Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 01, 2009
Overweight children may develop back pain and spinal abnormalities
Being overweight as a child could lead to early degeneration in the spine, according to a new study.

Yehezkel Ben-Ari, winner of the 2009 INSERM Grand Prix
Every year since 2000, INSERM has affirmed its commitment to paying tribute to outstanding work performed in its laboratories and departments.

How did flowering plants evolve to dominate Earth?
Scientists in Ecology Letters reveal the evolutionary step which allowed flowering plants to become the most abundant and ecologically successful group of plants on Earth.

Clearing the way for detecting pulmonary embolism
Research published in the December issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine suggests that a form of molecular imaging called single photon emission computed tomography, when combined with low-dose CT, may provide an accurate diagnosis for pulmonary embolism.

Traditional craft industry with a bright future
Mary and Joseph, the angels, the manger -- at Christmas time, lots of people still decorate their homes with high-quality wooden figures depicting the nativity scene.

Study shows dream-enacting behavior is common in healthy young adults
A study in the Dec. 1 issue of the journal Sleep shows that dream-enacting behaviors are common in healthy young adults, and the prevalence of specific behaviors differs between men and women.

Can heart disease treatments combat AMD?
Can treatments that reduce risks for cardiovascular disease also help combat age-related macular degeneration, an eye disease that affects millions of Americans?

UT Southwestern scientists identify possible therapy target for aggressive cancer
UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have found that a naturally occurring protein -- transforming growth factor beta1 (TGF-ß1) -- which normally suppresses the growth of cancer cells, causes a rebound effect after a prolonged exposure.

Special ultrasound accurately identifies skin cancer
High-frequency ultrasound with elastography can help differentiate between cancerous and benign skin conditions, according to a new study.

Enzyme replacement therapy improves outcomes in Fabry's disease
A five-year study has shown that enzyme replacement therapy improves clinical outcome, including reducing pain and improving quality of life, in patients with Fabry's Disease.

Typhoon Nida's cloud tops dropping as it zigzags in wind shear
Nida is battling to keep its typhoon strength in the Western Pacific Ocean as wind shear continues to tear at the storm and weaken it.

Researchers demonstrate 100-watt-level mid-infrared lasers
Northwestern University researchers have achieved a breakthrough in quantum cascade laser output power, delivering 120 watts from a single device at room temperature.

New data on highly effective treatment for chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps
OptiNose is pleased to announce the publication of results from its Phase II clinical study investigating the efficacy and tolerability of its novel, intranasal drug/device product for the topical treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis with nasal polyps in Rhinology, the official journal of the International and European Rhinologic Societies

In CO2-rich environment, some ocean dwellers increase shell production
In a striking finding that raises new questions about carbon dioxide's (CO2) impact on marine life, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution scientists report that some shell-building creatures -- such as crabs, shrimp and lobsters -- unexpectedly build more shell when exposed to ocean acidification caused by elevated levels of atmospheric CO2.

Improving female reproductive health and empowerment through control of NTDs
Controlling neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in developing countries would help improve the reproductive health and rights of girls and women in the poorest countries of Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, according to a new editorial published Nov.

Brown fat cells make 'spare tires' shrink
Scientists at the University of Bonn have found a new signalling pathway which stimulates the production and function of so-called brown fat cells.

Marine aquaculture could feed growing world population
An assessment published in the December issue of BioScience concludes that marine aquaculture could play a large role in feeding humanity in the coming decades, although substantial changes will be needed to reduce its reliance on terrestrial agriculture and other external feed subsidies.

Can cleft palate be healed before birth?
In a study newly published in the journal Development, investigators at the USC School of Dentistry describe how to nonsurgically reverse the onset of cleft palate in fetal mice -- potentially one step in the journey to a better understanding of similar defects in humans.

Wistar-led research team discovers genetic pattern that indicates early stage lung cancer
Wistar Institute researchers and collaborators from the University of Pennsylvania and New York University have identified immune system markers in the blood which indicate early stage lung tumors in people at high risk for developing lung cancer.

Human Mdm2: A new molecular link to late-stage metastatic breast cancer
A large proportion of late-stage breast cancers that have spread to other parts of the body (metastatic breast cancers) are characterized by overexpression of the protein Mdm2.

