Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 26, 2009
Tunnels concentrate air pollution by up to 1,000 times
A toxic cocktail of ultrafine particles is lurking inside road tunnels in concentration levels so high they have the potential to harm drivers and passengers, a new study has found.

10- and 11-year-olds feel pressure to have a perfect body
A study of 4,254 Canadian schoolchildren has shown a direct association between BMI and satisfaction with their body shape.

Tropical Storm Ignacio may get some company in the eastern Pacific
Tropical Storm Ignacio may not be alone in the Eastern Pacific Ocean for long.

Carnegie Mellon researchers develop tool to rank death rates
A new Web site,, developed by Carnegie Mellon researchers and students allows users to query and compare mortality rates globally.

Pitt study finds molecular link between insulin resistance and inflammation
An exploration of the molecular links between insulin resistance and inflammation may have revealed a novel target for diabetes treatment, say scientists at the John G.

Direct-to-consumer genetic testing -- 2-day symposium
Companies are increasingly offering genetic tests directly to consumers to assess their risk for illnesses such as breast cancer or diabetes.

Panel assesses evidence for the collection and use of family health history information
Though most Americans are familiar with completing a questionnaire about their family health history when visiting health care providers, an independent panel was convened by the National Institutes of Health this week to critically assess exactly what we know and what we need to learn about how this process relates to improving health.

Working too much can be dangerous for teen's sexual health
Allowing teens to work too many hours in the wrong environment can be dangerous for their sexual health by fostering conditions that lead them to older sex partners, a new study shows.

D2 lymphadenectomy improves the long-term survival for patients with node-negative gastric cancer
The number of lymph nodes dissection is closely related to the postoperative pathologic staging and the prognostic assessment.

UCF discovery could open door to obesity, diabetes treatments
A UCF research team has identified a new genetic mechanism that controls the body's fat-building process.

OHSU Primate Center scientists develop gene therapy method to prevent some inherited diseases
Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University believe they have developed one of the first forms of genetic therapy which would combat inherited diseases passed on from mothers to their children through mutated DNA in cell mitochondria.

Vamco's gusty remnants cause high wind warnings in Alaska's Aleutian Islands
The remnants from Typhoon Vamco are sweeping over Alaska's Aleutian Island chain today and tomorrow, and high wind warnings have been posted by the National Weather Service.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Danny form, US East Coast on watch
An area of low pressure east of the Bahamas has now powered up into Tropical Storm Danny, and NASA's Aqua satellite captured his strengthening thunderstorms in infrared imagery.

Has northern-hemisphere pollution affected Australian rainfall?
Australian scientists using a climate model that includes a treatment of tiny particles -- or aerosols -- report that the build up of these particles in the northern hemisphere affects their simulation of recent climate change in the southern hemisphere, including rainfall in Australia.

NRL successfully completes first major development milestone on the NPOESS MIS program
Naval Research Laboratory's Spacecraft Engineering Department and Remote Sensing Division announced it has successfully completed the System Requirements and Design Review for the National Polar-orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System Microwave Imager/Sounder program.

Nuisance or nutrient? Kudzu shows promise as a dietary supplement
Kudzu, the nuisance vine that has overgrown almost 10 million acres in the southeastern United States, may sprout into a dietary supplement.

Runaway girls reap strong benefits from nurse interventions
A nurse intervention program that helps sexually exploited runaway girls reconnect to family, school and health care reduces trauma and restores healthy behaviors, according to a new study led by University of British Columbia researcher Elizabeth Saewyc and Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota nurse practitioner Laurel Edinburgh.

Discovery of natural odors could help develop mosquito repellents
Entomologists at the University of California, Riverside working on fruit flies have discovered a novel class of compounds that could pave the way for developing inexpensive and safe mosquito repellents for combating West Nile virus and other tropical diseases.

Return of business to New Orleans post-Katrina
LSU Professor and Chair of Environmental Sciences Nina Lam and Professor and Louisiana Real Estate Commission Chair Kelley Pace, along with colleagues from LSU, Tulane University and Texas State University, published the results of a study analyzing business return to New Orleans post-Katrina.

Who are you? Mobile ID devices find out using NIST guidelines
A new publication that recommends best practices for the next generation of portable biometric acquisition devices -- Mobile ID -- has been published by NIST.

Scientists find evidence of iridescence in 40 million-year-old feather fossil
A team of paleontologists and ornithologists led by Yale University has discovered evidence of vivid iridescent colors in feather fossils more than 40 million years old.

International Greenland ice coring effort sets new drilling record in 2009
A new international research effort on the Greenland ice sheet with the University of Colorado at Boulder as the lead US institution set a record for single-season deep ice-core drilling this summer, recovering more than a mile of ice core that is expected to help scientists better assess the risks of abrupt climate change in the future.

