Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 17, 2011
Brain's 'autopilot' provides insight into early development of Alzheimer's disease
Watching the brain's

Farther and farther apart
A new Northwestern University study is the first to show that something may be happening cognitively that leads people to gradually become more biased, and at the same time more accurate, when it comes to their spatial memory as they become more familiar with a particular area.

Aberrations in adipose tissue could increase risk of diabetes in PCOS
A study from the University of Gothenburg, shows that women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) have aberrations in their adipose (fat) tissue.

Better than the human eye
Northwestern University researchers are part of a team that is the first to develop a curvilinear camera, much like the human eye, with the significant feature of a zoom capability, unlike the human eye.

Minimally invasive technique appears helpful to reanimate facial paralysis
A procedure involving only one small incision and no major modifications to bone can be used to transpose a tendon and appears helpful in reanimating the lower face after paralysis, according to a report in the January/February issue of Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Sleep evaluation may help identify kids at risk for respiratory complications after tonsil surgery
Performing polysomnography (sleep study) prior to pediatric adenotonsillectomy (surgical removal of the tonsils and adenoids) may help identify children at a higher risk of developing postoperative respiratory complications, according to a report in the January issue of Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Best friends can make a child more physically active
Boys and girls who take part in physical activity with their best friend in the neighborhood where they live have higher levels of physical activity, new research by academics in the Centre for Exercise, Nutrition and Health Sciences within the School for Policy Studies at the University of Bristol have found.

See how they grow: Monitoring single bacteria without a microscope
With an invention that can be made from some of the same parts used in CD players, University of Michigan researchers have developed a way to measure the growth and drug susceptibility of individual bacterial cells without the use of a microscope.

Follow-up program helps detect melanoma earlier in high-risk patients
A follow-up program for patients at high risk of developing skin cancer appears to be associated with the detection of melanomas at early stages and with good prognosis, according to a report posted online today that will appear in the May print issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute forges agreement to develop novel therapeutics
The Johns Hopkins Brain Science Institute announced today that it has entered into an agreement with Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals Inc. to advance the development of novel therapeutics for neurological and psychiatric diseases.

More effective and better protection is needed for children online
Present-day technical and legal methods of preventing child pornography offenses and online grooming are not sufficiently effective and do not meet their purpose.

NRL scientists develop 3-D model of the ionosphere F-region
Occurring from the pre- to post-midnight hours, equatorial spread F generates electron irregularities in the equatorial ionosphere that can degrade navigation systems and disrupt radio communication.

Eurofins MWG Operon signs contract to supply DNA sequencing services to Research Councils
Eurofins MWG Operon, international market leader and expert for DNA sequencing, has signed a 2-year contract to supply DNA sequencing services to the Research Councils UK Shared Services Ltd.

Scripps Research awarded more than $3 million to develop therapies for biological clock disorders
The Scripps Research Institute has been awarded $3.17 million over four years to develop compounds that will counteract disruptions of the human biological clock -- the circadian rhythm that regulates our patterns of activity and rest over a 24-hour daily cycle.

Oil giant plans new platform near feeding ground of critically endangered whale
Sakhalin Energy Investment Company -- part owned by Shell -- has announced plans to build a major oil platform near crucial feeding habitat of the Western North Pacific gray whale population.

Trudeau Institute-St. Jude collaboration may lead to improved vaccines for respiratory infections
A collaborative project between researchers at the Trudeau Institute and their colleagues at St.

Report highlights inadequate support for children exposed to violence
A national evaluation study in Sweden has highlighted the need for a chain of interventions to offer children who have experienced violence against their mother the right level of support to work through their experiences.

Clinicians cite time, patient embarrassment as barriers to performing skin cancer exams
Time constraints, other illnesses and patient embarrassment may prevent dermatologists, internists and family practitioners from conducting full-body skin examinations, according to a report in the January issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Beyond improving Parkinson's symptoms, does deep brain stimulation stall their progression?
Does DBS make a long-term difference in the motor symptoms of Parkinson's patients, even after the device has been turned off and medications discontinued?

Smoking accounts for up to 60 percent of gender gap in deaths across Europe
Smoking accounts for up to 60 percent of the gender gap in death rates across Europe, and kills twice as many men as alcohol, reveals research published online in Tobacco Control.

Few surgeons seek help for suicidal thoughts
As many as one in 16 surgeons reported having suicidal thoughts in the previous year, but few sought help from a mental health clinician, according to a report in the January issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

High birth weight in First Nations babies linked to a higher risk of postneonatal death
High birth weight in First Nations (North American Indian) babies are linked to a higher risk of postneonatal death (infant deaths that occur from four weeks to one year of age), according to a study published in CMAJ.

New national study finds 11,500 emergency department visits related to snow shoveling each year
Known by many as one of the least favorite wintertime chores, shoveling snow can also be hazardous and is associated with many serious, even fatal events among both adults and children.

AAN guideline: Plasma exchange effective in treating severe MS relapses, neuropathies
A new guideline from the American Academy of Neurology recommends using plasma exchange to treat people with severe relapses in multiple sclerosis and related diseases, as well as those with certain kinds of nerve disorders known as neuropathies.

