Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 13, 2009
Microchips result in higher rate of return of shelter animals to owners
Animals shelter officials housing lost pets that had been implanted with a microchip were able to find the owners in almost three out of four cases in a recently published national study.

Tropical Storm Parma headed to Vietnam
Tropical Storm Parma crossed over the Hainan Island, China, over the weekend and is now poised for a final landfall in Vietnam around 8 p.m.

Forensics firm builds on genomic discovery to advance DNA-based identification
High-tech forensics firm, Casework Genetics, is applying new technology to forensic evidence enabling law enforcement labs to solve crimes with greater molecular precision and efficiency than ever before.

The Gerontological Society of America congratulates 2009 awardees
The Gerontological Society of America -- the country's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- is proud to acknowledge the work of 12 outstanding individuals through its prestigious awards program.

Bioluminescence imaging used for eye cancer detection
At the moment, doctors rely on biopsy analysis to determine the progression of eye cancer.

Emission capture study funded for paper industry
Battelle and Boise Inc. will conduct the first-ever feasibility study of new carbon capture and storage technology in the $140 billion pulp, paper and paperboard industry, under a $500,000 project announced by the Department of Energy.

Growth versus global warming
A study led by Newcastle University outlines how major cities must respond if they are to continue to grow in the face of climate change.

HealthGrades study: 52 percent lower chance of dying at top-rated hospitals
The largest annual study of patient outcomes at each of the nation's 5,000 nonfederal hospitals found a wide gap in quality between the nation's best hospitals and all others.

Sky merger yields sparkling dividends
A recent NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image captures what appears to be one very bright and bizarre galaxy, but is actually the result of a pair of spiral galaxies that resemble our own Milky Way smashing together at breakneck speeds.

Isaacowitz to receive GSA's 2009 Baltes Foundation Award
The Gerontological Society of America -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has chosen Derek M.

Can social networking help consumers get healthier?
Can social networking sites help people make wise health decisions?

Penn State to collaborate with Cyprus on research project
Thousands of ancient Cyprian artifacts, images and documents will soon be available to view and search online, thanks to a research partnership between Penn State and the Cyprus Institute.

Milestone discovery in cell behaviors
A team of international molecular scientists, led by a Monash University researcher has discovered a new, fast mechanism by which cells communicate change -- for example their location during spreading of a cancer in the human body -- to adjacent cells.

Looking for privacy in the clouds
Millions of Internet users have been enjoying the fun -- and free -- services provided by advertiser-supported online social networks like Facebook.

Academic dress research earns K-State professor Fellow status with Burgon Society
A K-State expert in academic regalia has recently discovered that the tradition of academic dress in the US goes back a few years farther than previously thought.

Study suggests mastectomy not being overused for breast cancer treatment
With there being a concern that mastectomy is excessively used as a treatment for breast cancer, a survey of nearly 2,000 women indicates that breast-conserving surgery was attempted as the initial therapy for about 75 percent of those surveyed, according to a study in the Oct.

Pitt researchers find candidates for new HIV drugs
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh found compounds that show promise as novel drugs to treat HIV infection in the process of developing a method to assess the activity of a protein that plays an essential role in the progression to AIDS.

UT Southwestern president elected to National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine
The president of UT Southwestern Medical Center, Dr. Daniel K.

How does media exposure affect self-esteem in overweight and underweight women?
Overweight women's self-esteem plummets when they view photographs of models of any size, according to a new study in Journal of Consumer Research.

Scientists urge EPA to adopt systems thinking
A group of nationally recognized experts in environmental science, technology, and policy have called for EPA to adopt a more integrated approach to environmental protection that accounts for the complex interrelationships among socioeconomic and environmental systems.

NYU Langone Medical Center researchers receive more than $30 million in stimulus funds
NYU Langone Medical Center has been awarded more than $30 million in research grants from the National Institute of Health for 86 research projects being conducted at NYU School of Medicine across a broad range of basic science and clinical departments.

24-carat gold 'snowflakes' improve graphene's electrical properties
In an effort to make graphene more useful in electronics applications, Kansas State University engineers made a golden discovery -- gold

Should noninvasive ventilation be considered a high-risk procedure during an epidemic?
Contrary to current policies recommending that non-invasive ventilation be avoided during an infectious outbreak, the author of a commentary in CMAJ argues that it should be used expeditiously in this setting.

