Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 02, 2009
HPV vaccine could prevent breast cancer: Australian research
Vaccinating women against the human papillomavirus may prevent some forms of breast cancer and save tens of thousands of lives each year, new Australian research suggests.

Trash or treasure? Discarded US computers often get a second life
More computers discarded by consumers in the United States are getting a second life in developing countries than previously believed, according to a new study -- the most comprehensive ever done on the topic -- reported in ACS' semimonthly journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Rise in weight-loss drugs prescribed to combat childhood obesity
Thousands of children and adolescents are using anti-obesity drugs that in the UK are only licensed for use by adults.

Breakthrough in bubble research at Bath
A researcher from the University of Bath has found a new approach to an old geometric problem of modeling the most efficient way of packing shapes to form a foam.

University of Georgia researchers show component of mothballs is present in deep-space clouds
Researchers from the University of Georgia have just shown for the first time that one component of clouds emitting unusual infrared light know as the Unidentified Infrared Bands is a gaseous version of naphthalene, the chief component of mothballs back on Earth.

New study shows those blinded by brain injury may still 'see'
Except in clumsy moments, we rarely knock over the box of cereal or glass of orange juice as we reach for our morning cup of coffee.

Detecting often undiagnosed pain in people with dementia
The elderly who suffer from dementia aren't able to say when something hurts or is sore.

Time to tap climate change-combating potential of the world's ecosystems
Investing in restoration and maintenance of the Earth's multitrillion dollar ecosystems -- from forests and mangroves to wetlands and river basins -- can have a key role in countering climate change and climate-proofing vulnerable economies.

Evidence that priming affiliation increases helping behavior in infants as young as 18 months
In a new study, researchers found that priming infants with subtle cues to affiliation increases their tendency to be helpful.

Biomedical Research Centre developing enhanced cells as therapies
An increased understanding of the role of the body's immune system in the development of diseases such as prostate cancer, squamous cell carcinoma, type 1 diabetes, autoimmune liver disease and in the rejection of transplanted organs by some transplant patients, has paved the way for a pioneering research program which aims to develop

IGRT may improve outcomes for obese prostate cancer patients
Moderately to severely obese prostate cancer patients may have improved treatment outcomes when treated with image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) over traditional external beam radiation therapy (EBRT) because IGRT corrects for prostate shifts, which, if not planned for, can lead to incorrect doses of radiation to the disease site, according to a study in the Sept.

Chemists reach from the molecular to the real world with creation of 3-D DNA crystals
New York University chemists have created 3-D DNA structures, a breakthrough bridging the molecular world to the world where we live.

A unique gateway to timely legal and financial information
An innovative, well-organized portal with great franchise potential, designed and developed by the partners of EUREKA project E!

Keeping the suicidal soldier alive
Prof. Talma Hendler from Tel Aviv University demonstrates that functional magnetic resonance imaging can be used to forecast which soldiers might be vulnerable to stress psychopathology.

Powerful new 'molecular GPS' helps probe aging and disease processes
Scientists in Michigan are reporting the development of a powerful new probe for identifying proteins affected by a key chemical process important in aging and disease.

Patients' pretreatment quality of life can predict overall lung cancer survival
Research published in the September 2009 issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology has found that an individual's quality of life prior to treatment can help predict the overall survival of patients with advanced stage non-small cell lung cancer.

Study casts new light on research of controversial scientist Paul Kammerer
A new study may help end the controversy surrounding Lamarckian experimentalist Paul Kammerer.

Buyer beware: Estrogen supplements not as effective as claimed
Dietary supplements claiming to help postmenopausal women with bone health may not be doing what they say, according to new research from Purdue University.

Dead ahead: Similar early warning signals of change in climate
What do abrupt changes in ocean circulation and Earth's climate, shifts in wildlife populations and ecosystems, the global finance market and its system-wide crashes, and asthma attacks and epileptic seizures have in common?

Secrets of the 4 chambers revealed by reptile hearts
The first genetic link in the evolution of the heart from three-chambered to four-chambered has been found, illuminating part of the puzzle of how birds and mammals became warm-blooded.

Research recommends compromise when choosing conservation site
A lot of variables come into play when selecting a site for environmental conservation that yields benefits to people nearby such as wildlife needs, species and vegetation uniqueness, and costs to the government or community.

Hospital infections cost $1 billion in lost bed days
Infections caught in hospital are costing the Australian health care system more than 850,000 lost bed days, according to a new study by Queensland University of Technology.

YouTube videos yield clues to brain injury symptom
Researchers analyzing YouTube

NOAA report explains sea level anomaly this summer along the US Atlantic coast
Persistent winds and a weakened current in the Mid-Atlantic contributed to higher than normal sea levels along the Eastern Seaboard in June and July, according to a new NOAA technical report.

UAB researchers find possible use for the vine that ate the South
Kudzu, the fast-growing vine that has gobbled up some 10 million acres in the Southeast, may prove to be a valuable dietary supplement for metabolic syndrome, a condition that affects 50 million Americans, say researchers at UAB.

