Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 22, 2010
Obesity, weight gain in middle age associated with increased risk of diabetes among older adults
For individuals 65 years of age and older, obesity, excess body fat around the waist and gaining weight after the age of 50 are associated with an increased risk of diabetes, according to a study in the June 23/30 issue of JAMA.

Stanford's Woods Institute awards new round of Environmental Venture Projects
The Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University has awarded four new Environmental Venture Projects grants for interdisciplinary research aimed at finding practical solutions promoting global sustainability.

Neuroscientists can predict your behavior better than you can
In a study with implications for the advertising industry and public health organizations, UCLA neuroscientists have shown they can use brain scanning to predict whether people will use sunscreen in the next week better than the people themselves can predict whether they will do so.

Hubble captures bubbles and baby stars
A spectacular new NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image -- one of the largest ever released of a star-forming region -- highlights N11, part of a complex network of gas clouds and star clusters within our neighboring galaxy, the Large Magellanic Cloud.

Striped mice -- the neighbors from hell
Fighting, paternity tests and infidelity. No, not a daytime talk show, but the results of new research examining why the fur will fly if a four-striped grass mouse (Rhabdomys pumilio) wanders into his neighbor's territory.

The prevalence and drug sensitivity of tuberculosis among patients dying in hospital in South Africa
A large, systematic postmortem study carried out in South Africa by Ted Cohen and colleagues has revealed that 94 percent of deceased patients were HIV infected and 50 percent had culture-positive tuberculosis at the time of death.

Only local doctors should provide out of hours primary care, say experts
Only doctors familiar with local health services should provide out of hours primary care, argue two experts, following the death of a patient given an overdose of diamorphine by an out of hours doctor.

Viral protein structure study offers HIV therapy hope
The UK's National Physical Laboratory is involved in a collaborative project that is helping to further the understanding of HIV viral protein structure which could lead to new molecular medicines.

Genetic septet in control of blood platelet clotting
In what is believed to be the largest review of the human genetic code to determine why some people's blood platelets are more likely to clump faster than others, scientists at Johns Hopkins and in Boston have found a septet of overactive genes, which they say likely control that bodily function.

Environmental scandal in Chile
A Gottingen scientist discovers hitherto unknown impacts of Chilean salmon farms on coastal ecosystem.

Coffee may protect against head and neck cancers
Data on the effects of coffee on cancer risk have been mixed.

Implementing comparative effectiveness research: Lessons from the mammography screening controversy
The firestorm that followed the November 2009 release of guidelines that would have reduced use of screening mammograms in women aged 40 to 49 highlights challenges for implementing the findings of comparative effectiveness research (CER), according to a new analysis.

Study finds that caring for an elderly, sick spouse sometimes has positive elements
Although long-term care of sick or disabled loved ones is widely recognized as a threat to the caregiver's health and quality of life, a new study led by University at Buffalo psychologist Michael Poulin, Ph.D., finds that in some contexts, helping valued loved ones may promote the well being of helpers.

2 Max Planck Centers in South Korea planned
Scientists at the Max Planck Society continue to expand their cooperative ventures with South Korean colleagues from the private Pohang University of Science and Technology.

Who and what determines the future?
Mood Matters by John Casti makes the radical assertion that all social events ranging from trends in popular music and art to the outcome of presidential elections are biased by the attitudes a society holds toward the future.

NASA's TRMM satellite sees Hurricane Celia's moderate rainfall
The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite known as TRMM has been monitoring the rainfall rates in Hurricane Celia, and noticed rain is falling moderately as the storm continues to strengthen.

NHLBI grants $1.47 million to study red blood cell transfusion storage times and bioactivity
Researchers in the University of Alabama at Birmingham departments of pathology, microbiology and surgery will use the grant to focus on transfusion bioactivity and the interaction between banked red cells and nitric oxide produced in the body.

Employers took many measures to protect employees and avoid business impact of H1N1 flu outbreak
In response to the H1N1 flu, most employees at US businesses say their company took measures to protect them from illness, such as encouraging sick employees to stay home, according to a national poll of employees by researchers from Harvard School of Public Health.

Filtering donor blood reduces heart, lung complications
Researchers have discovered yet another reason to filter the foreign white cells from donor blood: The resulting blood product is associated with dramatically fewer cardiopulmonary complications for patients who received a transfusion.

New genetic analysis reveals principles of phenotypic expression
In the journal Chaos, which is published by the American Institute of Physics, scientists at the University of Alabama at Birmingham report powerful new techniques for studying the phenotypes related to genetic differences in the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

Organic pesticides not always 'greener' choice, study finds
A University of Guelph study reveals some organic pesticides can have a higher environmental impact than conventional pesticides.

