Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 23, 2009
URI, Lehigh partner for first-ever drug effectiveness study on college students with ADHD
Researchers at the University of Rhode Island and Lehigh University are about to launch a study to test the effectiveness of the stimulant medication, Vyvanse, on college students with ADHD.

Paper battery may power electronics in clothing and packaging material
Imagine a gift wrapped in paper you really do treasure and want to carefully fold and save.

Global warming may dent El Niño's protective shield from Atlantic hurricanes, increase droughts
El Niño, the periodic eastern Pacific phenomenon credited with shielding the US and Caribbean from severe hurricane seasons, may be overshadowed by its brother in the central Pacific due to global warming, according to an article in the Sept.

Brown scientists announce finding of water on the moon
Brown University scientists have made a major discovery: the moon has distinct signatures of water.

Lasers from space show thinning of Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets
The most comprehensive picture of the rapidly thinning glaciers along the coastline of both the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets has been created using satellite lasers.

Arthritis Foundation of India Trust named winner of 2009 IOF Linda Edwards Memorial Award
The International Osteoporosis Foundation has awarded its prestigious

The vasculature emerges as a potential therapeutic target in treating ADPKD liver cysts
As part of an effort to develop effective medical therapies that block the progression of liver cyst growth in patients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Center have found that the liver cyst walls develop and maintain a vasculature as they grow out from the body of the liver and that factors released by epithelial cells that line the liver cyst wall lumen can drive the proliferation and development of vascular endothelial cells.

Medicinal products susceptible to 'dose dumping' should be fully tested
Controlled release pills and capsules that show a tendency in the standard laboratory test toward

First global scientific conference supporting UN efforts to curb desertification opens in Argentina
As climate change negotiators continue to skirt the role of agricultural land use in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, top scientists working on land management in the world's vast dry areas will gather this week in Buenos Aires, Argentina, determined to make the case that thwarting desertification in drylands is viable and also critical to the success of a new climate deal.

Annual Meeting of the National Academy of Engineering Oct. 4-5
On Oct. 4-5, the National Academy of Engineering will hold its annual meeting at the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Center at 100 Academy Drive in Irvine, Calif.

Discovery could improve hepatitis C treatment
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researchers are part of an international team that has discovered a genetic variation that could identify those people infected with hepatitis C who are most likely to benefit from current treatments.

Scientists call for humanity to 'set safe boundaries to the damage'
Humanity needs to act now to avoid threats to human well-being caused by irreversible damage to the Earth, its climate, species and life-supporting systems.

Women living in group homes need to learn to make decisions about leisure time to enrich their lives
Most people don't think twice about the ability to choose the movie they want to watch, the book they want to read or with whom they will have coffee.

Denver to Barcelona: Global cities and greenhouse gas emissions
Denver released the largest amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) and Barcelona the smallest amount in a new study documenting how differences in climate, population density and other factors affect GHG emissions in global cities.

Physicists at UC Santa Barbara make discovery in quantum mechanics
Physicists at UC Santa Barbara have made an important advance in quantum mechanics using a superconducting electrical circuit.

Journal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice to offer continuing education units for reviewers
Elsevier, a leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services announced today, that the editors of Journal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice, the foremost publication of information about evidence-based dental practice, will begin offering continuing education units to its recognized experts and valued peer reviewers.

Novel 'on-off switch' mechanism stops cancer in its tracks
A tiny bit of genetic material with no previously known function may hold the key to stopping the spread of cancer, researchers at Yale School of Medicine and Sichuan University in Chengdu, China report in two papers in the Sept.

McGill garners 19 Canada Research Chairs and more than $17 million in funding
Nineteen McGill University researchers exploring issues from biomaterials to global climate change to advanced mathematics are among the 181 newly appointed or renewed Canada Research Chairs announced Sept.

Norm Augustine to keynote symposium on accelerators for America's future
On Oct. 26, the US Department of Energy's Office of Science will host a Symposium on Accelerators for America's Future in Washington, D.C.

Component of asphalt eyed as new fuel source
The pavement material that cars drive on may wind up in their fuel tanks as scientists seek ways of transforming asphaltenes -- the main component of asphalt -- into an abundant new source of fuel, according to the cover story in the current issue of Chemical & Engineering News, ACS' weekly newsmagazine.

High-sugar diet increases men's blood pressure; gout drug protective
Just two weeks on a high-fructose diet raises blood pressure in men.

