Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 02, 2009
Swimming lessons do not increase drowning risk in young children
Providing very young children with swimming lessons appears to have a protective effect against drowning and does not increase children's risk of drowning, reported researchers at the National Institutes of Health.

American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac -- Feb. 25, 2009
This is the American Chemical Society weekly Press Package with reports from 34 major peer-reviewed journals on chemistry, health, medicine, energy, environment, food, nanotechnology and other hot topics.

New potential therapeutic target discovered for genetic disorder -- Barth syndrome
Researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center may have discovered a new targeted intervention for Barth Syndrome.

Water method for unsedated colonoscopy; interval between prep and colonoscopy predicts prep quality
A study appearing in the monthly March issue of GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy from researchers in California focuses on the impact of a novel water method on scheduled unsedated colonoscopy in US veterans.

Names turn preschoolers into vegetable lovers
Do you have a picky preschooler who's avoiding their vegetables?

AGI reports on the state of the geoscience economy
The American Geological Institute Workforce Program has released the final chapter, titled

Epstein-Barr virus may be associated with progression of MS
Epstein-Barr virus, the pathogen that causes mononucleosis, appears to play a role in the neurodegeneration that occurs in persons with multiple sclerosis, researchers at the University at Buffalo and the University of Trieste, Italy, have shown.

Cleansing toxic waste -- with vinegar
Engineers and environmental scientists at the University of Leeds are developing methods of helping contaminated water to clean itself by adding simple organic chemicals such as vinegar.

Unfolding 'nature's origami'
Sometimes known as

Why do women store fat differently from men?
It's a paradox that has flummoxed women for generations -- their apparent ability to store fat more efficiently than men, despite eating proportionally fewer calories.

Impulsivity in kindergarten may predict gambling behavior in 6th grade
Children whose teachers rated them as more impulsive in kindergarten appear more likely to begin gambling behaviors by the sixth grade, according to a report in the March issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Largest study compares cholesterol treatment in HIV patients and patients without HIV
A new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine that is the largest to date has found that cholesterol medications can work well among certain HIV patients at risk for cardiovascular disease.

Genetic evidence points to potential therapeutic bypass for autoimmune process
Bypassing a molecular breakdown that helps trigger autoimmunity could lead to new treatments for autoimmune disorders and chronic infections that sicken or kill thousands of children annually, according to researchers.

Modern life making women 'ignorant and ill-equipped' to cope with motherhood
Research by the University of Warwick says the growing trend to move miles away from hometowns and family for work is leaving many women feeling

New study finds increased prevalence of left-handedness in children with facial development disorder
A new study by physician researchers from Hasbro Children's Hospital and Children's Hospital Boston has identified an increased prevalence in left-handedness in children with a congenital disorder known as hemifacial microsomia.

New and unexpected mechanism identifies how the brain responds to stress
Using a rat model, Jaideep Bains, Ph.D., a University of Calgary scientist and his team of researchers at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute have discovered that neurons in the hypothalamus, the brain's command center for stress responses, interpret

Airborne asthma allergens
A report published in a forthcoming issue of the International Journal of Environmental Technology and Management, links high levels of airborne fungi with the unusually common incidence of asthma in Puerto Rico.

BioScience tip sheet, March 2009
The press release provides a listing of peer-reviewed research articles published in the March 2009 issue of BioScience, the journal of the American Institute of Biological Sciences.

Sex is in the brain, says new research from Stanford
More than 40 percent of women ages 18-59 experience sexual dysfunction, with lack of sexual interest -- hypoactive sexual desire disorder, or HSDD -- being the most commonly reported complaint, according to medical researchers.

Kids with contact lenses like their looks better than kids with glasses
Children wearing contact lenses felt better about how they look, their athletic abilities and acceptance by their friends than did children wearing eyeglasses in a recent study.

Doctors endorse vegan and vegetarian diets for healthy pregnancies
Well-planned vegetarian and vegan diets are healthful choices for pregnant women and their children, and vitamin B12 needs can be easily met with fortified foods or any common multivitamin, say doctors and dietitians with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

Untreated psychiatric disorders common in single mothers on welfare
Urban single mothers nearing the end of their welfare eligibility appear more likely to have substance use and psychiatric disorders than women in the general population, and often do not receive treatment, according to a report in the March issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Final frontier: Mission to explore buried ancient Antarctic lake given green light
An international team of scientists led by the UK has been given the go-ahead to explore one of the planet's last great frontiers -- an ancient lake hidden deep beneath Antarctica's ice sheet.

