Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 12, 2010
Metabolic status before pregnancy predicts subsequent gestational diabetes
Cardio-metabolic risk factors such as high blood sugar and insulin, and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol that are present before pregnancy, predict whether a woman will develop diabetes during a future pregnancy, according to a Kaiser Permanente study in the current issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Rotten experiments help to create picture of our early ancestors
How can watching primitive fish rot away reveal answers to the fundamental questions of how, when and why our earliest vertebrate ancestors evolved?

Being more realistic about the public health impact of genomic medicine
Wayne Hall, Rebecca Mathews and Katherine Morley discuss the limitations of genomic risk prediction for population-level preventive health care.

Rates of blood transfusions for CABG surgery varies widely among US hospitals
A study that includes data on more than 100,000 patients who underwent coronary artery bypass graft surgery finds that there is wide variability among hospitals in the US on the use of blood transfusions, without a large difference in the rate of death, suggesting that many transfusions may be unnecessary, according to a study in the Oct.

Traditional health practices popular among older people who choose not to have flu vaccine
Eating steamed pears and being rubbed with a coin are just some of more unusual indigenous health practices used by older people worldwide to ward off, or treat, influenza.

Diabetes gene linked to degeneration of enzyme involved in Alzheimer's disease onset and progression
Mount Sinai School of Medicine researchers have found that a gene associated with the onset of Type 2 diabetes also is found at lower-than-normal levels in people with Alzheimer's disease.

Wiley-Blackwell forms publishing partnership with the European Academy of Management
The European Academy of Management has partnered with Wiley-Blackwell to publish their journal, European Management Review.

FDA funds pediatric trial testing genetically reprogrammed HSV to treat cancer
A clinical trial testing a genetically reprogrammed herpes simplex virus to treat deadly forms of childhood cancer has received a US Food and Drug Administration grant to support the research.

Beyond an environmental history of the space race: Free lecture at NJIT
Historian Neil Maher, chair of the history department, discusses the influence of the environmental history of the space race and the divisive politics of the long 1960s.

Steidel receives Gruber Cosmology Prize, lectures on 'adolescent universe'
Following the Gruber Cosmology Prize presentation, Steidel will deliver a public lecture aimed at a combination peer and lay audience on

Gambling on bacteria
Professor Eshel Ben-Jacob of Tel Aviv University has outlined how decisions made by communities of bacteria trump game theory.

sonRAIL -- computer model to calculate noise levels along the Swiss rail network
Working together with an international project team, Empa's acoustic specialists have developed a computer model which allows them to calculate noise levels along the entire Swiss rail network.

Diagnosing autism with MRI is 1 step closer
University of Utah medical researchers have made an important step in diagnosing autism through using MRI, an advance that eventually could help health care providers identify the problem much earlier in children and lead to improved treatment and outcomes for those with the disorder.

Prenatal treatment of congenital toxoplasmosis could reduce the risk of brain damage
Prenatal treatment of congenital toxoplasmosis with antibiotics might substantially reduce the proportion of infected fetuses that develop serious neurological sequelae (brain damage, epilepsy, deafness, blindness or developmental problems) or die.

Coral records show ocean thermocline rise with global warming
Researchers looking at corals in the western tropical Pacific Ocean have found records linking a profound shift in the depth of the division between warm surface water and colder, deeper water traceable to recent global warming.

Patients and doctors are being misled by published data on medicines
The drug reboxetine is, overall, an ineffective and potentially harmful antidepressant, according to a comprehensive study of the evidence published on bmj.com today.

Restrictive use of blood transfusions during cardiac surgery shows comparable outcomes
Use of stricter guidelines for the use of red blood cell transfusions for patients undergoing cardiac surgery was associated similar rates of death and severe illness compared to patients who received more transfusions, according to a study in the Oct.

WUSTL's Living Learning Center shares the world's first full 'Living Building' certification
Tyson Research Center's Living Learning Center has achieved full certification under the Living Building Challenge run by the International Living Building Institute.

IOF campaign puts spotlight on vastly under-diagnosed and under-treated spinal fractures
Spinal fractures and their severe repercussions were the focus of a press conference held today in Brussels on the occasion of a World Osteoporosis Day launch organized by the International Osteoporosis Foundation.

