Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 31, 2009
New chemical imaging technique could help in the fight against atherosclerosis, suggests research
A new chemical imaging technique could one day help in the fight against atherosclerosis, suggests research published in the August 2009 edition of the Journal of the Royal Society Interface.

September/October 2009 GSA Bulletin highlights
The September-October GSA Bulletin is now online. Studies in this issue trek the globe, detailing geo-phenomena in the Lesser Himalaya of India; the Altai Range of China; the Peruvian Eastern Cordillera; the southern and northern Apennines, Italy; exotic terranes of Alaska; the San Ysidro fault, New Mexico; the Colorado Plateau's CO2 spikes and fossil gingko; the Santa Clara River and Santa Monica Basin offshore southern California; and the Coast Plutonic Complex and Coast Mountains batholith of British Columbia, Canada.

Parasites ready to jump
Even DNA is subject to attack by parasites -- so-called transposons.

The guiding of light: A new metamaterial device steers beams along complex pathways
Boston College physicist Willie J. Padilla and researcher Nathan Landy have built a device from metamaterials and transformational optics that delivers a complex set of instructions capable of guiding light with unprecedented accuracy.

UTSA biologists win $940,000 in stimulus funds to advance research
University of Texas at San Antonio researchers Robert Renthal and José Lopez-Ribot have received grants funded by the 2009 stimulus to advance their respective research studies on insect phermone receptors and candida biofilms.

Pitt receives $13.4 million NIH grant to create virtual models for epidemics
As the world prepares for a probable resurgence of H1N1 in the coming months, Pitt researchers are controlling the spread of infectious diseases virtually with a $13.4 million National Institutes of Health grant to develop and test computer simulations.

Family planning a major environmental impact
Some people who are serious about wanting to reduce their

Scientists decoding genomic sequences of H1N1 using isolates from outbreak in Argentina
Researchers at the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health are working with Argentina's National Institute of Infectious Diseases, the National Administration of Laboratories and Health Institutes, and Roche 454 Life Sciences to decode the complete genomic sequences of influenza pandemic 2009 virus from patients with severe respiratory disease.

August 2009 Lithosphere media highlights
The fourth issue of Lithosphere is now available online and in print.

Roadrunners not too fast for AgriLife researcher
Wile E. Coyote might not have been able to catch up with the roadrunner on the Saturday morning cartoons, but one Texas AgriLife Research scientist has had no problems.

Extraterrestrial platinum was 'stirred' into the Earth
A research program aimed at using platinum as an exploration guide for nickel has for the first time been able to put a time scale on the planet's large-scale convection processes.

Migration '09 convenes near site of early nuclear technology
More than 250 chemists, physicists and geologists are expected to gather for a week of presentations on the migration of radioactive chemicals through earth and aquifers below ground.

Structure of protective protein in the eye lens revealed
Two research groups at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen have succeeded in explaining the 3-D molecular architecture of

Genes key to staph disease severity, drug resistance found hitchhiking together
Scientists studying Staphylococcus bacteria, including methicillin-resistant S. aureus, have discovered a potent staph toxin responsible for disease severity.

Robotics insights through flies' eyes
To understand how a fly's tiny brain processes visual information efficiently enough to guide its aerobatic feats -- and ultimately to build more capable robots -- researchers in Munich have set up a flight simulator for flies.

Methods for monitoring CO2 emissions have limitations, inadequate for international climate treaty
Current methods for estimating greenhouse gas emissions have limitations that make it difficult to monitor CO2 emissions and verify an international climate treaty.

Scientists refine, redefine seawater equation
This summer, UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission adopted the introduction of a new international thermodynamic equation of state for seawater called TEOS-10.

August 2009 Geology and GSA Today media highlights
Geology studies include some curious associations: air hockey and plate tectonics; calcite and Earth's orbit; Columbia River Flood Basalts and the Congo Fan; and rock hyrax middens and global climate change.

UC San Diego engineer provides insights to decades-old DNA squabble
A group of nanoengineers, biologists and physicists have used innovative approaches to deduce the internal structure of chromatin, a key player in DNA regulation, to reconcile a longstanding controversy in this field.

AIDS patients face higher risk of HPV-related cancers as immunosuppression grows
Risk of human papillomavirus-associated cancers is greater for people living with AIDS and increases with increasing immunosuppression, according to a new study published online July 31 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Got migraines?
Migraine headaches are a drain -- not only on the estimated 30 million Americans who suffer from them, but on the economy, too.

Iron isotopes as a tool in oceanography
New research involving scientists from the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, highlights the potential utility of iron isotopes for addressing important questions in ocean science.

MU researchers create drought conditions to unearth solutions
Researchers at the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources are constructing drought simulators over a variety of soil types so that scientists can study how certain plants respond to a broad range of drought conditions, providing information that is critical to develop more tolerant crop plants.

Cancer treatment controls macular edema related to diabetes and to cataract surgery
This month's Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, reports on use of bevacizumab (Avastin), to benefit diabetic patients with macular edema as well as people who develop cystoid macular edema after cataract surgery.

Global curbs on overfishing are beginning to work
Scientists have joined forces in a groundbreaking assessment of the status of marine fisheries and ecosystems.

BioVault locks up biometrics
A system that allows biometric data to be used to create a secret key for data encryption has been developed by researchers in South Africa.

Opening a new window on daylight
A new approach to windows that could let in more light and cut indoor lighting needs by up to 99 percent in buildings in Tropical regions without losing the cooling effect of shades.

Long-term health and social outcomes for neuroblastoma survivors
Survivors of the childhood cancer neuroblastoma are eight times more likely to have chronic health conditions, less likely to be married, and more likely to have lower incomes than their siblings, according to a study published online July 31 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Study shows how college major and religious faith affect each other
College students who major in the social sciences and humanities are likely to become less religious, while those majoring in education are likely to become more religious.

From graphene to graphane, now the possibilities are endless
Ever since graphene was discovered in 2004, this one-atom thick, super strong, carbon-based electrical conductor has been billed as a
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