Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 27, 2010
NASA sees strong thunderstorms in potential tropical cyclone near Hong Kong
NASA and other satellite data is helping forecasters get a bead on a tropical low that looks prime for development over the weekend in the Western Pacific Ocean.

Pellegrini wins top award for infectious disease research
Infectious diseases specialist Dr. Marc Pellegrini from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, Australia, will today receive the Frank Fenner Award from the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases, recognizing Dr.

UCSF analyses detail tobacco industry influence on health policy
Three new UCSF studies describe the wide reach of the tobacco industry and its influence on young people, military veterans and national health-care reform.

Artificial sweeteners, without the aftertaste: Scientists find bitter-blocking ingredient
Researchers have discovered a chemical that specifically blocks people's ability to detect the bitter aftertaste that comes with artificial sweeteners such as saccharin.

A Dicty mystery solved
Rice University evolutionary biologists reported in a paper published this week that the first cells to starve in a slime mold seem to have an advantage that not only helps them survive to reproduce, but also pushes those that keep on eating into sacrificing themselves for the common good.

Henry Ford Hospital: New left-side heart pump improves right-side heart function
A state-of-the-art heart pump, designed to maintain a continuous flow of blood in end-stage cardiac patients with damage to the left side of the heart, also improves function on the right side of the heart, according to researchers at Henry Ford Hospital's Heart and Vascular Institute.

The great pond experiment: Regional vs. local biodiversity
Scientist Jon Chase once worked in a lab that set up small pond ecosystems for experiments on species interactions and food webs.

The search for improved carbon sponges picks up speed
A new class of materials with a record-shattering internal surface area may have the right stuff to efficiently strip carbon dioxide from a power plant's exhaust.

Montana State develops new antenna to aid rural emergency workers
To overcome the challenges of rural communication, Montana State University engineers and Advanced Acoustic Concepts developed a sturdy lightweight antenna that provides a strong, clear, reliable channel even while moving.

Rutgers professor's free GIS textbook download helps public safety practitioners worldwide
Nearly four months ago, Joel M. Caplan, assistant professor at the School of Criminal Justice at Rutgers University in Newark, began offering his textbook,

Alcohol-related death rates much higher in deprived areas of England and Wales
Researchers at the University of Sheffield have found that there are substantially increased death rates from alcohol-related diseases in socioeconomically deprived areas of England and Wales.

Henry Gabelnick receives lifetime achievement award
CONRAD is pleased to announce that Executive Director Henry Gabelnick, Ph.D, was awarded the lifetime achievement award at the 6th International Microbicides 2010 Conference.

NASA eyes low in eastern Pacific for tropical development
The Atmospheric Infrared Sounder instrument onboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured an infrared image of a low pressure area called

Cardiac biomarker indicates fluid overload in dialysis patients
Nephrologists must consider fluid overload effects when prescribing dialysis, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

NC State to develop next generation HazMat boots
The rubber boots that emergency personnel wear when responding to situations where hazardous materials are present may be functional, but they're not very comfortable.

Electric ash found in Eyjafjallajokull's plume, say UK researchers
In the first peer-reviewed scientific paper to be published about the Icelandic volcano since its eruption in April 2010, UK researchers write that the ash plume which hovered over Scotland carried a significant and self-renewing electric charge.

Scientists offer solutions to arsenic groundwater poisoning in southern Asia
About 60 million people in Bangladesh are exposed to unsafe levels of arsenic in their drinking water, dramatically raising their risk for cancer and other serious diseases.

Farmers' beliefs on a higher plain
There's more to decisions about land use than climate change, population growth, migration and prosperous economies.

Snails on methamphetamine
Crystal meth (methamphetamine) is a highly addictive drug, which improves memory, but once hooked, addicts find the habit hard to break.

U of M study definitively links indoor tanning to melanoma
New research from the University of Minnesota's School of Public Health and Masonic Cancer Center definitively links the use of indoor tanning devices to increased risk of melanoma, the most serious form of skin cancer.

The great pond experiment
A seven-year experiment shows that pond communities bear the imprint of random events in their past, such as the order in which species were introduced into the ponds.

Optical Legos: Building nanoshell structures
Scientists from four US universities have created a way to use Rice University's light-activated nanoshells as building blocks for 2-D and 3-D structures that could be useful for making chemical sensors, nanolasers and bizarre light-absorbing metamaterials.

If you don't brush your teeth twice a day, you're more likely to develop heart disease
Individuals who have poor oral hygiene have an increased risk of heart disease compared to those who brush their teeth twice a day, finds research published today on

Applied physicists create building blocks for a new class of optical circuits
Imagine creating novel devices with amazing and exotic optical properties not found in nature -- by simply evaporating a droplet of particles on a surface.

Secrets of a chiral gold nanocluster unveiled
Researchers at the department of chemistry and Nanoscience Center of the University of Jyvaskyla have resolved the structural, electronic and optical properties of a chiral gold nanocluster that remained a mystery for 10 years.

