Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 13, 2011
Your flaws are my pain
Today, there is increasing exposure of individuals to a public audience.

Improvements in embryonic preimplantation genetic screening techniques
A short comparative genomic hybridization method has been developed to carry out preimplantation genetic screening by analyzing all chromosomes and transferring selected embryos to the recipient uterus in the same in vitro fertilization cycle.

Bloomberg School awards Goodermote Humanitarian Award to Dikembe Mutombo
The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has awarded NBA legend Dikembe Mutombo the Goodermote Humanitarian Award for his efforts to reduce polio globally as well as his work improving the health of neglected and underserved populations in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Patients' own cells yield new insights into the biology of schizophrenia
After a century of studying the causes of schizophrenia-the most persistent disabling condition among adults-the cause of the disorder remains unknown.

Jefferson doctors strengthen case for high-dose radiotherapy technique after radical prostatectomy
A widely-available yet expensive radiotherapy technique used to treat prostate cancer patients after surgery has promising benefits -- higher dose and less damage to the rectum and bladder -- compared to a less precise technique, Thomas Jefferson University researchers document for the first time in a new study published in Practical Radiation Oncology.

Long-sought fossil mammal with transitional middle ear found
A new, complete fossil from China published this week in Nature turns what's known about the evolution of early mammals on its ear.

AGU journal highlights -- April 13, 2011
Featured in this release are research papers on the following topics:

Brain starts shrinking nearly a decade before Alzheimer's appears
Areas of the brain affected by Alzheimer's disease may start shrinking up to a decade before dementia is diagnosed, according to a new study published in the April 13, 2011, issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Vegetarians may be at lower risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke
Vegetarians experience a 36 percent lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome than non-vegetarians, suggests new research from Loma Linda University published in the journal Diabetes Care.

ONR sponsorship of National Robotics Week aimed at inspiring students in science and engineering
In support of National Robotics Week, scheduled April 9-17, the Office of Naval Research has co-sponsored two regional events aimed at encouraging student interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Switching to solar
The threat of global warming may be the greatest challenge of the present generation.

Minimally invasive thyroid surgery effective in children
Surgical approaches that reduce incision size and recovery time from thyroid surgery work well in children, physician-scientists report.

Herschel links star formation to sonic booms
ESA's Herschel space observatory has revealed that nearby interstellar clouds contain networks of tangled gaseous filaments.

Anti-aging hormone Klotho inhibits renal fibrosis, cancer growth
A natural hormone known to inhibit aging can also protect kidneys against renal fibrosis, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have demonstrated.

Experimental treatment for COPD in development
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have developed a non-steroid based strategy for improving the lung's innate immune defense and decreasing inflammation that can be a problem for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

UMD scientists make magnetic new graphene discovery
University of Maryland researchers have discovered a way to control magnetic properties of graphene that could lead to powerful new applications in magnetic storage and magnetic random access memory.

An advance for a newborn vaccine approach
Infectious disease is a huge cause of death globally, and is a particular threat to newborns whose immune systems respond poorly to most vaccines.

The enormous, invisible toll of stillbirths in low-income and middle-income countries
The series focuses on low-income and middle-income countries, where 98 percent of all stillbirths occur.

Toward a 'green grid' for delivering solar and wind-based electricity
After years of neglect, scientists and policy makers are focusing more attention on developing technologies needed to make the so-called

HIV rate in SF could be cut sharply with expanded treatment, study predicts
In addition, the study found that adding annual HIV testing for men who have sex with men in the city to universal treatment could bring the reduction in new infections down by 75 percent, the researchers report.

Queen's researchers pioneer needle-free test for premature babies
Scientists at Queen's University Belfast have pioneered a new needle-free test to take the sting out of medicine testing in premature babies.

Short-term, high-fat consumption may be beneficial to the heart
Atherosclerosis is often associated with a high-fat diet in humans, but in a new study using an animal model researchers have found that a high-fat diet for a very short period can protect the heart from heart attacks and result in less tissue damage when heart attacks occur.

