Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 24, 2011
New research suggests wild birds may play a role in the spread of bird flu
Wild migratory birds may indeed play a role in the spread of bird flu, also known as highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1.

Texas A&M-led study shows earliest American residents came at least 15,500 years ago
Michael Waters, director of Texas A&M's Center for the Study of First Americans, along with researchers from Baylor University, the University of Illinois-Chicago, the University of Minnesota and Texas State University, have found the oldest archaeological evidence for human occupation in Texas and North America at the Debra L.

Animal welfare does not damage competitiveness
Farmers and politicians have expressed concern that Swedish and European agricultural producers do not compete on equal terms with the rest of the world because of stricter animal welfare legislation.

Is blood thicker than water?
In 1964 biologist William Hamilton introduced Inclusive Fitness Theory to predict and explain phenomena ranging from animal behavior to patterns of gene expression.

Study finds remarkable diversity of lichen species in Florida state park
Florida's Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park appears to be have more lichen biodiversity in a relatively small space than anywhere else in North America, according to a recent census led by a Field Museum botanist.

Closing in on the pseudogap
In a three-pronged attack on one of the stubbornest problems in materials sciences, groups from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, with colleagues from the University of California at Berkeley and Stanford University, have produced the strongest evidence yet that the mysterious pseudogap, hallmark of high-temperature superconductors, is not a gradual transition to the superconducting phase as long supposed, but instead is a unique and hitherto unknown phase of matter.

A diabetes drug, sitagliptin, also has a potential to prevent diabetes
Diabetes type 2 arises slowly after years of prediabetes. The diabetes drug sitagliptin improves many of the problems that mark prediabetes, including high levels of blood sugar after meals and insufficient insulin secretion.

BrainGate neural interface system reaches 1,000-day performance milestone
An investigational implanted system being developed to translate brain signals toward control of assistive devices has allowed a woman with paralysis to accurately control a computer cursor at 2.7 years after implantation, providing a key demonstration that neural activity can be read out and converted into action for an unprecedented length of time.

Case Western Reserve orthodontic researchers ask: Where's your retainer?
Have you been wearing your retainer? It's a question countless parents ask of their children post-braces.

Good news! Hope makes headlines
If it bleeds, it leads, or so the old journalistic adage goes.

Noninvasive brain stimulation may improve swallowing after stroke
Noninvasive electrical stimulation to the brain may improve swallowing ability among stroke survivors, which may help avoid life-threatening complications.

Researchers: Sexually active teens need confidential health care
This includes access to effective contraception, noted the doctors in the paper

Cutting carbon dioxide helps prevent drying
Recent climate modeling has shown that reducing the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would give the Earth a wetter climate in the short term.

New approach to programming may boost 'green' computing
Yu David Liu, a Binghamton University computer scientist with an interest in

A safer, more effective morphine may be possible with Indiana University discovery
An orphan drug originally used for HIV treatment has been found to short-circuit the process that results in additional sensitivity and pain from opioid use.

When you cough up green or yellow phlegm you need to be prescribed antibiotics, right?
Prescribing antibiotics for patients with discoloured phlegm caused by acute cough has little or no effect on alleviating symptoms and recovery, a Cardiff University study has found.

Recipients of the 2011 Clay Research Awards announced
The 2011 Clay Research Awards will be presented: to Yves Benoist (Université Paris Sud 11/CNRS) and Jean-François Quint (Université Paris 13/CNRS) for their work on stationary measures and orbit closures; and to Jonathan Pila (Mathematical Institute, Oxford) for his resolution of the André-Oort Conjecture in the case of products of modular curves.

Data streaming in from Space Station to OSU lab
A prototype scanner aboard the international space station has been taking new images of Earth's coastal regions during the 16 months since it was launched, providing scientists with a new set of imaging tools that will help them monitor events from oil spills to plankton blooms.

iMobot rolls, crawls and creeps
A versatile, reconfigurable modular robot invented by a UC Davis alumnus and a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering is headed for commercial development with the help of a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Eye movement differs in British and Chinese populations
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found that eye movement patterns of Chinese people, born and raised in China, are different to those of Caucasian people living in Britain.

