Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 28, 2010
Older adults watch more TV than younger people, enjoy it less
We usually scold our children and teenagers for watching too much TV.

Japanese gourmet mushroom found in Sweden
In Japan, the hon-shimeji mushroom is a delicacy costing up to $985 per kilo.

Bees help to beat MRSA bugs
Bees could have a key role to play in urgently needed new treatments to fight the virulent MRSA bug, according to research led at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.

For platinum catalysts, smaller may be better
Berkeley Lab researchers studied platinum catalysts at the atomic scale under actual industrial reaction conditions and discovered why nanoparticle clusters of platinum potentially can out-perform the single crystals of platinum now used in fuel cells and catalytic converters.

Wishard, Regenstrief Institute partnership earns national association's highest award
Wishard Health Services, the nation's third-largest safety net health-care system in outpatient visits, and the Regenstrief Institute Inc., an internationally-respected medical and public health informatics innovator, earned the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems 2010 President's Award for Health Reform Readiness and Leadership.

Springer introduces new open-access journals
Springer is expanding its open-access offering to all disciplines. SpringerOpen will cover all disciplines within the science, technology and medicine fields and will be offered in cooperation with BioMed Central.

Bicycling, brisk walking help women control weight
Premenopausal women who make even small increases in the amount of time they spend bicycling or walking briskly every day decrease their risk of gaining weight, according to a new study by researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health.

Studies of women's attitudes to 'social egg freezing' find reasons differ with age
Women of different ages differ in their reasons for wishing to undergo egg freezing, show two studies presented to the 26th annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology today.

Death rates from type 1 diabetes steadily improving
Advances in treatment and care have reduced overall death rates from type 1 diabetes, with women and African-Americans having higher risks of mortality, according to a Pitt study being presented at the 70th Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association.

AgriLife Research economist: Manure provides higher returns than chemical fertilizers
No significant differences in corn yield were found between organic and chemical sources of nutrients, but a Texas AgriLife Research economist said manure generates higher economic returns than anhydrous ammonia.

NTU hosts Southeast Asia's first Junior World Entrepreneurship Forum
Southeast Asia's first Junior World Entrepreneurship Forum opened in Singapore today, hosted by the Nanyang Technological University.

International child-health experts to converge on London for 'Excellence in Paediatrics'
Excellence in Pediatrics will provide an up-to-date and authoritative overview of pediatrics and child health through a variety of innovative sessions, designed for general and specialist health professionals.

Including families in hospital-care discussions improves communication, benefits medical trainees
A new study by UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers suggests that having such team discussions in a pediatric patient's room with family present -- so-called family-centered rounds -- is becoming more widespread nationwide, particularly in hospitals that have many trainees on staff.

Type 2 diabetes medication rosiglitazone associated with increased cardiovascular risks and death
A new study published online today by JAMA shows that among patients age 65 years and older, rosiglitazone (a medication for treating type 2 diabetes) is associated with an increased risk of stroke, heart failure and all-cause mortality (death) when compared with pioglitazone (another medication for diabetes).

International study identifies 12 new genetic risk factors for type 2 diabetes
An international consortium including Helmholtz Zentrum Muenchen and the German Diabetes Center, Duesseldorf, has identified 12 new gene variants which impact the individual's risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Agent Orange exposure linked to Graves' disease in Vietnam veterans, UB study finds
Vietnam War-era veterans exposed to Agent Orange appear to have significantly more Graves' disease, a thyroid disorder, than veterans with no exposure, a new study by endocrinologists at the University at Buffalo has shown.

Scientists call on US to stem ecological impact of trade in coral reef wildlife
International law has failed to protect coral reefs and tropical fish from being decimated by a growing collectors market, but US reforms can lead the way towards making the trade more responsible, ecologically sustainable and humane.

Bursting bubbles with sound offers new treatments for cancer
A new way to deliver cancer drugs using gas bubbles and sound waves is to be developed at the University of Leeds.

Dark chocolate lowers blood pressure
For people with hypertension, eating dark chocolate can significantly reduce blood pressure.

Endometriosis has a significant effect on women's work productivity, first
The first worldwide study of the societal impact of endometriosis has found a significant loss of work productivity among those women who suffer from the condition.

New meta-analysis demonstrates heart risks associated with rosiglitazone
Eleven years after the introduction of the diabetes drug rosiglitazone, data from available clinical trials demonstrate an increased risk for heart attack associated with its use and suggest an unfavorable benefit-to-risk ratio, according to a report posted online today that will appear in the July 26 print issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

SAGE to publish the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
SAGE, the world's fifth leading independent and academic publisher, today announced a new agreement to publish the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists from September 2010.

