Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 12, 2010
Demonstrated in vivo the transfer of maternal thyroid hormones to the fetus
By results from a Italian study conducted by a team of researchers led by the endocrinologist of Universita Cattolica Alfredo Pontecorvi clarify the role of thyroid hormones in the mother's embryo-fetal nervous system and other organs during pregnancy.

Traumatized trees: Bug them enough, they get fired up
Whether forests are dying back, or just drying out, projections for warming show the Pacific Northwest is primed for more wildfires.

University of Arizona Superfund Research Program receives $14 million
Metal-laden dust and contaminated water, and their health effects, will be the focus of multiple projects for the University of Arizona's Superfund Research Program during the next five years.

Older age associated with risk of complications, death after implantation of cardiac devices
Older patients may be more likely to die in the hospital following the implantation of defibrillators or pacemakers, according to a report in the April 12 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

New pathway involved in rheumatoid arthritis identified
Investigators from Hospital for Special Surgery have identified a pathway involved in turning off inflammation that does not work properly in people with inflammatory arthritis.

Study identifies food combination associated with reduced Alzheimer's disease risk
Individuals whose diet includes more salad dressing, nuts, fish, poultry and certain fruits and vegetables and fewer high-fat dairy products, red meats, organ meats and butter appear less likely to develop Alzheimer's disease, according to a report posted online today that will appear in the June print issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

NJIT physicist sees terahertz imaging as ultimate defense against terrorism
John Federici, a physics professor at NJIT, sees the use of terahertz rays as a critical technology in the defense against suicide bombers and other terrorist activities.

Early treatment associated with benefits for some children with retinopathy of prematurity
Certain children with the visual condition known as retinopathy of prematurity appear to see better at age 6 if they received treatment early, whereas others benefit more from observation than early treatment, according to a report posted online today that will appear in the June print issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Latest maternal mortality data show accelerated decreases in China, Egypt, Ecuador and Bolivia, but surprising increases in US, Canada and Denmark
Many countries are making significant progress in reducing maternal mortality, such as China, Egypt, Ecuador and Bolivia, with a number on track to meet Millennium Development Goal 5.

Individuals with Alzheimer's disease may lose muscle mass
Lean mass -- the weight of an individual's bones, muscles and organs without body fat -- appears to decline among patients with Alzheimer's disease, according to a report in the April issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

UTHealth stem cell scientists explore treatments for blood disorders and lung diseases
Stem cell scientists at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston were awarded stimulus grants totaling almost $2 million to research experimental treatments for blood disorders and inherited lung diseases affecting children.

Experimental immune-boosting drug worsens TB in mice
An experimental drug that boosts production of the immune system protein interferon worsens tuberculosis in mice, according to scientists from the National Institutes of Health.

Exposure to nitrogen dioxide lowers in vitro fertilization success
Exposure to an increased level of air pollutants, especially nitrogen dioxide, has been associated with lower likelihoods of successful pregnancy among women undergoing in vitro fertilization, according to a team of fertility researchers.

Prevalence of HIV in Africa is leading to new strains of Salmonella, say scientists
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have discovered that dangerous strains of Salmonella are beginning to emerge in people infected with HIV in Africa.

Measuring the suicidal mind
An implicit association between death/suicide and self may be a behavioral marker for suicide attempt.

Pediatricians find link between cumulative hardships and health in low-income young children
Pediatric researchers from Boston Medical Center have found that the cumulative effects of crowded and unstable housing and uncertain supplies of food and heat act together to decrease the chances of normal growth and development and good physical health among infants and toddlers.

HPV vaccination more likely if mothers approve
College women were more likely to be vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV) if their mothers communicated with them about sex and if they thought their mothers would approve of their getting vaccinated.

The next silicon revolution
The UC San Diego electrical engineers who are at the forefront of the latest

U of I study: Lack of omega-6 fatty acid linked to severe dermatitis
University of Illinois scientists have learned that a specific omega-6 fatty acid may be critical to maintaining skin health.

M. D. Anderson receives 4.5 million grant, largest ever for study of yoga and cancer
In an ongoing effort to scientifically validate the age-old belief that mind-body interventions have a beneficial impact on the health of patients, the University of Texas M.

Diabetic factors associated with gastrointestinal symptoms
Diabetes is known to be associated with gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms.

