Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 16, 2010
Berkeley study shows ozone and nicotine a bad combination for asthma
Using the unique capabilities of the Chemical Dynamics Beamline at Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source, researchers have demonstrated that ozone can react with the nicotine in secondhand tobacco smoke to form ultrafine particles that may become a bigger threat to asthma sufferers than nicotine itself.

New insights could mean better fish feeds
A better understanding of what happens in a fish's body when it eats could lead to the production of better fish feeds.

People who cannot escape a system are likely to defend the status quo
The freedom of emigration at will is internationally recognized as a human right.

Measuring salt shine to improve climate understanding
From Aug. 14-25, 2010, scientists from around the world will gather in Southern Turkey to measure the spectral reflectance of a few square kilometers of salt.

Breaking the cycle: New target for treatment of ovarian cancer
A protein that plays a key role in regulating the onset of cell division has been identified as a potential target for the treatment of ovarian cancer.

New understanding of the 'flight-or-fight' response
New research in the Journal of General Physiology helps explain how the body's

Experiments offer tantalizing clues as to why matter prevails in the universe
Decays of B mesons in recent experiments at Fermilab result in excess matter over antimatter that exceeds expectations, based on the Standard Model of particle physics.

Pitt data on oil and gas leases gauges local Marcellus Shale activity since 2003
Responding to increased Marcellus Shale activity, a Pitt database and interactive map indicates all the land in Allegheny County under an oil-and-gas lease since 2003.

Men more likely to cheat if they are economically dependent on their female partners
The more economically dependent a man is on his female partner, the more likely he is to cheat on her, according to research to be presented at the 105th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association.

Obesity rates decline for many adolescents but disparities worsen
Obesity rates have started to decline and level off for many adolescents, but continue to increase for certain racial and ethnic minorities, according to a new UCSF-led study.

Studies pinpoint key targets for MRSA vaccine
Two studies point to a new way to a vaccinate against drug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus -- also known as MRSA -- the leading US cause of skin, soft tissue, bloodstream and lung infections, as well as deaths from infectious disease.

Scientists successfully use human induced pluripotent stem cells to treat Parkinson's in rodents
Researchers at the Buck Institute for Age Research have successfully used human induced pluripotent stem cells to treat rodents afflicted with Parkinson's disease.

Branding in a new light
Illuminated and neon signs outside businesses have contributed to brand identity for some years.

Gallbladder cancer may be linked to estrogens, says UH team
A very aggressive disease with a poor prognosis, gallbladder cancer may be connected to higher exposure to estrogens, according to researchers at the University of Houston.

Unlocking the secrets of RNA biology with WIREs
It is now clear that RNA plays a major role in cell biology, ranging from regulation to catalysis and structural organization, while also serving as an important tool in functional genomics.

Scientists closer to finding what causes the birth of a fat cell
Just what causes the birth of a human fat cell is a mystery, but scientists using mathematics to tackle the question have come up with a few predictions about the proteins that influence this process.

Birth control pill equally effective for women regardless of their weight
The first study to compare the effectiveness of the birth control pill in women with marked weight differences has found that the pill works equally well in women with obesity and thinner women.

1,500 worldwide experts debate the latest advances in breast pathologies' treatments in Valencia
This meeting will allow doctors to evaluate the progress achieved in medical and surgical breast cancer treatment and its future challenges.

Scientists reveal new targets for anti-angiogenesis drugs
A new study describes a novel pathway of angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels.

Nanoscale DNA sequencing could spur revolution in personal health care
A new technique works at a very small scale to sequence DNA quickly and relatively inexpensively.

Researchers develop MRSA-killing paint
Building on an enzyme found in nature, researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have created a nanoscale coating for surgical equipment, hospital walls, and other surfaces which safely eradicates methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, the bacteria responsible for antibiotic resistant infections.

Blood stem cell, leukemia link illuminated in UCSF-led study
A UCSF-led team has discovered at least one key reason why blood stem cells are susceptible to developing the genetic mutations that can lead to adult leukemia.

Springer journal article wins American Psychological Association award
An article from Springer's journal Human Nature,

Hydrogen causes metal to break
Hydrogen is considered the fuel of the future. Yet this lightest of the chemical elements can embrittle the metals used in vehicle engineering.

