Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 14, 2010
Apple juice improves behavior but not cognition in Alzheimer's patients
Apple juice can be a useful supplement for calming the declining moods that are part of the normal progression of moderate-to-severe Alzheimer's disease, according to a study in American Journal of Alzheimer's Disease and Other Dementias, published by SAGE.

Study evaluates association of genetic factors and brain imaging findings in Alzheimer's disease
By investigating the association between genetic loci related to Alzheimer's disease and neuroimaging measures related to disease risk, researchers may have uncovered additional evidence that several previously studied genetic variants are associated with the development and progression of Alzheimer's disease and also may have identified new genetic risk factors for further study, according to a report in the June issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Flower power: Marking winners and losers
A new study reveals how conflict resolution works on the microscopic scale -- a protein called Flower marks the weaker cells for elimination in favor of their fitter neighbors.

GPS not just for driving but can be tool for crowd management
Drivers around the world use the global positioning system to figure out how to get from point A to point B.

Many clinicians may be screening for cervical cancer too frequently
Clinical guidelines recommend screening low-risk women for cervical cancer every three years after age 30, but most primary care clinicians report that they would advise testing for the disease more frequently, according to a report in the June 14 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Diabetic potential to create own insulin
Researchers from the Peninsula Medical School, working in collaboration with colleagues from Glasgow Royal Infirmary and the University of Brighton, have used a unique collection of pancreas specimens taken from patients who died soon after diagnosis of type 1 diabetes to show that they respond to the ongoing process of destruction by inducing their islet cells to proliferate.

Glide wax like tarring a plastic boat
Both recreational skiers and elite ski racers can forget about wax and scrape their skis with a steel tool instead.

Can mental activity protect against memory problems in MS?
A new study shows that a mentally active lifestyle may protect against the memory and learning problems that often occur in multiple sclerosis.

Raising the bar for biomolecular modeling
University of Calgary researchers explain the role of water in electron transfer, the cornerstone of biological energy processes, and amino acid barriers that make it possible.

Researchers discover new properties of World's thinnest material
Researchers at Northwestern University have discovered that graphene oxide sheets behave like surfactants, the chemicals in soap and shampoo that make stains disperse in water.

Astrocytes affect brain's information signaling
Astrocytes are the most common type of cell in the brain and play an important role in the function of neurons -- nerve cells.

Tracking phosphorus runoff from livestock manure
Scientists applied two rare Earth chlorides (lanthanum chloride and ytterbium chloride) to poultry, dairy and swine manures.

Teen boys who attempted suicide more like to abuse partners as adults
Young men who attempt suicide before age 18 are much more likely as adults to be aggressive toward their girlfriends or wives, including hitting and injuring their partners, according to a new study.

AGU journal highlights -- June 14, 2010
Featured in this release are research papers on the following topics:

Sun-sensitizing medications, sun exposure associated with common type of cataract
The use of medications that increase sensitivity to the sun, combined with exposure to sunlight, appears to be associated with the risk of age-related cataract, according to a report posted online today that will appear in the August print issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Early detection of cancer: The FDA approves procedure discovered by EPFL researchers
Researchers at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland have established a procedure where cancerous tumors in the bladder become fluorescent and are more easily discoverable under blue light.

Cost concerns prevent many cancer survivors from getting medical care
A new analysis has found that 2 million cancer survivors did not get needed medical services in the previous year because of concerns about cost.

Recalculating cell sensing
New calculations reveal that cells that find their way by following chemical signals may be twice as sensitive as previous estimates suggested.

How bacteria boost the immune system
Scientists have long known that certain types of bacteria boost the immune system.

New promising therapy against systemic sclerosis
A recently published research study in Arthritis Research and Therapy, all realized by researchers in the faculty of medicine of the Catholic University of Rome, pinpoints a new strategy to fight against progressive systemic sclerosis, a serious autoimmune disease with an incidence of one out of every thousand of inhabitants.

Autism in a test tube?
In a recent study, Dr. Ditza Zachor of Tel Aviv University's Sackler School of Medicine reported a strong link between IVF and mild to moderate cases of autism.

Possible link between sleep-disordered breathing and cardiovascular disease revealed
Doctors have long known that snoring is hazardous to health for a number of reasons.

Online ads can get too close for comfort says new study
Trying to have an impact in the brave new world of Web advertising?

Comic book moms are nutrition heroes to guide migrant family health
Two Latina mothers are heroes in the new comic book

Cryptic worms encountered outside Sweden
Polychaete worms have populated the oceans for millions of years.

Genes and pesticide exposure interact to increase men's risk for Parkinson's disease
Genetic mutations and workplace exposure to some insecticides together appear to be associated with an increased risk for Parkinson's disease among men, according to a report in the June issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

First detailed national map of land-cover vegetation released
The most detailed national vegetation US land-cover map to date was released today by the US Geological Survey.

