Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 07, 2010
Subseafloor observatories installed to run dynamic experiments
Marine geologists have returned from two months at sea off British Columbia, Canada, where they installed two observatories in the ocean floor to run innovative experiments at the bottom of the sea.

Research!America releases vaccines fact sheet
Research!America is highlighting the vital importance of vaccines with a new fact sheet in its Investment in Research Saves Lives and Money series.

Researchers identify gene set that shows which patients benefit from chemo after surgery
Lung cancer researchers have identified a genetic signature that can help doctors determine which patients with early stage non-small cell lung cancer are at high risk for developing disease recurrence and therefore may benefit from chemotherapy after surgery (

A better way to treat HIV-infected children?
A new study involving 195 infants in South Africa found that children who were treated with protease inhibitors (PI) and then switched to nevirapine were more likely to maintain virus below the detection threshold of the test than infants who continued to receive PI.

Sexual health: Computer-based approaches increase knowledge
Interactive computer packages are effective in improving knowledge about sexual health, according to a new study by Cochrane researchers.

K-State receives patent for noncontroversial source of stem cells
Kansas State University has been a issued a patent for a plentiful and noncontroversial source of stem cells from a substance in the umbilical cord.

Irrigation's cooling effects may mask warming in some regions -- for now
Expanded irrigation has made it possible to feed the world's growing billions -- and it may also temporarily be counteracting the effects of climate change in some regions, say scientists in a new study.

Nevirapine use may be beneficial for some HIV-infected children who have achieved viral suppression
HIV-infected children in South Africa who were exposed to the drug nevirapine at birth (used to help prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission) and then received a protease inhibitor (PI) for viral suppression achieved lower rates of viremia (virus in the blood stream) if they were switched to nevirapine, compared to children who continued on the PI-based regimen, according to a study in the Sept.

Pharmaceutical conservation key to slowing rise of antibiotic-resistant infections
The United States must focus on conserving the use of antibacterial drugs, or face a public health crisis from rapidly rising rates of antibiotic-resistant infections, according to an analysis out today.

Can we spot volcanoes on alien worlds? Astronomers say 'yes'
Now that astronomers are finding rocky worlds orbiting distant stars, they're asking the next logical questions: do any of those worlds have volcanoes?

What can a New Zealand reptile tell us about false teeth?
Using a moving 3-D computer model based on the skull and teeth of a New Zealand reptile called tuatara, a BBSRC-funded team from the University of Hull, University College London and the Hull York Medical School has revealed how damage to dental implants and jaw joints may be prevented by sophisticated interplay between our jaws, muscles and brain.

Dosing schedule of pneumococcal vaccine linked with increased risk of getting multiresistant strain
Infants who received heptavalent pneumococcal conjugate vaccination at 2, 4 and 11 months were more likely than unvaccinated controls to have nasopharyngeal (in the nasal passages and upper part of the throat behind the nose) acquisition of pneumococcal serotype 19A, a leading cause of respiratory pneumococcal disease, according to a study in the Sept.

Compared to recent flu strains, 2009 H1N1 infection had lower risk of most serious complications
An analysis of data from influenza cases in Wisconsin indicates individuals with 2009 H1N1 infections were younger than those with H3N2 (2007-2008), and that the risk of most serious complications was not higher in adults or children with 2009 H1N1 compared with recent seasonal strains, according to a study in the Sept.

New book examines war and society
University of Cincinnati sociologist Steve Carlton-Ford compiles a new handbook that's described as

Fetal exposure to radiation and the risk of childhood cancer: What is the likelihood of a risk?
A new study published in this week's PLoS Medicine aims to evaluate the possibility that exposure of a fetus to computed tomography or radionuclide imaging performed during pregnancy might increase subsequent risk of childhood cancer.

Radiologists identify and treat teenage self-injury
Using ultrasound and a minimally invasive procedure, radiologists can identify and treat patients who engage in a disturbing self-injury behavior known as self-embedding, according to a new study.

