Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 13, 2010
Queen's University Belfast lung injury study could save lives in critically ill
Researchers at Queen's University Belfast are investigating a potential new treatment for lung disease that could save many lives each year.

Train a computer to classify pictures and videos based on the elements that they contain
At present, computer search and classification of images is made basing on the name of the file, folder or on features as date or size, but the visual information contained was never used for classification purposes.

Pitt team finds protein that sets the stage for exchanges of DNA code in eggs and sperm
A team led by a scientist at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine has discovered a regulatory protein that influences where genetic material gets swapped between maternal and paternal chromosomes during the process of creating eggs and sperm.

Soft drink could enhance effects of an anti-cancer drug
Experiments with an artificial stomach suggest that a popular lemon-lime soft drink could play an unexpected role in improving the effectiveness of an oral anti-cancer drug.

Walk much? It may protect your memory down the road
New research suggests that walking at least six miles per week may protect brain size and in turn, preserve memory in old age, according to a study published in the Oct.

Web-based questionnaire can be cost-effective tool for survey responses
Investigators from the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University School of Medicine have reported that the use of a Web-based questionnaire can be a cost-effective tool for obtaining survey responses.

Eyetracker warns against momentary driver drowsiness
Car drivers must be able to react quickly to hazards on the road at all times.

Compound in celery, peppers reduces age-related memory deficits
A diet rich in the plant compound luteolin reduces age-related inflammation in the brain and related memory deficits by directly inhibiting the release of inflammatory molecules in the brain, researchers report.

Noices to receive 2010 Gene D. Cohen Award
The Gerontological Society of America and the National Center for Creative Aging have chosen Helga Noice, Ph.D., and Tony Noice, Ph.D., of Elmhurst College as the 2010 recipients of the Gene D.

Unsung hero: Berkeley researchers produce high-res model of Ndc80 in action
Berkeley Lab scientists used cryo-electron microscopy and three-dimensional image reconstruction to create a subnanometer resolution image of Ndc80, a protein complex that helps prevent chromosomal distribution mistakes during mitosis that can lead to birth defects, cancer and other disorders.

Douglas A. Jabs, M.D., honored with Jackson Memorial Lecture by the American Academy of Ophthalmology
Douglas A. Jabs, M.D., M.B.A., professor and Chair of the Department of Ophthalmology, CEO of the Faculty Practice Associates, and Dean for Clinical Affairs at the Mount Sinai Medical Center, has been selected to deliver the prestigious Jackson Memorial Lecture at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Silicon strategy shows promise for batteries
A team of Rice University and Lockheed Martin scientists has discovered a way to use simple silicon to radically increase the capacity of lithium-ion batteries.

Taming wild grapes for better wine
University of Illinois researchers are crossing wild grapes with proven wine grape varieties to develop a good wine grape that can withstand the cooler northern Illinois weather.

A crucial link in immune development and regulation unearthed
An Australian team of scientists has uncovered a quality-control mechanism that must take place for our immune system to subsequently effectively destroy harmful viruses and bacteria.

A new system for locating and capturing satellites in space
Scientists at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid have developed a new system for docking and capturing space satellites based on robotics and computer vision technology to autonomously guide a space vehicle to dock and capture the satellites.

James K. Mitchell to receive Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Davies Medal
Esteemed geotechnical engineer and educator James K. Mitchell, Class of 1951, will receive the prestigious Davies Medal for Engineering Achievement from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute School of Engineering.

Research and protect natural resources
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft aims to increase the knowledge of our natural resources.

Americans rank jobs, research as priorities for candidates to address
A majority of Americans (58 percent) said they are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports increased federal spending on job creation, in a national poll commissioned by Research!America.

Ghosts of the future
Astronomers using the South Pole Telescope report that they have discovered the most massive galaxy cluster yet seen at a distance of seven billion light-years.

Psychological first aid for survivors of disaster
Even as we breathe a sigh of relief watching the rescue of 33 miners trapped in a Chilean mine for more than two months, there is recognition that their recovery from this traumatic experience involves more than just their physical health.

National study shows 1 in 5 children meet criteria for a mental disorder across their lifetime
Mental disorders in children are often difficult to identify due to the myriad of changes that occur during the normal course of maturation.

Study demonstrates pine bark naturally improves tinnitus
A study reveals that Pycnogenol is effective in relieving tinnitus symptoms.

Breaking ball too good to be true
Curveballs curve gradually, but the perception by some hitters of a sharp

Nutrition rating enhancing front-of-package nutrition rating systems and symbols: Phase 1
Nutrition rating systems and symbols on the fronts of food packaging would be most useful to shoppers if they highlighted four nutrients of greatest concern -- calories, saturated fat, trans fat and sodium -- says a new report from the Institute of Medicine.

Low-dose exposure to chemical warfare agent may result in long-term heart damage
New research found that the pattern of heart dysfunction with sarin exposure in mice resembles that seen in humans.

Electrified nano filter promises to cut costs for clean drinking water
With almost one billion people lacking access to clean, safe drinking water, scientists are reporting development and successful initial tests of an inexpensive new filtering technology that kills up to 98 percent of disease-causing bacteria in water in seconds without clogging.

