Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 21, 2011
Smoking may increase risk of prostate cancer recurrence, death
A new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and University of California, San Francisco, researchers suggests that men with prostate cancer who smoke increase their risk of prostate cancer recurrence and of dying from the disease.

Most heart-attack patients needing procedure at another hospital not transferred in recommended time
Only about 10 percent of patients with a certain type of heart attack who need to be transferred to another hospital for a PCI (procedures such as balloon angioplasty or stent placement used to open narrowed coronary arteries) are transferred within the recommended time of 30 minutes, according to a study in the June 22/29 issue of JAMA.

Picky pollinators: Native bees are selective about where they live and feed
Native bees -- often small, stingless, solitary and unnoticed in the flashier world of stinging honeybees -- are quite discriminating about where they live, according to US Geological Survey research.

LA BioMed study increases understanding of link between low birth weights and obesity later in life
Researchers found altering the levels of two common hormones, insulin and leptin, in utero changes the cellular development in the region of the brain that regulates appetite.

Intensive-dose statin therapy associated with increased risk of diabetes
An analysis of data from previously published studies indicates that intensive-dose statin therapy is associated with an increased risk of new-onset diabetes compared with moderate-dose therapy, according to a study in the June 22/29 issue of JAMA.

Planning is key to a healthy and happy retirement, studies find
For many older adults, chronic health problems and poor planning often hinder the enjoyment of retirement.

Cutting edge training developed the human brain 80,000 years ago
Advanced crafting of stone spearheads contributed to the development of new ways of human thinking and behaving.

Potato psyllid research helps producers determine best management practices
One potato field west of Bushland hosts three separate studies, all aimed at helping growers nationwide, even internationally, understand the habits and controls of the potato psyllid.

Scientists reveal a first in Ice Age art
Researchers from the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Florida have announced the discovery of a bone fragment, approximately 13,000 years old, in Florida with an incised image of a mammoth or mastodon.

UC Riverside neuroscientists' discovery could bring relief to epilepsy sufferers
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have made a discovery that could help drug manufacturers develop new antiepileptic drugs and explore novel strategies for treating seizures associated with epilepsy.

Cooling system may build eggs' natural defenses against salmonella
Once eggs are laid, their natural resistance to pathogens begins to wear down, but a Purdue University scientist believes he knows how to rearm those defenses.

Being a smoker at time of prostate cancer diagnosis linked with increased risk of death
Men who are diagnosed with prostate cancer and who are also smokers have an associated increased risk of all-cause, cardiovascular and prostate cancer-specific death, according to a study in the June 22/29 issue of JAMA.

Greater R&D funding needed to fight diseases affecting world's poor
Despite significant advancements in increasing distribution and development of vaccines against childhood killer diseases -- including pneumococcal disease, rotavirus, and Haemophilus influenzae type B -- global efforts to reduce the burden of infection from neglected tropical diseases has greatly lagged, argues Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin) President Dr.

Water for future generations
As the world population increases at a tremendous pace the primary water global supplies will need to grow by 41 percent until 2025, points out a recent report issued by the European Commission.

Serology studies could inform pandemic flu plans
In this week's PLoS Medicine, Steven Riley from Imperial College London and colleagues analyze a community cohort study from the 2009 (H1N1) influenza pandemic in Hong Kong, finding that more children than adults were infected with H1N1, but children were less likely to progress to severe disease than adults.

Not-so-sweet potato from Clemson University, USDA resists pests, disease
Scientists from Clemson University and the USDA Agricultural Research Service have developed a new variety of not-so-sweet potato, called Liberty.

Marriage improves odds of surviving colon cancer
Married patients had a 14 percent lower risk of death according to researchers at Penn State's College of Medicine and Brigham Young University.

New study reduces threat level for caribou in Alberta's oilsands country
A University of Alberta researcher has co-written an extensive study of the caribou population in the Fort McMurray oilsands region that show the animals' survival isn't as threatened as was perceived in the past.

Stem cell model offers clues to cause of inherited ALS
An international team of scientists led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have used induced pluripotent stem cells derived from patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) to reveal for the first time how reduced levels of a specific protein may play a central role in causing at least one inherited form of the disease.

UA engineering college lands national support for equipment used in unique research
University of Arizona College of Engineering wins two of the 165 grants awarded by the US Department of Defense to assist universities in helping maintain the nation's technical advantage in specialized measurement equipment.

Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation awards $3.45 million to 9 top young clinical investigators
The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation named five new Damon Runyon Clinical Investigators at its spring 2011 Clinical Investigator Award Committee review.

Angry online commenters can cause negative perceptions of corporations, MU researchers find
Researchers at the University of Missouri have found that angry user-generated comments on Internet sites can further perpetuate negative perceptions of an organization undergoing the crisis.

Broadcasters failed to prepare audiences for the Arab spring, says research
Broadcasters failed to prepare audiences for recent events in North Africa and the Middle East, according to new research from the International Broadcasting Trust (IBT) and the University of East Anglia.

Thousands of patients prescribed high-risk drugs
Thousands of patients in Scotland who are particularly vulnerable to adverse drug events were prescribed high-risk medications by their GPs which could potentially cause them harm, according to research published on today.

A wise man's treatment for arthritis -- frankincense?
The answer to treating painful arthritis could lie in an age old herbal remedy -- frankincense, according to Cardiff University scientists.

Scale and health implications of human trafficking deserve more attention
Despite a high level of global awareness of trafficking in persons, not enough is known about the scale and health implications of trafficking, according to a new editorial published in this week's PLoS Medicine.

GSA launches new open-access journal, G3: Genes| Genomes | Genetics
The Genetics Society of America launches G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics, a new, open-access journal focused on rapid review and publication of high quality foundational research and experimental resources in genetics and genomics and designed to fill a critical void among scientific publications.

Infrared NASA imagery reveals a weaker tropical cyclone in the South China Sea
Tropical Depression 06W is still slowing, making its way through the South China Sea today and has weakened overnight.

NASA sees Hurricane Beatriz 'wink' on the Mexican coast
Hurricane Beatriz is skirting the southwestern Mexican coast today, June 21, and bringing heavy rains and high surf to coastal areas, including Mexico's biggest port.

Smoking during pregnancy lowers levels of 'good' HDL cholesterol in children
Researchers in Australia have discovered that mothers who smoke during pregnancy are causing developmental changes to their unborn babies that lead to them having lower levels of the type of cholesterol that is known to protect against heart disease in later life -- high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol.

Carnegie Mellon methods keep bugs out of software for self-driving cars
Driver assistance technologies, such as adaptive cruise control and automatic braking, promise to someday ease traffic on crowded routes and prevent accidents.

Drawing up a joint last will and testament: Today's needs with yesterday's legislation
Maite Barruetabeña believes it necessary to modernize a practice that varies depending on the bye-laws in each local authority, as she explains in her Ph.D. thesis at the University of the Basque Country.

SwRI space-based wireless communications platform selected for DARPA System F6 Program
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has selected Southwest Research Institute to provide the wireless communications platform for the System F6 program -- a demonstration program to validate the performance of a

Groups award $2 million for palliative care research to improve care of seriously ill patients
The American Cancer Society and the National Palliative Care Research Center award $2 million in research grants to researchers at 12 institutions for studies aimed at reducing suffering for seriously ill patients and their caregivers.

Certain drugs lower risk of diabetes for patients with rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis
In a study that included nearly 14,000 patients with rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis, the use of certain disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs was found to lower the risk of diabetes, according to a study in the June 22/29 issue of JAMA.

New curation tool a boon for genetic biologists
With the BeeSpace Navigator, University of Illinois researchers have created both a curation tool for genetic biologists and a new approach to searching for information.

Sugar-based chemicals book chapter by NJIT professor takes ACS kudos
NJIT Research Professor Mike Jaffe's recent book chapter about sugar-based chemicals is topping the American Chemical Society (ACS) book series' must-read list.

MU signs $5 million agreement with Coulter Translational Research Partnership Program
University of Missouri officials announced today a $5 million grant agreement with the Wallace H.

Research reveals unexpected differences in privacy regulations
The regulation of personal data varies hugely across countries and sectors, research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council reveals.

Astronomers discover that galaxies are either asleep or awake
Astronomers have probed into the distant universe and discovered that galaxies display one of two distinct behaviors: they are either awake or asleep, actively forming stars or are not forming any new stars at all.

Researchers find process of cervical ripening differs between term and preterm birth
Cervical ripening that instigates preterm labor is distinct from what happens at the onset of normal term labor, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found.

Non-coding RNA has role in inherited neurological disorder -- and maybe other brain diseases too
A team of scientists, led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, have uncovered a novel mechanism regulating gene expression and transcription linked to Spinocerebellar ataxia 7, an inherited neurological disorder.

