Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 31, 2011
Farming commercial miscanthus
An article in the current issue of Global Change Biology Bioenergy examines the carbon sequestration potential of Miscanthus plantations on commercial farms.

Mobile phone data in Haiti improves emergency aid
Population movements in the wake of disasters make it difficult to deliver the right amount of humanitarian aid to the right places.

NASA satellite observes unusually hot July in the Great Plains
Much of the United States sweated through an unusually humid heat wave during July, a month that brought record-breaking temperatures to many areas across the Great Plains.

Awareness of ethnicity-based stigma found to start as early as second grade
UCLA researchers researchers show that ethnic-minority youths have an added burden to contend with: stigmatization.

Down to the wire
Berkeley Lab researchers have developed a solution-based technique for fabricating core/shell nanowire solar cells using the semiconductors cadmium sulfide for the core and copper sulfide for the shell.

Entomological Society of America names 2011 Honorary Members
The Entomological Society of America (ESA) is pleased to announce the selection of four new entomologists as Honorary Members of the Society: Marvin K.

Word association: Princeton study matches brain scans with complex thought
Princeton University researchers have for the first time matched images of brain activity with categories of words related to the concepts a person is thinking about.

Researcher identifies nearly 100 studies supporting use of thermal ablation to treat lung cancer
The journal Radiology will publish in its September issue an article written by Damian E.

Not all care homes are bad, argues expert
Many care homes provide first rate care, despite relentless negative media coverage, argues an expert on today.

Research gives new hope to those with rare vascular cancer
A specific genetic alteration has been discovered as a defining feature of epithelioid hemangioendothelioma, a rare but devastating vascular cancer.

A step toward a saliva test for cancer
A new saliva test can measure the amount of potential carcinogens stuck to a person's DNA -- interfering with the action of genes involved in health and disease -- and could lead to a commercial test to help determine risks for cancer and other diseases, scientists reported here today during the 242nd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Solar industry responsible for lead emissions in developing countries
A study by Chris Cherry, assistant professor in civil and environmental engineering, and Perry Gottesfeld of Occupational Knowledge International found that solar power heavily reliant on lead batteries has the potential to release more than 2.4 million tons of lead pollution in China and India.

BUSM professor outlines best practices for treating victims of sexual assault
Judith A. Linden, M.D., associate professor of emergency medicine at Boston University School of Medicine and vice chair for education in the department of emergency medicine at Boston Medical Center, has written an review article on the treatment of adult victims of sexual assault in an acute care setting that will run in the Sept.

University of Miami to lead study of hydrocarbon transport as result of oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico
University of Miami has been awarded a $15+ million grant by the Gulf of Mexico Research Institute to lead one of 8 consortia nationwide to study the effects of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico.

Choice of seizure drug for brain tumor patients may affect survival
New research suggests brain tumor patients who take the seizure drug valproic acid on top of standard treatment may live longer than people who take other kinds of epilepsy medications to control seizures.

40-year follow-up on marshmallow test points to biological basis for delayed gratification
A landmark study in the late 1960s and early 1970s used marshmallows and cookies to assess the ability of preschool children to delay gratification.

UTHealth reports bone marrow stem cell therapy safe for acute stroke
Using a patient's own bone marrow stem cells to treat acute stroke is feasible and safe, according to the results of a ground-breaking Phase I trial at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).

UF medicinal chemists modify sea bacteria byproduct for use as potential cancer drug
Scientists have modified a toxic chemical produced by tiny marine microbes and successfully deployed it against laboratory models of colon cancer.

World's largest cardiac arrest trial shows longer initial paramedic CPR provides no benefit
A study involving nearly 10,000 cardiac arrest patients from 10 North American regions has shown that extending the period of initial cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) by paramedics and firefighters from one to three minutes provides no benefit.

Potatoes reduce blood pressure in people with obesity and high blood pressure
The potato's stereotype as a fattening food for health-conscious folks to avoid is getting another revision today as scientists report that just a couple servings of spuds a day reduces blood pressure almost as much as oatmeal without causing weight gain.

Commonly used defibrillators raise risk of problems
With defibrillators, simpler may be better, according to a new study from a team that included University of Colorado School of Medicine researcher Paul Varosy, MD.

Cutting soot emissions: Fastest, most economical way to slow global warming
A new study of dust-like particles of soot in the air -- now emerging as the second most important -- but previously overlooked -- factor in global warming provides fresh evidence that reducing soot emissions from diesel engines and other sources could slow melting of sea ice in the Arctic faster and more economically than any other quick fix, a scientist reported here today at the 242nd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

Iron 'Veins' Are Secret of Promising New Hydrogen Storage Material
NIST scientists have a new approach to the problem of safely storing hydrogen in future fuel-cell powered cars -- molecular scale 'veins' of iron permeating grains of magnesium like a network of capillaries.

