Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 29, 2009
Younger doctors recommend kidney transplantations earlier
Compared with veteran doctors, recent medical school graduates are more likely to refer chronic kidney disease patients for kidney transplantation before their patients require dialysis, according to a paper being presented at the American Society of Nephrology's 42nd Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition in San Diego, Calif.

Biofield therapies: Helpful or full of hype?
Biofield therapies are promising complementary interventions for reducing the intensity of pain in diverse conditions, anxiety for hospitalized patients and agitated behaviors in dementia.

New celestial map gives directions for GPS
Many of us have been rescued from unfamiliar territory by directions from a Global Positioning System navigator.

Anti-tumor necrosis factor treatment does not increase cancer Risk in RA patients
A recent study by Swedish researchers found that rheumatoid arthritis patients did not experience an elevated cancer risk in the first six years after starting anti-tumor necrosis factor therapy.

Patients in Europe benefit from new radiation therapy
A new, innovative form of radiation based on verified scientific facts will be available to patients all over Europe within the next few decades.

NIAID scientists propose new explanation for flu virus antigenic drift
Influenza viruses evade infection-fighting antibodies by constantly changing the shape of their major surface protein.

Widely used cholesterol-lowering drug may prevent progression
Simvastatin, a commonly used, cholesterol-lowering drug, may prevent Parkinson's disease from progressing further.

Earlier not necessarily better when receiving a kidney transplant
Pre-dialysis transplant recipients with a high level of kidney function don't benefit from their transplant more than pre-dialysis recipients with low level kidney function, according to a paper being presented at the American Society of Nephrology's 42nd Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition in San Diego, Calif.

Shire presents study findings on its ADHD treatments at psychiatric meeting Oct. 29-30
Shire plc, the global specialty biopharmaceutical company, announced today that it will present key scientific data on its attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder treatments, INTUNIV (guanfacine) Extended Release Tablets, Vyvanse (lisdexamfetamine dimesylate) Capsules CII and Daytrana (methylphenidate transdermal system) CII, at a national meeting of psychiatrists to be held Oct.

INTUNIV demonstrated symptom reduction on oppositional subscale Conners' ADHD rating scale
Shire plc today announced new study results on INTUNIV (guanfacine) Extended Release Tablets.

Left side grafting is procedure of choice for adult-to-adult living donor liver transplantation
A recent study by doctors at Shinshu University, School of Medicine, in Japan determined that left side grafting has lower risk to donors compared to grafts taken from the right lobe, and it appears to be the procedure of choice for adult-to-adult living donor liver transplantation.

ERC provides millions for biodiversity research
A group of researchers funded by the European Research Council has begun work at the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research in Leipzig.

Cell phones become handheld tools for global development
Computer scientists at the UW are using Android, the open-source mobile operating system championed by Google, to transform a cell phone into a flexible data-collection tool.

Of mice and men: Stem cells and ethical uncertainties
The recent creation of live mice from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) not only represents a remarkable scientific achievement, but also raises important issues, according to bioethicists at the Johns Hopkins University's Berman Institute of Bioethics.

A look at public policies and motorcycle safety in the US
A group of researchers from the University of Miami and Florida International University conducted one of the first longitudinal analyses of the effect of public policies to reduce motorcycle injuries and fatalities.

Bodybuilding with steroids damages kidneys
Athletes who use anabolic steroids may gain muscle mass and strength, but they can also destroy their kidney function, according to a paper being presented at the American Society of Nephrology's 42nd Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition in San Diego, Calif.

New model may help scientists better predict and prevent influenza outbreaks
A new study by an international team of researchers, led by assistant professor Andrew W.

Pitt-led researchers create nanoparticle coating to prevent freezing rain buildup
Preventing the havoc wrought when freezing rain collects on roads, power lines, and aircrafts could be only a few nanometers away.

UT Southwestern researchers use drug-radiation combo to eradicate lung cancer
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have eliminated non-small cell lung cancer in mice by using an investigative drug called BEZ235 in combination with low-dose radiation.

Columbia University Medical Center announces 2009 Katz Prizes in Cardiovascular Research
Columbia University Medical Center today announces the winners of the 4th annual Katz Prizes in Cardiovascular Research, with the senior scientist prize being awarded to an internationally renowned researcher from the National Institutes of Health, and the young investigator prize recognizing a cardiovascular researcher actively studying left ventricular assist devices and heart function.

