Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 13, 2009
Regular moderate alcohol intake has cognitive benefits in older adults
A glass of wine here, a nightcap there -- new research out of Wake Forest University School of Medicine suggests that moderate alcohol intake offers long-term cognitive protection and reduces the risk of dementia in older adults.

Journal of Alzheimer's Disease once again achieves significant impact factor increase
IOS Press and the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease are pleased to announce that once again there has been a significant increase in the Journal's Impact Factor, from 4.081 to 5.101 for 2008 according to Thomson Reuters' Journal Citation Reports 2009.

UA pharmacy research shows prescribers miss potentially dangerous drug pairs
Research led by the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy has found that medication prescribers correctly identified fewer than half of drug pairs with potentially dangerous drug-drug interactions.

Asian spice could reduce breast cancer risk in women exposed to hormone replacement therapy
Previous studies have found that post-menopausal women who have taken a combined estrogen and progestin hormone replacement therapy have increased their risk of developing progestin-accelerated breast tumors.

Researchers achieve major breakthrough with water desalination system
UCLA Engineering has achieved a major breakthrough with its new mini-mobile-modular (M3) smart water desalination and filtration system.

Common infant tumor has a Nox(4)ious requirement
Hemangiomas are the most common tumor of infancy. Research, to be published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, now provides new insight into the molecules that control hemangioma growth and indicates that inhibiting a key molecule, Nox4, substantially inhibits hemangioma growth in a mouse model.

How noise and nervous system get in way of reading skills
A child's brain has to work overtime in a noisy classroom to do its typical but very important job of distinguishing sounds whose subtle differences are key to success with language and reading.

Making the difficult task of transporting a child with special needs safer
New study by researchers from the Automotive Safety Program at Riley Hospital for Children and Indiana University School of Medicine published online July 13, 2009 in the journal Pediatrics reports that the parents of children with special health care needs are doing a good job with the selection of the appropriate child car seat but still need help in using it correctly.

New drugs faster from natural compounds: A UC San Diego breakthrough
A researcher isolates a natural compound with promising antimicrobial properties from ocean water.

Why African-Americans are at greater risk of hypertension and kidney disease
Physician-scientists from NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center believe that a heightened level a certain growth factor in the blood may explain why blacks have a greater prevalence of hypertension and kidney disease compared to whites.

UCLA scientists identify how immune cells may help predict Alzheimer's risk
UCLA scientists have discovered a way to measure the amount of amyloid beta that is being absorbed by immune cells in the blood.

Superconductivity: Which one of these is not like the other?
Superconductivity appears to rely on very different mechanisms in two varieties of iron-based superconductors.

2009 recipient of minority scholar award begins clinical research on leukemia
Alejandro Gutierrez, M.D., is the third recipient of the ASH-AMFDP grant, an award designed to help increase the number of underrepresented minority scholars in the field of hematology, and will begin his research into the pathogenesis of T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia this month.

Toxin detection as close as an inkjet printer
A method for printing a toxin-detecting biosensor on paper using a FujiFilm Dimatix Materials Printer is described in the July issue of Analytical Chemistry by researchers at McMaster University and the Sentinel Bioactive Paper Network.

'Show me the money!' MDA greenlights grants
Federal research funding is scarce, the Muscular Dystrophy Association reconfirms its multimillion dollar research commitment to fight against muscle diseases.

Promising medical trainees receive funding to pursue research in hematology
The American Society of Hematology announces the 2009 recipients of its Trainee Research Awards.

'Science Under Siege'
For more than 30 years, the Skeptical Inquirer has steadfastly championed science and reason, and has been the leading voice for reliable scientific examination of the paranormal and other questionable claims popularized by the media and mass culture.

House cats know what they want and how to get it from you
Anyone who has ever had cats knows how difficult it can be to get them to do anything they don't already want to do.

Stanford study of flies raises doubts about fasting leading to longer lives
Many studies indicate that caloric restriction extends life spans in fruit flies, mice and, most recently, rhesus monkeys, apparently by slowing the aging process.

Study by NTU professors provides important insight into apoptosis or programmed cell death
A study by Nanyang Technological University (NTU)'s Assistant Professor Li Hoi Yeung, Assistant Professor Koh Cheng Gee and their team have made an important contribution to the understanding of the process that cells go through when they die.

Study finds citrus-derived flavonoid prevents obesity
A flavonoid derived from citrus fruit has shown tremendous promise for preventing weight gain and other signs of metabolic syndrome which can lead to type 2 diabetes and increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

PTSD associated with higher Alzheimer's/dementia risk; moderate alcohol consumption may lower it
Though discoveries about Alzheimer's risk factors are often in the news, adults do not know about the relationship between Alzheimer's risk and heart health, nor that physical activity can be protective, according to new research reported at the Alzheimer's Association 2009 International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease.

