Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 14, 2011
New high-resolution carbon mapping techniques provide more accurate results
A team of scientists from the Carnegie Institution for Science's Department of Global Ecology and the USDA Forest Service's Pacific Southwest Research Station has developed new, more accurate methods for mapping carbon in Hawaii's forests.

Nanorods developed in UC Riverside lab could greatly improve visual display of information
Chemists at the University of California, Riverside have developed tiny, nanoscale-size rods of iron oxide particles in the lab that respond to an external magnetic field by aligning themselves parallel to one another like a set of tiny flashlights turned in one direction, and displaying a brilliant color.

Research shows rapid adoption of newer, more expensive prostate cancer treatments
New research from the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center shows that newer, more expensive treatment options for prostate cancer were adopted rapidly and widely during 2002-2005 without proof of their cost-effectiveness, and may offer explanations for why health care spending accounts for 17 percent of the nation's GDP.

Tumor suppressor blocks viral growth in natural HIV controllers
Elevated levels of p21, a protein best known as a cancer fighter, may be involved in the ability of a few individuals to control HIV infection with their immune system alone.

Is your child's hobby making him sick?
Used woodwind and brass instruments were found to be heavily contaminated with a variety of bacteria and fungi, many of which are associated with minor to serious infectious and allergic diseases, according to a study published in the March/April 2011 issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry.

Lambs provide crucial link in understanding obesity
The question of whether children born to obese mothers will become obese themselves is one step closer to being answered as a result of new research which studied lambs born to overweight sheep.

Young scientists to make the case for research funding on Capitol Hill
Young researchers from universities across the United States will arrive at the US House and Senate on Tuesday for talks with lawmakers and their staffs about how to keep the scientific research enterprise moving and how to fuel the pursuit for medical breakthroughs in a time of national economic uncertainty.

Study helps explain how pathogenic E. coli bacterium causes illness
Scientists at NIAID have shown how the O157:H7 strain of Escherichia coli causes infection and thrives by manipulating the host immune response.

Zoo researchers provide African sanctuaries road map
Every year throughout Africa, primate rescue centers are flooded with chimpanzee orphans, primarily victims of the bushmeat trade.

An inside look at how the elite control HIV
Although most HIV-infected individuals progress quickly from infection to immunodeficiency, a small subset survive for long periods without developing symptoms.

Temple receives $3.7 million to study parenting styles' effect on childhood obesity
A new grant from the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture will fund a new study to determine the effectiveness of authoritative parenting strategies surrounding food portions and choices, in an effort to prevent childhood obesity.

Report into well-being and inclusion of former politically motivated prisoners
The first major study of the well-being and inclusion of former politically motivated prisoners in Northern Ireland will be launched by Queen's University on March 14.

Habtoor Fellowship brings postdoctoral researcher from UAE to Harvard Medical School
The Dubai Harvard Foundation for Medical Research is pleased to announce the Khalaf Al Habtoor Harvard Research Fellowship, which will offer a qualified postdoctoral researcher from the UAE or the Middle East region the opportunity to work for up to three years at a research center or laboratory based at Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health or one of the Harvard Medical School affiliated hospitals.

Study seeks to halt progression of diabetic nephropathy
Researchers at Georgia Health Sciences University are studying whether inhibiting an enzyme that reduces levels of a protective metabolite could halt the progression of diabetic nephropathy or kidney disease resulting from diabetes.

Collaborative care shown to be successful for patients with opioid addictions
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have found that for the majority of patients with opioid addiction, collaborative care with nurse care managers is a successful method of service delivery while effectively utilizing the time of physicians prescribing buprenorphine.

Virtual assistance is confirmed as an effective tool in monitoring HIV patients
The Hospital Clinic of Barcelona presents the first results of

Statistics can help us avoid counterfeit goods on the internet, study shows
Consumers need to know the true perils of purchasing artwork or luxury goods on the Internet, say statisticians in a paper published today in Significance, the magazine of the Royal Statistical Society and the American Statistical Association.

Key mutations act cooperatively to fuel aggressive brain tumor
Mutations in three pathways important for suppressing tumors cooperate to launch glioblastoma, an aggressive brain tumor that strikes children and adults.

Use of $4 generic drug programs could save society billions of dollars, study shows
If all eligible patients filled their prescriptions through a $4 generic drug program, the societal savings could amount to nearly $6 billion, according to a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health study.

MESSENGER spacecraft to swing into orbit around Mercury
The MESSENGER spacecraft is scheduled to go into orbit around Mercury on March 17.

Painkiller prescribing varies dramatically among family physicians: study
Some physicians are prescribing opioids such as OxyContin 55 times as often as others, according to a new study led by St.

