Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 24, 2010
Hares more numerous in Irish Coursing Club Preserves than wider countryside
Irish hares are eighteen times more abundant in areas managed by the Irish Coursing Club than at similar sites in the wider countryside a recent study by Queen's University Belfast has shown.

Mint oil production moves south
A two-year field study in Mississippi evaluated the effect of nitrogen, growth stage (bud formation and flowering), and harvest time (first in mid-July, second beginning of October) on peppermint yields, oil content and composition.

Effects of iodine supplements on maternal thyroid function studied
Iodine is an essential element for synthesizing thyroid hormones. A team of researchers from the Childhood and Environment Project has studied the consequences of pregnant women consuming it in their diet and in supplements.

Intelligent people have 'unnatural' preferences and values that are novel in human evolution
Higher intelligence is associated with liberal political ideology, atheism, and men's (but not women's) preference for sexual exclusivity.

Neutrons poised to play big role in future scientific advances
Subatomic particles called neutrons are poised to play a big role in fighting HIV, slowing global warming, and improving manufacturing processes.

Brain implant reveals the neural patterns of attention
A paralyzed patient implanted with a brain-computer interface device has allowed scientists to determine the relationship between brain waves and attention.

Deluge of scientific data needs to be curated for long-term use
Carole L. Palmer, a professor of library and information science at Illinois, says that data curation -- the active and ongoing management of data through their lifecycle of interest to science -- is an important part of supporting and advancing scientific research.

Virginia Tech researchers engage communities to support women in IT careers
Interactions with others dissuade young girls with an interest in technology from considering a career in information technology.

University of Colorado study shows natural antioxidants give top barn swallows a leg on competitors
A new University of Colorado at Boulder study indicates North American barn swallows outperform their peers in reproduction -- the

Bone marrow cell transplants to benefit those with heart disease
Separate bone marrow cell transplantation studies may lead to new treatments for the treatment of heart diseases.

'Rare' cancers in the spotlight at major European conference
The conference will have a particular focus on the molecular and pathological bases of soft tissue sarcomas and GIST, aiming to give a perspective on the state of the art in medical treatment and what new approaches are coming.

National survey of colleges reveals importance of branding, creating community
A national survey of large and small colleges and universities aimed at identifying brand connection and affinity among alumni shows that while size may matter, large public universities can compete on the same playing field as a small, private college.

An electrifying discovery: New material to harvest electricity from body movements
Scientists are reporting an advance toward scavenging energy from walking, breathing, and other natural body movements to power electronic devices like cell phones and heart pacemakers.

New cancer-fighting strategy focuses on signaling molecules
Cancer researchers studying the immune system have identified a previously unrecognized set of targets and biomarkers to battle solid tumors.

Researchers move closer to understanding chaotic motion of a solid body in a fluid
Virginia Tech Engineering Science and Mechanics Professor Hassan Aref, and his colleague Johan Roenby at the Technical University of Denmark shed new light on the chaotic motion of a solid body moving through a fluid.

More complete removal of lymph nodes improves survival in endometrial cancer (SEPAL study)
A complete, systematic removal of both pelvic lymph nodes (lymphadenectomy) and para-aortic lymph nodes, improves survival compared with removal of just the pelvic lymph nodes, in patients at medium to high risk of cancer recurrence.

Thicker brains fend off pain
People can reduce their sensitivity to pain by thickening their brain, according to a new study published in a special issue of the American Psychological Association journal Emotion.

Stem cells restore sight in mouse model of retinitis pigmentosa
An international research team led by Columbia University Medical Center successfully used mouse embryonic stem cells to replace diseased retinal cells and restore sight in a mouse model of retinitis pigmentosa.

QB3 adds ZCube as limited partner in Mission Bay Capital Fund
Mission Bay Capital LLC, has added a new limited partner to its first venture fund, bolstering the fund's ability to invest in promising bioscience companies emerging from the University of California.

