Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 04, 2011
UA scientists find evidence of Roman period megadrought
A new study at the University of Arizona's Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research has revealed a previously unknown multi-decade drought period in the second century A.D.

Coasts' best protection from bioinvaders falling short
Invasive species have hitchhiked to the US on cargo ships for centuries, but the method US regulators most rely on to keep them out is not equally effective across coasts.

A 2-dimensional electron liquid solidifies in a magnetic field
Physicists from the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a theory that describes, in a unified manner, the coexistence of liquid and pinned solid phases of electrons in two dimensions under the influence of a magnetic field.

Not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 clones!
Chinese researchers have produced a theory for a quantum cloning machine able to produce several copies of the state of a particle at atomic or sub-atomic scale, or quantum state, in an article about to be published in EPJ D.

Research aims to prevent diabetic kidney failure
The enzyme arginase-2 plays a major role in kidney failure, and blocking the action of this enzyme might lead to protection against renal disease in diabetes, according to researchers.

Senior ONR executive earns highest DoD civilian award for transition excellence
Office of Naval Research senior leader Dr. Joseph P. Lawrence III received the Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award on Nov.

Psychologists stress the importance of memory in preventing relapse after therapy
Addictions, phobias, post-traumatic stress disorder -- such painful and harmful problems are recalcitrant to treatment.

Clean soot particle filters
The soot particle filters found on diesel vehicles are designed to ensure that no harmful particles make their way through the exhaust pipe.

Vintage leather football helmets often as protective as modern helmets in common, game-like hits
Old-fashioned

Hubble directly observes the disc around a black hole
Scientists have used the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope to observe a quasar accretion disc -- a glowing disc of matter that is slowly being sucked into its galaxy's central black hole.

Nitrogen fertilizers' impact on lawn soils
In a study funded by the National Science Foundation Ecosystem Studies and Long Term Ecological Research programs, researchers from Cornell University and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies have utilized recent technological advances to measure gaseous nitrogen emissions in home lawns.

Unique bipolar compounds enhance functionality of organic electronics
Professor Tim Bender and Ph.D. Candidate Graham Morse of University of Toronto's Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry have uncovered compounds that exhibit unique and novel electro-chemical properties.

Food for thought: Contravening lay beliefs of eating at heart of our dietary disasters
Waste not, want not. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

New European project launched to address shortcomings in climate data
A major European joint research project has kicked off to establish the infrastructure and expertise needed to make earth measurements which are sufficiently accurate to make reliable predictions about the effects of climate change.

Biodiversity can promote survival on a warming planet
Whether a species can evolve to survive climate change may depend on the biodiversity of its ecological community, according to a new mathematical model that simulates the effect of climate change on plants and pollinators.

NYU Langone experts present at American College of Rheumatology 2011 Annual Meeting
Experts from NYU Langone Medical Center will present new research findings and clinical insight into the treatment of rheumatic and bone diseases in a variety of presentations at the American College of Rheumatology 2011 Annual Scientific Meeting in Chicago, Nov.

Awareness and labeling initiatives can benefit inland fisheries
Much less attention is paid to conservation of freshwater fish and shellfish species that to marine species, although freshwater species may be relatively more threatened.

Raises and cuts in public sector salaries have a direct effect on the private sector
A joint study of the Bank of Spain and the Pablo de Olavide University confirms that public salaries are clearly influential throughout the whole of Europe's economy.

Microlenses for 3-D endoscopes
Modern endoscopic techniques enable doctors to perform surgery without major incisions.

UBC researchers devise new technology to monitor brain aneurysms
University of British Columbia researchers have developed new technology for monitoring brain aneurysms - an approach that is potentially less invasive and more accurate than current methods, and one that is simple enough for patients to use at home for frequent monitoring.

Loyola nurse practitioner reduces unnecessary emergency department visits
Adding a nurse practitioner to a busy hospital staff can decrease unnecessary emergency department visits, according to a study published in the latest issue of Surgery by researchers at Loyola University Health System.

How do green algae react to carbon nanotubes?
Nanoparticles such as carbon nanotubes (CNT), which are found in an ever-increasing number of products, are ending up more and more frequently in our surroundings.

Dead of winter is tough on arthritis sufferers
As cold winter weather sets in and daylight hours dwindle, many older Chicagoans with arthritis tend to sit idle, missing out on the daily dose of physical activity they need to improve their health, according to a Northwestern Medicine study.

Changing fine structure constant, packing spheres tighter, and mimicking complex birdsongs
Astronomical observations seem to indicate that the fine structure constant may be different in distant parts of the universe, a new scheme allows spheres to pack tighter inside tubes, and researchers find the keys to mimicking complex birdsongs

UI researcher to study glaucoma in dogs
A University of Iowa vision researcher has been awarded an $87,480 grant to study genetic markers of glaucoma in dogs, with hopes the research will bring him closer to identifying markers in humans with the same disease.

