Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 22, 2011
EARTH: A decade-plus of tracking lunar larceny
In the back alleys of the world's capitals and the ballrooms of presidential palaces exists a black market that preys on the imagination of some and the greed of others.

New free, hands-on tool supports sustainable living choices
People who want to eat healthy and live sustainably have a new way to measure their impact on the environment: a Web-based tool that calculates an individual's

Gender gap: Selection bias snubs scholarly achievements of female scientists
When it comes to scholarly awards, female scientists face sexism, according to a new analysis, says sociologist Anne Lincoln, Southern Methodist University, Dallas.

Long-term use of osteoporosis medication associated with increased risk of atypical fractures
Older women who used bisphosphonates (medications that prevent loss of bone mass) for five years or more were more likely to experience

Most new training programs are failing to widen diversity in medicine
Most new training programs designed to widen access to medicine in the UK are failing to increase the diversity of the medical student population, finds a study published on today.

The blind also have a Stripe of Gennari
Nerve bundles in the visual cortex of the brain in blind people may process the sense of touch.

Study to analyze seizures in HIV patients, explore drug interactions
A Michigan State University researcher is looking to uncover the risks of treating seizures in HIV-positive patients, providing much-needed data on possible interactions between antiepileptic drugs and antiretroviral medicines that potentially could make HIV drugs less effective or the disease itself drug resistant.

Brain doesn't need vision at all in order to 'read' material
The portion of the brain responsible for visual reading doesn't require vision at all, according to a new study by researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and France.

Even in a crowd, you remain unique, UCLA life scientists report
Paradoxically, being part of a crowd is what makes you unique, UCLA life scientists report.

3-D nanoparticle in atomic resolution
For the first time, scientists from Empa and ETH Zurich have, in collaboration with a Dutch team, managed to measure the atomic structure of individual nanoparticles.

Stresses of unemployed spouse can hurt job performance of other spouse, says study
Ignoring the stresses of an unemployed spouse's job search does not bode well for the employed spouse's job productivity or home life, says a University of Colorado Boulder professor.

New genomics research investigates metastatic childhood cancers
In a project supported by Genome BC, a Vancouver pediatric pathologist at the BC Cancer Agency/University of British Columbia is leading the team that will explore the genomes of four of the most challenging childhood cancers known.

Queen's University researcher connects cannabis use and sexual dysfunction
Rany Shamloul finds evidence to suggest that cannabis may have an even greater negative effect on sexual health than previously thought.

Higher volume reduces false positives in screening mammography
Radiologists who interpret a high volume of mammograms may not detect more cancers but are better at determining which suspicious lesions are not malignant, according to a new study.

Protective strategy shields primate ovaries from radiation-therapy-induced damage
A strategy developed by Massachusetts General Hospital researchers to shield mammalian ovaries from the damaging effects of radiation and chemotherapy has passed an important milestone.

Oldest species of a marine mollusc discovered
An international research team, with Spanish participation, has discovered a new species of mollusc, Polyconites hadriani, in various parts of the Iberian Peninsula.

PNAS announces 6 2010 Cozzarelli Prize recipients
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Editorial Board has selected six PNAS papers to receive the 2010 Cozzarelli Prize, an award that recognizes outstanding contributions to the scientific disciplines represented by the National Academy of Sciences.

Patients with COPD have higher risk of shingles
Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are at greater risk of shingles compared with the general population, according to a study published in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Liquid metal key to simpler creation of electrodes for microfluidic devices
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a faster, easier way to create microelectrodes, for use in microfluidic devices, by using liquid metal.

T. rex more hyena than lion
Was T. rex really the king of the forest? A new census of dinosaurs in Montana's Hell Creek Formation shows that T. rex was far too abundant to be a top predator.

MIT engineers design new nanoparticle that could lead to vaccines for HIV, malaria, other diseases
MIT engineers have designed a new type of nanoparticle that could safely and effectively deliver vaccines for diseases such as HIV and malaria.

Cannabis ingredient can help cancer patients regain their appetites and sense of taste
The active ingredient in cannabis can improve the appetites and sense of taste in cancer patients, according to a new study published online in the cancer journal, Annals of Oncology.

