Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 13, 2011
Blood vessels from your printer
Researchers have been working at growing tissue and organs in the laboratory for a long time.

Motor memory: The long and short of it
For the first time, scientists at USC have unlocked a mechanism behind the way short- and long-term motor memory work together and compete against one another.

'Synthetic biology' could replace oil for chemical industry
Vats of blue-green algae could one day replace oil wells in producing raw materials for the chemical industry, a UC Davis chemist predicts.

Gene flux can foretell survival for trauma patients, Princeton study finds
Princeton research reported in the Sept. 13 issue of the journal PLoS Medicine shows for the first time that people recovering from a serious injury -- regardless of age, gender or previous health -- exhibit similar gene activity as their condition changes, which doctors can use to predict and prepare for a patient's deterioration.

Scientists concerned about pesticide education funding
Scientists with the Entomological Society of America (ESA), the Weed Science Society of America (WSSA), and the American Phytopathological Society (APS) recently expressed concern about the precarious state of the US Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP).

Protein found in heart may be target for colon cancer therapies
A protein critical in heart development may also play a part in colon cancer progression -- and may represent a therapeutic target for halting colon cancer metastasis.

The American Society for Microbiology honors Zachary A. Klase
Zachary A. Klase, Ph.D., National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, M.D., has been chosen by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) to receive a 2011 ICAAC Young Investigator Award for his outstanding research on HIV-1 pathogenesis and RNA interference mechanisms in mammalian cells.

Smithsonian conservation team develops new technique for dating silk
For the first time, scientists at the Smithsonian's Museum Conservation Institute have developed a fast and reliable method to date silk.

Rebooting psychotherapy
Psychotherapy has come a long way since the days of Freudian psychoanalysis -- today, rigorous scientific studies are providing evidence for the kinds of psychotherapies that effectively treat various psychiatric disorders.

Study examines risk of aortic complications among patients with common congenital heart valve defect
While the incidence of the life-threatening condition of aortic dissection is significantly higher than in the general population, it remains low among patients with the congenital heart defect, bicuspid aortic valve; however, the incidence of aortic aneurysms is significantly high, according to a study in the Sept.

LA BioMed investigator, Dr. Ashraf Ibrahim, honored by American Society for Microbiology
Ashraf Ibrahim, Ph.D., principal investigator at LA BioMed who specializes in infectious diseases, was recently honored by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) and the ICAAC (Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy) Program Committee in the area of Therapy and Prevention of Microbial Disease.

Shaping up: Controlling a stem cell's form can determine its fate
New research by a team working at NIST reinforces the idea that stem cells can be induced to develop into specific types of cells solely by controlling their shape.

Changes in gene expression may be responsible for clinical complications following major trauma
Inflammatory complications following major trauma appear to be associated with changes in gene expression that only occur in some patients, thus putting them at higher risk of developing serious or fatal complications such as major organ failure.

Study finds over 70 percent of suicidal teens don't get the mental health services they need
Suicidal teens are not likely to get the mental healthcare they need.

Newly published cyber security report identifies key research priorities
Developing self-learning, self aware cyber security technologies, protecting smart utility grids and enhancing the security of mobile networks are among the top research priorities needed to safeguard the internet of tomorrow, according to a report released today.

2 new publications provide a cloud computing standards roadmap and reference architecture
NIST has published two new documents on cloud computing: the first edition of a cloud computing standards roadmap and a cloud computing reference architecture and taxonomy.

Cardiotrophin 1 shows promising results for treatment of obesity and metabolic syndrome
According to a recent study, cardiotrophin 1 is likely to become as an effective drug to treat obesity and metabolic syndrome.

Strong leadership necessary to provide more sophisticated care for aging population, study finds
As the aging population increases, the effective use of resources and care practices is essential to enacting health care reform and ensuring patients receive quality care.

Hebrew University research team discovers path to blocking fatal toxins
A team of researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem says it has found a way to block a group of fatal bacterial toxins that have to date resisted all attempts to arrest them through the use of conventional drugs.

