Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 23, 2011
AIAA to present awards at September conference
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) will present awards for technical and lifetime achievement at an 11:30 a.m. awards luncheon on Sept.

Introducing system models into ag research
Use of the proper methods is key to realizing the great potential benefits of modeling an agriculture system.

Melanin's 'trick' for maintaining radioprotection studied
Research at the US Department of Energy's Savannah River National Laboratory, in collaboration with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, has provided insights into the electrochemical mechanism that gives the complex polymer known as melanin its long-term ability to protect some species from ionizing radiation, with a goal of using that knowledge to develop materials that mimic those natural properties.

Ancient whale skulls and directional hearing: A twisted tale
Skewed skulls may have helped early whales find the direction of sounds in water and are not solely, as previously thought, a later adaptation related to echolocation.

A new set of building blocks for simple synthesis of complex molecules
Assembling chemicals can be like putting together a puzzle. University of Illinois chemists have developed a way of fitting the pieces together to more efficiently build complex molecules, beginning with a powerful and promising antioxidant.

UT researchers develop algorithm to improve remote electrocardiography
Xiaopeng Zhao, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is working to eliminate these errors.

Author Mark Changizi's third book, Harnessed, hits store shelves
Leading neuroscientist and acclaimed author Mark Changizi's third book, Harnessed: How Language and Music Mimicked Nature and Transformed Ape to Man, which explores new research on the evolution of speech and music, hits store shelves in August.

Stay in ICU means fewer patients likely to renew prescriptions after discharge
Patients often do not renew prescriptions for their chronic diseases after they are released from hospital.

Turfgrass Field Day at UC Riverside offers wealth of information about lawns and landscapes
The public has an opportunity to get the latest information on the care and maintenance of home lawns and landscapes at the 2011 Turfgrass and Landscape Research Field Day, presented by the University of California, Riverside.

Prolonged breastfeeding does not protect against eczema, global study shows
The largest worldwide study on the association between breastfeeding, time of weaning and eczema in children has concluded that there is no clear evidence that exclusive breastfeeding for four months or longer protects against childhood eczema.

Government subsidies to the US film industry promote youth smoking, argue researchers
Governments in the UK, US and Canada are undermining tobacco prevention campaigns by subsidizing top-grossing US films that contain smoking, a report by public health researchers says.

Building a better antipsychotic drug by treating schizophrenia's cause
Researchers at Pitt have discovered that antipsychotic drugs work akin to a Rube Goldberg machine -- that is, they suppress something that in turn suppresses the bad effects of schizophrenia, but not the exact cause itself.

Diastolic dysfunction appears to worsen over time; associated with increased risk of heart failure
A follow-up of participants in a heart function study finds that the prevalence of left ventricular diastolic dysfunction (left ventricular filling [with blood] is abnormal and is accompanied by elevated filling pressures) had increased; that diastolic function had worsened in a nearly a quarter of patients; and that participants who had diastolic dysfunction were more likely to develop heart failure, according to a study in the Aug.

iPower kick-off at Risø DTU
A future power system with more power from the wind must be much more flexible and intelligent than the present one.

Stem cell study offers hope for Parkinson's patients
Scientists have for the first time generated stem cells from one of the most rapidly progressing forms of Parkinson's disease.

Hake population has withstood overfishing, thanks to the warming of the sea
Hake is constantly fished in the waters of the European Atlantic Ocean and, nevertheless, resists stock depletion relatively well.

University of Houston receives NSF grant for high school teachers program
The University of Houston has received a grant from the National Science Foundation to fund a program designed to help build interest in science and engineering.

Unexpected adhesion properties of graphene may lead to new nanotechnology devices
Graphene, considered the most exciting new material under study in the world of nanotechnology, just got even more interesting, according to a new study by a group of researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Novel cytokine protects mice from colitis
Inflammatory bowel disease, which affects more than 1 million patients in North America, results from an uncontrolled immune response triggered by environmental factors, such as bacteria, in people genetically predisposed to the disorder.

