Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 08, 2011
Study: Homeless patients cost $2,500 more than the average patient for each hospital stay
Homeless patients cost about $2,500 more per hospital stay than the average patient, according to a new study by researchers at St.

ChesapeakeView: Everything you need to know about the bay
Crabs, fishing, land use and pollution sources are frequently hot topics for researchers in the Chesapeake Bay area, but finding all the available information, especially remote sensing data, is frequently a chore.

UC Davis pain research may pave the way to understanding and controlling chronic pain
Researchers at the University of California, Davis have discovered a

University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center studies new treatment for high-risk aortic patients
About 100,000 Americans, most of them over the age of 70, are diagnosed with severe aortic stenosis each year, and it can leave them breathless, feeling faint and with chest pain and heart palpitations.

The sorry state of health of US medicine
As the debate about health care in the United States rages, four insightful articles in the March 2011 issue of the American Journal of Medicine strive to add reasoned arguments and empirical research findings to the dialog.

Collaborative care program reduces depression, anxiety in heart disease patients
Twelve weeks in a low-intensity collaborative care program improved depression symptoms and reduced anxiety in heart disease patients.

Right-handers, but not left-handers, are biased to select their dominant hand
The vast majority of humans -- over 90 percent -- prefer to use their right hand for most skilled tasks.

IRBs could use pre-clinical data better
In this week's PLoS Medicine, Jonathan Kimmelman from McGill University in Montreal, Canada and Alex London from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, USA, argue that ethical reviewers and decision-makers pay insufficient attention to threats to validity in pre-clinical studies and consult too narrow a set of evidence.

University Hospitals Case Medical Center testing innovative 'heat therapy' for premature ejaculation
University Hospitals Case Medical Center is conducting the first ever pilot study to test a new procedure using

NYSCF - Robertson investigator publishes research to better understand pluripotent stem cells
Paul Tesar, PhD, of Case Western Reserve University, a member of the inaugural class of the New York Stem Cell Foundation - Robertson Investigators, published his research on the ability to isolate epiblast stem cells from preimplantation mouse embryos.

Now, the story can be told - how scientists helped ID 'Amerithrax'
It took nearly a decade before University of Maryland researchers were allowed to talk about their work identifying the anthrax strain used in the 2001 deadly letter attacks.

Rituximab combined with a TNF inhibitor and methotrexate shows no safety signal in RA treatment
A recent trial of rituximab in combination with a tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitor and methotrexate in patients with active rheumatoid arthritis (RA) found the safety profile to be consistent with other RA trials with TNF inhibitors.

Urinary metabolomic profile and gastric cancer
A research team from China investigated urinary metabolites expression changes among three mice groups using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry.

Spanish tourists criticize other Mediterranean countries' lack of hospitality
People visiting Spain have a high opinion of the price-quality ratio of Spanish hotels.

Cancer in HIV-positive patients
Most HIV-positive patients die of cancer. In the latest issue of Deutsches Arzteblatt International, Manfred Hensel's research group presents epidemiological data.

March GSA Today: The case for a neoproterozoic oxygenation event
The Cambrian

Scanning antiquity underfoot
Prof. Lev Eppelbaum of TAU's Raymond and Beverly Sackler Faculty of Exact Sciences has invented a tool that combines advanced analyses from many geophysical methods to

Identifying 'anonymous' email authors
A team of researchers from Concordia University has developed an effective new technique to determine the authorship of anonymous emails.

Vascular brain disorder misdiagnosed as multiple sclerosis
A devastating vascular disorder of the brain called CADASIL, which strikes young adults and leads to early dementia, often is misdiagnosed as multiple sclerosis, Loyola University Health System researchers report.

When work calls: Study shows that receiving work-related contact at home takes greater toll on women's well-being
Communication technologies that help people stay connected to the workplace are often seen as solutions to balancing work and family life.

Trees pay us back
The USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station's scientists have found that for every $1 spent on planting and caring for a tree, the benefits that it provides is two to five times that investment.

First census finds surprisingly few white sharks off California
In the first census of its kind, research led by UC Davis and Stanford University found that there are far fewer white sharks off central California than biologists had thought.

