Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 25, 2011
Anti-inflammatory drugs reduce effectiveness of SSRI antidepressants
A study in mice and in a human population shows that use of anti-inflammatory drugs reduces the effectiveness of SSRIs, the most widely used class of antidepressant medications.

Zeroing in on the elusive green LED
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a new method for manufacturing green LEDs with greatly enhanced light output.

Tai chi may improve quality of life in chronic heart failure patients
Tai chi, the ancient Chinese meditative exercise, may improve quality of life, mood and exercise self-efficacy in chronic heart failure patients, according to research led by a team at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

New class of cancer drugs could work in colon cancers with genetic mutation, U-M study finds
A class of drugs that shows promise in breast and ovarian cancers with BRCA gene mutations could potentially benefit colorectal cancer patients with a different genetic mutation, a new study from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center finds.

Long-term follow-up shows multipolar electrocoagulation ablation effective for Barrett's esophagus
A new study reports that multipolar electrocoagulation in combination with acid suppression is a safe and effective method to ablate nondysplastic Barrett's esophagus over the long term.

Fighting HIV in South Africa should focus on couples, study finds
A survey of sexual behavior by more than 1,000 HIV-positive people found that risky behaviors are about as prevalent when long-term partners were HIV-positive, HIV-negative, or their status was unknown.

$4.8 million study will fight child obesity in California
UC Davis professor Adela de la Torre, a national expert on Chicano and Latino health issues, today received a five-year, $4.8 million federal grant to discover the best ways to help Mexican-heritage children in California maintain healthy weights.

OSA launches new journal, Optical Materials Express
The Optical Society today announced the launch and publication of the first issue of its newest journal, Optical Materials Express.

Death rates among those with high blood pressure decreasing, but still high
Death rates are decreasing among people with high blood pressure but remain far higher than in people without high blood pressure.

Public session of the Cancer Drug Development Roundtable at Ohio State
The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center -- Arthur G.

Musicians and scientists to research mind and music at Rice University conference
Distinguished neuroscientists and musicians from around the world will gather at Rice University's Shepherd School of Music June 13-17 to collaboratively explore music's role in human cognition and behavior and present the latest research findings from this emerging field of study.

Study: Reasonable quantities of red pepper may help curb appetite
Spicing up your daily diet with some red pepper can curb appetite, especially for those who don't normally eat the popular spice, according to research from Purdue University.

Collective conservation efforts boosted rhino population in Nepal
After three rigorous weeks of conducting the National Rhino Census in Nepal, new data on the population of greater one-horned rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) was formally released today.

Port Valdez invertebrates stabilized 26 years after quake
It took 26 years for marine invertebrates living on the Port Valdez seafloor to stabilize after Alaska's Great Earthquake of 1964, according to a scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

A study analyzes the actual role of R+D's in patents
A research study at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid which analyzes the relationship between R+D and patents, for the first time has estimated the role that secret innovations play, determining that the effects of R+D on patents are not nonlinear, depend on the quality of the patent, are dynamic, and have a large amount of inertia.

Phage hunting students publish in PLoS ONE
Twelve students at Washington University in St. Louis who had participated in an unusual biology course as freshmen, recently shared the honors as authors on a peer-reviewed research paper that appeared in the journal PLoS One.

Innovative program sheds light on benefits of early palliative care
When faced with a long-term illness, patients often retreat or are left feeling hopeless, a response that can negatively impact one's prognosis and impair their quality of life.

Scientists explore ways to restore health energy balance at the New York Academy of Sciences
The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science at the New York Academy of Sciences and the Academy's Diabetes & Obesity Discussion Group present

In cap and trade fight, environmentalists had spending edge over opponents, new report finds
New research challenges the commonly-held view that cap and trade legislation failed because of the spending advantages of opponents and false balance in news coverage.

Protein levels could signal that a child will develop diabetes
Decreasing blood levels of a protein that helps control inflammation may be a red flag that could help children avoid type 1 diabetes, Georgia Health Sciences University researchers say.

