Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 14, 2009
Heating heart with catheter better than drugs for common heart rhythm disorder
Treating a common heart rhythm disorder by burning heart tissue with a catheter works dramatically better than drug treatments, a major international study has found.

NRL part of multinational team that launches Herschel Space Observatory
Naval Research Laboratory scientists are part of a team working on the Herschel Space Observatory, which was successfully launched by the European Space Agency from French Guiana on May 14, 2009.

Access to environmental research in developing nations grown to 1,500 institutions
Research4Life today announces that the Online Access to Research in the Environment program has registered 1,500 institutions since its launch in 2006, an increase of nearly 700 percent.

Melting threat from West Antarctic Ice Sheet may be less than expected, could hit US hardest
While a total or partial collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet as a result of warming would not raise global sea levels as high as some predict, levels on the US seaboards would rise 25 percent more than the global average and threaten cities like New York, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco, according to a new study.

Yes, the grass IS greener: Why Canadian nurses go -- and stay -- in the US
A study looking at Canadian-educated registered nurses working in the US found that opportunities for ongoing education, including formal support for graduate education and ease of licensure, in addition to full-time employment, were key factors that contribute to the migration of Canadian nurses to the USA, particularly baccalaureate-educated nurses.

Triple drug combination is promising option to treat metastatic HER2+ breast cancer
Combining two chemotherapy drugs with trastuzumab to treat women who have metastatic HER2+ breast cancer may offer physicians another choice in their treatment options.

Students win challenge to bring clean water to slums of Mumbai, India
A team of University of Minnesota-Twin Cities students from a civil engineering class will head to India later this month to help bring clean water to thousands of people living in the slums of Mumbai.

Newsmakers featured at APS convention
The latest psychological science research is breaking news. Researchers whose science is making today's headlines are presenting their findings at the APS Convention in May.

Graphene yields secrets to its extraordinary properties
Applying innovative measurement techniques, researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology and the National Institute of Standards and Technology have directly measured the unusual energy spectrum of graphene, a technologically promising, two-dimensional form of carbon that has tantalized and puzzled scientists since its discovery in 2004.

Brains or beauty: New study confirms having both leads to higher pay
People looking for a good job at a good salary could find their intelligence may not be the only trait that puts them at the top of the pay scale, according to researchers.

Monkeys found to wonder what might have been
Monkeys playing a game similar to

Bionic ears, bubbles, blast waves and biofilms
Sound has a long history in medicine, from the earliest 19th century stethoscopes to the latest ultrasound techniques that image growing fetuses and beating hearts.

ERK1 and ERK2 activities are key to ovarian functions and fertility
Two enzymes called extracellular signal-regulated kinases (ERK1 and ERK2) are critical factors in a pathway that induces ovulation, maturation of the mammalian egg (oocyte) and other activities key to ovarian function and female fertility, said a group of researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in a report that appears today in the journal Science.

Stem cell transplant in mouse embryo yields heart protection in adulthood
Stem cells play a role in heart muscle rejuvenation by attracting cells from the body that develop into heart muscle cells.

DNA gripped in nanopores
Molecular biologists, including the cool dudes from CSI, use gel electrophoresis to separate DNA fragments from each other in order to analyze the DNA.

New fuel cell catalyst uses 2 metals
Material scientists at Washington University in St. Louis have developed a technique for a bimetallic fuel cell catalyst that is efficient, robust and two to five times more effective than commercial catalysts.

Parental guidelilnes, consequences may be why fewer black teens smoke than whites
Lower rates of smoking among black teens may be the result of black parents setting concrete guidelines about substance use and establishing clearly defined consequences for not following those guidelines.

Can you see the emotions I hear? Study says yes
By observing the pattern of activity in the brain, scientists have discovered they can

Study indicates that a common virus could cause high blood pressure
A new study suggests for the first time that cytomegalovirus, a common viral infection affecting between 60 and 99 percent of adults worldwide, is a cause of high blood pressure, a leading risk factor for heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.

