Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 29, 2010
How well is your doctor caring for people with Parkinson's disease? New AAN tool helps measure care
The American Academy of Neurology has developed a new tool to help doctors gauge how well they are caring for people with Parkinson's disease.

Bird-brained? Birds' personalities are correlated with their hormone levels
Individuals of Great Tit vary in their levels of curiosity, with distinctions being made between

Caffeinated alcoholic beverages -- a growing public health problem
In the wake of multiple state bans on caffeinated alcoholic beverages (CABs) and an FDA warning to four companies to remove their products from the marketplace, an article published online today in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine delineates the scope of the public health problem and suggests areas of research that might help address it.

Motivation to end racism relies on 'yes we can' approach
If you're trying to end racism, it's not enough to get people to understand that racism is still a problem.

Number of HIV/AIDS cases in sub-Saharan Africa expected to greatly outpace resources
The number of people infected with HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa is projected to far outstrip available resources for treatment by the end of the decade, forcing African nations to make difficult choices about how to allocate inadequate supplies of lifesaving antiretroviral therapy, says a new report by the Institute of Medicine.

NC State and IBM researchers discover new way to patch holes in the 'cloud'
Researchers from North Carolina State University and IBM have invented a way to update computer systems packaged in virtual machines in a computer

MU plant genome research receives $3 million boost from National Science Foundation
The University of Missouri recently received a boost to its plant genetics research with the receipt of three new Plant Genome Research Program awards from the National Science Foundation.

Abnormal blood vessel function found in women with broken heart syndrome
A team of Mayo Clinic researchers has found that patients with broken heart syndrome, also known as apical ballooning syndrome (ABS), have blood vessels that don't react normally to stress.

Neuroscience of instinct: How animals overcome fear to obtain food
When crossing a street, we look to the left and right for cars and stay put on the sidewalk if we see a car close enough and traveling fast enough to hit us before we're able to reach the other side.

20th century medical education and training will not work in the 21st century
In a major new report, 20 professional and academic leaders call for major reform in the training of doctors and other health care professionals to equip them for the 21st century.

Diagnosis uncertainty increases anxiety in patients
Have you ever felt uneasy sitting in a doctor's waiting room or climbed the walls waiting for your test results?

Salk Institute creates Renato Dulbecco Chair in Genomics and Roger Guillemin Chair in Neuroscience
The Salk Institute for Biological Studies today announced the establishment of the Renato Dulbecco Chair in Genomics and the Roger Guillemin Chair in Neuroscience based on an endowment of $6 million from Irwin Jacobs, chairman of the Salk's Board of Trustees, and his wife Joan Klein Jacobs.

Evolutionary psychology: Why daughters don't call their dads
University of Miami psychologist and her collaborators at the University of California, Los Angeles and California State University, Fullerton look at connection between women reproductive cycle and interaction with male kin.

Study: Avoidance, poor coping challenge prisoners returning to society
A new study finds former prisoners resort to avoidance when dealing with barriers to reentry into society.

U of I scientists develop tool to trace metabolism of cancer-fighting tomato compounds
The University of Illinois scientists who linked eating tomatoes with a reduced risk of prostate cancer have developed a tool that will help them trace the metabolism of tomato carotenoids in the human body.

New tool to measure quality of patient care
UCLA is leading the effort to establish quality care standards for evaluating the treatment of neurological disorders.

Marsupial embryo jumps ahead in development
Long a staple of nature documentaries, the somewhat bizarre development of a grub-like pink marsupial embryo outside the mother's womb is curious in another way.

Up to 20 million euros for Munich Catalysis research cooperation
Sud-Chemie AG and Technische Universitaet Muenchen have formed a strategic alliance for catalysis research,

Chemistry for greenhouse gases
Novel metal catalysts might be able to turn greenhouse gases like methane and carbon dioxide into liquid fuels without producing more carbon waste in the process.

In new novel, secret discovery threatens company and damages love affair
Research scientist Jennifer Rohn's newly released novel,

New genomic technique reveals obesity gene variants
Obesity is highly heritable, but so far genetic association studies have only explained a small fraction of this heritability.

Light exercise may prevent osteoarthritis
People at risk for osteoarthritis may be able to delay the onset of the disease or even prevent it with simple changes to their physical activity, according to a new study.

Shape optimization of curved slots on 3-D surface
A new parametrical mapping method is proposed by the research group of Professor Zhang Weihong.

