Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 05, 2011
Scientists develop new technology for stroke rehabilitation
Devices which could be used to rehabilitate the arms and hands of people who have experienced a stroke have been developed by researchers at the University of Southampton.

Climate change threatens global security, warn medical and military leaders
Medical and military leaders have come together today to warn that climate change not only spells a global health catastrophe, but also threatens global stability and security.

Study finds link between chronic depression and accelerated immune cell aging
Certain cases of major depression are associated with premature aging of immune cells, which may make people more susceptible to other serious illness, according to findings from a new UCSF-led study.

Carnegie's Meserve first recipient of Tufts' Vannevar Bush Dean's Medal
On Monday, April 4, 2011, Tufts University School of Engineering presented Richard A.

NIH study finds genetic clues to major cause of kidney disease worldwide
For the first time, researchers have found five regions in the human genome that increase susceptibility to immunoglobulin A (IgA) nephropathy, a major cause of kidney failure worldwide -- systematically identifying those that point to a tendency for IgA nephropathy, or a protection against it.

Modern targeted drug plus old malaria pill serve a 1-2 punch in advanced cancer patients
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine may have found a way to turn an adaptive cellular response into a liability for cancer cells, by treating a group of patients with several different types of advanced cancers with temsirolimus, a molecularly targeted cancer drug that blocks nutrient uptake, plus hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malarial drug that inhibits autophagy.

Non-traditional learning environments need clearer definitions, MU researchers say
What is the difference between e-learning, online learning and distance learning?

Record depletion of Arctic ozone layer caused increased UV radiation in Scandinavia
Over the past few days ozone-depleted air masses extended from the north pole to southern Scandinavia leading to higher than normal levels of ultraviolet radiation during sunny days in southern Finland.

New research finds mangroves key to climate change
New research shows that mangroves store exceptionally more carbon than most tropical forests, but they are being destroyed from coastlines at a rapid rate causing significant emissions of greenhouse gases.

Science 101: Different teaching fosters better comprehension
Introductory science courses -- in biology, chemistry, math and physics -- can be challenging for first-year college, CEGEP and university students.

Exploring the possibilities for zeolites
A new paper in the journal Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics hints at the untapped possibilities for making synthetic zeolites -- microporous materials that are used as molecular sieves and catalysts for everything from petroleum processing to nuclear waste disposal.

Device drops blood pressure in patients with difficult-to-treat hypertension
A device designed to treat people with resistant hypertension helped lower blood pressure by 33 points, a substantial drop that would otherwise require patients to take an additional three or four drugs, on top of this subgroup's usual regimen of up to five drugs, to control their difficult-to-treat condition.

Discovery of protein that alters nutrition of breast cancer cells
Research published in the Cancer Cell journal in March was a significant step in knowing the causes of cancer better, especially breast cancer, revealing that the lack or loss of a protein in the cells known as SIRT3, induces the proliferation of this disease and thereby, this protein can be an may be a therapeutic target in the development of effective therapies for cancer.

New database to help track quality of medicines in global markets
In the growing global battle against substandard and counterfeit medicines, the Promoting the Quality of Medicines program has launched a new, public database of medicines collected and analyzed in collaboration with stakeholders from countries in Africa, South America and Southeast Asia.

Chimp, bonobo study sheds light on the social brain
Why our two closest living primate relatives, chimpanzees and bonobos, have widely different social traits, despite belonging to the same genus, has long been a puzzle.

Historian says history of nuclear power needs to be addressed
The long-standing conflicts over nuclear power and the risks of radiation exposure are nothing new -- in fact, the debate over the damaged Fukushima Dai-Ichi plant in Japan are similar to arguments happening between scientists, governmental agencies and the public since 1945, according to an Oregon State University expert on the history of science.

Researchers use zebrafish to identify new gene linked to melanoma
Thanks to the zebrafish, there is new hope for people with melanoma, an aggressive skin cancer that is responsible for approximately 8,700 deaths each year in the United States.

Rejuvenating electron microscopy
Modifying a protein from a plant much favored by science, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and colleagues have created a new type of genetic tag visible under an electron microscope, illuminating life in never-before-seen detail.

