Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 02, 2010
Every person emits 2 tons of CO2 a year through eating
Every person emits the equivalent of approximately two tons of carbon dioxide a year from the time food is produced to when the human body excretes it, representing more than 20 percent of total yearly emissions.

Parental infertility and cerebral palsy in children born spontaneously or after IVF/ICSI
Doctors have known for some time that children born after some fertility treatments are at increased risk of cerebral palsy.

Severely injured should go directly to trauma center: Research
Severely injured patients should be transported directly from the scene of an accident to a trauma center, even if it means bypassing a closer hospital, according to new research that shows this results in a nearly 25 percent lower death rate.

NIH researchers identify genetic elements influencing the risk of type 2 diabetes
A team led by researchers at the National Human Genome Research Institute has captured the most comprehensive snapshot to date of DNA regions that regulate genes in human pancreatic islet cells.

Shift work linked to higher risk of work injury: UBC study
Canadians who work night and rotating shifts are almost twice as likely to be injured on the job than those working regular day shifts, according to a study by researchers at the University of British Columbia.

New research from Psychological Science
Short summaries of recent studies published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Physicians, engineers team up to study osteopathic treatments
A multidisciplinary team of Michigan State University researchers has been awarded $4.2 million to develop accurate clinical research tools for studying osteopathic manipulative medicine, a hands-on approach to the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders.

Scientists at IRB Barcelona discover a new protein critical for mitochondria
A study by the team headed by Lluis Ribas de Pouplana, ICREA professor at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine, has been chosen as

Gastric bypass alters sweet taste function
Gastric bypass surgery decreases the preference for sweet-tasting substances in obese rats, a study finding that could help in developing safer treatments for the morbidly obese, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

Algae for biofuels: Moving from promise to reality, but how fast?
A new report from the Energy Biosciences Institute in Berkeley projects that development of cost-competitive algae biofuel production will require much more long-term research, development and demonstration.

Modify hospice eligibility for dementia patients, says Institute for Aging Research study
The system for hospice admissions for patients with advanced dementia, a terminal illness, should be guided by patient and family preference for comfort, not estimated life expectancy, says a new study published in the Nov.

GOES-13 catches Tropical Storm Tomas' early morning strengthening
The GOES-13 satellite keeps a continuous eye on the eastern half of the US and Atlantic Ocean basin, and has provided meteorologists with an infrared look at a strengthening Tropical Storm Tomas this morning.

Daily dose of beet juice promotes brain health in older adults
Researchers for the first time have shown that drinking beet juice can increase blood flow to the brain in older adults -- a finding that could hold great potential for combating the progression of dementia.

First peer-reviewed study finds BPA levels in US foods 1,000 times less than limits
For the first time in the United States, researchers are reporting in a peer-reviewed scientific journal detection of Bisphenol A (BPA) in fresh and canned food as well as food wrapped in plastic packaging.

Brain's ability to selectively focus/pay attention diminishes with age
A University of Toronto study shows that the brain's ability to selectively filter unattended or unwanted information diminishes with age, leaving older adults less capable of filtering out distracting or irrelevant information.

Boosting productivity without additional capital
Organizational psychologist Prof. Dov Eden of Tel Aviv University's Faculty of Management says that employees must feel confident not only in their own abilities, but also with the tools available to them to accomplish their task, whether those tools are computer software, particular office products or even their co-workers.

Tamiflu is more effective at relieving flu symptoms than a combination of tamiflu and relenza
In adults with seasonal influenza A virus infection, the combination of the drugs oseltamivir (tamiflu) and zanamivir (relenza) is less effective than oseltamivir monotherapy and not significantly more effective than zanamivir monotherapy.

USAID awards $5 million to CONRAD
CONRAD, leaders in reproductive health and HIV prevention research, today announced a $5 million award from the US Agency for International Development.

The Scientist's Life Science Salary Survey 2010 -- results announced
From March 15 to June 28, 2010, 6,776 professional life scientists took part in the survey.

Global map of the sickle cell gene supports 'malaria hypothesis'
At a global scale, the sickle cell gene is most commonly found in areas with historically high levels of malaria, adding geographical support to the hypothesis that the gene, whilst potentially deadly, avoids disappearing through natural selection by providing protection against malaria.

Lombardi research: Robotic radiosurgery offers palliative care for hilar lung tumors
Patients report decreased pain and improved breathing following treatment of their hilar tumors with robotic radiosurgery, but researchers say the therapy falls short of improving survival.