More evidence that spicing up broccoli boosts its cancer-fighting power
Teaming fresh broccoli with a spicy food that contains the enzyme myrosinase significantly enhances each food's individual cancer-fighting power and ensures that absorption takes place in the upper part of the digestive system where you'll get the maximum health benefit, suggests a new University of Illinois study.

Breast health study advances safety profile for soy-based natural S-equol supplement designed to manage menopause symptoms
Consuming the soy germ-based compound Natural S-equol and the supplement SE5-OH containing Natural S-equol did not increase the risk of estrogen-sensitive breast cancer, according to a study in the September issue of the peer-reviewed journal Food and Chemical Toxicology.

Relation of alcohol consumption to colorectal cancer
A meta-analysis of case-control and cohort studies on the association of alcohol consumption with colorectal cancer was carried out, based on 22 studies from Asia, 2 from Australia, 13 from Western Europe, and 24 from North America.

Using lasers to vaporize tissue at multiple points simultaneously
Researchers at Vanderbilt University have developed a new technique that uses a single UV laser pulse to zap away biological tissue at multiple points simultaneously.

MDA, Walgreens collaborate to provide flu shots at more than 8,000 locations
Muscular Dystrophy Association has partnered with Walgreens pharmacies to provide flu shots at more than 8,000 locations nationwide for people with neuromuscular diseases.

IUD reduces the risk of cervical cancer
Intrauterine devices (IUDs) may protect against cervical cancer. This is the conclusion of the broadest epidemiological study to date in which has participated the research group in Viruses and Cancer of IDIBELL, published at the Lancet Oncology.

Evaluating doctoral programs in African universities
In this week's PLoS Medicine, Imelda Bates of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK and colleagues report on how they developed and validated an evidence-based tool for evaluating doctoral programmes in African universities.

Researchers crack genetic codes for medicinal plant species
Researchers from across Canada have identified the genetic makeup for a large number of medicinal plant species and are making the codes available to scientists and the public online.

Web tool aims to improve the workplace for breast cancer survivors
In a paper to be presented at the upcoming HFES 55th Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, human factors/ergonomics researchers will describe WISE, a Web-based tool for breast cancer survivors designed to reduce work disabilities and improve employment outcomes.

NASA'S Webb telescope completes mirror-coating milestone
NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has reached a major milestone in its development.

Substitution of brand name with generic drug proves safe for transplant recipients
A new study published in the American Journal of Transplantation reveals that substitution of a brand name immunosuppressive drug with a generic (manufactured by Sandoz) for preventing rejection of transplanted organs appears to be safe for transplant recipients.

5 countries and EMBL sign Memorandum of Understanding to make ELIXIR a reality
Today marks an important step for Europe's emerging research infrastructure for life-science information, as five countries plus the European Molecular Biology Laboratory have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to catalyse the implementation and construction of ELIXIR.

Breaching the blood-brain barrier
Cornell University researchers may have solved a 100-year puzzle: How to safely open and close the blood-brain barrier so that therapies to treat Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis and cancers of the central nervous system might effectively be delivered.

NIST seeks comments to help build public safety communications network
NIST is seeking advice on possible key features of a new broadband communications network for the nation's emergency services agencies.

A 3-D reconstructed image of neural dendritic trees using the advanced electron microscope technology
The research team of Associate Professor Kubota from the National Institute for Physiological Sciences, revealed the minute properties of dendritic trees by reconstructing 3-D images using the advanced electron microscope technology.

Separating a cancer prevention drug from heart disease risk
Celecoxib reduces the risk of developing precancerous colon polyps, at the cost of increased heart disease risk.

Health professions launch Health Improvement Card to reduce NCD risk
The world's health professions have launched

Improving sugarcane ethanol production -- the 'midway' strategy
An article in the current issue of Global Change Biology Bioenergy reviews the history and current state of ethanol production of sugarcane in Brazil and presents a strategy for improving future ecosystem services and production.

Institute for Aging Research study finds Boston's elderly homeless sicker than others
An Institute for Aging Research study finds that Boston's homeless elderly experience higher rates of geriatric syndromes than seniors in the general population and that many of these conditions may be easily treated if detected.

