Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 04, 2011
Research on obesity targets the brain's use of fatty acids
Researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine have created a new and exciting mouse model to study how lipid sensing and metabolism in the brain relate to the regulation of energy balance and body weight.

Viral evasion gene reveals new targets for eliminating chronic infections
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researchers in Melbourne, Australia, have discovered how a key viral gene helps viruses evade early detection by the immune system.

Clinical practitioners not adhering to evidence-based guidelines for osteoarthritis
New research found clinicians who care for patients with osteoarthritis (OA) are likely not following standard care guidelines that are based on current medical evidence.

K-State doctoral graduate examines food bioterrorism for dissertation
A K-State graduate student examined current safety precautions used by country club restaurants to protect food and beverages, as well as how often those practices were put into effect.

Current smokers with early rheumatoid arthritis less responsive to TNF inhibitors, methotrexate
Patients with early rheumatoid arthritis who are current smokers were less likely to achieve good response to methotrexate and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors than those who never smoked.

A new model to predict accurate outcomes for IVF
A new prediction model created by Scott Nelson from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and Debbie Lawlor from the University of Bristol, England, and published in this week's PLoS Medicine, provides a more accurate and contemporary assessment of likely outcomes after IVF than a previously established model, partly because the new model includes intracytoplasmic sperm injection outcomes.

New glaucoma test allows earlier, more accurate detection
A prototype glaucoma test instrument that's noninvasive and simpler to use than current procedures -- and can also be used in situations that are difficult or impossible with current tests -- has been designed at the University of Arizona College of Engineering.

Epic journeys of turtles revealed
The epic ocean-spanning journeys of the gigantic leatherback turtle in the South Atlantic have been revealed for the first time thanks to groundbreaking research using satellite tracking.

Metabolic cost of human sleep deprivation quantified by University of Colorado team
In the first-ever quantification of energy expended by humans during sleep, a University of Colorado team has found that the metabolic cost of an adult missing one night of sleep is the equivalent of walking slightly less than two miles.

CEOs rewarded for wrong kind of growth, Rotman paper finds
Compensation committees still tend to reward CEOs when their companies grow due to investments -- even though that has been found to hurt long-term shareholder value -- rather than only rewarding growth due to improved profitability.

New solar cell self-repairs like natural plant systems
Researchers are creating a new type of solar cell designed to self-repair like natural photosynthetic systems in plants by using carbon nanotubes and DNA, an approach aimed at increasing service life and reducing cost.

Recycled Haitian concrete can be safe, strong and less expensive, says Georgia Tech group
Nearly one year after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake rocked the Republic of Haiti, engineering and concrete experts at Georgia Tech report that concrete and other debris in Port-au-Prince could be safely and inexpensively recycled into strong new construction material.

Study shows vitamin D deficiencies may impact onset of autoimmune lung disease
A new study shows that vitamin D deficiency could be linked to the development and severity of certain autoimmune lung diseases.

Europe reins in the smoking habit
A study led by the Smoking Control Unit of the Catalan Institute of Oncology has confirmed that the anti-tobacco laws in Europe have a direct effect on the reduction in consumption and passive exposure to smoke.

Porphyromonas gingivalis accelerates inflammatory atherosclerosis in a mouse model
Atherosclerosis is the leading cause of death in the developed world.

Male pattern balding may be due to stem cell inactivation, according to Penn study
Using cell samples from men undergoing hair transplants, researchers compared follicles from bald scalp and non-bald scalp, and found that bald areas had the same number of stem cells as normal scalp in the same person.

MIT researchers study the danger of toxoplasma parasites
About one-third of the human population is infected with a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii, but most of them don't know it.

JCI online early table of contents: Jan. 4, 2011
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Jan.

Developmental biology is focus of new volume in laboratory manual series on imaging
A newly released laboratory manual,

VCU findings may help explain some major clinical symptoms of preeclampsia
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine researchers have found that a significant increase of an enzyme in the blood vessels of pregnant women with preeclampsia may explain some of the symptoms associated with the condition, including hypertension, swelling and protein in the urine.

Kittiwakes' trans-Atlantic winter odyssey linked to breeding success
One of Britain's best known seabirds winters on opposite sides of the Atlantic depending on whether its breeding attempt has been successful according to new research published today in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Neuronal migration errors: Right cells, wrong place
Normally, cortical nerve cells or neurons reside in the brain's gray matter with only a few scattered neurons in the white matter, but some people with schizophrenia have a higher number of neurons in the white matter.

