Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 05, 2011
On the menu: Research helps future restaurant managers reach out to customers with food allergies
A Kansas State University research team is using a United States Department of Agriculture Higher Education Challenge Grant to serve up improved food allergy education for future restaurant managers and staff.

Guidelines set out for obtaining more efficient latex
Chemical engineer Inês Mariz has presented guidelines for obtaining better quality and more efficient latex, in a Ph.D. thesis defended at the University of the Basque Country.

Tobin Marks awarded Dreyfus Prize in the Chemical Sciences
Tobin J. Marks, the Vladimir N. Ipatieff Professor of Catalytic Chemistry, and professor of materials science and engineering at Northwestern University, was awarded the Dreyfus Prize in the Chemical Sciences on Sept.

Rethinking connection between soil as a carbon reservoir and global warming
The soil plays a key role in the ecosystem, economy and global carbon cycle.

Anaemia increases the risk of death and major morbidity associated with a range of non-cardiac surgical procedures
Patients with anemia that undergo a range of non-cardiac surgical procedures have a 42 percent increased risk of death and a 35 percent increased risk of serious comorbidities compared with patients who are not anemic.

Can peer mentors help teens lose weight? new strategies for combatting teen obesity
Obesity among adolescents has more than tripled over the past 40 years, and recent estimates find that over 18 percent of teens in the US are obese.

Athletes' winning streaks may not be all in our -- or their -- heads
When an athlete consistently does well, sports commentators may describe them as being

Invasive melanoma may be more likely in children than adults
A Johns Hopkins Children's Center study of young people with melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer, has found that some children have a higher risk of invasive disease than adults.

Longer trips to the ER, especially for minorities and poor
Closures of hospital trauma centers are disproportionately affecting poor, uninsured and African-American populations, and nearly a fourth of Americans are now forced to travel farther than they once did.

Childhood asthma non-profit invests millions in health centers to help children better manage asthma
The Merck Childhood Asthma Network Inc. today announced more than $4 million in funding to implement the Community Healthcare for Asthma Management and Prevention of Symptoms (CHAMPS) partnership in five non-profit, Federally Qualified Health Centers.

Seeds of destruction in Parkinson's disease: Spread of diseased proteins kills neurons
New research suggests that small

Components based on nature's example
They are lightweight and yet strong and resilient: straw, bamboo, bones and teeth owe their surprising strength to their cleverly designed internal structures and a judicious combination of materials.

Novel Stanford math formula can predict success of certain cancer therapies
Carefully tracking the rate of response of human lung tumors during the first weeks of treatment can predict which cancers will undergo sustained regression, suggests a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Progression of lung fibrosis blocked in mouse model
A study by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine may lead to a way to prevent the progression, or induce the regression, of lung injury that results from use of the anti-cancer chemotherapy drug Bleomycin.

New Stanford regimen frees kidney-transplant patients from dependency on immunosuppresant drugs
Investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine have developed a novel protocol that allows kidney-transplant recipients to jettison their indispensable immune-suppressing drugs.

Caltech team uses laser light to cool object to quantum ground state
For the first time, researchers at the California Institute of Technology, in collaboration with a team from the University of Vienna, have managed to cool a miniature mechanical object to its lowest possible energy state using laser light.

Antisense therapy delivers long-term correction of severe spinal muscular atrophy in mice
CSHL scientists have discovered that the devastating neuromuscular disease, spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), might not exclusively affect the motor neurons in the spinal cord as has long been thought.

Genencor promotes biobased economy to address challenges of fast-growing world population
Today at the first-annual California Industrial Biotechnology Conference, Genencor called for the collaboration of industry, science and policy stakeholders to help solve the challenges of a growing world population through accelerating a biobased economy.

In the brain, winning is everywhere
Winning may not be the only thing, but the human brain devotes a lot of resources to the outcome of games, a new study by Yale researchers suggest.

Crash-safe battery protection for electric cars
Everyone is talking about electric drives, and the scientists from Fraunhofer are also working on them.

Monkeys 'move and feel' virtual objects using only their brains
In a first ever demonstration of a two-way interaction between a primate brain and a virtual body, two monkeys trained at the Duke University Center for Neuroengineering learned to employ brain activity alone to move an avatar hand and identify the texture of virtual objects.

Zinc's role in the brain
Zinc plays a critical role in regulating how neurons communicate with one another, and could affect how memories form and how we learn.

Timing is right for SDSC cloud
Successfully managing, preserving, and sharing large amounts of digitally-based data has become more of an economic challenge than a technical one, as researchers must meet a new National Science Foundation policy requiring them to submit a data management plan as part of their funding requests, said Michael Norman, director the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego.

Survival increased in early stage breast cancer after treatment with herceptin and chemo
Treating women with early stage breast cancer with a combination of chemotherapy and the molecularly targeted drug Herceptin significantly increases survival in patients with a specific genetic mutation that results in very aggressive disease.

