Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 30, 2010
URI professor warns: TV viewing likely to make you fear sickness
Watching television and its heavy dose of medical content in news and drama can lead to more concern about personal health and reduce a person's satisfaction with life according to a new study out of the University of Rhode Island.

NYU Langone Medical Center receives NIH Director's Transformative Research Projects award
The National Institutes of Health announced today that Martin J.

Ethnicity: A reason for heart problems post-transplant in South Asians
Ethnicity is a contributing risk factor of cardiovascular problems in kidney recipients of South Asian origin post-transplant, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

Hydrogen fuel for thought
New research by Rice University scientists suggests that a class of material known as metallacarborane could store hydrogen at or better than benchmarks set by the US Department of Energy Hydrogen Program for 2015.

Cabazitaxel offers new treatment option for men with advanced and difficult-to-treat prostate cancer
Men with advanced, multidrug-resistant prostate cancer can survive a median 2.4 months longer when taking cabazitaxel.

West Nile mosquito's DNA decoded
An international research team has determined the DNA sequence of the mosquito species whose bite transmits West Nile virus, St.

NIH funds center at Arizona State to battle infectious diseases
Arizona State University has been awarded a $7.7 million grant for the next five years from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health, to unravel the structures of membrane proteins that play a key role in protection against infectious diseases.

HPV screen-and treat-intervention effective in cervical cancer prevention
Women in South Africa who underwent human papillomavirus DNA-based testing or visual inspection of the cervix followed by treatment of test-positive women with cryotherapy had a statistically significant reduction in high grade cervical cancer precursors, compared with women in a control group, according to a study published online Sept.

How to improve health and reduce risk for dialysis patients
Two studies appearing in Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology provide recommendations for improving health and reducing risk for dialysis patients.

OHSU Toxicology Research Center issues public alert on popular hair salon treatment
Oregon Health & Science University's Center for Research on Occupational and Environmental Toxicology is responding to concerns raised by Oregon hair salons about a product used for hair straightening called Brazilian Blowout.

Autism Speaks awards second class of Dennis Weatherstone pre-doctoral fellowships
Autism Speaks announces 2010 class of Dennis Weatherstone Pre-Doctoral Fellowships, including $448,000 in research grants over two years.

Drugs for low libido raise concerns over industry 'construction' of new diseases
Drug companies have not only sponsored the science of a new condition known as female sexual dysfunction, they have helped to construct it, in order to build global markets for new drugs, reveals an article in this week's BMJ.

Researchers discover genetic changes that make some forms of brain cancer more aggressive
A multi-institutional team led by investigators from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center has published a study that provides new insight into genetic changes that make some forms of glioblastoma, the most common type of primary brain cancer, more aggressive than others and explains why they may not respond to certain therapies.

Faith in God associated with improved survival after liver transplantation
Italian researchers report that liver transplant candidates who have a strong religious connection have better post-transplant survival.

MABPOM 2010 meets at Stevens
MABPOM 2010, the 37th Annual Mid-Atlantic Bight Physical Oceanography and Meteorology Meeting, hosted by the Center for Maritime Systems at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J. will be held Oct.

Slicing proteins with Occam's Razor
Using myoglobin, physicists at the University of Vermont have developed a new way to peer into the inner workings of proteins and detect which specific atoms are at work.

Underwater robot swims free thanks to York U-designed wireless controller
A waterproof controller designed and built at York University is allowing an underwater robot, dubbed

Key leukemia defense mechanism discovered by VCU Massey Cancer Center
Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center researcher Steven Grant, M.D., and a team of VCU Massey researchers have uncovered the mechanism by which leukemia cells trigger a protective response when exposed to a class of cancer-killing agents known as histone deacetylase inhibitors.

Age 50 as mammography screening threshold proven unfounded
The landmark breast cancer screening study of women 40-49, published online in Cancer, has proven that annual mammography screening of women in their 40s reduces the breast cancer death rate in these women by nearly 30 percent.

Brain chemical finding could open door to new schizophrenia drugs
New research has linked psychosis with an abnormal relationship between two signaling chemicals in the brain.

Genetic alteration linked with human male infertility
One in seven couples worldwide has difficulty conceiving a child, and male infertility is thought to account for nearly half of those cases.

Should athletes undergo mandatory ECG screening?
Should athletes have to undergo mandatory electrocardiographic screening (also known as ECG or heart trace) before competing?

Scientists define molecular on-off switches for cancer and autoimmunity
A new report published in the October 2010 print issue of the FASEB Journal offers hope in the search for new cancer drugs.

