Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 14, 2010
Depressed medical students more likely to associate stigma with depression
Medical students with moderate to severe depression more frequently endorsed several depression stigma attitudes than nondepressed students and had a higher rate of suicidal thoughts, according to a study in the Sept.

Present imperfect: Doctors in training work even when ill
Three out of five residents surveyed came to work while sick, possibly exposing their patients and colleagues to suboptimal performance and communicable disease.

Legal analysis: The health insurance mandate is constitutional
The most politically charged feature of the health reform law is the mandate that legal residents have health insurance.

Interdisciplinary research looks at Charlotte's green mystery
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte have been awarded $300,000 by NSF's Urban Long-Term Research Areas Exploratory Research Projects (ULTRA-EX) competition -- one of 17 national awards given for pilot urban research projects.

Structured re-analysis of case findings may help improve diagnostic accuracy
Silvia Mamede, M.D., Ph.D., of Erasmus University Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and colleagues investigated whether recent experience with clinical problems provokes availability bias (overestimation of the likelihood of a diagnosis based on the ease with which it comes to mind) resulting in diagnostic errors and whether reflection (structured reanalysis of the case findings) counteracts this bias.

Mount Sinai researchers find mechanism behind cleft palate development
Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine have found a new mechanism that explains why a certain gene mutation causes craniofrontonasal syndrome, a disorder that causes cleft palate and other malformations in the face, brain and skeleton.

VCU study: Team uncovers possible risk gene for schizophrenia
An international team of researchers has identified a risk gene for schizophrenia, including a potentially causative mutation, using genome-wide association data-mining techniques and independent replications.

No support for routine prostate screening, but one-off test at 60 may be beneficial
Existing evidence from randomized controlled trials does not support routine population screening for prostate cancer, concludes a study published on today.

Making bees less busy: Social environment changes internal clocks
Honey bees removed from their usual roles in the hive quickly and drastically changed their biological rhythms, according to a study in the Sept.

J. Robert Selman to be awarded Grove Medal in recognition of a lifetime of work on fuel cells
Elsevier, a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, announced that J.

Neuroimaging identifies patients with sleep disorder at high risk of degenerative brain diseases
Neuroimaging can predict which patients with rapid-eye-movement sleep behavior disorder are at the greatest risk of developing neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson's disease and dementia by identifying disease abnormalities before noticeable symptoms appear, according to an article published online first and in the October edition of the Lancet Neurology.

The 'urban advantage' in health care is more complex than it seems
Amos Channon from the University of Southampton, United Kingdom, and colleagues outline the complexities of urban advantage in maternal health where the urban poor often have worse access to health care than women in rural areas.

Researchers find selfishness can sometimes help the common good
Scientists have overturned the conventional wisdom that cooperation is essential for the well-being of the whole population, finding evidence that slackers can sometimes help the common good.

Informatics = essential M.D. competency
Although information underlies all clinical work and despite the growing role that information management and access play in health-care delivery and clinical support, there is a dearth of informatics competency being developed in America's future corps of physicians.

Educational intervention may help medical students adapt care for patients needing nonstandard care
Fourth-year medical students who participated in an educational intervention were more likely to seek, identify and incorporate into care patient circumstances that may require variation from standard care, compared to students in a control group, according to a study in the Sept.

Report shows federal poverty guidelines leave state's seniors destitute
A new study by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research using the 2009 Elder Economic Security Standard Index (Elder Index) shows that the high cost of living in California necessitates that low-income seniors need twice the

New American Chemical Society podcast: Big building blocks from nanoparticles
A new genre of construction materials, made from stuff barely 1/50,000th the width of a human hair, is about to play a big role in the building of homes, offices, bridges and other structures, according to the latest episode in the American Chemical Society's award-winning podcast series,

Neuroimaging identifies patients with REM sleep disturbances who will suffer Parkinson's disease
In 2006, and after five years of follow-up, the Multidisciplinary Sleep Disturbances Unit of the Hospital ClĂ­nic showed that one-half of all patients with REM sleep disturbances develop a neurodegenerative disorder such as Parkinson's disease.

Burnout associated with self-reported unprofessional conduct among medical students
Medical students with higher levels of distress (burnout) were more likely to self-report unprofessional conduct related to patient care and less altruistic professional values, according to a study in the Sept.

Adapting to darkness: How behavioral and genetic changes helped cavefish survive extreme environment
University of Maryland biologists have identified how changes in both behavior and genetics led to the evolution of the Mexican blind cavefish from its sighted, surface-dwelling ancestor.

