Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 29, 2010
Studies show improved patient tolerance for unsedated colonoscopy using novel water method
The October issue of GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy features the results of two randomized controlled trials of unsedated colonoscopy comparing water infusion vs. air insufflation to distend the colon.

US Surgeon General, GE Chairman/CEO, 41 other national health care experts to gather in Seattle
Insurance reform alone won't solve the nation's health-care crisis. Real solutions will also require dramatically changing the way health care is delivered.

Feeding prior to eye exams reduces stress in premature infants
Premature infants are often examined for retinopathy of prematurity. This exam can be quite stressful for the neonate, causing changes in heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen saturation, and increased crying.

Physicists break color barrier for sending, receiving photons
University of Oregon scientists have invented a method to change the color of single photons in a fiber optic cable.

Going green: New program provides vital support for plant scientists
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation today announced a new research program that will provide critical support to some of the nation's most innovative plant scientists.

WUSTL awarded $18 million to treat heart, lungs with nanotechnology
An $18 million research program headed by Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Standards for Engineering Education in K-12, new report
Science, technology, engineering and mathematics instruction is collectively referred to as

Novel test following prostate surgery could detect cancer recurrence earlier
A new test could reliably detect early increases in prostate specific antigen levels -- a biomarker commonly used to measure the recurrence of prostate cancer -- in men who have undergone prostate cancer-treating surgery.

BU School of Medicine researcher receives Department of Defense award
Hasmeena Kathuria, M.D., an assistant professor in the department of medicine at Boston University School of Medicine, has received the US Department of Defense Lung Cancer Promising Clinician Research Award, or LCPCRA, to study the role of Ets transcription factors in the progression of lung cancer.

Proteins to yield new clues in fight against osteoporosis
A $1.76 million study at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute seeks to identify new methods of diagnosing osteoporosis and inform the development of next-generation drugs to treat the bone disease.

Potentially habitable planet discovered
Astronomers have found a new, potentially habitable Earth-sized planet. It is one of two new planets discovered around the star Gliese 581, some 20 light years away.

Seattle perinatal researcher awarded 2 major NIH grants
Michelle A. Williams, Sc.D., co-director and principal investigator at the Center for Perinatal Studies at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle and Professor of Epidemiology and Global Health at the University of Washington, has received two grants totaling $5.6 million for research into complications affecting pregnancy.

K-State researchers honored for influential contributions to software engineering field
For two Kansas State University professors, receiving one of software engineering's most prestigious awards was more than 10 years in the making.

Penn biologists say species accumulate on Earth at slower rates than in the past
Computational biologists at the University of Pennsylvania say that species are still accumulating on Earth but at a slower rate than in the past.

Scientists stack up new genes for height
An international team of researchers, including a number from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill schools of medicine and public health, have discovered hundreds of genes that influence human height.

After traumatic event, early intervention reduces odds of PTSD in children by 73 percent
A new approach that helps improve communication between child and caregiver, such as recognizing and managing traumatic stress symptoms and teaching coping skills, was able to prevent chronic and sub-clinical PTSD in 73 percent of children.

New twists in double helix discovery story are uncovered
The story of the double helix's discovery has a few new twists.

IU researchers: Chemotherapy alters brain tissue in breast cancer patients
Researchers at the Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center have published the first report using imaging to show that changes in brain tissue can occur in breast cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

Alcohol consumers are becoming the norm, UT Southwestern analysis finds
More people are drinking than 20 years ago, according to a UT Southwestern Medical Center analysis of national alcohol consumption patterns.

Smartphone apps harvest, spread personal info
Publicly available cell phone applications from application markets are releasing consumers' private information to online advertisers, according to a joint study by Intel Labs, Penn State, and Duke University.

NAE Annual Meeting Oct. 3-4, public events
On Oct. 3 and 4, the National Academy of Engineering will hold its annual meeting at the J.W.

WSJ honors university-created LLC with Innovation Award
Active Water Sciences, a limited liability corporation in Palestine, Texas, was named in the journal's Technology Innovation Awards competition, which sought out the most innovative problem-solving technology world-wide in 17 categories.

WSU researchers taking sustainability of organic farming to new level
Washington State University researchers have received a $1.5 million federal grant to help organic farmers keep a better account of their ecological footprint.

