Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 01, 2011
Maternal stroke history tied to women's heart attack risk
A mother's stroke history can help predict her daughter's risk of heart attack.

New 10-year study confirms too many pitches strike out youth athletes early
For years, sports medicine professionals have talked about youth pitching injuries and the stress the motion causes on developing bones and muscles.

Preschool beneficial, but should offer more, study finds
As more states consider universal preschool programs, a new study led by a Michigan State University scholar suggests that two years of pre-K is beneficial -- although more time should be spent on teaching certain skills.

Toronto scientists Till, McCulloch honored as fathers of stem cell research
Fifty years ago today, two young, unknown scientists at the fledgling Ontario Cancer Institute published accidental findings that proved the existence of stem cells -- cells that can self-renew repeatedly for different uses.

Study links physical activity to political participation
How is going for a jog like voting for president?

Researchers unlock the potential for exploring kidney regeneration
It is estimated that up to 10 percent of the US population may have some form of renal disease, with 450,000 patients with end stage renal disease requiring hemodialysis.

Taking unpleasant surprises out of cosmetic surgery
New software developed at Tel Aviv University aims to improve the outcome of cosmetic surgery.

Hal Caswell wins Humboldt Research Award
Hal Caswell, a senior scientist in the Biology Department at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, was awarded a 2010 Humboldt Research Award by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Bonn, Germany.

Arranged unions and distrust: The influence of parental choice on mate guarding
Mate guarding is classified as excessive or unwarranted jealous or protective behavior towards a spouse or mate.

New study alters long-held beliefs about shingles
For decades, medical wisdom about shingles has been that it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Protracted abstinence revisited
Opiate abuse is a chronic disorder and maintaining abstinence represents a major challenge for addicts.

Announcement of NIH grant to create cardiovascular research network at University of Louisville
At 9 a.m., Friday, Feb. 4, University of Louisville President James Ramsey and representatives of the School of Medicine will conduct a news conference announcing a new National Institutes of Health multi-million dollar grant to create a first-of-its-kind cardiovascular research network.

What a ride! Researchers take molecules for a spin
Kolomeisky and Rice graduate student Alexey Akimov have taken a large step toward defining the behavior of these molecular whirligigs with a new paper in the American Chemical Society's Journal of Physical Chemistry C.

Home and away: How do invasive plant species dominate native species?
Invasive plant species present a serious environmental, economic and social problem worldwide as their abundance can lead to lost native biodiversity and ecosystem functions, such as nutrient cycling.

3 trials of intermittent preventive treatment for malaria in children
Three randomized controlled trials published in this week's PLoS Medicine show that intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in children adds to the benefit of sleeping under bednets and that this public health intervention is best delivered by community-based, volunteer village health workers.

Bilinguals find it easier to learn a third language
Professor Salim Abu-Rabia and Ekaterina Sanitsky of the Department of Special Education at the University of Haifa, who conducted the study, set out to examine what benefits bilingualism might have in the process of learning a third language.

Breast cancer cells outsmart the immune system and thrive
Scientists discovered a new way breast cancer cells dodge the immune system and promote tumor growth, providing a fresh treatment target in the fight against the disease.

Earth and space scientists endorse DOI roadmap for scientific and scholarly integrity
The American Geophysical Union, the world's largest organization of Earth and space scientists, endorses a Department of Interior plan released today for ensuring scientific and scholarly integrity throughout its research and program operations.

Scientists make key step in the development of a norovirus treatment
With the number of norovirus infection cases rising across the country, scientists from the University of Southampton have successfully crystallized a key norovirus enzyme, which could help in the development of a norovirus treatment.

For-profit hospice patients more likely to require lower skilled-care needs, longer lengths of stay
An examination of data from a nationally representative sample of patients discharged from hospices demonstrated that compared with nonprofit hospice agencies, for-profit hospices had a higher percentage of patients with diagnoses associated with lower skilled-care needs (such as dementia) and longer lengths of stay, according to a study in the Feb.

Cancer drug used in combination with other therapies associated with increased risk of death
An analysis of previous studies indicates that compared with chemotherapy alone, use of the cancer drug bevacizumab in combination with chemotherapy or biological therapy is associated with an increased risk of treatment-related death, according to an article in the Feb.

Secret life of bees now a little less secret
Many plants produce toxic chemicals to protect themselves against plant-eating animals, and many flowering plants have evolved flower structures that prevent pollinators such as bees from taking too much pollen.

