Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 17, 2009
Bigger not necessarily better, when it comes to brains
Tiny insects could be as intelligent as much bigger animals, despite only having a brain the size of a pinhead, say scientists at Queen Mary, University of London.

Heart failure patients with kidney dysfunction don't recover well after hospital discharge
Most heart failure patients who develop kidney failure in the hospital do not recover from it before going home and are at increased risk of either being re-hospitalized or dying within the year, according to a Henry Ford Hospital study.

Night beat, overtime and a disrupted sleep pattern can harm officers' health
A police officer who works the night shift, typically from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m., already is at a disadvantage when it comes to getting a good

US gets a 'D' for preterm birth rate
More than a half million infants are born too soon each year and face the risk of lifetime health challenges as a result.

4 in 10 US families lack money for essential household expenses when unemployed
Today the Institute on Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University's Heller School released a new research and policy brief which reports that four in ten US families lack sufficient assets to pay for essential expenses in the face of unemployment.

Canadians finding it tough to shake the salt habit
Canadians know that too much salt isn't good for their diets, but half still continue to shake it on, according to a new study by University of Alberta researchers.

Advanced nuclear fuel sets global performance record
Idaho National Laboratory scientists have set a new world record with next-generation particle fuel for use in high temperature gas reactors.

Immediate, aggressive spending on HIV/AIDS could end epidemic
Money available to treat HIV/AIDS is sufficient to end the epidemic globally, but only if we act immediately to control the spread of the disease, according to research published in BMC Public Health.

People work harder when expecting a future challenging task
Consumers will work harder on a task if they're expecting to have to do something difficult at a later time, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Mount Sinai researchers to test first gene therapy For Alzheimer's patients
Mount Sinai School of Medicine is one of 12 sites nationwide participating in the first Phase 2 clinical trial to test gene therapy treatment for Alzheimer's disease.

When East meets West: Why consumers turn to alternative medicine
Alternative health remedies are increasingly important in the health care marketplace.

To eat or not to eat? Mental budgets help control consumption
If you feel like you're in a losing battle with a triple-chocolate cake, a

Rice ties in race for atomic-scale breakthrough
Everybody loves a race to the wire, even when the result is a tie.

2 UNH faculty receive $1.4M in CAREER grants from NSF
Two University of New Hampshire assistant professors have received prestigious National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development grants.

Study examines challenges of diagnosing neurofibromatosis type 1-like syndrome
An analysis of patients with a syndrome similar to the genetic disorder, neurofibromatosis type 1, indicates that diagnosis may be difficult because of shared clinical findings, such as certain pigmentary characteristics, according to a study in the Nov.

Treatment with folic acid, vitamin B12 associated with increased risk of cancer, death
Patients with heart disease in Norway, a country with no fortification of foods with folic acid, had an associated increased risk of cancer and death from any cause if they had received treatment with folic acid and vitamin B12, according to a study in the Nov.

Increased obesity hindering success at reducing heart disease risk
The percentage of overweight and obese adults in the United States has increased over the past two decades -- undermining efforts to reduce heart disease risk factors.

Family partnership, education interventions lower heart failure patients' salt consumption
Educating family members of heart failure (HF) patients about the health benefits of consuming a low-salt diet and providing skills for support and communication can effectively reduce HF patients' sodium consumption, according to an interdisciplinary study led by Emory University cardiovascular nursing researcher Sandra Dunbar, R.N., D.S.N., F.A.A.N., F.A.H.A.

New neuroimaging analysis technique identifies impact of Alzheimer's disease gene in healthy brains
Brain imaging can offer a window into risk for diseases such as Alzheimer's disease.

Petascale computing tools could provide deeper insight into genomic evolution
Research recently funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 aims to develop computational tools that will utilize next-generation petascale computers to understand genomic evolution.

World's first delivery of intra-arterial Avastin directly into brain tumor
Neurosurgeons from NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center performed the world's first intra-arterial cerebral infusion of Avastin (bevacizumab) directly into a patient's malignant brain tumor.

Duke researchers find explanation for rapid maturation of neurons at birth
So a baby can detect outside signals, the brain cells use a a

Inhibition of GRK2 is protective against acute cardiac stress injuries
Inhibition of a protein known to contribute to heart failure also appears to be protective of the heart in more acute cardiac stress injury, namely ischemia reperfusion, according to two studies conducted at the Center for Translational Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University.

