Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 11, 2010
African dust caused red soil in southern Europe
Spanish and American researchers have conducted a mineralogical and chemical analysis to ascertain the origin of

Screening colonoscopy rates are not increased when women are offered a female endoscopist
A new study shows that women offered a female endoscopist were not more likely to undergo a screening colonoscopy than those who were not offered this choice.

Performing blood counts automatically
If a blood count is abnormal, the medical laboratory scientist has to manually perform a differential blood count analysis.

Additional cardiac testing vital for patients with anxiety and depression
People affected by anxiety and depression should receive an additional cardiac test when undergoing diagnosis for potential heart problems, according to a new study from Concordia University, the University of Quebec at Montreal and the Montreal Heart Institute.

Specialized blood vessels jumpstart and sustain liver regeneration
The liver's unique ability among organs to regenerate itself has been little understood.

Efforts to combat pneumonia among 15 high-burdened countries fall short of recommended targets
A new report card from IVAC shows efforts to control pneumonia globally fall short of WHO/UNICEF recommendations to help countries achieve Millennium Development Goal targets for child survival.

Scientists demystify an enzyme responsible for drug and food metabolism
Scientists led by Michael Green at Penn State University, have solved a 40-year-old puzzle about the mysterious process by which a critical enzyme metabolizes nutrients in foods and chemicals in drugs such as Tylenol, caffeine and opiates.

Scientists at IRB Barcelona and BSC publish the world's largest video data bank of proteins
After four years of conducting intensive calculations in the supercomputer MareNostrum at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, scientists headed by Modesto Orozco at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) have presented the world's largest database on protein motions.

New urine test could diagnose acute kidney injury
The presence of certain markers in the urine might be a red flag for acute kidney injury, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

Leaking underground CO2 storage could contaminate drinking water
Leaks from carbon dioxide injected deep underground to help fight climate change could bubble up into drinking water aquifers near the surface, driving up levels of contaminants in the water tenfold or more in some places, according to a study by Duke University scientists.

Combating cancer's double whammy
A major study is under way at the University of Nottingham which could lead to better prevention of a serious and sometimes fatal complication in cancer patients.

Arsenic early in treatment improves survival for leukemia patients
Arsenic, a toxic compound with a reputation as a good tool for committing homicide, has a significant positive effect on the survival of patients with acute promyelocytic leukemia, when administered after standard initial treatment, according to a new, multi-center study led by a researcher at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center.

UT professors find mixing business with politics pays off
A study by two College of Business Administration professors at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, found that when firms engage in corporate political activities, such as lobbying and making campaign contributions, they enjoy about 20 percent higher performance.

LSU oceanography researcher discovers toxic algae in open water
LSU's Sibel Bargu, along with her former graduate student Ana Garcia, from the Department of Oceanography and Coastal Sciences in LSU's School of the Coast & Environment, has discovered toxic algae in vast, remote regions of the open ocean for the first time.

Scientific Grand Challenges identified to address global sustainability
The international scientific community has identified five Grand Challenges that, if addressed in the next decade, will deliver knowledge to enable sustainable development, poverty eradication, and environmental protection in the face of global change.

This faster-growing E. coli strain's a good thing
A University of Illinois metabolic engineer has improved a strain of E. coli, making it grow faster.

Invasive species -- the biggest threat to fish in the Mediterranean basin
An international team led by the Forest Technology Centre of Catalonia has carried out the first large-scale study of the threats facing freshwater fish in the Mediterranean basin.

ESMO Symposium on Cancer Biology for Clinicians
Knowledge of the molecular basis of complex cancer processes is important for understanding the natural history of malignant diseases and for designing treatment options.

Prestigious Hartford grants bolster awardees' social work research
8 outstanding students have been chosen as the newest recipients of the prestigious Hartford Doctoral Fellowship in geriatric social work.

InHealth awards grant to research team at Hartford Hospital
The Institute for Health Technology Studies has awarded a grant totaling more than $238,000 to a research team at the Helen and Harry Gray Cancer Center at Hartford Hospital in Connecticut to study how various prostate cancer treatments affect a patient's

Thousands of turtles captured in Madagascar despite ban
New research has revealed up to 16,000 endangered turtles are being caught each year by villagers in just one region of Madagascar, despite a government ban.

UCSD researchers create autistic neuron model
Using induced pluripotent stem cells from patients with Rett syndrome, scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have created functional neurons that provide the first human cellular model for studying the development of autism spectrum disorder and could be used as a tool for drug screening, diagnosis and personalized treatment.

