Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 27, 2011
Gifted mathematician honored at NJIT convocation
Victor Matveev, an associate professor in the department of mathematical sciences in NJIT's College of Science and Liberal Arts, has received the honor of

JBEI identify new advanced biofuel as an alternative to diesel fuel
Joint BioEnergy Institute researchers have identified a terpene called bisabolane as a potential biofuel for replacing diesel fuel.

Escuti wins presidential award for young scientists and engineers
A North Carolina State University engineering professor has won the US government's top award for early-career scientists and engineers.

Scripps research scientist wins $3.6 million NIH Method to Extend Research in Time award to study alcoholism in Native Americans
Scripps Research Institute Professor Cindy Ehlers has been awarded a prestigious $3.6 million Method to Extend Research in Time Award grant by the National Institutes of Health to study the risk factors for alcoholism in Native Americans.

What do infants remember when they forget?
Six-month-old babies are severely limited in what they can remember about the objects they see in the world; if you hide several objects from an infant, they will only remember one of those objects with any detail.

US Forest Service study finds hemlock still abundant despite adelgid infestation
An analysis of two decades of data collected by the US Forest Service's Forest Inventory and Analysis program shows that the live volume of hemlocks in the eastern United States is increasing despite infestations of hemlock woolly adelgid that have decimated local populations.

National Medal of Science for University of Utah chemist
University of Utah organic chemist Peter J. Stang has won a National Medal of Science -- the highest U.S. honor for a scientist or engineer -- and is tentatively scheduled to be honored by President Barack Obama at the White House later this year.

Do long-lived crops differ from annual crops in their genetic response to human domestication?
Most of what we have come to think of as our daily fruits, vegetables, and grains were domesticated from wild ancestors.

Contract awarded for equipment to support on-going fish studies in the West
The Bureau of Reclamation has awarded a $3 million five-year contract to Biomark Inc., of Boise, Idaho, for passive integrated transponders and related equipment to conduct on-going fish studies throughout the 17 Western states associated with numerous river habitat restoration and endangered fish recovery programs.

Climate change set to increase ozone-related deaths over next 60 years
Scientists are warning that death rates linked to climate change will increase in several European countries over the next 60 years.

Modern shift work pattern potentially less harmful to health
Recent research suggests that the modern day-day-night-night shift pattern for shift workers may not be as disruptive or as potentially carcinogenic as older, more extreme shift patterns.

As minds get quicker, teenagers get smarter
Adolescents become smarter because they become mentally quicker. That is the conclusion of a new study by a group of psychologists at University of Texas at San Antonio.

NRL launches TacSat-4 to augment communications needs
A less expensive, small-sat class system satellite with newer and more flexible technologies, TacSat-4's highly elliptical orbit augments existing geosynchronous satellites by providing near continuous communications to forward deployed forces in the high latitudes.

Many victims of crime unhappy with criminal justice system
A new study into victim's satisfaction with the criminal justice system has found many victims feel their involvement in the justice system adds to their feelings of loss and trauma.

Alzheimer's protein kills nerve cells in nose
A protein linked to Alzheimer's disease kills nerve cells that detect odors, according to an animal study in the Sept.

Research to improve photosynthesis for increased food and fuel production
Five new research projects announced today by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) aim to overcome some of the fundamental limitations of photosynthesis -- the process by which plants harvest energy from the sun.

Gene controlling flowering boosts energy production from sorghum
A sorghum hybrid that does not flower and accumulates as much as three times the amount of stem and leaf matter may help the bioenergy industry, according to a new study.

Baliga wins nation's highest honor for technology innovation
President Barack Obama has awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation to North Carolina State University professor Dr.

New analysis of the cardiovascular risks of common non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
An updated study published in this week's PLoS Medicine gives some new information on the cardiovascular risks of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and suggests that among these commonly used drugs, naproxen and low dose ibuprofen are least likely to increase cardiovascular risk whereas diclofenac, even in doses available without prescription, elevates risk.

National labs leading charge on building better batteries
A battery that charges faster, lasts longer and runs more safely might arrive on the market within the next five years.

NJIT to salute smart grid expert, Sotirios G. Ziavras
Sotirios G. Ziavras, Ph.D, a professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering, and director of the NJIT Computer Architecture and Parallel Processing Laboratory recently received the Excellence in Graduate Instruction Award at NJIT's University Convocation.