Is hand washing enough to stop the spread of disease?
Not drying your hands thoroughly after washing them could increase the spread of bacteria, and rubbing your hands whilst using a conventional electric hand dryer could be a contributing factor.

Carnegie Mellon receives funding to create new program studying environmental impact of nanotechnology
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon and Howard University receive $3.15 million from National Science Foundation for interdisciplinary programs to educate US Ph.D. scientists and engineers.

Characteristics of patient panels appear associated with quality ratings of primary care physicians
Patients panels (used to rate the quality of care of physicians) with greater proportions of underinsured, minority and non-English speaking patients were associated with lower physician quality rankings, according to a study in the Sept.

Smoking damages men's sperm and also the numbers of germ and somatic cells in developing embryos
Two new studies published in Human Reproduction journal have shed more light on how smoking may damage fertility, and give further weight to advice that mothers and fathers-to-be should stop smoking before attempting to conceive.

Higher education predicts better cardiovascular health outcomes in high-income countries
The incidence of heart disease, stroke and certain risk factors decreased as educational levels increased in high-income countries, but not in low-and middle-income countries.

A new role for insulin in cell survival, cell metabolism and stress response
Researchers at the Buck Institute for Age Research have discovered a novel way in which insulin affects cell metabolism and cell survival.

New lymphoma treatment shows promise in dogs
Researchers have identified a new target for the treatment of lymphoma and are testing a potential new drug in pet dogs afflicted with the disease.

Addressing negative thoughts most effective in fighting loneliness
Changing how a person perceives and thinks about others was the most effective intervention for loneliness, a sweeping analysis of previous research has determined.

Chronic drinking increases levels of stress hormones, leading to neurotoxicity
Alcohol consumption, withdrawal and abstinence can all raise stress hormones in humans and animals.

TCT 2010 late breaking trials to have impact on practice of interventional cardiology
Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics is the annual scientific symposium of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation.

Fungal threat to archived film
Microbes could be threatening our cultural heritage by degrading historic cinematographic film and even preventing some valuable footage to be archived at all.

NIH expands network focused on how genes affect drug responses
NIH plans to spend $161.3 million over the next five years to expand the nationwide Pharmacogenomics Research Network.

Study examines turbine effects on Yukon River fish
A University of Alaska, Fairbanks, fisheries scientist has teamed up with Alaska Power and Telephone to study how a new power-generating turbine affects fish in the Yukon River.

For migrant workers, community cooperation builds on individual strengths
Fostering community cooperation, building on skills and strengths, and getting strangers to work together -- these are fundamentals of community development.

Carbohydrate claims can mislead consumers
Food manufacturers advertise a variety of foods on grocery store shelves by using nutrient claims on the front of packaging.

Having a male co-twin improves mental rotation performance in females
Having a sibling, especially a twin, impacts your life. Your twin may be your best friend or your biggest rival, but throughout life you influence each other.

These dendritic cells are fishy, but that's a good thing
Scientists from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified dendritic antigen-presenting cells in zebrafish, opening the possibility that the tiny fish could become a new model for studying the complexities of the human immune system.

Antibiotics: Longer treatment times that benefit children may cost society
The likelihood that the treatment of a middle ear infection will fail is slightly higher for a child who is given a shorter course of antibiotics, according to a new Cochrane Systematic Review.

Short sleepers at higher risk of diabetes and heart disease
People who sleep less than six hours a night may be three times more likely to develop a condition which leads to diabetes and heart disease, according to researchers at the University of Warwick.

Research on team loyalty yields new insight into 'die-hard' fandom
There's a reason why some sports fans are referred to as

2010 Balzan Prize winners announced in Milan
One million Swiss Francs (approx Eur. 760,000, $980,000, £638,000) were awarded for each of the four subjects.