Concern about pandemic flu has positive impact on personal hygiene behaviors
Fear of the H1N1 virus appears to be the driving factor behind the adoption of preventive behaviors, according to a study published in the June issue of AJIC: American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

The cosmic burp of dying stars
The mysteries of the universe and how we came to be are set to be unlocked by a technique for modeling fluids, similar to one which is becoming increasingly popular within the film industry to improve the realism of special effects.

Cut the salt and ditch the drugs: Controlling blood pressure in dialysis patients
For kidney patients trying to control their blood pressure, reducing fluid build-up in the blood is more effective than using antihypertensive medications, according to an analysis appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

Racial bias clouds ability to feel others' pain
When people witness or imagine the pain of another person, their nervous system responds in essentially the same way it would if they were feeling that pain themselves.

ACS webinar focuses on how to improve technical writing skills
News media and others interested in the chemical sciences are invited to join the next in a series of American Chemical Society Webinars, focusing on tips on how to improve your ability to write technically, the

Novel therapeutic approach shows promise against multiple bacterial pathogens
A team of scientists from government, academia and private industry has developed a novel treatment that protects mice from infection with the bacterium that causes tularemia, a highly infectious disease of rodents, sometimes transmitted to people, and also known as rabbit fever.

Nobel winner ties mental illness to immune defect
A Nobel Prize-winning University of Utah geneticist discovered that bone marrow transplants cure mutant mice who pull out their hair compulsively.

Dieting alone may not help stave off type 2 diabetes; muscle mass, strength important
Sarcopenia -- low skeletal muscle mass and strength -- was associated with insulin resistance in both obese and non-obese individuals.

OHSU joins forces with UO, Harvard to accelerate Fanconi anemia research
Oregon Health & Science University is partnering with the University of Oregon and Harvard Medical School to expedite basic science research into new and existing drugs and compounds that may prevent the complications associated with Fanconi anemia, an inherited condition that can lead to bone marrow failure and cancer.

A stone says more than a thousand runes
It was not necessary to be literate to be able to access rune carvings in the 11th century.

Despite food-assistance programs, many children experience food insecurity, hunger
In a recent study, researchers found that food insecurity and hunger among children still persist, even in food secure households and despite food assistance programs and efforts to increase food security.

Henry Ford Hospital study: Fewer infections with new heart-pump implant
A state-of-the-art heart pump recently approved for use in end-stage cardiac patients has a significantly lower risk for infection than an earlier model of the device, according to researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

Solar panels can attract breeding water insects
Solar power might be nature's most plentiful and benign source of energy, but shiny black solar cells can lure water insects away from critical breeding areas, a Michigan State University scientist and colleagues warn.

Florida State researcher considers the role of morality in modern economic theory
The worldwide financial crisis in 2008, which led to what many in the United States now call the

New bacterial signaling molecule could lead to improved vaccines
In a 20-year quest to determine why Listeria bacteria produce a uniquely strong immune response in humans, UC Berkeley scientists have found part of the answer: an unsuspected signaling molecule that the bacteria pump out and which ramps up production of interferon by the host.

NIST scientists gain new 'core' understanding of nanoparticles
A NIST research team has uncovered a mystery in the magnetic response of iron-oxide nanoparticles, one that may be a key to controlling nanoparticle magnetism for future applications.

Medical researcher's discovery may explain how certain cancers develop
A Florida State University College of Medicine researcher has discovered a new interaction between a cell signaling system and a specific gene that may be the cause of B-cell lymphoma.

Rosewood trees face extinction amid Madagascar's chaos
Political and social chaos and a lack of international protections have put several species of rosewood trees in Madagascar in danger of becoming extinct from illegal logging, according to a policy forum paper in the latest issue of Science.

Out of the woods for 'Ardi'
Ardipithecus ramidus -- a purported human ancestor that was dubbed Science magazine's 2009

Experimental treatment protects monkeys from lethal Ebola virus post-exposure and could be used to protect humans
Use of tiny particles of genetic material to interfere in the replication process of the lethal Zaire Ebola virus has protected monkeys exposed to the virus from death from hemorrhagic fever.

To double spud production, just add a little spit
When it comes to potentially doubling the output of the world's fourth largest food crop, the secret may be in the spit.

NDE methods for evaluating ancient coins could be worth their weight in gold
A collaborative research effort between NIST, Colorado College and Mount Saint Mary's University in Emmitsburg, Md., has demonstrated that sensitive nondestructive evaluation (NDE) techniques can be used to determine the elemental composition of ancient coins, even coins that generally have been considered too corroded for such methods.

Ultrasound could boost tissue implant success
New research shows low-intensity ultrasound stimulation would be able to enhance the survival of implanted tissue graft, which could vastly increase the rates of success of a broad range of tissue-graft therapies.