Report examines whether statins prevent death in high-risk individuals without heart disease
A meta-analysis of previously published studies finds no evidence that statins are associated with a reduced risk of death among individuals at risk for but with no history of cardiovascular disease, according to a report in the June 28 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Internet dependence and gambling addiction are not linked
A study of university students found no overlap between those reporting excessive Internet use and those with problem gambling.

Celia and Darby are now both weakening tropical storms
The Eastern Pacific twins, Darby and Celia were once both major hurricanes and today are just barely hanging on to tropical storm status.

Lower back pain and surgery
A literature review, led by Dr. Joseph Lee, published in the June 2010 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons suggests that a herniated disk is one of the most frequent causes of low back and leg pain in adults, but surgery is not for everyone.

Researchers discover how insulin-producing cells increase during pregnancy
Researchers funded by JDRF have discovered that the hormone, serotonin, may be involved in the increase of insulin-producing beta cells during pregnancy.

Nitrate in beetroot juice lowers blood pressure
The nitrate content of beetroot juice is the underlying cause of its blood pressure lowering benefits, research from Queen Mary University of London reveals today.

Tray bleaching may improve oral health of elderly, special-needs patients
A tooth-bleaching agent may improve the oral health of elderly and special-needs patients, say dentists at the Medical College of Georgia and Western University of Health Sciences.

A 1-2 punch: Embryonic cell and adult pig islet transplants cure diabetes in rats
In a step toward curing diabetes in humans, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

More than a million parents with minor children are cancer survivors
In the first ever published estimate of the percentage and number of cancer survivors who live with their minor children, a team led by a Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center researcher found that millions of cancer survivors are parenting young children, highlighting a group of survivors with very special needs.

Study shows Chile's school voucher program increased graduation rates
Researchers from the University of Nevada, Reno, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chile have completed a lengthy study on the effects of Chile's school reforms in 1981.

Thin may not be in for African-American women
Rashanta Bledman, a doctoral student at the University of Missouri, won the American Psychological Association Graduate Student Award for her research examining the ideal body shape of African-American women.

Some males react to competition like bonobos, others like chimpanzees
The average man experiences hormone changes similar to the passive bonobo prior to competition, but a

University receives $19 million to monitor carbon storage project
The University of Texas at Austin will receive up to $19 million to design and oversee a monitoring plan for a carbon capture and storage demonstration project in southeast Texas.

U of Minnesota study: Americans worried about the quality of Gulf seafood
Americans are almost universally aware of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, and they are concerned about its potential impact on the safety of Gulf seafood, according to new data from a continuing survey conducted by the University of Minnesota.

Immune system important in fight against stomach cancer
Researchers have identified cells in the immune system that react to the stomach ulcer bacterium Helicobacter pylori, one of the risk factors for the development of stomach cancer.

Is this the perfect prawn?
After 10 years of careful breeding and research, scientists have developed what could be the world's most perfect prawn.

Memories are made of this
A new Wellcome Trust-funded study led by University of Leicester uncovers the key to how we learn and remember.

Healthy watersheds can sustain water supplies, aquatic ecosystems in a changing climate
The US Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station has published a report about the role of forests in the stewardship of water in a changing climate.

Molecular biology provides clues to health benefits of olive oil
A team of researchers, including one with the Agricultural Research Service, has found that phenolic components in olive oil actually modify genes that are involved in the human body's inflammatory response.

Harvard's Wyss Institute develops technology to produce sugar from photosynthetic bacteria
Researchers from the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard and Harvard Medical School have engineered photosynthetic bacteria to produce simple sugars and lactic acid.

Fewer than half of breast cancer patients adhere to hormonal therapy regimen, study finds
A new study of nearly 8,800 women with early stage breast cancer found that fewer than half -- approximately 49 percent -- completed their full regimen of hormone therapy according to the prescribed schedule.

Academy authority on delta bulrush says 'his' plant could help ease oil spill crisis
A revered botanist at the Academy of Natural Sciences who first profiled and then named the delta bulrush says the plant has natural properties that could help reduce the impact of the Gulf oil spill on the Mississippi delta.

Rocky mounds and a plateau on Mars
When Mars Express set sail for the crater named after Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan, it found a windblown plateau and mysterious rocky mounds nearby.

Astronomers find cause of 'dicky tickers'
CSIRO astronomer George Hobbs and colleagues in the UK, Germany and Canada report that they have taken a big step towards solving a 30-year-old puzzle: why the

A pacemaker for your brain
A Tel Aviv University team led by Prof. Matti Mintz of TAU's Psychobiology Research Unit is delving deep into human behavior, neurophysiology and engineering to create a chip that can help doctors wire computer applications and sensors to the brain.

Science uncovers the hidden secrets of world-famous paintings
The hidden secrets of some of the world's most famous paintings have been revealed thanks to a partnership between the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the National Gallery.

