Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 20, 2011
Every cloud has a silver lining: Weather forecasting models could predict brain tumor growth
Ever wondered how meteorologists can accurately predict the weather? They use complex spatiotemporal weather models that track the motions of the atmosphere through time and space, and combine them with incoming data streams from weather stations and satellites.

Removal of lymph nodes during surgery for thyroid cancer may be beneficial
Papillary thyroid cancer accounts for the majority of all thyroid malignancies, which primarily impact women.

Nanometer-scale growth of cone cells tracked in living human eye
Vision scientists at Indiana University in Bloomington have come up with a novel way to make the measurements in a living human retina by using information hidden within a commonly used technique called optical coherence tomography.

NASA's TRMM satellite measured Washi's deadly rainfall
NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite was providing forecasters with the rate in which rainfall was occurring in Tropical Storm Washi over the last week, and now TRMM data has been compiled to show rainfall totals over the devastated Philippines.

Norms and organizational culture important for safer aviation
Sometimes pilots violate established procedures and rules. This may lead to an increased risk of accidents.

Are the anxious oblivious?
Tahl Frenkel, a Ph.D. candidate at Tel Aviv University, discovered that anxious study participants weren't as physiologically sensitive to subtle changes in their environment as less fearful individuals.

Researchers use light to measure cancer cells' response to treatment
Many cancer therapies target specific proteins that proliferate on the outside of some cancer cells, but the therapies are imperfect and the cancer does not always respond.

Study finds Kaiser Permanente Early Start program could save US billions in health costs
A program for women at risk of substance abuse during pregnancy could save nearly $2 billion annually in health care costs if implemented nationwide, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published online in the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' journal, Obstetrics & Gynecology.

New take on impacts of low dose radiation
Working with a special line of human breast cells, Berkeley Lab researchers have shown that for low dose levels of ionizing radiation cancer risks may not be directly proportional to dose.

Mediterranean diet gives longer life
A Mediterranean diet with large amounts of vegetables and fish gives a longer life.

Which wheats make the best whole-grain cookie doughs?
Festive cookies, served at year-end holiday gatherings, may in the future be made with a larger proportion of whole-grain flour instead of familiar, highly refined white flour.

First Earth-sized planets found
Astronomers using NASA's Kepler mission have detected two Earth-sized planets orbiting a distant star.

A novel analytical framework could help to strengthen health systems in post-conflict countries
An analytical framework that gives equal focus to the production, deployment, and retention of health workers could help to strengthen and develop health systems in post-conflict countries, such as Afghanistan, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Cambodia.

Boston University researcher awarded 2 NIH grants
Patricia F. Coogan, Sc.D., an associate professor of epidemiology at Boston University's Slone Epidemiology Center, recently was awarded funding for two grants from the National Institutes of Health.

Society of Interventional Radiology Foundation receives support from Siemens Medical
The Society of Interventional Radiology Foundation's Discovery Campaign, which seeks to further the growth of minimally invasive medicine into new areas of discovery, announced a major corporate pledge to that initiative.

Purdue scientists reveal how bacteria build homes inside healthy cells
Bacteria are able to build camouflaged homes for themselves inside healthy cells.

Climate sensitivity greater than previously believed
Many of the particles in the atmosphere are produced by the natural world, and it is possible that plants have in recent decades reduced the effects of the greenhouse gases to which human activity has given rise.

New tool offers unprecedented access for root studies
Due to the difficulty of accessing root tissue in intact live plants, research of these hidden parts has always lagged behind research on the more visible parts of plants.

Salt policy makers eat too much salt at work
Salt policy makers in the Netherlands are consuming more than the average daily recommended salt intake of six grams in one hot meal at their work canteens, finds a study in the Christmas issue published on today.

Better turbine simulation software to yield better engines
Jen-Ping Chen, Ph.D., associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the Ohio State University, is leveraging powerful Ohio Supercomputer Center systems to improve the computational fluid dynamics software that engineers use to simulate and evaluate the operation of turbomachinery -- pumps, fans, compressors, turbines and other machines that transfer energy between a rotor and a fluid.

