Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 29, 2011
Waste ash from coal could save billions in repairing US bridges and roads
Coating concrete destined to rebuild America's crumbling bridges and roadways with some of the millions of tons of ash left over from burning coal could extend the life of those structures by decades, saving billions of dollars of taxpayer money, scientists reported here today at the 241st National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

Household bleach can decontaminate food prep surfaces in ricin bioterrorist attack
Help for a bioterrorist attack involving ricin, one of the most likely toxic agents, may be as close at hand as the laundry shelf, according to a report presented here today at the 241st National Meeting and Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Frequency of fat talk associated with increased body dissatisfaction, regardless of waistline
College women who engage in

Gene combinations are found to be related to hip osteoporosis in postmenopausal women
Researchers at the University of Granada have found that women with osteoporosis suffer menopause two years earlier than healthy women.

Free phone app helped doctors perform better in simulated cardiac emergency
Doctors who used a free iPhone application provided by the UK Resuscitation Council performed significantly better in a simulated medical emergency than those who did not.

American Chemical Society's highest honor goes to pioneer in 'ultrafast-motion' imaging
Ahmed H. Zewail, Ph.D., the 1999 Chemistry Nobel Laureate and the Linus Pauling Professor of Chemistry & Professor of Physics at California Institute of Technology, has been named the winner of the 2011 Priestley Medal by the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Elderly heart failure patients who need skilled nursing care often sicker, have poorer outcomes
Elderly patients who are discharged to skilled nursing care after hospitalization for heart failure often have other complications as well and typically are at higher risk for poor outcomes.

'Bacterial dirigibles' emerge as next-generation disease fighters
Scientists today reported development of bacteria that serve as mobile pharmaceutical factories, both producing disease-fighting substances and delivering the potentially life-saving cargo to diseased areas of the body.

Manure runoff depends on soil texture
A collaborative study was carried out between University of Copenhagen and University of Aarhus, Denmark, to investigate the influence of dairy slurry on leaching of manure nutrient components.

The way to (kill) a bug's heart is through its stomach
A study at Michigan State University has revealed a potential new way for plants to fend off pests -- starvation.

Creating the perfect Bloody Mary: Good chemistry of fresh ingredients
After tackling the chemistry of coffee, tea, fruit juices, soda pop, beer, wine and other alcoholic beverages, why not take on the ultimate challenge, the Mount Everest of cocktails, what may be the most chemically complex cocktail in the world, the Bloody Mary?

Blocking carbon dioxide fixation in bacteria increases biofuel production
Reducing the ability of certain bacteria to fix carbon dioxide can greatly increase their production of hydrogen gas that can be used as a biofuel.

Investigators discover enzyme essential for healthy lung development
Dysregulation of cell polarity has been associated with developmental disorders and cancer.

Scientists find cause of fatal inflammation of the heart muscle
Scientists of the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ), jointly with colleagues in the United States, have found out that inflammations of the heart muscle are caused by attacks of a specific type of immune cells.

Think twice about Dr. Seuss
A University of California, Riverside assistant professor of education will receive a national award next month for his article that raises questions about a new teaching model quickly being adopted by school districts.

For potentially crippling dystonia, earlier deep brain therapy gets better, quicker results
Patients suffering from dystonia, an uncommon yet potentially crippling movement disorder, get better results if they begin deep brain stimulation therapy sooner rather than later, according to an international study published in the March issue of the Journal of Neurology.

Bariatric surgery highly cost-effective treatment for type 2 diabetes in the obese
Bariatric surgery is an especially cost-effective therapy for managing Type 2 diabetes in moderately and severely obese patients.

€12 million ($16.9 million) project to develop new tools for malaria control
LSTM has launched a collaborative project to develop and evaluate new tools to control the spread of malaria in Africa.

Updating the Mary Poppins solution with a better bitter blocker
With millions of adults and children avoiding nutritious foods because of the bitter taste, and gagging or vomiting when forced to take bitter liquid medicines, scientists today reported an advance toward a high-tech version of Mary Poppins' solution.

