Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 13, 2008
Leicester medical team announces 'predictor' for pregnant women who may have miscarriages
Research published in the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association identifies for the first time a naturally occurring

A sub-femtosecond stop watch for 'photon finish' races
Using a system that can compare the travel times of two photons with sub-femtosecond precision, scientists at the Joint Quantum Institute and Georgetown University have found a remarkably large difference in the time it takes photons to pass through nearly identical stacks of materials with different arrangements of refractive layers.

Routinely used diagnostic approaches: only limited diagnostic sensitivity for bile duct cancer?
A team led by Professor, Dr. Christian Prinz from the Technical University Munich has investigated diagnostic sensitivity of endoscopic brush cytology and forceps biopsy in patients with bile duct cancer.

Sand dollar larvae use cloning to 'make change,' confound predators
Biologists find that sand dollar larvae created clones of themselves within 24 hours of being exposed to fish mucous, a cue that predators are near.

Study provides clues to prevent spread of ovarian cancer
A drug that blocks production of an enzyme that enables ovarian cancer to gain a foothold in a new site can slow the spread of the disease and prolong survival in mice, but only if the drug is given early in the disease process.

A tumor of the pancreas mimicked by colonic duplication?
A team led by Dr. Fabiana P Carneiro from the University of Brasia has reported a case of a cystic colonic duplication in an adult mimicking a tumor of the pancreas, illustrating the difficulties in making this diagnosis preoperatively and concluding that, though uncommon, intestinal duplication should be considered in differential diagnosis of abdominal mass.

Mini-donut catches chloride ions
Amar Flood and Yongjun Li at Indiana University have synthesized a donut-shaped molecule that tightly and selectively takes chloride ions up into its center.

CMS approves home sleep testing for diagnosis of OSA; AASM experts available for comment
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services today released a new policy that expands continuous positive airway pressure therapy for Medicare patients with obstructive sleep apnea.

Rate of escalator injuries to older adults has doubled
The first large scale national study of escalator-related injuries to older adults, led by Indiana University School of Medicine researchers, reports that the rate of these injuries has doubled from 1991 to 2005.

Carbon nanotubes outperform copper nanowires as interconnects
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have created a road map that brings academia and the semiconductor industry one step closer to realizing carbon nanotube interconnects, and alleviating the current bottleneck of information flow that is limiting the potential of computer chips in everything from personal computers to portable music players.

Ornithologists announce discovery of new bird species
The announcement of the discovery of a new bird comes with a twist: It's a white-eye, but its eye isn't white.

Researchers make case for standardized analysis of cardiac imaging
For accuracy's sake, medical professionals should use the same software for comparing and analyzing diagnostic heart images taken from different time periods and laboratories, a team of researchers has concluded.

What are the predominant bacilli in the intestines ducklings infected with S. enteritidis?
Enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus-PCR has been applied to analyze intestinal microbial community diversity and the dynamic change of seven-day-old ducklings infected with Salmonella enteritidis by oral administration.

News from the March 2008 American Physical Society Meeting
The following scientific talks are among those that will be presented by researchers from the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory at the American Physical Society meeting, March 10-14, 2008, at the Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, La.

Memory on trial
The US legal system has long assumed that all testimony is not equally credible, that some witnesses are more reliable than others.

Chemical in bug spray works by masking human odors
Rockefeller University researchers have definitively shown that the widely used bug repellent DEET acts like a chemical cloak, masking human odors that blood-feeding insects find attractive.

Compound removes radioactive material from power plant waste
Strontium 90 is a common radioactive by-product of fission in nuclear power plants.

MGH initiates phase I diabetes trial
Scientists at the Massachusetts General Hospital have initiated a phase 1 clinical trial to reverse type 1 diabetes.

Preliminary study: Bioabsorbable drug-eluting stents safe and effective
Bioabsorbable everolimus-eluting coronary artery stents are safe and effective in patients with single coronary artery lesions, with acceptable in-stent late loss, minimal formation of scar tissue within the stent, and a low stent area obstruction.

Damaged veins heal faster with heparin treatment, laboratory study finds
A commonly used medication that prevents blood clots from forming may also prevent existing clots from damaging delicate vein walls -- and may accelerate healing in a clot-damaged area of vein wall.

