Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 24, 2009
University Hospitals Case Medical Center to test gammaglobulin treatment for Alzheimer's disease
Researchers from the Memory and Cognition Center at University Hospitals Case Medical Center will begin testing an intriguing new approach to slowing down the progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD) using Intravenous Immune Globulin (IGIV), also known as gammaglobulin.

Coronary imaging techniques helps to identify plaques likely to cause heart attacks
Late-breaking results from the PROSPECT clinical trial shed new light on the types of vulnerable plaque that are most likely to cause sudden, unexpected adverse cardiac events, and on the ability to identify them through imaging techniques before they occur.

Rough day at work? You won't feel like exercising
Study shows that using your willpower for one task depletes you of the willpower to do an entirely different task.

Surgery provides modest benefit over nonsurgical treatment for patients with carpal tunnel syndrome
While surgery for carpal tunnel syndrome in patients without an indication of severe nerve damage provides better outcomes than non-surgical treatment, the clinical relevance of this difference is modest.

2 neuroscientists from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory awarded 'transformative' NIH grants
Two neuroscientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory are among an elite group of researchers named to receive special five-year grants for

New INL project tackles nuclear fuel recycling science
A new research project at Idaho National Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory will use an innovative approach to learn how to get more use from nuclear fuel.

Twin Keck telescopes probe dual dust disks
Astronomers using the twin 10-meter telescopes at the W. M.

UCI researchers create new strategy for highly selective chemotherapy delivery
UC Irvine researchers have created a new approach that vastly improves the targeting of chemotherapeutic drugs to specific cells and organs.

Cogent trial shows lack of adverse interaction between clopidogrel and stomach medicine
Results from a late breaking clinical trial called COGENT demonstrate that the combination of giving patients clopidogrel, a blood thinner commonly prescribed to patients with cardiovascular disease, and stomach medicines such as omeprazole, known as proton pump inhibitors, did not lead to adverse events, as some prior studies had suggested.

New research network at McMaster aims to build a better eye
A $6.7 million university/industry network has been established to pursue development of new biomaterials, medical devices, and drug delivery devices for treating vision disorders.

Caltech scientists get detailed glimpse of chemoreceptor architecture in bacterial cells
Using state-of-the-art electron microscopy techniques, a team led by researchers from Caltech has for the first time visualized and described the precise arrangement of chemoreceptors -- the receptors that sense and respond to chemical stimuli -- in bacteria.

Environmental health chief in Milwaukee to hear citizen concerns
State and federal officials look for citizen input on how neighborhoods and workplaces may be the cause of many health problems in Milwaukee

How mitochondrial gene defects impair respiration, other major life functions
Researchers are delving into abnormal gene function in mitochondria, structures within cells that power our lives.

Engineers produce 'how-to' guide for controlling the structure of nanoparticles
Researchers from North Carolina State University have learned how to consistently create hollow, solid and amorphous nanoparticles of nickel phosphide, which has potential uses in the development of solar cells and as catalysts for removing sulfur from fuel.

World Heart Day resonates with recent experts' findings on CVD and EU institutions' determination to promote heart health
Despite the decline of heart disease mortality registered in the past 30 years, cardiovascular disease remains the No.

North meets south? Glaciers move together in far-flung regions
Results of a new study add evidence that climate swings in the northern hemisphere over the past 12,000 years have been tightly linked to changes in the tropics.

Students, teachers need to be transculturally literate, expert says
To adequately prepare today's students for tomorrow's global economy, teacher education expert Mark Dressman favors

Personality traits influencing weight loss
Being too optimistic could harm weight loss efforts. Research published in BioMed Central's open-access journal, BioPsychoSocial Medicine, reveals the psychological characteristics that may contribute to weight loss.

MSU scientist helps map potato genome, hope to improve crop yield
It's been cultivated for at least 7,000 years and spread from South America to grow on every continent except Antarctica.

The beauty of the universe, from above and below
The 2009 Lennart Nilsson Award is to be presented to American planetary scientist Carolyn Porco and Iranian photographer and science journalist Babak A.

