Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 10, 2010
Benefits outweigh challenges of implementing electronic health records in ART clinics in Malawi
In this week's PLoS Medicine magazine, Gerry Douglas and colleagues describe their experience scaling up electronic medical records in six antiretroviral treatment sites in Malawi.

Gondwana supercontinent underwent massive shift during Cambrian explosion
The Gondwana supercontinent underwent a 60-degree rotation across Earth's surface during the Early Cambrian period, according to new evidence uncovered by a team of Yale University geologists.

Stone Age remains are Britain's earliest house
Archaeologists working on Stone Age remains at a site in North Yorkshire say it contains Britain's earliest surviving house.

LSU researcher receives NSF rapid response grant to study health of marshes impacted by oil
LSU Associate Professor of Chemistry Robert Cook has recently received a rapid response grant from the National Science Foundation, or NSF, to investigate the impact of oil from the Deepwater Horizon disaster on Louisiana's highly fertile, productive and delicate marshlands by studying dissolved organic matter, or DOM.

Prevalence of eye disorder high among older US adults with diabetes
Nearly 30 percent of US adults with diabetes over the age of 40 are estimated to have diabetic retinopathy, with about 4 percent of this population having vision-threatening retinopathy, according to a study in the Aug.

Research shows a good kindergarten education makes dollars and sense
There isn't a lot of research that links early childhood test scores to earnings as an adult.

Inaugural deployment of buoys to measure air and sea interactions in typhoons launched from Taiwan
A team of scientists and technicians from the University of Miami Rosenstiel School, University of Leeds, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Environment Canada are participating in the groundbreaking deployment of two buoys that will help us better understand interactions between the ocean and atmosphere during typhoons.

Better displays ahead
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati Nanoelectronics Laboratory are actively pursuing an alternative approach for low-power displays and hope to provide details about what's ahead for display technology.

NOAA awards grant to investigate impacts of land use and climate change on hypoxia in Green Bay
Scientists researching the causes and effects of hypoxia in Green Bay, part of Lake Michigan, Wisc., have been awarded $348,037 for the first year of an anticipated four-year $1,367,300 project through NOAA's Coastal Hypoxia Research Program.

Innovation could bring super-accurate sensors, crime forensics
A new technology enabling tiny machines called micro electromechanical systems to

Drug coverage under Medicare leads to increased use of antibiotics
Improved drug coverage under Medicare Part D has led to increased use of antibiotics, particularly of brand-name and more expensive drugs, according to a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health study.

Drugs to treat cocaine abuse?
The authors of a new study in Biological Psychiatry explore pharmacological strategies for reducing cocaine self-administration in animals that may have implications for treating cocaine dependence in humans.

Valencia, Spain, to host 2 major bone meetings in March 2011
Two bone-related meetings, jointly organized by the European Society for Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis and International Osteoporosis Foundation will take place in Valencia, Spain in March 2011.

Dogs' physical traits controlled by small number of genetic regions, Stanford researcher finds
Next time you gaze soulfully into a dog's eyes or scratch behind its ears, take note of the length of his nose or the size of his body.

Colder days raise the risk of more heart attacks
A drop in the average temperature outside is linked to a higher risk of people having heart attacks, according to a new study published on today.

For infant sleep, receptiveness more important than routine
Parents understand the challenge of getting infants to sleep through the night, and now Penn State researchers show that being emotionally receptive can reduce sleep disruptions and help infants and toddlers sleep better.

Scientists identify DNA that may contribute to each person's uniqueness
Building on a tool that they developed in yeast four years ago, researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine scanned the human genome and discovered what they believe is the reason people have such a variety of physical traits and disease risks.

Research: College undergrads study ineffectively on computers
Despite the prevalence of technology on college campuses, a new study indicates that computers alone can't keep students from falling into the same old weak study habits.

Clinical trials abroad: Making non-English language consent forms readable
The first study to look at simplified English-language consent forms translated into another language calls into question the common belief that a translated consent form meets readability standards.

Scientists show there's nothing boring about watching paint dry
It turns out that watching paint dry might not be as boring as the old adage claims.

Proteins linked with Alzheimer's, other neurodegenerative diseases found to clump in normal aging
In neurodegenerative diseases, clumps of insoluble proteins appear in patients' brains.

