Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 02, 2011
mBio selected for indexing in MEDLINE
The American Society for Microbiology is proud to announce that the online-only, open-access microbiology journal mBio has been selected by the National Library of Medicine to be indexed in MEDLINE.

Bin Laden's attacks among the most lethal: UMD study
Under Osama bin Laden's leadership, al-Qaida has been one of the most lethal terrorist organization in the world, responsible for more than 10,000 deaths and injuries in a dozen years -- finds a new analysis by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland (START).

Hydrogen fuel tech gets boost from low-cost, efficient catalyst
Scientists have engineered a cheap, abundant alternative to the expensive platinum catalyst and coupled it with a light-absorbing electrode to make hydrogen fuel from sunlight and water.

Summary of NCRP Workshop on CT in Emergency Medicine, now available
A summary of the National Council on Radiation Protection's (NCRPs) workshop on the appropriate use of computed tomography (CT) in emergency medicine, and a list of recommendations from participating organizations to help control the inappropriate use of CT in the emergency department, is now available via the May issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Book looks at interrelationships among nitrogen, plants and the environment
The varied, complex interactions involving nitrogen, plants, and the environment are the focus of a new book co-edited by University of Missouri professor of biochemistry Joseph C.

Parents have role in smoking prevention
A study finds parents shouldn't let up when it comes to discouraging their kids from smoking.

'Small fry' fish just as vulnerable to population plunges as sharks or tuna
Sharks, tuna, billfish and other oceanic top predators have suffered major population declines in recent decades, causing many researchers to consider them the species at the highest risk of extinction.

Lichen evolved on 2 tracks, like marsupials and mammals
Lichen, those drab, fuzzy growths found on rocks and trees, aren't as cuddly and charismatic as kangaroos or intriguing as opossums, but they could be a fungal equivalent, at least evolutionarily.

University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine student receives Schweitzer Fellowship
Nicholas Kenji Taylor, a first-year year student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, has been named one of 15 Philadelphia Schweitzer Fellows for 2011-2012.

ONR puts spotlight on importance of sea-based aviation science and technology
The Office of Naval Research announced May 2 that it is giving prominence to sea-based aviation by making it a National Naval Responsibility.

Researchers turn to museums to track down clues in mysterious amphibian declines
There's a crisis among the world's amphibians -- about 40 percent of amphibian species have dwindled in numbers in just three decades.

Media multitasking is really multi-distracting
In the battle for the attention of the multitasker, the computer beats the television.

Alzheimer's-related protein disrupts motors of cell transport
A protein associated with Alzheimer's disease clogs several motors of the cell transport machinery critical for normal cell division, leading to defective neurons that may contribute to the memory-robbing disease, University of South Florida researchers report.

Global warming won't harm wind energy production, climate models predict
The production of wind energy in the US over the next 30-50 years will be largely unaffected by upward changes in global temperature, say a pair of Indiana University, Bloomington, scientists who analyzed output from several regional climate models to assess future wind patterns in America's lower 48 states.

Paging Han Solo: Researchers find more efficient way to steer laser beams
For many practical applications involving lasers, it's important to be able to control the direction of the laser beams.

Higher HIV risk in black gay men linked to partner choice, risk perception
Young black men who have sex with men (MSM) get infected with HIV nearly five times more often than MSM from other races, even though they don't have more unprotected sex.

Think it's easy to be macho? Psychologists show how 'precarious' manhood is
Manhood is a

Caves and their dripstones tell us about the uplift of mountains
In a recent Geology paper geologists from the universities of Innsbruck and Leeds report on ancient cave systems discovered near the summits of the Allgäu Mountains that preserved the oldest radiometrically dated dripstones currently known from the European Alps.

BIDMC scientist Ionita Ghiran, M.D., receives Gates Foundation grant
A Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center scientist is to develop a novel screening device to enable the diagnosis of malaria in remote locations.

Advanced CT with 3-D scanning improve detection of drug trafficking and other contraband smuggling
With the high prevalence of drug abuse and trafficking in major cities throughout the world, one new study shows how advanced CT with 3-D scanning can help radiologists better identify ingested or hidden contraband items more effectively.

New mothers can learn a lot from watching their babies
The best teacher for a young mother is her baby, contend experts who train social workers to interact with first-time moms.

Research team identifies receptor for Ebola virus
A University of Iowa-led team of researchers has identified a cellular protein that acts as a receptor for Ebola virus and Marburg virus.

Packing on the pounds in middle age linked to dementia
According to a new study, being overweight or obese during middle age may increase the risk of certain dementias.

