Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 10, 2010
EMBO Gold Medal 2010 recognizes Jason W. Chin
The European Molecular Biology Organization today announced the award of the EMBO Gold Medal 2010 to Jason W.

Certain laboratory technique allows rapid detection of eye pathogens
A laboratory technique using real-time polymerase chain reaction that copies DNA segments may allow clinicians to accurately identify pathogens infecting the cornea more quickly than standard methods, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

New technique permits development of enzyme tool kit
An Arizona State University graduate student, Jinglin Fu, in collaboration with Biodesign Institute researchers Neal Woodbury and Stephen Albert Johnston, has pioneered a technique that improves on scientists' ability to harness and modulate enzyme activity.

Astronomers plan second look at mega star birthing grounds
Astronomers this summer will take a close look at a rare cosmic cradle for the universe's largest stars, baby bruisers that grow up to have 50 times the sun's mass.

Mutations that cause Parkinson's disease prevent cells from destroying defective mitochondria
Mutations that cause Parkinson's disease prevent cells from destroying defective mitochondria, according to a study published online May 10 in the Journal of Cell Biology.

Running a marathon halts cellular suicide
Apoptosis, the natural

Researchers offer first proof that chemicals from seaweeds damage coral on contact
Field studies have shown for the first time that several common species of seaweeds in both the Pacific and Caribbean Oceans can kill corals upon contact using chemical means.

IPCC Review Committee to hold public sessions on May 14 in Amsterdam
The InterAcademy Council, an organization of the world's science academies, has convened a committee to conduct an independent review of the procedures and processes of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Hot new material can keep electronics cool
Professor Alexander Balandin and a team of UC Riverside researchers, including Chun Ning Lau, an associate professor of physics, have taken another step toward new technology that could keep laptops and other electronic devices from overheating.

Smarter use of existing treatment helps dramatically boost survival of young AML patients
More individualized therapy and better supportive care helped push the survival for children with acute myeloid leukemia to 71 percent three years after diagnosis, according to new research led by St.

Puerto Rican-Uruguayan astronomer Daniel Altschuler wins 2010 Gemant Award
The American Institute of Physics is awarding its 2010 Andrew W.

Enabling easy access to DNA sequence information
The European Nucleotide Archive is launched today, consolidating three major sequence resources to become Europe's primary access point to globally comprehensive DNA and RNA sequence information.

NTU and UNSW open joint center to study microorganisms for water and environment technologies
Singapore's Nanyang Technological University and Australia's University of New South Wales announced today the opening of Advanced Environmental Biotechnology Centre to analyze the biological behaviors of microbial communities.

Quantum mechanics reveals new details of deep Earth
Scientists have used quantum mechanics to reveal that the most common mineral on Earth is relatively uncommon deep within the planet.

Fluctuating blood pressure associated with risk of cerebrovascular disease
The risk of cerebrovascular diseases appears to be higher among individuals with fluctuating blood pressure in addition to high blood pressure, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Restless legs syndrome appears to occur within families
Restless legs syndrome appears to aggregate in families, and the siblings of those who are severely affected appear to have an increased risk of developing the disease, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Implanted lenses may not be superior to contacts for babies with cataracts
Among infants who undergo surgery to treat congenital cataract, surgical lens replacement appears to cause more complications while achieving the same treatment benefit as treatment with contact lenses, according to a report posted online today that will appear in the July print issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Weight gain when there's a family history of type 2 diabetes
In the first study of its type, Australian researchers have shown that healthy people with a genetic predisposition to type 2 diabetes gain more weight overeating over the short term than their nongenetically prone counterparts.

Mass. Eye and Ear receives NEI grant renewal for 'growing' clinical/scientists
The Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, Harvard Medical School department of ophthalmology, has been awarded a grant renewal from the National Institutes of Health, National Eye Institute, to recruit, train and support first-rate clinician scientists to promote translational and clinical research into cures for eye disease.

Trans-Atlantic agreement a boost to neuroscience research
Neurological research and clinical care received a significant boost today as Imperial College London and McGill University of Montreal entered an agreement enabling them to work more closely together in this field.

Parkinson's disease treatments associated with compulsive behaviors
Pathological gambling, compulsive shopping, binge eating and other impulse control disorders appear to be more common among individuals taking dopamine agonist medications for Parkinson's disease, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Paper offers new insights into the genomics of speciation
A new paper by a team of researchers led by University of Notre Dame biologist Jeffrey L.

