Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 05, 2010
MIT physicists use offshoot of string theory to describe puzzling behavior of superconductors
MIT physicists have now used the connection between quantum and gravitational mechanics, known as gauge/gravity duality to describe a specific physical phenomenon -- the behavior of a type of high-temperature superconductor, or a material that conducts electricity with no resistance.

Surgery better than radiation, hormone treatments for some prostate cancer, study shows
Surgery for localized prostate cancer offers a significantly higher survival rate than either external-beam radiation or hormonal therapies, according to a new study led by researchers at UCSF.

Researchers unlocking the secrets of cross-species rabies transmission
A new study published in the journal Science uses rabies as a model to provide among the first estimates for any infectious disease of how often a disease can be transmitted across species in complex, multi-host communities and the likelihood of disease establishment in a new host species.

Bats facing regional extinction from rapidly spreading disease
A new infectious disease spreading rapidly across the northeastern United States has killed millions of bats and is predicted to cause regional extinction of a once-common bat species, according to the findings of University of California -- Santa Cruz researcher Winifred F.

CRF announces late breaking trials and first report investigations to be presented at TCT 2010
Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics is the annual scientific symposium of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation.

Chew on this: 6 dental myths debunked
Your teeth need more than daily brushing and flossing. Tufts researchers debunk six dental myths and discuss the role nutrition plays in oral health.

Study finds proximity could be key to success of healing prayer
Findings reported today from a new international study of healing prayer suggest that prayer for another person's healing just might help -- especially if the one praying is physically near the person being prayed for.

Gladstone scientists discover new method for regenerating heart muscle by direct reprogramming
Scientists in the laboratory of GICD director Deepak Srivastava, M.D., directly reprogrammed structural cells called fibroblasts in the heart to become beating heart cells called cardiomyocytes.

Sirius XM to broadcast 'Doctor Radio Reports: Understanding Autism -- Looking for Answers'
SIRIUS XM Radio today announced that in partnership with Autism Speaks it will broadcast Doctor Radio Reports: Understanding Autism -- Looking for Answers, a live, two-hour call-in show hosted by veteran journalist Perri Peltz on which a panel of world-class doctors, experts, scientists and parents of affected children will explore the latest research and treatment options for autism and disorders on the autism spectrum and take calls from listeners across the country.

NOAA announces funding to model effects of sea level rise in northern Gulf of Mexico
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has awarded $750,000 for the first year of an anticipated $3 million research investment to develop the information and tools critically needed to plan for sea level rise and other consequences of climate change along more than 300 miles of the northern Gulf of Mexico's shoreline.

Economic status, genetics together influence psychopathic traits
University of Illinois researchers studying the genetic roots of antisocial behavior report that children with one variant of a serotonin transporter gene are more likely to exhibit psychopathic traits if they also grow up poor.

NOAA, IOOS partners deploy new ocean observational equipment near San Juan
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration partners within the Caribbean Integrated Coastal Ocean Observing System deployed a data buoy off Escambron beach to provide data on winds, waves and currents to locals including the port of San Juan and the island's Atlantic coast.

WPI receives $1.5 million award to demonstrate membrane system for coal gas power plants
The Center for Inorganic Membrane Studies at Worcester Polytechnic Institute has received a $1.5 million, 15-month award from the US Department of Energy to advance patented technology using palladium membranes that can separate hydrogen from various gases.

Human embryonic stem cells purified in new, rapid technique
UCSF researchers are reporting the first success in very rapidly purifying one type of embryonic stem cell from a mix of many different types of embryonic stem cells in the culture dish.

Carnegie Mellon's Yoed Rabin receives grants
Carnegie Mellon's Yoed Rabin has received three grants totaling $1.26 million from the National Institutes of Health to develop biothermal technology for low temperature applications ranging from cryopreservation to cryosurgery.

A little adversity bodes well for those with chronic back pain
A new study by researchers at the University at Buffalo and the University of California, Irvine, to be published in the September issue of the journal Pain, reveals that, for people with chronic back pain, having a little adversity in your life can be protective and beneficial.

