Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 25, 2011
malERA: a research agenda for malaria eradication
A collection of 12 reviews, comprising three reflective pieces and nine research and development agendas, is published as part of a sponsored supplement on Jan.

Voiding defects: New technique makes LED lighting more efficient
Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are an increasingly popular technology for use in energy-efficient lighting.

Household bugs -- a risk to human health?
Superbugs are not just a problem in hospitals but could be also coming from our animal farms.

New materials may bring advanced optical technologies, cloaking
Researchers are developing a new class of

23andMe sarcoma research community reaches 500 and announces Sarcoma Scientific Advisory Committee
23andMe's sarcoma research efforts are well underway having completed collection of both phenotypic and genetic data from 500 individuals diagnosed with sarcoma, halfway towards its goal of building a sarcoma research community of more than 1,000 individuals.

Report examines life expectancy in US and other high-income nations
Over the last 25 years, life expectancy in the US has been rising at a slower rate than in many other high-income countries, such as Japan and Australia, despite our spending more on health care than any other nation.

Insects that deter predators produce fewer offspring
Insects that frequently use their defense mechanisms to deter predators could be reducing their lifespan and numbers of offspring, researchers at the Universities of Liverpool and Glasgow have found.

Eyewitnesses -- not as reliable as 1 might believe
Eyewitnesses play a key role in police investigations. But how likely is it that they remember correctly?

Bartenders may have role in assisting troubled war veterans
For troubled war veterans, a friendly bartender can be the source of more than just drinks and a sympathetic ear.

Research from MU Brain Imaging Center may lead to treatment of a variety of mental disorders
One of the first studies published from the University of Missouri Brain Imaging Center gives researchers insight into the brain and memory and may provide researchers clues to treating a variety of debilitating disorders.

After stroke, admission to designated stroke center hospitals associated with reduced risk of death
Patients who had an ischemic stroke and were admitted to hospitals designated as primary stroke centers had a modestly lower risk of death at 30 days, compared to patients who were admitted to non-designated hospitals, according to a study in the Jan.

Shining new light on air pollutants using entangled porous frameworks
Certain types of pollution monitoring may soon become considerably easier.

Researchers register new species using DNA-based description
The previously unknown species of ribbon worm discovered in Kosterhavet National Park in 2007 has now been scientifically named using a new method.

UCLA researchers eliminate major roadblock in regenerative medicine
In a study published today in Nature Communications, a team of stem cell biologists and engineers at UCLA, using a feedback system control scheme, innovatively and efficiently identify an optimal combination and concentration of small molecule inhibitors from a very large pool of possibilities to support the long-term maintenance of human embryonic stem cells.

A psychopath lacks empathy just like a person with frontal head injury
People diagnosed as psychopathic have difficulty showing empathy, just like patients who have suffered frontal head injury.

Women & Infants launches Rhode Island Network for Pelvic Floor Disorders
Women & Infants Hospital has teamed up with practitioners across the state to create the Rhode Island Network for Pelvic Floor Disorders at Women & Infants Hospital.

SRNL filter design reduces waste treatment costs
The redesign of a filtration system by the US Department of Energy's Savannah River National Laboratory is expected to help the DOE Office of Environmental Management drastically reduce cost and infrastructure for the treatment and permanent disposal of its inventory of high level radioactive waste.

Dynamic systems in living cells break the rules
There is considerable interest in understanding transport and information pathways in living cells.

Mathematical model could help predict and prevent future extinctions
In an effort to better understand the dynamics of complex networks, scientists have developed a mathematical model to describe interactions within ecological food webs.

Armchair nanoribbons made into spintronic device
A development described in the journal Applied Physics Letters may soon revolutionize handheld electronics, flat-panel displays, touch panels, electronic ink, and solar cells.

Hot flushes are linked with a significant reduction in breast cancer risk
Women who have experienced hot flushes and other symptoms of menopause may have a 50 percent lower risk of developing the most common forms of breast cancer than postmenopausal women who have never had such symptoms, according to a recent study by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Neuroscientists learn how channels fine-tune neuronal excitability
Scientists in the Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, have discovered a new mechanism that nerve cells (neurons) use to fine-tune their electrical output.

