Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 28, 2010
Human clinical trial of DNA-MVA HIV vaccine candidate begins
A Phase I study, called RV262, recently began to evaluate a combination DNA prime/MVA vector boost vaccine regimen that was developed to protect against diverse subtypes of HIV-1 prevalent in North America, Europe, Africa and South America.

Mining the 'wisdom of crowds' to attack disease
A large, multidisciplinary panel has recently selected 12 pioneering ideas for attacking type 1 diabetes, ideas selected through a

Sneaking spies into a cell's nucleus
Duke University bioengineers have not only figured out a way to sneak molecular spies through the walls of individual cells, they can now slip them into the command center -- or nucleus -- of those cells, where they can report back important information or drop off payloads.

TGen/Mayo Clinic/Arizona Cancer Center study finds gene associated with aggressive skin cancer
The loss of a gene known as INPP5A could predict the onset, and track the progression, of an aggressive type of skin cancer, according to a study published today by the Arizona Cancer Center, Mayo Clinic and the Translational Genomics Research Institute.

Rebels without applause: New study on peer victimization
Loners and antisocial kids who reject other children are often bullied at school -- an accepted form of punishment from peers as they establish social order.

19-million-year-old genomic fossils of hepatitis B-like viruses in songbirds
Biologists from the University of Texas at Arlington have uncovered virus fragments from the same family of the modern hepatitis B virus locked inside the genomes of songbirds such as the modern-day zebra finch.

Smithsonian researchers find differences between Galapagos and mainland frigatebirds
The Galapagos population of the magnificent frigatebird may be its own genetically distinct species warranting a new conservation status, according to a paper by researchers at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and the University of Missouri-St.

Study finds national debt 'tipping point' that slows economic growth
Researchers from North Carolina State University have identified a

African-Americans equally likely to benefit from erlotinib and other targeted lung cancer therapy
African-American patients with non-small cell lung cancer are just as likely to display an epidermal growth factor receptor mutation in tumors as Caucasians, which suggests they are as likely to benefit from targeted therapies such as erlotinib.

'Green' concrete developed at Louisiana Tech University on display at Detroit Science Center
Geopolymer concrete, an innovative and environmentally friendly building material developed at Louisiana Tech University's Trenchless Technology Center, will be featured in a transportation exhibition taking place at the Detroit Science Center.

NIH scientists consider fate of pandemic H1N1 flu virus
In a new commentary, scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, review the fates of previous pandemic influenza viruses in the years following a pandemic and speculate on possible future courses for the 2009 pandemic H1N1 virus during the upcoming flu season and beyond.

Oct. 20: Apollo moonwalker Alan Bean to present 'Insider's View of Space Exploration'
Only 12 astronauts have walked on the moon -- and you have the opportunity to spend the evening with one of them on Oct.

A project that aims to use microalgae to treat sewage water wins a business ideas competition
For the first time, the University Business Incubator at the University of the Basque Country has organized the Think Big business ideas competition, directed to students and lecturers at the Leioa campus.

Pet allergies worsen hay fever symptoms, Queen's study finds
Being allergic to dogs or cats may worsen your ragweed allergies, according to a study from Queen's University.

Tracking down pathogenic yeasts
If the human immunological system is weakened, yeast fungi that are normally harmless can be transformed into a lethal danger.

Nanostructuring technology creates energy efficient and ultra-small displays
University of Michigan scientists using AFOSR-funding have created the smallest pixels available that will enable LED, projected and wearable displays to be more energy efficient with more light manipulation possible and all on a display that may eventually be as small as a postage stamp.

Protein key to growth of pancreatic cancer
A protein known to regulate cell proliferation and survival has been linked for the first time to pancreatic cancer, the UK's fifth most common cause of cancer death.

Louisiana Tech University professor receives NSF grant to look at gender stereotypes in sciences
Dr. Eric Deemer, assistant professor of psychology in Louisiana Tech University's College of Education, has been awarded a $312,000 National Science Foundation grant to investigate the relationship between stereotype threat and achievement motivation among women in the science disciplines.

