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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | November 16, 2010


New characteristics of premature aging protein discovered at Stevens
Dr. Joseph Glavy, assistant professor of chemical biology at Stevens Institute of Technology, and a team of student scientists uncovered a disease-related protein outside of its known range.
Protein with cardioprotective capabilities during heart attack discovered
University of Cincinnati researchers have discovered a new protein that could be cardioprotective during heart attack, potentially leading to more targeted treatments for patients at risk.
International discussions on FRAX smooth the way for implementation in clinical practice
Three days of international discussion and debate, led by a panel of experts from ISCD and IOF, have served to clarify a number of important questions pertaining to the interpretation and use of FRAX in clinical practice.
Astronomers discover merging star systems that might explode
Sometimes when you're looking for one thing, you find something completely different and unexpected.
Orangutans count on stats for survival
Orangutans threatened with extinction could be brought back from the brink with help from a Queensland University of Technology statistician.
The lifeblood of leaves: Vein networks control plant patterns
University of Arizona graduate student Benjamin Blonder may have solved the mystery of how leaf vein patterns correlate with use of sunlight, carbon and other nutrients.
5 selected as Los Alamos National Laboratory Fellows
Five Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists from diverse fields of research have been named Laboratory Fellows.
Four NYU researchers receive New York Academy of Sciences 2010 Young Scientists awards
The New York Academy of Sciences has selected four New York University researchers for its 2010 Blavatnik Awards for Young Scientists.
Research into the scientific potential of time-of-flight cameras
Scientists at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid have designed a communication system based on hand movement and position for virtual control of a video game through a flight time camera, and are investigating applications for this sensor in medicine, biometrics, sports and emotional intelligence.
APS releases report on renewable energy and the electricity grid
US policymakers must focus more closely on developing new energy storage technologies as they consider a national renewable electricity standard, according to one of the principal recommendations in a newly released report,
Benefits of preschool vary by family income
A new study finds that enrollment in preschool improves literacy skills for children who are not in poverty.
Imaging tool may aid nanoelectronics by screening tiny tubes
Researchers have demonstrated a new imaging tool for rapidly screening structures called single-wall carbon nanotubes, possibly hastening their use in creating a new class of computers and electronics that are faster and consume less power than today's.
Sticky snack for elephant-shrews
Long-nosed Cape rock elephant-shrews are fond of sticky treats, according to Dr.
New low-cost method to deliver vaccine shows promise
A promising new approach to immunization might reduce costs and enable thousands more people around the world to be vaccinated.
US falls behind other nations in reducing traffic fatalities and injuries
The United States is missing significant opportunities to reduce traffic fatalities and injuries.
Wake up, Mom -- study shows gender differences in sleep interruptions
Working mothers are two-and-a-half times as likely as working fathers to interrupt their sleep to take care of others.
Effective diagnosis, treatment of ear infections in children examined in study
Among the findings of an analysis of previous studies regarding ear infections in children are that results from otoscopic exams (an instrument for examining the interior of the ear) are critical to accurate diagnosis and antibiotics are modestly more effective than no treatment, with most antibiotics demonstrating similar rates of clinical success among children at normal risk, according to an article in the Nov.
Researchers find tie between fat outside of the arteries and cardiovascular disease
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have found that fat around the outside of arteries may lead to the development of cardiovascular disease and could be linked to its onset in individuals with diabetes.
'Chaogates' hold promise for the semiconductor industry
In a move that holds great significance for the semiconductor industry, a team of researchers in Arizona has created an alternative to conventional logic gates, demonstrated them in silicon, and dubbed them
Minneapolis disaster spawning new concepts in bridge research, testing and safety
Civil engineers at Oregon State University have developed a new system to better analyze the connections that hold major bridge members together, which may improve public safety, help address a trillion-dollar concern about aging infrastructure around the world, and save lives.
