Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 20, 2010
Intensive chemotherapy can dramatically boost survival of older teenage leukemia patients
More effective risk-adjusted chemotherapy and sophisticated patient monitoring helped push cure rates to nearly 88 percent for older adolescents enrolled in a St.

Nasal congestion can mean severe asthma
Nasal congestion can be a sign of severe asthma, which means that healthcare professionals should be extra vigilant when it comes to nasal complaints.

Muscle filaments make mechanical strain visible
Plastics manufacturers face a serious hurdle in their quest for new developments: Substantial influences of the microscopic material structure on mechanical material properties cannot be observed directly.

Most patients can speak and swallow after combination treatment for head and neck cancer
Most patients do not have ongoing speaking or swallowing difficulties following combined chemotherapy and radiation treatment for advanced head or neck cancer, but several factors may be associated with worse outcomes in these functions, according to a report in the December issue of Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Factors linked to speech/swallowing problems after treatment for head and neck cancers
Most patients with locally advanced head and neck cancers who successfully complete treatment with chemotherapy and radiation manage to do so without losing the ability to speak clearly and swallow comfortably, according to researchers at the Duke Cancer Institute.

Subsidies have no effect on Spanish cinema productivity
Awards have an impact on Spanish movie productivity, since they increase internal and external distribution demand, but subsidies have no effect whatsoever on the productivity of the Spanish film industry.

Malaria-infected cells stiffen, block blood flow
Researchers led by Brown University has completed the first modeling, followed by experiments, of how red blood cells are infected by a malarial parasite that attacks the brain.

New study upends thinking about how liver disease develops
In the latest of a series of related papers, researchers at the UCSD School of Medicine, with colleagues in Austria and elsewhere, present a new and more definitive explanation of how fibrotic cells form, multiply and eventually destroy the human liver, resulting in cirrhosis.

Racial disparities evident in early-stage liver cancer survival
Black patients with early-stage liver cancer appear more likely to die of the disease than Hispanic or white patients with the same condition, according to a report in the December issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Acid suppressive medication may increase risk of pneumonia
Using acid suppressive medications, such as proton pump inhibitors and histamine2 receptor antagonists, may increase the risk of developing pneumonia, states an article in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

AGA, General Mills announce grant to uncover role between intestinal bacteria and health and disease
The American Gastroenterological Association Foundation for Digestive Health and Nutrition announced that Anisa Shaker, M.D., is the recipient of the AGA-General Mills Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition Research Scholar Award in Gut Physiology and Health.

Study finds food in early life affects fertility
The reproductive success of men and women is influenced by the food they receive at an early stage in life, according to new research by the University of Sheffield.

Ocean acidification changes nitrogen cycling in world seas
Increasing acidity in the sea's waters may fundamentally change how nitrogen is cycled in them, say marine scientists.

Neuroimaging at Stanford helps to predict which dyslexics will learn to read
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have used sophisticated brain imaging to predict with 90 percent accuracy which teenagers with dyslexia would improve their reading skills over time.

Electronic nose detects cancer
György Horvath from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, and researchers from the University of Gävle and KTH Royal Institute of Technology have been able to confirm in tests that ovarian cancer tissue and healthy tissue smell different.

Hamdan Award for Medical Research Excellence in osteoporosis awarded to John A. Kanis
Professor John A. Kanis is the winner of the 2010 Hamdan Award for Medical Research Excellence in the field of osteoporosis.

Genome-wide hunt reveals links to abnormal rhythms behind sudden death, heart damage
A study among almost 50,000 people worldwide has identified DNA sequence variations linked with the heart's electrical rhythm in several surprising regions among 22 locations across the human genome.

Embargoed news from Annals of Internal Medicine
In this release is information about four articles being published in the Dec.

Outcomes after recurrence of oral cancer vary by timing, site
Patients who have recurrence of oral squamous cell carcinoma tend to do worse if the new cancer appears at the same site early or if it appears in the lymph nodes six months or longer after initial treatment, according to a report in the December issue of Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Playing by the rules? New book examines relationship between law and sport
From match fixing, to doping allegations, to contract disputes, a new book by a Queen's University Belfast law expert analyses the relationship between modern sport and the law.

Young female chimpanzees appear to treat sticks as dolls
The must-have gift for young female chimpanzees this holiday season might be in the Christmas tree, not under it.