Lollipops with side effects
Trichomes, hair-like projections on leaves, of wild tobacco contain acyl sugars, which are composed of sucrose, bound to branched chain aliphatic acids.

Olsen, Drake, Schoenwolf receive highest honors from anatomy society
The American Association of Anatomists presented its highest awards during the society's Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Rice-born detector finds heaviest antimatter
Physicists at Rice University and their collaborators have detected the antimatter partner of the helium nucleus, antihelium-4.

Wild hogs: Researchers examine impact of feral pigs in eastern N.C.
The nation's feral pig population continues to expand, increasing the potential for interaction with humans and domestic swine - and for spreading diseases.

ACC/AHA issue first clinical guidance for controlling high blood pressure in the elderly
Faced with an aging patient population and compelling data that confirm the benefits of blood pressure-lowering medications in the elderly (≥80 years), the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association today released the first expert consensus document to help clinicians reduce the risks for developing and effectively manage hypertension in older adults.

Targeted agent selumetinib shows promise in biliary cancer
The experimental agent selumetinib has shown promising results in people with advanced biliary cancer, a malignancy of the bile ducts and gall bladder, according to a multi-institutional clinical trial.

Narcotic pain relief drug overdose deaths a national epidemic
Unintentional overdose deaths in teens and adults have reached epidemic proportions in the US.

ASPO announces 2011 award winners in pediatric otolaryngology research
The American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology will recognize the outstanding achievements of researchers in the field of pediatric otolaryngology during their annual meeting, April 29-May 1, 2011, in Chicago, Ill.

Laying bare the not-so-sweet tale of a sugar and its role in the spread of cancer
Cancer has a mighty big bag of tricks that it uses to evade the body's natural defense mechanisms and proliferate.

Conservation of coastal dunes is threatened by poorly designed infrastructure
Although the dune ecosystem is unusual, fragile and is protected by the

HIV infection may be a risk factor for heart failure
Patients with HIV infection without a prior history of coronary heart disease may be at a higher risk of developing heart failure, according to a report in the April 25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Study tests interventions targeting multiple health-related behaviors in african american couples
Interventions to promote healthy behaviors, including eating more fruits and vegetables, increasing physical activity, and participating in cancer screenings, as well as prevention of HIV/sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), appear beneficial for African-American couples who are at high risk for chronic diseases, especially if one of the individuals is living with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus).

ISU research leads to understanding of how crops deal with stress -- yield's biggest enemy
ISU researchers have discovered a new arm of the pathway by which plants activate a response to environmental stress caused by adverse environmental conditions, such as drought, flood and heat.

Scientific session and new research highlights from the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology Meeting
The American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology (ASPO) will hold its annual meeting, April 29-May 1, during the 2011 Combined Otolaryngology Spring Meetings (COSM) -- a joint meeting of eight otolaryngological societies in Chicago.

Yuemeng Dai, M.D., Ph.D., ear, nose and throat specialist, receives Bill Potsic Basic Science Award
Yuemeng Dai, M.D., Ph.D., of Fayetteville, Ark., will receive the first place Bill Postic Basic Science Award for outstanding achievement in the field of pediatric otolaryngology for his research paper titled

Study finds keys to working with Latino church to fight domestic abuse
Latinos are the fastest growing population in the United States and have relatively high rates of domestic violence coupled with social and linguistic barriers that can make it difficult for Latino families to access relevant social services.

Beetle bling: Researchers discover optical secrets of 'metallic' beetles
As reported in the new journal Optical Materials Express, brilliant gold- (Chrysina aurigans) and silver-colored (Chrysina limbata) beetles have given optics researchers new insights into the way biology can recreate the appearance of some of nature's most precious metals, which in turn may allow researchers to produce new materials based on the natural properties found in the beetles' coloring.

Psychologists warn that therapies based on positive emotions may not work for Asians
Thinking happy thoughts, focusing on the good and downplaying the bad is believed to accelerate recovery from depression, bolster resilience during a crisis and improve overall mental health.

