Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 16, 2011
Recommendations to the review of the legislation governing the use of human embryos in research
The Australian Stem Cell Centre has made five recommendations to the 2010 Review of the Prohibition of Human Cloning for Reproduction Act 2002 and the Research Involving Human Embryos Act 2002.

Ancient 'hyperthermals' a guide to anticipated climate changes
Scripps researchers document the history of sudden global warming events, impacts on marine life

Youth with IBD are less fit than their peers: McMaster study
Children and youth with the most common forms of inflammatory bowel disease have aerobic fitness levels 25 percent lower than other children their age, and their muscle function is 10 percent lower.

High-tech concrete technology has a famous past
Almost 1,900 years ago, the Romans built what continues to be the world's largest unreinforced solid concrete dome in the world-the Pantheon.

Breaking the mucus barrier unveils cancer cell secrets
Measuring the mechanical strength of cancer cell mucus layers provides clues about better ways to treat cancer, and also suggests why some cancer cells are more resistant to drugs than others, according to Kai-tak Wan, associate professor of engineering at Northeastern University, Boston, Mass.

World first -- Localized delivery of an anti-cancer drug by remote-controlled microcarriers
Known for being the world's first researcher to have guided a magnetic sphere through a living artery, Professor Martel is announcing a spectacular new breakthrough in the field of nanomedicine.

New tool debuts for measuring indoor air pollutants
A promising new approach for checking the accuracy of measurements of hazardous indoor air pollutants may soon be ready for prime time, report researchers from NIST and Virginia Tech.

Depolarizing the debates about pediatric mental health diagnosis and treatment
Decisions about whether and how to diagnose children with emotional and behavioral disturbances, and whether and how to treat them, are sometimes not clear-cut.

3-D printing method advances electrically small antenna design
Omnidirectional printing of metallic nanoparticle inks offers an attractive alternative for meeting the demanding form factors of 3-D electrically small antennas.

Rochester technology to enhance eyesight approved by FDA
A technology created by University of Rochester physicians and scientists that has helped boost the eyesight of patients to unprecedented levels is now more widely available, thanks to approval by the US Food and Drug Administration.

Depression can worsen knee arthritis symptoms in older adults
Clinical depression can exacerbate the symptoms of knee arthritis beyond what is evident on X-rays, according to a new study from the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery.

New health insurance survey: 9 million adults joined ranks of uninsured due to job loss in 2010
An estimated nine million working-age adults -- 57 percent of people who had health insurance through a job that was lost -- became uninsured in the last two years, according to the Commonwealth Fund 2010 Biennial Health Insurance Survey, released today.

Stephen J. Teach, MD, MPH, part of landmark study on pediatric asthma
Stephen J. Teach, MD, MPH, Medical Director and Principal Investigator of IMPACT DC, a program of pediatric asthma care and research at Children's National Medical Center, served as the Site Principal Investigator for a new study that may advance asthma treatment and outcomes, specifically for inner-city children and teens.

Purdue startup hopes to change the way we test cancer drugs
A Purdue University scientist's nanopolymer would make it easier and cheaper for drug developers to test the effectiveness of a widely used class of cancer inhibitors.

Alternatives eyed for methyl bromide
US Department of Agriculture scientists trying to help Florida growers find a replacement for methyl bromide are studying an alternative soil treatment that uses molasses as one of its ingredients.

NIH study finds omalizumab relieves seasonal asthma attacks in youth
A drug that targets the antibody immunoglobulin E, a key player in asthma, nearly eliminated seasonal increases in asthma attacks and decreased asthma symptoms among young people living in inner city environments, a clinical trial sponsored by the National Institutes of Health has found.

Tests on century-old equipment show how far X-rays have come
Researchers recently tested first-generation x-ray equipment from 1896 and found that it produced radiation doses and exposure times that were vastly higher than those of today's systems, according a new study.

CSI Montreal: Concordia sculpture investigation
Grotesque or beautiful? Priceless or worthless? Rare antiquity or outright fake?

