Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 24, 2011
Dating sheds new light on dawn of the dinosaurs
Careful dating of new dinosaur fossils and volcanic ash around them by researchers from UC Davis and UC Berkeley casts doubt on the idea that dinosaurs appeared and opportunistically replaced other animals.

Egg donation: The way to happy motherhood, with risks and side effects
Women who have become pregnant after egg donation should be categorized as high-risk patients.

A research study identifies who uploads the majority of the content to the P2P piracy networks
A study done at Carlos III University of Madrid identifies and characterizes the users who upload contents on the main P2P piracy networks on Internet and points out the incentives that they find to carrying out this activity.

Pioneering treatment could help people with severe depression
Pioneering neurosurgical treatment, a world first in Bristol, which very accurately targets brain networks involved in depression, could help people who suffer with severe and intractable depression.

Medication dosing errors for infants and children
Preparing small doses of medication from syringes may be inaccurate and can result in crucial dosing errors for infants and children, according to a study published in CMAJ.

Conversion of brain tumor cells into blood vessels thwarts treatment efforts
Glioblastoma, the most common and lethal form of brain cancer and the disease that killed Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy, resists nearly all treatment efforts, even when attacked simultaneously on several fronts.

Elsevier and the Robert Koch Institute partner to broaden access
Elsevier, the world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, and the Robert Koch Institute announced they have entered into a two-year trial agreement enabling researchers at Robert Koch Institute to systematically post their manuscripts in the institutional repository.

Making ADHD teens better drivers
A University at Buffalo researcher's work with a state-of-the-art driving simulator is making better drivers among those considered to be the most risky motorists on the road: teens with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

Weizmann Institute scientists used accelerated evolution to develop enzymes that provide protection against nerve gas
Protection against nerve gas attack is a significant component of the defense system of many countries around the world.

Cell death pathway linked to mitochondrial fusion
New research led by UC Davis scientists provides insight into why some body organs are more susceptible to cell death than others and could eventually lead to advances in treating or preventing heart attack or stroke.

Immersive data collection, peer networks among key elements of effective watershed councils
Community watershed councils can establish a social infrastructure that facilitates successful science-based management by participating in data collection and forming neighborhood peer networks, according to a study from the US Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station.

Quality standards for biological, chemical drugs and public health are focus of India meeting
In collaboration with key stakeholders, the United States Pharmacopeial Convention and the Indian Pharmacopoeia Commission will host the 2011 IPC-USP 10th Science & Standards Symposium on Feb.

Tufts University calls for moderate approach to teaching personalized genomic testing
Genetics in Medicine, the official journal of the American College of Medical Genetics, published this month a paper by Tufts University faculty calling for a moderate, strategic approach to teaching personalized genomic testing in medical school curricula.

Recommendations issued to counter patent, proprietary barriers to sharing stem cell data
An international group of stem cell scientists, bioethicists and experts in law and public policy called urgently today for specific measures designed to counter secrecy and self interest.

Showing empathy to patients can improve care
Showing clinical empathy to patients can improve their satisfaction of care, motivate them to stick to their treatment plans and lower malpractice complaints, found a study published in CMAJ.

Weight loss plus walking essential for older, obese adults
Walking more and losing weight can improve mobility as much as 20 percent in older, obese adults with poor cardiovascular health, according to a new Wake Forest University study.

Upcoming conference: Biophysical Society's 55th Annual Meeting
The Biophysical Society's 55th Annual Meeting takes place from March 5-9, 2011 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, MD.

Wheat resistance genes failing, new approach needed to stop flies
Many of the genes that allow wheat to ward off Hessian flies are no longer effective in the southeastern United States, and care should be taken to ensure that resistance genes that so far haven't been utilized in commercial wheat lines are used prudently, according to US Department of Agriculture and Purdue University scientists.

Hispanic seniors less likely to be immunized against flu and pneumonia, study finds
While Hispanic seniors are known to receive immunizations less often than other racial ethnic groups, a new study has found that Hispanic seniors who prefer speaking Spanish and live in linguistically isolated communities such as the Southeast that are newer immigrant destinations are those least likely to be immunized against the flu and pneumonia.

