Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 03, 2008
Greater alcohol outlet density is linked to male-to-female partner violence
Alcohol-outlet density is associated with a number of adverse health and social consequences.

Clicking knees are antelopes' way of saying 'back off'
Knee clicking can establish mating rights among antelopes. A study of eland antelopes, published in the open access journal BMC Biology, has uncovered the dominance displays used by males to settle disputes over access to fertile females, without resorting to genuine violence.

Study is first to link viewing of sexual content on TV to subsequent teen pregnancy
Adolescents who have high levels of exposure to television programs that contain sexual content are twice as likely to be involved in a pregnancy over the following three years as their peers who watch few such shows, according to a new RAND Corp. study.

MDCT: Noninvasive alternative to bronchoscopy in patients with airway stent complications
Multidetector CT scans are highly accurate in detecting airway stent complications according to a recent study performed at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass.

Fibromyalgia can no longer be called the 'invisible' syndrome
Using single photon emission computed tomography, researchers in France were able to detect functional abnormalities in certain regions in the brains of patients diagnosed with fibromyalgia, reinforcing the idea that symptoms of the disorder are related to a dysfunction in those parts of the brain where pain is processed.

Book explores global implications of wildland fire smoke
An international team of scientists offer a compendium of air pollution research in a new book that explores smoke impacts on humans and the environment, while addressing the challenges of finding socially acceptable uses of fire as a land management tool.

Center for Health Enhancement Systems Studies awarded $8.6 million NIH grant
The Center for Health Enhancement Systems Studies has been awarded a second grant from the National Cancer Institute, a division of the National Institutes of Health, to continue its role as a leader in cancer communication research.

Flu vaccination rates lag for at-risk adolescents
Influenza vaccination rates are still far too low for adolescents who suffer from asthma and other illnesses that predispose them to complications from the flu.

$500,000 award to fight clandestine nuclear activity
As part of a broad international effort to eliminate the testing of nuclear weapons, engineers at the University of Texas at Austin were awarded $511,000 from the US Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration to research better methods for monitoring and detecting covert nuclear tests.

Positive results in Phase 2 trial of treatment of C. difficile-associated diarrhea
Medarex Inc. and the Massachusetts Biologic Laboratories of the University of Massachusetts Medical School today announced that a Phase 2 trial of an anti-C. difficile antibody combination treatment in patients with C. difficile associated diarrhea successfully met its primary objective.

New model developed to estimate radiation skin doses during CT-guided interventional procedures
A new model that would allow interventional radiologists (radiologists who specialize in fine needle aspiration, fine needle biopsy and radiofrequency ablation) to better estimate patient radiation skin doses during CT-guided interventional procedures has been developed according to a study performed at the Agios Savvas and Konstantopoulio Hospitals in Athens, Greece.

DVR fast-forwarding may not be fatal to TV advertising
With the advent of digital video recorders and products like TiVo, viewers can fast-forward past commercials while playing back their favorite shows.

Wrongful birth litigation and prenatal screening
Wrongful birth claims may increase in Canada if physicians do not adhere to new 2007 practice guidelines that recommend prenatal screening for chromosomal abnormalities be offered to all pregnant women, write Dr.

Smaller mosquitoes are more likey to be infected with viruses causing human diseases
An entomologist at the Illinois Natural History Survey, a division of the new UI Institute for Natural Resource Sustainability, says smaller mosquitoes are more likely to be infected with viruses that cause diseases in humans.

Native birds might restock poultry industry's genetic stock
As concerns such as avian flu, animal welfare and consumer preferences impact the poultry industry, the reduced genetic diversity of commercial bird breeds increases their vulnerability and the industry's ability to adapt, according to a genetics expert.

Memo to ER docs: Send young victims of violence for 1-on-1 counseling
A study of 113 children and teens physically victimized by peers concludes that one-on-one mentoring about how to safely avoid conflict and diffuse threats makes them far less likely to become victims again if guidance is initiated in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

Stretching silicon: A new method to measure how strain affects semiconductors
University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers and physicists have developed a method of measuring how strain affects thin films of silicon that could lay the foundation for faster flexible electronics.

Study finds fears of HIV transmission in families with infected parent
Despite ongoing efforts to educate the public about HIV, a new study found that two-thirds of families with an HIV-infected parent experience fears about spreading HIV in the home.

A green future for scrap iron
In a five-year project that progressed from benchtop to pilot to full-scale tests, engineers from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., and Tongji University in Shanghai showed that the biological treatment of industrial wastewater can be dramatically enhanced by pretreating the waste with non-oxidized iron.