Outwit rats with smart, green solutions
Eco-friendly ways to stop rats wreaking havoc form the new arsenal against these rodent pests that chomp through millions of tons of rice every year and contribute to the undernourishment of 570 million people in Asia and the Pacific.

New study examines immunity in emerging species of a major mosquito carrer of malaria
A new study led by University of Notre Dame biologist Nora Besansky suggests that the mosquitoes' immune response to malaria parasites, mediated by a gene called

Blacks with liver cancer more likely to die, study finds
Black people with early stage liver cancer were more likely than white patients to die from their disease, according to a new study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Johns Hopkins faculty highly value involvement of nearby urban community for improving research
A survey conducted by Johns Hopkins faculty found strong support among their peers for working more closely with the minority, inner-city community that surrounds the institution.

Rising greenhouse gases profoundly impact microscopic marine life
Study by UC Merced marine biologist shows increased acidity of ocean water -- driven by carbon dioxide emissions -- could fundamentally alter how nitrogen cycles throughout the sea.

New study focuses on nitrogen in waterways as cause of nitrous oxide in the atmosphere
Two University of Notre Dame biologists are the lead authors of a new paper demonstrating that streams and rivers receiving nitrogen from urban and agricultural land uses are a significant source of nitrous oxide to the atmosphere.

Training the best treatment for tennis elbow
Training and ergonomic advice are more effective than anti-inflammatory drugs and cortisone injections in treating tennis elbow, and give fewer side effects.

Boosting supply of key brain chemical reduces fatigue in mice
Researchers at Vanderbilt University have

The orange in your stocking: researchers squeezing out maximum health benefits
In time for Christmas, nutritionists are squeezing all the healthy compounds out of oranges to find just the right mixture responsible for their age-old health benefits.

Transferring trauma patients may take longer than 2 hours -- but not for the most serious injuries
Many trauma patients in Illinois who are transferred to another facility for care are not transported within the state-mandated two-hour window, but the most seriously injured patients appear to reach care more quickly, according to a report in the December issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Genetic trait could triple odds of whites' susceptibility to heavy cocaine abuse
Nearly one in five whites could carry a genetic variant that substantially increases their odds of being susceptible to severe cocaine abuse, according to new research.

A possible cause -- and cure -- for genital cancer in horses?
Horses, like humans, suffer from genital cancer. Work by Sabine Brandt and colleagues at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna -- together with Tim Scase and with Alastair Foote and his group -- provides strong evidence that a novel papillomavirus is involved and may thus pave the way for the development of a cure.

Global rivers emit 3 times IPCC estimates of greenhouse gas nitrous oxide
What goes in must come out, a truism that now may be applied to global river networks.

Robotic surgery for head and neck cancer shows promise
Less-invasive robotic surgery for upper airway and digestive track malignant tumors is as effective as other minimally invasive surgical techniques based on patient function and survival, according to University of Alabama at Birmingham researchers.

Waterways contribute to growth of potent greenhouse gas
Nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas, has increased by more than 20 percent over the last century, and nitrogen in waterways is fueling part of that growth, according to a Michigan State University study.

Children with autism lack visual skills required for independence
The ability to find shoes in the bedroom, apples in a supermarket, or a favorite animal at the zoo is impaired among children with autism, according to new research from the University of Bristol (UK).

Study: Natural supplement may reduce common-cold duration by only half a day
An over-the-counter herbal treatment believed to have medicinal benefits has minimal impact in relieving the common cold, according to research by the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health.

Bee challenged -- toxin-laden nectar poses problems for honeybees
Researchers at Newcastle University have shown for the first time that chemical seratonin enables the honeybee to learn to avoid nectar containing toxins.

ASH announces 2011 Scholar Award winners
The American Society of Hematology announces the 2011 Scholar Award recipients.

Research shows that environmental factors limit species diversity
New research on lizards in the Caribbean demonstrates that species diversification is limited by the environment.

Outsmarting the wind
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory scientists are researching how radar weather instruments can help improve predictions on when and how strongly winds will blow.

Motion sickness reality in virtual world, too
Clemson University psychologist Eric Muth sees motion sickness as potential fallout from high-end technology that once was limited to the commercial marketplace moving to consumer use in gaming devices.

Brain imaging predicts future reading progress in children with dyslexia
Brain scans of adolescents with dyslexia can be used to predict the future improvement of their reading skills with an accuracy rate of up to 90 percent, new research indicates.