Study shows that adults have dreamlike thoughts during sleepwalking and sleep terrors episodes
A study in the Dec. 1 issue of the journal Sleep shows that short, unpleasant, dreamlike mental activity occurs during sleepwalking and sleep terrors episodes, suggesting that people with these sleep disorders may be acting out dreamlike thoughts.

High urea levels in chronic kidney failure might be toxic after all
It is thought that the elevated levels of urea (the byproduct of protein breakdown that is excreted in the urine) in patients with end-stage kidney failure are not particularly toxic.

Hospital price transparancy laws in California fall short, study finds
Despite recent state legislation intended to improve price transparency, uninsured patients in California are unable to successfully obtain information about the cost of medical care at hospitals, according to a new study.

Nervy research: Researchers take initial look at ion channels in a model system
New research at NIST has allowed scientists to observe nerve ion channels within the cell surface membrane for the first time, potentially offering insights for future drug development.

ERK's got rhythm: Protein that controls cell growth found to cycle in and out of cell nucleus
Time-lapsed video of individual breast tissue cells reveals a never-before-seen event in the life of a cell: a protein that cycles between two major compartments: the nucleus, where genes are turned on and off, and the cell proper, where proteins work together to keep the cell functioning.

JCI online early table of contents: Dec. 1, 2009
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Dec.

Loneliness can be contagious
Loneliness, like a bad cold, can spread among groups of people, research at the University of Chicago, the University of California-San Diego and Harvard shows.

UM Clinical Research Building awarded prestigious LEED Building Certification
The Clinical Research Building, at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has been honored for its sustainability components.

A modernized methodology for obtaining new varieties of potato
Research into the potato tuber at the Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development and at the NEIKER-Tecnalia Technology Centre has, in recent years, focused on the development of new varieties of potato adapted to Spanish agro-climatic conditions.

Glial cells can cross from the central to the peripheral nervous system
Glial cells, which help neurons communicate with each other, can leave the central nervous system and cross into the peripheral nervous system to compensate for missing cells, according to new research in the Dec.

New source discovered for the generation of nerve cells in the brain
The research group of Professor Magdalena Gotz of Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen and Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat Munich has made a significant advance in understanding regeneration processes in the brain.

More than 1,000 patients in US admitted annually for aviation-related injuries
The first ever published study of aviation-related injuries and deaths in the US finds that more than 1,013 patients are admitted to US hospitals with aviation-related injuries annually, and that 753 aviation-deaths occur each year.

Yerkes researchers create first transgenic prairie voles
Researchers have generated the first transgenic prairie voles, an important step toward unlocking the genetic secrets of pair bonding.

North Pole wolf e-mails locations to researchers
Thanks to a satellite collar, two innovative scientists, and a blog, people can follow the travels of Brutus, the

ASH encourages high school students to pursue research through symposium, science curriculum
The American Society of Hematology will host its annual High School Student Symposium at the New Orleans Marriott on Thursday, Dec.

Preterm births higher among deprived mothers, despite equal care
Despite improvements in obstetric care services, women from deprived areas are still more likely to give birth to a very preterm baby compared with mothers from more affluent areas, finds a study published on today.

Hospital Clinic Barcelona and Massachusetts General Hospital extract rectal mass through anus
Performing surgical operations without leaving scars has ceased to be a chimera and has become a reality.

Combining nanotubes and antibodies for breast cancer 'search and destroy' missions
A group including researchers from NIST have demonstrated how single-walled nanotubes can be used to detect and destroy an aggressive form of breast cancer.

Pleasant dietary habits are necessary for health
Japanese research group led by Professor Yasuhiko Minokoshi and Dr.

Death-inducing proteins key to complications of bone marrow transplantation
Treatment for a number of cancers and other medical conditions is transplantation with bone marrow from a genetically nonidentical individual.

Arts and sciences join to develop greener, more efficient conferences and exhibits
Santanu Majumdar spent his years as a graphic design graduate student developing a project that might sound counterintuitive for a student of fine arts -- a software program made to simplify information gathering at conferences and exhibitions.

NIST develops experimental validation tool for cell phone forensics
NIST researchers have developed a new technique aimed at improving the validation of a crime lab's cell phone forensics tools.

