Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 17, 2009
Georgia Tech to transform unemployed technology workers into high school computing teachers
Through a recent $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation, the Georgia Tech College of Computing will mitigate the stress of joblessness for unemployed information technology professionals over the next three years.

It pays to be careful post-kidney transplant
For kidney transplant recipients, infection with a virus called cytomegalovirus may lead to devastating complications.

The American Society of Human Genetics honors Dr. Huntington Willard as 2009 Allan Award recipient
The American Society of Human Genetics will present the 2009 William Allan Award to Huntington F.

Memories of the way they used to be
A team of researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla have developed a safe strategy for reprogramming cells to a pluripotent state without use of viral vectors or genomic insertions.

Negative public opinion an early warning signal for terrorism, Princeton professor says
An analysis of public opinion polls and terrorist activity in 143 pairs of countries has shown for the first time that when people in one country hold negative views toward the leadership and policies of another, terrorist acts are more likely to be carried out.

NOAA announces an experimental harmful algal bloom forecast bulletin for Lake Erie
Predicting harmful algal blooms, or HABs, in the Great Lakes is now a reality as NOAA announces an experimental HAB forecast system in Lake Erie.

University of the Basque Country researcher makes progress in optimizing solid oxide fuel cells
While our standard of life increases, so does the worldwide energy demand.

Study predicts effect of global warming on spring flowers
An international study involving Monash University mathematician Dr. Malcolm Clark has been used to demonstrate the impact of global warming and to predict the effect further warming will have on plant life.

Relieving pain affecting millions
An unprecedented gathering of some of Australia's leading authorities in pain medicine, together with consumer groups representing chronic pain sufferers, will meet in Melbourne today to work towards a national, coordinated approach to managing chronic pain.

How vital are toilets and hand hygiene for child growth?
Many studies have been done into how nutrition and child growth (or lack of stunting) are linked.

More to solar cycle than sunspots; sun also bombards Earth with high-speed streams of wind
Challenging conventional wisdom, new research finds that the number of sunspots provides an incomplete measure of changes in the Sun's impact on Earth over the course of the 11-year solar cycle.

Lessons for Obama in study of Bush efforts to 'frame' Iraq war
A new study from North Carolina State University shows that Bush administration attempts to

Planck first light yields promising results
Planck, ESA's mission to study the early universe, started surveying the sky regularly from its vantage point at L2 on Aug.

'Green Clean': Researchers determining natural ways to clean contaminated soil
Researchers at North Carolina State University are working to demonstrate that trees can be used to degrade or capture fuels that leak into soil and ground water.

Rensselaer leads effort to replace 1 of the most widely used drugs in American hospitals
In early 2008, there was a frightening failure in drug safety processes.

Mechanical and nuclear engineers receive award for top-100 technology product of 2009
Kansas State University's Douglas McGregor, professor of mechanical and nuclear engineering, and his team of researchers designed and developed a microstructured semiconductor neutron detector that was given a 2009 R&D 100 Award.

NRL begins Southeast Asia study of aerosols linked to global warming
Leading an effort to investigate ways in which to infer larger aerosol and visibility features from limited data sets, NRL's Marine Meteorology Division has deployed the Mobile Atmosphere, Aerosol, and Radiation Characterization Observatory, MAARCO, to the National University of Singapore to begin the first comprehensive radiation and aerosol assessment in the Maritime Continent region.

'Rising plague' of deadly bacteria kills thousands each year
Antibiotic-resistant microbes infect more than 2 million Americans, and kill over 100,000 each year.

National new biology initiative offers potential for 'remarkable and far-reaching benefits'
A report released today by the National Research Council calls on the United States to launch a new multiagency, multiyear and multidisciplinary initiative.

Binge drinkers let down guard against infection
As if a bad hangover wasn't enough of a deterrent, new research has shown how binge drinking weakens the body's ability to fight off infection for at least 24 hours afterwards.

Mayo Clinic researchers lead national trial testing new treatment for chronic, severe indigestion
Could medicines used for depression also treat chronic, severe indigestion?

Transatlantic Science Week brings leading environmental scientists together in Minnesota
Three of the world's leading ecologists -- University of Minnesota's David Tilman (United States), David Schindler (Canada) and Nils Stenseth (Norway) -- will share views and insights on critical environmental issues during Transatlantic Science Week, which will be held at the University of Minnesota's McNamara Alumni Center, 200 Oak St.

Sakayu Shimizu of Kyoto University recipient of 2009 Enzyme Engineering Award
The 2009 Enzyme Engineering Award, presented in the name of Engineering Conferences International and the Genencor division of Danisco A/S, will be awarded to Professor Sakayu Shimizu of Kyoto University.

Baumann Lab demonstrates role of protein in distinguishing chromosome ends from DNA breaks
The Stowers Institute's Baumann Lab has demonstrated how human cells protect chromosome ends from misguided repairs that can lead to cancer.

