Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 01, 2011
World's largest meeting of ear, nose and throat doctors
The 2011 Annual Meeting & OTO EXPO of the American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery Foundation, the largest meeting of ear, nose, and throat doctors in the world, will convene September 11-14, 2011, in San Francisco, Calif.

Announcing Cell Reports -- a new open-access journal from Cell Press
Cell Press announced today the launch of its newest journal, Cell Reports, which will publish its first issue in January 2012.

Restoring blood flow
Tissue deprived of oxygen (ischemia) is a serious health condition that can lead to damaged heart tissue following a heart attack and, in the case of peripheral arterial disease in limbs, amputation, particularly in diabetic patients.

CU-Boulder faculty, students part of NASA's Juno Mission to Jupiter
Several University of Colorado Boulder faculty and students are participating in NASA's Juno Mission to Jupiter, now slated for launch Aug.

The dark side of oxytocin
For a hormone, oxytocin is pretty famous. It's the

Artificial nanoparticles influence the heart rate
Artificial nanoparticles are becoming increasingly pervasive in modern life. However, their influences on our health remain largely shrouded in mystery.

NSF awards construction funding to National Ecological Observatory Network
Scientists, policy-makers and others will soon have access to information critical to understanding the effects of environmental change across the North American continent, through the National Science Foundation's National Ecological Observatory Network.

Project will study the neural basis of psychopathy
In order to better understand how people become psychopaths, a University of Chicago researcher and his colleagues intend to study mental health by measuring the activity of brain networks necessary to experience empathy among a prison population and compare the results with data from healthy individuals.

Study finds smoke-free laws don't impact rural or urban economies
A recent study shows that smoke-free laws have no impact on the economy in rurual or urban communities.

Study reveals how bats stay on target even in dark, cluttered environment
In a paper published in the July 29 issue of Science, James Simmons and Mary Bates of Brown University, along with researchers from the Republic of Georgia, reveal how bats expertly use echolocation to hone in on specific targets, such as prey organisms, without being distracted or set off course by background objects in their environments.

In the battle to relieve back aches, Cornell researchers create bioengineered spinal disc implants
Cornell University engineers in Ithaca and doctors at the Weill Cornell Medical College in New York City have created a biologically based spinal implant that could someday spell relief for these countless back and neck pain sufferers.

Caregivers and their relatives disagree about care given, received
Caregivers and their relatives who suffer from mild to moderate dementia often have different perceptions regarding the amount and quality of care given and received.

Indoor air cleaners ease asthma symptoms in children living with smokers
A Johns Hopkins Children's Center study of Baltimore City children who have asthma and live with smokers shows that indoor air cleaners can greatly reduce household air pollution and lower the rates of daytime asthma symptoms to those achieved with certain anti-inflammatory asthma drugs.

New high-speed 3-D imaging system holds potential for improved cancer screening
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a new imaging system that enables high-speed, three-dimensional (3-D) imaging of microscopic pre-cancerous changes in the esophagus or colon.

Social challenges of synthetic biology examined
In the wake of last year's creation of the first self-replicating cell with a synthetic genome, a series of essays in the Hastings Center Report examines the social challenges that synthetic biology presents.

Organic carbon suggests Swedish lakes were less acidified
New assessments of the role of dissolved organic carbon in Swedish lakes indicate that power plant emissions may have acidified the lakes less than was believed twenty years ago, when programs to counter the acidity by liming were instituted.

New CMU brain imaging research reveals why autistic individuals confuse pronouns
A new brain imaging study published in the journal

Novel analysis by Allen Institute sheds new light on the mechanisms of brain development
Scientists at the Allen Institute for Brain Science have taken an important step in identifying how the brain organizes itself during development.

People tend to exaggerate influence of political ads on others
The push for campaign finance reform may be driven by a tendency to overestimate the power of political messages to influence other people's opinions, according to researchers.

High blood pressure, diabetes, smoking and obesity in middle age may shrink brain, damage thinking
A new study suggests smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes and being overweight in middle age may cause brain shrinkage and lead to cognitive problems up to a decade later.

Study finds conformity does not equal cooperation
If you follow the pack are you more likely to co-operate with others in it?

