Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 14, 2010
Weizmann Institute scientists reveal how tendons shape developing bones
Weizmann Institute scientists discover how signals from tendons and muscles shape the developing bones, initiating the growth of the bone ridges that anchor the tendons in place.

Kidney-disease drug with Dartmouth origins licensed in Asia
Thanks in part to more than a decade of preclinical work by Dartmouth researchers, a Japanese biopharmaceutical firm is preparing to develop and market throughout Asia a drug for the treatment of chronic kidney disease.

Discovery points toward anti-inflammation treatment for blinding disease
The discovery of an inflammatory mediator key to the blinding effects of diabetic retinopathy is pointing toward a potential new treatment, Medical College of Georgia researchers said.

Genetic analysis disputes increase in Antarctic minke whales
A new genetic analysis of Antarctic minke whales concludes that population of these smaller baleen whales have not increased as a result of the intensive hunting of other larger whales -- countering arguments by advocates of commercial whaling who want to

A novel and simple formula to predict treatment success in chronic hepatitis C
A study group from Japan used only simple clinical data to predict the treatment success of peg-interferon plus ribavirin therapy for chronic hepatitis C with a formula using a logistic regression model.

University of Pittsburgh researchers launching trial of new osteoporosis drug
Endocrinologists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and UPMC are launching a human trial of a new drug that their research indicates holds great promise for building bones weakened by osteoporosis.

Pitt researchers raise concern over frequency of surveillance colonoscopy
How often patients receive surveillance colonoscopy may need to be better aligned with their risks for colorectal cancer, according to two papers published this month by University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine researchers.

Raising kids may lower blood pressure
The study found a link between parenthood and lower blood pressure.

Parkinson's patients who are pathological gamblers also display abnormal social behavior
Previous studies have established links between dopamine replacement therapy for Parkinson's disease and pathological gambling.

Potent screening tool finds new roles for some drugs in rest, waking
A robust new technique for screening drugs' effects on zebrafish behavior is pointing Harvard University scientists toward unexpected compounds and pathways that may govern sleep and wakefulness in humans.

Sea Node completes Trident Warrior 2009 Exercise with positive Military Utility Assessment
The Naval Research Laboratory developed

New study suggests minke whales are not preventing recovery of larger whales
Genetic analyses refute the hypothesis that an overly abundant population of minke whales is creating too much competition over food for populations of other whale species to rebound, according to a new study supported by the Lenfest Ocean Program and published this week in the journal Molecular Ecology.

Zambian study finds longer breastfeeding best for HIV-infected mothers
A new study from Zambia suggests that halting breastfeeding early causes more harm than good for children not infected with HIV who are born to HIV-positive mothers.

Making microscopic worms into a more deadly insecticide
Microscopic nematode worms can be a potent organic insecticide, killing crop-raiding bugs without without environmental side effects of chemicals.

Parasitic wasps' genomes provides new insights into pest control, genetics
Parasitic wasps kill pest insects, but their existence is largely unknown to the public.

Cognitively impaired elderly women get unneeded screening mammography, study finds
A significant percentage of US women 70 years or older who were severely cognitively impaired received screening mammography that was unlikely to benefit them, according to a study of 2,131 elderly women conducted by researchers from the University of California, San Francisco.

An etiological role for H. pylori in autoimmune gastritis
Autoimmune type atrophic gastritis is a severe gastric atrophy associated with vitamin B12 deficiency.

Genome of parasitic wasps released
The whole genome of

Much of the early methane rise can be attributed to the spreading of northern peatlands
The surprising increase in methane concentrations millennia ago, identified in continental glacier studies, has puzzled researchers for a long time.

NASA's Rosetta 'Alice' spectrometer reveals Earth's ultraviolet fingerprint in Earth flyby
On Nov. 13, the European Space Agency's comet orbiter spacecraft, Rosetta, swooped by Earth for its third and final gravity assist on the way to humankind's first rendezvous to orbit and study a comet in more detail than has ever been attempted.

ESA's ice mission arrives safely at launch site
In what might seem rather appropriate weather conditions, the CryoSat-2 Earth Explorer satellite has completed its journey to the Baikonur launch site in Kazakhstan, where it will be prepared for launch on Feb.

Why we can't always find what we're looking for (and sometimes find what isn't there)
When people look for things that are rare, they aren't all that good at finding them.

Canadians should be concerned about camera surveillance -- Queen's University report
A new report by the Surveillance Camera Awareness Network at Queen's University shows that Canadians believe surveillance cameras promote safety, but their perceptions don't match the actual evidence.

Novel mouse model of demyelinating disorder
In the Feb. 1 issue of G&D, Dr. Brian Popko and colleagues describe how mutation of a gene called ZFP191 leads to disordered CNS myelination in mice -- reminiscent of what is seen in human multiple sclerosis patients.

The pink gene
What makes a particular variety of tomato pink? The gene responsible, discovered recently at the Weizmann Institute, may help researchers develop new exotic tomatoes.

