Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 22, 2010
For HIV-positive patients, delayed treatment a costly decision
HIV-infected patients whose treatment is delayed not only become sicker than those treated earlier, but also require tens of thousands of dollars more in care over the first several years of their treatment.

Allotment gardeners reap healthy rewards
People who have an allotment, especially those aged over 60, tend to be significantly healthier than those who do not.

University of Minnesota engineering researcher finds new way to fight antibiotic-resistant bacteria
New findings by civil engineering researchers in the University of Minnesota's College of Science and Engineering shows that treating municipal wastewater solids at higher temperatures may be an effective tool in the fight against antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

HIV drugs interfere with blood sugar, lead to insulin resistance
The same powerful drugs that have extended the lives of countless people with HIV come with a price -- insulin resistance that can lead to diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

New clinical practice guideline may help reduce the pain of childhood immunization
A new evidence-based clinical practice guideline will help doctors, health care providers and parents reduce the pain and distress of immunization in children, states an article in CMAJ.

New tool detects Ebola, Marburg quickly, easily
Boston University researchers have developed a simple diagnostic tool that can quickly identify dangerous viruses like Ebola and Marburg.

Springer launches SpringerBriefs
Springer is launching a new product line SpringerBriefs. Featuring cutting-edge research and practical applications in compact volumes of between 50 and 125 pages, SpringerBriefs will be available as eBooks and in print.

Muscle cells point the finger at each other
A new study reveals that muscle cells fuse together during development by poking

Hybrid tugboat cuts emissions, University of California, Riverside study shows
A new study by University of California, Riverside scientists of what is believed to be the world's only hybrid electric tugboat found that the vessel is effective in reducing emissions at the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach.

Medical imaging breakthrough uses light and sound to see microscopic details inside our bodies
See it for yourself: A new breakthrough in imaging technology using light and sound will allow health-care providers to see microscopic details inside the body.

Researchers kick-start ancient DNA
Binghamton University researchers recently revived ancient bacteria trapped for thousands of years in water droplets embedded in salt crystals.

Study ties parental divorce in childhood to stroke in adulthood
Children who experience a parental divorce are over twice as likely to suffer a stroke at some point in their lives, according to new research presented in New Orleans at the Gerontological Society of America's 63rd Annual Scientific Meeting.

New sleep cycle discovery explains why fatty diets during pregnancy make kids obese
The link between sleeping and obesity is drawn tighter as a new research published online in the FASEB Journal shows that what your mother ate when she was pregnant may make you obese or overweight by altering the function of genes (epigenetic changes) that regulate circadian rhythm.

Scientists clock on to how sunlight shapes daily rhythms
Fresh insight into how biological clocks adjust to having less sunlight in the winter could help us better understand the impact of jet lag and shift work.

US death rate from congenital heart defects continues to decline
Deaths from congenital heart defects continue a decades-long decline in the United States.

The not-so-sweet truth about sugar -- a risk choice?
More and more people have become aware of the dangers of excessive fructose in diet.

Flu vaccine effective in infants and influenza immunization recommendations of most countries should be reviewed
Giving inactivated influenza vaccine to young children is effective at preventing influenza, even in infants younger than 2 years who are the most vulnerable to infection, according to an article published online first in the Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Targeted breast ultrasound plays key role in evaluating breast abnormalities in women younger than 40
Targeted breast ultrasound should be the primary imaging technique used to evaluate focal (confined) breast signs and symptoms in women younger than 30, according to a study in the December issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

Fall bonefish census sounds warning bell that warrants careful future monitoring
Initial results from University of Miami professor Jerry Ault's annual fall bonefish census show that this year's count was down by 25 percent -- from an 8-year mean estimate of 316,805 bonefish to a new low of ~240,000 bonefish.

Stability is first step toward treating ALS
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that eventually destroys most motor neurons, causing muscle weakness and atrophy throughout the body.

Putting the squeeze on fat cells
Professor Amit Gefen of Tel Aviv University is conducting research into the theory that fat cells, like bone or muscle cells, are influenced by mechanical loads.

Imaging science offers new opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration
More than 170 participants gathered this week for the eighth annual National Academies Keck Futures Initiative conference in Irvine, Calif.

Hong Kong hospital reports possible airborne influenza transmission
In a study published in the current issue of Clinical Infectious Diseases, the authors examine an influenza outbreak in a Hong Kong hospital and the possible role of aerosol transmission.

