Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 11, 2009
Carnegie Mellon expert take stand about cap and trade issues
Carnegie Mellon's Lester Lave to discuss interrelationships between cap and trade policies, renewable electricity generation standards and efficiency standards, all contained in the Waxman-Markey energy legislation.

Study finds segregation decreases access to surgical care for minorities
New research published in the June issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons reveals that in counties with the highest levels of segregation, an increase in the African-American or Hispanic population was associated with a decrease in the availability and use of surgical services and an increase in the number of emergency room visits.

Extended or shortened sleep duration linked to weight gain
Body Mass Index varies as a function of habitual sleep duration, according to a research abstract that will be presented on Thursday, June 11, at SLEEP 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies.

Rosiglitazone does not harm bone healing if combined with metformin in rats
Taking the diabetes medications metformin and rosiglitazone together reverses the adverse effects on bone of rosiglitazone treatment alone in an experimental model, according to a new study done in rats.

A strong future for women in medicine
The lead editorial in this week's Lancet discusses the recent report from the UK Royal College of Physicians:

Adults, especially women, have calorie-burning 'brown fat'
Keeping your baby fat turns out to be a good thing, as long as it is

A red-wine polyphenol called resveratrol demonstrates significant health benefits
Resveratrol shows therapeutic potential for cancer chemoprevention as well as cardioprotection.

Can lowering body temperature prevent brain damage in children who suffer cardiac arrest?
In the first large-scale study of its kind, researchers at the University of Michigan's C.S.

Subclinical markers predict relapse in juvenile idiopathic arthritis post methotrexate withdrawal
Elevated levels of the inflammatory biomarkers myeloid related protein 8/14 predict an increased risk of relapse following withdrawal of methotrexate therapy in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis who have achieved inactive disease status, according to a new study presented today presented today at PReS 2009, a joint congress with the 2009 Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Isolated forest patches lose species, diversity
Failing to see the forest for the trees may be causing us to overlook the declining health of Wisconsin's forest ecosystems.

If you do good, you look good
In today's economy, it's increasingly difficult to elicit donations for charitable causes -- but new research from Dr.

Sleep may be important in regulating emotional responses
According to a research abstract that will be presented on Thursday, June 11, at SLEEP 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, sleep selectively preservers memories that are emotionally salient and relevant to future goals when sleep follows soon after learning.

Deforestation causes 'boom-and-bust' development in the Amazon
Clearing the Amazon rainforest increases Brazilian communities' wealth and quality of life, but these improvements are short-lived, according to new research published today, June 12, in Science.

Researcher explores why smoking increases the risk of heart disease and strokes
Researchers at Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science in Los Angeles and Western University of Health Sciences in Pomona have discovered a reason why smoking increases the risk of heart disease and strokes.

Study shows promise for new cancer-stopping therapy
Researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital and Johns Hopkins University have discovered that delivering a small molecule that is highly expressed in normal tissues but lost in diseased cells can result in tumor suppression.

New 'electronic glue' promises less expensive semiconductors
Researchers at the University of Chicago and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have developed an

International study could aid search for life in the universe
A lunar eclipse helped a group of international scientists take a snapshot of Earth's chemical fingerprint, which could help to identify planets most similar to earth where life may be thriving.

Simulation helps students learn dental implant procedures
A realistic computer game will soon be used to help dental students worldwide learn and reinforce dental implant procedures.

Exenatide promotes weight loss when added to diet and exercise
In combination with diet and exercise, the diabetes drug exenatide helped nondiabetic, obese individuals lose over three times more weight than those receiving a placebo, or dummy treatment, for six months.

Abrupt global warming could shift monsoon patterns, hurt agriculture
At times in the distant past, an abrupt change in climate has been associated with a shift of seasonal monsoons to the south, a new study concludes, causing more rain to fall over the oceans than in the Earth's tropical regions, and leading to a dramatic drop in global vegetation growth.

