Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 07, 2011
New UCLA project streams Twitter updates from Egypt unrest on digital map of Cairo
A new GPS mapping program from UCLA Digital Humanities team is archiving tweets from Egypt's pro-democracy protests.

The Sixth International Symposium on Molecular Insect Science
Elsevier, the leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, announces that the Sixth International Symposium on Molecular Insect Science is the first of the series to be held outside the US.

Normal air could halve fuel consumption
Every time a car brakes, energy is generated. At present this energy is not used, but new research shows that it is perfectly possible to save it for later use in the form of compressed air.

LSU biologist, chemical engineer partner with industry to develop best soft lure available
Soft baits, those gummy pieces of brightly colored plastic familiar from your father's tackle box, are good essentially only as visual cues for fish.

Researchers turn Salmonella into antiviral gene therapy agent
UC Berkeley researchers have converted Salmonella bacteria from a food-borne pathogen into a safe delivery vehicle for antiviral agents.

Larger cities drive growing wage gap between the rich and the poor, study shows
Why in the United States are the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer?

A change of heart keeps bears healthy while hibernating
Hibernating, it turns out, is much more complicated than one might think.

Math may help calculate way to find new drugs for HIV and other diseases
Using mathematical concepts, Princeton researchers have developed a method of discovering new drugs for a range of diseases by calculating which physical properties of biological molecules may predict their effectiveness as medicines.

Women with PCOS benefit from acupuncture and exercise
Acupuncture and physical exercise improve hormone levels and menstrual bleeding pattern in women with polycystic ovary syndrome, reveals research from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

MARC Travel awards announced for the 2011 ACSM Southeast Chapter Annual Meeting
FASEB MARC (Minority Access to Research Careers) Program has announced the travel award recipients for the 2011 American College of Sports Medicine Southeast Chapter Annual Meeting in Greenville, S.C., from Feb.

Where did flowers come from?
The University at Buffalo is a key partner in a $7.3 million, multi-institution collaboration to explore the origins of all flowers by sequencing the genome of Amborella, a unique species that one researcher has nicknamed the

Border patrol: Immune cells protect body from invaders, according to Penn study
Barrier sites -- the skin, gut, lung -- limit the inner body's exposure to allergens, pollutants, viruses, bacteria, and parasites.

Univ. of Miami professor receives distinguished Goldschmidt Geochemistry Award
Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science chemist is the 2011 recipient of the prestigious V.

New findings in India's Bt cotton controversy: Good for the field, bad for the farm?
Crop yields from India's first genetically modified crop may have been overemphasized, as modest rises in crop yields may come at the expense of sustainable farm management, says a new study by a Washington University in St.

Bad things seem even worse if people have to live through them again
When people think unpleasant events are over, they remember them as being less painful or annoying than when they expect them to happen again, pointing to the power of expectation to help people brace for the worst, according to studies published by the American Psychological Association.

'He loves me, he loves me not...': Women are more attracted to men whose feelings are unclear
Are you still looking for a date for Valentine's Day?

Coal used for indoor heating is associated with shorter stature in very young children
In a finding of significant worldwide public-health consequence, researchers at the UC Davis School of Medicine and in the Academy of Sciences in the Czech Republic have found that emissions from the indoor use of coal for heating and cooking may impair early childhood growth and development.

Supporters and opponents of a special blessing for homosexuals share many values
In the autumn of 2005 the Church of Sweden decided to introduce a special blessing for same-sex unions.

CNIC and Grupo Santander present a new venue for imaging tests included in PESA study
The project, lead by Valentin Fuster, is a pioneer research developed by the National Center for Cardiovascular Research, Grupo Santander and Foundation Marcelino Botín aimed at achieve an early diagnose for Cardiovascular diseases before symptoms appear.

MARC Travel Awards announced for ABRF 2011
FASEB MARC (Minority Access to Research Careers) Program has announced the travel award recipients for the 2011 Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities meeting in San Antonio, Tex., from Feb.