Walking speed associated with survival in older adults
In an analysis that included data from 9 studies, having higher measures of walking speed among older adults was associated with increased length of survival, according to a study in the Jan.

2010 -- a year of weather extremes in Finland
Because of the cold periods at the start and end of the year, 2010 was slightly cooler than normal.

Team creates novel vaccine that produces strong immunity against cocaine high
Researchers from The Scripps Research Institute, Weill Cornell Medical College, and Cornell University have produced a long-lasting anti-cocaine immunity in mice by giving them a unique vaccine that combines bits of the common cold virus with a particle that mimics cocaine.

Clinical decision support systems help control inappropriate medical imaging, study suggests
Researchers from Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, Wash., have found that clinical decision support systems can help reduce inappropriate medical imaging, including unnecessary computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging scans, according to a study in the January issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Vaccine blocks cocaine high in mice
Researchers have produced a lasting anti-cocaine immunity in mice by giving them a safe vaccine that combines bits of the common cold virus with a particle that mimics cocaine.

Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases pre-announces first joint research activity on hypertension
The Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases has announced its intention to release a Request for Applications (RFA) on Implementation Research on Hypertension in Low and Middle Income Countries, inviting investigators to submit proposals to improve effective approaches to prevention and control of hypertension.

'Directed evolution,' pioneer in DNA sequencing and designer of curricular program win honors
The engineering profession's highest honors for 2011, presented by the National Academy of Engineering, recognize three achievements that led to developments in guiding cell evolution, sequencing the human genome and better preparing students for the engineering work force.

Optimizing patient outcomes after therapeutic hypothermia for traumatic brain injury
Lowering the body temperature of patients soon after they have suffered a severe brain injury may reduce neurologic complications and improve outcomes.

Online registration opens for 14th World Conference on Lung Cancer in Amsterdam
Online registration opens today for the 14th World Conference on Lung Cancer, the world's largest meeting dedicated to lung and thoracic cancers.

Pregnant, constipated and bloated? Fly poo may tell you why
Clues about how the human gut helps regulate our appetite have come from a most unusual source -- fruit fly feces.

Fulbright Award has UC educator examining health challenges in China
UC professor Randall Cottrell will be teaching, researching and sharing his vast background on public and community health education programs with colleagues in China, amid emerging health issues that reflect those in the United States.

Clarifying the Black Sea region
The Black Sea is the largest anoxic basin in the world.

Mercyhurst pioneers game-based learning in teaching strategic intelligence
The Mercyhurst College Institute for Intelligence Studies is using commercial games as a fundamental part of its strategic intelligence curriculum.

Smithsonian instrument 'fills the gap,' views sun's innermost corona
During a total eclipse of the sun, skywatchers are awed by the shimmering corona -- a faint glow that surrounds the sun like gossamer flower petals.

US does not have infrastructure to consume more ethanol
The United States doesn't have the infrastructure to meet the federal mandate for renewable fuel use with ethanol but could meet the standard with significant increases in cellulosic and next-generation biofuels, according to a Purdue University study.

Detecting esophageal cancer with light
A tiny light source and sensors at the end of an endoscope may provide a more accurate way to identify pre-cancerous cells in the lining of the esophagus.

Watch out for that boom
Just as the site for the 2013 America's Cup has been announced, a study from Rhode Island Hospital highlights that the sport isn't always smooth sailing.

News briefs from the January issue of Chest
New research from the January 2011 issue of the journal Chest highlights the safety and efficacy of omalizumab for asthma; how simulation education can help reduce catheter site infections; and the continued prevalence of sarcoidosis among black women.

Study finds problems with reviewing medical images from portable media
Radiologists and referring clinicians frequently use portable media (CDs, DVDs) to review patient medical images acquired at outside imaging centers, including magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography scans, but issues regarding access, importability, and viewing of these portable media exist, according to a study in the January issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Estrogen may help precancerous cells spread in oral cavity
Head and neck cancer is the sixth most common type of cancer and is on the rise in some demographic groups, including young women without any known risk factors.

MSU leads first study of resiliency on the battlefield
In the first combat-zone study of its kind, a research team led by Michigan State University found that soldiers with a positive outlook in the most traumatic situations were less likely to suffer health problems such as anxiety and depression.

'Nanoscoops' could spark new generation of electric automobile batteries
An entirely new type of nanomaterial developed at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute could enable the next generation of high-power rechargeable lithium-ion batteries for electric automobiles, as well as batteries for laptop computers, mobile phones, and other portable devices.

Dampening inflammation with aspirin
Upon microbe clearance from the body or completion of wound healing, protective inflammatory responses must be dampened down.

