Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 31, 2011
New hardware boosts communication speed on multi-core chips
Computer engineers at North Carolina State University have developed hardware that allows programs to operate more efficiently by significantly boosting the speed at which the

Safety checklist use yields 10 percent drop in hospital deaths
A Johns Hopkins-led safety checklist program that virtually eliminated bloodstream infections in hospital intensive-care units throughout Michigan appears to have also reduced deaths by 10 percent, a new study suggests.

Researchers bust bat rabies stereotype
A study by University of Calgary researchers has confirmed that bats are not as disease-ridden as the stigma suggests.

Boys will infect boys, swine flu study shows
Boys predominantly pass on flu to other boys and girls to girls, according to a new study of how swine flu spread in a primary school during the 2009 pandemic, published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Explosive- and drug-sniffing dog performance is affected by their handlers' beliefs
Drug- and explosives-sniffing dog/handler teams' performance is affected by human handlers' beliefs, possibly in response to subtle, unintentional handler cues, a study by researchers at UC Davis has found.

Space Agency investigates novel analog self-steered antennas
Bulky present generation satellite dishes and ground terminals could become relics of the past thanks to research currently being conducted for the European Space Agency by Queen's University Belfast's Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology aimed at developing discrete self-aligning flat antennas.

New probiotic combats inflammatory bowel disease
You know the probiotics in your peach yogurt are healthful, but now it appears they may also be a powerful treatment for disease.

Researchers discover signaling pathway crucial to acute lung injury
Researchers at National Jewish Health have discovered a signaling pathway that is crucial to the devastating effects of acute lung injury (ALI).

Aging safely at home? California's disabled elderly are barely holding on
The network of public services that supports California's low-income disabled elderly is fragile, affecting the ability of these vulnerable residents to live independent lives in their own homes, according to a new study from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

Sex in pregnancy: A primer
Sex in pregnancy is generally safe, with few complications, states a new primer for physicians to counsel patients wondering about sex in pregnancy, published in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Obese women less likely to complete mammograms and more likely to report pain with the procedure
Obese women may avoid mammograms because of pain and women under 60 may avoid the test because they are too busy, according to a study by Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research published online in the Journal of Women's Health.

SRNL demonstrating low-energy remediation with patented microbes
SRNL and Clemson University have patented a consortium of microbes that have an appetite for chlorinated volatile organic compounds, similar to dry-cleaning fluid.

NYU neuroscientists find memory storage, reactivation process more complex than previously thought
The process we use to store memories is more complex than previously thought, New York University neuroscientists have found.

Ocean fertilization summary for policymakers published
Geoengineering schemes involving ocean fertilization to affect climate have a low chance of success, according to the first summary for policymakers on the issue.

An Olympic gold medal costs a government $55 million
A government needs to invest an average of 40 million euros ($55 million) in order for the country to obtain the highest Olympic prize.

Childhood obesity linked to health habits, not heredity: U-M study
Are some children genetically tuned to be overweight, or is lifestyle to blame for childhood obesity?

The changing roles of 2 hemispheres in stroke recovery
Most people who survive a stroke recover some degree of their motor, sensory and cognitive functions over the following months and years.

Detecting lethal diseases with rust and sand
The next big thing in medical diagnostics could be minutes particles of rust, iron oxide, coated with the material from which sand is formed, silicon dioxide.

Songbird's strategy for changing its tune could inform rehab efforts
UCSF scientists have discovered that the male Bengalese finch uses a simple mental computation and an uncanny memory to create its near-perfect mate-catching melody.

Poor work ability may predict faster deterioration of health
Poor work ability in midlife may be associated with an accelerated deterioration of health and functioning in old age, states a study published in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Head injury can blight survival up to 13 years later
A head injury can blight the chances of survival up to 13 years after the event, especially among younger adults, finds research published online in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

Yosef Shiloh, Ph.D., receives the 51st Annual AACR G.H.A. Clowes Memorial Award
Yosef Shiloh, Ph.D., a David and Inez Myers professor in cancer research in the department of human molecular genetics and biochemistry in the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University, Israel, will receive the 51st Annual AACR G.H.A.

Super Bowl losses can increase cardiac death
A new study published in the journal Clinical Cardiology reveals that a Super Bowl loss for a home team was associated with increased death rates in both men and women and in older individuals.

Scientists customize a magnet's performance by strategically replacing key atoms
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory strategically replaced key atoms in a gadolinium-germanium compound, causing changes in the resulting alloy's ferromagnetism.

Success for social science in Europe
The largest joint initiative between European funding agencies in social sciences, the Open Research Area Scheme, announces its successful grants.

