Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 14, 2009
Preserving fertility and origins of disease focus of briefings at international meeting
Chronic diseases in adulthood, causes of infertility, the impact of genetics on reproduction -- all are influenced by what happens in the womb.

New map hints at Venus's wet, volcanic past
Venus Express has charted the first map of Venus's southern hemisphere at infrared wavelengths.

New technique could sustain cancer patients' fertility
Researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have completed a critical first step in the eventual development of a technique to retain fertility in women with cancer who require treatments that might otherwise make them unable to have children.

U of M researchers find childhood cancer risk rises with mother's age
Research from the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, indicates that a baby born to an older mother may have a slightly increased risk for many of the cancers that occur during childhood.

LincRNAs serve as genetic air-traffic controllers
A scientific team from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and the Broad Institute shows that lincRNAs -- once dismissed as

Safely on the move
How can rescue units be better protected during disaster operations or avalanche victims be found quicker?

The minerals on Mars influence the measuring of its temperature
A team of researchers from the CSIC-INTA Astrobiology Centre in Madrid has confirmed that the type of mineralogical composition on the surface of Mars influences the measuring of its temperature.

Avoiding hysterectomy: Major interventional radiology E-collection info available
For the first time, the Society of Interventional Radiology has assembled a major electronic collection of professional articles about uterine artery embolization, a treatment directed toward a number of conditions involving the uterus -- most often adverse health effects that may occur due to the presence of uterine fibroids.

Reviews of microbial gene language published in special issue of Trends in Microbiology
The Gene Ontology is a powerful language that gives researchers a shared vocabulary to describe disease-related and beneficial interactions between a microbe and its host.

NASA's Fermi finds gamma-ray galaxy surprises
Back in June 1991, just before the launch of NASA's Compton Gamma-Ray Observatory, astronomers knew of gamma rays from exactly one galaxy beyond our own.

Negligible impact on public safety from shark cage diving operations
A study by five university researchers, including four from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, concludes that existing shark cage diving enterprises in Hawaii have a negligible effect on public safety.

The ultimate brow lift: HDAC8 in the epigenetic control of skull morhpgenesis
In the July 15 cover story of G&D, a research team led by Dr.

Breakthrough in 3-D brain mapping enables removal of fist-sized tumor
A new technology involving the fusion of four different types of images into a 3-D map of a patient's brain has helped University of Cincinnati specialists successfully remove a fist-sized tumor from the brain of an Indiana woman.

K-State scientist receives grant from National Institutes of Health to research cataracts
Research at Kansas State University is investigating the molecular composition of cataracts in hopes of developing a nonsurgical method to prevent or reverse the eye disease.

Study finds survival rates from gastrointestinal tumors improving among African-Americans
New research published in the July issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons reveals that African-Americans with gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST), a rare cancer that begins in the wall of the gastrointestinal tract, now have survival rates equivalent to those of Caucasians.

Ben-Gurion U discovers drug can prevent epilepsy following traumatic brain injury
The researchers prevent brain changes leading to epilepsy in rats treating with drug that blocks transforming growth factor-beta receptor.

AADR releases its statement on oral health care within health care reform
On July 14, the American Association for Dental Research released its policy statement titled

Elsevier partners with the Royal Colleges of Surgeons of Edinburgh and Ireland
Elsevier, a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, is pleased to announce the formation of a publishing partnership with the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland.

Reintroduced Chinese alligators now multiplying in the wild in China
The Wildlife Conservation Society announced today that critically endangered alligators in China have a new chance for survival.

Simulating medical situations helps students learn, retain basic science concepts
Simulating medical scenarios helps medical students learn and retain vital information, according to a new study done by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

UCSD scientists shed 'light' on growing semiconductor quandary
UC San Diego scientists are using laser plasma-produced light sources to explore performance improvements of critical inspection tools for the semiconductor industry, which ultimately will enable industry to pursue even better and faster chips

K-State plant pathologists develop online teaching modules used globally
Sparsely stocked libraries, scarce and expensive software, and even a lack of materials in students' native languages are barriers to training plant pathologists in resource-poor regions.

Stealthy gene network makes brain tumors flourish
The brain tumor afflicting Sen. Edward Kennedy -- a glioblastoma -- is the most aggressive form of brain cancer.

2 Brookhaven Lab scientists receive Presidential Early Career Awards
Two scientists at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory -- Jason Graetz and Paul Sorensen -- were among 100 researchers who were named recipients of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the US government on young professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

Memory test and PET scans detect early signs of Alzheimer's
A large study of patients with mild cognitive impairment revealed that cognitive tests and brain scans can work as an early warning system for the subsequent development of Alzheimer's disease.

