Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 22, 2009
Syphilis survey reveals need for accurate testing for early infection
Although syphilis is one of the oldest known diseases, most health professionals do not have access to the tests necessary to reliably diagnose it in its earliest and most infectious stage.

NIST physicists turn to radio dial for finer atomic matchmaking
Investigating mysterious data in ultracold gases of rubidium atoms, scientists at the Joint Quantum Institute of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Maryland and their collaborators have found that properly tuned radio-frequency waves can influence how much the atoms attract or repel one another, opening up new ways to control their interactions.

NSF awards 'Life in Transition' grants to University of Oklahoma professors
The connection among living systems and Earth's history is the focus of National Science Foundation grants awarded to University of Oklahoma zoology professor Lawrence Weider and botany and microbiology research assistant professor Amy V.

Accounting error in climate treaties could lead to more deforestation
A team of 13 prominent scientists and land-use experts has identified an important but fixable error in legal accounting rules for bioenergy that could, if uncorrected, undermine efforts to reduce greenhouse gases by encouraging deforestation.

Biochemical 'on-switch' could solve protein purification challenge
Drugs based on engineered proteins represent a new frontier for pharmaceutical makers.

MINDEF, NTU join hands to boost Singapore's defense R&D capabilities
Singapore's Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and the Nanyang Technological University are attracting outstanding talent to work on projects to strengthen Singapore's defense science and technology research and development capabilities.

Climate scientists uncover major accounting flaw in Kyoto Protocol and other climate legislation
An international team of top climate scientists has found a critical, but fixable, error in the accounting method used to measure compliance with carbon limits.

Researchers question evidence linking overlapping sexual partners and African HIV rates
Epidemiologist Mark Lurie and graduate student Samantha Rosenthal have published new research challenging conventional wisdom that concurrent, or overlapping, multiple sexual partners drives the HIV epidemic in sub-Saharan Africa.

Treaty to limit CO2 should be followed by similar limits on other greenhouse pollutants
While carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas and the focus of climate treaties, other pollutants that stay in the atmosphere for only days or months also contribute to global warming.

Flu shots not to be sneezed at
Two in five at-risk American adults who would benefit from vaccination against flu are missing out on the shots because they believe they do not need them, according to Dr.

Female choice benefits mothers more than offspring
The great diversity of male sexual traits, ranging from peacock's elaborate train to formidable genitalia of male seed beetles, is the result of female choice.

'Perspectives on Energy Policy' report now available
Energy leaders call for independent energy council, recommend outcomes and values-based policies.

Geologists studying groundwater arsenic levels in India empower Bengali women, children
Kansas State University geologists are finding that the most important tools in their fieldwork on groundwater arsenic pollution are women and children armed with pamphlets and testing kits.

First former college football player diagnosed with CTE
The Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at Boston University School of Medicine announced today that a deceased former college football player who died at age 42 was already suffering from the degenerative brain disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Study reveals an increase in long-term antidepressant drug use
A dramatic rise in antidepressant prescriptions issued by GPs has been caused by a year on year increase in the number of people taking antidepressant drugs on a long-term basis, according to researchers from the University of Southampton.

The correlation between incidental NAFLD and carotid atherosclerosis
A research team from Italy investigated whether carotid lesions are more prevalent in outpatients with incidental findings of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) at abdominal ultrasound.

No elder left behind: Researchers say designers can help close tech gap
While more older adults than ever are using cell phones and computers, a technology gap still exists that threatens to turn senior citizens into second-class citizens, according to Florida State University researchers.

Getting on 'the GABA receptor shuttle' to treat anxiety disorders
There are increasingly precise molecular insights into ways that stress exposure leads to fear and through which fear extinction resolves these fear states.

Long-term treatment with proton pump inhibitor can increase weight
A clinical research team from Japan examined the effects of long-term proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy on body weight (BW) and body mass index in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Messenger RNA with FLASH
A study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has identified a key player in a molecular process essential for DNA replication within cells.

New artificial enzyme safer for nature
Breakthrough for man-made enzymes. Perilous and polluting industrial processes can be made safer with enzymes.

Regulating emotion after experiencing a sexual assault
After exposure to extreme life stresses, what distinguishes the individuals who do and do not develop post-traumatic stress disorder?

Pesticides exposure linked to suicidal thoughts
A new study in China has found that people with higher levels of pesticide exposure are more likely to have suicidal thoughts.

Researchers make key step towards turning methane gas into liquid fuel
Scientists take an important step in converting methane gas to a liquid, giving the potential of making it more useful as a fuel and as a source for making other chemicals.

