Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 11, 2009
Control of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in out-patient clinics and offices
While infections with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium difficile and vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus, are usually associated with in-patient settings, the potential for infection in out-patient clinics and offices exists.

Inexpensive face-to-face weight-loss support programs effective
For people trying to maintain weight after participation in a weight-loss program, support from nurses is as effective as a more expensive intensive program with dieticians and exercise specialists, found a new study by New Zealand researchers in CMAJ.

29 percent of cancer studies report conflict of interest
Nearly one-third of cancer research published in high-impact journals disclosed a conflict of interest, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Do electronic health records help or hinder medical education?
Many countries worldwide are digitizing patients' medical records. A debate in this week's PLoS Medicine examines both the threats and opportunities.

News media registration opens for ACS National Meeting in Washington, D.C., Aug. 16-20
Mark your calendars for the 238th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, which will be held Aug.

Equivalence principle in space test
Since Galileo Galilei and Newton, the assumption is valid that inert and heavy mass are equivalent.

$1.6 million grant to lead development of resistance-detecting field kit
LSTM has been awarded £1.1 ($1.6) million by the US National Institutes of Health to lead a five-year project to develop a Field Applicable Screening Tool kit to detect resistance to public health insecticides in mosquitoes.

NSF announces $200 million funding for research instrumentation
The National Science Foundation today announced a special opportunity for funding projects that strengthen the research infrastructure in the nation's science and engineering research and education institutions.

NSF and Math Institutes announce partnership to create new jobs
The seven Mathematical Sciences Research Institutes, together with the NSF, announce a new partnership which has created 45 one- to two-year positions for young, highly trained mathematical scientists across the country.

Islands top a global list of places to protect
Rare and unique ecological communities will be lost if oceanic islands aren't adequately considered in a global conservation plan, a new study has found.

Clinical trials for shingles drug take an important step forward
A possible new antiviral drug designated FV-100, which could alleviate the suffering of millions of people with herpes zoster or shingles, has entered the second stage of clinical testing in patients.

LXR proteins: New target in the war on tuberculosis?
New research to be published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation has identified a role for LXR proteins in the mouse immune response to airway infection with the bacterium that causes tuberculosis.

Muscular dystrophy diagnosis delayed almost 2.5 years in boys
A simple and inexpensive blood test for any boy with symptoms and signs of motor delays and abnormalities could speed up the process of potentially diagnosing Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Connections between diabetes and Alzheimer's disease explored
Modern societies face the increasing burden of age-related diseases, in particular Alzheimer's disease (AD) and type 2 diabetes (T2D).

Swine flu: Early findings about pandemic potential reported in new study
Early findings about the emerging pandemic of a new strain of influenza A (H1N1) in Mexico are published today in Science.

Preconceptional folic acid supplements are associated with reduced risk of premature birth
Taking folic acid supplements for at least a year before conception is associated with reduction in the risk of premature birth, according to a study by Radek Bukowski, from the University of Texas Medical Branch, and colleagues, published in this week's PLoS Medicine.

Thus the bile does not overflow
A consequence of the different cancers of the hepatobiliary system is blocked bile ducts.

RSC acquires ChemSpider
The Royal Society of Chemistry announced today that it has acquired ChemSpider, heralding a breakthrough investment for the organization and for the chemistry community.

Swine flu: What does it do to pigs?
The effects of H1N1 swine flu have been investigated in a group of piglets.

Equality of the sexes? Not always when it comes to biology
he latest study by Dr. Maya Saleh, of the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center and McGill University, shows that women have a more powerful immune system than men.

Fungi pathogenic to insects are new tool in fight against Chagas disease
Entomopathogenic fungi may be a safe and efficient means of controlling Triatoma infestans, the bug that helps spread Chagas disease, according to new research conducted in Argentina.

Study: Women with hard to diagnose chest pain symptoms at higher risk for cardiovascular events
A new study, published in the May 11 Archives of Internal Medicine, shows that women with chest pain but without coronary artery disease are at an elevated risk for cardiovascular events such as heart attack or stroke.

