Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 27, 2009
Packard/Stanford study suggests two causes for bowel disease in infants
New research from Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and the Stanford University School of Medicine is helping physicians unravel the cause of a deadly and mysterious bowel disease that strikes medically fragile newborn babies.

Inadequate sleep leads to behavioral problems
A recent Finnish study suggests that children's short sleep duration even without sleeping difficulties increases the risk for behavioral symptoms of ADHD.

A bright future with solar lanterns for India's poor
Solar energy has the potential to improve the living conditions of poor rural households in India as well as contribute to the country's future energy security, according to Professor Agoramoorthy from Tajen University and Dr.

Media registration now open for TCT 2009
Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics is the annual Scientific Symposium of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation.

Gains in access to antiretroviral treatment come with some costs
In this week's PLoS Medicine magazine, Yibeltal Assefa, from the National HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Office in Addis Ababa, and colleagues describe the successes and challenges of the scale-up of antiretroviral treatment across Ethiopia.

Mental health problems more common in kids who feel racial discrimination
A new multicenter study involving UCLA and the RAND Corp.

Quantum ghosts are helpful
A team of physicists at the University of Bristol and Imperial College London have harnessed the phenomenon,

AIAA to recognize outstanding achievements in aerolasticity and structural mechanics
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics has selected Professor Peretz Friedman of the University of Michigan to be honored for his work in aeroelasticity, and Professors Raphael Haftka of the University of Florida and C.

Open access advocate Philip E. Bourne to receive 2009 Benjamin Franklin Award
Philip E. Bourne, a computational biologist and professor with the University of California, San Diego, will be presented with the 2009 Benjamin Franklin Award this week in recognition of his efforts as a leading advocate for the free and open dissemination of science and scientific data.

New doctors, teaching physicians disagree about essential medical procedures to learn
Physicians teaching at medical schools and doctors who have just completed their first year out of medical school disagree about which procedures are necessary to learn before graduating, according to a new survey done by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

New study overturns orthodoxy on how macrophages kill bacteria
For decades, microbiologists assumed that macrophages, immune cells that can engulf and poison bacteria and other pathogens, killed microbes by damaging their DNA.

Can rapid malaria diagnostic tests improve health outcomes in practice?
A new study, carried out in primary care units in Zanzibar and published in this week's issue of PLoS Medicine, evaluates the impact of rapid malaria tests on prescribing practice and clinical outcomes.

Building the lymphatic drainage system
Our bodies' tissues need continuous irrigation and drainage. Blood vessels feeding the tissues bring in the fluids, and drainage occurs via the lymphatic system.

Joining forces to improve lung cancer treatment
Prevention, personalized therapies and closer collaborations between surgeons, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists will result in better outcomes for lung cancer patients and those at risk, a leading European expert says.

European Society for Pediatric Urology to organize anniversary congress in Amsterdam
From May 6-9, the European Society for Pediatric Urology is organizing its 20th annual congress.

UTSA, Health Science Center collaborate with Merck & Co. to develop chlamydia vaccine
The University of Texas at San Antonio and the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio today announced an exclusive license and sponsored research agreement with Merck & Co.

Global health organizations are doing too little to support health system strengthening
Existing health systems in the developing world are fragile and many are unable to provide effective health services -- and so there is growing consensus that the success of global health initiatives will depend on

FSU researcher wins $2.2 million grant to study childhood obesity
In response to a worrisome rise in childhood obesity, Florida school districts have begun to monitor student growth development every year, but there is little research available to determine if the effort is having an effect.

Landfill cover soil methane oxidation underestimated
A recent article published in the Journal of Environmental Quality examines the effectiveness of utilizing cover soil as a way to reduce methane emissions from landfills.

Medication errors in critical care: Risk factors and prevention
Medication errors account for 78 percent of serious medical errors in the intensive care unit but there are strategies that can help reduce errors and improve patient safety, write a team of Calgary researchers in an article in CMAJ.

