Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 12, 2009
Farnesoid X receptor regulates cystathionase
Farnesoid X receptor is a member of the ligand-activated nuclear hormone receptor superfamily.

Access to care leads Americans' priorities in first-ever public study of health value
When Americans were asked to value the most important of dozens of health products and services as they consider spending their own money, they chose access to care over everything else, a new study revealed.

Quality of life survey highlights need for holistic approach in elderly residential care
A survey of over a hundred older people living in residential care has revealed the factors that impact on their quality of life.

Taking folic acid for a year before pregnancy may reduce risk of preterm birth
New research published in PLoS Medicine found that taking folic acid for a year before pregnancy can substantially reduce the risk of preterm birth.

SAGE's leading robotics journal launches first ever data papers, revamps multimedia services
The International Journal of Robotics Research will launch a new genre of research paper today at the 2009 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation.

Grilling with charcoal less climate-friendly than grilling with propane
Do biofuels always create smaller carbon footprints than their fossil-fuel competitors?

Too much information: Process thinking can lead to difficult choices
Choosing among products can be more difficult if you tend to think more about the process of using an item rather than the outcome of the purchase, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

UCI awarded $45 million for infectious disease research
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded UC Irvine $45 million over five years for infectious disease research.

U of Minnesota's Institute for Mathematics receives funding for five new math postdoctoral fellows
he University of Minnesota Institute for Mathematics and its Applications at the University of Minnesota received funding for five new math postdoctoral fellows as part of a new National Science Foundation initiative to create jobs for talented young mathematicians.

Improving education may cut smoking in youth
Although low socioeconomic status is associated with an increased liability to smoke, performing well at school can mitigate this effect.

Ben-Gurion U of the Negev study demonstrates link between appetite and elderly mortality
A new study by a Ben-Gurion University of the Negev researcher reveals a linkage between elderly people's appetite and mortality rates, with those who report impaired appetite more likely to die sooner.

Body movements can influence problem solving, researchers report
Swinging their arms helped participants in a new study solve a problem whose solution involved swinging strings, researchers report, demonstrating that the brain can use bodily cues to help understand and solve complex problems.

Now or later? Consumer product evaluation depends on purchase timing
Let's say you planned to buy a new car at the end of the year.

New dinosaur species possible in Northwestern Alberta
The discovery of a gruesome feeding frenzy that played out 73 million years ago in Northwestern Alberta may also lead to the discovery of new dinosaur species in Northwestern Alberta.

Placement of dental implants results in minimal bone loss
A five-year, multicenter follow-up study found that minimal bone loss occurs in the five years after implant placement.

Scientists identify gene in breast cancer pathway
Scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have discovered how a gene crucial in triggering the spread of breast cancer is turned on and off.

Consumer anger pays off: Strategic displays may aid negotiations
The time-honored tradition of displaying emotions to try to get a better deal might actually work, but inflating emotions can backfire, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Diet and exercise intervention helps older, overweight cancer survivors reduce functional decline
A home-based diet and exercise program reduced the rate of functional decline among older, overweight long-term survivors of colorectal, breast and prostate cancer, according to a study in the May 13 issue of JAMA.

Negative mood-related drinking may mean vulnerability for major depression and alcohol dependence
Major depression (MD) and alcohol dependence (AD) are strongly connected to one another.

Chemist's discovery of new salt jumpstarts extended-life battery research for electric vehicles
A URI chemistry professor's discovery of a new salt has been received with enthusiasm by companies seeking to develop an advanced lithium ion battery for use in the next generation of hybrid and electric vehicles.

New geochemistry center wins awards
The new Gary C. Comer Geochemistry Building at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in Palisades, N.Y., has won three top architecture awards.

When to get your bone density measured -- that is the question
A new study provides doctors with guidelines on when to repeat bone mineral density tests for their patients.

UC Davis bioengineer receives Hartwell Foundation grant to address skull fusion disorder of infants
A $300,000 grant from the Hartwell Foundation will be used by UC Davis bioengineer Kent Leach to develop a new treatment for infants born with craniosynostosis, the premature fusing of the sutures of the skull.

Enriched environment improves wound healing in rats
Improving the environment in which rats are reared can significantly strengthen the physiological process of wound healing, according to a report in the open-access journal PLoS ONE.