US, Europe collaborating on smart grid standards development
NIST and the European Union's Smart Grid-Coordination Group have announced their intention to work together on Smart Grid standards, emphasizing common goals and areas of focus.

World Alzheimer's Report 2011: The benefits of early diagnosis and intervention
The World Alzheimer's Report 2011,

Major threats foreseen due to Europe's changing marine environments
Europeans face greater risk of illness, property damage and job losses because of the impacts of climate change on the seas around them.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine joins IDF to address global diabetes
As the United Nations prepares for its first-ever, high-level summit to address the growing burden of non-communicable diseases, the Global Health Center at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, in collaboration with the International Diabetes Federation, will host the Global Diabetes Symposium in midtown Manhattan.

Breakthrough opens new avenues for hep C vaccine
Hopes for an effective vaccine and treatment against the potentially fatal hepatitis C virus (HCV) have received a major boost following the discovery of two 'Achilles' heels' within the virus.

Diabetes public health: UCSF study highlights need for better guidelines
A survey of federally funded diabetes prevention and control programs in 57 US states and territories has highlighted the need for better diabetes treatment guidelines that are specifically adapted to different populations.

UCLA psychologists discover a gene's link to optimism, self-esteem
UCLA life scientists have identified for the first time a gene's link to optimism, self-esteem and the belief that one has control over one's own life -- three critical

Researchers study Terahertz radiation's impact on cellular function and gene expression
Relatively little is known about the effect of Terahertz radiation on biological systems.

The American Society for Microbiology honors Andrea Endimiani
Andrea Endimiani, M.D., Ph.D., Institute of Veterinary Bacteriology, University of Bern, Switzerland, has been chosen by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) to receive a 2011 ICAAC Young Investigator Award for combining basic microbiology, epidemiology, pharmacology, biochemistry, and molecular biology to investigate the impact of drug resistance traits on the outcome of infections caused by Gram-negative bacteria.

UC San Diego's HPWREN aids in recent supernova discovery
A recent discovery by scientists at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and the University of California, Berkeley, of a supernova within hours of its explosion was made possible by a specialized telescope, state-of-the-art computational tools -- and the high-speed data transmissions network of UC San Diego's High-Performance Wireless and Research Education Network (HPWREN), as well as the Department of Energy's Energy Sciences Network (ESnet).

Large increase seen in number of lymph nodes evaluated for colon cancer
During the past two decades there has been a significant increase in the percentage of patients who have a high number of lymph nodes evaluated during colon cancer operations, but this improvement is not associated with an increase in the overall proportion of colon cancers that are node positive, according to a study in the Sept.

New UNH data tests the exercise 'talk test'
New research by University of New Hampshire exercise scientists confirms that a low-tech, easy-to-administer test is an effective tool for gauging exercise intensity, but that it does not correspond as neatly as previously assumed to other more objective tests.

In immune cells, 'super-res' imaging reveals natural killers' M.O.
Making use of a new

Informed consent processes need local adaptation
Samson Muchina Kinyanjui and colleagues from the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme in Kilifi, Kenya discuss in this week's PLoS Medicine how they modified the programme's informed consent processes by taking into account local social, cultural, and economic contexts in the design and administration of consent forms.

Stronger teen graduated driver licensing program show mixed results for involvement in fatal crashes
The use of stronger graduated driver licensing programs for 16- to 19-year old drivers in the US that included restrictions on nighttime driving and allowed passengers were associated with a lower incidence of fatal crashes among 16-year-old drivers, but a higher incidence among 18-year-olds, according to a study in the Sept.

Patent awarded for 'method and system of controlling airfoil actuators'
Syracuse University has been awarded a patent for the development of a

Study finds chronic abnormal brain blood flow in Gulf War veterans
Blood flow abnormalities found in the brains of veterans with Gulf War illness have persisted 20 years after the war, and in some cases have gotten worse, according to a new study.

SDSC-developed software used in first global camera trap mammal study
A novel software system developed by researchers at the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego, has been used in the first global camera trap study of mammals, which made international headlines last month by emphasizing the importance of protected areas to ensure the diversity and survival of a wide range of animal populations.