Regional protocols improve quality of care for aortic dissection patients
Using a standardized protocol within a regional health network, a multidisciplinary acute aortic dissection program resulted in a 43 percent reduction in time to diagnosis for all AAD patients over the course of five years, based on study results published in the July edition of Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, an American Heart Association journal.

Indonesian ice field may be gone in a few years, core may contain secrets of Pacific El Nino events
Glaciologists who drilled through an ice cap perched precariously on the edge of a 16,000-foot-high Indonesian mountain ridge say that the ice field could vanish within in the next few years, another victim of global climate change.

Study finds similar personality types in male and female domestic violence perpetrators
New research published in the August edition of the American Psychological Association's Journal of Abnormal Psychology, is providing a better picture of the roles played by gender, personality and mental illness in domestic violence.

Breast cancer risk varies among different progestins used in hormone replacement therapy
Dr. Salman Hyder has found that progestins used in hormone replacement therapies to counteract the negative effects of estrogen on the uterus and reduce the risk of uterine cancer may increase the risk of breast cancer.

Higher education funding may need decade or longer to recover, scholar says
With the economy mired in a deep funk, and with state budgets around the country blood red, a University of Illinois expert in higher education policy says the timeline for restoring funding for higher education to pre-recessionary levels will inevitably lengthen, or in the worst-case scenario, the funds may simply never reappear.

AACR hosts cancer disparities conference in Miami, Fla.
Advances in cancer treatment and management have not affected all socioeconomic groups equally, as data shows minority patients tend to lag behind in both awareness and outcomes.

Human cells can copy not only DNA, but also RNA, says team from Pitt, Helicos BioSciences
Single-molecule sequencing technology has detected and quantified novel small RNAs in human cells that represent entirely new classes of the gene-translating molecules, confirming a long-held but unproven hypothesis that mammalian cells are capable of synthesizing RNA by copying RNA molecules directly.

Rutgers researchers assess severity of prostate cancers using magnetic resonance imaging
Rutgers researchers are developing methods that can accurately assess the severity of prostate cancer by analyzing magnetic resonance images and spectra of a patient's prostate gland.

Motion-tracking technology reduces injuries for older adults
Motion-tracking technology, recently developed by University of Missouri researchers, provides images and detailed data that helps patients, physicians and therapists better visualize movements as patients exercise.

Eurofins MWG Operon signs contract to supply oligonucleotides to Research Councils
Eurofins MWG Operon, international market leader and expert for custom oligonucleotide synthesis and RCUK Shared Services Centre Limited have signed a three year contract for the supply of synthetic DNA and RNA oligonucleotides.

Adequate zinc eases pneumonia in elderly
An observational study funded by the Agricultural Research Service and the National Institute on Aging has revealed that a high proportion of nursing facility residents were found to have low serum (blood) zinc concentrations, but those with normal blood zinc concentrations were about 50 percent less likely to develop pneumonia than those with low concentrations.

Medical students open to learning with video games
Today's college students were raised with a digital mouse in their hands.

Micromachines for a safer world
Dr. Slava Krylov of Tel Aviv University is improving the sensitivity of MEMS accelerometers by using an efficient yet simple and manufacturable design, which can be applied in sport, communication, transportation and defense.

Researchers find clues to gut immunity evolution, reveal similarities between fish and humans
A study at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine has identified the function of one of the earliest antibodies in the animal kingdom, an ancient immunoglobulin that helps explain the evolution of human intestinal immune responses.

NIH award will enable design of brain tumor treatment that captures migrating cancer cells
The Georgia Institute of Technology has received a EUREKA grant from the National Cancer Institute to design a new way to treat invasive brain tumors by capturing the migrating cells that spread the disease.

Heart's sounds can help diagnose heart failure
In a study available in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine, a University of Cincinnati emergency medicine physician concludes that acoustic cardiography, a new technology combining a 12-leed ECG with cardiac acoustic data, can aid physicians in detecting the abnormal third heart sound S3 in the emergency department -- ultimately increasing the accurate diagnosis of acute heart failure in certain subsets of patients.

Scientists identify new drug strategy against fragile X syndrome
Researchers have identified a potential new strategy for treating fragile X syndrome.

Neurodegeneration 'clumping proteins' common in aging process
Many proteins that form insoluble clumps in the brains of people with Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases are also found in healthy individuals and clump together as a normal part of aging.

