Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 16, 2010
Safeway gives another $317,000 for TGen breast cancer research
Even with unemployment high and sales down, Safeway Inc. has donated more than $317,000 to fund breast cancer research at the Translational Genomics Research Institute.

Conference seeks sweeping changes to global agriculture
Up to 1,000 World Food Prize Laureates, ministers, farmers, community development organizations, leading scientists and innovators will gather in Montpellier, France, from March 28-31, 2010 for the first ever Global Conference on Agricultural Research for Development.

Artificial foot recycles energy for easier walking
An artificial foot that recycles energy otherwise wasted in between steps could make it easier for amputees to walk, its developers say.

Gastrointestinal absorption of Tamiflu in critically ill patients with H1N1
An increased dosage of Tamiflu for patients with critical illness is unlikely to be required in the treatment of pandemic (H1N1) influenza, contrary to current international guidelines, found a new study in CMAJ.

K-State researchers find independently owned ethnic restaurants have more food safety violations
Diners who are skeptical of the food safety practices in ethnic restaurants have new research to back up some of their assumptions.

Researchers identify mechanism for Frank-Ter Haar syndrome
An international team of investigators at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, Nijmegen Centre for Molecular Life Sciences and other organizations have discovered that TKS4, a protein implicated in cancer metastasis, also plays a significant role in Frank-Ter Haar syndrome, a rare fatal disorder.

Further doubt cast on virus link to chronic fatigue
Researchers investigating UK samples have found no association between the controversial xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus and chronic fatigue syndrome.

The carbon cycle before humans
Two Northwestern University studies contribute new clues as to what drove large-scale changes to the carbon cycle nearly 100 million years ago.

Economic analysis: Erlotinib marginally cost-effective
Weighing both magnitude of survival benefit and expense, researchers found that the drug erlotinib, which was found to improve overall survival by two months in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer, is marginally cost-effective.

ACS webinar features tips on how to use business failures to create successful ventures
The next webinar in the American Chemical Society Executive View Series will focus on the art of calculating risks and using the experience of business failures to produce successes in the future.

Photons led astray
Max Planck physicists have developed an experiment to investigate the random motion of quantum particles.

New aptitude test for medical schools less subject to bias than A-level results alone
A new aptitude test, aimed at increasing diversity and fairness in selecting school leaver applicants to UK medical and dental schools, still has inherent gender and socioeconomic bias, although it is less subject to bias than A level results alone, finds a study published on today.

Prevalence of childhood chronic health conditions has increased
The rate of chronic health conditions among children in the US increased from 12.8 percent in 1994 to 26.6 percent in 2006, for conditions such as obesity, asthma and behavior/learning problems, according to a study in the Feb.

Autism's earliest symptoms not evident in children under 6 months
A study of the development of autism in infants, comparing the behavior of the siblings of children diagnosed with autism to that of babies developing normally, has found that the nascent symptoms of the condition.

US minerals sector declined in 2009
The value of US mineral production significantly declined in 2009.

Promising therapy for relapsing multiple sclerosis
An international team of researchers has found that adding a humanized monoclonal antibody called daclizumab to standard treatment reduces the number of new or enlarged brain lesions in patients with relapsing multiple sclerosis.

Butterfly vision, wing colors linked, UCI study finds
Butterfly experts have suspected for more than 150 years that vision plays a key role in explaining wing color diversity.

Using supercomputer and chemistry to solve global problems
Researchers at the US Department of Energy are looking at the complex molecular processes involved in cloud formation to help understand how that affects global climate change.

Research finds hazards from secondhand smoke in bars and restaurants
New research by the Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center shows that concentrations of secondhand tobacco smoke inhaled in smoking rooms of restaurants and bars are exceptionally high and hazardous to health.

Facing the corn nematode problem in Illinois
Illinois farmers know corn nematodes are a problem. Nearly 80 percent of attendees at the Illinois Corn & Soybean Classics agreed this was true in surveys conducted across the state by U of I Extension Nematologist Terry Niblack.

All eyes on retinal degeneration
Research by Johns Hopkins sensory biologists studying fruit flies, has revealed a critical step in fly vision.

Study integrating family planning and HIV treatment funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
UCSF has received a $1.15 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to determine if integrating family planning into HIV treatment and care will increase contraceptive use and decrease unintended pregnancy among HIV-positive women.

