Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 19, 2011
ONR award ceremony recognizes achievements and service of 4 Navy employees
The Office of Naval Research honored four employees -- Dr.

Gradual bone reduction seen in some pill users
Birth control pills may reduce a woman's bone density, according to a study published online July 13 in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism by Group Health Research Institute scientists.

A new therapy without side effects could improve dramatically chemotherapy
This significant progress -- based on nanotechnology -- has been achieved by researchers of the universities of Granada, Edimbourgh and Kebangsaan (Malaisie).

Only one-third of HIV-positive patients remain in care before starting treatment
In sub-Saharan Africa, only about one third of patients who test positive for HIV but are not yet eligible for antiretroviral treatment remain in care until they become eligible and start treatment.

'Sarcophaga of France (Diptera: Sarcophaidae)' published by Pensoft
The most comprehensive and up-to-date study of Sarcophaga of France, a fly genus, has been published by Pensoft.

Race matters when recruiting, retaining undergraduate women engineers
A new study of female engineering students' perceived challenges finds significant differences between black, Hispanic, Native American, Asian-American and white women.

Laboratory signs agreement with China to develop clean energy technology
The Laboratory has signed an agreement with the Clean Energy Research Institute in China to conduct joint research and development of clean energy technologies.

Some cutaneous HPV types may be involved in non-melanoma skin cancer development
In a joint paper published on July 14, 2011, in PLoS Pathogens, the German Cancer Research Center and the WHO's International Agency for Research on Cancer conclude that a viral infection with a certain type of human papillomavirus may cooperate with UV light exposure in the development of non-melanoma skin cancer.

Report offers new framework to guide K-12 science education, calls for shift in the way science is taught in US
A report released today by the National Research Council presents a new framework for K-12 science education that identifies the key scientific ideas and practices all students should learn by the end of high school.

Are drinking guidelines adequate regarding the risk of cancer?
A group of French scientists (from the Unit of Research on Nutritional Epidemiology, French National Institute for Agricultural Research, Bobigny, France; the French Institute for Prevention and Health Education, St.

Mothers with breastfeeding difficulties more likely to suffer postpartum depression
Women who have breastfeeding difficulties in the first two weeks after giving birth are more likely to suffer postpartum depression two months later compared to women without such difficulties, according to a new study by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Study finds some desert birds less affected by wildfires and climate change
A new Baylor University study has found that some bird species in the desert southwest are less affected, and in some cases positively influenced, by widespread fire through their habitat.

Tortoise populations can withstand fires every 30 years
Populations of spur-thighed tortoises (Testudo graeca), a species classified as vulnerable and at risk of extinction, can withstand fires if outbreaks occur once every three decades or more.

Suicide and homicide rates in mental health patients revealed
Suicide rates among people with mental illness in England and Wales have fallen over the last decade, latest figures show.

New version of security automation protocol includes digital trust model
NIST researchers have released for comment an updated specification for the Security Content Automation Protocol, which helps organizations find and manage computer-system vulnerabilities more effectively by standardizing the way vulnerabilities are identified, prioritized and reported.

Mysterious fossils provide new clues to insect evolution
German scientists at the Stuttgart Natural History Museum were leading in the discovery of a new insect order from the Lower Cretaceous of South America.

Tropical Storm Dora bringing rough surf to southern Mexico
Tropical Storm Dora was just a depression yesterday. Since then, NASA satellite imagery has watched Dora continue to strengthen as thunderstorm cloud tops have grown much colder.

Gene therapy delivered once to blood vessel wall protects against atherosclerosis in rabbit studies
Using a gene delivery vehicle called HDAd researchers induced prolonged, stable expression of a therapeutic gene in the carotid artery wall in rabbits.

Over half of Alzheimer's cases may be preventable, say researchers
Over half of all Alzheimer's disease cases could potentially be prevented through lifestyle changes and treatment or prevention of chronic medical conditions, according to a study led by Deborah Barnes, Ph.D., a mental health researcher at the San Francisco VA Medical Center.

New report shows seniors' economic security falling
The threat of budget negotiations stalling crucial social security payments have highlighted the growing pain felt by America's seniors.