A new model for studying Parkinson's
Evidence is steadily mounting that genetic factors play an important role in many cases of Parkinson's disease (PD).

BUSM researchers involved in first international collaboration on genetics of Alzheimer's disease
The launch of the International Genomics of Alzheimer's Project -- a collaboration formed to discover and map the genes that contribute to Alzheimer's disease -- was announced today by a multi-national group of researchers including Drs.

Cluster encounters a natural particle accelerator
ESA's Cluster satellites have flown through a natural particle accelerator just above Earth's atmosphere.

Seeking social genes
In order understand the evolution of complex societies, researchers are sequencing the genomes of social insects.

Research shows good cop beats bad cop
Even the most horrible criminals feel guilt, and according to new research from the University of Montreal, playing on that sentiment might be a good way to extract a confession.

New center aims to dramatically lower barrier to making silicon photonic chips
The University of Washington today announced the launch of a new program, co-funded by Intel Corp., that aims to make it dramatically easier and cheaper to manufacture silicon chips that combine light and electronics, enabling the next generation of computer chips.

Dr. Stefan Strauf of physics at Stevens receives NSF CAREER Award for quantum research
Dr. Stefan Strauf, assistant professor of Physics and Engineering Physics at Stevens Institute of Technology, has been honored by NSF with the prestigious CAREER Award.

UofL Area Health Education Centers' faculty, students make $6.8 million economic impact
Figures from a recently compiled report for 2009-2010 show that University of Louisville Health Sciences Center faculty and students made a $6.8 million economic impact in the four regions of Kentucky served by UofL Area Health Education Centers.

1 donor cornea, 2 patients helped
German researcher Claus Cursiefen, M.D., also affiliated with Harvard School of Medicine, has developed a new surgical strategy that uses a single donor cornea to help two patients with differing corneal diseases.

Honorary degree for groundbreaking laser scientist
A Nobel prize-winning pioneer in laser technology has received an honorary degree from the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.

Vitamin D deficiency associated with reduced lung function
In the February issue of Chest, new research shows that vitamin D deficiency is prevalent among patients with interstitial lung disease with the largest prevalence seen in patients with concurrent connective tissue disease.

Teens with HIV at high risk for pregnancy, complications
Teenage girls and young women infected with HIV get pregnant more often and suffer pregnancy complications more frequently than their HIV-negative peers, according to new research led by Johns Hopkins investigators.

ORNL receives 2 national tech transfer awards
Two teams from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have won awards for excellence in technology transfer from the Federal Laboratory Consortium.

Internet addresses: An inevitable shortage, but an uneven one
As Internet authorities prepare to announce that they have handed over all of the available addresses, a USC research group that monitors address usage has completed the latest in its series of Internet censuses, mapping and analyzing the dimensions of usage and shortage.

The first mission to Mercury
As the team of scientists behind NASA's MESSENGER spacecraft eagerly awaits the craft's entry into Mercury's orbit on March 17, we could soon get answers to questions about the origin, composition, interior structure and geological history of this mysterious planet.

We will convert waste heat into electricity
We probably all remember the newspaper pictures of houses and factories captured with infrared cameras.

2 genes better than 1 for important plant pest
Researchers funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council have revealed a novel molecular mechanism that triggers plant infection by Pseudomonas syringae, the bacteria responsible for bacterial speck in tomatoes.

New approach suggested for monitoring child health in developing countries
A team of applied economists suggests a new approach to monitoring the relationship between nutrition and child mortality in developing countries.

In tiny fruit flies, researchers identify metabolic 'switch' that links normal growth to cancer
Until now, researchers have known nothing about the metabolic state that occurs when cells divide during early development.

Where has all the Gulf spill oil gone?
Many questions remain about the fate and environmental impact of the marine oil caused by the massive spill in the Gulf of Mexico from the Deepwater Horizon offshore drilling platform.

Early tests find nanoshell therapy effective against brain cancer
Researchers from Rice University, Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital have successfully destroyed tumors of human brain cancer cells in the first animal tests of a minimally invasive treatment that zaps glioma tumors with heat.

New drug for use in bone scans approved
The FDA has approved a New Drug Application from NCI for a new strength of a previously approved drug, Sodium Fluoride F18, for use in bone scans.

