Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 25, 2010
Plagiarism sleuths tackle full-text biomedical articles
In scientific publishing, how much reuse of text is too much?

What can country of birth tell us about childhood asthma?
Researchers from Tufts pooled data from five epidemiological studies to investigate the prevalence of asthma in children in two Boston neighborhoods.

New venture explores frontiers of personalized medicine
Pharmaceuticals that seek out cancerous cells and deliver treatments to them; imaging techniques that can help doctors detect diseases before the physical signs begin to appear; and medicines that are tailor-made for individual patients, are within the sights of an exciting new Australian start-up venture.

Many women missing out on the benefits of cardiac rehab
Cardiac rehabilitation is considered the pillar of preventing a second cardiac event yet those who stand to benefit the most -- women and the elderly -- are often missing out, Dr.

Heavy smoking in midlife may be associated with dementia in later years
Heavy smoking in middle age appears to be associated with more than double the risk for Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia two decades later, according to a report posted online today that will be published in the Feb.

Peace of mind closes health gap for less-educated
Psychological well-being is powerful enough to counteract the pull of socioeconomic status on the long-term health of the disadvantaged, according to a study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Risk of cancer due to radiation exposure in middle age may be higher than previously estimated
Contrary to common assumptions, the risk of cancer associated with radiation exposure in middle age may not be lower than the risk associated with exposure at younger ages, according to a study published online Oct.

Radiation therapy improves painful condition associated with multiple sclerosis
Stereotactic radiation is an effective, long-term treatment for trigeminal neuralgia: a painful condition that occurs with increased frequency in patients with multiple sclerosis.

US, Kazakhstan to share standards for quality of medicines
With the mutual goal of improving the quality of pharmaceuticals worldwide, the United States Pharmacopeial Convention and the Republican State Enterprise National Centre for Expertise of Drugs, Medical Products and Equipment (

Discovery opens new window on development, and maybe potential, of human egg cells
Egg cells hold the key to many mysteries about reproduction, and knowing about the genetic makeup of individual eggs is important in fertility treatment.

Marathons damage the hearts of less fit runners for up to 3 months
Is running a marathon good for you or can it damage the heart?

JCI table of contents: Oct. 25, 2010
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for papers to be published Oct.

New guideline from ASH and ASCO recommends caution regarding ESA use in cancer patients
An updated joint guideline by the American Society of Hematology and the American Society of Clinical Oncology advises physicians about the appropriate use of erythropoiesis-stimulating agents, a class of drugs that stimulate the bone marrow to produce more red blood cells, to treat cancer patients with chemotherapy-induced anemia.

Highly targeted radiation technique minimizes side effects of prostate cancer treatment
Men with prostate cancer treated with a specialized type of radiation called intensity modulated radiation therapy have fewer gastrointestinal complications compared to patients treated with conventional three-dimensional conformal radiotherapy, according to a study presented Nov.

New trove of fossils suggests global distribution of tropical forest ecosystems in the Eocene
A vast new amber deposit in India has yielded100 fossil spiders, bees, and flies that date to the Early Eocene, or 52-50 million years ago.

Rice hulls a sustainable drainage option for greenhouse growers
Greenhouse plant growers can substitute rice hulls for perlite in their media without the need for an increase in growth regulators, according to a Purdue University study.

UC San Diego electrical engineering graduate student wins Intel Ph.D. Fellowship
Future USB drives, memory cards for cameras, and solid-state drives for smartphones, laptops and enterprise systems may all benefit from the research being performed by University of California, San Diego electrical engineering Ph.D. student Eitan Yaakobi.

Research on avoiding fraud in biometric identification
Scientists from Carlos III University of Madrid are analyzing possible attempts at fraud in various biometric identification systems in order to improve the security of facial, iris, fingerprint or vascular recognition, among other types.

Chemotherapy plus radiation prevents bladder cancer recurrences
Adding chemotherapy to radiation therapy for muscle invasive bladder cancer allows 67 percent of people to be free of disease in their bladders two years after treatment.

Beauty from the bottom up
Flamingos apply natural make-up to their feathers to stand out and attract mates, according to a new study by Juan Amat, from the Estacion Biologica de Donana in Seville, Spain, and colleagues.

John D. Groopman, Ph.D., honored with AACR-Prevent Cancer Foundation Award
John D. Groopman, Ph.D., has been selected to receive the 2010 American Association for Cancer Research-Prevent Cancer Foundation Award for Excellence in Cancer Prevention Research.

