Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 13, 2009
Case Western Reserve University receives $1.66M grant from NIH for otoprotection research
Qing Yin Zheng, M.D., assistant professor of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery and genetics at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and member of the Case Comprehensive Cancer Center, has been awarded a five-year $1.66 million grant from the National Institutes of Health Research Project Grant Program to explore the impact of several molecular pathways on inner ear dysfunction in Ushers syndrome.

While majority of Americans express interest in organ and tissue donation, few register
While the number of Americans registered as organ and tissue donors is rising, the registry still only includes 38 percent of licensed drivers, according to a report card issued by Donate Life America this year.

Biosphere 2 experiment shows how fast heat could kill drought-stressed trees
Widespread die-off of pinyon pine across the southwestern United States during future droughts will occur at least five times faster if climate warms by 4 degrees Celsius, even if future droughts are no worse than droughts of the past century, scientists have discovered in experiments conducted at the University of Arizona's Biosphere 2.

When cancer cells can't let go
Like a climber scaling a rock face, a migrating cancer cell has to keep a tight grip on the surface but also let go at the right moment to move ahead.

Depression after heart disease ups risk of heart failure
Patients with heart disease who are subsequently diagnosed with depression are at greater risk for heart failure, a condition in which the heart can't pump enough blood throughout the body, according to a new study published in the April 21, 2009, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Boston College authors examine testing obsession in new book 'The Paradoxes of High Stakes Testing'
A new book by testing experts from the Lynch School of Education at Boston College clarifies for parents, the public and policy makers what high stakes tests are, and how their use affects schools, children, and society.

Review identifies dietary factors associated with heart disease risk
A review of previously published studies suggests that vegetable and nut intake and a Mediterranean dietary pattern appear to be associated with a lower risk for heart disease, according to a report published in the April 13 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Live demos of Methodspace planned at AERA
SAGE, the world's leading research methods publisher, will be offering live demos of Methodspace for the first time at the American Educational Research Association annual meeting April 14-16 in San Diego.

University of Toronto chemists uncover green catalysts
A University of Toronto research team has discovered useful green catalysts made from iron that might replace the much more expensive and toxic platinum metals typically used in industrial chemical processes to produce drugs, flavors and fragrances.

Measuring the immeasurable: New study links heat transfer, bond strength of materials
The speed at which heat moves between two materials touching each other is a potent indicator of how strongly they are bonded to each other, according to a new study by researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

A dirty job but ...
Byproducts from the electronics, fuel, chemical and defense industries can be far from benign.

Survey research looks at attitudes, obstacles to walking and biking to work
According to researchers with Kansas State University's Physical Activity and Public Health Laboratory, active commuting -- walking or biking to school or work -- can be an easy, effective and efficient way to integrate physical activity into the daily routine.

Imaging reveals abnormalities in pathways connecting brain areas in those with writer's cramp
Abnormalities in the fibers connecting different brain areas may contribute to muscle disorders such as writer's cramp, according to a report in the April issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Nobler instincts take time
In one of the first brain studies of

Reflections on 100 years of testing, classroom grades in April 15 talk in San Diego
Although more than three million high school seniors take standardized college admissions tests like the SAT

Entomology Symposia announced for ESA Annual Meeting
Eight program symposia have been selected for the annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America, which will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana, Dec.

Study shows home management of malaria not appropriate for large urban settings
Home management of malaria using artemether-lumefantrine had little effect on clinical outcomes and led to overuse of the drug compared with standard care, and is thus inappropriate for large urban areas or settings with fairly low malaria transmission.

Alzheimer's disease: A new small molecule approach to treatment from UCL
New therapeutic approaches in Alzheimer's disease are urgently needed. Work led by Professor Mark Pepys FRS over more than 20 years has identified a protein known as serum amyloid P component as a possible therapeutic target in Alzheimer's disease

K-State engineers create DNA sensors that could identify cancer using material only one atom thick
Vikas Berry, assistant professor of chemical engineering at Kansas State University, is leading research combining biological materials with graphene, a recently developed carbon material that is only a single atom thick.

Racial disparities persist in the treatment of lung cancer
Black patients suffering from lung cancer are less likely to receive recommended chemotherapy and surgery than white lung cancer patients, a disparity that shows no signs of lessening.

