Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 17, 2008
More than half a million reviewers to receive free access to published research
Elsevier's new reference linking service streamlines peer review.

Award-winning researcher says relationships with news media, public are critical
Relationships between scientists and the news media have evolved tremendously over the past 25 years, and scientists should continue to improve communications with both the media and the lay public, according to a Wake Forest University researcher whose commentary appears this month in a major scientific journal.

Time, surgery appear to reduce episodes of dizziness in patients with Ménière's disease
Episodes of dizziness tend to become less frequent over time in patients with Ménière's disease, a condition characterized by vertigo, hearing loss and ringing in the ears, according to a report in the November issue of Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Australian first: Kangaroo genome mapped
Australian researchers will today launch the world first detailed map of the kangaroo genome, completing the first phase of the kangaroo genomics project.

2 cancer drugs prevent, reverse type 1 diabetes, UCSF study shows
Two common cancer drugs have been shown to both prevent and reverse type 1 diabetes in a mouse model of the disease, according to research conducted at the University of California, San Francisco.

Necessary lattes? People short on self-control categorize more items as necessities
Why do so many of us give up on those New Year's resolutions to lose weight or curb luxury spending?

3 esophageal, stomach cancer subtypes linked to smoking; 1 associated with alcohol use
Researchers who have been following the health of more than 120,000 residents of the Netherlands for more than two decades have found that smoking is associated with two forms of esophageal cancer as well as a form of stomach cancer, and that drinking alcohol is strongly linked to one form of esophageal cancer.

Black entrepreneurs 4 times more likely to be refused credit than white businesses
A research paper, by Dr. Stuart Fraser of Warwick Business School at the University of Warwick, has found that many ethnic-minority-owned businesses in the UK struggle obtain credit in comparison to white-owned businesses.

EGFR-targeting antibody licensed to Abbott
The international Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research announced today that one of its spin-off companies, Life Science Pharmaceuticals, has licensed its lead cancer therapy candidate, antibody 806, to pharmaceutical company Abbott.

Management Accounting Research article receives prestigious Management Accounting Research Award
Elsevier announced today that the paper

Study finds Canada's supervised injection facility cost-effective
Canada's only supervised injection facility is extending lives and saving the health-care system millions of dollars, a new study from the University of Western Ontario and University of Toronto shows.

Cooling the brain prevents cell death in young mice exposed to anesthesia
New research from Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Genes associated with fat metabolism could increase kidney cancer risk
A team of international scientists has identified three genes associated with the body's processing of fats that may increase susceptibility to kidney cancer.

Gaps in adhesion
Adhesive shellfish proteins bind regardless of how many binding elements they contain.

Glacial erosion changes internal mountain structure, responses to plate tectonics
Intense glacial erosion has not only carved the surface of the highest coastal mountain range on earth, the spectacular St.

Evolution of the visual system is key to abstract art
Famous works of abstract art achieve popularity by using shapes that resonate with the neural mechanisms in the brain linked to visual information, a psychologist at the University of Liverpool has discovered.

'Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon' game provides clue to efficiency of complex networks
As the global population continues to grow exponentially, our social connections to one another remain relatively small, as if we're all protagonists in the Kevin Bacon game inspired by

Study helps identify beachgoers at increased risk of skin cancer
Identifying the sun-protection practices and risk profiles of beachgoers may help determine those who would benefit from targeted interventions intended to reduce the risk of skin cancer, according to a study in the November issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Effective global regulation
Government ownership of banks -- something unthinkable until very recently for the

A big bunch of tomatoes?
Why do poppies and sunflowers grow as a single flower per stalk while each stem of a tomato plant has several branches, each carrying flowers?

Huge progress made using insecticide-treated bednets from 2000-2007
There has been a huge increase in the numbers of children protected from malaria by insecticide-treated bednets from 2000 to 2007, now at around 20 million.

Put on a happy face: It helps you see the big picture
That photo of your smiling kids on the refrigerator door might do more than just make you feel good; you might make healthier food choices after looking at it.

Gulf War research panel finds 1 in 4 veterans suffers from illness caused by toxic exposure
At least one in four of the 697,000 US veterans of the 1991 Gulf War suffer from Gulf War illness, a condition caused by exposure to toxic chemicals, including pesticides and a drug administered to protect troops against nerve gas, and no effective treatments have yet been found, a federal panel of scientific experts and veterans concludes in a landmark report released Monday.

Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery celebrates 10 years of publication
The November/December 2009 issue of Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals, celebrates the 10-year anniversary of the journal's publication and features a special series of articles on the art and science of the specialty.

Canada's supervised injection site is cost-effective
A cost-effectiveness analysis of Insite, Canada's only supervised safe injection site in Vancouver, concludes that it results in $14 million in savings and health gains of 920 life-years over 10 years.

Can an ant be employee of the month?
Ants specializing on one job such as snatching food from a picnic are no more efficient than

Democratic Party control could ban mandatory arbitration, expert says
Democratic Party control in Washington could restore lawsuits as an option for workers and consumers now forced to settle disputes through mandatory arbitration that gives employers and businesses an unfair edge, a University of Illinois labor law expert says.

Why only some former smokers develop lung cancer
Canadian researchers are trying to answer why some smokers develop lung cancer while others remain disease free, despite similar lifestyle changes.

Physical activity after bariatric surgery improves weight loss, quality of life
A new study suggests increased physical activity after bariatric surgery can yield better postoperative outcomes.

Asthma prevalence in Chinese adolescents
A study of Chinese adolescents living in mainland China, Hong Kong and Canada suggests that asthma may be influenced by environmental factors as well as genetics.

Drops in blood oxygen levels may be key to sudden death in some epilepsy patients
A new study by researchers at UC Davis Medical Center suggests that the sudden unexplained deaths of some epilepsy patients may be a result of their brains not telling their bodies to breathe during seizures.

Drug therapy for premature infants destroys brain cells in mice
A class of drugs that are used in premature infants to treat chronic lung damage can cause damage in the brain.

Scientists gain insight into the cause and possible treatment of motor neurone disease
Researchers have identified a molecule that could be the key to understanding the cause of neurodegenerative diseases such as motor neurone disease.

NSF/NASA 'Firefly' cubesat to study link between lightning and terrestrial gamma ray flashes
Massive energy releases occur every day in the upper reaches of Earth's atmosphere.

Asthma may be over-diagnosed by up to 30 percent, according to Canadian research study
A new research study suggests that asthma may be over-diagnosed by up to 30 percent in Canadian adults.

Study investigates ethnic disparities in treatment of trauma patients
The initial evaluation and management of injured patients from minority ethnic groups nationwide appears to be similar to that of non-Hispanic white patients, according to a report in the November issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Cancer in Canada
Mortality rates for most types of cancer in Canada are declining, although rates for some are increasing, states this article on the changing size and nature of cancer in Canada.

Could genetic research awaken racist attitudes?
People are different, both physically and mentally, but genetically everyone is very similar.

Intervention program boosts survival in breast cancer patients
A new study provides the best evidence to date that a psychological intervention program designed for breast cancer patients not only improves their health, it actually increases their chance of survival.

Pain and itch responses regulated separately
Historically, scientists have regarded itching as a less intense version of the body's response to pain, but researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Acid soils in Slovakia tell somber tale
Increasing levels of nitrogen deposition associated with industry and agriculture can drive soils toward a toxic level of acidification, according to a study published in Nature Geoscience.

Textbook launch to support growth in entrepreneurship training outside of the business school
Business schools may claim

Genetic risk factors may tailor prostate cancer screening approaches
Five genetic risk markers for prostate cancer may allow physicians to adapt screening approaches for men at high-risk, particularly African-American men, according to research presented here, at the American Association for Cancer Research's Seventh Annual International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research.

Behavior/lifestyle factors influence cancer risk among the elderly
Behavioral risk factors have a significant effect on cancer risk in the US elderly population, according to research presented at the American Association for Cancer Research's Seventh Annual International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research.

Breast cancer common among women with family history but without BRCA1 or BRCA2
New data presented at the American Association for Cancer Research's Seventh Annual International Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research meeting outlines new data, which assesses breast cancer risk among women with a strong family history of breast cancer, but without a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation.

Billions of particles of anti-matter created in laboratory
Take a gold sample the size of the head of a push pin, shoot a laser through it, and suddenly more than 100 billion particles of anti-matter appear.

