Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 05, 2009
Obama administration announces more than $327 million in Recovery Act funding for science research
US Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced today that more than $327 million in new funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will go toward scientific research, instrumentation and laboratory infrastructure projects.

New insights into health and environmental effects of carbon nanoparticles
A new study raises the possibility that flies and other insects that encounter nanomaterial

Khmer Rouge trials offer baseline study for mental health impact to a society of war crimes tribunal
As the Khmer Rouge trials are underway, a central medical question remains unanswered: will the trials help a society heal or exacerbate the lingering affects of widespread trauma?

New UAB study finds novice parents overlook many child-injury risks
University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Psychology researchers report that new parents identified less than half of the safety hazards in a simulated home environment, and most perceived that their children were less vulnerable to injuries than other children.

UNC researchers decode structure of an entire HIV genome
The structure of an entire HIV genome has been decoded for the first time by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Gene shut-down may offer early warning of chronic leukemia
A new study shows that certain genes are turned off early in the development of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), before clinical signs of the disease appear.

Bringing solar power to the masses
Research at the University of Arizona could one day lead to photovoltaic materials thin enough, flexible enough and inexpensive enough to go not only on rooftops but in windows, outdoor awnings and even clothing.

New DNA and RNA aptamers offer unique therapeutic advantages
A novel class of drugs composed of single strands of DNA or RNA, called aptamers, can bind protein targets with a high strength and specificity and are currently in clinical development as treatments for a broad range of common diseases, as described in a comprehensive review article published online ahead of print in Oligonucleotides.

New research links social stress to harmful fat deposits, heart disease
A new study done by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine shows that social stress could be an important precursor to heart disease by causing the body to deposit more fat in the abdominal cavity, speeding the harmful buildup of plaque in blood vessels, a stepping stone to the number one cause of death in the world.

Bioethanol's impact on water supply 3 times higher than once thought
At a time when water supplies are scarce in many areas of the United States, scientists in Minnesota are reporting that production of bioethanol -- often regarded as the clean-burning energy source of the future -- may consume up to three times more water than previously thought.

New clues about a hydrogen fuel catalyst
To use hydrogen as a clean energy source, some engineers want to pack it into a larger molecule, rather than compressing the gas into a tank.

Hormone levels contribute to stress resilience
It is important to understand what biological mechanisms contribute to an individual's capacity to be resilient under conditions of extreme stress, such as those regularly experienced by soldiers, police and firefighters.

$1 million grant to RI Hospital M.D. for primary care melanoma screening training program
Rhode Island Hospital dermatologist Martin Weinstock, M.D., Ph.D., has received a $1 million, two-year Team Science Award grant from the Melanoma Research Alliance to serve as principal investigator to develop a training program for primary care physicians to improve melanoma screening in primary care.

Abnormal brain circuits may prevent movement disorder
Most people who carry a genetic mutation for a movement disorder called dystonia will never develop symptoms, a phenomenon that has puzzled scientists since the first genetic mutation was identified in the 1990s.

Smart Choices Program helps shoppers identify food and beverage choices
This summer, the Smart Choices Program will appear on hundreds of products in supermarkets and other retail outlets across the country.

Digital mammography plus digital breast tomosynthesis may decrease patient recall rates
Nationally, about ten percent of women in the US are recalled for a second mammogram after an abnormality is detected on the first one -- for most women this can be very stressful.

Argonne to showcase science and technology at community open house
The US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory will open its gates to the community on Saturday, Aug.

Rutgers University in Newark will lead 9 college consortium to increase students in STEM fields
Rutgers University in Newark will lead a $5 million, five-year, multiple-school program that aims to substantially increase the numbers of minority of students pursuing majors -- and eventually, careers -- in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, also known as STEM fields.

Blood transfusion study: Less is more
A new study suggests that blood transfusions for hospitalized cardiac patients should be a last resort because they double the risk of infection and increase by four times the risk of death.

Naval Research Laboratory's ANDE-2 deployed from Space Shuttle Endeavour
The Naval Research Laboratory's satellite suite, the Atmospheric Neutral Density Experiment 2 (ANDE-2), was deployed from NASA's Space Shuttle Endeavour on July 30, 2009.

Clemson researcher teams up internationally with Marie Curie Fellowship
Clemson University chemical engineering professor Mark C. Thies has received a Marie Curie Fellowship for $142,000 to develop molecular models for advanced-carbon materials that have the potential to be used in strong, yet lightweight transportation vehicles, wind turbines and more energy-efficient aircraft.

Methods for gene transfer in stem cells featured in Cold Spring Harbor Protocols
The August issue of Cold Spring Harbor Protocols features two methods for gene transfer in stem cells.