NIH and Wellcome Trust announce partnership to support population-based genome studies in Africa
The National Institutes of Health, an agency of the US Department of Health and Human Services, and the Wellcome Trust, a global charity based in London, today announced a partnership to support population-based genetic studies in Africa of common, noncommunicable disorders such as heart disease and cancer, as well as communicable diseases such as malaria.

Local groups uncover corruption, tackle problems of governance across the developing world
Independent research by local groups in emerging democracies helped uncover corruption or abysmal government performance in 13 countries in last few years, forcing public officials to improve education and health care services, according to a global report released today by Results for Development Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based group that promotes good governance around the world.

Study identifies reasons for higher rate of severe sepsis among black patients
A greater frequency of severe sepsis among black patients is attributable to higher rates of infection and higher risks of organ dysfunction than what white patients experience, according to a study in the June 23/30 issue of JAMA.

Report offers first worldwide estimate of investments in combating water pollution
An innovative market in water quality is rapidly emerging worldwide, as cash-strapped governments in countries as diverse as China, the United States, Brazil and Australia invest billions of public and private dollars in schemes that reward people who protect water resources, according to a new report that is the first to quantify payments for watershed services that could help avert a looming global water quality crisis.

Radio signals research scans new horizons
A study at the University of Leicester aims to understand the reasons why radio signals sometimes act unpredictably traveling beyond the horizon and interfering with other signals.

UD's Institute of Energy Conversion in involved in DARPA project to develop 'extreme' solar cells
The University of Delaware Institute of Energy Conversion is part of an industry-academic team that has been awarded $3.8 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the research and development office of the US Department of Defense, to demonstrate solar cells that can stand up to battle conditions and environmental extremes.

Genetically modified cell procedure may prove useful in treating kidney failure
A protein whose primary role is in the embryonic development of kidneys may play a future role in treating kidney failure.

Advanced energy systems and propulsion technology
The role of energy policy in promoting increased use of alternative energy, fuel cells, space-based solar power systems, and the

Schools still failing to promote positive attitudes toward disabled people
Progress towards teaching children to have positive attitudes towards disabled people has been slow and

Danish children at risk from psychotropic medicines
Between 1998 and 2007, psychotropic medications were associated with 429 adverse drug reactions in children under 17 in Denmark.

OHSU School of Dentistry team examines how to rapily assess children's tooth decay risk
Researchers at the Oregon Health & Science University School of Dentistry have determined that ATP-driven (adenosine triphosphate-driven) bioluminescence -- a way of measuring visible light generated from ATP contained in bacteria -- is an innovative tool for rapidly assessing in children at the chair-side the number of oral bacteria and amount of plaque that can ultimately lead to tooth decay.

Genome sequence may lead to better methods to target lice
A Purdue University researcher hopes a better understanding of the neurological system of the body louse through the mapping of its genome will lead to better control or elimination of the human parasite.

Brain structure corresponds to personality
Personalities come in all kinds. Now psychological scientists have found that the size of different parts of people's brains correspond to their personalities.

Student research provides new insights into cellular machinery of Chagas' disease parasite
Michelle Oppenheimer of Charlotte, N.C., a Ph.D. student in biochemistry at Virginia Tech, has received a two-year $46,000 fellowship from the American Heart Association to advance her research on a parasite that causes Chagas' disease, which can lead to swelling and inflammation of the heart.

Activity sensing with software sensors
A computer science researcher at the University of Leicester has investigated a technique which senses the activity of the user with the help of computer software systems.

No link between early childhood cancers and living near mobile phone base station during pregnancy, says study
A new study looking at the patterns of early childhood cancers across Great Britain has found no association between a mother living near to a mobile phone base station during her pregnancy and the risk of that child developing cancer before reaching the age of 5.

Discovery of controlled swarm in bacteria
A study led by researchers from Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona describes one of the mechanisms in which pathogenic bacteria populations control the way they spread over the surface of the organs they infect and stop when they detect the presence of an antibiotic, only to resume again when the effect wears off.

Chemical element 114: A first at GSI
At GSI Helmholtzzentrum fur Schwerionenforschung, an international team of scientists succeeded in the observation of the chemical element 114, one of the heaviest elements created until now.

Early results from the world's brightest X-ray source
The first published research to emerge from SLAC since it was reconfigured as an ultra-bright, high-energy free electron laser offers a high speed closeup of ionizing nitrogen gas.

Data mining algorithm explains complex temporal interactions among genes
Researchers at Virginia Tech, New York University and the University of Milan, Italy, have created a data mining algorithm they call GOALIE (Gene Ontology based Algorithmic Logic and Invariant Extractor) that can automatically reveal how biological processes are coordinated in time.