Interventional radiologists provide hope in delaying growth, spread of breast cancer
The growth and spread of breast cancer tumors may be delayed with a promising treatment that combines innovative strategies: blocking the enzyme needed to

1 in 3 women suffer post-sex blues
Post-sex blues is not a sexual behavior commonly discussed, but a Queensland University of Technology study of more than 200 young women has found one in three (32.9 percent) had experienced the phenomenon at some point.

Annual sonograms are needed to verify correct IUD position, UT Southwestern obstetricians say
A retrospective study of women who became pregnant while using intrauterine devices shows that more than half of the IUDs were malpositioned.

MIT: New blood-testing device can quickly spot cancer cells, HIV
A Harvard bioengineer and an MIT aeronautical engineer have created a new device that can detect single cancer cells in a blood sample, potentially allowing doctors to quickly determine whether cancer has spread from its original site.

Diabetes veterans may show ways to prevent complications
Over time, diabetes can wreak havoc on the body's eyes, cardiovascular system, kidneys and nerves.

Zimmerman receives Richard King Trainee Award for best publication in genetics in medicine
Rebekah Stackpole Zimmerman is the recipient of the Richard King Trainee Award.

Handover of the tsunami early warning system GITEWS to Indonesia
Today, on behalf of the German Federal Government, State Secretary Thomas Rachel hands over the tsunami early warning system GITEWS to Indonesia in a solemn ceremony in Jakarta.

Imaging the paintings under the paintings of the Old Masters
Gaze upon Rembrandt's

New study examines impact of new media on eating habits
A new study by Rochester Institute of Technology is one of the first to analyze how new-media technology, including the Internet and smartphones, are changing college students' eating habits and their relationship to food.

What choice do we have?
Too much choice can be a bad thing -- not just for the individual, but for society.

Optimum use of wave energy using OWC system
Engineers Modesto Amundarain and Mikel Alberdi have presented the first two Ph.D. theses at the University of the Basque Country on the use of oscillating water column converters for extracting renewable energy from waves.

Automated colonoscopy reminder system is effective, especially in minority populations
The simple practice of letters and a telephone call to patients who are due for a colonoscopy significantly improves adherence to endoscopic follow-up recommendations.

Older lesbians, gays have higher rates of chronic disease, mental distress, isolation
Members of California's aging lesbian, gay and bisexual population are more likely to suffer from certain chronic conditions even as they wrestle with the challenges of living alone in far higher numbers than the heterosexual population, according to new policy brief from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

No scalpel: Minimally invasive breakthrough for men's enlarged prostates improves symptoms
A new interventional radiology treatment that blocks blood supply to men's enlarged prostate glands shows comparable clinical results to transurethral resection of the prostate (or TURP), considered the gold standard (or most common) treatment.

NSF announces new awards that will investigate more efficient ways to harvest sunlight
Scientists in the United States and the United Kingdom have been awarded funding totaling more than $10.3 million to improve the process of biological photosynthesis.

Communicating uncertain climate risks
Despite much research that demonstrates potential dangers from climate change, public concern has not been increasing.

Calculating livestock numbers by weather and climate
Ranchers in the central Great Plains may be using some of their winter downtime in the future to rehearse the upcoming production season, all from the warmth of their homes, according to US Department of Agriculture soil scientists.

Moderate sleep and less stress may help with weight loss
If you want to increase your chances of losing weight, reduce your stress level and get adequate sleep.

In time with the molecules
Professor Dr. Christian Spielmann from Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Germany) will be awarded with the Thuringian Research Award 2010 in the category

Smoking in combination with immunosuppression poses greater risk for transplant-related carcinoma
Spanish researchers have found that liver transplant recipients who quit smoking have a lower incidence of smoking-related malignancies (SRM) than patients who keep smoking.

Scientists Without Borders awards $10,000 to solvers of maternal health and nutrition challenge
Scientists Without Borders, a public/private partnership dedicated to developing, advancing, and sharing innovative approaches to solve pressing global development challenges, today announced three winning solutions in the $10,000 Scientists Without Borders Maternal Health and Nutrition open innovation challenge.

Do you own your genetic identity?
Experts are gathering at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics to begin laying the foundation for nationwide consensus on genetic testing at its annual Pediatric Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine Conference in Kansas City.

