Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 10, 2010
Chronic disease death rates increasing in developing nations while infectious-diseases-decreasing framework for monitoring trends and action on chronic diseases proposed
Some shocking statistics on death and disease rates due to chronic diseases in developing countries are uncovered in the final paper in the Lancet series on chronic disease and development.

High cholesterol in middle age women not a risk factor for Alzheimer's and other dementias
High cholesterol levels in middle age do not appear to increase women's risk of developing Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia later in life, new Johns Hopkins-led research finds, despite a body of scientific evidence long suggesting a link between the two.

Multiple fathers prevalent in Amazonian cultures
A new University of Missouri study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science has found that up to 70 percent of Amazonian cultures may have believed in the principle of multiple paternity.

LSU's Jayne Garno receives early career award from President
Jayne Garno, LSU associate professor of chemistry in the College of Science, has been awarded the United States government's highest honor for scientists and engineers in the early stages of their independent research careers: the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, or PECASE.

Potential hemlock hybrids tolerant to invasive hemlock woolly adelgid
New hemlock hybrids that are tolerant to the invasive insect known as hemlock woolly adelgid have been created by US Department of Agriculture scientists.

Cassini's CIRS reveals Saturn is on a cosmic dimmer switch
Like a cosmic light bulb on a dimmer switch, Saturn emitted gradually less energy each year from 2005 to 2009, according to observations by NASA's Cassini spacecraft.

Researchers unlock how key drug kills tropical parasites
In a major breakthrough that comes after decades of research and nearly half a billion treatments in humans, scientists have finally unlocked how a key anti-parasitic drug kills the worms brought on by the filarial diseases river blindness and elephantitis.

Putting the spotlight on membranous nephropathy
The Halpin Foundation and the American Society of Nephrology proudly highlight the research advances in membranous nephropathy made possible by the Halpin Foundation-ASN Research Grant, created to help young faculty develop independent research careers.

U of M researchers find learning in the visual brain
A team of researchers from the University of Minnesota's College of Liberal Arts and College of Science and Engineering have found that an early part of the brain's visual system rewires itself when people are trained to perceive patterns, and have shown for the first time that this neural learning appears to be independent of higher order conscious visual processing.

Georgia Tech keeps high performance computing sights set on exascale at SC10
Georgia Tech displays high performance computing issues such as sustainability, reliability and massive data computation Nov.

Citywide smoking ban contributes to significant decrease in maternal smoking, pre-term births
New research released today takes a look at birth outcomes and maternal smoking, building urgency for more states and cities to join the nationwide smoke-free trend that has accelerated in recent years.

Extreme global warming in the ancient past
Variations in atmosphere carbon dioxide around 40 million years ago were tightly coupled to changes in global temperature, according to new findings published in the journal Science.

Out-sniffing bomb-sniffing dogs
Professor Fernando Patolsky and his team from Tel Aviv University have developed a small, portable sensor based on recent advances in nanotechnology that's more sensitive and reliable at detecting explosives than any sniffer dog.

Soft drink could enhance effects of an anticancer drug
Experiments with an artificial stomach suggest that a popular lemon-lime soft drink could play an unexpected role in improving the effectiveness of an oral anticancer drug.

Trojan Horse ploy to sneak protective drug into brains of stroke patients
Scientists are reporting development of a long-sought method with the potential for getting medication through a biological barrier that surrounds the brain, where it may limit the brain damage caused by stroke.

Army-funded technology detects bacteria in water
To keep soldiers in the battlefield healthy, the US Army is exploring new ways to detect harmful bacteria in water.

Mutations in single gene predict poor outcomes in adult leukemia
Decoding the DNA of a woman who died of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) has led researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Growing sorghum for biofuel
Researchers at Iowa State University examined 12 varieties of sorghum grass grown in single and double cropping systems to test the efficiency of double cropping sorghum grass to increase its yield for biofuel production.