Laser surgery technique gets new life in art restoration
A laser technique best known for its use to remove unwanted tattoos from the skin is finding a second life in preserving great sculptures, paintings and other works of art, according to an article in ACS' monthly journal, Accounts of Chemical Research.

Chemical element 112 is named 'Copernicium'
The heaviest recognized chemical element with the atomic number 112 was discovered at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung and -- since Feb.

Research builds on genetic link to autism and schizophrenia
A genetic link between schizophrenia and autism is enabling researchers to study the effectiveness of drugs used to treat both illnesses.

Optical system promises to revolutionize undersea communications
In a technological advance that its developers are likening to the cell phone and wireless Internet access, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution scientists and engineers have devised an undersea optical communications system that -- complemented by acoustics -- enables a virtual revolution in high-speed undersea data collection and transmission.

New Business Horizons special issue on US health care
A recent special issue of Business Horizons, the journal of the Kelley School of Business, Indiana University, and published by Elsevier, addresses issues central to health care and life sciences.

Single men, unhappily married men may have higher risk of fatal stroke
Single men and unhappily married men may face a higher risk of fatal stroke in later decades compared to happily married men.

Experts will be studying conflicts caused by climate change in Europe and Africa
During the next three years, researchers from 14 institutes, under the direction of the Institute of Environmental Science and Technology at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, will be analyzing the effects hydro-climatic phenomena -- drought, flooding and rise of sea levels -- have on the intensification of social tension and conflicts in eleven regions of the Mediterranean, Maghreb, Middle East and Sahel, and will propose specific actions to guarantee the peace and security of the population in each area.

Health care volunteers and disasters: First, be prepared
A surge in volunteers following a major disaster can overwhelm a response system, and without overall coordination, can actually make a situation worse instead of better.

UM Rosenstiel School professor named Fellow of American Meteorological Society
University of Miami professor, Bruce Albrecht, Ph.D., has been named one of 29 new Fellows of the American Meteorological Society, the nation's leading professional society for scientists in the atmospheric and related sciences.

Translational regenerative medicine event to feature venture forum
A spray-on skin product and an injectable cell therapy for heart attack patients are among 17 regenerative medicine technologies that will be showcased during the Translational Regenerative Medicine Forum, set for April 6-8 in Winston-Salem.

New tool developed to help guide pancreatic cyst treatment
A UCLA-Veterans Affairs research team has developed an evaluation tool to help guide asymptomatic pancreatic cyst treatment.

Tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology
The following are tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology:

Novel antitoxin strategy developed using 'tagged binding agents'
A study involving the world's deadliest substance has yielded a new strategy to clear toxins from the body -- which may lead to more efficient strategies against toxins that may be used in a bioterrorist event, as well as snake bites, scorpion stings, and even some important chronic diseases.

Tips from the American Journal of Pathology
The following highlights summarize research articles that are published in the February 2010 issue of the American Journal of Pathology.

Treating neonatal meningitis -- is nitric oxide a foe or a friend to bacteria?
Current research suggests that nitric oxide may play a role in the pathogenesis of neonatal meningitis.

Light, wind and fire
Today ESO has released a dramatic new image of NGC 346, the brightest star-forming region in our neighbouring galaxy, the Small Magellanic Cloud, 210 000 light-years away towards the constellation of Tucana (the Toucan).

Horse stem cell conference to draw veterinarians and human-health professionals
Some 200 veterinarians, stem cell researchers and other medical professionals from throughout the United States and abroad will gather March 5-6 in the heart of California's Central Coast horse region for a groundbreaking conference on the use of stem cell therapy and regenerative medicine to treat horses and other animals.

Elsevier launches new online book series: Elsevier Insights
Elsevier, a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, announced today the launch of Elsevier Insights, a new online book series covering topics in areas such as life and physical sciences, engineering, computer science, tourism and finance.

Half of Americans live more than an hour away from lifesaving stroke care
Forty-five percent of Americans -- 135 million people -- are more than an hour away from primary stroke centers, the facilities that are best equipped to care for them if they are stricken by the condition, according to new research led by the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine that will be presented Feb.

