Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 14, 2010
DDW 2010 telebriefing: Preview the latest research and hot topics
Thousands of physicians, researchers and academics from around the world will gather in New Orleans, La., from May 1-5 for Digestive Disease Week, the premiere scientific conference in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.

Slumber aids could improve intensive care outcomes
Eye masks and earplugs could help hospital patients get a better night's sleep.

Patents block competition, slow innovation in gene testing
Exclusive licenses to gene patents, most of which are held by academic institutions and based on taxpayer-funded research, do more to block competition in the gene testing market than to spur the development of new technologies for gauging disease risk, say researchers at the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy.

Hopkins researchers put proteins right where they want them
Using a method they developed to watch moment to moment as they move a molecule to precise sites inside live human cells, Johns Hopkins scientists are closer to understanding why and how a protein at one location may signal division and growth, and the same protein at another location, death.

Primary cilia formation provides insight into genetic diseases
A team of scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified a network of genes that initiate and manage cilia formation.

Stanford scientists find new marker to identify severe breast cancer cases
Women with breast cancer whose tumors express high levels of a particular genetic marker are significantly more likely to die from their disease than are those with more normal levels, according to researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine.

Einstein receives MacArthur grant to study impact of housing on cardiovascular health
Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University has been awarded $750,000 by the John D. and Catherine T.

Hurts so good: Chronic pain changes brain response to acute pain
New research reveals why a stimulus that healthy human subjects perceive as a reward might be processed quite differently in the brains of humans suffering from chronic pain.

New targeted therapy effective in treating advanced prostate cancer
An experimental drug is showing promise for the treatment of men with an aggressive form of advanced prostate cancer.

Little melamine appears in eggs from chickens on highly contaminated feed
Eggs from chickens that consumed extremely high levels of melamine in their feed still did not contain levels of the potentially toxic contaminant that exceeded US Food and Drug Administration limits.

Mixed-race people perceived as 'more attractive'
People of mixed race are perceived as being more attractive than nonmixed-race people, a Cardiff University study has found.

Shelve routine use of costly silver wound dressings, says DTB
Urologists are failing to pick up and treat Chlamydia infection in young men, say UK researchers in a letter published ahead of print in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections.

Rutgers' Stem Cell Research Center derives new cell lines and trains stem cell scientists
At Rutgers' Stem Cell Research Center where scientists are exploring the mysteries of human embryonic stem cells and their potential use in treating diseases, repairing damaged organs, and drug development, center staff offer a course in proper lab techniques in working with stem cells.

New class of drug kills lymphoma cells
Researchers from the Sackler Center at Weill Cornell Medical College have designed a new class of drugs that targets BCL6, a master regulatory protein responsible for causing the most common type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Childhood obesity interventions must begin early, UCSF experts say
To be a truly comprehensive and successful anti-obesity program, First Lady Michelle Obama's

DOD funds tiny cave camera and iris recognition technology for military, homeland security
Miniature camera technology will allow soldiers to track combatants in dark caves or urban alleys, and allow security officials to unobtrusively identify subjects from iris scans.

Species distribution models can exaggerate differences in environmental requirements
Separate species that live in radically different environments don't necessarily also have different ecological niches.

Old drug with a new purpose may offer hope for children with neuroblastoma
A new Phase I clinical trial sponsored by the Vermont Cancer Center at the University of Vermont and Fletcher Allen Health Care has opened to test the investigational drug DFMO, or alpha-difluoromethylornithine, as a treatment for the pediatric cancer neuroblastoma.

Healing haze: Substances in smoke left over from forest fires speed plant growth
The hazy smoke lingering after forest fires contains chemicals that summon the forest back to life -- and now are emerging as a potential new generation of agricultural chemicals that could boost food crop production and revitalize barren soil.

New data presented at the American Academy of Neurology meeting showed that Neupro (Rotigotine Transdermal System) improved both motor and nonmotor symptoms of Parkinson's disease
Evidence of Neupro (Rotigotine Transdermal System) improving motor as well as nonmotor symptoms of Parkinson's disease was presented at the 62nd American Academy of Neurology annual meeting in Toronto, Canada.

Inability to taste a bitter compound linked to obesity
Whether or not you can taste a bitter compound called 6-n-propylthiouracil may help Rutgers' Beverly Tepper identify your risk for becoming obese and/or developing cardiovascular disease.

Exclusive licensing deals a tool for collaboration, study says
Exclusive licensing deals are a two-way safety net that fosters cooperation as new product ideas weave their way toward the marketplace, according to new research led by a University of Illinois business strategy expert.

HIV prevention research focus of International Microbicides Conference May 22-25
HIV prevention researchers, policy makers and community advocates from more than 35 countries will be in Pittsburgh, May 22-25, to attend the 2010 International Microbicides Conference.

Mayo Clinic: 2-drug combo twice as effective for Crohn's disease remission
A study led by Mayo Clinic suggests remission from Crohn's disease may be more likely if patients get biologic therapy combined with immune-suppressing drugs first instead of immune-suppressing drugs alone.

