Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 02, 2011
Bioengineered veins offer new hope on horizon for patients lacking healthy veins for coronary bypass surgery or dialysis
Breakthrough new research in regenerative medicine demonstrates the efficacy of off-the-shelf bioengineered veins developed in large and small diameters for procedures such as hemodialysis for kidney disease and for coronary bypass surgery.

Cedars-Sinai research team awarded $1.9 million from CIRM to develop new tools and technologies
A team of scientists from the Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute has been awarded a $1.9 million grant from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine to fund development of a new technique to aid pharmaceutical discoveries for specific diseases.

Early detection of lung cancer
The earlier cancers can be detected, the better the chances of a cure.

New technique boosts high-power potential for gallium nitride electronics
Gallium nitride (GaN) material holds promise for emerging high-power devices that are more energy efficient than existing technologies -- but these GaN devices traditionally break down when exposed to high voltages.

An extra 5 years of life an unexpected benefit of osteoporosis treatment
Australian clinical researchers have noted an extraordinary and unexpected benefit of osteoporosis treatment -- that people taking bisphosphonates are not only surviving well, better than people without osteoporosis, they appear to be gaining an extra five years of life.

The 'death switch' in sepsis also promotes survival
Researchers from Rhode Island Hospital have identified a protein that plays a dual role in the liver during sepsis.

UF astronomers, NASA team find 6 closely packed planets orbiting same star
A NASA team including three University of Florida astronomers has found six new planets in a distant solar system that in some ways resembles our own.

NIH researchers identify genetic cause of new vascular disease
Clinical researchers at the National Institutes of Health's Undiagnosed Diseases Program have identified the genetic cause of a rare and debilitating vascular disorder not previously explained in the medical literature.

Widespread school closures needed to stop strain on hospitals during epidemics
New research led by researchers at the University of Warwick shows that limited school closures are ineffective in dealing with epidemics and that only significant widespread school closures would have real effect on the spread of a epidemic and the strain placed on hospital intensive care units.

Why folic acid may prevent a first heart attack, but not a second
A perplexing medical paradox now has an explanation according to research undertaken at Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry and published in the current issue of PLoS ONE.

New gift from Mother Nature's medicine chest may help prevent and treat bone diseases
One of Mother Nature's latest gifts to medical science is stirring excitement with the discovery that the substance -- obtained from a coral-reef inhabiting cyanobacterium -- appears to be an ideal blueprint for developing new drugs for serious fractures, osteoporosis, and other bone diseases.

Painful hip fractures strike breast cancer survivors
Common drugs used to treat breast cancer combined with the early stages of menopause could be weakening the bones of middle-aged breast cancer survivors.

'Red mud' disaster's main threat to crops is not toxic metals
As farmers in Hungary ponder spring planting on hundreds of acres of farmland affected by last October's red mud disaster, scientists are reporting that high alkalinity is the main threat to a bountiful harvest, not toxic metals.

Metabolic syndrome linked to memory loss in older people
Older people with larger waistlines, high blood pressure and other risk factors that make up metabolic syndrome may be at a higher risk for memory loss, according to a study published in the Feb.

Turtle populations affected by climate, habitat loss and overexploitation
Although turtles have been on the planet for about 220 million years, scientists now report that almost half of the turtle species is threatened.

Synthetic materials that behave like mollusk shells
Horacio Espinosa and colleagues report the identification of specific characteristics of the material microstructure of nacre, the iridescent material lining many mollusk shells, that enable its outstanding performance.

Neiker-Tecnalia creates air-conditioned greenhouse with alternative energies
Neiker-Tecnalia (the Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development) has created an air-conditioned greenhouse using alternative energies.

Uterine health more important than egg quality
For women seeking pregnancy by assisted reproductive technologies, such as in-vitro fertilization, a new study shows that the health of the uterus is more relevant than egg quality for a newborn to achieve normal birth weight and full gestation.

NASA Aqua Satellite sees powerful Cyclone Yasi make landfall in Queensland, Australia
NASA's Aqua satellite captured visible and infrared imagery of powerful Cyclone Yasi as it was making landfall in Queensland.

