Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 18, 2008
St. Jude study gives new insights into how cells accessorize their proteins
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital investigators have gained new insight into how the cell's vast array of proteins would instantly be reduced to a confusion of lethally malfunctioning molecules without a system for proteins to

Strategies for preventing gastrointestinal complications in severely burned patients
Gastrointestinal dysfunction is a common complication of severe burns. To prevent and treat GI dysfunction is a clinical challenge.

National positive thinking trial aims to prevent childhood depression
More than 7,000 school pupils from across the UK will be taking part in the trial of a new positive thinking program led by the University of Bath designed to prevent children developing problems with depression.

Heart bypass surgery: deadly delays
Delaying elective coronary artery bypass graft surgery may be a significant risk factor for post-operative death.

Nanotechnology: A brave new world requires bold new research approaches
To ensure nanotechnology is developed in a responsible manner, the National Science Foundation and EPA awarded $38 million to establish two Centers for the Environmental Implications of Nanotechnology.

We are facing a global pandemic of antibiotic resistance, warn experts
Vital components of modern medicine such as major surgery, organ transplantation, and cancer chemotherapy will be threatened if antibiotic resistance is not tackled urgently, warn experts on today.

Iowa State study finds mom's beliefs may impact their kids' alcohol use
Mothers, take note. If you really want to curb your teens' chances of using alcohol, help them develop a self-view that doesn't include drinking.

Expanding cell girth indicates seriousness of breast cancer
How fat cells become after being exposed to a specialized electrical field is helping researchers determine whether cells are normal, cancerous or a stage of cancer already invading other parts of the body.

Rhinitis, with or without allergies, is linked to adult-onset asthma
Rhinitis, whether allergic or nonallergic, is a powerful predictor of adult-onset asthma.

Statins block 1 cause of pregnancy loss in mice
Women with the inflammatory condition antiphospholipid syndrome often suffer pregnancy-related complications, including miscarriage and fetal death.

Idaho National Laboratory researchers meet major hydrogen milestone
A team of scientists from the US Department of Energy's Idaho National Laboratory earlier this month reached a major milestone with the successful production of hydrogen through High-Temperature Electrolysis.

Some political views may be related to physiology
People who react more strongly to bumps in the night, spiders on a human body or the sight of a shell-shocked victim are more likely to support public policies that emphasize protecting society over preserving individual privacy.

Astronomers discover most dark matter-dominated galaxy in universe
A team led by a Yale University astronomer has discovered the least luminous, most dark matter-filled galaxy known to exist.

Maternal diet can increase development and severity of asthma in offspring
New data to be published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation indicates that in mice, a maternal diet rich in methyl donors, of which one source is the prenatal supplement folate, increases the chance that the developing fetus will suffer from asthma after birth.

Virtual colonoscopy as good as other colon cancer screening methods
CT colonography, known as virtual colonoscopy, is as accurate at screening for colorectal cancers and pre-cancerous polyps as conventional colonoscopy, the current screening standard, according to the National CT Colonography Trial, a nationwide multi-center study that included the San Francisco VA Medical Center.

Programmed cell death contributes force to the movement of cells
In addition to pruning cells out of the way during embryonic development, the much-studied process of programmed cell death, or apoptosis, has been newly found to exert significant mechanical force on surrounding cells.

'No time to lose' to start thinking sustainability
As director of the University of Oregon's Climate Leadership Initiative, the need to address human contributions to global warming is a no-brainer that Bob Doppelt says in his new book requires a mindset tuned into

Increasing general practice opening hours could prevent recurrent strokes
Increasing general practice opening hours would improve the opportunity for assessment and urgent referral to specialist care of patients with a transient ischaemic attack or minor stroke, which could prevent over 500 recurrent strokes a year in England alone, concludes a study published on today.

An analysis of the surgical and perioperative complications in right hepatectomies
Although modern techniques and perioperative management exist, liver surgery contains risks when performed in healthy donors.

US Air Force grant targets medical evacuation procedures
University of Cincinnati researchers have received a grant in excess of $2 million from the US Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine to determine the ideal time to fly that minimizes health complications to injured soldiers due to the rush to move them from the battlefield into a safe zone.

Walnut trees emit aspirin-like chemical to deal with stress
Walnut trees respond to stress by producing significant amounts of a chemical form of aspirin, scientists have discovered.

GM crops protect neighbors from pests
A study in northern China indicates that genetically modified cotton, altered to express the insecticide, Bt, not only reduces pest populations among those crops, but also reduces pests among other nearby crops that have not been modified with Bt.

