Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 16, 2010
Geometry affects drift and diffusion across entropic barriers
Understanding particle diffusion in the presence of constrictions is essential in fields as diverse as drug delivery, cellular biology, nanotechnology, materials engineering, and spread of pollutants in the soil.

New world Helicobacter pylori genome sequenced, dynamics of inflammation-related genes revealed
An international team of researchers led by scientists at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech have sequenced the genome of an Amerindian strain of the gastric bug Helicobacter pylori, confirming the out-of-Africa migration of this bacterial stowaway to the New World.

Research is getting closer to understanding critical nucleus in haze formation, prof says
Haze, scientifically known as atmospheric aerosols -- microscopic particles suspended in the Earth's atmosphere -- represents a major environmental problem because it degrades visibility, affects human health and influences the climate.

Geochemist raises questions about carbon sequestration at Goldschmidt Conference
As carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere rise, policy makers and scientists are looking at carbon sequestration as a way to tackle the problems associated with the greenhouse gas.

The first genes for susceptibility to cerebral malaria in Angolan children identified
Malaria, caused by the parasite Plasmodium falciparum, remains one of the main causes of death worldwide.

Some people do not taste salt like others
Low-salt foods may be harder for some people to like than others, according to a study by a Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences food scientist.

Incidence of malaria jumps when Amazon forests are cut
Establishing a firm link between environmental change and human disease has always been an iffy proposition.

Defects in immune system enzyme may increase risk of autoimmune disorders
A multi-institutional research team has found that rare variants in the gene coding an enzyme that controls the activity of a key immune cell occur more frequently in individuals with autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes.

World of lights in the microcosmos
Light-emitting diodes are gaining ground: They are now being used as background lighting for displays.

Citizen science: Birders contribute valuable data on invasive plant species
In an effort to assess ties between birds' feeding habits and the spread of nonnative invasive plants, researchers provided ornithologists from four US states with questionnaires on daily bird-plant encounters.

Insulin peptide may point to a solution for type 1 diabetes
Researchers at National Jewish Health and the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have identified the precise peptide that can trigger diabetes in mice.

Reforming work hours for resident physicians
In advance of a report on resident physician duty hours from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Sleep Research Society commend the ACGME for its independent and comprehensive review of resident physicians' duty hours.

Researchers unzip symptoms of the 'male menopause'
Scientists have for the first time identified the symptoms associated with what has been termed late-onset hypogonadism or

LSU professor uses volcanic emissions to study Earth's atmospheric past
Associate Professor Huiming Bao of LSU's Department of Geology and Geophysics has published research in the journal Nature about massive volcanic eruptions and their atmospheric consequences in the past in North America.

Tropical Depression 2-E forms in the Eastern Pacific, number 3 may follow
The second tropical depression of the Eastern Pacific Ocean hurricane season formed close to the western Mexican coast this morning, and the third tropical depression may develop in the next day or two.

New evidence that smokeless tobacco damages DNA and key enzymes
Far from having adverse effects limited to the mouth, smokeless tobacco affects the normal function of a key family of enzymes found in almost every organ in the body, according to the first report on the topic in ACS' monthly journal Chemical Research in Toxicology.

Volcanic eruptions in North America were more explosive in ancient past
Millions of years ago, volcanic eruptions in North America were more explosive and may have significantly affected the environment and the global climate.

Dean of the UM College of Engineering to receive 2010 IEEE Richard M. Emberson Award
James M. Tien, distinguished professor, dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Miami and world-renowned researcher and educator, is being honored with the 2010 IEEE Richard M.

Climate changes in the Atlantic can affect drought in distant regions
Cyclical changes in atmospheric pressure and sea surface temperature in the North Atlantic Ocean affect drought in the Sahel region on the southern Sahara rim.

Male desire to be strong and protect family key to preventing suicides: UBC study
Masculine ideals of strength coupled with strong family ties can help men combat depression and overcome thoughts of suicide, according to University of British Columbia research.