Caltech receives more than $33 million from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act
Caltech receives $33 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for 82 projects.

More frequent fires could aid ecosystems
With a changing climate there's a good chance that forest fires in the Pacific Northwest will become larger and more frequent -- and according to one expert speaking today at a professional conference, that's just fine.

The toxicity of antimicrobial silver in products can be reduced
Chemists at the University of Helsinki have managed to manufacture new polymer-stabilized silver nanoparticles.

Elsevier and PANGAEA link contents for easier access to full earth system research
Elsevier, a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, announced today that the data library PANGAEA and Elsevier have implemented reciprocal linking between their respective content in earth system research.

Rapamycin rescues learning, memory in Alzheimer's mouse model
A study conducted by the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio offers the first evidence that the drug rapamycin is able to reverse Alzheimer's disease-like deficits in an animal model.

Researcher discusses novel ways to limit stroke damage
Can using a simple blood-pressure cuff limit damage from strokes caused by decreased blood supply to the brain?

Psychiatry's main method to prevent mistaken diagnoses of depression doesn't work: NYU study
A study in the March edition of the American Journal of Psychiatry senior-authored by Jerome C.

Panel asks dairy avoiders: Are you getting enough?
Lactose intolerance is a real and important clinical syndrome, but quantifying its public health burden is challenging.

Vitamin B3 shows early promise in treatment of stroke
An early study suggests that vitamin B3 or niacin, a common water-soluble vitamin, may help improve neurological function after stroke, according to Henry Ford Hospital researchers.

Study shows that suffocating head lice works in new treatment
A new non-neurotoxic treatment for head lice has been found to have an average of 91.2 percent treatment success rate after one week, and to be safe in humans from 6 months of age and up.

NIAID media tip sheet: Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Scientists supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, will be presenting their latest research findings at the AAAAI Annual Meeting.

Taxing unhealthy foods may encourage healthier eating habits
A recent study found that taxing unhealthy food reduces the amount of calories purchased more than subsidizing healthy foods.

Going green in the hospital
Wider adoption of the practice of recycling medical equipment -- including laparoscopic ports and durable cutting tools typically tossed out after a single use -- could save hospitals hundreds of millions of dollars annually and curb trash at medical centers, the second-largest waste producers in the United States after the food industry.

OSA, APS highlight history and future of laser technology at 2010 AAAS Annual Meeting
As part of LaserFest, the yearlong celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first working laser, the Optical Society and the American Physical Society sponsored a special daylong seminar on the birth, growth and future developments in laser science and technology at the 2010 American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting.

Dementia in extreme elderly population expected to become epidemic according to the 90+ study
University of California researchers found that the incidence rate for all causes of dementia in people age 90 and older is 18.2 percent annually and significantly increases with age in both men and women.

Tree-dwelling mammals climb to the heights of longevity
The squirrels littering your lawn with acorns as they bound overhead will live to plague your yard longer than the ones that aerate it with their burrows, according to a University of Illinois study.

Neural mechanism may underlie an enhanced memory for the unexpected
The human brain excels at using past experiences to make predictions about the future.

Midlife crisis: Unmarried older women twice as likely to lack health insurance, study shows
Older women who are divorced, separated, or widowed or who have never married have twice the uninsured rate of their married peers, according to a new policy brief from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

Dog bites research: UAB testing software to teach kids, dogs to interact safely
Psychologists at the University of Alabama at Birmingham are testing a software program designed to teach children to interact safely with dogs.

First discovery of the female sex hormone progesterone in a plant
In a finding that overturns conventional wisdom, scientists are reporting the first discovery of the female sex hormone progesterone in a plant.

Study points to role of antioxidant balance in bird health and reproduction
A balanced diet, exercise and reduced stress not only can lead to a longer life, but also better reproduction, according to a new study by a team of researchers, including one from Arizona State University, on barn swallow nutrition and mating habits.

