Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 25, 2009
Engineers, doctors at UCLA develop novel material that could help fight arterial disease
To develop a device to treat peripheral arterial disease that could prevent thrombosis from occurring in small diameter vessels, a team from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science, in collaboration with the UCLA Geffen School of Medicine, was recently awarded a $1 million Challenge Grant over two years by the National Institute of Health's National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

Brain's fear center is equipped with a built-in suffocation sensor
The portion of our brains that is responsible for registering fear and even panic has a built-in chemical sensor that is triggered by a primordial terror -- suffocation.

Achieve early diagnosis of ocular pathologies such as keratitis and macular degeneration
This work has been developed at the optics department of the University of Granada.

Most radiation oncologists utilize advanced medical imaging techniques, study suggests
A recent study shows that 95 percent of radiation oncologists use advanced imaging techniques such as positron emission tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and four-dimensional computed tomography for target delineation (to locate the tumor and other areas at risk for having cancer), according to an article in the December issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Computerized order entry/decision support systems: Effective solution to managing imaging utilization
Providing physicians with a computerized order entry/decision support system that provides immediate feedback regarding imaging appropriateness at the time of ordering may be an effective solution to managing imaging utilization, according to an article in the December issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Improving household energy efficiency would reduce emissions and improve public health in both richer and poorer nations
Household energy interventions aimed at reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in low-income settings have greater potential to improve public health than do those in high-income countries, but household energy interventions in high-income settings are vital for the achievement of climate-abatement targets worldwide and also have appreciable potential benefits to health.

Some patients diagnosed with HIV experience improved outlook on life
A new study from researchers at the University of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center reaffirms that some patients with HIV experience an improved quality of life following their diagnosis.

Houses of the rising sun
New research at the University of Leicester has identified scores of Sicilian temples built to face the rising sun, shedding light on the practices of the Ancient Greeks.

First 'genetic map' of Han Chinese may aid search for disease susceptibility genes
The first genetic historical map of the Han Chinese, the largest ethnic population in the world, as they migrated from south to north over evolutionary time.

NIH teams with Lancet to address public health impacts of climate change
Today, new studies published in the Lancet show that strategies to reduce greenhouse gases also benefit human health.

Stanford scientists identify 2 molecules that affect brain plasticity in mice
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have identified a set of molecular brakes that stabilize the developing brain's circuitry.

Univalor and Cognitive Sensing Inc. to commercialize 4 University of Montreal discoveries
Cutting-edge technologies are about to enter the marketplace, thanks to a new partnership between Gestion Univalor, Limited Partnership and Cognitive Sensing Inc., a privately owned technology company based in Montreal.

Crosstalk between critical cell-signaling pathways holds clues to tumor invasion and metastasis
Two signaling pathways essential to normal human development -- the Wnt/Wingless and epidermal growth factor receptor pathways -- interact in ways that can promote tumor cell invasion and metastasis, researchers from the University of Texas M.

Workplace literacy schemes are too short to improve skills
The government's Skills for Life initiative has not significantly improved literacy or the economic performance of participating companies, despite what policymakers believe.

Free e-samples of prescription drugs: At what cost?
An analysis of Web coupons and vouchers for free or discounted prescription medications found the value of such introductory offers is low compared to costs to continue to take the medication.

Early relationships influence teen pain and depression
Angst could be more than a rite of passage for insecure teenagers, according to a study published in the Journal of Pain.

Magic box for mission impossible
For rescuers working in remote places working phones and Internet are literally a question of life and death.

$300 million fund-raising campaign launched for rice food security in Asia
In the face of unrelenting pressure on Asian rice production, a $300 million fund-raising campaign has been launched in Singapore to support rice research to help find sustainable solutions.

The contagion of our mistakes shows no mercy
In the second of four comments that accompanies the series, WHO Director-General Dr.

New genetic cause of cardiac failure discovered
Over the course of a lifetime, the heart pumps some 250 million liters of blood through the body.

Doctors must discuss climate change and health with patients
In the third comment with the series, Professor Mike Gill, University of Surrey, UK, and Dr.

NASA's Aqua satellite sees Nida explode into a category 5 Super Typhoon
Typhoon Nida is in a favorable environment that has enabled it to intensify faster and stronger than previously forecast, and has now exploded into a Super typhoon.

Media availability: Agricultural resilience in the face of climate change
Agriculture & Rural Development Day is a one-day event that will seek to build consensus on what has to be done to fully incorporate agriculture into the post-Copenhagen climate agenda.

On-call radiology residents accurately interpret off-hours neuro CT exams
On-call radiology residents generally provide accurate preliminary interpretation of emergency neuroradiology CT scans after hours when attending neuroradiologist unavailable, according to results of a large study performed at a level I trauma center published in the December issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Increased walking and cycling will benefit health and climate more than lower emission motor vehicles
Increased walking and cycling, and fewer cars, would have a much greater impact on health than use of low-emission vehicles, in both rich countries like the UK and middle-income countries such as India.