SNM's 2010 Annual Meeting reveals latest developments in molecular imaging and nuclear medicine
More than 5,100 physicians, technologists and members of the molecular imaging and nuclear medicine communities gathered in Salt Lake City for SNM's 57th Annual Meeting, held June 5-9.

Blood relations
Dr. Joshua LaBaer of the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, along with Arturo Ramirez and Paul Lampe, researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, used a novel method for identifying biomarkers -- proteins in blood that can identify ovarian cancer before symptoms appear.

110-foot concrete bridge withstands 8.0 earthquake simulation
After a succession of eight separate earthquake simulations, a 110-foot long, 200-ton concrete bridge model at the University of Nevada, Reno, withstood a powerful jolting, three times the acceleration of the disastrous 1994 magnitude 6.9 Northridge, Calif., earthquake, and survived in good condition.

IAEA helps developing countries plan their energy future
In a world facing the combined challenge of dwindling fossil fuels and mounting energy demand, the energy and development nexus is becoming central to the long term strategy of countries.

The secret life of water at very low temperatures
The secret life of water just got weirder. For years water has been known to exist in 15 phases -- not just the merry threesome of solid, liquid and gas from grade school science.

Hubble scrutinizes site of mysterious flash and missing cloud belt on Jupiter
New and detailed observations from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope have provided insights into two recent events on Jupiter: the mysterious flash of light seen on June 3 and the recent disappearance of the planet's dark Southern Equatorial Belt.

AMP commends SACGHS whole genome sequencing focus, raises ethical questions and forms working group
Today, the Association for Molecular Pathology presented public comments to the Secretary's Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health and Society meeting focused on whole genome sequencing.

Peering into the never-before-seen
Scientists can now peer into the inner workings of catalyst nanoparticles 3,000 times smaller than a human hair within nanoseconds.

University of Basque Country thesis analyzes technique of applied brocade in 6 pieces
Applied brocade is a relief technique representing, in a highly realistic manner, embroidered textiles in gold and silver in sculptures and paintings.

Shining a light around corners
Prof. Ady Arie and his team of graduate students at Tel Aviv University's Faculty of Engineering have demonstrated new ways to generate and control special beams of light called

Alcohol consumption lowers risk of developing several arthritic conditions
Alcohol consumption is associated with a significantly reduced risk of developing several arthritic conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, reactive arthritis, psoriatic arthritis and spondylarthropathy, according to results of a new study presented today at EULAR 2010, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in Rome, Italy.

Little is understood about alcohol's effect on fetal development, Georgetown researchers say
It's long been known that alcohol use in pregnancy can lead to children with mental retardation and birth defects, but researchers who study fetal alcohol syndrome have not made definitive progress on preventing the disorder, detecting it early, or effectively treating it, say researchers from Georgetown University Medical Center.

Pan-STARRS asteroid hunter and sky surveyor now fully operational
Astronomers announced today that the first Pan-STARRS telescope, PS1, is fully operational.

Pan-STARRS 1 telescope begins science mission
The world became a slightly safer place on May 13, when the Pan-STARRS 1 telescope in Hawaiʻi started surveying the sky for killer asteroids.

Late-onset Pompe patients in US begin receiving new therapy
The first commercially available treatment in the United States for a rare form of muscular dystrophy called late-onset Pompe disease was administered at the University of Florida Health Science Center on Wednesday.

Wild potato germplasm holds key to disease resistance
Wild potato germplasm that offers resistance to some major potato diseases has been identified by Agricultural Research Service scientists.

NIH-supported experimental Marburg vaccine prevents disease 2 days after infection
An experimental vaccine developed to prevent outbreaks of Marburg hemorrhagic fever continues to show promise in monkeys as an emergency treatment for accidental exposures to the virus that causes the disease.

Sex, drugs and moral goals: Penn study of reproductive strategies and recreational drug use
Why is there so much disagreement about whether using recreational drugs is morally wrong?

