Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 11, 2011
Knee protectors can form allergenic substances on the skin
Common rubber products can form isothiocyanates in contact with skin and cause contact allergy.

Family, friends, social ties influence weight status in young adults
Does obesity tend to

Experts call on India to have a truly universal health-care system by 2020
India is experiencing a period of record growth, with its economy rapidly progressing to make it one of the biggest players on the world stage.

New markers for allergic disorders thanks to analysis of medical databases
Researchers at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have developed new methods for analyzing medical databases that can be used to identify diagnostic markers more quickly and to personalize medication for allergic disorders.

Scientists explain link between chlamydia and ectopic pregnancy
Women who have had chlamydia are at greater risk of an ectopic pregnancy because of a lasting effect of the infection.

Feast or famine: Researchers identify leptin receptor's sidekick as a target for appetite regulation
A study by researchers at Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida and Washington University School of Medicine adds a new twist to the body of evidence suggesting human obesity is due in part to genetic factors.

Shingles vaccine associated with 55 percent reduced risk of disease
Receiving the herpes zoster vaccine was associated with a 55 percent reduced risk of developing shingles, according to a Kaiser Permanente study of 300,000 people that appears in the current issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Targeting nicotine receptors to treat cognitive impairments in schizophrenia
Smoking is a common problem for patients with schizophrenia. The increased tendency of patients diagnosed with this disorder is to not only smoke, but to do so more heavily than the general public.

UBC researchers part of Planck satellite team that uncovers secrets of the universe
University of British Columbia researchers are part of European Space Agency's Plank satellite mission that is revealing thousands of

Planck's new view of the cosmic theater
The first scientific results from ESA's Planck mission were released at a press briefing today in Paris.

Priorities to reduce birth asphyxia focus on implementation
Joy Lawn from Saving Newborn Lives/Save the Children, South Africa, and an international group of colleagues used a systematic process developed by the Child Health Nutrition Research Initiative to define and rank research options to reduce mortality from intrapartum-related neonatal deaths (birth asphyxia) by the year 2015.

UT researcher discovers water on moon originated from comets
Larry Taylor, the University of Tennessee researcher who first discovered water on the moon, has now determined the lunar water may have originated from comets smashing into the moon soon after it formed.

International first: Gas-phase carbonic acid isolated
A team of chemists headed by Thomas Loerting from the University of Innsbruck and Hinrich Grothe from the Vienna University of Technology in Austria have prepared and isolated gas-phase carbonic acid and have succeeded in characterizing the gas-phase molecules by using infrared spectroscopy.

Inside a snowstorm: Scientists obtain close-up look at Old Man Winter
In this winter of heavy snows -- with more on the way this week -- nature's bull's-eye might be Oswego, N.Y., and the nearby Tug Hill Plateau.

'Taking children seriously'
Small children are capable of engaging in issues concerning sustainable development.

6 PNNL scientists elected 2010 AAAS Fellows
Six researchers at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

10-year roadmap for reaching public health education goals
Healthy People 2020 is an ambitious, science-based, 10-year agenda for improving the health of all Americans.

Winter temperatures play complex role in triggering spring budburst
The opening of buds on Douglas-fir trees each spring is the result of a complex interplay between cold and warm temperatures during the winter, scientists with the US Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station have found.

CT helps identify bullet trajectories
Multidetector computed tomography provides an efficient, effective way to analyze wounds from bullets and explosive devices, according to a new study.

Study finds more breaks from sitting are good for waistlines and hearts
It is becoming well accepted that, as well as too little exercise, too much sitting is bad for people's health.

Case Western Reserve/UH launch bipolar CHOICE trial site
The Mood Disorders Program at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine and University Hospitals Case Medical Center, along with the Bipolar Trials Network, is launching Bipolar CHOICE (Clinical Health Outcomes Initiative in Comparative Effectiveness).

Washington State University researchers honored by top science society
The largest general scientific society in the world is honoring four Washington State University researchers for efforts advancing distinguished science applications.

Acceptable consequences of screening for prostate cancer
The negative aspects of screening for prostate cancer may be acceptable, since screening halves mortality from the disease.