2011 AAO-HNSF miniseminars
The 2011 Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO of the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF), the largest meeting of ear, nose, and throat doctors in the world, will convene Sept.

Stanford scientists discover blood factors that appear to cause aging in brains of mice
In a study to be published Sept. 1 in Nature, Stanford University School of Medicine scientists have found substances in the blood of old mice that makes young brains act older.

Like mama bears, nursing mothers defend babies with a vengeance
Women who breast-feed are far more likely to demonstrate a

Penn physicists develop new insight into how disordered solids deform
In solid materials with regular atomic structures, figuring out weak points where the material will break under stress is relatively easy.

Tropical Depression 8E forms on Mexican coastline, watches up
The Mexican government has issued a tropical storm watch for the coast of southwestern Mexico from Zihuatanejo to Punta San Telmo as Tropical Storm 8E formed this morning.

Trust in your neighbors could benefit your health, MU study shows
A new study from the University of Missouri shows that increasing trust in neighbors is associated with better self-reported health.

UBC researchers find a new culprit in Alzheimer's disease: Too many blood vessels
University of British Columbia scientists may have uncovered a new explanation for how Alzheimer's disease destroys the brain -- a profusion of blood vessels.

Scientists unravel the cause of rare genetic disease: Goldman-Favre Syndrome explained
New research in the FASEB Journal will help ophthalmologists and scientists understand a genetic disease that causes increased susceptibility to blue light, night blindness, and decreased vision called Enhanced S-Cone Syndrome or Goldman-Favre Syndrome.

First lizard genome sequenced
The green anole lizard is an agile and active creature, and so are elements of its genome.

Malaria discovery gives hope for new drugs and vaccines
An investigation into the mysterious inner workings of the malaria parasite has revealed that it survives and proliferates in the human bloodstream thanks in part to a single, crucial chemical that the parasite produces internally.

Researchers share discoveries about aging-related changes in health and cognition
Critical life course events and experiences -- in both youth and middle adulthood -- may contribute to health and cognition in later life, according to a new supplemental issue of the Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences.

Mars scientist Philip Christensen to receive ASU Shoemaker Memorial Award
Philip R. Christensen, the principal investigator for numerous instruments of Mars exploration carried on NASA spacecraft, will receive the 2011 Eugene Shoemaker Memorial Award Oct.

A contemporary 'copier' of a XIX century mural
There was a time when, lacking skyscrapers from which to view great vistas, it was fashionable to paint panoramic murals.

Stressed dad = depressed children? Investigating the paternal transmission of stress
Does Dad's stress affect his unborn children? According to the results of a new study in Elsevier's Biological Psychiatry, it seems the answer may be

Leicester scientists deploy space-age technologies at science-fiction style 'sick bay'
A new hi-tech £1million-plus non-invasive disease detection facility, developed by the University of Leicester, has been unveiled today (Sept.

Dangerous arrhythmia analyzed in a heartbeat
One second, one heartbeat. That's what is needed for a new, noninvasive functional imaging technology, developed by a Washington University in St.

IU research finds promiscuousness results in genetic 'trade-up,' more offspring
It's all about the grandkids! That's what a team led by an Indiana University biologist has learned about promiscuous female birds and why they mate outside their social pair.

2011 AAO-HNSF new oral research daily highlights
The 2011 Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO of the American Academy of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery Foundation (AAO-HNSF), the largest meeting of ear, nose, and throat doctors in the world, will convene September 11-14, 2011, in San Francisco, CA.

Mike Cates awarded the EPJE - Pierre-Gilles de Gennes Lecture Prize
The European Physical Journal E (EPJE) has awarded the Pierre-Gilles de Gennes Lecture Prize for outstanding contributions in the field of soft matter and biological physics for the second time.

Not tonight deer: A new birth control vaccine helps reduce urban deer damage
A new birth control vaccine for white-tailed deer -- a growing nuisance in urban areas for gardens and landscaping -- eliminates the dangerous reproductive behavior behind the annual autumn surge in automobile-deer collisions.

Federal investment in electronic health records likely to reap returns in quality of care
Research published in the New England Journal of Medicine gives cause for optimism that federal investments in electronic health records (EHRs) could reap major benefits in better patient care and health outcomes.

First and only therapeutic drug for ALK-positive lung cancer approved
FDA approves the drug crizotinib for use with a subset of lung cancer patients known as ALK-positive -- a

NASA sees Tropical Storm Nanmadol's landfall, Talas headed to Japan
Tropical Storm Nanmadol made landfall in southeastern China's Fujian Province and is now a depression, while further east, Tropical Storm Talas is still headed for Japan.