Globalization burdens future generations with biological invasions
The consequences of the current high levels of socio-economic activity on the extent of biological invasions will probably not be completely realized until decades into the future.

Use the right metaphor to get patients to enroll in clinical trials
The language that doctors use with low-income, rural patients can help determine whether these patients agree to participate in clinical trials testing new cancer treatments, a new study found.

SU biologist partners with National Park Service to study bison grazing in Yellowstone
The National Park Service has partnered with Syracuse University biologist Douglas Frank, who has studied the effects of climate change and herbivores on the park's grasslands over the past 20 years.

Finnish researchers find a compound that prevents the growth of prostate cancer cells
Researchers from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the University of Turku have demonstrated that an antibiotic called

Treating worms during pregnancy might not be associated with wider health benefits for infants in developing countries and policy recommendations should be reviewed
Contrary to the expected benefits of routine treatment of worms (helminths) during pregnancy, a single-dose of this widely used intervention is not associated with improved infant survival, or with any effect on the occurrence of infectious diseases, or on growth and anaemia at 1 year of age.

Expansion of HIV screening cost-effective in reducing spread of AIDS, Stanford study shows
An expanded US program of HIV screening and treatment could prevent as many as 212,000 new infections over the next 20 years and prove to be very cost-effective, according to a new study by Stanford University School of Medicine researchers.

Young female chimps treat sticks like dolls
Researchers have reported some of the first evidence that chimpanzee youngsters in the wild may tend to play differently depending on their sex, just as human children around the world do.

Construction of the world's largest neutrino observatory completed
Culminating a decade of planning, innovation and testing, construction of the world's largest neutrino observatory, installed in the ice of the Antarctic plateau at the geographic South Pole, was successfully completed Dec.

Without intervention, Mariana crow to become extinct in 75 years
Researchers from the University of Washington say the Mariana crow, a forest crow living on Rota Island in the western Pacific Ocean, will go extinct in 75 years.

Dodds contributes to new national study on nitrogen water pollution
A Kansas State University professor is part of a national research team that discovered that streams and rivers produce three times more greenhouse gas emissions than estimated by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Strict heart rate control provides no advantage over lenient approach
Strict heart rate control in atrial fibrillation patients is not beneficial over lenient control.

Features of the metabolic syndrome common in persons with psoriasis
Individuals with psoriasis have a high prevalence of the metabolic syndrome, according to a report posted online today that will appear in the April 2011 print issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

UCSB scientists demonstrate biomagnification of nanomaterials in simple food chain
An interdisciplinary team of researchers at UC Santa Barbara has produced a groundbreaking study of how nanoparticles are able to biomagnify in a simple microbial food chain.

CCNY-led interdisciplinary team recreates colonial hydrology
Hydrologists may have a new way to study historical water conditions.

Difficult path to reconciliation in Bosnia
A thesis from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, examines local reconciliation processes in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

New research shows virus previously linked to chronic fatigue syndrome is a lab contaminant
A virus previously thought to be associated with chronic fatigue syndrome is not the cause of the disease, a detailed study has shown.

Syracuse University researchers contribute new ideas to enhance efficiency of wind turbines
Now, a new type of air-flow technology may soon increase the efficiency of large wind turbines under many different wind conditions.

New breathing therapy reduces panic and anxiety by reversing hyperventilation
A new treatment that helps people with panic disorder to normalize their breathing works better to reduce panic symptoms and hyperventilation than traditional cognitive therapy, according to a new study.

The gap between steering documents and teaching democracy in South Africa
A thesis presented at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, uses the example of South Africa to show how teaching and education in democracy-related subjects work.
The results show that the good democratic intentions of steering documents do not always work in practice.

When the zebra loses its stripes
The capacity to remember that a zebra has stripes, or that a giraffe is a four-legged mammal, is known as semantic memory.

Students' water-testing tool wins $40,000, launches nonprofit
Engineering students won an international contest for their design to tell when water disinfected by solar rays is safe to drink.

How often do giant black holes become hyperactive?
A new study from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory tells scientists how often the biggest black holes have been active over the last few billion years.

What makes a face look alive? Study says it's in the eyes
The face of a doll is clearly not human; the face of a human clearly is.