Forest Service Web-based tool helps manage environmental risk
The US Forest Service Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center recently launched the Comparative Risk Assessment Framework and Tools, a user-friendly, Web-based support system that helps natural resource managers address uncertainties inherent in land management decisions.

Groundbreaking model of heart disease rewarded with NIH Pioneer Award
A pioneering model that a University of Utah cardiologist proposes as a cause of heart disease is the kind of creative thinking the National Institutes of Health likes to see -- and reward with one of its most prestigious honors, a $2.5 million 2009 Pioneer Award.

Prestigious $4.9 million NIH grant awarded to Case Western Reserve for colon cancer research
A prestigious National Institutes of Health Transformative R01 Program grant for $4.9 million has been awarded to Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

Scientists identify genetic cause of previously undefined primary immune deficiency disease
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have identified a genetic mutation that accounts for a perplexing condition found in people with an inherited immunodeficiency.

Viagra relatives may shrink abnormally large hearts
Compounds related to Viagra, which is already in clinical trials to prevent heart failure, may also counter the disease in a different way, according to a study published online today in the journal Circulation Research.

Weill Cornell Institute for Geriatric Psychiatry awarded $10 million grant
The Weill Cornell Institute of Geriatric Psychiatry at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Westchester Division announced today it has received the largest grant in its 20-year history.

Superheavy element 114 confirmed by Berkeley Lab nuclear scientists
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have confirmed the production of the superheavy element 114, ten years after a group at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia, first claimed to have made it.

Childhood kidney disorder has lasting effects
A kidney condition that can arise in children and was until recently believed to disappear after puberty may persist into adulthood and cause significant long-term complications, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

UNC scientists garner new NIH awards for high risk, transformative research
Three scientists from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine and the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center have received prestigious awards from the National Institutes of Health aimed at encouraging

Catalytic Catamarans: Common industrial catalyst sports rafts made of platinum
Catalysts convert useless or unwanted chemicals into useful or more desirable ones.

Desalination technology increases naval capabilities
The next generation of technology to turn saltwater into a fresh resource is on tap for the Navy.

Cracking the brain's numerical code
By carefully observing and analyzing the pattern of activity in the brain, researchers have found that they can tell what number a person has just seen.

Scientists see water ice in fresh meteorite craters on Mars
Scientists are seeing sub-surface water ice that may be 99 percent pure halfway between the north pole and the equator on Mars, thanks to quick-turnaround observations from orbit of fresh meteorite impact craters on the planet.

Major disasters tax surgical staff but may reduce costs for routine operations
New research published in the September issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons offers important insights into the long-term impact of a major disaster on routine surgical services in a hospital.

New paper from internists calls for increased role for FDA
A new policy paper that calls for broader authority and increased funding for the US Food and Drug Administration was released today by the American College of Physicians.

Children who are spanked have lower IQs, new research finds
Children who are spanked have lower IQs worldwide, including in the United States, according to new groundbreaking research by University of New Hampshire professor Murray Straus.

Lifestyle interventions in the prevention and treatment of cancer
There is clear evidence that lifestyle choices affect the incidence and treatment of cancer, according to a study published in the current issue of American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine.

Excess body weight causes over 124,000 new cancers a year in Europe
At least 124,000 new cancers in 2008 in Europe may have been caused by excess body weight, according to estimates from a new modeling study.

Stem cell applications and research highlight NJIT's first Research Cafe
Stem cell researcher Treena Livingston Arinzeh will discuss current stem cell applications at NJIT, including the regeneration of bone and cartilage for bone fracture and osteoarthritis treatments, spinal cord repair and liver regeneration at NJIT's first Research Cafe.

NYU's Amodio explores neurological activity that fuels racial bias
Overt expressions of bigotry are relatively infrequent, but current psychological research finds that racial biases often lurk in the unconscious mind, influencing behavior in subtle ways without one's intent.

Research network based at University of Toronto gets $5 million boost to speed up cancer detection
A nanomedicine research group led by a University of Toronto chemist has received a $5 million grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, giving them the green light to develop faster ways of detecting leukemia and lung cancer cells.

MU researchers find planning, positivism influence employment success at different stages
With America's unemployment rate higher than it has been in decades, many people find themselves looking for jobs.