Carnegie's Wendy Freedman named AAAS Fellow
Carnegie Observatories director Wendy Freedman has been selected as an AAAS Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

3-drug combination shows long-lasting survival benefit in head and neck cancer patients
Adding a third drug (docetaxel) to a standard two-drug initial chemotherapy regimen significantly improves the long-term survival of patients with head and neck cancer, reducing the likelihood of dying by 26 percent over 6 years.

3 WUSTL faculty named AAAS Fellows
Three Washington University faculty have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the world's largest general scientific society.

North America's environmental outlook: 9 topics to watch for 2011 and beyond
A new report examines the major forces and underlying trends likely to shape the environment of North America in 2030 and outlines nine areas where decisions today will affect our environmental future in varying degrees.

Old-growth forests are what giant pandas need
The results of a study recently published in the journal Biology Letters indicate that giant pandas need old-growth forests as much as bamboo forests.

Researchers show environmental changes may affect vital cooperate bird behaviors
While scientists believe that climate change and related extreme weather events will likely affect the earth's flora and fauna, just how much is not known.

52nd Genetics Society of America Drosophila Research Conference announced
Media representatives are invited to attend the Genetics Society of America 52nd Annual Drosophila Research Conference, March 30-April 3, 2011. in San Diego, Calif.

Planck space observatory releases first data
The first scientific results from Europe's Planck spacecraft were released at a press briefing today in Paris.

American Association for the Advancement of Science selects 3 NYU faculty as Fellows
The American Association for the Advancement of Science has selected three NYU faculty as 2010 Fellows: Bhubaneswar

UMMS researcher honored for contributions to Tay-Sachs research
Miguel Sena-Esteves, Ph.D., associate professor of neurology at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, was presented with the annual

BRNI identifies new therapies for prevention and treatment of Alzheimer's disease
A Blanchette Rockefeller Neurosciences Institute study published today in the Journal of Neuroscience reveals underlying causes for the degeneration of synapses in Alzheimer's Disease and identifies promising pharmaceutical solutions for the devastating condition that affects more than 5 million people in the United States.

Polymer membranes with molecular-sized channels that assemble themselves
Berkeley Lab researchers have developed a solution-based method for inducing polymer membranes with molecular-sized channels to assemble themselves.

New UCLA-designed microscope records firing of thousands of individual neurons in 3-D
UCLA neuroscientists have collaborated with physicists to develop a non-invasive, ultra high-speed microscope that can record the firing of thousands of individual brain cells -- neurons -- as they communicate or miscommunicate with each other.

WHOI's Avery, Doney selected AAAS Fellows
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution President and Director Susan K. Avery and Senior Scientist Scott C.

Consumption Report 2010: Swedes' alcohol consumption is falling
Despite the fact that the Swedish Alcohol Retail Monopoly's sales are rising and statistics from Statistics Sweden indicate that we drink more and more alcohol, the trend is going in the opposite direction -- Swedes' alcohol consumption is falling.

Common painkillers linked to increased risk of heart problems
Commonly used painkillers for treating inflammation can increase the risk of heart attacks and strokes, according to an analysis of the evidence published on today.

Thomas Jefferson University professor elected AAAS Fellow
Exemplary work in genetic imaging and therapy have earned Eric Wickstrom, Ph.D., a professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and member of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson, recognition by his peers as a 2010 Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Individuals with partial hearing loss may benefit from hybrid cochlear implant
Hearing loss can affect anyone, at any time. But it can be especially frightening for someone who suddenly starts to lose hearing during adulthood.

US family physicians miss opportunities to discuss IUDs with patients
Intrauterine devices for contraception are safe and effective, but only a small fraction of women in the United States use them.

Texas A&M study finds courtship affects gene expression in flies
Biologists at Texas A&M University have made an important step toward understanding human mating behavior by showing that certain genes become activated in fruit flies when they interact with the opposite sex.

Dartmouth-Hitchcock joins effort to green nation's operating rooms
Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center has joined the Greening the Operating Room (GOR) Initiative, Practice Greenhealth's broad coalition that plans to develop a sweeping and prescriptive path to green the country's operating rooms.