U-M's concept of value-based insurance design featured in major health policy journal
Value-based insurance design -- a concept created at the University of Michigan and incorporated in the nation's new health care reform law -- is the focus of an upcoming national policy journal.

Could 'low risk' pregnancies in the Netherlands be more dangerous for newborn babies?
Infants in the Netherlands born to mothers who have been classified as low risk, are more than twice as likely to die during or shortly after birth than babies born to high risk mothers, finds a study published on today.

Do holes make moles?
The mysterious origins of Australia's bizarre and secretive marsupial moles have been cast in a whole new and unexpected light with the first discovery in the fossil record of one of their ancestors.

MRI may help determine time of stroke onset
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain could expand the number of stroke patients eligible for a potentially life-saving treatment, according to a new study.

Fossil finger records key to ancestors' behavior
Fossil finger bones of early human ancestors suggest that Neanderthals were more promiscuous than human populations today, researchers at the universities of Liverpool and Oxford have found.

eHealth evaluation needs alternate approach
In this week's PLoS Medicine magazine, Trisha Greenhalgh and Jill Russell from the Queen Mary University of London discuss the relative merits of

International think tank to examine Arctic issues
Polar policy expert Peter Harrison, director of the School of Policy Studies at Queen's University, will be one of the featured speakers this week at an international think tank on

Aging with grace: Health care delivery model yields improved outcomes and lower costs
GRACE, a model program developed at Indiana University to provide care to low-income older adults in their homes, has earned recognition for its effective approach and cost-saving benefits in Nov.

Colorectal cancer survival advantage in MUTYH-associated polyposis
Survival for colorectal cancer patients with MUTYH-associated polyposis was statistically significantly better than for patients with colorectal cancer from the general population, according to a recent study published online Nov.

Prognostic markers for prostate cancer patients who receive radiation after surgery
Removal of the prostate gland often eradicates early-stage cancer. But patients whose cancer has spread may need to follow up with what is known as salvage radiation therapy.

In new 'book of death,' Doug Green provides broad and engaging overview of apoptosis
Prof. Douglas Green, a leading figure in the field of cell death since the late 1980s, provides a clear and comprehensive view of apoptosis in his new book,

UMass Medical School study points to genetic link in apnea of prematurity
New research published in the October issue of Pediatrics by clinical scientists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School suggests that heredity may play a strong role in determining an infant's susceptibility to apnea of prematurity (AOP) and could lead to the development of more effective treatments and screening methods.

Unique duality: Princeton-led team discovers 'exotic' superconductor with metallic surface
A new material with a split personality -- part superconductor, part metal -- has been observed by a Princeton University-led research team.

Breast cancer survivors often rate post-treatment breast appearance only 'fair'
A third of breast cancer survivors who received the breast-conserving treatments lumpectomy and radiation rate the appearance of their post-treatment breast as only

Vet med's big shift to more women, fewer men driven by falling barriers, more female grads
Women now dominate veterinary medicine -- a development reached after 40 years and likely to repeat itself in the fields of medicine and law, according to the first study of its kind on the feminization of veterinary medicine.

Illnesses, injuries greatly increase chances of older adults developing new or worsening disability
In a study examining the factors that play a role in an older adult's transition to disability, intervening illnesses and injuries that led to hospitalization or activity restriction were associated with worsening functional ability, especially among those who were physically frail, according to a study in the Nov.

Geriatrician advocates for improvements to primary care to meet the needs of older adults
Researchers call for key improvements to primary care in order to improve the health of the nation's most costly patients -- older adults with multiple chronic conditions based on evaluation of studies of new primary care models to determine the best way to improve care and outcomes for the more than 10 million older adults living with four or more chronic conditions.

Fink receives Gruber Genetics Prize, lectures at American Society of Human Genetics annual meeting
No one knows better 'The Promise of Human Genetics' than the man who will address that topic at a conference in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Nov.

Rate of falls in hospitals significantly reduced after use of intervention for fall prevention
Use of a fall prevention tool kit, which included a fall risk assessment, patient-specific prevention plan, an educational handout and a poster for over the patient's hospital bed reduced the number of older patients with falls in hospitals, according to a study in the Nov.

BMJ investigation raises concerns about the post-approval surveillance of medical devices
A BMJ investigation published today raises concerns about the ability of the US Food and Drug Administration to monitor the ongoing safety of medical devices through post-approval surveillance.

New long-range undersea robot goes the distance
Over the past decade, the undersea robots known as autonomous underwater vehicles have become increasingly important in oceanographic research.

