Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 03, 2009
Cooling may benefit children after cardiac arrest
When the heart is stopped and restarted, the patient's life may be saved but their brain is often permanently damaged.

New data show breakthrough microRNA-targeted therapy holds promise as new treatment for hepatitis C
A study published online in this week's Science shows that SPC3649, a breakthrough microRNA-targeted therapy developed by Santaris Pharma A/S using its proprietary Locked Nucleic Acid technology, holds promise as a novel treatment for patients infected with the hepatitis C virus.

The end of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon?
A new article in the Dec. 4 issue of Science addresses how the combined efforts of government commitments and market transition could save forest and reduce carbon emissions in Brazil.

Polymer therapeutic protects gut from radiation damage, infection after cancer treatment
A nonabsorbed, oral co-polymer therapy under development by Midway Pharmaceuticals demonstrated the ability to protect against damage to healthy gastrointestinal tissues and to prevent lethal bacterial infections in animal models of radiation damage.

Lombardi's Shields leads special journal focused on tobacco research
The study of tobacco has been the life-long focus of his research and now, Peter Shields, M.D., deputy director of the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Medical Center, has led the effort to edit a special edition of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention dedicated to best research practices in tobacco science from researchers the world over.

Novel carbon-trading scheme could stop large-scale extinctions
Spatial distribution of biodiversity should be taken into account when calculating carbon credits in order to achieve conservation goals as well as greenhouse gas mitigation, argue researchers.

Hawaiian hot spot has deep roots
A classic explanation for oceanic hot spots such as Hawaii has been that they originate from upwellings of hot rock, called mantle

2 heads better than 1 in new antibiotic method
An antibiotic that binds to a well-established target in a novel and unexpected way could be the inspiration for designing new, more potent antibacterial drugs.

Weight loss reduces sleep problems in obese men
Weight loss reduces obstructive sleep apnoea in obese men, with the greatest effect seen in patients with severe disease, according to new research published on today.

Repeat negative CT scan for lung cancer does not encourage ex-smokers to resume the habit
Assurance of a cancer-free status did not prompt people participating in a long-term computerized tomography lung-cancer screening program to pick up their cigarettes again, researchers wrote in a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

VAI researchers find long awaited key to creating drought resistant crops
Van Andel Research Institute researchers have determined precisely how the plant hormone abscisic acid works at the molecular level to help plants respond to environmental stresses such as drought and cold.

Species down, disease up
Biodiversity loss can increase infectious diseases in humans, University of Vermont, EPA, and other scientists show in a first-of-its-kind global study.

Vaccination, antivirals and social distancing may blunt impact of H1N1 influenza
The relatively low number of new cases created by a single case of H1N1 influenza indicates that mitigation strategies such as vaccination, social distancing and the use of antiviral drugs may help to lessen the final impact of the virus, suggests an epidemiological modeling study reported in CMAJ.

Research is vital to a cleaner, greener, low carbon future
The UK leads the world when it comes to investment in energy efficient technologies research, but Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council Chief Executive Dave Delpy believes that more is needed:

New method of measuring ocean CO2 uptake could lead to climate change 'early warning system'
An international team of scientists led by the University of East Anglia has developed a new method of measuring the absorption of CO2 by the oceans and mapped for the first time CO2 uptake for the entire North Atlantic.

Researchers identify gene that spurs deadly brain cancer
Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have identified a new factor that is necessary for the development of many forms of medulloblastoma, the most common type of malignant childhood brain cancer.

Movies promote smoking among Mexican-American adolescents
The more movie scenes of smoking they watch, the more likely Mexican-American youths are to experiment with smoking, researchers at the University of Texas M.

CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium continues to expand
This year, more than 8,500 scientists and other professionals will gather at the Henry B.

Study links real-time data to flu vaccine strategies
Adaptive vaccination strategies, based on age patterns of hospitalizations and deaths monitored in real-time during the early stages of a pandemic, outperform seasonal influenza vaccination allocation strategies, according to findings reported Dec.