Consequences of being rich
A new study of biological invasions in Europe found they were linked not so much to changes in climate or land cover, but to two dominant factors -- more money and more people.

ASTRO applauds MedPAC review of Stark law exception
The American Society for Radiation Oncology commends the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC) for highlighting concerns about physician self-referral in cancer care in its report released yesterday.

Using science to identify true soccer stars
Luís Amaral, a professor at Northwestern University, combined his love of soccer with his research team's computational skills to measure and rank the success of soccer players based on an objective measure of performance instead of opinion.

Bone replacement from laser melting
In a medical emergency, a puncture of the cranium is commonly treated with an implant.

'Fowl' news: Hints from Taiwan that free-range eggs may be less healthy than regular eggs
Contrary to popular belief, paying a premium price for free-range eggs may not be healthier than eating regular eggs, a new study reports.

Dinosaur-chewing mammals leave behind oldest known tooth marks
Paleontologists have discovered the oldest mammalian tooth marks yet on the bones of ancient animals, including several large dinosaurs.

Experts explore emerging evidence linking diabetes and cancer
A new consensus statement of experts assembled by the American Diabetes Association and the American Cancer Society reviews emerging evidence that suggests cancer incidence is associated with diabetes as well as certain diabetes risk factors and treatments.

Fully epitaxial microcavities
For the very first time, a team of researchers in Germany has introduced quantum dots in fully epitaxial nitride laser structures without the need for hybrid systems -- effectively eliminating the cumbersome method of combining different materials from epitaxy and evaporation.

June Science Picks
In this edition of Science Picks, learn what the USGS is doing in response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and how satellite imagery can be used to get information after a major disaster.

Crocs and fish the key to human evolution
Almost 2 million years ago, early humans began eating food such as crocodiles, turtles and fish -- a diet that could have played an important role in the evolution of human brains and our footsteps out of Africa, according to new research.

Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Gabapentin opens window of communication
For patients with quadriplegia, mutism and lower cranial nerve paralysis (locked-in syndrome), their only means of interacting with others is through vertical gaze and upper eyelid movements, using eye-coded communication strategies.

Chemicals that eased one environmental problem may worsen another
Chemicals that helped solve a global environmental crisis in the 1990s -- the hole in Earth's protective ozone layer -- may be making another problem -- acid rain -- worse, scientists are reporting.

Physicists build inexpensive land mine detection system using off-the-shelf components
Anyone who is an online shopper and humanitarian might find this research project appealing.

Sharper than Hubble
The next generation of adaptive optics has arrived at the Large Binocular Telescope in Arizona, providing astronomers with a new level of image sharpness never before seen.

Minority medical students receive support to pursue hematology research
The American Society of Hematology announces the selection of 14 participants for its 2010 Minority medical Student Award Program, which encourages minority medical students to purse an interest in hematology research.

AIDS drugs given to pregnant women block 99 percent of HIV transmission to breastfed babies
An international clinical trial led by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health has found that AIDS-fighting antiretroviral drug combinations given to pregnant and breastfeeding women in Botswana, Africa, prevented 99 percent of the mothers from transmitting the human immunodeficiency virus to their infants.

Analysis of atmosphere in Phoenix, Ariz., suggests new model for sound urban growth policies
Atmospheric research often focuses on clouds' impact on weather and climate.

New process is promising for hydrogen fuel cell cars
A new process for storing and generating hydrogen to run fuel cells in cars has been invented by chemical engineers at Purdue University.

AIP announces content-sharing agreement with Chinese Physical Society
The American Institute of Physics announced a new content-sharing agreement today between AIP's Physics Today, the world's leading magazine devoted to physics, and Wuli, a leading physics monthly published by the Chinese Physical Society in Beijing.

'CoralWarm' European project for study on coral reefs and global warming
What will be the condition of Red and Mediterranean Sea corals in 100 years?

