Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 15, 2011
NYU Langone experts find MRI techniques can detect early osteoarthritis
Researchers from NYU Langone Medical Center's Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and Radiology found that advanced MRI techniques can be used to detect subtle changes in joint cartilage microstructure -- and provide physicians a diagnostic tool for finding key markers of early osteoarthritis.

School of Medicine alum gives UofL gift to fight blinding eye disease
In her continuing effort to fight the disease she believes took her mother's eyesight, retired anesthesiologist and graduate of the University of Louisville School of Medicine Geneva Matlock, M.D., has given another $4 million to UofL to fund research in macular degeneration.

Study shows relationship between 2 mutated genes can dictate outcome of prostate cancer
Being able to distinguish between the 1% of prostate cancer patients who will develop lethal disease and the majority of patients who will develop non-lethal cancer is a key goal in prostate cancer research.

ONR set to show off range of unmanned systems at AUVSI
The Office of Naval Research will tout a fully autonomous robot, an unmanned underwater vehicle and several other technologies at the AUVSI's Unmanned Systems North America 2011 beginning Aug.

Easy to visualize goal powerful motivator to finish a race or a task
Making goal attainment visual provides motivation for reaching abstract goals just as with physical destinations.

Louisiana Tech University faculty, father-son team pen engineering textbook
Dr. Randall Barron, professor emeritus of mechanical engineering at Louisiana Tech University, and Dr.

Optics Express focus issue highlights research to increase Internet bandwidth capacity
Fueled by emerging bandwidth-hungry applications and increases in computer processing power, Internet traffic has sustained exponential growth and this trend is expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

Selective use of drug-eluting stents saving millions of health care dollars
Limiting the use of drug-eluting stents did not increase the risk of death or heart attack, and only slightly raised the need for repeat angioplasty procedures.

Lead poisoning from battery industry reported in developing countries
Children living near battery facilities in developing countries had approximately 13 times more lead in their blood than American children.

NYU Langone researchers identify a signaling pathway as possible target for cancer treatment
In a new study published in the August 16th issue of Developmental Cell, researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center identified a molecular mechanism that guarantees that new blood vessels form in the right place and with the proper abundance.

IMRT improves outcomes in patients with extranodal lymphoma of the head and neck
Lymphoma is a cancer that affects organs of the immune system, including the lymph nodes.

Pitt cancer researchers find key oncoprotein in Merkel cell carcinoma
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute have identified the oncoprotein that allows a common and usually harmless virus to transform healthy cells into a rare but deadly skin cancer called Merkel Cell Carcinoma (MCC).

Study helps assess global status of tuna and billfish stocks
A global study by an international team including professor John Graves of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science quantifies the threat to tuna and billfish populations around the world.

Parasite loads an underlying cause of salmon mortality, linked to land use changes
A recent study suggests that parasites in fish, including threatened species of Oregon coho salmon, may have more profound impacts on fish health than has been assumed, and could be one of the key mechanisms by which habitat and land use changes cause salmon mortality.

Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology
In this month's issue: Breast Cancer Tumor Suppressor Gene Silenced by Low O2.

Survival predictors of cardiac arrest in the ICU
The type of cardiac arrest suffered by patients in intensive care units may predict their long-term survival rate, states a study in CMAJ.

New prostate cancer screening test shows promise for diagnosis
A new prostate screening test may prove to be a promising new tool in the diagnosis of prostate cancer.

Exercise may help prevent brain damage caused by Alzheimer's disease
Regular exercise could help prevent brain damage associated with neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, according to research published this month in Elsevier's journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.

Children of depressed mothers have a different brain
Scientists worked with 10-year-old children whose mothers exhibited symptoms of depression throughout their lives, and discovered that the children's amygdala, a part of the brain linked to emotional responses, was enlarged.

New tool to help predict death in overweight and obese people
A new tool -- the Edmonton obesity staging system -- improves on current methods to predict the risk of death in overweight and obese people, according to a study in CMAJ.

Childhood cancer survivors in poor health at greater risk for unemployment in adulthood
Childhood cancer survivors with poor physical health and neurocognitive deficits are more likely to be unemployed or work part-time in adulthood, according to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Stem cells central to pathogenesis of mature lymphoid tumors
New research suggests that blood stem cells can be involved in the generation of leukemia, even when the leukemia is caused by the abnormal proliferation of mature cells.

