Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 31, 2011
Nanoscale waveguide for future photonics
Berkeley Lab researchers have demonstrated the first true nanoscale waveguides for next generation on-chip optical communication systems.

Key goals for building on 30 years of HIV/AIDS research
In the 30 years since the first reported cases of a mysterious illness now known as AIDS, researchers have made extraordinary advances in understanding, treating and preventing the disease.

Study finds nighttime organ transplant surgery not associated with poorer survival after 1 year
An analysis of data on heart and lung transplant recipients indicates that patients who had transplant surgery performed at nighttime did not have a significantly different rate of survival up to one year after organ transplantation, according to a study in the June 1 issue of JAMA.

Long-term study data supports association between childhood ADHD and substance abuse risk
Analysis of data from two long-term studies of the impact of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder on the development of psychiatric disorders in young adults confirms that ADHD alone significantly increases the risk of cigarette smoking and substance abuse in both boys and girls.

Similarities cause protein misfolding
A large number of illnesses stem from misfolded proteins, molecules composed of amino acids.

Starting early
Six young researchers from the fields of mathematics/computer science, physics and chemistry had two reasons to celebrate during this year's award ceremony for Germany's competition

Study: Biodegradable products may be bad for the environment
Research from North Carolina State University shows that so-called biodegradable products are likely doing more harm than good in landfills, because they are releasing a powerful greenhouse gas as they break down.

Origins of XMRV deciphered, undermining claims for a role in human disease
Delineation of the origin of the retrovirus known as XMRV from the genomes of laboratory mice indicates that the virus is unlikely to be responsible for either prostate cancer or chronic fatigue syndrome in humans, as has been widely published.

Steady relationships reduce amphetamine's rewarding effects
Long-term relationships make the commonly abused drug amphetamine less appealing, according to a new animal study in the June 1 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

Scripps Research scientists find key mechanism in transition to alcohol dependence
A team of Scripps Research Institute scientists has found a key biological mechanism underpinning the transition to alcohol dependence.

Conference to address health and security implications of global water management
The challenges and opportunities of sustaining a safe global water supply will be the focus of a University of South Florida College of Public Health conference bringing together international experts from academia, government, the military, non-governmental organizations and the private sector.

Scientists crack the spiders' web code
Decorative white silk crosses are an ingenious tactic used by orb-weaving spiders to protect their webs from damage, a new study from the University of Melbourne, Australia, has revealed.

The alcohol industry needs more scrutiny
The influence of

Plant biology meets up with computational wizardry
A crucial first step along the path to increasing world food security is a fundamental understanding of how plants respond to extreme changes in their environment.

LA BioMed investigators honored for studies of obesity and rare genetic disorder
LA BioMed researchers have been honored for studies of the causes of obesity and better treatments for a rare genetic disorder.

Provision of subsidized malaria drugs in shops improves uptake
Reporting the findings of a cluster randomized trial carried out in rural Kenya, Beth Kangwana and colleagues find that provision of packs of the malaria therapy artemether-lumefantrine in shops at a subsidized price more than doubled the proportion of children with fever who received drugs promptly.

From seawater to freshwater with a nanotechnology filter
In this month's Physics World, Jason Reese, Weir Professor of Thermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics at the University of Strathclyde, describes the role that carbon nanotubes could play in the desalination of water, providing a possible solution to the problem of the world's ever-growing population demanding more and more fresh drinking water.

Bilingualism no big deal for brain, Kansas researcher finds
There are many complicated theories on how the brain processes more than one language but Mike Vitevitch found that how words sound provides enough information to distinguish which language a word belongs to.

New endemic beetles discovered in Iberian Peninsula
A European research team, with Spanish participation, has described two new beetle species measuring two millimeters in length.

Carnegie Mellon researchers uncover how the brain processes faces
Until now, scientists believed that only a couple of brain areas mediate facial recognition.

