Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 23, 2010
ORNL scientists crack materials mystery in vanadium dioxide
A systematic study of phase changes in vanadium dioxide has solved a mystery that has puzzled scientists for decades, according to researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Incorporating sustainability in the US Environmental Protection Agency
The US EPA's Office of Research and Development has requested a National Research Council study to help define their efforts to incorporate sustainability concepts into agency programs.

CONRAD applauds results of global iPrEx study
CONRAD is pleased to join in congratulating the Global iPrEx study team for their successful trial of oral tenofovir with emtricitabine for HIV prevention.

Findings suggest new cause, possible treatment for multiple sclerosis
Researchers have found evidence that an environmental pollutant may play an important role in causing multiple sclerosis and that a hypertension drug might be used to treat the disease.

Registered dietitians play essential role in effective management of diabetes in adults
Proper nutrition therapy is essential for the successful management of type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Geneticist at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia honored for outstanding research
Vivian G. Cheung, M.D., a geneticist at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, received the Curt Stern Award of the American Society of Human Genetics on Sat., Nov.

Cigarette smoking increases rheumatoid arthritis risk in African-Americans
A new study determined that African-Americans who smoke cigarettes have a higher risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

'Black Africans' in Britain: Integration or segregation?
A new study shows that the ability of

Shrubby crops can help fuel Africa's green revolution
Crop diversification with shrubby legumes mixed with soybean and peanuts could be the key to sustaining the green revolution in Africa, according to a Michigan State University study.

Use of HIV medications reduces risk of HIV infection in uninfected people
Use of a daily single-tablet combination HIV treatment called FTC/TDF, marketed as Truvada, reduced HIV infections by 44 percent overall when given to a group of uninfected men who have sex with men at increased risk for HIV.

Battle of the sexes, fruit-fly style
Researchers found that they could change the

Methane-powered laptops may be closer than you think
With advances in nanostructured devices, lower operating temperatures, and the use of an abundant fuel source and cheaper materials, a group of researchers led by Shriram Ramanathan at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) are increasingly optimistic about the commercial viability of the technology.

Under suspicion: The painkiller ziconotide could increase suicidal ideation
The active agent ziconotide, the synthetic toxin of the cone snail, was acclaimed a safe alternative to morphine when it was introduced six years ago.

LSU sociologists find Latinos lacking in English skills face more risk of violent crime
LSU professor Edward Shihadeh and Ph.D. candidate Raymond Barranco recently published a study titled

AIDS drug shown to prevent HIV in multinational trial of HIV-negative gay men
Results of the world's first efficacy trial of an HIV-prevention approach called oral pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, were released online in the New England Journal of Medicine today.

Secrets of sharks' success
New research from the University of South Florida suggests that one of the evolutionary secrets of the shark hides in one of its tiniest traits -- flexible scales on their bodies that allow them to change directions while moving at full speed.

Frequently asked questions about PrEP and the iPrEx trial
The results of the iPrEx PrEP effectiveness trial of once-daily TDF/FTC (brand name Truvada) in gay men, transgender women and other men who have sex with men are a landmark in HIV prevention research.

Novel fuel cell catalyst lowers need for precious metal
A test performed in Copenhagen proves that a new catalyst might show the way to cheap and easy fuel cells.

New research from Psychological Science
This is a sampling of the exciting upcoming research in Psychological Science.

For your teeth, Thanksgiving dinner is a real food fight
If you're lucky, it will all be kisses and hugs around the Thanksgiving dinner table, with friends and family gathered about, and puppies at your feet waiting for table scraps.

Study shows antiretroviral drugs can prevent HIV in men who have sex with men
The same drugs used for treating HIV can also help prevent infection, according to results from a new study of oral pre-exposure prohylaxis (PrEP) called iPrEx.

Generating form and function: Imaging development featured in Cold Spring Harbor Protocols
In order to observe embryonic development over time, it is necessary to grow the embryos of laboratory model organisms on the microscope stage, and keep them as healthy and in as natural a state as possible.