Vegans' elevated heart risk requires omega-3s and B12
People who follow a vegan lifestyle -- strict vegetarians who try to eat no meat or animal products of any kind -- may increase their risk of developing blood clots and atherosclerosis or

Older adults often excluded from clinical trials
Older adults are a large and growing patient population but more than half of clinical trials exclude them based on age or age-related conditions, according to a study by the University of Michigan Health.

Researchers identify molecular predictor of metastatic prostate cancer
Prostate tumors that carry a

Use of sea urchin embryos is proposed to evaluate quality of marine environment
Estuaries are highly appropriate systems for evaluating contamination. They are areas of accumulation of sediments and, effectively, numerous contaminants are found associated with these sedimentary particles.

A picture-perfect pure-disc galaxy
The bright galaxy NGC 3621, captured here using the Wide Field Imager on the 2.2-meter telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile, appears to be a fine example of a classical spiral.

PanCareSurFup: Major EU project to tackle complications of childhood cancer treatment
An increasing number of children survive cancer. However, many of them pay a high price.

Screening for cervical cancer low for immigrant women
Immigrant women in Ontario are not screened for cervical cancer as often as native-born Canadians, with the lowest rates being among older, poorer South Asians, new research shows.

UC San Diego engineers play role in warehouse fire safety
Engineers at UC San Diego have made a breakthrough discovery that could help ease these situations by predicting where and how quickly initial fires spread in warehouses.

When a blockbuster becomes lackluster: Not all movie-watching experiences are created equal
Richard Harris, Kansas State University professor of psychology, has conducted two studies that show we may not enjoy watching a movie for two reasons: what we're watching and who we're watching it with.

UA engineers study hybrid systems to design robust unmanned vehicles
University of Arizona aerospace and mechanical engineers are studying bird and bee flight to develop unmanned vehicles that stay aloft longer and cope with sudden and severe changes in airflow.

Mayo researchers pinpoint how 1 cancer gene functions
For several decades, researchers have been linking genetic mutations to diseases ranging from cancer to developmental abnormalities.

Accountable care at Academic Medical Centers: Lessons learned
Academic Medical Centers must adjust and adapt to the new health care reform laws or risk marginalization in the new health care arena, according to a New England Journal of Medicine Perspective article published online Feb.

Migraine surgery offers good long-term outcomes
Surgery to

Six small planets orbiting a sun-like star amaze astronomers
A remarkable planetary system discovered by NASA's Kepler mission has six planets around a Sun-like star, including five small planets in tightly packed orbits.

Researchers lead search for better drug-addiction treatments
UT Southwestern Medical Center psychiatry researchers are leading the Texas arm of a national network that conducts clinical trials aimed at finding effective treatments for drug addiction.

Physiological impacts of homophobia
Young adults who are lesbian, gay or bisexual are at far higher risk for severe mental health problems than their heterosexual peers.

Laser welding in the right light
Laser welding is on the advance, but it also has its limits: it has been impossible to fuse two transparent plastic components together -- up until now.

New state scorecard on children's health care finds wide geographic disparities
Two years after the reauthorization of the Children's Health Insurance Program, a new Commonwealth Fund state scorecard evaluating how the health care system is working for children finds that federal and state action has helped preserve, and expand, health coverage for children, despite the severe recession.

Sideline test accurately detects athletes' concussions in minutes, Penn study shows
A simple test performed at the sideline of sporting events can accurately detect concussions in athletes, according to study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

Singapore continues to lead Waseda rankings for third year running
The Waseda University Institute of e-Government has released the 2011 Waseda University World e-Government Ranking, marking its seventh consecutive year of monitoring the development of e-Government worldwide.

Experiment reaches biology milestone with hard X-ray laser
A pair of studies published Feb. 3 in Nature, detail a new method developed to determine structures of biomolecules based on diffraction from protein nanocrystals.

Malaria medication may help against 1 type of frontotemporal dementia
Scientists at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases and the Ludwig-Maximilians Universitaet Munich have found a promising approach for a possible treatment of so-called frontotemporal dementia, an Alzheimer's-like form of dementia.

