Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 12, 2011
Indirubin -- Component Of Chinese herbal remedy might block brain tumor's spread
Indirubin, the active ingredient in a traditional Chinese herbal medicine, might offer a new strategy for treating glioblastoma, a deadly form of brain cancer.

Extended Coulomb failure criteria for the Zipingpu reservoir and Longmenshan slip
The extended Coulomb failure stress criteria and anisotropic porosity and permeability tensor at micro/meso/macro scale under ultra-high temperature and pressure conditions were developed employing the flow driven pore-network crack model under multiple temporal-spatial scales and the hybrid hypersingular integral equation-lattice Boltzmann method.

Study shows how an often illegal sales tactic contributed to housing crash
A study of home purchases during the real estate boom years in Chicago shows how one ethically murky -- and sometimes illegal -- tactic used to sell homes may have contributed to the housing crash.

Ghrelin increases willingness to pay for food
Research to be presented at the upcoming annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB), the foremost society for research into all aspects of eating and drinking behavior, suggests that ghrelin, a naturally occurring gut hormone, increases our willingness to pay for food, while simultaneously decreasing our willingness to pay for non-food items.

University of Houston receives grant from National Endowment for the Arts
The University of Houston (UH) has received a prestigious Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), one of only 51 grants of this kind awarded nationwide.

Too much sitting may be bad for your health
Lack of physical exercise is often implicated in many disease processes.

Changes in family history of cancer can impact screening recommendations
A multi-institutional research team has found that that changes in family history of cancer significant enough to alter recommendations for screening exams like colonoscopy and mammography are common in adults aged 30 to 50.

Heart ultrasound helps determine risk of heart attack, death in HIV patients
A heart ultrasound called stress echocardiography helps determine heart attack and death risk in people with HIV and heart disease.

Dynamic Eye partners with UB to develop 'smart' sunglasses that block blinding glare
The days of being blinded by glare from the sun, despite the $300 sunglasses straddling your face, may soon be over.

Low dose naltrexone (LDN): Harnessing the body's own chemistry to treat human ovarian cancer
Researchers at the Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, Hershey, Pa., have discovered that a low dose of the opioid antagonist naltrexone (LDN) markedly suppresses progression of human ovarian cancer transplanted into mice.

Consortium warns against clear-cutting selected science budgets
More than 140 scientific societies and universities today sent a letter urging U.S. policymakers, in their need to cut spending, to avoid singling out specific programs--such as the National Science Foundation's Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences--and to refrain from bypassing independent peer review.

Family planning in conflict
Many areas of the world are at war and both the conflict and aftermath have dire consequences for the health of people affected.

Feeding hormone ghrelin modulates ability of rewarding food to evoke dopamine release
New research findings to be presented at the upcoming annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB), the foremost society for research into all aspects of eating and drinking behavior, finds that ghrelin, a natural gut hormone that stimulates feeding, also modulates the ability of tasty food and food-related cues to alter dopamine levels within the striatum, a critical component of the brain's reward system.

Pew finds serious gaps in oversight of US drug safety
Americans' medicines are increasingly manufactured in developing countries, where oversight is lower than in the US, according to a new white paper by the Pew Health Group.

Needle-in-a-haystack search for new drugs for brain diseases
A needle-in-the-haystack search through nearly 390,000 chemical compounds had led scientists to a substance that can sneak through the protective barrier surrounding the brain with effects promising for new drugs for Parkinson's and Huntington's disease.

Alternative methods of smear collection are effective at diagnosing TB
Two studies by a team of researchers led by Luis E.

Hubble's Neptune anniversary pictures
Today, Neptune has arrived at the same location in space where it was discovered nearly 165 years ago.

Switch from corn to grass would raise ethanol output, cut emissions
Growing perennial grasses on the least productive farmland now used for corn ethanol production in the US would result in higher overall corn yields, more ethanol output per acre and better groundwater quality, researchers report in a new study.

