Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 28, 2011
CT angiography improves detection of heart disease in African-Americans
Researchers may have discovered one reason that African-Americans are at increased risk for heart attacks and other cardiovascular events.

Multimedia stories show how engineers shape the future
The National Science Foundation (NSF) today released a special report featuring the work of a creative group of researchers -- engineers who are investigating new phenomena, devising new capabilities, and designing new technologies.

Misconceptions of risk
Professor Terje Aven has an ambitious goal, to build a scientific platform for the fields of risk assessment and risk management.

Landmark editorial denounces 'poor publication practices' in spine research
A landmark editorial in the nation's leading spine journal is challenging the integrity of published industry-sponsored research involving a bone-growth product.

Tapping titanium's colorful potential
A new, cost-effective process for coloring titanium can be used in manufacturing products from sporting equipment to color-coded nuclear waste containers.

Can soda tax curb obesity?
To many, a tax on soda is a no-brainer in advancing the nation's war on obesity.

Splitsville for boron nitride nanotubes
Berkeley Lab researchers, working with scientists at Rice University, have developed a technique for mass-producing defect-free boron nitride nanoribbons (BNNRs) of uniform length and thickness.

Abatacept slows loss of insulin-producing beta-cells in type 1 diabetes, but only for first 6 months
In type 1 diabetes, autoimmunity destroys the insulin-producing beta-cells in the pancreas.

Former UH optometry dean inducted into National Hall of Fame
A longtime dean of the University of Houston's College of Optometry recently became a member of an elite group of optometrists inducted into the National Optometry Hall of Fame.

Marketing expert finds attachment to cellphones more about entertainment, less about communication
That panicked feeling we get when the family pet goes missing is the same when we misplace our mobile phone, says a Kansas State University marketing professor.

Biocides that attack only insects
Biocides turn out to be less toxic for the environment if they are subjected to microencapsulation, due to the fact that this process forms shells for the substance.

Who's happy? How long we look at happy faces is in our genes
Though we all depend on reading people's faces, each of us sees others' faces a bit differently.

Study finds mammography screening reduces breast cancer mortality
Breast cancer screening with mammography results in a significant reduction in breast cancer mortality, according to long-term follow-up results of a large-scale Swedish trial.

Domed dinosaur king of the head butt
University of Calgary researchers surveyed the heads of a large number of modern animals as well as one of the world's best dinosaur fossils and they found that the bony anatomy of some pachycephalosaur domes are better at protecting the brain than in any modern head butter.

Producing cold-tolerant oats for autumn sowing in Sweden
Oat is the sixth most important cereal in the world.

Beyond Darwin: Evolving new functions
A recent Kavli Futures Symposium focused on the progress, and promise, of evolving biological functions in the lab.

Rockin' tortoises: A 150-year-old new species
A team of researchers investigated a desert tortoise from the Southwest USA and northwestern Mexico.

P7 protein resistance mutations identified; represent drug targets for hepatitis C virus
British researchers have identified specific resistance mutations for two classes of p7 inhibitor, which may explain their lack of effectiveness in clinical trials combined with current standard of care.

The good, the bad and the ugly: The many roles of c-JUN in cancer
The process of cell division is tightly regulated, as mistakes may lead to cancer.

Obesity is a killer in nonsmoking women
Obesity is an important contributor to premature death in women who have never smoked, especially among women in low income groups, finds research published on today.

New measurement important complement to GI
Many people are careful to follow a low glycemic index (GI) diet.

New data for linagliptin to be presented at the ADA
Boehringer Ingelheim and Lilly today announced Phase III study results for linagliptin, demonstrating improved glycemic control in adults with type 2 diabetes whose blood glucose is not adequately controlled on current therapy.

Sweating the small stuff: Early adversity, prior depression linked to high sensitivity to stress
UCLA researchers have found that people get depressed more easily following minor life stressors in part because they have experienced early life adversity or prior depressive episodes, both of which may make people more sensitive to later life stress.

