Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 13, 2010
European partnership funds research toward robot aides for the elderly
A partnership among 20 European states, the European Union and a number of private enterprises has launched a three-year, 3.87 million euro project to make robots capable of serving as adaptable, interactive, and safe assistants for elderly people.

Dyfan is Chemical Engineering Student of the Year
Dyfan Williams, a recent graduate of the School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science, has won the prestigious AWE award.

Wildflower 'armors' itself against disease
An unusual wildflower that accumulates metals in its leaves has been found to use them as a kind of

'Hi-JAK-ing' cancer by inhibiting Jak2
Myeloproliferative neoplasms are a family of blood cancers that if left untreated can progress to bone marrow failure and acute myeloid leukemia.

Scientists glimpse dance of skeletons inside neurons
Scientists have uncovered how a structural component inside neurons performs two coordinated dance moves when the connections between neurons are strengthened.

Pilot study demonstrates safety of diabetes medication for patients with Alzheimer's disease
A pilot study suggests the diabetes medication pioglitazone is generally well tolerated and may warrant further study as a treatment for patients with Alzheimer's disease, according to a report posted online today that will appear in the January 2011 print issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

New pathway identified in Parkinson's through brain imaging
A new study led by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center has identified a novel molecular pathway underlying Parkinson's disease and points to existing drugs which may be able to slow progression of the disease.

Centralized health care more cost-effective, offers better access to preventive services
Families from rural Mexico who receive benefits from centralized and government-run clinics pay up to 30 percent less out-of-pocket expenses for health care and use preventive care more often than those who access decentralized and government-run clinics according to a study by UCLA School of Public Health faculty published in the September issue of the Journal Social Science & Medicine and currently available online.

Exosomal release of beta-catenin may explain why CD82 and CD9 suppress tumor metastasis
Researchers reveal a new way in which cells restrain beta-catenin and potentially suppress tumor metastasis: the protein can be ejected from cells in small vesicles called exosomes.

Public handwashing takes a hike
In the latest observational study sponsored by the American Society for Microbiology and the American Cleaning Institute (formerly the Soap and Detergent Association), 85 percent of adults washed their hands in public restrooms, compared with 77 percent in 2007.

Measures to prevent the loss of foreign investment in Spain
Researchers at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid assert that certain recent decisions made by the administration which affect the taxation system of Spanish holding companies are producing legal uncertainty which could lead to loss of foreign investment in Spain.

New study: Serious gaps in medical journals' disclosure of physician relationships with industry
Nearly half the surgeons who made at least $1 million in payments from orthopedic device companies did not have that relationship published in their scientific articles, according to a study released today in the online edition of the Archives of Internal Medicine.

New insights provide promise for development of tools to protect damaged tissues
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital investigators have identified a novel structure in cells that serves as a control switch in the body's system for eliminating damaged cells and also offers new therapeutic potential.

Early prostate cancer detection, screening: No benefit for men with low baseline PSA value
Men aged 55-74 years who have low baseline blood levels of prostate specific antigen (PSA) are not likely to benefit from further screening and treatment.

White Americans living longer with muscular dystrophy than African-Americans
A new study shows that white men and boys are living longer with muscular dystrophy due to technological advances in recent years, but that the lives of African-American men and boys with muscular dystrophy have not been extended at the same rate.

Childhood cancer survivors show sustained benefit from common ADHD medication
A medicine widely used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) also provides long-term relief from the attention and behavior changes that affect many childhood cancer survivors, according to a multicenter trial led by St.

St. John Hospital enrolls first patient in US in trial of peripheral artery disease device
St. John Hospital and Medical Center in Detroit and Avinger Inc., a medical device company focused on the development of innovative devices to combat peripheral artery disease, announced today the enrollment of the first patient in the CONNECT (Chronic TOtal OcclusioN CrossiNg with thE WildCat CatheTer) clinical trial.

Liquid nitrogen most effective at removing warts
Cryotherapy with liquid nitrogen is the most effective method to remove common warts, found a study published in CMAJ.

Antibiotic appears safe for stroke patients and good companion for tPA
An antibiotic appears to be a safe treatment for stroke and a good companion therapy for tPA, the clot buster that is currently the only FDA-approved drug therapy, researchers report.

Lung cancer culprit could offer target for therapy, UT Southwestern researchers report
A tiny molecule that spurs the progression of non-small cell lung cancer could become a player in fighting the disease, say researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center, who published a study on how the molecule behaves in mice in the Sept.

