Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 31, 2010
A decade of studying the Earth's magnetic shield in 3-D
Today, space scientists around the world are celebrating 10 years of ground-breaking discoveries by

Drug trial results refine treatment during angioplasty operations
A landmark international study, coordinated by McMaster University, has found that lower doses of a blood thinner called unfractionated heparin (UFH) during angioplasty did not reduce bleeding or vascular complications compared to standard dose UFH in patients initially treated with a blood thinner, fondaparinux.

Archaeological study shows human activity may have boosted shellfish size
In a counter-intuitive finding, new research from North Carolina State University shows that a species of shellfish widely consumed in the Pacific over the past 3,000 years has actually increased in size, despite -- and possibly because of -- increased human activity in the area.

Marine animals suggest evidence for a trans-Antarctic seaway
A tiny marine filter-feeder that anchors itself to the sea bed offers new clues to scientists studying the stability of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet -- a region that is thought to be vulnerable to collapse.

Lower-dose heparin use during coronary procedure does not appear to reduce risk of major bleeding
Patients with acute coronary syndromes initially treated with the anticoagulant fondaparinux who underwent a coronary procedure (such as balloon angioplasty) and received a lower dose of the anticoagulant heparin during the procedure did not have a reduced rate of major bleeding and vascular access site complications, according to a study that will appear in the Sept.

American women are happier going to church than shopping on Sundays -- Ben-Gurion U. Study
The research also reveals that when Sunday blue laws are repealed, women who choose secular activities, such as shopping, are not happier.

Starving to avoid sleepiness, and cognitive impairments when sleep deprived
As anyone who has ever struggled to keep his or her eyes open after a big meal knows, eating can induce sleepiness.

Clinic puts patients at heart of multiple sclerosis research
A research clinic for multiple sclerosis patients is being set up with a £10 million ($15.4 million) donation from the author JK Rowling.

Novel nanotechnology collaboration leads to breakthrough in cancer research
A multidisciplinary group of researchers at UCLA have produced a 3.6 angstrom resolution structure of the human adenovirus.

Mosquitoes use several different kinds of odor sensors to track human prey
It now appears that the malaria mosquito relies on a battery of different types of odor sensors to mediate its most critical behaviors, including how to choose and locate their blood-meal hosts.

Success stops drug trial
The data monitoring committee of the AVERROES study, seeing overwhelming evidence of the success of apixaban in the prevention of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation who are unsuitable for the conventional treatment of warfarin, has recommended early termination of this study.

NSU receives $1.6 million grant to prepare oil workers for spills
NSU willl use federal money to better prepare workers to handle oil spills.

Study discovers why females fare better than males after traumatic injury
A study published in the September 2010 issue of Shock by Dr.

IceCube neutrino observatory nears completion
In December 2010, IceCube -- the world's first kilometer-scale neutrino observatory, located beneath the Antarctic ice -- will finally be completed after two decades of planning.

Analysis sees higher death rate for very low-birth-weight infants born at less-specialized hospitals
An analysis of data from previously published studies indicates that very low-birth-weight and very preterm infants not born in highly specialized, level III hospitals have an associated higher likelihood of neonatal and pre-discharge death compared to similar infants born at level III hospitals, according to an article in the Sept.

Children raised by gay couples show good progress through school
By mining data from the 2000 Census, Stanford sociologist Michael Rosenfeld figured out the rates at which kids raised by gay and straight couples repeated a grade during elementary or middle school.

In drought-prone Sahel, scientists roll out innovative system for producing vegetables
With a major famine unfolding in Niger and other countries of West Africa's dry Sahelian region, an agricultural scientist speaking here today at the African Green Revolution Forum announced new progress in disseminating an innovative system for irrigated vegetable production -- a valuable option in a region that is highly dependent on subsistence rainfed cropping.

Why Americans believe Obama is a Muslim
There's something beyond plain old ignorance that motivates Americans to believe President Obama is a Muslim, according to a first-of-its-kind study of smear campaigns led by a Michigan State University psychologist.

Tiny rulers to measure nanoscale structures
Physicists at China's Wuhan University discovered that nanospheres combined with a nanorod dimer could be used to solve the problem of measurement sensitivity at the nanoscale -- work reported in the Journal of Applied Physics.

Hospitals face legal dilemma if they test incapacitated patients after needle accidents
Anesthetists are calling for greater clarity on the legal implications of testing incapacitated patients for blood-borne viruses, after a survey found that this is often done following staff needle-stick injuries, in possible breach of legislation.

