Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 30, 2009
New stem cell technology developed at Hebrew University
A novel technology involving use of stem cells, developed by Hebrew University of Jerusalem researchers, has been applied to provide better and rapid healing for patients suffering from complicated bone fractures.

Pickin' up good vibrations to produce green electricity
Vibrations from the environments we live and work in could be much more widely harnessed as a clean source of electricity, due to cutting-edge UK research.

The therapeutic benefits of the human-animal bond
A pet owner knows the enormous joy and comfort that an animal can provide, especially in troubled times.

First live targeting of tumors with RNA-based technology
Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have devised a way they might deliver the right therapy directly to tumors using special molecules, called aptamers, which specifically bind to living tumor tissue.

Beverage can stay-tabs pose swallowing risk
Three decades ago, a study revealed that beverage can pull-tabs were being swallowed by children, prompting a switch by US manufacturers to stay-tabs.

Black hole caught zapping galaxy into existence?
Which come first, the supermassive black holes that frantically devour matter or the enormous galaxies where they reside?

Brain scan study shows cocaine abusers can control cravings
A new brain-imaging study shows that active cocaine abusers can suppress drug craving, suggesting new ways to help them quit and avoid relapse.

Scripps research study describes new tool in the fight against autoimmune diseases, blood cancers
A study led by a Scripps Research Institute scientist describes a new, highly pragmatic approach to the identification of molecules that prevent a specific type of immune cells from attacking their host.

Mean old levee
The levee failures during Hurricane Katrina are, of course, still fresh in the American mind.

Innovation puts next-generation solar cells on the horizon
In a world first, a Monash University-led international research team has developed an innovative way to boost the output of the next generation of solar cells.

It takes 2 to infect
Bacteria are quite creative when infecting the human organism. They invade cells, migrate through the body, avoid an immune response and misuse processes of the host cell for their own purposes.

French scientist wins the Journal of Experimental Biology Outstanding Paper Prize 2009
Xavier Noblin wins the Journal of Experimental Biology Outstanding Paper Prize for his work on the water powered fungal spore launch mechanism.

First metallic nanoparticles resistant to extreme heat
A University of Pittsburgh team overcame a major hurdle plaguing the development of nanomaterials such as those that could lead to more efficient catalysts used to produce hydrogen and render car exhaust less toxic.

Mad as hell? New discoveries about the experience of anger
Younger people, those with children and less-educated individuals are more likely to experience anger, according to new University of Toronto research that examines one of the most common negative emotions in society.

Directly observed antiretroviral therapy offers no benefit over self-administered treatment for HIV patients
Directly observed antiretroviral therapy -- in which a health worker or other person watches as an HIV patient swallows their medication -- has no effect on treatment outcome compared with self-administered treatment, in a range of high-income and low-income country settings.

First comprehensive review of the state of Antarctica's climate
The first comprehensive review of the state of Antarctica's climate and its relationship to the global climate system is published this week (Tuesday, Dec.

Register now online for the World Congress on Osteoporosis 2010 -- IOF WCO-ECCEO10
Take advantage of lower early bird registration rates and register online now for the premiere osteoporosis congress of 2010.

DFG approves funding for 17 new collaborative research centers
The DFG has approved the establishment of 17 new Collaborative Research Centers as of Jan.

Stroke and heart disease trigger revealed in new research
Scientists have identified the trigger that leads to the arteries becoming damaged in the disease atherosclerosis, which causes heart attacks and strokes, in research published today in the journal Circulation.

Financial restructuring in fresh-start Chapter 11 reorganizations
The effectiveness of the existing bankruptcy code has long been a source of vigorous debate.

Elastography reduces unnecessary breast biopsies
Elastography is an effective, convenient technique that, when added to breast ultrasound, helps distinguish cancerous breast lesions from benign results, according to an ongoing study.

Seeing family for the holidays? Scientists discover how the stress might kill you
If you ever thought the stress of seeing your extended family over the holidays was slowly killing you -- bad news: a new research report in the December 2009 print issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology shows that you might be right.

Heavy metal paradox could point toward new therapy for Lou Gehrig's disease
New discoveries have been made about how an elevated level of lead, which is a neurotoxic heavy metal, can slow the progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease -- findings that could point the way to a new type of therapy.

Affiliate partnership between EAU and Europa Uomo
The European Association of Urology and Europa Uomo, the European advocacy movement for the fight against prostate cancer, have entered into an affiliated partnership as part of their long-term commitment to increase and improve patient awareness in Europe with regards to urological diseases.

