Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 27, 2010
Springer to publish Sexuality Research and Social Policy
Starting in 2010, Springer will publish the journal Sexuality Research and Social Policy.

Disarming specialized stem cells might combat deadly ovarian cancer
Eliminating cancer stem cells (CSCs) within a tumor could hold the key to successful treatments for ovarian cancer, which has been notoriously difficult to detect and treat, according to new findings published this week in the journal Oncogene by Yale School of Medicine researchers.

Even mild kidney disease harms a child's quality of life
Challenging prevailing wisdom that only children with end-stage kidney disease suffer physical, social, emotional and educational setbacks from their disease, research led by Johns Hopkins Children's Center shows that even mild to moderate kidney disease may seriously diminish a child's quality of life.

Magnesium supplement helps boost brainpower
Neuroscientists at MIT and Tsinghua University in Beijing show that increasing brain magnesium with a new compound enhanced learning abilities, working memory, and short- and long-term memory in rats.

Engineering professor Maura Borrego earns rising star award
Maura Borrego, Virginia Tech assistant professor of engineering education, is a 2010 recipient of one of two Virginia Outstanding Faculty Rising Star Awards sponsored by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and Dominion, an energy company based in Richmond, Va.

Teens who drink with parents may still develop alcohol problems
Parents who try to teach responsible drinking by letting their teenagers have alcohol at home may be well intentioned, but they may also be wrong, according to a new study in the latest issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

Integrating private insurance with public health would improve US health care -- study
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and UCLA Researchers Advocate for a National Health Trust for Personal and Public Health.

Losing sleep, losing brain?
Chronic and severely stressful situations, like those connected to depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, have been associated with smaller volumes in

Black hole hunters set new distance record
Astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope have detected, in another galaxy, a stellar-mass black hole much farther away than any other previously known.

Alli proven to reduce visceral fat, a dangerous fat linked to many life-threatening diseases
New studies show that overweight and obese people using alli (orlistat 60 mg) with a reduced calorie, lower-fat diet can significantly reduce weight, visceral fat, and waist circumference and therefore may reduce their risk of type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and stroke.

Older dental fillings contain form of mercury unlikely to be toxic
A new study on the surface chemistry of silver-colored, mercury-based dental fillings suggests that the surface forms of mercury may be less toxic than previously thought.

Trees retaliate when their fig wasps don't service them
What happens when a fig wasp lays its eggs but fails to pollinate the fig?

The secret life of smoke in fostering rebirth and renewal of burned landscape
The innermost secrets of fire's role in the rebirth and renewal of forests and grasslands are being revealed in research that has identified plant growth promoters and inhibitors in smoke.

Case Western Reserve receives $2.8 million to further breast cancer research
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine has been awarded six Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs grants for innovative medical research.

The Sur, Baleares and Segura basins are the driest in Spain
There is some discrepancy among the scientific community as to the situation of reservoirs in Spain, one of the countries with the greatest water stress in Europe.

Oncor senior VP to discuss his company's smart grid initiative at IEEE Green Technology Conference
Oncor Senior Vice President Jim Greer will be a keynote speaker at the second annual IEEE Green Technology Conference, April 15-16, at the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center in Grapevine, Texas.

Study examines sexual orientation and bullying among adolescents
The act and victimization of bullying continues to be a problem among today's youth.

Orthopedic researchers investigating new treatments for injured troops, civilians
For each action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Severe complications of diabetes higher in depressed patients
A prospective study of Group Health primary-care patients with diabetes in western Washington showed that depression raised the risks of advanced and severe complications from diabetes during a five-year follow-up

Antibiotic found to protect hearing in mice
A type of antibiotic that can cause hearing loss in people has been found to paradoxically protect the ears when given in extended low doses in very young mice.

Fat tissue may be a source of valuable blood stem cells, study says
Bone marrow is a leading source of adult stem cells, which are increasingly used for research and therapeutic interventions, but extracting the cells is an arduous and often painful process.

