Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 12, 2010
US greenhouse gas emissions and capture, regionally
A new report summarizes the role of agriculture in greenhouse gas emissions and capture.

'Fused' people eager to die and kill for their group, research shows
People with extremely strong ties to their countries or groups are not only willing, but eager, to sacrifice themselves to save their compatriots, according to new psychology research from the University of Texas at Austin.

Scientists call for a global nuclear renaissance in new study
Scientists outline a 20-year master plan for the global renaissance of nuclear energy that could see nuclear reactors with replaceable parts, portable mini-reactors, and ship-borne reactors supplying countries with clean energy, in research published today in the journal Science.

NJIT to help lead public/private partnership to develop high-efficiency homes
NJIT and Building Media Inc., a DuPont subsidiary, will lead one of 15 research and deployment partnerships to help dramatically improve the energy efficiency of American homes -- the Building America Retrofit Alliance.

Extended solar minimum linked to changes in sun's conveyor belt
A new analysis of the unusually long solar cycle that ended in 2008 suggests that one reason for the long cycle could be a stretching of the sun's conveyor belt, a current of plasma that circulates between the sun's equator and its poles.

Impressive lineup of speakers at Tufts nutrition conference
The Gerald J. and Dorothy R. Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University will host the 5th Annual Friedman School Symposium, Nov.

Open software platform helps to save energy
Starting 2011, energy suppliers will be obligated to offer variable power prices.

How algae 'enslavement' threatens freshwater bodies described by Hebrew University researcher
How toxic, blue-green algae out-compete other organisms through a form of selfish

Merlin protein found to control liver stem cells, prevent tumor development
A protein known to be involved in a rare hereditary cancer syndrome may have a role in the regulation of liver stem cells and the development of liver cancer.

Video quality less important when you're enjoying what you're watching
Research from Rice University's Department of Psychology finds that if you like what you're watching, you're less likely to notice the difference in video quality of the TV show, Internet video or mobile movie clip.

Scientists discover oldest evidence of human stone tool use and meat-eating
New finds from Dikika, Ethiopia, push back the first stone tool use and meat-consumption by almost 1 million years and provide the first evidence that these behaviors can be attributed to Lucy's species -- Australopithecus afarensis.

Mount Sinai leads Consortium of Food Allergy Research with $29.9 million grant
Mount Sinai School of Medicine today announced that the National Institutes of Health has renewed its funding of the Consortium of Food Allergy Research, providing an additional $29.9 million toward genetic research and the prevention and treatment of food allergy.

Free statins with fast food could neutralize heart risk, scientists say
Fast food outlets could provide statin drugs free of charge so that customers can neutralize the heart disease dangers of fatty food, researchers at Imperial College London suggest in a new study published this week.

Wireless tire pressure monitoring systems in cars may compromise privacy, pose security threat
New wireless technologies in cars may compromise a driver's privacy and pose a security threat, warn researchers at Rutgers University.

An IRCM researcher pinpoints the cellular mechanism responsible for modulating the permeability of blood vessels
Dr. Jean-Philippe Gratton, director of the endothelial cell biology research unit at the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal, identifies a new intracellular mechanism responsible for modulating vascular permeability: the nitrosylation of beta-catenin protein by nitric oxide.

Off to the office aboard the AutoTram
Electric and hybrid vehicles will take over the cities: cars, bicycles, buses and streetcars.

Illinois researchers use pyrosequencing to study canine intestinal bacteria
A dog's indiscriminate taste is not always a positive trait.

Multidisciplinary treatment of glioblastoma multiforme can extend patient's life
Glioblastoma multiforme is the most common form of brain cancer; being an extremely serious type of the disease as currently, on diagnosis, the chances of survival of the patient is less than a year.

Researchers find that one type of stem cell creates a niche for another type in bone marrow
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory researchers and members of a multi-institutional team have discovered the precise source of hematopoietic stem cell maintenance and regulation within the bone marrow.

New case series section in European Urology
In European Urology, the official journal of the European Association of Urology, a new section will be published as of the September issue: Case Series of the month.

Experts say federal nuclear waste panel overlooks public mistrust
A renewed federal effort to fix the nation's stalled nuclear waste program is focusing so much on technological issues that it fails to address the public mistrust hampering storage and disposal efforts.

Study to investigate giant Saharan dust storms
The University of Leeds is to lead a £1 million ($1.55 million) project to study the giant desert storms of the Sahara which will help improve climate and weather prediction models.

