Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 18, 2012
Where do the highest-energy cosmic rays come from? Probably not from gamma-ray bursts
Some rare cosmic rays pack an astonishing wallop, with energies prodigiously greater than particles in human-made accelerators like the Large Hadron Collider.

Nature's billion-year-old battery key to storing energy
New research at Concordia University is bringing us one step closer to clean energy.

Scientists confirm limited genetic diversity in the extinct Tasmanian tiger
A team of international scientists including from the University of Melbourne, Australia, have confirmed the unique Tasmanian tiger or thylacine had limited genetic diversity prior to its extinction.

Crime and punishment: The neurobiological roots of modern justice
A pair of neuroscientists from Vanderbilt and Harvard Universities has proposed the first neurobiological model for third-party punishment.

First-in-man study shows that new magnetically controlled growing rods can treat scoliosis in children without repeated invasive surgery
A first-in-man study published online first by the Lancet shows that new magnetically-controlled growing rods can treat scoliosis in children by being extended using a noninvasive technique as their spine grows, without the repeated invasive surgery used with existing rod technology.

Gladstone scientists regenerate damaged mouse hearts by transforming scar tissue into beating heart muscle
Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes today are announcing a medical breakthrough that one day may help doctors restore hearts damaged by heart attacks -- by converting scar-forming cardiac cells into beating heart muscle.

Use less water, producing energy and fertilizer at the same time
Water is a valuable resource. New technologies are making it easier to handle drinking water responsibly, purify wastewater effectively and even recover biogas and fertilizer.

Killing in war linked with suicidal thoughts among Vietnam veterans, study finds
The experience of killing in war was strongly associated with thoughts of suicide, in a study of Vietnam-era veterans led by researchers at the San Francisco VA Medical Center and the University of California - San Francisco.

Scientists rewrite rulebook on breast cancer in landmark global study
Scientists at the BC Cancer Agency and University of British Columbia have identified new breast cancer genes that could change the way the disease is diagnosed and form the basis of next-generation treatments.

A new kind of quantum junction
A new type of quantum bit called a

U MI Tauber Institute is first winner of INFORMS UPS George D. Smith Prize
The Tauber Institute for Global Relations at the University of Michigan is the first winner of the UPS George D.

UCSB researchers discover particularly dangerous Salmonella
UC Santa Barbara researchers have discovered Salmonella bacteria that are up to 100 times more capable of causing disease.

Reminders of secular authority reduce believers' distrust of atheists
What's the group that least agrees with Americans' vision of their country?

Belief in God strongest in US and Catholic countries, surveys find
International surveys about the depth of people's belief in God reveal vast differences among nations, ranging from 94 percent of people in the Philippines who said they always believed in God, compared to only 13 percent of people in the former East Germany.

PRB at Wayne State/DMC discover window of opportunity to prevent cerebral palsy
Researchers at the Perinatology Research Branch of the National Institutes of Health, located at the Wayne State University School of Medicine and the Detroit Medical Center, have demonstrated that a nanotechnology-based drug treatment in newborn rabbits with cerebral palsy enabled dramatic improvement of movement disorders and the inflammatory process of the brain that causes many cases of CP.

Wiley Encyclopedia of Composites, 5-volume set, second edition
Wiley is pleased to announce publication of a new major reference work, the Wiley Encyclopedia of Composites, five-volume set, second edition.

Europe meets to discuss progress in energy research and development
The Second European Energy Conference, which opened today in Maastricht, the Netherlands, brings together high-level researchers, policymakers and practitioners to discuss the future of European energy.

Gene signature helps identify risk of relapse in lung cancer patients
A new genetic signature may provide doctors with robust and objective information about which patients with early stage lung cancer are at low or high risk of relapse following surgery, investigators report at the 3rd European Lung Cancer Conference in Geneva.

Autologous bone marrow-derived mononuclear cell transplants can reduce diabetic amputations
This study evaluated the safety and efficacy of inter-arterial administration of autologous bone marrow-derived mononuclear cells into 20 diabetic patients with severe below-the-knee arterial ischemia.

