Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 20, 2009
Disparities in cancer care reflect hospital resources, U-M study finds
Hospitals that treat more black cancer patients have worse survival rates on average for patients with breast and colon cancer, regardless of race, according to a new study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Ultrathin leds create new classes of lighting and display systems
A new process for creating ultrathin, ultrasmall inorganic light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and assembling them into large arrays offers new classes of lighting and display systems with interesting properties, such as see-through construction and mechanical flexibility, that would be impossible to achieve with existing technologies.

With nothing to guide their way, people really do walk in circles
With nothing to guide their way, people attempting to walk a straight course through unfamiliar territory really do end up walking in circles, according to a report published online on Aug.

Research supports calls to study health benefits of nitrate, nitrite
A Michigan State University researcher is challenging health standards that consider nitrates and nitrites in food to be harmful.

Scientists discover bioluminescent 'green bombers' from the deep sea
In the latest proof that the oceans continue to offer remarkable findings and much of their vastness remains to be explored, scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and their colleagues have discovered a unique group of worms that live in the depths of the ocean.

Night home hemodialysis shown to be as good as transplant in treating kidney failure
For the first time, it has been shown that patients who receive night home hemodialysis live just as long as those who receive kidney transplants from deceased donors.

Chronic kidney disease linked to malfunctioning mitochondria
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) has been linked to oxidative stress caused by dysregulation of the genes that control mitochondria.

Employer-sponsored health insurance premiums projected to double by 2020
Nationally, family premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance increased 119 percent between 1999 and 2008, and could increase another 94 percent to an average $23,842 per family by 2020 if cost growth continues on its current course, according to a new Commonwealth Fund report.

Optimal flu vaccine priorities developed at Clemson University
Optimal control of the spread of the seasonal flu and H1N1 is achieved by prioritizing vaccinations for schoolchildren and for adults aged 30 to 39 in the United States.

Increased climate volatility expected to worsen poverty vulnerability in developing countries
A new study supported by the World Bank has for the first time tried to combine, understand and predict the effects of climate change on food prices and wages in developing countries to assess how badly different socio-economic strata in 16 vulnerable countries will be hit by extreme weather conditions, associated with climate change such as annual-scale hot, dry and wet extremes.

Switching on the power of stem cells
Scientists have uncovered a vital link in the chain of events that gives stem cells their remarkable properties.

Alcohol advertising reaching too many teens on cable TV, researchers say
A new study has found a striking correlation between teenage viewership and the frequency of alcohol advertising on cable television.

Let there be light: Teaching magnets to do more than just stick around
Researchers led by a University of Washington chemist have found a way to train tiny semiconductor crystals, called nanocrystals or quantum dots, to display new magnetic functions at room temperature using light as a trigger.

Study: Contrary to popular belief, parents OK with kids' homework loads
A recent study's findings should squelch sentiments that homework is robbing children of free time and that parents are opposed to homework practices.

Nostrils alternate to process competing odors
When the nose encounters two different scents simultaneously, the brain processes them separately through each nostril in an alternating fashion.

Cornell makes cancer vaccine for clinical use
The Bioproduction Facility at Cornell University has produced the first batch of NY-ESO-1 recombinant protein -- a cancer vaccine -- that will be used in clinical trials for patients facing either ovarian cancer or melanoma.

Less than 50 percent of women with abnormal paps receive follow-up care: study
Less than half of Ontario women with abnormal Pap tests receive recommended and potentially life-saving follow-up care, according to a new women's health study by researchers at St.

Parasites persuade immune cells to invite them in for dinner, says new research
The parasites that cause leishmaniasis use a quirky trick to convince the immune system to effectively invite them into cells for dinner, according to a new study published today in PLoS Pathogens.

Princeton team learns why some drugs pack such a punch
By studying the intricate mechanisms at work in protein production, a Princeton-led team has discovered why certain kinds of antibiotics are so effective.

Blood test can detect brain damage in amateur boxers
A blood test can now be used to detect brain damage in amateur boxers.

A new 'bent' on fusion
Success in cellular fusion -- as occurs at the moment of conception and when nerve cells exchange neurotransmitters -- requires that a membrane be bent before the merging process can begin, University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have shown.

Disrupting a destructive duo: U of T Mississauga researchers inhibit cancer proteins
A research team led by U of T Mississauga scientists has developed a new way to split up a dangerous pair of cancer proteins, a finding that could ultimately lead to chemotherapy that is more effective and has fewer side effects.