ICUROS study finds international variations in quality of life loss after fracture
A study presented today at the European Congress on Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis currently taking place in Valencia, Spain has found that the initial quality of life loss following an osteoporotic fracture is substantial, especially with regard to hip and vertebral fractures.

Gay couples could benefit from testing together
A number of American men who have sex with men are supportive of couples-based voluntary HIV counseling and testing (CVCT), in which couples receive counseling and their HIV test results together, according to a new study by Dr.

Paleo-Indians settled North America earlier than thought, study suggests
Researchers excavating a creek bed in central Texas have found evidence suggesting humans settled in North America some 2,000 years earlier than previously estimated.

Math professor wins National Science Foundation award
Julien Langou, Ph.D., assistant professor of mathematical and statistical sciences at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Colorado Denver, recently received the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) National Science Foundation award, the second CAREER award for the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the third for the University of Colorado Denver Campus.

UBC researchers develop new model to predict the optical properties of nano-structures
University of British Columbia chemists have developed a new model to predict the optical properties of non-conducting ultra-fine particles.

Survey: Most family medicine residencies restrict interactions between trainees, industry
A national survey of US family medicine residency programs finds that most limit pharmaceutical and other industry interactions with residents while many exclude all interactions.

Gambling problems are more common than drinking problems, according to first-of-its-kind study
After age 21, problem gambling is considerably more common among US adults than alcohol dependence, even though alcohol dependence has received much more attention, according to researchers at the University at Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions.

Bryan Roth honored for excellence in clinical pharmacology
Bryan L. Roth, Ph.D., the Michael J. Hooker Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, has received the PhRMA Foundation Award in Excellence in Pharmacology/Toxicology.

Stem cell therapy for age-related macular degeneration -- a step closer to reality
The notion of transplanting adult stem cells to treat or even cure age-related macular degeneration has taken a significant step toward becoming a reality.

Researchers find eye development error causing cataracts, glaucoma
A Jackson Laboratory research team, working in collaboration with a research team at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, show that RNA granules -- a key player in messenger RNA processing -- can affect eye development, leading to juvenile cataracts in humans and mice.

Outcomes improved by longer delays between heart attacks and elective surgeries
Recent heart attack patients should wait longer than currently recommended before undergoing elective surgery, study says.

LSUHSC research finds protein that protects cancer cells from chemo and radiation therapy
Research led by Daitoku Sakamuro, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Pathology at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans and the LSUHSC Stanley S.

Against the tide: Currents keep dolphins apart
Conservationists from the Wildlife Conservation Society, the American Museum of Natural History, and other conservation and research groups have discovered that groups of dolphins in the western Indian Ocean do not mix freely with one another.

UT Southwestern researchers find potential new non-insulin treatment for type 1 diabetes
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have discovered a hormone pathway that potentially could lead to new ways of treating type 1 diabetes independent of insulin, long thought to be the sole regulator of carbohydrates in the liver.

RIT researchers help map tsunami and earthquake damage in Japan
Researchers at Rochester Institute of Technology are processing satellite imagery of regions in Japan affected by the 9.0 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that devastated sections of the country's east coast on March 11.

Eskimo study suggests high consumption of omega-3s reduces obesity-related disease risk
A study of Yup'ik Eskimos in Alaska, who on average consume 20 times more omega-3 fats from fish than people in the lower 48 states, suggests that a high intake of these fats helps prevent obesity-related chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease.

ESCEO-AMGEN Fellowship awarded to Swedish and Argentinean researchers
Dr. Helena Johansson, Research fellow at the Centre for Bone Research at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and Dr.

Don't shuffle on slippery surfaces, Clemson University, Charleston researchers say
Biomechanics researchers Timothy Higham of Clemson University and Andrew Clark of the College of Charleston conclude that moving quickly in a forward, firm-footed stance across a slippery surface is less likely to lead to a fall than if you move slowly.

An ancestral link between genetic and environmental sex determination
Researchers from Osaka University and the National Institute for Basic Biology, Japan, have found a highly significant connection between the molecular mechanisms underlying genetic and environmental sex determination.

High-temperature superconductor spills secret: A new phase of matter
Scientists have found the strongest evidence yet that a puzzling gap in the electronic structures of some high-temperature superconductors could indicate a new phase of matter.

