Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 07, 2010
September-October GSA Bulletin highlights
The September-October 2010 issue of GSA Bulletin is now available online.

LSUHSC awarded $4 million to understand effect of THC on HIV
Patricia Molina, M.D., Ph.D., professor and head of physiology at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, has been awarded a $4 million grant over five years by the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health to study how cannabinoids, the principal psychoactive component of marijuana, produce subtle changes in gene activity that affect how a person responds to HIV infection.

Researchers calculate the cost of CO2 emissions, call for carbon tax
Rice University researchers are calling on policymakers to encourage the transition from coal-based electricity production to a system based on natural gas through a carbon tax.

New retrieval method makes studying cancer proteins easier
A Purdue University researcher can better retrieve specific proteins needed to study how cancer cells form by using a newly developed technique and synthetic nanopolymer.

Study: Rituals that target customers not always good for business
Businesses make an impression when they sing

Black hole blows big bubble
Combining observations made with ESO's Very Large Telescope and NASA's Chandra X-ray telescope, astronomers have uncovered the most powerful pair of jets ever seen from a stellar black hole.

New system helps locate car park spaces
Researchers at UAB, WorldSensing and Centre for Telecommunications Technology of Catalonia have developed a system to locate unoccupied car spaces on the street and guide users to the nearest available space.

Society of Interventional Radiology advances global definition of specialty, benefits patients
The Society of Interventional Radiology, with the support of 41 international societies representing 10,000 interventional radiology doctors, has issued the first global statement defining interventional radiology -- one designed to benefit medical treatment for individuals.

Biologists find a way to lower tumor risk in stem cell therapies
Biologists at UC San Diego have discovered a way to limit the formation of teratomas.

Genetically reprogrammed HSV given systemically shrinks distant sarcomas
Scientists have used a genetically reprogrammed herpes virus and an anti-vascular drug to shrink spreading distant sarcomas designed to model metastatic disease in mice -- still an elusive goal when treating humans with cancer, according to a study in the July 8 Gene Therapy.

NASA to fly into hurricane research this summer
Three NASA aircraft will begin flights to study tropical cyclones on August 15 during the agency's first major US-based hurricane field campaign since 2001.

Decline in international medical graduates exacerbates shortage of general surgeons
A decline in the number of international medical graduates is threatening patient access to quality surgical care, according to a new study in the June issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

Rise in new terror groups globally, fewer coordinated attacks, report finds
The deadly, coordinated terror strikes in London five years ago -- the 7/7 transit attacks -- reflect emerging global trends, reports the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism, based at the University of Maryland.

Pinpoint precision: Delivering a biochemical payload to 1 cell
Researchers use precise electrical

Suicide attempt method affects prognosis
The method used for a suicide attempt is highly significant for the risk of subsequent successful suicide, reveals a long-term study from Karolinska Institutet.

AAPM 52nd Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, Pa., July 18-22, 2010
Thousands of scientists and health professionals from the field of medical physics will meet at the 52nd meeting of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine from July 18-22, 2010, in Philadelphia, Pa.

International Jungian studies conference set for Aug. 10-14 at Cornell
Cornell University will host the first joint international conference of the Jungian Society for Scholarly Studies and the International Association for Jungian Studies, Aug.

Newborn stars discovered in dark cosmic cloud
A wave of massive star formation appears to have begun within a mysterious dark cloud in the Milky Way.

Predicting relationship breakups with a word-association task
Here's a way to tell a romantic relationship is going to fall apart: find out what people really think about their partners.

Cholesterol's other way out
Many of us are simply overloaded with cholesterol, and now a report in the July issue of Cell Metabolism brings what might be good news: There is more than one way to get rid of that cholesterol, which can otherwise lead to atherosclerosis and heart disease.

UK health secretary in real danger of distracting attention away from risks of obesity and diabetes
The lead editorial in this week's Lancet focuses on recent comments -- by new UK Health Secretary Andrew Lansley -- that a campaign to promote healthy eating in UK schools, fronted by TV celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, has not worked.

Hospital hyperglycemia may predict future diabetes
Hyperglycemia during critical illness may be used as a warning of future diabetes.

Rice program takes on protein puzzle
Rice University researchers have come up with a computer program to accurately simulate protein folding dramatically faster than previous methods.

Gladstone scientists establish link between brain activity and Parkinson's disease symptoms
Scientists at the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease and Stanford University have shown how key circuits in the brain control movement.

Study: Higher-protein diets support weight loss, but may lower bone density in postmenopausal women
Overweight and moderately obese postmenopausal women using diets based on higher protein intake also need to be aware of potential bone loss, according to new research from Purdue University.

Inactivity 'no contributor' to childhood obesity epidemic
A new report from the EarlyBird Diabetes Study suggests that physical activity has little if any role to play in the obesity epidemic among children.