K-State chemical engineer patents enzymatic preparation to make natural ingredients in the lab
A Kansas State University chemical engineer has developed and patented a chemical structure to make all-natural personal care products and purer pharmaceuticals in the laboratory.

Incidence and reproduction numbers of pertussis
Analyses of serological and social contact data from five European countries by Mirjam Kretzschmar and colleagues show that childhood vaccination against Bordetella pertussis (whooping cough) has shifted the burden of infection from children to adolescents and adults.

Cedars-Sinai researchers awarded grant from California Institute of Regenerative Medicine
A team of Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute researchers led by Terrence Town, Ph.D., has been awarded a three-year, $1.47 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to fund research into mechanisms for how human immune systems reject or accept transplanted brain stem cells.

AACR recognizes 1-year anniversary of tobacco law
The American Association for Cancer Research recognizes the first anniversary of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act, which was signed into law by President Obama on June 22, 2009.

AGU journal highlights -- June 22, 2010
Featured in this release are research papers on the following topics: El NiƱo explanation for global warming flawed; Less warming risk from permafrost thaw?; Drill site targeted for subglacial Antarctic lake; Aerosols strongly influence cloud properties; and Realistic models of aquifer conduits.

Research from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute professor offers clues to Alzheimer's disease
An organic compound found in red wine -- resveratrol -- has the ability to neutralize the toxic effects of proteins linked to Alzheimer's disease, according to research led by Rensselaer Professor Peter M.

'BC5' material shows superhard, superconducting potential
What could be better than diamond when it comes to a superhard material for electronics under extreme thermal and pressure conditions?

Liquid crystals light way to better data storage
Currently, most liquid crystal technologies rely on physical or chemical manipulation, such as rubbing in one direction, to align molecules in a preferred direction.

Sequencing of the human body louse genome
The results of the sequencing and analysis of the human body louse genome, which were published on June 21 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, offer new insights into the intriguing biology of this disease-vector insect.

Mayo Clinic and University of Illinois create research alliance
Mayo Clinic and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are announcing a strategic alliance designed to promote a broad spectrum of collaborative research, development of new technologies and clinical tools, and design and implementation of novel education programs.

Defective signaling pathway leads to vascular malformations in the brain
A disrupted signaling pathway in endothelial cells, which line the insides of blood vessels, leads to cavernomas, vascular malformations in the brain which are often dangerous.

Reported surgical quality measures not associated with lower infection rates
A study by investigators at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine published in this week's issue of JAMA found that public hospital comparison data reported by the US Department of Health and Human Services does not accurately correlate with a patient's risk for surgical postoperative infection.

Study shows a possible link between preschoolers' cavities and excess body fat
Preschool children with tooth decay may be more likely to be overweight or obese than the general population and, regardless of weight, are more likely to consume too many calories, a new study indicates.

No link between early child cancers and living near mobile phone masts
There is no association between risk of early childhood cancers and a mother's exposure to a mobile phone base station during pregnancy, concludes a new study published on today.

Growing brain is particularly flexible
Science has long puzzled over why a baby's brain is particularly flexible and why it easily changes.

Gay men's bilateral brains better at remembering faces: York U study
A study by York University researchers finds that gay men can recall familiar faces faster and more accurately than their heterosexual counterparts.

Chlordecone exposure and risk of prostate cancer
In an article to be published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, researchers from Inserm, the CHU in Pointe a Pitre and from the Center for Analytical Research and Technology, show that exposure to chlordecone, an organochlorine chemical with well defined estrogenic properties, is associated with a significant increased risk of prostate cancer.

New vaccine strategies could safely control Rift Valley fever
Two new approaches could form the basis for the first-ever human vaccine for Rift Valley fever, an infectious disease that threatens both farm animals and people, say researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Center for Vaccine Research.

SEK100 million ($12.83 million) for Karolinska Institutet's research into regenerative medicine
The Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet has received a grant of SEK100 million ($12.83 million) from the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation for a regenerative medicine research center -- the Wallenberg Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

Computer fun helps improve girls' food choices, fitness
Lively, educational comic strips, geared to 8- to 10-year-old African-American girls, can help these young viewers make better food choices and improve their physical fitness.

Decay of baby teeth may be linked to obesity, poor food choices, study suggests
A preliminary study of young children undergoing treatment for cavities in their baby teeth found that nearly 28 percent had a body mass index above the 85th percentile, indicating overweight or obesity.

Wireless vs. wireless
3G and Wi-Fi are the two main mobile communications technologies today, but until recently they have been complementary services, the former offering users network access through cellphone masts forming a wide-area network (WAN), the latter based on hot-spot connections through a local-area network (LAN).

