Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 15, 2010
Scientists transplant nose of mosquito, advance fight against malaria
Scientists at Vanderbilt and Yale universities have successfully transplanted most of the

Botulinum toxin injection may help prevent some types of migraine pain
A preliminary study suggests the same type of botulinum injection used for cosmetic purposes may be associated with reduced frequency of migraine headaches that are described as crushing, vicelike or eye-popping (ocular), but not pain that is experienced as a buildup of pressure inside the head, according to a report in the February issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Bone-anchored hearing aids help youth with single-sided deafness
Surgically implanted hearing aids anchored to the skull bone appear to be a durable treatment option that noticeably improves hearing among children with deafness in one ear, according to a report in the February issue of Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Entomologist May R. Berenbaum wins Public Understanding of Science Award
The American Association for the Advancement of Science has named May R.

Enzyme design with remote effects
Engineers are unlikely to tinker with the cooling system if they want to increase the size of an engine.

Team develops new weapon to fight disease-causing bacteria, malaria
Researchers report that they have discovered -- and now know how to exploit -- an unusual chemical reaction mechanism that allows malaria parasites and many disease-causing bacteria to survive.

Embargoed News from Annals of Internal Medicine
Below is information about four articles being published in the Feb.16 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

CryoSat to observe Earth's ice cover
The European Space Agency is about to launch the most sophisticated satellite ever to investigate the Earth's ice fields and map ice thickness over water and land: lift-off scheduled for February 25.

Medicare data reveals differences in orthopedic surgical outcomes
The more specialized a hospital is in orthopedic surgical care, the better the outcomes appear to be for patients undergoing hip and knee replacement surgery, University of Iowa researchers report in a new study of Medicare patients.

Lou's clues lead to nano revelation
Jun Lou, an assistant professor in mechanical engineering and materials science, and his group have discovered that gold wires between three-billionths and 10-billionths of a meter wide weld themselves together quite nicely -- without heat.

Iowa State researchers win $16.38 million in federal grants supported by stimulus funding
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is so far supporting 30 Iowa State University research projects, including work in advanced biofuels, public health intervention programs, undergraduate research and protein modeling.

Badly fitting condoms curb sexual pleasure
Badly fitting condoms are not only likely to split and break, but they may also reduce sexual pleasure for both partners, suggests a study published in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections.

2009 AAAS International Scientific Cooperation Award goes to Katepalli R. Sreenivasan
The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest general scientific society, has named Katepalli R.

CIHR grants $5 million to MUHC/McGill research
Two teams from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre and McGill University received significant support from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research amounting to $5 million over five years.

Switch to metronomic therapy could offer new treatment option for patients with advanced kidney cancer
A new multi-targeted

Springer partners with the Anthropological Society of Paris
Beginning this year, Springer will publish the Bulletins et memoires de la Societe d'Anthropologie de Paris.

Biofuels policy fails to achieve goals warns study
US biofuel policies will fail to achieve the intended environmental, energy and agricultural goals, warns an article in the journal Applied Economics Perspectives and Policy.

Chickens 'one-up' humans in ability to see color
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have peered deep into the eye of the chicken and found a masterpiece of biological design.

News brief: Benefit of HPV vaccination, frequent screening for women over 41 is likely to be low
The overall potential benefits of human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccinations or frequent HPV screenings for women over the age of 41 are low, concludes a new study published online Feb.

Developing guidelines for better reporting of health research
A paper published in this week's issue of PLoS Medicine provides a substantial new resource for the developers of guidelines of the reporting of health research.

Building fit minds under stress
A University of Pennsylvania-led study in which training was provided to a high-stress U.S. military group preparing for deployment to Iraq has demonstrated a positive link between mindfulness training, or MT, and improvements in mood and working memory.

Research describes characteristics of young red Rioja Alavesa wine
Purple tones and an intense color in appearance while, on the palate, it has medium acidity and it is dry, balanced and with a hint of bitterness.

Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute to receive ALS Research Award
Clive Svendsen, Ph.D., director of the Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute, is receiving the American Academy of Neurology Sheila Essey Award for his research on ALS (amyothrophic lateral sclerosis).

How advanced tech helped East Coast snow emergency crews
East Coast transportation and emergency management agencies had a high-tech edge coping with this season's blizzards -- an advanced visualization and data fusion system developed by the University of Maryland.

