Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 19, 2010
Transplanted stem cells form proper brain connections
Transplanted neurons grown from embryonic stem cells can fully integrate into the brains of young animals, according to new research in the Jan.

Consumers have mixed reactions to puffery in advertising
According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, consumers don't always react positively to persuasion tactics that have nothing to do with the product (what the authors refer to as

Cell of origin identified for common type of breast cancer
Breast cancer researchers have identified the progenitor cell that gives rise to the most common form of breast cancer.

Iowa State University researcher discovers Ebola's deadly secret
Iowa State University researcher Gaya Amarasinghe has led scientists to uncover how the deadly Zaire Ebola virus decoys cells and eventually kills them.

The Genetics Society of America announces DeLill Nasser Travel Award recipients
The Genetics Society of America is pleased to announce the six recipients of the 2010 DeLill Nasser Awards for Professional Development in Genetics.

Turning down the noise in quantum data storage
Tripling the steps in a read cycle can significantly improve signal to noise ratios in quantum data storage.

Choice doesn't always mean well-being for everyone
American culture venerates choice, but choice may not be the key to happiness and health, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

The fantastic armor of a wonder snail
Deep within the Kairei Indian hydrothermal vent field, two-and-one-half miles below the central Indian Ocean, scientists have discovered a gastropod mollusk, whose armor could improve load-bearing and protective materials in everything from aircraft hulls to sports equipment.

New use for statins in children with sickle cell disease?
Statins are used to treat elevated levels of cholesterol and heart disease; they are among the most widely prescribed drugs in the world.

New visible light photocatalyst kills bacteria, even after light turned off
In the battle against bacteria, researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a powerful new weapon -- an enhanced photocatalytic disinfection process that uses visible light to destroy harmful bacteria and viruses, even in the dark.

New findings may shed light on brain and spinal cord birth defects
New research, published by Cell Press in the Jan. 19 issue of the journal Developmental Cell, provides intriguing insight into how the nervous system forms during very early embryonic development.

Carnegie Mellon and Intel collaborate to improve energy costs in chip-making
Carnegie Mellon University and Intel Corporation will unveil a new class of materials called solder magnetic nanocomposites that could help streamline the process of computer electronic packaging.

AutoPort to roll out first cars equipped with UD's V2G technology
The University of Delaware has signed the first license for its vehicle-to-grid technology with AutoPort Inc., a major vehicle processing and modification facility in New Castle, Del.

Vitamin D supplementation can reduce falls in nursing care facilities
Giving people living in nursing facilities vitamin D can reduce the rate of falls, according to a new Cochrane Review.

HIV: Positive lessons from home-based care
Intensive home-based nursing in HIV/AIDS patients significantly improves self-reported knowledge of HIV, awareness of medications, and self-reported adherence to medication programmes, according to a new Cochrane Systematic Review.

Volcanic hazard map produced for island of Gran Canaria
Spanish and French researchers have defined the age, location, size and geochemistry of the volcanoes of Gran Canaria during the Holocene, 11,000 years ago, in order to draw up a map of volcanic hazards for the island.

Measuring carbon dioxide over the ocean
Reliable measurements of the air-sea flux of carbon dioxide -- an important greenhouse gas -- are needed for a better understanding of the impact of ocean-atmosphere interactions on climate.

Sexist Olympic coverage
U of A professor says the Olympics should be a time to celebrate the achievements of both men and women, but adds media coverage rarely gives women equal treatment.

Home is best for cardiac rehabilitation
Researchers from the NHS in Cornwall, the Peninsula Medical School, the Agency for Health Technology Assessment in Warsaw and the University of Birmingham have analyzed 12 studies relating to cardiac rehabilitation and found no difference in health outcomes for patients who receive cardiac rehabilitation in a clinical setting or at home.

World Congress on Osteoporosis 2010 -- IOF WCO-ECCEO10
Don't miss the most important osteoporosis-related event of 2010, to be held in the center of Florence, Italy, from May 5-8, 2010.