Creating ideal neural cells for clinical use
Investigators at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research have developed a protocol to rapidly differentiate human embryonic stem cells into neural progenitor cells that may be ideal for transplantation.

Erectile dysfunction treatments do not appear to damage vision over 6 months
Two medications used to treat erectile dysfunction in men (tadalafil and sildenafil) do not appear to have visual side effects when taken daily for six months, despite concerns about eye-related complications, according to a report in the April issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

SIRT1 takes down tumors
Yuan et al. have identified another anti-cancer effect of the

Diet secrets of 'the Royals'
Two weeks after rains begin, an elephant family named

Study reports success in treating a rare retinal disorder
Patients with a rare, blinding eye disease saw their vision improve after treatment with drugs to suppress their immune systems, according to researchers at the University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Center.

HIV pays a price for invisibility
Mutations that help HIV hide from the immune system undermine the virus's ability to replicate, show an international team of researchers in the April 13 issue of the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Scripps scientists uncover mimicry at the molecular level that protects genome integrity
Mimicry is common in nature, where it is used as a key survival mechanism.

Study finds link between Facebook use, lower grades in college
College students who use Facebook spend less time studying and have lower grade point averages than students who have not signed up for the social networking Web site, according to a pilot study at one university.

Faced with global warming, can wilderness remain natural?
Global warming is forcing plants and animals to migrate to find new preferred habitat, but for those that can't move, humans will have to assist.

New therapies expected to help reduce future visual burden of age-related eye disease
The prevalence of the eye disease age-related macular degeneration is projected to increase substantially by 2050, but the use of new therapies is expected to help mitigate its effects on vision, according to results of simulation modeling reported in the April issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Carnegie Mellon experts say cap and trade not enough
A team of researchers at Carnegie Mellon University say cap and trade policies are not enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Unusual Antarctic microbes live life on a previously unsuspected edge
An unmapped reservoir of briny liquid chemically similar to sea water, but buried under an inland Antarctic glacier, appears to support unusual microbial life in a place where cold, darkness and lack of oxygen would previously have led scientists to believe nothing could survive, according to newly published research.

Stevens Institute of Technology to host 18th annual HSATM Conference
This June, the Howe School Alliance for Technology Management at the Stevens Institute of Technology will present its 18th annual conference: Leading in a Changing Environment.

Reversing effects of altered enzyme may fight brain tumor growth
An international team of scientists from the Moores Cancer Center at the University of California, San Diego, the University of North Carolina and several institutions in China have explained how a gene alteration can lead to the development of a type of brain cancer, and they have identified a compound that could staunch the cancer's growth.

CCNY neuroscientists get $2.8M to study multisensory integration deficit, autism link
Drs. Sophie Molholm and John Foxe, neuroscientists at the City College of New York, have been awarded $2.8 million over five years from the National Institute of Mental Heath of the National Institutes of Health to study whether and how multisensory integration -- the nervous system's integration of different sensory stimuli -- is impaired in persons with autism.

Baby's first dreams
After about seven months growing in the womb, a human fetus spends most of its time asleep.

American Chemical Society Weekly PressPac -- April 8, 2009
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.

UQ research reclaims the power of speech
A UQ researcher has revealed a new treatment for a speech disorder that commonly affects those who have suffered a stroke or brain injury.

Screening to help prevent stroke in kids increases, but limited access a problem
The number of children with a certain blood disorder undergoing an ultrasound to help prevent stroke is up significantly in the past 10 years since the publication of a major study showing its benefits.

Colon cancer shuts down receptor that could shut it down
Though a high-fiber diet has long been considered good for you and beneficial in staving off colon cancer, Medical College of Georgia researchers have discovered a reason why: roughage activates a receptor with cancer-killing potential.

JCI online early table of contents: April 13, 2009
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, April 13, 2009, in the JCI: Enhancing the effects of the drug used to treat chronic myeloid leukemia; A novel zebrafish model for preventing one aspect of Alzheimer's disease; Distinguishing aggressive prostate cancer from nonaggressive disease; New insights into hardening of the arteries; and others.

Enhancing the effects of the drug used to treat chronic myeloid leukemia
Individuals with chronic myeloid leukemia are first treated with a drug known as imatinib mesylate.

Marijuana smoking increases risk of COPD for tobacco smokers
Smoking both tobacco and marijuana increases the risk of respiratory symptoms and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), found a study in CMAJ.

