Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 09, 2010
University of Illinois receives $1.2 million grant to accelerate feedstocks research
A $1.2 million US Department of Energy grant will help University of Illinois researchers accelerate genetic breeding programs to create plants better suited for bioenergy production.

In order to save biodiversity society's behavior must change, leading conservationists warn
An innovative grouping of conservation scientists and practitioners have come together to advocate a fundamental shift in the way we view biodiversity.

Early cotton planting requires irrigation
Cotton growers can produce more cotton if they plant early, but not without irrigation.

Main climate threat from CO2 sources yet to be built
New energy-efficient or carbon-free technologies can help cut carbon dioxide emissions, but what about the power plants, cars, trucks and other fossil-fuel-burning devices already in operation?

University, government and philanthropic leaders converge in Seattle to advance global health
The Consortium of Universities for Global Health annual conference held at the University of Washington in Seattle on Sept.

European Union could create incentive for new drug treatments
Drug companies may be more willing to develop treatments for neglected diseases including malaria, tuberculosis and leishmanaiasis if the European Union would adopt a

Bionic speech recognition
Researchers at the University Campus in Tunis, Tunisia, have published details of a speech enhancement system that uses two distinct tools to reduce the noise from a recorded or sampled voice signal.

InHealth awards grants to research teams at Northwestern, Duke
The Institute for Health Technology Studies (InHealth) has awarded two follow-on grants totaling more than $830,000 to research teams at Northwestern University and Duke University.

Grant sparks hope for incurable disease
A disease that has no cure in young children and adults is getting closer attention, thanks to a University of Colorado Denver Bioengineering assistant professor and a five year National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute/National Institutes of Health grant.

New book explores history, future of international agriculture
A new book take both a historical look at the impact of the American Society of Agronomy in international agriculture, and a look forward into the future.

Energy technologies not enough to sufficiently reduce carbon emissions, NYU's Hoffert concludes
Current energy technologies are not enough to reduce carbon emissions to a level needed to lower the risks associated with climate change, New York University physicist Martin Hoffert concludes in an essay in the latest issue of the journal Science.

Mental maturity scan tracks brain development
Five minutes in a scanner can reveal how far a child's brain has come along the path from childhood to maturity and potentially shed light on a range of psychological and developmental disorders, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

There is more to motor imagery than mental simulation
New research reveals how the brain deals with real and impossible actions.

American Chemical Society webinar focuses on NSF's small business funding programs
News media and others interested in the chemical sciences are invited to join the next in a series of American Chemical Society webinars, focusing on how to navigate the National Science Foundation's small business funding programs.

'Sully' Sullenberger keynotes HFES 54th Annual Meeting
Retired US Airways Captain Chesley B.

Engineering Grand Challenges Summit in Los Angeles Oct. 6-8
The second national summit on the National Academy of Engineering's Grand Challenges -- which will focus on global issues related to sustainability, vulnerability, health and the

Use of medication for insomnia or anxiety increases mortality risk by 36 percent
Taking medications to treat insomnia and anxiety increases mortality risk by 36 percent, according to a study conducted by Geneviève Belleville, a professor at Université Laval's School of Psychology.

Health reform fails the disadvantaged
A new study looking at the effects of the 2006 Massachusetts Health Reform on access to care, health status and ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in health care, shows that the legislation has led to improvements in insurance coverage as well as a decline in financial barriers to care.

Researchers expand yeast's sugary diet to include plant fiber
Yeast cells do not normally eat complex sugars or carbohydrates, only simple sugars like glucose and sucrose.

DOD, industry fund $5.6M SMU-led research for realistic robotic arms that move, 'feel'
Lightning-fast connections between robotic limbs and the human brain may be within reach for injured soldiers and other amputees at a new research center led by engineers at Southern Methodist University, Dallas.

Using chest compressions first just as successful as immediate defibrillation after cardiac arrest
In cardiac arrest, is it best to start pumping on the victim's chest or give an immediate shock to the heart?

Drs. Erik De Clercq and Anthony S. Fauci win 2010 Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research
Johnson & Johnson announces that Erik De Clercq, M.D., professor emeritus, Rega Institute for Medical Research, Leuven, Belgium, and Anthony S.

American Society of Agronomy announces the class of 2010 fellows
The American Society of Agronomy will present the 2010 class of fellows at their Annual Meetings, Oct.

AGU journal highlights
The highlights in this release summarize research papers that have been recently published in Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres and Geophysical Research Letters.

Kennedy Krieger awarded $8.5 million to study aging and dementia in adults with Down syndrome
Early signs of Alzheimer's disease can be difficult to distinguish from the normal aging process in any older adult.

Inflicting greater harm judged to be less harmful
Joseph Stalin once claimed that a single death was a tragedy, but a million deaths was a statistic.

