Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 28, 2011
The dark side of spring? Pollution in our melting snow
With birds chirping and temperatures warming, spring is finally in the air.

Interventional Radiology Y-90 Liver Cancer-busting Treatment: Safe, Fast, Extends Life
Interventional radiologists have been the leaders in the use of intra-arterial yttrium-90 radioembolization, since its introduction in 2000, to treat liver cancer.

Smarter memory device holds key to greener gadgets
Fast, low-energy memory for MP3s, smartphones and cameras could become a reality thanks to a development by scientists.

Human virus linked to deaths of endangered mountain gorillas
For the first time, a virus that causes respiratory disease in humans has been linked to the deaths of wild mountain gorillas, reports a team of researchers in the United States and Africa.

UC pioneers research on environmental practices of ancient Maya
UC researchers are strongly represented among the hundreds of presentations at the upcoming Society for American Archaeology meeting.

Cancer drug shows promise for treating scleroderma
A drug approved to treat certain types of cancer has shown promising results in the treatment of patients with scleroderma, according to results from an open-label Phase II trial.

Kentucky researchers find a key to plant disease resistance
University of Kentucky plant pathologists recently discovered a metabolite that plays a critical role early on in the ability of plants, animals, humans and one-celled microorganisms to fend off a wide range of pathogens at the cellular level.

First for Emory -- Rare hand transplant surgery successfully performed at Emory University Hospital
Transplant and reconstructive surgeons from Emory University Hospital announced today at a news conference that they have successfully performed a rare complete hand transplant on 21-year-old Linda Lu, a college student from Orlando, Fla.

New insight into how 'tidying up' enzymes work
A new discovery about how molecules are broken down by the body, which will help pharmaceutical chemists design better drugs, has been made by researchers at the University of Bristol.

Some women worry too much about breast cancer returning, U-M study finds
Most women face only a small risk of breast cancer coming back after they complete their treatment.

Other mental health medications no safer than atypical antipsychotics in nursing home residents
Conventional antipsychotics, antidepressants and benzodiazepines often administered to nursing home residents are no safer than atypical antipsychotics and may carry increased risks, according to an article in CMAJ.

Demographics cloud optimism on black violent crime decrease
Optimism about studies that show a drop in the black percentage of crime may be dampened by demographic trends and statistical aberrations, according to a group of criminologists.

Commentary: When creating a new institute, the devil's in the details
The decision to merge the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) and the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) into a single institution was made last year.

LGBT health research gaps and needs: IOM report release March 31
Recent findings on the differences in heart disease among women and men and among blacks and whites show that characteristics such as gender and ethnicity matter when it comes to health research.

Research proves no 2 of us are alike, even identical twins
Just like snowflakes, no two people are alike, even if they're identical twins according to new genetic research from the University of Western Ontario.

Some ingredients in 'green' products come from petroleum rather than natural sources
With more and more environmentally conscious consumers choosing

Research explores why ancient civilization was 'livin' on the edge'
The research, an ongoing project involving a multidisciplinary team of University of Cincinnati researchers, will be presented at the annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

£6 million ($9.58 million) to develop a new generation of composites
A collaborative research team from the University of Bristol and Imperial College London have been awarded a grant to develop a new generation of high-performance, fiber-reinforced polymer composites.

From crankcase to gas tank: New microwave method converts used motor oil into fuel
That dirty motor oil that comes out of your car or truck engine during oil changes could end up in your fuel tank, according to a report presented here today at the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

New direction for epilepsy treatment
If common anticonvulsant drugs fail to manage epileptic seizures, then perhaps the anti-inflammatory route is the way to go.

Through women's eyes: Conflicting fitness messages underscore women's fit body stereotypes
From boot camp to step aerobics, yoga to martial arts, women have been exhorted by the fitness industry and messages in the media to exercise in pursuit of the pervasive fit, feminine ideal: to look young, thin and toned.

New laser technology prepares to revolutionize communications
Dr. Rainer Martini of Stevens Institute of Technology has overcome a number of free space challenges to develop a high-speed communications technology that is not limited by a physical conductor.

Study sheds light on how heat is transported to Greenland glaciers
Warmer air is only part of the story when it comes to Greenland's rapidly melting ice sheet.

'Spicing' up your love life possible, study finds
Looking to spice up your sex life? Try adding ginseng and saffron to your diet.

