Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 17, 2011
Robert H. Dott, Jr., awarded Marcus Milling Legendary Geoscientist Medal
The American Geological Institute is pleased to announce Dr. Robert H.

Elsevier launches Mosby's Textbook of Dental Nursing
Elsevier, the world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, announces the launch of Mosby's Textbook of Dental Nursing, a comprehensive learning resource which contains everything a pre-registration dental nurse in the UK needs to know to perform safely and effectively in the clinical environment.

Prenatal use of newer antiepileptic drugs not associated with increased risk of major birth defects
Use of newer-generation antiepileptic drugs, which are also prescribed for bipolar mood disorders and migraine headaches, during the first trimester of pregnancy was not associated with an increased risk of major birth defects in the first year of life among infants in Denmark, according to a study in the May 18 issue of JAMA.

What are the long term outcomes following stroke?
Despite the recognition of stroke as a major contributor to disability and mortality worldwide, little is known about the long-term outcomes among individuals who survive a stroke.

NYU researchers use innovative data collection method -- A video by Dutch band C-Mon & Kypski
Researchers at New York University's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences have adopted an innovative data collection method for their latest work in the area of computer vision -- a music video created by the Dutch progressive-electro band C-Mon & Kypski.

NJIT and UMDNJ license personal tonometer technology for innovative glaucoma testing
The tonometer was developed by a research team led by NJIT Professor Gordon Thomas, Ph.D., and Robert Fechtner, M.D., director of the glaucoma division at UMDNJ.

Contrast agent guidelines help prevent debilitating disorder
A simple blood test may help prevent a serious complication associated with a contrast agent commonly used in MRI exams, according to a new study.

Grant extends funding for the Broad's Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research
The Stanley Medical Research Institute today announced that it will make a $50 million gift to support the Broad Institute's Stanley Center for Psychiatric Research.

Late-breaking clinical trials
Results from C91

Vitamin A, beta carotene pregnancy supplements do not appear to reduce maternal, infant death risk
Although some evidence suggests that prevention of vitamin A deficiency among women in developing countries may improve maternal and infant survival, pregnant women in rural Bangladesh who received vitamin A or beta carotene supplementation in a randomized trial did not have a lower rate of all-cause maternal, fetal, or infant death, compared to women who received placebo, according to a study in the May 18 issue of JAMA.

CHEO Research Institute develops secure protocol for data disclosure
It is important for health-care providers to report health issues, such as influenza outbreaks, to public health authorities.

No pain, big gain
In a longitudinal study published this week in the Journal of Neuroscience, a group of pain researchers from McGill University and the McGill University Health Centre posed a fundamental question: if you can alleviate chronic low back pain, can you reverse these changes in the brain?

Study shows pharmacies' software systems miss potentially dangerous interactions
A study conducted at the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy found that only 28 percent of pharmacies' clinical decision support software systems -- the computer programs that are in place to alert pharmacists to possible medication problems -- correctly identified potentially dangerous drug-drug interactions

UT physicist accelerates simulations of thin film growth
A Toledo, Ohio, researcher has implemented a new mathematical approach to accelerate complex calculations used to simulate micro-thin material formation.

Queen's scientists teaming up to cure premature baby blindness
Scientists from the School of Medicine, Dentistry and Biomedical Sciences at Queen's University Belfast are teaming up to develop a cure to an illness that can lead to blindness in premature babies, thanks to funding from children's charity Action Medical Research.

Melatonin analogue agomelatine could have role in treating major depression
A new drug class paper published online first by the Lancet looks at the use of melatonin and its analogues -- traditionally used to modify the body's internal clock (circadian system) -- in the treatment of major depression.

Obstructive sleep apnea linked to cancer growth in mice
A new study links the intermittent interruption of breathing that occurs in patients with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) to enhanced proliferation of melanoma cancer cells and increased tumor growth in mice, according to researchers in Spain.

Researchers develop hardware encryption for new computer memory technology
Security concerns are one of the key obstacles to the adoption of new non-volatile main memory (NVMM) technology in next-generation computers, which would improve computer start times and boost memory capacity.

