Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 05, 2010
New research suggests fat mass helps build bone mass in girls
According to a new study accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, fat mass is important in increasing bone size and thickness, but this effect appears to be stronger in girls than boys.

UCSD bioengineering pioneer honored for advancing science across continents
For Shu Chien -- a pioneer in the growing field of bioengineering -- understanding and learning the marvels of how the human body works has been the foundation of his decades-long quest to advance science and technology worldwide.

Study provides insight into pathway linked to obesity
A new study involving the University of Iowa, Mayo Clinic and two other institutions provides insight on weight control, suggesting that a potassium channel critical to survival and stress adaptation can contribute to fat deposition and obesity.

Virginia Tech licenses GenoCAD source code to ISCB
The source code for a Web site that allows users to design synthetic genetic systems for biological research has been licensed to the International Society for Computational Biology with the aim of developing open source tools for the synthetic biology community.

Celebrex inhibited the burden of skin cancer in high-risk patients
People with the heritable disorder of the skin called Gorlin syndrome who are genetically predisposed to develop basal cell carcinoma of the skin may have a new chemoprevention therapy on the horizon.

Story tips from the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory January 2010
World-class computing at ORNL could be unleashed to save as much as $50 billion per year in fraud, waste and abuse in the nation's health care system.

Sweet corn study provides large-scale picture of better fields
In what amounted to a kind of census of sweet corn grown for processing, three years of data from 175 fields in Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota shed light on what works and what doesn't.

Nature's most precise clocks may make 'galactic GPS' possible
Radio astronomers have uncovered 17 millisecond pulsars in our galaxy by studying unknown high-energy sources detected by NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope.

Liver stiffness measurements identify patients with rapid or slow fibrosis
A recent study by doctors from the Hospital Clínic in Barcelona, Spain, determined that repeated liver stiffness measurements in the first year following liver transplant (LT) could discriminate between slow and rapid

From crickets to whales, animal calls have something in common
Animals produce a tremendous diversity of sounds for communication to perform life's basic functions, from courtship and parental care to defense and foraging.

Sexual function does not continuously decline after radiation therapy treatments for prostate cancer
Sexual function in prostate cancer patients receiving external beam radiation therapy decreases within the first two years after treatment but then stabilizes and does not continuously decline as was previously thought, according to a study in the Jan.

Natural compounds in pomegranates may prevent growth of hormone-dependent breast cancer
Eating fruit, such as pomegranates, that contain anti-aromatase phytochemicals reduces the incidence of hormone-dependent breast cancer, according to results of a study published in the January issue of Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Lombardi researchers find investigational agent reduces tumor resistance to breast cancer therapy
Researchers at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center have found a way to cleverly override signals that tell breast cancer cells to keep surviving in the face of anticancer treatment.

Prenatal ultrasonography has increased 55 percent for pregnant women, even in low-risk pregnancies
Current use of prenatal ultrasounds in women with singleton pregnancies is 55 percent greater than in 1996, even in low-risk pregnancies.

News briefs from the January issue of Chest
News briefs from the January issue of Chest highlight studies related to how a child's height and weight can affect lung function later in life and the effect that two COPD drugs (ipratropium and tiotropium) have on cardiovascular events and mortality.

Circumcision associated with significant changes in bacteria
Circumcision, which substantially lowers HIV risk in men, also dramatically changes the bacterial communities of the penis, according to a study led by scientists at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and Johns Hopkins University, and published Jan.

New virus is not linked to chronic fatigue syndrome, suggests UK research
New UK research, published today in PLoS ONE, has not reproduced previous findings that suggested chronic fatigue syndrome may be linked to a recently discovered virus.

'Ferropaper' is new technology for small motors, robots
Researchers at Purdue University have created a magnetic

In all the universe, just 10 percent of solar systems are like ours
In their quest to find solar systems analogous to ours, astronomers have determined how common our solar system is.

