Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 16, 2009
World Health chair to deliver inaugural address at Penn's Positive Health Lecture Series
Sir Michael Marmot, chair of the World Health Organization Commission on Social Determinants of Health will present the University of Pennsylvania's inaugural Positive Health Lecture Series talk,

Virginia Tech, Wright State, Air Force team to design future aerospace vehicles
Virginia Tech's Multidisciplinary Analysis and Design Center for Advanced Vehicles and Wright State University researchers involved in this new collaboration, along with the Air Force's Multidisciplinary Technology Center will form the Collaborative Center on Multidisciplinary Sciences.

Many children with hearing loss also have eye disorders
About one-fifth of children with sensorineural hearing loss also have ocular disorders, according to a report in the February issue of Archives of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Nanoparticles double their chances of getting into sticky situations
Chemistry researchers at the University of Warwick have found that tiny nanoparticles could be twice as likely to stick to the interface of two non mixing liquids than previously believed.

Study evaluates types of skin diseases among military personnel who were evacuated from combat zones
Dermatitis, benign moles, hives and cancerous skin lesions are among the most common diagnoses among military personnel who were evacuated from combat zones for ill-defined dermatologic diseases, according to a report in the February issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Sun-safe pool policies appear related to sun safety behaviors among pool staff
The social environment at swimming pools appears to be related to sun safety behaviors of outdoor pool staff, according to a report in the February issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

New research identifies faster detection of viruses
A more specific and faster detection of viruses has been identified in new research by Trinity College Dublin's Professor of Physics, Martin Hegner at Trinity College's Center of Research on Adaptive Nanostructures and Nanodevices and an international team of researchers.

Targeting the protein AEG1 impairs human liver cancer growth in mice
Hepatocellular carcinoma is a highly aggressive form of liver cancer and one of the 5 most common cancers worldwide.

Estrogen found to increase growth of the most common childhood brain tumor
University of Cincinnati researchers have discovered that estrogen receptors are present in medulloblastoma -- the most common type of pediatric brain tumor--leading them to believe that anti-estrogen drug treatments may be beneficial in limiting tumor progression and improving patients' overall outcome.

Lecture at UH to cover health care opportunities, responsibilities, challenges
As lawmakers in Washington prepare legislation that could overhaul the US health-care system, Americans face a battery of bad news about families who have lost insurance coverage after layoffs, bankruptcies that were caused by astronomical medical bills and providers that can no longer afford to offer indigent care.

College science requirements keep US ahead of world, MSU researcher argues
Despite frequent warnings of the inadequacy of education in the United States, citizens here are still among the world's most scientifically literate, a Michigan State University researcher said.

Hospitals apply lessons learned in the airline industry to improve operating room safety
A recent study conducted by Northwestern Memorial Hospital found that integrated team training and pre-operative discussions increase staff communication and teamwork, thus reducing the potential for operating room errors.

Researchers identify novel genetic markers linked to increased risk of heart attack
An international team of researchers including scientists of Helmholtz Zentrum M√ľnchen has succeeded in identifying new gene variants associated with an increased risk for myocardial infarction (MI), or heart attack.

Boosting its infectivity turns benign virus into good gene therapy carrier for cystic fibrosis
Previous attempts to use viruses to carry a normal gene into cystic fibrosis patients and cure their illness have failed because the immune system mopped them up too quickly or the viruses didn't infect enough lung cells to deliver the new gene.

Asian elephants under increasing threat as illegal ivory prices soar
Southeast Asia's few surviving elephants are under increasing threat from booming illegal ivory prices in Vietnam, according to a new study released by TRAFFIC -- the world's largest wildlife trade monitoring network and a joint program of World Wildlife Fund and IUCN.

New study debunks misconceptions about barriers to the CDC's HIV testing recommendations
Since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released revised recommendations for opt-out HIV testing in 2006, there has been significant debate around the barriers to widespread implementation of the recommendations.

Identifying mega-targets for high-yield plant breeding
Genetic diversity in a breeding program is essential as an insurance against unforeseeable changes in the environment and to maintain genetic progress, and the incorporation of diversity should be planned carefully.

When acute hepatitis develops into chronic hepatitis
Hepatitis B is the most prevalent infectious disease in the world.

Family history of melanoma linked to Parkinson's disease
People with a family history of melanoma may have a greater risk of developing Parkinson's disease, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 61st Annual Meeting in Seattle, April 25 - May 2, 2009.

Clemson astronomers study mysterious antimatter in the Milky Way
NASA has awarded Clemson astronomers $244,000 to use data from several space-based gamma-ray telescopes to study a mysterious emission coming from the central regions of the Milky Way galaxy.

Insulin analogues: What's all the fuss?
Insulin analogues are modified human insulins developed to address the limitations of human insulins which do not always respond to increased blood glucose levels in the same way as insulin that is naturally secreted by the body.