New study suggests stem cells sabotage their own DNA to produce new tissues
A new study from the Ottawa Hospital Research Institut and the University of Ottawa shows for the first time that stem cells intentionally cut and then repair their own DNA as a mechanism of activating genes that promote the development of new tissues.

Marriage of microfluidics and optics could advance lab-on-a-chip devices
With a silicone rubber

Study: secondary stroke prevention needs improvement
New research finds that one out of 12 people who have a stroke will likely soon have another stroke, and one out of four will likely die within one year.

IU research team discovers TB disease mechanism and molecule to block it
Indiana University School of Medicine researchers have identified a mechanism used by the tuberculosis bacterium to evade the body's immune system and have identified a compound that blocks the bacterium's ability to survive in the host, which could lead to new drugs to treat tuberculosis.

Protein identified that helps heart muscle contract
UCSF researchers have discovered that a protein called B1N1 is necessary for the heart to contract.

UQ research shows canecutter's disease on the rise among travelers
A team led by Ph.D. researcher Dr. Colleen Lau from the School of Population Health, has discovered the disease, known medically as leptospirosis, was traditionally a concern for males working in the agricultural and livestock industries, as it is contracted from contact with the urine of host animals.

'Perfect' liquid hot enough to be quark soup
Recent analyses from the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory establish that collisions of gold ions traveling at nearly the speed of light have created matter at a temperature of about 4 trillion degrees Celsius -- higher than the temperature needed to melt protons and neutrons into a plasma of quarks and gluons.

New strategy produces promising advance in cancer vaccines
Researchers at National Jewish Health and the University of Colorado School of Medicine have used a new strategy to develop cancer vaccines that are remarkably effective in mice.

Risk of drought in Northeastern Spain is exaggerated by the press
Researchers from the University of Barcelona have, for the first time, analyzed all the articles published in the La Vanguardia newspaper between 1982 and 2007 linked to natural hazards, climate change and sustainable development.

Study examines outcomes after bariatric surgery revisions
Revisional bariatric surgery appears to be associated with a higher risk of complications than the initial procedure, according to a report in the February issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Low-cost DNA test to pinpoint risk of inherited diseases
An inexpensive, fast accurate DNA test that reveals a person's risk of developing certain diseases is expected to become a reality, thanks to technology developed at the University of Edinburgh.

TV entrepreneurs don't reflect real life, says survey
Does Dragons' Den, Alan Sugar, Richard Branson and the way other celebrity entrepreneurs are depicted by the media show what it's really like to start up and run businesses?

2009 AAAS Mentor Award goes to Luis Colón of the University at Buffalo
For his deep commitment to advancing diversity in the chemical sciences, leading to an increase in Hispanic-American students receiving Ph.D. degrees in chemistry, the 2009 Mentor Award of the American Association for the Advancement of Science will be bestowed upon Luis Colon.

Researchers study mosquito genes to learn how they survive a parasite that causes malaria
Kansas State University researchers are studying the main contributing mosquito species to malaria transmission in Africa.

WHI data confirm short-term heart disease risks of combination menopausal hormone therapy
New analyses from the Women's Health Initiative confirm that combination hormone therapy increases the risk of heart disease in healthy postmenopausal women.

New therapeutic target for most common solid cancer in childhood?
New research, to be published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, has identified the protein NT-3 and the cell-surface molecule to which it binds (TrkC) as potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of neuroblastoma -- the most frequent solid tumor in young children.

Making a better medical safety checklist
In the wake of Johns Hopkins' success in virtually eliminating intensive-care unit bloodstream infections via a simple five-step checklist, the safety scientist who developed and popularized the tool warns medical colleagues that they are no panacea.

Sleep problems and sleepiness increase the risk of motor vehicle accidents in adolescents
A study in the Feb. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine shows that sleepiness at the wheel and poor sleep quality significantly increase the risk of motor vehicle accidents in adolescents.

Dr. Nancy Olivieri receives the 2009 AAAS Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award
The 2009 American Association for the Advancement of Science Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award will honor Dr.

New risk factor for second-most-common form of early-onset dementia
Examining brain tissue from over 500 individuals in 11 countries, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and colleagues found a new risk factor for the second-most-common cause of early-onset dementia after Alzheimer's disease.

Induced neural stem cells: Not quite ready for prime time
The great promise of induced pluripotent stem cells is that the all-purpose cells seem capable of performing all the same tricks as embryonic stem cells, but without the controversy.