Scripps research scientists engineer new type of vaccination that provides instant immunity
A team of scientists at the Scripps Research Institute has found a way to use specially programmed chemicals to elicit an immediate immune response in laboratory animals against two types of cancer.

Swift Satellite records early phase of gamma ray burst
UK astronomers, using a telescope aboard the NASA Swift Satellite, have captured information from the early stages of a gamma ray burst -- the most violent and luminous explosions occurring in the universe since the Big Bang.

One-third of Americans lose sleep over economy
One-third of Americans are losing sleep over the state of the US economy and other personal financial concerns, according to a new poll released today by the National Sleep Foundation.

MIT, BU team combats antibiotic resistance with engineered viruses
A new approach to fighting bacterial infections, developed at MIT and Boston University, could help prevent bacteria from developing antibiotic resistance and help kill those that have already become resistant.

Having parents with bipolar disorder associated with increased risk of psychiatric disorders
Children and teens of parents with bipolar disorder appear to have an increased risk of early onset bipolar disorder, mood disorders and anxiety disorders, according to a report in the March issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Scientists discover at the European Synchrotron the first fossil brain
A 300-million-year-old brain of a relative of sharks and ratfish has been revealed by French and American scientists using synchrotron holotomography at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility.

Educational materials increase knowledge and behaviors important for preventing shaken baby syndrome
Two new studies in Canada, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, and the United States, published in Pediatrics, show that educational materials aimed at preventing shaken baby syndrome increased knowledge of new mothers about infant crying, which is the number one trigger for people abusing babies by shaking them.

Prenatal molecular diagnosis for tuberous sclerosis complex
Geneticists from Boston University School of Medicine have reported the world's first series of cases of prenatal diagnosis for women at risk of having a child with tuberous sclerosis complex.

Texas Obesity Research Center at UH assembles researchers to discuss obesity
Researchers from across the country will convene on the University of Houston for a two-day conference to discuss obesity, underlying biological processes, public health issues and intervention strategies.

More than 20 percent of sexual assaults drug-facilitated
More than 20 percent of sexual assaults in a sample of 882 victims were drug-facilitated sexual assaults, found a new study published in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Discovery provides hope for sufferers of disfiguring bone disease
Researchers at the University of East Anglia have made a major genetic discovery that could lead to the effective treatment for sufferers of craniosynostosis -- a severe childhood bone disease.

Material success and social failure?
It is common knowledge that in rich societies the poor have shorter lives and suffer more from almost every social problem.

Doctors call for change in how nonactive TB in immigrant children treated
New guidelines proposed in the March 2009 issue of Pediatrics by researchers from the Indiana University School of Medicine and Riley Hospital for Children may have a major impact on how US pediatricians and family physicians treat nonactive tuberculosis in children who are immigrants, internationally adopted or refugees.

Classifying concussions could help kids
More than a half million kids go to the hospital with concussions each year.

New discovery paves the way for new diagnosis of serious lung disease
The discovery by Uppsala University researchers of a previously unknown protein in the cells of the lower air ways brings new potential for early diagnosis of a serious lung disease.

It's in his smell
A female moth selects a mate based on the scent of his pheromones.

Oldest fossil brain found in Kansas and imaged in France
A 300-million-year-old brain -- the oldest observed to date -- of an extinct relative of sharks and rays has been imaged through a collaborative effort between the French Museum of Natural History, the American Museum of Natural History, and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility.

EAU TV goes 'live' at 24th Annual EAU Congress in Stockholm
At the forthcoming 24th Annual EAU Congress in Stockholm, the EAU will broadcast news recorded on-site in the EAU TV Studio.

JCI online early table of contents: March 2, 2009
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, March 2, 2009, in the JCI, including: Male mice lacking the protein PICK1 mimic one cause of infertility in men; Getting down to specifics: Inhibiting one RANK function prevents bone loss; Finding a role for the protein GRAIL in diminishing Th2 immune responsiveness; and Movers and shakers: Defining what stops the protein DAF in its tracks.

Motor behavioral research at UH moves to prestigious Texas Medical Center
New research and new collaboration are the goals for the University of Houston's department of health and human performance as its Laboratory of Integrated Physiology expands to the National Center for Human Performance in the Texas Medical Center.

Research chair to improve the lives of organ transplant recipients
Research at the University of Western Ontario gave Pat Davis his life back.

2008 Oregon and Washington lumber exports increase
A total of 293.0 million board feet of softwood lumber was exported from Oregon and Washington in 2008.

Young ex-servicemen at increased risk of suicide
Young men who have served in the British Armed Forces are up to three times more likely to take their own lives than their civilian counterparts, research published today, March 3, has found.