CRF announces featured clinical trials to be presented at TCT 2009 in San Francisco
Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics is the annual Scientific Symposium of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation.

Majority of US hospitals will have smoke-free campuses by end of year
While hospital buildings are often smoke-free, a new study finds that by February 2008, 45 percent of US hospitals had adopted

Our nostrils share a rivalry too, study finds
Your nostrils may seem to be a happy pair, working together to pick up scents.

Millionths of a second can cost millions of dollars: A new way to track network delays
Computer scientists have developed an inexpensive solution for diagnosing networking delays in data center networks as short as tens of millionths of seconds -- delays that can lead to multimillion dollar losses for investment banks running automatic stock trading systems.

Online cognitive behavioral therapy effective when delivered in real time by a therapist
Cognitive behavioral therapy seems to be effective when delivered online in real time by a therapist, with benefits maintained over eight months.

Increasing the number of kidney transplants
In most transplant centers, the kidneys of very young deceased donors are transplanted together into one patient.

Type 1 diabetes linked to immune response to wheat
Scientists at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and the University of Ottawa have discovered what may be an important clue to the cause of type 1 diabetes.

Study of 16 developing countries shows climate change could deepen poverty
Urban workers could suffer most from climate change as the cost of food drives them into poverty, according to a new study that quantifies the effects of climate on the world's poor populations.

Learning how to cope with burn injuries
More than 850 burn survivors and their families, firefighters and specialists in burn treatment from across the country are expected to attend the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors' 21st Annual World Burn Congress to share their experiences and practical advice about how to continue on the road to recovery after severe burn injury.

Study finds low risk in treating previously coiled aneurysm
The risks associated with treating a recurrent or residual brain aneurysm that was initially treated by endovascular coiling are low, according to a multicenter study led by researchers at the University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Institute.

Missouri Botanical Garden hosts historic meeting to discuss endangered plants in the Caucasus region
For the first time, American scientists and researchers from the former Soviet Union will gather in the United States to discuss a mutual concern: how to protect Caucasian plant life.

UBC research sheds light on sudden death in people with high cholesterol
Cholesterol can affect the flow of the electrical currents that generate the heart beat, according to a study from two UBC cardiovascular researchers funded by the Heart and Stroke Foundation of BC and Yukon.

Increase in visceral fat during menopause linked with testosterone
In middle-aged women, visceral fat, more commonly called belly fat, is known to be a significant risk factor for cardiovascular disease, but what causes visceral fat to accumulate?

Chinese culture at the crossroads
Recent archaeological discoveries from far-flung corners of China are forcing scientists to reconsider the origins of ancient Chinese civilization -- and a new crop of young archaeologists are delving into the modern nation's roots.

Yale researcher questions federal guidelines for seasonal and swine flu vaccines
A Yale researcher has developed a mathematical model that calls into question whether current federal guidelines on seasonal and swine flu vaccines are targeting the correct populations and preventing both the spread of and complications from the viruses.

Diabetes drug linked to increased risk of heart failure
Rosiglitazone, a drug used to treat type 2 diabetes, is associated with an increased risk of heart failure and death among older patients compared to a similar drug, concludes a study published on today.

Don't sack the manager
Experts at the University of Nottingham and Loughborough University have produced research which proves that Premier League clubs who have long-term managers are more successful than those who change their managers on a frequent basis.

Population segments differ on perceptions of cognitive health
A new special issue of the Gerontologist has identified for the first time how ethnically, culturally, linguistically and geographically diverse groups think about aging and brain health.

LSTM to lead EU project to coordinate antimalarial drug research
The European Commission is funding a two year, €500,000 project to co-ordinate European and international research into the development of new drugs to treat malaria.

Hello wearable kidney, goodbye dialysis machine
Researchers are developing a Wearable Artificial Kidney for dialysis patients, reports an upcoming paper in the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

The blossoms of maturity
Plants normally flower in response to seasonal changes, such as those associated with the end of winter or beginning of spring.

Evolution of the appendix: A biological 'remnant' no more
Writing in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology, Duke scientists and collaborators from the University of Arizona and Arizona State University conclude that Charles Darwin was wrong: The appendix is a whole lot more than an evolutionary remnant.