Charging less for more effective treatments could reduce health care costs while improving health
Value-based insurance design in which consumer payments are waived for highly effective treatments, but are raised for less effective ones, could increase the benefits of healthcare in the US without increasing expenditures.

AAAS/Subaru science books and film prizes help promote science literacy
Children's science books on how plants bring the Earth to life, on a real-life

Tobacco use linked to worse outcomes in HPV-positive head and neck cancer, U-M study finds
Patients with head and neck cancer linked to high risk human papillomavirus, or HPV, have worse outcomes if they are current or former tobacco users, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Using gold nanoparticles to hit cancer where it hurts
Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology have shown that by directing gold nanoparticles into the nuclei of cancer cells, they can not only prevent them from multiplying, but can kill them where they lurk.

A common thread links multiple human cognitive disorders
A new study reveals that a common underlying mechanism is shared by a group of previously unrelated disorders which all cause complex defects in brain development and function.

Immune system turns on the body in narcolepsy
It is thought that the sleep disorder narcolepsy is an autoimmune disorder -- that is, it is caused by the individual's immune system attacking certain cells in the body -- but this had not been proven definitively.

Certain pain medications do not appear to be associated with skin cancer risk
Contrary to previous hypotheses, the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs does not appear associated with risk of squamous cell skin cancer, according to a report posted online today that will appear in the April print issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Simple test may help judge concussion in athletes
A simple test of reaction time may help determine whether athletes have sustained a concussion (also known as mild traumatic brain injury) and when they are ready to play again, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 62nd Annual Meeting in Toronto April 10-17, 2010.

2009 AAAS Lifetime Mentor Award goes to Diola Bagayoko
Diola Bagayoko of the Southern University at Baton Rouge, La., has been honored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

NIH grants to Children's Hospital will advance novel stem cell treatments for blood disorders
Two large federal grants recently awarded to The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia will advance the frontiers of research into cellular therapies.

New study possibly links cognitive and motor delays with 'flat head syndrome' in young babies
In a new study, infants averaging 6 months of age who exhibited positional plagiocephaly (flat head syndrome) had lower scores than typical infants in observational tests used to evaluate cognitive and motor development.

Protein study shows evolutionary link between plants, humans
Inserting a human protein important in cancer development was able to revive dying plants, showing an evolutionary link between plants and humans and possibly making it easier to study the protein's function in cancer development, a Purdue University study has shown.

Women, more than men, choose true crime over other violent nonfiction
When it comes to violent nonfiction, men are from Mars, the planet of war, but women are from Earth, the planet of serial killings and random murders.

Attacking cancer cells with hydrogel nanoparticles
Researchers at Georgia Tech are using hydrogels -- less than 100 nanometers in size -- to sneak a particular type of small interfering RNA into cancer cells.

Winter Olympics: Experts discuss altitude and performance
For winter sports athletes, including Olympians competing in Vancouver, the altitude of the sports venue can have a significant impact on performance, requiring athletes in skill sports, such as figure skating, ski jumping and snowboarding, to retool highly technical moves to accommodate more or less air resistance.

Free trade, loss of support systems crippling food production in Africa
Despite good intentions, the push to privatize government functions and insistence upon

Stress and trade-offs explain life's diversity: New Smithsonian model
Plants and people alike face critical choices as they reproduce: to make a few big, well-provisioned seeds -- or babies -- or many small, poorly-provisioned ones.

Diversity of corals, algae in warm Indian Ocean suggests resilience to future global warming
Corals that harbor unusual species of symbiotic algae have been discovered thriving in water that is too warm for most other corals.

Study identifies racial and ethnic disparities in surgical care
Minority patients in New York City appear less likely than white patients to have surgeries performed by surgeons or at facilities that have handled large numbers of similar procedures in the past, according to a report in the February issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Silicon-coated nanonets could build a better lithium-ion battery
The surface area and conductivity of a lattice-like Nanonet coated with silicon particles proves to be a high-performing anode material for Lithium-ion batteries, Boston College researchers report.

JCI online early table of contents: Feb. 15, 2010
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Feb.

Add-on daclizumab treatment might reduce multiple sclerosis disease activity more than interferon beta alone
Add-on daclizumab treatment might reduce multiple sclerosis disease activity more than standard interferon beta treatment alone.

Neonatal and infant circumcision: Safe in the right hands
How safe is circumcision? A systematic review, published in the open access journal BMC Urology has found that neonatal and infant circumcision by trained staff rarely results in problems.

