canada and more intense drug crime conflict near the Mexican border, according to a study published today in a special issue of Criminology and Criminal Justice, published by SAGE.

Too many ways to say 'it hurts'
David Cella is revolutionizing the language of pain, as well as fatigue, depression and anxiety.

Protein 'Tweek' rare but critical in synaptic process
Recycling is a critical component in the process of transmitting information from one neuron to the next, and a large protein called Tweek plays a critical role, said an international consortium of researchers led by Baylor College of Medicine in a report in the current issue of the journal Neuron.

Scientists discover Amazon river is 11 million years old
Researchers at the University of Liverpool have discovered that the Amazon river, and its transcontinental drainage, is around 11 million years old and took its present shape about 2.4 million years ago.

Bizarre bald bird discovered
An odd songbird with a bald head living in a rugged region in Laos has been discovered by scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society and University of Melbourne.

HPV infection may be linked to poor head and neck cancer survival rates in African-Americans
A groundbreaking study in Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, suggests that having the human papillomavirus (HPV) improves survival in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. 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