Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 20, 2009
Health information exchange conquers new frontier: Emergency medical services
Regenstrief Institute research scientists are the first in the nation to link emergency medical services providers in the field to patients' preexisting health information, a link enabling emergency workers to make more informed treatment decisions and to transport patients to the most appropriate facility.

Research indicates vegetable juice can be an easy, enjoyable way to increase daily intake
Decades of studies have documented the link between eating a diet rich in vegetables and multiple health benefits, yet nearly eight out of 10 people worldwide fall short of the daily recommendation.

K-State's Thomas A. Wright named a Fellow of the American Psychological Association
Thomas A. Wright, Kansas State University's Jon Wefald Leadership Chair in Business Administration, has been named a Fellow of the American Psychological Association.

Rice opens 'Cure for Needy' on the Web
The Cure for Needy Project will draw upon the expertise of chemists worldwide to optimize small-molecule medications for orphaned diseases -- those for which drugs may be extremely expensive or unavailable because they're simply not profitable enough for pharmaceutical companies to produce.

Looking for the origins of music in the brain
Music serves as a natural and non-invasive intervention for patients with severe neurological disorders to promote long-term memory, social interaction and communication.

Major swine flu outbreak at US Air Force Academy, unique opportunity to study virus behavior
Investigators from the US Air Force Academy and US Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine Epidemiology Consult Service capitalized on a unique opportunity to gain valuable insights about the natural behavior of the nH1N1 virus, including shedding patterns, during a recent large-scale outbreak at the US Air Force Academy.

Diverting sediment-rich water below New Orleans could lead to extensive new land
Diverting sediment-rich water from the Mississippi River below New Orleans could generate new land in the river's delta in the next century.

Virginia Space Grant Consortium project provides geospatial technology Web portal
A geospatial technology Web portal for Virginia's Community College System will serve as a repository for pathway models, curriculum, professional development materials, career awareness materials and other resources.

Ernesto Illy Trieste Science Prize winners 2009
Two eminent scientists who have done pioneering work on the intricate relationship between agriculture, climate and the environment, and who have enhanced our understanding of the probable impact of climate change on agriculture, are the winners of the 2009 Ernesto Illy Trieste Science Prize.

Press alert for American Society of Nephrology's 42nd Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition
During ASN's 42nd Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition, the Society will present research on the latest issues and scientific breakthroughs in nephrology.

NOAA awards $243,000 to prepare New Hampshire watershed for climate change and population growth
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has awarded Syntectic International and Antioch University New England $243,000, to adapt a New Hampshire watershed for climate change.

Creation of new orthopedic research alliance announced
The creation of the Translational Orthopedic Research Program, a new partnership of Van Andel Research Institute and its affiliate the Translational Genomics Research Institute, Spectrum Health, Orthopaedic Associates of Michigan, and the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine, was announced today by officials of the sponsoring organizations who gathered at Van Andel Institute for the World Osteoporosis Day Summit, a meeting spotlighting local osteoporosis efforts.

Teens aim to make a difference through invention
Today, the Lemelson-MIT Program announced 15 teams of high school students, teachers and mentors selected to participate in the 2009-2010 InvenTeam initiative.

Cancer survivors may not be getting the help they need to stop smoking
More than a quarter of cancer survivors who still smoke have not been advised to quit smoking by their health care providers in the last year, according to a study published by researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center.

10 new Distinguished Research Chairs join Perimeter
Dr. Neil Turok, Director of Canada's Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, is pleased to announce the appointment of 10 more outstanding international scientists to the positions of Perimeter Institute Distinguished Research Chairs.

Tropical Storm Rick's center expected to pass south of the Baja
Residents in southern Baja California, Mexico, still haven't recovered from last month's Hurricane Jimena, and Tropical Storm Rick is now bringing rains to southern tip of the Baja.

2010 Dannie Heineman Prize goes to Michael Aizenman
Michael Aizenman, editor-in-chief of the Springer journal Communications in Mathematical Physics, has been selected by the American Physical Society to receive the 2010 Dannie Heineman Prize for Mathematical Physics.

Smallest nanoantennas for high-speed data networks
More than 120 years after the discovery of the electromagnetic character of radiowaves by Heinrich Hertz, wireless data transmission dominates information technology.