Dangerous bacterium hosts genetic remnant of life's distant past
Within a dangerous stomach bacterium, Yale University researchers have discovered an ancient but functioning genetic remnant from a time before DNA existed, they report in the Aug.

Wax, soap clean up obstacles to better batteries
A little wax and soap can help build electrodes for cheaper lithium ion batteries, according to a study in Aug.

Potential novel genetic pathway for alcoholism
A novel mutation found in a mouse gene might provide new insights into the genetic roots of alcoholism in humans, according to a study led by researchers at the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center and the University of California, San Francisco.

Teaching robot helps children to use wheelchair
A robotic wheelchair is being developed that will help children learn to

American Chemical Society wins Environmental Excellence Award from D.C. mayor
The American Chemical Society has won the 2010 Mayor's Environmental Excellence Award from Washington, D.C., Mayor Adrian M.

New nanoscale transistors allow sensitive probing inside cells
Chemists and engineers at Harvard University have fashioned nanowires into a new type of V-shaped transistor small enough to be used for sensitive probing of the interior of cells.

Asteroid found in gravitational 'dead zone'
There are places in space where the gravitational tug between a planet and the Sun balance out, allowing other smaller bodies to remain stable, called Lagrangian points.

Immune responses during pregnancy linked to schizophrenia among offspring
In a study published this month in Schizophrenia Research, Temple University psychologist Lauren Ellman found that exposure during pregnancy to certain immune proteins, such as those produced in response to the flu, leads to increased risk for brain abnormalities associated with schizophrenia in offspring.

Single neurons can detect sequences
Single neurons in the brain are surprisingly good at distinguishing different sequences of incoming information according to new research by UCL neuroscientists.

NGC 4696: A cosmic question mark
Curling around itself like a question mark, the unusual looking galaxy NGC 4696 itself begs many questions.

Extended period of lower solar activity linked to changes in sun's conveyor belt
A new analysis of the unusually long solar cycle that ended in 2008 suggests that one reason for the long cycle could be a stretching of the sun's conveyor belt, a current of plasma that circulates between the sun's equator and its poles.

Elevated heart rate over time linked to significant risk of death
An elevated resting heart rate that develops or persists during follow-up is associated with a significantly increased risk of death, whether from heart disease or other causes, researchers from the Ronald O.

Trusting people make better lie detectors
Trusting others may not make you a fool or a Pollyanna, according to a study in the current Social Psychological and Personality Science (published by SAGE).

U of A works with Health Canada to test residential indoor air quality
The University of Alberta is working in collaboration with Health Canada to help update Health Canada's Residential Indoor Air Quality Guidelines.

Fermi detects 'shocking' surprise from supernova's little cousin
Astronomers using NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have detected gamma-rays from a nova for the first time, a finding that stunned observers and theorists alike.

Update: Committee analyzing technical aspects of Gulf oil spill to meet Aug. 12 and 13
A committee of the National Academy of Engineering and National Research Council that is conducting a technical analysis of the causes of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico will hold its first public meeting to gather information on government oversight and regulation of deepwater oil exploration and drilling.

Immune system overreaction may enable recurrent urinary tract infections
The immune system may open the door to recurrent urinary tract infections by overdoing its response to an initial infection, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

CRF announces featured clinical trials to be presented at TCT 2010
Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics is the annual scientific symposium of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation.

Study to examine rising sea level's impact on estuaries, coastal communities
Computer modeling and simulation techniques will help scientists understand the long-term impacts of rising sea level, which threatens barrier islands, beaches, wetlands and critical habitats for commercially valuable species such as oysters.

Mutant mouse reveals potential genetic pathway for alcoholism
A mutation found in a mouse gene that also appears in humans might provide new insights into the genetic roots of alcoholism, according to a study led by researchers at the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center and the University of California, San Francisco.

The Materials Research Society's Von Hippel Award to L. Eric Cross
L. Eric Cross, Evan Pugh Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering, Penn State, is the recipient of the 2010 Von Hippel Award from the Materials Research Society.

Not all kidney patients treated equal: Differences in care for patients beginning on dialysis
Kidney disease patients insured by some federally sponsored national health care organizations are more likely to undergo an important predialysis procedure than patients with other types of insurance, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

Citizen scientists discover rotating pulsar
Idle computers are the astronomers' playground: three citizen scientists -- an American couple and a German -- have discovered a new radio pulsar hidden in data gathered by the Arecibo Observatory.