Component in common dairy foods may cut diabetes risk
Scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and collaborators from other institutions have identified a natural substance in dairy fat that may substantially reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

About one-fifth of women, less than 7 percent of men report use of indoor tanning
Women are more likely to report use of indoor tanning facilities than men, and some characteristics common to indoor tanners differ by sex, according to a report in the December issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Rodents were diverse and abundant in prehistoric Africa when our human ancestors evolved
Rodents have been one of the most common mammals in Africa for 50 million years.

Study finds injectable and oral birth control do not adversely affect glucose and insulin levels
Fasting glucose and insulin levels remain within normal range for women using injectable or oral contraception, with only slight increases among women using depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA), commonly known as the birth control shot, according to new research from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB Health) in Galveston.

Sea-level study brings good and bad news to Chesapeake Bay
A study of sea-level trends by researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science brings both good and bad news to localities concerned with coastal inundation and flooding along the shores of Chesapeake Bay.

Reducing emissions from shipping: Commission's Joint Research Centre sets out some options
At present, around 50,000 merchant ships transport 90 percent of global goods and make maritime transport indispensable for the world economy.

Biochemical and Molecular Engineering XVII Conference
Started in 1978, the Biochemical Engineering Conference is the premier venue for unveiling research at the cutting-edge of biological sciences and engineering.

Strange new twist: Berkeley researchers discover Möbius symmetry in metamaterials
Berkeley Lab researchers have discovered Möbius symmetry in metamaterials -- materials engineered from artificial

Link between depression and inflammatory response found in mice
Vanderbilt University researchers may have found a clue to the blues that can come with the flu -- depression may be triggered by the same mechanisms that enable the immune system to respond to infection.

New report finds Cambodia's HIV/AIDS fight at critical crossroads in funding, prevention
Despite Cambodia's remarkable history in driving down HIV infections, a report released today on the future of AIDS in the country argues that future success is not guaranteed and the government needs to focus increasingly on wise prevention tactics and assume more of the financing of its AIDS program.

Study identifies cells that give rise to brown fat
In some adults, the white fat cells that we all stockpile so readily are supplemented by a very different form of fat -- brown fat cells, which can offer the neat trick of burning energy rather than storing it.

The mining peasant's circumstances provide more in-depth knowledge about industrialization
During the 19th century, most of the mining peasants -- whose task was to produce pig iron -- gradually lost control of both iron ore mines and pig iron production.

New book will make you an instant physicist (maybe)
UC Berkeley physicist Richard A. Muller has assembled a book of fun physics facts in

Time Magazine names Derrick Rossi to 2010 list of 'People Who Mattered'
The New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) extends congratulations to Derrick Rossi, Ph.D., a member of the inaugural class of NYSCF-Robertson Investigators, who was named one of Time Magazine's 2010

Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation awards breakthrough scientists
The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on supporting innovative early career researchers, named the first recipients of the Dale F.

New software detects piping flaws
New software developed by the US Department of Energy's Savannah River National Laboratory and Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding may lead to a less expensive and less time consuming method to detect corrosion or other defects in a ship's pipes.

New imaging advance illuminates immune response in breathing lung
In a recent UCSF-led study in mice, researchers developed a method to stabilize living lung tissue for imaging without disrupting the normal function of the organ.

Your genome in minutes: New technology could slash sequencing time
Scientists from Imperial College London are developing technology that could ultimately sequence a person's genome in mere minutes, at a fraction of the cost of current commercial techniques.

Beb-Gurion University of the Negev key partner in helping Singapore establish energy centers
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is part of an initiative to create two new research centers in Singapore to develop nanomaterials for more energy-efficient applications and water management technologies.

Rituximab maintenance significantly improves progression-free survival in patients with follicular lymphoma
Patients with follicular lymphoma, a slow-growing common type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, who are given 2 years of rituximab-maintenance therapy after immunochemotherapy, have significantly better progression-free survival (PFS) and higher response rates compared with patients who do not receive this intervention.

Meat-eating dinosaurs not so carnivorous after all
Field Museum scientists used statistical analyses to determine the diet of 90 species of theropod dinosaurs.

Massachusetts physician groups improving patient experience, study finds
Most Massachusetts physician groups are using results from a statewide patient survey to help improve patient experiences, but a significant number are not making use of the information or are making relatively limited efforts, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

Scientists and physicians use genetic sequencing to identify and treat unknown disease
For the one of the first times in medical history, researchers and physicians at The Medical College of Wisconsin and Children's Hospital of Wisconsin sequenced all the genes in a boy's DNA to identify a previously-unknown mutation. 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