Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 13, 2011
AACR's CR magazine honored with 4 prestigious journalism awards
The American Association for Cancer Research is pleased to announce that CR -- AACR's magazine for cancer survivors, their families and caregivers -- won first place in the 2011 National Media Awards of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons.

NSF launches Science360 for iPad application
The National Science Foundation's Science360 for iPad application is now available in the App Store section of Apple's iTunes.

Drinking, cannabis use and psychological distress increase, CAMH survey finds
The latest survey of Ontario adults from Canada's Center for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) shows increasing rates of daily drinking and cannabis use and high levels of psychological distress.

Safe prescribing information for children in Canada often hard to find
Accurate, safe prescribing information for children is often unavailable to doctors in Canada because pharmaceutical companies will not disclose information to Health Canada, states an editorial in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Final 3 year results from the landmark HORIZONS-AMI trial published in the Lancet
Data from the landmark HORIZONS-AMI clinical trial demonstrated that the administration of the anticoagulant medication bivalirudin enhanced survival compared to the use of heparin plus a glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitor in heart attack patients undergoing angioplasty after 3 years.

Early exposure to pets does not increase children's risk of allergies
A new study published in the journal Clinical & Experimental Allergy reveals that keeping a dog or cat in the home does not increase children's risk of becoming allergic to the pets.

Aurora A may contribute to kidney disease
The Aurora A kinase may contribute to polycystic kidney disease (PKD) by inactivating a key calcium channel in kidney cells, according to a study in the June 13 issue of the Journal of Cell Biology.

Sleepiness may impair the brain's inhibitory control when viewing high-calorie foods
Daytime sleepiness may affect inhibitory control in the brain when viewing tantalizing, high-calorie foods, suggests a research abstract that will be presented Monday, June 13, in Minneapolis, Minn., at SLEEP 2011, the 25th Anniversary Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC.

MARC travel awards announced for the 25th Symposium of the Protein Society
FASEB's MARC (Minority Access to Research Careers) Program has announced the travel award recipients for The 25th Symposium of the Protein Society in Boston, Mass., from July 23-27, 2011.

Sleep apnea may increase the risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes
Women with severe sleep apnea had the highest incidence of adverse pregnancy outcomes.

Group therapy helps MS sufferers cope with depression, study finds
Offering multiple sclerosis sufferers emotional support through group therapy sessions could improve their quality of life and save the NHS almost $800 per patient, a study at the University of Nottingham has discovered.

Cooling the brain during sleep may be a natural and effective treatment for insomnia
Participants received all-night frontal cerebral thermal transfer by wearing a soft plastic cap on their head.

Science explains ancient copper artifacts
Northwestern University researchers ditched many of their high-tech tools and turned to large stones, fire and some old-fashioned elbow grease to recreate techniques used by Native American coppersmiths who lived more than 600 years ago.

New discovery -- copepods share 'diver's weight belt' technique with whales
A deep-sea mystery has been solved with the discovery that the tiny 3-mm-long marine animals, eaten by herring, cod and mackerel, use the same buoyancy control as whales.

New research facility will help safeguard the supply of global wheat crops
The US Department of Agriculture and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) today broke ground on a state-of-the-art greenhouse that will play a key role in helping scientists combat a growing global disease threat to the world's wheat and barley supplies.

Healthy planet, healthy people?
A major new research project will examine how policies designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions could impact human health.

Screening high-risk employees for sleep apnea could save a corporation millions of dollars
Large corporations could save millions of dollars in lost productivity by screening and treating high-risk employees for obstructive sleep apnea, suggests a research abstract that will be presented Monday, June 13, in Minneapolis, Minn., at SLEEP 2011, the 25th Anniversary Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC.

Creationism creeps into mainstream geology
In almost every way, the

GE Healthcare study supports safety profile of diagnostic heart ultrasound contrast agent Optison
Today, GE Healthcare Medical Diagnostics announced results of a study that evaluated the cardiopulmonary safety of Optison (Perflutren Protein-Type A Microspheres Injectable Suspension, USP), a diagnostic ultrasound contrast agent for use in improving suboptimal echocardiograms.

Reducing avoidable rehospitalizations among seniors
A new study from Hebrew Rehabilitation Center, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School, demonstrates improvements in discharge disposition following a three-pronged intervention that combines standardized admission templates, palliative care consultations, and root-cause-analysis conferences.

