Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 24, 2010
On the road to 'sweet' tires made with a more sustainable process
Motorists will be driving on the world's first

CONSORT 2010: Leading journals publish new guidelines to improve trial reports
New guidance to improve the reporting of trial findings is published simultaneously today (March 2010) by PLoS Medicine and eight other leading journals around the world, BMJ, the Lancet, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Annals of Internal Medicine, Open Medicine, Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, BMC Medicine and Trials.

Anesthesia increases risk of developing Alzheimer's disease in patients with genetic predisposition
The use of repetitive anesthesia with isoflurane (one of the most common anesthetics by inhalation) increases the risk of developing changes similar to those observed in AD brains in mice with mutations of the amyloid precursor protein.

The solution both to the economic crisis and to climate change is sustainable economic degrowth
This month's edition of the Journal of Cleaner Production publishes the results of a coordinated study organized by Giorgos Kallis, Francois Schneider and Joan Martinez-Alier from the ICTA.

Rice study looks at role of private foundations in supporting religion
While millions of Americans make individual contributions weekly at their places of worship, a new study by a Rice University sociologist finds private foundations have a disproportionate influence on the religious sector -- despite the fact that their contributions constitute only a fraction of all philanthropy to religion.

Johns Hopkins team finds new way to attack TB
Suspecting that a particular protein in tuberculosis was likely to be vital to the bacteria's survival, Johns Hopkins scientists screened 175,000 small chemical compounds and identified a potent class of compounds that selectively slows down this protein's activity and, in a test tube, blocks TB growth, demonstrating that the protein is indeed a vulnerable target.

Older adults remember the good times
Despite the aches and pains that occur in old age, many older adults maintain a positive outlook, remembering the positive experiences from their past.

Flexible electronics could help put off-beat hearts back on rhythm
Arrhythmic hearts soon may beat in time again, with minimal surgical invasion, thanks to flexible electronics technology developed by a team of University of Illinois researchers, in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and Northwestern University.

Bird brains? Not when it comes to selecting nutritious food
Some birds are not

Patients shouldn't navigate Internet without physician guide
The Internet has had a profound effect on clinical practice by providing both physicians and patients with a wealth of information.

Explained: Why many surveys of distant galaxies miss 90 percent of their targets
Astronomers have long known that in many surveys of the very distant Universe, a large fraction of the total intrinsic light was not being observed.

CWRU researchers offer tips for picking the right baby bottle
Many moms who start off breastfeeding ponder bottle issues, as they have to return to work or need to spend time away from the baby.

Influenza in pregnancy -- new Norwegian study
This spring, pregnant women in Norway will be invited to take part in the Norwegian Influenza Study (NorFlu).

Study: Child health may suffer in strong economy
A short-term economic boom is not always a good thing for children in developing nations, according to a new study in the Journal of Political Economy.

NIA researchers find gene to explain mouse embryonic stem cell immortality
Researchers at the National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health, have discovered a key to embryonic stem cell rejuvenation in a gene -- Zscan4 -- as reported in the March 24, 2010, online issue of Nature.

Warmer summers could create challenges for nesting Arctic seabirds
In tropical regions, seabird deaths are often due to introduced predators, ecto-parasites or fishery collapse.

Carnegie Mellon to host crisis management workshop
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University in Silicon Valley will host a one-day workshop on disaster response and emergency services.

New Tulane University study says diabetes at epidemic proportions in China
A large population-based study of diabetes in China conducted by investigators from Tulane University and their colleagues in China has concluded that the disease has reached epidemic proportions in the adult population of China.

Scientists link climate change and Atlantic croaker fishery
A new climate-population model developed by NOAA scientists to study rising ocean temperatures and fishing rates on one East Coast fish population could also forecast the impact of climate change and fishing on other fisheries.

Light controls matter, matter controls X-rays
Controlling X-rays with ultrashort slices of light is a step toward controlling how matter behaves, shaping X-rays with other X-rays, and eventually directing the paths chemical reactions can take.

OHSU School of Dentistry devleops new animal model to study craniofacial pain by manipulating genes
Using a novel animal model to study craniofacial pain, researchers at Oregon Health & Science University's School of Dentistry have discovered that when tissues are inflamed, the nerve cells carrying pain information from the head to the brain produce in large quantities a protein involved in pain signaling.