Seeking a basis for pharmaceutical products from algae and other organisms in the sea
Researchers at the Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Helsinki are coordinating an extensive project which aims to find biological activity from among organisms in the sea which would be suitable for use as a basis for pharmaceutical products.

West Virginia school-based screening reveals significant high blood pressure rate
It's not easy to wrangle fifth graders from noisy school hallways to get their blood pressure checked.

Scientists prepare for confined field trials of life-saving drought-tolerant transgenic maize
Crop specialists in Kenya and Uganda have laid the groundwork for confined field trials to commence later this year for new varieties of maize genetically modified to survive recurrent droughts that threaten over 300 million Africans for whom maize is life, according to a speech given today by the head of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation at the World Food Prize Symposium.

Life expectancy higher in Israel than in US, according to Ben-Gurion U. researcher
Life expectancy in the US grew by four years since 1980, and in the rest of the OECD it grew by six years.

UC Riverside physicists pave the way for graphene-based spin computer
Physicists at the University of California, Riverside have taken an important step forward in developing a

Battling the force that wastes 1 out of every 10 gallons of gasoline in cars
Engine friction -- the force that wastes almost 1.4 million barrels of oil per day in cars and trucks in the United States alone -- could become less of a problem for fuel-conscious consumers thanks to promising new oils and other materials that scientists are developing.

Questions fuel 'Ask A Biologist' website success
The Arizona State University online children's science portal,

New evidence that fat cells are not just dormant storage depots for calories
Scientists are reporting new evidence that the fat tissue in those spare tires and lower belly pooches is an active organ that sends chemical signals to other parts of the body, perhaps increasing the risk of heart attacks, cancer and other diseases.

I win, you lose: Brain imaging reveals how we learn from our competitors
A new study by a team at the University of Bristol's Graduate School of Education and Department of Computer Science has used brain imaging to reveal how people and animals learn from failure and success.

Promising HIV prevention microbicide tenofovir gel being tested for safety of rectal use
Tenofovir gel, a vaginal microbicide that has shown promise for preventing HIV through vaginal sex, is being tested in a new trial looking at its safety and acceptability when used rectally.

Dr. William R. Muehlberger to receive Marcus Milling Legendary Geoscientist Medal
The American Geological Institute is pleased to announce Dr. William R.

Improving medical education in Africa
Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine is among the US medical schools and universities involved in an initiative to invest $130 million over five years to transform African medical education and dramatically increase the number of health workers.

Early role of mitochondria in AD may help explain limitations to current beta amyloid hypothesis
A new study in mouse models by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center has found that the brain's mitochondria -- the powerhouses of the cell -- are one of the earliest casualties of the disease.

Growing galaxies gently
New observations from ESO's Very Large Telescope have, for the first time, provided direct evidence that young galaxies can grow by sucking in the cool gas around them and using it as fuel for the formation of many new stars.

Ming T. Tsuang recognized with NARSAD outstanding achievement award for schizophrenia research
Ming T. Tsuang, M.D., Ph.D., D.Sc., behavioral genomics endowed chair and distinguished professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, and director of its Center for Behavioral Genomics, has been awarded the Lieber Prize for Outstanding Achievement in Schizophrenia Research by NARSAD.

ASTRO, Mama's Kitchen 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 (ASTRO) is partnering with Mama's Kitchen of San Diego to raise awareness of cancer survivorship issues.

Can Hungary's red sludge be made less toxic with carbon?
The red, metal-laden sludge that escaped a containment pond in Hungary last week could be made less toxic with the help of carbon sequestration, says an Indiana University Bloomington geologist who has a patent pending on the technique.

Unexplained childhood disorders
Parents of children with undiagnosed learning disorders, developmental deficits and congenital abnormalities face a host of psychological and social challenges, which are explored in detail in a reflective article in Genetic Testing and Molecular Biomarkers, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert Inc.

Hubble finds that a bizarre X-shaped intruder is linked to an unseen asteroid collision
An international team of astronomers has observed what happens after asteroids crash together.

Poor education and training fuels reliance on migrant construction workers
The construction industry could be devastated by a short-term over-reliance on migrant EU workers because of a lack of skills training, a new publication warns.

2 new 'innovation and knowledge centers' receive $32 million funding
Funding was announced today for two new research centers in the UK.

Hemostatic powder stops bleeding ulcers: Doctor
A new material similar to that used by the US military to treat traumatic injuries is showing promise as the next novel treatment for bleeding ulcers, a condition that commonly affects up to 15 percent of adults, according to Hong Kong physician Dr.

Columbia engineer part of team to receive $6.2 million DOD grant for blast research
A team of biomedical engineers from Columbia University, University of Pennsylvania, and Duke University has been awarded a $6.25 million dollar, five-year multi university research initiative grant from the US Department of Defense to study the effects of blast waves on the neural circuitry of the brain.

Personality and exercise levels may be linked
There may be a fundamental link between aspects of an individual's personality and their capacity to exercise or generate energy, recent research suggests.

Wiley-Blackwell forms partnership with the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists
The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists has partnered with Wiley-Blackwell to publish their journal International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders.