Pets on planes
The preferences of pet owners should not replace the well-being of their fellow passengers, states an editorial in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Migraine more common in women with MS
Migraine is seen more frequently in women with multiple sclerosis than those without, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 62nd Annual Meeting in Toronto April 10-17, 2010.

Surface science goes inorganic
A collaboration between researchers at Northwestern University's Center for Catalysis and scientists at Oxford University has produced a new approach for understanding surfaces, particularly metal oxide surfaces, widely used in industry as supports for catalysts.

Statins increase risk of diabetes, but absolute risk is low -- especially when compared with reduction in coronary events
New research based on a meta-analysis of 13 statin trials has shown that use of statins increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 9 percent.

Cyclone Rene slams Tonga, moves into open waters
Tropical Cyclone Rene slammed Tonga early yesterday, Feb. 15, with maximum sustained winds near 100 mph (160 kilometers per hour).

Keys and obstacles to e-health in low income countries
In February 2010 issue of Health Affairs,, William Tierney, M.D., of Indiana University School of Medicine and the Regenstrief Institute, and colleagues who, like Dr.

For nanowires, nothing sparkles quite like diamond
Diamonds are renowned for their seemingly flawless physical beauty and their interplay with light.

Split-course palliative radiotherapy confirmed as effective treatment for advanced NSCLC
Research published in the February edition of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology sought to assess the overall efficacy of split-course palliative chest radiotherapy for symptom relief in patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer.

Study examines family lineage of King Tut, his possible cause of death
Using several scientific methods, including analyzing DNA from royal mummies, research findings suggest that malaria and bone abnormalities appear to have contributed to the death of Egyptian pharaoh King Tutankhamun, with other results appearing to identify members of the royal family, including King Tut's father and mother, according to a study in the Feb.

Research validates surgery alone offers reasonable overall survival for stage I SCLC
Research published in February's edition of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology investigates the utilization of surgery and the subsequent need for radiotherapy when treating stage I small cell lung cancer.

Review highlights health benefits of flexible working arrangements
There is evidence to suggest that flexible working might be beneficial for employees' health if they are allowed to have input into their own working patterns, a review by Cochrane Researchers suggests.

Breaking through the glass ceiling in the operating room
Experts from across the country will gather Feb. 27 at the Don CeSar Hotel in St.

Team finds subtropical waters flushing through Greenland fjord
Waters from warmer latitudes -- or subtropical waters -- are reaching Greenland's glaciers, driving melting and likely triggering an acceleration of ice loss, reports a team of researchers led by Fiamma Straneo, a physical oceanographer from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Rates of childhood obesity, chronic health problems increase, but conditions may not persist
A new study confirms that rates of obesity and other chronic health problems have risen in American children in recent years, but it also shows that many children's conditions will improve or resolve over time.

Meeting to outline effective education about seniors' health care needs
The Association for Gerontology in Higher Education -- the educational branch of The Gerontological Society of America -- will hold its 36th Annual Meeting and Educational Leadership Conference from March 4-7, 2010, at the Peppermill in Reno, Nev.

UWM researcher predicts stem cell fate with software
A completely novel approach to analyzing time-lapse images of live stem cell behaviors has yielded a tool for successfully predicting outcomes of stem and progenitor cells.

Researchers find biomarkers in saliva for detection of early stage pancreatic cancer
The genetic biomarkers of pancreatic cancer are present in human saliva, researchers at the UCLA School of Dentistry, the David Geffen School of Medicine and the School of Public Health reported today in Gastroenterology.

Phobos flyby season starts again
Today Mars Express began a series of flybys of Phobos, the largest moon of Mars.

Bilingual babies: The roots of bilingualism in newborns
According to new findings, infants born to bilingual mothers (who spoke both languages regularly during pregnancy) exhibit different language preferences than infants born to mothers speaking only one language.

Daclizumab shows potential for new immunoregulatory approach to treating MS
Biogen Idec and Facet Biotech Corporation today announced the publication of Phase 2 data showing that the addition of daclizumab to interferon beta (IFNβ) led to a significant reduction in the number of new or enlarged multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions when compared to IFNβ alone in patients with active relapsing forms of MS.