Consumer views on cloned products breed different results, Kansas State study shows
Not all consumers share the same attitudes toward animal cloning, but the latest research from Sean Fox, Kansas State University professor of agricultural economics, shows that Americans may be more accepting of consuming cloned animal products than Europeans.

NASA details achievements of lunar spacecraft
NASA has declared full mission success for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO).

Exercise associated with longer survival after brain cancer diagnosis
Brain cancer patients who are able to exercise live significantly longer than sedentary patients, scientists at the Duke Cancer Institute report.

Self-cleaning anodes could facilitate cost-effective coal-powered fuel cells
Using barium oxide nanoparticles, researchers have developed a self-cleaning technique that could allow solid oxide fuel cells to be powered directly by coal gas at operating temperatures as low as 750 degrees Celsius.

Common rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis medications are associated with reduced diabetes risk
Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital sought to determine whether commonly used disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs, which are directed against inflammation, might reduce the risk for developing diabetes in patients with RA or psoriasis.

Lyme disease tick adapts to life on the (fragmented) prairie
A new study offers a detailed look at the status of Lyme disease in Central Illinois and suggests that deer ticks and the Lyme disease bacteria they host are more adaptable to new habitats than previously appreciated.

UF review of resveratrol studies confirms potential health boost
A University of Florida review of research finds the polyphenol compound known as resveratrol found in red wine, grapes and other fruits may not prevent old age, but it might make it more tolerable.

First genetic mutation linked to heart failure in pregnant women
Researchers at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City have identified the first genetic mutation ever associated with a mysterious and potentially devastating form of heart disease that affects women in the final weeks of pregnancy or the first few months after delivery.

International Vasospasm 2011 conference could be springboard for treatment guidelines
Cerebrovascular experts from around the world will gather in Cincinnati next month to discuss the science and clinical management of vasospasm, a dreaded, life-threatening complication of subarachnoid hemorrhage, while working toward an ambitious goal.

Springer teams up with Island Press
Springer has entered a partnership with Island Press, the leading nonprofit environmental publisher, for the distribution of their titles electronically for the next two years.

Flexible schedule is key to keeping working moms on the job
Women who return to work after giving birth are more likely to stay on the job if they have greater control over their work schedules.

Scientists rise to the challenge of identifying and comparing yeast genomes
A team of US researchers has identified and compared the genetic codes for all known species of yeasts closely related to bakers' and brewers' yeast (the former used in pizza dough, the latter in beer), which lays the foundation for future understanding of mutation and disease, as studies of yeasts often identify key genes and mechanisms of disease.

Scientists' breakthrough attracts new funding for high blood pressure research
Scientists at the University of Strathclyde's Institute of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, have recently been awarded almost £155,000 by the British Heart Foundation to conduct a two year investigation aimed at improving the treatment of hypertension.

UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center launches Cancer Care Network
Often people diagnosed with cancer who don't live near a major academic medical center have limited choices for specialized cancer care close to home.

Pollination services at risk following declines of Swedish bumblebees
Scientists from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and the University of Lund have discovered that the community composition of bumble bee species and their relative abundances have changed drastically over the last 70 years in Sweden.

Diabetic kidney disease more prevalent in US
Over the past two decades the prevalence of diabetic kidney disease in the US increased in direct proportion to the prevalence of diabetes itself, according to a study in the June 22/29 issue of JAMA.

Acrobatics for anyons: New test for elusive fundamental particle proposed
Anyons are hypothetical particles that have been postulated to represent a third class of fundamental particles alongside the known bosons and fermions.

New book shines light on French versus British models of humanitarian aid
A new book co-edited by Karl Blanchet, of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, brings together the perspectives of 11 British and French humanitarians and academics to reflect on key problems affecting disaster response.

Returnee migrants face cumulative health risks
In the final article in a six-part PLoS Medicine series on migration & health, Anita Davies and colleagues from the International Organization for Migration discuss the specific health risks and policy needs associated with return migration.

US National Fire Plan, return of Ozark lizard and the Arctic Tundra's fire regime
This month in ecological science, researchers evaluate the US National Fire Plan to restore western US forests, fire's key role in the return of a native lizard to the Ozarks and what historical fire records and sediment cores can tell us about the Arctic Tundra's fire regime.

Stretching old material yields new results for energy- and environment-related devices
Researchers at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., recently found a way to improve electricity generating fuel cells, potentially making them more efficient, powerful and less expensive.