Immune overreaction may enable recurrent urinary tract infections
The immune system may help open the door to recurrent urinary tract infections by overdoing its response to an initial infection, report researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Suicides in other trials led to early termination of trial into effects of weight loss drug rimonabant on cardiovascular outcomes (CRESCENDO study)
The early termination of a study into the cardiovascular outcomes associated with the weight-loss drug rimonabant, due to high suicide rates and other psychiatric side-effects, is detailed in an article in this week's cardiology special issue of the Lancet, written by Professor Eric J Topol, Scripps Translational Science Institute, La Jolla, Calif., and colleagues.

Landmark dental school study uses genetic test to help predict gum disease
University of Michigan School of Dentistry has signed an agreement with Interleukin Genetics Inc. to conduct what may be the largest clinical study to date using genetic testing to assess the risk for gum disease.

ASH recommends cross-disciplinary engagement to advance regenerative medicine
The American Society of Hematology has developed specific recommendations to the scientific community and federal agencies to help propel collaborative research in regenerative medicine in order to make real strides in improving patient care.

New rheumatoid arthritis criteria to stave off disabling disease for thousands of people
New criteria for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), published in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases, could prevent thousands of people from developing disabling late stage disease, by redefining how RA should be classified.

Implantable silk metamaterials could advance biomedicine, biosensing
Researchers have fabricated and characterized the first large-area metamaterial structures patterned on implantable, bio-compatible silk substrates.

All pain is not the same: Psychologist discusses gender differences in chronic pain
Women experience chronic pain longer, more intensely and more often than men, according to a psychologist who works with both men and women dealing with diseases and conditions that leave them suffering.

Culture matters in suicidal behavior patterns and prevention, psychologist says
Women and girls in the United States consider and engage in suicidal behavior more often than men and boys, but die of suicide at lower rate -- a gender paradox enabled by US cultural norms of gender and suicidal behavior, according to a psychologist who spoke Thursday at the 118th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association.

Parents' mental health more likely to suffer when a grown child struggles
Even into adulthood, problem children continue to give their parents heartache, and it doesn't matter if other children in the family grow up to be successful, according to a new study of middle-aged parents.

Carnegie Mellon's Steinbrenner Institute helps grow green jobs
Carnegie Mellon's Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research is helping Heritage community Initiatives in Braddock, Pa., retrain local workers to great green jobs and energy efficiency.

Over-the-counter painkiller may help ease emotional slights, UF study finds
Maybe that disgruntled JetBlue flight attendant should have popped a couple of Tylenols.

Childhood memories of father have lasting impact on men's ability to handle stress
Sons who have fond childhood memories of their fathers are more likely to be emotionally stable in the face of day-to-day stresses, according to psychologists who studied hundreds of adults of all ages.

Federal nuclear waste panel overlooks public mistrust, experts say
According to 16 social science researchers from across the country, a renewed federal effort to fix the nation's stalled nuclear waste program is focusing so much on technological issues that it fails to address the public mistrust hampering storage and disposal efforts.

SUMO works with replication protein A complex to repair DNA
A team of investigators led by a physician-scientist at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has shown for the first time that the small protein SUMO can team up with the replication protein A complex to facilitate DNA repair.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation announces winners of the 2010 Community Health Leaders Award
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is proud to announce the recipients of the 2010 Community Health Leaders Award, honoring 10 individuals who have overcome daunting odds to improve the health and quality of life for vulnerable men, women and children in underserved communities across the United States.

Einstein@Home 'citizen scientists' discover a new pulsar in Arecibo telescope data
Idle computers are the astronomers' playground: three citizen scientists -- a German and an American couple -- have discovered a new radio pulsar hidden in data gathered by the Arecibo Observatory.

Poor kidney function common among HIV-infected injection drug users
Poor kidney function is common among injection drug users, particularly those with HIV, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

Expensive new blood pressure meds no better than generics
Expensive brand-name medications to lower blood pressure are no better at preventing cardiovascular disease than older, generic diuretics, according to new long-term data from the landmark ALLHAT study.

College students exhibiting more severe mental illness, study finds
Severe mental illness is more common among college students than it was a decade ago, with more young people arriving on campus with pre-existing conditions and a willingness to seek help for emotional distress, according to a study presented at the 118th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association.

The cancer biomarker conundrum: Too many false discoveries
The boom in cancer biomarker investments over the past 25 years has not translated into major clinical success.
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