Scientists detect huge carbon 'burp' that helped end last ice age
Scientists have found the possible source of a huge carbon dioxide

Researchers validate a new test for assessing children's and teenagers' fitness to prevent morbidity
Researchers from the University of Granada have concluded that either being overweight or being too thin can affect negatively teenagers' health.

Environmental science website awarded prestigious prize by Science
As a kid in elementary school, Matthew Schneps used to pore over transcripts of astronauts conversing in their rocket's cockpit, an activity that thrilled him, even though he didn't necessarily understand what they were saying.

Electric supercar team aims for UK first in lead-up to world record attempt across the Americas
Students driving an electric supercar will tonight try to be the first to drive an all-electric vehicle around the M25 twice on one battery charge, in the lead-up to the team's attempt to cross the Americas in July this year and break a world record.

Pitt researchers discover gene mutation linked to lymphatic dysfunction
A genetic mutation for inherited lymphedema associated with lymphatic function has been discovered that could help create new treatments for the condition, say researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

Robotic-assisted vasectomy reversal offers greater chance of fatherhood
Northwestern Memorial is the first center in the Midwest to perform a pioneering robotic assisted vasectomy reversal.

New weapon against highly resistant microbes within grasp
An active compound from fungi and lower animals may well be suitable as an effective weapon against dangerous bacteria.

Bursting 'bubbles' the origin of galactic gas clouds
Like bubbles bursting on the surface of a glass of champagne,

Scaffold gradients: Finding the right environment for developing cells
A research team from NIST and NIH has developed a way to offer cells a 3-D scaffold that varies over a broad range of degrees of stiffness to determine where they develop best.

Risoe to take part in huge EU project aimed at significantly increasing the use of wind power
The EU is now launching the TWENTIES Project. The project is to advance the development and implementation of new technologies that will make it possible to increase the use of wind power in Europe significantly.

Leading journal makes Exxon Valdez and other oil-related studies available free
The Rice University-led international journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry this week released a special free virtual edition that makes available 25 previously released full studies on the Exxon Valdez oil spill.

Supplement may prevent alcohol-related brain, skull defects
The dietary supplement CDP-choline, sold as a brain-boosting agent and under study for stroke and traumatic brain injury, may block skull and brain damage that can result from alcohol consumption early in pregnancy, Medical College of Georgia researchers report.

Young children respond well to recommended swine flu vaccine
The first head to head study of the two H1N1 vaccines used in the UK during the recent pandemic finds that the adjuvanted split virus vaccine induced higher immune response rates in young children, but was associated with more reactions than the whole virus vaccine.

Shape matters: The corkscrew twist of H. pylori enables it to 'set up shop' in the stomach
The bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which lives in the human stomach and is associated with ulcers and gastric cancer, is shaped like a corkscrew, or helix.

Flu doesn't die out, it hides out
Every autumn, as predictably as falling leaves, flu season descends upon us.

Oil spill threatens toothy marine predator that is cultural and historic icon
The BP oil blowout in the Gulf of Mexico threatens the existence of a critically endangered sawfish and its relative that recently has been proposed to join it as the only two marine fish in United States waters to receive such federal protection, says a University of Florida researcher.

UT Southwestern researchers use novel sperm stem-cell technique to produce genetically modified rats
For two decades, the laboratory mouse has been the workhorse of biomedical studies and the only mammal whose genes scientists could effectively and reliably manipulate to study human diseases and conditions.

Compulsive behavior in mice cured by bone marrow transplant
Scientists earlier found that mice missing one of a group of core developmental genes known as the Hox genes developed an odd and rather unexpected pathology: the mutant animals groomed themselves compulsively to the point that they were removing their own hair and leaving self-inflicted open sores on their skin.

Antiviral therapy during compensated cirrhosis most cost-effective approach
Researchers at the UCLA Medical Center found that antiviral therapy during compensated cirrhosis, when compared with all other strategies, is the most cost-effective approach to treating patients with advanced liver disease due to hepatitis C (HCV) infection.

Beyond polar bears? Experts look for a new vision of climate change to combat skepticism
Climate change is about more than just polar bears. That is the message from Dr.

Supervised adminstration of injectable 'medical' heroin leads to larger reductions in street heroin use than injectable or oral methadone
Supervised administration of injectable

Color-coded tracking method helps scientists analyze outcomes of newly transplanted tissue
A group of

Early human habitat was savanna, not forest
Pre-humans living in East Africa 4.4 million years ago inhabited grassy plains, not forests, a team of researchers has concluded.

Will we succeed? The science of self-motivation
Can you help you? Recent research by University of Illinois Professor Dolores Albarracin and Visiting Assistant Professor Ibrahim Senay, along with Kenji Noguchi, assistant professor at Southern Mississippi University, has shown that those who ask themselves whether they will perform a task generally do better than those who tell themselves that they will. 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