Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 24, 2009
Lower-cost solar cells to be printed like newspaper, painted on rooftops
Solar cells could soon be produced more cheaply using nanoparticle

American Political Science Association announces 2009 awards
The American Political Science Association is pleased to announce its 2009 awards for excellence in the study, teaching, and practice of politics.

New analysis details devastating toll of neglected tropical diseases in sub-Saharan Africa
An analysis published Aug. 25 in the open-access journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases sheds new light on the toll that neglected tropical diseases take on sub-Saharan Africa, with an estimated 500 million people suffering from these debilitating and sometimes deadly diseases.

HIV infection and tuberculosis in South Africa -- an urgent need to escalate the public health response
The third paper documents SA's struggle with HIV/AIDS, with the chilling statistic that despite having just 0.7 percent of the world's population, the country has 17 percent of the global HIV burden.

When cells run out of fuel
Insights into the function of Parkinson's genes can help to understand the causes of this neurodegenerative disease -- and to develop new therapies.

Smoking increases risk of developing active TB
Smoking is a risk factor for active tuberculosis disease, according to a new study on TB incidence in Taiwan.

Largest firms need to double pace of CO2 reductions to avoid dangerous climate change: report
Based on current reduction targets, the world's largest companies are on track to reach the scientifically recommended level of greenhouse gas cuts by 2089 -- 39 years too late to avoid dangerous climate change, reveals a research report --

IU national survey finds majority of Americans believe 'myths' about health care reform
Findings from a national survey of Americans by researchers from Indiana University Center for Health Policy and Professionalism Research and the Indiana University Center for Bioethics says that Americans do believe the

UCSB scientists discover potential drug delivery system
Scientists at UC Santa Barbara have discovered a potential new drug delivery system.

Scientists discover new species of crustacean on Lanzarote
During a cave diving expedition to explore the Tunnel de la Atlantida, the world's longest submarine lava tube on Lanzarote in the Canary Islands, a team of scientists and cave divers have discovered a previously unknown species of crustacean, belonging to the remipede genus Speleonectes.

Program trains speech-language teachers to aid immigrant children in rural areas
Identifying and treating communication disorders in immigrant children is the focus of MOSAIC (Multiplying Opportunities for Services and Access for Immigrant Children), which will train future speech-language pathologists and other professionals to work with immigrant children who are learning to speak English as a second language.

New genomic research to tackle supply and demand issues in emerging forestry biofuels industry
In order to reduce the province's greenhouse gas emissions, the BC Bioenergy Strategy is calling for greatly increased production of renewable biofuels such as ethanol, from biomass grown in BC.

Improvement of liver stem cell engraftment by protein delivery
Researchers at INSERM have engineered a chimeric protein that increases cell survival, migration and proliferation to improve stem cell engraftment.

Taking the pee? Cranberry juice fails to cut it
Current clinical evidence for using cranberry juice to combat urinary tract infections is

New research: Consumption of sugar substitutes assists in long-term weight control
A new study published in the International Journal of Obesity reports that consumption of sugar-free beverages sweetened with low-calorie sweeteners increases dietary restraint, a key aspect of successful weight maintenance.

Aurora B answers an XIST-ential question
Early in development, mammalian female cells counteract their double dose of X chromosomes by coating one of them with a large RNA named XIST.

UCLA scientists uncover immune system's role in bone loss
Got high cholesterol? You might want to consider a bone density test.

The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation recommit to gastroenterology's future
The American Gastroenterological Association Foundation for Digestive Health and Nutrition today announced that the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation has agreed to renew its three-year grant to benefit high school students who demonstrate high potential for careers in digestive disease research.

Mild glucose intolerance in pregnancy may be associated with cardiovascular risk
Mild glucose intolerance in pregnancy may be an early identifier of women who are at increased risk of heart disease in the future, found a new study published in CMAJ.

JNCI news brief: Surgeon training found effective in breast cancer sentinel lymph node trial
Training methods for surgeons who perform breast cancer sentinel lymph node resection were found to be effective in almost 97 percent of surgeons assessed, according to a new study published online Aug.

Strong link found between concussions and brain tissue injury
Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have linked areas of brain injury to specific altered mental processes caused by concussions.

Researchers find that employees who are engaged in their work have happier home life
Kansas State University psychology researchers studied how positive work experiences extend into family life and facilitate family interactions.