USC researchers identify DNA mutation that occurs at beginning point of T-cell lymphoma
Researchers at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California (USC) have identified a key mechanism that causes chromosomes within blood cells to break -- an occurrence that marks the first step in the development of human lymphoma.

What really prompts the dog's 'guilty look'
What dog owner has not come home to a broken vase or other valuable items and a guilty-looking dog slouching around the house?

Exercise improves functional and psychological ability and reduces steroid need in rheumatoid arthritis
Undertaking a supervised exercise program can have beneficial effects on functional status and physical function, reduce the need for daily corticosteroid and anti-inflammatory intake and improve levels of depression and anxiety in people with rheumatoid arthritis, according to a new study presented today at EULAR 2009, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Diagnosis of arthritis 5 years earlier in childless women compared to those with children
Nulliparous women (those who have not given birth to children) are diagnosed with chronic arthritides (including ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis and rheumatoid arthritis an average of 5.2 years before parous women (those who have given birth to children), according to a new study presented today at EULAR 2009, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Obese women with PCOS can lose weight with a doctor's help
Simple weight-loss advice from a physician and regular follow-up helped obese women with polycystic ovary syndrome lose a substantial amount of weight, a new study found.

First ever worldwide census analysis of caribou/reindeer numbers reveals dramatic decline
Caribou and reindeer numbers worldwide have plunged almost 60 percent in the last three decades.

Snoring pregnant women at higher risk for gestational diabetes
If you are pregnant and your mate complains your frequent snoring is rattling the bedroom windows, you may have bigger problems than an annoyed, sleep-deprived partner.

The BBVA Foundation presents its Frontiers of Knowledge Awards
The presentation ceremony in this inaugural edition of the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards will take place on Thursday, June 18.

Global warming increasing the dispersal of flora in Northern forests
As a result of stronger winds caused by global warming, seeds and pollen are being carried over longer distances.

Nicotine induces prediabetes, likely contributes to high prevalence of heart disease in smokers
Researchers have discovered a reason why smoking greatly increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Study reveals publics' ignorance of anatomy
A study of patients and members of the public has shown that most lack even basic knowledge of human anatomy.

Novel DNA vaccine leads to kidney damage prevention in systemic lupus erythematosus models
DNA vaccination using lupus autoantigens and interleukin-10 (IL-10, a cytokine that plays an important role in regulating the immune system) has potential as a novel therapy to induce antigen specific tolerance and may help to prevent kidney damage in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus, according to a new study presented today at EULAR 2009, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in Copenhagen, Denmark.

New images may improve vaccine design for deadly rotavirus
Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers are reporting the first detailed molecular snapshots of a deadly gastrointestinal virus as it is caught in the grasp of an immune system molecule with the capacity to destroy it.

OSU researchers win NASA grant, will develop instrument for Mars exploration
Dr. Regina DeWitt, an assistant research professor in the department of physics, has received a $496,000 grant from NASA.

Symptoms of depression in obese children linked to elevated cortisol
A new study connects abnormalities of the

Bariatric surgery increases risk of fractures
After weight loss surgery, people have nearly twice the expected risk of breaking a bone and an even higher risk of a foot or hand fracture, a new study has found.

Widely used body fat measurements overestimate fatness in blacks
The body mass index and waistline measurement overestimate obesity in blacks, according to a new study.

A new 'idol' grabs the spotlight
UCLA scientists identified a new enzyme called Idol that destroys the cell receptor for LDL cholesterol, allowing more cholesterol to circulate in the blood.

MicroRNA replacement therapy may stop cancer in its tracks
A new study suggests that delivering small RNAs, known as microRNAs, to cancer cells could help to stop the disease in its tracks. microRNAs control gene expression and are commonly lost in cancerous tumors.

