Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 10, 2009
Hormone therapy plus physical activity reduce belly fat, body fat percentage after menopause
Older women who take hormone therapy to relieve menopausal symptoms may get the added benefit of reduced body fat if they are physically active, according to a new study.

Preliminary report on antidepressants published
The IQWiG has presented the preliminary results of its benefit assessment of the agents reboxetine, mirtazapine and bupropion XL in the treatment of adult patients with depression.

A potential treatment for gastric motility disorders
Gastric dysrhythmia and delayed gastric emptying has been observed in many gastric motility disorders.

British private school pupils earn 30 percent more in later life
Students who attended independent schools go on to obtain an average of 30 percent higher earnings than state school students, according to a study published today in Significance, the magazine of the Royal Statistical Society.

First-time moms' exhaustion caused by sleep fragmentation, rather than timing of sleep
Contrary to popular belief, the timing of sleep in new mothers is preserved after giving birth, according to a research abstract that will be presented on Wednesday, June 10, at SLEEP 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

Penn materials scientist finds plumber's wonderland on graphene
Engineers from the University of Pennsylvania, Sandia National Laboratories and Rice University have demonstrated the formation of interconnected carbon nanostructures on graphene substrate in a simple assembly process that involves heating few-layer graphene sheets to sublimation using electric current that may eventually lead to a new paradigm for building integrated carbon-based devices.

Milk goes 'green': Today's dairy farms use less land, feed and water
Dairy genetics, nutrition, herd management and improved animal welfare over the past 60 years have resulted in a modern milk production system that has a smaller carbon footprint than mid-20th century farming practices, says a Cornell University study in the Journal of Animal Science.

New family-focused model of depression care needed to minimize risks
Health and social service professionals who care for adults with depression should not only tackle their clients' physical and mental health

Study may pave way for treatments to delay early multiple births
A treatment that prevents premature births in single pregnancies may be ineffective in women expecting more than one child, a study has shown.

New Jefferson study may redefine how a chronic autoimmune disease is diagnosed
New research from Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience may redefine how chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy is diagnosed.

Bisphenol A exposure increases risk of abnormal heart rhythms in female rodents
The chemical bisphenol A, commonly found in many plastic household items, has been linked to yet another health problem in animals -- an increased frequency of arrhythmias, or heartbeat irregularities, a new study found.

The search for ET just got easier
Astronomers using the Science and Technology Facilities Council's William Herschel Telescope on La Palma have confirmed an effective way to search the atmospheres of planets for signs of life, vastly improving our chances of finding alien life outside our solar system.

Neural mechanism supports survival in an uncertain world
A new study uncovers a pivotal role for the human frontal lobe in the promotion of behavioral flexibility during voluntary choice.

Surprise: Typhoons trigger slow earthquakes
Scientists have made the surprising finding that typhoons trigger slow earthquakes, at least in eastern Taiwan.

New edition of widely read 'Evidence-Based Endocrinology'
One of the most widely read books in endocrinilogy recently came out in its second edition.

Does humanitarian intervention do more harm than good?
In his just-released book, University of Arizona historian David Gibbs uses new information to make the case that a negotiated settlement would have produced far less damage than the NATO military intervention in Kosovo that ended a decade ago.

Endoscopic ultrasonography can differentiate neoplastic from
Although endoscopic ultrasonography was more accurate than ultrasonography, but it could not differentiate malignant lesions from benign polyps less than 1.0 cm in size.

June Geosphere media highlights
This month's Geosphere papers cover the geologic and neotectonic evolution of Savu Island, Indonesia; a digital archive of active tectonic maps for the Tibet-Himalaya region; syntectonic zoning in biotite as a diagnostic indicator of deformation style during metamorphism; the potential for explosive eruptions of silicic volcanoes; the Hortavaer intrusive complex, Norway; evidence of an low-oxygen deep sea at the former Jones Hill copper mine northwest of Pecos, New Mexico; and the SLIP hypothesis.