Scared snails opt for single parenthood rather than wait for a mate
Solitary snails in search of a mate put off parenthood as long as possible in the hopes that a partner will appear.

VCU Massey research finds new link between inflammation and cancer
Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center researchers have uncovered a new link between chronic inflammation and cancer.

Lung stem cells vital to lung repair associated with poor cancer prognosis when found in tumor
Adult stem cells that are vital for airway repair in the lung but that persist in areas where pre-cancerous lesions are found are associated with a poor prognosis in patients who develop cancer, even those with early stage disease, researchers at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have found.

Reminding health-care staff to remove catheters reduces infections by half
Urinary catheters are often left in place longer than needed, and new research from the University of Michigan shows that reminder systems that encourage hospital staff to remove catheters promptly can reduce the rate of catheter-associated urinary tract infections by 52 percent.

Difficulty swallowing a sign of poor prognosis among hospitalized patients
Dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, is associated with longer hospital stays among patients with any diagnosis, is increasingly prevalent with older age and is an indicator of a poor prognosis, according to a report in the August issue of Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Hair color, socioeconomic status among risk factors for recurring basal cell carcinoma
Patients who receive a diagnosis of the skin cancer basal cell carcinoma at a younger age -- along with those who have red hair, a higher socioeconomic status and a cancerous lesion on their upper extremities -- appear to be at higher risk of developing multiple cancers and require closer follow-up, according to a report in the August issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Repairing spinal cord injury with manipulated neural stem cells
One of the most common causes of disability in young adults is spinal cord injury.

Systems biology software package developed at VBI is now open source for all users
A software package developed to help researchers better understand the workings of biochemical networks now features an open source license, offering an ever wider range of benefits to its users.

Study sheds light on cancer-causing gene regulation
Researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center have uncovered the genes that regulate MDM2, an oncogene that, in turn, regulates the tumor suppressor protein p53.

Mapping this wormy world
Maps showing the distribution and prevalence of worm infections in every African country will be launched today (Aug.

Internet access at home increases the likelihood that adults will be in relationships
Adults who have Internet access at home are much more likely to be in romantic relationships than adults without Internet access, according to research to be presented at the 105th Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association.

Skin condition associated with depression, anxiety and suicidal feelings
Individuals with psoriasis appear to have an increased risk of depression, anxiety and suicidality, according to a report in the August issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Rhetoric, framing efforts have little influence in same-sex marriage debate
A study by Indiana University researchers found that terminology and efforts to frame an issue -- often effective in influencing public opinion -- have no effect on public opinion concerning the ongoing debate in the US over legalizing same-sex marriage.

Telltale signs of bioterror
Rice University researchers have won federal support from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency to study bacterial adaptation in an effort to determine whether a disease outbreak is caused by a natural pathogen or an organism grown in a lab by terrorists.

Disturbances in certain genes play a role in autism
Together with colleagues from an international research group, autism researcher Christopher Gillberg of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, has found in a new study that autism can be partially explained by abnormalities in certain genes.

Study suggests boys and girls not as different as previously thought
Although girls tend to hang out in smaller, more intimate groups than boys, this difference vanishes by the time children reach the eighth grade, according to a new study by a Michigan State University psychologist.

Antidepressant can help treat major depression during perimenopause, menopause, VCU study shows
An antidepressant can alleviate symptoms of major depression in women experiencing or about to experience menopause, according to a study released today led by a Virginia Commonwealth University researcher.

U-M's efforts to encourage disclosure of medical errors decreased claims
The University of Michigan's program of full disclosure and compensation for medical errors resulted in a decrease in new claims for compensation (including lawsuits), time to claim resolution and lower liability costs, according to a study published Aug.

Mount Sinai pioneers new cardiac imaging device
Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine have for the first time developed a way to visualize coronary artery plaques vulnerable to rupture using multicolor computed tomography, an innovation that will lead to better and earlier diagnosis of cardiovascular disease.

Resolving the paradox of the Antarctic sea ice
While Arctic sea ice has been diminishing in recent decades, the Antarctic sea ice extent has been increasing slightly.