'The Pantanal': A book on the ecology of the largest contiguous wetland in the world
This book summarizes the recent developments in wetland research in the Pantanal.

It's not easy being green
The seeds sprouting in your spring garden may still be struggling to reach the sun.

Why more African Americans turn to Twitter
It doesn't matter if you're black or white. If you're interested in celebrity and entertainment news, you're more likely to start using Twitter, according to a new Northwestern University study.

New method of unreeling cocoons could extend silk industry beyond Asia
The development and successful testing of a method for unreeling the strands of silk in wild silkworm cocoons could clear the way for establishment of new silk industries not only in Asia but also in vast areas of Africa and South America.

Panasonic Chairman and CEO Joseph M. Taylor receives doctor of science degree
Taylor has had a 20-year association with the university through programs he helped develop ranging from academic competitions to scholarships.

Highest prize in public health awarded to Dr. Harvey V. Fineberg
Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health today announced that it will award the highest prize in public health -- the Frank A.

Economic factors associated with increase in closures of emergency departments
Over the last 20 years, the number of hospital emergency departments in nonrural areas in the US has declined by nearly 30 percent, with for-profit ownership, location in a competitive market, low profit margin and safety-net status associated with an increased risk of emergency department closure, according to a study in the May 18 issue of JAMA.

'Restoring the European Beaver: 50 Years of Experience' by G. Sjoberg and J.P. Ball
The European beaver was almost led to extinction during the 19th century, and then reintroduced as a protected species during the 20th century.

Setting up cervical cancer screening programmes in the developing world
In this week's PLoS Medicine, Groesbeck Parham from the Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia, and colleagues describe their Cervical Cancer Prevention Program, which has provided services to over 58,000 women over the past five years.

UCSB scientists track environmental influences on giant kelp with help from satellite data
Scientists at UC Santa Barbara have developed new methods for studying how environmental factors and climate affect giant kelp forest ecosystems at unprecedented spatial and temporal scales.

UN program that combats diseases of poverty wins 2011 Gates Award for Global Health
TDR -- a program for research and scientific collaboration based at the World Health Organization -- has won the 2011 Gates Award for Global Health, the Global Health Council announced today.

Most common form of inherited intellectual disability may be treatable
Advancements over the last 10 years in understanding intellectual disability (ID, formerly mental retardation), have led to the once-unimaginable possibility that ID may be treatable, a review of more than 100 studies on the topic has concluded.

Stem cell study could pave the way to treatment for age-related muscle wasting
A team led by developmental biologist Professor Christophe Marcelle has nailed the mechanism that causes stem cells in the embryo to differentiate into specialized cells that form the skeletal muscles of animals' bodies.

George Mitchell commits $25 million to Giant Magellan Telescope
George P. Mitchell, founder of Mitchell Energy & Development Corp.

Molecular researchers discover novel gene linked to aging hearts
Researchers at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute have identified a novel gene in the nucleus of muscle and brain cells that affects heart development and the aging process.

Research questions reality of 'supersolid' in helium-4
The long-held, but unproven idea that helium-4 enters into an exotic phase of matter dubbed a

Penn State leads in honey bee health initiative
A nationwide network to monitor and maintain honeybee health is the aim of the Bee Informed Partnership, a five-year, $5 million program funded by the US Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture and led by Penn State.

Cole Foundation injects $700,000 into childhood cancer research
Pediatric and young adult leukemia and lymphoma research in Quebec received a massive boost today, following the Cole Foundation's announcement that it would provide more than $700,000 to be shared among 10 Université de Montréal and four McGill University young scientists.

That anxiety may be in your gut, not in your head
Working with healthy adult mice, McMaster researchers showed that disrupting the normal bacterial content of the gut with antibiotics produced changes in behavior.

Mysterious purse-web spiders rediscovered and photographed in South Africa
A team of researchers discovered poorly known purse-web spiders in Africa.