Fibroids cause women's lower urinary tract problems: uterine fibroid embolization helps
Uterine fibroid embolization -- an interventional radiology treatment for the noncancerous yet very common growths that develop in the muscular wall of the uterus -- improves a number of women's lower urinary tract problems that are specifically caused by those fibroids, confirm researchers at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 36th Annual Scientific Meeting in Chicago, Ill.

NYU Langone offers new imaging technique to advance robotic surgery for patients
NYU Langone is the first in the world to utilize near-infrared fluorescence imaging guidance system for selective arterial clamping during kidney sparing surgery for patients with kidney cancer and is among small select group of hospitals in the country and the only one in the northeast to have this technology.

Prevention of mother-child transmission programs work but infants need checking for drug resistance
Genetic mutations that lead to antiretroviral (the drugs used to treat HIV/AIDS) resistance in HIV-infected infants may develop as a result of exposure to low doses of maternal antiretroviral drugs via breastfeeding rather than being acquired directly from the mother.

K-State chemists' biosensor may improve food, water safety and cancer detection
A nanotechnology-based biosensor being developed by Kansas State University researchers may allow early detection of both cancer cells and pathogens, leading to increased food safety and reduced health risks.

Key plant traits yield more sugar for biofuels
New clues about plant structure are helping researchers from the Department of Energy's BioEnergy Science Center narrow down a large collection of poplar tree candidates and identify winners for future use in biofuel production.

Safer, more effective skin-whitening creams from ancient Chinese herbal medicine
Scientists today reported discovery of the active ingredients in an herb used in traditional Chinese medicine for skin whitening, changing skin color to a lighter shade.

Pelvic arterial embolization for postpartum hemorrhage saves lives, preserves uterus
Pelvic arterial embolization or PAE, a minimally invasive, life-saving therapy, is a safe and effective treatment for postpartum hemorrhage, say researchers at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 36th Annual Scientific Meeting in Chicago, Ill.

Cost of heart drugs makes patients skip pills, putting themselves at risk
For more than 5 million Americans with heart failure, a critical step to better health is taking the medications they're prescribed.

Updated agenda available for Optimizing PCI Outcomes Symposium
The Optimizing PCI Outcomes: Challenges in 2011 symposium will feature the latest clinical and experimental breakthroughs in the percutaneous treatment of coronary artery disease, including the data on current and second-generation drug-eluting stent device-based therapies.

High quality starch with new tools that genetically improve the potato
Neiker-Tecnalia (the Basque Institute of Agricultural Research and Development) is realizing a project for obtaining high quality starch in potato tubers (Solanum tuberosum) using new molecular and genetic tools.

Spiders target sexy signals from 'vibrating' insects
Insects using vibration to attract a mate are at risk of being eaten alive by killer spiders, Cardiff University scientists have discovered.

Scientists devise targeted therapy strategy for rare form of childhood cancer
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women's Hospital scientists have caused cells in a rare, lethal form of cancer to begin behaving like normal cells -- one of the longest-standing, and most rarely achieved, goals of cancer research.

New device uses submarine technology to diagnose stroke quickly
A medical device developed by retired US Navy sonar experts, using submarine technology, is a new paradigm for the detection, diagnosis and monitoring of stroke, says a team of interventional radiologists at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 36th Annual Scientific Meeting in Chicago, Ill.

Thyroid affects color vision
What part does the thyroid gland have in vision? Thyroid hormone is crucially involved in controlling which visual pigment is produced in the cones.

Queen's University issues stark warning for the Irish hare
Researchers at Queen's University Belfast have issued a stark warning about the future of the Irish hare and the threat it faces from the European 'brown' hare, which has set up home in Mid-Ulster and West Tyrone.

Poor behavior doesn't always lead to poor academics
Despite popular belief, a new study published in the latest issue of the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions (published by SAGE) finds that students who have poor behavior in the classroom do not always have poor grades.

2011 PerkinElmer Signature Genomic Laboratories Travel Award winner announced
Adam H. Buchanan, MS, MPH, a board-certified genetic counselor and research scientist at Duke University was honored as the 2011 recipient of the PerkinElmer Signature Genomic Laboratories Travel Award at the American College of Medical Genetics 2011 Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Biological nanowires expedite future fuel production
Scientists in the UK and US, including researchers at Arizona State University, have been awarded funding to improve the photosynthetic process as a means of producing renewable fuel.

