Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 09, 2009
Lead in bone associated with increased risk of death from cardiovascular disease in men
In a new study, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Michigan School of Public Health found that bone lead was associated with a higher risk of death from all causes, particularly from cardiovascular disease.

AFOSR funds super-fast, secure computing
US Air Force Office of Scientific Research-supported physicists at the University of Michigan are developing innovative components for quantum, or super-fast, computers that will improve security for data storage and transmission on Air Force systems.

Science in Society Journalism Award winners announced
The winners of the 2009 Science in Society Journalism Awards, sponsored by the National Association of Science Writers, are:

Quality of medicines and food ingredients the focus at USP 2009 Annual Scientific Meeting
Important issues surrounding the quality of food and drugs -- including global supply chain management, the challenges of creating follow-on biologics (in Canada, subsequent entry biologics) and nanotechnology for drug delivery -- will be the focus of the US Pharmacopeial Convention's 2009 Annual Scientific Meeting.

999: The human face of economic crisis
As the economy continues to unravel, a series of papers published today assess the effects of the crisis on children's health, education and rights in East Asia and the Pacific.

Patients with cirrhosis and impaired cognitive abilities have more motor vehicle accidents
A recent study by Jasmohan Bajaj, M.D., and colleagues from Virginia Commonwealth University and McGuire VA Medical Center found that patients with cirrhosis of the liver who developed minimal hepatic encephalopathy (MHE) had a 16 percent rate of motor vehicle crashes compared to only 4 percent of those without MHE over one year.

Scientists discover surprise in Earth's upper atmosphere
UCLA atmospheric scientists have discovered a basic mode of energy transfer from the solar wind to the Earth's magnetosphere, which was previously unknown.

Fermi Large Area Telescope reveals pulsing gamma-ray sources
Scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory Space Science Division and a team of international researchers have positively identified cosmic sources of gamma-ray emissions through the discovery of 16 pulsating neutron stars.

Largest-ever collection of coins from Bar-Kokhba revolt found
The largest cache of rare coins ever found in a scientific excavation from the period of the Bar-Kokhba revolt of the Jews against the Romans has been discovered in a cave by researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Bar-Ilan University.

Innovative projects to tackle some of health care's toughest challenges
In an effort to tackle major health policy issues in the United States, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has announced the selection of this year's recipients of its Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research.

Health journalists utilize audience, other media to build news agenda
To identify how the demand for health stories is met, University of Missouri researchers surveyed national health journalists about their development of story ideas and use of expert sources and public relations materials.

New research discovers worker bees in 'reproductive class war' with queen
Bee colonies are well known for high levels of cooperation, but new research published in Molecular Ecology demonstrates a conflict for reproduction between worker bees and their queens.

Learning addiction: Dopamine reinforces drug-associated memories
New research with mice has provided some fascinating insight into how addictive drugs hijack reward signals and influence neural processes associated with learning and memory.

Small businesses would see lower costs, more comprehensive coverage from health reform
Small business owners and employees are among those who stand to benefit the most from provisions in some of the current health reform proposals under consideration by Congress according to a Commonwealth Fund report released today.

Queen's study to test Canadian guidelines for daily exercise
How hard and for how long should you exercise in order to shed excess abdominal fat and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease?

Gold solution for enhancing nanocrystal electrical conductance
In a development that holds much promise for the future of solar electricity and fuel, Berkeley Lab researchers used gold tips grown in solution to increase the electrical conductivity of cadmium-selenide nanorod crystals by 100,000 times.

UC Riverside research on barley genome gets boost from $1 million USDA grant
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, will begin to advance their work on sequencing the barley genome and breeding new barley varieties thanks to a two-year $1 million grant they received from the US Department of Agriculture's Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service.

49th ICAAC press kit now available online
A press kit containing tipsheets, press releases and a full press conference schedule (press conferences will be livecast on the web) can be found online.

More oxygen -- colder climate
Using a completely new method, researchers have shown that high atmospheric and oceanic oxygen content makes the climate colder.

