Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 21, 2010
Light on silicon better than copper?
As good as copper has been in zipping information from one circuit to another on silicon inside computers and other electronic devices, optical signals can carry much more, according to Duke University electrical engineers.

Population report: More Jews live in the US than in Israel
A new report called Jewish Population in the United States-2010 published by researchers from the University of Miami and the University of Connecticut shows a greater number of Jews in the US than in Israel.

Poor start in life need not spell doom in adulthood
A biology graduate student at the University of California, Riverside reports that how individuals fare as adults is not simply a passive consequence of the limits that early conditions may impose on them.

American Chemical Society to host public interest forum on science in public policy on Oct. 27
The American Chemical Society, a member of Professionals for the Public Interest, has organized a forum on

Study details molecular structure of major cell signaling pathway
Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine have reported the exact molecular structure and mechanisms of a major cell signaling pathway that serves a broad range of functions in humans.

Preschool promises: Starting early on a new educational agenda for the United States
Why is there so much variability in preschool programs and are they meeting their potential for adequately preparing youngsters for school?

Stanford study links cancer to loss of protein that hooks skin cells together
In a study to be published online Oct. 21 in PLoS Genetics, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have implicated the lack of a protein important in hooking our skin cells together in the most common variety of skin cancer.

ER patients prefer ordering physicians discuss risks/benefits of CT with them before ordering exam
The majority of emergency department patients consider having their condition correctly diagnosed with computed tomography (CT) more important than any associated radiation risk.

Putting a bull's-eye on the flu: Detailing influenza's structure for drug targeting
Beating the flu is already tough, but it has become even harder in recent years -- the influenza A virus has mutated so that two antiviral drugs don't slow it down anymore.

BUSM study shows patient navigations improve mammography rates in minority women
A new research study conducted by Boston University School of Medicine shows that patient navigation services significantly improve biennial mammography screening rates among inner city women.

Access to energy in sub-Saharan Africa is theme of sixth annual ASADI Conference
The sixth annual conference of the African Science Academy Development Initiative will be hosted by the Academy of Science of South Africa on Nov.

EU presidency focuses on rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases
On Oct. 19, 2010, experts from academia, scientific societies, patient organizations, Member States' government and social security institutions as well as EU bodies agreed upon a number of key policy recommendations for improving the management and prevention of rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (MSKD).

Virtual colonoscopy option could improve colorectal cancer screening rates, patient survey suggests
Providing computed tomography colonography -- otherwise known as virtual colonoscopy -- as an alternative to conventional colonoscopy could improve colorectal cancer screening rates, according to a study in the November issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Virtual colonoscopy and teleradiology bring colorectal cancer screening to patients in rural areas
Computed tomography colonography (CTC) -- otherwise known as virtual colonoscopy -- is feasible in remote health centers where optimal colonoscopy is limited, according to a study in the November issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

LRO's LAMP ultraviolet spectrograph observes LCROSS blast, detects surprising gases in impact plume
NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) and its sophisticated suite of instruments have determined that hydrogen, mercury and other volatile substances are present in permanently shaded soils on the moon, according to a paper published today in Science.

Studies show everolimus-eluting stent implantation reduces restenosis and repeat revasculariztion
Two new studies have determined that everolimus-eluting stent implantation reduced the incidence of restenosis and repeat revascularization in patients with calcified culprit lesions, and had fewer clinical events.

Treating metabolic syndrome, undergoing carotid angioplasty
Measures to avoid a second or subsequent stroke include treating metabolic syndrome and undergoing carotid angioplasty.

Center to study effects of plastics chemicals on children's health
A new research center based at the University of Illinois will investigate whether regular exposure to bisphenol A and phthalates -- chemicals widely used in plastics and other consumer products -- can alter infant and adolescent development, cognition or behavior.

Malarial mosquitoes are evolving into new species, say researchers
Two strains of the type of mosquito responsible for the majority of malaria transmission in Africa have evolved such substantial genetic differences that they are becoming different species, according to researchers behind two new studies published today in the journal Science.