Physicists take new look at the atom
UA physicists have discovered a new way to measure how single atoms interact with a surface.

Practical Radiation Oncology publishes first issue
Elsevier, a world-leading publisher of scientific, technical, and medical information products and services, is pleased to announce the publication of the first issue of Practical Radiation Oncology on behalf of the American Society for Radiation Oncology.

Higher rice production a phone call away for Filipino farmers
Rice farmers in the Philippines can now get advice via their mobile phone on the optimal timing, amount, and type of fertilizer to apply to their rice crop to maximize production and profit, and reduce waste.

Cyclone Wilma's eye catches attention of NASA satellites
Wilma caught the eye of NASA. NASA's Aqua satellite captured visible and infrared images of Cyclone Wilma in the southwestern Pacific Ocean and her eye was clearly visible from space.

New study finds reminders for immunizations challenging for pediatric practices
A new study led by researchers at the Children's Outcomes Research Program at the Children's Hospital and Colorado Health Outcomes Program at the University of Colorado School of Medicine explores the barriers, facilitators and alternative approaches to providers sending reminder notices for immunization using a statewide immunization registry.

Is different approach needed for acute diverticulitis in younger patients?
A research team from Portugal compared the natural history and course of acute diverticulitis in a younger age group with an older population to evaluate whether younger patients should be managed differently.

New method attacks bacterial infections on contact lenses
Researchers at National Jewish Health and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center have discovered a new method to fight bacterial infections associated with contact lenses.

Body counts
First responders conduct extensive training to prepare for disaster events, but planning is difficult without a solid estimate of how many people could be injured.

Culture of safety key to reducing chances for medical errors
Radiation oncologists can enhance patient safety in their clinics by further developing a culture of safety in which all team members are alerted to the possibility of errors and can work together to maximize safety, according to an invited article in the inaugural issue of Practical Radiation Oncology, a new medical journal whose mission is to improve the quality of radiation oncology practice.

Possible new approach to treating a life-threatening blood disorder
Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) is a life-threatening disease of the blood system.

Workers most invested in their jobs have highest stress levels, CAMH study shows
A workplace's key employees may be at the greatest risk of experiencing high levels of work stress, according to a new study by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

In picturing their districts, legislators see some and not others
Members of Congress think they know their districts well, but their picture of the people they represent is in fact

The embryogenesis evidence of foregut duplication cyst
A research team from United States reported two cases of gastric duplication cysts with a pseudostratified respiratory epithelium, with emphasis on their immunophenotype and embryogenesis.

Ultrasound and a blood test can increase survival after myocardial infarction
Two relatively simple methods, an ultrasound investigation and a blood test to measure the level of a substance known as BNP, can predict survival and future heart failure following acute coronary syndromes.

2 DVDs recorded for Ph.D. thesis on methods for reapers to correctly hone and fix scythes
Rural life and competitions amongst reapers of grass and cereals have developed in a parallel manner.

Biologists' favorite worm gets viruses
A workhorse of modern biology is sick, and scientists couldn't be happier.

Cholera vaccination beneficial, post-outbreak
Researchers newly report evidence that vaccination against cholera can be beneficial even after an outbreak has begun.

Increased marginalization of students
The successful Swedish model of reducing the impact of students' different social, cultural and economic backgrounds on academic outcome is severely threatened after 20 years of educational reforms.

The world can be powered by alternative energy, using today's technology, in 20-40 years
A new study -- co-authored by Stanford researcher Mark Z.

Human Cell joins Springer's publishing program
The Japan Human Cell Society has chosen Springer to publish its official English-language journal, Human Cell in electronic format.

Seroprevalence of anti-HAV among patients with chronic viral liver disease
A research team from South Korea investigated the current seroprevalence of hepatitis A virus (HAV) antibodies in patients with chronic viral liver disease in Korea.