Study suggests that tinnitus does not appear to be a highly inherited condition
Tinnitus, or ringing in the ears, does not appear to be a highly inherited condition (i.e., does not pass frequently from parents to offspring), according to a report in the February issue of Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Seniors stymied in wait for kidney transplants
One-third of people over the age of 65 wait longer than necessary for lifesaving, new kidneys because their doctors fail to put them in a queue for organs unsuitable to transplant in younger patients but well-suited to seniors, research from Johns Hopkins suggests.

Scientists discover molecular pathway for organ tissue regeneration and repair
Scientists have discovered a molecular pathway that works through the immune system to regenerate damaged kidney tissues and may lead to new therapies for repairing injury in other organs.

Why today's galaxies don't make as many stars as they used to
As part of an international research team, University of Arizona scientists have found that fewer stars are born in present-day galaxies because interstellar raw materials have become sparse over time.

Carnegie Mellon joins Open Cirrus test bed for advancing cloud computing research
Carnegie Mellon University's School of Computer Science is the latest research institution to host a site as part of Open Cirrus, a global, open-source test bed for the advancement of cloud computing research and education.

Brain-controlled cursor doubles as a neural workout
Electrodes on the surface of the brain show that using imagined movements to control a computer cursor can generate larger-than-life brain signals after less than 10 minutes of training.

Scientists find donut-shaped structure of enzyme involved in energy metabolism
Using advanced X-radiation techniques, University of Missouri researchers were able to visualize one of these terminals inside of an enzyme that degrades proline, which is an amino acid that has a central role in metabolism.

GUMC researchers say flower power may reduce resistance to breast cancer drug tamoxifen
Combining tamoxifen, the world's most prescribed breast cancer agent, with a compound found in the flowering plant feverfew may prevent initial or future resistance to the drug, say researchers at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

2009 AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Award presented to Francis S. Collins, M.D.
Francis S. Collins, M.D., director of the U.S. National Institutes of Health has been selected to receive the 2009 AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Award in honor of his lifelong, unusually effective efforts to responsibly advance and communicate science.

'Bubbles' of broken symmetry in quark soup at RHIC
Scientists at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory report the first hints of profound symmetry transformations in the hot soup of quarks, antiquarks and gluons produced in RHIC's most energetic collisions.

Urine protein test might help diagnose kidney damage from lupus, UT Southwestern researchers find
Simple urine tests for four proteins might be able to detect early kidney disease in people with lupus, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found in an animal study.

Joshua E. Neimark Memorial Travel Assistance Award winners
Three newly named beneficiaries of the Joshua E. Neimark Memorial Travel Assistance Endowment are investigating an unusual program to spark young children's interest in insects, an effort to fine-tune DNA analysis, and a strategy that might someday suggest a way to lower the cost of a key HIV medication.

OHSU researchers discover cellular mechanism that protects against disease
Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University have discovered a new mechanism within human cells that constantly protects us against disease.

First-ever images of planets orbiting distant stars win the 2009 AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize
Two breathtaking discoveries -- the first-ever image of multiple planets orbiting a star other than our own, plus separate research that directly detected a planet orbiting the star Fomalhaut -- won the 2009 Newcomb Cleveland Prize of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Severe sleep apnea decreases frequency of nightmare recall
A study in the Feb. 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine shows that patients with severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) report a significantly lower frequency of nightmares than patients with mild or no sleep apnea, indicating that OSA suppresses the cognitive experience of nightmare recall.

HIV drug resistance lasts about 1 year in women treated with nevirapine to prevent infant infection
A new international study reported in PLoS Medicine confirms that a single dose of nevirapine (sdNVP) can lead to HIV treatment failure in women who receive the drug to prevent transmission of the AIDS virus to their infants.

Fog has declined in past century along California's redwood coast
An analysis of newly available climate data shows that summer fog along the California coast has declined significantly in the past century, though it is unclear whether this is a natural variation or a result of human activity.

Mayo Clinic responsible for $22 billion in economic impact, including $9.6 billion in Minnesota
Data from a study conducted by the Battelle Memorial Institute show Mayo Clinic is responsible for $22 billion in economic impact nationwide, including $9.6 billion in Minnesota.

Smithsonian Institution, Arizona State University announce education and research partnership
Secretary Wayne Clough, head of the Smithsonian, and ASU President Michael M. 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