Regular aerobic exercise reduces health concerns associated with fatty liver
Researchers from the University of Sydney, Australia, determined that patients with a sedentary lifestyle who engage in routine physical activities lower their risk of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.

'Dung of the devil' plant roots point to new swine flu drugs
Scientists in China have discovered that roots of a plant used a century ago during the great Spanish influenza pandemic contains substances with powerful effects in laboratory experiments in killing the H1N1 swine flu virus that now threatens the world.

Light at the speed of a bicycle and much more
The Institute of Physics and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council are launching a new report today, Wednesday, Sept.

JNCI news brief: STD confirmed to be associated with increased risk of prostate cancer
Researchers confirmed previous findings that the sexual transmitted infection known as Trichomonas vaginalis is associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer in a study published online Sept.

Dexamethasone-based therapy shows improvement in survival for children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia
A dexamethasone-based treatment reduces the risk of relapse and improves the cure rate in children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia without the use of cranial radiation and some routinely used chemotherapy drugs, thus minimizing the risk of unnecessary side-effects.

New NIST publications describe standards for identity credentials and authentication systems
Two publications from NIST describe new capabilities for authentication systems using smart cards or other personal security devices.

Virginia Tech biomedical engineering team to study knee ligament sprains
Virginia Tech engineers are examining the role of the structural components of knee ligament in sprains by combining micro-mechanical models, molecular models, and biological and mechanical experiments.

Noisy roads increase risk of high blood pressure
Traffic noise raises blood pressure. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open-access journal Environmental Health have found that people exposed to high levels of noise from nearby roads are more likely to report suffering from hypertension.

5 researchers represent Rensselaer at World Economic Forum 'Summer Davos' meeting
Economists around the world are predicting that transformational entrepreneurship and technology will be required to truly lift the global economy from its dangerous slump.

MassGeneral Hospital for Children study explains some mysteries of neonatal seizures
A study from MassGeneral Hospital for Children provides new insight into the mechanism of neonatal seizures, which have features very different from seizures in older children and adults.

75 percent would consider letting an unsupervised trainee perform surgery if it could be done quicker
Having an operation done quickly appears to be more important to patients than having a fully qualified surgeon carry it out.

Internists' new paper identifies and analyzes key drivers of health care costs
A policy paper that identifies and analyzes the key drivers of health care costs was released today by the American College of Physicians.

Elsevier announces launch of Journal of Family Business Strategy
Elsevier, leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, today announced the launch of a new peer-reviewed business and management journal -- Journal of Family Business Strategy.

Scientists use microRNAs to track evolutionary history for first time
A team of scientists from Yale University and Dartmouth College has used microRNA data to investigate the evolutionary relationships of annelids, which include earthworms, leeches and bristle worms, to show that this large animal group evolved as a single, unique evolutionary branch.

UAB researchers looking for genetic predictors for suicide
Every 16 minutes, an American commits suicide. It's the 11th leading cause of death in this country, a fact being widely noted during National Suicide Prevention Week Sept.

NIST calculations may improve temperature measures for microfluidics
Researchers at NIST have proposed a mathematical tweak that improves the accuracy of a temperature measurement technique used to monitor critical temperatures in microfludic devices used for tasks such as medical diagnostics and DNA forensics.

Guide offers smart growth help for coastal and waterfront planners and developers
NOAA, along with the Environmental Protection Agency, the International City/County Management Association and Rhode Island Sea Grant, has released a guide to bring smart growth to coastal and waterfront communities.

Individual cells isolated from biological clock can keep daily time, but are unreliable
Washington University in St. Louis researchers have shown that individual cells isolated from the biological clock can keep daily time all by themselves.

Virus responsible for deadly brain disease found in MS patients treated with natalizumab
The virus responsible for PML (progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy), a rare brain disease that typically affects AIDS patients and other individuals with compromised immune systems, has been found to be reactivated in multiple-sclerosis patients being treated with natalizumab (Tysabri) according to new research led by scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Model backs green tea and lemon claim, lessens need to test animals
An animal study at Purdue University has shown that adding ascorbic acid and sugar to green tea can help the body absorb helpful compounds and also demonstrates the effectiveness of a model that could reduce the number of animals needed for these types of studies.