Plant Physiology and TAIR partnership will provide genetic information to public database
A unique partnership has been formed between Plant Physiology and the Arabidopsis Information Resource to create an efficient mechanism that will ensure that genetic and molecular data on Arabidopsis published in the Journal are reliably captured in TAIR's public database.

JCI online early table of contents: March 13, 2008
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, March 13, 2008, in the JCI, including: High levels of the molecule adenosine linked to priapism; Pinpointing when you become a man; New drug protects nerve cells from damage in mice; The chemical dopamine stops progenitor cell mobilization; A new road to the autoantibodies that characterize lupus; and The protein MMP-2 helps ovarian tumors stick tight.

How to effectively avoid many common complications and liver damage in bile duct exploration?
Traditional open common bile duct exploration operations can be stressful for patients.

All eyes and ears on the corn genome
A consortium of researchers led by the Genome Sequencing Center at Washington University in St.

Medical emergency protocols should be upgraded on all major airlines
Medical emergency protocols should be upgraded and optimised on all major airlines, argues a doctor in this week's BMJ.

Springer expands publishing partnership with the Biomedical Engineering Society
Springer and the Biomedical Engineering Society will launch a new international journal called Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering in March 2008.

Alcohol consumption and polymorphisms of cytochromes P4502E1 are high risks for ESCC
A team led by Dr. Yan-Mei Guo from the Department of Clinical Medicine at the Gansu College of Traditional Chinese Medicine has confirmed that alcohol consumption and polymorphisms of CYP2E1, ADH1B and ALDH2 are important risk factors for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, and that there is synergetic interaction between polymorphisms of CYP2E1, ALDH2 genotype and heavy alcohol drinking for Chinese males living in Gansu province, China.

Australian men care about their health
A study of male attitudes to health and how they use health services, published in the online open access journal, BMC Health Services Research, challenges the usual stereotype that men are uninterested in their health.

Psychological intervention reduces postembolization pain
A team led by Dr. Zi-Xuan Wang from the Qingdao Municipal Hospital, a hospital affiliated with the Medical College, Qingdao University, has compared the pain management of psychological intervention and medication with commonly used medication in 262 patients requiring hepatic arterial chemoembolization for hepatic malignancy.

Spectrum of heart disease and its risk factors are broadening in Africa
Types of heart disease and its associated risk factors traditionally associated with only high-income countries are steadily increasing in African people, increasing the threat to these populations and broadening the challenges faced by governments and doctors.

Researchers confirm link between common cold and ear infection
A new five-year study at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston confirms the suspected close link between the two most common diseases of young children: colds and ear infections.

New research provides dynamic visualization of simplest circadian clock
Scientists have acquired a more dynamic picture of events that underlie the functions of a bacterial biological clock.

Wendelstein 7-X reaches first milestone
The first milestone in the successive assembly of the Wendelstein 7-X fusion device at the Greifswald branch of Max Planck Institute of Plasma Physics, Germany, has been reached on schedule with the completion of the first two half-modules of the large-scale experiment: Two-tenths of the inner core of the device is now ready, and is being assembled.

A fascinating look at Cambridge during the Victorian era
The 19th century was a key period in the development of the mathematical sciences in Britain.

NSF partners with Google and IBM to enhance academic research opportunities
Today the National Science Foundation's Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate announced the creation of a strategic relationship with Google Inc. and IBM.

High levels of the molecule adenosine linked to priapism
Although priapism (prolonged penile erection in the absence of sexual interest) is considered a medical emergency, poor understanding of its molecular basis has limited the development of effective treatment and prevention approaches.

Crop scientists discover gene that controls fruit shape
Crop scientists have cloned a gene that controls the shape of tomatoes, a discovery that could help unravel the mystery behind the huge morphological differences among edible fruits and vegetables, as well as provide new insight into mechanisms of plant development.

Scientists discover how TB 'develops invincibility' against only available treatment
Scientists at the University of Leicester have uncovered a dramatic new twist in the battle against TB.

New drug protects nerve cells from damage in mice
Individuals with multiple sclerosis develop progressive neurological disability that is thought to be caused by degradation of nerve cells.

The Lancet publishes first clinical trial data of a fully bioabsorbable drug eluting stent
This week, the Lancet will publish one-year results from Abbott's ABSORB trial, the world's first clinical trial of a fully bioabsorbable drug eluting stent.

Promote green buildings for biggest, easiest cuts in North American CO2 emissions: CEC report
Promoting the green design, construction, renovation and operation of buildings could cut North American CO2 emissions more deeply, quickly and cheaply than any other available measure, according to a new report issued by the tri-national Commission for Environmental Cooperation.

