Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 12, 2010
Blood test may aid in lung cancer diagnosis and reduce unnecessary invasive procedures
Of the nearly 150,000 abnormal chest X-rays performed each year in the United States, 25 percent of patients will display only benign lung pathologies on further surgical examination.

Study sees little dust risk for subway workers
In a new study, published this month in the journal Environmental Research, scientists tracked steel dust exposure in 39 subway workers and measured biological responses to three metals found in steel dust: iron, chromium and manganese.

Stable climate and plant domestication linked
Sustainable farming and the introduction of new crops relies on a relatively stable climate, not dramatic conditions attributable to climate change.

Media, small businesses invited to ACS Webinar about crowdsourcing, innovation and science
News media, scientists and others interested in finance, entrepreneurships and the chemical sciences are invited to join an American Chemical Society Small & Medium Business webinar on exploring the future of science in a crowd-sourced world on Thursday, Jan.

News brief: A paracrine pathway regulates pancreatic cancer cell invasion
Pancreatic cancer cell invasion along nerves is regulated by a paracrine pathway that involves glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor, which may be a possible target for preventing the invasion, according to a new study published online Jan.

Expert panel calls on US research agencies to develop policies for providing free public access to federally sponsored research results
An expert panel of librarians, library scientists, publishers and university academic leaders today called on federal agencies that fund research to develop and implement policies that ensure free public access to the results of the research they fund

2 nurses emerge as leaders in informatics
Two nurses have won recognition as emerging leaders in the field of nursing informatics, selected by the Alliance for Nursing Informatics to participate in a jointly supported Nursing Informatics Emerging Leaders Program.

Melanoma stem cells' evasive talents
Melanoma, if not detected in its early stages, transforms into a highly deadly, treatment-resistant cancer.

You say offset, I say tax? Study suggests labels and political affiliation may affect preferences
New findings suggest a strong link between our political affiliation and how we react to certain labels.

ARPA-E grant aims to reduce cost and expand use of wind turbines for generating electricity
A technology originally developed to increase lift in aircraft wings and simplify helicopter rotors may soon help reduce the cost of manufacturing and operating wind turbines used for generating electricity.

Second round of gefitinib may be promising lung cancer therapy
Patients with non-small cell lung cancer in whom treatment with gefitinib is ineffective often have limited options, but results of a new study suggest that retreating patients with the same drug could have a beneficial effect.

Women with breast cancer may benefit from autologous stem cell transplantation
Compared to conventional chemotherapy, autologous stem cell transplantation can extend

Study quantifies minority enrollment losses if affirmative action is eliminated
A nationwide ban on affirmative action in college admissions would cause a 10 percent drop in black and Hispanic enrollment at the nation's most selective colleges and universities, according to a study published in the January issue of the Journal of Labor Economics.

Online poker study: The more hands you win, the more money you lose
A new Cornell study of online poker seems counterintuitive: The more hands players win, the less money they're likely to collect -- especially when it comes to novice players.

Dementia linked to high blood pressure years earlier
High blood pressure may put women at greater risk for dementia later in life by increasing white matter abnormalities in the brain, report researchers from the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health in a study published online in the Journal of Clinical Hypertension.

Scripps Research scientists find cancer cells co-opt fat metabolism pathway to become more malignant
An enzyme that normally helps break down stored fats goes into overdrive in some cancer cells, making them more malignant, according to new findings by a team at the Scripps Research Institute.

Microbe understudies await their turn in the ecosystem limelight
On the marine microbial stage, there appears to be a vast, varied group of understudies only too ready to step in when

SRNL assesses bamboo crop
Savannah River National Laboratory is studying whether the same characteristics that make bamboo annoying to homeowners also makes it a good vegetation to plant on caps over remediation sites.

Across the multiverse: FSU physicist considers the big picture
Is there anybody out there? In Alejandro Jenkins' case, the question refers not to whether life exists elsewhere in the universe, but whether it exists in other universes outside of our own.

Study shows people's racial biases can skew perceptions of how much help victims need
Kansas State University researchers surveyed undergraduate students a year after Hurricane Katrina to examine their perceptions of the hurricane victims and the helping response.

New hope for therapy in heartburn-related cancer
A new study published in the journal Disease Models and Mechanisms shows that DBZ, a drug currently in clinical trials for use in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, is able in rats to stop the growth of Barrett's esophagus, a pre-cancerous condition which if unchecked can lead to esophageal (gullet) cancer.