Swine flu patients benefited from taking Tamiflu, says study
Healthy people who caught swine flu during the 2009 pandemic may have been protected against developing radiographically (X-ray) confirmed pneumonia by taking the antiviral drug oseltamivir (Tamiflu), concludes a study of cases in China published on bmj.com today.

Wasps wage war on behalf of wiliwili trees
A black, 2-millimeter-long wasp from East Africa is helping wage war on one of its own kind -- the Erythrina gall wasp, an invasive species that's decimated Hawaii's endemic wiliwili and introduced coral bean trees.

OU professor awarded $500,000 grant for disaster risk assessment and reduction in Pakistan
University of Oklahoma professor Yang Hong, associate professor in OU's School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Sciences, recently received a $500,000 grant from the Pakistan-US Science and Technology Cooperation Program.

Key action of a gene linked to both Alzheimer's disease and type 2 diabetes identified
A research team led by Mount Sinai School of Medicine has identified the mechanism behind a single gene linked to the causes of both Alzheimer's disease and type 2 diabetes.

Biomarker panel identifies prostate cancer with 90 percent accuracy
Researchers in England say they have discovered a set of biomarkers that can distinguish prostate cancer from benign prostate disease and healthy tissue with 90 percent accuracy.

UH geologists find parts of Northwest Houston sinking rapidly
A large section of northwestern Harris County is sinking rapidly, according to a University of Houston geologist who has analyzed GPS data measuring ground elevation in the area.

Genetic differences in sense of smell identified through asparagus urine odor
Monell Center scientists have identified one of only a few known genetic contributions to the sense of smell.

Researcher gives 'F' to multiculturalism education
Multicultural education in classrooms has failed to produce a deeper understanding across cultures, according to a Concordia University researcher.

John P. Holdren addresses climate change, stressing need for international cooperation
At the 2010 Kavli Prize Science Forum, John Holdren, science advisor to US President Barack Obama, detailed the need and efforts to mitigate

New biomarkers discovered for pancreatic cancer and mesothelioma
Using a novel aptamer-based proteomics array technology, researchers and collaborators have identified biomarkers and protein signatures that are hallmarks of cancer at an early stage for two of the most aggressive and deadly forms of cancer -- pancreatic and mesothelioma.

Leading practitioners recommend global PTSD treatment guidelines
In recent years, several guidelines in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, have been put into practice globally.

How to still kill a resistant parasite
Scientists from the Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp, in collaboration with colleagues from several developing countries, were able to restore a sleeping sickness parasite's susceptibility to drugs.

WMS endorses emergency treatment of anaphylaxis by trained nonmedical professionals
The Epinephrine Roundtable was convened during the 25th Annual Meeting of the Wilderness Medical Society in 2008 to explore areas of consensus and uncertainty in the field treatment of anaphylaxis.

Curry cooking ingredient could provide recipe for fight against cancer
Scientists use turmeric extract on bowel cancer tumors.

Microbiomes may hold key to better understanding of preterm birth
A team of scientists from Mayo Clinic, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the J.

First study of its kind finds children with food allergies are often victims of bullying
In the first-ever study to assess the social impact of food allergies in children, Mount Sinai researchers have found that approximately 35 percent of children with food allergies, who are over the age of 5, were reported to have experienced bullying, teasing or harassment as a result of their allergies.

Sodium plays key role in tissue regeneration
Tufts biologists have regenerated spinal cord and muscle by triggering an influx of sodium ions into injured cells.

New study reveals that insecticides from genetically modified corn are present in adjacent streams
A new study by University of Notre Dame ecologist Jennifer Tank and colleagues reveals that streams throughout the Midwest are receiving transgenic materials from corn crop byproducts, even six months after harvest.

NIH scientists find more health benefits from starting HIV treatment early
HIV-infected individuals who begin antiretroviral therapy, or ART, soon after acquiring the virus may have stronger immune responses to other pathogens than HIV-infected individuals who begin ART later, a new study from the National Institutes of Health has found.