New DOE bioenergy website has ORNL roots
Policy makers, industry, researchers and the public have a new way to gain and share information about biofuels with the Bioenergy Knowledge Discovery Framework, or KDF, developed by a team at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and sponsored by the Department of Energy.

Study examines earlier use of heart pumps in growing group of heart failure patients
The University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center and the University of Pittsburgh have been awarded $13.3 million to explore the potential benefits of heart devices for the large and growing group of Americans with heart failure.

The Lancet series on health in Southeast Asia
The 10 countries analyzed in the Lancet series on Southeast Asia are: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, with a combined population of 580 million people.

Legal restrictions compromise effectiveness of advance directives
Current legal restrictions significantly compromise the clinical effectiveness of advance directives, according to a study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco.

New training instrument allows surgeon to feel grasp force in keyhole surgery
The number of complications following keyhole surgery can be reduced by giving the surgeons a better feeling of how hard they are grasping the tissue with their operating instruments.

Brief, individualized counseling improves sleep in older adults with insomnia
A brief behavioral treatment consisting of two in-person sessions and two phone calls appears to alleviate insomnia in older adults for at least six months, according to a report posted online today that will be published in the May 23 print issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

GRIN plasmonics
Berkeley Lab researchers have carried out the first experimental demonstration of GRIN plasmonics, a hybrid technology that opens the door to a wide range of exotic applications in optics, including superfast photonic computers, ultra-powerful optical microscopes and

Biomarker test shows promise for melanoma diagnosis
A new study shows that a test of biomarkers for DNA methylation is technically feasible and could aid in earlier, more precise diagnosis of melanoma.

Young minority women screened at higher rate for chlamydia than young white women
A new study from the Indiana University School of Medicine and the Regenstrief Institute has found that Black and especially Hispanic young women are screened for chlamydia at a significantly higher rate than young white women.

Childhood self-control predicts adult health and wealth
A long-term study has found that children who scored lower on measures of self-control as young as age 3 were more likely to have health problems, substance dependence, financial troubles and a criminal record by the time they reached age 32.

Rising indoor winter temperatures linked to obesity?
Increases in winter indoor temperatures in the United Kingdom, United States and other developed countries may be contributing to rises in obesity in those populations, according to UCL research published today.

The genius of bacteria
Tel Aviv University has developed a

Smoking may be associated with increased risk of breast cancer
Smoking before menopause, especially prior to giving birth, may be associated with a modest increase in the risk of developing breast cancer, according to a report in the Jan.

Taking mating cues from many sources, pathogen adapts to thrive and infect
New research shows that a nasty yeast called Candida albicans, a source of infections in humans, can become inspired to mate and to form biofilms by the pheromones of many other species.

Long-term hypoxia in flies shown to result in permanent DNA changes
In an important study that may shed light on human ability to adapt to hypoxia, or inadequate levels of oxygen, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have proven that the genome of flies exposed to long-term hypoxia are changed to permanently affect gene expression.

More research needed on diet and environmental influences on childhood asthma
Two studies published in the in the February 2011 issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association explore the possible relationship between nutrition and asthma.

Preschool kids know what they like: Salt, sugar and fat
A child's taste preferences begin at home and most often involve salt, sugar and fat.

People aren't born afraid of spiders and snakes: Fear is quickly learned during infancy
There's a reason why Hollywood makes movies like Arachnophobia and Snakes on a Plane: Most people are afraid of spiders and snakes.

Forum to focus on using robotics, imaging and simulation in surgeries
More than a dozen University of Houston researchers will be making presentations, ranging from robot-assisted surgery techniques to improving heart and breast surgery procedures, at the third annual international conference in computational surgery Jan.

Spin-out to apply new technology for tackling infection
A new company has been launched to commercialize an award-winning technology, developed at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland, for tackling bacterial infection and contamination, including superbugs such as MRSA.

Blocking rogue gene could stop the spread of most cancers
Scientists at the University of East Anglia have discovered a rogue gene which -- if blocked by the right drugs -- could stop cancer in its tracks.