Search for weapons of mass destruction expands to East Africa
The United States government is expanding a 20-year-old program to secure and help destroy Cold War-era nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction to an unlikely area of the world -- East Africa, according to an article in the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News, ACS's weekly newsmagazine.

Children victims of most eye injuries from aerosols
A new estimate of emergency room visits for eye injuries related to aerosol spray cans finds that children account for more than half the cases.

Giant fire-bellied toad's brain brims with powerful germ-fighters
Frog and toad skins already are renowned as cornucopias of hundreds of germ-fighting substances.

From airports to ocean: Anti-terror patrol randomizing system begins trials in Boston Harbor
It began with work on randomizing airport security police patrol routines at Los Angeles International Airport while still maintaining the same level of protection.

Injectable gel could spell relief for arthritis sufferers
Some 25 million people in the United States alone suffer from rheumatoid arthritis or its cousin osteoarthritis, diseases characterized by often debilitating pain in the joints.

Loch fossils show life harnessed sun and sex early on
Remote lochs along the west coast of Scotland are turning up new evidence about the origins of life on land.

Stanford research casts sober light on Russia's mortality crisis
While many have blamed Russia's economic and political transition for the increase in deaths following the Soviet Union's collapse, Stanford's Grant Miller and Jay Bhattacharya pin new blame on the demise of an effective anti-alcohol campaign.

Obese individuals can suffer from social anxiety disorder due to weight alone
A new study from Rhode Island Hospital researchers shows that obese individuals with social anxiety related only to their weight may experience anxiety as severe as individuals with social anxiety disorder (SAD).

Programming regret for Google
Prof. Pinhas Dannon of Tel Aviv University has developed an algorithm to measure variables on the fly and minimize the amount of

Berkeley Lab scientists find that normal breast cells help kill cancer cells
Berkeley Lab researchers have shown that normal breast cells help defend against cancer by producing the protein interleukin 25 to actively and specifically kill breast cancer cells.

Aerobic exercise may improve nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
Walking on a treadmill for one hour a day may slow the progression of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in obese people with prediabetes by jump-starting their metabolism and slowing the oxidative damage wrought by the condition, say researchers at the Cleveland Clinic.

Keeping beer fresh longer
Researchers are reporting discovery of a scientific basis for extending the shelf life of beer so that it stays fresh and tastes good longer.

Scientists recreate brain cells from skin cells to study schizophrenia safely
A method for recreating a schizophrenic patient's brain cells has been developed, making it possible to study these cells safely and effectively in a Petri dish and bringing researchers a step closer to understanding the biological underpinnings of schizophrenia.

Bone-munching worms from the deep sea thrive on fish bones
A new study led by a scientist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego is painting a more complete picture of an extraordinary sea worm that makes its living in the depths of the ocean on the bones of dead animals.

More interventions at delivery not linked to healthier newborns
In low-risk pregnant women, high induction and first-cesarean delivery rates do not lead to improved outcomes for newborns, according to new research published in the Journal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine.

Ultra-fast magnetic reversal observed
With a constantly growing flood of information, we are being inundated with increasing quantities of data, which we in turn want to process faster than ever.

Low doses of penta-brominated diphenyl ether flame retardants alter gene expression
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are chemicals that have been widely used as flame retardants and are persistent organic pollutants.

Biological arms races in birds result in sophisticated defenses against cuckoos
New research reveals how biological arms races between cuckoos and host birds can escalate into a competition between the host evolving new, unique egg patterns (or

Experimental Alzheimer's disease drugs might help patients with nerve injuries
Drugs already in development to treat Alzheimer's disease may eventually be tapped for a different purpose altogether: re-growing the ends of injured nerves to relieve pain and paralysis.

