Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 04, 2010
Pentagon and Congress should act quickly to end gay military ban, APA says
The American Psychological Association urged both the Pentagon and Congress today to move swiftly to end the restrictions on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military, noting that there are decades of scientific research demonstrating no threat to military readiness or morale.

MIT researchers build first germanium laser
MIT researchers have demonstrated the first laser built from germanium that can emit wavelengths of light useful for optical communications.

Promising results shown for kidney cancer drug
The drug pazopanib (Votrient) slowed the progression of advanced renal cell carcinoma, a form of kidney cancer, in patients by 54 percent, according to a new study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Report documents statewide initiative to reduce near-term scheduled births
In a study to be presented today at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting, in Chicago, researchers will unveil findings that detail an initiative in the state of Ohio to reduce the number of near-term scheduled births that did not have an appropriate medical reason.

Genes that regulate maternal inflammatory response, bacterial vaginosis and preterm birth related
In a study to be presented today at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting, in Chicago, researchers will show the use of haplotype tagging (hap-tag) single-nucleotide polymorphisms to study the relationship between genetic predispositions, an environmental factor -- bacterial vaginosis -- and preterm birth.

An answer to another of life's big questions
Monash University biochemists have described the process by which bacteria developed into more complex cells and found this crucial step happened much earlier in the evolutionary timeline than previously thought.

4 ORNL researchers selected for Recovery Act early career funds
Four Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers are among the 69 scientists that will receive five-year research grants as part of the US Department of Energy's new Early Career Research Program.

Ultrasound measurement of fetal adrenal gland a better predictor of preterm birth
In a study to be presented today at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's annual meeting, the Pregnancy Meeting, in Chicago, researchers will unveil findings that show that measuring the fetal zone of the adrenal gland is a better predictor of preterm birth than measuring cervical length.

Bacteria toxic to wound-treating maggots
Bacteria that infect chronic wounds can be deadly to maggot

New study finds possible source of beta cell destruction that leads to type 1 diabetes
Doctors at Eastern Virginia Medical School's Strelitz Diabetes Center have been have been studying the role of the enzyme 12-Lipoxygenase (12-LO) in the development of type 1 diabetes.

Forming the present-day spiral galaxies
Using data from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have created a demographic census of galaxy types and shapes from a time before the Earth and the sun existed, to the present day.

Waiting for birth or inducing found equally effective for women with IUGR
In a study to be presented today at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's annual meeting, the Pregnancy Meeting, in Chicago, researchers will unveil findings that show that waiting for birth is as effective as inducing labor in cases of intrauterine growth restriction.

Pitt-led team gets $5.6 million contract for heart assist device for infants and toddlers
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh and their collaborators have been awarded a $5.6 million federal contract to continue development of an implanted ventricular assist heart pump for infants and small children with congenital or acquired heart disease.

'Artificial pancreas' a step nearer for children with type 1 diabetes
Scientists in Cambridge have made a significant step towards developing a so-called

U of I faculty assist in evaluating US food security programs
Representatives of the Eastern Illinois Foodbank shared results of a national study sponsored by Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization.

NOCS welcomes new marine science strategy
The National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, has welcomed the 15-year UK strategy to deliver world-class marine science, jointly published on Feb.

Use of acetaminophen in pregnancy associated with increased asthma symptoms in children
Children who were exposed to acetaminophen prenatally were more likely to have asthma symptoms at age five in a study of 300 African-American and Dominican Republic children living in New York City.

It looks, feels and tastes like chicken, but it's made of soy
Sure, some delicacies might taste just like chicken, but they usually feel and look much different.

In schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, life is not black and white
Schizophrenia and bipolar disorder affect tens of millions of individuals around the world.

Genes of pregnant women and their fetuses can increase the risk of preterm labor
New evidence that genetics play a significant role in some premature births may help explain why a woman can do everything right and still give birth too soon.

Compound created at OSU could become important new antidepressant
Chemists at Oregon State University have discovered and synthesized a new compound that in laboratory and animal tests appears to be similar to, but may have advantages over one of the most important antidepressant medications in the world.

York study maps the effects of acupuncture on the brain
New research from the University of York and the Hull York Medical School about the effects of acupuncture on the brain may provide an understanding of the complex mechanisms of acupuncture and could lead to a wider acceptability of the treatment.

New USDA data offers in-depth look at organic farming
The nation's organic farms and ranches have higher average sales and higher average production expenses than US farms overall, according to results of the 2008 Organic Production Survey released today by the US Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service.

