Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 25, 2009
Bridging the political divide across the Gulf of Aqaba
Scientists from Stanford University have teamed up with Israeli and Jordanian researchers to protect the Gulf of Aqaba, a strategic waterway whose fragile marine ecosystem is vital to both Israel and Jordan.

Study finds women slightly more likely to die than men in the 30 days following a heart attack
A new study from NYU School of Medicine found that women may have a slightly higher risk of death than men in the thirty days following an acute coronary syndrome (ACS), but that these differences appear to be attributable to factors such as severity and type of ACS.

Researchers evaluate resistance training for diabetes prevention
Systematic, progressive resistance training -- also called strength training -- is a safe and efficient way for middle-aged and older adults to improve their health.

NSF awards Space@VT $2 million to improve space weather understanding
Members of Virginia Tech's Space@VT research group will to build a chain of space weather instrument stations in Antarctica.

Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Common blood disorder may not be linked to as many serious diseases
A symptomless blood disorder, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, known as MGUS, is not linked to as many serious diseases as previously thought.

New link between pre-eclampsia and diet
A chemical compound found in unpasteurized food has been detected in unusually high levels in the red blood cells of pregnant women with the condition pre-eclampsia.

Surgical treatment a rare complication of duodenal diverticulum
A research team from Korea presented a case of duodenal obstruction after successful selective transcatheter arterial embolization for a duodenal diverticular hemorrhage.

Henry M. Jackson Foundation names fellowship award winners
The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine Inc. has selected three promising Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences doctoral students to receive fellowships for the 2009-2010 academic year.

National search for proteins that cause MS
Australian researchers will aim to discover the proteins that cause multiple sclerosis, thanks to a new nationwide research effort.

New treatment option for ruptured brain aneurysms
Researchers in Finland have identified an effective new treatment option using stent-assisted coil embolization on patients who have suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm, a potentially life-threatening event, according to a new study.

Reinterpretation of proximal colon polyps called hyperplastic in 2001
A research group form the United States investigated how proximal colon polyps interpreted as hyperplastic polyps in 2001 would be interpreted by expert pathologists in 2007.

Dental researchers confirm microRNAs as biomarkers for oral cancer detection
UCLA School of Dentistry researchers have substantiated the effectiveness of measuring the microRNAs in saliva to detect oral squamous cell carcinoma.

Deadly heat waves are becoming more frequent in California
From mid July to early August 2006, a heat wave swept through the southwestern United States.

University of Maryland researchers identify gene variant linked to effectiveness of plavix
Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine have identified a common gene variant carried by as many as a third of the general population that is believed to play a major role in determining why people do not respond to a popular anti-clotting medication, Plavix.

Long-term tamoxifen use increases risk of an aggressive, hard to treat type of second breast cancer
While long-term tamoxifen use among breast cancer survivors decreases their risk of developing the most common, less aggressive type of second breast cancer, such use is associated with a more than four-fold increased risk of a more aggressive, difficult-to-treat type of cancer in the breast opposite, or contralateral, to the initial tumor.

Post-traumatic stress disorder primary suicide risk factor for veterans
Researchers working with Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans have found that post-traumatic stress disorder, the current most common mental disorder among veterans returning from service in the Middle East, is associated with an increased risk for thoughts of suicide.

Taking the juice for granted
We Americans take the electric current behind our power buttons for granted, and assume the juice will be there when we need it.

Gene variant linked to risk of stroke and heart attack for those on Plavix
A new study reports that a gene variant carried by about a third of the population plays a major role in this group's response to an anti-clotting medicine, clopidogrel (Plavix).

Animal sacrifice in Brazilian folk religion
Candomblé, a religion practiced primarily in South America and inspired by older African beliefs, makes much use of animal sacrifice.

Reject watermelons -- the newest renewable energy source
Watermelon juice can be a valuable source of biofuel. Researchers writing in BioMed Central's open-access journal, Biotechnology for Biofuels, have shown that the juice of reject watermelons can be efficiently fermented into ethanol.

Quality of medicines advanced by agreement between USP, Mexican Standards Body
Demonstrating a significant commitment to advancing the quality of medicines for patients on behalf of both countries, the US Pharmacopeial Convention and the Permanent Commission of the Pharmacopeia of the United Mexican States today agreed to collaborate on the development of standards for medicines.