Biochemical profile may help diagnose, determine aggressiveness of prostate cancer
Magnetic resonance spectroscopy -- which analyzes the biochemistry rather than the structure of tissues -- may someday be able both to pinpoint the precise location of prostate cancer and to determine the tumor's aggressiveness, information that could help guide treatment planning.

Morgan honored with History of Science Society prize
Greg Morgan, an associate professor of philosophy at Stevens Institute of Technology, was recently awarded the Derek Price/Rod Webster Prize for best paper of 2009 in History of Science by the History of Science Society.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease associated with high mortality rates
Researchers from the Karolinska Institute determined that patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease have a higher overall mortality rate compared with the general population.

Researchers develop new tool for gene delivery
Researchers have developed a new tool to deliver DNA in gene therapy.

Virtual Disaster Viewer aids Haiti relief effort
An innovative web tool that allows earthquake experts worldwide to pool knowledge quickly and effectively is boosting action to help Haiti's earthquake victims.

Relationship recall: Attachment style may affect memories of relationship events
It can be frustrating when our partners remember things differently than we do, but according to new research, they are not trying to be difficult, but personality may affect how they (and we) remember relationship events (such as discussions).

Stanford researchers directly turn mouse skin cells into neurons, skipping IPS stage
Even Superman needed to retire to a phone booth for a quick change.

Olga restrengthens into a tropical storm
Residents of the northern coastal areas of Australia's Northern Territory and NASA's Aqua satellite have seen new life

University of Colorado student-built satellite selected for flight by NASA
A tiny communications satellite designed and built by University of Colorado at Boulder undergraduates has been selected as one of three university research satellites to be launched into orbit in November as part of a NASA space education initiative.

ASTRO's IHE-RO program receives 2-year grant
The American Society for Radiation Oncology's Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise -- Radiation Oncology program has been awarded a $680,000 Biomedical Research Award from the state of Florida for two years beginning January 1, 2010, to expedite the development of interoperability standards and build test tools software to accomplish interoperability goals in the field of radiation oncology to reduce medical errors.

UC Riverside graphene specialist Jeanie Lau receives national honor at White House
UC Riverside's Jeanie Lau, an associate professor of physics, received a 2009 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers on Wednesday, Jan.

US Parkinson's rates highest in whites, Hispanics, and Midwest, Northeast
The largest epidemiological study of Parkinson's disease in the United States has found that the disease is more common in the Midwest and the Northeast and is twice as likely to strike whites and Hispanics as blacks and Asians.

Duke and the International Serious Adverse Event Consortium to partner on research
The International Serious Adverse Events Consortium announced today it will collaborate with Duke University's Center for Human Genome Variation to research the genetics of Clozapine-induced agranulocytosis, with the goal of identifying potential rare genetic variants predictive of this serious drug induced adverse event.

Carnegie Mellon releases data on Haitian Creole to hasten development of translation tools
In response to the humanitarian crisis in Haiti, scientists at Carnegie Mellon University's Language Technologies Institute have publicly released spoken and textual data they've compiled on Haitian Creole so that translation tools desperately needed by doctors, nurses and other relief workers on the earthquake-ravaged island can be rapidly developed.

Research on global 'sun block' needed now
Internationally coordinated research and field-testing on

A forensic analysis of Hurricane Katrina's impact: methods and findings
A recent special edition of the Elsevier journal Ocean Engineering provides an analysis of the impact of Hurricane Katrina and an overview of the lessons learned in the aftermath of the disaster.

Scientists map changes in science and beyond
How has the structure of scientific research changed over the past decade?

Elevated brain levels of magnesium enhance learning and memory
New research finds that an increase in brain magnesium improves learning and memory in young and old rats.

The color of dinosaur feathers identified
The color of some feathers on dinosaurs and early birds has been identified for the first time, reports a paper published in Nature this week.

Microbes produce fuels directly from biomass
Researchers with the Joint BioEnergy Institute have developed a microbe that can produce an advanced biofuel fuel directly from biomass.

Helpful yeast battles food-contaminating aflatoxin
Pistachios, almonds and other popular tree nuts might someday be routinely sprayed with a yeast called Pichia anomala to help protect against aflatoxin contamination, according to an Agricultural Research Service plant physiologist.