Mayo Clinic study: Med school burnout linked to unprofessional behavior
A Mayo Clinic study involving seven major medical schools shows a majority of medical students surveyed suffer from burnout and that those students were more likely to cheat or be dishonest in relation to patient care.

Watercress may 'turn off' breast cancer signal
New scientific research from the University of Southampton has revealed that a plant compound in watercress may have the ability to suppress breast cancer cell development by

New study finds positive return on investment for states that invest in quit smoking treatments
A new study released today by the American Lung Association, and conducted by researchers at Penn State University, finds that helping smokers quit not only saves lives but also offers favorable economic benefits to states.

PharmaPendium launches pharmacokinetics module
Elsevier today announces that it has significantly increased its service offering to pharmaceutical R&D professionals with the launch of a new Pharmacokinetics Module of PharmaPendium, the online resource for authoritative drug development data.

Personal sacrifices, rationalization may play role for physicians who accept gifts from industry
Sunita Sah, M.B.Ch.B., B.Sc., M.B.A., M.S., and George Loewenstein, Ph.D., of Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, conducted a study to determine whether reminding resident physicians of the sacrifices made to obtain training, as well as suggesting this as a potential rationalization, increases self-stated willingness to accept gifts from industry.

New task force report on bisphosphonate use and atypical femur fractures in osteoporosis patients
A widely prescribed class of drugs is highly effective in reducing common bone fractures in people with osteoporosis, but an expert panel announces that these same drugs -- when used long term -- may be related to unusual but serious fractures of the thigh bone.

Largest ever white-shouldered ibis count
A record-breaking 429 white-shouldered Ibis (Pseudibis davisoni) have just been recorded in Cambodia, making the known global population much larger than previously thought.

Improving crisis prediction, disaster control and damage reduction
Earthquakes, homicide surges, magnetic storms and the US economic recession are all kindred of a sort, according to a theoretical framework presented in the journal Chaos.

Last strongholds for tigers identified in new study
A new peer-reviewed paper by the Wildlife Conservation Society and other groups reveals an ominous finding: Most of the world's last remaining tigers -- long decimated by overhunting, logging and wildlife trade -- are now clustered in just 6 percent of their available habitat.

New studies highlight benefits of teacher coaching
A set of studies released in this month's special issue of the Elementary School Journal reveals the powerful effect that the coaching of teachers can have on both teachers and students.

Lower admission scores, non-white race/ethnicity may increase chance of withdrawal from medical school
Dorothy A. Andriole, M.D., and Donna B. Jeffe, Ph.D., of Washington University, St.

Learning to live on land: How some early plants overcame an evolutionary hurdle
Diversity of life would be impossible if the ancestors of modern plants had stayed in the water with their green algal cousins.

NIH awards $8 million to UT Southwestern to study metabolism, obesity-related inflammation
An $8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will enable UT Southwestern Medical Center to investigate how fat tissue

First US trial of bone-marrow stem cells for heart attack patients proves safe
The first randomized, placebo-controlled US clinical trial to assess the use of bone marrow-derived mononuclear cells in patients after a ST-elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI; severe heart attack) demonstrated a strong safety profile for this cell therapy, based on phase 1 results published in the September issue of the American Heart Journal.

UT's Remote Data Analysis and Visualization Center enters full production
Nautilus, the powerful computer at the heart of the Remote Data Analysis and Visualization Center at the University of Tennessee, goes into full production on Sept.

Lead-free piezoelectric materials of the future
Over the past 60 years, lead zirconate titanate, or PZT, has been the material of choice for piezoelectric applications from ink jet printers to gas grill igniters.

Specialist health journalists write better news stories
David Henry from the University of Toronto and colleagues analyzed Australian news stories over a five-year period, and examined whether experienced specialist health reporters write better stories than other categories of journalists.

Measuring preference for multitasking
A new study led by Elizabeth Poposki, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology in the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, may help employers identify employees who enjoy multitasking and are less inclined to quit jobs involving multitasking.

Indian farmers adopt flood-tolerant rice at unprecedented rates
Farmers cultivating rice on 12 million hectares of flood-prone areas in India are planting flood-tolerant rice varieties at unprecedented rates, thanks to faster seed multiplication, targeted dissemination, and linking of partners.

How cells manage their genes focus of $1.4 million NSF grant to Florida State
In a field of maize, no two leafy stalks of multicolored corn will look exactly the same, even though they grew from seed cells with identical genetic material.

Study identifies underlying dysfunction of seemingly non-critical heart condition
Repairing small, seemingly benign holes in a child's heart may be more clinically important than previously thought, as dysfunction could be lurking out of sight.