India releases tiger numbers as experts convene
The Indian Government today released new tiger population numbers for the first time since 2007, indicating that numbers have increased in the country that has half of the world's remaining wild tigers.

Weight loss surgery can significantly improve migraines, according to Miriam Hospital study
Obese migraine sufferers reported post-operative improvements in headache frequency, severity, and disability.

Altitude Research Center wins major Pentagon grants
The US Department of Defense is giving $4 million to the Altitude Research Center at the University of Colorado School of Medicine to find ways to battle hypoxia among military personnel fighting at high altitudes.

Twinkle, twinkle, quantum dot -- new particles can change colors and tag molecules
Engineers have invented a new kind of nano-particle that shines in different colors to tag molecules in biomedical tests.

Avoiding health risks could prevent more than half of all cases of atrial fibrillation
More than half of atrial fibrillation (AF) cases in this study were linked to specific risk factors.

AgriLife Research experts: Managing grazing lands with fire improves profitability
Texas Agrilife Research fire and brush control studies in the Rolling Plains on a working ranch-scale showed the benefits and limitations of managed fires for reducing mesquite encroachment while sustaining livestock production.

Predicting serious drug side effects before they occur
Writing in the International Journal of Medical Engineering and Informatics, at team from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, has developed a new model that tests show is 99.87 percent accurate in predicting adverse drug reactions among 10,000 observations and 100 percent for non-serious ADRs.

A new system for subtitles in the theater in Spain
For the first time a theater performance from the Centro Dramatico Nacional (The National Center for Drama) has featured live subtitles, enabling hearing impaired individuals to also enjoy the play.

Most states unclear about storage, use of babies' blood samples, new study finds
State laws and policies governing the storage and use of surplus blood samples taken from newborns for routine health screenings range from explicit to non-existent, leaving many parents ill-informed about how their babies' left over blood might be used, according to a scholar at the Johns Hopkins Berman Institute of Bioethics, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Utah.

Indications of Alzheimer's disease may be evident decades before first signs of cognitive impairment
Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have found that patients with Alzheimer's disease have lower glucose utilization in the brain than those with normal cognitive function, and that those decreased levels may be detectable approximately 20 years prior to the first symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.

Interventional radiology treatment takes blood pressure to new lows -- and results last
Interventional radiologists have completed the first human randomized controlled trial of a procedure that uses high-frequency energy to deactivate the nerves near the kidneys (or in the renal artery) that are linked to high blood pressure.

Radiation from Japan detected in Cleveland
Case Western Reserve University biology professor Gerald Matisoff and graduate student Mary Carson have found Iodine 131 in rainwater collected on a campus rooftop.

How do plants fight disease?
How bacterial pathogens cause plant diseases remains a mystery and continues to frustrate scientists working to solve this problem.

Galileo labs: Better positioning with concept
Final burst for the European satellite navigation system Galileo -- the first satellites are to be in position in the year 2012 and start their work.

Deep-sea volcanoes don't just produce lava flows, they also explode!
Most deep-sea volcanoes produce effusive lava flows rather than explosive eruptions, both because the levels of magmatic gas tend to be low, and because the volcanoes are under a lot of pressure from the surrounding water.

Study shows hunger hitting closer to home
A new study on hunger entitled

Certain breast cancer patients worry excessively about recurrence
A new study has found that certain types of women with early stage breast cancer are vulnerable to excessive worrying about cancer recurrence.

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation funds Marshall research
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation has awarded a Marshall University scientist a two-year, $194,400 grant.

Interventional radiologists advance MS research: Vein-opening treatment safe
Understanding that angioplasty -- a medical treatment used by interventional radiologists to widen the veins in the neck and chest to improve blood flow -- is safe may encourage additional studies for its use as a treatment option for individuals with multiple sclerosis, say researchers at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 36th Annual Scientific Meeting in Chicago, Ill.

Unlocking the secrets of Heritage Smells
Clues to the condition of museum exhibits and antique objects are to be revealed in a research project led by the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow -- with the use of technology for

Researchers find many elderly men are undergoing unnecessary PSA screenings
Summary of study being published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology March 28 finding that men in their seventies had prostate cancer screening nearly twice as often as men in their early fifties, who are more likely to benefit from prostate cancer detection and treatment.