Simple new method detects contaminants in life-saving drug
The blood-thinning drug heparin is highly effective when used to prevent and treat blood clots in veins, arteries and lungs, but earlier this year its reputation as a lifesaver was sullied when contaminated heparin products caused serious allergic reactions that led to a large number of deaths.

New study bolsters beliefs about DNA repair
Aucott et al. report the first in vivo experiments on the heterochromatin protein 1 family, which sidles up to silent DNA.

World's earliest nuclear family found
The earliest evidence of a nuclear family, dating back to the Stone Age, has been uncovered by an international team of researchers, including experts from the University of Bristol.

Non-white med students reject therapies associated with their culture
Non-white medical students are more likely to embrace orthodox medicine and reject therapies traditionally associated with their cultures.

U of U researchers to use patient's own stem cells to treat heart failure
Researchers at the University of Utah are enrolling people in a new clinical trial that uses a patient's own stem cells to treat ischemic and nonischemic heart failure.

Football helmet shields can protect against a kick in the face
Researchers have determined that the two most popular brands of football helmet faceshields can withstand a hit equivalent to a kick in the face and provide that protection without disrupting players' vision.

Mayo researchers identify dangerous 'two-faced' protein crucial to breast cancer spread and growth
Two critical properties of cancer cells are their ability to divide without restraint and to spread away from the primary tumor to establish new tumor sites.

Pinning down the fleeting Internet: Web crawler archives historical data for easy searching
University of Washington researchers are grabbing hold of the fleeting Web and storing historical Web sites that users can easily search using an intuitive application called Zoetrope.

Researchers find link between nicotine addiction and autism
Scientists have identified a relationship between two proteins in the brain that has links to both nicotine addiction and autism.

Michigan State University scientist to help lead climate-change study for Congress
A Michigan State University scientist will help lead a climate change study charged with advising the next US Congress on environmental policy.

NC State takes research lead in protecting Puerto Rico's unique freshwater fisheries
A team of researchers led by North Carolina State University has made an enormous advance in understanding Puerto Rico's most remarkable ecosystems by conducting the first comprehensive study of the island's freshwater fish species.

American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac -- Nov. 12, 2008
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.

PNNL leadership in carbon sequestration featured at international conference
Internationally recognized climate scientist and economist Jae Edmonds will speak on Monday about the potential role of carbon capture and sequestration in climate stabilization in the plenary opening session of the 9th International Conference on Greenhouse Gas Technologies.

Money motivates doctors to reduce ethnic differences in heart disease treatments
Financial incentives for doctors can improve the management of coronary heart disease and reduce ethnic differences in quality of and access to care, according to Dr.

Scientists self-censor in response to political controversy
A survey of scientists whose studies became the focus of a public debate about NIH grant funding has found that many of them engaged in self-censorship as a result of the controversy.

'Orphan' genes play an important role in evolution
Every group of animals possesses a small proportion of genes which are extremely variable among closely related species or even unique.

Are ants that specialize better at their job?
Ants are found on every continent besides Antarctica and their success has been attributed to the evolution of specialization.

STFC Daresbury Laboratory's ALICE accelerates to 4 million volt milestone
A major milestone has been achieved in the completion of the UK's next-generation particle accelerator, ALICE, which is set to produce an intense beam of light that will revolutionize the way in which accelerator based light source research facilities will be designed in the future.

CAPHOSOL results in minimal oral mucositis and pain in head/neck cancer patients
New data show that CAPHOSOL, an advanced electrolyte solution, results in low rates of oral mucositis and pain in patients with head and neck cancer who are undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Applying 'supply and demand' business principles to treat infectious diseases worldwide
Clinton Foundation researcher to present drug forecasting method for anti-malarial treatments.

Asthma over diagnosed in one third of Canadian adults
Asthma may be overdiagnosed in countries like Canada, suggests a longitudinal study of 540 obese and nonobese adults that found approximately one third of Canadians with physician-diagnosed asthma do not have asthma when objectively tested.

Exercise and rest reduce cancer risk
Exercise is good for more than just your waistline. A recent study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research's Seventh Annual International Conference on Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research suggests that regular physical activity can lower a woman's overall risk of cancer -- but only if she gets a good night's sleep.