Enigmatic star devours companion; possibly pregnant with second-generation planets
An astronomer may have caught a cannibalistic star in the act of devouring a companion and making a second generation of exoplanets.

Elsevier and eMolecules collaboration enables easy sourcing of chemicals via Reaxys
Enriched content offering integrates reaction and substance searching, synthesis planning and chemical procurement into a seamless workflow.

Long-term stenting of aortic coarctation yields 77 percent success rate
Researchers from the Congenital Cardiovascular Interventional Study Consortium who evaluated the intermediate and long-term results of stent implantation for aortic coarctation found that cumulative intermediate success was 86 percent, and cumulative long-term success was 77 percent.

Ending the oceans' 'tragedy of the commons'
Leading international marine scientists are proposing radical changes in the governance of the world's oceans to rescue them from overfishing, pollution and other human impacts.

New manufacturing approach may lower solar energy costs
Investigators in New York are giving factory production of solar energy cells a modern makeover.

Blood test accurately predicts death from prostate cancer up to 25 years in advance
A blood test at the age of 60 can accurately predict the risk that a man will die from prostate cancer within the next 25 years, according to researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, in New York, and Lund University, in Sweden.

From chemical engineering to the catwalk
Seamless fabric that can be sprayed on to skin and other surfaces to make clothes, medical bandages and even upholstery will be demonstrated this Thursday, in advance of the Science in Style spray-on fashion show next week at Imperial College London.

Carnegie Mellon research: How doctors rationalize acceptance of industry gifts
Despite heightened awareness about the undue influence that gifts from pharmaceutical companies can have on doctors' prescribing practices, companies continue to reward doctors for prescribing their drugs with gifts.

Type D personality associated with higher future heart risk
Heart patients considered

University of Houston collaborate with 4 universities on $20M grant
Thirty years ago the US led the world in reading scores.

Outsmarting killer bacteria
Tel Aviv University's Dr. Micha Fridman is developing a generation of antibiotics that takes the mechanism of bacterial resistance and integrates it into drugs, short-circuiting the superbugs' resistance and rendering them susceptible to treatment.

Neuralstem stem cells survive and differentiate into neurons in rats with stroke
Neuralstem's spinal cord stem cells survived, differentiated into neurons, and improved some motor functions in rats with stroke.

ASU receives 2-year, $5.3 million DARPA award to safeguard soldiers from infectious diseases
Scientists at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University have received a two-year, $5.3 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to protect warfighters in the event of exposure to infectious diseases during deployment.

Researchers nationwide ask for new focus on 'sudden death' heart disorder
An abrupt, fatal heart attack in a young athlete on the playing field is a tragedy destined to repeat itself over and over until more is understood about hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a genetic disorder that is the most common cause of sudden death in young people but which affects people of all ages.

New iPhone app, 'MedWatcher,' to support real-time drug safety surveillance
Researchers at Children's Hospital Boston have developed a new iPhone application in collaboration with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to engage health care practitioners and the general public in issues of drug safety and real-time pharmacovigilance.

Global fisheries research finds promise and peril
Global fisheries, a vital source of food and revenue throughout the world, contribute between $225-$240 billion per year to the worldwide economy, according to four new studies released today.

False memories of self-performance result from watching others' actions
Did I turn off the stove, or did I just imagine it?

JAMA commentary calls for incorporating economic reality into medical education
A JAMA commentary says medical students and residents should receive much more thorough and realistic instruction about the economic forces affecting health care and their own clinical decisions so that they can better serve patients' well-being and the nation's economic welfare.

Why 'scientific consensus' fails to persuade
A recent study sought to understand why members of the public are sharply and persistently divided on matters on which expert scientists largely agree.

How do your crystals grow?
Research reported in the Journal of Chemical Physics uses fluorescence correlation spectroscopy to investigate the processes at the surface of a growing crystal.

Study identifies students at risk for difficulties in medical school
Students who enter medical school with high debt levels, low scores on the Medical College Admissions Test or who are non-white are more likely to face difficulties that may prevent graduation or hinder acceptance into a residency program if they do graduate, according to a nationwide study of students enrolled in M.D. programs.

Energy Department awards CUNY Energy Institute $4.6 million
The CUNY Energy Institute, based at the City College of New York, was awarded two grants totaling $4.6 million over three years in the latest round of funding from the US Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency -- Energy.

Medical students report critical attitudes about depression among peers, U-M study shows
Medical students experience depression at a higher rate than the general population and attach high levels of stigma to the mental illness, according to U-M research to be published Sept.

