Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 18, 2010
LISA gravitational-wave mission strongly endorsed by National Research Council
The National Research Council has strongly recommended the Laser Interferometer Space Antenna as one of NASA's next two major space missions, to start in 2016 in collaboration with the European Space Agency.

Mount Sinai researchers discover new mechanism behind cellular energy conversion
Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine have enhanced our understanding of the mechanism by which cells achieve energy conversion, the process in which food is converted into the energy required by cells.

Are there too many stem cell journals?
Just as stem cells proliferate and differentiate, so do stem cell research journals, which have greatly increased their numbers over the last few years.

Titanium coating with protein 'flower bouquet' nanoclusters strengthens implant attachment
Researchers have developed an improved coating technique that could strengthen the connection between titanium joint-replacement implants and a patients' own bone.

How much mass makes a black hole?
Using ESO's Very Large Telescope, European astronomers have for the first time demonstrated that a magnetar was formed from a star with at least 40 times as much mass as the sun.

NASA satellites see TD5's remnants still soaking Louisiana and Mississippi
Tropical Depression 5's remnants continue to linger over Louisiana and Mississippi, and NASA satellite data continues to capture its cloud temperatures and extent.

Early life influences risk for psychiatric disorders
For more than a century, clinical investigators have focused on early life as a source of adult psychopathology.

ASU industry research consortium poised to expand
The National Science Foundation elevates ASU's Sensor, Signal and Information Processing center into an Industry/University Collaborative Research Center, making it a partner in a research consortium with four Texas universities.

Cool! Researchers find way to use HVAC ducts for wireless monitoring technology
A new study by a team including a professor from North Carolina State University has found a way to implement wireless monitoring technology -- with uses ranging from climate control to health and safety applications -- by tapping into a building's heating, ventilating and air-conditioning (HVAC) ducts.

Even modest weight gain can harm blood vessels, Mayo researchers find
Mayo Clinic researchers found that healthy young people who put on as little as nine pounds of fat, specifically in the abdomen, are at risk for developing endothelial cell dysfunction.

A seismic triple whammy
A magnitude 8.1 earthquake and tsunami that killed 192 people last year in Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga actually was a triple whammy: The 8.1

Innovative imaging system may boost speed and accuracy in treatment of heart rhythm disorder
Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore have developed a novel 3-D imaging approach that may improve the accuracy of treatment for ventricular tachycardia, a potentially life-threatening heart rhythm disorder that causes the heart to beat too fast.

Researchers 'stretch' a lackluster material into a possible electronics revolution
It's the Clark Kent of oxide compounds, and -- on its own -- it is pretty boring.

People with 'fused' identities are willing to die for their social group
People who are

Ancient 'terror bird' used powerful beak to jab like an agile boxer
The ancient

For teens, early sex and media exposure not linked
In a reanalysis of a widely publicized 2006 study that suggested the amount of sexualized media a teen is exposed to affects their age at onset of sexual activity, psychologist Laurence Steinberg finds no link between the two.

Overweight American children and adolescents becoming fatter
Overweight American children and adolescents have become fatter over the last decade, according to a new study that found adiposity shifts across sociodemographic groups over time and found US children and adolescents had significantly increased adiposity measures such as body mass index, waist circumference and triceps skinfold thickness.

Neurocritical Care Conference 2010: Walk of Life
University Hospitals Neurological Institute's Neurocritical Care Center will hold Neurocritical Care 2010: Walk of Life, a Global Conference of Neurocritical Care and Music from Oct.

Kidneys from cardiac-death patients perform as well as those from brain-dead patients, and should now provide a very valuable additional source of donor organs
Concerns have been raised that kidneys transplanted from cardiac death donors do not perform as well as those from brain-dead donors; but an article published online first in the Lancet concludes that the two types of transplant are equivalent.

World's largest neurosurgical society launches the specialty's first comprehensive global journal
The World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies representing more than 30,000 neurosurgeons, 114 individual societies and 100 nations has launched World Neurosurgery, the specialty's first publication acting as a global forum for not only high level peer-reviewed, clinical and laboratory science, but also the social, political, economic, cultural and educational issues that affect research and care delivery regionally and from a global perspective.

Consumers need protection from unrealistic claims of home genetic tests, new report states
In a perspective in the New England Journal of Medicine, UNC medical geneticist James P.

Extreme darkness: Carbon nanotube forest covers NIST's ultra-dark detector
Harnessing darkness for practical use, researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have developed a laser power detector coated with the world's darkest material -- a forest of carbon nanotubes that reflects almost no light across the visible and part of the infrared spectrum.

