Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 17, 2010
Montana State University offers 6 new biomedical technologies for licensing
Montana State University researchers have developed six new biomedical technologies that could have applications for treating antibiotic resistant infections, fungal infections and viral infections; boosting humans' innate immunity and improving scientists' ability to study such compounds.

Preschoolers use statistics to understand others
Children are natural psychologists. By the time they're in preschool, they understand that other people have desires, preferences, beliefs and emotions.

Discovery of possible earliest animal life pushes back fossil record
Scientists may have discovered in Australia the oldest fossils of animal bodies.

Eclipsing pulsar promises clues to crushed matter
Astronomers using NASA's Rossi X-ray Timing Explorer have found the first fast X-ray pulsar to be eclipsed by its companion star.

Special yoga classes aimed at breast cancer survivors improves recovery
A University of Alberta researcher examined how a specialized Iyengar yoga program for breast cancer survivors makes a difference in their recovery.

Telescope project involving CU-Boulder selected as top priority for construction
A planned $110 million telescope in Chile that the University of Colorado at Boulder is partnering with Cornell University and the California Institute of Technology to probe distant galaxies and stellar nurseries has been named as the top construction priority for mid-sized, ground-based telescopes by the National Research Council in the coming decade.

B vitamins and the aging brain examined
A US Department of Agriculture nutritionist has collaborated in ongoing research that has taken a closer look at the role the B vitamins may play in preventing decline in brain function.

Astronaut muscles waste in space
Astronaut muscles waste away on long space flights reducing their capacity for physical work by more than 40 percent, according to research published online in the Journal of Physiology.

ORNL's Peng wins Fusion Power Associates Leadership Award
Martin Peng, a researcher in the Fusion Energy Division of the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been selected by the Fusion Power Associates board of directors to receive a 2010 FPA Leadership Award.

Research could change course of treatment for cancer that spreads to bones
New research holds promise for people whose cancer has spread to their bones.

New mechanisms of tumor resistance to targeted therapy in lung cancer are discovered
A team led by Raffaella Sordella, Ph.D., an assistant professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, today published results of a study that suggests new ways in which tumor cells develop resistance to one of the most successful targeted therapies, the small-molecule drug Tarceva (erlotinib).

Should the NHS budget be ring fenced?
Is the government's decision to ring fence NHS funding fair?

Sundews just want to be loved
Why do some insect-eating plants like sundews keep their flowers so far away from their traps?

Survey shows many are still clueless on how to save energy
Many Americans believe they can save energy with small behavior changes that actually achieve very little, and severely underestimate the major effects of switching to efficient, currently available technologies, says a new survey of Americans in 34 states.

Passing in the night: Examining work schedules, gender and marital quality
New research out of the University of Cincinnati examines how night shifts and rotating work schedules are affecting the state of the marital union.

Bees warm up with a drink, too!
When we venture out on a cool morning, nothing energizes our body like a nice warm drink and new research reveals that bees also use the same idea when they're feeling cold.

NYU School of Medicine receives $8.2M grant from NIDDK to continue urological disease research
The Urothelial Biology Team at NYU School of Medicine received an $8.2 million, five-year program project grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at the National Institutes of Health to continue groundbreaking research on bladder biology and diseases including urinary tract infection.

Why drunk drivers may get behind the wheel
A new study shows the impact of alcohol intoxication on reasoning and problem-solving abilities and may explain why some people feel they have recovered enough to drive after drinking.

Scripps Oceanography biologists awarded prestigious honors
Four scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have been honored by organizations for their work in exploring the biological aspects of the oceans.

Study shows gene's role in developing and maintaining cells key for a lifetime of memories
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital investigators showed a gene named Prox1 is a key player in normal development of a brain structure crucial for learning and memory and remains active throughout life, nurturing the cells vital for making new memories.

The importance of workplace relationships post-retirement
More than ever, as people grow older they are maintaining and nurturing work relationships as a primary part of their social network.

Long-term sick could be identified 3 years prior to going on benefit
Individuals on long term incapacity benefit because of mental health problems could be identified by their GPs three years before they stop working, finds a research paper published on today.

Developmental problems: Some exist in the genes
Everyone is special in their own unique way. From a genetic point of view, no two humans are genetically identical.

Marriage and committed romance reduce stress-related hormone production
Being married has often been associated with improving people's health, but a new study suggests that having that long-term bond also alters hormones in a way that reduces stress.

Combined data for estimating insecticide-treated bed net coverage in Africa
In research published this week in PLoS Medicine Stephen Lim and colleagues (University of Washington) systematically estimate the changes in distribution of insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs) across Africa between 2000 and 2008, and find that several countries have managed to scale up their ITN coverage from near zero to more than 60 percent.

Cosmic accelerators discovered in our galaxy by UCLA physicists, Japanese colleague
UCLA physicists have discovered evidence of

World record data density for ferroelectric recording
Scientists in Japan have recorded data at a density of 4 trillion bits per square inch, a world record for the experimental

Which politicians do voters blame for the down economy?
BYU political scientist Adam Brown studied governors' races that took place during economic downturns.

