Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 10, 2011
Vanderbilt researchers, international team, uncover genes linked to multiple sclerosis
An international team of scientists, including investigators from Vanderbilt University Medical Center's Center for Human Genetics Research, has identified 29 new genetic variants linked to multiple sclerosis, providing key insights into the biology of an important and very debilitating neurological disease.

No proof fibrate drugs reduce heart risk in diabetes patients on statins
Type 2 diabetes patients, who face higher risk of cardiovascular disease, often take a combination of medications designed to lower their LDL or

UNH researcher discovers research manipulated to support pro-eugenic beliefs
A University of New Hampshire researcher has discovered that a former Yale professor who espoused pro-eugenic beliefs manipulated his research findings so he could conclude that his Wisconsin home town was overflowing with mentally and morally

The increased risk of developing coronary heart disease conferred by smoking is 25 percent higher for women compared with men
An article published online first by the Lancet shows that the increased risk of developing coronary heart disease conferred by smoking is 25 percent higher for women compared with men.

Gut coils with help from its elastic neighbor
Between conception and birth, the human gut grows more than two meters long, looping and coiling within the tiny abdomen.

Student brings home new expertise to answer question in antibiotic resistance
Working out the structure of a complex formed when a protein binds to DNA has proved to be key in understanding how an antibiotic-producing organism controls resistance to its own antibiotic, and may be an example of how other antibiotic producers regulate export to prevent self-toxicity.

INRS researchers improve performance of iron-based catalysts
Having pioneered the development of the first high-performance iron-based catalyst for fuel cells, researchers at INRS recently achieved a second major advance.

Children's National collaborates with NIH researchers to identify gene variant in Proteus syndrome
Orthopaedic surgeons from Children's National Medical Center are part of a team of researchers that has identified the genetic mutation causing Proteus syndrome, a rare disorder in which tissue and bone grow massively out of proportion.

Researchers identify possible therapeutic target for depression and addiction
Researchers have identified an important part of the pathway through which stress affects mood and motivation for drugs.

Heart patients could benefit from different drug, study shows
Patients with an irregular heartbeat could benefit from a drug that is easier to administer than the current standard treatment.

Rehab robots lend stroke patients a hand
Robot-assisted therapy has measurable benefits for patients with a weaker arm following a stroke.

SDSC readying 'Gordon' supercomputer for pre-production trials this month
The San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego, will this month launch a pre-production phase of Gordon, the first high-performance supercomputer to use large amounts of flash-based SSD (solid state drive) memory.

Blood tests for active TB not accurate or cost-effective
Commercial blood serum antibody tests are not accurate or cost-effective, according to an analysis by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the University of Washington School of Public Health and McGill University.

Consumer self-esteem while shopping: Maybe good-looking clerks shouldn't wear the store brands?
People who don't feel positive about their appearance are less likely to buy an item they're trying on if they see a good-looking shopper or salesperson wearing the same thing, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Pulling a fast one: How do consumers react to zippy disclaimers?
Consumers react negatively to most quick disclaimers at the end of ads, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Is the 'right of publicity' out of control?
American courts are significantly expanding the legal rights and privileges celebrities can command over others using their names or likenesses.

Exotic quantum crystal discovered
Nature knows two opposite types of solids: one that emerges upon compression from a liquid and a second that appears if the pressure on a liquid is reduced.

Poultry farms that go organic have significantly fewer antibiotic-resistant bacteria
A new study, led by Dr. Amy R. Sapkota of the University of Maryland School of Public Health, shows that poultry farms that have transitioned from conventional to organic practices and ceased using antibiotics have significantly lower levels of drug-resistant enterococci bacteria.

Consumers' close encounters with nanoparticles
The most personal encounter that many consumers have had so far with nanotechnology is the topic of an article in the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News, the American Chemical Society's weekly news magazine.

Why do consumers think hard-to-get babes and products are worth the extra effort?
Potential dates who are slightly elusive or products that are stuck on the back of a shelf are more attractive to consumers than their more attainable counterparts, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Protein preserves muscle and physical function in dieting postmenopausal women
Dieting postmenopausal women who want to avoid losing muscle as they lose fat should pay attention to a new University of Illinois study.

