Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 08, 2011
Surveys confirm enormous value of science museums, 'free choice' learning
One of the first studies of its type has confirmed that a science museum can strongly influence the public's knowledge and attitudes about science and technology, and to a surprising degree can cut across racial, ethnic, educational and economic barriers.

Scripps Research scientists find 'dual switch' regulates fat formation
New research by scientists at the Scripps Research Institute and collaborating institutions has identified a key regulator of fat cell development that may provide a target for obesity and diabetes drugs.

Americans' views of college access varied, often inflated
An Indiana University study found that many Americans had inflated views of minority students' opportunities to attend college, yet a large contingent -- around 43 percent of people surveyed -- believed that low income students had fewer opportunities.

Emory AIDS pioneerhonored with national award
James W. Curran, M.D., M.P.H., dean of Emory's Rollins School of Public Health, has been selected as the 2011 recipient of the Ryan White Distinguished Leadership Award.

Biologist Belovsky's paper offers new insights into predator/prey relationships
A new paper by University of Notre Dame biologist Gary Belovsky suggests that predator/prey relationships are much more complex than originally thought.

Effects of a large reduction in alcohol prices on mortality in Finland
Does a reduction in the price of alcohol result in an increase in deaths due to alcohol?

'Naked' penguins baffle experts
Researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society, the University of Washington, and other groups are grappling with a wildlife mystery: why are some penguin chicks losing their feathers?

Penn research advances understanding of lead selenide nanowires
A research team at the University of Pennsylvania's schools of Engineering and Applied Science and Arts and Sciences has shown how to control the characteristics of semiconductor nanowires made of a promising material: lead selenide.

Atherosclerotic plaques formed during a late and limited time period in life
In a new study performed in humans, researchers from Sweden's Karolinska Institutet have determined the age of atherosclerotic plaques by taking advantage of Carbon-14 (14C) residues in the atmosphere, prevailing after the extensive atomic bomb tests in the 50ties and 60ties.

Soft matter -- the stuff that dreams are made of
While hard to believe, things as disparate as fog, tennis shoes, chocolate mousse, and proteins have something in common.

UC Riverside entomologists propose pesticide-free method to increase egg production
With the Easter holiday season coming up soon, egg consumption is expected to rise temporarily.

Environmental education in schools: Lessons from schools in Israel
An Indiana University study examining the adoption of environmental education by schools in Israel found that school change was assisted by community-based grassroots efforts, not just 'top-down' school policy.

Scientists find potential benefit of hypericin for recurrent brain tumors
Researchers have found that a synthetic version of hypericin, a compound naturally found in St.

People control thoughts better when they see their brain activity: UBC study
UBC researchers find that real-time brain feedback significantly improves people's ability to control their thoughts and effectively

Scientists develop 'universal' virus-free method to turn blood cells into 'beating' heart cells
Johns Hopkins scientists have developed a simplified, cheaper, all-purpose method they say can be used by scientists around the globe to more safely turn blood cells into heart cells.

Digestive experts grade treatment options for inflammatory bowel disease
The American College of Gastroenterology published a new evidence-based systematic review on the management of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) as a supplement to The American Journal of Gastroenterology for April 2011, a special issue entirely dedicated to IBD.

Breast-cancer awareness now in national consciousness
Each October, the color pink marks the arrival of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Stanford/Boston VA team develop new clinical trial approach to reduce time, costs of many studies
Doctors at the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System are testing a new kind of clinical trial that's not only less costly but guides doctors to switch to the best treatment even before the trial is completed.

Nanoparticles increase biofuel performance
A new study in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy shows that the addition of alumina nanoparticles can improve the performance and combustion of biodiesel, while producing fewer emissions.

World's seismologists gather in Memphis to discuss latest earthquake science research
This tip sheet highlights presentations at the upcoming international meeting of SSA, which is an international scientific society devoted to the advancement of seismology and its applications in understanding and mitigating earthquake hazards and in imaging the structure of the Earth.

Free software makes computer mouse easier for people with disabilities
As the population ages, more people are having trouble with motor control, but a University of Washington team has invented two mouse cursors that make clicking targets a whole lot easier.