New England Journal of Medicine publishes Mayo Clinic study about health care reform
Results of a Mayo Clinic survey published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that while physicians are open to being involved in health care reform discussions, some opposition may exist.

NIH announces 115 awards to encourage high-risk research and innovation
The National Institutes of Health announced today that it is awarding $348 million to encourage investigators to explore bold ideas that have the potential to catapult fields forward and speed the translation of research into improved health.

Scandinavians are descended from Stone Age immigrants
Today's Scandinavians are not descended from the people who came to Scandinavia at the conclusion of the last ice age but, apparently, from a population that arrived later, concurrently with the introduction of agriculture.

Mortality reduced if drain is used after surgery to release subdural hematoma
Use of a drain following surgery to drain a chronic subdural hematoma substantially reduces both mortality and haematoma recurrence.

Diabetes drug shows promise in fighting lethal cancer complication
Insulin resistance, the hallmark of type 2 diabetes and a condition often associated with obesity, is paradoxically also an apparent contributor to muscle wasting and severe fat loss that accompanies some cancers, according to new research.

University lab demonstrates 3-D printing in glass
Less than a year ago a UW engineering lab was the first to generate ceramic objects in a conventional 3-D printer.

PNNL chemist earns NIH New Innovator Award
An analytical chemist at the US Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has been recognized with a National Institutes of Health Director's New Innovator Award.

Vaccination and testing for the human papilloma virus could eradicate cervical cancer
Cervical cancer could be eradicated within the next 50 years if countries implement national screening programs based on detection of the human papilloma virus, which causes the disease, together with vaccination programs against the virus, according to cervical cancer screening expert Professor Jack Cuzick.

Getting a leg up on whale and dolphin evolution
A comprehensive study that builds on previous phylogenetic research on cetaceans and that combines morphology, genetics and behavior confirms that the closest living relative is the hippo and demonstrates that the closest fossil relative is Indohyus.

Nursing home program puts medical students in elders' place
A geriatric training method pioneered by Marilyn R. Gugliucci, Ph.D., president of the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education (the educational branch of the Gerontological Society of America) has proved successful enough that she plans to implement it on a national level.

Key process for space outpost proved on 'vomit comet' ride
During flights simulating the moon's low gravity, Case Western Reserve University researchers find that sifters can separate soil particles and produce the best feedstock for an oxygen generator.

Shedding light on cancer cells
A new technique now makes it possible to observe live cancer cells in action, allowing scientists to see how they differ from healthy cells.

IOF-AMGEN Health Professional Awareness Grants awarded at Beijing conference
Osteoporosis patient societies from Armenia, Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary and Singapore have been awarded valuable grants for their innovative projects to raise awareness and improve knowledge of osteoporosis among health professionals.

Research needed to learn which DCIS patients may be candidates for less invasive therapy
Ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), the most common non-invasive lesion of the breast, presents unique challenges for patients and providers largely because the natural course of the untreated disease is not well understood.

Duke biomedical scientists win 2 highly prized NIH Director's Awards
Two Duke University Medical Center scientists have won prestigious National Institutes of Health Director's Awards to pursue novel research.

Surgical innovation must be assessed through trials, just as drugs are
After serious concerns that some surgeons have failed to live up to expectations about the standards and quality of their research and practice -- previously described as a

Enzyme is key to clogged arteries
Scientists at Queen Mary, University of London, have made an important discovery in understanding what causes arteries to clog up.

Study finds nontuberculous mycobacteria lung disease on the rise in the United States
Nontuberculous mycobacteria (NTM) are environmental organisms found in both water and soil that can cause severe pulmonary (lung) disease in humans.

Siebel Foundation awards top UC San Diego bioengineering graduate students
As breakthrough discoveries in bioengineering become more crucial to fundamental global issues, including health, food production and water supplies, UC San Diego's Jacobs School of Engineering's top-ranked bioengineering department continues to be on the cutting edge of this field.

Pregnancy and birth: Safe for women with kidney transplants
Women who have had a kidney transplant and have good kidney function can get pregnant and give birth without jeopardizing their health or the health of their transplant.

Mount Sinai leads unprecedented, NIH-supported attempt to discover rules for assembling human tissue
Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine and two other academic institutions have received federal funding to systematically assemble functional human kidney tissue from tissue modeled on a computer.