Lean on me: Social support is critical to dialysis patients' health
Dialysis patients with little social support from friends and family are more likely to ignore doctors' orders, experience a poorer quality of life, and die prematurely, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

Adverse neighborhood conditions greatly aggravate mobility problems from diabetes
Residing in a neighborhood with adverse living conditions such as low air quality, loud traffic or industrial noise, or poorly maintained streets, sidewalks and yards, makes mobility problems much more likely in late middle-aged African-Americans with diabetes.

UCLA gets $4.6M grant to study HIV treatment, prevention among men from L.A. jails
UCLA has received a $4.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study ways to get HIV-positive men who have been released from Los Angeles County jails into medical care and on sustained treatment.

Malaria research begins to bite
Scientists make a significant breakthrough in the search for cheap and effective vaccines and drugs to stop the transmission of malaria.

Peripheral induction of Alzheimer's-like brain pathology in mice
Pathological protein deposits linked to Alzheimer's disease and cerebral amyloid angiopathy can be triggered not only by the administration of pathogenic misfolded protein fragments directly into the brain but also by peripheral administration outside the brain.

AACR congratulates William S. Dalton on 2010 Leadership in Personalized Medicine Award
The American Association for Cancer Research expresses its congratulations to and appreciation of William S.

Simple blood test helps predict chronic kidney disease
Measuring three biomarkers in a single blood sample may improve physicians' ability to identify patients at high risk of developing chronic kidney disease (CKD), according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

The sound of the underground! New acoustic early warning system for landslide prediction
A new type of sound sensor system has been developed to predict the likelihood of a landslide.

Future offenses cause more intense feelings than past actions, Chicago Booth study finds
People feel worse about a transgression that will take place in the future than an identical one that occurred in the past, according to new research from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

Promising new 'antigene' therapy
Antigene therapy is a promising new treatment strategy that uses a DNA-based drug to pinpoint light energy to a target gene shutting down its activity.

Microchip patented which separates and extracts tumor cells in the blood
Ikerlan-IK4 and Mondragón Unibertsitatea are taking part in a project initiated by the Spanish National Research Council, CSIC, and which has developed a microchip capable of separating and extracting tumor cells in the blood stream by means of ultrasonic waves.

ONR co-sponsors science festival on National Mall
A key co-sponsor of the USA Science and Engineering Festival, the Office of Naval Research will be among more than 1,500 exhibitors offering interactive activities at the free inaugural event to be held Oct.

OSA's annual meeting, Frontiers in Optics 2010
Innovations from more than 850 scientific, technical and educational presentations will be highlighted during the Optical Society's 94th Annual Meeting, Frontiers in Optics 2010, being held Oct.

Carnegie Mellon researchers break speed barrier in solving important class of linear systems
Computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University have devised an innovative and elegantly concise algorithm that can efficiently solve systems of linear equations that are critical to such important computer applications as image processing, logistics and scheduling problems, and recommendation systems.

Efforts underway to rescue vulnerable bananas, giant swamp taro, other Pacific Island crops
Hoping to save the vulnerable varieties of bananas painted by the artist Paul Gauguin, rare coconuts, and 1,000 other unique varieties of staple fruit and vegetable crops across the Pacific, crop specialists from nine islands have launched a major effort to preserve the indigenous diversity of foods that are deemed critical to combating diet-related health problems.

Universities receive grants to study climate change decisions
The National Science Foundation recently awarded nearly $5 million to four university-based centers whose research focuses on understanding decision making within the context of climate change and other long-term environmental risks.

Toward a better understanding of future climate in the Sahel
Alessandra Giannini, a research scientist at the IRI, has been awarded a National Science Foundation CAREER award to advance our understanding of uncertainty in climate model projections in the African Sahel and other semi-arid regions of the world.

Plants play larger role than thought in cleaning up air pollution
Vegetation plays an unexpectedly large role in cleansing the atmosphere, a new study finds.