Study of aging in Group Health patients renewed with $12 million grant
The National Institute on Aging has awarded the Adult Changes in Thought study a grant of nearly $12 million to continue its work for the next five years.

A second skin
Tel Aviv University's Prof. Meital Zilberman has developed a new wound dressing, based on innovative fibers that can be loaded with antibiotics, then dissolve when the healing process is completed.

Engaging established leaders to strengthen Singapore-China ties
Four senior officials from China have been awarded the prestigious Lien Ying Chow Legacy Fellowship, a joint initiative by the Nanyang Technological University and the Lien Foundation to groom established and emerging leaders in Singapore and China.

Highlights of NHLBI-supported research presented at American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions
New education strategies for better controlling hypertension and research suggesting a possible link between short-term and long-term exposure to air pollution and increased risk of constricted blood vessels are among the research highlights from studies supported by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the American Heart Association's 2009 Scientific Sessions in Orlando held Nov.

Research calls for better assessment of tests for tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and malaria
A rapid and accurate diagnosis is the first step towards treatment in the fight against infectious disease.

Vardenafil: A potential drug to protect gastric mucosa
Indomethacin, a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug commonly used for rheumatalogical diseases and pain relief, is known as a major risk factor in gastric ulcer development.

Alternative animal feed part of global fisheries crisis fix: UBC study
Finding alternative feed sources for chickens, pigs and other farm animals will significantly reduce pressure on the world's dwindling fisheries while contributing positively to climate change, according to University of British Columbia researchers.

Human emissions rise 2 percent despite global financial crisis
Despite the economic effects of the global financial crisis, carbon dioxide emissions from human activities rose 2 percent in 2008 to an all-time high of 1.3 tons of carbon per capita per year, according to a paper published today in Nature Geoscience.

Coaches can shape young athletes' definition of success
Young athletes' achievement goals can change in a healthy way over the course of a season when their coaches create a mastery motivational climate rather than an ego orientation.

Putting math problems in proper order
The American Institute of Mathematics announces a new online tool for creating and maintaining lists of unsolved mathematics problems.

Tulane Cancer Center to begin novel clinical trial for late-stage prostate cancer drug
International prostate cancer expert Dr. Oliver Sartor of Tulane Cancer Center is the first oncologist in the United States to offer patients Alpharadin, an experimental new treatment for late-stage prostate cancer.

Pushing the brain to find new pathways
Until recently, scientists believed that, following a stroke, a patient had about six months to regain any lost function.

Study: Sea stars bulk up to beat the heat
A new study finds that a species of sea star stays cool using a strategy never before seen in the animal kingdom.

'Guided Care' receives Award for Innovation in Practice Improvement
Guided Care, a new model of comprehensive health care for people with multiple chronic conditions, has received the 2009 Medical Economics Award for Innovation in Practice Improvement.

Cyclone Anja hits wind shear, weakens drastically
This morning, Cyclone Anja was a powerful Category 4 cyclone on the Saffir-Simpson scale.

Common herbal medicine may prevent acetaminophen-related liver damage, says Stanford researcher
A well-known Eastern medicine supplement may help avoid the most common cause of liver transplantation, according to a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Cross-country runabouts -- immune cells on the move
In order to effectively fight pathogens, even at remote areas of the human body, immune cells have to move quickly and in a flexible manner.

New research by University of Miami law professor analyzes issues in immigration law
University of Miami Law Professor Rebecca A. Sharpless has recently authored a research paper titled,

News brief: Adverse symptom reporting by patients vs. clinicians
Clinician's and patient's adverse symptom reports may be discrepant from each other, but provide complementary, clinically meaningful information, according to a new study published online Nov.

Pre-eclampsia linked to thyroid problems
Women who develop pre-eclampsia during pregnancy are more likely than other women to have reduced thyroid function (hypothyroidism), finds a study published on today.

New study ushers in spring-time for slow inactivation
The December 2009 issue of the Journal of General Physiology contains a paper by Christopher Ahern and colleagues that explores pore mutation effects in Shaker and other K+ channels using in vivo nonsense suppression technology.