20th public data release by Allen Institute for Brain Science
The Allen Institute for Brain Science announced today its twentieth public data release, which includes new data and tools for exploring genes at work in the human brain.

Improving health care in the Internet age
Faster and more widely available internet access has improved our lives in many ways but health care is lagging behind, according to researchers writing in the International Journal of Medical Engineering and Informatics.

Liver hormone is a cause of insulin resistance
Researchers have identified a hormone produced and secreted by the liver as a previously unknown cause of insulin resistance.

Hidden costs of applying to medical school will deter poorer students
The costs of a medical school application may deter young people from poorer backgrounds from applying to medical school, argue a father and daughter in an article published on today.

AGU journal highlights -- Nov. 2, 2010
Featured in this release are research papers on the following topics:

Study finds links between high schoolers' hopes, educational attainment
Turns out the high school guidance counselor was right. Students who have high aspirations and put thought into their futures during their high school years tend to reach higher levels of educational attainment, according to a recent study.

NJIT math professor illuminates cellular basis of neural impulse transmission
The results of this work showed that the calcium current through an N-type channel was larger in comparison to calcium channels that are not involved in synaptic transmission, contrary to the currently accepted channel conductance hierarchy.

Elsevier announces new partnership with CCS to publish the Canadian Journal of Cardiology
Elsevier, a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical, and medical information products and services, is pleased to announce a new partnership with the Canadian Cardiovascular Society and the January 2011 publication of the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, an established journal in the field of cardiovascular medicine.

$12 million grant to probe root causes of heart failure
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago have been awarded more than $12 million by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to investigate the causes of heart failure -- with the aim of identifying markers for diagnosis and targets for cures.

Mayo Clinic Proceedings: November highlights
Highlights from the November Mayo Clinic Proceedings include:

Fly study uncovers molecular link between obesity and heart disease
Researchers show that obesity-induced heart disease can be prevented by reducing the activity of TOR, a nutrient-sensing protein that regulates molecular circuits involved in growth, metabolism and lifespan.

Function analysis drives the development of a concept Mars rover
An ergonomist and an industrial designer pondered the challenges of the Martian environment and developed an award-winning concept rover that could someday transport and house astronauts on the surface of Mars.

How some brain cells hook up surprises researchers
Immune cells known as microglia, long thought to be activated in the brain only when fighting infection or injury, are constantly active and likely play a central role in one of the most basic, central phenomena in the brain -- the creation and elimination of synapses.

Laser industry worth £660 million to Scottish economy
The high value of the laser industry to Scotland's economy has been revealed in a major new report.

DHA 'fish oil' supplements do not seem to slow cognitive, functional decline in Alzheimer's disease
Patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease (AD) who received supplementation with the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid, believed to possibly reduce the risk of AD, did not experience a reduction in the rate of cognitive and functional decline, compared to patients who received placebo, according to a study in the Nov.

HPV-associated cancers are a growing problem
Although the link between HPV and both cervical and non-cervical cancers has been sufficiently proven, there are many unanswered questions and challenges surrounding HPV testing, HPV vaccination, and the management of HPV-associated cancers.

Targeted human papillomarvirus vaccination: A cost-effective intervention against anal cancer in men who have sex with men
Targeting human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination at men who have sex with men (MSM) is a cost-effective intervention for the prevention of anal cancer which has a high disease burden in this population and for which there are currently no routine prevention programs.

Getting rid of cattle fever ticks
Scientists at the US Department of Agriculture have developed two strategies to ward off cattle fever ticks that are crossing the border from Mexico into the United States.

Unshackled from earthly roles, women become 'space oddities'
Fifty-four years after the first screen portrayal of a human woman in space -- in the 1929 German movie

How some plants spread their seeds: Ready, set, catapult
Catapults are often associated with a medieval means of destruction, but for some plants, they are an effective way to launch new life.

Dow Agrosciences licenses exclusive novel crop enhancement technology
The John Innes Centre is pleased to announce an exclusive commercial license agreement for technology that enhances the root systems of plants and with important implications for crop improvement.

Black raspberries may prevent colon cancer, study finds
Black raspberries are highly effective in preventing colorectal tumors in two mouse models of the disease, according to a University of Illinois at Chicago study.

How some brain cells hook up surprises researchers
Immune cells known as microglia, long thought to be activated in the brain only when fighting infection or injury, are constantly active and likely play a central role in one of the most basic, central phenomena in the brain -- the creation and elimination of synapses.