Brain's organization switches as children become adults
Any child confronting an outraged parent demanding to know

Global Uncertainties Fellowships announced
How individuals, communities and nation states form their ideas and beliefs about security and insecurity will form the basis for 14 new fellowships under the Research Council's Global Uncertainties program.

Andes Mountains are older than previously believed
Much is known about the rise of the central Andes mountains, but a new study of the eastern Andes in Colombia indicates that mountain building began much earlier there.

Study examines reliability of clinical and pathological diagnoses of Barrett's esophagus
In a review of more than 2,000 patients coded for Barrett's esophagus, electronic diagnosis overestimated the prevalence of the disease according to researchers in California.

The end of the line for existing stem cell research?
Time is short for scientists to respond to the call for comments on the National Institutes of Health proposed guidelines for the use of human embryonic stem cell lines and their eligibility for federal funds.

For adolescent crime victims, genetic factors play lead role
Genes trump environment as the primary reason that some adolescents are more likely than others to be victimized by crime, according to groundbreaking research led by distinguished criminologist Kevin M.

Simulation training improves skills for catheter insertion
New technology allows student doctors to practice operations and other procedures on simulators before trying them out on real patients, just as pilots practice for emergencies on aircraft simulators.

Bad side of eCommerce recommendation systems: Overemphasis on hits and blockbusters
Recommender systems like those at Amazon, Netflix and Apple's iTune Store work against niche products and tend to direct customers to blockbuster hits, according to the Management Insights feature in the current issue of Management Science, the flagship journal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

Gene signature may predict patient response to therapy for gastrointestinal stromal tumors
Researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center uncovered a genetic pattern that may help predict how gastrointestinal stromal tumor patients respond to the targeted therapy imatinib mesylate.

Chronic infection now clearly tied to immune-system protein
A new study finds the cross-talk between

Mothers give interloper's offspring a head start in life
A new study has revealed that mother birds can provide an early advantage to the chicks that they have sired with their nonsocial partner (known as extra-pair offspring).

Studies show LAM patients participate in clinical trials to help others, not themselves
Two recent studies by researchers at the University of Cincinnati bring to light interesting findings about the diagnosis of the rare lung disease Lymphangioleiomyomatosis and the reasons LAM patients participate in research studies.

Study finds link between individual stress and adolescent obesity
Stress may indeed be a direct contributor to childhood obesity.

Human nose too cold for bird flu, says new study
Avian influenza viruses do not thrive in humans because the temperature inside a person's nose is too low, according to research published today in the journal PLoS Pathogens.

Immunotherapy effective against neuroblastoma in children
A phase III study has shown that adding an antibody-based therapy that harnesses the body's immune system resulted in a 20 percent increase in the number of children living disease-free for at least two years with neuroblastoma.

Discovery in amber reveals ancient biology of termites
The analysis of a termite entombed for 100 million years in an ancient piece of amber has revealed the oldest example of

National Science Foundation releases comprehensive report on global impacts of climate change
The National Science Foundation has released a report on global climate change, titled

Old diabetes drug teaches experts new tricks
Research from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center reveals that the drug most commonly used in type 2 diabetics who don't need insulin works on a much more basic level than once thought, treating persistently elevated blood sugar -- the hallmark of type 2 diabetes -- by regulating the genes that control its production.

Researchers identify key proteins needed for ovulation
Researchers from the National Institutes of Health and other institutions have identified in mice two proteins essential for ovulation to take place.

Urgent care centers: Between the ER and the family doctor
Urgent care centers (UCCs) are providing an alternative to emergency room treatment.

ASN increases knowledge of geriatric kidney disease
The fastest-growing group of patients initiating dialysis is patients 75 years old and older; providing the best care for this group of patients presents significant challenges.

Study points toward relationship between cancer stem cells and prognosis in primary breast cancer
Breast cancer patients who received chemotherapy prior to surgery had heightened levels of cancer-initiating stem cells in their bone marrow, and the level of such cells correlated to a tumor's lymph node involvement, according to research from the University of Texas M.

Patient-centered approach to capturing data from cancer patients improves care and research
Wireless, personal computers used by cancer patients to log their symptoms help improve the patients' care and further cancer research, according to a study led by researchers in the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Should parents share the results of BRCA1/2 genetic testing with their children?
If you learned that you were at high risk of cancer because you carry the hereditary BRCA1/2 gene mutation, would you tell your children?