Grandparents a safe source of childcare
For working parents, having grandparents as caregivers can cut the risk of childhood injury roughly in half, according to a new study by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Parents' wartime deployment associated with children's behavior problems
Children ages 3 to 5 with a parent deployed to a war zone appear to exhibit more behavior problems than their peers whose parents are not deployed, according to a report in the November issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

MRI can eliminate unnecessary surgery for children with suspected musculosketal infections
Pre-treatment MRI can eliminate unnecessary diagnostic or surgical procedures for children with suspected musculoskeletal infections (septic arthritis and osteomyelitis) according to a study performed at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital in Nashville, Tenn.

Tibotec presents interim findings for TMC435, an investigational genotype 1 hepatitis C treatment
New clinical data show antiviral activity of TMC435, an investigational protease inhibitor being developed by Tibotec BVBA for the treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus infection.

Urgent need for research into the best treatment for medication overuse headaches
Medication overuse headaches affect one in every hundred adults and can cause severe disability.

MIT pieces together the mechanism that allows 2 pacemakers to control breathing
Two pacemakers in the brain work together in harmony to ensure that breathing occurs in a regular rhythm, according to new research from MIT scientists.

Rhode Island Hospital simulation center examines benefits and applications of medical simulation
Emergency medicine physicians and simulation experts from Rhode Island Hospital discuss the benefits of advanced medical simulation in five manuscripts appearing in the November 2008 issue of Academic Emergency Medicine.

What is really happening to the Greenland icecap?
The Greenland ice cap has been a focal point of recent climate change research because it is much more exposed to immediate global warming than the larger Antarctic ice sheet.

Parasites that live inside cells use loophole to thwart immune system
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have discovered a mechanism by which intracellular pathogens can shut down one of the body's key chemical weapons against them: nitric oxide.

Solar power game-changer: 'Near perfect' absorption of sunlight, from all angles
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have discovered and demonstrated a new method for overcoming two major hurdles facing solar energy.

Major conference on food: Dec. 1-2, 2008
The world's largest alliance on agricultural research will convene more than 700 leading food and environmental scientists, policy makers and donor representatives in Maputo, Mozambique, December 1-2, 2008, to discuss the best approaches for meeting the food needs of the poor in Africa.

Mouse model highlights histone methylation as distinguishing feature for leukemia subtypes
Research using a new mouse model has led to the identification of a potential therapeutic target for a type of leukemia commonly associated with an unfavorable prognosis.

Inequitable access to health care for Aboriginal people with kidney disease
Status Aboriginal people with severe kidney disease were 43 percent less likely than non-Aboriginal people to visit a nephrologist, found a study of 107,693 people in Alberta, Canada.

Are Canadian physicians passing the test?
Canada is not keeping pace with countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom in revalidating the competence of its physicians, writes Dr.

The inaudible symphony analyzed
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HPV virus helps cervical and head and neck cancers resist treatment and grow and spread
The human papillomavirus allows infected cervical and head and neck cancer cells to maintain internal molecular conditions that make the cancers resistant to therapy and more likely to grow and spread, resulting in a poor prognosis for patients, researchers with UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center found.

Rainforest fungus makes diesel
A unique fungus that makes diesel compounds has been discovered living in trees in the rainforest, according to a paper published in the November issue of Microbiology.

Protein-printing technique gives snapshots of immune system defense
A new technique lets researchers, for the first time, look at single white blood cells and measure specific characteristics of the set of antibodies they produce when the body is under attack.

Anti-VEGF drugs for retinal diseases could have serious side effects, scientists caution
Scientists have found that reducing the levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), which is best known as a stimulator of new blood vessel growth, in adult mice causes the death of photoreceptors and Muller glia -- cells of the retina that are essential to visual function.

Therapeutic vaccines
Researchers are developing a DNA-based vaccine against the dreaded West Nile virus, which can be transmitted from animals to humans.

Parents comfortable with alcohol screening in pediatricians' offices
Parents are surprisingly receptive to being screened for alcohol problems during a visit to their child's pediatrician, including those who have alcohol problems.

Poor exchange of health care information
Information from a previous visit with another physician was available only 22 percent of the time when patients saw another doctor, according to a multicenter prospective cohort study by researchers from Ottawa, Toronto, and Calgary.

New type of fuel found in Patagonia fungus
A team led by a Montana State University professor has found a fungus that produces a new type of diesel fuel.

Where have all the students gone?
A number of factors are contributing to the declining enrollment of soil science students, and solutions must be discussed by department staff at universities across the nation.

Dried mushrooms slow climate warming in northern forests
The fight against climate warming has an unexpected ally in mushrooms growing in dry spruce forests covering Alaska, Canada, Scandinavia and other northern regions, a new UC Irvine study finds.