Study findings show value of dietary supplement SAMe in treatment of adults with major depressive disorders
A new study conducted by investigators at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital suggests that S-Adenosyl Methionine, an over-the-counter dietary supplement, can be an effective, relatively well-tolerated, adjunctive treatment for adults with major depressive disorders who do not respond to their treatment with antidepressant medication.

Hourly workforce carries burden during recession
The United States workforce, battered by an economic slowdown, now includes a record number of workers who are involuntarily working part-time due to reduced hours or the inability to find a full-time job.

Buying common medicines can push poor people further into poverty
A substantial proportion (up to 86 percent) of the population living in low and middle income countries would be pushed into poverty as a result of purchasing common life-saving medicines.

Photo album tells story of wildlife decline
With a simple click of the camera, scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Society and Zoological Society of London have developed a new way to accurately monitor long-term trends in rare and vanishing species over large landscapes.

DASH eating plan lowers long-term heart attack risk, especially among African-Americans
The DASH diet reduced the estimated risk of having a heart attack in the next ten years by 18 percent when compared to a typical American eating plan.

Study: The bright red of cardinals means less in urban areas
Normally, the brilliant red of a male cardinal signals to females that he is a high-quality mate. But that may not be true of cardinals living in urban areas, a new study suggests.

Fuel-efficiency formula needs cars wired with better brainpower, less vroom
A University of Michigan researcher says it's possible to triple fuel economy in gasoline-powered cars by 2035, but it'll mean getting our automotive kicks from smart electronic technology and other forms of virtual performance rather than horsepower.

Microbiology brought to life in Nottingham
Antimicrobial insect brains, mouth bacteria behaving badly and the hundreds of microbial communities that lurk in household dust are just some of the highlights at the Society for General Microbiology's autumn meeting in Nottingham next week.

Mosquitoes use several different kinds of odor sensors to track human prey
It now appears that the malaria mosquito needs more than one family of odor sensors to sniff out its human prey.

Free as a bird?
It may seem like birds have the freedom to fly wherever they like, but researchers at the University of Missouri have shown that what's on the ground has a great effect on where a bird flies.

Preventive cancer surgeries save women's lives
A new study underscores the importance for women with a family history of breast or ovarian cancer to get genetic testing for the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes that make them more likely to develop lethal breast or ovarian cancer, says a Northwestern Medicine oncologist.

Computer scientists leverage dark silicon to improve smartphone battery life
A new smartphone chip prototype under development at the University of California, San Diego will improve smartphone efficiency by making use of

Tracking marine animal travel
Scientists are gaining a deeper understanding of marine mammal travel patterns using a large-scale tracking network.

System for eliminating salt may point to new antihypertensives
A study of the body system that deals with Americans' love affair with salt may yield more insight into why so many end up hypertensive and how to better treat them.

York U researcher finds new bee in downtown Toronto
A York University doctoral student who discovered a new species of bee in Toronto has completed a study of 84 species of sweat bees in Canada.

For the first time, researchers identify and isolate adult mammary stem cells in mice
For the first time, researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have identified and isolated adult mammary stem cells in mice.

With new technique, UF astronomers find potassium in giant planet's atmosphere
Any driver who's seen deer silhouetted by the headlights of an oncoming car knows that vital information can be conveyed by the outlines of objects.

Mimicking fish and tailoring radar to warn of bridge peril
Civil Engineering Professor Bill Yu has built a pair of sensors to provide real-time risk assessments of bridges during flooding -- the largest cause by far of bridge failure.

TGen finds therapeutic targets for rare cancer in children
The first study of Ewing's sarcoma that screened hundreds of genes based on how they affect cell growth has identified two potential anti-cancer drug targets, according to a scientific paper by the Translational Genomics Research Institute published this month in the journal Molecular Cancer.

NRL ready to deploy virtual mission operations center
The Naval Research Laboratory is ready to deploy a remarkable capability that has been the focus of a six-year project developed in concert with numerous government and industry partners.

Nation's leading ID experts call for mandatory flu vaccine for all health-care personnel
Influenza vaccination of health-care personnel is a professional and ethical responsibility and noncompliance with health-care facility policies regarding vaccination should not be tolerated, according to a position paper released today by the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

Pallava Bagla and Roberta Kwok win AGU journalism awards
Pallava Bagla and Roberta Kwok have won the American Geophysical Union's 2010 journalism awards.