Reinventing the wheel -- naturally
Humans did not invent the wheel. Nature did.

WHOI joins consortium to study, minimize effects of Gulf Oil spill
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is partnering with two Louisiana institutions to determine the myriad impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil discharge into the Gulf of Mexico and to devise and implement possible solutions to the disaster.

Personal factors can determine the length of sick leave
Patients, sick-listed for back and neck problems return to work at different rates despite having similar problems, and personal factors play a major role, reveals a thesis from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Discovery may aid remission of ulcerative colitis
Researchers have identified a specific chemical that may trigger remission in patients with ulcerative colitis.

Sandia to play major role in DOE-funded simulation of 'virtual' nuclear reactor
Sandia National Laboratories computational scientists will lead two of five technical areas in a US Department of Energy effort to create a

Ultra-precise optical systems for space
Metal mirrors made with extremely high precision and exactly positioned are the key elements of modern telescopes.

Genome BC, Chile and Norway take another step closer to fully sequencing the salmon genome
The economically important, environmentally sensitive Atlantic salmon species is one step closer to having its genome fully sequenced, thanks to an international collaboration involving researchers, funding agencies and industry from Canada, Chile and Norway.

JCI online early table of contents: June 14, 2010
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, June 14, 2010, in the JCI:

Adding nucleic acid testing to HIV screening may help identify more people with HIV
Community-based HIV testing programs generally use only HIV antibody testing, but nucleic acid testing can detect the presence of HIV earlier.

Use of unproven mammography tool soars with Medicare coverage
In a study illustrating the potentially powerful influence of political pressure on medical practice, a UC Davis physician-researcher has found that use of a largely unproven mammography screening device has surged since Medicare began covering its cost.

Scientists create nano-patterned superconducting thin films
A team of scientists has fabricated thin films patterned with large arrays of superconducting nanowires and loops with variable electrical resistance in an external magnetic field.

Early stages of age-related macular degeneration associated with smoking, cholesterol levels
Early-stage age-related macular degeneration appears to be related to modifiable risk factors, including smoking and low levels of high-density lipoprotein, according to a report in the June issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Study confirms favorable long-term prognosis of epilepsy
A study conducted by researchers in the Netherlands confirmed that children with idiopathic new-onset epilepsy have a significantly higher rate of remission than those with remote symptomatic epilepsy.

A manifesto to make innovation deliver for development
Out-of-date innovation policy is undermining unprecedented opportunities for development aid to improve the environment and combat global poverty, according to a new Manifesto published today.

TGen-VARI-SHC research helps predict success with cancer drugs
Researchers at the Translational Genomics Research Institute, the Van Andel Research Institute and the Virginia G.

GOES-15 Solar X-Ray Imager makes a miraculous first light
The Solar X-Ray Imager instrument aboard the GOES-15 satellite has just provided its first light image of the sun, but it required a lot of experts to make it happen.

Brain MRI in children: 'Incidental' findings yield disclosure dilemmas for doctors, patients
Pediatricians whose patients undergo

Study shows adding UV light helps form 'Missing G' of RNA building blocks
For scientists attempting to understand how the building blocks of RNA originated on Earth, guanine has proven to be a particular challenge.

Straw residue helps keep nitrogen on the farm
When raising corn, straw left in the field after grain harvesting, along with legume cover crops reduces nitrogen leaching into waterways, but may lower economic return, according to research conducted in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Study reveals causes of survival disparities based on insurance among rectal cancer patients
Disparities in cancer stage and treatment are the main reasons why Medicaid-insured and uninsured rectal cancer patients are twice as likely to die within five years as privately insured patients.

Study of severe asthma using CT scans
Using CT may assist in differentiating various disease sub-types and help deliver personalized health care, say scientists

Aircraft cause precipitation, hole-punch clouds
As turboprop and jet aircraft climb or descend under certain atmospheric conditions, they can inadvertently seed mid-level clouds and cause narrow bands of snow or rain to develop and fall to the ground, new research finds.

Replacing white rice with brown rice or other whole grains may reduce diabetes risk
In a new study, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health have found that eating five or more servings of white rice per week was associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Free clinics provide care for an estimated 2 million Americans annually
Findings from a survey of free clinics suggest that an estimated 1.8 million individuals make approximately 3.5 million medical and dental visits to free clinics annually, according to a report in the June 14 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Green and fair economic growth with more expensive fossil fuels
Why are the international climate negotiations moving so slowly? Because countries have so far been unable to define what global fairness really is, says Thomas Sterner, professor of environmental economics at the University of Gothenburg.

Can Alzheimer's disease be prevented?
Although effective treatment for Alzheimer's disease has been slow to emerge, there has been substantial progress in identifying AD risk factors and developing treatments that might delay or prevent onset of the disease.