Lie of the land beneath glaciers influences impact on sea levels
Fresh research into glaciers could help scientists better predict the impact of changing climates on global sea levels.

TUM researchers discover a new switch in resistance to plant diseases
Powdery mildew is a tricky pathogen: The fungus can manipulate barley in a way that it is not only granted entry into the plant, but also gets the plant's cells to supply it with nutrients.

Brainy lizards pass test for birds
Tropical lizards may be slow. But they aren't dumb. They can do problem-solving tasks just as well as birds and mammals, a new study shows.

Supramolecules get time to shine
What looks like a spongy ball wrapped in strands of yarn -- but a lot smaller -- could be key to unlocking better methods for catalysis, artificial photosynthesis or splitting water into hydrogen, according to Rice University chemists who have created a platform to analyze interactions between carbon nanotubes and a wide range of photoluminescent materials.

Your mother was right: Study shows good posture makes you tougher
Mothers have been telling their children to stop slouching for ages.

A cool roof for Berkeley Lab's iconic dome
Paris may have the Eiffel Tower and London has its Big Ben, but Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has the iconic domed roof of the Advanced Light Source.

MIT: Computer learns language by playing games
A team led by Regina Barzilay of CSAIL has created a system that allows a computer to learn to play a computer game by learning the language required to read the manual.

First-ever review finds smoking causes serious birth defects
The first-ever comprehensive review of 50 years of studies has established that maternal smoking causes serious birth defects including heart defects, missing/deformed limbs, clubfoot, gastrointestinal disorders, and facial disorders, such as cleft lip/palate.

Accentuating the positive may eliminate the negative in teenagers with anxiety
Training teenagers to look at social situations positively could help those with anxiety and may help prevent problems persisting into adult life, new research from Oxford University is beginning to suggest.

Goalies tend to dive right in World Cup penalty shoot-outs when their team is behind ... why?
In the quarterfinal of the 2006 Soccer World Cup, England and Portugal played for 90 tense minutes and 30 minutes extra time without a single goal being scored.

No substantial link between swine flu vaccine and Guillain-Barre syndrome, confirm experts
Adjuvanted vaccines used during the 2009 swine flu pandemic did not increase the risk of Guillain-Barre syndrome substantially, if at all, finds a large Europe-wide study published on bmj.com today.

Renewal of agreement between Ipsen and the Salk Institute supports cutting-edge research
Ipsen and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies announced today that they are renewing the Ipsen Life Sciences Program at the Salk Institute.

Overall health effects of alcohol consumption
The World Health Organization has released its global status report on alcohol and health for 2011.

Popular fungicides failing, may cause hard choices for apple growers
Orchard growers have started finding that some of the most commonly used fungicides are no longer effective at controlling apple scab, according to a Purdue University study.

Hitachi partnership brings new tools and electron microscope reference center to Edmonton
Thanks to an international collaboration with Hitachi, Canadian companies will now have access to a uniquely configured transmission electron microscope, the first of its kind outside of Japan.

Purdue biologists identify new strategy used by bacteria during infection
Biologists identified a new way in which bacteria hijack healthy cells during infection, which could provide a target for new antibiotics.

Wireless power could cut cord for patients with implanted heart pumps
A new system to send electricity over short distances has been shown to reliably power a mechanical heart pump.

Individualized cost-effectiveness analysis useful for clinicians and patients
In this week's PLoS Medicine, John Ioannidis and Alan Garber from Stanford University, USA, discuss how to use incremental cost-effectiveness ratios and related metrics so they can be useful for decision-making at the individual level, whether used by clinicians or individual patients.

BUSM professor selected as American Heart Association Distinguished Scientist
Kenneth Walsh, Ph.D., FAHA, the Aram V. Chobanian Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine and Director of the Whitaker Cardiovascular Institute at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), has been named a 2011 American Heart Association (AHA) Distinguished Scientist.