Molecule that spurs cell's recycling center may help Alzheimer's patients
Rockefeller University scientists have linked a molecule that stimulates autophagy, a mechanism that cleans up and reuses protein debris leftover from biological processes, with the reduction of one of Alzheimer's disease's major hallmarks, amyloid peptide.

New articles examine safety of airport security scanners
The Transportation Security Administration has begun to use whole-body imaging scanners as a primary screening measure on travelers passing through airport security checkpoints.

Elaine Fuchs awarded 2011 Albany Medical Center Prize
Elaine Fuchs, head of Rockefeller's Laboratory of Mammalian Cell Biology and Development, was named a recipient of this year's Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research, at $500,000 the largest award in medicine and science in the United States.

Innovative technique gives vision researchers insight into how people recognize faces
In a study recently published in the Journal of Vision, scientists used an original approach -- a method that

Mothers have a higher sickness absence than fathers
Before they have children, men and women are approximately equally often absent from work due to illness.

Clinical trial for dry mouth funded by international oral care award
A clinical trial using an all-natural lozenge to treat dry mouth, a condition that impacts 40 percent of American adults, is under way at Georgia Health Sciences University College of Dental Medicine.

Treatment for alcohol dependence might work best in certain populations, research suggests
Results from a new study conducted by the Research Institute of the MUHC and McGill University, suggest that one of the most prescribed medications for alcohol dependence may be more effective in some people.

HIV research included in journal
A research article co-authored by Brenna Anderson, M.D., director of Reproductive Infectious Diseases Consultation at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, was included in a special issue of the American Journal of Reproductive Immunology.

2 new SCAP documents help improve automating computer security management
NIST has released two updated publications that help organizations to find and manage vulnerabilities more effectively by standardizing the way vulnerabilities are identified, prioritized and reported.

'Pruned' microchips are faster, smaller, more energy-efficient
Computing experts from the United States, Switzerland and Singapore have unveiled a technique for doubling the efficiency of computer chips by trimming away rarely used circuits.

Insects scientists to meet in Minneapolis
Hundreds of entomologists are set to meet next week at the Radisson University Hotel, in Minneapolis on March 13-16, 2011, as the North Central Branch of the Entomological Society of America holds its 66th Annual Meeting.

Most comprehensive collection of fungal cell biology movies ever published
A recent special edition of the journal Fungal Biology Reviews, published by Elsevier, on behalf of the British Mycological Society, features a total of 76 videos which together comprise the most comprehensive collection of fungal cell biology movies ever published.

Plasticity of plants helps them adapt to climate change
An international study, with Spanish participation, has shown that the phenotypic plasticity of plants, which enables them to change their structure and function, helps them to adapt to environmental change.

NASA's Aqua Satellite spies a '3-leaf Clover' view of Ireland for St. Patrick's Day
Typical clovers have three leaves, unless you happen to be lucky, and NASA's Aqua satellite has provided three different views of Ireland to mark Saint Patrick's Day on March 17, 2011.

Does selenium prevent cancer? It may depend on which form people take
Scientists are reporting that the controversy surrounding whether selenium can fight cancer in humans might come down to which form of the essential micronutrient people take.

Gender stereotypes could push women away from entrepreneurship
Vishal Gupta believes the way that entrepreneurship is presented, discussed and taught must change -- especially for women.

Experts to discuss sleep science and the health risks of sleep disorders in Minneapolis this June
SLEEP 2011 is the premier event for sleep professionals to present and discuss the latest research and clinical developments in the field.

Risk of hospital patient mortality increases with nurse staffing shortfalls, study finds
A UCLA-led study shows that patient mortality increases with hospital nurse staffing shortfalls, and with higher patient turnover.

Personlized dendritic cell vaccine increases survival in patients with deadly brain cancer
A dendritic cell vaccine personalized for each individual based on the patient's own tumor may increase median survival time in those with a deadly form of brain cancer called glioblastoma, an early phase study at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center has found.