Removal of fibroids that distort the womb cavity may prevent recurrent miscarriages
Researchers have found the first, firm evidence that fibroids are associated with recurrent miscarriages.

US Department of Energy PECASE recipients
President Obama has named 13 US Department of Energy researchers as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

Increasing dosage of saw palmetto does not appear to reduce urinary symptoms from enlarged prostate
Men with urinary problems related to an enlarged prostate who received increasing doses of the fruit extract saw palmetto did not experience a reduction in these symptoms compared to men who received placebo, according to a study in the Sept.

Nearly half the world's adults will experience lower urinary tract symptoms by 2018
Nearly half of all adults over 20 will experience at least one lower urinary tract symptom by 2018 -- an estimated 2.3 billion people and a worldwide increase of 18 percent in just one decade.

Clinical research needs to be more attuned to the needs of patients and clinicians
Sir Iain Chalmers, coordinator of the James Lind Initiative, will use his plenary lecture at the European Society for Pediatric Endocrinology meeting to highlight the need for the research community to be more effective in serving the information needs of patients and professionals.

Following the trail of conservation successes
Pessimism prevails in the conservation community because of ongoing habitat destruction and associated threats to a wide variety of species.

Tracing an elusive killer parasite in Peru
Despite what Hollywood would have you believe, not all epidemics involve people suffering from zombie-like symptoms -- some can only be uncovered through door-to-door epidemiology and advanced mathematics.

Cancer screening rates lower among those with fatalistic attitudes
Even if health care is free, colorectal cancer screening rates among those without financial means are still low, and results of a new study suggest that may be due to an idea psychologists call cancer fatalism.

High social status makes people more trusting, study finds
When you start a new job, your boss may be more likely to trust you than you are to trust him or her, a new study suggests.

Doctor experience matters in carotid artery procedures
Preventing a stroke by placing a stent in the carotid artery, a major artery of the head and neck, is a procedure that's skyrocketing in the United States, but the outcomes can be deadly if older patients are not in the right hands.

Women have stronger immune systems than men and it's all down to a single chromosome
As anyone familiar with the phrase

Journal focuses on Savannah River National Labratory, Chernobyl Laboratory collaboration
Collaborative work between the US Department of Energy's Savannah River National Laboratory and the Chernobyl Center's International Radioecology Laboratory has led to a special issue of the Health Physics Journal entitled,

Rice's Richard Tapia to receive National Medal of Science
The White House announced today that Richard Tapia, a Rice University mathematician and longtime champion of diversity in US education, will receive the National Medal of Science from President Barack Obama.

Research priorities for reducing child pneumonia deaths
In this week's PLoS Medicine, Igor Rudan of the University of Edinburgh, UK, and colleagues report the results of their consensus building exercise that identified health research priorities to help reduce global child mortality from pneumonia.

Saw palmetto no benefit as prostate remedy
The fruit of the saw palmetto tree does not relieve symptoms of an enlarged prostate, even when men take the herbal supplement in very high doses, a new study shows.

Austen BioInnovation Institute's Accountable Care Community initiative gains national support
The Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron, its founding members and several community partners are the recipients of a national $500,000 award to fund the Accountable Care Community initiative, the US Department of Health and Human Services announced today.

Water and sanitation related diseases and the environment
Janine Selendy, founder and president of Horizon International, brings experts together from across the medical and environmental fields to present the latest analysis and successful case studies in the fight to eradicate and prevent water and sanitation-related diseases.

EMBO/EMBL Science and Society Conference
The 2011 EMBL | EMBO Science and Society Conference draws together experts from a wide range of disciplines to explore the implications for society of mental disorders and explain the latest scientific knowledge about their causes and treatment.

Venus weather not boring after all, NASA/international study shows
At first glance, a weather forecaster for Venus would have either a really easy or a really boring job, depending on your point of view.

President Barack Obama recognizes outstanding scientists at the Smithsonian
Two scientists at the Smithsonian Institution have been honored with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers for their innovative research and scientific leadership.

Atypical antipsychotics appear to be effective for only few off-label uses
A review of previous studies suggests that even though atypical antipsychotic medications are commonly used for off-label conditions such as behavioral symptoms of dementia, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive disorder, these medications are effective for only a few off-label conditions, and that the benefits and harms of these medications for these uses vary, according to an article in the Sept.