Circumcising newborn males is a cost effective strategy for HIV prevention in Rwanda
Circumcising newborn boys as a way to prevent HIV infection in later life is more cost-effective than circumcising adult males, finds a new Rwandan study in this week's PLoS Medicine.

The Cancer Genome Atlas identifies distinct subtypes of deadly brain cancer
The most common form of malignant brain cancer in adults, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), is not a single disease but appears to be four distinct molecular subtypes, according to a study by the Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) Research Network.

European Urology February issue: Implantation of erectile prosthesis is complicated
The final step in the multidisciplinary approach of gender reassignment therapy in female-to-male transsexuals consists of the construction of a neophallus to allow the patient to void while standing and to have sexual experience after he is accustomed to his new voiding abilities.

UF gets almost $15 million in federal funds to build research complex to help older adults
The University of Florida's Institute on Aging has received close to $15 million from the National Institutes of Health to construct an almost 40,000-square-foot complex for clinical and translational research.

Most modern European males descend from farmers who migrated from the Near East
A new study from the University of Leicester has found that most men in Europe descend from the first farmers who migrated from the Near East 10,000 years ago.

Too many choices? New study says more is usually better
Are we overloaded and paralyzed by too many choices, or is it good to have so many options?

Hypertension: Beta-blockers effective in combination therapies
Using beta-blockers as a second-line therapy in combination with certain anti-hypertensive drugs significantly lowers blood pressure in patients with hypertension, according to a systematic review by Cochrane researchers.

Parkinson's: Treadmill training improves movement
Treadmill training can be used to help people with Parkinson's disease achieve better walking movements, say researchers.

Prenatal exposure to flame-retardant compounds affects neurodevelopment of young children
Prenatal exposure to ambient levels of flame retardant compounds called polybrominated diphenyl ethers is associated with adverse neurodevelopmental effects in young children, according to researchers at the Columbia Center for Children's Environmental Health at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

Small sounds, big deals: How do number sounds influence consumers?
Consumers remember the sounds of numbers in prices and associate certain sounds with value, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

'Sleeping Beauty' -- Molecule of the Year
The jumping gene or

Linking knowledge with action-learning from malaria
This week PLoS Medicine publishes the third in a four-part series of policy papers examining the ways in which global health institutions and arrangements are changing and evolving.

UCI cardiologists discover 'pouch' in heart that may raise stroke risk
UC Irvine cardiologists have found a pouchlike structure inside the heart's left atrial chamber that may be a potent source of stroke-causing blood clots.

1918 and 2009 H1N1 flu probably not spread by birds
The two strains of the H1N1 influenza virus responsible for the 1918 and 2009 global flu pandemics do not cause disease in birds.

New insights into deadly brain cancer are important step towards personalized therapy
New research suggests that the most common form of malignant brain cancer in adults, glioblastoma multiforme, is probably not a single disease but a set of diseases, each with a distinct underlying molecular pathology.

Researchers find that common stomach pathogen may protect against tuberculosis
It's been implicated as the bacterium that causes ulcers and the majority of stomach cancers, but studies by researchers at Stanford University, UC Davis, and the University of Pittsburgh have found that Helicobacter pylori also may play a protective role -- against the worldwide killer, tuberculosis.

New study reveals red grouper to be 'Frank Lloyd Wrights of the sea'
To the casual observer in the Gulf of Mexico, the seemingly sluggish red grouper is more of a couch potato than a busy beaver.

Our memory of time is shortened when we believe products and events are related
When we believe two events are connected -- such as drinking caffeine and getting a burst of energy -- we tend to compress time, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Go for the good deal -- and get a dose of spirituality
Israeli backpackers find themselves hosted by Christian missionaries in New Zealand because of the good lodging deals that they offer; but during their stay, these Israelis also get unique spiritual experiences.

Guided Care participants rate quality of health care high
Chronically ill older adults who are closely supported by a nurse-physician primary care team are twice as likely to rate their health care as high-quality than those who receive usual care.

Disclosing sexual abuse is critical
Half of sexual abuse survivors wait up to five years before disclosing they were victimized, according to a collaborative study from the University of Montreal, the Universitt of Québec at Montréal and the University of Sherbrooke published in the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry.

