Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 12, 2008
Invention to prevent surgical adhesions wins Kaye Award
A material designed to prevent adhesions following surgery has won for Hebrew University Prof.

Syntermed licenses Emory imaging technology for improved evaluation of heart failure patients
New imaging software that will allow physicians to more accurately diagnose and treat heart failure patients has been licensed by Emory University to Syntermed, an Atlanta-based nuclear medicine imaging and informatics software company.

Membrane complexes take flight
Against currently held dogma, scientists at the Universities of Cambridge and Bristol have revealed that the interactions within membrane complexes can be maintained intact in the vacuum of a mass spectrometer.

If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is around to hear it, does climate change?
There are roughly 42 million square kilometers of forest on Earth, a swath that covers almost a third of the land surface, and those wooded environments play a key role in both mitigating and enhancing global warming.

Mysterious mountain dino may be a new species
A partial dinosaur skeleton unearthed in 1971 from a remote British Columbia site is the first ever found in Canadian mountains and may represent a new species.

Microwave synthesis connects with the (quantum) dots
Materials researchers at NIST have developed a simplified, low-cost process for producing high-quality, water-soluble 'quantum dots' for biological research.

Tsunami in the brain
After a stroke, even unaffected areas of the brain are at risk -- depolarization waves arise at the edges of the dead tissue and spread through the adjacent areas of the brain.

JCI online early table of contents: June 12, 2008
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, June 12, 2008, in the JCI, including: New target to enhance anticancer drug sensitivity found in translation; Fever may trigger heart failure in patients with the genetic disease LQT-2; The nerves behind the pain relief provided by stressful situations; Tumor cells want no contact with immune cells; and others.

Study pinpoints strategies that protect older adult's physical health
Existing research on longevity supports the notion that one should become actively involved in one's health in an effort to prevent further decline.

New self-management program offers significant benefits for arthritis patients with chronic pain
A new two week program significantly reduces health care visits, pain scores and health distress in arthritis patients with chronic pain.

Carbocisteine can reduce worsening of COPD
The mucolytic drug carbocisteine can help slow the worsening of symptoms in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and should be recognized as a treatment for the condition.

New target to enhance anti-cancer drug sensitivity found in translation
The development of resistance to anticancer chemotherapeutic agents remains a large problem.

Insomnia in parents can result in sleep problems, suicidal behavior among their offspring
A history of chronic insomnia in parents is not only associated with elevated risk for insomnia but also with elevated risks for use of hypnotics, psychopathology and suicidal behavior in adolescent offspring.

UT Southwestern investigators test groundbreaking depression research in real-world setting
UT Southwestern Medical Center psychiatry researchers have taken what they learned from their groundbreaking research on treating depression and are applying it to real-world clinical settings.

Acoustics' 08: Tigers, singers, earthquakes, buildings, caves, coveted violins and more
The largest ever meeting devoted to the science of acoustics will take place Monday June 30 through Friday July 4, 2008, at the Palais des Congrès in Paris, France.

Roadrunner supercomputer puts research at a new scale
Less than a week after Los Alamos National Laboratory's Roadrunner supercomputer began operating at world-record petaflop/s data-processing speeds, Los Alamos researchers are already using the computer to mimic extremely complex neurological processes.

Frequent self-cutting linked to risky sexual behavior in teens
Teens who repeatedly cut themselves are more likely to engage in risky sexual behavior, increasing their chances of possibly contracting HIV, according to a new study by the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center.

On the evolutionary trail of molecules that cause Lou Gehrig's disease
What became a scientific quest for Dr. Hugo Bellen and his colleagues at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston began with trying to define the function of a protein that plays a role in the nervous system.

Primary tumors can drive the growth of distant cancers
Primary tumors can encourage the growth of stray cancer cells lurking elsewhere in the body that otherwise may not have amounted to much.

Carnegie Mellon researchers improve assessments of aortic aneurysms
Carnegie Mellon University's Ender Finol has received a two-year, $602,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop methodologies for accurately evaluating the risk of aneurysms.

An unexpected link between coronavirus replication and protein secretion in infected cells
Coronavirus replication is critically linked to two factors within the early secretory pathway, according to new findings by a team of Dutch researchers that are published June 13 in the open-access journal PLoS Pathogens.

MIT researchers unravel bacteria communication pathways
MIT researchers have figured out how bacteria ensure that they respond correctly to hundreds of incoming signals from their environment.

UCR chemists use 'green chemistry' to produce amines, chemical compounds used widely in industry
Chemists at UC Riverside have discovered an inexpensive, clean and quick way to prepare amines -- nitrogen-containing organic compounds derived from ammonia that have wide industrial applications such as solvents, additives, anti-foam agents, corrosion inhibitors, detergents, dyes and bactericides.

