Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 24, 2010
2 UH chemists receive national recognition
Two University of Houston chemistry professors received one of their field's highest honors for career achievements, joining an elite group that includes some of the nation's leading chemists.

Will cardiovascular disease prevention widen health inequalities?
In a Policy Forum published this week in PLoS Medicine, Simon Capewell and Hilary Graham review different population strategies for preventing cardiovascular disease and conclude that screening and treating high-risk individuals may be ineffective and widen social inequalities.

Blood transfusions should not go ahead without informed consent
Two legal experts argue on today that informed consent should be obtained from competent patients before blood transfusions takes place.

Chronic drinking can disrupt circadian rhythms
Circadian clock genes are key to regulating physiological and behavioral activities.

Danielle now a Category 2 hurricane, NASA satellites working in high gear
NASA's Aqua, Terra and TRMM satellites are providing data on Hurricane Danielle daily, and forecasters are using that data to help determine Danielle's behavior and movement.

UT Southwestern University Hospital -- St. Paul recognized as Primary Stroke Center
The Joint Commission has certified UT Southwestern University Hospital -- St.

Fruit flies use horizontal landmarks for altitude control, says Caltech research team
Flies follow horizontal edges to regulate altitude, says a team of researchers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

Engineering shorter wait times in the ER
Emergency room waiting times could be cut by over one third and patients' length of stay by almost two-thirds, thanks to a new approach to the triage process of sorting patients for further assessment and treatment, according to research published in the International Journal of Six Sigma and Competitive Advantage this month.

SpringerLink relaunched
Springer has relaunched its online platform SpringerLink, which hosts nearly 5 million documents, including eBooks, journals and reference works.

NASA satellites see Tropical Storm Frank powering back up near Mexico
Tropical Storm Frank was wavering overnight in the eastern Pacific Ocean, just off the southwest Mexican coast, and recent satellite data has confirmed that convection has strengthened within the storm.

Atmospheric pressure plasma jet from a grounded electrode
Because they are portable and easy to operate at ambient temperatures, cold atmospheric pressure plasma jets (APPJs) should find innovative applications in biomedicine, materials science and fabrication industries.

Clinical trial findings challenge clinical practice
Patients with coronary artery disease undergoing angioplasty do not benefit from having their circulation artificially supported with a balloon pump as a preventative measure during angioplasty, according to the first randomized trial studying the practice and published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

People at 'intermediate risk' of heart disease with elevated hsCRP benefit from statin therapy
People at intermediate risk of cardiovascular disease who have high levels of high sensitivity C-reactive protein, a blood marker for inflammation, could benefit from cholesterol-lowering therapy even if their cholesterol is already at desirable levels.

Noble gas detection system reaches maturity
The Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization certified the first noble gas detection system at its radionuclide station in Charlottesville, Va., United States, on Aug.

Are early testing and drug development the most pressing issues in Alzheimer's care?
Recent scientific research has highlighted biomarker tests for Alzheimer's disease, but questions remain about the clinical value of early testing.

Salmon baby food? Babies need omega-3s and a taste for fish, scientist says
Has your toddler eaten fish today? A University of Illinois food science professor has two important reasons for including seafood in your young child's diet, reasons that have motivated her work in helping to develop a tasty, nutritious salmon baby food for toddlers.

Can the world be powered mainly by solar and wind energy?
Continuous research and development of alternative energy could soon lead to a new era in human history in which two renewable sources -- solar and wind -- will become Earth's dominant contributor of energy, a Nobel laureate said in Boston today at a special symposium at the American Chemical Society's 240th National Meeting.

Darwin's family tree rediscovered
The Galton-Darwin-Wedgwood pedigree, first exhibited in 1932, has been found in the archives of Truman State University.

New study sheds light on painkilling system in brain
Repeatedly boosting brain levels of one natural painkiller soon shuts down the brain cell receptors that respond to it, so that the painkilling effect is lost, according to a surprising new study led by Scripps Research Institute and Virginia Commonwealth University scientists.

Who are you calling 'hipster'? Consumers defy labels and stereotypes
What happens when the products you love become labeled as

Researchers study cinnamon extracts
A study led by US Department of Agriculture chemist Richard Anderson suggests that a water soluble extract of cinnamon, which contains antioxidative compounds, could help reduce risk factors associated with diabetes and heart disease.

Researchers zero in on protein that destroys HIV
Using a $225,000 microscope and the wisdom of Yogi Berra, researchers have identified the key components of a protein called TRIM5a that destroys HIV in rhesus monkeys.