Appropriate activities promote children's creativity and mathematical learning
On July 1 this year, the Swedish national pre-school curriculum for mathematical development was revised.

MDC researchers: Ion channel makes African naked mole-rat insensitive to acid-induced pain
British researchers of the Max Delbrück Center Berlin have found out why the African naked mole-rat, one of the world's most unusual mammals, feels no pain when exposed to acid.

CSF test can pick up Alzheimer's early
Analysis of the cerebrospinal fluid can detect whether a person has Alzheimer's disease before symptoms appear.

'Head-first' diversity shown to drive vertebrate evolution
A new analysis of two adaptive radiations in the fossil record found that these diversifications proceeded

Terahertz pulse increases electron density 1,000-fold
Researchers at Kyoto University have announced a breakthrough with broad implications for semiconductor-based devices.

Estimating global malaria incidence
Estimates of malaria incidence derived from routine surveillance data suggest that 225 million episodes of malaria occurred worldwide in 2009.

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's superhero sexism
As parents do their final holiday shopping, comic books, and their related superhero-themed toys and children's gear, continue to be popular.

Are there differences in mortality among wine consumers and other alcoholic beverages?
Wine consumers, especially in comparison with spirits drinkers, have been shown to have higher levels of education and income, to consume a healthier diet, be more physically active, and have other characteristics that are associated with better health outcomes.

New candidate vaccine neutralizes all tested strains of malaria parasite
A new candidate malaria vaccine with the potential to neutralize all strains of the most deadly species of malaria parasite has been developed by a team led by scientists at the University of Oxford.

Glacial tap is open but the water will run dry
Glaciers are retreating at an unexpectedly fast rate according to research done in Peru's Cordillera Blanca by McGill doctoral student Michel Baraer.

Breast cancer and heart disease may have common roots
Women who are at risk for breast cancer may also be at greater risk for heart disease, new research has found.

Breastfeeding promotes healthy growth
A PhD project from LIFE - the Faculty of Life Sciences at the University of Copenhagen has shown that breastfed children follow a different growth pattern than non-breastfed children.

A single cell endoscope
Berkeley Lab researchers have developed a nanowire endoscope that can provide high-resolution optical images of the interior of a single living cell, or precisely deliver genes, proteins, therapeutic drugs or other cargo without injuring or damaging the cell.

Hypertension treatment associated with long-term improvement in life expectancy
Patients with systolic hypertension who were treated with the diuretic chlorthalidone for 4.5 years as part of a clinical trial had a significantly lower rate of death and a gain in life expectancy free from cardiovascular death about 20 years later compared to patients who received placebo, according to a study in the Dec.

New analysis casts doubt on results of tobacco industry studies into safety of cigarette additives
Published tobacco industry scientific research on the safety of cigarette additives cannot be taken at face value, according to an analysis led by Stanton Glantz from the Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education at the University of California in San Francisco, and published in this week's PLoS Medicine.

Frankincense production 'doomed' warn ecologists
Trees that produce frankincense - used in incense and perfumes across the world and a key part of the Christmas story - are declining so dramatically that production of the fragrant resin could be halved over the next 15 years, according to a new study published in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied Ecology.

Sleep disorders common among police officers
A survey of police officers indicated that about 40 percent have a sleep disorder, which was associated with an increased risk of adverse health, safety and performance outcomes, according to a study in the Dec.

Could cod liver oil help combat tuberculosis?
A review of a historical study from 1848 reveals that cod liver oil was an effective treatment for tuberculosis, says Professor Sir Malcolm Green in the Christmas issue published on today.

Geology research in Lund receives SEK 40 million
Within the space of a week, Lund University's geology researchers have raked in SEK 40 million.

Not only invisible, but also inaudible
Progress of metamaterials in nanotechnologies has made the invisibility cloak, a subject of mythology and science fiction, become reality: Light waves can be guided around an object to be hidden, in such a way that this object appears to be non-existent.

Human skull study causes evolutionary headache
Scientists studying a unique collection of human skulls have shown that changes to the skull shape thought to have occurred independently through separate evolutionary events may have actually precipitated each other.