2-million-year-old evidence shows tool-making hominins inhabited grassland environments
In an article published in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE Oct.

Finding the ASX200 for marine ecosystems
Researchers are building the environmental equivalent of the ASX200 as a means of monitoring the health of Australian marine ecosystems.

Widespread use of teleradiology services could be declining
Researchers have found recent evidence that shows the growth of external, off-hours teleradiology services has slowed in recent years, despite a significant increase in the number of radiology practices using those services between 2003 and 2007, according to a study in the November issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Happy flies look for a place like home
A happy youth can influence where a fruit fly chooses to live as an adult, according to new research in the American Naturalist.

Prolonged thumb sucking in infants may lead to speech impediments
Using a pacifier for too long may be detrimental to your child's speech.

Malaria vaccine bid attracts Gates Foundation support
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute research into the development of a

EMBO welcomes 66 leading life scientists as members
The European Molecular Biology Organization today announced the election of 66 leading life scientists to its membership.

Think what you eat: Studies point to cellular factors linking diet and behavior
New research released today is affirming a long-held maxim: you are what you eat -- and, more to the point, what you eat has a profound influence on the brain.

2009 Deep Ocean Odyssey
Seven-hundred students will hear the latest deep sea discoveries of MAR-ECO, a field project of the Census of Marine Life in Kristiansand, Norway.

Could drugs for mood disorders, pain and epilepsy cause psychiatric disorders later in life?
Young animals treated with commonly-prescribed drugs develop behavioral abnormalities in adulthood say researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center.

Accelerated bone growth may be an indicator of hypertension in children
Children whose bones are

Americans who believe in equality are more likely to buy on impulse
A new study from Rice University's Jones Graduate School of Business finds that Americans who believe in equality are more-impulsive shoppers.

Concern over alcohol use among UK South Asians
Alcohol use in South Asians in the UK is under-recognized, and alcohol related harm is disproportionately high, warn researchers in an editorial published on today.

New material could boost data storage, save energy
North Carolina State University engineers have created a new material that would allow a fingernail-size computer chip to store the equivalent of 20 high-definition DVDs or 250 million pages of text, far exceeding the storage capacities of today's computer memory systems.

Texas A&M oceanographer receives $3.7 million grant to study Gulf dead zone
Oceanographer Steve DiMarco of Texas A&M University, a leading authority on the Gulf of Mexico's

UF scientists discover new explanation for controversial old patient-care technique
Researchers from University of Florida College of Medicine have used magnetic resonance imaging of the neck region to show that an under-fire medical maneuver often practiced when patients receive anesthesia is effective, but not for the obvious reasons.

Lung scintigraphy more reliable than CTA in excluding pulmonary embolism in pregnant patients
A medical imaging procedure known as lung scintigraphy may be more reliable than pulmonary CT angiography for identifying or excluding pulmonary embolism in pregnant patients, according to a study published in the November issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Former presidential science adviser to speak on STEM R&D funding and job growth, innovation
Dr. John Marburger, who served as science adviser to former President George W.

Scheduling key to green, efficient airports
A new computerized approach to airport operations is being developed that will reduce delays, speed up baggage handling and decrease pollution.

Better blood screening process needed to prevent babesiosis transmission
Babesiosis is a potentially dangerous parasitic disease transmitted by ticks and is common in the Northeast and the upper Midwest.

Flu focus: NIH project aims for better drugs
Biochemists at Rice University have won $1.5 million in stimulus funding from the National Institutes of Health to scrutinize the influenza A virus for structural clues that could boost the effectiveness of antiviral drugs.

IOM recommends new nutritional requirements for school meal programs
The National School Lunch Program and the School Breakfast Program should adopt a new set of nutrient targets and standards for menu planning, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine.

Is industrialization still the best path to development?
With more than one billion people in poverty, many argue there is an acute need for industrial development and the quality jobs, diversified economies, education, training and innovation that go with it.

Researchers can predict hurricane-related power outages
Using data from Hurricane Katrina and four other destructive storms, researchers have found a way to accurately predict power outages in advance of a hurricane.

Could some forms of mental retardation be treated with drugs?
Growth factors. They are the proteins that trigger a countless number of actions in cells.

It takes 2 to tutor a sparrow
It may take a village to raise a child, and apparently it takes at least two adult birds to teach a young song sparrow how and what to sing.

