Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 18, 2010
Conductor paths for marvelous light
Organic light-emitting diodes are seen as the basis for a new generation of lamps: Large-area lamps that can be randomly shaped and fl exibly integrated into interior design.

10 years of Soufriere Hills Volcano research published
The Soufriere Hills Volcano on Montserrat erupted in 1995, and an international team of researchers has studied this volcano from land and sea since then to understand the workings of andesite volcanos more completely.

Researchers learn that genetics determine winter vitamin D status
The authors concluded that during the winter vitamin D status is governed mainly by genetic factors.

Pushing black-hole mergers to the extreme: RIT scientists achieve 100:1 mass ratio
Scientists from the Rochester Institute of Technology have simulated, for the first time, the merger of two black holes of vastly different sizes, with one mass 100 times larger than the other.

Rare mutations linked with catastrophic aortic aneurysms
Scientists have begun to unravel the genetic basis of deadly thoracic aortic aneurysms and dissections (TAAD).

Care for prisoners will improve public health
In a comprehensive global survey, researchers in Texas and England have concluded that improving the mental and physical health of inmates will improve public health.

Hormone therapy use may increase or decrease dementia risk depending upon timing
Compared to women never on hormone therapy, those taking hormone therapy only at midlife had a 26 percent decreased risk of dementia; while women taking HT only in late life had a 48 percent increased risk of dementia, according to Kaiser Permanente researchers.

Bakrie Center Foundation makes S$3 million ($2.3 million) gift to RSIS at NTU
Nanyang Technological University today announced it has received a gift of S$3 million ($2.3 million) from the Bakrie Center Foundation of Indonesia to establish and endow a new Professorship in Southeast Asia Policy at the S.

European Energy Research Alliance launches 3 new energy research programs
European Energy Research Alliance, EERA, launches three new joint energy research programs on carbon capture and storage and also new materials for nuclear power and bioenergy.

LSUHSC reports first successful salivary stone removal with robotics
Dr. Rohan Walvekar, director of clinical research and the salivary endoscopy service at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, has reported the first use of a surgical robot guided by a miniature salivary endoscope to remove a 20mm salivary stone and repair the salivary duct of a patient.

William F. Milliken, Jr., wins AIAA 2011 Pendray Aerospace Literature Award
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics is pleased to announce that William F.

Modulating a protein in the brain could help control Alzheimer's disease
A protein known to exist in the brain for more than 30 years, called 5-lipoxygenase, has been found to play a regulatory role in the formation of the amyloid beta in the brain, the major component of plaques implicated in the development of Alzheimer's disease.

Panama Canal, Panama City at risk of large earthquake, says new research
New data suggest that the Limon and Pedro Miguel faults in Central Panama have ruptured both independently and in unison over the past 1400 years, indicating a significant seismic risk for Panama City and the Panama Canal.

For macaques, male bonding is a political move
Contrary to expectations, new evidence shows that unrelated male macaques in the wild form close and stable social partnerships with select males in their groups.

ASU professor named top in state of Arizona
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education have named Arizona State University scientist Jane Maienschein the 2010 Arizona Professor of the Year.

Elsevier launches HESI QuizMe nursing app series
Elsevier, the leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, today announced that the new HESI QuizMe app series for nursing students is available from the Apple App Store.

University of Leicester space scientists involved in development of new breed of space vehicle
Scientists and engineers at the internationally acclaimed Space Research Centre at the University of Leicester are developing a conceptual motor design for a Mars

Weird astronomy: Tales of unusual, bizarre and other hard-to-explain observations
When amateur astronomers or scientists study the stars and heavens, they usually know what to expect -- the moon, stars, constellations, and planets.

Researchers find new target for stopping tumors developing their own blood supply
Researchers have found that a newly developed drug, which is aimed at a particular receptor involved in the development of blood vessels that sustain tumor growth, is active in patients with advanced cancers and, in some cases, has halted the progress of the disease.

Earl Smith receives Prentice Medal from American Academy of Optometry
Earl Smith, dean of the UH College of Optometry, is the 2010 recipient of the Charles F.

Bacteria use 'toxic darts' to disable each other, according to UCSB scientists
In nature, it's a dog-eat-dog world, even in the realm of bacteria.

Study: Online undergrads learn well without strong class bond
Online college students said they felt less connected and had a smaller sense of classroom community than those who took the same classes in person, but that didn't keep them from performing just as well as their in-person counterparts.

Magnetic trapping will help unlock the secrets of anti-matter
A clearer understanding of the universe, its origins and maybe even its destiny is a significant step closer, thanks to new research.

Reduce the VAT on alcohol sold in pubs, says expert
Alcoholic drinks served in pubs should be taxed at a lower level than drinks bought from shops, says an expert in this week's BMJ.