Team uncovers dengue fever virus' molecular secrets
Researchers at the Instituto de Medicina Molecular in Lisbon, Portugal and the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, are making major strides toward understanding the life cycle of flaviviruses, which include some of the most virulent human pathogens: yellow fever virus, Dengue virus and the West Nile Virus, among others.

Sleep-deprived people make risky decisions based on too much optimism
The powers that be in Las Vegas figured out something long before neuroscientists at two Duke University medical schools confirmed their ideas this week: Trying to make decisions while sleep-deprived can lead to a case of optimism.

Migrating moths and songbirds travel at similar rates
A study published March 9 in Proceedings of the Royal Society B by researchers at Rothamsted Research (an institute of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council), and the universities of Lund (Sweden), Greenwich and York, reports the surprising finding that night-flying moths are able to match their songbird counterparts for travel speed and direction during their annual migrations but they use quite different strategies to do so.

ADAM-12 gene could hold key to cancer, arthritis and cardiac treatments
ADAM-12 is not only the name of a 1970s television police drama -- it's also the gene that University of Missouri researchers believe could be an important element in the fight against cancer, arthritis, and cardiac hypertrophy, or thickening of the heart's walls.

Conflicts-of-interest in drug studies sneaking back into medical journals, say investigators
Hidden financial conflicts-of-interest are sneaking into published drug research through the back door, warns an international team of investigators, led by researchers from the Jewish General Hospital's Lady Davis Institute for Medical Research and McGill University in Montreal.

Study analyzes role of PARP enzyme in eukaryotes
An Ohio State University molecular biologist leveraged a supercomputer to help better define the family tree of a group of enzymes that have been implicated in a wide range of human diseases and are important targets for anti-cancer therapies.

Curbing cholesterol could help combat infections, study shows
Lowering cholesterol could help the body's immune system fight viral infections, researchers have found.

Brain implant surgeries at UCSF dramatically improve symptoms of debilitating condition
Implanting electrodes into a pea-sized part of the brain can dramatically improve life for people with severe cervical dystonia -- a rare but extremely debilitating condition that causes painful, twisting neck muscle spasms -- according to the results of a pilot study led by Jill Ostrem, MD and Philip Starr, MD PhD at the University of California, San Francisco.

Study of 90 animals' thigh bones reveals how they can efficiently carry loads
The structures inside animals' thigh bones that enable them to support huge loads whilst being relatively lightweight are revealed in research published today in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Internet catches updated butterfly and moth website
Why should we care about butterflies and moths? Thanks to butterflies, bees, birds, and other animal pollinators, the world's flowering plants are able to reproduce and bear fruit.

Study: Receiving work-related communication at home takes greater toll on women
Communication technologies that help people stay connected to the workplace are often seen as solutions to balancing work and family life.

Deepwater Horizon committee to hear from industry representatives - March 11 public meeting
A committee of the National Academy of Engineering and National Research Council that is conducting an analysis of the causes of the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill.

A novel prognostic marker for biliary atresia
A research team from China characterized the differentially expressed gene profiles in livers from biliary atresia (BA) patients.

Imaging system controls baking process on production line to improve sandwich bun quality
Food companies requiring tight control over baking conditions should benefit from a new imaging system that automatically inspects sandwich buns on the production line and adjusts oven temperatures to provide product of consistent quality.

PBS-Bio uncovers how Unibioscreen drug kills cancer
Predictive Biomarker Sciences (PBS-Bio) has uncovered how the experimental drug UNBS1450, produced by Unibioscreen, kills cancer cells.

Colonoscopy linked to decrease in colorectal cancer deaths, but many more could have been prevented
For National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy has published a special March issue on colonoscopy and colorectal cancer which includes a study showing that colonoscopy has prevented a substantial number of colorectal cancer deaths and that many more could have been prevented with more widespread use.

How can robots get our attention?
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have found that they can program a robot to understand when it gains a human's attention and when it falls short.

Trauma patients have higher rate of death for several years following injury
In a study that included more than 120,000 adults who were treated for trauma, 16 percent of these patients died within 3 years of their injury, compared to an expected population mortality rate of about 6 percent, according to a study in the March 9 issue of JAMA.

New instrument for analyzing viruses
Scientists in Israel and California have developed an instrument for rapidly analyzing molecular interactions that take place viruses and the cells they infect.