A hot road to new drugs
The quest for new drugs is generally a lengthy and costly undertaking.

German government is advised to tune up the innovation engine
Germany's legendary innovation engine is faltering, according to a report delivered to Chancellor Angela Merkel today, but could -- with a major tune-up -- help propel the economy from crisis to sustainable growth.

Deficits in brain's 'executive' skills common with TIA, minor stroke
Cognitive impairment is common in transient ischemic attack and minor ischemic stroke patients.

Researchers issue outlook for a significant New England 'red tide' in 2010
Today, scientists from the NOAA-funded Gulf of Maine Toxicity (GOMTOX) project issued an outlook for a significant regional bloom of a toxic alga that can cause 'red tides' in the spring and summer of this year, potentially threatening the New England shellfish industry.

Mouse model may provide insight into the schizophrenic brain
Schizophrenia is an incredibly complex and profoundly debilitating disorder that typically manifests in early adulthood but is thought to arise, at least in part, from pathological disturbances occurring during very early brain development.

Stroke incidence rising among younger adults, decreasing among elderly
Stroke, often considered a disease of old age, is declining in the elderly and increasing at younger ages.

Torn apart by its own tides, massive planet is on a 'death march'
An international group of astrophysicists has determined that a massive planet outside our Solar System is being distorted and destroyed by its host star -- a finding that helps explain the unexpectedly large size of the planet, WASP-12b.

Decade of efforts in stroke documented in new report
The American Stroke Association and other organizations have spent the last decade changing the care delivery system for stroke in the United States.

Family members reduce stress in advanced cancer patients with 14 minute massages
Advanced cancer patients who regularly received massages averaging 14 minutes or more by a partner or family member declined in stress scores over four weeks, according to results of a study reported at the 7th annual conference of the American Psychosocial Oncology Society.

More tropical cyclones in past could play role in warmer future
More frequent tropical cyclones in Earth's ancient past contributed to persistent El Niño-like conditions, according to a team of climate scientists led by Yale University.

NSF builds science and engineering capacity in communities around the United States
The National Science Foundation announced five new Science and Technology Center awards as a result of a recent, merit-based competition.

Children can have recurrent strokes
Children can have strokes, and the strokes can recur, usually within a month, according to pediatric researchers.

$250,000 grant awarded for groundbreaking ligament and tendon repair research
Dr. Robert C. Bray of the University of Calgary was recently selected as the winner of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's $250,000 Ligament and Tendon Repair and Regeneration Grant for his project,

New clues found linking larger animals to colder climates
A pair of University of Houston researchers found a possible new solution to a 163-year-old puzzle.

Aggressive response helped Chilean hospital improve H1N1 influenza outcomes
A Chilean hospital's early use of antiviral treatment in influenza patients and other aggressive measures helped reduce the number of severe H1N1 cases and related deaths.

ACS webinar features developments in online water and wastewater monitoring
News media and others interested in the chemical sciences are invited to join the next in a series of American Chemical Society webinars, Professional Growth and Development, focusing on the $44 billion global water treatment market.

Innate immune mechanisms can control disease progression in HIV-positive patients
This study by researchers from Hospital Clinic of Barcelona shows that dendritic cells in HIV positive patients who spontaneously control the infection produce high levels of alpha-defensins.

Hormone study gives scientists a sense of how animals bond
Scientists have pinpointed how a key hormone helps animals to recognize others by their smell.

Water may not run uphill, but it practically flies off new surface
Engineering researchers have crafted a flat surface that refuses to get wet.

The bigger the animal, the stiffer the 'shoes'
If a tiger's feet were built the same way as a mongoose's feet, they'd have to be about the size of a hippo's feet to support the big cat's weight.

The safe way to use 1 Internet password
A little-used Internet authentication system from the 1980s could provide the answer for enabling web users to securely sign in only once per Internet session, a Queensland University of Technology researcher has found.

