Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 07, 2010
Doctors at University of Colorado School of Medicine to train African doctors in AIDS care
The HIV epidemic continues to grow, especially in Africa where it has orphaned millions of children and decimated entire communities.

DFG awards 4 young scientists 2010 Bernd Rendel Prize
Four young female geoscientists have been selected by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (German Research Foundation) to receive the 2010 Bernd Rendel Prize.

Redescription of Cobitis longipectoralis Zhou from late early Miocene of East China
Cobitis longipectoralis from the late early Miocene of East China is not only the most informative and best-preserved early cobitid fossil known thus far, but also the only and earliest cobitid fossil from East Asia.

American Society of Hematology to honor Harvey Lodish and Mary Horowitz for excellence in mentoring
The American Society of Hematology will honor Harvey F. Lodish, Ph.D., and Mary M.

Water discovered on second asteroid, may be even more common
Water ice on asteroids may be more common than expected, according to a new study that will be presented today at the world's largest gathering of planetary scientists.

Cheek swab may detect lung cancer
Early detection is critical for improving cancer survival rates. Yet, one of the deadliest cancers in the United States, lung cancer, is notoriously difficult to detect in its early stages.

Childhood adversity may lead to unhealthy stress response in adult life
A study has detected a correlation between childhood adversity and exaggerated inflammatory response to stress among seemingly healthy people.

Saturn's icy moon may keep oceans liquid with wobble
Saturn's icy moon Enceladus should not be one of the most promising places in our solar system to look for extraterrestrial life.

Colorado researcher discovers mechanism for changing adult cells into stem-like cells
University of Colorado Cancer Center researcher Chuan-Yuan Li, Ph.D., and his group have discovered that so-called

Despite highest health spending, Americans' life expectancy falls behind other countries'
America continues to lag behind other nations when it comes to gains in life expectancy, and commonly cited causes for our poor performance -- obesity, smoking, traffic fatalities and homicide -- are not to blame.

Structure of plastic solar cells impedes their efficiency
A team of researchers from North Carolina State University and the UK has found that the low rate of energy conversion in all-polymer solar-cell technology is caused by the structure of the solar cells themselves.

Titan's haze may hold ingredients for life
Simulating possible chemical processes in the atmosphere of Titan, Saturn's largest moon, a UA-led planetary research team found amino acids and nucleotide bases in the mix -- the most important ingredients of life on Earth.

Report examines effects of noise and recommends ways to reduce levels
Exposure to noise is a fact of life. At high levels, noise can damage hearing, and at lower levels it can disrupt sleep patterns, interfere with communications, and even cause accidents.

Experts say direct-to-consumer genetic tests need innovative oversight
Direct-to-consumer genetic tests available from retailers and the Internet let people learn about their genomes without going to a doctor, but they raise the question of who is responsible for oversight and regulation of these tests.

Education program developed for preventing antisocial behavior in 3-year-old children
The program Aprender a convivir (Learning to live together) found that 90 percent of children interacted more actively with other children, and that 86 percent reduced anxiety/depression, shyness or social isolation.

Low Apgar score at birth linked to cerebral palsy
A low Apgar score at birth is strongly associated with cerebral palsy in childhood, concludes a study from researchers in Norway published on today.

New computer switches handle heat that renders transistors useless
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University have built electromechanical switches to replace transistors in high-heat computing.

HHS agencies partner with PEPFAR to transform African medical education
The US Department of Health and Human Services is partnering with the US President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief with a plan to invest $130 million over five years to transform African medical education and dramatically increase the number of health care workers.

Neural responses indicate our willingness to help
Witnessing a person from our own group or an outsider suffer pain causes neural responses in two very different regions of the brain.

LSU researchers receive grant to determine if salt was mover and shaker in ancient society
LSU Doris Stone Professor of Latin American Studies Heather McKillop, Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences Boyd Professor Harry Roberts and adjunct Karen McKee, together with colleagues from Auburn University-Montgomery, have received collaborative linked National Science Foundation, or NSF, grants to study the salt industry of the ancient Maya.

Vicki J. Cowart to receive 2010 Ian Campbell Medal
Vicki J. Cowart has been named the 29th recipient of the Medal in honor of Ian Campbell for Superlative Service to the Geosciences.

Brain changes found in football players thought to be concussion-free
A study by researchers at Purdue University suggests that some high school football players suffer undiagnosed changes in brain function and continue playing even though they are impaired.

Patient personality hinders detection of depression
Patient personality affects the accuracy of reports by friends and family members of mood history and symptoms and can cause missed diagnoses of depression, according to research published online by the journal International Psychogeriatrics.

