Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 17, 2010
Atom interferometer provides most precise test yet of Einstein's gravitational redshift
Using an atom interferometer, UC Berkeley scientists have tested one of the foundations of Einstein's general theory of relativity: that time slows down in a gravitational field.

Rockefeller scientist to speak at AAAS on infections as genetic disorders
Rockefeller University's Jean-Laurent Casanova is to present evidence that infectious diseases in the general population are frequently genetic disorders.

Scientific societies to promote advancement of Hispanics, Native Americans in chemistry
Two of the nation's leading scientific societies jointly pledged today to seek the advancement of Hispanic/Chicano and Native American people in the chemical sciences.

Chubby birds get there faster
When small migratory birds have crossed extensive ecological barriers, such as deserts or oceans, they must land to replenish their fat reserves.

February 2010 Lithosphere highlights
Lithosphere examines a record through time as seen in crystal remnants from Greenland's crust; two main tectonic events contributing to the evolution of the northwestern Red Sea; the workings of the Fish Lake Valley fault in eastern California; and how long and how quickly the Dadu, Yalong and Yangtze Rivers have been carving gorges into the Tibetan Plateau.

Researchers chart genomic map spanning over 2 dozen cancers
An international team of researchers has created a genome-scale map of 26 different cancers, revealing more than 100 genomic sites where DNA from tumors is either missing or abnormally duplicated compared to normal tissues.

Training birth attendants in developing countries increases babies' survival
In developing countries, where millions of babies die in the womb or soon after birth, research has shown that providing training in newborn care and resuscitation to birth attendants significantly increases the likelihood of a baby's survival.

UAB-led study shows simple steps could reduce stillbirths by up to 1 million
New findings in a study led by the director of the University of Alabama at Birmingham Division of Neonatology and published in the Feb.

Stevens and TNO to collaborate on maritime security
Recognizing the strategic opportunity to form a long term research relationship and become recognized research leaders in the underwater sciences and engineering and port and maritime security, Stevens Institute of Technology recently entered into an agreement with TNO Defence Security and Safety.

Caltech researchers presenting at AAAS Meeting
Seismology, space/time and solar fuels are some of the many topics being presented by Caltech-affiliated researchers at this year's AAAS meeting in San Diego.

Chronic migraineurs sicker, poorer and more depressed than episodic migraineurs
Chronic migraine sufferers tend to be in poorer general health, less well off, and more depressed than those with episodic migraine, reveals research published ahead of print in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

Stiff party competition, modest salaries good for state government, study shows
Vigorous two-party competition provides the best guarantee for meaningful, broad-based governance and modest salaries for lawmakers add a second protection against narrow-interest legislation, finds a national study spanning 120 years of state lawmaking.

Telenurses face conflict between what is best for patients and what services are available
Nurses who provide telephone advice services have to balance the conflicting demands of providing appropriate medical advice and acting as a gatekeeper to limited health care services.

New method makes vaccines stable at tropical temperatures
A simple and cheap way of making vaccines stable -- even at tropical temperatures -- has been developed by scientists at Oxford University and Nova Bio-Pharma Technologies.

Shopping karma: Cultural factors affect consumer satisfaction
If you believe in karma, you're more likely to have higher expectations, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Pan-frying meat with gas may be worse than electricity for raising cancer risk
Frying meat on a gas hob may be more harmful to health than using an electric hob, because of the type of fumes it produces, suggests research published ahead of print in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Random fluctuations give rise to odd genetic phenomenon
A team of MIT biophysicists has demonstrated that some cases of incomplete penetrance are controlled by random fluctuations in gene expression.

Extreme jets take new shape
Jets of particles streaming from black holes in far-away galaxies operate differently than previously thought, according to a study published today in Nature.

Life's smallest motor, cargo carrier of the cells, moves like a seesaw
Life's smallest motor, a protein that shuttles cargo within cells and helps cells divide, does so by rocking up and down like a seesaw according to new high-resolution snapshots of a protein called kinesin.

CU-Boulder physics professors help create hottest temperature in universe
Two University of Colorado at Boulder physicists are part of a collaborative team working with the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York that have created the hottest temperature matter ever measured in the universe -- 7.2 trillion degrees Fahrenheit.

New intervention helps Latino parents of asthmatic children quit smoking
Asthma is the most common chronic illness affecting Latino children in the United States, and secondhand smoke is a serious contributing factor.

An ibuprofen a day could keep Parkinson's disease away
New research shows people who regularly take ibuprofen may reduce their risk of developing Parkinson's disease, 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.

Stillbirths drop dramatically after newborn-care training in developing countries
The rate of stillbirths in rural areas of six developing countries fell more than 30 percent following a basic training program in newborn care for birth attendants, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

No place to hide: Missing primitive stars outside Milky Way uncovered
After years of successful concealment, the most primitive stars outside our Milky Way galaxy have finally been unmasked.

