Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 15, 2010
Researchers cut years from drug development with nanoscopic bead technology
New research accepted by the Journal of Molecular Recognition confirms that a revolutionary technology developed at Wake Forest University will slash years off the time it takes to develop drugs -- bringing vital new treatments to patients much more quickly.

Toxicity increases with combined chemo/radiation treatments for nasopharyngeal carcinoma
Although the standard practice of treating patients with advanced Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma using radiation and chemotherapy may reduce cancer deaths compared to patients treated with radiation alone, noncancer-related deaths and toxicity problems have been shown to increase, according to a recent study published online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Bioethics beach reading, Summer 2010 edition
In the spirit of summer, and especially summer reading, the Hastings Center asked some of our favorite well-read writers to look at bioethics through the lens of literature.

Ironing out the causes of wrinkles
New experiments offer insights into how defects influence the formation of wrinkles, and could prove helpful in understanding wrinkles in biological tissue.

Scientists discover clues to inflammatory disease
University of Florida scientists studying two inflammation-related diseases, HIV and rheumatoid arthritis, identified changes in specific proteins linked to the action of macrophages, white blood cells that are key to the body's natural defenses.

Bright stars of the brain regulate breathing
Astrocytes -- brain cells named after their characteristic star-shape and previously thought to act only as the

Part of the brain that tracks limbs in space discovered
Scientists have discovered the part of the brain that tracks the position of our limbs as we move through space.

New arsenic nanoparticle blocks aggressive breast cancer
You can teach an old drug new chemotherapy tricks. Northwestern University researchers took a drug therapy proven for blood cancers but ineffective against solid tumors, packaged it with nanotechnology and got it to combat an aggressive type of breast cancer prevalent in young women, particularly young African-American women.

When does obesity become a child protection issue?
Childhood obesity alone is not a child protection concern, nor is failure to control weight.

Tropical Depression 6-E forms from System 96E, struggling in wind shear
Yesterday, System 96E looked good for development and by 5 p.m.

NIH scientists advance universal flu vaccine
A universal influenza vaccine -- so-called because it could potentially provide protection from all flu strains for decades -- may become a reality because of research led by scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health.

Scott & White Healthcare study aimed at T-cell lymphoma
Scott & White's Cancer Research Institute is conducting a clinical trial that targets malignant T-cell lymphoma, a type of blood cancer.

Insight into why low calorie diet can extend lifespan -- even if adopted later in life
New research being presented this week is giving scientists new insight into why a restricted diet can lead to a longer lifespan and reduced incidence of age-related diseases for a wide variety of animals.

Stroke risk temporarily increases for an hour after drinking alcohol
The risk for stroke doubles in the hour after drinking beer, wine or liquor, according to a small study.

Global warming slows coral growth in Red Sea
In a pioneering use of computed tomography scans, scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have discovered that carbon dioxide-induced global warming is in the process of killing off a major coral species in the Red Sea.

Keck School of Medicine of USC receives $24 million gift from Sumner M. Redstone
The Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California has announced a $24 million charitable gift from media executive and philanthropist Sumner M.

Science leaders urge diabetes patients to talk with doctor before making changes to medication use
The Endocrine Society, American Diabetes Association and American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists issue joint statement in response to an FDA panel's recommendation to keep rosiglitazone (Avandia) on the market.

Designing touch-sensitive virtual reality tools to train and test tomorrow's surgeons
Minimally invasive surgery is increasingly common and effective for operating inside the human abdomen.

Retrovirus replication process different than thought
How a retrovirus, like HIV, reproduces and assembles new viruses is different than previously thought, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

UM scientists demonstrate role of RNA polymerase in gene transcription
University of Maryland biophysicists provide new insight into the mechanisms of gene transcription in research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Gulf oil spill: NSF awards rapid response grant to study emotional response to disaster
Political scientists at Louisiana State University want to know how your close friends and family influence you during times of crisis.

Caltech scientists measure changing lake depths on Titan
On Earth, lake levels rise and fall with the seasons and with longer-term climate changes, as precipitation, evaporation and runoff add and remove liquid.

Studies explore effects of war on former child soldiers
Two studies found that how child soldiers adapt upon returning home depends on the communities they return to.