Research sheds light on origins of greatness
In a provocative new paper, Michigan State University's Zach Hambrick suggests working memory capacity -- which is closely related to general intelligence -- may sometimes be the deciding factor between being good and being great.

Princeton investment conference explores revolutionary laser-based medical diagnostics
This conference explores medical applications of mid-infrared laser technologies, such as human breath monitoring, non-invasive glucose sensing for diabetes, cancer diagnostics, and environmental health monitoring.

Molecular sudoku
Sudoku puzzles represent a popular exercise recommended to improve logical and creative thinking.

Pitt biologists find 'surprising' number of unknown viruses in sewage
Though viruses are the most abundant life form on Earth, our knowledge of the viral universe is limited to a tiny fraction of the viruses that likely exist.

Nursing home flu shots fall short, especially for blacks
Black nursing home residents are less likely than their white counterparts to receive flu shots, even within the same nursing home, a new analysis finds.

New GSA field guide: Archean to anthropocene geology of Minnesota and surrounds
The Geological Society of America announces a new field guide.

Iowa State, Ames Laboratory, Technion scientist wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry
The Nobel Foundation today announced Dan Shechtman of Iowa State University, the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory and Israel's Technion has won the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

New technique offers enhanced security for sensitive data in cloud computing
Researchers from North Carolina State University and IBM have developed a new, experimental technique to better protect sensitive information in cloud computing -- without significantly affecting the system's overall performance.

Fox Chase researchers improve accuracy of IMRT delivery in post-prostatectomy patients
Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the United States, as well as the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in this population.

MIT research: Career path closed, must take detour
A new study of more than 1,000 engineers, conducted by an MIT professor, shows that non-compete agreements come with a high cost for employees: When those workers do shift jobs, roughly one-third of them end up leaving their chosen industry altogether, often at significant financial cost to themselves.

In iPad, researcher sees hope for children with impaired visual function
A researcher at the University of Kansas believes the iPad could vastly improve the lives and prospects of children living with cortical visual impairment, a severe neurological disorder resulting from brain damage that prevents children from interpreting visual information.

Organic medical imaging system to detect disease and track medication
Scientists at the University of Nottingham are developing microscopic organic medical imaging systems to support a new generation of breakthrough treatments for currently incurable diseases and chronic life-threatening illnesses.

AACR hosts molecular targets and cancer therapeutics conference
The conference is to highlight advances in cancer drug development.

Last universal common ancestor more complex than previously thought
Scientists call it LUCA, the Last Universal Common Ancestor, but they don't know much about this great-grandparent of all living things.

Unlocking jams in fluid materials
In a study recently published in European Physical Journal E, a German scientist constructed a theoretical model to understand how to best avoid jamming of soft matter that can be applied in food and cosmetics production.

Oxygenating system associated with lower risk of death for H1N1 patients with respiratory failure
Patients with severe 2009 H1N1 influenza who developed respiratory failure and were treated with a system that adds oxygen to the patient's blood had a lower rate of in-hospital death than similar patients who did not receive this treatment, according to a study appearing in JAMA.

Health Affairs article focuses on health care disparities facing people with disabilities
Two decades after the Americans with Disabilities Act went into effect, people with disabilities continue to face difficulties meeting major social needs, including obtaining appropriate access to health care facilities and services.

Report reveals economic, social costs of hunger in America
New study by researchers at Brandeis University and the Center for American Progress finds the social and economic cost of hunger and food insecurity in the United States in 2010 hit $167.5 billion in addition to federal expenditures to address hunger.

Here, there, everywhere: Reward and penalty processing is widespread in the human brain
Our behavior is often guided by the desire to obtain positive outcomes and avoid negative consequences, and neuroscientists have put a great deal of effort into looking for reward and punishment

Think you're in poor health? It could increase your odds of dementia
People who rate their health as poor or fair appear to be significantly more likely to develop dementia later in life, according to a study published in the Oct.

Distribution atlas of butterflies in Europe
Scientists present the largest distribution data compilation ever on butterflies of an entire continent.

The establishment of genetically engineered canola populations in the US
A study published today by the online journal PLoS ONE reports that genetically engineered canola endowed with herbicide resistance have been found growing outside of established cultivation regions along roadsides across North Dakota.

More aggressive treatment not necessary for men with a family history of prostate cancer
There are three major factors that are used to evaluate the extent and aggressiveness of prostate cancer, help make treatment decisions, and estimate prognosis: the prostate specific antigen level, Gleason score from the biopsy, and the digital rectal exam findings.

NASA sees wind shear and heavy rainfall in tropical storm Philippe
Heavy rainfall was occurring in Tropical Storm Philippe's southeastern quadrant when NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite flew over it this week, and the storm continues to strengthen.