Scripps Research scientists solve mystery of fragile stem cells
Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have solved the decade-old mystery of why human embryonic stem cells are so difficult to culture in the laboratory, providing scientists with useful new techniques and moving the field closer to the day when stem cells can be used for therapeutic purposes.

Study shows that size affects structure of hollow nanoparticles
A new study from North Carolina State University shows that size plays a key role in determining the structure of certain hollow nanoparticles.

OU geophysics group teams with China on seismic projects
University of Oklahoma researchers are working with Chinese colleagues to better understand intraplate earthquakes -- those occurring far from a tectonic plate boundary -- in an effort to minimize the loss of life and property in both China and Oklahoma.

Immune molecules target swine- and avian-origin influenza
Immune molecules known as antibodies that protect against influenza virus infection target the highly variable influenza protein HA.

Scientists find key to gene that promotes cancer metastasis
The molecular machinery that switches on a gene known to cause breast cancer to spread and invade other organs has been identified by an international team led by scientists at the University of Texas M.

RXplore: New Regenstrief tool lets docs instantly track down drug reactions
Jon D. Duke, M.D., of the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University has created an easy-to-use graphical tool called RXplore which expedites tracking down the cause of drug side effects.

New form of endoscopic scanning improves detection of precancerous condition
A new endoscopic scanning technique developed at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has proven successful in the early detection of dysplasia in Barrett's esophagus and could help clinicians diagnose esophageal cancer at an earlier stage, when the condition is still treatable.

Scientists find gene linked to schizophrenia
An international study led by University of Montreal scientists suggests that gene mutations may predispose some individuals to schizophrenia and provides new clues about the causes of this ambiguous disorder.

Fight-or-flight hormones help tumor cells escape to spread
Chronic stress triggers a chain of molecular events that protects breakaway ovarian cancer cells from destruction, a team of researchers led by scientists at the University of Texas M.

Cortical response to biliary sensation
Elevated pressure of the extrahepatic bile duct may elicit a variety of symptoms ranging from various degrees of abdominal distention, discomfort, dyspepsia and pain.

Portland town hall meeting
The public is invited to a town hall meeting, sponsored by the Seismological Society of America on April 21, at 6:45 p.m.

May/June 2010 GSA Bulletin highlights
Highlights from the May/June 2010 GSA Bulletin include examinations of martian impact craters, the record of floods from Pleistocene Glacial Lake Missoula,

Women who eat foods with high glycemic index may be at greater risk for heart disease
Consuming carbohydrates with high glycemic index -- an indicator of how quickly a food affects blood glucose levels -- appears to be associated with the risk of coronary heart disease in women but not men, according to a report in the April 12 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Factors increasing the risk of atrophic gastritis and intestinal metaplasia
Atrophic gastritis and intestinal metaplasia are two important precursory lesions of intestinal type gastric cancer.

In search of a clean and inexhaustible energy source
Raúl Sánchez Fernández of the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid is the recipient of the Miguel Catalán prize, awarded by the Comunidad de Madrid to scientists under 40, for his research into plasma physics and thermonuclear fusion.

Registered dietitians play essential role in management of gastric bypass patients
More than one third of Americans are considered obese and approximately 15 million (5 percent) Americans now have a body mass index greater than 40.

Terminal cancer patients do not receive appropriate radiation therapy
A new analysis has found that a considerable proportion of patients with end-stage or terminal cancer do not benefit from palliative radiation therapy (radiotherapy) despite spending most of their remaining life undergoing treatments.

TGen Drug Development partners with Horizon Discovery for integrated personalized medicine service
A strategic alliance announced today between TGen Drug Development and Horizon Discovery Ltd., will significant advance personalized medicine.

How to halt the pre-K to prison trend for African-American youth
A disturbing 30-year trend has resulted in a disproportionate number of incarcerated African-American male youths in US prisons.

Gene studies lead to kissing cousins
NC State researchers figure out the complicated mechanism behind sexual communication in moths, and learn something about evolutionary processes at the same time.

Ancient Americans took cold snap in their stride
Until now, it has been assumed that cooling temperatures and their impact on communities posed significant adaptive challenges to the Paleoindian groups.

Harnessing the Web and supercomputers to track pathogens as they evolve
Supramap, a powerful new Web-based application that tracks pathogens in time and space as they evolve, will revolutionize the response to pathogens that cause disease by helping public health officials and national security experts predict and respond to novel infectious diseases.