H1N1 simulation modeling shows rapid vaccine rollout effective in reducing infection rates
Early action, especially rapid rollout of vaccines, is extremely effective in reducing the attack rate of the H1N1 influenza virus, according to a simulation model of a pandemic outbreak reported in a new study in CMAJ.

New brain stimulation treatment may offer hope for those with treatment resistant depression
A new neurosurgical procedure may prove helpful for patients with treatment-resistant depression.

What hit Earth in 1908 with the force of 3,000 atomic bombs?
There have been numerous theories proposed about what struck the taiga in central Siberia, causing millions of trees to topple over and many still-standing trees to lose all their branches.

UCLA gets $4.8 million to create Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center
The UCLA School of Public Health has received a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention totaling $4.8 million over four years to create a Preparedness and Emergency Response Research Center.

Nanotech protection
Writing in a forthcoming issue of the International Journal of Nanotechnology, Canadian engineers suggest that research is needed into the risks associated with the growing field of nanotechnology manufacture so that appropriate protective equipment can be developed urgently.

Children's Hospital oncology researcher elected to Institute of Medicine
A prominent scientist at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Thomas Curran, Ph.D., F.R.S., has been elected to the Institute of Medicine.

Gladstone and partners receive $3.7 million for Huntington's disease research
The National Institutes of Health has awarded a

Springer to publish Symbiosis
As of October 2009, Springer will publish Symbiosis, the official journal of the International Symbiosis Society.

Two St. Jude faculty elected to Institute of Medicine
Michael Kastan, M.D., Ph.D., and Mary Relling, Pharm.D., of St.

AGU journal highlights -- Oct. 13, 2009
Featured in this release are research papers on the following topics: Ozone-destroying gas levels spike in Arctic middle atmosphere; Lunar subsurface features mapped; Climate models must consider ozone variations; How L'Aquila earthquake rupture and aftershocks evolved; Explaining ocean reflectance lines; Cosmic ray particles flow into solar region; and Groundwater resources declining in northern India.

Roger J. Lewis, M.D., Ph.D., honored
Roger J. Lewis, M.D., Ph.D., a principal investigator at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed), has received one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine with his recent election to the Institute of Medicine.

McClearn wins GSA's 2009 Robert W. Kleemeier Award
The Gerontological Society of America -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has chosen Gerald McClearn, Ph.D., of the Pennsylvania State University as the 2009 recipient of the Robert W.

Candy bar or healthy snack? Free choice not as free as we think
If you think choosing between a candy bar and healthy snack is totally a matter of free will, think again.

Story tips from the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, October 2009
Graphene, a single-layer sheet of graphite, has potential as a remarkable material, particularly for electronics and composite applications.

Mathematical modeling correctly predicts previously unknown biological mechanism of regulation
A team of scientists, led by a biomedical engineer at The University of Texas at Austin, have demonstrated - for the first time - that mathematical models created from data obtained by DNA microarrays, can be used to correctly predict previously unknown cellular mechanisms.

Micropatterned material surface controls cell orientation
Stripe-micropatterned surfaces have recently been a unique tool to study cell orientation.

American Cancer Society honors outstanding innovative achievements in palliative care
James A. Block, M.D., president of J. A. Block Health Associates, will receive the inaugural 2009 American Cancer Society Pathfinder in Palliative Care Award, which recognizes individuals who have demonstrated innovation and ingenuity in their contributions to the advancement of the field of palliative care.

Medical imaging may help researchers understand the pathogenesis of H1N1 virus
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have found that imaging can now be used as a tool for identifying severe cases of H1N1 and may play a key role in understanding the pathogenesis of the virus, possibly leading to earlier diagnoses of severe cases in the future, according to a study published online today in the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Trialing major weight loss for type 2 diabetes in the overweight
In the first trial of its kind in the world, researchers at Monash University's Centre for Obesity Research and Education will examine the benefits of a gastric banding procedure on overweight people with Type 2 diabetes.

