Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 20, 2010
FDA accepts historical controls for epilepsy monotherapy studies
New York University researchers revealed that data from previously completed withdrawal to monotherapy studies for antiepileptic drugs provide a valid control for future studies, obviating the need for placebo/pseudo-placebo trials to demonstrate the efficacy of these drugs as monotherapy.

AHAF announces new partnership with open-access journal, Molecular Neurodegeneration
The American Health Assistance Foundation today announced a new partnership with BioMed Central's open-access journal, Molecular Neurodegeneration, in which the publication will be the official open-access journal of AHAF.

Dairy farmers can fight growing disease threat with chlorine and stainless steel
Two good tips for preventing Johne's disease on dairy farms: Use stainless steel water troughs and add chlorine to the water, according to an Agricultural Research Service microbiologist.

Model for roll-out of comprehensive adult male circumcision services in South Africa
In research published this week in PLoS Medicine. Bertran Auvert and colleagues describe the large-scale roll-out of adult male circumcision in Orange Farm, South Africa.

American Chemical Society symposium on Deepwater Horizon oil spill on Aug. 24
The American Chemical Society will hold a special day-long symposium on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on Tuesday, Aug.

Why does everything look gray when you feel blue?
Regardless of culture, language, era or individual artist, the arts consistently depict depression using darkness.

The growing HIV epidemic in people who use drugs: Dispelling the myths and combining approaches
Almost three decades after the discovery of HIV, a new Lancet Series highlights the threat of a largely unpublicized and growing HIV epidemic -- in people who use drugs.

Cultural reactions to anger expression can affect negotiation outcomes
Getting angry might help you get your way if you're negotiating with European-Americans, but watch out -- in negotiations with East Asians, getting angry may actually hurt your cause.

A study of house prices: Do the benefits of disclosure outweigh the risks?
Most of us think that disclosing a conflict of interest is a positive step, but a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research shows that disclosure can often backfire and make a bad situation worse.

Probiotics use in mothers limits eczema in their babies
Women who drank milk with a probiotic supplement during and after their pregnancy cut the incidence of eczema in their children by almost half compared to mothers who drank a placebo, researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology have shown.

NOAA ship Fairweather maps aid shipping through Bering Straits
As Arctic ice recedes, countries are looking forward to faster, safer and more efficient sea routes across the top of the world.

Research results confirm need for protection against ticks that carry Lyme disease
Research on the population of black-legged ticks, which can transmit Lyme disease from host animals to humans, reinforces that it is important to take preventative measures when spending time outdoors.

Developmental disabilities center established at Washington University
Improving the lives of infants and children with developmental disabilities will be the focus of Washington University's new Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center.

Overweight and obese moms face more risk of early births
Analysis found overweight or obese women have a 30 percent greater risk of induced preterm birth before 37 weeks and that risk climbs to 70 percent for very obese women.

Guided Care improves physician satisfaction with patient/family communications
Physicians who provided Guided Care, a primary care enhancement program for patients with multiple chronic conditions, reported higher levels of satisfaction with their patient/family communications and their knowledge of their patients' clinical characteristics.

Children have a negative impact on physical activity among individuals with heart disease
A study conducted at the Montreal Heart Institute has shown unexpectedly that living with children is linked to a reduction in physical activity.

NTU gets GreenLite for Singapore's first truly eco-friendly bus
Nanyang Technological University today unveiled GreenLite, Singapore's first truly green bus.

Natural substance NT-020 aids aging brains in rats, USF study finds
University of South Florida researchers found that a combination of nutrients called NT-020 promoted adult neural stem cell proliferation in aged rats and boosted their memory and spatial navigation performance.

Men and women respond equally to naltrexone as treatment for alcohol dependence
While the prevalence of alcohol use disorders (AUDs) in the United States during the 1980s was roughly five times more common among men than women, the gap between the genders has narrowed: AUDs are now only twice as prevalent in men than in women.

AMP presents at FDA meeting on regulating diagnostics
The Association for Molecular Pathology participated in the US Food and Drug Administration Center for Devices and Radiological Health public meeting on the oversight of laboratory developed tests.

Genders of alcohol-dependent parents and children influence psychopathology in the children
The children of alcohol-dependent (AD) individuals have a greater risk of developing a psychiatric illness.

