Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 10, 2011
Teens + sugars = increased heart disease risk later in life?
Researchers found that teens who consume elevated amounts of added sugars in drinks and foods are more likely to have poor cholesterol and triglyceride profiles now which may lead to heart disease later in life.

Singapore scientists discover a possible off-switch for anxiety
Scientists from the Agency of Science, Technology and Research/Duke-NUS Neuroscience Research Partnership, A*STAR's Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, and the National University of Singapore have made a breakthrough concerning how anxiety is regulated in the vertebrate brain.

Debunking solar energy efficiency measurements
Solar energy developers have been hopeful that new advances in thin-film solar panels will make the technology more marketable.

Scripps Research and University of Pennsylvania win $8 million grant to develop addiction treatment
The Scripps Research Institute and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have been awarded approximately $8.2 million over five years to develop novel compounds that could eventually become drug candidates for the treatment of tobacco addiction.

Anti-epileptic drugs associated with increased risk of fracture in older adults
Most anti-epileptic drugs are associated with an increased risk of non-traumatic fracture in individuals 50 years of age and older, according to a report in the January issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

How do you make lithium melt in the cold?
Sophisticated tools allow scientists to subject the basic elements of matter to conditions drastic enough to modify their behavior.

JCI online early table of contents: Jan. 10, 2011
This press release summarizes the contents of the JCI's Jan.

Study evaluates prevalence of age-related macular degeneration in the United States
An estimated 6.5 percent of Americans age 40 and older have the eye disease age-related macular degeneration, a lower rate than was reported 15 years ago, according to a report in the January issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Engineering team invents lab-on-a-chip for fast, inexpensive blood tests
While most blood tests require shipping a vial of blood to a laboratory for analysis and waiting several days for the results, a new device invented by a team of engineers and students at URI uses just a pinprick of blood in a portable device that provides results in less than 30 minutes.

Researchers show how Alzheimer's plaques lead to loss of nitric oxide in brain
A researcher at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, in collaboration with researchers from the National Institutes of Health, have discovered that the deadly plaques of Alzheimer's disease interact with certain cellular proteins to inhibit normal signals that maintain blood flow to the brain.

Body dysmorphic disorder patients who loathe appearance often get better, but it could take years
A new study by Brown University psychiatrists finds evidence that given enough time, patients with body dysmorphic disorder frequently recover and rarely relapse.

Miscanthus has a fighting chance against weeds
University of Illinois research reports that several herbicides used on corn also have good selectivity to Miscanthus x giganteus (Giant Miscanthus), a potential bioenergy feedstock.

Oxygen-free early oceans likely delayed rise of life on planet
UC Riverside geologists have found chemical evidence in 2.6-billion-year-old rocks that indicates that Earth's ancient oceans were oxygen-free and contained abundant hydrogen sulfide in some areas.

Developer of 'nanonets' snares National Science Foundation Career Award
Boston College Assistant Professor of Chemistry Dunwei Wang, who says his lab's community outreach work is an integral part of his research, has received a career award from the National Science Foundation to develop clean energy technologies and expand his work with the public.

VIMS team returns to Antarctic Peninsula
A team of researchers from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science has returned to Antarctica for their annual six-week field season to study how climate change is affecting the microscopic animals that form the base of the Antarctic food web.

New species of flying reptile identified on B.C. coast
Persistence paid off for a University of Alberta paleontology researcher, who after months of pondering the origins of a fossilized jaw bone, finally identified it as a new species of pterosaur, a flying reptile that lived 70 million years ago.

First strawberry genome sequence promises better berries
An international team of researchers, including several from the University of New Hampshire, have completed the first DNA sequence of any strawberry plant, giving breeders much-needed tools to create tastier, healthier strawberries.

Study estimates land available for biofuel crops
Using detailed land analysis, Illinois researchers have found that biofuel crops cultivated on available land could produce up to half of the world's current fuel consumption -- without affecting food crops or pastureland.

Minerals provide better indoor air
One of the sources of emission for pollutants in living spaces are particleboards glued with adhesives that contain formaldehyde.

