Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (November 2010)

Science news and science current events archive November, 2010.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from November 2010

Gates Foundation continues funding of tuberculosis research at Weill Cornell
Weill Cornell Medical College announced today that it was awarded two $100,000 grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as part of the next phase of Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative to encourage bold and unconventional ideas for global health. The grants will provide continued support to promising and innovative global health research projects conducted by Dr. Carl Nathan, titled

New tech to help protect bridges, other infrastructure from scour
New technology allows engineers to assess the scour potential of soils at various depths and on-site for the first time -- which will help evaluate the safety of civil infrastructure before and after storm events. Scour, or erosion of soil around structures due to water flow, is responsible for a wide range of critical infrastructure failures -- from unstable bridges to the levees that gave way in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Every person emits 2 tons of CO2 a year through eating
Every person emits the equivalent of approximately two tons of carbon dioxide a year from the time food is produced to when the human body excretes it, representing more than 20 percent of total yearly emissions. That is what a study by the Universidad de Almeria says, confirming for the first time that human excrement contributes to water pollution, primarily with nitrogen and phosphorus.

Internal body clock controls fat metabolism, UCI study shows
UC Irvine researchers have discovered that circadian rhythms -- the internal body clock -- regulate fat metabolism. This helps explain why people burn fat more efficiently at certain times of day and could lead to new pharmaceuticals for obesity, diabetes and energy-related illnesses.

Racial and ethnic disparities impact care for children with frequent ear infections
Racial and ethnic disparities among children with frequent ear infections significantly influence access to affordable health care, according to new research published in the November 2010 issue of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery.

For HIV-positive patients, delayed treatment a costly decision
HIV-infected patients whose treatment is delayed not only become sicker than those treated earlier, but also require tens of thousands of dollars more in care over the first several years of their treatment.

It takes 2: Double detection key for sensing muscle pain
A new study discovers a molecular mechanism involved in pain associated with muscles. The research, published by Cell Press in the Nov. 18 issue of the journal Neuron, provides new insight into what underlies one of the most common, and least understood, forms of human pain.

Conductor paths for marvelous light
Organic light-emitting diodes are seen as the basis for a new generation of lamps: Large-area lamps that can be randomly shaped and fl exibly integrated into interior design. But the

How well is your doctor caring for people with Parkinson's disease? New AAN tool helps measure care
The American Academy of Neurology has developed a new tool to help doctors gauge how well they are caring for people with Parkinson's disease. The new quality measures are published in the Nov. 30, 2010, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

ORNL scientists crack materials mystery in vanadium dioxide
A systematic study of phase changes in vanadium dioxide has solved a mystery that has puzzled scientists for decades, according to researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

First compelling evidence for a black hole after recent supernova
Black holes, or the remnants of hyper-or supernova explosions, have intrigued scientists since the concept was first introduced in 1967. Astronomers have only ever been able to observe gamma-ray bursts, considered the births of young black holes, at far distance. Researchers have now found compelling evidence for the birth of a black hole in the so-called local Universe -- representing the youngest black hole ever discovered in our cosmic neighborhood.

Headgear, mouth guards have little or no impact on reducing concussions in rugby players
Existing headgear and mouth guards have limited or no benefit in reducing concussions in rugby players, according to Dr. Michael Cusimano, a neurosurgeon at St. Michael's Hospital.

Were our tetrapod ancestors deaf?
A research group led by Jakob Christensen-Dalsgaard, University of Southern Denmark, have shown that the closest living relatives of the tetrapods, the lungfish, are insensitive to sound pressure, but sensitive to vibrations. The discovery was published online in Biology Letters on Sept. 8.

Parental infertility and cerebral palsy in children born spontaneously or after IVF/ICSI
Doctors have known for some time that children born after some fertility treatments are at increased risk of cerebral palsy. However, it was not known whether this risk was due to the treatment itself, the higher frequency of preterm or multiple births, or a mechanism associated with couples' underlying infertility. Now, new research published in Human Reproduction journal indicates that underlying infertility is NOT the main reason for the increased risk seen in IVF/ICSI children.

Severely injured should go directly to trauma center: Research
Severely injured patients should be transported directly from the scene of an accident to a trauma center, even if it means bypassing a closer hospital, according to new research that shows this results in a nearly 25 percent lower death rate.

