Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 16, 2011
Children of working moms face more health problems
Children of working mothers are significantly more likely to experience health problems, including asthma and accidents, than children of mothers who don't work, according to new research from North Carolina State University.

Death rate from tuberculosis in homeless alarmingly high: Study
One in five homeless people with tuberculosis die within a year of their diagnosis, according to a study led by St.

New test shows promise for accurate diagnosis of Turner syndrome
As a child grows, a short stature is not usually cause for concern, but it is often the only sign of a condition called Turner syndrome.

Dial 5683 for love: Dialing certain numbers on a cell phone changes your emotional state
A psychological scientist in Germany has found a way that cell phones, and specifically texting, have hacked into our brains.

International experts to converge in Singapore for second Keystone Symposia Conference on Biofuels
Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology and Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) will hold the second Keystone Symposia conference on Biofuels at Swissotel The Stamford in Singapore March 1-6, 2011.

Conservation of whitebark pine may hinge on preservation of ponderosa
The caching of whitebark pine seeds by the Clark's nutcracker in late summer and early fall may not be enough to regenerate populations of the imperiled conifer in most of its range, scientists have found.

Professor Roberto Morandotti of INRS receives prestigious Steacie fellowship
Professor Roberto Morandotti, a recognized leader in the field of ultrafast optical communications at the Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications research center at INRS, has been awarded the 2011 E.W.R.

Illinois professor awarded 2011 Wolf Prize in Agriculture
University of Illinois animal sciences professor Harris Lewin is a recipient of the 2011 Wolf Prize in Agriculture.

Waking up is hard to do
Northwestern University scientists have discovered a new mechanism in the core gears of the circadian clock.

Practice more important than age in learning to use computer mouse
Children as young as five years old can learn how to use a computer mouse, new research suggests.

Oldest fossils of large seaweeds, possible animals tell story about oxygen in an ancient ocean
Almost 600 million years ago, before the Cambrian explosion, a community of seaweeds and worm-like animals lived in a quiet deep-water niche under the sea near what is now Anhui Province of South China.

Researchers link gene mutations to Ebstein's anomaly
Ebstein's anomaly is a rare congenital valvular heart disease. Now, in patients with this disease, researchers of the Academic Medical Center Amsterdam in the Netherlands, the University of Newcastle, UK and the Max Delbrueck Center Berlin-Buch have identified mutations in a gene which plays an important role in the structure of the heart.

Tau-induced memory loss in Alzheimer's mice is reversible
A Max Planck study raises hopes for the development of effective therapies.

Parenting after the death of a child a difficult balancing act: York U study
One of the tough challenges a parent faces when a child dies is to learn how to parent the surviving children, according to York University psychology professor Stephen Fleming.

Killer paper for next-generation food packaging
Scientists are reporting development and successful lab tests of

1 group of enzymes could have a positive impact on health, from cholesterol to osteoporosis
Recent studies conducted at the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montreal on a group of PCSK enzymes could have a positive impact on health, from cholesterol to osteoporosis.

Latino siblings of children with developmental disabilities at risk
Latino siblings of children developmental disabilities such as Down syndrome and autism may face their own challenges, including anxiety and lower school performance, according to a new study led by researchers with the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center.

Media advisory -- events at AAAS
Members and staff of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council will participate.

Dwarfism gene linked to protection from cancer and diabetes
A long-term study finds extremely low incidence of cancer and diabetes among individuals with a growth-stunting genetic defect.

Discovery of blood proteins that are red flags for ectopic pregnancy
A long, urgent search for proteins in the blood of pregnant women that could be used in early diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy has resulted in discovery of biomarkers that seem to be specific enough to begin testing in clinical trials, scientists are reporting in a new study in ACS's Journal of Proteome Research.

Running on a faster track
Dr. Tal Raviv of Tel Aviv University's Iby and Aladar Fleischman Faculty of Engineering has developed the

Trial suggests statin may affect markers associated with progression of HIV
A recent multicenter clinical trial of atorvastatin found that although the drug did not inhibit plasma HIV RNA levels, it did inhibit expression of cellular markers of immune activation and inflammation in patients with HIV infection.

Most New Jersey residents see global health as critical to state's economy
Despite the unpredictable economy, nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of New Jersey residents think spending money on research to improve health globally is important to jobs and incomes in the state, according to a new statewide poll commissioned by Research!America.

