Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 07, 2011
Cortisol controls recycling of bile acids
Cortisol is responsible for the recycling of bile acids from the blood, discovered scientists of the German Cancer Research Center.

Ben-Gurion U. part of expert consortium to create Israeli Renewable Energy Center
The group of 27 senior researchers will include nine researchers from Ben-Gurion University who are leaders in production of biomass; photo-catalysis of CO2 and water to fuels; gasification of biomass; and production of liquid fuels from biomass and mixtures of CO2 and water.

Evolution and domestication of seed structure shown to use same genetic mutation
For the first time, scientists have identified a mutation in plants that was selected twice -- during both natural evolution and domestication.

Southern US states lag in reducing death rates from colorectal cancer
Improvements in colorectal cancer mortality rates are concentrated in the northern part of the United States, while southern states continue to fall behind, according to a report in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Graphene: What can go wrong? new studies point to wrinkles, process contaminants
Using a combination of sophisticated computer modeling and advanced materials analysis techniques at synchrotron laboratories, a research team has demonstrated how some relatively simple processing flaws can seriously degrade the otherwise near-magical electronic properties of graphene.

A gene implicated in speech regulates connectivity of the developing brain
Foxp2, a gene involved in speech and language, helps regulate the wiring of neurons in the brain, according to a study which will be published on July 7 in the open-access journal PLoS Genetics.

Cellular origin of deadly brain cancer is identified
Using a mouse genetic system co-developed by researchers at the University of Oregon and Stanford University, a research team led by UO biologist Hui Zong has isolated the cellular origin for malignant glioma, a deadly human brain cancer.

Graft size and patient age may be predictor of need for future ACL revisions
A smaller sized hamstring graft in an anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction patient less than 20 years old may increase revision rates, according to research presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Annual Meeting in San Diego today.

New disparity in nursing homes: Whites leave, minorities enter
Nursing homes in the United States are shrinking and their residents are becoming proportionately more black, more Hispanic, more Asian, and less white, according to a new study by Brown University researchers.

Big step forward for SKA
The discovery potential of the future international SKA radio telescope has been glimpsed following the commissioning of a working optical fibre link between CSIRO's Australian SKA Pathfinder telescope in Western Australia, and other radio telescopes across Australia and New Zealand.

A drugstore within
Mesenchymal stem cells were thought to be the key to growing new organs, but research has shown them to be potent protectors and healers in the body.

The turn of the corkscrew: Structural analysis uncovers mechanisms of gene expression
A team led by Professor Karl-Peter Hopfner at the Gene Center at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universit├Ąt (LMU) in Munich has clarified the structure and function of the remodeler Mot1 (Modifier of Transcription 1), which binds directly to DNA.

Wayne State University researcher argues that sex reduces genetic variation
Biology textbooks maintain that the main function of sex is to promote genetic diversity.

Teaching the neurons to meditate
In the late 1990s, Jane Anderson was working as a landscape architect.

Organizational climate drives commercialization of scientific and engineering discoveries
Research universities with an organizational climate that actively supports commercialization and encourages interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers are more likely to produce invention disclosures and patent applications, according to a Baylor University study.

New report explains why physicians are reluctant to share patient data
The uncertainty surrounding a pandemic of a new strain of influenza has not changed the privacy concerns of physicians about disclosing patient data.

Drug 'shield' helps target antibiotic resistant bacteria
A new technique which targets antibiotic-resistant bacteria and shields patients from the toxic parts of an antibiotic drug has been developed by Cardiff University scientists.

Adult stem cells may improve cardiac function in angina patients
A new Phase II study found injections of adult patients' own stem cells reduced reports of angina episodes and improved exercise tolerance time in patients with chronic, severe refractory angina.

American Health Assistance Foundation announces latest grants for innovative vision research
The American Health Assistance Foundation (AHAF), a nonprofit organization with a history of funding cutting-edge research on age-related diseases, today announced the award of 22 new grants totaling $2.2 million to scientists worldwide who are studying glaucoma and macular degeneration.

DNA decoded by FSU biologist reveals 7 new mice species
After living incognito for millions of years in a remote area of a forested mountain range in the Philippines, seven new-found species of mice owe their recent discovery to DNA evidence and the Florida State University biologist who deciphered it.

Study: Hypoallergenic dogs not less allergic than other dogs
Contrary to popular belief, so-called hypoallergenic dogs do not have lower household allergen levels than other dogs.

