Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 07, 2011
Scripps Research scientists find E. coli enzyme must move to function
Slight oscillations lasting just milliseconds have a huge impact on an enzyme's function, according to a new study by Scripps Research Institute scientists.

Pitt philosopher receives Mellon Foundation award, $1.5 million grant for bringing back human nature
Pitt Professor of Philosophy John McDowell received one of three 2010 Mellon Distinguished Achievement Awards for his work urging his colleagues to be more in touch with their human side when pondering the natural world.

NASA telescopes join forces to observe unprecedented explosion
NASA's Swift, Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory have teamed up to study one of the most puzzling cosmic blasts yet observed.

Nobel laureates Brown, Goldstein to give inaugural Stadtman award lecture
The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology has named Nobel laureates Michael S.

Modified chemotherapy regimen offers new treatment option for very elderly patients with aggressive type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma
Lymphoma in elderly patients is particularly difficult to treat because of their reduced ability to tolerate chemotherapy.

Annals and ACP announce recipients of Junior Investigator Recognition Award
Annals of Internal Medicine and the American College of Physicians will award Crystal Smith-Spangler, M.D., and William Harvey, M.D., M.Sc., with the Junior Investigator Recognition Award on Thursday, April 7, at Internal Medicine 2011, ACP's annual scientific meeting.

Climate change poses major risks for unprepared cities
Cities worldwide are failing to take necessary steps to protect residents from the likely impacts of climate change, even though billions of urban dwellers are vulnerable to heat waves, sea level rise and other changes associated with warming temperatures.

At EB2011: The role of metabolism in disease
Experts on metabolism will convene for a thematic program, at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology's annual meeting at the Experimental Biology 2011 conference in Washington, D.C., to discuss scientific advances in understanding the links between metabolic function and the onset of disease.

Loyola's on-site cardiology team dramatically improves care for heart attack patients
The availability of an in-house, around-the-clock interventional cardiology team dramatically decreases the time it takes to restore blood flow to heart attack patients, according to data presented this week.

Ancient corals provide insight on the future of Caribbean reefs
Climate change is already widely recognized to be negatively affecting coral reef ecosystems around the world, yet the long-term effects are difficult to predict.

Monkeys provide malaria reservoir for human disease in Southeast Asia
Monkeys infected with an emerging malaria strain are providing a reservoir for human disease in Southeast Asia, according to research published today.

Lifesaving antibiotics face doubtful future
To head off a health care disaster, the Infectious Diseases Society of America has developed a plan to combat deadly antibiotic-resistant

Increased mortality rates seen in chronic hepatitis C patients with pre-cirrhotic advanced fibrosis
A three-year follow-up study of patients in the Hepatitis C Antiviral Long-term Treatment against Cirrhosis trial revealed that increased mortality among patients with advanced chronic hepatitis C who received long-term peginterferon therapy was attributed to non-liver related causes and occurred primarily in patients with bridging fibrosis.

Scientists make bamboo tools to test theory explaining East Asia's Stone Age tool scarcity
The long-held theory that prehistoric people in East Asia crafted their tools from bamboo is much more complicated than originally conceived, according to a new study.

Molecules identified that help propel cancer metastasis
For many types of cancer, the original tumor itself is usually not deadly.

SEBM Distinguished Scientist Awards for 2011
The Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine has established the Distinguished Scientist Award to recognize biomedical scientists whose seminal research accomplishments have established them as leaders in biomedicine, and who have made significant contributions to SEBM.

Is beauty found in the whites of the eyes? 'Red eyes' associated with the sad and unattractive
Beauty is said to be in the eye of the beholder, but a new study reveals that the reverse is also true; unattractiveness is in the eye of the beheld.

Ancient fossils hold clues for predicting future climate change, scientists report
The study of fossilized mollusks dating back more than 3.5 million years has enabled UCLA geoscientists and colleagues to construct an ancient climate record that holds clues regarding the long-term effects of the Earth's current levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, a key contributor to global climate change.

Treatment for depression a long-term solution
Ian Colman, an epidemiologist in the School of Public Health at the University of Alberta, recently completed a study that suggests that treatment of depression may have long-term benefits.