UBC underwater robot to explore ice-covered ocean and Antarctic ice shelf
Researchers at the University of British Columbia are deploying an underwater robot to survey ice-covered ocean in Antarctica from Oct.

Population change: Another influence on climate change
Changes in the human population, including aging and urbanization, could significantly affect global emissions of carbon dioxide over the next 40 years, according to research results published this week.

Researchers reach consensus on use of deep brain stimulation to treat Parkinson's
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) is used for Parkinson's patients whose symptoms cannot be adequately controlled with medications.

Brain imaging identifies differences in childhood bipolar disorder, ADHD
UIC researchers are the first to use brain imaging to examine the effects of emotion on working memory function in children with pediatric bipolar disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Benefits of planting winter canola examined
Winter canola might soon be the crop of choice for Pacific Northwest farmers, thanks to research by US Department of Agriculture scientists and their partners.

Titan Pharma announces JAMA publication highlighting phase 3 opioid dependence data
Titan Pharmaceuticals announced that data from its previously completed and announced Phase 3 randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial of Probuphine were published in JAMA.

Mathematics and the environment
Three articles in the November 2010 issue of the Notices of the American Mathematical Society examine ways in which mathematics can contribute to understanding environmental and ecological issues.

ACP says subspecialist 'neighbors' vital part of patient centered medical home
In order to realize the full potential of the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model of patient care to improve coordination and integration, the cooperation of subspecialist physicians and other health care professionals must be ensured, says a new policy paper from the American College of Physicians (ACP).

1 step closer to a drug treatment for cystic fibrosis, MU professor says
A University of Missouri researcher believes his latest work moves scientists closer to a cure for cystic fibrosis, one of the world's most common fatal genetic diseases.

Ancient animal urine provides insight into climate change
Scientists at the University of Leicester are using an unusual resource to investigate ancient climates -- prehistoric animal urine.

Nurses critical in assuring health needs of LGBTIQ youth
Five American teenagers, all bullied because they were gay, have committed suicide over the past few weeks.

Implanting medication to treat opioid dependence appears beneficial in decreasing opioid usage
Helping to address the issue of medication adherence, persons with opioid dependence who had the medication buprenorphine implanted had less opioid use over 16 weeks, according to a study in the Oct.

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev hosts UNESCO conference on drylands, deserts and desertification
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev will once again host an international conference on desertification.

No quick fix for peripheral artery disease -- repeat hospitalizations
Peripheral artery disease (PAD) is a progressive and costly disease, but remains under-diagnosed and under treated.

Environmental Science & Technology special issue on environmental policy
Environmental Science & Technology, one of the world's premier environmental journals, will devote its Jan.

New osteoporosis guidelines: Osteoporosis Canada
Comprehensive new guidelines from the Osteoporosis Canada aimed at preventing fragility fractures in women and men over the age of 50 are published in CMAJ.

Fox Chase researchers uncover Achilles' heel in aggressive breast tumors
In an unexpected twist, Fox Chase Cancer Center researchers find that the loss of a single protein, Nedd9, initially slows cancer formation but then makes the tumors that do arise more aggressive.

U of M researchers find children's health insurance coverage varies widely
Children's health insurance coverage still varies significantly at both the state and national levels, according to researchers at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health.

Peer-based outreach services for sex workers assist entry into detox and drug treatment
A mobile outreach program staffed by current and former sex workers is associated with increased entry to detoxification and residential drug treatment among women in street-based sex work, according to an evaluation led by the BC Center for Excellence in HIV/AIDS and the University of British Columbia.

Forget the Coppertone: Water fleas in mountain ponds can handle UV rays
Water fleas from clear-water alpine ponds are better able to withstand UV radiation, even with little natural protection, than fleas in nearby ponds with water that isn't as clear.

Beyond the Nobel Prize, what's next for graphene?
What happens next for this revolutionary nanoscale material, graphene? Two social scientists -- team leaders with the Center for Nanotechnology in Society at Arizona State University -- began a study earlier in 2010 to understand the as yet undeveloped pathway to the commercialization of graphene -- the processes, plans, promises and perils.

