Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 22, 2009
Stevens' Center for Science Writings presents a talk on modern warfare by Peter W. Singer, Sept. 23
The Center for Science Writings at Stevens Institute of Technology presents the talk,

Higher levels of fatigue, distress in resident physicians linked to self-perceived medical errors
Internal medicine residents who reported higher levels of fatigue and distress were more likely to report a medical error, according to a study in the Sept.

Elsevier congratulates its British Medical Association award-winning medical authors and editors
Elsevier is pleased to announce that 10 of its professional and scholarly books were honored at the annual BMA Medical Book Competition ceremony in London on Sept.

New vista of Milky Way center unveiled
A dramatic new vista of the center of the Milky Way galaxy from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory exposes new levels of the complexity and intrigue in the Galactic center.

UAB research finds childbearing increases chance of developing the metabolic syndrome
Childbearing is associated directly with future development of the metabolic syndrome -- abdominal obesity, high triglycerides, insulin resistance and other cardiovascular disease risk factors -- and for women who have had gestational diabetes, the risk is more than twice greater, according to a study co-authored by University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers published in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Researcher awarded $1.2 million grant to study centrosomes and cilia
If you don't know how a human cell is supposed to work, it's hard to offer a good explanation when the cell goes haywire -- as it does in cancer.

Many medical schools report incidents of students posting unprofessional content online
A majority of medical schools surveyed report they have experienced incidents of students posting unprofessional content online, including incidents involving violation of patient confidentiality, with few schools having policies to address these types of postings, according to a study in the Sept.

Women with atrial fibrillation are at significantly higher risk of stroke and death compared to men
Even though the incidence of atrial fibrillation is higher in men than women, a review of past studies and medical literature completed by cardiac experts at Rush University Medical Center shows that women are more likely than men to experience symptomatic attacks, a higher frequency of recurrences, and significantly higher heart rates during atrial fibrillation, which increases the risk of stroke.

Maternal/child health focus of African Science Academies meeting in Ghana Nov. 9-11
The fifth annual international conference of the African Science Academy Development Initiative will be held Nov.

New beryllium reference material for occupational safety monitoring
Researchers at NIST, in collaboration with private industry and other government agencies, have produced a new standard reference material for beryllium, an exotic metal used as a hardener in high-performance alloys and ceramics.

New computing tool could lead to better crops and pesticides say researchers
A new computing tool that could help scientists predict how plants will react to different environmental conditions in order to create better crops, such as tastier and longer lasting tomatoes, is being developed by researchers.

A splash of graphene improves battery materials
Researchers have found that graphene, sheets of carbon one atom thick, improves the performance of titanium dioxide as a lithium battery electrode.

Community-based drug delivery and improved health facility drug supply could mean almost 60,000 fewer maternal deaths across Africa
Improved maternal care, through improvement of health facilities and better access to drugs via community health workers and village volunteers, could potentially mean 60,000 fewer maternal deaths across Africa per year from post-partum bleeding and sepsis -- a reduction of 32 percent in deaths from these two causes.

Therapeutic nanoparticles give new meaning to sugar-coating medicine
A research team at NIST studying sugar-coated nanoparticles for use as a possible cancer therapy has uncovered a delicate balancing act that makes the particles more effective than conventional thinking says they should be.

Kidney advocates launch $10.25 million effort to examine cause of kidney failure
University of Michigan Health System researchers will lead a $10.25 million effort to study rare diseases that cause kidney failure.

ESMO recognizes leading oncologists with prestigious awards
The European Society for Medical Oncology has recognized the outstanding achievements of three leading cancer specialists with its three prestigious annual awards: the 2009 ESMO Award, Hamilton Fairley Award and ESMO Lifetime Achievement Award.

Prostate cancer patients on hormone therapy at increased risk for various heart diseases
New research has found that hormone therapy used to treat men with advanced prostate cancer is associated with an increased chance of developing various heart problems.

A consistent decline in heart attack rates following the implementation of smoking bans
Strongly enforced legislation to restrict smoking produces rapid and substantial reductions in community rates of heart attack, according to a meta-analysis published today in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association.

Private umbilical cord banking not cost-effective, UCSF research shows
Private cord blood banking is not cost-effective because it costs an additional $1,374,246 per life-year gained, according to a new analysis by UCSF researchers.