BGI researchers sequenced the human methylome at single base-pair resolution
DNA methylation plays an important role in many processes such as animal development, X-chromosome inactivation, and carcinogenesis. Understanding the mechanisms and functions of DNA methylation and how it varies from tissue to tissue and between individuals will have profound implications for human health and disease.

Bird-brained? Birds' personalities are correlated with their hormone levels
Individuals of Great Tit vary in their levels of curiosity, with distinctions being made between

10 years of Soufriere Hills Volcano research published
The Soufriere Hills Volcano on Montserrat erupted in 1995, and an international team of researchers has studied this volcano from land and sea since then to understand the workings of andesite volcanos more completely.

President Obama awards National Medals of Science to America's best and brightest scientific minds
On Nov. 17, President Obama presented 10 researchers with the highest technical and scientific award given by the United States, the the National Medal of Science.

When considering both harm to self and harm to others, alcohol is the most harmful drug, followed by crack and heroin
In an article published online first and in an upcoming Lancet, drug experts present a new scale of drug harm that assesses both harm to the individual and harm to others. Their analysis shows that when both factors are combined, alcohol is the most harmful drug, followed by heroin and crack. The paper is written by Professor David Nutt.

Caffeinated alcoholic beverages -- a growing public health problem
In the wake of multiple state bans on caffeinated alcoholic beverages (CABs) and an FDA warning to four companies to remove their products from the marketplace, an article published online today in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine delineates the scope of the public health problem and suggests areas of research that might help address it.

King crab distributions limited by temperature in the Southern Ocean
Invasions of voracious predatory crabs due to global warming could threaten the unique continental-shelf ecosystems of Antarctica, according to newly published findings.

Reaching the AHA 2020 goals: Strategies for success -- news tips
This release features summaries from four presentations at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2010. Some highlights are

Allotment gardeners reap healthy rewards
People who have an allotment, especially those aged over 60, tend to be significantly healthier than those who do not. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal Environmental Health have shown that the small gardens were associated with increased levels of physical activity at all ages, and improved health and well-being in more elderly people.

Nearly all depressed adolescents recover with treatment, but half relapse
A study of adolescents who had a major depressive disorder found that nearly all recovered from their episode after treatment. But within five years, nearly half of them had relapsed, and females were at much higher risk of another major episode, researchers at Duke University Medical Center found.

Key player in detoxification pathway isolated after decades of searching
We know P450s are important to life of all kinds because they have been found in animals, plants, fungi and bacteria, but they are of special interest to humans because they are responsible for metabolism of about 75 percent of known pharmaceuticals.

Researchers learn that genetics determine winter vitamin D status
The authors concluded that during the winter vitamin D status is governed mainly by genetic factors. Conversely, non-genetic factors are most important during the summer. Future studies designed to better understand what these factors are will be especially useful as public health experts continue to explore ways to increase vitamin D status in different populations living under varying environmental and dietary situations.

5-year results show keyhole bowel cancer surgery is safe and effective
Laparoscopic or

Motivation to end racism relies on 'yes we can' approach
If you're trying to end racism, it's not enough to get people to understand that racism is still a problem. You also have to make them feel like they can do something about it, according to a new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

AAN: Any athlete suspected of having concussion should be removed from play
The American Academy of Neurology is calling for any athlete who is suspected of having a concussion to be removed from play until the athlete is evaluated by a physician with training in the evaluation and management of sports concussion.

Symposium in Vietnam to discuss integrated approach to defeating diarrheal disease
Each year, diarrhea claims the lives of 1.3 million children under five worldwide. Fortunately, interventions exist that can greatly reduce deaths and save lives. To bring attention to the solutions available today for defeating diarrhea, the Vietnam Ministry of Health the National Pediatric Hospital of Vietnam, and PATH are hosting a two-day regional workshop where they will present evidence and lessons learned from initiatives currently underway.

Incorporating sustainability in the US Environmental Protection Agency
The US EPA's Office of Research and Development has requested a National Research Council study to help define their efforts to incorporate sustainability concepts into agency programs. A committee under the Science and Technology for Sustainability Program will conduct a study that will build on existing sustainability efforts in EPA by strengthening the analytic and scientific basis for sustainability as it applies to human health and environmental protection within the Agency's decision-making process.