Life-history traits may affect DNA mutation rates in males more than in females
Large-scale DNA sequencing data have been used to investigate a long-standing evolutionary assumption -- that DNA mutation rates are influenced by such life-history traits as the time between an individual's birth and the birth of its offspring.

Louisiana Tech University, LA-SiGMA help teachers transform materials science
Teachers from school districts in north Louisiana are helping to advance the frontiers of science by conducting research with faculty from Louisiana Tech University's College of Engineering and Science and using supercomputers made available through the Louisiana Optical Network Initiative.

Dietary changes appear to affect levels of biomarkers associated with Alzheimer's disease
Following a low-saturated fat and low-glycemic index diet appears to modulate the risk of developing dementia that proceeds to Alzheimer's disease (AD), although making a switch to this dietary pattern may not protect those already experiencing cognitive difficulty, according to a report in the June issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Hospital outcomes research named 'Article of the Year'
Health services researchers who studied controversial aspects of Medicare spending and quality of patient care received a prestigious award yesterday from the nation's largest health services research professional association.

High rates of injection drug use in urban Aboriginal youth signal need for prevention programs
A new study indicates high rates of injection drug use in urban Canadian Aboriginal youth, particularly in women, and points to the need for culturally specific prevention programs, states an article in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Stem cell scientific leader awarded the J. Allyn Taylor International Prize in Medicine
The University of Western Ontario is pleased to announce this year's recipient of the J.

Blocking common gateway to inflammation suppresses cancer
There is an intimate and complex relationship between inflammation and cancer; and it is well established that tumors secrete many different chemicals that attract host cells which drive inflammation and help to support tumor growth.

Chillingham cattle cowed by climate change
Spring flowers are opening sooner and songbirds breeding earlier in the year, but scientists know little about how climate change is affecting phenology -- the timing of key biological events -- in UK mammals.

MARC travel awards announced for the AAI 2011 Introductory Course in Immunology
The FASEB MARC (Minority Access to Research Careers) Program has announced the travel award recipient for the American Association of Immunologists (AAI) Introductory Course in Immunology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia from July 9-14, 2011.

A scientific breakthrough at the IRCM could help understand certain cancers
A scientific breakthrough by researchers at the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal (IRCM) will be published tomorrow in Developmental Cell, a scientific journal of the Cell Press group.

East Africa and Middle East seek plan to keep animal diseases from disrupting livestock trade
With increased trade in livestock products offering a possible antidote to high food prices, livestock experts from the Middle East and 12 African countries are meeting this week in Dubai to develop a strategy that eliminates the need to impose devastating bans on livestock imports from the Horn of Africa, as prevention against the spread of Rift Valley fever.

Global Health Council opens 38th annual international conference in Washington
The 38th Annual International Conference on Global Health begins today with 130 sessions and events on topics ranging from non-communicable diseases and HIV/AIDS to maternal health and the healthcare workforce.

Federal welfare programs can have negative effects on children's cognitive scores
A researcher at the University of Missouri has found that requirements for some of these welfare programs can create stress on families, which can have a negative effect on young children.

Sniffing out a new source of stem cells
New research in mice, to be published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, suggests that adult stem cells from immune system tissue in the smell-sensing region of the human nose (human olfactory ecto-mesenchymal stem cells [OE-MSCs]) could provide a source of cells to treat brain disorders in which nerve cells are lost or irreparably damaged.

NIH researchers find new clues about aging
National Institutes of Health researchers have identified a new pathway that sets the clock for programmed aging in normal cells.

Guidelines for ventilator use help premature infants breathe easier
Guidelines that reduce the use of mechanical ventilation with premature infants in favor of a gentler form of respiratory support can profoundly affect those children's outcomes while reducing the cost of care, according to a team of researchers at Children's Hospital Boston.

Research at UC3M improves the bolted joints in airplanes
A research project at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid that analyzes the bolted joints used in the aeronautical industry has determined the optimum force that should be applied so that they may better withstand the variations in temperature that aircraft are subjected to.

Undernourishment in pregnant, lactating females found key to next generation's disease
A study in primates establishes the critical role that undernourishment in mothers-to-be and lactating females has in creating Type 2 diabetes in offspring.