CU research shows warming climate threatens ecology at mountain research site west of Boulder
A series of papers published this month on ecological changes at 26 global research sites -- including one administered by the University of Colorado Boulder in the high mountains west of the city -- indicates that ecosystems dependent on seasonal snow and ice are the most sensitive to changes in climate.

Green-glowing fish provides new insights into health impacts of pollution
Understanding the damage that pollution causes to both wildlife and human health is set to become much easier thanks to a new green-glowing zebrafish.

First description of a triple DNA helix in a vacuum
A team of researchers at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine and the Barcelona Supercomputing Center have managed for the first time to extract trustworthy structural information from a triple helix DNA in gas phase, that is to say in conditions in which DNA is practically in a vacuum.

No proof that gum disease causes heart disease or stroke
There is no convincing evidence that proves gum disease causes heart disease or stroke, or treating gum disease reduces the risk of those diseases.

50 years of bird poop links DDT with changing bird menus
Analysis of 50 years' bird droppings inside a large decommissioned chimney on Queen's campus, provided evidence that DDT and bird diet may have played a role, in a long-term decline for populations of insect-eating birds in North America.

Researchers find men more likely to be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of discharge
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine have found that men are more likely to be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of original discharge as compared to women.

Groundbreaking device improves laser accuracy in surgeries
A Queen's physicist and a Ph.D. student have developed a groundbreaking device that controls the depth of a laser cut, laying groundwork to provide pinpoint accuracy during surgeries.

The cell's 'personal space:' A controlling factor in maintaining healthy tissue
Researchers from Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah have found that normal epithelium tissue ejects living cells to maintain a steady population and ease overcrowding, a discovery has the potential to reveal what goes awry in cancer when cells do not turnover, but instead pile up.

Meat eating led to earlier weaning, helped humans spread across globe
When early humans became carnivores, their higher-quality diet allowed mothers to wean babies earlier and have more children.

Early detection techniques offer hope for improved outcomes in lung cancer patients
New techniques for identifying lung cancer earlier -- including a new type of chest screening, a nanotech

Bioreactor redesign dramatically improves yield
Scientists explain why a microalgae bioreactor redesign provides an order-of-magnitude improvement over conventional cultivation methods.

Detecting malaria early to save lives: New optical technique promises rapid and accurate diagnosis
Correctly and quickly diagnosing malaria is essential for effective and life-saving treatment.

Analysis raises atmospheric, ecologic and economic doubts about forest bioenergy
A large, global move to produce more energy from forest biomass may be possible and already is beginning in some places, but scientists say in a new analysis that such large-scale bioenergy production from forest biomass is unsustainable and will increase greenhouse gas emissions.

Webb Telescope spinoff technologies already seen in some industries
A critical component of the James Webb Space Telescope is its new technology.

As deadly cat disease spreads nationally, MU veterinarian finds effective treatment
University of Missouri veterinarian Leah Cohn, a small animal disease expert, and Adam Birkenheuer from North Carolina State University, have found an effective treatment for

Researchers across North America team up to find genetic markers for autism
A medical researcher at the University of Alberta is working with scientists from across North America to find out if there are genetic markers for autism.

Israel names Tel Aviv University's Renewable Energy Center a 'Center of Research Excellence'
Tel Aviv University's Renewable Energy Center, with 55 senior researchers spanning across seven faculties, has made a commitment to a cleaner future.

Leading experts on congenital muscular dystrophy convene at University of Nevada, Reno
The nation's leading scientists and clinicians exploring treatment breakthroughs for congenital muscular dystrophy will convene April 22-24 on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno, where research by Dean Burkin has led to a potential therapy.

Rivers flowing into the sea offer vast potential as electricity source
A new genre of electric power-generating stations could supply electricity for more than a half billion people by tapping just one-tenth of the global potential of a little-known energy source that exists where rivers flow into the ocean, a new analysis has concluded.

Ben-Gurion University planting an olive tree forest in the desert for agricultural research
Wadi Mashash is the only site in Israel where agricultural production is entirely based on the collection and use of the desert's rare flood waters.