AMNH endorses Carnegie effort to transform science education
The American Museum of Natural History added its support to the Carnegie Corporation of New York-IAS Commission on Mathematics and Science Education in its call to

Caltech visiting associate champions the study of solar eclipses in the modern era
Championing the modern-day use of solar eclipses to solve a set of modern problems is the goal of a review article written by Jay Pasachoff, visiting associate at the California Institute of Technology and Field Memorial Professor of Astronomy at Williams College.

Postpartum anxiety delays puberty in offspring
Hormonal changes early in pregnancy cause maternal postpartum anxiety and behavior changes that can lead to a delayed onset of puberty in both birth and adoptive daughters, according to a new study conducted in mice.

Drugs against winter vomiting disease one step closer
The virus that causes winter vomiting disease invades cells by attaching to particular sugar molecules on the surface of the cells.

New definition could further limit habitable zones around distant suns
New calculations indicate that, in nearby star systems, tidal forces exerted on planets by their parent star's gravity could limit what is regarded as a star's habitable zone and change the criteria for planets where life could potentially take root.

'Nutrition Agenda 2009' is focus of fourth Tufts Friedman School symposium
Eileen T. Kennedy, D.Sc., dean of Tufts University's Gerald J.

Transparent solar cells
If solar cells were transparent they could be fitted to windows and building facades.

Socioeconomic status, gender and marital status influence sleep disturbances
According to a research abstract that will be presented on Wednesday, June 10, at SLEEP 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, increased sleep disturbances are associated with lower education, income or being unmarried or unemployed.

Reviving American chestnuts may mitigate climate change
A Purdue University study shows that introducing a new hybrid of the American chestnut tree would not only bring back the all-but-extinct species, but also put a dent in the amount of carbon in the Earth's atmosphere.

Climate change could drive vast human migrations
By mid-century, people may be fleeing rising seas, droughts, floods and other effects of changing climate, in migrations that could vastly exceed the scope of anything before, says a major new report.

Survey finds that cosmetic ear surgery has the youngest age of patients
According to the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery's 2008 Procedural Survey, 27.7 percent of otoplasties -- a reshaping of the ear by placing small incisions behind the ear then reshaping or trimming the cartilage to define how and where the ear bends -- are performed on those ages 13-19.

Muscular dystrophy: New drug promises benefit without risk of infection
A new drug being studied for the treatment of muscle degenerating diseases has shown promising results.

Researchers describe 'implausible' chemistry that produces herbicidal compound
A soil microbe that uses chemical warfare to fight off competitors employs an unusual chemical pathway in the manufacture of its arsenal, researchers report, making use of an enzyme that can do what no other enzyme is known to do: break a nonactivated carbon-carbon bond in a single step.

Rutgers research tackles childhood epilepsy
Rutgers researchers have discovered a potential new way to treat childhood epilepsy using a widely available therapeutic drug.

Bilayer graphene gets a bandgap
Graphene's electrical properties include electrons so mobile they travel at near light speed.

Tracking down the causes of multiple sclerosis
Over 100,000 people suffer from multiple sclerosis in Germany alone.

K-State host to workshop on rapid methods to detect microorganisms in food
The workshop, now in its 29th year, has served more than 4,000 participants from across the United States and 60 countries.

Johns Hopkins neuroscientists watch memories form in real time
Our ability to form long-term memories depends on cells in the brain making strong connections with each other.

US National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to target chronic disease in developing countries
The US National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health has amplified its plan to target chronic diseases in developing countries by teaming up with a leading health and wellbeing company to create centers of excellence across the world.

Brain-computer interface begins new clinical trial for paralysis
BrainGate, technology that allows the detection of signals from the brain and uses those signals to control assistive devices, is about to begin a second, larger clinical trial based at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Caffeine intake prevents risk taking after extreme sleep deprivation
According to a research abstract that will be presented on Wednesday, June 10, at SLEEP 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, caffeine use prevents increased risk taking that occurs after several nights of total sleep deprivation.