Spiritual retreat can lower depression, raise hope in heart patients
Attending a non-denominational spiritual retreat can help patients with severe heart trouble feel less depressed and more hopeful about the future, a University of Michigan Health System study has found.

AgriLife Research 'genetically fingerprinting' E. coli from watersheds
Wolfe has been collecting water samples at 30 river sites -- 15 in the Lampasas River watershed and 15 in the Leon River watershed -- monthly since February.

Don't suffer in silence with toe pain
While deformities of the lesser toes (all toes other than the big toe) can be very painful, there are numerous surgical and nonsurgical treatments for these conditions that are usually quite effective.

Kids' anxiety, depression halved when parenting styled to personality
When it comes to rearing children, just about any parent will say that what works with one kid might not work with another.

Bear bile chemical could help keep hearts in rhythm
A synthesized compound which is also found in bear bile could help prevent disturbances in the heart's normal rhythm, according to research published today in the journal Hepatology by a team from Imperial College London.

2011 Technologies for Critical Incident Preparedness Conference & Expo
This year's TCIP conference will showcase a plenary on lessons learned in the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill, the Chilean mine disaster, the recent events in Japan, as well as many current issues of concern to the homeland security community, such as cyber security and the active shooter threat.

Nobel Prize winner's unfinished symphony
When Robert Burns Woodward passed away in 1979 he left 699 pages of handwritten notes.

Manipulating light at will
Electrical engineers at Duke University have developed a material that allows them to manipulate light in much the same way that electronics manipulate flowing electrons.

Hebrew University student turns paper mill waste into 'green' material for industrial applications
A method to use paper mill waste to produce ecologically friendly, industrial foams from renewable resources has been developed by a graduate student in agriculture at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

IOF urges systematic osteoporosis management after vertebral fracture augmentation
A working group of the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) has issued a literature review of prospective controlled studies comparing the efficacy and safety of two minimally invasive techniques for vertebral augmentation after spine fracture: vertebroplasty and balloon kyphoplasty.

Monkey see, monkey do? The role of mirror neurons in human behavior
We are all familiar with the phrase

New research might help people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder
Researchers at the University of Bristol have discovered a mechanism in the brain that explains for the first time why people make particularly strong, long-lasting memories of stressful events in their lives.

Astronomers searching for oxygen can breathe more easily
ESA's Herschel space observatory has found molecules of oxygen in a nearby star-forming cloud.

WHOI study reports microbes consumed oil in Gulf slick at unexpected rates
In the first published study to explain the role of microbes in breaking down the oil slick on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution researchers have found that bacterial microbes inside the slick degraded the oil at a rate five times faster than microbes outside the slick -- accounting in large part for the disappearance of the slick some three weeks after Deepwater Horizon's Macondo well was shut off.

Barrier to effective treatment for seniors -- the cost of medicine
As many as one in ten elderly people in the US, registered with Medicare, do not stick to their prescribed medication because it is too expensive, according to Dr.

Combo therapies tested to overcome drug resistance in melanoma patients
Scientists at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center tested a combination of small molecules that may, when used with the BRAF inhibitors, help overcome this drug resistance and extend the lives of those with advanced melanoma.

U of M researchers use improved imaging technique; discover a better approach to diagnosing epilepsy
Using state-of-the-art, 7 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology, University of Minnesota Medical School researchers may have uncovered a better approach to diagnosing epilepsy.

UM School of Medicine finds that mobile phone technology helps patients manage diabetes
The University of Maryland School of Medicine has found that mobile phone software is effective for the self-management of diabetes.

Report: New health care distribution model could save lives in developing countries
Each year millions of children and adults in the world's poorest countries die from lack of access to medicine and health care.

UCI-led study links prenatal exposure to stress with accelerated cell aging
Young adults whose mothers experienced psychological trauma during their pregnancies show signs of accelerated aging, a UC Irvine-led study found.

Cholesterol-lowering drugs may help prevent recurrent strokes in younger people
New research indicates cholesterol lowering drugs known as statins may help prevent future strokes among young people who have already had a stroke.

Dream screens from graphene
Flexible, transparent electronics are closer to reality with the creation of graphene-based electrodes at Rice University.

Greenhouse gas impact of hydroelectric reservoirs downgraded
An international team of scientists has amassed the largest data set to date on greenhouse gas emissions from hydroelectric reservoirs.

