Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 05, 2011
Fisher decline documented in California
The Hoopa Valley Tribe, in cooperation with the Wildlife Conservation Society and the University of Massachusetts, reported a 73-percent decline in the density of fishers -- a house-cat sized member of the weasel family and candidate for endangered species listing -- on the Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation in northwestern California between 1998 and 2005.

Most PCIs (such as balloon angioplasty) performed in US for acute indications appear warranted
In an examination of the appropriateness of the widespread use of percutaneous coronary interventions (PCIs), researchers found that of more than 500,000 PCIs included in the study, nearly all for acute indications were classified as appropriate, whereas only about half of PCIs performed for nonacute indications could be classified as appropriate, according to a study in the July 6 issue of JAMA.

New research shows that we control our forgetfulness
Have you heard the saying

Just add water and treat brain cancer
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have developed a technique that delivers gene therapy into human brain cancer cells using nanoparticles that can be freeze-dried and stored for up to three months prior to use.

USC researchers link genetic marker to rectal cancer treatment
A team of researchers led by Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California oncologist Heinz-Josef Lenz, M.D., has identified a genetic marker that may predict which patients with rectal cancer can be cured by certain chemotherapies when combined with surgery.

A flash of insight: Chemist uses lasers to see proteins at work
Binghamton University researcher Christof Grewer thinks he has an important brain transport protein -- glutamate transporter -- figured out.

Certain HIV medication associated with adrenal dysfunction in newborns of HIV-1 infected mothers
Infants of human immunodeficiency virus 1 (HIV-1) infected mothers who were treated before and after birth with the protease inhibitor lopinavir-ritonavir were more likely to experience adrenal dysfunction, including life-threatening adrenal insufficiency in premature infants, compared with a zidovudine-based regimen, according to a preliminary report in the July 6 issue of JAMA.

Integrating science and medicine in the treatment of chronic disease
Chronic non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, chronic respiratory disorders and cancer represent the major global health problem of the 21st century and affect all age groups.

Researchers engineer functioning small intestine in laboratory experiments
Researchers at the Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles have successfully created a tissue-engineered small intestine in mice that replicates the intestinal structures of natural intestine -- a necessary first step toward someday applying this regenerative medicine technique to humans.

Behavioral treatment for migraines a cost-effective alternative to meds, study finds
A cost analysis of migraine treatments comparing pharmaceuticals to well-documented behavioral approaches such as relaxation training, hypnosis and biofeedback found behavioral treatments often come out cheaper, particularly after a year or more.

Metabolic shift may offer early cancer clue
Cancer cells are well known for their altered metabolisms, which may help them generate the energy they need for rapid growth.

High EGFR expression a predictor for improved survival with cetuximab plus chemotherapy
High epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expression was a good predictor of which lung cancer patients would survive longer when cetuximab (Erbitux) was added to first-line chemotherapy, according to research presented at the 14th World Conference on Lung Cancer in Amsterdam, hosted by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.

NIH findings in mice have potential to curb obesity and Type 2 diabetes
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health have uncovered a pathway in mice that allows white fat -- a contributor to obesity and Type 2 diabetes -- to burn calories in a way that's normally found in brown fat and muscle.

Self-paced walking test useful for evaluating progress in lifestyle intervention programs
The self-paced walking test, known as the 400-meter walk test, is effective in measuring improved physical function in postmenopausal women who have lost weight through healthy physical activity and dietary changes, according to collaborative research conducted by the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and the University of Pittsburgh.

Rhesus monkeys have a form of self awareness not previously attributed to them
In the first study of its kind in an animal species that has not passed a critical test of self-recognition, cognitive psychologist Justin J.

NASA's Hubble makes one millionth science observation
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope crossed another milestone in its space odyssey of exploration and discovery.

Simple test gives accurate prediction of ovulation to help women become pregnant
Using a widely available ovulation test is a more reliable method of predicting when a woman will be at her most fertile than the commonly used calendar method, the annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology heard today.

Research in fish provides new clues about deadly form of liver cancer
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of liver cancer, is a leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide.

China's competitive advantage
Research from Jack McCann of Lincoln Memorial University, in Tennessee, suggests that China could become the dominant economic power within a few years if it exploits the competitive advantages it is creating politically, culturally, legally and economically.

Raiders of the lost amp
Scientists from the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) are showcasing the business benefits of energy harvesting at he 2011 Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition.