Awards celebrate clinical research that can improve health and alleviate suffering
Ten outstanding clinical research projects from institutions around the country have been selected to receive the inaugural Clinical Research Forum Top 10 Clinical Research Achievement Awards.

Merkin Family Foundation to fund next generation of Broad Institute scientists
The Merkin Family Foundation today announced a commitment to the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT to establish the Merkin Institute Fellows, a program that will support some of the most promising and ambitious scientists pursuing bold research at the Broad Institute.

Saving forests? Take a leaf from insurance industry's book
A group of environmental scientists say a problem-ridden economic model designed to slow deforestation can be improved by applying key concepts from the insurance industry.

How selective hearing works in the brain
The longstanding mystery of how selective hearing works -- how people can tune in to a single speaker while tuning out their crowded, noisy environs -- is solved this week in the journal Nature by two scientists from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF).

The 31st ESTRO Conference and the World Congress of Brachytherapy
ESTRO 31 and the World Congress of Brachytherapy will combine to feature new research results in clinical and basic radiobiology, physics and brachytherapy, presented by top doctors and scientists from all over the world working together for the benefit of cancer patients.

Football helmet sensors help researchers demystify concussion in young athletes
Even two years later, Sarah Clark grimaces sheepishly and insists she mishandled the concussion her oldest son sustained in ninth-grade football.

EARTH: Managing the seismic risk posed by wastewater disposal
The debate over hydraulic fracturing has recently focused on the rise in seismicity throughout the primarily stable interior of the US intraplate regions have been experiencing an increased amount of seismic activity in the last decade.

Not by DNA alone: How the epigenetics revolution is fostering new medicines
Scientific insights that expand on the teachings of Mendel, Watson and Crick, and underpinnings of the Human Genome Project are moving drug companies along the path to development of new medicines based on deeper insights into how factors other than the genetic code influence health and disease.

International breast health global summit will focus on supportive care and quality of life
Supportive care and quality-of-life issues should be considered essential elements of a multidisciplinary approach to breast cancer treatment at the point of breast cancer diagnosis.

Iris recognition report evaluates 'needle in haystack' search capability
Identifying people by acquiring pictures of their eyes is becoming easier, according to a new NIST report.

Unique adaptations to a symbiotic lifestyle reveal novel targets for aphid insecticides
Aphids are pests that cause millions of pounds of damage to crops in the UK, but new research led by biologists at the University of York reveals potential new targets for aphid-specific insecticides.

Raising the prospects for quantum levitation
An eerie quantum force may one day help separate the surfaces in tiny machines for frictionless movement.

Presentation of 1-year IVAN and 2-year CATT study results
ARVO is pleased to host a presentation of the one-year results from the UK's Inhibition of VEGF in Age-related Choroidal Neovascularisation (IVAN) study and the two-year results of the Comparison of Age-related Macular Degeneration Treatments Trials (CATT) trial.

Metal oxides hold the key to cheap, green energy
Harnessing the energy of sunlight can be as simple as tuning the optical and electronic properties of metal oxides at the atomic level by making an artificial crystal or super-lattice 'sandwich' says a Binghamton University researcher in a new study published in the journal Physical Review B.

Nanodot-based memory sets new world speed record
Record speed, low-voltage, and ultra-small size make nanodots a

Curbing college binge drinking: What role do 'alcohol expectancies' play?
Alcohol expectancy challenges, or social experiments aimed at challenging one's beliefs about the rewards of drinking, can successfully reduce both the quantity of alcohol consumed and the frequency of heavy or binge drinking among college students.

Hormone levels higher for soccer fans watching a game, but not upon win
Soccer fans' testosterone and cortisol levels go up when watching a game, but don't further increase after a victory.

Genetic similarity promotes cooperation -- new study
A study at University of Leicester demonstrates how genetic similarity can promote cooperative behaviors.

Scripps Research Institute scientists develop antidote for cocaine overdose
Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have shown that an injectable solution can protect mice from an otherwise lethal overdose of cocaine.