New research points to a possible gender link in knee injuries
Gender may be associated with an increased risk of cartilage lesions in anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injured knees, according to research being presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Annual Meeting in San Diego.

Lithosphere highlights: New research posted July 7
Highlights for articles published online July 7, 2011, are provided below.

US joining the Wendelstein 7-X fusion project
The USA is investing over 7.5 million dollars in the construction of the Wendelstein 7-X fusion device at Max Planck Institute for Plasma Physics in Greifswald.

'Pinkwashing' is a form of social injustice asserts article in Environmental Justice
Companies that try to increase sales of their products by adopting the color pink and pink ribbons to imply that they support breast cancer research -- a practice called pinkwashing -- but at the same time permit the use of chemicals shown to cause cancer are committing a form of social injustice against women.

Report finds large state disparities in progress against colorectal cancer
Progress in reducing colorectal cancer (CRC) mortality rates varies significantly across states, with rates in the Northeast showing the most progress and those in the South showing the least progress, according to a new study.

Jewel beetles, obtained from local people, turn out to be 4 species unknown to science
A team of researchers from the Czech University of Life Sciences discovered four new species of jewel beetles (Buprestidae) from South-eastern Asia.

One-to-one therapy to manage urinary incontinence in men following prostate surgery no more effective than standard care
Urinary incontinence is common immediately after prostate surgery. In an article published online first by the Lancet, researchers show that in men who have undergone prostate surgery, one-to-one therapy sessions to teach pelvic floor exercises are no more effective than the standard care of receiving brief verbal advice and a leaflet with instructions for self-teaching.

Stem cells know where they want to go: McMaster researchers
This study showed that pluripotent cells are not all equal.

Gold nanoparticles bring scientists closer to a treatment for cancer
Scientists at the University of Southampton have developed smart nanomaterials, which can disrupt the blood supply to cancerous tumors.

'Unnatural' chemical allows Salk researchers to watch protein action in brain cells
Researchers at the Salk Institute have been able to genetically incorporate

MU study identifies protective factors that help women recover from childhood violence
Children who witness domestic violence are more likely to be in abusive intimate relationships and experience psychological problems such as post traumatic stress disorder in adulthood, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Texas Parks Wildlife Commission member Karen Hixon to receive ESA's 2011 Regional Policy Award
The Ecological Society of America (ESA) will present its fourth annual Regional Policy Award to Karen Hixon of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission (TPWC) at the Society's 96th Annual Meeting on Sunday Aug.

World War II bombing raids offer new insight into the effects of aviation on climate
Climate researchers have turned to the Allied bombing raids of the Second World War for a unique opportunity to study the effect thousands of aircraft had on the English climate at a time when civilian aviation remained rare.

Smart grids: New study highlights key challenges and trends in the EU
Intelligent electricity networks -- smart grids -- are a key component in the EU energy strategy, but substantial investments are needed to make them a reality.

Craniosynostosis, delayed tooth eruption and supernumerary teeth -- 1 gene in background
Researchers at the University of Helsinki, Finland, have described a new, recessively inherited human syndrome featuring craniosynostosis, maxillary hyperplasia, delayed tooth eruption and extra teeth.

Concussion baseline important for accurate future assessment in at-risk youth athletes
Creating a baseline for each youth athlete is a critical part of accurate future concussion assessment, according to researchers presenting their study at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Annual Meeting in San Diego.

With climate changes, polar bear and brown bear lineages intertwine
Polar bears' unique characteristics allow them to survive in one of the most extreme environments on Earth, but that survival is now threatened as rising temperatures and melting ice reshape the Arctic landscape.

Ancestry of polar bears traced to Ireland
An international team of scientists has discovered that the female ancestor of all living polar bears was a brown bear that lived in the vicinity of present-day Britain and Ireland just prior to the peak of the last ice age -- 20,000 to 50,000 years ago.

Global investments in green energy up nearly a third to $211 billion
Wind farms in China and small-scale solar panels on rooftops in Europe were largely responsible for last year's 32 percent rise in green energy investments worldwide according to the latest annual report on renewable energy investment trends issued by the UN Environment Programme.

Ironic effects of anti-prejudice messages
Organizations and programs have been set up all over the globe in the hopes of urging people to end prejudice.

To combat deadly brain cancer, target the stem cells
Researchers have uncovered a new target that could stop the growth of glioblastoma, a deadly form of brain cancer.