Shellfish safer to eat thanks to breakthrough by Queen's scientists
New technology to make shellfish safer to eat has been pioneered by scientists at Queen's University Belfast.

DNA blood test can cut invasive testing for Down's syndrome by 98 percent
Women in high risk pregnancies for Down's syndrome could have a DNA blood test to detect the disorder and avoid invasive procedures such as amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling, finds a large scale study published on today.

First genetic test for predicting IVF success
A researcher at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University has helped to develop the first genetic blood test for predicting the chances that in vitro fertilization will lead to a successful pregnancy.

Comparison of medications for heart failure finds difference in risk of death
In a comparison of the angiotensin II receptor blockers candesartan and losartan, used by patients with heart failure, candesartan was associated with a lower risk of death at 1 and 5 years, according to a study in the Jan.

NIDCR funding to US dental schools diminished from 2005 to 2009
Adding to the national debate on the state of dental research in US dental schools, an article released today titled

UCSD engineers give solar power a boost
The growing popularity of solar photovoltaic systems across the United States has made it more important to maximize their power input.

Acne bug could be the cause of your infections
A bacterium which causes acne and is commonly found on the skin, is now known to cause infections all over the body.

New method for reporting solar data
A straightforward new way to calculate, compile, and graphically present solar radiation measurements in a format that is accessible to decision makers and the general public has been developed by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin and is described in the Journal of Renewable and Sustainable Energy.

Cell Transplantation reports a success in treating end-stage liver disease
Patients in Egypt with end-stage liver disease have few treatment options but for liver transplantation.

Delivering a potent cancer drug with nanoparticles can lessen side effects
Researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women's Hospital have shown that they can deliver the cancer drug cisplatin much more effectively and safely in a form that has been encapsulated in a nanoparticle targeted to prostate tumor cells and is activated once it reaches its target.

International research team reports major findings in prevention and treatment of blood clots
A worldwide research consortium that includes the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center has proven that a new drug is more effective and easier to use than current medicines in the prevention of blood clots following hip replacement surgery.

Young people with asthma run a greater risk of developing caries
Children and adolescents with asthma have somewhat more caries and suffer more often from gingivitis (gingival inflammation) than people of similar age without asthma.

University of Oklahoma scientists discover way to stop pancreatic cancer in early stages
Cancer researchers at the Peggy and Charles Stephenson Oklahoma Cancer Center have found a way to stop early stage pancreatic cancer in research models -- a result that has far-reaching implications in chemoprevention for high-risk patients.

Call for full access to Tamiflu trial data to allow for independent scrutiny
Leading researchers today call for access to all clinical trial data (published and unpublished) to allow drugs to be independently assessed by the scientific community.

New molecular imaging technologies for detecting cellular processes
A group of researchers at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid have designed and developed a biomedical scanner that detects cellular processes at the molecular level and indicates malfunctioning of an organ before said malfunction can produce an anatomical change.

10 UC Riverside researchers recognized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science
Ten researchers at the University of California, Riverside have been named fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Benefit of brachytherapy in patients with early-stage prostate cancer is still unclear
It remains an unresolved issue as to whether interstitial brachytherapy has advantages compared to other therapy options in men with localized prostate cancer, nor do newer studies provide proof in this respect.

Edward M. Callaway named 2010 AAAS Fellow
Salk researcher Edward M. Callaway, a professor in the Systems Neurobiology Laboratories has been awarded the distinction of AAAS Fellow for his

UIC Distinguished University Professor named AAAS Fellow
Mark M. Rasenick, Distinguished University Professor in physiology and biophysics and psychiatry and founding director of the Neuroscience Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, has been named a Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Pandemic H1N1 influenza vaccine effective in 2009-10 flu season
One dose of the pandemic flu vaccines used in seven European countries conferred good protection against pandemic H1N1 influenza in the 2009-10 season, especially in people aged less than 65 years and in those without any chronic diseases.

Poker-faced professions take toll on employees
Employees who have to maintain a neutral disposition while they are on the clock tend to spend more energy to meet that requirement; therefore, they have less energy to devote to work tasks, according to new research from Rice University, the University of Toronto and Purdue University.