Poor sleep is associated with lower relationship satisfaction in both women and men
A bidirectional association exists between couples' sleep quality and the quality of their relationship, according to a research abstract that will be presented on Wednesday, June 10, at SLEEP 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

Moving past the battle between good and evil hormones in a compelling new book about women's health
The evidence is in. Estrogen does not halt aging or protect women from heart disease and dementia, nor is it the safest or best treatment for the hot flashes, night sweats and the insomnia that are associated with menopause and perimenopause.

Identifying the potential for tamoxifen resistance in patients
Tamoxifen is a widely used and highly successful drug in the treatment of breast cancer, though resistance to tamoxifen is still a concern in recurrent disease, since therapy resistant metastatic tumor cells are a major cause of death.

Researchers identify 4 new targets for breast cancer
Four suspects often found at the scene of the crime in cancer are guilty of the initiation and progression of breast cancer in mice that are resistant to the disease, a team led by scientists at the University of Texas M.

Older adults less affected by sleep deprivation than younger adults during cognitive performance
According to a research abstract that will be presented on Wednesday, June 10, at SLEEP 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, older adults are able to retain better cognitive functioning during sleep deprivation than young adults.

Mammalogists to convene in Alaska for annual meeting
More than 400 national and international biologists will convene at the University of Alaska Fairbanks for the 89th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Mammalogists June 24-28.

German Research Minister Schavan: 'Rapid knowledge transfer can safe lives'
No progress without research -- this is particularly true for cancer medicine.

Brain molecule reduces food intake
Researchers at Imperial College London have identified a new appetite suppressant for promoting weight loss that they say works in rodents and may one day be used to develop an effective anti-obesity treatment.

Found: 1 in 3 billion
Vancouver scientists from the Ovarian Cancer Research (OvCaRe) Program at BC Cancer Agency and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute have discovered that there appears to be a single spelling mistake in the genetic code of granulosa cell tumors, a rare and often untreatable form of ovarian cancer.

Off-label morning sickness drug deemed safe for fetuses -- Ben-Gurion U. researchers
Metoclopramide, a drug approved in the US for nausea, vomiting and heartburn, poses no significant risks for the fetus.

NJIT mathematicians named first fellows of math society
Two professors of mathematics at NJIT will number among the first Fellows named by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics.

Zero tolerance alcohol policy good choice for parents
Restaurants in Germany legally sell alcohol to teenagers after their sixteenth birthdays and French children drink wine with dinner at an early age, but US parents who follow this relaxed European example, believing it fosters a healthier attitude toward alcohol, should be careful -- it may increase the likelihood that their children binge drink in college.

Link found between poor sleep quality and increased risk of death
Quality, in addition to quantity, is important for maintaining health, according to a research abstract that will be presented on Wednesday, June 10, at SLEEP 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

HIV-1's 'hijacking mechanism' pinpointed by McGill/JGH researchers
Researchers at McGill University and the affiliated Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research at Montreal's Jewish General Hospital may have found a chink in the armour of the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1), the microorganism which causes AIDS.

Naps with rapid eye movement sleep increase receptiveness to positive emotion
Naps with rapid eye movement sleep refresh the brain's empathetic sensitivity for evaluating human emotions by decreasing a negative bias and amplifying recognition of positive emotions, according to a research abstract that will be presented on Wednesday, June 10, at SLEEP 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

Trimming the fat boosts blood recovery after marrow transplant
Seeking ways to improve blood recovery after chemotherapy or bone marrow transplant, researchers at Children's Hospital Boston have discovered that fat cells, which accumulate in bone marrow as people age, inhibit the marrow's ability to produce new blood cells.

