Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 07, 2009
New designs for smarter buildings
After two years of design, experimentation, fund-raising and building, the University of Arizona's Solar Decathlon team has completed construction of its 800-square-foot solar-powered house on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

Strategy for mismatched stem cell transplants triggers protection against graft-vs.-host disease
A technique being tested in stem cell transplants from imperfectly matched donors has revealed an unforeseen response that can suppress graft-versus-host disease, report Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researchers.

Major improvements made in engineering heart repair patches from stem cells
Researchers have engineered more viable heart repair patches from mixed stem cells.

The European project, Eurofleets
The project Eurofleets funded by the European Commission in the 7th Framework program was recently launched with a meeting in Paris.

Unnatural selection: Birth control pills may alter choice of partners
Is it possible that the use of oral contraceptives is interfering with a woman's ability to choose, compete for and retain her preferred mate?

CD4 cell count key predictive risk factor for both AIDS-defining and non-AIDS-defining cancers in patients with HIV
Immunodeficiency (falling CD4 cell count) increases the risk of at least seven cancers in people with HIV.

TGen and Scottsdale Healthcare discover new 'pathways'
Using computer modeling, the Translational Genomics Research Institute and Scottsdale Healthcare have discovered lung cancer

Buying green can be license for bad behavior, study finds
Just being around green products can make us behave more altruistically, a new study to be published in a forthcoming issue of Psychological Science has found.

Researchers create smaller and more efficient nuclear battery
Batteries can power anything from small sensors to large systems.

UA scientists discover quantum fingerprints of chaos
Poul Jessen and his team in the University of Arizona's College of Optical Sciences are the first to produce experimental evidence that classical chaos occurs in the quantum world.

NHLBI awards $11 million for molecular roadmap to chronic lung diseases
Researchers at five medical centers have been awarded an $11 million grant from the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute to delve deeply into the biology of two fatal lung diseases for which there are few therapeutic options.

Depression a common consequence of chronic rhinosinusitis
The existence of depression in patients with chronic rhinosinusitis is common and under-reported, according to new research presented at the 2009 American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery Foundation Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO, in San Diego, Calif.

New lab-on-a-chip technique developed at U of T
Scientists at the University of Toronto have developed a new

OU researchers developing effective transportation project management strategies
Effective management strategies for complex transportation projects is the focus of a guide, workshop materials and a training program being developed by University of Oklahoma construction science professor Douglas Gransberg in collaboration with an international team of researchers from Canada, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States.

Race to the Top education reforms should be evaluated
The Race to the Top initiative -- a $4.35 billion grant program included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to encourage state-level education reforms -- should require rigorous evaluations of the reform efforts it funds, says a new report from the National Research Council.

IEEE-USA helps produce more than three-dozen TV news reports on technologies that benefit society
To increase the public's awareness and appreciation of the role of engineering in society, IEEE-USA has helped to produce more than three dozen TV news reports on IEEE technologies this year.

Strong link between obesity and depression
Doctors should pay more attention to the link between common mental illness and obesity in patients because the two health problems are closely linked, according to researchers at the University of Adelaide.

Study: Some stock repurchase plans just empty promises
A new study backs longtime speculation on Wall Street that companies sometimes ballyhoo stock repurchase programs they never plan to pursue, hoping to stir a buzz that will mislead investors and pump up sagging share prices.

The Church of England is still popular
Despite decline in numbers of worshipers and increased secularization the church is still valued and appreciated as an institution which protects and preserves common values in the public sphere.

New study finds high rates of childhood exposure to violence and abuse in US
A new study from the University of New Hampshire finds that US children are routinely exposed to even more violence and abuse than has been previously recognized, with nearly half experiencing a physical assault in the study year.

Satellite data instrumental in combating desertification
With land degradation in dryland regions continuing to worsen, the UN Convention to Combat Desertification has agreed on scientist-recommended indicators for monitoring and assessing desertification that signatory countries must report on.

New Singapore-France research alliance to develop state-of-the-art nanotechnologies
NTU, Singapore's leading science and technology university has formed a tripartite research alliance with France's National Center of Scientific Research and Thales the French electronics giant and a global technology leader.

Jumping genes, gene loss and genome dark matter
An international team presents a new map of changes to human genome structure and a resource for researchers to look at the role of these changes in human disease.

Injury and hazards in home health care nursing are a growing concern
Patients continue to enter home health care ''sicker and quicker,

1 small step for neurons, 1 giant leap for nerve cell repair
The repair of damaged nerve cells is a major problem in medicine today.

