Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 27, 2009
Stanford researchers awarded $6.27 million to study energy efficiency and human behavior
A Stanford University research team has been awarded $6.27 million to develop an interactive software system that encourages people to be more energy efficient at home.

Research continues on secure, mobile, quantum communications
Researcher Dr. David H. Hughes of the Air Force Research Laboratory in Rome, N.Y., is leading a team investigating long-distance, mobile optical links imperative for secure quantum communications capabilities in theater.

BU School of Medicine CityLab program awarded grant from NIH Center for Research Resources
Boston University School of Medicine's CityLab program has received a five year, $1.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health National Center for Research Resources.

Married with children the key to happiness?
Having children improves married peoples' life satisfaction and the more they have, the happier they are.

$4.8M stimulus grant launches feasibility study of massive endeavor to measure all human proteins
An expert in cancer proteomics at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has received $4.8 million in federal stimulus funding from the National Cancer Institute to co-lead a pilot study to assess the feasibility and scalability of a project that aims to measure all of the proteins in the human body.

University of Oklahoma leads effort to advance ecological forecasting
With a $6 million grant from the National Science Foundation, University of Oklahoma researchers will lead the effort to develop cyberCommons -- an information

Adding ezetimibe to atorvastatin improves lipid control
Adding ezetimibe to atorvastatin significantly boosted the attainment of lipid targets as specified by both Canadian and European guidelines in elderly patients aged 65 and older and the combination produced superior results than simply increasing the dose of atorvastatin alone, Dr.

Smoking gun: just 1 cigarette has harmful effect on the arteries of young healthy adults
Even one cigarette has serious adverse effects on young adults, according to research presented by Dr.

Triple-combo drug shows promise against antiviral-resistant H1N1, UAB researcher says
An experimental drug cocktail that includes three previously approved drugs offers the best hope in developing a single agent to treat drug-resistant H1N1 swine flu, says a UAB virology researcher.

Snail fossils suggest semiarid eastern Canary Islands were wetter 50,000 years ago
Isotopic measurements performed on fossil land snail shells found in ancient soils on the subtropical eastern Canary Islands resulted in oxygen isotope ratios that suggest the Spanish archipelago off the northwest coast of Africa has become progressively drier over the past 50,000 years, according to research by Yurena Yanes and Crayton Yapp at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

Plugging into an electric vehicle revolution
A road trial of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, which could one day end up in every Australian driveway, is underway.

Older patients with dementia at increased risk for flu mortality
An epidemiological study finds that patients over age 65 with dementia have an increased risk of dying from complications of the flu.

Does diabetes speed up memory loss in Alzheimer's disease?
Research has shown that diabetes increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease and the risk of memory loss in people who don't have Alzheimer's disease.

Anxious pregnant mothers more likely to have smaller babies
A new study published in the journal Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology reveals that anxiety in pregnant women impacts their babies' size and gestational age.

UAB research could boost coastal economics with crustacean molting on demand
University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers are close to unraveling intricate cellular pathways that control molting in blue crabs.

NJIT prof sees 70 percent chance for Yanks to win the 2009 World Series
NJIT's Bruce Bukiet, a mathematician who has applied mathematical modeling techniques to elucidate the dynamics of run scoring in baseball, has computed the probability of the Yankees and Phillies winning the World Series.

Practice-changing cancer studies to be unveiled at ASTRO Annual Meeting
The following are highlights of new cancer research being presented at the American Society for Radiation Oncology's 51st Annual Meeting on Nov.

New look for antiques
Italian researchers working with Piero Baglioni at the University of Florence have developed a technique to effectively remove old polymer layers from sensitive historic artworks.

Plastic Surgery 2009 news briefs
Plastic Surgery 2009 news briefs are designed to keep you up-to-date on embargoed studies and other news being presented at the annual meeting of the ASPS held Oct.

New American Chemical Society podcast: Tiny sea creature and a new medical adhesive
Scientists, who have been working to develop a long-sought medical adhesive, report copying the natural glue secreted by a tiny sea creature called the sandcastle worm in the latest episode in the American Chemical Society's award-winning podcast series,

Ant fight!
A group of

Exposure to alkaline substances can result in damaged teeth
It has long been known that acids can erode tooth enamel but a new Swedish study from the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, shows that strong alkaline substances can damage teeth too -- substances with high pH values can destroy parts of the organic content of the tooth, leaving the enamel more vulnerable.