Experts unveil new CVD guidelines and position papers at Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2010
Summaries of a number of new Canadian Cardiovascular Society guidelines and position statements offering the most up to date information to support clinicians in practicing evidence-based medicine were released at the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2010 this week.

Unexpected findings of lead exposure may lead to treating blindness
Some unexpected effects of lead exposure that may one day help prevent and reverse blindness have been uncovered by a University of Houston professor and his team.

Life Sciences Discovery Fund to support drug discovery, foster new R&D initiative
LSDF announces a $5 million opportunity grant to Seattle-based Omeros Corporation to discover, develop, and commercialize new drugs to treat major diseases.

Elsevier introduces Protein Viewer, bringing science to life
Elsevier, a world-leading publisher of scientific, medical and technical products and services, introduces Protein Viewer, a new, interactive feature on SciVerse ScienceDirect for the Journal of Molecular Biology.

Changes in energy R&D needed to combat climate change
A new assessment of future scenarios that limit the extent of global warming cautions that unless current imbalances in R&D portfolios for the development of new, efficient, and clean energy technologies are redressed, greenhouse gas emission reduction targets are unlikely to be met, or met only at considerable costs.

Complications after endoscopies may be underestimated using standard reporting procedures
Hospital visits following outpatient gastrointestinal endoscopies may be more common than previously estimated, according to a report in the Oct.

Huge amber deposit discovered in India
Together with Indian and US colleagues, researchers from the University of Bonn, Germany, have been examining amber finds from northwest India for two years.

Golden eagles studied by satellite
Large-scale wind farm establishment may have a negative effect on Sweden's golden eagles.

Immune cells deploy traps to catch and kill pathogens
A new study reveals that two enzymes help immune cells deploy pathogen-killing traps by unraveling and using the chromatin (DNA and its associated proteins) contained in the cells' nuclei to form defensive webs.

Stop the bleeding: New way to restore numbers of key blood-clotting cells
Platelets are cells in the blood that have a key role in stopping bleeding.

Primary care physicians may earn lowest hourly wages
Clinician's wages appear to vary significantly across physician specialties and are lowest for those in primary care, according to a report in the Oct.

Purdue-led research team finds Haiti quake caused by unknown fault
Researchers found a previously unmapped fault was responsible for the devastating Jan.

Odor coding in mammals is more complex than previously thought
A new study in the Journal of General Physiology shows that the contribution of odorant receptors to olfactory response in mammals is much more complex than previously thought, with important consequences for odorant encoding and information transfer about odorants to the brain.

Microwave oven key to self-assembly process meeting semi-conductor industry need
The fundamental nanotechnology process of self assembly may soon replace the lithographic processing use to make the ubiquitous semi-conductor chips.

Penn study identifies molecular guardian of cell's RNA
When most genes are transcribed, the nascent RNAs produced are not quite ready to be translated into proteins -- they have to be spliced first, where non-coding sequences are removed and the remaining coding sequences are joined to form a final mRNA.

Allergies and wheezing illnesses in childhood may be determined in the womb
A child's chances of developing allergies or wheezing is related to how he or she grew at vital stages in the womb, according to scientists from the University of Southampton.

Heavy smoking doubles Alzheimer's disease, dementia risk
Heavy smoking in midlife is associated with a 157 percent increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and a 172 percent increased risk of developing vascular dementia, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Contraband cigarettes main source of supply for Ontario youth
A new study from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health found that contraband tobacco accounts for 43 percent of all cigarettes consumed by Ontario high school daily smokers in grades 9 to 12.

Why does lack of sleep affect us differently? Study hints it may be in our genes
Ever wonder why some people breeze along on four hours of sleep when others can barely function?

Daily vibration may help aging bones stay healthy
A daily dose of whole body vibration may help reduce the usual bone density loss that occurs with age, Medical College of Georgia researchers report.

New fog warning system in Venice region pays for itself 10 times over
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has taken part in the development of a new type of fog warning system in the Venice region.

High erythropoietin levels indicate increased risk of death
High erythropoietin levels in people over age 85 indicate a higher risk of death, according to a study published in CMAJ.

U of I receives $1.5 million to further sustainability in ornamental crop production
USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture awarded a $1.5 million grant today to help University of Illinois researchers establish guidelines for increasing environmental, social, and economic sustainability in ornamental crop production systems.

