Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 04, 2009
Are kids today truly more autonomous?
Children have certainly mastered the art of selecting, negotiating and even refusing the chores their parents assign to them.

Link uncovered between viral RNA and human immune response
In its fight against an intruding virus, an enzyme in our immune system may sense certain types of viral RNA pairs, according to scientists.

New index offers first science-based definition of nutrient density
A study in the August issue of the Journal of Nutrition outlines the Nutrient-Rich Foods Index, a new, objective, science-based way to measure the total nutritional quality of foods and beverages.

August 2009 Geosphere highlights
The August issue of Geosphere, the Geological Society of America's online-only journal is available now.

UBC researchers find first-ever 'wanderlust gene' in tiny bony fish
A gene previously associated with physical traits is also dictating behavior in a tiny fish widely regarded as a living model of Darwin's natural selection theory, according to a University of British Columbia study.

Bone's material flaws lead to disease
The weak tendons and fragile bones characteristic of osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bone disease, stem from a genetic mutation that causes the incorrect substitution of a single amino acid in the chain of thousands of amino acids making up a collagen molecule, the basic building block of bone and tendon.

Genetic risk, not anesthesia exposure, impacts cognitive performance
A recent study of more than 2,000 identical twins found that medical problems early in life, rather than the neurotoxic effects of anesthesia, are likely linked to an individual's risk for developing learning disabilities.

The dioxin poisoning of Victor Yushchenko -- methods needed for routine analysis of metabolites of the poison TCDD
An article published online first tracks the science behind the poisoning of Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko in 2004, and concludes that routine analytical techniques are needed to test for metabolites of TCDD so that appropriate treatment can be given.

New stem cell research could reduce number of animal experiments
Researchers from the University of Bath are embarking on a project to use stem cell technology that could reduce the number of animal experiments used to study conditions such as motor neurone disease.

Nerve-block anesthesia can improve surgical recovery, even outcomes
When planning for surgery, patients too often don't consider the kind of anesthesia they will receive.

Your tools are as good as you think they are
Tel Aviv University's Prof. Dov Eden finds in a new study that perceptions of a company's technological base can effect productivity.

Cooling therapy for cardiac arrest survivors is as cost-effective as accepted treatments
The cost effectiveness of post-resuscitation therapeutic hypothermia is comparable to widely accepted treatments for other medical conditions.

Adult gut can generate new neurons
The adult lower digestive tract can be stimulated to add neurons to the intestinal system, according to new mouse research in the Aug.

Life Sciences Discovery Fund announces commercialization grant awards
The Life Sciences Discovery Fund today announced $300,000 in awards from its inaugural winter commercialization grant competition to support commercial translation of health-related technologies by two Washington state-based research teams.

Extreme BMI cause for concern in liver transplantation
A recent study by doctors at the University of Washington explained that patients who are significantly underweight or very severely obese prior to liver transplantation are at increased risk of death following transplantation surgery.

Emergency physician judgment on chest pain patients syncs with their outcomes
Emergency physicians should trust their judgment when evaluating patients who report with chest pain symptoms, said a group of researchers led by Abhinav Chandra, M.D., at Duke University Medical Center.

Research findings contradict myth of high engineering dropout rate
Research findings suggest that, contrary to popular belief, engineering does not have a higher dropout rate than other majors and women do just as well as men, information that could lead to a strategy for boosting the number of US engineering graduates.

Case studies: Dietary supplements with steroids pose health danger
Three cases of patients suffering from the adverse affects of steroid-enriched dietary supplements have been reported by researchers at Henry Ford Hospital.

Elder self-neglect and abuse associated with increased risk of death
Elderly individuals who have a report of self-neglect or abuse submitted to a social service agency have an associated increased risk of death, according to a study in the Aug.

Pilot study: Workplace yoga and meditation can lower feelings of stress
Twenty minutes per day of guided workplace meditation and yoga combined with six weekly group sessions can lower feelings of stress by more than 10 percent and improve sleep quality in sedentary office employees, a pilot study suggests.

Sociologists debate: Are Americans really isolated?
A widely publicized analysis of social network size, which reported dramatically increasing social isolation when it was published in 2006, has sparked an academic debate in the August issue of the American Sociological Review, the flagship journal of the American Sociological Association.