Red grape skin extract could be new treatment for sickle cell disease patients
An extract in red grape skin may be a new treatment for sickle cell disease, Medical College of Georgia researchers say.

NASA satellites see Typhoon Lupit now bringing more rains to soggy Philippines
Typhoon Lupit (called Ramil in the Philippines) is already raining over the northern Luzon today, Oct.

New clinical guidelines for exacerbations in cystic fibrosis
The American Thoracic Society has released new clinical guidelines for the treatment of exacerbations in cystic fibrosis based on a review of the literature on current clinical practices.

Nanowire biocompatibility in the brain: So far so good
Scientists at Lund University have investigated this

Berkeley researchers find new route to nano self-assembly
By adding select small molecules to mixtures of nanoparticles and polymers, Berkeley Lab researchers can direct the self-assembly of the nanoparticles into arrays of one, two and even three dimensions with no chemical modifications.

NSF awards Wetzel and Lechler $144,000 for 2-year information security management study
The Division of Information & Intelligent Systems of the National Science Foundation has awarded a two-year grant totaling $144,038 to two Stevens Institute of Technology researchers from different disciplines to study advanced problems of managing information security in an age of massive concentrations of sensitive private information and sophisticated mining and cross-referencing of personal data.

Even low alcohol consumption has a negative impact on overall health
Low alcohol consumption is bad for your health in general.

Team led by Scripps Research and UC San Diego scientists reveals secrets of drought resistance
A team of biologists in California led by researchers at The Scripps Research Institute and the University of California, San Diego, has solved the structure of a critical molecule that helps plants survive during droughts.

Sensor biochips could aid in cancer diagnosis and treatment
Researchers at TUM, the Technische Universitaet Muenchen, have developed a new test process -- using lab-on-a-chip technology -- for establishing whether or not a cancer patient's tumor cells will respond to a particular drug.

Extra care for outwardly healthy workers costs companies millions annually
Someone healthy enough to work could still cost an employer more than $4,000 annually in unnecessary health care costs.

Immune system quirk could lead to effective tularemia vaccine
Immunologists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC have found a unique quirk in the way the immune system fends off bacteria called Francisella tularensis, which could lead to vaccines that are better able to prevent tularemia infection of the lungs.

Now hear this
A Johns Hopkins team says it has for what is believed to be the first time managed to measure and record the elusive electrical activity of the type II neurons in the snail-shell-like structure called the cochlea.

The lotus's clever way of staying dry
Scientists finally understand how the plant keeps itself clean and dry.

Model microbial community for studying expanding dead zones characterized
The expansion of oxygen minimum zones (OMZs) affects the processes by which carbon is captured and sequestered on the seafloor.

Manipulating brain inflammation may help clear brain of amyloid plaques, Mayo Clinic researchers say
In a surprising reversal of long-standing scientific belief, researchers at the Mayo Clinic campus in Florida have discovered that inflammation in the brain is not the trigger that leads to buildup of amyloid deposits and development of Alzheimer's disease.

New research suggests how low doses of radiation can cause heart disease and stroke
A mathematical model constructed by researchers at Imperial College London predicts the risk of cardiovascular disease (heart attacks, stroke) associated with low background levels of radiation.

Papahanaumokuakea National Monument facing Hurricane Neki
A hurricane warning is in force for the Papahanaumokuakea National Monument from Nihoa Island to French Frigate Shoals to Maro Reef.

Inventive approach may improve enzyme replacement therapy for Fabry disease
A new study uses a creative structure-based remodeling strategy to design a therapeutic protein that exhibits significant advantages over currently available treatments for a rare disease that often leads to cardiac and renal failure.

Despite claims, UK did not gas Iraqis in the 1920s, new research finds
Historians, politicians and journalists have often accused Great Britain of using chemical weapons against Iraqis just after World War I.

Iowa State study finds high volume video gamers have more difficulty staying attentive
A new Iowa State University study has found that high volume action video game players -- those who play around 40 hours per week -- actually had more difficulty keeping focused on tasks requiring longer, more proactive attention than those who played video games less than a couple of hours a week.

Miscounting bioenergy benefits may increase greenhouse gas release
A fixable error in the way carbon is counted in current US climate legislation and in the Kyoto Protocol could undermine efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by using biofuels, says a premier group of national environmental and land use scientists.

New evidence of culture in wild chimpanzees
A new study of chimpanzees living in the wild adds to evidence that our closest primate relatives have cultural differences, too.