New drug for kidney transplant recipients effective in humans
Initial results of a study conducted at 100 centers worldwide indicate that belatacept, a first-in-class co-stimulation blocker can prevent the immune system rejecting new organs.

Sorting the drivers from the passengers in the cancer genome
Researchers have developed a method to find mutations in a class of cancer genes that, when removed, promote cancer.

Study supports alternative anti-seizure medication following acute brain injury
A study by researchers at the University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Institute at University Hospital supports the use of an alternative medication to prevent seizures in patients who have suffered a life-threatening traumatic brain injury or bleeding stroke.

Pitt-led study debunks millennia-old claims of systematic infant sacrifice in ancient Carthage
A study led by University of Pittsburgh researchers could finally lay to rest the millennia-old conjecture that the ancient empire of Carthage regularly sacrificed its youngest citizens.

New research on multiracial adoption questions current practices
While many people who are adopted by members of another race still identify as black or mixed race, many lack the community and cultural connections with others who share those same identities.

Obesity -- mild or severe -- raises kidney stone risk
Obesity in general nearly doubles the risk of developing kidney stones, but the degree of obesity doesn't appear to increase or decrease the risk one way or the other, a new study from Johns Hopkins shows.

Small liquid sensor may detect cancer instantly, could lead to home detection kit
What if it were possible to go to the store and buy a kit to quickly and accurately diagnose cancer, similar to a pregnancy test?

Hopkins scientists discover how protein trips up germs
If bad bacteria lurk in your system, chances are they will bump into the immune system's protective cells whose job is gobbling germs.

Do stereotypes drive consumer purchases from for-profit or nonprofit organizations?
Consumers perceive nonprofit organizations as being

Permafrost line recedes 130 km in 50 years
The southern limit of permanently frozen ground, or permafrost, is now 130 kilometers further north than it was 50 years ago in the James Bay region, according to two researchers from the department of biology at Université Laval.

Projection shows water woes likely based on warmer temperatures
Several Midwestern states could be facing increased winter and spring flooding, as well as difficult growing conditions on farms, if average temperatures rise.

Researchers develop standard of care for breast cancer survivors with lymphedema
Lymphedema, a chronic swelling condition that can appear after breast cancer surgery, is a risk for 1.3 million breast cancer survivors.

New USC institute to target dirty marine diesel
A Hong Kong shipping executive has pledged up to $4.1 million for a new USC institute to combat diesel emissions from cargo ships.

Ardiem Medical obtains nonexclusive license for neuromodulation devices
Ardiem Medical Inc. has obtained a nonexclusive license to make and sell neuromodulation devices based on intellectual property developed at Case Western Reserve University's Department of Biomedical Engineering and the Functional Electrical Stimulation Center in Cleveland.

U-M researchers find key interaction that controls telomeres
In the dominoes that make up human cells, researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have traced another step of the process that stops cells from becoming cancerous.

Optimization server reaches 2 million milestone
NEOS, the Network-Enabled Optimization System developed by researchers at the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory in conjunction with Northwestern University, has reached a new milestone: two million submissions to its optimization software.

National Academy of Engineering elects 68 members and 9 foreign associates
The National Academy of Engineering has elected 68 new members and nine foreign associates, announced NAE President Charles M.

Clinical trial underway: Miniature ultrasound device could revolutionize pain relief
It looks more like an iPod than a medical tool.

Compostable plastics have a sweet ending
Food packaging and other disposable plastic items could soon be composted at home along with organic waste thanks to a new sugar-based polymer.

Can mobile phones help people 'EatWell?'
Most people know the rules of healthy eating, but most of us might eat a little healthier if we were reminded.

New method makes vaccines stable at tropical temperatures
A cheap and simple way of making vaccines stable -- even at tropical temperatures -- has been proven to work by scientists at Oxford University.

Protein found to be key in protecting the gut from infection
A signaling protein that is key in orchestrating the body's overall immune response has an important localized role in fighting bacterial infection and inflammation in the intestinal tract, according to a study by UC San Diego School of Medicine investigators, published in the journal Cell Host and Microbe.

ATS, ERS issue official standards for the quantitative assessment of lung structure
The ATS and the European Respiratory Society have issued official standards for the quantitative assessment of lung structure.

Genome sequencing of 3 parasitoid wasp species
An international consortium of scientists, including Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona researcher Deodoro Oliveira, have sequenced the genome of three species of parasitoid wasps of the genus Nasonia.

Rose-colored glasses have many shades: Shopping decisions and emotions
A proud consumer won't necessarily make the same purchase as a contented one, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Southern African genomes sequenced: Benefits for human health expected
Human genomes from Southern African Bushmen and a Bantu individual, Archbishop Tutu, have been sequenced by scientists seeking a greater understanding of human genetic variation and its effect on human health.

Wall, war, wealth: 30 years in science
This discussion paper examines the relationship between geopolitical factors and scientific activity based on publication data from a 30-year period.