Intensive behavioral interventions needed to reduce amphetamine use, which is linked to HIV risk
The fifth paper in the Lancet series on HIV in people who use drugs looks at the relationship between amphetamine drug use and HIV.

Study finds large disparity in access to kidney transplants for UK patients
Large variations exist in access to kidney transplants for patients in the UK, which cannot be explained by case mix (differences in a patient's condition), according to a new study published on today.

Drug users must be decriminalized along with scale-up of combination treatment and changes to drug control and law enforcement
In the seventh and final paper in the Lancet series on HIV in people who use drugs, a call to action is made by experts who say that while scale-up of various interventions outlined in earlier papers are vital, these are not enough.

Antibiotics for the prevention of malaria
If mice are administered an antibiotic for three days and are simultaneously infected with malaria, no parasites appear in the blood and life-threatening disease is averted.

12 myths about HIV/AIDS and people who use drugs
In a comment which forms part of the series, 12 myths about HIV/AIDS are debunked.

'Benford beacons' mark new approach for finding frugal aliens
By looking at the point-of-view of ET civilizations sending beacons, UC Irvine astrophysicist and micowave-expert brother advocate new approach for SETI to find signals of intelligent alien life.

U of M researchers find little action on recommendations aimed to curb college drinking
Few colleges and college communities have taken steps to implement recommendations to reduce college student drinking, according to a new study released today by researchers from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

Human rights protections essential in drive for universal access
The call for human rights as a fundamental component of efforts to prevent new infections and provide treatment for people living with HIV pervaded the XVIII International AIDS Conference today as delegates and local residents prepared for the HIV and Human Rights March through the streets of Vienna this evening.

Taking music seriously
A data-driven review by Northwestern University researchers that will be published July 20 in Nature Reviews Neuroscience pulls together converging research from the scientific literature linking musical training to learning that spills over to skills including language, speech, memory, attention and even vocal emotion.

By 'putting a ring on it,' microparticles can be captured
To trap and hold tiny microparticles, engineers at Harvard have

Depression overlooked in patients with hepatitis C; compromising HCV therapy
Researchers from Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland (the NORDynamIC project group) have observed that depressive symptoms in patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection are commonly overlooked in routine clinical interviews, and that treatment-induced depression compromises the outcome of HCV therapy.

BioDonostia evaluates the use of a food-related method for the diagnosis of hepatic steatosis
A multidisciplinary research team from the Instituto Biodonostia made up by digestologists, epidemiologists and researchers of the Experimental Unit evaluates the use of a method so far employed in the food industry to improve the diagnosis of hepatic steatosis.

HIV testing for children must be improved
National HIV programs should recognize that HIV testing and counseling systems designed for adults do not meet the needs of children.

HPV vaccine gives prolonged protection against genital warts and low-grade pre-cancerous growths
Vaccination against certain types of human papillomavirus gives strong and sustained protection against genital warts and pre-cancerous growths of the cervix, according to a new study published on today.

Astrophysicists discover a quasar that acts as a cosmic lens
The EPFL's Laboratory of Astrophysics has for the first time observed a quasar that is located between the Earth and a more distant galaxy and acts as a gravitational lens, a phenomenon that illustrates Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity and will make entirely new kinds of observations possible.

Women in their 50s more prone to PTSD than men
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) rates peak in women later than they do in men.

Disease genes that followed the Silk Road identified
Scientists have identified key genes responsible for a severe inflammatory disease that has spread along the old silk trading routes from the Far East to the edge of Europe.

Less than 10 percent of injecting drug users covered by existing HIV prevention interventions; huge scale-up of combined approaches needed
Globally, fewer than 1 in 10 injecting drug users (IDUs) are covered by effective HIV prevention interventions, with just 5 percent of injections likely covered by a syringe provided from a needle and syringe program.

NIH's Anthony S. Fauci to discuss early HIV infection and a novel target for HIV vaccine development
In a plenary lecture at the 18th International AIDS conference in Vienna, Austria, Anthony S.

Using a learning collaborative model to combat maternal HIV transmission in Eastern Rwanda
Younsook Lim, Dartmouth Medical School, and colleagues show how the Rwanda Learning Collaborative on Child Health sought to increase access to and the quality of prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS services in the Eastern Province of Rwanda using a learning collaborative model.