University of Houston researchers helping Pentagon build mind-controlled prosthetics
A University of Houston professor is leading a multi-institution team that is helping DARPA build mind-controlled prosthetics that can last a lifetime.

Effective use of power in the Bronze Age societies of Central Europe
During the first part of the Bronze Age in the Carpathian Basin in Central Europe, a large proportion of the population lived in what are known as tell-building societies.

Trapped sunlight cleans water
High energy costs are one drawback of making clean water from waste effluents.

Looking good on greens
New research suggests eating vegetables gives you a healthy tan.

The Starbucks effect: Committed customers don't like logo redesigns, research finds
The negative reaction to Starbucks' redesigned logo by the company's self-described most loyal customers may be attributable to the strong connection Starbucks' consumers feel toward the brand, according to research co-authored by a professor at Penn State's Smeal College of Business.

Behavioral therapy program reduces incontinence following radical prostatectomy
For men with incontinence for at least one year following radical prostatectomy, participation in a behavioral training program that included pelvic floor muscle training, bladder control strategies and fluid management, resulted in a significant reduction in the number of incontinence episodes, according to a study in the Jan.

Study details how protein made by HPV teams up on and thwarts protective human protein
An international team of researchers is reporting that it has uncovered new information about human papillomavirus that one day may aid in the development of drugs to eliminate the cervical-cancer-causing infection.

Countdown to Paris and ESC Congress 2011
With its spotlight theme of 'Controversial Issues in Cardiology', the 2011 edition of the European Society of Cardiology Congress promises lively discussions and ground-breaking debate.

New MS target identified by Canadian researchers
Using a mouse model, researchers at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the University of Calgary's Faculty of Medicine have discovered that a molecular switch called EMMPRIN plays an important role in MS.

Gene helps plants use less water without biomass loss
Purdue University researchers have found a genetic mutation that allows a plant to better endure drought without losing biomass, a discovery that could reduce the amount of water required for growing plants and help plants survive and thrive in adverse conditions.

Technique allows researchers to identify key maize genes for increased yield
Scientists have identified the genes related to leaf angle in corn (maize) -- a key trait for planting crops closer together, which has led to an eight-fold increase in yield since the early 1900s.

Chemical analysis confirms discovery of oldest wine-making equipment ever found
Analysis by UCLA-led team of scientists has confirmed the discovery of the oldest complete wine production facility ever found, including grape seeds, withered grape vines, remains of pressed grapes, a rudimentary wine press, a clay vat apparently used for fermentation, wine-soaked potsherds and even cups.

Revealed: Secret businesses which aimed to exploit vaccine fears
Andrew Wakefield, the disgraced doctor who claimed a link between MMR and autism, planned secret businesses intended to make huge sums of money, in Britain and America, from his now-discredited allegations.

New research aims to shut down viral assembly line
Brenda Hogue and her colleagues at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University are studying the intricate formation of coronaviruses.

Online access to the plants of the world is available
The Global Plants Initiative, meeting Jan. 11-13 at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, catapults biodiversity research to a new level, sharing plant collections in a massive online database of high-resolution scans.

Winter sports threaten indigenous mountain birds
In the winter months, the mountain ranges of central Europe attract thousands of tourists for skiing, snowboarding and other outdoor sports, but conservationists fear this annual invasion may threaten indigenous bird species, including the capercaillie.

Off-the-shelf electronics turn up gain on spectroscopy
A new twist on spectroscopy, described in the journal Review of Scientific Instruments, allows for an unprecedented level of such filtering, one that could transform everything from the search for extraterrestrial intelligence to super-sensitive spy gear to scan hotel rooms for hidden microphones or cameras.

Coiled nanowires may hold key to stretchable electronics
Researchers at North Carolina State University have created the first coils of silicon nanowire on a substrate that can be stretched to more than double their original length, moving us closer to incorporating stretchable electronic devices into clothing, implantable health-monitoring devices, and a host of other applications.

Planck unveils wonders of the Universe
The first scientific results from Europe's Planck spacecraft featuring the coldest objects in the Universe have today been released.

