Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 03, 2009
Virginia Tech's proposed next generation nano-CT system will enhance nano-scale research
Virginia Tech researchers are developing the next-generation nano-CT imaging system, which promises to provide images that will reveal deeply imbedded details, including subcellular features and to greatly reduce the required dose of radiation.

The Arctic offers more evidence of human influences on climate change
A new study indicates that Arctic temperatures suddenly increased during the last 50 years of the period from 1 AD to the year 2000.

XMM-Newton uncovers a celestial Rosetta stone
ESA's XMM-Newton orbiting X-ray telescope has uncovered a celestial Rosetta stone: the first close-up of a white dwarf star, circling a companion star, that could explode into a particular kind of supernova in a few million years.

Stanford open-source camera could revolutionize photography
Stanford computational photography researchers have built an open-source digital camera.

FDA approves INTUNIV (guanfacine) extended release tablets for ADHD in children and adolescents
Shire has received FDA approval for INTUNIV (guanfacine) Extended Release Tablets for treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in children and adolescents, 6 to 17 years old.

Metaklett, a steely hook and loop fastener
Hook and loop fasteners made of spring steel -- similar to Velcro devices but much stronger -- have been developed at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen.

Poor money saving linked to general impulsiveness
Financial imprudence is linked to other impulsive behavior such as overeating, smoking and infidelity, according to a new study led by UCL researchers, published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.

Molecular decay of enamel-specific gene in toothless mammals supports theory of evolution
Biologists at the University of California, Riverside, report new evidence for evolutionary change recorded in both the fossil record and the genomes (or genetic blueprints) of living organisms, providing fresh support for Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.

Study: Popular supplement quercetin does not enhance athletic performance
The antioxidant quercetin is increasingly being marketed as a supplement that boosts athletic performance, but a new University of Georgia study finds that it is no better than a placebo.

K-State host to World Rabies Day Symposium emphasizing one health strategy
Kansas State University's commitment to the intersection of animal and human health is guiding the World Rabies Day National Symposium, taking place Saturday, Sept.

The secrets of the lowly ground beetle could lead to better tissue engineering
The first engineering study of the internal fluid flows of insects, creatures that have evolved efficiently over millions of years, may provide engineers and scientists with new ideas for how to build better artificial tissues and organs, and for the design of new medically implantable microdevices.

NC State receives NSF grant to discover plant 'switchboards'
A new four-year, $3.72 million grant to North Carolina State University will allow researchers to shed light on an important mystery -- how genes impact the type and amount of

Test developed at UQ diagnosed Australia's first swine flu victim
When the first cases of H1N1 influenza (swine flu) were reported in Mexico in April, UQ researchers got to work developing a test to diagnose the virus.

Argonne researchers develop method that aims to stabilize antibodies
Researchers at the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have developed a systematic method to improve the stability of antibodies.

Organic or local?
The emerging trend toward healthier, fresher foods presents new dilemmas for conscientious consumers.

Arctic at warmest levels in 2,000 years or more
Arctic temperatures in the 1990s reached their warmest level of any decade in at least 2,000 years.

USGS science picks
Want the cold facts about melting glaciers? How about details on a recent study finding mercury contamination in fish nationwide?

2 new antibodies found to cripple HIV
Researchers at and associated with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, at the Scripps Research Institute and at the biotechnology companies Theraclone Sciences and Monogram Biosciences have discovered two powerful new antibodies to HIV that reveal what may be an Achilles heel on the virus.

Transplanted human stem cells prolong survival in mouse model of rare brain disease
A new study finds substantial improvement in a mouse model of a rare, hereditary neurodegenerative disease after transplantation of normal human neural stem cells.

Molecular 'GPS' helps researchers probe processes important in aging and disease
With all the hype about beneficial antioxidants in everything from face cream to cereal bars, you'd think their targets -- oxygen radicals -- must be up to no good.

U-M researchers find gene that protects high-fat-diet mice from obesity
University of Michigan researchers have identified a gene that acts as a master switch to control obesity in mice.

World-first swine-flu vaccine trial reveals one dose provides 'strong immune response'
Results from the first swine-flu vaccine trials taking place in Leicester reveal a strong immune response after just one dose.