How we create false memories: Assessing memory performance in older adults
A new study in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, published online Oct.

KAIST's 4th International Presidential Forum in Seoul on Nov. 8, 2011
2011 International Presidential Forum on Global Research Universities,

Nutritional intervention helps in mild Alzheimer's disease
A second clinical trial of the medical food Souvenaid confirmed that daily intake of the nutritional intervention improves memory in people with mild Alzheimer's disease.

Tracing biological pathways
A new chemical process developed by a team of Harvard researchers greatly increases the utility of positron emission tomography in creating real-time 3-D images of chemical process occurring inside the human body.

New study suggests EU biofuels are as carbon intensive as petrol
University of Leicester research into greenhouse gas emissions from oil palm plantations provides robust measures now being used to inform international policies on greenhouse gas emissions.

Protein causes varicose veins
Heidelberg scientists have developed a model for studying varicose veins.

A biologically inspired tape uses some of nature's tricks to stick
Insects can run up walls, hang from ceilings, and perform other amazing feats that have for centuries fascinated human observers.

Researchers discover why measles spreads so quickly
Measles virus is perhaps the most contagious virus in the world, affecting 10 million children worldwide each year and accounting for 120,000 deaths.

Common bacteria cause some colon tumors by altering peroxide-producing gene
Working with lab cultures and mice, Johns Hopkins scientists have found that a strain of the common gut pathogen Bacteroides fragilis causes colon inflammation and increases activity of a gene called spermine oxidase in the intestine.

Brain parasite directly alters brain chemistry
A research group from the University of Leeds has shown that infection by the brain parasite Toxoplasma gondii, found in 10-20 percent of the UK's population, directly affects the production of dopamine, a key chemical messenger in the brain.

How should society pay for services ecosystems provide?
Over the past 50 years, 60 percent of all ecosystem services have declined as a direct result of the conversion of land to the production of foods, fuels and fibers.

Researchers identify structure of apolipoprotein
Using a sophisticated technique of X-ray crystallography, researchers Xiaohu Mei, Ph.D., and David Atkinson, Ph.D., from Boston University School of Medicine, have for the first time obtained an

Body weight, sleep-disordered breathing and cognition linked in children
Researchers at the University of Chicago have found important new relationships between obesity, sleep-disordered breathing and cognitive processing among elementary school children.

Medical researchers make important research link between active ingredient in saffron and MS
Medical researchers at the University of Alberta have discovered that an active ingredient in the Persian spice saffron may be a potential treatment for diseases involving neuroinflammation, such as multiple sclerosis.

Public review begins of world's first standard for geologic storage of CO2
Carbon capture and storage is an important tool to combat climate change.

New study from NYUCN is the first to look at nursing error disclosure in nursing homes
In the study,

Leicester leads the way towards a sustainable lake in Africa
University of Leicester biologists and geographers are working on a project for an ecologically sustainable source of flowers.

Birth cohort screening for hepatitis C is cost effective, could save thousands of lives each year
Proactive screening strategy could help identify over 800,000 unidentified cases at a cost-effectiveness that is comparable to many other routine preventive health care services.

Networking leaders complete transformative summit to define roadmap to software-defined networking
The first Open Networking Summit, the premiere gathering focusing on the future of OpenFlow and Software-Defined Networking, ended with audience applause as the conference completed three days of conversation, thought-leadership and demonstrations.

Low vitamin D levels do not predict the risk of acute exacerbations of COPD
Baseline vitamin D levels do not predict the frequency or timing of acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in patients with severe COPD, according to a large prospective cohort study involving 973 North American patients.

Concurrent chemo and radiation confers survival benefit in nasopharyngeal carcinoma patients
The combination of chemotherapy and radiation significantly improved the 5-year overall survival of patients with stage II nasopharyngeal carcinoma, according to a phase III study published Nov.

Molecule serves as a key in some protein interactions
Research led by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists has identified an unexpected mechanism facilitating some protein interactions that are the workhorses of cells and, in the process, identified a potential new cancer drug development target.

Why is the measles virus so contagious?
An international collaboration involving Inserm has revealed how the measles virus leaves the body of an infected person to contaminate another individual.

Scientists carve nanowires out of ultrananocrystalline diamond thin films
A team of scientists working at Argonne National Laboratory's Center for Nanoscale Materials has successfully carved ultrananocrystalline diamond thin films into nanowires, boosting the material's functionality and providing potential improvements to the fabrication of biosensors.
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