When 2 rights make a wrong: Combating childhood heart disease
When the body can't distinguish its right side from its left during development, a child can develop a condition called heterotaxy in which the heart is severely malformed, leading to congenital heart disease.

LANL to certify automated influenza surveillance system
A compact, self-contained, automated system for surveillance and screening of potential pandemic strains of influenza and other deadly infectious diseases is a step closer to reality, thanks to an agreement between Los Alamos National Laboratory, the University of California Los Angeles School of Public Health, and HighRes Biosolutions of Boston.

Hunt for dark matter closes in at Large Hadron Collider
Physicists are closer than ever to finding the source of the Universe's mysterious dark matter, following a better than expected year of research at the Compact Muon Solenoid particle detector, part of the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva.

MIT: Understanding the autistic mind
A study from MIT neuroscientists reveals that high-functioning autistic adults appear to have trouble using theory of mind to make moral judgments in certain situations.

American Chemical Society unveils International Year of Chemistry virtual journal
The American Chemical Society (ACS) today launched the inaugural edition of the International Year of Chemistry (IYC) IYC Virtual Journal, a dynamic online snapshot of the countless ways in which chemistry improves everyday life for people around the world.

Altered cell metabolism has role in brain tumor development
Scientists at Duke Cancer Institute have discovered that genetic mutations found in brain tumors can alter tumor metabolism.

Ants' ecosystem role is 'key'
Research on the impact of ants on their local environment has revealed they play an important role.

Morning after pill linked to increase in STIs, study shows
Offering the morning after pill free over the counter has not reduced the number of teenage pregnancies and may be associated with a rise in sexually transmitted diseases (STIs), according to a report by experts at The University of Nottingham.

CERN announces LHC to run in 2012
CERN today announced that the LHC will run through to the end of 2012 with a short technical stop at the end of 2011.

Newly discovered dinosaur likely father of Triceratops
Triceratops and Torosaurus have long been considered the kings of the horned dinosaurs.

Newly decoded ant genomes provide clues on ant social life, pest control
Scientists have deciphered the genomes of four new ant species, including the invasive Argentine ant -- a pest which ruins picnics, infest homes and decimates native species with its massive supercolonies.

Dogs can accurately sniff out early stage bowel cancer
Dogs can sniff out bowel cancer in breath and stool samples, with a very high degree of accuracy -- even in the early stages of the disease -- reveals research published online in the journal Gut.

Wild rainbow trout critical to health of steelhead populations
Genetic research is showing that healthy steelhead runs in Pacific Northwest streams can depend heavily on the productivity of their stay-at-home counterparts, rainbow trout.

Young rats given polyphenols show less endothelial function deterioration with aging
This study examined whether intake of red wine polyphenols, a rich source of natural antioxidants, prevents aging-related impairment of vascular function and physical exercise capacity.

Pakistan floods last summer could have been predicted
Five days before intense monsoonal deluges unleashed vast floods across Pakistan last July, computer models at a European weather-forecasting center were giving clear indications that the downpours were imminent.

Scripps Research scientist discovers natural molecule indirectly prevents stable clot formation
A scientist from the Scripps Research Institute has identified a new role for a natural signaling molecule in preventing blood clot formation.

Apoptotic mechanisms of octreotide on HepG2
A research team from Greece examined the effect of octreotide on cellular proliferation, apoptosis and caspase activation in HepG2 hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells.

Free radicals in cornea may contribute to Fuchs dystrophy, most common cause of corneal transplants
Scientists have found that free radicals (unstable molecules that cause the death of cells as the body ages) may also cause the damage in the eyes of patients with Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy, a hereditary disease that is one of the most common reasons for corneal transplants worldwide.

Smart lasers could make cancer biopsies painless, help speed new drugs to market
Biopsies in the future may be painless and noninvasive, thanks to smart laser technology being developed at Michigan State University.

Computer-assisted diagnosis tools to aid pathologists
Researchers at the Ohio State University are leveraging powerful Ohio Supercomputer Center resources to develop computer-assisted diagnosis tools for diagnosing Follicular Lymphoma.

New classification of sphincter of Oddi dysfunction
A research team from China proposed a new classification system for sphincter of Oddi dysfunction (SOD) based on clinical data of patients.

Moderate aerobic exercise in older adults shown to improve memory
A new study shows that one year of moderate physical exercise can increase the size of the brain's hippocampus in older adults, leading to an improvement in spatial memory.

More than allergies: Histamine may be a possible drug target for multiple sclerosis
If you think histamines are your nemesis during allergy season, here's something that might change your perspective.

Novel immune system-based gene therapy induces strong responses in metastatic melanoma, sarcoma
In this news digest you will find a summary of a study being published online Jan.