Carnegie Mellon's Shaw and Garlan honored for pioneering research in software architecture
Mary Shaw and David Garlan, faculty members who led Carnegie Mellon University to prominence in the field of software architecture, have been named co-recipients of the Outstanding Research Award for 2011 presented by the Association for Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group on Software Engineering.

March of Dimes awards $250,000 prize to scientists who explained human sex chromosomes
Patricia Ann Jacobs, OBE, DSc, FRS, professor of Human Genetics, Southampton University Medical School and co-director of Research, Wessex Regional Genetics Laboratory, Salisbury, England and David C.

A little belly fat can double the risk of death in coronary artery disease patients
One of the largest studies of its kind has found that people with coronary artery disease who have even a modest beer belly or muffin top are at higher risk for death than people whose fat collects elsewhere.

Study estimates rate of autism spectrum disorder in adults in England
In England, the prevalence of adults with autism spectrum disorder was estimated to be 9.8 per 1,000 population, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Inconsistent math curricula hurting US students, study finds
A new study finds important differences in math curricula across US states and school districts.

Post-deployment PTSD symptoms more common in military personnel with prior mental health disorders
Military service members who screened positive for mental health disorders before deployment, or who were injured during deployment, were more likely to develop post-deployment post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms than their colleagues without these risk factors, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Cells derived from different stem cells: Same or different?
There are two types of stem cell considered promising sources of cells for regenerative therapies: ES and iPS cells.

Animal studies reveal new route to treating heart disease
Scientists at Johns Hopkins have shown in laboratory experiments in mice that blocking the action of a signaling protein deep inside the heart's muscle cells blunts the most serious ill effects of high blood pressure on the heart.

ACR white paper prepares radiologists for participation in accountable care organizations
The latest American College of Radiology white paper,

Ancient bipedal hominid dubbed 'Nutcracker Man' preferred grass to nuts, new study finds
An ancient, bipedal hominid sporting a set of powerful jaws and huge molars that earned it the nickname

Study suggests that successful blueprints are recycled by evolution
A study by researchers in Austria and the US finds evidence that the different cell types that make up organs have arisen only once during the course of evolution.

27 percent of children wait too long for surgery
Twenty-seven percent of children in Canada awaiting surgery at pediatric hospitals received the procedures past the target date, found an article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Pain and itch connected down deep
Despite much research on pain receptors, investigators have only recently focused on itch and how the body distinguishes between itch and pain.

Antioxidant may prevent alcohol-induced liver disease
An antioxidant may prevent damage to the liver caused by excessive alcohol, according to new research from UAB.

Scientists show that HIV drugs can also target tropical parasites
Scientists have discovered that drugs used to treat HIV may also one day become lifesaving drugs targeted at parasitic diseases such as leishmaniasis and malaria.

O'Rourke honored for influential snow loading research
Structural engineering expert Michael O'Rourke has won the prestigious 2011 Walter P.

Single atom stores quantum information
A powerful quantum computer could be designed with an incredibly tiny memory.

JCI online early table of contents: May 2, 2011
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, May 2, 2011, in the JCI:

UAB to prepare inventory of the world's ecological conflicts
Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona will spend the next four years coordinating the EJOLT project, with the participation of 23 organizations which will be designing new databases, maps and environmental indicators related to the ecological conflicts existing throughout the world.

Wishful thinking
Trying to figure out what's going on inside the mind of an adolescent can be challenging, to say the least.

Study finds autism-related early brain overgrowth slows by age 2 years
Scientists using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) observed that the brains of children with autism spectrum disorder are larger than those without autism, but this difference appears related to increased rates of brain growth before 2 years of age, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Merck's investigational prostaglandin analogue ophthalmic medication tafluprost meets primary endpoint in phase III study
Merck's investigational prostaglandin analogue ophthalmic medication Tafluprost has met a primary endpoint in a Phase III Study.

2 tests better than 1 to diagnose diabetes in overweight children
A new study found that the recommended blood test may not be enough to catch type 2 diabetes in overweight children, missing more than two-thirds of children at high-risk for the condition.

Injured children may not be getting best possible care
Most injured children are not being treated at pediatric trauma centers, arguably the most appropriate location of care for young patients.

Study: Rare deep-sea starfish stuck in juvenile body plan
A team of scientists has combined embryological observations, genetic sequencing, and supercomputing to determine that small disk-shaped animals that once were thought to represent a new class of animals are actually starfish that have lost the large star-shaped, adult body from their life cycle.

New GSA Special Paper uses the past to answer questions about the future
What is geoarchaeology and what is its relationship to landscape history, climate change and sustainability?