Lose the weight, not the potatoes
Research just released by the University of California, Davis, and the National Center for Food Safety and Technology, Illinois Institute of Technology, demonstrates that people can include potatoes in their diet and still lose weight.

Imaging study shows brain responds more to close friends
People's brains are more responsive to friends than to strangers, even if the stranger has more in common, according to a study in the Oct.

Marcellus shale needs scientific study to set guidelines
The Academy of Natural Sciences is calling for a comprehensive research plan that would result in guidelines and an assessment tool for regulators and managers in order to minimize the environmental impact of Marcellus Shale gas drilling.

Legalizing marijuana in California would not substantially cut cartel revenues, study finds
Legalizing marijuana in California will not dramatically reduce the drug revenues collected by Mexican drug trafficking organizations from sales to the United States, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

UMD neuroscientists discover nicotine could play role in Alzheimer's disease therapy
A team of neuroscientists has discovered important new information in the search for an effective treatment for Alzheimer's disease.

Looking back key to moving forward
Despite modest economic gains, gloomy unemployment numbers and low workplace morale still loom large within corporate America.

Canadian leads publishing of first results from Large Hadron Collider
Researchers used Einstein's famous E=mc2 equation and the Large Hadron Collider to recreate a miniature version of the event at the origins of our Universe, and the first findings from their work were published in the journal Physical Review Letters.

Medical researchers break down costs to care for heart failure patients at the end of life
As the population ages, health care epidemiologist Padma Kaul and cardiologist Paul Armstrong, researchers in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta, want health-care professionals to talk to their patients about their options on places to die, whether it be at home, in hospital or a palliative care facility like hospice.

NYSCF announces 2010 NYSCF Investigators
The New York Stem Cell Foundation announced the first six NYSCF Investigators in conjunction with its Fifth Annual Translational Stem Cell Research Conference.

Coordinator of UN high-level task force to open McGill Food Security Conference
Dr. David Nabarro, Assistant Secretary-General at the United Nations and co-ordinator of the Secretary-General's High-Level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis, will deliver the keynote address at the opening evening of the Third McGill Conference on Global Food Security on Tuesday, October 19, 5 p.m., at Centre Mont-Royal, 2200 Mansfield St. in Montreal.

National committee releases findings on transforming and improving the nursing profession
The report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Initiative on the Future of Nursing at the Institute of Medicine recommends everything from higher levels of education and training for nurses to greater opportunities for their ranks to hold leadership positions and the removal of

Elsevier announces publishing of the American Journal of Pathology
Elsevier, a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, is pleased to announce that as of January 2011 Elsevier will publish the American Journal of Pathology in partnership with the American Society for Investigative Pathology.

J. Marc Overhage elected to Institute of Medicine
J. Marc Overhage, M.D., Ph.D., a national leader in the development and implementation of electronic medical records and health information exchange, has been elected to the prestigious Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences.

Despite brain damage, working memory functions -- within limits
Larry R. Squire, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry, psychology and neurosciences at University of California -- San Diego and a scientist at the VA San Diego Healthcare System, report that working memory of relational information -- where an object is located, for example -- remains intact even if key brain structures like the hippocampus are damaged.

Economic advantage to pediatric ondansetron administration in emergency departments
In research published this week in PLoS Medicine, Stephen Freedman (University of Toronto) and colleagues performed a cost analysis of the emergency department administration of oral ondansetron to children with dehydration and vomiting secondary to gastroenteritis and found that this treatment could provide substantial economic, as well as clinical, benefit.

Pediatric hospitalizations for ATV-related injuries more than double
All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are associated with a significant and increasing number of hospitalizations for children in the US, according to a new report by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Considerable proportion of patients with advanced cancer continue to undergo common cancer screening
A sizable proportion of patients with advanced cancer and a life expectancy of only a few years continue to undergo common cancer screening tests that are unlikely to provide meaningful benefit, according to a study in the Oct.

Fellowship allows diverse reporters to cultivate public awareness of aging issues
The Gerontological Society of America and New America Media have selected 15 journalists for the new MetLife Foundation Journalists in Aging Fellows Program.