Mathematics taking guesswork out of plastic surgery tissue transfer
Plastic surgeons are turning to mathematics to take the guesswork out of efforts to ensure that live tissue segments that are selected to restore damaged body parts will have enough blood and oxygen to survive the surgical transfer.

NIH expands national consortium for transforming clinical and translational research
Clinical and Translational Science Awards will be made to seven more academic health centers, bringing the consortium to 46 member institutions, the National Center for Research Resources, part of the National Institutes of Health, announced today.

MIT: Adult brain changes with unsuspected speed
The human brain can adapt to changing demands even in adulthood, but MIT neuroscientists have now found evidence of it changing with unsuspected speed.

Surviving mass extinction by leading a double life
Drifting across the world's oceans are a group of unicellular marine microorganisms that are not only a crucial source of food for other marine life -- but their fossils, which are found in abundance, provide scientists with an extraordinary record of climatic change and other major events in the history of the Earth.

Was SIDS the cause of infant deaths even 150 years ago?
Nineteenth century infant deaths attributed to smothering and overlaying, by either a co-sleeper or bedding, were in all likelihood crib deaths, or sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).

Munich researchers discover new target for tailored antibiotics
More and more strains of bacteria are developing resistance to previously life-saving antibiotics.

Study demonstrates the anti-inflammatory properties of pine bark extract
A recent study published in International Immunopharmacology, reveals why Pycnogenol, an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, is effective for reducing inflammation and soothing pain associated with various health problems.

Wood stoves -- a viable home heat source?
In Canada and the United States, wood burning stoves have been reevaluated as a potentially viable option for home heating.

Understanding the process of homosexual identity formation among Asian and Pacific Islander youth
The process of homosexual identity formation among Asian and Pacific Islander youth, where the role of family life, personal sacrifice for family tranquility and generational clashes are central social stresses, has led researchers at Boston University's School of Social Work to develop a new intellectual framework for the development of positive/sexual identities for this Asian-American group.

LSUHSC's Bazan awarded ARRA grant to preserve vision
Haydee Bazan, Ph.D., professor of ophthalmology at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Medicine, has been awarded a $710,000 grant over two years by the National Institutes of Health to advance her research on potential therapeutic approaches to heal corneal injuries.

Context is key: Differential PI3K signaling and consequences for targeted therapy
In the July 15 issue of G&D, Dr. Suzanne Baker (St.

New isotope cluster could lead to better understanding of atmospheric carbon dioxide
A team of researchers has discovered an unexpected concentration of a certain isotopic molecule in parts of the stratosphere that could have implications for understanding the carbon cycle and its response to climate change.

Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology increases impact, international reach
The Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology's quality and influence has remained consistently high over the past five years, and the increase in its impact factor to 2.217 in 2008 ranks JVIR in the top half of 90 radiology, nuclear medicine and medical imaging journals.

$29.4 million grant establishes CTSI at NYU in partnership with Health and Hospitals Corporation
NYU and NYU School of Medicine received a $29.4 million, five-year Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health to establish a University-wide Clinical & Translational Science Institute in partnership with the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation.

Researchers map how staph infections alter immune system
Infectious disease specialists at UT Southwestern Medical Center have mapped the gene profiles of children with severe Staphylococcus aureus infections, providing crucial insight into how the human immune system is programmed to respond to this pathogen and opening new doors for improved therapeutic interventions.

United we stand; divided we fall
In the July 15 issue of G&D, Dr. Roberto Kolter (Harvard Medical School) and colleagues make the unprecedented observation of paracrine signaling during Bacillus subtilis biofilm formation.

Turbulence responsible for black holes' balancing act
New simulations reveal that turbulence created by jets of material ejected from the disks of the Universe's largest black holes is responsible for halting star formation.

Study catches 2 bird populations as they split into separate species
A new study finds that a change in a single gene has sent two closely related bird populations on their way to becoming two distinct species.

Study pinpoints drugs that prevent epilepsy, seizures after severe brain injury
According to one theory, severe head injury causes leaks in the blood-brain barrier that allow entry of serum albumen, which triggers epilepsy and seizures.

Indiana reflects national trend as geography literacy declines
Despite increased support for K-12 geography education over a 15-year period, geography knowledge among Indiana college freshmen has not improved.

Scientists report first remote, underwater detection of harmful algae, toxins
Scientists at NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute have successfully conducted the first remote detection of a harmful algal species and its toxin below the ocean's surface.

