Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 18, 2010
Plastic monitors itself
A new polymer-metal material that has sensory properties makes it possible to produce plastic component parts that monitor themselves.

News and insights in gastroenterology presented at the ACG's 75th Annual Meeting
Many of the world's preeminent gastroenterologists will gather for the American College of Gastroenterology's (ACG) 75th Annual Scientific Meeting at the Henry B.

Beta carotene and retinitis pigmentosa
Today's scientific program of the 2010 American Academy of Ophthalmology -- Middle East-Africa Council of Ophthalmology Joint Meeting includes a report on beta carotene's ability to improve vision in people with certain incurable retinal diseases.

Medicare hospital comparison website may not help patients locate best places for high-risk surgery
Information available on a government Web site designed to help patients choose high-quality hospitals does not appear to help Medicare beneficiaries identify facilities with better outcomes for high-risk surgeries, according to a report in the October issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Japanese researchers report on liver transplantation studies using animal and iPS cells
Japanese researchers have made breakthroughs in liver cell transplantation, finding that induced pluripotent stem cells derived from mouse somatic cells used in in vitro experiments might help overcome transplant immunological rejection and that the cells can proliferate without limits to become hepatocyte-like.

Feinstein Institute to share $5M US Department of Defense grant
The US Department of Defense has awarded a $5 million grant to the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and the University of Cincinnati to further develop a

Embargoed news from Annals of Internal Medicine
Below is information about four articles being published in the Oct.

Consortium to design human trials of mosaic HIV vaccine
Los Alamos National Laboratory researcher Bette Korber is part of an international team of investigators working to design and implement the first human trial of a mosaic HIV vaccine candidate.

Diagnostic techniques help IBD patients avoid ionizing radiation exposure
Several studies of the effectiveness of non‐X‐ray techniques to evaluate Crohn's disease revealed that diagnostic strategies such as capsule endoscopy and magnetic resonance enteroscopy are useful in managing patients with inflammatory bowel disease and avoiding ionizing radiation.

NASA's Webb telescope's systems engineering evolves
As the James Webb Space Telescope enters its next critical phase of development NASA and Northrop Grumman Corporation have forged an integrated, consolidated and

New evidence of the power of open access
New findings settle one of the arguments about open-access (OA) research publications: are they more likely to be cited because they were made OA, or were they made OA because they were more likely to be cited?

Colonoscopy technique increases polyp detection in far reaches of right colon
An endoscopic technique known as retroflexion, when used in the right side of the colon, may increase the diagnostic yield of polyps, including large adenomas (larger than 10 millimeters) and serrated lesions, particularly in men, older patients and those with polyps found on forward examination according to researchers at Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis.

Call for long-term view on 'dire' funding of biological research databases
A rethink is needed on the

National Stroke Association survey reveals more than half of stroke survivors suffer added burden of little known neurologic condition
A survey released today by National Stroke Association shows that 53 percent of stroke survivor respondents suffer from symptoms of another neurologic condition called pseudobulbar affect (PBA), a condition thought to be caused by structural damage in the brain due to injury or disease.

Watching violent TV or video games desensitizes teenagers and may promote more aggressive behavior
Watching violent films, TV programs or video games desensitizes teenagers, blunts their emotional responses to aggression and potentially promotes aggressive attitudes and behavior, according to new research published online in the Oxford journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience Oct.

Analysis indicates a third H1N1 pandemic wave unlikely in 2010
Analysis of H1N1 antibody levels (seroprotection rates) after the 2009 pandemic suggest that a third wave is unlikely in 2010, although adults over age 50, particularly those with chronic conditions, should be immunized for the fall flu season, states a research paper in CMAJ.

The protein NOS2 isn't good for ER-negative breast cancer patients
Breast cancers can be divided into different subtypes. Patients with breast tumors that lack expression of the protein ER (ER-negative breast tumors) have a worse outlook than those with ER-positive breast tumors.

Study documents wrong-site, wrong-patient procedure errors
Data from one liability insurance database in Colorado indicate that wrong-site and wrong-patient surgical and procedure errors continued to occur despite nationwide steps to help prevent them, according to a report in the October issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

NHS reforms could mean more patients seeking treatment abroad, warn experts
The planned shake-up of the NHS in England could see a rise in the number of patients seeking treatment elsewhere in the European Union, warn experts on today.

