Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 27, 2011
Studies examine impact of media use among youth, recommend preventative measures
Two new studies led by Dr. Dimitri A. Christakis, M.D., M.P.H., and Dr.

Researchers find a keystone nutrient recycler in streams
Researchers from the University of Georgia Odum School of Ecology have found that certain neotropical stream ecosystems rely almost entirely on a single fish species known as the banded tetra for the critical nutrient phosphorus.

Study reveals possible brain damage in young adult binge-drinkers
The research is presented this week at the annual meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism in Atlanta.

City dwellers produce as much CO2 as countryside people do
Most previous studies have indicated that people in cities have a smaller carbon footprint than people who live in the country.

Active self-defense strategy best deterrent against cyber-attacks
University of Illinois law professor Jay P. Kesan warns that an active self-defense regime is a necessity in cyberspace, especially to protect critical infrastructure such as banking, utilities and emergency services.

Alcohol drinking in the elderly: Risks and benefits
The Royal College of Psychiatrists of London has published a report related primarily to problems of unrecognized alcohol misuse among the elderly.

CWRU law professor eyes prize-based incentives to generate climate innovation
Could a multi-million dollar prize spur the next big innovation in sustainable climate technology?

Goodbye cold sores
Herpes infections on the lips, in the eyes or on the nose are painful, long-lasting and unpleasant.

Parent-adolescent cell phone conversations reveal a lot about the relationship
The nature of cell phone communication between a parent and adolescent child can affect the quality of their relationship, and much depends on who initiates the call and the purpose and tone of the conversation, according to an illuminating study reported online in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert Inc.

EAS Congress in Gothenburg, June 26-29
A global congress in Gothenburg, Sweden, attracts leading scientists within cardiovascular disease.

Clemson University and the University of Queensland form biofuels research partnership
Two of the world's leading research universities have entered into a memorandum of understanding to exchange research and create a framework for a biofuels development program.

UCI, French researchers find master switch for adult epilepsy
UC Irvine and French researchers have identified a central switch responsible for the transformation of healthy brain cells into epileptic ones, opening the way to both treat and prevent temporal lobe epilepsy.

Quality of hospital care in US territories appears lower than in US states
Hospitals in US territories appear to have poorer outcomes and higher mortality rates for patients with acute myocardial infarction (heart attack), heart failure or pneumonia, compared to hospitals in US states, according to a report published online first today in the Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Intelligent construction practices developed for roads also apply to river levees
Iowa State University researchers are using high-tech construction practices to evaluate the earthworks that make roadbeds and building foundations.

Soluble fiber strikes a blow to belly fat
All fat is not created equal. Unsightly as it is, subcutaneous fat, the fat right under the skin, is not as dangerous to overall health as visceral fat, the fat deep in the belly surrounding vital organs.

Clinical study of epilepsy drug may have been purely promotional
Yale School of Medicine researchers have found that a clinical trial of the epilepsy drug gabapentin may have been a

Baseball cheaters can't hide from the laws of physics
Some baseball superstitions are accepted as cold, hard truth. But in the world of physics, the most accepted verities are subject to experimentation.

Helping Maryland municipalities go green to save: New UMD initiative
The University of Maryland is assisting communities plan and implement sustainable practices that may help them cope with tight budgets.

Duke team finds new clues to how cancer spreads
Cancer cells circulating in the blood carry newly identified proteins that could be screened to improve prognostic tests and suggest targets for therapies, report scientists at the Duke Cancer Institute.

Vaccine fails to prevent progression of type 1 diabetes in newly diagnosed patients
A trial of a vaccine to prevent progression of type 1 diabetes has been unsuccessful.

Fossilized pollen reveals climate history of northern Antarctica
A painstaking examination of the first direct and detailed climate record from the continental shelves surrounding Antarctica reveals that the last remnant of Antarctic vegetation existed 12 million years ago.

2 talks with teens leads to less marijuana use for at least a year
To many people, smoking pot is no big deal. Denise Walker, co-director of the University of Washington's Innovative Programs Research Group, disagrees.

Many advanced breast cancer patients do not receive recommended treatment
Radiation after a mastectomy for women with advanced breast cancer saves lives, but almost half of these patients do not receive it.