Findings suggest that severe sepsis can lead to impairment of immune system
An analysis of lung and spleen tissue from patients who died of sepsis revealed certain biochemical, cellular and histological findings that were consistent with immunosuppression, according to a study in the Dec.

To turn up the heat in chilies, just add water
Hot chilies growing wild in dry environments produce substantially fewer seeds than non-pungent plants, but they are better protected against a seed-attacking fungus that is more prevalent in moist regions.

Boron nanoribbons reveal surprising thermal properties in bundles
Researchers looking at the thermal conductivity of bundles boron nanoribbons have found that they have unusually high heat-transfer capabilities.

Candid video clips from Thailand show anti-poaching efforts saving wildlife
Incredible camera trap video footage from the forests of Thailand have given conservationists confirmation that anti-poaching efforts in that country are paying off, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society.

New device for rapid, mobile detection of brain injury
A research team, led by Jason D. Riley in the Section on Analytical and Functional Biophotonics at the US National Institutes of Health, has created a handheld device capable of quickly detecting brain injuries such as hematomas.

NPL models the extracellular matrix
Scientists at the National Physical Laboratory have created a functional model of the native extracellular matrix that provides structural support to cells to aid growth and proliferation.

Increase in resting heart rate over 10-year period linked with increased risk of heart disease death
In a study that enrolled nearly 30,000 apparently healthy men and women, those who had an increase in their resting heart rate over a 10-year period had an increased risk of death from all causes and from ischemic heart disease, according to a study in the Dec.

Skeletons point to Columbus voyage for syphilis origins
Skeletal evidence that reputedly showed signs of syphilis in Europe and other parts of the Old World before Christopher Columbus made his voyage in 1492 does not hold up when subjected to standardized analyses for diagnosis and dating, according to an appraisal in the current Yearbook of Physical Anthropology.

Study shows potential of anti-growth factor drugs for reducing common and distressing complication of advanced ovarian cancer
Blocking the action of vascular endothelial growth factor with the new anti-VEGF drug aflibercept can curb the development of malignant ascites, a common and painful complication of advanced ovarian cancer, according to a new phase two randomized study published Online First in the Lancet Oncology.

First study of emergency care for an entire state finds care isn't always local
First study to examine patterns of emergency care for an entire state has found that 40 percent of emergency department visits in Indiana over a three-year period were by patients who visited more than one emergency department.

Scientists identify an innate function of vitamin E
It's rubbed on the skin to reduce signs of aging and consumed by athletes to improve endurance but scientists now have the first evidence of one of vitamin E's normal body functions.

HIV/AIDS vaccine developed at Western proceeding to human clinical trials
The first and only preventative HIV vaccine based on a genetically modified killed whole virus has received approval by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to start human clinical trials.

Self-healing electronics could work longer and reduce waste
University of Illinois engineers have developed a self-healing system that restores electrical conductivity to a cracked circuit in less time than it takes to blink.

Researchers discover a way to significantly reduce the production costs of fuel cells
Researchers at Aalto University in Finland have developed a new and significantly cheaper method of manufacturing fuel cells.

Early dietary experience shapes salt preference of infants and preschoolers
Researchers from the Monell Center report that 6-month-old infants who have been introduced to starchy table foods, which often contain added salt, have a heightened preference for salty taste.

Obesity linked to higher 5-year death rate after esophageal cancer surgery
Obesity doubles the risk of cancer recurrence and cancer-related death in patients with esophageal cancer who have been treated with surgery, researchers at Mayo Clinic found.

Different methods can reduce hospital fear in children
Undergoing surgery can be a terrifying experience for a child.

Do you see what I see?
A question confronting neuroscientists and computer vision researchers alike is how objects can be identified by simply

AIUM and AUA develop joint guideline for the performance of an ultrasound examination in urology
The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine and American Urological Association are pleased to announce the collaborative development of the Practice Guideline for the Performance of an Ultrasound Examination in the Practice of Urology.

