Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (July 2012)

Science news and science current events archive July, 2012.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from July 2012

Developing countries have a less than 5 percent chance of meeting UN hunger targets by 2015
New research published online first in the Lancet suggests that developing countries have a less than 5 percent chance of meeting the UN's Millennium Development Goal target for the reduction of child malnutrition by 2015.

Children with trisomy 13 and 18 and their families are happy
Children with trisomy 13 or 18, who are for the most part severely disabled and have a very short life expectancy, and their families lead a life that is happy and rewarding overall, contrary to the usually gloomy predictions made by the medical community at the time of diagnosis, according to a study of parents who are members of support groups published today in Pediatrics.

Colonoscopy screening markedly reduces colorectal cancer incidence and death
A new study found that colonoscopy with polypectomy significantly reduces colorectal cancer (CRC) incidence and CRC-related death in the general population. 12 CRC cases were identified in the screening group of 1,912 patients and 213 cases of CRC were found in the non-screened group of 20,774 patients. One of the 12 persons of the screened individuals with CRC and 51 of the 213 persons of the non-screened individuals with CRC died because of their cancers.

SFU duo's protein discovery links to cancer research
A Simon Fraser University graduate student's collaboration with her thesis supervisor on how a particular type of protein controls the growth of another protein could advance cancer research. Their findings have just been published in the online July 26 issue of Current Biology, a Cell Press journal.

Higher retail wages correlate with lower levels of employee theft
Clara Xiaoling Chen, a professor of accountancy at Illinois, is the co-author of a study that found that wage premiums can play a role in reducing employee theft and fostering ethical norms within an organization.

NASA Goddard scientist receives Presidential Early Career Award
President Obama has named six NASA individuals as recipients of the 2011 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. Temilola

Nanoscale scaffolds and stem cells show promise in cartilage repair
Johns Hopkins tissue engineers have used tiny, artificial fiber scaffolds thousands of times smaller than a human hair to help coax stem cells into developing into cartilage, the shock-absorbing lining of elbows and knees that often wears thin from injury or age.

Helping family is key for social birds
Social birds that forgo breeding to help to raise the offspring of other group members are far more likely to care for their own close relatives than for more distant kin, a new study has found. The study, which looked at a highly social species from outback Australia, the chestnut-crowned babbler, also found that these birds work much harder to care for their brothers and sisters than the young of less-related group members.

University of Alberta's designer compounds inhibit prion infection
A team of University of Alberta researchers has identified a new class of compounds that inhibit the spread of prions, misfolded proteins in the brain that trigger lethal neurodegenerative diseases in humans and animals. U of A chemistry researcher Frederick West and his team have developed compounds that clear prions from infected cells derived from the brain.

CT angiography speeds emergency diagnosis of heart disease in low-risk patients
Incorporating coronary CT angiography into the initial evaluation of low-risk patients coming to hospital emergency departments with chest pain appears to reduce the time patients spend in the hospital without incurring additional costs or exposing patients to significant risks.

Researchers link Kawasaki Disease in childhood with increased risk of adult heart disease
Cedars-Sinai researchers have linked Kawasaki Disease, a serious childhood illness that causes inflammation of blood vessels throughout the body, with early-onset and accelerated atherosclerosis, a leading cause of heart disease in adults.

Beneficial bacteria may help ward off infection
In a new study, Cheryl Nickerson and her group at ASU's Biodesign Institute, in collaboration with an international team explore the role of Lactobaccilus reuteri -- a natural resident of the human gut -- to protect against food-borne infection.

GSA welcomes National Hartford Centers of Gerontological Nursing Excellence
Effective July 1, the Gerontological Society of America has become home to the Coordinating Center for the National Hartford Centers of Gerontological Nursing Excellence, also known as the Building Academic Geriatric Nursing Capacity Initiative. This program is supported by a grant from the John A. Hartford Foundation.

Generating dopamine via cell therapy for Parkinson's disease
In Parkinson's disease, the loss of dopamine-producing cells in the midbrain causes well-characterized motor symptoms. Though embryonic stem cells could potentially be used to replace dopaminergic (DA) neurons in Parkinson's disease patients, such cell therapy options must still overcome technical obstacles before the approach is ready for the clinic. Dr. Lorenza Studer and colleagues at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York developed three different mouse lines to better purify appropriate cells for transplantation.

AACR and Kure It partner to offer a new grant for kidney cancer research
The American Association for Cancer Research is pleased to announce a new partnership with Kure It and a call for nominations for the 2012 AACR-Kure It Grant for Kidney Cancer Research.

Drug fails to curb heart bypass complications, but surgery gets safer
A drug designed to shield the heart from injury during bypass surgery failed to reduce deaths, strokes and other serious events among patients at high risk of complications, according to a large, prospective study lead by researchers at Duke University Medical Center.