LSUHSC's Kolls earns NIH MERIT Award recognizing best of the best
Dr. Jay Kolls, professor and chairman of genetics at the LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Medicine, is one of the few scientists in the US selected to receive the prestigious Method to Extend Research in Time (MERIT) Award by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.
New ways to detect and treat Alzheimer's disease
New studies identify brain changes in people with Alzheimer's disease.
Brent geese show parents know best
Research from a six year study on migrating geese has discovered an interesting outcome -- they return to the same spots they were taken to as youngsters.
Disadvantaged youth more likely to be high-school dropouts, young parents and poor adults
Disadvantaged kids are more likely to drop out of high school, become premature parents and raise their own children in poverty, according to an exhaustive new study from researchers at Concordia University and the University of Ottawa.
Bioengineers provide adult stem cells with simultaneous chemical, electrical and mechanical cues
Bioengineers from the University of California, San Diego achieved the
Aortic aneurysm treatable with asthma drugs
A new study from the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet shows that asthma drugs are a potential treatment for aortic aneurysm.
Hearing colors, seeing sounds: New research explores sensory overlap in the brain
New research indicates that the integration of senses and functions in the brain is common.
29,000 Ontario students report problem gambling -- drug use and suicide a concern
A new study from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health has found that 29,000 Ontario students from grades 7-12 report behaviors indicating that they are gambling problematically.
Treating heart attack with fat-derived stem cells may be safe in humans
Treating heart attack patients with regenerative stem cells obtained from their own fat deposits may be feasible and safe, according to a small, first-of-its-kind study.
President Obama awards chemists National Medals of Science and Technology and Innovation
President Obama will honor seven chemists, all members of the American Chemical Society, with National Medals of Science and Technology and Innovation during a White House ceremony on Wednesday, Nov.
Minimally invasive procedure safe alternative for treating congenital heart defect
Transcatheter closure of secundum atrial septal defects (ASD), a common congenital heart abnormality in children, is a minimally invasive procedure that is a safe alternative to traditional surgery at long-term follow up.
Scientists identify potential new target for treating triple negative breast cancer
Scientists believe they may have found a new target for treating triple negative breast cancer -- one of the more difficult breast cancers to treat successfully and for which there is no targeted therapy at present.
Radiation fears should not deter women from mammography screening
The risk of radiation-induced breast cancer from mammography screening is slight in comparison to the benefit of expected lives saved, according to a new study.
Elsevier launches SciVerse Applications beta
Elsevier, a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, today announced the launch of SciVerse Applications beta, a new module within the SciVerse platform that will empower the scientific community to develop and share customized solutions that advance the search and discovery process through its marketplace and developer network
Your view of personal goals can affect your relationships
How you think about your goals -- whether it's to improve yourself or to do better than others -- can affect whether you reach those goals.
Elsevier sponsors 2010 Semantic Web Challenge
Elsevier announced the winners of the 2010 Semantic Web Challenge.
Energy drink use may lead to alcohol dependence
Many adolescents and college students innocently ingest large amounts of energy drinks to stay awake.
Gene linked to ADHD allows memory task to be interrupted by brain regions tied to daydreaming
Neuroscientists at Georgetown University Medical Center say brain scans show that a gene nominally linked to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder leads to increased interference by brain regions associated with mind wandering during mental tasks.
Experts urge prime minister to act on 'massive' rises in the prices of drugs for rare diseases
An open letter from 20 consultants and a patient group published on bmj.com today, calls on the prime minister to take action over a legal loophole that allows drug companies to make easy profits by licensing existing treatments for rare diseases.
Infant estrogen levels tracked through diaper research
With the help of babies and more than 5,000 of their diapers, Emory University researchers have developed an accurate, noninvasive method to determine estrogen levels in infants.
Heart surgeries can trigger strokes, seizures and other neurological complications
Strokes, seizures and other neurological complications related to heart surgery account for
Dressing indicates infections
Wounds have to be regularly checked to make sure any complications in the healing process are detected at an early stage.
