Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 23, 2010
Belief in a caring god improves response to medical treatment for depression
In patients diagnosed with clinical depression, belief in a concerned god can improve response to medical treatment, according to a paper in the Journal of Clinical Psychology.

The sound of melanoma can help doctors find cancer
University of Missouri researchers in the Christopher S. Bond Life Sciences Center are studying how photoacoustics, or a laser-induced ultrasound, could help scientists locate the general area of the lymph node where melanoma cells could be residing.

New cardiac CT technology drastically reduces patient radiation exposure
Researchers from Columbia University and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute have determined that an imaging exam of the heart using the latest generation of CT technology exposes patients to as much as 91 percent less radiation than standard helical CT scanning.

Platelet function tests may provide modest benefit in predicting cardiac outcomes
An analysis of six tests that are used to measure platelet function and help gauge the effectiveness of antiplatelet drugs for patients undergoing a cardiac procedure such as a coronary stent implantation found that only three of the tests were associated with a modest ability to predict outcomes such as heart attack or death, according to a study in the Feb.

Springer editors win Boltzmann Award 2010
John Cardy and Bernard Derrida, both Springer editors as well as authors, have won this year's Boltzmann Award for their exceptional contributions to statistical physics.

Combined mammography and breast MRI useful for some high-risk women
Annual breast cancer screening with both mammography and magnetic resonance imaging is likely to be a cost-effective way to improve life expectancy in women with an increased risk of breast cancer, according to a new study.

Physical activity in schools can improve children's fitness
A structured physical activity programme at school can improve children's fitness and decrease body fat, a study published on bmj.com today shows.

South Korean shamans fluidly absorb cultural change
A new book by anthropologist Laurel Kendall,

First images from ESA's water mission
In less than four months since launch, the first calibrated images are being delivered by ESA's SMOS mission.

Damaged protein identified as early diagnostic biomarker for Alzheimer's disease in healthy adults
Researchers at NYU School of Medicine have found that elevated cerebrospinal fluid levels of phosphorylated tau231, a damaged tau protein found in patients with Alzheimer's disease, may be an early diagnostic biomarker for Alzheimer's disease in healthy adults.

Researchers receive NIH grant to study predictors and outcomes of autoimmune lung disease
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati Interstitial Lung Disease Center have received a grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to study ways ILD first appears in certain patient groups with autoimmune diseases and how to more efficiently diagnose and treat it.

$25M NSF center established to investigate the creation of biological machines
Georgia Tech is partnering with MIT and the University of Illinois to form the Emergent Behaviors of Integrated Cellular Systems Center.

Risk of stillbirth is four times higher after IVF/ICSI compared to spontaneous pregnancies
Women who become pregnant with a single fetus after in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) have an increased risk of a stillbirth, according to new research out on Wednesday, Feb.

Study highlights sustainable footprint of chemical companies
Global chemical companies could release at least one billion Euro in cash flow if they increase their sustainability performance.

Scott & White Healthcare pathologist is co-investigator on breast cancer study
In a laboratory study published in the journal Cancer Research, Scott & White Healthcare anatomic pathologist Arundhati Rao, M.D., is a co-investigator looking at the ways in which estrogen can interfere with how chemotherapy does its job in destroying breast cancer cells.

Hours worked by physicians have decreased steadily in last decade
After remaining stable for two decades, the average hours worked per week by physicians decreased by about 7 percent between 1996 and 2008, according to a study in the Feb.

Waste could generate up to 7 percent of electricity in Spain
Researchers from the University of Zaragoza have calculated the energy and economic potential of urban solid waste, sludge from water treatment plants and livestock slurry for generating electricity in Spain.

Startling new childhood asthma data
Researchers from the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services said today that asthma, a largely manageable and chronic disease, is on the rise in America and released new data on the magnitude of the asthma crisis, the surging cost of treatment, and the more than 1 million children with asthma who are uninsured.

Hospitalization linked to likelihood of cognitive decline for older adults
Older patients hospitalized for acute care or a critical illness are more likely to experience cognitive decline compared to older adults who are not hospitalized, according to a study in the Feb.

Stress hormone, depression trigger obesity in girls
Depression raises stress hormone levels in adolescent boys and girls but may lead to obesity only in girls, according to researchers.

Mayo Clinic researchers find oncogene is important in pancreatic cancer growth and spread
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic campus in Florida have found that PKC-iota (PKC-i), an oncogene important in colon and lung cancers, is over-produced in pancreatic cancer and is linked to poor patient survival.

Bitter melon extract attacks breast cancer cells
A common Chinese and Indian folk medicine inhibits the growth of breast cancer cells, Saint Louis University researchers find.

A magnetometer in the upper beak of birds?
Frankfurt neurobiologists show similar structural candidates for a magnetoreceptor in different bird species -- a cooperation with physicists of the Hamburg DESY.

