Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 26, 2010
Dartmouth researchers help secure the power grid
Dartmouth researchers are part of the national Trustworthy Cyber Infrastructure for the Power Grid team that has been awarded a five-year $18.8 million grant from the US Department of Energy with contributions from the US Department of Homeland Security.

Atrial fibrillation treatment with catheter shows better results than drug therapy
Use of catheter ablation, in which radiofrequency energy is emitted from a catheter to eliminate the source of an irregular heartbeat, resulted in significantly better outcomes in patients with paroxysmal atrial fibrillation (intermittent cardiac rhythm disturbance) who had not responded previously to antiarrhythmic drug therapy, according to a study in the Jan.

Treating depression by stimulating the pleasure center
Even with the best of available treatments, over a third of patients with depression may not achieve a satisfactory antidepressant response.

Engineered metamaterials enable remarkably small antennas
In an advance that might interest Q-Branch NIST and partners from industry and academia have designed and tested experimental antennas that are highly efficient and yet a fraction of the size of standard antenna systems with comparable properties.

Environmental change impacts Oklahoma rivers
Biodiversity in freshwater systems is impacted as much or more by environmental change than tropical rain forests, according to University of Oklahoma Professor Caryn Vaughn, who serves as director of the Oklahoma Biological Survey.

Overcoming taxane resistance in cancer
Taxanes have become front-line therapy for a variety of metastatic cancers, but resistance can develop, a frequent problem in breast, ovarian, prostate and other cancers.

Last Neanderthals died out 37,000 years ago
The last Neanderthals in Europe died out at least 37,000 years ago -- and both climate change and interaction with modern humans could be involved in their demise, according to new research from the University of Bristol published today in PLoS ONE.

Press registration open for Society of Interventional Radiology's 35th Annual Scientific Meeting
Nearly 5,300 physicians, scientists and allied health professionals are expected to attend the Society of Interventional Radiology's 35th Annual Scientific Meeting March 13-18 at the Tampa Convention Center.

Possible new heritable marker for retinoblastoma
Researchers working at the Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine at Temple University in Philadelphia, and at the University of Siena in Siena, Italy, have shed light on the possible role of inactivation of the 16INK4A gene in the progression of retinoblastoma.

More than 50 percent of injury-related deaths in rural Ontario occur before patients reach hospital
It's known that people who live or work in rural areas are more likely to suffer and die from serious injuries compared to those in more urban environments.

Scott & White Healthcare researchers studying 'deep brain stimulation' for Parkinson's disease
At Scott & White Memorial Hospital, a multidisciplinary team of neurosurgeons, neurologists, neurophysiologist, neuropsychologists and a movement disorders specialist are offering hope to some Parkinson's patients with a treatment called deep brain simulation.

New software provides 3-D views of arteries in catheterization lab
New software allows for 3-D images of the heart's arteries during cardiac catheterization.

Babies' brains tuned to sharing attention with others
Children as young as five months old will follow the gaze of an adult towards an object and engage in joint attention, according to research funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Medical Research Council.

Researchers eyeing new way to measure elusive zinc
A team of Florida State University researchers will use a five-year, $1.3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a way to measure levels of the trace metal zinc in the human body.

Diamond is one tough cookie
Using the Janus laser at LLNL and the Omega laser at the University of Rochester, Livermore scientists and Rochester and UC Berkeley colleagues showed that when shock waves are applied to diamond with powerful lasers, it can support almost a million times atmospheric pressure before being crushed.

Federal grant funds production of stem cells for clinical trials
The long struggle to move the most versatile stem cells from the laboratory to the clinic got another boost with an $8.8 million contract award to the Waisman Clinical Biomanufacturing Facility at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Study prompts calls for Europe-wide salt legislation
The European Society of Cardiology welcomes new research published in the New England Journal of Medicine which quantifies for the first time the annual number of new cases of coronary heart disease, stroke and myocardial infarction that could be prevented by populations reducing daily intakes of salt.

Texas invests $4.5 million in cancer research at UT Health Science Center at Houston
Texas plans to invest $3 billion in cancer research over the next 10 years and six scientists at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston are among the first to receive grants.

Contain the damage of the financial crisis
The financial crisis creates chances for companies that learn to assess risk, recognize opportunity and take action quickly.