New research finds markers for esophageal cancer before it develops
Rhode Island Hospital researchers have identified genetic proteins, also known as biomarkers, capable of distinguishing changes at the microscopic level that can signal a precancerous condition in the esophagus.

Precipitation levels may be associated with autism
Children living in counties with higher levels of annual precipitation appear more likely to have higher prevalence rates of autism, according to a report in the November issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Being unique has advantages: 'Rareness' key to some insects being favored by evolution
As the saying goes -- blondes have more fun, but in the world of insects it may actually be the rare

NYU biologists identify genes that prevent changes in physical traits due to environmental changes
New York University biologists have identified genes that prevent physical traits from being affected by environmental changes.

Consuming small amounts of caffeine when pregnant may affect the growth of an unborn child
Consuming caffeine at any time during pregnancy is associated with an increased risk of fetal growth restriction (low birth weight), according to research published on today.

Sibling study could lead to better treatments for inherited form of colon cancer
Researchers at the University of Utah's Huntsman Cancer Institute believe they may be one step closer to understanding how certain forms of colon cancer develop.

Liver transplant recipients have higher cancer risk
A new Canadian study comparing cancer rates of liver transplant patients to those of the general population has found that transplant recipients face increased risks of developing cancer, especially non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and colorectal cancer.

ARVO Foundation and Merck to provide prestigious global ophthalmic research award
The ARVO Foundation for Eye Research and Merck & Co., Inc. are pleased to announce a series of awards that honor young scientists throughout the world for their innovative contributions to ophthalmology research.

Tufts' Nelson a leader on Physical Activity Guidelines advisory committee
Tufts University's Miriam E. Nelson, Ph.D., served as vice-chair of the advisory committee for the new Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, written by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Peer review veteran David Sahn awarded NIH Center for Scientific Review's top honor
The NIH Center for Scientific Review today awarded its top honor for extraordinary commitment to peer review to veteran reviewer Dr.

David Salt is 'worth his salt,' says Science magazine
American Society of Plant Biologists members Professor David Salt and Tommy Sors along with Jeremy Friedberg have been awarded First Place in the Interactive Media category of the Science magazine 2008 Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge.

What to do with 15 million gigabytes of data
When it is fully up and running, the four massive detectors on the new Large Hadron Collider at the CERN particle-physics lab near Geneva are expected to produce up to 15 million gigabytes, aka 15 petabytes, of data every year.

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.

Previously unknown immune cell may help those with Crohn's and colitis
The tonsils and lymphoid tissues in the intestinal tract that help protect the body from external pathogens are the home base of a rare immune cell newly identified by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

November Ophthalmology Journal research highlights
This month's Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, reports on the conclusions from a population-based study of risk factors related to progression or regression of diabetic retinopathy over a 25 year period in people with type 1 diabetes, and on the associations found between night vision symptoms and progression of age-related macular degeneration in a cohort study within the Complications of Age-related Macular Degeneration Prevention Trial, a multicenter randomized clinical trial.

Is ADHD more likely to affect movement in boys or girls?
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder appears to affect movement in boys more than it does in girls, according to a study published in the Nov.

Author royalties from autism book donated to autism research
Paul Offit, M.D., announced today that all author royalties earned from the sale of his new book,

Seasonal affective disorder may be linked to genetic mutation, study suggests
A new study indicates that seasonal affective disorder may be linked to a genetic mutation in the eye that makes a SAD patient less sensitive to light.

Spatial and temporal clustering of dengue virus transmission in Thai villages
In a new study reported in PLoS Medicine, Mammen P.

A look at the Jewish-American vote
Dr. Ira M. Sheskin, University of Miami associate professor of Geography and Regional Studies and director of the Jewish Demography Project at the UM Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies, will present the facts and figures of the changes in the Jewish-American population over the last four decades and an analysis of the political implications, during the

Wait times for surgical repair of hernias among infants and young children
Longer wait times for surgical repair of inguinal hernias in infants and young children under the age of 2 were associated with more emergency department visits and a greater risk of incarcerated hernia, found a study published in CMAJ.

Tackling a hard-to-treat childhood cancer by targeting epigenetic changes
A very difficult-to-treat child leukemia turns out to be launched by a small but potent epigenetic change that could potentially be reversed relatively easily with drugs: modification of the histones that help package DNA.

JCI online early table of contents: Nov. 3, 2008
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Nov.

Stanford's Precourt Institute for Energy Efficiency awards new round of faculty research grants
Stanford's Precourt Institute for Energy Efficiency awarded its second round of competitive research grants to members of the Stanford faculty.