Tai chi appears to benefit quality of life for patients with chronic heart failure
Tai chi exercise appears to be associated with improved quality of life, mood and exercise self-efficacy in patients with chronic heart failure, according to a report in the April 25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Cholesterol drugs may improve blood flow after stroke
Cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statins may help clot-busting drugs treat strokes, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Third brother wins gold at NJIT
America is often referred to as the land of opportunity.

Houston Endowment awards SSPEED $3.2M for Hurricane Ike study
Houston Endowment has awarded Rice University's Severe Storm Prediction, Education and Evacuation from Disasters (SSPEED) Center a three-year, $3.2 million grant to continue researching ways to improve preparation for hurricanes in the Houston-Galveston region.

TB discovery paves the way for drugs that prevent lung destruction
Scientists have identified a key enzyme responsible for destroying lung tissue in tuberculosis, they report today in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

New perspectives on ion selectivity
The latest Perspectives in General Physiology series examines the ion selectivity of cation-selective channels and transporters.

Catastrophic amphibian declines have multiple causes, no simple solution
Amphibian declines around the world have forced many species to the brink of extinction, are much more complex than realized and have multiple causes that are still not fully understood, researchers conclude in a new report.

Snooze control: Fatigue, air traffic and safety
It is safe to say that we are all guilty of these at some point in our day -- stifling a yawn in the middle of the work day, eyelids growing heavy and having the strong urge for caffeine when 3 p.m. rolls around.

Novel microorganism 'Nitrososphaera viennensis' isolated
Microorganisms play an important role in global nutrient cycles. A research team led by Christa Schleper, head of the Department of Genetics in Ecology at the University of Vienna, has isolated the first ammonium oxidizing Archaeon from a soil in Vienna and thus proved its activity.

MIT researchers use virus to improve solar-cell efficiency
Researchers at MIT have found a way to make significant improvements to the power-conversion efficiency of solar cells by enlisting the services of tiny viruses to perform detailed assembly work at the microscopic level.

Presidential keynote address and new research highlights from the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology meeting
The American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology (ASPO) will hold its annual meeting, April 29 - May 1, during the 2011 Combined Otolaryngology Spring Meetings (COSM) - a joint meeting of eight otolaryngological societies in Chicago, IL

Scientists create stable, self-renewing neural stem cells
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco and colleagues report a game-changing advance in stem cell science: the creation of long-term, self-renewing, primitive neural precursor cells from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) that can be directed to become many types of neuron without increased risk of tumor formation.

Gladstone scientist makes key innovations in stem-cell technology
A scientist at the Gladstone Institutes has made two significant stem-cell discoveries that advance medicine and human health by creating powerful new approaches for using stem cells and stem-cell-like technology.

Study shows how mosquitoes handle the heat of a hot blood meal
Mosquitoes make proteins to help them handle the stressful spike in body temperature that's prompted by their hot blood meals, a new study has found.

High percentage of omega-3s in the blood may boost risk of aggressive prostate cancer
The largest study to examine the association of dietary fats and prostate cancer risk has found what's good for the heart may not be good for the prostate.

Researchers identify novel pathophysiologic mechanism responsible for autoimmunity
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine have discovered that human proteins with an affinity for dermatan sulfate (DS) have the propensity to become autoantigens.

Sanofi Pasteur announces FDA approval of menactra meningococcal conjugate vaccine indication for infants
Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of the sanofi-aventis Group, announced today that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted licensure to expand the indication for its meningococcal conjugate vaccine, Menactra® (Meningococcal [Groups A, C, Y and W-135] Polysaccharide Diphtheria Toxoid Conjugate Vaccine), to include a two-dose schedule for infants and children 9 months through 23 months of age.

Self-powered, blood-activated sensor detects pancreatitis quickly and cheaply
A new low cost test for acute pancreatitis that gets results much faster than existing tests has been developed by scientists at the University of Texas at Austin.