Comparative effectiveness research should inform decision making
Comparative effectiveness research should inform clinical decision making and enhance value for patients and the health-care delivery system.

New phorid fly species turns red imported fire ants into 'zombies'
After a new type of phorid fly infests a red imported fire ant, it takes over control of what corresponds to the ant's brain and makes it wander about 50 meters away from the mound.

City-dwellers have higher risk of late-stage cancer than rural residents
A new study finds people who live in urban areas are more likely to develop late-stage cancer than those who live in suburban and rural areas.

New evidence of how high glucose damages blood vessels could lead to new treatments
New evidence of how the elevated glucose levels that occur in diabetes damage blood vessels may lead to novel strategies for blocking the destruction, Medical College of Georgia researchers say.

NRL's ANDE-2 to launch aboard STS-127
The Naval Research Laboratory has developed a satellite suite, the Atmospheric Neutral Density Experiment 2, scheduled for launch aboard NASA's Space Shuttle Endeavour in June 2009.

Age-related eye disease may be associated with cognitive impairment
Older adults with low scores on tests of cognitive function, including thinking, learning and memory appear more likely to have the early stages of the eye disease age-related macular degeneration, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Riley Hospital-IU study finds booster car seats not being used appropriately
Researchers from the Automotive Safety Program at Riley Hospital for Children and Indiana University School of Medicine have found that an alarming two-thirds of the booster seats observed in a study conducted throughout Indiana were not being used appropriately.

Scientists discover how smallpox may derail human immune system
University of Florida scientists describe how they looked at all of the proteins produced by the smallpox virus in concert with human proteins, and discovered one particular interaction that disables one of the body's first responders to injury -- inflammation.

7 of 10 women are uninsured or underinsured, or have medical bill, debt, access problems
Women are more likely than men to feel the pinch of rising health costs and eroding health benefits, with about half (52 percent) of working-age women reporting problems accessing needed care because of costs, compared to 39 percent of men, a new Commonwealth Fund study finds.

Research finds kava safe and effective
Researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia have found a traditional extract of kava, a medicinal plant from the South Pacific, to be safe and effective in reducing anxiety.

Providing free drug samples to patients risks harm to public health
The tradition of American physicians handing out free drug samples to their patients

More 'Star Trek' than 'Snuggie': Student design to protect lunar outpost from dangerous radiation
Alien creatures are the least of NASA's worries when it comes to moon travel.

'We all live in a Robbie Fowler House!'
The recession will likely signal the end for many of Britain's smaller buy-to-let landlords, and poses a grim threat to city center new build properties, warn experts at the University of Nottingham.

Surgery improves survival for prostate cancer patients younger than 50
For men younger than 50 with prostate cancer, undergoing a radical prostatectomy can greatly increase their chances for long-term survival, according to a new study from Henry Ford Hospital.

Review finds conflicts of interest in many cancer studies
A new analysis finds that a considerable number of clinical cancer studies published in respected medical journals have financial connections to pharmaceutical companies.

Videoconferencing can increase patient access to stroke specialists
High-quality videoconferencing can increase patient access to stroke specialists.

Study describes what companies should do to recover from a product recall
A study examining more than 500 toy recalls between 1988 and 2007 suggests ways that firms can minimize the business impact of a recall.

NSF to help improve academic research facilities
The National Science Foundation today announced a new solicitation in a program to fund repairs and renovations at the nation's academic research facilities.

Walking often and far reduces risks in heart patients
Walking longer at a slower pace improved heart health much more effectively than standard cardiac rehabilitation of walking a shorter distance at a brisker pace in overweight patients with coronary heart disease.

Heart protein regulates blood vessel maintenance
Researchers identify a protein that regulates the physical state of blood vessels.

UT nanomedicine project to be tested in space
When a spacecraft launches from Cape Canaveral, Fla., in the future, its cargo will include a small box containing a nano-fluidics experiment designed by scientists at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

Research says older people need more sun
Researchers at the University of Warwick have found that spending more time in the sunshine could help older people to reduce their risk of developing heart disease and diabetes.