Why so many antibodies fail to protect against HIV infection
Researchers have been stymied for years over the fact that people infected with the AIDS virus do indeed produce antibodies in response to the pathogen -- antibodies that turn out to be ineffective in blocking infection.

Paleovirology expanded: Non-retroviral virus fragments found in animal genomes
Understanding the evolution of life-threatening viruses like influenza, Ebola and dengue fever, could help us to minimize their impact.

Well-known molecule may be behind alcohol's benefits to heart health
Many studies support the assertion that moderate drinking is beneficial when it comes to cardiovascular health, and for the first time scientists have discovered that a well-known molecule, called Notch, may be behind alcohol's protective effects.

Al Jazeera helps shape political identity of Arabs, study finds
Residents of the Middle East who are heavy viewers of Arab television news networks like Al Jazeera are more likely to view their primary identity as that of Muslims, rather than as citizens of their own country, a new study suggests.

Researchers insert identification codes into mouse embryos
Researchers from the Department of Cell Biology, Physiology and Immunology at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, in collaboration with researchers from the Institute of Microelectronics of Barcelona of the Spanish National Research Council, have developed an identification system for oocytes and embryos in which each can be individually tagged using silicon barcodes.

What factors contribute to the success or failure of software firms?
Researchers from Pitt, McGill, and Georgia Tech reviewed data collected from 870 software firms between 1995 to 2007.

Tackling the mental and physical illnesses of prisoners will improve public health
A review examining the health of prisoners (with most data from high-income countries) reports that greater health-care resources need to be targeted at prisons as they provide a rare public health opportunity to treat millions of young, marginalized, and diseased individuals who are often beyond the reach of community health services.

Nanotechnology and equity issues explored in new book
ASU faculty member co-edits the second volume in the series Yearbook of Nanotechnology in Society that explores the significant impact new technologies can have on personal, national and global equity.

SAGE to publish Psychology of Women Quarterly
SAGE has partnered with Division 35 of the American Psychological Association (APA) to publish Psychology of Women Quarterly (PWQ), the official journal of the Society for the Psychology of Women.

Redrawing our borders
When travel was local, borders and communities were easy to define, but now our connectivity is more complex.

Organ procurement air transportation displays poor safety record
The transplant community was largely unaware of sub-standard transportation practices for donor organs until a number of fatal air crashes took the lives of transplant personnel, calling attention to procurement aviation safety.

Study eyes fluoxetine in recreational waters
Mercyhurst College has received a $250,000 infusion of funds from the US Environmental Protection Agency to continue its research into contaminants in the recreational waters at Presque Isle State Park.

Weekend hospital stays worse for kidney patients
Patients with end-stage renal disease who are admitted to the hospital during the weekend are at increased risk of death, according to a study presented at the American Society of Nephrology's 43rd Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition.

Could Facebook trigger asthma?
In correspondence in this week's edition of the Lancet, five Italian doctors report the case of a young man who appears to have had various asthma attacks brought on by logging into Facebook.

It takes a village: Mechanism alerts neighbors to amplify immune response
New research reveals a clever strategy that enables a host organism to outsmart an invading bacterium by counteracting its efforts to suppress the innate immune response.

Message from oceans past: Good management helps ocean life to recover
Marine habitats are under severe pressure from exploitation, the torment of offshore structures, and nutrient run-offs.

Human health effects of 'e-waste' focus of international research study
A new international population study, led by the University of Cincinnati, will be the first to examine the human developmental effects of environmental exposure to the complex metal mixture found in electronic waste.

Paw prints and feces offer new hope for saving tigers
How many tigers are left in the wild can now be monitored accurately from their paw prints and scat (feces), ecologists have shown for the first time.

Scripps Research scientists report molecular structure of dopamine receptor
A team led by scientists at the Scripps Research Institute has solved the structure of one of the receptors that responds to the neurotransmitter dopamine.

Compound that blocks sugar pathway slows cancer cell growth
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have identified a compound that could be used to starve cancers of their sugar-based building blocks.

Taking a break from osteoporosis drugs can protect bones
Taking time off from certain osteoporosis drugs may be beneficial to bone health, according to a study presented at the 2010 Annual Loyola University Health System Research Symposium.

First Allen Distinguished Investigators named
The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation today launched a program to advance important neuroscience and cellular engineering research.

Spacecraft flew through 'snowstorm' on encounter with comet Hartley 2
On its recent trip by comet Hartley 2, the Deep Impact spacecraft took the first pictures of, and flew through, a storm of fluffy particles of water ice being spewed out by carbon dioxide jets coming from the rough ends of the comet.

Tougher rating system evaluates nine supercomputer capabilities
Nine supercomputers have been tested, validated and ranked by the new

Wiley-VCH launches new journal Advanced Energy Materials
Wiley-VCH today announced the launch of the journal Advanced Energy Materials, a new international scientific journal dedicated to publishing high impact research in energy-related materials.

