Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 10, 2011
RNA spurs melanoma development
Researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute and the University of Queensland show that long, non-coding RNA (lncRNA) levels are altered in human melanoma.

Smallest turtle in the land becomes more scarce
The Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo veterinarians, US Fish & Wildlife Service, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program have joined forces to answer a perplexing wildlife question: Why are bog turtles getting sick?

New American Chemical Society podcast: 2-in-1 explosive detector and neutralizer
A two-in-one material that can both detect and neutralize explosives of the type favored by Richard Reid, the notorious shoe bomber who tried to blow-up a commercial airliner in 2001, is the topic of the latest episode in the American Chemical Society's award-winning

The sweet mysteries of the nervous system
Researchers in Bochum have produced an antibody that allows them to distinguish the numerous types of stem cells in the nervous system better than before.

Doppler effect found even at molecular level - 169 years after its discovery
For the first time, scientists have experimentally shown a different version of the Doppler effect at a much, much smaller level -- the rotation of an individual molecule.

Pharmaceutical advances offer lower risk and reduced infection
Research being presented at Digestive Disease Week (DDW) shows that patients taking a blood thinner (clopidogrel) after having polyps removed during colonoscopy were at relatively low risk of bleeding.

Brazil's health care system vastly expands coverage, but universality, equity remain elusive
Two decades after Brazil's constitution recognized health as a citizen's right and a duty of the state, the country has vastly expanded health care coverage, improved the population's health, and reduced many health inequalities, but universal and equitable coverage remains elusive, experts from four major Brazilian universities and New York University have concluded.

As good as gold
Pyrite nanoparticles from oceans' hydrothermal vents rich source of iron for bacteria and plant life, University of Delaware researchers find.

Wild animals age too
Until now, the scientific community had assumed that wild animals died before they got old.

Wide-reaching report finds strong support for nurse and pharmacist prescribing
Greater powers introduced by the government to enable specially trained nurses and pharmacists to prescribe medication in England have been successfully adopted, according to a new report.

Taking additional selenium will not reduce cancer risk
Although some people believe that taking selenium can reduce a person's risk of cancer, a Cochrane Systematic Review of randomized controlled clinical trials found no protective effect against non-melanoma skin cancer or prostate cancer.

Heart failure patients' osteoporosis often undiagnosed, untreated
One in 10 heart failure patients had spinal fractures; of those, 85 percent were not being treated for osteoporosis.

Genetic information may help predict likelihood of survival following chemotherapy for breast cancer
Development of a predictive test that included genomic signatures that indicated chemoresistance, chemosensitivity and endocrine sensitivity for women with newly diagnosed breast cancer identified patients with a high probability of survival following chemotherapy, according to a study in the May 11 issue of JAMA.

Framework convention on global health needed
In this week's PLoS Medicine, Lawrence Gostin from Georgetown University, Washington D.C., and colleagues argue that a global health agreement -- such as a Framework Convention on Global Health -- is needed and would inform post-Millennium Development Goal global health commitments.

Zebrafish models identify high-risk genetic features in leukemia patients
Researchers working with zebrafish at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah have identified previously undiscovered high-risk genetic features in T-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia.

UC San Diego science historian named 'Climate Change Communicator of the Year'
Naomi Oreskes, professor of history and science studies at the University of California, San Diego, has been named 2011

6 percent of Spanish workers have high cardiovascular risk
The first study into the prevalence of overall cardiovascular risk in the Spanish working population (ICARIA) shows that 6 percent of workers have a high risk (8 percent on men and 2 percent in women).

Proton dripping tests a fundamental force in nature
A recent discovery of an extremely exotic, short-lived nucleus called fluorine-14 in laboratory experiments may indicate that scientists are gaining a better grasp of the rules of strong interaction.

Noted researcher addresses multiple dimensions of video game effects in new journal article
A new article by Douglas Gentile, an Iowa State University associate professor of psychology, appearing in the journal Child Development Perspectives argues that existing video game literature can't be classified in black and white terms.

Lessons from major heart trial need implementation
A NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center review of almost 500,000 cardiac cases nationally shows that the clinically indicated medical therapy reported in a widely publicized study was lost in translation to real-world heart care after its publication.

Research maps out trade-offs between deer and timber
In a sweeping study of a huge swath of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, Michigan State University researchers document that in many places, the sugar maple saplings that should be thriving following harvesting are instead ending up as a deer buffet.