Researchers see ethical dilemmas of providing care in drug detention centers
Organizations that seek to provide health care, food, and other services to people held in drug detention centers in developing countries often face ethical dilemmas: Are they doing more good than harm?

Childhood asthma foundation invests millions to implement best practices to manage the disease
The Merck Childhood Asthma Network Inc. today announced it is targeting four high risk cities with nearly $4 million for programs that will combine evidence-based science, case management and asthma trigger removal plans to manage a disease that requires more than the right medical care.

Evolutionary bestseller in image processing
Nerve cells in the eyes of flies and vertebrates use similar process to split up optical information.

Mid-life cholesterol levels not linked to Alzheimer's disease
Contrary to earlier research, a new, long-term study suggests that cholesterol level in mid-life may not be linked to later development of Alzheimer's disease, according to a study published in the Nov.

Improved rice availability and reduced environmental impact forecast through new GRiSP
Millions will escape hunger and poverty in a widening campaign to achieve global food security and deliver major environmental gains within 25 years.

NIST pings key material in sonar, closes gap on structural mystery
Using a neutron beam as a probe, researchers working at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have begun to reveal the crystal structure of a compound essential to technologies ranging from sonar to computer memory.

Robust methods for GMO detection ready at hand
A new Reference Report published today by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre lists 79 reference methods for GMO analysis which have been validated according to international standards.

Romiplostim more effective than standard care for immune thrombocytopenia
A new study finds that an FDA-approved drug to treat the rare autoimmune disorder immune thromobocytopenia is more effective than earlier medical therapies in helping patients avoid surgical treatment and significantly improving their quality of life.

NSF funds University of Maryland program to advance women faculty in science and engineering
The University of Maryland has received a five-year, $3.2 million ADVANCE grant from the National Science Foundation to increase the representation and advancement of women faculty members in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

Why New York City is average: Researchers want to improve how we determine urban exceptionality?
Turns out many of the cities we typically think of as great ones probably wouldn't show up near the top of most rankings, if Luis Bettencourt of the Santa Fe Institute has his way.

ASN presents late-breaking clinical trials at upcoming meeting
Six late-breaking clinical trials have been accepted for presentation next week during the American Society of Nephrology's 43rd Annual Meeting and Scientific Exposition in Denver, Colo.

New neuronal circuits which control fear have been identified
Fear is a behavioral adaptation which may be innate but can also be a consequence of conditioning.

APHA 2010: College days -- more sedentary days
A study by Indiana University exercise physiologist Jeanne Johnston found that college students become significantly more sedentary as they move toward their senior year.

'Toxic toy crisis' requires fresh solutions
Manufacturer recalls of toys, promotional drinking glasses, and other children's products constitute an ongoing

Research provides new leads in the case against drug-resistant biofilms
Films of bacteria that form around foreign materials in the body can be very difficult to defeat with drugs, but research led by Brown University biologists has identified a couple proteins that play a key role in building these

Sharks and wolves: Predator, prey interactions similar on land and in oceans
There may be many similarities between the importance of large predators in marine and terrestrial environments, researchers concluded in a recent study, which examined the interactions between wolves and elk in the United States, as well as sharks and dugongs in Australia.

NIH scientists unveil mechanisms of immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome
Newly published research by scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, sheds light on a poorly understood, acute illness called Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome that develops in some HIV-infected individuals soon after they begin antiretroviral therapy.

Colorectal cancer risk increases in prostate cancer patients on androgen deprivation therapy
Men taking androgen deprivation therapy for prostate cancer may have an increased risk of colorectal cancer, according to a study published online Nov.

New data uncover common molecular pathways between Rett syndrome, autism and schizophrenia
The laboratory of Huda Zoghbi, where the discovery that mutations in the gene MECP2 cause the severe childhood neurological disorder Rett Syndrome was made, has taken yet another step toward unraveling the complex epigenetic functions of this gene, implicated also in cases of autism, bipolar disease and childhood onset schizophrenia.