Study examines factors associated with seeking skin cancer screening
A survey of patients undergoing skin cancer screening shows that women were more likely to seek screening because of a skin lesion, a family history of skin cancer, or concern about sun exposure, whereas men age 50 and older, a group at highest risk for melanoma, may only seek screenings after a previous skin cancer diagnosis, according to a report in the October issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Change in how paramedics use oxygen could reduce deaths
A change to the way paramedics use oxygen when treating patients with chronic lung disease could cut the death rate in these cases by up to 78 percent, according to a new study published on today.

Better student performance with peer learning
Engineering students with average grades from upper secondary school can manage difficult courses just as well as students with high grades.

Does clenching your muscles increase willpower?
The next time you feel your willpower slipping as you pass that mouth-watering dessert case, tighten your muscles.

MU researchers find celebrity journalism may contribute positively to consumer health behaviors
Amanda Hinnant, assistant professor of magazine journalism in the University of Missouri School of Journalism, found some readers of celebrity health stories report that the stories have an impact on their own behavior and how they discuss health issues.

From bees to coral reefs: How humans impact partnerships in the natural world
Relationships among organisms, or mutualisms, might be more important to global ecosystem health than previously thought, argues a research team involving UA professor Judith Bronstein.

Investment in CRC screening targeting pre-medicare population could cut medicare treatment costs
Investment in screening programs that target the pre-Medicare population, individuals aged between 50 and 64, could reduce the costs of colorectal cancer in the Medicare program, according to a study.

Breakthrough in nanocrystals growth
For the first time scientists have been able to watch nanoparticles grow from the earliest stages of their formation.

Four new psoriasis 'hotspots' identified by U-M geneticists
Four newly discovered DNA

Questionnaire helps to identify patients at risk for surgical complications
A simple, eight-item pre-operative questionnaire could help identify patients at risk for complications following surgery, according to a report in the October issue of Archives of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Would you sleep on a chunk of ice? Building your 'experience resume'
If sleeping on a bed of ice or eating bacon-flavored ice cream doesn't sound too appealing, consider the tale you'll have to tell about it later.

How do beauty product ads affect consumer self esteem and purchasing?
A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research found that ads featuring beauty products actually lower female consumers' self-esteem.

Psychiatric illnesses before surgery associated with modest increased risk of death afterward
Individuals with co-occurring psychiatric illnesses, especially anxiety and depression, appear to have an increased risk of death within 30 days of surgery, according to a report in the October issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Type 2 diabetes and insulin use are associated with colorectal cancer in men
There is an association between Type 2 diabetes mellitus and colorectal cancer among men, but not women.

OU researchers awarded $3M DOE grant to determine effects of climate change on two ecosystems
To better understand the effects of climate change on the microbial communities of two important ecosystems -- the temperate grasslands in Oklahoma and the tundra in Alaska, a University of Oklahoma research group has been awarded a $3 million Department of Energy grant.

Researchers increase understanding of genetic susceptibility to psoriasis
Genetic variants associated with increased susceptibility to psoriasis are reported in five papers published online this week in Nature Genetics.

NIH-funded scientists sequence genomes of lyme disease bacteria
Scientists supported by the National Institutes of Health have determined the complete genetic blueprints for 13 different strains of Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacteria that cause Lyme disease.

New 2010 European Resuscitation Council Guidelines published
Elsevier announces the publication of the 2010 European Resuscitation Council Guidelines in the journal Resuscitation.

Why are men more susceptible to alcoholism?
Alcohol is one of the most commonly abused substances, and men are up to twice as likely to develop alcoholism as women.

Western diet exacerbates sepsis
High-fat diets cause a dramatic immune system overreaction to sepsis, a condition of systemic bacterial infection.

Medicaid reimbursement and childhood flu vaccination rates linked
Increasing the amount that physicians are reimbursed by Medicaid for administering influenza shots may raise vaccination rates among poor children.

Treating cancer with light
Can skin cancer be treated with light? Scientists at the University of California, Irvine (UC Irvine), believe so.

Geophysicists claim conventional understanding of Earth's deep water cycle needs revision
A popular view among geophysicists is that large amounts of water are carried from the oceans to the deep mantle in subduction zones -- boundaries where the Earth's crustal plates converge, with one plate riding over the other.

Consortium: Higher ed curricula not keeping pace with societal, tech changes
As universities are being restructured to best serve the society of tomorrow, are their curricula reflecting these changes and the development of new and possibly even unformulated new disciplines and areas of inquiry?

Cooperation in diabetes research
The Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried and pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline GmbH & Co.

Digital libraries of the future one step closer
A treasure trove of resources awaits researchers in the coming year.

No standard for the placebo?
Much of medicine is based on what is considered the strongest possible evidence: The placebo-controlled trial.