As in humans, sleep solidifies a bird's memories
Sleeping is known to help humans stabilize information and tasks learned during the preceding day.

EGFR gene signature predicts non-small cell lung cancer prognosis
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a validated therapeutic target for non-small cell lung cancer.

First known instance of a cricket as an orchid pollinator captured on film by Kew scientist
A researcher studying how the orchid genus Angraecum has adapted to different pollinators on Reunion Island has used motion sensitive night cameras to capture the first known occurrence of a cricket functioning as a pollinator of flowering plants.

ARVO announces 2010 fellows
The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology is honored to announce this year's class of distinguished Fellows.

More accurate diagnosis for leading cancer killer in children may be possible
Brain cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in children.

Startup at UCLA tech incubator to begin clinical trials for wireless body-monitoring system
MediSens Wireless has obtained IRB approval under FDA guidelines to begin clinical trials for the company's CMAS product which assesses muscle and neuromotor functions of the upper extremities.

Analysis of new data confirms bisphenol A link to disease in adults
Researchers from the Peninsula Medical School and the University of Exeter, UK, have found more evidence for a link between bisphenol A exposure (BPA, a chemical commonly used in plastic food containers) and cardiovascular disease.

NASA satellite sees rainfall in ebbing Edzani
NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite captured a clear picture of what's happening within Tropical Storm Edzani, including where the rainfall is happening and where the center of the storm has been breached.

Large donation advances cancer research
Karolinska Institutet has received a donation of SEK 50 million ($7 million) from Marit and Hans Rausing for a large-scale research project on breast cancer.

Monitoring of high-risk medications unchanged despite FDA warnings
A new study concludes that many doctors appear to have largely ignored a Food and Drug Administration warning to screen users of new antipsychotic drugs for high blood sugar and cholesterol, which poses risks to their health and raises questions about the efficacy of warning protocols in general.

New research findings can improve avian flu surveillance programs
Genetic analyses of avian influenza in wild birds can help pinpoint likely carrier species and geographic hot spots where Eurasian viruses would be most likely to enter North America, according to new US Geological Survey research.

Green tea could modify the effect of cigarette smoking on lung cancer risk
Green tea can reduce the risk of lung cancer in smokers.

Blood fats reduced in HIV patients who switch from lopinavir-ritonavir to raltegravir, but viral supression rate lower in raltegravir patients (SWITCHMRK trials)
HIV patients who are stable on a regimen of lopinavir-ritonavir can reduce their levels of blood fats by switching to raltegravir; however, switching also leads to a lower proportion of patients reaching the target for viral suppression.

New ethical guidance from ACP for patient-physician-caregiver relationship
The ethical guidance outlined in this paper is intended to heighten physician awareness of the importance and complexity of the patient-physician-caregiver relationship.

ACS January 2010 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education on Web Editions Platform
The Publications Division of the American Chemical Society and the American Chemical Society's Division of Chemical Education today announced that the January 2010 issue of the Journal of Chemical Education is now available on the ACS Web Editions Platform.

Newer treatment for Achilles tendon disorder does not appear to be effective
An apparently increasingly used treatment method for a type of Achilles tendon disorder that includes injection of platelet-rich plasma into the tendon does not appear to result in greater improvement in pain or activity compared to placebo, according to results of a preliminary study published in the Jan.

Sudden death in cocaine abusers: Study reveals the role played by the illegal drug
Forensic pathologists have shown that over three per cent of all sudden deaths in south-west Spain are related to the use of cocaine.

NIH and D.C. Department of Health team up to combat District's HIV/AIDS epidemic
Officials from NIH and the city of Washington, D.C. today announced the new D.C.

Eugenie C. Scott to receive Public Welfare Medal, Academy's most prestigious award
The National Academy of Sciences' leadership Council has selected Eugenie C.

Biophysical Society announces new and notable symposium speakers
The Biophysical Society has announced the speakers for the New and Notable Symposium at the Society's 54th Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

Erlotinib dosing in lung cancer depends on smoking status
Although erlotinib is an approved second-line therapy for lung cancer, its management is complicated by side effects that get worse as the dose increases.

Carnegie Mellon's Philip LeDuc discovers new protein function
Carnegie Mellon University's Philip R. LeDuc and his collaborators in Massachusetts and Taiwan have discovered a new function of a protein that could save lives.

'Longevity gene' helps prevent memory decline and dementia
Scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have found that a

Tilapia feed on Fiji's native fish
The poster child for sustainable fish farming -- the tilapia -- is actually a problematic invasive species for the native fish of the islands of Fiji, according to a new study by the Wildlife Conservation Society and other groups.