Deep Impact and other spacecraft find clear evidence of water on moon
New data from the Deep Impact spacecraft and the Moon Mineralogy Mapper, an instrument aboard India's recently ended Chandrayaan-1 spacecraft, provide, for the first time, clear evidence that water exists on the surface of the moon.

Cost-savings of colorectal cancer screening as treatment costs increase
Investing in some colorectal cancer screening programs could cut future, more expensive treatment costs in half, according to a new study published online Sept.

Diabetes most prevalent in southern US
Diabetes prevalence is highest in the southern and Appalachian states and lowest in the Midwest and the northeast of America.

Scientists discover how to send insects off the scent of crops
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council-funded research, published this week in Chemical Communications, describes how scientists have discovered molecules that could confuse insects' ability to detect plants by interfering with their sense of smell.

Use of statins favors the wealthy, creating new social disparities in cholesterol
Since the introduction of statins to treat high cholesterol, the decline in lipid levels experienced by the wealthy has been double that experienced by the poor.

Room's ambience fingerprinted by phone
Your smart phone may soon be able to know not only that you're at the mall, but whether you're in the jewelry store or the shoe store.

New genetic research indicates Jewish priesthood has multiple lineages
University of Arizona geneticist Michael Hammer and his colleagues used a larger number of DNA markers to trace the ancient bloodline to more than one source.

WPI receives $1.3 million in federal awards for ongoing research in the life sciences
Researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute's Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center at Gateway Park have received a total of $1.3 million in new awards from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation to fund ongoing research in several areas of the life sciences, including a study of the bacterium that causes tuberculosis, work aimed at using adult stem cells to repair damaged hearts, and efforts to create engineered blood vessels.

Boston University engineer to use $2.5 million NIH grant to cells' reaction to physical force
A team led by Boston University Biomedical Engineer Bela Suki will use a $2.5 million NIH grant to study how stretching cells in a way that mimics natural forces affects their function.

Genetic discovery could break wine industry bottleneck, accelerate grapevine breeding
By unraveling an unexpected twist in grapevine DNA, German researchers have shown that a long-established tool for distinguishing among Old World, New World, and hybrid varieties is unreliable.

Babies see it coming
Do infants only start to crawl once they are physically able to see danger coming?

Brookhaven Lab's Joanna Fowler to be awarded National Medal of Science
Joanna Fowler, a senior chemist and director of the Radiotracer Chemistry, Instrumentation and Biological Imaging Program at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, will be awarded the National Medal of Science at a White House ceremony on October 7.

Plants' response to fire tested
A team from the National Institute for Agricultural and Food Research and Technology has developed a new method for identifying the flammability of plant species by using a device that measures how construction materials react to fire.

NASA Goddard shoots the moon to track lunar spacecraft
Twenty-eight times per second, engineers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center fire a laser that travels about 250,000 miles to hit the minivan-sized Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft moving at nearly 3,600 miles per hour as it orbits the moon.

Fish fend off invading germs with an initial response similar to the one found in people
A new study published in Disease Models and Mechanisms demonstrates that the same proteins produced by humans early during infection are also made by fish early after exposure to harmful germs.

Scientists determine dynamics of HIV transmission in UK heterosexuals
Among heterosexuals in the United Kingdom, HIV transmission can occur within networks of as many as 30 people, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and the Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Unit, London.

Environmental chemicals found in breast milk and high incidence of testicular cancer
A comparison of breast milk samples from Denmark and Finland revealed a significant difference in environmental chemicals which have previously been implicated in testicular cancer or in adversely affecting development of the fetal testis in humans and animals.

Peruvian glacial retreats linked to European events of Little Ice Age
A new study that reports precise ages for glacial moraines in southern Peru links climate swings in the tropics to those of Europe and North America during the Little Ice Age approximately 150 to 350 years ago.

M. D. Anderson examines use of toad venom in cancer treatment
Huachansu, a Chinese medicine that comes from the dried venom secreted by the skin glands of toads, has tolerable toxicity levels, even at doses eight times those normally administered, and may slow disease progression in some cancer patients, say researchers from the University of Texas M.