Fighting cancers by tagging their triggers
Imagine the day a machine can draw your blood, screen it for genetic mutations and chemical variations that can cause cancer, and pop out a drug tailor-made for your DNA.

Newly discovered planet may have water on its surface
A team of astronomers that includes the University of Hawaii at Manoa's Nader Haghighipour has announced the discovery of a planet that could have liquid water on its surface.

NCH investigators receive grant to distinguish bacterial infections from viral infections in infants
Octavio Ramilo, M.D., chief of infectious diseases at Nationwide Children's Hospital, is one of three principal investigators who will share in a five-year, $3.4 million grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

CSHL's Watson School of Biological Sciences receives top marks from the National Research Council
In 20 cumulative categories of a comprehensive assessment recently released by the National Research Council, the Watson School of Biological Sciences at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory ranked between 3rd and 17th in a field of 120 peer programs in Biology/Integrated Biology/Integrated Biomedical Sciences.

New study finds groups demonstrate distinctive 'collective intelligence' when facing difficult tasks
A new study co-authored by MIT, Carnegie Mellon University and Union College researchers documents the existence of collective intelligence among groups of people who cooperate well, showing that such intelligence extends beyond the cognitive abilities of the groups' individual members, and that the tendency to cooperate effectively is linked to the number of women in a group.

Synthetic platelet maker receives innovator award
CWRU Biomedical Engineering professor Erin Lavik will receive a $2.3 million New Innovator Award from the NSF today to continue to develop synthetic platelets.

Researchers engineer microbes for low-cost production of anti-cancer drug, Taxol
MIT researchers and collaborators from Tufts University have now engineered E. coli bacteria to produce large quantities of a critical compound that is a precursor to the cancer drug Taxol, originally isolated from the bark of the Pacific yew tree.

Researchers to study effects of Mass. health reform
Boston Medical Center has been awarded a four year, $5.7 million grant from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute for investigators from Boston University School of Medicine to create the Center for Health Insurance Reform, Cardiovascular Outcomes and Disparities.

UCLA receives $12.5M to lead international project to study proteins implicated in heart disease
UCLA has received a five-year, $12.5 million contract award from the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to spearhead an international consortium of medical experts that will study proteins that may be involved in the development of cardiovascular disease.

UofL School of Nursing awarded grant to fund new informatics education project
The University of Louisville School of Nursing has been awarded a $792,000 HRSA grant to develop nursing informatics education at UofL.

Earlier chemotherapy treatment shows no survival benefit or better quality of life for women with relapsed ovarian cancer
Contrary to popular belief, starting chemotherapy early does not improve survival or quality of life compared with postponing treatment until clinical symptoms of relapse are evident in women with ovarian cancer.

New health insurance exchanges should be independent, aim for level playing field
A new report from the Commonwealth Fund provides recommendations for state and federal policymakers as they design and implement the new health insurance exchanges which are a key element of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Researchers at the University of Granada associate trigger points with shoulder injury
Twenty-five out of 1,000 visits to the family doctor are related to shoulder pain.

Study to investigate menstrual blood-derived stem cells as potential stroke therapy
The potential for stem cells derived from menstrual blood to benefit stroke sufferers will be jointly investigated by researchers at the University of South Florida, Cryo-Cell International and Saneron CCEL Therapeutics Inc.

Major disease-vector mosquito reveals the secrets of its immune system
The Culex quinquefasciatus mosquito poses a significant threat to human health as a blood-sucking transmitter of elephantiasis-causing worms and encephalitis-inducing viruses.

New method for generating human stem cells is remarkably efficient
The ability to efficiently generate patient-specific stem cells from differentiated cells and then reliably direct them to form specialized cells (like neurons or muscle) has tremendous therapeutic potential for replacing diseased or damaged tissues.

Epigenomics discovery yields new information about fat cells
By creating a

Story tips from the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory October 2010
Instead of the conventional long piece of metal or dipole antenna, electronic devices of tomorrow could incorporate an antenna no bigger than a gnat.

NOAA-sponsored scientists first to map offshore San Andreas Fault and associated ecosystems
An effort to map offshore portions of the San Andreas fault could help scientists better understand past earthquakes -- and the potential for future ones.

UM School of Medicine Institute for Genome Sciences researcher wins NIH New Innovator Award
Julie Dunning Hotopp, Ph.D., assistant professor of microbiology and immunology and a research scientist at the Institute for Genome Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, has received a $2.5 million award from the National Institutes of Health's New Innovator program.