NOAA scientists map fish habitat and movements at Gray's Reef Marine Sanctuary
Two related research expeditions by NOAA scientists to track the habitat preferences and movements of fish at Gray's Reef National Marine Sanctuary may help managers protect overfished species such as red snapper and grouper.

Boron-based compounds trick a biomedical protein
Chemists and biologists at the University of Oregon have successfully demonstrated that specially synthesized boron compounds are readily accepted in biologically active enzymes, a move that, they say, is a proof of concept that could lead to new drug design strategies.

Story tips from the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory September 2009
Specialized cameras at weigh stations in Kentucky are helping ensure that operators of commercial vehicles are abiding by all state and federal laws.

Fox Chase Cancer Center receives $8 million NIH grant to expand laboratory animal research facility
The Fox Chase Cancer Center has received an $8 million grant from the National Center for Research Resources of the National Institutes of Health to expand their laboratory animal research facility.

Believing is seeing
Folk wisdom usually has it that

Why solitary reptiles lay eggs in communal nests
Reptiles are not known to be the most social of creatures.

Sustainable fertilizer: Urine and wood ash produce large harvest
Results of the first study evaluating the use of human urine mixed with wood ash as a fertilizer for food crops has found that the combination can be substituted for costly synthetic fertilizers to produce bumper crops of tomatoes without introducing any risk of disease for consumers.

A breath of fresh air could improve drug toxicity screening
A team led by Massachusetts General Hospital researchers has developed an innovative way to culture liver cells for drug toxicity screening.

ASGE recognizes 10 endoscopy units for quality as part of its Endoscopy Unit Recognition Program
The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy has recognized 10 endoscopy units as part of its program specifically dedicated to promoting quality in endoscopy, in all settings where it is practiced in the United States.

Hedgehog trial results suggest antitumor activity in basal cell skin cancer
Study results published in the New England Journal of Medicine indicate effectiveness of the drug GDC-0449 for advanced skin cancer, as well as potential use for other cancers.

Gladstone scientists find first genetic link between reptile and human heart evolution
Scientists at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease have traced the evolution of the four-chambered human heart to a common genetic factor linked to the development of hearts in turtles and other reptiles.

University of Nevada, Reno researcher uses 100,000 degree heat to study plasma
University of Nevada, Reno researcher and faculty member Roberto Mancini is studying ultra-high temperature and non-equilibrium plasmas to mimic what happens to matter in accretion disks around black holes.

Diesel exhaust is linked to cancer development via new blood vessel growth
Scientists here have demonstrated that the link between diesel fume exposure and cancer lies in how diesel exhaust induces the growth of new blood vessels that supply solid tumors.

Canadian research breakthrough holds promise for development of effective cancer therapies
Researchers Dr. Marc Therrien at the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer of the University of Monteéal, and Dr.

NTU professor bags inaugural award honoring women in science
Associate Professor Lam Yeng Ming, 35, a lecturer with the School of Materials Science and Engineering at the Nanyang Technological University, has been awarded one of the three inaugural L'Oréal Singapore for Women in Science National Fellowships 2009.

Scottsdale Healthcare-TGen clinical trial results signal advances against skin cancer
Analyses of clinical trial results published today in the New England Journal of Medicine shows a potential new investigational therapy for advanced and metastatic basal cell skin cancer.

Avastin dramatically improves response, survival in deadly recurrrent glioblastomas
The targeted therapy Avastin, alone and in combination with the chemotherapy drug CPT-11, significantly increased response rates, progression-free survival times and survival rates in patients with a deadly form of brain cancer that had recurred.

University of Hawaii at Manoa astronomer finds giant galaxy
University of Hawaii at Manoa astronomer Dr. Tomotsugu Goto and colleagues have discovered a giant galaxy surrounding the most distant black hole ever found.

Stevens' Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education earns 2 NSF grants
In efforts to continue to expand and strengthen student interest and achievement in science and engineering at both a local and national level, the National Science Foundation recently awarded two separate grants to Stevens Institute of Technology's Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education.

Greenlighting a greener world
Rensselaer Professor Christian Wetzel is working to create better, brighter green LEDs that could lead to a new generation of high-performance, energy-efficient monitors, TVs and other display and lighting devices.

Deaths from unintentional injuries increase for many groups
While the total mortality rate from unintentional injury increased in the US by 11 percent from 1999-2005, far larger increases were seen in some subgroups analyzed by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

DNA mutations linked to diabetes
Genes that regulate the energy consumption of cells have a different structure and expression in type 2 diabetics than they do in healthy people, according to a new study from the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet published in Cell Metabolism.

New computer models aim to classify, help reduce injury accidents
Researchers are developing computer models to comb through thousands of injury reports in large administrative medical datasets or insurance claims data to automatically classify them based on specific words or phrases.

Narrow-band imaging increases specificity of early lung cancer detection
Research published in the September 2009 issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology has found that narrow-band imaging bronchoscopy increases the specificity of bronchoscopic early lung cancer detection and can serve as an alternative detection device.