The energy debate: Coal vs. nuclear
A Rutgers and Vanderbilt study of consumers' attitudes toward coal and nuclear energy sources finds that factors other than global warming and the potential for nuclear power plant accidents figure into consumers' preferences.

Routine screening for autism not needed: McMaster researchers
In a study in the online edition of the journal Pediatrics, McMaster University researchers say there is

British philanthropist Trevor Pears receiving doctore from Hebrew U.
Respected British philanthropist Trevor Pears CMG, will be among 10 distinguished figures to receive honorary doctor of philosophy degrees on Sunday, June 19, at the opening session of the 74th meeting of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Board of Governors.

Meltzone 2011: CCNY expedition to track life and death of supraglacial lake
How do you observe signs of climate change in real time?

Scientists identify key component in lethal lung cancer complication
A protein previously thought not to exist in adult human lungs not only is present in normal and cancerous lung tissue, scientists have found, but it also has a major role in the development of a lethal complication of some lung cancers.

Montreal conference on supercomputing focuses on medical applications and future
Once a year in Canada, supercomputers emerge from the shadows at the High Performance Computing Symposium.

Reducing the number of heart attack deaths at major sporting venues
Recommendations published today by the European Heart Journal define minimum standards of cardiovascular medical expertise, available equipment, and emergency planning for stadiums and mass participation events.

Study finds that wives' sleep problems have negative impact on marital interactions
The quality of interactions among married couples is affected by wives' inability to fall asleep at night, but not by husbands' sleep problems, suggests new research that will be presented Monday, June 13, in Minneapolis, Minn., at SLEEP 2011, the 25th Anniversary Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC.

NASA's LRO takes extreme close-up of eclipse
Orbiting about 31 miles above the lunar surface, NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) spacecraft will get a

Science explains ancient copper artifacts
Northwestern University researchers ditched many of their high-tech tools and turned to large stones, fire and some old-fashioned elbow grease to recreate techniques used by Native American coppersmiths who lived more than 600 years ago.

Type 2 diabetes linked to higher risk of stroke and CV problems; metabolic syndrome isn't
Among patients who have had an ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack (TIA), type 2 diabetes was associated with an increased risk of recurrent stroke or cardiovascular events, but metabolic syndrome was not, according to a report published online first today by Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Preteens surrounded by smokers get hooked on nicotine
Exposure to secondhand smoke can create symptoms of nicotine dependence in non-smoking preteens, according to a new study from Concordia University and the University of Montreal.

Preventing avoidable opioid-related deaths top priority for pain medicine field
Deaths related to prescription opioid therapy are under intense scrutiny, prompting those in pain medicine -- clinicians, patient advocates, and regulators -- to understand the causes behind avoidable mortality in legitimately treated patients.

Study estimates potential for ranibizumab to prevent blindness from age-related macular degeneration
A computer modeling study suggests that administering the drug ranibizumab is associated with reducing the magnitude of legal blindness and visual impairment caused by age-related macular degeneration in non-Hispanic white individuals, according to a report in the June issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

AcademyHealth honors leading health services researchers
AcademyHealth announced its 2011 award winners today, recognizing leading researchers in different stages of their careers for significant contributions for the fields of health services research and health policy.

ORNL package tracking system takes social media to new heights
What has made the Internet such a success could help change the way high-dollar and hazardous packages are tracked, according to Randy Walker of the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Polyp miss rates high for colonoscopies done after poor bowel preparation
A new study reports that colonoscopies done with suboptimal bowel preparation are associated with relatively high adenoma (precancerous polyp) miss rates, suggesting that suboptimal bowel preparation substantially decreases colonoscopy effectiveness and may mandate an early follow-up examination.

Health data can help address alcohol-related harm in youth
Administrative information can be useful for surveillance and understanding of alcohol-related harm in young people, states an article in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Teacher unions that have lost collective bargaining will flex political muscle with money
While several states have recently limited the ability for teacher unions to collectively bargain for their members, teachers will continue to flex their political muscle in a way scholars of policymaking have overlooked: through their pocketbooks, says a Baylor University political scientist.

NASA sees Arabian Sea tropical depression 1A fading
The low-pressure system called System 98A was renamed tropical depression 1A over the weekend, and its strengthening was short-lived, just as it appears on NASA satellite imagery.