BMJ joins the 10:10 climate change campaign
The BMJ has joined thousands of individuals and organisations from across the country to unite behind one simple idea: a 10 percent cut in carbon emissions during 2010.

UNC study: Insecticide-treated bed nets reduce infant deaths in Democratic Republic of Congo
Giving insecticide-treated bed nets to nearly 18,000 mothers at prenatal clinics in the Democratic Republic of Congo prevented an estimated 414 infant deaths from malaria, a study by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers concludes.

GEN reports on expanding NextGen sequencing applications
Next-Generation Sequencing technologies are not only beginning to supplant traditional Sanger sequencing methodology but are also giving DNA microarrays a run for the money as well, reports Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News.

NIBIB scientists increase imaging efficiency in cell structure studies
Scientists in the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering Laboratory of Bioengineering and Physical Science have developed a new technique that allows researchers to visualize fine details of cell structure three-dimensionally in thick sections, thus providing greater insight into how cells are organized and how they function.

Brown University's Gilad Barnea receives $1.3 million EUREKA grant
Gilad Barnea, assistant professor of neuroscience, has been awarded a $1.3 million grant by the National Institutes of Health, given to a select group of researchers who pursue

US National Academy of Sciences wins 2009 CAAT recognition award
The Center for Alternatives to Animal Testing at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has selected the National Academy of Sciences and the authors of the groundbreaking report, Toxicity Testing in the 21st Century: A Vision and a Strategy, to receive the CAAT Recognition Award for 2009.

Mayo Clinic researchers find that protein believed to protect against cancer has a Mr. Hyde side
In a biological rendition of fiction's

Species diversity helps ASU researchers refine analyses of human gene mutations
In the September issue of Genome Research, Dr. Sudhir Kumar led a team of researchers at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University in examining DNA mutations from both healthy and diseased patients.

Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics to be established at Harvard School of Public Health
A new center that will focus on mathematical modeling of drug resistance, seasonal infectious diseases, and intervention allocation will be established at the Harvard School of Public Health.

NYU part of $10 million NSF grant to study impact of global warming in the Antarctic
New York University's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences is part of a $10 million, five-year National Science Foundation grant to study the impact of global warming on the Antarctic Ice Sheet, an undertaking that will provide a method for measuring effects of oceanic and atmospheric warming in other regions.

Fad diets in Sweden, of all places
Nutrition experts have expressed their surprise over the involvement of Sweden in a controversy regarding promotion of low-carbohydrate high-fat diets in the country.

Web page ranking algorithm detects critical species in ecosystems
Google's algorithm for ranking web-pages can be used to determine which species are critical for sustaining ecosystems.

Ego City: Cities organized like human brains
Cities are organized like brains, and the evolution of cities mirrors the evolution of human and animal brains, according to a new study by researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Large-scale study probes how cells fight pathogens
Scientists have deciphered a key molecular circuit that enables the body to distinguish viruses from bacteria and other microbes, providing a deep view of how immune cells in mammals fend off different pathogens.

Mothers with postpartum depression with suicidal thoughts and their infant interactions
New mothers with postpartum depression who contemplate taking their own life, suffer greater mood disturbances, negative perceptions of their effectiveness as new parents and are less responsive to their infants cues.

2009 Charles River Laboratories' Excellence in Refinement Award
Paul Flecknell, Ph.D., widely recognized for his expertise in the identification and management of pain in laboratory animals, is the 2009 recipient of the Charles River Laboratories' Excellence in Refinement Award.

Program for 3rd EAU North Eastern European Meeting looks promising
The European Association of Urology regularly organizes regional meetings in Europe, such as the upcoming North Eastern European Meeting Sept.

Arctic lakes help scientists understand climate change
A clearer picture of climate change is emerging from the sediment drawn from the bottom of Arctic lakes.

Weeds that reinvented weediness
Flowering plants are all around us and are phenomenally successful -- but how did they get to be so successful and where did they come from?

Magnetic monopoles detected in a real magnet for the first time
Researchers from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie have, in cooperation with colleagues from Dresden, St.

It pays to quit smoking before surgery
People who start nicotine replacement therapy at least four weeks before surgery can halve their risk of poor wound healing.

Scientists begin to untangle root cause of Alzheimer's disease
In a research report published online in the FASEB Journal, an international team of scientists describe how the N60 fragment of the RanBP9 protein increases the production of the amyloid beta protein, which is present in excessive amounts in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease.

