Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 02, 2010
Mass. Eye and Ear Infirmary Cataract Surgery Trainer teaches residents cataract surgery
The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary Cataract Surgery Trainer, a virtual training tool which helps to train physicians to perform cataract surgery, has been shown to enhance teaching in cataract surgery when compared to traditional teaching methods.

Growth factor gene shown to be a key to cleft palate
Cleft palate has been linked to dozens of genes. During their investigation of one of these genes, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Ultra-cold chemistry
Considerable progresses made in controlling quantum gases open up a new avenue to study chemical processes.

Excessive Internet use is linked to depression
People who spend a lot of time browsing the 'Net are more likely to show depressive symptoms, according to the first large-scale study of its kind in the West by University of Leeds psychologists.

Baker Institute Report: Mapping the territorial contours of an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement
A report published today by Rice University's James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy offers concrete recommendations to US negotiators on the territorial component of an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement.

Cost to patients barrier to counseling for obesity and smoking
In a study published in the March 2010 issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia, found that when primary care clinicians and community counselors collaborated to offer free counseling services to patients, there was an overwhelming positive response.

New research rejects 80-year theory of 'primordial soup' as the origin of life
For 80 years it has been accepted that early life began in a

Patient-centered e-health is topic for half-day conference
A half-day conference, co-sponsored by Stevens Institute of Technology and the N.J.

ACS webinar features tips for finding and building a career in the food and flavor industries
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.

Study: Many physicians not using established criteria
A new study led by Mark Zimmerman, M.D., of Rhode Island Hospital indicates that a majority of non-psychiatrist physicians and a substantial minority of psychiatrists reported that they often do not use the criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition when diagnosing major depressive disorder in patients.

2009-2010 INFORMS Society for Marketing Science MSI Practice Prize
The 2009-2010 INFORMS Society for Marketing Science MSI Practice Prize was presented at the January 2010 Marketing Science Conference to Marc Fischer, University of Passau, and Sönke Albers, Christian-Albrechts-University at Kiel, for their project,

SNM's clinical trials network focuses on new FDA regulations for PET imaging
On Feb. 2, the final day of the second annual SNM Clinical Trials Network Workshop, experts working in various facets of the molecular imaging community met in Albuquerque, N.M., to discuss the nuts and bolts of using imaging in clinical trials and the challenges and opportunities ahead in the regulatory landscape.

Symposium: 'Information Technology in Support of Materials Education,' March 20
Professor Keith Sheppard, associate dean of engineering & science at Stevens Institute of Technology, has announced the one-day symposium

International relief efforts remain fragmented, warn doctors
Despite the frightening regularity of humanitarian disasters like the earthquake in Haiti, international responses remain fragmented and must be improved, argue a group of trauma surgeons on today.

NASA satellite sees Tropical Storm Fami form, fast and furious
NASA's Aqua satellite caught the thirteenth tropical cyclone in the southern Indian Ocean form very quickly.

3-D scaffold provides clean, biodegradable structure for stem cell growth
A natural material derived from crustacean shell and algae supports the growth of human embryonic stem cells.

Parkinson's disease research uncovers social barrier
People with Parkinson's disease suffer social difficulties simply because of the way they talk, a McGill University researcher has discovered.

Performing single ultrasound to detect blood clot may be sufficient for some patients
An analysis of previous studies suggests that for patients with a suspected blood clot in a deep vein of a leg, withholding anticoagulation therapy after a negative whole-leg compression ultrasound is associated with a low risk of developing a blood clot during the subsequent three months, suggesting that multiple ultrasounds may not be necessary for some low-risk patients, according to an article in the Feb.

Loss of gene function makes prostate cancer cells more aggressive
Prostate cancer cells are more likely to spread to other parts of the body if a specific gene quits functioning normally, according to new data from researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Developing a cyberinfrastructure for comparative effectiveness in cancer research
Nearly four decades after President Richard Nixon declared a

UF researchers: Ancient crocodile relative likely food source for Titanoboa
A 60-million-year-old relative of crocodiles described this week by University of Florida researchers in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology was likely a food source for Titanoboa, the largest snake the world has ever known.

Women should be allowed to eat, drink during labor: Queen's University researcher
The traditional practice of restricting food and fluids during labor does not provide any benefits, finds a new review co-authored by a Queen's University associate professor.

Big study of dirty air inversions
At times this winter, the greater Salt Lake City area has harbored the most polluted air in the United States.

World Wetlands Day focuses on climate change
World Wetlands Day 2010:

Lower levels of serotonin in brain tissue associated with SIDS
Preliminary research indicates that decreased levels in the brainstem of serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine [5-HT]; a neurotransmitter involved in several brain functions) and tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH2; an enzyme involved in the synthesis of serotonin) are associated with an increased risk for sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), according to a study in the Feb.