New anti-inflammatory agents silence overactive immune response
A new way to fight inflammation uses molecules called polymers to mop up the debris of damaged cells before the immune system becomes abnormally active, researchers at Duke University Medical Center report.

Conflict levels don't change much over course of marriage
Think about how much you fight and argue with your spouse today. A new study suggests that your current level of conflict probably won't change much for the remainder of your marriage.

FDA-USP workshop to preview updated OTC standards
Updated public standards incorporating new tests for impurities as well as more modern technologies to help ensure the quality of over-the-counter (OTC) ingredients and products will be key areas of focus for a Sept.

Jailhouse phone calls reveal why domestic violence victims recant
A new study uses -- for the first time -- recorded jailhouse telephone conversations between men charged with felony domestic violence and their victims to help reveal why some victims decide not to follow through on the charges.

Childhood eye tumor made up of hybrid cells with jumbled development
A research team led by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists has identified a potential new target for treatment of the childhood eye tumor retinoblastoma.

Beta-blocker associated with better outcomes in treatment of infantile vascular tumors
Compared with oral corticosteroids, use of the beta-blocker propranolol for treatment of infantile hemangiomas was associated with higher rates of lesion clearance, fewer adverse effects, fewer surgical interventions after treatment, and lowers cost, according to a report published online first by Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

More evidence that caffeine lowers risk of skin cancer
Researchers from Rutgers University and University of Washington strengthen their theory that caffeine guards against skin cancer.

Just 15 minutes of physical activity per day reduces risk of death by 14 percent and increases life expectancy by 3 years
A study published online first by the Lancet shows that just 15 minutes of physical activity per day reduces a person's risk of death by 14 percent and increases life expectancy by three years compared with inactive people.

There's more to be done: UC researchers analyze intelligence reforms resulting from Sept. 11
In an article to be published in a special issue of Public Administration Review, University of Cincinnati researchers find that the goals of the Intelligence Reform and Prevention of Terrorism Act remain unfulfilled.

Molecular delivery truck serves gene therapy cocktail
In a kind of molecular gymnastics, scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine have devised a gene therapy cocktail that has the potential to treat some inherited diseases associated with

Open minded and open access: NeoBiota, a new publishing platform for invasion biologists
Plants helping human parasites, roads as weed highways, and chemical warfare between alien and native plants -- these are only some of the topics covered in NeoBiota -- a new open-access, peer-reviewed, rapid online journal in invasion biology.

ORNL microscopy generates new view of fuel cells
A novel microscopy method is helping scientists probe the reactions that limit widespread deployment of fuel cell technologies.

Daily TV quota of 6 hours could shorten life expectancy by 5 years
Watching TV for an average of six hours a day could shorten the viewer's life expectancy by almost five years, indicates research published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Researchers demonstrate green tea is effective in treating genetic disorder and types of tumors
collaboration with the Stanley lab shows that there are natural compounds from plants that can control this deadly disorder and, with the atomic structure in hand, can be used as a starting point for further drug design.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for Aug. 16, 2011
Below is information about articles being published in the Aug.

Risk of autism among younger siblings of a child with autism much greater than previously reported
Autism Speaks, the world's largest autism science and advocacy organization, joined in announcing significant findings from the largest known study of younger siblings of children who had a verified diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

New device exposes explosive vapors
Researchers have designed an ultra-portable device to detect trace amounts of explosives such as TNT.

Women's quest for romance conflicts with scientific pursuits, study finds
Four new studies by researchers at the University at Buffalo have found that when a woman's goal is to be romantically desirable, she distances herself from academic majors and activities related to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The aldehyde dehydrogenase-2 polymorphism affects alcohol dependence differently by gender
Gender differences exist in the prevalence, characteristics, and course of alcohol dependence (AD).

MIT: Forecasting and preventing pipe fractures
A computer model that tests automobile components for crashworthiness could also be of use to the oil and gas industry, according to researchers at MIT's Impact and Crashworthiness Laboratory, who are now using their simulations of material deformation in car crashes to predict how pipes may fracture in offshore drilling accidents.