Roundworm could provide new treatment for sepsis
Research by the University of Liverpool has found that systemic inflammation caused by sepsis can be suppressed by a protein which occurs naturally in a type of roundworm.

Eating disorders and body dissatisfaction is double in Muslim teenagers than in Christian
Research conducted at the University of Granada is pioneer in addressing the relationship between religion, eating disorders and body image perception among adolescents.

Cleansing the soul by hurting the flesh: The guilt-reducing effect of pain
Lent in the Christian tradition is a time of sacrifice and penance.

March of Dimes provides $2.4 million in new funding for preterm birth research
The work of five researchers will be supported for the next three years by new March of Dimes Prematurity Research Initiative grants.

Secrets of plague revealed
In work that is pushing the

Story opportunities for journalists at ACP's Internal Medicine 2011
More than 5,000 internists (adult medicine specialists), subspecialists, medical students, and allied health professionals will meet in San Diego for Internal Medicine 2011, the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Physicians, April 7-9 (Thursday - Saturday), at the San Diego Convention Center.

Research study explores gene therapy treatment to reduce symptoms of Parkinson's disease
Physicians at Rush University Medical Center are testing a unique gene therapy product called CERE-120 to evaluate if its use can improve the symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

Big games, close scores lead to more auto fatalities for winning fans
Closely contested major sporting events are followed by a significant increase in traffic fatalities for fans of the winning team, according to new research from North Carolina State University.

Columbia professor to discuss good, bad aspects of choice at NJIT March 23 talk
In the NJIT Technology and Society Forum presentation on March 23, 2011, in the Campus Center Ballroom at 2:30 p.m., Columbia University Professor Sheena Iyengar, will address the psychological and cultural challenges of choice, and suggest answers drawn from her discipline-spanning research.

SPINTROS project awarded prestigious Starting Grant prize for innovative ideas in electronics
The leader of the CIC nanoGUNE nanodevices team received the prestigious award for scientific research, a Starting Grant of 1.3 million euros ($1.8 million) for the SPINTROS project.

Oldest known wild bird in US returns to Midway to raise chick
The oldest known US wild bird -- a coyly conservative 60 -- is a new mother.

Improving risk/benefit estimates in new drug trials
It's all too familiar: researchers announce the discovery of a new drug that eradicates disease in animals.

UNC study finds oral tongue cancer increasing in young, white females
A UNC study released this week in the Journal of Clinical Oncology finds an increasing incidence of squamous cell carcinoma of the oral tongue in young white females in the United States over the last three decades.

Boy toddlers need extra help dealing with negative emotions
The way you react to your two-year-old's temper tantrums or clinginess may lead to anxiety, withdrawal and behavior problems down the road, and the effect is more pronounced if the child is a boy who often displays such negative emotions as anger and social fearfulness, reports a new University of Illinois study.

Meta-analyses of randomized controlled trials seldom show conflict of interest, funding information
Information concerning funding and author conflicts of interest disclosed in the original reports of randomized controlled trials is rarely disclosed when these data are combined in meta-analyses, according to an article in the March 9 issue of JAMA.

Malaria's weakest link
A group of researchers from EPFL's Global Health Institute and Inserm has discovered that a class of chemotherapy drugs originally designed to inhibit key signaling pathways in cancer cells also kills the parasite that causes malaria.

Researchers discover new wintering grounds for humpback whales using sound
Researchers at the Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology, an organized research unit in the University of Hawai'i at Manoa's School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology have made a remarkable new discovery regarding humpback whale wintering grounds.

Academic performance of UK doctors and medical students varies by ethnicity
UK trained doctors and medical students from minority ethnic groups tend to underperform academically compared with their white counterparts, finds a study published on today.

Epilepsy-linked memory losss worries more patients than doctors
Patients with epilepsy worry more than their physicians do about the patients' potential memory loss accompanying their seizure disorder, according to a recent study.

MU chemist discovers shortcut for processing drugs
Jerry Atwood, Curator's Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemistry in the MU College of Arts and Science, has recently published a paper -- his 663rd in a refereed journal -- that states that highly pressurized carbon dioxide at room temperature could replace the time consuming and expensive methods currently used to manufacture certain pharmaceutical drugs.