Hankering for molecular electronics? Grab the new NIST sandwich
A research team from NIST and the University of Maryland has found a simple method of sandwiching organic molecules between silicon and metal, two materials fundamental to electronic components.

Strictly ballroom analysis
Computer scientists in Taiwan have devised a neural network program that can successfully classify a computerized music file based on its beat and tempo.

Scientists get first close look at stimulated brain
With the aid of optical imaging technology, researchers have for the first time been able to see how neurons react to electrical stimulation.

New questions in the climate change debate -- essential ethical and philosophical perspectives
Researchers from within the fields of science, the arts and theology add new perspectives to the climate change debate with the publication of the textbook

WPI professor receives CAREER Award to pursue groundbreaking research on dust explosions
Although dust buildup is among the most serious and common fire and explosion hazards in a range of industries, little is known about how dust ignites or how dust explosions propagate, according to Ali Rangwala, assistant professor of fire protection engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Pass the prion: Inherited mutation leads to spontaneous prion infectivity
A new study with transgenic mice provides the first concrete evidence that a disease-associated prion protein mutation in an otherwise normal mammalian brain can generate a unique self-perpetuating transmissible agent that is infectious to other animals.

It's not all in your head: Descending neural mechanisms of placebo-induced pain control
A new study reveals that when it comes to pain control, the

Is endotoxin receptor CD14 rs2569190/C-159T gene correlated with chronic hepatitis C?
The variant allele T within the endotoxin receptor CD14 gene, rs2569190/C-159T was found to be associated with progressive alcoholic-related fibrosis.

More research on risks and benefits of medical imaging needed
In a new study of nearly 1 million adults between the ages of 18 and 64, nearly 70 percent of participants underwent at least one medical imaging procedure between July 2005 and December 2007, resulting in an average effective dose of radiation nearly double the amount they would otherwise be exposed to from natural sources.

New molecular markers for tumor aggressiveness in biliary tract cancer
The research team led by Dr. Hiroyuki Yamamoto of Sapporo Medical University systematically analyzed the expression of laminin-5 (LN5) chains and matrix metalloproteinase 7 in biliary tract cancer.

A better test to detect DNA for diagnosing diease, investigating crimes
Researchers in Singapore are reporting development of a new electronic sensor that shows promise as a faster, less expensive and more practical alternative than tests now used to detect DNA.

Global priority regions for carnivore conservation
In a study published by the peer reviewed open access journal, PLoS ONE, on Aug.

New technique could eliminate inherited mitochondrial disease
Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have developed an experimental technique with the potential to prevent a class of hereditary disorders passed on from mother to child.

This idea doesn't stink: New tech cuts industrial odors, pollutants
A North Carolina State University researcher has devised a new technology that really does not stink.

Tropical storms endure over wet land, fizzle over dry
If it has already rained, it's going to continue to pour, according to a Purdue University study of how ocean-origin storms behave when they come ashore.

Lower tacrolimus doses is suitable for living donor liver transplantation with small-for-size graft
Tacrolimus (FK506) is a potent immunosuppressive agent widely used in organ transplantation.

CER study demonstrated asthma patients had better overall results with oral controllers
A newly published comparative effectiveness study demonstrated that asthma patients in general had better clinical outcomes with oral controllers than inhaled corticosteroids.

Arterial, venous or total mesenteric ischemia/reperfusion causes different types of injury?
When blood flow to the intestine or other organs is interrupted and then reinstated, severe injury takes place.

Tips from the American Journal of Pathology
These tips provide highlights from the September 2009 issue of the American Journal of Pathology.

Rats' mental 'instant replay' drives next moves
Researchers at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory have found that rats use a mental instant replay of their actions to help them decide what to do next, shedding new light on how animals and humans learn and remember.

Up-scale: Frequency converter enables ultra-high sensitivity infrared spectrometry
In what may prove to be a major development for scientists in fields ranging from forensics to quantum communications, researchers at NIST have developed a new, highly sensitive, low-cost technique for measuring light in the near-infrared range.

New tools for sustainable farming
Scientists have developed new indicators and models to analyze, assess and optimize the sustainability of agricultural enterprises -- with the aim of improving their environmental balance without compromising operating efficiency or social performance.

'Hedgehog' pathway may hold key to anti-cancer therapy
Scientists in Switzerland have discovered a way to block the growth of human colon cancer cells, preventing the disease from reaching advanced stages.

Rutgers-Camden developing enzyme function database
Since the advent of the Human Genome Project an explosion of data has sent the science world scrambling.

Safer, denser acetylene storage in an organic framework
The century-old challenge of storing and transporting acetylene safely may have been solved in principle by a team of scientists working at NIST.

Disclosing financial conflicts of interest to research participants may not be enough
Disclosure of financial conflicts of interests to potential participants in research is important, but may have a limited role in managing these conflicts, according to a new study by Johns Hopkins, Duke and Wake Forest.