Towards a radical new approach to development aid
Development aid is in need of a major overhaul. This must include a better assessment of the priorities in specific developing countries: governance reforms designed to achieve a fairer distribution of income or economic reforms to increase growth.

'Lee de Forest - King of Radio, Television, and Film'
Lee de Forest, a Yale doctorate and ultimately an Oscar winner, was an early pioneer of radio and motion picture sound.

UMD's START gets $3.6 million to study terrorism's human causes and consequences
With $3.6 million in new federal funding, researchers at the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, based at the University of Maryland, will continue to expand the scientific understanding of the human causes and consequences of terrorism, specifically addressing crucial homeland security issues, such as terrorist behavior, violent extremism and counterterrorism.

Breastfeeding saved babies in 19th century Montreal
Breastfeeding increased infant survival rates in 19th -Century Montreal in two major ways, according to research from Concordia University and McGill University.

Can nerve growth factor gene therapy prevent diabetic heart disease?
New research by academics at the University of Bristol has investigated if nerve growth factor gene therapy can prevent diabetic heart failure and small vascular disease in mice.

1 in 4 ministers were not affiliated with their party when they assumed their role
Since the first democratic elections in Spain, some 23.7 percent of ministers have not had a political party card when handing over their portfolio.

$6.75 million awarded to Case Western Reserve to study IBD
Investigators at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine received a $6.75 million Program Project Grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to study the role of innate immunity in inflammatory bowel disease.

Press registration opens for American Chemical Society National Meeting & Exposition
News media registration opened today for the American Chemical Society's 243rd National Meeting & Exposition, one of the largest scientific conferences of the New Year.

Single-sex vaccination is most effective at reducing HPV infection
In this week's PLoS Medicine, Johannes Bogaards of VU University, the Netherlands and colleagues use mathematical models to investigate whether vaccinating females only, males only, or both sexes is the best way to achieve the most effective reduction in the population prevalence of sexually-transmitted infections.

Interactions between substances determine allergenic potential
Scientists at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have used advanced light microscopy to show that a substance can be differently absorbed by the skin, depending on what it is mixed with.

Doctors should stop using the phrase 'obs stable' in hospital notes
The phrase

Get ready for spring - hay fever worse in spring than summer
Hay fever is caused by an allergy to pollen, and most commonly to grass pollen.

Fame is more likely to kill rock stars, not being 27 years old
The list of well known musicians who have died at age 27 may look like more than a coincidence - Amy Winehouse, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Kurt Cobain, and Brian Jones to name a few - but their age is unlikely to have been the cause of their demise, according to research in the Christmas issue published on today.

Attic vases from Athens inspired Cypriote pottery
Athenian pottery was exported to both east and west. In Cyprus the pottery was exported for about 300 years and it became a part of the Cypriots' life.

The work of Frank Gehry has been analyzed on the basis of 3 1980s' buildings in Los Angeles
Iñaki Begiristain, a lecturer at the University of the Basque Country, did his thesis on the architect of the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, but with the focus placed far away from this Basque city.

Forest health versus global warming: Fuel reduction likely to increase carbon emissions
Forest thinning to help prevent or reduce severe wildfire will release more carbon to the atmosphere than any amount saved by successful fire prevention.

SwRI researchers discover new evidence for complex molecules on Pluto's surface
The new and highly sensitive Cosmic Origins Spectrograph aboard the Hubble Space Telescope has discovered a strong ultraviolet-wavelength absorber on Pluto's surface, providing new evidence that points to the possibility of complex hydrocarbon and/or nitrile molecules lying on the surface, according to a paper recently published in the Astronomical Journal by researchers from Southwest Research Institute and Nebraska Wesleyan University.

A new method for testing allergenic substances without experimental animals
Contact allergy affects around 20 percent of the population in the western world.

Ironing out the details of the Earth's core
Identifying the composition of the earth's core is key to understanding how our planet formed and the current behavior of its interior.

'Painless' plasma brush is becoming reality in dentistry, MU engineers say
University of Missouri engineers and their research collaborators at Nanova, Inc. are one step closer to a painless way to replace fillings. 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