Study challenges long-held assumption about competition in disturbed ecosystems
A new study in PNAS is believed to be the first to show experimentally that competition could be a factor in regulating ecological communities regardless of the intensity or frequency of disturbance.

Illinois pumpkin fields face cunning opponent
Wet conditions have Illinois pumpkin growers on the alert for signs of Phytophthora blight in their fields.

Tropical Storm Alex now in Gulf of Mexico, brought heavy rainfall to Belize, Yucatan
NASA's infrared satellite imagery captured high, cold, strong thunderstorms within Tropical Storm Alex over the past weekend and they are still creating heavy rainfall.

Reading the look of love
How fast you can judge whether a person of the opposite sex is looking at you depends on how masculine or feminine they look, according to a new study.

The image in the mirror and the number on the scale both count
Adolescent girls who think they are overweight, but are not, are at more risk for depression than girls who are overweight and know it, according to Penn State sociologists.

Emerging questions about the mechanisms that control muscle
There are major shifts underway in understanding the physiological mechanisms that control muscle contraction, a field that has been the focus of intense research for centuries.

Gene leads to longer shelf life for tomatoes, possibly other fruits
A Purdue University researcher has found a sort of fountain of youth for tomatoes that extends their shelf life by about a week.

End-of-life care in teaching hospital is generally of good quality
Patients admitted to a teaching hospital for an end-of-life illness generally receive high-quality medical care, but there is a need for better communication about family expectations and for timely efforts to keep patients comfortable, according to a new study.

Whiter clouds could mean wetter land
One proposed emergency fix for global warming is to seed clouds over the ocean to make them more reflective, reducing the solar radiation absorbed by the Earth.

Statins associated with lower cancer recurrence following prostatectomy
Men who use statins to lower their cholesterol are 30 percent less likely to see their prostate cancer come back after surgery compared to men who do not use the drugs, according to researchers at Duke University Medical Center.

Making 'virtopsies' a reality
A new research project at the University of Leicester is set to play a vital role in continuing research into viable alternatives to invasive autopsies, which many families find to be unpleasant.

Shape-shifting sheets automatically fold into multiple shapes
Researchers at Harvard and MIT have reshaped the landscape of programmable matter by devising self-folding sheets that rely on the ancient art of origami.

Even the midnight sun won't convince bees to work nights
Bees observe a strict working day, even in conditions of 24-hour sunlight.

Memory problems not the only predictor of later mild cognitive impairment
Researchers at Rush University Medical Center have found that lower, though not necessarily impaired, performance on tests measuring story learning or retention and processing speed in motor tasks dependent on visual control, as well as symptoms of depression, predicted subsequent cognitive decline in a normal population.

Engineering textbook promotes social justice
Imagine you're an engineer charged with designing an SUV to sell in a third-world country.

DOE awards UC San Diego consortium $9 million for algal biofuels research
The US Department of Energy has awarded a consortium of universities and companies headed by biologists at UC San Diego up to $9 million over the next three years to conduct basic research that will pave the way toward making biofuels from algae a viable and competitive alternative to gasoline for our nation's transportation fuel.

Can one-time tillage improve no-till?
Researchers test whether a one-time tillage of no-till could help manage certain perennial weeds, and reduce phosphorus stratification and runoff.

Vast majority of physicians practice 'defensive medicine,' according to physician survey
A survey by Mount Sinai School of Medicine researchers has found that 91 percent of physicians believe concerns over malpractice lawsuits result in

York U study finds better way to battle mosquitoes
A study from York University in Toronto has found that rather than cleaning and treating catch basins in the spring with S-methoprene to control mosquitoes, authorities should clean catch basins in the fall, allow organic debris to accumulate, and then treat catch basins with S-methoprene in the spring.

New measurement of telomeres; DNA could help identify most viable embryos for IVF
Scientists from the University of Warwick and University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust, are the first to directly measure a specific region of DNA in human embryos.

The Vienna Declaration: A global call to action for science-based drug policy
In lead up to the XVIII International AIDS Conference, scientists and other leaders call for reform of international drug policy and urge others to sign on.

Toddler foods too sweet
More than half of foods specifically targeted to babies and toddlers in Canada have excessive sugar content, says a new study by U of C professor Charlene Elliott, published in the Journal of Public Health.

Thesis stimulates methods for public participation on socio-environmental policy
The use or otherwise of nuclear energy is not a decision that is up to the experts only.

'Copy-and-paste DNA' more common than previously thought
Researchers at the University of Leicester have demonstrated that movable sequences of DNA, which give rise to genetic variability and sometimes cause specific diseases, are far more common than previously thought.

Review of dying patients' charts identifies need for improvement in end-of-life care
Even at a hospital recognized for managing seriously ill patients, a systematic assessment of clinical measures associated with end-of-life care identified opportunities to improve treatment for those dying in the hospital, according to a report in the June 28 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

New therapy to overcome body dysmorphic disorder
Kieron O'Connor, director of the Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Tic Disorder Studies Centre at Louis-H.