Smaller is better in the viscous zone
Being the right size and existing in the limbo between a solid and a liquid state appear to be the secrets to improving the efficiency of chemical catalysts that can create better nanoparticles or more efficient energy sources.

Scary chupacabras monster is as much victim as villain
As Halloween approaches, tales of monsters and creepy crawlies abound.

Positive social traits trump bad health habits
Many studies have documented the dangers of the traditional negative physical risk factors on health -- excessive smoking, drinking and being overweight.

Pitt researchers: Plant-based plastics not necessarily greener than oil-based relatives
Pitt researchers analyzed plant and petroleum-derived plastics and found that biopolymers may not necessarily be better for the environment than petroleum-based plastics, according to a report in Environmental Science & Technology.

NASA-engineered collision spills new Moon secrets
A scientific team led by Brown University has produced the first detailed description of what lies below the surface at the Moon's poles.

UCI stem cell researchers to receive $9.35 million in state funding
UC Irvine scientists will receive grants totaling $9.35 million to help create stem cell treatments for retinitis pigmentosa, Huntington's disease and traumatic brain injury.

AFM tips from the microwave
Scientists from the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena were successful in improving a fabrication process for atomic force microscopy (AFM) probe tips.

Forensic scientists use postmortem imaging-guided biopsy to determine natural causes of death
Researchers found that the combination of computed tomography, postmortem CT angiography and biopsy can serve as a minimally invasive option for determining natural causes of death such as cardiac arrest, according to a study in the November issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Authoritarian behavior leads to insecure people
Researchers from the University of Valencia have identified the effects of the way parents bring up their children on social structure in Spain.

Evidence is weak for tropical rainforest 65 million years ago in Africa's low-latitudes
Central Africa 65 million years ago was a low-elevation tropical belt, but still undetermined is whether the region's mammals lived beneath a lush rainforest canopy.

Cedars-Sinai awarded $1.9 million from CIRM to develop stem cell treatments for osteoporosis
A team of physicians and scientists from the Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute and Department of Surgery, led by Dan Gazit, DMD, PhD has been awarded a three-year $1.9 million grant from the California stem cell agency to fund research leading to clinical trials for what could become the first biological treatment for the most common type of bone fracture in osteoporosis patients.

Protein injection shows promise in lowering elevated triglycerides
A protein injection reduced high triglyceride levels in one type of genetically engineered mice.

Towards better explosives detectors
Over the past decade, a team of scientists in Maryland have been working to stop the threat of terrorist-based attacks in the form of explosives or explosive-based devices, by providing a sound measurement and standard infrastructure.

Everglades show improvement in water quality
Researchers at the University of Florida have published a report regarding the trends in water quality feeding into Everglades National Park.

Research looks at stuttering differences in boys, girls
A Michigan State researcher will use a $1.8 million grant to conduct a five-year longitudinal study on brain development of children who stutter.

Cholesterol-lowering drug shrinks enlarged prostates in hamster model
A cholesterol-lowering drug reduced the enlarged prostates of hamsters to the same extent as a drug commonly used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), report researchers at Children's Hospital Boston and their colleagues in the October issue of the Journal of Urology.

Conventional, annual Pap smear cost-effective follow-up after cervical lesion treatment
A study of the options for reducing cancer incidence and mortality among women who have been treated for precancerous cervical lesions found that an annual conventional Pap smear is a cost effective strategy.

Value-added sulfur scrubbing
Power plants that burn fossil fuels remain the main source of electricity generation across the globe.

Coccolithophore blooms in the southwest Atlantic
A study led by Dr. Stuart Painter of the National Oceanography Centre helps explain the formation of huge phytoplankton blooms off the southeast coast of South America during the austral summer (December-January).

Government drug control laboratories in Middle East, North Africa join quality improvement network
Six government drug control laboratories in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) will join together with the United States Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) in an effort to improve their capabilities to test the quality of drugs.