Study reveals new link between Alzheimer's disease and healthy aging
Alzheimer's disease and frontotemporal lobar degeneration are two of the most prevalent forms of neurodegenerative disorders.

First quantitative measure of radiation leaked from Fukushima reactor
From distance of 5,800 miles, researchers calculated how much radiation leaked from damaged fuel at the Fukushima nuclear reactor after an earthquake and tsunami disabled normal cooling systems.

Calibrating corn production in potato country
Scientists at the US Department of Agriculture are studying soil moisture levels and other field dynamics to help Pacific Northwest farmers maximize the production of corn, a relatively new regional crop that helps support Idaho's growing dairy industry.

New book on mammary gland biology from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
Studies of mammary gland biology are critically important given the prevalence of breast cancer in the population.

Alcohol interferes with the restorative functions of sleep
Alcohol is known to increase slow-wave sleep during the first half of sleep, but then become disruptive.

Male acts of bravery, risk display honor, increase accidental death
Men sometimes prove themselves by taking risks that demonstrate their toughness and bravery.

Team led by IU biologists confirms sunflower domesticated in US, not Mexico
New genetic evidence presented by a team led by Indiana University biology doctoral graduate Benjamin Blackman confirms the eastern United States as the single geographic domestication site of modern sunflowers.

Triple therapy regime puts patients with leukemic form of cutaneous lymphoma in remission
A three-pronged immunotherapy approach nearly doubles five-year survival among patients with rare leukemic form of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, reports a new study by dermatologists from the Abramson Cancer Center and Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Researchers discover oldest evidence of nails in modern primates
From hot pink to traditional French and Lady Gaga's sophisticated designs, manicured nails have become the grammar of fashion.

Bending light with better precision
Finer control over electromagnetic radiation using memory metamaterials yields technology that could improve medical imaging devices, airport security, and satellite communications, as well as provide new methods for object cloaking.

AACR hosts Fourth Annual Science of Cancer Health Disparities Conference
The Fourth AACR Conference on The Science of Cancer Health Disparities in Racial/Ethnic Minorities and the Medically Underserved will bring together scientists to share the latest findings in genetics, epidemiology and treatment methods to better meet the needs of underserved populations.

Researchers map pathway of infection for a common, potentially life-threatening respiratory virus
Researchers at the University of Toronto, The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), St.

ASAM releases new definition of addiction
When people see compulsive and damaging behaviors in friends or family members -- or public figures such as celebrities or politicians -- they often focus only on the substance use or behaviors as the problem.

Strain and spin may enable ultra-low-energy computing
A new type of integrated circuit may be so energy efficient that it could run simply by harvesting energy from the environment.

Recurrence risk of autism in younger siblings higher than thought
The risk that an infant with an older sibling with autism will develop the disorder, previously estimated at between 3 and 10 percent, is substantially higher at approximately 19 percent, a large, international, multi-site study led by researchers at the UC Davis MIND Institute has found.

Human breast tumor evasion of the antitumor immune response
The main cause of death in women with breast cancer is spread of the original tumor to distant sites, a process known as metastasis.

Transcript of Nixon phone call reveals depth of collapse of the US/UK special relationship in 1973
The collapse of the US UK special relationship in August 1973 is the focus of the latest BBC Radio 4 program 'Document', featuring University of Warwick Professor of International Security Richard J.

Profound reorganization in brains of adults who stutter
Hearing Beethoven while reciting Shakespeare can suppress even a King's stutter, as recently illustrated in the movie

Better chronic pain management
Pain care management needs to be improved, with health care professionals committing to improve care as well as a retooling of the health care system to help people who are suffering, states an editorial in CMAJ.

What caused a giant arrow-shaped cloud on Saturn's moon Titan?
What is Titan, Saturn's largest moon, doing with what looks to be an enormous white arrow about the size of Texas on its surface?

Study finds new role for protein in hearing
University of Iowa scientists have discovered a new role for a protein that is mutated in Usher syndrome, one of the most common forms of deaf-blindness in humans.