Impact of eucalyptus plantations on the ecology of rivers
A team from the department of plant biology and ecology at the University of the Basque Country are focusing their research on the study of the ecology of rivers.

2-D protein maps of mucosal biopsies in patients with ileal pouch-anal anastomosis
A group of researchers headed by Professors Patrizia Brigidi and Massimo Campieri utilized a comparative proteomic approach to profile protein expression in mucosal biopsies from patients with chronic refractory pouchitis following antibiotic or probiotic treatment.

Industry corruption, shoddy construction likely contributed to Haiti quake devastation
The death toll in the massive 7.0 magnitude earthquake in Haiti Jan.

Early immune response needed for hit-and-hide cancer viruses
Human retroviral infections might be more manageable if the immune system could respond strongly to the virus early, say Ohio State University cancer researchers in a new study.

American Mathematical Society to award prizes
The American Mathematical Society will award several major prizes on Thursday, Jan.

Key mechanism for the proliferation of Epstein-Barr virus discovered
Scientists of Helmholtz Zentrum München have elucidated a crucial mechanism in the lytic cycle of Epstein-Barr virus.

News brief: Informative method to identify biomarkers for guiding therapy decisions
A randomized biomarker-stratified design, which uses the biomarker to guide analysis but not treatment assignment, provides a rigorous assessment of the utility of a potential biomarker for guiding therapy, according to a commentary published online Jan.

Refinement of glaucoma testing, treatment expected from US, United Kingdom study
An Indiana University School of Optometry researcher's ongoing work to improve testing for and treatment of one of the world's leading causes of blindness will advance with support from a $2.35 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

WHOI expert: Haiti quake occurred in complex, active seismic region
The magnitude 7.0 earthquake that triggered disastrous destruction and mounting death tolls in Haiti this week occurred in a highly complex tangle of tectonic faults near the intersection of the Caribbean and North American crustal plates, according to a quake expert at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution who has studied faults in the region and throughout the world.

Determining chemical composition of a type of red giant star with more carbon than oxygen
Researchers of the University of Granada have conducted the most complete worldwide analysis of the chemical composition and evolutionary state of a spectral type R carbon star.

Health care professionals failing to tell patients they are not fit to drive
Many health care professionals are failing to advise people with medical conditions that could affect their ability to drive whether they should get behind the wheel, according to research from the University of Warwick.

Kidney abnormalities require more research
Abnormalities in the kidneys and their blood vessels occur in at least 25 percent of healthy individuals, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

UC Davis research confirms benefits of calcium and vitamin D in preventing fractures
Taking both calcium and vitamin D supplements on a daily basis reduces the risk of bone fractures, regardless of whether a person is young or old, male or female, or has had fractures in the past, a large study of nearly 70,000 patients from throughout the United States and Europe has found.

Why mice develop 'knots' while exploring a new environment
During exploration of a new environment, mice establish

3 esophageal cancer cell lines commonly used in research prove to be from other cancers
Three frequently used human esophageal adenocarcinoma cell lines used for research were confirmed as being from other tumor types, according to a brief communication published online Jan.

World Congress on Osteoporosis 2010 -- IOF WCO-ECCEO10
Register now for the most important osteoporosis conference of 2010: the IOF WCO-ECCEO10.

Genome sequences for wasps will aid pest and disease control, provide new model organism
Scientists have mapped the genomes for three kinds of parasitic wasps, providing a new genetic model system based on the Nasonia genus.

Incidental findings at MRI-enterography
Modern imaging techniques often reveal findings without relation to the suspected disease (incidental findings).

Excess DNA damage found in cells of patients with Friedreich's ataxia
Elevated levels of DNA damage have been found in the mitochondria and nuclei of patients with the inherited, progressive nervous system disease called Friedreich's ataxia, says a multicenter team led by the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

Lung cancer conference leaders honor Paul A. Bunn Jr., M.D.
The American Association for Cancer Research and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer honored Paul A.

Fox Chase researchers find new method of fixing broken proteins to treat genetic diseases
Researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center have demonstrated how it could be possible to treat genetic diseases by enhancing the natural ability of cells to restore their own mutant proteins.

Obstructive sleep apnea may worsen diabetes
Obstructive sleep apnea adversely affects glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Chicago.

Gators breathe like birds
University of Utah scientists discovered that air flows in one direction as it loops through the lungs of alligators, just as it does in birds.

President bestows highest honor on University of Oklahoma scientist
A University of Oklahoma researcher, Amy Cerato, was among the 100 outstanding early career scientists honored today by the president at the White House with the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

New UT Knoxville research finds new ways to understand bacteria's 'thinking'
It's not thinking in the way humans, dogs or even birds think, but new findings from researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, show that bacteria are more capable of complex decision-making than previously known.

