Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 09, 2010
The salp: Nature's near-perfect little engine just got better
What if trains, planes, and automobiles all were powered simply by the air through which they move?

New 'dentist' test to detect oral cancer will save lives
A new test for oral cancer, which a dentist could perform by simply using a brush to collect cells from a patient's mouth, is set to be developed by researchers at the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Study of electron orbits in multilayer graphene finds unexpected energy gaps
Researchers have taken one more step toward understanding the unique and often unexpected properties of graphene, a two-dimensional carbon material that has attracted interest because of its potential applications in future generations of electronic devices.

Popping cells surprise living circuits creators
Duke researchers believe this accidental finding of a circuit they call

Schools, communities share responsibility for child nutrition
The American Dietetic Association has published an updated position paper on local support for nutrition integrity in schools that calls on schools and communities to work together to provide healthful and affordable meals for all children and to promote educational environments that help students learn and practice healthy behaviors for their entire lives.

Single cell injections
Bubbles created with pairs of laser pulses lead to needle-sharp jets that can inject material into a single cell.

Biochemist proposes worldwide policy change to step up daily vitamin D intake
The University of California, Riverside's Anthony Norman, a leading international expert in vitamin D, proposes worldwide policy changes regarding people's vitamin D daily intake amount in order to maximize the vitamin's contribution to reducing the frequency of many diseases, including childhood rickets, adult osteomalacia, cancer, autoimmune type 1 diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, obesity and muscle weakness.

Corporal punishment of children remains common worldwide, UNC studies find
Three studies led by UNC researchers find that spanking and other forms of corporal punishment of children are still common in the US and worldwide, despite bans in 24 countries.

People think immoral behavior is funny -- but only if it also seems benign
What makes something funny? Philosophers have been tossing that question around since Plato.

Researchers successfully test new alternative to traditional semiconductors
Researchers at Ohio State University have demonstrated the first plastic computer memory device that utilizes the spin of electrons to read and write data.

Competing for a mate can shorten lifespan
Men who reach sexual maturity in a context where males outnumber females don't live as long as men whose numbers roughly equaled females' and faced less competition for a mate.

JCI online early table of contents: Aug. 9, 2010
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Aug.

Hotter nights threaten food security -- rice at risk
Production of rice -- the world's most important crop for ensuring food security and addressing poverty -- will be thwarted as temperatures increase in rice-growing areas with continued climate change, according to a new study by an international team of scientists.

Alcohol taxes can reduce death rates among chronic heavy drinkers
Adjusting the alcohol tax in Florida to account for inflation since 1983 would prevent 600 to 800 deaths each year in that state from diseases caused by chronic heavy alcohol use, according to a new study from the University of Florida.

Human clinical trial of NIH-developed dengue vaccine begins
After more than a decade of development at the National Institutes of Health, a vaccine to prevent infection by the mosquito-borne dengue virus has begun human clinical testing.

UC Davis receives $1 million NIH grant to improve health in No. Calif. Native American communities
UC Davis School of Medicine researchers will train Native American communities in Northern California to develop and implement culturally appropriate interventions to improve their health by decreasing obesity and type-2 diabetes, through a $1 million research grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health.

Greenland glacier gives birth to giant iceberg
Envisat has been observing a rare event in the Arctic since early August -- a giant iceberg breaking off the Petermann glacier in Northwest Greenland.

What makes a good egg and healthy embryo?
Scientists and fertility doctors have long tried to figure out what makes a good egg that will produce a healthy embryo.

Research examines the price of prison for children
It comes as no surprise that many children suffer when a parent is behind bars.

BSSA tip sheet for August 2010
Seismologists have identified potentially active faults near Olympia, Washington State, adding to the number of faults that may be active in the area.

Computerized warning system alerts doctors to medications that could harm elderly patients
Adverse drug events occur in an estimated 40 percent of all hospital patients and can be the result of inappropriate medications being ordered.

Study identifies factors associated with rate of visual field change in patients with glaucoma
Patients with glaucoma appear to have more rapid visual field change if they are older or if they have abnormal levels of anticardiolipin antibody (an antibody directed against a certain protein in the body), according to a report posted online today that will appear in the October print issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Award-winning supercomputer application solves superconductor puzzle
Superconducting materials, which transmit power resistance-free, are found to perform optimally when high- and low-charge density varies on the nanoscale level, according to research performed at the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

AFOSR-funded professor winner of 2010 Materials Research Society Turnbull Award
Dr. David Awschalom, professor of physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, has been selected as the recipient of the 2010 Materials Research Society Turnbull award for research funded in large measure by the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research.