Array of satellite antennae for global communication coverage on Earth
Alberto Reyna Maldonado designed an array of satellite antennae which reduces the volume, weight and heat rise of the antenna system without losing its radiation performance, in such a way that energy is received uniformly at all points of the Earth that the satellite can observe.

Planned dams in Amazon may have largely negative ecosystem impact
The Andean Amazon is becoming a major frontier for new hydroelectric dams, but an analysis of the potential impacts of these planned projects suggests that there may be serious ecological concerns to take into account

CWRU researchers find joint failures potentially linked to oral bacteria
The culprit behind a failed hip or knee replacements might be found in the mouth.

Brain-activated muscle stimulation restores monkeys' hand movement after paralysis
An artificial connection between the brain and muscles can restore complex hand movements in monkeys following paralysis, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Stanford scientists show lab-made heart cells ideal for disease research, drug testing
Heart-like cells made in the laboratory from the skin of patients with a common cardiac condition contract less strongly than similarly created cells from unaffected family members, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Serious blow to dark matter theories?
The most accurate study of the motions of stars in the Milky Way has found no evidence for dark matter in a large volume around the sun.

Could a newly discovered viral genome change what we thought we knew about virus evolution?
A study published in BioMed Central's Biology Direct journal reports the existence of a previously undetected group of viruses and, more importantly, a new type of viral genome that could have huge implications for theories of viral emergence and evolution.

Pitt engineering researchers strive to simulate turbulent combustion in aerospace applications
A research team at the University of Pittsburgh is developing quantum-computing algorithms to better model turbulent combustion in aerospace applications.

NJIT, China's Bengbu Glass Institute sign agreement for R&D, training
NJIT signed a cooperation agreement with the Bengbu Glass Industry Design Institute for personnel training, technical exchange, and research and development at a recent ceremony at NJIT.

Advance could mean stain-busting super scrub brushes and other new laundry products
Scientists are reporting development and successful testing of a way to reuse -- hundreds of times -- the expensive, dirt-busting enzymes that boost the cleaning power of laundry detergents and powdered bleaches that now disappear down the drain.

Tasmanian tiger suffered low genomic diversity
Scientists have sequenced a portion of the thylacine genome, showing that like its cousin, the Tasmanian devil, it had extremely low genetic variability.

New medication offers hope to patients with frequent, uncontrollable seizures
A new type of anti-epilepsy medication that selectively targets proteins in the brain that control excitability may significantly reduce seizure frequency in people whose recurrent seizures have been resistant to even the latest medications, new Johns Hopkins-led research suggests.

Daily physical activity may reduce Alzheimer's disease risk at any age
Daily physical activity may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease and cognitive decline, even in people over the age of 80, according to a new study by neurological researchers from Rush University Medical Center that will be published in the online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology on April 18.

Men more likely than women to need urgent hospital care soon after discharge
Men are significantly more likely than women to need urgent hospital care, including readmission, within a month of being discharged, finds research in the online-only journal BMJ Open.

Finding ET may require giant robotic leap
Autonomous, self-replicating robots -- exobots -- are the way to explore the universe, find and identify extraterrestrial life and perhaps clean up space debris in the process, according to a Penn State engineer, who notes that the search for extraterrestrial intelligence -- SETI -- is in its 50th year.

It's the network!
A new article by a Northwestern University complex networks expert discusses how networks governing processes in nature and society are becoming increasingly amenable to modeling, forecast and control.

Vestas to install research wind turbine at Sandia facility in Texas
The initial phase of Sandia National Laboratories' Scaled Wind Farm Technology facility (SWIFT), currently being constructed in partnership with Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, will be a little bigger than originally planned.

Kidney stone mystery solved
New research by scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

NIST proposes update to digital signature standard
NIST has announced proposed changes to a standard that outlines how to implement digital signatures, which allow documents such as wills and contracts to be approved securely by someone not physically present.

Live fast, die young
Cities in both the US and Europe harbor more plant species than rural areas.

Antidote for cocaine overdose shows promise in lab tests
Scientists are reporting development and successful testing in laboratory mice of a substance that shows promise for becoming the first antidote for cocaine toxicity in humans.