NYU Langone Medical Center's tip sheet to the 45th Annual Meeting of ASCO
The following news tips are based on abstracts or posters to be presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Orlando, Fla., May 29-June 2, 2008.

Folic acid to prevent congenital heart defects
The Canadian policy of fortifying grain products with folic acid has already proved to be effective in preventing neural tube defects.

Perceived cancer risks may not reflect actual risks or prevention needs
Working with a population of individuals at risk for gastrointestinal cancers, researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center have learned that many people misjudge their actual degree of cancer risk and, therefore, their true need for prevention support.

Allergy season: Cigarettes to the rescue?
Everyone knows that smoking can kill you, but did you know that it may help with your allergies?

Human role in Indonesian polluting forest fires -- Guido van der Werf in Nature Geoscience
The large forest fires that sweep through Indonesia in dry periods are not only the result of severe drought.

The University of Aberdeen and Elsevier to host live and online seminar
Earlier this year, Elsevier and the University of Aberdeen announced their partnership where the world-leading publisher will be providing a complete collection of electronic reference materials (journals, e-books, etc.) to the University Library opening on the King's College campus in 2011.

UTSA announces funding for new faculty research
UTSA has awarded funding for nine new faculty projects in its five strategic areas of excellence: health, security, energy and the environment, human and social development, and sustainability.

Survival predictors may help customize treatment options for men with metastatic prostate cancer
Four risk factors that help predict how long men may survive with metastatic prostate cancer could help doctors choose more effective treatments, according to a study led by researchers in the Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Nursing assistant workforce facing financial, health challenges
A pioneering study of certified nursing assistants in nursing homes reveals that more than half of them incurred at least one work-related injury in the previous year.

Threat from West Antarctica less than previously believed
The potential contribution to sea level rise from a collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet have been greatly overestimated, according to a new study published in the journal Science.

ICDs extend the lives of heart attack survivors by an entire year: Study
A landmark follow-up study found that heart attack survivors who receive implanted cardioverter defribillators (ICDs) live longer the longer they have them, according to the results of late-breaking clinical trail presented today at the annual Scientific Sessions of the Heart Rhythm Society.

Well-oiled research plans to dip into new reserves
A new research partnership between CSIRO and the Victorian Department of Primary Industries will delve deep into Victoria's basins to unearth new oil and gas reserves.

Ginger quells cancer patients' nausea from chemotherapy
People with cancer can reduce post-chemotherapy nausea by 40 percent by using ginger supplements, along with standard anti-vomiting drugs, before undergoing treatment, according to scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Infant sleep patterns and parenting focus of study
Infants' sleep patterns and their parents' influence on it are the focus of the SIESTA II project, supported by a five-year, $2.67 million grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development to Douglas M.

Avoiding social potholes on your career path
In today's financial crisis, networking know-how is a necessity for finding jobs and business opportunities.

Psychology research shows even in hostile working environments, employees reluctant to leave jobs
K-State psychology researchers found that almost half of employees in hostile work environments had no definite plans to leave their current job.

UC Riverside geneticist receives highest honor from Botanical Society of America
Norman Ellstrand, a professor of genetics in UC Riverside's Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, has been elected as one of this year's four Botanical Society of America Merit Award recipients.

Focus on the formation of bones, teeth and shells
Researchers at Eindhoven University of Technology for the first time have shown the earliest stages in biomineralization, the process that leads to the formation of bones, teeth and sea shells.

Self-assembly now easier to control
Nature has long perfected the construction of nanomachines, but David Gonzalez and his fellow researchers from Eindhoven University of Technology and Utrecht University under the leadership of Spinoza Award winner Bert Meijer, have brought the construction of artificial supramolecular structures a step closer by.

A surprise 'spark' for pre-cancerous colon polyps
Researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah studied the events leading to colon cancer and found that an unexpected protein serves as the

M. D. Anderson study first to evaluate prevalence, impact of off label chemotherapy in breast cancer
At some point during their care, more than one-third of metastatic breast cancer patients receive chemotherapy off label, the legal use of FDA-approved drugs in a different indication than for which they were approved, according to researchers at the University of Texas M.

