Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 20, 2011
Picower: 1 skull + 2 brains = 4 objects in mind
MIT neuroscientists could be put to immediate use in designing more effective cognitive therapy, smarter brain games, better

Rensselaer researchers secure $2.7 million NIH grant to advance 'scarless' surgery
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have secured a $2.7 million NIH grant to develop the first-ever virtual reality simulator for next-generation

Increase in survival when AED used less than 10 seconds after CPR pause
A new study has found the number of people who survive after suffering a cardiac arrest outside a hospital drops significantly if the pause between stopping CPR and using a defibrillator to administer an electric shock is longer than 20 seconds.

University of Texas at Austin professor receives Donald L. Katz Award
Gary T. Rochelle, a professor at the University of Texas at Austin's Department of Chemical Engineering, was recognized recently with the Donald L.

No injury spike in Bantam bodychecking
A new study by University of Calgary researchers shows that when bodychecking is introduced into Bantam ice hockey there is no difference between overall injury rates or concussion, regardless of whether players have prior bodychecking experience in Pee Wee.

Companies that combine exports, research outperform competitors
Economists recognize that companies that export are more productive. However, a more complex relationship between exporting and investing in research and development may better explain the high productivity of companies in

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology: Self-assembling electronic nano-components
Magnetic storage media such as hard drives have revolutionized the handling of information: We are used to dealing with huge quantities of magnetically stored data while relying on highly sensitive electronic components.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for June 21, 2011
Below is information about articles being published in the June 21 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

Urinary incontinence doubles risk of postpartum depression
Women with urinary incontinence after giving birth are almost twice as likely to develop postpartum depression as those without incontinence.

Discovery of parathyroid glow promises to reduce endocrine surgery risk
Vanderbilt researchers have discovered that parathyroid glands have a natural fluorescence that can be used during surgery to identify these tiny organs, which are hard to find with the naked eye.

In general, hospitals deliver appropriate surgical care to cancer patients with Medicare
Most hospitals follow established practice guidelines for surgery involving Medicare beneficiaries with cancer, but in some cases their practice patterns diverge from the guidelines, according to a report published online first today by Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Poorly coordinated care doubled risk of drug and medical errors in 7 countries
Poorly coordinated care increases the likelihood of medication and medical errors by up to 200% and cost-related barriers increase the likelihood by up to 160 percent.

7 new species of mammals discovered on Luzon
A group of American and Filipino biologists have discovered seven previously unknown species of mammals in the Philippines, increasing the number of native mammals known from Luzon Island (excluding bats) from 42 to 49 (17 percent).

Anti-smoking policies for adults also reduce kids' smoking
In Australia these adult-focused programs have produced an additional benefit: they have also reduced smoking among adolescents.

Genius of Einstein, Fourier key to new humanlike computer vision
Two new techniques for computer-vision technology mimic how humans perceive three-dimensional shapes by instantly recognizing objects no matter how they are twisted or bent, an advance that could help machines see more like people.

Adulterated cocaine causing serious skin reactions
Doctors warned of a potential public health epidemic in a recent report on patients who developed serious skin reactions after smoking or snorting cocaine believed to be contaminated with a veterinary medication.

MSU nets $5 million grant to increase dairy production efficiency
Through a $5 million grant from the US Department of Agriculture's National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Mike VandeHaar, animal science professor, and his fellow MSU researchers have set goals to increase the efficiency and sustainability of milk production.

Husband's employment status threatens marriage, but wife's does not, study finds
A new study of employment and divorce suggest that while social pressure discouraging women from working outside the home has weakened, pressure on husbands to be breadwinners largely remains.

Scientists develop first ever drug to treat 'Celtic gene' in cystic fibrosis sufferers
An international research team led by Queen's University have developed a ground breaking treatment for cystic fibrosis sufferers.

Intranasal corticosteroid treatment appears beneficial for children with obstructive sleep apnea
Using a fluticasone furoate nasal spray for treatment of obstructive sleep apnea in children appears to reduce production of certain inflammatory cell proteins that may play a role in development of obstructive sleep apnea, according to a report in the June issue of Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head & Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Fat substitutes linked to weight gain
Synthetic fat substitutes used in low-calorie potato chips and other foods could backfire and contribute to weight gain and obesity, according to a study published by the American Psychological Association.