An enigmatic problem in marine ecology uncovered
A new research paper from an international and interdisciplinary team, published in the journal Ecography, has uncovered the mystery behind the relationship between the duration of the open water period and the geographic coverage of marine species.

Rediscovering sound soil management
While demand for food is soaring, the soil's ability to sustain and enhance agricultural productivity is becoming increasingly diminished and unreliable.

Genes, not race, determine donor kidney survival
A new study by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center sheds light on what causes certain kidneys to do better than others after being transplanted, providing doctors with an easy way to screen for donor kidneys that have the best chance of survival.

OU professor honored for contributions in the field of zoology
A University of Oklahoma behavioral biologist is one of only a small number of scientists to be named a recipient of a Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany.

Harnessing the energy of the Sun: New technique improves artificial photosynthesis
Transforming solar energy into a usable form is a real challenge.

Adversaries in art, science and philosophy
Risk and Meaning is a richly illustrated book exploring how chance and risk, on the one hand, and meaning or significance on the other, compete for the limelight in art, in philosophy, and in science.

Foot and mouth disease may spread through shedding skin cells
Skin cells shed from livestock infected with foot and mouth disease could very well spread the disease.

Cedars-Sinai research deepens understanding of most common gastrointestinal disorder in US
Cedars-Sinai researchers have reported two advances in the understanding of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, the most common gastrointestinal disorder in the United States, affecting an estimated 30 million people.

Who gets treated where for colonoscopy, and how effective is that treatment?
Research being presented at Digestive Disease Week continues to show the effectiveness of colonoscopy for the prevention and detection of colorectal cancer.

'Surrogates' aid design of complex parts and controlling video games
Researchers have defined a new class of software, calling it

High-tech approach uses lights, action and camera to scrutinize fresh produce
High-tech tactics to carefully examine apples and other fresh produce items as they travel along packinghouse conveyor belts will help ensure the quality and safety of these good-for-you foods.

Cephalalgia Award Lecture winner announced
The winner of the Cephalalgia Award Lecture, which is awarded to the best paper submitted and/or published in the journal Cephalalgia between January 1, 2010, and February 28, 2011, was announced today.

Vitamin D deficiency in pneumonia patients associated with increased mortality
A new study published in the journal Respirology reveals that adult patients admitted to the hospital with pneumonia are more likely to die if they have Vitamin D deficiency.

The International Meeting for Autism Research
The 10th Annual International Meeting for Autism Research (IMFAR) will host more than 1900 researchers, delegates, autism specialists, and students in the world's largest gathering of researchers and clinicians devoted to a better understanding of autism.

Adrenaline given before snakebite anti-venom treatment reduces allergic reactions
Giving low-dose adrenaline to patients who have been bitten by a poisonous snake before treatment with the appropriate anti-venom is safe and reduces the risk of acute severe reactions to the treatment, but giving promethazine has no such effect and giving hydrocortisone may actually be harmful.

Successful depression treatment of mothers has long-term effects on offspring
Children whose mothers are successfully treated for depression show progressive and marked improvement in their own behaviors even a year after their moms discontinue treatment, new UT Southwestern Medical Center-led research shows

Microbubble-delivered combination therapy eradicates prostate cancer in vivo
Cancer researchers are a step closer to finding a cure for advanced prostate cancer after effectively combining an anti-cancer drug with a viral gene therapy in vivo using novel ultrasound-targeted microbubble-destruction (UTMD) technology.

2 new studies describe likely beneficiaries of health care reform in California
The majority of the 4.6 million Californians likely to be eligible for health coverage under health care reform's new California Health Benefits Exchange and the expansion of Medi-cal are also those who may be least likely to be excessive users of costly health services: men, singles, and the working age, according to two new policy briefs from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

Bacterium Salmonella enterica regulates virulence according to iron levels found in its surroundings
Salmonella enterica, one of the main causes of gastrointestinal infections, modulates its virulence gene expression, adapting it to each stage of the infection process, depending on the free iron concentration found in the intestinal epithelium of its host.

No safety in numbers for moths and butterflies
Scientists at the University of Leeds are to investigate how lethal viruses attack differently sized populations of moths and butterflies in research that may open the door to new methods of pest control.

Training to promote health
Many people use fitness studios to get back into shape after an injury.

Patients seldom receive optimal medical therapy before and after percutaneous coronary intervention
Despite guideline-based recommendations that underscore the importance of optimal medical therapy (OMT) for patients with stable coronary heart disease undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI; procedures such as balloon angioplasty or stent placement used to open narrowed coronary arteries), data from a cardiovascular registry indicate that less than half of these patients are receiving OMT before PCI and approximately one-third are not receiving OMT at discharge following PCI, according to a study in the May 11 issue of JAMA.