Assessment tool predicts blood clot risk after plastic surgery
Blood clot risk assessments aren't common practice among plastic surgeons nationwide.

UGA researchers identify key enzyme that regulates the early growth of breast cancer cells
New University of Georgia research, published this week in the early online edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has found that blocking the action of an enzyme called GnT-V significantly delays the onset and spread of tumors in mice with cancer very similar to many cases of human breast cancer.

Months of geologic unrest signaled reawakening of Icelandic volcano
Months of volcanic restlessness preceded the eruptions this spring of Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull, providing insight into what roused it from its centuries of slumber.

Laboratory studies show promise for new multiple sclerosis treatment
Successfully treating and reversing the effects of multiple sclerosis, or MS, may one day be possible using a drug originally developed to treat chronic pain, according to Distinguished Professor Linda Watkins of the University of Colorado at Boulder.

UCLA team uncovers mechanism behind organ transplant rejection
UCLA researchers have pinpointed the culprit behind chronic rejection of heart, lung and kidney transplants.

Walk in the park yields biological treasure
A newly identified relationship between a fly and a weedy mustard-type plant promises to answer many long-standing questions surrounding the evolutionary arms race between plant-eating insects and their host plants.

School of Science at IUPUI mathematician named 2010 Indiana Professor of the Year
Jeffrey Xavier Watt, Ph.D., associate professor of mathematical sciences and associate dean for student affairs and outreach in the School of Science at Indiana University -- Purdue University Indianapolis, has been named the 2010 Indiana Professor of the Year.

E. coli infection linked to long-term health problems
People who contract gastroenteritis from drinking water contaminated with E coli are at an increased risk of developing high blood pressure, kidney problems and heart disease in later life, finds a study published on today.

On the way to lead-free technology
The change-over to lead-free products is in full progress. The problem is however that the environmentally friendly alternatives have to be as efficient as the lead-containing variants.

Scientists ferret out a key pathway for aging
A team of scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and their colleagues describe a molecular pathway that is a key determinant of the aging process.

Pitt physicist wins 2011 Einstein Prize for lifetime unraveling, reshaping general relativity theory
The American Physical Society recognized University of Pittsburgh Professor Emeritus of physics and astronomy Ezra T.

Video games lead innovation in the e-services economy
The video games industry is leading the overall trend of transformation of digital products into e-services, according to the report published today by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre.

Planet from another galaxy discovered
An exoplanet orbiting a star that entered our Milky Way from another galaxy has been detected by a European team of astronomers using the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile.

UW-Madison soil scientist named US professor of the year
A University of Wisconsin-Madison associate professor of soil science has just been named US Professor of the Year.

Timing and costs of dialysis procedures need reconsideration
This release highlights the following two topics about dialysis:

Pomegranate juice: Beyond antioxidants, potential benefits for dialysis patients
Studies in recent years have claimed multiple health benefits of pomegranate juice, including that it is a good source of antioxidants and lowers both cholesterol and blood pressure, especially in diabetic and hypertensive patients.

Cough medicine could help doctors identify how breast cancer patients metabolize tamoxifen
Cough medicine could be used as way of predicting how well individual patients metabolize tamoxifen used in the treatment of their breast cancer, according to new research presented at the 22nd EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics in Berlin on Friday.

Exhaustion syndrome leaves measurable changes in the brain
Exhaustion syndrome, also called burnout and exhaustion depression, leaves objectively measurable changes in the brain -- including reduced activity in the frontal lobes and altered regulation of the stress hormone cortisol.

Shockwaves work better than surgery for smaller kidney stones trapped in the ureter
Surgeons are recommending two different techniques for removing single kidney stones that have become lodged in the ureter, based on results from 273 patients.

Judy and J. John Goodman give $50,000 gift to Scripps Florida
The Scripps Research Institute has announced a $50,000 gift from Palm Beach residents Judy and J.

New approach finds success in teaching youth with autism
Researchers at the University of Missouri are developing an effective social competence curriculum to help autistic children.

US adults most likely to forgo care due to cost, have trouble paying medical bills
A new 11-country survey from the Commonwealth Fund finds that adults in the United States are far more likely than those in 10 other industrialized nations to go without health care because of costs, have trouble paying medical bills, encounter high medical bills even when insured, and have disputes with their insurers or discover insurance wouldn't pay as they expected.

Study shows importance of exercise for those at special risk for Alzheimer's
In a study that included healthy 65- to 85-years-old who carried a high-risk gene for Alzheimer's disease, those who exercised showed greater brain activity in memory-related regions than those who were sedentary.

