Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 07, 2010
New discovery about how flowering time of plants can be controlled
Researchers at UmeƄ Plant Science Center in Sweden discovered, in collaboration with the Syngenta company, a previously unknown gene in sugar beets that blocks flowering.

New blood test could detect heart disease in people with no symptoms
A more sensitive version of a blood test typically used to confirm that someone is having a heart attack could indicate whether a seemingly healthy, middle-aged person has unrecognized heart disease and an increased risk of dying, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have found.

Brain's visual circuits do error correction on the fly
The brain's visual neurons continually develop predictions of what they will perceive and then correct erroneous assumptions as they take in additional external information, according to new research done at Duke University.

UTHealth professor to receive service award from American Society for Microbiology
Known nationally for her research into single-cell organisms that affect oral health, Millicent

Tests between colonoscopies could be lifesaver for high-risk patients
Among patients with a family or past history of colorectal cancer (CRC), testing between colonoscopies helps detect CRC and advanced tumors that are either missed or develop rapidly.

Apros software is renewed to simulate clean power plants of the future
The increased requirements on efficient production of clean energy have introduced the necessity to develop new power plant concepts.

European summit agrees that lifestyle change is the only answer to heart disease
Professor Ian Graham, professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at Trinity College, Dublin, organized the summit on behalf of the ESC's European Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation.

Investigators from Children's Hospital LA honored
Three investigators from the Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles have been elected into the prestigious Society for Pediatric Research.

Research exposes racial discrimination against Asian American men in job market
A new study by a University of Kansas sociologist shows that US employers fail to pay Asian American men as much as similarly qualified white men.

Life thrives in porous rock deep beneath the seafloor, scientists say
Researchers have found compelling evidence for an extensive biological community living in porous rock deep beneath the seafloor.

Carbon capture and storage technologies could provide a new green industry for the UK
The UK has the capacity to develop new green industries for capturing harmful carbon dioxide emissions from industry and storing them deep underground, but more investment is needed to further develop the relevant technologies and infrastructure, say scientists in new research published today.

Scientists set to calculate individuals' exposure to traffic pollution
Researchers at King's College London are developing ways of working out a person's individual exposure to traffic pollution when traveling to, from and around London.

'Greener' climate prediction shows plants slow warming
A new NASA computer modeling effort has found that additional growth of plants and trees in a world with doubled atmospheric carbon dioxide levels would create a new negative feedback -- a cooling effect -- in the Earth's climate system that could work to reduce future global warming.

Feeling chills in response to music
Most people feel chills and shivers in response to music that thrills them, but some people feel these chills often and others feel them hardly at all.

Dueling dipoles
Chemists of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich have refuted a basic postulate of Foerster theory, which describes energy transfers between pigment molecules, such as those that underlie photosynthesis.

Ultraviolet light helps skin cancer cells thrive, researchers report
The sun's ultraviolet light activates an enzyme that helps skin cancer cells survive and proliferate, researchers report.

Detection of cardiac biomarker associated with structural heart disease, increased risk of death
With the use of a highly sensitive test, detection of the blood biomarker cardiac troponin T, a cardiac-specific protein, is associated with structural heart disease and an increased risk of all-cause death, according to a study in the Dec.

New civic engagement resource spotlights boomers, seniors
The Gerontological Society of America's latest book features the most comprehensive overview to date of volunteering and service activities among older people.

Developing robots for the hospital emergency room
A group of computer engineers at Vanderbilt University is convinced that the basic technology is now available to create robot assistants that can perform effectively in the often-chaotic environment of the emergency room.

Nationwide Children's Hospital partners with OSUMC to better understand preterm birth
Every year, more than 50,000 babies are born premature in the United States.

Even with helicopter EMS, hospital transfer can delay treatment for heart attacks
Helicopter emergency medical services can be a life saver for patients needing immediate care.

New UCLA study raises questions about genetic testing of newborns
Mandatory genetic screening of newborns for rare diseases is creating unexpected upheaval for families whose infants test positive for risk factors but show no immediate signs of the diseases, a new UCLA study warns.