Workplace noise-related hearing loss affects sleep quality -- Ben Gurion U. researchers
Although tinnitus was reported as the main sleep disrupting factor, hearing impairment among workers exposed to harmful noise contributed to sleep impairment, especially to insomnia, regardless of age and years of exposure.

Caffeine energizes cells, boosting virus production for gene therapy applications
Give caffeine to cells engineered to produce viruses used for gene therapy and the cells can generate three- to eight-times more virus, according to a paper published in Human Gene Therapy, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert Inc.

Researchers use cell 'profiling' to detect abnormalities -- including cancer
An Ohio State University mathematician and his colleagues are finding ways to tell the difference between healthy cells and abnormal cells, such as cancer cells, based on the way the cells look and move.

New lab-on-chip advance uses low-cost, disposable paper strips
Researchers have invented a technique that uses inexpensive paper to make

Government's 'nudge' approach may struggle to make an impression, warn experts
The government's

'Mum! I'm hungry!' Hungry chicks have unique calls to their parents
It can be hard to get noticed when you're a little chick in a big colony, but new research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Ecology reveals that baby birds in need of a feed have individual ways of letting their parents know

GPs pay for performance targets on blood pressure have no impact
Targets set for GPs to improve the care of patients with high blood pressure have had no impact, according to a new study published on bmj.com today.

Study: Tiger numbers could triple if large-scale landscapes are protected
Asian tiger reserves could support more than 10,000 wild tigers -- three times the current number -- if they are managed as large-scale landscapes that allow for connectivity between core breeding sites, a new paper from some of the world's leading conservation scientists finds.

No leftovers for T. rex
T. rex hunted like a lion, rather than regularly scavenging like a hyena, reveals new research published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

The practical full-spectrum solar cell comes closer
Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and their colleagues have demonstrated a new solar cell design that can not only convert the full spectrum of sunlight to electrical energy, it is also practical to make using common manufacturing techniques in the semiconductor industry.

New method for rapidly producing protein-polymers
Duke University bioengineers have developed a new method for rapidly producing an almost unlimited variety of man-made DNA sequences.

Small bowel blood flow in healthy subjects receiving low-dose aspirin
A research team from Japan investigated the relationship between low-dose aspirin-induced small bowel mucosal damage and blood flow, and the effect of rebamipide.

A clearer picture of how rivers and deltas develop
By adding information about the subsoil to an existing sedimentation and erosion model, researchers at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft, The Netherlands) have obtained a clearer picture of how rivers and deltas develop over time.

Oil Spill Symposium to be streamed live online
The University of Georgia/Georgia Sea Grant Oil Spill Symposium, titled

CSI: Manchester -- University team gets forensic on dinosaurs
A new TV series featuring dinosaur detectives from The University of Manchester looking at how dinosaurs once lived, looked and functioned begins in the UK this week.

February 2011 Geology and GSA Today highlights
The February issue of Geology is online now. Articles cover Patagonian glaciations, the Younger Dryas cold period, paleodiversity, submarine gullies, the Transantarctic Mountain micrometeorite collection, the

NIH, Gates Foundation and Colorado State team up to find new approach to a TB vaccine
A team of US and European researchers have found that a new vaccine strategy tested in mice provides stronger, more long-lasting protection from tuberculosis infection than the vaccine currently used in humans, known as BCG.

Why older people are less astute drivers and how the answer could help us understand depression
Cognitive scientists have found the brain region responsible for making it more difficult for elderly people to notice what's going on around them when they drive.

Federal grant helps LAUNCH improvements in children's health
University of Missouri School of Medicine leaders joined state, community and university partners on Jan.

Pay-for-performance does not improve patient health
A large UK-based study involving nearly 500,000 patients and spanning seven years found that in cases of hypertension, patient health did not improve under a pay-for-performance program.

Operation makes dementia patients faster and smarter
Researchers from the University of Gothenburg and Sahlgrenska University Hospital are the first in the world to show that an operation can help patients with dementia caused by white matter changes and hydrocephalus.

