Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 29, 2008
Too much technology may be killing beneficial bacteria
For years, scientists have known about silver's ability to kill harmful bacteria.

Scientists form International Cancer Genome Consortium
Scientists join together to form the International Cancer Genome Consortium, one of most ambitious biomedical research efforts since the Human Genome Project.

Review of cervical cancer screening program shows effectiveness and room for improvement
Women who do not undergo regular cervical cancer screening tests are more likely to be diagnosed with the disease than those who do, according to an audit of the Swedish national cervical cancer screening program that will be published online April 29 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Scientists determine drug target for the most potent botulinum neurotoxin
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory and the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases have taken the first step toward designing an effective antidote to the most potent form of botulinum neurotoxin.

'Rotten eggs' in the blood
Hydrogen sulphide is a gas most commonly associated with the smell of stink bombs, sewage and rotten eggs, but a team of researchers from the Peninsula Medical School in the South West of England and King's College London have now identified a role for this gas in regulating blood pressure, according to research published today in the leading science journal Circulation.

Cancer survivors who practice healthy habits have higher quality of life
A new study from the American Cancer Society finds cancer survivors who follow health behavior recommendations -- avoiding tobacco, eating more fruits and vegetables, and getting adequate exercise -- have higher health-related quality of life scores.

News tips from the Journal of Neuroscience
The following articles are featured in the April 30 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience:

You are what you eat? Maybe not for ancient man
Careful analysis of microscopic abrasions on the teeth of early human

New findings challenge conventional ideas on evolution of human diet, natural selection
New findings suggest that the ancient human

New research shows consistency in synaesthetic experiences
New research appearing in the April issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that commonalities do indeed exists across synesthetes.

Butter-flavored popcorn ingredient suspected cause of lung disease
An unusually high incidence of lung disease has been diagnosed in workers at popcorn factories.

New 3-D test method for biomaterials 'flat out' faster
Researchers from NIST and Rutgers University report on a novel, 3-D screening method for analyzing interactions between cells and new biomaterials could cut initial analysis times by more than half.

UT Southwestern's Mangelsdorf elected to National Academy of Sciences
The National Academy of Sciences today elected Dr. David Mangelsdorf, chairman of pharmacology at UT Southwestern Medical Center and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, to membership, one of the highest honors attainable by an American scientist.

Compact galaxies in early universe pack a big punch
Using the Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer onboard the Hubble NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers have made observations of young, surprisingly compact galaxies, each only 5,000 light-years across, but weighing 200 billion times the mass of the Sun.

U of M study: Online intervention paramount for reducing HIV in high-risk population
Young Internet-using men who have sex with men and who meet their sexual partners both online and offline have greater numbers of partners, appear more likely to contract HIV, and report higher substance use rates than those who meet their partners exclusively online or offline, according to new research at the University of Minnesota.

New species discovered in Brazil
Researchers discovered a legless lizard and a tiny woodpecker along with 12 other suspected new species in Brazil's Cerrado, one of the world's 34 biodiversity conservation hotspots.

Women's biological clock revealed: Hormone may predict age at menopause
Age at menopause may now be predicted more realistically according to a new study accepted for publication in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Tarenflurbil slows decline of mild Alzheimer's patients in phase II study
Patients with mild Alzheimer's disease who take 800mg of tarenflurbil twice daily show less decline in functional ability than those taking placebo.

Pan American Congress on Plants & BioEnergy
The Pan American Congress on Plants & BioEnergy will bring plant biologists together with government policy makers, agronomists, microbiologists, economists and ecologists to forge a path toward Western Hemisphere bioenergy security that is sustainable and environmentally and economically sound.

How to stop regaining weight? That's the real question
The inability to manage weight gain and weight regain throughout life is helping to fuel the obesity epidemic in adults and children throughout Europe.

Obama, Bill Clinton have common ground
Presidential hopeful Sen. Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton have more in common than their voter party registration cards.

Researchers develop method for transmitting medical images via cell phones
A process to transmit medical images via cellular phones that has been developed by a Hebrew University of Jerusalem researcher has the potential to provide sophisticated radiological diagnoses and treatment to the majority of the world's population lacking access to such technology.

Immune system kick-started in moist nasal lining in sinusitis, asthma and colds
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have outlined a new path for potential therapies to combat inflammation associated with sinusitis and asthma based on a new understanding of the body's earliest immune response in the nose and sinus cavities.

Medical journal calls upon Barack Obama to do much more
Jeffrey Laurence, M.D., editor of the peer-reviewed medical journal, AIDS Patient Care and STDs, and the journal's publisher, Mary Ann Liebert, are calling for Barack Obama not simply to disavow Rev.

Louisiana Tech students win first in 11 categories at civil engineering conference
Louisiana Tech students took home first place awards in 11 categories in the 2008 American Society of Civil Engineers Deep South Conference.