Hand and feet massages provide consolation for bereaved relatives
Receiving soothing massages for eight weeks after the death of a loved one can provide much-needed consolation during an intense, stressful period of grieving.

Witchcraft 'hard-wired' into us all
A new book by one of Britain's leading experts on the history of witchcraft argues that it is

Fertility issues in young women with breast cancer must be addressed
More and more young women are surviving breast cancer and delaying childbirth, and it is important to take their needs and wishes about their future fertility into consideration when deciding on treatment.

Report finds radical change needed for global agriculture
A report to be released at a pivotal global meeting on agriculture finds that transforming the agriculture agenda to meet the challenges of a warmer, environmentally degraded world of 9 billion people will require changes

Singapore program to provide clinical insight; showcase for regional research
An exciting scientific program is planned for the IOF Regionals: Asia-Pacific Osteoporosis Meeting, to be held in Singapore from Dec.

People are living longer and healthier -- now what?
People in developed nations are living in good health as much as a decade longer than their parents did, not because aging has been slowed or reversed, but because they are staying healthy to a more advanced age.

Impaired judgment of harmful intent is linked with damage to prefrontal cortex
New research provides insight into the region of the brain that underlies our tendency to condemn failed attempts to harm and forgive harms that are accidental.

Synthetic peptide may enhance lung transplantation
Medical College of Georgia researchers show in the March issue of Critical Care Medicine that putting the TIP peptide into the trachea of rat lungs about a half hour before transplantation can nullify the bad result, called ischemic reperfusion injury, and improve oxygenation.

Inflammation research opens route to better pain relief
An international group of scientists led by Dr. Nikita Gamper of the University's Faculty of Biological Sciences has discovered how two proteins play a key role in the way we feel pain, offering new targets on which drug development can be focused.

Great apes know they could be wrong
Great apes -- orangutans, chimpanzees, bonobos and gorillas -- realize that they can be wrong when making choices, according to Dr.

Doctors must collaborate so that patients get full benefit of tamoxifen treatment
Some breast cancer patients taking tamoxifen may not be getting the full benefit of their treatment because they have also been taking selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, prescribed drugs that inhibit the effect of an important enzyme, CYP2D6.

Compound screening for drug development made simpler
The identification of compounds that could be promising candidates for drug development has become easier following research at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute.

Hugging the heart electronically
The electronics can bend, stretch and twist. Now the flexible and stretchable electronics can map waves of electrical activity in the heart with better resolution and speed than that of conventional cardiac monitoring technology.

Researchers discover fundamental step in immune-system development
Researchers at National Jewish Health have discovered a fundamental step in the development of the immune system, one that allows B cells to mature and fight disease by producing effective antibodies.

Teenagers programmed to take risks
Risk-taking peaks in adolescence, according to scientists at University College London.

Tropical Storm Imani making a question mark in the Southern Indian Ocean
Over the last week, the path that Tropical Storm Imani, formerly tropical cyclone 21S, is making in the Southern Indian Ocean resembles a question mark.

Texas mathematician John Tate wins Abel Prize, highest distinction in mathematics internationally
The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters has awarded the Abel Prize for 2010 to John Tate, professor emeritus of mathematics at the University of Texas at Austin, for his vast and lasting impact on the theory of numbers.

WPI receives $1.4 million from NIH for pioneering work on arterial plaque and cardiovascular disease
Worcester Polytechnic Institute has received a four-year, $1.4 million award from the National Institutes of Health to continue a groundbreaking study of arterial plaque.

U of M expert says Earth's health reaching critical tipping point
Featured as part of the cover story of Scientific American magazine's April issue, which hits newsstands today, U of M professor Jon Foley makes the case for why we need to pay more attention to all environmental processes that contribute to the Earth's health.

IBD patients have few credible online resources on treatment options
Few Web sites provide high-quality patient information about treatment options for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

Massachusetts health care reform reviewed as a model for national plan
On Tuesday, President Obama signed into law US health care reform legislation, leaving many Americans wondering how it will affect them, their families and businesses.