Crowd workers are not online Shakespeares, but Carnegie Mellon research shows they can write
Writing can be a solitary, intellectual pursuit, but researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have shown that the task of writing an informational article also can be accomplished by dozens of people working independently online.

Could the humble sea cucumber save our seas?
Scientists at Newcastle University are growing sea cucumbers on waste from fish farms in a bid to reduce the environmental impact of aquaculture and introduce a novel -- and sustainable -- delicacy to the European diet.

The human genome's breaking points
Scientists at EMBL Heidelberg and collaborators have identified the genetic sequence of an unprecedented 28 000 structural variants -- large portions of the human genome which differ from one person to another.

Leading experts to discuss latest advances in Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis
Some of the country's leading experts in the fields of Parkinson's disease and multiple sclerosis will gather Feb.

Roasting coffee beans a dark brown produces valued antioxidants: UBC food scientists
Food scientists at the University of British Columbia have been able to pinpoint more of the complex chemistry behind coffee's much touted antioxidant benefits, tracing valuable compounds to the roasting process.

Lampreys give clues to evolution of immune system
Biologists have discovered that primitive, predatory lampreys have structures within their gills that play the same role as the thymus, the organ where immune cells called T cells develop in mammals, birds and fish.

Empa organizes an international construction conference in Dubai
The first international conference on

Researchers develop new framework for analyzing genetic variants
Advances in DNA sequencing technology have revolutionized biomedical research and taken us another step forward in personalized medicine.

Breathing easy: LSU biochemists offer first 3-D model of asthma-causing inflammation enzyme
LSU graduate student Nathanial Gilbert and professor of biological sciences Marcia Newcomer, together with associate professor Sue Bartlett, have developed the first 3-D model of Human 5-Lipoxygenase, or 5-LOX, the molecule responsible for creating inflammatory compounds that provoke asthma.

Death in the bat caves: UC Davis experts call for action against fast-moving disease
A team of wildlife experts led by UC Davis called today for a national fight against a new fungus that has killed more than one million bats in the eastern United States and is spreading fast throughout North America.

Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Awards granted for pioneering ideas in cancer research
The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation announced that five scientists with novel approaches to fighting cancer have been named 2011 recipients of the Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award.

Ice cores yield rich history of climate change
On Friday, Jan. 28 in Antarctica, a research team investigating the last 100,000 years of Earth's climate history reached an important milestone completing the main ice core to a depth of 3,331 meters (10,928 feet) at West Antarctic Ice Sheet Divide.

UMD advance lights possible path to creating next-gen computer chips
University of Maryland researchers have made a breakthrough in the use of visible light for making tiny integrated circuits.

Nitrate improves mitochondrial function
The spinach-eating cartoon character Popeye has much to teach us, new research from the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet shows.

Cell reprogramming leaves a 'footprint' behind
Reprogramming adult cells to recapture their youthful

Losing body fat before pregnancy can be beneficial for the baby
Obese female rats that lose weight before pregnancy can confer health benefits on their offspring, a study by San Antonio and Mexico City scientists shows.

New nanoparticles make blood clots visible
For almost two decades, cardiologists have searched for ways to see dangerous blood clots before they cause heart attacks.

MicroRNA cocktail helps turn skin cells into stem cells
New technique removes several hurdles in generating induced pluripotent stem cells, smoothing the way for disease research and drug development.

Biologists discover 'control center' for sperm production
Biologists at the University of Leicester have published results of a new study into the intricacies of sex in flowering plants.

Rain in Spain is on the decline
A study led by the University of Zaragoza has studied precipitation trends in Spain's 10 hydrological basins over the 1946 to 2005 period.

Extreme X-ray pulses create unique image of intact virus
An international research team has managed to capture an image of an intact virus and a membrane structure from a photosynthetic bacterium with the aid of extremely intensive and ultra-short X-ray pulses from the world's first X-ray free electron laser.

