Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 26, 2011
Reforestation's cooling influence -- a result of farmer's past choices
Decisions by farmers to plant on productive land with little snow enhances the potential for reforestation to counteract global warming, concludes new research.

NASA sees dramatic temperatures around Tropical Depression 11W
Tropical Depression 11W appears as a huge and very cold area of clouds on infrared imagery from NASA.

Think healthy, eat healthy: Caltech scientists show link between attention and self-control
Choosing what to have for dinner, it turns out, is a complex neurological exercise.

Brain autopsies of 4 former football players reveal not all get chronic traumatic encephalopathy
Preliminary results from the first four brains donated to the Canadian Sports Concussion Project at the Krembil Neuroscience Centre, TorontoWesternHospital, reveal that two of the four former Canadian Football League players suffered from a brain disease known as chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), while two did not show signs of CTE.

The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation awards research grant to RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program
The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation announced that it has awarded funding to Neil Hammerschlag, Ph.D., director of the RJ Dunlap Marine Conservation Program at the University of Miami for his research

Adrenaline use in cardiac arrest
Adrenaline has kept its place in cardiac arrest guidelines despite limited evidence for or against its use.

Brain connectivity disrupted in patients with post-concussive syndrome
A new study has found that patients with mild traumatic brain injury exhibit abnormal functional connectivity in the thalamus, a centrally located relay station for transmitting information throughout the brain.

$1.2 million in WaterSMART grants awarded to manage water resources in a changing climate
Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor has announced the selection of seven applied science projects to receive $1.2 million in funding for the enhancement of water resource management in a changing climate.

UT Southwestern ophthalmologist helps develop device for monitoring degenerative eye disease
An ophthalmologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center has helped create a convenient device that lets patients who have a degenerative eye disease better track vision changes.

War of words: A look at media and for-profit colleges
Views on the role of for-profit colleges have been varied, opposing and very public.

3 research programs win $6M in CIHR grants to promote global health equity
Three research projects at the University of British Columbia have won five-year grants totaling nearly $6 million from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research to promote greater equity in global health.

Scientists developing new therapy for HER2-positive breast cancer
Patients with HER2-positive breast cancer may have an alternative therapy when they develop resistance to trastuzumab, also known as Herceptin, according to a laboratory finding published in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Evidence shows NTD control can help in the fight against HIV/AIDS
There is a growing body of evidence revealing the connection between neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) and HIV/AIDS, prompting experts to call for greater integration of national NTD treatment programs with HIV/AIDS initiatives.

Does menopause matter when it comes to diabetes?
Menopause has little to no impact on whether women become more susceptible to diabetes, according to a one-of-a-kind study that provides good news for older women.

A new way to measure the expansion of the universe
Published today in MNRAS, Beutler's work draws on data from a survey of more than 125,000 galaxies carried out with the UK Schmidt Telescope in Australia.

Modeling plant metabolism to optimize oil production
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have developed a computational model for analyzing the metabolic processes in rapeseed plants -- particularly those related to the production of oils in their seeds.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Nock-ten knocking the Philippines
Tropical Storm Nock-ten, formerly tropical depression 10W, continues raining on the Philippines, and a NASA satellite image shows the extent of the storm's clouds.

Vitamin D relieves joint, muscle pain for breast cancer patients
High-dose vitamin D relieves joint and muscle pain for many breast cancer patients taking estrogen-lowering drugs, according to a new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Worrying can impact interpersonal relationships, study finds
Most people worry from time to time. A new research study, led by a Case Western Reserve University faculty member in psychology, also shows that worrying can be so intrusive and obsessive that it interferes in the person's life and endangers the health of social relationships.

Detecting occult metastases in lymph nodes not associated with overall survival in breast cancer
Sentinel lymph node metastases detected with the diagnostic procedure of immunohistochemical staining were not associated with overall survival among women with early-stage breast cancer receiving breast-conserving therapy, according to a study in the July 27 issue of JAMA.

Simple guidelines decreased unnecessary antibiotic use in Quebec, Canada
Antibiotic overuse and resistance have emerged as major threats during the past two decades.

Adding a stent during minimally invasive surgery to repair aneurysms prevents recurrence
The addition of a simple stent can help prevent potentially lethal blood vessel bulges in the brain from recurring after they are repaired in a minimally invasive

Eliminating protein in specific brain cells blocks nicotine reward
Removing a protein from cells located in the brain's reward center blocks the anxiety-reducing and rewarding effects of nicotine, according to a new animal study in the July 27 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

Hormone therapy may be hazardous for men with heart conditions
Adding hormone therapy to radiation therapy has been proven in randomized clinical trials to improve overall survival for men with intermediate- and high-risk prostate cancer.