Neanderthals were nifty at controlling fire, says CU-Boulder-led study
A new study involving the University of Colorado Boulder shows clear evidence of the continuous control of fire by Neanderthals in Europe dating back roughly 400,000 years, yet another indication that they weren't dimwitted brutes as often portrayed.

Stroke incidence higher among patients with certain type of retinal vascular disease
Patients with a disease known as retinal vein occlusion (RVO) have a significantly higher incidence of stroke when compared with persons who do not have RVO, according to a report in the March issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Study shows why people read magazines featuring envy-inspiring models
New research reveals why people read fitness and fashion magazines featuring photos of impossibly thin or muscular models -- models whose appearance highlight the readers' own flaws.

Old-growth tree stumps tell the story of fire in the upper Midwest
Researchers have constructed a 226-year history of fire in southern Illinois by looking at fire scars in tree stumps.

Benefits of bariatric surgery may outweigh risks for severely obese
Bariatric surgery is a viable option for patients who are severely obese and are safe surgical candidates who have failed medical therapy for losing weight.

University of Michigan awarded $4.9 million to help reduce obesity in preschool children
The USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture has awarded $4.9 million to the University of Michigan to reduce the prevalence of childhood obesity among Head Start preschoolers in Michigan.

Arctic on the verge of record ozone loss
Unusually low temperatures in the Arctic ozone layer have recently initiated massive ozone depletion.

Osteoblasts are bone idle without Frizzled-9
New research shows that the Wnt receptor Frizzled-9 (Fzd9) promotes bone formation, providing a potential new target for the treatment of osteoporosis.

Better batteries for electric cars
The breakthrough with electric cars is a long time coming -- not least on account of their key component, the battery.

Brown biologist wins NSF's Waterman Award
Biologist Casey Dunn is this year's winner of the National Science Foundation's Alan T.

3 US Play Coalition grants will fund new research on the value of play
The US Play Coalition ended its second international gathering of play enthusiasts at Clemson University by getting serious about scholarship.

NASA's Hubble rules out 1 alternative to dark energy
Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have ruled out an alternate theory on the nature of dark energy after recalculating the expansion rate of the universe to unprecedented accuracy.

Monash scientists uncover a new understanding of male puberty
Scientists from Monash University have uncovered a new understanding of how male puberty begins.

Climate-related disasters may provide opportunities for some rural poor, study suggests
A new study in Honduras suggests that climate-related weather disasters may sometimes actually provide opportunities for the rural poor to improve their lives.

Seedlings thrive with distant relatives, seeds with close family
A variety of angiosperm seedlings suffered from competition when planted with near relatives in home soils and fared best with distant relatives.

Vitamin D insufficiency high among patients with early Parkinson disease
Patients with a recent onset of Parkinson disease have a high prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency, but vitamin D concentrations do not appear to decline during the progression of the disease, according to a report in the March issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

DU researchers find that headway being made fighting communicable diseases globally
Those working for healthier humans around the globe are making headway in fighting communicable diseases such as AIDS, malaria and diarrheal illness, according to research from the Frederick S.

Study identifies therapeutic target for liver cancer and predictive biomarker of response
Scientists from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and four other institutions have identified a strategy for targeted molecular therapy in liver cancer, which currently has limited treatment options and one of the worst one-year survival rates of any cancer type.

Mini disks for data storage
Slanted exterior edges on tiny magnetic disks could lead to a breakthrough in data processing.

How the slime mold gets organized
The so-called cellular slime mold, a unicellular organism that may transition into a multicellular organism under stress, has just been found to have a tissue structure that was previously thought to exist only in more sophisticated animals.

Seedless cherimoya, the next banana?
Mark Twain called it

'Fly tree of life' mapped, adds big branch of evolutionary knowledge
Calling it the

Guided care reduces the use of health services by chronically ill older adults
New report shows that older people who receive Guided Care, a new form of primary care, use fewer expensive health services compared to older people who receive regular primary care.

Trapping a rainbow: Lehigh researchers slow broadband light waves with nanoplasmonic structures
A research team has experimentally verified the

Why argue? Helping students see the point
Read the comments on any website and you may despair at Americans' inability to argue well.

Cameras out of the salt shaker
There have been gloves and shavers for one-off use for a long time.

Tumor metastasis with a twist
In the early stages of human embryogenesis, a transcription factor called Twist1 plays a key regulatory role in how the embryo assumes form and function.