Cod has a key role in the whole Baltic Sea
A new investigation put in evidence the key role of cod as regulator of the whole Baltic Sea ecosystem.

Evidence for a geologic trigger of the Cambrian explosion
The oceans teemed with life 600 million years ago, but the simple, soft-bodied creatures would have been hardly recognizable as the ancestors of nearly all animals on Earth today.

Speed and ecstasy associated with depression in teenagers
A five-year study conducted with thousands of local teenagers by University of Montreal researchers reveals that those who used speed or ecstasy at 15 or 16 were significantly more likely to suffer elevated depressive symptoms the following year.

Breaking point: When does head trauma in sports lead to memory loss?
A new study suggests there may be a starting point at which blows to the head or other head trauma suffered in combat sports start to affect memory and thinking abilities and can lead to chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, in the brain.

Get moving: Daily exercise may reduce Alzheimer's disease risk at any age
Daily physical exercise may reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease, even in people over the age of 80, according to a study published in the April 18, 2012, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Breast cancer patients choosing surgery without learning their options
Surgeons are not always including radiation oncologists early enough in a patient's treatment decision-making process, leaving some patients uninformed of all of their treatment options and potentially leading to more mastectomies over breast-conserving therapy, according to a study in the April issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology•Biology•Physics, the official scientific journal of the American Society for Radiation Oncology.

Gotham-Metro Condensed Matter Meeting
On April 20, students and faculty from over a dozen institutions in the New York metropolitan area are bringing together the best in local condensed matter physics for the Gotham-Metro Condensed Matter Meeting.

Marijuana use higher in young adult smokers than previously reported
Half of young adult tobacco smokers also have smoked marijuana in the last 30 days, according to a recent Facebook-based survey conducted by UCSF researchers, indicating a greater prevalence of marijuana and tobacco co-use among smokers age 18-25 than previously reported.

Carrot but no stick for a healthy child
Obesity among children has long been a rising problem in large parts of the world.

Naturopathic care can improve blood sugar, mood in diabetes
A new joint study by Group Health Research Institute and Bastyr University Research Institute found that Type 2 diabetes patients who received naturopathic care (as an adjunct to conventional care) had lower blood-sugar levels, better eating and exercise habits, improved moods, and a stronger sense of control over their condition than did patients receiving only conventional care.

Advances in personalized medicine for lung cancer
Several new studies that may help doctors tailor lung cancer treatment to the characteristics of individual patients and of their tumors are being presented at the 3rd European Lung Cancer Conference in Geneva.

New findings in breast cancer
A Berkeley Lab-University of Copenhagen collaboration found that luminal-like breast cancer cells with no detectable stem cell qualities can generate larger tumors than their basal-like counterparts.

Kids get more active when given more toy choices, studies show
In an age when even preschoolers have electronic toys and devices, many parents wonder how to get their children to be more physically active.

Coming clean: Online survey shows marijuana is smoked more than admitted in national surveys
New research from an online survey, published in BioMed Central's open-access journal Addiction Science & Clinical Practice, shows that over half of smokers, aged 18-25, had also smoked cannabis in the past 30 days.

New research could mean cellphones that can see through walls
Researchers at UT Dallas have designed an imager chip that could turn mobile phones into devices that can see through walls, wood, plastics, paper and other solid objects.

Specific protein may increase risk of blood-vessel constriction linked to gum disease
A protein involved in cellular inflammation may increase the risk of plaque containing blood vessels associated with inflammatory gum disease, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology 2012 Scientific Sessions in Chicago.

IceCube Neutrino Observatory explores origin of cosmic rays
Although cosmic rays were discovered 100 years ago, their origin remains one of the most enduring mysteries in physics.

New technologies for a blue future
Technology has transformed the way humans interact with the seas and oceans.

Professor known for work with hunter-gatherers elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Arizona State University School of Human Evolution and Social Change Professor Ana Magdalena Hurtado has been elected to join the 2012 cohort of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

5th Annual Advances in Biomolecular Engineering Symposium
On April 27, the New York Academy of Sciences will host the Fifth Annual Advances in Biomolecular Engineering Symposium, focusing on the design of oligosaccharides and proteins for materials and energy applications.