The safety of daily magnesium oxide treatment for children with chronic constipation
A research team from Japan determined serum magnesium concentration in children with functional constipation treated with daily magnesium oxide.

Research finds open-source software is actually more secure for health care IT
Globally the sale of health-care information systems is a multibillion dollar industry.

Government of Canada and Heart and Stroke Foundation take action on obesity
The Honorable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Health, today announced three new research initiatives studying how the design of neighborhoods impact obesity.

Boston researchers create 'SMArt' platform architecture, launch $5,000 health app competition
Through a grant from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, researchers at Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School have developed a first-of-its kind platform architecture to support a flexible health information technology environment and promote innovation.

Passive news reports may lead readers to feel they can't find the truth
Passive news reporting that doesn't attempt to resolve factual disputes in politics may have detrimental effects on readers, new research suggests.

Enzymes from garden compost could favour bioethanol production
Today, bioethanol is primarily made from glucose. If xylose -- which is found in straw, willow and other fast-growing plant species -- could also be used efficiently, then ethanol production could increase significantly.

Laughter really is the best medicine (for leg ulcers)
Forget technology. The best prescription for patients with venous leg ulcers is good quality nursing care -- and the occasional belly laugh!

ASGE initiative examines real-time endoscopic assessment of the histology of diminutive colorectal polyps
March's GIE: Gastrointestinal Endoscopy includes the first statement from a new ASGE initiative called the Preservation and Incorporation of Valuable Endoscopic Innovations (PIVI).

The science behind the cape
What do you have when you line up a martial artist, acrobatic gymnast, police officer, firefighter, NASCAR driver, and NFL running back?

Real March Madness is relying on seedings to determine Final 4
Think picking all the top-seeded teams as the Final Four in your March Madness bracket is your best bet for winning the office pool?

Viruses teach researchers how to protect corn from fungal infection
Smut fungi are agents of disease responsible for significant crop losses worldwide.

Oops -- graphene oxide's solubility disappears in the wash
Graphene oxide has had a scrum of researchers fall upon it as it retains much of the properties of pure graphene, but it is much easier, and cheaper, to make in bulk quantities; easier to process; and its significant oxygen content appears to make it soluble in water.

Extremely fast MRAM data storage within reach
Magnetic random access memories are the most important new modules on the market of computer storage devices.

Massachusetts reform hasn't stopped medical bankruptcies: Harvard study
The percentage of personal bankruptcies linked to medical bills or illness changed little, and the absolute number actually increased in Massachusetts after the implementation of its landmark 2006 law requiring people to buy health insurance.

Sildenafil reduces Raynaud's frequency in patients with systemic sclerosis
Researchers in Europe reported that treatment with modified-release sildenafil significantly reduced the frequency of attacks of Raynaud's phenomenon in patients with limited cutaneous systemic sclerosis, also known as scleroderma.

No link between economic growth and child undernutrition rates in India
Economic growth in India has no automatic connection to reducing undernutrition in Indian children and so further reductions in the prevalence of childhood undernutrition are likely to depend on direct investments in health and health-related programs.

Online nutrition courses: Fad or growing trend?
Most of us have heard of Phoenix. No, not the mystical bird or the capital of Arizona, but the online university.

National Comprehensive Cancer Network and SNM join to advance oncology imaging research
The National Comprehensive Cancer Network and the Society of Nuclear Medicine are pleased to announce a collaboration to advance research for cancer imaging and therapies.

Health Bill unlikely to improve children's health services, warn child health experts
The coalition government's Health and Social Care Bill is a missed opportunity to deliver the improvements in children's health services in England that are urgently needed, warn experts in a paper published on today.

New bowel cancer evidence calls for routine DNA repair test
Bowel cancer patients whose tumors contain defects in specific DNA repair systems are much less likely to experience tumor recurrence post surgery, results from a major clinical study have demonstrated.

Sea grant awards more than $1.1 million for research under EPA's Long Island Sound study
The Sea Grant programs of Connecticut and New York have awarded Long Island Sound Study research grants valued at $1,130,832 to six projects that will look into some of the most serious threats to the ecological health of Long Island Sound, a water body designated by the Environmental Protection Agency as an Estuary of National Significance.