Program on proposed endovascular treatment of chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency
The Departments of Radiology and Neurology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center will hold a symposium on CCSVI (chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency) on Monday, July 26 from 9:00 am to 4 p.m., in the Alumni Auditorium, 395 Lenox Road, Brooklyn, N.Y., 11203.

Next generation surgical robots: Where's the doctor?
Feasibility studies conducted by Duke University bioengineers have demonstrated that a robot -- without any human assistance -- can locate a man-made, or phantom, lesion in simulated human organs, guide a device to the lesion and take multiple samples during a single session.

Liverpool scientists construct molecular 'knots'
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have constructed molecular

New hypothesis for human evolution and human nature
A new hypothesis for human evolution, based on the tendency of our species to nurture members of other species, has been developed by paleoanthropologist Pat Shipman of Penn State University.

Writing checks that bounce: World continues to backtrack on HIV treatment
Activists in Vienna charge world leaders with writing checks that bounce to the millions of people in need of lifesaving HIV treatment.

Notre Dame research shows children's school performance tied to family 'type'
The way a family interacts can have more of an impact on a child's predicted school success than reading, writing or arithmetic, according to a University of Notre Dame study published recently in the Journal of Child Development.

Replacing hydrogen in fluorescent dyes improves detection ability, stability and shelf life
By swapping out a hydrogen atom for an isotope twice as heavy, researchers have increased the shelf life and detection ability of fluorescent probes that are essential to studying a variety of inflammatory diseases, including cancer and atherosclerosis.

Researchers seeking the 4th property of electrons
Do electrons have a fourth property in addition to mass, charge and spin, as popular physics theories such as supersymmetry predict?

Bone cells' branches sense stimulation, when to make new bone
Research of bone cells shows, for the first time, the part of the cells that sense mechanical stimulation and signal the release of bone-growth factors.

Global HIV/AIDS survey by IAPAC reveals critical gap in patient-physician conversations
Results from the landmark AIDS Treatment for Life International Survey (ATLIS 2010), a multicountry survey of more than 2,000 people living with HIV/AIDS, revealed a significant gap in patient-physician dialogue about critical health-related conditions that may negatively impact patients' overall long-term health, quality of life and treatment outcomes.

NASA infrared image of Tropical Storm Chanthu shows convection missing on west side
The fourth tropical depression of the western Pacific Ocean strengthened into a tropical storm and was named Chanthu today.

Data presentation and consumer confidence
Is it better to present data in percentages (80 percent of 70) or as a frequency (56 out of 70 times)?

Practice makes perfect? Consumers overestimate their ability to learn prior to purchase
Consumers give up on using products because they underestimate their learning abilities, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Children of older women appear vulnerable to the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure
The presence and severity of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders are influenced by factors beyond alcohol consumption, such as maternal age.

Yale scientists discover new genetic marker of ovarian cancer risk
A team of Yale researchers have identified a genetic marker that can help predict the risk of developing ovarian cancer, a hard to detect and often deadly form of cancer.

Experts warn rapid losses of Africa's native livestock threaten continent's food supply
Urgent action is needed to stop the rapid and alarming loss of genetic diversity of African livestock that provide food and income to 70 percent of rural Africans and include a treasure-trove of drought- and disease-resistant animals, according to a new analysis presented today at a major gathering of African scientists and development experts.

New methodology improves winter climate forecasting
It's hot out right now, but new research from North Carolina State University will help us know what to expect when the weather turns cold.

New method developed for synchronizing clocks
In the journal Review of Scientific Instruments, researchers report on a new way to accurately synchronize clocks.

Improved antiretroviral treatment access requires decriminalization and end to portrayal of injecting drug users as 'less than human' or already dead
The third paper in the Lancet series on HIV in people who use drugs says that in order to improve access to antiretroviral therapy among injecting drug users, health providers must focus less on individual patient's ability to adhere to treatment, and more on conditions of health delivery that create treatment interruptions.

NSF funds infection-resistant orthopedic research
Researchers explore inkjet printing of drug-eluting, bioresorbable micropatterns onto the surface of orthopedic implants to prevent bacterial infection also known as

Life Sciences Discovery Fund announces commercialization grants
Washington State Life Sciences Discovery Fund announces commercialization grant awards and a follow-on competition.