NASA's Aqua satellite sees Tropical Storm Bongani approaching Mozambique Channel
NASA's Aqua satellite flew over Cyclone Bongani today and provided some important data that have helped forecasters figure out where the storm is headed, and helped them see that it has changed course.

Tips from the American Journal of Pathology
These highlights describe articles published in the December 2009 of the American Journal of Pathology.

Implant-based cancer vaccine is first to eliminate tumors in mice
A cancer vaccine carried into the body on a carefully engineered, fingernail-sized implant is the first to successfully eliminate tumors in mammals.

Caltech scientists find emotion-like behaviors, regulated by dopamine, in fruit flies
Scientists at the California Institute of Technology have uncovered evidence of a primitive emotion-like behavior in the fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster.

Copenhagen is a beginning, not the end
In his comment which opens the Lancet Series on Health and Climate Change, Lancet editor Dr.

Kent State University professors focus research on the environment with grants totaling $890,000
Two Kent State University assistant professors recently received funding from the National Science Foundation to continue research beneficial to understanding the environment.

New guidelines for broadcasters on user-generated content
For the first time guidelines are to be published on how broadcasters around the world can encourage audiences to produce better quality user-generated content and to improve media and information literacy.

Media availability: Separating fact from fiction on forests, REDD and climate
In the midst of contentious negotiations in Copenhagen, more than 1,500 of the world's leading experts, activists, policymakers, journalists and global leaders will gather for Forest Day 3 to review new findings regarding the role of forests in reducing climate change and discuss the state of forests in global climate negotiations.

Copenhagen: An opportunity to choose policies to improve health and tackle climate change
In the final comment with the Series, Professor Sir Andrew Haines, Director of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and chair of the international task force of scientists that wrote the series, gives a summary of the papers and their implications.

APOLLON, the largest European photoelectric research project
TECNALIA Technological Corporation, through its Energy Unit, is the only representative from the Spanish State within APOLLON, the largest European photoelectric energy research project, falling within the remit of the 7th R+D Framework Program.

Parent training key to improved treatment of behavior problems in children with autism
The serious behavior problems that can occur in children with autism and related conditions can be reduced with a treatment plan that includes medication combined with a structured training program for parents, according to Yale University researchers and their colleagues.

Senior doctors launch global movement to tackle climate change
Senior doctors from across the globe have come together to form the International Climate and Health Council.

Tailor-made HIV/AIDS treatment closer to reality
An innovative treatment for HIV patients developed by McGill University Health Centre researchers has passed its first clinical trial with flying colors.

Study sheds light on brain's fear processing center
A University Iowa study helps explain why breathing carbon dioxide can trigger panic attacks and also suggests a new role for the amygdala -- the brain region that processes fear signals and directs fear behavior -- as a sensor that can detect certain fear signals for itself.

New stress-related gene modulates high blood pressure in mice and men
New research has for the first time established a link between a novel gene, phosducin, and the blood pressure response to stress in mice as well as humans.

Auditory illusion: How our brains can fill in the gaps to create continuous sound
It is relatively common for listeners to

Heparanase-specific shRNA: A novel therapeutic strategy in human gastric cancer
A research team from China developed short hairpin RNA against heparanase (HPA), and determined its effects on HPA expression and the malignant characteristics of gastric cancer cells.

Medical students regularly stuck by needles, often fail to report injuries
Medical students are commonly stuck by needles -- putting them at risk of contracting potentially dangerous blood-borne diseases -- and many of them fail to report the injuries to hospital authorities, according to a Johns Hopkins study published in the December issue of the journal Academic Medicine.

Other short-lived greenhouse pollutants need to be controlled too
Carbon dioxide is not the only greenhouse pollutant which needs to be controlled.

Researchers discover biological basis of 'bacterial immune system'
A team of scientists led by researchers at the University of Georgia has discovered how the bacterial immune system works, and the finding could lead to new classes of targeted antibiotics, new tools to study gene function in microorganisms and more stable bacterial cultures used by food and biotechnology industries to make products such as yogurt and cheese.

New device implanted by surgeons help paralyzed patients breathe easier
Physicians at UT Southwestern Medical Center soon will begin implanting a new device designed to improve breathing in patients with upper spinal-cord injuries or other diseases that keep them from breathing independently.

New translation explores life of man who staked Canada's claim in Arctic
Predictions that the Arctic Ocean could be free of summer ice as early as 2030 are putting increased pressure on the Canadian government to ensure its northern boundaries are respected.

Vanderbilt scientists report first effective medical therapy for rare stomach disorder
A drug used to treat colorectal cancer also can reverse a rare stomach disorder and should be considered first-line therapy for the disease, researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center report in the Nov.

News brief: Long-term testicular cancer survivors at high risk for neurological side effects
Long-term survivors of testicular cancer who were treated with cisplatin-based chemotherapy had more severe side effects, including neurological side effects and Raynaud-like phenomena, than men who were not treated with chemotherapy, according to a new study published online Nov.

A RANK insider resolving the enigma of the fever chart
Mammals have evolved a complex system for controlling bone remodeling.

