Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 21, 2010
Inner voice plays role in self-control
Talking to yourself might not be a bad thing, especially when it comes to exercising self control.

Cardiac Cath Lab Director
Cardiac Cath Lab Director is a new bimonthly journal being launched in February 2011 by SAGE, the world's leading independent academic and professional publisher.

Dancing robot swan triggers emotions
The swan robot's just-over-four-minute-long dance has so far been seen only by a select few.

NIH study models H1N1 flu spread
As the United States prepares for the upcoming flu season, a group of researchers supported by the National Institutes of Health continues to model how H1N1 may spread.

'Synthetic lethality' strategy improves molecularly targeted cancer therapy
Molecularly targeted therapies can reduce tumors rapidly. However, not all tumors respond to the drugs, and even those that do often develop resistance over time.

Brain cell communication: Why it's so fast
Billions of brain cells are communicating at any given moment.

NIH celebrates 10 years of research into health disparities
The tenth anniversary of the Jackson Heart Study will be observed Sept.

Psychologist shows why we 'choke' under pressure -- and how to avoid it
A star golfer misses a critical putt; a brilliant student fails to ace a test; a savvy salesperson blows a key presentation.

UCSF receives $15.4 million to create systems biology center
Cell biologists at UCSF have received $15.4 million from the National Institutes of Health to set up one of two new National Centers for Systems Biology, to study how cells respond to their environment -- an emerging field of research that could revolutionize medicine by creating

New study links political connections to corporate corruption
While most citizens recognize that corruption is

Researchers investigate differences in quality of care delivered by US resident and staff physicians
Research on the quality of US resident physician performance levels has often been limited by lack of a comparison group or strict focus on specific diseases and geographical areas.

Vitamin D protects against obesity-induced endometrial cancer, GUMC researchers say
Findings from an animal study suggest that obese women can reduce their increased risk of endometrial disease if they take vitamin D supplements, say researchers at the Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Research shows child rearing practices of distant ancestors foster morality, compassion in kids
Three new studies led by University of Notre Dame psychology professor Darcia Narvaez show a relationship between child rearing practices common in foraging hunter-gathering societies (how we humans have spent about 99 percent of our history) and better mental health, greater empathy and conscience development, and higher intelligence in children.

Leaders of the pack display high EQ, Rotman study finds
The ability to understand emotions is a key ingredient in people who become leaders in groups with no formal authority, a new paper has found.

Rhode Island Hospital physician receives national award for research
Damian Dupuy, M.D., of Rhode Island Hospital, is the recipient of the Publications Merit Award from the American College of Radiology Imaging Network.

Certain doped-oxide ceramics resist Ohm's Law
A group of researchers in England and Spain has discovered that certain barium titanate ceramics do not follow Ohm's Law.

Targeted therapy triggers complex mechanism of resistance
In order for targeted therapies against cancer to be effective, scientists need to understand upfront what related proteins in a signaling

New collaborative process can help improve management of marine recreational fisheries
In an era when fisheries management is rife with controversy, new research led by a team of University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science fisheries scientists shows that a new, stakeholder-driven process can improve the way we manage fisheries targeted by commercial and recreational interests.

Shorter biological marker length in aplastic anemia patients linked to higher relapse, death rates
Among patients receiving immunosuppressive therapy for severe aplastic anemia (a condition in which the bone marrow is unable to produce blood cells), the length of telomeres (chromosome markers of biological aging) was not related to the response to treatment but was associated with a higher rate of relapse (return to low blood cell counts) and lower overall survival, according to a study in the Sept.

Watching electrons move in real time
Research published in Journal of Chemical Physics describes the emerging technique of X-ray powder diffraction, which has been used to map the movement of electrons in real time and to observe a concerted electron and proton transfer that is quite different from any previously known phase transitions in the model crystal, ammonium sulfate.

New fluorescence technique opens window to protein complexes in living cells
Fluorescent microscopy makes use of molecules, such as green fluorescent protein, or GFP, that emit colored light when illuminated with light of a specific wavelength.

Invaders could devastate Florida avocado industry
Florida's lucrative avocado industry could face a serious blow from a duo of deadly new invaders.

New therapy found for lung and skin cancer, based on suicide gene E
This coliphage gene can induce death to cells transected with it.