Red Bull logo enough to shape consumer performance
Video game players put behind the wheel of a Red Bull-branded racecar displayed greater aggressiveness and risk-taking, which either resulted in faster times or caused them to crash.

Springer to publish Cellular Oncology
Springer and the International Society of Cellular Oncology (ISCO) will collaborate to publish Cellular Oncology starting this year.

Resolved to quit smoking?
Brain scans can predict if you'll stop smoking more accurately than you can yourself.

Children's genetic potentials are subdued by poverty
Children from poorer families do worse in school, are less likely to graduate from high school, and are less likely to go to college.

Scientists find key protein that suppresses prostate cancer growth in the laboratory
Cancer researchers have discovered an important protein, produced naturally inside cells, that appears to suppress the growth of prostate cancer cells in the laboratory.

Plankton inspires creation of stealth armor for slow-release microscopic drug vehicles
The ability of some plankton and bacteria to build an extra natural layer of nanoparticle-like armor has inspired chemists at the University of Warwick to devise a startlingly simple way to give drug bearing polymer vesicles (microscopic polymer based sacs of liquid) their own armored protection, and in some cases provide

NASA sees large Tropical Cyclone Yasi headed toward Queensland, Australia
Tropical Storm Anthony made landfall in Queensland, Australia this past weekend, and now the residents are watching a larger, more powerful cyclone headed their way.

Cancer-targeting investigational nanoparticle receives FDA IND approval for first-in-human trial
Researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center's Nanotechnology Center, along with collaborators at Cornell University and Hybrid Silica Technologies, have received approval for their first Investigational New Drug Application (IND) from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for an ultra-small silica inorganic nanoparticle platform for targeted molecular imaging of cancer, which may be useful for cancer treatment in the future.

Tracking the origins of speedy space particles
NASA's Time History of Events and Macroscale Interaction during Substorms (THEMIS) spacecraft combined with computer models have helped track the origin of the energetic particles in Earth's magnetic atmosphere that appear during a kind of space weather called a substorm.

Global Health Metrics and Evaluation Conference
Join researchers, policymakers and global health leaders from around the world to share groundbreaking advances in health measurement and tackle contentious debates at the first conference of its kind, Global Health Metrics & Evaluation: Controversies, Innovation, Accountability.

UCSB physicists challenge classical world with quantum-mechanical implementation of 'shell game'
Inspired by the popular confidence trick known as

Southampton scientists begin patient trials of new leukemia cancer vaccine
A new cancer treatment which strengthens a patient's immune system and enables them to fight the disease more effectively is being trialled on patients for the first time in the UK.

Argentine ant genome sheds light on a successful pest
A research team led by scientists at the UC Berkeley and San Francisco State University has unlocked the genetic code of the highly invasive Argentine ant, providing clues as to why this species has been so successful.

Food industry partnerships may carry risks
Health charities and health organizations must tread carefully when partnering with the food industry as it may risk compromise health promotion goals, states an editorial in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Pitt team grows arteries with most elastic protein reported, big step for living vascular grafts
Pitt researchers have grown arteries that exhibit the elasticity of natural blood vessels at the highest levels reported, a development that could overcome a major barrier to creating living-tissue replacements for damaged arteries.

Cells' energy factories linked to damaging inflammation
Scientists have discovered that molecules called reactive oxygen species produced by the energy factories, or mitochondria, in cells, may play a role in a rare inherited disorder in which uncontrolled inflammation damages the body's tissues.

Analysis of bread mold genomes demos 'reverse-ecology' tool
In a demonstration of

Brain pacemakers: A long-lasting solution in the fight against depression
Physicians from the University of Bonn, together with colleagues from the US, have suggested a new target structure for a very promising depression therapy, the so-called deep brain stimulation.

Test for blocked neck arteries only necessary for people with stroke risk factors
New multi-agency guidelines recommend against widespread screening for blocked neck arteries, using ultrasound to detect the condition only in people with symptoms or other stroke risk factors.

Philanthropist invests $3.5 million in Buck Institute's Alzheimer's drug development effort
Venture philanthropist Douglas Rosenberg is betting at least $3.5 million that Buck faculty Dale Bredesen, M.D., has the correct take on how to thwart Alzheimer's disease.

Emory Eye Center to host 25th Southeastern Vitreoretinal Seminar (SEVR)
Emory Eye Center will host the 25th Southeastern Vitreoretinal Seminar (SEVR) at the Eye Center's Calhoun Auditorium within the Learning Resources Center in The Emory Clinic, Building B.

Hepatic vein thrombosis following liver resection
A research team from France reported two cases of postoperative hepatic vein thrombosis after liver resection.

