Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 01, 2010
OHSU research explains repeated infection by some viruses
This research explains how a virus that has already infected up to 80 percent of the American population can repeatedly re-infect individuals despite the presence of a strong and long-lasting immune response.

Ayman El-Hattab, M.D., is awarded the 2010 Genzyme/ACMG Foundation Genetics Fellowship
The objective of the Genzyme/ACMGF Award is to support a national fellowship program to encourage the recruitment and training of clinicians in the field of clinical biochemical genetics and especially in the diagnosis, management and treatment of individuals with metabolic diseases.

US health care reform: Victory, at last
The lead editorial is this week's Lancet applauds the US Health Care Reform Bill for extending access to health care and for intending to narrow the gap between expenditure and health outcomes -- stating it is an

Teaching medicine series covers the most important topics in medical education
A resource for medical educators interested improving their teaching skills, learning more about educational tools and resources, and advancing their careers in medical education is now available from the American College of Physicians.

Leading conservation scientists awarded prestigious 2010 Tyler Environmental Prize
Two conservationists who have dedicated their lives to protect and restore endangered species from the brink of extinction and ensure their habitat remains for generations to come will share the 2010 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, one of the world's first international environmental awards to be established.

Biologists discover an on/off button on plants' alarm system
Scientists connected to VIB and Ghent University have discovered how plants turn their defense mechanisms on and off.

Rapid response team investigates coral disease outbreak in Kaneohe Bay, O'ahu
An outbreak of a disease called Montipora White syndrome was found in Kaneohe Bay, Oʻahu within the last month prompting an interagency response team composed of scientists and students to document the extent, spread and potential causes of the disease.

Better standards at NHS trusts
An editorial in this week's Lancet looks at standards in National Health Service Hospital Trusts in England, after reports that 4,600 excess deaths could have occurred across 25 trusts due to higher than expected mortality rates for particular procedures.

Genetic form of anemia defined molecularly
Sideroblastic anemia is a form of anemia caused by an inability to incorporate iron into hemoglobin, something that is essential if the molecule is to perform its vital function of carrying oxygen from the lungs to the tissues.

Donor kidneys from hepatitis C patients needlessly denied to patients with that infection
More than half of donor kidneys in the United State infected with hepatitis C are thrown away, despite the need among hepatitis C patients who may die waiting for an infection-free organ, Johns Hopkins research suggests.

MSU scientists find bacterium can halt dengue virus transmission
Dengue fever -- caused by a virus transmitted by mosquitoes -- threatens 2.5 billion people each year and there is no vaccine or treatment.

Treatment resistance in some cancer cells may be reversible
The ability of cancer cells to resist treatment with either targeted drug therapies or traditional chemotherapy may, in some cases, result from a transient state of reversible drug

Nanotechnologists reveal the frictional characteristics of atomically thin sheets
A team of nanotechnology researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University has used friction force microscopy to determine the nanoscale frictional characteristics of four atomically thin materials, discovering a universal characteristic for these very different materials.

Anti-HIV drugs inhibit emerging virus linked to prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome
Four drugs used to treat HIV infection can inhibit a retrovirus recently linked to prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome, researchers have shown.

The embryonic heart: Imaging life as it happens
A professor at UH, in collaboration with scientists at Baylor College of Medicine, is imaging life as it happens by capturing video of the embryonic heart before it begins beating.

NYSCF fellow lead author on study that derives floor plate tissue from embryonic stem cells
NYSCF Fellow Dr. Christopher Fasano and colleagues at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center used human embryonic stem cells to derive floor plate tissue, an important signaling center during brain development.

Self-esteem declines sharply among older adults while middle-aged are most confident
Self-esteem rises steadily as people age but starts declining around the time of retirement, according to a longitudinal study of men and women ranging in age from 25 to 104.

Workshop on R&D for rapid vaccine development and production in Asia/Australia
Learn about the current directions in vaccine production from a panel of experts who have just returned from study of 20-plus sites and five different countries in Asia and Australia.

The Association for Molecular Pathology celebrates ruling in DNA patent case
AMP applauds US District Judge Robert Sweet's ruling in favor of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Association for Molecular Pathology, et al. v.

Facing the future -- science in the Muslim world
Scientists in Islamic countries are often thought by those in the West to be languishing behind the rest of the world.