Researchers flip the switch between development and aging in C. elegans
When researchers at the Buck Institute dialed back activity of a specific mRNA translation factor in adult nematode worms they saw an unexpected genome-wide response that effectively increased activity in specific stress response genes that could help explain why the worms lived 40 percent longer under this condition.

Hot springs microbe yields record-breaking, heat-tolerant enzyme
Scientists looking for unusual cellulose-digesting enzymes, called cellulases, have found one that works at a higher temperature, 109 Celsius, than any others found to date.

ARS and cooperators study cotton gin dust emissions
The last of seven cotton gins is being tested this year as the fieldwork for a major 4-year cotton gin dust sampling project draws to a close.

Paper indicates potential ways to protect epilepsy patients from sudden unexpected death
People with epilepsy (who are otherwise healthy) are more than 20 times as likely to die suddenly from unexplained causes as the general population.

Global safety monitoring of HIV drugs is essential, says International Forum
With increasing numbers of people worldwide -- five million in 2010 -- on antiretroviral drugs for the treatment of HIV, the International Forum for Collaborative HIV Research recommends that improved and sustained global drug safety monitoring, including monitoring for substandard products, drug diversion, inappropriate use and toxicity, is critical.

How hot did Earth get in the past? Team of scientists uncovers new information
The question seems simple enough: What happens to the Earth's temperature when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels increase?

Tecnalia becomes European advisor in electric mobility
The electric vehicle is a reality: vehicles with electric motors that avoid pollution.

EURTAC Phase III study: Erlotinib nearly doubles progression-free survival vs. chemotherapy
In the first phase III study to include Western lung cancer patients, first-line treatment with erlotinib (Tarceva) nearly doubled progression-free survival compared with chemotherapy, according to research presented at the 14th World Conference on Lung Cancer in Amsterdam, hosted by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.

Mother kangaroos at higher health risk
Mother kangaroos face higher health risks to carry and raise their young than their non-reproducing sisters; a new University of Melbourne study has shown.

'Vanishing twin' explains increased risk of birth defects
Australian researchers have made the significant discovery that loss of a twin during very early pregnancy explains the increased risk of birth defects seen in multiple pregnancies after infertility treatment.

The wonders of graphene on display
An interactive exhibit highlighting the almost limitless potential of the world's thinnest material goes on display July 5, 2011.

Bone loss prevention experiment on the last space shuttle flight
Researchers in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill/North Carolina State University Joint Department of Biomedical Engineering will be at the Kennedy Space Center for the last space shuttle launch of the NASA program as Atlantis departs for its final mission into Earth's orbit.

University of Toronto chemists envision new fuel economy
Imagine pulling up to the pump and filling your tank with fuel derived from greenhouse gas emissions.

New methods allow for insights into molecular mechanisms of regeneration
Researchers of the Berlin Institute for Medical Systems Biology at the Max Delbrück Center have gained new insights into planarian flatworms, which are an attractive model for stem cell biology and regeneration.

Cutting down on salt doesn't reduce your chance of dying
Moderate reductions in the amount of salt people eat doesn't reduce their likelihood of dying or experiencing cardiovascular disease.

IVF 'vanishing twin' linked with birth defects
A significant discovery by University of Adelaide researchers shows that the loss of a twin during early pregnancy explains the increased risk of birth defects in multiple IVF pregnancies.

Folate intake may reduce colorectal cancer risk
A new study finds high folate intake is associated with a reduced risk of colorectal cancer, a finding consistent with the findings of most previous epidemiologic studies.

Moving beyond embryonic stem cells: Encouragement on the horizon
For nearly two decades, the medical world and the American public have grappled with the lightning-rod topic of stem cells, in particular the controversy surrounding cells from human embryos.

Those aching joints could be in your genes
Prof. Gregory Livshits of Tel Aviv University sampled a population of 2,500 identical and fraternal twins and found that genetic factors affect both spine degeneration and lower back pain.

Vitamin D can help elderly women survive
Giving vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) to predominantly elderly women, mainly in institutional care, seems to increase survival.

Study: Preventive use of one form of natural vitamin E may reduce stroke damage
Ten weeks of preventive supplementation with a natural form of vitamin E called tocotrienol in dogs that later had strokes reduced overall brain tissue damage, prevented loss of neural connections and helped sustain blood flow in the animals' brains, a new study shows.

Surprising culprits behind cell death from fat and sugar overload
Excess nutrients, such as fat and sugar, don't just pack on the pounds but can push some cells in the body over the brink.