UCR entomologists to develop special bacteria to combat spread of mosquito-borne diseases
Brian Federici, an entomologist at the University of California, Riverside, and colleagues have received a five-year, $1.86 million grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to help curtail the spread of malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases.

Peg Fields to receive MD Anderson's highest nurse-oncologist honor
Margaret M. Fields, an advanced practice nurse in the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Department of Gynecologic Oncology, is the recipient of the 2010 Ethel Fleming Arceneaux Outstanding Nurse-Oncologist Award, made possible by the Brown Foundation Inc.

New research into the deep ocean floor yields promising results for microbiologists
Research by a small group of microbiologists is revealing how marine microbes live in a mysterious area of the Earth: the realm just beneath the deep ocean floor.

Taking aim at metastatic lung tumors
A new study uses a sophisticated genomic analysis to unravel some of the complex cellular signals that drive the deadly invasive spread of lung cancer.

Sleeping sickness study offers insight into human cells
Fresh discoveries about the parasite that causes sleeping sickness could lead to new avenues of research into treatments for the disease.

New technologies to improve football refereeing
Researchers at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid are working on an innovative educative project to train elite FIFA referees, aimed at unifying and improving their decision making in football games.

Getting to the root of nutrient sensing
New research published by Cell Press in the June 15 issue of the journal Developmental Cell, reveals how plants modify their root architecture based on nutrient availability in the soil.

Specially trained nurse practitioner detected same breast abnormalities as surgeon
When UK researchers compared the number of breast cancer abnormalities detected by a surgeon and a specially trained nurse practitioner, they found that the findings were consistent in 92 percent of cases.

ASGE recognizes 48 endoscopy units for quality as part of its Endoscopy Unit Recognition Program
The American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy has recognized 48 endoscopy units as part of its program specifically dedicated to promoting quality in endoscopy, in all settings where it is practiced in the United States.

Microfinance tied to economy, MSU-led study finds
A nation's economy plays a surprisingly large role in the success or failure of microfinance -- the practice of making small loans to farmers or business owners too poor to provide collateral, according to a study led by a Michigan State University economist.

Healthy diet associated with lower risk of cataracts in women
Women who eat foods rich in a variety of vitamins and minerals may have a lower risk of developing the most common type of cataract that occurs in the United States, according to a report in the June issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Cost concerns prevent many cancer survivors from getting medical care
A new study led by a Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center researcher shows that millions of cancer survivors are forgoing needed medical care because of concerns about cost.

Free clinics fill gaps in health safety net, survey finds
A University of Illinois at Chicago researcher reports that free clinics across the US provide care to about 1.8 million mostly uninsured patients annually and the majority of clinics receive no government support.

Africa's corridors -- an engine for growth?
While South Africa comes under the world's spotlight for the World Cup, it is being scrutinised by a University of Leicester researcher because of an innovative policy initiative.

Control of cancer cell pathways key to halting disease spread, Stanford study shows
Scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine and the University of Wuerzburg, Germany, have deciphered a part of the pathway used by a well-known oncogene called Myc to exert its malignant effect.

System 92L in Atlantic getting organized in a tropical way
An area of low pressure referred to by meteorologists as

New oral solution formulation of antiepileptic drug Vimpat (lacosamide) (C-V)
Vimpat is now available in three formulations: oral tablets, oral solution and IV injection.

Internationally known neuroblastoma expert reviews progress versus challenging childhood cancer
Pediatric oncologist John M. Maris, M.D., describes the current state of the science in combating neuroblastoma, the most common solid cancer of early childhood.

Do contributions to public goods increase if publicly disclosed?
Public disclosure of companies' pollution habits has been an effective method of reducing pollution in many countries.

High yield crops keep carbon emissions low
The Green Revolution of the late 20th century increased crop yields worldwide and helped feed an expanding global population.

Spinal cord stimulation may benefit Parkinson's patients
A new study from Rhode Island Hospital indicates that spinal cord stimulation may be able to modulate Parkinson's disease symptoms.

Study examines relationship between type of rice consumption and diabetes risk
Consuming more white rice appears to be associated with a higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes, whereas consuming more brown rice may be associated with a lower risk for the disease, according to a report in the June 14 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Carotid artery ultrasound is an effective alternative to more invasive coronary angiography
New research from NYU Langone Medical Center shows that a simple, inexpensive and noninvasive carotid artery ultrasound of the neck can be used as a preliminary diagnostic tool for coronary artery disease (CAD).

What do we really know about the crucifixion of Jesus?
The many different accounts of the crucifixion of Jesus find little support in historical sources.

Heart pumps save lives
Heart failure is a very common condition: around 200,000 people in Sweden have been diagnosed with the disease.