Highlighting gender promotes stereotyped views in preschoolers
Preschool teachers can inadvertently pass on lessons in stereotypes to their students when they highlight gender differences, according to Penn State psychologists.
Duke to lead oversight of HIV laboratories worldwide
The National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), has awarded Duke University Medical Center up to $52.8 million over the next seven years to support the development, implementation and oversight of external quality assurance programs that monitor laboratories involved in HIV/AIDS research and vaccine trials around the world.
Highlighting gender promotes stereotyped views in preschoolers
Children are more likely to express stereotyped views of
Young children sensitive to others' behaviors and intentions
A new study finds that young children are less likely to help a person after seeing that person harm or intend to harm someone else.
Research links damaged organs to change in biochemical wave patterns
By examining the distinct wave patterns formed from complex biochemical reactions within the human body, diseased organs may be more effectively identified, says Zhengdong Cheng, associate professor in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University, who has developed a model that simulates how these wave patterns are generated.
Tuesday news tips, Nov. 16, 2010
This release contains summaries of presentations at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2010.
Scientists learn more about how kidneys fail and how new drugs may intervene
Scientists are learning more about how protein gets in the urine when the kidneys begin to fail and how a new drug blocks it.
Researchers link cerebral malaria to epilepsy, behavior disorders
Almost a third of cerebral malaria survivors developed epilepsy or other behavioral disorders in the most comprehensive study to date of the disease in African children, solidifying the link between malaria and neuropsychiatric disorders that affect hundreds of thousands of children.
Enzyme action could be target for diabetes, heart disease treatments
Cardiac researchers at the University of Cincinnati have found a new cellular pathway that could help in developing therapeutic treatments for obesity-related disorders, like diabetes and heart disease.
UCSF partners with Pfizer to improve drug discovery, development
UCSF and Pfizer Inc. have formed a new partnership to accelerate the translation of biomedical research into effective new medications and therapies for patients.
Social costs of school success are highest for blacks, U-M study shows
African American and Native American teens who do well in school suffer from a higher
Eyeblink conditioning may help in assessing children with fetal alcohol exposure
Children with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) are extremely difficult to diagnose, as well as treat.
Elsevier offers First Consult users anywhere, anytime access
Elsevier, the leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, today announced the availability of an iPhone App that gives whenever, wherever access to users of First Consult, an online clinical information resource that delivers quick, trusted answers to clinical questions at the point-of-care.
JDRF and Amylin Pharmaceuticals to investigate metreleptin as therapy for type 1 diabetes
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) and Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
UC San Diego named founding partner in National Digital Stewardship Alliance
The University of California, San Diego Libraries are playing a leadership role in mapping out national standards and best practices for preserving and sharing digital content.
Doomsday messages about global warming can backfire, new study shows
Dire or emotionally charged warnings about the consequences of global warming can backfire if presented too negatively, making people less amenable to reducing their carbon footprint, according to new research from the University of California, Berkeley.
Researchers map the way to personalised treatment for ovarian cancer
Researchers have shown that point mutations -- misspellings in a single letter of genetic code -- that drive the onset and growth of cancer cells can be detected successfully in advanced ovarian cancer using a technique called OncoMap.
Top echocardiography and medical ultrasound specialists to gather in Copenhagen
The European Association of Echocardiography expects to welcome over 3,000 international delegates to its annual EUROECHO Congress, to be held this year in Copenhagen Dec.
Phone-in doctoring fails to improve patient outcomes
Keeping in close contact with heart failure patients once they leave the hospital has been an ongoing challenge for physicians.
New dry powder antibiotic targets tuberculosis, reduces treatment time
New research being presented at the 2010 International Pharmaceutical Federation Pharmaceutical Sciences World Congress in association with the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists Annual Meeting and Exposition will feature an inhalable dry powder antibiotic that when used alone or with current treatments may significantly reduce treatment for tuberculosis and multi-drug-resistant TB.