Smokeless tobacco products not a safe option, won't help smokers quit
The American Heart Association advises against smokeless tobacco products for smoking cessation -- they are not a

Available physician characteristics may not help patients find high-quality care
Publicly available information about board certification, education and malpractice claims appear to provide consumers with little information about the quality of care individual physicians provide, according to a report in the Sept.

JCI online early table of contents: Sept. 13, 2010
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Sept.

Action video game play improves decision-making skills
People who play action video games are known for their fast reaction times compared to those who don't play the games.

Signaling hope for polycystic kidney disease
Autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) is a common genetic disease that results in chronic kidney failure.

Farm management choice can benefit fungi key to healthy ecosystems
Farming practices have a significant impact on the diversity of beneficial microbial fungi known to play important roles in crop productivity, soil recovery and maintenance of healthy ecosystems, according to new research published today in the journal Environmental Microbiology.

Biofuel from inedible plant material easier to produce following enzyme discovery
Researchers funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council have discovered key plant enzymes that normally make the energy stored in wood, straw and other non-edible parts of plants difficult to extract.

USGI medical tissue anchors show durability beyond 1 year
USGI Medical Tissue Anchors show durability for over a year, overcoming a major barrier to incisionless, natural orifice surgeries.

Discrimination hurts, but how much?
UCLA researchers have found that adolescents from Latin American and Asian backgrounds experienced more discrimination than their peers from European backgrounds.

Global standards for informatics professionals summed up in new B2P online publication
A new online publication, targeted to health professionals working in the global informatics community, has been launched by AMIA, the professional association for informatics professionals.

Nature's gift for gardening may hold key to biodiversity
Gardeners are used to cross-breeding flowers to produce pretty petals or sweet scents -- now scientists have shown the importance of nature's talent for producing new types of flowers.

Can the kids be all right if they are gay too?
New research on the children of LGBTQ people (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer) has unequivocally revealed that they are not only psychologically healthy, but often appear to exhibit better social and academic adjustment and a significantly lower incidence of social problems than their peers.

Children and adults see the world differently
Unlike adults, children are able to keep information from their senses separate and may therefore perceive the visual world differently, according to research published today.

Video games lead to faster decisions that are no less accurate
Cognitive scientists from the University of Rochester have discovered that playing action video games trains people to make the right decisions faster.

National study finds 70 percent increase in basketball-related traumatic brain injuries
A new study conducted by researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital examined basketball-related injuries treated in emergency departments among children and adolescents between the ages of 5 and 19 from 1997 to 2007.

Antiviral therapy associated with fewer recurring eye problems from herpes simplex virus
Taking oral antiviral medications following infection with the herpes simplex virus may be associated with a reduced risk of recurring eye-related manifestations of the disease, according to a report in the September issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Asthma medication may benefit patients with multiple sclerosis
Adding albuterol, a compound commonly used to treat asthma and other respiratory diseases, to an existing treatment for patients with multiple sclerosis appears to improve clinical outcomes, according to a report in the September issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Leading brain scientists meet in Milwaukee to examine how to uncover the brain's secrets
Top brain researchers from around the world will be in Milwaukee, Sept.

French national research agency funds PREDIMOL project
Materials Design was named one of two industrial partners in the PREDIMOL Project.

Selective inhibition of BMK1 suppresses tumor growth
A study describing a newly developed pharmacological inhibitor is providing detailed insight into how an enzyme that has been implicated in multiple human malignancies regulates a known tumor suppressor.

First-of-its-kind study shows supervised injection facilities can help people quit drugs
A study led by researchers at the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS at St.

University of Houston researcher receives National Award of Excellence in Research
The National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse awarded the National Award of Excellence in Research by a New Investigator to Alice Cepeda, sociology professor and associate director of the Center for Drug and Social Policy Research, Graduate College of Social Work, University of Houston.

NHGRI funds development of third generation DNA sequencing technologies
More than $18 million in grants to spur the development of a third generation of DNA sequencing technologies was announced today by the National Human Genome Research Institute.

Information patients use to pick physicians not always good predictor of quality, study finds
When looking for a new physician, patients are often encouraged to select those who are board certified or who have not made payments on malpractice claims.

Therapeutic Hypothermia journal launching in spring 2011
Therapeutic Hypothermia and Temperature Management, a new quarterly peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert Inc., publishers, covers all aspects of hypothermia and temperature considerations relevant to this exciting field, including its application in cardiac arrest, spinal cord and traumatic brain injury, stroke, myocardial ischemia, neurogenic fever, emergency medicine, ICU management, anesthesiology, pediatrics and much more.

Your body recycling itself -- captured on film
Proteins are made up of a chain of amino acids, and scientists have known since the 1980s that first one in the chain determines the lifetime of a protein.

