Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 18, 2011
Penn study finds a genetic basis for muscle endurance in animal study
Researchers have identified a gene for endurance, or more precisely, its negative regulator.

Surgeons' civility in operating room benefits patients, reduces costs, Cedars-Sinai expert finds
A surgeon's behavior in the operating room affects patient outcomes, health-care costs, medical errors and patient- and staff-satisfaction, says a commentary in the July issue of Archives of Surgery.

Value of hospital environmental services linked to efficiency not expenses
The amount of money that hospitals spend on environmental services, such as cleaning and maintenance service is not as important in influencing patient satisfaction scores as the way the money is spent, according to Penn State researchers.

Structure helps new employees adjust, study finds
With people often changing jobs and careers, organizations need to know how to help integrate and engage newcomers in order to retain them.

Researchers describe outcomes of surgical procedure to treat neck muscle problems
Removing a portion of the platysma muscle may ease symptoms for patients experiencing chronic neck stiffness and involuntary movement, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

The face of a frog: Time-lapse video reveals never-before-seen bioelectric pattern
For the first time, Tufts University biologists have reported that bioelectrical signals are necessary for normal head and facial formation in an organism and have captured that process in a time-lapse video that reveals never-before-seen patterns of visible bioelectrical signals outlining where eyes, nose, mouth, and other features will appear in an embryonic tadpole.

Personality plays role in body weight, according to study
News release concludes that personality can go through cycles of gaining and losing weight throughout their lives.

Hydrogen may be key to growth of high-quality graphene
A new approach to growing graphene greatly reduces problems that have plagued researchers in the past and clears a path to the crystalline form of graphite's use in sophisticated electronic devices of tomorrow.

New graphene discovery boosts oil exploration efforts, could enable self-powered microsensors
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a new method to harvest energy from flowing water.

Esophageal cancer risk higher in medically treated GERD patients with fewest symptoms
Medically treated patients with mild or no symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are at higher risk for developing esophageal cancer than those with severe GERD symptoms, according to a University of Pittsburgh study published in the current issue of Archives of Surgery.

USC research: Cancer cells and stem cells share same origin
Oncogenes are generally thought to be genes that, when mutated, change healthy cells into cancerous tumor cells.

New anti-cancer agents show promise for treating aggressive breast cancers
Some of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer are more vulnerable to chemotherapy when it is combined with a new class of anti-cancer agent, researchers from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute have shown.

Nanotech: injections or sampling? New 'molecular syringes' under testing
Which is better, a quick vertical jab on the buttock or the delicately soft entry of a blood sample?

AMPK amplifies Huntington's disease
A new study describes how hyperactivation of AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) promotes neurodegeneration in Huntington's disease (HD).

Steps needed to ensure that home medical devices are easy-to-use and caregivers are well-trained
A new report from the National Research Council recommends steps the Food and Drug Administration and other agencies and professional associations can take to ensure that the medical devices and health information technology used in home health care are easy and safe for laypeople to use and that caregivers, whether formal or informal, are well-trained.

Chinese culture encourages binge drinking in middle-aged men
A nationwide study confirms that binge drinking has reached epidemic proportions in China and argues that efforts to tackle the problem must address the country's unique drinking culture.

Exposure to secondhand smoke associated with hearing loss in adolescents
Exposure to secondhand smoke is associated with increased risk of hearing loss among adolescents, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Adult day care services provide much-needed break to family caregivers
Adult day care services significantly reduce the stress levels of family caregivers of older adults with dementia, according to a team of Penn State and Virginia Tech researchers.

It's simple: increasing complexity of models does not necessarily increase their accuracy
Mathematical modeling of infectious diseases is an important tool in the understanding and prediction of epidemics.

Solar Panels Keep Buildings Cool
Those solar panels on top of your roof aren't just providing clean power; they are cooling your house, or your workplace, too, according to a team of researchers led by Jan Kleissl, a professor of environmental engineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.