Further facts from the songbird genome
With the sequencing of the zebra finch genome, a new resource has been made available to biologists of many disciplines.

NAS announces visual culture and evolution online symposium
The Cultural Programs of the National Academy of Sciences will co-host the Visual Culture and Evolution Online Symposium.

UMass Memorial health care develops fully integrated EMR
UMass Memorial Health Care, Central Massachusetts' largest not-for-profit health-care delivery system, implements a vast electronic medical records system, integrating inpatient, outpatient, emergency room information from five hospitals and community practices.

Short-term program for binge eaters has long-term benefits
A new study finds that a self-guided, 12-week program helps binge eaters stop binging for up to a year and the program can also save money for those who participate.

Not so fast! Andes rise was gradual, not abrupt
Trailing like a serpent's spine along the western coast of South America, the Andes are the world's longest continental mountain range and the highest range outside Asia, with an average elevation of 13,000 feet.

Perception of poor sleep may predict postpartum mood disturbances in healthy new mothers
A study of healthy new mothers in the April 1 issue of the journal Sleep found that the perception of poor sleep and the conscious awareness of its impact on daytime functioning might be stronger predictors of immediate postpartum mood disturbances than actual sleep quality and quantity.

U of I scientist says slimming soybeans are on the horizon
If you're serious about losing weight, check out recent studies done in Elvira de Mejia's University of Illinois laboratory.

For dual-income husbands and wives, it's still a man's world
New research demonstrates that hard-working women in dual-earner couples are at a distinct disadvantage to their male peers.

Combinatorial therapy allows viruses to destroy tumors
For several years, researchers have been developing a new approach to treating cancer that uses viruses to infect and kill cancer cells while leaving normal cells unharmed.

Direct patient access to imaging test results could result in increased patient anxiety and physician overload
Providing patients with direct access to their imaging test results could improve patient satisfaction and clinical outcomes.

Treatment checklists may cut hospital deaths
Patient deaths at three London hospitals have been cut by almost 15 percent after introducing treatment checklists (known as care bundles), finds a study published on today.

Grant to explore link between BPA and heart disease
The British Heart Foundation is to fund research exploring the link between Bisphenol A, a manmade chemical found in commonly used plastics, and heart disease.

Researchers aim for consensus on measuring the impact of visual impairment
New guidelines that outline best practices for measuring the economic burden of visual impairment will make it easier for the policy, science and medical communities to draw conclusions and compare results across studies.

Breast cancer screening program should give higher importance to younger women
Screening younger women for breast cancer is fairer and makes sound economic sense, according to new research by the University of East Anglia.

Dr. Marilyn M. Li, M.D., FACMG, is the 2010 Luminex/ACMGF award recipient
The American College of Medical Genetics Foundation has awarded Dr.

Wireless health care for diabetes
Online communities could easily be used to offer people with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes , wireless health care services via mobile phones and the internet.

Baseball season opener: Athletes and ethicists look at fairness in sport
Just in time for baseball's opening day, a series of articles in the Hastings Center Report asks what constitutes fairness in elite sports and what it takes to stop cheating.

NIST scientists address 'wrinkles' in transparent film development
A closer look at a promising nanotube coating that might one day improve solar cells has turned up a few unexpected wrinkles, according to new research at NIST and North Dakota State University.

Aging gene found to govern lifespan, immunity and resilience
Scientists have discovered that a gene called DAF-16 is strongly involved in determining the rate of aging and average lifespan of the laboratory worm Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) and its close evolutionary cousins.

Researchers quantify benefits of minimally invasive removal of hard-to-reach tumors
A minimally invasive endoscopic procedure holds promise for safely removing large brain tumors from an area at the bottom of the skull, near the sinus cavities, clinical researchers at the Brain Tumor Center at the University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Institute at University Hospital have found.

Tissue engineering, imaging neuronal circuits featured in Cold Spring Harbor Protocols
The April issue of Cold Spring Harbor Protocols features articles for tissue engineering and imaging neuronal circuits.

Behavioral incentives mimic effects of medication on brain systems in ADHD
Medication and behavioral interventions help children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder better maintain attention and self control by normalizing activity in the same brain systems, according to research funded by the Wellcome Trust.