Caffeine and diabetes -- helpful or harmful?
A growing body of research suggests that caffeine disrupts glucose metabolism and may contribute to the development and poor control of type 2 diabetes, a major public health problem.

Freeway air bad for mouse brain
After short-term exposure to vehicle pollution, mice showed significant brain damage -- including signs associated with memory loss and Alzheimer's disease.

US Department of Energy programs leader wins education award
Cheryl A. Kerfeld, a structural biologist and the head of the US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute's Education and Structural Genomics Programs, has won the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology's Award for Exemplary Contributions to Education.

VitaKine platelet cell therapy from bioparadox improves cardiac function after heart attack
BioParadox Inc., a regenerative medicine company pioneering point-of-care biologic treatments for cardiovascular disease, today announced data supporting the use of VitaKine Platelet Cell Therapy as a promising treatment for heart attack patients.

Scientists have new measure for species threat
A new index has been developed to help conservationists better understand how close species are to extinction.

A new way to make reprogrammed stem cells
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have devised a totally new and far more efficient way of generating induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), immature cells that are able to develop into several different types of cells or tissues in the body.

Sand drift explained
The sand along the south-western coastal rim of Norway has drifted for more than 9000 calendar years.

NanoVation New York
A discussion on the impact and future of nanotechnology, followed by the NanoArt exhibition, at the German Center for Research and Innovation (GCRI).

Bioengineering with vetiver grass on Guam
A University of Guam scientist uses vetiver grass to save reefs.

Texas researcher Arthur E. Johnson to give prestigious ASBMB-Lipmann Lectureship
Arthur E. Johnson, a distinguished professor at the Texas A&M Health Science Center's College of Medicine, has been chosen to give the Fritz Lipmann Lectureship at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology annual meeting in Washington, D.C.

VA makes major gains in quality, but racial disparity persists
Two new studies of standard quality metrics at Veterans Affairs medical centers show that the system has made substantial improvements in quality, in some cases providing substantially better care than is available in private insurance plans.

Michigan's collaborative quality improvement program cuts costs, improves patient care
A study by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and University of Michigan Health System shows surgical complications dropped and health care costs fell at Michigan hospitals participating in a collaborative quality improvement program.

Political views are reflected in brain structure
We all know that people at opposite ends of the political spectrum often really can't see eye to eye.

Stanford professor honored for contributions to computational biosciences
Stanford University professor Axel T. Brunger has been named the winner of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology's inaugural DeLano Award for Computational Biosciences.

Number of days of rain in Iberian Peninsula has increased since 1903
A research team, led by the University of Extremadura, has for the first time analysed the frequency of rainfall over the whole of the Iberian Peninsula from 1903 to 2003.

Young scientist at Virginia Commonwealth University wins Avanti prize
The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology named Charles E.

Physically active moms-to-be give babies a head start on heart health
For those pregnant women out there who might not be feeling all that motivated, or anything but energized, new research to be presented this weekend could tip the scales: It turns out that exercising during pregnancy might be the earliest intervention strategy available to you for improving your child's heart health after birth.

Fish farm waste can drift to distant shores
Concentrated waste plumes from fish farms could travel significant distances to reach coastlines, according to a study to be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Environmental Fluid Mechanics, available online now.

ORNL's alumina-forming austenitic alloy licensed to Carpenter Technology Corp.
Metal alloy manufacturer Carpenter Technology Corp. has licensed an alumina-forming austenitic stainless steel alloy developed at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Rethinking reprogramming: A new way to make stem cells
A paper published by Cell Press in the April 8 issue of the journal Cell Stem Cell reveals a new and more efficient method for reprogramming adult mouse and human cells into an embryonic stem cell-like state and could lead to better strategies for developing stem cells for therapeutic use.

Instant evolution in whiteflies: Just add bacteria
In a case of rapid evolution, bacteria have been found to give whiteflies-crop-damaging insects of global importance-an edge over their uninfected peers, new research from the University of Arizona suggests.