Risk of blood clot after surgery higher and lasts longer than previously thought
The risk of having a potentially fatal blood clot after surgery is higher and lasts for longer than had previously been thought, concludes new research published on today.

A greener way to get electricity from natural gas
A new type of natural-gas electric power plant proposed by MIT researchers could provide electricity with zero carbon dioxide emissions to the atmosphere, at costs comparable to or less than conventional natural-gas plants, and even to coal-burning plants.

Scripps Research team develops cheap, easy 'kitchen chemistry' to perform formerly complex synthesis
A team at the Scripps Research Institute has made major strides in solving a problem that has been plaguing chemists for many years: how best to break carbon-hydrogen bonds and then to create new bonds to join molecules together.

Master gene plays a key role in development of a common childhood brain tumor
The master gene Math1 is involved in the genesis of the most common childhood brain tumor, medulloblastoma, said researchers from Baylor College of Medicine ( in a report in the current issue of the journal Science.

Gastroenterology/hepatology societies issue recommendations on nonanesthesiologist administration of propofol for GI endoscopy
The worldwide safety experience of endoscopist-administered propofol sedation now exceeds 600,000 patients.

Symposium marks century of discovery for U. of I. entomology department
The University of Illinois department of entomology celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2009 and will mark this milestone with a symposium Dec.

The swine flu pandemic
A special issue of Deutsches Arzteblatt International contains the first scientific presentation of clinical experience with the novel influenza A virus (H1N1/09) in the German-speaking countries since the start of the pandemic.

Stellar family portrait takes imaging technique to new extremes
The young star cluster Trumpler 14 is revealed in another stunning ESO image.

Fish with attitude: Some like it hot
Coral reef fish can undergo a personality change in warmer water, according to an intriguing new study suggesting that climate change may make some species more aggressive.

Papillomavirus silences innate immune response
Human papillomavirus type 16, the most common cause of cervical cancer, silences a key signaling molecule of immune response in its host cells.

Research on the molecular basis of body size
For his research about why the body parts of a single animal develop into different sizes, Michael Crickmore, a regional winner from North America, has been named the 2009 Grand Prize winner for the GE & Science Prize for Young Life Scientists.

No change in brain tumor incidence during a time when cell phone usage increased
There was no substantial change in brain tumor incidence among adults 5 to 10 years after cell phone usage sharply increased, according to a new brief communication published online Dec.

Awards to be presented at 48th AIAA Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exposition
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics will present a number of prestigious awards during the 48th Aerospace Sciences Meeting and Exposition, Jan.

New antibiotics urgently needed
An editorial in this week's Lancet supports recent calls for a global drive on developing new antibiotics.

Random DNA mix-ups not so random in cancer development
Researchers at the UC San Diego School of Medicine have pinpointed a mechanism that may help explain how chromosomal translocations -- the supposedly random shuffling of large chunks of DNA that frequently lead to cancer -- aren't so random after all.

By feeding the birds, you could change their evolutionary fate
Feeding birds in winter is a most innocent human activity, but it can nonetheless have profound effects on the evolutionary future of a species, and those changes can be seen in the very near term.

Carbon and oxygen in tree rings can reveal past climate information
Scientists working in Canada's North used isotope analysis to look at past temperatures.

Susceptibility predicts smoking risk among Mexican-American youth
Whether nonsmoking Mexican-American adolescents go on to experiment with smoking depends largely on their initial attitude toward the habit, researchers at M.

Turbulence around heat transport
Heat transport in the Earth's mantle and in the atmosphere is probably not as effective as previously thought.

Nevada professor devises new childhood obesity screening tools
A University of Nevada, Reno professor who thinks the present weight management charts and screening tools for children are too difficult to understand and use has devised new, simpler charts that pediatricians and parents can use to help combat the increasing rates of obese and overweight children in the United States.