An extra 5 years of life an unexpected benefit of osteoporosis treatment
Australian clinical researchers have noted an extraordinary and unexpected benefit of osteoporosis treatment -- that people taking bisphosphonates are not only surviving well, better than people without osteoporosis, they appear to be gaining an extra five years of life.

End of an era: NIST to cease calibrating mercury thermometers
Beginning March 1, 2011, NIST will no longer provide calibration services for mercury thermometers.

Elsevier acquires oncology journal portfolio from Cancer Information Group
Elsevier, the leading global publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, announced today that it acquired the oncology portfolio of journals previously published by CIG Media Group LP.

A cool way to make glass
By cooling glass to a temperature near Absolute Zero (-459.67 degrees Fahrenheit), professor Eran Rabani of Tel Aviv University is demonstrating that, at the quantum level, glass exhibits a very different behavior than might be expected from traditional physics -- in fact, it melts.

Research flights probe impacts of airborne particles on state climate and water supply
In a winter of unpredicted weather, a multi-year project to investigate the possible effects of air pollution on California's precipitation launches a new phase with a series of research flights that begin today featuring Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego scientists.

New age researchers highlight how man is changing the world
University of Leicester geologists lead production of a new set of studies published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A.

GOES-13 Satellite sees Groundhog's Day on ice
Punxsutawney Phil predicted that spring will come on time, and NASA satellite data suggests that residents in more than one-third of the US are now anxious for the prediction to come true.

NIST technique controls sizes of nanoparticle clusters for EHS studies
NIST researchers have demonstrated for the first time a method for producing nanoparticle clusters in a variety of controlled sizes that are stable over time.

iSAEC and HMORN to use electronic medical records to research genetics of drug-induced SAEs
The International Serious Adverse Events Consortium (iSAEC) announced today a new collaboration with the HMO Research Network (HMORN) to enroll subjects in research to identify genetic markers that may help predict risk associated with a range of serious drug-related adverse events (SAEs).

First evidence for a spherical magnesium-32 nucleus
A new discovery, and the questions is raises, could help explain in greater detail how elements are synthesized in the explosion of stars.

International award for 18 years of wind turbine standardization
Troels Friis Pedersen, Risoe DTU, has for 18 years headed a technical wind turbine working group under the International Electrotechnical Commission, IEC.

Flash of fresh insight by electrical brain stimulation
Are we on the verge of being able to stimulate the brain to see the world anew -- an electric thinking cap?

Ritalin may ease early iron deficiency damage
Ritalin may help improve brain function in adolescent rats that were iron deficient during infancy, according to a team of Penn State neuroscientists.

Neurobiologists find that weak electrical fields in the brain help neurons fire together
The brain -- awake and sleeping -- is awash in electrical activity, and not just from the individual pings of single neurons communicating with each other.

Earth's life support systems discussed in an open-access special issue
In the search for life on Mars or any planet, there is much more than the presence of carbon and oxygen to consider.

Schizophrenia gene mutation found; target for new drugs
In a major advance for schizophrenia research, an international team of scientists, led by Jonathan Sebat, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry and cellular and molecular medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, has identified a gene mutation strongly linked to the brain disorder -- and a signaling pathway that may be treatable with existing compounds.

Researchers create prototype test to screen for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease from donor blood
In an article published online first and an upcoming Lancet, researchers announce the creation of a new assay test that can detect minute amounts of the tiny CJD-causing particles, known as prions, in human blood.

Generic drug may improve the effectiveness of cancer nanotherapies
Low doses of losartan, an FDA-approved generic hypertension medication, may improve the results of nanotherapeutic approaches to cancer treatment by modifying the network of abnormal collagen fibers that characterizes most solid tumors.

Secrets of plant warfare underpin quest for safer, more secure global food supply
Like espionage agents probing an enemy's fortifications, scientists are snooping out the innermost secrets of the amazing defense mechanisms that plants use to protect themselves from diseases.

ASN statement in support of US Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010
The American Society of Nephrology (ASN) supports the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, which include advising Americans to reduce their daily salt intake.

Giant virus, tiny protein crystals show X-ray laser's power and potential
Two studies published in Nature demonstrate how the unique capabilities of the world's first hard X-ray free-electron laser -- the LCLS -- could revolutionize the study of life.