Hearing the words beneath the noise
Professor Miriam Furst-Yust of TAU's School of Electrical Engineering has developed a new software application to improve the noise-filtering abilities of hearing aids and cochlear implants.

Scary ancient spiders revealed in 3-D models, thanks to new imaging technique
Early relatives of spiders that lived around 300 million years ago are revealed in new 3-D models, in research published today in the journal Biology Letters.

Beautiful plumage: Feather color and sex start the species revolution
Faculty of 1000, the leading scientific evaluation service, has highlighted research providing evidence for the evolution of a new species.

Dartmouth gets $3 million from the National Science Foundation for IT research in health care
Dartmouth has received a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation for research to develop secure and trustworthy computing systems for health care settings.

New research sheds light on freak wave hot spots
Instances of

Double engine for a nebula
ESO has just released a stunning new image of a field of stars towards the constellation of Carina.

Decoding leukemia patient genome leads scientists to mutations in other patients
Reporting online Aug. 5 in the New England Journal of Medicine, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Researchers from CIC bioGUNE have found a way to treat ischemic pathologies
A team of researchers from CIC bioGUNE from the Cellular Biology and Stem Cell Unit, alongside a team from Paris' Cardiovascular Research Center have developed a new area of research which looks extremely promising as regards the development of new therapeutic responses to ischemic pathologies and cardiovascular diseases in general.

UC San Diego launches Triton Resource Supercomputer
The San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego, today officially launched the Triton Resource, an integrated, data-intensive computing system primarily designed to support UC San Diego and UC researchers.

Understanding how weeds are resistant to herbicides
In a little over seven hours, University of Illinois weed scientist Patrick Tranel got more genetic information about waterhemp than in two years time in a lab.

Study results raise questions about vertebroplasty for osteoporotic spinal compression fractures
A new study led by Mayo Clinic researchers has found that relief of pain from vertebral compression fractures, as well as improvement in pain-related dysfunction, were similar in patients treated with vertebroplasty and those treated with simulated vertebroplasty without cement injections.

MRI may help physicians diagnose, stage and treat diabetes
Noninvasive imaging may aid physicians in the early diagnosis, staging and treatment of diabetes, according to a study performed at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass.

Gut hormone has 'remote control' on blood sugar
A gut hormone first described in 1928 plays an unanticipated and important role in the remote control of blood sugar production in the liver, according to a report in the Aug.

Protein complex key in avoiding DNA repair mistakes, cancer
As the body creates antibodies to fight invaders, a three-protein DNA repair complex, MRN, is crucial for a normal gene-shuffling process to proceed properly, University of Michigan scientists have found.

Pinhead-size worms + robot = new antibiotics
In an advance that could help ease the antibiotic drought, scientists in Massachusetts are describing successful use of a test that enlists pinhead-sized worms in efforts to discover badly needed new antibiotics.

LSUHSC's O'Brien receives singular national dental teaching honor
Michael E. O'Brien D.D.S., J.D., clinical associate professor and director of predoctoral studies in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Dentistry, has been selected as the recipient of the 2009 Daniel M.

Climate change poker: The barriers which are preventing a global agreement
As the world's environment ministers, government officials, diplomats and campaigners prepare to attend the COP15 conference in Copenhagen in December 2009 to unite in the battle against climate change in one of the most complicated political deals the world has ever seen, the increasingly complex territory of climate negotiations is being revealed in an article published today, Aug.

Positive expectations help patients recover from whiplash 3 times faster: study
Positive thoughts bring positive things to people, and it's well documented these expectations have helped people recover from a number of health conditions.

New approach targets gut hormone to lower blood sugar levels
A research team led by Dr. Tony Lam at the Toronto General Research Institute and the University of Toronto discovered a novel function of a hormone found in the gut that might potentially lower glucose levels in diabetes.

JDRF and GNF announce innovative diabetes drug discovery and development partnership
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation said today that it has entered into a novel collaborative research agreement with the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation to create a diabetes drug discovery and development platform.

Seeing the cosmos through 'warm' infrared eyes
NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope has taken its first shots of the cosmos since warming up and starting its second career.

Health-care reform must respect patient autonomy
As President Obama and Congress weigh changes in the nation's health-care system they must avoid creating a system where physicians are financially motivated to pressure patients into mandated treatments that conflict with their values and needs, two Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center physicians warn.

University of Hawaii at Manoa researchers reveal ocean acidification at Station ALOHA
Despite the global environmental importance of ocean acidification, there are few studies of sufficient duration, accuracy and sampling intensity to document the rate of change of ocean pH and shed light on the factors controlling its variability.

Growing evidence of marijuana smoke's potential dangers
In a finding that challenges the increasingly popular belief that smoking marijuana is less harmful to health than smoking tobacco, researchers in Canada are reporting that smoking marijuana, like smoking tobacco, has toxic effects on cells.