Komen grant supports research into suspicious gene tied to breast cancer
Someone in the world is diagnosed with breast cancer every 23 seconds.

Brain rhythm predicts ability to sleep through a noisy night
People who have trouble sleeping in noisy environments often resort to strategies like earplugs or noise-canceling headphones that muffle the sound, but a new study from investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital may lead to ways to block disturbing sounds within the brain.

New partnership fosters broad scientific exchange with major Chinese university, hospital
UT Southwestern Medical Center has entered into an academic and scientific partnership with Sun Yat-sen University and its First Affiliated Hospital in Guangzhou, China.

Injection of bone cement (vertebroplasty) is safe, effective and at an acceptable cost for patients with acute osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures
Injection of bone cement (vertebroplasty) is safe, effective and at an acceptable cost for patients with acute osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures.

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev professor awarded the 2010 Elkeles Prize for Cancer Research
The pioneering studies of Apte's group demonstrated the feasibility of intervening in malignant process by neutralizing inflammatory components in the

Certain vena cava filters may fracture, causing potentially life-threatening complications
Two specific types of vena cava filters, devices used to prevent blood clots from reaching the lungs, appear to have evidence of fracturing inside the body, with some fractured fragments traveling to the heart and causing potentially life-threatening complications, according to a report posted online today that will appear in the Nov.

Higher temperatures to slow Asian rice production
Production of rice, the world's most important crop for ensuring food security, will be thwarted as temperatures increase in rice-growing areas with continued climate change, according to a study in PNAS.

An ancient Earth like ours
An international team of scientists including Mark Williams and Jan Zalasiewicz of the Geology Department of the University of Leicester, and led by Dr.

New technique announced to turn windows into power generators
Norwegian company EnSol AS to develop unique patented technology in collaboration with University of Leicester.

Mosasaur fossil at Natural History Museum of L.A. County re-explores 85-million-year-old sea monster
One of the ocean's most formidable marine predators, the mosasaur Platecarpus, lived in the Cretaceous Period some 85 million years ago and was thought to have swum like an eel.

K-State research team investigates mutated gene's role in breast cancer
A Kansas State University research team is investigating mutation within the ADAM12 gene of the A Disintegrin and Metalloprotease family, or ADAM family, and its role in breast cancer.

Why some people can sleep through anything
Ever wonder why some people can sleep through just about anything, while others get startled awake at each and every bump in the night?

UM advanced bio-filtration system promises less Chesapeake pollution
Technological advances developed by University of Maryland researchers promise significant reductions in urban runoff polluting the Chesapeake Bay.

Africa cell phone boom beneficial -- but schools, roads, power, water remain critical needs
Can Africa's cell-phone boom transform the impoverished continent? Economist Isaac M.

On-the-job injuries hurt home health care industry
Training can alleviate some of the pain that occupational injuries bring to the long-term care industry, according to Penn State researchers.

Demographic disparities found among children with frequent ear infections
A new study by researchers from UCLA and Harvard University has found disparities among children suffering from repeated ear infections.

ICTP announces Dirac Medallists 2010
Italian physicist Nicola Cabibbo (University La Sapienza, Rome, Italy) and Indian-American physicist Ennackal Chandy George Sudarshan (University of Texas, Austin, Texas) share the 2010 Dirac Medal and Prize given by the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics, Trieste, Italy.

Brain's wiring: More network than pyramid?
In study to appear online this week in PNAS, USC neuroscientists trace circuits in part of the rat brain and find no sign of a top-down hierarchy; the distributed network of the Internet may be a better model, they say.

A strategy to fix a broken heart
Engineers and physicians at the University of Washington have built a scaffold that supports the growth and integration of stem cell-derived cardiac muscle cells.

The jellyfish-like salp: Most efficient filter-feeder in the deep, scientists discover
What if trains, planes and automobiles all were powered simply by the air through which they move?

ROCK(2) 'n' roll target for treating autoimmunity
Inappropriate and excessive production of the soluble immune mediators IL-17 and IL-21 have been linked to several autoimmune disorders.

Brain responds same to acute and chronic sleep loss
Burning the candle at both ends for a week may take an even bigger toll than you thought.

Larger waist associated with greater risk of death
Individuals with a large waist circumference appear to have a greater risk of dying from any cause over a nine-year period, according to a report in the Aug.

Greenhouse gas calculator connects farming practices with carbon credits
Using a Web-based greenhouse gas calculator, researchers demonstrate how farming practices can influence greenhouse gas emissions.

