Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 28, 2010
Electrical activity in developing brain influences choice of neurotransmitter
Cascades of genetic signals determine which neurotransmitter a brain cell will ultimately use to communicate with other cells.

New study reveals decline of marine phytoplankton over the past century
A new article published in the July 29 issue of the international journal Nature reveals for the first time that microscopic marine algae known as

Leap forward in efforts to develop treatments for Huntington's disease
Research reveals that an enzyme linked with multiple disorders -- including stroke, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis -- is also involved in the generation of toxic protein fragments in Huntington's disease.

NRC, uOttawa scientists first to watch a chemical bond break using molecule's electrons
Scientists at the National Research Council of Canada and the University of Ottawa followed a bromine chemical bond as it broke apart using a technique developed earlier at NRC in which an image was obtained of single molecular orbital.

New transplantation criteria for liver cancer patients
Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, propose that treatments used on liver cancers beyond the established Milan criteria for liver transplantation may be appropriate for all patients with hepatocellular carcinoma who are listed for transplantation.

Groundbreaking research from Intel Corp. demonstrated at IPR
Groundbreaking research presented by Intel OSA topical meeting, Integrated Photonics Research, Silicon and Nano Photonics (IPR).

Cow-a-bella -- making eco-friendly diesel fuel from butter
The search for new raw materials for making biodiesel fuel has led scientists to an unlikely farm product -- butter.

International Conference of Women Mathematicians
For the first time an International Conference of Women Mathematicians (ICWM 2010) is being organized on the sidelines of the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM 2010).

AWARD Fellowship highlights critical role of African women in agricultural research
A passion fruit pathologist, a catfish breeder, and a pigeon pea researcher are among the 60 outstanding women agricultural scientists from 10 African countries who received a fellowship today from African Women in Agricultural Research and Development.

Scott & White Healthcare awarded 3 key grants
Texas-based Scott & White Healthcare has received three grants that provide education support to working nursing students, set up a senior health research center, and establish systems for treating child abuse and educating those who treat it.

Best hope for saving Arctic sea ice is cutting soot emissions, says Stanford researcher
Soot from the burning of fossil fuels and solid biofuels contributes far more to global warming than has been thought, according to a new Stanford study.

GM crop produces massive gains for women's employment in India
Research at the UK's University of Warwick, and the University of Goettingen in Germany, has found that the use of a particular GM crop in India produced massive benefits in the earnings and employment opportunities for rural Indian women.

Morphine blocks tumor growth
Current research suggests that taking morphine can block new blood vessel and tumor growth.

UC Riverside faculty member joins elite group of entomologists
For his outstanding contributions to entomology, Thomas Miller, a professor of entomology at the University of California, Riverside, has been elected a fellow of the prestigious Entomological Society of America, the largest organization in the world serving the professional and scientific needs of entomologists and people in related disciplines.

Study suggests swimmers at sub-tropical beaches show increased risk of illness
A yearlong beach study led by a team of University of Miami researchers suggests that swimmers at sub-tropical beaches face an increased risk of illness.

Intensive chemotherapy may be harmful to most older patients with acute myeloid leukemia
The prognosis for nearly three-quarters of elderly patients on intensive chemotherapy for acute myeloid leukemia is poor, with a median survival of less than six months, according to a study published online today in Blood, the journal of the American Society of Hematology.

Dense bones linked to raised risk for prostate cancer
Men who develop prostate cancer, especially the more aggressive and dangerous forms that spread throughout the body, tend to retain denser bones as they age than men who stay free of the disease, suggests new research from Johns Hopkins and the National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Benter award winner explores the world of imaging research
US Air Force Office of Scientifc Research-funded mathematics professor, Dr.

Teachers can close gender gap in classroom leadership during medical school, finds UCLA study
A UCLA study shows that female medical students volunteer for leadership roles in the classroom significantly less than their male peers.

Pinning atoms into order
In an international first, physicists of the University of Innsbruck, Austria, have experimentally observed a quantum phenomenon, where an arbitrarily weak perturbation causes atoms to build an organized structure from an initially unorganized one.

A man with attitude
Heterosexual women bear the brunt of narcissistic heterosexual men's hostility, while heterosexual men, gay men and lesbian women provoke a softer reaction, according to psychologist Dr.