Researchers to explore sacred Maya pools of Belize
A team of expert divers, a geochemist and an archaeologist will be the first to explore the sacred pools of the southern Maya lowlands in rural Belize.

NOAA locates US Navy ship sunk in World War II battle
A NOAA-led research mission has located and identified the final resting place of the YP-389, a US Navy patrol boat sunk approximately 20 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras, NC, by a German submarine during World War II.

Clemson safety expert honored by American Psychological Association
Scott Shappell, a professor of industrial engineering at Clemson University, has been elected Fellow of the American Psychological Association.

Michigan Tech scientists identify genes linked to Lou Gehrig's disease
Their discovery could provide scientists with valuable clues as they search for a cure.

Study reveals new role of vitamin C in skin protection
Scientists have uncovered a new role played by vitamin C in protecting the skin.

Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation collaborative symposium on innovations in health care experience
The Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation will host Transform, a collaborative symposium on innovations in health care experience and delivery, Sept.

Ancient oceans offer new insight into the origins of animal life
New geochemical data reveals how animals first got a foothold on earth.

Xavier U., NYU receive $3 million NSF grant to enhance diversity among scientists
Xavier University of Louisiana and New York University have received a $3 million grant from the National Science Foundation to bolster diversity among materials scientists through collaborative research and curriculum development.

Genome of Irish potato famine pathogen decoded
An international research team has decoded the genome of the notorious organism that triggered the Irish potato famine in the mid-19th century and now threatens this season's tomato and potato crops across much of the US.

Link found between common sexual infection and risk of aggressive prostate cancer
A new study from Harvard School of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital researchers has found a strong association between the common sexually transmitted infection, Trichomonas vaginalis, and risk of advanced and lethal prostate cancer in men.

Survival of African children with sickle cell anemia would be greatly improved by vaccination against various bacterial diseases
Despite previous evidence being inconclusive, an article published online first and in an upcoming edition of the Lancet shows that the organisms causing bacterial infections in African children with sickle cell anemia are the same as those in developed countries.

University of Arizona researchers seek safer cystic fibrosis test
Researchers from the University of Arizona colleges of pharmacy and medicine are teaming up to try to invent a novel noninvasive lung test for cystic fibrosis sufferers.

Toward a nanomedicine for brain cancer
In an advance toward better treatments for the most serious form of brain cancer, scientists in Illinois are reporting development of the first nanoparticles that seek out and destroy brain cancer cells without damaging nearby healthy cells.

Science and media disconnect? Maybe not, says a new study
The prevailing wisdom among many scientists and scientific organizations is that, as a rule, scientists are press shy, and those who aren't are mavericks.

Global warming causes outbreak of rare algae associated with corals, study finds
Scientists have found a rare species of algae that is tolerant of stressful environmental conditions and that proliferated in Caribbean corals when the corals' more-sensitive algae were being expelled during the sea-temperature warming of 2005.

AGU journal highlights -- Sept. 9, 2009
Featured in this release are research papers on the following topics: Dry years getting drier in Pacific Northwest; Explaining the rainfall-humidity relationship; Radioactive tracers illuminate ancient solar cycles; New clues found in Saturn rotation mystery; Flapping sheet affects Saturn's magnetism; and Balancing Earth's energy budget; and Ancient Antarctica had more room for ice than was thought.

Surgeons General, STOP Obesity Alliance announce America has reached tipping point on obesity
The two most recent Surgeons General of the United States, David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., F.A.A.F.P., F.A.C.P.M., F.A.C.P. and Richard H.

EuroHeart 2009
Research that highlights striking differences across different countries in Europe both in terms of national prevention policies and cardiovascular mortality is being presented today by the EuroHeart mapping project at a major European Conference

You can believe your eyes: New insights into memory without conscious awareness
Scientists may have discovered a way to glean information about stored memories by tracking patterns of eye movements, even when an individual is unable (or perhaps even unwilling) to report what they remember.

