Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 19, 2010
Breast cancer cells regulate multiple genes in response to estrogen-like compounds
Cancer researchers have discovered a previously unknown type of gene regulation and DNA behavior in breast cancer cells that may lead to better insight about environmental exposure to estrogen-like compounds.

Obesity in early adulthood associated with increased risk of psoriatic arthritis
Among persons with psoriasis, those who reported being obese at age 18 had an increased risk of developing psoriatic arthritis, according to a report in the July 19 issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

NASA grant supports center for astrobiology in search for conditions of life in the universe
The New York Center for Astrobiology will widen the scope of its search for the building blocks of life beyond Earth with the help of a new NASA grant.

Bevacizumab is safe in combination with chemotherapy for advanced non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer
Researchers have confirmed the safety of treating advanced non-squamous non-small-cell lung cancer with bevacizumab in combination with chemotherapy.

Soldiers with brain injuries at higher risk of epilepsy decades later
Soldiers who receive traumatic brain injuries during war may be at a higher risk of epilepsy even decades after the brain injury occurred.

Cells' grouping tactic points to new cancer treatments
The mechanism that cells use to group together and move around the body has been discovered by scientists at UCL -- a finding that has implications for the development of new cancer treatments.

Toolkit allows anyone to test for ADA compliance
Twenty years after the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, there is finally a

Brain training reverses age-related cognitive decline
Specialized brain training targeted at the regions of a rat's brain that process sound reversed many aspects of normal, age-related cognitive decline and improved the health of the brain cells, according to a new study from researchers at University of California, San Francisco.

Painters at significantly increased risk of bladder cancer
Painters are at significantly increased risk of developing bladder cancer, concludes a comprehensive analysis of published evidence in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Socioeconomic status not associated with access to cochlear implants
Poor children with hearing loss appear to have equal access to cochlear implantation, but have more complications and worse compliance with follow-up regimens than children with higher socioeconomic status, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Tuning cocaine addiction
Reducing the abundance of a set of microRNAs -- small bits of genetic material that influence gene expression -- reduces the urge for a cocaine fix in mice, according to a paper published online on July 19 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Research consortium at CHLA receives $410,000 to study leukemia and lymphoma
J. Eric Bubbers, Ph.D., of the Saban Research Institute at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, has received a $410,000 grant from Phase One Foundation.

Frog killer caught in the act
The first before-and-after view of an amphibian die-off has just been published by scientists working at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama.

Uncovering behavior of long-dead insects
What can you learn from the 120-year-old body of a parasitoid wasp?

Embargoed news from Annals of Internal Medicine
Below is information about four articles being published in the July 20 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

When climate change becomes a health issue, are people more likely to listen?
Framing climate change as a public health problem seems to make the issue more relevant, significant and understandable to members of the public -- even some who don't generally believe climate change is happening, according to preliminary research by George Mason University's Center for Climate Change Communication.

Work related deaths have almost halved in 20 years
Deaths in England and Wales from injuries and diseases caused by work have almost halved in 20 years, indicates research published online in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Investigators identify gene associated with kidney disease in African-American population
As reported online this month by the journal Science, collaborating research groups found that patients with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) and hypertension-attributed end-stage kidney disease (H-ESKD) harbored variants in the APOL1 gene that changed the ApoL1 protein sequence.

Trauma patients undergoing emergency operations may receive transfusions of their own blood
Transfusion with a trauma patient's own blood may offer a cost-effective alternative to transfusion with blood from another individual as a resuscitation method during surgery, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Research develops simple 'recipe' for fungus-free horseradish
In the battle against soil fungi that discolor horseradish roots and can render the entire crop unsellable, University of Illinois researcher Mohammad Babadoost found that subjecting the roots to hot water before planting was most effective in killing the pathogen in propagative root stocks.

'Runaway' development implicated in loss of function of the aging brain
The brain undergoes rapid growth and development in the early years of life and then degenerates as we progress into old age, yet little is known about the biological processes that distinguish brain development and aging.

Plant and soil science conference emphasizes food, energy and environmental security
The ASA, CSSA and SSSA 2010 annual meeting is being held Oct.

Impaired activity of the protein MTOR a strain on the heart
New research in mice suggests that drugs that inhibit the protein MTOR, which are used to treat several forms of cancer, might have adverse effects on heart function in patients with ongoing heart dysfunction.

Study of microbicide gel shows reduced risk of HIV and herpes infections in women
Researchers have achieved an important scientific breakthrough in the fight against HIV and genital herpes with a vaginal gel that significantly reduces a woman's risk of being infected with these viruses.

AIDS 2010 delegates and speakers unite in support of full funding for the Global Fund, the next milestone in drive for universal access
Scientists, practitioners and advocates from around the world today made a united call for global leaders to commit at least $20 billion to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria at its upcoming replenishment meeting in October.