NCI awards $11.5 million to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to lead breast cancer consortium
The National Cancer Institute has awarded $11.5 million to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center to lead a five-year, Seattle-based breast cancer research consortium.

Science education the subject of forum in China
Piyush Swami, a UC professor of science education, is on a journey to share and explore teacher education on a global level.

University research reveals deaf adults see better than hearing people
Adults born deaf react more quickly to objects at the edge of their visual field than hearing people, according to groundbreaking new research by the University of Sheffield.

3 million entries now in Zentralblatt MATH
Zentralblatt MATH (ZBMATH), the world's most complete reference database in mathematical research, published its three millionth bibliographic entry today.

Updated NIST software uses combination testing to catch bugs fast and easy
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have released an updated version of a computer system testing tool that can cut costs by more efficiently finding flaws.

Researchers discover key mutation in acute myeloid leukemia
Researchers have discovered mutations in a particular gene that affects the treatment prognosis for some patients with acute myeloid leukemia, an aggressive blood cancer that kills 9,000 Americans annually.

Don't clamp umbilical cords straight after birth, urges expert
Obstetricians and midwives should wait a few minutes before clamping the umbilical cords of newborn infants so that babies are not harmed by the procedure, argues Dr.

Florida State to help military wage war on suicide
American soldiers are taking their own lives in the largest numbers since the military began keeping records, and the Department of Defense has enlisted the help of the Florida State University in waging the war against suicide.

Circuit regulating anti-diabetic actions of serotonin uncovered by UT Southwestern researchers
New findings by researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center suggest that serotonin -- a brain chemical known to help regulate emotion, mood and sleep -- might also have anti-diabetic properties.

Our normal genetics may influence cancer growth, too
New research suggests that the genes we are born with might influence the changes that occur when we develop cancer.

Winners of 2010 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards
Probing environmental reports on the size of the Gulf oil spill, the possible risks of chemicals commonly found in drinking water, and the fate of an endangered fish in the Colorado River are among the winners of the 2010 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards.

Research strengthens evidence of link between paracetamol use in pregnancy and childhood asthma
Evidence suggesting that the risk of childhood asthma associated with prenatal paracetamol exposure may depend on antioxidant genes in the mother has been found by a team of UK scientists.

Genes hold key to how well coalitions work, psychologists say
How well a person performs in a coalition is partly hereditary, according to a recent study.

New highly stable fuel-cell catalyst gets strength from its nano core
Scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory have developed a new electrocatalyst that uses a single layer of platinum and minimizes its wear and tear while maintaining high levels of reactivity during tests that mimic stop-and-go driving.

Noninvasive brain stimulation helps improve motor function in stroke patients
A non-invasive electric stimulation technique administered to both sides of the brain can help stroke patients who have lost motor skills in their hands and arms, according to a new study led by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC).

APHA 2010: Attacking the drinking culture on college campuses from different directions
A multi-tiered effort designed to stem binge drinking at a large university and to change the campus drinking culture produced notable results during a 2.5-year Indiana University study.

New research from Psychological Science
This press release contains a sampling of the exciting research just published in Psychological Science.

News tips from a special issue of the International Journal of Plant Sciences
The November/December issue of the International Journal of Plant Sciences explores the current state of our knowledge of natural selection in plants.

Analysis shows stress on clinicians can be effectively measured
Two new studies from researchers at the University of Cincinnati indicate that the stressors arising from work in the clinic, where physicians are seeing patients one-on-one, can effectively be measured with hopes of improving patient care and physician job satisfaction.

Combined approach including taxing unhealthy foods, restricting food advertising and better labeling are among most cost-effective ways to reduce obesity in nations of all incomes
The third paper in the Lancet series on chronic diseases and development examines a range of measures to combat obesity in nations of all incomes, and concludes that a combined approach of taxing unhealthy foods (and/or reducing tax on healthy foods), restricting food advertising, and improving labeling is among the most cost-effective ways to impact on obesity in all nations.