Parents need an attitude adjustment to improve their children's homework motivation
Parents can improve a sense of competence by allowing children to structure their own tasks and by giving the child the feeling that he is loved and admired no matter how successful he or she is in math or language,

SER2011 Mexico call to action
The delegates of the Society for Ecological Restoration's 4th World Conference on Ecological Restoration (SER2011) congratulate the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) for their practical and forward looking Strategic Plan 2011-2020, including Targets 14 and 15 in which the Parties have agreed that by 2020, ecosystems of particular importance to water security, human health, and sustainable livelihoods are restored, and their resilience and contribution to carbon stocks enhanced.

Physicists at the center of police weapons testing
In this month's edition of Physics World, David Wilkinson, visiting fellow at Nottingham Trent University and former project manager in the UK Home Office Scientific Development Branch, explains how physics is at the forefront of police weapons testing, making sure that potential devices meet the strict criteria set out by the UK government.

Public administration expert tracks 9/11 nonprofits
More than 250 new nonprofit groups developed after the 9/11 attacks and generated nearly $700 million in the first two years of operation.

News tips from the journal mBio®
New strategy for developing rapid diagnostics; how Q fever invades and replicates inside killer immune cells; protein necessary for bacteria to produce ulcers; and same conditions, different outcome in fungal infection.

Visual test effective in diagnosing concussions in collegiate athletes
A sideline visual test effectively detected concussions in collegiate athletes, according to a team of researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Adjuvant therapy perhaps not necessary for older breast cancer patients
Breast cancer patients over the age of 60 with early-stage, hormone-responsive small tumors who forgo adjuvant endocrine, also called hormonal therapy, are not at an increased risk of mortality compared to women of the same age without breast cancer, according to a study published Aug.

TRMM satellite sees heavy rain, towering clouds in Tropical Storm Katia
While parts of the East Coast and New England are still recovering from Hurricane Irene, a new storm is brewing in the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Katia.

Argentina's Santa Fe government reducing lead ammunition for sports hunters
The Wildlife Conservation Society applauds the government of Santa Fe Province for taking steps to reduce the amount of lead ammunition used in hunting of waterfowl, the first such action of its kind in Argentina.

'Gene overdose' causes extreme thinness
Scientists have discovered a genetic cause of extreme thinness for the first time, in a study published today in the journal Nature.

Media registration opens for 2011 ASTRO Annual Meeting
The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) -- the world's largest radiation oncology society in the world, with more than 10,000 members who use radiation to treat cancer and other diseases.

Study offers insight for returning troops and their relationships
Returning service members are at a greater risk of both depressive symptoms and relationship distress, and research shows the two often go together.

Tasmanian tiger's jaw was too small to attack sheep, study shows
Australia's iconic thylacine, or Tasmanian tiger, was hunted to death in the early Twentieth century for allegedly killing sheep; however, a new study published in the Zoological Society of London's Journal of Zoology has found that the tiger had such weak jaws that its prey was probably no larger than a possum

Doctors' and nurses' hospital uniforms contain dangerous bacteria majority of the time, study shows
More than 60 percent of hospital nurses' and doctors' uniforms tested positive for potentially dangerous bacteria, according to a study published in the September issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of APIC - the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

Researchers expand capabilities of miniature analyzer for complex samples
A research team working at NIST has extended the capabilities a a novel microfluidic lab-on-a-chip system for analyzing the chemical components of complex biological samples.

IDSA/PIDS announce guidelines for treating pneumonia in children
Immunizations, including a yearly flu vaccine, are the best way to protect children from life-threatening pneumonia, according to new guidelines from the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (PIDS) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA).

The Associated Press, NORC at UChicago, establish new Center for Public Affairs Research
The Associated Press and NORC at the University of Chicago announced today the formation of The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

A high-tech propulsion system for the next 100 years
The University of Birmingham has been operating a canal boat with a fuel cell drive for three years now.

Smoking after menopause may increase sex hormone levels
A recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) found that postmenopausal women who smoke have higher androgen and estrogen levels than non-smoking women, with sex hormone levels being highest in heavy smokers.

New biochemical discoveries into developing disease
Researchers have discovered 37 new genetic variants associated with concentrations of metabolites in the blood: many of these match variants associated with diseases such as kidney disease and type 2 diabetes.

MIABE standard opens up new opportunities in drug discovery
An international consortium of life science data providers has agreed on a new standard for describing the effect of a compound on a biological entity.