New hybrid imaging device shows promise in spotting hard-to-detect ovarian cancer
By combining three previously unrelated imaging tools into one new device, a team of researchers from the University of Connecticut and the University of Southern California has proposed a new way to diagnose early-stage ovarian cancer in high-risk women through minimally invasive surgery.

4 new reports update Security Content Automation Protocol
NIST has released four new publications that detail specifications to be used by the latest version of the Security Content Automation Protocol for managing IT security in large organizations.

Alley to receive Heinz award
Richard Alley, Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences, Penn State, is a recipient of a $100,000 Heinz Award for being a leader in climate and polar ice studies.

Pituitary hormone TSH found to directly influence bone growth
Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have found that thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), a hormone produced in the anterior pituitary gland that regulates endocrine function in the thyroid gland, can promote bone growth independent of its usual thyroid functions.

Fiji Conservation Science Forum
The 2nd Fiji Conservation Science Forum will address and confront the ongoing climate-biodiversity crisis and provide an opportunity for scientists, conservation practitioners, decision and policy makers in Fiji to discuss current and future projects that will safeguard Fiji's people and environment against the effects of climate change.

Genotyping hepatitis C patients improves prediction of treatment response
In this week's PLoS Medicine, David Booth of the University of Sydney, Australia and colleagues show that genotyping hepatitis C patients for the IL28B, HLA-C and KIR genes substantially improves doctors' ability to predict whether or not patients will respond to antiviral treatment.

Primary schoolchildren that sleep less than 9 hours do not perform
A study by the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB in Spanish) and Ramón Llull University have researched the relationship between the sleeping habits, hours slept, and academic performance of children aged between six and seven years of age.

New imaging technique evaluates nerve damage
A new imaging technique could help doctors and researchers more accurately assess the extent of nerve damage and healing in a live patient.

Small molecule receptor detects lipid's telltale sign of cell death
Dying cells can provide crucial clues to researchers, oncologists and patients about the effectiveness of anti-cancer drugs.

Star blasts planet with X-rays
A nearby star is pummeling a companion planet with a barrage of X-rays a hundred thousand times more intense than the Earth receives from the Sun.

Arizona civil engineering professor develops 'superlaminate' industrial pipe repair system
Even when structural problems with the aging US infrastructure can be detected early, currently available methods of repair are often technologically outdated, logistically complex, prohibitively expensive, or all of the above.

Science finding is music to the ears
A study led by Canadian researchers has found the first evidence that lifelong musicians experience less age-related hearing problems than non-musicians.

Methodology applied to historical walls may explain why moss gathers and how paint blackens
For the correct restoration of deteriorated works of cultural heritage, it helps to know what causes the degradation in the first place.

Outsmarting algae -- RIT scientist finds the turn-off switch
Rochester Institute of Technology scientist André Hudson and colleagues have deciphered the structure of an essential enzyme in algae, critical to algaecide development.

Does that hurt? Objective way to measure pain being developed at Stanford
Researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine have taken a first step toward developing a diagnostic tool that could eliminate a major hurdle in pain medicine -- the dependency on self-reporting to measure the presence or absence of pain.

Healthy lifestyle habits lower heart failure risk
Adults who don't smoke, maintain a healthy weight, get regular physical activity and eat vegetables lowered their heart failure risk.

Bats adjust their 'field-of-view'
A new study reveals that the way bats use biosonar to

The American Society for Microbiology honors John G. Bartlett
John G. Bartlett, M.D., Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md., has been honored with the prestigious Cubist-ICAAC Award from the American Society for Microbiology.

The American Society for Microbiology honors Alison Criss
Alison K. Criss, Ph.D., University of Virginia, Charlottesville, has been chosen by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) to receive a 2011 ICAAC Young Investigator Award for her outstanding research on bacterial pathogenesis.

Plant compound reduces breast cancer mortality
Many studies suggest that hormone-like plant compounds called phytoestrogens have a cancer protective effect.

Does race dictate quality of care?
Racial minorities have reduced access to high-quality joint replacement care, according to Dr.

Study predicts sea level rise may take economic toll on California coast
California beach towns could face hefty economic losses caused by sea level rise in the next century, according to a new state-commissioned study conducted by economists at San Francisco State University.