Jellyfish on the rise: UBC study
Jellyfish are increasing in the majority of the world's coastal ecosystems, according to the first global study of jellyfish abundance by University of British Columbia researchers.

Use of speed and ecstasy linked to teen depression
Secondary schoolkids who use speed and ecstasy seem to be prone to subsequent depression, indicates research of almost 4,000 teens published online in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

NIST/UMass study finds evidence nanoparticles may increase plant DNA damage
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass) have provided the first evidence that engineered nanoparticles are able to accumulate within plants and damage their DNA.

Promising developments in early diagnosis and treatment of mesothelioma
New results presented at 3rd European Lung Cancer Conference in Geneva, Switzerland show important steps being made to improve the diagnosis and treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma, an aggressive cancer of the outer lining of the lungs caused by asbestos exposure.

Presidential Recognition Awards presented during the 2012 AIUM Annual Convention
Alfred Z. Abuhamad, M.D., president of the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine (AIUM), presented the esteemed Presidential Recognition Awards to Harvey L.

Researchers discover non-surgical test for brain cancer
In a breakthrough for the way brain cancer is diagnosed and monitored, a team of researchers have demonstrated that brain tumors can be reliably diagnosed and monitored without surgery.

Distinct 'God spot' in the brain does not exist, MU researcher says
Scientists have speculated that the human brain features a

Scientists trace evolutionary history of what mammals eat
The feeding habits of mammals haven't always been what they are today, particularly for omnivores.

Victims of online dating scams feel doubly traumatized
Research suggests victims of online romance fraud are traumatized both by the loss of money and the loss of perceived

Yeast cell reaction to Zoloft suggests depression cause, drug target beyond serotonin
A reaction to the antidepressant Zoloft that Princeton University researchers observed in yeast cells could help provide new answers to lingering questions among scientists about how antidepressants work.

India-UK ICT collaboration to get £10 million funding boost
A £10 million boost for the largest India-UK ICT research collaboration, which employs 200 scientists in both countries, will be announced today by the UK's Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts, during a meeting with Indian Science and Technology Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh in London.

New analysis helps guide use of erlotinib in advanced non-small cell lung cancer
Patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer should only receive treatment with the drug erlotinib before receiving standard chemotherapy if their tumor is known to harbor EGFR mutations, researchers report at the 3rd European Lung Cancer Conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

Modular robots win NSF funding
A robotics company started by a UC Davis engineering professor and his former graduate student has been awarded a second round of funding from the National Science Foundation small business innovation research program.

Effect of chronic exposure to chemicals used as weapons, pesticides under study
Soldiers in war zones and farmers tending their fields can have in common chronic exposure to chemicals that impact their nerves.

Lactating tsetse flies models for lactating mammals?
An unprecedented study of intra-uterine lactation in the tsetse fly reveals that an enzyme found in the fly's milk functions similarly in mammals, making the tsetse a potential model for lipid metabolism during mammalian lactation.

Graphene lenses: 2-D electron shepherds
Researchers discover that a deformed layer of graphene can focus electrons similar to the way an optical lens bends light.

The power of broccoli, in a capsule
A recent study by Vanderbilt University's Ingram Center showed that a diet full of cruciferous vegetables protects and improves breast cellular health.

Voice disorder productivity losses comparable to chronic diseases
Patients with voice problems have nearly as many days of short-term disability claim and work productivity losses as those with chronic conditions like asthma, heart disease and depression, according to new findings from Duke University Medical Center researchers.

Photoreceptor transplant restores vision in mice
Scientists funded by the Medical Research Council have shown for the first time that transplanting light-sensitive photoreceptors into the eyes of visually impaired mice can restore their vision.

Carbon capture and storage -- new research from UKERC shows tough road ahead to realize potential
Government plans to develop carbon capture and storage technologies to reduce carbon emissions received a cautious welcome today.

Scientists find higher concentrations of heavy metals in post-oil spill oysters from Gulf of Mexico
As the two-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico approaches, a team of scientists led by Dr. 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