Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 09, 2010
Gates Foundation continues funding of tuberculosis research at Weill Cornell
Weill Cornell Medical College announced today that it was awarded two $100,000 grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as part of the next phase of Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative to encourage bold and unconventional ideas for global health.

BGI researchers sequenced the human methylome at single base-pair resolution
DNA methylation plays an important role in many processes such as animal development, X-chromosome inactivation, and carcinogenesis.

Symposium in Vietnam to discuss integrated approach to defeating diarrheal disease
Each year, diarrhea claims the lives of 1.3 million children under five worldwide.

International Medical News Group launches Cardiology Product Zone
International Medical News Group, LLC, an Elsevier company that provides medical news and information to physicians, announced today the launch of Cardiology Product Zone.

Long-term statin use is unlikely to increase cancer risk
Researchers have further established that long-term use of statins is unlikely to substantially increase or decrease overall cancer risk, according to study results presented at the Ninth Annual AACR Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference, held Nov.

Side effects of hormonal breast cancer therapy increased; may affect treatment adherence
Women being treated for breast cancer with aromatase inhibitors may experience extremely low estrogen levels resulting in a wide variety of side effects that a typical postmenopausal woman without cancer may not experience.

Home exposure to tobacco carcinogens high in children of smokers
Ninety percent of children who lived in a house where an adult smoked had evidence of tobacco-related carcinogens in their urine, according to research presented at the Ninth AACR Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference, held here from Nov.

Overcoming the IVF baby blues
New research from Dr. Miki Bloch of Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine says that pre-existing stress, depression, and anxiety are more likely than hormones to cause increased levels of depression during IVF treatment.

Exercise may reduce risk of endometrial cancer
Women who exercise for 150 minutes a week or more may see a reduced risk of endometrial cancer, despite whether or not they are overweight, according to data presented at the Ninth Annual AACR Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference, held here Nov.

Bilingual benefits reach beyond communication
Speaking two languages can be handy when traveling abroad, applying for jobs, and working with international colleagues, but how does bilingualism influence the way we think?

Hyper-texting and hyper-networking pose new health risks for teens
Texting while driving can be a deadly combination for anyone.

Study shows durable viral suppression of boosted REYATAZ in treatment-experienced HIV patients
Results from a European Observational Study, which included 1,294 antiretroviral-experienced patients presented today at the Tenth International Congress on Drug Therapy in HIV Infection, demonstrated a low rate of discontinuation and sustained virologic suppression with REYATAZ (atazanavir)/ritonavir-based regimens over a follow-up period of up to five years.

New assessment tool helps shed light on lupus in kids worldwide
A newly designed tool is helping researchers shed light on the quality of life of children with lupus around the world, according to research presented at the American College of Rheumatology annual meeting, held Nov.

WHOI receives Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation grant for oceanography imaging informatics
In a significant step toward a new era in the collection and understanding of ocean science data, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has received a grant of more than $2 million from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for work in imaging informatics in oceanography.

Lupus patients: The doctor, nurse and social worker are here to see you
The benefits of collaborative, multidisciplinary care of patients with complex autoimmune diseases like lupus and multiple sclerosis are just beginning to be appreciated by physicians.

Association for Molecular Pathology's 16th Annual Meeting and Exhibits
The Association for Molecular Pathology invites the media to attend its upcoming 2010 Annual Meeting and Exhibits and learn about the latest advances in clinical molecular diagnostics.

NASA watching Jal's remnants in the Arabian Sea for possible rebirth
Infrared and visible imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite today hinted that the low pressure area formerly known as Cyclone Jal may have new life soon.

Growth defects in cystic fibrosis may start before birth
A new study using a pig model of cystic fibrosis (CF) suggests that low levels of a growth promoting hormone at or before birth may contribute to growth defects in patients with CF.

Undergraduates' low-cost ultrasound system wins Gates Foundation grant
A team of mostly undergraduate students today received a $100,000 Gates Foundation

Unhappy children turn to sex and alcohol
Young children who don't like school are more likely to be involved in underage drinking and sexual activity.

Mountain ranges may act as "safe haven" for species facing climate change
Swiss researchers studying the projected effects of climate change on alpine plant species have discovered that mountain ranges may represent a

Variation in heart disease death risk in England largely attributed to population characteristics
In England, a country with a universal access health care system, there is wide variation between local populations in the rate of death from coronary heart disease, which is largely explained by population characteristics such as low socioeconomic factors, white ethnicity, levels of smoking, and diabetes, according to a study in the Nov.