Pitt researcher receives NIH funding for technology-enhanced weight-loss program
Pitt's study is one of seven NIH-funded clinical trials -- receiving a total of $36 million over five years -- which will use the Web, cell phones, wearable technology, and social networking to promote good health in young adults.

Trained bacteria convert bio-wastes into plastic
Researcher Jean-Paul Meijnen has

SCEC's 'M8' earthquake simulation breaks computational records, promises better quake models
A multidisciplinary team of researchers from the Southern California Earthquake Center recently presented the world's most advanced earthquake shaking simulation. The

Number of HIV/AIDS cases in sub-Saharan Africa expected to greatly outpace resources
The number of people infected with HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa is projected to far outstrip available resources for treatment by the end of the decade, forcing African nations to make difficult choices about how to allocate inadequate supplies of lifesaving antiretroviral therapy, says a new report by the Institute of Medicine.

University of Minnesota engineering researcher finds new way to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria
New findings by civil engineering researchers in the University of Minnesota's College of Science and Engineering shows that treating municipal wastewater solids at higher temperatures may be an effective tool in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Chronic disease death rates increasing in developing nations while infectious-diseases-decreasing framework for monitoring trends and action on chronic diseases proposed
Some shocking statistics on death and disease rates due to chronic diseases in developing countries are uncovered in the final paper in the Lancet series on chronic disease and development.

New characteristics of premature aging protein discovered at Stevens
Dr. Joseph Glavy, assistant professor of chemical biology at Stevens Institute of Technology, and a team of student scientists uncovered a disease-related protein outside of its known range. This new look into the workings of the body creates hope for future treatments and other advances in biology and medicine.

Vulnerable brain region may be central to progression of Alzheimer's disease
New research is helping to unravel the events that underlie the

Racetrack memory
Imagine a computer equipped with shock-proof memory that's 100,000 times faster and consumes less power than current hard disks. EPFL Professor Mathias Klaui is working on a new kind of

Researchers discover potential genetic target for heart disease
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have found a potential genetic target for heart disease, which could lead to therapies to prevent the development of the nation's number one killer in its initial stages.

Protein with cardioprotective capabilities during heart attack discovered
University of Cincinnati researchers have discovered a new protein that could be cardioprotective during heart attack, potentially leading to more targeted treatments for patients at risk.

Scientists pinpoint key defense against parasite infection
Scientists have made a significant discovery about how the body defends itself against snail fever, a parasitic worm infection common in developing countries.

Global meeting on sustainability in commercial environments to take place in the Southwest
The International Congress on Sustainability Science and Engineering (ICOSSE '11) is an imperative global conference of sustainability researchers, engineers and practitioners, Jan. 9-13, 2011, at the J.W. Marriott Star Pass Resort, Tucson, Ariz.

High cholesterol in middle age women not a risk factor for Alzheimer's and other dementias
High cholesterol levels in middle age do not appear to increase women's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia later in life, new Johns Hopkins-led research finds, despite a body of scientific evidence long suggesting a link between the two.

Intentional swallowing of foreign bodies and its impact on the cost of health care
A new study from Rhode Island Hospital found that 33 individuals were responsible for 305 cases of medical intervention to remove foreign bodies that were intentionally swallowed, resulting in more than $2 million in estimated hospital costs. The findings appear in the November issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

New statistical model moves human evolution back 3 million years
Evolutionary divergence of humans from chimpanzees likely occurred some 8 million years ago rather than the 5 million year estimate widely accepted by scientists, a new statistical model suggests.

A 'brand' new world: Attachment runs thicker than money
Can you forge an emotional bond with a brand so strong that, if forced to buy a competitor's product, you suffer separation anxiety? According to a new study from the USC Marshall School of Business, the answer is yes. In fact, that bond can be strong enough that consumers are willing to sacrifice time, money, energy and reputation to maintain their attachment to that brand.

Snakes on a rope: Researchers take a unique look at the climbing abilities of boa constrictors
In the wild, how does a snake climb a vertical surface without slipping? An examination involving boa constrictors is published by University of Cincinnati researchers.

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