Radiometer finds sources of fire
Forest fires usually spread out of control very quickly. Fires that produce a lot of smoke are particularly challenging for the emergency services, because the source of the fire is then especially hard to find.

Bottle rockets can cause serious eye injuries in children
Bottle rockets can cause significant eye injuries in children, often leading to permanent loss of vision, according to a report posted online today that will appear in the May print issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Nuclear receptors reveal possible interventions for cancer, obesity
Research with significant implications in the treatment and intervention of cancer and obesity has been published recently in two prestigious journals by University of Houston biochemist Dr.

Implant appears effective for treating inflammatory disease within the eye
An implant that releases the medication dexamethasone within the eye appears safe and effective for the treatment of some types of uveitis (swelling and inflammation in the eye's middle layer), according to a report posted online today that will appear in the May print issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

New glass tops steel in strength and toughness
A new type of damage-tolerant metallic glass, demonstrating a strength and toughness beyond that of steel or any other known material, has been developed and tested by a collaboration of researchers with Berkeley Lab and Cal Tech.

Immune cells help heal eye injury in mice
A paper published online on January 10 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine reports that retinal ganglion cells -- neurons in the eye -- are rescued by immune cells that infiltrate the mouse retina after eye injury.

H1N1 pandemic points to vaccine strategy for multiple flu strains
Although the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic infected an estimated 60 million people and hospitalized more than 250,000 in the United States, it also brought one significant benefit -- clues about how to make a vaccine that could protect against multiple strains of influenza.

The world's largest group of toxicologists meet at 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting
From March 6-10, 2011, more than 7,000 toxicologists are expected to attend the Society of Toxicology 50th Annual Meeting and ToxExpo, at the Walter E.

Social class and changes in mortality from liver cirrhosis over the 20th Century
A paper describing a dramatic change during the 20th century in England and Wales in the association between social class and mortality from liver cirrhosis features in Alcohol and Alcoholism.

Does it hurt?
It is well known that pain is a highly subjective experience.

Earth: Finding new oil and gas frontiers
Where to next in the search for oil and gas?

Abstinence, heavy drinking, binge drinking associated with increased risk of cognitive impairment
Previous research regarding the association between alcohol consumption and dementia or cognitive impairment in later life suggests that mild to moderate alcohol consumption might be protective of dementia.

Played by humans, scored by nature, online game helps unravel secrets of RNA
Many video games boast life-like graphics and realistic game play, but have no connection with reality.

Study shows a serious risk of side effects when having latent tuberculosis therapy over age 65
A new study found that there is a serious increased risk of side effects requiring hospitalization in people over the age of 65 who are going through latent tuberculosis infection therapy, according to a study published in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Over 700 Elsevier science and technology books now available in Research4Life
Elsevier, a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, today announced that 780 of its science and technology electronic books will be added to Research4Life.

Hard-to-find fish reveals shared developmental toolbox of evolution
A SCUBA expedition in Australia and New Zealand to find the rare embryos of an unusual shark cousin enabled American and British researchers to confirm new developmental similarities between fish and mammals.

Nursing home closures clustered in poor, minority areas
Nursing home closures eliminated about 5 percent of available beds between 1998 and 2008, with closures concentrated in minority and poor communities, according to a report posted online today that will be published in the May 9 print issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Nursing home closures concentrated in poorest areas
A nationwide study of nursing home closures finds that the country has lost 5 percent of its beds, and that closures are twice as likely in the poorest areas than in the richest areas.

LSTM leads new £6 million ($9.3 million) health systems knowledge consortium
LSTM is leading a six year, £6 million ($9.3 million) international research consortium to strengthen knowledge of how health systems which have been damaged in conflict situations are most effectively rebuilt.

For non-whites, geography plays key role in colon cancer screening
New research from UC Davis Cancer Center has found that whether a person gets screened for colon cancer often depends on where they live in addition to their race or ethnicity.

