Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 19, 2009
American Society for Microbiology honors Tobias M. Hohl for work on Aspergillus fumigatus
The 2009 American Society for Microbiology ICAAC Young Investigator Award will be presented to Tobias M.

DNA-coated nanotubes help kill tumors without harm to surrounding tissue
Researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine have destroyed prostate cancer tumors in mice by injecting them with specially coated, minuscule carbon tubes and then superheating the tubes with a brief zap of a laser.

No comfort in comfort foods during tough economic times, says Moore School of Business study
When times are tough and people are in a state of upheaval, it is expected that they might take refuge in

Study finds adverse effects in treatment for primary sclerosing cholangitis
A recently ceased study, led by Keith Lindor, M.D., from the Fiterman Center for Digestive Diseases at the Mayo Clinic, determined that PSC patients treated with high-dose ursodeoxycholic acid had poorer clinical results compared to those not receiving the therapy.

Major advance made in understanding the birth and early evolution of the universe
A significant advance in our understanding of the early evolution of the universe has been achieved by a team of scientists associated with the LIGO and Virgo scientific collaborations.

Tackling childhood obesity at the local level -- IOM report releases Sept. 1
What steps have public officials in your state or community taken to combat childhood obesity?

Plastics in oceans decompose, release hazardous chemicals, surprising new study says
In the first study to look at what happens over the years to the billions of pounds of plastic waste floating in the world's oceans, scientists are reporting that plastics -- reputed to be virtually indestructible -- decompose with surprising speed and release potentially toxic substances into the water.

NSB assembles expert panel to identify and develop stem innovators
Join a diverse group of experts from multiple disciplines as they promote US economic well-being and competitiveness through the development of US students with exceptional early potential for mathematics and science achievement into adults who can produce and innovate, especially in science, technology, engineering and mathematics for a gathering sponsored by the National Science Board.

Kinetic variable most useful for identifying malignant MRI-detected breast lesions identified
Breast MRI allows physicians to evaluate suspicious lesions using a variety of variables.

Targeted investments in climate science could present enormous economic savings across the globe
Targeted investments in climate science could lead to major benefits in reducing the costs of adapting to a changing climate, according to new research published by scientists from the UK's National Centre for Atmospheric Science.

Harvard study reveals taxing job-based health benefits would hit working families hardest
A new study by two Harvard researchers has found that taxing job-based health benefits would heavily penalize insured, working families.

Nurses in Africa know when to start antiretroviral treatment
Nurses and clinical officers (nonphysician clinicians, NPCs) are capable of determining when a person should receive antiretroviral therapy (ART) for HIV/AIDS.

New approach to wound healing may be easy on skin, but hard on bacteria
In a presentation today to the American Chemical Society meeting, Ankit Agarwal, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, described an experimental approach to wound healing that could take advantage of silver's antibacterial properties, while sidestepping the damage silver can cause to cells needed for healing.

Rice tapped for role in computing research center
A $10 million National Science Foundation Expeditions in Computing grant to Rice University and three other universities will help develop high-performance, customizable computing that could revolutionize the way computers are used in health care and other fields.

Living longer and happier
A new study from the University of Missouri may shed light on how to increase the level and quality of activity in the elderly.

Argonne, University of Chicago scientists develop targeted cancer treatment using nanomaterials
Scientists from the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Chicago's Brain Tumor Center have developed a way to target brain cancer cells using inorganic titanium dioxide nanoparticles bonded to soft biological material.

Friendly gut bacteria lend a hand to fight infection, UT Southwestern study suggests
Immunology researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found that bacteria present in the human gut help initiate the body's defense mechanisms against Toxoplasma gondii, the parasite responsible for toxoplasmosis.

Bosses with 'green' values more likely to over-comply with environmental rules
A business is more likely to

Toward limitless energy: National Ignition Facility focus of symposium, Aug. 19-20
Chemists are preparing to play an important but often unheralded role in determining the success of one of the largest and most important scientific experiments in history -- next year's initial attempts at the National Ignition Facility to produce the world's first controlled nuclear fusion reaction.