Millions of Americans in early stages of kidney disease need stroke monitoring
Millions of Americans in the early stages of chronic kidney disease are at an increased risk of having atrial fibrillation -- a major risk factor for stroke -- according to new research by investigators at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

NJIT professor receives Fulbright to study at University of Salerno
Anthony D. Rosato, Ph.D., a professor in the department of mechanical and industrial engineering at NJIT has received a Fulbright Senior Research Award to study the dynamic behavior of systems composed of particles at the University of Salerno, in Fisciano, Italy.

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

Implanted glucose sensor works for more than 1 year
Bioengineers at the University of California, San Diego and GlySens Incorporated have developed an implantable glucose sensor and wireless telemetry system that continuously monitors tissue glucose and transmits the information to an external receiver.

Study: Weight issues move up need for walkers, canes, other devices
Obese older adults are more likely to use walkers, canes and other mobility devices at a younger age, and may run the risk of using them incorrectly, according to new research from Purdue University.

Quantum fractals at the border of magnetism
Physicists from Rice University, the Max Planck Institute and the Vienna University of Technology are reporting new results from experiments on the perplexing class of materials that includes high-temperature superconductors.

IceCube spies unexplained pattern of cosmic rays
Though still under construction, the IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole is already delivering scientific results -- including an early finding about a phenomenon the telescope was not even designed to study.

Brilliant star in a colorful neighborhood
A spectacular new image from ESO's Wide Field Imager at the La Silla Observatory in Chile shows the brilliant and unusual star WR 22 and its colorful surroundings.

The replacement joint of the future, naturally grown
A pioneering study published online first in the Lancet has shown that failing joints can be replaced with a joint grown naturally using the host's own stem cells.

The penalty points system driver's license reduces accidents on a temporary basis
A group of researchers from Universidad de Sevilla and Universidad de Castilla -- La Mancha have determined that after the implementation in 2006 of the penalty points system driver's license in Spain, there has been a reduction of 12.6 percent in the number of deaths in highway accidents.

Sea snail saliva may become new treatment for most severe pain
Scientists have developed a new version of a medication, first isolated from the saliva of sea snails, that could be taken in pill form to relieve the most severe forms of pain as effectively as morphine but without risking addiction.

Multiple sclerosis -- antihypertensive drug ameliorate inflammation in the brain
Researchers in Heidelberg and Stanford have discovered a new signaling pathway of brain cells that explains how widely used antihypertensive drugs could keep inflammation in multiple sclerosis in check.

Middle school students co-author research on enzyme for activating promising disease-fighters
Grown-ups aren't the only ones making exciting scientific discoveries these days.

The fungus among us: A new way of decomposing BPA-containing plastic
Just as cooking helps people digest food, pretreating polycarbonate plastic -- source of a huge environmental headache because of its bisphenol A content -- may be the key to disposing of the waste in an eco-friendly way, scientists have found.

Scripps research study opens the door to new class of drugs for epileptic seizures
A chemical compound that boosts the action of a molecule normally produced in the brain may provide the starting point for a new line of therapies for the treatment of epileptic seizures, according to a new study by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute.

Supercomputers take science by storm
Five researchers at the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory will lead projects that have been awarded almost 200 million processor-hours of computing time at Argonne's Leadership Computing Facility.

People confront prejudice only when they believe others' personalities can change
Confronting someone who makes a prejudiced remark can be a good thing -- but not everyone does it.

Nearly 1 in 5 Californians report need for mental health services, study finds
A comprehensive new study of mental health status and use of mental health services in California by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research found that nearly one in five adults in California, about 4.9 million persons, said they needed help for a mental or emotional health problem.

One molecule, many more insulin-producing cells to treat diabetes, says Pitt team
With a single stimulatory molecule, human insulin-producing beta cell replication can be sustained for at least four weeks in a mouse model of diabetes, according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Diabetes.

Psychologists develop 2 potent new predictors of suicide risk
Two powerful new tests developed by psychologists at Harvard University show great promise in predicting patients' risk of attempting suicide.

Super-rare 'elkhorn' coral found in Pacific
An Australian scientist has discovered what could be the world's rarest coral in the remote North Pacific Ocean.

Molecular mechanism triggering Parkinson's disease identified in Stanford study
Scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine have identified a molecular pathway responsible for the death of key nerve cells whose loss causes Parkinson's disease.