Research shows single-patient rooms reduce hospital infections in ICU
A research team from the McGill University Health Centre and McGill University has demonstrated that private rooms in the Intensive Care Unit play a key role in reducing hospital infections like C. difficile.

NASA's Fermi catches thunderstorms hurling antimatter into space
Scientists using NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have detected beams of antimatter produced above thunderstorms on Earth, a phenomenon never seen before.

For CABG, use of artery from arm does not appear to be superior to vein grafts from the leg
Use of a radial artery (located within the forearm, wrist and hand) graft compared with a saphenous vein (from the leg) graft for coronary artery bypass grafting did not result in improved angiographic patency (the graft being open, unobstructed) one year after the procedure, according to a study in the Jan.

A new era for chronic diseases in Europe?
In response to an expected dramatic increase in chronic diseases, the Council of the European Union has adapted conclusions which recognize the serious impact of chronic diseases and outline innovative approaches to raise the priority of these diseases within European health care systems.

AAAS honors Iowa State, Ames Lab researchers for distinguished science
The American Association for the Advancement of Science has named nine Iowa State University researchers -- two of them are also affiliated with the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory -- fellows of the association.

8 UT Knoxville faculty named AAAS Fellows; among top in nation
For the third consecutive year, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is the best among all other regional universities; UT Knoxville has the third most new AAAS Fellows nationally, tied with Penn State, Purdue University and the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

The good, the bad and the 'green' -- harnessing the potential of bacteria
A diverse family of bacteria that can cause a potentially fatal illness in humans but could offer a greener alternative to petrol to power our cars will be the subject of a talk by a University of Nottingham academic at an international conference.

Our perceptions of masculinity and femininity are swayed by our sense of touch
Gender stereotypes suggest that men are usually tough and women are usually tender.

Nationwide Children's Hospital awarded $11.5 million contract extension for biospecimen banking
Nationwide Children's Hospital was awarded $11.5 million from the National Cancer Institute late last year to continue its role as one of two Biospecimen Core Resources for the Cancer Genome Atlas.

Measles virus, a weapon against cancer?
Scientists believe that modified measles viruses can be

Wildlife biologists use dogs' scat-sniffing talents for good
UC Berkeley biologists have harnessed a dog's natural talent for sniffing out the scat of other animals for a good cause.

ASPB's Teaching Tools in Plant Biology receives Gold Award
The American Society of Plant Biologists and The Plant Cell are celebrating a Gold Award in the Association TRENDS 2010 All-Media Contest for Teaching Tools in Plant Biology, which received top honors in the educational program category.

Nanodisk gene therapy
Researchers at Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona have discovered a novel gene therapy method using particles measuring only a few nanometers which encapsulate genetic material and introduce themselves directly into the cell nucleus.

Roger Brent and Robert Eisenman named AAAS fellows
Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center basic scientists Roger Brent, Ph.D., a systems biologist, and Robert Eisenman, Ph.D., a molecular biologist and geneticist, have been elected fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS.

'Vive la difference!' Seeing foreigners as foreign encourages local coworkers to assist them
Whether it's a company with local and ex-pat employees, countries in need of aid, or the elderly interacting with the young, a new research paper to be published in the journal Psychological Science says recognizing diversity can actually encourage people to help each other instead of sparking conflict.

Drugs for hair loss and BPH may result in loss of libido, ED in men
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine, in collaboration with colleagues at Lahey Clinic and from Denmark and Germany, have found that 5a-reductase inhibitors, while improving urinary symptoms in patients with benign prostatic hyperplasia and possible hair loss prevention, produces significant adverse effects in some individuals including loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, ejaculatory dysfunction and potential depression.

New user-friendly resource connects human genes to biological functions
A new resource that provides easy access to information about genes and their biological functions was just released by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press.

Zoster vaccine associated with lower risk of shingles in older adults
Vaccination for herpes zoster, a painful rash commonly known as shingles, among a large group of older adults was associated with a reduced risk of this condition, regardless of age, race or the presence of chronic diseases, according to a study in the Jan. 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