Smoke from fireworks is harmful to health
The metallic particles in the smoke emitted by fireworks pose a health risk, particularly to people who suffer from asthma.
Researcher explores whether fish feel pain
Do fish feel pain? Victoria Braithwaite, Penn State professor of fisheries and biology, has spent decades studying that question.
Statin RX may be overprescribed in healthy people without evidence of diseased arteries
Rolling back suggestions from previous studies, a Johns Hopkins study of 950 healthy men and women has shown that taking daily doses of a cholesterol-lowering statin medication to protect coronary arteries and ward off heart attack or stroke may not be needed for everyone.
Making the passage of time invisible (and the illusion of a Star Trek transporter)
While a range of ingenious man-made materials bring us ever closer to realizing the possibility of cloaking objects from visible light, research from Imperial College London is now taking invisibility into the fourth dimension -- time -- creating the groundbreaking potential to hide whole events.
Budding research links climate change and earlier flowering plants
University of Cincinnati research published in the December issue of Ecological Restoration shows that global warming may be impacting the blooming cycle of plants.
Combo high-tech CT scans just as good as older imaging to detect coronary artery disease
Heart imaging specialists at Johns Hopkins have shown that a combination of CT scans that measure how much blood is flowing through the heart and the amount of plaque in surrounding arteries are just as good as tests that are less safe, more complex and more time-consuming to detect coronary artery disease and its severity.
Social costs of achievement vary by race/ethnicity, school features
A new study finds that social ostracism of students who excel academically varies across racial/ethnic groups, and depends on characteristics of teens' schools.
Artificial black holes made with metamaterials
While our direct knowledge of black holes in the universe is limited to what we can observe from thousands or millions of light years away, a team of Chinese physicists has proposed a simple way to design an artificial electromagnetic black hole in the laboratory -- described in the Journal of Applied Physics.
Not following doctor's orders: Prescription abandonment
Failure to have a prescription filled can undermine medical treatment, result in increased health care costs and potentially have devastating results for the patient.
Less than 1 month until start of major osteoporosis meeting in Singapore
Healthcare providers in the Asia-Pacific region are coping with a rising tide of osteoporotic fractures.
Getting bubbles out of fuel pumps
When vapor bubbles form and collapse in fluids moving swiftly over steel objects such as those inside fuel pumps, they can damage them.
Using plants against soils contaminated with arsenic
Two essential genes that control the accumulation and detoxification of arsenic in plant cells have been identified.
Never-smokers fare far better than smokers after radiation therapy for head and neck cancer
Patients with head and neck cancer who have never smoked have much better survival rates after radiation therapy than patients with a history of smoking, new research from UC Davis Cancer Center has found.
Combination therapy improves survival time for patients with advanced liver cancer
Treatment of inoperable advanced liver cancer with the agent doxorubicin (routinely used to treat this condition) in addition to the agent sorafenib resulted in greater overall survival and progression-free survival, compared to patients who received treatment with doxorubicin alone, according to a study in the Nov.
Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology
Upcoming articles from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology include:
Organ network uses Carnegie Mellon algorithm to match live kidney donors with recipients
A computer algorithm developed at Carnegie Mellon University matched living kidney donors with medically compatible transplant candidates late last month as the national Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN), operated by the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), began a national pilot program to increase the number of kidney paired-donation (KPD) transplants.
Communication engages complex brain circuitry and processes
New human and animal studies released today uncover the extensive brain wiring used in communication and provide new insights into how the brain processes and produces language, accents, and sounds.
MRI scans show structural brain changes in people at risk for Alzheimer's disease
New results from a study by neuroscientists at Rush University Medical Center suggest that people at risk of developing Alzheimer's disease exhibit a specific structural change in the brain that can be visualized by brain imaging.
Back off, Rudolph: Protecting this year's Christmas tree crop
Hair clippings, cayenne pepper and raw eggs -- these are just a few of the odd ingredients recommended to keep those pesky deer away from your backyard garden.