Wireless networks enable intruder detection and emergency alerts funded by NSF
National Science Foundation funds Dr. Yingying Chen at Stevens Institute of Technology, the Innovation University, in her collaborative work with Dr.

Prophylactic surgeries associated with lower risk of cancer for women with BRCA1/2 gene mutations
Women at increased risk of breast and ovarian cancer because of inherited mutations of the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes who had prophylactic mastectomy or salpingo-oophorectomy (removal of the fallopian tubes and ovaries) had an associated decreased risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer, according to a study in the Sept.

Difficult Dialogues Initiative promotes diversity at MU, around country
The University of Missouri has received an addition $30,000 grant to continue it's Difficult Dialogues Initiative and to help start similar programs at schools around the nation.

Starvation keeps sleep-deprived fly brain sharp
As anyone who has ever struggled to keep his or her eyes open after a big meal knows, eating can induce sleepiness.

Health advice from pharmacists saves hundreds of millions of euros
Hundreds of millions of euros are being saved each year for national health care systems by patients consulting community pharmacists rather than going straight to their doctors, says a survey to be presented at the annual conference of the International Pharmaceutical Federation.

CIHR makes recommendations on Canadian MS research priorities
On Aug. 26, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, in collaboration with the MS Society of Canada, convened a meeting of leading North American experts in multiple sclerosis (MS) to identify research priorities for Canada in this area.

Goodbye to cold nights
Given the impact of climatic extremes on agriculture and health in Spain, researchers at the University of Salamanca have analyzed the two factors most representative of these thermal extremes between 1950 and 2006 -- warm days and cold nights.

Developments in nanobiotechnology at UCSB point to medical applications
Two new groundbreaking scientific papers by researchers at UC Santa Barbara demonstrate the synthesis of nanosize biological particles with the potential to fight cancer and other illnesses.

UTHealth neuroscientist wins prominent NIH Director's Pioneer Award
Valentin Dragoi, Ph.D., an associate professor of neurobiology and anatomy at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, is one of 17 researchers to win a 2010 National Institutes of Health Director's Pioneer Award.

Evolution rewritten, again and again
Palaeontologists are forever claiming that their latest fossil discovery will

Heart attacks jump in young Italian women
The incidence of acute myocardial infarction in Italy sharply increased, particularly among young women, between the years 2001 and 2005, according to a comprehensive study funded by the Human Health Foundation, a nonprofit Italian charity for biomedical research and health education in Spoleto, Italy.

Obesity, diabetes epidemics continue to grow in California, UCLA study finds
A majority of adults in California are obese or overweight and more than 2 million have been diagnosed with diabetes, according to a new study from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

High-fat diet during puberty linked to breast cancer risk later in life
Girls eating a high-fat diet during puberty, even those who do not become overweight or obese, may be at a greater risk of developing breast cancer later in life, according to Michigan State University researchers.

LEDs illuminate eye for ocular disease screening
A new imaging system using six different wavelengths to illuminate the interior of the eyeball (ocular fundus) may pave the way for doctors to easily screen patients for common diseases of the eye, such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.

University of Colorado students, staff help NASA decommission satellite
University of Colorado at Boulder undergraduates, who have been helping to control five NASA satellites from campus, participated in the unusual decommissioning of a functioning satellite with a failed science payload in recent days, bringing the craft into Earth re-entry to burn up yesterday.

Combining resistance and endurance training best for heart health
A study of triathletes reveals that the heart adapts to triathlon training by working more efficiently.

Social relationships: Key to health and health policy
The editorial this month argues for the need to fundamentally rethink how societies can look beyond the

University of Houston, partners awarded $4.2 million DOE grant for magnet energy storage research
The University of Houston and three other institutions have received a $4.2 million grant from the US Department of Energy to develop a superconducting magnet energy storage system device that could revolutionize the nation's electrical power grid.

Home-based intervention may provide some benefit to patients with dementia and their caregivers
An intervention that targeted modifiable stressors in the home of patients with dementia resulted in better outcomes for the patients and their caregivers at four months, but not at nine months, although the caregivers perceived greater benefits, according to a study in the Sept.

Providing body armor to all US police officers is worth the cost, study finds
While most police departments use body armor, many still do not.

Physical activity can reduce the genetic predisposition to obesity by 40 percent
Although the whole population can benefit from a physically active lifestyle, in part through reduced obesity risk, a new study shows that individuals with a genetic predisposition to obesity can benefit even more.