Artifacts in Texas predate Clovis culture by 2,500 years, new study shows
Researchers in Texas have discovered thousands of human artifacts in a layer of earth that lies directly beneath an assemblage of Clovis relics, expanding evidence that other cultures preceded the Clovis culture in North America.

MRSA infection shown to be seasonal
A new study from Rhode Island Hospital has found a significant increase in the occurrence of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections in the summer and autumn months.

UCLA's cancer 'roadmap' could help combat resistance to targeted drug therapies
Researchers demonstrate their use of network-scale proteomic experiments and mathematical analyses to build a

New study quantifies total costs of fragility fractures in 6 major European countries
Research presented today at the European Congress on Osteoporosis & Osteoarthritis estimates that the economic burden of fragility fractures in five major European countries totals 31 billion Euro, with Germany bearing the highest costs.

Drug-resistant pathogen found in large numbers in LA County
Researchers with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health found high rates of the multi-drug resistant pathogen, carbapenem-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae (CRKP) among the patient population in long-term acute care hospitals compared to general acute care hospitals across the county.

HIV integration requires use of a host DNA-repair pathway
The human immunodeficiency virus, the cause of AIDS, makes use of the base excision repair pathway when inserting its DNA into the host-cell genome, according to a new study.

Big size multitouch display turned into a microscope
Researchers at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland (FIMM) have in collaboration with the Finnish company Multitouch Ltd created a hand and finger gesture controlled microscope.

International Open Access meeting comes to the United States
The ninth installment in the Berlin Open Access Conference Series, which convenes leaders in the science, humanities, research, funding, and policy communities around The Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities, will take place at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Nov.

Inclusion of falls history shown to enhance accuracy of fracture risk assessment models
A new study shows how the inclusion of falls history, in addition to clinical risk factors (CRFs) and bone mineral density (BMD) values, would greatly improve the accuracy of fracture prediction models.

Not so sweet: Increased added sugars intake parallels trends in weight gain
An upward trend in added sugars intake corresponded to an upward trend in body weight, in a 27-year study of adults in Minnesota.

Micro-RNA's contribute to risk for panic disorder
A new study published in the current issue of Biological Psychiatry now implicates one type of molecular switch, microRNAs (miRNAs), in panic disorder.

First student-developed mission in which satellites orbit and communicate led by UT students
Two satellites designed and constructed by students at the Cockrell School of Engineering successfully separated in space March 22, completing the most crucial goal of the mission since its Nov.

NeuroImage: Multiplexing in the visual brain
Imagine sitting in a train at the railway station looking outside: Without analyzing the relative motion of object contours across many different locations at the same time, it is often difficult to decide whether it's your train that starts moving, or the one at the opposite track.

Botany website wins prestigious prize from journal Science
Because of the website's effectiveness at bringing the actual scientific process to students via an online collaboration with plant biologists, Science magazine has chosen to receive a Science Prize for Online Resources in Education, or SPORE, award.

Small code change, big effect
Scientists at EMBL Heidelberg have developed a new method which enables researchers to label any protein of their choice with any of a wide variety of previously available compounds, in living cells, by introducing a single artificial amino acid.

Johns Hopkins scientists link DNA 'end-caps' length to diabetes risk
New evidence has emerged from studies in mice that short telomeres or

Integral spots matter a millisecond from doom
ESA's Integral gamma-ray observatory has spotted extremely hot matter just a millisecond before it plunges into the oblivion of a black hole.

Study: Teachers unaware of growing gender gaps in classrooms
A gap in reading and math scores still exists in lower grades, with boys continuing to outpace girls in math, and girls ahead of boys in reading, two University of Illinois education professors say.

Could 'training the brain' help children with Tourette syndrome?
Children with Tourette syndrome could benefit from behavioral therapy to reduce their symptoms, according to a new brain imaging study.

Emory explores new proton therapy facility to offer advanced care to cancer patients
Emory Healthcare is a key player in plans to bring the world's most advanced radiation treatment for cancer patients to Georgia.

Can we get more social benefits from forests and have higher biodiversity?
When local residents are allowed to make rules about managing nearby forests, the forests are more likely to provide greater economic benefits to households and contain more biodiversity, two University of Michigan researchers and a colleague conclude from an analysis of forest practices in tropical developing countries of East Africa and South Asia.