Receiving carotid artery stent from lesser-experienced physicians linked with higher risk of death
An analysis of Medicare data indicates that older patients who had a stent placed in the carotid artery (a major artery of the neck and head) by a physician operator who performed less than six of the procedures a year, or if the procedure was conducted early in the operator's career, had an increased risk of death 30 days after the stent placement, according to a study in the Sept.

Scientists shut down pump action to break breast cancer cells' drug resistance
Breast cancer cells that mutate to resist drug treatment survive by establishing tiny pumps on their surface that reject the drugs as they penetrate the cell membrane -- making the cancer insensitive to chemotherapy drugs even after repeated use.

Lung function of moderately premature babies is reduced at 8-9 years but may improve with age
The negative effects that premature birth can have on the lungs of babies could be as severe in moderately premature babies as those born extremely prematurely but may be reversed in their teenage years, according to a new study.

How global warming could cause animals to shrink
The way in which global warming causes many of the world's organisms to shrink has been revealed by new research from Queen Mary, University of London.

Astronomers crack the Fried Egg Nebula
Astronomers have produced the best ever image of a colossal yellow hypergiant star -- one of the rarest types of star in the Universe.

Researchers identify enzyme that regulates degradation of damaged proteins
A study by scientists at the University of California, San Diego, and UC Irvine has identified an enzyme called a proteasome phosphatase that appears to regulate removal of damaged proteins from a cell.

Public ignorant about key messages concerning diet and cancer
New research reveals widespread lack of knowledge of the importance of diet and obesity as contributing causes towards the development of cancer.

People learn while they sleep, study suggests
People may be learning while they're sleeping -- an unconscious form of memory that is still not well understood, according to a study by Michigan State University researchers.

HRT therapy appears to increase risk of hospitalization from severe asthma attacks
Women taking postmenopausal hormone replacement therapy (HRT) may have an increased risk of severe asthma attacks requiring hospitalization, scientists warn.

Eating balanced meals, farm-fresh produce benefits families, communities, nutrition researchers say
Leaders at the recent United Nations meeting emphasized nutrition as critical to producing thriving children, families, and communities.

The greatest human strength? Believe it or not, it's willpower
Repeat after me:

Popular supplement has no effect on prostate health, clinical study shows
The most widely used over-the-counter supplement for prostate health is no more effective than a placebo in treating men's lower urinary tract symptoms.

Enzymes possible targets for new anti-malaria drugs
Researchers have validated that two enzymes used by malaria parasites to chew up human hemoglobin are potential anti-malarial drug targets.

New 'FeTRAM' is promising computer memory technology
Researchers are developing a new type of computer memory that could be faster than the existing commercial memory and use far less power than flash memory devices.

Potatoes are the largest and most affordable source of potassium of any vegetable or fruit
Research presented today at the American Dietetic Association's (ADA) Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo (FNCE) demonstrates that potatoes are one of the best nutritional values in the produce department, providing significantly better nutritional value per dollar than most other raw vegetables.

Worm 'cell death' discovery could lead to new drugs for deadly parasite
Researchers from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute have for the first time identified a

'Finding yourself' on Facebook
Professor Moshe Israelashvili of TAU's Constantiner School of Education conducted a study of 278 Israeli teens, male and female, and found that many adolescents were using the Internet as a tool for exploring personal identity and building their future lives.

Living donor liver transplantation improves survival over deceased donor transplants
New research shows liver transplantation candidates without hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) derive a greater survival benefit from a living donor liver transplant (LDLT) than waiting for a deceased donor liver transplant (DDLT).

Assessing California earthquake forecasts
Earthquake prediction remains an imperfect science, but the best forecasts are about 10 times more accurate than a random prediction, according to a study published Sept.

Pediatricians in Appalachia less likely to recommend HPV vaccine
Pediatricians in Appalachia are less likely than doctors in other areas to encourage parents to have their children receive the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, according to a new study.

Saw palmetto no better than placebo in relieving prostate symptoms, even at high doses
Long-term adminstration of the dietary supplement saw palmetto, even at three times the usual dose, did not reduce symptoms of prostate enlargement significantly better than placebo in a large group of middle-aged men.

Allegheny General nurse to receive 2011 ASTRO Nurse Excellence Award
The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has selected Linda Meyer, RN, MSN, OCN, of West Penn Allegheny Health System in Pittsburgh, as the recipient of the 2011 ASTRO Nurse Excellence Award.