UT study finds business school research raises students' salaries
A study by Russell Crook, assistant professor of management in the College of Business Administration at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, finds that scholarly research conducted by business professors seems to have an impact on the salaries of their students after graduation.

Blue crab research may help Chesapeake Bay watermen improve soft shell harvest
A research effort designed to prevent the introduction of viruses to blue crabs in a research hatchery could end up helping Chesapeake Bay watermen improve their bottom line by reducing the number of soft shell crabs perishing before reaching market.

Anti-estrogen medication reduces risk of dying from lung cancer
A new study has found that tamoxifen, an anti-estrogen breast cancer medication, may reduce an individual's risk of death from lung cancer.

What impact would sun dimming have on Earth's weather?
From the building of vast dams to conquering space, science has always taken human beings to the height of their ambition.

Biodesign hosts international consortium on screening for lung cancer
To address the latest issues on the early detection of lung cancer, the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University will host an international research consortium in Scottsdale, Ariz., Feb.

Research into synthetic antibodies offers hope for new diagnostics
In a pair of new papers, researchers at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University demonstrated a simple means of improving the binding affinity of synthetic antibodies, composed of random peptides.

Controlling the rising costs of cardiovascular care
Canada's health care system could have saved $77 million in 2006 if it had adopted a more restrictive policy on the cardiovascular drugs angiotensin receptor blockers without a negative impact on cardiovascular health, according to a study published in CMAJ.

Research finds practicing retrieval is best tool for learning
The time students invest in rereading or reviewing their notes would be better spent practicing retrieval to ensure better learning, according to new research from Purdue University.

New microscopy method opens window on previously unseen cell features
Nongjian (N.J.) Tao and his colleagues at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University have pioneered a new technique capable of peering into single cells and even intracellular processes with unprecedented clarity.

Unrealistic optimism appears common in early cancer trials
Can optimism be ethically problematic? Yes, according to a new study, which found unrealistic optimism prevalent among participants in early-phase cancer trials and suggested that it may compromise informed consent.

Spiders adjust courtship signals for maximum effect
Male wolf spiders produce multiple courtship signals -- vibrations and visual cues -- to attract females.

ASM Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting
The American Society for Microbiology will host its 2011 Biodefense and Emerging Diseases Research Meeting Feb.

Women in Congress outperform men on some measures
Congresswomen consistently outperform their male counterparts on several measures of job performance.

First-ever global map of surface permeability informs water supply, climate modelling: UBC
University of British Columbia researchers have produced the first map of the world outlining the ease of fluid flow through the planet's porous surface rocks and sediments.

The first single-fingered dinosaur
A new species of parrot-sized dinosaur, the first discovered with only one finger, has been unearthed in Inner Mongolia, China.

Univ. of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging awarded Alzheimer's drug discovery research grant
Linda J. Van Eldik, director of the University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, has been awarded a $750,000 grant to further her research into a possible treatment for Alzheimer's disease.

No longer pining for organic molecules to make particles in the air
The fresh scent of pine has helped atmospheric scientists find missing sources of organic molecules in the air -- which, it could well turn out, aren't missing after all.

Neurologists predict more cases of stroke, dementia, Parkinson's disease and epilepsy
As the population ages, neurologists will be challenged by a growing population of patients with stroke, dementia, Parkinson's disease and epilepsy.

Stress management program helps prevent heart events in patients with heart disease
A cognitive behavioral therapy program focusing on stress management appears to decrease the risk of recurrent heart attacks and other cardiovascular events in patients with heart disease, according to a report in the Jan.

UIC Center for Research on Women and Gender receives Presidential Award
The University of Illinois at Chicago is among four organizations and 11 individuals to receive the 2011 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring.

New model of man's role in climate change
The Roman Conquest, the Black Death and the discovery of America -- by modifying the nature of the forests -- have had a significant impact on the environment.

Scientists find that debris on certain Himalayan glaciers may prevent melting
A new scientific study shows that debris coverage -- pebbles, rocks and debris from surrounding mountains -- may be a missing link in the understanding of the decline of glaciers.

Loyola physician helps develop national guidelines for osteoporosis
The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists has released new medical guidelines for the diagnosis and treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis.