'UnZIPPING' zinc protects hippocampal neurons
Researchers in the Blue Bird Circle Developmental Neurogenetics Laboratory in the department of neurology at Baylor College of Medicine have discovered that zinc enters cells through specialized protein gates known as ZIP transporters, and removing these ZIP proteins from cells in the hippocampus (an area of the brain that facilitates storing and retrieving memory) significantly protects them from injury.

Canadian marine biodiversity scientists forging strategy for sustainable ocean use
Working from a foundation of marine biodiversity research laid by the recently completed Census of Marine Life, Canadian marine science leaders from academia, government, and ocean-focused funding agencies are meeting in Ottawa Jan.

Trust your gut ... but only sometimes
When faced with decisions, we often follow our intuition -- our self-described

From dusty punch cards, new insights into link between cholesterol and heart disease
A stack of punch cards from a landmark study published in 1966, and the legwork to track down the study's participants years later, has yielded the longest analysis of the effects of lipoproteins on coronary heart disease.

American Sociological Association to hold 2011 annual meeting in Las Vegas
The American Sociological Association announced today that it will hold its 106th Annual Meeting at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas from Aug.

University of Illinois research makes plant breeding easier
University of Illinois research has resulted in the development of a novel and widely applicable molecular tool that can serve as a road map for making plant breeding easier to understand.

Oceanic 'garbage patch' not nearly as big as portrayed in media
There is a lot of plastic trash floating in the Pacific Ocean, but claims that the

Going bald without hair follicle progenitors
Androgenetic alopecia (AGA) is a frequent form of hair loss in both men and women.

Model predicts a drug's likelihood of causing birth defects
When pregnant women need medications, there is often concern about possible effects on the fetus.

Wake up and smell the willow
More plant matter could be burned in coal-fired power stations if this

Prehistoric bird used club-like wings as weapon
Paleontologists at Yale University and the Smithsonian Institution have discovered that Xenicibis, a member of the ibis family that lived about ten thousand years ago and was found only in Jamaica, most likely used its specialized wings like a flail, swinging its upper arm and striking its enemies with its thick hand bones.

Many patients with implantable cardioverter-defibrillators do not meet criteria for use
A study that included more than 100,000 patients who received implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs) found that about 20 percent did not meet evidence-based guidelines for receipt of an ICD, and that these patients had a significantly higher risk of in-hospital death than individuals who met criteria for receiving an ICD, according to a study in the Jan.

Medicare payments for medical imaging are higher to nonradiologist physicians than to radiologists
Researchers have found that Medicare payments for non-invasive medical imaging, including magnetic resonance imaging and computed tomography scans, are now higher to non-radiologists than to radiologists, according to a study in the January issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Accurate interpretation of antinuclear antibodies test key to confirming autoimmune disease
The presence of antinuclear antibodies (ANA) indicates the possibility of autoimmunity and the indirect immunofluorescence assay on HEp-2 cells is the standard blood test used to detect ANA.

How best can we scale-up interventions to prevent stillbirths?
While some community-based interventions to prevent the 3.2 million annual deaths due to stillbirth have proved effective in controlled settings and specific contexts, there is an enormous challenge in bringing these interventions to scale.

The first decade of the 2000s warmer than the preceding decades in Finland
The first decade of the 2000s, or the years 2001-2010, was warmer than the preceding decades in the whole of Finland, even though 2010 was colder than the long-time average.

A new drug target in atherosclerosis: The anaphylatoxin C5a
For decades, doctors have looked at fitness levels, weight, and overall health risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

Environmental Science & Technology special issue on environmental policy now online
A special edition of the American Chemical Society's semi-monthly journal, Environmental Science & Technology, one of the world's premier environmental journals, is available now online for a limited time.

Scientists discover that a specific enzyme inhibitor may help control lung inflammation
All of us may be able to breathe a little easier now that scientists from Pennsylvania have found a new therapeutic target for controlling dangerous inflammation in the lungs.

Vitamins C and E linked to metabolic syndrome in low-income Ecuadorians
An epidemiological study conducted by researchers at Tufts University and the Corporacion Ecuatoriana de Biotecnologia showed that the metabolic syndrome was prevalent in a small population of older adults living on the outskirts of Quito, Ecuador, and that a poor diet appeared to contribute.

Fueling the body on fat
Researchers have found what appears to be a critical tuning dial for controlling whole body energy.

Birch bark ingredient comes with many metabolic benefits
An ingredient found in abundance in birch bark appears to have an array of metabolic benefits. 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