Study finds Medicare prescription benefit program has exceeded expectations
The program created to provide Medicare recipients with prescription drug benefits exceeded expectations during its first two years as it extended pharmacy coverage to most seniors while reducing their overall spending on drugs, according to a study.

Saving the lives of South Africa's mothers, babies and children: Can the health system deliver?
South Africa is one of only 12 countries in which mortality rates for children have increased since the baseline for the Millennium Development Goals in 1990.

Online social networks leak personal information to tracking sites, new study shows
More than a half billion people use online social networks, posting vast amounts of information about themselves to share with online friends and colleagues.

The health and health system of South Africa: Historical roots of current public health challenges
The roots of a dysfunctional health system and the collision of the epidemics of communicable and noncommunicable diseases in South Africa can be found in policies from periods of the country's history, from colonial subjugation, apartheid dispossession, to the post-apartheid period.

Higher level of testosterone in women linked to choice of risky careers
Higher levels of testosterone are associated with a greater appetite for risk in women.

Satellite imagery shows Typhoon Vamco has a huge 45-mile wide eye
Typhoon Vamco is being as stubborn in its quest to live in the Pacific Ocean as Bill is in the Atlantic Ocean this week, and NASA satellite data confirmed that the large storm has a huge eye, about 45 miles in diameter.

Searching for an interglacial on Greenland
The first season of the international drilling project NEEM (North Greenland Eemian Ice Drilling) in north-western Greenland was completed at Aug.

Fat in the liver -- not the belly -- is a better marker for disease risk
New findings from nutrition researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Cancer researchers, IT specialists win bioinformatics award
Several years' worth of leading-edge adaptation and shared-information problem solving has paid off for one US cancer center.

NIAID to fund new human immune profiling research centers
NIAID is accepting grant applications for a new initiative to establish a consortium of human immune profiling research centers.

Fly eyes help researchers 'see' new proteins involved in memory
With more than 1,500 eyes, not much escapes the fruit fly's sight.

Rewriting general relativity?
Scientists are trying to figure out to what extent a new theory of quantum gravity will reproduce general relativity.

IGC scientist awarded prestigious European Research Council Starting grant
Rui Costa, principal investigator of the Champalimaud Neuroscience Program at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia in Portugal, is one of only 219 recipients of the prestigious European Research Council Starting grants, out of 2,503 applicants for the 2009 edition of this flagship award scheme.

Wisconsin team grows retina cells from skin-derived stem cells
A team of scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health has successfully grown multiple types of retina cells from two types of stem cells -- suggesting a future in which damaged retinas could be repaired by cells grown from the patient's own skin.

Scientists announce unique acacia tree's promise to revive African soils
Scientists said today at the 2nd World Congress of Agroforestry that a type of acacia tree with an unusual growth habit -- unlike virtually all other trees -- holds particular promise for farmers in Africa as a free source of nitrogen for their soils that could last generations.

New technique can help diagnose mesothelioma
A new technique may help clinicians hone in on a diagnosis in patients presenting with a pleural effusion of unknown cause.

Twitter and health care -- can a tweet a day keep the doctor away?
Twitter, the increasingly popular social networking tool that was at first merely a convenient way to stay in touch with friends and family, is emerging as a potentially valuable means of real-time, on-the-go communication of health care information and medical alerts, as described in a feature article in the latest issue of Telemedicine and e-Health, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert Inc., and the official journal of the American Telemedicine Association.

Researchers find saying 'I'm sorry' influences jurors
Apologizing for negative outcomes -- a practice common even with children -- may lead to more favorable verdicts for auditors in court, according to researchers at George Mason University and Oklahoma State University.

USC study finds changes in DNA patterns are linked to prenatal smoke exposure
A new study by researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California has found that the life-long effects of maternal smoking during pregnancy may occur through specific changes in DNA patterns.

JNCI news brief: Melanosome dynamics and sensitivity of melanoma cells to chemotherapy
Manipulating the functions of melanosomes -- the organelles in pigment-producing cells -- may enhance the activity of anticancer drugs used against melanoma, according to a new study published online Aug.

Young leukemia and lymphoma patients live longer today than in years past
A new analysis has found that adolescents and young adults who were recently diagnosed with blood-related cancers have better long-term survival rates than those who were diagnosed in the 1980s.