Cedars-Sinai study examines regional use of minimally invasive repair of aneurysms
While health policy researchers commonly suggest that geographic variations in the amount of medical care provided can be attributed to hospital costs or physician practice patterns, a new study examining regional utilization of a specific surgical procedure -- minimally invasive aneurysm repair -- shows that is not the case.

Follow the leader: How those in charge make themselves known
Do you find yourself leading groups, or are you naturally more comfortable following others?

Brain tumors: Tissue stem cell turning into tumor stem cell
Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center have shown for the first time that malignant brain tumors arise directly from brain stem cells.

TGen Physician-in-Chief Dr. Daniel D. Von Hoff wins ASCO award
Dr. Daniel D. Von Hoff, physician-in-chief for the Translational Genomics Research Institute, has won a top award from the American Society of Clinical Oncology for his cancer research.

Warnings dropped for ex-cyclone Paul as NASA satellites see it fizzle
NASA's Aqua satellite flew over the remnants of ex-tropical storm Paul early today, April 1, and noticed its circulation and form had weakened in the last 24 hours.

Disadvantaged students reap most financial return from college education, study finds
The first study to take into account a high school student's likelihood of attending college finds that individuals least likely to attend college are the ones who benefit most financially from the experience.

Researchers sequence DNA of peach tree at Clemson University
As peach trees go, it doesn't look much different than its kin at the Clemson University Musser Fruit Research Farm, but appearances can be deceiving.

CT and MRI scans associated with shorter hospital stays and decreased costs
Advanced imaging techniques such as computed tomography scans and magnetic resonance imaging might shorten the length of a person's hospital stay and decrease the high costs associated with hospitalization if used early, according to a study in the April issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Study points out risks of nonromantic sexual relationships
A University of Iowa study found that one-third of sexual relationships in the Chicago area lack exclusivity.

Acupuncture may be an effective treatment for post-viral infection loss of smell
Traditional Chinese acupuncture, where very thin needles are used to stimulate specific points in the body to elicit beneficial therapeutic responses, may be an effective treatment option for patients who suffer from persistent post-viral olfactory dysfunction, according to new research in the April 2010 issue of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery.

ONR-guided tech tracks what's inside ships
The US Office of Naval Research is funding emerging technology called PASSION that will allow wireless surveillance not only of ships and aircraft, but also the tracking of people and high value assets inside the ships.

Now in broadband: Acoustic imaging of the ocean
Researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have developed two advanced broadband sound systems that they believe could represent the acoustic equivalent of the leap from black-and-white television to HD TV.

New mums beat the blues and increase well-being with physio exercise, study reveals
Exercising in the first three months after giving birth, can reduce the risk of postnatal depression and increase well-being, a University of Melbourne (Australia) study conducted at Melbourne's Angliss Hospital, has revealed.

Bees with an impaired insulin partner gene prefer proteins over carbs
A new study of food-choice behavior in honey bees, published April 1 in the open-access journal PLoS Genetics, has identified a gene involved in bees' decisions to bring protein or nectar back to the colony.

Paintable electronics? NIST studies spray-on manufacturing of transistors
A multidisciplinary research team at NIST has found that an organic semiconductor may be a viable candidate for creating large-area electronics, such as solar cells and displays that can be sprayed onto a surface as easily as paint.

NCSU mathematics department receives AMS National Award
The mathematics department at North Carolina State University has received the 2010 AMS Award for an Exemplary Program or Achievement in a Mathematics Department.

CryoSat-2 installed in launch silo
In readiness for launch on April 8, ESA's CryoSat-2 ice satellite has now joined the rest of the Dnepr rocket in the launch silo at the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

Sleep apnea linked to hard-to-diagnose eye disorders
A British study finds that the condition known as floppy eyelid syndrome (FES) is strongly associated with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), implying that when doctors see FES in a patient, they should also look for OSA, and vice-versa.

Electronic medical records may accelerate genome-driven diagnoses and treatments
A new study reveals an exciting potential benefit of the rapidly accumulating databases of health care information, the ability to make unprecedented links between genomic data and clinical medicine.

UT Southwestern's BioCenter driving biotech, medical innovation in North Texas
BioCenter at Southwestern Medical District offers a springboard to drive biomedical innovation in North Texas to business operations, from earliest stage start-ups exploring bold new ideas to established companies needing an entire custom-designed floor to bring products to fruition.