Newly discovered RNA steers brain development
A newly discovered class of RNA molecules helps elucidate the long-standing scientific question of how a person's external experiences turn on the genes that over time help shape the connections among cells that make up the human brain.

Springer's online content available on Korea's top search engine Naver
Springer Science+Business Media's electronic journal and book content from its online platform SpringerLink is now searchable on Naver, the premier Korean search engine and subsidy of NHN Corporation.

Printed origami offers new technique for complex structues
The marriage of direct-printing and wet-folding origami techniques heralds a new method for creating complex three-dimensional structures for biocompatible devices, microscaffolding and other microsystems.

Sizing up the competition: Researchers compare body composition measurement techniques
Measuring body composition -- the amount of fatty tissue, muscle tissue and bone present in the body -- can provide valuable information for determining an individual's overall health status.

BioTorrents: An OA file sharing service and more
The following papers are featured in the latest issue of PLoS ONE: BioTorrents: A file sharing service; Evolutionary origins of mucosal leech infestations; and Differential brain activation to angry faces by elite warfighters.

Greater access to cell phones than toilets in India: UN
Far more people in India have access to a cell phone than to a toilet and improved sanitation, according to UN experts who published today a nine-point prescription for achieving the world's Millennium Development Goal for sanitation by 2015.

UH Energy receives $2.5 million DOE award for workforce training
The UH Energy program, through a coalition led by the University of Houston's College of Technology, has received a $2.5 million stimulus award from the Department of Energy to develop a smart grid workforce training program to prepare the next generation of workers in the electric power industry.

Berkeley Lab scientists create 'molecular paper'
Berkeley Lab scientists have created

RAM founder to receive CWRU's Inamori Ethics Prize
Stan Brock, the humanitarian who has been delivering free health care worldwide through his nonprofit organization Remote Area Medical for 25 years, will be recognized as the recipient of the 2010 Inamori Ethics Prize, awarded by the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence at Case Western Reserve University.

Research discovery may lead to advances in heart disease and cancer treatment
Research led by T. Cooper Woods, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmacology and experimental therapeutics at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, and director of the Molecular Cardiology Research Laboratory at Ochsner Clinic Foundation, has identified the mechanism of how a drug commonly used on stents to prevent reclosure of coronary arteries, regulates cell movement which is critical to wound healing and the progression of diseases like cancer.

Personalized medicine for cancer patients in a new technology era
Published online today in Nature, a paper authored by over 200 members of the International Cancer Genome Consortium describes the beginnings of a Brave New World, a new era of personalized medicine for cancer patients.

New procedure aims to save vision of children with eye cancer
An ophthalmologist at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Novel artificial pancreas successfully controls blood sugar more than 24 hours
An artificial pancreas system that closely mimics the body's blood sugar control mechanism was able to maintain near-normal glucose levels without causing hypoglycemia in a small group of patients.

Multimedia search without detours
Finding a particular song or video is often no easy matter.

Queen's physicist awarded prestigious Killam Prize
Queen's University Physics professor Art McDonald is one of five preeminent Canadian researchers to receive a 2010 Killam Prize.

Math goes to the movies
The use of mathematics in cinematic special effects is described in the article

New gene in hair loss identified by Columbia-led research team
A team of investigators from Columbia, Rockefeller and Stanford Universities has identified a new gene involved in hair growth, as reported in a paper in the April 15 issue of Nature.

Statins may slow progression of multiple sclerosis, new study finds
A UCSF-led study examining the impact of statins on the progression of multiple sclerosis found a lower incidence of new brain lesions in patients taking the cholesterol-lowering drug in the early stages of the disease as compared to a placebo.

Childhood body size affects future breast cancer chances
Thinner girls may be at higher risk of breast cancer.

Ginkgo herbal medicines may increase seizures in people with epilepsy
Restrictions should be placed on the use of Ginkgo biloba -- a top-selling herbal remedy -- because of growing scientific evidence that Ginkgo may increase the risk of seizures in people with epilepsy and could reduce the effectiveness of anti-seizure drugs, a new report concludes.

New gene associated with increased risk of Alzheimer's disease
Researchers have identified a gene that appears to increase a person's risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer's disease, the most common type of Alzheimer's disease.

New studies reveal that age-related nerve decline is associated with inflammation, differs by gender
New research investigating neurological decline in a population of

Study finds changes in fetal epigenetics throughout pregnancy
Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have found that epigenetic marks on human placentas change from the first trimester of pregnancy to the third, a discovery that may allow clinicians to prevent complications in pregnancy.

Cat brain: A step toward the electronic equivalent
A cat can recognize a face faster and more efficiently than a supercomputer.

The onion, a natural alternative to artificial preservatives
Some components of the onion have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties, making it possible to use this bulb for food preservation.

Lab that probes genetic clues to disease is poised for major expansion
The Rutger Cell and DNA Repository received $9.6 million from NIH for facilities expansion and renovation.

The age of Aquarius? Nope, it's the Anthropocene epoch
In just two centuries, humans have wrought such vast and unprecedented changes to our world that we actually might be ushering in a new geological time period that could alter the planet for millions of years, according to a group of prominent scientists that includes a Nobel Laureate.