Impact of a bad job on mental health as harmful as no job at all
The impact on mental health of a badly paid, poorly supported, or short term job can be as harmful as no job at all, indicates research published online in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

Natural compounds: the future of anti-malarial treatment
In the run up to World Malaria Day on April 25, 2011, BioMed Central's open access journal Malaria Journal takes a long hard look at the development of natural compounds for use in the fight against malaria.

Orchid wears the scent of death
Sex and violence, or at least death, are the key to reproduction for the orchid Satyrium pumilum.

Novel strategies target health care-associated infections
Can probiotics prevent pneumonia in patients breathing with the help of ventilators?

Study of 143,000 children shows reference heart rate and breathing rate ranges differ widely from published guidelines
A new analysis of 69 studies comprising some 143,000 children has produced new reference ranges that differ widely from existing published guidelines.

JCI online early table of contents: March 14, 2011
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs and contact information for papers to be published March 7, 2011, in the JCI:

Newer doesn't mean better when it comes to type 2 diabetes drugs
An inexpensive type 2 diabetes drug that has been around for more than 15 years works just as well and has fewer side effects than a half-dozen other, mostly newer and more expensive classes of medication used to control the chronic disease, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.

Toxoplasmosis: The strain explains severity of infection
Providing clues into why the severity of a common parasitic infection can vary greatly from person to person, a new Johns Hopkins study shows that each one of three strains of the cat-borne parasite Toxoplasma gondii sets off a unique reaction in the nerve cells it invades.

Minnesota House of Representatives passes 2011 International Year of Chemistry Resolution
The Minnesota House of Representatives has passed a bi-partisan resolution recognizing 2011 as the International Year of Chemistry, according to the American Chemical Society.

New mouse model explains common pediatric brain tumor
Pilocytic astrocytoma is the most common pediatric brain tumor, but there are few medical therapies available.

Nauset Marsh Estuary red tide study begins next week
A three-year study into the cause of local area red tides is set to begin March 21.

ASPB journals migrate to new Web platform
The two premier plant biology journals published by the American Society of Plant Biologists -- Plant Physiology and The Plant Cell -- completed their migration to HighWire Press's new electronic publishing platform, H2O, on March 9, 2011.

Surgical technique helps adult male survivors of childhood cancer regain fertility
A new study has shown that a surgical technique called microdissection testicular sperm extraction can effectively locate and extract viable sperm in more than one-third of adult male childhood cancer survivors who were previously considered sterile due to prior chemotherapy treatment.

Teens and young adults with cancer face unique challenges and require targeted care
Adolescents and young adults are neither children nor adults and those affected by cancer require targeted care that crosses the boundaries between pediatric and adult oncology, according to several pioneers in this still-developing field of adolescent and young adult oncology.

Taking mathematics to heart
Mathematical cardiology has many problems that are ripe for unified attack by mathematicians, clinicians, and biomedical engineers.

March/April 2011 Annals of Family Medicine tip sheet
This tip sheet features highlights from the March/April 2011 issue of Annals of Family Medicine, including original research, editorials and methodology articles.

Silicon spin transistors heat up and spins last longer
University of Utah researchers built

Heavy drinking associated with increased risk of death from pancreatic cancer
Heavy alcohol consumption, specifically three or more glasses of liquor a day, is associated with an increased risk of death from pancreatic cancer, according to a report in the March 14 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Depression, age, other factors linked to dependence after stroke
People who have a stroke are more likely to be dependent if they are depressed, older or have other medical problems, according to a study published in the March 15, 2011, print issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

TRMM maps flooding along US East Coast from massive storm
The massive rain storm that stretched from New York to Florida last week dropped some record rainfall and NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite measured that rainfall from space.

Improving financial reporting in private firms' interest, new study of emerging markets suggests
Improved financial reporting at private firms benefits not only potential outside investors but will help the firm make better business decisions for itself too, says a new study.

Peter Mumby to receive prestigious 2011 Rosenstiel Award from the University of Miami
The University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science is proud to announce that Dr.

Taking tamoxifen to prevent breast cancer can save lives and money
Tamoxifen, taken by certain women as a preventive measure against breast cancer, saves lives and reduces medical costs.

Combining 2 peptide inhibitors might block tumor growth
A new study suggests that combining two experimental anticancer peptide agents might simultaneously block formation of new tumor blood vessels while also inhibiting the growth of tumor cells.

Early success of anti-HIV preventive oral drug regimen is promising, but questions remain
The first human studies of an oral drug regimen to prevent HIV infection in high-risk individuals yielded a promising near 50 percent reduction in HIV incidence, but a number of issues require additional research before oral pre-exposure prophylaxis can be implemented on a large scale, according to an article in AIDS Patient Care and STDs, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert Inc.