Location, infrastructure and middle classes were keys to development of chemical industry in Bizkaia
Lecturer at University of the Basque Country Luis Ángel García studied the founding of 13 Bizkaian chemical enterprises and their technological evolution in 20th century.

A 'crystal ball' for predicting the effects of global climate change
In trying to predict how species will respond to climate change caused by global warming, researchers and scientists are turning to comparative physiology, a sub-discipline of physiology that studies how different organisms function and adapt to diverse and changing environments.

Federal grant invests in nanostructured 'super' materials
With more than 20 associated scientists, UWM's new Center for Advanced Materials Manufacturing partner with Midwest industries to

UofL receives $3.15 million grant from Helmsley Charitable Trust
The University of Louisville has received a $3.15 million grant from the Leona M. and Harry B.

A built-in source for new heart cells
In heart disease, cardiac muscle gradually dies off and, with little or no way to regenerate those cells, that can ultimately lead the heart to fail.

UK cancer fund is not the victory for patient groups that some believe
The lead editorial is this week's Lancet criticizes the UK government's announcement of an emergency cancer fund, and saying that is not the victory for patient groups that some believe.

Human embryonic stem cells and reprogrammed cells virtually identical
Human embryonic stem cells and adult cells reprogrammed to an embryonic stem cell-like state -- so-called induced pluripotent stem or iPS cells -- exhibit very few differences in their gene expression signatures and are nearly indistinguishable in their chromatin state, according to Whitehead Institute researchers.

Secularization of suicide meant callous mockery of writers' deaths
Poet Virginia Woolf dressed in overcoat, pockets filled with stones, walked into a river in 1941 and drowned.

Lubricating the knee cartilage after ACL injury may prevent osteoarthritis
While ACL injuries can often be corrected through surgery, they can lead to increased risk of developing degenerative joint diseases, including osteoarthritis.

Eliminating diabetes and depression, and boosting education, most likely to ward off dementia
Eliminating diabetes and depression, as well as increasing education and fruit and vegetable consumption, are likely to have the biggest impact on reducing levels of dementia in the coming years, should no effective treatment be found, concludes a study published on bmj.com today.

H1N1 flu virus used new biochemical trick to cause pandemic
In a report in the Aug. 5 PLoS Pathogens, an international team of scientists shows that the recent pandemic-causing H1N1 flu virus used a new biochemical trick to spread efficiently in humans.

Scientists unlock secret of rabies transmission in bats
Most infectious diseases infect multiple host species, but to date, efforts to quantify the frequency and outcome of cross-species transmission of these diseases have been severely limited.

Simplifying computer power behind phones, medical devices
From smart phones to medical equipment, embedded processors are everywhere and getting more powerful.

Mimicking the moon's surface in the basement
A team of scientists used an ion beam in a basement room at Los Alamos National Laboratory to simulate solar winds on the surface of the moon.

Frogs evolution tracks rise of Himalayas and rearrangement of Southeast Asia
Asian spiny frogs are named for the nubby spines on their chests and arms, which they use to grasp females during mating in swift streams.

Rotavirus vaccine trials successful in Asia and Africa; vaccine should now be rolled out across both continents
Studies in Asia and Africa have shown that a rotavirus vaccine is safe and effective in preventing severe rotavirus gastroenteritis, which is responsible for more than half a million child deaths worldwide.

Study shows splitting bowel preparation dosage is most effective cleansing method before colonoscopy
A study from researchers in Italy found that a split-dosage schedule of bowel preparation is the most effective method for bowel cleansing before colonoscopy.

AIAA award winners to be honored at conferences in Anaheim
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics will honor the winners of AIAA technical and literary achievement awards on Sept.

Humans imitate aspects of speech we see
New research by the University of California, Riverside, shows that unintentional speech imitation can make us sound like people whose voices we never hear.

Newts' ability to regenerate tissue replicated in mouse cells by Stanford scientists
Scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine have taken a big step toward being able to confer a regenerative capacity on mammalian muscle cells; they accomplished this feat in experiments with laboratory mice in which they blocked the expression of just two tumor-suppressing proteins.