High in sodium: Highly charged tungsten ions may diagnose fusion energy reactors
Physicists at NIST are studying their own version of a sodium substitute -- sodium-like tungsten ions that could be useful in monitoring the ultra-hot plasma inside fusion energy devices.

Health biotech firms with developing country partners better postitioned to innovate, prosper
Collaboration with health biotech companies in developing countries represents a major opportunity for companies in developed countries to strengthen their market reach and innovation potential, according to the results of a new study by the McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health.

NIAID launches 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine trial in pregnant women
The first trial testing a candidate 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine in pregnant women is launching this week, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, announced today.

Getting plants to rid themselves of pesticide residues
Scientists in China are reporting the

River flow and temperature limit trout numbers
Over a 23-year study, Javier Lobón-Cerviá has found the mechanism that controls the number of salmonids found each year in Cantabrian rivers.

U of I scientist: Public policy should promote family mealtimes
In a new report, University of Illinois professor Barbara H.

Machines can't replicate human image recognition, yet
While computers can replicate many aspects of human behavior, they do not possess our ability to recognize distorted images, according to a team of Penn State researchers.

UCSB researchers develop drug delivery system using nanoparticles and lasers
Researchers at UC Santa Barbara have developed a new way to deliver drugs into cancer cells by exposing them briefly to a non-harmful laser.

Magnetic fields play larger role in star formation than previously thought
The simple picture of star formation calls for giant clouds of gas and dust to collapse inward due to gravity, growing denser and hotter until igniting nuclear fusion.

Children's Hospital receives federal contract to study antibiotic use in children with UTIs
In the largest study of its kind, pediatric researchers at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia have received a federal contract for a project to determine the most beneficial method of using antibiotics to treat urinary tract infections in children.

Yeast unravels effects of chemotherapy drugs
Until now, the mode of action of nitrogen-containing bisphosphonate (N-BP) cancer drugs, used to relieve bone pain and to prevent skeletal complications in bone metastasis, has been almost entirely unknown.

Early spring time for Edinburgh? Study predicts effect of global warming on spring flowers
A new study published in the International Journal of Climatology explores the impact of global warming on spring flowering.

Four-fifths of businesses foresee problems maintaining operations if H1N1 flu outbreak
In a national survey of businesses that looks at their preparations for a possible widespread H1N1 outbreak, Harvard School of Public Health researchers found that only one-third believe they could sustain their business without severe operational problems if half their workforce were absent for two weeks due to H1N1.

Nicotine creates stronger memories, cues to drug use
Ever wonder why former smokers miss lighting up most when they are in a bar or after a meal with friends?

Findings could lead to improved lip-reading training for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
A new study by the University of East Anglia suggests computers are now better at lip-reading than humans.

Work conditions impact parents' food choices
How working parents cope with competing demands on their time that can compromise food choices for the family and how work conditions are related to food choice coping strategies are the subjects of a study in the September/October issue of the Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

ESA campaign reveals glimpse of future Sentinel-3 imagery
As part of the development process for ESA's Sentinel-3 Earth observation mission, remote-sensing experts carried out an extensive experiment campaign across southern Europe this summer.

Memories exist even when forgotten, study suggests
A woman looks familiar, but you can't remember her name or where you met her.

Baby boomers' boon? LED light and green tea cream to smooth facial wrinkles
Scientists in Germany are reporting a major improvement in their potential new treatment for facial wrinkles that could emerge as an alternative to Botox and cosmetic surgery.

Medicine wheel model for nutrition shows promise for control of type 2 diabetes
Indian adults have the highest age-adjusted rates for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity of any racial or ethnic group within the US.

Graphitic memory techniques advance at Rice
Advances by the Rice University lab of James Tour have brought graphite's potential as a mass data storage medium a step closer to reality and created the potential for reprogrammable gate arrays that could bring about a revolution in integrated circuit logic design.

Elsevier launches Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability
Elsevier, a leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information, announced today the launch of a new journal, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability.