Risks associated with secondhand smoke in cars carrying children
While the evidence is incomplete there is enough available to support legislation against letting people smoke in cars with children, states an article in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Researchers create 'scoring system' for PTEN mutation testing
Researchers have discovered a method for more precise identification of individuals who should undergo testing for genetic mutations of the tumor suppressor gene PTEN, which associates with a variety of conditions including several types of cancers.

Transforming skin cells into cartilage
In this paper, Noriyuki Tsumaki and his team at the Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, used fibroblasts isolated from adult mouse skin, and expressed proteins used to induce pluripotency along with a factor that promotes a chondrocyte fate.

Hubble zooms in on a space oddity
A strange, glowing green cloud of gas that has mystified astronomers since its discovery in 2007 has been studied by Hubble.

Carnegie Mellon researchers identify 'Facebook neurons'
Carnegie Mellon researchers have found that within the brain's neocortex lies a subnetwork of highly active neurons that behave much like people in social networks.

ESHRE bridges East and West for its 2012 Congress in Istanbul
The European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology announced today that it has chosen Istanbul for its 2012 Annual Meeting.

Protein thought to protect against oxidative stress also promotes clogging of arteries
UCLA researchers have found that a protein that plays an important role in some antioxidant therapies may not be as effective due to additional mechanisms that cause it to promote atherosclerosis, or clogging of the arteries.

Federal peer review may be overstretched and error prone
The federal peer review system is awash in an increasing number of funding proposals and the number of US researchers qualified to perform these reviews is not only limited, but also declining.

Researchers uncover behavioral process anticipating the results of rapid eye movements
A team of researchers has demonstrated that the brain predicts consequences of our eye movements on what we see next.

Embryonic stem cells help deliver 'good genes' in a model of inherited blood disorder
Researchers at Nationwide Children's Hospital report a gene therapy strategy that improves the condition of a mouse model of an inherited blood disorder, Beta Thalassemia.

Study finds nearly half of school social workers feel unequipped to handle cyberbullying
While most school social workers recognize that cyberbullying continues to be a problem among students, almost half say they are ill equipped to handle it.

GEN reports on biotech acquisition deals in 2010 that topped $1 billion
The mega-mergers of 2009 did not continue into 2010. While the three biggest acquisitions in 2009 each had a price tag of more than $40 billion, only last year's top purchase got above that mark, according to an evaluation of reported deals conducted by Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News.

Many recommendations within practice guidelines not supported by high-quality evidence
More than half of the recommendations in current practice guidelines for infectious disease specialists are based on opinions from experts rather than on evidence from clinical trials, according to a report in the Jan.

Elsevier brings together leading experts from around the world for DIAMOND 2011 conference
Elsevier announced today that DIAMOND 2011, 22nd European Conference on Diamond, Diamond-Like Materials, Carbon Nanotubes and Nitrides, will occur on Sept.

Researchers brave icy waters to study Arctic food web
Professor Deborah Bronk of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science is leading a study of the Arctic coastal ecosystem, and how climate change might affect the supply of nutrients that supports the food web on which native peoples depend.

Lake Erie hypoxic zone doesn't affect all fish the same, study finds
Large hypoxic zones low in oxygen long have been thought to have negative influences on aquatic life, but a Purdue University study shows that while these so-called dead zones have an adverse affect, not all species are impacted equally.

'Hot-bunking' bacterium recycles iron to boost ocean metabolism
In the vast ocean where an essential nutrient -- iron -- is scarce, a marine bacterium that launches the ocean food web survives by using a remarkable biochemical trick: it recycles iron.

Statin risks may outweigh benefits for patients with a history of brain hemorrhage
A computer decision model suggests that for patients with a history of bleeding within the brain, the risk of recurrence associated with statin treatment may outweigh the benefit of the drug in preventing cardiovascular disease, according to a report posted online today that will appear in the May print issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Direct observation of carbon monoxide binding to metal-porphyrines
What makes carbon monoxide so toxic is that it blocks the binding site for oxygen in hemoglobin.