NTU and Hebrew University of Jerusalem to offer joint Ph.D. program in environmental life sciences
Two leading universities of the world -- Singapore's Nanyang Technological University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel -- have signed an agreement to set up a joint Doctor of Philosophy program in environmental life sciences.

Face time with a female aids males bent on monkey business
The time males spend around a prospective mate might be the key to detecting subtle sexual signals that show which females are fertile and which are not, according to a new study published online in the scientific journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B by an international team of biologists and psychologists.

Researchers identify the metabolic signaling pathway responsible for dyslipidemia
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine, including Yu Li, Ph.D., and other colleagues, have demonstrated that a nutrient sensing pathway is involved in the disruption of cellular lipid homeostasis in obese and insulin resistant mice fed a diet high in fat and sucrose.

Protein found to be the link missing between HPV infection and cervical cancer development
Most women are infected with human papillomavirus (HPV), which can cause cervical cancer -- yet few develop the cancer.

Nanopolymer shows promise for helping reduce cancer side effects
A Purdue University biochemist has demonstrated a process using nanotechnology to better assess whether cancer drugs hit their targets, which may help reduce drug side effects.

Death rates after hospitalization down for oldest heart failure patients
Death rates after hospitalization for heart failure have declined in recent years for the most elderly patients, while rehospitalizations remain frequent.

Frozen comet had a watery past, University of Arizona scientists find
UA scientists have found convincing evidence for the presence of liquid water in a comet, shattering the current paradigm that comets never get warm enough to melt the ice that makes up the bulk of their material.

Genomic signature in post-menopausal women may explain why pregnancy reduces breast cancer risk
Women who have children, particularly early in life, have a lower lifetime risk of breast cancer compared with women who do not.

Did dinosaurs have lice? Researchers say it's possible
A new study louses up a popular theory of animal evolution and opens up the possibility that dinosaurs were early -- perhaps even the first -- animal hosts of lice.

New drug is effective against the most common form of skin cancer
A new drug is effective in preventing new basal cell carcinomas in patients with an inherited predisposition to the disease.

Fewer multiple births in states with insurance coverage for infertility
Faced with the prospect of costly in vitro fertilization (IVF) but with no help from insurance coverage, some infertile couples feel pressure to transfer multiple embryos in an attempt to ensure that the IVF is a success.

NIH, USU study maps hotspots of genetic rearrangement
Researchers have zoomed in on mouse chromosomes to map hotspots of genetic recombination -- sites where DNA breaks and reforms to shuffle genes.

Newsbriefs from the April issue of the journal Chest
New research published in the journal Chest highlights the dangers of water pipe (hookah) smoking and how COPD is not just a smoker's disease.

Renewal of a life and physical sciences research program at NASA could facilitate longer, farther human space missions
By elevating its life and physical sciences research program, NASA could achieve the biological understanding and technical breakthroughs needed to allow humans to be sent deeper into space

Diabetes treatment may also provide protection against endometrial cancer
Research led by Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick has found that metformin, a drug treatment used to treat diabetes and also in women with polycystic vary syndrome, may potentially provide protection against endometrial cancer.

Fox Chase scientists report interplay between cancer and aging in mice
Cancer risk increases with age, and scientists have long perceived a possible evolutionary tradeoff between longer lifespan and greater risk of cancer.

IADR/AADR publish proceedings from the 6th World Workshop on Oral Health and Disease in AIDS
The International and American Associations for Dental Research have published the proceedings from the Sixth World Workshop on Oral Health and Disease in AIDS (WW6), held in Beijing, China, April 21-24, 2009.

Sandia researchers merge gaming, simulation tools to create models for border security
With funding from the Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection (CBP), researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have developed a high-fidelity simulation and analysis program that aids policy and decision-makers tasked with making key procurements and funding choices.