Women less likely to endorse independence in gender-unequal societies
Women in countries with great gender inequality are more likely than men to support authoritarian values, according to a new study of 54 countries. The shift away from beliefs in independence and freedom is the result, social psychologists say, of authoritarianism helping such women cope with a threatening environment.

Urban groups help women but no effect on perinatal outcomes in Mumbai
In this week's PLoS Medicine, David Osrin of the UCL Institute of Child Health, UK and colleagues report findings from a cluster-randomized trial conducted in Mumbai slums that aimed to evaluate whether facilitator-supported women's groups could improve perinatal outcomes.

Sounding rocket mission to observe magnetic fields on the sun
On July 5, NASA will launch a mission called the Solar Ultraviolet Magnetograph Investigation or SUMI, to study the intricate, constantly changing magnetic fields on the sun in a hard-to-observe area of the sun's low atmosphere called the chromosphere.

Rejected Alzheimer's drug shows new potential
An international team of scientists led by researchers at Mount Sinai School Medicine have discovered that a drug that had previously yielded conflicting results in clinical trials for Alzheimer's disease effectively stopped the progression of memory deterioration and brain pathology in mouse models of early stage Alzheimer's disease.

Fighting obesity with thermal imaging
Fighting obesity -- with a pioneering thermal imaging technique. Scientists at the University of Nottingham are using this heat-seeking technology to trace our reserves of brown fat -- the body's

How a low-protein diet predisposes offspring to adulthood hypertension
The children of mothers on a low-protein diet are more likely to develop hypertension as adults, but why? New research finds that the high maternal testosterone levels associated with a low-protein diet in rats are caused by reduced activity of a testosterone inactivator, thereby allowing more testosterone to reach the fetus and increase the offspring's susceptibility to adulthood hypertension.

Study identifies how muscles are paralyzed during sleep
Two powerful brain chemical systems work together to paralyze skeletal muscles during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, according to new research in the July 18 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience. The finding may help scientists better understand and treat sleep disorders, including narcolepsy, tooth grinding and REM sleep behavior disorder.

Inexpensive paper-based diabetes test ideal for developing countries
The latest episode in the American Chemical Society's (ACS') award-winning Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions podcast series describes a new, inexpensive paper-based device that is ideal for diabetes testing in rural and developing areas, such as in India and China.

Toddlers object when people break the rules
We all know that, in general, it's wrong to kill people, it's inappropriate to wear jeans to bed, and we shouldn't ignore people when they're talking. We know this because we're bonded to others through social norms - but how do we acquire these norms in the first place? A new article in Current Directions in Psychological Science delves deeper into understanding this important 'social glue' by examining research on children's enforcement of social norms.

Cyberbullying: 1 in 2 victims suffer from the distribution of embarrassing photos and videos
Embarrassing personal photos and videos circulating in the Internet: Researchers at Bielefeld University have discovered that young people who fall victim to cyberbullying or cyber harassment suffer most when fellow pupils make them objects of ridicule by distributing photographic material.

Piglets in mazes provide insights into human cognitive development
Events that take place early in life almost certainly have consequences for later cognitive development. Establishing the connections is difficult, however, because human infants cannot be used as laboratory subjects. University of Illinois animal sciences professor Rodney Johnson and his collaborators have developed an alternative model for studying infant brain development.

First-of-its-kind approach nanomedicine design effectively targets cancer with decreased toxicity
BWH is the first to report a new approach that integrates rational drug design with supramolecular nanochemistry in cancer treatment.

Terrorism and the Olympics by-the-numbers: Analysis from UMD-based START
History offers a warning, but no clear pattern on the true risk of terrorism at the Olympic Games, concludes a new report by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism based at the University of Maryland. The Olympics have been terror targets on three separate occasions since 1970, claiming 22 lives and wounding more than 100, the report says. It compiles and analyzes data from START's comprehensive Global Terrorism Database.

Ancient domesticated remains are oldest in southern Africa
Researchers have found evidence of the earliest known instance of domesticated caprines (sheep and goats) in southern Africa, dated to the end of the first millennium BC, providing new data to the ongoing debate about the origins of domestication and herding practices in this region. The full results are published July 11 in the open-access journal PLoS ONE.

Researchers moving towards ending threat of West Nile virus
Mosquitoes are buzzing once again, and with that comes the threat of West Nile virus. Tom Hobman, a researcher with the Li Ka Shing Institute of Virology in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, is making every effort to put an end to this potentially serious infection.

American Health Assistance Foundation announces grants to advance promising vision research
The American Health Assistance Foundation announced today that it has awarded 21 new grants totaling $2.1 million to scientists worldwide who are studying glaucoma and macular degeneration. Grant recipients are at the forefront of knowledge about the two diseases.