Smart solution: SLU researchers use smartphones to improve health of elderly diabetics in China
A team of researchers from business, engineering, medicine and public health, as well as practitioners and researchers in China, designed the smartphone technology, which includes interactive games and easy-to-use logging features, especially for elderly Chinese diabetics.

Innovation task force unveils new Web site on physical sciences and engineering
The Task Force on American Innovation today unveiled a new Web site,, which offers fresh and comprehensive information on federal policies and appropriations for key agencies that fund research in the physical sciences, engineering and mathematics.

TGen seeks emergency FDA approval of new swine flu test
The Phoenix-based nonprofit Translational Genomics Research Institute announced today that, along with a business collaborator, it will submit a request to the US Food and Drug Administration for emergency use of a new test to diagnose the 2009 H1N1 swine flu virus.

A heat sensor for body-clock synchronization
New research on the fruit-fly brain points to a possible mechanism -- and a new gene -- by which temperature influences the body clock.

Researchers find brain cell transplants help repair neural damage
This study aimed at determining whether autografted cells derived from primate cortical gray matter, cultured for one month and re-implanted in the caudate nucleus of dopamine depleted primates, effectively survived and migrated.

AGU Fall Meeting: Abstracts and sessions now online
This release gives important updates for journalists regarding American Geophysical Union's 2009 Fall Meeting (Dec.

AAPS/CRS workshop -- Controlled Release Formulations
AAPS and CRS are pleased to present the workshop on Development and Regulatory Challenges for Controlled Release Formulations.

GKSS-Magnesium Award 2009
The German GKSS Research Centre Geesthacht has distinguished a researcher with the International Magnesium Research Award 2009.

Opening up a colorful cosmic jewel box
The combination of images taken by three exceptional telescopes, the ESO Very Large Telescope on Cerro Paranal, the MPG/ESO 2.2-m telescope at ESO's La Silla observatory and the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope, has allowed the stunning Jewel Box star cluster to be seen in a whole new light.

Geneticists hunt for scleroderma triggers
The team of Dartmouth geneticist Michael Whitfield reports a closer connection between a gene profile for the profibrotic pathway TGF-beta and a tendency in some scleroderma sufferers to develop lung problems.

Boston Medical Center's Elders Living at Home Program receives grant from Admninistration on Aging
The Elders Living at Home Program at Boston Medical Center has received a three-year, $864,400 Aging in Place Grant from the Administration on Aging.

Lack of insurance may have figured in nearly 17,000 childhood deaths, study shows
Lack of health insurance might have led or contributed to nearly 17,000 deaths among hospitalized children in the United States in the span of less than two decades, according to research led by the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

Scientists build first 'frequency comb' to display visible 'teeth'
Scientists at the University of Konstanz in Germany and the National Institute of Standards and Technology in the United States have built the first optical frequency comb -- a tool for precisely measuring different frequencies of visible light -- that actually looks like a comb.

Seeing is relieving
An f1000 evaluation examines how pain relief improves greatly when the sufferer can actually see the area where the pain is occurring.

New tool promises more accurate antimalarial drug dosing
Scientists at LSTM have developed a tool to support the development of appropriate age-based dosing regimens for malaria drugs.

Exploring the final frontier: Disease proposed as major barrier to Mars and beyond
A new report appearing in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology argues that human missions to Mars, as well as all other long-term space flights might be compromised by microbial hitchhikers, such as bacteria.

U-M study uncovers key to how 'triggering event' in cancer occurs
Researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have discovered what leads to two genes fusing together, a phenomenon that has been shown to cause prostate cancer to develop.

HIV tamed by designer 'leash'
Researchers have shown how an antiviral protein produced by the immune system, dubbed tetherin, tames HIV and other viruses by literally putting them on a leash, to prevent their escape from infected cells.

High fructose corn syrup: A recipe for hypertension
A diet high in fructose increases the risk of developing high blood pressure (hypertension), according to a paper being presented at the American Society of Nephrology's 42nd Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition in San Diego, Calif.

Th17 cells summon an immune system strike against cancer
A specific type of T helper cell awakens the immune system to the stealthy threat of cancer and triggers an attack of killer T cells custom-made to destroy the tumors, scientists from the University of Texas M.

Improved adhesive for products like transparent tape could benefit biofuels economy
A Kansas State University researcher said that developing bio-based adhesives to replace environmentally hazardous materials also could produce high-value products needed to sustain the biofuels economy.