New research effort into causes of chronic fatigue syndrome
Researchers of the Chronic Fatigue Initiative -- a new privately funded directive focused on chronic fatigue -- will investigate the role of pathogens in causing chronic fatigue syndrome.

Penn veterinarian Ralph Brinster awarded National Medal of Science
Ralph Brinster of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine has been awarded the National Medal of Science, according to an announcement today from the White House.

New national poll: 89 percent of women said mammograms vital to their health
According to a recent poll of 1,000 American voters conducted for the American College of Radiology, nearly 9-in-10 women reported that having a regular mammogram gave them a feeling of control over their own health care.

Romance scams online hit hundreds of thousands of victims
New online research led by the University of Leicester reveals that over 200,000 people living in Britain may have fallen victim to online romance scams -- far more than had been previously estimated.

UTHealth researchers train promotoras to combine mobile technology, cancer prevention messages
In an effort to increase cancer prevention education in the Hispanic population, researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) will use cutting-edge mobile technology to provide information that encourages nutritious eating and physical activity.

Belief that others can change could be a powerful tool in Israeli-Palestinian conflict
By presenting Israeli Jews and Israeli and West Bank Palestinians with evidence that groups of people are capable of change, Stanford researchers were able to increase the subjects' willingness to compromise on key political issues.

New nanostructure-based process will streamline production of magnetic materials
UMass Amherst scientists report for the first time designing a simpler method of preparing ordered magnetic materials than ever by coupling magnetic properties to nanostructure formation at low temperatures.

Study finds aggressive glycemic control in diabetic cabg patients does not improve survival
Study finds aggressive glycemic control in diabetic cabg patients does not improve survival.

Killing crop-eating pests: Compounds work by disrupting bugs' winter sleep
The creation of compounds that disrupt a worldwide pest's winter sleep hints at the potential to develop natural and targeted controls against crop-eating insects, new research suggests.

Media have less than 3 weeks to register for the European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress 2011
Media have less than three weeks to register for Europe's largest cancer congress: The 2011 European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress in Stockholm, Sept.

Central Asia's hidden burden of neglected tropical diseases
The open-access journal PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases will publish an article emphasizing the rising burden of neglected tropical diseases in Central Asia on Tuesday, Sept.

Treatment of common virus can reduce tumour growth
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have demonstrated for the first time that it is possible to inhibit the growth of brain tumours by treating the common Cytomegalovirus (CMV).

Johns Hopkins scientists reveal molecular sculptor of memories
Researchers working with adult mice have discovered that learning and memory were profoundly affected when they altered the amounts of a certain protein in specific parts of the mammals' brains.

Blood sugar control beyond standard target doesn't improve cognitive decline for diabetics
Intensive control of blood sugar levels beyond standard targets provides no additional protection against cognitive decline in older people with diabetes than standard treatment, according to a national study coordinated by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

A labor saving way to monitor vast rangelands
US Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists have found that unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), a tool used by the military, may be suitable for keeping an eye on changing land-use patterns across vast tracts of western rangeland.

NYU mathematician Varadhan named recipient of National Medal of Science
Srinivasa S.R.Varadhan, a professor at New York University's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, was today named a recipient of the National Medal of Science, the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on scientists and engineers.

Study examines whether age for initial screening colonoscopy should be different for men, women
An analysis of results of more than 40,000 screening colonoscopies finds that men have a higher rate of advanced tumors compared to women in all age groups examined, suggesting that the age that individuals should undergo an initial screening colonoscopy should be sex-specific, according to a study in the Sept.

Common cholesterol drug safe, may improve learning disabilities in patients with neurofibromatosis
Researchers at Children's National Medical Center have found that a cholesterol-lowering statin drug appears to be safe in children with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1) and may improve learning disabilities, including verbal and nonverbal memory.

Quantum teleportation analysed by mathematical separation tool
Scientists from the University of Vienna's Faculty of Physics in Austria recently gave a theoretical description of teleportation phenomena in sub-atomic scale physical systems, in a publication in the European Physical Journal D.

NIH to fund development of K-12 neuroscience education programs
Eight investigators across the United States will receive funding over the next five years to develop innovative neuroscience education programs for K-12 students and their teachers.

Atypical antipsychotics may aid symptons for some off-label uses, but not others
Atypical antipsychotic medications, developed to treat schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, are frequently prescribed for many off-label uses.