Diet prescribed to lower blood pressure also reduces women's risk of heart failure
The DASH diet was initially developed to help patients lower their blood pressure, but a large study led by investigators at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center demonstrates that women who followed the diet also significantly reduced their risk of developing heart failure.

MIT: New tissue scaffold regrows cartilage and bone
MIT engineers and colleagues have built a new tissue scaffold that can stimulate bone and cartilage growth when transplanted into the knees and other joints.

Women who follow blood pressure-lowering diet have reduced risk for heart failure
A diet designed to prevent and treat high blood pressure also may be associated with a lower risk of heart failure among women, according to a report in the May 11 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

How about green renovations in existing US schools?
Going green with new construction is a good idea, but what about renovating existing structures?

Wordless Holocaust memories speak truths for today
The Holocaust has shaped discourse on collective, social and cultural memory, serving both as touchstone and paradigm, according to a study published this month in the journal Memory Studies, published by SAGE.

Study finds iron levels not predictive of survival for form of blood cancer
Iron-chelating drugs have been heavily promoted for use in patients with primary myelofibrosis, a form of blood cancer often treated with blood transfusion.

JCI online early table of contents: May 11, 2009
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, May 11, 2009, in the JCI, including: The LR protein helps meningitis-causing bacteria target the brain; LXR proteins: new target in the war on tuberculosis?; Immune cells hold back gene therapy; An explanation for inexplicable severe intracellular viral and bacterial infections; Developing bile ducts need Foxa proteins; How the kidneys respond to dehydration; and others.

UNC study identifies genetic cause of most common form of breast cancer
The discovery of tumor-suppressor genes has been key to unlocking the molecular and cellular mechanisms leading to uncontrolled cell proliferation -- the hallmark of cancer.

Brain's problem-solving function at work when we daydream
A new University of British Columbia study finds that our brains are much more active when we daydream than previously thought.

Real and simulated acupuncture appear more effective than usual care for back pain
Three types of acupuncture therapy -- an individually tailored program, standard therapy and a simulation involving toothpicks at key acupuncture points -- appear more effective than usual care for chronic low back pain, according to a report in the May 11 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

UMMS researchers isolate first 'neuroprotective' gene in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
A genetic variant that substantially improves survival of individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, has been indentified by a consortium of researchers led by John Landers, Ph.D., associate professor of neurology and Robert Brown, M.D., D.Phil., chair and professor of neurology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Acupuncture eases chronic low back pain in SPINE trial
Acupuncture is about as effective as other treatments at helping people feel less bothered by chronic low back pain and function better in their daily activities.

Michael Kintner-Meyer proposes value of smart charging at EVS24
Dr. Michael Kintner-Meyer proposes the value of smart charging technology developed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

Most extensive genetic resource for reef-building coral created
A nearly complete collection of genes for a species of reef-building coral has been assembled by a team led by biologists from the University of Texas at Austin.

Eating fish, nuts and olive oil may be associated with reduced risk of age-related blindness
Regularly eating fish, nuts, olive oil and other foods containing omega-three fatty acids and avoiding trans fats appears to be associated with a lower risk for the eye disease age-related macular degeneration, according to two reports in the May issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

American Chemical Society's weekly PressPac -- May 6, 2009
This is 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.

Scientists map West coast areas most affected by humans
Climate change, fishing and commercial shipping top the list of threats to the ocean off the West Coast of the United States.

New study finds Power Plate exercise aids in weight loss, reduction of harmful visceral fat
New research presented at the 17th European Congress on Obesity suggests that exercise done on Power Plate vibration plate exercise machines in conjunction with a healthy diet may help people lose weight and trim harmful belly fat.

A stronger backbone: DHEA hormone replacement increases bone density in older women
A new Saint Louis University study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, found that taking DHEA hormone supplements in conjunction with calcium and vitamin D could lower the risk of spine fractures in older women by 30 to 50 percent.