UCLA scientists teach cultured brain cells to keep time
UCLA scientists tested whether networks of brain cells kept alive in culture could be

Researchers uncover biochemical pathway by which harmful molecule may raise Alzheimer's risk
A molecule implicated in Alzheimer's disease interferes with brain cells by making them unable to

Sequence and structure key to prion disease transmission
Prion diseases are lethal neurodegenerative disorders that include Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE; commonly known as mad cow disease) in cows.

Drug that prevents clot breakdown could save thousands of accident victims worldwide (CRASH-2 study)
Tranexamic acid -- a cheap, widely available and easily administered drug which reduces the rate of blood-clot breakdown -- could save the lives of thousands of accident victims worldwide.

What is a human being in the late 20th century?
The view that human beings are individuals and not mere components of a social context gained ground in the late 1980s and the 1990s.

Needed: More competent company boards
Research at the University of Gothenburgs point out that more competent company boards are needed.

Use of paramilitary emblems 'flagging' in Northern Ireland
New research from Queen's University Belfast shows the number of paramilitary flags now flown on arterial routes in Northern Ireland during July has more than halved.

Moon whets appetite for water
Scientists at the Carnegie Institution's Geophysical Laboratory, with colleagues, have discovered a much higher water content in the moon's interior than previous studies.

Better results from disk herniation surgery after a short period of sick leave
Back pain and leg pain may be caused by lumbar disk herniation.

Carnivorous mammals track fruit abundance
The scientific community already knew that many carnivores eat fruit, but had thought this was something purely anecdotal.

Delayed arrival of TB-fighting T cells
The outcome of tuberculosis infection in mice depends in part on how quickly bacteria-fighting T cells can get to the lungs.

Study: Adults take their physical activity on the road
New public health research by a Purdue University professor could help shed light on how the environment can influence physical activity, especially when it comes to where people live.

Embargoed news from Annals of Internal Medicine
Below is information about two early online releases and three articles being published in the June 15 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

Findings provide new therapeutic route for rare kidney disease
Scientists from the University of Leeds have discovered the mechanisms of a protein known to play an active part in the inherited kidney disorder, Dent's disease.

Politics is key to tackling widespread obesity, studies suggest
Politicians could do more to tackle the spread of obesity, a new series of studies suggests.

High-yield agriculture slows pace of global warming, say Stanford researchers
Advances in high-yield agriculture achieved during the so-called Green Revolution have not only helped feed the planet, but also have helped slow the pace of global warming by cutting the amount of biomass burned -- and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions -- when forests or grasslands are cleared for farming.

Tequila and cheese offer lessons for rural economies in developing world
Tequila and cheese may sound like the makings of an awkward cocktail party, but new research shows that they can tell us what works, and what doesn't, when it comes to geographic indications and efforts to boost rural economies around the world.

Turning a painkiller into a cancer killer
Without knowing exactly why, scientists have long observed that people who regularly take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin have lower incidences of certain types of cancer.

Super-yeast generates ethanol from energy crops and agricultural residues
A new type of baker's yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) has been developed which can efficiently ferment pentose sugars, as found in agricultural waste and hardwoods.

Podcasting language
English is increasingly the lingua franca (as it were) of commerce, the internet, science, indeed many areas of human endeavor.

Fermilab's MINOS experiment suggests difference in key neutrino and antineutrino property
Scientists of Fermilab's MINOS experiment today announced the world's most precise measurement of the parameters that govern antineutrino oscillations.

Lingering lessons of Enron fiasco: Auditors' concern for reputation can backfire
New research shows that concern about preserving their good reputation can lead auditors to conceal the kind of irregularities that brought down not only Enron but the auditing firm Arthur Anderson, according to the Management Insights feature in the current issue of Management Science, a flagship journal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

Stanford study first to show antibodies involved in nerve repair in injuries
Antibodies -- proteins the immune system makes to defend the body against invading pathogens -- have a gentler side nobody knew about until now: They function not only as soldiers but also as nurses.

New study documents use of hormone progesterone in simple microscopic aquatic animals
A new study shows that humans and tiny aquatic animals known as rotifers have something important in common when it comes to sex.

Does pasture irrigation increase groundwater contamination?
The results of the study indicate a minimal impact of dairy farm pastures on microbial quality of groundwater as a result of spray irrigation.

New link between pollution, temperature and sleep-disordered breathing
Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Harvard School of Public Health have established the first link between air pollution and sleep-disordered breathing, a known cause of cardiovascular diseases.

Hand study reveals brain's distorted body model
Our brains contain a highly distorted model of our own bodies, according to new research by scientists at UCL.

Children living in areas where homicides committed have lower reading, verbal test scores
Children living in areas where homicides are committed have lower reading and verbal test scores, a study by New York University Sociology Professor Patrick Sharkey shows.

Brilliant counterfeit protection
Counterfeit products create losses in the billions each year. Beside the economic damages, all too often additional risks arise from the poor materials and shoddy workmanship of
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