Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 12, 2009
Older women less likely than men to be listed for kidney transplants
A Johns Hopkins transplant surgeon has found strong evidence that women over 45 are significantly less likely to be placed on a kidney transplant list than their equivalent male counterparts, even though women who receive a transplant stand an equal chance of survival.

Girls twice as likely as boys to remain victims of bullying
Girls targeted by bullies at primary school are two and a half times more likely to remain victims than boys, according to research from the University of Warwick and University of Hertfordshire.

From poison to prevention
One of the major challenges in modern vaccinology is to engineer vectors that are highly infectious, yet don't cause illness.

Getting less sleep associated with lower resistance to colds
Individuals who get less than seven hours of sleep per night appear about three times as likely to develop respiratory illness following exposure to a cold virus as those who sleep eight hours or more, according to a report in the Jan.

Decade of the Mind symposium to be held this week
The Decade of the Mind Symposium, subtitled

Medical study shows epidurals and spinal anesthetics are safer than previously reported
The largest ever prospective study into the major complications of epidurals and spinal anaesthetics published in the British Journal of Anaesthesia today, Jan.

As super-predators, humans reshape their prey at super-natural speeds
Fishing and hunting are having broad, swift impacts on the body size and reproductive abilities of fish and other commercially harvested species, potentially jeopardizing the ability of entire populations to recover, according to the results of a new study that will appear in the Jan.

Making the most of it: Study reveals motivating factor for enjoying the present
It is common knowledge that when something becomes scarce, its value goes up.

'Refinery dust' reveals clues about local polluters, UH-led research team says
Cloaked in the clouds of emissions and exhaust that hang over the city are clues that lead back to the polluting culprits, and a research team led by the University of Houston is hot on their trails.

Archaeologist and leading cave painting expert explores the origin of human creativity and belief
The magnificent prehistoric art discovered in caves throughout France and Spain raises many questions about early human culture.

Scientist names top 5 invasive plants threatening Southern forests in 2009
US Forest Service Southern Research Station Ecologist Jim Miller, Ph.D., one of the foremost authorities on nonnative plants in the South, today identified the invasive plant species he believes pose the biggest threats to southern forest ecosystems in 2009.

Primary-care physicians can fill gap in colorectal cancer screening
The number of people who need colonoscopies to screen for colorectal cancer is outpacing the number of endoscopists available to perform them, Medical College of Georgia researchers say.

Gene therapy eliminates brain tumors through selective recruitment of immune cells
Scientists seeking to harness the power of the immune system to eradicate brain tumors face two major hurdles: recruiting key immune cells called dendritic cells into areas of the brain where they are not naturally found and helping them recognize tumor cells as targets for attack.

Of Mice and Peanuts: A new mouse model for peanut allergy
Chicago researchers report the development of a new mouse model for food allergy that mimics symptoms generated during a human allergic reaction to peanuts.

Science learning at museums, zoos, other informal settings
Each year tens of millions of Americans, young and old, choose to learn about science outside of the classroom in informal settings such as museums, aquariums, zoos and after-school programs, as well as through educational media.

January/February 2009 Annals of Family Medicine tip sheet
The January/February issue of Annals focuses on the early detection of disease and risk factors, featuring four articles and an editorial on the role of primary care in colorectal cancer screening.

Microscopic morphology adds to the scorpion family tree
In a new research paper, Carsten Kamenz of the Humboldt University in Berlin and Lorenzo Prendini of the American Museum of Natural History image the book lung of scorpions.

Rice University software helps ID terrorists carrying out attacks
Rice University researchers have created a sophisticated new computer program that rapidly scans large databases of news reports to determine which terrorists groups might be responsible for new attacks.

World-renowned scientists to celebrate Darwin's life, legacy at the Florida State University
This year marks the 200th birthday of pioneering naturalist Charles Darwin and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his book

Research yields new clues to how we locate objects in space
In a new report in Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, researchers from Carnegie Mellon University suggest that we can locate objects in space by accurately combining features from perception and visualization.

New GSA book reveals the complexity of human evolution
This new volume from the Geological Society of America summarizes geological research in the Horn of Africa, a region well known for recording human evolution.

Will the rainforests survive? New threats and realities in the tropical extinction crisis
Satellite data and other research reveal that huge tracts of abandoned tropical forests that were once logged or farmed are regrowing, prompting a contentious debate among world scientists convening at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History Jan.

Soil maps generate reliable Quaternary geologic map
New research conducted at Iowa State University led to the successful creation of a detailed Quaternary geological map for the Des Moines Lobe with a user-controlled level of scale, with the results of the research published in the Winter 2008 issue of Soil Survey Horizons.

American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac -- Jan. 7, 2009
The American Chemical Society News Service Weekly Press Package with reports from 34 major peer-reviewed journals on chemistry, health, medicine, energy, environment, food, nanotechnology and other hot topics.

Wireless microgrippers grab living cells in 'biopsy' tests
Researchers have invented dust-particle-size devices that can be used to grab and remove living cells from hard-to-reach places without the need for electrical wires, tubes or batteries.