Luzon expecting a Lupit landfall
Typhoon Lupit is closing in on northern Luzon, the Philippines, and is expected to make a brief landfall (of about 24 hours) there Oct.

US coal peak production: Point and counterpoint
A timely debate on

MIT: Muscle 'synergies' may be key to stroke treatment
Researchers at MIT and San Camillo Hospital in Venice, Italy, have shown that motor impairments in stroke patients can be understood as impairments in specific combinations of muscle activity, known as synergies.

0.2 second test for explosive liquids
Research published today, Tuesday, Oct. 20, in IOP Publishing's Superconductor Science and Technology explains how a new form of spectroscopy, a scientific method that uses electromagnetic radiation to identify materials, and a novel nanoelectronic device to detect signals, can identify explosive liquids, or liquid components for the fabrication of explosives, in usual plastic bottles almost instantly.

Comparison finds considerable differences on estimates of future physician workforce supply
Compared with a source of data often used regarding physician workforce supply and projected changes, data from the US Census Bureau suggests that the future physician workforce may be younger but fewer in number than previously projected, according to a study in the Oct.

Sandia joins forces with Boeing, Caltrans, others on fuel cell-powered mobile lighting application
Sandia National Laboratories, with help from the Boeing Company, the California Department of Transportation, and others, is leading an effort to develop a commercially viable, fuel cell-powered mobile lighting system.

Growing cartilage from stem cells
Damaged knee joints might one day be repaired with cartilage grown from stem cells in a laboratory.

Depression in older cancer patients can be effectively treated with collaborative approach
Depression in older cancer patients is very common and has debilitating effects both during and after treatment.

Blood test shows promise for early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease
Elderly people exhibiting memory disturbances that do not affect their normal, daily life suffer from a condition called

Drinking coffee slows progression of liver disease in chronic hepatitis C sufferers
Patients with chronic hepatitis C and advanced liver disease who drink three or more cups of coffee per day have a 53 percent lower risk of liver disease progression than non-coffee drinkers according to a new study led by Neal Freedman, Ph.D., M.P.H, from the National Cancer Institute.

Presidential election outcome changed voters' testosterone
Young men who voted for Republican John McCain or Libertarian candidate Robert Barr in the 2008 presidential election suffered an immediate drop in testosterone when the election results were announced, according to a study by researchers at Duke University and the University of Michigan.

How to monitor geologic and landscape change in nontechnical terms
Published by the Geological Society of America, this new volume is a practical, nontechnical guide for land managers, educators and the public that synthesizes representative methods for monitoring short-term and long-term change in geologic features and landscapes.

Henk Stunnenberg's lab applies Genomatix NextGen sequencing data analysis
The Nijmegen Centre for Molecular Life Sciences has installed a Genomatix Genome Analyzer.

Last visit home for ESA's comet chaser Rosetta
ESA's Rosetta comet chaser will swing by Earth on Nov.

Seismic noise unearths lost hurricanes
Seismologists have found a new way to piece together the history of hurricanes in the North Atlantic -- by looking back through records of the planet's seismic noise.

Spiraling flight of maple tree seeds inspires new aerial surveillance technology
Maple tree seeds and the spiraling pattern in which they glide to the ground have delighted children for ages and perplexed engineers for decades.

Diagnosis of cardiovascular disease associated with risk of subsequent hip fracture
A study that includes twins finds that the risk of hip fracture was significantly increased following a diagnosis of cardiovascular disease (CVD), with analysis also suggesting a genetic predisposition to the development of CVD and fractures, according to a study in the Oct.

Melanoma treatment options 1 step closer
A targeted chemotherapy for the treatment of skin cancer is one step closer, after a team of University of Alberta researchers successfully synthesized a natural substance that shows exceptional potential to specifically treat this often fatal disease.

Improving schools for disabled students is NJIT researcher's mission
NJIT Research Architect B. Lynn Hutchings believes that by making a few practical, effective and relatively inexpensive changes to school buildings, they can become better environments for students with severe physical, intellectual and sensory disabilities.