MD Anderson study finds increases in 5-, 10-year survival at every stage of breast cancer
Advances in screening for disease detection, better surgical techniques available to more women, and an increased number of therapies that reduce the risk of relapse in patients with both locally advanced and early stage disease, have collectively contributed to dramatic improvements in breast cancer's survival rates, according to a review of 60 years of patient records at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Researcher at Childrens Hospital LA discovers way to overcome radiation resistance in leukemia
A team of researchers lead by Fatih M. Uckun, M.D., Ph.D., of the Saban Research Institute of Childrens Hospital Los Angeles has determined that radiation resistance in leukemia can be overcome by selectively attacking a molecular target known as SYK tyrosine kinase.

Cocaine stored in alcohol: Testing techniques from outside the bottle unveiled
In two landmark studies published today in the journal Drug Testing and Analysis, UK and Swiss research teams reveal two techniques proven to identify dissolved cocaine in bottles of wine or rum.

For the first time, monkeys recognize themselves in the mirror, indicating self-awareness
A study shows that under specific conditions, a rhesus macaque monkey that normally would fail the mark test can still recognize itself in the mirror and perform actions that scientists would expect from animals that are self-aware.

MSU researcher awarded $14 million to identify breast cancer risk factors
A team of researchers led by a Michigan State University scientist has been awarded $14 million to identify risk factors for breast cancer in young women, focusing on growth, diet, physical activity and body size.

Research lays foundation for building on the moon -- or anywhere else
The key to the stability of any building is its foundation, but it is difficult to test some building sites in advance -- such as those on the moon.

New therapy boosts cure rate by 20 percent in a deadly childhood cancer
Using immunotherapy -- biologic agents that stimulate the body's immune system -- pediatric oncologists have achieved the first substantial increase in over a decade in cure rates for the childhood cancer neuroblastoma.

Phase II study finds tanezumab reduces osteoarthritis knee pain
Only two months after a pharmaceutical company halted studies of tanezumab, a drug used in reducing pain and improving function in people with moderate-to-severe osteoarthritis of the knee.

Study finds first direct evidence that ADHD is a genetic disorder
Research funded by the Wellcome Trust provides the first direct evidence that attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is a genetic condition.

Cedars-Sinai to host free conference for Parkinson's disease patients and their families
Michele Tagliati, M.D., director of the Movement Disorders Program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, will be the keynote speaker at a special, free conference for Parkinson's disease patients, their families and caregivers.

Surgery offers long-term survival for early stage prostate cancer patients
In the largest, most modern, single-institution study of its kind, Mayo Clinic urologists mined a long-term data registry for survival rates of patients who underwent radical prostatectomy for localized prostate cancer.

Research examines vicious cycle of overeating and obesity
New research provides evidence of the vicious cycle created when an obese individual overeats to compensate for reduced pleasure from food.

New NIST 'standard cigarette' available for fire-resistance testing
An unusual new industrial testing product from NIST -- a cigarette deliberately designed to burn stronger than others -- will be used by manufacturers of home furnishings to test the fire resistance of their products.

Purifying proteins: Rensselaer researchers use NMR to improve drug development
The purification of drug components is a large hurdle facing modern drug development.

Maternal diet high in trans fats doubles risk of excess body fat in breastfed babies, study finds
A new University of Georgia study suggests that mothers who consume a diet high in trans fats double the likelihood that their infants will have high levels of body fat.

Dual-capture CTC chip efficiently captures breast cancer cells
Researchers have identified a novel, dual-platform technology, the On-Q-ity Circulating Cancer Capture and Characterization Chip, which they believe is more efficient than the commonly used single-platform device in identifying circulating tumor cells, or CTCs, in breast cancer.

Resource restoration planning process begins for BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill
The US Department of the Interior, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the co-trustees for natural resources affected by the BP/Deepwater Horizon oil spill announced today they have started the injury assessment and restoration planning phase of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment.

Hepatitis C virus faces new weapon from Florida State scientists
In recent human trials for a promising new class of drug designed to target the hepatitis C virus, or HCV, without shutting down the immune system, some of the HCV strains being treated exhibited signs of drug resistance.

UNC scientists receive grant to develop nanotechnology for pancreatic cancer diagnosis and treatment
A team of UNC scientists has received a five-year $2,308,800 grant from the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Nanotechnology Platform Partnerships to address the critical need for early diagnosis of and more effective treatments for pancreatic cancer.

Study finds women with triple negative breast cancer and BRCA mutations have lower risk of recurrence
Patients with triple negative breast cancer that also have mutations in the BRCA gene appear to have a lower risk of recurrence, compared to those with the same disease without the deleterious genetic mutation, according to researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Addition of immunotherapy boosts pediatric cancer survival in children with neuroblastoma
Administering a new form of immunotherapy to children with neuroblastoma, a nervous system cancer, increased the percentage of those who were alive and free of disease progression after two years, according to researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and fellow institutions.