New research explores relief for xerostomia cancer patients
Today during the 88th General Session & Exhibition of the International Association for Dental Research, in Barcelona, Spain, S.

New role for master regulator in cell metabolism, response to stress
Biologists have been studying how AMPK works for several decades and know that once it is activated, AMPK turns on a large number of genes by passing the

BGU receives first US - Israel energy independence grant for light water reactor research
Dr. Shwageraus, along with his research partner Dr. Michael Todosow of the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Long Island, New York, are working on developing a self-sustainable fuel cycle for light water reactors.

Study: Skilled immigrants boost US innovation
A study published in the latest issue of the Journal of Labor Economics finds that highly skilled temporary immigrants boost technological innovation in the US without displacing US-born workers in the process.

Behavior problems in school linked to 2 types of families
Contrary to Leo Tolstoy's famous observation that

Sri Lankan children affected by war, tsunami, daily stressors
Two studies on Sri Lankan children affected by trauma found that both daily stressors and traumatic events contribute to children's psychological health.

August 2010 Geology and GSA Today highlights
Digging dinosaurs, burrowing worms, weakened rocks, immobilized uranium, slowstanding sea levels, isolated nunataks, colliding sediments, retreating ice sheets, westerly winds, electrically conductive lithosphere, dynamic debris flows, reactivated landslides, rock incompetence, recrystallized quartz and biased sedimentation are some of the topics presented in the August issue of Geology.

Kapahi to receive GSA's 2010 Nathan Shock New Investigator Award
The Gerontological Society of America -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has chosen Pankaj Kapahi, Ph.D., of the Buck Institute for Age Research as the 2010 recipient of the Nathan Shock New Investigator Award.

Hurricane Katrina's effects on children: Resilience and gender
Two studies examining stress in children affected by Hurricane Katrina found that stress responses were influenced by various factors.

Steroids help preserve kidney function in type of kidney disease
For patients with IgA nephropathy, a type of kidney disease, steroid treatment can prevent or delay loss of kidney function, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Pillemer wins GSA's 2010 M. Powell Lawton Award
The Gerontological Society of America -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has chosen Karl Pillemer, Ph.D., of Cornell University as the 2010 recipient of the M.

Less salt for everybody
Restricting the amount of sodium chloride in food can lower the risk of cardiovascular morbidities.

Rescuing fruit flies from Alzheimer's disease
Investigators have found that fruit fly males -- in which the activity of an Alzheimer's disease protein is reduced by 50 percent -- show impairments in learning and memory as they age.

US sea turtle populations difficult to estimate or protect without more data
The population sizes of six species of sea turtles listed as either endangered or threatened in the United States cannot be accurately determined based on currently available information, says a new report from the National Research Council.

New radiation mechanism may ward off cancer, oil spills and terrorism
Radiation similar to that used to treat cancer may someday help clean up environmental disasters such as the Gulf oil spill and detect explosive powder hidden underneath clothing.

Tiny marine microbes exert influence on global climate
New research indicates that the interactions of microscopic organisms around a particular organic material may alter the chemical properties of the ocean -- influencing global climate by affecting cloud formation in the atmosphere.

Health providers need to do more to understand and support lesbians who are overweight
Lesbian patients who took part in a study on weight and heart disease were unhappy with health care professionals who focused on their body mass index rather than improving their general health.

European cooperation ensures global leadership in microelectronics
Cooperation between semiconductor manufacturers, materials and equipment suppliers, and researchers has ensured that the European microelectronics industry can continue to maintain its global position in consumer electronics product design and manufacture.

Stanford scientists develop new way to grow adult stem cells in culture
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have developed a technique they believe will help scientists overcome a major hurdle to the use of adult stem cells for treating muscular dystrophy and other muscle-wasting disorders that accompany aging or disease: They've found that growing muscle stem cells on a specially developed synthetic matrix that mimics the elasticity of real muscle allows them to maintain their self-renewing properties.

Scientists counter brucellosis threat to livestock and wildlife
Armed with dart guns and medical pellets, Agricultural Research Service scientists are vaccinating bison in and around Yellowstone National Park against brucellosis.

Small fish exploits forbidding environment
Jellyfish moved into the oceans off the coast of southwest Africa when the sardine population crashed.