New insights into volcanic activity on the ocean floor
New research reveals that when two parts of the Earth's crust break apart, this does not always cause massive volcanic eruptions.

Wild sharks, redfish harbor antibiotic-resistant bacteria
Scientists have found antibiotic-resistant bacteria in seven species of sharks and redfish captured in waters off Belize, Florida, Louisiana and Massachusetts.

ACP supports announcement of investments in expansion of primary care workforce
The American College of Physicians today said it supports the announcements of $250 million in investments to expand the primary care workforce by President Obama and the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Montreal researchers shed light on common juvenile cancer
A team of researchers from the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer of the Universite de Montreal have defined for the first time the mechanism behind three cancer-causing genes in acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

Stanford study identifies proteins that modulate life span in worms
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have identified a new group of proteins involved in determining the life span of laboratory roundworms.

Delineating primary and secondary organic carbon in neoproterozoic glacial sediments
A geochemist who decodes the early record of life on Earth has found a method featuring a combination of chemical analyses for a significantly clearer picture of this dynamic environment.

Call for Media: ESA's Living Planet Symposium, Bergen, June 28 - July 2
The media are invited to ESA's largest scientific event of the year: the Living Planet Symposium, in Bergen, Norway.

Flower power makes tropics cooler, wetter
The world is a cooler, wetter place because of flowering plants, according to new climate simulation results published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

More than just the baby blues
Within the first week after giving birth, up to 70 percent of all women experience symptoms of the baby blues.

NSERC awards $3 million for UdeM and Polytechnique training programs
Scientists from the Universite de Montreal and its affiliated engineering school, Ecole Polytechnique, have received major funding from the National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada.

Tribal internship students energize alternative fuel science
The US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, together with the US Department of the Interior, are working together to help educate future tribal leaders on energy resource development and environmental evaluations by offering several hands-on learning opportunities such as Tribal Energy Internships and the Indian Education Renewable Energy Challenge.

Researchers predict human visual attention using computer intelligence for the first time
Scientists have just come several steps closer to understanding change blindness -- the well studied failure of humans to detect seemingly obvious changes to scenes around them -- with new research that used a computer-based model to predict what types of changes people are more likely to notice.

Benefits of shared electronic patient records more modest than anticipated
The benefits of the Summary Care Record scheme, introduced as part of the National Programme for IT, appear more modest than anticipated, according to a study published on bmj.com today.

Team of UC scientists awarded $2 million NIH grant for better flu diagnoses
An interdisciplinary team of scientists has received a $2.3 million dollar grant from the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, one of the National Institutes of Health:

ASTRO participates in FDA meeting on radiation safety
The American Society for Radiation Oncology continued to advance its Target Safely initiative by participating in the Food and Drug Administration's public meeting on Device Improvements to Reduce the Number of Under-Doses, Over-Doses, and Misaligned Exposures from Therapeutic Radiation on June 9 and 10.

Nanoparticle scientist speaks on new discoveries at Goldschmidt Conference
Scientists make discoveries on the thermodynamic properties of transition metal oxides such as insulators and superconductors.

Clear rules facilitate continued Web interaction among general practitioners
Research at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, explores how an online learning community works for a group of general practitioners and shows that clear rules facilitate continued Web interaction.

Gene mutation increases thromboembolism risk in women taking tamoxifen
Women taking tamoxifen for early stage breast cancer who developed blood clots were more likely to carry a gene mutation for clotting than women taking tamoxifen who did not develop a clot, according to an online study published June 16 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Would you put a tree in your gas tank?
The world's forests may provide some unexpected answers as to how mankind can create more value with less environmental impact -- good news as we move toward a greener future.

Questioning the effectiveness of oil dispersants in Gulf oil spill
The widespread belief that chemical dispersants will enhance the breakdown of oil from the Gulf of Mexico disaster is based on weak scientific data.