'Housekeeping' genes play important role in developmental pathways of cells
A study from the Center for Molecular Genetics at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine shows that a gene called HPRT plays an important role in setting the program by which primitive or precursor cells decide to become normal nerve cells in the human brain.

LIGO listens for gravitational echoes of the birth of the universe
An investigation by the LIGO Scientific Collaboration and the Virgo Collaboration has significantly advanced our understanding the early evolution of the universe.

Researchers boost production of biofuel that could replace gasoline
Engineers at Ohio State University have found a way to double the production of the biofuel butanol, which might someday replace gasoline in automobiles.

American Society for Microbiology honors Nicholas J. White
The 2009 American Society for Microbiology sanofi-aventis ICAAC Award will be presented to Nicholas J.

American Society for Microbiology honors Anton Y. Peleg
The 2009 American Society for Microbiology ICAAC Young Investigator Award will be presented to Anton Y.

Those dog days of August: 3 times the heat by 2050?
Scientists at Climate Central have analyzed climate change projections made with global climate models.

Breakthrough uses light to manipulate cell movement
In a paper published today in the journal Nature, Klaus Hahn, Ph.D., who is the Thurman Professor of Pharmacology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a member of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, describes a technique that uses light to control protein behavior in cells and animals simply by shining light on the cells where they want the protein to be active.

Air Force Research Lab scientist wins award for groundbreaking research
The Air Force Research Lab announced today that one of its researchers, Dr.

Geobiologists propose that the earliest complex organisms fed by absorbing ocean buffet
Research at Virginia Tech has shown that the oldest complex life forms -- living in nutrient-rich oceans more than 540 million years ago -- likely fed by osmosis.

A look into the hellish cradles of suns and solar systems
New images delve into the heart of a cosmic cloud, called RCW 38, crowded with budding stars and planetary systems.

Managing disasters with high-tech imaging could save lives
Improving disaster response is one of the goals of the Information Products Laboratory for Emergency Response, a partnership between Rochester Institute of Technology and the University at Buffalo.

Romantic, candle-lit dinners: An unrecognized source of indoor air pollution
Burning candles made from paraffin wax -- the most common kind used to infuse rooms with romantic ambiance, warmth, light and fragrance -- is an unrecognized source of exposure to indoor air pollution, including the known human carcinogens, scientists are reporting.

UBC research pokes holes in Hubbard model
New UBC research has literally and figuratively poked holes in single-band Hubbard physics -- a model that has been used to predict and calculate the behavior of high-temperature superconductors for 20 years.

Gravitational Wave Observatory listens for echoes of universe's birth
An investigation by a major scientific group headed by a University of Florida professor has advanced understanding of the early evolution of the universe.

Study shows carvedilol is effective in preventing variceal bleeding in cirrhotic patients
In a recent study, researchers from the University of Edinburgh determined carvedilol was more effective in the prevention of variceal hemorrhaging than variceal band ligation, a common treatment used for the past 20 years.

Sydney climate partnership wins top prize
A team of CSIRO, University of the Sunshine Coast, WWF and Sydney Coastal Councils Group researchers has been awarded a prestigious Australian Museum Eureka Prize for advising Sydney councils about how they might adapt to climate change.

Nonprofit nursing homes provide better care, major study finds
A major new statistical review of 82 individual research studies has revealed that nonprofit nursing homes deliver, on average, higher quality care than for-profit nursing homes.

New reagents for genomic engineering of mouse models to understand human disease
A new study published in Disease Models and Mechanisms, reports new tools for generating specifically targeted genetic mutations in bacteria, mammalian cells and mice.

Longitudinal study investigates cocaine's impact on adolescent development
Nearly 400 teens, half of which were prenatally exposed to cocaine, will be studied in their adolescent years.

Confronting health disparities among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth
An editorial in the September issue of the Journal of Adolescent Health calls on clinicians and health researchers to lead the charge in improving the health and well-being of US LGBT teens.

Iterative reconstruction technique significantly reduces patient radiation dose during CT scans
Computed tomography (CT) scans are responsible for more than two thirds of the total radiation dose associated with medical imaging exams.

Some aspects of birding not always environmentally friendly, professor says
University of Illinois English professor and birder Spencer Schaffner suggests in a just-published journal article that the popular environmental sport known as competitive birding -- conducted at Superfund sites, landfills and sewage ponds -- may not be as eco-friendly as it purports to be.