Limited English proficiency among parents associated with increased length of hospital stay
Among children whose parents and other primary caregivers have limited English proficiency, there is an associated increased length of hospital stay and decreased number of home health care referrals for pediatric inpatients with infections requiring long-term antibiotics, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

The winners of mass extinction: With predators gone, prey thrives
In modern ecology, the removal or addition of a predator to an ecosystem can produce dramatic changes in the population of prey species.

Rice's origins point to China, genome researchers conclude
Rice originated in China, a team of genome researchers has concluded in a study tracing back thousands of years of evolutionary history through large-scale gene re-sequencing.

Boston University researchers validate important roles of iPSCs in regenerative medicine
Researchers from Boston University's Center for Regenerative Medicine have demonstrated that induced pluripotent stem cells can differentiate into definitive endoderm cells, in vitro, with similar functional potential when compared to embryonic stem cells, despite minor molecular differences between the two cell types.

Einstein Montefiore lung specialist to receive award for work with 9/11 rescue workers
David Prezant, M.D. , professor of medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and an attending physician in the pulmonary medicine division at Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital and Academic Medical Center for Einstein, will receive the 2011 Public Service Award from the American Thoracic Society, in honor of his significant clinical care and groundbreaking research with rescue workers who worked at the World Trade Center following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

FATE results prove to be useful in end-of-life care
Though there have been significant improvements in the treatment of head and neck cancer, there is still a lack of data on the experience of end of life care for head and neck cancer patients, according to a new study published in the May 2011 issue of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

Traveler's alert: Business travel linked to obesity and poor health
People who travel for business two weeks or more a month have higher body mass index, higher rates of obesity and poorer self-rated health than those who travel less often.

HIV risk in young black males
New research is shedding light on why young black males who have sex with males have among the highest rates of HIV infection in the United States, even though their reported use of condoms is similar to males of other racial and ethnic backgrounds.

U of I study: Before you start bone-building meds, try dietary calcium and supplements
Has a bone density scan placed you at risk for osteoporosis, leading your doctor to prescribe a widely advertised bone-building medication?

Public confused about ingredients in pain relievers
Billions of people take pain relievers like Tylenol, but many do not pay attention to the active ingredients they contain, such as acetaminophen, a Northwestern Medicine study reports.

eHealthObjects chooses Elsevier/Gold Standard drug database
Leading drug database provider, Elsevier/Gold Standard, announced today that eHealthObjects, an innovative health-care solutions company, which specializes in delivering health-care technology products, solutions and platforms that can seamlessly be integrated with other systems, has chosen Alchemy as its drug database.

College students' use of Kindle DX points to e-reader's role in academia
A nine-month study of how University of Washington graduate students did or did not use the large-format Amazon Kindle DX in their course reading provides information on the potential future for e-readers in academia.

Statins may stave off septic lung damage says new research study
Statins may be best known for their ability to reduce cholesterol, but a research report appearing in the May 2011 issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology shows that these same drugs could also play a crucial role in the reduction of lung damage resulting from severe abdominal sepsis and infection.

Researchers develop device to measure brain temperature non-invasively
Doctors have long sought a way to directly measure the brain's temperature without inserting a probe through the skull.

Embargoed news from Annals of Internal Medicine
This release contains information about articles being published in the May 3 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

Studies: Public favors equal custody for children of divorce
The public favors equal custody for children of divorce, according to findings in a pair of studies by Arizona State University researchers that will appear in the May 2011 journal Psychology, Public Policy, and Law.

'It costs too much to be healthy'
The high cost of health care is deterring parents from taking their children to the doctor or buying prescription medication, regardless of how much money they make or whether they have health insurance, according to a study.

PET-CT exams help identify cognitive reserve in early-onset Alzheimer's disease
A recent study revealed that the

New protein regulates water in the brain to control inflammation
A new protein, called aquaporin-4, is making waves and found to play a key role in brain inflammation, or encephalitis.

Early nutrition has a long-term metabolic impact
Nutrition during the first days or weeks of life may have long-term consequences on health, potentially via a phenomenon known as the metabolic programming effect.

In-hospital deaths declined over time at children's hospital without pediatric medical emergency team
A study documents reduction in hospital mortality over ten years in a children's hospital without a pediatric emergency medical team, according to a report in the May issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Insomnia linked to high insulin resistance in diabetics
In the largest study of it kind to establish a link between sleep and diabetes, researchers found that people with diabetes who sleep poorly have higher insulin resistance, and a harder time controlling the disease.