Compound used to block cholesterol could also kill breast cancer, MU researcher finds
A University of Missouri researcher believes there could be a new drug compound that could kill breast cancer cells.

USDA study confirms links between longer ragweed season and climate change
Studies by a US Department of Agriculture scientist and cooperators have confirmed what many pollen-sensitive people already suspected: In some parts of North America, ragweed season now lasts longer and ends later.

Study to examine Ohio education innovations
Researchers at the University of Chicago and Ohio State University will use a $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to study the implementation, spread and sustainability of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics schools in Ohio.

Cell phone use may have effect on brain activity, but health consequences unknown
In a preliminary study, researchers found that 50-minute cell phone use was associated with increased brain glucose metabolism (a marker of brain activity) in the region closest to the phone antenna, but the finding is of unknown clinical significance, according to a study in the Feb.

Latest American Chemical Society podcast: Don't blame 'the pill' for estrogen in drinking water
The latest episode in the American Chemical Society's (ACS) award-winning podcast series,

Cancer-causing virus exploits key cell-survival proteins
The human T-lymphotropic virus type 1, a cancer-causing retrovirus, exploits key proteins in host cells to extend the life of those cells, thereby prolonging its own survival and ability to spread, according to a new study.

Study: For a better workday, smile like you mean it
A new study led by a Michigan State University business scholar suggests customer-service workers who fake smile throughout the day worsen their mood and withdraw from work, affecting productivity.

Study links long-term use of osteoporosis drugs to unusual fractures
Women who take commonly prescribed drugs for osteoporosis known as bisphosphonates for five years or more may be at higher risk of certain kinds of fractures of their thigh bone, a new study has found.

Anti-clotting agent does not improve outcomes of patients with severe pneumonia
Use of the blood clot-inhibiting medication tifacogin does not appear to improve outcomes of patients with severe community-acquired pneumonia (sCAP), according to a study conducted by researchers from North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

Are we more -- or less -- moral than we think?
If asked whether we'd steal, most of us would say no.

Springer editor receives award from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences
Springer editor Alex Piquero has been awarded the 2011 Academy Fellow Award from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences.

Study examines effectiveness of mammography screening for women with prior breast cancer
Mammography screening in women with a personal history of breast cancer detects second breast cancers at an early stage, but has lower accuracy, compared to screening in women without prior breast cancer, according to a study in the Feb.

Brain's 'reward' center also responds to bad experiences
The so-called reward center of the brain may need a new name, say scientists who have shown it responds to good and bad experiences.

A nano-solution to global water problem: Nanomembranes could filter bacteria
New nanomaterials research from the University at Buffalo could lead to new solutions for an age-old public health problem: how to separate bacteria from drinking water.

National anti-drug campaign succeeds in lowering marijuana use, study suggests
The federal anti-drug campaign

Nanotechnology may lead to new treatment of liver cancer
Nanotechnology may open a new door on the treatment of liver cancer, according to a team of Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

Gas rich galaxies confirm prediction of modified gravity theory
Recent data for gas rich galaxies precisely match predictions of a modified theory of gravity know as MOND according to a new analysis by University of Maryland Astronomy Professor Stacy McGaugh.

New finding in ribosome signaling may lead to improved antibiotics
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have discovered a signaling mechanism in the bacterial ribosome that detects proteins that activate genes for antibiotic resistance.

Financial security of Chinese American households depends on education, MU researcher finds
Rui Yao, personal financial planning professor in the University of Missouri School of Human Environmental Sciences, found that Chinese Americans are not saving enough money in an emergency fund, but rather investing a large portion of their net worth in the stock market.

Researchers find local wildlife protection safeguards entire range
Researchers have analyzed historical range maps for 47 mammal species to find patterns that might help conservationists assess threats to animal populations from human encroachment.

'Bombshell' explodes myths of female terrorist motivation
Often portrayed as pawns of male-dominated terrorist organizations, female terrorists are actually motivated by more complicated and diverse reasons, according to a Penn State researcher.