Next-generation chemical mapping on the nanoscale
Berkeley Lab scientists at the Molecular Foundry have pioneered a new chemical mapping method that provides unprecedented insight into materials at the nanoscale.

MIT professor wins first JSA Outstanding Nuclear Physics Award
An MIT professor recognized as a world leader and innovator in the field of experimental electromagnetic nuclear physics has been named the first recipient of the Outstanding Nuclear Physicist Award by Jefferson Science Associates.

Major advance in understanding how nanowires form
New insights into why and how nanowires take the form they do will have profound implications for the development of future electronic components.

TU Delft identifies huge potential of nanocrystals in fuel cells
The addition of extremely small crystals to solid electrolyte material has the potential to considerably raise the efficiency of fuel cells.

GPS study shows wolves more reliant on a cattle diet
Cattle ranchers in southwestern Alberta have suspected it for a long time and now, GPS tracking equipment confirms it: wolf packs in the area are making cow meat a substantial part of their diets.

Santa Barbara Summit on Energy Efficiency looks to a sustainable energy future
Leaders from industry, academia and government from around the country will gather to discuss the latest advances and opportunities in energy efficiency at the third annual Santa Barbara Summit on Energy Efficiency, April 26-27, 2011.

Icebergs in the Antarctic play important role in carbon cycle
After following the path of a drifting iceberg, a research team's discoveries could have implications for climate change studies.

Russian boreal forests undergoing vegetation change, study shows
Russia's boreal forest -- the largest continuous expanse of forest in the world, found in the country's cold northern regions -- is undergoing an accelerating large-scale shift in vegetation types as a result of globally and regionally warming climate.

To better detect heart transplant rejections, Stanford scientists test for traces of donor's genome
Heart transplant recipients and their physicians are likely more concerned with the function of the donated organ than with the donor's DNA sequences that tag along in the new, healthy tissue.

Interventional radiologists take lead on reducing disability from dangerous blood clots
Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT: it's more than just a one-time complication from taking a long plane ride.

Early indications of Parkinson's disease revealed in dream sleep
During a large-scale study of the socioeconomic costs of this neurodegenerative disease, Danish researchers, some from the University of Copenhagen, discovered that very early symptoms of Parkinson's disease may be revealed in dream or REM sleep.

Childhood psychological problems have long-term economic and social impact, study finds
Analyzing information from a group of British residents followed for 50 years, researchers have found that psychological problems experienced during childhood can have a long-lasting impact on an individual's life course, reducing people's earnings and decreasing the chances of establishing long-lasting relationships.

SDSC's CIPRES Gateway provides window to the past -- and fast
A novel supercomputing resource created by researchers at the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego, is allowing scientists to study evolutionary relationships among large populations of living things in significantly shorter times -- and without having to understand how to operate large, complex computer systems.

Video skilled the students so far
Making a video about a scientific experiment rather than writing up a presentation poster leads to better learning and clearer understanding of the concepts underpinning the experiment according to science educators in Australia.

Butterfly study reveals traits and genes associated with establishment of new populations
Descendants of

Negative attitudes toward fat bodies going global, study finds
Stigma against overweight people is becoming a cultural norm around the world, even in places where larger bodies have traditionally been valued.

Nation's surgeons speak with one voice on Capitol Hill
On Tuesday, March 29, 2011, hundreds of surgeons from across the country will join together to speak with one voice to their federal legislators.

International 50-year mortality trends in children and young people reveal an inadequate response to the health problems and causes of death in adolescents, particularly young men
The first international study to quantify the causes and patterns of death in children over 5 years old from 50 countries over the second half of the 20th century shows that, in a reversal of historical mortality patterns, death rates in young people (15󈞄 years) are now higher than in children (1𔃂 years) across most high- and low-income countries.

Potential new medicines show promise for treating colon cancer, asthma
In what they described as the opening of a new era in the development of potentially life-saving new drugs, scientists today reported discovery of a way to tone down an overactive gene involved in colon cancer and block a key protein involved in asthma attacks.

Shingles and PHN, new open access journal from Mary Ann Liebert Inc., publishers
Shingles and PHN, a new, bimonthly open access peer-reviewed journal, will be launched in fall 2011 by Mary Ann Liebert Inc., publishers.