Stanford biologist Gretchen Daily to receive 2010 Heinz Award for environmental achievement
Gretchen Daily, a professor of biology and senior fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University, has been named one of 10 recipients of the 2010 Heinz Awards for her

Landmark report reveals massive global cost of Alzheimer's: 1 percent of global GDP -- and growing
A landmark report on the global economic impact of dementia finds that Alzheimer's disease and other dementias are exacting a massive toll on the global economy, with the problem set to accelerate in coming years.

Doctor's health habits affect patient counseling
How well are doctors doing in advising patients to eat better and exercise?

ACS President appointed to President's committee on the National Medal of Science
American Chemical Society President Joseph S. Francisco, Ph.D., has been nominated to serve on the President's Committee on the National Medal of Science.

Stress before cancer therapy could help deadly cells survive treatment, lead to disease recurrence
Patients who experience physical or psychological stress -- including rigorous exercise -- one or two days before a cancer treatment might be unknowingly sabotaging their therapy, new research suggests.

Mixed-use neighborhoods reduce some violent crimes, study says
Mixed-use neighborhoods that combine residential and business development may help lead to lower levels of some types of violent crime, a new study suggests.

Virtual Viewbox offers portable radiology access for physicians
Physicians now have access to real time radiology services virtually anywhere, anytime.

First observation of the folding of a nucleic acid
The researchers Modesto Orozco, life sciences director of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center and responsible of the Molecular Modeling and Bioinformatics group at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), and Guillem Portella, postdoctoral researcher of his group, have been able to describe for the first time the folding process of a small DNA hairpin in water and with atomic resolution.

The Achilles' heel of tendons
A group of researches led by Case Western Reserve University has found the weak link in tendons -- potential targets for drugs, imaging and therapy.

Queen's University historian reveals secret history of MI6
The first, and only, official history of the Secret Intelligence Service, written by a Queen's University academic, has been published Sept.

Progress toward terabit-rate high-density recording
Next-generation high-density storage devices may keep more than 70 times the contents of the entire US Library of Congress on a single disc -- but only if that data can be written quickly enough.

Brown licenses potential muscular dystrophy treatment to Tivorsan Pharmaceuticals
Duchenne muscular dystrophy affects only young boys, who begin to show symptoms when they are of preschool age.

Research sheds light on altruism
Using digital evolution techniques that give scientists the ability to watch evolution in action, Michigan State University researchers have shed new light on what it is that makes species altruistic.

NASA infrared imagery sees tropical depression 14 becomes 12th tropical storm: Lisa
This Atlantic hurricane season has now spawned 14 tropical depressions and 12 of them have strengthened into tropical storms.

Florida institutions to host Gulf of Mexico oil spill conference
The Deepwater Horizon oil spill will forever change the Gulf of Mexico, significantly impacting its citizens, environment, economy and policy of the region -- and beyond.

The holy grail of human resources
University of Calgary business professor Piers Steel and colleagues have developed a new human resources tool called synthetic validity that promises to streamline employee recruitment and retention.

First in-human study of robotically assisted PCI system demonstrates safety, feasibility
The first in-human study of a robotically assisted percutaneous coronary intervention system demonstrated that the technique was safe and feasible.

Hormone oxytocin improves social cognition but only in less socially proficient individuals
Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have found that the naturally occurring hormone oxytocin selectively improves social cognitive abilities for less socially proficient individuals, but has little effect on those who are more socially proficient.

Military medicine symposium to explore regenerative medicine, behavioral health
The 2010 USU-HJF Military Medicine Symposium, co-hosted by the Center for Public-Private Partnerships at the Henry M.

CRP genetic variants crucial in interpreting inflammatory disease activity
CRP is commonly used as a serum marker for inflammation or infection, but the genetic effects of CRP variants on acute-phase serum CRP concentrations in patients with rheumatoid arthritis may be large enough to have a clinically relevant impact on the assessment of inflammatory disease activity, which in turn may influence therapeutic decision-making.

OHSU research suggests compound administered during some bone marrow transplants elevates risks
Research conducted at Oregon Health & Science University's Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute may spur debate about the risks associated with administering a specific compound in some forms of bone-marrow transplantation.

New research improves ability to detect malware in cloud-computing systems
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed new software that offers significantly enhanced security for cloud-computing systems.