Exercise training program improves outcomes in 'Grinch Syndrome' patients
An exercise training program worked better than a commonly used beta blocker, significantly improving -- even curing -- patients with a debilitating heart syndrome, according to research published in Hypertension: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Bacteria develop restraint for survival in a rock-paper-scissors community
New research shows that in some structured communities, organisms increase their chances of survival if they evolve some level of restraint that allows competitors to survive as well, a sort of

Bodychecking and the risk of injury in youth ice hockey
The age at which bodychecking is introduced in youth ice hockey does not appear to affect overall risk of injury and concussion, although introducing it at the Pee Wee level (ages 11-12) reduces the risk of injury resulting in more than seven days loss from playing time for Bantam ice hockey players (ages 13-14), found an article in CMAJ.

'My dishwasher is trying to kill me'
A potentially pathogenic fungus has found a home living in extreme conditions in some of the most common household appliances, researchers have found.

UC research provides prescription for healthier hospital supply chains
University of Cincinnati analysis of hospital supply chains holds promise for labor (and economic) savings related to stocking the supplies used by health care providers.

Researchers find CDT biomarker ineffective for identifying unhealthy alcohol use
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have found that among HIV-infected adults with alcohol problems, measuring their carbohydrate-deficient transferrin biomarker was a poor and inaccurate method for detecting unhealthy drinking.

NAI congratulates 14 top universities worldwide for patent success
Fourteen universities -- 13 American universities plus China's Tsinghua University -- are among the top 300 organizations to receive patents from the US Patent and Trademark Office in 2010.

Stopping foreclosure delay will bring housing improvement, Kansas State study says
As housing prices in the United States continue to drop, the best way to help the market is to stop delaying foreclosures, according to two recent studies co-authored by Kansas State finance professor Eric Higgins.

Penn researchers link fastest sea-level rise in 2 millennia to increasing temperatures
An international research team including University of Pennsylvania scientists has shown that the rate of sea-level rise along the US Atlantic coast is greater now than at any time in the past 2,000 years and that there is a consistent link between changes in global mean surface temperature and sea level.

Study compares 2 types of botulinum toxin for cosmetic use
Not all varieties of botulinum toxin seem to be equally effective in reducing crow's feet wrinkles, according to a report published online first today by Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Inducing labor is not associated with higher rates of cesarean sections
Inducing labor in the weeks around term, or from week 39 to week 41, is not connected with higher rates of cesarean section compared with waiting for a later spontaneous or induced labor.

Northern Illinois University scientists find simple way to produce graphene
Scientists at Northern Illinois University say they have discovered a simple method for producing high yields of graphene, a highly touted carbon nanostructure that some believe could replace silicon as the technological fabric of the future.

Diagnosed autism is more common in an IT-rich region
A new study from Cambridge University has for the first time found that autism diagnoses are more common in an IT-rich region.

Improving access to essential medicines through public-private partnerships
A report released today by the International Vaccine Access Center (IVAC) at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health asks why products like Coca-Cola can reach remote villages in developing nations while essential medicines like antibiotics cannot always be found.

Natural Alzheimer's weapon suggests better treatment
Scientists have shown a molecular chaperone is working like a waste management company to collect and detoxify high levels of toxic amyloid beta peptide found in Alzheimer's disease.

GPs missing early dementia -- new study
New research from the University of Leicester demonstrates that general practitioners (GPs) are struggling to correctly identify people in the early stages of dementia resulting in both missed cases (false negatives) and misidentifications (false positives).

Probing the secrets of the ryegrasses
Loline alkaloids protect plants from attack by insects and have other interesting features that have yet to be studied in detail.

Unexpected function of dyslexia gene
Scientists at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have discovered that a gene linked to dyslexia has a surprising biological function: it controls cilia, the antenna-like projections that cells use to communicate.

The myth of the 'queen bee': Work and sexism
Female bosses sometimes have a reputation for not being very nice.

Discoveries in mitochondria open new field of cancer research
Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center have revealed novel mechanisms in mitochondria that have implications for cancer as well as many other age-related diseases such as Parkinson's disease, heart disease and hypertension.

Did climate change cause Greenland's ancient Viking community to collapse?
Our changing climate usually appears to be a very modern problem, yet new research from Greenland published in Boreas, suggests that the AD 1350 collapse of a centuries old colony established by Viking settlers may have been caused by declining temperatures and a rise in sea-ice.

New study uncovers the dangers of portable pools
As the weather gets warmer, many parents will turn to pools to keep their family cool.

XMRV and chronic fatigue syndrome: The sad end of a story
In a comment published online first by the Lancet, Dr.

Let your fingers do the talking: Sexting and infidelity in cyberspace
Although sex and infidelity are now only a keyboard away, at the end of the day, there is no substitute for physical, face-to-face contact in our sexual relationships.