Anna-Kaisa Niemi awarded 2011 Genzyme/ American College of Medical Genetics Foundation Fellowship
Anna-Kaisa Niemi, M.D., Ph.D., a resident in Medical Genetics in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Medical Genetics at the Stanford University Medical Center, in Stanford Calif., was honored as the 2011-2012 recipient of the Genzyme/American College of Medical Genetics Foundation Clinical Genetics Fellowship in Biochemical Genetics at the ACMG 2011 Annual Clinical Genetics Meeting in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

First practical nanogenerator produces electricity with pinch of the fingers
After six years of intensive effort, scientists are reporting development of the first commercially viable nanogenerator, a flexible chip that can use body movements -- a finger pinch now en route to a pulse beat in the future -- to generate electricity.

University of Nevada, Reno invents next-gen device to track world's air quality
A new air-quality measuring instrument invented by Pat Arnott and Ian Arnold of the University of Nevada, Reno that is more economical, more portable and more accurate than older technologies has been licensed for commercial development by Droplet Measurement Technologies of Boulder, Colo.

Canadian Journal of Cardiology publishes advice on genetic testing of inherited cardiac arrhythmias
The Canadian Cardiovascular Society and Canadian Heart Rhythm Society have produced the first-ever comprehensive guidelines on the use of genetic testing in the clinical management of inherited heart rhythm disorders, released in the March/April issue of the Canadian Journal of Cardiology published by Elsevier.

Key plant traits yield more sugar for biofuels
New clues about plant structure are helping researchers from the DOE's BioEnergy Science Center narrow down a large collection of poplar tree candidates and identify winners for future use in biofuel production.

Improve crop yield by removing manure solids
Scientists test the effectiveness of removing solids from dairy manure to improve yield by increasing the nitrogen to phosphorus ratio and reducing the loss of nitrogen by hastening soil infiltration.

Antibiotics wrapped in nanofibers turn resistant disease-producing bacteria into ghosts
Encapsulating antibiotics inside nanofibers, like a mummy inside a sarcophagus, gives them the amazing ability to destroy drug-resistant bacteria so completely that scientists described the remains as mere

Horse blind date could lead to loss of foal
Fetal loss is a common phenomenon in domestic horses after away-mating, according to Ludek Bartos from the Institute of Animal Science, CZ.

Fitness tests for frogs?
The most toxic, brightly colored members of the poison frog family may also be the best athletes, says a new study published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Next steps to making open access a global reality
Two articles in this week's PLoS Medicine discuss the issues that need to be resolved to ensure that open access can provide for global information needs, and not just those of the developed world.

Society of Interventional Radiology honors 3 pioneers for continued distinguished service
Andrew B. Crummy, M.D., FSIR; Gordon K. McLean, M.D., FSIR, and Peter B.

Treatment benefits of radiotherapy outweigh small increased risk of developing a second cancer
The proportion of second cancers related to radiotherapy treatment for the first cancer in adulthood is small (about 8 percent), concludes an Article published online first in the Lancet Oncology.

Society of Interventional Radiology Foundation names Jeanne M. LaBerge 2011 Dotter Lecturer
Jeanne M. LaBerge, M.D., FSIR, a clinician researcher and professor for more than 20 years at the University of California-San Francisco, delivered the 2011 Dr.

New 'nanodrug' breaks down barriers to attack breast cancer cells from the inside out
Unlike other drugs that target cancer cells from the outside with minimal effect, this

Publication of the first Swiss Cleantech Report
Environmentally friendly technologies are becoming increasingly important to Switzerland as an economic and research hub.

Major report shows obese patients have double the risk of airway problems during an anesthetic
A major UK study on complications of anesthesia has shown that obese patients are twice as likely to develop serious airway problems during a general anesthetic than non-obese patients.

Stepchildren relate to stepparents based on perceived benefits, researchers find
University of Missouri family relationship experts identified factors that are related to positive and negative stepchild-stepparent relationships.

Berkeley Lab researchers make first perovskite-based superlens for the infrared
Berkeley Lab researchers have fabricated a superlens from perovskite oxides that are ideal for capturing light in the mid-infrared range, opening the door to highly sensitive biomedical detection and imaging.