Research shows patients must re-learn going from sitting to standing after total knee replacement
New research out of the University of Delaware indicates that patients who have undergone total knee arthroplasty need to re-learn the proper techniques of moving from a sitting to standing position.

ESMO Conference Lugano
Cancer experts and patients are gathering in Switzerland next month for the 2nd ESMO Conference Lugano, where they will discuss the latest advances in the treatment and prevention of diseases that affect millions of people worldwide.

Nuisance noise silenced by an acoustic cloak
Researchers in Spain have proven that metamaterials, materials defined by their unusual man-made cellular structure, can be designed to produce an acoustic cloak -- a cloak that can make objects impervious to sound waves, literally diverting sound waves around an object.

NIST chemists get scoop on crude 'oil' from pig manure
NIST researchers have developed the first detailed chemical analysis revealing what processing is needed to transform pig manure derived 'crude oil' into fuel for vehicles or heating.

Lack of health surveillance system puts Canada at risk
Canada can lead in helping countries implement the International Health Regulations that govern the global response to public health emergencies, but it must first get its house in order, writes Dr.

Physicists produce quantum-entangled images
Using a convenient and flexible method for creating twin light beams, researchers at the Joint Quantum Institute of the Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Maryland have produced

Trips among the dynamic geology of Indiana and the Ohio River Valley
The latest geology guidebook published by the Geological Society of America provides a diverse sampling of the geology of the Illinois Basin region.

Trial is first to see if HIV prevention gels are safe for pregnant women, their babies
Clinical trials hoping to identify a vaginal microbicide that is safe and effective against HIV have all but skirted questions befitting evaluation of an approach intended primarily for sexually active women of childbearing age: What if a woman gets pregnant while using a product?

Anti-inflammatory effects of pomegranate in rabbits: A potential treatment in humans?
Oral ingestion of pomegranate extract reduces the production of chemicals that cause inflammation suggests a study published in BioMed Central's open access Journal of Inflammation.

Medical research on ice
New medical equipment recently delivered to the Antarctic station Concordia will help understand how our bodies physically adapt to this extreme environment -- knowledge which could help prepare for a future human mission to Mars.

The future of nicotine addiction treatment -- a nicotine vaccine?
Nicotine addiction is a chronic illness, and reducing the massive burden of death and disease associated with it will require matching individual treatments to patients, along with the necessary public health messages, concludes a seminar in this week's edition of The Lancet.

From the (very) small to the 'big picture'
One looks at the 'small science' of nanomaterials, the other looks at big picture issues with the Canadian health care system.

Head injuries increase after motorcycle helmet law repeal
Large increases in head injury deaths and hospitalizations occurred in Pennsylvania in the two years following the repeal of the motorcycle helmet law in 2003, says a University of Pittsburgh study published in the American Journal of Public Health.

The EUROACTION study -- improving prevention of cardiovascular disease in families
A nurse-coordinated multidisciplinary, family-based cardiology program in hospitals and general practices can improve standards of preventive care in routine clinical practice.

Field project seeks clues to climate change in remote atmospheric region
Scientists are deploying an advanced research aircraft to study a region of the atmosphere that influences climate change by affecting the amount of solar heat that reaches Earth's surface.

Sun to set on Ulysses solar mission on July 1
After over 17 years of operation, the joint ESA/NASA mission Ulysses will officially conclude on July 1 this year.

Fever may trigger heart failure in patients with the genetic disease LQT-2
The changes in heart rate that are potentially fatal in individuals with LQT2 are caused by changes in the electrical activity in the heart because of mutations in the HERG gene.

Evolving roles difficult for GPs but good for patients
The solutions to Australia's general practitioner shortage are not just in increasing GP numbers, but in developing new roles to care for patients, according to research published by the Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute based at the Australian National University.

Toothpaste too pricey for the poor
Fluoride toothpaste is prohibitively expensive for the world's poorest people, according to a study published in BioMed Central's open access journal Globalization and Health.

Tropical forest sustainability: A climate change boon
Improved management of the world's tropical forests has major implications for humanity's ability to reduce its contribution to climate change, according to a paper published today in the international journal, Science.

Threatened or invasive? Species' fates identified
A new ecological study led by a University of Adelaide researcher should help identify species prone to extinction under environmental change, and species that are likely to become a pest.

Prevalence of US osteoprotic hip fracture hospitalizations declines despite an aging population
The prevalence of hospitalizations for osteoporotic hip fractures in the USA declined significantly from 1988 to 2005, despite an increase in all-cause hospitalizations over the same period and a general aging of the population, according to research presented today at EULAR 2008, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in Paris, France.

Ancient antibody molecule offers clues to how humans evolved allergies
Scientists have discovered how evolution may have lumbered humans with allergy problems.