'Copernicium' proposed as name for newly discovered element 112
In honor of scientist and astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543), the discovering team around Professor Sigurd Hofmann suggested the name

Top prize for Islamic insurance research
A University of Nottingham student has won a major international award for a pioneering investigation into the Islamic business world.

Flexible neck in cell-receptor DC-SIGN targets more pathogens
New findings from a research team led by University of Illinois chemist Deborah Leckband show that flexibility in the region near the binding sites of DC-SIGN plays a significant role in pathogen targeting and binding.

NASA sees Carlos power back up to hurricane status in 3-D
NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite has been capturing images of Carlos since it was born as tropical depression 4E last week.

Reminder program dramatically increases mammography rates, Kaiser Permanente study finds
A reminder program aimed at screening for breast cancer when it is most treatable boosted mammography rates by more than 17 percentage points, according to a new study by Kaiser Permanente's Center for Health Research in the August issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

New theory on why male, female lemurs same size
Rice University biologists are offering a new theory for the long-standing mystery of why male lemurs are no larger than females.

Capturing images in nontraditional way may benefit AF
AFOSR-funded research in imaging may lead to advancements for the US Air Force in data encryption and wide-area photography with high resolution.

Concrete columns with internal bars made of glass fibers can make a building sturdier
A new study demonstrates that the behavior of fiber reinforced polymer reinforced concrete columns is very similar to that of the conventional steel counterpart.

GenWay Biotech obtains CLIA certification
GenWay has advanced from developing immunodiagnostic tests to also providing testing services with their own CLIA certified laboratory.

Best energy harvesting sources for future AF UAVs
Dye-sensitized solar cells are expected to power Air Force unmanned aerial vehicles in the future because they are an optimum energy harvesting source that may lead to longer flight times without refueling.

Stopping harmful oral bacteria in its path is goal for Case Western Reserve researcher
Yiping Han, associate professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine, aims to understand how to build roadblocks for a common bacterium that's harmless in a mother's mouth but can turn deadly when it reaches an unborn child.

Early life experience linked to chronic diseases later in life: UBC research
People's early life experience sticks with them into adulthood and may render them more susceptible to many of the chronic diseases of aging, according to a new UBC study.

Mount Sinai receives $34.6 million clinical and translational research award from NIH
The National Institutes of Health announced today that Mount Sinai School of Medicine has received a Clinical and Translational Research Award for $34.6 million over the next five years.

Survey finds surgical residents view duty hour regulations as a hindrance to training
Results of a survey published in the July issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons show that a large subset of surgical residents consider duty hour regulations a significant barrier to their surgical education and express a desire for flexibility to work longer hours than current restrictions allow.

Smaller plants punch above their weight in the forest, say Queen's biologists
New findings from Queen's University biologists show that in the plant world, bigger isn't necessarily better.

Research identifies network of altered genes that appear to play role in development of brain tumors
The interaction between a network of altered genes appears to play an important role in the development and progression of brain tumors, according to a study in the July 15 issue of JAMA.

Ben-Gurion U. researchers identify how stressed fat tissue malfunctions
Fat tissue dysfunction is caused by obesity-induced fat tissue stress: Cells over-grow as they store fat which may cause decreased oxygen delivery into the tissue; individual cells may die (at least in mouse models), and fat tissue inflammation ensues.

U. of I. education expert: Community colleges undervalued, underfunded
Education professor Debra Bragg says that community colleges are an underfunded community asset and an invaluable resource for first-generation college students, low-skilled adult workers and immigrants aspiring to enter college, and downsized workers and mid-career changers transitioning to a recession-proof career.

Collision catalyzes Cordilleran orogeny
This new Special Paper from the Geological Society of America describes an iconoclastic model for the Cretaceous-Tertiary development of the Cordilleran orogen.

More 'McBang' for your 'McBuck'
TAU's Dr. Itai Ater recently conducted a case study of the McDonald's Dollar Menu and argues that clever pricing, and the ability to spread that pricing across all the chain restaurant's franchise outlets, is a key component in McDonald's continuing business success.

News release: Radiation exposure, tracking and dose reduction
The latest post-9/11 standards for tracking radioactive materials, the long-term trends in radiation exposure to physicians and the public, and some of the latest ideas for minimizing medical radiation dosage to children, adults, and health professionals will be discussed at the upcoming meeting of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine, which takes place from July 26-30, 2009, in Anaheim, Calif.

Repair of heart defect discovered incidentally during surgery may not have clear benefit
Patients who have a heart defect known as patent foramen ovale incidentally discovered and repaired during surgery for a different condition may have an increased odds of postoperative stroke, along with no clear benefit on short-term outcomes or long-term survival, according to a study in the July 15 issue of JAMA.