Researchers tap into cell power to create building 'skins' that adapt to heat/light of environment
Engineers, design architects and cell biologists from the University of Pennsylvania will use a National Science Foundation grant to utilize the flexibility and sensitivity of human cells as the models for next-generation building

Antonio Damasio wins Honda Prize
The Honda Foundation of Japan has announced that its annual Honda Prize, one of the most important international awards for scientific achievement, will go to Antonio Damasio, the David Dornsife Professor of Neuroscience and director of the Brain and Creativity Institute at USC.

Study examines use of stent with bioabsorbable polymer
Three-year data demonstrated that satisfactory clinical and safety outcomes of sirolimus eluting stents with a biodegradable polymer were sustained in a real world setting.

Paper highlights need for new studies and guidelines around oxygen therapy during MI
The European Society of Cardiology welcomes a paper published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology highlighting concerns over the use of oxygen therapy during MI in patients with normal oxygen levels.

Stroke gene discovered
A Dutch-German medical research team led by Harald Schmidt from Maastricht University, Netherlands, and Christoph Kleinschnitz, University of Wurzburg, Germany, has discovered that an enzyme is responsible for the death of nerve cells after a stroke.

Risk of infection after ultrasound-guided procedures is low, study suggests
The incidence of serious infection after common ultrasound-guided procedures, such as biopsy, fine-needle aspiration (a form of biopsy) and thoracentesis (procedure involving needle drainage of the chest cavity) is low, according to a study in the October issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

A single application for every device
Led by the Fraunhofer Institute FOKUS, a consortium of major, international companies will develop an open-source platform and software components that will allow cross-platform use of services and technologies that can be operated on multiple screens.

Neanderthals more advanced than previously thought
For decades scientists believed Neanderthals developed

GOES-11 catches quick birth of Tropical Storm Georgette already moving into Baja California
Tropical Storm Georgette formed pretty quickly and the GOES-11 satellite captured her clouds extending over extreme southern Baja California and western Mexico today.

Genomic 'haircut' makes world's tiniest genome even smaller: UBC research
The world's tiniest nuclear genome appears to have

Hurricane watches up in Canada as the GOES-13 Satellite sees Hurricane Igor still expanding
Hurricane Igor may be changing into an extra tropical storm and losing his warm core of energy, but he hasn't lost his punch as hurricane watches are up today in eastern Canada.

Avoid swimming in interplanetary lakes
Professor Akiva Bar-Nun of Tel Aviv University's has determined the composition of lakes recently discovered on Saturn's moon Titan.

Community health workers can effectively manage children with malaria and pneumonia
Community health workers can safely and effectively provide integrated management of pneumonia and malaria to communities by dispensing amoxicillin to children with nonsevere pneumonia and artemether-lumefantrine to children with malaria (after using rapid diagnostic tests).

Freshman weight gain: Women with heavy roommates gain less
A new University of Michigan study finds that college women with roommates who weigh more than average gain less weight during their freshman year than women with slimmer roommates: half a pound versus 2.5 pounds.

Results of the placement of multiple endoscopic stents for postoperative biliary strictures remains excellent after long-term follow-up
Researchers from Italy have reported results from more than 10 years of follow-up showing that the placement of multiple endoscopic stents for the treatment of postoperative biliary strictures remains excellent with a low rate of stricture recurrence after this lengthy period of time.

Ecologists find new clues on climate change in 150-year-old pressed plants
Plants picked up to 150 years ago by Victorian collectors and held by the million in herbarium collections across the world could become a powerful -- and much needed -- new source of data for studying climate change, according to research published this week in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Ecology.

American Academy of Pediatrics conference Oct. 2-5 in San Francisco
Journalists will find good story angles on dozens of children's health issues at the National Conference and Exhibition of the American Academy of Pediatrics in San Francisco, Oct.

Rain shortfall triggers first M-PESA drought insurance payouts for Kenyan farmers
Over 100 farmers in Embu received insurance payouts via M-PESA today, marking the first payouts issued through the mobile phone payment system M-PESA by Kilimo Salama, an innovative micro-insurance program that protects farmers' investments in improved seeds and farm inputs against drought and other extreme weather.

VP, university leaders discuss ARRA impact on research
The presidents of six leading research universities and two higher-education associations joined Vice President Joe Biden and White House science adviser Dr.

Data show clinical benefit from mitral valve clip device
A percutaneous mitral valve clip designed to stop mitral valve regurgitation demonstrated clinical benefit as measured by the degree of mitral regurgitation, according to a study presented at the 22nd annual Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics scientific symposium, sponsored by the Cardiovascular Research Foundation.