Tests check out rescue robots' life-saving vision
A new ASTM International standard, developed under a National Institute of Standards and Technology coordinated program with first responders and manufacturers, offers a systematic way to evaluate the robot visual capability humans need to drive the device, search for victims and access general hazard conditions.

Adalimumab therapy effective in AS, RA and PsA patients refractory to other anti-TNF therapies
Adalimumab therapy is effective and well-tolerated in ankylosing spondylitis, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis patients with a previously inadequate response to anti-tumour necrosis factor therapies etanercept and infliximab, according to results of research presented today at EULAR 2008, the Annual European Congress of Rheumatology in Paris, France.

The nerves behind the pain relief provided by stressful situations
The increased beating of the heart that one experiences when in a stressful situation is just one part of the body's response, often known as the

Unexpected finding of molecule's dual role in mice may open new avenue to cholesterol reduction
A research team led by scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health have discovered an unknown regulator of fat and cholesterol production in the liver of mice, a significant finding that could lead to new therapies for lowering unhealthy blood levels of cholesterol and fats.

Centromeres cross over, a lot
Recombination at centromeres is higher than anywhere else on the chromosome, even though methyltransferases do their best to prevent it, say Jaco et al., as published in the June 16 issue of the Journal of Cell Biology.

REM sleep associated with overweight in children and adolescents
Short sleep time is associated with overweight in children and adolescents, a core aspect of which may be attributed to reduced REM sleep.

Beaded viruses and geology-inspired paintings show the art in science
Two virologists and a geologist display artworks based on their science in a new exhibit featuring viruses depicted in beadwork and abstract paintings inspired by geology.

NIH study concludes next week's summer chorus camp for seniors improves quality of life
Encore Creativity for Older Adults and St. Mary's College of Maryland will co-host Encore's first Summer Chorale Camp Tuesday, June 17, through Saturday, June 21, at SMCM.

Pfizer's work on penicillin for World War II becomes a National Historic Chemical Landmark
The development of deep-tank fermentation by Pfizer -- which enabled the mass production of penicillin for use in World War II -- was designated a National Historic Chemical Landmark by the American Chemical Society in a special ceremony in Brooklyn, NY, on June 12, 2008.

Heart Failure 2008
Despite the increasing prevalence and the urgency, there are huge challenges in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of heart failure.

A warning to gardeners
The tragic case of a previously healthy man who died after inhaling fungal spores from dead plant material while gardening is highlighted in a case report in this week's edition of The Lancet, authored by Dr.

Plan to conserve forests may be detrimental to other ecosystems
Conserving biodiversity must be considered in plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation, researchers warn in today's edition of Science.

Doritos makes history with world's first extraterrestrial advert
First advert to be broadcast into space is transmitted by Doritos, with help from University of Leicester scientists.

'Faulty' brain connections may be responsible for social impairments in autism
The brains of adults with autism are

AAAS hosts June 20 conference on personalized medicine
Better knowledge of the body's genetic and molecular machinery is pointing toward new drugs and treatments that are custom-designed for each individual.

Sleep-related breathing disorders affect children's blood pressure during sleep
In the first study to use continuous measurements of blood pressure during overnight sleep, a research abstract that will be presented on Thursday at SLEEP 2008, the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies finds that all severities of sleep-related breathing disorders in children are associated with elevated blood pressure during sleep compared with non


Delaying school start time by one hour positively affects adolescents' cognitive performance
Delaying an adolescent's school start time by one hour has a positive effect on his or her cognitive performance.

Microsoft scientist highlights urgent need for new computer models to address climate change
Two papers published in the journal Science today by Microsoft Research ecologist Drew Purves together with research colleagues at Princeton University and universities in Madrid, Spain, highlight how an improved understanding of forest dynamics is needed to better predict environmental change.

Study: Women make management strides when firms downsize, restructure
Women can make inroads into male-dominated management ranks as companies that downsize restructure their scaled-back workforces, according to new research by a University of Illinois sociologist.

US still leads the world in science and technology
Despite perceptions that the nation is losing its competitive edge, the United States remains the dominant leader in science and technology worldwide, according to a RAND Corporation study issued today.

'Nanoglassblowing' seen as boon to study of individual molecules
Researchers from NIST and Cornell University have developed a new fabrication technique called 'nanoglassblowing' that creates nanoscale fluidic devices to isolate and study single molecules in solution, including individual DNA strands.

Golfers and golf courses benefit from the use of native grasses in roughs
Some golfers may prefer a well-manicured golf course, highly-maintained with very green, very short grass that's easy to play off of.

Biogen Idec's baminercept alfa shows promise in patients with rheumatoid arthritis
Biogen Idec will present data on baminercept alfa, the first dual-mechanism, lymphotoxin- and LIGHT pathway inhibitor in development for the treatment of autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, during the 2008 European League Against Rheumatism Annual European Congress of Rheumatology at the Le Palais de Congrés de Paris.