TAXIS Pharmaceuticals licenses novel antimicrobial technology from Rutgers and UMDNJ
TAXIS Pharmaceuticals Inc., Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey have entered into an exclusive licensing agreement for worldwide rights to develop and commercialize a novel antimicrobial technology addressing multidrug-resistant bacterial infections.

UNC researcher awarded grant for anti-diarrhea vaccine study in Nicaragua
A University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researcher has been awarded a four-year, $507,000 grant from the National Institute of Health's Fogarty International Center to study the effectiveness of rotavirus vaccines in the Central American nation of Nicaragua.

Spain is the second country in the world where divorce is better accepted socially
Only Brazil exceeds Spain, which is far ahead of the countries of the north of Europe, traditionally considered to be more liberal in the social acceptance of divorce.

How to win by concession and avoid unproductive conflict
A new study published in Economic Inquiry explores the seminal question:

Coleman wins GSA's 2009 Maxwell A. Pollack Award for Productive Aging
Eric A. Coleman, M.D., M.P.H., of the University of Colorado Denver has been chosen by the Gerontological Society of America -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- to receive the 2009 Maxwell A.

Study identifies significant savings on venous leg ulcer dressings
Health-care services could save millions by routinely using inexpensive dressings to treat venous leg ulcers, after a study showed that they are just as effective as expensive silver dressings in the majority of cases.

UNC awarded $6.2 million renewal grant by NIH Rare Diseases Research Network
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been awarded a five-year, $6.2 million renewal grant to continue its work as part of the National Institutes of Health's Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network.

Ion Tiger fuel cell unmanned air vehicle completes 23-hour flight
The Naval Research Laboratory's Ion Tiger, a hydrogen-powered fuel cell unmanned air vehicle, has flown 23 hours and 17 minutes, setting an unofficial flight endurance record for a fuel-cell powered flight.

Exercise reduces fatigue in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy
Supervised exercise programs that include high and low intense cardiovascular and resistance training can help reduce fatigue in patients with cancer who are undergoing adjuvant chemotherapy or treatment for advanced disease.

A new scan for lung diseases
People with chronic lung disease and asthma could soon be offered better treatment thanks to a new type of magnetic resonance imaging scan being pioneered at the University of Nottingham.

Conservation targets too small to stop extinction
Conservation biologists are setting their minimum population size targets too low to prevent extinction, according to a new study led by University of Adelaide, Australia.

Blood ties -- younger generation more willing to donate blood
Youth may not bring wisdom but, according to a new study from Canada, it does bring generosity as young adults are found to be the most likely to donate blood.

Don't block folic acid in early pregnancy
Using medication that reduces or blocks the actions of folic acid during the first trimester of pregnancy, increases the risk that the growing baby will develop abnormalities.

UCR researchers develop genetic map for cowpea, accelerating development of new varieties
A team of scientists at the University of California, Riverside has developed a high-density

Older adults want robots that do more than vacuum, human factors/ergonomics researchers find
Researchers at Georgia Tech have discovered that, contrary to previous assumptions, older adults are more amenable than younger ones to having a robot

Nitrogen mysteries in urban grasslands
Urban grasslands are an extremely common, but poorly studied ecosystem type.

Less invasive procedure for repair of abdominal aortic aneurysm may reduce short-term risk of death
Patients who received the less-invasive endovascular repair of an abdominal aortic aneurysm had a lower risk of death in the first 30 days after the procedure compared to patients who an open repair, but both procedures had similar rates of death after two years, according to a study in the Oct.

Race not reported in over 50 percent of randomized clinical trials for cardiovascular disease
A new study recently published online by the American Heart Journal shows that more than half of all randomized clinical trials, or RCTs, for cardiovascular disease are not reporting vital information about the study populations race or ethnicity.

HSPH professors elected to Institute of Medicine
Two members of the Harvard School of Public Health faculty have been elected to the Institute of Medicine, a national resource for independent, scientifically informed analysis and recommendations on human health issues.

NIH funds new virus database at UT Southwestern
The National Institutes of Health has awarded a $15.7 million contract to UT Southwestern Medical Center and Northrop Grumman Corp. to develop an open-access national online database and analysis resource center that will help scientists study and combat viruses such as those that cause hepatitis, encephalitis, smallpox, acute respiratory distress and dengue fever, as well as newly emerging pathogenic viruses.