Tecnalia participates in European project for enhanced safety in rapid fire doors
Tecnalia is taking part in the

New American Chemical Society Prized Science video focuses on shrinking the computer chip
A new episode of Prized Science: How the Science Behind ACS (American Chemical Society) Awards Impacts Your Life, features Robert Miller, Ph.D., who developed materials that helped shrink the size of the computer chip and boost its power.

New spinal implant will help people with paraplegia to exercise paralyzed limbs
Engineers have developed a new type of microchip muscle stimulator implant that will enable people with paraplegia to exercise their paralyzed leg muscles.

Age estimation from blood has immediate forensic application
In principle, the new profiling method could be put to immediate practical use by law enforcement, according to the researchers who report their findings in the Nov.

Genomic 'markers' may head off thousands of thyroid surgeries
Doctors at the University of Colorado School of Medicine are helping lead the way nationally in the use of a genomic approach to evaluating suspicious thyroid nodules.

Flexible wings driven by simple oscillation may be viable for efficient micro air vehicles
To avoid some of the design challenges involved in creating micro-scale air vehicles that mimic the flapping of winged insects or birds, Georgia Tech researchers propose using flexible wings that are driven by a simple sinusoidal flapping motion.

Depression may be both consequence of and risk factor for diabetes
Diabetes appears to be associated with the risk of depression and vice versa, suggesting the relationship between the two works in both directions, according to a report in the Nov.

Flying snakes, caught on tape
New video analysis and mathematical modeling by engineers at Virginia Tech reveals how certain types of snakes can

Upper-class people have trouble recognizing others' emotions
Upper-class people have more educational opportunities, greater financial security, and better job prospects than people from lower social classes, but that doesn't mean they're more skilled at everything.

Personalized multimedia program may help prevent falls in patients without cognitive impairment
A patient education program combining videos with one-on-one follow-up did not appear to reduce the risk of falls among all older hospital patients, but was associated with fewer falls among patients who were not cognitively impaired, according to a report posted online today that will be published in the March 28 print issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Successful treatment for mice with beta-thalassemia
Beta-thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder that results in chronic anemia.

Study could mean greater anticipated global warming
Global climate models disagree widely in the magnitude of the warming we can expect with increasing carbon dioxide.

Dr. Oliver Daumke of MDC wins Bayer Early Excellence in Science Award
Biochemist and protein crystallographer Dr. Oliver Daumke of the Max Delbrueck Center Berlin-Buch, Germany, has won the Bayer Early Excellence in Science Award 2010 in the biology category.

Late-preterm babies at greater risk for problems later in childhood
Late-preterm babies -- those born between 34 and 36 weeks -- are at an increased risk for cognitive and emotional problems, regardless of maternal IQ or demographics, according to new research published by Michigan State University researchers in the current edition of the journal Pediatrics.

Risoe DTU is going to put new test method for solar cells into production
Risoe DTU is going to put a newly developed test platform for polymer solar cells into production.

Ultrathin alternative to silicon for future electronics
Berkeley researchers have successfully used ultra-thin layers of the semiconductor indium arsenide to create a nanoscale transistor with excellent electronic properties.

To be or not to be? Public event examines question of human identity and consciousness
The New York Academy of Sciences, in partnership with the Nour Foundation, will present a public event,

World Health Report 2010 balanced but incomplete account of how to achieve universal health coverage
With the financial crisis still hanging over many countries, this year's World Health Report from the World Health Organization,

High alpha-carotene levels associated with longer life
High blood levels of the antioxidant alpha-carotene appear to be associated with a reduced risk of dying over a 14-year period, according to a report posted online today that will be published in the March 28 print issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Exercising to piano music appears to help reduce falls among older adults
Introducing a music-based multitask exercise program for community-dwelling elderly people may lead to improved gait (manner or style of walking), balance and a reduction in the rate of falling, according to a report posted online today that will be published in the March 28 print issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

A first-time study in Spain analyzes gambler perception
The online gambler is an Internaut who gambles, not a gambler who bets on the Internet.

Gene find could lead to healthier food, better biofuel production
Purdue University scientists have found the last undiscovered gene responsible for the production of the amino acid phenylalanine, a discovery that could lead to processes to control the amino acid to boost plants' nutritional values and produce better biofuel feedstocks.