Elsevier introduces 'Aesthetic Plastic Surgery'
Elsevier, the world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, proudly announced the release of a brand new single volume comprehensive book on contemporary aesthetic plastic surgery.

Scientists are first to observe the global motions of an enzyme copying DNA
Scientists here have identified how the motions of an enzyme are related to correctly copying genetic instructions, setting the stage for studies that can uncover what happens when DNA copying mistakes are made.

Endocrine Society calls for expanded scope and funding for stem cell research
Stem cell research holds great promise for the treatment of millions of Americans with debilitating and possibly fatal diseases.

French male bears in immediate need of more females
The population of brown bears in France is now so small that the species might become extinct in the near future.

RPB presents Disney Award for Amblyopia Research to A. M. Norcia, Ph.D., Smith-Kettlewell Eye
Anthony M. Norcia, Ph.D., a senior scientist at the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute in San Francisco, has been presented with a Walt and Lilly Disney Award for Amblyopia Research by Research to Prevent Blindness.

Use of antipsychotic medications by children and adolescents associated with significant weight gain
Many pediatric and adolescent patients who received second-generation antipsychotic medications experienced significant weight gain, along with varied adverse effects on cholesterol and triglyceride levels and other metabolic measures, according to a study in the Oct.

World interest in Australian fishery impact test
An Australian method for assessing the environmental impact of marine fisheries has caught the eye of fishery management agencies worldwide.

Hunting for the Prozac gene
Dr. David Gurwitz and Ayelet Morag of Tel Aviv University are working to find a genetic marker to determine the effectiveness of Prozac and other SSRIs before they are prescribed.

Gladstone scientists receive $10 million to identify genetic cause of congenital heart disease
Scientists at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease will receive $10 million over the next six years to find the genetic causes of congenital heart disease.

Clemson professor receives award to study effect of mothers' obesity, diabetes on infants
The National Institutes of Health has awarded Clemson University professor Maria Mayorga and Medical University of South Carolina professor Kelly Hunt a $735,000 grant to study the effects of a mother's obesity and diabetes on infant health in certain ethnic groups.

Web-based nutrition program reduces health care costs for employees with cardiac risk factors
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine and Boston University School of Public Health have shown that an employer-sponsored, Internet-based diet and exercise program shows promise as a low-cost benefit to lower health care costs for those at higher risk for above-average costs and health care utilization such as cardiac, hyperlipidemia, hypertension or diabetes patients.

URI nutritionist finds chewing gum can reduce calorie intake, increase energy expenditure
A nutrition professor at the University of Rhode Island studying the effects of chewing sugar-free gum on weight management has found that it can help to reduce calorie intake and increase energy expenditure.

Symposium on America's Energy Future Nov. 2
America has the potential to solve its energy crisis over the next decade, but doing so will require immediate investment in clean energy technologies, according to a National Resource Council report on America's energy challenges.

Poor in rural Oregon face 'double binds' when getting food
A new study by Oregon State University researchers shows that those in poverty in rural Oregon often know what kinds of foods they should be eating, but face tough choices between eating well and spending less money for meals.

Trial to test whether behavioral therapy can reduce anxiety in young adolescents with autism
The USF Health Rothman Center for Neuropsychiatry in St. Petersburg, Fla., is conducting a two-year federal trial testing the effectiveness of behavioral psychotherapy in treating anxiety among young adolescents with autism.

Puberty a gateway to heart disease for Canada's teens
A seven-year ongoing study examining over 20,000 Canadian grade 9 students shows most already have at least one major risk factor for heart disease and stroke, Dr.

ASU exceeds $300 million in research expenditures
Arizona State University has topped $300 million in research expenditures for the first time in its school history.

The skeleton: Size matters
It has long been known that the identity of each vertebra is due to the activation of a class of genes called

Study finds chewing gum can help lower calorie intake and increase energy expenditure
New research from University of Rhode Island presented at the Obesity Society's 2009 Annual Scientific Meeting shows the role of chewing sugar-free gum, such as Wrigley's Extra, in helping to reduce calorie intake at lunch and increase energy expenditure among individuals in a laboratory setting.

Magnetic mixing creates quite a stir
Sandia researchers have developed a process that can mix tiny volumes of liquid, even in complicated spaces.

Aerospace industry leaders to debate America's next steps in space
Aerospace industry leaders will meet Nov. 2 to debate the future of America's space programs in light of the recent findings by the Augustine Commission.