Cyber millenials: High-tech and highly educated young adults who drink way too much
Market or audience segmentation is widely used in social-marketing efforts to reach certain populations.

New imaging technique reveals structural changes in Tourette's
Magnetization transfer imaging has been used to visualize previously unknown alterations in the cerebral architecture of patients with Tourette's syndrome.

Mathematical advances strengthen IT security
Rapidly rising cyber crime and the growing prospect of the Internet being used as a medium for terrorist attacks pose a major challenge for IT security.

DOE names Caltech professor as director of EFRC focusing on light-material interactions
The US Department of Energy Office of Science has announced that it will fund the creation of 46 Energy Frontier Research Centers over the next five years, including one that will be housed at the California Institute of Technology.

Closer to an effective treatment for gum disease in smokers
Scientists in the US have discovered why smokers may be more prone to chronic gum disease (periodontitis).

Pliable proteins keep photosynthesis on the light path
A large, international collaboration between Arizona State University, the University of California San Diego and the University of British Columbia, has come up with a surprising twist to photosynthesis by swapping a key metal necessary for turning sunlight into chemical energy.

Does mom know when enough is enough?
As the childhood obesity epidemic in the United States continues, researchers are examining whether early parent and child behaviors contribute to the problem.

Major funding to help cut CO2 emissions
The University of Nottingham is to share in £6.9 ($10.4) million of research funding to investigate carbon capture and storage technologies which could drastically cut CO2 emissions from fossil-fuel power stations.

Maritime piracy, role of shipping featured at IEEE Homeland Security Conference
Rear Admiral Richard Gurnon, president of the Massachusetts Maritime Academy, discussed the recent Maersk Alabama piracy incident and the vital role shipping plays in the US economy during the 2009 IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Homeland Security.

River delta areas can provide clue to environmental changes, Texas A&M prof says
Sediments released by many of the world's largest river deltas to the global oceans have been changed drastically in the last 50 years, largely as a result of human activity, says a Texas A&M University researcher.

Older adults often inaccurately report their own stroke history
The responses of older adults who are asked whether they had a stroke frequently do not agree with diagnoses obtained by magnetic resonance imaging of the brain, according to a report posted online today that will appear in the July print issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

New genomic technique uncovers coral transcriptome
Using a new technique for cDNA preparation combined with the latest sequencing methods, researchers have uncovered the larval transcriptome of a reef-building coral (Acropora millepora).

Molecules that orchestrate the processes of life
The Machinery of Life is a journey into the sub-microscopic world of molecular machines.

Carnegie Mellon's Peter Adams finds no link
With the US Congress beginning to consider regulations on greenhouse gases, a troubling hypothesis about how the sun may impact global warming is finally laid to rest.

Less than 1 in 5 heart problems are diagnosed before symptoms appear
A major US study has shown that doctors are missing golden opportunities to diagnose people with heart disease before symptoms appear.

Sporadic play activity as beneficial to child health as continuous bouts of exercise, study suggests
New research suggests for the first time that frequent bouts of sporadic activity could be just as beneficial to children's health as longer exercise sessions.

Terrorist attacks provoke surge in alcohol and drug use
Nearly one in 12 people exposed to terrorism report increased use and misuse of alcohol, according to researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health and the University of Michigan.

High human impact ocean areas along US West Coast revealed
Climate change, fishing and commercial shipping top the list of threats to the ocean off the West Coast of the United States.

NASA's TRMM satellite captures rainfall from 2 typhoons that soaked Philippines
Within a week's time, the northern Philippines were hit by two tropical cyclones that left behind more than 42 inches of rainfall to various areas, and NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite captured those measurements from space.

7-part series focuses on source of and solutions to health care crisis
With health care reform high on President Obama's agenda, and Congress and the country on the verge of a national debate over how it will take shape, Annals of Family Medicine Editor Kurt Stange, M.D., Ph.D., is authoring a seven-part series of commentaries designed to help make sense of the problems and opportunities we face for understanding and improving health care and health.

