Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 06, 2009
Intimate abuse study finds clear links with poor health and calls for holistic primary care approach
Nearly a quarter of married and cohabiting women who took part in a survey said that they had been sexually, psychologically or physically abused by their partner.

Crisis and violence in Mumbai: Experiences from a center for vulnerable women and children
In this week's edition of open access journal PLoS Medicine, Nayreen Daruwalla and colleagues describe the Center for Vulnerable Women and Children, which serves clients coping with crisis and violence in the urban setting of Dharavi, Mumbai.

Investing wisely to save the Great Barrier Reef
CSIRO science is being used to improve land management practices on farmland to help reduce run-off of sediments, nutrients and pesticides on to the Great Barrier Reef.

Long-term survival from abdominal aortic aneurysm repair improving
For patients undergoing repair of intact abdominal aortic aneurysms, long-term survival has improved in recent decades.

Researchers demonstrate reversible generation of a high capacity hydrogen storage material
Researchers at the US Department of Energy's Savannah River National Laboratory have created a reversible route to generate aluminum hydride, a high capacity hydrogen storage material.

NASA's Fermi telescope probes dozens of pulsars
With NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope, astronomers now are getting their best look at those whirling stellar cinders known as pulsars.

Online computer games could encourage children to eat healthy foods
Children who play an online game promoting healthy foods and beverages appear more likely to choose nutritious snacks than those who play a game promoting unhealthy products, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Scientists are learning more about big birds from feathers
Catching adult eagles for research purposes is no easy task, but a Purdue University researcher has found a way around the problem, and, in the process, gathered even more information about the birds without ever laying a hand on one.

Antidepressants aid electroconvulsive therapy in treating severe depression
Combining antidepressant drugs with electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) does a better job of reducing symptoms of severe depression and causes less memory loss than using ECT alone, according to a new study by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and colleagues.

Mice with skin condition help scientists understand tumor growth
Cancerous tumors sometimes form at the site of chronic wounds or injury, but the reason why is not entirely clear.

Parents' endorsement of vigorous team sports increases children's physical activity, say researchers
Parents who value strenuous team sports are more likely to influence their children to join a team or at least participate in some kind of exercise, and spend less time in front of the TV or computer, a new study says.

CU-Boulder, NASA test new 'space Internet' system on International Space Station
The University of Colorado at Boulder is working with NASA to develop a new communications technology now being tested on the International Space Station, which will extend Earth's Internet into outer space and across the solar system.

Magnetic brain stimulation improves skill learning
The use of magnetic pulses to stimulate the dorsal premotor cortex region of the brain results in an improved ability to learn a skilled motor task.

Final analysis shows HPV vaccine highly effective at preventing precancerous cervical lesions
The final analysis of the PATRICIA study shows that the HPV-16/18 AS04-adjuvanted vaccine (GlaxoSmithKline) has high efficacy against the precancerous cervical lesions that can eventually lead to cervical cancer.

Stanford Alzheimer's research pinpoints antibodies that may prevent disease
Antibodies to a wide range of substances that can aggregate to form plaques, such as those found in Alzheimer's patients, have been identified in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid of healthy people.

Electronic tracking system can help diabetes patient care
An electronic system with personalized patient information shared by diabetes patients and their primary care providers improved diabetes care and clinical outcomes, found a new study in CMAJ.

US civil space policy: Key goals and critical issues
A new report from the National Research Council,

Physics research with atomic force microscope could lead to better health care
Study of proteins as a single molecule shows promise to help scientists understand the causes of diseases like some cancers.

Sociologists to turn the sociological eye on San Francisco
San Francisco, the host city for the American Sociological Association's 104th annual meeting, will be the subject of several regional spotlight sessions in which leading sociologists present research and explore the politics, history, health and culture of the city and state of California.

To predict the severity of mental disease, consider the family
We've all been asked at routine visits to the doctor to record our family's history with medical problems like cancer, diabetes or heart disease.

Toronto researcher's discovery points to a new treatment avenue for acute myeloid leukemia
Dr. John Dick, senior scientist at the Ontario Cancer Institute, the research arm of Princess Margaret Hospital, co-led a multinational team that has developed the first leukemia therapy that targets a protein, CD123, on the surface of cancer stem cells that drive acute myeloid leukemia, which is an aggressive disease with a poor outcome.

Dogs, humans, put heads together to find cure for brain cancer
Pinpointing the genes involved in human brain cancer can be like looking for a needle in a haystack, and sometimes the needle you find may not be the right one.

Elderly breast cancer patients receive chemotherapy if treated in private practices
In a study to determine the nonmedical factors that may be associated with the decision to treat nonmetastatic breast cancer, researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health evaluated the association between oncologist characteristics and the receipt of chemotherapy in elderly women with breast cancer and found that they were more likely to receive chemotherapy if treated by oncologists employed in a private practice.