Bird flu leaves the nest -- adapting to a new host
Current research suggests that viral polymerase may provide a new therapeutic target for host-adapted avian influenza.

LLNL research reveals how blast waves may cause human brain injury even without direct head impacts
New research on the effects of blast waves could lead to an enhanced understanding of head injuries and improved military helmet design.

Water scarcity started 15 years ago
New analysis shows that the water scarcity being experienced in southeast Australia started up to 15 years ago.

How to increase colonoscopy attendance?
The low attendance rate for colonoscopy screening for colorectal cancer is associated with unsatisfactory screening efficacy.

Trifid triple threat
Today ESO has released a new image of the Trifid Nebula, showing just why it is a firm favorite of astronomers, amateur and professional alike.

Iridescence found in 40-million-year-old fossil bird feather
Known for their wide variety of vibrant plumage, birds have evolved various chemical and physical mechanisms to produce these beautiful colors over millions of years.

Antimicrobial antibodies in celiac disease: Trick or treat?
Present study found that anti-glycan antibodies were associated with celiac disease.

People vary widely in ability to eliminate arsenic from the body
Large variations exist in peoples' ability to eliminate arsenic from the body, according to a new study that questions existing standards for evaluating the human health risks from the potentially toxic substance.

Employee's loyalty to workplace damaged by unfair treatment
A new study reveals that unfair treatment of employees is damaging to mental health.

Gene mutation alone causes transmissible prion disease
Whitehead Institute researchers have shown definitively that mutations associated with prion diseases are sufficient to cause a transmissible neurodegenerative disease.

Call center optimization
A research report in the current issue of the International Journal of Engineering Systems Modeling and Simulation suggests that help desks can be optimized by adding very few extra staff.

Small peptide found to stop lung cancer tumor growth in mice
In new animal research done by investigators at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, scientists have discovered a treatment effective in mice at blocking the growth and shrinking the size of lung cancer tumors, one of the leading causes of cancer death in the world.

Getting wired: How the brain does it
In a new study, researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, McGill University have found an important mechanism involved in setting up the vast communications network of connections in the brain.

Study shines light on night-time alertness
The circadian system is not the only pathway involved in determining alertness at night.

With 3 new reference materials, NIST gets the dirt on soil
NIST has issued three new certified reference materials for soil.

Grasso and team awarded $2.8 million, 5-year grant by HHS HIV/AIDS Bureau
Dr. S. Vincent Grasso, a member of the Stevens Healthcare Information Technology Management Advisory Board and Seminar Leader for the Stevens Healthcare Educational Partnership, will act as technical lead, solution provider and systems integrator within a nation-wide initiative to enhance the quality of care to women of color suffering from HIV/AIDS.

Do the media lead entrepreneurs astray?
If you're looking for reliable information, then you won't necessarily find it in the newspaper.

Newly improved NIST reference material targets infant formula analysis
Chemists at NIST have issued a new certified reference material -- a standardized sample backed by NIST -- for determining the concentrations of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in infant and adult nutritional formula and similar products.

Conflict of interest disclosures in clinical trials need to be clearer
When enrolling patients in a clinical trial, researchers should disclose relevant financial relationships that might affect a patient's decision about participation.

The American Phytopathological Society announces 2009 awardees
The American Phytopathological Society is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2009 awards.

European REACH legislation for chemicals may require more animals and funds than estimated
Implementation of REACH legislation may require 54 million research animals and €9.5 billion ($13.4 billion) over the next 10 years, which represents 20 times the number of animals and six times the cost anticipated in previous estimates, according to an analysis led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Adults with genetic disorder PKU need to get back to the clinic
Adults with PKU need to get back into treatment. If not -- complications will resurface.

Star-birth myth 'busted'
An international team of researchers has debunked one of astronomy's long held beliefs about how stars are formed, using a set of galaxies found with CSIRO's Parkes radio telescope.

PPAR-g agonists have potential therapeutic role in gastric carcinoma?
Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) are nuclear hormone receptors, which play an essential role in various physiological functions.

Pioneering research succeeds in producing industrially vital chemical through engineered bacteria
A team of South Korean scientists have succeeded in engineering the bacterium E. coli to produce the industrial chemical putrescine.

New ultrasensitive electronic sensor array speeds up DNA detection
A novel electronic sensor array for more rapid, accurate and cost-efficient testing of DNA for disease diagnosis and biological research has shown

Gene assay to help to predict lung cancer treatment resistance
The genes that may contribute to drug resistance in non-small cell lung cancer can be predicted.

NASA eyes Hilda's Hawaiian hangout -- south of the islands
Tropical Storm Hilda is hanging on to tropical storm force winds, and continues to track south of the Hawaiian Islands.

Penetrating insights: NIST airframe tests help ensure better shielding for flight instruments
Recent tests by researchers at NIST will provide much needed, independent data on how electromagnetic radiation penetrates aircraft, helping to ensure continued air travel safety. 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