Substantial costs associated with scientific misconduct should prioritize prevention efforts
The estimated costs associated with a single investigation of scientific misconduct can be as high as US $525,000, and the costs of investigating the allegations of scientific misconduct annually reported in the United States to the Office of Research Integrity, could exceed $110 million, according to a paper from Arthur M.

Creation of the first frozen repository for Hawaiian coral
Scientists at the Smithsonian Institution and the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa have created the first frozen bank for Hawaiian corals in an attempt to protect them from extinction and to preserve their diversity in Hawaii.

SAGE's Foot & Ankle Specialist to launch European edition
SAGE is to launch Foot & Ankle Specialist -- European Edition from February 2011.

Novel diabetes hope comes from Chinese herbs
Emodin, a natural product that can be extracted from various Chinese herbs including Rheum palmatum and Polygonum cuspidatum, shows promise as an agent that could reduce the impact of type 2 diabetes.

Can clonal plants live forever?
Despite the many cosmetic products, surgical treatments, food supplements, and drugs designed specifically to reverse the biological effects of aging in humans, long-lived aspen clones aren't so lucky.

Evolution may have pushed humans toward greater risk for type 1 diabetes, Stanford study shows
Gene variants associated with an increased risk for type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis may confer previously unknown benefits to their human carriers, say researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Boston Univ., Veterans Affairs find sports brain trauma may cause disease mimicking ALS
The Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at Boston University School of Medicine and US Department of Veterans Affairs announced today that they have provided the first pathological evidence that repetitive head trauma experienced in collision sports is associated with motor neuron disease, a neurological condition that affects voluntary muscle movements.

Powering Australia with waves
In a paper in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, Australian researchers provide new estimates of the wave-energy potential of Australia's near-shore regions.

Prediction model may help determine risk of critical illness after out-of-hospital emergency care
A prediction score that included such factors as age, blood pressure, heart and respiratory rate for patients who received out-of-hospital emergency care was associated with the development of critical illness during hospitalization such as severe sepsis, the need for mechanical ventilation or death, according to a study in the Aug.

Kihansi spray toads make historic return to Tanzania
In a bold effort to save one of the world's rarest amphibians from extinction, 100 Kihansi spray toads have been flown home to Tanzania after being painstakingly reared at the Bronx Zoo and the Toledo Zoo working in close partnership with the Tanzanian government and the World Bank.

CLASS Act analysis reveals America's long-term care future
The Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act -- a largely overlooked component of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act -- has the potential to transform long-term care financing in the United States from a welfare-based to an insurance-based system, according to the latest issue of Public Policy & Aging Report.

Press invitation: World gathers for unique conference on antibiotic resistance
The growing problem of antibiotic resistance, which compromises our ability to treat common infections, represents one of the greatest threats to public health worldwide.

Pharmaceuticals: A market for producing 'lemons' and serious harm
The pharmaceutical industry is a

Mother of all humans lived 200,000 years ago
The most robust statistical examination to date of our species' genetic links to

Use of surgically implanted antibiotic sponge does not reduce rate of sternal wound infections
Contradicting previous study results, insertion of a sponge that contains the antibiotic gentamicin at the time of surgical closure following cardiac surgery did not reduce the rate of sternal wound infections after three months, compared to patients who did not receive the intervention, according to a study in the Aug.

Cow vaccines go vroom
For the first time, MHC tetramer technology -- that has accelerated human vaccine development -- will be used in creating cattle vaccines to fight hoof-and-mouth disease and East Coast Fever in Africa.

Nearly 1 million children potentially misdiagnosed with ADHD, study finds
Nearly 1 million children in the United States are potentially misdiagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder simply because they are the youngest -- and most immature -- in their kindergarten class, according to new research by a Michigan State University economist.

Health care system delay may increase risk of death for heart patients receiving reperfusion therapy
For patients with a certain type of heart attack, delay in the time between first contact with emergency medical service to initiation of therapy such as balloon angioplasty is associated with an increased risk of death, according to a study in the Aug.

Heavy drug-use among bad boys curbed by parental monitoring and peers
Aggressive and hyperactive boys with low parental monitoring are more likely to befriend deviant peers and become heavy drug users as teens, according to a new study published in the journal Addictive Behaviors.

A test center for wind turbines in northwestern Jutland
A test center for wind turbines at Østerild in north-western Jutland will ensure Denmark's leading position within wind energy With its distinct wind conditions, 250-meter-high meteorological masts, seven foundations for wind turbines up to 250 meters and a unique concept for connecting the wind turbines to the electricity grid, Østerild will be tomorrow's workshop for wind energy research, one that can maintain Denmark's leading position within research and industry.

Prevalence of hearing loss among US adolescents has increased significantly
Data from two nationally representative surveys indicates that the prevalence of hearing loss among US adolescents increased by about 30 percent from 1988-1994 to 2005-2006, with 1 in 5 adolescents having hearing loss in 2005-2006, according to a study in the Aug.