International summit held to stimulate collaborative clinical research on antiphospholipid syndrome
Relatively few randomized clinical trials have been conducted involving people with APS, and those completed have included small numbers of participants.

Eliminating or reducing cost-sharing for high-value prescription drugs improves medication use
An initiative by the US technology company Pitney Bowes to make medications of proven value less expensive for their employees succeeded in stabilizing employees' adherence to their treatment regimens, according to a Commonwealth Fund-supported study published in this month's Health Affairs.

Study provides treatment hope for long term effects of brain trauma
Brain damage continues to develop and evolve for months after a traumatic brain injury, revealing a potential target for treatments to improve brain trauma, new research led by the University of Melbourne Australia, has found.

Hostile environments encourage political action in immigrant communities
A new study finds that anti-immigrant practices -- such as anti-immigrant legislation or protests -- are likely to backfire, and spur increased political action from immigrant communities.

Mouse model confirms mutated protein's role in dementia
A team of scientists from Japan and the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have created a new mouse model that confirms that mutations of a protein called beta-synuclein promote neurodegeneration.

Workers hold key to power in nature's oldest societies
A new study analyzing how complex, highly-evolved societies are organized in nature has found that it is workers that play a pivotal role in creating well-ordered societies where conflict is minimized.

Broadband coming wirelessly to the bush
A major CSIRO breakthrough in wireless technology designed to bring broadband to people living beyond the optical fiber network has been unveiled in Sydney.

Bees reveal nature-nuture secrets
The nature-nurture debate is a

Biodiversity science in Quebec: 2010 and beyond
The Québec Center for Biodiversity Science cordially invites you to its first annual symposium.

Hepatitis C study shows superior viral cure rate
For patients with the most common form of hepatitis C being treated for the first time, the addition of an investigational hepatitis C-specific protease inhibitor called telaprevir to the current standard therapy markedly improved their sustained viral response (SVR or viral cure) rate.

Antibody locks up West Nile's infection mechanism
Researchers have learned the structure that results when an antibody binds to the West Nile virus, neutralizing the virus by locking up its infection mechanism.

Yale study tracks factors leading to physical decline in older adults
A study by Yale School of Medicine researchers reveals that the illnesses and injuries that can restrict the activity of older adults or land them in the hospital are linked to worsening functional ability, especially among those who are physically frail.

Strengthening routine flu vaccination and health programs may improve pandemic vaccinations
Uptake of last year's H1N1 flu vaccine by the American public showed a striking state-by-state variation.

Doctors and drug companies are still too cozy
David Henry discusses a recent research article in PLoS Medicine that suggests that relationships between doctors and drug companies are still too close.

In flies, a search for the essence of obesity
Fruit flies that grow obese after eating a diet loaded with fat could lead the way to the core elements of obesity, according to researchers who report their findings in the November issue of Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication.

Exposure of humans to cosmetic UV filters is widespread
An investigation conducted in the context of the Swiss National Research Programme, Endocrine Disrupters: Relevance to Humans, Animals and Ecosystems, demonstrates for the first time that internal exposure of humans to cosmetic UV filters is widespread.

Lactate in the brain reveals aging process
Researchers at the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet have shown that they may be able to monitor the aging process in the brain, by using MRI technique to measure the brain lactic acid levels.

Language intervention provides educational benefits for preschool children
A preschool language intervention program can significantly improve the educational lives of children with poorly developed speech and language skills, according to new research by psychologists at the University of York.

Comprehensive primary care programs treat older patients with chronic conditions
In a review of comprehensive primary care programs for older adults with multiple chronic conditions, authors identified three models that appear to have the greatest potential for improving quality of care and life for these patients, while reducing or not increasing the costs of their health care, according to an article in the Nov.

New study re-examines bacterial vaccine studies conducted during 1918 influenza pandemic
Secondary infections with bacteria such as Streptococcus pneumoniae, which causes pneumonia, were a major cause of death during the 1918 flu pandemic and may be important in modern pandemics as well, according to a new article in the Journal of Infectious Diseases co-authored by David M.

Macrophage protein has major role in inflammation
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that a multi-tasking protein called FoxO1 has another important but previously unknown function: It directly interacts with macrophages, promoting an inflammatory response that can lead to insulin resistance and diabetes.

Study shows how ancient plants and soil fungi turned the Earth green
A new breakthrough by scientists at the University of Sheffield has shed light on how the Earth's first plants began to colonise the land over 470 million years ago by forming a partnership with soil fungi. 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