Researchers find better method to help mothers cope with child's cancer and related stress
Mothers who have children diagnosed with cancer now have a better approach to address and cope with stresses associated with their child's disease.

AACR colorectal cancer conference to focus on screening, new treatments
A press conference will be held on Thursday, Oct. 28 at 1:00 p.m.

Testing lifestyle changes to improve health for people with HIV infections
Between the demands of work, family and friends, many women find health takes a back seat.

Scientists examine energy trends of communications equipment
A team of scientists at Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs have examined the energy consumption trends of communications equipment in use today and determined that gains in energy efficiency are not keeping pace with traffic growth.

Scientists pioneer wireless sensors to explore little known glacier phenomenon
Researchers at the University of Southampton are pioneering the use of wireless sensors to study a little-known phenomenon that affects the movement of glaciers.

Risk gene for severe heart disease discovered
Research led by Klaus Stark and Christian Hengstenberg of the University of Regensburg identified a common variant of the cardiovascular heat shock protein gene, HSPB7, which was found to increase risk for dilated cardiomyopathy by almost 50 percent.

UTHealth receives $11 million NIDA grant
UTHealth will use a five-year, $11 million NIDA grant to further studies led by researchers and clinicians in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences.

Strategies for translational research in the UK
A commentary published in the journal, Science Translational Medicine, examines the structures of translational research investment in the UK.

Putting a bull's-eye on the flu: Paper details influenza's structure for future drug targeting
Beating the flu has always been tough, but it has gotten even more difficult in recent years.

Scientists find evidence for widespread water ice on the moon
Scientists have detected the widespread presence of water ice in large areas of the moon's south pole.

New program seeks to help city kids overcome obstacles to receiving mental health services
Research has shown that nearly 40 percent of youth in low-income communities exhibit significant mental health needs -- needs which remain largely unaddressed due to a myriad of barriers, including system-level obstacles, such as waiting lists, stigma related to seeking mental health care, poverty, family stress and competing priorities.

Offshore wind a 'mixed bag': University of Maryland study
Offshore wind power offers Maryland a feasible way to help meet its renewable energy goals, but presents significant hurdles, concludes a new study by the University of Maryland Center for Integrative Environmental Research.

Calming earthquake fears in the Midwest
When people in the Midwest say they fear a big earthquake is going to hit their hometown soon, Northwestern University geologist Seth Stein, the author of the new book

Malaria-transmitting mosquito evolving, NIH grantees find
Researchers funded by NIH have found that the major malaria-transmitting mosquito species, Anopheles gambiae, is evolving into two separate species with different traits, a development that could both complicate malaria control efforts and potentially require new disease prevention methods.

Researchers develop first implanted device to treat balance disorder
A University of Washington Medical Center patient on Thursday, Oct.

Barrow scientists uncover clues on inflammation in central nervous system
Scientists at Barrow Neurological Institute have recently made discoveries about a type of cell that may limit inflammation in the central nervous system -- a finding that could have important implications in the treatment of brain disorders such as multiple sclerosis.

Entire issue of scientific journal devoted to center headed by Scripps Research Scientists
A multi-institutional consortium led by the Scripps Research Institute scientists, the Joint Center for Structural Genomics (JCSG), is the sole focus of a special issue of the journal Acta Crystallographica Section F.

Iowa State, Ames Lab chemists discover proton mechanism used by flu virus to infect cells
Chemists led by Mei Hong of Iowa State University and the Ames Laboratory have discovered the shuttle mechanism that relays protons from a healthy cell into a flu virus.

Isotope near 'doubly magic' tin-100 flouts conventional wisdom
Tin may seem like the most unassuming of elements, but experiments performed at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory are yielding surprising properties in extremely short-lived isotopes near tin-100's

Study finds airbags reduce risk of kidney injury in car crashes
Occupants in motor vehicles with airbags are much less likely to suffer kidney or renal damage in a crash than are occupants in vehicles without airbags, according to a new study in the September Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

Nightshades' mating habits strike uneasy evolutionary balance
Research led by two University of Illinois at Chicago biologists found that the strong short-term advantages enjoyed by self-fertilizing plants can be offset by long-term advantages found in species that strictly avoid self-fertilization.