Single-dose H1N1 vaccine not reliable protection for pediatric liver-transplant patients
Researchers from Australia determined that pediatric liver transplant patients who received a single-dose of the H1N1 vaccine were not adequately protected against the virus compared to healthy children.

New study sheds light on role of genetics in recovering from eating disorders
A substantial number of people with eating disorders, such as anorexia nervosa have a chronic course.

Treating obesity via brain glucose sensing
The past two decades have witnessed an epidemic spread of obesity-related diseases in Western countries.

2011 Stephen H. Schneider Symposium
The 2011 Stephen H. Schneider Symposium will be held Aug.

Rate of chronic health problems for low-birth-weight children does not increase in adolescence
Study examines medical condition of extremely low-birth-weight children at age 14.

Are cancers newly evolved species?
UC Berkeley molecular biologist Peter Duesberg has long believed that cancer results from chromosome disruption rather than a handful of gene mutations, which is the dominant theory today.

To help doctors and patients, UB researchers are developing a 'vocabulary of pain'
a University at Buffalo psychiatrist is attempting to help patients suffering from chronic pain and their doctors by drawing on ontology, the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature of being or existence.

IVF treatment and multiple births: Free-market patient rights versus government regulation
Elsevier announced the publication of several commentaries in the scientific journal Reproductive BioMedicine Online on the subject of how many embryos it is safe and proper to place in a uterus, and how best to regulate this decision.

Targeting PTEN may prevent skin cancer
The tumor suppressor PTEN played key role in radiation damage repair.

INFORMS study: OR models of hepatitis B prove decisive in treating millions in US, China
With hepatitis B infecting as many as 10 percent of people of Asian descent, operations researchers collaborated with a liver transplant surgeon to develop mathematical models that verified the cost effectiveness of hepatitis B interventions.

Re-inventing America's urban water infrastructure
The National Science Foundation has selected a multi-university team from Stanford, UC-Berkeley, Colorado School of Mines and New Mexico State to implement an Engineering Research Center with the goal of re-inventing America's aging and inadequate water infrastructure.

Delivering evidence on how the London Olympics will benefit public health vital to achieving the 2012 legacy
With just one year to go before the start of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London, the focus should be on obtaining evidence on how the Games will affect public health, claim a group of public health experts in a viewpoint published online first in the Lancet.

Social networking elephants never forget
Asian elephants typically live in small, flexible, social groups centered around females and calves while adult males roam independently.

College-educated undocumented young adults face same narrow range of jobs as their parents
Parents who move to the United States without legal status generally seek better opportunities for their young children.

Researchers identify genetic mutations associated with diseases of the esophagus
Mutations in three genes have been identified that are more prevalent in patients with esophageal cancer and Barrett esophagus, a premalignant metaplasia (change in cells or tissue) caused by chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease, according to preliminary research reported in the July 27 issue of JAMA.

Genes play greater role in heart attacks than stroke, researchers say
People are more likely to inherit a predisposition to heart attack than to stroke.

Seeing the wood for the trees: New study shows sheep in tree-ring records
Nibbling by herbivores can have a greater impact on the width of tree rings than climate, new research has found.

Children born after unplanned pregnancy are slower to develop
Children born after unplanned pregnancies tend to have a more limited vocabulary and poorer non-verbal and spatial abilities; however this is almost entirely explained by their disadvantaged circumstances, according to a new study published on today.

Medicare Part D associated with reduction in nondrug medical spending
Among elderly Medicare beneficiaries with limited prior drug coverage, implementation of Medicare Part D was associated with significant reductions in nondrug medical spending, such as for inpatient and skilled nursing facility care, according to a study in the July 27 issue of JAMA.

Scientists design nano-sized drug transporter to fight disease
Scientists seeking to improve cancer treatments have created a tiny drug transporter that maximizes its ability to silence damaging genes by finding the equivalent of an expressway into a target cell.

New TB drug-resistance test shows promise but needs investment for those diagnosed to be cured
Two research studies in this week's PLoS Medicine suggest that a new automated DNA test for tuberculosis (Xpert MTB/RIF), which can detect TB within 2 hours and has been endorsed by the World Health Organization, can significantly increase TB detection rate compared to other tests, particularly in HIV positive patients who have a high risk of being infected with TB, including multidrug resistant TB.

RAND book provides critical review of US actions since 9/11 attacks
A new collection of essays by experts from the RAND Corporation examines America in the decade since the 9/11 terrorist attacks, focusing a critical eye on the nation's actions since the attacks and outlining changes in strategy needed to improve efforts against jihadist groups.