Policies on organ donation after cardiac death vary considerably among children's hospitals
Although a large number of children's hospitals have developed or are developing policies regarding organ donation after cardiac death, there is considerable variation among policies, including the criteria for declaring death, according to a study in the May 13 issue of JAMA.

NPs-NPR-B/pGC-cGMP signal pathway is involved in diabetic gastroparesis
A common gastrointestinal complication of diabetes is gastroparesis. However, the pathogenesis is not clear yet.

Drinking water watched by Queensland's seventh sense
One of the major sources of drinking water for southeast Queensland is now under the watchful eye of Australia's largest integrated intelligent wireless sensor network.

Predators ignore peculiar prey
Rare traits persist in a population because predators detect common forms of prey more easily.

$24.4 million for research into future health care solutions
Ten research grants to help solve some of the biggest health problems facing the UK have been awarded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

NOAA awards $22.5 million to Harbor Branch/FAU and UNCW for new cooperative institute
Harbor Branch/FAU and UNCW will receive a highly competitive national award of $22.5 million from NOAA for a new cooperative institute to be headquartered at Harbor Branch in Florida and co-managed by the two organizations.

Sprained ankle rehab complicated by delayed muscle response, BYU-Michigan study finds
Experiments on ankle stability find that people with a history of injury have a delayed and diminished response in a leg muscle that normally provides a protective response.

Milestone in live microscopy focus of $2 million NIH grant
A proposal by UC Davis scientists to develop the world's first electron microscope capable of filming live biological processes has been awarded a $2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

A 'light bulb' moment for people with dementia
Change the lighting; improve your health. It's a strategy researchers from Case Western Reserve University's Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing and the School of Medicine, the Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center at the Louis Stokes Cleveland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Lighting Research Center and GE Consumer & Industrial have begun to test in a long-term care facility where daylight, which has proven health benefits, is not readily available.

Scientists aim to bring indigenous people into climate change monitoring and policy
Indigenous and other traditional peoples are rarely considered in academic, policy and public discourses on climate change, despite the fact that they will be impacted by impending changes.

Following the leader: Social networks of schoolchildren
Kids always seem to be ahead of trends, and marketers realize the importance of new products and services taking off with the younger set.

Age-related difficulty recognizing words predicted by brain differences
Older adults may have difficulty understanding speech because of age-related changes in brain tissue, according to new research in the May 13 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

Chronic diarrhea unresponsive to conventional medication: Are you taking lansoprazole?
Lansoprazole is a proton pump inhibitor which powerfully suppresses gastric acid production and is widely prescribed for chronic use in gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Nursing homes save millions using care improvement program, MU researcher finds
Aging adults living in nursing homes and relying on the care of others are often susceptible to a long list of medical problems.

'Beating' heart machine expedites research and development of new surgical tools, techniques
A new machine developed at North Carolina State University makes an animal heart pump much like a live heart after it has been removed from the animal's body, allowing researchers to expedite the development of new tools and techniques for heart surgery.

Climate change driving Michigan mammals north
Some Michigan mammal species are rapidly expanding their ranges northward, apparently in response to climate change, a new study shows.

American Journal of Men's Health accepted to MEDLINE
The American Journal of Men's Health, published by SAGE, has been accepted for inclusion in MEDLINE, the premier bibliographic database of the US National Library of Medicine, containing more than 16 million journal article citations.

Compact cancer-therapy particle-delivery system patented
As part of an effort to make high-precision particle cancer therapy accessible to more patients, a physicist at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory has developed a simpler, less-expensive gantry design for delivering tumor-killing particle beams.

Participants in antidepressant drug trials are atypical patients, UT Southwestern researchers report
One reason antidepressant medication treatments do not work as well in real life as they do in clinical studies could be the limited type of study participants selected, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found.

New H1N1 flu resource center available on
The Lancet has partnered with over 40 Elsevier-published journals and 11 learned societies to launch a new H1N1 Flu Resource Centre for health-care professionals at

Sodium bicarbonate reduces incidence of contrast-induced nephropathy
A meta-analysis of 17 randomized controlled trials has shown that pre-procedural treatment with sodium bicarbonate based hydration is the optimal treatment strategy to prevent contrast-induced nephropathy.

Trauma experienced by a mother even before pregnancy will influence her offspring's behavior
A mother who experienced trauma prior to becoming pregnant affects the emotional and social behavior of her offspring.