Combining aerobic and resistance training appears helpful for patients with diabetes
Performing a combination of aerobic exercise and resistance training was associated with improved glycemic levels among patients with type 2 diabetes, compared to patients who did not exercise, according to a study in the Nov.

Biologists report more bad news for polar bears
Polar bears are not likely to survive in a warmer world, UCLA biologists report.

Underwater robots on course to the deep sea
Robots do not have to breathe. For this reason they can dive longer than any human.

Fecal immunochemical testing best and most cost-effective method for screening for colorectal cancer
Annual screening by fecal immunochemical testing -- a test that detects blood in the stool, has high sensitivity and specificity, and might improve participation rates through increased patient acceptability -- reduces the risk of colorectal cancer and colorectal cancer related deaths, and reduces health care costs in comparison to all other screening strategies and to no screening.

Dealt a bad hand: Pathological gamblers are also at risk for mental health disorders
Pathological gamblers are risking more than their money, they are also three times more likely to commit suicide than non-betters.

75 percent of Spanish zoos at risk of exotic animals escaping
Lions, bears, monkeys, crocodiles, parrots and iguanas may seem inoffensive at first glance when they're behind bars in zoos.

Europe maintains its presence on the final frontier
ESA has decided to extend the productive lives of 11 of its operating space science missions.

Virginia Tech engineers introduce thermotherapy as a chemotherapy alternative
Using hyperthermia, Virginia Tech engineering researchers and a colleague from India unveiled a new method to target and destroy cancerous cells.

Expecting? Don't neglect your teeth
Even though most people are aware that good oral health is essential for the overall health of both mother and child, misunderstandings about the safety of dental care during pregnancy may cause pregnant women to avoid seeing their dentist.

Early diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis crucial to positive outcomes for patients
Positive outcomes in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are closely linked to early diagnosis and treatment with disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs).

BUSM investigates cellular mechanisms leading to immune response in airway epithelium
Researchers from the Boston University School of Medicine have demonstrated that commensal species of the genus Neisseriae are low inducers of human airway epithelial cell responses as compared to the pathogenic species.

NYU Courant researchers receive supercomputing award for creating software that simulates blood flow
Researchers at New York University's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences have received the George Bell Prize, given to the world's fastest supercomputing application, for creating software that simulates blood flow.

City of Vancouver sets transportation records during 2010 Winter Games: UBC study
Vancouver residents and visitors set records for sustainable travel during the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, more than doubling the number of trips typically taken by public transit, biking or walking, according to a University of British Columbia study completed for the City of Vancouver.

SAGE partners with APA's Division 2 to publish Teaching of Psychology
SAGE has partnered with the Society for the Teaching of Psychology to begin publishing its official journal, Teaching of Psychology (TOP), starting with the January 2011 issue.

CCNY chemists design molecule that responds to stimuli
The venus flytrap plant captures its prey when it senses the presence of an insect on the tips of its leaves.

Tobacco: Out of sight, out of mind?
Putting tobacco out of sight in shops can change the attitude of young people toward smoking, while not hitting retailers in the pocket, researchers at the University of Nottingham have discovered.

Federal support for EDC health-care innovators
Five technology-based high-tech ventures that have achieved success in the health care field with the assistance of NJIT's Enterprise Development Center (EDC) are the recipients of more than a million dollars in funding.

Plant-derived scavengers prowl the body for nerve toxins
Tsafrir Mor, a biochemist in the Center for Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University has shown that human butyrylcholinesterase (BChE), a so-called bioscavenging molecule, can be produced synthetically -- from plants.

New study: Mexico's forest communities excel in good management, outperform other strategies for capturing carbon to slow climate change
A study released today amid debate over how to reduce the loss and degradation of the world's most vulnerable forests suggests that negotiators at the upcoming UN climate change conference in Cancun should look to Mexico's forest communities for a solution.