What can we do about death? Reinventing the American medical system
In a feature article in the New Republic, Daniel Callahan and Sherwin Nuland propose a radical reinvention of the American medical system requiring new ways of thinking about living, aging, and dying.

Higher return to prison for women without drug abuse programs
Female prisoners who did not participate in a drug treatment program after their release were 10 times more likely to return to prison within one year than other prisoners, a new study has found.

Cells do talk to one another, but the question remains how
Systems biology and tissue engineering experts are using liver mimic to study inter-cellular communication.

PLoS NTDs press release -- cholera in Haiti
Debate about the public health response to Haiti's cholera epidemic continues as the crisis enters its ninth month, with some experts arguing that a vaccination campaign in Haiti would be neither feasible nor cost-effective, and advocating putting forth other measures.

Climate change allows invasive weed to outcompete local species
Yellow starthistle already causes millions of dollars in damage to pastures in western states each year, and as climate changes, land managers can expect the problem with that weed and others to escalate.

Sleep loss lowers testosterone in healthy young men
Cutting back on sleep drastically reduces a healthy young man's testosterone levels, according to a study published in the June 1 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Gene change identifies brain cancer patients that respond better to treatment
New research proves that a change in a particular gene can identify which patients with a specific kind of brain cancer will respond better to treatment.

Breaking the fracture cycle through effective and coordinated models of care
A prior fracture at least doubles a patient's future fracture risk -- yet numerous studies from across the world have found that health-care systems fail to respond to the first fracture to prevent future fractures.

ASPB awards 15 summer undergraduate research fellowships
The American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) has named the recipients of its 2011 Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) awards.

UCI researchers find link between environment and genetics in triggering MS
Environmental and inherited risk factors associated with multiple sclerosis - previously poorly understood and not known to be connected -- converge to alter a critical cellular function linked to the chronic neurologic disease, researchers with the UC Irvine Multiple Sclerosis Research Center have discovered.

Diabetic drug could help prevent the spread of cancer
A protein activated by certain drugs already approved for treating type II diabetes may slow or stop the spread of breast tumors.

Vaccine increases disease-free survival for follicular lymphoma patients
A lymphoma vaccine uniquely tailored for each patient extends disease-free survival by 14 months, with signs of an even better response for patients with a specific biological marker, a team led by scientists at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center reported today in the online version of Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Penn researchers help nanoscale engineers choose self-assembling proteins
Engineering structures on the smallest possible scales -- using molecules and individual atoms as building blocks -- is both physically and conceptually challenging.

Big city holds empty promise for bats
In the treeless, flat Prairie, you'd think a city would provide a good home for bats who like to snuggle up and roost in trees and buildings.

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and University of Miami sign collaboration agreement
In coming months, both universities will focus on developing collaborative and cooperative programs of study in the fields of humanities and fine arts, social and behavioral sciences, engineering and mathematics, earth sciences and management sciences.

Fracture prediction methods may be useful for patients with diabetes
Use of established fracture prediction methods in older patients with Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) found that scores from these methods were associated with hip and nonspine fracture risk, and a certain score associated with higher risk of fracture compared to persons without DM, according to a study in the June 1 issue of JAMA.

Drug can reverse overgrown hearts to help prevent heart failure, UT Southwestern researchers find
A promising cancer treatment drug can restore function of a heart en route to failure from high blood pressure, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found.

Embargoed news from Annals of Internal Medicine
In an article published today in Annals of Internal Medicine, the flagship journal of the American College of Physicians, authors suggest broader use of compassionate release in the nation's prison system.

Threshold hemoglobin and mortality in people with stable coronary disease
In this week's PLoS Medicine, Anoop Shah of University College London and colleagues report that, in people with stable coronary disease, there were threshold haemoglobin values below which mortality increased in a graded, continuous fashion.

New research may lead to improved diagnosis of autism
Functional magnetic resonance imaging may provide an early and objective indicator of autism, according to researchers at Columbia University in New York City, who used the technique to document language impairment in autistic children.