NIH launches Genotype-Tissue Expression project
The National Institutes of Health today announced awards to support an initiative to understand how genetic variation may control gene activity and its relationship to disease.

International Menopause Society calls upon medical community to improve the vaginal health of postmenopausal women
To mark World Menopause Day on Oct. 18, 2010, the International Menopause Society is launching new recommendations for the management of postmenopausal vaginal atrophy, a distressing condition that will affect up to half of women after menopause.

Stanford-led study disproves link between genetic variant, risk of coronary artery disease
A genetic marker touted as a predictor of coronary artery disease is no such thing, according to a study led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

ASU presents Shoemaker Award to NASA's MER chief scientist
Steve Squyres, the principal investigator for the science payload on NASA's Mars Exploration Rover mission, will receive the 2010 Eugene Shoemaker Memorial Award Oct.

Stem cells shape up to their surroundings
Many scientists aspire to take control over the stem cell differentiation process, so that we can grow organs and implants perfectly matched to each patient in the future.

Americans' life expectancy continues to fall behind other countries'
The United States continues to lag behind other nations when it comes to gains in life expectancy, and commonly cited causes for our poor performance -- obesity, smoking, traffic fatalities and homicide -- are not to blame, according to a Commonwealth Fund-supported study published today as a Health Affairs Web First.

MRI zooms in on microscopic flow
Through a combination of remote instrumentation, JPEG-style image compression and other key enhancements, Berkeley Lab researchers have been able to apply Magnetic Resonance Imaging to materials flowing through microfluidic

Hydrographic services review panel meeting Oct. 12-13 in Vancouver, Wash.
The NOAA Hydrographic Services Review Panel will meet Oct. 12-13, in Vancouver, Wash., to discuss operations, research and development, hydrographic surveying, nautical charting, and geodetic and geospatial measurements.

Men perspire, women glow
Women have to work harder than men in order to start sweating, while men are more effective sweaters during exercise, according to new research published in the journal Experimental Physiology.

Salk Institute Medals to be awarded to Robert Roeder and Irwin Jacobs
For the second time in its 50-year history, the Salk Institute will award its Research Excellence and Public Service Medals.

Berkeley Lab awarded $12.5 million to lead a US-China clean energy research center
The US Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has been chosen to lead a consortium for a US-China Clean Energy Research Center on Building Energy Efficiency.

Study links large waist size to higher diabetes rates among Americans
Providing more evidence about the risks of having a fat midsection, an international research team has found that a higher rate of diabetes seen among adult Americans when compared to peers in England is explained primarily by a larger waist size rather than conventional risk factors such as obesity.

Georgia Tech Information Security Center releases cyber threats forecast for 2011
The Georgia Tech Information Security Center today announced the release of the GTISC Emerging Cyber Threats Report for 2011, outlining the top three areas of security risk and concern for consumer and business Internet and computer users.

Queen's University discovery could impact how the body receives medicine
Researchers at Queen's University have discovered how molecules in glass or plastic are able to move when exposed to light from a laser.

Election forecasts favor Republican gains in midterm
In the weeks leading up to the 2010 midterm elections, five forecasters or teams of forecasters offer models and predictions for the House in the October 2010 issue of PS: Political Science and Politics, a journal of the American Political Science Association.

NIH funds Center of Excellence for Molecular Hematology at Cincinnati Children's
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center has been named one of five national Centers of Excellence for Molecular Hematology to find new gene and cell therapies for inherited diseases affecting blood cells.

Reducing blood transfusions improves patient safety and cuts costs
A study has demonstrated how hospitals can improve patient safety and cut costs by reducing the number of blood transfusions.

Greater priority should be given to stroke prevention in developing countries
Increased global attention and research needs to be given to stroke prevention and the social and economic effects of the condition in developing countries, according to an academic at the University of East Anglia.

Breast density linked to increased risk of subsequent breast cancer
Researchers at Kaiser Permanente have found that patients with a very early form of breast cancer (ductal carcinoma in situ or DCIS) who have higher mammographic density may be at increased risk for subsequent breast cancer, especially in the breast opposite to the one with the initial cancer.

Transgenic corn suppresses European corn borer, saves farmers billions
Transgenic corn's suppression of the European corn borer has saved Midwest farmers billions of dollars in the past decade, reports a new study in Science.

'Jugend forscht' contestants win prizes in Lisbon
At the 22nd European Union Contest for Young Scientists in Lisbon this week, two second-place prizes, worth 5,000 euros ($6,971) each, were awarded to Simon Schuldt and to Luca Banszerus and Michael Schmitz.

American Chemical Society webinars focus on US immigration policies for international scientists
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 updates on US immigration policies for international scientists.