Stem Cells and International Stem Cell Symposium present annual stem cells award
AlphaMed Press and Wiley-Blackwell, co-publishers of the peer-reviewed journal Stem Cells, announce that the annual Stem Cells Young Investigator Award, with co-sponsorship from the International Stem Cell Symposium, will be presented on Oct.

Researchers use CT to predict heart disease
Using incidental findings from routine diagnostic CT, radiologists may be better able to identify people at high risk for cardiovascular disease, according to a new study.

Varying CRP levels in ethnic groups may affect statin eligibility, heart risk prediction
C-reactive protein, CRP, levels vary between ethnically diverse populations, and are only partly due to known differences in heart risk among these groups.

Study finds potential climate change side effect: More parasites on South American birds
A Wildlife Conservation Society study on nesting birds in Argentina finds that increasing temperatures and rainfall -- both side effects of climate change in some parts of the world -- could be bad for birds of South America, but great for some of their parasites which thrive in warmer and wetter conditions.

Nanotechnology brings personalized therapy 1 step closer to reality
A novel technology can make nanoscale protein measurements, which scientists can use in clinical trials to learn how drugs work.

New study shows over one-fifth of the world's plants are under threat of extinction
A global analysis of extinction risk for the world's plants, conducted by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew together with the Natural History Museum, London, and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, has revealed that the world's plants are as threatened as mammals, with one in five of the world's plant species threatened with extinction.

HJF names fellowship award winners
The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine Inc. has selected three promising Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences doctoral students to receive fellowships for the 2010-2011 academic year.

The price of popularity: Drug and alcohol consumption
The consumption of drugs and alcohol by teenagers is not just about rebellion or emotional troubles.

New VARI findings next step to growing drought-resistant plants
New findings from Van Andel Research Institute scientists could lead to environmentally friendly sprays that help plants survive drought and other stresses in harsh environments to combat global food shortages.

Targeting amyloid to stop HIV
Amyloid protein structures are best known for the troubles they pose in the brains of Alzheimer's patients.

Digging deep for ways to curb ammonia emissions
Dairy farmers can greatly reduce ammonia emissions from their production facilities by injecting liquid manure into crop fields below the soil surface, according to research by the US Department of Agriculture.

Pharmaceutical substances found in waters of Donana
Researchers from the University of Seville have detected active pharmaceutical substances for the first time in the waters of the Donana National Park and its surrounding areas.

New device for identifying aggressive breast cancers
A disposable device designed to efficiently capture cancer cells overexpressing the protein HER2 in circulating blood is described in the journal Biomicrofluidics.

Ultrafine air particles may increase firefighters' risk for heart disease
Firefighters are exposed to potentially dangerous levels of ultrafine particulates at the time they are least likely to wear protective breathing equipment.

African-American seniors at twice the risk for mental abuse, 5 times for financial exploitation
Pitt researchers conducted the first population-based survey to indicate a racial disparity in the psychological abuse of senior citizens, finding that African-American seniors could be twice as likely to be mistreated.

Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media launches global Social Media Health Network
The recently formed Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media today announced the formation of the Social Media Health Network, a group dedicated to using social media to promote health, improve health care and fight disease.

Unique Henry Ford case offers cautionary cotton swab tale
The saying,

Women and Infants provides fertility preservation for childhood cancer survivors
Unfortunately, the aggressive treatments for cancer may often render a child infertile.

Method to detect bladder cancer earlier is under development
Scientists may have discovered a way to diagnose bladder cancer at its earliest and, therefore, most treatable stages by measuring the presence or absence of microRNA using already available laboratory tests.

Why we fight: Men check out in stressful situations
Turns out the silent and stoic response to stress might be a guy thing after all.

New book examines how ordinary women revolutionized health care in America
A new history reveals the personal struggles, conflicts and triumphs of ordinary women-turned-activists in an era when education about their own bodies was virtually nonexistent.

Study finds language barriers may play role in health care disparities
Researchers from Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Public Health have found that individuals who do not speak English at home are less likely to receive colorectal cancer screenings as compared to those who do speak English at home.

NASA's Webb Telescope unique structural 'heart' passes extreme tests
NASA engineers have created a unique engineering marvel called the ISIM structure that recently survived exposure to extreme cryogenic temperatures, proving that the structure will remain stable when exposed to the harsh environment of space.