How the dragon got its 'snap'
Scientists at the John Innes Centre and the University of East Anglia are pioneering a powerful combination of computer modeling and experimental genetics to work out how the complex shapes of organs found in nature are produced by the interacting actions of genes.

Recommendation letters may be costing women jobs, promotions
A recommendation letter could be the chute in a woman's career ladder, according to ongoing research at Rice University.

New NIH data show gains in COPD awareness
The number of Americans who report being aware of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, increased by four percentage points between 2008 and 2010, but many people at risk are still unaware of the disease, according to mailed survey results released today by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Sunburnt whales
Whales exhibit skin damage consistent with acute sunburn in humans, and it seems to be getting worse over time, reveals new research.

Parents should talk about math early and often with their children
The amount of time parents spend talking about numbers has a much bigger impact on how young children learn mathematics than was previously known.

Alpha males take greater risks: Study links finger length to behavior
Potential investors might wish to examine the fingers of their financial adviser prior to signing over any savings.

New book examines health and environmental impacts of common (and not-so-common) chemicals
A growing awareness of the risks posed to humans and the environment from the use of man-made chemicals has stimulated intensive investigations into their life cycle and the unintended consequence of their use.

Global warming reduces available wind energy
A switch to wind energy will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions -- and reduce the global warming they cause.

Worldwide press room opens for major acoustical science and technology conference, Nov. 15-19
The 2nd Pan-American/Iberian Meeting on Acoustics -- a major international acoustics conference -- convenes next week at the Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Hotel in Cancun, Mexico.

Researchers aim to harvest solar energy from pavement to melt ice, power streetlights
The heat radiating off roadways has long been a factor in explaining why city temperatures are often considerably warmer than nearby suburban or rural areas.

Probiotics shorten diarrhea episodes
Probiotic bacteria given as therapies for diarrhea reduce the length of time sufferers are affected and lessen the chance of episodes continuing for more than four days.

New report suggests why risk for sudden infant death syndrome is greater in babies of mothers who smoke
he link between maternal cigarette smoking during pregnancy and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) may relate to the negative effects of nicotine on the development of brain centers that regulate breathing.

New method for simple fabrication of microperforated membranes
Microscopically porous polymer membranes have numerous applications in microfluidics, where they can act as filters, masks for surface patterning, and even as components in 3-D devices.

Ecologists get fish eye view of sexual signals
Ecologists have developed an ingenious model of a fish's visual system.

Kent State geology professors study oldest fossil shrimp preserved with muscles
Rodney Feldmann, professor emeritus, and Carrie Schweitzer, associate professor, from Kent State University's Department of Geology report on the oldest fossil shrimp known to date in the world.

Mississauga teacher awarded prize for excellence in teaching genomics
The Ontario Genomics Institute has announced that Mr. Glen Kim, who teaches science at St.

Research shows gene-based test can prioritize smokers for lung cancer CT screening
New research demonstrates that is possible to identify those individuals with a regular smoking history most likely to develop lung cancer and prioritize them for closer medical attention, including low-dose CT screening.

Oil will run dry before substitutes roll out
At the current pace of research and development, global oil will run out 90 years before replacement technologies are ready, says a new University of California, Davis, study based on stock market expectations.

How well does clot-busting drug work in stroke patients?
The clot-busting drug rt-PA remains the most beneficial proven emergency treatment for strokes caused by blood clots, according to an editorial in the November issue of Archives of Neurology

Researchers discover important link between adrenal gland hormone and brain in hypertension
A hormone already responsible for increasing blood pressure by prompting the kidneys to retain salt appears to moonlight as a major stimulator of the brain centers that control the vascular system and blood pressure.

Astronomers find star system that looks like game of snooker
Astronomers at the University of Warwick and the University of Sheffield have helped discover an unusual star system which looks like, and may even once have behaved like, a game of snooker.

Undetected high blood pressure associated with more deaths from heart attacks
Research also reveals that in areas with more white people, greater deprivation, more smokers, and more people with diabetes, there is an increased risk of dying from coronary heart disease.

Obesity in adolescence significantly associated with increased risk of severe obesity in adulthood
An analysis of nationally representative data suggests that being obese in adolescence increases the risk of being severely obese in adulthood, with the risk higher in women, and highest for black women, according to a study in the Nov.