Major component in turmeric enhances effect of chemotherapy drug in head and neck cancer
Curcumin, the major component in the spice turmeric, when combined with the drug Cisplatin enhances the chemotherapy's suppression of head and neck cancer cell growth, researchers with UCLA's Jonsson Cancer Center have found.

White House Science Fair showcases Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams
Today, two Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams were among more than a dozen teams from around the country that presented their winning work at a White House Science Fair.

Generous paupers and stingy princes? Power and consumer spending
How do people decide how much to spend on purchases for themselves versus others?

Statin use associated with statistically significant reduction in colorectal cancer
A systematic review of the medical literature supports the hypothesis that statins, cholesterol‐lowering drugs used to prevent cardiac problems, are associated with reduced risk of colon and rectal cancers.

Removing 2mm around breast cancer tumors prevents residual disease in 98 percent of patients
Removing an extra two millimeters around an area of invasive breast cancer is sufficient to minimize any residual disease in 98 percent of patients, according a study of 303 women just published.

Lessons learned from the H1N1 pandemic
The H1N1 pandemic influenza provided several important lessons that may help in preparing for future influenza outbreaks, write Drs.

Can naturally raised beef find its place in the industry?
As consumer demand for naturally raised beef continues to increase, researchers at the University of Illinois have discovered that naturally raised beef can be produced effectively for this niche market as long as a substantial premium is offered to cover additional production and transportation costs.

When vertebrae cross dress: How sloths got their long neck
By examining the development of bones in the vertebral column, limbs and ribcage, scientists at the University of Cambridge have discovered how sloths evolved their unique neck skeleton.

Cash is healthier? Credit and debit increase impulsive food purchases
People are more likely to buy unhealthy foods when they pay using credit or debit cards, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

A new order for CPR, spelled C-A-B
The 2010 AHA Guidelines for CPR and ECC update the 2005 guidelines.

Prostate cancer patients treated with robotic-assisted surgery can expect low recurrence of cancer
A first-ever, long-term study of patients who underwent robot-assisted surgery to remove their cancerous prostates found that nearly 87 percent of them had no recurrence of the disease after five years.

Vitamin E in front line of prostate cancer fight
Survival rates of the world's most common cancer might soon be increased with a new vitamin E treatment which could significantly reduce tumor regrowth.

Optical technique reveals unnexpected complexity in mammalian olfactory coding
A team co-led by neuroscientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has shed light -- literally -- on circuitry underlying the olfactory system in mammals, giving us a new view of how that system may pull off some of its most amazing feats.

New undertsanding of gut hormones and gut function sheds light on obesity
Gastric function, as well the activities of the autonomic nervous system are impaired in obese individuals in both fasting and fed states, which could lead to over-eating, according to a new study.

Vitamin D deficiency puts IBD patients at greater risk of osteoporosis
A new study found that IBD patients with an abnormal bone density exam had a significantly higher rate of vitamin D deficiency than those who had normal DEXA scans.

Tackling cognitive deficits in Alzheimer's disease: 1 'STEP' at a time
Lowering levels of a key protein involved in regulating learning and memory -- STtriatal-Enriched tyrosine Phosphatase (STEP) -- reversed cognitive deficits in mice with Alzheimer's disease, Yale School of Medicine researchers report in the Oct.

100-million-year-old mistake provides snapshot of evolution
Research by University of Leeds plant scientists has uncovered a snapshot of evolution in progress, by tracing how a gene mutation over 100 million years ago led flowers to make male and female parts in different ways.

Penn study gives hope for new class of Alzheimer's disease drugs
Finding a drug that can cross the blood-brain barrier is the bane of drug development for Alzheimer's disease and other neurological disorders of the brain.

Is team science productive?
Penn Medicine translational medicine researchers are among the first to find a way to measure the productivity of collaborations in a young, emerging institute.

Vitamin B12 may reduce risk of Alzheimer's disease
A new study shows that vitamin B12 may protect against Alzheimer's disease, adding more evidence to the scientific debate about whether the vitamin is effective in reducing the risk of memory loss.

Chemical & Engineering News launches Analytical SCENE news channel
Chemical & Engineering News, the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, today launched its latest news channel, the Analytical SCENE.

Singapore hosts first 'Decade of the Mind' conference in Asia
A team of 15 world renowned cognitive scientists have converged in Singapore for the 6th Decade of the Mind Conference, held from Oct.

Encouraging findings suggest new avenues for treating liver disease in overweight Americans
A progressive form of non‐alcoholic fatty liver disease known as non‐alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) can lead to cirrhosis and all its complications.