Research shows Tai Chi exercise reduces knee osteoarthritis pain in the elderly
Researchers from Tufts University School of Medicine have determined that patients over 65 years of age with knee osteoarthritis who engage in regular Tai Chi exercise improve physical function and experience less pain.

The National Institutes of Health awards $75 million
The National Institutes of Health has awarded $75 million to Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science and three other historically black institutions to establish a medical research consortium to combat health disparities in minority and underserved populations.

Case Western Reserve to lead $14.7M NIH sprint study network in Ohio
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine has received a $14.7 million, nine-year contract from the National Institutes of Health to be one of five institutions to lead a trial to determine if lowering systolic blood pressure in hypertensive patients, without diabetes, to below the currently recommended level can reduce the incidence of cardiovascular and kidney disease and slow cognitive decline.

Distinguished lecturers to speak at 48TH AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exposition
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics is pleased to announce that a series of distinguished lectures will be presented at the 48th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exposition, Jan.

Pitt study shows linkage between teen girls' weight and sexual behavior
A University of Pittsburgh study sheds new light on the relationship between race, body weight and sexual behavior among adolescent girls.

Scientists discover influenza's Achilles heel: Antioxidants
As the nation copes with a shortage of vaccines for H1N1 influenza, a team of Alabama researchers have raised hopes that they have found an Achilles' heel for all strains of the flu -- antioxidants.

North America automobile sector bottom of 'world sustainability league'
North American car manufacturers have come bottom of the league in the largest ever international study of the global automobile sector's sustainability performance.

NIH launches multicenter clinical trial to test blood pressure strategy
The National Institutes of Health is launching a large multicenter randomized clinical trial to determine whether maintaining blood pressure levels lower than current recommendations further reduces the risk of cardiovascular and kidney diseases, or age-related cognitive decline.

LANL Roadrunner simulates nanoscale material failure
How nanowires evolve under stress is simulated atom-by-atom over a period of time that is closer than ever to experimental reality.

UCSF diabetes, brain tumor stem cell grants to drive development of therapies
Two teams of UCSF scientists have received grants from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to advance their stem cell based strategies for treating diabetes and brain tumors.

Pregnant women risk early delivery from using psychiatric medication
Women who used psychiatric medication during pregnancy have triple the odds of delivering prematurely.

World Pneumonia Day: Time for renewed global action against this forgotten killer of children
A comment in this week's edition of the Lancet highlights the first ever World Pneumonia day, and the forthcoming strategy of WHO and UNICEF to tackle this forgotten killer of children.

American Physiological Society endorses report on random source dogs and cats
The American Physiological Society announced today that it has endorsed the recommendation of a National Academy of Sciences report calling for the identification of new suppliers to replace Class B dealers as providers of random source dogs and cats for medical research.

Whooping cough immunity lasts longer than previously thought
Immunity to whooping cough lasts at least 30 years on average, much longer than previously thought, according to a new study by researchers based at the University of Michigan and the University of New Mexico.

Inequality, 'silver spoon' effect found in ancient societies
The so-called

Archive of renowned monograph series in molecular and cellular biology is released online
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press has just released the

Soil moisture and ocean salinity satellite ready for launch
A new European Earth observation satellite will be launched in the early hours of Monday morning from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia.

Low vitamin D levels explains most ESRD risk in African-Americans
Low levels of vitamin D may account for nearly 60 percent of the elevated risk of end-stage renal disease in African-Americans, according to a report in the December Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

PTSD less common than depression and alcohol misuse amongst UK troops
Common mental disorders, such as depression and alcohol misuse, are the top psychological problems amongst UK troops post-deployment and not post traumatic stress disorder as is widely believed.

NASA researchers explore lightning's 'NOx-ious' impact on pollution, climate
Every year, scientists learn something new about the inner workings of lightning.

'Moonlighting' molecules discovered
Since the completion of the human genome sequence, a question has baffled researchers studying gene control: How is it that humans, being far more complex than the lowly yeast, do not proportionally contain in our genome significantly more gene-control proteins?

Stress-induced changes in brain circuitry linked to cocaine relapse
Stress-evoked changes in circuits that regulate serotonin in certain parts of the brain can precipitate a low mood and a relapse of cocaine-seeking, based on mouse studies at the University of Washington.

The largest bat in Europe inhabited northeastern Spain more than 10,000 years ago
Spanish researchers have confirmed that the largest bat in Europe, Nyctalus lasiopterus, was present in north-eastern Spain during the Late Pleistocene.