Older adults doing better than younger when it comes to phytonutrient consumption in daily diet
Although only one in 10 American adults eats enough fruits and vegetables, new research being presented at the Experimental Biology meeting this week in Washington, D.C., finds older adults are consuming higher levels of carotenoids, flavonoids and other phytonutrients found in fruits and vegetables that are thought to support healthy aging.

Treating high blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes may lower risk of Alzheimer's disease
Treating high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and other vascular risk factors may help lower the risk of Alzheimer's disease in people who already show signs of declining thinking skills or memory problems.

MIT research: Portable devices' built-in motion sensors improve data rates on wireless networks
At the Eighth Usenix Symposium on Networked Systems Design and Implementation, which took place in Boston in March, MIT researchers presented a set of new communications protocols that use information about a portable device's movement to improve handoffs.

Higher CCSVI prevalence confirmed in MS, but meaning of findings remains unclear
A just released study on the relationship between multiple sclerosis (MS) and chronic cerebral venous insufficiency (CCSVI), a narrowing of the extracranial veins that restricts the normal outflow of blood from the brain, found that CCSVI may be a result of MS, not a cause.

Challenges in stemming the spread of resistant bacteria in intensive care
A new research study of the effect of a commonly used strategy to reduce the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in hospital intensive care units shows that the strategy had no significant effect.

The TET1 enzyme steers us through fetal development and fights cancer
To ensure normal fetal development and prevent disease, it is crucial that certain genes are on or off in the right time intervals.

Media registration now open for TCT 2011
Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) is the annual scientific symposium of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation.

Study: To students, music piracy and shoplifting are worlds apart
College undergrads in a new study said they thought shoplifting was immoral, but also weren't motivated to follow laws governing digital music piracy.

Differences in brain structure indicate risk for developing Alzheimer's disease
Subtle differences in brain anatomy among older individuals with normal cognitive skills may be able to predict both the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease in the following decade and how quickly symptoms of dementia would develop.

Researchers advance toward hybrid spintronic computer chips
Researchers here have created the first electronic circuit to merge traditional inorganic semiconductors with organic

Coffee in capsules contains more furan than the rest
Coffee made in espresso makers, above all that made from capsules, contains more furan -- a toxic, carcinogenic compound -- than that made in traditional drip coffee makers, although the levels are still within safe health limits.

Toronto XVIV0 Lung Perfusion System allows high-risk lungs to be safely transplanted
For the first time, scientists at Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network have shown in a clinical trial that the Toronto XVIVO System can safely and effectively treat, re-assess and improve the function of high-risk donor lungs so that they can be successfully transplanted into patients.

First 3-D topographic map of early Maya city 'Head of Stone' delineates ancient buildings
Archaeologists have made the first three-dimensional topographic map of the early Maya city

Two kinds of Webb telescope mirrors arrive at NASA Goddard
It takes two unique types of mirrors working together to see farther back in time and space than ever before, and engineers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center have just received one of each type.

Ceramic coatings may protect jet engines from volcanic ash
Last year's $2 billion shutdown of European airspace following a volcanic eruption in Iceland alerted everyone to the danger that ash clouds can pose to aircraft engines.

Food safety in Canada is lax and needs better oversight, says CMAJ
Canada needs better regulation and oversight of food safety to protect Canadians as the current system is lax, states an editorial in CMAJ.

Are your values right or left? The answer is more literal than you think
Up equals good, happy, optimistic; down the opposite. Right is honest and trustworthy.

May 2011 Geology highlights
Highlights of articles in the May issue of Geology are provided in this release.

How extraneous factors impact judicial decision-making
A study by Columbia Business School and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, recently featured online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), finds that a judge's willingness to grant parole can be influenced by the time between their latest break and their current hearing.

2 physicians from Women & Infants honored by APGO
Two physicians affiliated with the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Women & Infants Hospital and the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University were recently honored at the Annual Meeting of the Association of Professors of Gynecology and Obstetrics (APGO).