Availability of vaccine no guarantee public will want it
Just because a vaccine is available doesn't mean people will choose to be inoculated, according to new University of Toronto research published amid widespread public confusion around the merit of H1N1 flu shots.

Educational home visits can improve asthma in children, study suggests
A few home visits by a health care specialist to educate children with asthma about basic strategies for earlier symptom recognition and improving medication use can lead to fewer flare-ups and less frequent trips to the ER, according to research from Johns Hopkins Children's Center published in the December issue of Pediatrics.

More rural Medicare beneficiaries elect joint replacement surgery than urban recipients
Southern Illinois University researchers determined Medicare beneficiaries living in rural areas were 27 percent more likely than urban recipients to have total knee or hip replacement surgeries.

UAB physician urges changes in diagnosis for sore throat in young adults
New analysis from UAB suggests that physicians need to re-think their diagnosis and treatment of sore throat, or pharyngitis, in adolescents and young adults to consider a more newly identified and potentially dangerous culprit as the source of that infection.

'The pill' for him: Scientists find a hormonal on-and-off switch for male fertility
A new research report published in the December 2009 print issue of the FASEB Journal describes how scientists found how and where androgenic hormones work in the testis to control normal sperm production and male fertility.

Depressed women can lose weight as successfully as others do
Women with major depression were no less likely than were women without it to have successful results with a weight loss program, according to an article in the Winter 2009 Behavioral Medicine.

Smart phones allow quick diagnosis of acute appendicitis
Radiologists can accurately diagnose acute appendicitis from a remote location with the use of a hand-held device or mobile phone equipped with special software, according to a new study.

Global leaders, activists and academics gathering for COP15 Forest Day 3 in Copenhagen
In the midst of contentious negotiations in Copenhagen, more than 1,500 leading forestry experts, activists, policymakers and global leaders will gather for the third annual Forest Day (FD3).

IQWiG presents a method for evaluating the relation between cost and benefit
After nearly two years of development and extensive discussion in the scientific community, the Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care presents its methods for evaluating the relation between cost and benefit.

Unindicated CT series result in unnecessary radiation exposure for patients
A large proportion of patients who undergo abdominal/pelvic computed tomography (CT) receive unindicated and unnecessary additional image acquisition resulting in excess, avoidable radiation exposure, according to a new study.

How can scientists measure evolutionary responses to climate change?
As global temperatures continue to rise scientists are presented with the complex challenge of understanding how species respond and adapt, reports Dr.

Grant to help zoo visitors learn more about science with their cell phones
Zoo visitors may soon use their cell phones to

Pancreatic tumors are marked for immunotherapy
Pancreatic tumors can be identified by a readily detectable marker that shows promise as a basis for immune therapy against the disease, according to research at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Safe streets in Delhi key to preventing climate change say scientists
Safe streets for pedestrians and cyclists in Indian cities are essential to avoiding worsening climate change say scientists writing in today's Lancet medical journal.

Women researchers less likely to receive major career funding grants, U-M study shows
Women were less likely than men to receive major funding for scientific research, according to a study from the University of Michigan Health System.

First global conference on systems and enterprises at new Stevens location, Washington, D.C., Dec. 3-4
The inaugural Global Conference on Systems & Enterprises, to be held Dec.

Research shows power of FRET-based approach for distinguishing among distinct states of proteins
In the December 2009 issue of the Journal of General Physiology, Moss et al. report a comprehensive investigation employing Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) to study the {gamma}-amino acid transporter GAT1.

Similarities of pumping blood and oil examined
Scientists and engineers from two of the nation's largest industries -- medicine and energy -- will come together Dec.

Naked mole rats may hold clues to surviving stroke
Naked mole-rats can withstand brain oxygen deprivation for more than 30 minutes -- more than any other mammal.

GOES-14 (O) moving into on-orbit storage around the Earth
The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite named GOES-14 is being placed in on-orbit storage this month to await its call to duty.

Bjarne Stroustrup, inventor of C++ computer language, to speak at Stevens
One of the most prominent computer scientists of recent times will deliver a talk at Stevens Institute of Technology this coming Wednesday, Dec.

Happy holidays from the groaning board; Western diets turn on fat genes
Those extra helpings of gravy and dessert at the holiday table are even less of a help to your waistline than previously thought.