NASA awards the late Dr. Timothy Hawarden for contribution to Webb Telescope
The late Dr. Timothy Hawarden was recently awarded with a NASA Exceptional Technology Achievement Medal for his pioneering work on innovative cooling techniques for future infrared space telescopes, including one that will follow the Hubble Space Telescope.

Persons of African and Hispanic heritage at higher risk of chronic kidney disease
Chronic kidney disease affects millions in North America, with persons of African heritage being at a four-fold higher risk and those of Hispanic heritage having a two-fold higher risk compared to the rest of the population.

Scientists discover human sperm gene is 600 million years old
There is one sex-specific gene so vital, its function has remained unaltered throughout evolution and is found in almost all animals, according to new research from Northwestern University.

Merrill debates Smith and Cuesters' notion on ontological realism in new issue of Applied Ontology
Given its relevance for the field of ontology engineering, the paper,

Kennedy Krieger Institute's Dr. Paul Lipkin selected for national health policy fellowship
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation's largest philanthropy devoted exclusively to improving the health and health care of all Americans, has chosen Dr.

A new molecular technique detects Anisakis in all fish
A new method enables anisakids to be detected in any fish product, from a whole fish, fresh or frozen, to tinned fish and surimi.

New revelations about Mercury's volcanism, magnetic substorms and exosphere from MESSENGER
Analysis of data from MESSENGER's third and final flyby of Mercury in September 2009 has revealed evidence of younger volcanism on the innermost planet than previously recognized, new information about magnetic substorms, and the first observations of emission from an ionized species in Mercury's very thin atmosphere or exosphere.

Small wires make big connections for microelectronics
University of Illinois engineers have developed a novel direct-writing method for manufacturing metal interconnects that could shrink integrated circuits and expand microelectronics.

Report outlines knowledge gaps for 20 suspected carcinogens
A new report from the American Cancer Society and other world-leading health groups identifies gaps in research for 20 suspected carcinogens whose potential to cause cancer is as yet unresolved.

Wood smoke exposure multiplies damage from smoking, increases risk of COPD
Smokers who are exposed to wood smoke, either through home heating and cooking or through ambient neighborhood pollution, are not only at increased risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but are also more likely to have epigenetic changes in the DNA that further increase their risk of COPD and related pulmonary problems.

Workplace safety at risk due to de-regulation of health and safety policies
A report by the University of Liverpool and Liverpool John Moores University has found that workplace safety has been put at risk due to changes in health and safety policies over the past decade.

Cancer drugs may help stop major parasite
A parasite estimated to afflict as many as 12 million people worldwide relies on a family of genes that should make it vulnerable to compounds developed to treat cancer and other disorders, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Investigators identify gene associated with kidney disease in African-American population
A scientific team discovers a genetic explanation for the high incidence of kidney disease among African-Americans.

Young children especially vulnerable to effects of 9/11
Two longitudinal studies examine the relationship of maternal PTSD and depression to the mental health and behavior of children who were affected by the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

New models predict short-term survival of HIV patients starting antiretroviral therapy in sub-Saharan Africa
The survival of HIV patients in sub-Saharan Africa in the first year of antiretroviral therapy can now be predicted using either of two new risk models, developed by Matthias Egger from the University of Bern in Switzerland and Dr.

NewYork-Presbyterian No. 6 hospital in nation, No. 1 in NY
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, one of the country's largest and most comprehensive academic medical centers, is ranked No.

Arthroscopic treatment of common hip problem allows athletes to return to play
Patients who undergo arthroscopic surgery for a mechanical disorder of the hip have a good chance of being able to return to their sport at a high level of competition, according to a study that will be presented by a Hospital for Special Surgery researcher at the annual meeting of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, held July 15-18 in Providence, R.I.

Largest study of genomes and cancer treatments releases first results
The largest study to correlate genetics with response to cancer drugs releases its first results today.

Children in good shape have better appetite control and energy expenditure
The research conducted at the University of Granada reveals that this improvement may be caused by the metabolic changes generated by physical activity through the regulation of hormones such as insulin and leptin.

UC San Diego researchers find cause of metabolic disease -- and possible cure
An international team of scientists, led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, has discovered the gene mutation responsible for a condition in which eye and brain development is severely disrupted in affected infants.