Top Swedish scientist professor Bertil Andersson awarded prestigious Wilhelm Exner Medal in Vienna
Professor Bertil Andersson, a world-renowned Swedish scientist known for his groundbreaking work in biochemistry, received the prestigious Wilhelm Exner Medal in Vienna yesterday.

MIT study: Adding face shields to helmets could help avoid blast-induced brain injuries
According to the US Department of Defense, about 130,000 US service members deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan have sustained traumatic brain injuries -- ranging from concussion to long-term brain damage and death -- as a result of an explosion.

MU scientist develops salmonella test that makes food safer, reduce recalls
Earlier this year, an outbreak of salmonella caused by infected eggs resulted in thousands of illnesses before a costly recall could be implemented.

Nearly 25 percent of overweight women misperceive body weight
A startling number of overweight and normal weight women of reproductive age inaccurately perceive their body weight, affecting their weight-related behaviors and making many vulnerable to cardiovascular and other obesity-related diseases, according to new research from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

AGU highlights: Nov. 22, 2010
Featured in this release are research papers on the following topics:

Banking on predictability, the mind increases efficiency
University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers have published a study showing listeners can become effectively deaf to sounds that do not conform to their brains' expectations.

Implanted devices as effective in 'real world' as in clinical trial settings
Survival rates for patients with implanted defibrillators and resynchronization devices in the general population are similarly high as rates in clinical trial settings.

Fat yet muscular mouse provides clues to improving cardiovascular health
A fat yet muscular mouse is helping researchers learn whether more muscle improves the cardiovascular health of obese individuals.

Cutting-edge salivary diagnostics research presented at AADR 3rd Fall Focused Symposium
AADR held its 3rd Fall Focused Symposium on Nov. 12-13, in the Washington, D.C., area.

True whole-body field view using PET/CT could allow doctors to more accurately manage cancer patients
When using combined positron emission tomography (PET) computed tomography (CT) imaging, adopting a true whole-body field of view in the imaging of cancer patients could lead to more accurate staging and restaging than achieved with the routinely used limited whole-body field of view, according to a study in the December issue of the American Journal of Roentgenology.

More than half of depression patients give up their treatment
Most patients who take anti-depressants give up their treatment in less than six months, the minimum period recommended for treating severe depression and other derived pathologies.

Trigger mechanism provides 'quality control' in cell division
Researchers from the Huntsman Cancer Institute have identified a previously undiscovered trigger mechanism that monitors whether a cell's nucleus has the proper structure for cell division to take place.

Research team from the Basque Country investigates species of bat that traps fish for food
There are 27 species of bats identified in the Basque Country today.

Protein found to predict brain injury in children on 'ECMO' life support
Johns Hopkins Children's Center scientists have discovered that high blood levels of a protein commonly found in the central nervous system can predict brain injury and death in critically ill children on a form of life support called extra-corporeal membrane oxygenation or ECMO.

Number of doctorates awarded continued to grow in 2009
US academic institutions awarded 49,562 research doctorate degrees in 2009, the highest number ever reported by the National Science Foundation's Survey of Earned Doctorates, and a 1.6 percent increase over 2008's total of 48,802.

Speed heals
Both the rate and direction of axon growth in the spinal cord can be controlled, according to new research by USC College's Samantha Butler and her collaborators.

Economic benefits of the global polio eradication initiative estimated at $40-50 billion
A new study estimates that the global polio eradication initiative could provide net benefits of $40-50 billion, compared to a policy relying on routine vaccination alone.

A divide and conquer strategy for childhood brain cancer
Medulloblastomas are the most common malignant brain tumors of childhood, with 40 to 50 percent overall mortality.

The spice of life: Variety is also good for hares
Variability is associated with the ability to adapt, which is clearly beneficial at a species level.

Uptake protein acts as zinc's doorway to the cell
A study to be published as the

Study examines risk of bleeding among patients taking 2 anti-platelet drugs
Dual antiplatelet therapy -- treatment with the medications clopidogrel and aspirin together to prevent blood clots -- poses a clinically significant risk of hemorrhage that should be considered before prescribing, according to a report in the Nov.

The puzzle of biological diversity
Biologists have long thought that interactions between plants and pollinating insects hasten evolutionary changes and promote biological diversity.

Overweight primarily a problem among wealthier women in low- to middle-income countries
A new study from the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) finds that high body mass index (BMI) in developing countries remains primarily a problem of the rich.