Philip E. Bourne wins Microsoft's 2010 Jim Gray eScience Award
Philip E. Bourne, a computational biologist and professor with the University of California, San Diego, is this year's recipient of Microsoft's Jim Gray eScience Award, for his contributions to data-intensive computing.

Acid reflux, functional dyspepsia have significant impact on disordered sleep
Among the findings of three new studies, patients with functional dyspepsia were 3.25 times more likely to have disordered sleep than healthy controls; and the muscle‐relaxant and antispastic drug baclofen as well as esomeprazole showed promise in providing relief.

Louisiana Tech professors to provide leadership, research for 'LA-SiGMA' project
Faculty from Louisiana Tech University's College of Engineering and Science will play important roles in a major transformation of materials science research and education in Louisiana thanks to a $20 million grant from the National Science Foundation to the Louisiana Board of Regents' EPSCoR program.

Computational model of swimming fish could inspire design of robots or medical prosthetics
Scientists at the University of Maryland and Tulane University have developed a computational model of a swimming fish that is the first to address the interaction of internal and external forces on locomotion.

It is unclear if programs to encourage cycling are effective
More research and evaluation are needed to determine the most effective community programs to encourage cycling, says a study published on today.

Research team identifies new mechanism with suspected role in cancer
Researchers at Brown University and Rhode Island Hospital have identified a process in which prolactin receptors can be drawn together and begin working in pairs called dimers.

Innovative early-career engineering faculty selected to participate in NAE's second frontiers of engineering education symposium
Fifty-three of the nation's most innovative young engineering educators have been selected to take part in the National Academy of Engineering's second Frontiers of Engineering Education symposium.

New studies highlight obesity's impact on gastrointestinal health
Researchers found that patients with non-irrhotic liver cancer had a high prevalence of diabetes and elevated body mass indexes (BMI) despite a lack of steatosis.

Vitamin D deficiency linked to lung transplant rejection
Vitamin D deficiency is associated with a significant increase in lung transplant rejection, according to research conducted at Loyola University Health System (LUHS).

Intestinal enzyme helps maintain population of beneficial bacteria
An enzyme that keeps intestinal bacteria out of the bloodstream may also play an important role in maintaining the normal microbial population of the gastrointestinal system.

Syracuse University partners with Arden-Fox to advance DOD's Net Zero Energy Initiative
Syracuse University today announced a partnership to advance the use of biofuels by the US armed forces as an alternative energy source.

Body's bacteria affect atherosclerosis
New findings suggesting that bacteria in the mouth and/or intestine can affect the the outcome pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and lead to new treatment strategies, reveals research from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

JCI online early table of contents: Oct. 18, 2010
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Oct.

Fructose intolerance common in children with functional abdominal pain
Fructose intolerance, or fructose malabsorption, is common in children with recurrent or functional abdominal pain, but the condition can be effectively managed with a low‐fructose diet, according to the results of a new study.

Demand for radiation therapy projected to outpace supply of radiation oncologists
Between 2010 and 2020, the demand for radiation therapy will exceed the number of radiation oncologists practicing in the US tenfold, which could profoundly affect the ability to provide patients with sufficient access to treatment, according to new research from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Benign envy sells iPhones, but malicious envy drives consumers to BlackBerries
People are willing to pay more for products that elicit their envy -- but that's only when they are motivated by a positive, benign form of envy, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Scientists closer to grasping how the brain's 'hearing center' spurs responses to sound
Just as we visually map a room by spatially identifying the objects in it, we map our aural world based on the frequencies of sounds.

The world is not flat: Exploring cells and tissues in three dimensions
In the current issue of the journal Nature Reviews Microbiology, researcher Cheryl Nickerson and her team at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University highlight an innovative approach for studying cells in 3-D.

Early evaluation and intervention critical for vaccinated children with hearing loss from meningitis
Despite widespread use of pneumococcal vaccination, some children still develop deafness following pneumococcal meningitis, according to a report in the October issue of Archives of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Soy intake associated with lower recurrence of breast cancer in hormone-sensitive cancers
Post-menopausal breast cancer patients with hormone-sensitive cancers who consumed high amounts of soy isoflavones had a lower risk of recurrence, found a research study published in CMAJ.

Space science and exploration workshop: Nov. 8-10 in Irvine, Calif.
NASA's exploration of space has been largely motivated by questions such as how the universe and the solar system began, whether there is life beyond Earth, and what the future might hold for humans in space.

University of Cincinnati neurotrauma team awarded $2.1M to test 'lab on a tube'
The US Department of Defense has awarded researchers at the University of Cincinnati a $2.1 million Advanced Technology/Therapeutic Development Award to develop the next generation of brain monitors.