Higher levels of social activity decrease the risk of cognitive decline
If you want to keep your brain healthy, it turns out that visiting friends, attending parties, and even going to church might be just as good for you as crossword puzzles.

Pelvic organs given the slip by the protein fibulin-5
Pelvic organ prolapse is a disabling condition that affects almost 50 percent of women over the age of 50.

New study sheds light on evolution of 2009 pandemic influenza A(H1N1) virus in Japan
Analysis of mutations of the 2009 pandemic influenza A(H1N1) virus by researchers at the RIKEN Omics Science Center has revealed major genetic differences between the virus in its early phase of infection in Japan and in its peak phase.

Business law expert: Legal education must respond to market forces
University of Illinois law professor Larry E. Ribstein says dire predictions of impending doom for the future of legal education should be taken with a healthy dose of skepticism.

Streptococci and E. coli continue to put newborns at risk for sepsis
Bloodstream infections in newborns can lead to serious complications with substantial morbidity and mortality.

Stephen Maturo, M.D., ear, nose and throat specialist, receives Charles Ferguson Award
Stephen Maturo, M.D., of Boston, Mass., will receive the first place Charles Ferguson Clinical Science Award for outstanding achievement in the field of pediatric otolaryngology for his research paper titled

USDA fattens obesity battle with $5 million grant to Texas partners
The use of family-focused gardening in the fight against childhood obesity may become a growing trend with a near $5 million grant from the US Department of Agriculture to a Texas AgriLife Extension Service partnership.

Conducting ferroelectrics may be key to new electronic memory
Novel properties of ferroelectric materials discovered at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory are moving scientists one step closer to realizing a new paradigm of electronic memory storage.

Increased computer use by adolescents cause for concern
Researchers at Queen's University have found a strong association between computer and Internet use in adolescents and engagement in multiple-risk behaviors, including illicit drug use, drunkenness and unprotected sex.

Radar shows promise for detecting concussions in athletes and soldiers
By asking an individual to walk a short distance in front of a radar system while saying the months of the year in reverse order, researchers can determine if that person is impaired and possibly suffering from a concussion.

'Going off the grid' helps some bacteria hide from antibiotics
Call them the Jason Bournes of the bacteria world. Going

Researchers report widespread use of medications among pregnant women
Researchers from Boston University's Slone Epidemiology Center, in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Harvard School of Public Health, have reported widespread and increasing medication use among pregnant women.

JCI table of contents: April 25, 2011
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for papers to be published April 25, 2011, in the JCI:

25 years after the Chernobyl disaster, Fukushima may unravel health consequences of nuclear accidents in the past, present and future
On the 25th anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, a comment and editorial published online first by Lancet Oncology describes the known health consequences of this event.

Study examines changes in medical students' views about internal medicine careers
Compared with 1990, more medical students in 2007 viewed internal medicine as a potentially meaningful career; however, the majority of students are choosing other specialties, according to a report in the April 25 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Psychologists find unintentional racial biases may affect economic and trust decisions
Psychologists have found that people may make economic and trust decisions based on unconscious or unintentional racial biases.

Leader beliefs about followers impact company success
How leaders view their employees tends to become a self-fulfilling prophecy, which affects company success.

MU researchers pioneer animal diabetes treatment
University of Missouri veterinarians have changed the way veterinarians treat diabetes in animals by adapting a device used to monitor glucose in humans.

University of Oklahoma researchers working to advance predictability research initiatives
Faculty from the University of Oklahoma School of Meteorology are leading the school's predictability research initiatives with multiple projects that could one day lead to more accurate forecasts of weather-related events, including landslides and tornadoes.

Rice bioengineering students' invention may help diagnose painful eye condition
Rice University bioengineering students responded to an ophthalmologist's cry for help with a device to diagnose dry eye, the itching and burning sensation that results when a person doesn't produce enough tears or the tears evaporate too quickly.
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