Dr. Marahelli G. Prasad of Stevens receives ASME award
Dr. Marahelli G. Prasad, professor of mechanical engineering and Director of the Noise and Vibration Control Laboratory at Stevens Institute of Technology, received the 2011 American Society of Mechanical Engineers Student Section Advisor Award for District A for his dedicated service as an adviser.

JCI online early table of contents: June 13, 2011
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, June 13, 2011, in the JCI: Sniffing out a new source of stem cells; Small but powerful cancer probe; New way to treat pulmonary hypertension?; Growing old gracefully: premature ageing condition provides clues about normal ageing; To be M1 or to be M2: the protein KLF4 decides for macrophages; and others.

Brain structure adapts to environmental change
Columbia researchers have found that under stressful conditions, neural stem cells in the adult hippocampus can produce not only neurons, but also new stem cells.

Sleep type predicts day and night batting averages of Major League Baseball players
A Major League Baseball player's natural sleep preference might affect his batting average in day and night games, according to a research abstract that will be presented Monday, June 13, in Minneapolis, Minn., at SLEEP 2011, the 25th Anniversary Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC.

Expenditures for glaucoma medications appear to have increased
In recent years, spending for glaucoma medications has increased, especially for women, persons who have only public health insurance and those with less than a high school education, according to a report published online first by Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Promising new target for stifling the growth and spread of cancer
Cancer and chronic inflammation are partners in peril, with the latter increasing the likelihood that malignant tumors will develop, grow and spread.

Stunning NASA imagery and movie released of a now gone Hurricane Adrian
Some satellite images are striking and memorable, while others are just interesting.

More genetic diseases linked to potentially fixable gene-splicing problems
Many more hereditary diseases than previously thought may be caused, at least in part, by errors in pre-mRNA splicing, according to a computer analysis by Brown University scientists.

Brain scan identifies patterns of plaques and tangles in adults with Down syndrome
In one of the first studies of its kind, UCLA researchers used a unique brain scan to assess the levels of plaques and tangles -- the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease -- in adults with Down syndrome.

First study to be based on a nationwide homeless register shows large differences in mortality rates and life expectancy in homeless people compared with general population
New research shows that homeless men and women have mortality rates some six times higher than the general population.

Article outlines principles for a conservative approach to prescribing medication
A shift toward more conservative medication-prescribing practices would serve patients better, according to a review article published Online First today by Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Studies evaluate criteria for detecting potentially inappropriate medicines
Using the Screening Tool of Older Persons' potentially inappropriate Prescriptions (STOPP) criteria was associated with identification of adverse drug events in older patients, according to a report in the June issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

1 in 5 heart-attack deaths could be prevented with new drug
Robert Storey, professor of cardiology at the University of Sheffield's Department of Cardiovascular Science, presented findings today that confirm one in five deaths in the year following a heart attack could be prevented if a new drug, ticagrelor, was used instead of the standard treatment, clopidogrel.

Genome offers clue to functions of destructive wheat fungus
One of the world's most destructive wheat pathogens is genetically built to evade detection before infecting its host, according to a study that mapped the genome of the fungus.

Studies reveal attitudes of women and their caregivers on use of technology in childbirth
Three studies by University of British Columbia and Child & Family Research Institute researchers are providing the closest look yet at the attitudes of women and their caregivers around the use of birth technology, and together reveal ongoing misperceptions among caregivers around the safety of vaginal births.

Fathers still matter to kids who have moved out
Dads who blend love, high expectations and respect for the child's autonomy stood out in Nelson's analysis of fathers of young adults.

Teen brain data may predict pop song success, Emory study finds
An Emory University study suggests that the brain activity of teens, recorded while they are listening to new songs, may help predict the popularity of the songs.

Certain head and neck cancer patients benefit from second round of treatment
A new study has determined predictors that can better identify patients who will benefit from a potentially toxic second course of treatment, which offers a small but real chance of cure in select patients with head and neck cancer.

Scientists find deadly amphibian disease in the last disease-free region of central America
Smithsonian scientists have confirmed that chytridiomycosis, a rapidly spreading amphibian disease, has reached a site near Panama's Darien region.