Adolescents are undertreated for addiction
Only about 10 percent of adolescents needing help for substance abuse problems actually enter treatment, partly because of the lack of adolescent-only services in the nation's treatment system, according to a new study released today.

Young men who leave the UK Armed Forces are at higher suicide risk
Young men aged 24 years or less who leave the UK Armed Forces have a two to three times higher risk of suicide than young men in the general population or those still in active service, finds a new study in this week's PLoS Medicine.

Human vaccine against bird flu a reality with new discovery
A vaccine to protect humans from a bird flu pandemic is within reach after a new discovery by researchers at the University of Melbourne, Australia.

Lengthy daily stints in front of the TV linked to doubled childhood asthma risk
Young children who spend more than two hours glued to the TV every day double their subsequent risk of developing asthma, indicates research published ahead of print in Thorax.

Researchers unveil new monkey model for HIV
By altering just one gene in HIV-1, scientists have succeeded in infecting pig-tailed macaque monkeys with a human version of the virus that has until now been impossible to study directly in animals.

Chantix side effects no worse with depression history
Recent FDA advisories have reflected concerns about Chantix side effects, including depression, agitation and suicide, especially in people with a psychiatric history.

Young adults with post-traumatic stress disorder may be more likely to attempt suicide
Post-traumatic stress disorder -- but not exposure to traumatic events without the development of PTSD -- may be associated with subsequent attempted suicide in young adults, according to a report in the March issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Airborne ecologists help balance delicate African ecosystem
The African savanna is world famous for its wildlife, especially the iconic large herbivores such as elephants, zebras, and giraffes.

New information points to safer methadone use for treatment of pain and addiction
New findings may significantly improve the safety of methadone, a drug widely used to treat cancer pain and addiction to heroin and other opioid drugs, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Ophthalmology March research highlights
Studies published in the March issue of Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, provide new warnings on risks for melanoma of the eye and reassurance on infection risks related to cataract surgery.

Two UT Southwestern researchers awarded Sloan fellowships
Two researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have been named Alfred P.

Optical techniques show continued promise in detecting pancreatic cancer
Optical technology developed by Northwestern University researchers has been shown to be effective in detecting the presence of pancreatic cancer through analysis of neighboring tissue in the duodenum.

Broccoli may help protect against respiratory conditions like asthma
UCLA researchers report that a naturally occurring compound found in broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables may help protect against respiratory inflammation that causes conditions like asthma, allergic rhinitis and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

TV viewing before the age of 2 has no cognitive benefit, study finds
In the first longitudinal study of its kind, researchers at Children's Hospital Boston show that TV viewing before the age of two does not improve a child's language and visual motor skills.

Markets still a good litmus test for the economy, finance expert says
Don't put much stock in rumblings that financial markets are a faulty barometer of the nation's economic climate, a University of Illinois business expert says.

Technique may help stem cells generate solid organs, Stanford study shows
Stem cells can thrive in segments of well-vascularized tissue temporarily removed from laboratory animals, say researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

World Health Care Congress to convene preeminent leaders for 3 days on rebuilding health care
The World Health Care Congress will gather top CEOs from health care, business and government for discussion, analysis and announcements on the present and future of health care.

Insulin drug study shows significant improvements in more than 52,000 diabetic patients
The IMPROVE study included 52,419 patients from Canada, China, India, Japan, Poland, Russia, Greece and Italy.

USC researchers identify gene variant associated with both autism and gastrointestinal dysfunction
A study led by researchers at the University of Southern California and Vanderbilt University have identified a specific gene variant that links increased genetic risk for autism with gastrointestinal conditions.

Swimming lessons associated with reduced risk of drowning in toddlers
Children ages one to four years appear to have a lower risk of drowning if they have taken formal swimming lessons, according to a report in the March issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

News from the March 2009 Journal of the American Dietetic Association
The March issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association features research studies focusing on eating habits of consumers at all stages of the life cycle, from children and adolescents to middle-aged and elderly adults.

Anti-immigrant sentiment greater in California than Texas
California and Texas have the largest populations of Mexican immigrants in all of the United States.

Study documents increasing prevalence of influenza A resistance to drug oseltamivir
Influenza A viruses (H1N1 subtype) that are resistant to the drug oseltamivir circulated widely in the US during the 2007-2008 influenza season, with an even higher prevalence of drug resistance during the current 2008-2009 influenza season, according to a study to be published in the March 11 issue of JAMA, and being released early online because of its public health importance.