Potato blight reveals some secrets as genome is decoded
Late blight caused the 19th century famine that sparked a wave of emigration from Ireland to the United States, but the disease has also infected tomatoes and potatoes this year.

New robot travels across the seafloor to monitor the impact of climate change on deep-sea ecosystems
Like the robotic rovers Spirit and Opportunity, which wheeled tirelessly across the dusty surface of Mars, a new robot spent most of July traveling across the muddy ocean bottom, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) off the California coast.

Cement's basic molecular structure finally decoded
In the 2,000 years since the Roman Empire employed a naturally occurring form of cement to build a vast system of concrete aqueducts, researchers have analyzed the molecular structure of natural materials and created entirely new building materials such as steel.

Tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology
The following are tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology:

New research confirms potential deadly nature of emerging new monkey malaria species in humans
Researchers in Malaysia have identified key laboratory and clinical features of an emerging new form of malaria infection.

Interventional radiology resources cover peripheral arterial disease
The Society of Interventional Radiology offers numerous resources that cover peripheral arterial disease or PAD.

Doctors fear asking mentally ill to quit smoking
People with mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety are the heaviest smokers in the country, but their doctors are afraid to ask them to quit.

Genome of 'potato famine' pathogen sequenced, will aid renewed fight against old enemy
A large team of researchers has successfully sequenced the entire genome of one of the most famous pathogens in world history -- the cause of the Irish potato famine in the 1840s -- in work that could ultimately help address a resurgence of this pathogen that is still causing almost $7 billion dollars of agricultural losses around the world every year.

UAB researchers find TB-prevention therapy is cost-effective option
University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers have found that the cost of preventive antibiotic tuberculosis therapy for patients infected by human immunodeficiency virus is generally less expensive than the reported cost of treating newly confirmed TB cases.

Elsevier and Canadian College of Health Service Executives announce new publishing partnership
Elsevier, world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, is pleased to announce a new publishing partnership with the Canadian College of Health Service Executives.

Self-amputation: Gecko's tail is its insurance policy
Scientists from Clemson University and the University of Calgary have found that the self-severed tail of some geckos shows a complex pattern of repeating movements to distract the attacker.

New type of adult stem cells found in the prostate may be involved in prostate cancer development
A new type of stem cell discovered in the prostate of adult mice can be a source of prostate cancer, according to a new study by researchers at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia University Medical Center and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.

Sickle cell study boosts call for improved childhood immunization programs in Africa
Children in Africa with sickle cell anemia are dying unnecessarily from bacterial infections, suggests the largest study of its kind, funded by the Wellcome Trust.

$3.5 million NIH grant supports AIDS vaccine research at UC Santa Cruz
With a new five-year grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, AIDS vaccine researchers at UC Santa Cruz will follow up on promising findings they reported in the August issue of the Journal of Virology.

Rebirth of an icon: Hubble's first images since Servicing Mission 4
Astronomers today declared the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope a fully rejuvenated observatory ready for a new decade of exploration, with the release of observations from four of its six operating science instruments.

New NIST trace explosives standard slated for homeland security duty
NIST researchers have developed a new reference material to use in calibrating and testing trace-explosives detectors like those used at airports.

Major clinical study rejects cancer safety fears of most common heartburn treatment
Fears about the cancer-causing effects of the second most prescribed group of drugs in the Western world have been put to rest, following the largest ever study into their use.

Genomics sciences guarantees better results in the art of winemaking
While the art of fine winemaking is a beautiful thing, winemakers are increasingly turning to the power of science to give them the tools they need to ensure a high quality pour each and every time.

Sharing the results of research critical to advancement of biological sciences
Sharing the fruits of research in the biomedical sciences is critical for the advance of knowledge, yet with the advent of large-scale data gathering following the completion of the genome projects this is becoming harder to facilitate and more difficult to monitor, as reported in Nature today.

Prototype NIST method detects and measures elusive hazards
A chemist at NIST has demonstrated a relatively simple, inexpensive method for detecting and measuring elusive hazards such as concealed explosives and toxins, invisible spoilage in food or pesticides distributed in soil by wind and rain. 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