Gene screen reveals 2-way communication between common biological pathways and body's daily clock
While scientists have known for several years that our body's internal clock helps regulate many biological processes, researchers have found that the reverse is also true: Many common biological processes -- including insulin metabolism -- regulate the clock, according to a new study.

U of C alumnus finds high numbers of heat-loving bacteria in cold Arctic Ocean
A Canadian-led team of scientists has detected high numbers of heat loving, or thermophilic, bacteria in subzero sediments in the Arctic Ocean.

NASA's TRMM satellite sees heavy rainfall in Choi-Wan
NASA and the Japanese Space Agency's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite flew over the center of Super Typhoon Choi-Wan at 2:34 a.m.

UH Manoa researcher examines possible implications of daily commute and mosquito-borne diseases
University of Hawaii at Manoa assistant researcher Durrell Kapan recently published a paper, Man Bites Mosquito: Understanding the Contribution of Human Movement to Vector-Borne Disease Dynamics, in PLoS One.

Killing cancer like a vampire slayer
Dr. Ronit Satchi-Fainaro of Tel Aviv University's Sackler School of Medicine has developed a new drug carrier to deliver compounds straight to the cancer tumor, cutting off blood supplies to the tumor and improving the efficacy of anti-cancer drugs.

Chemobrain -- the flip side of surviving cancer
Breast cancer survivors tell their story in a descriptive study of the effects that cognitive impairment has on women's work, social networks and dealings with the health care profession.

Pediatric strokes more than twice as common as previously reported
Stroke in infants and children may be two to four times more common than previously reported.

Rare genetic disease successfully reversed using stem cell transplantation
A recent study by Scripps Research Institute scientists offers good news for families of children afflicted with the rare genetic disorder, cystinosis.

NASA's infrared satellite sees warmer cloud tops in Tropical Storm Marty
Marty is struggling to hold onto tropical storm status, and things are just going to get worse for him, as he moves into an area with stronger wind shear.

UGA geneticist receives $2 million federal stimulus grant for research on the thymus
The National Institutes of Health have awarded, as part of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, a two-year, $2 million grant to a University of Georgia genetics researcher and her colleagues for studies on the thymus, the organ in humans that produces disease-fighting T cells.

T. rex body plan debuted in Raptorex, but 100th the size
A 9-foot dinosaur from northeastern China had evolved all the hallmark anatomical features of Tyrannosaurus rex at least 125 million years ago.

Providing contraception to reduce the 76 million annual unintended pregnancies could help address climate change
The lead editorial in this week's edition of the Lancet discusses how more than 200 million women worldwide want contraceptives, but currently lack access to them.

American-made SRF cavity makes the grade
The US Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility marked a step forward in the field of advanced particle accelerator technology with the successful test of the first US-built superconducting radiofrequency niobium cavity to meet the exacting specifications of the proposed International Linear Collider.

Strain on nanocrystals could yield colossal results
In finally answering an elusive scientific question, researchers with the US Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have shown that the selective placement of strain can alter the electronic phase and its spatial arrangement in correlated electron materials.

UAB partners with the National White Collar Crime Center
The University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Justice Sciences has signed a collaborative agreement with the National White Collar Crime Center and the Internet Crime Complaint Center to conduct research on cyber-crime and to create training programs in cyber-crime investigations for law enforcement.

Regulatory role of key molecule discovered at Hebrew U.
The discovery by Hebrew University of Jerusalem researchers of an additional role for a key molecule in our bodies provides a further step in world-wide efforts to develop genetic regulation aimed at controlling many diseases, including AIDS and various types of cancers.

NASA's Aqua satellite catches 2 views of super Typhoon Choi-Wan
NASA's Aqua satellite again flew over Super Typhoon Choi-Wan late last night and captured visible and infrared imagery of the monster typhoon.

Decade-long US project to fight malaria builds thriving African mosquito net industry
In a decade-long initiative to protect millions of families from malaria in sub-Saharan Africa, a US government-funded project helped sell 50 million bed nets in seven countries, crafted a voucher system to allow the poor to receive them for free or partial cost and created enough incentives for private companies that they invested $88 million to expand their businesses, according to results released today by AED at a conference held at the National Press Club.

K-State mechanical and nuclear engineers receive award for top-100 technology product of the year
A neutron detector created at Kansas State University has been named one of the top 100 technologies of the year.

Shifts in consumer spending and saving will usher in a new economic era
Consumer spending will lag rather than lead the recovery from the current recession, according to University of Michigan economist Richard Curtin.

Face off
Juvenile delinquency may be a result of misunderstood social cues.

Penn State College of Medicine research isolates liver cancer stem cells prior to tumor formation
Penn State College of Medicine researchers, in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Southern California, have taken an important step in understanding the role of stem cells in development of liver cancer.