Long feared extinct, rare bird rediscovered
Known to science only by two century-old specimens, a critically endangered crow has re-emerged on a remote, mountainous Indonesian island thanks in part to a Michigan State University scientist.

Study examines mastectomy and breast-conserving surgery rates
There is concern that mastectomy is over-utilized in the United States, which raises questions about the role of surgeons and patient preference in treatment selection for breast cancer.

Bosses who feel inadequate are more likely to bully
Bosses who feel incompetent are more likely to bully their employees, according to new research from UC Berkeley and the University of Southern California.

Wahl to receive GSA's 2009 M. Powell Lawton Award
The Gerontological Society of America -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has chosen Hans-Werner Wahl, Ph.D., of the University of Heidelberg to receive the 2009 M.

Canadian blood supply future uncertain as population ages: Study
The Canadian blood supply relies heavily on a small number of donors -- with young adults donating at higher rates -- which may prove problematic as the population ages, according to a new study from McMaster University.

Mezey to receive GSA's 2009 Doris Schwartz Award
The Gerontological Society of America -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has chosen Mathy Mezey, Ed.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., of New York University as the recipient of the 2009 Doris Schwartz Gerontological Nursing Research Award.

People who work after retiring enjoy better health, according to national study
Retirees who transition from full-time work into a temporary or part-time job experience fewer major diseases and are able to function better day-to-day than people who stop working altogether, according to a national study.

Cell death occurs in the same way in plants, animals and humans
Research has previously assumed that animals and plants developed different genetic programs for cell death.

New type of flying reptile discovered
Discovered by scientists at the University of Leicester and the Geological Institute, Beijing, Darwin's pterodactyl preyed on flying dinosaurs and shows how a controversial type of evolution may have powered the origin of major new groups.

Dysfunctional protein dynamics behind neurological disease?
Researchers at Lund University, Sweden, have taken a snapshot of proteins changing shape, sticking together and creating structures that are believed to trigger deadly processes in the nervous system.

Comfort food: Chocolate, water reduce pain response to heat
People often eat food to feel better, but researchers have found that eating chocolate or drinking water can blunt pain, reducing a rat's response to a hot stimulus.

Working overnights by physicians not linked to significantly increased risk of complications
Attending surgeons and obstetricians/gynecologists who worked nighttime hours did not have a significantly greater rate of complications for procedures performed the next day, but having less than six hours of opportunity for sleep between procedures was associated with an increased rate of surgical complications, according to a study in the Oct.

Action video game players experience diminished proactive attention
Video game players are often accused of passively reacting to tasks that are spoon fed to them through graphics and stimuli on the screen.

What works -- and what doesn't -- in medical informatics: New journal to launch in December
Two Johns Hopkins Children's Center researchers have assembled a 25-member editorial board of international experts to launch a quarterly online medical journal devoted to original research and commentary on the use of computer automation in the day-to-day practice of medicine.

Minimally invasive radical prostatectomy shows advantages, but also certain complications
New research indicates that the use of minimally invasive procedures for radical prostatectomy, which have increased significantly in recent years, may shorten hospital stays and decrease respiratory and surgical complications, but may also result in an increased rate of certain complications, including incontinence and erectile dysfunction, according to a study in the Oct.

Tropical Storm Nepartak becoming extra-tropical at sea
Tropical Storm Nepartak is now speeding in a northeasterly direction in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, where it is becoming extra-tropical and developing frontal qualities.

The 12-step path to white-collar crime
Adelphia Communications, Barings Bank, Enron, HealthSouth, HIH Insurance, Hollinger International, Tyco International, WorldCom/MCI, Xerox ... the white collar crime list goes on.

Like humans, monkeys fall into the 'uncanny valley'
Princeton University researchers have come up with a new twist on the mysterious visual phenomenon experienced by humans known as the

Whale-sized genetic study largest ever for Southern Hemisphere humpbacks
After 15 years of research in the waters of the South Atlantic and Indian Oceans, scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society, the American Museum of Natural History, and an international coalition of organizations have unveiled the largest genetic study of humpback whale populations ever conducted in the Southern Hemisphere.