Choosing healthier protein-rich foods instead of red and processed meats may reduce heart disease
Higher consumption of red meat sharply increases the risk of heart disease.

NSF awards stem cell bio-manufacturing research and education program to Georgia Tech
The National Science Foundation has awarded $3 million to Georgia Tech to fund a unique research program on stem cell bio-manufacturing.

Genes associated with aggressive breast cancer
Researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have for the first time identified 12 genes that could be associated with aggressive breast tumors.

Scientists develop new drug treatment for malaria
Scientists at the University of Liverpool and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine have produced a new antimalarial drug that is more chemically stable in the body than current malaria treatments.

Fittest hepatitis C viruses infect transplanted livers
Not all viruses are created equal. In liver transplant patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection, only viruses that can dodge the immune response invade the new liver, according to a study published on Aug.

Patients with diabetes may need fewer medications after bariatric surgery
Bariatric surgery appears to be associated with reduced use of medications and lower health care costs among patients with type 2 diabetes, according to a report in the August issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

How badly does it hurt? Research examines the biomedical diagnosis of pain
UC sociology research investigates the challenges of patients experiencing pain symptoms that don't visibly turn up on any test, or, in other words, are not

Input-output trade-offs found in human information processing
S. Lee Hong's study, published in PLoS ONE, examined information processing and found that human behavior is systematic, not random, demonstrating a trade-off between input and out.

Diabetes risk in children increases risk for weak bones
Children at risk for diabetes before they reach puberty also appear to be at risk for weak bones, Medical College of Georgia researchers report.

George Mason University partners with top-ranked telescope project to create movie of the entire sky
George Mason University is one of the newest partners of the Large Synoptic Survey Telescope project, the university announced today.

IBMT meditation found to boost brain connectivity
Only a few hours of exposure to a Chinese meditation technique induces positive structural changes in brain connectivity by boosting efficiency in a part of the brain that helps a person regulate behavior in accordance with their goals.

Too hot to handle: Impacts of climate change on mussels
Climate change is causing higher air and water temperatures along the east coast of the United States.

RNA snippets control protein production by disabling mRNAs
Short pieces of RNA, called microRNAs, control protein production primarily by causing the proteins' RNA templates (known as messenger RNA or mRNA) to be disabled by the cell, according to Whitehead Institute scientists.

'e-Learning' report shows online professional development aids teachers and students
Teachers who completed extensive online professional development showed improvement in their knowledge and skills, which translated into modest learning gains for their students, according to a five-year study by Boston College researchers involving more than 300 teachers and 7,000 students in 13 states.

A river flipped: Humans trump nature on Texas river
A new study by geochemists at Rice University finds that damming and other human activity has completely obscured the natural carbon dioxide cycling process in Texas' longest river, the Brazos.

Breakthrough gene therapy prevents retinal degeneration
In one of only two studies of its kind, a study from researchers at Tufts University demonstrates that nonviral gene therapy can delay the onset of some forms of eye disease and preserve vision.

August 2010 Lithosphere highlights
The August Lithosphere studies large igneous provinces through examination of the South Mountain region, Penn.; structural style across the Kaiparowits Basin, Utah; timing and rate of extension in the Anaconda metamorphic core complex, Montana; slip-rates at four new locations along the Kunlun fault, Tibet; unusual behavior in Earth's crust that can bring rocks to the surface from more than 50 km deep; and paleo-earthquakes along the Calico fault, Eastern California shear zone.

Can the international science community find the proper balance between cooperation and competition?
Science has a long history of crossing borders, bridging cultures and balancing the public good with private gain.

IBEX mission yields intriguing studies about solar system, lively debate among researchers
Since its October 2008 launch, NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer (IBEX) spacecraft has mapped the invisible interactions occurring at the edge of the solar system, surpassing its mission objectives with images that reveal the interactions between our home in the galaxy and interstellar space to be surprisingly structured and intense.

JDRF launches research program to accelerate delivery of faster acting insulin
JDRF announced today another important step on the road to the development of an artificial pancreas -- an automated system to better manage the blood sugar of people with type 1 diabetes -- with the establishment of a research program to speed the development of faster-acting insulin.