Darwin's theory of gradual evolution not supported by geological history, NYU scientist concludes
Charles Darwin's theory of gradual evolution is not supported by geological history, New York University geologist Michael Rampino concludes in an essay in the journal Historical Biology.

Einstein researcher receives American Cancer Society Medal of Honor
Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University researcher Jeffrey Pollard, Ph.D., has received the prestigious Medal of Honor in Basic Science from the American Cancer Society in recognition of his research into the critical role the tumor microenvironment plays in modulating cancer behavior, specifically the role that members of the innate immune cells called macrophages play both in normal development and in promoting tumor progression.

Computer-automated monitoring system may help identify medical devices with potential safety risks
Implementation in Massachusetts of a computer-automated safety surveillance system of clinical outcomes registries for cardiovascular devices resulted in the identification of a drug-releasing stent that had significantly higher rates of major adverse cardiac events than similar stents, according to a study in the Nov.

Drinking 100 percent fruit juice is linked to higher intake of essential nutrients
New research presented today at the American Dietetic Association Annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo clearly highlights the benefits of 100 percent juice, revealing that fruit juice drinkers were more likely than non-consumers to meet recommended levels of certain key nutrients.

Study finds low birth weight may cause lifelong problems processing medications
New research has found that a mother's poor nutrition during pregnancy and nursing can cause problems for her offspring's ability to process medications, even well into adulthood.

New brief tool to screen for cognitive impairment in elderly patients
The Sweet 16, a new screening test developed by a team of geriatricians and neurologists at the Institute for Aging Research of Hebrew SeniorLife and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, could help clinicians more rapidly detect dementia in elderly patients.

Softening crystals without heat: Using terahertz pulses to manipulate molecular networks
As if borrowing from a scene in a science fiction movie, researchers at Kyoto University have successfully developed a kind of tractor beam that can be used to manipulate the network of the molecules.

Depression linked to altered activity of circadian rhythm gene
Depression appears to be associated with a molecular-level disturbance in the body's 24-hour clock, new research suggests.

Owzat! Bushcrickets' big secret revealed
Researchers at the University of Derby and colleagues at the University of Cambridge believe they have found which species has the largest testicles in relation to body weight on the planet -- and why.

Quantum computers a step closer to reality thanks to new finding
Quantum computers may be much easier to build than previously thought, suggests a new study in Physical Review Letters.

Concern over traumatic brain injury in youth offenders
A new study of young offenders has revealed they have a significantly higher rate of traumatic brain injury (TBI) than that expected in society as a whole.

Thesis verifies value of pyrolisis as technique for recycling pneumatic tires
The manufacture of pneumatic tires requires a large cost in energy and raw materials.

Cleaner stoves for developing countries, thanks to heat-powered fan design
Paul Montgomery, a graduate student at Pennsylvania State University, is helping design a better cook stove for people in developing countries.

Scientists identify 1 cause of damage in Alzheimer's disease and find a way to stop it
A new study at the University of California, San Diego, shows that amyloid beta disrupts one of the brain's anti-oxidant proteins and demonstrates a way to protect that protein, and perhaps others, from amyloid's harmful effects.

Miriam receives $1.5 million from NIH to 'seek, test and treat' inmates with HIV
The Miriam Hospital received three of the 12 newly awarded grants from the National Institutes of Health aimed at improving HIV prevention and treatment of prison and jail inmates.

A love game: Fish courtship more complex than thought
Monash University researchers have discovered that male Australian desert goby fish are surprisingly strategic when it comes to courtship, adapting their tactics depending on the frequency of their contact with females.

Lab on chip for membrane proteins
A novel nanopore array structure can be used to monitor the transport kinetics of membrane proteins by fluorescence microscopy.

Materials Design integrates LAMMPS into MedeA
Materials Design announced today the integration of LAMMPS with its MedeA software suite.

Use of androgen deprivation therapy increases fracture risk among prostate cancer patients
Men with history of fracture and comorbidities are at an increased risk of fracture after long-term use of androgen deprivation therapy, and initiating this therapy should be carefully considered in older men with localized prostate cancer.

Business getting the most from research
Management and business performance, rather than technological innovation, is the main focus for companies collaborating with universities, according to major survey of businesses conducted by the Centre for Business Research at the University of Cambridge and funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Poll analysis: Americans have conflicting views about spending on public health system
A comprehensive review of national opinion polls shows that Americans have conflicting views about the nation's public health system and are divided along partisan lines in their support of additional spending on public health programs.