Facelift incision offers safe option for some thyroid patients
A facelift incision and robotics can help surgeons safely remove a portion of a diseased thyroid from some patients without the characteristic neck scar.

Potential new drug candidate found for Alzheimer's disease
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, the Medical University of South Carolina and American Life Science Pharmaceuticals of San Diego have demonstrated that oral administration of a cysteine protease inhibitor, E64d, not only reduces the build-up of beta-amyloid in the brains of animal models for Alzheimer's disease, but also results in a substantial improvement in memory deficit.

'Dead' galaxies aren't so dead after all, U-M researchers find
University of Michigan astronomers examined old galaxies and were surprised to discover that they are still making new stars.

Blueberry's effects on cholesterol examined in lab animal study
Laboratory hamsters that were fed rations spiked with blueberry peels and other blueberry-juice-processing leftovers had better cholesterol health than hamsters whose rations weren't enhanced with blueberries.

Study finds increases in rain, temperature could signal cholera outbreaks months ahead
With recent deadly cholera outbreaks in Haiti and Cameroon providing the latest indication of a menacingly resurgent disease, scientists have discovered rain and temperature fluctuations in at-risk areas could predict epidemics months in advance, according to a new study published today in the June 2011 issue of the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Stamping out low cost nanodevices
A team of Vanderbilt engineers have developed a rapid and low-cost imprinting process that can stamp out a variety of devices that have unique optical, electrical, chemical and mechanical properties.

HbA1C test for glucose monitoring poorly predictive in dialysis patients
The gold standard long-term glucose monitoring test for patients with diabetes proved to be of limited value in dialysis patients, according to a new study at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Highly cited studies on biomarkers often report larger effect size estimates than subsequent studies
Frequently cited studies involving associations of biomarkers report effect sizes that are often larger when compared to summary estimates from meta-analyses evaluating the same associations, according to a study in the June 1 issue of JAMA.

Code green: Energy-efficient programming to curb computers' power use
A new system called EnerJ helps computer programmers go green, letting them cut a program's energy consumption by up to 50 percent.

Support for local community programs key to climate change response in Arctic
Johnson's research has taken her to Kanngiqtugaapik (Clyde River) on Baffin Island, Nunavut.

Lasers used to form 3-D crystals made of nanoparticles
University of Michigan physicists used the electric fields generated by intersecting laser beams to trap and manipulate thousands of microscopic plastic spheres, thereby creating 3-D arrays of optically induced crystals.

Noise research to combat 'wind turbine syndrome'
University of Adelaide acoustics researchers are investigating the causes of wind turbine noise with the aim of making them quieter and solving

Extra weight equals better health-related quality of life for blacks, not so for women
A survey of nearly 4,000 Americans finds that obese women reported significantly worse health than obese men.

Association between biomarkers and disease often overstated, Stanford researcher finds
ore than two dozen widely cited studies linking genes or other

Kids who bully, are aggressive are twice as likely to have sleep problems
Children who are bullies or have conduct problems at school, are more likely to be sleepy during the day according to University of Michigan Medical School researchers.

California scientists discover how vitamins and minerals may prevent age-related diseases
Severe deficiency of the vitamins and minerals required for life is relatively uncommon in developed nations, but modest deficiency is very common and often not taken seriously.

British and Canadian synchrotrons sign agreement
Making the power of synchrotron light available to more businesses, building new experimental equipment and developing new capabilities are three of the areas for collaboration between Diamond Light Source Ltd. and Canadian Light Source Inc.

Mouse virus erroneously linked to chronic fatigue syndrome, UCSF collaborative study finds
Two years ago, a widely publicized scientific report plucked an old mouse virus out of obscurity and held it up as a possible cause of chronic fatigue syndrome.

Online advertising waters down impact of offline ad bans
Research shows online advertising works especially well in places with government ad bans.