Preventing soil erosion in continuous corn
The removal of corn residue for the purpose of creating cellulosic ethanol requires changes in tillage for increased efficiency and protection against soil erosion, and a recent study focused on understanding how residue removal and tillage system affect the response of continuous corn to nitrogen fertilization.

Study in mice shows mechanisms behind immune responses to brain tumors
Findings from a study conducted in mice, published in the open-access journal PLoS Medicine next week, provide new insights into how an effective immune response to brain tumors could potentially be brought about in humans.

Hormone therapy linked to brain shrinkage, but not lesions
Two new studies show that hormone therapy for women is linked to brain shrinkage, but not to the small brain lesions that are the first sign of cerebrovascular disease.

Workers exposed to lead show more cognitive problems later in life
Both the developing brain and the aging brain can suffer from lead exposure.

How do cells count?
In the Jan. 13 print edition of the journal Current Biology, IGC researchers provide insight into an old mystery in cell biology and offer up new clues to understanding cancer.

Hormone therapy linked to brain shrinkage, but not lesions
Two new studies show that commonly prescribed forms of post-menopausal hormone therapy may slightly accelerate the loss of brain tissue in women 65 and older beyond what normally occurs with aging.

Antibodies produced within joints in rheumatoid arthritis
Antibodies produced within the joints themselves may be responsible for joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis, according to new research published in PLoS Medicine.

Dirty snow causes early runoff in Cascades, Rockies
Soot from pollution causes winter snowpacks to warm, shrink and warm some more.

Study of disease risk suggests ways to avoid slaughter of Yellowstone bison
Last winter, government agencies killed one third of Yellowstone National Park's bison herd due to concerns about the possible spread of a livestock disease to cattle that graze in areas around the park.

Defying the integration models -- the second generation in Europe
The child of Turkish parents may feel an outsider in the Netherlands or Switzerland, yet still be completely at home in Amsterdam or Zurich.

Researchers identify potential new weapon in battle against HIV infection
Researchers have discovered a potentially important new resistance factor in the battle against HIV: blood types.

While the cat's away: How removing an invasive species devastated a World Heritage island
Removing an invasive species from sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island, a World Heritage Site, has caused environmental devastation that will cost more than AU $24 million (US $17 million) to remedy, ecologists have revealed.

Cross-border health programs could reduce maternal and child deaths
A policy promoting

'Smart scaffolds' may help heal broken hearts
Canadian researchers have, for the first time, developed an organic substance that attracts and supports cells necessary for tissue repair and can be directly injected into problem areas.

Organic soils continue to acidify despite reduction in acidic deposition
Scientist's understanding of how soils have responded to decreases in acidic deposition at the regional scale is limited, but a recent study confirms that the acidification of soils in watersheds slows the recovery of aquatic ecosystems, an effect that is threatening the health of forests in the northeastern United States.

Switchboard in the brain helps us learn and remember at the same time
The brain is in a constant struggle between learning new experiences and remembering old experiences, this week's PLoS Biology reports.

Rats say: Manhattan rules!
Tel Aviv University's

Tiny capsules deliver
A tiny particle syringe composed of polymer layers and nanoparticles may provide drug delivery that targets diseased cells without harming the rest of the body, according to a team of chemical engineers.

New training method helps surgeons evaluate their own minimally invasive surgery skills
Recent years have seen the rapid emergence of minimally invasive surgery procedures in operating theaters.

Nearly a century later, new findings support Warburg theory of cancer
Pioneering German biochemist Otto H. Warburg's landmark theory about the origin of cancer has inspired debate and controversy for nearly 80 years.

UT Southwestern researchers find that healthy, younger adults could be at risk for heart disease
Even younger adults who have few short-term risk factors for heart disease may have a higher risk of developing heart disease over their lifetimes, according to new findings by a UT Southwestern Medical Center researcher.

Standardized test battery to aid those with Down syndrome
University of Arizona Regents' Professor Lynn Nadel began pursuing questions about the impact of Down syndrome on his research on the hippocampus in the early 1980s.

Outdoor alcohol advertising and problem drinking among African-American women in NYC
New research conducted at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health indicates that the advertising of alcohol in predominantly African-American neighborhoods of New York City may add to problem drinking behavior among residents.

Iowa State University researchers discover structure of key Ebola protein
An ISU team has recently solved the structure from a key part of the Ebola protein known as VP35.

Argonne scientists prove unconventional superconductivity in new iron arsenide compounds
Scientists at US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory used inelastic neutron scattering to show that superconductivity in a new family of iron arsenide superconductors cannot be explained by conventional theories.

Scientists bring 2,000-year-old painted warrior to virtual life
A 2,000-year-old painted statue is being restored to her original glory by scientists from WMG at the University of Warwick, the University of Southampton and the Herculaneum Conservation Project.