UTHealth School of Biomedical Informatics professor to be inducted to AIMBE College of Fellows
Ananth Annapragada, Ph.D., Robert H. Graham Professor in Entrepreneurial Biomedical Informatics and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth), has been nominated to the College of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

Celecoxib may be effective in preventing non-melanoma skin cancers
Celecoxib may help prevent non-melanoma skin cancers in patients with extensive actinic keratosis, which is often a precursor to these cancers, according to a randomized clinical trial published online Nov.

Developed world at risk of forgetting about AIDS pandemic
Media coverage on HIV/AIDS has fallen by more than 70 percent in developed countries over the last 20 years, according to an international team of researchers.

New prostate cancer imaging shows real-time tumor metabolism
A UCSF research collaboration with GE Healthcare has produced the first results in humans of a new technology that promises to rapidly assess the presence and aggressiveness of prostate tumors in real time, by imaging the tumor's metabolism.

Cinnamon can replace harmful chemicals used to create nanoparticles
A study by a University of Missouri research team has found a method that could replace nearly all of the toxic chemicals required to make gold nanoparticles.

Scientists develop new DNA technique to aid crops and trees at risk from deadly 'honey fungus'
An international team of scientists has developed a new technique to aid crops at risk from a devastating agricultural parasite commonly known as the

Case Western Reserve University grants Thermalin Diabetes exclusive license
Case Western Reserve University has granted an exclusive license on a portfolio of insulin analogs to Thermalin Diabetes, LLC, which has assembled more than $3 million to support the development of these important new drugs.

Crucial sex hormones re-routed by missing molecule
A hormone responsible for the onset of puberty can end up stuck in the wrong part of the body if the nerve pathways responsible for its transport to the brain fail to develop properly, according to research funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

Sporadic breast cancers start with ineffective DNA repair systems, Pitt researchers find
Breast cancers that arise sporadically, rather than through inheritance of certain genes, likely start with defects of DNA repair mechanisms that allow environmentally triggered mutations to accumulate, according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh.

Physical activity in the prevention and treatment of disease
Prescribing physical activity for the purpose of preventing and treating various conditions can now become a reality for health care professionals all over the world.

Super-sized world: Conference addresses global obesity epidemic, explores policies, interventions
A conference at the New York Academy of Sciences on Dec.

BMO gives $4 million to Perimeter Institute to accelerate research and innovation in Canada
BMO Financial Group today announced a $4 million investment in Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, located in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Prescriptions for teens and young adults on the rise
Adolescents and young adults are most likely to abuse prescription medications.

Giving rectal artesunate to children with severe malaria is a cost-effective life-saving intervention
An analysis published online first and in an upcoming Lancet shows that use of rectal artesunate at the time of referral is a cost-effective intervention, which can substantially improve the management of severe childhood malaria in rural African settings in which programs for community health workers are in place.

Declining energy quality could be root cause of current recession
An overlooked cause of the economic recession in the US is a decade long decline in the quality of the nation's energy supply, according to Carey King, an energy expert at the University of Texas at Austin.

Teenage girls face greater violence threat from poverty
Living in a deprived area increases the risk of violence more sharply for girls than boys, according to a Cardiff University study of former industrial areas.

Broadening the base of publicly funded health care
Health-care costs and expenditures are expected to rise over the next decade or two and governments need methods to publicly finance these costs, states an analysis in CMAJ.

Confronting sexism may be 'antidote' for workplace distress
Women who publicly call out sexism in the workplace tend to feel more capable and competent in their jobs and about themselves, a study shows.

Duke scientists look deeper for coal ash hazards
As the US Environmental Protection Agency weighs whether to define coal ash as hazardous waste, a Duke University study identifies new monitoring protocols and insights that can help investigators more accurately measure and predict the ecological impacts of coal ash contaminants.

Internists issue heartfelt plea for Congress to help patients by stopping Medicare SGR cuts
The American College of Physicians today is sending a video to Congressional leaders and others that features internists -- speaking in their own words -- issuing a heartfelt plea for Congress to avert the scheduled Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate cut and work toward putting an end to the repeated cycle of cuts.

Air above Dead Sea contains very high levels of oxidized mercury
Measurements show that the sea's salt has profound effects on the chemistry of the air above its surface.

Clarity in short-term memory shows no link with IQ
One person correctly remembers four of eight items just seen but is fuzzy on details.

Queen's life-saving research wins education 'Oscar'
Queen's University's work in protecting the lives and livelihoods of some of the poorest people on the planet has won a prestigious national award.

How authentic is your pomegranate juice?
You pick up a bottle of pomegranate juice at the store because you've learned that, although it costs more than most juices, it is replete with antioxidants that bring health benefits.

Contact with dads drops when women ovulate
Research conducted by a UCLA behavior lab found that women tend to avoid their fathers during periods of peak fertility, suggesting an evolutionary adaptation against inbreeding in humans.