Team solves decades-old molecular mystery linked to blood clotting
Blood clotting is a complicated business, particularly for scientists trying to understand how the body responds to injury.

Noninvasive wireless near-infrared device provides reliable diagnosis of bladder dysfunction
A cell phone-sized, wireless near-infrared device is as reliable as the current

Medical ethicists working in hospitals need to have standards
A Queen's University professor is helping standardize practices for health-care ethicists who consult and give guidance on medical ethics issues to doctors, nurses and patients across the country.

Nighttime surgery not a factor in survival for heart and lung transplants
Despite concerns that surgeon fatigue is leading to dangerous complications for patients and data showing worse outcomes for many patients who undergo surgery at night, new Johns Hopkins research suggests that -- in the case of heart and lung transplants -- time of day has no affect on patient survival.

Why childhood obesity? It's so much more than what kids eat
University of Illinois scientists from a variety of disciplines have teamed up to examine the factors that contribute to childhood obesity.

FRAVE: Flexible virtual reality system
Product developers, vehicle design engineers and trainee pilots increasingly utilize 3-D worlds, operating in a virtual space created by realistic images in real time.

Elsevier enriches online articles with Google Maps
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, announced today that Google Maps functionality is now available in its journals.

Measuring the next generation of life-saving pollution sensors
New research from the UK's National Physical Laboratory is helping Duvas Technologies Ltd. to develop improved air quality monitoring instrumentation.

Link between influenza vaccination in pregnancy and reduced risk of premature birth
A study published in this week's PLoS Medicine suggests that there might be an association between maternal immunization with inactivated influenza vaccine during pregnancy and reduced likelihood of prematurity and the baby being small for gestational age.

Void in leadership on world water crisis cited by 20 former heads of government
Former heads of government from around the world today agreed to establish a new panel to help fill a serious void in leadership related to global water issues.

Elsevier launches new journal: International Journal of Paleopathology
Elsevier is pleased to announce the launch of the new International Journal of Paleopathology, the official journal of the Paleopathology Association.

Egg cartons not accurate in reporting animal welfare claims
If you think that you're using humanely produced eggs for your omelets or deviled eggs, think again.

AGU journal highlights -- May 31, 2011
This release features research papers on the following topics:

Good guy or bad guy? Diagnosing stomach disease in pet reptiles
Indigestion is surprisingly common in pet snakes and other reptiles.

UK advice on sun creams 'not in the interests of public health,' warns DTB
The strength of sun cream recently recommended by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to stave off sunburn is far too low and

Virginia Tech mechanical engineers win measurement science best paper award
A paper on how to non-intrusively measure the pressure distribution at the interior of a flow field has received the Outstanding Paper Award in fluid mechanics from the Measurement Science and Technology Journal, published by the American Institute of Physics.

Harvard scientists 'see' the early cellular cause of dry eye disease for the first time
If you are one of the millions who struggle with dry eye disease, good news is here.

Storing seeds for a rainy day -- or in this case, a fire
Dr. Francois Teste and colleagues from the University of Alberta in Canada have been investigating the effect of mountain pine beetle outbreaks on lodgepole pines in British Columbia.

With global warming, Arctic access will diminish by land but improve by sea
Global warming over the next 40 years will cut through the Arctic transportation networks like a double-edged sword, limiting access by land and vastly increasing it by sea, predicts a new study by UCLA geographers.

Embargoed news from Annals of Internal Medicine
In an article published today in Annals of Internal Medicine, the flagship journal of the American College of Physicians (ACP), Dr.

Antibodies successful in the treatment of the hemolytic-uremic syndrome from EHEC
A team of physicians from Heidelberg, Montreal, and Paris report on the successful treatment of three young children in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Study finds dangerous bacteria on cell phones of hospital patients
Cell phones used by patients and their visitors were twice as likely to contain potentially dangerous bacteria as those of health-care workers, according to a study published in the June issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of APIC -- the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

Ocean acidification leaves clownfish deaf to predators
Baby clownfish use hearing to detect and avoid predator-rich coral reefs during the daytime, but new research from the University of Bristol demonstrates that ocean acidification could threaten this crucial behavior within the next few decades.