Tests showing smokers their individual risk of future disease will help them quit, says paper
Personalized risk assessment has been the mainstay of coronary artery disease prevention and has resulted in significant mortality reduction over the last decade.

NIH scientists identify maternal and fetal genes that increase preterm birth risk
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have identified DNA variants in mothers and fetuses that appear to increase the risk for preterm labor and delivery.

Yale-developed test can help predict and diagnose preeclampsia
Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have developed a simple urine test to rapidly predict and diagnose preeclampsia, a common, but serious hypertensive complication of pregnancy.

Device to sniff out stomach bugs could save health services millions
Testing has begun on a device that can sniff out the presence of disease by smell, thanks to a £1.3 ($2.1) million award from the Wellcome Trust.

Panel calls for reducing colorectal cancer deaths by striking down barriers to screening
An NIH state-of-the-science panel was convened this week to identify ways to further increase the use and quality of colorectal cancer screening in the United States.

Big book explores a small world: Stuart Lindsay's guide to nanoscience
Stuart Lindsay, Arizona State University Regents' professor and director of the Biodesign Institute's Center for Single Molecule Biophysics, has just released the first comprehensive guide to a tiny world a million times smaller than a single grain of sand.

Yale scientists complete color palette of a dinosaur for the first time
Deciphering microscopic clues hidden within fossils, scientists have uncovered the vibrant colors that adorned a feathered dinosaur extinct for 150 million years, a Yale University-led research team reports online Feb.

NIST's second 'quantum logic clock' based on aluminum ion is now world's most precise clock
Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have built an enhanced version of an experimental atomic clock based on a single aluminum atom that is now the world's most precise clock, more than twice as precise as the previous pacesetter based on a mercury atom.

Oceans reveal further impacts of climate change, says UAB expert
The increasing acidity of the world's oceans -- and that acidity's growing threat to marine species -- are definitive proof that the atmospheric carbon dioxide that is causing climate change is also negatively affecting the marine environment, says world-renowned Antarctic marine biologist Jim McClintock, Ph.D., professor in the University of Alabama at Birmingham Department of Biology.

$32 million CU-Boulder instrument package to study space weather set for NASA launch Feb. 9
A $32 million University of Colorado at Boulder instrument package set for launch Feb.

News briefs from the February issue of Chest
News briefs from the February issue of Chest feature new studies related to the use of inhaled corticosteroids for COPD, depression and COPD, and noncompliance issues related to TB therapy.

UCSF researchers identify regulator of human sperm cells
UCSF researchers have identified an elusive molecular regulator that controls the ability of human sperm to reach and fertilize the egg, a finding that has implications on both treating male infertility and preventing pregnancy.

Virology text focuses on families
A new virology textbook published by ASM Press educates the reader by focusing on the families.

Research finds water movements can shape fish evolution
Researchers from the University of Minnesota have found that the hydrodynamic environment of fish can shape their physical form and swimming style.

3 years out, safety checklist continues to keep hospital infections in check
The state of Michigan, which used a five-step checklist developed at Johns Hopkins to virtually eliminate bloodstream infections in its hospitals' intensive care units, has been able to keep the number of these common, costly and potentially lethal infections near zero -- even three years after first adopting the standardized procedures.

New ORNL system provides hybrid electric autos with power to spare
An advancement in hybrid electric vehicle technology is providing powerful benefits beyond transportation.

Patient interest in video recording of colonoscopy
A research team from United States conducted a survey of outpatients presenting for colonoscopy regarding their interest in obtaining a video recording of their colonoscopy.

Researcher to track spread of disease, malware and power outages
An assistant professor with the Virginia Tech College of Engineering has won a US Department of Energy Early Career Award to formulate a mathematical framework that can track the spread of pandemics among populations and malware across wireless computer networks, as well as how a blackout occurring on one major power grid can cause a cascade of additional neighboring networks to fail.

'Zen' bats hit their target by not aiming at it
New research conducted at the University of Maryland's bat lab shows Egyptian fruit bats find a target by NOT aiming their guiding sonar directly at it.

NASA's new building awarded the US Green Building Council LEED Gold Rating
What does it take to turn silver into gold? For NASA scientists, the answer is

Google awards $1 million for research effort to slash energy consumption in Internet data centers
Google Inc. has awarded a two-year, $1 million research grant aimed at slashing energy usage in large Internet data centers to a team of computer scientists at the University of California at Santa Barbara, Rutgers, Michigan and Virginia.