Heat wave deaths highest in early summer
The risk of dying from a heat wave is highest when heat waves occur early in the summer and are hotter and longer than usual, according to a Yale study published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

Putin supports Samoylov Station
He came, saw and acted promptly: Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin was so impressed by the work of scientists in the Siberian permafrost region during his visit to the Samoylov Station at the end of August that he wants to actively support the German-Russian cooperation in the Lena Delta initiated many years ago.

Hormone oxytocin bolsters childhood memories of mom's affections
Researchers have found that the naturally-occurring hormone and neurotransmitter oxytocin intensifies men's memories of their mother's affections during childhood.

SOFC micro CHP plants to be climate-friendly power stations in homes
The generation of electricity and heat with no pollution and with considerably less emission of the greenhouse gas CO2 sounds too good to be true.

Fire forecast technology could help rescue teams save lives
Fires in homes and offices could be tackled more efficiently using technology that predicts how a blaze will spread.

64th American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting
The American Epilepsy Society 64th Annual Meeting, the preeminent scientific and educational conference for professionals concerned with seizures and epilepsy, will take place Dec.

Ancient wind held secret of life and death
The mystery of how an abundance of fossils have been marvelously preserved for nearly half a billion years in a remote region of Africa has been solved by a team of geologists from the University of Leicester's Department of Geology.

Drop in breast cancer rates directly tied to reduced hormone therapy
In a new UCSF study of more than 2 million mammogram screenings performed on nearly 700,000 women in the United States, scientists for the first time show a direct link between reduced hormone therapy and declines in ductal carcinoma in situ as well as invasive breast cancer.

Soil microbes define dangerous rates of climate change
Scientists at the University of Exeter have studied a potentially significant feedback to rapid climate change.

Neurological protein may hold the key to new treatments for depression
Neuroscientists at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health have developed a protein peptide that may be a novel type of highly targeted treatment for depression with a low side-effect profile.

Biological changes in suicidal patients
Depressed and suicidal individuals have low levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their blood and saliva.

Blast from the past: Jack pine genetics support a coastal glacial refugium
Can a road-trip across eastern North America, ancient ice sheets, and DNA samples unlock the ancestral history of jack pine trees?

The John Theurer Cancer Center to unveil 40 presentations at the 52nd ASH Annual Meeting
The John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center announced today that it will present research updates and clinical trial results of 40 cutting-edge studies at the 52nd Annual American Society of Hematology (ASH) Meeting in Orlando Dec.

Women with migraine with aura have better outcomes after stroke
Women with a history of migraine headache with aura (transient neurological symptoms, mostly visual impairments) are at increased risk of stroke.

Study shows that blood stem cells are influenced by their offspring
A new study by researchers at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, Australia, has shown that mature blood cells can communicate with, and influence the behavior of, their stem cell

New approach may help dialysis patients fight anemia
A new drug called FG-2216 can stimulate production of the hormone erythropoietin in dialysis patients -- possibly offering a new approach to treatment of kidney disease-related anemia, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Scripps Research scientists redefine the role of plasma cells in the immune system
A team of scientists from the Scripps Research Institute have uncovered a previously unknown regulatory mechanism in the body's response to eliminate pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses.

'How We Die,' award-winning classic, updated for 2010
In a new edition of

A 'USB' for medical diagnosis?
Biomedical engineers at UC Davis have developed a plug-in interface for the microfluidic chips that will form the basis of the next generation of compact medical devices.

Risoe WindScanner part of EU joint research infrastructures
A single WindScanner can produce detailed maps of wind conditions at a wind farm covering several square kilometers.

Scientists discover new mechanism for controlling blood sugar level
Medical scientists at the University of Leicester have identified for the first time a new way in which our body controls the levels of sugar in our blood following a meal.

Emergency departments see substantial increase in CT exams
A new study reports that the use of computed tomography (CT) in the nation's emergency departments is growing exponentially.

Apes unwilling to gamble when odds are uncertain
Humans are known to play it safe in a situation when they aren't sure of the odds, or don't have confidence in their judgments.

Color-changing 'blast badge' detects exposure to explosive shock waves
Mimicking the reflective iridescence of a butterfly's wing, investigators have developed a color-changing patch that could be worn on soldiers' helmets and uniforms to indicate the strength of exposure to blasts from explosives in the field.

ORNL's Leal and Snead named American Nuclear Society Fellows
Luiz Leal and Lance Snead from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have been elected to the American Nuclear Society's Class of 2010 Fellows.