Genetic differences distinguish stomach cancers, treatment response
Stomach cancer is actually two distinct disease variations based on its genetic makeup, and each responds differently to chemotherapy, according to an international team of scientists led by researchers at Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School.

Using math to fight cancer
Researchers from the University of Miami and the University of Heidelberg in Germany have developed a mathematical model to understand and predict the progress of a tumor, from its early stages to metastasis, in hopes of creating highly personalized treatment strategies for patients who have cancer.

NIH awards $84 million grant to NYU Langone Medical Center for ISCHEMIA trial
NYU Langone Medical Center announced it has received an $84 million grant from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, of the National Institutes of Health, to study the comparative effectiveness of two initial management strategies for patients with coronary artery disease.

New freeze-dry method good for processing fish
A quicker freeze-dry technique used to process salmon cubes could potentially be applied to add value to meat components considered to be less appealing, according to a US Department of Agriculture researcher.

New composite material may restore damaged soft tissue
Biomedical engineers at Johns Hopkins have developed a new liquid material that in early experiments in rats and humans shows promise in restoring damaged soft tissue relatively safely and durably.

Aerosols affect climate more than satellite estimates predict
Aerosol particles, including soot and sulfur dioxide from burning fossil fuels, essentially mask the effects of greenhouse gases and are at the heart of the biggest uncertainty in climate change prediction.

Experts offer pointers for optimizing radiation dose in head CT
An article in the August issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology summarizes methods for radiation dose optimization in head computed tomography (CT) scans.

Helping children learn to understand numbers: It's all in the way we speak to them
A formal model of the cognitive basis of counting has been reported in research published in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE.

Down but not out: Rare good surviving cells may boost immunity in aging
The decline in immune function with age is viewed as the most important factor contributing to older adults' increased infections and decreased response to vaccination.

Dr. Joanne Jordan receives Distinguished Service to Rural Life Award
The award, given by the Rural Sociological Society, honors Dr.

Study shows protective benefits of DHA taken during pregnancy
A new study suggests consuming Omega 3 fatty acids during pregnancy helps protects babies against illness during early infancy.

Man and the last great wilderness: Human impact on the deep sea
Over 20 deep-sea experts participating in the Census of Marine Life project SYNDEEP conducted a semi-quantitative analysis of the most important anthropogenic impacts that affect deep-sea habitats at the global scale in past, present and future scenarios.

Seismology tip sheet from BSSA, August issue
New observations by scientists at University of Nevada, Reno, suggest an upper limit of three on the number steps through which an earthquake is likely to rupture; and seismic records suggest an explosion caused the sinking of the South Korean naval vessel, Cheonanham.

Scientists take a step towards developing better vaccines for bluetongue
Researchers funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council have taken a step towards producing better vaccines against bluetongue -- an important disease of livestock -- after successfully assembling the virus outside a cell.

Meth use fuels higher rates of unsafe sex, HIV risk in young men who have sex with men
A study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Children's Center and elsewhere shows that methamphetamine use can fuel HIV infection risk among teenage boys and young men who have sex with men, a group that includes openly gay and bisexual men, as well as those who have sex with men but do not identify themselves as gay or bisexual.

Some plants duplicate their DNA to overcome adversity
Whatever does not kill a plant may actually make it stronger.

Pain persists: Financial, domestic woes worsen after settlements for back injuries
Saint Louis University researchers have found that financial and domestic problems escalate for those who settle claims for work-related back injuries, striking African-Americans, the poor and the young hardest.

Largest-ever map of interactions of plant proteins produced
An international consortium of scientists has produced the first systematic network map of interactions that occur between proteins in the plant Arabidopsis thaliana.

NTU and ACE to host top entrepreneurship advocates at World Entrepreneurship Forum 2011
Nanyang Technological University and the Action Community for Entrepreneurship Singapore today announced that the world's leading advocates of global entrepreneurship will address the World Entrepreneurship Forum in Singapore this November.

Cold electrons to aid better design of drugs and materials
A new source of very cold electrons will improve the quality and speed of nanoimaging for drug and materials development, to a trillionth of a second.