Measurement scientists set a new standard in 3-D ears
Scientists at the UK's National Physical Laboratory have developed a means of representing a 3-D model ear, to help redefine the standard for a pinna simulator (the pinna is the outer part of the ear) -- used to measure sound in the way we perceive it.

Long-lasting mechanical heart implanted for the first time in Canada in heart-failure patient
In a Canadian first, the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre used a new kind of left ventricular assist device (LVAD) to treat a patient with advanced heart failure.

Mayo Clinic researcher inducted into the Institute of Medicine
Mayo Clinic radiologist and researcher Richard Ehman, M.D., has been named by the National Academy of Sciences to the Institute of Medicine.

Why it's hard to crash the electric grid
A new study shows why it would be hard for terrorists to bring down the US electric grid.

Percolating a solution to hexavalent chromium
Coffee bean husks could be used to extract hexavalent chromium from industrial wastewater, offering an inexpensive remediation technology for the developing world.

K-State advances field of ecological genomics with research, symposium
A Kansas State University professor's research and the upcoming Ecological Genomics Symposium continue to make the university a leader in the emerging field of ecological genomics.

Microscopic solutions to world's biggest problems
World class scientist professor Willy Verstraete will explain on Monday how he and his team are using bacteria to produce energy, degrade waste, clean water and kill viruses.

Promising drug candidate reverses age-related memory loss in mice
Researchers at the University of Edinburgh today report a new experimental compound that can improve memory and cognitive function in aging mice.

Physicists observe electron ejected from atom for first time
Air Force Office of Scientific Research-supported physicists at the University of California, Berkeley, in collaboration with researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics and the US Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, became the first researchers to observe the motion of an atom's valence or outermost electrons in real-time by investigating the ejection of an electron from an atom by an intense laser pulse.

Personal genetic profiling services lack evidence for claims
Direct-to-consumer personal genetic profiling services that claim to predict people's health risks by analyzing their DNA are often inconclusive and companies that sell them should provide better information about the evidence on which the results are based, says the UK Nuffield Council on Bioethics, in a new report on the ethics of so-called personalized health-care services published today.

Hope for a new treatment for bone cancer
Children and young people who are diagnosed with bone cancer could benefit from better treatment in the future thanks to new research at the University of Nottingham.

Smithsonian reports regional sea temperature rise and coral bleaching event in Western Caribbean
The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute's Bocas del Toro Research Station and Galeta Point Marine Laboratory are reporting an anomalous sea temperature rise and a major coral bleaching event in the Western Caribbean.

NOAA webcasts corals research to nation's classrooms live from undersea lab
The wonders of coral reefs and life thriving below the sea will be broadcast live on the Web to classrooms and communities nationwide during a NOAA science and education mission at Aquarius Reef Base, the world's only undersea research station.

NSF renews Centers for Nanotechnology in Society
The National Science Foundation recently renewed two important cooperative agreements totaling more than $12.5 million over five years.

JFK single-gunman theory shot down by science
It's possibly history's biggest conspiracy theory -- one that over and over has begged the question: was there really only one gunman in the JFK assassination?

SNM and Image GentlyTM launch initiative to standardize radiation dose in pediatric nuclear medicine
The Society of Nuclear Medicine and the Society for Pediatric Radiology's Board of Directors recently approved new North American Guidelines for Radiopharmaceutical Doses for Children.

Georgia Tech mobile phone game trains players to make healthier diet selections
A Georgia Tech study has shown that playing health-related video games on a mobile device can help adults learn to live more healthfully by making smart diet choices.

Bogus science, health quackery to be exposed at McGill symposium
Four world-famous science communicators will discuss various aspects of pseudoscience and will provide guidance for separating sense from nonsense at the Sixth Annual Trottier Symposium, which takes place Oct.

Are patient surveys a reliable way to assess the performance of doctors and practices?
To assess the performance of general practices, it is better to ask patients about their actual experiences of care rather than ask for satisfaction ratings, according to new research published on bmj.com today.

New studies examine links between XMRV and human disease
In three recent studies published in the Nov. 15 issue of the Journal of Infectious Diseases, now available online, the evidence supports a possible link between Xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus and prostate cancer but not other links involving chronic fatigue syndrome, HIV infection or hepatitis C virus infection.