3-way control of fetal heart-cell proliferation could help regenerate cardiac cells
Heart muscle cells do not normally replicate in adult tissue, but multiply with abandon during development.

Deceitful lily fools flies
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, have solved a case of fraud that has been pending for 40 million years.

Venus Express finds planetary atmospheres such a drag
The polar atmosphere of Venus is thinner than expected. How do we know?

Real price of each pack of cigarettes is more than €100
Researchers from the Polytechnic University of Cartagena estimate that each pack of cigarettes really costs €107 ($149) for men and €75 ($105) for women, when premature death is taken into account.

Montana State, partners in 6 states consider converting invasive plants to fuel
Montana State University recently received $1 million to work with partners and develop innovative ideas for managing invasive plants in the upper Missouri watershed.

Scientists trick bacteria with small molecules
A team of Yale University scientists has engineered the cell wall of the Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, tricking it into incorporating foreign small molecules and embedding them within the cell wall.

Author who revealed unethical Guatemala syphilis study writes for Bioethics Forum
The researcher whose revelations about unethical US studies on syphilis in Guatemala in the 1940s lead to apologies from the Obama administration last week has written a commentary for Bioethics Forum, the Hastings Center's online publication.

Novel protein critical for cellular proliferation discovered
Researchers at the University of Illinois, Urbana, led by Professor Supriya Prasanth, have identified a novel protein that is highly conserved in higher eukaryotes.

Poverty grows in suburbs, but social services don't keep up
Poverty has grown in America's suburbs during the recent economic downturn, but poor people in many suburban communities are finding it hard to get the help they need.

Baseball Ph.D. recognizes NJIT baseball guru as 2010 predictions champ
Baseball Ph.D., based in Cleveland, has named NJIT Associate Professor Bruce Bukiet its 2010 Predictions Champ.

Notre Dame researcher helps discover 'walking' properties of bacteria
University of Notre Dame researcher Joshua Shrout is co-author of a new paper appearing in the journal Science that shows that bacteria are capable of

Half-time gamblers give stock market insight
Computer-modeled comparison of online football gamblers' behavior during play and during half-time shows distinct real-time differences, begging the question what motivates betting behavior when play is not underway?

Bacteria keep tabs on state of oil field
The ups and downs of the bacteria in an oil field provide a useful source of information for keeping tabs on the state of the oil field itself.

Brown Institute for Brain Science marks decade of research impact
The community of more than 100 scientists will mark its first decade by welcoming top colleagues from around the country Oct.

Too much of a good thing: Human activities overload ecosystems with nitrogen
Humans are overloading ecosystems with nitrogen through the burning of fossil fuels and an increase in nitrogen-producing industrial and agricultural activities, according to a new study.

Study cites illegal means, threats to farmers in company's bid to control China's forests
A new study released today in Washington, D.C., and Beijing suggests that one of the world's largest and

U-M receives NIH, FDA grant to study adaptive clinical trial designs
Researchers at the University of Michigan hope to improve the process for bringing therapies and medical devices to patients by investigating the impact of a class of innovative trial designs known as adaptive clinical trials -- which make adjustments to the trial using information accumulated as patients are enrolled -- in hopes of improving the efficiency of clinical trials as a whole.

Technique allows researchers to examine how materials bond at the atomic level
An approach pioneered by researchers at North Carolina State University gives scientists new insight into the way silicon bonds with other materials at the atomic level.

IMNG relaunches Internal Medicine News Digital Network and Hospitalist News Digital Network
International Medical News Group, an Elsevier company that provides medical news to physicians, today announced the relaunch of its websites for Internal Medicine News and Hospitalist News.

NASA satellites see Otto become a tropical storm
NASA satellites have collected data as the Atlantic Ocean's tropical depression 17 has undergone two changes in less than 24 hours.

Killer disease decimates UK frog populations
Common frog (Rana temporaria) populations across the UK are suffering dramatic population crashes due to infection from the emerging disease Ranavirus, reveals research published in the Zoological Society of London's journal Animal Conservation.

US collaborates with Arctic Coastal States to improve nautical charts
The United States today joined other Arctic Coastal States in a mutual effort to develop nautical charts that will improve the safety of mariners transiting the Arctic.

NIH funds advanced development of 3 biodefense vaccines
NIAID today announced three new contracts to fund research on vaccines to protect against emerging infectious diseases and biological threats that could be used in a terror attack.

ASTRO, Emilio Nares Foundation join to promote cancer survivorship
As part of an initiative to give back to the cancer communities in the cities visited during its annual scientific meetings, the American Society for Radiation Oncology is partnering with the Emilio Nares Foundation of San Diego to raise awareness of cancer survivorship issues.