Liver, dietary proteins key in fertility
A new report shows that estrogen receptors in the liver are critical for maintaining fertility.

Cell Press puts quality at your fingertips: Announcing the new Cell Press iPhone app -- Cell Alerts
Using Cell Alerts, it is now possible to keep up to date with the latest articles published in high impact research journals from Cell Press, including Cell, Neuron, Cell Stem Cell, Current Biology, and many more, from wherever and whenever the scientist chooses, completely free of charge.

Lung societies unveil new international classification of lung adenocarcinoma
Three of the world's top lung associations have published a new international multidisciplinary classification of lung adenocarcinoma, the first revision to the classification in six years.

Gestures provide a helping hand in problem solving
Talking with your hands can trigger mental images that help solve complex problems relating to spatial visualization, an important skill for both students and professionals, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.

NASA satellites capture data on monster winter storm affecting 30 states
It has already been called one of the largest winter storms since the 1950s and it is affecting 30 US states today with snow, sleet, freezing rain and rain.

Introducing Wiley Open Access
Wiley today announced the launch of Wiley Open Access, a new publishing program of open-access journals.

Researchers test inhalable measles vaccine
Sustained high vaccination coverage is key to preventing deaths from measles.

JCI online early table of contents: Feb. 1, 2011
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Feb.

NASA satellites reveal heavy rains in dangerous Cyclone Yasi on its Australian approach
Several NASA satellites have been monitoring the growth of powerful and massive Cyclone Yasi and providing data on clouds, rainfall and intensity to forecasters as it nears Queensland, Australia.

BIDMC researchers conclude nonprofit hospices disproportionately care for costly patients
For-profit hospice agencies had a higher percentage of patients with diagnoses associated with less skilled care and longer lengths of stay in hospice, than their nonprofit counterparts, a difference that may leave

February 2011 Geosphere highlights
The February 2011 Geosphere includes two articles designated for the latest Geosphere theme,

Evidence mounting on the harms of alcohol industry sponsorship of sport
Health scientists from Monash University, the University of Manchester, Deakin University and University of Western Sydney, asked Australian sportspeople about their drinking behaviors, sport participation and what sorts of sport sponsorship they currently receive.

Therapeutic AIDS vaccine designed by HIVACAT reduces the viral load in the majority of AIDS patients
The research team from IDIBAPS -- Hospital Clínic has developed a model of the therapeutic vaccine based on the patient's own dendritic cells.

Engineered cells could usher in programmable cell therapies
In work that could jumpstart the promising field of cell therapy, in which cells are transplanted into the body to treat a variety of diseases and tissue defects, researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital have engineered cells that could solve one of the key challenges associated with the procedure: control of the cells and their microenvironment following transplantation.

$4 million project to protect Irish and Scottish waterways
A £2.6 million ($4 million) project to protect the waterways of Ireland and Scotland will be launched today Feb.

IPTc found to reduce prevalence of malaria infection in children by up to 85 percent
Two separate studies -- carried out in Burkina Faso and Mali -- have found that combining intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in children with insecticide-treated bednets can substantially reduce the incidence of severe malaria.

New tumor-tracking technique for radiotherapy spares healthy tissue, could improve cancer treatment
Medical physicists at Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson's Kimmel Cancer Center have demonstrated a new real-time tumor-tracking technique that can help minimize the amount of radiation delivered to surrounding healthy tissue in a patient -- up to 50 percent less in some cases -- and maximize the dose the tumor receives.

Compound may prevent sickle cell pain crises
A new compound appears to prevent the traffic jam of cells that causes debilitating pain crises and associated mortality in sickle cell disease, Georgia Health Sciences University (formerly Medical College of Georgia) researchers report.

Johns Hopkins researchers develop safer way to make induced pluripotent stem cells
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have found a better way to create induced pluripotent stem cells -- adult cells reprogrammed with the properties of embryonic stem cells -- from a small blood sample.

Tuning graphene film so it sheds water
Windshields that shed water so effectively that they don't need wipers.

Can you teach an old doctor new tricks?
When it comes to changing the way physicians practice, guidelines and educational initiatives alone are not effective.