Transitioning to organic farming
A research team led by scientists from Penn State University and University of New Hampshire conducted a four-year study examining the impact of reduced-tillage and cover crops managed for hay and forage production on the agronomic and economic performance of feed grain production.

ASGE recognizes 35 endoscopy units for quality and safety as part of its Endoscopy Unit Recognition Program
The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy has recognized 35 endoscopy units as part of its program specifically dedicated to promoting quality in endoscopy, in all settings where it is practiced in the United States.

Higher vitamin D intake needed to reduce cancer risk
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Creighton University School of Medicine in Omaha have reported that markedly higher intake of vitamin D is needed to reach blood levels that can prevent or markedly cut the incidence of breast cancer and several other major diseases than had been originally thought.

Blood test may find markers of bladder cancer risk
Exposures to harmful substances in the environment alters the methylation of DNA, potentially elevating the risk of developing cancer.

Therapeutic lifestyle changes as useful as drugs in improving mental health
Getting more exercise, spending time outdoors and helping others are among the activities that can be as effective as drugs or counseling in treating an array of mental illnesses, including depression and anxiety, according to a UC Irvine study.

Key regulatory issues for dengue vaccine development
In this week's PLoS Medicine, Richard Mahoney and colleagues discuss two recent meetings convened by the Pediatric Dengue Vaccine Initiative and the Developing Countries' Vaccine Regulators Network on regulatory issues that need to be addressed before licensing dengue vaccines.

Vaccine made with synthetic gene protects against deadly pneumonia
Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have developed an experimental vaccine that appears to protect against an increasingly common and particularly deadly form of pneumococcal pneumonia.

Novel methods for improved breast cancer survival
A quarter of all women who suffer from breast cancer are at risk of metastasis -- a recurrence of the cancer.

Screening mammograms catch second breast cancers early
More women are surviving longer after having early-stage breast cancer, but they are at risk of developing breast cancer again.

McKesson Foundation awards $1.3 million in 6 Mobilizing for Health Research grants
The McKesson Foundation today announced the six recipients of $1.3 million in research grants as part of its Mobilizing for Health initiative to improve the health of underserved populations with chronic diseases through the use of mobile-phone technology.

Study suggests gender does not play a role in risk of death from heart attack
A study led by the University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center shows being a woman may not increase your risk of dying from treatment for a severe heart attack.

Time to raise how many mammograms radiologists must read?
Radiologists who interpret more mammograms and spend some time reading diagnostic mammograms do better at determining which suspicious breast lesions are cancer, according to a new report published online on Feb.

Natural (born) killers: What do they really do?
Natural killer (NK) cells are known to be involved in killing tumor cells.

Health care disparities seen in epilepsy patients with low socioeconomic status
A newly published report reveals patients with epilepsy and low socioeconomic status are more likely to have uncontrolled seizures, drug-related side effects, and a lower overall quality of life.

Nanoparticles increase survival after blood loss
In an advance that could improve battlefield and trauma care, scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have used tiny particles called nanoparticles to improve survival after life-threatening blood loss.

E-health must be a priority, researchers say
An e-health record system should be the backbone of health care reform in Canada and more must be done to speed up the implementation of this initiative across the country.

Bisphenol A exposures lower in Canadians compared to Americans
Health Canada's declaration that bisphenol A is a health hazard makes it unique in the world but it must now follow through with legislation to protect people from exposure, states an analysis published in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

NTU taps into a potential sunrise industry
With its strengths in sustainability research, NTU will work with Austrian researchers and industry to see how sustainable energy can be used to boost energy efficiency of buildings.

Crying baby draws blunted response in depressed mom's brain
Mothers who are depressed respond differently to their crying babies than do non-depressed moms.

Using EEGs to diagnose autism spectrum disorders in infants
A computational physicist and a cognitive neuroscientist at Children's Hospital Boston have come up with the beginnings of a noninvasive test to evaluate an infant's autism risk.

Poor park planning drives kids indoors
In a study looking at the links between the quality of outdoor public spaces, parents' perception of them, and children's sedentary behavior, Dr.