Ticking biological clock increases women's libido, new research shows
As more women wait until their 30s and 40s to have children, they are more willing to engage in a variety of sexual activities to capitalize on their remaining childbearing years.

National Nanotechnology Initiative's strategic planning stakeholder workshop
The NNI will host the Strategic Planning Stakeholder Workshop at the Hotel Palomar in Arlington, Va., on July 13-14, 2010.

Study finds patients benefit from thorough discussion of recommended operations
Surgical patients who participate in longer -- 15-30 minutes -- discussions prior to having an operation (known as the informed consent process) better understand the proposed operation, according to new research published in the June issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

Homicide and suicide rates among mentally ill on the decline
People with mental health problems are committing fewer homicides while the number of suicides by mental health patients has also fallen, latest figures for England and Wales reveal.

'Business as usual' crop development won't satisfy future demand
Although global grain production must double by 2050 to address rising population and demand, new data from the University of Illinois suggests crop yields will suffer unless new approaches to adapt crop plants to climate change are adopted.

Cancer deaths continue to drop
The continued drop in overall cancer mortality rates over the last 20 years has averted more than 767,000 cancer deaths according to a new report from the American Cancer Society.

Attitudes, beliefs and health literacy impact how patients manage chronic lower-back pain
In a study published in the August issue of Pain, a group of Australian researchers investigating the relevance of health literacy in patients with chronic lower back pain (CLBP) found that LBP-related beliefs and behaviors affect a person's disability more than pain intensity or a standard measure of functional health literacy.

First US surgery to compare NOTES vs. laparoscopy
As part of the only US prospective multicenter clinical trial to compare natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery to laparoscopy, surgeons at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have performed the trial's first oral gallbladder removal.

Thousands of undiscovered plant species face extinction
Faced with threats such as habitat loss and climate change, thousands of rare flowering plant species worldwide may become extinct before scientists can even discover them, according to a paper published today by a trio of American and British researchers in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Racism shapes African-American women's views on depression care
African-American women's beliefs about depression and depression care are consistently and systematically influenced by racism, according to a new study conducted at Oregon Health & Science University.

First research trip across western Amazon yields surprising results
During his unprecedented expedition into the heart of the Amazon, Michigan State University geographer Bob Walker discovered surprising evidence that many of the Brazilian government's efforts to protect the environment are working.

Hospital study suggests that early transfusion increases acute upper GI re-bleeding risk
Doctors have called for an urgent review of transfusion policies after a UK-wide study of 221 hospitals found that patients admitted with acute upper gastrointestinal bleeding are more than twice as likely to suffer further bleeding if they receive a red blood cell transfusion within 12 hours.

Legalizing marijuana in California would lower the price of the drug and increase use, study finds
Legalizing the production and distribution of marijuana in California could cut the price of the drug by as much as 80 percent and increase consumption, according to a new study by the nonprofit RAND Corporation that examines many issues raised by proposals to legalize marijuana in the state.

Barrow scientist leads insula research
A scientist at Barrow Neurological Institute is leading the global discussion and research on a hidden lobe of the brain called the insula.

High blood levels of vitamin E reduces risk of Alzheimer's
High levels of several vitamin E components in the blood are associated with a decreased risk for Alzheimer's disease in advanced age, suggesting that vitamin E may help prevent cognitive deterioration in elderly people.

Biologists identify a new clue into cellular aging
The ability to combat some age-related diseases may rest with scientists unlocking clues about the molecular and cellular processes governing aging.

Fouls go left: Soccer referees may be biased based on play's direction of motion
Soccer referees may have an unconscious bias towards calling fouls based on a play's direction of motion, according to a new study from the of University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Pitt researchers find new proteins that regulate blood pressure, flow
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have identified key players in a little-known biochemical pathway that appears to regulate blood pressure.

NOSCAR announces first NOTES transoral and transvaginal gallbladder removals performed as part of US multicenter human trial
The Natural Orifice Surgery Consortium for Assessment and Research announces the completion of the first transoral and transvaginal cholecystectomies (gallbladder removal) using Natural Orifice Translumenal Endoscopic Surgery in a multicenter human trial in the United States.

2 Washington journalists receive IEEE-USA Engineering Journalism Awards
IEEE-USA honored two Washington journalists Wednesday who have added to greater public understanding of the contributions of engineers and computer professionals to society.

HIV prevention strategy key to curbing epidemic and cutting long-term treatment costs
Increasing highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) treatment for people with HIV/AIDS will provide significant cost savings over a relatively short period of time, according to a formal economic analysis led by researchers at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS at Providence Health Care and the University of British Columbia.

New biofuels processing method for mobile facilities
Chemical engineers at Purdue University have developed a new method to process agricultural waste and other biomass into biofuels, and they are proposing the creation of mobile processing plants that would rove the Midwest to produce the fuels.