Mimicking Mother Nature yields promising materials for drug delivery and other applications
Mimicking Mother Nature's genius as a designer is one of the most promising approaches for developing new medicines, sustainable sources of food and energy, and other products that society needs to meet the great challenges that lie ahead in the 21st century, a noted scientist said here today.

Wind can keep mountains from growing
Wind is a much more powerful force in the evolution of mountains than previously thought, according to a new report from a University of Arizona-led team of geoscientists.

Analysis suggests cancer risk of backscatter airport scanners is low
Calculations by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco and the University of California, Berkeley estimate that the cancer risk associated with one type of airport security scanners is low based on the amount of radiation these devices emit, as long as they are operated and function correctly.

Even Canadian rocks are different
Canadians have always seen themselves as separate and distinct from their American neighbors to the south, and now they have geological proof.

Marijuana use may hurt intellectual skills in MS patients
Any possible pain relief that marijuana has for people with multiple sclerosis may be outweighed by the drug's apparent negative effect on thinking skills, according to research published in the March 29, 2011, print issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Mothers' hard work pays off with big brains for their babies
Brain growth in babies is linked to the amount of time and energy mothers

SU physicists first to observe rare particles produced at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN
A group of scientists led by a Syracuse University physicist have become the first to observe the decays of a rare particle that was present right after the Big Bang.

Study illuminates the 'pain' of social rejection
Physical pain and intense feelings of social rejection

Heavy metals open path to high temperature nanomagnets
Danish chemistry student discovers path to making molecular magnets work at exceptionally high temperatures.

International Diabetes Federation supports surgery to treat diabetes
Bariatric surgery should be considered earlier in the treatment of eligible patients to help stem the serious complications that can result from diabetes, according to an International Diabetes Federation (IDF) position statement presented by leading experts at the 2nd World Congress on Interventional Therapies for Type 2 Diabetes in New York.

Deciphering hidden code reveals brain activity
By combining sophisticated mathematical techniques more commonly used by spies instead of scientists with the power and versatility of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), a Penn neurologist has developed a new approach for studying the inner workings of the brain.

A new project to study the impact of space weather storms on European power transmission networks
The European Union has selected the Finnish Meteorological Institute to lead an international space weather project to study geomagnetically induced currents that can damage power networks during space weather storms.

Elsevier, Cleveland Clinic collaborate to provide physician content through First Consult
Elsevier, a world leader in health care and medical publishing and online solutions, today announced a strategic relationship between First Consult and Cleveland Clinic to provide physician-author support of content for First Consult, an evidence-based resource integrated into the clinical workflow to deliver trusted medical information at the point-of-care.

Johns Hopkins team identifies genetic link to attempted suicide
A study of thousands of people with bipolar disorder suggests that genetic risk factors may influence the decision to attempt suicide.

Seeing and experiencing violence makes aggression 'normal' for children
The more children are exposed to violence, the more they think it's normal, according to a study in the current Social Psychological and Personality Science (published by SAGE).

Study finds changes in incidence of end-stage renal disease from lupus nephritis
New research documenting changes in the incidence and outcomes of end-stage renal disease (ESRD) in the US between 1995 and 2006, found a significant increase in incidence rates among patients 5 to 39 years of age and in African Americans.

Bones conjure Yellowstone's ecological ghosts
By taking a closer look at animal bones scattered across the wilderness landscape, a University of Chicago researcher has found a powerful tool for showing how species' populations have changed over decades or even a century.

To meet, greet or retreat during influenza outbreaks?
When influenza pandemics arrive, the specter of disease spread through person-to-person contact can mean that schools close, hand sanitizer sales rise, and travelers stay home.

Major EU-funded space weather initiative launched and managed in UK
A major EU-funded initiative to improve

Ambulatory monitoring reveals many patients have 'white coat' hypertension
In a recent study, about a third of patients thought to have resistant hypertension, actually had

Northwestern Medicine multiple sclerosis program earns national designation
Northwestern Medicine's MS program is the first in Midwest recognized as a National Multiple Sclerosis Society Affiliated Center for Comprehensive Care.

Science reporter wins ASM Public Communications Award
The 2011 winner of the ASM Public Communications Award is Jon Cohen from Science.

Surgeon availability tied to survival rate in vehicle crashes
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine claim that the availability of surgeons is a critical factor in public health and suggest that surgery should become an important part of the primary health care system. 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