WPI professor to participate in Federal Trade Commission panel on online privacy concerns
Craig Wills, professor of computer science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, will participate in a Federal Trade Commission panel on online behavioral advertising starting at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Dec.

Love hurts: Why emotional pain really affects us
Have you ever felt overly upset by a social snubbing?

Model predicts dialysis patients' likelihood of survival
A new model can help physicians determine if a kidney disease patient on dialysis is likely to die within the next few months, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

December 2009 Geology and GSA Today highlights
Hot topics from this month's Geology include the nature of Martian sediments and minerals, microorganisms that thrive and survive for thousands of years in extremely salty environments, river flood dynamics, relative sea-level change in the UK, volcanism, geothermal systems, atmospheric carbon dioxide and extinction, anthropogenic atmospheric carbon dioxide and ocean acidification, Chicxulub impact ejecta, and more.

Personality predicts success in medical school, says new study by U of Minnesota professor
Personality characteristics play a major role in determining who succeeds in medical school, according to new research published in the Journal of Applied Psychology.

Parents gone wild? Study suggests link between working memory and reactive parenting
It can be challenging sometimes for parents to maintain a cool head around their misbehaving children.

Popular diabetes drugs linked to increased risk of heart failure and death
Sulphonylureas, a type of drug widely used to treat type 2 diabetes, carries a greater risk of heart failure and death compared with metformin, another popular anti-diabetes drug.

Poisonous Poisson
In contrast to the exhaustive research into venom produced by snakes and spiders, venomous fish have been neglected and remain something of a mystery.

Lifelong memories linked to stable nerve connections
Our ability to learn new information and adapt to changes in our daily environment, as well as to retain lifelong memories, appears to lie in the minute junctions where nerve cells communicate, according to a new study by NYU Langone Medicine Center researchers.

Watching movies featuring characters who smoke negatively influences Mexican-American teens
Mexican-American adolescents exposed to cigarette smoking scenes in movies are more likely to pick up the habit themselves, and this may be part of the acculturation process associated with smoking initiation, according to new study findings.

It's all in your head. No, really: How mental imagery training aids perceptual learning
Practice makes perfect. But imaginary practice? Elisa Tartaglia of the Laboratory of Psychophysics at Switzerland's Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne and team show that perceptual learning -- learning by repeated exposure to a stimulus -- can occur by mental imagery as much as by the real thing.

Green tea chemical combined with another may hold promise for treatment of brain disorders
Scientists at Boston Biomedical Research Institute and the University of Pennsylvania have found that combining two chemicals, one of which is the green tea component EGCG, can prevent and destroy a variety of protein structures known as amyloids.

Ending intimate partner violence
An editorial in this week's Lancet looks at the UK Government's new strategy to end violence against women and girls -- referring to the shocking statistics that, in England and Wales, around 4-8 million women have experienced at least one incident of domestic abuse since the age of 16 years.

Study confirms that cannabis is beneficial for multiple sclerosis
Cannabis can reduce spasticity in multiple sclerosis patients. A systematic review, published in the open access journal BMC Neurology, found that five out six randomized controlled trials reported a reduction in spasticity and an improvement in mobility.

Birds call to warn friends and enemies
Birds' alarm calls serve both to alert other birds to danger and to warn off predators.

Racial disparity in lung cancer rates narrowed in young adults due to larger decrease in smoking
Effective prevention of smoking among teenagers, particularly black teenagers, is narrowing the disparity in lung cancer rates between blacks and whites, according to a report published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Stopping MRSA before it becomes dangerous is possible, Sandia/UNM researchers find
Most scientists believe that staph infections are caused by many bacterial cells that signal each other to emit toxins.

UC Davis helps orphaned mountain gorilla babies return home to Congo National Park
More than two years after being evacuated following the 2007 killings of their mothers, mountain gorilla babies Ndakasi and Ndeze this week returned home to the Democratic Republic of Congo, moving into a new custom-built forest sanctuary.