Researcher doggedly pursues new treatments for traumatic brain injury patients in coma
Theresa Louise-Bender Pape has made it her life's work to develop therapies that will, essentially, jump-start the lives of patients with traumatic brain injury.

Ovarian cancer finding may be a 'win-win' for at-risk women who wish to have a family
New research suggests that a layer of cells, which serve as the

Science at a glance: Symposia, research and special events at Experimental Biology 2011
The meeting Experimental Biology 2011 begins April 9 and runs through April 13 at the Walter E.

Starch-controlling gene fuels more protein in soybean plants
A gene newly discovered by Eve Wurtele and Ling Li introduced into soybean plants has increased the amount of protein in the plant's seed by 30 to 60 percent.

Unreliable 'outcomes' measures hamper efforts to assure better, safer care
With a push to make hospitals and doctors more accountable for health care quality, more attention must be paid to the accuracy and reliability of measures used to evaluate caregivers, says a prominent Johns Hopkins patient safety expert.

Evolution of the animal temperature sensor: The functional adaptation to environmental change
Professor Makoto Tominaga and Assistant Professor Shigeru Saito at The National Institute for Physiological Sciences (Okazaki Institute for Integrative Bioscience) demonstrate that the molecule called TRP channels, serve as temperature sensors in animals, sense different temperature ranges between mammals and western clawed frog (amphibians) even the same type of the TRP channels have been investigated.

New model of whiskers provides insight into sense of touch
Researchers at Northwestern University have developed a model that will allow them to simulate how rats use their whiskers to sense objects around them.

Flexible trailing edge flap for blades to make wind power cheaper
A flexible, controllable trailing edge for wind turbine blades has shown that it can reduce the loads on the turbine and in the end provide cheaper electricity from wind power.

Long-term study shows that kidney transplants are faring better than previously reported
A new study from Mayo Clinic, the largest long-term study of kidney transplant recipients published to date, demonstrates that progressive damage to kidney transplants may be less common and less severe than previously reported.

Welders may be at increased risk for brain damage
Workers exposed to welding fumes may be at increased risk of damage to the same brain area harmed by Parkinson's disease, according to a new study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

US students and science: AAAS testing gives new insight on what they know and their misconceptions
AAAS has launched an innovative website to help educators assess more precisely what students know about key ideas in science and -- just as importantly -- the incorrect ideas they have.

More smoke water pipes -- family habits significant
The number of people smoking water pipes is rising dramatically throughout the world.

Editing-molecule mutation causes fatal primordial dwarfism
Fetuses with defects in a molecular machine that edits information cells use to make proteins can develop a rare form of dwarfism called microcephalic osteodysplastic primoridal dwarfism type 1.

South Carolina researcher wins Avanti Award in Lipids
The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology has named Yusuf Hannun, professor and department chairman at the Medical University of South Carolina, in Charleston, S.C., the winner of the Avanti Award in Lipids.

If plants generate magnetic fields, they're not sayin'
UC Berkeley physicists are using some of the world's most sensitive magnetic field detectors to determine whether plants, like animals, produce magnetic fields.

New radiation treatment practice recommendations for thyroid disease
New recommendations from the American Thyroid Association (ATA) on outpatient radioiodine treatment aim to minimize unintended radiation exposure and maximize the safety of patients, their families, and the public.

Monitoring system warns of slippery slopes
As a consequence of climatic changes, the number of avalanche threats has been increasing in the Alps and other alpine regions, with fatal consequences for people and infrastructures.

High-profile panel to address causes, consequences of the politicization of science
At 12:30 p.m. Sunday, April 10, at the Experimental Biology meeting in the Washington, D.C., Convention Center, three high-profile panelists will share their views on how science, the media, politics and society interact and, perhaps more importantly, what scientists themselves can do to communicate more effectively and restore their credibility.

Fishes that don't sleep point to genetic basis for slumber, NYU biologists find
Cave fish sleep significantly less than their surface counterparts, a finding by New York University biologists that reveals the genes involved in sleep patterns and disorders.

NASA's Kepler helps Iowa State's Kawaler, astronomers update census of sun-like stars
NASA's Kepler spacecraft is allowing Iowa State University's Steve Kawaler and an international team of astronomers to study changes in the brightness of 500 stars like our sun.