Increased prevention efforts may not reduce spread of hospital-based bacteria
Expanded use of active surveillance for bacteria and of barrier precautions -- specifically, gloves and gowns -- did not reduce the transmission of two important antibiotic-resistant bacteria in hospital-based settings, according to a clinical trial conducted in 18 intensive care units in the United States.

Grove School professor leads new metamaterials center
A new National Science Foundation-sponsored industry and university cooperative research center program will

Expert knowledge in your pocket: The latest titles from the Geological Field Guide series
The Geological Field Guide series is a set of small, pocket sized books, designed for use in the field.

Why does brain development diverge from normal in autism spectrum disorders?
Rett syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder on the autism spectrum, is marked by relatively normal development in infancy followed by a loss of loss of cognitive, social and language skills starting at 12 to 18 months of age.

Aerobic exercise may improve non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
A study of obese people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease revealed that the daily walks not only increase insulin sensitivity, but improve the liver's polyunsaturated lipid index, which is thought to be a marker of liver health.

Carbon dating identifies South America's oldest textiles
Textiles and rope fragments found in a Peruvian cave have been dated to around 12,000 years ago, making them the oldest textiles ever found in South America, according to a report in the April issue of Current Anthropology.

Difference in ICU care between the US and UK reflect extremes of bed availability
Patients who receive intensive care services are very different in the United States than in the United Kingdom, according to a new study that compared admission and mortality statistics from ICUs in each country.

Comments with the series, including from stillbirth-affected families, the Lancet, and the Gates Foundation
A total of 8 comments accompany the series including from, Lancet Editor-in-Chief Dr.

UCSF study links inflammation in brain to some memory decline
High levels of a protein associated with chronic, low-grade inflammation in the brain correlate with aspects of memory decline in otherwise cognitively normal older adults, according to a study led by scientists at the University of California, San Francisco.

Biochemist uses computer models to study protein involved with cancer, aging and chronic disease
A Kansas State University biochemist was one of the researchers on a collaborative project that took a combined computational and experimental approach to understand how protein p21 functions as a versatile regulator of cell division.

Women have more intense emotions than men when conflict arises within the couple
A research conducted at the University of Granada has analyzed the interpersonal emotions that men and women feel when a conflict occurs within the couple, and the relation between such emotions and the frequency of conflicts.

Engineering students win International Environmental Design Contest
A team of University of California, Riverside Bourns College of Engineering students placed first last week at an international environmental design competition for a system they created to clean hard, brackish water for municipal water districts.

The global picture on stillbirths: More than 2.6 million lives that will never be lived each year
The Lancet today launches its Series on Stillbirths, with the very latest data showing that more than 2.6 million stillbirths occur each year -- at least 7,000 each day.

Death -- not just life -- important link in marine ecosystems
Tiny crustaceans called copepods rule the world, at least when it comes to oceans and estuaries.

New fracture resistance mechanisms provided by graphene
First published work describing the use of graphene to enhance the toughness in ceramics has been published by the journal ACS Nano.

Scripps Research scientists identify mechanism of long-term memory
Using advanced imaging technology, scientists from the Florida campus of the Scripps Research Institute have identified a change in chemical influx into a specific set of neurons in the common fruit fly that is fundamental to long-term memory.

New evidence that chronic ulcerative stomatitis is an autoimmune disease
In the first study investigating the cause of a little-understood condition called chronic ulcerative stomatitis (CUS), researchers at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine provide evidence that an autoimmune response contributes to the painful oral disease, supporting the classification of CUS as an autoimmune disease.

Study: Algae could replace 17 percent of US oil imports
A new study shows that 17 percent of the United States' imported oil for transportation could be replaced by biofuel made from algae.

UCSF neurosurgeons test new device for placing brain implants
A new MRI device that guides surgeons as they implant electrodes into the brains of people with Parkinson's disease and other neurological disorders could change the way this surgery, called deep brain stimulation, is performed at medical centers across the country, according to a group of doctors at University of California, San Francisco.