Tiny laser light show illuminates quantum computing
A new laser-beam steering system that aims and focuses bursts of light onto single atoms for use in quantum computers has been demonstrated by researchers in North Carolina and Wisconsin.

Desensitisation approaches effective against hayfever-like allergies
Immunotherapy given as pills or drops under the tongue is a safe and effective way to treat hayfever-like allergies caused by pollen and dust mites, according to a new Cochrane Systematic Review.

Study confirms long-lasting benefit of radiotherapy for localized breast cancer, and reports importance of tamoxifen for reducing recurrence
Women with the most common type of non-invasive breast cancer known as ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) are significantly less likely to develop invasive disease if they are given radiotherapy after surgery, and the effect is long lasting, according to the long-term results of the UK, Australia and New Zealand DCIS trial, published online first in the Lancet Oncology.

Are depressed people too clean?
Researchers say there is mounting evidence that disruptions in ancient relationships with microorganisms in soil, food and the gut may contribute to increasing rates of depression.

Medicaid-funded ADHD treatment for children misses the mark
The enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 expands Medicare benefits to scores of previously uninsured individuals including many of our nation's children.

Towards an efficient, effective and equitable REDD+
An exclusive focus on forests -- as opposed to the entire landscape -- could lead to inequitable and destructive outcomes for the poor in developing countries, said a Nairobi-based agroforestry research organization today.

Study reveals 'secret ingredient' in religion that makes people happier
While the positive correlation between religiosity and life satisfaction has long been known, a new study in the December issue of the American Sociological Review reveals religion's

Reducing maternal and newborn deaths globally
On Dec. 7, 2010, maternal health professionals from Africa and Asia will be attending a workshop in Liverpool to discuss the effects of

Largest study of therapeutic cooling to reduce brain injury after stroke is now underway
The largest clinical trial of therapeutic brain cooling (hypothermia) after stroke has launched, led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego, the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Invisible invasive species
While Asian carp, gypsy moths and zebra mussels hog invasive-species headlines, many invisible invaders are altering ecosystems and flourishing outside of the limelight.

Second-hand smoke increases risk of invasive meningococcal disease in children
Children exposed to second-hand smoke are more likely to get invasive meningococcal disease than children who are not exposed, reports a study from Chien-Chang Lee at the Harvard School of Public Health and colleagues published in this week's PLoS Medicine.

Vitamin supplements reduce deaths caused by measles and diarrhea
Vitamin A supplements are still an effective way to reduce childhood death and disease.

Social tools prove powerful for online health programs
In an era when social networking sites and blogs are visited by three quarters of online users, it's only natural that the medical profession would also tap into the power of social media tools.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine to study impact of resveratrol on prediabetes
Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have been awarded $600,000 from the American Diabetes Association to study the effect of resveratrol, a chemical compound most notably found in red wine and grapes, on impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) in older adults.

Including smoking cessation program with treatment for PTSD shows higher rate of quitting
Among smokers with military-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), integrating smoking cessation treatment with mental health care for PTSD resulted in higher rates of prolonged smoking abstinence, compared to referral for assistance with quitting smoking, according to a study in the Dec.

CCNY professor gets grant to develop 'artificial blood'
As a post-doc at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Ron Koder, assistant professor of physics at The City College of New York, was part of a team that devised a novel method for producing an artificial protein capable of transporting oxygen, similar to human neuroglobin.

New national study highlights dangers of exertional heat-related injuries
A new study conducted by researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital examined exertional heat-related injuries that were treated in emergency departments between 1997 and 2006.

French men are giving up smoking, but not French women
The prevalence of smoking and exposure to tobacco smoke among men in France has fallen by more than 15 percent since the mid-1980s, but over the same 20-year period has increased among women.

Air Force flight control improvements
Flying insects' altitude control mechanisms are the focus of research being conducted in a Caltech laboratory under an Air Force Office of Scientific Research grant that may lead to technology that controls altitude in a variety of aircraft for the Air Force.

ONR's record-setting test to showcase railgun's military relevance
Senior Navy leaders will be on hand Dec. 10 at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division, a tenant command to Naval Support Facility, Dahlgren, Va., for a record-setting test of the Office of Naval Research's experimental Electromagnetic Railgun, the service's effort to evolve surface ship weapons.

