Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 26, 2010
SAGE partners with RTVJ Division of AEJMC to publish Electronic News
The Radio-Television Journalism Division of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication has partnered with SAGE to publish its official journal, Electronic News.

Powe Award supports development of nanocomposites to monitor wind turbine blade structure
Wind turbine blades enjoy a steady wind but can be damaged by gust-induced vibrations.

Colorado State University scientist simplifies aerosols for modeling
The large number of tiny organic aerosols floating in the atmosphere -- emitted from tailpipes and trees alike -- share enough common characteristics as a group that scientists can generalize their makeup and how they change in the atmosphere.

Learning strategies are associated with distinct neural signatures
The process of learning requires the sophisticated ability to constantly update our expectations of future rewards so we may make accurate predictions about those rewards in the face of a changing environment.

Ground-breaking study to improve quality of life and outcomes for kids born with heart defect
A trial on shunts used to direct blood flow to the lungs, led by researchers at the University of Michigan, will lead to better outcomes for kids worldwide born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, the most common severe heart birth defect.

Astronomers discover new star-forming regions in Milky Way
Newly discovered star-forming regions are revealing new view of Milky Way's structure and promise new clues about the galaxy's chemical composition.

New research at the University of Leicester links shoplifting to your personality
A new study by psychologists at the University of Leicester has identified dimensions of personality seen in persons prone to shoplifting.

Study: Major hurricane could devastate Houston
With the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season less than a week away, a new report from experts at several Texas universities is warning that a major hurricane could devastate the Houston/Galveston region.

First radio tracking of tropical orchid bees
For the first time, researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute track unique signals from tiny transmitters glued to individual orchid bees, yielding new insight into the role of bees in tropical forest ecosystems.

Household detergents, shampoos may form harmful substance in wastewater
Scientists are reporting evidence that certain ingredients in shampoo, detergents and other household cleaning agents may be a source of precursor materials for formation of a suspected cancer-causing contaminant in water supplies that receive water from sewage treatment plants.

Journalism's next top model
Following the success of the event last year, the BJR is again joining with the University of Westminster to host a two-day conference to examine some of the most pressing economic, regulatory and ethical issues that the media industries have ever known.

New species of invertebrates discovered in the Antarctic
On board the German oceanographic ship and through various expeditions carried out between 1996 and 2008, two scientists from the University of Seville have discovered six new gorgonia (colonial marine invertebrates made up of tubular bodied polyps with eight tentacles) in the Antarctic region, in the Eastern Weddell Sea.

Detection of breast cancer in screening mammography has improved over time
Researchers analyzing 2.5 million screening mammograms performed on nearly one million women found discrimination of cancerous from noncancerous lesions improved over a nine-year period.

How do bumblebees get predators to buzz off?
Toxic or venomous animals, like bumblebees, are often brightly colored to tell would-be predators to keep away.

Understanding the relationship between bacteria and obesity
Research presented today sheds new light on the role bacteria in the digestive tract may play in obesity.

Sandia researchers Phillips, Moody named MRS Fellows
Julia Phillips, director of Nuclear Weapons Science and Technology Programs at Sandia National Laboratories, and Sandia researcher Neville Moody have been named Fellows in the Materials Research Society.

Astronomers discover clue to origin of Milky Way gas clouds
A study of hydrogen gas clouds in two different regions of the Milky Way shows that they are much more abundant above areas of intense star formation, indicating they are blown away from the galaxy's plane by stellar winds and supernova explosions.

UIC to host Institute of Medicine Meeting on diabetes and obesity
The Institute of Medicine of the National Academies will convene a regional meeting on Sept.

UCI researchers create retina from human embryonic stem cells
UC Irvine scientists have created an eight-layer, early stage retina from human embryonic stem cells, the first three-dimensional tissue structure to be made from stem cells.

GTRI researchers design and test microfabricated planar ion traps
Researchers at the Georgia Tech Research Institute are designing, fabricating and testing planar ion traps that can be more readily combined into large, interconnected trap arrays.

Elderly drivers' ability to detect hazards doesn't degrade with age according to Ben-Gurion U.
A new study from the Human Factors Safety Laboratory at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev indicates that advanced age does not affect older drivers' ability to perceive hazards and that older drivers are more sensitive to potential hazards than young, inexperienced drivers.

Male sex hormones in ovaries essential for female fertility
Male sex hormones, such as testosterone, have well defined roles in male reproduction and prostate cancer.