Genetic pathway responsible for link between body clock disturbance and worsening arthritis
The genes that regulate human circadian rhythm, or

Maybe it's raining less than we thought
It's conventional wisdom in atmospheric science circles: Large raindrops fall faster than smaller drops because they're bigger and heavier.

Elsevier launches online version of the Chinese Journal of Natural Medicines
Elsevier, the world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, today announced the launch of the online version of the Chinese Journal of Natural Medicines.

First-degree relatives of patients with bicuspid aortic valve should be screened
About one-third of first-degree relatives of patients with Bicuspid Aortic Valve, the most common congenital heart defect, have larger-than-normal aortas and should get a screening echocardiogram (ultrasound of the heart) to identify and prevent aortic ruptures, according to an article in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

MCG dental student places first in national research competition
He's already shown that a blue curing light stunts tumor growth.

Evolution can occur in less than 10 years
How fast can evolution take place? In just a few years, according to a new study on guppies led by Swanne Gordon, a graduate student in the Department of Biology at the University of California, Riverside.

Covidien announces the integration of the Nellcor OxiMax SpO2 system into Philips patient monitors
Covidien, a leading global supplier of health-care products, today announced the integration of its Nellcor OxiMax oximetry system into Philips IntelliVue and M-Series patient monitors.

Progesterone treatment does not reduce early preterm birth in twin pregnancy
Progesterone treatment does not prevent early preterm birth in women pregnant with twins, despite showing promise in high-risk singleton pregnancies, finds an article published online first and in this week's issue of the Lancet.

Parental presence at bedtime may result in sleep difficulties
Parental presence at bedtimes appears to have a greater negative impact on infant sleep than actual co-sleeping, according to a research abstract that will be presented on Wednesday, June 10, at SLEEP 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

Cool plasma packs heat against biofilms
Miniature plasma -- silent and cool to the touch -- wipes out tenacious infections quickly and easily in teeth.

Chern numbers of algebraic varieties
Hirzebruch's problem at the interface of topology and algebraic geometry has occupied mathematicians for more than 50 years.

How young mice phone home: Study gives clue to how mothers' brains screen for baby calls
Emory University researchers have identified a surprising mechanism in the brains of mother mice that focuses their awareness on the calls of baby mice.

Team led by Scripps research scientists finds new way that cells fix damage to DNA
A team of researchers at the Scripps Research Institute and other institutions has discovered a new way by which DNA repairs itself, a process that is critical to the protection of the genome, and integral to prevention of cancer development.

Peculiar, junior-sized supernova discovered by New York teen
In November 2008, Caroline Moore, a 14-year-old student from upstate New York, discovered a supernova in a nearby galaxy, making her the youngest person ever to do so.

Specific genetic cause of fetal alcohol-related developmental disorders found
Alcohol consumption by pregnant women hinders brain development in their children by interfering with the genetic processes that control thyroid hormone levels in the fetal brain, a new animal study found.

Parents key in new measure to evaluate language in children with autism
A new parent questionnaire, developed at the University of Waterloo, will help health practitioners to more accurately gauge the acquisition of language skills in children with autism.

A new chemical element in the periodic table
The element 112, discovered at the GSI Helmholtzzentrum fur Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt, has been officially recognized as a new element by the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry.

Study shows a bidirectional relationship between chronic stress and sleep problems
According to a research abstract that will be presented on Wednesday, June 10, at SLEEP 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, people with chronic stress report shorter sleep duration, worse sleep quality, and more daytime functioning impairments.

Latest trinational report presents most complete picture of North American industrial pollution
The latest annual report on toxic pollution reported to governments in Canada, the US and Mexico shows 90 percent of the 5.5 billion kilograms of toxic releases and transfers in North America can be traced to just 30 substances from 15 industrial sectors.

BPA may cause heart disease in women, research shows
New research by a team of scientists at the University of Cincinnati shows that bisphenol A may be harmful for the heart, particularly in women.

