Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 14, 2009
DOE to explore scientific cloud computing at Argonne, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories
Scientists will examine cloud computing as a cost-effective and energy-efficient computing paradigm to accelerate discoveries in biology, climate change and physics.

Brain power goes green
Our brains, it turns out, are eco-friendly. A study published in Science and reviewed by F1000 Biology members Venkatesh Murthy and Jakob Sorensen reveals that our brains have the amazing ability to be energy efficient.

New research reveals 41 percent increase in children's short stay hospital admissions
The number of children being admitted to hospitals in England for short stays increased by 41 percent between 1996 and 2006, according to research published in PLoS One today.

SHEA responds to CDC on H1N1
Today's announcement by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that it is modifying its guidance regarding measures that should be taken by health-care workers who are in contact with either confirmed or suspected cases of H1N1 was met with concern by the scientific community that had submitted its recommendations to CDC.

Earlier flu viruses provided some immunity to current H1N1 influenza, study shows
University of California, Davis, researchers studying the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus, formerly referred to as

Halos of Hope, ASTRO partner to raise awareness of cancer survivorship
As part of its continued effort to give back to the communities in the cities visited during its annual scientific meeting, the Fairfax, Va.-based American Society for Radiation Oncology is partnering with Halos of Hope to raise awareness of cancer survivorship.

Tiny but adaptable wasp brains show ability to alter their architecture
For an animal that has a brain about the size of two grains of sand, a lot of plasticity seems to be packed into the head of the tropical paper wasp Polybia aequatorialis.

CSIRO honors wireless team
Australian inventiveness lies at the heart of how millions of people now use wireless networks to access information on a myriad of portable devices.

Cell study explains why younger people more at risk of vCJD
Specific cells within the immune system could help explain why younger people are more susceptible to variant CJD, scientists believe.

Outfoxing pox: Developing a new class of vaccine candidates
In a new study, Kathryn Sykes, a researcher at Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute and her colleagues have taken a fresh look at cowpox.

'ECG for the mind' could diagnose depression in an hour
An innovative diagnostic technique invented by a Monash University researcher could dramatically fast-track the detection of mental and neurological illnesses.

UAB international conference focuses on preventing high-capacity computer data theft
Leading high-performance computing engineers and researchers attending a three-day international conference at the University of Alabama at Birmingham have called for renewed vigilance in field-related data security.

Gene blamed for immunological disorders shown to protect against breast cancer development
Researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center are voicing alarm that drugs to treat a wide variety of allergies, asthma and autoimmune diseases now in human clinical trials may errantly spur development of breast tumors.

BCM scientists find 'molecular trigger' for sudden death in epilepsy
The most common gene for long QT syndrome triggers epileptic seizures and could explain sudden unexpected death in epilepsy, said researchers from Baylor College of Medicine in a report in the current issue of Science Translational Medicine.

Carnegie Mellon researchers save electricity with low-power processors and flash memory
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Intel Labs Pittsburgh have combined low-power, embedded processors typically used in netbooks with flash memory to create a server architecture that is fast, but far more energy efficient for data-intensive applications than the systems now used by major Internet services.

Flu surveillance boosts control, treatment options, says UAB travel-clinic chief
Tracking and understanding the patterns of H1N1's spread is crucial to keeping a big-picture look at the disease.

New report gives 7-point plan to reduce the 1.5 million child deaths globally caused by diarrhea
Nearly one in every five child deaths -- around 1.5 million a year -- is due to diarrhea, which kills more children than AIDS, malaria and measles combined.

Improving China's acid rain control strategy
Scientists are reporting the first evidence that China's sharp focus on reducing widespread damage to soil by acid rain by restricting sulfur dioxide air pollution may have an unexpected consequence: Gains from that pollution control program will be largely offset by increases in nitrogen emissions, which the country's current policy largely overlooks.

CSIRO medal winners
From the behavior of invasive ants in northern Australia, finding black holes in space, to making better wireless computer networks, CSIRO has recognized the outstanding work of some of its scientists and staff today at a ceremony in Melbourne.

Scientists to use artificial photosynthesis and nanotubes to generate hydrogen fuel with sunlight
A team of four chemists at the University of Rochester have begun work on a new kind of system to derive usable hydrogen fuel from water using only sunlight.

Reilly Center hosts conference on evolutionary theory
The University of Notre Dame's Reilly Center for Science, Technology and Values, the Pontifical Council for Culture's Science, Theology and the Ontological Quest project in Rome will host a conference titled

SEBM 1st European Best Poster Prize awarded at ISCGT Annual Conference in Cork Ireland
At this year's Annual Meeting of the International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy of Cancer (ISCGT), held Sept.

Chemist receives NIH New Innovator grant for genetic drug research
Theresa Reineke, associate professor of chemistry at Virginia Tech, has been awarded a $2.3 million NIH New Innovator grant, which is designed to fund research that is in its earliest stages and holds potential for exceptionally high impact.

New study looks at re-identification risks of hospital pharmacy prescription records
A recent study led by Dr. Khaled El Emam, the Canada Research Chair in Electronic Health Information at the CHEO Research Institute, found that the information in hospital prescription records can quite easily re-identify patients.

