Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 25, 2010
Visually guided laser may be viable treatment for abnormal heartbeat
A new treatment known as a visually guided balloon-laser catheter stopped abnormal electrical pulses in people and pigs with irregular heartbeats.

Medicine's secret archives
In an article published in the journal Trials, researchers at the German Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care compiled over 60 examples illustrating how the dissemination of medical knowledge has been impeded.

Model developed for manipulating vitamin D levels in calves
A new model for manipulating vitamin D levels in young calves has been developed by Agricultural Research Service scientists who say it could help establish just how much of this important nutrient the young animals need to promote optimal growth and health.

Study: Benchmarks and 'leapfrogs' drive up CEO pay
Why have CEO salaries skyrocketed over the past 20 years?

A profile of teenage pregnancy in Spain
The effective use of contraception once becoming sexually active is the best way to avoid unwanted pregnancy during adolescence.

Microbial team may be culprit in colony collapse disorder
New research from the US Department of Agriculture identifies a new potential cause for colony collapse disorder in honeybees.

Supermassive black holes may frequently roam galaxy centers
The supermassive black hole (SMBH) at the center of the most massive local galaxy (M87) is not where it was expected.

Major step ahead for cryptography
An academic from Bristol University will present a paper in Paris today, which makes a step towards a fully practical system to compute on encrypted data.

Protein regulates enzyme linked to Alzheimer's disease
Researchers have zeroed in on a protein that may play a role in the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

The star of Africa's savanna ecosystems may be the lowly termite
The majestic animals most closely associated with the African savanna -- fierce lions, massive elephants, towering giraffes -- may be relatively minor players when it comes to shaping the ecosystem.

CPR-training rates low in Toronto
Almost half the high schools in Toronto do not teach students how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), even though it's part of the 9th grade curriculum and studies have shown it can greatly increase the survival rates of people who suffer heart attacks outside of hospitals.

Novel RNA interference screening technique identifies possible path for malignant glioma treatment
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School report on a cellular pathway in the deadly brain cancer malignant glioma, a pathway essential to the cancer's ability to grow -- and a potential target for therapy that would stop the cancer's ability to thrive.

Parents' physical inactivity influences children
A new study, by academics at the University of Bristol, has found children are more likely to watch high levels of television if their parents do, but parents do not need to be physically active to help their children to be active.

Single-lens distance glasses reduce falls in active older people
Providing single-lens distance glasses to older people who wear multifocal glasses and who regularly take part in outdoor activities is a simple and effective way of preventing falls, concludes a study published on today.

'Nature's batteries' may have helped power early lifeforms
Researchers at the University of Leeds have uncovered new clues to the origins of life on Earth.

MRI research highlights high-risk atherosclerotic plaque hidden in the vessel wall
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine have shown that use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in an animal model can noninvasively identify dangerous plaques.

Mutant gum disease bacteria provide clue to treatment for Alzheimer's
A defective, mutant strain of the bacterium that causes gum disease could provide a clue to potential treatments for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and a number of other diseases.

GATOR approach can help surfers to evaluate Web-based health information
Eighty-six percent of adults use the Internet to research health issues, but only 28-41 percent consult primary health-care providers about what they find out.

Stevens hosts the 8th International Conference on Business Process Management
The internationally acclaimed BPM conference appears in the US for the first time Sept.

Queen's researchers reveal parasitic threat to animals and the environment
Researchers at Queen's University Belfast have discovered animal populations may often be under a much larger threat from parasites than previously recognized.

Dangerous lung worms found in people who eat raw crayfish
If you're headed to a freshwater stream this summer and a friend dares you to eat a raw crayfish -- don't do it.

Graphane yields new potential
Researchers mentored by Boris Yakobson, a Rice professor of mechanical engineering and materials science and of chemistry, have discovered the strategic extraction of hydrogen atoms from a 2-D sheet of graphane naturally opens up spaces of pure graphene that look -- and act -- like quantum dots.

Change policy that bans blood donations from men who have sex with men
It is time to change the policy that bans blood donations in Canada from all men who have sex with men, states an article in CMAJ.