Universal influenza vaccination may reduce antibiotic use
We all know that influenza vaccination helps prevent disease, but a new study from Canada suggests it may also prevent another public health problem: inappropriate antibiotic use.

Forget the garlic necklace -- learn more about bats and rabies
A new book demystifies bats and eliminates many myths surrounding rabies and other related infections.

Perimeter Institute faculty member Jaume Gomis wins Early Researcher Award
Perimeter Institute Faculty member Jaume Gomis has won an Early Researcher Award from the Ministry of Research and Innovation of Ontario.

Smokeless tobacco increases risk of heart attack and stroke
People who use smokeless tobacco products like snus have a slightly higher risk of having a fatal heart attack or stroke, according to research published on today.

NASA's QuikScat sees category 3 Hurricane Bill's winds go a long distance
NASA satellites continue to capture important wind speed and cloud data that forecasters at the National Hurricane Center are using to help their forecasts.

Little known type of cholesterol may pose the greatest heart disease risk
Researchers are reporting that a little known type of cholesterol, oxycholesterol, may be a bigger heart disease threat than other forms of cholesterol.

Study: Young Arctic muskoxen better at keeping warm than scientists thought
A new study finds that young muskoxen conserve heat almost as well as adults, a finding that runs contrary to a longstanding assumption among scientists that young animals should be more vulnerable in extreme cold.

New discovery points the way towards malaria 'vaccine'
Malaria kills anywhere from one to three million people around the world annually and affects the lives of up to 500 million more.

Walking in circles
It is a common theme in many books and films: when people get lost in a desert or a jungle, they end up walking in circles.

Moms-to-be warned over use of fetal heart rate monitors
Moms-to-be are being advised not to use personal monitors to listen to their baby's heartbeat at home over fears that they may lead to delays in seeking help for reduced fetal movements.

NASA researcher nets first measure of Africa's coastal forests
Growing up in Cotonou, Benin, environmental scientist Lola Fatoyinbo of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory passed polluted mangroves daily.

Why sleep? UCLA scientist delves into one of science's great mysteries
A UCLA sleep researcher argues that sleep's primary function is to increase the efficiency of behavior when animals are awake by regulating behavior's timing and duration.

Acupuncture may bring relief for a common condition in women
Polycystic ovary syndrome, a common condition among women, can be relieved by the use of acupuncture and exercise.

ESC Congress 2009 media alert
The ESC Congress 2009, taking place in Barcelona from Aug.

Unlocking the secret of the bladder's bouncers
Researchers at Duke University Medical Center may have a new way to stop and even prevent the urinary tract infections that plague more than a third of all adults, some of them repeatedly.

Neural networks mapped in dementia patients
Different types of dementia show dissimilar changes in brain activity.

Young Afghans experience violence that is ongoing and not just confined to acts of war
Young Afghans experience violence that is ongoing and not confined to acts of war, concludes an article published online first and in an upcoming edition of the Lancet.

The ends of mRNAs may prevent the beginnings of cancer
The tail end of a cell's protein templates may contain important cues that control protein creation.

Single host gene may hold key to treating both ebola and anthrax infections
Research published by Army scientists indicates that a minor reduction in levels of one particular gene, known as CD45, can provide protection against two divergent microbes: the virus that causes Ebola hemorrhagic fever and the bacterium that causes anthrax.

Genetically engineered bacteria are sweet success against IBD
For the first time, scientists have used a genetically engineered

Reliability and benefit of diagnostic procedure for asthma in young children is unclear
The reliability of diagnosing bronchial asthma in children aged between two and five years and the benefit that the test results can have for these patients -- this is the subject of IQWiG's latest final report.

City dwellers bear disproportionate federal tax burden
Live in an expensive city? Think you pay too much in federal taxes?

Visits to Nana's may keep toddlers from developing negative age stereotypes
It's easy to list the negative stereotypes attributed to the elderly: they are considered forgetful, hard-of-hearing, absent-minded and confused.

New images capture cell's ribosomes at work
UC Berkeley researchers have captured elusive nanoscale movements of ribosomes at work, shedding light on how these cellular factories take in genetic instructions and amino acids to churn out proteins.

UAB wins NSF grant
The University of Alabama at Birmingham has won a two-year grant of nearly $1 million from the National Science Foundation to help Birmingham City School teachers incorporate XO laptop computers into the math and science curriculum. 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