NASA awards $100,000 for space exploration power systems
Michael V. Paul, space systems engineer, Penn State's Applied Research Laboratory, has received a $100,000 grant under the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts program and been named a Fellow of this recently reformed program in NASA's Office of the Chief Technologist.

Human Gene Therapy expands with robust new methods journal
Mary Ann Liebert Inc.announces the launch of a journal expansion, Human Gene Therapy Methods, to complement the flagship publication Human Gene Therapy.

Tools that will help reduce nitrogen pollution
A US Department of Agriculture soil scientist in Colorado is helping farmers grow crops with less nitrogen-based fertilizer.

Researchers utilize neuroimaging to show how brain uses objects to recognize scenes
A study co-authored by Boston College assistant professor of psychology Sean MacEvoy and Russell Epstein of the University of Pennsylvania and published in Nature Neuroscience helps to explain how people quickly and accurately recognize complicated scenes such as playgrounds, kitchens and traffic intersections.

Merck and BGI establish strategic collaboration focused on biomarkers and genomic technologies
Merck (NYSE:MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, and BGI, the world's largest genomics center, announced today that they have established a collaboration to focus on the discovery and development of biomarkers and genomic technologies.

Rutgers, UMDNJ receive $23 million to develop antidotes for chemical weapons attacks
The National Institutes of Health has awarded a five-year $23.2 million grant to a group of investigators at Rutgers University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School to continue their research aimed at developing drug products that could be used against chemical warfare agents from a terrorist attack.

The American Society for Microbiology honors Jörn Coers
Jörn Coers, Ph.D., Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, is honored by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) to receive a 2011 ICAAC Young Investigator Award for his work studying the molecular and genetic determinants that enable mammalian host cells to mount immune responses against intracellular pathogens.

Researchers uncover a potential new benefit of pure maple syrup on liver health
New research conducted at the University of Tokyo suggests that pure maple syrup may promote a healthy liver.

Henry Ford study links 23 microRNAs to laryngeal cancer
A Henry Ford Hospital study has identified 23 microRNAs for laryngeal cancer, 15 of which had yet to be reported in head and neck cancer.

New technique elucidates dynamics of plant cell metabolites
A new technique developed by researchers at RIKEN has clarified the location and dynamics of specific metabolites in a single cell of the alga Chara australis.

Primary schoolchildren can be great tutors
Schoolchildren can boost their reading and mathematics levels when they tutor fellow pupils or are tutored by older pupils, according to new research.

Double jeopardy: Building codes may underestimate risks due to multiple hazards
NIST building researchers warn that a double whammy of seismic and wind hazards can increase the risk of structural damage to as much as twice the level implied in building codes.

The American Society for Microbiology honors Benjamin P. Howden
Benjamin P. Howden, Ph.D., Austin Health, Melbourne, Australia, has been chosen by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) to receive a 2011 ICAAC Young Investigator Award.

Shell partners with UT Austin to pursue new solutions to unlock gas resources
Shell and the University of Texas at Austin are partnering on research to bring more unconventional natural gas to market, such as shale gas, tight gas, and coalbed methane.

TheSkyNet launched
A community computing science initiative to help discover the hidden Universe was officially launched yesterday at Curtin University by Western Australia's Minister for Science and Innovation, the Hon.

Observations of climate change from indigenous Alaskans
Personal interviews with Alaska Natives in the Yukon River Basin provide unique insights on climate change and its impacts, helping develop adaptation strategies for these local communities.

In immune cells, super-resolution imaging reveals natural killers' M.O.
By making use of a new

A tool for cooperation among companies involved in restoration and maintenance of old buildings
Tecnalia is participating in the creation of a new computer tool that facilitates cooperation among European companies in the sector of construction related to the restoration and maintenance of old buildings, including those registered as Historical Heritage Buildings.

Scripps Health and Sanford-Burnham to collaborate to advance new cancer treatments
Scripps Health and Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) have formed a collaboration to bridge the gap between laboratory scientists uncovering new approaches for treating cancer and the physicians caring for patients with cancer. 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