Why high-income countries still suffer the devastation of stillbirths
Stillbirths are not just a low-income country problem. Rates in the UK and the US have decreased by only 1 percent per year for the past 15 years and stillbirths now account for two-thirds of perinatal deaths (deaths before age 7 days) in the UK.

Elsevier, EMBL and University of Copenhagen launch new app for SciVerse
Elsevier, a world leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, today announced the availability of a new application, Reflect-Network, on SciVerse Applications beta.

Family largely ignored in Canada's response to youth homelessness
The role of family in ending youth homelessness is largely ignored in Canada, says a report released today by York University, though there is evidence family reconnection works in Australia and the United Kingdom and in one exceptional program in Toronto.

Plasma nanoscience needed for green energy revolution
A step change in research relating to plasma nanoscience is needed for the world to overcome the challenge of sufficient energy creation and storage, says a leading scientist from CSIRO Materials Science and Engineering and the University of Sydney, Australia.

Preparing for a cool life -- seasonal changes in lipid composition
We are all encouraged to eat polyunsaturated fatty acids, as these are

Making temporary changes to brain could speed up learning, study reports
In a breakthrough that may aid treatment of learning impairments, strokes, tinnitus and chronic pain, UT Dallas researchers have found that brain nerve stimulation accelerates learning in laboratory tests.

New drug may reduce seizures in epilepsy
A new drug called perampanel appears to significantly reduce seizures in people with hard-to-control epilepsy, according to results of the first clinical trial to test the higher 12 mg dose of the drug.

Invasive mussels causing massive ecological changes in Great Lakes
The ongoing spread of non-native mussels in the Great Lakes has caused

NC State develops material to remove radioactive contaminants from drinking water
A combination of forest byproducts and crustacean shells may be the key to removing radioactive materials from drinking water, researchers from North Carolina State University have found.

Celestial fireworks from dying stars
This image of the nebula NGC 3582, which was captured at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile, shows giant loops of gas bearing a striking resemblance to solar prominences.

Europe's wildlife under threat from nitrogen
An international study published today warns that nitrogen pollution, resulting from industry and agriculture, is putting wildlife in Europe's at risk.

Experts at Experimental Biology examine dietary cholesterol, egg intake and heart disease risk
This week at Experimental Biology (EB) 2011 in Washington, D.C., long-standing beliefs about dietary cholesterol intake and cardiovascular disease risk were examined as part of a scientific symposium and a variety of poster presentations.

Short-term, high-fat diet may initiate protection during heart attack
A new study from researchers at the University of Cincinnati shows that short-term, high-fat

Faculty of 1000 launch Ophthalmology Faculty
Faculty of 1000 (F1000), the award-winning medicine and biology literature evaluation service, has launched the much anticipated Ophthalmology Faculty.

Elsevier launches Methods Navigator, enhancing access to research methods
Elsevier, the leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, today announced the launch of Methods Navigator.

Secret lives of the furred and feathered
Call her the tabloid journalist of the animal world. Julie Feinstein, a Ph.D. student at The City College of New York, has the dirt on all creatures great and small -- specifically -- the wild animals that live among us.

Explore the origin of our species: Wiley-Blackwell Encyclopedia of Human Evolution
One of the world's most distinguished experts of paleoanthropology presents two landmark volumes chronicling the greatest story ever told: the origin of our species.

MIT physicists create clouds of impenetrable gases that bounce off each other
When one cloud of gas meets another, they normally pass right through each other.

Researchers create privacy mode to help secure Android smartphones
Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed software that helps Android smartphone users prevent their personal information from being stolen by hackers.

Stillbirths: The invisible public health problem
Some 2.6 million third trimester stillbirths worldwide occur every year, according to the first comprehensive set of stillbirth estimates, published today within a special series in the medical journal the Lancet. 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