Warning system inadequate to prevent swimmers from getting sick at inland lakes
New research shows a clear link between increasing levels of E. coli bacteria in an inland Ohio lake and a greater risk that swimmers in the water will suffer a gastrointestinal illness.

Research targets basic metabolism of disease-causing fungi, bacteria
Pablo Sobrado, assistant professor of biochemistry with the Fralin Life Science Institute at Virginia Tech, has received a $1.1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to advance his research on the mechanism of iron acquisition in fungi and mycobacteria.

Half of hospital trusts in England have no chaperon policy
Only around half of acute hospital trusts in England have a formal chaperon policy, despite the recommendations of a public inquiry, reveals research published online in Postgraduate Medical Journal.

International recognition for IUPUI work to improve breast cancer detection
A paper by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis researchers describing the development of a new methodology to improve identification of breast cancer tissue by pathology laboratories has been selected as the best scientific paper in the

Lung cancer patients receiving palliative care had improved quality of life, extended survival
Integrating palliative care early in the treatment of patients with advanced lung cancer not only improved their mood and quality of life, it also extended their lives.

Discovery may aid search for anti-aging drugs
University of Michigan scientists have found that suppressing a newly discovered gene lengthens the lifespan of roundworms.

Common hypertension drugs can raise blood pressure in certain patients
Commonly prescribed drugs used to lower blood pressure can actually have the opposite effect -- raising blood pressure in a statistically significant percentage of patients.

Study to examine new treatment for West Nile virus
Neurological and infectious disease experts at Rush University Medical Center are testing a new drug therapy for the treatment of individuals with West Nile fever or suspected central nervous system infection due to the West Nile virus.

Ancient Chinese medicine may help chemotherapy patients
A centuries‑old traditional Chinese medicine may reduce the intestinal side effects of chemotherapy in cancer patients by stimulating gut cell division and reducing inflammation, a new study in mice suggests.

NIST to frame the Magna Carta
Fabrication specialists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology are joining forces with conservators at the National Archives and Records Administration to protect and display a document that influenced our nation's foundation, the 1297 Magna Carta.

Chronic health conditions common for stem cell transplant survivors
Although hematopoietic cell transplantation cures many blood diseases, two-thirds of long-term survivors report at least one chronic health condition after the procedure, according to a recent study published online in Blood, the journal of the American Society of Hematology.

Targeting hit-and-run cancer viruses
Viruses that can invade host cells, initiate cancer and then flee from their own trail of destruction could be stopped in their tracks, say researchers writing in the September issue of the Journal of General Virology.

Gender bender: Do gender knee implants provide better outcomes?
A recent study in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery found that 85 women who received a gender-specific implant in one knee and a standard prosthesis in the other knee found no clinical benefits of the gender-specific knee.

Texas A&M team determines ancient galaxy cluster still producing stars
In ongoing observations of one of the universe's earliest, most distant cluster of galaxies using NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, an international team of researchers led by Texas A&M's Dr.

Study explains why Alzheimer's drug is both safe and effective
The drug memantine improves Alzheimer's disease symptoms by blocking abnormal activity of glutamate, a chemical that transmits messages between nerve cells.

Does the shape of crude oil remnants impact rate of biodegradation?
Environmental engineers are studying how naturally occurring microbes can best be used to eat away remaining crude oil spilled in the Gulf of Mexico.

6-year-olds with squint less likely to be invited to birthday parties
Six-year-olds with a squint are significantly less likely to be invited to birthday parties than their peers with normally aligned eyes, suggests research published online in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

Brain connections break down as we age
It's unavoidable: breakdowns in brain connections slow down our physical response times as we age, a new study suggests.

A cure for HIV could be all in the 'mix'
Current HIV treatments do not eradicate HIV from host cells but rather inhibit virus replication and delay the onset of AIDS.

How corals fight back
Researchers are a step closer to understanding the rapid decline of our coral reefs, thanks to a breakthrough study linking coral immunity with its susceptibility to bleaching and disease.

New computer model advances climate change research
Scientists can now study climate change in far more detail with powerful new computer software released by the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

Fossil reveals 48-million-year history of zombie ants
A 48-million-year-old fossilized leaf has revealed the oldest known evidence of a macabre part of nature -- parasites taking control of their hosts to turn them into zombies.

Health disparities exist among black and Hispanic kidney donors
Black and Hispanic kidney donors are significantly more likely than white donors to develop hypertension, diabetes and chronic kidney disease, according to new Saint Louis University research published in the Aug.

Lifeloc Technologies releases new research on the accuracy of personal breathalyzers
Lifeloc Technologies Inc., a leading manufacturer of professional breathalyzers has released the industry's first independent report on the accuracy and reliability of popular semiconductor (silicone oxide) breath testers sold in mass retail, pharmacy, specialty stores and on the Internet.