Jefferson awarded multi-million dollar NIH grant
Researchers in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University were recently awarded a $2.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study whether increasing participation in cognitive, physical and/or social activities prevents cognitive decline in older African-Americans with mild cognitive impairment.

Myth of a germ-free world: A closer look at antimicrobial products
Are antimicrobial chemicals like triclosan and triclocarban, as commonly used by consumers, really safe for human health and the environment?

Significant variations found among medical centers regarding bloodstream infections surveillance
The quality of public reporting of bloodstream infection rates among hospitals may be effected by the variation in surveillance methods, according to a study in the Nov.

Rural library outreach a new initiative in 'free-choice learning' movement
Rural and small-town libraries are one of the newest forces being tapped to improve the science literacy of Americans through lifelong,

New time line for appearances of skeletal animals in fossil record developed by UCSB researchers
Beginning around 542 million years ago, a profusion of animals with shells and skeletons began to appear in the fossil record.

Very few eligible young women opt to take HPV vaccine
Despite strong evidence of its effectiveness, few of the young women who are eligible for the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine take it, according to research presented at the Ninth Annual AACR Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference, held Nov.

DNA reveals origins of first European farmers
A team of international researchers led by ancient DNA experts from the University of Adelaide has resolved the longstanding issue of the origins of the people who introduced farming to Europe some 8000 years ago.

OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria to receive honorary doctorate from U of Haifa
Secretary-General of the OECD Angel Gurria will receive the University of Haifa's highest accolade, the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, honoris causa, at a gala event in Haifa, Israel, on Nov.

More than 1,000 tigers reduced to skin and bones in last decade
Parts of at least 1,069 tigers have been seized in tiger range countries over the past decade, according to new analysis of tiger seizures carried out by TRAFFIC, the wildlife trade monitoring network.

Portable microwave sensors for measuring vital signs
Current medical techniques for monitoring the heart rate and other vital signs use electrodes attached to the body, which are impractical for patients who want to move around.

Changing family behavior helps schizophrenic patients avoid relapse
Working to change the behaviour of family members may be an effective treatment for people with schizophrenia, according to a new Cochrane systematic review.

Study shows young, unsupervised children most at risk for dog bites
A new study of dog bites shows children usually targeted by the family pet, which is often a breed considered

Text messaging can improve treatment adherence in HIV patients
A trial in Kenya has shown that using text messages to help patients adhere to their treatment improves absolute adherence rates by 12 percent and numbers achieving viral load suppression by 9 percent.

Novel metamaterial vastly improves quality of ultrasound imaging
A new copper

Timely depression diagnosis critical to maintain health of elderly
Depression affects approximately 40 percent of nursing home residents, but it often goes unrecognized, according to American Geriatrics Society, which can lead to lower quality of life or even suicide.

Gala honors County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and businesswoman Anne-Merelie Murrell
The Blueprint for Discovery Gala honored LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and businesswoman Anne-Merelie Murrell.

New research finds number talk is important before preschool
The amount of time parents spend talking about numbers has a much bigger impact on how young children learn mathematics than was previously known, researchers at the University of Chicago have found.

NASA's Fermi telescope discovers giant structure in our galaxy
NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has unveiled a previously unseen structure centered in the Milky Way.

Cooling may benefit children after cardiac arrest
When the heart is stopped and restarted, the patient's life may be saved but the brain is often permanently damaged.

Views on health disparities fueled largely by political ideology
When it comes to public perception about health disparities in the United States, political ideology plays a surprisingly large role -- more so even than party affiliation, according to new research by a Michigan State University sociologist.

Combined imaging technologies may better identify cancerous breast lesions
By combining optical and X-ray imaging, radiologists may be better able to distinguish cancer from benign lesions in the breast, according to a new study.

New way of detecting concealed radioactive material
Researchers in Maryland have proposed a scheme for detecting a concealed source of radioactive material without searching containers one by one.

Astronomers find giant, previously unseen structure in our galaxy
NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has unveiled a previously unseen structure centered in the Milky Way -- a finding likened in terms of scale to the discovery of a new continent on Earth.