Donor age, tissue preservation techniques not associated with corneal transplant failure
Neither the age of the donor nor the length of time or method by which a transplanted cornea is preserved appear to be associated with graft failure 20 years after corneal transplant, according to a report in the April issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Karen Felzer honored with Seismological Society of America's Richter Early Career Award
For her work, the Seismological Society of America will honor Felzer with its Charles F.

Study: People with no health insurance get substandard migraine care
People with no health insurance are less likely than the privately insured to receive proper treatment for their migraines, according to a study published in the April 13, 2010, print issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Uninsured get poor care for migraine: Harvard study
Migraines, often characterized by excruciating headache and nausea, are much worse for the uninsured, a new Harvard Medical School study shows.

Richards honored for groundbreaking career in public service, research
Paul Richards, the emeritus Mellon Professor of the Natural Sciences of Columbia University, will be honored with the Seismological Society of America's Reid Medal in recognition of his contributions to science and society.

Antidepressants as treatment immediately following a stroke?
A study in rodents shows the growth of new neurons, also known as neurogenesis, lessens the severity of stroke and dramatically improves function following a stroke.

AAN issues guideline on when people with Alzheimer's disease should stop driving
The American Academy of Neurology has issued a new guideline to help determine when people with Alzheimer's disease or another type of dementia should stop driving.

'Intelligent' transport project underway for driverless vehicles
Together with a number of European enterprises, Tecnalia Technology Corporation is taking part in the SARTRE project for the design of technology for driverless vehicle transport in convoy on fast roads such as motorways.

AERA journal examines research issues
Important new findings and new research directions are the hallmarks of the March issue of Educational Researcher, a peer-reviewed publication of the American Educational Research Association.

Hispanics live in areas with limited capacity for colorectal cancer screening
A new study finds that Hispanics live in areas with more limited availability of colonoscopies and sigmoidoscopies for colorectal cancer screening.

Long-distance larvae speed to new undersea vent homes
Working in a rare,

The pre-history of life: Elegantly simple organizing principles seen in ribosomes
With few exceptions, all known forms of life on our planet rely on the same genetic code to specify the amino acid composition of proteins.

UNC study offers first clinical evidence of anti-cancer drug triggering viral infection
A new study led by UNC scientists shows that a common cancer drug can activate a viral infection that, paradoxically, can help anti-viral medications eradicate virus-associated cancer.

Small molecule targets B cell lymphoma
Scientists are one step closer to developing a targeted therapy for lymphoma.

Anniversary EAU Congress in Barcelona tops attendance registrations
The upcoming 25th Anniversary EAU Congress in Barcelona from April 16-20 promises to be one of the EAU's biggest meetings in recent years with around 12,044 participants already registered to attend the annual urological event.

AGU journal highlights -- April 12, 2010
Featured in this release are research papers on the following topics: Wet spells getting longer in Europe; Changes in Martian gullies indicate liquid water; Thick water ice observed in lunar craters; Increasing subtropical humidity of warming Earth explained; Model gives insights into sprites; and Greenland ice loss spreading northwest.

How can you heal a broken heart?
Some patients with heart muscles seriously affected by coronary heart disease may soon be able to benefit from an innovative treatment.

Clinical trial drug exacerbates tuberculosis in mice
Type I IFNs are immune molecules that have clinical benefits in treating several viral infections and cancers.

Changes in crops acres since freedom to farm
The 1996 US Farm Bill eliminated many acreage restrictions, thereby allowing farmers to plant what they believe to be their most competitive crops.

Energy conservation in south could save billions, create jobs
Energy-efficiency measures in the southern US could save consumers $41 billion on their energy bills, open 380,000 new jobs, and save 8.6 billion gallons of water by 2020, according to a new study from the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University and the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Hepatitis C virus interference via hepcidin synthesis
Iron accumulation in the liver has a negative influence on chronic hepatitis C outcome.

Sex, adultery, betrayal, divorce -- right in your own backyard
A new book by biologist and

Birth of a scientific project to save the Mediterranean coast
The PEGASO project will study specific actions to be applied under the Integral Coastal Zone Management for the protection of the Mediterranean.

Baby stars in the Rosette cloud
Herschel's latest image reveals the formation of previously unseen large stars, each one up to 10 times the mass of our sun.