New nuclear breast imaging technologies associated with higher cancer risks
Some nuclear-based breast imaging exams may increase a woman's risk of developing radiation-induced cancer.

Immunity to the pandemic virus A (H1N1): Norway is probably well-prepared for major new outbreaks
By autumn 2009, almost half of the population of Norway had been vaccinated against the pandemic influenza A (H1N1) virus.

Fat distribution plays a role in weight loss success in patients at risk of diabetes
Why is it that some people lose weight and body fat when they exercise and eat less and others don't?

K-State professor's book is first to explore Two-Spirit literature in Northwest native groups
Two-Spirit is a term coined in the '90s that refers to people of native cultures who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender/transsexual or queer.

Placement of type of pump within the aorta prior to PCI not associated with improved outcomes
High-risk patients undergoing a coronary procedure such as placement of a stent who electively received an intra-aortic balloon pump (a device that can help improve blood flow) prior to the procedure did not experience a significantly lower overall rate of events such as heart attack, revascularization or death, according to a study in the Aug.

L'Oreal Fellowship winner seeks to understand breast cancer
A desire to understand how breast cancer starts has seen Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researcher Dr.

Why making our own choices is more satisfying when pleasure is the goal
When it comes to our own pleasure, we like having a choice, but when it comes to utilitarian goals, we're just as happy being told what to do, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Study compares risk with 2 diabetes drugs
A new analysis of data on patients covered by a single insurance company reports that risks of heart disease events and death were no different between patients who took the diabetes drugs rosiglitazone or pioglitazone.

Human umbilical cord blood cells aid lab animal brain cell survival after simulated stroke
When human umbilical cord blood cells were used to treat cultured rat brain cells deprived of oxygen, the cells appeared to protect astrocytes from cell death after stroke-like damage.

USDA-backed study finds federal school lunches linked to childhood obesity
Children who eat school lunches that are part of the federal government's National School Lunch Program are more likely to become overweight, according to new research funded by the USDA.

Moderate drinking: Health benefits or not?
There is disagreement about the health benefits of moderate drinking.

Cognitive behavior therapy improves symptom control in adult ADHD
Adding cognitive behavioral therapy -- an approach that teaches skills for handling life challenges and revising negative thought patterns -- to pharmaceutical treatment for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder significantly improved symptom control in a study of adult patients.

Why do consumer loyalty rewards programs need careful crafting?
In order to be competitive, companies can go overboard in trying to come up with creative designs for the loyalty reward programs.

Mothers abused by partners see decline in mental health even after relationship ends
Even after leaving a violent or controlling relationship, the mental health of mothers may actually get worse before it gets better, a new study suggests.

Why do consumers disclose sensitive information to shady-looking websites?
Many consumers need help recognizing when their privacy is compromised, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Cognitive behavioral therapy appears beneficial for adults with ADHD
Adults with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder who received medication and individual sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) showed greater improvement in symptoms through 12 months compared to patients who did not receive CBT, according to a study in the Aug.

Half-a-loaf method can improve magnetic memories
Chinese scientists have shown that magnetic memory, logic and sensor cells can be made faster and more energy efficient by using an electric, not magnetic, field to flip the magnetization of the sensing layer only about halfway, rather than completely to the opposite direction -- as described in the Journal of Applied Physics.

UF study shows carnivore species shrank during global warming event
A new University of Florida study indicates extinct carnivorous mammals shrank in size during a global warming event that occurred 55 million years ago.

University of Maryland receives $1.9M from NSF for investigations of biomolecular structure
The University of Maryland has received a $1.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation to acquire a superconducting 800 MHz Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectrometer that will help scientists and engineers to solve complex problems in biology and medicine.

Alcohol dependence damages both episodic memory and awareness of memory
Metamemory refers to the subjective knowledge that people have of their own cognitive processing abilities.

'Spintronics' breakthrough holds promise for next-generation computers
The discovery made at KU's Ultrafast Laser Lab clears a major hurdle for spintronics researchers worldwide: the difficulty in detecting the flow of spinning electrons in real time.

In the current issue of Deutsches Aerzteblatt International, Stephanie Holt, a clinical pharmacologist, and co-authors present the PRISCUS List: a list of medications that carry an increased risk of side effects when given to elderly patients.

True causes for extinction of cave bear revealed
The cave bear started to become extinct in Europe 24,000 years ago, but until now the cause was unknown.

Alcoholic liver disease is more aggressive than other chronic liver diseases
While diagnostic and treatment options for chronic liver disease are numerous, their effectiveness is unclear.