New insights into sun's photosphere reported by NJIT researcher at Big Bear
NJIT Distinguished Professor Philip R. Goode and the research team at Big Bear Solar Observatory have reported new insights into the small-scale dynamics of the Sun's photosphere.

Couch potatoes beware: Too much time spent watching TV is harmful to heart health
Spending too much leisure time in front of a TV or computer screen appears to dramatically increase the risk for heart disease and premature death from any cause, perhaps regardless of how much exercise one gets, according to a new study published in the January 18, 2011, issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

An earlier start on diagnosing breast, prostate cancers
Using biological samples taken from patients and state-of-the-art biochemical techniques, a Florida State University researcher is working to identify a variety of

Race affects regional colorectal cancer screening disparities
Individuals from certain areas of the United States are more likely to get screened for colorectal cancer than those from other areas, particularly when comparing non-whites living in different parts of the country.

Ph.D. thesis shows why patients subjected to dialysis face their illness in different ways
Patients who have to undergo dialysis see their lives inevitably affected by the treatment.

Being poor can suppress children's genetic potentials
Growing up poor can suppress a child's genetic potential to excel cognitively even before the age of 2, according to research from psychologists at The University of Texas at Austin.

Early investigations promising for detecting metastatic breast cancer cells
Research by engineers and cancer biologists at Virginia Tech indicate that using specific silicon microdevices might provide a new way to screen breast cancer cells' ability to metastasize.

State and city officials discuss the future of science education in New York
The New York Academy of Sciences will host a panel discussion on the Future of Science Education in New York, featuring education leaders at the state and city levels.

Why we need better drug monitoring
The use of recombinant activated factor 7 (rFVIIa) despite its potential for adverse events displays the serious shortcomings of Canada's current drug surveillance system, according to a commentary published in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Spanish heart risk study challenges image of healthy Mediterranean diet and lifestyle
A Spanish study of 2,270 adults has challenged the long-held belief that people in the Mediterranean all enjoy more healthy diets and lifestyles, after discovering alarmingly high cardiovascular risk factors similar to those found in the UK and USA.

Single cell studies identify coactivator role in fat cell maturation
All fat cells are not the same -- a fact that has implications in the understanding and treatment of Type 2 diabetes and obesity, said researchers from Baylor College of Medicine in a report that appears in the current issue of the Journal of Cell Biology.

Research identifies drug target for prion diseases, 'mad cow'
Scientists at the University of Kentucky have discovered that plasminogen, a protein used by the body to break up blood clots, speeds up the progress of prion diseases such as mad cow disease.

JBEI wins Biofuels Digest Award for Institutional Excellence
The US Department of Energy's Joint BioEnergy Institute has been named the 2010

New hope in fight against Huntington's disease
Hope for new ways of treating devastating neurodegenerative disorders such as Huntington's disease has been raised by a trans-Atlantic team of researchers thanks to the use of cutting-edge genetic techniques.

Pandemic flu strain could point way to universal vaccine
Using blood samples from patients infected with the 2009 H1N1 strain, researchers developed antibodies that could bind H1N1 viruses from the last decade, as well as the 1918 flu virus and even H5N1.

Longevity unlikely to have aided early modern humans
Life expectancy was probably the same for early modern and late archaic humans and did not factor in the extinction of Neanderthals, suggests a new study by a Washington University in St.

New AERA research volume focuses on diversity in teacher education
The American Educational Research Association announces release of its new volume Studying Diversity in Teacher Education, published by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc., on behalf of AERA.

Lancet supports Academy of Medical Sciences recommendations for massively reducing the bureaucracy and difficulty of UK health research by creating a single health research agency
A Lancet editorial today backs the recommendations of a working group from the Academy of Medical Sciences led by Sir Mike Rawlins -- Chairman of the UK National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence -- recommending that red tape be slashed and process streamlined to transform UK health research from the bureaucratic nightmare it has become.

Smoking around your kindergartner could raise their blood pressure
Kindergartners whose parents smoke have higher blood pressure than those with non-smoking parents.