Blocking a muscle growth-limiting hormone protects against obesity and atherosclerosis
Knockout of myostatin, a growth factor that limits muscle growth, can decrease body fat and promote resistance against developing atherosclerosis, or

Screening for left ventricular dysfunction may have less value than thought
Evaluation of NT-proBNP in patients may lead to early exclusion of Left Ventricular dysfunction, according to a study in Journal of Cardiac Failure.

Waste disposal protein is mechanism behind cancer tumor suppression
Investigators at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey (UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School) and Rutgers University have discovered that a waste disposal protein is the key to cancer tumor suppression in a process known as autophagy -- a process in which cancer cells eat themselves.

Study: Greenland ice sheet larger contributor to sea-level rise
The Greenland ice sheet is melting faster than expected according to a new study led by a University of Alaska Fairbanks researcher and published in the journal Hydrological Processes.

New American College of Surgeons risk calculator determines colorectal surgery risk
New research published in the June issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons shows that a risk calculator developed by the American College of Surgeons can help surgeons provide patients with more detailed and accurate preoperative information about the risk of death and complications following colorectal surgery.

Lost molecule is lethal for liver cancer cells in mice
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have discovered a potential strategy for cancer therapy by focusing on what's missing in tumors.

Cancer screening fear is fueled by lack of information says review covering nearly 6,000 women
Fear plays a major role in whether women decide to go for cancer screening or not, according to US researchers who reviewed 19 studies (1994-2008) that explored the attitudes of 5,991 women to breast and cervical cancer screening.

A new computer modeling program can help hospitals prepare for the worst
A new and novel computer modeling platform developed through intensive, multidisciplinary collaboration at New York University can help hospitals and cities to be more prepared for catastrophic public health scenarios, according to a newly published journal article.

UC Davis begins $2.8 million in studies of agricultural nitrogen's impacts
UC Davis researchers will receive $2.8 million in new grants to study the use and impacts of nitrogen, a hero of the agricultural revolution that is increasingly viewed as a worrisome source of water and air pollution and potent greenhouse gases.

Are angiotensins involved in the hemodynamic changes of cirrhosis patients?
A research group from Japan measured circulating angiotensins at different stages of human cirrhosis and further evaluated a possible relationship between renin angiotensin (Ang) system components and hemodynamic changes.

Nutricia launches Neocate Nutra, weaning product designed for cows' milk protein allergy
Nutricia, the European market leader in advanced medical nutrition, announces the launch of Neocate Nutra, the first and only weaning product made from 100 percent nonallergenic amino acids.

Stress makes your hair go gray
Those pesky graying hairs that tend to crop up with age really are signs of stress, reveals a new report in the June 12 issue of Cell, a Cell Press publication.

Jumping genes discovery 'challenges current assumptions'
Jumping genes do most of their jumping, not during the development of sperm and egg cells, but during the development of the embryo itself.

'Designer molecules' being developed to fight disease
Researchers in the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences at the University of Leicester are developing a new way to make protein based drugs with potential applications in stroke, vascular inflammation, blood vessel formation, regenerative medicine and tissue engineering.

Maple seeds and animals exploit the same trick to fly
The twirling seeds of maple trees spin like miniature helicopters as they fall to the ground.

Moderately reduced carbohydrate diet keeps people feeling full longer
A modest reduction in the amount of carbohydrates eaten, without calorie restriction and weight loss, appears to increase a sense of fullness, which may help people eat less, a preliminary study found.

Researchers at Case Western Reserve discover a new way the body fights fungal infection
A team of researchers led by Amy G. Hise, M.D., M.P.H., assistant professor at the Center for Global Health and Diseases, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, is the first to discover how the body fights off oral yeast infections caused by the most common human fungal pathogen, Candida.

Environmental sustainability in the apparel industry focus of June 19 FIBERcast
What does it mean for a clothing or footwear company to be environmentally sustainable?

Gene therapy technique thwarts cancer by cutting off tumor blood supply
University of Florida researchers have come up with a new gene therapy method in mice implanted with human colorectal cancer cells to disrupt cancer growth by using a synthetic protein to induce blood clotting, cutting off a tumor's blood and nutrient supply.