Diabetes associated with different types of brain injury in patients with dementia
Patients with dementia and diabetes appear to display a different pattern of injuries in their brains than patients with dementia but without diabetes, according to an article posted online today that will appear in the March print issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Pfizer contributes critical data to URMC drug safety initiative
Pfizer Inc. has agreed to provide the University of Rochester Medical Center with a unique set of electrocardiographic data that will help researchers develop new methods to ensure the safety of experimental drugs.

DNA testing may unlock secrets of medieval manuscripts
Scholars have long struggled with questions about when and where the majority of the thousands of painstakingly handwritten books produced in medieval Europe originated.

Study: Growth in research comes at a steep price
A study released this month confirms and quantifies what many medical school deans and financial administrators have long understood: basic science research can be an expensive luxury.

New technology needed to monitor rain forest 'tsunami'
Human impact on tropical forest ecosystems has reached a

Study: When local revenue falls, traffic citations go up
A new study to be published in next month's Journal of Law and Economics finds statistical evidence that local governments use traffic citations to make up for revenue shortfalls.

Vitamin D is the 'it' nutrient of the moment
Vitamin D is quickly becoming the

Why we procrastinate and how to stop
Psychologists wanted to see if there might be a link between how we think about a task and our tendency to postpone it.

Stanford launches $100 million initiative to tackle energy issues
Stanford is establishing a $100 million research institute to focus intently on energy issues, President John Hennessy announced today.

January-February GSA Bulletin media highlights
Bulletin papers examine carbon-14 dating of marine mud fossils in Ireland that suggests high ice-sheet sensitivity to small climate changes; formation of Valles Marineris, Mars; a buried fossil forest in the Gold Hill Loess, Alaska; a 20-meter-high salt pillar near the Dead Sea; how shrimp affect groundwater flow in the Biscayne aquifer; a possible emerging natural gas play in the Appalachian Basin; and banded iron formations exposed by the Agouron South African Drilling Project.

Opioids provide relief from neuropathic pain
The pain that is associated with injury to nerves is known as neuropathic pain.

Facebook flack regarding breastfeeding mothers
The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine feels that the social networking website, Facebook, would be well-advised to review its policy banning photographs of breastfeeding mothers.

The state of the cosmetic surgery industry
Beginning Thursday, Jan. 15, 2009, cosmetic surgeons from around the world will converge at the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery's 25th Anniversary Scientific Meeting to share and learn the latest developments in cosmetic surgery.

Most heart attack patients' cholesterol levels did not indicate cardiac risk
A new national study has shown that nearly 75 percent of patients hospitalized for a heart attack had cholesterol levels that would indicate they were not at high risk for a cardiovascular event, according to current national cholesterol guidelines.

Evolution of new brain area enables complex movements
A new area of the cerebral cortex has evolved to enable man and higher primates to pick up small objects and deftly use tools.

Elderly may have higher blood pressure in cold weather
Outdoor temperature and blood pressure appear to be correlated in the elderly, with higher rates of hypertension in cooler months, according to a report in the Jan.

Einstein scientist's finding highlighted as 1 of 15 'evolutionary gems' by Nature
A study on genetic variation led by a scientist at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University was selected by Nature as one of 15

A new mechanism regulates type I interferon production in white blood cells
A study from a team of researchers led by Dr.

Discovery provides hope for transplant recipients and AIDS patients
Published today in the prestigious journal Nature Immunology, this study by Dr.

'Museomics' yields new insights into extinct Tasmanian tiger
In 1902, the National Zoo brought an endangered animal called the thylacine, or Tasmanian tiger, from Tasmania.

Hair of Tasmanian tiger yields genes of extinct species
All the genes that the exotic Tasmanian Tiger inherited only from its mother will be revealed in a paper to be published on Jan.

Relapses more frequent in patients diagnosed with pediatric-onset multiple sclerosis
Patients who develop multiple sclerosis before age 18 appear to experience more relapses of symptoms than those diagnosed with the disease as adults, according to a report in the January issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

JCI online early table of contents: Jan. 12, 2009
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Jan.

Lamin B locks up Oct-1
A large fraction of the transcription factor Oct-1 is associated with the inner nuclear envelope, but how and why it is retained there was unknown.

Job strain associated with stroke in Japanese men
Japanese men in high-stress jobs appear to have an increased risk of stroke compared with those in less demanding positions, according to a report in the Jan.

Scripps research scientists find cause of cartilage degeneration in osteoarthritis
A team led by scientists at the Scripps Research Institute has found an important link between a protein that declines with age and the development of osteoarthritis, the most common disease of aging affecting nearly 27 million Americans.

From outer space to the eye clinic: New cataract early detection technique
A compact fiber-optic probe developed for the space program has now proven valuable for patients in the clinic as the first noninvasive early detection device for cataracts, the leading cause of vision loss worldwide.

Glaucoma may be linked to higher rates of reading impairment in older adults
Glaucoma appears to be associated with slower spoken reading and increased reading impairment in older adults, according to a report in the January issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Primate culture is just a stone's throw away from human evolution, study finds
For 30 years, scientists have been studying stone-handling behavior in several troops of Japanese macaques to catch a unique glimpse of primate culture. 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