Ready for relapse: Molecule helps breast cancer cells to survive in the bone marrow
Patients who survive an initial diagnosis of breast cancer often succumb to the disease years later when the cancer shows up in a different part of the body.

Institute for Aging Research study finds delirium presentation predicts mortality
The way certain patients present in the post-acute hospital setting with delirium, a common, preventable but life-threatening acute confusional state, predicts mortality, according to a study conducted by the Institute for Aging Research of Hebrew SeniorLife.

Nitrogen research shows how some plants invade, take over others
University of Nebraska-Lincoln research shows how plants gain nitrogen and how this allows some species to invade and take over native plants.

Students with depression twice as likely to drop out of college
College students with depression are twice as likely as their classmates to drop out of school, new research shows.

Ancient fossils shed light on anatomical changes accompanying evolution of first land vertebrates
Long before mammals, birds, and even dinosaurs roamed the Earth, the first four-legged creatures made their first steps onto land.

Amino acid may help treat patients with hair-pulling condition
The amino acid N-acetylcysteine appears to reduce symptoms of compulsive hair-pulling in patients with a condition known as trichotillomania, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

American Chemical Society to publish new journal focusing on neuroscience research
With neuroscience on the threshold of unprecedented advances in understanding and treating Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, autism and a range of other disorders of the brain and nervous system, the American Chemical Society today announced plans to launch a new journal devoted to the molecular basis of neurological disease.

Microscopic 'beads' could help create 'designer' immune cells that ignore transplanted organs
The future of organ transplantation could include microscopic beads that create

Study finds role for parasites in evolution of sex
What's so great about sex? From an evolutionary perspective, the answer is not as obvious as one might think.

Family history predicts presence and course of psychiatric disorders
A family history of depression, anxiety, alcohol dependence or drug dependence is associated with the presence of each condition and also may predict its course and prognosis, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

New method for detecting nitroxyl will boost cardiac drug research
Wake Forest University scientists have developed a new research tool in the pursuit of heart medications based on the compound nitroxyl by identifying unique chemical markers for its presence in biological systems.

Finding fear: Neuroscientists locate where it is stored in the brain
Neuroscientists using an imaging technique that enabled them to trace the process of neural activation in the brain have pinpointed the neurons where fear conditioning is encoded.

Oxygen test has potential to detect some critical congenital heart defects in newborns
Early detection of critical congenital heart disease is important for avoiding serious health consequences.

Atrial fibrillation linked to increased hospitalization in heart failure patients
Patients with atrial fibrillation, common in those with advanced chronic heart failure, have an increased risk of hospitalization due to heart failure, according to new research from researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Carbohydrate acts as tumor suppressor
Scientists at Burnham Institute for Medical Research have discovered that specialized complex sugar molecules that anchor cells into place act as tumor suppressors in breast and prostate cancers.

Purdue researchers create prostate cancer 'homing device' for drug delivery
A new prostate cancer

July 9-10 symposium on synthetic biology
A symposium to be held by the US National Academies, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and the Royal Society on July 9-10 will explore the implications of synthetic biology for policymakers, researchers, industry and the public.

Chemicals in common consumer products may play a role in pre-term births
A new study of expectant mothers suggests that a group of common environmental contaminants called phthalates, which are present in many industrial and consumer products including everyday personal care items, may contribute to the country's alarming rise in premature births.

Battle of the sexes benefits offspring, says research
Parents compensate for a lazy partner by working harder to bring up their offspring, but not enough to completely make up for the lack of parenting, says research by bird biologists at the University of Bath.

JCI online early table of contents: July 6, 2009
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, July 6, 2009, in the JCI, including: Understanding the anticancer effects of vitamin D3; Immune cells linked to severe infant liver disease; Psoriasis-like inflammation: crucial role for the protein CCR6; First natural target for regulatory T cells expressing CD8; Marker protein causes poor outcome in lung cancer; and Linking energy production with energy requirements.

New study pinpoints difference in the way children with autism learn new behaviors
Researchers from the Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have collaborated to uncover important new insights into the neurological basis of autism.

Understanding the anti-cancer effects of vitamin D3
The active form of vitamin D3 seems to have anti-cancer effects.

The 2 faces of Mdmx: Why some tumors don't respond to radiation and chemotherapy
A tightly controlled system of checks and balances ensures that a powerful tumor suppressor called p53 keeps a tight lid on unchecked cell growth but doesn't wreak havoc in healthy cells.

Internet-based intervention may improve insomnia
An online insomnia intervention based on established face-to-face cognitive behavioral therapy techniques appears to improve patients' sleep, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

First direct evidence of substantial fish consumption by early modern humans in China
Freshwater fish are an important part of the diet of many peoples around the world, but it has been unclear when fish became an important part of the year-round diet for early humans.

Laboring without the labor bed: It's a good thing
A University of Toronto pilot study that re-conceptualized the hospital labor room by removing the standard, clinical bed and adding relaxation-promoting equipment had a 28 percent drop in infusions of artificial oxytocin, a powerful drug used to advance slow labors.