Americans favor conservation, but few practice it
Most Americans like the idea of conservation, but few practice it in their everyday lives, according to the results of a national survey released today by researchers at Yale and George Mason universities.

A mission statement for science educators
A new book by professor emeritus Marvin Druger at Syracuse University explores what it means to be a science educator.

Focus on EU-funded research projects in trust and security
A special issue of the Journal of Computer Security brings together the research results of six ongoing FP6-IST projects.

What the brain values may not be what it buys
New brain-imaging research shows it's even possible to predict how much people might be willing to pay for a particular face.

Fetal surgery continues to advance
Repairing birth defects in the womb. Inserting a tiny laser into the mother's uterus to seal off an abnormal blood flow and save fetal twins.

A review of vegetated buffer efficacy
Scientists at the University of California, Davis, reviewed more than 300 papers, analyzed the data from these studies, and developed statistical models describing the mitigation efficacies of vegetated buffers.

Cell-cell interactions adapt to the stiffness of the environment
The ability of tissue cells to stick to one another is critical for many physiological and pathological processes.

Researchers develop a mathematical model to predict slight sports injuries from equations
Spanish researchers have developed a new mathematical model that permits to predict sport injuries from a series of equations.

H1N1 learnings: Risk factors for severe outcomes among patients admitted to hospital with H1N1
A new study in CMAJ of all patients in Canada admitted to hospital for H1N1 in the first five months of the outbreak summarizes the risk factors for a severe outcome.

Legislating to promote healthy eating and physical activity
Governments and experts are calling for action to combat the medical, economic and social costs of rising rates of preventable conditions like obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers, states an article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

High levels of vitamin D in older people can reduce heart disease and diabetes
Middle aged and elderly people with high levels of vitamin D could reduce their chances of developing heart disease or diabetes by 43 percent, according to researchers at the University of Warwick.

U of Minnesota finalizes license agreement to form start-up company based on Doris Taylor research
A major step in commercializing the groundbreaking research of Dr.

Genomic warfare to counter malaria drug resistance
Scientists battling malaria have earned a major victory. According to a Nature Genetics study, an international group of researchers has used genomics to decode the blueprint of Plasmodium falciparum -- a strain of malaria most resistant to drugs that causes the most deaths around the world.

The putative skull of St. Bridget can be questioned
The putative skull of St. Bridget of Sweden that has been kept in a shrine in Vadstena Abbey is probably not authentic.

Study reveals genetic link between mammographic density and breast cancer
A University of Melbourne study has revealed that certain breast cancer genetic variants increase mammographic density, confirming the link between mammographic breast density and breast cancer.

Influenza vaccines: Poor evidence for effectiveness in elderly
Evidence for the safety and efficacy of influenza vaccines in the over-65s is poor, despite the fact that vaccination has been recommended for the prevention of influenza in older people for the past 40 years.

Neonatal and infant circumcision: Safe in the right hands
How safe is circumcision? A systematic review, published in the open-access journal BMC Urology has found that neonatal and infant circumcision by trained staff rarely results in problems.

IOM report on reducing hypertension releases Feb. 22
High blood pressure is the second leading cause of death in the United States, triggering more than one-third of heart attacks and almost half of heart failures each year even though it is relatively easy to prevent and inexpensive to treat.

Researchers receive top honors for risk analysis paper
A collaborative effort among USDA Forest Service, North Carolina State University, and Canadian Forest Service scientists recently received top honors from the Society for Risk Analysis.

Neuroscientists reveal new links that regulate brain electrical activity
Investigators in the Hotchkiss Brain Institute, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary have made a major breakthrough in our understanding of nerve impulse generation within the brain.

Physics press conferences at upcoming American Physical Society/American Association of Physics Teachers meeting
The following press conferences will take place during the 2010 joint meeting of the American Physical Society and the American Association of Physics Teachers, to be held from Feb.

Canadian ocean science in the spotlight at AAAS 2010
Canadian leadership in ocean sciences will be front and center at this week's meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in San Diego, Calif.

Nanotech discovery may green chemical manufacturing
A new nanotech catalyst developed by McGill University Chemists Chao-Jun Li, Audrey Moores and their colleagues offers industry an opportunity to reduce the use of expensive and toxic heavy metals.