Oak Ridge establishes carbon fiber composites consortium
Fourteen companies have agreed to join with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to establish the Oak Ridge Carbon Fiber Composites Consortium, which will work to accelerate the development, demonstration and commercial application of new low-cost carbon fiber and composites materials in many different industry sectors.

World's first 'home grown' African first-aid guidelines
A new set of evidence-based guidelines that comprehensively address how basic first responders should be trained to manage emergency situations in an African context has been released, published in this week's PLoS Medicine.

Hebrew U. scientists identify molecular basis for DNA breakage
Scientists from the Hebrew University have identified the molecular basis for DNA breakage, a hallmark of cancer cells.

Encouraging women to pursue careers in chemical sciences earns award
On a career-long mission to make science fun, professor Mamie Moy recently was recognized by the world's largest scientific society for encouraging women to pursue careers in the chemical sciences.

Wiley-VCH and ChemPubSoc Europe to launch open access chemistry journal
Wiley-VCH, part of the scientific and technical publishing business of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Memories may skew visual perception
Vanderbilt University psychologists have found that our visual perception can be contaminated by memories of what we have recently seen, impairing our ability to properly understand and act on what we are currently seeing.

Positive teens become healthier adults
Teenagers are known for their angst-ridden ways, but those who remain happy and positive during the tumultuous teenage years report better general health when they are adults, according to a new Northwestern University study.

Ancient footprints show human-like walking began nearly 4 million years ago
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found that ancient footprints in Laetoli, Tanzania, show that human-like features of the feet and gait existed almost two million years earlier than previously thought.

Study of H. pylori treatment in South America reverses trend found in Europe
An article published online first by the Lancet shows that the old style triple oral antibiotic therapy regimen to treat Helicobacter pylori infection works better than newer regimens in Latin America.

Cardiac disorder may affect broader range of patients than previously reported
Stress cardiomyopathy (a transient form of acute heart failure triggered by stressful events) appears to have clinical characteristics that are broader than reported previously, including younger patients, men, and patients without an identifiable stressful trigger, according to a study in the July 20 issue of JAMA.

Reclamation signs research agreement to improve quagga and zebra mussel larvae detection
The Bureau of Reclamation and Fluid Imaging Technologies Inc. have signed a cooperative research and development agreement to improve the capacity and speed of Fluid Imaging Technologies' FlowCAM instrument to detect and document quagga and zebra mussel larvae in water samples.

Vascular disease management increasingly important
As the population ages and obesity and diabetes increase, more people suffer from non-cardiac vascular diseases.

Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia yield 18 new species of rare ferns and flowering plants
Recent botanical exploration efforts in the rugged Marquesas Islands (French Polynesia) have increased the known flora of the archipelago by an impressive 20 percent.

Reinventing the toilet for safe and affordable sanitation
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded Delft University of Technology (TU Delft, the Netherlands) a grant to

Studies evaluate the association between physical activity and lower rates of cognitive impairment
Engaging in regular physical activity is associated with less decline in cognitive function in older adults, according to two studies published online first by Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Does food act physiologically like a 'drug of choice' for some?
The authors concluded that reducing variety in food choices may represent an important strategy for those trying to lose weight.

Engineering excitable cells for studies of bioelectricity and cell therapy
By altering the genetic makeup of normally

Hebrew University and São Paulo Research Foundation launch $500,000 agreement
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the São Paulo Research Foundation have signed a cooperation agreement for the development of joint research projects in all areas of scientific knowledge.

Hummingbirds catch flying bugs with the help of fast-closing beaks
The shape of a hummingbird's beak allows for a

Quick test to diagnose bacterial or viral infection developed by Ben-Gurion University researchers
Treating viral infections with antibiotics is ineffective and contributes to the development of antibiotic resistance, allergic reactions, toxicity and greater health care costs.

E-health records should play bigger role in patient safety initiatives, researchers advocate
Patient safety researchers are calling for the expanded use of electronic health records to address the disquieting number of medical errors in the health care system that can lead to readmissions and even death.

