Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 14, 2011
Migration interception practices are a major threat to health
In the fifth article of a six-part PLoS Medicine series on migration and health, Zachary Steel from the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia, and colleagues discuss the health risks associated with

Forecast: Tough times ahead for daily deal sites
Over the next few years, it is likely that daily deal sites will have to settle for lower shares of revenues from businesses compared with their current levels, and it will be harder and more expensive for them to find viable candidates to fill their pipelines of daily deals, according to Utpal Dholakia, associate professor of management at Rice University's Jones Graduate School of Business.

New insights on how solar minimums affect Earth
Observations have shown that magnetic effects on Earth due to the sun did in fact reach a minimum -- indeed they attained their lowest levels of the century -- but some eight months later.

Lymphoma Research Foundation and John Theurer Cancer Center collaborate for Lymphoma Rounds program
On June 15, the Lymphoma Research Foundation, in collaboration with the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, will bring together lymphoma experts to discuss the latest practices in the diagnosis and management of lymphoma.

Toward a more efficient therapy for a specific form of leukemia
Researchers at the VIB Vesalius Research Centre, K.U. Leuven, under the direction of Peter Carmeliet, have investigated the role of placental growth factor in mice with CML.

Hungarian EUREKA Chairmanship launch conference
As Hungary will be assuming the EUREKA Chairmanship on July 1, 2011, a launch conference on

22 of America's most promising scientists selected as 2011 Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences
Twenty-two of America's most promising scientists have been named Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences by the Pew Charitable Trusts.

Healing times for dental implants could be cut
The technology used to replace lost teeth with titanium dental implants could be improved.

Learning to count not as easy as 1, 2, 3
Preschool children seem to grasp the true concept of counting only if they are taught to understand the number value of groups of objects greater than three, research shows.

Next steps for Tenofovir gel: CONRAD and TIA sign license agreement
CONRAD and the South African Government's Technology Innovation Agency (TIA) today announced a license agreement that grants TIA the rights to manufacture and distribute Tenofovir 1 percent gel in Africa.

Popular education in democracy made Colombian women stronger
Education in democracy and human rights has improved the ability of women in northern Colombia to affect their own lives and their surroundings.

Unique gene combinations control tropical maize response to day lengths
Tropical maize contains genetics not available in US corn. Those genetics are providing researchers with valuable information about the specific genes that control day-length response.

HAART effective for treating HIV-infected children living in DRC
This observational cohort study by Andrew Edmonds and colleagues reports that treatment with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) markedly improves the survival of HIV-infected children in Kinshasa, DRC, a resource-deprived setting.

NIH expands reach of national clinical and translational research consortium
The National Institutes of Health announced that it will provide $200 million over five years to five health research centers to speed scientific discoveries into treatments for patients.

Screening helps African-American students connect with school-based mental health services
Mental health screening has been demonstrated to successfully connect African-American middle school students from a predominantly low-income area with school-based mental health services, according to results of a new study led by the TeenScreen National Center for Mental Health Checkups at Columbia University.

Protecting medical implants from attack
A new system would jam wireless signals sent to medical implants by unauthorized users.

Physician-rating websites are biased, says paper at INFORMS Healthcare conference
Patients posting their opinions about doctors on online ratings websites are much less likely to discuss physicians with low perceived quality and are more prone than offline populations to exaggerate their opinions, according to a paper being presented at a health care conference sponsored by the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

Penn State receives $27.3 million NIH grant
The National Institutes of Health has awarded Penn State, Penn State Milton S.

Sleep can boost classroom performance of college students
Performance by university undergraduates on a microeconomics test after completing an introductory, virtual lecture was preserved after a 12-hour period that included sleep, especially for cognitively-taxing integration problems.

New research provides clues on why hair turns gray
A new study by researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center has shown that, for the first time, Wnt signaling, already known to control many biological processes, between hair follicles and melanocyte stem cells can dictate hair pigmentation.

Restoring trust vital in public acceptance of the use of residual newborn screening specimens
Government guidelines published today on the use of dried blood spots collected during mandatory newborn screening underemphasize the importance of getting the public on board with the practice, according to University of Michigan researcher.

Scientists image beginning stages of ovarian cancer growth with time-lapse technique
Scientists at Harvard University have created a laboratory model using time-lapse video microscopic technology that allows observation of early stages of ovarian cancer metastasis.

What gamers want: Researchers develop tool to predict player behavior
Researchers have developed a new method that can accurately predict the behavior of players in online role-playing games.

Researchers predict record Gulf of Mexico 'dead zone' due to Mississippi River flooding
Extreme flooding of the Mississippi River this spring is expected to result in the largest Gulf of Mexico

Van Andel Research Institute finding is potential predictor of deadly cancer common in Asia
In a study recently published in Cancer Research, Van Andel Research Institute (VARI) researchers found a protein that could help predict the spread of the head and neck cancer nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC); this protein could also serve as part of a treatment strategy to stop the spread of the disease.