ALMA telescope reaches new heights
The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array astronomical observatory marked another huge step forward as the first of its many high-tech antennas was carried to the 16,500-foot-high observing site on Chile's plateau of Chajnator.

Schering-Plough announces this year's recipients of its 'Will to Win' Scholarship Program
Today, Schering-Plough Corporation announced the recipients of the 2009

U. College of Nursing's Kathie Supiano a 'health care hero'
University of Utah College of Nursing faculty member Kathie Supiano, M.S., L.C.S.W., was recognized by Utah Business Magazine today as one of its 2009 Health Care Heroes.

Tennessee foresters helping to return chestnuts to American forests
The American chestnut was a dominant species in eastern United States' forests before a blight wiped it out in the early 1900s.

New test quickly ID's active TB in smear-negative patients
Active tuberculosis can be rapidly identified in patients with negative sputum tests by a new method, according to European researchers.

57 college presidents declare support for public access to publicly funded research in the US
The presidents of 57 liberal arts colleges in the US, representing 22 states, have declared their support for the Federal Research Public Access Act in an open letter released today.

NYU's Courant part of team to resolve ancient mathematics problem
Mathematicians from North America, Europe, Australia and South America have resolved the first one trillion cases of an ancient mathematics problem on congruent numbers.

ACP launches ethics case studies series on MedscapeCME
A series of cases with commentaries by the American College of Physicians Ethics, Professionalism and Human Rights Committee and the College's Center for Ethics and Professionalism are now available on MedscapeCME.

Swine flu impacts could further damage US economy, says UAB economist
H1N1 influenza could slow growth in key industries and stall already-weak GDP growth in the third and fourth quarters of 2009, says a health economist in the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Business.

Rice awarded $5M for light-based crystal simulator
The US Department of Defense has awarded Rice University physicists $5 million to simulate high-temperature superconductors using ultracold atoms in an optical lattice.

Study reveals 2/3 of prostate cancer patients do not need treatment
Research at the University of Liverpool involving more than 500 prostate cancer patients has revealed two thirds of cases did not require urgent treatment, due to the absence of a protein that indicates progressive disease.

Increased risk of birth defects after PCE exposure
Exposure to tetrachloroethylene (also known as perchlorethylene, PCE) may cause congenital birth defects.

Pregnant women need flu shots
Eight maternal and child health information providers urged pregnant women to be vaccinated against both the seasonal flu and the H1N1 flu.

Research team finds first evolutionary branching for bilateral animals
In the most computationally intensive phylogenetic analysis to date, an international research team led by Brown University has found the first evolutionary branching for bilateral animals.

How we know a dog is a dog: Concept acquisition in the human brain
A new study explores how our brains synthesize concepts that allow us to organize and comprehend the world.

Switzerland has sent its first satellite into space
The first Swiss satellite in history -- extremely small and 100 percent student designed and built -- has been successfully launched from the Sriharikota space station in India.

New study finds way to stop excessive bone growth following trauma or surgery
A recent United States Army study found that excessive bone growth, also known as heterotopic ossificiation (HO), affects up to 70 percent of soldiers who are severely wounded during combat.

ALMA telescope takes another step forwards -- and upwards
The ALMA astronomical observatory has taken another step forward. One of its state-of-the-art antennas was carried for the first time to the 5,000-meter plateau of Chajnantor, in the Chilean Andes, on the back of a custom-built giant transporter.

Multiple strokes rather than underlying vascular risk factors increase risk of post-stroke dementia
Multiple strokes and the complications and characteristics of the stroke itself are more important predictors of post-stroke dementia than are underlying vascular risk factors.

University of Hawaii at Manoa Institute for Astronomy director awarded Schwarzschild Prize
Dr. Rolf-Peter Kudritzki, director of the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy, yesterday received the Karl Schwarzschild Prize for 2009, the most prestigious award bestowed upon an astronomer in Germany, from the Astronomische Gesellschaft at its annual meeting in Potsdam, Germany.

SAGE partners with ICRS to launch Cartilage
SAGE is partnering with the International Cartilage Repair Society to launch Cartilage in 2010.

Research shows safe dosages of common pain reliever may help prevent conditions related to aging
Recent studies conducted by Dr. Eric Blough and his colleagues at Marshall University have shown that use of the common pain reliever acetaminophen may help prevent age-associated muscle loss and other conditions.