Targeted particle fools brain's guardian to reach tumors
A targeted delivery combination selectively crosses the tight barrier that protects the brain from the bloodstream to home in on and bind to brain tumors, a research team led by scientists from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center reported in the January issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Linhardt to discuss drug safety and the impacts of globalization on pharmaceutical manufacturing
Robert J. Linhardt will discuss drug safety in an increasingly global economy during the 2011 AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

New clinical trial to determine ovarian cancer risks in African-American women
University Hospitals Case Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine are conducting a new study addressing lack of knowledge about causes and risk factors for ovarian cancer in African-American women.

More doctors must join nurses, administrators in leading efforts to improve patient safety, outcomes
Efforts to keep hospital patients safe and continually improve the overall results of health care can't work unless medical centers figure out a way to get physicians more involved in the process.

Scientists launch major ecological study on Borneo's deforested landscapes
A giant-scale experiment on deforestation, biodiversity and carbon cycling has got underway in the spectacular forests of Sabah, a Malaysian state on the tropical southeast Asian island of Borneo.

Level of tumor protein indicates chances cancer will spread
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health and the University of Hong Kong have discovered that high levels of a particular protein in cancer cells are a reliable indicator that a cancer will spread.

Home and away: Are invasive plant species really that special?
Invasive plant species are a serious environmental, economic and social problem worldwide.

BigBOSS receives favorable review from the National Optical Astronomy Observatory
The National Optical Astronomy Observatory has announced its conditional approval of a proposal by the BigBOSS Collaboration, based at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, to use the NOAO 4-meter Mayall Telescope at Kitt Peak in Arizona to build the biggest-ever map of the universe.

Transplanted human placenta-derived stem cells show therapeutic potential in stroke models
Stem cells derived from human placenta proliferated and differentiated when transplanted into test tube and animal models of stroke.

Sleep selectively stores useful memories
After a good night's sleep, people remember information better when they know it will be useful in the future, according to a new study in the Feb.

Wide variation exists in receipt of recommended medications for Medicare managed care RA patients
An analysis of data from more than 90,000 Medicare managed care enrollees who received care for rheumatoid arthritis finds that more than one-third did not receive the recommended treatment with a disease-modifying antirheumatic drug, and that receipt varied by demographic factors, socioeconomic status, geographic location and health plan, according to a study in the Feb.

Research uncovers key to understanding cause of lupus
Potentially impacting future diagnosis and treatment of lupus, an immune illness affecting more than five million people worldwide, researchers at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine at Virginia Tech have likely uncovered where the breakdown in the body's lymphocyte molecular regulatory machinery is occurring.

Avantra Biosciences teams with TGen Drug Development to assist pharma
Avantra Biosciences today announced the selection of TGen Drug Development as a key test site for Avantra's new biomarker quantitation platform.

Clemson conference attracts experts concerned about children's 'play deficit'
More than 200 experts will gather at Clemson University's Madren Conference Center Feb.

Study examines incident hepatitis C infection in HIV-infected men
Researchers examined the role of later acquisition of hepatitis C in HIV patients in a new study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases, which is currently available online.

Race gap narrows for some cancers in African-Americans; continues to increase for others
While the overall death rate for cancer continues to drop among African-Americans, the group continues to have higher death rates and shorter survival of any racial and ethnic group in the US for most cancers.

Effective scientific writing is ACS Webinars topic for scientists and chemical professionals
Effective scientific writing is the topic of the next in a series of American Chemical Society Webinars for scientists and chemical professionals.

Temporary employment reduces productivity of technology and energy companies
Two of the most important productive sectors in the Spanish economy, the energy and high technology intensity manufacturing sectors, experience a fall in productivity if they hire they employees on temporary contracts.

Technology protects cotton from caterpillar's appetite
To demonstrate tiny cotton-eating caterpillars' destructive power, Clemson University entomologist Jeremy Greene planted two cotton varieties -- one genetically modified to provide protection and one not -- in a demonstration field at the Edisto Research and Education Center in South Carolina.

PET scans may allow early prediction of response to targeted therapy of thyroid cancer
Positron emission tomography (PET) can image metabolic changes following treatment with the protein kinase inhibitor vandetanib, helping to define the therapy response or the effectiveness of the therapeutic agent, according to research published in the February issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

Maturitas publishes important position statements from European Menopause and Andropause Society
Elsevier announced today the publication of two further important position statements from the European Menopause and Andropause Society in the journal Maturitas on common management problems in the post-reproductive health of women.