Researchers find drug that stops progression of Parkinson's disease in mice
In a major breakthrough, scientists at the University of Colorado School of Medicine have discovered a drug that stops progression of Parkinson's disease.

LRI awards wide-ranging research grants to drive next generation of scientific discovery in lupus
The Lupus Research Institute today announced the award of 12 new research grants, building on its decade-long commitment to drive innovation and discover novel approaches to understand and treat one of the world's most confounding and elusive diseases -- lupus.

Making viruses pass for 'safe'
Viruses can penetrate every part of the body, making them potentially good tools for gene therapy or drug delivery.

Why marketing yourself is critical for your chemistry career is ACS Webinars topic
Networking and building your personal brand to advance professionally is the topic of the next in a series of American Chemical Society Webinars for scientists and chemical professionals.

The cerebellum provides clues to the nature of human intelligence
Research suggests that intelligence in humans is controlled by the part of the brain known as the

Chronic disease care poorer in nursing and residential homes under GP target scheme
The quality of chronic disease care under the GP pay for performance system is poorer for residents of care homes than those living in the community, according to a study published on today.

The foundations of empathy are found in the chicken
A study by academics at the University of Bristol's Animal Welfare and Behaviour research group has gained new insight into the minds of domestic hens, discovering, for the first time, that domestic hens show a clear physiological and behavioral response when their chicks are mildly distressed.

University of South Florida researchers find blood-brain barrier damaged by disease
When modeled in mice, Sanfilippo syndrome type B (MS III B), has been found to damage the blood-brain barrier, the structure responsible for protecting the brain from the entry of harmful blood-borne substances.

NASA infrared satellite data sees system 96P developing tropically near Vanuatu
The low pressure area called System 96P in the South Pacific appears to be getting organized in infrared satellite imagery from NASA.

It's all in a name: 'Global warming' vs. 'climate change'
Many Americans are skeptical about whether the world's weather is changing, but apparently the degree of skepticism varies systematically depending on what that change is called.

Brief video training dramatically boosts hands-only CPR attempts
Video training as brief as one minute led to participants being more likely to give hands-only CPR, at a rate and compression depth significantly closer to the ideal than those with no training.

A more definitive test for a common sexually transmitted infection
A study from the microbiology lab at Rhode Island Hospital has found that a new test may be more accurate in identifying a common sexually transmitted infection (STI), Trichamonos vaginalis (TV).

As we sleep, speedy brain waves boost our ability to learn
Scientists have long puzzled over the many hours we spend in light, dreamless slumber.

Novel clinical trial aims to reduce recurrence of aggressive breast cancer
In a first-of-its-kind clinical trial, physician-scientists at University Hospitals Case Medical Center are exploring a new method to potentially prevent recurrence of an early stage, aggressive type of breast cancer.

PanCan-AACR Pathway to Leadership grants awarded
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and the American Association for Cancer Research have awarded Jennifer M.

3-D tracking of single molecules inside cells
Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and the University of Texas at Dallas are reporting today at the 55th Annual Biophysical Society Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Md., how they are using a novel 3-D cell imaging method for studying the complex spatial-temporal dynamics of protein transport, providing a solution to this fundamental problem in cell biology.

Study shows no-till's benefits for Pacific Northwest wheat growers
Wheat farmers in eastern Oregon and Washington who use no-till production systems can substantially stem soil erosion and enhance efforts to protect water quality, according to research by US Department of Agriculture scientists.

HBV infection decreases risk of liver metastasis in colorectal cancer patients
A research team from China evaluated the effect of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection on liver metastasis of colorectal cancer.

Aging with grace: In-home assessments lead to better care, lower health costs
The March 2011 issue of the journal Heath Affairs highlights Geriatric Resources for Assessment and Care of Elders, an evidence-based model of geriatric care management developed, implemented and tested by researchers and clinicians from Indiana University, the Regenstrief Institute and Wishard Health Services.

Ultrafast laser 'scribing' technique to cut cost, hike efficiency of solar cells
Researchers are developing a technology that aims to help make solar cells more affordable and efficient by using a new manufacturing method that employs an ultrafast pulsing laser.

How long does a tuning fork ring?
Researchers at the University of Vienna and Technische Universitaet Muenchen have solved a long-standing problem in the design of mechanical resonators: the numerical prediction of the design-limited damping. 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