World's tiniest mirror
Just as the path of photons of light can be directed by a mirror, atoms possessing a magnetic moment can be controlled using a magnetic mirror.

Land on your toes, save your knees
Anterior cruciate ligament injuries are a common and debilitating problem, especially for female athletes.

Study shows physicians reluctant to use chemoprevention for prostate cancer
Despite the dramatic results of the Prostate Cancer Prevention Trial, which showed a significant reduction in prostate cancer among those taking finasteride, physicians have not increased its use, according to a study published in the September issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Stereotyping has a lasting negative impact
Aggression. Over-eating. Inability to focus. Difficulty making rational decisions. New research out of the University of Toronto Scarborough shows prejudice has a lasting negative impact on those who experience it.

Chemical system in brain behaves differently in cocaine addicts, UT Southwestern scientists find
UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have identified a chemical system in the brain that reacts differently in cocaine addicts, findings that could result in new treatment options for individuals addicted to the drug.

Raltegravir intensification has no effect on residual viremia in HIV-infected patients on ART
In a double blind trial published this week in PLoS Medicine Rajesh Gandhi and colleagues detect no significant reduction in viral load after people with low-level HIV viremia had an integrase inhibitor added to their treatment regimen.

Clinical trials: Comprehension unaffected by simplified consent forms or payment
Informed consent is an ethical cornerstone in research with humans.

Cross-cultural perspective can help teamwork in the workplace
In this era of globalization, many companies are expanding into numerous countries and cultures.

Fasting 'feel-good' factor impacts stock markets
A new international study investigating the correlation between the Islamic holy month of Ramadan -- which begins August 11-12 -- and stock markets has discovered that the average stock market returns in predominantly Muslim countries were historically almost nine times higher during Ramadan compared to other months of the lunar calendar.

High malaria transmission areas remain a problem for elimination
Current tools for combating malaria, such as artemisinin-combination therapy and increasing coverage of long-lasting insecticide bednets can result in major reductions in Plasmodium falciparum malaria transmission and the associated disease burden in Africa.

Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy awards $600K to Nationwide Children's for gene therapy study
Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, the largest nonprofit organization in the United States focused on finding a cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy, announced that PPMD will award a $600,000 grant to Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, to conduct clinical testing of a promising gene therapy technique for muscle disease.

5 UM Rosenstiel School students receive NSF grad reserach grants
Five Univ. of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science graduate students are among the select few honored with a 2010 NSF Graduate Research Awards.

Neurochip technology developed by Canadian team
The University of Calgary, faculty of medicine scientists who proved it is possible to cultivate a network of brain cells that reconnect on a silicon chip -- or the brain on a microchip -- have been involved in the development of new technology that monitors brain cell activity at a resolution never achieved before.

Adult autism diagnosis by brain scan
Scientists from the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London have developed a pioneering new method of diagnosing autism in adults.

$22.5 million grant funds international study of membrane proteins
One of the largest and most comprehensive collaborations to understand the structure and dynamic function of membrane proteins was officially launched Tuesday with a five-year, $22.5 million grant from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

Non-Catholics influenced Vatican II liberalization of Catholic church, new Penn study says
A new analysis of voting patterns among bishops at the Second Vatican Council points to the indirect influence of non-Catholic churches in the Council's liberalization of the Catholic Church.

Rate of health care associated MRSA infections decreasing
An analysis of data from 2005 through 2008 of nine metropolitan areas in the US indicates that health care-associated invasive methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections decreased among patients with infections that began in the community or in the hospital, according to a study in the Aug.

Brain fitness programs may help frail elderly walk faster
Computerized brain fitness programs are known to help seniors improve their memory and focus.

Youth exposure to alcohol ads in magazines declining
Youth exposure to alcohol advertising in magazines declined by 48 percent between 2001 and 2008, according to a new study by the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Students' understanding of the equal sign not equal, professor says
Taken very literally, not all students are created equal -- especially in their math learning skills, say Texas A&M University researchers who have found that not fully understanding the

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia creates free clinical info app for iPhone and iPod Touch
A physician or nurse making rounds can locate and page through a 200-page reference book that lists the possible adverse events that may occur to patients in a clinical trial, or can instead keep all the same information in their pocket, in a 4-ounce iPhone.

Program is changing approaches to supervising criminal offenders
The program, underway in five states, aims to build on the strengths of probation and parole officers as agents of change.