New book reviews mechanisms of T-cell and B-cell activation
A new book,

IAS calls for the non-politicization of an HIV clinic in Burma threatened with closure
The International AIDS Society calls on the Burmese Government to reverse a ruling made on Nov.

Novel use of MEMS microphones to map noise pollution and meet EU directives
The UK's National Physical Laboratory has developed a new measurement-based approach to environmental noise monitoring and mapping using unique sensors.

DFG to establish 11 new collaborative research centers
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft will establish 11 new collaborative research centers (CRC) as of Jan.

Developing countries often outsource deforestation, study finds
In many developing countries, forest restoration at home has led to deforestation abroad, according to researchers at Stanford University and the University of Louvain.

'Russian doll' galaxy reveals black holes' true power
Following a study of what is in effect a miniature galaxy buried inside a normal-sized one -- like a Russian doll -- astronomers using a CSIRO telescope have concluded that massive black holes are more powerful than we thought.

Age restriction on emergency stroke treatment should be lifted, say researchers
Thrombolysis (giving anti-clotting drugs within three hours of an acute stroke) is effective in patients aged 40 to 90 years and should not be restricted in elderly patients, as current guidelines advise, concludes a study published on today.

IAS calls for universal condom acceptance in wake of Pope Benedict's comments
The International AIDS Society cautiously notes the comments from Pope Benedict that condom use could, in specific circumstances, be acceptable, but calls on the Pope and the Catholic Church to come out clearly and strongly in support of all evidence-based methods of HIV prevention, including condom use.

ACS webinars focus on 2011 venture capital outlook for the chemical enterprise
News media and others interested in the chemical sciences are invited to join the next in a series of American Chemical Society (ACS) Webinars focusing on the venture capital outlook in 2011 for the chemical industry.

ISU researcher, collaborators, re-sequence 6 corn varieties, find some genes missing
Researchers at Iowa State University, China Agricultural University and the Beijing Genomics Institute in China recently re-sequenced and compared six elite inbred corn lines, including the parents of the most productive commercial hybrids in China and found entire genes that were missing from one line to another.

A step-change in sustainable urban transport
Researchers at the universities of Leeds, Manchester and York are conducting a major new study that could help planners make urban travel networks significantly more sustainable by 2050.

Alcohol consumption decreases with the development of disease
The authors report that respondents with a diagnosis of diabetes, hypertension, or anxiety were more likely to have reduced or stopped alcohol consumption in the past 12 months.

Self-assembly of nano-rotors
Scientists from the Technische Universitaet Muenchen have managed to direct the self-assembly of rod-shaped molecules into rotors only few nanometers in size.

Optimizing large wind farms
Researchers in Baltimore, Md., and Belgium have developed a model to calculate the optimal spacing of wind turbines for the very large wind farms of the future.

The physics of coffee rings
Researchers in Rhode Island, Colorado and Massachusetts have analyzed the stain patterns left behind by coffee droplets on a surface and are presenting their

Binge drinking may lead to higher risk of heart disease
Belfast's binge drinking culture could be behind the country's high rates of heart disease, according to a paper published on today.

Scott & White Healthcare's cardiac rehabilitation program receives certification
The Cardiac Rehabilitation Program at Scott & White Healthcare in Temple has received accreditation from the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation.

World's most advanced system to help Aussie researchers detect and analyze rare cells
A new research system launched today at the Centenary Institute will give Australian researchers unprecedented ability to detect and analyze rare cells.

Engineer provides new insight into pterodactyl flight
Giant pterosaurs -- ancient reptiles that flew over the heads of dinosaurs -- were at their best in gentle tropical breezes, soaring over hillsides and coastlines or floating over land and sea on thermally driven air currents, according to new research from the University of Bristol.

Jellyfish-inspired pumps
To researchers at the California Institute of Technology, the undulations of the simple invertebrate jellyfish hold secrets that may make possible a new generation of tiny pumps for medical applications and soft robotics -- work described today at the American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics (DFD) meeting in Long Beach, Calif.