Freedom's just another word for employee satisfaction
Workers who feel they have autonomy -- that they are free to make choices in the workplace and be accountable for them -- are happier and more productive according to an extensive research literature review.

Chopin's hallucinations were probably caused by epilepsy
The composer Frederic Chopin, who regularly hallucinated, probably had temporal lobe epilepsy throughout his short life, reveals research published online in Medical Humanities.

IU study: Humans' critical ability to throw long distances aided by an illusion
New research from Indiana University and the University of Wyoming shows how humans, unlike any other species on Earth, readily learn to throw long distances.

EU grant for better monitoring of Crohn's disease using MRI
TU Delft is joining six European partners from the academic world to develop an objective, quantitative method for assessing these MRI scans.

Genome of blue stain fungus evolved to bypass tree defense in mountain pine beetle epidemic: UBC
The genome of the fungus that helps mountain pine beetles infect and kill lodgepole pines has been decoded in a University of British Columbia study.

Intelligent microscopy
Scientists at EMBL Heidelberg created new software that rapidly learns what researchers are looking for and automatically performs complex microscopy experiments.

EurekAlert! announces the 2011 fellowship recipients for international science journalism
EurekAlert! is pleased to announce the four recipients of the 2011 AAAS-EurekAlert!

Legally poisoned
Americans are exposed to hundreds, if not thousands, of suspected toxic substances every day, substances that affect the development and function of the brain, immune system, reproductive organs or hormones.

McGill awarded $1-million grant to address debilitating parasitic diseases in the developing world
McGill University and McGill University scientist Dr. Timothy Geary received a $1 million grant today for landmark research into addressing parasitic diseases through medicines derived from African biodiversity.

Hormonal therapy for older, pregnant horses?
Some horses have a history of early miscarriages and it has become customary to treat them with altrenogest, a type of progestin.

The 20th Century Reanalysis Project: A time machine for climate scientists
From the hurricane that smashed into New York in 1938 to the impact of the Krakatoa eruption of 1883, the late 19th and 20th centuries are rich with examples of extreme weather.

SNM applauds FDA advisory committee recommendation for approval of Alzheimer's imaging agent
The Society of Nuclear Medicine commends the US Food and Drug Administration's Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee on its recent recommendation for conditional approval of a new imaging agent, florbetapir.

Rhythmic vibrations guide caste development in social wasps
Future queen or tireless toiler? A paper wasp's destiny may lie in the antennal drumbeats of its caretaker.

Study: Faculty on Facebook will not ask students to be friends
In a recent survey of pharmacy professors, 100 percent of the respondents who had Facebook profiles said they would not send friend requests to their current students.

Virginia Tech engineers work with InterDigital to increase wireless speed, accessibility
In the first phase of a more than two-year study funded by InterDigital, Virginia Tech researchers have made great strides in the development of more reliable and efficient spectrum sensing techniques that will be needed to meet the ever-expanding demand for wireless technologies.

Purdue team creates 'engineered organ' model for breast cancer research
Researchers have reproduced portions of the female breast in a tiny slide-sized model dubbed

A new research project to focus on climate change in the Arctic
The Finnish Meteorological Institute is coordinating a project that demonstrates new methods for mitigating climate change in the Arctic.

Build it and they will come? Think again
When it comes to economic development in American cities, the trusted old theory

Out of mind in a matter of seconds
The dynamics behind signal transmission in the brain are extremely chaotic.

Lowering blood pressure in middle-aged women reduces heart disease risk
Middle-aged women worldwide lowering their blood pressure could prevent a substantial amount of cardiovascular disease.

Nearly 10 million euros ($13.6 million) in ERC grants for 6 Technische Universitaet Muenchen researchers
Six Technische Universitaet Muenchen scientists have been awarded prestigious ERC Grants totaling nearly 10 million euros ($13.6 million): Prof.

Deep brain stimulation may help hard-to-control high blood pressure
Researchers were surprised to discover what may be a potential new treatment for difficult-to-control high blood pressure, according to a case report published in the Jan.

Cost to treat heart disease in United States will triple by 2030
The cost of treating heart disease in the United States will triple by 2030, according to new projections from the American Heart Association. 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