New INL project will improve nuclear reactor simulations
Researchers from Idaho National Laboratory and Brookhaven National Laboratory, led by INL's Giuseppe Palmiotti, won a competitive grant from the US Department of Energy's Office of Science.

Open innovation networks are 1 key to improved care
Fostering innovation to speed the improvement of health care is the goal of an $8.3 million grant to researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.

Sleep loss linked to increase in Alzheimer's plaques
Chronic sleep deprivation in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease makes Alzheimer's brain plaques appear earlier and more often, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Vitamin D deficiency in younger women is associated with increased risk of high blood pressure
Women who have vitamin D deficiency in the premenopausal years are at three times increased risk of developing high blood pressure in mid-life.

Visionary concept earns La Jolla Institute scientist prestigious NIH Pioneer Award
A scientist at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology has received one of the National Institutes of Health's top awards -- the 2009 NIH Director's Pioneer Award.

New research shows water present across the moon's surface
When Apollo astronauts returned from the moon 40 years ago, a chief question was whether there was water to be found in the lunar rocks and soils.

Pancreatic cancer: Researchers find drug that reverses resistance to chemotherapy
For the first time researchers have shown that by inhibiting the action of an enzyme called TAK-1, it is possible to make pancreatic cancer cells sensitive to chemotherapy, opening the way for the development of a new drug to treat the disease.

Research network based at University of Toronto gets funding boost to improve business intelligence
A Canadian group of data management researchers today received a $5 million grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to develop better information management systems for business applications.

Nanoparticle-based battlefield pain treatment moves a step closer
University of Michigan nanotechnology scientists have developed a combination drug that promises a safer, more precise way for medics and fellow soldiers in battle to give a fallen soldier both morphine and a drug that limits morphine's dangerous side effects.

Malaria research wins Jake Baum a Young Tall Poppy award
Research aimed at developing drugs that stop malaria parasites from spreading throughout the body has seen Dr.

HIV vaccine regimen demonstrates modest preventive effect in Thailand clinical study
In an encouraging development, an investigational vaccine regimen has been shown to be well-tolerated and to have a modest effect in preventing HIV infection in a clinical trial involving more than 16,000 adult participants in Thailand.

American Society of Plastic Surgeons hosts 78th annual meeting
The hottest topics, technologies and research will be presented at Plastic Surgery 2009, the annual scientific meeting of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Oct.

AFOSR's basic research may lead to revolutionary new devices
Dr. Jiwoong Park of Cornell University, who receives funding for basic research from the US Air Force Office of Scientific Research, is investigating carbon nanostructures that may some day be used in electronic, thermal, mechanical and sensing devices for the Air Force.

Identification of highly radiosensitive patients may lead to side effect-free radiotherapy
An international group of scientists has taken the first step on the road to targeting radiotherapy dosage to individual patients by means of their genetic characteristics.

Neuroscientist from Tufts School of Medicine named NIH New Innovator
Leon Reijmers, Ph.D., of Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, has been selected to receive an NIH Director's New Innovator Award.

A new take on why social cues confuse babies and dogs in a classic hiding game
A study by developmental scientists at the University of Iowa and Indiana University challenges the conclusions of two recent studies on how babies and dogs respond to certain social cues.

Recovery Act funds will upgrade earthquake monitoring
Grants totaling $5 million under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act are being awarded to 13 universities nationwide to upgrade critical earthquake monitoring networks and increase public safety.

Migrating monarch butterflies 'nose' their way to Mexico
Since the late 1970s scientists have studied the fascinating annual migration of monarch butterflies from across eastern North America to a single location in Mexico.

C. difficile hypervirulence genes identified
Five genetic regions have been identified that are unique to the most virulent strain of Clostridium difficile, the hospital superbug.

Study dispels myth that new residents cause increase in medical errors in July
New research published in the September issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons challenges the widely held belief that more medical errors occur in teaching hospitals during the month of July due to the influx of new graduates from medical and nursing schools -- also known as the

Major conference on the science of sound convenes in San Antonio
How does video game sound trigger panic attacks? Can beams of ultrasound energy prevent kidney stones? 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