Older Americans: How they are faring in the recession
Older Americans have weathered the financial crisis relatively well, although many now expect to work longer than they did just a year ago, according to a University of Michigan study released on Capitol Hill Sept.

NIH awards Einstein $3.5 million to study epigenomics of human health and disease
The National Institutes of Health has awarded Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University two grants totaling $3.5 million to study epigenetic changes -- chemical modifications of genes caused by stress, diet or other environmental influences -- and how they contribute to human diseases and biological processes.

Invasive species on the march: variable rates of spread set current limits to predictability
Whether for introduced muskrats in Europe or oak trees in the United Kingdom, zebra mussels in United States lakes or agricultural pests around the world, scientists have tried to find new ways of controlling invasive species by learning how these animals and plants take over in new environs.

'Apples-to-apples' analysis of Arab development yields fresh view
The Arab world is not the socioeconomic basket case that conventional wisdom holds, says University of California, San Diego economist James Rauch.

Arctic sea ice reaches minimum extent for 2009, third lowest ever recorded
The Arctic sea ice cover appears to have reached its minimum extent for the year, the third-lowest recorded since satellites began measuring sea ice extent in 1979, according to the University of Colorado at Boulder's National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Majority of unintended incidents in the ER are caused by human error
Sixty percent of the causes of unintended incidents in the emergency department that could have compromised patient safety are related to human failures, according to a study published in the open access journal BMC Emergency Medicine.

Research teams successfully operate multiple biomedical robots from numerous locations
Using a new software protocol called the Interoperable Telesurgical Protocol, nine research teams from universities and research institutes around the world recently collaborated on the first successful demonstration of multiple biomedical robots operated from different locations in the US, Europe and Asia.

Impact of renewable energy on our oceans must be investigated, say scientists
Scientists from the Universities of Exeter and Plymouth are today calling for urgent research to understand the impact of renewable energy developments on marine life.

Introduced Japanese white-eyes pose major threat to Hawaii's native and endangered birds
In the late 1920s, people intentionally introduced birds known as Japanese white-eyes into Hawaiian agricultural lands and gardens for purposes of bug control.

ISU researchers working to develop, market embryonic test for bovine genetics
A new process would allow cattle producers to select which embryos are valuable before spending the time, effort and expense of producing a calf only to find out that it has genetic defects that render it of little value.

Drug discovery process more accurate, less expensive using novel mass spectrometry application
Cancer and cell biology experts at the University of Cincinnati have developed a new mass spectrometry-based tool they say provides more precise, cost-effective data collection for drug discovery efforts.

Genes controlling insulin can alter timing of biological clock
Many of the genes that regulate insulin also alter the timing of the circadian clock, a new study has found.

45,000 excess deaths annually linked to lack of health insurance: Harvard study
A study published online today, Sept. 17, estimates nearly 45,000 annual deaths are associated with lack of health insurance.

Plant and soil science conference emphasizes sustainability
The Annual Meetings of three scientific societies, Nov. 1-5 in Pittsburgh, Pa., offer a collaborative technical program from the 3,000-plus international scientists presenting new technologies and discussing emerging trends in agriculture, energy, climate change, carbon trading, science education and related issues.

John Goodenough and Siegfried Hecker named presidential Enrico Fermi award winners
US Energy Secretary Steven Chu has named Dr. John Bannister Goodenough and Dr.

New UAB study examines benefit of internet access, social media networking on seniors' health
Many elderly adults are increasingly isolated and grapple with depression, loneliness and declines in physical health.

Smaller isn't always better: Catalyst simulations could lower fuel cell cost
Imagine a car that runs on hydrogen from solar power and produces water instead of carbon emissions.

Researchers make rare meteorite find using new camera network in Australian desert
Researchers have discovered an unusual kind of meteorite in the Western Australian desert and have uncovered where in the Solar System it came from, in a very rare finding published today in the journal Science.

Weight loss is good for the kidneys
Losing weight may preserve kidney function in obese people with kidney disease, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

Health staff and relatives underestimate chronic pain experienced by nursing home residents
Relatives and nurses find it hard to judge how much chronic pain nursing home residents experience, according to a five-year study.

New NASA temperature maps provide 'whole new way of seeing the moon'
NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, an unmanned mission to map the entire moon, has returned its first data.

New links between epilepsy and brain lipids
In mice that are missing a protein found only in the brain, neural signals

U of Minnesota TCF Bank Stadium is leader in sustainable/green design
The University of Minnesota announced today that TCF Bank Stadium has been awarded LEED Silver Certification established by the US Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute.

Proposal to reintroduce Iberian lynx on abandoned agricultural land
Spanish scientists have developed a model to identify the agricultural areas with the greatest potential for restoring the habitat of the Iberian lynx (Lynx pardinus), which is at risk of extinction.