The lower atmosphere of Pluto revealed
Using ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have gained valuable new insights about the atmosphere of the dwarf planet Pluto.

Evidence appears to show how and where frontal lobe works
Brown University's David Badre, an assistant professor of cognitive and linguistic sciences, and colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, mapped parts of the brain that control abstract or concrete decision making by studying stroke patients.

Embargoed news From Annals of Internal Medicine
This release contains information about three studies being published in the March 3 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

Story tips from the Departments of Energy's Oak Ridge National Lab -- March 2009
With a one-of-a-kind instrument at ORNL, discoveries have been made that could open new pathways for nanoscale electronics.

Chemistry professor wins CAREER Award for analysis of advanced fuel cell polymers
Water and energy represent our most pressing needs for sustainable life on this planet.

The 2 worlds of kids' morals
Children's moral behavior and attitudes in the real world largely carry over to the virtual world of computers, the Internet, video games and cell phones.

Owning alcohol-branded merchandise common, associated with drinking behaviors among teens
Between 11 percent and 20 percent of US teens are estimated to own T-shirts or other merchandise featuring an alcohol brand, and those who do appear more likely to transition through the stages of drinking from susceptibility to beginning drinking to binge drinking, according to a report in the March issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

1 drug may help people both lay down the drink and put out the cigarette
A popular smoking cessation drug dramatically reduced the amount a heavy drinker will consume, a new Yale School of Medicine study has found.

Study critiques corn-for-ethanol's carbon footprint
To avoid creating greenhouse gases, it makes more sense using today's technology to leave land unfarmed in conservation reserves than to plow it up for corn to make biofuel, according to a comprehensive Duke University-led study.

Wenchuan earthquake mudslides emit greenhouse gas
Mudslides that followed the May 12, 2008, Wenchuan, China earthquake may cause a carbon-dioxide release in upcoming decades equivalent to two percent of current annual global carbon emissions from fossil fuel combustion, a new study in Geophysical Research Letters shows.

Penn research team tests bedside monitoring of brain blood flow and metabolism in stroke victims
A University of Pennsylvania team has completed the first successful demonstration of a noninvasive optical device to monitor cerebral blood flow in patients with acute stroke, a leading cause of disability and death.

Drug-resistant influenza A virus potentially serious to high-risk patients
A mutation of the influenza A (H1N1) virus that is resistant to the drug oseltamivir may pose a serious health threat to hospitalized patients who have a weakened immune system, according to a study to be published in the March 11 issue of JAMA, and being released early online because of its public health importance.

JCVI program trains USDA scientists on eukaryotic genome analysis
As part of the ongoing mission to train and educate scientists on the latest tools, methods and advances in genomics, the J.

Research uncovers promising target to treat chronic abdominal pain
High levels of a protein linked to the way pain signals are sent to the brain led to a decrease in abdominal pain in a recent study in mice.

Invasives threaten salmon in Pacific Northwest
Researchers assembled a database of invasive animals and plants in Washington, Oregon and Idaho.

Two distinct molecular pathways can make regulatory immune cells
Finding a way to bypass the molecular events involved in autoimmunity -- where the body's immune system mounts a self-directed attack -- could lead to new treatments for autoimmune disorders and chronic infections.

Educational materials for new mothers may prevent shaken baby syndrome, CMAJ study shows
Educational materials on how to deal with crying newborns lead to increased knowledge about infant crying and behaviours that are important to preventing shaken baby syndrome, found two new studies being published online March 2 in CMAJ and Pediatrics.

Boehringer Ingelheim uses Genomatix' Next Generation Sequencing data analysis systems
Genomatix Software, a leading provider of complete solutions for the analysis of Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) data, announced today that Boehringer Ingelheim Pharma GmbH & Co.

Computer-assisted learning -- fun and usefulness combined
Electronic learning systems must be easy to use, flexible and interactive so as to enable knowledge to be conveyed successfully.

Astronomy's bright future
To mark UNESCO's International Year of Astronomy, six leading astronomers from the UK, the US, Europe and Asia write in March's Physics World about the biggest challenges and opportunities facing international astronomers over the next couple of decades.

Engineering bouncing babies, 1 at a time
Biomechanics may be the key to a successful IVF implantation, says a Tel Aviv University researcher.

Low levels of vitamin B12 may increase risk for neural tube defects
Children born to women who have low blood levels of vitamin B12 shortly before and after conception may have an increased risk of a neural tube defect, according to an analysis by researchers at the National Institutes of Health, Trinity College Dublin and the Health Research Board of Ireland.