CSI: Infection
Every 30 seconds, infectious diseases such as malaria, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis kill as many people as Jack the Ripper did in his entire career.

Sharpening the nanofocus
Berkeley Lab researchers have developed an antenna-enhanced plasmonic sensing technique for the observation of single catalytic processes in nanoreactors, or the optical detection of low concentrations of biochemical agents and gases.

Halving the radiation dose in cardiac perfusion imaging is now 'feasible'
A reduction by half in the radiation dose to which cardiac patients are exposed during diagnostic perfusion imaging is now

Which technologies get better faster?
A new analysis helps predict which new systems will be on a fast track to improvements in performance.

Simple face masks could significantly prevent spread of TB to non-infected patients
Face masks worn by patients infected with tuberculosis (TB) may be able to significantly cut transmission rates to non-infected patients, according to a new study by researchers from the US and South Africa.

Sewage-derived nitrogen increasingly polluting Caribbean ecosystems
A study published in the journal Global Change Biology finds that while fertilizer has been the dominant source of nitrogen pollution in Caribbean coastal ecosystems for the past 50 years, such pollution is on the decline.

Penn research determines region of the brain necessary for making decisions about economic value
Neuroeconomic research at the University of Pennsylvania has conclusively identified a part of the brain that is necessary for making everyday decisions about value.

Smoking ban reduces emergency room admissions
Workplace smoking bans are gaining ground globally, and one study has shown that they may have significant health effects.

Dynamics of crucial protein 'switch' revealed
Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and the University of California-San Diego School of Medicine have published a study that offers a new understanding of a protein critical to physiological processes involved in major diseases such as diabetes and cancer.

Rigorous study confirms video game playing increases food intake in teens
The authors concluded that their results provide preliminary evidence that male teens playing video games for 1 hour consume more calories in the short-term than they do after 1 hour of rest.

Researchers discover underlying mechanisms of skin hardening syndromes
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have discovered new details about the underlying mechanisms of skin hardening syndromes.

Reforestation research in Latin America helps build better forests
A new special issue of Forest Ecology and Management features lessons learned from 20 years of tropical reforestation research in Latin America.

Abortions generate $95 million a year for Polish doctors as women use illegal private sector
New analysis published by the UK journal Reproductive Health Matters shows that the criminalization of abortion in Poland has led to the development of a vast illegal private sector with no controls on price, quality of care or accountability.

New form of girl's best friend is lighter than ever
By combining high pressure with high temperature, Livermore researchers have created a nanocyrstalline diamond aerogel that could improve the optics something as big as a telescope or as small as the lenses in eyeglasses.

Fueled by trees: International New Phytologist Symposium on 2nd generation biofuels
More than one hundred scientists will discuss recent developments in biofuel production from lignocellulosic biomass at the 26th New Phytologist Symposium

If families are price sensitive then they will be so regardless of the product
Do we buy things because of their attributes, their price, or out of brand loyalty?

Anti-cancer drug discovery partnership formed between UMMC and Ole Miss
The Cancer Institute at the University of Mississippi Medical Center in Jackson adds a drug discovery core through an agreement with the Oxford-based National Center for Natural Products Research at the University of Mississippi.

A virus similar to herpes could be a risk factor for multiple sclerosis
At present, while there is no cause known for this condition, patients with MS seem to have genetic vulnerability to certain environmental factors that could trigger this condition, such as the Epstein-Barr virus.

Breast cancer: A new treatment avenue identified
Researchers at the CHUM Research Centre and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Australia have identified a new avenue for treating breast cancer.

Penn researchers identify the roots of memory impairment resulting from sleep deprivation
From high-school students to surgeons, anyone who has pulled an all-nighter knows there is a price to be paid the next day: trouble focusing, a fuzzy memory and other cognitive impairments.

Forest Service unveils first comprehensive forecast on southern forests
The USDA Forest Service and the Southern Group of State Foresters released the first phase of the Southern Forest Futures Project report on Tuesday, May 17, which identifies areas forest managers will focus on to maintain southern forests in the coming years.