Embargoed news from Annals of Internal Medicine
Below is information about articles being published in the Jan.

Binge drinking: Too prevalent and hazardous
Binge drinking, an activity that many young people engage in, has associated adverse health risks and we need to do a better job of controlling overall alcohol usage, states an editorial in CMAJ.

Biological clock ticks slower for female birds who choose good mates
In birds as in people, female fertility declines with age.

SAGE launches SAGE Research Methods Online to rave reviews at ALA
SAGE, the world's leading research methods publisher announced the successful launch of SAGE Research Methods Online (SRMO): the essential tool for researchers.

U-M researchers find indirect path to attack breast cancer stem cells
Scientists at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have identified a potential new way of attacking breast cancer stem cells, the small number of cells in a tumor that fuel its growth and spread.

Uric acid may increase likelihood of severe osteoarthritis
The amount of uric acid in one's joints may increase the likelihood of severe osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis worldwide, according to researchers at Duke University Medical Center.

Reducing diet early in pregnancy stunts fetal brain development
The fetal brain is vulnerable to even moderate decreases in nutrition during the first half of pregnancy, a new study by Texas and German researchers indicates.

Massive endocytosis in cells
In three papers in the January and February issues of the Journal of General Physiology, Don Hilgemann and colleagues have extensively characterized a previously unidentified process by which up to 75 percent of the cell plasma membrane can be reversibly endocytosed.

Health care reform can help align preventive care recommendations with Medicare coverage
Health care reform should be able to mend a disconnect that has existed between the recommendations of the US Preventive Services Task Force, a task force charged by the government to review clinical preventive health services for older adults, and Medicare coverage for those services.

A study analyzes the present and future of podcasting in Spain
Podcasting represents the first real innovation in the transformation of radio in relation to the Internet.

Wave-generated 'white hole' boosts hawking radiation theory: UBC research
A team of UBC physicists and engineers have designed a experiment featuring a trough of flowing water to help bolster a 35-year-old theory proposed by eminent physicist Stephen Hawking.

'Oncometabolite' linked with widespread alterations in gene expression
New research enhances the understanding of the link between metabolic deregulation and cancer and may help to guide development of new targeted cancer therapies.

Magnetically controlled pill could boost body's absorption of drugs
Many drugs can only be absorbed in very specific parts of the intestine.

Many vulnerable patients have poor access to trauma care
A significant portion of the US population does not have access to trauma care within an hours' drive, with certain vulnerable groups at higher risk of worse access, according to a report in the January issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Common antibiotics and blood pressure medication may result in hospitalization
Mixing commonly used antibiotics with common blood pressure medications may cause hypotension (abnormally low blood pressure) and induce shock in older patients, requiring hospitalization, according to a study published in CMAJ.

Research contributes to revised decision on availability of Alzheimer's drugs
A review of research evidence produced by researchers from the Peninsula Technology Assessment Group, part of the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, has played a pivotal role in the decision by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence to extend the availability of donepezil, galantamine, rivastigmine and memantine for Alzheimer's disease announced Jan.

Australian birds attract mates with 'scary movie effect'
Male splendid fairy-wrens, a sexually promiscuous small bird native to Australia, are known to sing a special song each time they hear the call of one of their predators, the butcherbirds.

Activation of PPAR α/γ mediates remote IPC against myocardial infarction
Although vast improvements have been made in the clinical care of patients suffering from an acute myocardial infarction, heart attacks still remain the No.

2 options for adjuvant breast cancer therapy give similar disease-free survival rates but different side effects (TEAM study)
Following breast cancer treatment, women are given adjuvant therapy with either tamoxifen or an aromotase inhibitor such as exemestane, or sequential treatment of tamoxifen followed by emexestane.

Patients using warfarin have higher risk of death after trauma
Warfarin use may be associated with a significant increase in the risk of death after traumatic injuries, according to a report posted online today that will appear in the May print issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Beating the competition
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization discover how the size of networks can sky-rocket.

'UKIP poised for success as radical right party'
For the first time exhaustive research gets behind the motives of UKIP voters and reveals a political party very much in the ascendancy.

Kidney gene implicated in increased heart failure risk
Scientists have identified the first DNA sequence variant common in the population that is not only associated with an increased risk of heart failure, but appears to play a role in causing it.

Heart failure patients twice as likely to die if admitted to general wards
Heart failure patients admitted to general wards are twice as likely to die as those admitted to cardiology wards, shows a national audit of the treatment of the condition, published online in the journal Heart.

January/February 2011 Annals of Family Medicine tip sheet
This tip sheet features highlights from the January/February 2011 issue of Annals of Family Medicine research journal.

RevaTen platelet-rich plasma shows promise as potential treatment for heart attacks
Platelet-rich plasma, successfully used to treat soft tissue injuries, has only recently been studied in cardiovascular medicine.

Cosmology standard candle not so standard after all
These new findings -- made with NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope -- will help astronomers make more precise measurements of the size, age and expansion rate of our universe. 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