Surgery helps chronic sinusitis sufferers get relief
A new study led by Oregon Health & Science University shows up to 76 percent of patients with chronic rhionsinusitis reported improved quality of life following endoscopic surgery.

New potential to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) makes it difficult to breath and there is currently no cure.

American opinion cools on global warming
Public concern about global warming has dropped sharply since the fall of 2008, according to the results of a national survey released today by researchers at Yale and George Mason universities.

Researchers find leukemia cells metabolize fat to avoid cell death
Leukemia cells, like most cancers, are addicted to glucose to generate their energy, but new research shows for the first time that these cells also rely on fatty acid metabolism to grow and to evade cell death.

NTU, Rice establish infodynamics institute
Nanyang Technological University and Rice University, a leading United States research university, today agreed to jointly establish the Institute of Sustainable and Applied Infodynamics in Singapore.

Wireless optical transmission key to secure, safe and rapid indoor communications
Light is better than radio waves when it comes to some wireless communications, according to Penn State engineers.

NOAA and fishermen cooperate on research into monkfish migration
Researchers are working with commercial fishermen to put electronic tags on hundreds of monkfish (Lophius americanus) in the waters of southern New England and the Gulf of Maine to track where the commercially important fish goes during its lifetime, and to answer other questions about its biology.

'Good' bacteria keep immune system primed to fight future infections
Scientists have long pondered the seeming contradiction that taking broad-spectrum antibiotics over a long period of time can lead to severe secondary bacterial infections.

Metal hydrides for high temperature superconductivity
An international research team, comprising scientists working in the Sweden, UK, US and South Korea and led by Professor Rajeev Ahuja of Uppsala University now presents new findings for better understanding of superconducting high-pressure metal hydride systems.

GOES-P proceeds toward launch
The latest Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, GOES-P is proceeding through more checks in preparation for its launch, which is no earlier than March 1.

Functional connection between hippocampus and cortex modulates anxiety
A new study demonstrates that cooperation between the hippocampus, best known for its critical role in learning and memory, and a principal downstream cortical target modulates anxiety-related behaviors in mice.

Almost half of injured Haitians are likely to be children, pediatric emergency study indicates
A statistical study by a specialist group at Children's Hospital Los Angeles and the University of Southern California indicates that the victims of the Jan.

Engineer's passion for teaching earns Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award
Romesh C. Batra, Virginia Tech professor of engineering science and mechanics, is a 2010 recipient of the Virginia Outstanding Faculty Award sponsored by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and Dominion, an energy company based in Richmond, Va.

Safety in numbers -- a cloud-based immune system for computers
A new approach for managing bugs in computer software has been developed by a team led by Prof.

Condom or no condom? It's not what you say, it's how you say it
Whether it's the man or the woman who suggests using a condom makes no difference to how he or she is viewed.

Early menopause can result in earlier onset dementia
Women experiencing an early onset of menopause could develop dementia at a younger age.

Pomegranate extract stimulates uterine contractions
Scientists at the University of Liverpool and the Suranaree University of Technology, Thailand, have found that a naturally occurring steroid, present in pomegranate seed, could be used to stimulate uterine contractions.

IRSF announces translational research award funding to test potential therapeutics for Rett syndrome
The International Rett Syndrome Foundation announced that it will commit $446,000 to fund a large translational research program to test potential therapeutics for Rett Syndrome in mouse models.

Discovery points way for new treatment for aneurysms: UBC-Providence Research
New research findings from a team at the Providence Heart and Lung Institute at St.

Discovery of mechanism in brain cell injury in Huntington's offers new treatment approaches
Scientists at the Brain Research Centre and Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics have uncovered a key cellular mechanism that alters brain cell function in Huntington's disease, and identified a possible treatment for the disease.

Astronomers find rare beast by new means
Astronomers have found an example of the rare type of supernova thought to produce Gamma Ray Bursts, but through radio, not gamma-ray, observations.