Study details structure of potential target for HIV and cancer drugs
In a technical tour de force, structural biologists funded by the National Institutes of Health have determined the three-dimensional structure of a molecule involved in HIV infection and in many forms of cancer.

Ultrasound device improves poor bone healing
Ultrasound can speed the healing of fractures. A randomized controlled trial reported in the open access journal BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders has found that the use of low-intensity pulsed ultrasound in patients with tibial fractures which showed inadequate progress toward healing resulted in 34 percent greater bone mineral density in the fracture area after 16 weeks than use of a sham device.

20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall: Celebrating today's Germany
The lead editorial in this week's Lancet examines the progress made in Germany since the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Tinnitus in the elderly is prevalent and impacts quality of life
Tinnitus is common among elderly Nigerians and associated with treatable health conditions like otitis media, rhinosinusitis, head injury and hypertension, according to new research published in the October 2010 issue of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery.

In Wisconsin, 75 percent of economic benefit of Bt corn goes to farmers who don't plant it
Widespread planting of genetically modified Bt corn throughout the Upper Midwest has suppressed populations of the European corn borer, a major insect pest of corn, with the majority of the economic benefits going to growers who do not plant Bt corn, reports a multistate team of scientists in the Oct.

Can you analyze me now? Cell phones bring spectroscopy to the classroom
University of Illinois chemistry professor Alexander Scheeline developed a method using a few basic, inexpensive supplies and a cell phone camera to build a spectrometer, an important analytical chemistry instrument, for high school classes.

'Miracle rice' finding proves we can never stop rice breeding
Environmental changes are to blame for a 15 percent drop in the yield of

Missing self-injury behavior in youths with eating disorders, Stanford/Packard study finds
An alarming number of adolescents already battling eating disorders are also intentionally cutting themselves, and health-care providers may be failing to diagnose many instances of such self-injury, according to a new study from Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital.

Childhood vaccines yes, but not at a cost
Researchers from the University of Alicante taking part in the European VACSATC project have studied mothers' and fathers' opinions on vaccinating their children in five countries.

Genetically modified crop resistance to pests benefits non-modified crop, U of Minnesota study finds
Transgenic corn's resistance to pests has benefitted even nontransgenic corn, a new study led by scientists from the University of Minnesota shows.

Grant advances quark-gluon plasma studies
Rice University's Bonner Nuclear Lab has won a $1.175 million grant that will support its research on high-density and hot nuclear matter.

Bioasphalt developed at Iowa State to be used, tested on Des Moines bike trail
Bioasphalt, developed by Iowa State University's Christopher Williams and produced by Avello Bioenergy Inc., a company started by three Iowa State graduates, will be tested on a Des Moines bicycle trail.

Crop failures set to increase under climate change
Large-scale crop failures like the one that caused the recent Russian wheat crisis are likely to become more common under climate change due to an increased frequency of extreme weather events, a new study shows.

Nanoimprint lithography NSF grant awarded to micro device lab at Stevens
Dr. Eui-Hyeok Yang, associate professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Micro Device Laboratory at Stevens Institute of Technology, will receive NSF funding for the acquisition of a Nanoimprint Lithography System for the purpose of nanoscience research and education based on low-dimensional materials at Stevens.

You may not be able to say how you feel about your race
A new study looks at how much African-Americans and whites favor or prefer their own racial group over the other, how much they identify with their own racial group, and how positively they feel about themselves.

ORNL has key roles in DOE cybersecurity for energy effort
With the transition to a smart grid comes new opportunities for hackers, but researchers at the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory are working to stay at least one step ahead.

2010 Chemistry Nobel laureate Ei-ichi Negishi leads C&EN webinar
Ei-ichi Negishi, Ph.D., who shared the 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, will lead a Chemical & Engineering News webinar Oct.

New deep-sea hot springs discovered in the Atlantic
Scientists from the MARUM Center for Marine Environmental Sciences and the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology in Bremen on board the German research vessel Meteor have discovered a new hydrothermal vent 500 kilometers south-west of the Azores.

UCLA-led research team finds that bacteria can stand up and walk
In a study appearing in the current issue of Science, Gerard Wong, professor of bioengineering at UCLA Engineering, and his research group describe a new kind of surface adaptation, in which bacteria stand upright and walk on a surface.

US invested $139 billion in health research in 2009
The US invested $139 billion last year in health research from all public and private sources, according to Research!America's latest annual estimate.

New tool in the fight against tuberculosis
Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a way to harness prodigious quantities of genomic and metabolic data by developing an algorithm that automatically integrates both data sets.