Detecting depression in caretakers of mentally ill adults
A diagnostic test of eight short questions designed by Jaclene Zauszniewski from the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University can be used to detect depressive thinking patterns that lead to clinical depression in women who care for an adult family member with a serious mental illness.

Research concludes vitamin D may treat or prevent allergy to common mold
Research conducted by Dr. Jay Kolls, professor and chair of genetics at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, and colleagues, has found that vitamin D may be an effective therapeutic agent to treat or prevent allergy to a common mold that can complicate asthma and frequently affects patients with cystic fibrosis.

Women who drink beer more likely to develop psoriasis
Regular beer -- but not light beer or other types of alcohol -- appears to be associated with an increased risk of developing psoriasis, according to a report posted online today that will be published in the December print issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

New breast cancer committee to establish federal research agenda
A newly formed advisory committee will develop and coordinate a strategic federal research agenda on environmental and genetic factors related to breast cancer.

Disadvantaged adolescents prone to adult crime and substance abuse problems
Early intervention among young adolescents with delinquency problems may help prevent the development of long-term crime and substance abuse problems.

Deaf, hard-of-hearing students perform first test of sign language by cell phone
University of Washington engineers are developing the first device able to transmit American Sign Language over US cellular networks.

Arsenic in field runoff linked to poultry litter
Fields amended with poultry litter can accumulate significant levels of arsenic, according to studies by USDA-Agricultural Research Service scientists and associates.

Health impact of Gulf Coast oil spill hazardous but improving
The oil spill along the United States Gulf Coast poses health risks to volunteers, fishermen, clean-up workers and members of coastal communities, according to a new commentary by UCSF researchers who spent time in the region and are among the first to look into health problems caused by the oil spill.

Surgery can be safely performed in settings with limited resources
The humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontières performed close to 20,000 procedures in resource-limited settings between 2001 and 2008 with an operative death rate of only 0.2 percent, suggesting surgical care can be provided safely in these circumstances with appropriate minimum standards and protocols, according to a report in the August issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Grant will fund professional development for teachers in Southern California
UC Riverside Extension recently received a $1 million grant that will fund $30,000 professional development grants for teachers over a two-year period in Riverside, Orange, San Diego and Imperial counties.

IBEX spacecraft finds discoveries close to home
It wasn't until the advent of the Interstellar Boundary Explorer or IBEX, a NASA spacecraft launched in October 2008, that scientists have been able to see what the human eye cannot: the first-ever images of an electromagnetic crash scene in space.

Car lighting makeover impacts feel of safety and style
Gone are the days of basic, glaring lights inside cars to help us find our seatbelts or scramble for a map.

Massive coral mortality following bleaching in Indonesia
The Wildlife Conservation Society today released initial field observations that indicate that a dramatic rise in the surface temperature in Indonesian waters has resulted in a large-scale bleaching event that has devastated coral populations.

Embargoed news from Annals of Internal Medicine
Below is information about three articles being published in the Aug.

UK science academy welcomes Arizona State electron microscopy pioneer
Ondrej Krivanek, an adjunct physics professor at Arizona State University who has a reputation on campus and off as a

Henry Ford Hospital study: Donor Risk Index does not impact outcomes on a small scale
The Donor Risk Index, which assesses donor characteristics impacting liver transplantation outcomes, does not bear the same impact on outcomes on a small scale as is suggested from large-scale, national data.

World's largest meeting of ear, nose and throat doctors to convene in Boston Sept. 26-29, 2010
The 2010 Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO of the American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery Foundation, the largest meeting of ear, nose and throat doctors in the world, will convene Sept.

Mayo's 'smart' adult stem cells repair hearts
Mayo Clinic investigators, with Belgian collaborators, have demonstrated that rationally

Einstein scientist discovers stem cell 'partnership' that could advance regenerative medicine
A study led by a researcher at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University has revealed a unique

Springer adds Neurotherapeutics to journals portfolio
Beginning in 2011, Springer will publish Neurotherapeutics, the official Journal of the American Society for Experimental NeuroTherapeutics.