Concerns over radiation exposure may overshadow life-saving benefits of cardiac imaging tests
When patients present with chest pain or other high-risk symptoms of heart problems, doctors increasingly rely on nuclear imaging and computed tomography tests to find out whether there is evidence of heart disease, blockages in the coronary arteries or reduced blood flow to the heart.

Research recommends starting cattle on corn, finishing on co-products
Researchers at the University of Illinois have discovered that high-quality beef and big per-head profits can be achieved by starting early weaned cattle on corn and finishing them on a diet high in co-products.

System designed for accessible emergency notifications
Researchers at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid have developed a system that organizes all of the parameters which appear in emergency situations thereby allowing users to receive notifications in the quickest, most efficient and accessible way possible.

As monarch butterflies journey north, gardeners can help protect species, researcher says
Low temperatures, storms and habitat destruction have all threatened the butterflies' overwintering population in Mexico.

Medical costs of cancer have nearly doubled over the past 2 decades
A new analysis finds that the costs of treating cancer have nearly doubled over the past two decades and that the shares of these costs that are paid for by private health insurance and Medicaid have increased.

Researchers discover metabolic vulnerability in TB and potential drug target
Tuberculosis (TB) has been present in humans since ancient times.

Chemical remains of dinobird found
A 150-million-year old

Optics Express focus issue: Breakthroughs in unconventional polarization states of light
It has been known for many years that careful control of the polarization of light can impact optics and photonics technologies.

Study paves way for new biofuels models, technologies
Biofuels hold promise as environmentally friendly sources of renewable energy, but which ones should industry and policy leaders focus their efforts on developing?

ESCEO-IOF-ABBH Young Investigator Awards recognize research excellence
Dr. Mark Bolland, senior research fellow at the department of medicine, University of Auckland in New Zealand and Dr.

UNC researchers receive $100,000 Grand Challenges Exploration Grant to develop male contraceptive
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has received a $100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

New insights into how deadly amphibian disease spreads and kills
Scientists have unraveled the dynamics of a deadly disease that is wiping out amphibian populations.

Dementia takes away the meaning of flavors
Flavor is literally the spice of life and for many people life without the pleasures of the table would be unthinkable.

A new science project on the historical and natural heritage of the Pyrenees
Six Spanish and French institutions are working jointly to put into action

Differences in language circuits in the brain linked to dyslexia
Children with dyslexia often struggle with reading, writing, and spelling, despite getting an appropriate education and demonstrating intellectual ability in other areas.

Kidney removal does not prolong the lives of elderly patients with localized kidney cancer
A new study indicates that patients aged 75 years or older who have confined kidney tumors do not live longer if they have their entire kidney removed.

Did phosphorus trigger complex evolution -- and blue skies?
The evolution of complex life forms may have gotten a jump start billions of years ago, when geologic events over millions of years caused large quantities of phosphorus to wash into the oceans.

Montana State grad student to study unique soil around Yellowstone hot springs
A Montana State University graduate student has received a fellowship to study soil crusts in Yellowstone National Park that are unlike any he has ever seen.

Studies document risks associated with common acid-suppressing medications
Proton pump inhibitors, medications that suppress acid in the stomach, appear to be associated with fractures in postmenopausal women and bacterial infections in many patients, and higher doses do not appear any more beneficial for treating bleeding ulcers, according to a series of reports in the May 10 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Eating nuts associated with improvements in cholesterol levels
Consuming more nuts appears to be associated with improvements in blood cholesterol levels, according to a pooled analysis of data from 25 trials reported in the May 10 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Even healthy pregnant women need to worry about oral bacteria
Even healthy pregnant women can be at risk for pregnancy problems caused by oral bacteria.

Mining programs, research at University of Nevada, Reno, receive $2.4 million from industry
The mining industry has stepped up its long-term support with a $2.4 million boost to the University of Nevada, Reno's mining engineering program and research; and instructors, students and administrators are pleased with the resulting real-world applications that come with a strengthened program.

Researchers use entire islands in the Bahamas to test survival of the fittest
By using entire islands as experimental laboratories, two Dartmouth biologists have performed one of the largest manipulations of natural selection ever conducted in a wild animal population.

Rensselaer researchers to send bacteria into orbit aboard space shuttle Atlantis
A team of researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will send an army of microorganisms into space this week, to investigate new ways of preventing the formation and spread of biofilms, or clusters of bacteria, that could pose a threat to the health of astronauts.

U-M study achieves reduced side effects in head and neck cancer treatment
Researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have applied advanced radiation techniques for head and neck cancer to avoid treating critical structures that affect swallowing and eating.