Consortium including Scripps Research Institute receives $12.2 million
Imagine a Web site like Facebook, but instead of using it to share videos or post quizzes like

Sanford Barsky, M.D., University of Nevada School of Medicine and Nevada Cancer Institute faculty member publishes scientific paper in the journal Nature
Sanford Barsky, M.D., who holds faculty positions at the University of Nevada School of Medicine as chair of the pathology department and Nevada Cancer Institute chief of pathology, is part of a team that has a paper on transgenic mouse mammary tumors with direct relevance to human breast cancer published in the Oct.

RIT scientist shines laser light on methane in pursuit of clean fuel
Rochester Institute of Technology professor Roger Dube is exploring a novel technique using laser light that could someday convert methane to liquid fuel and prevent the potent greenhouse gas from entering the atmosphere.

Caltech scientists solve decade-long mystery of nanopillar formations
Scientists at the California Institute of Technology have uncovered the physical mechanism by which arrays of nanoscale pillars can be grown on polymer films with very high precision, in potentially limitless patterns.

New study predicts future consequences of a global biofuels program
A report examining the impact of a global biofuels program on greenhouse gas emissions during the 21st century has found that carbon loss stemming from the displacement of food crops and pastures for biofuels crops may be twice as much as the CO2 emissions from land dedicated to biofuels production.

Rick's remnants now merged with a low in the Central US
NASA's Aqua satellite captured Rick's remnant clouds and showers as they charged through Texas and fed moisture into a low pressure system that is migrating across the US.

2009 IZA Prize to Richard Easterlin
The 2009 IZA Prize in Labor Economics is being awarded today in Washington to the US economist Richard A.

John Roberts awarded the IESE-FundaciĆ³n BBVA Prize
The award honors Roberts for a career that successfully spans economic theory, management strategy and consulting on regulatory issues for government departments and agencies.

Taking medicine for HIV proves hard to swallow for many people
Two new studies illustrate just how hard it is to make sure people take their HIV medication.

Galaxy cluster smashes distance record
The most distant galaxy cluster yet has been discovered by combining data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and optical and infrared telescopes.

Ethiopia's climate 27 million years ago had higher rainfall, warmer soil
Thirty million years ago, Ethiopia had warmer soil temperatures, higher rainfall and different atmospheric circulation patterns than it does today, according to new research of fossil soils found in that central African nation.

Color differences within and between species have common genetic origin
Spend a little time people-watching at the beach and you're bound to notice differences in the amount, thickness and color of people's body hair.

New molecules created by UC Riverside chemists have wide applications
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, have successfully created in the laboratory a class of carbenes used to make catalysts.

Pregnant women who are lesbians want to be treated like any other expectant mother
Midwives often struggle to meet the needs of pregnant women who are lesbians, according to a study of 30-46-year-olds just published.

General anesthetics lead to learning disabilities in animal models
Studies by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine have shown that blocking the NMDA receptor in immature rats leads to profound, rapid brain injury and disruption of auditory function as the animals mature.

New UK study suggests minimal relationship between cannabis and schizophrenia or psychosis
Last year the UK government reclassified cannabis from a class C to a class B drug, partly out of concerns that cannabis, especially the more potent varieties, may increase the risk of schizophrenia in young people.

Scientists of the UGR obtain a bioinsecticide to control the Mediterranean fruit fly
This is an environmentally friendly technique, nontoxic, and easy to produce, which can also be supplied by conventional methods.

Halloween sex offender policies questioned
The rates of nonfamilial sex crimes against children under the age of 12 are no higher during the Halloween season than at any other times of the year, according to a study published in the September issue of Sexual Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment.

Cocaine exposure during pregnancy leads to impulsivity in male, not female, monkeys
Adult male monkeys exposed to cocaine while in the womb have poor impulse control and may be more vulnerable to drug abuse than female monkeys, even a decade or more after the exposure, according to a new study by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

More students than ever before studying engineering and physical sciences at degree level
More students than ever before have been accepted onto science and engineering related degree courses this autumn, according to the University and Colleges Admissions Service.

UBC researchers find key microbial indicator of ocean health
A team of researchers at the University of British Columbia, along with colleagues at the US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute, has mapped the genome of a microbe that is silently helping to shape the ecology of oxygen-minimum areas in the ocean known as dead zones.

Sensing disasters from space
Prof. Eyal Ben-Dor's

Oct. 26 public symposium on life sciences
The National Research Council's Board on Life Sciences will hold a public symposium to celebrate its 25th anniversary.