Anti-cholesterol drugs could help stave off seizures: UBC-Vancouver Coastal Health research
Statins, the family of drugs used to lower cholesterol, might also reduce the risk of epileptic seizures in people with cardiovascular disease, according to a new statistical study by a drug safety expert at the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute.

Tecnalia to host the international 2011 IDDRG Conference in Bilbao
Tecnalia will be hosting the international 2011 IDDRG conference in Bilbao June 5-8, 2011.

Growing crops in the city
A case study published in the 2010 Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education by professors at Washington State University studies the challenges one organization faced in maintaining an urban market garden.

Aspirin use associated with lower risk of cancer death for men with prostate cancer
Men with prostate cancer who take anticoagulants like aspirin in addition to radiation therapy or surgery may be able to cut their risk of dying of the disease by more than half, according to a large study presented on Nov.

VIMS professor wins NSF grant for global seagrass experiment
Professor Emmett Duffy of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science has received a three-year, $728,000 grant from the US National Science Foundation to establish a global experimental network for studying how nutrient pollution and changes in biodiversity impact seagrass beds.

Adding radiation to hormone therapy for prostate cancer treatment will increase survival chances
Prostate cancer patients who are treated with a combination of hormone therapy and radiation have a substantially improved chance of survival compared to patients who do not receive radiation, according to interim results of the largest randomized study of its kind presented at the plenary session, Nov.

UMD to lead $5 million NSF-funded research partnership to develop drought-tolerant canola crops
The University of Maryland has received a $5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to lead a multi-institutional research partnership that will aid in developing agricultural crop plants able to withstand drought conditions.

Listeria clever at finding its way into bloodstream, causing sickness
Pathogenic listeria tricks intestinal cells into helping it pass through those cells to make people ill, and, if that doesn't work, the bacteria simply goes around the cells, according to a Purdue University study.

As Arctic warms, increased shipping likely to accelerate climate change
As the ice-capped Arctic Ocean warms, ship traffic will increase at the top of the world.

'Judging Edward Teller'
Edward Teller has been called the

Wildlife health reporting tools may help prevent human illness
Two new tools that enable the public to report sick or dead wild animals could also lead to the detection and containment of wildlife disease outbreaks that may pose a health risk to people.

Plant stem cells could be fruitful source of low-cost cancer drug
A popular cancer drug could be produced cheaply and sustainably using stem cells derived from trees, a study suggests.

New class of biomolecules triggered in response to respiratory virus infection
For the first time, scientists have discovered that long, non-protein coding RNAs produced in a mammal's cells during a respiratory virus attack may influence the outcome of infection.

Pregnancy outcome affected by immune system genes
New research, to be published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, sheds new light on genetic factors that increase susceptibility to and provide protection from common disorders of pregnancy, specifically recurrent miscarriage, pre-eclampsia and fetal growth restriction.

Improved outcomes for HPV-positive head and neck cancer with cetuximab and IMRT
Studies have shown higher survival rates for people with head and neck cancers that test positive for HPV when they are treated with systemic chemotherapy and radiation therapy.

Heart disease prevention program saves lives and reduces costs, Kaiser Permanente study finds
A new study from Kaiser Permanente Colorado is one of the first to show that an intensive population management program that matches heart disease patients to personal nurses and clinical pharmacy specialists not only reduces the risk of death but reduces health care costs as well.

Mouse brain seen in sharpest detail ever
The most detailed magnetic resonance images ever obtained of a mammalian brain are now available to researchers in a free, online atlas of an ultra-high-resolution mouse brain, thanks to work at the Duke Center for In Vivo Microscopy.

Sleep disturbances show clear association with work disability
Sleep disturbances increase the risk of work disability and may slow the return to work process.

UF research gives clues about carbon dioxide patterns at end of Ice Age
New University of Florida research puts to rest the mystery of where old carbon was stored during the last glacial period.

UI study investigates variability in men's recall of sexual cues
Even if a woman is perfectly clear in expressing sexual interest or rejection, young men vary in their ability to remember the cues, a new University of Iowa study shows.

Heat acclimation benefits athletic performance
Turning up the heat might be the best thing for athletes competing in cool weather, according to a new study by human physiology researchers at the University of Oregon.