Science Translational Medicine adds 12 new associate scientific advisors
Science Translational Medicine announces the addition of 12 early career translational scientists who will serve a one-year term as associate scientific advisors for the journal.

Elsevier Foundation announces $600,000 in new grants
The Elsevier Foundation has announced the 2009 grant recipients, committing a total of $600,000 to twelve institutions from around the world to support the work of libraries and scholars in science, technology and medicine.

The first map of colon cancer in Spain is published
Many industrialized countries welcomed reduced rates of colon cancer in the second half of the twentieth century, but Spain remains the exception.

Genome advances peril for pests
Parasitic wasps kill pest insects, but their existence has been largely overlooked by the public -- until now.

New genetic map will speed up plant breeding of the world's most important medicinal crop
Plant scientists at the University of York have published the first genetic map of the medicinal herb Artemisia annua.

Sequencing wasp genome sheds new light on sexual parasite
Sequencing the complete genomes of three species of wasp provides new insights into the methods that the bacterial parasite Wolbachia uses to manipulate the sex lives of its hosts.

University of Plymouth invests in dental research
£500,000 ($815,000) will be invested into research on dental epidemiology, the use of virtual reality in dental treatments and the effect of nanotechnology on dental toxicology.

Does electro-acupuncture prevent prolonged postoperative ileus?
Postoperative ileus is a common problem in patients who have major abdominal surgery.

Study reveals wanted objects are seen as closer
If we really want something, that desire may influence how we view our surroundings.

Doses of antibiotics and other antimicrobial agents should be adjusted for body weight
Doses of antibiotics and other antimicrobial agents should take into account the patient's body weight, to maximize their potential effectiveness.

End of life care falls short for kidney disease patients
Patients with advanced chronic kidney disease (CKD) often do not receive adequate end-of-life care and are unhappy with the medical decisions made as their conditions worsen, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

Salmonella victims press lawmakers to keep promise of reform
Victims and families of those who were sickened and in some cases died due to an early 2009 food-borne illness outbreak are calling on congressional lawmakers to keep their promise to implement food-safety reform.

Animal behavioral studies can mimic human behavior
Studying animals in behavioral experiments has been a cornerstone of psychological research, but whether the observations are relevant for human behavior has been unclear.

New finding in cell migration may be key to preventing clots, cancer spread
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine have discovered how cells in the body flatten out as they adhere to internal bodily surfaces, the first step in a wide range of important processes including clot formation, immune defense, wound healing, and the spread of cancer cells.

McGill-CHUM study: 56 percent of young adults in a new sexual relationship infected with HPV
A groundbreaking study of couples led by Professor Eduardo Franco, Director of McGill University's Cancer Epidemiology Unit, in collaboration with a team of colleagues from McGill and Universite de Montreal/Centre Hospitalier de l'Universite de Montreal, found more than half (56 percent) of young adults in a new sexual relationship were infected with human papillomavirus.

UAB research finds consumer behavior and lifestyle traits influence foreclosure rates
A homeowner's station in life and personal spending beliefs and habits are important indicators of the borrower's potential for home-mortgage default, say researchers in the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Business.

2010 Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Awards granted for pioneering ideas in cancer research
The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation announced that three scientists with novel approaches to fighting cancer have been named recipients of the 2010 Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Awards.

Parks and recreation programs declining as obesity, health concerns rise
One way to help address the epidemic of obesity in the United States is improved access to pleasant hiking trails and an ambitious parks and recreation program, a recent study suggests, but programs such as this are increasingly being reduced in many states due to budget shortfalls.

Punishment important in plant-pollinator relationship
Figs and the wasps that pollinate them present one of biologists' favorite examples of a beneficial relationship between two different species.

To see or not to see
Weizmann Institute scientists find a burst of neural activity at the transition between not seeing and seeing, revealing a clear threshold that must be crossed for perception to occur.

Disadvantaged neighborhoods set children's reading skills on negative course: UBC study
A landmark study from the University of British Columbia finds that the neighborhoods in which children reside at kindergarten predict their reading comprehension skills seven years later.

First satellite map of Haiti earthquake
A major 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince on Jan.

Seeing a diagnosis: How an eye test could aid Alzheimer's detection
A simple and inexpensive eye test could aid detection and diagnosis of major neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's at an earlier stage than is currently possible, according to new research by UCL scientists.

Stimulus grant to support research on climate and infectious disease
The potential effects of climate change on the spread of infectious diseases, such as malaria and dengue fever, are the focus of a nearly $1.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation intended to further the studies of a Penn State-led group of researchers.

Game-changing nanodiamond discovery for MRI
A Northwestern University study shows that coupling a magnetic resonance imaging contrast agent to a nanodiamond results in dramatically enhanced signal intensity and thus vivid image contrast.

Neglected tropical diseases 3 and 4 -- opportunities for integration and the future agenda
The third paper in The Lancet Series on Neglected Tropical Diseases looks at the issues facing integration/co-implementation of preventive chemotherapy strategies. 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