Black members of Adventist church defy health disparities, study shows
Health disparities between black Americans and the rest of the nation have been well-documented in medical journals.

Meta-analysis reveals patterns of bacteria-virus infection networks
A meta-analysis of bacteria-virus infections reveals a nested structure, with hard-to-infect bacteria infected by generalist viruses and easy-to-infect bacteria attacked by generalist and specialist viruses.

Safety issue revealed as 1 in 20 Australian workers admits to drinking at work
A national survey has found that more than one in twenty Australian workers report using alcohol while at work or just before work, and more than one in fifty report taking drugs during or just before work.

Tongue makes the difference in how fish and mammals chew
New research from Brown University shows that fish and mammals chew differently.

Ladybirds -- wolves in sheep's clothing
CSIRO research has revealed that the tremendous diversity of ladybird beetle species is linked to their ability to produce larvae which, with impunity, poach members of

Female mate choice enhances offspring fitness in an annual herb
Mate choice and sexual selection in plants is more complex in some ways than in animals because plants are sessile organisms and often must rely on external vectors, e.g. animals, for pollen transport.

Duke researchers learn how lung fibrosis begins and could be treated
An invasive cell that leads to fibrosis of the lungs may be stopped by cutting off its supply of sugar, according to researchers at Duke University Medical Center.

IAS urges Russian government to radically reassess counterproductive drug policies
As Boris Gryzlov, speaker of the Russian state Duma, calls for a

Surprising drop in physicians' willingness to accept patients with insurance
As required under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, millions of people will soon be added to the ranks of the insured.

Mechanical engineer recognized for leading the way in 'green' manufacturing process
Guangwen Zhou, a Binghamton University mechanical engineer, has received the National Science Foundation's most prestigious award for young researchers.

Firefighters are no macho men
The firefighting profession is often associated with masculinity, risk taking and heroes.

New study suggests potent antiplatelet drug effective with low-dose aspirin
When taken with higher doses of aspirin (more than 300 milligrams), the experimental antiplatelet drug ticagrelor was associated with worse outcomes than the standard drug, clopidogrel, but the opposite was true with lower doses of aspirin.

Self-regulating students -- easier said than done in Norwegian schools
Pupils are expected to use effective self-regulation skills to take responsibility for their learning success.

Branch offices: New family of gold-based nanoparticles could serve as biomedical 'testbed'
Researchers from NIST and the National Cancer Institute's Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory have demonstrated a sort of gold nanoparticle

Team identifies new breast cancer tumor suppressor and how it works
Researchers have identified a protein long known to regulate gene expression as a potent suppressor of breast cancer growth.

Scientists discover dielectron charging of water nano-droplet
Scientists have discovered fundamental steps of charging of nano-sized water droplets and unveiled the long-sought-after mechanism of hydrogen emission from irradiated water.

BPA-exposed male deer mice are demasculinized and undesirable to females, new MU study finds
The latest research from the University of Missouri shows that BPA causes male deer mice to become demasculinized and behave more like females in their spatial navigational abilities, leading scientists to conclude that exposure to BPA during human development could be damaging to behavioral and cognitive traits that are unique to each sex and important in reproduction.

Nanowire-based sensors offer improved detection of volatile organic compounds
A team of researchers has made nano-sized sensors that detect volatile organic compounds -- harmful pollutants released from paints, cleaners, pesticides and other products -- that offer several advantages over today's commercial gas sensors, including low-power, room-temperature operation and the ability to detect one or several compounds over a wide range of concentrations.

UD's Roberta Colman ranks in top 50 most prolific authors in Biochemistry
Roberta Colman, Willis F. Harrington Professor Emerita of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Delaware, ranks 23rd in the journal Biochemistry's 50 most prolific authors.

Nearly half of women with advanced breast cancer in the US not receiving life-saving treatment
UT MD Anderson research finds that the use of post-mastectomy radiation therapy is static despite evidence-based guidelines of its benefits.

Bedtimes and pensions: Conference showcases the wealth of longitudinal research
How was Britain's social mobility affected by raising the school leaving age to 16?