Cellulose: Hard to digest, but full of energy
Plant researchers identify a protein involved in the formation of cellulose.

HIV in women who use drugs: Double neglect, double risk
A comment in the series says that HIV infections continue to rise in drug-involved women, especially injecting drug users in Asia and eastern Europe, and in crack-cocaine users in the US and other countries.

A baby, Skype and water research partnership with Israel
A year ago, Sharon Walker, an associate professor of chemical and environmental engineering at the University of California, Riverside Bourns College of Engineering, flew to Israel with support from a Fulbright fellowship to study water quality and sustainability issues in a similarly arid environment.

Where the wild veggies are
Cucumbers and melons are familiar items on our market stands.

Women, minorities more likely to see doctor of choice in emergency room
Women and minorities are more likely to have emergency physicians honor their request to see a doctor of the patient's same gender, race or religious background, according to a University of Michigan Health System study published in the Journal of Emergency Medicine.

La Jolla Institute teams with Dana-Farber and Washington University on sickle cell clinical trial
Researchers from the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology have joined forces with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Washington University to investigate a potential new therapy for sickle cell disease.

First-of-its-kind map details the height of the globe's forests
Using satellite data, scientists have produced a first-of-its kind map that details the height of the world's forests.

New research will unravel Arizona's prehistoric puzzle of the Hohokam ceramic industry
Archaeology researchers are tackling the mystery of how an egalitarian, prehistoric people produced and supplied enormous quantities of ceramics across farmland that today encompasses greater Phoenix.

Are all meditation techniques the same?
As doctors increasingly prescribe meditation to patients for stress-related disorders, scientists are gaining a better understanding of how different techniques from Buddhist, Chinese and Vedic traditions produce different results.

Key pathway in end-stage prostate cancer tumor progression blocked
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found that blocking one of the enzymatic steps that allow a prostate tumor to produce androgens could be the key in halting a tumor's growth.

BUSPH researchers link widely used chemicals to ADHD in children
A new study led by a team of Boston University School of Public Health researchers suggests a link between polyfluoroalkyl chemicals, industrial compounds which are widely used in many consumer products, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children.

Genetic mismatch keeps yeast species distinct
How species form and what keeps them distinct from each other, even though they can interbreed, is a key question in evolution.

Schools safer, discipline worse
A University of Delaware professor says policies created as a reaction to school shootings are excessive and counterproductive.

Temperature constancy appears key to tropical biodiversity
The tropics owe their stunning biodiversity to consistent year-round temperatures, not higher temperatures or more sunlight, according to a novel survey of insect diversity at different latitudes and at different points in the planet's history.

The University of Chicago joins Giant Magellan Telescope project
The Giant Magellan Telescope Organization Corporation is pleased to announce that the University of Chicago has joined the partnership that will construct the 25-meter Giant Magellan Telescope, a state-of-the-art astronomical observatory.

University of Houston's Meghan Baker named Social Work Student of the Year in Texas
Meghan Baker, a J.D./M.S.W. dual degree student in the Law Center and Graduate College of Social Work at the University of Houston, has been named Social Work Student of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers Texas Chapter.

2 chosen as AMP/Hayre Fellows in Public Outreach
A new program, Speaking Honestly -- Animal Research Education (SHARE), will be the focus of two Ph.D. candidates in neuroscience who have been selected by Americans for Medical Progress as the 2010-11 Michael D.

Rapid growth in adolescence leads to fewer offspring, UC Riverside biologists find
University of California, Riverside, biologists working on guppies report that rapid growth responses to increased food availability after a period of growth restriction early in life have repercussions in adulthood.

Image-processing algorithm reduces CT radiation dose by as much as 95 percent
In the wake of recent radiation overdoses, researchers at the Mayo Clinic, excited by CT perfusion's promise for diagnosing stroke, cancer and possibly heart disease, have developed a way to reduce the amount of radiation involved in the procedure -- which, when done properly, already involves very little risk.

TCT 2010 to have significant impact on interventional cardiology practices and patient care
Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics is the annual scientific symposium of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation.