Significant urban-rural disparities in injury mortality seen in China
The death rate from injuries in rural areas of China is higher than in urban areas, according to a new study by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Injury Research and Policy.

When work interferes with life
As many as 50 percent of people bring their work home with them regularly, according to new research out of the University of Toronto that describes the stress associated with work-life balance and the factors that predict it.

University of the Basque Country research on deterioration of ships' paint
The most common method used for the protection of metals from corrosion is by painting.

Scripps Research team wins global race to achieve landmark synthesis of perplexing natural product
In 1993 researchers discovered a chemical compound in a sponge off Palau, an island nation in the Pacific Ocean, that has shown anticancer, antibacterial, and antifungal pharmaceutical promise.

Virtual reality tele-rehab improves hand function: Playing games for real recovery
Remotely monitored in-home virtual reality videogames improved hand function and forearm bone health in teens with hemiplegic cerebral palsy, helping them perform activities of daily living for which two hands are needed.

Researchers identify protein needed to develop auditory neurons
Loss of spiral ganglion neurons or hair cells in the inner ear is the leading cause of congenital and acquired hearing impairment.

New research: Sticking to diets is about more than willpower -- complexity matters
Cognitive scientists from Indiana U. and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development compared the dieting behavior of women following two radically different diets.

Scientists find amazing new pondlife on nature reserve
One year in to a project to save one of the UK's top sites for pondlife, amazing new species are being revealed for the first time.

UI research: PCBs found in soon-to-be-dredged Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal
University of Iowa researchers have confirmed that sediments of the Indiana Harbor and Ship Canal in East Chicago, Ind., are contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).

Hypertension linked to dementia in older women
Older women with hypertension are at increased risk for developing brain lesions that cause dementia later in life, according to data from the Women's Health Initiative Memory Study.

ACP joins 118 groups supporting equality of Medicaid/Medicare rates for primary care
The American College of Physicians today was one of 118 organizations that joined to send a letter to House and Senate leaders supporting equality of Medicaid and Medicare rates for primary care services.

Study shows pine bark naturally relieves symptoms of acute hemorrhoids
A study published in a recent issue of Phototherapy Research reveals Pycnogenol, an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, has important anti-inflammatory and anti-thrombotic properties that may be beneficial in patients with hemorrhoids, both for acute and chronic treatment, and in preventing new attacks.

Study casts doubt on caffeine link to tinnitus
New research has found giving up caffeine does not relieve tinnitus and acute caffeine withdrawal might add to the problem.

Gene testing identifies lung cancer patients who benefit from ALK-inhibitor drug
Results of a new study in non-small cell lung cancer showed that patients with specific oncogenic rearrangements of the anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) gene within the short arm of chromosome 2 of their tumors had a much greater response to a new therapy -- an ALK-inhibitor.

TD2 and Critical Outcome Technologies Inc. develop novel anti-cancer drug
TGen Drug Development and Critical Outcome Technologies Inc. announced today that they will work together to obtain approval of clinical trials for a promising new anti-cancer drug called COTI-2.

'Weekend effect' makes people happier regardless of their job, study says
From construction laborers and secretaries to physicians and lawyers, people experience better moods, greater vitality and fewer aches and pains from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, concludes the first study of daily mood variation in employed adults.

How galaxies came to be: Astronomers explain Hubble sequence
For the first time, two astronomers have explained the diversity of galaxy shapes seen in the universe.

New compound improves cognitive decline, symptoms of Alzheimer's disease in rodents
A fast-acting compound that appears to improve cognitive function impairments in mice similar to those found in patients with progressive Alzheimer's disease has been identified by scientists at Wake Forest University School of Medicine and the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Program in Drug Discovery.

Scientists find 'missing link' between heart failure and environment
Scientists have found what they believe is the

Chromosomes make a rapid retreat from nuclear territories
Chromosomes move faster than we first thought. Research published in BioMed Central's open access journal, Genome Biology, details new findings about the way chromosomes move around the nucleus when leaving the proliferative stage of the cell cycle and entering quiescence -- and the unexpected speed at which they move.