NSF forum to address 'ecosystem services' in a changing world
Humans are sustained by a multitude of processes and resources in the environment around us.

Those who have colonoscopy performed by GIs less likely to develop colorectal cancer
Following a negative complete colonoscopy, those who had their colonoscopies at a hospital and had their procedures performed by a nongastroenterologist may be at a significantly increased risk of developing subsequent colorectal cancer.

Study finds that 2 treatment strategies for severe sepsis show similar survival rates
A comparison of two strategies for treating severe sepsis or septic shock finds that using lactate levels measured in blood samples showed a similar short-term survival rate compared to a treatment regimen using central venous oxygen saturation measured using a specialized catheter, according to a study in the Feb.

University of Miami Rosenstiel School geochemist Millero named AAAS Fellow
The American Academy for the Advancement of Science announced that it has elected Frank J.

Meteosat Third Generation takes a step forward
Since the launch of the first Meteosat in 1977, 33 years of imagery combined with increasing computer power have given meteorologists the tools to improve weather forecasting, with direct benefits for us.

On-campus child care needed for increasing number of student-parents
Brent McBride, a professor of human development at the University of Illinois, says the college drop-out rates of traditional undergraduates who are also full-time parents is a growing problem in the US.

French and Spanish researchers develop a natural alternative to antibiotics in animal feed
Molecules from seaweed extracts and natural clays help adsorbing the harmful toxins which are found in animal feed.

Grizzly bears move into polar bear habitat in Manitoba, Canada
Grizzly bears are moving into an area along the Hudson Bay that is traditionally inhabited by polar bears, and the sightings of grizzly bears are increasing in frequency.

Deaf children with cochlear implants report similar quality of life to that of normal-hearing kids
Profoundly deaf children with cochlear implants to help them to hear rate their quality of life equal to their normal-hearing peers, according to new research from UT Southwestern Medical Center auditory specialists.

Bitter melon extract decreased breast cancer cell growth
Bitter melon extract inhibited breast cancer cell proliferation. Extract may be used as a dietary supplement to induce cancer cell death.

New photonic material may facilitate all-optical switching and computing
A class of molecules whose size, structure and chemical composition have been optimized for photonic use could provide the demanding combination of properties needed to serve as the foundation for low-power, high-speed all-optical signal processing.

Mayo oral cancer study shows full tumor genome
Mayo Clinic researchers along with collaborators from Life Technologies are reporting on the application of a new approach for sequencing RNA to study cancer tumors.

PNAS announces six 2009 Cozzarelli Prize recipients
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Editorial Board has selected six PNAS papers to receive the 2009 Cozzarelli Prize, an award that recognizes outstanding contributions to the scientific disciplines represented by the National Academy of Sciences.

Hepatitis B and C remain public health issue -- up to 5.3 million Americans infected
A recent report by the Institute of Medicine confirmed that 3.5 to 5.3 million people (1-2 percent of the US population) have chronic hepatitis B virus or hepatitis C virus infections.

2010 DOE INCITE projects allocated at ORNL
Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers will lead projects that have been awarded a total of 251 million processor hours of computing time on supercomputers located at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Argonne National Laboratory.

78 scientists elected to the American Academy of Microbiology
Seventy-eight microbiologists have been elected to Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology.

Changes during menopause increases risk of heart disease and stroke
Around the time of menopause, studies have shown the threat for heart disease intensifies drastically and detecting cardiovascular disease in women is very difficult.

USC chosen for $25 million NSF center
Proposal for study of deep-ocean and crustal biosphere, led by Katrina Edwards of USC College, is one of only five out of 247 recommended for prestigious Science and Technology Center award.

Carnegie Mellon's Lorrie Cranor to address Congressional subcommittees
Carnegie Mellon University's Lorrie F. Cranor will discuss the risk and benefits of online services that collect and use location information.

GE Healthcare, Intel and Mayo Clinic explore new models of health care delivery
GE Healthcare, Intel Corporation and Mayo Clinic are investigating a new model of health care delivery for patients at increased risk of rehospitalization that is designed to meet patients' needs where they are, including in their homes.

AGA leads the way in GI innovation
The American Gastroenterological Association is taking the lead in gastroenterological innovation by conducting

Prednisolone not beneficial in most cases of community-acquired pneumonia
Patients hospitalized with mild to moderate community-acquired pneumonia should not be routinely prescribed prednisolone, a corticosteroid, as it is associated with a recurrence of symptoms after its withdrawal, according to the first randomized double-blind clinical trial to address the subject.

Sociologist expands US conversation on human rights
David Brunsma, associate professor of sociology in the University of Missouri College of Arts and Science and the interim director of the Black Studies Program, is working on a three-book series,

Material tested that could guarantee body protheses for more than 150 years
Current body protheses do not last more than 10-15 years.