Of lice and man: Researchers sequence human body louse genome
A multi-institutional team has recently sequenced the body louse genome, an achievement that will yield new insights into louse -- and human -- biology and evolution.

Overweight women undertaking ART twice as likely to miscarry as their slimmer counterparts
Being overweight leads to a greater risk of miscarriage for patients undergoing assisted reproductive technology, the 26th annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology heard today.

Aggressive control of cardiac risk factors might not benefit all patients with diabetes
A mathematical model suggests that aggressively pursuing low blood pressure and cholesterol levels may not benefit, and could even harm, some patients with diabetes, according to a report in the June 28 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Weight and children with developmental coordination disorder
Children with developmental coordination disorder are at greater risk of being overweight or obese according to a study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Science historian cracks the 'Plato Code'
A science historian at the University of Manchester has cracked the

Mitochondrial genome analysis revises view of the initial peopling of North America
The initial peopling of North America from Asia occurred approximately 15,000-18,000 years ago, however estimations of the genetic diversity of the first settlers have remained inaccurate.

Increased bicycle riding and brisk walking associated with less weight gain in women
Bicycling and brisk walking are associated with less weight gain among pre-menopausal women, especially those who are overweight and obese, according to a report in the June 28 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Screening for transmissible disease in ART patients not necessary at each donation
European legislation that requires all couples undergoing assisted reproduction treatment to be screened for HIV and hepatitis at the time of every sperm or egg donation is unnecessary, expensive and potentially distressing for patients, the 26th annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology heard today.

Reseachers predict larger-than-average Gulf 'dead zone'; impact of oil spill unclear
University of Michigan aquatic ecologist Donald Scavia and his colleagues say this year's Gulf of Mexico

3-D virtual-learning platforms
Scientists of Universidad Carlos III de Madrid are researching how to use 3-D virtual worlds for teaching, a relatively unexplored area which offers enormous potential, according to the experts.

Underwater sponges and worms may hold key to cure for malaria
University of Central Florida scientist Debopam Chakrabarti is analyzing more than 2,500 samples from marine organisms collected off deep sea near Florida's coast.

New formula gives first accurate peak heart rate for women
A new gender-based formula based on a large study from Northwestern Medicine provides a more accurate estimate of the peak heart rate a healthy woman should attain during exercise.

Virus 'explorers' probe inner workings of the brain
Funded by a $993,000 National Institutes of Health Challenge Grant through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Lynn Enquist, a professor in Princeton's Department of Molecular Biology and in the Princeton Neuroscience Institute, is leading an effort to use genetically engineered viruses as explorers that travel throughout the nervous system, tracing the connections between neurons and reporting on their activity along the way.

NASA Goddard introduces the NASA Center for Climate Simulation
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., recently introduced the NASA Center for Climate Simulation, an integrated set of supercomputing, visualization and data interaction technologies that will enhance agency capabilities in weather and climate prediction research.

Piglets open doors to study infant brain development
Events occurring during the development of an infant's brain can leave behind fingerprints.

Combination MMRV vaccine linked with 2-fold risk of seizures
The combination vaccine for measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox is associated with double the risk of febrile seizures for 1- to 2-year-old children compared with same-day administration of the separate vaccine for measles, mumps and rubella and the varicella vaccine for chicken pox.

Mystery unraveled: How asbestos causes cancer
More than 20 million people in the US, and many more worldwide, who have been exposed to asbestos are at risk of developing mesothelioma, a malignant cancer of the membranes that cover the lungs and abdomen that is resistant to current therapies.

Personal relations critical to successful business negotiations
What role does cultural distance play in international business negotiations?

Mass. General Hospital, Iacocca Foundation announce completion of Phase I diabetes trial
Massachusetts General Hospital and the Iacocca Foundation announce the completion of the Phase I BCG clinical trial in type 1 diabetes, as well as the submission of all safety reports to the US Food and Drug Administration and the MGH data safety monitoring boards.

Introducing Robofish: Leading the crowd in studying group dynamics
UK scientists have created the first convincing robotic fish that shoals will accept as one of their own.

Florida State awarded $26 million to help children better understand what they read
More than a dozen Florida State University reading experts have been awarded a total of $26 million to help solve one of education's most pressing, impenetrable problems: why some students may be able to decipher words on a page, yet still struggle to comprehend them.

Alzheimer's imaging study identifies changes in brain's white matter
Imaging study used MRI to detect deterioration of white matter tracts in the brains of older adults at high risk for Alzheimer's disease.

New AIAA book examines fundamentals of aircraft design
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics announces the publication of a new book,
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