Knee arthritis? Flexible options can help keep you active
Middle-aged men and women with osteoarthritis of the knee now have more options than ever before for treatments that may allow them to remain active in the sports they love, according to a review published in the July 2010 issue of of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

ARS study eyes egg quality and composition
There's no substantial quality difference between organically and conventionally produced eggs.

Home-based telemonitoring and control by patients with hypertension results in greater falls in blood pressure
Patients with hypertension who monitor their blood pressure at home and adjust their medication according to pre-agreed rules can experience greater falls in blood pressure than patients receiving conventional care.

Genetic ancestry data improve diagnosis in asthma and lung disease
Americans with lung disease may face a far greater level of lung damage than either they or their doctor suspect, depending on their individual genetic heritage, according to a study to be released July 7.

Researchers demystifying complex cellular communications hubs found in sensory neurons
It's safe to say that cilia, the hairlike appendages jutting out from the smooth surfaces of most mammalian cells, have long been misunderstood -- underestimated, even.

York U autism-related study discovers how drug interferes with neuronal cell function
A York University study has shown for the first time how the drug misoprostol, linked to neurodevelopmental defects associated with autism, interferes with neuronal cell function.

ESC Congress 2010: The year's major event in cardiovascular medicine
The European Society of Cardiology Congress 2010, the world's biggest international meeting in Cardiology will be held in Stockholm, Sweden, from Aug.

1 in 4 Californian children have never seen a dentist, study finds
A new UCLA Center for Health Policy Research study published in the July issue of Health Affairs reveals that in California, nearly 25 percent of children in the state have never seen a dentist and that disparities exist across race, ethnicity and type of insurance when it comes to the duration between dental care visits.

Frontiers in Cardiovascular Biology: July 16-19, 2010, Berlin, Germany
Frontiers in Cardiovascular Biology, the first scientific meeting ever organized by the Council on Basic Cardiovascular Science of the European Society of Cardiology, is being held in Berlin this month to provide a new European platform for the exchange of information about cardiovascular science.

World-renowned authorities provide current perspectives on Darwin's theory of evolution
A new book from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press,

The legend of good cop/bad cop
Corrupt, lazy, ignorant and too cowardly to chase criminals -- these are among some of the most negative terms to have been applied to the police in South Africa, particularly by their fellow citizens.

GOES-13 satellite sees elongated system 96L getting organized
System 96L looks like an oval-shaped area of clouds in a recent visible satellite image from the GOES-13 satellite.

Can aspirin prolong a healthy life?
In an effort to extend the length of a disability-free life for older adults, researchers from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center are partnering with colleagues from across the US and Australia in the largest international trial ever sponsored by the US National Institute on Aging.

Study sheds light on triglyceride metabolism
New findings reported in the July issue of Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication, are offering new leads as to why some people might suffer from high levels of triglycerides.

Research: Schwartz Center Rounds encourage compassionate health care and better teamwork
Caregivers who participated in a program where attendees discuss medical cases that were complex for psychosocial and emotional reasons were more likely to be attentive to the psychosocial and emotional aspects of patient care.

Study shows race, not experience, impacts hiring in sports world
If you want to get your foot in the door of the sports industry, your race may mean more than your experience.

Amid the murk of 'gut flora,' vitamin D receptor emerges as a key player
Within the human digestive tract is a teeming mass of hundreds of types of bacteria, a potpourri of microbes numbering in the trillions that help us digest food and keep bad bacteria in check.

What plant genes tell us about crop domestication
Archeobotanists argue that plant domestication involved much trial and error in many different geographic regions over a long period of time.

New system to reduce heating costs in cold climates
A new type of heat pump being developed at Purdue University could allow residents in cold climates to cut their heating bills in half.

URI researcher: Teens drink more during summer before college
Summertime and the living is easy. But not too easy for parents whose children will head to college in the fall.

New 3-D imaging techniques for improved lung cancer drug development
Advanced imaging technologies that promise to improve effective drug development to treat lung cancer are the focus of the current issue of Optics Express, an open-access journal published by the Optical Society.

A bittersweet warning for women with gestational diabetes
Dr. Gabriel Chodick of Tel Aviv University has proven that pregnant women who

New training program on self-efficacy reduces stress of patients with schizophrenia
Researchers at the University of Granada managed to enhance the well-being and quality of life of patients with schizophrenia.

Scripps Research scientists uncover previously unknown natural mechanism that controls cocaine use
Scientists from the Scripps Research Institute have found that a particular type of genetic material plays a key role in determining vulnerability to cocaine addiction and may offer an entirely new direction for the development of anti-addiction therapies.

ASTRO announces 2010 Fellows class
The American Society for Radiation Oncology has named its 2010 class of Fellows.

The 106th Annual Meeting of the American Political Science Association
will convene from Sept. 2-5 in Washington, D.C., at the Marriott Wardman Park, the Omni Shoreham and the Hilton Washington. 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