Antiviral therapy impacts esophageal varices in HCV-induced cirrhosis
Italian researchers have discovered that antiviral treatment and sustained virologic response prevents esophageal varices in patients with compensated hepatitis C (HCV)-induced cirrhosis, indicating that endoscopic surveillance can be safely delayed or avoided in these patients.

NIH awards $10M to Einstein for diabetes research
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases of the National Institutes of Health has awarded Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University a five-year, $9.5 million grant for the continuation of its Diabetes Research and Training Center.

The challenge of creating culturally appropriate assessment tools for child development
Of the approximately 200 million children under 5 years old who are thought to be at risk of not fulfilling their developmental potential, the majority live in south Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

Swarming locusts need larger brains
One of the most devastating events in the insect world -- the locust swarm -- has extraordinary effects on the insect's brains, scientists in Cambridge have discovered.

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals pose cancer risk
A review article describes the carcinogenic effects of endocrine-disrupting chemicals, including bisphenol A.

University of Delaware professor wins Powe Award from Oak Ridge Associated Universities
Oak Ridge Associated Universities, a consortium of 98 Ph.D.-granting universities, has selected Holly Michael, assistant professor of geological sciences in the University of Delaware's College of Earth, Ocean and Environment, to receive the Ralph E.

Pressure testing tiny cell samples
New pipette test offers a versatile way to study tissue mechanics.

Pioneering community educator wins Omololu Falobi Award at Microbicides 2010 Conference
Charles Shagi, a community educator who developed innovative ways to link women in Tanzanian villages with life-saving HIV prevention information and with HIV prevention research trials has received the second Omololu Falobi Award for Excellence in HIV Prevention Research Community Advocacy.

'Obese' BMI does not harm current health of young adults, study says
A study examining the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and illness suggests that a BMI of 30 or above, a signal of obesity according to federal health standards, does not translate into current illness among adults under age 40.

E. coli 0157:H7 present but not common in wildlife of nation's salad bowl
The disease-causing bacterium E. coli O157:H7 is present but rare in some wildlife species of California's agriculturally rich Central Coast region, an area often referred to as the nation's

Social marketing changes with times to promote social change
When public health, marketing and environmental science professionals from across the world gather next month in Clearwater Beach, Fla., for the 20th Anniversary Social Marketing in Public Health Conference, they will discuss how the field is changing and expanding its reach to promote large-scale social change.

Genetic markers of adult obesity risk are associated with infancy weight gain and growth
In research published this week in PLoS Medicine, Ken Ong of Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, and colleagues show an association between greater early infancy gains in weight and length and genetic markers for adult obesity risk.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute wins $2.45 million grant to support stem cell research
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to expand stem cell research capabilities with $2.45 million New York State Stem Cell Science program grant to outfit laboratories with state of the art stem-cell specific equipment.

Outstanding in their field effect
Rice University researchers have discovered thin films of nanotubes created with ink-jet printers offer a new way to make field-effect transistors, the basic element in integrated circuits.

Virtual Romanesque monuments being created
Researchers from the Cartif Foundation and the University of Valladolid have created full color plans in 3-D of places of cultural interest, using laser scanners and photographic cameras.

IRMA: Research on lubricant safety very past due
After years of persistent advocacy by IRMA, brand new research from the Microbicide Trials Network, led Charlene Dezzutti, Ph.D., is beginning to answer the question of whether currently available sexual lubricants used for anal sex are safe, or not.

Study finds high level of bacteria in bottled water in Canada
A Montreal study finds heterotrophic bacteria counts, in more than 70 percent of bottled water samples, exceed the recommended limits specified by the United States Pharmacopeia.

Pitt gets $12 million DoD contract for regenerative medicine treatment trials
A two-year, $12 million contract with the US Department of Defense Office of Technology Transition will jumpstart human trials of three innovative research programs in muscle, bone and skin that aim to replace defects and scars with healthy, functional tissues, announced officials of the University of Pittsburgh and the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

Control of high blood pressure improving in US, but prevalence not decreasing
About 50 percent of patients with hypertension have adequate control of their blood pressure, meeting a goal of Healthy People 2010, but the rate of hypertension in the US has not decreased in recent years, according to a study in the May 26 issue of JAMA.