Large risk schizophrenia marker revealed
A group of scientists has identified a genetic variant that substantially increases the risk for developing schizophrenia in Ashkenazi Jewish and other populations.

Butterflies shed light on how some species respond to global warming
Researchers have begun studying the genetic explanation for how two species of butterflies respond to warming.

Scientists develop sustainable, environmentally friendly potting medium
A new type of sustainable and environmentally friendly potting medium made from thinned pine trees has been created by US Department of Agriculture scientists and their university cooperators.

'Asynchronous telepsychiatry' found effective for assessing patients' mental health
A new study by researchers at the UC Davis School of Medicine has found that psychiatrists can accurately assess a patient's mental health by viewing videotaped interviews that are sent to them for consultation and treatment recommendations.

Reading the zip codes of 3,500-year-old letters
Tel Aviv University's Prof. Yuval Goren uses a hand-held device based on X-ray fluorescence, a device that can be found in many chemistry labs, to nondestructively ascertain the chemical composition of ancient tablets.

Studies offer encouraging data on preventing Crohn's disease recurrence
Biological agents may play an important role in maintaining remission in Crohn's disease.

UCLA researchers discover protein that shuttles RNA into cell mitochondria
Researchers at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center and the departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry and Pathology and Laboratory Medicine have uncovered a role for an essential cell protein in shuttling RNA into the mitochondria, the energy-producing

First satellite measurement of water volume in Amazon floodplain
For the first time, scientists have been able to measure the amount of water that rises and falls annually in the Amazon River floodplain.

APA presents latest research on same-sex marriage at annual convention in San Diego
The American Psychological Association's 2010 meeting will include a full program of sessions summarizing the areas of research that have been key in recent same-sex marriage court cases and other legal decisions supporting equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

DOE designates Center for Ocean Energy Technology a national center
The US Department of Energy has designated FAU's Center for Ocean Energy Technology as a new national center for ocean energy research and development.

BU scientists release alarming data on regional bat populations
The little brown myotis, once among the most common bat species in North America, may be extinct in the northeastern United States within the next 16 to 20 years or so, according to Winifred F.

Laser may reduce prostate surgery's sexual side effects
One of the challenges of prostate cancer surgery is removing the cancer-affected gland without side effects.

Diabetes or not, dietary habits of African-Americans are similar
Researchers looking for differences in eating habits of African-Americans based on whether or not they had type 2 diabetes uncovered an unexpected result: no matter what the blood sugar level was, the dietary intakes were pretty much the same.

2010 FIP PSWC and AAPS Annual Meeting
For the first time the International Pharmaceutical Federation's Pharmaceutical Sciences World Congress will be held in conjunction with the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists' Annual Meeting and Exposition.

Increased destruction of bird populations are predicted with rise in global temperatures
In 2003, a massive heat wave struck and killed some 30,000 people in Europe in an area where heat was not considered a major threat.

Drug control efforts in Mexico reduce methamphetamine treatment admissions in Mexico and US
A study published today in the scientific journal Addiction shows that the Mexican government's recent efforts to control the manufacture of methamphetamine have caused a drop in methamphetamine treatment admissions in Mexico and in neighboring Texas.

High levels of carbon dioxide threaten oyster survival
It has been widely reported that the build up of carbon dioxide in the air, which is caused by human behavior, will likely lead to climate change and have major implications for life on earth.

UT professor uncovers clues into how viruses jump from hosts
HIV-AIDS. SARS. Ebola. Bird flu. Swine flu. Rabies. These are emerging infectious diseases where the viruses have jumped from one animal species into another and now infect humans.

Social ecology: Lost and found in psychological science
Various aspects of our environment -- including political systems, economic systems and even climate and geography -- can affect our thinking and behavior, a field of study known as socioecological psychology.

Falls the leading cause of injury among older adults in China
Falls are the most common injury for both urban and rural elderly in China, responsible for more than two-thirds of all injuries in people 65 and older, according to a study by researchers from China and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Injury Research and Policy.