Study suggests moderate drinking lowers risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis in women
A follow-up study of more than 34,000 women in Sweden has shown that moderate drinkers, in comparison with abstainers, were at significantly lower risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an often serious and disabling type of arthritis. RA is known to relate to inflammation, and it is thought that this inflammation is blocked to some degree by the consumption of alcohol.

Researchers develop an artificial cerebellum than enables robotic human-like object handling
Researchers are developing a robotic system with ability to predict the specific action or movement that they should perform when handling an object.

Powerful lasers, deep-sea bacteria's pressure tolerance, and more at meeting of crystallographers
The Annual Meeting of the American Crystallographic Association will be held July 28 - Aug. 1, 2012, at the Westin Waterfront Hotel in Boston, Mass.

The brightest stars don't live alone
A study using ESO's Very Large Telescope has shown that most very bright high-mass stars do not live alone. Almost three quarters of them are found to have a close companion star, far more than previously thought. Surprisingly most of these pairs are experiencing disruptive interactions, and about one third are even expected to ultimately merge to form a single star. The results are published in the July 27 issue of the journal Science.

Elsevier launches new open-access journal: Respiratory Medicine Case Reports
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and solutions, is pleased to announce the launch of Respiratory Medicine Case Reports, a new online open access journal on general respiratory medicine that is dedicated to publishing case reports.

Oral immunotherapy shows promise as treatment for egg allergy
Giving children and adolescents with egg allergy small but increasing daily doses of egg white powder holds the possibility of developing into a way to enable some of them to eat egg-containing foods without having allergic reactions, according to a study supported by the National Institutes of Health. The study results will appear online in the July 19 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

New studies reveal hidden insights to help inspire vegetable love
Two new studies presented today at the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior's annual conference may make it easier for moms to get their kids to eat -- and enjoy -- vegetables. Both studies were conducted by SNEB president Brian Wansink, Ph.D., the John Dyson Professor of Consumer Behavior at Cornell University, and funded by Birds Eye, the country's leading vegetable brand that recently launched a three-year campaign to inspire kids to eat more veggies.

Study implements community-based approach to treat HIV-infection in rural Uganda
New research from the University of Alberta's School of Public Health has demonstrated that community-based resources in rural Uganda can successfully provide HIV treatments to patients, where economic and geographical barriers would typically prevent access to care.

A shortcut to sustainable fisheries
Up to now, methods to estimate the maximum sustainable yield (MSY) of fish stocks are very complex and, as a consequence, expensive. However, Dr. Rainer Froese, biologist with GEOMAR/Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel and Dr. Steven Martell, biologist with the University of British Columbia, have recently presented a new, much simpler method to estimate the MSY. This method may even affect the proposed reform of the European fisheries.

New proteins to clear the airways in cystic fibrosis and COPD
Scientists discovered a new strategy to help CF and COPD patients clear the thick and sticky mucus clogging their lungs, leading to life-threatening infections. The report online in the FASEB Journal shows the

Teamwork against Benzene
With modern analytical procedures scientists of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research have succeeded for the first time in tracking the path of the harmful substance Benzene through such a bacterial community with proteins. Accordingly, three teams of microbial harmful substance eliminators cooperate, each with its own tasks.

Belching black hole proves a biggie
Observations with CSIRO's Australia Telescope Compact Array have confirmed that astronomers have found the first known

First snow leopards collared in Afghanistan
Two snow leopards were captured, fitted with satellite collars, and released for the first time in Afghanistan by a team of Wildlife Conservation Society conservationists and Afghan veterinarians conducting research during a recent expedition.

High dietary antioxidant intake might cut pancreatic cancer risk
Increasing dietary intake of the antioxidant vitamins C, E, and selenium could help cut the risk of developing pancreatic cancer by up to two thirds, suggests research published online in the journal Gut.

UC Davis study finds stray-bullet shootings frequently harm women and children
Most people killed or wounded in stray-bullet shootings were unaware of events leading to the gunfire that caused their injuries, and nearly one-third of the victims were children and nearly half were female, according to a new nationwide study examining an often-overlooked form of gun violence.

HPTN study finds greatly elevated HIV infection rates among young black MSM in the US
Study results released today by the HIV Prevention Trials Network show disturbing rates of new HIV infections occurring among black gay and bisexual men in the US.

Building bridges on the Tower of Babel
In Basque, all you have to do is look at the verb to see whether the sentence has a direct object. Why not take advantage of this knowledge to learn the syntax of Spanish? If we already know how to form conditional sentences in Basque and in Spanish, why do we start from scratch when we have to learn the same thing in English? The DREAM group is seeking to revolutionize this educational trend that is widespread and erroneous in equal measure.

Sodium buildup in brain linked to disability in multiple sclerosis
A buildup of sodium in the brain detected by MRI may be a biomarker for the degeneration of nerve cells that occurs in patients with multiple sclerosis. 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