Global warming: Our best guess is likely wrong
No one knows exactly how much Earth's climate will warm due to carbon emissions, but a new study this week suggests scientists' best predictions about global warming might be incorrect.

Media invited to ACS Webinar on financing tips for start-ups and small businesses
News media covering chemical sciences, small business and entrepreneurships are invited to join an American Chemical Society Small & Medium Business Webinar on opportunities for creating small business ventures for professionals, scientists and entrepreneurs.

Addiction scientists call for end to executions for drug offenders
The death penalty for those convicted of drug trafficking and other drug-related offenses should be abolished as it is both ineffective as a policy measure and a violation of human rights.

Eliminating polio requires global, coordinated effort -- Health Affairs article highlights risks, rewards of eradication
The July-August issue of Health Affairs, supported by a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, is a thematic volume that addresses the challenges of global health care delivery.

Study explains potential failure of oral contraceptives with obese women
Researchers have identified a potential biological mechanism that could explain why oral contraceptives may be less effective at preventing pregnancy in obese women, as some epidemiological studies have indicated.

Obesity contributes to rapid cartilage loss
Obesity, among other factors, is strongly associated with an increased risk of rapid cartilage loss, according to a new study.

UF gets nearly $26 million to speed scientific discoveries to patient care
In winning a competitive National Institutes of Health's Clinical and Translational Science Award, the University of Florida joins a prestigious national consortium of medical research institutions working to speed the transformation of scientific discoveries into medical advances for patients.

Experts critique JAMA studies on brain cancer linked to altered genes
The authors of a JAMA editorial critiquing new brain-cancer studies published in the same issue say the work represents the vanguard of a still-changing field of DNA analysis.

Drug rescues memory lost to Alzheimer's disease
A drug similar to one used in clinical trials for treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis has been found to rescue memory in mice exhibiting Alzheimer's symptoms.

Mayo Clinic study continues to refine most effective methods to predict Alzheimer's disease
A new Mayo Clinic study found that the clinical criteria for mild cognitive impairment is better at predicting who will develop Alzheimer's disease than a single memory test.

$20 million NIH grant to transform clinical research at UIC
The National Institutes of Health has awarded a five-year $20 million grant to the University of Illinois at Chicago's Center for Clinical and Translational Science.

Brain imaging and proteins in spinal fluid may improve Alzheimer's prediction and diagnosis
Changes in the brain measured with MRI and PET scans, combined with memory tests and detection of risk proteins in body fluids, may lead to earlier and more accurate diagnosis of Alzheimer's, according to new research reported today at the Alzheimer's Association 2009 International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease in Vienna.

Better estimates of flu virus severity needed, say experts
Accurate estimates of the severity of the new H1N1 virus, and in particular how many deaths might arise over the course of the pandemic, are central to health-care planning over the coming months, say experts in a paper published on today.

IQ explains part of difference in heart disease between people of high and low socioeconomic status
A unique study looking at the difference in cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke) and life expectancy between people of high and low socioeconomic status has found that a person's IQ may have a role to play.

The last supper of the hominids establishes the times they lived at the sites
In the French cave of Arago, an international team of scientists has analyzed the dental wear of the fossils of herbivorous animals hunted by Homo heidelbergensis.

Hormone therapy use associated with increased risk of ovarian cancer
Compared with women who have never taken hormone therapy, those who currently take it or who have taken it in the past are at increased risk of ovarian cancer, regardless of the duration of use, the formulation, estrogen dose, regimen or route of administration, according to a study in the July 15 issue of JAMA.

Brazil proves developing countries can use generic medicines to fight HIV/AIDS epidemic
Researchers from Brown University, the Harvard School of Public Health, the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation, and the University of Edinburgh say Brazil's push for inexpensive, low-cost HIV and AIDS treatments has helped contain the virus during the last 20 years.

First near-total human face transplant for a severely disfigured patient
The procedures behind the near-total face transplant undergone by US citizen Connie Culp are detailed in an article published online first and in an upcoming edition of the Lancet.

Flu mortality formula is potentially misleading, say scientists
A standard calculation used in forecasting potential numbers of deaths during the swine flu pandemic risks misleading health-care planners by being open to both over- and under-estimation of the true figures, say the authors of new research published today in the British Medical Journal.

New: Interventional radiology coding users' guide
The 2009 Interventional Radiology Coding Users' Guide, a comprehensive resource for endovascular and interventional procedures and services, is now available in both book and CD formats.

Hospital workers smoking -- only the most addicted flout the rules
A survey of staff at Addenbrooke's hospital has shown that those who break the smoke-free policy are generally more addicted than those who respect it. 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