Drilling down to the nanometer depths of leaves for biofuels
By imaging the cell walls of a zinnia leaf down to the nanometer scale, energy researchers have a better idea about how to turn plants into biofuels.

ACP Medical Laboratory Evaluation program gains approval from CAP accreditation program
The American College of Physicians' Medical Laboratory Evaluation program recently gained approval to offer certain analytes for use with the College of American Pathologists Laboratory Accreditation Program.

Of bugs and brains: Caltech researchers discover that gut bacteria affect multiple sclerosis
Biologists at the California Institute of Technology have demonstrated a connection between multiple sclerosis -- an autoimmune disorder that affects the brain and spinal cord -- and gut bacteria.

Technology for locating first responders in buildings to be showcased at national workshop
Worcester Polytechnic Institute, a leader in the development of technology for precisely locating, tracking, and monitoring first responders inside buildings, will host the fifth annual Workshop on Precision Indoor Personnel Location and Tracking Technology for Emergency Responders Aug.

Polymer synthesis could aid future electronics
Tomorrow's television and computer screens could be brighter, clearer and more energy-efficient as a result of a process developed by a team of researchers from Canada and the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Can blocking a frown keep bad feelings at bay?
Your facial expression may tell the world what you are thinking or feeling.

New biotech company grows from MCG diabetes and genomic research
A new biotech company has grown out of laboratory and clinical studies at the Medical College of Georgia with the goal of improving the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes and cancer.

Computer program predicts MRSA's next move
Researchers at Duke University Medical Center are using computers to identify how one strain of dangerous bacteria might mutate in the same way a champion chess player tries to anticipate an opponent's strategies.

Bridging the gender gap
Northwestern University and NorthShore University HealthSystem researchers have found that combining novel optical technologies with a common colon cancer screening test may allow doctors to more accurately detect the presence of colon cancer, particularly in women.

LSU researchers secure NSF rapid response grants to study impact of oil spill
Several LSU researchers have been awarded Rapid Response Grants from the National Science Foundation, or NSF, to study a variety of pathways in which the oil spill might impact the fragile ecosystems -- both wildlife and human -- of the Louisiana wetlands and Gulf of Mexico region.

Anthony S. Fauci, M.D., on results from the CAPRISA 004 microbicide study
Today we congratulate the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) and the people of South Africa on the positive findings from the CAPRISA 004 microbicide study, which marks a significant milestone both for the microbicide research field and HIV prevention as a whole.

Melanoma rates among minorities in Florida differ from national trends
Racial and ethnic trends in the skin cancer melanoma appear different in Florida than from national estimates, with higher incidence rates among Hispanic men and non-Hispanic black women but lower rates among Hispanic women, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

'The friend of my enemy is my enemy'
A new study analyzing interactions between players in a virtual universe game has for the first time provided large-scale evidence to prove an 80-year-old psychological theory called Structural Balance Theory.

Foreign accents make speakers seem less truthful to listeners
A foreign accent undermines a person's credibility in ways that the speaker and the listener don't consciously realize, new research at the University of Chicago shows.

Study examines sepsis and septic shock after surgery
Sepsis and septic shock appear to be more common than heart attacks or pulmonary blood clots among patients having general surgery, and the death rate for patients with septic shock is approximately 34 percent within 30 days of operation, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Research project analyzes cerebral bioelectricity in order to detect epilepsy
A group of researchers from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid has presented a new algorithm that uses a new method to analyze the information obtained from electroencephalograms to detect neurodegenerative diseases, such as epilepsy, using the bioelectric signals of the brain.

A dead Sirt(3) to protect preimplantation embryos
Although approaches such as IVF are commonly used in developed countries to treat infertile couples, the processes remain relatively inefficient.

L-methionine in patients with neurogenic bladder disorders: neither benefit nor harm proven
It is unclear whether patients with neurogenic bladder disorders benefit from the drug L-methionine.

JCI online early table of contents: July 19, 2010
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, July 19th, 2010, in the JCI: Impaired activity of the protein MTOR a strain on the heart; A dead Sirt(3) to protect preimplantation embryos; Drug clearance uncovered; Variation is the spice of life for prostate cancer progression; Giving the green light to cancer cells: an inside look at tumor spread; and others.

DNA barcoding reveals 5 undiscovered frog species among 30 wiped out by fungal epidemic in Panama
The first before-and-after view of an amphibian die-off has just been published by scientists at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the University of Maryland.

Springer to publish Journal of NeuroVirology
Starting in January 2011, Springer will publish the Journal of NeuroVirology, a bimonthly publication closely affiliated with the International Society for NeuroVirology.

K-State researchers find gene-silencing nanoparticles may put end to pesky summer pest
Summer just wouldn't be complete without mosquitoes nipping at exposed skin.