Restaurant and packaged foods can have more calories than nutrition labeling indicates
Since people who are trying to reduce their weight are encouraged to choose meals labeled as

Goddard scientist's breakthrough given ticket to Mars
The quest to discover whether Mars ever hosted an environment friendly to microscopic forms of life has just gotten a shot in the arm.

Scott & White Healthcare researching treatments for rare cancers
Scott & White's Cancer Research Institute has launched two clinical trials targeting cancers that affect both adults and children.

January 2010 Geology and GSA Today media highlights
Geology includes studies of Mars' Hesperian period and associated thermokarst-style landscapes; plant-leaf compounds and soil microbes in ancient Sierra Nevada river sediments; drowned carbonate reefs in Australia; fossil evidence for the floating fern Azolla in the Eocene Arctic Ocean; the spread of mineral dust from Earth's largest natural source, the Sahara; 44-million-year-old microfossils near Salzburg; sub-seafloor microbes; and the history of the Jurassic Sundance Sea.

Service-oriented ecosystem enables low cost devices to form interactive 'web of objects'
Technological innovation in Web-service profiling enables low-cost devices to speak the same language while providing a smart approach to interactive service-oriented support systems.

Caffeine consumption associated with less severe liver fibrosis
Researchers from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases determined that patients with chronic hepatitis C virus who consumed more than 308 mg of caffeine daily had milder liver fibrosis.

Astronomers get new tools for gravitational-wave detection
A breakthrough in discovering new millisecond pulsars is providing astronomers a greatly improved capability to use those natural cosmic tools to make the first direct detections of gravitational waves.

2 sides of the same coin: Speech and gesture mutually interact to enhance comprehension
Your mother may have taught you that it's rude to point, but according to new research, gesturing may actually help improve communication.

Obesity now poses as great a threat to quality of life as smoking
Obesity has become an equal, if not greater, contributor to the burden of disease and shortening of healthy life in comparison to smoking.

Mayo researchers find obesity key
Mayo researchers collaborating with investigators at the University of Iowa, University of Connecticut and New York University have discovered a molecular mechanism that controls energy expenditure in muscles and helps determine body weight.

World Congress on Osteoporosis 2010 -- IOF WCO-ECCEO10
Register now for the largest global scientific meeting devoted exclusively to osteoporosis and osteoarthritis in 2010.

Hubble finds most distant primeval galaxies
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has broken the distance limit for galaxies and uncovered a primordial population of compact and ultra-blue galaxies that have never been seen before.

WPI receives $1.6 million allocation for research on advanced implantable neuroprosthetics
More than 1,200 American soldiers have returned from Afghanistan and Iraq with missing limbs.

1 solution to obesity: Muscles that act as an energy drain
Many people have traded in their gas-guzzling old

Researchers developing techniques to strengthen the security of information systems
As computers increasingly transfer patient medical records and other sensitive information, a group of computer scientists at Kansas State University is doing basic research that will help designers keep such information safe.

ACEC names Dr. David Vaccari Educator of the Year 2009
Dr. David Vaccari, an associate professor at Stevens Institute of Technology was recently awarded the 2009 Educator of the Year Award from the New Jersey Chapter of the American Council of Engineering Companies.

Common anti-inflammatory drug could help prevent skin cancers, Stanford researcher says
A widely available anti-inflammatory prescription drug can reduce the risk of a common skin cancer in humans, according to a researcher at Stanford's School of Medicine.

New eating device retrains dietary habits and helps children lose weight
A new computerized device that tracks portion size and how fast people eat is more successful in helping obese children and adolescents lose weight than standard treatments, according to research published on today.

New panchromatic capabilities of Hubble reveal an unprecedented view of the universe
More than 12 billion years of cosmic history are shown in this unprecedented, panoramic, full-color view of thousands of galaxies in various stages of assembly.

Researchers revisit pulmonary arterial hypertension survival
Setting out to determine the survival of patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), researchers at the University of Chicago Medical Center and their colleagues also discovered that an equation used for more than 20 years to predict survival is outdated.