Relatively few young adults with autism spectrum disorders receive assistance after high school
Use of medical, mental health and case management services for young adults with an autism spectrum disorder appears to decline after high school, according to a report in the February issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Research proves new soybean meal sources are good fish meal alternatives
Two new sources of soybean meal are capturing attention throughout the country.

Researchers get a grip on nervous system's receptors
A digital signal processing technique long used by statisticians to analyze data is helping Houston scientists understand the roots of memory and learning, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases and stroke.

W. David Helms honored for translation of health services research into policy that improves care
AcademyHealth today presented David Helms with its prestigious Chair Award, which recognizes a leader who has significantly contributed to moving health services research into policy and practice.

Processed food diet in early childhood may lower subsequent IQ
A diet, high in fats, sugars and processed foods in early childhood may lower IQ, while a diet packed full of vitamins and nutrients may do the opposite, suggests research published online in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

What your TV habits may say about your fear of crime
When it comes to prime-time crime shows, do you like dramas like

Research helps drivers cut fuel use
Ever wonder how much fuel you can save by avoiding stop-and-go traffic, closing your window, not using air conditioning or coasting toward stops?

Scientists find new link between genes and stress response, depression
A team of University of Michigan-led researchers has found that people whose genes predispose them to produce lower levels of brain molecule neuropeptide Y are more responsive to negative stimuli in key brain circuits related to emotion -- and are therefore less resilient in the face of stress and may be at higher risk for developing a major depressive disorder.

A study analyzes science fiction in Spanish theater
Spanish dramaturgy has dealt with science fiction since the beginning of the 20th century.

Early warnings lowered use of antipsychotic medications for dementia, study finds
A new study led by University of Michigan and VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System researchers shows the use of second-generation antipsychotic medications began to decline significantly in 2003, years ahead of a

Less radical tumor surgery can offer better long-term kidney function
Patients with kidney tumors larger than four centimeters are much more likely to enjoy good long-term renal function if they undergo nephron-sparing surgery rather than radical nephrectomy, according to a study of 166 patients who were followed for up to 19 years.

Drug developed by Hebrew U. and others holds promise for treatment of wounds
A low cost, nanometer-sized drug to treat chronic wounds, such as diabetic foot ulcers or burns, has been developed by a group of scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Harvard Medical School and others in the US and Japan.

Impact of FDA regulations restricting outdoor cigarette advertising near schools examined
When the FDA proposed new rules restricting outdoor tobacco advertising near schools and playgrounds in 2009, the tobacco industry argued that such rules would lead to a near complete ban on tobacco advertising in urban areas.

UT historian explores role of small villages in ancient Near East
A University of Tennessee, Knoxville, archaeologist who excavates ancient villages in the Near East has received a grant to reshape the modern understanding of the region's political, economic and social structure by studying its smallest rural settlements.

Use of atypical antipsychotics in treatment of dementia declined after FDA warning
A warning issued by the Food and Drug Administration regarding the use of atypical antipsychotics for the treatment of dementia was associated with a significant decline in the use of these medications for treating dementia symptoms in elderly patients, according to a report in the February issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Protein may be key to new treatment in a childhood cancer
After analyzing hundreds of proteins produced by the DNA of tumor cells, researchers have identified one protein that may be central to a new treatment for the often-fatal childhood cancer neuroblastoma.

Unexpected exoskeleton remnants found in Paleozoic fossils
Surprising new research from a team lead by Carnegie's George Cody shows that, contrary to conventional belief, remains of chitin-protein complex -- structural materials containing protein and polysaccharide -- are present in abundance in fossils of arthropods from the Paleozoic era.

Young scientist receives the Siemens climate award 2010 for working with fuel cells
Trine Klemensoe, Risoe DTU, has received the Siemens climate award 2010 of DKK 100,000 ($18,257) for her valuable work of making fuel cells more efficient.