Long distance: Research shows ancient rock under Haiti came from 1,000+ miles away
Earthquakes and volcanoes are known for their ability to transform Earth's surface, but new research in the Caribbean has found they can also move ancient Earth rock foundations more than 1,000 miles.

Invasive diagnostic procedure for children with cystic fibrosis does not improve outcomes
Compared to a standard diagnostic procedure, infants with cystic fibrosis who received treatment based on a diagnostic procedure involving obtaining and culturing fluid samples from the lungs did not have a lower prevalence of lung-damaging infection or structural lung injury at 5 years of age, according to a study in the July 13 issue of JAMA.

Border fences pose threats to wildlife on US-Mexico border, study shows
Current and proposed border fences pose significant threats to wildlife populations, with those animals living in border regions along the Texas Gulf and California coasts showing some of the greatest vulnerability, a new study from the University of Texas at Austin shows.

Newly discovered molecule essential to resetting 'body clocks'
A new study from Queen Mary, University of London exploring the mechanism behind resetting the internal

Stanford researchers suggest ways for physicians to individualize cost-effectiveness of treatments
In an era of skyrocketing health-care costs and finite financial resources, health economists are increasingly called upon to determine which medical treatments are the most cost-effective.

Higher Medicaid payments to dentists associated with increased rate of dental care among children
Children and adolescents from states that had higher Medicaid payment levels to dentists between 2000 and 2008 were more likely to receive dental care, although children covered by Medicaid received dental care less often than children with private insurance, according to a study in the July 13 issue of JAMA.

New genetic map of potato may lead to improved crops
An international consortium of scientists has produced a new map of the potato genome that may lead to the development of an ultra-nutritious potato that could help feed the world's hungry.

South East Asian nations meet on reforms to international environmental governance
Amid growing concerns about the inadequacy of today's inter-governmental structures for effective global environmental co-operation, member states of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) will convene in Kuala Lumpur July 14-15 to recommend needed reforms.

New technology allows lenses to change color rapidly
A University of Connecticut chemist has developed new technology that allows lenses to change color instantly using an electric current triggered by a stimulus, such as light.

Deeper insight in the activity of cortical cells
Max Planck scientists can image the processing of information deeper in the cortex with the help of a new multi-photon microscope design.

Cracking the code of the mind
Mark Shein of Tel Aviv University has applied advanced mathematical and engineering techniques to connect neurons with electronics and understand how neuronal networks work.

AIAA to present awards at 47th Joint Propulsion Conference
The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) will honor achievement in technical and literary fields, as well as sustained service, at a noon awards luncheon on August 3 as part of the 47th AIAA/ASME/ASE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference & Exhibit, to be held July 31-Aug.

Expert questions Lansley's claim that NHS spending will become unaffordable
England's health secretary Andrew Lansley has said that if England keeps on spending on health at the current rate, the NHS will be unaffordable in 20 years' time.

Advice to drink 8 glasses of water a day 'nonsense,' argues doctor
The recommendation to drink six to eight glasses of water a day to prevent dehydration

Landscape change leads to increased insecticide use in US Midwest
In a study supported in part by the National Science Foundation's Kellogg Biological Station Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site in Michigan -- one of 26 such NSF LTER sites around the world -- scientists concluded that this simplification is associated with increased crop pest abundance and insecticide use.

Elsevier launches Current Opinion in Virology
Elsevier has announced the publication of the first issue of Current Opinion in Virology -- a new journal in its prestigious Current Opinion series, publishing six issues a year.

7 in 1 blow: Scientists discover DNA regions influencing prostate cancer risk
Scientists of the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum, DKFZ) are taking part in an international research consortium studying the genetic risks for prostate cancer.

How the connection to the future self impacts financial decision-making
The June 2011 edition of the Journal of Consumer Research features research from Professor Daniel Bartels, marketing professor at Columbia Business School, and Oleg Urminsky, marketing professor at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, that depicts how consumers feeling or not feeling connected to their future selves impacts their spending and savings decisions.