Media invitation: Pioneer of organ-on-a-chip technology to speak at Imperial College London
The potential of microscopic organ-on-a-chip devices that mimic the way real organs work, so that scientists and engineers can model the effects of therapies more accurately, will be discussed by a pioneer in bioengineering at Imperial College London this week.

Social network helps in discovery of a species of plant lice for the first time in Europe
Spanish researchers from the University of Leon have discovered plant lice species in Madrid, Spain, from a photography displayed on a social network platform,

Deer tick bacteria DNA in joint fluid not reliable marker of active lyme arthritis
New research shows that polymerase chain reaction testing for Borrelia burgdorferi DNA -- the spirochetal bacteria transmitted by deer ticks -- in joint fluid may confirm the diagnosis of Lyme arthritis, but is not a reliable indicator for active joint infection in patients whose arthritis persists after antibiotic therapy.

A 'brain wave' test for schizophrenia risk?
In this new study, the researchers followed a group of people clinically at high risk for developing psychosis.

Landslides: How rainfall dried up Panama's drinking water
An aerial survey of landslides, donated by LightHawk, helps a Smithsonian scientist to evaluate the effect of a prolonged tropical storm on the water supply in the Panama Canal watershed.

Cockroach allergens in homes associated with prevalence of childhood asthma in some neighborhoods
Researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health compared the household presence of cockroach, mouse, cat, dust mite and other allergens in neighborhoods with a high prevalence of asthma to that in low-prevalence neighborhoods.

Experimental treatment offers relief from painful prostate condition
New findings show that treatment with a specific alpha blocker helps reduce symptoms and improve quality of life for men with chronic prostatitis/chronic pelvic pain syndrome (CP/CPPS).

Safety concerns about adulterated drug ingredients
Government regulators and pharmaceutical companies are moving to address a major new risk for the global supply of medicines: the possibility that unsafe ingredients are entering the supply chain as pharmaceutical companies increasingly outsource the production of drug ingredients to third parties.

Neiker-Tecnalia participates in a European project for improving the welfare of farm animals
The Department of Animal Production at Neiker-Tecnalia, with the cooperation of Ikerbasque, is participating in the AWIN -- Animal Welfare Indicators project.

Too posh to push? The increasing trend for cesarean section
During the last 30 years there has been an increase in the number of babies born by cesarean section.

Mitigating mummy berry disease of blueberry
Blueberries may be nutritional powerhouses, but some types are no match for the fungus Monilinia vaccinii-corymbosi, which causes

Can lifestyle counselling prevent adverse outcomes in pregnant women at high risk?
In this week's PLoS Medicine, Riitta Luoto and colleagues from the UKK Institute for Health Promotion Research, and University of Tampere, Finland, evaluate whether lifestyle interventions can reduce the risk of high birthweight babies and gestational diabetes amongst pregnant women at high risk for these outcomes.

Patients who see preferred doctor less likely to go for emergency hospital admission
A new study led by the University of Leicester has concluded that being able to see the GP of your choice in a doctor's surgery helps to reduce emergency hospital admissions.

Deprivation and neglect found to age children's chromosomes
Studies in institutionalized Romanian children have found that the length of time spent in conditions of social deprivation and neglect correlates with lower IQ and behavioral problems.

'Family-Group Names in Coleoptera (Insecta)' published by Pensoft
More than in any other group of living organisms, the publication of scientific names for the order Coleoptera has been prolific, both at the species level, and in the suprageneric ranks, as a result of their exceptional morphological diversity.

Modern treatments for GERD effective at achieving long-term remission for most patients
In an evaluation of contemporary antireflux therapies for chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), most patients who received treatment with either the proton pump inhibitor esomeprazole or laparoscopic antireflux surgery achieved and remained in disease remission for 5 years, according to a study in the May 18 issue of JAMA.

'Blueprint' for blocking MMP may unlock new treatments for deadly blood infection
Researchers studying the life threatening infectious disease sepsis have discovered how the infection can lead to a fatal inflammatory response through blood vessel cells.