Facebook profiles capture true personality, according to new psychology research
Online social networks such as Facebook are being used to express and communicate real personality, instead of an idealized virtual identity, according to new research from psychologist Sam Gosling at the University of Texas at Austin.

Homicide rates linked to trust in governement, sense of belonging, study suggests
When Americans begin routinely complaining about how they hate their government and don't trust their leaders, it may be time to look warily at the homicide rate.

Oklahoma cancer study takes major step toward improved treatment
Cancer researchers at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center have found a way to turn ineffective new cancer drugs into cancer-fighters.

Dessert on your mind? Your muscles may be getting the message
Even the anticipation of sweets may cause our muscles to start taking up more blood sugar, say researchers reporting in the December issue of Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication.

Carnegie Mellon CyLab to join new industry consortium
Carnegie Mellon University's CyLab will join Northrop Grumman Corp. and two other leading research universities to form the Cybersecurity Research consortium to address the nation's most critical cyber threats.

Timing of surgery for knee injuries may not affect outcomes
Multiple-ligament knee injuries resulting from traumatic knee dislocations such as high impact car accidents or certain sports are uncommon, and the optimal timing of surgical repair or reconstruction has not been definitively established.

Investigators identify successful weight control strategies for adolescents
Adolescent obesity is a major public health problem that impacts one out of every three children, resulting in 4-5 million overweight youth in the United States.

New safety concern related to antipsychotic treatment
Overall, antipsychotic medications are reasonably effective, and fairly well tolerated treatments for mood and psychotic disorders.

Why females live longer than males: is it due to the father's sperm?
Researchers in Japan have found that female mice produced by using genetic material from two mothers but no father live significantly longer than mice with the normal mix of maternal and paternal genes.

Rhino poaching surges in Asia, Africa
Rhino poaching worldwide is on the rise, according to a new report by TRAFFIC and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Glucose intolerance in pregnancy associated with postpartum cardiovascular risk
Women who have gestational glucose intolerance (a condition less severe than gestational diabetes) exhibit multiple cardiovascular risk factors as early as three months after birth, according to a new study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Criteria based on CT imaging after chemotherapy may help predict survival
Preliminary research suggests that criteria based on computed tomography (CT) imaging of changes in tumors from colorectal liver metastases after chemotherapy with the drug bevacizumab may have the potential to predict overall survival, according to a study in the Dec.

Are the effects of pornography negligible?
A Universite de Montreal researcher, funded by the Interdisciplinary Research Center on Family Violence and Violence Against Women, has launched a new study to examine the effects of pornography on men.

Academy scientist to present at 'COP15' climate conference in Copenhagen on December 15, 2009
From December 7-18, 2009, the United Nations will hold the 15th annual Conference of the Parties for its Framework Convention on Climate Change.

Mammography may increase breast cancer risk in some high-risk women
Low-dose radiation from annual mammography screening may increase breast cancer risk in women with genetic or familial predisposition to breast cancer, according to a new study.

New study released on World AIDS Day measures HIV anti-retroviral regimens' safety and efficacy
A study in the New England Journal of Medicine that was released on World AIDS Day compares two anti-retroviral regimens.

MRI helps detect life-threatening pregnancy complication
A new study has revealed that MRI is a highly accurate means of identifying placenta accreta, a potentially life-threatening and increasingly common condition that is the leading cause of death for women just before and after giving birth.

Blushing dusty nebula
A recent NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image of part of NGC 7023, or the Iris Nebula, highlights a perfect dust laboratory in the sky.

Ethnic pride key to black teen mental health
Ethnic pride may be as important as self-esteem to the mental health of African American adolescents, a new study finds.

A closer look at the Hudson Canyon shows why the canyon is critical for fish
A series of newly discovered pits in the bottom of the Hudson Canyon, 100 miles southeast of New York Harbor, may be a key ingredient for the abundant and diverse marine ecosystem in and around the canyon, according to research by scientists from Rutgers University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

ASTROnews wins 2009 MarCom Award
The American Society for Radiation Oncology has won a Gold Award in the 2009 MarCom Awards competition for the summer 2009 issue of ASTROnews, ASTRO's quarterly magazine.