US healthcare system can't keep up with number of baby boomers' bone fractures
Many baby boomers will experience a bone fracture as they age, and the current US health-care system is not prepared to provide the necessary care required, according to a special monograph released in the January 2011 issue of Geriatric Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation, published by SAGE.

Diabetes Surgery 2nd World Congress
On March 28, leading experts across multiple disciplines will convene at the 2nd World Congress on Interventional Therapies for type 2 diabetes to review the latest research on bariatric surgery as a treatment option.

Solving the bandwidth bottleneck
Five engineering faculty at the University of Texas at Austin have been selected to receive a $900,000 gift from Intel and Cisco to develop innovative and novel algorithms that could improve the wireless networks ability to store, stream and share mobile videos more efficiently.

Study: 'Meaningful improvements' using gene therapy in Parkinson's disease
A first-of-its-kind study of gene therapy in the treatment of Parkinson's disease determined that half of all patients who received the treatment had

Sirolimus therapy alleviates symptoms of lung disease LAM
Sirolimus, a drug currently used to help prevent transplant rejection, can improve lung function and quality of life in individuals living with the lung disease lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM), according to the results of a new study sponsored and conducted in part by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) of the National Institutes of Health.

Viscous cycle: Quartz is key to plate tectonics
More than 40 years ago, pioneering tectonic geophysicist J. Tuzo Wilson published a paper in the journal Nature describing how ocean basins opened and closed along North America's eastern seaboard.

CO2 emissions from biomass combustion
CO2 emissions resulting from bioenergy production have traditionally been excluded from most emission inventories and environmental impact studies because bioenergy is carbon- and climate-neutral as long as CO2 emissions from biofuel combustion are sequestered by growing biomass.

Researchers develop the first permanent anti-fog coating
Researchers under the supervision of Université Laval professor Gaétan Laroche have developed the very first permanent anti-fog coating.

Hopkins researchers use light to move molecules
Using a light-triggered chemical tool, Johns Hopkins scientists report that they have refined a means of moving individual molecules around inside living cells and sending them to exact locations at precise times.

WHOI-led report links sonar to whale strandings
An international team of researchers reports in a paper led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution's Peter Tyack the first data on how beaked whales respond to naval sonar exercises.

First successful double-blind study of gene therapy for Parkinson's disease
A randomized, double-blind gene therapy trial for Parkinson's disease has shown that injection of the glutamic acid decarboxylase gene directly into the brain is safe and can significantly improve motor function in patients who are not responsive to drug treatment.

Less weight gain found among African-American women in dense urban areas
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine's Slone Epidemiology Center have found that African-American women who live in more densely populated urban areas gain less weight than those in more sprawling auto-oriented areas.

Drug omalizumab reduces asthma symptoms, future attacks among inner city children
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine, in collaboration with researchers from the Inner City Asthma Consortium, have found that among inner-city children, the drug omalizumab improved asthma control, nearly eliminated seasonal exacerbation and reduced the need for controller medication.

Insight into parasite family planning could help target malaria
Fresh insight into the way the parasite that causes malaria reproduces could lead to new treatments to help curb the spread of the disease.

Director of National Intelligence should lead new initiative to improve US intelligence analysis using methods, research from behavioral, social sciences
A new report from the National Research Council recommends that the US intelligence community adopt methods, theories, and findings from the behavioral and social sciences as a way to improve its analyses.

The drama of starbirth
A new image from ESO's Very Large Telescope gives a close-up view of the dramatic effects newborn stars have on the gas and dust from which they formed.

NASA satellites show towering thunderstorms in rare sub-tropical storm Arani
NASA's Aqua and TRMM satellites are providing data to scientists about the Southern Atlantic Ocean Sub-tropical Storm Arani, a rare occurrence in the southern ocean.

Not so eagle eyed: New study reveals why birds collide with man-made objects
From office block windows to power lines and wind turbines, many species of bird are prone to colliding with large man-made objects, many of which appear difficult not to notice to human eyes.