Why are we getting fatter? UAB researchers seek a mysterious culprit
UAB researchers suggest there are multiple, still undiscovered causes for obesity, based observations of weight gain in controlled groups of animals that has no single explanation, such as diet or activity level.

Scientists question fisheries health test
A measure widely advocated as a means of assessing the health of marine ecosystems is an ineffective guide to trends in biodiversity, and more direct monitoring is needed, a new study has found.

Less invasive method for determining stage of lung cancer shows benefits
A comparison of two strategies to determine the stage of suspected non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) finds that the less invasive method is more effective at identifying a type of lung cancer that has spread, and may result in a reduction of unnecessary surgical procedures and associated adverse effects for certain patients, according to a study in the Nov.

Statins improve liver function and substantially reduce cardiovascular events in patients with abnormal liver tests
Contrary to widespread belief, patients with abnormal liver function who are given long-term statin treatment do not face an increased risk of liver disease, according to an article published online first in the Lancet.

Too much of a good thing: Important mechanism in hormone-sensitive breast cancer uncovered
In two out of three breast tumors, extraordinarily high levels of the estrogen receptor ERalpha are found.

Sour research, sweet results
Tart cranberry sauce is part of Thanksgiving, and a study in PNAS reveals a surprising mechanism for how cells perceive sourness.

World-first to provide building blocks for new nano devices
Scientists at the University of Nottingham have made a major breakthrough that could help shape the future of nanotechnology, by demonstrating for the first time that 3-D molecular structures can be built on a surface.

AIAA New Horizons Forum to explore space, speed and energy
he American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics is pleased to announce that leaders from academia, government, and industry will once again convene in January in Orlando, Fla., at the AIAA New Horizons Forum.

Tigers and polar bears are highly vulnerable to environmental change
Large predators are much more vulnerable than smaller species to environmental changes, such as over-hunting and habitat change, because they have to work so hard to find their next meal, according to a new study.

December 2010 Geology and GSA Today highlights
Geology presents evidence that today's C4 plants grew 14 million years earlier than previously thought; a 3-D view of ocean floor

When bird meets machine, bioinspired flight
Working at a crossroad between biology and engineering, scientists have modeled and are now mimicking the ingenious natural design of falling geckos, gliding snakes, cruising seagulls, flapping insects and floating maple seeds to improve the design of air vehicles.

New study into bladder regeneration heralds organ replacement treatment
Researchers in the United States have developed a medical model for regenerating bladders using stem cells harvested from a patient's own bone marrow.

Heating nanoparticles to kill tumor cells
Magnetic fluid hyperthermia (MFH) is a promising new cancer treatment that essentially

Retirement reduces tiredness and depression
Retirement leads to a substantial reduction in mental and physical fatigue and depressive symptoms, finds a study published on today.

AIAA Foundation recognizes outstanding educators
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics is pleased to announce the winners of the 2011 AIAA Foundation Educator Achievement Awards.

NIH adds first images to major research database
The National Institutes of Health has expanded a genetic and clinical research database to give researchers access to the first digital study images.

Getting lost in buildings: Architecture can bias your cognitive map
Some people are better than others at navigating their worlds.

Extending the life of oil reserves
A research team led by the University of Bristol has used STFC's ISIS Neutron Source to come up with a new way to treat carbon dioxide, so that it can be used in efficient and environmentally friendly methods for extracting oil.

Why do people behave badly? Maybe it's just too easy
Many people say they wouldn't cheat on a test, lie on a job application or refuse to help a person in need.

Imaging with neutrons: Magnetic domains shown for the first time in 3-D
Although they exist in almost every magnetic material, you cannot see them: magnetic domains are microscopically small regions of uniform magnetization.

Hormone's crucial role in 2 anemic blood disorders
A hormone made by the body may be a potential therapeutic tool for the treatment of two anemic blood disorders -- beta-thalassemia and hemochromatosis.