Walkerton Tragedy: 10 years of research leads to breakthrough
Studies of the victims of the Walkerton, Ont. tainted drinking water tragedy have led researchers to discover DNA variations in genes that increase the risk of developing post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome.

Increased co-payments for doctor visits boost health-care costs for seniors
Brown University researchers led by Dr. Amal Trivedi found that higher co-payments encouraged senior citizens to reduce their doctor visits, resulting in worsening illnesses and more expensive hospital care.

Anti-spasticity medications need further research
Only a few anti-spasticity medications used for children with cerebral palsy are backed by sufficient research to justify their use, according to a new review of scientific literature headed by a UT Southwestern Medical Center neurologist and conducted by a national panel of interdisciplinary experts nationwide.

Energy-harvesting rubber sheets could power pacemakers, mobile phones
Power-generating rubber films developed by Princeton University engineers could harness natural body movements such as breathing and walking to power pacemakers, mobile phones and other electronic devices.

Green energy management
Plants use energy derived from sunlight to form sugars from carbon dioxide and water by the process of photosynthesis.

The hidden cost of schizophrenia
People being treated for schizophrenia are more likely than the general population to have encounters with the criminal justice system in the US.

Supercomputing time awarded to design transformational lithium air battery
The Department of Energy announced today that 24 million hours of supercomputing time out of a total of 1.6 billion available hours at Argonne and Oak Ridge National Laboratories have been awarded to investigate materials for developing lithium air batteries, capable of powering a car for 500 miles on a single charge.

Effects of forest fire on carbon emissions, climate impacts often overestimated
A recent study at Oregon State University indicates that some past approaches to calculating the impacts of forest fires have grossly overestimated the number of live trees that burn up and the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result.

Barefoot runners ease into low-impact landings
Scientists have found that those who run barefoot, or in minimal footwear, tend to avoid

Neural processing differences in ADHD in individuals with and without prenatal alcohol exposure
The adverse effects of prenatal alcohol exposure on behavioral, cognitive, and social development can lead to a range of symptoms referred to as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD).

American opinion cools on global warming
Public concern about global warming has dropped sharply since the fall of 2008, according to a national survey released today by researchers at Yale and George Mason universities.

Alcohol use and cognitive decline among the elderly
There are few studies of alcohol use among the elderly.

NASA satellite sees Tropical Depression 10P Strengthening in south Pacific
NASA's Aqua satellite is keeping an eye on the tenth tropical depression to form in the southern Pacific Ocean.

A mind at rest strengthens memories, NYU researchers find
Our memories are strengthened during periods of rest while we are awake, researchers at New York University have found.

Study confirms accuracy of transient elastography in NAFLD
Researchers from France and Hong Kong determined that transient elastography, a noninvasive, ultrasonic imaging modality, can be accurately performed in the majority of patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease to exclude advanced fibrosis.

Renowned Duke researcher wins Frontiers of Knowledge Award
The prestigious BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Biomedicine category goes this year to Robert J.

Vitamin D supplements could fight Crohn's disease
A new study has found that vitamin D, readily available in supplements or cod liver oil, can counter the effects of Crohn's disease.

News brief: Childhood survivors of CNS cancers and leukemia have lowered educational attainment
Childhood cancer survivors who had brain or other central nervous system cancers, or leukemia, achieve lower-than-expected educational success compared with the general public, according to an article published online Jan.

Extremity war injuries symposium seeks to improve patient care for wounded warriors
The nation's top civilian and military orthopaedic trauma surgeons and researchers come together for a two-day symposium January 27-29 to discuss barriers of return of function and duty and develop treatment principles.

Prenatal alcohol exposure can alter the brain's developing pain regulatory system
Prenatal alcohol exposure is widely known to impair brain development in exposed offspring.

Brain scientists extend map of fear memory formation
Draw a map of the brain when fear and anxiety are involved, and the amygdala looms large.

Scripps research scientists find potential new way to enhance vaccines
Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute have discovered a potential new way to stimulate the immune system to prevent or clear a viral infection.