Decreased bone mineral density in adults born with very low birth weight
In a study published this week in the open-access medical journal, PLoS Medicine, Petteri Hovi and colleagues from the National Institute for Health and Welfare Helsinki, Finland, evaluated skeletal health in 144 adults (ages ranging from 18 to 27 years) who were born preterm with very low birth weight.

Heat stress in older people and people with chronic diseases
People over the age of 60 are the most vulnerable to heat waves, with 82-92 percent more deaths than average occurring in this age group.

The art of persuasion: Are consumers interested in abstract or concrete features?
What types of messages are most persuasive? For example, would you be more likely to buy a TiVo if an ad described it as offering you freedom or if it explained how you could replay sports events?

Resolvyx announces positive data -- Phase 2 trial of resolvin RX-10045 for dry eye syndrome
Resolvyx Pharmaceuticals announced positive data from a Phase 2 clinical study evaluating RX-10045, a resolvin administered as a topical eye drop for the treatment of patients with chronic dry eye syndrome.

JCI table of contents: Aug. 24, 2009
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published Aug.

Scientists shed new light on behavior of shark 'tweens' and 'teenagers'
A long-term study by the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science and others has shown that young lemon sharks born in Bimini, Bahamas, tend to stay near their coastal birthplace for many years.

Cancer patients who are separated when diagnosed have worse survival rates
Among unmarried cancer patients, those who are separated at the time of diagnosis do not live as long as widowed, divorced and never married patients.

Idaho researchers win grant to explore DNA frontier
Three Idaho researchers are recipients of the National Science Foundation's EUREKA Award and the youngest participants in the program's history.

Misfolded proteins: The fundamental problem is aging
Proteins are essential for all biological activities and the cell's health.

Bats use love songs during mating, researchers say
Love songs aren't only for soft rock FM stations -- they're also used by romantic bats, and researchers at Texas A&M University and the University of Texas at Austin are believed to be the first to decode the mysterious love sounds made by the winged creatures.

NISS to work on syndomic surveillance project for NSF and DTRA
The National Science Foundation and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency have awarded $664,019 to the National Institute of Statistical Sciences for collaborative research to develop Bayesian methods for syndromic surveillance.

Placing ads: Location, location, location
Marketers have always known they must carefully choose where they place their ads, but a new study in Journal of Consumer Research shows that even the nearby content in a publication -- its difficulty and design -- affect consumers' perception and acceptance of the ad message.

US crop yields could wilt in heat
Yields of three of the most important crops produced in the United States -- corn, soybeans and cotton -- are predicted to fall off a cliff if temperatures rise due to climate change.

2009 Awards of World Cultural Council
The World Cultural Council will present the 2009 Albert Einstein World Award of Science to Sir John Houghton, president of the John Ray Initiative.

What she sees in you -- facial attractiveness explained
When it comes to potential mates, women may be as complicated as men claim they are, according to psychologists.

USDA grant to educate AIDS patients about food safety
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health have received a grant from the US Department of Agriculture to educate AIDS patients on food safety.

Violence and injuries in South Africa: Prioritizing an agenda for prevention
Violence and injuries are the second leading cause of death and lost disability-adjusted life years in SA.

Link between erectile dysfunction and obesity explored in obesity and weight management
Obese men are at increased risk for erectile dysfunction, likely caused by atherosclerosis-related hypertension and cardiovascular disease, as well as hormonal changes associated with obesity, as described in a timely article published in Obesity and Weight Management, a journal zine published by Mary Ann Liebert Inc.

How can clinicians help patients make decisions consistent with their values?
In a pair of trials carried out over the Internet, Cheryl Carling and colleagues from the Norwegian Knowledge Center for the Health Services attempted to understand how information should best be presented to individuals in order to help them make health care choices that are most consistent with their values.

Still holding their breath: Mortality on lung transplant wait list remains high for some
Mortality remains high among patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension awaiting lung transplant, despite changes to the allocation system that were designed to reduce mortality and increase the equitable distribution of donor organs, according to new research out of University of California, San Francisco.

K-State chemist gets grant for research aiding in development of artificial photovoltaic devices
A Kansas State University professor has a grant to study an area of physical chemistry that could help in the development of devices that more efficiently convert solar energy into electricity.

Why Weight Watchers succeeds: Meetings provide a blend of spirituality and therapy
Weight Watchers is the world's largest support group, with more than 1.5 million members worldwide.