Texas researchers tackle influenza by studying human behavior
Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin will participate in a $3 million, five-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to fight influenza and other diseases by creating models that simulate the complex interplay between human behavior and the spread of disease.

Autism study finds visual processing 'hinders ability' to read body language
The way people with autism see and process the body language of others could be preventing them from gaging people's feelings, according to new research.

UC Riverside releases new citrus variety
Citrus researchers at UC Riverside have released a new mandarin (or tangerine) for commercial production.

Hip and back fractures increase mortality rates in older adults
If you are 50 or older and you break your hip, you have a one in four chance of dying within five years.

National ads urged enthusiastic consumers to visit copper mines
A Montana State University historian says national ads once encouraged tourists to visit Montana mines to see the source of the copper that contributed to their prosperous lifestyles.

Rush University Medical Center hosts conference examining Chicago breastfeeding rates
Over 100 certified breastfeeding peer counselors, lactation consultants, nurses, physicians, dietitians and community health workers are expected to gather at Rush University Medical Center on Thursday, Aug.

PNNL receives $5.73 million for integrated climate research and smart grid analysis
The Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has received more than $5 million through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to advance climate research and to further its ability to analyze

African village dogs are genetically much more diverse than modern breeds
African village dogs are not a mixture of modern breeds but have directly descended from an ancestral pool of indigenous dogs, according to a Cornell-led genetic analysis of hundreds of semi-feral African village dogs.

Intense, prolonged exposure to World Trade Center attack linked to new health problems years later
Large number of individuals, such as recovery and rescue workers, nearby residents and office workers, who experienced intense or prolonged exposure to the World Trade Center attack have reported new diagnoses of asthma or post-traumatic stress 5-6 years after the attack, according to a study in the Aug.

$7M grant establishes new UIC center to eliminate health disparities
The University of Illinois at Chicago has been awarded a $7.2 million federal grant to establish the UIC Center of Excellence in Eliminating Health Disparities.

Earth's biogeochemical cycles, once in concert, falling out of sync
What do the Gulf of Mexico's

Looking at language
The study of the neural basis of language has largely focused on regions in the cortex -- the outer brain layers thought by many researchers to have expanded during human evolution.

Plastics that convert light to electricity could have a big impact
University of Washington researchers have found a way to measure exactly how much electrical current is carried by tiny bubbles and channels that form inside nanoscale solar cells, paving the way for development of more efficient materials.

Lead-based consumer paint remains a global public health threat
Although lead content in paint has been restricted in the United States since 1978, University of Cincinnati environmental health researchers say in major countries from three continents there is still widespread failure to acknowledge its danger and companies continue to sell consumer paints that contain dangerous levels of lead.

Goddard-led GEMS mission to explore the polarized universe
An exciting new astrophysics mission led by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., will provide a revolutionary window into the universe.

Perceiving touch and your self outside of your body
When you feel you are being touched, usually something is physically touching you and you perceive that your

Finding key to cancer drug Gleevec's limitations
Researchers have learned why imatinib, marketed as Gleevec, helps patients with chronic myeloid leukemia survive longer, but does not keep the disease from returning if treatment ends.

Khmer Rouge trials offer baseline study for mental health impact to a society of war crimes tribunal
A UNC-led study finds that 75 percent of Cambodians believe the Khmer Rouge trials will provide justice and promote reconciliation, but more than 87 percent of people old enough to remember the torture and murder during the Khmer Rouge era say the trials will rekindle

Universal screening for intimate partner violence may provide only modest benefits
New research suggests that universal intimate partner violence (IPV) screening in health-care settings does not result in significant changes in subsequent reports of IPV or quality of life, according to a study in the Aug.

Scientists isolate protein that may be 'boon' to medicine
Scientists at UC Santa Barbara have isolated a unique protein that appears to have a dual function and could lead to a

Older adults subjected to abuse or self-neglect at greater risk of mortality
Older adults who are subjected to abuse or self-neglect face a greater risk of premature death than other seniors, according to a study published in the Aug.

Plankton Power and RTDC announce proposed algae-to-biofuels pilot facility on Cape Cod
Plankton Power and the Regional Technology Development Corp. of Cape Cod announce the establishment of a public-private consortium to build a facility to produce biofuels from algae.