Smoking associated with more rapid progression of multiple sclerosis
Patients with multiple sclerosis who smoke appear to experience a more rapid progression of their disease, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Herbicide diversity needed to keep Roundup effective
Using a diverse herbicide application strategy may increase production costs, but a five-year Purdue University study shows the practice will drastically reduce weeds and seeds that are resistant to a popular herbicide.

JCI online early table of contents: July 13, 2009
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, July 13, 2009, in the JCI:

Swedish researcher finds missing piece of fossil puzzle
The mode of reproduction seen in modern sharks is nearly 400 million years old.

Study estimates radiation dose, cancer risk from coronary artery calcium screening
A study based on computer modeling of radiation risk suggests that widespread screening for the buildup of calcium in the arteries using computed tomography scans would lead to an estimated 42 additional radiation-induced cancer cases per 100,000 men and 62 cases per 100,000 women, according to a report in the July 13 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Medical use for waste television screens
Researchers have found a way of recovering polyvinyl-alcohol from LCD television screens and transforming it into a substance suitable for use in tissue scaffolds which help parts of the body regenerate.

Stan Powell to receive 2009 AIAA Ground Testing Award
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics is pleased to announce that Stan Powell of the Aerospace Testing Alliance, Arnold Air Force Base, Tenn., has won the 2009 AIAA Ground Testing Award.

Climate change may spell demise of key salt marsh constituent
A key constituent in New England salt marshes may be imperiled by global warming, a new study has found.

Children of undocumented parents may be at higher developmental risk
A new study from UCLA examines parent's concerns about development, learning and behavior for young children of Mexican origin, and identifies whether these concerns differed by the families' citizenship or documentation status.

Higher education level, greater disability associated with treatment timing in Parkinson's disease
Individuals who have higher levels of education and who are more impaired by Parkinson's disease appear to require treatment for their symptoms earlier than do other patients, according to a report posted online today that will appear in the September print issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Hush little baby ... linking genes, brain and behavior in children
It comes as no surprise that some babies are more difficult to soothe than others but frustrated parents may be relieved to know that this is not necessarily an indication of their parenting skills.

Researchers identify individuals at risk for developing colon cancer
A new study identifies a group of individuals at increased risk for developing colon cancer and holds the promise for developing new tailored cancer treatments.

Active genes discovered in the developing mammal brain
New information about the genes involved in a mammal's early brain development, including those that contribute to neurological disorders such as autism and mental retardation, has been discovered in a research study led by Penn State biologists.

Facile synthesis of nanoparticles with multiple functions advanced in Singapore
Singapore's Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology has discovered a new environmentally friendly method to synthesize a wide variety of nanoparticles inexpensively.

Virtually engineering power plants
Photovoltaic and wind energy plants, hydroelectric power stations and biogas plants supply energy without polluting the environment.

NSF awards $2.5M grant to Antarctic research facility at Florida State
Times are tough, especially in the Sunshine State, but with a new, five-year, $2.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation, life is cooler than ever at the Antarctic Marine Geology Research Facility.

NOAA bans commercial harvesting of krill
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration today published a final rule in the Federal Register prohibiting the harvesting of krill in the Exclusive Economic Zone off the coasts of California, Oregon, and Washington.

Children's Hospital Oakland scientist characterizes new syndrome of allergy, apraxia, malabsorption
A landmark study conducted by Children's Hospital & Research Center Oakland is the first to reveal a new syndrome in children that presents with a combination of allergy, apraxia and malabsorption.

Astronomers, royalty, rock stars to inaugurate world's largest telescope
Four hundred years after Galileo first turned his handmade telescope toward the heavens, the world's largest, most technologically advanced telescope is set to make its formal debut.

U of A honored for research that could help 30 million Brazilians
The University of Alberta now has a permanent connection to the agricultural life of millions of people in a vast region of Brazil.

Elsevier launches official version of BrainNavigator
Elsevier announced today the launch of the official version of BrainNavigator, a neuroscience research tool developed in collaboration with the Allen Institute for Brain Science and under the editorship of Professor George Paxinos and Charles Watson, Prince of Wales Medical Research Institute, Sydney.

105-day Mars simulation: US studies focus on improving work performance
For 105 days, a six-man crew called an isolation chamber in Moscow their home.

White matter changes may predict dementia risk
Elderly people with no memory or thinking problems are more likely to later develop thinking problems if they have a growing amount of

Fluorescent probes may permit monitoring of chemotherapy effectiveness, Stanford study shows
Going out like a brilliant flame is one way to get attention.

Medicare expenditures decrease for glaucoma surgery as number of procedures increases
The overall number of glaucoma surgical procedures appears to be increasing, but payments by Medicare for the procedures have been decreasing, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Sex involved in plant defense
Why do some plants defend themselves from insect attacks better than others?