Heart failure linked to gene variant affecting vitamin D activation
Previous studies have shown a link between low vitamin D status and heart disease.

NIST researchers put a new spin on atomic musical chairs
Researchers from NIST and the Naval Research Laboratory have developed a new way to introduce magnetic impurities in a semiconductor crystal, a technique that will enable researchers to selectively implant atoms in a crystal one at a time to learn about its electrical and magnetic properties on the atomic scale.

Unified approach to premature infant care improves patient outcomes
A substantial number of premature infants born before 27 weeks gestational age encounter complicated medical problems.

Chang'E-1 has blazed a new trail in China's deep space exploration
In response to worldwide attention to the Chang'E-1 lunar mission, a series of technical papers authored by Chinese scientists are published in the new issue of

Data from outer space open new frontiers for researchers
The latest data delivered back to Earth by the Herschel Space Observatory -- launched in May by the European Space Agency -- have opened a new window on galaxies for researchers at McMaster University.

TacSat-4 spacecraft complete and awaiting launch
Naval Research Laboratory engineers have completed all environmental and performance testing on the TacSat-4 COMMx payload.

Ambulatory surgical centers may exceed performance of hospitals for certain procedures
Measuring five quality-base performance areas, an ambulatory surgical center outperformed a standard hospital-based surgical center in otolaryngic surgeries, according to new research in the December 2009 issue of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery.

CT imaging taken post avastin may predict survival in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer
Using routine computed tomography imaging to analyze form and structural changes to colorectal liver metastasis after bevacizumab and chemotherapy may predict overall survival, according to research from the University of Texas M.

Study finds that infections are common in ICUs worldwide
An international study that examined the extent of infections in nearly 1,300 intensive care units in 75 countries found that about 50 percent of the patients were considered infected, with infection associated with an increased risk of death in the hospital, according to a study in the Dec.

New forensic technique gives clues about sharks from bite damage
Hit-and-run attacks by sharks can be solved with a new technique that identifies the culprits by the unique chomp they put on their victims, according to a University of Florida researcher and shark expert.

Severe asymptomatic heart disease may accompany narrowing in leg arteries
Results of a randomized, controlled clinical trial reveal that one in five patients with narrowing or blockage in arteries that supply blood to the legs and other parts of the body also have significant but silent coronary artery disease.

Tumor-attacking virus strikes with 'one-two punch'
Ohio State University cancer researchers developed a tumor-attacking virus that kills brain-tumor cells and blocks tumor blood-vessel growth.

ASH meeting will highlight research and policy changes affecting medical practice and patient care
The American Society of Hematology, the world's largest professional association of blood specialists, expects more than 20,000 attendees at the 51st ASH Annual Meeting from Dec.

Live cell imaging comes into focus in December's Cold Spring Harbor Protocols
Two articles in the December issue of Cold Spring Harbor Protocols present techniques for live cell imaging.

Bacterial gut symbionts are tightly linked with the evolution of herbivory in ants
Multiple independent associations between Rhizobiales and herbivorous ants provides strong evidence that symbiotic bacteria have facilitated the evolution of nectar and exudate-feeding life histories in ants and their radiation into otherwise inhospitable rainforest canopy habitats, providing a novel instance of innovation through symbiosis.

Shape shifters: Researchers create new breed of antennas
Antennas aren't just for listening to the radio anymore. They're used in everything from cell phones to GPS devices.

Good stress response enhances recovery from surgery, Stanford study shows
The right kind of stress response in the operating room could lead to quicker recovery for patients after knee surgery, according to a new study led by Stanford University School of Medicine researchers.

Sleep changes predict the onset of physical changes associated with puberty
A study in the Dec. 1 issue of the journal Sleep suggests that changes in children's sleep patterns that typically occur between the ages of 11 and 12 years are evident before the physical changes associated with the onset of puberty.

Will copper keep us safe from the superbugs?
Three papers scheduled for publication in the January issue of the Journal of Hospital Infection, published by Elsevier, suggest that copper might have a role in the fight against health care-associated infections.

Fear of anxiety linked to depression in above-average worriers
Anxiety sensitivity, or the fear of feeling anxious, may put people who are already above-average worriers at risk for depression, according to Penn State researchers.