VISTA views the Sculptor Galaxy
A spectacular new image of the Sculptor Galaxy has been taken with the ESO VISTA telescope at the Paranal Observatory in Chile as part of one of its first major observational campaigns.

MIT astronomer leads the first team to study a Kuiper Belt object during a stellar occultation
The trick is to know enough about the orbit of a KBO to be able to predict its path and observe it as it passes in front of a star.

Almost three quarters of women with rheumatoid arthritis worldwide suffer pain daily
Almost three quarters (72 percent) of women with rheumatoid arthritis suffer pain daily, despite the fact that three quarters (75 percent) receive pain relief medication, according to a new study presented today at EULAR 2010, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in Rome, Italy.

ESC supports traffic light food labeling vote
The European Society of Cardiology and its branch, the European Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation, are joining forces with 12 other European Health and consumer communities to urge MEPs to vote in favor of a traffic light system for food labeling today.

Action of modern drug demonstrates how 2 ancient human systems interact
The interaction of the drug compstatin with two ancient, co-evolved human systems points to new ways for reducing clotting during dialysis for end-stage kidney disease and multiple organ failure due to sepsis, a dangerous whole-body inflammatory response to infection.

Elemental bones
Exposure to chemical pollutants is of growing concern to regulators, health workers, and environmentalist groups alike.

Maternal or infant antiretrovirals both effective in preventing HIV transmission through breast milk
The largest study to date to examine methods to prevent HIV infection among breastfeeding infants concludes that giving antiretroviral drugs to HIV-infected breastfeeding mothers in sub-Saharan Africa or giving an HIV-fighting syrup to their babies are both effective.

Afghanistan's Kabul Basin faces major water challenges
In the next 50 years, it is estimated that drinking water needs in the Kabul Basin of Afghanistan may increase sixfold due to population increases resulting from returning refugees.

Sickle cell patients should be better monitored for constipation prevention
Not all patients with sickle cell disease receive laxatives after being treated with narcotics, despite recommendations from a collaborative panel of pediatric experts.

Tufts graduate students win $10,000 prizes
Four Tufts graduate students have won $10,000 from the Dow Sustainability Innovation Student Challenge for their research into solutions to some of the world's most urgent social, economic and environmental challenges.

Researchers develop ultra-simple method for creating nanoscale gold coatings
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a new, ultra-simple method for making layers of gold that measure only billionths of a meter thick.

Relying too much on e-mail bad for business, study says
A new study says high-tech communication strips away the personal interaction needed to breed trust, a key ingredient in getting workers to pull together and carry their share of the load.

Medical fellows receive ASH award that promotes protected research time
The American Society of Hematology is pleased to announce the five recipients of the 2010 ASH Research Training Award for Fellows, a grant that encourages junior researchers to pursue careers in academic hematology by supporting protected time to conduct research during their fellowship training.

Heavy metal glass helps light go the distance
The fiber optic cable networks linking the world are an essential part of modern life.

Consumer responses to Gulf oil spill reflect Americans' changing corporate expectations
The rigorous survey-based nationwide study of US adults aware of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico found that Republicans, Democrats and Independents strongly agree that the spill shows that businesses need to be more socially responsible and they agree that socially responsible corporations can also create a lot of wealth for their shareholders.

Research natural areas, important part of Forest Service mission, celebrated June 19
Oregon and Washington are home to 82 Forest Service-managed research natural areas (RNAs) and, on Saturday, June 19, these sites will be formally recognized as part of

System 92L's chances for tropical development extremely diminished
The possibility that System 92L in the Atlantic Ocean will bloom into the Atlantic's first tropical storm is now minimal because of strong westerly winds.

Specific blood-derived cells promote survival in heart attack model
When monocyte derivatives were implanted in mouse models of myocardial infarction, researchers found that the implanted cells secreted high levels of a variety of growth factors, providing anti-inflammatory properties and also playing a role in protecting cardiomyocytes.
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