Treatment for S. aureus skin infection works in mouse model
Scientists from the National Institutes of Health and University of Chicago have found a promising treatment method that in laboratory mice reduces the severity of skin and soft-tissue damage caused by USA300, the leading cause of community-associated Staphylococcus aureus infections in the United States.

GOES-13 catches 3 tropical cyclones thrashing through the Atlantic
Powerful Hurricane Earl, growing Tropical Storm Fiona and fading Danielle were all captured in today's visible image from the GOES-13 satellite.

Mothers matter
High social status and maternal support play an important role in the mating success of male bonobos.

The neural basis of the depressive self
In the general population, depression is still frequently associated with bad lifestyle, impairment of volition and

Babies born past term associated with increased risk of cerebral palsy
While preterm birth is a known risk factor for cerebral palsy, an examination of data for infants born at term or later finds that compared with delivery at 40 weeks, birth at 37 or 38 weeks or at 42 weeks or later was associated with an increased risk of cerebral palsy, according to a study in the Sept.

New discovery suggests our lungs are 'innately prone' to silicosis and related diseases
For the nearly 2 million US workers exposed to silica dust each year, a new discovery may help prevent or treat the development of chronic lung diseases related to this exposure.

2 students create website to track historic Twitter trends
RT @UCRiverside: #Computerscience and #art student create tool to track Twitter's top trending topics over time.

Silicon oxide circuits break barrier
Rice University scientists have created the first two-terminal memory chips that use only silicon, one of the most common substances on the planet, in a way that should be easily adaptable to nanoelectronic manufacturing techniques and promises to extend the limits of miniaturization subject to Moore's Law.

The impact of new media and technology on customer relationships
The Journal of Service Research special August 2010 edition examines how social media are changing the way companies find and interact with customers.

Diverse diet of veggies may decrease lung cancer risk
Adding a variety of vegetables to one's diet may help decrease the chance of getting lung cancer, and adding a variety of fruits and vegetables may decrease the risk of squamous cell lung cancer, especially among smokers.

Sangart reports positive Phase IIa data for novel oxygen therapeutic agent MP4OX in trauma patients
Sangart Inc., today announced positive results from its Phase IIa proof-of-concept study of MP4OX (oxygenated pegylated hemoglobin) in severely injured trauma patients with hemorrhagic shock causing lactic acidosis.

Increasing selenium intake may decrease bladder cancer risk
A common mineral may provide protection against bladder cancer.

Reading Arabic isn't easy
The brain's right hemisphere is not involved in the initial processes of reading in Arabic, due to the graphic complexity of Arabic script.

New study suggests migration does not bring happiness
Economic migrants seeking a

NASA's Terra Satellite captures 3 tropical cyclones in the northwestern Pacific Ocean
NASA's Terra satellite flew over the Northwestern Pacific Ocean at 10:30 p.m.

Girls' early puberty linked to unstable environment via insecure attachment in infancy
Girls are hitting puberty earlier and earlier. One recent study found that more than 10 percent of American girls have some breast development by age 7.

Scientists discover new protein that gets to the roots of obesity and osteoporosis
Here's good news for anyone trying to lose weight or has osteoporosis: Scientists from Maine are on the trail of a weight loss drug that may revolutionize how we treat these two conditions.

Researchers develop simulation to better understand the effects of sound on marine life
A combination of the biology of marine mammals, mechanical vibrations and acoustics has led to a breakthrough discovery allowing scientists to better understand the potential harmful effects of sound on marine mammals such as whales and dolphins.

Breakthrough news involving migraine
Investigators from the International Headache Genetics Consortium, a world-wide collaboration of researchers, have identified the first-ever genetic risk factor associated with common types of migraine.

Off-the-shelf dyes improve solar cells
In the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy, scientists in India report success in boosting the ability of zinc oxide solar cells to absorb visible light simply by applying a blended mixture of various off-the-shelf dyes commonly used in food and medical industries -- in a soak-then-dry procedure not unlike that used to color a tee-shirt in a home washing machine.

Special edition journal provides new perspectives and guidance for managing white pine blister rust
The August 2010 journal, Forest Pathology, provides a synthesis of knowledge on C. ribicola, identifies policy and management actions to mitigate disease impacts, and reviews future issues facing white pine management such as climate change and new pathogen introductions.

300 years of history in a tomato
A new history of the tomato in Italy by a University of Leicester historian throws some surprising insights on an item of food that we have been accustomed to think of as intrinsically Italian. 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