Nanowires exhibit giant piezoelectricity
In a paper published online in the journal Nano Letters, researchers at the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science at Northwestern University reported that piezoelectricity in GaN and ZnO nanowires is enhanced by as much as two orders of magnitude as the diameter of the nanowires decrease.

Innovation Task Force applauds President's emphasis on scientific research
The Innovation Task Force applauds the President's emphasis on scientific research.

MSD Wellcome Trust Hilleman Laboratories announces first project
MSD Wellcome Trust Hilleman Laboratories announced that the organization's first project will be a feasibility study into how new technologies might be used to develop a rotavirus vaccine designed with developing country needs in mind.

Hemolysis and intestinal injury
A research team from The Netherlands investigated the consequences of hemolysis for intestinal blood flow and its possible association with intestinal injury.

Mercury in Bay Area fish a legacy of California mining
Mercury contamination, a worldwide environmental problem, has been called

Useful biomarkers for esophageal squamous cell carcinoma
A research team from China investigated the expression profile of miRNA in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC).

NASA infrared data sees birth of 10th tropical depression in Southern Indian Ocean near Australian coast
NASA's Aqua satellite captured an infrared image of the very cold clouds that house powerful thunderstorms within the Southern Indian Ocean's newest tropical depression, number 10S.

Emergency care for childbirth complications -- out of reach for rural women in Zambia?
Most women in rural Zambia deliver their babies at home without skilled care because of the long distances involved in reaching emergency obstetric care, so it is crucial to address the geographic and quality barriers to health care use.

Exercise improves symptoms in irritable bowel syndrome
Physical activity improves symptoms in patients with IBS and is protective against symptom deterioration.

Patients infected with HIV have higher drop-out rate for liver transplantation
French researchers determined that infection with human immunodeficiency virus impaired results of transplant surgery for liver cancer, with more HIV infected patients dropping off the transplantation wait list.

Nanotech milling produces dramatic increase in thermoelectric performance of bulk semiconductor
Boston College researchers and colleagues from MIT, Clemson and Virginia report achieving thermoelectric performance gains in a bulk semiconductor material, which could pave the way for harvesting power from a range of heat sources -- from the sun to car exhaust systems.

Heart-targeting Listeria increase cardiac disease risk
Certain strains of the food pathogen Listeria are uniquely adapted to infect heart tissues and may put people at a higher risk from serious cardiac disease, according to a new study published in the Journal of Medical Microbiology.

The American Association for Cancer Research hosts its 102nd Annual Meeting
The AACR 102nd Annual Meeting 2011 attracts world leaders in cancer research and treatment, including clinical oncologists, basic scientists, translational researchers and epidemiologists, who are working to improve prevention, diagnosis and patient care with the ultimate goal of eradicating cancer.

Malaria protection for pregnant women in Africa remains inadequate
Although most countries in Africa have adopted national policies to reduce and control malaria during pregnancy, protection remains inadequate, concludes an article published online first in the Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Fluorescent color of coral larvae predicts whether they'll settle or swim
Young staghorn coral that fluoresce redder are less likely to settle and develop into coral polyps than their greener peers, University of Texas at Austin biologists have discovered.

Mogens Hogh receives distinguished Norwegian research prize
Professor in biophysics at the Niels Bohr Institute, University of Copenhagen, Mogens Hogh Jensen has been awarded the Norwegian Gunnar Randers' Research Prize in recognition of his groundbreaking research in complex systems.

Study raises safety concerns about experimental cancer approach
A study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Climate tax on meat and milk results in less greenhouse gases
A climate tax corresponding to €60/ton CO2eq on meat and milk could reduce greenhouse gas emissions from European agriculture by around seven percent.

Molecular network influences development of chronic lymphocytic leukemia
A study published in JAMA shows for the first time that the three most common chromosome changes seen in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) disrupt a molecular network that includes several important genes and strongly influence the outcome of the disease.