People learn new information more effectively when brain activity is consistent, research shows
People are more likely to remember specific information such as faces or words if the pattern of activity in their brain is similar each time they study that information, according to new research from a University of Texas at Austin psychologist and his colleagues.

New CCTV technology helps prevent terror attacks
Numerous CCTV systems are in use in public places which have the capacity to gather large amounts of image material.

Mexican-Americans with heart rhythm disorder have increased risk for second stroke
Mexican-American stroke survivors with atrial fibrillation had more than double the risk for a second stroke compared to non-Hispanic white survivors with the disorder.

Joint replacement: Does this look infected to you?
Clinical practice guidelines are one avenue the AAOS uses to ensure that patients receive high quality care.

New dual recognition mechanism discovered in tuberculosis
One third of the world's population is infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which leads to tuberculosis (TB), a leading cause of death worldwide.

Simplified clinical tool affects treatment decisions for heart health
The widespread use of a simplified clinical tool to estimate future coronary risk could lead to the classification of millions of Americans into different risk groups than when using the original,

Stenting should be avoided in patients over 70 for treatment for symptomatic blockage of neck arteries (carotid stenosis), but both stenting and endarterectomy are safe in younger patients
Results from previous studies have shown that, in patients being treated for symptomatic blockage of their neck arteries (carotid stenosis), stenting is associated with higher short-term risk of stroke than surgical widening of the artery (endarterectomy).

Stem cell research: What progress has been made, what is its potential?
The use of stem cells for research and their possible application in the treatment of disease are hotly debated topics.

Keeping stem cells from changing fates
Johns Hopkins researchers have determined why certain stem cells are able to stay stem cells.

Study finds most Oregon hospices do not fully participate in the Death with Dignity Act
A survey in the latest issue of the Hastings Center Report found that most hospices in Oregon, the first state to legalize physician-assistance in dying, either do not participate in or have limited participation in requests for such assistance.

BU partners in 5-year, $7.5M grant to study animal flight
The Office of Naval Research has awarded a five-year, $7.5 million grant to a team of researchers from Boston University, the University of Washington, the University of Maryland and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Terumo Medical Corp. reports first US implant in landmark study enrolling in US and Japan
Terumo Medical Corporation, a US-based subsidiary of Terumo Corporation, today announced the first US patient implant in the Occlusive/Stenotic Peripheral artery REvascularization StudY (OSPREY), which will evaluate the safety and efficacy of its MISAGO Peripheral Self-expanding Stent System for use in the superficial femoral artery.

Opioid use to relieve pain and suffering at end of life is safe in hospital-at-home setting
Patients who choose to spend their last days at home with specialized care and monitoring can safely be given opioids to control pain and other symptoms without reducing survival time, according to a new study.

Let's not forget about lead -- even small doses are dangerous
A comment in this week's Lancet looks at the findings of a report by the European Food Safety Authority, which concludes there is no known safe exposure to lead.

Global health vs. global wealth: Looming choice for health firms in developing countries
The lure of greater profits elsewhere in the world may divert firms in developing countries from the creation and distribution of affordable drugs, vaccines and diagnostics for illnesses of local concern, undermining the health prospects of millions of poor people, experts warn in an article to be published by the journal Nature Biotechnology.

NIH-funded studies aim to prevent, treat childhood obesity
The National Institutes of Health is launching two major research efforts, totaling $72.5 million, to examine ways to curtail the nation's childhood obesity epidemic.

Aging drug users are increasing and facing chronic physical and mental health problems
Health and social services are facing a new challenge, as many illicit drug users get older and face chronic health problems and a reduced quality of life.

Random numbers game with quantum dice
A simple device measures the quantum noise of vacuum fluctuations and generates true random numbers.

Philip Morris Tobacco vs. Uruguay: Health going head-to-head with trade
A comment in this week's Lancet discusses legal action taken by the tobacco company Philip Morris against Uruguay, as the Latin American country takes steps to increase coverage on tobacco packs of health warnings to 80 percent, and to require plain or colored packaging.

University of Liverpool and ISAEC to research genetics of drug-induced hypersensitivity reactions
The International Serious Adverse Events Consortium announced today it will collaborate with the University of Liverpool to research the genetics of a form of serious adverse drug reaction called hypersensitivity.

The public looks at synthetic biology -- cautiously
A new poll conducted by Hart Research Associates and the Synthetic Biology Project at the Woodrow Wilson Center finds that two-thirds of Americans think that synthetic biology should move forward, but with more research to study its possible effects on humans and the environment, while one-third support a ban until we better understand its implications and risks.

Biofeedback for your brain?
There is new evidence that people can learn to control the activity of some brain regions when they get feedback signals provided by functional magnetic resonance brain imaging.

