Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 15, 2009
Childhood adversity may affect processing in the brain's reward pathways
Childhood adversity is associated diminished activation in the regions the brain that anticipate reward, according to a new study from psychologists at Harvard University.

Who am I? Adolescents' replies depend on others
Ask middle-school students if they are popular or make friends easily, they likely will depend on social comparisons with their peers for an answer.

Internists note 'close alignment' with policies in America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009
The president of the American College of Physicians (ACP) today told the chairmen of the House Ways and Means, Energy and Commerce, and Education and Labor Committees that America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009, H.R.

Laser technology creates new forms of metal and enhances aircraft performance
AFOSR-funded researchers at the University of Rochester are using laser light technology that will help the military create new forms of metal that may guide, attract and repel liquids and cool small electronic devices.

Primate archaeology sheds light on human origins
University of Calgary archaeologist Julio Mercader is joining his colleagues in establishing a discipline devoted to the history of tool use in nonhuman primate species in order to better understand human evolution.

Phase 3 Alzheimer's drug increases toxic beta amyloid in the brain -- but still provides benefits
New insights into how a Phase III Alzheimer's drug might work were among the advances in potential therapies targeting two brain proteins -- amyloid and tau -- reported today at the Alzheimer's Association 2009 International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease in Vienna.

Social reasoning and brain development are linked in preschoolers -- Queen's study
New research at Queen's University shows that the way preschool children understand false beliefs can be linked to particular aspects of brain development.

From Oprah to opulence: New book examines weighty issues
This highly readable reference book, co-authored by one of the nation's leading experts on obesity, examines the many facets of the complex, age-old health problem.

Environmental factors instruct lineage choice of blood progenitor cells
The research team led by Dr. Timm Schroeder, stem cell researcher at Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen, has developed a new bioimaging method for observing the differentiation of hematopoietic progenitor cells (HPC) at the single-cell level.

Capturing CO2 in a bowl
The accidental discovery of a bowl-shaped molecule that pulls carbon dioxide out of the air suggests exciting new possibilities for dealing with global warming, including genetically engineering microbes to manufacture those CO2

Trojan horse for ovarian cancer -- nanoparticles turn immune system soldiers against tumor cells
Dartmouth Medical School immunologists have devised a Trojan horse to help overcome ovarian cancer, unleashing a surprise killer in the surroundings of a hard-to-treat tumor.

UM School of Nursing and Health Studies receives 2 grants to support nursing students
The University of Miami School of Nursing and Health Studies has received two grants totaling over $60,000 from the Department of Health and Human Services' Health Resources and Services Administration.

Integrated Biobank of Luxembourg gears up
The Phoenix-based Translational Genomics Research Institute and Luxembourg partnership involves several projects to help the Grand Duchy become one of Europe's leading biomedical centers.

Study sheds light on social brain development
Children develop social skills by learning how to understand others' thoughts and feelings, or their theory of mind.

Rejection for $500, please: Money and its symbolic powers
When we are feeling blue we are told to count our blessings, but according to a study recently published in Psychological Science, counting our money might be a more useful activity.

FSU scientists unveil new seasonal hurricane forecasting model
Scientists at the Florida State University's Center for Ocean-Atmospheric Prediction Studies have developed a new computer model that they hope will predict with unprecedented accuracy how many hurricanes will occur in a given season.

New map of genomic variations will enable disease research
Genetics researchers have unveiled a powerful new resource for scientists and health providers studying human illnesses -- a reference standard of deletions and duplications of DNA found in the human genome.

St. Jude scientists discover a new mechanism controlling neuronal migration
The molecular machinery that helps brain cells migrate to their correct place in the developing brain has been identified by scientists at St.

Young physicians selected for prestigious national fellowship to lead transformation of health care
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program is pleased to announce the selection of 29 young physicians who will learn to conduct innovative research and work with communities, organizations, practitioners and policy-makers on issues important to the health and well-being of all Americans.

Tweens sensitive to others' perceptions of them
In a new study using brain-mapping techniques, early adolescents and young adults responded to researchers' questions about whether short phrases (such as

Circulating blood cells are important predictors of cancer spread in children
Endothelial progenitor cells may play a role in the start and progression of metastatic disease in children with cancer, according to study results published in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Study reveals major genetic differences between blood and tissue cells
Research by a group of Montreal scientists calls into question one of the most basic assumptions of human genetics: that when it comes to DNA, every cell in the body is essentially identical to every other cell.