No laughing matter: Laughter can play key role in group dynamics
Laughter can play key roles in group communication and group dynamics -- even when there's nothing funny going on.

Genetic structure of first animal to show evolutionary response to climate change determined
Scientists at the University of Oregon have determined the fine-scale genetic structure of the first animal to show an evolutionary response to rapid climate change.

Researchers find gene responsible for neurodegenerative disease in dogs, possibly in humans
A North Carolina State University researcher has helped to locate and identify a gene responsible for a fatal neurodegenerative disease that affects American Staffordshire terriers.

Swimming upstream: Molecular approaches to better understand male infertility
Male infertility is a common medical problem, affecting millions of men in the United States annually.

Geo-engineering and sea-level rise over the 21st century
Scientific findings by international research group of scientists from England, China and Denmark just published suggest that sea level will likely be 30-70 centimeters higher by 2100 than at the start of the century even if all but the most aggressive geo-engineering schemes are undertaken to mitigate the effects of global warming and greenhouse gas emissions are stringently controlled.

SU research team uses nanobiotechnology-manipulated light particles to accelerate algae growth
Scientists and engineers seek to meet three goals in the production of biofuels from nonedible sources such as microalgae: efficiency, economical production and ecological sustainability.

'Biosensors' on 4 feet detect animals infected with bird flu
Blood hounds, cadaver dogs, and other canines who serve humanity may soon have a new partner -- disease detector dogs -- thanks to an unusual experiment in which scientists trained mice to identify feces of ducks infected with bird influenza.

Scientists map origin of large, underwater hydrocarbon plume in Gulf
Scientists funded by the National Science Foundation and affiliated with the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have detected a plume of hydrocarbons at least 22 miles long and more than 3,000 feet below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, a residue of the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

LEDs promise brighter future, not necessarily greener
Solid-state lighting pioneers long have held that replacing the inefficient Edison light bulb with more efficient solid-state light-emitting devices (LEDs) would lower electrical usage worldwide, not only

New 'Naked Scientists' series investigates our oceans
The University of Cambridge's

Migraine sufferers have higher risk of dying from heart disease and stroke
Individuals who suffer from migraines with aura (temporary visual or sensory disturbances before or during a migraine headache) are at a higher risk of dying from heart disease or stroke, according to research published today on

Singapore is site of new IOF Asia Pacific Regional office
Today, the International Osteoporosis Foundation celebrated the opening of its new regional office for the Asia Pacific region, in Singapore.

Smallest U-M logo demonstrates advanced display technology
In a step toward more efficient, smaller and higher-definition display screens, a University of Michigan professor has developed a new type of color filter made of nano-thin sheets of metal with precisely spaced gratings.

A case for exercising
here is now another good reason to exercise. Besides burning calories, exercise restores the sensitivity of neurons involved in the control of satiety (feeling full), which in turn contributes to reduced food intake and consequently weight loss.

NASA satellite sees Tropical Storm Mindulle make landfall in Vietnam
Tropical Storm Mindulle came ashore in central Vietnam today, Aug.

Atrazine causes prostate inflammation in male rats and delays puberty
A new study shows that male rats prenatally exposed to low doses of atrazine, a widely used herbicide, are more likely to develop prostate inflammation and to go through puberty later than non-exposed animals.

Glorious gadolinium gives flash memory a future
ture flash memory could be faster and store more data without changing its basic design by using a clever nanocrystal material proposed by scientists at Taiwan's Chang Gung University, who describe a new logical element made with the rare earth material gadolinium in the journal Applied Physics Letters.

Secrets of scents: Designing the smells that sell household products
Crafting a fragrance for detergents that leaves laundry smelling clean and fresh.

Radiologists call for national strategy to address medical imaging overuse
Overutilization of medical imaging services exposes patients to unnecessary radiation and adds to health care costs according to a special report that calls on radiologists to spearhead a collaborative effort to curb imaging overutilization.

Mumps vaccine coverage should be improved, study finds
Although immunity to mumps is high in the United States, mumps vaccine coverage must be maintained and improved to prevent future outbreaks, according to a new study, now available online, in the Sept.

Study shows deepwater oil plume in Gulf degraded by microbes
A study by Berkeley Lab researchers of a deepwater dispersed oil plume formed in the aftermath of the damaged BP wellhead in the Gulf of Mexico shows that microbial activity, spearheaded by a new and unclassified species, degrades oil much faster than anticipated.

IT can help CVD management
Robyn Whittaker from the University of Auckland and colleagues argue that information-technology-based programs can improve cardiovascular disease (CVD) management and patient empowerment, but must be accompanied by supportive social and political environments and active patient and clinician engagement.