Spare the rod and develop the child
Children in a school that uses corporal punishment performed significantly worse in tasks involving

Research discovers genetic link to Barrett's esophagus, esophageal cancer
Researchers have identified genetic mutations in patients with Barrett's esophagus (BE) and/or the cancer esophageal adenocarcinoma (EAC).

Local efforts can stem the increasing unnecessary cesarean sections
Providing prenatal education and support programs, computer patient decision-aids, decision-aid booklets and intensive group therapy to women have not been shown to decrease cesarean sections effectively.

Elsevier collaborates with the Wilderness Medicine Society to award outstanding members
Elsevier, the leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, will present awards to outstanding members of the wilderness medicine community at this year's upcoming Wilderness Medical Society 28th Wilderness Medicine Scientific Conference & Annual Meeting, taking place in Snowmass, Colo., July 29- Aug.

Scientists identify hibernation-inducing signaling mechanism
Hibernation is an essential survival strategy for some animals and scientists have long thought it could also hold promise for human survival.

Study: Union decline accounts for much of the rise in wage inequality
Union membership in America has declined significantly since the early 1970s, and that plunge explains approximately a fifth of the increase in hourly wage inequality among women and about a third among men, according to a new study in the August issue of the American Sociological Review.

Vascular composites enable dynamic structural materials
University of Illinois researchers have developed vascularized structural composites, creating materials that are lightweight and strong with potential for self-healing, self-cooling, stealth and more.

Enceladus rains water onto Saturn
ESA's Herschel space observatory has shown that water expelled from the moon Enceladus forms a giant torus of water vapor around Saturn.

How the modular structure of proteins permits evolution to move forward
A new study, published in the July 26 issue of PLoS Biology, compares the development of the egg laying organ in two species of nematodes; with its results providing support for the theory of developmental systems drift.

Afghanistan's health system shows improvements but staff and patient protection remains a concern
After a basic package of health services was introduced by Afghanistan's Ministry of Public Health, the development and performance of Afghanistan's health care services improved dramatically in many areas between 2004 and 2008, particularly in health service capacity and delivery of care.

St. Michael's North America first to use novel blood-cleaning procedure for kidney transplant
St. Michael's Hospital today became the first in North America to use a novel blood-cleaning procedure for a kidney patient that will allow him to receive a transplant from a donor with a different blood type.

News media registration for American Chemical Society National Meeting Denver, Aug. 28-Sept. 1, 2011
News media registration is still open for the American Chemical Society's 242nd National Meeting & Exposition in Denver, Aug.

Reclamation awards $2.09 million to study new water treatment technologies
Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Michael L. Connor has announced that four projects have been awarded $2.09 million to accelerate the adoption and use of innovative advanced water treatment technologies that increase usable water supplies.

Aeras and China National Biotech Group sign memorandum of understanding for TB vaccine R&D
Aeras and the China National Biotech Group today announced the signing of a memorandum of understanding for the organizations to pursue opportunities to jointly develop tuberculosis vaccines in China and potentially other parts of the world.

New study shows Transcendental Meditation improves brain functioning in ADHD students
A random-assignment controlled study published today in Mind & Brain, The Journal of Psychiatry found improved brain functioning, increased brain processing, improved language-based skills, and decreased symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, ADHD, among students practicing the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique.

Concern over intensive treatment for patients with Type 2 diabetes
Doctors should be cautious about prescribing intensive glucose lowering treatment for patients with Type 2 diabetes as a way of reducing heart complications, concludes a new study published on today.

College-educated undocumented young adults face same limited job options as their parents
A survey of life trajectories of undocumented young adults raised and educated in America shows that they end up with the same labor jobs as their parents: working in construction, restaurants, and cleaning and childcare services.

Sandia Labs Battery Abuse Testing Laboratory undergoing $4.2 million stimulus fund renovation
Sandia's world-renowned Battery Abuse Testing Laboratory is undergoing a major renovation so Sandia researchers can test larger batteries for electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.

Got flow cytometry? All you need is 5 bucks and a cell phone
Researchers at the BioPhotonics Laboratory at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have demonstrated the integration of an imaging cytometry and florescent microscopy on a cell phone using a compact, light-weight and cost-effective optofluidic attachment.

Zinc lozenges may shorten common-cold duration
Depending on the total dosage of zinc and the composition of lozenges, zinc lozenges may shorten the duration of common-cold episodes by up to 40 percent, according to a study published in the Open Respiratory Medicine Journal.