Zero tolerance ineffective in schools, MSU study finds
Zero tolerance policy in schools -- which can mandate automatic punishment for weapons, drugs, profanity and various forms of disruptive behavior -- is failing to make students feel safe, contends a new study by two Michigan State University researchers.

Researchers discover new way to 'rescue' treatment sensitivity of breast cancer cells
A study by researchers from the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Medical Center identifies a potential new combination therapy to

Vital functions monitored with wearable and implantable devices
Physiological signals can nowadays be easily monitored with measurement devices implanted inside a living body.

Evidence growing of air pollution's link to heart disease, death
Air pollution is a risk factor for heart disease; however people can take action to reduce their individual risk.

Folic acid found to improve vascular function in amenorrheic runners
A study led by sports medicine researcher Anne Hoch, D.O.

High cholesterol levels affect mobilization of cells from the bone marrow
Researchers in Portugal show that high levels of cholesterol can affect the microenvironment of the bone marrow, so that more cells move from the bone marrow to peripheral, circulating blood.

Animals talk, sing and act like humans?
For decades, the consensus was that as young children begin reasoning about the biological world, they adopt an

IOF-Servier Young Investigator Research Grant awarded in Florence
The International Osteoporosis Foundation has awarded the IOF-Servier Young Investigator Research Grant to co-winners Dr.

New vitamin D recommendations for older men and women
The International Osteoporosis Foundation has released a new position statement on vitamin D for older adults which makes important recommendations for vitamin D nutrition from an evidence-based perspective.

New study helps explain how botulism-causing toxin can enter circulation
New research in the Journal of Cell Biology helps explain how the toxic protein responsible for botulism can enter circulation from the digestive system.

Genes found for schizophrenia are involved in brain signaling
By analyzing the genomes of patients with schizophrenia, genetics researchers have discovered numerous copy number variations -- deletions or duplications of DNA sequences -- that increase the risk of developing schizophrenia.

Whole grain, bran intake associated with lower risk of death in diabetic women
Women with type 2 diabetes who ate high amounts of the bran component of whole grain had a 35 percent lower risk of death from cardiovascular disease than women who ate the least amount.

Untangling the quantum entanglement behind photosynthesis
Berkeley reserchers have carried out the first study in which the quantum phenomenon known as

Fly gut bacteria could control sleeping sickness
A new bacterial species, found in the gut of the fly that transmits African sleeping sickness, could be engineered to kill the parasite that causes the disease.

Scientists seeking NSF funding will soon be required to submit data management plans
During the May 5 meeting of the National Science Board, National Science Foundation officials announced a change in the implementation of the existing policy on sharing research data.

Fibrates prevent coronary events and could have role in heart protection
A major meta-analysis of fibrate drugs has shown that they reduce the risk of major cardiovascular events, mainly through prevention of coronary artery disease and the need for revascularization events such as angioplasty or stenting.

Panel recommends standardizing prescription container labeling
To promote the establishment of universal standards for prescription medication labels -- and to address the widespread problem of patient misinterpretation of medication instructions -- an advisory panel formed by the US Pharmacopeial Convention recently issued a set of recommendations to bring consistency to labeling on dispensed prescription packaging.

Physical therapist-led exercise in patients in ICU improves function and decreases hospital stay
Patients who are critically ill and participate in mild exercise programs led by physical therapists achieve higher functional mobility and spend fewer days in intensive care units (ICU) and hospitals than those who receive less exercise.

Nano parfait a treat for scientists
In two new papers, Rice University researchers report using ultracentrifugation to create highly purified samples of carbon nanotube species.

UC Davis study links obesity with lowest earnings
A new UC Davis study has found that minimum-wage employees are more likely to be obese than those who earn higher wages, adding to growing evidence that being poor is a risk factor for unhealthy weight.

Rare toxic algae identified
Scientists have identified an unusual species of pathogenic algae that causes human skin infections, described in a new study in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology.

Odd mosaic of dental features reveals undocumented primate
It's in the teeth. An odd mosaic of dental features recently unearthed in northern Egypt reveals a previously undocumented, highly-specialized primate called Nosmips aenigmaticus that lived in Africa nearly 37 million years ago.

Killer seaweed: Scientists find first proof that chemicals from seaweeds damage coral on contact
Chlorodesmis, it's called, this green seaweed whose filamentous fronds look like maiden's hair.