Researchers identify genes associated with onset age of Parkinson's disease
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine have identified genes which may influence the onset age of Parkinson's disease.

Stevens' Director of Energy Initiatives features in energy thought-leadership event
Stevens Institute of Technology's Paul Winstanley knows a thing or two about the future -- the future of energy, that is.

Study examines ethical dilemmas of medical tourism
Medical tourism in Latin America needs to be regulated to protect consumers, according to University of Montreal researchers.

M. D. Anderson team chosen to help navigate Cancer Genome Atlas
The Cancer Genome Atlas will fund an effort by scientists at the University of Texas M.

New mobile lab allows MSU researchers to study air quality, health effects
A new mobile air research laboratory will help a team of researchers led by a Michigan State University professor better understand the damaging health effects of air pollution and why certain airborne particles -- emitted from plants and vehicles -- induce disease and illness.

Enzyme may be a key to Alzheimer's-related cell death
A Purdue University researcher has discovered that the amount of an enzyme present in neurons can affect the mechanism thought to cause cell death in Alzheimer's disease patients and may have applications for other diseases such as stroke and heart attack.

The science of pregnant singers, video game panic attacks, and homeland security in the Hudson River
How does a woman's voice differ from a man's? Can being a good listener help a whale survive?

Genes signal late-stage laryngeal cancer, poorer outcome
Researchers at Henry Ford Hospital have identified tumor-suppressing genes that may provide a more accurate diagnosis of disease stage and survival for laryngeal cancer patients than current standards.

Banking on outlier detection
Recent bank failures point to the continuing need for vigilance by regulators and investors.

New approach for growing bone comes from Duke preclinical research
The results from a new study at Duke suggest a targeted approach by which drugs may be able to fight osteoporosis and other degenerative bone diseases.

ASA, CSSA, SSSA to present awards in Pittsburgh
The ASA, CSSA, and SSSA will recognize the following individuals during the scientific societies' annual meeting in Pittsburgh, Pa, Nov.

Silicon Valley researchers and companies showcased during OSA 'Frontiers in Optics' Annual Meeting
Innovations from more than 750 scientific, technical and educational presentations will be highlighted during The Optical Society's Annual Meeting, Frontiers in Optics 2009, scheduled for Oct.

UK incidence of children living with substance-misusing parents considerably underestimated
Current figures underestimate the number of children who may be at risk of harm from parental substance use.

UCLA center gets $4.5M in NSF funds for role in national earthquake simulation network
The NSF has awarded $105 million to Purdue University to spearhead a center that will serve as headquarters for the operations of the George E.

Climate change, planets, earliest life, natural disasters, wine and more in Portland
More than 6,000 geoscientists from around the world will gather at The Geological Society of America's Annual Meeting at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland, Ore., USA, on Oct.

African-American lung cancer patients may have different response to new cancer-fighting drugs
Clinical research out of University Hospitals Case Medical Center has found that African-Americans with a common form of lung cancer have a lower frequency of drug-sensitizing genetic mutations, which may impact response to new cancer-fighting drugs.

Stem cells which 'fool immune system' may provide vaccination for cancer
A study published in Stem Cells reveals the potential for human stem cells to provide a vaccination against colon cancer.

Bacterium helps formation of gold
Australian scientists have found that the bacterium Cupriavidus metallidurans catalyzes the biomineralization of gold by transforming toxic gold compounds to their metallic form using active cellular mechanism.

$2M in grants for bullet, duct tape forensic science
Better evidence from bullets, duct tape and guns is the aim of three grants totaling over $2.2 million awarded to the UC Davis program in forensic science by the US Department of Justice.

CHEO RI study uses sophisticated genetic engineering to improve insulin-producing beta cells
A study to be published today in the leading international journal Cell Metabolism describes how a research group led by Dr.

SAGE to publish Transfer: European Review of Labor and Research
SAGE is delighted to announce a new publishing agreement with the European Trade Union Institute to publish their journal, Transfer: European Review of Labor and Research from January 2010.

Case Western Reserve awarded $1.57M for corneal infection research
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have been awarded a $1.57 million renewal grant from the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health to continue their study of corneal infections, specifically, bacterial keratitis, associated with contact lens wear.

NIH grant will boost electron microscopy at Brandeis
Researchers' ability to rapidly detect the macromolecular protein clumps implicated in Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases will soon get a sizable boost in the lab of biochemist and Howard Hughes Medical Investigator Nikolaus Grigorieff.