Drug therapy more cost-effective than angioplasty for diabetic patients with heart disease
Many patients with diabetes should forego angioplasties for heart disease and just take medicine instead, according to a new National Institutes of Health study led by Stanford University School of Medicine researcher Mark Hlatky, M.D.

Only tax increase can cure Illinois budget woes, study says
Tax increases are the only solution to a widening budget crisis that a new study says has landed Illinois among the nation's most financially troubled states, a soon-to-be-released report by a team of University of Illinois economists warns.

Are female mountain goats sexually conflicted over size of mate?
Mountain goats are no exception to the general rule among mammals that larger males sire more and healthier offspring.

Comforted by carpet: How do floors and distance affect purchases?
Consumers who stand on carpeted flooring feel comforted, but they judge products close to them to be less comforting, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Study shows family caregivers, simple touch techniques reduce symptoms in cancer patients
Family caregivers can significantly reduce suffering in cancer patients at home through use of simple touch and massage techniques.

New study confirms exotic electric properties of graphene
First, it was the soccer-ball-shaped molecules dubbed buckyballs. Then it was the cylindrically shaped nanotubes.

Students with a lower socioeconomic background benefit from daily school physical activity
Daily physical exercise at school positively improves students' body composition and exercise capacity.

Nutrigenomics researchers replicate gene interaction with saturated fat
Tufts University researchers have identified a gene-diet interaction that appears to influence body weight and have replicated their findings in three independent studies.

Cancer patients and doctors report drug side effects differently
In clinical trials for cancer, it is standard for clinicians rather than patients to report adverse symptom side effects from treatments, such as nausea and fatigue.

Counterfeit euros are detected with an optical mouse
The sensor of some optical mice can be used to easily and cheaply detect counterfeit euros, according to a study published by researchers of the University of Lleida in the scientific journal Sensors.

EIT waves and coronal magnetic field diagnosis
Solar coronal seismology based on magnetic field-line stretching model of

Depression as deadly as smoking, but anxiety may be good for you
A study by researchers at the University of Bergen, Norway, and the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London has found that depression is as much of a risk factor for mortality as smoking.

Emulating Western lifestyles: Consumption and carbon footprints in less industrialized countries
In recent decades, a new global middle class has exploded, with a total population exceeding one billion people.

Small nanoparticles bring big improvement to medical imaging
A joint research team, working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has discovered a method of using nanoparticles to illuminate the cellular interior to reveal the slow, complex processes taking place in a living cell.

Experts: Failure to focus on farming will undermine global climate agreement and increase hunger
Alarmed by a substantial oversight in the global climate talks leading up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen next month, more than 60 of the world's most prominent agricultural scientists and leaders underscored how the almost total absence of agriculture in the agreement could lead to widespread famine and food shortages in the years ahead.

Small optical force can budge nanoscale objects
With a bit of leverage, Cornell researchers have used a very tiny beam of light with as little as 1 milliwatt of power to move a silicon structure up to 12 nanometers.

Pitt researcher to co-direct national consortium on facial birth defects
University of Pittsburgh and University of Iowa researchers will lead a $9 million, five-year initiative to study the cause of facial birth defects.

NIH awards $8.5 million for research on pharmaceuticals for children
Studying drugs in pediatric populations is challenging because drugs often affect children differently than they do adults.

On your last nerve: NC State researchers advance understanding of stem cells
Researchers from North Carolina State University have identified a gene that tells embryonic stem cells in the brain when to stop producing nerve cells called neurons.

Pitt part of $100 million NHLBI 'Bench to Bassinet' effort in congenital heart disease
Developmental biologists at the University of Pittsburgh have been chosen to participate in a $100 million federal

Your own stem cells can treat heart disease
The largest national stem cell study for heart disease showed the first evidence that transplanting a potent form of adult stem cells into the heart muscle of patients with severe angina results in less pain and an improved ability to walk.

Novel NIST connector uses magnets for leak-free microfluidic devices
NIST researchers have developed a new, inexpensive, reusable and highly efficient microfluidic connector.

Study finds link between preeclampsia and reduced thyroid function
Women who experience preeclampsia, a serious complication of pregnancy, may have an increased risk for reduced thyroid functioning later in life, report a team of researchers from the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.