Go green, give a boost to employee morale
In a global recession, most people are thankful to have a job, but a new study published in Interdisciplinary Environmental Review suggests that employees are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs if they are working for a company that is perceived to be

Brain scans predict likely success when it comes to quitting smoking
New research from University of Michigan says brain scans showing neural reactions can predict behavior change even better than the person whose brain is being scanned.

Many rheumatoid arthritis patients not getting recommended drugs, Stanford researcher finds
Despite medical guidelines recommending that patients receive early and aggressive treatment for rheumatoid arthritis with these medications, only 63 percent of Medicare-managed care patients diagnosed with the disease received any amount of the prescription drugs, according to a new study led by a researcher from the Stanford University School of Medicine that will be published Feb.

3rd international conference on innovative approaches in head and neck oncology
The European Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, the European Head and Neck Society and the European Society for Medical Oncology in collaboration with other European partners, have the pleasure of inviting you to report on the 3rd International Conference on Innovative Approaches in Head and Neck Oncology.

High levels of circulating DNA may signal faster progression of lung cancer
High levels of circulating DNA may indicate faster progression of lung cancer and lower overall survival, according to a new study.

Brain can learn to overcome sleep apnea: U of T scientist
New research from the University of Toronto could provide some restful nights for the 18 million North Americans who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea.

As armor against criticism, corp. social responsibility no substitute for product quality
Corporate social responsibility efforts alone will not insulate a firm from bad press or criticism, according to a new study in the Journal of Service Research.

High Arctic avian athlete gives lessons about animal welfare
Researchers report that an Arctic bird has evolved to cope with its extreme environment by moving efficiently at high speeds or when carrying winter weight.

Mini or massive? For turtles and tortoises, it all depends on where you live
UCLA life scientists report the first quantitative evidence for an evolutionary link in turtles and tortoises between habitat and body size.

Repeat MRI screening for breast cancer results in fewer false positives
MRI screening for breast cancer delivers consistent rates of cancer detection and fewer false-positive results over time, according to a new study.

A possible cause of Parkinson's disease discovered
When a person has Parkinson's disease, the dopamine-producing nerve cells in the brain die.

Size of airborne flu virus impacts risk, Virginia Tech researchers say
A parent's wise advice to never go to a hospital unless you want to get sick may be gaining support from scientific studies on a specific airborne virus.

Tonsillectomy linked to excess weight gain in kids
Tonsillectomy is the most common major surgical procedure performed in children.

The Danish Architects' Association gives prestigious award to energy storage project
The prestigious award, Årets Lille Arne, went to Gottlieb Paludan Architects and to Risoe DTU for the Green Power Island project.

Predicting liver cancer spread
Patients with cancer usually do not die as a result of their originally diagnosed tumor.

Apocalypse then and now: Centuries of doomsday scenarios
Call it the world's oldest urban legend. Century after century, prophets of all stripes have forecast a dramatic end to civilization -- often with an exact date.

Researchers identify 5 new genetic variations in total of 11 thought to be important in Parkinson's disease risk
Until recently, environmental factors were thought to be wholly responsible for Parkinson's disease (PD).

Barrow TRPV1 research highlighted in Journal of Neuroscience
Research by a Barrow Neurological Institute scientist on the thermoregulatory effects of a receptor more commonly studied for its role in pain is the cover story in the Feb.

Radiologists play key role in teaching physiology to medical students
In order for medical students to ultimately provide quality patient care medical schools should turn to radiologists to help them teach physiology, one of the core disciplines of medicine, according to a study in the February issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Video games are good for girls -- if parents play along
Researchers from Brigham Young University's School of Family Life conducted a study on video games and children between 11 and 16 years old.

New test to study proteins involved in neurodegenerative diseases
Researchers from the Institute of Biotechnology and Biomedicine and the UAB Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology have developed and patented a method using Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast to detect in human proteins the formation of oligomers, small toxic aggregations of molecules which can initiate the assembly of amyloid fibres found in neurodegenerative diseases.

'Negative democratic gap' serves as predictor for instability such as in Egypt, say Hebrew University researchers
Research carried out at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem shows that it was possible already in 2008 to predict that countries such as Egypt and Iran were headed for dangerous periods of instability because of citizens' demands for democratization.

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.

Want more efficient muscles? Eat your spinach
After taking a small dose of inorganic nitrate for three days, healthy people consume less oxygen while riding an exercise bike. 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