Revolutionary material dramatically increases explosive force of weapons
A revolutionary material that will replace steel in warhead casings will bring added lethality and increase the likelihood of a hit on an enemy target, the Office of Naval Research (ONR) announced Aug.

Study: Alzheimer's disease symptoms more subtle in people over 80
A new study suggests that the relationship between brain shrinkage and memory loss in Alzheimer's disease changes across the age spectrum.

Pharmacist-directed anticoagulation service improves care coordination
A pharmacist-directed anticoagulation service improves the coordination of care from the hospital to an outpatient clinic for patients treated with the anticoagulant drug warfarin, according to a Henry Ford Hospital study.

High levels of potentially toxic flame retardants in California pregnant women
A new study finds that pregnant women in Northern California have the highest PBDE flame retardant exposures reported to date among pregnant women worldwide.

Woods Hole team joins NOAA's Battle of the Atlantic
WHOI researchers have embarked on a 10-day mission to provide the first underwater, 3-D optical survey of ships sunk by German U Boats during World War II off the North Carolina coast.

Study finds popular muscle-boosting supplement does not increase blood flow
A Baylor University study has found that a popular nutritional supplement that is marketed to lead to greater muscle strength through increasing blood flow to the muscle does not increase blood flow as claimed on the bottle.

Antioxidant spices reduce negative effects of high-fat meal
Eating a diet rich in spices, like turmeric and cinnamon, reduces the body's negative responses to eating high-fat meals, according to Penn State researchers.

Paper money worldwide contains bisphenol A
The cash register receipts that people place near paper money in billfolds and pockets has led to a worldwide contamination of paper money with bisphenol A (BPA) -- a potentially toxic substance.

Future of water will be topic of 'Changing Planet' town hall at Arizona State University
The future of water in the American Southwest and around the world will be the topic of a town hall at Arizona State University hosted by NBC Learn, the National Science Foundation and Discover magazine.

Fading ability to taste iron raises health concerns for people over age 50
People lose the ability to detect the taste of iron in drinking water with advancing age, raising concern that older people may be at risk for an unhealthy over-exposure to iron, Virginia Tech engineers are reporting in results they term

A novel mechanism that regulates pro-inflammatory cells is identified
New research led by Derya Unutmaz, M.D., associate professor, the departments of Pathology, Medicine, and Microbiology at NYU School of Medicine and Mark Sundrud, Ph.D., of Tempero Pharmaceuticals Inc., has identified a novel sensory pathway that modulates the potency of Th17 cell responses.

NIST physicists 'entangle' 2 atoms using microwaves for the first time
Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have for the first time linked the quantum properties of two separated ions (electrically charged atoms) by manipulating them with microwaves instead of the usual laser beams.

Most plant species important in various and varying ecosystems: ISU research
According to a new analysis of plants in grasslands around the world, 84 percent of plant species are important to their ecosystem.

Study finds new ADHD genes, links susceptibility with autism and other neuropsychiatric conditions
New research led by the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and the University of Toronto has identified more genes in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and shows that there is an overlap between some of these genes and those found in other neuropsychiatric conditions such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

U.Va. researchers find high energy output from algae-based fuel, but 'no silver bullet'
Algae-based fuel is one of many options among the array of possible future energy sources.

Feminists in the academy: 4 decades of making a difference
This summer, SWS is celebrating its 40th anniversary, officially launching a new website and honoring its founders at its Summer Meeting in Las Vegas Aug.

How consumers discriminate
The study provides evidence on the impact of the size and quality of an assortment has on a consumer when they make purchasing decisions.

New genetic links to MS also play roles in other autoimmune diseases
Results of the largest genomics study of multiple sclerosis patients ever undertaken have identified more than two dozen new genetic variants linked to disease risk, including some previously implicated in other autoimmune diseases.

Tanning bed users exhibit brain changes and behavior similar to addicts
People who frequently use tanning beds may be spurred by an addictive neurological reward-and-reinforcement trigger, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found in a pilot study.

Human-cell-derived model of ALS provides a new way to study the majority of cases
For decades, scientists have studied a laboratory mouse model that develops signs of the paralyzing disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) as they age.