Wellcome Trust banks on Chinese cohort study
The Kadoorie Biobank Study in China, one of the world's largest blood-based epidemiological studies, has received a £2.5 ($3.8) million funding boost from the Wellcome Trust to take it forward into the next decade.

National Foundation for Infectious Diseases honors VCU physician with Maxwell Finland Award for 2010
An internationally recognized Virginia Commonwealth University physician has been named a recipient of the 2010 Maxwell Finland Award for his pioneering contributions that have advanced the understanding of infectious diseases.

Challenging conventional wisdom: advances in development reverse fertility declines, says Penn study
A team of researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and the Università Bocconi in Milan have released a study that challenges one of the most established and accepted standards in the social sciences: Human fertility levels tend to decline as countries advance towards high levels of social and economic development.

2009 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists Annual Meeting and Exposition
Over 8,500 individuals from the field of pharmaceutical research are expected to attend this year's AAPS Annual Meeting and Exposition.

Venomous sea snakes play heads or tails with their predators
A new discovery reveals how venomous sea snakes deceive their predators into believing they have two heads.

What you eat depends on with whom you eat
Women tend to choose foods with a lower caloric value when dining with men, but not when they dine with other women.

Fat hormone influences baseline dopamine levels and our motivation to eat
As we all know from experience, people eat not only because they are hungry, but also because the food just simply tastes too good to pass up.

Using less energy for more water
Five professors from the University of Arizona have received $2 million from the National Science Foundation to research water reuse and supply systems.

Unraveling how cells respond to low oxygen
Gary Chiang, Ph.D., and colleagues at Burnham Institute for Medical Research have elucidated how the stability of the REDD1 protein is regulated.

Sensitizing tumor response to cancer therapy
University of Arizona researchers are working to find natural, biologically active compounds that will sensitize cancerous tumors to therapy without damaging normal tissue.

Addition of anesthetic to radioisotope injection reduces pain in patients undergoing sentinel-lymph-node mapping for breast cancer
The addition of the anesthetic lidocaine to radiocolloid injection for sentinel-lymph-node (SLN) mapping in patients with early breast cancer reduces injection pain and improves patient comfort without compromising SLN identification, and should be introduced as standard practice, concludes an article published online first and in the September edition of the Lancet Oncology.

Cyber exploring the 'ecosystems' of influenzas
Predicting the infection patterns of influenzas requires tracking both the ecology and the evolution of the fast-morphing viruses that cause them, said a Duke University researcher who enlists computers to model such changes.

New expensive back procedure exposed as ineffective
A world-first study involving Monash University and the Cabrini Research Institute in Melbourne has revealed the injection of bone cement into broken vertebrae is not an effective treatment for patients suffering painful osteoporotic fractures.

Cooling treatment after cardiac arrest is cost-effective, Penn study shows
A brain-preserving cooling treatment called therapeutic hypothermia is a cost-effective way to improve outcomes after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, which claims the lives of more than 300,000 people each year in the United States.

Joint research into an enzyme that causes genetic diseases
Researchers from CIC bioGUNE's Structural Biology Unit and Columbia University have conducted a joint research project, published in the prestigious scientific journal Structure, to gain in-depth knowledge of the structure of pyruvate carboxylase when it is in solution (in the

On the move
Rather than sticking to a single DNA script, human brain cells harbor an astonishing genomic variability, according to scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

State fund advances swine vaccine research, six other Iowa State projects
A grant from a state economic development fund will help Iowa State University researchers develop and evaluate a vaccine designed to protect swine from novel H1N1 and other strains of influenza.

Pharmacy pamphlets apparently more about looks than legibility: study
It seems like common sense that an information leaflet for vision loss would have large print and appropriate contrast, but that's not the case a new study done at the University of Alberta has found.

Shaking the Earth: Just add water
New Zealand is the site of one of the world's youngest subduction zones, where the Pacific Plate of Earth's crust dives beneath the Australian Plate.

1930s home goes green
A 1930s house built in 2008 is about to undergo the first of three energy efficiency upgrades which will ultimately convert an energy inefficient house into a zero carbon home designed to meet the government's 2016 CO2 targets for all new housing.

Considering combination versus sequential chemotherapy in metastatic breast cancer
Both combination and sequential single-agent chemotherapy are reasonable options to treat metastatic breast cancer, but the choice between the two should ultimately be based on patient- and disease-related factors, according to a new commentary published online Aug.

Hollywood gets mixed reviews in history class, study suggests
Students who learn history by watching historically based blockbuster movies may be doomed to repeat the historical mistakes portrayed within them, suggests a new study from Washington University in St.
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