'Ivory wave' may be new legal high after 'miaow miaow' (mephedrone) ban
A new legal high has emerged that seems to be replacing the banned substance mephedrone or

Osteopathy 'of no benefit' to children with cerebral palsy
Research commissioned by Cerebra, the charity that helps to improve the lives of children with brain conditions, and carried out by the Cerebra Research Unit at the Peninsula College of Medicine & Dentistry, has found little evidence to suggest that cranial osteopathy is of benefit to children with cerebral palsy.

Heavy drinking not linked to common type of gullet cancer
Heavy drinking is not associated with one of the two most common types of gullet (esophageal) cancer, suggests research published online in Gut.

Gender stereotypes about math develop as early as second grade
University of Washington researchers report that children express the stereotype that mathematics is for boys, not for girls, as early as second grade, before gender differences in math achievement emerge.

A seismograph for ancient earthquakes
Professor Shmuel Marco of Tel Aviv University has invented a

Study puts notch on the jagged edge of lung cancer metastasis
Researchers discovered a new, key component in the spread of lung cancer as well as a likely way to block it with drugs now in clinical trial.

Antioxidants in pregnancy prevent obesity in animal offspring
New biological research may be relevant to the effects of a mother's high-fat diet during pregnancy on the development of obesity in her children.

Water for an integrative climate paradigm
International climate negotiations are deadlocked between the affluent global North and

MU researcher leads new $6.6 million study that could lead to better corn plants
A University of Missouri researcher has received a $6.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation to lead a research team to study the genes that control the movement of carbohydrates in corn.

CDC makes reproductive health surveys available through IHME's new Global Health Data Exchange
A wealth of maternal and child health data is being made immediately and freely accessible through a new collaboration between the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Division of Reproductive Health.

New research focuses on prion diseases
New research by Chongsuk Ryou, researcher at the UK Sanders-Brown Center on Aging and professor of microbiology, immunology and molecular genetics in the UK College of Medicine, may shed light on possible treatments for prion diseases.

Book illuminates life, legacy of physicist Feynman
In the new scientific biography,

Solar power systems could lighten the load for British soldiers
A revolutionary type of personal power pack now in development could help our troops when they are engaged on the battlefield.

$500,000 grant from Polonsky Foundation to digitize Hebrew University Einstein Archives
A $500,000 grant from the Polonsky Foundation of London will enable the Hebrew University of Jerusalem to digitize its Albert Einstein Archives and make it available online to researchers and students everywhere.

Rock-paper-scissors tournaments explain ecological diversity
The mystery of biodiversity -- how thousands of similar species can co-exist in a single ecosystem -- might best be understood as the result of a massive rock-paper-scissors tournament, a new study from the University of Chicago and the University of California, Santa Barbara has revealed.

A research study analyzes marine spill prevention policies in Spain
A study at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid analyzing the capacity of a society to deal with maritime disasters such as the Prestige concludes that in Spain public measures still have not been taken to coordinate reaction when confronting this type of spills.

Neuro signals study gives new insight into brain disorders
Research into how the brain transmits messages to other parts of the body could improve understanding of disorders such as epilepsy, dementia, multiple sclerosis and stroke.

Omega-3 fatty acid intake linked with reduced risk of age-related macular degeneration in women
Regular consumption of fish and omega-3 fatty acids found in fish is associated with a significantly reduced risk of developing age-related macular degeneration in women, according to a report posted online today that will appear in the June issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

NJIT prof offers new desalination process using carbon nanotubes
A faster, better and cheaper desalination process enhanced by carbon nanotubes has been developed by NJIT Professor Somenath Mitra.

The impact of sex selection and abortion in China, India and South Korea
In the next 20 years in large parts of China and India, there will be a 10 percent to 20 percent excess of young men because of sex selection and this imbalance will have societal repercussions, states an analysis in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Research may lead to new and improved vaccines
Alum is an adjuvant (immune booster) used in many common vaccines, and Canadian researchers have now discovered how it works.

Embargoed news from Annals of Internal Medicine
Below is information about two articles being published in the March 15 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine and two articles being released early online.

International Liver Congress 2011
There is still time to register for the International Liver Congress 2011.

Stopping smoking shortly before surgery is not associated with increased postoperative complications
A meta-analysis of nine previous studies found that quitting smoking shortly before surgery was not associated with an increased risk of postoperative complications, according to a report published online today that will appear in the July 11 print issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

San Diego Zoo Global joins effort to conserve the Amazonian rain forest through Peru field station
San Diego Zoo Global will play a key role in helping to conserve the Amazonian rain forest by taking on management responsibility for a conservation and research station located in the Manu Biosphere Reserve in Peru. 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