Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 21, 2010
Where will the next food crisis strike and how to face it?
Satellite observation is the key instrument that will allow to double in 2010 the number of countries monitored in real time for detecting first indications of adverse agricultural outcomes.

Arizona State epidemiologist to explore dynamics of Mexico's H1N1 pandemic
Influenza surveillance mechanisms in Mexico were adequate during the fast-spreading H1N1 outbreak in 2009, yet Mexico did not have the infrastructure to quickly identify the emergence of this novel strain, according to Arizona State University epidemiologist Carlos Castillo-Chavez, director of ASU's Mathematical, Computational and Modeling Sciences Center.

World-class protection boosts Australia's Great Barrier Reef
Australia's Great Barrier Reef is showing an extraordinary range of benefits from the network of protected marine reserves introduced there five years ago, according to a comprehensive new study published in PNAS.

Genetic health risks in children of assisted reproductive technology
As a group, children born as a result of assisted reproductive technology are at greater risk of certain kinds of birth defects and being low birth weight.

Inadequate access to opioid-based pain relief is a human rights issue for cancer patients
Many cancer patients in Europe are being denied access to adequate pain relief because of over-zealous regulations restricting the availability and accessibility of opioid-based drugs such as morphine.

ASU researcher outlines strategies to curb urban heat island
Protect yourself from the summer sun is good advice to children who want to play outside on a hot summer day and it is good advice to cities as a way to mitigate the phenomenon known as urban heat island, said Harvey Bryan, an ASU professor of architecture.

Call made for better metrics for energy savings
A Michigan State University professor says if the world is to make better decisions when it comes to developing new energy sources, it needs to have better methods of measuring progress toward its energy goals.

Damage to threatened Gulf of California habitats can be reversed
Once described by Jacques Cousteau as the

Comparison shows robot-assisted option offers advantages for kidney surgery
A comparison of two types of minimally invasive surgery to repair kidney blockages that prevent urine from draining normally to the bladder found that robot-assisted surgery was faster and resulted in less blood loss and shorter hospital stays.

Word learning in deaf children with cochlear implants
Indiana University School of Medicine researcher reports at 2010 AAAS meeting that deaf children's word-learning skill was strongly affected by early auditory experience, whether that experience was through normal means or with a cochlear implant.

New insights into helping marine species cope with climate change
Marine reserves are increasingly important for species that are being forced by climate change to move to a new home, adapt to new conditions or die.

Will coral reefs disappear?
NSERC-funded researcher Dr. Simon Donner, an assistant professor in the department of geography at the University of British Columbia, will be talking about the vulnerability of coral reefs to climate change due to higher ocean temperatures.

A midday nap markedly boosts the brain's learning capacity
If you see a student dozing in the library or a co-worker catching 40 winks in her cubicle, don't roll your eyes.

New round of UREP grants for WCMC-Q students
Twenty-eight WCMC-Q students have received grants totaling $280,000 in the latest, seventh, round of funding from the Undergraduate Research Experience Program to conduct advanced research projects with faculty members.

CU physicists use ultra-fast lasers to open doors to new technologies unheard of just years ago
For nearly half a century, scientists have been trying to figure out how to build a cost-effective and reasonably sized X-ray laser that could, among other things, provide super high-resolution imaging.

Tracing and screening of airline passengers for tuberculosis highly inefficient and unlikely to prevent the spread of disease
Contrary to current international guidelines, there is little risk of tuberculosis transmission linked to air travel, and tracing and screening air passengers and crew who might have been exposed to a person with tuberculosis is a highly inefficient resource-intensive process.

Quantum leap for phonon lasers
Physicists have taken major step forward in the development of practical phonon lasers, which emit sound in much the same way that optical lasers emit light.

Participation 'important for healthy marine parks'
The involvement of locals is a key ingredient in the success of marine parks which protect coral reefs and fish stocks.

From uncharted region of human genome, clues emerge about origins of coronary artery disease
Berkeley Lab scientists have learned how an interval of DNA in an unexplored region of the human genome increases the risk for coronary artery disease, the leading cause of death worldwide.

Cultural history colors thought about bioethics, evolution
Popularized ideas about evolution assume that some human groups are more evolved than other human groups.

LSU biologist and playwright hosts symposium on 'Science in the Theatre' at 2010 AAAS Conference
Vince LiCata, LSU's Louis S. Flowers Professor of Biological Sciences and published playwright, is organizing a unique symposium at the upcoming 2010 meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS.

Biologists use mathematics to advance our understanding of health and disease
Math-based computer models are a powerful tool for discovering the details of complex living systems.

Better snowfall forecasting
University of Utah scientists developed an easier way for meteorologists to predict snowfall amounts and density -- fluffy powder or wet cement.

Enzyme deficiency protects hepatitis C patients from treatment-related anemia
Many people who undergo treatment for hepatitis C develop hemolytic anemia, a disorder that destroys red blood cells.

The geography of violence
Douglas J. Wiebe, Ph.D., assistant professor of epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine will present portions of an ongoing study about the daily activities of youth and their risk of being violently injured.

When the heart gets out of step
Atrial fibrillation, a common type of cardiac arrhythmia, increases risk for stroke and heart failure.

Governments 'misjudging' scale of CO2 emissions
Policymakers are markedly underestimating the changes needed to mitigate CO2 emission required to prevent dangerous climate change because they work in

Marine reserves hit the spotlight in PNAS special issue, AAAS press briefing
Marine reserves are known to be effective conservation tools when they are placed and designed properly.

Biotech, nanotech and synthetic biology roles in future food supply explored
Some say the world's population will swell to 9 billion people by 2030, presenting significant challenges for agriculture to provide enough food to meet demand, says University of Idaho animal scientist Rod Hill.

Common gene variant may increase risk for a type of cardiac arrhythmia
An international research team has identified a common gene variant associated with a form of the irregular heartbeat called atrial fibrillation.

The role of sleep in brain development
Marcos Frank, Ph.D., associate professor of Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, will present information on early brain development and the importance of sleep during early life when the brain is rapidly maturing and highly changeable.

Babies and sleep: Another reason to love naps
UA psychologists have found that infants need adequate sleep, including regular naps, in order to effectively learn about the new world they live in.

More alcohol sales sites mean more neighborhood violence, new Indiana University research finds
More alcohol sales sites in a neighborhood equates to more violence, and the highest assault rates are associated with carry-out sites selling alcohol for off-premise consumption, according to new research released today (Feb.

Genome analysis of marine microbe reveals a metabolic minimalist
Flightless birds, blind cave shrimp, and other oddities suggest a

Animals linked to human Chlamydia pneumoniae
Animals have infected humans with the common respiratory disease Chlamydia pneumoniae, according to an international study by the Queensland University of Technology in Australia and the University of Maryland in the USA. 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