A billion tons of biomass a viable goal, but at high price, new research shows
A team of researchers led by Madhu Khanna, a professor of agricultural and consumer economics at the University of Illinois, shows that very high biomass prices would be needed in order to meet the ambitious goal of replacing 30 percent of petroleum consumption in the US with biofuels by 2030.

'Model minority' not perceived as model leader
Asian-Americans are widely viewed as

Periodic table of shapes to give a new dimension to math
Mathematicians are creating their own version of the periodic table that will provide a vast directory of all the possible shapes in the universe across three, four and five dimensions, linking shapes together in the same way as the periodic table links groups of chemical elements.

Researchers find brain insulin plays critical role in the development of diabetes
Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine have discovered a novel function of brain insulin, indicating that impaired brain insulin action may be the cause of the unrestrained lipolysis that initiates and worsens Type 2 diabetes in humans.

Who's the boss? Americans respond faster to those with high social status
A study in PLoS ONE by researchers from the Brain and Creativity Institute at USC and Peking University examines how White Americans and Chinese people in China respond to pictures of their boss, suggesting cultural differences in our responses to authority figures.

Key culprit identified in breast cancer metastasis
New research at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine suggests these regulatory T cells, whose job is to help mediate the body's immune response, produce a protein that appears to hasten and intensify the spread of breast cancer to distant organs and, in doing so, dramatically increase the risk of death.

The race to bring biofuels to the pump
Poised at the starting gate are palm oil, sugar cane, corn cobs, and switch grass.

Brigham and Women's Hospital selected to participate in Medicare imaging demonstration project
Brigham and Women's Hospital was selected by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services as one of five conveners of a demonstration project that promotes appropriate utilization of advanced imaging services, CMS announced Feb.

MU researchers believe discovery could lead to testing that displaces colonoscopies
Nobody enjoys colonoscopies, including mice. University of Missouri researchers are excited about the potential of using genetic biomarkers to predict colon cancer caused by inflammation.

FASEB announces the 2011 Summer Research Conference series: Registration is now open
Since 1982, the FASEB SRCs have offered a continuing series of interdisciplinary exchanges that are recognized as a valuable complement to the highly successful society meetings.

Study reveals security weaknesses in file-sharing methods used in clinical trials
Patients who participate in clinical trials expect that their personal information will remain confidential, but a recent study led by Dr.

Global warming may reroute evolution
Rising carbon dioxide levels associated with global warming may affect interactions between plants and the insects that eat them, altering the course of plant evolution, research at the University of Michigan suggests.

Method of DNA repair linked to higher likelihood of genetic mutation
A method by which cells repair breaks in their DNA, known as Break-induced Replication (BIR), is up to 2,800 times more likely to cause genetic mutation than normal cell repair according to study in Feb.

Build your online networks using social annotations
Researchers at Toshiba are working on a way of finding clusters of like-minded bloggers and others online using

California Health Interview Survey releases newest data on state residents' health
The California Health Interview Survey released its latest data today on more than 100 topics affecting the health and well-being of Californians.

Erg gene key to blood stem cell 'self-renewal'
Scientists from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute have begun to unravel how blood stem cells regenerate themselves, identifying a key gene required for the process.

Enzyme helps prepare lung tissue for metastatic development
A Massachusetts General Hospital study has identified a new role for an important enzyme in preparing lung tissue for the development of metastases.

Ultrasound fusion imaging provides comparable accuracy for bone, soft tissue tumors
Biopsies using ultrasound fusion imaging for detecting bone and soft tissue cancers are safe, effective and just as accurate as conventional biopsy methods, according to a Henry Ford Hospital study.

2010 AAAS Mentor Award goes to Dr. Joseph M. DeSimone of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University
For his dedication to advancing the diversity of doctoral-level chemists entering the workforce, the 2010 Mentor Award of the American Association for the Advancement of Science will be bestowed upon Dr.

Elsevier launches 'Sustainable Computing: Informatics and Systems'
Elsevier, a leading global publisher of scientific, technical, and medical information products and services, announced today the launch of Sustainable Computing: Informatics and Systems.

Ben-Gurion U. part of EU consortium to develop robots that selectively pick fruit
The cRops robotic platform will be capable of site-specific spraying (targeted spraying only on foliage and selected targets) and selective harvesting of fruit.

UC Davis energy experts to help US Navy get greener
UC Davis today agreed to help the US Navy find new ways to use less energy and to derive more of the energy it does use from renewable sources such as the sun and wind, instead of oil and coal.

