Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 05, 2008
Flip flops, mulch and no coat
At a time when over half of US children (aged 3-6) are in child care centers, and growing concern over childhood obesity has led physicians to focus on whether children are getting enough physical activity, a new study of outdoor physical activity at child care centers, conducted by researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, has identified some surprising reasons why the kids may be staying inside.

A gentle touch for better control, a quantum mechanical con, and milestone PRL papers
Physicists find that a gentle touch can help control particles and other objects better than a heavy hand; quantum mechanics leads to a novel con game.

Phase 3 data: Anti-RSV antibody to be presented at Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting
MedImmune today announced that researchers are currently presenting results from a MedImmune-sponsored Phase 3 study involving motavizumab, an investigational monoclonal antibody that is being evaluated for its potential to prevent serious disease caused by RSV in high-risk pediatric patients.

Saving frogs before it's too late
Highly diverse and so far apparently untouched by emergent diseases, Malagasy frogs nevertheless are threatened by ongoing habitat destruction, making proactive conservation actions especially important for preserving this unique, pre-decline, amphibian fauna.

ACP issues clinical practice guideline for screening for osteoporosis in men
ACP today released a new guideline on screening for osteoporosis in men.

The secret to long life may not be in the genes
A research on the bone health of one of the oldest persons in the world, who recently died at the age of 114, reveals that there were no genetic modifications which could have contributed to this longevity.

Trouble in paradise: Warming a greater danger to tropical species
The Arctic has become a poster child for the negative effects of climate change, but new research from the University of Washington shows that species living in the tropics likely face the greatest peril in a warmer world.

Double duty: Loss of protective heart failure protein causes high blood pressure
Scientists have found that a protein that appears to have protective and perhaps healing effects for failing hearts also plays a similar role in high blood pressure.

New SCHIP enrollees have unmet health care needs
Even with prior private health insurance, patients enrolling in the state children's health insurance program had unmet health care needs.

Specific gene increases susceptibility to breast cancer
Recent whole-genome scans have identified novel risk genes for many common diseases, challenging researchers to determine how these genes contribute to disease.

65-million-year-old asteroid impact triggered a global hail of carbon beads
The asteroid presumed to have wiped out the dinosaurs struck the Earth with such force that carbon deep in the Earth's crust liquefied, rocketed skyward, and formed tiny airborne beads that blanketed the planet, say scientists from the US, UK, Italy, and New Zealand in this month's Geology.

Scientists identify 'gatekeepers' of breast cancer transition to invasive disease
Scientists have made a significant discovery that clarifies a previously poorly understood key event in the progression of breast cancer.

An MUHC team evaluates a new saliva-based HIV test to speed up detection
Recognizing the urgent need for a faster and less invasive diagnostic method for HIV, Dr.

Discovery of a novel mechanism for the development of colon cancer
Recent work from the researchers at the University of Helsinki, Finland, has shed light on the mechanisms of colon tumor development and may help to design better treatment for this disease.

RFID testbed measures multiple tags at once and rapidly assesses new antenna designs
Researchers have designed a system capable of simultaneously measuring hundreds of radio frequency identification tags and rapidly testing new RFID tag prototypes.

Sudden death of a parent may pose mental health risks for children, surviving caregivers
Children who had a parent who died suddenly have three times the risk of depression than those with two living parents, along with an increased risk for post-traumatic stress disorder according to a report in the May issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Combined physical and genetic map finds cancer's 'ignition key'
Whole-organ maps that superimpose genetic information over the terrain of cancerous bladders chart the molecular journey from normal cell to invasive cancer, an international research team led by scientists at The University of Texas M.

Moran Eye Center researchers find gene linked to severe diabetic eye and kidney diseases
Researchers at the John A. Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah and collaborative institutions have identified a gene called erythropoietin that contributes to increased risk of severe diabetic eye and kidney diseases, called retinopathy and nephropathy.

American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac -- April 30, 2008
The American Chemical Society's News Service Weekly PressPac contains reports from 36 major peer-reviewed journals on chemistry, health, medicine, energy, environment, food, nanotechnology and other hot topics.

EGFR protects cancer cells from starvation via a kinase-independent mechanism
Scientists have uncovered a previously unrealized mechanism by which the epidermal growth factor receptor, a tyrosine kinase, promotes survival of cancer cells through a kinase-independent mechanism.

Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors confirmed as treatment for depression
In treating depression, a 6 to 9 month course of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors following initial recovery after a first episode of depression is confirmed by this study.

Study shows physician judgement important in reducing RSV-related hospitalizations
MedImmune announced results from a retrospective chart review that evaluated the use of Synagis as a preventative measure against respiratory syncytial virus.