Increased risk of other cancers for relatives of women with early onset breast cancer
Close relatives of women diagnosed with breast cancer before the age of 35 years are at an increased risk of developing other cancers, according to a University of Melbourne led study, published in the British Journal of Cancer today.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine researcher among global team investigating genetics of height
A seemingly simple inherited trait -- height -- springs from hundreds of genetic causes, according to an international team of scientists.

New research could lead to personalized prescriptions
The University of Alaska Fairbanks will study how the genetics and diet of Yup'ik Eskimos affect the blood-thinning properties of a common drug used by heart and stroke patients.

Surprising stress for caregivers
New research from Northwestern Medicine shows that unhelpful friends and family cause caregivers of stroke survivors to stress out.

Diet when young affects future food responses
A high protein diet during development primes the body to react unhealthily to future food binges.

New invention saves energy, health, climate
A new Danish invention could cut energy use in buildings by 25 percent by creating a better indoor climate.

NIST residential fire study education kit now available
Researchers from NIST and the International Association of Fire Fighters have prepared an educational resource to summarize and explain the key results of a landmark study on the effect of the size of firefighting crews on the ability of the fire service to protect lives and property in residential fires.

UT MD Anderson study finds women treated for breast cancer while pregnant have improved survival
Long associated with a worse outcome, researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have discovered that women treated for breast cancer while pregnant, in fact, have improved disease-free survival and a trend for improved overall survival compared to nonpregnant women treated for the disease.

2010 AAO-HNSF new research daily highlights: Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2010
The 2010 Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO of the American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery Foundation, the largest meeting of ear, nose and throat doctors in the world, will convene Sept.

Newly discovered planet may be first truly habitable exoplanet
A team of planet hunters has announced the discovery of an Earth-sized planet (three times the mass of Earth) orbiting a nearby star at a distance that places it squarely in the middle of the star's

MicroRNA panel provides a more precise lung cancer diagnosis
A test based on a panel of microRNAs under development by Rosetta Genomics Ltd., in Rehovot, Israel, may allow for more precise diagnosis and better targeted therapy for patients with lung cancer.

Father's incarceration associated with elevated risks of marijuana and other illegal drug use
In a recently published study in the journal Addiction, researchers from Bowling Green State University report evidence of an association between father's incarceration and substantially elevated risks for illegal drug use in adolescence and early adulthood.

NIH awards Muscular Dystrophy Cooperative Research Center grants
Three grants totaling more than $4.5 million, from agencies of the National Institutes of Health, will be used to explore novel treatment strategies for muscular dystrophy.

Most complete beer 'proteome' finding could lead to engineered brews
In an advance that may give brewers powerful new ability to engineer the flavor and aroma of beer -- the world's favorite alcoholic beverage -- scientists are publishing the most comprehensive deciphering of the beer's

Report casts world's rivers in 'crisis state'
The world's rivers, the single largest renewable water resource for humans and a crucible of aquatic biodiversity, are in a crisis of ominous proportions, according to a new global analysis.

Not just an innocent bystander
Severe sepsis, a disease characterized by a sudden drop in blood pressure and progressive organ dysfunction following infection, remains one of the most common causes of mortality in intensive care units worldwide.

National study finds strong link between diabetes and air pollution
A national epidemiologic study finds a strong, consistent correlation between adult diabetes and particulate air pollution that persists after adjustment for other risk factors like obesity and ethnicity, report researchers from Children's Hospital Boston.

CEO's fate in hands of external constituents
A CEO's fate might be in the hands of external constituents, according to a new study from Rice University's Jones Graduate School of Business.

2010 AAO-HNSF miniseminars: Wednesday, Sept. 29, 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.

UC San Diego researcher awarded $3.8 million for new path to breast cancer therapy
Seth Field, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Medicine at UC San Diego, has been awarded a five-year, $3.86 million

A downside to work flexibility?
Is there a downside to schedule control at work? According to new research out of the University of Toronto, people who have more schedule control at work tend to report more blurring of the boundaries between work and the other parts of their lives, especially family-related roles.

Red light regulates nectar secretion
Nectar production in lima beans depends on light quality.

NINDS awards new Udall Centers for Parkinson's Disease Research
The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has established two new sites as part of the Morris K.

Less than half of essential workers willing to report to work during a serious pandemic
Although first responders willingly put themselves in harm's way during disasters, new research indicates that they may not be as willing -- if the disaster is a potentially lethal pandemic.