Confidence may not be convincing when recommending products or services
Sometimes people can gain influence by expressing uncertainty, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Rip currents pose greater risk to swimmers than to shoreline
Henry Bokuniewicz, professor in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University, and Ph.D. candidate Michael Slattery found that rip currents at East Hampton Village Beach lasted on average a little over one minute, not long enough to substantially alter the shoreline.

New cancer gene discovered
A new cancer gene has been discovered by a research group at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Baja watching Tropical Storm Patricia in the latest GOES-11 satellite movie
The nineteenth tropical cyclone of the Eastern Pacific formed over this past weekend, and strengthened into Tropical Storm Patricia.

Recent 'momentum' influences choices of baby names, NYU, Indiana psychology professors find
New research by psychologists at New York University and Indiana University, Bloomington, suggests that the change in popularity of babies' names over time increasingly influences naming decisions in the United States.

Report documents the risks of giant invasive snakes in the US
Five giant non-native snake species would pose high risks to the health of ecosystems in the United States should they become established here, according to a US Geological Survey report released today.

Study finds rise in rate of undesirable events at start of academic year
The rate of undesirable events in teaching hospitals increases at the beginning of the academic year, regardless of trainees' level of clinical experience, concludes new research from Australia published on today.

Discovering Europe at Nanyang Technological University
Corporate social responsibility is the key to a competitive European Union.

Study questions need for routine intervention in patients with renovascular disease
Some invasive procedures that are becoming increasingly common as a first line of treatment for patients diagnosed with narrowed arteries in and around the kidneys may not be necessary, according to a new study by researchers at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

Prestigious Hartford grants bolster awardees' social work research
Six outstanding students have been chosen as the newest recipients of the prestigious Hartford Doctoral Fellowship in geriatric social work.

Medications that block folic acid in pregnancy double risk of congenital malformations in fetus
Pregnant women are advised to take vitamin supplements containing folic acid as part of their routine prenatal care.

Researchers discover mechanism that helps humans see in bright and low light
Ever wonder how your eyes adjust during a blackout? When we go from light to near total darkness, cells in the retina must quickly adjust.

Over half of cot deaths occur while co-sleeping
More than half of sudden unexplained infant deaths occur while the infant is sharing a bed or a sofa with a parent and may be related to parents drinking alcohol or taking drugs, suggests a study published on today.

Berkman wins GSA's 2009 Donald P. Kent Award
The Gerontological Society of America -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has chosen Barbara Berkman, D.S.W., Ph.D., of Columbia University as the 2009 recipient of the Donald P.

Case Western Reserve University receives $20.5 million
Case Western Reserve University has received a $20.5 million gift from Donald Goodman, D.D.S., and Ruth Weber Goodman.

Arizona State's Ostrom wins Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences
Arizona State University Research Professor Elinor Ostrom has won this year's Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, a prize she shares with Oliver E.

Free AAPS webinar will discuss nanotechnology
The purpose of this free webinar is to provide an overview of submicron systems and to discuss the analytical issues nanotechnology presents, as well as the means by which some of these issues can be addressed.

ASAPS partners with SAGE in 2010 to publish the Aesthetic Surgery Journal
The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery has partnered with SAGE to publish the Aesthetic Surgery Journal beginning in 2010.

Researchers to model the life cycles of successful virtual teams
Each year, hundreds of scientists from all over the world come to the Florida State University campus to conduct research at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory.

New effort to battle antibiotic resistance rallies researchers throughout Harvard University
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has awarded $5 million to an interdisciplinary group of Harvard researchers to launch the

Transcendental meditation reduces stress, improves mental health among women with breast cancer
Women with breast cancer reduced stress and improved their mental health and emotional well-being through the Transcendental Meditation technique, according to a new study published in the current issue of the peer-reviewed Integrative Cancer Therapies.

Will this trip be exciting? Consumers respond best to vacation ads that match current emotions
Most of us won't respond to the call of adventure while soaking in a relaxing bath.

Surviving breast cancer -- low-income females worst hit
Later diagnosis, less first-course treatment and race are the main reasons for the difference in mortality between rich and poor breast cancer patients. 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