Energy Express focus issue: Thin-film photovoltaic materials and devices
Developing renewable energy sources has never been more important, and solar photovoltaic technologies show great potential in this field.

Male maturity shaped by early nutrition
A new Northwestern University study makes a strong case for nurture's role in male to female differences -- suggesting that rapid weight gain in the first six months of life predicts earlier puberty for boys.

UC Davis scientists find link between arthritis pain reliever and cardiovascular events
A research team from the University of California, Davis, and Peking University, China, has discovered a novel mechanism as to why the long-term, high-dosage use of the well-known arthritis pain medication, Vioxx, led to heart attacks and strokes.

SPADnet, a new concept for biomedical imaging, gets funded
SPADnet aims to develop a new generation of smart, CMOS-based image sensors for biomedical applications.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Julia born with strong thunderstorms and heavy rainfall
Tropical Depression 12 was born in the far eastern Atlantic Ocean yesterday, Sept.

Igor now a Category 4 hurricane with icy cloud tops and heavy rainfall
NASA Satellites have noticed two distinct features in Igor that both indicate how powerful he has become, icy cold, high cloud tops and very heavy rainfall.

The Society for Nutrition Education honors nutrition educators
The Society for Nutrition Education honored several members for their work in nutrition education during the 2010 Annual Conference in Reno, Nevada, July 24-27, 2010.

New artificial skin could make prosthetic limbs and robots more sensitive
Stanford researchers have developed an ultrasensitive, highly flexible, electronic sensor that can feel a touch as light as an alighting fly.

Elsevier launches Geofacets
Elsevier, the world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, today announced the launch of Geofacets, a search and discovery tool which delivers relevant content from Elsevier's market-leading earth sciences journals.

Early surgery after hip fractures reduces death
Performing early surgery on elderly hip fracture patients reduces the risk of death by 19 percent, found a study published in CMAJ.

Repeated antibiotic use alters gut's composition of beneficial microbes, Stanford study shows
Repeated use of an antibiotic that is considered generally benign, because users seldom incur obvious side effects, induces cumulative and persistent changes in the composition of the beneficial microbial species inhabiting the human gut, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have found.

OHSU researchers able to determine brain maturity through analyzing MRI scans
Using MRI technology and mathematical analysis, researchers at Oregon Health & Science University and Washington University in St.

If the water looks and smells bad, it may be toxic
Earthy or musty odors, along with visual evidence of blue-green algae, also known as cyanobacteria, may serve as a warning that harmful cyanotoxins are present in lakes or reservoirs.

Targeted agent shows promise for chronic lymphoid leukemia
New research may have identified an experimental agent that targets chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and perhaps other proliferative disorders of lymphocytes.

Counterfeiting detection and prevention to be featured at IEEE Homeland Security Conference
Counterfeiting is an emerging national security issue for military and homeland security officials, as well as the commercial industrial base.

China aggressively trading and investing in Africa
Tunis, African trade with China is growing while its imports and exports with other major global markets are either flat or on the decline, according to a new report from the African Development Bank.

Making cookies that are good for your heart
Years of research has proven that saturated and trans fats clog arteries, make it tough for the heart to pump and are not valuable components of any diet.

International Fertility Societies call for harmonization of cross-border reproductive care standards
Both international organizations support the rights of patients to travel to receive the best treatment.

NYU Langone scientists find key pathway implicated in progression of childhood cancer
According to a new study a protein crucial for the immune response appears to be a key player in the progression of a devastating form of childhood leukemia called T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

How football playing robots have the future of artificial intelligence at their feet
The new Premier League season is underway and in Madrid the World Cup celebrations are barely over, yet according to research in WIREs Cognitive Science the world's best players may soon be facing a new challenge from football playing robots, which their creators claim will be able to play and beat a human team.

Protein-based biomarkers in blood serum could classify individuals with Alzheimer's disease
An initial analysis suggests that biomarkers in blood serum can be combined with clinical information to accurately classify patients with Alzheimer's disease, according to a report in the September issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Brain stimulation can help partially paralyzed stroke patients regain use of their muscles
Stroke patients who were left partially paralyzed showed significant improvements in motor function when they received simple, but noninvasive, magnetic brain stimulation.

End-of-life discussions need skilled and sensitive approach
Health care professionals need sensitivity when delivering the news of a patient's imminent death, states an editorial in CMAJ.

WSU researchers discover key mechanism behind sleep
Washington State University researchers have discovered the mechanism by which the brain switches from a wakeful to a sleeping state.

Latent HIV infection focus of NIDA's 2010 Avant-Garde Award
The National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health, announced today that Dr.