Bringing the world of agriculture to the classroom
Instructors at Colorado State University implement case studies into a course on world agriculture issues.

Second-hand smoke toxicity in cars: Myth into fact
There is no evidence to support the fact that smoking in cars is 23 times more toxic than in other indoor environments, states an analysis article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

EGU General Assembly 2010
Three weeks from now, the 2010 General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union will start.

North Carolina research community selects Collexis and Scopus
Collexis Expert Community will link over 5,000 researchers from the University of North Carolina and North Carolina State University based on Elsevier's Scopus database.

UCLA researchers make first direct recording of mirror neurons in human brain
For the first time, UCLA researchers have made the first direct recording of mirror neurons in the living human brain, thus providing definitive proof of their existence.

Boehman to receive fuel science award
André Boehman, professor of fuel science, will receive the 2009 Society of Automotive Engineers' John Johnson Award for Outstanding Research in Diesel Engines in recognition of a paper he co-authored,

Depression symptoms increase during medical internship
The percentage of clinicians who meet criteria for depression appears to increase significantly during medical internship, according to a report posted online.

A different kind of mine disaster
The world's largest antimony mine has become the world's largest laboratory for studying the environmental consequences of escaped antimony -- an element whose environmental and biological properties are still largely a mystery.

American Academy of Ophthalmology issue statement on final visual acuity results, early treatment for ROP study
The American Academy of Ophthalmology considers the children's visual acuity results reported in the Early Treatment for Retinopathy of Prematurity Study an affirmation of the efficacy and long-term benefit of current retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) diagnosis and treatment practices.

Elastography: A useful method in depicting liver hardness
Elasticity measurements have been reported to be useful for the diagnosis and differentiation of many tumors, which are usually harder than normal surrounding tissues.

David Boore honored with Bruce A. Bolt Medal for strong-motion earthquake research
For his work, David Boore will be honored with the Bruce A.

Ultrasensitive imaging method uses gold-silver 'nanocages'
New research findings suggest that an experimental ultrasensitive medical imaging technique that uses a pulsed laser and tiny metallic

Lockheed Martin pledges $4 million to help UCLA program that aids wounded warriors
The Lockheed Martin Corp. announced today a pledge of $4 million to benefit the UCLA Health System's Operation Mend program, which provides reconstructive surgeries and other health care needs to US military personnel wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Immune sensors suppress colitis-associated cancer
Particular components of inflammasomes -- protein complexes needed for generating immune responses to pathogens and cellular damage -- lessen the severity of colitis and colitis-associated colon cancer in mice, according to a study published online this week in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Childhood obesity linked to stiff arteries
Children with more body fat and less endurance than their fitter, leaner counterparts have stiffer arteries at a young age, Medical College of Georgia researchers said.

Over half of women in abusive relationships still saw their male partners as dependable
It's well known that many women remain in abusive relationships with their male partners.

LSU researchers find link between Latino employment and black urban violence
LSU sociology professor Edward Shihadeh and Ph.D. candidate Raymond Barranco have published a study titled

Ontario Cancer Institute, US scientists discover compound that kills lymphoma cells
An international research team co-led by the Ontario Cancer Institute has discovered a compound that kills specific lymphoma cells -- a discovery that will accelerate developing targeted drugs to fight the most common form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Adolescent drinking adds to risk of breast disease, breast cancer
Girls and young women who drink alcohol increase their risk of benign breast disease, says a study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

JCI online early table of contents: April 12, 2010
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, April 12, 2010, in the JCI:

U of I study: Lack of omega-3 fatty acid linked to male infertility
According to a University of Illinois study, omega-3 fatty acids may be good for more than heart health.

EPA hosts decontamination research and development conference
The US Environmental Protection Agency's National Homeland Security Research Center will hold its 2010 Decontamination Research and Development Conference on April 13-15, 2010, at the Hilton Raleigh-Durham Airport Hotel in North Carolina.

Acquired childhood glaucoma more common than congenital types
Childhood glaucoma may most commonly be caused by trauma, surgery or other acquired or secondary cause, according to a report in the April issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

First studies of fossil of new human ancestor take place at the European Synchrotron
Prof. Lee Berger of the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa, has discovered a new species of early human ancestor.

Health fair referrals shown to help improve blood pressure among low-income immigrants
Health fair physician referrals helped low income immigrants improve their blood pressure, with patients who were assisted in making appointments by phone showing twice the improvement of those who were assisted by a faith community nurse.