Springer strengthens its position as leading publisher of scientific literature in China
Thomson Reuters has announced that Building Simulation, an international journal co-published by Springer and Tsinghua University Press, is now listed in the Science Citation Index-Expanded.

Scientists discover switch to speed up stem cell production
A team of scientists from Genome Institute of Singapore of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research have shown how proteins involved in controlling genes work together to carry out their functions in stem cells and demonstrated for the very first time, how they can change interaction partners to make other types of cells.

EMAS publishes position statement about the post-reproductive health of women
Elsevier announced the publication of an important position statement from the European Menopause and Andropause Society (EMAS) in the journal Maturitas on managing menopausal women with a personal or family history of venous thromboembolism.

Of moose and men
Country roadways can be hazardous for moose and men. According to estimates, millions of vehicles collide with moose, elk and caribou each year.

Biting back: Research could lead to mosquitoes being susceptible to diseases they transmit
A Kansas State University biologist is using a nearly $1.5 million NIH grant to study the role of the serpin-2 molecule in mosquito immunity.

Sodium channels evolved before animals' nervous systems, research shows
An essential component of animal nervous systems -- sodium channels -- evolved prior to the evolution of those systems, researchers from the University of Texas at Austin have discovered.

NASA selects SwRI mass spectrometer for technology development funding
NASA has selected Southwest Research Institute's MAss Spectrometer for Planetary EXploration for technology development funding.

Malaysia eyes green science, technologies for entry into world's developed country club
Resolved to become a

University of Akron to help Saudis establish elastomer training institute
UA's location in the

Staff-prisoner relationships are key to prison quality
As public sector prisons move towards the thin staffing level model of profit-making institutions, with their high turnover of personnel who are less connected to their occupation, a study funded by the Economic and Social Research Council warns of a potentially detrimental impact on prison quality.

New book explores stem cell therapies for heart disease
A new book edited by researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and the Stony Brook University School of Medicine provides a comprehensive look at the science and application of cellular therapies aimed at the leading cause of death -- heart disease.

Understanding a bacterial immune system 1 step at a time
Researchers at the University of Alberta have taken an important step in understanding an immune system of bacteria, a finding that could have implications for medical care and both the pharmaceutical and dairy industries.

Clubbers can smell a good nightspot
Since the smoking ban in restaurants, bars and nightclubs, customers are more aware of unpleasant smells that used to be masked by cigarette smoke.

Real nature beats technological stand-ins for human well-being
As our environment degrades and technology improves, can technological versions of nature become suitable replacements?

Pulmonary Hypertension Association names Dr. Ronald Oudiz recipient of 2011 Award of Excellence
Dr. Ronald Oudiz, a LA BioMed researcher, wins the 2011 PHA Award of Excellence.

True love may wait -- but waiting won't make you a safer lover later on
Whether sex education focuses only on abstinence or teaches students about contraception and other topics as well, it all shares one main message: wait.

Building confidence increases short-term exercise gains in COPD patients
Patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are more likely to increase physical activity on a day-to-day basis when exercises classes are combined with a confidence-building program, according to researchers from Michigan and Illinois.

Greenhouse ocean study offers warning for future
The mass extinction of marine life in our oceans during prehistoric times is a warning that the Earth will see such an extinction again because of high levels of greenhouse gases, according to new research by geologists.

Better passwords get with the beat
No password is 100 percent secure. There are always ways and means for those with malicious intent to hack, crack or socially engineer access to a password.

Coffee may reduce risk of lethal prostate cancer in men
Men who regularly drink coffee appear to have a lower risk of developing a lethal form of prostate cancer, according to a new study led by Harvard School of Public Health researchers.

Pro athletes ought to bargain outside federal court, legal scholar says
Labor law expert Michael LeRoy says as long as federal judges continue to enable NFL players to bargain in the courthouse, and not at the traditional bargaining table, collective bargaining will be a stunted institution in professional sports. 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