September/October 2010 Annals of Family Medicine tip sheet
The tip sheet includes synopses of original research articles published in the September/October 2010 issue of Annals of Family Medicine.

CU-Boulder study sheds light on how our brains get tripped up when we're anxious
A new University of Colorado at Boulder study sheds light on the brain mechanisms that allow us to make choices and ultimately could be helpful in improving treatments for the millions of people who suffer from the effects of anxiety disorders.

Enlarged hearts in women shrink faster than those in men after aortic valve replacement
After aortic valve replacement, the size of enlarged hearts shrink faster in women than in men with narrowed aortic valves (aortic stenosis).

Blacks with muscular dystrophy die 10-12 years younger than whites: New study
African-Americans with muscular dystrophy die 10-12 years younger than their white counterparts, according to a new research article in Neurology.

NASA's Hubble harvests distant solar system objects
Beyond the orbit of Neptune reside countless icy rocks known as trans-Neptunian objects (TNOs).

Few white voters upset about Obama victory despite lingering racism
Racism may be less of a factor in politics than other realms of life, according to a new University of Florida study, which found few white voters in Florida to be upset by the presidential candidacy of a black man, and many to be proud of it.

American Chemical Society hosts briefing on pharmaceuticals in water on Sept. 14
The American Chemical Society Science & the Congress Project invites news media to attend a luncheon briefing on

Obama administration responds to call to action from Concordia researchers
Sept. 21, 2010 marks the one year anniversary of the release of a landmark document produced by researchers at Concordia University.

AstraZeneca and UCL to collaborate to develop regenerative medicines for diabetic retinopathy
AstraZeneca and UCL (University College London) today announced that they have entered into a collaboration to develop regenerative medicines for diabetic retinopathy.

Texas A&M researcher returns to Deepwater Horizon site
John Kessler, a Texas A&M University oceanographer who reported in June elevated levels of methane from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, returned to the area aboard the NOAA ship Pisces Sept.

Wives as the new breadwinners
A new article in Family Relations suggests wives who are not working may seek work as a substitute for husband's labor if he becomes unemployed.

Focus on photonics
Arizona State University will combine expertise in electrical and materials engineering, bioengineering and physics in a new center to pursue discoveries and broaden education in the expanding field of photonics.

New insight into 'accelerated aging' disease
Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome (HGPS or progeria) is a rare genetic disease that causes young children to develop symptoms associated with advanced age, such as baldness, wrinkles, osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.

American Chemical Society webinar focuses on diversity in business
News media and others interested in the chemical sciences are invited to join the next in a series of American Chemical Society webinars focusing on diversity in business.

A new target in polycystic kidney disease
In work suggesting a new approach to treating polycystic kidney disease, a leading cause of kidney failure, researchers at Children's Hospital Boston were able to block the formation of fluid-filled cysts, the hallmark of the disease, in a mouse model.

Breakthrough in drug trial offers hope for heart attack patients
New findings from a major drug trial have brought experts a step closer to developing a drug which could prevent thousands of British deaths from heart attacks.

New study reconciles conflicting data on mental aging
A new look at tests of mental aging reveals a good news-bad news situation.

Manatee subspecies genetically confirmed, but diversity challenge looms
The first genetic study to compare nuclear DNA of endangered Antillean manatees in Belize with Florida manatees confirmed their designation as separate subspecies.

Would a molecular horse trot, pace or glide across a surface?
To determine how a quadrupedal molecular machine would move across a flat metal surface, chemists at the University of California, Riverside, studied a class of molecular machines that

Diet/exercise intervention for patients at risk for heart disease improves quality of life
A lifestyle intervention incorporating exercise training and diet counseling in primary health care settings appears to improve quality of life among adults at moderate to high risk for heart disease and appears cost-effective compared to standard care, according to a report in the Sept.

Louisiana Tech forestry professor helps to shape future of global industry research
Dr. Bogdan Strimbu, assistant professor of biometrics and quantitative silviculture at Louisiana Tech University's School of Forestry, recently organized and conducted a technical session at the International Union of Forest Research Organization's XXIII World Congress in Seoul, South Korea.

Welsh scientists 'clone' human virus
A team of Welsh scientists have successfully cloned a human virus offering new hope for the treatment of potentially life-threatening diseases.

Avoiding an asteroid collision
Researchers at Tel Aviv University, in collaboration with an international group of scientists, have proven the existence of theoretical

New metabolic markers may predict preeclampsia in early pregnancy
Researchers identified 14 new markers that could identify in early pregnancy who may be at risk of developing preeclampsia in later pregnancy. 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