Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 15, 2010
System 92L's chances for development are waning
Satellite imagery captured a visible look at System 92L earlier today, and it seems to be running into an environmental road block: upper level winds that are lessening its chances for development into a tropical cyclone.

Mongoose traditions shed light on evolution of human culture
Scientists at the University of Exeter have discovered that banded mongooses living in Uganda pass on traditions.

Findings indicate digestive disorder in infants may be genetic
In a study that includes nearly 2 million children born in Denmark, researchers have found that there is a higher rate of occurrence of the digestive tract disorder pyloric stenosis among twins and siblings, suggesting that this is a genetic and inherited disorder, according to the report in the June 16 issue of JAMA.

Faster employees may indirectly motivate colleagues to increase production
You wouldn't think that there would be much similarity between a hockey line and an automobile assembly line.

CCNY leads study to identify top NJ tidal power generation sites
With a coastline stretching from New York Harbor to Cape May, NJ, stands to benefit from a new study designed to pinpoint the top 20 sites for hydrokinetic energy, a renewable resource produced by the movement of tides, waves and currents in oceans and other bodies of water.

$3 million grant to UIC for patient safety, medical liability project
The University of Illinois at Chicago's Institute for Patient Safety Excellence has received a $3 million grant to evaluate its comprehensive process for responding to patient harm events at nine other Chicago area hospitals.

Combined BRAF-targeted and immunotherapy shows promise for melanoma treatment
Combined targeted therapy against the BRAF/MAPK pathway with immunotherapy shows promise as a new therapeutic approach for the treatment of melanoma, according to results of a preclinical study published in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Study examines reasons patients with early stage lung cancer do not have surgery
Despite a greater likelihood of poorer outcomes, many patients newly diagnosed with early stage lung cancer do not undergo surgery.

NIH-funded scientists find 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza vaccine protects mice from 1918 flu virus
Mice injected with a 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza vaccine and then exposed to high levels of the virus responsible for the 1918 influenza pandemic do not get sick or die, report scientists funded by NIAID.

2009 H1N1 vaccine protects against 1918 influenza virus
Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have determined people who were vaccinated against the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus may also be protected against the lethal 1918 Spanish influenza virus, which killed more than 50 million people worldwide.

Study: Getting patients to take their asthma meds
Armed with the right information, physicians can play a stronger role in ensuring asthma patients don't waver in taking drugs proven to prevent asthma attacks, according to researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

Mutations on 3 genes could predispose people to suicidal behaviour
Three genes that have barely been studied to date have now provided fresh knowledge about patients with suicidal backgrounds.

Unrelated cord blood transplants as effective as other graft sources for adults with leukemia
Unrelated donor umbilical cord blood (UCB) transplants mismatched for either one or two human leucocyte antigens offer adult patients with leukemia similar outcomes to allele-matched bone marrow or peripheral blood progenitor cell (PBPC) transplants.

Optical Society to host optics and photonics congresses at karlsruhe meetings
The Optical Society will host two optics and photonics meetings in Karlsruhe, Germany: the Advanced Photonics Congress and the Renewable Energy Congress, June 21-24, at the Karlsruhe-Messe und Kongress.

Neuroscientist Robert H. Wurtz receives the $500,000 Gruber neuroscience prize
Robert H. Wurtz, Ph.D., is the recipient of the 2010 Neuroscience Prize of the Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation.

Shaken and not stirred -- but what about the clathrates?
University of Cincinnati Professor Dale W. Schaefer, in the Chemical and Materials Engineering Department of UC's College of Engineering and Applied Science, is part of an international team of scientists studying to see if there is a scientific way to measure structure in vodkas.

CT angiography may be unnecessary in patients with suspected pulmonary embolism
A new study suggests that computed tomography (CT) angiography might be unnecessary in many patients suspected of having pulmonary embolism (PE), based on the results of risk assessment analysis.

EMBL picture release: Developing zebrafish patchwork
Using an electron microscope, scientists at EMBL captured this snapshot of the beginnings of an organ which plays a central role in how zebrafish perceive the world around them.

Obesity may harm your sexual health
Being obese impacts sexual health according to research published on bmj.com today.

UM School of Medicine scientists find hormone influences sensitivity to sweetness
A hormone that helps to regulate blood sugar levels may also influence a person's sensitivity to sweet-tasting foods, according to a new study from researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine.

Different dosing, administration of corticosteroids for severe COPD shows comparable outcomes
In contrast to clinical guidelines, new research finds that the vast major­ity of patients hospitalized for severe symptoms of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) were initially treated with higher doses of corticoste­roids administered intravenously, with analysis indicating that these patients had outcomes comparable to patients who received the recommended and lower-cost, less-invasive treatment of low doses of steroids administered orally, according to a study in the June 16 issue of JAMA.