Quality measurement programs could shortchange physicians caring for at-risk patients
Evaluating the quality of care delivered by individual physicians without accounting for such factors as their patients' socioeconomic status or insurance coverage risks undervaluing the work of those caring for a higher proportion of vulnerable patients.

Termites foretell climate change in Africa's savannas
Using sophisticated airborne imaging and structural analysis, scientists at the Carnegie Institution's department of global ecology mapped more than 40,000 termite mounds over 192 square miles in the African savanna.

Penn receives $12 million NIH grant to research personalized approach to smoking cessation
A major new personalized medicine clinical trial, led by addiction researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, will study how a smokers' genetic make-up influences their quitting success.

Researchers at UC Riverside find solution to cell death problem vexing stem cell research
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside, have found that a chemically synthesized compound, blebbistatin, can help prevent cell death in human pluripotent stem cells.

Personality predicts cheating more than academic struggles, study shows
Students who cheat in high school and college are highly likely to fit the profile for subclinical psychopathy -- a personality disorder defined by erratic lifestyle, manipulation, callousness and antisocial tendencies, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

NIH to launch Gulf oil spill health study
The National Institutes of Health will launch a multi-year study this fall to look at the potential health effects from the oil spill in the Gulf region.

Acamprosate prevents relapse to drinking in alcoholism
Acamprosate reduces the number of patients being treated for alcoholism who return to drinking, according to a new Cochrane Systematic Review.

The rare aging disease, Progeria, linked to aging in the general population
On Aug. 26, 2010, Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology electronically published, ahead of print, the results of a study comparing Progeria and typical cardiovascular aging titled

Researchers will test suicide prevention program in high schools
With students returning to classes, University of Rochester Medical Center researchers are beginning a large, long-term study of the effectiveness of a unique suicide prevention program in high schools across New York and North Dakota.

Indianapolis to host international conference on frontotemporal dementias
Dementia researchers and caregivers from across the globe will meet in Indianapolis, Oct.

A more robust, reliable Internet
A computer scientist at Washington University in St. Louis is part of a collaborative team that is one of four project teams chosen by the National Science Foundation to pursue ways to build a more robust, secure and reliable Internet.

Universe chaotic from very beginning
Seven years ago a Northwestern University physicist conjectured that the expansion of the universe at the time of the big bang was highly chaotic.

Excessive drinking may lead to poor brain health via obesity
Alcohol abuse and dependence are often associated with a high body mass index (BMI).

New method for infrared remote sensing to analyze traffic pollution
Scientists at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid are testing infrared remote sensing technology to evaluate the pollutant emissions associated with motor vehicle traffic which allows for analysis of all the gases of environmental interest with one sole instrument in a sole measurement.

ISCD-IOF FRAX Initiative -- interpretation and use of FRAX in clinical practice
ISCD and IOF invite all health professionals with an interest in the WHO Fracture Risk Assessment Tool and its development to attend the ISCD-IOF FRAX Initiative -- Interpretation and Use of FRAX in Clinical Practice to be held from Nov.

Unusual feed supplement could ease greenhouse gassy cows
Cow belches, a major source of greenhouse gases, could be decreased by an unusual feed supplement developed by a Penn State dairy scientist.

Winners of plant-biology video contest announced -- new competition begins at Penn State University
Winners of an international competition organized at Penn State University for new plant-biology videos on YouTube are being announced today.

A new center is attracting researchers worldwide
DNA researcher professor Eske Willerslev and his team open their new Centre for Geogenetics, the first of its kind anywhere in the world.

Many textile and apparel firms misrepresent identity, suffer financially, MU study finds
Jung Ha-Brookshire, an assistant professor in the textile and apparel management department in the College of Human Environmental Sciences at the University of Missouri, found that a majority of textile and apparel businesses misrepresent their identities.

Wrist splints in children as effective as casts
In children with wrist fractures, a splint is as effective as a cast and provides greater comfort and easier hygiene, found a study published in CMAJ.