Parkinson's patients sing in tune with creative arts therapy
Music and drama offers physical and emotional benefits for patients with Parkinson's.

Phosphate sorption characteristics of European alpine soils
Researchers study the impact alpine soil characteristics, specifically phosphate sorption, have on catchments of alpine lakes.

Use of social media on the rise
Every year, Nordicom at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden takes a barometer reading of media use in Sweden.

University of Kentucky receives $20 million to move research from laboratory to bedside
The National Institutes of Health, the largest government funding source for biomedical research in the United States, has awarded $20 million to the University of Kentucky to move research discoveries to health care solutions more quickly.

Fox Chase Cancer Center signs agreement with Life Technologies Corp.
Fox Chase Cancer Center, one of the nation's leading cancer research and treatment institutions, today announced it has entered into an agreement with Life Technologies Corp. that will underpin a new program to provide next-generation sequencing analysis of solid tumors.

17th century pulp literature reveals alternative approach to reading
The 17th century's closest equivalent to modern day pulp fiction, the

Prolonged TV viewing linked to increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease
According to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) researchers, prolonged TV viewing was associated with increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and premature death.

Materials scientist and entrepreneur Dr. John Rogers awarded $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize
Proving that technological entrepreneurship can have groundbreaking impact when inventive concepts stretch across disparate fields, renowned innovator, materials scientist and applied physicist Dr.

Illinois professor John A. Rogers receives $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize
John A. Rogers, the Lee J. Flory-Founder Chair in Engineering at the University of Illinois, has won the 2011 Lemelson-MIT Prize.

Lack of combined approach to play, childcare and learning in early childhood education
When preschool children ask questions about science they risk being left in the lurch by their teachers.

Wired for sound: A small fish's brain illustrates how people and other vertebrates produce sounds
Cornell researchers have identified regions of a fish brain that reveal the basic circuitry for how humans and other vertebrates generate sound used for social communication.

Fish weight-watchers
Telling your partner to watch her weight is not recommended -- unless you're a male cleaner fish, reports a new study in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Neuralstem updates clinical trial progress
Neuralstem Inc. updated the progress of its ongoing Phase I human clinical trial of the company's spinal cord stem cells in the treatment of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease) at Emory University in Atlanta, Ga.

Lifelong learning is problematic for people with reading and writing difficulties
One Swede in five is considered to have difficulties reading and writing, and the affected individuals tend to encounter great problems in modern society.

Fear boosts activation of young, immature brain cells
Scientists have long known that fear and highly emotional experiences lead to incredibly strong memories.

Sleep problems may be a link between perceived racism and poor health
Perceived racism was associated with an elevated risk of self-reported sleep disturbance, which was increased by 61 percent after adjusting for socioeconomic factors and symptoms of depression.

Ovarian cancer cells bully their way through tissue
Ovarian cancer cells use mechanical force to move through tissue and colonize additional organs.

Number of paid malpractice claims similar between inpatient and outpatient settings
In an examination of trends of malpractice claims, there has been a greater decline in the rate of paid claims for inpatient settings than outpatient settings, and in 2009, the number of malpractice claims for events resulting in paid malpractice claims in outpatient and inpatient settings were similar, according to a study in the June 15 issue of JAMA.

Copper folds protein into precursors of Parkinson's plaques
Researchers at North Carolina State University have figured out how copper induces misfolding in the protein associated with Parkinson's disease, leading to creation of the fibrillar plaques which characterize the disease.

JAMA study points to patient safety risks outside hospital walls
Ever since the Institute of Medicine issued its landmark report

Blood pressure changes are age-related
The main causes of increases in blood pressure over a lifetime are modifiable and could be targeted to help prevent cardiovascular disease.

Fluent English speakers translate into Chinese automatically
Over half the world's population speaks more than one language.

Extreme exertion does not impair the quality of CPR given by lifeguards
Swim-center personnel and lifeguards have higher stamina and carry out cardiopulmonary resuscitation more effectively than personnel in the emergency health-care services, even though they have undergone extreme exertion.

Noninvasive liver tests may predict hepatitis C patient survival
Noninvasive tests for liver fibrosis, such as liver stiffness measurement or the FibroTest, can predict survival of patients with chronic hepatitis C.

Taming the molecule's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Many organic molecules are non-superimposable with their mirror image. The two forms of such a molecule are called enantiomers and can have different properties in biological systems.

How is the Arctic Ocean changing?
On Wednesday, June 15, the research vessel Polarstern of the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association will set off on its 26th arctic expedition.

Former CIA Director Michael Hayden headlines Global Intelligence Forum
One of the United States' most distinguished intelligence officers, retired US Air Force Four-Star General and former CIA Director Michael V.