The importance of the team composition in ICUs
A higher proportion of female nurses among intensive care teams may decrease individuals' risk of professional burnout, according to Swiss researchers who studied the factors related to burnout in the high-stress setting of the intensive care unit (ICU).

2011 health conditions for travel to Mecca (Hajj) pilgrimage published
Elsevier, the world's leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, announced today that the Saudi Ministry of Health has published its 2011 health conditions for travelers to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj).

Newfound hijacked proteins linked to salmonella virulence
Scientists have discovered that bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella have a sneaky way of making minor alterations to their genes to boost their chances for infection.

Engineers discover nanoscale balancing act that mirrors forces at work in living systems
A delicate balance of atomic forces can be exploited to make nanoparticle superclusters that are uniform in size -- an attribute that's important for many nanotech applications but hard to accomplish, University of Michigan researchers say.

2-year-old children understand complex grammar
Psychologists at the University of Liverpool have found that children as young as two years old have an understanding of complex grammar even before they have learned to speak in full sentences.

A better test for a potato pest
A US Department of Agriculture scientist has created a new weapon in the war being waged against the potato cyst nematode -- a diagnostic test that identifies the type of nematode infesting a grower's field.

Research vessel Polarstern at North Pole
You can't get any

Men, women get equal care with Get With The Guidelines
Women with heart failure received nearly equal care as men at hospitals participating in the American Heart Association's Get With The Guidelines®-Heart Failure quality improvement program.

Decision making changes with age -- and age helps!
We make decisions all our lives -- so you'd think we'd get better and better at it.

Comparing soybean production methods
Twin-row soybean production is becoming a popular growing technique for soybean producers.

Stanford's Clean Slate Program hosts Open Networking Summit with Founders of OpenFlow/SDN
Stanford's Clean Slate Program announces the first annual Open Networking Summit, an unprecedented conference focusing on the origins, current state, and potential of OpenFlow and software-defined networking (SDN).

Being female or less affluent still linked to early death in cystic fibrosis
Despite improvements in survival for people with cystic fibrosis over the last 50 years, females and individuals from socioeconomically disadvantaged backgrounds continue to die younger than males and the more privileged in society, finds a study published on today.

TGen and DTU researchers track source of Haitian cholera outbreak
Employing technology that reads the entire DNA code, researchers led by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) have pinpointed the source of a cholera outbreak in Haiti that killed more than 6,000 people and sickened 300,000.

VBI, Convey Computer partner to deliver technology to biomedical, life sciences researchers
Researchers are drowning in data. An NSF grant and academic-business partnership will apply high performance computing technology to extract meaningful information from a data-rich environment and move toward applications.

'Open wide' for new stem cell potential
Professor Sandu Pitaru of Tel Aviv University has successfully collected cells from oral mucosa and manipulated them into stem cells almost as easy to manipulate as those from embryos.

Deaths from strong prescription painkillers are on the increase
Action is needed to tackle the increasing number of deaths in the United States and Canada from prescription painkillers known as opioids, say experts on today.

Nickel nanoparticles may contribute to lung cancer
Lab experiments find that nickel particles with diameters billionths of a meter wide can trigger a cellular pathway that promotes cancer growth.

Ancient harvestmen revealed in 3-D models published today in Nature Communications
Two ancient types of harvestmen, or 'daddy long legs,' which skittered around forests more than 300 million years ago, are revealed in new three-dimensional virtual fossil models published today in the journal Nature Communications.

Economic inequality is linked to biased self-perception
Pretty much everybody thinks they're better than average. But in some cultures, people are more self-aggrandizing than in others.

Social science important for health-systems research
In the second in a series of articles addressing the current challenges and opportunities for the development of Health Policy and Systems Research (HPSR), Lucy Gilson of the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and colleagues argue that insights from the social sciences are vital for advancing the science of HPSR.