Force of acoustical waves tapped for metamaterials
A very simple bench-top technique that uses the force of acoustical waves to create a variety of 3-D structures will benefit the rapidly expanding field of metamaterials and their myriad applications -- including

Off-label marketing of medicines in the US is rife but difficult to control
Despite Federal Drug Administration regulation of the approval and use of pharmaceutical products,

MU researcher says instructors can reduce cheating by being clear
A new University of Missouri study says that the reasons students give for cheating are rational, and that stricter punishments won't solve the problem.

WHOI-led team locates Air France wreckage
A search team led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has located the wreckage of Air France Flight 447 some 3,900 meters, or nearly 2.5 miles, below the surface of the Atlantic Ocean off Brazil's northeastern coast.

Huntington's disease protein has broader effects on brain, study shows
In Huntington's disease, the mutant protein known as huntingtin leads to the degeneration of a part of the brain known as the basal ganglia, causing the motor disturbances that represent one of the most defining features of the fatal disease.

Cost effective manure management
Scientists at USDA's Agricultural Research Service and Penn State used computer simulated farms with the support of field research to compare the environmental impact and economic efficacy of using alternative manure application methods in farming systems.

World's reef fishes tussling with human overpopulation
Scientists from 49 nations demonstrated that the ability of reef fish systems to produce goods and services to humanity increases rapidly with the number of species.

Convenience leads to corpulence
Two of the biggest influences on children -- parents and schools -- may unintentionally contribute to childhood obesity.

Fox Chase researchers develop a screen for identifying new anticancer drug targets
Tumor suppressor genes normally control the growth of cells, but cancer can spring up when these genes are silenced by certain chemical reactions that modify chromosomes.

Persons with sleep apnea have twice the risk of suffering a stroke
According to research presented at the School of Medicine and the University of Navarra Hospital by Dr.

How materialistic advertising messages negatively shape the female body image
A new study from the British Journal of Social Psychology is the first to examine the impact of materialistic messages and values -- the desire for financial success and an affluent lifestyle on women's feelings about their own body.

SmartEnergyLab: Testing smart energy systems
The residential housing sector needs smart energy systems. And yet the potential for developing these kinds of systems remains largely untapped.

The 'molecular octopus': A little brother of 'Schroedinger's cat'
For the first time -- as presented in Nature Communications -- the quantum behavior of molecules consisting of more than 400 atoms was demonstrated by quantum physicists based at the University of Vienna in collaboration with chemists from Basel and Delaware.

New research venture between Liverpool and Saudi Arabia aims to advance global response to infectious diseases
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health, the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and the Innovative Vector Control Consortium have launched a new venture to significantly increase the global ability to control major infectious diseases such as malaria and dengue.

Caution for estrogen therapy after hysterectomy
An editorial in the April 6 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association cautions against estrogen-only hormone therapy in women who have had a hysterectomy because of longstanding evidence that it raises the risk of breast cancer.

Penn study sheds light on end of life management of implanted defibrillators
Each year, more than 100,000 patients in the US undergo implantation of a new ICD for heart rhythm abnormalities.

Fox Chase researchers show vitamin A derivative can inhibit early forms of breast cancer
A nutrient found in carrots and sweet potatoes may prove key to fighting breast cancer at early stages, according to a new study by researchers at Fox Chase Cancer Center.

Obesity increases the risk of fetal and infant death, and the risk of complications after hysterectomy
Women who are obese during early pregnancy have a significantly increased risk of their baby dying before, during or up to one year after birth, according to research published in Europe's leading reproductive medicine journal Human Reproduction.

Digestive Disease Week 2011, Chicago, May 7-11
Digestive Disease Week will draw thousands of physicians, researchers and academics from around the world to Chicago in early May for the premiere scientific conference in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.

Research discovers how marijuana affects the way the brain processes emotional information
Drugs like marijuana act on naturally occurring receptors in the brain called cannabinoid receptors.

Springer launches Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences
Springer is launching the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences, the official publication of the Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences.

Starting periods before the age of 10 increases risk of lung complaints in future
Women who suffer from asthma or poor lung function as adults generally started their periods at the age of 10 or before.