Study finds high levels of flame-retardant chemicals in California pregnant women
A UCSF-led pilot study in San Francisco has found the highest levels ever reported among pregnant women worldwide of banned chemicals used in flame retardants, a likely result, they believe, of California's strict flammability regulations.

'Data motion metric' needed for supercomputer rankings, says SDSC's Snavely
As we enter the era of data-intensive research and supercomputing, the world's top computer systems should not be ranked on calculation speed alone, according to Allan Snavely, associate director of the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego.

Red meat linked to increased risk of type 2 diabetes
A new study by Harvard School of Public Health researchers finds a strong association between the consumption of red meat -- particularly when the meat is processed -- and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Light switch: U.Va. study finds increased light may moderate fearful reactions
Biologists and psychologists know that light affects mood, but a new University of Virginia study indicates that light may also play a role in modulating fear and anxiety.

Use of CT scans in emergency rooms increased 330 percent in 12 years
A review of national data from 1996 through 2007 reveals a sharp uptick in the use of computed tomography, or CT, scans to diagnose illnesses in emergency departments, a University of Michigan Health System study finds.

MS research doubles number of genes associated with the disease, increasing the number to over 50
Scientists have identified 29 new genetic variants linked to multiple sclerosis, providing key insights into the biology of a very debilitating neurological disease.

Study shows ability of new agent to prevent strokes in patients with atrial fibrillation
In the primary result from the largest double-blind study ever completed to assess a drug's effect in the prevention of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation, a common heart rhythm abnormality, rivaroxaban, an anti-clotting drug, was shown to be an attractive alternative to warfarin, the current standard for treatment of atrial fibrillation.

Service as performance: How do class differences affect hospitality interactions?
Is your hairdresser seething with hidden resentment? Do you subconsciously want to dominate the people who serve you?

New anti-censorship scheme could make it impossible to block individual sites
A radical new approach to thwarting Internet censorship would essentially turn the whole Web into a proxy server, making it virtually impossible for a censoring government to block individual sites.

Hydrogen highway in the deep sea
Max Planck Researchers discover hydrogen-powered symbiotic bacteria in deep-sea hydrothermal vent mussels.

Days spent reading to dogs during summer may help avoid decline of reading skills
Second graders who read aloud to a canine over the summer seem to maintain their reading skills during the dog days of summer, according to a pilot study published today by the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.

Study finds marked rise in intensely sexualized images of women, not men
A study by University at Buffalo sociologists has found that the portrayal of women in the popular media over the last several decades has become increasingly sexualized, even

Metabolism in reverse: Making biofuels at full-throttle pace
In a biotechnological tour de force, Rice University engineering researchers this week unveiled a new method for converting simple glucose into biofuels and petrochemical substitutes that is up to 10 times faster than previously reported methods.

Blocking receptor in key hormone fires up enzyme to kill pancreatic cancer cells
Pancreatic cancer researchers at Thomas Jefferson University have shown, for the first time, that blocking a receptor of a key hormone in the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) reduces cancer cell growth by activating the enzyme AMPK to inhibit fatty acid synthase, the ingredients to support cell division.

Escaping gravity's clutches: The black hole breakout
New research by scientists at the University of York gives a fresh perspective on the physics of black holes.

New study says it's time to stop assuming buyers and salespeople are in 'relationships'
Professional buyers don't really buy that they're in

Multiple sclerosis research doubles number of genes associated with the disease
Scientists have identified 29 new genetic variants linked to multiple sclerosis, providing key insights into the biology of a very debilitating neurological disease.

Bird song-sharing like verbal sparring
While singing the same songs as your neighbors may sound harmonious, research conducted at Queen's University Biological Station suggests that song-sharing amongst song sparrow populations is actually an aggressive behavior, akin to flinging insults back and forth.

Trudeau Institute announces new discovery in battle against infections
Researchers from Dr. Woodland's lab at the Trudeau Institute have now identified a previously unknown link between the migration of white blood cells to infected tissues and the ability of these cells to survive and become long-lived memory cells after the infection has been cleared.

Divot resistance in golf course turfgrass
Scientists at Purdue University and the University of Arkansas evaluated 12 cultivars of turfgrass in Fayetteville, Arkansas with the objective of determining the grasses' divot resistances.