Sleep program needed for IT engineers
Insomnia is bad news for software engineers' quality of life and deserves greater recognition and attention, according to new research by Sara Sarrafi Zadeh and Khyrunnisa Begum from the University of Mysore in India.

Iowa State, Ames Lab researcher develops new way to study single biological molecules
Sanjeevi Sivasankar of Iowa State University and the Ames Laboratory will work with Novascan Technologies Inc. to continue development of a unique microscope that allows researchers to study single molecules.

$1.6 million to take forward breakthrough research in heart disease
Clues to the causes of serious, and often fatal, diseases and conditions, such as heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure, are being investigated at the Universities of Strathclyde and Glasgow, both in Scotland, with the use of a $1.6 million grant.

Mayo Clinic study finds aggressive surgery is best for children with brain tumors
A new Mayo Clinic study found that children with low-grade brain tumors (gliomas) who undergo aggressive surgery to completely remove the tumor have an increased chance of overall survival.

Georgia Tech-led team wins Gordon Bell Prize for supercomputing
A team led by George Biros, associate professor in Georgia Tech's School of Computational Science & Engineering, has won the Association for Computing Machinery's Gordon Bell Prize for the world's fastest supercomputing application.

Method for manufacturing patient-specific human platelets
Skin cells from humans can be revamped into pro-clotting cells called platelets, according to a study published on Nov.

Exercise may improve complications of deep vein thrombosis
A pilot trial showed that a six-month exercise training program designed to increase leg strength, leg flexibility and overall fitness may improve post-thrombotic syndrome, a frequent, chronic complication of deep vein thrombosis, states a research article in CMAJ.

College of Direct Support introduces new learning session format
The College of Direct Support, an internet-based curriculum for direct-support professionals and managed in partnership by Elsevier/MC Strategies and the University of Minnesota's Research and Training Center, has introduced its latest offering in the form of a new genre of its online learning content.

JCI table of contents: Nov. 22, 2010
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for papers to be published Nov.

Making stars: Studies show how cosmic dust and gas shape galaxy evolution
Galaxy formation is one of the biggest remaining questions in astrophysics, one that's closer to being answered thanks to a combination of new observations and supercomputer simulations.

New function of gene in promoting cancer found by VCU researchers
Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University have discovered that a gene well known for its involvement in tumor cell development, growth and metastasis also protects cancer cells from being destroyed by chemotherapy.

Workshop encourages women to pursue graduate studies in computer science
Frances Allen and Barbara Liskov, the first two women to receive the highest honor in computer science, the A.M.

Bacteria help infants digest milk more effectively than adults
Infants are more efficient at digesting and utilizing nutritional components of milk than adults due to a difference in the strains of bacteria that dominate their digestive tracts.

Perceptual training improves vision of the elderly
Elderly adults can improve their vision with perceptual training, according to a study from the University of California, Riverside and Boston University that has implications for the health and mobility of senior citizens.

Lower-income families with high-deductible health plans may put off care because of costs
Lower-income families in high-deductible health plans appear more likely to delay or forgo medical care based on cost than higher-income families with similar coverage, according to a report in the Nov.

Prostate cancer clinical stage does not predict recurrence
A new study challenges the current staging system that determines the extent or severity of prostate cancer that has not metastasized.

Study reveals neural basis of rapid brain adaptation
Researchers have determined the biological basis of your brain's ability to quickly switch from detecting an object moving in your direction to determining what the object is: neurons located at the beginning of the brain's sensory information pathway changing their level of simultaneous firing.

Breast milk sugar promotes colitis in offspring
A sugar found in mouse breast milk promotes the generation of colitis in offspring, according to a study published online on Nov.

NSF signs $34.5-million operating agreement as Antarctic neutrino detector nears completion
The National Science Foundation has signed a five-year, $34.5-million agreement with the University of Wisconsin-Madison to operate a unique telescope -- a cubic kilometer in volume -- buried in the Antarctic ice sheet between 1,400 meters and 2,400 meters deep.

Black children more likely to die from neuroblastoma, study finds
Black, Asian, and Native-American children are more likely than white and Hispanic children to die after being treated for neuroblastoma, according to new research on the pediatric cancer.

UC breakthrough may lead to disposable e-Readers
A discovery by University of Cincinnati engineering researcher Andrew Steckl could revolutionize display technology with e-paper that's fast enough for video yet cheap enough to be disposable. 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