Lifestyle changes for teens critical in light of research about teens' heart disease risk
Lifestyle changes for teens are critical in light of new research about teens' heart disease risk.

How do grads fare in matching diplomas with jobs?
Jake Murdoch spends much of his time examining how deftly graduates can match their degrees to eventual jobs.

Immediate risk of suicide and cardiovascular death after a prostate cancer diagnosis
Being diagnosed with prostate cancer may increase a man's risk of suicide or cardiovascular death, especially right after diagnosis, according to a new study published online Feb.

Gene variation makes alcoholism less likely in some survivors of sexual abuse
Exposure to severe stress early in life increases the risk of alcohol and drug addiction.

Storm runoff and sewage treatment outflow contaminated with household pesticides
Pyrethroid pesticides were supposed to be a benign replacement for organophosphates used around the home, but a UC Berkeley and Southern Illinois University study shows that these insecticides are showing up at toxic levels in storm runoff and even in the effluent from sewage treatment plants.

Aznalcóllar disaster compared with Cretaceous mass extinction
Researchers from the University of Granada have compared the disaster caused by the Aznalcóllar spillage in the Doñana National Park in Andalusia 11 years ago with the biggest species extinction known to date.

Month of birth determines who becomes a sports star
The month of your birth influences your chances of becoming a professional sportsperson, an Australian researcher has found.

University of Oklahoma study reveals 'red hot' results
A new weight-loss supplement tested by the University of Oklahoma Health and Exercise Science Department has the potential to burn as many calories as a 20-minute walk, according to Joel T.

Groundbreaking Videourology journal launched by Mary Ann Liebert Inc.
Videourology is the first and only video journal for urologists, publishing fully peer-reviewed surgical and micro-invasive video demonstrations of the latest techniques and technologies used to optimize surgical patient care.

Spanish scientists cooperate to fight against child trafficking in Haiti
The Spanish government has offered Haitian authorities extended collaboration to fight against child trafficking in the country, through the program DNA-Prokids.

Mechanical forces could affect gene expression
University of Michigan researchers have shown that tension on DNA molecules can affect gene expression -- the process at the heart of biological function that tells a cell what to do.

Rapid breathing, parental concern, and doctor's instinct among the red flags warning of serious infection in children in developed countries
A systematic review of published research shows that a number of factors have value in confirming or excluding the possibility of serious infection in children presenting to general practice or other outpatient care.

UC Riverside's new state-of-the-art technology to accelerate stem cell research
Stem cell research at the University of California, Riverside will soon gather speed thanks to the establishment of a new Stem Cell Core Facility -- a shared facility providing infrastructure, equipment, and trained personnel for doing stem cell research.

Psychiatric patient suicides can be prevented
Between 1997 and 2006, 38 percent of out-of-clinic suicides by mental health patients were carried out by people absent without leave from the hospital.

Low production of serotonin in the brainstem a likely cause for SIDS
Researchers at Children's Hospital Boston have linked sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) with low production of serotonin in the brainstem, based on a comparison of brainstem samples from infants dying of SIDS compared to brainstems of infants dying from other, known causes.

Research at Marshall University may lead to new ways to transport and manipulate molecules
Dr. Eric Blough, an associate professor in Marshall University's Department of Biological Sciences, said he and his colleagues have shown how bionanomotors can be used some day to move and manipulate molecules at the nanoscale.

Nano for the senses
Pin-sharp projections, light that's whiter than white, varnishes that make sounds if the temperature changes: at nano tech 2010 in Tokyo, Fraunhofer researchers present nanotechnology that is a veritable feast for the senses.

Tropical Storm Oli kicking up waves in South Pacific
Tropical Storm Oli is headed between the islands of Bora Bora and Raratonga in the South Pacific, while maintaining its intensity as a tropical storm.

Spherical cows help to dump metabolism law
The mysterious

Community hospitals offer a safe surgical option for some cancer surgeries
Low-risk patients who require certain cancer surgeries can have the procedures performed with low operative mortality rates at community hospitals, according to a new study.

New neutron studies support magnetism's role in superconductors
Neutron scattering experiments performed at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory give strong evidence that, if superconductivity is related to a material's magnetic properties, the same mechanisms are behind both copper-based high-temperature superconductors and the newly discovered iron-based superconductors.

James Webb Space Telescope sunshield design achieves significant landmark
The James Webb Space Telescope's five-layer, tennis court-sized sunshield has passed its critical design review, certifying that its design is complete and meets mission requirements.

Cancer patients become bold advocates once surviviors
Sociologists at Case Western Reserve University found that when passive cancer patients become survivors, they have plenty of bold advice to offer other cancer patients, according to a study in JAGS, the Journal of American Geriatric Society.