Scientists measure body temperature of dinosaurs for the first time
When dinosaurs were first discovered in the mid-19th century, paleontologists thought they were plodding beasts that relied on their environment to keep warm, like modern-day reptiles.

Analyzing agroforestry management
Scientists have developed a model to help manage agroforestry systems.

Scripps Translational Science Institute joins Jackson Laboratory tumor consortium
The Scripps Translational Science Institute of San Diego, Calif., has joined a national consortium of research institutions headed by the Jackson Laboratory that is building a library of primary human tumors with the goal of developing highly targeted cancer therapies.

Hawaiian hotspot variability attributed to small-scale convection
Small scale convection at the base of the Pacific plate has been simulated in a model of mantle plume dynamics, enabling researchers to explain the complex set of observations at the Hawaiian hotspot, according to a new study posted online in the June 26 edition of Nature Geoscience.

Creating new advanced R&D tools that can build molecule-sized computer chips
The Institute of Materials Research and Engineering, a research institute of Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research, hosts the first AtMol workshop for the world's experts in the advanced tools needed to build a molecule-sized chip.

A happy life is a long one for orangutans
New research has shown that happier orangutans live longer which may provide insight into the evolution of happiness in humans.

The smell of danger
Researchers have discovered a single compound found in high concentrations in the urine of carnivores that triggers an instinctual avoidance response in mice and rats.

Researchers image graphene electron clouds, revealing how folds can harm conductivity
A research team led by University at Buffalo chemists has used synchrotron light sources to observe the electron clouds on the surface of graphene, producing a series of images that reveal how folds and ripples in the remarkable material can harm its conductivity.

Chemical produced in pancreas prevented and reversed diabetes in mice
A chemical produced by the same cells that make insulin in the pancreas prevented and even reversed Type 1 diabetes in mice, researchers at St.

GSA Bulletin highlights: New research posted June 24, 2011
Locations of study highlighted in this new research include the central and Patagonian Andes, the Tibetan Plateau, Croatia, the Quebec Appalachians, the Blue Mountain Province of Oregon, the Rio Grande, Papua New Guinea and Australia.

Fertility rates affected by global economic crisis
The global economic recession of 2008-09 has been followed by a decline in fertility rates in Europe and the United Sates, bringing to an end the first concerted rise in fertility rates across the developed world since the 1960s.

Lack of empathy following traumatic brain injury linked to reduced responsiveness to anger
Social problems often arise in people with severe traumatic brain injury and have been attributed in part to a loss of emotional empathy, the capacity to recognize and understand the emotions of other people.

Casio designates Clemson University as its Center of Academic Training
Casio's Education Division Tuesday announced that Clemson University is Casio's Center of Academic Training.

Vitamin D supplements found to be safe for healthy pregnant women
Use of vitamin D supplements during pregnancy has long been a matter of concern but now researchers writing in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research report that even a high supplementation amount in healthy pregnant women was safe and effective in raising circulating vitamin D to a level thought by some to be optimal.

Nevada study shows many Americans approve of stem cell research for curing serious diseases
While research using human embryonic stem cells has roused political controversy for almost two decades, little has been done to scientifically assess American attitudes on the subject.

Is it OK to be clever?
Norwegian schools must understand that gifted children are a national resource.

Intensive care nurses have doubts about method for establishing brain death
More than half of Sweden's intensive care nurses doubt that a clinical neurological examination can establish that a patient is brain dead.

Gene flow may help plants adapt to climate change
The traffic of genes among populations may help living things better adapt to climate change, especially when genes flow among groups most affected by warming, according to a UC Davis study of the Sierra Nevada cutleaved monkeyflower.

NSF leads interagency collaboration to develop advanced robotics
The National Science Foundation will take the lead with three other federal government agencies to support the administration's National Robotics Initiative and released a solicitation for proposals today.

Life Sciences Discovery Fund helps launch 3 programs to advance health research and development
The Life Sciences Discovery Fund (LSDF) today announced awards to three multi-institutional teams to support development of improved therapies and key resources for medical researchers and health-care policymakers.