White adolescent girls may be losing sleep from the pressure to be thin
Pressures to be thin from girlfriends and the media significantly predict sleep duration, accounting for 4.5 percent of the variance in hours of sleep for adolescent girls.

College students sleep longer but drink more and get lower grades when classes start later
Later class start times were associated with a delayed sleep schedule, which led to poorer sleep, more daytime sleepiness, and a lower grade-point average.

News media registration opens for American Chemical Society National Meeting
News media registration is now open for the American Chemical Society's 242nd National Meeting & Exposition in Denver, Aug.

Poorer outcomes linked with certain hormone for patients with early-stage chronic kidney disease
Patients in the early stages of chronic kidney disease who had elevated levels of the endocrine hormone fibroblast growth factor 23 (that regulates phosphorus metabolism) had an associated increased risk of end-stage renal disease and death, according to a study in the June 15 issue of JAMA.

New HIV incidence assays could transform AIDS prevention efforts
HIV prevention activities aiming to reduce incidence could be targeted more effectively and efficiently if a quick, easy, valid and precise method of estimating incidence in populations were available.

Salivating over wheat plants may net Hessian flies big meal or death
The interaction between a Hessian fly's saliva and the wheat plant it is attacking may be the key to whether the pest eats like a king or dies like a starving pauper, according to a study done at Purdue University.

Top Latin-American scientists named 2011 Pew Fellows in the Biomedical Sciences
The Pew Charitable Trusts named 10 outstanding early-career scientists to be Pew Latin American Fellows in the Biomedical Sciences.

Researchers record two-state dynamics in glassy silicon
Using high-resolution imaging technology, University of Illinois researchers have answered a question that had confounded semiconductor researchers: Is amorphous silicon a glass?

AIAA conference to focus on environmental systems
Enabling human survival in hostile environmental conditions -- such as in outer space -- will be at the focus of the 41st International Conference on Environmental Systems (ICES), July 17-21 at the Marriott Portland Downtown Waterfront, Portland, Ore.

E. coli bacteria more likely to develop resistance after exposure to low levels of antibiotics, reports a study in Microbial Drug Resistance
E. coli bacteria exposed to three common antibiotics were more likely to develop antibiotic resistance following low-level antibiotic exposure than after exposure to high concentrations that would kill the bacteria or inhibit their growth, according to a timely article in Microbial Drug Resistance, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert Inc.

Out of reach? Rural elders have highest rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease
Despite living in the countryside where open space is plentiful and there is often significant agricultural production, California's more than half a million rural elders are far more likely to be overweight or obese, physically inactive and food insecure than their suburban counterparts, according to a new study from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

WMS issues important new practice guidelines for frostbite prevention and treatment
Frostbite can be a minor injury or a life-threatening condition.

Low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets may reduce both tumor growth rates and cancer risk
Eating a low-carbohydrate, high-protein diet may reduce the risk of cancer and slow the growth of tumors already present, according to a study published in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Money can't buy happiness
Freedom and personal autonomy are more important to people's well-being than money, according to a meta-analysis of data from 63 countries published by the American Psychological Association.

New research system uses social media and other tools to gather, analyze expert opinions
Harnessing the power of social media and other online tools, researchers have developed a new method of eliciting and analyzing opinions from a large group of experts and laypeople to aid complex decision-making.

New study supports Darwin's hypothesis on competition between species
A new study provides support for Darwin's hypothesis that the struggle for existence is stronger between more closely related species.

New American Chemical Society podcast: 'Green' cars made from fruit
The latest episode in the American Chemical Society's (ACS) award-winning podcast series,

Rating hospital quality means asking the right questions, experts say
With an increased emphasis on grading hospitals and a push to withhold payments from hospitals who don't meet certain standards, two Johns Hopkins researchers argue that more attention needs to be paid to the quality of the measurement tools used to praise and punish.

Making quantum cryptography truly secure
Quantum key distribution (QKD) is a tool to provide confidential communication between two remote parties.

How serious is son preference in China?
Why are female fetuses aborted in China? Does an increase in the number of abortions of female fetuses reflect an increase in son preference?

Hebrew University cave researchers explore stream-filled cavern at entrance to Jerusalem
Hebrew University of Jerusalem researchers have conducted an initial survey of what appears to be an important, ancient water source in a cave that was been discovered during excavation work for a new train station being constructed at the entrance to Jerusalem.

UBC researchers discover molecular mechanism for some anti-arrhythmia drugs
University of British Columbia researchers -- using an innovative, atom-by-atom substitution method -- have uncovered the mechanism by which a particular class of drugs controls irregular heartbeats.

Internet could be 10 times faster than it is
Could the Internet just stop working one day? With bandwidth requirement increasing annually as the Web becomes an ever larger part of the everyday life, keeping up is a challenge for Internet service providers.