Stanford researchers use river water and salty ocean water to generate electricity
Stanford researchers have developed a rechargeable battery that uses freshwater and seawater to create electricity.

Like products, plants wait for optimal configuration before market success
An international research team led by Brown University has amassed the largest evolutionary tree (phylogeny) for plants.

Satellites show effect of 2010 drought on Amazon forests
A new study has revealed widespread reductions in the greenness of Amazon forests caused by the last year's record-breaking drought.

ExxonMobil to receive 2011 Award for Outstanding Contribution to Public Understanding of Geosciences
ExxonMobil Corporation will receive the American Geological Institute 2011 Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Public Understanding of the Geosciences.

Announcement of 2011 awards from the Human Frontier Science Program
The International Human Frontier Science Program Organization (HFSPO) is pleased to announce the names of the recipients of HFSP international postdoctoral fellowships, Career Development Awards and research grants.

Cancer is a p53 protein aggregation disease
Protein aggregation, generally associated with Alzheimer's and mad cow disease, turns out to play a significant role in cancer.

Skills training can improve responses to disclosures of trauma
New research from the University of Oregon concludes that even brief training can help people learn how to be more supportive when friends and family members disclose traumatic events and other experiences of mistreatment.

Parasite-induced genetically driven autoimmune chagas disease
Researchers have shown that the Trypanosoma cruzi agent of Chagas disease invades host embryo cells and spreads its mitochondrial DNA (kDNA) minicircles into the host's genome.

Molycorp and DOE's Ames Laboratory sign cooperative research agreement on rare earth magnets
Molycorp Inc., the Western hemisphere's only producer of rare-earth oxides, today announced that it has entered into a cooperative research and development agreement with the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory.

Antioxidant formula prior to radiation exposure may prevent DNA injury
A unique formulation of antioxidants taken orally before imaging with ionizing radiation minimizes cell damage, noted researchers at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 36th Annual Scientific Meeting in Chicago, Ill.

IMPAKT Breast Cancer Conference
The rapid translation of biologically-based laboratory discoveries into daily clinical practice is important, but equally important is the trip back from the clinic to the laboratory, to further explore and explain clinically observed tumor biology and behavior.

Women's body image based more on others' opinions than their own weight
Women's appreciation of their bodies is only indirectly connected to their body mass index (BMI), a common health measure of weight relative to height, according to recent research.

America's most distressed areas threatened by emerging infections of poverty
Neglected infections of poverty are the latest threat plaguing the poorest people living in the Gulf Coast states and in Washington, D.C., according to Dr.

Nature paper calls for carbon labeling
Labeling products with information on the size of the carbon footprint they leave behind could help both consumers and manufacturers make better, environmentally friendly choices.

Bones of long-dead animals conjure ghosts at Yellowstone
They tell a story, these bleached bones that gleam in the sun in Yellowstone National Park.

Nursing students map their way to understanding HIV
In the Faculty of Nursing, students are taught the importance of connecting with the community, and nursing professor Vera Caine has come up with a way for students to not only learn about working in the community, but also to actually be a part of it.

ARVO Foundation for Eye Research honors Deisseroth with first Ludwig von Sallman Clinician-scientist Award
Karl Deisseroth, M.D., Ph.D., has been named the first recipient of the Ludwig von Sallman Clinician-scientist Award, presented by the ARVO Foundation for Eye Research to a clinician-scientist under age 40.

UAB research targets way to stop brain tumor cell invasion
UAB researchers have found the mechanisms used by malignant glioma cells to travel through the brain, and may have found a way to interfere in that process.

Mothers abused during childhood at risk for having low birth weight babies
Mothers who were maltreated as children have increased risk for giving birth to low birth weight babies.

New cancer drug discovered at U-M heads to clinical trials
A new study showed that the drug AT-406 effectively targets proteins that block normal cell death from occurring.

Health care IT providers need to do more to solicit user feedback
Information technology companies need to bring in doctors and other health care stakeholders in order to ensure that new technologies and applications are actually useful to the health care system -- something which is currently fragmented at best, according to a recent paper from North Carolina State University.

How plants absorb pollutants
Scientists investigate the distribution of contaminants in the roots of ryegrass. 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