Newer, more intense chemotherapy with less radiation not more effective against Hodgkin's lymphoma
A lower dose of radiation used to reduce side effects is not as effective as the regular dose when given with the standard chemotherapy in the treatment of Hodgkin's lymphoma patients with early, intermediate-stage disease, according to a first-of-its-kind randomized study presented at the plenary session, Nov.

Blood pressure checks performed by barbers improve hypertension control in African-American men
Neighborhood barbers, by conducting a monitoring, education and physician-referral program, can help their African-American customers better control high blood pressure problems that pose special health risks for them, a new study from the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute shows.

Substantial consumption of fluoride increases chance of mild fluorosis
Young children who consume substantial amounts of fluoride through infant formula and other beverages mixed with fluoridated water or by swallowing fluoride toothpaste have an increased chance of developing mild enamel fluorosis, according to research published in the October issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association.

Stroma may provide key to better cancer treatment
A project focusing on the scar tissue surrounding cancer tumors aims to provide new targets for drugs for treating pancreatic cancer, the fifth highest cause of cancer deaths in the UK.

Study suggests sensitivity to bodily symptoms of anxiety may make a difference in treatment
Levels of anxiety sensitivity may be important in choosing medical treatment for patients with heart failure and atrial fibrillation, Montreal Heart Institute researchers today told the Canadian Cardiovascular Congress 2010, co-hosted by the Heart and Stroke Foundation and the Canadian Cardiovascular Society.

Active ingredient levels vary among red yeast rice supplements
Different formulations of red yeast rice, a supplement marketed as a way to improve cholesterol levels, appear widely inconsistent in the amounts of active ingredients they contain, according to a report in the Oct.

Landenberger Foundation awards grant to Scripps Florida scientist to study HIV
A scientist on the Florida campus of the Scripps Research Institute has received funding from the Philadelphia-based Margaret Q.

World's largest, most complex marine virus is major player in ocean ecosystems: UBC research
UBC researchers have identified the world's largest marine virus -- an unusually complex

Researchers find a stable way to store the sun's heat
Researchers at MIT have revealed exactly how a molecule called fulvalene diruthenium, which was discovered in 1996, works to store and release heat on demand.

La Jolla Institute scientist Klaus Ley receives Malpighi award
Klaus Ley, M.D, a scientist at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology, was recently awarded the prestigious Malpighi Medal at the World Congress for Microcirculation in Paris, France.

Breast center receives RI Pink Heals donation
The Rhode Island branch of the national organization Pink Heals will donate $5,000 to support the Patient Advocate Program at the Program in Women's Oncology at Women & Infants Hospital.

Knowledge gaps, fears common among parents of children with drug-resistant bacteria
Knowledge gaps and fear -- some of it unjustified -- are common among the caregivers of children with a drug-resistant staph bacterium known as MRSA, according to the results of a small study from the Johns Hopkins Children Center.

NSF awards $3.75 million grant to New York Plant Genome Consortium for the creation of BigPlant v1.0
The National Science Foundation has awarded a $3.75 million grant to a team of New York research and educational institutions to further develop BigPlant v1.0.

Israeli Minister of Industry and Trade to address European R&D leaders in Tel Aviv
Minister Benyamin Ben-Eliezer and Chief Scientist Dr. Eli Opper mark Israel's Chairmanship of the EUREKA Network, Europe's leading platform for R&D-performing entrepreneurs and industries, which encourages pan-European cooperation in industrial sectors such as IT, biotechnology, energy, water and communications, among others.

Physicist examines game theory on microbial level as part of UH Tenneco lecture series
José Onuchic, the co-director of the Center for Theoretical Biological Physics at the University of California, San Diego, will present

Scientists reveal the sex wars of the truffle grounds
They are one of the most highly prized delicacies in the culinary world, but now scientists have discovered that black truffles are locked in a gender war for reproduction.

Researchers find pathway that drives spread of pediatric bone cancer in preclinical studies
Researchers have identified an important signaling pathway that, when blocked, significantly decreases the spread of pediatric bone cancer.

Colorectal cancer screening can be expanded by offering it during mammography visits
Offering colorectal cancer screening to poor minority women during mammography visits can effectively expand screening in this otherwise underserved population, although lack of medical insurance remains a significant barrier.

Genetic markers offer new clues about how malaria mosquitoes evade eradication
An international team of researchers reports the development and first use of a high-resolution microarray that features 400,000 genetic markers for the malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae, providing a vastly clearer picture of how the insect adapts to human interventions.