Launch of the Rome Statement for an HIV Cure
Members of the Advisory Board for a Global Scientific Strategy

UT Southwestern research reveals that significantly more genetic mutations lead to colon cancer
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center say there are at least 70 genetic mutations involved in the formation of colon cancer, far more than scientists previously thought.

GOES-13 movie catches Tropical Storm Bret form and intensify
The GOES-13 satellite that monitors weather over the eastern US recorded a movie of the birth and strengthening of the Atlantic Ocean season's second tropical storm.

Another danger of secondhand smoke -- hearing loss
NYU School of Medicine researchers report in a new study that exposure to tobacco smoke nearly doubles the risk of hearing loss among adolescents.

Research identifies genes vital to preventing childhood leukemia
Researchers at The University of Western Ontario have identified genes that may be important for preventing childhood leukemia.

National University of Singapore launches Encyclopedia of Singapore's Biodiversity
The National University of Singapore announced the launch of

UCSF receives $112 million to help translate science into cures
A UCSF institute aimed at accelerating the pace of translating science into real-life solutions for patients has received $112 million from the National Institutes of Health to expand its work over the next five years.

Soy/milk protein dietary supplements linked to lower blood pressure
Soy and milk protein dietary supplements lowered systolic blood pressure compared to refined (simple) carbohydrate supplements.

Study examines factors in pediatric kidney transplant rejection
Avoiding HLA-DR mismatching appears to be beneficial in pediatric kidney transplant patients, however the likelihood of finding a matching donor must be considered against the wait time for a possible donation, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

JCI online early table of contents: July 18, 2011
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, July 18, 2011, in the JCI:

Trastuzumab and chemotherapy improved survival in HER2-postive breast and brain cancer patients
The use of trastuzumab, chemotherapy and surgery among women with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer significantly improved survival from the time central nervous system metastases were diagnosed.

University of Tennessee scientist helps NASA mission that could determine building blocks of life
University of Tennessee professor Josh Emery is seeking to recover an asteroid's precious planetary science clues, while at the same time learning enough to prevent any collision with Earth.

New grant supports Hastings work on ethics of medical research with animals
A new Hastings Center project will explore the ethical, scientific, and legal issues involved in using animals in medical research and prospects for using alternative models.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for July 19, 2011
Below is information about articles being published in the July 19 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

Wiley-Blackwell partners with TESOL to publish TESOL Quarterly and TESOL Journal
Wiley-Blackwell, the Scientific, Technical, Medical, and Scholarly publishing business of John Wiley & Sons, Inc., is pleased to announce a new partnership beginning in 2012 with the TESOL International Association (TESOL) to publish its two journals, TESOL Quarterly and TESOL Journal, both of which are currently self-published.

New contrast agents detect bacterial infections with high sensitivity and specificity
Novel contrast agents that sneak into bacteria disguised as glucose food can detect bacterial infections in animals with high sensitivity and specificity.

Study shows new evidence of age-related decline in the brain's master circadian clock
A new study of the brain's master circadian clock reveals that a key pattern of rhythmic neural activity begins to decline by middle age.

BGI and National Wolfberry Engineering Research Center launch Chinese wolfberry genome project
BGI (formerly known as Beijing Genomics Institute), the largest genomic organization in the world, and National Wolfberry Engineering Research Center of Ningxia Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences jointly announced to initiate

WHOI scientists analyze, explain the chemical makeup of Gulf plume
Taking another major step in sleuthing the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, a research team led by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has determined what chemicals were contained in a deep, hydrocarbon-containing plume at least 22 miles long that WHOI scientists mapped and sampled last summer in the Gulf of Mexico, a residue of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

Clemson University automotive research center to co-host electric vehicle conference
One of the world's foremost professional associations will meet in South Carolina next year when the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers holds a prestigious first-of-a-kind conference in the Upstate.

MIT: The tallest tree in the land
Knowing how tall trees can grow in any given region can give ecologists a wealth of information, from the potential density of a forest and size of its tree canopy to the amount of carbon stored in woodlands and the overall health of an ecosystem.