AGU: Charles Petit and Steve Connor win AGU journalism awards
The American Geophysical Union awards journalism prizes to veteran science writer Charles Petit and science editor Steve Connor of London's The Independent newspaper.

Kidney dopamine regulates blood pressure, life span
The neurotransmitter dopamine is best known for its roles in the brain -- in signaling pathways that control movement, motivation, reward, learning and memory.

Vegetarian diet may protect against common bowel disorder
Vegetarians are a third less likely to get a common bowel disorder (diverticular disease) than their meat eating counterparts, finds a new study published on bmj.com today.

How dairy farms contribute to greenhouse gas emissions
US Department of Agriculture scientists have produced the first detailed data on how large-scale dairy facilities contribute to the emission of greenhouse gases.

Heartburn treatment may extend survival in IPF patients
Patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) who report treatment for gastroespophageal reflux (GER) appear to have longer survival than IPF patients who are not treated for GERD, according to a new study from the University of California, San Francisco.

Pensoft Publishers launch a new mycological open-access journal
MycoKeys, a new journal in systematic and biology of fungi (including lichens), was launched by Pensoft Publishers.

BUSM: Testosterone deficiency and replacement therapy in men
Testosterone deficiency (TD), often referred to as hypogonadism, is associated with aging and affects approximately 30 percent of men ages 40-79.

The decoding of slowness
Zoologists of the Friedrich Schiller University Jena found out how sloths move and how their locomotive system adapted to their unhurried lifestyle in the course of evolution.

New lung-cancer gene found
A major challenge for cancer biologists is figuring out which among the hundreds of genetic mutations found in a cancer cell are most important for driving the cancer's spread.

Plenary speakers address challenges in the delivery of sustained antiretroviral therapy in developing countries, call for social scientists to take their place at the HIV/AIDS policy-making table, and stress the need for a long-term response to AIDS
Researchers speaking in the second plenary session of the 6th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention (IAS 2011) have today provided insights into the future direction of HIV/AIDS policy making and alerted delegates to the challenges that developing countries continue to face in the delivery of large- scale antiretroviral therapy coverage.

NASA satellites show heavy rainfall at southeastern coast of Japan
Some of the strongest thunderstorms within Typhoon Ma-on are now affecting the southeastern coast of Japan and appeared on satellite imagery from two NASA satellites.

Piece of cake: Arrays of long nanotubes may help measure terahertz laser power
Terahertz radiation can penetrate numerous materials -- plastic, clothing, paper and some biological tissues -- making it an attractive candidate for applications such as concealed weapons detection, package inspection and imaging skin tumors.

Nanomechanics: New test measures key properties of polymer thin films and membranes
NIST researchers have demonstrated a measurement technique that reliably determines three fundamental mechanical properties of near-nanoscale films.

Standard 3-drug H. pylori therapy beats newer 4-drug regimens in Latin America study
Clinical trials in Europe and Asia were thought to have pinpointed the best treatment regimen to eradicate the H. pylori bug, an important cause of peptic ulcers and gastric cancer.

Avian 'Axe effect' attracts attention of females and males
In a case of life imitating art, avian scents given off by male songbirds have the females (and males) flocking in.

University of Maryland researchers discover possible drug targets for common non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine have discovered a novel interaction between two proteins involved in regulating cell growth that could provide possible new drug targets for treating diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, the most common type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, according to a new study in Nature Communications.

RI Hospital researchers find common test may be unnecessary for bariatric surgery candidates
A new study by researchers from Rhode Island Hospital has found that stress testing with myocardial perfusion imaging as part of a pre-operative workup for bariatric surgery candidates may be unnecessary.

New threshold values for fine particulates at the workplace
The 2011 MAK and BAT Values List compiled by the Commission for the Investigation of Health Hazards of Chemical Compounds in the Work Area, a Senate Commission of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, recommends reducing the general threshold limit value for dust for the alveolar fraction in light of recent studies and classifies such dusts as carcinogenic when these thresholds are exceeded.

Nutrition researchers examine restaurants' calorie counts
Disclosing the calories in restaurant foods to customers holds promise as a strategy to lower the nation's obesity rate.