Reprogramming a patient's eye cells may herald new treatments against degenerative disease
Scientists have overcome a key barrier to the clinical use of stem cells with a technique which transforms regular body cells into artificial stem cells without the need for introducing foreign genetic materials, which could be potentially harmful.

Is your microrobot up for the (NIST) challenge?
The folks who introduced the world to tiny robots demonstrating soccer skills are creating the next level of friendly competition designed to advance microrobotics.

The white stuff: Marine lab team seeks to understand coral bleaching
With technology similar to that used by physicians to perform magnetic resonance imaging scans, researchers from six institutions -- including the National Institute of Standards and Technology -- working at the Hollings Marine Laboratory in Charleston, S.C., are studying the metabolic activity of a pathogen shown to cause coral bleaching, a serious threat to undersea reef ecosystems worldwide.

Is duodenal biopsy necessary in celiac disease diagnosis for children and adults?
A research team from Spain evaluated the predictive value of tissue transglutaminase (tTG) antibodies for villous atrophy in adult and pediatric populations to determine if duodenal biopsy can be avoided.

The CoRoT space mission: Early results
This week, Astronomy & Astrophysics is publishing a special issue devoted to the early results obtained with the CoRoT space mission.

IDF releases important new guidelines to improve the treatment of diabetes worldwide
The International Diabetes Federation launched three diabetes guidelines on the self-monitoring of blood glucose, pregnancy and oral health at its 20th World Diabetes Congress in Montreal today.

Attending community college does make you richer, study says
A recent study by Dave Marcotte, Ph.D., from the University of Maryland Baltimore County found women graduating from community college with a 2-year degree earn 45.8 percent more annually than high school educated women.

Register now for the 19th IOF Advanced Training Course on Osteoporosis in Lyon, France
The International Osteoporosis Foundation invites you to attend its popular IOF Advanced Training Course on Osteoporosis, scheduled for Feb.

Synthetic cells shed biological insights while delivering battery power
A new paper from researchers at Yale University and the National Institute of Standards and Technology describes a highly simplified model cell that not only sheds light on the way certain real cells generate electric voltages, but also acts as a tiny battery that could offer a practical alternative to conventional solid-state energy-generating devices.

Scientists create NICE solution to pneumonia vaccine testing problems
Medical clinics the world over could benefit from new software created at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, where a team of scientists has found a way to improve the efficiency of a pneumonia vaccine testing method developed at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Professor Suzanne Cory awarded 2009 Pearl Meister Greengard Prize
Professor Suzanne Cory, the former director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research in Melbourne, Australia, has been named the recipient of the 2009 Pearl Meister Greengard Prize.

Vyvanse Capsules CII administration through 2 routes demonstrated similar pharmacokinetic profile
Shire PLC announced new data about the pharmacokinetics of its attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder medication, Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) Capsules CII, which showed that Vyvanse provided similar concentrations of its active medication in the blood when administered either intranasally or when administered orally.

A new technique identifies versions of the same song
A team of researchers from Pompeu Fabra University has developed a system to identify common patterns in versions of songs, which will help to quantify the similarity of musical pieces.

Quick and easy diagnosis for mitochondrial disorders
Soon you could be genetically screened for mitochondrial disorders quickly and comprehensively.

How-to of using electric power from space will highlight talk at NJIT
Imagine beaming electric power from space as a viable solar energy option.

Male Australian redback spiders employ courtship strategies to preserve their life
New research shows that male suitors of a female cannibalistic spider risk facing a premature death unless they perform an adequate courtship lasting a minimum of 100 minutes.

How white is a paper?
Whiter paper and better color reproduction are examples of important competitive advantages on an international market.

How does emodin protect rat liver from fibrogenesis?
A research team from China investigated the role of emodin in protecting the liver against fibrogenesis caused by carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) in rats and further explored the underlying mechanisms.

Side-Out Foundation teams with leading medical professionals to battle breast cancer
A new clinical trial sponsored by the Side-Out Foundation and its Dig Pink Volleyball Breast Cancer Awareness campaign will examine the effects of individualized treatment on patients with metastatic breast cancer.

Boston University scientists first to see RNA network in live bacterial cells
New technology has given BU scientists the first look ever at RNA in a live bacteria cell -- a sight that could offer new information about how the molecule moves and works.

Liraglutide reduces weight and risk factors in obese people without diabetes
Liraglutide reduces weight and the prevalence of risk factors in obese people without diabetes.

Carnegie Mellon's Rohit Negi receives government stimulus funds
Carnegie Mellon University's Rohit Negi has received a three-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to develop monitoring tools for predicting problems with power grid. 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