GAVI's impact on vaccine market is bringing down prices
Following the increasing impact of the GAVI Alliance on the vaccine market, the price of one of the major combination vaccines, the pentavalent, is falling considerably, enabling GAVI's partners to vaccinate millions of more children in the developing world.

'No muss, no fuss' miniaturized analysis for complex samples developed
NIST researchers have created a novel and simple way to analyze samples that are complex mixtures -- such as whole milk, blood serum and dirt in solution -- by adapting a NIST-developed separation technique called gradient elution moving boundary electrophoresis.

Moa get fewer: Landmark study
The evolutionary history of New Zealand's many extinct flightless moa has been re-written in the first comprehensive study of more than 260 sub-fossil specimens to combine all known genetic, anatomical, geological and ecological information about the unique bird lineage.

New funds for Rice, M.D. Anderson program
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute today committed to a four-year renewal of funds for an innovative biomedical training program between Rice University and the University of Texas M.D.

Fossil fuel CO2 emissions up by 29 percent since 2000
The strongest evidence yet that the rise in atmospheric CO2 emissions continues to outstrip the ability of the world's natural

Higher-dose losartan reduces death or hospital admission for heart failure (HEAAL study)
Using a high dose of the angiotensin-receptor blocker losartan reduces death or hospital admission for heart failure.

Development of office furniture accessible to all
CIDEMCO-Tecnalia has designed the first series of office furniture for accessible work environments in offices.

Motivational 'women-only' cardiac rehab improves symptoms of depression
Women who participated in a motivational cardiac rehab program designed for women experienced less symptoms of depression.

Solving the 50-year-old puzzle of thalidomide
Resurgence of thalidomide use in Africa and South America raises the urgent need to isolate the negative side effects by identifying the drug's

NTU ramps up international research -- inks deals with 4 leading Turkish universities
Nanyang Technological University -- Singapore's leading science and technology university -- is ramping up its efforts in promoting international collaboration in top-level research and in student and faculty/staff exchanges with new tie-ups with four top universities in Turkey.

Some obese people perceive body size as OK, dismiss need to lose weight
Eight percent of obese people misperceived their body size, believing they did not need to lose weight or that they could afford to gain weight.

Extinct moa rewrites New Zealand's history
DNA recovered from fossilized bones of the moa, a giant extinct bird, has revealed a new geological history of New Zealand, reports a study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

UM Law professor examines the role of corporate lawyers in the court of public opinion
In today's world, legal issues and controversies are not only tried in the court of law, but also in the

Some prescription meds can harm fetus
More than 6 percent of expectant mothers in Quebec consume prescription drugs that are known to be harmful to their fetuses, according to a University of Montreal investigation published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Prevalence of high LDL, or 'bad' cholesterol levels decreases in US
Between 1999 and 2006, the prevalence of adults in the US with high levels of LDL cholesterol, the

Heart disease found in Egyptian mummies
Hardening of the arteries has been detected in Egyptian mummies, some as old as 3,500 years, suggesting that the factors causing heart attack and stroke are not only modern ones; they afflicted ancient people, too.

Need for emergency airway surgery for hard-to-intubate patients reduced
Be prepared, that old Boy Scout motto, is being applied with great success to operating room patients whose anatomy may make it difficult for physicians to help them breathe during surgery, Johns Hopkins researchers report in a new study.

Ladybugs taken hostage by wasps
Are ladybugs being overtaken by wasps? A University of Montreal entomologist is investigating a type of wasp present in Quebec that forces ladybugs to carry their larvae.

Monetary gain and high-risk tactics stimulate activity in the brain
Monetary gain stimulates activity in the brain. Even the mere possibility of receiving a reward is known to activate an area of the brain called the striatum.

Spotting evidence of directed percolation
Convincing experimental evidence has finally been found for directed percolation, a phenomenon that turns up in computer models of the ways diseases spread through a population or how water soaks through loose soil.

Newer heart devices significantly improve survival, complication rate and quality of life
A new generation of implanted devices that help a failing heart function properly is significantly more effective than the previous version, making these new devices an appropriate permanent therapy for many of the more than 5 million Americans who suffer from heart failure.

How fish is cooked affects heart-health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids
Baked or boiled fish is associated with more benefit from heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids than fried, salted or dried fish.