New light shed on cell division
A new study has yielded insights into how chromosomes separate when a cell divides.

Researchers question safety of mist inhalers for delivering common drug for chronic lung disease
People who use a mist inhaler to deliver a drug widely prescribed in more than 55 countries to treat chronic obstructive pulmonary disease may be 52 percent more likely to die, new Johns Hopkins-led research suggests.

Major flooding on the Mississippi River predicted to cause largest Gulf of Mexico dead zone ever recorded
The Gulf of Mexico's hypoxic zone is predicted to be the largest ever recorded, due to extreme flooding of the Mississippi River this spring, according to an annual forecast by a team of NOAA-supported scientists from the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, Louisiana State University and the University of Michigan.

Note to dads: Good parenting makes a difference
The study looked at biologically related sisters from both intact families and those where parents had divorced.

Food coloring and ADHD -- no known link, but wider safety issues remain: UMD researcher
When University of Maryland psychologist Andrea Chronis-Tuscano testified at an FDA hearing, it changed her mind about the risks of artificial food coloring for children, and drove her to reconsider what she feeds her kids.

ESC calls for research into vulnerable plaques
Widespread stabilization of vulnerable plaques would have important socioeconomic implications, dramatically reducing the need for invasive treatments.

Early French had a taste for beer
Evidence of beer making in Mediterranean France, as far back as the 5th century BC, has been unearthed by Laurent Bouby from the CNRS -- Centre de Bio-Archeologie et d'Ecology in Montepellier, France, and colleagues.

Sleep loss in early childhood may contribute to the development of ADHD symptoms
Less sleep in preschool-age children significantly predicted worse parent-reported hyperactivity and inattention at kindergarten.

Ancestry plays vital role in nutrition and disease, study shows
Over the past decade, much progress has been made regarding the understanding and promise of personalized medicine.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia can reduce suicidal ideation
The study involved 303 community outpatients between 18 and 88 years of age who completed group cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia.

The good life: Good sleepers have better quality of life and less depression
People with a

The surprising connection between 2 types of perception
The brain is constantly changing as it perceives the outside world, processing and learning about everything it encounters.

Scientists pitch in to help keep salad mixes safe to eat
US Department of Agriculture food safety researchers are pitching in to help keep salad mixes safe to eat.

Prostate cancer gets around hormone therapy by activating a survival cell signaling pathway
In a study at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, researchers found that when a common type of prostate cancer was treated with conventional hormone ablation therapy blocking androgen production or androgen receptor (AR) function -- which drives growth of the tumor -- the cancer was able to adapt and compensate by activating a survival cell signaling pathway, effectively circumventing the roadblock put up by this treatment.

LA BioMed to participate in Clinical and Translational Science Institute
LA BioMed will be a partner in a new research enterprise funded by the NIH.

Study examines link between teen sex and divorce rate
A University of Iowa study found that 31 percent of women who had sex for the first time as teens divorced within five years, and 47 percent divorced within 10 years.

Mount Sinai researchers find potential therapeutic target for controlling obesity
A new study from Mount Sinai School of Medicine has found that a cellular signaling pathway governs the differentiation of cells into fat tissue or smooth muscle, which lines the vascular system.

Sugar-binding protein may play a role in HIV infection
Researchers report that a sugar-binding protein called galectin-9 traps PDI on T-cells' surface, making them more susceptible to HIV infection.

Nanotubes could pose health risk to production line staff, study suggests
Tiny fibers used to strengthen everyday products such as bicycle frames and hockey sticks could pose health hazards to those involved in their manufacture.

Coming to TV screens of the future: A sense of smell
In a paper published online by the journal Angewandte Chemie, the University of California, San Diego, engineers demonstrate that it is possible to generate odor, at will, in a compact device small enough to fit on the back of your TV with potentially thousands of odors.

Stress may lead to better bird parenting
Birds with high levels of stress hormones have the highest mating success and offer better parental care to their brood, according to new biology research at Queen's University.

Extensive TV watching linked with increased risk of Type 2 diabetes, CVD and all-cause death
In an analysis of data from several studies, watching television for 2-3 hours per day or more was associated with a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes, fatal and nonfatal cardiovascular disease and all-cause death, according to a study in the June 15 issue of JAMA.

WPI receives one-year, $500,000 award from the Next Generation Learning Challenges
Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has received a one-year, $500,000 award from Next Generation Learning Challenges (NGLC) to significantly expand the use and impact of an innovative online tutoring and assessment system developed at the university.

New insights into the 'hidden' galaxies of the universe
A unique example of some of the lowest surface brightness galaxies in the universe have been found by an international team of astronomers lead by the Niels Bohr Institute.

AARP reports on an Oregon creation to help patients with advanced illness: the Polst Program
An Oregon-pioneered program aimed at improving health care for those with advanced illness is now receiving national attention. 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