Denitrification, its importance once diluted, may be back on top, Princeton-led team says
After more than a decade of inquiry, a Princeton-led team of scientists has turned the tables on a long-standing controversy to re-establish an old truth about nitrogen mixing in the oceans.

6 NTU projects awarded NRF grants
Six project proposals from the Nanyang Technological University have received research funding from the National Research Foundation, following its second call for proposals under the Proof of Concept scheme.

Exercise minimizes weight regain by reducing appetite and burning fat first, carbs later
Exercise helps prevent weight regain after dieting by reducing appetite and by burning fat before burning carbohydrates.

High school football, wrestling athletes suffer highest rate of severe injuries
High school football and wrestling athletes experienced the highest rate of severe injuries, according to the first study to examine severe injuries -- injuries that caused high school athletes to miss more than 21 days of sport participation among a nationally representative sample of high school athletes.

Study results promise faster recovery from life-threatening blood cell shortages
A key compound resupplies bone marrow with fast-acting stem cells that can more quickly rekindle blood cell production, according to a study published online today in the journal Blood.

House screening reduces numbers of malaria-carrying mosquitoes inside houses and prevalence of anemia in children
Protecting houses with screening measures can substantially decrease both the numbers of malaria-carrying mosquitoes and the prevalence of malaria-related anemia in children in those homes.

111 grants and counting: Yale awarded $36 million in NIH Recovery Act funds
Faculty at Yale University have been awarded over 100 research grants totaling $36 million since February 2009, when the federal stimulus package was signed into law.

Chimpanzees develop 'specialized tool kits' to catch army ants
Chimpanzees in the Congo have developed specialized

Clemson University researcher regenerates brain tissue in traumatic injuries
An injectable biomaterial gel may help brain tissue grow at the site of a traumatic brain injury, according to findings by a Clemson University bioengineer.

NIAID funds clinical trials that address the problem of antimicrobial resistance
Scientists are addressing the threat of antimicrobial drug resistance by launching two new clinical trials aimed at prolonging the effectiveness of currently available antibacterial drugs.

Vitamin C deficiency impairs early brain development
In the latest issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, a group of researchers from LIFE, Copenhagen, shows that guinea pigs subjected to vitamin C deficiency have 30 percent less hippocampal neurones and markedly worse memory than guinea-pigs given a normal diet.

NGC 4945: The Milky Way's not-so-distant cousin
ESO has released a striking new image of a nearby galaxy that many astronomers think closely resembles our own Milky Way.

Pew poll: 9 in 10 Iowa voters support more government oversight of food
Ninety percent of voting Iowans believe the government should be given additional authority to ensure the food they eat does not make them sick, according to a new poll commissioned by the Pew Charitable Trusts and conducted by Hart Research and Public Opinion Strategies.

Study: Torture reports rose despite UN convention
Newly published research suggests that government use of torture has increased worldwide despite international norms discouraging it.

JNCI news brief: SNPs linked with prostate cancer confirmed in Japanese men too
A third of the previously identified single-nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs, associated with prostate cancer in men of European or African ancestry were also associated with prostate cancer in a Japanese population, according to a new study published online Sept.

Novel anti-cancer drug yields positive response in people with advanced skin and brain cancer
The Hedgehog signaling pathway is involved in a preliminary study and case report describing positive responses to an experimental anticancer drug in a majority of people with advanced or metastatic basal cell skin cancers.

'NanoPen' may write new chapter in nanotechnology manufacturing
Researchers in California are reporting development of a so-called

Study reveals seismic shift in methods used to track earthquakes
Scientists have developed a new technique to monitor movements beneath the Earth's surface, helping them better understand how earthquakes behave.

Scientists from Bonn cool gas by laser bombardment
Three decades ago, American and Finnish scientists came up with a very powerful method for cooling gases by

Fungal map of mutations key to increasing enzyme production for bioenergy use
In a PNAS paper released online this week, an international team of researchers provides the first genome-wide look at the mutations in strains of the fungus Trichoderma reesei in order to understand just how the production of enzymes that break down cellulose production was first improved, and how it can be boosted even further for industrial applications such as biofuel production.

Humans causing erosion comparable to world's largest rivers and glaciers
A new study finds that large-scale farming projects can erode the Earth's surface at rates comparable to those of the world's largest rivers and glaciers.

Researchers design new graphene-based, nanomaterial with magnetic properties
An international team of researchers has designed a new graphite-based, magnetic nanomaterial that acts as a semiconductor and could help material scientists create the next generation of electronic devices like microchips.

Resident duty-hour reform associated with increased complication rate
A new study links resident duty-hour reform to negative outcomes for hip fracture patients.

Methane gas likely spewing into the oceans through vents in sea floor
Scientists worry that rising global temperatures accompanied by melting permafrost in arctic regions will initiate the release of underground methane into the atmosphere.

UC San Diego to develop ocean observing cyberinfrastructure
The US has taken the next step toward construction of the revolutionary Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI): a network of ocean observing components, and their associated cyberinfrastructure, that will allow scientists to examine ocean processes on global, regional and coastal scales. 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