Medical food reduces medical costs and use of anti-convulsant medication
Diabetic patients diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy had lower medical costs and reduced use of anti-convulsant medications when treated with a folate-enriched prescription medical food, according to data presented today at the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research 12th Annual European Congress.

Epilepsy drugs could treat Alzheimer's and Parkinson's
Researchers in the USA have discovered a potential new function for anti-epileptic drugs in treating neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

UT Southwestern patient first in North Texas to receive newest-generation heart failure device
UT Southwestern Medical Center patient Michael LeBlanc, 40, is the first in North Texas to receive the newest generation of a mechanical device designed to improve heart function.

Heart patients running the red light on traffic restrictions
More than half of patients with acute coronary syndrome don't get any counselling on their ability to drive after angioplasty -- and this could be putting lives in danger, Dr.

Neuroscientist's discovery of new uses for old drug leads to patents, innovation award
University of South Florida neuroscientist Roland Shytle's discovery of successful new clinical uses for mecamylamine, a drug once used to treat hypertension, has led to several issued patents and an excellence in innovation award.

Mayo Clinic physician receives first PASSOR Legacy Award
The American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation awarded Jay Smith, M.D., of Mayo Clinic's Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, the Physiatric Association of Spine, Sports and Occupational Rehabilitation Legacy Award and Lectureship.

Patients starting dialysis have increased risk of death
Compared to the general population, patients starting dialysis have an increased risk of death that is not attributable to a higher rate of death from cardiovascular causes, as previously thought, according to a study in the Oct.

Rutgers researcher recipient of Gruber International Research Award in neuroscience
Eva Pastalkova, a post-doctoral researcher at the Center for Molecular and Behavioral Neuroscience at Rutgers University, Newark and her advisor, Professor Gyoergy Buzsaki, have developed a method for studying internally generated brain activity in rats.

BMJ raises concerns over 'outlawed' gagging clauses in NHS contracts
Despite government outlawing of gagging clauses in NHS contracts, new evidence published on today reveals how some trusts have continued to use them.

Exercise is good medicine for lymphoma patients
A healthy dose of exercise is good medicine, even for lymphoma patients receiving chemotherapy, University of Alberta researchers have found.

Tufts CTSI and Tufts University receive 4 NIH supplemental grant awards
The Tufts Clinical and Translational Science Institute and Tufts University today announced they are the recipients of four supplemental grant awards from the National Institutes of Health.

SMU geothermal conference
SMU's Geothermal Lab will host a two-day conference explaining how to produce geothermal energy from the nuisance waste water produced by most oil and gas wells.

Global warming cycles threaten endangered primate species
One of the first-ever analyses of the effects of global warming on endangered primates has examined how El Niño warming has affected the abundance of four highly threatened New World monkeys.

Propolis has proved to be a product with ability to have beneficial effects for health
Over the past five years, Neiker-Tecnalia, in collaboration with the Fundacion Kalitatea, apicultural associations in the Autonomous Community of the Basque Country, honey producing plants and Basque governmental bodies, has undertaken R&D projects associated with the beekeeping sector.

The true North -- Strong when salt free
A move from a traditional diet to the sodium-laden Western diet is fueling a spike in the blood pressure of the Inuit in Canada's North, Dr.

Muscle weakness a common side effect of long stays in intensive care units
After decades of focusing on the management of respiratory failure, circulatory shock and severe infections that lead to extended stays in hospital intensive care units, critical care researchers are increasingly turning attention to what they believe is a treatable complication developed by many who spend days or weeks confined to an ICU bed: debilitating muscle weakness that can linger long after hospital discharge.

Bogus e-mails from FDIC link computer users to viruses, says UAB computer forensics expert
Cyber criminals are using fake messages claiming to be from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to deliver a virus capable of stealing unsuspecting victims' bank passwords and other sensitive personal information, says Gary Warner, the director of research in computer forensics at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Legal counsel affects death penalty cases
Legal counsel is a matter of life and death in Houston, but it is not necessarily tied to a defendant's socioeconomic status, according to new research by Scott Phillips, associate professor of sociology and criminology at the University of Denver.

Scientists use world's fastest supercomputer to create the largest HIV evolutionary tree
In this study the evolutionary history of more than 10,000 sequences from more than 400 HIV-infected individuals was compared.

'Culture of we' buffers genetic tendency to depression
A genetic tendency to depression is much less likely to be realized in a culture centered on collectivistic rather than individualistic values, according to a new Northwestern University study.