Studies suggest males have more personality
Males have more pronounced personalities than females across a range of species -- from humans to house sparrows -- according to new research.

Is 80-year-old mistake leading to first species to be fished to extinction?
A species of common skate is to become the first marine fish species to be driven to extinction by commercial fishing, due to an error of species classification 80 years ago.

Members of Congress, university leaders, scientists launch ScienceWorksForUS
Representatives of the nation's leading public and private research universities, joined by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other Members of Congress, today announced the launch of ScienceWorksForUS, an initiative that will highlight the scientific research and related activities that have been made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, also known as the stimulus.

JQI researchers create entangled photons from quantum dots
To exploit the quantum world to the fullest, a key commodity is entanglement -- the spooky, distance-defying link that can form between objects such as atoms even when they are completely shielded from one another.

Coed college housing connected to frequent binge drinking
A new study in the Journal of American College Health finds that students placed by their universities in coed housing are 2.5 times more likely to binge drink each week than students placed in all-male or all-female housing.

Talking to ourselves: How consumers navigate choices and inner conflict
From simple decisions like

Unexplained liver hemorrhage after metastasis radiofrequency ablation
Radiofrequency ablation is a minimally invasive treatment of hepatic metastases from colon carcinoma, and can achieve good outcomes with low morbidity and mortality rates.

Ticking stellar time bomb identified
Using ESO's Very Large Telescope and its ability to obtain images as sharp as if taken from space, astronomers have made the first time-lapse movie of a rather unusual shell ejected by a

€1m to study the molecular chemistry of depleted uranium
A scientist at the University of Nottingham has been recognized for his outstanding and creative early career research with a prestigious €1 million ($1.5 million) grant to study speculative and ground-breaking research into molecular depleted uranium chemistry.

Researchers focus on helping dying patients take care of unfinished business
Hospice workers have watched patients emerge from comas and cling to life long enough to tell someone they love or forgive them.

Scientists discover cells that control inflammation in chronic disease
A new type of immune cell that can be out of control in certain chronic inflammatory diseases, worsening the symptoms of conditions like psoriasis and asthma, is described for the first time this week in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Purdue, NASA research provides blueprint for molecular basis of global warming
A new study indicates that major chemicals most often cited as leading causes of climate change, such as carbon dioxide and methane, are outclassed in their warming potential by compounds receiving less attention.

NJIT engineer discovers why particles disperse on liquids
Even if you are not a cook, you might have wondered why a pinch of flour (or any small particles) thrown into a bowl of water will disperse in a dramatic fashion, radiating outward as if it was exploding.

Petascale computational tools could revolutionize understanding of genomic evolution
Technological advances in DNA sequencing make determining how living things are related possible by analyzing the ways in which their genes have been rearranged on chromosomes.

Ending the 'endless adolescence': U.Va. psychologists tell how in new book
Parental nurturing is backfiring, and as a result a generation of teens is growing up less independent, less skilled at common tasks -- from doing laundry to choosing college classes -- and increasingly unprepared for adulthood.

Oscar Pistorius' artificial limbs give him clear, major advantage for sprint running
The artificial lower limbs of double-amputee Olympic hopeful Oscar Pistorius give him a clear and major advantage over his competition, taking 10 seconds or more off what his 400-meter race time would be if his prosthesis behaved like intact limbs.

Last-resort lower-body amputation effective in extreme cases of bone infection, 25-year review shows
A landmark, 25-year review of cases in which surgeons had to remove the lower portion of the body from the waist down for severe pelvic bone infections shows the therapy can add years and quality of life to survivors, say researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Are teenagers wired differently than adults?
Parents have long suspected that the brains of their teenagers function differently than those of adults.

The challenge for biostatistics is in measuring the quality of life as regards health
The biostatistics research team at the Department of Applied Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research of the University of the Basque Country is working on applied statistics based on health sciences and experimental sciences under the leadership of Inma Arostegui.

Researchers discover heart disease in 3,500-year-old mummies
CT scans of mummies revealed calcium deposits in their artery walls.

Lung cancer experts hold roundtable on new staging guide
The International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer will hold an expert roundtable and webcast announcing the recent publication and impact of the IASLC's Staging Manual in Thoracic Oncology containing the recently released 7th Edition of TNM in Lung and Pleural Tumors. 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