New method of tissue banking makes gene analysis more practical for lung cancer
Analyzing the genes expressed by cancer cells allows for a better understanding of that patient's specific disease and in turn, a more personalized approach to treatment.

Tiny marine microbes exert influence on global climate
New research indicates that the interactions of microscopic organisms around a particular organic material may alter the chemical properties of the ocean and ultimately influence global climate by affecting cloud formation in the atmosphere.

Simple screening test reduces invasive examinations for suspected bowel disease
A simple screening test identifies patients who are most likely to have inflammatory bowel disease and reduces the need for expensive, invasive and time consuming endoscopies, finds a study published on today.

Springer to distribute eBooks from Sense Publishers
Springer and Sense Publishers have signed an agreement which covers the distribution of the book program of Sense Publishers as part of Springer's eBook collection online, starting in 2011.

Hot town, summer in the city
Heat waves may cause increased mortality but, until now, there has been no single scientific definition for the occasional bursts of hot weather that can strike during the summer months.

Better alignment needed between high schools, community colleges
High schools need to work with community colleges to align their curricula better and to reduce the number of students who need to enroll in remedial courses, according to a University of Illinois expert who studies community college education policy.

Why walking flat-footed hurts habitual high-heels wearers
Why does it hurt walking flat-footed after wearing high heels?

High pressure forcing Tropical Storm Conson farther south to Hainan Island
NASA satellites are keeping an eye on the changing track of Tropical Storm Conson and the conditions within the storm as it changes in strength on its track through the South China Sea.

'Broken symmetry' discovery in high-temperature superconductors opens new research path
In a major step toward understanding the mysterious

Aeras and CHC announce epidemiological study in Cambodia
Aeras and the Cambodian Health Committee announce the initiation of a study of tuberculosis prevalence in Svay Rieng Province, Cambodia, beginning this month.

American Chemical Society webinar focuses on building a company from the ground up
News media and others interested in the chemical sciences are invited to join the next in a series of American Chemical Society webinars, focusing on building a company from scratch.

Diabetes shouldn't deter young athletes: York U study
Young athletes with type 1 diabetes may experience a marked decrease in performance as a result of their blood sugar levels, but can compete by learning to manage their condition, says a York U. study.

Could waiting 2 minutes improve how newborns recover from heart surgery?
A newly funded study is set to determine whether waiting two minutes to clamp a newborn's umbilical cord after delivery could improve how well he or she recovers from corrective heart surgery.

Remarkable fossil cave shows how ancient marsupials grew
The discovery of a remarkable 15-million-year-old Australian fossil limestone cave packed with even older animal bones has revealed almost the entire life cycle of a large prehistoric marsupial, from suckling young in the pouch still cutting their milk teeth to elderly adults.

Risk of death higher for babies born outside normal working week in Scotland
Babies born outside normal working hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, are at an increased risk of death due to lack of oxygen (intrapartum anoxia), according to a study from Scotland published on today.

Report reveals dramatic decline in illegal logging in tropical forest nations
The most thorough assessment to date of the global fight against illegal logging, released by Chatham House today, finds that a decade of international effort to tackle the problem is having a dramatic and beneficial effect both on forest dependent communities and on the global climate.

Distribution is what matters: How body fat influences the risk of diabetes
Waist circumference gives a better prediction of diabetes risk than does BMI.

The probability of surviving nine types of cancer is analyzed
Spanish epidemiologists have presented information on survival of nine types of cancer in Spain and have compared it with other European countries.

USC wins $56.8M NIH award for clinical and translational research
The University of Southern California has received a prestigious $56.8 million Clinical and Translational Science Award from the National Institutes of Health to support and promote scientific discoveries and their application in real-life settings to health and health care.

Shoulder arthritis? What patients need to know before treatment
This major joint in the shoulder -- the ball and socket joint -- is sometimes affected by osteoarthritis, causing pain, loss of function and reduced quality of life.

Australian study shows supportive community programs can prevent women from gaining weight
A simple community program developed and researched by the Jean Hailes Foundation for Women's Health in Australia has been shown to be effective in preventing excess weight gain commonly experienced by young mothers.

WPI research shows how cranberry juice fights bacteria at the molecular level
Revealing the science behind the homespun advice, researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute have identified and measured the molecular forces that enable cranberry juice to fight off urinary tract infections.