Cancer diagnosis isotopes from Garching
The German Federal Ministry of Health has awarded more than one million euros in research and development funding for the efficient production of an important cancer diagnostic agent at the research neutron source FRM II.

Study: Most parents unaware of teen workplace risks
Most parents are unaware of the risks their teenagers face in the workplace and could do more to help them understand and prepare for those hazards, according to a new study.

Fighting back from extinction, New Zealand right whale is returning home
After being hunted to local extinction more than a century ago and unable to remember their ancestral calving grounds, the southern right whales of mainland New Zealand are coming home.

Demonstrating the importance of dynamical systems theory
Two new papers in the Journal of General Physiology demonstrate the successes of using bifurcation theory and dynamical systems approaches to solve biological puzzles.

Tiny cell patterns reveal the progression of development and disease
Researchers at Columbia Engineering School, led by biomedical engineering professor Gordana Vunjak-Novakovic, has developed a new technique to evaluate human stem cells using cell micropatterning -- a simple but powerful in vitro tool that will enable scientists to study the initiation of left-right asymmetry during tissue formation, to diagnose disease, and to study factors that could lead to certain birth defects.

Alzheimer's prevention in your pantry
An extract found in cinnamon bark, called CEppt, contains properties that can inhibit the development of Alzheimer's disease, according to professor Michael Ovadia of the Department of Zoology at Tel Aviv University.

A little practice can change the brain in a lasting way: Study
A little practice goes a long way, according to researchers at McMaster University, who have found the effects of practice on the brain have remarkable staying power.

UCLA stem cell scientists discover new airway stem cell
Researchers at UCLA have identified a new stem cell that participates in the repair of the large airways of the lungs, which play a vital role in protecting the body from infectious agents and toxins in the environment.

The fine art of etching
They see more than the naked eye and could make traffic safer: miniaturized thermal imaging sensors.

Scott & White Healthcare CEO named to national list of physician leaders
Robert W. Pryor, M.D., president and CEO of Scott & White Healthcare, is the only physician in Central Texas and one of 65 nationally to be named to Becker's Hospital Review annual list of Physician Leaders of Hospitals and Health Systems.

International team demonstrates subatomic quantum memory in diamond
Physicists working at the University of California, Santa Barbara and the University of Konstanz in Germany have developed a breakthrough in the use of diamond in quantum physics, marking an important step toward quantum computing.

Researchers share useful lessons learned in evaluating emerging technologies
A NIST team shares critical

Flavonoids could represent 2-fisted assault on diabetes and nervous system disorders
A recent study from scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies suggests that a strawberry a day (or more accurately, 37 of them) could keep not just one doctor away, but an entire fleet of them, including the neurologist, the endocrinologist, and maybe even the oncologist.

University of Houston's Biotech Program gets state grant
The University of Houston has received additional grant money from the Texas Workforce Commission for its Center for Life Sciences Technology

Different subtypes of triple-negative breast cancer respond to different therapies
Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center researchers have identified six subtypes of an aggressive and difficult-to-treat form of breast cancer, called

Leading research organizations announce top-tier journal for biomedical and life sciences
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Max Planck Society and the Wellcome Trust announced today that they are to support a new, top-tier, open-access journal for biomedical and life sciences research.

Trudeau Institute announces new discovery in battle against plague and bacterial pneumonias
Researchers from the Smiley lab at the Trudeau Institute have now identified a single component of the plague causing bacterium that can be used as a vaccine.

Conservation dollars and sense
New article in Current Issues in Tourism by Gallagher and Hammerschlag of the R.J.

Living antibiotic effective against Salmonella
Scientists have tested a predatory bacterium -- Bdellovibrio -- against Salmonella in the guts of live chickens.

Study finds pregnancy safe in multiple sclerosis
Canadian researchers have found that maternal multiple sclerosis is generally not associated with adverse delivery outcomes or risk to their offspring.

Undergraduate research fires salvo in simmering scientific controversy
A Washington State University student's undergraduate research is challenging a widely held assumption on the best way to analyze old DNA in anthropological and forensic investigations.