6 scientists receive awards for contributions to Alzheimer's disease research
The Alzheimer's Association recognized four scientists for their extraordinary achievements in advancing Alzheimer's research at its 2009 International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease in Vienna, Austria.

Physician groups support comparative effectiveness provisions in proposed legislation
The American College of Physicians today joined with two other physician groups to offer strong support for the Comparative Effectiveness Research provisions included in the Tri-Committee health reform bill about to be considered in the House.

Happier, healthier, more productive hens on omega-3?
Most of us are aware of the potential health benefits of omega-3 found in fish oil and flax seed.

Study: Bath time falls injure thousands of children annually
Bath time is a favorite ritual for many children, but parents need to take extra safety measures.

Novel gene found for dilated cardiomyopathy
Researchers in the Heart Institute at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center have discovered a novel gene responsible for heart muscle disease and chronic heart failure in some children and adults with dilated cardiomyopathy.

Novel drug discovery tool could identify promising new therapies for Parkinson's disease
Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have turned simple baker's yeast into a virtual army of medicinal chemists capable of rapidly searching for drugs to treat Parkinson's disease.

Active commuters have fewer heart disease risk factors
Men and women who walk or ride a bike to work appear more fit, and men are less likely to be overweight or obese and have healthier triglyceride levels, blood pressure and insulin levels, according to a report in the July 13 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Baylor researchers unravel mystery of DNA conformation
Nobel laureates Drs. Francis Crick and James Watson's first model of DNA is shown as a rigid double helix.

Girl well after transplanted heart removed
Hannah Clark -- who had a donor heart grafted onto her own after suffering heart failure as a baby -- has made a full recovery, after having the transplanted heart removed.

Research identifies successful new treatment for Hodgkin's lymphoma, reduces long-term risks
New research led by Cindy Schwartz, M.D., of Hasbro Children's Hospital has identified a new chemotherapy regimen for pediatric Hodgkin's lymphoma patients.

Queen's University study aims at early diagnosis for ADHD and Parkinson's disease
Eye movement tests developed by Queen's University researchers to aid in understanding childhood brain development and healthy aging may also help in the diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and detecting the early onset of Parkinson's disease.

Condoms associated with moderate protection against herpes simplex virus 2
Condom use is associated with a reduced risk of contracting herpes simplex virus 2, according to a report based on pooled analysis of data from previous studies in the July 13 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Scientists discover repulsive side to light force
A team of Yale University researchers has discovered a

New cases of Alzheimer's and dementia continue to rise, even in the 'oldest old'
The number of people with Alzheimer's, both new cases and total numbers, continues to rise among the oldest segments of the population in contradiction of the conventional wisdom, according to research reported at the Alzheimer's Association 2009 International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease.

DNA-damaged cells communicate with neighbors to let them know they're in trouble
When cells experiencing DNA damage fail to repair themselves, they send a signal to their neighbors letting them know they're in trouble.

AIAA to present awards at 45th Joint Propulsion Conference and 7th International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics will present the following awards at an awards luncheon at 12 noon on August 5 as part of the AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and the 7th International Energy Conversion Engineering Conference which are being held at Denver's Colorado Convention Center, Aug.

State privacy rules reduce electronic medical sharing by 24 percent, warns Management Insights
States that have passed privacy laws restricting the ability of hospitals to disclose patient information have seen the sharing of electronic medical records suffer by more than 24 percent, 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.

Leading pathogen in newborns can suppress immune cell function
Group B Streptococcus (GBS), a bacterial pathogen that causes sepsis and meningitis in newborn infants, is able to shut down immune cell function in order to promote its own survival, according to researchers at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine and the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences.

American Society of Hematology awards grants to encourage novel medical training programs
The American Society of Hematology announces that Ellis J. Neufeld, M.D., Ph.D., of Harvard Medical School, Thomas Shea, M.D., of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Alvin Schmaier, M.D., of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, will each receive ASH's Alternative Training Pathway grant this July.

Study may explain why HIV progresses faster in women than in men with same viral load
A Massachusetts General Hospital-based research team has found that a receptor molecule involved in the first-line recognition of HIV-1 responds to the virus differently in women, leading to subsequent differences in chronic T cell activation, a known predictor of disease progression.

July/August 2009 Annals of Family Medicine tip sheet
The tip sheet features highlights from the July/August 2009 issue of the peer-reviewed Annals of Family Medicine research journal, including articles about systematic and practice-level strategies for improving the care of patients with chronic conditions.