Calculate benefit before dialysis for frail elders
Kidney specialists should weigh the potential quality of life for frail elders with end-stage renal disease in opting for dialysis over more conservative therapies, a nephrologist and a palliative care specialist suggest in an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine.

NJIT baseball guru says Yankees, Dodgers should make World Series
With the League Championship Series set to begin tomorrow, NJIT Mathematics Professor Bruce Bukiet has, once again, analyzed the probability of each team winning their post-season series.

The future of electricity may be found in environmentally friendly, thermoelectric cells
The US Air Force Office of Scientific Research and the National Science Foundation are funding research that may result in a military turbine aircraft that for the first time ever will produce its own electricity from exhaust heat generated from thermo electricity.

Tracking down the human 'odorprint'
Each of the 6.7 billion people on Earth has a signature body odor -- the chemical counterpart to fingerprints -- and scientists are tracking down those odiferous arches, loops, and whorls in the

Heat forms potentially harmful substance in high-fructose corn syrup
Researchers have established the conditions that foster formation of potentially dangerous levels of a toxic substance in the high-fructose corn syrup often fed to honey bees.

Absent pheromones turn flies into lusty Lotharios
When Professor Joel Levine's team genetically tweaked fruit flies so that they didn't produce certain pheromones, they triggered a sexual tsunami in their University of Toronto Mississauga laboratory.

Affordable anti-rejection drug as effective as higher cost option
A newer, less expensive drug used to suppress the immune system and prevent organ rejection in kidney and pancreas transplant patients works just as well as its much more expensive counterpart, according to a new study by researchers at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

Arctic now traps 25 percent of World's carbon -- but that could change
The arctic could potentially alter the Earth's climate by becoming a possible source of global atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Fighting flu: Stricter hand hygiene in schools only a short-term measure
Increased hand hygiene in primary schools is only a short-term measure in preventing infections such as H1N1 from spreading.

Increased success a 'virtual' certainty for rugby players
Rugby players worldwide could benefit from a new virtual reality training program created at Queen's University Belfast.

UM School of Medicine researchers find extreme genetic variability in malaria parasite
Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine Center for Vaccine Development have charted the extreme genetic differences that occur in the most dangerous malaria parasite in the world.

Some color shades offer better protection against sun's ultraviolet rays
Economy-minded consumers who want protection from the sun's harmful ultraviolet rays -- but rather not pay premium prices for sun-protective clothing -- should think blue and red, rather than yellow.

'Beneficial' effects of alcohol?
According a new study of over 3,000 adults aged 70-79, the apparent association between light-to-moderate alcohol consumption and reduced risk of functional decline over time did not hold up after adjustments were made for characteristics related to lifestyle, in particular physical activity, body weight, education and income.

Dying from dementia
In an editorial in the Oct. 15, 2009, issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, Greg Sachs, M.D., professor of medicine and director of the Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics at the Indiana University School of Medicine and a Regenstrief Institute investigator, notes that end-of-life care for most older adults with dementia has not changed in decades and urges that these individuals be provided far greater access to palliative care, the management of pain and other symptoms.

Miriam Hospital researcher receives more than $12 million to study weight control
The Miriam Hospital's Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center recently received six research grants from the National Institutes of Health -- totaling more than $12 million in funding -- that will support the work of researchers focused on the prevention and treatment of obesity.

Plants recognize siblings, and UD researchers have discovered how
Plants may not have eyes and ears, but they can recognize their siblings, and researchers at the University of Delaware have discovered how.

Small classes give extra boost to low-achieving students
Small classes in early grades improve test scores in later grades for students of all achievement levels, but low achievers get an extra boost.

New data: Hospital imaging centers poised to pull back, hitting patients hardest in rural areas
Radiologists and cardiologists who joined patients at today's rally said that they are concerned the proposed reductions to Medicare reimbursements, coupled with the excise tax and severe cuts already made in the last several years, will force them to make difficult choices that will deny seniors access to diagnostic services.

MSU becoming center of excellence for Parkinson's research
A team of researchers from Michigan State University and the University of Cincinnati have been awarded a $6.2 million Morris K.

Rutgers physicists discover novel electronic properties in two-dimensional carbon structure
Rutgers researchers have discovered novel electronic properties in two-dimensional sheets of carbon atoms called graphene that could one day be the heart of speedy and powerful electronic devices.

Field guide showcases Pacific Northwest geology and terroir
This new Field Guide from the Geological Society of America features detailed, guided trips throughout the Pacific Northwest and surrounding areas.

National Science Foundation awards grants for studies of coupled natural and human systems
How do humans and their environment interact, and how can we use knowledge of these links to adapt to a planet undergoing radical climate and other environmental changes?

Government of Canada supports scientific research to deepen knowledge of H1N1 flu virus
The Government of Canada through the Canadian Institutes of Health Research today announced support for five new research projects designed to help further understand and address the H1N1 flu virus.

Mayo Clinic tests non-incision, endoscopic ulcer repair
Mayo Clinic surgical researchers are reporting a 93 percent success rate in recent animal tests of endoscopic repair of perforated ulcers.