Scientists identify a new target for Alzheimer's disease
Neurological researchers at Rush University Medical Center have found a new therapeutic target that can potentially lead to a new way to prevent the progression of Alzheimer's disease.

Imatinib treatment interruption shows no benefit for patients with advanced gastrointestinal cancer
Imatinib treatment interruption after three years results in rapid relapse, with a median progression-free survival of only nine months, in patients with advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumors.

Country ownership key to achieving the Millennium Development Goals, says minister of health for Ethiopia
If there is any hope of achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, developing countries must take the lead and chart their own course of development in a process of

Wake up your brain
For advanced activities of our daily life (such as driving a car, or seeing a movie), to be awake is important.

NTU, IATA work together to develop human capital for global aviation industry
Singapore's Nanyang Technological University and the Geneva-based International Air Transport Association have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate on the development and upgrading of human capital for the global aviation industry.

Leaders trial: 3-year data on stent with biodegradable polymer to be presented at TCT 2010
Three-year data from the prospective, randomized LEADERS trial demonstrate the equivalence of a biolimus A9-eluting stent with a biodegradable polymer vs. a sirolimus-eluting stent with a durable polymer.

Community-based treatment of malaria, pneumonia could save lives, BU study finds
Anti-malarial drugs are being used inappropriately for sick children in Zambia with fevers and difficulty breathing -- a problem that can be addressed by arming community health workers with a simple rapid-diagnostic test and a supply of antibiotics, a study led by a team of Boston University School of Public Health researchers has found.

MRI could be used for routine surveillance of great vessel stents
Researchers have found that magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, may be sufficient for the routine surveillance of some great vessel stents that are commonly used to treat congenital heart defects (a defect in the structure of the heart and great vessels that is present at birth) in children and young adults, according to a study in the October issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Immunization is key to achieving child survival goals
Immunizing children against preventable diseases is critical to achieving United Nations-led goals to reduce child deaths, global health and development chiefs said in New York today.

Updated resource guide for internists released by ACP
An updated practical resource guide for internists on the health care reform law adopted last March 23, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, was released today by the American College of Physicians.

Nationwide Health Information Network now carries public health data
Indiana has become the first state in the nation to use the Nationwide Health Information Network to convey public health information to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

New housing tool set to improve life for older people
A new housing design tool, which will help improve the quality of life for older people in the UK, has been launched by researchers at the University of Sheffield this week.

Rice University's award-winning NanoJapan program wins $4M grant
Rice University's award-winning undergraduate summer research program NanoJapan will soon expand, thanks to a new five-year, $4 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

A less toxic, more efficient dispersant is scientist's goal
After the failure of the Deepwater Horizon oil well last spring, nearly 2 million gallons of dispersant were released into the Gulf of Mexico to contain the spill.

Parting the waters: Computer modeling applies physics to Red Sea escape route
New research shows the extent to which such sustained winds can dramatically lower water levels.

Training the trainers: How to minimize stress when horses are first ridden
Man has profited enormously from his ability to domesticate animals.

Georgia State receives $6.7 million grant for research center in health disparities
The National Institutes of Health has awarded Georgia State University with a five-year grant to start a new Center for Excellence in Health Disparities Research, which will investigate health disparity issues in Atlanta's urban environment.

War on cancer produces collateral damage to the heart
There is a growing awareness of the potentially negative effects of cancer treatment on the heart and the management of cardiac disease during and after cancer therapy.

Rice growers turn to computer for advice, predictions
Figuring out how a rice crop was faring used to be a head-scratching exercise with predictably unpredictable results.

Study offers first explanation of how cells rapidly repair and maintain structure
Researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah have discovered that a protein, zyxin, is necessary for the maintenance and repair of the cell's cytoskeleton, or internal framework, which serves as the muscle and bone of the cell.

U of M Masonic Cancer Center receives $26 million to lead national BMT cancer research
Two of the University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center's leading physician-scientists on research and treatment of cancers of the blood and bone marrow -- Philip McGlave, M.D., and Jeffrey Miller, M.D., -- have received renewed five-year program project research grants totaling almost $26 million from the National Cancer Institute.

Scientists using lasers to cool and control molecules
A team of Yale physicists has used lasers to cool molecules down to temperatures near what's known as absolute zero, about -460 degrees Fahrenheit.

Savvy consumers put a high price on food safety
New research from Michigan State University demonstrates how food safety announcements cause consumers as well as food industry professionals to make purchasing decisions.