3-D MRI helps kids with ACL tears -- surgery without harming the growth plate
New technology has made it possible for surgeons to reconstruct ACL tears in young athletes without disturbing the growth plate.

Graphene and 'spintronics' combo looks promising
A team of physicists has taken a big step toward the development of useful graphene spintronic devices.

The language of young love: The ways couples talk can predict relationship success
We know that people tend to be attracted to, date, and marry other people who resemble themselves in terms of personality, values, and physical appearance.

More stable grid connection for wind generators operating at very high potential
Wind energy has an initial advantage over its competitors in the renewable energy sector.

New dishware sanitizers prove more effective at killing harmful bacteria
Ohio State University researchers recently tested the merits of two new dishware sanitizers, and found them more effective at removing bacteria from restaurant dishes than traditional sanitizers.

New discovery could lead to vaccines for plague and bacterial pneumonias
According to Dr. Smiley, there is no licensed plague vaccine in the United States.

Asian tiger numbers could triple if large-scale landscapes are protected
The tiger reserves of Asia could support more than 10,000 wild tigers -- three times the current number -- if they are managed as large-scale landscapes that allow for connectivity between core breeding sites, a new study from some of the world's leading conservation scientists finds.

Developing core outcome sets for clinical trials needs patient input
In this week's PLoS Medicine, Ian Sinha and colleagues from the Institute of Child Health, University of Liverpool, UK, make recommendations for the development of core outcome sets for clinical trials, based upon a review of the literature.

Protection of pregnant women against malaria still inadequate
A study published today in the Lancet Infectious Diseases finds that methods to protect pregnant women from malaria are still underutilized in sub-Saharan Africa.

Soap films help to solve mathematical problems
Soap bubbles and films have always fascinated children and adults, but they can also serve to solve complex mathematical calculations.

Rogue storm system caused Pakistan floods that left millions homeless
Last summer's disastrous and deadly Pakistan floods were caused by a rogue weather system that wandered hundreds of miles farther west than is normal for such systems, new research shows.

JCI table of contents: Jan. 25, 2011
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for papers to be published Jan.

Traffic noise increases the risk of having a stroke
Exposure to noise from road traffic can increase the risk of stroke, particularly in those aged 65 years and over, according to a study published online on Wednesday, Jan.

Occurrence of stroke after coronary artery bypass graft surgery appears to be decreasing
An analysis of data on more than 45,000 patients who underwent coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery at an academic medical center over the past 30 years finds that the occurrence of stroke after CABG has declined, despite an increase in risk profiles of patients, according to a study in the Jan.

RAND study: No direct military benefit from use of alternative fuels by armed forces
If the US military increases its use of alternative fuels, there will be no direct benefit to the nation's armed forces, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

Star performer in basic biology labs diagnosed with first virus
A workhorse of modern biology is sick, and scientists couldn't be happier.

Researchers identify gene variants linked to hepatitis C treatment-related anemia
In two recent studies, researchers have identified two functional variants in the inosine triphosphatase gene that protect patients with hepatitis C virus against anemia brought on by antiviral treatment.

Study: Get thee to a stroke center
Hospitals with designated stroke centers are associated with up to 20 percent higher survival rate for patients with ischemic stroke and significantly greater use of acute stroke therapy.

Evolution by mistake
A major driving force of evolution comes from mistakes made by cells and how organisms cope with the consequences, UA biologists have found.

Grant supports Clemson research on why few veterans get mental health help
Clemson University psychology professor Thomas Britt has received a $1.15 million grant from the US Department of Defense to research why so few military personnel seek mental health treatment.

Tecnalia contributes to enhancing Europeana, the great European digital library
Tecnalia, through its Information and Interaction Systems Unit, is taking part, together with other 23 partners from ten European countries, in ASSETS (Advanced Service Search and Enhancing Technological Solutions for the European Digital Library), a project co-financed by the European Commission within the CIP-Policy Support Programme and whose goal is to improve the usability of Europeana.
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