Dwindling green pastures, not hunting, may have killed off the mammoth
A massive reduction in grasslands and the spread of forests may have been the primary cause of the decline of mammals such as the woolly mammoth, woolly rhino and cave lion, according to Durham University scientists.

Smokers trying to give up -- don't stop thinking about cigarettes
Blocking thoughts of cigarettes helps reduce smokers' intake at first, but means they smoke more than usual when they stop suppressing, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Study shows Italian youths who drink with meals are less often adult problem-drinkers
Italian youths whose parents allowed them to have alcohol with meals while they were growing up are less likely to develop harmful drinking patterns in the future, according to a new study led by a Boston University School of Public Health researcher.

Headaches in teens tied to overweight, smoking and lack of exercise
Teens who are overweight, get little exercise or who smoke may be more likely to have frequent headaches and migraines than teens with none of these factors, according to a study published in the Aug.

Drug-eluting stents confirmed safe, effective for long-term use
Researchers at the Rabin Medical Center in Israel have determined that the use of drug-eluting stents improves the long-term clinical outcome for patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention, commonly known as angioplasty.

Women suffering from cardiac insufficiency due to high blood pressure are older than men
Dr. Elena Zubillaga studied 109 women and 120 men admitted to hospital with a cardiac insufficiency solely due to high blood pressure.

Workplace wellness plan saves money over the long-term, new study shows
A Midwest utility company learned firsthand that it pays to keep healthy employees fit, reaping a net savings of $4.8 million in employee health and lost work time costs over nine years.

Making vehicles safer
A car's crash components can spell the difference between life and death.

Ancient Chinese herbal recipe eases side effects of chemotherapy
A combination of Chinese herbs in use for more than 1,800 years reduced the gastrointestinal side effects of chemotherapy in mice, while actually enhancing the effects of the cancer treatment, Yale University researchers report.

Stem cell versatility could help tissue regeneration
Scientists have reprogrammed stem cells from a key organ in the immune system in a development that could have implications for tissue regeneration.

Advanced Web-based medical technologies foster better informed consumers
With the rapid advance of Internet technology and the growing national focus on health care, Americans are taking greater responsibility for their own medical care and demanding the same health and medical information previously available only to physicians and health officials.

Surprise in genome structure linked to developmental diseases
The genes that are responsible for maintaining each cell type form DNA loops that link control elements for these genes.

Global media campaign finds 'hidden' children with rare, fatal aging disorder
Spectrum, a health and science communications firm, announced the results of a global awareness campaign that

Not 1, but 2 great earthquakes caused 2009 Samoa-Tonga tsunami disaster
Scientists studying the massive earthquake that struck the South Pacific on Sept.

New satellite data reveals true decline of world's mangrove forests
New satellite imagery has given scientists the most comprehensive and exact data on the distribution and decline of mangrove forests from across the world.

Brain gene expression changes when honey bees go the distance
Tricking honey bees into thinking they have traveled long distance to find food alters gene expression in their brains, researchers report this month.

Moderate drinking, especially wine, associated with better cognitive function
A large prospective study of 5,033 men and women in the Tromsø Study in northern Norway has reported that moderate wine consumption is independently associated with better performance on cognitive tests.

Roller coaster superconductivity discovered
Superconductors are more than 150 times more efficient at carrying electricity than copper wires.

Potential HIV drug keeps virus out of cells
Following up a pioneering 2007 proof-of-concept study, a University of Utah biochemist and colleagues have developed a promising new anti-HIV drug candidate, PIE12-trimer, that prevents HIV from attacking human cells.

Cells changing track: Thymus cells transform into skin cells in Swiss laboratory
Taking one type of cell and transforming it into another type is now possible.

Pediatric urologist performs innovative procedure for girls with rare vaginal defects
A pediatric urologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center has pioneered a successful surgical procedure for young girls who have absent or malformed vaginas, a condition that affects about one in 4,000 females.

Paving slabs that clean the air
The concentrations of toxic nitrogen oxide that are present in German cities regularly exceed the maximum permitted levels.

Forecasting the fate of fertilizer in the Chesapeake Bay watershed
Reducing the runoff from plant nutrients that can eventually wash into the Chesapeake Bay could someday be as easy as checking the weather forecast, thanks in part to work by US Department of Agriculture scientists.

Scientists find new twist on drug screening to treat common childhood cancer
A study led by scientists at the Hospital for Sick Children reveals a new method of identifying drugs to treat children suffering from fatal cancers for which an effective treatment has not been found.

Researchers challenge myth of the well-adjusted Asian-American
Two University at Buffalo researchers are challenging the
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