New survey of psychiatric nurses highlights their role in patient care, professional challenges and desire to do more
According to a new survey sponsored by Janssen, Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc., 94 percent of psychiatric nurses feel very or extremely involved in providing care for people with mental illness.

Grant to fund 'pioneering' brain-computer interface technology
A grant will support a research collaboration between an Arizona State University bioengineer and the Children's Neuroscience Institute to further develop technology designed to help people who have lost abilities to move and communicate.

Scientists solve mystery of arsenic compound
Scientists have solved an important mystery about why an arsenic compound, arsenite, can kill us, and yet function as an effective therapeutic agent against disease and infections.

Alternative fish feeds use less fishmeal and fish oils
As consumers eat more fish as part of a healthy diet, US Department of Agriculture scientists are helping producers meet this demand by developing new feeds that support sustainable aquaculture production.

Enzyme in saliva shapes how we sense food texture
Oral texture perception contributes to each person's food preferences. A study from the Monell Center reports that individuals' perception of starch texture is shaped by activity of an oral enzyme known as salivary amylase.

Gladstone scientists uncover mechanism for the major genetic risk factor of Alzheimer's disease
Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes of Neurological Disease have provided new insights into how apoE4 might be involved.

Love takes up where pain leaves off, Stanford brain study shows
Intense, passionate feelings of love can provide amazingly effective pain relief, similar to painkillers or such illicit drugs as cocaine, according to a new Stanford University School of Medicine study.

Study warns that over-the-counter weight-reducing products can cause harm and may even kill
The desire for a quick-fix for obesity fuels a lucrative market in so-called natural remedies.

Insights into environmental conditions that affect highly pathogenic bird flu virus survival
On the eve of the 2010-11 influenza flu season, scientists and engineers have identified the environmental conditions and surfaces that could enable a highly pathogenic bird flu virus to survive for prolonged periods of time -- at least two weeks and up to two months.

Arizona State University awarded $6.5 million to study nanotechnology and society
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded $6.5 million to the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University (CNS-ASU) to continue its work regarding the societal aspects of nanotechnology for another 5 years.

NIH studies influence revision of WHO guidelines for treating HIV-infected women, infants
Two studies appearing in the Oct. 14, 2010, New England Journal of Medicine and funded by the National Institutes of Health helped influence the World Health Organization to change its guidelines this year for the treatment of HIV infection in certain women and children.

Biopharma leaders to reveal successful strategies for China, India at the PharmAsia Summit
Elsevier Business Intelligence, publisher of PharmAsia News, IN VIVO and

New book from the AGA helps patients achieve greater freedom from IBS
A new book from the American Gastroenterological Association offers patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) a variety of strategies to lessen the burden that IBS puts on their everyday lives.

NC Children's Hospital part of $12 million grant to create first-of-kind registry for IBD
North Carolina Children's Hospital is one of 27 sites across the nation developing a disease registry for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).

New discoveries in North America's Great Plains bring ammonites to life
New research on ammonites, a group of previously common marine invertebrates that went extinct after the Chicxuluxb impact 65 million years ago, is filling in details about the biology of these organisms.

Oil boom possible but time is running out
Oil recovery using carbon dioxide could lead to a North Sea oil bonanza worth £150 billion ($240 billion) -- but only if the current infrastructure is enhanced now, according to a new study published today by a world-leading energy expert.

Can Wii help control gestational diabetes?
Researchers at St. Michael's Hospital want to offer women recently diagnosed with gestational diabetes a Nintendo Wii gaming console, a Wii Fit activity platform and two activity-promoting games to see whether the women get more exercise and thereby lower their blood glucose levels and decrease the need for insulin.

Children's Hospital coordinates new network for developmental disabilities
Recognizing both medical progress and unmet needs in developmental disabilities, the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia will house the Network Coordinating Center for a newly established collaborative organization, the Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics Research Network.

Florida State study finds watermelon lowers blood pressure
No matter how you slice it, watermelon has a lot going for it -- sweet, low calorie, high fiber, nutrient rich -- and now, there's more.

International Rectal Microbicide Advocates cheers launch of world's third rectal microbicide trial
International Rectal Microbicide Advocates congratulates the Microbicide Trials Network on the launch of MTN-007 -- the third Phase I trial in history to look at the safety and acceptability of a microbicide gel applied rectally.

Unlike us, honeybees naturally make 'quick switch' in their biological clocks, says Hebrew University researcher
Unlike humans, honeybees, when thrown into highly time-altered new societal roles, are able to alter their biological rhythms with alacrity, enabling them to make a successful

Hospital readmission studies: Influencing factors identified
In two studies published today in the Journal of Hospital Medicine, the risk factors for readmission to the hospital are examined based upon general medicine inpatients and those with at least two admissions in a six-month period.

NSF awards grants to study effects of ocean acidification
With increasing levels of carbon dioxide accumulating in the atmosphere and moving into marine systems, the world's oceans are becoming more acidic, scientists have shown.

Triple-mode transistors show potential
Rice University research that capitalizes on the wide-ranging capabilities of graphene could lead to circuit applications that are far more compact and versatile than what is now feasible with silicon-based technologies. 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