Absent mothers can cause hyperactivity and anxiety later in life
In mice, early weaning and separation from their mothers promotes long-lasting hyperactivity and anxiety.

Eurofins MWG Operon adds Roche GS Junior to its sequencer fleet
To address special needs for small projects Eurofins MWG Operon has expanded its capacity with Roche GS Junior sequencer.

ACGME board approves final duty hour and supervision standards for resident education
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) -- the non-profit organization that evaluates and accredits more than 8,800 medical residency programs in the US -- today announced board approval of a new set of medical resident education requirements, with updated standards for resident supervision and work hour limits.

Goddard team obtains the 'unobtainium' for NASA's next space observatory
Imagine building a car chassis without a blueprint or even a list of recommended construction materials.

Circulating tumor cells can provide 'real-time' information on patient's current disease state
Circulating tumor cells may be a promising alternative, noninvasive source of tumor materials for biomarker assessment, according to data presented at the 4th AACR International Conference on Molecular Diagnostics in Cancer Therapeutic Development.

Model aims to reduce disaster toll on city's social, economic fabric
Researchers have created a computer model that predicts how a disaster's impact on critical infrastructure would affect a city's social and economic fabric, a potential tool to help reduce the severity of impacts, manage the aftermath of catastrophe, and fortify infrastructure against future disasters.

How reasonable it is to deceive yourself?
Anyone who simply denies the facts is most certainly behaving unreasonably -- aren't they?

Noise and chemicals: Workers are losing their hearing
A study carried out by Spanish researchers has shown that the presence of chemical contaminants can interact with noise and modify, for good or for bad, the way in which work-related

National Jewish Health receives patent for liposome-based vaccine
National Jewish Health has received a US patent for a new kind of vaccine, which uses a small lipid bubble to deliver an antigen and DNA adjuvant.

2010 AAO-HNSF new research highlights: Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010
Featuring more than 305 scientific research sessions, 594 posters and several hundred instruction course hours for attendees, the annual meeting is a unique opportunity for journalists from around the world to cover breaking science and medical news.

Early life experience modifies gene vital to normal brain function
Early life stress, such as an extreme lack of parental affection, has lasting effects on a gene important to normal brain processes and also tied to mental disorders, according to a new animal study in the Sept.

Individual mutations are very slow to promote tumor growth
Individual cancer-causing mutations have a minute effect on tumor growth, increasing the rate of cell division by just 0.4 percent on average, according to new mathematical modeling by scientists at Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University and other institutions.

Triple-negative breast cancers may have unique therapeutic target
Patients with triple-negative breast cancer, one of the hardest subtypes to treat, may have a unique biomarker that would enable them to receive more targeted therapy, according to data presented at the 4th AACR International Conference on Molecular Diagnostics in Cancer Therapeutic Development.

Finding a buckyball in photovoltaic cell
Research reported in the Journal of Chemical Physics describes a technique that analyzes the reflection of neutrons to locate buckyballs within composite materials.

Envious employees can turn hospitality industry hostile
Guest relationships can become collateral damage when hotel employees envy the relationships co-workers have with their bosses, according to an international team of researchers.

Wheel in a corset
Are lightweight construction materials suitable for extremely stressed and safety-relevant components such as car wheel?

Truthy.indiana.edu to search, identify smear tactics, Twitter-bombs through election runup
Astroturfers, Twitter-bombers and smear campaigners need beware this election season as a group of leading Indiana University information and computer scientists today unleashed Truthy.indiana.edu, a sophisticated new Twitter-based research tool that combines data mining, social network analysis and crowdsourcing to uncover deceptive tactics and misinformation leading up to the Nov.

What next for the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic?
Now that the H1N1 influenza pandemic is officially over, what will happen to the virus?

Novel biomarker may predict response to new VEGF receptor inhibitor
Researchers believe there may be a way to predict, based on individual tumors, those patients that are more likely to respond to the investigational new drug tivozanib.