Internationally recognized BME professor to join University of Texas as visiting scholar
Professor Ali Khademhosseini, a bioengineer who is internationally regarded for his research and contributions in the area of biomedical microdevices and biomaterials, will join the University of Texas at Austin's Department of Biomedical Engineering as a Donald D.

Cedars-Sinai surgeon shows simple cotton swab slashes
A simple item found in almost every medicine cabinet -- a cotton swab -- may be a key tool in the fight against post-surgical wound infections.

First patients receive lab-grown blood vessels from donor cells
For the first time, blood vessels created in the lab from donor skin cells were successfully implanted in patients.

Scientists sequence endangered Tasmanian devil's genome
To prevent extinction of the Tasmanian devil, a revolutionary project has sequenced and analyzed the entire genome of one healthy individual and one that died of a contagious cancer known as devil facial tumor disease.

Study finds peat wildfire smoke linked to heart failure risk
An EPA study published online Monday in Environmental Health Perspectives finds that the 2008 peat bog wildfires in NC led to an increase in emergency room visits for respiratory and cardiovascular effects.

Notre Dame researchers provide new information about the circadian rhythms of the malaria mosquito
A new study by a team of University of Notre Dame researchers offers a wealth of information about the rhythmic nature of gene expression in Anopheles gambiae, the mosquito species that transmits the malaria parasite from person to person.

Multidisciplinary integrated care for seniors gives better quality care
Multidisciplinary integrated care of seniors in residential care facilities resulted in better quality of care, found a Dutch study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Innovative duct tape strategy saves hospitals time, money; improves infection prevention
A simple roll of duct tape has proven to be an inexpensive solution to the costly and time-consuming problem of communicating with hospital patients who are isolated with dangerous infections.

Calcium plus vitamin D may reduce melanoma risks in some women, Stanford study finds
A combination of calcium and vitamin D may cut the chance of melanoma in half for some women at high risk of developing this life-threatening skin cancer, according to a new study by Stanford University School of Medicine researchers.

Study helps explain 'sundowning,' an anxiety syndrome in elderly dementia patients
New research provides the best evidence to date that the late-day anxiety and agitation sometimes seen in older institutionalized adults, especially those with dementia, has a biological basis in the brain.

Disorderly enzyme is key for antibody diversity
Random patterns of deamination by the enzyme activation-induced deoxycytidine deaminase (AID) are the key to generating antibody diversity, a crucial component to a healthy immune system, according to a new study by researchers at the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

Navy, Marine Corps tests autonomous zero-power bathythermograph sensors
The Zero Power Ballast Control, developed by the Naval Research Laboratory Bioenergy and Biofabrication Section in the Chemistry Division and the Physical Acoustics Branch of the Acoustic Division, is a technology that relies on microbial energy, enabling unsupervised underwater sensing and subsequent surfacing and reporting capabilities.

Childhood cancer survivors are at high risk for multiple tumors as they age
The largest study yet of adult childhood cancer survivors found that the first cancer is just the beginning of a lifelong battle against different forms of the disease for about 10 percent of these survivors.

False negative tests in breast cancer may lead to wrong drug choice
A team of Yale Cancer Center researchers has confirmed that between 10-20 percent of breast cancers classified as estrogen receptor negative are really positive.

Greener disaster alerts
New software allows wireless sensor networks to run at much lower energy, according to researchers writing in the International Journal of Sensor Networks.

New Crops for the Future Research Centre -- for food and non-food uses
The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus is to co-host the first ever Crops for the Future Research Centre in partnership with the Government of Malaysia.

Clinical study of epilepsy drug may have served primarily to promote drug and increase prescribing
A review of documentation relating to a clinical trial of the epilepsy drug gabapentin suggests that the study may have been a

Wildlife surviving conflict in Afghanistan
A new survey conducted by WCS scientists, supported by the US Agency for International Development, reveals that large mammals, including Asiatic black bears, gray wolves, markhor goats and leopard cats are surviving in parts of Afghanistan after years of conflict.

Tiny ring laser accurately detects and counts nanoparticles
A ring-shaped laser no bigger than a pinprick can accurately detect and count individual viruses, the particles that jumpstart cloud formation or those that contaminate the air we breathe.