'Achilles' heel' in Y chromosome linked to sex disorders
The unique mechanism behind the evolutionary survival of the human Y chromosome may also be responsible for a range of sex disorders, from failed sperm production to sex reversal to Turner syndrome.

European Urology September issue features 'Surgery in Motion' article
The September issue of European Urology, the official journal of the European Association of Urology, features an article and a video in the Surgery in Motion section by Vipul R.

Market based reforms have not harmed equity in the NHS, say researchers
Recent NHS reforms, such as the introduction of patient choice and provider competition, have not had a deleterious impact on equity with respect to waiting times for elective surgery in England, concludes a study published on today.

Spare gene is fodder for fishes' evolution
Scientists have suspected that spare parts in the genome -- extra copies of functional genes that arise when genes or whole genomes get duplicated -- might sometimes provide the raw materials for the evolution of new traits.

Mice can eat 'junk' and not get fat
A study in the Sept. 4 issue of the journal Cell, a Cell Press publication, identifies a gene that springs into action in response to a high fat diet.

Nowhere to hide: Some species are unable to adapt to climate change due to their genes
Species living in restricted environments such as the tropics may lack adequate variation in their genes and be unable to adapt to climate change, according to a new study.

Los Alamos technology strikes a chord with algal biofuels
An award-winning Los Alamos National Laboratory sound-wave technology is helping Solix Biofuels Inc. optimize production of algae-based fuel in a cost-effective, scalable, and environmentally benign fashion -- paving the way to lowering the carbon footprint of biofuel production.

Long-term cooling trend in Arctic abruptly reverses, signaling potential for sea rise
A new study led by Northern Arizona University and involving the University of Colorado at Boulder indicates Arctic temperatures have reversed from a long-term cooling trend and are now the warmest they have been in at least 2,000 years, bad news for the world's coastal cities facing rising seas in the coming decades.

Ancient connection: New evidence points to Shawnee lookout as oldest continuously occupied site
Evidence unearthed by UC students working this summer at Shawnee Lookout park builds the case in the strongest way yet for a direct connection between the Native American cultures of the ancient Hopewell and the modern Shawnee societies.

Atoms don't dance the 'bose nova'
Hanns-Christoph Naegerl's research group has investigated how ultracold quantum gases behave in lower spatial dimensions.

Surgical scrub solution: It's good for patients, too
Giving critically ill hospital patients a daily bath with a mild, soapy solution of the same antibacterial agent used by surgeons to

Full program of Quantum to Cosmos lectures and panels now available
Immerse yourself in quantum computing, robotics, the nature of time, space exploration and the potential of green technology.

NRC supports nuclear engineering at Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech's nuclear engineering program will receive $450,000 for faculty development and $399,948 for fellowships from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Sex disorders linked to Y chromosome's instability
When researchers first reported the sequence of the human Y chromosome, they referred to it as a

NCI renews Fox Chase/Penn Ovarian Cancer 'SPORE' grant for a third 5-year term
National Cancer Institute has renewed a $11.5 million Specialized Program of Research Excellence grant in prevention, diagnosis and treatment of ovarian cancer, which supports multidisciplinary research at Fox Chase Cancer Center and the University of Pennsylvania.

Golf course putting greens show their age
Just like the rest of us, golf courses show their age -- especially on putting greens, which experience more foot traffic than anywhere else on golf courses.

Emotions generated by celebrity deaths discussed at Durham conference
Emotions generated by the deaths of celebrities such as Michael Jackson will be discussed at an international conference at Durham University next week, Sept.

How to improve vaccines to trigger T cell as well as antibody response
Most successful vaccines stimulate antibodies that attack and kill viruses as they scoot from one cell to another.

Unlicensed intravenous form of relenza helped save life of swine-flu infected woman who had just had chemotherapy
A 22-year-old woman, whose immune system was impaired due to recent chemotherapy, has survived a serious case of swine-flu after being treated with the unlicensed intravenous form of relenza, in combination with high-dose corticosteroids.

Carrots are better than sticks for building human cooperation
Rewards go further than punishment in building human cooperation and benefiting the common good, according to research published this week in the journal Science by researchers at Harvard University and the Stockholm School of Economics.