Virginia Tech researchers contribute to turkey genome sequencing
More than 90 percent of the domesticated turkey genome has been sequenced and assembled.

UCSF receives $15 million to advance personalized medicine
UCSF scientists will receive two grants totaling $15.1 million over the next five years to expand their research into how genes affect an individual's response to medication and to strengthen a global network of researchers involved in these efforts.

CIMAS, NOAA research conduct innovative investigations to study Hurricane Earl
As Hurricane Earl threatened the east coast of the US, hurricane scientists from NOAA Research's Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory and colleagues from the University of Miami's Cooperative Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Studies conducted 18 hurricane hunter research flights, including the first ever flight by the unmanned NASA Global Hawk over a hurricane.

$9.1 million grant to improve drug therapy using gene profiles
The National Institute of General Medical Sciences has awarded a $9.1 million, five-year grant to The Ohio State University to study

People can overcome their addictions, but not quickly, UCLA psychologist says
Addicts can be treated successfully -- but not quickly or easily, says UCLA's Adi Jaffe, an expert who writes popular

International Year of Astronomy 2009 reached hundreds of millions of people: Final report released
A 1,300-page final report for the International Year of Astronomy 2009 was released today at the European Week of Astronomy and Space Science in Lisbon, Portugal.

NIH expands key pharmacogenomics resource
NIH is spending $15 million over five years to expand a key resource, the Pharmacogenomics Knowledge Base.

Unrelated kidney donor study shows age and obesity increase complications
Patients who have received a new kidney are significantly more likely to develop transplant renal artery stenosis (TRAS) -- the most common post-transplant vascular complication -- if they are obese or over 50.

GOCE gravity mission back in action
ESA's GOCE gravity mission has recovered from a glitch that prevented the satellite from sending its flow of scientific data to the ground.

UC San Diego to lead personalized medicine project on mood-stabilizer
An international team, led by University of California, San Diego School of Medicine researchers, has been awarded a $6.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the pharmacogenomics of a key mood-stabilizing drug used to treat bipolar disorder.

Plant nutrients from wastewater
Nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium -- there are valuable nutrients contained in wastewater.

Premier issue of new Childhood Obesity journal launched by Mary Ann Liebert Inc., publishers
Publisher Mary Ann Liebert announced the launch of Childhood Obesity providing physicians, nurses, dietitians, diabetes educators, nutritionists, psychologists, educators and school nurses, community organizers and policymakers with effective prevention and treatment strategies that promote environmental and policy changes, patient education and motivation tools, and clinical advances in the field.

First Irish genome sequenced
The first entire genome of an Irish individual has been sequenced.

The reindeer and the mammoth already lived on the Iberian Peninsula 150,000 years ago
A team made up of members of the University of Oviedo and the Complutense University of Madrid have gathered together all findings of the woolly mammoth, the woolly rhinoceros and the reindeer in the Iberian Peninsula to show that, although in small numbers, these big mammals, prehistoric indicators of cold climates, already lived in this territory some 150,000 years ago.

Ritalin improves brain function, task performance in cocaine abusers
A brain-scanning study reveals that an oral dose of methylphenidate, commonly known as Ritalin, improves impaired brain function and enhances cognitive performance in people who are addicted to cocaine.

Casing the joint
Current research provides a novel model for rheumatoid arthritis research.

Many hospital emergency department visits could be treated elsewhere, study finds
Evidence shows that more people are seeking routine care from hospital emergency departments, a trend that may grow under health care reform.

Iowa State study finds corn bred to contain beta-carotene is a good source of vitamin A
A new Iowa State University study has found that corn bred to contain increased levels of beta-carotene is a good source of vitamin A.

An important genetic cardiovascular risk factor explained
New findings reported in the September issue of Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication, appear to explain why people who carry specific and common versions of a single gene are more likely to have high cholesterol and to suffer a heart attack.