Mindfulness meditation found to be as effective as antidepressants to prevent depression relapse
A new study from the Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) has found that mindfulness-based cognitive therapy -- using meditation -- provides equivalent protection against depressive relapse as traditional antidepressant medication.

Bioactive peptides found to promote wound healing
Newly identified bioactive peptides promote wound healing through the growth of new blood vessels and epithelial tissue.

Legalizing online gambling bad bet for lame-duck Congress
Although much of the talk around Capitol Hill revolves around Bush-era tax cuts and reducing the deficit, University of Illinois professor John W.

Maintaining mobility in older age
A study by the New Dynamics of Ageing Programme, a joint initiative by Research Council's UK, examines the relationship between successful aging and mobility patterns.

Providing incentives to cooperate can turn swords into ploughshares
When two individuals face off in conflict, the classic problem in evolutionary biology known as the prisoner's dilemma says that the individuals are not likely to cooperate even if it is in their best interests to do so.

Are all movie viewing experiences enjoyable?
A new study explores the reasons why we experience emotional discomfort while watching a movie.

Research team seeks to introduce rust fungus resistance in switchgrass
The National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded a $1 million grant to Bingyu Zhao, assistant professor of horticulture in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech, to develop and deploy rust fungas-resistant genes in switchgrass and monitor the pathogen.

John Theurer Cancer Center presents studies on promising therapies for aggressive blood cancers
The John Theurer Cancer Center announced important research findings presented at the American Society of Hematology annual meeting.

School-based program helps adolescents cope with asthma
A school-based intervention program designed for adolescents with asthma significantly improves asthma management and quality of life for the students who participate, and reduces asthma morbidity, according to researchers in New York City, who studied the effect of the program aimed at urban youth and their medical providers.

Use of low-dose aspirin associated with improved performance of test for detecting colorectal cancer
Use of low-dose aspirin prior to a newer type of fecal occult blood test is associated with a higher sensitivity for detecting advanced colorectal tumors, compared to no aspirin use, according to a study in the Dec.

In the lab, engineer's novel liquid provides a solid fix for broken bones
A bone-healing fluid that can be injected into breaks with a syringe shows such strong promise in lab testing, that it has been licensed from Brown by a Massachusetts biotech startup for further development.

Music relieves stress of assisted breathing
Patients who need assistance to breathe through mechanical ventilation may benefit from listening to music, a new review published in the Cochrane Library shows.

NIH awards $6.4 million to Case Western Reserve School of Medicine researchers
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine faculty members are reaping the rewards of funding from the National Institutes of Health, in the form of grants and contracts.

Research exposes racial discrimination against Asian-American men in job market
Data show that US employers pay native-born Asian-American men 8 percent less than they pay white men, after controlling for college majors, places of residence and level of education.

Biodiversity targets for the future
The international conference Getting Post-2010 Biodiversity Targets Right will be held Dec.

Plants 'remember' winter to bloom in spring with help of special molecule
The role a key molecule plays in a plant's ability to remember winter, and therefore bloom in the spring, has been identified by University of Texas at Austin scientists.

New UCLA study raises questions about genetic testing of newborns
Mandatory genetic testing of infants for rare diseases is creating unexpected upheaval for families whose babies don't get a clean bill of health but who don't show immediate signs of the diseases either, warns a new UCLA study.

Milestone in fight against deadly disease
Scientists have reached a major milestone in the effort to wipe out some of the most lethal diseases on the planet.

Small molecule may disarm enemy of cancer-fighting p53
A pioneering clinical trial is testing the effectiveness in leukemia of a small molecule that shuts down MDM2, a protein that can disable the well-known tumor suppressor p53.

Delivering drugs to the brain: New research into targeted treatment of Alzheimer's
Pankaj Karande, a Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute assistant professor of chemical and biological engineering, is among a new generation of scientists and engineers developing exciting and novel new techniques to treat some of the most complex brain illnesses, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, traumatic brain injury, and brain cancer.

International law permits abusive fathers custody of children
A new survey of court cases against battered women living abroad shows that when the women left their abusive partners and returned with their children to the United States, half of the time, US courts sent the children back, usually to their fathers.