Education research helps under-achieving students
The leaders of Canada's university education departments came together today at the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Fredericton, New Brunswick, to commit to creating the knowledge, expertise and evidence needed to keep Canada's education system globally competitive.

The real space saver: NC State students look to support manned mission to Mars
What would it take to make a manned mission to Mars a reality?

Springer launches network of job sites
Springer has launched a network of job sites designed to attract and showcase the unique talent and highly qualified audience that uses Springer tools which are some of the industry's most trusted, prestigious and trafficked sites for research.

Early use of corticosteroids speeds recovery from community-acquired pneumonia
The addition of corticosteroids to antibiotics might reduce disease severity and help patients with community-acquired pneumonia (CAP) recover more quickly than treatment with antibiotics alone.

Searching the web for dengue
Researchers at Children's Hospital Boston and have found Web-based search data to be a viable source of information for early detection and monitoring of outbreaks of dengue, an emerging mosquito-borne virus found in tropical areas of the world.

More than one-third of California teens do not participate in school physical education
Despite a state requirement of 400 minutes of physical education every 10 days, approximately 1.3 million California public middle and high school students -- more than one-third (38 percent) of all California adolescents enrolled in public schools -- do not participate in any school-based physical education classes, according to a new policy brief from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

First controlled clinical trial for Juvenile Batten disease to start
Rochester researchers and clinicians will begin the first controlled clinical trial for Juvenile Batten disease this summer, thanks to $1 million in grants from the Food and Drug Administration and the Batten Disease Support and Research Association.

EARTH: D-Day's legacy sands
Next week marks the 67th anniversary of D-Day, when the Allies stormed the beaches at Normandy, France, and changed the face of World War II.

Cosmetics can cause serious adverse effects
Permanent hair dye gives the most serious adverse effects, yet there are also many reactions to facial and body moisturizers.

People with mental illness have higher mortality after heart attacks but receive inferior care
New research from the University of Leicester raises concerns about higher than expected mortality following acute coronary events such as heart attack in those with significant mental ill health.

Society of Interventional Radiology inducts new fellows
The Society of Interventional Radiology inducted 26 new Fellows during its 36th Annual Scientific Meeting this past March in Chicago, Ill.

Constantiner Prize goes to educators who serve a 'human mosaic' in Israel
The Dr. Jaime Constantiner Prize in Jewish Education, awarded annually by Tel Aviv University at its international Board of Governors Meeting, was presented on May 16 to the Department of Education of Or Yehuda and its director, Tamar Hakimi.

2 NASA satellites see Typhoon Songda weaken and move past Japan
Typhoon Songda over the past weekend. Former Super typhoon Songda brought rainfall to parts of Japan over the weekend and today marine warnings for high surf remain in several Sub-prefecture regions as extra-tropical depression Sondga's remnants push further out to sea.

Difficulties in diagnosing dementia type
Many patients receive an incorrect dementia diagnosis. This is shown by a study carried out by neuropathology researchers in Lund, Sweden.

Tucson tragedy; college athletes and drinking; depression in adolescents; and yoga and drug use
The latest research results on many aspects of prevention of social, mental and physical disorders as well as academic challenges will be presented at this meeting.

Web interface defines new paradigm for life science data-sharing
A new lightweight Web service interface for accessing massive amounts of life science research data across multiple public and private domains has been developed by researchers at RIKEN, Japan's flagship research institute.

UNH researchers receive grant for pioneering carbon cycle model
Scientists Jingfeng Xiao and Scott Ollinger of the University of New Hampshire's Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space have received funding from the National Science Foundation under the first round of competitively awarded grants for the agency's new Macrosystems Biology program. 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