New book -- 'Paradise regained: the regreening of Earth'
This book was written to advance public awareness and understanding of the critical role that the exploration and development of space will play in both the short- and long-term survival of humankind and a planet that is rapidly exhausting its resources.

Mismatched alloys are a good match for thermoelectrics
Using the supercomputers at NERSC, Berkeley Lab researchers demonstrated that the semiconductors known as highly mismatched alloys hold great promise for the future development of high performance thermoelectric devices.

Multidisciplinary researchers convene for First International Congress on Abdominal Obesity
Clinical and basic science researchers from around the world will convene in Hong Kong from January 28-30 for the First International Congress on Abdominal Obesity:

$3.75 million grant advances tissue engineering partnership
An award from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases will aid a partnership between the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center in finding new ways to use adult stem cells to speed repair of musculoskeletal soft tissue injuries.

Prayer increases forgiveness
Is it possible that directed prayer might spark forgiveness in those doing the praying -- and in the process preserve relationships?

Lefkowitz, BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Biomedicine
The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Biomedicine category goes in this second edition to Prof.

Signing contracts on the telephone
Researchers at Fraunhofer SIT have developed a digital signature for Internet telephony that allows the legally binding archiving of calls.

New data on rotavirus vaccine from Mexico and Africa show lifesaving impact in the developing world
For the first time ever, studies in Mexico and Africa, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, demonstrate a reduction in diarrheal disease deaths following rotavirus vaccine introduction in Mexico and vaccine efficacy among impoverished populations in Malawi and South Africa.

Does evolution always lead to bigger brains?
The commonly held assumption that as primates evolved, their brains always tended to get bigger has been challenged by a team of scientists at Cambridge and Durham.

Homeland Security Science and Technology University Network Summit
The Department of Homeland Security's research arm, the Science & Technology Directorate, invites you to the fourth annual DHS University Network Summit sponsored by S&T's Office of University Programs, March 10-12 at the Renaissance Hotel.

SNM applauds US Department of Energy's move to develop domestic radioisotope supply
SNM applauds a move by the US Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration to help fund the development of a domestic supply of radioisotopes, which are used to help millions of patients each year through the diagnosis and staging of cancer, thyroid and heart disease.

Social factors can both predict and sustain alcohol misuse among older drinkers
Social factors are known to contribute to vulnerability to alcohol use and abuse.

Brain responses during anesthesia mimic those during natural deep sleep
The brains of people under anesthesia respond to stimuli as they do in the deepest part of sleep -- lending credence to a developing theory of consciousness and suggesting a new method to assess loss of consciousness in conditions such as coma.

Innovative technique can spot errors in key technological systems
An innovative computational technique that draws on statistics, imaging and other disciplines has the capability to detect errors in sensitive technological systems ranging from satellites to weather instruments.

Hygienic Lab at U. Iowa first to confirm salmonella in nationwide outbreak
Testing conducted by the Hygienic Laboratory at the University of Iowa confirmed on Monday, Jan.

Rotavirus vaccine offers new tool to combat severe diarrhea in developing world
Research at the University of Liverpool has found that diarrhea caused by rotavirus infection could be significantly reduced in the developing world with the use of a vaccine to prevent the condition.

Clean and green: Supermarket shelves awash in eco-friendly laundry detergents
Laundry detergent manufacturers are rolling out a new generation of products aimed at making cleaning more efficient and environmentally friendly, according to an article in the current issue of Chemical & Engineering News, ACS' weekly newsmagazine.

Deadly fish virus now found in all Great Lakes
A deadly fish virus that was first discovered in the Northeast in 2005 has been found for the first time in fish from Lake Superior, report Cornell researchers.

The roots of food security
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Developmental Biology in Tübingen, Germany, describe that the plant hormone auxin together with an increased cell cycle activity leads to a boost in root branching in the common thale cress Arabidopsis thaliana.

Solutions to climate change: Using trees and grasses to capture carbon and produce energy
A unique £1.1 million ($1.8 million) research project is investigating how coppiced trees and grass crops can be used both to generate renewable energy and to trap carbon in the soil over the long term. 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