Traumatic brain injury haunts children for years with variety of functional problems: 2 studies
Children who suffer traumatic brain injuries can experience lasting or late-appearing neuropsychological problems, highlighting the need for careful watching over time, according to two studies published by the American Psychological Association.

Conservationists seek to identify prime stopover sites for migrating birds
An ambitious effort in avian conservation is underway this spring throughout the New York portion of the Lake Ontario watershed.

EU awards $4 million for pneumonia research
Pneumonia infections are not only a problem of developing countries.

Lyncean Technologies Inc. receives $1.2 M from NCRR to develop new imaging technique
Lyncean Technologies Inc. has just received a Phase I SBIR grant of $1,296,403 from the National Center for Research Resources to develop

Bone marrow stem cell co-transplantation prevents embryonic stem cell transplant-associated tumors
Transplanted embryonic stem cells can potentially treat the effects of spinal cord injury (SCI), yet a serious drawback has been the development of tumors following transplantation.

Liquid lens creates tiny flexible laser on a chip
Like tiny Jedi knights, tunable fluidic micro lenses can focus and direct light at will to count cells, evaluate molecules or create on-chip optical tweezers, according to a team of Penn State engineers.

Small promotional items from drug companies may influence medical students' attitudes
Exposure to small promotional items from pharmaceutical companies, such as clipboards and notepads, appears to influence medical students' unconscious attitudes toward the marketed product, according to a report in the May 11 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Warriors do not always get the girl
Aggressive, vengeful behavior of individuals in some South American groups has been considered the means for men to obtain more wives and more children, but an international team of anthropologists working in Ecuador among the Waorani show that sometimes the macho guy does not do better.

Neuroscience research could benefit US Army, yet challenge traditional approaches
Advances in neuroscience research could benefit the US Army, particularly in areas of soldier training and education.

President of IDF calls for government focus and spending on diabetes and other NCDs
The International Diabetes Federation today announced that its president, Professor Martin Silink has called on governments worldwide to recognize the severe impact of diabetes and other non-communicable diseases and take immediate action to ameliorate the threat.

Dogs, maybe not, but old genes can learn new tricks
A popular view among evolutionary biologists that fundamental genes do not acquire new functions was challenged this week by a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Illinois Soil Nitrogen Test measures microbial nitrogen
The Illinois Soil Nitrogen Test was recently studied at the University of Illinois to clarify the chemical nature of what the test measures and its relationship to microbial growth in soils, determining that the test does not estimate total soil nitrogen and is selective for certain forms of microbial nitrogen.

State collapse and reconstruction in the periphery -- Yugoslavia, Serbia and Kosovo
In this first in-depth critical analysis of international administration, aid and reconstruction policies in Kosovo, Jens Stilhoff Sorensen, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, argues that the region must be analyzed as a whole, and that the process of state collapse and recent changes in aid policy must be interpreted in connection to the wider transformation of the global political economy and world order.

NOAA researchers: Blue whales re-establishing former migration patterns
Scientists have documented the first known migration of blue whales from the coast of California to areas off British Columbia and the Gulf of Alaska since the end of commercial whaling in 1965.

Compounds in spinal fluid associated with faster decline among individuals with mild dementia
Levels of biomarkers in the cerebrospinal fluid of individuals with very mild dementia may be associated with the rate at which their thinking, learning and memory skills decline, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Study reveals conflict between doctors, midwives over homebirth
Two Oregon State University researchers have uncovered a pattern of distrust -- and sometimes outright antagonism -- among physicians at hospitals and midwives who are transporting their home-birth clients to the hospital because of complications.

New Danish research shows how oil gets stuck underground
It is a mystery to many people why the world is running out of oil when most of the world's oilfields have only been half emptied.

More patients needed in clinical trials to find treatment for heart condition
Patent foramen ovale (PFO), an opening between the two chambers of the heart, has been associated with some strokes for which there has been no identifiable cause.

Smoking interferes with recovery from alcohol-related brain damage
Excessive drinking can damage the brain, especially the frontal and parietal cortices. 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