Freefall -- aphids' survival strategy
As soon as aphids sense the heat and humidity in a mammal's breath, they drop to safety before they are inadvertently ingested together with the plant the animal is feeding on.

Evidence for 'food addiction' in humans
Research to be presented at the upcoming annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB), the foremost society for research into all aspects of eating and drinking behavior, suggests that people can become dependent on highly palatable foods and engage in a compulsive pattern of consumption, similar to the behaviors we observe in drug addicts and those with alcoholism.

An app for your brain: new educational tool developed by U-M doctor
With a new application developed by a U-M neurologist, better understanding of the anatomy of the peripheral nervous system can be found right on your iPhone.

State of the Science in the Prevention and Management of Osteoarthritis-A Conference for Nurses
In an effort to raise awareness and increase knowledge of osteoarthritis among the nursing community, Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS), the American Journal of Nursing and the National Association of Orthopaedic Nurses will present a groundbreaking two-day symposium: State-of-the-Science in the Prevention and Management of Osteoarthritis on Thursday, July 14, and Friday, July 15.

Professional edition of leading nurse manual launched after rave reviews on new format
Qualified nurses can now have the very latest advanced practice procedures at their fingertips, thanks to the new professional edition of The Royal Marsden Hospital Manual of Clinical Nursing Procedures.

Researchers study pesticide pathways into the atmosphere
In a long-term field study, US Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists found that herbicide volatilization consistently resulted in herbicide losses that exceed losses from field runoff.

Family meals remain important through teen years, expert says
As children become teenagers, it may be more challenging to regularly include them in family meals, but doing so is key to heading off such problems as eating disorders, obesity, and inadequate nutrition in adolescence, said Barbara Fiese, director of the University of Illinois Family Resiliency Center.

Computerized system to prevent SIDS developed by Ben-Gurion University students
The new system called

Last dinosaur before mass extinction discovered
A team of scientists has discovered the youngest dinosaur preserved in the fossil record before the catastrophic meteor impact 65 million years ago.

Updating family history of cancer associated with need for earlier or more intense cancer screening
In an analysis to examine how often throughout adulthood clinically significant changes occur in a patient's family history of cancer, researchers found substantial changes in family history of colorectal, breast, and prostate cancer between the ages of 30 and 50 years, which would result in recommendations for earlier or more intense cancer screening, according to a study in the July 13 issue of JAMA.

Prevalence of pressure ulcers among black high-risk nursing home residents related to site of care
Among nursing home residents at high risk for pressure ulcers, black residents had higher prevalence rates than white residents from 2003 through 2008, with the disparity largely related to the higher rates among nursing homes that disproportionately serve black residents, according to a study in the July 13 issue of JAMA.

Smokers not very receptive to shocking images
A team of researchers led by the University of Bonn found clear changes in how emotions are processed in smokers.

UCI study points to new means of overcoming antiviral resistance in influenza
UC Irvine researchers have found a new approach to the creation of customized therapies for virulent flu strains that resist current antiviral drugs.

HPV infection highly prevalent among organ transplant recipients
A new study published in the American Journal of Transplantation reveals an association between the human papillomavirus (betaPV) infection and cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) in organ transplant recipients.

National quality committee recognizes UT family medicine clinic in TMC
The UT Family Medicine Associates clinic in the Texas Medical Center has received a special designation from the National Committee for Quality Assurance as a model for patient-centered care.

Scientists model physics of a key dark-energy probe
Ohio State University researchers are leveraging powerful supercomputers to investigate one of the key observational probes of

Johns Hopkins researchers identify new genetic risk factor for sudden cardiac death
In a large and comprehensive investigation into the underlying causes of sudden cardiac death (SCD) -- a surreptitious killer of hundreds of thousands annually in the United States -- researchers have discovered a variation in the genome's DNA sequence that is linked to a significant increase in a person's risk of SCD.