Surgical complications drop at hospitals that share patient safety data
Surgical complications dropped by nearly 10 percent at hospitals that agreed to pool data and share information about what keeps patients safe, according to a study by the University of Michigan Health System.

Drivel on Facebook more valuable than we think
Superficial contacts on Facebook, apparently unnecessary comments, and banal status updates may be more worthwhile than we think.

New clues to how cancer-related proteins plasmin, thrombin lose inhibition
A new technique that searches blood for the tiniest remnants of broken down proteins has revealed new information about how cells crank up cancer activators plasmin and thrombin.

Largest parity violation and other adventures in table-top physics
Exploring the fundamental laws of physics has often required huge accelerators and particles colliding at high energies.

Mount Sinai researchers discover why cocaine is so addictive
Mount Sinai researchers have discovered how cocaine corrupts the brain and becomes addictive.

Diabetic adults' conditions improved after phone calls with fellow patients
Phone calls with a peer facing the same self-management challenges helped diabetes patients manage their conditions and improved their blood sugar levels better than those who used traditional nurse care management services alone, according to research from the University of Michigan Health System.

Genetic predisposition to certain skin cancers may be associated with vitamin D deficiency
Patients with basal cell nevus syndrome, which predisposes them to develop non-melanoma skin cancers, appear to be at increased risk for vitamin D deficiency if they take steps to protect themselves from sunlight, according to a report in the October issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Notable racial disparities in diagnosis, treatment and outcomes of colorectal cancer
One study found comparable rates of colorectal cancer between young African American and Hispanic patients and called for a large prospective study to confirm these results before recommending earlier screening in the Hispanic population, as currently advocated for African Americans.

Consortium assembled to design human trials of mosaic HIV vaccine
Duke University Medical Center vaccine experts have assembled an international team of investigators to design and implement the first human trial of a mosaic HIV vaccine candidate, a novel strategy that attempts to counter one of the most daunting challenges in HIV vaccine design: the virus's extensive genetic diversity.

Attack on C. difficile: How can we combat this serious health issue
In five different studies, researchers explored the impact of various factors on increasing rates of Clostridium difficile infection (C. difficile), such the substantial increase in antibiotic use due to new National Hospital Quality Measures; strategies to combat high rates of C. difficile infections; and cutting‐edge treatments for this potentially deadly -- and quite common -- infection.

ORNL theorist part of team that discovers unexpected magnetism
Theoretical work done at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has provided a key to understanding an unexpected magnetism between two dissimilar materials.

Few nurse practitioners, physician assistants pursue careers in pediatric health
Pediatric health-care work force planning efforts are increasingly incorporating the roles of nurse practitioners and physician assistants, especially in plans to alleviate the perceived shortage of pediatric subspecialists.

A mystery solved: How genes are selectively silenced
Cells read only those genes which are needed at a given moment, while the others are chemically labeled and, thus, selectively turned off.

Lastest graphene research could lead to improvements in bluetooth headsets and other devices
Researchers at the UC Riverside Bourns College of Engineering have built and successfully tested an amplifier made from graphene that could lead to more efficient circuits in electronic chips, such as those used in Bluetooth headsets and toll collection devices in cars.

Egg allergy: Not a reason to avoid flu vaccine after all
Having an egg allergy is not a reason to avoid getting the 2010-2011 flu vaccination.

Breakthrough: With a chaperone, copper breaks through
Prof. Nir Ben-Tal of Tel Aviv University has investigated how a type of membrane protein transfers essential copper ions throughout the body.

Latinas: 'Cancer was just meant to be'
Fatalism may prevent women from Latin American descent -- Latinas -- from using cancer screening services, according to Karla Espinosa de los Monteros and Dr.

Rice, TMC team take aim at pancreatic cancer
Researchers from Rice University's Laboratory for Nanophotonics, the radiology department at Baylor College of Medicine and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center are preparing to test a combined approach for diagnosing and treating pancreatic cancer with a specially engineered nanoparticle.

Globalized economy more sensitive to recessions
By applying the same rules that explain how genomes evolve, Rice University physicists have shown that the world economy is more sensitive to recessionary shocks and recovers more slowly from recessions now than it did 40 years ago, due to increased trade globalization.

ConocoPhillips, Penn State award 2010 energy prize to Rural Cogeneration
Electricity and hot water for remote, off the grid health clinics and schools is the focus of the

Allergy drug found to clear condition but not symptoms of throat disease
A group of Mayo Clinic researchers conducted the first controlled trial of swallowed fluticasone nasal spray (also known as Flonase) on people with the allergic esophageal condition called eosinophilic esophagitis. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to