Michigan State uses NSF grant to study evolution in action
Michigan State University announced today that it was awarded a $25 million grant from the National Science Foundation to establish a center, bringing together scientists from across the nation to study evolution in action in both natural and virtual settings.

Do recreational drugs make us fail to remember?
Have you ever forgotten to post an important letter or let an appointment slip your mind?

New dinosaur discovered head first, for a change
Paleontologists have discovered a new dinosaur species that they've named Abydosaurus.

March of Dimes provides $2.6 million in new funding for preterm birth research
The March of Dimes has committed another $2.6 million to support the work of six scientists for the next three years as they study the causes of preterm birth.

HPV testing best option for women with abnormal smears
For women with an abnormal smear test result, HPV testing is better for their psychosocial wellbeing compared with conventional repeat smear testing, finds new research published on bmj.com today.

DNA sequencing unlocks relationships among flowering plants
The origins of flowering plants from peas to oak trees are now in clearer focus thanks to the efforts of University of Florida researchers.

University of Oklahoma geologists look for answers in Antarctica
Focusing on a controversial hypothesis that ice existed at the equator some 300 million years ago during the late Paleozoic Period, two University of Oklahoma researchers originated a project in search of clues to the Earth's climate system.

Gene mutation is linked to autism-like symptoms in mice, UT Southwestern researchers find
When a gene implicated in human autism is disabled in mice, the rodents show learning problems and obsessive, repetitive behaviors, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found.

Brown physicist discovers odd, fluctuating magnetic waves
Brown University physicist Vesna Mitrovic and colleagues at Brown and in France have discovered magnetic waves that fluctuate when exposed to certain conditions in a superconducting material.

SIBLING proteins may predict oral cancer
The presence of certain proteins in premalignant oral lesions may predict oral cancer development, Medical College of Georgia researchers said.

Successful genome sequencing of Pea Aphid is a breakthrough for ecology and agricultural research
A special issue of Insect Molecular Biology reports the detailed analyses of specific aspects of the genome of the important plant pest, the Pea Aphid.

NASA unveils new space-weather science tool
When NASA's satellite operators need accurate, real-time space-weather information, they turn to the Community Coordinated Modeling Center of the Space Weather Laboratory at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

UTHealth research shows modified adult stem cells may be helpful in spinal cord injury
Researchers at UTHealth have demonstrated in rats that transplanting genetically modified adult stem cells into an injured spinal cord can help restore the electrical pathways associated with movement.

Breaking the aphid's code
For the first time, scientists have sequenced the entire genome of the pea aphid, a notorious horticultural and agricultural pest.

Overweight middle-aged adults at greater risk for cognitive decline in later life
The adverse affects of being overweight are not limited to physical function but also extend to neurological function, according to research in the latest issue of the Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological and Medical Sciences.

Small dogs originated in the Middle East
A genetic study has found that small domestic dogs probably originated in the Middle East more than 12,000 years ago.

Stressed nanomaterials display unexpected movement
Researchers have discovered that, under the right conditions, newly developed nanocrystalline materials exhibit surprising activity in the tiny spaces between the geometric clusters of atoms called nanocrystals from which they are made.

Rapid response science missions assess potential for another major Haiti earthquake
To help assess the potential threat of more large earthquakes in Haiti and nearby areas, scientists at the University of Texas at Austin's Institute for Geophysics are co-leading three expeditions to the country with colleagues from Purdue University, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, the US Geological Survey and five other institutions.

Protecting the brain from a deadly genetic disease
Huntington's disease (HD) is a cruel, hereditary condition that leads to physical and mental deterioration and eventually, death.

Arsenic exposure activates an oncogenic signaling pathway; leads to increased cancer risk
Researchers have found a new oncogenic signaling pathway by which the environmental toxin arsenic may lead to adverse health effects, including bladder cancer.

Gene regulation: Can we stomach it?
A breakthrough in decoding gene regulation of Helicobacter pylori has been made by an international research team led by Jorg Vogel of the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin.

Study quantifies the electron transport effects of placing metal contacts onto graphene
Using large-scale supercomputer calculations, researchers have analyzed how the placement of metallic contacts on graphene changes the electron transport properties of the material as a factor of junction length, width and orientation.

17P is now a fading depression
Tropical cyclone 17P has had a brief life. After becoming a tropical storm yesterday, atmospheric conditions have weakened the cyclone back down to tropical depression status today, Feb.

Resurrected ParticipACTION initiative success underpinned by brand, organizations
Despite a six-year hiatus, a resurrected national physical activity initiative in Canada, ParticipPACTION, still has the potential to succeed thanks to a

The science of Hollywood blockbusters
There is something about the rhythm and texture of early cinema that has a very different
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