New lung cancer staging system revealed
For the first time in more than 10 years, the universally accepted lung cancer staging system has been revised to more accurately reflect the prognosis for patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

Perimeter Institute's Freddy Cachazo wins major international prize
Perimeter Institute faculty member Freddy Cachazo has been awarded the prestigious Gribov Medal from the European Physical Society,

Viewing child porn not a risk factor for future sex offenses
For people without a prior conviction for a hands-on sex offense, the consumption of child pornography alone does not, in itself, seem to represent a risk factor for committing such an offense.

Grant encourages protected research time for medical fellows
The American Society of Hematology announces the five 2009 recipients of the ASH Research Training Award for Fellows, a grant that encourages junior researchers to pursue careers in academic hematology by supporting protected time to conduct research during their fellowship training.

What are the most effective ways of promoting physical exercise in adults?
A study published this week in the open access journal PLoS Medicine has found that of six interventions promoting exercise in adults in Australia, encouraging the use of pedometers -- simple step counting devices that can be used as a motivational tool -- and promoting physical activity through mass media campaigns are the most cost-effective in terms of the money spent for the health benefits they result in.

Certain type of implanted lenses may be a treatment option for some patients with nearsightedness
Implantable lenses made of a collagen-like substance appear to provide stable correction of moderate to high nearsightedness over four years of follow-up, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Building memories with actin
Memories aren't made of actin filaments. But their assembly is crucial for long-term potentiation (LTP), an increase in synapse sensitivity that researchers think helps to lay down memories.

6 researchers to receive prestigious awards from the American Society of Hematology
The American Society of Hematology, the world's largest professional society of blood specialists, will honor six scientists who have made significant contributions to the understanding of hematologic diseases.

Improving mouse heart function following heart attack
One approach being developed as a way to improve heart function following heart attack is the injection of heart stem/progenitor cells directly into the heart.

Childhood obesity link to parents
The relationships between children and their parent of the same gender in the earliest years of life could be the key to understanding why some young people become obese and others do not, new research conducted by the EarlyBird Diabetes Study has shown.

News from Cancer
In this issue:

Mystery E. coli genes essential for survival of many species
Scientists have shown that E. coli -- one of the best known and extensively studied organisms in the world -- remains an enigma that may hold the key to human diseases, such as cancer.

'Lipstick on a pig' -- tracking the life and death of news
By observing the global flow of news online, Cornell computer scientists have managed to track and analyze the

Physicists from 25 countries meeting at K-State to discuss ultrafast laser research
The first Attosecond Physics Conference took place in 2007 in Dresden, Germany, at the Max Planck Institute for Complex Systems.

New technique could save cancer patients' fertility
The tiny egg nestled in the laboratory gel was a mere 30 days old, but its four-week birthday caused researchers to quietly celebrate.

Researchers gain insight into mechanism underlying Huntington's
University of Kentucky researchers have gained new insight into the genetic mechanisms underlying Huntington's disease and other trinucleotide repeat (TNR) disorders, identifying a novel DNA repair pathway that specifically targets TNR hairpin removal in the daughter DNA strand.

Arizona researchers to sequence West African rice strain
A $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation will allow University of Arizona researchers to unlock the genetic code of West African cultivated rice.

Dynamic molecular mechanism to keep brain activity stable
In the brain, many types of synaptic proteins are spatio-temporally regulated to maintain synaptic activity at a constant level.

Australia's top models at science conference
Australia's top models will take center stage in Cairns this week as scientists meet to discuss ways to understand climate change, improve air safety and enhance agricultural sustainability.

Couples who cohabit before engagement are more likely to struggle
University of Denver researchers find that couples who live together before they are engaged have a higher chance of getting divorced than those who wait until they are married to live together, or at least wait until they are engaged.

Probiotics help gastric-bypass patients lose weight more quickly, Stanford study shows
New research from the Stanford University School of Medicine and Stanford Hospital & Clinics suggests that the use of a dietary supplement after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery can help obese patients to more quickly lose weight and to avoid deficiency of a critical B vitamin.

Neuroimaging suggests that truthfulness requires no act of will for honest people
Scientists at Harvard University have found that honest people show no additional neural activity when telling the truth.

Design tool for materials with a memory
Shape memory alloys can

Promising hematologists begin year-long program to pursue careers in clinical research
Twenty hematology and hematology/oncology fellows and junior faculty will begin a unique year-long education and mentoring program this summer as part of the American Society of Hematology Clinical Research Training Institute.

New method may accelerate drug discovery for difficult diseases like Parkinson's
Whitehead Institute scientists have developed a rapid, inexpensive drug-screening method that could be used to target diseases that until now have stymied drug developers, such as Parkinson's disease.

Pesticide levels in blood linked to Parkinson's disease, UT Southwestern researchers find
People with Parkinson's disease have significantly higher blood levels of a particular pesticide than healthy people or those with Alzheimer's disease, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found. 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