Winners of ONR's Energy Challenge to help Navy reduce its carbon footprint
Aiming to motivate researchers to help the US Navy decrease its reliance on fossil fuels, the Office of Naval Research announced nine winners of an

Distressed damsels stress coral reefs
Damselfish are killing head corals and adding stress to Caribbean coral reefs, which are already in desperately poor condition from global climate change, coral diseases, hurricanes, pollution and overfishing.

Learning strategies are associated with distinct neural signatures
Learning requires the sophisticated ability to constantly update expectations in order to make accurate predictions about the changing environment.

Some statins have unintended effects and warrant closer monitoring, study finds
The type and dosage of statin drugs given to patients to treat heart disease should be proactively monitored as they can have unintended adverse effects, concludes a new study published on

AE-941, a standardized shark cartilage, does not improve lung cancer survival
The anti-cancer drug AE-941, a shark cartilage derivative, did not improve overall survival in patients with inoperable stage III non-small cell lung cancer, according to a study published online May 26 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

UM researchers develop model for locating and forecasting sunken oil following spills
A team of researchers at the University of Miami has developed a computer model for finding and projecting in time sunken oil masses on the bottom of bays, after an oil spill.

ONR's wall-climbing 'power' tool ratchets up Fleet Week New York
The US Office of Naval Research is collaborating with industry partners on the rugged, hand-held wall-scaling tool called the Powered Rope Ascender, currently on display at Fleet Week New York, May 26-June 2.

Milk: 2 glasses a day tones muscles, keeps the fat away in women, study shows
Women who drink two large glasses of milk a day after their weight-lifting routine gained more muscle and lost more fat compared to women who drank sugar-based energy drinks, a study has found.

Distressed damsels stress coral reefs
Damselfish are killing head corals and adding stress to Caribbean coral reefs, which are already in desperately poor condition from global climate change, coral diseases, hurricanes, pollution and overfishing.

Little-known mouth fluid may lead to test for gum disease
A little-known fluid produced in tiny amounts in the gums, those tough pink tissues that hold the teeth in place, has become a hot topic for scientists trying to develop an early, noninvasive test for gum disease, the No.

Tiny blood vessels in brain spit to survive
Scientists at Northwestern University have discovered capillaries have a unique method of expelling debris, such as blood clots, cholesterol or calcium plaque, that blocks the flow of essential nutrients to brain cells.

In infant heart surgery, newer technique yields better survival in first year of life
Pediatric researchers report that a recently introduced surgical procedure offers infants with severely underdeveloped hearts a better chance at surviving during their first year of life, in comparison to the standard surgery.

Know that noise? Scientists probe formation of auditory memories
New research uses

June 2010 Lithosphere highlights
Lithosphere presents international science focusing on tectonic processes at all scales.

Rheumatoid arthritis incidence on the rise in women
The incidence of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) in women has risen during the period of 1995 to 2007, according to a newly published study by researchers from the Mayo Clinic.

Microbes answer more questions collectively
Studying whole microbial communities rather than individual microorganisms could help scientists answer fundamental questions such as how ecosystems respond to climate change or pollution, says Dr.

Some bisphosphonates users unfamiliar with drug's possible side effects on oral health
People undergoing bisphosphonate therapy to prevent or treat osteoporosis (a thinning of the bones) may be unfamiliar with the drug and possible adverse side effects on oral health, according to a study in the May issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association.

New technology will make election voting more efficient
Did you stay up all night to hear your local result during the recent election?

2 new frog species discovered in Panama's fungal war zone
While trying to understand a disease that is wiping out frogs worldwide, researchers discovered a new frog species.

Giving credit to the right Dr. Wong: Seeking a unique ID for scientists
Which D. K. Wong gets credit for the next miracle cure?

Texas A&M professor heads out to study Gulf oil spill with first NSF grant
A Texas A&M University oceanographer has been awarded a $160,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to examine methane gas in the Gulf oil spill, believed to be one of the first such grants given to any Texas scientist.

Detailed metabolic profile gives 'chemical snapshot' of the effects of exercise
Using a system that analyzes blood samples with unprecedented detail, a team led by Massachusetts General Hospital researchers has developed the first

DNA analyses return 13 Haitian children to families: DNA-Prokids Bolivia
After last January earthquake, 25 Haitian children were moved to Bolivia, accompanied by people who could not prove their parenthood.

University Hospitals Neurological Institute earns Neuroscience Center of Excellence designation
The Neurological Institute at University Hospitals has been designated as a Neuroscience Center of Excellence, according to the Neuroscience Center of Excellence Survey sponsored by NeuStrategy Inc., Chicago.