Researchers develop a halometer that tests alterations in night vision
Researchers at the University of Granada have developed this tool and proved it with a number of groups consisting on people operated on cataract or submitted to refractive eye surgery, as well as on normal observers and patients with different eye pathologies.

Researchers reveal remarkable fossil
Researchers from China, Leicester and Oxford have discovered a remarkable fossil which sheds new light on an important group of primitive sea creatures.

Around 25 percent of health messages in Spanish text books are not based on scientific evidence
Most school text books contain messages about health, but 24.6 percent of these are not based on any scientific evidence, according to a study by the Knowledge Management Unit at Baza Hospital (Granada), published in the journal BMC Public Health.

Uncertain future for Joshua trees projected with climate change
Temperature increases resulting from climate change in the Southwest will likely eliminate Joshua trees from 90 percent of their current range in 60 to 90 years, according to a new study led by US Geological Survey ecologist Ken Cole.

Just 6 months of hormone therapy doubles survival chances when added to radiotherapy in patients with locally advanced prostate cancer
Men with locally advanced prostate cancer who are treated with just 6 months of hormone therapy combined with radiotherapy halve their chances of dying from the disease compared with patients who receive radiation alone, according to the long-term results of the Trans-Tasman Radiation Oncology Group 96.01 trial published online first in the Lancet Oncology.

Acupuncture is equally effective with simulated needles
Simulated acupuncture -- sometimes referred to as placebo -- is just as beneficial as real acupuncture for treating nausea in cancer patients undergoing radiotherapy, according to a study from Karolinska Institutet and Linköping University in Sweden.

Penn researchers uncover novel immune therapy for pancreatic cancer
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania's Abramson Cancer Center have discovered a novel way of treating pancreatic cancer by activating the immune system to destroy the cancer's scaffolding.

Boston Medical Center receives support from CVS Caremark Charitable Trust
Boston Medical Center (BMC) announced today that it has received a $50,000 grant for the Autism Clinic from the CVS Caremark Charitable Trust, the private foundation created by CVS Caremark Corporation.

Mini-stroke doubles risk of heart attack
Patients who have had temporary stroke symptoms known as a transient-ischemic attack (TIA) have twice the risk of heart attack as the general population.

NASA satellite attends the birth of Tropical Storm Bune in Southern Pacific
It's not unusual for NASA satellites to attend the birth of tropical cyclones, and NASA's Aqua satellite was there when Tropical Cyclone Bune was born early today in the South Pacific Ocean.

ESCEO Young Investigators Awards presented at ECCEO11-IOF in Valencia
Dr. Nick Harvey of the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, Southampton, UK, and Dr.

New technology to improve early detection and prognosis of cancer
Gentel Biosciences, a leader in proteomics tools, and Van Andel Research Institute (VARI), a biomedical research institute, jointly announce today the granting of US Patent 7,838,634 for a new method to profile changes in the glycosylation of proteins captured on the surface of an antibody array slide.

Suzaku shows clearest picture yet of Perseus Galaxy Cluster
X-ray observations made by the Suzaku observatory provide the clearest picture to date of the size, mass and chemical content of a nearby cluster of galaxies.

Exploding stars and stripes
The discovery of a pattern of X-ray

Bats keep separate households
The use of different environments by males and females in the parti-colored bat makes population estimation and thereby the conservation of the species more difficult.

Tourettes brains are structured for greater, not lesser, cognitive motor control
Contrary to intuition, people who suffer from the motor and vocal tics characteristic of Tourette syndrome actually perform behavioral tests of cognitive motor control more accurately and quickly than their typically developing peers do.

Great Depression did not significantly improve life expectancy in the US
A study published today provides a new perspective on the Great Depression of the 1930s.

ASTRO awards 16 Advocacy Day travel grants
The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has awarded 16 residents in radiation oncology and radiation oncology nurses travel grants to attend the Society's eighth annual Advocacy Day taking place March 27-29, 2011, in Washington.

UCSF, UC Berkeley join forces to advance frontier of brain repair
Neuroscientists and engineers at UCSF and UC Berkeley have joined forces to help pioneer a new frontier of brain repair -- the development of devices that would allow patients with such conditions as stroke, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury and Lou Gehrig's disease to control prosthetics through thoughts alone. 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