Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 13, 2008
Study examines association between caffeine consumption and breast cancer risk
Caffeine consumption does not appear to be associated with overall breast cancer risk, according to a report in the Oct.

Florida's 'worm grunters' collect bait worms by inadvertently imitating mole sounds
Vanderbilt biologist Ken Catania has discovered the secret of

Which way 'out of Africa'?
The widely held belief that the Nile valley was the most likely route out of sub-Saharan Africa for early modern humans 120,000 year ago is challenged.

Research confirms it: Noxious gas stove emissions worsen asthma symptoms in young children
Johns Hopkins scientists report that high levels of a noxious gas from stoves can be added to the list of indoor pollutants that aggravate asthma symptoms of inner-city children, especially preschoolers.

Filling in the blanks: Consumers want complete information to make choices
A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research examines the way consumers behave when information about a purchase is incomplete.

Lack of vitamin D linked to Parkinson's disease
A majority of Parkinson's patients in a clinical study had insufficient levels of vitamin D, significantly more than Alzheimer's patients or healthy elderly people.

Embryonic heart exhibits impressive regenerative capacity
A new study demonstrates that the embryonic mouse heart has an astounding capacity to regenerate, a phenomenon previously observed only in non-mammalian species.

Primary care records improve public health information
Gaining a fuller and more accurate picture of trends in the most important disease risk factors is now possible, thanks to a project between the NHS Information Center and QResearch.

Pajama gamblers could lose their shirts: Online gambling can be dangerously comfortable
People who gamble from the comfort of their home tend to think they're more in control of their gambling than people who gamble in casinos, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Hospital-based smoking cessation program after heart attack adds to success
Hospital-based smoking cessation programs, along with referrals to cardiac rehabilitation, appear to be associated with increased rates of quitting smoking following heart attack, according to a report in the Oct.

Biofuels center director: Next president should take page from JFK
The director of the International Center for Advanced Renewable Energy and Sustainability, a sustainable energy research center at Washington University in St.

New tools that model 3-D structure of amorphous materials to transform technology driven R&D
Researchers have accurately identified tools that model the atomic and void structures of a network-forming elemental material.

Modern genetics vs. ancient frog-killing fungus
Scientists at the University of Idaho have sequenced the genome of the chytrid fungus known as Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.

Unpicking the complexity of human disease
The mysteries of the human genome are slowly being revealed -- but the more we uncover the more complicated the picture becomes.

Transforming the 1930s house into an energy efficient home of the future
The 1930s semi is an icon of its age. Three million were built and they are still a major part of our current housing stock.

How to diagnose and treat spontaneous colonic perforation?
A research in China investigated the etiology, diagnosis and treatment of spontaneous perforation of the colon.

Why are T cells tolerant to hepatitis B virus?
Many viral infections such as hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus can develop into persistent viremia of patients.

Methamphetamine enters brain quickly and lingers
Using positron emission tomography to track tracer doses of methamphetamine in humans' brains, scientists at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory find that the addictive and long-lasting effects of this increasingly prevalent drug can be explained in part by its pharmacokinetics -- the rate at which it enters and clears the brain, and its distribution.

New hope for a better treatment for childhood cancer
Children who are diagnosed with cancer could benefit from better diagnosis and treatment in the future thanks to a new research project involving clinicians and scientists at the University of Nottingham.

Is endocan a novel marker of colorectal cancer?
A research group in China investigated the expression frequency of endocan in colorectal cancer.

Looking through the broken mirror
Researchers at the University of Nottingham are hoping to learn more about the causes of autism and Asperger's syndrome by putting a controversial theory to the test.

Astrocytes and synaptic plasticity
By mopping up excess neurotrophic factor from neuronal synapses, astrocytes may finely tune synaptic transmission to affect processes such as learning and memory, say Bergami et al.

Farmers can spot lame sheep, but fail to prevent footrot spread
Sheep farmers are highly able to spot even mildly lame sheep, but many do not take steps to prevent the spread of lameness in their flocks by catching and treating these animals.

Response to immune protein determines pathology of multiple sclerosis
New research may help reveal why different parts of the brain can come under attack in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Celebrity adoption of charitable causes oversold
Celebrities do have the ability to focus awareness on charitable and political causes but their power to move the news machine to shape policy agendas has been oversold, according to recent research published by SAGE in the October issue of the International Journal of Press/Politics.

Sejnowksi elected to Institute of Medicine
The Institute of Medicine announced today the election of a new member, Terrence J.

Pleasure seekers: Clubbing is a controlled rave experience
Clubbers -- people who dance the night away in dance clubs -- are seeking communal, ecstatic experiences.