Homes pollute: Linked to 50 percent more water pollution than previously believed
Scientists are reporting some unsettling news about homes in the residential areas of California.

University of York celebrates new rail link
The University of York today announced a major new collaboration with Crossrail Ltd., to support a new course in computer science.

Pitt scientists find intrinsic changes in protein shape influence drug binding
Computational biologists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have shown that proteins have an intrinsic ability to change shape, and this is required for their biological activity.

Study reveals new metabolic safeguards against tumor cells
Researchers have found a new mechanism by which the body kills potential tumor cells.

Novel polymer could improve protein-based drugs
A new method for attaching a large protective polymer molecule to a protein appears to improve protein drugs significantly.

Toward making smart phone touchscreens more glare and smudge resistant
Scientists have discovered the secret to easing one of the great frustrations of the millions who use smart phones, portable media players and other devices with touchscreens: reducing their tendency to smudge and cutting glare from sunlight.

Carnegie Mellon leads NSF initiative to develop modeling tools for disease and complex systems
A multidisciplinary team led by Carnegie Mellon University computer scientist Edmund M.

LSUHSC research discovers new targets for treatment of invasive breast cancer
Research led by Suresh Alahari, Ph.D., associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at LSU Health Sciences Center, New Orleans, has shown for the first time that a tiny piece of RNA appears to play a major role in the development of invasive breast cancer and identified a gene that appears to inhibit invasive breast cancer.

Case Western Reserve University receives $4M from the NIBIB
The Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine has received a $4 million grant from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, a division of the National Institutes of Health, to fund the Case Center for Synchrotron Biosciences.

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev technology being developed for use in Jordan desalination plant
Researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev are developing technology to scale up a novel method for achieving very high recoveries in desalination by reverse osmosis to be used in a Jordanian desalinization plant.

MSU scientists: Progesterone leads to inflammation
Scientists at Michigan State University have found exposure to the hormone progesterone activates genes that trigger inflammation in the mammary gland.

Water in mantle may be associated with subduction
A team of scientists from Oregon State University has created the first global 3-D map of electrical conductivity in the Earth's mantle and their model suggests that that enhanced conductivity in certain areas of the mantle may signal the presence of water.

NASA's Aqua satellite gets 2 views of category 4 Hurricane Bill
Hurricane Bill has become a powerhouse in the Atlantic Ocean and NASA satellites are providing forecasters with important information to help their forecasts.

Anti-aging gene linked to high blood pressure
Researchers at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center have shown the first link between a newly discovered anti-aging gene and high blood pressure.

American Society for Microbiology honors David Masopust for research on T cell memory
The 2009 American Society for Microbiology ICAAC Young Investigator Award will be presented to David Masopust, assistant professor, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

Hidden treasure: Technique reveals buried image in famed illustrator's painting
Researchers are reporting the use of a new X-ray imaging technique to reveal unprecedented details of a painting hidden beneath another painting by famed American illustrator N.C.

Major insights into evolution of life reported by UCLA molecular biologist
Humans might not be walking on the face of the Earth were it not for the ancient fusing of two prokaryotes -- tiny life forms that do not have a cellular nucleus.

Vanderbilt joins national consortium to develop new cancer therapies
Vanderbilt University has been selected as one of 10 centers in the nation to participate in the Chemical Biology Consortium, a major new initiative to facilitate the discovery and development of new agents to treat cancer.

Flying by the skin of our teeth
A new study by Prof. Herzl Chai of Tel Aviv University's School of Mechanical Engineering looks at the highly sophisticated structure of teeth and how this structure could be applied to aircraft and space vehicles of the future.

American Society for Microbiology honors Xiaorong Lin for work on Cryptococcus neoformans
The 2009 American Society for Microbiology ICAAC Young Investigator Award will be presented to Xiaorong Lin, assistant professor, department of biology, Texas A & M University, College Station.

Watching stem cells repair the human brain
Dr. Yoram Cohen of Tel Aviv University's School of Chemistry has been able to track mesenchymal stem cells through the human brain using in-vivo MRI, which gives new information on the viability of these cells and their benefits to damaged tissue.