Human umbilical cord blood cells aid diabetic wound healing
Wounds associated with diabetes that resist healing are associated with decreased peripheral blood flow and often resist current therapies.

Racial and ethnic minority adolescents less likely to receive treatment for major depression
Adolescence can herald the onset of major depression and the associated short- and long-term consequences including developmental and social impairment.

Huntington's disease breakthrough equals hope for patients
A huge leap forward in understanding Huntington's disease may give patients hope for a cure.

Feb. 23 NASA mission to tote $28 million CU-Boulder instrument and tiny student satellite
A $28 million University of Colorado Boulder instrument developed to study changes in the sun's brightness and its impact on Earth's climate is one of two primary payloads on NASA's Glory mission set to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on Feb.

Old folk remedy revived: How tansy may be a treatment for herpes
For centuries tansy has been used as a folk remedy, but now scientists from Britain and Spain believe the plant may have medical benefits after all, as a treatment for herpes.

New Zealand earthquake damage illustrates risks posed by shallow crustal faults
The terribly destructive earthquake that just hit Christchurch, New Zealand, was only a moderate 6.3 magnitude, but had certain characteristics that offer an important lesson to cities up and down the West Coast of North America that face similar risks, experts say.

URI, international consortium to study iron fertilization of oceans
The University of Rhode Island is helping to create an international oceanographic consortium to study the potential affects of fertilizing the oceans with iron in an effort to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and mitigate the effects of global warming.

InHealth awards grant to research team at UC Berkeley
InHealth has awarded a grant to researchers at Berkeley to identify and analyze the strategies hospital systems employ to evaluate and purchase implantable medical devices for cardiac, spinal, and orthopedic procedures.

Babies and toddlers can suffer mental illness, seldom get treatment
Infants and toddlers can suffer serious mental health disorders, yet they are unlikely to receive treatment that could prevent lasting developmental problems, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

New face of sleeping sickness epidemiology highlights need for new tools
Recent developments have rekindled hopes of eliminating human African trypanosomiasis, more familiarly known as sleeping sickness, as a public health problem in those areas of sub-Saharan Africa where the disease is endemic.

Drinking alcohol in moderation protects against heart disease
Individuals who drink alcohol in moderation (about one drink a day or less) are 14-25 percent less likely to develop heart disease compared to those who drink no alcohol at all, finds research led by Professor William Ghali from the University of Calgary, published on today.

E-health must align with health care reform
To speed implementation of an electronic health record system in Canada, e-health policy must be closely aligned with the major strategic direction of health care reform and must take a bottom-up approach to engage people from clinicians to administrators, states a study published in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Use of nitrates may increase bone strength
Preliminary research indicates that use of nitroglycerin ointment among postmenopausal women for 2 years was associated with a modest increase in bone mineral density and decrease in bone resorption (loss), according to a study in the Feb.

Women & Infants named Center of Excellence for Neonatal Care for fifth year
For the fifth consecutive year, Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island has been named a Center of Excellence for Neonatal Care by the Clinical Sciences Institute of OptumHealth, an independent audit company.

Shopping with the Grim Reaper in mind
Fear of death is a universal human emotion, but does it influence our behavior as consumers?

WHOI helps form international consortium on iron and the oceans
With a mission of exploring the potential impact of iron fertilization of the oceans to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Senior Scientist Ken Buesseler has helped lead the organization of an international consortium to plan, promote and undertake advanced research in that field.

New technology pinpoints genetic differences between cancer and non-cancer patients
A group of researchers led by scientists from the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech have developed a new technology that detects distinct genetic changes differentiating cancer patients from healthy individuals and could serve as a future cancer predisposition test.

'Fingerprints' match molecular simulations with reality
A theoretical technique developed at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory is bringing supercomputer simulations and experimental results closer together by identifying common

The Association for Gerontology in Higher Education honors new officers, awardees
The Association for Gerontology in Higher Education -- the educational branch of the Gerontological Society of America -- is proud to announce its newest elected officers and the recipients of its 2011 awards.