UC researchers examine patterns of minority suburbanization circling the nation's major cities
Research presented at the 105th annual meeting of the American Sociological Association examines the extent to which minorities are moving farther into the suburbs surrounding large, central cities.

Rhetoric, framing efforts have little influence in same-sex marriage debate
A study by Indiana University researchers found that terminology and efforts to frame an issue -- often effective in influencing public opinion -- have no effect on public opinion concerning the ongoing debate in the US over legalizing same-sex marriage.

Scientists map epigenetic changes during blood cell differentiation
Having charted the occurrence of a common chemical change that takes place while stem cells decide their fates and progress from precursor to progeny, a Johns Hopkins-led team of scientists has produced the first-ever epigenetic landscape map for tissue differentiation.

SSRIs may pack more punch at the cellular level than believed
A new discovery about selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors suggests that these drugs, used to treat mental health disorders like depression and anxiety, have multiple effects on our cells.

Presidential election outcomes directly influence suicide rates
Change and hope were central themes to the November 2008 US presidential election.

UV-B treatment may improve psoriasis and vitamin D levels
Treatment with narrow-band UV-B rays may increase serum levels of vitamin D in the wintertime while clearing psoriasis, according to a report in the August issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Researchers identify potential new target for ovarian cancer
For the first time, Salt Inducible Kinase 2 has been found to play a critical role in cell division and to regulate the response of some ovarian cancers to chemotherapy.

A robot that identifies doors from their handles
The intelligent robots that appear in the movies have little relation to real life, although the tendency in current robotics to create machines that are as independent as possible is a fact.

Newly identified RNA sequence is key in microRNA processing
Researchers have uncovered a mechanism that regulates the processing of microRNAs (miRNAs), molecules that regulate cell growth, development, and stress response.

SPF on your plate
Dr. Niva Shapira of Tel Aviv University has shown that a diet rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, like the diet eaten in Mediterranean regions where melanoma rates are extremely low, can help protect us from skin cancer.

Adding to the strain for Indian women: Abuse by in-laws during pregnancy
Physical abuse and maltreatment by in-laws is not uncommon among pregnant and postpartum women in India, and may be compromising maternal and child health, according to a new study led by a Boston University School of Public Health researcher.

Antagonistic people may increase heart attack, stroke risk
Antagonistic people have greater thickening of neck artery walls than agreeable people, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

JCI online early table of contents: Aug. 16, 2010
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Aug.

NASA satellites investigate: Tropical Depression 5 may rise again
NASA's infrared satellite imagery noticed some strong convection in the southern side of Tropical Depression 5's remnant circulation over the Gulf of Mexico.

Homecare after hip surgery in seniors increases survival rate
Patients who receive home care after hemiarthroplasty have a lower risk of death in the first three months after discharge from hospital.

Novel role: EZH2 boosts creation of ovarian cancer blood vessels
A protein associated with cancer progression when abundant inside of tumors also unexpectedly regulates the creation of new blood vessels that feed the tumor outside, a research team led by scientists at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center reports in the August edition of Cancer Cell.

Grant to study effects of oil and dispersants on Louisiana salt marsh ecosystem
As oil and dispersants wash ashore in coastal Louisiana salt marshes, what will their effects be on these sensitive ecosystems?

Amphetamine use increases risk of aortic tears in young adults, UT Southwestern researchers report
Young adults who abuse amphetamines may be at greater risk of suffering a tear in the main artery leading from the heart, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have found.

High definition diagnostic ultrasonics on the nanoscale
Scientists and Engineers at the University of Nottingham have built the world's smallest ultrasonic transducers capable of generating and detecting ultrasound.

Involuntary childlessness more detrimental than originally thought
Test-tube fertilization is the reason why more couples than previously now have the chance to become biological parents.

Digital helpers for the hearing impaired
Every fifth German is hearing impaired. In their private and in their work lives, they are restricted -- such as when making a telephone call.

Growing up without sibs doesn't hurt social skills
Growing up without siblings doesn't seem to be a disadvantage for teenagers when it comes to social skills, new research suggests.

Einstein designated an NIH Center of Excellence for aging research
Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University has been named one of the National Institutes of Health's Nathan Shock Centers of Excellence in the Basic Biology of Aging. 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