MARC travel awards announced for Immunology 2011
FASEB MARC (Minority Access to Research Careers) Program has announced the travel award recipients for Immunology 2011, the 98th Annual Meeting of The American Association of Immunologists to be held in San Francisco, Calif., from May 13-17, 2011.

It's not over when it's over: Storing sounds in the inner ear
Research shows that vibrations in the inner ear continue even after a sound has ended, perhaps serving as a kind of mechanical memory of recent sounds.

NYU Langone Medical Center cardiologists present at ACC 60th Annual Scientific Session
Cardiologists from the Cardiac & Vascular Institute at NYU Langone Medical Center presented new research findings at the American College of Cardiology 60th Annual Scientific Session held April 2-5, 2011 in New Orleans, La.

Lithium in drinking water in Andean villages
Lithium is an element used in batteries and also for medication, as an established and common treatment for bipolar disorder.

Opioids now most prescribed class of medications
Two reports by addiction researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the National Institute on Drug Abuse show a drastic shift in prescribing patterns impacting the magnitude of opioid substance abuse in America.

OSU chemist developing solution to nerve agent exposure
Christopher Hadad, Ph.D., professor of chemistry at The Ohio State University, is leveraging Ohio Supercomputer Center systems to help develop a new drug that will regenerate a critical enzyme in the human body that

Early cancer treatment successes lead to CAREER Award for Rafael Davalos
In a recent article in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, co-author Rafael Davalos of Virginia tech's College of Engineering described the use of a method he invented to successfully treat a 7-year-old spayed female Labrador retriever with a five-year history of degenerative coxofemoral joint disease.

Migratory birds, domestic poultry and avian influenza
The persistence and recurrence of H5N1 avian influenza in endemic regions can largely be blamed on movement and infection by migratory birds.

Elevated levels of sodium blunt response to stress, study shows
New research from the University of Cincinnati shows that elevated levels of sodium blunt the body's natural responses to stress by inhibiting stress hormones that would otherwise be activated in stressful situations.

EULAR 2011 media update
We are delighted to provide you with an update on Europe's most important conference on arthritis and rheumatism: EULAR 2011 in London, England.

Effects of pneumococcal vaccination program on pneumococcal carriage and invasive disease
Using a cross-sectional study, Stefan Flasche and colleagues investigated the effects of the UK pneumococcal vaccination program on serotype-specific carriage and invasive pneumococcal disease.

New technology capable of detection of 150 genetic syndromes from an amniocentesis
Genetadi Biotech has presented to the scientific community -- meeting at the XXVI National Congress on Human Genetics held in Murcia -- a prenatal diagnostic device based on amniocentesis.

George Mason students highlight dangers of distracted driving
The HFES George Mason University Student Chapter was recently featured in a television news story about an interactive driving simulation video game the students developed to highlight the human factors/ergonomics science behind distracted driving.

Nanoparticles improve solar collection efficiency
Using minute graphite particles 1,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair, mechanical engineers at Arizona State University hope to boost the efficiency -- and profitability -- of solar power plants.

DNA stretching -- A new technique being carried out at CIC microGUNE to detect illnesses
Making DNA sequences being passed through nanochannels a thousand times thinner than a human hair to the point that they take on the form of diminutive spaghetti.

Where will the debris from Japan's tsunami drift in the ocean?
The huge tsunami triggered by the 9.0 Tohoku earthquake destroyed coastal towns near Sendai in Japan, washing such things as houses and cars into the ocean.

Emergency department CT exams of children have increased substantially
Computed tomography examinations of children in hospital emergency departments increased substantially from 1995 to 2008, according to a new study.

AGU journal highlights -- April 5, 2011
Featured in this release are research papers on the following topics:

Cellular feast or famine
Study shows how cells decide whether they have enough fat -- a molecular checkpoint that, when disturbed, could lead to obesity or other diseases.

Grant helps UT Southwestern researcher study causes of preterm birth
A UT Southwestern Medical Center gynecologist is one of five researchers nationwide selected to receive a $600,000 Burroughs Wellcome Fund grant to investigate the biological mechanisms and causes of premature birth.