The nag factor: How do children convince their parents to buy unhealthy foods?
To better understand the media's impact on children's health, a team of researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health examined the

USDA and DOE fund 10 research projects to accelerate bioenergy crop production
The US Departments of Energy and Agriculture have awarded 10 grants totaling $12.2 million for projects designed to improve special crops to be grown for biofuels by increasing their yield, quality and ability to adapt to extreme environments.

Decoding infidelity linked to Type 2 diabetes
A combination of genetic and environmental factors causes an individual to develop Type 2 diabetes.

Referring doctors increasingly aware of deep brain stimulation therapy; more work remains
While deep brain stimulation has gained recognition by referring physicians as a treatment for Parkinson's disease and other movement disorders, just half of the patients they recommend are appropriate candidates to begin this relatively new therapy immediately, researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York say.

Acoustic cloaking device echoes advances in optical cloaking
Sound waves that would normally bounce and scatter off objects may be coaxed into slipping past them as if they weren't there, according to a new study that suggests the potential of an acoustical cloaking device.

Nerve identification technique during thyroid removal associated with fewer complications
During thyroidectomy (surgery to remove the thyroid gland), the technique surgeons use to identify an important nerve appears to make a difference in terms of complications such as impairment of the parathyroid glands (which make a hormone that controls calcium levels), according to a report published online first today by Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Ethane levels yield information about changes in greenhouse gas emissions
Recent data from NSF-funded research in both Greenland and Antarctica demonstrate that fossil-fuel related emissions of both methane and ethane, two of the most abundant hydrocarbons in the atmosphere, declined at the end of the twentieth century, according to a paper published Thursday in the journal Nature.

Researchers discover freshwater mussel species thought to be extinct
Researchers from the Texas A&M Institute of Renewable Natural Resources have discovered fresh remains of a freshwater mussel species thought to be extinct in Texas.

Fat and healthy? York U study finds slim isn't always superior
A study out of York University has some refreshing news: Being fat can actually be good for you.

Heavy drinkers have poor dietary habits
Excessive drinking and an unbalanced diet are two preventable contributors to health problems.

Psychologists interrupt the miserable cycle of social insecurity
Tom likes Susan but he fears she does not like him.

Inhibiting key enzymes kills difficult tumor cells in mice
Tumors that do not respond to chemotherapy are the target of a cancer therapy that prevents the function of two enzymes in mouse tumor cells, according to Pennsylvania medical researchers.

E. coli, salmonella may lurk in unwashable places in produce
Sanitizing the outside of produce may not be enough to remove harmful food pathogens, according to a Purdue University study that demonstrated that Salmonella and E. coli can live inside plant tissues.

National Institutes of Health renews successful infectious disease research study
The National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) has renewed funding for a successful program that is modeling the potential path of infectious disease so leaders can make better-informed decisions about natural or intentionally caused emerging infectious diseases, and in planning for national emergencies or acts of bioterrorism.

Immunogene therapy combined with standard treatment is safe for patients with brain tumors
An early phase clinical trial has shown that a form of gene therapy is safe even when combined with radiation therapy for treating brain tumors such as glioblastoma multiforme, the most common and dangerous form of brain cancer.

Study finds enzyme disrupting nerve cell communication in Alzheimer's disease
In a study published August 15 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Sanford-Burnham researchers found that beta-amyloid-induced destruction of synapses -- connections that mediate communication between nerve cells -- is driven by a chemical modification to the enzyme Cdk5.

Outcomes vary in global heart failure trials by geographic region
A comparison of several international clinical trials of beta-blocker drugs has shown there are notable differences in how well the drugs prevent deaths in heart failure patients, based on where the patients were treated.

JCI online early table of contents: Aug. 15, 2011
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Aug.

Brand-conscious consumers take bad news to heart
Consumers with close ties to a brand respond to negative information about the beloved brand as they do to personal failure -- they experience it as a threat to their self-image, according to a new study by Tiffany Barnett White, a professor of business administration at Illinois.

How the Internet architecture got its hourglass shape and what that means for the future
A new computer model that describes the evolution of the Internet's architecture suggests that a process similar to natural evolution took place to determine which protocols survived and which ones became extinct.

Inflexibility may give pupils with autism problems in multitasking
Young people with autism may find it difficult to multitask because they stick rigidly to tasks in the order they are given to them, according to research led by an academic at the University of Strathclyde.