35th ESMO Congress media alert
Cancer is a leading cause of mortality worldwide, accounting for more than one in ten deaths.

How many nanoparticles heat the tumor?
Physicists cooperate with biomedical physicians in order to place the fight against cancer through heat treatment by means of magnetic nanoparticles on a solid, scientific basis.

Correlation found between investment in university libraries and grant awards
Elsevier, a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and solutions, today announced the results of a new international study that demonstrates the value of the academic library to the institution in improving grant proposal and report writing and in helping researchers attract grant income.

Plasma beta-amyloid levels associated with cognitive decline
High plasma levels of beta-amyloid -- protein fragments associated with Alzheimer's disease when they accumulate in the brain -- appear to be associated with faster cognitive decline even in those who do not develop dementia, according to a report posted online today that will appear in the December print issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Researchers develop magnetic molecular machines to deliver drugs to unhealthy cells
UCLA Researchers have developed a completely novel and noninvasive method of releasing drugs remotely into the cells.

Latino children with asthma less accurate in determining their lung function
A new study by researchers at the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center and the University of Puerto Rico may help explain some of the well-documented ethnic disparities in pediatric asthma.

Study shows that hitchhiking bacteria can go against the flow
A new study co-authored by VIMS professor Kam Tang reveals that tiny aquatic organisms known as

The American Ceramic Society announces 2010 Distinguished Life Members and class of Fellows
The American Ceramic Society today announced the names of the organization's two newest Distinguished Life Members and 19 members elevated to Fellow status.

Forest fires help power the nitrogen cycle
Years after a forest fire, soil bacteria communities have changed and convert more ammonia to nitrates, increasing soil fertility.

Carnegie Mellon researchers turn up brightness on fluorescent probes
Researchers from Carnegie Mellon's Molecular Biosensor and Imaging Center are turning up the brightness on a group of fluorescent probes that are used to monitor biological activities of individual proteins in real-time.

New Olympus V-System expands options for ERCP
Olympus America Inc. today launched its new V-System developed to help address the challenges of the endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography procedure and allow physicians to achieve and maintain access to the biliary system with greater ease.

A 'magnetic' solution to identify and kill tumors
Professor Israel Gannot of Tel Aviv University is developing a new way to destroy tumors with fewer side effects and minimal damage to surrounding tissue.

1 in 4 stroke patients stop taking medication within 3 months
A quarter of stroke patients discontinue one or more of their prescribed secondary stroke prevention medications within three months of hospitalization for an acute stroke, according to a report posted online today that will appear in the December print issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

UCLA scientists map all mammalian gene interactions
In one of the first efforts of its kind, UCLA researchers have taken mammalian genome maps, including human maps, one step further by showing not just the order in which genes fall in the genome but which genes actually interact.

New book maps out path to wildlife-friendly highways
Two Montana State University researchers co-edited a new book that deals one of the biggest threats facing wildlife populations -- roads.

Telemedicine for maintaining health of oil rig workers is explored in Telemedicine and e-Health
Without hands-on access to doctors and hospitals, oil rig workers who become sick or injured increasingly rely on telemedicine

Louisiana Tech kinesiology professor receives national editorial excellence award
Dr. Kelly Brooks, assistant professor of kinesiology at Louisiana Tech University, has received the 2010 Strength and Conditioning Journal Editorial Excellence Award from the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Insects sense danger on mammals' breath
When plant-eating mammals such as goats chomp on a sprig of alfalfa, they could easily gobble up some extra protein in the form of insects that happen to get in their way.

Editors selected for AERA's Handbook of Research on Teaching
The American Educational Research Association has announced plans to publish a new edition of its signature volume, Handbook of Research on Teaching, and named two ETS scholars -- Drew H.

Stress gets under our skin
In a new report, UCLA researchers have discovered that how your brain responds to social stressors can influence the body's immune system in ways that may negatively affect health.

Inhibiting prostate cancer without disturbing regular body processes
A kinase is a type of enzyme the body uses to regulate the functions of the proteins required for cell growth and maintenance, and researchers have discovered that one in particular plays a key role in developing prostate cancer.

Improved drug coverage under Medicare associated with increases in antibiotic use
Antibiotic use appears to have increased among older adults whose prescription drug coverage improved as a result of enrolling in Medicare Part D, with the largest increases for broad-spectrum, newer and more expensive drugs, according to a report in the Aug.

Physicians failing to follow recommended heart-failure treatment guidelines, Stanford study finds
Physicians are losing ground in prescribing the types of medications that have proven most effective in treating a condition known as congestive heart failure, according to a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine. 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