Gene hunters target child kidney failure
Researchers are zeroing in on the genetic abnormalities predisposing to vesicoureteric reflux, one of the most common causes of urinary tract infections and kidney failure in children, reports a study in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

SNM's clinical trials network gains added support from industry leader
The SNM Clinical Trials Network, an initiative designed to address the need for streamlined drug discovery through the integration of imaging biomarkers into multicenter clinical trials, recently added Genentech Inc. as a supporter.

National Science Foundation requests $7.045 billion for fiscal year 2010
National Science Foundation Director Arden L. Bement Jr. today presented the agency's proposed $7.045 billion budget for fiscal year 2010, an 8.5 percent increase over its planned expenditures for FY 2009.

Physician practice interactions with health plans cost $31 billion a year
As policymakers consider ways to cut health costs as a part of health reform, a new national survey of physician practices finds that physicians on average are spending the equivalent of three work weeks annually on administrative tasks required by health plans.

U of I study: More support needed for families adopting from foster care
A new University of Illinois study of families adopting from foster care revealed significant declines in professional services and social support over the first three years of adoptive family life, even though parents indicated that they need continued assistance.

Determining success or failure in cholesterol-controlling drugs
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have discovered that a complex network of interactions between drugs and the proteins with which they bind can explain adverse drug effects.

Special petal cells help bees get a grip
Researchers have discovered why most insect-pollinated flowers have special cone-shaped cells on the surfaces of their petals.

Mayo Clinic researchers say agent provides treatment option for women with hot flashes
A pill used for nerve pain offers women relief from hot flashes, Mayo Clinic researchers report at the 45th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Genes: An extra hurdle to quitting smoking during pregnancy?
Researchers from the Peninsula Medical School and the University of Bristol, using data from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children and the Exeter Family Study of Childhood Health, have identified a common genetic variant that explains why some women may find it more difficult to quit smoking during pregnancy.

AGU Joint Assembly: Press conference schedule
The press conferences at the 2009 Joint Assembly will be on the following topics:

Two targeted therapies likely better than one in patients with aggressive lymphoma
When combined with a cocktail of chemotherapy drugs, two monoclonal antibodies, instead of one, appear to offer superior results in patients with diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, according to Mayo Clinic researchers working with the North Central Cancer Treatment Group.

Mothers satisfied when they share cancer genetic test results with children
Mothers who share cancer genetic test results with their children are more satisfied with their decision than those who decide not to tell, according to a new study by researchers at the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Medical Center.

Drug that targets vasculature growth attacks aggressive thyroid cancer
A medication that helps stop the growth of new blood vessels has produced dramatic benefits for some patients with aggressive thyroid cancer, research from Mayo Clinic indicates.

Researchers gain genome-wide insights into patterns of the world's human population structures
Through sophisticated statistical analysis and advanced computer simulations, researchers are learning in greater detail about the genomic signatures of human population structures around the world.

Jonathan Porritt at UK Groundwater Forum
Jonathan Porritt will be a key speaker at the 10th Annual UK Groundwater Forum Conference at the Natural History Museum, London, on May 14, 2009.

Expert consensus on catheter ablation of ventricular arrhythmias
Experts from the European Heart Rhythm Association and the Heart Rhythm Society call for new research in the field of ventricular arrhythmia.

Cholesterol-busting bug with a taste for waste
A novel species of bacteria with cholesterol-busting properties has been discovered by scientists at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain.

Exhibition showcases the 'art of science'
The Art of Science 2009, showcasing

More older women with early stage breast cancer choose chemotherapy, GUMC researchers say
A new study examining treatment decision-making by older women with early stage breast cancer shows that 45 percent of women would choose to get chemotherapy after surgery -- a figure higher than the national average of women getting the additional treatment.

Can happiness be inherited?
A new article published in Elsevier's journal Bioscience Hypotheses suggests that our feelings in our lifetime can affect our children.