Packing your troubles away actually works says new Rotman paper
Finding it hard to get over a failed love interest?

Zebrafish study with human heart implications
Bony fish like the tiny zebrafish have a remarkable ability that mammals can only dream of: if you lop off a chunk of their heart they swim sluggishly for a few days but within a month appear perfectly normal.

Guinea pigs not 'dumbed down' by domestication
Despite reductions in brain size, domestication has not reduced the ability of guinea pigs to navigate a water maze.

Book explains how focus on strengths, not failures, helps teens succeed in school
The best way to help teenagers who are struggling in school is put aside their academic problems and focus on what they're doing right, according to a family research scientist who has put this theory to practice.

New CO2 'scrubber' from ingredient in hair conditioners
In an effort to fight global warming, scientists in New York are reporting the first use of a new chemical approach that has the potential to remove 90 percent of carbon dioxide from the flue gas from coal-burning power plants.

How does ethnicity affect asthma prevalence?
A study of UK schoolchildren has revealed that black Africans, Indians and Bangladeshis have a similar or lower prevalence of asthma than white children, while black Caribbean and mixed black Caribbean/white boys are more likely to have asthma.

North America's energy market
The objectives of the meeting will be to examine barriers to harmonization and comparability of renewable energy standards and definitions among North America's three countries, as well as to discuss opportunities and challenges for carbon sequestration and storage technologies.

Study: Teen bloggers show little risky behavior online
An Ohio State University study of 100 teen bloggers from around the United States found that the vast majority use blogs to nurture relationships with their peers and build a sense of community -- rather than to admit misbehavior.

Shoes: A treatment for osteoarthritis in the knees?
Flip-flops and sneakers with flexible soles are easier on the knees than clogs or even special walking shoes, a study by Rush University Medical Center has found.

Chance discovery leads to plant breeding breakthrough
A reliable method for producing plants that carry genetic material from only one of their parents has been discovered by plant biologists at UC Davis.

Children with food allergies should carry 2 doses of emergency medicine
In a large six-year review of emergency department data, researchers at Children's Hospital Boston, in collaboration with Massachusetts General Hospital, found that many children with severe food-related allergic reactions need a second dose of epinephrine, suggesting that patients carrying EpiPens should carry two doses instead of one.

Rodeo bull goes head-to-head with zoo dolphins in a study of balance
Dolphins, whales and porpoises have extraordinarily small balance organs, and scientists have long wondered why.

Genome mapping technique speeds process of finding specific genes
A Purdue University scientist was part of a global team that has demonstrated a specialized mapping technique that could speed work in genomic fields by quickly finding genetic associations that shape an organism's observable characteristics.

Seabed biodiversity in oxygen minimum zones
Some regions of the deep ocean floor support abundant populations of organisms, despite being overlain by water that contains very little oxygen, according to an international study led by scientists at the United Kingdom's National Oceanography Centre, Southampton.

Developing a test to save eyesight by detecting glaucoma years earlier
Scientists are reporting progress toward a test that could revolutionize the diagnosis of glaucoma -- the second leading cause of vision loss and blindness worldwide -- by detecting the disease years earlier than usually happens at present.

Human brain becomes tuned to voices and emotional tone of voice during infancy
New research finds that the brains of infants as young as seven months old demonstrate a sensitivity to the human voice and to emotions communicated through the voice that is remarkably similar to what is observed in the brains of adults.

1918 and 2009 pandemic influenza viruses lack a sugar topping
Although they emerged more than 90 years apart, the influenza viruses responsible for the pandemics of 1918 and 2009 share a structural detail that makes both susceptible to neutralization by the same antibodies.

Older people and those with HIV are more vulnerable to tuberculosis
A study by the Barcelona Public Health Agency has revealed those sections of the population that are most vulnerable to tuberculosis.

Searching for genes behind a trait
Study of possible causal genes of plant traits, published in Nature, breaks new ground for two reasons: the authors studied natural variation of 107 different traits -- a far higher number than in previous studies; and advances in genetic analysis enabled the authors to check the genome for mutations at many more points.

New tissue-hugging implant maps heart electrical activity in unprecedented detail
A team of cardiologists, materials scientists, and bioengineers have created and tested a new type of implantable device for measuring the heart's electrical output that they say is a vast improvement over current devices.