Worldwide success in treatment of liver tumors
A Leicester consultant surgeon who has developed a pioneering technique using microwaves to destroy liver tumors has treated more than 100 patients in the UK and other patients are now being treated internationally.

Early Alzheimer's diagnosis offers large social, fiscal benefits
Early diagnosis and treatment of Alzheimer's disease could save millions or even billions of dollars while simultaneously improving care, according to new work by University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers.

Ensuring universal access in digital homes makes for an easier life
The EUREKA ITEA software Cluster ANSO project makes possible the seamless integration of domestic networked multimedia, home control and communications devices, providing universal access to computing and entertainment services.

Study outlines how to succeed with refillable packaging
Reusable and recyclable packaging are shooting up the news, public and political agenda, and increasingly can offer a cutting edge to the growing number of environmentally conscious consumers.

A genome may reduce your carbon footprint
A recently published study examined the impact of very cheap sequence data (approximately $1 per genome) on improvement of switchgrass, a perennial grass well suited to biomass production.

A feasible, simple and convenient model for study of rectal carcinoma
Currently, experimental animal models of rectal carcinoma are often induced by chemical carcinogens, which is time consuming.

Scientists urge world leaders to respond cooperatively to Pacific Ocean threats
More than 400 leading scientists from nearly two-dozen countries have signed a consensus statement on the major threats facing the Pacific Ocean.

p90RSK: A new therapeutic target for liver fibrosis?
The activated hepatic stellate cell (HSC) is primarily responsible for excessive collagen deposition during liver fibrosis.

NASA Earth system science meeting celebrates 20 years of discovery
Twenty years ago NASA embarked on a revolutionary new mission for its Earth science program: to study our home planet from space as an inter-related whole, rather than as individual parts.

miR-196a promotes the metastases of tumors
MicroRNAs are small RNA molecules of 20-25 nucleotides length, regulating gene expression by inhibition of transcription or translation of proteins.

22-year study finds adults aren't active enough
A new study has sounded the alarm that adults are inactive over their lifespan and don't exercise enough during their leisure time.

Bacteria create aquatic superbugs in waste treatment plants
For bacteria in wastewater treatment plants, the stars align perfectly to create a hedonistic mating ground for antibiotic-resistant superbugs eventually discharged into streams and lakes.

Brain chemical reduces anxiety, increases survival of new cells
New research on a brain chemical involved in development sheds light on why some individuals may be predisposed to anxiety.

Pandemic warning system keys on 'human factors'
Researchers are proposing a new system that would warn of an impending pandemic before the first case of disease emerged in a given population by detecting subtle signals in human behavior.

JNCI May 12 issue tip sheet
In addition to the study highlighted in the press release, this JNCI issue includes a review of traditional and updated phase I trial designs; a study and editorial examining lymphovascular invasion and high risk breast cancer; data showing how four immunohistochemistry tests can distinguish between luminal A and B cancer subtypes; an extended follow-up examining occupational formaldehyde exposure and cancer risk; and a mouse study demonstrating that peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-dis involved in colon cancer formation.

Home-based diet and exercise intervention can improve physical function in older cancer survivors
A home-based program aimed at improving exercise and diet can lead to meaningful improvements in physical function among older long-term cancer survivors, according to the results of a study led by researchers from Duke University Medical Center and the University of Texas M.

Researchers study the human factor in spread of pandemic illness
Industrial engineers Sandra Garrett of Clemson University and Barrett Caldwell of Purdue University have proposed a new system to warn of an impending pandemic by monitoring signals in human behavior.

Hyperferritinemia is another surrogate marker of advanced liver disease
High serum ferritin, being a hallmark of hereditary hemochromatosis , is frequently found in chronic hepatitis C, alcoholic or non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease patients .

Mayo Clinic and Grameen Healthcare join forces to launch demonstration project
Mayo Clinic and Grameen Healthcare are exploring opportunities to benefit global, underserved populations by leveraging Mayo Clinic's knowledge and expertise in health care and Grameen's capabilities in effective, low-cost distribution models.

Low and high levels of hormone in men with heart failure associated with increased risk of death
Men with systolic chronic heart failure who have low or high levels of estradiol, a form of the hormone estrogen, have an increased risk of death compared with men with moderate levels of this hormone, according to a study in the May 13 issue of JAMA.