Nuclear security, deep water drilling, black hole signal flares and more at 2011 APS annual meeting
The physics of deep water drilling, new energy technologies, science at the LHC, tests of gravity at both very large and small scales, and much more cutting edge science will be featured in talks at this year's April meeting of the American Physical Society.

SEBM Young Investigator Awards for 2011
The Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine is pleased to announce the 2011 winners of the Young Investigator Award.

New approach to IVF embryo donations lets people weigh decision
People who use in vitro fertilization to conceive children often have leftover embryos and must decide whether to store them, dispose of them or possibly donate them for research.

Breakthrough study confirms cause of short gamma-ray bursts
A new supercomputer simulation shows the collision of two neutron stars can naturally produce the magnetic structures thought to power the high-speed particle jets associated with short gamma-ray bursts.

Unprepared cities vulnerable to climate change
Cities worldwide are failing to take necessary steps to protect residents from the likely impacts of climate change, even though billions of urban dwellers are vulnerable to heat waves, sea level rise and other changes associated with warming temperatures.

Genetic differences influence the structure of communities
Scientists from the University of Manchester are among a group of researchers investigating how genetic differences among individuals contribute to the way ecological communities form, interact and change over time.

Most patients stop drugs for essential tremor after deep brain stimulation surgery
Deep brain stimulation, a surgical procedure to suppress faulty nerve signals, allowed most patients to stop the medications used to treat disabling essential tremors within one year following the surgery, University of South Florida researchers report.

Male victims of 'intimate terrorism' can experience damaging psychological effects
Men who are abused by their female partners can suffer significant psychological trauma, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and suicidal thoughts, according to two new papers published by the American Psychological Association.

Researchers present new findings on cancer and gene therapy
A thematic program at the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology's annual meeting at the Experimental Biology 2011 conference in Washington, D.C., will bring together researchers from across the country to discuss recent developments in DNA replication, recombination, and repair, and the importance of these activities in cancer and gene therapy.

UMMS researchers develop new technology to screen and analyze genetic mutations
A new study by scientists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School describes a novel technique to produce all potential individual mutations and using deep sequencing technology simultaneously analyze each change's impact on the cell.

Video games effective treatment for stroke patients: study
Virtual reality and other video games can significantly improve motor function in stroke patients, according to research from St.

'Paperless' research to be highlighted at international conference
A new approach to conducting archaeological research -- led by University of Cincinnati researchers -- is revolutionizing methods of recording history, a field that is steeped in tradition.

Deep-space travel could create heart woes for astronauts
Astronauts anticipate more trips to the moon and manned missions to Mars.

Technique for letting brain talk to computers now tunes in speech
Patients with a temporary surgical implant have used regions of the brain that control speech to

Scientists exploit ash tree pest's chemical communication
A newly identified chemical sex attractant, or pheromone, of the emerald ash borer could mean improved traps for monitoring and controlling the tree-killing beetle.

In trial, video helps people weigh bariatric surgery pros, cons
A video-based decision aid helped obese people to make informed choices about bariatric surgery and reach more certainty about them, according to a trial involving 152 Group Health patients, e-published in Obesity in advance of print.

Elder law expert: Ryan plan would fundamentally change Medicare
Law professor Richard L. Kaplan says House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan's proposal to change Medicare for those under age 55 is nothing short of a complete reconceptualization of the popular health insurance program.

Through evolution, cavefish have lost sleep
Cave life is known to favor the evolution of a variety of traits, including blindness and loss of eyes, loss of pigmentation, and changes in metabolism and feeding behavior.

Findings may help keep pancreatic disease off the menu
On Wednesday, April 13, an international research team determined to figure out and eventually manipulate the activation of enzymes created by the pancreas will present an important new finding at the Experimental Biology 2011 meeting in Washington, D.C.

D.C.-area science teachers experimenting with partnerships
Dozens of D.C.-area junior high science teachers looking for new ways to encourage their students to pursue high-tech studies and careers will gather Saturday as part of the Experimental Biology conference at the Walter E.