Cholesterol-lowering drug shows promise against serious infections in sickle cell disease
New research suggests a family of widely used cholesterol-lowering drugs might help protect individuals from serious illness following bacterial infection, including the pneumococcal infections that pose a deadly threat to those with sickle cell disease.

Kailath, BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Information Technology
The Frontiers of Knowledge Awards address the great global challenges of the 21st century.

Dynamic maps aid epidemiological investigations
Using data on Salmonella infections, researchers demonstrate how dynamic mapping can be used to visualize the relationships between disease and environmental factors.

Computer models suggest vaccination or culling best to prevent foot-and-mouth disease
Kansas State University researchers are finding that if a foot-and-mouth disease outbreak is not in the epidemic stage, preemptive vaccination is a minimally expensive way to halt the disease's spread across a network of animals.

Painless plasma jets could replace dentist's drill
Plasma jets capable of obliterating tooth decay-causing bacteria could be an effective and less painful alternative to the dentist's drill, according to a new study published in the February issue of the Journal of Medical Microbiology.

Promising probiotic treatment for inflammatory bowel disease
Bacteria that produce compounds to reduce inflammation and strengthen host defences could be used to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Sweating out the cravings
A University of Western Ontario team has shown that supervised exercise in addition to pharmacological agents like nicotine replacement therapy helps smoking cessation, improves physical fitness, and delays weight gain in women smokers.

Link examined between omega-3 fatty acid levels and biological aging marker in patients with CHD
Patients with coronary heart disease who had higher omega-3 fatty acid blood levels had an associated lower rate of shortening of telomere length, a chromosome marker of biological aging, raising the possibility that these fatty acids may protect against cellular aging, according to a study in the Jan.

Reasoning through the rationing of end-of-life care
Acknowledging that the idea of rationing health care, particularly at the end of life, may incite too much vitriol to get much rational consideration, a Johns Hopkins emeritus professor of neurology called for the start of a discussion anyway, with an opinion piece featured in this month's issue of the Journal of Medical Ethics.

Eating and drinking during labor: Let women decide
Women should be allowed to eat and drink what they want during labor, say Cochrane researchers.

UB specialized exercise regimen shown to relieve prolonged concussion symptoms
University at Buffalo researchers are the first to show that a controlled individualized exercise training program can bring athletes and others suffering with post-concussion syndrome (PCS) back to the playing field or to their daily activities.

Want to convince? Use abstract rather than concrete language
When consumers talk to each other about products, they generally respond more favorably to abstract language than concrete descriptions, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Copper-free click chemistry used in mice
A team of Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley researchers has developed a unique, copper-free version of the molecular synthesis technique known as click chemistry to create biomolecular probes for in vivo studies of live mice

Largest academic-industry collaboration for drug discovery in depression and schizophrenia launched
An international consortium of scientists, led by H. Lundbeck A/S and King's College London, has launched one of the largest ever research academic-industry collaboration projects to find new methods for the development of drugs for schizophrenia and depression.

Tobacco smoke causes lung inflammation, promotes lung cancer growth
Repeated exposure to tobacco smoke makes lung cancer much worse, and one reason is that it steps up inflammation in the lung.

New data show cardiac respiratory stress test can quickly detect significant coronary artery disease
Testing a patient's cardiac respiratory stress response (RSR) can quickly and accurately detect the presence of significant coronary artery disease (S-CAD), according to new research published in the current issue of Cardiovascular Revascularization Medicine.

Gorillas carry malignant malaria parasite, study reports
The parasite that causes malignant malaria in humans has been detected in gorillas, along with two new species of malaria parasites, reports a study co-authored by UC Irvine biologist Francisco Ayala.

Should obese, smoking and alcohol-consuming women receive assisted reproduction treatment?
The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology has published a position statement on the impact of the life style factors obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption on natural and medically assisted reproduction.