Longer-term follow-up of users of estrogen therapy finds some changes in risks
Among postmenopausal women with prior hysterectomy who had used estrogen therapy for about 6 years and then stopped, longer-term follow-up indicates that the increased risk of stroke seen during the intervention period had dissipated, the decreased risk of hip fracture was not maintained, while the decreased risk of breast cancer persisted, according to a study in the April 6 issue of JAMA.

Food safety study of beef 'trim' leads to ongoing research collaboration
Burgers, meat loaf and other lean ground beef favorites may be made from

Demystifying meditation -- brain imaging illustrates how meditation reduces pain
Meditation produces powerful pain-relieving effects in the brain, according to new research published in the April 6 edition of the Journal of Neuroscience.

The heartfelt truth about sudden death in young athletes
Dr. Sami Viskin of Tel Aviv University says that expensive EKG tests are unlikely to prevent Sudden Death Syndrome, which affects fewer than three athletes out of 10,000.

HIV-1 drug resistance mutations associated with increased risk of antiretroviral treatment failure
An analysis of data from 10 studies indicates that the presence of low frequency (also called

Defective plastics repair themselves
Indestructible things are a figment of the imagination of advertising.

World's leading scientists join forces to set priority interventions to save 36 million lives from non-communicable diseases
NCDs (non-communicable diseases), mainly heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancers, and chronic respiratory disease, are responsible for two out of every three deaths worldwide and the toll is rising.

Mattress Firm selects charitable partner of choice, launches initial fundraising promotion
Mattress Firm, a leading national bedding retailer, has named the Translational Genomics Research Institute as its

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory: April 2011
This release contains the April 2011 story tips from the US Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Analysis of opioid prescription practices finds areas of concern
An analysis of national prescribing patterns shows that more than half of patients who received an opioid prescription in 2009 had filled another opioid prescription within the previous 30 days.

Extreme weight gain raises risk for recurrence among breast cancer survivors
Breast cancer survivors who experience extreme weight gain have an increased risk of death after breast cancer diagnosis.

Hookah use widespread among college students
Despite a growing number of cities instituting smoking bans across the country, hookah bars are cropping up everywhere -- from chic downtown cafes to locations near college campuses, where they've found a loyal customer base in young adults.

Toad task force
An army of volunteers will be wading into ponds across the UK this spring to map the spread of a killer amphibian fungus.

Soy isoflavones not a risk for breast cancer survivors
Soy food consumption did not increase the risk of cancer recurrence or death among survivors of breast cancer, according to the results of a study presented at the AACR 102nd Annual Meeting 2011, held April 2-6.

Better a sprint than a marathon: Brief intense exercise better than endurance training for CVD
Exercise is important for preventing cardiovascular disease, especially in children and adolescents, but is all exercise equally beneficial?

Drought-exposed leaves adversely affect soil nutrients, study shows
Chemical changes in tree leaves subjected to warmer, drier conditions that could result from climate change may reduce the availability of soil nutrients, according to a Purdue University study.

Overseas doctors more likely to face serious GMC action
General Medical Council (GMC) decisions about doctors who qualified outside the UK are more likely to have far reaching consequences (high impact decisions), finds research published on today.

Repulsion more important than cohesion in embryonic tissue separation
Until now, adherence was thought to be the principle force responsible for the separation of the ectoderm from the mesoderm in embryonic cells.

Entomology 2011 symposia selected
The Entomological Society of America (ESA) has selected 37 insect-science symposia for its 2011 meeting in Reno, Nev., November 13-16, 2011.

Nature helps to solve a sticky problem
The arrays of fine adhesive hairs on the foot pads of many insects, lizards and spiders give them the ability to climb almost any natural surface.

11th Annual Geriatrics Health Care Symposium set for April 22 at University of Louisville
The latest research and information concerning health care for older adults will be on the agenda at the 11th Annual Geriatrics Health Care Symposium, sponsored by the Department of Family and Geriatric Medicine in the University of Louisville School of Medicine.

MARC travel awards announced for the ACSM 2011 Annual Meeting
FASEB MARC (Minority Access to Research Careers) Program has announced the travel award recipients for the 2011 American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Meeting to be held in Denver, Colo., from May 31-June 4, 2011.