Lifestyle intervention reduces preschoolers' body fat, improves fitness
Migrant children are at increased risk of obesity, but a new study shows that a program teaching multiple lifestyle changes to predominantly migrant preschoolers and their parents helps the children reduce body fat and improve fitness.

Study examines outcomes of lowering homocysteine levels with folic acid and vitamin B12
Patients who had experienced a heart attack and lowered their blood homocysteine levels with folic acid and vitamin B12 supplementation did not have an associated lower risk of heart attack, coronary death or stroke, according to a study in the June 23/30 issue of JAMA.

New design for motorcycle engines powered by compressed air
Two scientists in India have conceptually designed a new, cleaner motorcycle engine that uses compressed air to turn a small air turbine, generating enough power to run a motorcycle for up to 40 minutes.

DOE, ORNL officially join NSF on massive ecological study
With the signing of a memorandum of agreement, the Oak Ridge Reservation officially becomes one of 20 planned core ecological observatory sites that will provide valuable information to help scientists better understand how the ecosystem breathes.

Inheriting and bequeathing in Europe
EU citizens should be able to determine for themselves under which national law they want to bequeath their estate.

Noninvasive combination technique may reduce number of breast biopsies
By combining two relatively inexpensive technologies based on sound and light waves, researchers hope to lower the rate at which women undergo breast biopsies for suspicious lesions, according to a new study.

American team of scientists help protect Guatemala's Lake Atitlan
A team of scientists from the University of Nevada, Reno, Desert Research Institute, Arizona State University and University of California, Davis, has returned from a two-week expedition to Guatemala's tropical high-mountain Lake Atitlan, where they are working to find solutions to the algae blooms that have assailed the ecosystem and the drinking water source for local residents.

UC Riverside entomologist helps manage invasion threats posed to California's avocados
UC Riverside entomologist Mark Hoddle is in Peru until the end of July 2010 to look for known avocado pests, in particular, the avocado seed moth, Stenoma catenifer, that could wreak havoc on California's avocados should the pest make its way to the state.

NJIT professor heads panel studying sudden car acceleration
Louis J. Lanzerotti, Ph.D., a distinguished research professor in the department of physics at NJIT, will lead the 13-member panel organized by the National Research Council of the National Academies to identify possible causes of unintended acceleration in vehicles in the aftermath of Toyota's large recalls.

New areas prone to moderate earthquakes identified in Iberian Peninsula
Some areas of the Iberian Peninsula, where earthquakes of moderate magnitude have never yet been recorded, such as certain parts of the Cordillera Cantabrica mountain range, the far west of the Cordilleras Beticas mountains and the north of Valencia, could have the potential to generate such quakes, according to a study produced by Spanish, Russian and Italian scientists and published this month in the journal Rendiconti Lincei.

Mothers' high blood sugar in pregnancy is linked to children's reduced insulin sensitivity
Children of mothers whose blood glucose (sugar) was high during pregnancy are more likely to have low insulin sensitivity -- a risk factor for type 2 diabetes -- even after taking into consideration the children's body weight, a new study shows.

Gut bacteria could be key indicator of colon cancer risk
A new study by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine suggests that a shift in the balance between the

Turning off the air conditioning helps save fuel
In the hot parts of the world AC-systems can account for up to 30 percent of fuel consumption.

Adaptation is (not) in the eye of the beholder
The limited immune response in the eyes of freshwater fishes has created a great home for parasites, according to research published online in the journal Molecular Ecology.

Quantum gas in free fall
Physicists produce a Bose-Einstein condensate at zero gravity -- a step towards extremely sensitive quantum sensors for gravitation.

New lung cancer drug shows dramatic results for shrinking tumors
Patients with a specific kind of lung cancer may benefit from a Phase III clinical trial offered by the Moores UCSD Cancer Center.

Report describes the physics of the 'bends'
As you go about your day-to-day activities, tiny bubbles of nitrogen come and go inside your tissues.

Study finds mixed results on effectiveness of surgical care improvement measures
An analysis of data on adherence to surgical care improvement measures finds that when analyzed as a composite infection-prevention score, the improvement measures were associated with a lower probability of postoperative infection.

Einstein medical students claim top fellowships
Several medical students at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have earned coveted fellowships and prestigious awards for the 2010-2011 academic year.

In elevated carbon dioxide, soybeans stumble but cheatgrass keeps on truckin'
Scientists once thought the fertilization effect of rising carbon dioxide concentrations would offset factors such as higher temperatures or drier soils that would reduce crops yields.

A Ph.D. thesis presented on the dedication of indigenous peoples to external relations
A UNO working group, a UNO declaration of their rights ... indigenous paradiplomacy over the past decades has borne fruit. 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