Will new drugs block hepatitis C virus in its tracks?
Targeted multi-drug treatments for hepatitis C patients that could stop the virus in its tracks have come a step closer, thanks to researchers at the University of Leeds, UK.

Mid-Atlantic states' unique plan to replace region's dirtiest trucks
Four Mid-Atlantic States will offer one of the nation's most generous programs to replace old, polluting trucks -- short-haul

Study shows climate change makes some chemicals more toxic to aquatic life
Some areas of the southern United States are suffering from the longest dry spell since 1887 and a new Baylor University study shows that could prove problematic for aquatic organisms.

SHSU team to evaluate mental health court
A team of researchers at Sam Houston State University will evaluate a new mental health court in Montgomery County.

HIV disrupts blood-brain barrier
HIV weakens the blood-brain barrier by overtaking a small group of supporting brain cells, according to a new study in the June 29 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

Van Andel Research Institute finding could lead to reduced side effects in anti-cancer antibiotics
Most of us have had a doctor prescribe an antibiotic for a stubborn bacterial infection, or for a cut that gets infected.

New report offers roadmap for success in K-12 STEM education
From educators to leaders in industry, there is broad agreement that US schools have a crucial challenge in improving teaching and learning in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) among students from kindergarten through high school.

Wars steadily increase for over a century, fed by more borders and cheaper conflict
New research by the University of Warwick and Humboldt University shows that the frequency of wars between states increased steadily from 1870 to 2001 by 2 percent a year on average.

Alcohol blamed for high suicide rates in Northern Ireland
Alcohol and drugs are fueling homicide and suicide rates in Northern Ireland, a new independent report by University of Manchester researchers has found, with alcohol appearing to be a key factor for the country's higher suicide rates, including among mental health patients, compared to England and Wales.

Intensive, hands-on effort reduces bloodstream infections in critically ill patients
Nurses on a surgical intensive care unit at a large academic medical center cut bloodstream infections to zero and saved more than $200,000 during a six-month period.

Religion benefits traumatic brain injury victims, Wayne State University research finds
Brigid Waldron-Perrine, Ph.D., a recent graduate from Wayne State University, and her mentor, Lisa J.

Patients treated with sunitinib and sorafenib respond to flu vaccine
Patients treated with sunitinib and sorafenib responded to the flu vaccine, which suggests the agents do not damage the immune system as much as previously feared, according to a study in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Silver pen has the write stuff for flexible electronics
The pen may have bested the sword long ago, but now it's challenging wires and soldering irons.

Study raises concern over 'unintended consequences' of GP reward scheme
Improvements in quality of care associated with the GP pay for performance scheme in the UK appear to have been achieved at the expense of small detrimental effects on non-incentivised aspects of care, finds a study published on today.

Effects of Asperger's syndrome noticeable in babies
People with Asperger's syndrome have problems with social interaction and attentiveness, and are also sensitive to noise and light.

NOAA and Navy to conduct archaeological survey of 2 Civil War shipwrecks in Hampton Roads, Va.
On Monday, June 27, NOAA and the US Navy embarked today on a two-day research expedition to survey the condition of two sunken Civil War vessels that have rested on the seafloor of the James River in Hampton Roads, Va., for nearly 150 years.

Scientists discover new molecular pathway involved in wound-healing and temperature sensation
Scientists from the Scripps Research Institute have identified a surprising new molecular pathway in skin cells that is involved in wound-healing and sensory communication.

"Craving Earth" addresses reasons people eat dirt
This book looks at the age-old practice of eating dirt, chalk, ice and other non-edibles.

Improved stepladder design may decrease injuries
Stepladders, a household product used by thousands of people every day, are a surprisingly common cause of injury.

World record: The highest magnetic fields are created in Dresden
On June 22, 2011, the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf set a new world record for magnetic fields with 91.4 teslas.

Inkjet printing could change the face of solar energy industry
Inkjet printers, a low-cost technology that in recent decades has revolutionized home and small office printing, may soon offer similar benefits for the future of solar energy.