Drug regulators are protecting profits over patients, warn researchers
Medicines regulators are protecting drug company profits rather than the lives and welfare of patients by withholding unpublished trial data, argue researchers on today.

Virginia Tech announces football helmet ratings for reducing concussion risk
Virginia Tech will release on May 10 the results of a new rating system of adult football helmets that is designed to reduce the risk of concussions.

Study: Lowering cost doesn't increase hearing aid purchases
A new Henry Ford Hospital study finds that lowering the cost of hearing aids isn't enough to motivate adults with mild hearing loss to purchase a device at a younger age or before their hearing worsens.

A new study on self-injury behavior encourages quick and targeted intervention
While the disturbing act of self-injury is nothing new to adolescents, researchers and physicians at Nationwide Children's Hospital have identified a more severe type of behavior that is raising some concern among medical professionals.

CO2 makes life difficult for algae
The acidification of the world's oceans could have major consequences for the marine environment.

15 eggs is the perfect number needed to achieve a live birth after IVF
An analysis of over 400,000 IVF cycles in the UK has shown that doctors should aim to retrieve around 15 eggs from a woman's ovaries in a single cycle in order to have the best chance of achieving a live birth after assisted reproduction technology.

It all depends on the coffee
Exactly how environmentally friendly are the various capsule systems and other ways of making coffee?

Professor: Pain of ostracism can be deep, long-lasting
Ostracism or exclusion may not leave external scars, but it can cause pain that often is deeper and lasts longer than a physical injury, according to a Purdue University expert.

Phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitors have only marginal benefits for people with COPD
Giving patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) newly available oral phosphodiesterase 4 inhibitors, roflumilast or cilomilast, improves lung function and reduces the likelihood of a flareup, but does not increase general quality of life.

McMaster scientists find protein's bad guy role in prostate cancer
This research shows for the first time the role of a specific protein -- MAN2C1 -- in prostate cancer development.

Wayne State researchers find new way to examine major depressive disorder in children
A landmark study by scientists at Wayne State University published in the May 6, 2011, issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, the most prestigious journal in the field, has revealed a new way to distinguish children with major depressive disorder from not only normal children, but also from children with obsessive compulsive disorder.

Pairing quantum dots with fullerenes for nanoscale photovoltaics
In a step toward engineering ever-smaller electronic devices, scientists at Brookhaven Lab have assembled nanoscale pairings of particles that show promise as miniaturized power sources.

Coffee reduces breast cancer risk
Recently published research shows that coffee drinkers enjoy not only the taste of their coffee but also a reduced risk of cancer with their cuppa.

Red mate, blue mate: Study says married couples select on basis of politics
In an article to be published in the Journal of Politics, researchers examined physical and behavioral traits in thousands of spouse pairs in the United States.

Razing Seattle's viaduct doesn't guarantee nightmare commutes, model says
Statisticians used new methods to looks at how demolishing Seattle's waterfront thoroughfare would affect commuters.

Student, 16, invents new drug cocktail to fight cystic fibrosis, wins Canadian biotech challenge
While many 16-year-olds are content with PlayStation, Toronto-area student Marshall Zhang used the Canadian SCINET supercomputing network to invent a new drug cocktail which could one day help treat cystic fibrosis.

Study examines outcomes of erythropoietin use for heart attack patients undergoing PCI
Intravenous administration of epoetin alfa, a product that stimulates red blood cell production, to patients with heart attack who were undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI; procedures such as balloon angioplasty or stent placement used to open narrowed coronary arteries), did not provide reduction in the size of the heart muscle involved and was associated with higher rates of adverse cardiovascular events, according to a study in the May 11 issue of JAMA.

Katherine A. High, M.D., elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Katherine A. High, M.D., a gene therapy expert at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, has been elected to the 2011 class of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Study suggests systemic sclerosis is an independent risk factor for atherosclerosis
A new study by researchers in Hong Kong suggests that systemic sclerosis is an independent determinant for moderate to severe coronary calcification or atherosclerosis.

Social entrepreneur and build change founder honored for earthquake-resistant housing innovation
The Lemelson-MIT Program today announced Dr. Elizabeth Hausler as the recipient of the 2011 $100,000 Lemelson-MIT Award for Sustainability in recognition of her engineering accomplishments and creation of a model that establishes sustainable earthquake-resistant housing in the developing world.