Tumor cells seek temporary shelter from cancer drugs
Results reported in the April 2 issue of the journal Cell, a Cell Press publication, reveal a new source for the drug resistance that crops up all too often and quickly in the tumors of cancer patients undergoing therapy.

Bringing underrepresented groups into mathematics
The AMS honors the department of computational and applied mathematics, Rice University, and the Summer Program in Quantitative Sciences, Harvard School of Public Health, for their outstanding job of bringing more individuals from underrepresented minority groups into the mathematical sciences.

JCI online early table of contents: April 1, 2010
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, April 1, 2010, in the JCI:

Evidence-based medicine theory can be applied to frequent flying says US professor
Medical Professor Leslie Citrome has developed a revolutionary theory of Evidence-Based Flying, based on the well-established concept of Evidence-Based Medicine.

A drug that extends life span prevents Alzheimer's deficits
A new report provides more evidence that rapamycin, which has been shown to extend life span in mice, also can improve learning and memory in mice engineered to develop Alzheimer's disease.

Researchers develop new method to detect melamine in milk
University of Miami assistant professor in the College of Engineering, Na Li, and her collaborators have developed a fast, economical and easy method to detect melamine in milk.

Proof: smoking is dumb
A study led by Professor Mark Weiser of Tel Aviv University's Department of Psychiatry has determined that young men who smoke are likely to have lower IQs than their nonsmoking peers.

Matters of the heart: FDG PET may hold answers for patients with heart failure
For a patient with heart failure, checking whether the heart could benefit from bypass surgery or a stent is critical to ensuring survival.

NIST researchers holding steady in an atomic-scale tug-of-war
A NIST team has built an ultra-stable instrument for tugging on chains of atoms, an instrument that can maneuver and hold the position of an atomic probe to within 5 picometers.

Smoke alarms + sprinklers + closed doors = lives saved in dorm fires
Experimenting on a university dormitory that was scheduled to be torn down, NIST fire researchers have demonstrated that the correct combination of automatic fire sprinkler systems, smoke alarms and closed doors provided enough time and safe conditions for residents to escape safely and for fire fighters to perform their job without undue hazard.

FDA, SNM and RSNA host April 13-14 2-topic imaging workshop
The US Food and Drug Administration, SNM and the Radiological Society of North America are hosting a joint two-topic workshop, April 13-14, 2010, at the Natcher Conference Center of the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Md.

April 2010 Geosphere highlights
The April issue of Geosphere, the Geological Society of America's Web science journal, is now online.

Next decade offers promise for treatment of spinal cord injuries
Although new developments in the management of spinal cord injuries are on the horizon, any eventual cure for the condition is more likely to involve a multidisciplinary approach, drawing from expertise in several fields, according to a review article published in the April 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

Forest service co-hosts annual air pollution workshop
The USDA Forest Service Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center will co-host the 42nd Air Pollution Workshop to be held in Asheville, N.C., April 12-14.

In the face of racism, distress depends on one's coping method
The way people choose to cope with personal experiences of racism influences the distress caused by the encounter, according to a new study of Filipino-American men and women.

Father of GPS and pioneer of timed navigation inducted into National Inventors Hall of Fame
Joining the likes of world renowned inventors Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell, to name a few, Roger L.

All for one and one for all
There is strength in numbers if you want to get your voice heard.

'The Vitamin D Solution'
In the landmark book

To be sustainable, China must implement bold innovations
Complex issues have hampered China's environmental protection efforts, but bold innovations can help it become a global sustainability leader, says a noted Michigan State University environmental scientist.

Understanding night blindness and calcium
Congenital stationary night blindness, an inherited condition that affects one's ability to see in the dark, is caused by a mutation in a calcium channel protein that shuttles calcium into and out of cells.

Maintaining regular daily routines is associated with better sleep quality in older adults
A study in the April 1 issue of the journal Sleep found that the maintenance of daily routines was associated with a reduced rate of insomnia and improved quality of sleep in older adults living in a retirement community.

Living donor exchange poses new option for liver transplantation
Two major transplant centers in Hong Kong and South Korea released results from their paired donor exchange programs for living donor liver transplantation.