Surgery residents satisfied with training, concerned with confidence, career motivation
A survey of nearly 4,500 general surgery residents finds that the majority are satisfied with their training and relationships with faculty and peers, but also indicated concerns regarding motivations for pursuing surgical careers and the need to complete specialty training, according to a study in the Sept.

Rosalind Franklin Young Investigator Award recipients announced
Jue D. Wang, Ph.D, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, and Iiris Hovatta, Ph.D., University of Helsinki, Finland are the 2010 recipients of the Rosalind Franklin Young Investigator Awards, funded by the Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation.

Expert calls for new cancer research priorities
Cancer research is too focused on new drug development, while not enough money and effort is being devoted to pursuing important advances in knowledge likely to have the biggest impact on combating the disease in the next few decades, a leading research policy expert says, adding that a major shift in research priorities will be crucial to the ability to cope with the coming wave of cancer cases.

Revolutionary drug could be new hope for adrenal cancer patients
TCRS at Scottsdale Healthcare is starting a clinical trial for a drug designed to combat adrenocortical carcinoma (ACC), a rare but deadly cancer that attacks the adrenal glands.

'Lies my parents told me'
Parents say that honesty is the best policy, but they regularly lie to their children as a way of influencing their behavior and emotions, finds new research from the University of Toronto and the University of California, San Diego.

How good are tests for E. coli in streams?
Bacteria commonly used to indicate health risks in recreational waters might not be so reliable after all.

Utah ethicist heads stem cell panel
University of Utah medical ethics expert Jeffrey R. Botkin will chair a federal panel that will review scientists' requests to conduct government-funded research using embryonic stem cells left over from couples who used

Our emotions can lead us astray when assessing risks, says new CU-Boulder study
If you find yourself more concerned about highly publicized dangers that grab your immediate attention such as terrorist attacks, while forgetting about the more mundane threats such as global warming, you're not alone.

New nanochemistry technique encases single molecules in microdroplets
Inventing a useful new tool for creating chemical reactions between single molecules, scientists at NIST have employed microfluidics to make microdroplets that each contain a single molecules of interest.

Explaining why pruning encourages plants to thrive
Scientists from York, Calgary and Sweden have shown that the main shoot dominates a plant's growth principally because it was there first, rather than due to its position at the top of the plant.

Northern brown bears discovered feeding on whitefish runs
It is well documented that brown (grizzly) bears prey on major runs of salmon, charr and trout.

Upcoming trends in hematological malignancies
The John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, the nation's fourth largest cancer center, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society have joined forces to host the Hematological Malignancies Conference on Saturday, Sept.

People with type 2 diabetes improved muscular strength
Physical therapist-directed exercise counseling combined with fitness center-based exercise training can improve muscular strength and exercise capacity in people with type 2 diabetes, with outcomes similar to those of supervised exercise, according to a randomized clinical trial published in the September issue of Physical Therapy, the scientific journal of the American Physical Therapy Association.

Develop an intelligent car able to learn from his owner's driving and warn him in case of accident
The DRIVSCO system, which has had the participation of six European countries, detects

Self-awareness program for physicians linked to improvements in burnout, mood and patient empathy
Primary-care physicians who participated in an educational program that included an emphasis on mindful communication reported improvement in personal well-being, emotional exhaustion, empathy and attitudes associated with patient-centered care, according to a study in the Sept.

'McDonaldization' of frogs
Everyone knows that frogs are in trouble. But a recent analysis of frog surveys done at eight Central American sites shows the situation is worse than thought.

October IT security automation conference to highlight health care IT, cloud computing
The Fifth Annual IT Security Automation Conference, co-hosted by NIST, will focus on emerging technologies designed to support the security automation needs of multiple sectors.

New report shows rising tide of fractures in Asia
A new audit report issued by the International Osteoporosis Foundation today shows that osteoporosis is a serious and growing problem throughout Asia.

AAPS co-sponsors workshop focusing on modified release drug products
In partnership with PQRI and FIP, AAPS is pleased to present the workshop Challenges and Opportunities in Establishing Scientific and Regulatory Standards for Assuring Therapeutic Equivalence of Modified Release Products.

Hurricane frequency is up but not their strength, say Clemson researchers
In a new study, Clemson University researchers have concluded that the number of hurricanes and tropical storms in the Atlantic Basin is increasing, but there is no evidence that their individual strengths are any greater than storms of the past or that the chances of a US strike are up.