$6 million grant to fund center for robust decision-making on climate and energy policy
The Computation Institute at the University of Chicago is leading a new multi-institutional, interdisciplinary center to build tools to help governments, the private sector and individuals make better-informed decisions relating to both climate and energy policies and the long-term consequences of climate change.

Thawing permafrost likely will accelerate global warming
Up to two-thirds of Earth's permafrost likely will disappear by 2200 as a result of warming temperatures, unleashing vast quantities of carbon into the atmosphere, says a new study led by the University of Colorado Boulder.

Water softeners not found to improve childhood eczema
The first study of its kind in the world -- involving 336 children aged between six months and 16 years old -- has shown that installing a water softener for three months brings no additional relief for eczema sufferers.

Dr. Lynford L. Goddard receives the 2010 AAAS Early Career Award for Public Engagement with Science and Technology
The American Association for the Advancement of Science has recognized Dr.

Hip, thigh implants can raise bone fracture risk in children
Children with hip and thigh implants designed to help heal a broken bone or correct other bone conditions are at risk for subsequent fractures of the very bones that the implants were intended to treat, according to new research from Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

NASA satellite sees Tropical Storm Bingiza hugging the western Madagascar coastline
Infrared satellite data from NASA is showing some strong thunderstorms over west-central Madagascar today as Tropical Storm Bingiza continues to hug the western coast of the island nation.

Xenacoelomorpha -- a new phylum in the animal kingdom
Scientists reorganize the animal phylogenetic tree.

World's largest lake sheds light on ecosystem responses to climate variability
Siberia's Lake Baikal, the world's oldest, deepest and largest freshwater lake, has provided scientists with insight into the ways that climate change affects water temperature, which in turn affects life in the lake.

Whole genome sequencing used to help inform cancer therapy
Whole genome sequencing -- spelling out a person's entire DNA genetic code -- has moved one step closer to being a medical option for direct patient care.

UT researchers link algae to harmful estrogen-like compound in water
University of Tennessee researchers discovered the blue-green algae may add a new harmful element into the way they understand and investigate alga blooms in aquatic systems.

Apes shed pounds while doubling calories, CWRU researcher finds
Gorillas in Cleveland Metroparks Zoo have dropped about 65 pounds after a year on a leafy green diet created by a CWRU researcher.

New repair technique rapidly reduces pain and improves back function in cancer patients with spinal fractures
Balloon kyphoplasty, a quick and minimally invasive spinal repair procedure, provides rapid pain relief, increases mobility, and reduces the need for painkillers compared with standard non-surgical care of vertebral compression fractures that often occur in cancer patients.

Smoking during radiation treatments reduces chance of overall survival
Smokers who continue to smoke while undergoing radiation treatments for head and neck cancer fare significantly worse than those who quit smoking before therapy, according to a study in the February issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology•Biology•Physics, an official journal of the American Society for Radiation Oncology.

ASN opposes proposed cuts to medical research
The American Society of Nephrology strongly opposes the proposed $1.6 billion reduction to the NIH budget included in the continuing resolution (fiscal year 2011) being debated in the House of Representatives.

2010 AAAS Science Diplomacy Award goes to Glenn E. Schweitzer for building international relations through scientific cooperation
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world's largest general scientific society, has named Dr.

'False memory' investigator Dr. Elizabeth Loftus receives the 2010 AAAS Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award
The 2010 American Association for the Advancement of Science Scientific Freedom and Responsibility Award will honor

Geologists get unique and unexpected opportunity to study magma
Geologists drilling an exploratory geothermal well in 2009 in the Krafla volcano, Iceland, encountered a problem they were unprepared for: magma which flowed into the well at 2.1 kilometers depth, forcing the researchers to terminate the drilling.

NASA sees tropical cyclone double-trouble for Australia
NASA's Aqua satellite captured an infrared image today of tropical cyclones affecting Australia in the western and northern areas of the country.

Lie detection: Misconceptions, pitfalls and opportunities for improvement
Unlike Pinocchio, liars do not usually give telltale signs that they are being dishonest.

Treatment for manic-depressive illness restores brain volume deficits
Lithium, introduced in the late 1940s, was the first

President Obama's 2012 budget: Nation's future depends on science, innovation
Research!America's board chair, former Congressman John Edward Porter, and president, Mary Woolley, thanked President Obama for prioritizing medical, health and scientific research in his FY2012 budget proposal.