Dangerous liaisons: Bacterial 'sex' causes antibiotic resistance
Some disease-causing bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics because they have peculiar sex lives, say researchers publishing new results today in the journal Science.

Myeloid proteins reflect disease activity and treatment response in familial Mediterranean fever
Serum levels of the pro-inflammatory biomarkers myeloid-related protein 8 and 14 are increased to a greater extent in patients with Familial Mediterranean Fever during flare than in patients with neonatal-onset multisystem inflammatory disease or patients with Muckle Wells syndrome, according to the results of a new study presented today at PReS 2009, a joint congress with the 2009 Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Ecological Society of America announces its 94th annual meeting
Registration is now open to the press for the Ecological Society of America's 94th Annual Meeting, which will be held Aug.

Survey finds prevalence of mental disorders in China underestimated and largely untreated
Previous reports of mental health disorders in China may have substantially underestimated the true disease burden -- new estimates suggest that 173 million adults in China have a current mental disorder and 158 million of them have never received any type of professional help for their condition.

Successful weight loss with dieting is linked to vitamin D levels
Vitamin D levels in the body at the start of a low-calorie diet predict weight loss success, a new study found.

Newly discovered snow roots are 'evolutionary phenomenon'
It may not be the Yeti, but in a remote region of the Russian mountains a previously unknown and entirely unique form of plant root has been discovered.

Officials commend UH's leadership in creation of ship channel security district
The University of Houston is being credited with playing a pivotal role in the creation of the Houston Ship Channel Security District, which was approved unanimously by Harris County Commissioners Court on Tuesday morning.

1/4 of patients on highest investigational doses of CP-690,550 achieve ACR70 at week 12
A quarter of active rheumatoid arthritis patients receiving either 10mg (24.6 percent) or 15mg (28.1 percent) twice daily of the investigational oral JAK-3 (janus-associated kinase) inhibitor CP-690,550 achieved ACR70 after 12 weeks, according to the results of a new study presented today at EULAR 2009, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Association between obstructive sleep apnea and weight gain found
According to a research abstract that will be presented on Thursday, June 11, at SLEEP 2009, the 23rd Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, a link exists between the severity of obstructive sleep apnea and weight gain.

What are the risk factors of sporadic colorectal cancer?
A research group in China investigated the risk factors for sporadic colorectal cancer in a southern Chinese population.

If the shoe flits, duck: A real-life example of humans' dual vision system
The reactions of former President George W. Bush and Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki when an Iraqi reporter flung his shoes toward the two men during a Baghdad news conference confirmed the results of an experiment being conducted by neuroscientists.

Male flies: Not the world's most sensitive lovers
In order to increase their chances of reproductive success, male flies of the species Drosophila montana try to copulate for much longer than the females would like.

Arlene & Arnold Goldstein Foundation gives $1.5 million to Scripps Research Institute
The Arlene & Arnold Goldstein Family Foundation has given $1.5 million to support research in the Scripps Research Institute's department of molecular and experimental medicine.

Childhood obesity increases early signs of cardiovascular disease
By as early as 7 years of age, being obese may raise a child's future risk of heart disease and stroke, even without the presence of other cardiovascular risk factors such as high blood pressure, a new study found.

A case of cecal volvulus
A research group from Japan reported a case of caecal voluvuls seen in a 78-year-old woman.

The dark side of animation
According to a study published in the International Journal of Innovation and Learning many instructors think that animated slides enhance student learning whereas the opposite may be true.

A natural hormone may protect muscle from atrophy
Researchers have found a potential new treatment for the common problem of muscle atrophy.

NIH funds Einstein center to target HIV-related brain disease
The National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health has awarded a three-year, $3-million grant to Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University to establish a research center to study the neurological complications that afflict people infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

The microbial hydrocarbon diet
Bioremediation of industrial sites and petrochemical spillages often involves finding microbes that can gorge themselves on the toxic chemicals.