Returning vets' alcohol abuse addressed in virtual reality study
The spoils of war for returning veterans may include addictions, injury and the constant images of horrific events they witnessed.

Penn researchers help graft olfactory receptors onto nanotubes
Penn researchers have helped develop a nanotech device that combines carbon nanotubes with olfactory receptor proteins, the cell components in the nose that detect odors.

Rate of chronic health problems for low-birth-weight children does not increase in adolescence
In a follow-up of extremely low-birth-weight children, the rates of chronic health conditions overall, and asthma specifically, did not change between the ages of 8 and 14 years, although the rate of obesity did increase, according to a study in the July 27 issue of JAMA.

Common drugs initiate a molecular pas de quatre at the surface of the cell membrane
In a Nature article, an international consortium reveals the complete 3-D structure of an activated GPCR (beta-2AR) in a complex with its G protein.

Caltech engineers develop 1-way transmission system for sound waves
While many hotel rooms, recording studios, and even some homes are built with materials to help absorb or reflect sound, mechanisms to truly control the direction of sound waves are still in their infancy.

Students to receive enhanced dental care under grant to Cedars-Sinai's COACH for Kids
Cedars-Sinai's COACH for Kids and Their Families, a mobile medical program, has been selected as one of 20 school-based programs nationwide to receive a grant from the National Assembly on School-based Health Care to increase oral health services to students in underserved communities.

Penn receives $10 million to create center for orphan disease research and therapy
The Raymond and Ruth Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania announces the launching of a first-of-its-kind interdisciplinary center focused on discovering novel treatments for orphan diseases.

CWRU receives $2.1 million NIH grant to expand cystic fibrosis research models
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine has received a $2.1 million grant from the National Center for Research Resources, part of the National Institutes of Health, to expand basic research models for the study of cystic fibrosis.

From bone metastases to water supply
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft is establishing eight new Research Units, two Clinical Research Units and two Humanities Centres for Advanced Studies.

'Hidden' cancer cells not a factor in early-stage breast cancer survival rates
A new study shows that removing lymph nodes due to the presence of occult, or microscopic, cancer cells found in the sentinel lymph node -- the one closest to the tumor -- has no impact on survival outcomes of women with early-stage breast cancer.

UBC researchers create more powerful 'lab-on-a-chip' for genetic analysis
UBC researchers have invented a silicone chip that could make genetic analysis far more sensitive, rapid, and cost-effective by allowing individual cells to fall into place like balls in a pinball machine.

Increased risk of Parkinson's disease in methamphetamine users, CAMH study finds
People who abused methamphetamine or other amphetamine-like stimulants were more likely to develop Parkinson's disease than those who did not, in a new study from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

Family history a risk factor for COPD
A study shows that COPD in family history is a risk factor for patients having COPD.

Progress on research of polymer solar cells
Recent research has shown that the band gap and energy levels of conjugated polymers can be finely tuned using a two-dimensional-like donor-π-acceptor molecular design, which is of vital importance for application in polymer solar cells.

Harvard School of Public Health receives $14.1 million to test childbirth checklist
Harvard School of Public Health has been awarded a $14.1 million, four-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to test the effectiveness of an innovative checklist-based childbirth safety program in reducing deaths and improving outcomes of mothers and infants in 120 hospitals in India.

Sea squirt cells shed light on cancer development
Specialized structures that cancer cells use to invade tissue also could help them escape protection mechanisms aimed at eliminating them, a UA-led research team has discovered.

1 in 6 fast-food customers cut calories after US food labeling system introduction
Around a sixth of fast food customers used calorie information and, on average, bought food with lower calories since the introduction of a labeling system in the US, says a new study published on today.

How testosterone protects against inflammation
Pharmacists of the University Jena and partners have shown that cells from men and women react in a different manner to inflammatory stimuli.

Models show Coho salmon at risk in US urbanizing watersheds
For a decade researchers in Seattle have worked to solve the mystery of why adult coho salmon are dying prematurely in urban streams when they return from the ocean to mate and spawn.

Testing fumigant films that keep the air clean
US Department of Agriculture researchers have found a way to help growers minimize emissions of fumigants used as soil treatments.

Quality of life for children with ADHD and their families worsens with greater disease severity
The greater the severity of a child's attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms, the more negative impacts on the child's health-related quality of life from the perspective of the child and the parent, a new study by a Baylor University psychologist has found.

Researchers capture breakthrough data on cervical spine injuries
A high school football player's broken neck -- from which he's recovered -- has yielded breakthrough biomechanical data on cervical spine injuries that could ultimately affect safety and equipment standards for athletes. 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