No evidence to support psychological debriefing in schools
There is no evidence to support psychological debriefing in schools after traumatic events such as violence, suicides and accidental death, which runs counter to current practice in some Canadian school jurisdictions, according to a commentary in CMAJ.

Fermi large area telescope points the way to new millisecond pulsars
The discovery of 17 new millisecond pulsars was announced at the American Astronomical Society Meeting by scientists from the Naval Research Laboratory Space Science Division and a team of international researchers.

Family-strengthening intervention program strengthened
Preliminary testing of modifications to a program aimed at strengthening families showed that parents improved their ability to control anger, exhibited less negativity and acted more positively toward their children.

ACS Webinar features tips for using a chemistry degree in finding career opportunities
News media and others interested in the chemical sciences are invited to join the next in a series of American Chemical Society Webinars, Your Career Matters!, featuring speakers that address a variety of pertinent career topics impacting science and engineering professionals.

HIV-infected postmenopausal women at high risk for bone fractures
According to a new study accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, postmenopausal HIV-infected women have a high prevalence of low bone mineral density and high bone turnover placing them at high risk for future bone fractures.

New mathematical model aids Big Bang supercomputer research
Astrophysicists using supercomputers to simulate the Big Bang have a new mathematical tool to model the early universe, says mathematician Daniel Reynolds at Southern Methodist University, Dallas.

Scientists create early warning system to defend rare Jersey cows from continental disease
Scientists from the Channel Islands are working on an early warning system to help defend cattle against

Virtual clay software developed in UB lab 'jumpstarts' design process
A 3-D virtual clay sculpting software package that came on the market this week was developed out of research conducted by University at Buffalo mechanical engineers who wanted to speed up computational design of complex, organic shapes.

Multi-paddock grazing provides efficiency and profits for ranchers
Short grazing periods on multiple paddocks within a pasture can not only restore forage conditions, but also profit margins, according to a Texas AgriLife Research scientist.

Miscanthus, a biofuels crop, can host western corn rootworm
The western corn rootworm beetle, a pest that feasts on corn roots and corn silk and costs growers more than $1 billion annually in the US, also can survive on the perennial grass Miscanthus x giganteus, a potential biofuels crop that would likely be grown alongside corn, researchers report.

AgriLife researcher studies chemical control of potato psyllid
A Texas AgriLife Research entomologist in Lubbock is trying to determine the best management practices to reduce a potato crop's risk to zebra chip, a disease that discolors the potato and causes discounts to the producer.

Astronomers detect earliest galaxies
Astronomers, including Carnegie's Ivo Labbe, used NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to break the distance limit for galaxies by uncovering a primordial population of compact and ultra-blue galaxies that have never been seen before.

Report suggests similar effectiveness among options for managing low-risk prostate cancer
A comprehensive appraisal of the management and treatment options for low-risk prostate cancer found that the rates of survival and tumor recurrence are similar among the most common treatment approaches, although costs can vary considerably.

A global breakthrough in the study of a protein linked to the spread of viruses
Professor Denis Archambault of the department of biological sciences of Université du Québec à Montréal, and doctoral student Andrea Corredor Gomez have made a major discovery in the field of molecular biology.

Before or after birth, gene linked to mental health has different effects
Scientists have long eyed mutations in a gene known as DISC1 as a possible contributor to schizophrenia and mood disorders, including depression and bipolar disorder.

Strength training, self-management improve outcomes for knee osteoarthritis
Researchers participating in the Multidimensional Intervention for Early Osteoarthritis of the Knee determined that physically inactive, middle-aged people with symptomatic osteoarthritis benefited equally from strength training regimens, self-management programs, or a combination of the two.

Hispanic elderly more likely than whites to live in inferior nursing homes
Brown University researchers have determined that Hispanic residents are more likely than whites to live in nursing homes of poor quality.

Electric field propels worms to test new drugs
Researchers at McMaster University have developed a way to view the effects of a proposed drug treatment in real time using a mild electrical field to stimulate C. elegans nematodes.