Immune mechanism blocks inflammation generated by oxidative stress
Researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine, as part of an international collaborative effort, identify a key protein that binds to a molecule generated by oxidative stress, blocking any subsequent inflammatory immune response.

Colossal aggregations of giant alien freshwater fish as a potential biogeochemical hotspot
Many different types of animals come together to form vast groups -- insect swarms, mammal herds, or bird flocks, for example.

Physicists to develop new way of electronic computing
UC Riverside has received a $1.85 million grant to develop a new way of computing that is beyond the scope of conventional silicon electronics.

From myth to reality: Photos prove triple rainbows exist
Few people have ever claimed to see three rainbows arcing through the sky at once.

Bacteria forge nitrogen from nitric oxide
The molecular mechanism of anaerobic ammonium oxidation has been unraveled.

Long-lost Lake Agassiz offers clues to climate change
What caused water levels to drop in immense yet long-vanished Lake Agassiz?

A third of elderly Medicare beneficiaries undergo surgery during their last year of life but many procedures are likely to be unnecessary or unwanted
Almost a third of elderly American beneficiaries of fee-for-service Medicare undergo surgery during their last year of life, with most of these procedures being performed in the month before death.

New study shows how trees clean the air in London
New research by scientists at the University of Southampton has shown how London's trees can improve air quality by filtering out pollution particulates, which are damaging to human health.

Online housing discrimination primarily done by roommate-seekers, familial status, MU study finds
Rigel Oliveri, an associate dean for faculty research and development and associate professor of law at the University of Missouri School of Law, found that discriminatory online housing ads are almost always posted by people seeking roommates, and are primarily based on familial status.

New potential therapeutic target for breast cancer
A possible new target for breast cancer therapy comes from the discovery that the Tyk2 protein helps suppress the growth and metastasis of breast tumors, as reported in Journal of Interferon & Cytokine Research, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Hypothetically tweaking: Research shows questions can influence behavior, promote bias
Hypothetically speaking, if someone told you that a hypothetical question could influence your judgments or behavior, would you believe them?

How chronic stress short-circuits parenting
Parents under long-term stress often find it challenging to tap into the patience, responsiveness, and energy required for effective child rearing.

Simulations unlock carbon nanotube potential for industry
A special configuration of carbon atoms -- a cylindrical network of molecules known as carbon nanotubes -- is attracting lots of attention from industry researchers these days.

Faculty of 1000 introduces a unique opinion-based journal metric
Enabling researchers to look beyond the Impact Factor, F1000's new Journal Rankings use expert ratings of individual research articles to provide a continuously updating picture of journals ranked by excellence within biology and medicine.

Seed time-capsule will aid study of plant evolution amid environmental change
Everything that scientists can ever know about long-gone creatures is what they can deduce from fossils.

Women exposed to diethylstilbestrol in the womb face increased cancer risk
A study of daughters of women given diethylstilbestrol, synthetic estrogen, during pregnancy has found that exposure to the drug while in the womb is associated with many reproductive problems and an increased risk of certain cancers.

Earliest psychomyiid caddisfly fossils, from 100-million-year-old Burmese amber
Researchers from the University of Cologne, Germany and the National Museum of Scotland discovered the earliest known fossil caddisflies, of the family Psychomyiidae, preserved in Burmese amber.

1 room -- 63 different dust particles? Researchers aim to build dust library
Researchers recently isolated 63 unique dust particles from their laboratory -- and that's just the beginning.  The chemists were testing a new kind of sensor when dust got stuck inside it, and they discovered that they could measure the composition of single dust particles.

Zusammenhang zwischen Boden als Kohlenstoffspeicher und globaler Erwärmung überdenken
Der Boden spielt für das Ökosystem, die Wirtschaft und für den globalen Kohlenstoffkreislauf eine entscheidende Rolle.

Most ancient supernovas are discovered
Professor Dan Maoz of Tel Aviv University's Raymond and Beverly Sackler School of Physics and Astronomy is spearheading a project that has just discovered 12 of the most distant and ancient supernovas ever seen, 10 of them in a part of the sky called the Subaru Deep Field.

Secure updates for navigation systems and company
At the push of a button by the driver, control units download the car manufacturer's new software -- such as enhanced map material for the navigation system.

New oral drug found to reduce relapses in multiple sclerosis patients
A new oral drug has been shown in a large international clinical trial to significantly reduce the relapse rate of people with multiple sclerosis and to slow the progression of the disease.

Lack of compensation for human egg donors could stall recent breakthroughs in stem cell research
In the October 7th issue of Cell Stem Cell, researchers at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute and the Department of Bioethics at Case Western Reserve University argue that this lack of compensation could prove to be yet another hurdle for human stem cell research in the United States.