New way to lose fat, keep the lean
Researchers reporting in the Feb. 3 issue of Cell Metabolism may have a new way to trick the body into consuming more energy.

Doctors miss major cause of infertility and obesity
Ballooning weight, irregular periods and trouble getting pregnant are red flags for polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).

Biology professor becomes 5th at UH to reach prestigious AAAS status
The University of Houston's Stuart Dryer has been awarded the distinction of fellow from the AAAS.

From Quebec to France: forced marriages still exist
According Madeline Lamboley, a Ph.D. student from the Université de Montréal School of Criminology, forced marriages are fate that befalls on an unconfirmed number of female immigrants in Quebec, France and the UK.

Charles Drew cancer studies with yeast yield excellent results
A researcher at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science is investigating the potential use of nonpathogenic baker's yeast as a promising, natural therapy for cancer.

Experimental stem cell treatment arrests acute lung injury in mice, study shows
Stem cell researchers exploring a new approach for the care of respiratory diseases report that an experimental treatment involving transplantable lung cells was associated with improved outcomes in tests on mice with acute lung injury.

3 brain diseases linked by toxic form of same neural protein
Researchers have found that three different degenerative brain disorders are linked by a toxic form of the same protein.

New Canadian solar photovoltaic research network established; based at McMaster University
A new research network to advance Canada's standing in the development of solar photovoltaics will be based at McMaster University.

Play yourself healthy
A just published research experiment on inactive men with high blood pressure shows that just three months of soccer practice twice a week causes a significant fall in blood pressure, resting pulse rate and percentage of body fat, and is more effective than the doctor's usual advice on healthy diet and exercise.

Cholesterol's link to heart disease gets clearer -- and more complicated
By considering molecular-level events on a broader scale, researchers now have a clearer, if more complicated, picture of how one class of immune cells goes wrong when loaded with cholesterol.

The quick and the dead: Evidence that movement is swiftest in response to events in the environment
Scientists funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and the Wellcome Trust at the University of Birmingham have carried out

Carnegie Mellon's Erica Fuchs to discuss implications of offshoring
Carnegie Mellon University's Erica Fuchs will be a keynote speaker from 9:30-11 a.m.

New report: University online courses yield impressive results
A report just published by the Danish National IT and Telecom Agency on distance learning at LIFE -- Faculty of Life Sciences at University of Copenhagen concludes that LIFE's successful distance learning model could lend itself to widespread use at other universities.

SIDS linked to low levels of serotonin
The brains of infants who die of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) produce low levels of serotonin, a brain chemical that conveys messages between cells and plays a vital role in regulating breathing, heart rate, and sleep, reported researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Diabetes patients rank health concerns differently than their doctors, U-M survey shows
About one-third of doctors and their patients with diabetes do not see eye to eye on the most important health conditions to manage, according to a survey led by the University of Michigan Medical School.

Special effects in 'Avatar' made possible thanks to European technology
Highly effective and scalable digital technology developed originally for television has transformed the production, post-production and viewing experience in high-resolution feature films.

Researchers show applied electric field can significantly improve hydrogen storage properties
An international team of researchers has identified a new theoretical approach that may one day make the synthesis of hydrogen fuel storage materials less complicated and improve the thermodynamics and reversibility of the system.

To be or to become: That's the question for advertisers
According to new research by Dr. Danit Ein-Gar of Tel Aviv University's Recanati Graduate School of Business Studies, whether you'll indulge or be prudent with your money is not necessarily based on your personality type or education, but may be strongly influenced by advertising and other environmental cues.

Reduced kidney function, high levels of protein in urine associated with adverse outcomes
Patients with high levels of proteinuria (protein in urine) in addition to another marker of reduced kidney function had an associated increased risk of all-cause death, heart attack or progression to kidney failure, according to a study in the Feb.

TGen becomes center of excellence for Horizon Discovery's GENESIS and X-MAN technology
The Translational Genomics Research Institute and Horizon Discovery today announced plans to develop human disease models for use in TGen's cancer research.

Scientists map out regulatory regions of genome, hot spots for diabetes genes
Together with colleagues in Barcelona, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have generated a complete map of the areas of the genome that control which genes are

Suicides by mental health patients preventable, says report
Preventing patients from leaving psychiatric wards without staff agreement could avoid up to 50 suicide deaths every year, say University of Manchester researchers.

ARS researchers develop method to speed up breeding of scab-resistant barley cultivars
Agricultural Research Service scientists have developed an efficient and cost-effective method to speed up the breeding of scab-resistant barley cultivars, thus improving crop quality for small-grain breeders in the Northern Plains. 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