Cleveland researchers collaborate to launch Phase 1 clinical trial for new MS treatment
A team of researchers at three landmark Cleveland institutions have come together to launch a new clinical trial of an experimental treatment for multiple sclerosis.

Genomatix wins "Most Creative Visualization" award at iDEA Challenge 2011
Genomatix was among the finalists at Illumina's Data Excellence (iDEA) Challenge 2011 and has won the award for the

Brain tumors found to have a 2-tier system
Scientists of the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) and Heidelberg University Hospitals have led the largest ever molecular-biological analysis of ependymoma, a dangerous brain tumor in children.

MU study links inactivity with risk factors for Type 2 diabetes
As the number of people diagnosed with diabetes continues to grow, researchers are focusing on discovering why the prevalence of the disease is increasing.

Ga ga for goo goo: Research explores the scientific basis for baby fever
Not only does the phenomena called baby fever exist, it is found in both men and women, according to researchers from Kansas State University.

Los Alamos achieves world-record pulsed magnetic field
Researchers at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory's Pulsed Field Facility at Los Alamos National Laboratory have set a new world record for the strongest magnetic field produced by a nondestructive magnet.

Coriander oil could tackle food poisoning and drug-resistant infections
Coriander oil has been shown to be toxic to a broad range of harmful bacteria.

Bullying victims often suffer academically, particularly high-achieving blacks and Latinos
Victims of bullying often suffer academically, and this is particularly true for high achieving black and Latino students, according to new research to be presented at the 106th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association.

Consuming cholesterol-lowering foods results in greater decrease in LDL than low-saturated-fat diet
Persons with high cholesterol who received counseling regarding a diet that combined cholesterol-lowering foods such as soy protein, nuts and plant sterols over six months experienced a greater reduction in their low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels than individuals who received advice on a low-saturated fat diet, according to a study in the Aug.

Scripps Research scientists define cellular pathway essential to removing damaged mitochondria
In a joint research effort with researchers at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, and with help from scientists at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Minnesota, and the National Institutes of Health, investigators from the Florida campus of the Scripps Research Institute have defined a specific protein complex that allows cells to rid themselves of damaged mitochondria, which are the energy producing machines of the cell.

Human gait could soon power portable electronics
In a new paper, University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers describe a new energy-harvesting technology that promises to dramatically reduce our dependence on batteries and instead capture the energy of human motion to power portable electronics.

Tobacco companies use corporate social responsibility for political purposes
Corporations may use corporate social responsibility programs not only to improve their public image, but also to gain access to politicians, influence agendas, and shape public health policy to best suit their own interests.

ASA, CSSA, and SSSA present 2011 scholarships and fellowships
The American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), and Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) annouce the 2011 recpients of several scholarships.

House dust mite test on wheezy toddlers predicts asthma in teen years
Wheezy toddlers who have a sensitivity to house dust mites are more at risk of developing asthma by the age of 12, a University of Melbourne Australia, study has shown.

A new nuance to neurons
A fundamental new discovery about how nerve cells in the brain store and release tiny sacs filled with chemicals may radically alter the way scientists think about neurotransmission -- the electrical signaling in the brain that enables everything from the way we move, to how we remember and sense the world.

Newly discovered Icelandic current could change climate picture
If you'd like to cool off fast in hot summer weather, take a dip in a newly discovered ocean current called the North Icelandic Jet (NIJ).

How many species on Earth? 8.7 million
8.7 million (give or take 1.3 million) is the new, estimated total number of species on Earth -- the most precise calculation ever offered -- with 6.5 million species on land and 2.2 million in oceans.

Researchers uncover source of Haitian cholera outbreak
Employing technology that reads the entire DNA code, researchers led by the Translational Genomics Research Institute and the Technical University of Denmark have pinpointed the source of a cholera outbreak in Haiti that killed more than 6,000 people and sickened 300,000.