Higher daily dose of aspirin could play key role in preventing heart attacks for those with diabetes
A new study by University of Alberta researcher Scot Simpson has shed light on the use of Aspirin as a preventative measure for cardiovascular disease and reoccurrence in patients with diabetes.

A gut-full of probiotics for your neurological well-being
Probiotics, often referred to as 'good bacteria', are known to promote a healthy gut, but can they promote a healthy mind?

19th Conference of the International Society for Sexually Transmitted Disease Research
The 19th conference of the International Society for Sexually Transmitted Disease Research (ISSTDR) will take place July 10-13 in Quebec City, Canada.

Twin study shows lifestyle, diet can significantly influence course of macular degeneration
Eating a diet high in vitamin D, as well as the nutrients betaine and methionine, might help reduce the risk of macular degeneration, according to new research conducted by Tufts Medical Center scientists.

Botulinum toxin does not cure common forms of neck pain
There is no evidence that Botulinum toxin injections reduce chronic neck pain or associated headaches, says a group of scientists who reviewed nine trials involving a total of 503 participants.

High folate intake may reduce risk of colorectal cancer
Intake of high levels of folate may reduce colorectal cancer risk, according to a new study in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association Institute.

Processes for obtaining ecological compound that can optimize biodiesel enhanced
Acetals can play a primordial role in the development of biofuels.

Air pollution linked to learning and memory problems, depression
Long-term exposure to air pollution can lead to physical changes in the brain, as well as learning and memory problems and even depression, new research in mice suggests.

Test for chromosome abnormalities sheds light on genetic origins of faulty eggs
Researchers are developing a new way to test a woman's egg for chromosome abnormalities that avoids the need to manipulate and biopsy the egg itself.

Australian volcano eruptions overdue, new study confirms
Latest research into the age of volcanos in parts of Australia has confirmed that certain regions are overdue for an eruption, potentially affecting thousands of local residents.

Gene therapy stimulates protein that blocks immune attack and prevents Type 1 diabetes in mice
Increasing a specific protein in areas of the pancreas that produce insulin blocks the immune attack that causes Type 1 diabetes, researchers reported in the August issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, published early online.

New laser technology could kill viruses and improve DVDs
A team led by a professor at the University of California, Riverside Bourns College of Engineering has made a discovery in semiconductor nanowire laser technology that could potentially do everything from kill viruses to increase storage capacity of DVDs.

Patients at small, isolated, rural hospitals in US more likely to receive lower quality of care
In the first national study to examine care at critical access hospitals (CAHs) in rural areas of the US, Harvard School of Public Health researchers found that CAHs have fewer clinical capabilities, lower quality of care, and worse patient outcomes compared with other hospitals.

Researchers characterize biomechanics of ovarian cells according to phenotype at stages of cancer
Using ovarian surface epithelial cells from mice, researchers from Virginia Tech have released findings from a study that they believe will help in cancer risk assessment, cancer diagnosis, and treatment efficiency.

Being small has its advantages, if you are a leaf
The size of leaves can vary by a factor of 1,000 across plant species; until now, the reason why has remained a mystery.

Singapore expertise pioneers quick and scarless surgery
Singapore scientists have pioneered a new surgery technology which enables quick and scar-less surgery for stomach tumors.

Healthy lifestyle associated with low risk of sudden cardiac death in women
Adhering to a healthy lifestyle, including not smoking, exercising regularly, having a low body weight and eating a healthy diet, appears to lower the risk of sudden cardiac death in women, according to a study in the July 6 issue of JAMA.

Diabetes drug side effects traced to fat action
Now, two separate studies in the July Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication, explore those other effects of the drugs known collectively as thiazolidinediones, both of which stem from their activity in fat.

Early embryos can correct genetic abnormalities during development
Researchers have found the first direct evidence that early embryos with genetic abnormalities can correct their faults as they develop, marginalizing cells with an incorrect number of chromosomes, while allowing the growth of normal cells.

Final space shuttle to carry 5 CU-Boulder-built payloads
The University of Colorado Boulder is involved with five different space science payloads ranging from antibody tests that may lead to new bone-loss treatments to an experiment to improve vaccine effectiveness for combating salmonella when Atlantis thunders skyward July 8 on the last of NASA's 135 space shuttle missions.

Talking 'green' can help candidates win votes, Stanford study finds
Political candidates get more votes by taking a

Childhood asthma linked to depression during pregnancy
Anxiety, stress and depression during pregnancy may lead to a greater risk of asthma for your child, according to researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

Gum disease can increase the time it takes to become pregnant
Women who are trying to become pregnant should make sure they visit their dentist and brush their teeth regularly, after preliminary research revealed that gum disease potentially can lengthen the time it takes for a woman to become pregnant by an average of an extra two months.