Sustainable agriculture at the ESA Annual Meeting
Advances in ecology increasingly reveal that conventional agricultural practices have detrimental effects on the landscape ecology, creating problems for long-term sustainability of crops.

Brain difference in psychopaths identified
Professor Declan Murphy and colleagues Dr. Michael Craig and Dr.

International meeting on food quality, safety
The 8th International Conference of Food Science and Technology will bring together more than 100 scientists from China and the United States to present a wealth of information on food quality and safety.

Neuropathic pain: The sea provides a new hope of relief
A compound initially isolated from a soft coral collected at Green Island off Taiwan, could lead scientists to develop a new set of treatments for neuropathic pain -- chronic pain that sometimes follows damage to the nervous system.

Animal and plant communication at the ESA Annual Meeting
Animals and plants communicate with one another in a variety of ways: behavior, body patterns and even chemistry.

New angle on gecko research
Scientists at the University of Calgary and Clemson University in South Carolina have discovered that the geckos' amazing grip is triggered by gravity.

Abnormal brain circuits may prevent movement disorder
Specific changes in brain pathways may counteract genetic mutations for the movement disorder dystonia, according to new research in the Aug.

UCLA welcomes startup to new incubator space at California NanoSystems Institute
The newly launched UCLA on-campus technology incubator at the California NanoSystems Institute has opened lab space to MediSens Wireless, a start-up company that develops and manufactures personal body monitoring systems for medical and health applications.

The way you eat may affect your risk for breast cancer
How you eat may be just as important as how much you eat, if mice studies are any clue.

AIAA to present awards at 7th International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics is proud to announce that the following awards will be presented at an awards luncheon at noon on Aug.

Hybrid vehicle rebates produce scant environmental benefits, high cost
Despite major costs to taxpayers in the US and Canada, government programs that offer rebates to hybrid vehicle buyers are failing to produce environmental benefits, a new UBC study says.

Hip and back fractures increase mortality rates in people older than 50
Vertebral and hip fractures are associated with an increased risk of death, found a new study of 7,753 people in Canada aged 50 years and older published in CMAJ.

Silenced genes as a warning sign of blood cancer
In the genetic material of cancer cells, important growth inhibitors are often switched off by chemical labels in the DNA.

Do promises matter to employees? Not as much as we once thought
Years of research suggest that the promises organizations make to employees matter in establishing and maintaining a

Agricultural research key to food security
Boosting agricultural research in the developing world is the key to ensuring food security for the world's poorest, says Adel el-Beltagy, chair of the Global Form on Agricultural Research.

Depression and inflammation linked to pain in rheumatoid arthritis patients
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues.

Pitt researchers find promising candidate protein for cancer prevention vaccines
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have learned that some healthy people naturally developed an immune response against a protein that is made in excess levels in many cancers, including breast, lung, and head and neck cancers.

American Academy of Periodontology's 95th annual meeting to feature keynote from prominent cardiologist
The American Academy of Periodontology will host its 95th annual meeting in Boston from Sept.

IODP introduces technology to support deepwater crustal drilling
The Integrated Ocean Drilling Program, with industry partner AGR Drilling Services, has engineered an ultra-deepwater drilling technology for use by IODP drilling vessels in scientific research.

Holding breath for several minutes elevates marker for brain damage
Divers who held their breath for several minutes had elevated levels of a protein that can signal brain damage.

High cholesterol in midlife raises risk of late-life dementia, Kaiser Permanente study finds
Elevated cholesterol levels in midlife -- even levels considered only borderline elevated -- significantly increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia later in life, according to a new study by researchers at Kaiser Permanente's Division of Research and the University of Kuopio in Finland.

Khmer Rouge trials may affect post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms among Cambodian survivors
The so-called

LSTM leads project to develop HIV/AIDS strategy for Libya
Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine is leading a project to provide technical assistance to the Libyan government to finalize the development of a national HIV strategy and program of support.

The popular insect repellent deet is neurotoxic
The active ingredient in many insect repellents, deet, has been found to be toxic to the central nervous system.

SAGE to publish Veterinary Pathology
SAGE is pleased to announce that it will begin publishing Veterinary Pathology, a key international journal of natural and experimental disease, beginning in 2010. 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