Unlocking the secret of beauty: Scientists discover the complexities of attractive female bodies
Scientists in Australia and Hong Kong have conducted a comprehensive study to discover how different body measurements correspond with ratings of female attractiveness.

2010 AAO-HNSF miniseminars: Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2010
Featuring more than 305 scientific research sessions, 594 posters and several hundred instruction course hours for attendees, the annual meeting is a unique opportunity for journalists from around the world to cover breaking science and medical news.

Market changes affect risk tolerance, MU study finds
Rui Yao, a University of Missouri assistant professor in the personal financial planning department in the College of Human Environmental Sciences, has found that there is a direct positive correlation between shifts in the US stock market and risk tolerance of investors.

Understanding Missouri River's sediment dynamics key to protecting endangered species
A new report from the National Research Council says that more organized and systematic procedures for gathering and evaluating data on Missouri River sediment.

'Firefly' stem cells may help repair damaged hearts
Stem cells that glow like fireflies could someday help doctors heal damaged hearts without cutting into patients' chests.

Chest physiotherapy not effective in infants hospitalized with acute bronchiolitis
In research published this week in PLoS Medicine, Vincent Gajdos and colleagues report the results of a randomized trial conducted among hospitalized infants with bronchiolitis.

Researchers confirm prenatal heart defects in spinal muscular atrophy cases
University of Missouri researchers believe they have found a critical piece of the puzzle for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy, or SMA -- the leading genetic cause of infantile death in the world.

Honorary degree for broadband pioneer
A Nobel laureate who helped create the technology which made the internet possible has been presented with an honorary degree by the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.

Striding towards a new dawn for electronics
Conductive polymers are plastic materials with high electrical conductivity that promise to revolutionize a wide range of products including TV displays, solar cells and biomedical sensors.

c-Met may be a biomarker for metastatic hepatocellular carcinoma
Targeting c-Met may be a promising personalized treatment method for approximately 45 percent of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma who have c-Met-positive tumors, according to study results presented at the 4th AACR International Conference on Molecular Diagnostics in Cancer Therapeutic Development.

Heartbreak puts the brakes on your heart
Social rejection isn't just emotionally upsetting; it also upsets your heart.

CWRU's e-SMART technologies may help young adults self-manage mental illness
While many young adults will share the details of their daily lives with dozens -- sometimes hundreds -- of friends on Facebook, communicating with their health care providers about mental illness is another story.

University of Warsaw obtains 3-year site license to Science to provide site-wide access to research institutions in Poland
The Interdisciplinary Centre for Mathematical and Computational Modeling, University of Warsaw, has partnered with the American Association for the Advancement of Science in a national site licensing agreement to provide 922 research and scientific institutions throughout Poland with site-wide access to Science, the flagship publication of AAAS.

NASA sees colder cloud-top temps in new Tropical Depression 16, warnings up
NASA's Aqua satellite has peered into the cloud tops of System 96L in the western Caribbean early this morning and noticed that they've become colder and higher, which indicated the storms was strengthening and organizing.

The dual nature of dew
Dew is celebrated in the Judeo-Christian tradition as a bringer of life, contradicting modern scientific findings that dew negatively affects plants.

International AIDS Society emphasizes universal access to HIV prevention, treatment and care as a prerequisite for improving maternal and child health
At the UN Millennium Development Goals summit in New York last week, world leaders gathered to review progress on the eight goals agreed in 2000 on alleviating world poverty and ill-health by 2015.

Certain psychiatric disorders linked with risky sexual behavior in teens
Although research has shown that teens with mental health disorders are more likely to engage in high risk sexual behaviors, like unprotected sex, a new study from the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center suggests there is an additional risk associated with certain psychiatric diagnoses.

Pharma must be held more accountable to its human rights responsibilities
In this week's PLoS Medicine, the editors argue that drug companies should be held much more accountable for their human rights responsibilities to make medicines available and accessible to those in need.

Pharmaceutical sciences experts present cutting-edge research at international meeting
Renowned international experts and scientists will present new research ranging from inhalable vaccines for human papillomavirus and tuberculosis to a noninvasive treatment for lung cancer at the 2010 FIP Pharmaceutical Sciences World Congress in association with the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists Annual Meeting and Exposition in New Orleans, La., Nov.