Combination therapy may be effective against some non-small cell lung cancers
Even when their tumors are shrinking in response to therapy, some non-small cell lung cancer patients have a scattering of cancer cells that are undeterred by the drug, causing the tumor to resume its growth, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center scientists report.

New treatment hope by 'painting the colors of the heart'
Scientists at the University of Leicester are 'painting' the colors of the heart in an innovative project that has potential to bring benefits for millions of people with irregular heart rhythm.

Judges on trial: How to promote judicial accountability
Public employees have long been subject to performance reviews that evaluate how well they are performing their jobs.

Scientists show how brain tumors outsmart drugs
Researchers at the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at the University of California, San Diego, School of Medicine and Moores UCSD Cancer Center have shown one way in which gliomas, a deadly type of brain tumor, can evade drugs aimed at blocking a key cell signaling protein, epidermal growth factor receptor, that is crucial for tumor growth.

School burnout
Recent research indicates that school burnout among adolescents is shared with parental work burnout.

Gene linked to schizophrenia may reduce cancer risk
A specific form of a gene that puts people on the road to schizophrenia may protect against some forms of cancer.

Minority teen boys smoke more when they perceive discrimination; girls do not
Indiana University School of Medicine researchers report that minority teen boys smoke more when they perceived discrimination, girls reacted differently.

Program uses art to engage at-risk kids
Identifying the public health and safety needs of children from low-income communities may be best accomplished through art, report University of Pittsburgh researchers in the current online issue of Progress in Community Health Partnerships: Research, Education and Action.

Campus symposium: 'Prevention and treatment of infertility in modern society'
The ESHRE invites you to attend its campus symposium on prevention and treatment of infertility in modern society.

Children born with congenital anomalies: Factors that could be improving survival
Children born with congenital anomalies have a higher risk of death than healthy children.

US ITER awards agreement for Tokamak Cooling Water System
The US ITER Project Office at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has awarded a basic ordering agreement for design and fabrication of the Tokamak Cooling Water System -- a major US contribution to the ITER Project -- to AREVA Federal Services LLC of Charlotte, N.C.

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network-AACR Pathway to Leadership Grant awarded to Johns Hopkins Early Career investigator
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and the American Association for Cancer Research have awarded Zeshaan A.

Compounds that help protect nerve cells discovered by Duke team
Scientists at Duke University Medical Center have found some compounds that improve a cell's ability to properly

Those less motivated to achieve will excel on tasks seen as fun
Those who value excellence and hard work generally do better than others on specific tasks when they are reminded of those values.

Cervical cancer: Combined drug and radiotherapy improves survival
Combining drugs and radiotherapy improves the survival chances of women receiving treatment for cervical cancer.

UNC Lineberger research provides new insights into deadly brain cancer
New findings by researchers at UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center suggest that the most common form of malignant brain cancer in adults, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), is probably not a single disease but a set of diseases, each with a distinct underlying molecular disease process.

Mexico-US collaboration launched to study major human diseases
Mexican business leader Carlos Slim Helú today announced the launch of a major research project in genomic medicine that will help accelerate progress in public health in Mexico and around the world.

Rice responsible for Asians' alcohol flush reaction
The mutation responsible for the alcohol flush reaction, an unpleasant response to alcohol that is relatively common in people of Asian descent, may have occurred following the domestication of rice.

The science behind the perfectly delivered curling rock
A newly appointed member of the coaching staff for Canada's women's Olympic curling team talks about new curling research.

Scientists identify Ecuador's Yasuní National Park as one of the most biodiverse places on earth
Yasuní National Park, located in the core of the Ecuadorian Amazon, shatters a range of world biodiversity records -- from trees to amphibians to insects to mammals and an array of other plant and animal groups -- new research from US and Ecuadorian scientists shows.

Weak lensing gains strength
An international team led by a cosmologist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has extended the relationship between the x-ray luminosity and the mass of galaxy clusters as measured by gravitational lensing, improving the reliability of mass measurements of much older, more distant, and smaller galactic structures.