Whale sharks may produce many litters from 1 mating, paternity test shows
University of Illinois at Chicago biologist Jennifer Schmidt analyzed genetic information from preserved whale shark embryos taken from a female caught off the coast of Taiwan 15 years ago.

How to count the messenger out
A protonated water network is a positively charged cluster of weakly bonded water molecules.

Pulverized planet dust might lie around double stars
Tight double-star systems might not be the best places for life to spring up, according to a new study using data from NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope.

Use of certain antiviral drugs during pregnancy not linked with higher risk of major birth defects
An analysis of data from Denmark finds no associated increased risk of major birth defects for mothers who were exposed during the first trimester of pregnancy to the antiviral drugs acyclovir, valacyclovir and famciclovir, often used to treat herpes simplex and herpes zoster infections, according to a study in the Aug.

System uses electrical trickery on the brain to induce realistic spaceflight effects
Researchers have developed a system that can safely induce the sensory and mobility disturbances astronauts often experience when returning to Earth, making it an excellent operational training tool.

Child abuse declines nationally in spite of economic deterioration
Child abuse declined nationally in 2008 compared to 2007, according to a new report by the Crimes against Children Research Center at the University of New Hampshire.

Genetic variations linked with development of ESRD in Chinese patients with diabetes
Examination of a gene involved in cell signaling finds that four common variants of this gene are associated with the development of end-stage renal disease in Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a study in the Aug.

Lipid peroxides -- more sophisticated than their reputation
Accumulation of lipid peroxides in the cell is associated with diseases and cellular stress.

Double-therapy approach effectively inhibited brain cancer recurrence
Researchers from the University of Massachusetts Medical School have identified a novel approach of combining chemotherapy with a targeted therapy to decrease the recurrence of glioblastoma multiforme, the most common and aggressive brain tumor.

New study shows how giant tortoises, alligators thrived in High Arctic 50 million years ago
A new study of the High Arctic climate roughly 50 million years ago led by the University of Colorado at Boulder helps to explain how ancient alligators and giant tortoises were able to thrive on Ellesmere Island well above the Arctic Circle, even as they endured six months of darkness each year.

Waiting for the right moment: Bacterial pathogens delay their entry into cells
Certain pathogens make themselves at home in the human body by invading cells and living off the plentiful amenities on offer there.

Mama wears Prada: Ovulating women buy sexier clothing
In an unconscious attempt to outdo female rivals, ovulating women buy sexier clothing, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Antiviral gene helps suppress jumping of AIDS viruses between host species
The human AIDS viruses originated as viruses of apes and monkeys, respectively, yet little is known about whether or how these invaders adapted to the new genetic

Survey of American women finds STD vaccine viewed positively
Cost but not convenience plays a significant role in attitudes about vaccination for common human papillomaviruses for women over the age of 26, according to the authors of a recent article in the journal Sexual Health.

Better interventions are needed to reduce HIV risk among men who have sex with men
Although a cognitive-behavioral intervention to encourage men who have sex with men to reduce their substance use and sexual risk behavior (as both are linked) was partially successful, a similar reduction was achieved in comparison groups who did not receive the intervention suggesting that better methods for changing behaviors are needed.

Study suggests oxytocin makes people trusting, but not gullible
Oxytocin (OT) is a hormone that plays an important role in social behavior -- it has even been nicknamed

Keystone Symposia to hold conference in Seattle on immunological mechanisms of vaccination
Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology will convene its conference on

See amazing new sun images from NJIT's Big Bear Solar Observatory
NJIT Distinguished Professor Philip R. Goode and the Big Bear Solar Observatory team have achieved

Richest planetary system discovered
Astronomers using ESO's HARPS instrument have discovered a planetary system containing at least five planets, orbiting the star HD 10180.

A moment on the lips, a year on the hips
A short period of excess food consumption can have long-term effects on your body weight and fat storage even after the initial weight is lost.

Did ancient coffee houses lay the groundwork for modern consumerism?
If you think that your favorite coffee shop is a great gathering place for discussion, you should have been around in the Ottoman Empire starting in the 1550s.

All may not be as it seems: College students, alcohol and sex
College students are less likely to let their female friends engage in risky sexual behavior after a night of drinking alcohol, according to recent findings in the journal Communication Education.

Heart transplant patients with common disorder have high survival rates
Short-term survival rates after heart transplant surgery to correct the most common genetic heart disease (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy) are similar to those of patients who received transplants for other heart diseases. 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