SUMO protein guides chromatin remodeler to suppress genes
Researchers have uncovered a mechanism involved in ensuring that only certain genes are expressed in a specific cell type.

Smoking, high blood pressure and being overweight top 3 preventable causes of death in the US
Smoking, high blood pressure and being overweight are the leading preventable risk factors for premature mortality in the United States, according to a new study led by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health.

MCG participating in national study to identify genetic variants in schizophrenia
The Medical College of Georgia is part of a large national study examining the genes of 10,000 patients with schizophrenia and 10,000 healthy individuals in an effort to pinpoint variations that can improve disease diagnosis and treatment.

Dietary fats trigger long-term memory formation
Having strong memories of that rich, delicious dessert you ate last night?

Flu vaccine given in microneedle skin patches proves effective in mice
Flu vaccine delivered through skin patches containing microneedles has proven just as effective at preventing influenza in mice as intramuscular, hypodermic flu immunization.

UN University to help build electronic government in Afghanistan
The UNU-IIST Center for Electronic Governance, in cooperation with the Afghanistan Ministry of Communication and IT, will launch a one-year project to develop an electronic government strategy, establish a program to implement it, and build the relevant human and organizational capacity within the Afghan government.

'Autoantibodies' may be created in response to bacterial DNA
Autoimmune diseases have long been regarded as illnesses in which the immune system creates autoantibodies to attack the body itself.

American Chemical Society's Weekly PressPac -- April 22, 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.

Uncooperative voltage sensors
The May 2009 issue of the Journal of General Physiology features an article and accompanying commentary on new experimental evidence that advances previous conclusions about the essential features of the Shaker K+ channel, a voltage-gated potassium channel.

A medical journal for the world's health priorities
The editorial published in this week's PLoS Medicine looks back over the five years since the journal made its first call for papers and describes a new evidence-based approach to the aims and scope of the journal, which emphasizes the focus of PLoS Medicine on the diseases and risk factors that cause the greatest losses in years of healthy life worldwide.

The Millennium Development Goals are failing the poorest children
The UN Millennium Development Goals, a blueprint for development agreed to by all the world's countries and leading development institutions, includes the goal of reducing the under-5 child mortality rate by two-thirds by 2015.

Countries unite to reduce animal use in product toxicity testing worldwide
Representatives from four international agencies, including the director of the US National Toxicology Program, today signed a memorandum of cooperation that could reduce the number of animals required for consumer product safety testing worldwide.

Guidelines: Pregnancy safe with epilepsy, but valproate should be avoided
New guidelines developed by the American Academy of Neurology and the American Epilepsy Society show it's relatively safe for women with epilepsy to become pregnant, but caution must be taken, including avoiding one particular epilepsy drug that can cause birth defects.

Different treatment options in chronic coronary artery disease
Sometimes cardiologists and cardiac surgeons can agree! There is often disagreement between the professions of cardiology and cardiac surgery about the proper therapy for coronary artery disease -- and this can harm the patient.

Hebrew University researchers show how morphine can be given more effectively
Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have found a way to maintain the pain-killing qualities of morphine over an extended period of time, thus providing a solution for the problem of having to administer increasing dosages of the drug in order to retain its effectiveness.

AUA counters mainstream recommendations with new best practice statement on PSA testing
The American Urological Association today issued new clinical guidance -- which directly contrasts recent recommendations issued by other major groups -- about prostate cancer screening, asserting that the prostate-specific antigen test should be offered to well-informed, men aged 40 years or older who have a life expectancy of at least 10 years.

BSSA special issue on rotational seismology
A special May issue of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America focuses on the emerging field of rotational seismology and its applications to engineering.

Study suggests Buddhist deity meditation temporarily augments visuospatial abilities
The results showed that following the meditation period, practitioners of the DY style of meditation showed a dramatic improvement on both the mental rotation task and the visual memory task compared to OP practitioners and controls.