In Lancet: Artesunate suppositories are cost-effective intervention for severe childhood malaria
Giving emergency artesunate suppositories to children with suspected severe malaria before referring them for treatment is a cost-effective intervention that can substantially improve the management of childhood malaria in remote African settings, according to a new study led by Boston University School of Public Health researcher Yesim Tozan, Ph.D.

Study suggests that being too clean can make people sick
Young people who are overexposed to antibacterial soaps containing triclosan may suffer more allergies, and exposure to higher levels of Bisphenol A among adults may negatively influence the immune system, a new University of Michigan School of Public Health study suggests.

New study reports effects of endurance running
Using a mobile MRI unit, researchers followed runners for two months along a 4,500-kilometer course to study how their bodies responded to the high-stress conditions of an ultra-long-distance race, according to a new study.

Playing with building blocks of creativity help children with autism
In an attempt to help children with autism learn the building blocks of creativity, researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center tapped a toy box staple for help -- legos.

Ph.D. thesis describes 35 hitherto unknown families of endogenous retroviruses
Retroviruses are viruses made up of RNA genetic material. Endogenous retroviruses are those sequences derived from retroviral infections introduced into the germinal line cells that, being incorporated in the genome, are transmitted from generation to generation.

Subsurface scattering in point-based rendering
The Department of Computer Engineering, Sejong University in Korea and ETH Zurich in Switzerland have recently introduced a novel and simple framework for rendering subsurface scattering on surfaces represented by points.

How to soften a diamond
After hundreds of years, researchers at the Fraunhofer IWM in Freiburg have managed to decode the atomic mechanism behind diamond grinding.

Walking slows progression of Alzheimer's
Walking may slow cognitive decline in adults with mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease, as well as in healthy adults, according to a new study.

Tiny RNA shown to cause multiple types of leukemia
Whitehead Institute researchers have shown in mouse models that overexpression of the microRNA 125b (miR-125b) can independently cause leukemia and accelerate the disease's progression in mice.

More lives saved with 24/7 enhanced staffing in medical ICU
In a first-of-its-kind study to measure the impact of the highest recommended specialist staffing levels in an intensive care unit, researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine found that increased staffing by specially trained physicians and other health-care professionals can enhance patient survival and enable patients to breathe sooner without assistance.

Male reproductive problems may add to falling fertility rates
Reduced male fertility may be making it even harder for couples to conceive and be contributing to low birth rates in many countries, reveals a new European Science Foundation report launching today at a meeting in Paris.

Elsevier congratulates Prof. Marvin Bauer, Editor-in-Chief of Remote Sensing of Environment
Elsevier is pleased to congratulate Prof. Marvin Bauer for receiving the 2010 William T.

Rainforest collapse drove reptile evolution
Global warming devastated tropical rainforests 300 million years ago. Now scientists report the unexpected discovery that this event triggered an evolutionary burst among reptiles -- and inadvertently paved the way for the rise of dinosaurs, 100 million years later.

Women with personal history of breast cancer should be screened with MRI
Women with a personal history of breast cancer should consider annual screening with MRI in addition to mammography, according to a new study.

Tempest in a teapot: International team of scientists describes swirling natural phenomena
Scientists can use cylinders as small as teapots to study the mechanisms involved in powerful hurricanes and other swirling natural phenomena.

Women with small breast tumors could also benefit from treatment with trastuzumab (herceptin), say experts
Trastuzumab (Herceptin) has revolutionized the care of HER2-positive (HER2+) early breast cancer and is the standard treatment for tumours larger than 1cm.

Paul C. Paris, pioneer of fracture mechanics, honored for his work
On Nov. 18, Paul C. Paris, Ph.D., professor emeritus of mechanics in the School of Engineering and Applied Science at Washington University in St.

From the brain of a locust
Prof. Amir Ayali at Tel Aviv University has successfully cultured brain cells taken from the desert locust to delve deeper into the workings of the mammalian neurosystem.

How to avoid employee depression in a recession
As employees become increasingly anxious about job security and financial worries during an economic recession, satisfaction with the job they have, commitment to their company and engagement with their work are all affected detrimentally.

Forget Farmville, here's a game that drives genetic research
Playing online can mean more than killing time, thanks to a new game developed by a team of bioinformaticians at McGill University.

Researchers demystify glasses by studying crystals
Glass is something we all know about. It's what we sip our drinks from, what we look out of to see what the weather is like before going outside and it is the backbone to our high speed communications infrastructure.

Moderate alcohol consumption lowers the risk of metabolic diseases
With the emergence of an epidemic of obesity and type 2 diabetes (DM) throughout the world, the association of lifestyle habits that may affect the risk of metabolic diseases is especially important. 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