Sorafenib significantly improves the length of time before breast cancer worsens
One of the first of a series of trials to investigate the use of sorafenib -- a targeted anti-cancer drug -- for the treatment of advanced breast cancer has found that if it is combined with the chemotherapy drug, capecitabine, it makes a significant difference to the time women live without their disease worsening.

'Back-breaking' work beliefs contribute to health workers' pain
Whether from heaving, twisting, bending or bad lifting postures, it's well known that caring for the sick or elderly can lead to back pain.

UA awarded $4.35 million to study Earth's critical zone
The zone from the treetops to the bottom of the groundwater table has been dubbed the

Pioneering cyber-security center to transform crime prevention
Ultra powerful processors to enable safer internet surfing; innovative CCTV analysis to cut crime on public transport; and Cutting-edge research to combat computer viruses -- these are some of the research projects that will be the focus of a major UK cyber-security centre launched today.

SPIRIT IV trial shows everolimus stent sets new standard for event-free survival
Late-breaking data from SPIRIT IV, a large-scale multicenter study of nearly 4,000 patients in the US, shows that an everolimus-eluting stent demonstrated enhanced safety and efficacy in the treatment of de novo native coronary artery lesions when compared to a paclitaxel-eluting stent, and showed that

Lotus-plant-inspired dust-busting shield to protect space gear
A NASA team is developing a transparent coating that mimics the self-cleaning properties of the lotus plant to prevent dirt from sticking to the surfaces of spaceflight gear and bacteria from growing inside astronaut living quarters.

Workshop targets control-theoretic approaches for agent-based models
NIMBioS will host an Investigative Workshop titled,

NIMBioS hosts tutorial on optimal control and optimization for biologists
The National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis will host a tutorial in December to introduce selected topics in optimal control and optimization with an emphasis on biological applications.

Study uncovers 'de-urbanization' of America
More than any other populace on Earth, Americans are on the move.

Study looks at using the immune system to reduce prostate cancer risk
Immune therapies have been explored as a way to treat cancer after it develops.

New study shows simplifying financial aid process improves college access for low-income students
More low-income students would make it to college if changes were made to streamline the complicated financial aid process, according to a groundbreaking study released today by researchers at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Stanford University School of Education, the University of Toronto, and the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Researchers identify new brain pathway for regulating weight and bone mass
Contrary to the prevailing view, the hormone leptin, which is critical for normal food intake and metabolism, appears to regulate bone mass and suppress appetite by acting mainly through serotonin pathways in the brain, according to a recent study published in Cell by Yale School of Medicine researchers and colleagues at Columbia University.

Smart memory foam made smarter
Researchers from Northwestern University and Boise State University have figured out how to produce a less expensive shape-shifting

Yale aging expert and evolutionary biologist receive 'genius' grants
Two Yale faculty members have been named MacArthur Foundation Fellows for 2009, the John D. and Catherine T.

Mount Sinai leads large multicenter study finding evidence that a drug might slow Parkinson's
Following one of the largest studies ever conducted in Parkinson's disease (PD), researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine report today in The New England Journal of Medicine that rasagiline, a drug currently used to treat the symptoms of PD, may also slow the rate of disease progression.

MIT retinal implant could help restore some vision
MIT engineers have designed a retinal implant for people who have lost their vision from retinitis pigmentosa or age-related macular degeneration, two of the leading causes of blindness.

Trial of new treatment for advanced melanoma shows rapid shrinking of tumors
Researchers have made significant advances in the treatment of metastatic malignant melanoma -- one of the most difficult cancers to treat successfully -- according to a study to be presented at ECCO 15 -- ESMO 34, in Berlin on Thursday.

Depression and anxiety disorders of adolescents are not the same thing
Adolescent depression and anxiety disorders are two distinct psychiatric disorders, according to Dr.

Ratchet-like genetic mutations make evolution irreversible
A University of Oregon research team has found that evolution can never go backwards, because the paths to the genes once present in our ancestors are forever blocked.

New stove dramatically improves lung health in Mexican women
Women in Central Mexico who used a vented stove instead of the traditional indoor open fire, experienced improved respiratory health on par with a pack-a-day smoker kicking the habit, according to a recent study.

Canada's G8 leadership must address catastrophic failure in progress towards Millennium Development Goals
The baton of G8 leadership will soon to pass to Canada, and in a comment published online first Lancet editor Dr.