Research team finds that microorganisms filter nitrogen from small streams
To understand how nitrogen accumulates in large rivers and oceans miles and miles away, scientists like Walter Dodds looked at small streams flowing closer to home.

Vanguard I celebrates 50 years in space
The Vanguard I satellite celebrates its 50th birthday this year.

Toddlers affected most by secondhand smoke exposure at home
Secondhand smoke in the home appears to induce markers for heart disease as early as the toddler years, researchers reported at the American Heart Association's 48th Annual Conference on Cardiovascular Disease Epidemiology and Prevention.

Researchers call for better regulation of genetic tests
Better regulation is urgently needed for genetic tests, particularly those marketed directly to the public, argue researchers in this week's BMJ.

Pain-free childbirth? Get real!
A pain-free and drug-free labor may be many expectant mothers' dream but a review in the open access journal BMC Medicine reveals that reality hits hard.

Physicists discover how fundamental particles lose track of quantum mechanical properties
In today's Science Express, the advance online publication of the journal Science, researchers report a series of experiments that mark an important step toward understanding a longstanding fundamental physics problem of quantum mechanics.

Rodent study finds artificial butter chemical harmful to lungs
A new study shows that exposure to a chemical called diacetyl, a component of artificial butter flavoring, can be harmful to the nose and airways of mice.

After-school programs can increase physical activity of adolescent girls
Afterschool programs can modestly increase the amount of physical activity among girls in middle school, according to new results from the Trial of Activity for Adolescent Girls, a multiple site, community-based study supported by the NHLBI.

Urban planning a factor in rising obesity rates, says new report
You may want to buy healthy food for your family, but if the good grocery stores are far away and pricey and the fast-food outlets are cheap and plentiful, it may be harder to make the healthy choice.

Is increased Slug expression associated with the progression to esophageal cancer?
A team led by Dr. Chris Tselepis from CRUK Institute for Cancer Studies, at the University of Birmingham has demonstrated that the progression to adenocarcinoma is associated with increased Slug expression and that this may represent a mechanism of E-cadherin silencing.

Mayo Clinic study shows Parkinson's disease drug might work in cancer patients
Dopamine, a drug currently used to treat Parkinson's disease and other illnesses, also might work in cancer patients.

NAS and NAE hosting energy summit March 13-14
Today, the National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering kicked off a two-day summit convened to examine the increasing importance of energy policy to the nation's security, economic vitality and environment.

Pinpointing when you become a man
New data has indicated that in rats,

Cheap, simple nonlab methods are as good as lab tests at predicting cardiovascular disease risk
Methods which use nonlaboratory-based risk factors predict cardiovascular events as accurately as one that relied on laboratory-based values.

Some cheaters can keep it in their genes
A new study examining social behavior suggests certain individuals are genetically programmed to cheat and often will do -- providing they can get away with it.

Pain receptor in brain may be linked to learning and memory
For the first time, a Brown University research team has linked pain receptors found throughout the nervous system to learning and memory in the brain.

A long-term survival offered by resection of solid-pseudopapillary tumor of the pancreas?
Although uncommon, aggressive solid-pseudopapillary tumors of the pancreas have been reported in the literature.

Meteorites are rich in the building blocks of life, claims new research
Amino acids that are the building blocks of life have been found in their highest ever concentration in two ancient meteorites which crashed to Earth millions of years ago, scientists claim today.

Peter H. Byers receives lifetime award in genetics from March of Dimes
Michael Katz, M.D., March of Dimes senior vice president of Research and Global Programs, presented the March of Dimes/Colonel Harland Sanders Award for lifetime achievement in the field of genetic sciences to Peter H.

Prescription costs rise more than 6 times when patients reach 65 says study of 5M people
A detailed review of 5.47 million primary health-care records has revealed that prescribing costs rise dramatically when people reach 65.

The puzzling 'eye of a hurricane' on Venus
Venus Express has constantly been observing the south pole of Venus and has found it to be surprisingly fickle.

Professor Toh-Ming Lu named fellow of the Materials Research Society
Toh-Ming Lu, the R.P. Baker Distinguished Professor of Physics at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has been named a lifetime fellow of the Materials Research Society.