Morphote Inc. announces initiation of MORAb-009 Phase II study in first-line treatment of mesothelioma
Morphotek Inc., a subsidiary of Eisai Corporation of North America, today announced that it has commenced a multicentered Phase II study of its MORAb-009 monoclonal antibody in mesothelioma.

Drinking wine lowers risk of Barrett's esophagus, precursor to nation's fastest growing cancer
A study by the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research found drinking one glass of wine a day may lower the risk of Barrett's esophagus by 56 percent.

Researchers discover gene variant associated with cocaine dependence, cocaine induced paranoia
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine and Yale University School of Medicine and the University of Connecticut School of Medicine, have discovered that variants in the a-endomannosidase gene are associated with cocaine addiction and cocaine-induced paranoia in European American and African American populations.

Gullies on Mars show tantalizing signs of recent water activity
Brown planetary geologists have located a gully system that appears to have been carved by melt water that originated in nearby snow and ice deposits.

Study sheds light on angiogenesis inhibitors, points to limitations, solutions
A new generation of cancer drugs designed to starve tumors of their blood supply -- called

Simple device can ensure food gets to the store bacteria free
A Purdue University researcher has found a way to eliminate bacteria in packaged foods such as spinach and tomatoes, a process that could eliminate worries concerning some food-borne illnesses.

Alcohol abuse may lead to depression risk, rather than vice versa
A statistical modeling study suggests that problems with alcohol abuse may lead to an increased risk of depression, as opposed to the reverse model in which individuals with depression self-medicate with alcohol, according to a report in the March issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

AIDS care physicians make recommendations to Obama
HIV-related organizations across the country were recently asked to participate in a conference call with several members of the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team.

Help for children with sick hearts
Each year, around 15 million children fall ill with rheumatic heart disease worldwide; half a million of them die as a consequence.

WHO standards predict death in malnourished children more accurately than other measurements
A study comparing measurements used to assess malnutrition in young children in Niger has found that the new World Health Organization Child Growth Standards -- introduced in 2006 -- are accurate predictors of death of these children following their admissions for malnutrition.

Monash scientists debug superbug
An international team of scientists, led by Monash University researchers, has uncovered the workings of a superbug that kills elderly hospital patients worldwide -- a discovery that has the potential to save lives and health-care systems billions of dollars each year.

Thumbs down for new testosterone patch to boost women's sex drive
A new testosterone patch, designed to pep up a woman's flagging sex drive after womb and ovary removal, may not work, and its long term safety is not proven, says Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin.

Universal vaccination associated with decreased Canadian cases of most deadly strain of meningitis
Universal childhood vaccination against meningococcal C appears to reduce Canadian incidence of the most deadly strain of bacterial meningitis, reports new research published in the March issue of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.

Study predicts when invasive species can travel more readily by air
Global airlines be forewarned: June 2010 could be a busy month for invasive plants, insects and animals seeking free rides to distant lands.

U-M researchers ID gene involved in pancreatic cancer
Researchers from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have identified a gene that is overexpressed in 90 percent of pancreatic cancers, the most deadly type of cancer.

Special issue 'Comparative Cognition in Context' now published
Coinciding with the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin on Feb.

Getting down to specifics: Blocking one RANK function inhibits bone loss
A new report describes the development of a cell-permeable inhibitor that specifically blocks the contribution of the protein RANK to the formation and function of the cells responsible for breaking down bone.

Doubling a gene in corn results in giant biomass
University of Illinois plant geneticist Stephen Moose has developed a corn plant with enormous potential for biomass, literally.

World Congress on Osteoporosis 2010 presents outstanding scientific program
The International Osteoporosis Foundation and the European Society for Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis have joined forces to present an outstanding scientific program for the upcoming IOF WCO- ECCEO10, a global congress to be held in Florence, Italy from May 5-8, 2010.

New clues about mitochondrial 'growth spurts'
Mitochondria are restless, continually merging and splitting. But contrary to conventional wisdom, the size of these organelles depends on more than fusion and fission, as Berman et al. show.

New research shows program effective in educating parents about prevention of shaken baby syndrome
New studies in the United States and Canada show that educational materials aimed at preventing shaken baby syndrome increased knowledge of new mothers about infant crying, the most common trigger for people abusing babies by shaking them.

2 McGill researchers garner prestigious NSERC Steacie Fellowships
Two McGill researchers have been named as 2009 recipients of E.W.R.

Protein complex shown to play pivotal role in stem cell development in 2 Stanford studies
Scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine have identified a protein complex important in controlling whether embryonic stem cells retain their ability to become any cell in the body -- a quality called pluripotency -- or instead embark on a pathway of maturation and specialization. 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