Nullarbor fireball cameras find rare meteorite
Using cameras which capture fireballs streaking across the night sky and sophisticated mathematics, a world-wide team of scientists have managed to find not only a tiny meteorite on the vast Nullarbor Plain, but also its orbit and the asteroid it came from.

Rare cases of restored vision reveal how the brain learns to see
By testing formerly blind patients within weeks of sight restoration, Sinha and his colleagues found that subjects had very limited ability to distinguish an object from its background, identify overlapping objects, or even piece together the different parts of an object.

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's LAMP shedding light on permanently shadowed regions of the moon
NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, launched on June 18 of this year, has begun its extensive exploration of the lunar environment and will return more data about the moon than any previous mission.

Building a complete metabolic model
Investigators at Burnham Institute for Medical Research, University of California, San Diego, the Scripps Research Institute, Genomics Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation and other institutions have constructed a complete model, including 3-D protein structures, of the central metabolic network of the bacterium Thermotoga maritima (T. maritima).

Metabolic syndrome risk factors drive significantly higher health-care costs
Risk factors for metabolic syndrome, such as obesity, high blood pressure and elevated blood lipid levels, can increase a person's health-care costs nearly 1.6 fold, or about $2,000 per year.

New vitamin K analysis supports the triage theory
An important analysis conducted by Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute scientists suggests the importance of ensuring optimal dietary intakes of vitamin K to prevent age-related conditions such as bone fragility, arterial and kidney calcification, cardiovascular disease and possibly cancer.

New observations solve longstanding mystery of tipped stars
MIT researchers and colleagues have solved a longstanding mystery about a pair of stars called DI Herculis whose peculiar rotation (a shift in their orbit that was four times slower than expected) had remained a mystery for three decades.

First images from Planck space telescope
The Planck space telescope will map tiny differences in microwave radiation left over from the Big Bang, allowing scientists to get a better picture of the structure of the universe when it was about 400,000 years old.

Scientists pinpoint protein link to fat storage
A protein found present in all cells in the body could help scientists better understand how we store fat.

Starving in Guatemala: issues are at top of McGill food conference agenda
High food prices. Trouble getting credit. Crop failures. Some of the important reasons underlying the current food crisis in Guatemala -- where more than 50,000 families don't have enough to eat and women and children in particular are today struggling to survive -- are at the top of the agenda of McGill University's second annual Global Food Security Conference, Oct.

The wonders of wine
A conversation over a glass of wine turned into Eureka-backed research effort to create new, healthy wine-flavored products.

Secrets of insect flight revealed
Researchers are one step closer to creating a micro-aircraft that flies with the maneuverability and energy efficiency of an insect after decoding the aerodynamic secrets of insect flight.

LLNL computational pioneer Berni Alder receives National Medal of Science
Retired lab physicist and computational pioneer Berni Alder has received the National Medal of Science.

A tiny tyrannosaur
When you think of Tyrannosaurus rex, a small set of striking physical traits comes to mind: an oversized skull with powerful jaws, tiny forearms and the muscular hind legs of a runner.

Mechanism related to the onset of various genetic diseases revealed
Researchers at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona have revealed the process by which proteins with a tendency to cause conformational diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy, familial amyloidotic cardiomyopathy, etc. finally end up causing them.

'News and Terrorism: Communicating in a Crisis' -- workshop in Baltimore on Sept. 23
This workshop will focus on effectively communicating information during a terrorism attack.

Wellcome Trust and Merck launch joint venture to develop affordable vaccines
The Wellcome Trust and Merck & Co. Inc. today announced the creation of the MSD Wellcome Trust Hilleman Laboratories, the first of its kind research and development joint venture with a not-for-profit mission to focus on developing affordable vaccines to prevent diseases that commonly affect low-income countries.

Anemic patients with MDS gain long-term benefits from erythropoietin and a myeloid growth factor
Myelodysplastic syndromes, a group of blood disorders that can lead to acute myeloid leukemia in some patients, often cause severe anemia.

Salmon migration mystery explored on Idaho's Clearwater River
Temperature differences and slow-moving water at the confluence of the Clearwater and Snake rivers in Idaho might delay the migration of threatened fall Chinook salmon salmon and allow them to grow larger before reaching the Pacific Ocean.

Nanyang Technological University and Karolinska Institutet Sweden launch new Ph.D. program
The collaboration with Karolinska Institutet is a major milestone for NTU as it is the university's first joint Ph.D. program in biomedical science and its third joint Ph.D. program with top European universities in just five months.

Vaccine to prevent urinary tract infections shows early promise
University of Michigan scientists have made an important step toward what could become the first vaccine in the US to prevent urinary tract infections, if the robust immunity achieved in mice can be reproduced in humans. 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