Beyond sunglasses and baseball caps
A new study reported in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science found that UV-blocking contact lenses can reduce or eliminate the effects of the sun's harmful UV radiation.

Marine lab hunts subtle clues to environmental threats to blue crabs
Researchers from NIST and the College of Charleston are at work trying to identify the clues that will finger specific, yet elusive, environmental threats to the Atlantic blue crab.

Groundbreaking research shows platelets can reproduce in circulation
University of Utah researchers led an international team of scientists that is the first to report on the previously undescribed ability of platelets to reproduce themselves in the circulation.

Haiti reconstruction will require local input
Destruction in Haiti, the result of a Jan. 12 earthquake, is staggering.

Zare and Fisher, BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Basic Sciences
The 2009 BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Basic Sciences category goes to physicist and chemist Richard N.

Virtual colonoscopy an effective colorectal cancer screening exam in Medicare age patients
Computed tomographic colonography, also known as virtual colonoscopy, remains effective in screening older patients for colorectal cancer, produces low referral for colonoscopy rates similar to other screening exams now covered by Medicare, and does not result in unreasonable levels of additional testing resulting from extracolonic findings, according to a study published in the February issue of Radiology.

Lost Roman law code discovered in London
Part of an ancient Roman law code previously thought to have been lost forever has been discovered by researchers at UCL's department of history.

Is the Hobbit's brain unfeasibly small?
Homo floresiensis, a pygmy-sized small-brained hominin popularly known as

Scientists return to Haiti to assess possibility of another major quake
A team funded by the National Science Foundation is returning to Haiti this week to investigate the cause of the Jan.

His or hers jealousy? Study offers new explanation for sex differences in jealousy
Research has documented that most men become much more jealous about sexual infidelity than they do about emotional infidelity.

How to shoot the messenger
By determining the structure of DAPK bound to calmodulin, scientists from EMBL in Hamburg, Germany, have found a way to hack into a vital cellular communications system, raising the possibility of developing new drugs to tackle disorders like neurodegeneration, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Stacking the deck: Single photons observed at seemingly faster-than-light speeds
Researchers at the Joint Quantum Institute can speed up photons to seemingly faster-than-light speeds through a stack of materials by adding a single, strategically placed layer.

Antibiotics might team up to fight deadly staph infections
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Israel's Weizman Institute of Science have found that two antibiotics working together might be more effective in fighting pathogenic bacteria than either drug on its own.

UCF professor's vaccine could be lethal weapon against malaria, cholera
Mankind may finally have a weapon to fight two of the world's deadliest diseases.

Poorer diabetics receive worse care than other in countries with universal health coverage
Researchers from the University of Granada have carried out the most comprehensive bibliographic review worldwide to date, on the treatment of this disease in most developed countries that have universal coverage health systems.

Common antidepressant drugs linked to lactation difficulties in moms
According to a new study accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, women taking commonly used forms of antidepressant drugs may experience delayed lactation after giving birth and may need additional support to achieve their breastfeeding goals.

Study documents reaction rates for three chemicals with high global warming potential
A study published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences provides new information about the rates at which three of the most powerful greenhouse gases are destroyed by a chemical reaction that takes place in the upper atmosphere.

Bypass procedure used during infant heart surgery does not impair later neurological outcomes
Congenital heart defects are the most common birth defects in humans, affecting 8 per 1,000 live births, with one third of affected children requiring intervention in early infancy.

Rejuvenating the old immune system
Thanks to the progress in health care and improved living conditions, we live longer.

NIST releases final report on Cowboys facility collapse
NIST has released its final report on the May 2, 2009, collapse during a severe thunderstorm of the fabric-covered, steel frame practice facility owned by the National Football League's Dallas Cowboys.

Proper vaccine refrigeration vital to putting disease on ice
Researchers from NIST and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have completed the first of a series of tests to determine best practices for properly storing and monitoring the temperature of refrigerated vaccines.

Toronto's entertainment district 'hot spot' for violence-related injuries
Each day people living in large urban centers are injured as the result of violent acts such as physical assault.