Princeton scientist recasts problems, offering new tools for old quandaries
A Princeton scientist with an interdisciplinary bent has taken two well-known problems in mathematics and reformulated them as a physics question, offering new tools to solve challenges relevant to a host of subjects ranging from improving data compression to detecting gravitational waves.
Increased age of sexual consent in Canada may not protect teens at greatest risk: UBC study
The increase in the legal age of sexual consent from 14 to 16 years in 2008 may not be protecting those at greatest risk, according to researchers who have analyzed British Columbia population-based data and recommend additional strategies to safeguard vulnerable children and teens.
Cancer drug target is promising lead for new TB treatments
A key enzyme in Mycobacterium tuberculosis that enables the microbe to reproduce rapidly could be a golden target for new drugs against tuberculosis, according to a study published in Microbiology on Nov.
Antibiotic treatment for ear infections in kids provides only modest benefits, study finds
Using antibiotics to treat newly diagnosed acute ear infections among children is modestly more effective than no treatment, but comes with a risk of side effects, according to a new study designed to help advise efforts to rewrite treatment guidelines for the common illness.
UC Berkeley gets $16.5 million for children's environmental health centers
UC Berkeley researchers are getting $16.5 million to support three research centers examining the environmental factors influencing children's health.
Risø Energy Report 9: CO2-free energy can meet the world's energy needs in 2050
Taken as a whole, energy sources with low or no carbon emissions could easily cover the global energy supply in 2050.
UC Riverside scientists lead NASA-funded Climate Change Education Initiative for Southern California
University of California, Riverside geoscientists have been awarded a three-year $350,000 grant from NASA to develop innovative approaches for communicating climate change science to undergraduates and high school students in Southern California.
CLS signs agreements with SESAME and SLRI
Developing new experimental methods while fostering technological and educational partnerships is at the heart of a Memorandum of Understanding signed on Nov.
Gene screening may refine prediction of heart attack risk, Mayo Clinic researchers say
Testing for 11 specific genetic variations in hundreds of people with no history of heart disease provided information that led to revision of their estimated heart attack risk, say Mayo Clinic researchers.
Government's personal health record project meets with limited enthusiasm from patients
HealthSpace, the Internet-accessible personal health organizer developed as part of the National Programme for IT in the National Health Service, was significantly less popular than anticipated, a research team from the University of London has found.
Children's National's David Wessel awarded top prize by American Heart Association
David Wessel, MD, senior vice president for Hospital-Based Specialties at Children's National Medical Center, won the best abstract for Outstanding Research Award in Pediatric Cardiology by the American Heart Association's Council on Cardiovascular Disease in the Young.
Engineers test effects of fire on steel structures
Researchers at Purdue University are studying the effects of fire on steel structures, such as buildings and bridges, using a one-of-a-kind heating system and a specialized laboratory for testing large beams and other components.
Common strain of bacteria found in patients with cystic fibrosis in Canada
A common transmissible strain of the bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa has been identified among cystic fibrosis (CF) patients in Canada, suggesting that cross-infection has occurred widely between CF centers in the United Kingdom and Canada, according to a study in the Nov.
Impulsive behavior in males increases after periods of heavy drinking
Alcohol is known to cause an increase in impulsive behavior in individuals, which can not only be dangerous for themselves, but for others as well.
Clinical science: Special reports III News tips
Regardless of presentation date and time, all four abstracts will have the same embargo release at 3:45 p.m.
Community education may shorten treatment time for heart attack patients
Systematic education in rural and suburban communities can significantly shorten onset to hospital arrival times for patients with chest pain, according to study findings to be presented Nov.
Adolescents at risk for alcohol abuse show decreased brain activation
Adolescence is a time of immense change in the brain, but unfortunately, it is also the time where many youths begin drinking.