Knot in the ribbon at the edge of the solar system 'unties'
The unusual

Bioethics scholars fault requirement that all women in clinical drug trials use contraception
Research ethics review committees often require all women of childbearing age who enroll in clinical trials to use contraceptives to protect against a developing fetus being exposed to potentially harmful drugs.

NIH awards Rutgers $47.5 million to advance groundbreaking research on protein structures
The National Institutes of Health has awarded Rutgers University $47.5 million to advance groundbreaking research on three-dimensional protein structures and to collect and disseminate protein structure information among scientists worldwide.

NASA satellites see Nicole become a remnant, another low soaking US East Coast
Tropical Storm Nicole was a tropical storm for around 6 hours before it weakened into a remnant low pressure area and is now off the Florida coast.

Neiker-Tecnalia confirms need to undertake epidemiological monitoring programs for ticks
Researchers at the Basque Institute of Agricultural Research and Development, Neiker-Tecnalia, have undertaken a study of ticks, tick-borne diseases and the reservoirs of tick-borne pathogens, which has confirmed the importance of continous surveillance programs to monitor these arthropods.

RIT receives federal grant to construct new sustainability research facility
Rochester Institute of Technology has been awarded a $13.1 million grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology to assist in construction of a new green facility that will house the university's Golisano Institute for Sustainability.

URI oceanographer to lead return visit to least inhabited place on Earth
Oceanographers depart next week for an international research expedition to the middle of the South Pacific Gyre -- an area that is as far from any continent as is possible to go on Earth's surface -- to look for evidence of life far beneath the seafloor.

Fossilized giant penguin feathers reveal color, feather structure of ancient birds
A North Carolina State University researcher is part of a team that has discovered fossilized feathers from a giant penguin that lived near the Equator more than 36 million years ago.

Dinosaurs significantly taller than previously thought, MU researcher finds
It might seem obvious that a dinosaur's leg bone connects to the hip bone, but what came between the bones has been less obvious.

NIH awards $11.5 million for new Caltech-led membrane-protein center
The National Institutes of Health has awarded $11.5 million to a consortium of research institutions led by the California Institute of Technology for the creation of a center for the study of membrane-protein structures.

Catalyst sandwich
Northwestern University researchers have taken another step towards realizing a new class of PCR enzyme mimics, opening the door for the development of highly sensitive chemical detection systems that go beyond nucleic acid targets.

Scarless brain surgery is new option for patients
Surgeons at the University of Washington in Seattle and at the University of California in San Diego have determined that transorbital neuroendoscopic surgery is a safe, effective option for treating a variety of advanced brain diseases and traumatic injuries to the brain.

Planning the world's largest water tunnel research facility
The University of Miami College of Engineering has received funding from the CorporaciĆ³n Andina de Fomento to undertake a feasibility study for a new experimental facility located in Panama.

2010 IZA prize in labor economics goes to Francine D. Blau
Francine Blau, Cornell University, has been selected as recipient of the 2010 IZA Prize in Labor Economics.

Iowa State University researcher examines mosquito gene for new disease response
Iowa State University researcher Lyric Bartholomay searched for new genes that are turned on during infection in a type of mosquito that is not only a pest, but transmits disease-causing pathogens.

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory neuroscientist awarded 'Transformative' NIH research grant
Anthony Zador, Ph.D., professor of biology and program chair in neuroscience at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, has been awarded a $2.17 million, five-year grant by the National Institutes of Health's Transformative Research Projects Program.

South Asians at twice the risk of heart attack and death after transplant: study
South Asian men and women have more than twice the risk of suffering a heart attack after a kidney transplant, according to a study led by St.

TGen-Mayo Clinic study discovers role of DNA methylation in multiple myeloma blood cancer
DNA methylation -- a modification of DNA linked to gene regulation -- is altered with increasing severity in a blood cancer called multiple myeloma, according to a study by Mayo Clinic and the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

Kenji Hakuta to address education of language minority students at AERA's Brown Lecture
Kenji Hakuta, a Stanford University scholar who strives to improve education opportunities for language minority students, will deliver the Seventh Annual Brown Lecture in Education Research here next month.

IBEX finds surprising changes at solar boundary
When NASA launched the Interstellar Boundary Explorer, or IBEX, on Oct.

NIH Transformative Research Project Awards hasten innovation
The NIH awards up to $64 million over five years to encourage exploration of exceptionally innovative and original research ideas that have the potential for extraordinary impact.