Breakthrough in spinal injury treatment
Manipulating embryo-derived stem cells before transplanting them may hold the key to optimizing stem cell technologies for repairing spinal cord injuries in humans.

Thin men more vulnerable to osteoporosis and bone fractures than other older men
Obesity and weight increase leads to an increased risk of many chronic diseases, and the advice is therefore to maintain a stable healthy weight.

Study suggests why heart attack victims do better with social support
Researchers have identified specific damages to the brain that may occur when heart attack victims are socially isolated from others.

Use of paracetamol in first years of life increases risk of asthma in children aged 6-7 years
Use of paracetamol in the first year of life, or later in early childhood, is associated with increased risk of asthma, rhinoconjunctivitis and eczema at age 6-7 years.

Scientists discover cancer-causing role of gene proteins
Scientists from the Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research at Princess Margaret Hospital have discovered the role of two

Site used by sodium to control sensitivity of certain potassium ion channels
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine researchers have uncovered how sodium is able to control specific potassium ion channels in cells, according to new study findings published online this week in Nature Chemical Biology.

Scientists identify the genes that cause blindness produced by corneal edema
A study carried out by researchers of the UGR and the San Cecilio Teaching Hospital opens the door to new treatments for corneal oedema and will even allow to modify the affected genes by means of gene therapy.

As personalized, genomic medicine takes off, four developing countries show the way for others
Developing countries that want the benefits of cutting-edge health-care possibilities based on the genetic variation of individual citizens and sub-populations need to foster the new science at home, says a major new Canadian study published by Nature Publishing Group.

University of Leicester scientists funded to design concepts for NASA microgravity
Two University of Leicester scientists have recently been awarded 10,000 to design concepts for scientific experiments which would fly on the upcoming new generation of manned suborbital spacecraft, such as Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo.

From sugar to gasoline
Following independent paths of investigation, two research teams are announcing this month that they have successfully converted sugar -- potentially derived from agricultural waste and nonfood plants -- into gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and a range of other valuable chemicals.

Political attitudes are predicted by physiological traits
A new paper in the journal Science, titled

The prevalence of hepatitis B virus infection in inflammatory bowel disease patients
Inflammatory Bowel Disease patients have a high risk of acquire the hepatitis B virus infection because they sometimes need blood transfusions, invasive surgical and endoscopic procedures.

How to treat gastroesophageal adenocarcinom patients?
Researchers investigated treatment patterns, factors that influenced treatment and survival in a population of patients with gastroesophageal adenocarcinoma.

University of Bath conference tackles the health of the nation
Teenage mental health, childhood obesity and the dangers of an over-indulgent lifestyle are amongst the topics to be discussed at the annual School for Health Research Matters conference at the University of Bath on Friday, Sept.

JCI table of contents: Sept. 18, 2008
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published Sept.

Rodent studies suggest mother's diet can affect genes and offspring's risk of allergic asthma
A pregnant mouse's diet can induce epigenetic changes that increase the risk her offspring will develop allergic asthma, according to researchers at National Jewish Health and Duke University Medical Center.

Study shows asthma with onset in early adulthood has its origins in early childhood
A study published in this week's Asthma Special Issue of the Lancet has shown that asthma with onset in early adulthood has its origins in early childhood.

Why chemo works for some people and not others
MIT researchers have shown that cells from different people don't all react the same way when exposed to the same DNA-damaging agent -- a finding that could help clinicians predict how patients will respond to chemotherapy.

BOSS: The Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey
A unique dark-energy probe called BOSS, the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey, is a crucial component of the Sloan Digital Sky Survey's third program.

A breakthrough in contrast-enhanced intraoperative ultrasonography
The present brief clinical report showed that Contrast-enhanced intraoperative ultrasonography using a new microbubble agent, Sonazoid, can allow surgeons to investigate the whole liver with enough time and to find new metastases intraoperatively.

New class of hormone from healthy fat cells benefits metabolism, HSPH researchers find in mice
Scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health have identified in mice a newly discovered class of hormones -- lipokines, according to a report in the Sept.

Does probiotic intervention induce the serum global lipid profile change?
The new global metabolic profiling techniques, metabolomics, have made it possible to measure large numbers of different metabolites.

Exhaled nitric oxide monitoring does not improve on guidelines-based asthma management
New research indicates that adolescent and young adult patients whose asthma is managed according to the latest NIH guidelines do not benefit from the addition of nitric-oxide monitoring.

Natural childbirth linked to stronger baby bonding than C-sections
The bonds that tie a mother to her newborn may be stronger in women who deliver naturally than in those who deliver by cesarean section, according to a study published by Yale School of Medicine researchers in the October issue of Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.