Professor receives government's highest honor for young engineers, scientists
Yu Huang, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, has been named a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor given by the United States government to young engineers and scientists at the outset of their professional careers.

Sunitinib shows promising results in advanced kidney cancer patients with poor prognosis
Sunitinib prolongs progression-free and overall survival, and is safe and well tolerated in advanced kidney cancer (metastatic renal cell carcinoma) patients with a poor prognosis such as the elderly and those whose cancer has spread to the brain, finds an article published online first and in the August edition of the Lancet Oncology.

Fighting drug-resistant flu viruses
Amid reports that swine flu viruses are developing the ability to shrug off existing antiviral drugs, scientists in Japan are reporting a first-of-its kind discovery that could foster a new genre of antivirals that sidestep resistance problems, according to an article scheduled for the July 23 issue of the ACS' Journal of the Medicinal Chemistry, a bi-weekly publication.

Springer offers free access to research articles on swine flu
Springer Science+Business Media is offering all journal articles which deal with the H1N1 virus, or swine flu, free of charge on its online information platform www.springerlink.com.

Disclosing genetic risk for Alzheimer's disease does not cause psychological distress
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine have shown that disclosing genetic risk information to adult children of patients with Alzheimer's disease who request this information does not result in significant short-term psychological distress.

Touch typists could help stop spammers in their tracks
Computer scientists have turned a tedious manual labeling task into an online multiplayer game which can help businesses tackle spammers.

Keeping a 'trained eye' on the James Webb Space Telescope
Recently, a mock-up of the OTE's Primary Mirror Backplane Assembly, which supports the James Webb Space Telescope's mirror segments, was used to simulate how the element frame will be handled when the actual components of the telescope are being assembled.

Parts of brain involved in social cognition may be in place by age 6
By scanning the brains of children ages 6 to 11 as they listened to children's stories, researchers have for the first time investigated brain regions associated with social cognition in human children.

ASTRO issues consensus statement on using APBI to treat breast cancer
The American Society for Radiation Oncology has published a consensus statement outlining patient selection criteria and best practices for the use of accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) outside the context of a clinical trial in the July 15 issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology, Biology, Physics, the official journal of ASTRO.

Nearly 1 in 5 university students experienced violence in last 6 months: UBC study
While attending university, men are equally likely as women to have been victims of physical or emotional violence, and that violence is often linked to drinking, according to a new study led by University of British Columbia researcher Elizabeth Saewyc.

$14 million to train the next generation of biomedical researchers at McGill and the MUHC
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research, recognizing the importance of the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Center and McGill University in the international competition to achieve scientific excellence.

Complete fluke? Genome sequencers crack parasite genome
Researchers have today published the complete genome sequence of the Schistosoma mansoni, a parasitic worm, which each year causes 280,000 deaths in sub-Saharan Africa alone.

Researcher investigates the basis of Einstein's first approximation in the theory of relativity
In his discussion of accelerated motion on page 60 of

Wastewater used to map illicit drug use
A team of researchers has mapped patterns of illicit drug use across the state of Oregon using a method of sampling municipal wastewater before it is treated.

MGH study identifies first molecular steps to childhood leukemia
A Massachusetts General Hospital-based research team has identified how a chromosomal abnormality known to be associated with acute lymphoblastic leukemia -- the most common cancer in children -- initiates the disease process.

New evidence that popular dietary supplement may help prevent, treat cataracts
Researchers are reporting evidence from tissue culture experiments that the popular dietary supplement carnosine may help to prevent and treat cataracts, a clouding of the lens of the eye that is a leading cause of vision loss worldwide.

Academic disengagement more common for US teens than Chinese
A longitudinal study of more than 800 Chinese and American students over 7th and 8th grades has found that academic disengagement is greater for American teens than for Chinese teens.

Market-style incentives to increase school choice have opposite effect
A University of Illinois education professor has found that a market-based approach to increasing school choice actually leads to fewer educational opportunities, particularly for disadvantaged students in urban areas.