Getting to the roots of breast cancer
The lesson learned in eradicating dandelions from your yard could apply in treating breast cancer as well, said researchers from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston in a report that appears online today in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

New whale detection buoys will help ships take the right way through marine habitat
Researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Bioacoustics Research Program at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology have teamed up with an international energy company and federal regulators to listen for and help protect endangered North Atlantic right whales in New England waters.

New surgery improves head and neck cancer treatment
Latest robotics surgery trend has made its debut in the ear, nose and throat specialty, where cancer and otolaryngology surgeons say the like the improved accuracy.

You just move like a mouse, or do so abnormally like a mutant mouse
A new holistic approach to assess model behavior has been proposed and evaluated by researchers at the University of Tokyo and Osaka Bioscience Institute.

Absinthe uncorked: The 'Green Fairy' was boozy -- but not psychedelic
A new study may end the century-old controversy over what ingredient in absinthe caused the exotic green aperitif's supposed mind-altering effects and toxic side-effects when consumed to excess.

TAU researchers examine 'great expectations' in the workplace
A new study finds that managers who expect more from their employees get more from them, too.

Atomic force microscopy reveals liquids adjust viscosity when confined, shaken
New research shows that when water is confined to a small space, it behaves like a gel.

High-flying electrons may provide new test of quantum theory
Researchers at NIST and the Max Planck Institute for Physics in Germany believe they can achieve a significant increase in the accuracy of one of the fundamental constants of nature by boosting an electron to an orbit as far as possible from the atomic nucleus that binds it.

2 Arizona State University professors elected to National Academy of Sciences
Two Arizona State University professors -- Edward Prescott, Regents' Professor and Nobel Laureate, and Luc Anselin, founding director of the School of Geographical Sciences -- have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Making a good impression: Nanoimprint lithography tests at NIST
In what should be good news for integrated circuit manufacturers, recent studies by NIST have helped resolve two important questions about an emerging microcircuit manufacturing technology called nanoimprint lithography.

Ultra-dense galaxies found in early universe
A team of astronomers looking at the universe's distant past found nine young, unusually compact galaxies, each weighing in at 200 billion times the mass of the sun.

Imaging study provides glimpse of alcohol's effect on brain
New brain imaging research published this week shows that, after consuming alcohol, social drinkers had decreased sensitivity in brain regions involved in detecting threats, and increased activity in brain regions involved in reward.

Shrinkage and aging are Europe-wide challenges
Unlike in Eastern Germany, shrinking numbers of city dwellers in the Czech Republic and Poland did not so far lead to massive numbers of unoccupied properties and demolitions.

Other highlights in the April 29 JNCI
Also in the April 29 JNCI are a mathematical model to predict response to tamoxifen, stem cell-like cancer cells that respond to targeted therapy, the risk of testicular cancer following exposure to pesticides, and a combination of targeted drugs that trigger cell death in mice.

Artificial intelligence boosts science from Mars
Artificial intelligence being used at the European Space Operations Center is giving a powerful boost to ESA's Mars Express as it searches for signs of past or present life on the Red Planet.

A life 'lens' ordinary
Nearly one third of Down's syndrome children who wear bifocal lenses to help them focus accurately may only need to wear them for two years, according to new research from Cardiff University.

SCAI awards 46 grants for interventional cardiology training fellowships
The Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions this week announced grant awards to 46 institutions through the SCAI Interventional Cardiology Fellows-in-Training Grant Program.

Medicare costs estimated to top $21.1 billion for 5 years of care for elderly cancer patients
The cost of cancer care for elderly Medicare patients varies by tumor type, stage at diagnosis, phase of care, and survival, according to a new study published online April 29 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Sunflower debate ends in Mexico, researchers say
Ancient farmers were growing sunflowers in Mexico more than 4,000 years before the Spaniards arrived, according to a team of researchers that includes Florida State University anthropologist Mary D.

Bison can thrive again, study says
Bison can repopulate large areas from Alaska to Mexico over the next 100 years provided a series of conservation and restoration measures are taken, according to continental assessment of this iconic species by the Wildlife Conservation Society and other groups.

Promising early evidence of the superior benefits of drug therapy for diabetic eye disease
A JDRF collaboration between Johns Hopkins researchers and Genentech has shown that a drug for the treatment of diabetic eye disease has performed better in clinical trials than the current standard treatment using laser surgery.

Aspirin-like compounds increase insulin secretion in otherwise healthy obese people
Aspirin-like compounds can claim another health benefit: increasing the amount of insulin produced by otherwise healthy obese people.

Micro-origami: USC folds up micrometer-scale 'voxels' for drug delivery
Researchers at the USC Information Sciences Institute have demonstrated a way to manufacture minuscule closed containers that might be used to deliver precise micro- or even nano-quantities of drugs.

Scientists aim to boost world energy supplies -- with microbes!
Canadian and British scientists are preparing to begin field trials next month to apply new technology in which microbes convert solidified oil to natural gas.