Mindful meditation, shared dialogues reduce physician burnout
Training in mindfulness meditation and communication can alleviate the psychological distress and burnout experienced by many physicians and can improve their well-being, University of Rochester Medical Center researchers report in today's issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

University of Incheon/Berkeley Lab joint research on environmental-friendly energy
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and representatives of South Korea's University of Incheon have agreed to explore the potential for joint scientific research in energy, biology, accelerators, cosmology and space, in which the university would provide facilities and Berkeley Lab would provide research programs.

ESMO recognizes centers of excellence in palliative care for cancer patients
The prestigious

Tel Aviv University invention busts dust
A new sensor from Tel Aviv University,

Both distress and fatigue impact resident physician errors, Mayo study finds
Mayo Clinic researchers report that distress and fatigue among medical residents are independent contributors to self-perceived medical errors.

UAB research team saves turtle species on the brink
University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers exploring strategies for conserving the Diamondback Terrapin along Alabama's Dauphin Island coastline are working to keep the once-celebrated turtle off the endangered species list.

New discovery reveals fate of nanoparticles in human cells
Scientists have uncovered what happens to biomimetic nanoparticles when they enter human cells.

IEEE-USA President endorses national innovation strategy
IEEE-USA President Gordon Day said today that he strongly endorses the

LSUHSC researchers working to prevent diabetic neuropathy
Dennis Paul, Ph.D., associate professor of pharmacology, and Harry Gould, M.D., Ph.D., the Tom Benson professor of neurology at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, have been awarded one of two scientific research grants made in 2009 by the Neuropathy Association.

Targeted heat therapy offers new standard treatment option for soft tissue sarcoma
Patients with soft-tissue sarcomas at high risk of spreading were 30 percent more likely to be alive and cancer free almost three years after starting treatment if their tumors were heated at the time they received chemotherapy.

Rural roads dangerous for young drivers
Results from Australia's largest study of young drivers have shown that they are at significant risk of crash on rural roads.

Diamonds may be the ultimate MRI probe, say Quantum physicists
Diamonds, it has long been said, are a girl's best friend.

Georgia State researcher to use $1 million grant to improve computer models for fighting wildfires
A Georgia State University professor has been selected to receive a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to improve a computer simulation model that may help firefighters combat wildfires more effectively.

IOM report released on species-jumping diseases
Significant weaknesses undermine the global community's abilities to prevent, detect early, and respond efficiently to potentially deadly species-crossing microbes, such as the pandemic H1N1 influenza virus sweeping the globe, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council.

New links among alcohol abuse, depression, obesity in young women found
There is new evidence that depression, obesity and alcohol abuse or dependency are interrelated conditions among young adult women but not men.

New research provides new insight into age-related muscle decline
An article in September 2009 Genetics shows that about 3 percent of the air we breathe gets converted into harmful superoxides, which ultimately harm our muscles by leading to the creation of a toxic molecule called

National autism research led by Leicester specialist
The first ever major study into adults living with autism was published today by the NHS Information Centre.

UA develops network to improve weather forecasting with $5.45 million from NSF
University of Arizona scientists are developing a network of probes to provide quick access to soil moisture data to improve weather forecasting.

Rutgers to collaborate in $3.4 million effort to improve prostate cancer identification using MRI
Rutgers University and two collaborators have received a $3.4 million research grant to develop tools aimed at improving the identification of prostate cancer using MRI.

Computer model shows changes in brain mechanisms for cocaine addicts
University of Missouri researchers Ashwin Mohan and Sandeep Pendyam, doctoral students in the department of electrical and computer engineering, are utilizing computational models to study how the brain's chemicals and synaptic mechanisms, or connections between neurons, react to cocaine addiction and what this could mean for future therapies.

To regenerate muscle, cellular garbage men must become builders
In a study published online this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, EMBL scientists provide conclusive proof that, when a muscle is injured, white blood cells called macrophages play a crucial role in its regeneration and uncovered the genetic switch that controls this process and uncovered the genetic switch that controls this process, opening the door for new therapeutic approaches to sports injuries and to diseases such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

EVE: Measuring the sun's hidden variability
Every 11 years, the sun undergoes a furious upheaval. Dark sunspots burst forth from beneath the sun's surface.

Journalists invited to Darwin/Chicago 2009 conference Oct. 29-31
The University of Chicago will host a conference celebrating the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth, the 150th anniversary of the Origin of Species and the 50th anniversary of the scientifically influential 1959 Darwin conference at Chicago, from Thursday, Oct.