A*STAR, UK unite to fight infectious disease
Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research and the UK's Medical Research Council have jointly awarded S$4.5M in grants to six collaborative research projects in infectious diseases such as gastric flu, hepatitis B, dengue fever and tuberculosis.

Novel anti-malarial drug candidate found by UT Southwestern researchers
As part of a multicenter study, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have identified a series of chemical compounds that might serve as starting points for the identification of new classes of anti-malarial drugs.

Subtyping breast cancer by immunohistochemistry to investigate survival terms
A study by Paul Pharoah and colleagues published in this week's PLoS Medicine evaluates immunohistochemistry-based subtype classification of breast tumors for the prediction of disease outcome.

Study shows RA patients and doctors differ on disease severity assessment
A novel study by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, found that nearly one-third of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients differed from their physicians in assessment of their disease severity.

The little things count: Termites hold the reins in African savanna
The majestic animals most closely associated with the African savanna -- fierce lions, massive elephants, towering giraffes -- may be relatively minor players when it comes to shaping the ecosystem.

Use of lubricants with anal sex could increase risk of HIV
The risk of acquiring HIV through unprotected anal sex is at least 20 times greater than with unprotected vaginal sex and increases if other infections are present in the rectal lining.

AIBS sponsors 2nd Biological Sciences Congressional District Visits event
The American Institute of Biological Sciences will convene the 2nd annual Biological Sciences Congressional District Visits event, which will be held throughout the month of August 2010.

High-strain tendons repair less frequently
A study appearing in the May 21 Journal of Biological Chemistry has found that tendons in high-stress and strain areas, like the Achilles tendon, actually repair themselves less frequently than low-stress tendons.

K-State researchers patent a new multipurpose gel material with wide commercial applications
A team of Kansas State University researchers has patented a new, more cost-effective way to make a gel that can be used in fuel cells, water filtration systems, or perhaps as a net to capture fine cometary dust.

NYPH/WCMC physician-scientists present at APA 163rd Annual Meeting
Physician-scientists from NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center will present their latest research findings at the American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting in New Orleans, May 22-26.

New book by UCSB author offers a formula for Alzheimer's disease management and prevention
With the aging of nearly 80 million baby boomers, Alzheimer's disease is an impending epidemic that requires a new approach to prevention as well as management of the disease, according to a UC Santa Barbara professor who has co-authored a new book on the topic.

Supermassive black holes may frequently roam galaxy centers
A team of scientists at Rochester Institute of Technology, Florida Institute of Technology and University of Sussex has discovered that the supermassive black hole at the center of the most massive local galaxy is on the move.

Drains linked to lymphatic filariasis and malaria in Dar es Salaam, United Republic of Tanzania
The most common aquatic habitat in Dar es Salaam -- drains -- are important vectors for the development of lymphatic filariasis and malaria, according to new research.

Lowly termite, not the lion or elephant, may be the star of Africa's savanna
The majestic animals most closely associated with the African savanna -- fierce lions, massive elephants, towering giraffes -- may be relatively minor players when it comes to shaping the ecosystem.

Rudy J. Castellani, Jr., M.D., receives 2010 Alzheimer Award
Rudy J. Castellani, Jr., M.D., has been chosen as recipient of the 2010 Alzheimer Award presented by the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease in recognition of his outstanding work,

DOE JGI produces new QC tool for microbial genomes
To assist in checking the quality of the microbial genomic DNA sequences generated before they are submitted to the federally funded public archive GenBank, the DOE Joint Genome Institute has introduced a quality-control tool known as the Gene Prediction IMprovement Pipeline or GenePRIMP.

More 'good' cholesterol is not always good for your health
A new study finds that a high level of HDL, or the so-called

Respiratory virus appears to be commonly identified among Kenyan children with severe pneumonia
Among infants and children hospitalized in Kenya with severe pneumonia, respiratory syncytial virus appears to be the predominant virus detected, according to a study in the May 26 issue of JAMA.

Mount Sinai researchers move closer to a universal influenza vaccine
Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have developed a new influenza vaccine that brings science one step closer to a universal influenza vaccine that would eliminate the need for seasonal flu shots.