Work pressures lower nicotine dependence
It is often thought that smoking is used as a coping strategy to deal with work stress.

Deepest core drilled from Antarctic Peninsula; may contain glacial stage ice
A new core drilled through an ice field on the Antarctic Peninsula may contain ice dating back into the last ice age. If so, that record should give new insight into past global climate changes.

Hospital admissions dropped after anti-smoking legislation in place
Since the implementation of anti-smoking legislation, hospital admissions for cardiovascular and respiratory conditions have decreased 39 percent and 33 percent respectively, found a research article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

International research team discovers novel genes influencing kidney disease risk
A team of researchers from the United States and Europe has identified more than a dozen genes that may play a role in the etiology of common forms of kidney disease.

Laser hair removal: No training required?
Canada needs minimum training standards for laser hair removal operators, as currently anyone, trained or not, can legally operate a laser machine for hair removal in Canada, states an editorial in CMAJ.

Strategy confirmed to help doctors determine when to treat retinopathy of prematurity
Scientists have shown that through an eye exam, doctors can identify infants who are most likely to benefit from early treatment for a potentially blinding eye condition called retinopathy of prematurity, resulting in better vision for many children.

Targeting the blood-brain barrier may delay progression of Alzheimer's disease
Researchers may be one step closer to slowing the onset and progression of Alzheimer's disease.

Stevens receives contract from the US Navy to work on swimmer detection capability
Stevens Institute of Technology has been awarded a contract by the US Navy to be part of a collaborative effort with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Newport, and with Advanced Acoustic Concepts.

Call for abstracts and registration the EMBO Meeting 2010
More than 120 leading researchers from across the molecular life sciences will speak at the EMBO Meeting 2010 -- the second annual life sciences conference to be organized by the European Molecular Biology Organization and held in Barcelona from Sept.

Valve-in-valve implants via catheter effective in high-risk patients
Mechanical heart valves can be successfully implanted via catheter inside failing animal-based tissue valves.

Diana Lados receives Robert Lansing Hardy Award from Minerals, Metals & Materials Society
Diana Lados, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and director of the university's Integrative Materials Design Center, has received the Robert Lansing Hardy Award from the Minerals, Metals & Materials Society.

Case Western Reserve team discovers 'smart' insulin molecule
Case Western Reserve School of Medicine researchers reveal their invention of a

9-country study shows wide variations in how women with early breast cancer are treated
A global study of nearly 10,000 women with early breast cancer has found wide variations in how they were treated, despite international consensus on best practice.

Study: Patients with amnesia still feel emotions, despite memory loss
A new University of Iowa study offers some good news for caregivers and loved ones of individuals with Alzheimer's disease.

Decades of research show massive Arctic ice cap is shrinking
Warmer summers are accelerating the rate at which the Devon Island ice cap is losing mass, according to a paper in Arctic, the journal of the Arctic Institute of North America.

Eating disorder cutoffs miss some of sickest patients, Stanford/Packard study finds
Diagnostic cutoffs for anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa may be too strict, a study from the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital has found.

Art Frankel awarded Frank Press Public Service Award
For his service to the public, Frankel, a research seismologist for the USGS, will be honored with the Frank Press Public Service Award by the Seismological Society of America.

When social fear is missing, so are racial stereotypes
Children with the genetic condition known as Williams syndrome have unusually friendly natures because they lack the sense of fear that the rest of us feel in many social situations.

Most women facing gynecologic surgery don't worry about its effects on sex
Most women scheduled for gynecologic surgery to address noncancerous symptoms said in a recently published survey that they were not worried about the effects of the procedure on their sex lives.

April 16 symposium on innovation and the federal SBIR program
The economic benefits that flow from innovation depend on translating the results of research into new products and services.

Stress hormones accelerate tumor growth
Chronic stress has recently been implicated as a factor that may accelerate the growth of tumors; the mechanisms underlying this effect have not been determined.

Energy wasted grinding switchgrass smaller to improve flowability
Biofuels processors who mill switchgrass into fine bits to help its flowability should be able to save time, energy and money by not doing so, a Purdue University study shows.

Additional genes associated with age-related macular degeneration identified
A large genetic study of age-related macular degeneration has identified three new genes associated with this blinding eye disease -- two involved in the cholesterol pathway. 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