Mobile access now available for Essential Evidence Plus
Global scientific, technical, medical and scholarly publisher Wiley-Blackwell today announced the that its evidence-based clinical decision support product, Essential Evidence Plus, is now accessible from mobile devices.

Planetary scientists solve 40-year-old mysteries of Mars' northern ice cap
Scientists from the University of Texas at Austin and elsewhere have reconstructed the formation of two curious features in the northern ice cap of Mars -- a chasm larger than the Grand Canyon and a series of spiral troughs -- solving a pair of mysteries dating back four decades while finding new evidence of climate change on Mars.

Scientists find 95-million-year-old pterosaur fossil in Morocco
With the help of ancient fossils unearthed in the Sahara desert, scientists have identified a new type of pterosaur (giant flying reptile or pterodactyl) that existed about 95 million years ago.

Air traffic poised to become a major factor in global warming
The first new projections of future aircraft emissions in 10 years predicts that carbon dioxide and other gases from air traffic will become a significant source of global warming as they double or triple by 2050.

AGU 10-10: Undersea forces from hurricanes may threaten Gulf pipelines
Hurricanes could snap offshore oil pipelines in the Gulf of Mexico and other hurricane-prone areas, since the storms whip up strong underwater currents, a new study suggests.

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

The financial crisis and the challenge to social science thinking
How well-equipped are the different social sciences to understand and explain the financial crisis?

McGill team discovers a piece of the puzzle for individualized cancer therapy via gene silencing
In a major cancer-research breakthrough, researchers at the McGill University, department of biochemistry have discovered that a small segment of a protein that interacts with RNA can control the normal expression of genes -- including those that are active in cancer.

Increasing BPA levels in urine associated with worsening male sexual function
A new study by Kaiser Permanente that found increasing bisphenol-A levels in urine are associated with worsening male sexual function, including decreased sexual desire, more difficulty having an erection, lower ejaculation strength and lower level of overall satisfaction with sex life.

Genetic data added to archaeology and linguistics to get picture of African population history
Genetic researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have combined data from existing archaeological and linguistic studies of Africa with human genetic data to shed light on the demographic history of the continent from which all human activity emerged.

Lack of exercise key to increased BMI in children
A new independent study of scientific research has revealed that, contrary to the widely held hypothesis, dietary sugars are not the driving factor behind rising body mass index levels in children in Great Britain.

Better animal-free test for chemicals that can cause contact dermatitis
Scientists are reporting development of a fast, simple, inexpensive method for determining whether chemicals in consumer products and workplaces may cause skin allergies in people -- a method that does not involve use of animals.

Modified measles virus shows potential for treating childhood brain tumors
The use of modified measles virus may represent a new treatment for a childhood brain tumor known as medulloblastoma, according to a new study appearing in Neuro-Oncology.

Hey Jude: Get that song out my head!
Some 98-99 percent of the population has, at some point, been

Blood flows differently through the brains of schizophrenic patients
Researchers in Germany have used a magnetic resonance imaging technique called continuous arterial spin labeling to map cerebral blood flow patterns in schizophrenic patients quickly and without using radiation or contrast agents.

NASA completes critical design review of one Landsat instrument
NASA engineers have begun building hardware for a new Landsat satellite instrument that helps monitor water consumption -- an important capability in the US West where precipitation is sparse and water rights are allocated -- now that they have passed an independent review of the instrument's design and integration and testing methods.

Scientists identify virulent new strains of Ug99 stem rust
Four new mutations of Ug99, a strain of a deadly wheat pathogen known as stem rust, have overcome existing sources of genetic resistance developed to safeguard the world's wheat crop.

Lancet study: Antiretroviral therapy associated with decreased risk of HIV transmission
Researchers have found that treating HIV-infected persons with antiretroviral therapy reduces HIV transmission to their sexual partners by more than 90 percent.

Slow-release NSAIDs pose greater risk of GI bleeding
A study conducted at the Spanish Centre for Pharmacoepidemiological Research revealed that the risk of gastrointestinal complications due to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use varies by specific NSAID administered and by dosage.

Love it or hate it, PowerPoint shapes strategy-making, says new Rotman paper
It's a staple presentation tool in most businesses. Its been banned as a productivity killer.

Researchers calculate the greenhouse gas value of ecosystems
Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a new, more accurate method of calculating the change in greenhouse gas emissions that results from changes in land use.