Cardiovascular risk in youth with type 1 diabetes linked primarily to insulin resistance
According to a new study accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, youth with type 1 diabetes have now been found to have abnormal insulin resistance.

Crime scene measurements can be taken from a single image
Two researchers from the University of Salamanca have developed a procedure to enable forensic police to extract metric data from crime scenes using just a single photograph.

Quest for new anti-tumor prognostic and pharmaceutical markers for melanoma patients
The constant increase in the rate of cutaneous melanoma over recent years and its resistance to anti-tumor pharmaceutical drugs has meant that the study of cutaneous melanoma is one of the greatest scientific challenges in the field of cancer.

Careful diagnosis helps fracture patients put best foot forward
Located in areas of the foot that can be hard to visualize with X-rays and other imaging techniques, injuries to the ankle area of the foot are the most frequently misdiagnosed of all foot fractures.

White House rhetoric is important in forming foreign policy opinions
University of Missouri researchers have found that foreign policy explanations from presidential administrations that are plainly stated and easier to understand are likely to receive public support, while policy explanations that are complicated and convoluted are likely to face greater public skepticism.

MRI pioneer awarded Millennium Medal
Sir Peter Mansfield, the University of Nottingham's Nobel Laureate for Physiology and Medicine, is to be recognized, once again, for his part in one of the most important breakthroughs in medical science.

Binge drinking youths find getting old a drag
Young men who believe that happiness declines with age are more likely to engage in risky health behaviors such as binge drinking.

Air Force Center of Excellence awarded in nanostructures and improved cognition
The Georgia Institute of Technology has been awarded a $10.5 million US Air Force Center of Excellence to design nanostructures for energy harvesting and adaptive materials, and to develop tools to optimize critical cognitive processes of the modern warfighter.

Study shows modest improvement in advanced lung cancer overall survival rates
Research released in the December 2009 issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology sought to determine whether the survival improvement among patients with metastatic lung cancer has improved over the last two decades as reported in controlled clinical trials.

Aspirin, tylenol may decrease effectiveness of vaccines
With flu season in full swing and the threat of H1N1 looming, demand for vaccines is at an all-time high.

Childhood lead exposure causes permanent brain damage
A study using functional magnetic resonance imaging to evaluate brain function revealed that adults who were exposed to lead as children incur permanent brain injury.

Psychologists suggest parents should wait to teach toddlers self-control
Psychologists suggest that it may be detrimental to the developing brain to push it toward maturity too soon.

The Forsyth Institute receives the William J. Gies Award for outstanding achievement
The ADEAGies Foundation will honor The Forsyth Institute with an Outstanding Achievement Award at the Gies Awards celebration to be held on Feb.

Investigators identify successful weight control strategies for adolescents
Adolescent obesity is a major public health problem that impacts one out of every three children, resulting in 4-5 million overweight youth in the United States.

MU researchers develop digital solutions to support divorced families
Conflict between parents, before and after divorce, is associated with feelings of anger, helplessness, loneliness and guilt in children.

Preventing repeat strokes -- are survivors taking their medicine?
Many large surveys of the US population have reported the use of aspirin for secondary stroke prevention, but commonly combine people with stroke and coronary artery disease, and only rarely report the use of antithrombotic agents other than aspirin.

Scientists trace shark fins to their geographic origin for first time using DNA tools
Millions of shark fins are sold annually to satisfy the demand for shark fin soup, a Chinese delicacy.

Doulas may indicate failings in patient care, warns doctor
The presence of doulas (paid birth assistants) during labor may alter the doctor-patient dynamic and can compromise communication and therefore patient care, warns a doctor on today.

Springer to collaborate with CreateSpace on inventory-free book distribution
Springer Science+Business Media has signed an agreement with CreateSpace, which will make Springer's paperback book catalogue and front-, mid- and backlist available via print-on-demand (POD) in the US.

To keep muscles strong, the 'garbage' has to go
In order to maintain muscle strength with age, cells must rid themselves of the garbage that accumulates in them over time, just as it does in any household, according to a new study in the December issue of Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press journal.

Elsevier announces the November 2009 issue of Reproductive Health Matters on criminalization
Elsevier announced today the publication of the November issue of Reproductive Health Matters. 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