Organic nanoelectronics a step closer
The team has effectively discovered a way to order the molecules in the PEDOT, the single most industrially important conducting polymer.

Fescue toxicosis and management
A new professional guide,

Higher anxiety, depression among women may have basis in cell signals
There may be a biological reason why depression and other stress-related psychiatric disorders are more common among women compared to men.

Study: Specific PTSD symptoms related to anger and aggressiveness among Iraq/Afghanistan veterans
Focusing on certain PTSD symptoms may be key to treating anger among Iraq/Afghanistan veterans, according to a study led by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Veterans Affairs researchers.

Reducing men's violence and increasing women's power in relationships key to preventing HIV infection in women
Women in South Africa with violent male partners, or those who are in relationships with low equality, are more likely to become infected with HIV compared to women who do not experience such behavior.

Major magnet grant to advance state-of-the-art in chemical analysis
The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University is planning to build a state-of-the-art magnet system that will transform the study of complex environmental and biological samples.

World's oldest fig wasp fossil proves that if it works, don't change it
The world's oldest known example of a fig wasp has been found on the Isle of Wight.

Talking on your cell phone while driving may be hazardous to your close relationships
Warnings about the dangers of distracted driving while using a cell phone are prevalent these days, but cell phone use while driving may also put family relationships in jeopardy, says University of Minnesota professor Paul Rosenblatt.

UNC study helps explain why black patients with lung cancer have surgery less often than whites
A new study led by UNC researchers that looks at newly diagnosed lung cancer patients and follows them from diagnosis forward is one of the first to give reasons why patients don't go to lung surgery and why surgery happens less often in blacks.

Topical treatments provide effective local pain relief
Gels, creams and sprays containing painkillers such as ibuprofen, diclofenac, ketoprofen and piroxicam are safe and effective treatments for local pain, according to Cochrane researchers.

A new view of fossils: The behavior of ancient life forms
A new book by researchers at Oregon State University uses the snapshot-in-time miracle of amber to offer a pioneering viewpoint on all types of animal and plant fossils -- not just what ancient life forms looked like, but how they functioned and behaved, especially at the moment of death.

Pediatricians can help parents recognize overweight preschoolers
Parents are more likely to underestimate their preschool children's weight when pediatricians do not tell them their children are overweight or gaining weight too fast, a study by the University of South Florida and Johns Hopkins University reports.

Tumor target suggests personalized treatment for melanoma
IKK-beta, a component of a pathway involved in melanoma development, may offer new leads for developing targeted melanoma therapies, researchers at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center report in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Climate change increases hazard risk in alpine regions says research led by University of Exeter
Climate change could cause increasing and unpredictable hazard risks in mountainous regions, according to a new study by UK and Austrian researchers.

Leaded gasoline predominant source of lead exposure in latter 20th century
Leaded gasoline was responsible for about two-thirds of toxic lead that African-American children in Cleveland ingested or inhaled during the latter two-thirds of the 20th century, according to a new study in Science of the Total Environment.

Major JAMA study examines cystic fibrosis survival rates and MRSA infections
A team of researchers led by Elliott Dasenbrook, M.D., M.H.S., assistant professor of medicine and pediatrics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and associate director of the Adult Cystic Fibrosis Program at University Hospitals Case Medical Center's Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital today published the findings from a major study about cystic fibrosis survival rates in the June 16 issue of JAMA.

Gold nanoparticles create visible-light catalysis in nanowires
A scientist at the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory has created visible-light catalysis, using silver chloride nanowires decorated with gold nanoparticles, that may decompose organic molecules in polluted water.

Texas Tech, U of Utah win Sandia microdevice competition
The world's smallest chess board -- about the diameter of four human hairs -- and a pea-sized microbarbershop were winners in this year's design contest for, respectively, novel and educational microelectromechanical systems, held at Sandia National Laboratories in mid May.

Net media are increasingly strong
Nordicom, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, conducts a yearly survey of Swedes' media use called Mediebarometern, which started in 1979.

On the face of it, voting's superficial
According to a new study, voters make judgments about politicians' competence based on their facial appearance and these appearance-based competence judgments reliably predict both voting decisions and election outcomes.

Inflammatory diseases: Scientists identify antiviral defense
Canadian researchers have discovered a new way the body combats respiratory viral infections.

Nurses can safely and effectively manage antiretroviral treatment and offer alternative to monitoring by doctors
The monitoring of antiretroviral therapy (ART) by trained nurses in primary health care seems to be similarly safe and effective as doctor-monitored care, according to an article published in this week's edition of the Lancet.