Radiologists develop scale to help clinicians predict disease severity in infants with NEC
Radiologists at Duke University Medical Center have developed a scale called the Duke Abdominal Assessment Scale to assist clinicians in determining the severity of disease and the need for surgery in infants with necrotizing enterocolitis, according to a study in the November issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

UF receives $12.2 million to establish national network of scientists
During the next two years, researchers from seven institutions will implement a new type of networking system that eventually will link scientists across the country and world to like-minded peers and potential collaborators.

IVF insurance coverage yields fewer multiple births, Yale researchers find
The proportion of in vitro fertilization multiple births was lower in the eight states that provide insurance coverage for couples seeking IVF treatment, primarily due to fewer embryos transferred per cycle, Yale School of Medicine researchers report in an abstract presented at the American Society for Reproductive Medicine meeting in Atlanta, Georgia, Oct.

Texas A&M researchers find new mechanism for circadian rhythm
Molecules that may hold the key to new ways to fight cancer and other diseases have been found to play an important role in regulating circadian rhythm, says Liheng Shi, a researcher in Texas A&M's Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences.

Exercise therapy best for knee pain
For patients with severe knee pain, supervised exercise therapy is more effective at reducing pain and improving function than usual care, finds a study published on today.

Penn team uses self-assembly to make molecule-sized particles with patches of charge
Physicists, chemists and engineers have demonstrated a novel method for the controlled formation of patchy particles, using charged, self-assembling molecules that may one day serve as drug-delivery vehicles to combat disease and perhaps be used in small batteries that store and release charge.

NASA technology key component of new diagnostic aid from DynaDx
NASA technology will now be available to the medical community to help in the diagnosis and prediction of syndromes that affect the brain, such as stroke, dementia and traumatic brain injury.

Study: Teachers' unions don't provide more pay
Teachers' unions have little impact on a school district's allocation of money, including teacher pay and spending per student, according to a study published this month in the Journal of Labor Economics.

Recommended treatment for heart failure often underused
Less than one-third of patients hospitalized for heart failure and participating in a quality improvement registry received a guideline-recommended treatment of heart failure, aldosterone antagonist therapy, according to a study in the Oct.

Fear of discrimination saw Paddys and Biddys decline
Irish Catholic names such as Patrick and Bridget almost died out among 19th century Irish immigrants in Britain due to fear of discrimination, a trend also seen among Irish immigrants in the US, according to new research.

NASA's TRMM sees some heavy rains in Neki as it heads toward Johnston Island
NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission, or TRMM satellite has been flying over Tropical Storm Neki in the Central Pacific Ocean and providing scientists with an idea of how much rainfall Johnston Island can expect from it.

ConocoPhillips, Penn State award energy prize
ConocoPhillips and Penn State have awarded the 2009 ConocoPhillips Energy Prize to Scott Anderson of Palm Beach, Fla., and Kenai, Alaska, and his team for their innovation, the ECO-Auger, a hydrokinetic machine that converts moving water from river and ocean currents to renewable electric energy.

Exon-skipping drug prevents muscle wasting, maintains muscle function in dystrophin deficient mice
An exon-skipping PPMO has demonstrated dramatic effects in the prevention and treatment of severely affected, dystrophin and utrophin-deficient mice, preventing severe deterioration of the treated animals and extending their lifespan.

Treatment for epilepsy is a possible culprit for development of schizophrenia
Researchers say antiepilectic drug treatments administered when the brain is developing appear to trigger schizophrenia-like behavior in animal models.

Use of omega-3 with treatment for depression in heart disease patients may not provide benefit
Contrary to the findings of some studies, new research indicates that augmenting antidepressant therapy with an omega-3 fatty acid supplement does not result in improvement in levels of depression in patients with coronary heart disease, according to a study in the Oct.

Scientists discover largest orb-weaving spider
Researchers have discovered a new, giant Nephila species (golden orb weaver spider) from Africa and Madagascar.

Scientists identify specific markers that trigger aggressiveness of liver cancer
Researchers from Taipei Veterans General Hospital conducted the first study to provide a comprehensive profile of multiple epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) markers and to demonstrate that Snail and Twist, but not Slug, are the major inducers of EMT in hepatocellular carcinoma.

Alzheimer's researchers find high protein diet shrinks brain
One of the many reasons to pick a low-calorie and low-fat diet is that host of epidemiological studies have suggested that such a diet may delay the onset or slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD).