Clemson researchers develop hands-free texting application
Clemson University researchers have developed a hands-free alternative to cell phone texting while driving.

A primer on migraine headaches
Migraine headache affects many people and a number of different preventative strategies should be considered, states an article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

New UAB research says heart failure worse when right ventricle goes bad
New research UAB suggests that the ability of right side of the heart to pump blood may be an indication of the risk of death to heart-failure patients whose condition is caused by low function by the left side of their heart.

NASA's Fermi closes on source of cosmic rays
New images from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope show where supernova remnants emit radiation a billion times more energetic than visible light.

Lack of morning light keeping teenagers up at night
The first field study on the impact of light on teenagers' sleeping habits finds that insufficient daily morning light exposure contributes to teenagers not getting enough sleep.

NASA sees 16th South Pacific cyclone form
During the early morning hours on Tuesday, Feb. 16, the 16th tropical cyclone formed in the South Pacific Ocean and NASA captured an infrared image of its cold clouds, watching as it strengthens.

Beyond the corn field: Balancing fuel, food and biodiversity
The development of alternative fuel will greatly benefit the US, say scientists in an Energy Foundation-funded report published today by the Ecological Society of America, the nation's largest organization of ecological scientists.

Pinch away the pain
Prof. Michael Gurevitz of Tel Aviv University's department of plant sciences is investigating new ways for developing a novel painkiller based on natural compounds found in the venom of scorpions.

High-fat ketogenic diet to control seizures is safe over long term
Current and former patients treated with the high-fat ketogenic diet to control multiple, daily and severe seizures can be reassured by the news that not only is the diet effective, but it also appears to have no long-lasting side effects, say scientists at Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

Fluorescent probes light up cancerous tumors
Building on his Nobel Prize-winning work creating fluorescent proteins that light up the inner workings of cells, a team of researchers led by Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator Roger Tsien, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology, chemistry and biochemistry at the University of California, San Diego, and the Moores UCSD Cancer Center has developed biological probes that can stick to and light up tumors in mice.

Use of multiple genetic markers not linked with better risk prediction of CVD
Creation of a genetic risk score comprised of multiple genetic markers associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD) was not associated with significant improvement in CVD risk prediction in a study that included more than 19,000 women, according to a study in the Feb.

Cooling inflammation for healthier arteries
Agricultural Research Service-funded scientists have reported new reasons for choosing

Caltech researchers create highly absorbing, flexible solar cells with silicon wire arrays
Using arrays of long, thin silicon wires embedded in a polymer substrate, a team of scientists from the California Institute of Technology has created a new type of flexible solar cell that enhances the absorption of sunlight and efficiently converts its photons into electrons.

AGA offers new recommendations for CRC surveillance for certain patients with IBD
Certain patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), both ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease of the colon, have an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer compared to individuals without IBD.

Cancer publishes study confirming disparity in breast cancer treatment
Cancer, the peer-reviewed international journal of the American Cancer Society, has published a study conducted by HealthCore Inc. in its Jan.

Presence of snails points to forest recovery
A team of Catalan researchers has studied the changes in the make-up of animal populations following forest fires, and have concluded that malacological fauna are a good indicator of forest recovery.

Reading to kids a crucial tool in English language development
Poring over the works of Dr. Seuss, the adventures of the Bernstain Bears or exploring the worlds of Hans Christian Andersen with a child has always been a great parent-child bonding exercise.

Winter Olympics: Altitude affects skill sports, not just endurance events
For winter sports athletes, including Olympians, the altitude of the sports venue can have a significant impact on performance, requiring athletes in skill sports, such as figure skating, ski jumping and snowboarding, to retool highly technical moves to accommodate more or less air resistance.

Later introduction of baby foods related to lower risk of obesity later in life
The introduction of complementary feeding at a later age is protective against overweight in adulthood.

AGU journal highlights -- Feb. 16, 2010
Featured in this release are research papers on the following topics:

Lawrence Livermore National Lab, Navistar work to increase semi-truck fuel efficiency
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has teamed with Navistar Inc., NASA's Ames Research Center, the US Air Force and industry to develop and test devices for reducing the aerodynamic drag of semi-trucks. 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