Depression linked to HIV risk among South African young people, study shows
University of Alberta research has discovered a strong link between depression and risky sexual behaviors such as improper condom use, transactional sex and relationship violence among young people in South Africa.
Program for young students increases interest in college attendance and medical careers
Two new studies have shown that a unique program in East Harlem that helps middle school students learn practical health skills and gain a better understanding of medical conditions, such as diabetes and hypertension, resulted in increased interest in college attendance and medical careers among the students who attended the program.
NERSC supercomputing center breaks the petaflops barrier
The Department of Energy's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center, already one of the world's leading centers for scientific productivity, is now home to the fifth most powerful supercomputer in the world and the second most powerful in the United States, according to the latest edition of the TOP500 list, the definitive ranking of the world's top computers.
You are not what you eat
The types of gut bacteria that populate the guts of primates depend on the species of the host as well as where the host lives and what they eat.
Structure of a protein related to heart and nervous system health revealed
University of Michigan researchers have solved the structure of a protein that is integral to processes responsible for maintaining a healthy heart and nervous system.
Treatment that includes surgery results in better blood flow to heart
In a sub-study of the BARI 2D trial, patients with diabetes and heart disease had better blood flow to their heart after one year if their treatment to unblock arteries included early vessel-opening surgery vs. treatment without surgery.
First in man SESAME stent trial demonstrates 100 percent acute success rate
A new study revealed that the novel self-expanding super-elastic all-metal endoprosthesis stent (SESAME StentTM) used in patients undergoing angioplasty of degenerated saphenous vein graft lesions has 100 percent acute success, low 30 day major adverse cardiac events (MACE) rates, and nine-month patency comparable to balloon expandable stents without embolic protection.
Research roundtable: What's next in CVD research?
Years of research are the basis for the latest drugs and treatments for cardiovascular disease.
NIH awards $10 million to advance microneedle patch for flu vaccination
The National Institutes of Health has awarded $10 million to advance a technology for the painless, self-administration of flu vaccine using patches containing tiny microneedles that dissolve into the skin.
Study rewrites the evolutionary history of C4 grasses
According to a popular hypothesis, grasses such as maize, sugar cane, millet and sorghum got their evolutionary start as a result of a steep drop in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels during the Oligocene epoch, more than 23 million years ago.
Nanotechnology: A dead end for plant cells?
Using particles that are 1/100,000 the width of a human hair to deliver drugs to cells or assist plants in fighting off pests may sound like something out of a science fiction movie, but these scenarios may be a common occurrence in the near future.
NTU unveils five-year strategic blueprint
Nanyang Technological University (NTU) today unveiled NTU 2015, a five-year strategic plan that maps out how the university will become a great global university by 2015.
Length of pregnancy influenced by placenta structure
The nine-month pregnancy in humans is influenced by the structure of the placenta, according to new research into the evolution of reproduction in mammals which ends a 100-year mystery.
University of Colorado in pilot project to map defibrillators
Monday, Food and Drug Administration officials announced that the University of Colorado School of Medicine will help develop a pilot registry in Denver to identify where Automated External Defibrillators are and should be located.
Rescue missions underway to save Haiti's species from mass extinctions
Haiti is on the brink of an era of mass extinctions, reports a biologist who has established a species-rescue program, including captive-breeding and gene-preservation efforts.
Detroit's urban farms could provide a majority of produce for local residents
Transforming vacant urban lots into farms and community gardens could provide Detroit residents with a majority of their fruits and vegetables.
Nighttime sleep found beneficial to infants' skills
Young children who get most of their sleep at night perform better in executive functioning than children who don't sleep as much at night, a new study finds.
Personalized medicine: Tumor analysis reveals new opportunities for existing cancer drugs
Targeted cancer therapies such as trastuzumab (Herceptin), gefitinib (Iressa) and erlotinib (Tarceva) could be used to treat a wider range of cancers than previously thought, according to new research presented on Wednesday at the 22nd EORTC-NCI-AACR Symposium on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics in Berlin.

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