Learning from mom boosts low-income kids' school readiness
Previous research says on average, children living in poverty are less well prepared to start school than children from middle-income homes.

UC research uncovers ancient Mycenaean fortress
The University of Cincinnati's most recent research in Cyprus reveals the remnants of a Late Bronze Age (1500-750 B.C.) fortress that may have functioned to protect an important urban economic center in the ancient world.

New compact microspectrometer design achieves high resolution and wide bandwidth
Engineers have designed a new microspectrometer architecture using compact doughnut-shaped resonators.

'Smart materials' that make proteins form crystals to boost research into new drugs
Scientists have developed a new method to make proteins form crystals using

Wayne State University researchers win grant from the NSF to target tinnitus
A team of Wayne State University researchers was awarded $330,000 from the National Science Foundation to develop a 3-D neural probe.

Abnormal brain structure linked to chronic cocaine abuse
Researchers at the University of Cambridge have identified abnormal brain structures in the frontal lobe of cocaine users' brains which are linked to their compulsive cocaine-using behavior.

Nanoparticles disguised as red blood cells will deliver cancer-fighting drugs
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have developed a novel method of disguising nanoparticles as red blood cells, which will enable them to evade the body's immune system and deliver cancer-fighting drugs straight to a tumor.

Need a nap? Find yourself a hammock
For grownups, drifting off for an afternoon snooze is often easier said than done.

EARTH: Endangered snow: How climate change threatens west coast water supplies
From Seattle to Los Angeles, anywhere from 50 to 80 percent of the water people use comes from mountain snow.

European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress 2011
Media can register now for Europe's premier cancer congress: The 2011 European Multidisciplinary Cancer Congress in Stockholm, 23-27 September 2011.

NTU incoming president, Prof. Bertil Andersson, receives honorary doctorate with 2 Nobel laureates
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, a top university boasting eight Nobel prize winners among its alumni and faculty has presented Nanyang Technological University President-designate, Professor Bertil Andersson with an honorary doctorate for his research in biochemisty, notably in photosynthesis research.

Energy drinks linked to substance use in musicians, study shows
Frequent use of energy drinks is associated with binge drinking, alcohol-related social problems and misuse of prescription drugs among musicians, according to researchers at the University at Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions.

Signaling pathway is 'executive software' of airway stem cells
Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have found out how mouse basal cells that line airways

Shorter pause in CPR before defibrillator use improves cardiac arrest survival
A shorter pause in CPR just before a defibrillator delivered an electric shock to a cardiac arrest victim's heart significantly increased survival, according to a study in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

In colorectal surgery, risk for blood clots appears higher with open method versus laparoscopy
The risk of developing venous thromboembolism may be nearly twice as high for patients undergoing open surgery for colorectal problems, versus those undergoing laparoscopic colorectal resections, according to a report in the June issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Anti-HIV gel being evaluated in pregnant and breastfeeding women
Determining whether a promising HIV prevention gel is safe for women to use while pregnant or breastfeeding is the aim of a new clinical trial being conducted by the Microbicide Trials Network (MTN).

Fighting massive declines in frog populations with bacteria and fungicides
A microscopic chytrid fungus is causing massive declines in frog populations all over the world and even the extinction of certain species.

Buzz kills
UC San Diego study finds that blood-alcohol levels well below the US legal limit are associated with incapacitating injury and death.

Informal daycare may harm kids' cognitive development, study finds
Formal daycare is better for a child's cognitive development than informal care by a grandparent, sibling, or family friend, according to a study of single mothers and their childcare choices published in the July issue of the Journal of Labor Economics.

Fastest sea-level rise in 2 millennia linked to increasing global temperatures
The rate of sea level rise along the U.S. Atlantic coast is greater now than at any time in the past 2,000 years -- and has shown a consistent link between changes in global mean surface temperature and sea level.

Device could improve harvest of stem cells from umbilical cord blood
A graduate student team has invented a system to significantly boost the number of stem cells collected from a newborn's umbilical cord and placenta, so that many more patients with leukemia, lymphoma and other blood disorders can be treated.

News source may steer perceived solution to childhood obesity
News sources could play a significant role in determining what you perceive as the best strategy for addressing childhood obesity.

Black heart attack patients wait longer for advanced treatment, University of Michigan study shows
University of Michigan Health System study reveals why black heart attack patients wait longer for advanced treatment after arriving at some hospital emergency rooms.

Gay class tourism
New research at the University of Leicester is investigating a growing fascination with

Parents prefer media content ratings system to age-based ratings in new national study
Although parents appreciate having media ratings systems to help protect their kids from questionable content in movies, video games and television, the current age-based system doesn't meet their needs, according to a new study led by Iowa State University's Douglas Gentile.