Autism has unique vocal signature, new technology reveals
New technology could fundamentally change the study of language development as well as the screening for autism spectrum disorders and language delay.

Susan G. Komen awards Case Western Reserve nearly $500,000 to study breast cancer in older women
Cynthia Owusu, M.D., associate professor at Case Western Reserve University and geriatric-oncologist at University Hospitals Case Medical Center, the school's primary affiliate, has received nearly $500,000 from Susan G.

Increased waistline and high triglyceride levels indicate risk of coronary heart disease
People with a larger waistline and high triglyceride levels are at increased risk of coronary heart disease, according to a research study published in CMAJ.

Seasonal influenza immunization rates among health-care workers
Campaigns to increase seasonal influenza vaccination rates among health-care workers in Canada that include a combination of interventions had the greatest effect on increasing vaccine coverage, according to a study published in CMAJ.

July/August 2010 Annals of Family Medicine tip sheet
This tip sheet features highlights from the July/August 2010 issue of Annals of Family Medicine Research journal.

Wood's 'noble rot' fungus genetically decoded
An international team including Empa researcher Francis Schwarze has sequenced the genome of the common split gill mushroom, Schizophyllum commune, a widely distributed fungus which grows on and decomposes wood.

U of U's Janice Morse inducted into International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame
Janice Morse, R.N., Ph.D., F.A.A.N., a professor at the University of Utah College of Nursing, was inducted into the newly created Sigma Theta Tau International Nurse Researcher Hall of Fame Friday.

Advance made toward communication, computing at 'terahertz' speeds
Physicists in the United States and Germany have discovered a way to use a gallium arsenide nanodevice as a signal processor at

Frog killer caught in the act
A killer has been caught in the act: the first before-and-after view of an infectious disease that led to an amphibian die-off has been released by the scientists who tracked it.

New study challenges stereotypes of adolescent sex offenders
Adolescent sex offenders are often stereotyped and treated as socially inept, but new research negates this image, finding that they are more likely to be characterized by atypical sexual interests -- such as desire for prepubescent children, coercive sex with peers and adults, and exposing their genitals to strangers.

New study finds arthroscopic hip surgery may fully restore function in athletes
Hip problems can sideline even the best athletes, but a new study led by orthopedic experts from Rush University Medical Center indicates that the use of minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery to treat painful disorders of the hip may give athletes who undergo the procedure another opportunity to resume their sport back at their pre-injury level of competition.

UT researchers: English ivy may give sunblock a makeover
Researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, have found that nanoparticles in ivy may protect skin from UV radiation at least four times better than the metal-based sunblocks found on store shelves today.

LSU receives $2 million grant for campus network advancing discovery
LSU's state-of-the-art computer data network will soon be further advanced as a result of a nearly $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation, or NSF, announced this week.

CSIRO grants global license for new polymer technology
CSIRO has signed a global licensing agreement for its patented RAFT technology.

Prolonged mobile phone use may be linked to tinnitus
Regularly using a mobile phone for at least four years seems to be associated with a doubling in the risk of developing chronic tinnitus (persistent ringing/roaring/hissing in the ear), indicates a small study published online in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Stem cells made by reprogramming hold onto their past
Adult cells that have been reprogrammed into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) do not completely let go of their past, perhaps limiting their ability to function as a less controversial alternative to embryonic stem cells for basic research and cell replacement therapies, according to researchers at Children's Hospital Boston, John Hopkins University and their colleagues.

Nanoparticles plus adult stem cells demolish plaque
A technique that combines nanotechnology with adult stem cells appears to destroy atherosclerotic plaque and rejuvenate the arteries, according to a study reported at the American Heart Association's Basic Cardiovascular Sciences 2010 Scientific Sessions -- Technological and Conceptual Advances in Cardiovascular Disease.

John Theurer Cancer Center first cancer center in N.J. to acquire new radiotherapy system
In a promising development for cancer patients in New Jersey and surrounding areas, the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center announced today that it will be the first cancer center in New Jersey to acquire an innovative system that enables a radically different approach to treating cancer with image-guided radiotherapy known as the TrueBeam system.

New test to predict success of IVF treatment developed at Stanford
Women who fail to become pregnant after undergoing in vitro fertilization treatment often grapple with the decision of whether to try IVF again.

Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery theme issue highlights work from Asia
Advances in facial plastic surgery that originated in Asia can benefit patients elsewhere in the world, according to an editorial in the July/August issue of Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

MSU sea lamprey research sheds light on how stress hormones evolved
Michigan State University researchers are the first to identify a stress hormone in the sea lamprey, using the 500-million-year-old species as a model to understand the evolution of the endocrine system.

Test could predict which children with T-cell ALL are best candidates for clinical trials
A genetic clue uncovered by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists enables doctors to predict, for the first time, which children with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) are unlikely to benefit from standard chemotherapy for the disease and should therefore be among the first to receive new treatments in future clinical trials.