Distracted drivers benefit from in-car driving coach
A study shows an in-car coach has the strongest effect on drivers most prone to distraction, suggesting that technology could help prevent dangerous driving.

Drugs used to treat osteoporosis not linked with higher risk of esophageal cancer
Although some reports have suggested a link between the use of oral bisphosphonates (drugs that prevent the loss of bone mass) and esophageal cancer, analysis of medical data from more than 80,000 patients in the United Kingdom found that use of these drugs was not significantly associated with new cases of esophageal or gastric cancer, according to a study in the Aug.

Cancer risk found for long-term hormone therapy
Using postmenopausal hormone therapy for more than 15 years increases a woman's risk of developing breast cancer, particularly among leaner women, according to research at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California.

International travel increasing spread of new drug-resistant bacteria: Is this the end of antibiotics?
A new gene (New Delhi metallo-Beta-lactamase [NDM] 1) that enables bacteria to be highly resistant to almost all antibiotics is widespread in Enterobacteriaceae taken from patients in India and Pakistan, and has also been found in UK patients who traveled to India for elective surgery.

New findings further clarify breast cancer risk with hormone therapy
A new analysis of the California Teachers Study, which analyzed hormone replacement therapy use among 2,857 women for almost 10 years, underscores the need for personalized risk-benefit discussions before women begin hormone therapy.

New way of classifying rheumatoid arthritis aimed at identifying the disease earlier
The American College of Rheumatology today announced the release of revised classification criteria (created in collaboration with the European League Against Rheumatism) for rheumatoid arthritis, which will allow the study of treatments for RA at much earlier stages of the disease -- before joint damage occurs -- ultimately leading to better patient outcomes.

Molecular imaging identifies high-risk patients with heart disease
A study published in the August Journal of Nuclear Medicine finds that molecular imaging -- a noninvasive imaging procedure -- can identify high-risk patients with potentially life-threatening cardiovascular conditions and help physicians determine which patients are best suited for implantable cardioverter defibrillator therapy.

Optical imaging technique for angioplasty
A new optical imaging technique described in the journal Review of Scientific Instruments holds the potential to greatly improve angioplasty, a surgery commonly performed to treat patients with a partially or completely blocked coronary artery that restricts blood flow to the heart.

Switchgrass lessens soil nitrate loss into waterways, ISU researcher says
Iowa State University researchers Matt Helmers and Antonio Mallarino find that by planting switchgrass and using certain agronomic practices, farmers can significantly reduce the amount of nitrogen and nitrates that leach into the soil.

Buried silver nanoparticles improve organic transistors
Out of sight is not out of mind for a group of Hong Kong researchers who have demonstrated that burying a layer of silver nanoparticles improves the performance of their organic electronic devices without requiring complex processing.

Distinguishing 'senior moments' from Alzheimer's
With the help of volunteers aged 18 to 89, UC Irvine researchers have identified for the first time in humans a long-hidden part of the brain called the perforant path.

Stem cell, artificial liver research receives Coulter Foundation funding at NJIT
Two NJIT biomedical researchers have received the prestigious Coulter Foundation Translational Awards for promising patent applications that may some day extend peoples' lives.

Visits to emergency departments increases in recent years
From 1997 to 2007, the rates of visits to emergency departments in the US increased significantly, particularly among adults with Medicaid, according to a study in the Aug.

Charcoal takes some heat off global warming
As much as 12 percent of the world's human-caused greenhouse gas emissions could be sustainably offset by producing biochar, a charcoal-like substance made from plants and other organic materials.

Additional press conference on Chile quake -- Wednesday, Aug. 11
The following event has been added to the 2010 Meeting of the Americas press schedule.

Walking to school could reduce stress reactivity in children, may curb risk of heart disease
A simple morning walk to school could reduce stress reactivity in children during the school day, curbing increases in heart rate and blood pressure that can lead to cardiovascular disease later in life, according to a new University at Buffalo study.

WHOI announces 2010 Ocean Science Journalism Fellows
Ten writers and multimedia science journalists from the US and Great Britain have been selected to participate in the competitive Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Ocean Science Journalism Fellowship program.

Common orchid gives scientists hope in face of climate change
A study led by scientists from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew's Jodrell Laboratory, which focuses on epigenetics in European common marsh orchids, has revealed that some plants may be able to adapt more quickly to environmental change than previously thought. 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