Help wanted: Highly cited researchers needed for high-ranking positions at research institutions
At a time when great jobs are hard to find, here's good news for the under-qualified: a new article appearing in the FASEB Journal shows that being a highly cited researcher may not be a primary qualification for taking on leading management positions at research institutions.

Brown University awarded $15.5-million math institute
Brown University has been awarded $15.5 million to create a national mathematics research institute.

Women don't need to delay getting pregnant after miscarriage
Women who conceive within six months of an initial miscarriage have the best chance of having a healthy pregnancy with the lowest complication rates, finds a paper published on bmj.com today.

Global tropical forests threatened by 2100
By 2100 only 18-45 percent of the plants and animals making up ecosystems in global, humid tropical forests may remain as we know them today, according to research led by Greg Asner at the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology.

Community poverty impacts pre-dialysis care
The wealth or poverty of kidney disease patients' communities impacts the quality of care patients receive before starting dialysis, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

Redefining sexual discrimination
Gender harassment -- verbal and nonverbal behaviors that convey insulting, hostile and degrading attitudes to women -- is just as distressing for women victims as sexual advances in the workplace.

Elsevier congratulates Royal Australian Chemical Institute's Athel Beckwith Lectureship winner
Dr. Scott Stewart, from the University of Western Australia, has won the Reaxys-sponsored lectureship as an outstanding recently appointed organic chemist.

Virginia Tech to build new supercomputer
Virginia Tech researchers will create HokieSpeed, a versatile heterogeneous supercomputing instrument, where each compute node consists of CPUs and GPUs, for accelerating and transforming discovery and innovation across a myriad of disciplines.

The secret of life may be as simple as what happens between the sheets -- mica sheets
That age-old question,

State cuts to community mental health services continues disturbing trend
Proposed cuts to community mental health centers in Illinois continue a disturbing trend in the state's lack of commitment to helping families and individuals experiencing a mental illness, says Christopher R.

Alex Heard to discuss new book, 'The Eyes of Willie McGee' at UH, Sept. 14
Critically acclaimed author Alex Heard will discuss his new book,

Lab earns 2 technology transfer awards in regional competition
A Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory partnership that developed an environmental sampler that allows researchers to conduct biological analyses remotely in real time and a lab technology that can detect more than 2,000 viruses and 900 bacteria in 24 hours have garnered two technology transfer awards in the Federal Laboratory Consortium's Far West Region competition.

Simon Singh wins maiden Leelavati Award
Simon Lehna Singh, the well-known physicist turned British author, journalist and TV producer, who specializes in popular writing on mathematical and scientific topics, has been chosen for the Leelavati Award that has been instituted for outstanding contributions to public outreach in mathematics by an individual.

Power plant waste to be used to clean up Gulf oil spill
Specially treated waste material from electric power plants will soon be used to clean up oil in the Gulf thanks to the ingenuity of a University of Central Florida professor.

New resource examines questions about the role of nanoscience
The new two-volume

New GSA book delves straight into the heart of Italy
Richly illustrated with 48 full-color figures and a CD-ROM of completely updated geologic maps of the region, this new Special Paper from the Geological Society of America details the geology, geometry and geography of the central-southern Apennines of Italy.

Coastal creatures may have reduced ability to fight off infections in acidified oceans
The ocean is filled with a soup of bacteria and viruses.

Hebrew University researchers identify gene related to chronic pain
Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and elsewhere have succeeded in identifying for the first time a gene associated with susceptibility to chronic pain caused by nerve injury in humans, signaling a significant step toward better understanding and treating of the condition.

Looking to leap forward on laser and photodetector technologies
ASU researchers' expertise in lasers and infrared photodetectors earns them a role in a project supported by the US Department of Defense to pursue advances in these technologies.

Research breakthrough on the question of life expectancy
Why do we grow old and what can we do to stop it?

Computer scientists build 'pedestrian remover'
Imagine encountering leashed dogs without dog walkers, or shoes filled just with ankles -- when scoping out potential apartments using Google Street View.
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