A tectonic zip
The complex fracture pattern created by the earthquake in Concepción (Chile) on Feb.

Child's 'mental number line' affects memory for numbers
As children in Western cultures grow, they learn to place numbers on a mental number line, with smaller numbers to the left and spaced further apart than the larger numbers on the right.

4th EAU NEEM in Riga opens tomorrow
The 4th North Eastern European Meeting will open tomorrow in Riga, Latvia, with prostate, bladder and renal cancers topping the scientific agenda during the two-day meeting.

Study finds the effects of population aging have been exaggerated
Due to increasing life-spans and improving health many populations are

How mycobacteria avoid destruction inside human cells
Researchers at the Pasteur Institutes in Seoul and Paris, and at IPBS in Toulouse, have identified 10 factors that help Mycobacterium tuberculosis avoid destruction inside host cell phagosomes.

CRISPR critters: Scientists identify key enzyme in microbial immune system
Using protein crystallography beamlines at Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source, a team of researchers has resolved the atomic-scale crystal structure of an enzyme called

Most influential tweeters of all
Tweet this, Ashton Kutcher, Lady Gaga and Britney Spears. Just because you have a ton of followers on Twitter doesn't necessarily mean you're among the most influential people in the Twitterverse, according to researchers from Northwestern University.

Promising treatment for metastatic melanoma 'fast tracked' by FDA
Researchers from the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center played an important role in a study that led to the Food & Drug Administration's recent fast tracking of ipilimumab, a promising treatment for metastatic melanoma.

Abnormal body weight related to increased mortality in colon cancer patients
Postmenopausal women diagnosed with colon cancer may be at increased risk of death if they fail to maintain a healthy body weight before cancer diagnosis, according to a study published in the September issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

David Irby and Richard Reznick are awarded prize in medical education research
Professors David M. Irby and Richard K. Reznick are awarded the 2010 Karolinska Institutet Prize for Research in Medical Education.

Romantic partner may play role in reducing vulvovaginal pain
An investigation published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine has found that male partners who express greater support, attention and sympathy to women's chronic vulvovaginal pain may trigger more pain, but also increase sexual satisfaction in female partners.

OU study on genetics in fruit flies leads to new method for understanding brain function
A team of University of Oklahoma researchers studying neurobiology in fruit flies has developed a new method for understanding brain function with potential applications in studies of human neurological diseases.

In attracting mates, male bowerbirds appear to rely on special optical effect
Bowerbird males are well known for making elaborate constructions, lavished with decorative objects, to impress and attract their mates.

American Society of Agronomy announces award recipients
The American Society of Agronomy will present their 2010 awards at their Annual Meetings, Oct.

VCU Medical Center leads study of first US portable driver for powering the total artificial heart
The Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center is the lead institution in a national clinical trial of technology that will allow artificial heart patients to recuperate, rehabilitate and wait in the comfort of their own homes until a donor heart becomes available for transplant.

The pros and cons of Miscanthus -- uses more water, leaches less nitrogen
A recent study analyzed water quantity and quality in plots of Miscanthus, switchgrass, corn and soybeans and found that Miscanthus used substantially more water, but reduced the potential for nitrogen pollution to water bodies.

Scientists observe single ions moving through tiny carbon-nanotube channel
For the first time, a team of MIT chemical engineers has observed single ions marching through a tiny carbon-nanotube channel.

The Hastings Center Report table of contents for September-October 2010
This edition of the Hastings Center Report includes a number of essays that look at personalized medicine from several perspectives.

Study says shortage of FSC wood statewide could lead to price premium for green construction
A new study by Pat Penfield of the Whitman School of Management at Syracuse University, and René Germain of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, reveals that the low LEED point for use of FSC wood, coupled with both a shortage of FSC-certified sawmills and a shortage of FSC wood in New York state, may cause a bottleneck for green construction.

Mapping new paths for a stressed-out Internet
The San Diego Supercomputer Center and Cooperative Association for Internet Data Analysis at the University of California, San Diego, in a collaboration with researchers from Universitat de Barcelona in Spain and the University of Cyprus, have created the first geometric

Strategy discovered to prevent Alzheimer's-associated traffic jams in the brain
Amyloid beta proteins, widely thought to cause Alzheimer's disease, block the transport of vital cargoes inside brain cells.

Storm Surges Congress 2010 -- scientists from 30 countries meet in Hamburg
The Institute for Coastal Research at the GKSS Research Centre Geesthacht, in cooperation with Hamburg KlimaCampus at Hamburg University and further national and international partners, is hosting the international Storm Surges Congress 2010 from Sept.