New Clorox disinfectant is EPA registered to kill both known types of MRSA
While MRSA has been an issue in health-care settings for years, CA-MRSA outbreaks in the community have been on the rise, with the greatest risk in community settings such as fitness clubs, in sports teams, at schools and daycare centers.

Talking up a new role for cell phones in telemedicine
After launching a communications revolution, cell phones are talking up a potentially life-saving new role in telemedicine -- the use of telecommunications technology to provide medical diagnosis and patient care when doctors and patients are hundreds or thousands of miles apart.

Cells lining milk ducts hold key to spread of common form of breast cancer
Dana-Farber researchers report that when ductal carcinoma in situ, or DCIS, spreads beyond the breast's milk ducts, the cause lies not in the tumor cells themselves but in a group of abnormal surrounding cells that cause the milk ducts' walls to deteriorate.

Unmanned aircraft to study Southern California smog and its consequences
Using sophisticated unmanned aircraft, research scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego hope to assess Southern California's potential for climate change and better understand the sources of air pollution.

Howe School conference: 'The Rebirth of Location-Based Services -- The Next Great Idea,' May 12
The Howe School of Technology Management at Stevens Institute of Technology and the investment bank of Kaufman Brothers will host the May 12 conference,

BILBO1 a bearer of bad fortune for trypanosomes
RNAi of the parasite protein BILBO1 prevents the biogenesis of the endocytic and exocytotic organelle in Trypanosoma brucei, kills the parasite, and reveals novel insights into how this pathogen organizes and uses one of its distinctive organelles.

Region to benefit from asthma research partnership
The Hunter Medical Research Institute and Xstrata Coal will today announce a significant research partnership which will improve the care of people with asthma in the Hunter and beyond.

News briefs: May issue of the journal Chest
News briefs from the journal Chest highlight studies related to the safety and efficacy of long-acting beta agonists in patients with COPD; mortality trends in patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome; and the link between smoking and pneumonia.

'Deaf by God' tried in Old Bailey records
Deaf people on trial were granted the right to an interpreter as early as 1725, according to Old Bailey records examined by UCL (University College London) scientists.

FSU researcher: As gas prices climb, employee productivity plummets
Rising gas prices are affecting more than the family budget.

More efficient fuel-cells, thanks to a new catalyst
Methanol fuel cells are an efficient and sustainable alternative to fossil fuels, but they are still not economically viable Nevertheless, for his Ph.D., University of the Basque Country research chemist, José E.

Mental disorders in parents linked to autism in children
Parents of children with autism were roughly twice as likely to have been hospitalized for a mental disorder, such as schizophrenia, than parents of other children, according to an analysis of Swedish birth and hospital records by a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researcher and colleagues in the US and Europe.

Unexpected role: EGFR protects cancer cells from starving
A growth factor receptor found abundantly on the surface of cancer cells and long known to fuel cancer growth also protects tumor cells from starvation by a newly identified mechanism, researchers at the University of Texas M.

Botulinum toxin effective in many neurological disorders, not headache
New guidelines developed by the American Academy of Neurology confirm that the drug botulinum toxin is safe and effective for treating cervical dystonia, a condition of involuntary head tilt or neck movement, spasticity and other forms of muscle overactivity that interfere with movement in adults and children with an upper motor neuron syndrome, and excessive sweating of the armpits and hands.

Breastfeeding may improve children's intelligence scores
Long-term, exclusive breastfeeding appears to improve children's cognitive development, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Immune exhaustion in HIV infection
As HIV disease progresses in a person infected with the HIV virus, a group of cells in the immune system, the CD8+ T lymphocytes, become

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for May 6, 2008, issue
Highlights of articles in May 6, 2008, issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

A study reveals how cells communicate to activate the cell division machinery
A study performed by researchers at IRB Barcelona on the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, unveils how distinct signaling pathways operate between neighboring cells in order to activate the cell proliferation machinery that results in the organized growth of the fly wing.

Kidney disease worsens in a fourth of African-Americans despite therapy for hypertension
The best available treatment for chronic kidney disease from high blood pressure did not keep the disease from substantially worsening in about a fourth of African-Americans studied, according to long-term results of a National Institutes of Health study published April 28, 2008, in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

2 ACE inhibitors associated with higher mortality risks
Two commonly used ACE inhibitors for congestive heart failure -- enalapril and captopril -- were associated with 10-15 percent higher mortality than ramipril among older patients.

Iron supplements might harm infants who have enough
A new study suggests that extra iron for infants who don't need it might delay development -- results that fuel the debate over optimal iron supplement levels and could have huge implications for the baby formula and food industry.

Genes and the environment contribute differently to drinking among young adolescents
A 2001/2002 report by the World Health Organization found that, among young people in western countries who began drinking before 16 years of age, the average age of initiation was 12 years of age.