Olympus introduces the VisiGlide, a single-use guidewire
Olympus today announced the availability of VisiGlide, its new single-use guidewire developed with advanced technology from Terumo Corporation to facilitate ERCP procedures performed by gastroenterologists.

Families suffer from problem gambling
Many people perceive gambling to be a harmless recreational activity.

Stanford study recommends change in treating pulmonary embolisms
William Kuo, M.D., was the on-call interventional radiologist one Friday night three years ago when he received a call from the intensive care unit at Stanford Hospital & Clinics.

The power of doctors makes elderly patients passive
Elderly patients are often critical towards the meeting with the doctor.

Deep brain stimulation may be effective treatment for Tourette's syndrome
Deep brain stimulation may be a safe and effective treatment for Tourette's syndrome, according to research published in the Oct.

Alternative to pap test does not appear to be better for detecting cervical cancer
A Dutch study that included nearly 90,000 women finds that liquid-based cytology, a commonly used alternative to conventional Pap tests, is not superior to Pap tests for the detection of cervical cancer precursors or cancer, according to a study in the Oct.

No such thing as a break in a curveball?
Simple animation developed by USC and American University suggests break in curveball is a visual illusion.

Seed fund for UC bioscience companies launches at Mission Bay
The California Institute of Quantitative Biosciences (QB3) is collaborating with a newly launched $7.5 million fund to provide start-up capital for University of California bioscience entrepreneurs and a long-term endowment for QB3.

EPA releases guide to help scientists understand children's exposure to pollutants
The US Environmental Protection Agency today released a user-friendly document to help risk assessors understand how children are exposed to pollution.

Adding tools against breast tumors
At the end of a 10-year, coast-to-coast study of women with an unusual form of breast cancer, Richard J.

Science learning outside of school
A great deal of science learning takes place outside of classrooms -- in museums and after-school programs, for example, and through TV programs, books and online activities.

Consumer electronics can help improve patient health
Electronic tools and technology applications for consumers can help improve health care processes, such as adherence to medication and clinical outcomes like smoking cessation, according to a report by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Charles Darwin really did have advanced ideas about the origin of life
When Charles Darwin published

Research: Migraine and cardiovascular disease; systematic review and meta-analysis
Migraine with aura (temporary visual or sensory disturbances before or during a migraine headache) is associated with a twofold increased risk of stroke, finds a study published on today.

Vegetables can protect unborn child against diabetes
New evidence is emerging for how important it is for pregnant women to eat good, nutritious food.

Air Force invests over $14M for 2010 Young Investigators Research Program
The US Air Force Office of Scientific Research today announced it will award approximately $14.6 million in grants to 38 scientists and engineers who submitted winning research proposals through the Air Force's Young Investigator Research Program.

LMU Munich researchers highly endowed with EU funding
Two junior researchers from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich shall each receive a Starting Grant from the European Research Council.

Major research collaboration will improve British athletes' performance on world stage
Scientists are developing a range of miniaturized wearable and track-side sensors, computer modeling tools and smart training devices to help British athletes improve their performance on the world stage, as part of a new £8.5 million project that will be officially launched tomorrow.

URI research couple's method targets cancerous tumors
Two URI professors have discovered a technology that can detect cancerous tumors and deliver treatment to them without the harming the healthy cells surrounding them, thereby significantly reducing side effects.

Cholesterol-lowering medicines may be effective against cancer
Millions of people around the world use medicines based on statins to lower their blood cholesterol, but new research from the University of Gothenburg, published in the prestigious journal PNAS, shows that statins may also be effective in the treatment of cancer.

Fortuitous research provides first detailed documentation of tsunami erosion
For the first time, a group of scientists working in the Kuril Islands off the east coast of Russia has documented the scope of tsunami-caused erosion and found that a wave can carry away far more sand and dirt than it deposits.

Crushing cigarettes in a virtual reality environment reduces tobacco addiction
Smokers who crushed computer-simulated cigarettes as part of a psychosocial treatment program in a virtual reality environment had significantly reduced nicotine dependence and higher rates of tobacco abstinence than smokers participating in the same program who grasped a computer-simulated ball, according to a study described in the current issue of CyberPsychology and Behavior, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert Inc.

Federal agencies to discuss best ways to prioritize, evaluate scientific research
Research management experts from across federal science agencies will gather in Washington, D.C., Oct.

Endowment fund to support ICT research
An initial round of grants from the rejuvenated Science and Industry Endowment Fund will enhance Australia's world-leading research capabilities in wireless technologies and help to address the nation's need for more skilled scientists.