URMC study links vitamin D, race and cardiac deaths
Vitamin D deficiency may contribute to a higher number of heart and stroke-related deaths among black Americans compared to whites, according to a University of Rochester Medical Center study.

Birds fight alien parasites
Unlike Hawaii and other island groups, no native bird has gone extinct in the Galapagos Islands, although some are in danger.

First Earth-like planet spotted outside solar system likely a volcanic wasteland
When scientists confirmed in October that they had detected the first rocky planet outside our solar system, it advanced the longtime quest to find an Earth-like planet hospitable to life.

Researchers study microbes in cattle to unlock metabolic disease mysteries
Switching from warm-season grasses to cool-season forages can give livestock a belly ache, in some cases a deadly one, according to Texas AgriLife Research scientists.

Protein linked to leukemia 'bookmarks' highly active genes during cell division
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory scientists have discovered how some epigenetic instructions get stably transferred from one generation of cells to the next.

Study shows serious emotional disturbances among children after Katrina
A team of mental health professionals, emergency response experts, and researchers has published the results of a study that shows serious emotional disturbances (SED) among children as a result of Hurricane Katrina.

Leptin-controlled gene can reverse diabetes
Researchers have found that even a very little bit of the fat hormone leptin goes a long way when it comes to correcting diabetes.

Law professor to share international research with UM's Miller Center for Judaic Studies this spring
Ed Morgan will be a visiting research fellow for the spring semester at the University of Miami Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Judaic Studies.

Few breast cancer surgeons follow quality of care standards, U-M study finds
Most breast cancer surgeons' practices do not follow standards associated with the best quality of care, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Technology new gateway into treatment for problem alcohol users: Study
A recent evaluation by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health shows that online interventions for problem alcohol use can be effective in changing drinking behaviors and offers a significant public health benefit.

'Junk DNA' could spotlight breast and bowel cancer
Scientists at the University of Nottingham have found that a group of genetic rogue elements, produced by DNA sequences commonly known as

Innovative Medical Equipment launches Sootheaway device for migraine relief
Innovative Medical Equipment LLC today announced the full US market release of Sootheaway -- a new, thermo-electrically heated and cooled therapy device that helps relieve migraine, tension or stress headache pain in the forehead, temples, occipital and ocular/sinus regions.

Sharing a hospital room increases risk of 'super bugs'
Staying in a multi-bed hospital room dramatically increases the risk of acquiring a serious infectious disease, Queen's University researchers have discovered.

Global warming and other environmental dangers may be solved by unlikely source -- space technology
News headlines are filled with discussions emanating from the COP15 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

University of Nevada, Reno researcher devises new solar pond distillation system
Ecosystems of terminus lakes around the world could benefit from a new system being developed at the University of Nevada, Reno to desalinate water using a specialized low-cost solar pond and patented membrane distillation system powered by renewable energy.

Worm's eye view
Berkeley Lab researchers have developed a

Conference highlights impact of unsettled summer weather on UK marine life
A recent scientific conference has provided new evidence for the effects of unseasonal summer storms on a variety of spectacular marine life, including deadly jellyfish, basking sharks and oceanic seabirds.

Sun glints seen from space signal oceans and lakes
In two new videos from NASA's Deep Impact spacecraft, bright flashes of light known as sun glints act as beacons signaling large bodies of water on Earth.

Commentary: Obese pregnant women should gain less weight than currently recommended
Joined by colleagues, a Saint Louis University obstetrician who specializes in obesity disputes current recommendations for weight gain during pregnancy.

Benefit of antidepressant medications appears to vary with severity of depression symptoms
An analysis of randomized trials indicates that compared with placebo, the magnitude of benefit of antidepressant medications varies with the severity of depressive symptoms, and may provide little benefit for patients with mild or moderate depression, but appear to provide substantial benefit for patients with very severe depression, according to an article in the Jan.

Worldwide study finds few gender differences in math abilities
Girls around the world are not worse at math than boys, even though boys are more confident in their math abilities, and girls from countries where gender equity is more prevalent are more likely to perform better on mathematics assessment tests, according to a new analysis of international research. 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