Joint winners announced in Research4life global case study competition
The Research4Life partners today announced two winners in the

HIV patient care by clinic nurses rather than hospital doctors clinically successful, cost effective
Health outcomes for stable patients with HIV on antiretroviral therapy 12 months after their care was transferred to a primary health clinic (a community clinic) where they were managed by nurses were equivalent, or even better, than the outcomes of similar patients on antiretroviral therapy who remained at a hospital-based, doctor-managed outpatient clinic.

Study suggests reducing 7 potential risk factors could prevent up to 3 million cases of Alzheimer's disease worldwide
A review in Lancet Neurology suggests that up to half of Alzheimer's disease cases worldwide are potentially attributable to seven preventable risk factors (quitting smoking, increasing physical activity, enhancing mental activity, controlling blood pressure and diabetes, and managing obesity and depression)

Resource center focus on jail leadership
With many senior and mid-level administrators reaching retirement age, American jails are facing a crisis.

International AIDS Society to launch Virtual Media Centre in July to support opioid substitution therapy in Eastern Europe and Central Asia
As a part of its new initiative, Expanding Access to Opioid Substitution Therapy for People Who Inject Drugs in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the International AIDS Society will launch a Virtual Knowledge Centre in partnership with the Ukrainian Institute on Public Health Policy.

Painful legacy of teen sports
Vigorous sports activities, like basketball, during childhood and adolescence can cause abnormal development of the femur in young athletes, resulting in a deformed hip with reduced rotation and pain during movement.

NIST proposes new privacy controls for federal information systems and organizations
A new draft document from NIST adds privacy controls to the catalog of security controls used to protect federal information and information systems.

The constants they are a changin': NIST posts latest adjustments to fundamental figures
The electromagnetic force has gotten a little stronger, gravity a little weaker, and the size of the smallest

ASTRO announces 2011 Fellows class
The American Society for Radiation Oncology has named its 2011 class of Fellows.

Soil samples reveal urban mercury footprints
A new study from the School of Science at IUPUI investigates mercury deposits in industrialized city soil near coal-fired power plants.

Heavy metal hardens battle
The French may have had a better chance at the Battle of Agincourt had they not been weighed down by heavy body armor, say researchers.

Evolution of the evolutionarily minded
Since Charles Darwin's publication of

UT Austin Villa wins World RoboCup championships
The UT Austin Villa team beat 21 other teams from 11 nations for the trophy.

Small hippocampus associated with depression in the elderly: Risk factor or shrinkage?
Imaging studies have repeatedly found that people with depression have smaller hippocampal volumes than healthy individuals.

NASA's infrared satellite data shows warming cloud tops in Tropical Storm Bret
Tropical Storm Bret's cloud tops are getting warmer on NASA infrared satellite imagery.

Falls may be early sign of Alzheimer's
Falls and balance problems may be early indicators of Alzheimer's disease, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Therapy appears to reduce rate of chemotherapy-induced early menopause for women with breast cancer
Temporarily suppressing ovarian function with use of the hormone analogue triptorelin reduced the occurrence of early menopause induced by chemotherapy among women with breast cancer, according to a study in the July 20 issue of JAMA.

New mouse model for testing cancer drugs
Only one in twenty cancer drugs makes its way from the laboratory to the market.

Time and numbers mix together in the brain
Clocks tell time in numbers -- and so do our minds, according to a new study which will be published in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Stated calories on menus of certain restaurants appear to be accurate overall
An examination of the calorie content of food from about 40 fast-food and sit-down restaurants in 3 states finds that overall the stated calories of items on the menus of the restaurants are accurate, although there was substantial inaccuracy for some individual foods, with understated calorie figures for those items with lower calorie contents, according to a study in the July 20 issue of JAMA.

Patients who use anti-depressants are more likely to suffer relapse, researcher finds
Patients who use anti-depressants are much more likely to suffer relapses of major depression than those who use no medication at all, concludes a McMaster researcher.

Hebrew U. scientists show for first time how early human embryo acquires its shape
How is it that a disc-like cluster of cells transforms within the first month of pregnancy into an elongated embryo?
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