$3 million NSF grant teams CCNY, U. of Chicago to define new field
It is not often that a group of scientists get to define a field of study.

TBI-vision loss impacts vets; low-vision patients may have hallucinations
Today's scientific program, 2009 American Academy of Ophthalmology -- Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology Joint Meeting, includes a Veterans Administration study that indicates that Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with vision loss from traumatic brain injury have significantly poorer quality of life than comparable civilian patients, and a Harvard doctor's insights on how to best evaluate and care for low-vision patients who experience vivid visual hallucinations due to Charles Bonnet syndrome.

Dining out in an ocean of plastic: How foraging albatrosses put plastic on the menu
Reporting in the open-access journal PLoS ONE, Dr. Lindsay Young of the University of Hawaii and her colleagues examined whether Laysan albatrosses nesting on Kure Atoll and Oahu, Hawaii, 2,150 km away, ingested different amounts of plastic by putting miniaturized tracking devices on birds to follow them at sea and examining their regurgitated stomach contents.

Significant regional variations exist regarding proximity to burn centers
Although nearly 80 percent of the US population lives within 2 hours by ground or helicopter transport to a verified burn center, there is substantial state and regional variation in geographic access to these centers, according to a study in the Oct.

Swine flu vaccine must be free and safe for high uptake
Almost half of adults surveyed in summer 2009 in Hong Kong say they would take up free swine flu vaccination.

When ants attack: Researchers recreate chemicals that trigger aggression in Argentine ants
Researchers have identified and synthesized the chemical cues by which Argentine ants distinguish colony-mates from rivals.

Nepal expands critical tiger habitat
The Government of Nepal announced today an expansion of Bardia National Park in the Terai Arc Landscape by 900 sq km, which will increase critical habitat for tigers.

Invitation to attend the World Congress on Osteoporosis 2010 (IOF WCO-ECCEO10)
Springtime in Tuscany! Come to Florence to hear the world's key opinion leaders in osteoporosis talk about the field's

University of Cincinnati researchers create all-electric spintronics
Scientists have always attempted to develop spin transistors by incorporating local ferromagnets into device architectures.

$6.5 million gift to UCSF from Irwin and Joan Jacobs for head and neck cancer research
Philanthropists Irwin and Joan Jacobs of La Jolla, Calif., are giving a $6.5 million gift to UCSF for head and neck cancer research.

Electrical engineers go head to head with Genius on music playlists
Electrical engineers recently pitted Genius -- the music recommendation system in Apple's iTunes -- against two experimental music recommender systems.

UT leads collaborative initiative for innovative cancer research
A consortium led by the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston has been awarded a major grant from the National Cancer Institute to establish a center to conduct innovative cancer research.

Tropical Depression Neki nulled by cool waters and wind shear
Two ingredients that don't mix well with tropical cyclones are waters cooler than 80 degrees Fahrenheit and wind shear.

Rice University cuts deal to research graphene-infused drilling fluids
Rice University and Houston-based M-I SWACO, the world's largest producer of drilling fluids for the petrochemical industry, have signed an agreement for research funds to develop a graphene additive that will improve the productivity of wells.

Addition of chemotherapy to radiotherapy increases survival for patients with advanced head and neck cancer
Giving chemotherapy at the same time as radiotherapy to patients with locally advanced head and neck cancer (who have not had surgery) more than doubles their event-free survival to 2.2 years, compared with one year with radiotherapy alone.

Microwave satellite imagery shows an eye developing in Mirinae
Microwave satellite imagery has revealed that Tropical Storm Mirinae is strengthening enough to develop an eye, and that's what it's doing.

Stanford's Precourt Energy Efficiency Center awards new round of research grants
The Precourt Energy Efficiency Center at Stanford University has awarded its third round of competitive research grants.

Experts offer policy recommendations for improving medication adherence
A diverse group of health care and consumer organizations released five policy recommendations this week that are designed to promote better medication adherence and improved health outcomes for patients.

Technology helps doctors and researchers diagnose and seek cures for eye diseases
Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals Case Medical Center have granted to Bioptigen, of Research Triangle Park, N.C., an exclusive intellectual property licensing agreement for Fourier domain optical coherence tomography (FDOCT), an imaging technology developed from research at the university's department of biomedical engineering.

UCF secures $7.5 million research grant to improve hybrid photovoltaic solar cells
The grant will allow UCF to study ways to make photovoltaic solar cells more efficient in capturing and converting solar energy into electricity and less costly to manufacture. 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