Vitamin D insufficiency linked to bacterial vaginosis in pregnant women
Vitamin D insufficiency is associated with bacterial vaginosis in the first four months of pregnancy.

Genital stimulation opens door for cryptic female choice in tsetse flies
Manipulation of male and/or female genitalia results in a suite of changes in female reproductive behavior in tsetse flies, carriers of African sleeping sickness.

French software and Dutch national supercomputer Huygens establish a new world record in Go
At the Taiwan Open 2009, held in Taiwan from Feb.

Getting a grip: 'Velcro'-like structure helps bees stick to flowers
When bees collect nectar, how do they hold onto the flower?

1 in 5 girls in upper secondary school suffers from school burnout
The transition from basic education to upper secondary school is a challenge for many young people.

University of Oklahoma and Korea Meteorological Administration to exchange weather information
Beginning this summer, and continuing for the next five years, the University of Oklahoma and the Korea Meteorological Administration will exchange experts between facilities, expand meteorological and climatological joint research initiatives, and develop training sessions for radar usage, numerical weather prediction and data assimilation.

Achieving fame, wealth and beauty are psychological dead ends, study says
If you think having loads of money, fetching looks, or the admiration of many will improve your life -- think again.

CSIRO and BHP Billiton increase collaboration
A new agreement aimed at increasing collaboration between CSIRO and BHP Billiton will deliver significant benefits to both organizations, the iron ore, manganese and metallurgical coal industries, and Australia.

Controllable double quantum dots and Klein tunneling in nanotubes
Researchers from the Kavli Institute of NanoScience in Delft are the first to have successfully captured a single electron in a highly tunable carbon nanotube double quantum dot.

Perforomist Inhalation Solution data to be presented at American Thoracic Society conference
Data to be presented via posters at upcoming ATS meeting.

Educational initiatives improve quality of care delivery
A study of targeted educational initiatives between the clinical staff at Fox Chase Cancer Center and the hospitals within their Partners program suggest that educational interventions by academic cancer centers can improve quality of care for cancer patients at community hospitals.

Discovery of nonblinking semiconductor nanocrystals advances their applications
Substantial advances for applications of nanocrystals in the fields requiring a continuous output of photons and high quantum efficiency may soon be realized due to discovery of nonblinking semiconductor nanocrystals.

Good fences make good neighbors
Our genome is a patchwork of neighborhoods that couldn't be more different: Some areas are hustling and bustling with gene activity, while others are sparsely populated and in perpetual lock-down.

ACLU -- Myriad Genetics lawsuit will become landmark case
The American Civil Liberties Union action in filing a lawsuit yesterday against Myriad Genetics is going to lead to one of the most important legal battles in the history of biotechnology, asserts Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News.

Early and network-oriented care may help adolescents at risk of developing psychosis
Family- and network-oriented, stress-reducing care improves level of overall functioning and mental health in adolescents at risk of developing psychosis, suggests a recent Finnish study.

Surgery may not be necessary for Achilles tendon rupture
The two ends of a ruptured Achilles tendon are often stitched together before the leg is put in plaster, in order to reduce the risk of the tendon rupturing again.

Role for CISD2 gene in human disease and lifespan control
In the May 15 issue of G&D, Dr. Ting-Fen Tsai of the National Yang-Ming University, Taiwan, and colleagues present a new animal model of human Wolfram syndrome, and effectively link CISD2 gene function, mitochondrial integrity and aging in mammals.

From a Queen song to a better music search engine
At a recent IEEE technology conference, UC San Diego electrical engineers presented a solution to their problem with the song

China and the Netherlands join forces for research into water management
During a recent working visit to China, the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research and the Royal Netherlands Academy for Arts & Sciences reached agreement with their Chinese counterparts regarding the theme for the new Joint Scientific Thematic Research Program.

Study finds virtual doctors visits satisfactory for both patients and clinicians
Someday, even doctor visits could be among the conveniences offered via the Internet.

MDC researchers unravel key mechanism in pathogenesis of osteoporosis
Osteoporosis, or bone loss, is a disease that is most common in the elderly population, affecting women more often than men. 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