Etiologic factors of gastric cardiac adenocarcinoma among men in Taiwan
A research team from Taiwan elucidated etiologic associations between Helicobacter pylori, lifestyle, environmental factors and gastric cardiac adenocarcinoma (GCA) among men.

New data emerges on liver transplant survival rates
Researchers at the University of Miami School of Medicine compared the outcomes of cirrhotic patients who underwent liver transplants for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) versus alcoholic liver disease (ETOH) and found no statistically significant differences in post-transplant survival rates between the NASH and ETOH groups.

Small faults in southeast Spain reduce earthquake risk of larger ones
A team of Spanish scientists studying recent, active deformations in the Baetic mountain range have shown that the activity of smaller tectonic structures close to larger faults in the south east of the Iberian Peninsula partially offsets the risk of earthquakes.

Largest health gains from cleaner electricity generation can be made in middle-income countries such as India and China
Decreasing the proportion of carbon-based electricity generation will lead to significant health benefits worldwide.

'Safety valve' protects photosynthesis from too much light
Photosynthetic organisms need to cope with a wide range of light intensities, which can change over timescales of seconds to minutes.

30 percent reduction in livestock production and consumption would help slow climate change and prevent many deaths from heart disease
Improvements in agricultural technology and efficiency will not be sufficient to meet climate change targets in the food and agriculture sector.

Cutting greenhouse pollutants could directly save millions of lives worldwide
Six international studies published this week in the British journal the Lancet show that cutting greenhouse gases, in particular ozone and black carbon, can quickly save millions of lives worldwide in addition to slowing climate change.

Startled flies may provide insight into ADHD
It seems obvious that naturally waking up from sleep and being startled by something in the environment are two very different emotional states.

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft partners with NTU to set up its first research institute in Asia
Germany's Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, Europe's largest institution for applied research in computer graphics, in collaboration with Nanyang Technological University, is setting up its first interactive digital media research institute outside of Europe and the United States.

Cosmic 'dig' reveals vestiges of the Milky Way's building blocks
Peering through the thick dust clouds of our galaxy's

It's not just dirt!
A collaborative project by soil science and earth science teachers at University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Oregon State University-Cascades, Colorado State University-Fort Collins, Trinity College and University of Minnesota explored the development and dissemination of soil e-lessons.

Cells defend themselves from viruses, bacteria with armor of protein errors
When cells are confronted with an invading virus or bacteria or exposed to an irritating chemical, they protect themselves by going off their DNA recipe and inserting the wrong amino acid into new proteins to defend them against damage, scientists have discovered.

David Laughlin receives 2009 TMS Distinguished Scientist/Engineer Award
The Electronic, Magnetic, and Photonic Materials Division of The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society has named Professor David Laughlin the recipient of its 2009 Distinguished Scientist/Engineer Award.

High salt intake linked to strokes and cardiovascular disease
Eating high amounts of salt is linked to a significantly higher risk of strokes and cardiovascular disease, states a paper published today in the British Medical Journal.

Johnson & Johnson award goes to research of the cause of brain cell damage in Parkinson's
Dr. Sarit Larisch of the University of Haifa's Department of Biology has been awarded the prestigious Johnson & Johnson Focused Funding grant for her research exploring the cause of brain cell damage in Parkinson's disease.This is the first time in three years that an Israeli scientist has received the Johnson & Johnson Focus Funding award.

Dentists can help to identify patients at risk of a heart attack
Dentists can help to identify patients who are in danger of dying of a heart attack or stroke, reveals a new study from the Sahlgrenska Academy.

1 of LA BioMed's founders to be honored
Melvin R. Kaplan, M.D., F.A.C.P., a former LA BioMed Board Chair and one of the founders of the research institute, will be honored by the American College of Physicians for his lifetime devotion to the care of patients.

Realizing the public health benefits of policies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions: A call to action
In the sixth and final paper of the Lancet Series on Health and Climate Change, a call to action is issued to key groups to realize the ancillary health benefits that reducing greenhouse-gas emissions can bring.

ORNL 'deep retrofits' can cut home energy bills in half
Oak Ridge National Laboratory has announced plans to conduct a series of deep energy retrofit research projects with the potential to improve the energy efficiency in selected homes by as much as 30 to 50 percent.

Hormone ghrelin can boost resistance to Parkinson's disease
Ghrelin, a hormone produced in the stomach, may be used to boost resistance to, or slow, the development of Parkinson's disease, Yale School of Medicine researchers report in a study published in a recent issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

ASH announces 2009 Merit Award winners
The American Society of Hematology is pleased to recognize the following abstract presenters with the highest scoring abstracts in the categories of undergraduate student, medical student, graduate student, resident physician, and post-doctoral fellow.

News brief: Estrogen receptor-alpha, breast cancer patients and tamoxifen response
Researchers have found evidence of a statistically significant survival benefit from adjuvant tamoxifen among patients whose estrogen-receptor-positive tumors had high levels of phosphorylation of ER-alpha; at serine-118, according to a brief communication published online Nov.

Oceanic crust formation is dynamic after all
Earth scientists at Brown University have found strong evidence that the geological processes that lead to the formation of oceanic crust are not as uniformly passive as believed. 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