Random, but not by chance
Random number sequences are essential to a host of encryption schemes.

Decoding tumor genomes reveals clues to spread of deadly breast cancer
Using powerful DNA sequencing technology to decode the genomes of cancer patients, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Experiment shows brief meditative exercise helps cognition
Psychologists studying the effects of a meditation technique known as

Solar energy production has enormous potential in southeastern Ontario: Queen's University studies
Solar power in southeastern Ontario has the potential to produce almost the same amount of power as all the nuclear reactors in the United States, according to two studies conducted by the Queen's University Applied Sustainability Research Group located in Kingston, Canada.

'Communicative fathers' help reduce teenage smoking
Children who talk to their fathers about the issues that are important to them are less likely to take up smoking during early adolescence, a Cardiff University study has found.

Einstein's theory fights off challengers
Two new and independent studies have put Einstein's General Theory of Relativity to the test like never before.

New method for recovering pricey nanoparticles
Scientists are reporting first use of a new method that may make it easier for manufacturers to recover, recycle and reuse nanoparticles, some of which ounce for ounce can be more precious than gold.

The new T. rex: A leech with an affinity for noses
A new leech species with ferociously large teeth -- recently discovered in noses of children that swam in Peruvian rivers -- is providing insight into the evolutionary relationships among all the leeches that have an affinity for mucus membranes and orifices.

ARS researching camelina as a new biofuel crop
Agricultural Research Service scientists have long-term studies under way to examine growing camelina as a bioenergy crop for producing jet fuel for the military and the aviation industry.

Lost light from the moon may be sent astray by dusty reflectors
Light bounced off reflectors on the moon is fainter than expected and mysteriously dims even more whenever the moon is full.

EVMS researchers identify potential target for treatment of obesity-related diseases
Scientists from Eastern Virginia Medical School recently presented preliminary research findings that identify a specific gene as potential new target for treating obesity-related diseases.

Plant pathogen genetically tailors attacks to each part of host, say Stanford researchers
Corn smut, a fungus that infects maize, can target its attack by choosing which of its genes to activate in order to maximize the effectiveness of its onslaught.

To sleep or not to sleep? Math software to help plan astronaut, shift worker schedules
Sleep. Humans need it in order to perform well on the job, in space and on the ground.

Pinning down a proton
A researcher at North Carolina State University has helped to develop a new method for describing the binding of protons and neutrons within nuclei.

Science of Sound -- world wide press room now open
The 159th meeting of the Acoustical Society of America convenes in conjunction with NOISE-CON 2010 next week at the Baltimore Marriott Waterfront Hotel, Baltimore, Md.

MIT cancer biologists have shown how resistance to cisplatin arises
MIT cancer biologists have shown how that resistance arises, a finding that could help researchers design new drugs that overcome cisplatin resistance.

American Chemical Society honors Congressmen Baird and Culberson for public service
Reps. Brian N. Baird and John A. Culberson have been awarded the American Chemical Society's 2010 Public Service Award.

Wildlife still exposed to Exxon Valdez oil 20 years after disaster
Scientists in Alaska have discovered that lingering oil from the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill is still ingested by some wildlife more than 20 years after the disaster.

New translation reveals ancient metals and minerals
In 2009, Peru was the world's leading producer of silver, the second leading producer of copper, and the leading producer of gold in Latin America.

Classic Maya history is embedded in commoners' homes
They were illiterate farmers, builders and servants, but Maya commoners found a way to record their own history -- by burying it within their homes.

Genetic patterns rise from huge yeast samples
Princeton University scientists have developed a new way to identify the hidden genetic material responsible for complex traits, a breakthrough they believe ultimately could lead to a deeper understanding of how multiple genes interact to produce everything from blue eyes to blood pressure problems.

Treat acne with coconut oil and nano-bombs
A natural product found in both coconut oil and human breast milk -- lauric acid -- shines as a possible new acne treatment thanks to a bioengineering graduate student from the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.

Patents block competition, slow innovation in gene testing
Exclusive licenses to gene patents, most of which are held by academic institutions and based on taxpayer-funded research, do more to block competition in the gene testing market than to spur the development of new technologies for gauging disease risk, say researchers at the Duke Institute for Genome Sciences & Policy.

Francisco Ayala's literature shows that violence against women cuts across all classes
The study, titled

Why humans believe that better things come to those who wait
New research reveals a brain circuit that seems to underlie the ability of humans to resist instant gratification and delay reward for months, or even years, in order to earn a better payoff.

Materialistic people liked less by peers than 'experiential' people, says new CU-Boulder study
People who pursue happiness through material possessions are liked less by their peers than people who pursue happiness through life experiences, according to a new study led by University of Colorado at Boulder psychology Professor Leaf Van Boven.

Smart career planning
Who'll be the best fit for the company? While human resources experts often find it difficult to identify suitable candidates or evaluate existing employees' talents and skills, assessment centers undoubtedly provide a useful tool for appraising competences. 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