X-rays reveal hidden leg of an ancient snake
Synchrotron X-ray investigation of a fossilized snake with legs is helping scientists better understand how in the course of evolution snakes have lost their legs, and whether they evolved from terrestrial lizards or from reptiles living in the oceans.

Can breastfeeding transmit yellow fever after maternal vaccination?
A five-week old infant most likely contracted a vaccine strain of yellow fever virus through breastfeeding, according to a case report published in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Researchers develop outline that may help weigh benefits of new imaging technologies
A new article in the February issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology provides a roadmap for imaging manufacturers to navigate the unique and increasingly complex US regulatory and reimbursement environment.

Risk of cancer increases with exposure to low-dose radiation
Exposure to low-dose radiation from cardiac imaging and other procedures after a heart attack is associated with an increased risk of cancer, found a new study published in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Reducing the toll of alcohol in Canada
Focused programs and public health policies can help reduce the burden of alcohol in Canada, which contributes significantly to acute and chronic diseases, social problems and trauma, states an analysis in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Aluminum to replace copper as a conductor in on-board power systems
Currently copper is the conductor of choice for electric power and electronics in all kinds of vehicles.

Care home error rate of liquid medicine doses 4 times higher than pills
Care home residents are more than four times as likely to get the wrong dose of medicine when it is in liquid form as they are when given pills/capsules provided in a dispenser, indicates research published online in BMJ Quality and Safety.

Roaches inspire robotics
Prof. Amir Ayali of Tel Aviv University says that the study of cockroaches, locusts, and caterpillars is inspiring new frontiers in advanced robotics.

New explanation for heart-healthy benefits of chocolate
In time for the chocolate-giving and chocolate-eating fest on Valentine's Day, scientists are reporting discovery of how this treat boosts the body's production of the

Springer and the French National Institute for Agricultural Research INRA team up
Springer has been publishing five scientific journals for the French National Institute for Agricultural Research INRA since the beginning of the year.

Brandeis study shows economic impact of dengue virus in Americas
Dengue illness, the most common mosquito-borne viral disease in the world, has expanded from its Southeast Asian origins and is resurgent in countries such as Argentina, Chile and the continental United States.

Cannabis linked to earlier onset of psychosis
A new study has provided the first conclusive evidence that cannabis use significantly hastens the onset of psychotic illnesses during the critical years of brain development -- with possible life-long consequences.

Indoor coal use associated with possible impairment of early childhood growth
Children raised in homes using indoor coal for cooking or heating appear to be about a half-inch shorter at age 36 months than those in households using other fuel sources, according to a report posted online today that will appear in the June print issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Lifestyle affects life expectancy more than genetics
How long your parents lived does not affect how long you will live.

Therapy to prevent heart failure more effective in women than men
Never before has a therapy proven more beneficial for women than men in preventing heart disease -- until now.

Brain's 'radio stations' have much to tell scientists
Like listeners adjusting a high-tech radio, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

JCI online early table of contents: Feb. 7, 2011
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Feb.

ACS Mobile named best new eProduct in electronic publishing by Association of American Publishers
The American Chemical Society has won two prestigious publishing awards for professional and scholarly excellence for its innovative mobile application, ACS Mobile.

Conceptualizing cancer cells as ancient 'toolkit'
In a paper published online Feb. 7 in the UK Institute of Physics journal Physical Biology, Paul Davies at ASU and Charles Lineweaver from the Australian National University draw on their backgrounds in astrobiology to explain why cancer cells deploy so many clever tricks in such a coherent and organized way.

As many as 3 in 4 hospital tests not followed up after discharge
Up to three quarters of hospital tests are not being followed up, suggests a systematic review of international evidence, published in BMJ Quality and Safety.

Play was important -- even 4,000 years ago
Play was a central element of people's lives as far back as 4,000 years ago.

Taming carbon nanotubes
Carbon nanotubes have many attractive properties, and their structure and areas of application can be compared with those of graphene, the material for whose discovery the most recent Nobel Prize was awarded.