New forms of highly efficient, flexible nanogenerator technology
Professor Keon Jae Lee was involved in the first co-invention of

Step by step toward tomorrow's nanomaterial
Graphene is a promising material for tomorrow's nanoelectronics devices. Precise and upscaleable methods to fabricate graphene and derived materials with desired electronic properties are still searched after.

Contact among age groups key to understanding whooping cough spread and control
Strategies for preventing the spread of whooping cough -- on the rise in the United State -- should take into account how often people in different age groups interact, research at the University of Michigan suggests.

Cohabiting parents struggle with nonstandard work schedules
Irregular work schedules appear harmful to the well-being of cohabiting parents, a growing segment of the US population, a study by Michigan State University researchers finds.

Cats show perfect balance even in their lapping
Cats' gravity-defying grace and exquisite balance extends even to the way they lap milk, say researchers from MIT, Princeton and Virginia Tech.

NIAID media tipsheet: Annual Meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
Scientists supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, will present their latest research findings at the ACAAI Annual Meeting.

Alcohol damages much more than the liver
Alcohol does much more harm to the body than just damaging the liver.

Study shows brass devices in plumbing systems can create serious lead-in-water problems
A new research study highlights problems with some brass products in plumbing systems that can leach high levels of lead into drinking water, even in brand new buildings -- and suggests that such problems may often go undetected.

Karl Deisseroth of Stanford University receives HFSP Nakasone Award
The first HFSP Nakasone Award has been conferred upon Karl Deisseroth of Stanford University for his pioneering work on the development of optogenetic methods for studying the function of neuronal networks underlying behavior.

Sandia effort images the sea monster of nuclear fusion: The Rayleigh-Taylor instability
A new X-ray imaging capability has taken pictures of a critical instability at the heart of Sandia's huge Z accelerator.

Clemson researcher will study plutonium underground for Energy Department
Environmental scientists at Clemson University have received a three-year, $1.2 million grant from the US Department of Energy to study how plutonium, a byproduct of used nuclear fuel, interacts with soil.

OHSU to investigate whether therapy for varicose veins can prevent unwanted pregnancy
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded nationally prominent Oregon Health & Science University reproductive scientist Jeffrey T.

Circuitry of fear identified
Neurobiologists at the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research have identified, for the first time, clearly defined neural circuits responsible for the processing of fear states.

INRS professor Federico Rosei receives a 2010 Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award
Professor Federico Rosei of the INRS Energy Materials Telecommunications Center has been selected as the recipient of the prestigious 2010 Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award given by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.

CTRC-AACR to hold 33rd Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium
The CTRC-AACR 33rd Annual San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium will feature the latest findings in prevention, epidemiological, laboratory, translational and clinical breast cancer research.

Study finds the mind is a frequent, but not happy, wanderer
People spend 46.9 percent of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they're doing, and this mind-wandering typically makes them unhappy.

Sugar and slice make graphene real nice
Rice researchers have learned to make pristine sheets of graphene, the one-atom-thick form of carbon, from plain table sugar and other carbon-based substances.

23 percent of young people get into fights when they go out at night
Night-time violence among young Spaniards is becoming ever more common, according to a research study carried out by the European Institute of Studies on Prevention.

New research provides effective battle planning for supercomputer war
New research from the University of Warwick, to be presented at the world's largest supercomputing conference next week, pits China's new No.

Stanford scientists identify key protein controlling blood vessel growth into brains of mice
One protein singlehandedly controls the growth of blood vessels into the developing brains of mice embryos, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Having severe acne may increase suicide risk
Individuals who suffer from severe acne are at an increased risk of attempting suicide, according to a paper published on today.

ACS Webinars focus on the latest green chemistry policy developments
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 the latest green chemistry policy developments -- such as the Safe Chemicals Act and the Toxic Substances Control Act -- and how they may affect chemical professionals, chemical industries, and the future of green chemistry.

Invading weed threatens devastation to western rangelands
A new field study confirms that an invasive weed called medusahead has growth advantages over most other grass species, suggesting it will continue to spread across much of the West, disrupt native ecosystems and make millions of acres of grazing land almost worthless.

New vaccine hope in fight against pneumonia and meningitis
A dramatic advance in understanding of how the body fights bacteria paves the way for more effective vaccines.

Fortify HIT contracts with education and ethics to protect patient safety, say informatics experts
An innovative report on health information technology (HIT) vendors, their customers and patients, to be published online Nov.

Hurdles ahead for health care reform primary care model, U-M study shows
Provisions of new federal health care reforms will move the country toward a primary care medical home for patients, but the nation may not have enough primary care doctors to handle the workload, according to a study by the University of Michigan Health System.

Metal Processing Institute founder Diran Apelian to receive materials advancement award
Diran Apelian, Howmet Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and founder and director of the University's Metal Processing Institute, will receive the 2010 National Materials Advancement Award from the Federation of Materials Societies during a ceremony at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Dec.