PET scan with [11C]erlotinib may provide noninvasive method to identify TKI-responsive lung tumors
A non-invasive PET imaging technique may identify lung cancers that respond best to tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs), allowing doctors to better select patients for personalized therapy, according to research presented at the 14th World Conference on Lung Cancer in Amsterdam, hosted by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.

Simple rapid diagnostic tests for malaria work well
When a person living in a malarial area gets a fever, health workers need to know the cause to make absolutely sure they give the right treatment.

Infants learn to transfer knowledge by 16 months, study finds
Researchers have identified when an important milestone in infants' development occurs: the ability to transfer knowledge to new situations.

New method for predicting size of seasonal influenza epidemics
Using weekly influenza surveillance data from the US CDC, Edward Goldstein and colleagues develop a statistical method to predict the sizes of epidemics caused by seasonal influenza strains.

Lung tumors in never-smokers show greater genomic instability than those in smokers
Lung adenocarcinomas in people who have never smoked show greater genome instability than those in smokers, supporting the theory that lung cancer in never smokers arises through different pathways, according to research presented at the 14th World Conference on Lung Cancer in Amsterdam, hosted by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.

Genomics and ethnicity research recognized with $10,000 prize
The Ontario Genomics Institute's (OGI) $10,000 prize to promote and recognize research that focuses on the societal impact of genomics research has been awarded to Professor Abdallah S.

Eggs may help prevent heart disease and cancer
One of nature's most perfect foods may be even better for us than previously thought.

A chaperone system guides tail-anchored membrane proteins to their destined membrane
Newly synthesized proteins can only fold into their correct three dimensional structure thanks to chaperones.

Scientists sequence DNA of cancer-resistant rodent
Scientists at the University of Liverpool, in partnership with The Genome Analysis Centre, Norwich, have generated the first whole-genome sequencing data of the naked mole-rat, a rodent that is resistant to cancer and lives for more than 30 years.

Energy express focus issue: Optics in LEDs for lighting
Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have been changing the way we see the world since the 1960s.

Laser, electric fields combined for new 'lab-on-chip' technologies
Researchers are developing new technologies that combine a laser and electric fields to manipulate fluids and tiny particles such as bacteria, viruses and DNA for a range of potential applications, from drug manufacturing to food safety.

Old life capable of revealing new tricks after all
Robert Gunsalus studies one of the oldest known life forms, Archaea, to learn how they thrive in harsh environments.

Radiation rates for breast cancer may be underestimated, U-M study finds
More breast cancer patients than previously believed may be receiving radiation treatments after breast-conserving surgery, a University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center study shows.

Is there a link between obesity, chronic illness and bullying?
A study exploring the prevalence of overweight and obesity in nine-year-olds and its associations with chronic illness and bullying will be presented Wednesday, July 6, at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Society for Academic Primary Care held at the University of Bristol.

Safer skies
The FAA has mandated that by 2020, all aircrafts must be equipped with a new tracking system that broadcasts GPS data, providing more accurate location information than ground-based radar.

Newsbriefs from the July issue of the journal Chest
New research in the journal Chest highlights studies related to bleeding risk associated with combination antithrombotic therapy; the delayed recognition in patients with pulmonary hypertension; and indacaterol as safe and effective treatment for COPD exacerbations.

Kinetochores prefer the 'silent' DNA sections of the chromosome
The protein complex responsible for the distribution of chromosomes during cell division is assembled in the transition regions between heterochromatin and euchromatin.

Salamanders spell out evolution in action
Lungless salamanders (Ensatina eschscholtzii) live in a horseshoe-shape region in California (a 'ring') which circles around the central valley.

Couples report gender differences in relationship, sexual satisfaction over time
Cuddling and caressing are important ingredients for long-term relationship satisfaction, according to an international study by the Kinsey Institute, which queried committed, middle-aged couples from five countries.

National Zoo Welcomes Whooping Crane
After an 88-year-long hiatus North America's tallest bird, the statuesque whooping crane (Grus americana), is once again on exhibit at the Bird House at the Smithsonian's National Zoological Whooping cranes are one of only two crane species native to the United States.

Termites' digestive system could act as biofuel refinery
One of the peskiest household pests, while disastrous to homes, could prove to be a boon for cars, according to a Purdue University study.