Project connects researchers, Latino communities to prevent cancer
A $4 million, five-year grant from the National Cancer Institute will create a Texas regional Community Networks Program Center, called Latinos Contra El Cancer, to reduce cancer-related health disparities among Texas Latinos.

Expanding drug development horizons: Receptor behaviors observed in living cell membranes
Unprecedented single molecule imaging movies of living cell membranes, taken by a research team based at Kyoto University and the University of New Mexico, have clarified a decades-old enigma surrounding receptor molecule behaviors.

Media reports ignore that Global Fund resources deliver tremendous results in the fight against AIDS
Following the publication of several media reports which seriously distort the extent of fraud discovered in grants financed by the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria, the International AIDS Society urges all donors and governments to continue their funding.

Kinship caregivers receive less support than foster parents despite lower socioeconomic status
Children placed with a relative after being removed from their home for maltreatment have fewer behavioral and social skills problems than children in foster care, but may have a higher risk for substance use and pregnancy as teenagers, according to a report in the February issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Words help people form mathematical concepts
Language may play an important role in learning the meanings of numbers.

Save messengers -- modified mRNAs open up new therapeutic possibilities
Gene therapy holds great promise for the cure of many diseases but synthetic DNA sequences which are introduced directly into the genome bear a significant risk of cancer.

Keck Foundation funds work on tiny, implantable computers to restore lost brain functions
Tiny, implantable computers that would restore brain functions lost to injury or disease is the goal of Univeristy of Washington research recently funded by a $1 million, three-year grant from the W.M.

Contact with the criminal justice system may be associated with suicide risk
Men and women who have had contact with the criminal justice system -- even if they have never received a jail or prison sentence or a guilty verdict -- appear to have a significantly higher rate of suicide than the general population, according to a report posted online today that will appear in the June print issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Facebook users more prone to developing eating disorders
The results of this new study showed that the more time girls spend on Facebook, the more they suffered conditions of bulimia, anorexia, physical dissatisfaction, negative physical self-image, negative approach to eating and more of an urge to be on a weight-loss diet.

Boston University School of Medicine researchers receive NIMH brain awards
Two Boston University School of Medicine faculty members, Pietro Cottone, Ph.D., an assistant professor of pharmacology and psychiatry and Michael Silverstein, M.D., an associate professor of pediatrics, were each awarded the prestigious National Institute of Mental Health Biobehavioral Research Awards for Innovative New Scientisits (BRAINS) grant with 10 other investigators from around the country.

Unexpected new mechanism behind rheumatoid arthritis
A team of researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, has identified an enzyme that protects against inflammation and joint destruction.

Genetically modified plants hold the key to saving the banana industry
Queensland University of Technology scientists have genetically modified a trial crop of banana plants to survive a soil-borne fungus which has wiped out plantations in the Northern Territory and is threatening crops across the globe.

Psychotic illness appears to begin at younger age among those who use cannabis
Cannabis use appears to be associated with an earlier onset of psychotic illness, according to a meta-analysis of previously published studies posted online today that will appear in the June print issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

A second pathway for antidepressants
Berkeley Lab researchers developed a unique cell-based fluorescent assay that enabled them to identify a means by which fluoxetine, the active ingredient in Prozac, suppresses the activity of the TREK1 potassium channel.

Brain 'network maps' reveal clue to mental decline in old age
The human brain operates as a highly interconnected small-world network, not as a collection of discrete regions as previously believed, with important implications for why many of us experience cognitive declines in old age, a new study shows.

Neutron analysis reveals '2 doors down' superconductivity link
Neutron scattering analysis of two families of iron-based materials suggests that the magnetic interactions thought responsible for high-temperature superconductivity may lie

Urine-sniffing dogs: Early detection of prostate cancer
In the February 2011 issue of European Urology, Jean-Nicolas Cornu and colleagues reported the evaluation of the efficacy of prostate cancer detection by trained dogs on human urine samples.