Hand bone mineral density is an effective predictor of mortality in rheumatoid arthritis
Low bone mineral density in the hand is a valid predictor of overall mortality in patients with rheumatoid arthritis and indicates long-term prognosis, according to a new study presented today at EULAR 2008, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in Paris, France.

Field project seeks clues to climate change in remote atmospheric region
A team of scientists are deploying an advanced research aircraft to study a region of the atmosphere that influences climate change by affecting the amount of solar heat that reaches Earth's surface.

New research shows how aging brain brings a healthy dose of perspective
A study conducted by Dr. Florin Dolcos, assistant professor of psychiatry and neuroscience in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta, identified brain patterns that help healthy older people regulate and control emotion better than their younger counterparts.

Synthetic cocoa chemical slows growth of tumors in human cell lines
A synthetic chemical based on a compound found in cocoa beans slowed growth and accelerated destruction of human tumors in laboratory studies, and should be tested further for cancer chemoprevention or even treatment, say researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center.

Tests show LLNL detection instrument can monitor the air for all major terrorist threat substances
Security and law enforcement officials may some day have a new ally -- a universal detection system that can monitor the air for virtually all of the major threat agents that could be used by terrorists.

Poor sleep linked to suicidal behavior among children and adolescents with depressive episodes
A research abstract that will be presented on Thursday at SLEEP 2008, the 22nd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, finds a link between poor sleep and suicidal behavior among children and adolescents with depressive episodes.

Even before tomato warning, many Americans lacked confidence in the food safety system
A new national study by the Harvard School of Public Health Project on the Public and Biological Security finds that most Americans remain confident that the food produced in the United States is safe.

Molecular insight begins Trofex Phase 1 trial for detection of metastatic prostate cancer
Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals Inc. announced today that it has initiated a Phase 1 clinical trial for its Trofex molecular imaging program for the detection and staging of metastatic prostate cancer.

Cell surface receptors are all 'talk' in T cell stimulation
Using imaging techniques, researchers have revealed the dynamic processes that allow receptors to communicate with one another to stimulate the immune system.

Computer models show major climate shift as a result of closing ozone hole
A new study led by Columbia University researchers has found that the closing of the ozone hole, which is projected to occur sometime in the second half of the 21st century, may significantly affect climate change in the Southern Hemisphere, and therefore, the global climate.

Bond receives Gruber Cosmology Prize for theoretical insights into origin of the universe
J. Richard Bond, PhD, director of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research Cosmology and Gravity Program, is the recipient of the 2008 Cosmology Prize of the Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation in affiliation with the International Astronomical Union.

The world's brain mapping experts in Melbourne for annual conference
Brain imaging scientists from around the world will attend the 14th Annual Meeting of the Organisation for Human Brain Mapping from June 15-19 at the Melbourne Convention Centre.

'Chatter Box' computer will unravel the science of language
Scientists are to use a powerful super computer to mimic the part of the brain that controls speech and language function to better understand what goes wrong after brain damage caused by trauma or stroke.

We can be serious: Cardiff University disputes Hawk-eye's Wimbledon line call
Ahead of Wimbledon fortnight, researchers from Cardiff University are advising that sports decision aids such as the Hawk-Eye system should come with a 'health' warning attached.

Diamonds are forever revealing new insights into Earth's development
Diamonds will take center stage this month in countless wedding ceremonies and other celebrations.

Ovarian function and fertility preserved in women with severe systemic lupus erythematosus
Ovarian function can be preserved and disease activity controlled in women with severe systemic lupus erythematosus when treated with a 6-month course of cyclophosphamide, a chemotherapy drug, followed by the immunosuppressant mycophenolate mofetil, according to a new study presented today at EULAR 2008, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in Paris, France.

Argonne materials scientist wins young investigator award
Seungbum Hong, a materials scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, received the Young Investigator Outstanding Achievement Award from the International Symposium on Integrated Ferroelectrics, a prize that recognizes his contributions to the study of a class of materials that could shape the frontier of information technology.

Silicon Valley engineer testifies on need to retain talented high-tech students and professionals
Congress should make it easier for foreign graduate students and engineers to remain in the United States, Silicon Valley engineer and entrepreneur Lee Colby told a congressional subcommittee at a hearing on Capitol Hill today.

Like a rock: New mineral named for UW astronomer
A new mineral, the first to be discovered inside a particle from a comet, has officially been named in honor of University of Washington astronomer Donald Brownlee.

In quake's aftermath, Chinese sift through rubble for radioactivity
In the wake of the strongest and deadliest earthquake to ravage China in decades, the task of searching through wreckage for victims and property proved an onerous one. 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