Novel soy germ-based dietary supplement, SE5-OH containing natural S-Equol, examined for safety and influence on hormones in pre- and post-menopausal women
Healthy pre-and post-menopausal Japanese women who took a supplement of SE5-OH containing natural S-equol, a novel soy germ-based ingredient under development for management of menopausal symptoms, had reproductive hormones measures within normal limits throughout the study.

The creative engagement and cardiac health connection disclosed
The Foundation for Art & Healing today releases the proceedings from its groundbreaking Arts and the Heart Roundtable, a gathering of luminaries from the medical, arts and public health sectors regarding the connection between creative engagement and cardiac health.

Startup to develop new solid-state technology at UCLA for use in medical imaging
Radius Health has been selected to move into the UCLA on-campus incubator space at the California NanoSystems Institute to develop a lightweight X-ray emitter employing the microemitter array X-rays (MAX) technology which is an X-ray source on a chip which is capable of delivering the same X-ray spectrum as traditional X-ray sources.

Diverse wheat tapped for antifungal genes
An Agricultural Research Service plant molecular biologist says Asian wheat may offer novel genes for shoring up the defenses of US varieties against Fusarium graminearum fungi that cause Fusarium head blight disease.

Study shows partial lung removal favorable over full removal as treatment for lung cancer
Research published in the April edition of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology sought to compare the outcomes of a sleeve lobectomy and a pneumonectomy procedure, in order to determine which is a more acceptable standard treatment for patients with non-small cell lung cancer.

VARI study could improve treatments for prostate cancer
Van Andel Research Institute scientists have determined how two proteins required for the initiation and development of prostate cancer interact at the molecular level, which could lead to improved treatments for the disease.

Short-course corticosteroids recommended for sudden hearing loss after life-threatening causes ruled out
Patients with suspected SSNHL should be given an urgent and careful examination to rule out life-threatening causes such as those affecting circulation or malignant cancers.

Small soda taxes insufficient to curb consumption among children, study finds
Small sales taxes on soft drinks in the range currently in force in some states are insufficient to reduce consumption of soda or curb obesity among children, according to a new study.

Stone Age Scandinavians unable to digest milk
The hunter-gatherers who inhabited the southern coast of Scandinavia 4,000 years ago were lactose intolerant.

Nanoscale 'stealth' probe slides into cell walls seamlessly, say Stanford engineers
Stanford engineers have created a nanoscale probe they can implant in a cell wall without damaging the wall.

Powerful HIV drugs inhibit retrovirus linked to prostate cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome
Certain drugs used to combat HIV also inhibit a retrovirus recently linked to prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome, a new study from University of Utah and Emory University/Veterans Affair Medical Center researchers shows.

Sports rehabilitation and injury prevention
From the treatment table to the pitch,

All you need to know about adult medicine is at Internal Medicine 2010
More than 5,000 internists, subspecialists, medical students and allied health professionals will meet in Toronto for Internal Medicine 2010, the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Physicians, April 22-24, at the Toronto Convention Center.

NIST racetrack ion trap is a contender in quantum computing quest
Physicists at NIST have built and tested a device for trapping ions that potentially could process dozens at once with the most versatile control of any trap demonstrated to date, an advance towards the ultimate goal of building a practical quantum computer.

Researchers discover weak link in Alzheimer's drug candidates
Some current therapies being investigated for Alzheimer's disease may cause further neural degeneration and cell death, according to a breakthrough discovery by UC San Diego researchers.

Latest research on GI health presented at DDW 2010
Thousands of physicians, researchers and academics from around the world will gather in New Orleans in early May for Digestive Disease Week, the premiere scientific conference in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.

Mapping heart disease
Studying Drosophila (fruit flies), an international team investigated 7,061 genes and built a detailed map that shows how a portion of these genes contribute to heart function and disease.

Hip surgery success partially predicted by number of other existing conditions
Hip fractures are the second leading cause of hospitalization of elderly patients.

New tool for RNA silencing
Anti-sense reagents have been developed for C. Elegans micro RNA.

Fermi maps an active galaxy's 'smokestack plumes'
If our eyes could see radio waves, the nearby galaxy Centaurus A would be one of the biggest and brightest objects in the sky, nearly 20 times the apparent size of a full moon. 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