Intensive insulin therapy for septic shock patients does not show survival benefit
Treating adults with septic shock with intensive insulin therapy to counter elevated blood glucose levels associated with corticosteroid therapy did not result in a reduced risk of in-hospital death, compared to patients who received conventional insulin therapy, according to a study in the Jan.

E-only Springer journal will meet the needs of today's transportation specialists
As of January 2010 Springer will publish the International Journal of Intelligent Transportation Systems Research, the official publication of ITS (Intelligent Transport Systems) Japan.

Children with suspected development problems may not get needed referrals, study shows
Many pediatricians score high on screening their patients for developmental delays, but barely make a passing grade in referring children with suspected delays for further testing or treatment, according to a study from Johns Hopkins Children's Center and other institutions to appear in the February issue of Pediatrics.

A Venus flytrap for nuclear waste
Like a Venus flytrap, a material developed at Northwestern University permanently traps only its desired prey, the radioactive ion cesium, and not harmless sodium ions.

Preoperative CT useful for younger women with suspected appendicitis
Preoperative computed tomography may help reduce unnecessary surgeries in women of reproductive age with suspected acute appendicitis, according to a new study.

Recognition of facial expressions is not universal
Caucasians and Asians don't examine faces in the same way, according to new research.

T. Denny Sanford donates $50 million to Burnham Institute for Medical Research
Burnham Institute for Medical Research announced today that philanthropist T.

'Medicalized' weapons, fair trade in biotechnology and more in the Hastings Center Report
The Jan.-Feb. Hastings Center Report raises important questions. Should physicians participate in developing

2010 Louis-Jeantet prize for medicine
The 2010 Louis-Jeantet prize for medicine is awarded to the French cardiologist Michel Haissaguerre, professor of cardiology at the University Victor-Segalen Bordeaux 2 and head of the department of cardiac arrhythmias of the University Hospital of Bordeaux, and to the British biologist Austin Smith, Medical Research Council professor at the department of biochemistry and director of the Welcome Trust Centre for Stem Cell Research at Cambridge University.

Antioxidants aren't always good for you and can impair muscle function, study shows
Antioxidants increasingly have been praised for their benefits against disease and aging, but recent studies at Kansas State University show that they also can cause harm.

Intensive glucose control for diabetes can lower blood glucose too far (hypoglycemia), and increase mortality risk
Uncontrolled high blood glucose (hyperglycemia) in patients with diabetes is known to increase mortality.

Parents' perceptions of their child's competence linked to physical activity
According to a new study, there is no direct link between parents' own level of physical activity, and how much their child may exercise.

Design vs. dyslexia: UC innovation promises new hope for children with dyslexia
The University of Cincinnati is employing its design research capabilities to create a 21st century electronic toolkit to speed learning for children with dyslexia.

ASM Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting : Feb. 21-24, 2010, Baltimore, Md
The American Society for Microbiology will host its 2010 Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting Feb.

Wide variation in calorie content among 'low calorie' pet foods
Dog and cat owners buying weight-control diets for their overweight pets are faced with a confusing two-fold variation in calorie density, recommended intake, and wide range cost of low-calorie pet foods, according to a study by the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.

SDSC joins other UC San Diego departments, LLNL in oncology collaboration
Researchers from the San Diego Supercomputer Center at UC San Diego have joined forces with the department of radiation oncology in the university's School of Medicine, its department of mathematics, and the DOE/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in a three-year, $1.5 million project to pursue novel applications of high-performance computing in radiotherapy.

Mother's milk: What determines breastfeeding rates in the UK?
Ethnicity and number of previous births are factors that can predict the length of time a woman will breastfeed her child.

Blood protein offers help against anemia
A new study shows that a protein found in blood alleviates anemia, a condition in which the body's tissues don't get enough oxygen from the blood.

Study links reduced fertility to flame retardant exposure
A new UC Berkeley study finds that women with higher blood levels of PBDEs, a common type of flame retardant, took longer to get pregnant.

The sea level has been rising and falling over the last 2,500 years
The sea level in Israel has been rising and falling over the past 2,500 years, with a one-meter difference between the highest and lowest levels.

Childhood obesity alone may increase risk of later cardiovascular disease
By as early as 7 years of age, being obese may raise a child's risk of future heart disease and stroke, even in the absence of other cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, according to a new study accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

To restore vision, implant preps and seeds a damaged eye
A tiny eye implant that clears scar tissue and delivers progenitor cells designed to replace photoreceptors damaged by disease passes early tests.