Vitamin D, curcumin may help clear amyloid plaques found in Alzheimer's disease
UCLA scientists and colleagues from UC Riverside and the Human BioMolecular Research Institute have found that a form of vitamin D, together with a chemical found in turmeric spice called curcumin, may help stimulate the immune system to clear the brain of amyloid beta, which forms the plaques considered the hallmark of Alzheimer's disease.

A ticking bomb: Novel UCLA procedure treats high-risk aortic aneurysms
UCLA pioneered a new hybrid technique to treat aortic aneurysms in high-risk patients called CESA (combined endovascular and surgical approach).

University of Michigan survey: Ask permission to use newborn data, parents say
More than three-quarters of parents would be willing to allow the use of their children's newborn screening samples for research, a new survey shows.

UCSF researchers help crack parasite genome, identify drug leads
Two UCSF research papers this week are marking major breakthroughs in the effort to tackle schistosomiasis (bilharzia), a tropical disease that infects more than 200 million people worldwide and causes long-term debilitating illness and occasional paralysis or death.

Brain response to information about the future suggests that ignorance isn't bliss
New research demonstrates that single neurons in the reward center of the brain process not only primitive rewards but also more abstract, cognitive rewards related to the quest for information about the future.

Focusing HIV treatment helps control concurrent hepatitis B infection
Prolonged use of highly active antiretroviral therapy to treat people infected with both HIV and hepatitis B helps to better control the hepatitis B infection and could delay or prevent liver complications, according to a new study by researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

Parents fail to recognize their children's burgeoning weight
Despite constant warnings about childhood obesity, too many Australian parents are still oblivious to the fact their children are overweight, according to the findings of the national MBF Healthwatch survey.

3 named 2009 Michael D. Hayre fellows in public outreach by AMP
The importance of animal research to medical progress will be highlighted in projects by three graduate students selected as Michael D.

Incubator network created at Mission Bay to support new biotechs
The California Institute of Quantitative Biosciences has joined with the City of San Francisco and FibroGen Inc. to launch the QB3 Mission Bay Incubator Network, to spur growth in the bioscience industry.

Blind can take wheel with vehicle designed by university engineering design team
A retrofitted four-wheel dirt buggy developed by the Blind Driver Challenge team from Virginia Tech's Robotics and Mechanisms Laboratory uses laser range finders, an instant voice command interface and a host of other innovative, cutting-edge technology to guide blind drivers as they steer, brake and accelerate.

New genetic study of Asperger syndrome, autistic traits and empathy
Scientists from the University of Cambridge have identified 27 genes that are associated with either Asperger syndrome and/or autistic traits and/or empathy.

Possible dinosaur burrows clues to survival strategies
Internationally renowned paleontologist and Monash University Honorary Research Associate, Dr.

Magazine touts NJIT idea to harness clean energy for NYC
An NJIT architecture professor with an architecture student has designed a network of modular floating docks to harness clean energy for New York City.

Primitive asteroids in the main asteroid belt may have formed far from the sun
Many of the objects found today in the asteroid belt located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter may have formed in the outermost reaches of the solar system, according to an international team of astronomers led by scientists from Southwest Research Institute.

Surprising new insights into the repair strategies of DNA
A microscopic single-celled organism, adapted to survive in some of the harshest environments on Earth, could help scientists gain a better understanding of how cancer cells behave.

Alzheimer's risk: Would you want to know?
When people learn they are predisposed to Alzheimer's disease, any depression or anxiety is not long lasting, a new study indicates.

DACH1 a key protein for tumor suppression in ER+ breast cancer
Researchers from the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson have identified a protein relationship that may be an ideal treatment target for ER+ breast cancer.

Timing is everything: Growth factor keeps brain development on track
Just like a conductor cueing musicians in an orchestra, Fgf10, a member of the fibroblast growth factor (Ffg) family of morphogens, lets brain stem cells know that the moment to get to work has arrived, ensuring that they hit their first developmental milestone on time, report scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in the July 16, 2009, edition of the journal Neuron.

How the moon got its stripes
A new study has revealed the origins of tiger stripes and a subsurface ocean on Enceladus -- one of Saturn's many moons.