Palaeontologists solve mystery of 500-million-year-old squid-like carnivore
A study by researchers at the University of Toronto and the Royal Ontario Museum sheds new light on a previously unclassifiable 500-million-year-old squid-like carnivore known as Nectocaris pteryx.

First common gene found for congenital heart disease
Although congenital heart disease represents the most common major birth defect, scientists have not previously identified the genes that give rise to it.

Dr. X. Frank Xu receives prestigious 2010 K.J. Bathe Award
Dr. X. Frank Xu of Stevens Institute of Technology has won the 2010 K.J.

Study finds 'law-like' patterns in human preference behavior
In a study appearing in the journal PLoS ONE, Massachusetts General Hospital scientists describe finding mathematical patterns underlying the way individuals unconsciously distribute their preferences regarding approaching or avoiding objects in their environment.

Discovery: Yeast make plant hormone that speeds infection
In a paper featured in the

Genentech uses Complete Genomics' human genome sequencing service to compare tumor and normal genome in patient with non-small cell lung cancer; results published in Nature
Genentech used Complete Genomics' sequencing, bioinformatics and analytics services to sequence and compare a patient's primary lung tumor and adjacent normal tissue.

Genome-wide association studies need larger sample sizes
While genome-wide association studies have identified several genetic risk factors for common cancers, their predictive power is limited by their small effect sizes, according to a new study published online May 26 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

New pathway to cheap insulin
In a German-Indo collaboration, researchers from the Helmholtz-Centre for Infection Research in Braunschweig, Germany, have now developed a new method to cheaply produce insulin for the treatment of diabetes.

Brief exercise reduces impact of stress on cell aging, UCSF study shows
Exercise can buffer the effects of stress-induced cell aging, according to new research from UCSF that revealed actual benefits of physical activity at the cellular level.

Genome comparison tools found to be susceptible to slip-ups
Tools used to align genomes from different species have serious quality-control issues, according to a new study that compared the alignments of 28 species' genomes.

Appendectomy may be best for patients with positive CT exam
When CT results suggest appendicitis, but a patient's symptoms are inconsistent with the acute condition, physicians should consider a diagnosis of chronic or recurrent appendicitis and surgical treatment, according to a new study.

Efforts underway at Virginia Tech to address deterioration of nation's water pipes
More than two million miles of the nation's infrastructure of water and wastewater pipes is nearing the end of its useful life.

Denmark cuts ART reimbursement under new savings scheme
In light of the need to prioritize public expenditure, the Parties agreed this month to implement a legislative amendment, so that assisted-reproduction treatment (ART) will no longer be part of the free public health services.

NASA's Swift Survey finds 'smoking gun' of black hole activation
Data from an ongoing survey by NASA's Swift satellite have helped astronomers solve a decades-long mystery about why a small percentage of black holes emit vast amounts of energy.

Colorado State University student awarded top student prize in laser research
A Colorado State University electrical engineering graduate student has won the prestigious Theodore Maiman Student Paper Competition -- beating a pool of 944 candidates -- on the 50th anniversary of Maiman's invention of the laser.

New treatment approach to rare cancer results in prolonged survival
Aggressive treatment of anaplastic thyroid carcinoma has dramatically increased survival in the small group of patients who chose to undergo it, say physicians at Mayo Clinic.

Rensselaer researcher wins $1.4 million NIH grant to enable faster cancer treatment planning
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Professor Richard Radke is leading a new $1.4 million study to develop novel computer automation techniques that could reduce the prep time of a promising cancer-treatment technology from several hours to a few minutes.

Study sheds light on deadly GI disease in infants born with complex congenital heart disease
Infants born with complex congenital heart disease are not only at risk for serious heart-related complications, but also for developing a deadly bowel disease, regardless of the type of surgical intervention they receive for their heart.

Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Review of pain management practices for cirrhosis patients
In the May issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, physician experts review current practices for pain management in cirrhotic patients.

Opioid-blocking medication reduces brain's response to alcoholism cues, McLean Hospital study finds
Researchers at Harvard-affiliated McLean Hospital have produced the first evidence that the opioid blocker extended-release injectable naltrexone is able to reduce the brain's response to cues that may cause alcoholics to relapse.

Elsevier and Peking University Health Science Center develop new China online CME service
Elsevier, the world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products, tools and services, announced a new initiative for the Chinese market which involves the establishment of a strategic cooperation with Peking University Health Science Center School of Distance Learning for Medical Education.