Keeping the daily clock ticking in a fluctuating environment: Hints from a green alga
Researchers in France have uncovered a mechanism which explains how biological clocks accurately synchronize to the day/night cycle despite large fluctuations in light intensity during the day and from day to day.

Common diabetes drug may halt growth of cysts in polycystic kidney disease
A drug commonly used to treat diabetes may also retard the growth of fluid-filled cysts of the most common genetic disorder, polycystic kidney disease.

4 essays look at the next generation of bioethics
To celebrate 40 years of pioneering bioethics publication, the Hastings Center Report, the world's first bioethics journal, looked to the future, asking young scholars to write about what the next generation of bioethicists should take up.

Voluntary cooperation and monitoring lead to success
According to the standard prediction large-scale cooperation in the management of commons is impossible, mainly because of free riders.

Gene discovery suggests way to engineer fast-growing plants
Tinkering with a single gene may give perennial grasses more robust roots and speed up the timeline for creating biofuels, according to researchers at the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy.

Graphene's strength lies in its defects
Materials engineers at Brown University have found that the juncture at which graphene sheets meet does not compromise the material's strength.

Stem Cells journal awards human cord-blood research
The journal Stem Cells has announced Dr. Cinzia Rota as the winner of the annual Stem Cells Young Investigator Award.

Medical research and magic come together
The unorthodox research collaboration between two Barrow Neurological Institute scientists and some of the world's greatest magicians is detailed in a new book called

New analysis explains formation of bulge on far side of moon
A new study led by researchers at UC Santa Cruz shows that the lunar far side highlands may be the result of tidal forces acting early in the moon's history when its solid outer crust floated on an ocean of liquid rock.

Scripps Research scientists identify new mechanism regulating daily biological rhythms
Scientists from the Florida campus of the Scripps Research Institute have identified for the first time a novel mechanism that regulates circadian rhythm, the master clock that controls the body's natural 24-hour physiological cycle.

A long history of pain: Study finds pain gene common to flies, mice and humans
By using a sophisticated method to silence genes in fly neurons one by one, researchers reporting in the Nov.

New explanation for the origin of high species diversity
An international team of scientists, including a leading evolutionary biologist from the Academy of Natural Sciences, have reset the agenda for future research in the highly diverse Amazon region by showing that the extraordinary diversity found there is much older than generally thought.

Yoga's ability to improve mood and lessen anxiety is linked to increased levels of a critical brain chemical
Yoga has a greater positive effect on a person's mood and anxiety level than walking and other forms of exercise, which may be due to higher levels of the brain chemical GABA according to an article in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert Inc.

Tropical forest diversity increased during ancient global warming event
Carlos Jaramillo, staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and colleagues report in the journal Science that nearly 60 million years ago rainforests prospered at temperatures that were 3-5 degrees higher and at atmospheric carbon dioxide levels 2.5 times today's levels.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute professor James Lu garners award for research on 3-D computer chips
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute professor James Jian-Qiang Lu was recognized recently for his innovative research and technical achievements toward the design and realization of 3-D integrated computer chips.

Funding to support C. difficile research
The Peninsula Collaboration for Leadership in Applied Health Research and Care has provided funding to support joint research between the University of Exeter and the Royal Devon & Exeter NHS Foundation Trust to investigate why some cases of Clostridium difficile infection are more difficult to treat than others and also why some cases result in more incidences of relapses.

Fruit flies lead scientists to new human pain gene
While it has become clear in recent years that susceptibility to pain has a strong inherited component, very little is known about actual

Consensus on TBI and PTSD will accelerate future research and improve patient care
The November issue of Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Official Journal of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, has published a set of 9 articles on traumatic brain injury (TBI) that will accelerate future research in the field by establishing common language for the degree of injury, how it is measured and classified, treatment and potential outcomes.

Study points to window of opportunity for successful autism therapy
New evidence from studies of neurons derived from patients with a genetic condition known as Rett Syndrome suggests that there may be a critical period in development during which neuronal abnormalities could be corrected by drug treatments.

Teens' take on bullying
Both the bully and the victim's individual characteristics, rather than the wider social environment, explain why bullying occurs, according to Swedish teenagers.

Modeling autism in a dish
A collaborative effort between researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the University of California, San Diego, successfully used human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells derived from patients with Rett syndrome to replicate autism in the lab and study the molecular pathogenesis of the disease.

All-optical transistor
In an article appearing on Nov. 11 in the journal Science, researchers at EPFL and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics announce the discovery of a method for coupling photons and mechanical vibrations that could have numerous applications in telecommunications and quantum information 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