Paper sheds new 'light' on fascinating rhythms of the circadian clock
A new paper by University of Notre Dame biologist Giles Duffield and a team of researchers sheds new light on circadian timing systems and focuses on a key gene that seems to regulate the response of the circadian clock to light signals.

Encouraging high-risk research: DFG approves funding for 2 new Reinhart Koselleck projects
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft has announced that it will fund two new especially innovative and high-risk research projects.

New study says to look at more than just price to find the best travel bargains
If you're looking for bargain air travel, a new study finds that you should look at more than just the ticket price.

WU hosts public hearing, conference to help NIH prioritize women's health research
Washington University will host a national meeting March 4-6 on behalf of the NIH Office of Research in Women's Health as it begins to develop research priorities for the next decade.

Good bacteria can be EZ Pass for oral vaccine against anthrax
Researchers at North Carolina State University have discovered that the good bacteria found in dairy products and linked to positive health benefits in the human body might also be an effective vehicle for an oral vaccine that can provide immunity to anthrax exposure.

White patients benefit more than blacks in surviving surgical complications at teaching hospitals
Elderly patients who undergo surgery at teaching-intensive hospitals have better survival rates than at nonteaching hospitals, but these better survival rates apparently occur in white patients, not black patients.

Blocking protein leads to fewer, smaller skin cancer tumors
New research suggests that blocking the activity of a protein in the blood could offer powerful protection against some skin cancers.

New guidelines emphasize use of breast MRI to supplement standard imaging
Updated guidelines for physicians that represent best practices for using magnetic resonance imaging to newly diagnose breast cancer and to make treatment decisions for breast cancer were published today in the Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

Greenland and Antarctic ice sheet melting, rate unknown
The Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets are melting, but the amounts that will melt and the time it will take are still unknown, according to Richard Alley, Evan Pugh professor of geosciences, Penn State.

Embargoed news from Annals of Internal Medicine
Below is information about five studies being published by Annals of Internal Medicine.

Threats to biodiversity rise in the world's Mediterranean-climate regions
In the first systematic analysis of threats to the biodiversity of the world's Mediterranean-climate regions, scientists at the Nature Conservancy and UC Davis report that these conservation hotspots are facing significant and increasing pressure.

Survival after surgical complications appears better at teaching hospitals for whites but not blacks
Survival after surgery appears higher at teaching hospitals than at non-teaching hospitals, but this benefit is experienced by white patients and not black patients, according to a report in the February issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Ethanol plants no panacea for local economies, study finds
Just over a year ago, the US ethanol industry was still in overdrive, fueling a wave of new factories to keep pace with surging demand for the corn-based gasoline additive.

Video imaging provides dynamic view of airway obstruction in those with sleep breathing disorder
A video imaging technique demonstrates that the soft palate, the tissue at the back of the roof of the mouth, is more elongated and angled in patients with obstructive sleep apnea both when they sleep and when they are awake, according to a report in the February issue of Archives of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Duke software dramatically speeds enzyme design
A Duke University-led team has brought powerful software to the never-ending arms race between antibiotics and germs.

Case Western Reserve physics chair named APS Fellow, AAAS speaker
Dan Akerib, chair of the Case Western Reserve University department of physics, has been elected a fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) in honor of his work in the area of astrophysics.

Interdisciplinary group to explore altruism, sociality in mammals
Numerous prominent , international researchers will gather at Washington University in St.

Early release news from Annals of Internal Medicine
Below is information about an Annals of Internal Medicine early release article to be published online.

Arizona State's Lawrence Krauss predicts a 'miserable future' for our universe
Our picture of the universe has changed more in the past decade or so than it did in the past century.

McMaster researchers discover new mode of how diseases evolve
Researchers of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research have discovered a new way that bacteria evolve into something that can make you sick.

Cosmologists aim to observe first moments of universe
During the next decade, a delicate measurement of primordial light could reveal convincing evidence for the popular cosmic inflation theory, which proposes that a random, microscopic density fluctuation in the fabric of space and time gave birth to the universe in a hot big bang approximately 13.7 billion years ago.

Structural polymorphism of 441-residue Tau at single residue resolution
Worldwide almost 30 million suffer from Alzheimer's disease. The brains of people with Alzheimer's contain two types of misfolded proteins -- amyloid plaques and tangles of the protein Tau.

Local climate influences dengue transmission
Researchers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have found that dengue transmission in Puerto Rico is dependent upon local climate and short-term changes in temperature and precipitation.

Accelerating urbanization presents daunting engineering challenge
Ensuring the world's fast-growing urban regions function efficiently in the future will demand a much more complex public infrastructure than anything yet designed.

Scientists uncover indicator that warns leukemia is progressing to more dangerous form
Scientists at the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego, Stanford University School of Medicine and other centers have identified a mechanism by which a chronic form of leukemia can progress into a deadlier stage of the disease.

Closure of patent foramen ovale may benefit migraine sufferers
Reducing the frequency and severity of disabling migraines is crucial for quality of life.