Transfusion rates vary extremely in cardiac bypass surgery
Transfusion rates for blood products used in a common heart surgery range from no patients to nearly all patients, and vary by hospital, according to findings from a group of researchers from Duke University Medical Center.

Grant to explore nanotech anti-infective agent for soldiers' wounds
The US Department of Defense has awarded $1.5 million over three years to the Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological Sciences and to Ann Arbor-based NanoBio Corporation to develop and test nanoemulsions with potential to fight a wide range of wound infections, including drug-resistant forms.

Second-generation device more effective in capturing circulating tumor cells
A redesigned version of the CTC-Chip -- a microchip-based device for capturing rare circulating tumor cells -- appears to be more effective and should be easier to manufacture than the original.

Elsevier announces publishing of the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics
Elsevier, a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, is pleased to announce that as of January 2011 Elsevier will publish the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics (JMD) in partnership with the Association for Molecular Pathology (AMP) and the American Society for Investigative Pathology (ASIP).

First phase II trial of heart disease treatment for Duchenne muscular dystrophy launched
Kennedy Krieger announced the launch of a first-of-its-kind phase II clinical trial to investigate a treatment for heart disease in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).

Malnutrition increases risk of prolonged hospital stay
Hospital patients admitted with malnutrition or who don't eat for several days are at greater risk of a prolonged hospital stay, according to a study published in CMAJ.

Researchers propose new way to classify personality disorders
Research led by a Michigan State University psychologist is playing a key role in the effort to change the way mental health clinicians classify personality disorders.

Staying sharp in Philadelphia
Brain function and health will be the focus of a

Kuwait's Dasman Diabetes Institute signs agreement with the Forsyth Institute
In the face of a dramatic worldwide increase in adolescent obesity and Type 2 diabetes, The Forsyth Institute today announced a research alliance with the Dasman Diabetes Institute of Kuwait to initiate studies that could lay a scientific basis for prevention.

Blocking an oncogene in liver cancer could be potential therapy option
Scientists have found that a synthetic molecule they designed can block activation of a gene in liver cancer cells, halting a process that allows some of those cancer cells to survive chemotherapy.

Consuming vegetables linked to decreased breast cancer risk in African-American women
Investigators from the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University School of Medicine have reported that African-American women who consume more vegetables are less likely to develop estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer than women with low vegetable intake.

Giant star goes supernova -- and is smothered by its own dust
A giant star in a faraway galaxy recently ended its life with a dust-shrouded whimper instead of the more typical bang.

Even women with a family history can control breast cancer risk
Having a family history of breast cancer can lead some women to wonder if the risk is out of their control.

Study of planarian hormones may aid in understanding parasitic flatworms
A study of peptide hormones in the brain of a seemingly primitive flatworm reveals the surprising complexity of its nervous system and opens up a new approach for combating a major parasitic disease, researchers report.

Genetic defect found to cause severe epilepsy and mental retardation
Israel has detected a genetic mutation resulting in a progressive disease of severe mental retardation and epilepsy beginning at infancy.

Getting out of the house after stroke
People who have become housebound after having a stroke are being invited to take part in a major new study that could help to put them back on the road to independence.

University of Utah microbubbles clean dirty soil in China
Microbubbles are much bigger than they sound. If all goes as planned during a demonstration project in eastern China, microbubble technology developed at the University of Utah has the potential to boost a wide range of environmental cleanup efforts around the world.

The Ross Summit to focus on new survival data, technique refinement and availability
More than 100 cardiovascular surgeons and cardiologists from 25 countries are scheduled to attend the annual global Ross Summit, a two-day surgical congress focused on the Ross Procedure.

How immune response in pregnancy may lead to brain dysfunction in offspring
A pregnant woman's immune response to viral infections may induce subtle neurological changes in the unborn child that can lead to an increased risk for neurodevelopmental disorders including schizophrenia and autism.

Breast-healthy lifestyle worthwhile, URMC study confirms
Having a family history of breast cancer can lead some people to wonder if their risk is out of their control.
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