Postnatal depression can be prevented by health visitors, says pioneering new study
The world's first ever analysis of data from a full scale clinical trial in adults shows that training health visitors to assess and psychologically support mothers after childbirth can prevent the development of depression over the following year.

Black patients, women miss out on strongest medications for chronic pain
Black patients are prescribed fewer pain medications than whites and few women receive medications strong enough to manage their chronic pain, according to a study in the August issue of Journal of Pain.

NASA satellites see Tropical Depression 5's remnants giving the Gulf a wet encore
NASA's Aqua and TRMM satellites and the GOES-13 satellite have been keeping an eye on the meandering remnants of Tropical Depression 5.

Major hurdle cleared for organic solar cells
The basis for solar energy is absorbing light and then effectively disassociating electrical charges.

Saving the brain's white matter with mutated mice
Orna Elroy-Stein of Tel Aviv University is leading a scientific breakthrough by developing laboratory mice which carry the Vanishing White Matter mutation.

Uniform, national measures should define HIV/AIDS care
To improve the quality of HIV care and treatment nationwide, 17 measures such as screening and prevention for infections and monitoring of antiretroviral therapy should be adopted uniformly, according a work group led by a Kaiser Permanente researcher.

Moderate chocolate consumption linked to lower risks of heart failure
Middle-aged and elderly Swedish women who regularly ate a small amount of chocolate had lower risks of heart failure risks.

MSU project may lead to new approaches against lung cancer
A Michigan State University researcher is analyzing the immune system's own ability to protect the body against lung cancer.

Scientists uncover Achilles heel of chronic inflammatory pain
Researchers have made a discovery that could lead to a brand new class of drugs to treat chronic pain caused by inflammatory conditions such as arthritis and back pain without numbing the whole body.

MRSA policies differ among hospitals, study shows
Acute care hospitals in the United States varied in their policies and practices of screening and treating methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections, but most were consistent with national guideline recommendations, according to researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Building a bridge with cross-cultural cancer education
Most cancers are easier to treat if detected early, so cancer educators emphasize the benefits of screening and prompt treatment.

ISU researchers discover cause of immune system avoidance of certain pathogens
Two Iowa State University researchers discovered that a special set of sugars found on some disease-causing pathogens helps those pathogens fight the body's natural defenses as well as vaccines.

Study shows birth dates, school enrollment dates affect ADHD diagnosis rates
Rising rates of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and large differences in diagnosis rates have led to fears that the condition is often being misdiagnosed.

Dysphagia found to increase length of hospital stay and mortality risk
Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine have found that hospitalized patients with dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, averaged a 40 percent longer hospital stay than patients without the condition.

New system developed to test and evaluate high-energy laser weapons
Researchers can now measure a laser's power and spatial energy distribution at once by directing the beam onto a reusable glass target board GTRI designed.

Targeted disease campaigns can be detrimental to general health
Global initiatives to control specific diseases, such as polio or worm diseases, in low income countries not only do good.

Possible discovery of earliest animal life pushes back fossil record
In findings that push back the clock on the scientific world's thinking about when animal life appeared on Earth, Princeton scientists may have discovered the oldest fossils of animal bodies, suggesting that primitive sponge-like creatures were living in ocean reefs about 650 million years ago.

People with no religious affiliation have less favorable views of the US
A study by Ryotaro Uemura, sociology doctoral student at Indiana University Bloomington, found that people who had no religious affiliation have significantly less favorable views of the US However, to be an ethnic minority does not necessarily have significant effects on national attitudes.

Study examines risks, rewards of energy drinks
Popular energy drinks promise better athletic performance and weight loss, but do the claims hold up?

Trauma center care cost-effective
Trauma center care not only saves lives, it is a cost-effective way of treating major trauma, according to a new report.

New method for estimating cost of small hydropower projects
A scientist at the Indian Institute of Technology in Roorkee, India, has developed a method, described in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, to assess the installation and operating costs of small hydroelectric power projects, which represent a potentially large but largely untapped source of energy for developing countries.

Probabilistic modeling of verbal autopsy data is best for public health decision-making
Computer-based probabilistic models that are used to interpret verbal autopsy data -- information from interviews with family, friends and carers about deaths that are later interpreted into possible causes of death -- are as effective as physician reviews of the data for establishing cause of death, according to research by Peter Byass from Umea University, Sweden, and colleagues from Witwatersrand University, South Africa, that is published this week in PLoS Medicine.

Researchers identify breast cancer culprits
Scientists have discovered an accomplice in breast cancer -- a master control switch with the power to set off a cascade of reactions orchestrated by a cancer-causing gene (or oncogene) named Wnt1.

New screen offers hope for copper deficiency sufferers
Copper deficiency diseases can be crippling, with symptoms ranging from neurodegeneration to skin pigmentation disorders, but virtually nothing is known about how our bodies use this essential nutrient. 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