New research shows small increase in hospital mortality rates in the first week of August
People admitted to English hospitals in an emergency on the first Wednesday in August have, on average, a 6 percent higher mortality rate than people admitted on the previous Wednesday, according to research published in PLoS ONE today.

Release of the Stem Cell Charter
The Stem Cell Charter is a collective call to action in support of stem cell research.

Obesity hinders chemotherapy treatment in children with leukemia
Obesity is an important factor contributing to chemotherapy resistance and increasing relapse rates among children with leukemia, according to recent findings published online first in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

K-State geographer working to clarify what sustainability really means to rural decision-makers
A geographer is researching how people define sustainability with the hope that this will later help civic and business leaders in rural communities make more informed decisions about sustainability.

All tied up: Tethered protein provides long-sought answer
The tools of biochemistry have finally caught up with lactose repressor protein.

Balance organs affect brain blood flow
The organs of the inner ear have a direct effect on brain blood flow, independent of blood pressure and CO2 levels in the blood.

Historic gene therapy trial to treat Alzheimer's disease underway at Georgetown
Researchers in the Memory Disorders Program at Georgetown University Medical Center are now recruiting volunteers for a national gene therapy trial -- the first study of its kind for the treatment of patients with dementia due to Alzheimer's disease.

New multi-use device can shed light on oxygen intake
A fiber-optic sensor created by a team of Purdue University researchers that is capable of measuring oxygen intake rates could have broad applications ranging from plant root development to assessing the effectiveness of chemotherapy drugs.

New findings could help hybrid, electric cars keep their cool
Understanding precisely how fluid boils in tiny

A flash of light turns graphene into a biosensor
After learning how DNA interacts with the novel nanomaterial graphene, researchers propose a DNA-graphene nanoscaffold be used as a biosensor to diagnose diseases, detect toxins in tainted food and detect pathogens in biological weapons, among other applications.

Switch program increases kids' healthy eating, reduces screen time
The Switch program,

Web-based innovation improves, eases agricultural terrace design
A new Web-based, computer-assisted tool may reduce halve the time currently required for agricultural terrace design, making it feasible, for the first time, to develop more than one design, so that contractors, landowners and resource conservation personnel can compare and select the most efficient and cost-effective layout options.

Lies my parents told me
Parents say that honesty is the best policy, but they regularly lie to their children as a way of influencing their behavior and emotions, finds new research from the University of Toronto and the University of California, San Diego.

Computer code gives astrophysicists first full simulation of star's final hours
The precise conditions inside a white dwarf star in the hours leading up to its explosive end as a Type Ia supernova are one of the mysteries confronting astrophysicists studying these massive stellar explosions.

Pancreatic fat levels may help predict diabetes, UT Southwestern researchers say
Researchers have long suspected that overweight people tend to have large fat deposits in their pancreases, but they've been unable to confirm or calculate how much fat resides there because of the organ's location.

Where physician completed obstetrical residency may provide quality-of-care indicator
A ranking of obstetrics and gynecology training programs based on the maternal complication rates of their graduates' patients found these rankings consistent across individual types of complications, suggesting that these rates may reflect measures of overall quality, according to a study in the Sept.

Synthetic Biology Project receives 2 National Science Foundation grants
The Wilson Center's Synthetic Biology project recently received two grants from the National Science Foundation.

A trillion triangles
Mathematicians from North America, Europe, Australia and South America have resolved the first one trillion cases of an ancient mathematics problem.

End of an era: New ruling decides the boundaries of Earth's history
After decades of debate an international body of earth scientists has formally agreed to move the boundary dates for the prehistoric Quaternary age by 800,000 years.

Transhumance helps vulture conservation
Researchers from the University of Segovia and the University of León have shown for the first time the close space-time relationship between the presence of the griffon vulture and transhumant sheep farming in mountain passes.

Media, small businesses invited to ACS webinar on green chemistry project financing
News media and scientists interested in finance, entrepreneurships and the chemical sciences are invited to join an American Chemical Society Small & Medium Business Webinar on tips and strategies to find Environmental Protection Agency Small Business Innovation Research priority funding for environmental technology projects.

Rethinking Alzheimer's disease and its treatment targets
A new UCLA study suggests that the natural repair of myelin in the brain may be the root cause of various neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.

New NIST nano-ruler sets some very small marks
NIST has issued a new ruler, and even for an organization that routinely deals in superlatives, it sets some records. 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