SEBM Best Paper Awards for articles published in 2010
SEBM is pleased to announce the winners of the Best Paper Awards for articles published in the journal Experimental Biology and Medicine during 2010.

A procedure used in preconception diagnosis can lead to problems with pregnancies
A new study demonstrates that a procedure used in preconception diagnosis to identify eggs that are free of genetic disease might not work well in all cases.

Virtual reality may lead to real-world improvement for stroke patients
Virtual reality games appear to give a real-life boost to stroke patients' recovery.

Scientific community recognizes UMass med school researcher, mentor
The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology has named Melissa J.

Fukushima-related measurements by the CTBTO
Since the accident at the Fukushima Daichi power plant in Japan, CTBTO radionuclide monitoring stations all over the northern hemisphere have picked up traces of emitted radioactive materials.

Low fertilizer use drives deforestation in West Africa, imperils REDD implementation says new study
Low-input farming for cocoa, cassava and oil palm has resulted in widespread deforestation and degredation of West Africa's tropical forest area, according to a new study by researchers at the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture and the Center for International Forestry Research.

Hot topics in chemical biology and drug development at EB2011
In the coming days, as part of the Experimental Biology 2011 conference in Washington, D.C., two dozen researchers will go public about their ongoing work aimed at improving our understanding of biological systems and contributing to our cache of healing compounds.

UMass med school professor wins coveted emerging-investigator award
The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology has named Job Dekker, an associate professor at University of Massachusetts Medical School, the winner of the nonprofit's Young Investigator Award.

NIH chief Collins to give plenary lecture at Experimental Biology 2011
As part of the Experimental Biology 2011 conference in Washington, D.C., next week, National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins will discuss how the federal agency he leads is capitalizing on the gains made by the biomedical research community over the past few decades, describing his vision for translating work at the lab bench into therapeutics that will improve human health and reduce suffering here and across the globe.

Physicians call for better access to health care for immigrants
As the US immigrant population grows it will be necessary to address the vast number of immigrants who do not have access to health insurance coverage, or who face other barriers to accessing health care, the American College of Physicians (ACP) said in a new policy paper released today at Internal Medicine 2011, ACP's annual scientific meeting.

Soy increases effectiveness of radiation at killing lung cancer, Wayne State study shows
A component in soybeans increases radiation's ability to kill lung cancer cells, according to a Wayne State University study published in the April 2011 issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, the official monthly journal of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.

Warning labels better than a fat tax, University of Alberta study shows
Warning labels on junk food would be more effective than a

11 award-winning scientists to talk about successes, future of biomedical research
The winners of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology annual awards will give lectures at the Experimental Biology 2011 conference April 9-13 at the Walter E.

What's coming next in the biochemical battle of the bulge?
The three-day program on obesity, sponsored by the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology's minority affairs committee, will showcase the work of scientists from all over the world who have their sights set on reversing the epidemic by laying bare and manipulating, to mankind's advantage, its molecular underpinnings.

Diversity award bestowed upon University of Colorado-Denver med school professor
The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology has named Arthur Gutierrez-Hartmann, a professor at the Anschutz Medical Campus of the University of Colorado-Denver School of Medicine, the winner of its inaugural Ruth Kirschstein Diversity in Science Award.

Experts issue recommendations for evaluating and treating pituitary incidentalomas
Today, the Endocrine Society released a new Clinical Practice Guideline (CPG) for the evaluation and treatment of pituitary incidentalomas.

Blood pressure's internally driven daily rhythm unlikely to be linked to morning heart attacks
The human body clock influences blood pressure independent of changes in environment and behavior.

UMD Solar Decathlon team unveils 'WaterShed'
The University of Maryland Solar Decathlon Team has unveiled its entry in the US Department of Energy competition -- a high-tech structure called WaterShed because it integrates a unique array of sustainable features designed to protect the Chesapeake Bay.

U. Iowa study suggests antidepressants aid physical recovery in stroke
A University of Iowa study finds that patients treated with a short course of antidepressants after a stroke have significantly greater improvement in physical recovery than patients treated with a placebo. 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