IV treatment may lower risk of dying from bacterial meningitis
New research shows that an intravenous treatment may cut a person's risk of dying from bacterial meningitis.

Garlic oil shows protective effect against heart disease in diabetes
Garlic has

Researchers find phone apps sending data without notification
TaintDroid, a prototype extension to the Android mobile-phone platform designed by Duke, PSU and Intel researchers recently identified that 15 of 30 randomly selected, popular, free Android Marketplace applications sent users' private information to remote advertising servers and two-thirds of the apps handled data in ambiguous ways.

ASPB applauds HHMI and GBMF for launching plant science program
Plant biologists have been making groundbreaking advances in research that address some of society's most urgent concerns, including discoveries that will help lead to improvements in human health, sustainable energy, nutritious foods and environmental sustainability.

California's leadership in tobacco control results in lower lung cancer rate
A study led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego, shows that California's 40-year-long tobacco control program has resulted in lung cancer rates that are nearly 25 percent lower than other states.

Notre Dame and Wyoming scientists genetically engineer silkworms to produce artificial spider silk
A research and development effort by the University of Notre Dame, the University of Wyoming, and Kraig Biocraft Laboratories Inc. has succeeded in producing transgenic silkworms capable of spinning artificial spider silks.

Reducing gene-damaging impurities in medicines
Drug manufacturers have been adjusting to strict new government standards that limit the amount of potentially harmful impurities in medicine, according to the cover story of the current issue of Chemical & Engineering News, ACS' weekly news magazine.

Mount Sinai leads program of excellence in nanotechnology with $16.5 million grant
Mount Sinai School of Medicine received a contract for almost $16.5 million from the National Institutes of Health and the National Heart and Lung Institute through the Program of Excellence in Nanotechnology.

Penn Medicine joins Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative
The Penn Medicine Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center announced that it is one of 18 official study sites for the Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative, a landmark observational clinical study sponsored by the Michael J.

Dirty hands, dirty mouths: U-M study finds a need to clean the body part that lies
Apparently your mom had it right when she threatened to wash your mouth out with soap if you talked dirty.

UTHealth researcher receives grant for Alzheimer's study
The Alzheimer's Association has awarded a three-year, $200,000 grant to Claudio Soto, Ph.D., professor of neurology at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, to pursue a procedure that could detect pre-symptomatic Alzheimer's disease.

NIST 'Vision Science Facility' aims for lighting revolution
A new lab at NIST is helping to bring these tiny but brilliant devices into your home, to help save both energy costs and the environment.

NRL's Wide-Field Imager selected for Solar Probe Plus mission
NASA has chosen the Naval Research Laboratory's Wide-field Imager to be part of the Solar Probe Plus mission slated for launch no later than 2018.

Impending death for paper coupons?
With digital coupons more readily available, University of Arizona faculty member Anita Bhappu set out to understand how consumers are using them and what they think about the technology behind the promotions and services provided.

Milky Way sidelined in galactic tug-of-war
The Magellanic Stream is an arc of hydrogen gas spanning more than 100 degrees of the sky behind the Milky Way's neighbor galaxies, the Large and Small Magellanic Clouds.

Growing nanowires horizontally yields new benefit: 'nano-LEDs'
While refining their novel method for making nanoscale wires, chemists at NIST discovered an unexpected bonus -- a new way to create nanowires that produce light similar to that from light-emitting diodes.

Correction: Abatacept found ineffective in treatment of non-life threatening lupus
Results from a 12-month multicenter clinical trial did not show therapeutic benefit of abatacept over placebo in patients with non-life threatening systemic lupus erythematosus, or SLE.

Tofu ingredient yields formaldehyde-free glue for plywood
In a real-life

Technique to reattach teeth using stem cells developed at UIC
A new approach to anchor teeth back in the jaw using stem cells has been developed and successfully tested in the laboratory for the first time by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

3 tiny qubits, another big step toward quantum computing
A team led by Yale researchers has achieved the quantum entanglement of three solid-state qubits, or quantum bits, for the first time.

Blueberries help fight artery hardening, lab animal study indicates
Blueberries may help fight atherosclerosis, also known as hardening of the arteries, according to results of a preliminary US Department of Agriculture-funded study with laboratory mice.

Research team led by UCLA receives $7.9M from NSF to develop Internet for 21st century
The Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering at the NSF has awarded a team of researchers led by UCLA $7.9 million to develop a more efficient and robust Internet.