Tea leaves identified using neural networks
A team of chemists from the University of Seville has managed to distinguish between different kinds of tea leaves on the basis of their mineral content and by using artificial neural networks.

Women's study finds longevity means getting just enough sleep
A new study, derived from novel sleep research conducted by University of California, San Diego, researchers 14 years earlier, suggests that the secret to a long life may come with just enough sleep.

K-State research finds that educators should encourage college students to shoot for the stars
Less academically promising students should not be discouraged from setting high educational goals, according to one Kansas State University professor's research.

Bedouin tribe reveals secrets to McGill's GA-JOE
As part of McGill's

Scientists reveal important clues to how bacteria and viruses are identified as enemies
A new research report in the October 2010 print issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology sheds important light on how our immune systems detect invading organisms to be destroyed and removed from our bodies.

Scripps Research scientists win $65 million in new grants to reveal form and function of proteins
Scripps Research Institute scientists have been awarded approximately $65 million in four five-year grants as part of the National Institutes of Health's latest round of structural biology funding.

Poor kidney function linked to future heart and brain problems
People with impaired kidney function are at a higher risk of future stroke than people with normal kidney function, concludes a study published on bmj.com today.

Classroom canines stimulate children's love of literacy
University of Alberta researcher Lori Friesen's classroom assistants are very attentive, love to listen to children read and can keep their composure in a classroom full of energetic 2nd grade students.

UW leading $7.5 million study of animal flight and aerial vehicles
The University of Washington is leading a five-year, $7.5 million project to study birds, insects and bats in order to develop autonomous aerial vehicles that can adapt to obstacles and fly in unpredictable conditions.

OU team receives $580K DOE EPSCoR grant
A University of Oklahoma research team has been awarded a $580,000 grant from the US Department of Energy's Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research for the development of new interband cascade photovoltaic cells with important applications for more efficient use of solar energy and waste-heat recovery.

Twins provide clue that genetic epilepsy can originate in the embryo
An Australian study of identical twins shows that a rare genetic form of epilepsy can be caused by a genetic mutation that occurs in the embryo, and not necessarily passed down from parents.

Plants that move: How a New Zealand species disperses seeds in a high alpine, wet environment
High in an alpine meadow, Gesine Pufal, from the University of Wellington, New Zealand, crouched low to the ground and splashed some water from her water bottle on a low green plant cushion, then sat back waiting to see if something would move.

NIH scientists describe how salmonella bacteria spread in humans
New findings could explain how salmonella bacteria, a common cause of food poisoning, efficiently spread in people.

'Great strides' in treatment of stroke, headache, epilepsy
The latest advances in treating neurologic disorders such as stroke, headache, Parkinson's disease, epilepsy and sleep disorders are detailed in a special issue of the journal Neurologic Clinics.

Researchers decode genome of mosquito that spreads West Nile virus, encephalitis and elephantiasis
International teams of researchers report in the journal Science that they have decoded the genome of the southern house mosquito, which transmits the devastating diseases West Nile virus, encephalitis and elephantiasis, giving the global effort to contain mosquito-borne diseases a new understanding of the insects and the evolution of the diseases they spread.

UCSD receives NIH Transformative R01 Award for stimulation of neuron regeneration in the retina
A research team led by principal investigator Kang Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., professor of ophthalmology at the University of California, San Diego's Shiley Eye Center and director of UCSD's Institute of Genomic Medicine, has been awarded a five year, $4.66 million NIH Transformative Award.

Glutamate and dopamine: Biological predictors of the transition to psychosis?
There is growing evidence that two neurotransmitters -- dopamine and glutamate -- are abnormal in people with psychotic illness, including schizophrenia.

$1.5M grant funds research aimed at reducing strokes in children with sickle cell disease
Manu Platt from the biomedical engineering department at Georgia Tech and Emory University has received a $1.5 million NIH Director's New Innovator Award to support a project aimed at reducing the incidence of stroke in children with sickle cell disease.

October 2010 Geology and GSA Today highlights
The October Geology includes a study using fish teeth to understand ocean circulation; discussion of the

Scientists discover a new way our bodies control blood pressure: the P450-EET system
If you are one of the millions of Americans with high blood pressure, more help is on the way.

New combination treatment first to show improved overall survival in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia
The monoclonal antibody rituximab given in addition to a standard chemotherapy regimen of fludarabine plus cyclophosphamide significantly prolongs the lives of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia compared with standard chemotherapy alone.