Harmful amyloid interferes with trash pickup for cells in Alzheimer's disease
Scientists have identified a way that amyloid beta, the protein that accumulates in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease, interferes with the ability of cells to get rid of debris and have also identified a way that amyloid itself may be discarded, a new study has found.

Microbial breakthrough impacts health, agriculture, biofuels
For the first time ever, University of Illinois researchers have discovered how microbes break down hemicellulose plant matter into simple sugars using a cow rumen bacterium as a model.

Fox Chase researchers uncover activation signal for Aurora-A oncogene
Aurora-A kinase (AurA) is an enzyme that is hyperactive in many cancers and drives tumor cell proliferation.

A missing link from obesity to infertility found
Obesity and infertility frequently go hand in hand. Now, researchers reporting on studies of mice in the September issue of Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication, might have figured out why that is, and the results come as something of a surprise.

Decision-making deficits related to driving under the influence are often undetected
Driving under the influence of alcohol is a major public health problem.

St. Jude researcher receives grant to focus on cancer pharmacogenomics in children
With its new expansion of the Pharmacogenomics Research Network, the National Institutes of Healthawarded St.

NIH study shows how insulin stimulates fat cells to take in glucose
Using high-resolution microscopy, researchers at the National Institutes of Health have shown how insulin prompts fat cells to take in glucose in a rat model.

Restoring coastal wetlands? Check the soil
Researchers use soil moisture and salinity of porewater combined with other data to develop tools for restoring coastal wetlands.

NASA saw strong T-storms in quick-forming Hermine's center, warm water to power it
Tropical Storm Hermine formed very quickly yesterday in the very warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico, and northeastern Mexico and southeastern Texas are now bearing the brunt of the storm.

NIH ramps up Human Microbiome Project
The National Institutes of Health today announced it has awarded approximately $42 million to expand the scope of eight demonstration projects designed to link changes in the human microbiome to health and disease.

Bariatric operations reduce odds of gestational diabetes, cesarean section
Obese women who have bariatric surgical procedures before pregnancy were three times less likely to develop gestational diabetes than women who have bariatric operations after delivery, according to new research findings published in the August issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

Study: Teasing about weight can affect pre-teens profoundly
Schoolyard taunts of any type can potentially damage a child's sense of self-confidence.

Sequencing the turkey genome
An international consortium of researchers has completed the majority of the genome sequence of the domesticated turkey, publishing it in the online open-access journal PLoS Biology next week.

Potomac River: 10-fold increase in native submerged vegetation reflects improved water quality
The Potomac River is showing multiple benefits from restoration efforts.

New robotic head and neck cancer surgery preserves speech, without scarring
An incisionless robotic surgical procedure is offering patients a new option to remove certain head and neck cancer tumors without visible scarring, while preserving speech and the ability to eat.

UN, partners urge new approach to reef protection
Reef areas that support the well-being of over half the world's population are compromised by management practices that fail to recognize ecosystem interconnections, according to renowned experts who today published a practical guide for improving marine protection around the world.

Regular statin use is associated with a reduced risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis
There is an association between taking statins (lipid lowering drugs), and reduced risk of developing the chronic inflammatory disease, rheumatoid arthritis.

ASA, CSSA and SSSA present scholarships and fellowships
The scholarships and fellowships will be presented at the 2010 annual meetings.

Mapping a brain atlas
Uncovering the secrets of the brain requires an intense network of collaborative research.

Johns Hopkins researchers unravel clues to infertility among obese women
Obese women have a well-known risk for infertility, but a new Johns Hopkins Children's Center study has unraveled what investigators there believe is the mechanism that accounts for the risk.

In-depth investigation on the capacity of 4-HPR to induce death of tumor cells
Biologist Aintzane Apraiz studied the 4-HPR in depth, focusing on the causes that, according to previous research, give rise to this ability to induce cell death.