Maintaining exercise when the cardiac rehab is complete
Researchers from the Miriam Hospital have found that patients who have completed cardiac rehabilitation and who receive telephone counseling that supports exercise are more likely to adhere to an exercise program.

Taxpayer film subsidies promote youth smoking
State governments, including California as well as others in Canada and the United Kingdom, pour hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars into major motion pictures that depict smoking -- leading to thousands of new teen smokers every year, a University of California, San Francisco, researcher has found.

Electronic medical record text search tool shows promise for identifying postoperative complications
Use of natural language processing, such as in the form of free-text searches of electronic medical records (EMRs) of clinical and progress notes of patients performed better at identifying postoperative surgical complications than the commonly used administrative data codes in EMRs, according to a study in the Aug, 24/31 issue of JAMA.

Landsat image maps aid fire recovery efforts
NASA satellite images regularly map active fires around the world.

Extreme morning sickness could lead to lifelong emotional, behavioral disorders in kids
A joint UCLA/USC study suggests that an extreme form of pregnancy-related nausea and vomiting known as hyperemesis gravidarum -- which already takes a heavy toll on thousands of women each year and can lead to hospitalization and pregnancy termination -- is also linked to an increased risk of anxiety, bipolar disorder and depression in adulthood among individuals whose mothers had the condition.

Learning secrets of world's most common organic compound driving research for biofuels
Many scientists believe that cellulose, the most common organic compound on earth, has enough energy to be the next source for biofuels -- if a procedure to effectively break it down could be devised.

Filling without drilling
Researchers at the University of Leeds have discovered a pain-free way of tackling dental decay that reverses the damage of acid attack and rebuilds teeth as new.

Scientists develop new approaches to predict the environmental safety of chemicals
Baylor University environmental researchers have proposed in a new study a different approach to predict the environmental safety of chemicals by using data from other similar chemicals.

Summer drought limits the positive effects of CO2 and heat on plant growth in future climate
Summer drought limits the positive effects of CO2 and heat on plant growth in future climate.

Women seek labial reduction surgery for cosmetic reasons
Women with normal sized labia minora still seek labial reduction surgery for cosmetic reasons finds new research published today in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Storing vertebrates in the cloud
UC Berkeley is leading an NSF-funded effort to take information about the vertebrate collections in museums around the world and store it in

Modelling emotions: A potential new therapy for disturbed teenagers
Researchers at the University of Nottingham are to investigate whether the therapeutic effects of clay modeling could help disturbed teenagers deal with their feelings of anger, anxiety and depression.

New theory may shed light on dynamics of large-polymer liquids
Illinois professor Kenneth S. Schweizer developed a new physics-based theory that predicts why entangled polymers are confined to a tube-like region of space and how they respond to applied forces.

Children's hospitals not equipped to handle pandemics
A new study shows children's hospitals nationwide are not equipped to handle a major surge of patients in the event of a pandemic.

Trudeau Institute announces a discovery in how FluMist elicits protection
New research from the Trudeau Institute may help to explain why live attenuated influenza vaccine, commonly known as FluMist, elicits protection.

When erectile dysfunction isn't whole story
For men with erectile dysfunction (ED), 65 percent are unable to have an orgasm and 58 percent have problems with ejaculation, according to new research led by physician-scientists at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

No need to nag: study finds doctors' nutrition advice hits home early
Hearing dietary advice twice is enough for patients to get the significant benefits of lower cholesterol, according to a new study led by doctors at St.

International pharmacogenomics conference to focus on better drug treatment based on genetics
The first international conference hosted by the University of South Florida College of Pharmacy will focus on ways to improve health care by customizing drug prescribing and treatment based on an individual's genetic makeup.

New heart scan may speed up diagnosis with less radiation
The next generation of computerized tomography (CT) scans appears faster and more accurate than current scans for measuring blood supply to the heart muscle.