Conscientious objection to any procedure doctor's right, say medical students
Doctors should be allowed to object to any procedure that conflicts with their personal, moral, or religious beliefs, reveals a survey of medical students, published in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

Preschool-age kids in different countries improve academically using self-regulation game
Children who regularly participated in a Simon Says-type game designed to improve self-regulation -- called the Head-Toes-Knees-Shoulders task -- may have better math and early literacy scores.

'IDOLizing' low cholesterol
High levels of

DNDi launches new drug development program to address treatment needs of children with HIV/AIDS
At IAS 2011 in Rome, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative announces the launch of a new drug development program in pediatric HIV/AIDS.

Single traumatic brain injury may prompt long-term neurodegeneration
In a new study, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania suggest that Alzheimer's disease-like neurodegeneration may be initiated or accelerated following a single traumatic brain injury, even in young adults.

Decisions, decisions, decisions ...
We all make numerous decisions everyday; unconsciously or consciously, sometimes doing it automatically with little effort or thinking and yet, at other times, we agonize for hours over another.

Study shows small-scale fisheries' impact on marine life
Small-scale fisheries could pose a more serious threat to marine life than previously thought.

Innovations in cardiovascular therapies and treatments will be presented at TCT 2011
Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) is the annual scientific symposium of the Cardiovascular Research Foundation.

Researchers identify how a gene linked to both Alzheimer's disease and type 2 diabetes works
Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have identified how a gene for a protein that can cause type 2 diabetes, also possibly kills nerve cells in the brain, thereby contributing to Alzheimer's disease.

Corn geneticist gets $1.2 million grant from NSF for gene instability research
The molecular mechanisms that control genetic modifications in specific tissues during plant development are the focus of a National Science Foundation grant for $1.2 million to Surinder Chopra, associate professor of maize genetics in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

No increase in commonest preventable cause of intellectual disability over 20 years
A new study that was prompted by recent reports of an increase in cases of congenital hypothyroidism in the United States, and aimed at assessing the incidence of this condition among Quebec newborns, suggests that the increase is entirely artifactual.

Experimental drug raises 'good' cholesterol, may help control diabetes
An experimental cholesterol drug improved blood sugar control in diabetic patients on statins, a new study shows.

Promising developments in vaccine research, development of a vaginal gel and PrEP lead to calls for a combination of biomedical and non biomedical approaches to HIV prevention policy
Researchers speaking in the first plenary session of the 6th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention have today offered insights into current and future HIV prevention research and discussed how biomedical developments over the past two years are beginning to shape debate on the future of HIV prevention policy.

Keeping it together
Scientists at EMBL Heidelberg have discovered how condensin keeps chromosome arms folded and easy-to-transport during cell division, potentially acting as a cord-stopper.

Tumor suppressor protein is a key regulator of immune response and balance
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have identified a key immune system regulator, a protein that serves as a gatekeeper in the white blood cells that produce the

Boston Medical Center awarded $1M to expand HIV/AIDS patient care services
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has awarded a nearly $1.1 million grant to Boston Medical Center to provide funding for HIV/AIDS support and case management services.

Chloroquine finding may lead to treatments for arthritis, cancer and other diseases
In a study published recently in the journal Science Signaling Van Andel Research Institute scientists demonstrate on the molecular level how the anti-malaria drug chloroquine represses inflammation, which may provide a blueprint for new strategies for treating inflammation and a multitude of autoimmune diseases such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis and certain cancers.

Melanoma screening by physicians associated with finding more cancers than patient self-detection
Physician-based screening for melanoma is associated with higher rates of physician-detected melanoma and detection of thinner melanoma, according to a report published Online First today by Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Deep below the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
For the first time, scientists gathered oil and gas directly as it escaped from a deep ocean wellhead -- that of the damaged Deepwater Horizon oil rig.

Retired NFL players at higher risk for mild cognitive impairment
Retired NFL football players are at higher risk for mild cognitive impairment, which can be a precursor to Alzheimer's disease, a Loyola University Health System study has found.