Tides, Earth's rotation among sources of giant underwater waves
Scientists are gaining new insight into the mechanisms that generate huge, steep underwater waves that occur between layers of warm and cold water in coastal regions of the world's oceans.

NAE, IOM members to discuss engineering innovations in health care at Feb. 25 meeting
Members of the National Academy of Engineering and Institute of Medicine will participate in a regional meeting and panel discussion on

NJIT patent may be able to replace BPA, make consumer products safer
Michael Jaffe, a professor of biomedical engineering at NJIT, has received a patent for a chemical derived from sugar.

Indiana U. researcher, hospital, study potential rehab following 'mini stroke'
Indiana U. researcher Marieke Van Puymbroeck found that a modified version of cardiac rehabilitation was effective at reducing some symptoms of stroke in just six weeks following a transient ischemic attack (TIA) often referred to as

Clot-busting drugs effective in patients with unwitnessed strokes
When stroke symptom onset is unknown, basing emergency clot-busting treatment on the time patients were last seen normal may be beneficial.

Where does the fluid go?
Combined mechanisms of transport have important applications -- transport of nutrients across cell membranes in plants and animals, the aeration of agricultural soils, performance of chemical reactors, the design of membranes for desalting brackish water, and the design of clay membranes for retaining dangerous chemicals.

Woman gives birth to 2 healthy babies in separate pregnancies after ovarian transplant
For the first time, a woman has given birth to two children in two separate pregnancies after her fertility was restored using transplants of ovarian tissue that had been removed and frozen during her cancer treatment and then restored once she was cured.

Canadian researchers study mass gatherings and risks of infectious disease threats
As the world watches the Vancouver Olympics, researchers at St.

More evidence on benefits of high blood pressure drugs in diabetic eye disease
Scientists in Massachusetts are reporting new evidence that certain high blood pressure drugs may be useful in preventing and treating diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of vision loss in people with diabetes.

UI study measures levels of PCBs flowing from Indiana canal to air and water
A University of Iowa study supports an earlier UI report that found polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in sediments lining the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal in East Chicago, Ind.

UCLA study finds genetic link between misery and death
UCLA researchers have discovered what they describe as a biochemical link between misery and death, and in addition found a specific genetic variation that seems to break that link.

Total fat, trans fat linked to higher incidence of ischemic stroke
Post-menopausal women who ate the most daily dietary fat had a 40 percent higher incidence of ischemic stroke compared to those who consumed the least.

What is the 'grand challenge' facing the future of agriculture?
What are the top research questions facing agriculture? Earlier this year, the American Society of Agronomy sought out the opinions of its members and leadership to develop a Grand Challenge statement, key questions and expected outcomes.

Caltech scientists find first physiological evidence of brain's response to inequality
The human brain is a big believer in equality -- and a team of scientists from the California Institute of Technology and Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, has become the first to gather the images to prove it.

Society of Interventional Radiology highlights medical advances, new discoveries
Interventional radiologists -- minimally invasive specialists--will share scientific advances and new discoveries in treating a host of diseases at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 35th Annual Scientific Meeting March 13-18 at the Tampa Convention Center, Tampa, Fla.

Texas-based consortium announces groundbreaking vaccine research program
Leaders of the Texas Plant-Expressed Vaccine Consortium today announced a biotherapeutic manufacturing initiative designed to show proof of concept for a landmark new technology that could dramatically increase the nation's capability to produce vaccines for infectious diseases, including influenza.

An emotion detector for baby
Baby monitors of the future could translate infant cries, so that parents will know for certain whether their child is sleepy, hungry, needing a change, or in pain.

Confronting infectious disease threats at large-scale international events
Integrating real-time Internet-based infectious disease surveillance with knowledge of worldwide air traffic patterns could help in confronting infectious disease threats at mass gatherings, such as the Olympics and other large scale events, suggests an article in CMAJ.

NSF and USC School of Cinematic Arts announce novel partnership
A major government research agency and a renowned cinematic arts school announced on Feb. 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