New study offers solution to global fisheries collapse
A study in the Sept. 19 issue of Science shows that an innovative yet contentious fisheries management strategy called

Asthma: still more questions than answers
As we did in 2006, the Lancet is dedicating this week's issue to asthma to coincide with the European Respiratory Society meeting to be held in Berlin, Oct 4-8.

'Buckyballs' have high potential to accumulate in living tissue
Research at Purdue University suggests synthetic carbon molecules called fullerenes, or buckyballs, have a high potential of being accumulated in animal tissue, but the molecules also appear to break down in sunlight, perhaps reducing their possible environmental dangers.

TCT update: Late-breaking clinical trial data will shape the future of interventional cardiology
Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics is the annual scientific symposium of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation.

New Bluetooth system orients blind and sighted pedestrians
A new Bluetooth system designed primarily for blind people places a layer of information technology over the real world to tell pedestrians about points of interest along their path as they pass them.

'Estrogen flooding our rivers,' Université de Montréal study
A water treatment plant from Canada's second biggest city, Montreal, is dumping 90 times the critical amount of certain estrogen products into the river.

New mechanism for cardiac arrhythmia discovered
Virus infections can cause cardiac arrhythmia. Scientists of the Max Delbrück Center in Berlin, Germany, have now discovered the molecular mechanism.

Revealing the regulating mechanism behind signal transduction in the brain
Our brain consists of billions of cells that continually transmit signals to each other.

Is the intestinal mucosa barrier malfunction involved in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis?
Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis is one type of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, some NASH may develop into hepatic fibrosis and cirrhosis of liver.

New process derives 'green gasoline' from plant sugars
Alternative energy doesn't always mean solar or wind power. In fact, the alternative fuels developed by University of Wisconsin-Madison chemical and biological engineering professor James Dumesic look a lot like the gasoline and diesel fuel used in vehicles today.

Scientists discover a new Pacific iguana
A new iguana has been discovered in the central regions of Fiji.

'Baby' fat cells may be key to treating obesity, say UT Southwestern researchers
Immature, or

IMPACTS: On the threshold of abrupt climate change
Abrupt climate change is the focus of IMPACTS, a major new program bringing together six US Department of Energy national laboratories to investigate the instability of marine ice sheets, warming of the boreal forests and Arctic, megadroughts in the Southwestern United States, and methane release from frozen hydrates.

Universities develop a more sustainable future
Experts from the worlds of law, geography, economics, health and planning will meet at UCL on Friday, Sept.

Iowa State researchers part of $208M supercomputer project
Iowa State University researchers will be part of a large consortium working to develop and use the world's most powerful supercomputer.

More than skin deep: There's no such thing as a 'safe' suntan, researchers warn
There may be no such thing as a

Novel anti-cancer mechanism found in long-lived rodents
Biologists at the University of Rochester have found that small-bodied rodents with long lifespans have evolved a previously unknown anti-cancer mechanism that appears to be different from any anti-cancer mechanisms employed by humans or other large mammals.

Boston University astronomers en route to Mars
Boston University's Center for Space Physics will participate in NASA's next mission to Mars, known as the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN or MAVEN led by John T.

Gastric cancer with 3 pathological features
The authors described a patient with adenocarcinoma of the stomach combined with choriocarcinoma and neuroendocrine cell carcinoma.

Minimally invasive aortic valve bypass benefits high-risk elderly patients
A study conducted at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore concludes that an uncommonly used surgical procedure that bypasses a narrowed aortic valve, rather than replacing it, effectively restores blood flow from the heart to the rest of the body and gives high-risk patients a safe alternative to conventional valve surgery.

Elsevier congratulates its British Medical Association Award winning medical authors and editors
Elsevier is pleased to announce that eight of its professional and scholarly books were honored at the annual BMA Medical Book Competition ceremony in London on Sept.

New vaccine element could generate better protection from avian influenza
Current vaccines for influenza provide protection against specific seasonal influenza A strains and their close relatives, but not against more distant seasonal influenza A viruses and new avian influenza A viruses, such as H5N1, which still poses a real global health concern.

Better understanding of blood vessel constrictor needed to harness its power for patients
To harness endothelin-1's power to constrict blood vessels and help patients manage high blood pressure or heart failure, scientists must learn more about how endothelin functions naturally and in disease states, says a Medical College of Georgia researcher.

Explorers find hundreds of undescribed corals, other species on familiar Australian reefs
Hundreds of new kinds of animal species surprised international researchers systematically exploring waters off two islands on the Great Barrier Reef and a reef off northwestern Australia -- waters long familiar to divers.