Control of gene expression: Mediator MED26 shifts an idling polymerase into high gear
A report from the Conaway lab at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research in the July 8, 2011, edition of the journal Cell identifies a switch that allows RNA polymerase to shift gears from neutral into drive and start transcribing.

Chesapeake Bay pesticides: Some diminish, some persist
Scientists with the US Department of Agriculture are identifying factors that influence pesticide levels in the Chesapeake Bay airshed, including traces of

TGen presents lung cancer studies at Amsterdam conference
The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is presenting two key studies, including one today, at the 14th World Conference on Lung Cancer, July 3-7 in Amsterdam.

Parkinson's Disease Foundation announces $1 million for novel studies into Parkinson's
The Parkinson's Disease Foundation (PDF) is pleased to announce awards totaling more than $1 million for 11 novel investigator-initiated research projects designed to understand the cause(s) of and find a cure for Parkinson's disease.

NIH-funded research network to explore oil spill health effects
An NIH-funded network of researchers will evaluate potential harmful effects of the Deepwater Horizon disaster on reproduction and birth outcomes, the cardiorespiratory system, and behavior and mental health.

'Pure' human blood stem-cell discovery opens door to expanding cells for more clinical use
For the first time since stem cells were discovered here 50 years ago, scientists have isolated a human blood stem cell in its purest form -- as a single stem cell capable of regenerating the entire blood system.

California groundwater management trickles up from local sources
In a typical year, California gets about 30 percent of its water from groundwater wells.

NSF grant supports research on origin of life
Virginia Tech biochemist Bob White said he wrestles with an insistent question: was earth's first life system

Amrubicin improved response rate and progression-free survival vs. topotecan in Phase III trial
Lung cancer patients given amrubicin (Calsed) as a second-line therapy had a significantly improved response rate and longer progression-free survival than patients treated with topotecan (Hycamtin), 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.

NTU and NUS Ph.D. students win total of $100,000 for ground-breaking sustainability research
Ten students from Nanyang Technological University and National University of Singapore have each won $10,000 for being among their respective university's top five completed PhD theses related to the environment, sustainability and metropolis of the future.

Increased protection urgently needed for tunas
For the first time, all species of scombrids (tunas, bonitos, mackerels and Spanish mackerels) and billfishes (swordfish and marlins) have been assessed for the IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM.

Stem cell injections may offer hope to patients with no other options
Injecting the hearts of untreatable angina patients with their own stem cells reduced chest pain frequency and improved exercise capability.

Research shows generic medications are changing the economics of treating chronically ill patients
A study released today in the July issue of Health Affairs concludes that preventive health care is considerably less costly than previous industry estimates, because earlier studies projected financial impact based on costs of branded medications.

Previous cancer history increases chances of clotting disorders after knee surgery, study suggests
A history of cancer was a significant risk factor for developing blood clotting issues following knee arthroscopy, according to a study being presented at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Annual Meeting in San Diego.

Study suggests new strategy to prevent infertility, birth defects
A strategy that has been shown to reduce age-related health problems in several animal studies may also combat a major cause of age-associated infertility and birth defects.

Unexpected cell repairs the injured spinal cord
A study from Karolinska Institutet has revealed how scar tissue is formed after damage to the central nervous system.

The Society for Nutrition Education (SNE) announces Helen Denning Ullrich Award of Excellence
The Society for Nutrition Education (SNE) announces that Margo Wootan, DSc, has been awarded the 2011 Helen Denning Ullrich Award of Excellence.

UC Riverside faculty member elected fellow of Entomological Society of America
Bradley Mullens, a professor of entomology at the University of California, Riverside, has been named a fellow of the Entomological Society of America (ESA) for 2011.

Device captures ambient electromagnetic energy to drive small electronic devices
Researchers have discovered a way to capture energy transmitted by such sources as radio and television transmitters and cell phone networks.

LSUHSC conducts landmark study of mid, long-term health effects of oil exposure
LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Public Health is launching the first study ever done of the mid- and long-term health consequences of exposure to oil.

Medicaid increases use of health care, decreases financial strain, improves health
Researchers from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), and Providence Health & Services have found that expanding low income adults' access to Medicaid substantially increases health care use, reduces financial strain on covered individuals, and improves their self-reported health and well-being.

Special needs students and teachers are victims of 'muddled' approach to schooling -- study
Pupils with special needs and teachers in mainstream schools in the UK are often the victims of a

Effects of the 2008 financial crisis on health: A first look at European data showing suicides have increased and motor vehicle deaths have decreased
Correspondence in this week's Lancet gives a first look at how the financial crisis affected mortality patterns in Europe.