Blood-flow metabolism mismatch predicts pancreatic tumor aggressiveness
Researchers from Turku, Finland, have identified a blood-flow glucose consumption mismatch that predicted pancreatic tumor aggressiveness, according to results of a study published in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

UTSA plant biologists publish where their peers are -- on the Web
University of Texas at San Antonio researchers Jurgen and Marie J.

SRNL, automakers to develop high-performance wireless sensors networks
The US Department of Energy's Savannah River National Laboratory has entered into a cooperative research and development agreement with the United States Council for Automotive Research LLC to develop a new platform for short range wireless sensors networks that meets the NNSA requirements, and can also be adopted as the industry standard.

American College of Preventive Medicine releases lifestyle medicine literature review
ACPM has launched a Web page featuring an extensive literature review on lifestyle medicine -- the practice of changing health behaviors to promote health and prevent and treat disease.

Hip fracture rates decline in Canada
Standardized rates of hip fracture have steadily declined in Canada since 1985, with a more rapid decline between 1996 and 2005 and a more marked decrease among individuals age 55 to 64 years, according to a report in the Aug.

Unlocking the body's defenses against cancer
Scientists have discovered a way of allowing healthy cells to take charge of cancerous cells and stop them developing into tumors in what could provide a new approach to treating early stage cancers.

Setting priorities for patient-safety efforts will mean hard choices
Is it more urgent for hospitals, doctors and nurses to focus resources on preventing the thousands of falls that injure hospitalized patients each year, or to home in on preventing rare but dramatic instances of wrong-side surgery?

UK public health research center given grant
The University of Kentucky College of Public Health's Center for Public Health Systems and Services Research has been awarded a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

New treatment shows promising results in patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy
A new treatment involving the intramuscular injection of an antisense molecule is safe and effective at increasing the production of the protein dystrophin -- the absence of which causes Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).

UCSB scientists propose Antarctic location for 'missing' ice sheet
New research by scientists at UC Santa Barbara indicates a possible Antarctic location for ice that seemed to be missing at a key point in climate history 34 million years ago.

LSU professor finds alternate explanation for dune formation on Saturn's largest moon
A new and likely controversial paper has just been published online in Nature Geoscience by LSU Department of Geography and Anthropology Chair Patrick Hesp and United States Geological Survey scientist David Rubin.

Slow-motion earthquake testing probes how buildings collapse in quakes
It takes just seconds for tall buildings to collapse during earthquakes.

A potential therapeutic agent for hepatic fibrosis
A research team from the US and China showed that collagen production and proliferation of the human hepatic stellate cell was blocked by a hammerhead ribozyme designed to prevent the synthesis of connective tissue growth factor, a pro-fibrogenic molecule that is produced in large amounts during fibrosing liver injury.

LEGO toy helps researchers learn what happens on nanoscale
Johns Hopkins engineers are using a popular children's toy to visualize the behavior of particles, cells and molecules in environments too small to see with the naked eye.

Risk of death following acute coronary syndromes different for men, women
Women may have a slightly higher risk of death than men in the 30 days following an acute coronary syndrome (ACS -- such as heart attack or unstable angina).

Global warming threatens tropical species, the ecosystem and its by-products
Tropical lizards detect the effects of global warming in a climate where the smallest change makes a big difference, according to herpetologist Laurie Vitt, curator of reptiles and George Lynn Cross Research Professor at the University of Oklahoma's Sam Noble Museum of Natural History.

Hepatic injury in cholelithiasis and cholecystitis
The research team investigated the acute transient hepatocellular injury in patients with cholelithiasis and cholecystitis but no evidence of choledocholithiasis.

LSU professors publish study analyzing return of businesses to New Orleans after Katrina
LSU Professor and Chair of Environmental Sciences Nina Lam and Professor and Louisiana Real Estate Commission Chair Kelley Pace, along with colleagues from LSU, Tulane University and Texas State University, will publish the results of a study analyzing business return to New Orleans post-Katrina in a Public Library of Science publication, PLoS ONE, on Wednesday, Aug.

UT's Valentin Dragoi gets $1.2 million grant for groundbreaking approach to brain research
An innovative approach to brain research developed by a scientist at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston has been selected for funding by a National Institutes of Health initiative designed to support high-impact, medical investigations.

Nottingham scientists commissioned for urgent swine flu research
Scientists at the University of Nottingham and Health Protection Agency East Midlands are carrying out urgent research into the swine flu virus after being commissioned as part of the government's response to the pandemic.