Study shows that modern surgery for scoliosis has good long-term outcomes
Teenagers who undergo spine fusion for scoliosis using the newest surgical techniques can expect to be doing well 10 years after surgery, according to a Hospital for Special Surgery study published online ahead of print in the journal Spine.

Icy meltwater pooling in Arctic Ocean: A wild card in climate change scenarios
Scientists describe a wide variety of physical ocean changes anticipated due to climate change, including a warning that in the Arctic Ocean a massive, growing pool of icy meltwater, currently estimated at twice the volume of Lake Victoria, is a wild card in future climate scenarios.

Can diabetes or lipid-lowering medications treat addiction?
Thiazolidinediones (TZDs) are commonly prescribed to treat Type 2 diabetes, while fibrates are prescribed to modulate lipid levels in patients to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Large weight gain raises risk for recurrence among breast cancer survivors
Breast cancer survivors who experience large weight gain have an increased risk of death after diagnosis, according to research scientists at the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland, Calif.

Happiness, comparatively speaking: How we think about life's rewards
You win some, you lose some. You get the perfect job -- the one your heart is set on.

Getting to the root of fatty liver disease
Researchers have identified a molecular switch that appears to be a common feature in the development of fatty liver disease.

University of Oklahoma acquires new mobile radar to better understand tornadoes
Researchers at the University of Oklahoma School of Meteorology have a new mobile radar that will allow them to study tornadoes and other rapidly evolving meteorological phenomena.

Quest for genes involved in celiac disease
Celiac disease (CD) involves intolerance to gluten and, consequently, suffering chronic illness in the small intestine.

Rejuvenating electron microscopy
By modifying a protein from a plant that is much favored by science, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and colleagues have created a new type of genetic tag visible under an electron microscope, illuminating life in never-before-seen detail.

Economics, physics are roadblocks for mass-scale algae biodiesel production, study finds
Companies looking to engineer an eco-friendly diesel fuel have more red lights in their path.

Risk of death from opioid overdose related to higher prescription dose
In an analysis of opioid prescription patterns and deaths, receiving higher prescribed doses is associated with an increased risk of opioid overdose death, but receiving both as-needed and regularly scheduled doses is not associated with overdose risk, according to a study in the April 6 issue of JAMA.

Top 40 science questions from US conservation policy makers
A wide-ranging group of experts has published a set of 40 key environmental questions to help align scientific research agendas with the needs of natural resource decision makers.

Blood biomarker associated with prevalence, severity of Alzheimer's, but not risk of development
Higher levels in blood of the protein clusterin, also known as apolipoprotein J, are significantly associated with the prevalence and severity of Alzheimer's disease, but not with the risk of onset of new disease, according to a study in the April 6 issue of JAMA.

Brazil expo sets international stage for ONR Global to exchange ideas
Supporting its goal of increasing collaboration within the international science and technology community, the Office of Naval Research's Global department will join forces with officials from the defense and security industries at a Brazil conference scheduled April 12-15.

Half the patients with bipolar disorder suffer work, social or family disabilities
Such was the conclusion obtained in a study conducted at the University of Granada that was recently awarded a prize in the IV Spain-Portugal Meeting on Therapeutical Adherence held in Oporto.

Reef diversity no insurance against human threats
In a large collaborative analysis publishing tomorrow in the online, open-access journal PLoS Biology, 55 scientists from 49 nations document that the capability of reef fish systems to produce biomass and deliver goods and services to humanity, is functionally linked to the number of species; functioning increases as biodiversity increases.

Comprehensive approach can improve clinical care of Kenyan children
A multifaceted approach that addressed deficiencies in clinical knowledge, skills, motivation, resources, and the organization of care was associated with improvements in practice for high mortality conditions in young children in rural Kenya compared with less comprehensive approaches.

Inexpensive new instruments test building sealants under real-world conditions
Sealants, like weather stripping, are what separates the inside from the outside of a building, by providing a barrier that prevents water from seeping in, for example, or heat from leaking out. 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