NASA expands high-end computing system for climate simulation
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., made available to scientists in August the first unit of an expanded high-end computing system that will serve as the centerpiece of a new climate simulation capability.

New edition of Infections of Leisure updates, adds new chapters
Many leisure activities, however enjoyable they may be, expose us to a growing list of pathogenic microbes, some new and many increasingly resistant to current therapies.

CEO of American College of Physicians recognized among '100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare'
John Tooker, M.D., M.B.A., F.A.C.P., executive vice president and chief executive officer of the American College of Physicians, was named to the list of the 100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare, an annual recognition of the women and men considered among the most influential throughout the industry.

Share and share alike: How the modern world affects our tendency to share
From giving directions to a stranger to cooking a meal for loved ones, sharing is an essential part of the human experience.

World's last great forest under threat: New study
The world's last remaining

Forum on blood spots, genetic research and privacy to be held in Bethesda Sept. 23, 2009
To address the scientific use of dried blood spots and other compelling issues surrounding the use of newborn screening blood spots, experts from across the US from a number of renowned institutions including the Mayo Clinic, the March of Dimes, the American College of Medical Genetics and the Genetic Alliance will host a public/professional forum and Internet webinar on

Early, aggressive treatment recommended for critically ill patients with hematological malignancy
A study of 7,689 admissions from 178 adult intensive care units in England, Wales and Northern Ireland has revealed the factors associated with a higher mortality rate in hematological malignancy.

Women are sort of more tentative than men, aren't they?
Women hedge, issue disclaimers and ask questions when they communicate, language features that can suggest uncertainty, lack of confidence and low status.

CSHL scientists develop new method to detect copy number variants using DNA sequencing technologies
A research team led by Associate Professor Jonathan Sebat, Ph.D., of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has developed a sensitive and accurate way of identifying gene copy number variations.

Autonomous underwater robot reduces ship fuel consumption
As the US Navy minimizes its dependence on foreign oil, the Office of Naval Research is a front runner in supporting and bringing forth innovative solutions to fuel consumption challenges.

Low-carb diets linked to atherosclerosis and impaired blood vessel growth
Even as low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets have proven successful at helping individuals to rapidly lose weight, little is known about the diets' long-term effects on vascular health.

High blood pressure linked to memory problems in middle age
High blood pressure is linked to memory problems in people over 45, according to research published in the Aug.

Study finds promise in combined transplant/vaccine therapy for high-risk leukemia
Two of the most powerful approaches to cancer treatment -- a stem cell transplant and an immune system-stimulating vaccine -- appear to reinforce each other in patients with an aggressive, hard-to-control form of leukemia, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists have found.

To each his own: Consumers and self-designed products
From running shoes to ceiling fans, consumers are becoming the designers of their own products.

Alcohol abuse screening/brief interventions in community hospital emergency department
There are 7.6 million alcohol-related emergency department visits each year.

Comments with the Lancet South Africa series
In the first comment with the series, Lancet Editor Dr.

Study: Smoking may worsen malnutrition in developing nations
A new study finds that smokers in rural Indonesia finance their habit by dipping into the family food budget -- which ultimately results in poorer nutrition for their children.

When consumers search for authenticity: In the eye of the beholder?
Is McDonald's an authentic brand? What about Marlboro? According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, consumers are able to find authenticity in unlikely places.

The burden of noncommunicable disease in South Africa
The fourth paper focuses on the emerging chronic diseases epidemic in South Africa, and is written by Professor Bongani Mayosi, Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa, and colleagues.

Genomic study yields plausible cause of colony collapse disorder
Researchers report this week that they have found a surprising but reliable marker of colony collapse disorder, a baffling malady that in 2007-2008 killed off more than a third of commercial honey bees in the US.

Achieving the health Millennium Development Goals for South Africa: Challenges and priorities
Fifteen years after liberation from apartheid, South Africans are facing new challenges for which the highest caliber of leadership, vision, and commitment is needed.

New prognostic marker for human breast cancer
Elevated levels of GLI1 (glioma-associated oncogene homolog 1) protein in human breast cancer are associated with unfavorable prognosis and progressive stages of disease.

Tipping elements remain a 'hot' issue
Research published by climate scientists at the University of East Anglia has been named one of the most highly cited in its field in the last two years.

Trust in a teardrop
Dr. Oren Hasson of Tel Aviv University's Department of Zoology is studying crying from the standpoint of evolutionary biology. 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