Anthropologist: 'Body Worlds' visitors confront bodies but not death
In two new works, an anthropologist tackles a perplexing question relating to the enormously successful

MARC Travel awards announced for the 2011 ACSM Texas Chapter Annual Meeting
FASEB MARC (Minority Access to Research Careers) Program has announced the travel award recipients for the 2011 American College of Sports Medicine Texas Chapter Annual Meeting in Houston, Texasm from Feb.

Evolution led to genetic variation that may affect diabetes, Stanford scientist says
Now researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have identified genetic variations in a hormone involved in the secretion of insulin -- a molecule that regulates blood sugar levels -- that occur more frequently in some human populations than others.

Antipsychotics for schizophrenia associated with subtle loss in brain volume
Patients with schizophrenia who take antipsychotic medications appear to lose a small but measurable amount of brain tissue over time, according to a report in the February issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Profiling malaria-causing parasites
The majority of fatal cases of malaria are caused by infection with the parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

Sun exposure, vitamin D may lower risk of multiple sclerosis
People who spend more time in the sun and those with higher vitamin D levels may be less likely to develop multiple sclerosis, according to a study published in the Feb.

Chemists in love: Strategies and tactics for a dual-career relationship
Managing a dual-career relationship is the topic of the next in a series of American Chemical Society Webinars for scientists and chemical professionals.

Bound neutrons pave way to free ones
A study of bound protons and neutrons conducted at the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility has allowed scientists, for the first time, to extract information through experimentation about the internal structure of free neutrons, without the assistance of a theoretical model.

Baker Institute conference to examine safety, effectiveness of US offshore drilling industry
The explosion on the Deepwater Horizon rig in the Gulf of Mexico last April led to the largest oil spill in US history and threatened Gulf ecosystems, the local Gulf Coast economy and the future of US offshore drilling.

Clay-armored bubbles may have formed first protocells
A team of applied physicists at Harvard's School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), Princeton, and Brandeis have demonstrated the formation of semipermeable vesicles from inorganic clay.

Women involved in leisure activities drink less alcohol
Women who are satisfied with everyday life and are involved in leisure activities rarely have problems with alcohol, reveals a thesis from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Genes of the immune system are associated with increased risk of mental illness
Genes linked to the immune system can affect healthy people's personality traits as well as the risk of developing mental illness and suicidal behaviour, reveals a thesis from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Unappreciated dynamism of blood cell production
The bone marrow stem cells responsible for generating new blood cells are less fixed and more flexible than previously thought, according to a paper published online on Feb.

Allergies lower risk of low- and high-grade glioma
The more allergies one has, the lower the risk of developing low- and high-grade glioma, according to data published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Research team honored for innovative science to advance cancer research
The Fifth Annual AACR Team Science Award will be given to a team of internationally renowned molecular biologists, epidemiologists, biostatisticians and clinicians from Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and University of Washington who have worked together on human papillomavirus for more than 20 years.

Choices -- not discrimination -- determine success for women scientists, Cornell researchers say
It's an incendiary topic in academia -- the belief that women are underrepresented in science, math and engineering fields because they face discrimination in the interviewing, hiring, and grant and manuscript review processes.

Tufts announces public launch of the Tufts Institute for Biomedical Partnerships website/HUB
Tufts University announces the public launch of the Tufts Institute for Biomedical Partnerships website/HUB: The Institute is university-wide, global pharmaceutical partnering initiative designed to create and manage a diverse portfolio of drug discovery and development partnerships.

Liquids scanner for airport security
Air passengers one day may be able to carry their soaps, shampoo and bottled water onto the plane again, thanks to technology originally developed at UC Davis to check the quality of wine.

Simple feedback could be effective therapy for addictive behaviors
As mental health care costs and problem gambling rates continue to rise, University of Missouri researchers are developing a personalized feedback tool that could serve as an effective and inexpensive way for people with addictive behavior-related problems to get the help they need. 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