New insect on Balearic Islands
After 10 years of biochemical and molecular analysis of the Tyrrhenoleuctra plecoptera that live in the Western Mediterranean, Spanish and Italian scientists have now demonstrated that one of the insect populations of this group is a distinct and, therefore, new species.

UM Rosenstiel School's Aplysia summer research program heats up
Scientists at the National Resource for Aplysia, on the campus of University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science received an ARRA grant from the National Center for Research Resources of the NIH.

Duke, UNC scientists create entirely new way to study brain function
Scientists at Duke University and the University of North Carolina have devised a chemical technique that promises to allow neuroscientists to discover the function of any population of neurons in an animal brain, and provide clues to treating and preventing brain disease.

Developing a safer form of acetaminophen
Scientists in Louisiana are reporting development of a process for producing large batches of a new and potentially safer form of acetaminophen, the widely used pain-reliever now the source of growing concern over its potentially toxic effects on the liver.

Scientists decode genome of deadly parasitic worm
Scientists have sequenced the genome of the parasite that causes intestinal schistosomiasis, a devastating tropical disease that afflicts more than 200 million people in the developing world.

Genomes of parasitic flatworms decoded
Two international research teams have determined the complete genetic sequences of two species of parasitic flatworms that cause schistosomiasis, a debilitating condition also known as snail fever.

The man who introduced Darwin to beetles
One of the most important biographical sources for the life of Charles Darwin are the letters and diaries of Darwin's cousin William Darwin Fox.

Study to assess hip exercises as treatment for osteoarthritis in the knee joints
Researchers at Rush University Medical Center are testing a novel regimen of hip-muscle exercises to decrease the load on the knee joints in patients with osteoarthritis.

Foster care may boost brain activity of institutionalized children
A longitudinal study of 200 Romanian children between the ages of 5 months and 42 months shows the effects of institutionalization on brain and behavioral development.

Can children outgrow chronic daily headache?
Most children who suffer from chronic daily headache may outgrow the disabling condition, according to research published in the July 15, 2009, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Indigenous health experts reject MP's call for removal of alcohol restriction
Leading medical researchers from Australia's George Institute for International Health are surprised by recent statements made by a Western Australian Member of Parliament, Hon.

Could cannon balls from the early 19th century sink warships?
A joint experiment carried out by researchers from the Leon Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies at the University of Haifa and staff of Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd. has solved the riddle that has been puzzling researchers ever since they first observed the thick wooden sides of the sunken ship opposite the shore of Acre: could cannon fire have penetrated the hull?

Osteoporosis drug may save lives by strengthening immune system
An osteoporosis drug proven to save lives after hip fractures may do so by strengthening the body's immune system, according to geriatrics researchers at Duke University Medical Center.

On the 40th anniversary of the first manned moon landing today's scientists point to new frontiers
Forty years ago, on July 20, 1969, the United States achieved an historic first when Apollo 11 Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to land on the moon.

Early initiation of Arctic sea-ice formation
Significant sea ice formation occurred in the Arctic earlier than previously thought is the conclusion of a study published this week in Nature.

Brain emotion circuit sparks as teen girls size up peers
What is going on in teenagers' brains as their drive for peer approval begins to eclipse their family affiliations?

In adolescence, girls react differently than boys to peers' judgments
A new study shows what happens in the brains of preteens and teens at a time of significant change in social behavior.

LSUHSC awarded $1.3 million grant to develop new cancer vaccine
Eduardo Davila, Ph.D., assistant professor of pediatrics, microbiology and immunology at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Medicine and Stanley S.

Classifying 'clicks'
A new way to classify sounds in some human languages may solve a problem that has plagued linguists for nearly 100 years -- how to accurately describe click sounds distinct to certain African languages.

Fossilized dung balls reveal secret ecology of lost world
Research published in the journal Palaeontology reveals an intricate ecological system discovered within fossilized balls of dung.

Fetal short-term memory found in 30-week-old fetuses
Researchers studying about 100 healthy pregnant women and their fetuses have found measured changes in how fetuses respond to repeated stimulation and exhibit

Arctic sea ice images derived from classified data should be made public
Hundreds of images derived from classified data that could be used to better understand rapid loss and transformation of Arctic sea ice should be immediately released and disseminated to the scientific research community, says a new report from the National Research Council.
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