CU-Boulder study shows brain's immune system may cause chronic seizures
Chronic seizures caused by traumatic head injuries may result from chemicals released by the brain's immune system attempting to repair the injured site, according to a study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder.

New Princeton method may help allocate carbon emissions responsibility among nations
Just months before world leaders are scheduled to meet to devise a new international treaty on climate change, a research team led by Princeton University scientists has developed a new way of dividing responsibility for carbon emissions among countries.

CSIRO astronomers reveal a 'blue whale of space'
CSIRO astronomers have revealed the hidden face of an enormous galaxy called Centaurus A, which emits a radio glow covering an area 200 times bigger than the full Moon.

Nano measurement in the third dimension
Scientists at the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt have developed a metrological scanning probe microscope into a micro and nano coordinate measuring instrument.

Researchers find genetic key to breast cancer's ability to survive and spread
New research led by investigators at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center sheds light on a genetic function that gives breast cancer cells the ability to survive and spread to the bone years after treatment has been administered.

Health food supplement may curb compulsive hair pulling
University of Minnesota Medical School researchers have discovered that a common anti-oxidant, widely available as a health food supplement, may help stop the urges of those with trichotillomania, a disorder characterized by compulsive hair-pulling.

Carnegie Mellon researchers find social security numbers can be predicted with public information
Carnegie Mellon University researchers have shown that public information readily gleaned from governmental sources, commercial data bases, or online social networks can be used to routinely predict most -- and sometimes all -- of an individual's nine-digit Social Security number.

200 percent increase in cardiovascular medication costs to $5 billion in Canada
The number of prescriptions in Canada for cardiovascular medications has been increasing over the past decade, with a 200 percent increase in costs, found a new study in CMAJ.

Sugar substitute appears to prevent early childhood cavities
Children given an oral syrup containing the naturally occurring sweetener xylitol may be less likely to develop decay in their baby teeth, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Component of vegetable protein may be linked to lower blood pressure
Glutamic acid, an amino acid that is abundant in vegetable protein, as a regular part of the eating pattern may be associated with lower average blood pressure.

Muscle damage may be present in some patients taking statins
Structural muscle damage may be present in patients who have statin-associated muscle complaints, found a new study in CMAJ.

Study examines movie smoking exposure and team sport participation in youth established smoking
Participating in team sports is associated with a reduced likelihood of youths becoming established smokers, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

The American Sociological Association partners with SAGE to publish its influential journals
SAGE is very pleased to announce it has signed an agreement to partner with the American Sociological Association to publish eight of its journals beginning in 2010 and 2012.

Embargoed news from Annals of Internal Medicine
Below is information about two early releases and four articles being published in the July 7 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

NCI renews Mayo Clinic Cancer Center support grant, extends comprehensive status
The Mayo Clinic Cancer Center received an additional five years of National Cancer Institute funding and re-designation as a comprehensive cancer center, according to Robert Diasio, M.D., the center's director.

Songbirds reveal how practice improves performance
Learning complex skills like playing an instrument requires a sequence of movements that can take years to master.

Canadian researchers set to study impact of nanomaterials on aquatic ecosystems
A team of Canadian scientists and engineers, led by the University of Alberta and the National Research Council of Canada, will collaborate on a $3.39 million, three-year study to assess the potential effects of nanoparticles in specific water environments.

Society for Vascular Nursing releases patient care guideline
The Society for Vascular Nursing has released the first in a series of guidelines being developed that will focus on the nursing care of patients with vascular disease.

Hurricane Katrina: Phone home
Tel Aviv University research finds cell phone towers can help predict the next big flood.

Australian researchers identify genes that cause melanoma
Scientists from the Queensland Institute of Medical Research have found two new genes that together double a person's risk of developing melanoma.

Inside the BIM revolution
BIM CON!FAB 2009 is two-day symposium on the information technology-based techniques that are drastically improving productivity and speeding the process of building large structures.

Virginia Bioinformatics Institute to develop petascale computer modeling capabilities
The goal of the proposal is to use new computer technology to study events like disease pandemics, financial crises, as well as the spread of opinions, attitudes or social beliefs, through populations on a global scale.

HIV-1 damages gut antibody-producing immune cells within days of infection
The virus that causes AIDS is classified as a lentivirus, a word derived from the Latin prefix,

Delirium in hospitalized adults: Situation critical, no relief available
In a systematic review of the scientific literature on delirium prevention and treatment, investigators from Indiana University School of Medicine, the Regenstrief Institute and Wishard Health Services found that despite the significant health and financial burdens of delirium for hospitalized adults, no effective way to prevent or treat the condition has been identified.

Clinical trial shows quadriplegics can operate powered wheelchair with tongue drive system
An assistive technology that enables individuals to maneuver a powered wheelchair or control a mouse cursor using simple tongue movements can be operated by individuals with high-level spinal cord injuries, according to the results of a recently completed clinical trial. 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