'Gifted' natural vitamin E tocotrienol protects brain against stroke in 3 ways
A natural form of vitamin E called alpha-tocotrienol can trigger production of a protein in the brain that clears toxins from nerve cells, preventing those cells from dying after a stroke, new research shows.

Not all tests are created equal: Identifying C. diff in hospital labs
A study from the microbiology lab at the Lifespan hospitals has found that some lab tests are much more accurate in identifying Clostridium difficile Toxin (C. diff) infection (CDI).

New UGA technology makes textiles permanently germ-free; targets health care-associated infections
A University of Georgia researcher has invented a new technology that can inexpensively render medical linens and clothing, face masks, paper towels -- and yes, even diapers, intimate apparel and athletic wear, including smelly socks -- permanently germ-free.

Ruminant headgear: A mystery awaiting unraveling
Emerging from the heads of most cud-chewing mammals, headgear inspire an almost mystical and certainly majestic aura.

CU-Boulder and NASA's space shuttle program: Triumphs and tragedies
When NASA's 30-year-old space shuttle program is shuttered following the Atlantis mission in July, the University of Colorado Boulder will look back at a rich relationship filled with triumph and tragedy and look ahead to an evolving international program of government and private efforts that will send humans and cargo into orbit.

Rose-colored beer goggles: Social benefits of heavy drinking outweigh harms
A study by University of Washington psychologists shows some people continue to drink heavily because of perceived positive effects, despite experiencing negative effects such as hangovers, fights and regrettable sexual situations.

AgriLife Research study: Cool-season grasses more profitable than warm-season grasses
Access to swine effluent or waste water can help a producer grow more grass.

Springer to partner with Asia Briefing
Springer has signed an agreement for a publishing partnership with Asia Briefing Ltd. for technical and business guides.

Researchers can predict accurately the outcome of pregnancies threatening to miscarry
Dr Kaltum Adam, an honorary clinical research fellow at St Mary's Hospital in Manchester (UK), told the annual meeting of the European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology that around 20 percent of all pregnancies were complicated by threatened miscarriage, and up to 20 percent of these would miscarry.

Sounding rockets study how winds in space drive currents in the upper atmosphere
This July, scientists will launch four rockets from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility, Va., for a five-minute journey some 100 miles up into the atmosphere.

HFES sponsors 2012 Symposium on Human Factors and Ergonomics in Health Care
The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society invites you to attend the 2012 Symposium on Human Factors and Ergonomics in Health Care, to be held March 12-14 at the Marriott Baltimore Waterfront Hotel in Baltimore, Md.

Poor countries have disproportionately higher burden of disease from stroke than from heart disease
Poorer countries often have disproportionately higher rates of stroke disability and death than wealthier countries.

Putting sunshine in the tank
Scientists from the University of Manchester are working on how to use the energy of the Sun to make fuels, which could help to solve the world's escalating energy crisis.

Small, rural hospitals show poorer results on measures of quality of care, patient outcomes
In an analysis of data from more than 4,500 hospitals that serve Medicare beneficiaries, critical access hospitals (CAHs; no more than 25 acute care beds, located more than 35 miles from the nearest hospital) had fewer clinical capabilities, worse measured processes of care and higher rates of death for patients with heart attack, congestive heart failure or pneumonia, compared to non-CAHs, according to a study in the July 6 issue of JAMA.

Research bolsters importance of horseshoe crab spawning for migrating shorebirds
Speculation that the welfare of a small, at-risk shorebird is directly tied to horseshoe crab populations is in part supported by new scientific research, according to a US Geological Survey- led study published this week in Ecosphere, a journal of the Ecological Society of America.

Frozen embryo transfer leads to larger and heavier babies
Two studies from France and Denmark have shown that children born after frozen embryo transfer are larger and heavier.

Elsevier launches online catalogue of 2,000 16th-18th century books
Elsevier announced today the launch of an online catalogue of the Elsevier Heritage Collection, comprising over 2,000 rare books published by the original Elzevier publishing house from 1580 to 1712.

ALK rearrangement found in nearly 10 percent of patients in Lung Cancer Mutation Consortium
ALK rearrangement has been found in 9.6 percent of lung cancer patients tested in the Lung Cancer Mutation Consortium, and MET amplification in another 4.1 percent, reflecting how many patients might benefit from targeted therapies such as crizotinib, according to research presented at the 14th World Conference on Lung Cancer in Amsterdam, hosted by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.

Distract yourself or think it over? 2 ways to deal with negative emotions
A big part of coping with life is having a flexible reaction to the ups and downs.
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