Using CT, radiologists can pinpoint cause of some strokes
Multidetector computed tomography helps pinpoint the causes of ischemic strokes, the most common type of stroke, potentially speeding the delivery of life-saving treatments, according to a new study.

Few eligible young women choose to take HPV vaccine to prevent cervical cancer, study shows
In a study of more than 9,600 adolescent and young adult women in the Baltimore area, researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine have found that fewer than 30 percent of those eligible to receive the human papillomavirus vaccine to prevent cervical cancer actually chose to get it.

Foucault, revisited
A Foucault pendulum is a simple device for observing the Earth's rotation.

ACS Webinars focus on navigating your career through uncertain times
News media and others interested in the chemical sciences are invited to join the next in a series of American Chemical Society Webinars focusing on how to successfully navigate your career through the uncertain waters of mergers, acquisitions, and restructuring.

Children with high blood pressure more likely to have learning disabilities
Children who have hypertension are much more likely to have learning disabilities than children with normal blood pressure, according to a new University of Rochester Medical Center study published this week in the journal, Pediatrics.

The brains of Neanderthals and modern humans developed differently
Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany have documented species differences in the pattern of brain development after birth that are likely to contribute to cognitive differences between modern humans and Neanderthals.

Unconventional idea for antiviral contraceptive gel wins Gates Foundation grant
A vaginal gel that affords both contraception and HIV protection using nanoparticles that carry bee venom is one of the bold, unconventional ideas that won a 2010 Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

National Cancer Institute awards nearly $4 million to University of New Mexico Cancer Center
The National Cancer Institute recently announced two five-year awards totaling nearly $4 million for a partnership between the University of New Mexico Cancer Center and Sandia National Laboratories.

New class of 'dancing' dendritic cells derived from blood monocytes
The discovery of a new class of dendritic cells that stem from blood monocytes in mice promises to accelerate research into clinical therapies that use these cells, known to be the sentinels of the immune system.

Rogue gene hijacks stem cells to jumpstart human cancer
A gene thought to be responsible for initiating human cancer has been identified by researchers at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry.

UCLA researchers identify molecular program for brain repair following stroke
UCLA researchers have, for the first time, identified in the mouse the molecular cascade that drives the process of reconnection or sprouting in the adult brain after stroke.

Improving soil for better lawns and gardens
US Department of Agriculture scientists in West Virginia are finding ways to improve soil on degraded land so it can be used for sports fields and other uses.

JQI Fellows Waks and Spielman receive Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers
Joint Quantum Institute Fellows Edo Waks of the University of Maryland and Ian Spielman of the National Institute of Standards and Technology are among 85 scientists and engineers nationally to receive this year's Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers.

Menopausal hormone therapy may increase risk of ovarian cancer
Women planning on taking hormone therapy for the treatment of menopausal symptoms should be aware of a possible increased risk for ovarian cancer, according to data presented at the Ninth Annual AACR Frontiers in Cancer Prevention Research Conference, held here Nov.

Gates Foundation grants awarded to scientists in Portugal for their innovative research in malaria
Two research groups in Portugal are to receive Grand Challenges Exploration Grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Sick at work and surfing the net? You're not alone -- or are you?
Some scholars estimate that presenteeism, a relatively recent buzzword that applies to people who are less productive at work because of health issues, costs employers as much as three times the dollar amount as absenteeism in terms of lost productivity.

DARPA chooses Carnegie Mellon to develop autonomous capability for 'flying car'
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded a 17-month, $988,000 contract to Carnegie Mellon's Robotics Institute to develop an autonomous flight system for the Transformer Program, which is exploring the feasibility of a military ground vehicle that could transform into a vertical-take-off-and-landing air vehicle.

UC Riverside receives Gates Foundation grant to fight malaria
The University of California -- Riverside announced today that it has received a $100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

What do the UK uplands mean to you?
People who live and work in the UK's uplands have been given a new voice to share what these unique environments mean to them, thanks to the Sustainable Uplands project.

Elsevier supports Doctors Without Borders for second year through 'The Great Giveback' campaign
Elsevier, the world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, announced today that it will contribute to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières through

MicroRNA controls mammary gland development in mice
Max Planck researchers have discovered a novel mechanism for vertebrate organ development.

New heart pump to provide temporary assist for infants, adults
Researchers have created a new type of heart pump inserted with a catheter to improve the survival rate for infants undergoing a series of surgeries to correct a deadly birth defect. 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