People with higher IQs make wiser economic choices, U of Minnesota study finds
People with higher measures of cognitive ability are more likely to make good choices in several different types of economic decisions, according to a new study with researchers from the University of Minnesota's Twin Cities and Morris campuses.

Current cystic fibrosis treatments must be used to maximum effect
Therapies which treat the underlying defect of cystic fibrosis (CF) are in development.

Large sponges may be reattached to coral reefs
A new study appearing in Restoration Ecology describes a novel technique for reattaching large sponges that have been dislodged from coral reefs.

Experts lay to rest long-held misconceptions about high fructose corn syrup at ILSI-USDA workshop
A supplement to be published in the June issue of the Journal of Nutrition encourages the scientific community and the general public to stop demonizing high fructose corn syrup as the culprit of obesity and to rethink the myths about high fructose corn syrup's impact on the American diet.

The structure of a giant virus
The mimivirus is the largest virus known to scientists. In this week's issue of PLoS Biology, an international team of researchers have determined key structural features of the mimivirus, findings that could help scientists study how the simplest life forms evolved and whether this unusual virus causes any human diseases.

Safely transporting a preterm or low birth weight infant
New guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics should eliminate one of the many stresses of bringing a preterm or low birth weight infant home from the hospital.

Diminuendo -- New mouse model for understanding cause of progressive hearing loss
Scientists of Helmholtz Zentrum M√ľnchen have developed a new mouse model that can be associated with deafness.

New blow for dinosaur-killing asteroid theory
The enduringly popular theory that the Chicxulub crater holds the clue to the demise of the dinosaurs, along with some 65 percent of all species 65 million years ago, is challenged in a paper to be published in the Journal of the Geological Society on April 27, 2009.

Early brain activity sheds new light on the neural basis of reading
Most people are expert readers, but it is something of an enigma that our brain can achieve expertise this recent cultural invention, which lies at the interface between vision and language.

Autism may be linked to being firstborn, breech births or moms 35 or older
Children who are firstborn or breech or whose mothers are 35 or older when giving birth are at significantly greater risk for developing an autism spectrum disorder, University of Utah School of Medicine researchers have reported in a new study with Utah children.

Universal flu vaccine holds promise
A Saint Louis University researcher presents findings on a universal influenza vaccine at an infectious diseases conference.

If started early, HIV treatment reduces death rates toward background levels in African countries
Mortality rates of people starting HIV treatment in four African countries approach those of the general population over time, provided that treatment is started before the immune system has been severely damaged, according to research published this week in the open-access journal PLoS Medicine.

Understanding a target of quinoline drugs
The full details about the molecules and mechanisms that underlie the development of autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis and systemic lupus erythematosus, remain to be discovered.

Smoking and high blood pressure each account for 1 in 5 deaths in US adults
A comprehensive assessment of the risk factors for preventable deaths in the United States has found that smoking and high blood pressure are responsible for the greatest number of preventable deaths -- each accounting for around one in five deaths in US adults.

Entomological Society of America's Linnaean Games teams selected
Each year, the Entomological Society of America features the Linnaean Games at its Annual Meeting.

Patients at community health clinics less likely to be referred to cardiologist
Heart disease patients whose primary care is based at community health clinics are less likely to receive a consultation with a cardiologist than patients whose primary care is hospital based.

Prostate cancer therapy increases risk of fractures and cardiovascular-related death
Prostate cancer patients who undergo therapy to decrease testosterone levels increase their risk of developing bone- and heart-related side effects compared to patients who do not take these medications, according to a new analysis.

Novel role of protein in generating amyloid-beta peptide
A defining hallmark of Alzheimer's disease is the accumulation of the amyloid-beta protein, otherwise known as

Re-awakening old genes to help in the fight against HIV
A new vaginal cream containing a reawakened protein could someday prevent the transmission of HIV.