No honeymoon replays: People don't want to taint special memories
That unforgettable honeymoon has a special place in your memory -- so special that you might be reluctant to try to repeat it.

Indigo ointment may help treat patients with psoriasis
An ointment made from indigo naturalis, a dark blue plant-based powder used in traditional Chinese medicine, appears effective in treating plaque-type psoriasis, according to a report in the November issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

I'm sticking with my brand: Loyal customers perceive competitor ads differently
What does it take for marketers to reach customers who are already loyal to a particular brand?

Does growth hormone drug slow Alzheimer's disease?
A new study shows that a drug that increases the release of growth hormone failed to slow the rate of progression of Alzheimer's disease in humans.

Technology gives 3-D view of human coronary arteries
For the first time researchers are getting a detailed look at the interior of human coronary arteries, using an optical imaging technique developed at the Wellman Center for Photomedicine at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Gut check reveals vast multicultural community of bugs in bowels
A new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine reveals in greater detail than ever before the full extent of the bacterial community inhabiting the human bowel -- 10 times more diverse than previous research had suggested.

Embargoed news from Annals of Internal Medicine
The following are news release and two summaries of studies being published in the Nov.

Conference report highlights new research into drug delivery to treat eye disease
Researchers are investigating microneedles, nanoparticles and polymer carriers as potential new techniques to combat the leading cause of visual impairment and blindness in the United States, according to a report from the Third Annual ARVO/Pfizer Ophthalmics Research Institute Conference.

Novel imaging technique reveals brain abnormalities that may play key role in ADHD
A new study in the advance edition of the American Journal of Psychiatry reveals shape differences in the brains of children with ADHD.

'Enlightened' atoms stage nano-riot againsts uniformity
Theorists say atoms in a crystal can be made to behave in an unexpected way, a way that can be exploited to create tiny computer components that emit less heat and new sensors to detect bio-hazards and medical conditions.

Forests may play overlooked role in regulating climate
In a study to be published next week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists led by a team at the University of New Hampshire show that forests may influence the Earth's climate in important ways that have not previously been recognized.

'Let the sunshine in' to protect your heart this winter
The temperature might not be the only thing plummeting this winter.

While China's regional influence grows, US remains key security and economic partner in East Asia, RAND study finds
China is not eroding the foundations of US alliances in East Asia and the United States remains the security partner of choice in the region.

BMC nurse manager receives Abstract Award
Hanover resident and Boston Medical Center nurse manager Colleen LaBelle, R.N., A.C.R.N., C.A.R.N., was one of two semi-finalists to receive the Best Abstract Award from the Association for Medical Education and Research in Substance Abuse.

Caltech researchers get first 3-D glimpse of bacterial cell-wall architecture
The bacterial cell wall that is the target of potent antibiotics such as penicillin is actually made up of a thin single layer of carbohydrate chains, linked together by peptides, which wrap around the bacterium like a belt around a person, according to research conducted by scientists at the California Institute of Technology.

Forgotten but not gone -- how the brain takes care of things
Connections between nerve cells remain intact even when temporarily put out of service.

Bottoms up: Individualists more likely to be problem drinkers
What makes residents of certain states or countries more likely to consume more alcohol?

New life beneath sea and ice
Scientists have long known that life can exist in some very extreme environments.

Psychological interventions associated with breast cancer survival
A new study finds that breast cancer patients who participate in intervention sessions focusing on improving mood, coping effectively and altering health behaviors live longer than patients who do not receive such psychological support.

Immediate breast reconstruction more common in wealthier, better-educated communities
Patients appear more likely to have immediate breast reconstruction after mastectomy if they live in communities with higher household incomes, lower population density and more individuals who have gone to college, according to a report in the November issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Study helps clarify role of vitamin D in cancer therapy
A colon cancer cell isn't a lost cause. Vitamin D can tame the rogue cell by adjusting everything from its gene expression to its cytoskeleton.

Small satellite takes on large thunderstorms
Firefly, it's called, this new small satellite mission sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

What cures you may also ail you: Antibiotics, your gut and you
We are always being told by marketers of healthy yogurts that the human gut contains a bustling community of different bacteria, both good and bad, and that this balance is vital to keeping you healthy.