Reprogrammed cells 'remember,' retain characteristics of their cells of origin
Investigators at the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Regenerative Medicine have confirmed that induced pluripotent stem cells retain some characteristics of the cells from which they were derived, something that could both assist and impede potential clinical and research uses, and find that these cellular

Transparency through open notes
Technology has placed vast amounts of medical information literally a mouse click away.

New publications examine treatment outcomes for infantile hemangiomas
In an ongoing effort to find better and safer treatment for complicated infantile hemangiomas, researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, report outcomes on two treatment options.

LSU researchers survey health impacts of Deepwater Horizon disaster on coastal Louisiana residents
LSU Sociology Professors Matthew Lee and Troy Blanchard have conducted a survey to gain an understanding of the health impacts the ongoing Deepwater Horizon disaster is having on people living in Louisiana's coastal communities.

Pitt team designs artificial cells that communicate and cooperate like biological cells, ants
University of Pittsburgh researchers designed

EPA and other federal agencies collaborate to improve chemical screening
The US EPA, the NIEHS National Toxicology Program and the NIH Chemical Genomics Center welcome the US FDA to the Tox21 collaboration.

Microbial world's use of metals mostly unmapped
Microbes boast a broader and more diverse array of metal-driven chemical processes than scientists imagined.

Do cleaning products cause breast cancer?
Women who report greater use of cleaning products may be at higher breast cancer risk than those who say they use them sparingly.

Physicians perform poorly when patients need special care
Patients often receive inappropriate care when their doctors fail to take into account their individual circumstances, according to a new study by the University of Illinois at Chicago and the VA Center for Management of Complex Chronic Care.

HIV/AIDS treatment curbs spread of disease: UBC-BC CfE study
The BC Center of Excellence in HIV/AIDS (BC-CfE) published an important study today in the globally respected Lancet medical journal.

HIV prevention science scores a victory -- the gel works!
A vaginal microbicide with 1 percent tenofivir gel has been proven to be effective at preventing HIV transmission in a South African trial.

Stormwater model to inform regulators on future development projects
North Carolina State University researchers have developed a computer model that will accurately predict stormwater pollution impacts from proposed real-estate developments -- allowing regulators to make informed decisions about which development projects can be approved without endangering water quality.

$10M project to store CO2 underground in China
CSIRO is partnering with China United Coalbed Methane Corporation Limited on a $10 million joint demonstration project that will store 2000 tonnes of carbon dioxide underground in the Shanxi Province and extract methane for use as an energy source.

Microbicide trial results a turning point for HIV prevention, says team testing same gel
Results of a trial of a vaginal microbicide with an antiretroviral drug called tenofovir has provided the first evidence that such an approach can help prevent HIV in women.

Mapping out pathways to better soybeans
Agricultural Research Service scientists are a step closer to unlocking genetic clues that may lead to packing more protein and oil into soybeans, a move that would boost their value and help US growers compete in international markets.

MDMA (Ecstasy)-assisted psychotherapy relieves treatment-resistant PTSD
MDMA (also known as Ecstasy), may one day offer hope for individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), even people for whom other treatments have failed.

Report examines relationship between nasal zinc gels and loss of sense of smell
An evaluation of 25 patients and a review of reports of clinical, biological and experimental data suggest that over-the-counter, homeopathic nasal zinc therapies may be associated with a reduced sense of smell, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Wake Forest University awarded $3.67 million to study the nature of character
Because understanding character lies at the heart of human identity, philosophers, psychologists and theologians have long wrestled with how to define good character and how to improve character.

iGEM team helps prevent rogue use of synthetic biology
A team of students is using bioinformatics to implement federal guidance on synthetic genomics.

Global model confirms: Cool roofs can offset carbon dioxide emissions and mitigate global warming
A new study by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has found that implementing cool roofs and cool pavements in cities around the world can not only help cities stay cooler, they can also cool the world, with the potential of canceling the heating effect of up to two years of worldwide carbon dioxide emissions.

Battlefield psychologists investigate stress in combat and after
In a new study in the American Journal of Psychiatry, Prof.

The essential ingredients of supportive sibling relationships
Many moms and dads say the toughest part of parenting is keeping the peace when their kids squabble and bicker.

Air travel no 'significant threat' to cardiovascular health, says new guidance
Air travel poses no

Scientists devise strategy in bid to beat viruses
Scientists have developed a new way to target viruses which could increase the effectiveness of antiviral drugs.

NIH awards Rice $1.7M for cartilage-regeneration research
Bioengineers from Rice University's BioScience Research Collaborative have won a $1.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop an injectable mix of polymers and adult stem cells that can spur the growth of new cartilage in injured joints. 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