Hormone discovery points to benefits of 'home grown' fat
A hormone found at higher levels when the body produces its own

When healing turns to scarring: Research reveals why it happens and how to stop it
For the first time, research from the University of Western Ontario has revealed the mechanisms involved in the origin of scarring or fibrotic diseases, as well as a way to control it.

Internationally adopted children hit puberty earlier
In Quebec, Canada, 900 children are internationally adopted every year.

Measuring exhaled nitric oxide fraction does not clinically improve asthma control
Measuring exhaled nitric oxide (NO) fractions from the breath of asthma patients does not clinically improve asthma control when combined with conventional management assessing symptoms and lung function.

Plants in forest emit aspirin chemical to deal with stress; discovery may help agriculture
Plants in a forest respond to stress by producing a chemical form of aspirin, scientists have discovered.

Comet dust reveals unexpected mixing of solar system
Chemical clues from a comet's halo are challenging common views about the history and evolution of the solar system and showing it may be more mixed-up than previously thought.

Scientists find 'redesigned hammer' that forged evolution of pregnancy in mammals
Yale researchers have shown that the origin and evolution of the placenta and uterus in mammals is associated with evolutionary changes in a single regulatory protein, according to a report in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Protein identified that plays role in blood flow
Using atomic force microscopy -- a microscope with very high resolution -- and isolating blood vessels outside the body, University of Missouri researchers have identified a protein that plays an important role in the control of tissue blood flow and vascular resistance.

Longevity, cancer and diet connected: New research in worms could apply to humans
Researchers have discovered a connection between genes that could hold the key to a longer, healthier life.

New brain imaging shows effects of withdrawal on smokers
New research highlighted at a symposium during an annual meeting for family physicians shows how nicotine withdrawal creates functional changes in the brains of smokers trying to quit causing cognitive performance deficits (such as ability to concentrate) that may make it more difficult to quit, and could be a driver of smoking relapse.

Prestigious nuclear medicine publication offers open online access
SNM recently announced that all content in its flagship publication -- the Journal of Nuclear Medicine -- is now free and open to the public six months after publication.

New study: Overbearing parents foster obsessive children
Parents watch your nagging. A new study from the Université de Montréal in Quebec, Canada, has found that parental control directly influences whether a child will develop a harmonious or obsessive passion for their favorite hobby.

Penn announces $50M Penn Integrates Knowledge neurosciences initiative
The University of Pennsylvania will make a major investment in neuroscience, the interdisciplinary study of brain/behavior relationships and nervous-system diseases, with a $50 million contribution from Penn's Health System to endow five new Penn Integrates Knowledge professorships.

Researchers disclose key advance in treating spinal cord injuries
Manipulating stem cells prior to transplantation may hold the key to overcoming a critical obstacle to using stem cell technology to repair spinal cord injuries, scientists have shown.

NSF, NIH award Ecology of Infectious Disease grants
Unprecedented changes in biodiversity have coincided with the emergence and re-emergence of infectious diseases around the world.

Work together or face 'disastrous consequences' for health in Africa, experts warn
Faced with the prospect of more variable and changing climates increasing Africa's already intolerable disease burden, scientists must begin to reach out to colleagues in other fields and to the people they want to help if they hope to avert an expected

Different stem cell types defined by exclusive combinations of genes working together
In the new issue of Cell Stem Cell, scientists report that the same transcription factor, which is crucial for the survival of different stem cell types, can behave differently.

Doppler on wheels deployed at Hurricane Ike
The only scientific team to successfully brave Hurricane Ike's knock-down winds and swells in Galveston was the DOW, the Doppler on Wheels mobile weather radar operated by the Center for Severe Weather Research in Boulder, Colo.

Serious disease in pet lizards caused by new bacteria
Skin infections are common in pet lizards and can lead to fatal organ disease and septicaemia.

Checking people at airports -- with terahertz radiation
Possibilities for new and safe methods of transport checks are offered by terahertz radiation.

Pneumatosis cystoids intestinalis after fluorouracil chemotherapy
Pneumatosis cystoids intestinalis is relatively rare condition characterized by multiple intraluminal gases existing in any part of gastrointestinal tract, which is seen in association with various disorders.

JILA scientists create first dense gas of ultracold 'polar' molecules
Scientists at JILA, a joint institute of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Colorado at Boulder, have applied their expertise in ultracold atoms and lasers to produce the first high-density gas of ultracold molecules -- two different atoms bonded together -- that are both stable and capable of strong interactions. 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