Prion leaves lasting mark on memory
Prions are a special class of proteins best known as the source for mad cow and other neurodegenerative diseases.

Cracking the code on common wrist injury
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons recently approved and released an evidence-based clinical practice guideline on the Treatment of Distal Radius Fractures.

Molecular 'firing squad' in mice triggered by overeating destroys metabolism
Overeating in mice triggers a molecule once considered to be only involved in detecting and fighting viruses to also destroy normal metabolism, leading to insulin resistance and setting the stage for diabetes.

Possible pharmacological target(s) identified in pediatric OSA
Children with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) may one day be able to have an injection or use a throat spray instead of getting their tonsils removed to cure their snoring, according to a new study from the University of Chicago, which found that a specific gene product may be responsible for the proliferation of adenotonsillar tissue that can cause pediatric OSA.

Winning the war on weight
Co-author and Head of Monash University's Consumer Health Research Group Dr.

Endoscopy-based research can effect quality of life in healthy volunteers?
A research team from Germany prospectively analyzed the impact of an endoscopy-based long-term research on the quality of life (QOL) in healthy volunteers.

Breakthrough by Danish scientists in preventing maternal malaria
Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have become the first in the world to synthesize the entire protein that is responsible for life-threatening malaria in pregnant women and their unborn children.

Yes, ecology shapes evolution, but guppies show reverse also true
In the natural stream communities of Trinidad, guppy populations live close together, but evolve differently.

NHLBI funds preclinical tests on devices for infants and children with congenital heart defects
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded four contracts totaling $23.6 million to begin preclinical testing of devices to help children born with congenital heart defects or those who develop heart failure.

Study reveals potential evolutionary role for same-sex attraction
Male homosexuality doesn't make complete sense from an evolutionary point of view.

New material absorbs, conserves oil
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University make new material to clean up oil spills in factories or on the ocean, and conserve the oil.

Patients with mild gallstone pancreatitis can undergo surgery sooner, shortening hospital stays
Patients with mild gallstone pancreatitis can safely undergo surgery within 48 hours of admission, a new approach that can shorten hospital stays.

Cyclone Oli reaches category 4 strength on its way to open waters
Oli has exploded in strength and as of February 4 it was a Category 4 cyclone with peak sustained winds of 132 mph (115 knots/213 km/hr).

Migrating insects fly in the fast lane
A study published today in Science, by researchers at Rothamsted Research, the Met Office, the Natural Resources Institute, and the Universities of Exeter, Greenwich and York, sheds new light on the flight behaviors that enable insects to undertake long-distance migrations, and highlights the remarkable abilities of these insect migrants.

Study finds sutures cause fewer complications than staples with cesarean deliveries
In a study to be presented today at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's annual meeting, the Pregnancy Meeting, in Chicago, researchers will present findings that there were less complications for women, after having a cesarean delivery, if sutures were used instead of staples to close the wound.

Moss helps chart the conquest of land by plants
Clues to how the first land plants managed to avoid drying out might be provided by bryophytes, a group that includes the mosses, many of which retain remarkable drought tolerance.

ARS scientists turn to a wild oat to combat crown rust
Agricultural Research Service scientists are tapping into the DNA of a wild oat, considered by some to be a noxious weed, to see if it can help combat crown rust, the most damaging fungal disease of oats worldwide.

Online programs improve fruit and vegetable consumption
Online programs that provide information and tips about fruits and vegetables may be the key to getting more Americans to eat healthier, say researchers at Henry Ford Hospital.

Cocaine or ecstasy consumption during adolescence increases risk of addiction
Exposure to ecstasy or cocaine during adolescence increases the

Where did today's spiral galaxies come from?
Hubble shows that the beautiful spirals galaxies of the modern universe were the ugly ducklings of 6 billion years ago.

Nuclear pore complexes harbor new class of gene regulators
Nuclear pore complexes are best known as the communication channels that regulate the passage of all molecules to and from a cell's nucleus.

Ancient remains put teeth into Barker hypothesis
Ancient human teeth are telling secrets that may relate to modern-day health: Some stressful events that occurred early in development are linked to shorter life spans.

AACR to host 101st Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.
Affecting one in two men and one in three women, cancer remains a leading cause of death around the world.