Navigating the spheres of assisted death
The issues of assisted death and palliative care in Canada should be discussed in the context of human rights, states a commentary published in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Wealth of orchid varieties is down to busy bees and helpful fungi, says study
Scientists have discovered why orchids are one of the most successful groups of flowering plants -- it is all down to their relationships with the bees that pollinate them and the fungi that nourish them.

Plants can adapt genetically to survive harsh environments
A Purdue University scientist has found genetic evidence of how some plants adapt to live in unfavorable conditions, a finding he believes could one day be used to help food crops survive in new or changing environments.

Road may disrupt migration, ruin Serengeti, study finds
A new study finds that building a proposed highway through Serengeti National Park may devastate one of the world's last large-scale herd migrations and the region's ecosystem.

Different evolutionary paths lead plants and animals to the same crossroads
In analyzing the molecular sensor for the plant growth hormone brassinolide, researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies discovered that although plants took an evolutionary path different from their animal cousins, they arrived at similar solutions to a common problem: How to reliably receive and process incoming signals.

MRI: An accurate method to evaluate iron overload
A research team from Iran investigated the accuracy of T2*-weighted magnetic resonance imaging (MRI T2*) in the evaluation of iron overload in beta-thalassemia major patients.

Deaths reduced with cardiac resynchronization therapy
Cardiac resynchronization therapy shows major benefit in reducing mortality in people with heart failure when combined with optimal medical therapy or implantable cardioverter defibrillator, according to a study published in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Study reveals effective anti-HIV drugs for starting treatment in children with HIV, and shows that delaying switching to second-line drugs does not affect long-term benefit
Children with HIV will need anti-HIV medicines for longer than adults, so questions about which anti-HIV drugs to start with and when to switch to different drugs if the virus levels start to increase need to be answered.

Scientists synthesize long-sought-after anticancer agent
A team of Yale University scientists has synthesized for the first time a chemical compound called lomaiviticin aglycon, leading to the development of a new class of molecules that appear to target and destroy cancer stem cells.

Wilful neglect of any patient should be criminal offense for doctors and nurses
The willful neglect of any patient should become a criminal offense for doctors and nurses in England, as it is in France, suggest ethicists in a leading article published online in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

T-regulatory lymphocytes in gastrointestinal cancer
A research team from Poland and United Kingdom assessed the absolute number of T-regulatory cells in the peripheral blood of gastric and colorectal cancer patients.

New approach needed to prevent major 'systemic failures'
A Purdue University researcher is proposing development of a new cross-disciplinary approach for analyzing and preventing systemic failures in complex systems that play a role in calamities ranging from huge power blackouts to the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster and the subprime mortgage crisis.

Specific populations of gut bacteria linked to fatty liver
Rather than being controlled itself by diet, gut bacterial composition may control the body's key nutrients.

Revealing the wiring that allows us to adapt to the unexpected
Wouldn't life be easy if everything happened as we anticipated?

Scientists climb Mt. Everest to explain how hearts adapt and recover from low oxygen
From the highest mountaintop comes a new research report in the FASEB Journal that gets to the bottom of what happens to the hearts of people when exposed to low-levels of oxygen, such as those on Mount Everest or in the intensive care unit of a hospital.

Researchers to chart the highs and lows of public debates about climate change
Understanding how public attitudes to climate change have been shaped by discussions, debates and controversies is to be the focus of a new research project involving academics from the UK and the Netherlands.

If junk DNA is useful, why is it not shared more equally?
Recently, it has become clear that

Recalled ICD leads fail in women, youths most often
The recalled Sprint Fidelis implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) leads failed more often in younger patients, women, and individuals with hereditary heart disease, according to a multi-center study published online Jan.

Nanosilver: A new name -- well-known effects
Nanosilver is not a new discovery by nanotechnologists -- it has been used in various products for over a hundred years, as is shown by a new Empa study.

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

A diagnostic marker in hepatocellular carcinoma
A research team from South Korea investigated the expression profile of E2F5 in primary hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs) and explored the biological implications of E2F5 overexpression.

Study finds little decline in hepatitis C infections among injection drug users
A recent 20-year study of injection drug users in Baltimore found a significant decline in new cases of HIV infection but only a slight decline in new cases of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.

Study: African-Americans have better stroke survival rates
A study published today shows that African Americans have a better survival rate compared to whites after being hospitalized for a stroke.

Preventing GVHD by protecting gut stem cells
A protein that protects stem cells in the gut relieves a potentially lethal complication of bone marrow transplantation in mice, according to a study published online on Jan.

High-spending hospitals may save more lives
When hospitalized for a major acute medical condition -- including heart attack, stroke and pneumonia -- patients were less likely to die in high-spending hospitals, according to a new study. 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