Newly merged black hole eagerly shreds stars
A galaxy's core is a busy place, crowded with stars swarming around an enormous black hole.

Bacterial genome may hold answers to mercury mystery
A newly sequenced bacterial genome from a team led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory could contain clues as to how microorganisms produce a highly toxic form of mercury.

Cookies or careers?
New research analyzing boy scout and girl scout manuals finds that -- despite positive aspects -- scouts are being fed stereotypical ideas about femininity and masculinity.

IPF drug fails in new trial
A new study has demonstrated no significant benefit of taking the drug bosentan for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

Late diagnosis is major factor in hospital cancer deaths
Late cancer diagnosis in Northern Ireland contributes to hospital deaths despite patient's preference to die at home according to a major report launched at Queen's University Belfast.

NIH researchers identify cause and new treatment for common recurrent fever in children
A preliminary study conducted by a team at the National Institutes of Health has identified a promising new treatment in children for the most common form of a rare disorder.

Stanford's virtual reality lab focuses on conservation
Cutting down a virtual redwood with a virtual chainsaw may lead you to save trees by recycling more paper.

Maritime laser demonstrator
Marking a milestone for the Navy, the Office of Naval Research and its industry partner on April 6 successfully tested a solid-state, high-energy laser from a surface ship, which disabled a small target vessel.

Reformed Medicaid program must put coordinated care at forefront of efforts
A reformed Medicaid program must put coordinated primary care at the forefront of its efforts, the American College of Physicians said in a new position paper released today at Internal Medicine 2011, ACP's annual scientific meeting.

US Justice Department honors UCI's efforts to prevent elder abuse
The US Department of Justice has honored Dr. Laura Mosqueda and UC Irvine's Elder Abuse Forensic Center with a 2011 Award for Professional Innovation in Victim Services.

What sea squirts can teach us about the heart
Scientists and clinicians at the University of Arizona are working together to develop better diagnostics and therapies to manage heart defects in newborns.

ASH partners with AMEH and National Cancer Institute to improve diagnosis of leukemia in Mexico
A workshop being held today will serve as the launch of a unique project that unites the American Society of Hematology, the Agrupación Mexicana para el Estudio de la Hematología and the National Cancer Institute in pursuit of a common goal: improving the care of patients with acute myeloid leukemia.

Dopamine controls formation of new brain cells
A study of the salamander brain has led researchers at the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet to discover a hitherto unknown function of the neurotransmitter dopamine.

Are invasive plants a threat to native biodiversity? It depends on the spatial scale
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New warm line helps clinicians tackle patients' substance abuse
A free, nationwide service was launched today to help primary care providers seeking to identify and advise substance-abusing patients.

Registration open for 2011 ADA Annual Session in Las Vegas
Registration is now open for the American Dental Association's 152nd Annual Session and World Marketplace Exhibition to be held at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center from Oct.

A world first: The discovery of a common genetic cause of autism and epilepsy
Researchers from the CHUM Research Centre have identified a new gene that predisposes people to both autism and epilepsy.

This year's Johan Skytte Prize winners announced
The 2011 Johan Skytte Prize is awarded to Ronald Inglehart, University of Michigan, and Pippa Norris, Harvard University for contributing innovative ideas about the relevance and roots of political culture in a global context.

NYU Langone experts present advances at American Association of Neurological Surgeons Meeting
Neurosurgeons from NYU Langone Medical Center will present techniques and discuss surgical approaches and applications of technology at the annual meeting of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, held April 9-13, 2011, at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver.

Research shows blood protein levels may predict risk of a cardiovascular event: Study
Increased levels of a protein that helps regulate the body's blood pressure may also predict a major cardiovascular event in high-risk patients, according to a study led by St.

US House budget plans would jeopardize scientific research facilities
Slashing spending on science, as the House budget plans call for, would harm national scientific research facilities and force scientists to end critical research.

Center to revolutionize chemical manufacture is open for business
A center for revolutionizing the way pharmaceuticals and other chemicals are made is being officially launched.

Outsmarting cancer cells: SLU scientists learn how they spread
Saint Louis University researchers have found that a molecule known as CRSBP-1 ligands binds to a receptor on the surface of lymphatic vessels, acting like the token to gain entry into the lymphatic vessel network.
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