Snap of fruit fly embryo wins scientific photo competition
An eye-catching image of a fruit fly embryo, which was taken by a postgraduate student at the University of Sheffield, has beaten-off stiff competition from hundreds of entries to win an award at a special photographic competition dedicated to biodiversity.

Register now: New Orleans meeting will showcase latest aging discoveries
America's premier authorities on aging will share the most up-to-date news on Social Security, health care reform, the impact of disasters on older people, evolution instruction in classrooms, and other current topics at the Gerontological Society of America's upcoming 63rd Annual Scientific Meeting.

Telementoring may address need for surgical subspecialty expertise in remote locations
Telementoring may be an effective way for subspecialist surgeons to assist remotely located general surgeons in the care of patients in need of emergency subspecialty surgical procedures, according to new research findings published in the September issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

The impact of chronic diseases on patients also depends on their perception of the disease
Researchers at the University of Granada have developed a test to measure and assess chronic patients' cognitive representation of their disease.

Chicago racial disparities in breast cancer mortality significantly higher than national average
Disparities in breast cancer mortality continue to be unacceptably high in Chicago and significantly larger than the national average and many hospitals in Chicago are not meeting accepted quality standards.

Too many sisters affect male sexuality
Growing up with lots of sisters makes a man less sexy.

Teaching kids to work through trauma
A child who grows up in the midst of political conflict, such as war or terrorism, can exhibit severe emotional scars.

NSF awards grants for research on coupled natural and human systems
How do humans and their environment interact, and how can we develop an understanding of these processes to adapt to a planet undergoing far-reaching climate and other environmental changes?

Electron billiards in nanoscale circuits
In solar cells, solar radiation boosts electrons to higher energy states, thereby releasing them from their atomic bonds as electricity begins to flow.

Partners who had powerful faces in college lead profitable law firms
Law firms are more profitable when they are led by managing partners who have faces that look powerful, according to a study in the current Social Psychological and Personality Science (published by SAGE).

Younger brains are easier to rewire
A new paper from MIT neuroscientists, in collaboration with Alvaro Pascual-Leone at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, offers evidence that it is easier to rewire the brain early in life.

Egg meets sperm: The female side of the story
Researchers at the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet have been able to describe the 3-D structure of a complete egg receptor that binds sperm at the beginning of fertilization.

ESHRE publishes new PGD guidelines
The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology has published a set of guidelines for best practice preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD)/screening (PGS) to give information and guidance to potential and existing PGD centers.

Mathematical model helps marathoners pace themselves to a strong finish
Most marathon runners know they need to consume carbohydrates before and during a race, but many don't have a good fueling strategy.

Modeling study identifies characteristics of high elk-use areas in western Oregon, Washington
The availability of highly nutritious forage is one of four factors linked to the presence of elk populations in western Oregon and Washington, according to a modeling study recently completed by scientists from the US Forest Service's Pacific Northwest (PNW) Research Station.

NIH Recovery Act awards enable crucial health research technologies
Leading-edge, shared technologies are an important component of advancing research to improve health.

Childhood cancer survivors face long-term risk of GI complications, study finds
People treated for cancer when they were children have a higher-than-average risk of gastrointestinal problems -- some mild, some quite severe -- in the years following treatment, according to a Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center study to be presented at the 42nd Congress of the International Society of Paediatric Oncology in Boston on Sunday, Oct.

Achoo! New help for kids suffering colds? Canadian researchers launch rare trial
Few OTC cold products for children have been clinically tested for safety and efficacy, contributing to 7,000 children being admitted to US emergency rooms for adverse reactions every year.

Parent-only treatment may be equally effective for children who are obese
A study led by a researcher at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine indicates that parent-only treatments for childhood obesity work equally as well as plans that include parents and child, while at the same time more cost effective and potentially easier for families. 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