Fruit bats navigate with internal maps
GPS technology can make our travels easier and more efficient.

Can oral care for babies prevent future cavities?
New parents have one more reason to pay attention to the oral health of their toothless babies.

Vitamin D levels appear to be associated with risk of skin cancer, although relationship is complex
As an individual's level of vitamin D increases, the risk of nonmelanoma skin cancer seems to increase as well, although factors such as ultraviolet radiation exposure may complicate the relationship, according to a report published online first by Archives of Dermatology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

In job market, social contacts help men, not women
When it comes to finding a job, who you know is as important as what you know.

Assessment tool appears to effectively evaluate quality of life in patients with sinus inflammation
The Sinonasal Outcome Test-16 appears to be effective in assessing how well treatments improve the disease specific quality of life of adult patients with acute rhinosinusitis (inflammation of the sinuses), according to a report in the August issue of Archives of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Single, key gene discovery could streamline production of biofuels
A team of researchers at the Department of Energy's BioEnergy Science Center (BESC) have pinpointed the exact, single gene that controls ethanol production capacity in a microorganism.

Salk Institute named global leader in plant biology research
Thomson Reuters Essential Science Indicators has seeded the Salk Institute as the number one research organization for plant biology in the world.

Chicago's south side suffers most from unhealthy neighborhoods
The south and southwest sides of Chicago suffer the most in terms of residents' health and access to basic health resources, according to a new study of 77 Chicago neighborhoods.

First data from Daya Bay: Closing in on a neutrino mystery
Berkeley Lab physicists have played a leading role in designing and building the international Daya Bay Reactor Neutrino Experiment in southern China, which has just begun collecting data on the elusive final measurement needed before the masses of the different kinds of neutrinos can be determined

Rapid evolution within single crop-growing season increases insect pest numbers
New research by scientists at UC Riverside shows that evolution can occur so rapidly in organisms that its impact on population numbers and other aspects of biology can be seen within just a few generations.

Study evaluates pressure device worn on the ear at night as treatment for scar tissue
A study of seven patients examined use of a pressure device worn overnight to supplement other therapy for auricular keloids (scar tissue buildup of the ear), as reported in an article published online first today by Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Could the Spanish flu devastate us again?
Prof. Nir Ben-Tal and Daphna Meroz of Tel Aviv University have developed a new computational method that can predict viral mutation strategies, tracking virus strains and giving researchers the tools they need to better combat these mutations with more precisely formulated vaccines.

Moderate drinking protects against Alzheimer's and cognitive impairment
Moderate social drinking significantly reduces the risk of dementia and cognitive impairment, according to an analysis of 143 studies by Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine researchers.

New neutrino detection experiment in China up and running
Deep under a hillside near Hong Kong, a pair of new antineutrino detectors are warming up for some serious physics.

New research links obesity with heart rhythm disorder
University of Adelaide research has shown for the first time that obesity directly causes electrical abnormalities of the heart.

Nut-allergy sufferers face prejudice -- new study
Parents of nut-allergy sufferers face hostility and skepticism in trying to find safe environments for their children, a new study has found.

Linking brain-derived neurotrophic factor to alcohol dependence
Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) regulates neuronal plasticity. Researchers have found high serum BDNF levels among alcohol-dependent (AD) but abstinent individuals that do not correlate with either chronic drinking or associated toxicity.

Study finds 15 minutes of moderate daily exercise lengthens life
An observational study of 416,175 Taiwanese shows that low-volume, moderate intensity exercise reduces death rates and extends life expectancy by three years.

Pre-pregnancy overweight may program teen asthma symptoms
Moms who are overweight or obese when they become pregnant may be programming their children to have asthma-like respiratory symptoms during adolescence, suggests research published online in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Study evaluates tactical response guidelines for reducing battlefield deaths
Implementing a command-directed casualty response system appears to be associated with reducing battlefield casualties, including killed-in-action deaths, casualties who died of wounds, and preventable combat deaths, according to a report in the August issue of Archives of Surgery, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Rediscovery of disappeared species: Truly back from the brink?
Researchers from the National University of Singapore (NUS), University of Adelaide and Princeton University found that over the past 122 years, at least 351 species which are thought to have disappeared, have been rediscovered. 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