Genomes of 2 popular research strains of E. coli sequenced
Researchers from the United States, Korea, and France have sequenced and analyzed the genomes of two important laboratory strains of E. coli bacteria, one used to study evolution and the other to produce proteins for basic research or practical applications.

Further evidence to back extension of treatment window for stroke to 4.5 hours
An article published online first and in the December edition of the Lancet Neurology adds further evidence to back the extension of the treatment window for stroke using alteplase to 4.5 hours.

Researchers find ways to encourage spinal cord regeneration after injury
Animal research is suggesting new ways to aid recovery after spinal cord injury.

GSU professor develops new method to help keep fruit, vegetables and flowers fresh
A Georgia State University professor has developed an innovative new way to keep produce and flowers fresh for longer periods of time.

Researcher, physician and teacher Phil Gold to be inducted into the Canadian Medical Hall of Fame
Prof. Heather Munroe-Blum, principal and vice-chancellor of McGill University, and the Hon.

Illness often undiscovered and undertreated among the uninsured: Harvard study
A new study shows uninsured American adults with chronic illnesses like diabetes, high cholesterol or hypertension often go undiagnosed and undertreated, leading to an increased risk of costly, disabling and even lethal complications of their disease.

Cuts to Mississippi levees could build new land in sinking delta
Sediment-rich Mississippi River water could deposit a significant chunk of new land in the river's delta in the coming century if much of the river's flow was diverted through cuts in levees below New Orleans, a new study shows.

National Science Foundation Fellow uses ultrasound to research bog turtles
National Science Foundation Fellow N. Danielle Bridgers of Suffolk, Va., a fisheries and wildlife sciences graduate student at Virginia Tech, is using ultrasound in her research of the less-than four-inch long bog turtle in order to pinpoint when they will lay their eggs and help protect the endangered creatures.

Studies improve knowledge of underlying brain changes caused by addiction
New research using animal models is enabling a deeper understanding of the neurobiology of compulsive drug addiction in humans -- knowledge that may lead to more effective treatment options to weaken the powerful cravings that cause people to relapse.

Media source impacts ag biotech communication
A recent study examines the ways that public officials (state legislatures and state FFA officers) obtain information about debatable scientific issues, including agricultural biotechnology.

Calling it in: New emergency medical service system may predict caller's fate
Japanese researchers have developed a computer program which may be able tell from an emergency call if you are about to die.

Psychiatric disorders and sexual trauma are associated with lower urinary tract symptoms
Depression, anxiety disorders and sexual trauma have all been implicated as risk factors in lower urinary tract symptoms such as incontinence and overactive bladder.

Older workers spend less on necessities and health care
The number of workers age 65 and older is predicted to increase by more than 80 percent by 2016.

Stereotypes can fuel teen misbehavior
Drinking. Drugs. Caving into peer pressure. When parents expect their teenagers to conform to negative stereotypes, those teens are in fact more likely to do so, according to new research by Christy Buchanan, professor of psychology at Wake Forest University.

Experts issue call to reconsider screening for breast cancer and prostate cancer
Twenty years of screening for breast and prostate cancer -- the most diagnosed cancer for women and men -- have not brought the anticipated decline in deaths from these diseases, argue experts from the University of California, San Francisco, and the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in an opinion piece published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

News brief: Using relative utility curves for risk prediction
A relative utility curve is a simple method to evaluate risk prediction in a medical decision-making framework, according to a commentary published online Oct.

Experimental treatments restore partial vision to blind people
Two experimental treatments, a retinal prosthesis and fetal tissue transplant, restored some vision to people with blinding eye diseases.

K-State receives more than $780,000 to fund graduate students studying ecology, evolution, genomics
The US Department of Education's Graduate Assistance in Area of National Need program has awarded the Division of Biology at Kansas State University $783,000 to support a new graduate fellowship training program in ecology, evolution and genomics of changing environments for the next three years.

New research examining essential drugs, emerging botanicals supported by USP Awards
New research focused on the quality of key medicines and their use as well as increasingly popular botanicals is being sponsored by the US Pharmacopeial Convention under its 2009-2010 Fellowship Program.

Scientists develop novel method to generate functional hepatocytes for drug testing
Scientists have for the first time produced liver cells from adult skin cells using the induced pluripotent stem cell technology. 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