Resistance to antibiotics is ancient, McMaster study finds
The research findings show antibiotic resistance is a natural phenomenon that predates the modern clinical antibiotic use.

Sandfly saliva provides important clues for new Leishmaniasis treatments
For millions threatened with Leishmania infection, new research points to breakthroughs preventing these parasites from taking hold in the body or reducing the severity of infections.

A 'nano,' environmentally friendly, and low toxicity flame retardant protects fabric
The technology in

The star that should not exist
A team of European astronomers has used ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) to track down a star in the Milky Way that many thought was impossible.

Tiny oxygen generators boost effectiveness of anticancer treatment
Researchers have created and tested miniature devices that are implanted in tumors to generate oxygen, boosting the killing power of radiation and chemotherapy.

UC Davis researchers develop computer model for testing heart-disease drugs
UC Davis researchers have developed an accurate computer model to test the effects of medications for arrhythmia, or abnormal heart rhythm, before they are used in patients.

'Plastic bottle' solution for arsenic-contaminated water threatening 100 million people
With almost 100 million people in developing countries exposed to dangerously high arsenic levels in their drinking water, and unable to afford purification technology, scientists described a simple, inexpensive method for removing arsenic based on chopped up pieces of plastic beverage bottles coated with a nutrient found in many foods and dietary supplements.

NIST achieves record-low error rate for quantum information processing with one qubit
Thanks to advances in experimental design, NIST physicists have achieved a record-low probability of error in quantum information processing with a single quantum bit (qubit) -- the first published error rate small enough to meet theoretical requirements for building viable quantum computers.

Pretreatment, proper harvest time boost ethanol from switchgrass
Adding a pretreatment step would allow producers to get more ethanol from switchgrass harvested in the fall, according to a Purdue University study.

Successful rainwater harvesting systems should combine new technology with old social habits
A combination of modern engineering and ancient social principles makes large-scale rainwater harvesting feasible in a time of drought, and could reduce deadly flash flooding common to parts of Texas, a new paper argues

AGU journal highlights -- Aug. 31
Featured in this release are research papers on the following topics:

Humans shaped stone axes 1.8 million years ago, study says
A new study suggests that Homo erectus, a precursor to modern humans, was using advanced toolmaking methods in East Africa 1.8 million years ago, at least 300,000 years earlier than previously thought.

Undiagnosed TMAU may explain many cases of personal malodor
Scientists from the Monell Center report that approximately one third of patients with unexplained body malodor test positive for the metabolic disorder trimethylaminuria (TMAU).

Manufacturing method paves way for commercially viable quantum dot-based LEDs
University of Florida researchers may help resolve the public debate over America's future light source of choice: Edison's incandescent bulb or the more energy efficient compact fluorescent lamp.

'Pink ribbon dollars' help fill financial gaps for breast cancer programs
A new study shows that donations collected by check boxes on state income tax forms, fees from license plates and revenue from state lottery tickets have raised millions for breast cancer research and prevention programs across the country, according to researchers at Washington University in St.

Bedrock nitrogen may help forests buffer climate change, study finds
For the first time, researchers at the University of California, Davis, have demonstrated that forest trees have the ability to tap into nitrogen found in rocks, boosting the trees' growth and their ability to pull more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Scripps Research scientists reveal how white blood cell promotes growth and spread of cancer
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have shown that a particular white blood cell plays a direct role in the development and spread of cancerous tumors.

Results of world-first viral therapy trial in cancer patients published in Nature
Researchers from the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute, the University of Ottawa, Jennerex Inc. and several other institutions today reported promising results of a world-first cancer therapy trial in renowned journal Nature.

Hot flashes may be fewer in older, heavier women
A recent study accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) found that among women aged 60 and above, heavier women have fewer hot flashes than their leaner counterparts.

Hubble movies provide unprecedented view of supersonic jets from young stars
Astronomers have combined two decades of Hubble observations to make unprecedented movies revealing never-before-seen details of the birth pangs of new stars.

Cracking cellulose: a step into the biofuels future
Scientists from the University of York have played a pivotal role in a discovery which could finally unlock the full potential of waste plant matter to replace oil as a fuel source.

Ion armageddon: Measuring the impact energy of highly charged ions
Building upon their work for which they were recently awarded a patent, researchers from NIST and Clemson University have measured the energy of highly charged ion impacts on a thin film surface for the first time in detail.

The 9/11 Effect: Comparative Counter-Terrorism by Prof. Kent Roach (Cambridge University Press)
University of Toronto law professor Kent Roach takes a hard-hitting look at the failures of global anti-terrorism policies over the last 10 years in his latest book The 9/11 Effect: Comparative Counter-Terrorism. 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