HIV/AIDS financing to 2031 -- we need embrace different strategies for the various groups of countries
What can developing countries do now to change the trajectory of the AIDS epidemic for decades to come?

UC San Diego partners with Mozambique University to deliver quality health care
Aimed at enhancing the capacity of Mozambique's flagship medical school, Universidade Eduardo Modlane, in pre- and postgraduate medical education, the University of California -- San Diego School of Medicine and UEM entered into a partnership in 2007 to address both short and long-term medical human resource needs in Mozambique.

New palliative care resource announced by JAMA and McGraw-Hill
JAMA and McGraw-Hill announce publication of a new book --

Study shows faith-based interventions can encourage exercise in older African-American women
In a randomized controlled study based in Los Angeles, California, encouraging African-American women aged 60 or over to exercise, in conjunction with scripture reading and group prayer, led to a 78 percent increase in steps per week, equivalent to about three extra miles.

Melanoma uses body's immune system to spread to lungs
The way melanoma cells use the immune system to spread and develop into lung tumors may lead to a therapy to decrease development of these tumors, according to Penn State researchers.

Bacteria to blame in asthma attacks in children
Doctors have long known that viral infections can bring about asthma attacks and the shortness of breath, coughing, and wheezing associated with them.

Thoughts about time inspire people to socialize
Does thinking about time or money make you happier? A new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds that people who are made to think about time plan to spend more of their time with the people in their lives while people who think about money fill their schedules with work, work, and -- you guessed it -- more work.

Additional $38M awarded to expand orthopedic trauma care research
The Center for Injury Research and Policy at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health was awarded $38.6 million by the Peer Reviewed Orthopaedic Research Program of the US Department of Defense to expand its Major Extremity Trauma Research Consortium.

An X-ray for your genes
Dr. Noam Shomron of Tel Aviv University is developing a new method for the advancement of personalized medicine.

Governor presents UH researcher with grant for cardiac device
As increasingly more medical care is provided at home, health specialists say it's critical for people to be able to monitor themselves and make informed judgments.

Entomological Society of America names 2010 Insect Science Award winners
The Entomological Society of America is pleased to announce the winners of its 2010 awards.

Brown University chemists simplify biodiesel conversion
Two chemists at Brown University have streamlined the conversion of waste vegetable oil into biodiesel, eliminating the need for corrosive chemicals to perform the reactions.

Stevens entrepreneurship experts collaborate with Malaysian National University UKM
Over the summer of 2010, faculty and executive administrators from Stevens delivered a workshop in Malaysia on innovation and transforming academic research into start-up companies at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

Life-saving in the bacterial world: How Campylobacter rely on Pseudomonas to infect humans
The bacterium Campylobacter jejuni is a major cause of food poisoning in humans.

European Nurse Society calls to action on breakthrough cancer pain
Patient surveys have shown that breakthrough cancer pain is under-recognized, sub-optimally treated and therefore subject of intense patient discomfort.

Scientists reveal first structure of a class of proteins that help guide blood cell movement
Researchers have determined the structure of a protein that helps guide blood-forming stem cells, or hematopoetic stem cells.

Female fish flaunt fins to attract a mate
For the first time, biologists have described the evolution of the size of a female trait which males use to choose a partner.

Cell survival protein discovery rewrites immune system story
A discovery by Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researchers in Melbourne, Australia, reported in today's edition of Science, is set to rewrite a long-held belief about how the body's immune system establishes its memory.

Measurements of CO2 and CO in China's air indicate sharply improved combustion efficiency
A collaborative, six-year study of carbon dioxide levels in Beijing and surrounding provinces suggests that combustion efficiency, a component of overall energy efficiency, is improving in the region.

The elusive intermediary
Plants use specialized protein complexes to collect the light that drives photosynthesis.

MIT researchers develop a better way to see molecules at work in living brain cells
By creating a better way to see molecules at work in living brain cells, researchers affiliated with MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory and the MIT Department of Chemistry are helping elucidate molecular mechanisms of synapse formation.

New study shows benefits of Bt corn to farmers
A group of agricultural scientists reported in today's issue of the journal Science that corn that has been genetically engineered to produce insect-killing proteins isolated from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis provides significant economic benefits even to neighboring farmers who grow non-transgenic varieties of corn.

2010 Albert Maucher Prize awarded to Potsdam palaeoclimatologist
Professor Ulrike Herzschuh will be awarded the Albert Maucher Prize in Geoscience Oct.

OUP launches 1st globally focused journal on privacy and data protection
Oxford University Press is pleased to announce the launch of International Data Privacy Law, the only international journal to offer specialist coverage of the law relating to data protection and privacy. 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