Liver cancer incidence lower in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease than hepatitis C
Patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) with advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis have a lower incidence of liver-related complications and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) than patients infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV), according to the prospective study published in the October issue of Hepatology, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Clemson University biochemists identify new genetic code repair tool
Clemson University researchers recently reported finding a new class of DNA repair-makers.

MU Industrial Assessment Center saves companies thousands, trains future energy efficiency experts
The average yearly energy savings for companies utilizing the University of Missouri Industrial Assessment Center is $80,000.

Exercise eases arthritis in obese mice even without weight loss
Adding another incentive to exercise, scientists at Duke University Medical Center have found that physical activity improves arthritis symptoms even among obese mice that continue to chow down on a high-fat diet.

Intensively reducing blood sugar does not necessarily help slow cognitive decline in diabetes
Intensively lowering blood glucose offers no additional benefit in preventing cognitive decline in people with Type 2 diabetes, according to the ACCORD MIND study published online first in the Lancet Neurology.

Tendons absorb shocks muscles won't handle
Researchers at Brown University have learned how muscles and tendons in the legs deal with sudden impacts.

Window of opportunity to treat some stroke patients may be longer than originally suspected
Stroke victims may have a longer window of opportunity to receive treatment to save their brain cells, demonstrates a literature review published by University of Alberta medical researchers in Lancet Neurology.

Self-cleaning cotton breaks down pesticides, bacteria
UC Davis scientists have developed a self-cleaning cotton fabric that can kill bacteria and break down toxic chemicals such as pesticide residues when exposed to light.

Livermore computer scientist Greg Bronevetsky receives Presidential Early Career Award
The White House announced Monday that Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) computer scientist Greg Bronevetsky has been named a recipient of a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers for helping advance the state-of-the-art in high performance computing.

New AgriLife Research germplasm, irrigation management make a difference in corn production
Germplasm and staygreen technology utilized by Texas AgriLife Research corn breeders could make growing corn on limited water a greater possibility in the near future, according to AgriLife Research studies.

Early use of non-parental childcare is not harmful for most children
What type of childcare arrangements do parents choose before their children are 18 months old?

Better planning required if EU is to meet energy targets
The EU has set itself a target to increase the proportion of renewable energy to 20 per cent by the year 2020.

Marcellus shale science target of $2.5 million NSF grant
A science- and energy-based program focusing on Pennsylvania counties with natural gas exploration and production, and developed by a multidisciplinary team of Penn State researchers, is part of a $2.5-million grant from the National Science Foundation.

Postcode lotteries in preventative health care -- not necessarily all bad news
Postcode lotteries can result in unequal health care -- the area you live in can impact the treatment you receive for cancer treatment, surgery or GP care.

Environmental health risks of livestock farming
Emissions from livestock farms cause asthma and COPD patients living nearby to experience more exacerbations, according to research presented today at the European Respiratory Society's Annual Congress in Amsterdam.

Researchers use carbon nanotubes to make solar cells affordable, flexible
Researchers from Northwestern University have found that metallic carbon nanotubes are 50 times more effective than semiconducting ones when used as transparent conductors in organic solar cells.

Frequent doctor visits benefits patients with diabetes
Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital found that frequent doctor-patient encounters are associated with faster achievement of blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol treatment goals.

Rhode Island Hospital finds lack of testing for Legionella
A new study from Rhode Island Hospital shows that guidelines concerning testing patients for possible community-acquired pneumonia due to Legionella may underestimate the number of cases being seen by clinicians.

New online learning module gives children of domestic violence a voice
Over half of the residents of battered women's shelters in the United States are children (National Network to End Domestic Violence, 2010).

Saw palmetto no more effective than placebo for urinary symptoms
Saw palmetto, a widely used herbal dietary supplement, does not reduce urinary problems associated with prostate enlargement any better than a placebo, according to research funded by the National Institutes of Health.

U of A chemistry team produces a 'game-changing' catalyst
University of Alberta chemistry researchers have discovered an active catalyst that has the potential to improve the efficiency and environmental impact of manufacturing processes used to make products such as agrochemicals and pharmaceuticals.

New modeling of brain's circuitry may bring better understanding of Parkinson's disease
Work led by Leonid L. Rubchinsky, Ph.D., associate professor of mathematical sciences in the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, examines the exchange of electric signals within the Parkinson affected brain, demonstrating that repetitious, overlapped firing of neurons can lead to waves of overly synchronized brain activity. 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