Seeds of optimism in Iraq's mental health provision
University of Leicester psychiatrist Dr Mohammed Al-Uzri flies to Iraq on Oct.

Pioneering engineer elected into prestigious Institute of Medicine
Nicholas A. Peppas was elected today to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, becoming the first faculty member from The University of Texas at Austin to receive this honor -- the highest recognition a scientist or engineer in the medical sciences can receive in the United States.

Strong elasticity size effects in ZnO nanowires
Researchers at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University recently performed experiments and computations to resolve major existing discrepancies about the scaling of ZnO nanowires elastic properties.

Despite 'peacenik' reputation, bonobos hunt and eat other primates too
Unlike the male-dominated societies of their chimpanzee relatives, bonobo society -- in which females enjoy a higher social status than males -- has a

New properties of skin stem cells
Recent research from the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet reveals completely new properties of the skin's stem cells -- discoveries that contradict previous findings.

In a last 'stronghold' for endangered chimpanzees, survey finds drastic decline
In a population survey of West African chimpanzees living in Côte d'Ivoire, researchers estimate that this endangered subspecies has dropped in numbers by a whopping 90 percent since the last survey was conducted 18 years ago.

What do you know? Not as much as you think
We've all met know-it-alls -- people who think they know more than they actually do.

MedImmune grants 5 new fellowships to help expand premature infant follow-up care research
Five neonatology fellows have been awarded grants designed to stimulate interest and research in the area of follow-up care of the premature infant as part of MedImmune's Fellowship Program.

Exports may not rescue UK economy
Hopes that the plunging pound may boost UK exports have been questioned by new research into currency movements.

Scientists develop new cancer-killing compound from salad plant
Researchers at the University of Washington have updated a traditional Chinese medicine to create a compound that is more than 1,200 times more specific in killing certain kinds of cancer cells than currently available drugs, heralding the possibility of a more effective chemotherapy drug with minimal side effects.

UNC's Pisano, Rimer elected to Institute of Medicine
Two University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill faculty members have been elected to the Institute of Medicine, considered one of the nation's highest honors for those in the fields of health and medicine.

Men who never smoke live longer, better lives than heavy smokers
Other studies in Archives of Internal Medicine focus on smoking cessation strategiesHealth-related quality of life appears to deteriorate as the number of cigarettes smoked per day increases, even in individuals who subsequently quit smoking, according to a report in the Oct.

Worms' nervous system shown to alert immune system in Stanford studies
The nervous system and the immune system have something in common.

International Climate Change conference Oct. 30 at WUSTL
Distinguished environmental law and policy scholars and scientists from around the country will gather at Washington University in St.

Closing the gap: Journal launch brings together wound-healing knowledge
Until now, controversy has existed as to the exact cell type that produces connective tissue growth factor, a key protein in the wound healing process.

Duke team explains a longtime visual puzzler in new way
A team of neuroscientists at Duke University Medical Center has suggested an entirely new way to explain a puzzling visual phenomenon called the flash-lag effect.

Best treatment determined for childhood eye problem
Mayo Clinic researchers, as part of a nine-site study, helped discover the best of three currently-used treatments for convergence insufficiency in children.

New approach to genetic testing could halve deaths from inherited bowel cancer
Changing the approach to genetic screening for cancers in Australia could effectively halve deaths caused by an inherited form of bowel cancer, says a University of Melbourne expert.

Georgetown University Medical Center researcher elected to Institute of Medicine
The Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences, today announced the membership election of Lucile L.

Does hypertriglyceridemia aggravate the episodes of severe acute pancreatitis?
Hypertriglyceridemia is a common clinical problem but rare cause of pancreatitis.

Vitamin D deficiency may be more common in Parkinson's disease patients
Individuals with Parkinson's disease appear more likely to be vitamin D deficient than healthy adults of the same age or patients with Alzheimer's disease, according to a report in the October issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

DegraSense Ltd: Commercial sense and sensor abilities
A new company, DegraSense Ltd, has been established to develop a point of care dental diagnostic that could improve the treatment of periodontal disease and other inflammatory conditions.

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

Follow-up data confirm rofecoxib substantially increases risk of stroke, heart attack and death
Long term follow-up data from the APPROVe trial confirms that use of the Cox-2 inhibitor rofecoxib substantially increases the risk of stroke, heart attack and death compared with placebo.

Vision loss more common in people with diabetes
Visual impairment appears to be more common in people with diabetes than in those without the disease, according to a report in the October issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Working through the menopause
Some women sail through it, others find it a challenge but few women like to talk openly about the menopause.