Tracing resistance to the antimalarial drug sulfadoxine across Africa
In research published in PLoS Medicine, Cally Roper of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and colleagues use genetic analyses to trace the emergence and dispersal of drug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum malaria in Africa.

Guam rhino beetles got rhythm
In May 2008 the island of Guam became a living laboratory for scientists as they attached acoustic equipment to coconut trees in order to listen for rhinoceros beetles.

Former inmates have increased risk of high blood pressure
Young adults who have been incarcerated appear more likely to have high blood pressure and left ventricular hypertrophy, an enlarging of the heart muscle that is a common consequence of hypertension, according to a report in the April 13 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Boston College chemistry professor Udayan Mohanty receives a 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship
Boston College chemist Udayan Mohanty has been awarded a 2009 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship for his study of rare chemical reactions within genetic processes.

Aspirin and similar drugs may be associated with brain microbleeds in older adults
Individuals who take aspirin or other medications that prevent blood clotting by inhibiting the accumulation of platelets appear more likely to have tiny, asymptomatic areas of bleeding in the brain, according to a report posted online today that will appear in the June print issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Fish researcher demonstrates first 'non-visual feeding' by African cichlids
Most fish rely primarily on their vision to find prey to feed upon, but a University of Rhode Island biologist and her colleagues have demonstrated that a group of African cichlids feeds by using its lateral line sensory system to detect minute vibrations made by prey hidden in the sediments.

Many clinicians unaware of federally funded research on alternative therapies
Approximately one in four practicing clinicians appear to be aware of two major federally funded clinical trials of alternative therapies, and many do not express confidence in their ability to interpret research results, according to a report in the April 13 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Therapeutic effect of imatinib improved with addition of chloroquine
The therapeutic effects of the blockbuster leukemia drug imatinib may be enhanced when given along with a drug that inhibits a cell process called autophagy, researchers from the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson reported in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

NASA experiment stirs up hope for forecasting deadliest cyclones
NASA satellite data and a new modeling approach could improve weather forecasting and save more lives when future cyclones develop.

Dartmouth Medical School gene targeting discovery opens door for vaccines and drugs
In a genetic leap that could help fast track vaccine and drug development to prevent or tame serious global diseases, DMS researchers have discovered how to destroy a key DNA pathway in a wily and widespread human parasite.

NIH funds development of resistance-breaking insecticides to reduce malaria transmission
Virginia Tech and Molsoft LLC researchers received the grant to continue their work on a new class of resistance-breaking insecticides to reduce malaria transmission.

Mathematics and climate change
How mathematical models of percolation, a physical process in which a fluid moves and filters through a porous solid, apply to the study of sea ice.

Researchers identify how PCBs may alter in utero, neonatal brain development
In three new studies -- including one appearing online today in PLoS Biology -- UC Davis researchers provide compelling evidence of how low levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) alter the way brain cells develop.

High-tech speed bump detects damage to army vehicles
Researchers have developed a technology that detects damage to critical suspension components in military vehicles simply by driving over a speed bumplike

The new 'epigenetics:' Poor nutrition in the womb causes permanent genetic changes in the offspring
New research study in the FASEB Journal explains how poor maternal nutrition passes health risk across generationsThe new science of epigenetics explains how genes can be modified by the environment, and a prime result of epigenetic inquiry has just been published online in the FASEB Journal: You are what your mother did not eat during pregnancy.

New 'near-field' radiation therapy promises relief for overheating laptops
Researchers at Lehigh University, IBM and the Ioffe Institute have developed a way to release heat trapped inside billions of tiny semiconductor electronic circuits and channel it into the substrate, which is larger and can be more easily cooled.

Study of neighborhoods points to modifiable factors, not race, in cancer disparities
While cities have shown considerable racial disparities in cancer survival, those racial disparities virtually disappear among smaller populations, such as neighborhoods within that city.

Scientists demonstrate laser with controlled polarization
Applied scientists at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in collaboration with researchers from Hamamatsu Photonics in Hamamatsu City, Japan, have demonstrated lasers in which the direction of oscillation of the emitted radiation can be designed and controlled at will.

Teaching teachers mindfulness to foster education, improve well-being
Teachers who encounter stressful classroom situations can become upset and their teaching may suffer. 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