Brainstem, spinal cord images hidden in Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel fresco
Michelangelo, the 16th century master painter and accomplished anatomist, appears to have hidden an image of the brainstem and spinal cord in a depiction of God in the Sistine Chapel's ceiling, a new study by Johns Hopkins researchers reports.

Current list of MAK and BAT values presented with 61 modifications and new entries
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft Senate Commission for the Investigation of Health Hazards of Chemical Compounds in the Work Area has presented the 2010 list of MAK and BAT values containing new data on 61 substances.

Nanomaterials poised for big impact in construction
Nanomaterials are poised for widespread use in the construction industry, where they can offer significant advantages for a variety of applications ranging from making more durable concrete to self-cleaning windows.

Arizona State is part of 5-university research effort to boost reading comprehension in kids
Two scientists at Arizona State University are on a core team of researchers from five universities awarded $20 million to improve listening and reading comprehension in preschool through third grade.

Building a creativity collective
Stevens Professors Nickerson and Sakamoto research crowdsourcing for the National Science Foundation.

Why fad diets work well for some, but not others
Using fruit flies, researchers have found that genes interacting with diet, rather than diet alone, are the main cause of variation in metabolic traits, such as body weight.

Sleep disorder may signal dementia, Parkinson's disease up to 50 years early
A new study shows that a sleep disorder may be a sign of dementia or Parkinson's disease up to 50 years before the disorders are diagnosed.

American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology honors 11 outstanding scientists
The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology last week named 10 scientists the winners of the nonprofit's annual awards.

Ancient DNA identifies donkey ancestors, people who domesticated them
In a finding that says much about the people who lived in northern Africa 5,000 years ago, scientists believe domestication of the donkey was achieved by nomadic people responding to the growing borders of the Sahara.

Migrating birds can't control themselves
During the Spring and Fall migratory seasons, sparrows become significantly less capable of resisting temptation.

Sandia National Laboratories and SunPower Corp. extend solar energy research partnership
Sandia National Laboratories and SunPower Corp. recently formalized an agreement to conduct research on integrating large-scale photovoltaic (PV) systems into the grid.

Explore stroke care with Society of Interventional Radiology's CLOTS
Catheter Lysis of Thromboembolic Stroke (CLOTS) -- an intensive five-day course offered by the Society of Interventional Radiology Oct.

Quality coronary bypass care can improve lives and cut costs
A new analysis led by researchers at UCSF shows that avoiding lowest-volume hospitals and maximizing adherence to quality care processes are both effective approaches to reducing costs associated with coronary bypass surgery.

UC education researcher announces iPad plan to reduce paper trail
Experiments involving iPads are becoming a trend at universities across the country.

Rensselaer professor uncovers mysterious workings of cholera bacteria
Researchers have found that an enzyme in the bacteria that causes cholera uses a previously unknown mechanism in providing the bacteria with energy.

Most panda habitat is outside nature reserves according to joint MSU-Chinese research
Though much effort and many resources have been expended to protect the endangered giant panda, research by an international team of scientists shows that much suitable panda habitat is outside the nature reserves and areas where the panda is reported to live.

Small materials poised for big impact in construction
Bricks, blocks, and steel I-beams -- step aside. A new genre of construction materials, made from stuff barely 1/50,000th the width of a human hair, is about to debut in the building of homes, offices, bridges, and other structures.

Electronic cigarettes require more suction than conventional brands
Stronger suction is required to smoke

Huntington's disease discovery provides new hope for treatment
Australian scientists have identified the behavior of the mutant protein

Protease associated with damage after stroke implicated in Huntington's toxicity
A new study reveals that an enzyme linked with multiple disorders is also involved in the generation of toxic, neuron-killing protein fragments in Huntington's disease.

Nanotechnology for water purification
Writing in the International Journal of Nuclear Desalination, researchers at the D.J.

Scientists uncover global distribution of marine biodiversity
A team of scientists have mapped and analyzed global biodiversity patterns for over 11,000 marine species ranging from tiny zooplankton to sharks and whales.

Aging and longevity tied to specific brain region in mice
The protein SIRT1 in the brain is tied into a mechanism that allows animals to survive when food is scarce, according to a new study at Washington University School of Medicine in St.
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