Mental health woes grow while spending declines
As the current global economic crisis drives up the demand for mental health-care services, cash-strapped agencies are slashing mental health budgets, according to a new Brandeis University study out this month in the International Journal of Mental Health.

Morning test helps doctors save kidneys
A morning urine test is superior to all other tests for detecting declining kidney performance in patients with diabetic kidney disease, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

HIV appears to moderately increase the risk of death even in people with high CD4 count
New research published online first by the Lancet suggests that HIV may increase the risk of death in people who have not taken antiretroviral treatment (ART) and have CD4 count greater than 350 cells per μL, but any such increase appears relatively modest.

Duke and African partners to study sustainable malaria control
A team of Duke University researchers and African colleagues will be studying strategies to curb the spread of malaria while protecting human and environmental health.

MD Anderson keeps No. 1 cancer ranking in US News & World Report annual survey
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center remains the leading hospital in the nation for cancer care for the fourth year straight, according to the annual

Refining a cosmic clock
A study of processes that affect the abundance of osmium will reduce the uncertainty that has plagued measurements of the age of the Milky Way.

Penn State, government, industry helping children pick healthier foods
A new initiative to improve children's nutrition education and increase the amount of healthy foods available in schools is a collaboration among Penn State researchers; Pennsylvania's Departments of Health, Education and Agriculture; Pennsylvania food manufacturers and food distributors; and school districts across the state.

BioSTAR device achieves 90 percent closure rate for atrial septal defect in children
A novel study by Canadian physicians reported that the BioSTAR biodegradable implant achieved comparable closure rates to the Amplatzer Septal Occluder in children with atrial septal defect.

The secret to sniffing out a safe supper
When mice smell the scent of food on the breath of their fellow mice, they use that experience to decide what's safe to eat in the future.

The first malaria-proof mosquito
For years, researchers worldwide have attempted to create genetically altered mosquitoes that cannot infect humans with malaria.

Brain size associated with longevity
Mammals with larger brains in relation to body size tend to live longer.

Reports detail global investment and other trends in green energy
Investment in green energy in China, most notable in wind energy, least 53 percent in 2009, bucking a trend during the recession that saw global investments dip 7 percent overall from 2008 levels.

Eurofins MWG Operon and Genomatix developed most complete human exome array
Between 17 percent and 23 percent of human coding sequences are not targeted by current exome capturing systems, missing out several medically important genes.

Flowers do it, trees do it: Symposium on plant reproduction
Want to know how plants grow, reproduce and communicate? Hundreds of international plant experts, from leading institutions such as Berkeley and Cornell to McGill and the University of Montreal, are gathering to review the latest research on all things green: Plant Biology 2010 -- Joint Annual Meetings of American Society of Plant Biologists and Canadian Society of Plant Physiologists.

AgriLife Research examines human immune response to virus at the atomic level
A team of biochemists has identified the molecular mechanism by which an immune response is triggered by the invading viruses, according to recent research.

Study shows how memory is disrupted in those with disease linked to learning disabilities
Imagine if your brain lost its working memory -- the ability to hold and manipulate information in your mind's eye.

Breakthrough achieved in explaining why tectonic plates move the way they do
Researchers at Monash University and Scripps Institution of Oceanography identify movements of plate and plate boundaries; could substantially improve models of tectonic motion

New light on Leonardo Da Vinci's faces
How did Leonardo Da Vinci manage to paint such perfect faces?

Patient safety highlights American Association of Physicists in Medicine
Next week the city of Philadelphia will host the 52nd annual meeting of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine, the premier organization in medical physics, a broadly based scientific and professional discipline encompassing physics principles and applications in medicine and biology.

Several studies support the role of choline in fetal development and throughout the lifespan
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that a choline-deficient diet is associated with increased risk for heart defects during prenatal development.

LSU researcher looks for new ways to keep a dirty situation clean
It may sound counterintuitive, but LSU Associate Professor of Chemistry Robert Cook has made a career out of studying the ways organic materials found in the environment, including soils, can either get dirty or stay clean.

More than half the world's population gets insufficient vitamin D, says UCR biochemist
Vitamin D surfaces as a news topic every few months. 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