Don't give antibiotics to adults with rhinosinusitis even with symptoms longer than 7-10 days
Doctors should not be prescribing antibiotics to adults for the common rhinosinusitis infection, even if patients report symptoms lasting longer than 7-10 days.

Study in Circulation Research details how diabetes drives atherosclerosis
Researchers have discovered how diabetes, by driving inflammation and slowing blood flow, dramatically accelerates atherosclerosis, according to research to be published in the March 14 edition of the journal Circulation Research.

Scientists say tropics are next emerging disease hotspot
Scientists from four well-known institutions say the next major disease like HIV/AIDS or SARS could occur in any of a number of developing countries concentrated along the equator.

Overweight, obese women improve quality of life with 10 to 30 minutes of exercise
Sedentary, overweight or obese women can improve their quality of life by exercising as little as 10 to 30 minutes a day, researchers reported at the American Heart Association's Conference on Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism.

Argonne's lithium-ion battery technology to be commercialized by Japan's Toda Kogyo
The U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory and Toda Kogyo Corp. of Japan have reached a world-wide licensing agreement for the commercial production and sales of Argonne's patented composite cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries, which result in longer-lasting, safer batteries for hybrid-electric vehicles, cell phones, laptop computers and other applications.

Artists and scientists' performance to explore Alaska's environment
A group of writers, dancers, artists and scientists will blend their knowledge and skills in a performance that they hope will inspire audience members to expand their vision of how to preserve and enhance their community in a changing world.

Leading engineers and scientists identify advances that could improve quality of life
A diverse committee of experts from around the world, convened at the request of the National Science Foundation, announced 14 grand challenges for engineering in the 21st century that, if met, would improve how we live.

Parents have biggest share of responsibility in curbing young people's alcohol consumption
Young people are drinking more alcohol in many societies than ever before -- and it is their parents who must bear the lion's share of responsibility for teaching them about drinking safely.

The NHS is failing people with learning disabilities
The NHS is failing people with learning difficulties, according to an editorial published in the BMJ today.

New window opens on the secret life of microbes
Nowhere is the principle of

MIRARCO, Canadian Light Source agreement lights way to greener mining
Shining synchrotron light on environmental questions facing the mining industry is the goal of a MOU signed today at the GLOBE 2008 conference between the Canadian Light Source and MIRARCO Mining Innovation.

How alligators rock and roll
Without a ripple in the water, alligators dive, surface or roll sideways, even though they lack flippers or fins.

And the Oscar goes to ... a professor?
Daniel Day-Lewis, Tilda Swinton and the Coen brothers weren't the only ones honored at the Academy Awards.

Tax rebates vs. tax bonuses
On Feb. 13, 2008, the president signed a $168 billion stimulus package designed to give $300, $600 or $1,200 checks to more than 100 million Americans.

Glimpses of a new (mathematical) world
A new mathematical object, long know to exist but never seen, had its first sighting yesterday during a lecture at the American Institute of Mathematics in Palo Alto, Calif.

A new finding in liver transplantation and antifibrinolytics?
A meta-analysis was performed in order to study the effect of aprotinin used in orthotopic liver transplantation on the intraoperative requirement of blood products and on the incidence of laparotomy for bleeding, thrombotic events and mortality.

IOF recognizes ESCEO European guidance for osteoporosis diagnosis and management
The International Osteoporosis Foundation has welcomed the recently published paper European guidance for the diagnosis and management of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women from the European Society for Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis.

Study names 5 factors of social ills in energy, mining and logging communities
North American communities supported by logging, mining and other resource-based industries are especially vulnerable to social ills.

Penn State microbial fuel cell scientist named KAUST Investigator
Penn State scientist Bruce Logan will receive a Global Research Partnership Investigator award from the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology to investigate microbial fuel cell technologies that convert waste into electricity or hydrogen and in the process, clean water.

Meteorites a rich source for primordial soup
The organic soup that spawned life on Earth may have gotten generous helpings from outer space, according to a new study.

How social pressure increases voter turnout: Evidence from a large-scale field experiment
New research by political scientists concludes that direct mail campaigns which include a social pressure aspect are more effective at increasing voter turnout and are cheaper than other forms of voter mobilization, including door-to-door or telephone canvassing.

Ultra-fast, ultra-intense laser has clean-cut advantage
Many people equate lasers with a sci-fi battle in a galaxy far, far away or, closer to home, with grocery store scanners and compact disc players. 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