Mayo Clinic researchers find new treatment for constipation
Constipation is definitely not a glamorous topic. In reality, it affects nearly 30 million Americans and costs more than $1 billion annually to evaluate and treat.

For hearing parts of brain, deafness reorganizes sensory inputs, not behavioral function
The part of the brain that uses hearing to determine sound location is reorganized in deaf animals to locate visual targets, according to a new study by a team of researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Western Ontario in Canada.

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Researchers at ORNL have achieved a friction-stir technology milestone. By applying the magnetic properties of iron nanodots to materials, a research team has overcome an obstacle to getting ultra-thin films to perform on par.

On 9/11, Americans may not have been as angry as you thought they were
On September 11, 2001, the air was sizzling with anger -- and the anger got hotter as the hours passed.

Chemistry researchers receive patent for new scientific measurement instrument
Two Baylor University chemistry professors have invented a new polarimeter, a basic scientific instrument used to measure and interpret the polarization of transverse waves, such as light waves, that could prove useful in determining the purity of pharmaceuticals.

Southwest Research Institute inks agreements with Beijing BSS Corrosion Protection Co. Ltd.
Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), headquartered in San Antonio, and the Beijing BSS Corrosion Protection Co.

A comforting swan song
Sandi Curtis, a music therapy professor in the Concordia University Department of Creative Arts Therapies, has published a new study on the benefits of music therapy in the journal Music and Medicine.

Getting along with co-workers may prolong life, researchers find
People who have a good peer support system at work may live longer than people who don't have such a support system, according research published by the American Psychological Association.

Depression associated with poor medication adherence in patients with chronic illnesses
People who are depressed are less likely to adhere to medications for their chronic health problems than patients who are not depressed, putting them at increased risk of poor health, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

Darkness stifles reproduction of surface-dwelling fish
There's a reason to be afraid of the dark. Fish accustomed to living near the light of the water's surface become proverbial

Tiny talk on a barnacle's back
In a paper published in the May 5 online issue of the journal Angewandte Chemie, researchers at the UC San Diego School of Medicine and Scripps Institution of Oceanography report using a new form of imaging mass spectrometry to dramatically visualize multiplex microbial interactions.

Genetic defects hold clues to risk for sudden cardiac death
Sudden cardiac death is always a shocking, tragic event, especially when it occurs at a young age.

Beneficial bacteria help repair intestinal injury by inducing reactive oxygen species
Probiotic bacteria promote healing of the intestinal lining in mice by inducing the production of reactive oxygen species, researchers have shown.

Routine antenatal screening for hepatitis B in an urban NYC population
According to new research at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, high rates of chronic hepatitis B infection (HBV) are found in pregnant minority and immigrant women in the New York City area, and most of them do not receive education, appropriate follow-up testing or referral, which is considered the standard of care for all persons newly identified as HBV carriers.

Herschel Space Observatory discovers the clearing out of star-forming gas
The Herschel Space Observatory, home to the largest single mirror telescope in space, has detected massive amounts of molecular gas gusting at high velocities -- in some cases in excess of 1000 kilometers per second -- from the centers of a sample of merging galaxies.

Fertility treatment: Safer drug for women leads to same live birth rate
With new information available, authors of a Cochrane Systematic Review have revised their conclusions about the relative effectiveness of two different treatments used to help women become pregnant.

Neiker-Tecnalia chosen as EU technological center to identify new varieties of potato
The Basque Institute of Agricultural Research and Development, Neiker-Tecnalia, has been commissioned to undertake technical identification examinations for registering new varieties of potato in Spain and that originate in the European Union, thus becoming the technological center of reference in potato matters at a European level.

Less than half of patients with MS continually adhere to drug therapies for treatment: Study
Disease-modifying drugs (DMDs) are injected medications used to slow the progression of multiple sclerosis, and have been shown to reduce the frequency and severity of relapses.

Genomic test shows promise as chemotherapy response, survival predictor for women with breast cancer
A new genomic test combining multiple signatures -- a patient's estrogen receptor status, endocrine therapy response, chemotherapy resistance and sensitivity -- shows promise as a predictor of chemotherapy response and survival benefit in women with invasive breast cancer, according to research led by the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Twinning is winning: Moms of twins live longer
Compared with other mothers, women who deliver twins live longer, have more children than expected, bear babies at shorter intervals over a longer time, and are older at their last birth, according to a University of Utah study. 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