Solar scientists use 'magnetic mirror effect' to reproduce IBEX observation
Ever since NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX, mission scientists released the first comprehensive sky map of our solar system's edge in particles, solar physicists have been busy revising their models to account for the discovery of a narrow

Independent public health evaluations could save lives
New child survival programs must engage evaluation teams from the start to identify the major causes of child mortality in intervention areas and to ensure that appropriate resources are available to scale up coverage and treatment, according to a retrospective evaluation led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Obesity linked to common form of kidney cancer and each extra BMI point increases risk
Being obese could lead to a greater risk of developing the most common form of renal cell cancer, according to a study of 1,640 patients.

Mosquito hunters invent better, cheaper, DIY disease weapon
Emory researchers believe they have come up with the cheapest, most efficient way yet to monitor adult mosquitoes and the deadly diseases they carry, from malaria to West Nile Virus.

New findings reveal loss of smell function may predict early onset of Alzheimer's disease
A study published in the Jan. 13, 2010, issue of the Journal of Neuroscience links a loss of smell function in Alzheimer's disease (AD) model animals with amyloid (protein) accumulation in the brain, a distinguishing hallmark of Alzheimer's disease.

Study: Era of rapid growth in biomedical research over
After a decade of remarkable growth, total annual funding for biomedical research in the US has decelerated and may have even fallen when adjusted for inflation.

Drug with unique disruption of tumor blood flow shows promise
Phase II study results of the agent ASA404 showed promise in patients with either squamous or non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer.

MicroRNA profiling identifies chemoresistance in small cell lung cancer
At least three tumor microRNAs appear to predict when first-line chemotherapy will prove ineffective in some patients with small cell lung cancer, according to data presented at the AACR-IASLC Joint Conference on Molecular Origins of Lung Cancer, held Jan.

New stroke therapy successful in rats
People with impaired mobility after a stroke soon may have a therapy that restores limb function long after the injury, if a supplemental protein works as well in humans as it does in paralyzed rats.

In early heart development, genes work in tandem
Studying genes that regulate early heart development in animals, scientists have solved a puzzle about one gene's role, finding that it acts in concert with a related gene.

Northern forests do not benefit from lengthening growing season
Forests in northern areas are stunted, verging on the edge of survival.

Gladstone scientists identify role of key protein in ALS and frontotemporal dementia
Scientists at the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease have identified the reason a key protein plays a major role in two neurodegenerative diseases.

Carnegie Mellon scientists crack brain's codes for noun meanings
Two hundred years ago, archaeologists used the Rosetta Stone to understand the ancient Egyptian scrolls.

13th annual FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference to focus on 'igniting the space economy'
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics is pleased to announce the the 13th Annual FAA Commercial Space Transportation Conference, to be held Feb.

Drug that modifies gene activity could help some older leukemia patients
Older patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) might benefit from a drug that reactivates genes that cancer cells turn off, according to research at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Genetics 2010: Model Organisms to Human Biology Meeting
The Genetics Society of America is pleased to announce its meeting,

UW-Madison scientists create super-strong collagen
A team of University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers has created the strongest form of collagen known to science, a stable alternative to human collagen that could one day be used to treat arthritis and other conditions that result from collagen defects.

Rate of funding for biomedical research slowing, decreasing in recent years
The rate of increase for funding of biomedical research in the US has slowed since 2005, and the level of funding from the National Institutes of Health and industry appears to have decreased by 2 percent in 2008, after adjustment for inflation, according to an article in the Jan.

Sunflower genome holds the promise of sustainable agriculture
A new research project will create a reference genome for the sunflower family.

News brief: Having a family member under 50 diagnosed with pancreatic cancer increases risk
A person who has multiple family members with pancreatic cancer (

Novel growth pattern classification predictive of outcome in non-small cell lung cancer
In data presented at the AACR-IASLC Joint Conference on Molecular Origins of Lung Cancer, researchers classified tumors into three growth patterns: destructive, alveolar and papillary.

Angiotensin receptor blockers associated with lower risk of Alzheimer's disease
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine have found that angiotensin receptor blockers -- a particular class of anti-hypertensive medicines -- are associated with a striking decrease in the occurrence and progression of dementia.

Gene variation associated with lower risk of dementia, Alzheimer disease
Preliminary research suggests that variation of a gene for a plasma protein is associated with slower age-related memory decline and a lower risk of dementia and Alzheimer disease, according to a study in the Jan.

Spinal cement may provide real support for cancer patients
New technologies used to repair spinal fractures could soon be helping patients suffering from the bone marrow cancer multiple myeloma.

Cold snaps cause sterility ... in rice
Recent extreme cold snaps in Europe and North America demonstrate how much trouble a temperature change can cause. 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