End-of-life care strategies examined in Pennsylvania prisons
Improved delivery of end-of-life care in prison is the focus of a $1.27 million grant from the National Institute of Nursing Research that has Penn State researchers working with employees from six Pennsylvania prisons and the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.

UF researchers continue 'extraordinary measures' to tackle Pompe disease
University of Florida researchers are hopeful that gene therapy will help patients in the late stages of Pompe disease breathe on their own.

Human growth hormone: Not a life extender after all?
People profoundly deficient in human growth hormone (HGH) due to a genetic mutation appear to live just as long as people who make normal amounts of the hormone, a new study shows.

European Cancer Organization supports a revision of the EU Clinical Trials Directive
The European Commission invited submissions on revisions to the much-criticized EU Clinical Trials Directive with a deadline of January 2010.

New measurement technique will help in fight against cancer
A new technique to catch cancer early has taken an important step forward thanks to the National Physical Laboratory.

Ben-Gurion U. faculty member receives 2010 Krill Prize for Scientific Research
Dr. Anne Bernheim received the prize for her work on developing synthetic artificial biological model systems for improving the understanding of relationships between composition, structure and functionality of cellular systems.

March of Dimes awards $250,000 prize to scientist who discovered how to reprogram human cells
Shinya Yamanaka, M.D., Ph.D., of Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, San Francisco, and Kyoto University, Japan, will receive the 2010 March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology at a gala dinner and ceremony during the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies.

Landmark heart treatment study
Treating a common heart rhythm disorder by burning heart tissue with a catheter works dramatically better than drug treatments, according to a landmark study published in the Jan.

Managing ecosystems in a changing climate
Global warming may impair the ability of ecosystems to perform vital services -- such as providing food, clean water and carbon sequestration -- says the nation's largest organization of ecological scientists.

New formula helps gauge the winds of change
Researchers devise formula to examine just what types of change occur over time among complex and integrated structures.

Sniffing out lung cancer at early stages
New animal research from scientists at the Monell Center and collaborators demonstrates that body fluid odors can be used to identify animals with lung cancer tumors.

Technology-testing Proba-2 opens new eye on the sun
Packed with novel devices and science instruments, Proba-2 is demonstrating technologies for future ESA missions while providing new views of our sun.

Music in speech equals empathy in heart?
Brain circuits involved in prosody seem to operate on a mirror neuron system, according to USC neuroscientists.

Grant to study how cells sense electric fields
Learning how living cells can detect and respond to electric fields is the aim of a $570,000, three-year grant from the National Science Foundation to UC Davis researchers.

Top-rated hospitals don't always have superior outcomes
New research published in the January issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons finds that while popular hospital rating systems can help identify high-quality hospitals for cardiovascular operations, patients can achieve similar outcomes by seeking care at high-volume hospitals closer to home.

A gimmick-free weight-loss pill in the works
A Universite de Montreal research team is developing a pill composed of leptin, the protein that tells our brain to stop eating.

Public health in focus at international conference
The United States Pharmacopeial Convention will convene a meeting of its member organizations on April 21-24 in Washington, D.C.

Transplant tourism poses ethical dilemma for US doctors
Doctors at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York examined the ethical issues posed by transplant tourism, an offshoot of medical tourism, which focuses solely on transplantation surgery.

Green plant transport mystery solved
Contrary to prevailing wisdom, a new study from plant biologists at UC Davis shows that proteins of the Hsp70 family do indeed chaperone proteins across the membranes of chloroplasts, just as they do for other cellular structures.

New way to grow embryonic stem cells holds promise of dramatic reduction in animal use
A new method of priming early embryos to form embryonic stem cells has allowed ES cells to be derived from mice used in diabetes research for the first time.

Rutgers study: Increased on-site programming will benefit inmates' return to society
To improve inmates' chances for success in the community upon release from prison, a Rutgers researcher recommends the New Jersey Department of Corrections adopt a policy of universal re-entry preparedness during each inmate's mandatory minimum term and increase on-site programming, which can be less costly than halfway house programs. 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