Study finds exposure to magnetic fields in pregnancy increases asthma risk
Women with high exposure to magnetic fields during pregnancy may have a higher risk of asthma in their children, according to a Kaiser Permanente study appearing online in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

JCI online early table of contents: August 1, 2011
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, August 1, 2011, in the JCI: Why long-term antibiotic use increases infection with a mycobacterium; New mechanism underlying Noonan-like syndrome; Lowering levels of risk factor for heart attack and stroke; How one genetic variant can't keep immune cells in check; Say NO to blood vessel diseases; and others.

School obesity-prevention curriculum can reduce medical costs
Teaching middle-school children about nutrition and exercise and encouraging them to watch less TV can save the health care system a substantial amount of money, suggests an economic analysis from Children's Hospital Boston and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

4 physician organizations issue new clinical recommendations for diagnosing and treating COPD
This clinical practice guideline aims to help clinicians to diagnose and manage stable COPD, prevent and treat exacerbations, reduce hospitalizations and deaths, and improve the quality of life of patients with COPD.

Effects of tobacco use among rural African American young adult males
Tobacco related disease is a primary source of mortality for African American men.

US sets drought monitor's 'exceptional drought' record in July
The percent of contiguous US land area experiencing the worst form of drought reached the highest levels in the history of the US Drought Monitor in July, officials said.

Taking a fresh look at the weather
Given the UK's obsession with the weather, it would seem obvious that the basic understanding of how low pressure systems evolve has been known for a long time.

Debating the safety of cell phone use
The dangers of cell phones have led to preventive policies in France, Israel, Finland and India, and there are simple ways to minimize the health risks associated with exposure to the radiation energy they emit, according to Devra Lee Davis, PhD, MPH, president of the Environmental Health Trust, in a timely and informative interview featured in Alternative and Complementary Therapies, published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Most would use genetic depression test results to reduce risky behavior, survey shows
Eight out of ten Australians would radically change their behavior if tests showed they had a genetic susceptibility to depression, a national study has found.

New edition of Manual of Clinical Microbiology offers digital access
ASM Press announces the availability of the newest edition of its authoritative reference for clinical laboratory professionals.

Mechanism of sculpting the plasma membrane of intestinal cells identified
The research group of Professor Pekka Lappalainen at the Institute of Biotechnology, University of Helsinki, has identified a previously unknown mechanism which modifies the structure of plasma membranes in intestinal epithelial cells.

A bit of boron, a pinch of palladium: One-stop shop for the Suzuki reaction
Thanks to a team of chemists from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich, a crucial type of intermediate in the so-called Suzuki reaction can now be synthesized using an economical

The art of magnetic writing
Computer files that allow us to watch videos, store pictures, and edit all kinds of media formats are nothing else but streams of

Type 2 diabetes: 'Intensive' versus 'conventional' blood glucose control -- no clear picture
Research published in the Cochrane Library found that the risk of death and cardiovascular disease, such as stroke, was unchanged whether glucose control was intense or conventional.

Elsevier introduces Genome Viewer
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, introduces the Genome Viewer, a new interactive feature on SciVerse ScienceDirect for applicable life sciences journals.

What comes after prostate cancer
A leading urologist teams with a medical writer to offer prostate cancer survivors and their families hope for life after the disease.

Why long-term antibiotic use increases infection with a mycobacterium
Clinical outcome is improved if patients with chronic lung diseases such as cystic fibrosis are treated long-term with the antibiotic azithromycin.

Key growth factor identified in T cell leukemia
Blocking a growth factor receptor cripples cancer growth in a form of T cell leukemia, according to a study published online on August 1 in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Word choice detects everything from love to lies to leadership, according to psychology research
The words people use are like fingerprints that can reveal their relationships, honesty, or their status in a group, according to research by University of Texas at Austin social psychologist James W.

New UC sensor promises rapid detection of dangerous heavy metal levels in humans
UC researchers have developed the first lab-on-a-chip sensor to provide fast feedback regarding levels of the heavy metal manganese in humans.

What's behind hypertension?
The 7th International Symposium on Aldosterone and the ENaC/Degenerin Family of Ion Channels is being sponsored by the American Physiological Society this September.