Cancer stem cells recruit normal stem cells to fuel ovarian cancer, U-M study finds
Researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have found that a type of normal stem cell fuels ovarian cancer by encouraging cancer stem cells to grow.

Iowa State physicist to test next-generation neutrino detector for major experiment
Iowa State University's Mayly Sanchez has won a National Science Foundation early career grant that allows her to contribute to the proposed $900 million Long Baseline Neutrino Experiment.

Workshop to address critical need for technology to track first responders in buildings
Worcester Polytechnic Institute will host the sixth annual International Workshop on Precision Indoor Personnel Location and Tracking Technology Aug.

UCLA study shows bacteria use Batman-like grappling hooks to 'slingshot' on surfaces
Researchers at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have diagnosed a complex sequence of movements that make-up the

IBD, LCPD health research in 'Westie' dogs may hold answers to similar human diseases
The Westie Foundation of America (WFA) announced today preliminary findings in two major studies involving the health of West Highland White Terriers also known as Westies.

Personalized medicine
Although personalized medicine is a term used in science and medicine that holds significant promise of improved treatment, it may set up unrealistic expectations in patients, states an editorial in CMAJ.

Rapid venom evolution in pit vipers may be defensive
Research published recently in PLoS One delivers new insight about rapid toxin evolution in venomous snakes.

The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity endorsed by ESF's Governing Council
The European Science Foundation (ESF) announces the endorsement of The European Code of Conduct for Research Integrity by its Governing Council in Lisbon June 22-23, 2011.

Trial shows that 2 main antidepressants prescribed for dementia patients with depression provide no benefit yet increased side effects
Antidepressants are commonly prescribed with usual care for dementia patients with depression.

Key metabolic pathway implicated in intractable form of breast cancer
Using a new in vivo screening system, Whitehead Institute researchers have identified a protein in a key metabolic pathway that is essential in estrogen receptor (ER)-negative breast cancer.

Grants awarded to help bring promising bioscience discoveries to market
National Jewish Health researchers have been awarded more than $400,000 in grants to help develop promising bioscience discoveries into new products, services and businesses.

Cadmium selenide quantum dots degrade in soil, releasing their toxic guts, study finds
Quantum dots made from cadmium and selenium degrade in soil, unleashing toxic cadmium and selenium ions into their surroundings, a University at Buffalo study has found.

New study details the path to success for social investing
A new study by researchers at Santa Clara University's Center for Science, Technology, and Society sheds light on the current investment methods and profit expectations of 45

John Theurer Cancer Center researchers shared 14 leading edge studies at recent ASCO meeting
Researchers from the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center presented results from 14 cancer-related studies during the recently concluded American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting, which took place June 3-7, 2011 in Chicago.

Fewer verbs and nouns in financial reporting could predict stock market bubble, study shows
After examining 18,000 online articles published by the Financial Times, The New York Times, and the BBC, scientists discovered that verbs and nouns used by financial commentators converge in a 'herd-like' fashion in the lead up to a stock market bubble.

IADR/AADR publish study on use of Twitter for public health surveillance of dental pain
Today the IADR/AADR Journal of Dental Research released a study titled

Juvenile diarrhea virus analyzed
Rice University scientists have used X-ray crystallography to define the structure -- down to the atomic level -- of a common virus that causes juvenile diarrhea.

Married men seek treatment sooner for heart attacks
Men who are married or in common-law relationships seek medical care sooner for heart attacks compared with single, divorced or widowed men, found a new study in CMAJ.

Click chemistry with copper -- a biocompatible version
Berkeley Lab researchers have found a way to make copper-catalyzed click chemistry biocompatible.

Thalidomide analog appears worthy opponent of sickle cell disease
A thalidomide analog is shaping up as a safe, worthy opponent of sickle cell disease, Georgia Health Sciences University researchers report.