Killings and kidnappings: Tales of London's early theaters highlighted by new online database
A wealth of documentary evidence relating to theaters and society in early-modern London has for the first time been brought together online, in an international project led by the University of Southampton.

Agenda set for 8th Annual CTO Summit and Left Main Coronary Interventions Course
The 8th Annual Chronic Total Occlusion Summit and Left Main Coronary Interventions Course will feature state-of-the-art technologies, research findings and new developments in therapeutic procedures essential for interventional cardiologists to optimize success in chronic total coronary occlusions and left main coronary interventions.

Multiple genome sequencing yields detailed map of structural variants behind our genetic differences
The 1000 Genomes Project reports in the journal Nature that the global team has created the most comprehensive map yet of genomic structural variants.

Shoo fly: Catnip oil repels bloodsucking flies
Catnip, the plant that attracts domestic cats like an irresistible force, has proven 99 percent effective in repelling the blood-sucking flies that attack horses and cows, causing $2 billion in annual loses to the cattle industry.

Having a strong community protects adolescents from risky health behaviors
Children who grow up in poverty have health problems as adults.

All in the family: Lower back disease may be in your genes
Symptomatic lumbar disc disease, a condition caused by degeneration or herniation of the discs of the lower spine, may be inherited, according to a new study published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS).

New study identifies potential vaccine to prevent gastritis, ulcer disease, gastric cancer
A new study led by researchers at Rhode Island Hospital in collaboration with the University of Rhode Island and EpiVax Inc., a privately owned vaccine development company in Providence, RI, has identified a potential vaccine capable of reducing colonization of Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) -- a known cause of gastritis, ulcer disease and cancer.

Drugs warning -- check the label
A new study highlights inconsistencies in black box warnings -- medication-related safety warnings on a drug's label -- and argues for a more transparent and systematic approach to ensure these warnings are consistent across all drugs.

State of the Union focuses on research, education and innovation
The American Society of Plant Biologists reacts to State of the Union address and President's focus on research and innovation, including a focus on biofuels.

Effective treatment of Lyme-disease-related arthritis depends on proper diagnosis
Early, correct diagnosis is the best way to prevent the development of Lyme arthritis in individuals with the tick-borne illness, according to a paper published in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons .

Prehabilitation better prepares patients for knee replacement surgery
An exercise program designed by researchers at the University of Louisville for patients with severe knee arthritis improves leg strength and patients' functional ability before knee replacement surgery, according to recent report in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

GSA Bulletin highlights: New research posted Jan. 21-28
GSA BULLETIN is now regularly posting pre-issue publication content -- finalized papers that have not been assigned to an issue but are not under embargo.

Field study of smoggy inversions to end
For two months, researchers launched weather balloons, drove instrument-laden cars and flew a glider to study winter inversions that often trap dirty air in Salt Lake City and other urban basins worldwide.

Rare meteorites reveal Mars collision caused water flow
Exactly a century after the first discovery of a rare meteorite sample, University of Leicester team uses it to reveal new insights into water on the red planet.

Children's genes influence how well they take advantage of education
New research from the Twins Early Development Study at King's College London Institute of Psychiatry (IoP), shows that measures used to judge the effectiveness of schools are partly influenced by genetic factors in students.

University of Toronto anthropologists discover earliest cemetery in Middle East
Anthropologists at the University of Toronto and the University of Cambridge have discovered the oldest cemetery in the Middle East at a site in northern Jordan.

A protein reinforces memory and prevents forgetfulness
An international research study has shown that, in animal models, Type 2 insulin growth factor reinforces memory and prevents forgetfulness.

First new C. difficile drug in a generation superior to existing treatments: Researchers
Clostridium difficile infection is a significant problem in hospitals, but no new drugs to treat the condition have been developed in several decades.

ESA members take part in National Bed Bug Summit
Fifteen members of the Entomological Society of America gave presentations at the Second Annual National Bed Bug Summit: Advancing Towards Solutions to the Bed Bug Problem, held by the US Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, DC, Feb. 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