Rare Andean cat no longer exclusive to the Andes
Once thought to exclusively inhabit its namesake mountain range, the threatened Andean cat -- a house cat-sized feline that resembles a small snow leopard in both appearance and habitat -- also frequents the Patagonian steppe at much lower elevations, according to a new study published by the Wildlife Conservation Society and partners.

Tai chi beats back depression in the elderly, study shows
To fight depression in the elderly, researchers at UCLA combined a weekly Tai chi exercise class with a standard depression treatment for a group of depressed, elderly people.

Adding new anti-asthma drug to therapy may limit seasonal attacks in children
A new anti-asthma medication dramatically reduced increases in seasonal asthma attacks in children and young adults with allergic asthma, according to a multi-institutional study involving a UT Southwestern Medical Center physician.

Fossils record ancient migrations and trilobite orgies

ASPB member testifies in support of National Science Foundation
Plant biologist Elizabeth Hood, Ph.D., testified on behalf of the American Society of Plant Biologists before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies.

Fortuitous timing for NASA's new space weather app
NASA's new iPhone application couldn't have come at a better time.

New program aims to spur farm science innovation across East Africa
A new program that provides grants to bioscientists working to improve food production and environmental management in eastern Africa was launched today at the Nairobi headquarters of the International Livestock Research Institute.

Southeastern US scientists to discuss natural resource stewardship
More than 500 geoscientists will gather at the convention center in Wilmington, N.C., March 23-25 to discuss new earth-science research relating to the geosciences' role in natural resource stewardship, at the 60th annual meeting of the Southeastern Section of The Geological Society of America.

Online messaging delivers follow-up care for depression
Online messaging delivered organized follow-up care for depression effectively and efficiently, in a randomized controlled trial of 208 Group Health patients in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

New therapy found for rare lung disorder
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center have found that the FDA-approved drug sirolimus, used primarily to prevent rejection in organ transplant patients, stabilized lung function in women with lymphangioleiomyomatosis.

Berkeley Lab scientists control light scattering in graphene
Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of Californuia at Berkeley have learned to control the quantum pathways that determine how light scatters in graphene.

Rocking the vote from rocking chairs
For seniors, voting can be difficult: standing with a walker or cane in the voting booth, struggling to read the tiny print on the ballot or trying to punch the tiny button to vote for the intended.

Study shows attendance at state parks grows, even as funding decreases
A recent study from North Carolina State University shows that while the number of visits to state parks across the country has grown, fund support for park operations has been significantly reduced.

Gene therapy reverses symptoms of Parkinson's disease
A gene therapy called NLX-P101 dramatically reduces movement impairment in Parkinson's patients, according to results of a Phase 2 study published today in the journal Lancet Neurology.

NIST releases final report on Charleston sofa store fire
NIST has released its final report on its study of the June 18, 2007, fire at Sofa Super Store in Charleston, S.C., that trapped and killed nine firefighters.

A science museum can be a good class support, if teachers do their homework first
Pupils like school visits to science museums a lot, partly because they are entertaining for the youngsters and in part because it is seen as a way of missing a classroom lesson.

New NIST testing device may help to 'seal the deal' for building owners
Just as a chain is as strong as its weakest link, a building is as secure against the environment as its most degraded joint sealants, about 50 percent of which fail in less than 10 years after installation.

Dine or dash? Genes help decide when to look for new food
HHMI researchers identify a genetic circuit that helps worms decide whether to dine or dash.

Paleontologists audition modern examples of ancient behavior
A video of a modern shellfish by University of Cincinnati paleontologists suggests a way to test theories about the behavior of fossilized specimens.

Study: Multi-tasking on the street not a good idea for older people
Older adults may put themselves at risk by talking on cell phones while crossing the street, researchers report in a new study.

UCLA researchers engineer E. coli to produce record-setting amounts of alternative fuel
In a study published online in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a team led by James C.