Microbial study reveals sophisticated sensory response
All biological sensory systems, including the five human senses, have something in common: when exposed to a sustained change in sensory input, the sense eventually acclimates and notices subsequent changes without comparing them with the initial condition.

National policy change reduces racial disparity in kidney transplants
A national transplant policy change designed to give African-American patients greater access to donor kidneys has sliced in half the racial disparities that have long characterized the allocation of lifesaving organs, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.

Doctors: Colon cleansing has no benefit but many side effects including vomiting and death
Colon cleansing -- it's been described as a natural way to enhance well-being, but Georgetown University doctors say there's no evidence to back that claim.

Lattice of magnetic vortices
Physicists at Hamburg and Kiel University and the Forschungszentrum J├╝lich have found for the first time a regular lattice of magnetic skyrmions -- cycloidal vortex spin structures of exceptional stability -- on a surface.

New JNM research supports upcoming Alzheimer's disease guidelines
Two new studies published in the August issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine (JNM) provide insight into the potential of positron emission tomography (PET) to differentiate between types of dementia and to identify pharmaceuticals to slow the progress of dementia.

Ancient glacial melting process similar to existing concerns about Antarctica, Greenland
An analysis of prehistoric

Mayo Clinic: Primary physicians may hold key to suicide prevention
Suicide is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States.

Obesity counseling should focus on neurobehavioral processes, not personal choice, researchers say
According to preventive medicine and behavioral experts at Rush University Medical Center, research supports a new counseling approach that views obesity as a result of neurobehavioral processes -- ways in which the brain controls eating behavior in response to cues in the environment.

American Chemical Society podcast: Bright prospects for 'green' electric grid
A new episode in the American Chemical Society's (ACS) award-winning

New discovery brings customized tuberculosis therapies based on genotype closer to reality
Are you genetically predisposed to tuberculosis? Scientists may now be able to answer this question and doctors may be able to adjust their therapeutic approach based on what they learn.

Smoking's up-side: Nicotine protects the brain from Parkinson's disease
If you've ever wondered if smoking offered society any benefit, a new research report published in the FASEB Journal offers a surprising answer.

Researcher tests promising drug on those with Down syndrome
A University of Colorado School of Medicine researcher is conducting a clinical trial with a drug that may increase cognition in those with Down syndrome.

Leukemia drug reverses tamoxifen-resistance in breast cancer cells
Taking a leukemia chemotherapy drug may help breast cancer patients who don't respond to tamoxifen overcome resistance to the widely-used drug, new research from the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson suggests.

Even with regular exercise, people with inactive lifestyles more at risk for chronic diseases
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 25 percent of Americans have inactive lifestyles (they take fewer than 5,000 steps a day) and 75 percent do not meet the weekly exercise recommendations (150 minutes of moderate activity each week and muscle-strengthening activity twice a week) to maintain good health.

A new catalyst for ethanol made from biomass
Researchers in the Pacific Northwest have developed a new catalyst material that could replace chemicals currently derived from petroleum and be the basis for more environmentally friendly products including octane-boosting gas and fuel additives, bio-based rubber for tires and a safer solvent for the chemicals industry.

Some exercise is better than none; more is better to reduce heart disease risk
Researchers found that 2.5 hours of moderate intensity physical activity per week can lower the overall risk of heart disease by 14 percent.

Hospitalist savings shift to other providers, cost Medicare more than $1.1 billion a year
Inpatients cared for by hospitalists have higher Medicare costs in the 30 days after discharge than those whose personal physicians oversee their care, partly because hospitalists' patients are more likely to be discharged to a rehabilitation or nursing facility than to their homes and more likely to have subsequent emergency room visits and readmissions.

Community hospital implements successful CT radiation dose reduction program
In an effort to reduce the radiation dose delivered by computed tomography (CT) scans, staff at a community-based hospital developed a comprehensive CT radiation dose reduction program which has allowed them to reduce the radiation dose delivered by CT scans at their facility, according to an article in the August issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for Aug. 2, 2011
Appearing in the Aug. 2 issue of Annal of Internal Medicine:

A simple slice of energy storage
Turning graphite oxide (GO) into full-fledged supercapacitors turns out to be simple.

Love Parade 2010: Patient care during a tragedy
More than 6,000 attendees of the Love Parade 2010 in Duisburg required medical care. 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