Team New Jersey to make precast concrete solar house reality
Once construction of the house is complete, Team NJ will hold an official topping-off event at NJIT with major sponsors and VIP guests.

Scleroderma study identifies roadblocks to employment
Systemic scleroderma has slowed Tracy Zinn but it has not stopped her from working.

Cancer mortality rates are higher in men than women
Overall cancer mortality rates are higher for men than women in the United States, according to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Cat litter to become an edible product?
Sepiolite is a porous clay material used for example in cat litter that absorbs more liquid than any other known mineral.

Molasses extract decreases obesity caused by a high-fat diet
Experimental results to be presented at the upcoming annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB), the foremost society for research into all aspects of eating and drinking behavior, suggests that dietary supplementation with molasses extract may provide a novel approach for weight management in humans.

BUSM researchers urge awareness of dietary iodine intake in postpartum Korean-American women
Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have brought attention to the potential health impacts for Korean and Korean-American women and their infants from consuming brown seaweed soup.

Caffeine promotes drink flavor preference in adolescents
Research to be presented at the upcoming annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB), the foremost society for research into all aspects of eating and drinking behavior, indicates that caffeine added to sugar-sweetened, carbonated beverages teaches adolescents to prefer those beverages.

Effects of exercise on meal-related gut hormone signals
Research to be presented at the upcoming annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB), the foremost society for research into all aspects of eating and drinking behavior, finds that alterations of meal-related gut hormone signals may contribute to the overall effects of exercise to help manage body weight.

Scientists on a mission: Detailed study of US Southeast tornadoes
Scientists at the University of Alabama in Huntsville are analyzing radar data from that day, then merging the information with detailed storm surveys and other data.

The metabolic effects of antipsychotic drugs
Research to be presented at the upcoming annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior (SSIB), the foremost society for research into all aspects of eating and drinking behavior, may explain why some antipsychotic drugs can promote overeating, weight gain, and insulin resistance.

ASA selects 5 Ph.D. students for its Minority Fellowship Program
The American Sociological Association (ASA) has announced the five sociologists who will comprise the 38th cohort of the ASA Minority Fellowship Program (MFP).

Sexually transmitted parasite Trichomonas vaginalis twice as prevalent in women over 40
A Johns Hopkins infectious disease expert is calling for all sexually active American women age 40 and older to get tested for the parasite Trichomonas vaginalis after new study evidence found that the sexually transmitted disease is more than twice as common in this age group than previously thought.

Long-term NSAID use by hypertensive patients with CAD increases risk of adverse events
A study published in the July issue of the American Journal of Medicine, reports that among hypertensive patients with coronary artery disease, chronic self-reported use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) was associated with an increased risk of adverse events during long-term follow-up.

Prof receives inaugural award for animal welfare
A University of Guelph emeritus professor is the first recipient of an international award recognizing leadership in animal welfare.

When it comes to population growth, Houston is No. 1
New York, Los Angeles and Chicago are still America's largest metropolitan areas, but none of the nation's 366 metropolitan areas added more people during the past decade than Houston.

A 'nutty' solution to type 2 diabetes management
Eating nuts every day could help control Type 2 diabetes and prevent its complications, according to new research from St.

Biomarker for autism discovered
Siblings of people with autism show a similar pattern of brain activity to that seen in people with autism when looking at emotional facial expressions.

Bodyguard for the brain
Researchers from the Universities of Bonn and Mainz have discovered a mechanism that seems to protect the brain from aging.

Severity of spinal cord injury has no impact on how adults rate their health, WSU research finds
Severity of spinal cord injury in adults is not related to how they rate their health, Wayne State University researchers have found.

Study: People at risk for panic buffered from stressor by high levels of physical activity
People at risk for experiencing panic attacks respond with less anxiety to a panic-inducing stressor if they have been regularly engaging in high levels of physical activity, suggests a new study.
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