Diastolic dysfunction of the heart associated with increased risk of death
Individuals with diastolic dysfunction (an abnormality involving impaired relaxation of the heart's ventricle [pumping chamber] after a contraction) appear to have an increased risk of death, regardless of whether their systolic function (contraction of the heart) is normal or they have other cardiovascular impairments, according to a report in the June 27 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Ancient symbiosis between animals and bacteria discovered
Marine shallow water sandy bottoms on the surface appear desert-like and empty, but in the interstitial space between the sand grains a diverse fauna flourishes.

Related studies point to the illusion of the artificial
Reaching for a diet soda to lose weight might not be effective, two new studies suggest.

A quiet phase: NIST optical tools produce ultra-low-noise microwave signals
By combining advanced laser technologies in a new way, NIST physicists have generated microwave signals that are more pure and stable than those from conventional electronic sources.

New accounting rules are missing the target
The international accounting rules IFRS for listed companies were introduced to help for example investors compare the values of different companies.

Hope for endangered language in Spain
The endangered language Caló is spoken by Romani people in Spain.

Landsat Satellite images reveal extent of historic North Dakota flooding
Heavy rains in Canada caused historic flooding in Minot, N.D.

July 2011 in GSA Today: Clinker geochronology
July's GSA Today science article authors Peter W. Reiners of the University of Arizona and colleagues have developed and successfully carried out a novel, extraordinary technique for learning how efficiently river channels cut and increase local topographic relief: They have used the exposure of

NASA sees Tropical Depression Meari about to cross North Vietnam
The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite passed over Tropical Depression Meari as it neared a landfall in southwestern North Korea on June 26.

Final version of industrial control systems security guide published
NIST has issued the final version of its Guide to Industrial Control Systems Security intended to help pipeline operators, power producers, food and beverage manufacturers, air traffic control centers, and other owners of critical infrastructures to identify threats and risks and reduce their systems' vulnerabilities.

Elsevier Properties SA announces winners of the 2011 Reaxys Ph.D. Prize
Elsevier Properties SA announces the winners of the Reaxys Ph.D.

Advances in delivery of therapeutic genes to treat brain tumors
Novel tools and methods for delivering therapeutic genes to cells in the central nervous system hold great promise for the development of new treatments to combat incurable neurologic diseases.

Economic cost of weather may total $485 billion in US
New research indicates that routine weather events such as rain and cooler-than-average days can add up to an annual economic impact of as much as $485 billon in the United States.

Metal particle generates new hope for H2 energy
Tiny metallic particles produced by University of Adelaide chemistry researchers are bringing new hope for the production of cheap, efficient and clean hydrogen energy.

Engineer to launch bacteria into space aboard the final mission of Space Shuttle Atlantis
There will be some very interesting passengers on the final mission of the NASA Space Shuttle Atlantis scheduled to launch July 8, 2011: thousands of bacteria.

Disease-resistant oysters call for shift in Bay restoration strategies
The development of disease resistance among Chesapeake Bay oysters calls for a shift in oyster-restoration strategies within the Bay and its tributaries.

New York Academy of Science to host a workshop on innovating for the developing world
On June 30, 2011, the New York Academy of Sciences' Science Alliance and Scientists Without Borders programs are jointly hosting a workshop focusing on the unique needs faced by the medical community in low-resource settings.

Benchmarking a slice of Africa; preserving biodiversity through science
Anthony Vodacek, a scientist specializing in remote sensing at Rochester Institute of Technology, is leading a two-year survey of the Lake Kivu system to collect scientific measurements for benchmarking hazards threatening the region's biodiversity.

Helping preterm babies get the best start
Babies born prematurely could be at greater risk of developing kidney diseases later in life according to a landmark study investigating the impacts of preterm birth on kidney development.

Death rate from heart attack higher in US territories than on mainland
There is a 17 percent greater risk of dying after a heart attack if you are treated in a hospital located in a US territory -- i.e., the US Virgin Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, American Samoa and Northern Mariana Islands -- rather than in a hospital in the mainland United States, according to new findings published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

How cavity-causing microbes invade heart
Scientists have discovered the tool that bacteria normally found in our mouths use to invade heart tissue, causing a dangerous and sometimes lethal infection of the heart known as endocarditis. 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