National trial shows carotid artery surgery and stenting equally effective in preventing stroke
Physicians now have two safe and effective options to treat their patients at risk for stroke, says a researcher at Mayo Clinic who led a large, NIH-funded, national clinical trial testing surgery or use of a stent to open a blocked carotid artery.

Newer heart surgery for infants offers first-year survival benefit over traditional procedure
Infants born with a severely underdeveloped heart who undergo a newer surgical procedure are more likely to survive their first year and not require a heart transplant than those who have a more traditional surgical procedure, according to a report by researchers supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, which is part of the National Institutes of Health.

Media arrangements for the International Congress on Obesity
Media arrangements for the 11th International Congress on Obesity are now available.

Researchers discover new mechanism for clearing blockages from smallest blood vessels
Researchers at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine have identified in mice a previously unknown protective mechanism by which the smallest blood vessels remove blood clots and other blockages from the brain.

UTK-ORNL-Oslo theorists pin down the proton-halo state in Fluorine-17
A halo nucleus has one or more nucleons that are only weakly bound to the nuclear core.

G8 to receive recommendations on women and children's health
Governments and other organizations must intensify efforts to improve the health of women and children, particularly in the developing world where the lion's share of deaths occur.

Vaccine hope for skin cancer sufferers
Nottingham scientists have been given the green light to test a vaccine which they hope could reverse, and even cure malignant melanoma, the most deadly type of skin cancer.

Study pinpoints new role of molecule in the health of body's back-up blood circulation
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine have discovered that the abundance of collateral blood vessels in a healthy individual and their growth or remodeling into

Blocking tumor's 'death switch' paradoxically stops tumor growth
Every cell contains machinery for self-destruction, used to induce death when damaged or sick.

'Grinding mouth, wrinkle eye': Penn graduate student describes new species of plant-eating dinosaur
A team of paleontologists, including a University of Pennsylvania doctoral candidate, has described a new species of herbivore dinosaur based upon an incomplete skeleton found in western New Mexico.

Wireless patients
A wireless monitoring system for people with debilitating conditions such as Parkinson's disease or chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder could allow health-care workers to assess a patient's health and the development of their disease without hindering their movements.

Advances made in walking, running robots
Researchers at Oregon State University have made an important fundamental advance in robotics, in work that should lead toward robots that not only can walk and run effectively, but use little energy in the process.

First common gene found for congenital heart disease
Although congenital heart disease represents the most common major birth defect, scientists have not previously identified the common variation in the genes that give rise to it.

Brain volume found to change following weight gain in adults with anorexia
A team of American psychologists and neuroscientists have found that adult brain volume, which can be reduced by Anorexia Nervosa, can be regained.

Case study analyzes why, where and when of leading shark attack site
Shark attacks are most likely to occur on Sunday, in less than 6 feet of water, during a new moon and involve surfers wearing black and white bathing suits, a first of its kind study from the University of Florida suggests.

Study identifies promising treatment for aggressive lymphoma
New research illustrates that some patients with transformed lymphoma showed

Joan Miller, M.D., receives 2010 Leadership Award for the Advancement of Women Faculty
Joan W. Miller, M.D., the HMS Henry Willard Williams Professor of Ophthalmology and chair of the department of ophthalmology at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and the Massachusetts General Hospital, has been awarded the 2010 Joseph B.

Killed by cold: Heart and stroke deaths peak in winter
Rates of cardiovascular disease increase dramatically in Australian winters because many people don't know how to rug up against the cold, a Queensland University of Technology seasonal researcher has found.

Researchers learn about role of bees in tropical ecosystems using radio transmitters
A New York State Museum scientist is one of several researchers who have become the first to use tiny radio transmitters to track bees over long distances in a forest habitat, yielding new insight into the role of bees in tropical forest ecosystems.

Discovery may lead to safer drinking water, cheaper medicine: Queen's University researchers
A discovery that may pave the way to helping reduce health hazards such as E. coli in water could also make chemicals and drugs such as insulin cheaper to produce and their production more environmentally friendly.

Shark cartilage shows no benefit as a therapeutic agent for lung cancer
In the first scientific study of its kind, shark cartilage extract, AE-941 or Neovastat, has shown no benefit as a therapeutic agent when combined with chemotherapy and radiation for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer, according to researchers at the University of Texas M.D.

Antiretroviral treatment reduces HIV transmission risk by 92 percent in heterosexual couples
As antiretroviral treatment is scaled up in Africa and other settings where resources remain limited, its potential benefits for preventing new HIV infections need to be evaluated. 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