October seismology tipsheet
Highlights from October issue include a review article on strong ground motion; archaeoseismology: what can be gleaned from toppled columns; and further details on historical earthquakes along the Northern Anatolian Fault in Turkey.

Genetic effects of radiation
Researchers at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center are helping to lead a massive international study on the possible genetic effects of radiation and cancer drug exposures on future generations.

New aluminum-water rocket propellant promising for future space missions
Researchers are developing a new type of rocket propellant made of a frozen mixture of water and

Western astronomers capture spectacular meteor footage and images
Astronomers from the University of Western Ontario in London, Canada, have released footage of a meteor that was approximately 100 times brighter than a full moon.

ASA, CSSA and SSSA to present fellows in Pittsburgh
The American Association of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America will continue a time-honored tradition this year, with the presentation of the 2009 ASA, CSSA, and SSSA Fellows at a special Awards Ceremony during their Annual Meeting on Nov.

Electrostatic surface cleaning
The smallest particles often make a huge difference. If they accumulate on the surface of a product during manufacturing, the quality of the goods may be impaired.

Typhoon Melor and Tropical Storm Parma mean double trouble in the western Pacific
There's double-trouble in the Western Pacific with one typhoon and one tropical storm bringing soaking rains, dangerous surf and gusty winds to two different locations.

Researcher solves mystery about proteins that package the genome
A Florida State University College of Medicine researcher has solved a century-old mystery about proteins that play a vital role in the transfer of the human genetic code from one cell to another.

Agronomy, crop and soil science societies to present scholarships in Pittsburgh
The American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America and Soil Science Society of America will recognize outstanding students at their annual meetings on Nov.

Genome-wide study of autism published in Nature
In one of the first studies of its kind, an international team of researchers has uncovered a single-letter change in the genetic code that is associated with autism.

Heartburn drugs deemed safe for fetuses according to Ben-Gurion University researchers
H2 blocker drugs, such as Famotidine, Cimetidine and Ranitidine, approved in the US for acid reflux, pose no significant risks for the fetus according to a large collaborative cohort study by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center senior neurologist Louis R. Caplan, M.D., receives honors
Louis R. Caplan, M.D., senior neurologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and a leader in the treatment and research of strokes, has been elected an Honorary Member of the American Neurological Association and will be honored by the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Specialty hospitals cherry-pick patients, exaggerate success, says INFORMS meeting paper
Although many specialized hospitals deliver better and faster services in cardiac care and other specialties, a paper being presented at the annual meeting of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences maintains that these hospitals cherry-pick patients to achieve these results, and that average patients actually receive worse care.

Vaccines have not curbed rate of ear infection complications
The introduction of pneumococcal vaccines for treating otitis media in children has not prevented complications from occurring, according to new research presented at the 2009 American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery Foundation Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO, in San Diego, Calif.

Insured African-Americans more likely to use emergency room than other insured groups
African-Americans enrolled in health maintenance organizations (HMOs) in California are disproportionately more likely than any other racial and ethnic group to delay getting needed prescription drugs and to use the emergency room, according to new research from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

Eco-friendly defense against erosion in arctic regions
Coastal roads and harbors are traditionally protected from sea erosion by giant blocks of rock or geosynthetic bags filled with material, all locally sourced where possible.

Rare head and neck cancer linked to HPV, study finds
An increase in cases of a rare type of head and neck cancer appears to be linked to HPV, or human papillomavirus, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

A road of no return
Light readily bounces off obstacles in its path. Some of these reflections are captured by our eyes, thus participating in the visual perception of the objects around us.

Henri born in Eastern Atlantic ... could be short-lived
Forecasters were watching a storm they designated as 91 yesterday, Oct.

4 national groups of surgeons respond to the Institute of Medicine's recommendation
Ever since the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Educations and its Resident Review Committees instituted limitations on duty-hours for residents, in 2003, there has been an ongoing debate about the benefits and costs of the changes imposed on patient care and the education of residents.

Protecting humans and animals from diseases in wildlife
Avian influenza, rabies, plague, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, and more recently swine flu are all examples of diseases that have made the leap from animals to humans.

New link found between osteoporosis and coeliac disease
People with coeliac disease may develop osteoporosis because their immune system attacks their bone tissue, a new study has shown.