Public lecture to explore solutions to the food challenge
Geneticist Julia Bailey-Serres will give a free, public lecture at the University of California, Riverside, on June 3 in which she will discuss solutions to the challenge of improving crop yield.

What's more important in the obesity battle -- physical activity or medical treatment?
Experts disagree on today about the best way to tackle the obesity crisis.

South African Astronomical Observatory selected as host for the IAU Office for Astronomy Development
The Executive Committee of the International Astronomical Union has selected the SAAO, a national facility of the South African National Research Foundation, to host the IAU Office for Astronomy Development.

Aussies and Kiwis forge a cosmic connection
Six radio telescopes across Australia and New Zealand have joined forces to act as one giant telescope, linking up over a distance of 5,500 km for the first time.

Study sheds light on how marine animals survive stress
Research of how Galapagos marine iguanas respond to El NiƱo could provide insight into how wildlife in the Gulf of Mexico will respond to the current oil spill.

The impact of phenotypic and genotypic G6PD deficiency on risk of Plasmodium vivax infection
Research published this week in PLoS Medicine by Toby Leslie and colleagues shows that the Mediterranean G6PD variant protects against P. vivax infection in a cohort of Afghan refugees.

Banning all gay men from donating blood is unscientific and wrong, say AIDS research pioneers
Since 1983, blood agencies in Canada, the United States and many other industrialized nations have disallowed all blood donations from men who have sex with men.

Hands-on osteopathic treatment cuts hospital stays for pneumonia patients
Older patients battling pneumonia spent less time in the hospital when treated using osteopathic manipulative medicine -- a drug-free form of hands-on medical care focusing on increasing muscle motion -- in addition to conventional care, recently published research shows.

Self-injurious behavior in adolescents and the PLoS Medicine editorial
n an article published this week in the open-access journal PLoS Medicine, Janis Whitlock (Cornell University, N.Y.) discusses the epidemiology and care of adolescents undertaking nonsuicidal self-injury.

20th century one of driest in 9 centuries for northwest Africa
Droughts in the late 20th century rival some of North Africa's major droughts of centuries past, reveals new research that peers back in time to the year 1179.

Adolescents cope with mental illness stigmas, report CWRU researchers
Living with a mental illness can be a tough experience for adults, but with the increasing numbers of youth diagnosed and taking medications for mood disorders, it can become a time of isolation, according to a study from Case Western Reserve University Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences.

World's leading stem cell scientists to speak at Cedars-Sinai symposium
The first Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Scientific Symposium, dedicated to furthering our ability to bring stem cell therapies from the laboratory to the patient bedside, will be held June 14, 2010.

MSU environmental scholar heads into heart of the Amazon
A Michigan State University scholar is helping lead the first research expedition along the westernmost leg of the Transamazon Highway -- a 700-mile dirt road that begins at the point where civilization essentially ends in the Brazilian Amazon.

Simple change results in fewer unnecessary imaging exams for patients
A new rule preventing medical support staff from completing orders for outpatient imaging exams that were likely to be negative resulted in a marked decrease in low-yield exams for patients, according to a new study.

IFT session looks at changes in dietary fat and heart disease paradigm
To help food industry professionals gain a current and futuristic perspective of the consumer's knowledge, attitudes and beliefs around dietary fat as well as understand the new research and its potential impact on their products, Dairy Council of California will host a special session at the 2010 Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting and Food Expo being held July 17-20 in Chicago.

Nearby black hole is feeble and unpredictable
A decade-long study by NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory reveals that the supermassive black hole at the heart of the Andromeda galaxy was in a very dim, or quiet, state before 2006.

Webb Telescope's NIRCam engineering test unit arrives at NASA Goddard
A test unit for the

Newly discovered gene variants lead to autism and mental retardation
Researchers working with Professor Gudrun Rappold, director of the department of molecular human genetics at Heidelberg University Hospital, have discovered previously unknown mutations in autistic and mentally impaired patients in what is known as the SHANK2 gene, a gene that is partially responsible for linking nerve cells.