Padgett in National Engineers Week spotlight
Rice University Assistant Professor Jamie Padgett has been chosen as one of just 14 people from industry, government and academia to represent the best and brightest

State of the steric sea level rise, 1955-2003
Based on a detailed analysis of ocean vertical temperature profiles for the 1955-2008 period, Sydney Levitus, lead author, talks about the change of global average sea level induced by the observed warming of the world ocean during the past 53 years.

Will large amounts of soil carbon be released if grasslands are converted to energy crops?
A recent study published in the March-April 2009 issue of Agronomy Journal analyzed whether or not soils that were converted from perennial grasses to the production of bioenergy grain crops would experience loss of soil organic carbon.

ACS Weekly PressPac -- Feb. 11, 2009
The American Chemical Society Office of Public Affairs Weekly Press Package with reports from 34 major peer-reviewed journals on chemistry, health, medicine, energy, environment, food, nanotechnology and other hot topics.

Antimicrobial resistance in clinics, hospitals and at home
Antibiotic resistance and the rise of illnesses that cannot be treated easily because of drug resistance is a health concern around the world.

Transporter could help breast cancer cells commit suicide
Researchers are trying to open a door for a killer that breast cancer cells shut out.

MU researcher demonstrates non-traditional therapy is effective as pain management
According to a new study at the University of Missouri, researchers discovered that 73 percent of patients receiving Non-Contact Therapeutic Touch experienced a significant reduction in pain, had fewer requests for medication, and slept more comfortably following surgery.

Scientists uncover secrets of potential bioterror virus
Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have discovered a key tactic that the Rift Valley fever virus uses to disarm the defenses of infected cells.

Scientists study full protein content of 'baker's yeast'
A scientist at the University of Liverpool will lead a $5.7 million study to analyze the entire protein content of

Olympus introduces first endoscopic ultrasound processor for digestive and pulmonary diseases
Olympus America Inc. today announced the launch of EU-ME1, the world's first universal endoscopic ultrasound processor to combine electronic and mechanical scanning for both gastrointestinal and pulmonary diseases in a single device.

Joint ISCD-IOF meeting promises world class scientific program and stimulating debate
The International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) is pleased to announce

Food counterfeiting, contamination outpace international regulatory systems
Intentionally contaminated Chinese milk killed several children and sickened 300,000 more, causing concern around an increasingly connected world economy.

Does gene show link between migraine and stroke or heart attacks?
New research looks at whether a gene variant may affect the link between migraine and stroke or heart attacks.

JCI online early table of contents: Feb. 16, 2009
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Feb.

Image pinpoints all 5 million atoms in viral coat
A new image reveals the precise structure of the protective protein coat, or

Elderly patients can benefit from selective use of early revascularization
The elderly represent a growing proportion of patients presenting with acute myocardial infarction complicated by cardiogenic shock.

An inexhaustible source of neural cells
Research scientists in Bonn have succeeded in deriving so-called brain stem cells from human embryonic stem cells.

Case Western Reserve researchers looking at light-induced toxins in air and water
Toxic nitro-aromatic pollutants (or nitro-polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), both manmade and naturally occurring, continue to be emitted into the air and are present in food, water systems, soils and sediments, says Carlos Crespo, the Case Western Reserve University chemistry assistant professor whose research team is studying how ultraviolet-visible light interacts with and transforms these compounds under controlled laboratory settings.

Doctors' resources for off-label prescribing may be incomplete, unclear
The resources doctors use to get important information about indications and reimbursement for use of cancer drugs off-label may be out-of-date and incomplete, according to a study led by researchers in the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Regulating commercial weight-loss programs
The commercial weight-loss industry is big business in North America, and the $50 billion industry should be regulated to safeguard people's health, write Dr.

Mycotoxin Research joins Springer's life sciences journals program
Springer and the Society for Mycotoxin Research have signed an agreement to publish the peer-reviewed journal Mycotoxin Research, the official journal of the Society.

Weight loss improves fatty liver disease, researchers find
Recent study findings will allow doctors to give patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, specific weight loss goals that are likely to improve their health.

Duke forum to address global engineering problems
Experts will gather at Duke University March 2-3 to discuss engineering solutions to major challenges facing the world today, ranging from national security to education and energy.

Arab-American women need supplement to boost dangerously low vitamin D levels
Arab-American women living in southeast Detroit whose conservative dress limits their exposure to sun should be taking a vitamin D supplement to boost their dangerously low serum levels, according to a study published by Henry Ford Hospital researchers.

Hormone linked to high blood pressure and blood vessel disease in African-Americans
Researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee have linked higher levels of the hormone aldosterone to high blood pressure and blood vessel disease in African-Americans.

Peer victimization in middle and high school predicts sexual behavior among adolescents
Peer victimization during middle and high school may be an important indicator of an individual's sexual behavior later in life. 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