Charles Drew University awarded $9.8 million
Charles Drew University has been awarded $9.8 million to support the university's long-term, UCLA partnership aimed at reducing the risk of cancer among minorities in poor and disadvantaged communities.

A new wrinkle in ancient ocean chemistry
A research team led by University of California, Riverside geoscientists has corroborated evidence that oxygen production began in Earth's oceans at least 100 million years before the Great Oxidation Event (GOE).

Pinning down superconductivity to a single layer
Using precision techniques for making superconducting thin films layer-by-layer, physicists at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have identified a single layer responsible for one such material's ability to become superconducting, i.e., carry electrical current with no energy loss.

Kidney transplant consent forms may contribute to disparities
Kidney transplant consent forms are often written at a level that makes it difficult for many kidney patients to fully understand them, according to a paper being presented at the American Society of Nephrology's annual meeting in San Diego, Calif.

Nation's top awards to CSIRO scientists
Two CSIRO scientists have been honored at Australia's premier science awards -- the Prime Minister's Prizes for Science.

UC Riverside researchers create first synthetic cellulosome in yeast
A team of researchers led by University of California, Riverside Professor of Chemical Engineering Wilfred Chen has constructed for the first time a synthetic cellulosome in yeast, which could make the production of bioethanol from biomass more efficient and economical.

Lessons from flu seasons past
Pregnant women who catch the flu are at serious risk for flu-related complications, including death, and that risk far outweighs the risk of possible side effects from injectable vaccines containing killed virus, according to an extensive review of published research and data from previous flu seasons.

AAPS Workshop -- Quantitative Model-based Drug Development
The purpose of this workshop is to provide basic education and hands-on training on technical and theoretical aspects of preclinical Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) modeling.

Practice-changing cancer studies presented at major cancer meeting
The American Society for Radiation Oncology will host four news briefings with accompanying live webcasts on the top cancer research papers from its 51st Annual Meeting.

JAX publishes online tool for exploring autoimmune disease gene networks
To help researchers investigate the common pathways in autoimmune diseases, The Jackson Laboratory has published

Talking increases kidney donation
Get-togethers with a kidney disease patient's family and friends can improve their willingness to consider donation, according to a paper being presented at the American Society of Nephrology's 42nd Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition in San Diego, Calif.

New technology may cool the laptop, Texas A&M prof says
Does your laptop sometimes get so hot that it can almost be used to fry eggs?

How will bundling impact dialysis units nationwide?
The proposed Medicare

2-pronged protein attack could be source of SARS virulence
Researchers have uncovered what they believe could be the major factor contributing to the SARS virus' virulence: the pathogen's use of a single viral protein to weaken host cell defenses by launching a

No pain, no gain: Mastering a skill makes us stressed in the moment, happy long term
No pain, no gain applies to happiness, too, according to new research published online this week in the Journal of Happiness Studies.

Kaiser Permanente gives $5.2 million to endow Center for Health Equity at UCLA
The UCLA School of Public Health announced today a $5.2 million gift from Kaiser Permanente to endow the Center for Health Equity.

Teriparatide outperforms alendronate in treating steroid-induced osteoporosis
A recent study determined glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis (OP) is now treatable with Teriparatide, a synthetic form of the human parathyroid hormone.

Placental precursor stem cells require testosterone-free environment to survive
Trophoblast stem cells, found in the layer of peripheral embryonic stem cells from which the placenta is formed, are thought to exhibit

Could vaccination for children against seasonal flu stop immunity developing against pandemic strains?
Infection with

Dark matter sleuths to design world's largest WIMP catcher
Researchers from US and European universities and institutions are collaborating on plans to build an enormous WIMP detector, in hopes of finding the stuff of dark matter.

Typhoon Mirinae is already scaring Philippine residents before Halloween
Another typhoon in the northern Philippines really is something to be scared about, and Mirinae is expected to make landfall there in the mid-morning hours on Halloween, Oct.

Inhibitor of heat shock protein is a potential anticancer drug, Penn study finds
Researchers identified a small molecule that inhibits the heat shock protein HSP70.

Similar molecular tweaks led both a shrew and a lizard to produce venom
Biologists have shown that independent but similar molecular changes turned a harmless digestive enzyme into a toxin in two unrelated species -- a shrew and a lizard -- giving each a venomous bite.

World undernutrition epidemic -- no more excuses, time for food
The lead editorial in this week's Lancet calls for action on an epidemic much more serious than H1N1 -- the food crisis, which means a sixth of the world's population are currently undernourished. 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