Biofuel mandates would make corn shortfall costly, experts say
Grocery shoppers face hefty price increases if bad weather withers a US corn crop that is now tethered to grain-intensive renewable fuel mandates, a new University of Illinois study warns.

Building custom materials using nature's prized secrets
Lashonda Korley, a professor of macromolecular science and engineering, aims to unlock the order and structure of a squid's beak, spider silk and nacre from an oyster shell to create scratch-resistant coatings, durable fabrics, scaffolding for surgical implants, wall panels that can absorb a bomb blast, and more.

ATS endorses pay-for-performance for pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine
The ATS has released an official policy statement of pay-for-performance (P4P) in pulmonary, critical care and sleep medicine.

Study links genetic variation to possible protection against sudden cardiac arrest
Physician-scientists at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute have found that a genetic variation is associated with lower risk of sudden cardiac arrest, a disorder that gives little warning and is fatal in about 95 percent of cases.

Nearly half of states need to improve outbreak reporting, says CSPI
The national cost of foodborne illness has been estimated at the astronomical sum of $152 billion annually, but the information on who is getting sick and what is causing those illnesses is part of a state-by-state surveillance system that shows mixed results around the country, raising important new questions about how to improve state outbreak reporting.

ORNL Z-contrast microscope first to resolve, identify individual light atoms
Using the latest in aberration-corrected electron microscopy, researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and their colleagues have obtained the first images that distinguish individual light atoms such as boron, carbon, nitrogen and oxygen.

Article on memory may make a lasting impression, depending on theta phase lock
They say there's only one chance to make a first impression, but what makes that memory last?

Worse breast cancer outcomes for women from poorer backgrounds are not due to late diagnosis alone
The largest study in Europe to look at the link between socioeconomic status and survival after breast cancer has found that women from poorer backgrounds have worse outcomes and that this is only partly explained by more advanced cancer at diagnosis.

Duke scientists uncover cells that mend a broken heart
Humans have very limited ability to regenerate heart muscle cells, which is a key reason why heart attacks that kill cells and scar heart tissue are so dangerous.

Scientists in hot pursuit of first new drug for global killer in 50 years
This World TB Day, researchers at Sydney's Centenary Institute announce they have made an exciting discovery that could lead to the first new drug for tuberculosis in almost 50 years.

Recurrence of breast cancer after more than 10 years is an important indicator of survival
Recurrence of breast cancer in the same area as the original tumor remains the strongest, independent prognostic factor for subsequent metastasis and death, even for patients who have been free of disease for 10 years, Dutch researchers have shown, in a large study of nearly 8,000 patients.

Even soil feels the heat
Twenty years of field studies reveal that as the Earth has gotten warmer, plants and microbes in the soil have given off more carbon dioxide.

Octreotide acetate does not prevent treatment-induced diarrhea in anorectal cancer
In many cancers, octreotide acetate has been reported to control the diarrhea that can accompany chemotherapy.

Contact lenses loaded with vitamin E may treat glaucoma
The popular dietary supplement vitamin E, loaded into special medicated contact lenses, can keep glaucoma medicine near the eye -- where it can treat that common disease -- almost 100 times longer than possible with current commercial lenses, scientists reported here today at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.

02W renamed Tropical Storm Omais, staying at sea
Tropical Cyclone 02W still has maximum sustained winds near 46 mph but one thing changed: it has been named

Bathing and showering: Underappreciated sources of water pollution from medicines
That bracing morning shower and soothing bedtime soak in the tub are potentially important but until now unrecognized sources of the hormones, antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals that pollute the environment, scientists reported here today at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society.

Emotions key to judging others
A new study from MIT neuroscientists suggests that our ability to respond appropriately to intended harms -- that is, with outrage toward the perpetrator -- is seated in a brain region associated with regulating emotions.

What should be the goal of treatment in metastatic breast cancer?
Many patients with metastatic breast cancer believe that the primary goal in survival with new treatment should be to prolong life by at least a year over the survival they might expect from using current best therapies, Canadian researchers have found.