Red-eyed treefrog embryos actively avoid asphyxiation inside their eggs
Red-eyed treefrog embryos react to environmental oxygen concentration before they have blood or muscular movement

How HIV vaccine might have increased odds of infection
In September 2007, a phase II HIV-1 vaccine trial was abruptly halted when researchers found that the vaccine may have promoted, rather than prevented, HIV infection.

Fuels of the future may come from 'ice that burns,' water and sunshine
Fuels of the future may come from

Brain edema is associated with recurrent adult seizures
Brain seizures that are due to neurocysticercosis caused by tapeworm infection are commonly associated with fluid (perlesional edema/PO) around dead calcified cysticercal granulomas.

Springer launches Cognitive Computation
A further new multidisciplinary journal in the neurosciences, Cognitive Computation, will be launched by Springer in March 2009.

NAS and entertainment industry to discuss collaborations at Nov. 19 symposium
The National Academy of Sciences is sponsoring a symposium to bring together professionals from the entertainment industry with top scientists and engineers to discuss collaborations between science and entertainment and explore new projects.

Women have more diverse hand bacteria than men, says CU-Boulder study
A new University of Colorado at Boulder study indicates that not only do human hands harbor far higher numbers of bacteria species than previously believed, women have a significantly greater diversity of microbes on their palms than men.

Protect your vote -- avoid election machine errors
Of all the problems that could lead to a miscount Election Day, there's one possibility that voters can do something about -- avoid election machine-related errors, says a University of Maryland researcher Paul Herrnson who led a comprehensive study of voter problems using touch screen and paper-based machines.

West Nile's North American spread described
Most affected bird species have not yet recovered from the rapid spread of West Nile virus in North America after 1999, and the long-term ecological implications of the pathogen seem likely to be substantial.

Survey finds widespread dissatisfaction with current health care payment system
Leaders in health care and health care policy feel strongly that the way we pay for health care in the US must be fundamentally reformed.

Software for safe bridges
There are roughly 120,000 bridges in Germany. In order for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to cross them safely, they must be regularly inspected for damage.

Adult crime linked to childhood anxiety
Being nervous, socially isolated, anxious or neurotic during childhood protects young men from becoming criminal offenders until they enter adulthood, but the protective effect seems to wear off after the age of 21.

BioScience tip sheet, November 2008
The press release lists peer-reviewed articles that will be published in the November 2008 issue of BioScience and provides a brief description of each one; copies are available to reporters.

Coordinated avoidance maneuvers
A road construction barrier falls over: The car driver can't avoid it, since there are cars on the lane next to him.

Snakebite is a neglected threat to global public health
Snakebites cause considerable death and injury worldwide and pose an important yet neglected threat to public health, says new research published in this week's PLoS Medicine.

Surgical removal of small colon polyps is costly and unnecessary
Polypectomy (the surgical removal of polyps by colonoscopy) of small polyps found during CT colonography is costly and unnecessary according to a study performed at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, Wis.

Minor shift in vaccine schedule has potential to reduce infant illness, death
A new study by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and Vanderbilt University suggests that protecting infants from a common, highly contagious and even deadly disease may be as easy as administering a routine vaccine two weeks earlier than it is typically given.

A license to drive with ADHD
Tel Aviv University develops a driver's safety program to increase road safety and save lives

Living with smokers may be associated with inadequate access to food
Children and adults living with adult smokers appear less likely to have daily access to enough healthy food compared with those living with non-smoking adults, according to a report in the November issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Nobel laureate Frank Wilczek to speak on 'New Golden Age' at Perimeter Institute Public Lecture
Prof. Frank Wilczek, Nobel laureate, distinguished theoretical physicist and noted author, will give Perimeter Institute's next public lecture on Wednesday, Nov.

MRI reveals relationship between depression and pain
The brains of individuals with major depressive disorder appear to react more strongly when anticipating pain and also display altered functioning of the neural network that modifies pain sensitivity, according to a report in the November issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Cold Spring Harbor Protocols features organ and cell culture methods
Understanding the function of organs like the brain, kidney, and reproductive tissues requires experimental systems that allow for the study and manipulation of developing cells and tissues in the laboratory.

GSU study first to confirm long-term benefits of morphine treatment in infants
A recent study conducted by researchers at Georgia State University is the first of its kind to demonstrate that administration of preemptive morphine prior to a painful procedure in infancy blocks the long-term negative consequences of pain in adult rodents.

US Hispanics prefer beer
Hispanics constitute at least 14.4 percent of the US population, according to 2005 Census estimates.