Conference on complexity offers new opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration
More than 160 participants gathered this week for the sixth annual National Academies Keck FUTURES INITIATIVE conference.

MIT: Safe storage of greenhouse-gas carbon dioxide
To prevent global warming, researchers and policymakers are exploring a variety of options to significantly cut the amount of carbon dioxide that reaches the atmosphere.

How often will you use that treadmill?
Why not buy that treadmill? You'll be exercising every day, right?

Biomedical engineers' detective work reveals antibiotic mechanism
Boston University biomedical researchers used a series of genetic clues to uncover how certain antibiotics kill bacteria.

UNC researchers find clue to stopping breast-cancer metastasis
If scientists knew exactly what a breast cancer cell needs to spread, then they could stop the most deadly part of the disease: metastasis.

World-first network linking experts in proteomics and metabolomics
A world-first network linking experts in two leading biotechnologies, proteomics and metabolomics, has been launched by the Hon Gavin Jennings at the University of Melbourne in Melbourne, Australia.

Oak Ridge supercomputer is the world's fastest for science
A Cray XT high-performance computing system at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the world's fastest supercomputer for science.

Canadian cold/flu breakthrough remedy undergoes NCI-sponsored trial in leukemia patients
Cancer patients -- with their weakened immune systems - are particularly vulnerable when the cold and flu season hits.

New guidelines for managing kidney disease
The Canadian Society of Nephrology has issued new guidelines through CMAJ for the management of chronic kidney disease that aim to encourage shared care for patients by general practitioners and specialists.

How is our left brain is different from our right?
Japanese research team, led by Prof. Ryuichi Shigemoto in National Institute for Physiological Sciences, Dr.

New deep-sea observatory goes live
On Monday, Nov. 10, 2008, the the first deep-sea ocean observatory offshore of the continental United States went

Acinetobacter baumannii -- dangerously increasing its profile as a health-care-associated infection
Acinetobacter baumannii is dangerously increasing its profile as a health-care-associated infection.

Portuguese scientists discover new mechanism that regulates formation of blood vessels
Researchers associated with the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia, in Portugal, have discovered a novel mechanism which regulates the process whereby new blood vessels are formed and wounds heal, including chronic wounds, such as those found in diabetic patients and those suffering from morbid obesity.

Tuna Commission to decide the future of Mediterranean bluefin
The International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas will meet from Nov.

Sleep helps people learn complicated tasks
Sleep helps the mind learn complicated tasks and helps people recover learning they otherwise thought they had forgotten.

Hazardous alternatives to alcohol beverages are still widely available in Russia
Nonbeverage alcohols are manufactured liquids that contain alcohol but are not intended for consumption, such as medicinal tinctures, aftershave, alcohol-based antifreeze, antiseptics and eau-de-colognes.

Breaking BubR1 mimics genetic shuffle seen in cancer cells
A study of how BubR1 helps make sure chromosomes are equally distributed during mitosis might explain how the process of cell division goes so awry in cancer, according to researchers from Fox Chase Cancer Center.

How should we assess new anti-malarial drugs?
In recent years, the use of a three-day course of an anti-malarial treatment called ACT (artemisinin-based combination therapy) in over 40 countries that face endemic malaria has shown great success in curing this deadly disease.

MIT: A quicker, easier way to make coal cleaner
Construction of new coal-fired power plants in the United States is in danger of coming to a standstill, partly due to the high cost of the requirement -- whether existing or anticipated -- to capture all emissions of carbon dioxide, an important greenhouse gas.

Hypertension develops early, silently, in African-American men
Young and healthy African-American men were found to silently develop hypertension earlier than their white counterparts, and this rise in blood pressure may go undetected unless young African-American men are screened by measuring central blood pressure, not brachial pressure, according to a new study.

New gene-silencing pathway found in plants
Biologists at Washington University in St. Louis have made major headway in explaining a mechanism by which plant cells silence potentially harmful genes.

New molecular insight into vertebrate brain development
In the Dec. 1 issue of G&D, Dr. Fred H.

Water vapor confirmed as major player in climate change
Water vapor is known to be Earth's most abundant greenhouse gas, but the extent of its contribution to global warming has been debated. 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