New method for imaging molecules inside cells
Using a new sample holder, researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have further developed a new method for imaging individual cells.

ASU bioengineers will expand work to solve cardiovascular health challenges
Grants from the American Heart Association will enable three Arizona State University bioengineers to broaden their efforts in research aimed at improving treatments for brain aneurysms and related cardiovascular ailments.

Tropical birds return to harvested rainforest areas in Brazil
Bird species in rainforest fragments in Brazil that were isolated by deforestation disappeared then reappeared over a quarter-century, according to research results published today in the journal PLoS ONE.

Model finds optimal fiber optic network connections 10,000 times more quickly
Designing fiber optic networks involves finding the most efficient way to connect phones and computers that are in different places -- a costly and time-consuming process.

USC scientists uncover mechanism by which chronic stress causes brain disease
Chronic stress has long been linked with neurodegeneration. Scientists at USC now think they may know why.

Jackson Pollock, artist and physicist?
A quantitative analysis of Pollock's streams, drips, and coils, by Harvard mathematician L.

How bumblebees tackle the traveling salesman problem
New research from Queen Mary, University of London reveals how bumblebees effectively plan their route between the most rewarding flowers while traveling the shortest distances.

First joint ESC/EAS guidelines for the management of dyslipidaemias
The first European guidelines specifically focused on managing lipids offer new hope to patients.

Mount Sinai researchers develop new gene therapy for heart failure
Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have found in a Phase II trial that a gene therapy developed at Mount Sinai stabilized or improved cardiac function in people with severe heart failure.

Gene variant increases fatty liver risk and fibrosis progression
New research confirms that a variant on the patatin-like phospholipase-3 (PNPLA3) gene increases risk of steatosis and fibrosis progression in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus.

New procedure treats atrial fibrillation
Doctors at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are performing a new procedure to treat atrial fibrillation, a common irregular heartbeat.

Coordinated system helps heart attack patients get treatment faster
A new report finds a statewide coordinated care system reduced transfer times between hospitals for heart attack patients needing emergency angioplasty to open blocked heart arteries.

New study shows children and adolescents who eat candy are less overweight or obese
Children and adolescents who eat candy tend to weigh less than their non-consuming counterparts, according to a new study published in Food & Nutrition Research, a peer-reviewed journal.

Work to slow progression of nearsightedness in children wins award
Earl Smith, O.D., dean of the College of Optometry at the University of Houston, received an award for his work in slowing the progression of nearsightedness in children.

New report identifies potential methods to audit safety of offshore oil and gas operations
The Department of the Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation, and Enforcement has broad regulatory authority over energy operations on the US outer continental shelf

LiquidText software supports active reading through fingertip manipulation of text
Georgia Tech researchers have developed innovative software for active reading, an activity that involves highlighting, outlining and taking notes on a document.

Insight into plant behavior could aid quest for efficient biofuels
Tiny seawater algae could hold the key to crops as a source of fuel and plants that can adapt to changing climates.

Exercise produces positive effects on the intervertebral discs
Physical exercise has a positive effect on the formation of cells in the intervertebral discs.

New study finds rise in global malaria R&D funds leads to largest ever pipeline of new products
A new analysis of progress in the global fight against malaria finds a four-fold increase in annual funding for malaria research and development (R&D) in just 16 years -- increasing from $121 million in 1993 to $612 million in 2009, with a particularly rapid increase since 2004.

Dr. Napoleone Ferrara wins 2011 Dr. Paul Janssen Award for Biomedical Research
Napoleone Ferrara, M.D., was selected as the 2011 Dr. Paul Janssen Award for his research on angiogenesis, the process of new blood vessel formation that plays a key role in cancer proliferation and a number of other diseases.

Neutron star bites off more than it can chew
ESA's XMM-Newton space observatory has watched a faint star flare up at X-ray wavelengths to almost 10,000 times its normal brightness.

Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University discover MS-like disease in monkeys
Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University have discovered a naturally occurring disease in monkeys that is very much like multiple sclerosis in humans -- a discovery that could have a major impact on efforts to understand the cause of multiple sclerosis.