EUROPACE 2009, the leading European congress on cardiac arrhythmias and pacing
EUROPACE, the official congress of the European Heart Rhythm Association, is today the foremost European meeting on cardiac arrhythmias and pacing.

Our exposure to controversial chemical may be greater than dose considered safe
People are likely being exposed to the commonly used chemical bisphenol A at levels much higher than the recommended safe daily dose, according to a new study in monkeys.

Michael J. Wade to receive 2009 Sewell Wright Award
The American Society of Naturalists is pleased to announce that Michael J.

Tulane University partners with South American universities to promote cardiovascular health
Cardiovascular disease researchers at Tulane University are partnering with faculty at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, to establish the South American Center of Excellence in Cardiovascular Health.

A voice only a mom could love: New insight into maternal auditory cortex plasticity
A recent study reveals changes specific to the mother mouse brain that may improve the detection of isolation calls from a mouse baby.

'Cross' breeding: What makes an angry fly?
A suite of genes that affect aggression in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has been identified.

Better sleep is associated with improved academic success
According to a research abstract that will be presented on Wednesday, June 10, at SLEEP 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, getting more high-quality sleep is associated with better academic performance.

Evaluation shows $167 million investment improves community mental health system, but many still in need
Results from the Systems Enhancement Evaluation Initiative show that $167 million in provincial funding can make a difference to Ontario's community mental health system.

Scientists advance safety of nanotechnology
Scientists have identified for the first time a mechanism by which nanoparticles cause lung damage and have demonstrated that it can be combated by blocking the process involved, taking a step toward addressing the growing concerns over the safety of nanotechnology.

Radio telescope images reveal planet-forming disk orbiting twin suns
Astronomers are announcing today that a sequence of images collected with the Smithsonian's Submillimeter Array clearly reveals the presence of a rotating molecular disk orbiting the young binary star system V4046 Sagittarii.

Revised Vienna Classification for diagnosing colorectal epithelial neoplasias
To overcome the differences between Western and Japanese criteria, the revised Vienna Classification of gastrointestinal epithelial neoplasia was proposed.

Report on US tobacco control policies and use finds stark contrasts in progress among states
The United States is becoming a nation of haves and have-nots when it comes to tobacco control, according to a comprehensive publication on cigarette smoking prevalence and policies in the US that was released today.

Mouse experiments shed light on age effects in arthritis
Older mice are more susceptible to proteoglycan-induced arthritis. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal Immunity & Ageing have shown, for the first time, that young mice are completely resistant, but become fully susceptible to the disease with age.

2 signals -- from within and out of cell -- specify motor neuron differentiation
Two signals -- an external one from retinoic acid and an internal one from the transcription factor Neurogenin2 -- cooperate to activate chromatin (the basic material of chromosomes), and help determine that certain nerve progenitor cells become motor neurons, said researchers from Baylor College of Medicine in a report in the current issue of the journal Neuron.

Stable marriage is linked with better sleep in women
Being stably married or gaining a partner is associated with better sleep in women than being unmarried or losing a partner, according to a research abstract that will be presented on Wednesday, June 10, at SLEEP 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

Bisphenol A exposure in pregnant mice permanently changes DNA of offspring
Exposure during pregnancy to the chemical bisphenol A, or BPA, found in many common plastic household items, is known to cause a fertility defect in the mother's offspring in animal studies, and now researchers have found how the defect occurs.

A new measure of global warming from carbon emissions
Damon Matthews, a professor in Concordia University's Department of Geography, Planning and the Environment, has found a direct relationship between carbon dioxide emissions and global warming.

Less than half of older Americans get the recommended 8 hours of nightly sleep
Older Americans with depressive symptoms and poor mental health tend to get seven hours of sleep per night or less, according to a research abstract that will be presented on Wednesday, June 10, at SLEEP 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

Hatchery fish may hurt efforts to sustain wild salmon runs
Steelhead trout that are originally bred in hatcheries are so genetically impaired that, even if they survive and reproduce in the wild, their offspring will also be significantly less successful at reproducing, according to a new study published today by researchers from Oregon State University.

