Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 18, 2010
Biophysicists manipulate 'zipper,' reveal protein folding dynamics
Biophysicists the Technische Universitaet Muenchen have published results of single-molecule experiments bringing a higher-resolution tool to the study of protein folding.

Breakthrough breast cancer therapy reduces mastectomies, saves breast
A new treatment developed and tested by University of Oklahoma researchers not only killed large breast cancer tumors, but reduced the need for mastectomies by almost 90 percent.

Jurassic 'burn-down' events and organic matter richness in the Kimmeridge Clay Formation
The sediments of the Kimmeridge Clay Formation were deposited during the Late Jurassic between around 160 and 145 million years ago, the age of the reptiles.

Mayo Clinic Proceedings: Study finds decrease in postoperative delirium in elderly patients
A recent study, published in the January issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, demonstrates that in elderly patients undergoing hip fracture repair under spinal anesthesia with propofol sedation, the prevalence of delirium can be decreased by 50 percent with light sedation, compared to deep sedation.

'Jekyll and Hyde' cell may hold key to muscular dystrophy, fibrosis treatment: UBC research
A team of University of British Columbia researchers has identified fat-producing cells that possess

Diabetes epidemic in First Nations adults, especially women in prime reproductive years
A diabetes epidemic is affecting First Nations people, especially women in their prime reproductive years, according to a new study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

New nanoparticles target cardiovascular disease
Researchers at MIT and Harvard Medical School have built targeted nanoparticles that can cling to artery walls and slowly release medicine, an advance that potentially provides an alternative to drug-releasing stents in some patients with cardiovascular disease.

A variant of the gene GFI1 predisposes to a subtype of blood cancer
A large international research group led by Dr. Tarik Möröy, a researcher at the IRCM, has discovered that a variant of the gene GFI1 predisposes humans to develop acute myeloid leukemia (AML), a certain subtype of blood cancer.

A Finnish-Swiss team cracks the atomic structure of a major cancer drug target
Researchers at the University of Helsinki, Finland, and the Paul Scherrer Institute in Villigen, Switzerland, have determined the crystal structure of the ligand binding domain of a vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) receptor in complex with one of its ligands (VEGF-C).

Complications common, often linked to trauma in children receiving cochlear implants
Some complications may occur in children receiving cochlear implants, and are highly correlated with trauma to the ear area and inner ear malformation, according to a report in the January issue of Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Promising candidates for malaria vaccine revealed
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researchers have uncovered a group of proteins that could form the basis of an effective vaccine against malaria.

Costs of psoriasis treatments outpace inflation
Findings from a cost model suggest that expenses for systemic psoriasis therapy appear to be increasing at a faster rate than inflation, and newer biologically derived treatments are more expensive than traditional systemic therapies, according to a report in the January issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Higher opioid dose linked to overdose risk in chronic pain patients
More Americans are taking prescribed opioids like Oxycontin long-term for chronic noncancer pain.

Characteristics of young age gastric cancer patients
A research team from South Korea evaluated the epidemiologic features of young age gastric cancer (GC).

Synthetic, dissolving plates ease repairs of nasal septum defects
Attaching cartilage to plates made of the resorbable material polydioxanone appears to facilitate corrective surgery on the nasal septum, the thin cartilage separating the two airways, according to a report in the January/February issue of Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Poor oral hygiene among 19-year-olds
Swedish 19-year-olds need to improve their oral hygiene habits. Seven out of eight adolescents have unacceptable oral hygiene, which increases the risk of future dental problems.

Childhood harms can lead to lung cancer
Adverse events in childhood have been linked to an increase in the likelihood of developing lung cancer in later life.

Novel zoom objective with deformable mirrors
Unmanned aerial vehicles UAVs deployed on landscape analysis missions carry optical measuring equipment that is required to operate free of chromatic aberration.

Multilingual translation system receives over 2 million euro in EU funding
All citizens, regardless of native tongue, shall have the same access to knowledge on the Internet.

New biological models of homeopathy published in special issues
The journal Homeopathy has published a two-part special issue focusing on biological models of homeopathy. 

Eating habits of female footballers and consequences for sporting activity
With her PhD theses Leyre Gravina wished to show that to be a good sportsperson, apart from having talent and being fit and in training, eating habits were also important.

European collaboration makes breakthrough in developing super-material graphene
A collaborative research project has brought the world a step closer to producing a new material on which future nanotechnology could be based.

8 out of 10 people who care for a relative suffer from anxiety and stress
Conducted at the department of developmental and educational psychology from the University of Granada, the research reveals that the negative effects on the caregiver's physical, psychological and social development are highly associated with previous life history between caregiver and care receiver.

Springer will publish Chinese Journal of Polymer Science
Springer, a leading publisher in the fields of science, technology and medicine, will publish the Chinese Journal of Polymer Science (CJPS), the official journal of the Chinese Chemical Society and the Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, as of January 2010.

People born in the 1940s not the spenders we thought they were
People born in the 1940s are often portrayed as having both the means and the willingness to spend money on consumption, but how do they appear in the consumption statistics?