BTER Foundation announces winners of the William S. Baer Award
The BioTherapeutics, Education & Research (BTER) Foundation publicly announced the recipients of the 2010 William S.

Whitehead member Rudolf Jaenisch honored for groundbreaking stem cell research
Israel's Wolf Foundation, whose stated mission is

John Theurer Cancer Center to host Eighth Annual Northern New Jersey Breast Cancer Conference
The Division of Breast Oncology at the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center will host the Eighth Annual Northern New Jersey Breast Cancer Conference on Friday, February 18 from 7:00 am-3:30 pm.

AAAS/Subaru Science Books & Film Prizes celebrate the legacy of Henrietta Lacks, environmental science and science literacy
Four science books exploring global climate change, the collapse of honey bee colonies, 50 daring experiments, and the gripping tale of Henrietta Lacks, whose cells gave rise to the now-ubiquitous HeLa cell line, earned top honors in the 2010 AAAS/Subaru Science Books & Film competition.

Mio-Pliocene faunal exchanges and African biogeography: The record of fossil bovids
Description of six-million-year-old fossil antelopes from the Middle Awash in Ethiopia's Afar Region has now provided new information on the development of today's sub-Saharan mammalian community.

Neurologists develop software application to help identify subtle epileptic lesions
Researchers from the Department of Neurology at NYU Langone Medical Center identified potential benefits of a new computer application that automatically detects subtle brain lesions in MRI scans in patients with epilepsy.

Health care spending: Study shows high imaging costs for defensive purposes
Nearly 35 percent of all the imaging costs ordered for 2,068 orthopedic patient encounters in Pennsylvania were ordered for defensive purposes, according to a new study presented today at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

To escape blame, be a victim, not a hero, new study finds
Great works and praiseworthy behavior may bring respect and admiration, but these won't help us to escape blame when we do something wrong, says a new study by researchers at the University of Maryland and Harvard University.

Reflected glory
The nebula Messier 78 takes center stage in this image taken with the Wide Field Imager on the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile, while the stars powering the bright display take a backseat.

Biomarker could make diagnosing knee injury easier, less costly, Stanford othopaedists say
A recently discovered biomarker could help doctors diagnose a common type of knee injury, according to a new study.

Japan Science and Technology Agency to automate indexing of 90 journals in SciVerse Scopus
Elsevier and the Japan Science and Technology Agency have reached a new agreement for the automated delivery of the metadata of 90 J-STAGE journals in SciVerse Scopus, reflecting the mutual commitment of Elsevier and JST to the global dissemination of scientific research.

MSU-led study identifies risks for quitting college
College students who consider dropping out are particularly sensitive to a handful of critical events including depression and loss of financial aid, according to a study led by Michigan State University scholars.

First identification of endocrine disruptors in algae blooms
Scientists are reporting for the first time that previously unrecognized substances released by algae blooms have the potential to act as endocrine disruptors, which can interfere with the normal activity of reproductive hormones.

2010 AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Award presented to the Honorable Rush Holt, Ph.D., for supporting science in Congress
The Honorable Rush Holt, US Representative for New Jersey's 12th Congressional District, has been chosen to receive the 2010 AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Award in honor of his work as an advocate for investments in research and development as well as education to expand America's scientific workforce.

Increasing brain enzyme may slow Alzheimer's disease progression
Increasing a naturally occurring enzyme in the brain slowed the damaging accumulation of tau proteins that are toxic to nerve cells and eventually lead to the neurofibrillary tangles, a major pathological hallmark of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia.

Study looks into evolution of breast cancer in Spain
Pioneering Spanish provinces in terms of early prevention of breast cancer, such as Navarre and the Basque Country, record lower death rates, although the trend is towards the figures leveling out all over Spain.

Adherence course reduces hypertension
A high proportion of patients with high blood pressure are failing to take their medication properly and would benefit clinically from a course of

Sterility in frogs caused by environmental pharmaceutical progestogens
Frogs appear to be very sensitive to progestogens, a kind of pharmaceutical that is released into the environment.

Regrowing hair: UCLA-VA researchers may have accidentally discovered a solution
A team led by researchers from UCLA and the Veterans Administration that was investigating how stress affects gastrointestinal function may have found a chemical compound that induces hair growth by blocking a stress-related hormone associated with hair loss -- entirely by accident.