AUA counters mainstream recommendations with new best practice statement on PSA testing
The American Urological Association today issued new clinical guidance -- which directly contrasts recent recommendations issued by other major groups -- about prostate cancer screening, asserting that the prostate-specific antigen test should be offered to well-informed, men aged 40 years or older who have a life expectancy of at least 10 years.

Scientist warns over pandemic flu vaccine 6-month time lag
New research published today from the University of Leicester and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust warns of a six-month time lag before effective vaccines can be manufactured in the event of a pandemic flu outbreak.

Coming soon: A new educational tool to facilitate teaching and understanding of FRAX
The International Osteoporosis Foundation will soon launch the FRAX Slide-kit CD-Rom, an educational tool targeted at clinicians and health care professionals.

Carnegie Mellon, Pitt receive NSF grant to study how people learn and how they can learn better
The National Science Foundation has renewed a five-year, $25 million grant to continue the work of the Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center, founded by Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh in 2004 to study how people learn and how to use those findings to develop teaching tools that can foster consistently high achievement in the nation's classrooms.

Voice response system useful for monitoring anticoagulant patients
Interactive voice response systems may help improve monitoring of patients taking anticoagulants such as warfarin while reducing the workload of clinical staff, found a study by Ottawa researchers in CMAJ.

Heart attacks: The tipping point
Tel Aviv University research has produced new non-invasive procedure to predict and treat attacks.

Upside-down world: DNA protecting protein helps cancer drug to kill cells
Some DNA repair enzymes can become double-edged swords -- If they work too slowly, they can block necessary cell maintenance and contribute to cell death.

IEEE 125th Anniversary Celebration in Austin
Austin hosts a tech fair, distinguished panel, student research, and a brainparty to celebrate the 125th Anniversary of IEEE on Thursday, April 30 at the Goodwill Center in Austin, Texas.

Elsevier launches Epidemics -- the journal on infectious disease dynamics
Elsevier, the world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, is pleased to announce the launch of a new journal, titled Epidemics -- the journal on infectious disease dynamics.

Cystic fibrosis testing -- next steps
Three reports describing advances in cystic fibrosis genetic testing appear in the May 2009 issue of the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics.

Beyond 'ooh-ooh, aah-aah'-- expert on monkey communication kicks off Darwin series, May 5
Robert Seyfarth, a noted expert on monkey communication, will present

Four legendary LA BioMed physician-researchers honored
In recognition of their distinguished contributions to science, the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center will honor four of its legendary physician-scientists at its sixth annual

Two U. of I. MBA students earn global leadership award
Two former US Army officers studying in the University of Illinois MBA program have won an international leadership award for organizing a first-of-its-kind career fair that connected military veterans with prospective employers.

Smallest full support heart assist device on trial at Northwestern Memorial
Northwestern Memorial Hospital's Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute is the first center in Chicago and among the first in the country to implant a new experimental left ventricular assist device into subjects with advanced heart failure, a condition where the heart cannot pump enough blood to the body's organs.

AIAA to present awards recognizing achievements in parachute and balloon technology
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics will present several awards at a 6:30 p.m. awards reception and banquet on Wednesday, May 6, 2009 at the Museum of Flight, Seattle, Wash.

Whiter laundry and a surprising new treatment for kids' eczema
Household bleach has a surprising new role: an effective treatment for kids' chronic eczema.

Missing planets attest to destructive power of stars' tides
Astronomers have found hundreds of extrasolar planets in the last two decades, and new research indicates they might have found even more except for one thing -- some planets have fallen into their stars and simply no longer exist.

New human movement model can aid in studying epidemic outbreaks, public planning
Researchers have developed a new statistical model that simulates human mobility patterns, mimicking the way people move over the course of a day, a month or longer.

Psychologist receives NSF grant for research on school bullying
The National Science Foundation has announced the award of a grant of $77,092 to Williams College to support the work of Marlene Sandstrom, associate professor of psychology. 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