Concussions not taken seriously enough: McMaster researcher
Despite growing public interest in concussions because of serious hockey injuries or skiing deaths, a researcher from McMaster University has found that we may not be taking the common head injury seriously enough.

ERC grants 1.9 million euro to visionary basic research in mathematics
The European Research Council has awarded Professor Thierry Coquand, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, with one of the most prestigious grants within the European Union.

After Medicare rule change, fewer facilities performed bariatric surgeries but outcomes improved
Following a rule expanding coverage of weight-loss surgery under Medicare, bariatric procedures in the Medicare population were centralized to a smaller number of certified centers, were more likely to be minimally invasive and were associated with improved outcomes, according to a report in the January issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Intelligence and security: Role of intelligence within machinery of government
Coinciding with the centenary celebrations of the Secret Intelligence Service (SIS, aka MI6) and the Security Service (MI5), a special issue of Public Policy and Administration published this week by SAGE explores the relationship between intelligence, security, and government and public administration.

Mixed water portfolio helps thirsty cities
Computer simulations for drought-prone areas reveal that when urban water planners combine three approaches of buying water -- permanent rights, options and leases -- the city avoids surplus water and high costs, and reduces shortages, according to civil engineers.

Treating panic disorder on the web
An online treatment system for patients suffering with panic disorder and anxiety problems combine biofeedback therapy with web technologies, and allows patients and medical professionals to communicate effectively, according to research published in the International Journal of Business Intelligence and Data Mining.

Institute of Advanced Studies director named fellow of American Physical Society
Professor (Adjunct) Phua Kok Khoo, director of Nanyang Technological University's (NTU) Institute of Advanced Studies, has been named Fellow by the American Physical Society (APS).

Staring, sleepiness, other mental lapses more likely in patients with Alzheimer's
Cognitive fluctuations, or episodes when train of thought temporarily is lost, are more likely to occur in older persons who are developing Alzheimer's disease than in their healthy peers, according to scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Model estimates risks and benefits of bariatric surgery for severely obese
A computerized model suggests that most morbidly obese individuals would likely live longer if they had gastric bypass surgery, according to a report in the January issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Smithsonian hosts Mesoamerican conference on reforestation with native trees
On Jan. 21-22, 2010, the Environmental Leadership & Training Initiative, ELTI, and the Native Species Reforestation Project, PRORENA, joint initiatives of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, will host a group of experts from countries around the region including Mexico, Costa Rica and Brazil, who will share their experiences with native species reforestation and land restoration projects.

Appendicitis may be related to viral infections
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center evaluated data over a 36-year period from the National Hospital Discharge Survey and concluded in a paper appearing in the January issue of Archives of Surgery that appendicitis may be caused by undetermined viral infection or infections, said Dr.

In vitro pregnancy rates improve with new device that mimics motions in the body
Gently rocking embryos while they grow during in vitro fertilization (IVF) improves pregnancy rates in mice by 22 percent, new University of Michigan research shows.

Call for AIDS denialists to be held accountable
Despite irrefutable proof that HIV treatments have proven benefits, AIDS denialists continue to deny their value.

Ozone detection
Researchers in Freiburg have developed a highly-sensitive, miniaturized mobile ozone sensor which can be used not only in air, but also in water and in the vicinity of explosive gases.

MIT: Unusual snail shell could be a model for better armor
New insights about a tiny snail that lives on the ocean floor could help scientists design better armor for soldiers and vehicles, according to MIT researchers.

Cooperative organizations aid peace building in conflict-torn Rwanda
A thesis from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, shows that cooperative organizations play an important role in the peace-building efforts undertaken in the wake of the Rwanda genocide.

Predictors of ulcerative colitis severity
A research team from Canada examined the ulcerative colitis (UC) population of Southwestern Ontario (SWO), Canada in an effort to gather information on the natural history of the disease and determine predictors of future disease severity at the time of diagnosis.

Cochlear implants associated with improved voice control over time in children who are deaf
Children with cochlear implants in both ears appear to have difficulty controlling the loudness and pitch of their voices, but these measures improve over time, according to a report in the January issue of Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Drowsiness, staring and other mental lapses may signal Alzheimer's disease
Older people who have

Artificial muscles restore ability to blink, save eyesight
Surgeons from UC Davis Medical Center have demonstrated that artificial muscles can restore the ability of patients with facial paralysis to blink, a development that could benefit the thousands of people each year who no longer are able to close their eyelids due to combat-related injuries, stroke, nerve injury or facial surgery.

Fish oil not snake oil
A randomized controlled trial of fish oil given intravenously to patients in intensive care has found that it improves gas exchange, reduces inflammatory chemicals and results in a shorter length of hospital stay.

HPV testing prevents more invasive cervical cancers than cytology
Human papillomavirus DNA testing prevents more invasive cervical cancer compared to cytology screening alone by detecting persistent high-grade lesions (which lead to cervical cancer) at an earlier time.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for Jan. 19, 2010, issue
Below is information about four articles being published in the Jan.

Study suggests theory for insect colonies as 'superorganisms'
A team of researchers including scientists from the University of Florida has shown insect colonies follow some of the same biological
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