CT scans show patients with severe cases of H1N1 are at risk for developing acute pulmonary emboli
Researchers utilizing computed tomography (CT) scans have found that patients with severe cases of the H1N1 virus are at risk for developing severe complications, including pulmonary emboli, according to a study to be published online Oct.

Colombian guerrillas help scientists locate literacy in the brain
A unique study of former guerrillas in Colombia has helped scientists redefine their understanding of the key regions of the brain involved in literacy.

U-M researchers find those with severe H1N1 at risk for pulmonary emboli
Patients with sever cases of H1N1 are at risk for developing life-threatening complications like pulmonary emboli.

Fear of being laughed at crosses cultural boundaries
Laughter is an emotional expression that is innate in human beings.

Gentle touch may aid multiple sclerosis patients
University of Illinois at Chicago physical therapists studying persons with multiple sclerosis found that excessive force often used for gripping can be eased by gently touching the hand or arm in use, raising the possibility of new therapy approaches.

Chimpanzees help each other on request but not voluntarily
The evolution of altruism has long puzzled researchers and has mainly been explained previously from ultimate perspectives.

Experts summarize state of the science in autism disorders
Scientific understanding and medical treatments for autism spectrum disorders have advanced significantly over the past several years, but much remains to be done.

A 200,000-year-old cut of meat
New findings from the Qesem Cave archaeological dig in Israel indicate that during the Lower Paleolithic Period people prepared and shared meat differently than in earlier times, providing new clues into our evolutionary development, economics and social behaviors.

AMP commends SACGHS on their DNA patent report
AMP provided comments at the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health and Society meeting on Oct.

NTU team studies world's fastest satellite Internet connection
A team led by assistant Professor Lee Yee Hui from the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering is working with the Japan Aerospace eXploration Agency and the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology to come up with solutions to improve satellite links during heavy rainfall, which is common in tropical regions.

Crushed bones reveal literal dino stomping ground
A rich dinosaur quarry near Moab, Utah, has one little problem: nearly all the bones are broken.

Elaine Fuchs to receive 2010 L'Oréal-UNESCO prize for women scientists
Elaine Fuchs, Rebecca C. Lancefield Professor and head of the Laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development at Rockefeller University, will be the recipient of a 2010 L'Oréal-UNESCO Award in the Life Sciences, which recognizes exceptional women scientists.

MRI abundance may lead to excess in back surgeries, Stanford study shows
Patients reporting new low-back pain are more likely to undergo surgery if treated in an area with a higher-than-average concentration of magnetic resonance imaging machines, according to research from the Stanford University School of Medicine.

What drives our genes? Salk researchers map the first complete human epigenome
Although the human genome sequence faithfully lists (almost) every single DNA base of the roughly 3 billion bases that make up a human genome, it doesn't tell biologists much about how its function is regulated.

Popular antidepressant associated with a dramatic increase in suicidal thoughts amongst men
Nortriptyline has been found to cause a tenfold increase in suicidal thoughts in men when compared to its competitor escitalopram.

The Milky Way's tiny but tough galactic neighbor
ESO announces the release of a stunning new image of one of our nearest galactic neighbors, Barnard's Galaxy, also known as NGC 6822.

Is the person next to you washing their hands with soap?
People are more likely to wash their hands when they have been shamed into it, according to a study by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Bioengineering of nerve-muscle connection could improve hand use for wounded soldiers
Prosthetic hand devices used by wounded soldiers have limited motor control and no sensory feedback.

Institute for Aging Research study says dementia is a terminal illness
The clinical course of advanced dementia, including uncomfortable symptoms such as pain and high mortality, is similar to that experienced by patients of other terminal conditions, according to scientists at the Institute for Aging Research of Hebrew SeniorLife, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School.

NYU Langone Medical Center awarded $10 million NIMH grant
NYU Langone Medical Center has received a five-year, $10 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to establish a Silvio O.

Unique new MAV operates with high aerodynamic efficiency
A French researcher, funded by the European Office of Aerospace Research and Development, in London, England and the French DoD has designed a rugged micro air vehicle (MAV) that is attractive to the US Air Force because of its high aerodynamic efficiency, even in adverse conditions.

Suffering caused by dialysis for nursing home seniors may outweigh its benefits, researchers find
Older Americans living in nursing homes experience a significant decline in their ability to perform simple daily tasks -- such as feeding themselves, getting dressed or brushing their teeth -- after starting dialysis, say researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Identifying ID theft and fraud
If the wife of FBI boss Robert Mueller has warned him not to use internet banking because of the threat of online fraud, then what hope is there for the average Joe?

National Science Foundation congratulates Nobel Laureates in medicine/physiology, chemistry and economics
The National Science Foundation congratulates the 2009 Nobel laureates, particularly those who have received NSF funding over the years: Jack W.

Arctic land and seas account for up to 25 percent of world's carbon sink
In a new study in the journal Ecological Monographs, ecologists estimate that Arctic lands and oceans are responsible for up to 25 percent of the global net sink of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
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