New agent strikes at respiratory syncytial virus replication
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston researchers have achieved promising results with a potential new weapon against respiratory syncytial virus, the most common cause of infant hospitalization in the United States.

McGill study links breastfeeding to increased intelligence
The largest randomized study of breastfeeding ever conducted reports that breastfeeding raises children's IQs, and improves their academic performance, a McGill researcher and his team have found.

A digital haven for terrorists on our own shores?
Mainstream Internet companies are a home for terrorist websites, a Tel Aviv University study finds.

Global warming will negatively impact tropical species
Global warming is likely to reduce the health of tropical species, scientists from UCLA and the University of Washington report in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Ecologists tease out private lives of plants and their pollinators
The quality of pollen a plant produces is closely tied to its sexual habits, ecologists have discovered.

The tachykinin receptor 3 gene has been linked to alcohol and cocaine dependence
The search for genes associated with alcohol dependence has recently been extended to the tachykinin receptor 3 gene, located within a broad region on chromosome 4q.

Study assesses TV viewing and verbal interactions among low-income parents and infants
Mothers in low-income families seldom speak to their infants while the children are watching television or videos, which most do on a daily basis, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Research program focuses on genetic mutations and cancer risk
The University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute has established the Frieda G. and Saul F.

Preventing mother-to-child HIV transmission in low-income countries
In many low-income settings a woman may have few opportunities for HIV testing before she goes into labor.

EUROCORES conference gives cold quantum matter a European twist
Quantum matter has long fascinated the science community as many completely new physical phenomena have emerged from this field.

Preference for alcohol in adolescence may lead to heavy drinking
Scientists at Duke University Medical Center have shown a connection between early drinking patterns and a tendency to be a heavy drinker in adulthood, in a study of adolescent rats.

Fungi have a hand in depleted uranium's environmental fate
Fungi may have an important role to play in the fate of potentially dangerous depleted uranium left in the environment after recent war campaigns, according to a new report in the May 6 issue of Current Biology, a publication of Cell Press.

US teens adopted as infants appear to have moderately increased odds of mental health problems
Although most adopted American teens are psychologically healthy, adoptees appear to be at greater risk for emotional and behavioral problems than non-adoptees, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

AACR CEO receives Distinguished Public Service Award
American Association for Cancer Research Chief Executive Officer Margaret Foti, Ph.D., M.D.

Youths in towns with smoke-free restaurant laws appear less likely to become smokers
Young people who live in towns where regulations ban smoking in restaurants may be less likely to become established smokers, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

There's a hole in my -- and in the data as well!
Like the popular children's song

Hasbro Children's Hospital presents at 2008 Pediatric Academic Societies Meeting
Several physicians from Hasbro Children's Hospital presented research on an assortment of pediatric topics at this year's Pediatric Academic Societies meeting in Honolulu from May 3-6.

Low blood levels of vitamin D may be associated with depression in older adults
Older adults with low blood levels of vitamin D and high blood levels of a hormone secreted by the parathyroid glands may have a higher risk of depression, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News reports on early ADMET use
Biotech and pharma companies are increasingly utilizing novel technologies to assess the druggability of test compounds early in the development cycle to avoid costly late clinical-stage attrition, according to Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News.

New disaster preparedness strategy announced
US and Canadian experts have developed a comprehensive framework to optimize and manage critical care resources during times of pandemic outbreaks or other mass critical care disasters.

Ibuprofen linked to reduced risk of Alzheimer's disease
Long-term use of ibuprofen and other drugs commonly used for aches and pains was associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer's disease, according to a study published in the May 6, 2008, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Alcohol-outlet density and violence are clearly linked over time
A new Australian study examines the relationship between alcohol-outlet density and violence over time.

ESA contributes to ocean carbon cycle research
The Earth's oceans play a vital role in the carbon cycle, making it imperative that we understand marine biological activity enough to predict how our planet will react to the extra 25,000 million tons of carbon dioxide humans are pumping into the atmosphere annually.

Break it down
The model fungus Podospora anserina has undergone substantial evolution since its separation from Neurospora crassa, as revealed from the Podospora draft genome sequence published in BioMed Central's open access journal, Genome Biology.

Moms have few interactions with their infants during TV time
Infants who are exposed to television and video in low socio-economic households tend to have limited verbal interactions with their mothers, according to a new study led by Alan L.

Short arms and legs linked to risk of dementia
People with shorter arms and legs may be at a higher risk for developing dementia later in life compared to people with longer arms and legs, according to a study published in the May 6, 2008, bonus issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Anxiety, mood disorders put cancer patients at risk for PTSD
Breast cancer patients who have a prior history of mood and anxiety disorders are at a much higher risk of experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder following their diagnosis, new research suggests. 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