In the UK, everyone eating a healthy diet makes economic sense, but in poorer nations it's not so simple
In the second paper in the Lancet series on chronic disease and development, experts show that in the UK everyone eating a healthy diet would deliver big health effects with minimal knock-on effects to domestic agriculture and trade.

Scientists launch global scheme to boost rice yields while reducing damage to environment
One of the world's largest global scientific partnerships for sustainable agricultural development has launched a bold new research initiative that aims to dramatically improve the ability of rice farmers to feed growing populations in some of the world's poorest nations.

ASN leads efforts to address growing crisis in kidney care
An estimated 26 million people, 13 percent of the United States population, are living with Chronic Kidney Disease, and this number continues to grow.

Economists reveal factors that help poor people lift themselves out of poverty
A new paper based on work among poor families in Thailand shows that households who used their existing assets most productively were more successful at pulling themselves out of poverty.

Portrait of gambling behavior in Quebec
The initial findings of a survey on the prevalence of gambling in Quebec have been released.

Tetris flashback reduction effect 'not common to all games'
The computer game Tetris may have a special ability to reduce flashbacks after viewing traumatic images not shared by other types of computer game, Oxford University scientists have discovered in a series of experiments.

New ultra-clean nanowires have great potential
New ultra-clean nanowires produced at the Nano-Science Center, University of Copenhagen will have a central role in the development of new high-efficiency solar cells and electronics on a nanometer scale.

ASU's OpenTopography Facility part of $4.4 Mil NSF award to develop a GIS framework
The OpenTopography Facility, a collaboration between the San Diego Supercomputer Center at UC San Diego and Arizona State University, will participate in a five-year, $4.4 million award from the National Science Foundation to form a collaborative software framework for analysis of geographic data that will benefit many fields of research, from archaeology to urban planning.

That which doesn't kill perch makes them stronger -- or does it?
While the causes and effects of fish kills have been studied repeatedly, the outcomes of poisoning that is less than lethal have not.

Team colors on cans change perceptions of alcohol risks, MU study finds
Two MU psychologists have found that students who viewed images of beer cans packaged and displayed in university colors believed that drinking beer was less dangerous than those students who saw images of regular beer cans.

Caltech scientists describe the delicate balance in the brain that controls fear
A research team led by scientists at the California Institute of Technology has taken an important step toward understanding the neural circuitry of fear.

By 2030, 7 in 10 deaths globally will be due to noncommunicable diseases; health systems must be strengthened to respond to this growing crisis
Many cost-effective interventions and new technologies now exist to tackle chronic diseases in low-income and middle-income countries.

DNA repair protein caught in act of molecular theft
Scientists have observed, for the first time, an intermediate stage in the chemical process that repairs DNA methylation damage and regulates many important biological functions that impact health conditions such as obesity, cancer and diabetes.

Guardian angels for seeds
The seeds that you plant in your backyard garden next spring -- and farmers sow in their fields -- may have a guardian angel that helps them sprout and grow to yield bountiful harvests.

Drugstore of the future -- new drugs from an old source
Supported by thousands of years of use, a new wave of polymolecular botanical drugs, backed by strong biomedical research and clinical trials, are growing in acceptance as a viable new drug category for the treatment and prevention of a wide spectrum of diseases from cancer to obesity.

New indicator found for rapidly progressing form of deadly lung disease
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis is a little-known disease that kills as many people each year as breast cancer.

Study links a couple's numeracy skills with greater family wealth
Couples who score well on a simple test of numeracy ability accumulate more wealth by middle age than couples who score poorly on such a test, according to a new study of married couples in the United States.

By reducing disease risk, 'Desktop Medicine' will transform the practice of medicine
Gone are the days when a doctor's only way of helping patients is by treating the disease after symptoms have started.