Elderly Medicare beneficiaries give their coverage higher ratings than do those with ESI
Elderly Medicare beneficiaries are more satisfied with their health care, and experience fewer problems accessing and paying for care, than Americans with employer-sponsored insurance, according to a study by Commonwealth Fund researchers published today on the Health Affairs Web site.

Women diagnosed with precancerous CIN at risk for cervical cancer
Long-term risks of invasive cancer and recurrence of severe cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) are higher among women previously treated for CIN, compared with those with no CIN diagnosis, according to data from a large, retrospective cohort study published in the May 12 online issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

In retinal disease, sight may depend on second sites
If two people have the same genetic disease, why would one person go blind in childhood but the other later in life or not at all?

Feeling cramped while shopping? Variety provides relief
When consumers find themselves in stores with narrow aisles, they react in a surprising way: they seek variety.

How to build a bigger brain
UCLA researchers report that certain regions of the brain in long-term meditators were larger than nonmeditators.

DNA analysis reveals the prime stock of Indonesian cattle
DNA analysis shows that Indonesian zebu cattle have a unique origin with banteng (Bos javanicus) as part of their ancestry.

Molecular structure could help explain albinism, melanoma
Scientists have long known that members of the phenoloxidase family are involved in skin and hair coloring.

Recent developments at Burnham Institute for Medical Research, May 2009
Recent developments at the Burnham Institute include: Human monoclonal antibodies effective against bird and seasonal flu viruses; New leads for treating autoimmune diseases;

Race to preserve the world's oldest submerged town
The oldest submerged town in the world is about to give up its secrets -- with the help of equipment that could revolutionize underwater archeology.

Scientists urge global action to preserve water supplies for billions worldwide
Melting glaciers, weakening monsoon rains, less mountain snowpack and other effects of a warmer climate will lead to significant disruptions in the supply of water to highly populated regions of the world, especially near the Himalayas in Asia and the Sierra Nevada Mountains of the western United States, according to an international group of scientists who met for three days at the University of California, San Diego.

Enriched environment improves wound healing in rats
Improving the environment in which rats are reared can significantly strengthen the physiological process of wound healing.

Princeton team's analysis of flu virus could lead to better vaccines
A team of Princeton University scientists may have found a better way to make a vaccine against the flu virus.

Interventional radiology: From sidelines to mainstream for patients
The Society of Interventional Radiology hailed the extension of an American College of Radiology resolution in support of clinical patient management by vascular and interventional radiologists as an important reminder of the critical contribution these minimally invasive specialists bring to quality patient health care.

Any way you slice it, warming climate is affecting Cascades snowpack
There has been recent disagreement about the snowpack decline in the Cascade Mountains of the Pacific Northwest, but new research leaves little doubt that a warmer climate has a significant effect on the snowpack, even if other factors keep year-to-year measurements close to normal for a period of years.

Underwater robotics competition at Stevens, June 3
Don't let the LEGOs fool you: the annual Build IT competition at the Stevens Institute of Technology to be held June 3 is all about serious science and engineering.

Aspirin appears to help lower risk of stroke for patients with peripheral artery disease
An analysis of previous studies indicates that among patients with peripheral artery disease, aspirin use is associated with a statistically nonsignificant decrease in the risk of a group of combined cardiovascular events (nonfatal heart attack, nonfatal stroke and cardiovascular death), but is associated with a significant reduction in the risk of one of these events, nonfatal stroke, although the findings may be limited by the lack of a large study population, according to an article in the May 13 issue of JAMA.

Women with previous abnormal cervical cells at higher risk for recurrence and invasive cancer
New research from the UC Davis Center for Healthcare Policy and Research has found that women who have been treated for cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (abnormal cervical cell growth) are at higher risk for a recurrence of the disease or invasive cervical cancer.

Opportunity costs: Remind consumers about savings
When we choose to spend $10 more than usual for a bottle of wine, we'll have $10 less to spend on an appetizer, a dessert, or ten songs on iTunes.

Biomass as a source of raw materials
A team of German and Chinese scientists led by Johannes A.

Monitoring water through a snake's eyes
Although most Americans take the safety of their drinking water for granted, that ordinary tap water could become deadly within minutes, says Prof.

Web-based, self-help intervention can aid problem drinkers in the privacy of their homes
Problem drinking in Western societies leads to disease and death, as well as social and economic problems. 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