New journal shows half-broken gene is enough to cause cancer
Tumor suppressor genes do not necessarily require both alleles to be knocked out before disease phenotypes are expressed.

Research shows why parents are born and not made
New research reveals for the first time that the different roles of mothers and fathers are influenced by genetics.

New hybrid plants could prompt more prodigious pepper production in Southwest
To help Southwestern US pepper producers perk up pepper production, Dr.

Cone-beam CT: Just as useful as MDCT before and after percutaneous vertebroplasty
Cone-beam CT which is believed to deliver less radiation than MDCT is just as useful when evaluating patients before and after percutaneous vertebroplasty according to a study performed at the Department of Clinical Radiology, Kyushu University, Fukoka, Japan.

Tweens and teens double use of diabetes drugs
A study of chronic medication use in children ages 5 to 19 found that America's tweens and teens more than doubled their use of type 2 diabetes medications between 2002 and 2005.

Ecologists say metabolism accounts for why natural selection favors only some species
Why are some species of plants and animals favored by natural selection?

Sarcospan, a little protein for a big problem
The overlooked and undervalued protein, sarcospan, just got its moment in the spotlight.

Rates of psychosis higher among minority groups in Britain
Both first- and second-generation immigrants to the United Kingdom appear to have a higher risk of psychoses than white British individuals, according to a report in the November issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Substance abuse and other psychiatric disorders are common among French prisoners
Dual diagnosis refers to a co-existing substance abuse disorder and another psychiatric disorder.

MIT captures single-cell response to vaccination
MIT engineers have painted the most detailed portrait yet of how single cells from the immune system respond to vaccination.

Moores UCSD Cancer Center studying novel leukemia vaccine for high-risk patients
Researchers at the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego are conducting clinical trials of a novel therapy aimed at revving up the immune system to combat a particularly difficult to treat form of leukemia.

NIAID media availability: Seizures following parasitic infection associated with brain swelling
A new study by NIAID scientist Theodore E. Nash, M.D., and colleagues provides strong evidence associating seizures with areas of brain tissue swelling in people infected by a parasitic tapeworm.

War affects Iraqis' health more after fleeing
The risk of depression is greater among Iraqi soldiers who took part in the Gulf War than among civilians.

Flu shot protects kids -- even during years with a bad vaccine match
Children who receive all recommended flu vaccine appear to be less likely to catch the respiratory virus that the CDC estimates hospitalizes 20,000 children every year.

Research indicates need for effective HPV vaccine for women and men and a simple HPV screening test
A call to explore a broader use of HPV vaccines and the validation of a simple oral screening test for HPV-caused oral cancers are reported in two studies by a Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center investigator.

Smokers see decline in ability to smell, rise in laryngitis, and upper airway issues
New research gives more reasons to kick smoking and smokeless tobacco products, according to the American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery Foundation.

Researchers discover gene that helps control the production of stomach acid
University of Cincinnati researchers have discovered a gene that helps control the secretion of acid in the stomach -- information that could one day aid scientists in creating more efficient treatment options for conditions such as acid reflux or peptic ulcers.

PTSD symptoms associated with increased risk of death after heart events
Individuals who receive implantable cardiac defibrillators after a sudden heart event appear more likely to die within five years if they experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, regardless of the severity of their disease, according to a report in the November issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Loggerhead release to provide vital information to scientific community
Thursday, Nov. 6, Dr. Kirt Rusenko and staff from Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton will release two juvenile loggerhead sea turtles raised in captivity into the Indian River Lagoon near Sebastian Inlet.

Hip resurfacing is not for everyone
Hip resurfacing is often seen as a modern alternative to the more conventional total hip replacement, but new data from a study led by Rush University Medical Center suggest that a patient's age and gender are key to the operation's success.

Diabetes, high blood pressure may cause people with Alzheimer's disease to die sooner
People with Alzheimer's disease who also have diabetes or high blood pressure may die sooner than people without such disorders, according to a study published in the Nov.

SNM to showcase the latest research in molecular imaging and nuclear medicine
SNM invites scientific investigators to submit abstracts to present their research at the society's 56th Annual Meeting -- the world's largest event dedicated to molecular imaging and nuclear medicine -- June 13-17, 2009, in Toronto, Canada.

Researchers uncover clue in spread of 'superbugs'
A discovery from the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation has put scientists are one step closer to finding a defense against dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria, sometimes called

Diagnosis of pelvic inflammatory disease predicts high risk and rate of further infection in teenagers
A study among Baltimore inner-city teenage girls treated for pelvic inflammatory disease shows they are highly vulnerable to subsequent sexually transmitted infections -- sometimes within a few weeks or months of their treatment. 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