No one should take offense at professor's new book on insult
Thomas Conley has written an insulting book. Or, rather, a book about insult -- which seems timely in the wake of the recent political campaign season and its 30-second ads.

Medicinal chemist wins inaugural De Burgh Fellowship
Medicinal chemist Dr. Guillaume Lessene has been awarded the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute's inaugural De Burgh Fellowship at the institute's annual general meeting in Melbourne, Australia.

Academies of science call for amendments to impracticable Genetic Diagnostics Act
Many aspects of the German Genetic Diagnostics Act are out of touch with the latest technology, almost impossible to implement in clinical practice, or even detrimental to the success of recognized screening tests, such as newborn screening.

Primordial dry ice fuels comet jets
One of the biggest comet findings coming out of the amazing images and data taken by the University of Maryland-led EPOXI mission as it zipped past comet Hartley 2 last week is that dry ice is the 'jet' fuel for this comet and perhaps many others.

Campus-community interventions successful in reducing college drinking
Heavy drinking among college students results in over 1800 deaths each year, as well as 590,000 unintentional injuries, almost 700,000 assaults and more than 97,000 victims of sexual assaults.

NEWMEDS announces new drug database
In a remarkable and unprecedented collaboration NEWMEDS (Novel Methods leading to NeW MEdications in Depression and Schizophrenia) have pooled resources to bring together data of 23,401 anonymous patients from 67 trials on 11 compounds in over 25 countries to form the single largest database of clinical trial data ever amassed in psychiatric research.

Seeing the invisible: New CSI tool visualizes bloodstains and other substances
Snap an image of friends in front of a window curtain and the camera captures the people -- and invisible blood stains splattered on the curtain during a murder.

U of A researchers can predict heart transplant patient's health earlier
Michael Mengel, a pathology researcher with the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, has found a new way to analyze biopsies from heart transplant patients by looking at their genes.

F1000 Reports journals in biology and medicine are now indexed in PubMed Central
Faculty of 1000 is delighted to announce that its two review journals, F1000 Biology Reports and F1000 Medicine Reports, are now indexed in PubMed and PubMed Central.

Stem cell transplants in mice produce lifelong enhancement of muscle mass
University of Colorado at Boulder-led study shows that specific types of stem cells transplanted into the leg muscles of mice prevented the loss of muscle function and mass that normally occurs with aging, a finding with potential uses in treating humans with chronic, degenerative muscle diseases.

Improving safety and quality of organic leafy greens
A USDA-funded project at the UA aims to increase the safety and quality of organic leafy greens and profitability for farmers.

What will it take to get chronic diseases on the international health agenda?
Chronic diseases, especially cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, and chronic obstructive respiratory diseases, are neglected globally despite growing awareness of the serious burden that they cause.

Mother Nature and bioterrorists: Rochester battles both with $11.9 million award
Flu viruses are a great threat, whether they stem from Mother Nature or are modified by human hands to create a deadly bioweapon.

Dietary intervention can prevent the disease process leading to Type 1 diabetes
A Finnish study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows for the first time that dietary intervention in infancy can prevent the initiation of the disease process leading to Type 1 diabetes among high-risk children.

'If chronic diseases are ignored we will sleepwalk into a world where healthy people are a minority and unhealthy children die before their parents'
In a comment linked to the series, federations representing the four priority chronic diseases (cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes) say that,

ASPB members selected for Presidential Early Career Scientist awards
Two members of the American Society of Plant Biologists are among the 85 researchers named by President Obama as recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers.

GM, Chrysler bankruptcies created troubling legacy, legal scholars say
U. of I. law professors Charles J. Tabb and Ralph Brubaker argue that the legal principles applied in the GM and Chrysler bankruptcies -- two of the largest in US history at $83.5 and $39.9 billion, respectively -- were misguided, and have ultimately undermined the distributional norms of bankruptcy reorganizations.