Benefits of osteoporosis treatments outweigh possible risk of rare femoral fractures
The occurrence of an unusual type of fracture of the femur, or the thigh bone, is very low in patients with osteoporosis, including those treated with the drug family known as bisphosphonates, according to a new study led by a team of UCSF epidemiologists.

Counteracting teens' logo lust
Today's adolescents have been characterized as the most materialistic generation in history: a brand-oriented and consumer-involved group who derive self-worth from owning luxury handbags and the latest technology devices.

Rochester study connects workplace turmoil, stress and obesity
A new study that provides a snapshot of a typical American workplace observed that chronic job stress and lack of physical activity are strongly associated with being overweight or obese.

NYU researchers create 'handshaking' particles
Physicists at New York University have created

Initiative to study Pennsylvania electricity markets and economics
Producers, distributors and regulators have joined with Penn State to form the Penn State Electricity Economics Initiative, a cooperative project to investigate possibilities and challenges surrounding electricity restructuring in the commonwealth.

JDRF funded researchers test topical drug to treat diabetic macular edema
Early stage human clinical trials showed that a new topical drug was safe and had biological effects in a type of diabetic eye disease, and may offer researchers a new approach to prevent and treat diabetic macular edema.

Made easy with light
Lightweight, sturdy and non-corrosive: fiber-reinforced thermoplastics are an ideal material for making boats and cars, and for aerospace engineering.

Vaccine could delay bowel inflammation and colon cancer, says Pitt research
An experimental vaccine against an abnormal protein found in some tumors has the potential to delay the onset of inflammatory bowel disease and in turn prevent progression to colon cancer, according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Transition into adult health care is a rocky road for 20-somethings
Young adults, a generally healthy population, are increasingly flocking to emergency departments instead of outpatient clinics for medical treatment.

Scientists believe birds can teach us about healthy eating
Two URI scientists believe that birds choose certain berries because they offer protection against oxidative stress that occurs during long flights.

Fertility industry offers big money to recruit 'desirable' egg donors at top universities
Many egg donation agencies and private couples routinely exceed compensation recommendation limits for potential donors, a new study finds.

Traumatic brain injury causes loss of smell and taste
The ability to taste and smell can be lost or impaired after a head injury, according to a new study by scientists from the University of Montreal, the Lucie Bruneau Rehabilitation Centre, as well as the Center for Interdisciplinary Research in Rehabilitation of Greater Montreal.

Coronary artery development mystery solved, may lead to better bypasses, Stanford study shows
Scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine studying cardiac development in mouse embryos have identified the source of cells that become the coronary arteries -- the vessels that deliver blood to nourish the continuously pumping heart muscle.

Book explores life of Russian Arctic scientist and Gulag survivor
A new book published by the University of Calgary Press explores the life of Mikhail Mikhailovich Ermolaev, a prominent Russian Arctic scientist, who survived 10 years in the Gulag.

Pressure sensors on alert
Vacuum panels are particularly good for insulating buildings -- as long as the vacuum does not leak.

Sugarcane okay in standing water, helps protect Everglades
A study by Agricultural Research Service scientists shows that sugarcane can tolerate flooded conditions for up to two weeks.

UCSF study finds clinic-based HIV prevention is effective in reducing risk behaviors
When they received risk assessment prevention counseling from their clinical providers, HIV patients showed a consistent decline in risky behavior over the 12-month study period.

U of A-led experiment at CERN could rewrite laws of physics
An experiment led by a University of Alberta researcher, at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, could dramatically change our concepts of basic physics, revolutionize our understanding of the Universe and could eventually lead to technologies in future generations that right now only exist in science fiction.

Scripps research team finds structure of 'swine flu' virus
A team of scientists from the Scripps Research Institute and other institutions has solved the structure of a key protein from the virus that caused last year's

UC-developed technology to assist research and genetic drug delivery
Techulon Inc., a life sciences company, has signed worldwide exclusive license agreements with the University of Cincinnati to manufacture and sell novel transfection reagents used for research and therapeutic delivery of nucleic acids.

Key enzyme discovered to be master regulator in protein-protein reactions
New research at Brown University explains how a key enzyme, PP1, functions in protein-protein interactions.
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