Parent mentors can improve the asthmatic care of minority children, UT Southwestern researchers find
UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have found that informed adults can help families stave off complications associated with asthma.

Early intervention for toddlers with autism highly effective, study finds
A novel early intervention program children with autism as young as 18 months is effective for improving IQ, language ability, and social interaction.

Long-term physical activity has an anti-aging effect at the cellular level
Physical activity has an anti-aging effect at the cellular level, suggesting exercise could prevent aging of the cardiovascular system.

UNC program in translational medicine awarded $700,000 HHMI grant
The Graduate Training Program in Translational Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has been awarded a four-year, $700,000

SAGE Research Methods Online to be developed by RDW Group's iFactory
SAGE, the world's leading publisher of research methods, announced today that its new online research tool SAGE Research Methods Online will be developed by the RDW Group's iFactory, a web design and online publishing platform provider.

World forest observatory needed to monitor vital role of forests in climate deal
A new scientific organization is needed to monitor the commitments that will be made by developing countries at Copenhagen to cut their deforestation rates, according to research at the University of Leeds.

CPR is successful without mouth-to-mouth, but not without oxygen
People can survive cardiac arrest if they receive only chest compressions during attempts to revive them -- as advised by the current American Heart Association guidelines.

Now you see it, now you know you see it
A new study by Tel Aviv University psychologists says that time lag between unconscious perception and conscious recognition of a visual stimulus can vary depending on the complexity of the stimulus.

Silver lining effect study, 'I have some good news and some bad news,' in INFORMS journal

Study: Believers' inferences about God's beliefs are uniquely egocentric
Religious people tend to use their own beliefs as a guide in thinking about what God believes, but are less constrained when reasoning about other people's beliefs, according to new study published in the Nov.

Montreal Heart Institute performs its first implant of new prosthesis for cardiac arrhythmia
A multidisciplinary team from the Montreal Heart Institute, which is affiliated to the Universite de Montreal, performed its first catheter implantation of a new prosthesis (Amptlazer Cardiac Plug) closing the appendage of the left atrium of the heart, which will have the effect of preventing the formation of blood clots and avoiding open-heart surgery.

Too much physical activity may lead to arthritis
Middle-aged men and women who engage in high levels of physical activity may be unknowingly causing damage to their knees and increasing their risk for osteoarthritis, according to a new study.

Sugary cola drinks linked for first time to higher risk of gestational diabetes
Researchers from LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Public Health, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, Harvard School of Public Health, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, have found for the first time that drinking more than five servings of sugar-sweetened cola a week prior to pregnancy appears to significantly elevate the risk of developing diabetes during pregnancy.

Research highlights need for national HIV strategy
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that well over one million people in the United States are infected with HIV/AIDS.

First Step To Success steps up in Albuquerque schools
A school-based behavioral intervention program developed under a federal grant in the mid-1990s at the University of Oregon, already in widespread use, now has shown real value on a complex stage, scoring robust improvements among at-risk elementary students in the predominantly minority Albuquerque, N.M., school district.

Low-income women 4 times more likely to report fair or poor health
Low-income women are four times more likely to report fair or poor health, and nearly twice as likely to report a health condition that limits one or more of the basic physical activities, according to a new policy brief from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

Osteoarthritis increases aggregate health care expenditures by $186 billion annually
Osteoarthritis, a highly prevalent disease, raised aggregate annual medical care expenditures in the US by $185.5 billion according to researchers from Stony Brook University.

Coverage of inexpensive drugs may increase length and quality of life after heart attack
Providing free medications to people after heart attack could add years to patients' lives at a relatively low cost for provincial governments, according to a new study by researchers at St.

WPI garners $1 million award for system that could prevent firefighter injuries and deaths
Worcester Polytechnic Institute has received a one-year, $1 million award from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to develop the final component of an integrated monitoring system designed to reduce firefighter deaths and injuries by precisely locating and tracking them inside buildings, continuously monitoring their vital signs to warn incident commanders when they are at risk of stress-related heart attacks, and taking floor-to-ceiling temperature readings inside buildings to provide an early warning of flashover.

Embargoed news from Annals of Internal Medicine
Below is information about four articles being published in the Dec.

Panel of multiple sclerosis experts provides best practice treatment recommendations for Tysabri
Best-practice recommendations for the selection and management of patients with multiple sclerosis who may benefit from, or are receiving treatment with, Tysabri (natalizumab) were published today in a supplement to the medical journal Multiple Sclerosis.