Physicians' exposure to radiation prompt cellular changes that may protect the body from harm
Cardiologists who perform heart operations using X-ray guided catheters are exposed to ionizing radiation at levels two to three times higher per year than those experienced by radiologists.

UK study shows ambulatory blood pressure measurements to be the most cost-effective way for diagnosing hypertension
A UK study published online first by the Lancet concludes that ambulatory blood pressure monitoring (repeated measurements out of the clinic throughout a 24-hour period) is the most cost-effective way for diagnosing hypertension.

Controlling magnetism with electric fields
An international team of researchers from France and Germany has developed a new material which is the first to react magnetically to electrical fields at room temperature.

Investments in pastoralism offer best hope for combating droughts in Africa's drylands
As hunger spreads among more than 12 million people in the Horn of Africa, a study by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) of the response to Kenya's last devastating drought, in 2008-2009, finds that investments aimed at increasing the mobility of livestock herders -- a way of life often viewed as

Study: Afghan patients a common source of drug-resistant bacteria
Afghan patients treated at a US military hospital in Afghanistan often carry multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacteria, according to a report in the September issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

Certain biologic therapies for psoriasis do not appear to increase risk for cardiovascular problems
Although some preliminary reports have indicated an increased risk of major adverse cardiovascular events with the use of certain biologic therapies to treat chronic plaque psoriasis, an analysis of previous studies finds no significant difference in the rate of these events among patients who received these medications compared to patients who received placebo, according to an article in the Aug.

Fine art in advertising can backfire
Fine art has been used for centuries to sell goods and ideas, but a new study by researchers at Boston College and the University of Houston finds artwork can lose its special status with consumers if it's improperly used for product illustration.

Women anticipate negative experiences differently to men
Men and women differ in the way they anticipate an unpleasant emotional experience, which influences the effectiveness with which that experience is committed to memory, according to new research.

Stop signal for leukemia stem cells
An international team comprising researchers the German Cancer Research Center has discovered that hyperactive signaling of a particular growth factor called IGF1 promotes T-cell acute lymphoblastic lymphoma (T-ALL).

Clinical trial shows benefit to adding avastin to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in breast cancer patients
Amid the controversy surrounding the Food and Drug Administration's ruling that Avastin should no longer be used to treat metastatic breast cancer, a new multinational Phase III clinical trial shows that Avastin significantly increased tumor response rates in breast cancer patients when given before surgery.

Optical Materials Express focus issue on femtosecond direct laser writing
Current advanced femtosecond laser systems offer myriad possibilities to modify materials.

Handsome annual reports cause investors to value company higher
As firms begin the 2011 annual report process, they may want to pay closer attention to the way those reports look.

U of T research shows anti-aging techniques not yet viewed as acceptable
Studies from the University of Toronto's psychology department show that people who use more invasive anti-aging methods such as Botox injections or surgery are viewed more negatively than those who use milder techniques such as sun-avoidance and facial creams and younger adults are more negative about using anti-aging methods than older adults.

Ancient wild horses help unlock past
An international team of researchers has used ancient DNA to produce compelling evidence that the lack of genetic diversity in modern stallions is the result of the domestication process.

Sexist men and women -- made for each other
Men with a preference for

Should films with smoking have adult ratings?
Two articles in this week's PLoS Medicine address the question of whether films with smoking scenes should have

There must be 50 ways to love your leisure...
The newly-published second edition of

TRMM gets a look at Irene, the first hurricane of the Atlantic season
The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite has been busy measuring rainfall within Hurricane Irene, and forecasts call for between 5 and 10 inches in the southeastern and central Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands as Irene moves toward them today.

Radical change in blood pressure diagnosis and treatment
The way blood pressure is diagnosed and treated is set to be revolutionised following new guidelines for the medical profession issued by NICE and developed in conjunction with the British Hypertension Society (BHS).

Study finds shifting domestic roles for men who lost jobs in current recession
How do unemployed men cope with their shifting domestic roles, especially when they become financially dependent on a wife or female partner? 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