Sex works thanks to ever-evolving host, parasite relationships
Indiana University biologists have found that, although sexual reproduction between two individuals is costly from an evolutionary perspective, it is favored over self-fertilization in the presence of coevolving parasites.

Promising fire retardant results when clay nanofiller has space
Materials scientists from NIST and the University of Maryland have demonstrated that the more widely and uniformly dispersed nanoscale plates of clay are in a polymer, the more fire protection the nanocomposite material provides.

No speech without hearing
Hearing has a key role in the acquisition of speech, but 2 of every 1000 children are born with a hearing impairment.

Herschel finds source of cosmic dust in a stellar explosion
ESA's Herschel Space Observatory is helping unravel the mystery of where cosmic dust comes from.

Cancer patients with blood clots gain no benefit from adding IVCF to fondaparinux
Cancer patients with blood clots -- which occur in one of every 200 cancer patients and are the second most common cause of death among cancer patients -- gain no benefit from the insertion of an inferior vena cava filter (IVCF) to the anticoagulant medication fondaparinux (Arixtra), according to research presented today at the 14th World Conference on Lung Cancer, hosted by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.

Half-matched transplants widen pool of donors for leukemia and lymphoma
Identifying a suitable donor for leukemia and lymphoma patients who need bone marrow transplants may be far easier now that results of two clinical trials show transplant results with half-matched bone marrow or umbilical cord blood are comparable to fully matched tissue, thanks in large part to the availability of effective antirejection drugs and special post-transplant chemotherapy.

NIH awards $17 million Program of Excellence Award in glycosciences to Brigham and Women's Hospital
The laboratory of Robert Sackstein, M.D., Ph.D., of the Dermatology Department at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), has been granted a prestigious Program of Excellence Award from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health, to support investigations in glycobiology: the discipline which studies how sugars direct biologic processes.

Sexual orientation and gender conforming traits in women are genetic
Sexual orientation and 'gender conformity' in women are both genetic traits, according to new research from Queen Mary, University of London.

NJIT receives second part of $1M gift to chemical engineering department
NJIT announced today the fulfillment of the late Otto H.

Stroke risk in pregnant women 2.4 times higher
Pregnant women face a risk of stroke that is 2.4 times higher than the risk in non-pregnant women, according to a medical journal article by Loyola University Health System researchers.

Heart disease and stroke worldwide tied to national income
An analysis of heart disease and stroke statistics collected in 192 countries by the World Health Organization shows that the relative burden of the two diseases varies widely from country to country and is closely linked to national income, according to researchers at the University of California, San Francisco.

TEMLA shows higher diagnostic yield than EBUS or EUS in largest reported series to date
In the largest reported series yet to compare transcervical extended mediastinal lymphadenectomy (TEMLA) with endoscopic and surgical primary staging and restaging of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), TEMLA showed a significantly higher diagnostic yield, 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.

Discovery of natural antibody brings a universal flu vaccine a step closer
Annually changing flu vaccines with their hit-and-miss effectiveness may soon give way to a single, near-universal flu vaccine, according to a new report from scientists at the Scripps Research Institute and the Dutch biopharmaceutical company Crucell.

Ching-Hon Pui, M.D., honored by the American Society of Hematology for work in childhood cancer
Ching-Hon Pui, M.D., an eminent leader in the research and treatment of pediatric leukemia at St.

UTMB-led researchers awarded $7.8 million for Gulf spill study
In an effort to determine the vulnerability of affected Gulf Coast communities following last year's BP oil spill,the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences has awarded a five-year $7.85 million grant to a consortium of university researchers and Gulf Coast community groups led by the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston to examine the safety of Gulf seafood and the long-term health of those who consume it.

Differing lifestyles: A study of ethnicity and health
A new study has brought into focus how policymakers and health providers can take into account variations in lifestyle among different ethnic groups.

NIST prototype 'optics table on a chip' places microwave photon in 2 colors at once
NIST researchers have created a tunable superconducting circuit on a chip that can place a single microwave photon in two frequencies, or colors, at the same time.

Endosonography followed by surgical staging improves quality of life, according to ASTER study
Patients who underwent endoscopic testing prior to surgery for lung cancer had significantly better quality of life at the end of the staging process, with no significant difference in costs between the two strategies, according to data presented at the 14th World Conference on Lung Cancer in Amsterdam, hosted by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer. 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