Scientists determine alternative insecticide dramatically reduces malaria transmission
Indoor spraying with the insecticide bendiocarb has dramatically decreased malaria transmission in many parts of Benin, new evidence that insecticides remain a potent weapon for fighting malaria in Africa despite the rapid rise of resistance to an entire class of mosquito-killing compounds, according to a study published today in the October edition of the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

NASA eyes light rainfall in dissipating tropical depression Nalgae
Tropical Depression Nalgae weakened rapidly when it made landfall on Hainan Island, China yesterday and NASA's TRMM satellite observed lighter rainfall rates that coincided with its lower intensity.

Athletes' streaks not all in our (or their) heads
Today in the online journal PLoS ONE, researchers report an analysis of five years of NBA free-throws that supports what is called the

US not taking basic step to prevent toxoplasmosis in newborns, Stanford researcher contends
North American babies who acquire toxoplasmosis infections in the womb show much higher rates of brain and eye damage than European infants with the same infection, according to new research from the Stanford University School of Medicine.

A new species of fossil silky lacewing insects that lived more than 120 million years ago
A team of researchers from the Capital Normal University in Beijing and the Institute of Biology and Soil Sciences in Vladivostok has discovered a remarkable silky lacewing insect from the Mesozoic of China.

Collectivism and bribery
Why are some places more prone to bribery and corruption than others?

Laser polishes components to a high-gloss finish
At present, components used in areas such as tool and die making generally have to be painstakingly polished by hand -- but a recently developed automated process could soon offer a much faster solution.

FDG-PET appears promising for predicting prognosis of patients with inoperable NSCLC
The prognosis for patients with stage II and III inoperable non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) is poor, with only about 15 percent of patients surviving at five years post-treatment for the disease.

Spanish women marry immigrants with more qualifications
A team at the Complutense University of Madrid has studied the marriage strategies of immigrants in order to determine the nature of endogamic (between people of the same nationality) and exogamic partnerships (between people of different nationalities) in Spain.

First NIH-funded personalized drug development center in US will focus on muscle disease
The first Center of Research Translation, focused on personalized drug development for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, has been created through a $7.9 million grant from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases of the National Institutes of Health.

Capacity to diagnose osteoporosis doubles in Armenia
On Oct. 4, in conjunction with the 5th Annual Osteoporosis Symposium, the announcement was made that Hologic Inc. has donated three more DXA instruments for the diagnosis of osteoporosis in Armenia.

New mouse model recreates common form of autism
A research team from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has created a genetically engineered mouse with increased dosages of the Ube3 gene.

EARTH: Down to earth with Nobel Prize winner Adam Riess
Newly named Nobel Laureates Adam Riess, Saul Perlmutter and Brian P.

New research shows PET imaging effective in predicting lung cancer outcomes
Advanced imaging with Positron Emission Tomography scans shows great promise in predicting which patients with inoperable lung cancer have more aggressive tumors and need additional treatment following standard chemotherapy/radiation therapy, according to new research.

New study shows inflammatory food toxins found in high levels in infants
Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine have found high levels of food toxins called Advanced Glycation End products in infants.

Eurofins MWG Operon and Integrated Genomics cooperate to provide complete genome projects
Eurofins MWG Operon and Integrated Genomics have announced a co-operation agreement to combine their expertise in sequencing and analysis services for microbial, fungal and algal organisms.

Virginia Commonwealth University study: We are what we experience
Our life experiences -- the ups and downs, and everything in between -- shape us, stay with us and influence our emotional set point as adults, according to a new study led by Virginia Commonwealth University researchers.

Dietary supplements for patients after lung injury do not appear to improve outcomes; may be harmful
In contrast to findings of previous studies, patients who experienced an acute lung injury, such as from pneumonia or sepsis, and received dietary supplements including omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants had more days on a ventilator, more days in the intensive care unit, and a non-statistically significant increase in the rate of death, according to a study appearing in JAMA.

NIH funds continued research in suicide prevention in China
The National Institutes of Health Fogarty International Center has awarded $1.1 million to the University of Rochester Medical Center in support of a program that for the last 10 years has been training people in China to investigate the causes and prevention of suicide.

University of Colorodo Boulder team discovers ancient road at Maya village buried by volcanic ash 1,400 years ago
A University of Colorado Boulder-led team excavating a Maya village in El Salvador buried by a volcanic eruption 1,400 years ago has unexpectedly hit an ancient white road that appears to lead to and from the town, which was frozen in time by a blanket of ash.

Wayne State University to study effects of risky family environments on childhood asthma
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, asthma is the third ranking cause of hospitalization of children younger than 15 in the United States.

Earlier tracheostomies result in better patient outcomes
A tracheostomy performed within the first seven days after a severe head injury results in better overall patient outcome, according to a team of Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

First comet found with ocean-like water
New evidence supports the theory that comets delivered a significant portion of Earth's oceans, which scientists believe formed about eight million years after the planet itself. 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