Robotic gripper runs on coffee ... and balloons
Opting for simple elegance, researchers from Cornell University, University of Chicago and iRobot have bypassed traditional designs based around the human hand and fingers, and created a versatile gripper using everyday ground coffee and a latex party balloon.

Young scientists win support for renewable energy startup
Four young researchers from the Technische Universitaet Muenchen have won support to commercialize their approach to monitoring stresses on wind turbine rotor blades.

'Fracking' mobilizes uranium in marcellus shale
University at Buffalo researchers have found that hydraulic fracturing or

Decoding the disease that perplexes: Salk scientists discover new target for MS
Scientists are closer to solving one of the many mysteries of multiple sclerosis and other demyelinating diseases, thanks to a recent study conducted at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.

Warming of planet will affect storms differently in Northern and Southern hemispheres
Weather systems in the Southern and Northern hemispheres will respond differently to global warming, according to an MIT atmospheric scientist's analysis that suggests the warming of the planet will affect the availability of energy to fuel extratropical storms, or large-scale weather systems that occur at Earth's middle latitudes.

Common anxiety disorders make it tougher to quit cigarettes
Researchers may have pinpointed a reason many smokers struggle to quit.

Modern humans emerged far earlier than previously thought
An international team of researchers based at the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology in Beijing, including a physical anthropology professor at Washington University in St.

University of Houston hosts book symposium on Smeltertown, Oct. 28
The University of Houston department of history will host a symposium featuring a new book by UH professor Monica Perales,

New way of expanding cancer screening for minority women
A team of health care professionals at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center has identified an efficient way to increase minority access to lifesaving colorectal cancer screening in communities where multiple barriers to preventive care exist.

New bivalent polio vaccine is more immunogenic than current vaccines and could play key role in global polio eradication
A head to head trial against current poliovirus vaccines finds that a new bivalent oral vaccine against poliovirus types 1 and 3 induces a stronger immune response than the existing trivalent vaccine and a similar immune response to the monovalent vaccine.

Physicians agree Medicare reimbursement is flawed, disagree on how to reform it
A national survey finds most physicians believe Medicare reimbursement is inequitable, but there appears to be little consensus regarding proposed reforms, according to a report in the Oct.

MicroRNAs dictate the Epstein-Barr virus' elaborate waiting game, cancer formation
Epstein-Barr virus is a champion hider, and has been linked to many diseases that affect people long after the initial infection takes place, including some forms of cancer.

Study finds race, ethnicity impact access to care for children with frequent ear infections
A new study found that racial and ethnic disparities among children with frequent ear infections can significantly influence access to health care resources.

Obese children have signs of heart disease typically seen in middle-aged adults
The blood vessels of obese children have stiffness normally seen in much older adults with cardiovascular disease, Dr.

Barber-based intervention may help black men better control high blood pressure
Black men who are offered a blood pressure check while at the barbershop appear more likely to improve control of hypertension, according to a report posted online today that will be published in the February 28 print issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Digital data forensic expert at NJIT to be feted by R&D council for data hiding patents
An expert in digital data forensics and information assurance, Yun Q.

Radiation before surgery keeps colorectal cancer from returning
Patients with cancer found at the end of the large intestine called the rectum who receive one week of radiation therapy before surgery have a 50 percent reduction in chance that their cancer will return after 10 years, according to a large, randomized study presented at the plenary session, Nov.

New American Chemical Society Prized Science video focuses on 'green gasoline'
A new episode of Prized Science: How the Science Behind ACS Awards Impacts Your Life, features Vincent D'Amico, Emiel van Broekhoven, Ph.D., and Juha Jakkula, inventors of a process for making a key ingredient of

Virginia Tech studies impact of Gulf oil spill on plovers
A study of piping plovers, shorebirds that have been listed as threatened since 1986 and which overwinter in the Gulf, will compare rates of survival and emigration in oiled and non-oiled areas.

Bicarbonate adds fizz to players' tennis performance
Dietary supplementation with sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) on the morning of a tennis match allows athletes to maintain their edge.

Prostate cancer screening improves quality of life by catching disease before it spreads
Men treated for prostate cancer who were diagnosed after the start of routine screening had a significantly reduced risk of the disease spreading to other parts of the body (metastases) within 10 years of treatment, compared to men who were treated prior to the use of routine screening, according to the first study-of-its-kind presented Nov. 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