Air quality improvements over the last decade may be a factor in fewer ear infections
Strides in improving the nation's air quality over the past 10 years may be a factor in fewer cases of ear infections in children.

Debut edition of Science Translational Medicine
The debut issue of Science Translational Medicine -- a new journal intended to help speed basic research advances into clinics and hospitals -- describes a microfluidics device for detecting tiny amounts of estrogen, which could potentially improve breast cancer screening.

Oct. 9 Symposium on International Astronomy
A National Research Council symposium, Beyond the Decade: The Future of International Astronomy, will be held on Friday, Oct.

Fill 'er up -- with algae
Imagine filling up your car with fuel that comes from inexpensive algae that grow quickly, don't use up freshwater supplies and can be cultivated in areas where they won't compete with traditional food crops, such as corn or soybeans.

Falling public support for health-care reform can be turned around
Survey results published this week in the journal Health Affairs show that while only 27 percent of adults currently support the US Senate Finance Committee's proposed health-care legislation, an amended bill could gain the majority's favor.

'Sun in a Bottle: The Strange History of Fusion Energy,' Charles Seife, Oct. 28
On Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2009, 4-5:30 p.m., the Center for Science Writings at Stevens Institute of Technology will present a talk by author and New York University Professor Charles Seife.

Huelva is swallowing up coastal lagoons in Doñana
A team of Spanish scientists from a variety of fields has analyzed the effects of human activity on the peridunal lagoons in the Doñana National Park.

American Association for Cancer Research to honor leading researchers at breast cancer symposium
The CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium will honor two leading breast cancer researchers when it holds its 32nd annual meeting Dec.

Hutchinson Center scientists net $16.7 million for stem cell research
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has awarded a total of $16.7 million to Irwin Bernstein, M.D., and Beverly Torok-Storb, Ph.D., both members of the Clinical Research Division at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Obese children at significantly greater risk for post-adenotonsillectomy complications
Obesity in children significantly increases the risk of major and minor respiratory complications following surgery to correct sleep disordered breathing, according to new research presented at the 2009 American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery Foundation Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO, in San Diego, Calif.

While adolescents may reason as well as adults, their emotional maturity lags, says new research
A 16-year-old might be quite capable of making an informed decision about whether to end a pregnancy -- a decision likely to be made after due consideration and consultation with an adult -- but this same adolescent may not possess the maturity to be held to adult levels of responsibility if she commits a violent crime, according to new research into adolescent psychological development.

Surgeons' unanimous consensus: Needle biopsy is gold standard for breast cancer diagnosis
A special report published in the October issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons indicates that an alarming 35 percent of initial diagnostic breast biopsies in the United States are still being done using unnecessary open surgical techniques.

Autism Speaks' genetic resource exchange, tissue program support findings published in Nature
Autism Speaks' Autism Genetic Resource Exchange and the Autism Tissue Program continue to play an integral role in genetic research.

Monash research cautions against use of antioxidants
An international team of scientists, led by Monash University researchers, has found that antioxidants commonly touted for their health-promoting benefits, could contribute to the early onset of type 2 diabetes.

Peering under the ice of a collapsing polar coast
Starting this month, a giant NASA DC-8 aircraft loaded with geophysical instruments and scientists will buzz at low level over the coasts of West Antarctica, where ice sheets are collapsing at a pace far beyond what scientists expected a few years ago.

October 2009 Lithosphere highlights
October Lithosphere articles cover diverse locations: the South Tibetan detachment in the eastern Himalaya of Bhutan; metamorphic rocks in the Aegean region; the Volcanic Tableland near Bishop, Calif.; and the Puna Plateau of northwest Argentina.

$11.5 million cervical cancer grant awarded to a collaborative patnership that includes UAB Cancer Center
A new National Cancer Institute-funded translational grant will focus on next-generation human papillomavirus vaccines for the prevention of cervical cancer.

Third quarter engineering unemployment data show mixed trends
The unemployment rate for US electrical and electronics engineers, which had jumped to a record high in the second quarter, has eased, according to third quarter data just released by the Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics.

iPhone the body electric
University of Utah researchers created new iPhone programs -- known as applications or

Loyal alligators display the mating habits of birds
Research published in Molecular Ecology reveals that alligators display the same loyalty to their mates as birds, a discovery which may give a better understanding of dinosaur mating.

Parents with autistic infants to try responsive teaching
While infant and toddler brains are rapidly developing, a window of opportunity exists to reduce the impact of autism, which now affects one of every 150 children born in the United States. 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