Mountain glacier melt to contribute 12 centimeters to world sea-level increases by 2100
Melt off from small mountain glaciers and ice caps will contribute about 12 centimeters to world sea-level increases by 2100, according to UBC research published this week in Nature Geoscience.

Secondary students should be required to receive CPR training
CPR training and an overview of automated external defibrillators should be required for high school graduation, according to an American Heart Association advisory.

Possible missing link between young and old galaxies
UC Berkeley astronomers may have found the missing link between young, gas-filled, star-forming galaxies and older, gas-depleted galaxies typically characterized as

Symposium to provide forum for best pre-clinical and translational bone research
The 1st IOF-ESCEO Pre-Clinical Symposium, a new forum for the best pre-clinicaland translational science in bone biology, is to be held from March 22-23, 2011, immediately preceding the European Congress on Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis in Valencia.

Species loss tied to ecosystem collapse and recovery
Geologists at Brown University and the University of Washington have a cautionary tale: Lose enough species in the oceans, and the entire ecosystem could collapse.

No left turn: 'Superstreet' traffic design improves travel time, safety
The so-called

Aggressive care raises Medicare costs in end-stage dementia
A large proportion of Medicare expenditures for nursing home residents with advanced dementia is spent on treatments that may be avoidable and of limited clinical benefit, says Institute for Aging Research study.

Cancer cell survival is not 'miR-ly' dependent on p53
Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is a common type of skin cancer.

New method takes snapshots of proteins as they fold
Using a sophisticated version of the stroboscopic photography Eadweard Muybridge used to prove in 1877 that a horse takes all four hooves off the ground when it gallops, Washington University scientist Michael Gross catches proteins in the act of folding, a process that can take less than thousandths of a second.

New research shows how light can control electrical properties of graphene
New research published today, shows how light can be used to control the electrical properties of graphene, paving the way for graphene-based optoelectronic devices and highly sensitive sensors.

Why do preterm deliveries pose cardiovascular risks for moms?
As the rate of preterm delivery rises -- accounting for 12.5 percent of US births -- a Michigan State University epidemiologist is using a $3.7 million federal grant to uncover why some mothers who deliver babies early are at an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

How to be persuasive is ACS Webinars topic for scientists and chemical professionals
How to create persuasive presentations is the topic of the next in a series of American Chemical Society Webinars for scientists and chemical professionals.

Men with macho faces attractive to fertile women, researchers find
When their romantic partners are not quintessentially masculine, women in their fertile phase are more likely to fantasize about masculine-looking men than are women paired with George Clooney types, says a new study.

UNC researchers inch closer to unlocking potential of synthetic blood
A team of scientists has created particles that closely mirror some of the key properties of red blood cells, potentially helping pave the way for the development of synthetic blood.

High sugar consumption may increase risk factors for heart disease in American teenagers
Consuming high amounts of added sugars in soft drinks and foods in adolescence is associated with poor cholesterol profiles and poor diet quality, possibly leading to heart disease in adulthood.

Private room intensive care units associated with lower infection rates
Converting hospital intensive care units to private rooms is associated with a reduction in the rate at which patients acquire infections, according to a report in the Jan.

'Liquid pistons' could drive new advances in camera lenses and drug delivery
A few unassuming drops of liquid locked in a very precise game of

International research initiative launched to improve food security for developing countries
In a unique and important move to harness science to improve food security for millions of people in the developing world, research funders from the UK and USA and government departments in the UK and India have today (Jan.

Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine launches the National Children's Study
Residents of Cuyahoga County, and later Lorain County, will soon have the opportunity to contribute to the establishment of a national resource for childhood growth and development.

Universities miss chance to identify depressed students
One out of every four or five students who visits a university health center for a routine cold turns out to be depressed, but most centers miss the opportunity to identify these students because they don't screen for depression, according to new Northwestern Medicine research.

Study identifies new genetic signatures of breast cancer drug resistance
A new study conducted by Josh LaBaer's research team in the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University has pinpointed more than 30 breast cancer gene targets -- including several novel genes -- that are involved in drug resistance to a leading chemotherapy treatment. 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