Elsevier is re-launching 'Embase' to be a powerful resource
Elsevier, the world's leading publisher of scientific, medical and technical products and services, today announced a major re-launch of Embase, its comprehensive biomedical database which holds over 20 million indexed records from more than 7,000 active, peer reviewed journals.

NASA captures Typhoon Nida's clouds from 2 angles
NASA satellites capture amazing views of tropical cyclones, and the Aqua and CloudSat satellites captured a top-down look at temperatures in Typhoon Nida's clouds, and an image of what they look like from the side.

A reductionist approach to HIV research
A major obstacle to HIV research is the virus's exquisite specialisation for its human host -- meaning that scientists' traditional tools, like the humble lab mouse, can deliver only limited information.

Jefferson researchers identify new mechanism of blocking HIV-1 from entering cells
Publishing in PLoS Pathogens, researchers at from the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson have found a novel mechanism by which drugs block HIV-1 from entering host cells.

Chicken capsules good for aching joints
Chicken collagen can provide relief from rheumatoid arthritis (RA) symptoms.

Patients say 'no thanks' to risky medical treatments
A recent study suggests that increasing patient responsibility for making medical decisions may decrease their willingness to accept risky treatment options.

Scientists demonstrate multibeam, multi-functional lasers
An international team of applied scientists from Harvard, Hamamatsu Photonics, and ETH Zurich have demonstrated compact, multibeam, and multi-wavelength lasers emitting in the invisible part of the light spectrum (infrared).

Scientists reveal malaria parasites' tactics for outwitting our immune systems
Malaria parasites are able to disguise themselves to avoid the host's immune system, according to research funded by the Wellcome Trust and published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Quantitative approach to forensic fingerprint comparison studied
There is no quantitative standard used by the worldwide fingerprint community to determine the quantity and quality of information in an image or for the number of points of comparison required for identification.

Clinical trials launched for treating most aggressive brain tumor with personalized cell vaccines
The University of Navarra Hospital has launched a series of clinical trials in order to assess the efficacy of an immunotherapy treatment.

Hospital noise initiative reduces average peak decibel levels by 20 percent
Getting medical staff to adopt some simple measures on three hospital wards reduced noise levels by just under 20 percent -- from 96.48 decibels to 77.52 decibels.

Scientists gain new understanding of disease-causing bacteria
A team of scientists from the Forsyth Institute, the University of Connecticut Health Center, the CDC and the Wadsworth Center, have used state-of-the-art technology to elucidate the molecular architecture of Treponema pallidum, the bacterium which causes syphilis.

Climate change in Kuwait Bay
Since 1985, seawater temperature in Kuwait Bay, northern Arabian Gulf, has increased on average 0.6 degrees Celsius per decade.

Clemson researchers receive EPA grant to study carbon emission storage
Clemson University researchers Ron Falta and Larry Murdoch have received an $891,000 Environmental Protection Agency grant to study the safe storage of carbon dioxide in geological formations located deep below the Earth's surface.

Big freeze plunged Europe into ice age in months
In the film

Biology of emergent Salmonella exposed
Researchers have characterized a deadly new strain of Salmonella, which emerged over an 18-month period.

Study shows antibiotic unsuccessful in preventing preterm labor
Scientists at the University of Liverpool and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine have found that an antibiotic, currently used to treat infections linked to incidences of premature births, does not help reduce the risk of preterm labor.

UM biologist receives NIH grant to create the first map of protein interactions in neurons
The University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences has been awarded a grant totaling $2.6 million distributed over two years, from the National Institute of Health, through the Recovery Act Limited Competition for NIH Grants: Research and Research Infrastructure

Health Physics Society recommends considering action for indoor radon below current guidelines
With radon-caused lung cancer deaths averaging 20,000 per year, the Health Physics Society asks the public to consider taking action even at measured levels below current guidelines.

Tuberculosis: On the path to prevention
Why do some people who are exposed to tuberculosis not become infected or develop the disease?

NRL's Ion Tiger sets 26-hour flight endurance record
The Naval Research Laboratory's Ion Tiger, a hydrogen-powered fuel cell unmanned air vehicle, has flown 26 hours and 1 minute carrying a 5-pound payload, setting another unofficial flight endurance record for a fuel-cell powered flight.

Research sheds new light on epilepsy
Neuroscientists at Newcastle University move a step closer to finding new treatments for epilepsy. 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