First successful double-blind trial of gene therapy for advanced Parkinson's
A multi-center gene therapy trial for patients with advanced Parkinson's disease demonstrated reduced symptoms of the progressive movement disorder, according to a new study published in Lancet Neurology.

Standards education vital for global business needs, says Asia-Pacific Economic Group
According to the attendees of a meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Subcommittee on Standards and Conformance, comparatively few new graduates will begin their careers with a working knowledge of the standardization infrastructure that underpins and impacts more than 80 percent of worldwide-commodity trade.

Fragile X researcher honored by March of Dimes
Stephen T. Warren, Ph.D., of Emory Univeristy, a world-renowned fragile X syndrome researcher and the first to identify the long-sought genetic abnormality responsible for this disorder, will will receive the March of Dimes/Colonel Harland Sanders Award for Lifetime Achievement in the field of genetic sciences.

3 in 4 domestic violence victims go unidentified in emergency rooms, Penn study shows
More than three quarters of domestic violence victims who report the incidents to police seek health care in emergency rooms, but most of them are never identified as being victims of abuse during their hospital visit.

New study pinpoints why some microbial genes are more promiscuous than others
While most organisms get their genes from their parents, bacteria also regularly pick up genes from more distant relatives.

Researchers gain new insight into the foreign exchange market
Physicist Guannan Zhao, Ph.D. student at the University of Miami, and his collaborators have developed a mathematical model to describe the timing of price changes of currencies and the overall dynamics of the Foreign Exchange (FX) market.

New 'dissolvable tobacco' products may increase risk of mouth disease
The first study to analyze the complex ingredients in the new genre of dissolvable tobacco products has concluded that these pop-into-the-mouth replacements for cigarettes in places where smoking is banned have the potential to cause mouth diseases and other problems.

Wide variety in nutritional content found in 'senior' dog foods
The nutritional content of dog foods marketed for old dogs varies as widely as owner's perceptions about them, according to a study published this month by veterinary nutritionists at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.

Neuropsychologist proves that some blind people 'see' with their ears
Dr. Olivier Collignon of the University of Montreal's Saint-Justine Hospital Research Centre compared the brain activity of people who can see and people who were born blind, and discovered that the part of the brain that normally works with our eyes to process vision and space perception can actually rewire itself to process sound information instead.

Does your name dictate your life choices?
What's in a name? Letters. And psychologists have posited that the letters -- particularly the first letter of our names -- can influence decisions, including whom we marry and where we move.

Pig model of cystic fibrosis improves understanding of disease
Using a newly created pig model that genetically replicates the most common form of cystic fibrosis, University of Iowa researchers have now shown that the CF protein is

Important funding for nanomedicine research to improve diagnosis and treatment
Seven new research projects on regenerative medicine and nanomedicine received $16 million in funding.

Society of Interventional Radiology hosts 36th annual scientific meeting
The Society of Interventional Radiology will present the latest research on treatments for individuals with chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency or CCSVI; liver and breast cancer; enlarged prostates; uterine fibroids, high blood pressure; and more at its 36th Annual Scientific Meeting March 26-31 at McCormick Place (West) in Chicago, Ill.

Casey Dunn to receive NSF Waterman Award
The National Science Foundation has named its awardee for this year's Alan T.

Physicists move closer to efficient single-photon sources
A team of physicists in the United Kingdom has taken a giant step toward realizing efficient single-photon sources, which are expected to enable much-coveted completely secure optical communications, also known as

Whitehead scientist helps revisit 'Hallmarks of Cancer'
Renowned cancer researchers Robert Weinberg and Douglas Hanahan and have updated the

New findings on the developments of the earthquake disaster
Scientific evaluation of the Sendai quake

Laser beam makes cells 'breathe in' water and potentially anti-cancer drugs
Shining a laser light on cells and then clicking off the light-makes the cells

A 'check engine' light for the human body?
Imagine a sensor implanted in your body that signals when you're getting sick -- almost like the

Bacterial wipes research study
If you have time to quickly swipe your pager or cell phone three times, that would be your best bet to get rid of most of the bacteria. 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