University of Minnesota researchers study the use of computer vision to diagnose mental disorders
A University of Minnesota research team was recently awarded two grants totaling more than $3 million from the National Science Foundation's Cyber-Enabled Discovery and MRI Programs to create robotic devices and computer vision algorithms that will assist with the early diagnosis of children at risk of developing disorders such as autism, attention deficit disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder.

Engineering students win award from National Clean Energy Contest
A team of University of California, Riverside Bourns College of Engineering undergraduate students received national honors Wednesday for the third time in the past year for their research aimed at generating hydrogen and developing clean, affordable fuel cells to generate electricity.

Finding a way to extend tomato shelf-life
Tomatoes spend so much time on shelves and in refrigerators that an estimated 20 percent are lost to spoilage, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

Innovative virtual reality exposure therapy shows promise for returning troops
An article published in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Traumatic Stress is one of the first to provide evidence of the effectiveness of exposure therapy with active duty military service members suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

NIDCD research at ARO Midwinter Meeting
NIH-supported scientists will be presenting their latest research findings at the 2011 Midwinter Meeting of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology.

Joshua E. Neimark Memorial Travel Assistance Award winners investigate stem cell transplantation, sustainable growth, women in academia, and conservation science
Four newly named beneficiaries of the Joshua E. Neimark Memorial Travel Assistance Endowment are investigating a new stem cell transplantation technology, the macroeconomics of sustainability, women in academia and conservation science, respectively.

Research improves diagnosis and treatment of bleeding disorder
A rare bleeding disorder that can lead to life-threatening bleeding episodes is misdiagnosed in 15 percent of cases according to findings from a new international research project led by a Queen's professor.

GW researchers reveal first autism candidate gene that demonstrates sensitivity to sex hormones
George Washington University researcher, Dr. Valerie Hu, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology, and her team at the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, have found that male and female sex hormones regulate expression of an important gene in neuronal cell culture through a mechanism that could explain not only higher levels of testosterone observed in some individuals with autism, but also why males have a higher incidence of autism than females.

Drug therapy shows significant benefit in treating a leading cause of childhood blindness
A readily available, inexpensive drug therapy showed a significant benefit in treating premature infants with the worst and historically most difficult-to-treat cases of retinopathy of prematurity.

Immunologist J. John Cohen receives the 2010 AAAS Public Understanding of Science and Technology Award
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has named Dr.

Inhaling 'Red Mud Disaster' dust may not be as harmful to health as feared
Scientists in Hungary are reporting that the potential health effects of last October's Red Mud Disaster, one of the worst environmental accidents in Europe, may be less dangerous than previously feared.

Insects hold atomic clues about the type of habitats in which they live
Scientists have discovered that insects contain atomic clues as to the habitats in which they are most able to survive.

Herschel finds less dark matter but more stars
ESA's Herschel space observatory has discovered a population of dust-enshrouded galaxies that do not need as much dark matter as previously thought to collect gas and burst into star formation.

Customized knee replacement depends on surgeon's skill, not implant design
While the choices of knee implants are plentiful, the success of total knee replacement surgery still is dependent on the surgeon's skill, Henry Ford Hospital researchers say.

Modell Chair in Pediatric Immunology established
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia today announced the establishment of the Jeffrey Modell Endowed Chair in Pediatric Immunology Research.

Society for Neuroscience awarded $1.53 million to create
SfN has been awarded $1.53 million in funding over six years to create and maintain, a unique nonprofit online source for authoritative public information about the progress and promise of brain research.

2010 AAAS Lifetime Mentor Award goes to Dr. Joel D. Oppenheim of New York University School of Medicine
Dr. Joel D. Oppenheim of New York University School of Medicine has been honored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science

New pneumococcal vaccine approach successful in early tests
Researchers at Children's Hospital Boston and Genocea Biosciences, Inc., in collaboration with the international nonprofit organization PATH, developed a new vaccine candidate that is potentially cheaper and able to protect against any pneumococcal strain.

Draft sequence of Neandertal genome wins the 2010 AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize, supported by Affymetrix
Composed of more than 4 billion nucleotides, a draft sequence of the Neandertal genome won the 2010 Newcomb Cleveland Prize of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

DMP for coronary heart disease: Current guidelines indicate some need for revision
IQWiG has published the results of a search update for evidence-based clinical practice guidelines on coronary heart disease. 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