Engineered stem cells may limit heart attack damage, improve function
Implanting tiny plastic scaffolds seeded with genetically engineered stem cells reduced organ damage and led to better cardiac function after a heart attack, according to an animal study presented at the American Heart Association's Basic Cardiovascular Sciences 2010 Scientific Sessions -- Technological and Conceptual Advances in Cardiovascular Disease.

Concordia researcher leads study that finds kids reduce physical activity for heart patients
A study conducted at the Montreal Heart Institute has shown unexpectedly that living with children is linked to a reduction in physical activity.

Feeling insecure in relationships may predispose people to later health problems, says research
People who feel insecure about their attachments to others might be at higher risk for cardiovascular problems than those who feel secure in their relationships, according to a new study published by the American Psychological Association.

HIV-infected drug users at greater risk of viral hepatitis, tuberculosis, bacterial infections and mental illness
HIV-infected drug users have increased age-matched morbidity and mortality compared with HIV-infected people who do not use drugs.

Beach umbrellas do not block out all solar radiation
A team of researchers from the University of Valencia has proven that 34 percent of ultraviolet radiation filters through under beach umbrellas.

Alcohol: The forgotten drug in HIV/AIDS
A comment highlights the forgotten drug in the HIV/AIDS epidemic: alcohol.

Faster tracking of lung tumors may help treatment
Today, at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine in Philadelphia, a group of researchers from Stanford University will describe the latest developments toward their goal of integrating two existing medical devices.

6 new research units established
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft is setting up six additional research units to facilitate trans-regional and interdisciplinary cooperation among researchers.

Healthy families, religious involvement buffer youth against risk factors related to drug abuse
American-Indian adolescents continue to have the highest rates of illicit drug use among all ethnic groups.

Asthma and eczema sufferers have a lower risk of developing a cancer
Men who had a history of asthma or eczema generally had a lower risk of developing cancer, according to a study carried out by researchers at INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier, the Research Centre of the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal and McGill University.

UCLA scientists isolate the first stages of tissue production in human embryonic stem cells
Scientists at the UCLA Broad Stem Cell Research Center have described a population of cells that mark the very first stage of differentiation of human embryonic stem cells as they enter a developmental pathway that leads to production of blood, heart muscle, blood vessels and bone.

Women help women live and cope with a chronic medical condition in the family
A new campaign explores the roles and responsibilities women uniquely encounter when living, or caring for a loved one, with epilepsy.

Drinking trends increase for whites, blacks and Hispanics
Drinking trends for whites tend to dominate views of overall drinking trends for the United States.

What causes hybrid vigor?
Plant scientists at the John Innes Centre have provided a new solution to an old debate on why species hybrids can be more vigorous than their parents.

Inadequate provision of treatments, plus laws prohibiting opioid substitution, all driving drug-related HIV epidemics
Of the estimated 16 million injecting drug users worldwide, some 3 million are thought to be HIV positive.

Consumers love underdogs
Consumers strongly relate to brands that they perceive as underdogs, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

High doses of ursodeoxycholic acid ineffective for NASH patients
A study conducted by researchers at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany found that high doses of ursodeoxycholic acid, suggested by some studies to have a beneficial effect on nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), does not improve overall histology in these patients.

Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology
The following are tips from the Journals of the American Society for Microbiology:

In-store displays: How do consumers perceive pricing?
A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research unlocks the key to making the price of a product seem less expensive to consumers.

Health of people with HIV who use drugs cannot improve without acknowledging and respecting their human rights
The sixth paper in the Lancet series on HIV in people who use drugs says a review of evidence shows that there is widespread abuse of human rights in people who use drugs, which increases risk of HIV infection and adversely affects delivery of HIV programs.

No pain, no gain? Concrete thinking increases consumer confidence
The confidence you feel when making a choice might depend on whether you're thinking concretely or abstractly, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Expedition to Mid-Cayman Rise identifies unusual variety of deep sea vents
The first expedition to search for deep-sea hydrothermal vents along the Mid-Cayman Rise has turned up three distinct types of hydrothermal venting, reports an interdisciplinary team led by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Preterm births higher among overweight and obese mothers
Overweight and obese women are at greater risk of giving birth to a preterm baby compared with normal weight women, finds a study published on today. 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