New strategy could reduce twin rate after IVF
A strategy to encourage single embryo transfer after in vitro fertilization could be an important tool to prevent multiple pregnancies and their associated complications, finds a study published on bmj.com today.

NIH grants will advance studies of the form and function of proteins
NIH has awarded 23 grants for structural biology research totaling up to $290 million over five years.

How warm was this summer?
An unparalleled heat wave in eastern Europe, coupled with intense droughts and fires around Moscow, put Earth's temperatures in the headlines this summer.

Why do some dialysis centers have higher survival rates?
Characteristics such as patient engagement, physician communication, and staff coordination may help to explain why some dialysis centers achieve higher patient survival rates than others, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

NSF funds computer systems research center at New Mexico consortium in Los Alamos
The National Science Foundation has announced a $10 million award to the New Mexico Consortium at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Utah to build and operate the Parallel Reconfigurable Observational Environment, or PRObE, a one-of-a-kind computer systems research center.

Chromosomal break gives scientists a break in finding new puberty gene
A break in the two chromosomes has given scientists a break in finding a new gene involved in puberty, Medical College of Georgia researchers report.

Renewable energy research center to be established in southern Israel
The Arava Group, initiated by Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and the Eilat-Elot municipality, recently won a tender from the Israeli Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor to establish and operate a technology center for renewable energy in the south of the country.

Black aspergilli species responsible for infecting corn identified
US Department of Agriculture scientists have reported for the first time that several species of Aspergillus niger are capable of infecting corn and peanuts as endophytes and, under laboratory conditions, these species produced mycotoxins.

RD114 envelope proteins provide an effective and versatile approach to pseudotype lentiviral vectors
In their work published as the feature article in the October issue of Experimental Biology and Medicine, Bell et. al show that envelope proteins derived from the endogenous feline virus RD114 provide a versatile and effective method to pseudotype lentiviral vectors.

Researchers sequence genome of mosquito that spreads West Nile virus
To understand the genetic makeup of the Culex mosquito, and how the insect is able to transmit this and other viruses, an international team of scientists, led by geneticists at the UC Riverside, has sequenced the genome of Culex quinquefasciatus, a representative of the Culex genus of mosquitoes.

Einstein receives $30 million to study protein form and function
The National Institute of General Medical Sciences has awarded Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University a five-year, $30 million grant to study the structure and function of thousands of biomedically important proteins.

No sponge left behind
Using the same technology found in clothing tags used in retail store tracking systems, a study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill shows that surgical sponges with implanted radio frequency tags may be an effective adjunct to manual counting and X-ray detection in preventing sponges from being left behind in patients following a surgical procedure.

Virginia Tech professor discovers new TB pathogen
In studies of banded mongoose in Botswana, Kathleen Alexander has discovered a novel tuberculosis species in the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex.

USDA awards enhance the nutritional quality of food aid products
The USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture awarded nearly $3.8 million to develop healthier food products for humanitarian assistance programs.

Turning waste heat into power
Physicists at the University of Arizona have discovered a new way of harvesting waste heat and turning it into electrical power.

Key nutrient found to prevent cataracts in salmon
Research published today in the American Journal of Physiology -- Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology shows how the nutrient histidine, when added to the diet of farmed salmon, stops cataracts from forming.

Testing African couples for HIV is cost-effective prevention strategy
As researchers and policymakers work toward an effective HIV vaccine in a constrained global economy, cost-effective prevention strategies such as

Statement: Study finds genital herpes vaccine ineffective in women
An experimental vaccine intended to prevent genital herpes disease in women, although generally safe and well-tolerated, proved ineffective when tested in the recently concluded clinical study known as the Herpevac Trial for Women.

Dog ownership is associated with reduced eczema in children with dog allergies
Children with eczema have a greater risk of developing asthma and food allergies.

American Chemical Society Webinar focuses on careers in intellectual property for chemists
News media and others interested in the chemical sciences are invited to join the next in a series of American Chemical Society webinars focusing on careers in intellectual property for chemists.

New report on street lighting technologies available from NLPIP at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
The National Lighting Product Information Program, or NLPIP, released its latest Specifier Report, designed to provide objective performance information on existing street lighting technologies -- including light-emitting diode, or LED, induction, and high pressure sodium, or HPS, streetlights.

Fossilized giant penguin reveals unusual colors, sheds light on bird evolution
Paleontologists have unearthed the first extinct penguin with preserved evidence of scales and feathers.

Global Energy Future symposium Oct. 1-5
Academic leaders from some of the world's premier universities will gather at Washington University in St.
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