In fending off diseases, plants and animals are much the same, research shows
Through the ages, plants and animals have developed strikingly similar mechanisms for detecting microbial invasions and resisting diseases, report two California researchers in this historical overview.

New disease-resistant food crops in prospect
Researchers have uncovered the genetic basis of remarkable broad-spectrum resistance to a viral infection that, in some parts of the world, is the most important pathogen affecting leafy and arable brassica crops including broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, swede and oilseed rape.

Researchers uncover surprise link between weird quantum phenomena
Researchers have uncovered a fundamental link between two defining properties of quantum mechanics.

Economic downturn takes toll on health of Americans with heart disease, diabetes or cancer
A new poll from researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and Knowledge Networks shows that many people with heart disease, diabetes or cancer believe the economic downturn is hurting their health and will have further negative impacts in the future.

Does sex matter? It may when evaluating mental status
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that differs between the sexes in terms of age at onset, symptomatology, response to medication and structural brain abnormalities.

Author predicts widespread acceptance of pocket-sized ultrasound machines
Hand-held ultrasound machines will become as popular as the stethoscope in the not-too-distant future, says a physician who co-authored a guide for the widespread use of the machines.

Golf Atlanta charity tournament raises $105,000 for TGen research
The 2010 Golf Atlanta charity golf tournament raised $105,000 in its first year to benefit research aimed at finding better treatments and eventually a cure for pancreatic cancer.

FDA review on transgenic salmon too narrow
The review process being used by the Food and Drug Administration to assess the safety of a faster-growing transgenic salmon fails to weigh the full effects of the fish's widespread production, according to analysis by a Duke University-led team in this week's Science.

Strike a pose: Research uncovers what's behind image in the modeling industry
Research conducted in the fashion capital of New York is presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association in New Orleans.

Process leading to protein diversity in cells important for proper neuron firing
Researchers have documented a novel form of splicing in the cytoplasm of a nerve cell, which dictates a special form of a potassium channel protein in the outer membrane.

Gangster birds running protection racket give insight into coevolution
Like gangsters running a protection racket, drongos in the Kalahari Desert act as lookouts for other birds in order to steal a cut of their food catch.

Researchers identify PTSD measures for use in traumatic brain injury research
Five US federal agencies recently cosponsored a set of expert work groups to formulate common data elements for research related to psychological adjustment and traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Discovery in how HIV thwarts the body's natural defense opens up new target for drug therapies
Researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago have solved a 20-year puzzle: why natural killer cells fail to protect the body against HIV.

Global economic woes make universal access to aids drugs unlikely, Stanford analysis shows
Universal access to lifesaving AIDS drugs -- a United Nations' Millennium Development Goal that officials hoped to accomplish by 2010 -- would require a staggering $15 billion annual investment from the international community at a time when the economic downturn is challenging continued funding for relief efforts, according to a new analysis by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

UTHealth discoveries shed more light on deadly thoracic aortic disease
The discovery of a fifth gene defect and the identification of 47 DNA regions linked to thoracic aortic disease are the subjects of studies released this month involving researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

Wellness programs provide high returns, research reveals
Employee wellness programs have often been viewed as a nice extra, not a strategic imperative.

Culturally sensitive treatment model helps bring depressed Chinese immigrants into treatment
A treatment model designed to accommodate the beliefs and concerns of Chinese immigrants increased the percentage of depressed patients entering treatment nearly sevenfold.

AIDS: Taking a long-term view
The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is hosting an event on World Aids Day, bringing together some of the world's leading experts on the pandemic, to discuss future projections for the AIDS pandemic.

Gene therapy for metastatic melanoma in mice produces complete remission
Indiana University cancer researchers report a potent anti-tumor gene introduced into mice with metastatic melanoma has resulted in permanent immune reconfiguration and produced a complete remission of their cancer

Transcription factor scan identifies genetic cause for inherited blindness
A ChIP-Seq based approach revealed the key regulatory role of the transcription factor Crx and the cis-regulatory architecture of photoreceptors.

The enigma of the missing stars in space may be solved
In the local group of galaxies, there are about 100 billion stars.

First volume of new laboratory manual series on imaging is released
A new series of laboratory manuals has been developed by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

Bioscience researchers defeating potato blight
Researchers funded by the BBSRC Crop Science Initiative have made a discovery that could instigate a paradigm shift in breeding resistance to late blight -- a devastating disease of potatoes and tomatoes costing the industry $8-9 billion a year worldwide.

Latest American Chemical Society podcast: New water filter kills disease-causing bacteria
The latest episode in the American Chemical Society's award-winning podcast series,

Cameroon timber tax study shows challenges of distributing REDD payments to local communities
A new study finds a lack of transparency and corruption are reducing the impact of an initiative in Cameroon that channels a portion of national timber levies to rural forest communities. 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