Improvement in prediction of blood clots in cancer patients
For cancer patients, who have an increased risk of developing venous thromboembolism due to a hyperactive blood coagulation system, there is now an enhanced risk model to predict their chance of developing blood clots, according to a recent study published today in Blood, the journal of the American Society of Hematology.

The brain needs to remember faces in 3-dimensions
In our dynamic 3-D world, we can encounter a familiar face from any angle and still recognize that face with ease, even if the person has, for example, changed his hair style.

Where does granite come from?
This new Special Paper, co-published by the Geological Society of America with the Royal Society of Edinburgh, documents the proceedings of the Sixth Hutton Symposium on the Origin of Granites and Related Rocks, held in Stellenbosch, South Africa.

Renewable energy needs more community power
The renewable energy sector needs to use a wider range of business models in order to ensure a fairer distribution of power plants across the UK, according to research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

ORNL wins 2 awards for sustainability program
Exemplary efforts to

Southern soils mitigate manure microbes
Scientists release the first report of bacterial pathogens in soils treated with swine manure.

Phoenix Mars Lander finds surprises about red planet's watery past
An instrument designed and built at the University of Arizona measured the isotopic composition of the Mars atmosphere, suggesting liquid water has interacted with the Martian surface throughout Mars' history.

Appetite hormones may predict weight regain after dieting
Many people have experienced the frustration that comes with regaining weight that was lost from dieting.

Texas A&M chemical engineer's work could lead to improved DNA analysis
DNA analysis is poised to experience a significant advancement thanks to the work of a Texas A&M University chemical engineer, who has discovered a way to achieve more effective separation of DNA fragments.

Simplified heart-risk guideline may miscalculate risk for millions
A method that is widely used to predict the risk of a major coronary event may over- or underestimate risk for millions of Americans, according to a study directed by a researcher at the San Francisco VA Medical Center and the University of California, San Francisco.

Researchers give robots the capability for deceptive behavior
Researchers have published what is believed to be the first detailed examination of robot deception.

Gene discovery holds key to growing crops in cold climates
Fresh insight into how plants slow their growth in cold weather could help scientists develop crops suited to cooler environments.

Research and insights on severe asthma in children
A subset of children with asthma suffers from severe, treatment-resistant disease associated with more illness and greater allergic hypersensitivity, according to the results of the National Heart, Blood and Lung Institute's Severe Asthma Research Program.

Newcastle University and ISAEC to research genetics of drug induced liver injury
The International Serious Adverse Events Consortium (SAEC) announced today it will collaborate with Newcastle University to research the genetics of drug induced liver injury.

Carnegie Mellon researchers develop method to help computer vision systems decipher outdoor scenes
Computer vision systems can struggle to make sense of a single image, but a new method devised by computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University enables computers to gain a deeper understanding of an image by reasoning about the physical constraints of the scene.

High stress hormone levels linked to increased cardiovascular mortality
High levels of the stress hormone cortisol strongly predict cardiovascular death among both persons with and without pre-existing cardiovascular disease according to a new study accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Pediatric vaccine stockpile policies need to be revisited, researcher says
Vaccine manufacturers and public health decision-makers need to collaborate in a more efficient and effective manner not only to reduce the likelihood of supply shortages for pediatric vaccines but also to maximize community immunity, says Sheldon H.

Music on prescription could help treat emotional and physical pain
New research into how music conveys emotion could benefit the treatment of depression and the management of physical pain.

How can we use neutrinos to probe dark matter in the sun?
The existence of dark matter particles in the sun's interior seems inevitable, despite dark matter never having been observed (there or elsewhere), despite intensive ongoing searches.

Basic physical capability can predict mortality in later life
People who are better at simple physical acts such as gripping, walking, rising from a chair and balancing on one leg are more likely to live longer, according to a new study published on bmj.com today.

Diagnostic errors 'greatest threat to patient safety in hospitals,' claims senior doctor
Diagnostic errors are the most important causes of avoidable harm to patients in hospitals, warns a senior doctor on bmj.com today.

Greener pastures and better breeds could reduce carbon 'hoofprint'
Greenhouse gas emissions caused by livestock operations in tropical countries -- a major contributor to climate change -- could be cut significantly by changing diets and breeds and improving degraded lands, according to a new study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

23rd ECNP Congress: Europe's largest scientific meeting on mental health
The 23rd Congress of the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology covered a wide variety of issues of critical public health concern, such as depression, schizophrenia, addiction, chronopsychiatry and neurodegenerative disorders, including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.

Overweight and obese make up majority in Ontario
New analysis of a landmark health survey by the University of Ottawa Heart Institute shows that 70 percent of Ontario adults are either overweight or obese, and have a strong prevalence of high blood pressure that could lead to heart attack or stroke.
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