Forest deal at Copenhagen must avoid creating 'carbon refugees'
Forest dwellers must be included in the design of the upcoming forest deal at Copenhagen in order to avoid a humanitarian crisis, according to a scientist at the University of Leeds.

CCNY professor foresees rising Antarctic snowmelt
The 30-year record low in Antarctic snowmelt that occurred during the 2008-09 austral summer was likely due to concurrent strong positive phases for two main climate drivers, ENSO (El Nino, Southern Oscillation) and SAM (Southern Hemisphere Annular Mode), according to Dr.

Scientists map deep origins of the 'Hawaiian Hotspot'
Cecily Wolfe, a professor from the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology, and a multi-institutional team of scientists have put the theory to test.

Cigarette smoking increases colorectal cancer risk
New study results strengthen the evidence that people who smoke cigarettes over a long period of time have an increased risk for developing colorectal cancer, even after adjusting for other risk factors.

Nicotine levels higher in children exposed to secondhand smoke in the home
New research published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, supports the World Health Initiative's efforts for a home smoking ban, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

Increased nicotine levels detected in those who light-up earlier
People who smoke their first cigarette within minutes after waking up have much higher levels of cotinine, a by-product of nicotine when processed by the body, than those who wait to smoke, regardless of the number of cigarettes smoked.

Smoking cessation results mixed among Ohio's Appalachian women
In the Appalachian region of the country -- where smoking rates are high, tobacco is often a cash crop and income and education levels are low -- a smoking cessation effort led by nonmedical professionals was successful in the short term, but quit rates trailed off in the long term.

Understanding DNA repair and cancer
A protein that plays a key role in copying DNA also plays a vital role in repairing breaks in it, UC Davis scientists have found.

Chinese 'herbal' cigarettes no healthier than regular cigarettes
Despite popular belief and some marketing claims, researchers have found that Chinese

Mice holding back muscular dystrophy research
Humans and mice have previously unknown and potentially critical differences in one of the genes responsible for Duchenne muscular dystrophy.

BirdsEye -- a new iPhone app -- resolves your rapture for raptors or finding a finch
Looking for larks? Searching for surfbirds? Checking for chickadees? There's an app for that.

The big blow-up
What happens when a really gargantuan star - one hundreds of times bigger than our sun -- blows up?

Team using Subaru Telescope makes major discovery
An international team of scientists that includes an astronomer from Princeton University has made the first direct observation of a planet-like object orbiting a star similar to the sun.

Elevated CO2 levels may mitigate losses of biodiversity from nitrogen pollution
Rising levels of carbon dioxide may overheat the planet and cause other environmental problems, but fears that rising CO2 levels could directly reduce plant biodiversity can be allayed, according to a new study by a University of Minnesota scientist Peter Reich.

Prasad honored with Pride of India Award
M. G. Prasad, a professor at Stevens Institute of Technology, was recently awarded the Bharat Gaurav Award by the Indian International Friendship Society, for his

NASA's WISE infrared satellite to reveal new galaxies, stars, asteroids
An unmanned NASA satellite will survey the whole sky to discover millions of stars and galaxies, about 100,000 asteroids, planetary

Transplant infectious disease experts provide pandemic guidance
The global swine flu pandemic has major implications for solid organ transplants, including donor selection and transplant management and care.

Mexican-American youths' risk of experimenting with cigarettes depends on susceptibility
Mexican-American teens who were considered more susceptible to smoking were 2.6 times more likely to experiment with cigarettes than their peers who expressed commitment to never smoke, according to a report published in the tobacco focus issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center launches new research trial
Officials at the new Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute announced today the center's participation in a novel Parkinson's study aimed at determining the physical and neurological impact of simple exercise on Parkinson's patients.

Quake prediction model developed
The third in a series of Nature papers lays framework for new approach to earthquake prediction.

Major impacts of climate change expected on mental health
Leading mental health researchers from the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London are warning that some of the most important health consequences of climate change will be on mental health.