Listen to the natives for better moose monitoring
Modern methods can answer a multitude of questions, but sometimes traditional techniques are superior.

Computer simulation of protein malfunction related to Alzheimer's disease
Researchers at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and University of Stockholm have created a computer modeling of the structural malfunctioning of the ApoE4 protein when it enters into contact with the amyloid beta molecule, the main cause of Alzheimer's disease.

Benazepril plus amlodipine slows progression of chronic kidney disease better than benazapril plus hydrochlorothiazide (ACCOMPLISH study)
Initial treatment for high blood pressure using benazepril plus amlodipine should be considered in preference to benazepril plus hydrochlorothiazide since it slows progression of chronic kidney disease to a greater extent.

Majority of Marylanders without advance medical directives
Approximately 66 percent of respondents to a Maryland telephone survey do not have advance medical directives, according to a new report.

International community works together on worldwide isotope shortage
The medical community has taken additional steps to help alleviate ongoing challenges facing physicians and patients due to the worldwide isotope shortage.

Duke scientists image brain at point when vocal learning begins
Scientists at Duke University Medical Center imaged living juvenile songbird brains at the moment the brains heard a tutor's mating song.

Obama's Promise Neighborhoods Initiative
President Barack Obama has pledged to support urban America through policy initiatives, and has created a White House Office of Urban Affairs which reports directly to the president.

Oregon State trains graduate students to be better TAs
Oregon State University graduate students teaching introductory biology labs are being mentored on how to be more effective teachers, engage their students in critical thinking, and even craft their own curriculum.

UC studies show marijuana has therapeutic value, reports to legislature
Researchers from the University of California's Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research have found

Helmets must be part of skiing and snowboarding culture, doctors urge
While the world's best skiers and snowboarders at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games compete with helmets on, many other skiers and snowboarders are choosing to forgo this important piece of safety equipment.

Don't worry, be happy! Positive emotions protect against heart disease
People who are usually happy, enthusiastic and content are less likely to develop heart disease than those who tend not to be happy, according to a major new study published on Thursday, Feb.

DFG establishes 10 new research units
With its 10 new Research Units, the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft is intensifying interdisciplinary and multiple-location collaboration among researchers pursuing specific scientific questions and new avenues of research.

Researchers discover second protective role for tumor-suppressor
ATM, a protein that reacts to DNA damage by ordering repairs or the suicide of the defective cell, plays a similar, previously unknown role in response to oxidative damage outside of the nucleus, researchers report this week in the online version of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Don't criticize your employees in front of consumers: It's bad for business
When employees are rude to one another, it creates a negative impression that affects consumer judgments of the company, according to new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

New assay helps track termites and other insects
An Agricultural Research Service-developed method to safely and reliably mark termites and other insects over vast acreage so their movements can be tracked is just as effective as the previous method -- and more affordable.

Study: Crickets 'forewarn' unborn babies about spiders
Just because cricket moms abandon their eggs before they hatch doesn't mean they don't pass wisdom along to their babies.

New edition of landmark stroke textbook
Since it was published more than 40 years ago, Toole's Cerebrovascular Disorders has been a standard textbook for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of strokes.

Laboratory research team awarded AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize
A Laboratory researcher's paper published in November 2008 is a co-winner of this year's American Association for the Advancement of Science Newcomb Cleveland Prize.

What is in-store slack? Consumers often plan for unplanned purchases
Those unplanned grocery purchases may not be so unplanned after all.

Universities highlight benefits of stimulus research funding
On the first anniversary of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act -- the economic stimulus -- the nation's research universities today provided nearly 100 examples of how a relatively small element of the measure is paying outsize short- and long-term dividends for the nation.

Drug for advanced kidney cancer shrinks tumors prior to surgery
Physicians who conducted a pilot study at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center found that therapy before surgery with the drug sorafenib can reduce the size of large tumors and could be safely undertaken administered without adding significantly to the risks of surgery.

Upside-down answer for deep Earth mystery
When Earth was young, it exhaled the atmosphere. During a period of intense volcanic activity, lava carried light elements from the planet's molten interior and released them into the sky.

A new type of genetic variation could strengthen natural selection
The unexpected discovery of a new type of genetic variation suggests that natural selection -- the force that drives evolution -- is both more powerful and more complex than scientists have thought.

Flu-induced stress response is critical for resistance to secondary infection
A new study reveals how infection with the influenza virus impacts the way that the immune system responds to subsequent infections.

News brief: ALDH associated with worse overall survival in patients with pancreatic adenocarcinoma
Expression of aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) in pancreatic adenocarcinoma is associated with worse overall survival in patients who have undergone resection for early stage disease, according to a new study published online Feb.

Alcohol implicated in rising toll of fatal car crashes involving young women drivers
Alcohol is an increasingly important factor in the rising toll of fatal car crashes involving young women drivers in the US, indicates research published in Injury Prevention. 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