Medical ethics experts identify, address key issues in H1N1 pandemic
The anticipated onset of a second wave of the H1N1 influenza pandemic could present a host of thorny medical ethics issues best considered well in advance, according to the University of Toronto Joint Centre for Bioethics, which today released nine papers for public discussion.

News brief: Merkel cell polyomavirus associated with Merkel cell carcinoma
The Merkel cell polyomavirus is the only human polyomavirus known to be associated with a rare skin cancer, known as Merkel cell carcinoma, according to a new study published online Sept.

New cancer drug test promises safer and more effective clinical trials
A group of scientists from Hamburg may have taken a big step towards more effective cancer drug development, Europe's largest cancer congress, ECCO 15 -- ESMO 34 heard on Wednesday, Sept.

Society of Interventional Radiology Foundation receives $1 million legacy gift
The Society of Interventional Radiology Foundation recently received a $1 million planned-gift donation to create a future scholarship fund for interventional radiology fellows to pursue this medical profession.

Schizophrenia gene linked with abnormal neurogenesis in adult and postnatal brain
Scientists now have a better understanding of a perplexing gene that is associated with susceptibility for a wide spectrum of severely debilitating mental illnesses.

New research reveals the ancestral populations of India and their relationships to modern groups
In a study published in the Sept. 24 issue of Nature, an international team describes how they harnessed modern genomic technology to explore the ancient history of India, the world's second most populous nation.

Woody plants adapted to past climate change more slowly than herbs
Can we predict which species will be most vulnerable to climate change by studying how they responded in the past?

Saying sorry really does cost nothing
When it comes to apologizing, talk is cheap, according to economists.

Rising above the din
The brain never sits idle. Whether we are awake or asleep, watch TV or close our eyes, waves of spontaneous nerve signals wash through our brains.

Scientists outline planetary boundaries: A safe operating space for humanity
New approaches are needed to help humanity deal with climate change and other global environmental threats that lie ahead in the 21st century, according to a group of 28 internationally renowned scientists.

Reactive oxygen in fruit flies acts as a cell signalling mechanism for immune response
For years, health conscious people have been taking antioxidants to reduce the levels of reactive oxygen in their blood and prevent the DNA damage done by free radicals, which are the result of oxidative stress.

UK's £30M center for cyber security opens at Queen's
The United Kingdom's lead center for cyber security research is to be opened today at Queen's University Belfast.

Study shows simplifying financial aid process improves access to higher education
For years, studies have shown that young people from low-income households across North America are less likely to apply to college or university than peers from higher-income families.

World's largest marine protected areas sign partnership agreement
Today two of the world's largest marine protected areas announced a historic alliance to enhance the management and protection of almost 300,000 square miles of marine habitat in the Pacific Ocean.

Is inhaled insulin delivery still a possibility? Why has it been a commercial failure?
The commercial failure of Exubera, the first inhaled insulin product to come to market, led other companies such as Eli Lilly-Alkermes to halt studies of similar drug delivery in development intended to compete for a share of the lucrative diabetes market.

Jean-Pol Tassin wins the 2009 ECNP Neuropsychopharmacological Award
The European College of Neuropsychopharmacology is pleased to announce Jean-Pol Tassin as the recipient of the 2009 ECNP Neuropsychopharmacology Award in Basic Science Research in recognition of his pioneering and innovative research into the neurochemical basis of substance addiction.

International scientists set boundaries for survival
Human activities have already pushed the Earth system beyond three of the planet's biophysical thresholds, with consequences that are detrimental or even catastrophic for large parts of the world; six others may well be crossed in the next decades, conclude 29 European, Australian and US scientists in an article in the Sept.

Malnutrition among older adults in rural Bangladesh challenges the Millennium Development Goals
Ninety percent of older persons in rural Bangladesh displayed either overt or risk for malnutrition in a collaborative study presented in a dissertation by Tamanna Ferdous from Uppsala University Sept.

Girls' violence on the rise
The link between cyber-bullying and an increase in violence among young women will be featured in a new book authored by Professor Kerry from Queensland University of Technology.

Ultrasound can predict tumor burden and survival in melanoma patients
Researchers have shown for the first time that patterns of ultrasound signals can be used to identify whether or not cancer has started to spread in melanoma patients, and to what extent.
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