Damage to the frontal cortex of the brain affects ability to react quickly to a stimulus
Researchers of the University of Granada have demonstrated that patients who have damage to the right prefrontal cortex of the brain present a deficit in intentional anticipation (for example, when we put the vehicle in gear before the traffic light turns green).

Heart attack: Could giving oxygen be doing more harm than good?
There is no evidence that the common practice of giving patients oxygen to inhale during a heart attack is beneficial, according to a new Cochrane Systematic Review.

JRC scientists monitor safeguards compliance of 80 percent of the world's reprocessed nuclear fuel
The European Commission's Joint Research Centre operates the on-site laboratories at reprocessing plants in the nuclear sites of Sellafield, UK, and La Hague, France, to analyze samples of spent fuel in situ.

IUDs reduce pregnancy rates compared to hormonal contraceptives
Women who have had intrauterine devices fitted as contraceptives are less likely to become pregnant than those who have hormone injections, a new review by Cochrane researchers has found.

Emory study shows babies grasp number, space and time concepts
Even before they learn to speak, babies organize information about numbers, space and time in more complex ways than previously realized, an Emory University study finds.

Higher levels of vitamin B6, common amino acid associated with lower risk of lung cancer
An analysis that included nearly 400,000 participants finds that those with higher blood levels of vitamin B6 and the essential amino acid methionine (found in most protein) had an associated lower risk of lung cancer, including participants who were current or former smokers, according to a study in the June 16 issue of JAMA.

Florida State researcher uncovers protein's role in cell division
A Florida State University researcher has identified the important role that a key protein plays in cell division, and that discovery could lead to a greater understanding of stem cells.

Inbred sperm fertilize fewer eggs according to University of East Anglia research
Inbred male sperm have been found to fertilise fewer eggs when in competition with non-inbred males according to a new study by the University of East Anglia.

Florida radiation council endorses ASTRO patient protection plan
Through a unanimous decision, the Florida Advisory Council on Radiation Protection has endorsed Target Safely, the American Society for Radiation Oncology's patient protection plan.

USGS science helps disaster-struck communities understand flash flooding
The Little Missouri River in southwest Arkansas experienced a flash flood Friday, with waters that rose over 20 feet in just 5 hours, killing 20 people.

Guidance on cross-examination improves accuracy of witness testimony
Researchers have found that witnesses who receive guidance on cross-examination techniques present more accurate court testimony than those who are unfamiliar with the style of questioning.

Day 57: Updated figures show oil from spill could have powered 68,000 cars for year
By day 57 (June 15), if all the oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico had been used for fuel, it could have powered 68,000 cars, 6,100 trucks, and 3,100 ships for a full year, according to University of Delaware Prof.

Robot submarine patrols Lake Michigan for climate-change study
Researchers at Purdue University are using a robotic submarine and other specialized tools in Lake Michigan to gather biological and environmental data showing how young fish vital to the ecosystem may cope with future climate change.

Increased risk of miscarriage or stillbirth in pregnant women with inherited thrombophilia is small
Research published this week in PLoS Medicine finds that pregnant women with an inherited condition that makes them more likely to form blood clots only face a small increase in the risk that they might have a miscarriage or stillbirth.

Experience shapes the brain's circuitry throughout adulthood
The adult brain, long considered to be fixed in its wiring, is in fact remarkably dynamic.

New biomarker for raw milk quality detection
New findings at Nanjing University lead to a completely new standard for milk quality control, and possible new milk products with specific usage in the future.

Researchers identify a fundamental process in lysosomal function and protein degradation
The degradation of proteins in cells is vital to survival.

NTU energy research center seals partnership with top European universities at its opening
Six top European universities today signed partnership agreements with Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) to do joint research in clean energy at the official opening of the S$200 million ($143.2 million) institute by Mr.

Does bankruptcy counseling help debtors establish a fresh start?
With a struggling US economy and a large number of employers downsizing their operations, many Americans are finding themselves in severe financial distress.

Noted St. Jude virologist presents lecture on pandemic influenza to the Royal Society
Acclaimed virologist Robert Webster, Ph.D., of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, presented the 2010 Leeuwenhoek prize lecture today, a prestigious recognition awarded by the Royal Society in London.

Novel paclitaxel formulation encouraging for treating advanced lung cancer
The June edition of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology features a study aimed at determining the optimal dose of the chemotherapy drug nab-paclitaxel with carboplatin as a first-line therapy in patients with non-small cell lung cancer.

Rosetta's blind date with asteroid Lutetia
ESA's comet-chaser Rosetta is heading for a blind date with asteroid Lutetia.