Fructose-rich beverages associated with increased risk of gout in women
Consumption of fructose-rich beverages, such as sugar-sweetened sodas and orange juice is associated with an increased risk of gout among women, although their contribution to the risk of gout in the population is likely modest because of the low incidence rate among women, according to a study that will appear in the Nov.

Atoms-for-Peace: A galactic collision in action
European Southern Observatory astronomers have produced a spectacular new image of the famous Atoms-for-Peace galaxy.

Stress takes its toll in Parkinson's disease
A stressful lifestyle could lead to the premature death of a group of neurons, whose loss triggers the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, according to a Northwestern Medicine study published in Nature.

JDRF clinical panel recommends next steps for artificial pancreas clinical testing
Diabetes experts at a meeting convened by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) took the next step in advancing efforts toward the development of an artificial pancreas: putting forth clinical recommendations to ensure the safe and effective testing of artificial pancreas technology in real-life situations.

Bone experts, clinicians and osteoporosis patient societies to convene in Valencia, Spain
Valencia will host the largest

AFM positioning: Shining light on a needle in a haystack
The researchers report a neat solution to the

Pleasurable behaviors reduce stress via brain pathways, research shows
Whether it's food or sex, pleasurable activity provides more than just pleasure, University of Cincinnati researchers say.

Study clarifies needs of rural-dwelling elderly
A novel project set in a rural community near Rochester, N.Y., to screen elderly people for unmet needs showed that, indeed, there is a great opportunity to match older adults with professional assistance.

Win some, lose some: U-M expert provides reapportionment projections
Before the US Census Bureau releases its official state-level population counts to Congress on Dec.

Synapses recycle proteins for the release of neurotransmitters
Reclaimed proteins enable the fusion of transmitter vesicles with the cell membrane.

University of Minnesota leads team in discovery of novel type of magnetic wave
A team of international researchers led by physicists in the University of Minnesota's College of Science and Engineering have made a significant breakthrough in an effort to understand the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity in complex copper-oxides.

Newco produces seed potatoes in the open air
Soil is no longer necessary for growing potatoes, at least for growing seed potatoes.

Sickle cell disease and its link to race focus of NJIT researcher at NIH event
The history of sickle cell disease in the 20th century and its link to race is the focus of a Nov.

Inhibitory neurons key to understanding neuropsychiatric disorders
In 1999, Baylor College of Medicine researcher Dr. Huda Zoghbi, and her colleagues identified mutations in one of these genes called MECP2 as the culprit in a devastating neurological disorder called Rett syndrome.

New risk factor for developing breast cancer
An Australian research team from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, the University of Melbourne and the University of Queensland has identified a new risk factor for developing breast cancer.

Bowel cancer: 8 years of colonoscopy screening in Germany -- a success story
By the end of this year, colonoscopy screening will have prevented bowel cancer in approximately 99,000 people since it was introduced in Germany.

Looking for wireless? Try a local farm
Wireless. For most, the word conjures images quaint coffee shops or busy airport lobbies -- places where people drop in to check on business or check in with other people.

Infant foods should be screened for mycotoxins
An international team of scientists calls for protecting complementary food for infants in developing countries -- especially those where corn is a staple food -- against fumonisin, a toxin produced by fungi.

Cancer news articles may contribute to confusion about cancer
New research from North Carolina State University shows that most online news stories about cancer contain language that likely contributes to public uncertainty about the disease -- a significant finding, given that at least one-third of Americans seek health information online.

CWRU nurse researcher finds prescribed bed rest has down side for pregnant women
Despite lack of evidence about bed rest's effectiveness, doctors annually prescribe it for roughly 1 million pregnant women to delay preterm births.

New NIST dietary supplement reference materials could be 'berry' useful
National Institute of Standards and Technology researchers have developed new certified reference materials for measuring amounts of organic acids in dietary supplements formulated with Vaccinium berries -- cranberries, blueberries and bilberries. 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