Endogenous proteins found in a 70-million-year-old giant marine lizard
Fossil -- just stone? No, a research team in Lund, Sweden, has discovered primary biological matter in a fossil of an extinct varanoid lizard (a mosasaur) that inhabited marine environments during Late Cretaceous times.

Kids who specialize in 1 sport may have higher injury risk
Competitive young athletes are under increasing pressure to play only one sport year round, but such specialization could increase the risk of injuries, a Loyola University Health System study has found.

Washing with contaminated soap increases bacteria on hands
People who wash their hands with contaminated soap from bulk-soap-refillable dispensers can increase the number of disease-causing microbes on their hands and may play a role in transmission of bacteria in public settings according to research published in the May issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Young adults' beliefs about their health clash with risky behaviors
Nine out of 10 Americans between ages 18-24 believe they're living healthy lifestyles -- yet most eat too much fast food, drink too many alcoholic and sugar-sweetened beverages and engage in other behaviors that could put them at risk of stroke, according to an American Stroke Association survey released today.

No nuts for 'Nutcracker Man'
For decades, a 2.3 million- to 1.2 million-year-old human relative named Paranthropus boisei has been nicknamed Nutcracker Man because of his big, flat molar teeth and thick, powerful jaw.

Skin sensitivity to food allergens explained
Atopic dermatitis is a form of eczema caused by inflammatory responses in the skin.

Moderate levels of secondhand smoke deliver nicotine to the brain
Exposure to secondhand smoke, such as a person can get by riding in an enclosed car while someone else smokes, has a direct, measurable impact on the brain -- and the effect is similar to what happens in the brain of the person doing the smoking.

New studies show negative effects from revised mammography recommendation for women, ages 40-49
Two new studies reveal that the United States Preventative Services Task Force's recommendation to no longer screen women ages 40-49 for breast cancer using mammograms has begun to negatively affect the number of yearly mammograms performed in this age group and thus decrease the benefits of early detection.

Mayo Clinic CPR efforts successful on man with no pulse for 96 minutes
By all counts, the 54-year-old man who collapsed on a recent winter night in rural Minnesota would likely have died.

Cells talk more in areas Alzheimer's hits first, boosting plaque component
Higher levels of cell chatter boost amyloid beta in the brain regions that Alzheimer's hits first, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Establishing the first line of human embryonic stem cells in Brazil
Establishing a genetically diverse line of human embryonic stem cells for the therapeutic stem cell transplantation needs of the diverse ethnic and genetic Brazilian population has been shown to be problematic.

Research demonstrates link between H1N1 and low birth weight
In 2009, the United States was gripped by concern for a new winter threat: the H1N1 strain of influenza.

Columbia Engineering and collaborators launch first iPhone field guide using visual search
Columbia University, the University of Maryland and the Smithsonian Institution have pooled their expertise to create the first plant identification mobile app using visual search -- Leafsnap.

News tips from the May/June issue of Physiological and Biochemical Zoology
The May/June issue of Physiological and Biochemical Zoology contains the following articles:

How television and other media affect infant development
A panel of experts -- a neuroscientist, a developmental pediatrician, a pediatric epidemiologist and a child psychologist -- will discuss the effects of media on infant development during a symposium at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting Monday, May 2, in Denver, Colo.

Catheterization recommended for treating pediatric heart conditions
Because of new developments in procedures, technology and expertise, considerations for using catheterization to treat children born with heart defects in addition to its role in diagnosis are reviewed.

Seeking happiness? Remember the good times, forget the regrets
People who look at the past through rose-tinted glasses are happier than those who focus on negative past experiences and regrets, according to a new study published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences.

Brain enlargement in autism due to brain changes occurring before age 2
A study by UNC researchers finds that children with autism who had enlarged brains at age 2 continued to have enlarged brains at ages 4 and 5.

New evidence details spread of amphibian-killing disease from Mexico through Central America
Using museum specimens from Mexico, Guatemala and Costa Rica, researchers have documented evidence of a Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) epidemic wave that wiped out native amphibians, according to research to be published on May 3 by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Blueprint of a trend: How does a financial bubble burst?
A joint study by academics in Switzerland, Germany and at Boston University sheds new light on the formation of financial bubbles and crashes.

ENERCA clinical recommendations for sickle cell disease management and prevention in children
The article published in the American Journal of Hematology is divided in three main issues: Prevention of complications, treatment and therapies for acute disease.

No uptake of grant relating to ban on blood donations by gay and bisexual men
Canadian researchers may be biased since a half-million dollar research grant to possibly change the ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood has not been accessed, states a Salon article in CMAJ. 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