New study suggests the brain predicts what eyes in motion will see
When the eyes move, objects in the line of sight suddenly jump to a different place on the retina, but the mind perceives the scene as stable and continuous.

New technology helps Parkinson's patients speak louder
Researchers have developed a new technology that helps Parkinson's patients overcome the tendency to speak too quietly by playing a recording of ambient sound, which resembles the noisy chatter of a restaurant full of patrons.

Hormone therapy for prostate cancer patients with heart conditions linked to increased death risk
Men with coronary artery disease-induced congestive heart failure or heart attack who receive hormone therapy before or along with radiation therapy for treatment of prostate cancer have an associated increased risk of death, according to a study in the Aug.

2009 edition of the Tobacco Atlas catalogues catastrophic toll of tobacco worldwide
The Tobacco Atlas, 3rd Edition, published by the American Cancer Society and World Lung Foundation, estimates that tobacco use kills some 6 million people each year -- more than a third of whom will die from cancer -- and drains $500 billion annually from global economies.

Genetic variation associated with poorer response, cardiovascular outcomes with use of clopidogrel
Patients with a certain genetic variation who received the anti-platelet drug clopidogrel had a decreased platelet response to treatment and among those who had percutaneous coronary intervention (procedures such as balloon angioplasty or stent placement used to open narrowed coronary arteries) had an increased risk of having a cardiovascular event in the following year than patients who did not have this variant, according to a study in the Aug.

Shuttle to carry Rensselaer experiment to International Space Station
An experimental heat transfer system designed by researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is scheduled to depart Earth aboard Space Shuttle Discovery.

Typhoid fever cases in US linked to foreign travel
Infection with an antimicrobial-resistant strain of typhoid fever among patients in the United States is associated with international travel, especially to the Indian subcontinent (India, Pakistan and Bangladesh), according to a study in the Aug.

Nottingham gains Oracle Spatial Centre of Excellence
The University of Nottingham's Centre for Geospatial Science has signed an Agreement designating CGS as an Oracle Spatial Centre of Excellence -- the only one of its kind in Europe and one of just three worldwide.

Use of patient-reported outcomes in medical product development
The National Eye Institute and the Food and Drug Administration are sponsoring an Oct.

Minorities have poorer results, higher rates of inappropriate surgery to prevent stroke
Minorities have poorer results and higher rates of unnecessary surgery from a common procedure used to remove plaque from inside the carotid artery, according to a UT Southwestern Medical Center doctor who is lead author of the study in the journal Stroke.

Ellison Medical Foundation awards more than $1 million to mid-career scientists
Announcement of two recipients of the Julie Martin Mid-Career Awards in Aging Research.

Not only the gene itself, its abnormal regulation can also trigger short stature
A specific gene is particularly frequently involved in the development of short stature.

Surprising results in teen study: adolescent risky behavior may signal mature brain
A long-standing theory of adolescent behavior has assumed that this delayed brain maturation is the cause of impulsive and dangerous decisions in adolescence.

New biography of Francis Crick is released
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press has just released a new biography,

New research examines how career dreams die
A new study shows just what it takes to convince a person that he isn't qualified to achieve the career of his dreams.

More obesity blues
UCLA and University of Pittsburgh researchers found that obese people had 8 percent less brain tissue than people with normal weight, while overweight people had 4 percent less tissue in their frontal lobes.

Ant has given up sex completely, report Texas researchers
The complete asexuality of a widespread fungus-gardening ant, the only ant species in the world known to have dispensed with males entirely, has been confirmed by a team of Texas and Brazilian researchers.

MicroRNA in human saliva may help diagnose oral cancer
Researchers continue to add to the diagnostic alphabet of saliva by identifying the presence of at least 50 microRNAs that could aid in the detection of oral cancer, according to a report in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

UCLA scientists uncover immune system's role in bone loss
Got high cholesterol? You might want to consider a bone density test.

Quantum computing: Are you ready for this upgrade?
If you are curious about the potential of quantum computing, you will want to keep your eye on

Bats without borders: World's largest bats need international protection
Scientists writing in the latest issue of the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied Ecology warn that the world's largest species of fruit bat, known as the

Antidepressants: Benefit of SNRI is proven
Patients with depression benefit from taking venlafaxine and duloxetine, two drugs belonging to the selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor drug class. 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