Surprises from the ocean: Marine plankton and ocean pH
Oceans support vast populations of single-celled phytoplankton which, through photosynthesis, remove about half the carbon dioxide produced by burning fossil fuels.

New evidence of the benefits of home dialysis for kidney patients
Researchers at St. Michael's Hospital have found more evidence of the benefits of home dialysis for patients with kidney failure.

How dense is a cell?
MIT scientists have developed a way to measure the density of a single cell.

Can humans sense the Earth's magnetism?
Research published in Nature Communications this week by faculty at the University of Massachusetts Medical School shows that a protein expressed in the human retina can sense magnetic fields when implanted into Drosophila, reopening an area of sensory biology in humans for further exploration.

Quantum leap: Magnetic properties of a single proton directly observed for the first time
Researchers at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and the Helmholtz Institute Mainz, together with their colleagues from the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg and the GSI Helmholtz Center for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt, have observed spin quantum-jumps with a single trapped proton for the first time.

Scripps Research Institute Scientist Knighted by Italian Republic
Scripps Research Institute associate professor Marisa Roberto has been awarded the Cavaliere (knight) degree of the Italian Republic's highest honor, the Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana (Order of Merit), recognizing her scientific research in the neurobiology of addictive behavior.

Salk scientist named Rita Allen Scholar
The Salk Institute for Biological Studies announced that Dr. Axel Nimmerjahn, Assistant Professor in the Waitt Advanced Biophotonics Center and holder of the Richard Allan Barry Developmental Chair, has been named a 2011 Rita Allen Scholar.

Nanoscale in the everyday life
Three-dimensional (3-D) surfaces with features below 100 nanometres have numerous applications ranging from optics to life sciences.

Putting a new spin on computing
Harnessing the magnetic moment, or spin, of electrons rather than their electric charge, physicists at the University of Arizona have achieved a breakthrough toward the development of a new breed of computing devices that can process data using less power.

U of M researchers find smart decisions for changing environmental times
Recognizing that

Diabetic kidney disease on the rise in America, despite improved diabetes care
Diabetic kidney disease has become more prevalent in the United States over the past 20 years, despite a substantial increase in the use of medications for the treatment of people with diabetes.

Patent for arrays of nanoscale electrical probes awarded to NJIT today
Reginald C. Farrow and Zafer Iqbal, research professors at NJIT, were awarded a patent today for an improved method of fabricating arrays of nanoscale electrical probes.

Mystery ingredient in coffee boosts protection against Alzheimer's disease
A University of South Florida study indicates a yet unidentified coffee component combined with caffeine increases a growth factor that counters Alzheimer's pathology in mice.

Do kids prefer playmates of same ethnicity?
Multicultural daycares don't necessarily foster a desire for kids of visibly different ethnicities to play together.

Fulbright scholar takes ecological theory to Andean heights
For ASU's 2011 Fulbright awardee James Elser, Argentina's soaring, glacier-laden peaks, ancient cultures, and criollo horses offer a spectacular backdrop for this region's biggest draw: access to the

Smaller companies hit hardest during emerging market crises
A study of the reaction by the United States stock market to international financial crises shows that small companies are often hit hardest, and the impact is above and beyond what would be expected given their exposure to global market factors.

Where will grizzly bears roam?
A new report by the Wildlife Conservation Society highlights the critical importance of 1.3 million acres of roadless, public lands in Montana's spectacular Crown of the Continent Ecosystem.

What do we pay attention to?
Once we learn the relationship between a cue and its consequences -- say, the sound of a bell and the appearance of the white ice cream truck bearing our favorite chocolate cone -- do we turn our attention to that bell whenever we hear it?

Blueberries help lab rats build strong bones
Compounds in blueberries might turn out to have a powerful effect on formation of strong, healthy bones, if results from studies with laboratory rats turn out to hold true for humans.

UC San Diego researchers create tool to put the lid on solar power fluctuations
How does the power output from solar panels fluctuate when the clouds roll in?

Breakthrough in the search for new treatments for MS
Scientists at the University of Nottingham have discovered a molecular mechanism which could bring about the development of new treatments for multiple sclerosis -- a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system.

UCSB professor receives Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award
Bruce H. Lipshutz, professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at UC Santa Barbara, was awarded the 2011 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award at a ceremony in Washington, D.C., last night.

Government should consider public health implications of all major legislation
Because strong evidence indicates that policies beyond the health sector have substantial effects on people's health, all levels of US government should adopt a structured approach to considering the health effects of any major legislation or regulation, says a new report by the Institute of Medicine. 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