Acculturation influences smoking cessation by Latino men
Latino men who are more adapted to US culture are more likely to quit smoking than their less-acculturated counterparts, according to research by scientists at the University of Texas M.

UCSB, UCL scientists rescue visual function in rats using induced pluripotent stem cells
An international team of scientists has rescued visual function in laboratory rats with eye disease by using cells similar to stem cells.

CO2 levels rising in troposphere over rural areas
Spanish researchers have measured CO2 levels for the past three years in the troposphere (lower atmosphere) over a sparsely inhabited rural area near Valladolid.

Gladstone scientists identify strategies to protect new brain cells against Alzheimer's disease
Scientists at the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease have discovered that two main causes of AD amyloid-beta (Aβ) peptides and apolipoprotein E4 (apoE4) impair the growth of new neurons born in adult brains.

U of M researchers discover how a brain hormone controls insect metamorphosis
A team of University of Minnesota researchers have discovered how PTTH, a hormone produced by the brain, controls the metamorphosis of juvenile insects into adults.

Head and neck cancer survivors who use alcohol and cigarettes have increased death risk
Cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption before head and neck cancer diagnosis strongly predicts the patient's future risk of death, according to published studies.

A window that washes itself?
Researchers at Tel Aviv University have developed a method to control the atoms and molecules of peptides so that they

Indigenous delegates to UN talks in Copenhagen debut video evidence, accounts of climate change
More than 20 members of an indigenous peoples' delegation arriving in Copenhagen for UN climate change talks will publicly debut on Friday, Dec.

Lower income women report more insurance-based discrimination during pregnancy, delivery
According to an analysis of statewide data taken from 1998-2001, women in Oregon who made less than $50,000 a year were more than three times likely to report they were discriminated against by health providers because of their insurance status during pregnancy and delivery.

Acculturation affects smoking cessation success among Latinos
Less acculturated Latino men have a more difficult time quitting smoking than those who are more acculturated to US culture, but acculturation has no affect on Latinas odds of quitting smoking.

NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites see Nida fading, and 97W getting organized
NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites flew over Tropical Depression Nida and System 97W in the Western Pacific Ocean and noticed that one is fading while the other is powering up.

Secondhand smoke exposure in childhood increases lung cancer risk later in life
Children exposed to secondhand cigarette smoke have an increased risk of developing lung cancer in adulthood, even if they never smoked.

CWRU researchers report poor outcomes for CCI patients leaving hospitals on ventilators
Patients, discharged from hospitals on ventilator support and with cognitive impairments, fare poorly four months later.

New drug technology produces marked improvement in hepatitis C therapy in animals
In a dramatic finding, a new drug for hepatitis C virus infections that targets liver cells produced a substantial drop in blood levels of the virus in animals and continued to work up to several months after treatment, say scientists at the Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research in San Antonio.

January-February 2010 GSA Bulletin highlights
The January-February GSA BULLETIN is online now ahead of print.

A new mental treatment improves anxiety and depression in secondary education teachers
A doctoral thesis carried out at the University of Granada proves the effectiveness of mindfulness, an emotional self-regulating tool that consists in focusing on what we are doing, thinking about or feeling at every moment.

Exposure to secondhand cigarette smoke over a lifetime increased breast cancer risk later in life
Exposure to secondhand smoke for a prolonged period of time and in high quantity may increase the risk of breast cancer, even in women who never smoked cigarettes themselves.

Grooving down the helix
Scientists from the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, Harvard University, and the Indian Institute of Science has made a major step in understanding how molecules locate the genetic information in DNA that is necessary to carry out important biological processes.

Breastfeeding protects women from metabolic syndrome, a diabetes and heart disease predictor
A study by Kaiser Permanente found that breastfeeding a child may lower a woman's risk of developing Metabolic Syndrome, a condition linked to heart disease and diabetes in women, by up to 86 percent.

How higher education can advance sustainability is focus of K-State conference
The conference's goal is to provide information that higher education colleagues -- students, faculty and staff -- can use in their own work.

More competitors, less competition
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