Building business school success through sustainability
A new study is to look at how British business schools could boost their success by using sustainability to underpin their teaching, research and organizational behavior.

Monitoring wear in helicopters -- and hips, knees and ankles, too
Professpr Noam Eliaz of Tel Aviv University says his new technique,

US Forest Service and 2 universities team up to develop new ecosystems for Hawaiian forests
In collaboration with Stanford University and the University of Hawaii, Hilo, the USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station's Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry will begin research next spring on developing

Dietitians play essential role in effective management of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in adults
Proper nutrition therapy is essential for the successful management of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and registered dietitians can play a key role as part of the health care team.

Koalas as picky leaf-eaters, ancient insects in warm climates and California's forest fires
Koala taste preferences are used to map tree quality and population distribution, fossils create a time line for the effects of climate change on ancient insects, and 20 years of data show the benefits of prescribed burns in Sierra Nevada forests.

Richard Call Family Endowed Chair honors Dr. Yves DeClerck at the Saban Research Institute Symposium
Yves A. DeClerck, M.D., professor of Pediatrics, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California has been inducted as the inaugural holder of the Richard Call Family Endowed Chair in Pediatric Research Innovation.

New foundation to commercialize research at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
An innovative foundation model that will provide up to $1.2 million to help fund and commercialize research at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beer-Sheva, Israel.

Software allows interactive tabletop displays on web
Researchers have developed a new type of software that enables people to use large visual displays and touch screens interactively over the Internet for business and homeland security applications.

21 group leaders join network of EMBO Young Investigators
Today, the European Molecular Biology Organization announced the selection of 21 of Europe's most talented young researchers as 2010 beneficiaries of the EMBO Young Investigator Programme.

Cloud atlas: Texas A&M scientist maps the meaning of mid-level clouds
Clouds play a major role in the climate-change equation, but they are the least-understood variable in the sky, observes a Texas A&M University geoscientist, who says mid-level clouds are especially understudied.

Earth and space science missions have fewer risks if conducted by a single government agency
Earth and space science missions developed and implemented by federal agencies in collaboration typically result in additional complexity and cost and increased risks from divided responsibilities and accountability, says a new report from the National Research Council.

Expanding tuberculosis control in China: Combining domestic and foreign investment
In a policy forum, published in this week's PLoS Medicine, Zhong-wei Jia (Peking University) and colleagues from Beijing, China, report on how a combination of increased domestic funding, supplemented by foreign loans and donations, led to a dramatic increase in TB case finding.

Discovery halts breast cancer stem cells
Breast cancer stem cells, the aggressive cells thought to be resistant to current anti-cancer therapies and which promote metastasis, are stimulated by estrogen via a pathway that mirrors normal stem cell development.

What makes flies attack?
Pity the poor female fruit fly. Being a looker is simply not enough, it seems.

LSU sociologist produces documentary on Kenyan election violence
While Africa is certainly no stranger to violence, the response to the Kenyan presidential elections of 2007 came as a surprise.

LIDAR applications in coastal morphology and hazard assessment
Southampton scientists along with colleagues in New Zealand have used a sophisticated optical mapping technique to identify and accurately measure changes in coastal morphology following a catastrophic series of landslides.

DNA uncovers 1 of the world's rarest birds
A team of Australian researchers has identified a new, critically endangered species of ground parrot in Western Australia.

Technology uses auto exhaust heat to create electricity, boost mileage
Researchers are creating a system that harvests heat from an engine's exhaust to generate electricity, reducing a car's fuel consumption.

CMU's Jonathan Malen works to improve critical technologies for transportation systems
Jonathan Malen's work could lead to the creation of more precise thermal management devices critical to the cooling of sensitive electronic components in aircraft and other transportation systems.

Daily dose of HIV drug reduces risk of HIV infection
A daily dose of an oral antiretroviral drug, currently approved to treat HIV infection, reduced the risk of acquiring HIV infection by 43.8 percent among men who have sex with men. 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