Universal, primordial magnetic fields discovered in deep space by UCLA, Caltech physicists
Scientists from Caltech and UCLA have discovered evidence of

The Joy of sets: For ants and trees, multiple partners are a boon
In the complex world of ant-plant partnerships, serial monogamy can help trees maximize their evolutionary fitness, a new University of Florida study shows.

Adverse cardiac events are rare after a negative cardiac CTA exam, study suggests
Adverse cardiac events are rare one year after patients are admitted to the emergency room with low-to-moderate risk chest pain and are discharged due to a negative cardiac computed tomography angiogram, or CTA, according to a study in the October issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Too many systematic reviews?
There are now 75 clinical trials and 11 systematic reviews of trials published every day, with no signs this pace is slowing.

College students want more information about native wildflowers
A new trend shows native wildflowers are becoming more popular with consumers and even college students.

High-dose aspirin reduces pain for severe headache and migraine
An inexpensive, hundred-year-old therapy for pain -- aspirin -- is effective in high doses for the treatment of severe headache and migraine caused by drug withdrawal, according to a new study by researchers with the UCSF Headache Center.

New study indicates children and parents want science assessment for 11-year-olds
At a time when new transfer arrangements mean children in Northern Ireland will no longer be formally assessed in science at age 11, researchers at Queen's University have found overwhelming support for science assessment in primary schools in England and Wales.

China's environmental challenges have global implications
Unlike Las Vegas, what happens in China doesn't stay in China.

Gene-environmental interactions and MS progression is focus of new study
A $634,000 grant from the US Department of Defense is allowing researchers at the University at Buffalo to investigate a trio of environmental factors and their influence on the progression of multiple sclerosis.

Queen's University researchers locate impulse control center in brain
Impulsive behavior can be improved with training and the improvement is marked by specific brain changes, according to a new Queen's University study.

First NIDA Avant-Garde Awards for medications development research
A potential immunotherapy, a new gene therapy, an enzyme inhibitor, and a compound originally isolated from a Chinese herb are among the latest approaches scientists are proposing to treat addiction.

Ultrashort laser ablation enables novel metal films
Laser ablation is well known in medical applications like dermatology and dentistry, and for more than a decade it has been used to vaporize materials that are difficult to evaporate for high-tech applications like the deposition of superconductors.

Complex brain landscape controls speech
Up to now, Broca's region in the brain has been thought to comprise two areas, since it was discovered in 1861, it has been regarded as one of the two regions in the cerebral cortex responsible for language.

Researcher wins $2.5 million award from National Institute on Drug Abuse
A University of Cincinnati researcher will receive $2.5 million over five years from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to support his work on a potential immunotherapy for cocaine addiction.

UNC researchers identify genetic patterns that may predict osteoarthritis
The study, which was part of the Johnston County Osteoarthritis Project, showed patients with X-ray evidence of knee osteoarthritis who inherited a specific pattern of genetic variations in the interleukin-1 receptor antagonist gene were almost twice as likely to progress to severe disease as other patients.

Drink milk and lose more weight, according to Ben-Gurion University of the Negev research
BGU researchers reveals that dieters who consumed milk or milk products lost more weight on average than those who consumed little to no milk products.

Rethinking how hospitals react when a patient's health deteriorates
The growing use of rapid response teams dispatched by hospitals to evaluate patients whose conditions have suddenly deteriorated may be masking systemic problems in how hospitals care for their sickest patients, says a prominent Johns Hopkins patient safety expert.

The AACR to host molecular diagnostics conference
The American Association for Cancer Research will host its Fourth AACR International Conference on Molecular Diagnostics in Cancer Therapeutic Development, Sept.

Asian efforts in AIDS vaccine development step up
Regional efforts towards an AIDS vaccine must be strengthened and harmonized, says a new article in this week's PLoS Medicine magazine.

New stent design demonstrates superiority at 6 months; 1 year data to be presented at TCT 2010
A new drug-eluting stent design demonstrated superiority over a traditional drug-eluting stent at six months, according to a study led by Laura Mauri, M.D., associate professor of medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School.

Self-management counseling for patients with heart failure does not improve outcomes
Patients with mild to moderate heart failure who received educational materials and self-management counseling in an attempt to improve adherence to medical advice did not have a reduced rate of death or hospitalization compared to patients who received educational materials alone, according to a study in the Sept. 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