Springer launches
Springer is launching a new free analytics tool which provides multiple visualizations of the usage that is generated worldwide by Springer's online products, including journals, books, images and protocols.

Think multitasking is new? Our prehistoric ancestors invented it, UCLA book argues
In a new book that explores the long history of multitasking, UCLA anthropologist Monica L.

Bird call database nests online
A growing online library of bird sounds, photos and information offers a new resource for backyard birders and seasoned ornithologists alike.

Scripps Research scientists awarded $2.35 million to study new obesity treatment
The Scripps Research Institute has been awarded a $2.35 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study a new way of treating obesity as part of a national consortium with the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

UBC formulation of leishmaniasis drug shown to be stable, effective in tropical temperatures
A new formulation of Amphotericin B (AmB) developed by University of British Columbia researchers has been shown to be stable in tropical climates and effective in treating Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL) in mouse models.

Virginia Tech engineer identifies new concerns for antibiotic resistance, pollution
When an antibiotic is consumed, researchers have learned that up to 90 percent passes through a body without metabolizing.

New trial studies link between stroke and atrial fibrillation
To better understand the connection between atrial fibrillation and stroke, Northwestern Medicine physician researchers from cardiology and neurology have teamed up to monitor people diagnosed with a cryptogenic strokes for intermittent atrial fibrillation as part of a study called CRYSTAL AF (Study of Continuous Cardiac Monitoring to Assess Atrial Fibrillation after Cryptogenic Stroke).

UTHealth study suggests private insurers control health care spending better than Medicare
Private insurers appear to be more effective in controlling health care spending differences between two Texas cities than Medicare, according to researchers from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health.

Stem cell advance a step forward for treatment of brain diseases
Scientists have created a way to isolate neural stem cells -- cells that give rise to all the cell types of the brain -- from human brain tissue with unprecedented precision, an important step toward developing new treatments for conditions of the nervous system, like Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases and spinal cord injury.

Conditioning reefs for the future
In a world first, a new

Synchrotron study shows how nitric oxide kills
Nitric oxide is a toxic pollutant, but the human body also creates it and uses it to attack invading microbes and parasites.

Influenza virus strains show increasing drug resistance and ability to spread
Two new studies raise public health concerns about increasing antiviral resistance among certain influenza viruses, their ability to spread, and a lack of alternative antiviral treatment options.

NASA satellites see heavy rainfall and displaced thunderstorms in System 94B
System 94B has not been classified as a tropical depression, but NASA satellite data has shown that it is creating heavy rainfall near India's southeastern coast.

Sheathless transradial intervention highly successful in treating complex lesions
Cardiologists from the Mayo Clinic performed sheathless transradial percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) to remedy complex lesions, achieving a 90 percent success rate with no radial complications.

Study: mechanism that controls cell movement linked to tumors becoming more aggressive
Researchers at the University of Georgia have discovered a central switch that controls whether cells move or remain stationary.

New ground broken on aggression research
Questionnaire results and DNA samples volunteered by a group of University of Alberta students has broken new ground in the study of aggression.

Tobacco cessation medication may reduce hospitalization for heart attacks
The use of tobacco cessation medication in a population may lead to reduced hospital admissions for heart attacks and for coronary atherosclerosis within the two years after use according to a study by Thomas Land and colleagues from the Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School Boston, Mass., and published in this week's PLoS Medicine.

Researchers reverse stroke damage by jumpstarting nerve fibers
A new technique that jumpstarts the growth of nerve fibers could reverse much of the damage caused by strokes, researchers report in the journal Stroke.

Rocking the cradle after 45
In a new study, professor Yariv Yogev of Tel Aviv University reports on evidence that he collected on more than 200 births in older women.

Swiss agency approves clinical trial of UCI-created neural stem cell therapy
A therapy developed by Aileen Anderson and Brian Cummings of UC Irvine's Sue and Bill Gross Stem Cell Research Center in collaboration with researchers at StemCells Inc. will be the basis of the world's first clinical trial using human neural stem cells to treat spinal cord injury.