Experts recommend universal screening of newborns for congenital adrenal hyperplasia
Today, the Endocrine Society released a new clinical practice guideline on the diagnosis and treatment of congenital adrenal hyperplasia.

Morning sickness: Still no relief
There are currently no reliably safe and effective treatments for morning sickness, according to Cochrane researchers who conducted a systematic review of the available evidence.

After resection, common treatment of pancreatic cancer as effective as chemotherapy drug dose
Use of gemcitabine, a drug that can be effective in treating advanced and resected pancreatic cancer, did not result in improved overall survival after pancreatic cancer resection (surgical removal) compared to patients who received fluorouracil and folinic acid, another treatment regimen that has shown effectiveness, according to a study in the Sept.

Ghostwritten articles overstate benefits of hormone replacement therapy and downplay harms
The first academic analysis of the 1500 documents unsealed in recent litigation against the pharmaceutical giant Wyeth (now part of Pfizer) reveals unprecedented insights into how pharmaceutical companies use ghostwriters to insert marketing messages into articles published in medical journals.

Study finds more Americans bypassing their personal physician when immediate treatment required
Only 45 percent of the 354 million annual visits for acute care in the United States are made to patients' personal physicians, as Americans increasingly make busy emergency departments, specialists or outpatient care departments their first point of contact for treatment of new health problems or a flare up of a chronic condition like asthma or diabetes.

Mount Sinai researchers find new target to improve pain management
Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine have discovered a major mechanism underlying the development of tolerance to chronic morphine treatment.

Sutherland and Berglass to keynote USU-HJF Military Medicine Symposium
Three prominent speakers have been added to the slate of experts -- which includes military medical leaders -- for the USU-HJF Military Medicine Symposium: Advancing Public-Private Partnerships, on Sept.

The digital film reel
Movies are becoming more and more digital -- from the shooting to the cut to the showing.

Researchers at Children's Hospital Los Angeles find diet-induced obesity accelerates leukemia
The first study to demonstrate that obesity can directly accelerate the progression of acute lymphoblastic leukemia has been conducted at the Saban Research Institute of Childrens Hospital Los Angeles and will be published in Cancer Prevention Research, on Oct.

Scientists develop device to enable improved global data transmission
Researchers have developed a new data transmission system that could substantially improve the transmission capacity and energy efficiency of the world's optical communication networks.

Low-income neighborhoods experience far more injuries than high-income areas
Penetrating injury rates were more than 20 times higher for persons living in the lowest income neighborhoods compared with those living in the highest income neighborhoods, according to a new study published in the August issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

Computer-based video analysis boosts data gathering in behavioral studies
Thomas Serre, assistant professor of cognitive, linguistic and psychological sciences at Brown, and colleagues at MIT and Caltech have developed a computer-based system that can learn how to identify behaviors of interest and then analyze many hours of video.

No need to worrry about deflation -- yet, U. of I. economist says
Although the consumer price index is near zero, J. Fred Giertz says we're unlikely to see a prolonged deflationary period like the slump Japan experienced during its

Bipolar disorder does not increase risk of violent crime
A new study from Sweden's Karolinska Institutet suggests that bipolar disorder -- or manic-depressive disorder -- does not increase the risk of committing violent crime.

Choice of career is a major risk factor for persistent neurodermatitis
Neurodermatitis is characterized by abnormal skin irritability. Researchers from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich have shown that occupational exposure to sensitizing agents like flour influences the risk for persistent neurodermatitis.

Young, male, testosterone-fueled CEOs more likely to start or drop deals: UBC study
Too much testosterone can be a deal breaker, according to Sauder School of Business researchers at the University of British Columbia.

Multivitamin use doesn't impact colon cancer outcomes
Patients with colon cancer who used multivitamins during and after being treated with post-surgical chemotherapy did not reduce the risk of the cancer returning or their dying from it, according to researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. 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