Battle of the brands: U of M research finds branded components changing industry structures
Back in the day, planes, trains and automobiles all sported one brand name.

Warning over codeine use after tonsillectomy
A report out of the University of Western Ontario, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, warns the use of codeine to treat pain following a tonsillectomy could prove fatal for some children.

Eureka! Air cargo scanning wins top prize
CSIRO's air cargo scanning technology team has been awarded the Defense Science and Technology Organization Eureka Prize for Outstanding Science in Support of Defense or National Security.

A safe approach to nanotechnology
A nontoxic and environmentally friendly way to make tiny nanorods of zinc oxide has been developed for the first time by researchers in Saudi Arabia.

IEEE-USA Engineering Mass Media Fellows conclude internships after producing sci-tech reports
Covering sci-tech subjects, from clean coal and a new type of American car to disputed Web information and a Wii for seniors, IEEE-USA Engineering Mass Media Fellows David Lukofsky and Nicholas Diakopoulos completed their 10-week summer media internships this week.

NSF Emerging Frontiers' program supports development of smart materials based on study of fish
After engineers and scientists at Virginia Tech, Harvard and Drexel finish studying the locomotion of fish in water, Michael Phelps may find he has a few new ways to increase his world-breaking Olympic times.

Pulmonary CT angiography identifies disease and injury beyond the pulmonary arteries in children
Computed tomography angiography can identify abnormalities and injury beyond the pulmonary arteries, including broken bones and heart disease, according to a study published in the September issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Smokers' tongues fail taste test
Smokers have fewer and flatter taste buds. A study of the tongues of 62 Greek soldiers, published in the open access journal BMC Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders, has demonstrated how cigarettes deaden the ability to taste.

Bio-enabled, surface-mediated approach produces nanoparticle composites
Using thin films of silk as templates, researchers have incorporated inorganic nanoparticles that join with the silk to form strong and flexible composite structures that have unusual optical and mechanical properties.

New robot-assisted surgical method found successful for treatment of thyroid cancer
Using a novel robot-assisted endoscopic technique, a team of surgeons at Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul, Korea, has successfully treated 200 consecutive patients with thyroid cancer.

NASA's A-Train of satellites 'on track' with hurricane research
NASA has several satellites that orbit the Earth one behind the other on the same track.

American Society for Microbiology honors Angelika Gruendling for work on lipoteichoic acids
The 2009 American Society for Microbiology ICAAC Young Investigator Award will be presented to Angelika Gruendling, Assistant Professor, Imperial College London.

Tumor size and level of visceral pleura invasion can impact survival of NSCLC patients
A study published in the August 2009 edition of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology found that non-small cell lung cancer patients could be more accurately staged at diagnosis by taking into account the level of visceral pleura invasion (VPI).

American Chemical Society Weekly PressPac -- Aug. 19, 2009
This issue of the American Chemical Society News Service Weekly Press Package (PressPac) is a special edition with selections from scientific presentations scheduled for the ACS' 238th National Meeting in Washington D.C.

Breeding their horns off -- a winner
A team of scientists led by CSIRO's Dr. Kishore Prayaga has been awarded a prestigious Australian Museum Eureka Prize for its work to develop a simple genetic test which has the potential to end the need to dehorn cattle in Australia.

UC Riverside student is 1 of only 5 persons selected for challenging Arctic expedition
Amanda Cobbs-Russell, a junior at UC Riverside, is one of only five persons selected by an international organization to take part in a three-week expedition in the Canadian Arctic.

Shocking state of US health care shows achievement of universal health coverage not connected to GDP
While the debate on health reform in the US rages, the nation must confront the fact that, despite its wealth, an estimated 47 million of its citizens have no health coverage at all.

Detecting bias in the reporting of clinical trials
University of Leicester researchers are developing new methods for detecting distorted medical statistics.

Painless 'microneedle' patch may take the sting out of shots
Scientists at the 238th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society report the design of a painless patch that may someday render hypodermic needles -- as well as annual flu shots -- a thing of the past.

'Rich interaction' may make computers a partner, not a product
Oregon State University researchers are pioneering the concept of 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