Clerkship order linked with outcomes on clerkship subject exams, grades, not clinical performance
Susan M. Kies, Ed.D., of the University of Illinois College of Medicine, Urbana, and colleagues conducted a study to assess whether the order in which third-year core clerkships are completed affects student performance.

New current meter provides answers for lobster industry, oyster farmers, scientists
A URI oceanographer has invented an innovative and inexpensive meter for measuring currents near the bottom of bays, rivers and other shallow waters that is being used by lobstermen, the aquaculture industry, and scientists around the world.

New research technology to target human gut bacteria
The National Institutes of Health has awarded a three-year, $1.1 million grant to a team of scientists at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory to develop a technology for studying the link between human health and disease and the microorganisms that reside in or on the human body.

Researchers build 'artificial ovary' to develop oocytes into mature human eggs
Researchers at Brown University and Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island have built an artificial human ovary that can grow oocytes into mature human eggs in the laboratory.

Study shows tranquil scenes have positive impact on brain
Tranquil living environments can positively affect the human brain function, according to researchers at the University of Sheffield.

Diversity or deprivation -- what makes a 'bad' neighborhood
What people think about their neighborhood is much more strongly influenced by deprivation than by the degree of ethnic mixing in the area, according to new research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council, carried out by researchers from Portsmouth and Southampton Universities.

Stunning NASA infrared imagery of Hurricane Igor reveals a 170 degree temperature difference
NASA satellites provide infrared images to forecasters that show temperature, and today's imagery of powerful Hurricane Igor showed the storm's perfect form and the warm ocean waters around it that are keeping it fueled.

A proven tool for losing weight: Reading food labels
Diet and exercise have long been the top two elements of effective weight loss.

ORNL scientists reveal battery behavior at the nanoscale
As industries and consumers increasingly seek improved battery power sources, cutting-edge microscopy performed at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory is providing an unprecedented perspective on how lithium-ion batteries function.

Hybrids as city runabouts, natural gas fueled cars for the country
If you are looking for an environmentally friendly automobile, think about getting a hybrid car or one running on natural gas.

CfA will play major role in mission to 'touch' the sun
When NASA's Solar Probe Plus launches before the end of the decade, it will carry a suite of cutting-edge scientific instruments.

Plant biologists lead biobased-fuel research projects
Members of the American Society of Plant Biologists are helping solve the nation's energy challenges through fundamental research into biofuels.

Combined impact of lifestyle factors on mortality among Chinese women
In research published this week in PLoS Medicine, results from the Shanghai Women's Health Study reveal the impact of lifestyle-related factors on mortality in a cohort of Chinese women -- confirming the results from other Western research studies.

GOES-13 sees system 92L looking more like a tropical depression
GOES-13 captured a look at System 92L this morning as it continues moving through the central Caribbean, and it's looking more and more like a tropical depression.

Women more likely than men to accept global warming
Women tend to believe the scientific consensus on global warming more than men, according to a study by a Michigan State University researcher.

Fla. med student study reveals disparity of skin cancer knowledge -- Ben-Gurion U. study
While their overall knowledge was judged to be satisfactory there was a significant difference between male and female students' knowledge.

Teaching doctors to treat the individual
Doctors can be taught to listen better to individual circumstances that may affect patient care, according to researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine.

Congressman to speak at meeting on diabetes and obesity
US Rep. Danny Davis will give opening remarks when the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies convenes a regional meeting Sept.

Human impacts on the deep seafloor
Scientists have for the first time estimated the physical footprint of human activities on the deep seafloor of the Northeast Atlantic.

Chandra finds evidence for stellar cannibalism
Evidence that a star has recently engulfed a companion star or a giant planet has been found using NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory.

Research will help ID bodies left behind by Chilean earthquake, Pinochet regime
New research from North Carolina State University will help medical examiners and others identify human remains of those killed during the recent earthquake in Chile, as well as the bodies of the

New treatment for rabies advances after successful phase 1 trial in India
MassBiologics at the University of Massachusetts and the Serum Institute of India announced today that a newly completed Phase 1 study of a monoclonal antibody to rabies (RAB-1) showed positive results for the new therapy, which has the potential to save tens of thousands of lives each year in areas of the world hardest hit by rabies, where current standard treatments are often not available.

Benefits of healthy lifestyle factors stronger in combination
Individuals with a combination of healthy lifestyle factors are at significantly lower risk of total and disease-specific mortality, according to a new study led by researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. 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