Cancer survivors spend more on health care
Approximately 12 million people in the United States are cancer survivors.

Daily acts of sexism go unnoticed by men, women
Nearly everyone can recognize the stereotypical scene of construction workers catcalling women as being sexist, but both men and women tend to overlook the more subtle daily acts of sexism they encounter, according to a recent study from Psychology of Women Quarterly (published by SAGE on behalf of the Society for the Psychology of Women, Division 35 of the American Psychological Association).

Scripps Research team sheds new light on how blood clots form
Scripps Research Institute scientists have discovered new elements of the blood clot-formation process.

New cell type offers immunology hope
A team of Australian scientists has discovered a new type of cell in the immune system.

Glowing Cornell dots -- a potential cancer diagnostic tool set for human trials
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the first clinical trial in humans of a new technology: Cornell Dots, brightly glowing nanoparticles that can light up cancer cells in PET-optical imaging.

10-fold increase in Open Access publishing during the last decade
A study published today in the open access journal PLoS ONE reports on the rapid growth of Open Access publishing since the start of the World Wide Web.

Global strategy for plant conservation conference to take place at the Missouri Botanical Garden
The Missouri Botanical Garden will host the 2011 Conference of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation, bringing together plant conservation scientists, policy makers and practitioners from all over the world to share methods and results that will advance plant conservation measurably.

Drug recognition program available for Texas employers
Texas employers can learn about the signs and symptoms of drug impairment among workers at an inaugural program being held at Sam Houston State University June 14.

'Networking' turns up flu viruses with close ties to pandemic of 2009
Scientists using new mathematical and computational techniques have identified six influenza A viruses that have particularly close genetic relationships to the H1N1

President's NC trip showcases the role scientific research plays in driving the economy
Today President Barack Obama and his Jobs and Competitiveness Council will visit Durham, NC-based Cree Inc., a leading manufacturer of energy-efficient LED lighting with over 4,000 employees, 2,000 of which are in the United States.

Genetic factor controls health-harming inflammation in obese
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have discovered a genetic factor that can regulate obesity-induced inflammation that contributes to chronic health problems.

MIT research: Faster computer graphics
In August, at this year's Siggraph conference -- the premier computer-graphics conference -- researchers from the Computer Graphics Group at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory will present a pair of papers that describe new techniques for computing blur much more efficiently.

Tool developed to predict violence and aggression in children and teens
Researchers at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center have developed a tool to rapidly assess the risk of aggressive and violent behavior by children and adolescents hospitalized on psychiatric units.

Decoding chronic lymphocytic leukemia
A paper published online on June 13 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine identifies new gene mutations in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia -- a disease often associated with lack of response to chemotherapy and poor overall survival

Under pressure, sodium, hydrogen could undergo a metamorphosis, emerging as superconductor
In the search for superconductors, finding ways to compress hydrogen into a metal has been a point of focus ever since scientists predicted many years ago that electricity would flow, uninhibited, through such a material.

Researchers warn of 'fever from the forest'
Sylvatic dengue continues to flourish in Southeast Asia and West Africa, cycling between non-human primates and the mosquitoes that feed on them.

Brain state affects memory recall
Lost your keys? Your brain might be in a better state to recall where you put them at some times than at others, according to new research from UC Davis.

Pacemaker implantation for heart failure does not benefit nearly half of the patients
A new meta-analysis study, led by physician researchers at University Hospitals Case Medical Center and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and to be published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, shows that three-lead cardiac pacemakers implanted in those with heart failure fail to help up to 40 percent of patients with such devices.

New software 'hearing dummies' pave the way for tailor-made hearing aids
New software

The association of alcohol drinking with migraine headache
Migraine is a neurovascular disease that affects about 15 percent of the western population.

MARC travel awards announced for the AAI 2011 Advanced Course in Immunology
The FASEB MARC (Minority Access to Research Careers) Program has announced the travel award recipients for the American Association of Immunologists (AAI) Advanced Course in Immunology at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis from July 31-Aug.

Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition advances understanding of factors influencing body weight in cats
A collaborative team of researchers has shown that adding moisture to a cat's diet slows down the rate of weight gain.

Income disparity makes people unhappy
Many economists and sociologists have warned of the social dangers of a wide gap between the richest and everyone else. 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