Study examines relationship of acculturation with sun-safe behaviors of US Latinos
Among Latinos living in the United States, acculturation is associated with sunscreen use, but not with use of sun-protective clothing, according to a report in the July issue of Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

National Museum of the American Indian hosts climate change symposium
The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian will host a symposium on climate change, sustainability and indigenous values Saturday, July 23, from 1:30 to 4 p.m. at the museum's Rasmuson Theater as part of the museum's Living Earth Festival.

HIV therapies provide near normal lifespan in Africa
The first large-scale analysis of life expectancy outcomes in Africa for HIV patients receiving combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) shows that such patients can expect to live a near normal lifespan.

6 new species of Eucalantica micro-moths discovered from the New World
The Eucalantica genus belongs to the relatively primitive micro-moth group, Yponomeutidae.

Manual breast milk expression better than breast pump for poor feeders
Expressing breast milk by hand in the first days after birth is better for boosting breastfeeding rates among poorly feeding newborns than the use of a breast pump, indicates a small study published online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Penn researchers find neural signature of 'mental time travel'
Almost everyone has experienced one memory triggering another, but explanations for that phenomenon have proved elusive.

8-question survey can help predict post-traumatic stress disorder
A simple eight-question survey administered soon after injury can help predict which of the 30 million Americans seeking hospital treatment for injuries each year may develop depression or post-traumatic stress, report Therese S.

Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology
The following articles appear in the July issues of journals from the American Society for Microbiology:

US joins over 50 nations in adopting recommendation to list vessels engaged in illegal fishing
The United States joined more than 50 countries Thursday in a recommendation to regional fishery management organizations (RFMOs) to better track vessels engaged in illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing for tunas, swordfish, sharks and other highly migratory species.

NIH funds Emory-led consortium to advance AIDS vaccine research
A consortium of leading vaccine researchers at Emory University and partner institutions has received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant aimed at developing an effective HIV/AIDS vaccine.

Face value
The looks of political candidates are a key factor influencing voters, a phenomenon identified by a number of scholars in recent years.

UNC receives NIH grant to develop and test new drugs to block HIV infection
Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill schools of medicine and pharmacy have been awarded a $3 million federal grant to develop and test a new generation of treatments aimed at preventing sexual transmission of HIV to uninfected individuals.

Screening new colon cancer patients for Lynch syndrome would be cost-effective, study shows
Screening every new colon cancer patient for a particular familial disorder extends lives at a reasonable cost, say Stanford University School of Medicine researchers.

EARTH: Great Lakes geologic sunken treasure
Shipwreck enthusiasts find a bounty of nautical relics preserved in the chilly depths of the Great Lakes.

Columbia University Medical Center receives $38.9 million to help translate science into treatment
A Columbia University institute, whose goal is to accelerate the pace of translating science into real-life treatments for patients, received $38.9 million from the National Institutes of Health to expand its work over the next five years.

Book examines how trees change as they age and grow: What do these clues tell us?
Knowing how trees grow and how they age may be key to further understanding how trees react to a warmer climate, for instance, and other changes.

New therapy provides hope for millions of people suffering from bowel incontinence
A new procedure is now available for the treatment of chronic bowel incontinence, a disorder impacting the lives of more than 18 million Americans.

Green light for EU co-funding of TUM Institute for Advanced Study fellowships
The European Union's Research Executive Agency has given the Technische Universitaet Muenchen a green light to begin negotiations on a five-year, $8.7 million co-funding grant through the Marie Curie Program.

Grand Cayman blue iguana: Back from the brink of extinction
While thousands of species are threatened with extinction around the globe, efforts to save the Grand Cayman blue iguana represent a rarity in conservation: a chance for complete recovery, according to health experts from the Wildlife Conservation Society's Bronx Zoo and other members of the Blue Iguana Recovery Program.

Report reviews incorrect surgical procedures at Veterans Health Administration facilities
The rate of adverse events and harm reported at Veterans Health Administration medical centers appears to have decreased, according to a report published online first by Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Antiretroviral treatment is HIV prevention: The proof is here
A special press conference at the 6th IAS Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention will today feature a panel consisting of researchers from the CDC TDF2 study, the Partners PrEP Study and the HPTN 052 study. 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