Winners of inaugural defense fellowships to further research at NTU
Two recipients of the inaugural defense fellowships granted by Singapore's Ministry of Defence have chosen to further their research at Nanyang Technological University.

Doctor Who's trusty invention is anything but sci-fi
Ultrasonic engineers at Bristol University have uncovered how a real life version of the fictional screwdriver -- which uses sonic technology to open locks and undo screws -- could be created.

Mayo Health Policy Center Symposium formulates recommendations for high-value care system
In a sustained effort to seek consensus-driven, patient-centered priorities that would build a high-value health care system, the Mayo Clinic Health Policy Center hosted a symposium Dec.

Self-healing autonomous material comes to life
Researchers in Arizona have created a material that may be able to sense and heal damage, such as cracking in a fiber reinforced composite.

Cognitively-impaired human research subjects need better protection
Practices for protecting human research subjects with Alzheimer's disease and other conditions that make them incapable of giving informed consent are widely variable and in need of more concrete ethical and legal guidance, according to a study in IRB: Ethics & Human Research.

Novel compounds show early promise in treatment of Parkinson's, Huntington's, Alzheimer's
Investigators at Southern Methodist University and the University of Texas at Dallas have discovered a family of small molecules that shows promise in protecting brain cells against nerve-degenerative diseases such as Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and Huntington's, which afflict millions.

People in jobs traditionally held by the other sex are judged more harshly for mistakes
In these modern times, people can have jobs that weren't traditionally associated with their genders.

Strategy, court specialization driving increase in smart-phone litigation
The flurry of recent smart phone patent suits is being driven by technology companies eager to capitalize on the speed and expertise of the US International Trade Commission, says a University of Illinois patent strategy expert Deepak Somaya.

Walk places, meet people and build social capital
People who live in walkable communities are more civically involved and have greater levels of trust than those who live in less walkable neighborhoods.

Activists call Indian government to defend generic HIV medicines at EU-India summit trade negotiations
On International Human Rights Day, as EC and the Government of India meet in Brussels to finalize a EU-India free trade agreement, the International Treatment Preparedness Coalition calls on Indian negotiators to put the right to health of its citizens and of the 15 million HIV-positive people worldwide needing treatment above the pharmaceutical companies' interests and profits.

Diners may be willing to pay more to eat at 'green' restaurants
Many US restaurants may be ignoring a desire by American consumers to dine at environmentally friendly restaurants, according to a small exploratory study.

Let's not sleep on it
We commonly think of sleep as a healing process that melts away the stresses of the day, preparing us to deal with new challenges.

'Vast majority' of acoustic tumor patients benefit from surgery
Surgery to remove tumors under the brain known as acoustic neuromas produces favorable outcomes in the

Melanopsin looks on the bright side of life
Better known as the light sensor that sets the body's biological clock, melanopsin also plays an important role in vision: Via its messengers-so-called melanopsin-expressing retinal ganglion cells, or mRGCs-it forwards information about the brightness of incoming light directly to conventional visual centers in the brain, reports an international collaboration of scientists in this week's issue of PLoS Biology.

Nanoparticle gives antimicrobial ability to fight Listeria longer
A Purdue University research team developed a nanoparticle that can hold and release an antimicrobial agent as needed for extending the shelf life of foods susceptible to Listeria monocytogenes.

It's time for Europe to step up research in the polar regions
Polar research must become an integral part of the European Union's research activities if Europe is to benefit from the dramatically changing face of the Polar Regions, the European Polar Board said today at the launch of its strategic position paper on European polar research:

Using chaos to model geophysical phenomena
Researchers in Australia and Canada have developed the first direct approach for identifying packets of air or water, called

IU School of Medicine and Regenstrief Institute physicians honored
The American College of Physicians has announced that will present one of its highest honors, the Alvan R.

CTO Summit & Left Main Coronary Interventions Course to be held Feb. 14-16, 2011, in NYC
The Eighth Annual Chronic Total Occlusion Summit and Left Main Coronary Interventions Course is a three-day conference featuring state-of-the-art technologies, research findings and new developments in therapeutic procedures essential for interventional cardiologists to optimize success in chronic total coronary occlusions and left main coronary interventions. 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