2 University of Miami graduates awarded Everglades Foundation congressional fellowships
Two graduates from the University of Miami School of Law were selected for Everglades Foundation Congressional Fellowships by the UM Leonard and Jayne Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy.

A breakthrough in gastric carcinogenesis
A research group from Japan examined the methylation status of the promoter region of the checkpoint with forkhead-associated and ring finger and microsatellite mutator status in 59 primary gastric cancers.

'Honey bee health' of concern at Western Apicultural Society conference
Honey bee specialists and native pollinator experts will address the 31st annual Western Apicultural Society Conference, set Aug.

Promising device snags young inventors coveted spot at IShow
The IShow is for young inventors what

Low-fat diet helps genetically predisposed animals avoid liver cancer
In a study comparing two strains of mice, one susceptible to developing cancer and the other not, researchers found that a high-fat diet predisposed the cancer-susceptible strain to liver cancer, and that by switching to a low-fat diet early in the experiment, the same high-risk mice avoided the malignancy.

LSUHSC research finds single gene controls growth of some cancers
Research led by Ashok Aiyar, Ph.D., associate professor of microbiology at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, showing that a single gene can control growth in cancers related to the Epstein-Barr virus and that existing therapeutics can inactivate it, will be published in the June 12, 2009, online issue of PLoS Pathogens.

UIC evaluates 'virtual world' training for public health emergencies
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health have received a $1.6 million grant from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine whether collaborative virtual environments improve public health preparedness and response planning.

Australia's climate: Drought and flooding in annual rings of tropical trees
Annual rings are acclaimed in representing natural climate archives. For the temperate latitudes it is known that the growth of these annual rings depend mainly on temperature and precipitation.

Renewable energy: Report on status and prospects for the US
Renewable energy resources -- solar, wind, geothermal and biomass -- could potentially offer local, sustainable sources of electrical power in the US.

Study finds air traffic control tracking method reduces errors in trauma management
New research published in the June issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons shows that a method used by air traffic controllers tracks patient data more effectively and with fewer errors compared with current hospital methods, primarily the use of clipboards.

Wii-hab may enhance Parkinson's treatment
The Nintendo Wii may help treat symptoms of Parkinson's disease, including depression, a Medical College of Georgia researcher says.

Assessment of safety and efficacy of human embryonic stem cell therapy
Advanced Cell Technology and its collaborators at OHSU reported today the long-term safety and efficacy of human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived retinal pigment epithelium produced under manufacturing conditions suitable for human clinical trials.

Lap band weight loss surgery reduces teens' risk factors for heart disease, diabetes
In teenagers, laparoscopic gastric banding surgery for treatment of extreme obesity can significantly improve and even reverse the metabolic syndrome, a new study found.

New treatment strategy offers hope to RA patients who failed all other therapies
Rheumatoid arthritis patients who failed to respond to initial treatment with rituximab (a chimeric monoclonal antibody against the protein CD20) can still be successfully re-treated with a second course of RTX after six months, according to the results of a new study presented today at EULAR 2009, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Hidden genitalia in female water striders makes males 'sing'
In a study published in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE, Chang Seok Han and Piotr Jablonski at Seoul National University, Korea, report that by evolving a morphological shield to protect their genitalia from males' forceful copulatory attempts, females of an Asian species of water strider seem to

Scripps research team creates simple chemical system that mimics DNA
A team of Scripps Research scientists has created a new analog to DNA that assembles and disassembles itself without the need for enzymes.

What is the relationship between hepatocellular carcinoma and type 2 diabetes mellitus?
A research group from Italy investigated the temporal relationship between the onset of diabetes and development of hepatocellular carcinoma.

Protein that triggers plant cell division revealed by researchers
Stanford biologists have found a plant protein that appears to play a key role in asymmetric cell division.
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