New theory on the origin of primates
New biogeographic evidence supports the origin of primates in the Jurassic and the evolution of the modern primate groups -- prosimians, tarsiers and anthropoids -- by the early Cretaceous.

Protein supplements are misused by athletes
Protein supplements don't improve performance or recovery time and, according to a recent study, such supplements are inefficient for most athletes.

How clean is your knife?
A new fast-acting disinfectant that is effective against bacteria, viruses, fungi and prions could help to reduce the spread of deadly infections in hospitals, according to research published in the February issue of Journal of General Virology.

Doppler ultrasound in pregnancy reduces risk in high-risk groups
Current evidence suggests that using Doppler ultrasound in high-risk pregnancies to monitor a fetus' health may reduce caesarean sections and the number of babies who die, according to a new Cochrane Systematic Review.

NSAIDs may be more effective than paracetamol for period pain
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen may be more effective for relieving period pain than paracetamol, according to the update of a Cochrane Review.

When the smoke clears: Molecular link between tobacco carcinogen and cancer
New research has uncovered a potential mechanism by which the tobacco-specific carcinogen NNK promotes lung tumor formation and development.

An invitation to Europe's largest forum on breast cancer
The 7th European Breast Cancer Conference will be held March 24-27, 2010, in Barcelona, Spain.

In journey from maggot to fruit fly, a clue about cancer metastasis
Scientists trying to understand how cancer cells invade healthy tissue have used the fruit fly's metamorphosis from maggot to flying insect as a guide to identify a key molecular signal that may be involved in both processes.

Scientists identify Ecuador's Yasuni National Park as one of most biodiverse places on earth
A team of scientists has documented that Yasuni National Park, in the core of the Ecuadorian Amazon, shatters world records for a wide array of plant and animal groups, from amphibians to trees to insects.

Researchers find a treatment for deadly brain tumor
New research at Rhode Island Hospital has identified a treatment in animal models for glioblastomas -- deadly brain tumors which, once diagnosed, offer a poor prognosis and relatively short life expectancy.

Low socioeconomic status affects cortisol levels in children over time
Given the importance of identifying risk factors for such diseases early in life, a new study in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, looked at the relationship between low SES and cortisol in children over a 2-year period.

Face recognition ability inherited separately from IQ
Recognizing faces is an important social skill, but not all of us are equally good at it.

Friendly bacteria love the humble apple
Why does an apple a day keep the doctor away?

Memory molecule, deja vu
Recent studies reestablish the importance to memory processes of calpain, a protease first hypothesized to play a crucial role in memory 25 years ago.

JCI online early table of contents: January 19, 2009
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, January 19, 2009, in the JCI: When the smoke clears: molecular link between tobacco carcinogen and cancer; New use for statins in children with sickle cell disease?; Nlp: all new tumor-forming protein; TLR proteins can provide security from tissue destruction; How anticancer immune responses are suppressed; and A role for the protein c-Myb in leukemia.

Minimal changes alter an enzyme dramatically
A new study by a research team at Uppsala University shows how new functions can develop in an enzyme.

Urban 'green' spaces may contribute to global warming, UCI study finds
Dispelling the notion that urban

Data at the end of the tunnel
Researchers from Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin and the French research facility CNRS, south of Paris, are using electric fields to manipulate the property of electrons known as

Traumatic brain injuries: Motor deficits can persist even after what appears to be a full recovery
Even after regaining normal walking speed, traumatic brain injury victims have not necessarily recovered all their locomotor functions, according to a study supervised by University of Laval's Bradford McFadyen and recently published in Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Society of Interventional Radiology supports treatment for spine fractures: Patient selection key
Given the current controversy over vertebroplasty -- a minimally invasive treatment performed by interventional radiologists in individuals with painful osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures that fail to respond to conventional medical therapy -- what's a patient to do?

The relationship between anti-merozoite antibodies and incidence of Plasmodium falciparum malaria
Research published this week in PLoS Medicine synthesizes information from many different studies that attempt to link specific antibody responses to Plasmodium falciparum with protection from clinical malaria and comes to important conclusions about which antigens might be worth advancing as vaccine candidates. 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