ONR develops capability to understand effects of underwater pressure on divers
Reaching a new threshold in underwater medical studies, the Office of Naval Research (ONR), today announced a novel capability for examining how cells work at pressures far below the sea surface.

Narcissism may benefit the young, researchers report; but older adults? Not so much
A new study suggests that some forms of narcissism are -- at least in the short term -- beneficial, helping children navigate the difficult transition to adulthood.

Ecologist: Up-and-coming forests will remain important carbon sinks
The aging forests of the Upper Great Lakes could be considered the baby boomers of the region's ecosystem.

Genetically engineered spider silk for gene therapy
Genetically engineered spider silk could help overcome a major barrier to the use of gene therapy in everyday medicine, according to a new study that reported development and successful initial laboratory tests of such a material.

Spoiler alert: Stories are not spoiled by 'spoilers'
An experimental study from UC San Diego finds that, contrary to popular wisdom, people actually prefer reading a story whose ending they know in advance.

How do consumers revise their unreachable goals?
Most consumers spend their lives setting -- and revising -- goals.

Atlanta runs world's most fiscally efficient airport, Guangzhou boosts efficiency: UBC research
Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, one of the world's busiest international airports is also the most fiscally efficient, says an aviation think-tank based at the University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business.

Odds for detecting HIV varies by method, new study finds
The odds for effectively detecting HIV in African-American men vary by method, researchers have found.

UCI studies find different reasons for global methane riddle
Two new UC Irvine papers reach markedly different conclusions about why methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas, unexpectedly leveled off near the end of the 20th century.

Deep recycling in the Earth faster than thought
The recycling of the Earth's crust in volcanoes happens much faster than scientists have previously assumed.

Signaling pathway reduces stress resilience in models of depression and addiction
Now, new research, published by Cell Press in the Aug.

A spiral in Leo
This new picture from ESO's Very Large Telescope shows NGC 3521, a spiral galaxy located about 35 million light years away in the constellation of Leo (the Lion).

Think fast: The neural circuitry of reaction time
The voluntary movements we make must be

Could an 'ankle hotline' relieve strain on health care demands?
Should lower leg strains and sprains take up valuable ER time and resources?

Get off the couch, please
Being physically active is one of best ways people with arthritis can improve their health, but a new study from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine shows that more than half of women and 40 percent of men with arthritis are virtually couch potatoes.

Springer signs book agreement with the American Physiological Society
Springer has signed a book partnership agreement with the American Physiological Society to publish titles in three APS book series as well as individual monographs and contributed volumes.

Scared of the wrong things: Lack of major enzyme causes poor threat-assessment in mice
Do you run when you should stay? Are you afraid of all the wrong things?

New American Chemical Society podcast: Banana peels purify contaminated water
To the surprisingly inventive uses for banana peels which include polishing silverware, leather shoes, and the leaves of house plants, scientists have added purification of drinking water contaminated with potentially toxic metals.

Genetically modified 'serial killer' T cells obliterate tumors in leukemia patients
In a cancer treatment breakthrough 20 years in the making, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania's Abramson Cancer Center and Perelman School of Medicine have shown sustained remissions of up to a year among a small group of advanced chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients treated with genetically engineered versions of their own T cells.

Top European corporate R&D investors set to increase innovation efforts by 5 percent a year
Top R&D investing companies based in the EU expect their global research and development investments to grow by 5 percent annually from 2011 to 2013.

Low vitamin D linked to earlier first menstruation
A study links low vitamin D in young girls with early menstruation, which is a risk factor for a host of health problems for teen girls as well as women later in life.

Study suggests seeing a neurologist helps people with Parkinson's live longer
People with Parkinson's disease who go to a neurologist for their care are more likely to live longer, less likely to be placed in a nursing home and less likely to break a hip than people who go to a primary care physician, according to a study published in the Aug.

From worm to man
Our bodies are perfectly capable of renewing billions of cells every day but fail miserably when it comes to replacing damaged organs such as kidneys.

Telephone trumps social media when communicating with teens about research
If you think teenagers prefer social media over the telephone, you may want to think again, at least when it comes to teens involved in research studies. 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