Growing green roofs
One way to maximize the eco-friendly factor of a structure is to include a green roof.

Hot and cold moves of cyanide and water
Scientists have long known that molecules dance about as the temperature rises, but now researchers know the exact steps that water takes with a certain molecule.

Last chance to save the saola from extinction?
Discovered only in 1992, the Saola (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis) that inhabit remote valleys along the border of Lao PDR and Vietnam are fast approaching the point of extinction.

Current national primary care policies for childhood obesity need to be improved
Current primary care policies aimed at reducing obesity and increasing physical activity in children do not work and are very costly to run, according to research published on today.

Nonagenarian researcher petitions FDA to ban trans fats
Fred Kummerow, a 94-year-old University of Illinois veterinary biosciences professor emeritus who still conducts research on the health effects of trans fats in the diet, filed a petition with the FDA last month to ban trans fats from food.

Recent Arctic warming reverses millennia-long cooling trend
Warming from greenhouse gases has trumped the Arctic's millennia-long natural cooling cycle, suggests new research.

2 new antibodies found to cripple HIV
Researchers at and associated with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative, at the Scripps Research Institute and at the biotechnology companies Theraclone Sciences and Monogram Biosciences have discovered two powerful new antibodies to HIV that reveal what may be an Achilles heel on the virus.

Experts warn over health check brain scans
A new study has voiced concern about the growing market for brain screening tests, which people can buy as part of a general health MOT.

Indoor plants found to release volatile organic compounds
Potted plants add aesthetic value to homes and offices, and have been shown to remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) gases or vapors emitted by solids and liquids that may have adverse health effects.

Digital media focus of NSF grant to study interactivity
As the ever-growing network of digital media speeds through the start of the 21st century, adding

Department of Energy supports carbon sequestration research, University of Miami receives $1.7 million
A team from the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science was among 19 entities awarded funds by the US Department of Energy to research new methods for monitoring leakage from potential CO2 reservoirs.

That late-night snack: Worse than you think
Eat less, exercise more. Now there is new evidence to support adding another

Large thighs protect against heart disease and early death
Men and women whose thighs are less than 60 cm in circumference have a higher risk of premature death and heart disease, according to research published on today.

How to advance scientific literacy
This set of papers captures current issues about the public understanding of science, illustrates why greater emphasis on helping students understand and appreciate the process of science is so important, and provides insights and perspectives on what all practicing scientists can do to build a more receptive audience.

Greening university classrooms
In today's frenetic world, many urban dwellers spend more than 80 percent of the day indoors.

Scripps research scientists identify genetic cause for type of deafness
A team led by scientists from the Scripps Research Institute has discovered a genetic cause of progressive hearing loss.

New research strategy for understanding drug resistance in leukemia
UCSF researchers have developed a new approach to identify specific genes that influence how cancer cells respond to drugs and how they become resistant.

Optical atomic clock becomes portable
Optical clocks might become more compact and even portable, maybe in the future even travel to space.

Gene called flower missing link in vesicle uptake in neurons
As part of synaptic transmission from one neuron to the next, bubbles containing neurotransmitters that make information exchange possible, travel to the tip of neurons, where they fuse with the cell's membrane.

Europe's first farmers replaced their Stone Age hunter-gatherer forerunners
Analysis of ancient DNA suggests that Europe's first farmers were not the descendants of the people who settled the area after the retreat of the ice sheets.

Newly discovered road map of leptin explains its regulation of bone and appetite
New research from Columbia University Medical Center has illuminated a previously unknown leptin-serotonin pathway in the brain that simultaneously promotes appetite and bone mass accrual.

People with type 2 diabetes not meeting important nutritional recommendations
People with type 2 diabetes are not consuming sufficiently healthy diets and could benefit from ongoing nutritional education and counseling, according to a new study by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and colleagues.

Was the public health response to swine flu alarmist?
The public health measures taken in response to swine flu may be seen as alarmist, overly restrictive, or even unjustified, says a US expert in a paper published on today.

New grants expand US infectious disease modeling effort
The National Institutes of Health's Models of Infectious Disease Agent Study adds new research expertise to increase its capacity to simulate disease spread, evaluate different intervention strategies and help inform public health officials and policymakers. 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