Creative young engineers selected to participate in NAE's 2011 US Frontiers of Engineering Symposium
Eighty-five of the nation's brightest young engineers have been selected to take part in the National Academy of Engineering's 17th annual US Frontiers of Engineering symposium.

Mood and experience: Life comes at you
Living through weddings or divorces, job losses and children's triumphs, we sometimes feel better and sometimes feel worse.

Children's hay fever relieved by cellulose power without adverse effects
A cellulose powder has been used increasingly for many years against allergic rhinitis.

Team approach reduces urinary tract infections in rehab patients
Nurses, occupational and physical therapists, case managers and education staff, all working together at a 300-bed Nebraska rehabilitation hospital, have successfully implemented a team approach to dramatically reduce infections from urinary catheters, the most prevalent type of infection acquired in health-care settings.

Student team invents device to cut dialysis risk
A graduate student team has invented a device to reduce the risk of infection, clotting and narrowing of the blood vessels in patients who need blood-cleansing dialysis because of kidney failure.

First ARTEMIS spacecraft successfully enters lunar orbit
The first of two ARTEMIS (

To walk or not to walk? That is the question
Canadians aren't the only people concerned with weather, eh? A new study from McGill and Concordia universities observed pedestrians in nine cities around the world and found people are less likely to walk when temperatures dip below zero, when there's too much rain or too much snow.

Stepped-up vaccine series for hepatitis B is effective during pregnancy
UT Southwestern Medical Center maternal-fetal specialists have confirmed a potential new protocol to protect pregnant women who are at risk for hepatitis B, a health problem that affects 2 billion people worldwide.

Updated press program for SKA 2011 meetings July 3-8, 2011, Banff, Canada
Journalists are invited to explore the scientific and technical potential of the world's largest radio telescope, the Square Kilometre Array at a week-long series of meetings and exhibition.

Innovative UBC-BC Cancer Agency system reduces waitlisting for chemotherapy patients
The stress of scheduling chemotherapy treatments has been substantially reduced by a new technology created and implemented by a team of researchers from the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia and the BC Cancer Agency.

Fidgeting your way to fitness
Walking to the photocopier and fidgeting at your desk are contributing more to your cardiorespiratory fitness than you might think.

International team explores the stigma surrounding abortion
A national health journal publishes a paper by a team of researchers that is launching a new direction for research into the social stigma surrounding abortion.

Does grilling kill E. coli O157:H7?
Top sirloin steaks have been getting a grilling in US Department of Agriculture food safety studies.

Innovative partnership advances novel drug candidate to combat sleeping sickness
The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi), Anacor Pharmaceuticals and SCYNEXIS Inc. today announced the successful completion of pre-clinical studies for the first new oral drug candidate discovered specifically to combat human African trypanosomiasis, also known as sleeping sickness.

Neuroscientists find famous optical illusion surprisingly potent
Scientists have figured out the brain mechanism that makes an optical illusion first reported thousands of years ago by Aristotle work.

Pitt researchers tackle flood of space data with $1.6 million project
A team from Pitt's Departments of Computer Science and Physics and Astronomy receives NSF funds to harmonize the unorganized patchwork of astronomical data into a single, interactive, community-driven website.

Serum-free cultures help transplanted MSCs improve efficacy
Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) -- effective in the immunosuppression of T-cells, regeneration of blood vessels, assisting in skin wound healing, and suppressing chronic airway inflammation in some asthma cases -- are typically prepared for therapeutic applications by culturing them in fetal bovine serum.

Land use change influences continental water cycle
Land use changes such as irrigation, dams, and deforestation can alter evaporation patterns in a region, potentially affecting water resources in distant regions.

A lack of structure facilitates protein synthesis
Having an easily accessible starting point on messenger RNA increases protein formation, scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam have discovered.

Study shows long-term benefits of breast screening
Results from the longest running breast screening trial show that screening with mammography reduces the number of deaths from breast cancer. 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