International Diabetes Federation calls for global action to keep all children with diabetes alive
The International Diabetes Federation announced today that it is bringing together key opinion leaders to push for action to secure care for the thousands of children with diabetes in developing countries without access The meeting, Access to Essential Diabetes Medicines for Children in the Developing World, will be held on Sat., Oct.

Iowa State University researcher developed forerunner of Nobel research in 1986
This year's Nobel Prize for chemistry was given to researchers for their work on illuminating living cells.

Research finds that marijuana use takes toll on adolescent brain function
University of Cincinnati clinical neuropsychology researcher Krista Lisdahl Medina presents research at the 2008 annual meeting of the American Academy of Pediatrics in Boston.

Sunlight exposure plus low antioxidant levels may place older adults at risk for eye disease
A European study suggests that the combination of low plasma levels of antioxidants and blue light exposure from the sun is associated with certain forms of the eye disease age-related macular degeneration, according to a report in the October issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Intensive support programs can help hospitalized smokers stay smoke free
Hospital-sponsored stop-smoking programs for inpatients that include follow-up counseling for longer than one month significantly improve patients' ability to stay smoke free.

People lacking vital antioxidants and exposed to sunlight more likely to develop AMD
People who lack essential antioxidants, and who have high levels of sunlight exposure, have a higher risk of developing advanced macular degeneration, according to a study published today in the journal Archives of Ophthalmology.

More Americans have, get treated for high blood pressure
An analysis of data from two national health studies shows that more US adults have hypertension than ever before.

New fossil reveals primates lingered in Texas
More than 40 million years ago, primates preferred Texas to northern climates that were significantly cooling, according to new fossil evidence discovered by Chris Kirk, physical anthropologist at The University of Texas at Austin.

Subconscious encounters: How brand exposure affects your choices
Products with visible brand names are everywhere; many times we don't even notice them.

AAT protein restores blood glucose in type 1 diabetes model
A protein made by the liver in response to inflammation and used to treat patients suffering from a genetic form of emphysema has been shown to restore blood glucose levels in a mouse model of type 1 diabetes mellitus, according to a new study led by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Researchers write protein nanoarrays using a fountain pen and electric fields
Most tools capable of patterning on the nanoscale were developed for the silicon microelectronics industry and cannot be used for soft and relatively sensitive biomaterials such as DNA and proteins.

Carnegie Mellon to receive $900,000 from EPA for brownfields research
Carnegie Mellon University's Deborah a. Lange will receive a $900,000 check from Donald S.

Migratory moths may hitch their rides, but they're anything but drifters
Night-traveling migratory moths may hitch a ride on the wind, but a new study in the Oct.

Open access day: PLoS and SPARC release new 'voices of open access' video series
A new video series presents six unique perspectives on the importance of Open Access to research across the higher education community and beyond.

Drinking alcohol associated with smaller brain volume
The more alcohol an individual drinks, the smaller his or her total brain volume, according to a report in the October issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Science fiction giant's screenplay for Moby Dick ends half century of 'invisibility'
Unseen for 50 years, Ray Bradbury's screenplay for John Huston's 1956 film Moby Dick has been published with an introduction by William Touponce, Ph.D., director of the Center for Ray Bradbury Studies at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and an internationally known Bradbury scholar.

How was work today? A major study begins into work-related health and well-being
A study that could improve our health and well-being at work is about to start at the University of Nottingham.

Critical genetic link found between human taste differences and nicotine dependence
In a study published in the Oct. 10, 2008, issue of the American Journal of Human Genetics, University of Virginia Health System researchers report that two interacting genes related to bitter taste sensitivity, TAS2R16 and TAS2R38, play an important role in a person's development of nicotine dependence and smoking behavior.

New kids on the block: Latecomers must be unique to outperform pioneer brands
A new study in the Journal of Consumer research finds that people evaluate pioneer brands more thoroughly than the next brands they encounter.

Obese teenagers face higher metabolic syndrome risk in South America than Europe
A high percentage of obese teenagers who took part in a two country study had metabolic syndrome, a worldwide merging health problem that can lead to heart disease.

Vitamin K does not stem BMD decline in postmenopausal women with osteopenia
In a randomized controlled trial called the

Cancer screening rates among older Medicaid patients fall short of national objectives
Only about half of Medicaid recipients age 50 and older appear to receive recommended screening tests for colorectal, breast and cervical cancer, according to a report in the Oct.

Scientists trace molecular origin of proportional development
When it comes to embryo formation in the lowly fruit fly, a little molecular messiness actually leads to enhanced developmental precision, according to a study in the Oct.

Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC scientific director elected to Institute of Medicine
David H. Perlmutter, MD, scientific director and physician-in-chief at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, has been elected to the prestigious Institute of Medicine. 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