Springer launches Autoimmunity Highlights
Springer is launching a new journal titled Autoimmunity Highlights. It is an independent, international peer-reviewed journal that publishes papers related to the diverse aspects of autoimmunity and seeks to be a bridge between the clinic, the laboratory and the specialists who are involved in the complex world of autoimmunity diagnosis.

Study sheds light into the nature of embryonic stem cells
New insight into what stem cells are and how they behave could help scientists to grow cells that form different tissues.

Saving rainforests may help reduce poverty
A new study shows that saving rainforests and protecting land in national parks and reserves reduced poverty in two developing countries, according to research by a Georgia State University professor.

Vaccination key to preventing childhood pneumonia in sub-Saharan Africa
Researchers at the University of Warwick and the Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kilifi, Kenya, have found that respiratory syncytial virus appears to be the predominant virus detected among infants and children hospitalized in Kenya.

New study confirms link between nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and liver cancer
A study conducted by researchers at the Cleveland Clinic finds that patients suffering from cirrhosis preceded by nonalcoholic steatohepatitis are at an equal risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma than those who develop cirrhosis resulting from hepatitis C virus.

Comprehensive overview of Children's Interstitial Lung Disease (chILD) in special issue of Pediatric Allergy, Immunology, and Pulmonology
An insightful and in-depth presentation of the most up-to-date clinical and research findings and historical perspectives on pediatric interstitial lung disease is presented in a special issue published online ahead of print in Pediatric Allergy, Immunology and Pulmonology, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert Inc.

FSU researchers work to help mobile devices keep going and going
So, your smart phone lets you play music, send text messages, check e-mail, surf the Web, access apps and play games, but somehow it's not quite smart enough to keep from running out of juice when you actually need to make a phone call.

Stem-cell disruption induces skull deformity, UR study shows
University of Rochester Medical Center scientists discovered a defect in cellular pathways that provides a new explanation for the earliest stages of abnormal skull development in newborns, known as craniosynostosis.

8-point manifesto urges increased control, elimination and R&D efforts against NTDs
Although advances in the control and elimination of neglected infections have been steadily increasing in the past decade -- specifically with heightened interest by policy makers, governments, the World Health Organization and private philanthropies -- more can and must be done, says a new editorial,

American Sociological Association launches first-of-its-kind teaching tool
The American Sociological Association today launched a first-of-its-kind educational tool to promote high-quality teaching and to improve the way college and university professors provide evidence to support their promotion and tenure.

Early antibiotic treatment for severe COPD symptoms linked with improved outcomes
Among patients hospitalized for acute exacerbations of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), those who received antibiotics in the first two hospital days had improved outcomes, such as a lower likelihood of mechanical ventilation and fewer re-admissions, compared to patients who received antibiotics later or not at all, according to a study in the May 26 issue of JAMA.

Better synchronization helps fish deal with predator threat
Fish alter their movements when under threat from predators to keep closer together and to help them to blend into the crowd, according to new research.

Met Office and NOC enhance ocean observatory
In May 2010, the National Oceanography Centre joins forces with the UK Met Office to enhance ocean monitoring at the Porcupine Abyssal Plain sustained observatory, the longest multidisciplinary open-ocean time-series observatory in Europe.

Book on vision loss: AMD affects 1 million Canadians
A new prevention tool is now available, in both French and English, at local bookstores and pharmacies.

New book reviews research on key signaling molecule, NF-kB
A new book from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press,

The usual suspects: Identifying serial offenders and their crimes
Research conducted by psychologists at the University of Leicester and by Northamptonshire Police has found that criminals have their own distinctive

Bacteria as a predicter of colorectal cancer
Recent findings suggest that bacteria residing in the the human intestinal tract may be associated with an individual's risk of developing colon cancer.

European Urology: Editorial about REDUCE trial underlines value of dutasteride
On May 8, an editorial about the Reduction by Dutasteride of Prostate Cancer Events (REDUCE) trial by Fritz H.

Is there an association between blood-sugar control and heart disease amongst nondiabetic people?
New evidence from a population-based study carried out in Iceland casts doubt on previous suggestions that high blood-sugar levels are linked with coronary heart disease risk in otherwise healthy people. 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