NHLBI funds global centers on chronic diseases and collaborates with UnitedHealth Group
A worldwide network of research and training centers will build institutional and community capacity to prevent and control chronic diseases, announced the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, one of the National Institutes of Health.

Fracture risk following bariatric surgery
Mayo Clinic researchers are reporting that persons who undergo bariatric surgery may have a greater chance of experiencing broken bones, especially in their hands and feet.

Pre-pregnancy depressed mood may heighten risk for premature birth
Researchers trying to uncover why premature birth is a growing problem in the United States and one that disproportionately affects black women have found that pre-pregnancy depressive mood appears to be a risk factor in preterm birth among both blacks and whites.

Brain-computer interface, developed at Brown, begins new clinical trial
The BrainGate2 pilot clinical trial has begun at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Predicted ground motions for great earthquake in Pacific Northwest: Seattle, Victoria and Vancouver
A new study evaluates expected ground motion in Seattle, Victoria and Vancouver from earthquakes of magnitude 7.5 - 9.0, providing engineers and policymakers with a new tool to build or retrofit structures to withstand seismic waves from large

Wistar Institute team finds key target of aging regulator
Researchers at the Wistar Institute have defined a key target of an evolutionarily conserved protein that regulates the process of aging.

Tribble 3 can induce nonalcoholic fatty liver disease?
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease has increased in recent years, and is one of the major causes for cryptogenic cirrhosis.

Tunable semiconductors possible with hot new material called graphene
Transistors and LEDs are like radios that send and receive only one frequency.

Cocaine and heroin harm placenta
Cocaine and heroin increase permeability of the placenta. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open access journal Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology have shown that exposure to the drugs causes an increase in the passage of some chemicals into the fetus.

An innovative surgical technique gives hope to patients suffering from refractory epilepsy
Clinicians from the Centre hospitalier de l'Universite de Montreal have perfected an operation, which was previously considered too dangerous, to control refractory insular epilepsy, using an innovative microsurgery technique.

Beetle shell inspires brilliant white paper
An obscure species of beetle has shown how brilliant white paper could be produced in a completely new way.

Natural hormone offers hope for treatment of the metabolic syndrome
Angiotensin 1-7, a hormone in the body that has cardiovascular benefits, improves the metabolic syndrome in rats, according to a new study.

Hormone therapy may confer more aggressive properties to prostate tumors
Hormone therapy is often given to patients with advanced prostate cancer.

Cancer: The cost of being smarter than chimps?
A study suggests that humans cognitively superior brains means more instances of cancer compared to chimpanzees.

Study: Depending on the problem, media may be an escape or a way to cope
The last thing most people in a bad love affair want to do is to read informational articles about romance. But people facing financial difficulties often choose to read articles which may help them cope with their money problems.

Availability of diagnostic tests drive success in hospitalist-run short-stay units
The most important factors for a successful stay in hospital short-stay units are the types of diagnostic tests performed and whether or not specialty consultations are needed.

Early detection of osteoarthritis in dogs could open doors for a cure
Osteoarthritis is commonly diagnosed in the late and irreversible stages, when treatment can only be expected to decrease pain and slow progression of disease.

Versartis presents positive preclinical data on 2 product candidates at ENDO 09
Versartis Inc., an emerging company developing novel biologics with enhanced properties for patients with metabolic diseases, today presented data for its long-acting product candidates, VRS-317 (hGH-rPEG) for treatment of growth hormone deficiency and for VRS-826 (IL-1ra-rPEG) for treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, at the Endocrine Society's Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Rheumatoid arthritis is associated with poor sleep in women
According to a research abstract that will be presented on Wednesday, June 10, at SLEEP 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) negatively affect women's sleep. 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