Gladstone and Institute for Systems Biology collaborate on Huntington's disease
The Institute for Systems Biology of Seattle, Wash., is collaborating with the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease and its Taube-Koret Center for Huntington's Disease Research to use whole-genome sequencing to identify genes and novel drug targets related to the onset and progression of Huntington's disease.

Oil spill health effects to be explored at IOM workshop June 22-23
Scientists and government agencies are struggling to predict the potential health consequences of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Over-abundant protein prompts neurodegenerative cascade
In diverse neurodegenerative diseases ranging from Parkinson's to Alzheimer's, researchers have long noted accumulations of a little-understood neuronal protein called α-synuclein.

BRAF inhibitor shows promising preclinical activity against melanoma
Preclinical findings recently published in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, showed RG7204 inhibited proliferation of tumor cell lines that expressed V600E-BRAF, a mutation found in several human cancers, including melanoma.

IU professor's new textbook uses the best science writing from the New York Times
For decades, the New York Times has been one of the nation's premier outlets for stories about science.

Detection of MRSA in cystic fibrosis patients associated with shorter survival
Patients with cystic fibrosis who have Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) detected in their respiratory tract have worse survival compared to CF patients without MRSA, according to a study in the June 16 issue of JAMA.

Tapping into sorghum's weed-fighting capabilities to give growers more options
By unlocking the genetic secrets of sorghum, Agricultural Research Service scientists have found a way to make one of the world's most important cereal crops a better option for growers.

Rock stars, Hollywood take a look at Iowa State researcher's unique 3-D technology
Iowa State's Song Zhang regularly hears from Hollywood, video game and music video producers.

Protein extremes gain relevance in massive proteomic studies
Researchers at University of Ghent, Belgium, and Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona develop a new procedure to identify the two extremes of protein molecules and their processing and maturing in in-vivo and ex-vivo massive proteomic studies.

Lung cancer research concludes that early diagnosis is key for improving survival
Research published in the June edition of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology sought to investigate the time trends of surgical outcomes of patients with non-small cell lung cancer between 1979 and 2008.

Saving the soil and maintaining corn yields: ISU early research says yes to both
Iowa State University researchers are testing between-row cover grasses as part of research looking at ways to reduce soil runoff and keep vital nutrients in the soils while crop residue, called stover, is removed from farm fields to produce biofuels.

Treatment with naturally occurring protein prevents and reverses brain damage caused by meningitis
A team of researchers at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, along with colleagues from the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California and the Universite Auvergne, France, have discovered an important role for a small, naturally occurring protein called interleukin-10 in removing bacteria from the blood of infected mice and reversing damage to the brain.

Global view of special education and social inclusion on offer at Queen's
Queen's University Belfast is inviting all those with an interest in special education and social inclusion to attend the 7th Inclusive and Supportive Education Congress at the University later this summer.

New estimates of the global Plasmodium falciparum clinical malaria burden
A study published this week in PLoS Medicine by Simon Hay and colleagues from the Malaria Atlas Project concludes that there were an estimated 451 million clinical cases of Plasmodium falciparum malaria worldwide in 2007.

Elderly patients in need of heart valve replacements have alternative to surgery
Doctors at the University Heart Center in Hamburg, Germany successfully used transcatheter valve-in-valve implantation in elderly patients with degenerated bioprostheses in aortic and mitral position.

Crayfish brain may offer rare insight into human decision-making
Crayfish make surprisingly complex, cost-benefit calculations, finds a University of Maryland study, opening the door to a new line of research a new line of research that may help unravel the cellular brain activity involved in human decisions.

Twin study shows Mediterranean-style diet improves heart function
Following a Mediterranean-style diet may reduce the risk of heart disease by maintaining heart rate variability.

Opportunities at light source and neutron facilities
New intense sources of radiation at national facilities in Chicago, New York and Tennessee coupled with the next generation of sensitive detectors are allowing geochemists like John Parise to gather images and data on minerals in one second that would take years of equivalent exposure on conventional laboratory X-ray facilities.

Mysterious clouds produced when aircraft inadvertently cause rain or snow
As turboprop and jet aircraft climb or descend under certain atmospheric conditions, they can inadvertently

New combination effective against pancreatic cancer
The new cancer medication sorafenib looks promising. Sorafenib is used for advanced liver and kidney cancer and also appears to be effective against cancer stem cells in pancreatic cancer.

SNM 2010 image of the year: Molecular imaging shows parathyroid disease in greater detail
SNM's 2010 Image of the Year illustrates the potential of hybrid molecular imaging to provide precise information about the location and function of a condition known as
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