UBC-Peruvian research gains $3.4M to improve food security
Greater food security in the impoverished Andean regions of Peru will be the focus of a University of British Columbia-Peruvian study thanks to a $3.4 million investment from Canadian development agencies.

BU'S Jeffrey H. Samet, M.D., selected as a 2011 NIDA International Program Awards of Excellence winner
Jeffrey H. Samet, M.D., a professor of medicine and community health sciences at Boston University School of Medicine, has been selected as a National Institute on Drug Abuse International Program 2011 Awards of Excellence winner.

NTU unveils newest 3-D technologies for real-world applications
Various cutting-edge interactive media projects were showcased at the official opening of the Fraunhofer Interactive Digital Media (IDM) @ NTU.

New research on community gardening reveals the roots of emotional and physical health
Jill Litt, Ph.D., author and associate professor at the University of Colorado School of Public Health and University of Colorado Boulder has been studying neighborhoods and health over the past decade.

Salt marsh sediments help gauge climate-change-induced sea level rise
A newly constructed, 2,000-year history of sea level elevations will help scientists refine the models used to predict climate-change-induced sea level rise, according to an international team of climate researchers.

Improving LED lighting
University of Miami professor at the College of Engineering, Jizhou Song, has helped design an light-emitting diode (LED) light that uses an array of LEDs 100 times smaller than conventional LEDs.

Study shows high prevalence and severity of childhood food allergy in the US
A national study of food allergies in the US, the largest of its kind, finds that more children have food allergies than previously reported.

News tips from the July issue of the American Naturalist
Article highlights from the July issue of the American Naturalist include

3 postulates to help identify the cause of Alzheimer's disease
After more than 100 years following its pathologic description, the cause of Alzheimer's disease (AD) remains unknown.

Analysis of studies evaluates tonsillectomy techniques
A review of tonsillectomy-technique studies found that some new methods have advantages over traditional methods, but others are equivalent, according to a report in the June issue of Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Thunderstorms in Beatriz show strengthening toward hurricane status
Tropical Storm Beatriz developed from a low pressure area that NASA was watching last week.

New study reveals how the immune system responds to hepatitis A virus
A surprising finding in a study comparing hepatitis C virus (HCV) with hepatitis A virus (HAV) infections in chimpanzees by a team that includes scientists from the Texas Biomedical Research Institute sheds new light on the nature of the body's immune response to these viruses.

SURA receives NSF grant for minority physics conference
SURA has been awarded nearly $300,000 from the National Science Foundation to host the Joint Annual Conference of the National Society of Black Physicist and National Society of Hispanic Physicists that will be held in Austin, Texas from September 21-24, 2011.

Anti-HIV gel leadership team acknowledged for outstanding achievement in world health
Today the CAPRISA 004 study leadership team is being awarded the inaugural Drug Information Association (DIA) President's Award for Outstanding Achievement in World Health.

Is coming out always a good thing?
Coming out as lesbian, gay or bisexual increases emotional well-being even more than earlier research has indicated.

Panic symptoms increase steadily, not acutely, after stressful event
When stressful life events, such as a layoff, happen to people with panic disorder, the result is often not an immediate and acute attack.

Iowa State hybrid lab combines technologies to make biorenewable fuels and products
The Hybrid Processing Laboratory located just inside the front door of Iowa State University's new Biorenewables Research Laboratory is increasingly busy.

Research reveals that 10 percent of middle-aged Europeans are on antidepressants
New research from the University of Warwick and the IZA Institute in Bonn shows that 10 percent of middle-aged Europeans took antidepressants in 2010.

Acute Hepatitis A evades immune system more effectively than chronic cousin
Lemon and his colleagues thought that Hepatitis C might become chronic by disrupting the host's interferon response -- part of the innate immune system that protects the body against any kind of

Millions with peripheral artery disease not getting vital medications
Millions of adults with peripheral artery disease are not receiving the medications needed to reduce their risk of heart attack, stroke and death, according to research in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.

Reducing lifelong disability from sports injuries in children
To protect children from lifelong injuries in sports, we need a public health approach similar to that mounted against smoking and drunk driving, states an editorial in CMAJ.

In search of a safer, more profitable and more efficient railway system
In spite of the fact that the railway industry has two centuries of experience behind it, in order to continue improving the research being done on the safety, profitability and efficiency of railroads, it will be necessary to develop and strengthen the relationship between universities and companies in the sector. 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