Vaccine suspended 5 years ago has actually given children long term
Despite suspension from the market in 2005 over concerns about its long-term protection against hepatitis B, infants vaccinated with hexavac have maintained immunity at least five years after primary vaccination.

Assessment of US doctoral programs released, offers data on more than 5,000 programs nationwide
The National Research Council today released its assessment of US doctoral programs.

More developing countries show universal access to HIV/AIDS services is possible
Significant progress has been made in several low- and middle-income countries in increasing access to HIV/AIDS services, according to a new report released today.

AMIA cites concerns about proposed HIPAA modifications
In comments sent to Secretary Kathleen Sebelius at the US Department of Health and Human Services, AMIA (American Medical Informatics Association) called out 10 specific challenges to proposed modifications to HIPAA Privacy and Enforcement Rules.

Predicting divorce: U-M study shows how fight styles affect marriage
It's common knowledge that newlyweds who yell or call each other names have a higher chance of getting divorced.

'Louder at the back, please'
Playing white noise in class can help inattentive children learn.

Genome inversion gives plant a new lifestyle
The yellow monkeyflower, an unassuming little plant that lives as both a perennial on the foggy coasts of the Pacific Northwest and a dry-land annual hundreds of miles inland, harbors a significant clue about evolution.

Cost-effectiveness of routine use of pooled nucleic acid amplification testing
Detection of acute HIV infection (the stage of disease immediately after HIV acquisition but before HIV antibodies are detectable) with pooled nucleic acid amplification testing (that detects the presence of HIV genetic material in the blood before antibodies are detectable) is feasible but not cost-effective in all settings.

Sparkling drinks spark pain circuits
The carbon dioxide in carbonated drinks sets off the same pain sensors as mustard and horseradish, according to new study in the Journal of Neuroscience, as well as previously discovered sour-tasting cells on tongue.

DMARDs, glucocorticoids and biologics equally effective for rheumatoid arthritis
A study conducted at Copenhagen University Hospital showed that treatment of rheumatoid arthritis with disease modifying anti-rheumatic drugs -- or DMARDs, glucocorticoids, biologic agents or a combination of agents significantly reduced radiographic evidence of joint destruction, with a relative effect of 48-72 percent as compared with placebo.

UH Manoa professor finds Muslim women who wear headscarves face workplace discrimination in the US
Professor Sonia Ghumman from the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa Shidler College of Business has completed an intensive marketing research on the effects of Muslim women who wear hijabs (head scarves) in the US.

Employee wellness plans should include entire company, not just sick workers
A study of employees at a west Michigan hospital showed some of the most unhealthy workers that University of Michigan researchers had ever seen.

Major ICT companies join European Commission initiative to reduce electricity consumption
The European Commission's Joint Research Centre manages voluntary codes of conduct for ICT companies to reverse this trend.

International scientific forum on alcohol research
In a very large cohort of African-American women in the US, the association between the consumption of alcohol, tea and coffee and the development of type 2 diabetes mellitus (late onset diabetes) was studied for 12 years.

Structural Genomics Consortium releases 1,000th protein structure
The Structural Genomics Consortium, an international public-private partnership that aims to determine 3-D structures of medically important proteins, announced today the release into the public domain of its 1,000th high-resolution protein structure.

Intrauterine devices can be used to treat endometrial cancer
Intrauterine devices, originally developed as contraceptives, can also be used to treat and cure cancer of the endometrium according to new research published online in the cancer journal, Annals of Oncology on Wednesday, Sept.

New book reviews ancient and modern worlds of RNA
A new book,

Tiny generators turn waste heat into power
Researchers in Ukraine and the United States have uncovered a novel way to power tiny devices using waste heat.

Immunization coverage key to good health locally, globally
Outbreaks of whooping cough in Texas, California and other states this year underscores the importance of vaccination, both locally and around the world, said Alex Palacios of the GAVI Alliance, who's attending conferences on immunization in Fort Worth this week.
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