Doctors need to help patients prepare better for health decisions
Twelve years ago, then 28-year-old graduate student Brian Zikmund-Fisher was forced into the toughest choice of his life: Die from a blood disorder within a few years or endure a bone marrow transplant that could cure him or kill him in weeks.

In-country OB/GYN training programs contributed to retention of doctors in Ghana, U-M study shows
Ghanaian obstetrics and gynecology residents say in-country training programs contributed to their decision to remain in their home country to practice medicine, new University of Michigan research shows.

A 'giant' step toward explaining differences in height
An international collaboration of more than 200 institutions, led by researchers at Children's Hospital Boston, the Broad Institute, and a half-dozen other institutions in Europe and North America, has identified hundreds of genetic variants that together account for about 10 percent of the inherited variation of height among people.

Research on killer HIV antibodies provides promising new ideas for vaccine design
New discoveries about the immune defenses of rare HIV patients who produce antibodies that prevent infection suggest a novel direction for designing new vaccines.

New drug offers big relief for osteoarthritis pain
A phase II clinical trial of the first new type of drug for musculoskeletal pain since aspirin shows that it significantly reduces knee pain in osteoarthritis, according to new research from Northwestern Medicine.

Hodgkin's lymphoma: Benefit of stem cell transplantation with an unrelated donor unclear
It remains an unresolved question whether adult patients with Hodgkin's lymphoma, a certain type of lymph node cancer, benefit from allogeneic stem cell transplantation with an unrelated donor.

One-dimensional window on superconductivity, magnetism
A Rice University-led team of physicists is reporting the first success from a three-year effort to emulate superconductors with ultracold atoms trapped in grids of laser beams.

Less chemotherapy works well for some childhood cancer
A particularly aggressive childhood cancer can be fought successfully with far less chemotherapy than previously believed, avoiding harmful side effects caused by cancer drugs.

Decrease in suicide not linked to newer antidepressants
Many researchers have studied the relationship between the increase in sales of new antidepressants in recent decades and a simultaneous decline in the suicide rate.

Simple approach could clean up oil remaining from Exxon Valdez spill
Traces of crude oil that linger on the shores of Alaska's Prince William Sound after the Exxon Valdez oil spill remain highly biodegradable, despite almost 20 years of weathering and decomposition, scientists are reporting in a new study.

NASA uses 3 satellites to see strengthening Tropical Storm Nicole
NASA is providing data from three satellites to give forecasters valuable information on newly strengthened Tropical Storm Nicole.

McLean Hospital researchers awarded $1.9 million grant for stem cell, blood research
Researchers at Harvard-Affiliated McLean Hospital have been awarded a $1.9 million National Institutes of Health Director's Opportunity Award to continue their research into creating human induced pluripotent stem cells using a method aimed at eliminating the risk of cancer and other problems associated with other options such as genome-integrating viral methods.

Rice University study finds Groupon is more beneficial for consumers than businesses
Social promotions such as those offered by deal-of-the-day website Groupon are wildly popular with shoppers, but they might not be as big a hit for businesses, according to a recent study by Rice University's Jesse H.

No evidence for Clovis comet catastrophe, archaeologists say
New research challenges the controversial theory that an ancient comet impact devastated the Clovis people, one of the earliest known cultures to inhabit North America.

Climate accord loopholes could spell 4.2-degree rise in temperature and end of coral reefs by 2100
A global temperature increase of up to 4.2 degree C and the end of coral reefs could become reality by 2100 if national targets are not revised in the Copenhagen Accord, the international pledge which was agreed at last year's Copenhagen's COP15 climate change conference.

Global study finds widespread threats to world's rivers
Multiple environmental stressors, such as agricultural runoff, pollution and invasive species, threaten rivers that serve 80 percent of the world's population, around 5 billion people, according to researchers from the City College of the City University of New York, University of Wisconsin and seven other institutions.

Study is first to find direct evidence that ADHD is a genetic disorder
In a study published online first and in an upcoming Lancet, researchers have provided the first direct evidence that attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is a genetic condition.

Screening tool can detect colorectal cancer from a small blood sample
A new microRNA screening assay detected the majority of early stage colorectal cancers with good specificity and sensitivity.

Researchers find first genetic evidence for loss of teeth in the common ancestor of baleen whales
Biologists at the University of California, Riverside, provide the first genetic evidence for the loss of mineralized teeth in the common ancestor of baleen whales.

Children's well-being and varying degrees of family instability
A forthcoming issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family states that children today are less likely to be born into a
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