Hyperviscous fluids: Better treatment for severe blood loss
Intravenous administration of isotonic fluids is the standard emergency treatment in the US for patients with severe blood loss, but UC San Diego bioengineering researchers have reported improved resuscitation with a radically different approach.

Body image program reduces onset of obesity and eating disorders
Oregon Research Institute scientist Eric Stice, Ph.D., and his colleagues have found that their obesity prevention program reduced the risk for onset of eating disorders by 61 percent and obesity by 55 percent in young women.

Scientists head to warming Alaska on ice core expedition
In an effort to better understand how the Pacific Northwest fits into the larger climate-change picture, scientists from the University of New Hampshire and University of Maine are heading to Denali National Park on the second leg of a multi-year mission to recover ice cores from glaciers in the Alaska wilderness.

USC School of Dentistry researchers uncover link between osteoporosis drugs and jaw infection
A group of University of Southern California School of Dentistry researchers says it has identified the slimy culprits killing the jawbones of some people taking drugs that treat osteoporosis.

72 new members chosen by Academy
The National Academy of Sciences today announced the election of 72 new members and 18 foreign associates from 9 countries in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

Argonne's Crabtree elected to National Academy of Sciences
George W. Crabtree, a senior scientist and administrator at the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, was elected a member of the National Academy of Sciences for his excellence in original scientific research.

Internal Medicine 2008 media advisory
The American College of Physicians is hosting Internal Medicine 2008 -- a continuing medical education meeting for general internists and subspecialists (cardiologists, gastroenterologists, etc.) who provide primary and subspecialty care to adult patients.

Scientists make chemical cousin of DNA for use as new nanotechnology building block
While scientists are fully exploring the promise of DNA nanotechnology, Biodesign Institute researcher John Chaput is working to give scientists brand new materials to aid their designs.

Annual study finds Houstonians' attitudes sour toward immigration
Houstonians are increasingly concerned about immigration and its effects on the region, according to the latest annual Houston-Area Survey.

Nanoengineered barrier invented to protect plastic electronics from water degradation
A breakthrough barrier technology that protects sensitive devices such as organic light emitting diodes and solar cells from moisture 1000 times more effectively than any existing technology has been invented by Singapore researchers.

2 NYU faculty elected to National Academy of Sciences
Two New York University professors, Helmut Hofer of NYU's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences and Anthony Movshon, director of the university's Center for Neural Science, have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the Washington, D.C.-based organization announced today.

Ancient sunflower fuels debate about agriculture in the Americas
Lentz and his fellow researchers have documented archaeological, linguistic, ethnographic and ethnohistoric data demonstrating that the sunflower had entered the repertoire of Mexican domesticates by 2600 B.C., that its cultivation was widespread in Mexico and extended as far south as El Salvador by the first millennium B.C., that it was well known to the Aztecs, and that it is still in use by traditional Mesoamerican cultures today.

Restaurant inspections -- public perceptions vs. reality
Foodborne diseases cause an estimated 76 million illnesses in the US each year with about half associated with restaurant meals (more than 70 billion meals).

Moral philosopher questions memory manipulation
Is medicated memory manipulation ethically sound? And perhaps more importantly, who should be charged with the decision to deliver such a treatment: patient or physician?

Stem cells at root of antlers' branching
Reporting in this week's PLoS ONE in a study funded by the German Research Society, Hans J.

New treatment could reduce chronic lung disease in premature babies
A less traumatic way of delivering surfactant, a lung lubricant that premature babies need to help them breathe, could reduce the incidence of respiratory problems they'll have later, Medical College of Georgia physicians say.

Safe water? Lessons from Kazakhstan
Despite significant efforts to improve access to safe water and sanitation, a new report co-authored by an expert at the University of Nottingham, argues that much more needs to be done.

Factors affecting survival, disability of extremely premature infants identified
Gestational age has long been the factor most commonly used to predict whether an extremely low-birth-weight infant survives and thrives, but four additional factors that can help predict a preemie's outcome have been identified by the National Institutes of Health Neonatal Research Network, of which Yale is a member.

'Emotional inflation' leads to stock market meltdown
Investors get carried away with excitement and wishful

Engineers harness cell phone technology for use in medical imaging
With an innovative concept developed by UC Berkeley engineers, the ubiquitous cell phone could one day be used to make medical imaging accessible to billions of people around the world.

Scientists at Yale provide explanation for how cancer spreads
Metastasis, the spread of cancer throughout the body, can be explained by the fusion of a cancer cell with a white blood cell in the original tumor, according to Yale School of Medicine researchers, who say that this single event can set the stage for cancer's migration to other parts of the body.

ACP hosts largest medical education meeting for general and subspecialty internists
More than 6,000 internists, subspecialists, medical students and allied health professionals will meet in Washington, D.C., for Internal Medicine 2008, the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Physicians, from May 15-17 at the Walter E.

Roaring bats
New scientific results show bats emitting more dB than a rock concert. 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