X-rays reveal chemical link between birds and dinosaurs
Using the bright X-ray beam of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, located at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, an international team of researchers has found that a 150-million-year-old

How cancer cells lose their (Circadian) rhythm
Unlike the current assumption that cancer cells divide uncontrollably because their Circadian clocks are broken, the new study finds that cell division is uncontrolled in an immortal cell line with functioning biological clocks, suggesting that it is the link between the cell's timekeeper and the process of cell division that is disrupted, not the clock mechanism itself.

Vigorous exercise strengthens hip bones in young children
Researchers from Southhampton and Cambridge Universities in the UK have presented evidence that vigorous physical activity in young children results in stronger hip bones.

Waterpipes: A new pastime for the young?
As fewer people puff on cigarettes, a new smoking trend may be gaining popularity among North American youth.

Restless legs syndrome: French-Canadian families at higher risk
Restless legs syndrome, which causes an irresistible desire to move legs, appears to be a hereditary condition that's more prominent among French Canadian women and may be caused by a combination of genetic influences and environmental effects.

Eliminating the source of asthma-causing immune molecules
Asthma and other allergic diseases are caused by inappropriate immune responses.

The new sky
Less noise, less exhaust, less refuse -- air travel of the future is expected to be quieter, cleaner and more environmentally friendly.

Conference on Hurricanes and Tropical Meteorology, University of Arizona tip sheet
University of Arizona researchers will report new findings about hurricanes and other tropical cyclones in Tucson, Ariz.

Can a mother's voice spur recovery from a coma?
A new clinical trial at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine is investigating whether repeated stimulation with familiar voices can help repair a coma victim's injured brain networks and spur his recovery.

New insights show promise for emissions capture, storage
At 9th Annual Conference on Carbon Capture and Sequestration, Researchers from PNNL will discuss results from several lines of work: an assessment of where and when carbon capture and storage technology might be deployed within the US and internationally and at what cost, the significant potential for CCS in China, and how an old pollution-control technology can be used today to separate carbon dioxide from flue gas emissions.

Directing immune traffic -- signposts to the lung
Inducing cellular immunity as a means to protect against influenza virus is the focus of several laboratories at the Trudeau Institute.

$1.9 million grant to help UCF find multiple sclerosis 'nerve-ana'
Stephen Lambert, an associate professor in the College of Medicine and a member of UCF's Hybrid Systems Laboratory, will study the breakdown of myelin, a substance that coats and protects nerves inside the brain and spinal cord, enabling electrical signals to reach distant nerve cells and muscles.

New Measurement Network to encourage innovation throughout the UK
The National Physical Laboratory is launching a new Measurement Network to provide comprehensive access to the latest measurement science.

Canadian C-spine rule could help trauma patients, ease overcrowding in emergency departments
Widespread use of the Canadian C-spine rule by triage nurses in emergency departments would ease discomfort of trauma patients and improve patient flow in overcrowded emergency departments in Canada and abroad, according to a study in CMAJ.

May/June 2010 Annals of Family Medicine tip sheet
This tip sheet features highlights from the May/June 2010 issue of Annals of Family Medicine.

Telephone therapy for depression? Study says yes
A trial shows professional counseling for depression may be just as effective over the phone as traditional face-to-face consultations.

US food safety system needs to integrate human health, animal and plant pathogen data
The Produce Safety Project today issued a report that examines the steps taken by select European Union countries to reform their food safety data collection and analysis systems since the 1990s.

New survey finds parents need help encouraging their kids in science
Nearly all science teachers wish their students' parents had more opportunities to engage in science with their children, and many parents admit they need help.

Tiny mutation might help indicate proper dosage for half of all drugs
A tiny gene mutation in human liver cells could one day influence how high or low a dose patients need of about half of the clinically used drugs on the market, new research suggests.

Press invitation, conference: Is medical ethics really in the best interest of the patient?
When is it right to terminate treatments? Is it alright to conduct medical research on children?

Cheaper drugs, vaccines forecast as collaborations grow between developing countries' biotech firms
The availability of more affordable drugs, vaccines and diagnostics that would help countless people worldwide is the foremost benefit expected from a growing number of collaborations between biotech firms in developing countries, according to a study to be published Monday, May 12, in the UK journal Nature Biotechnology.

NOAA tracks winter journeys of seals and penguins in Antarctica
Scientists from NOAA's Southwest Fisheries Science Center placed 61 satellite tags on fur seals, leopard seals, Weddell seals, chinstrap penguins and gentoo penguins that will allow researchers and the public to track the movements of these animals over the austral winter, which takes place during our summer. 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