Increased contraceptive supply linked to fewer unintended pregnancies
Rates of unintended pregnancies and abortions decrease significantly when women receive a one-year supply of oral contraceptives, instead of being prescribed one- or three-month supplies, a UCSF study shows.

Research uncovers a secret society connecting through the Internet
UC researchers reveal a new social support group that's emerging on the Web -- a secretive society to encourage negative behaviors associated with eating disorders.

Toward computers that fit on a pen tip: New technologies usher in the millimeter-scale computing era
A prototype implantable eye pressure monitor for glaucoma patients is believed to contain the first complete millimeter-scale computing system.

Researchers discover new way to design metal nanoparticle catalysts
Researchers at Northwestern University have discovered a new strategy for fabricating metal nanoparticles in catalysts that promises to enhance the selectivity and yield for a wide range of structure-sensitive catalytic reactions.

Struggling to follow doctor's orders
Paid caregivers make it possible for seniors to remain living in their homes, but a Northwestern Medicine study found that more than one-third of caregivers had difficulty reading and understanding health-related information and directions.

Speaking foreign languages may help protect your memory
People who speak more than two languages may lower their risk of developing memory problems, according a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 63rd Annual Meeting in Honolulu April 9-16, 2011.

Selected journals in Springer's Chinese Library of Science join SpringerOpen
Starting in 2011, Chinese Science Bulletin, Science China Life Sciences and Photonic Sensors will be published as open access journals and added to the SpringerOpen portfolio.

Captain Scott's century-old collections suggests marine life is capturing more carbon
Tiny Antarctic marine creatures collected 100 years ago by Antarctic explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott give new clues about polar environmental change.

Capacity of developing country NRAs key to accelerated introduction of upcoming dengue vaccines
At least one dengue vaccine could be licensed within the next 4 years, as manufacturers are speeding up the development process for multiple dengue vaccine candidates in collaboration with health authorities and developing countries to expedite the necessary testing, clinical trial design, and licensure, a team of leading scientists said.

Scientists identify new marker for heart disease
A new study from the University of Calgary's Faculty of Medicine is shedding light on an underlying cause of heart disease.

Press registration open for clinical nutrition conference
It's not too late to join the American Society for Nutrition this weekend, Feb.

Job seekers: How do you rate with employers?
Researchers at Oklahoma State University conducted a study of more than 450 college graduate employers.

The association between unhealthy behaviors and socioeconomic status differs between countries
Although socioeconomic status and health behaviors are strong predictors of mortality, there are major differences in the social patterning of unhealthy behaviors in different countries.

NextCAT secures license agreement for advanced biofuel technology from Wayne State
NextCAT Inc., a Detroit-based company, announced that it has secured a license agreement for advanced biofuel catalyst technology developed at the National Biofuels Energy Lab at Wayne State University.

'Climategate' undermined belief in global warming among many TV meteorologists, study shows
'Climategate' -- the unauthorized release in late 2009 of stolen e-mails between climate scientists in the US and United Kingdom -- undermined belief in global warming and possibly also trust in climate scientists among TV meteorologists in the United States, at least temporarily.

High-quality care associated with lower cost in trauma
High-quality hospitals deliver lower-cost care to trauma patients, according to a study published in the Annals of Surgery.

Protecting the sustainability of UK wheat production
Scientists at the University of Nottingham are to play a key role in a new seven million pound research program to help maintain the world's production of wheat -- by increasing the diversity of traits available in wheat via a comprehensive pre-breeding program.

Texas leafcutter ants aided, but also limited, by cold-tolerant fungus crops, research shows
Texas leafcutter ants farm crops of fungus that evolved cold tolerance to Texas winters, just as northern farmers cultivate cold weather crops, researchers from The University of Texas at Austin show in a new paper published in the journal PNAS Early Edition.

ACR commission and committee chairs and former board chair to present at NIH Radiation Dose Summit
Three American College of Radiology commission and committee chairs and the former chair of the ACR Board of Chancellors will outline strategies for transforming computed tomography (CT) technology and its use to minimize medical radiation exposure at a Feb. 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