Soft intelligence for hard decisions
An approach to decision making based on soft metrics could allow problems to be solved where no definitive

More than 30 percent of seniors are not immunized against pneumonia in 36 states
A new report,

Melatonin precursor stimulates growth factor circuits in brain
N-acetylserotonin, the immediate precursor to melatonin, activates the same growth circuits in the brain as BDNF (brain-derived neurotrophic factor).

New research shows genes of pregnant women and their fetuses can increase the risk of preterm labor
Research presented today at the 30th Annual Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine meeting -- the Pregnancy Meeting -- showed that genes of both the mother and the fetus can make them susceptible to an inflammatory response that increases the risk of preterm labor and birth.

MSU researcher awarded $2 million to tackle parasitic tropical diseases
In an effort to eliminate the tropical diseases elephantiasis and river blindness, a Michigan State University researcher has been awarded $2 million to reformulate an existing drug that could stop the debilitating diseases in their tracks.

Habit-learning device will lower energy bills under new clean energy cashback scheme
Smart control units that learn householders' energy habits and provide immediate feedback on consumption could give home energy savings of up to 20 percent without compromising comfort.

Aiming to the side
Research on bats at the Weizmann Institute reveals the best strategy for locating an object in the dark, while on the wing: throw a sonar beam to either side of the intended target.

Economist's study finds that immigration doesn't threaten US-born students' chances at college
Evaluating students' Scholastic Aptitude Test scores over seven years, a K-State economist concluded that US-born students' scores weren't negatively affected by immigration and their chances of applying to a top college weren't diminished.

Rice physicists kill cancer with 'nanobubbles'
Scientists at Rice University have discovered a way to use lasers and nanoparticles to identify and treat individual diseased cells with tiny vapor

Scientists ID a protein that splices and dices genes
The discovery reveals that the protein MRG15, which previously had been known to affect cell growth and aging, also directs the gene-splicing machinery.

ASTRO, ACR issue IGRT, SBRT guidelines
The American Society for Radiation Oncology and the American College of Radiology have released practice guidelines for image guided radiation therapy and stereotactic body radiation therapy in the February issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics, the official journal of ASTRO.

GOES-P all fueled up
The GOES spacecraft continues its processing at the Astrotech Facility in Titusville, Fla., and fuel was loaded into the GOES-P spacecraft on Saturday, Jan.

Commercial fishing endangers dolphin populations
Extensive commercial fishing endangers dolphin populations in the Mediterranean. This has been shown in a new study carried out at the University of Haifa's Department of Maritime Civilizations.

More study needed to halt Illinois job slump, economist says
llinois is mired in a deep employment recession that could linger for years unless the state unravels the roots of its nearly decade-long job slump, a new study by a University of Illinois economist warns.

Microsoft and NSF enable research in the cloud
Microsoft Corp. and the National Science Foundation today announced an agreement that will offer individual researchers and research groups selected through NSF's merit review process free access to advanced cloud computing resources.

'Subjective time' can improve your bottom line
Prof. Dan Zakay of the Department of Psychology at Tel Aviv University is presenting empirical evidence to show businesses how to use waiting time to their best advantage.

Acupuncture found effective against depression during pregnancy
In a study to be presented today at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine's annual meeting, the Pregnancy Meeting, in Chicago, researchers will unveil findings that show that acupuncture may be an effective treatment for depression during pregnancy.

Democratic, Republican presidents have had similar economic records, says political scientist
In his recent book

Physicist awarded $750,000 to study neutrinos
Virginia Tech physicist Patrick Huber has developed a major software library, GLoBES, which has become the international standard for evaluating the capabilities of planned multimillion dollar experiments in neutrino physics.

Researchers from the UGR recover and restore 1 of the 2 oldest copies of the Quran
A 13th century Andalusi Quran, recovered fortuitously in the town of Cútar, has been restored.

According to new survey, Americans support strong climate, energy policies
Despite a sharp drop in public concern over global warming, Americans -- regardless of political affiliation -- support the passage of federal climate and energy policies, according to the results of a national survey released today by researchers at Yale and George Mason universities.

A feasible and safe treatment for recurrent hepatocellular carcinoma in elderly patients
A research team from Hong Kong reported a case of repeated laparoscopic hepatectomy treating hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and its recurrence in an aged patient having cirrhosis, a disease causing extra difficulty for performing laparoscopic hepatectomy.

How sperm get a move on; discovery suggests new target for male contraception
Most of us probably think of sperm as rather active little cells, swimming with quick movements of their 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