Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 20, 2011
Prediction models help determine likelihood of erectile function after treatment for prostate cancer
The development of prediction models that included variables such as pretreatment sexual function, patient characteristics and treatment factors appear to be effective at predicting erectile function two years after prostatectomy, external radiotherapy, or brachytherapy for prostate cancer, according to a study in the Sept.

Captive breeding could transform the saltwater aquarium trade and save coral reefs
Marine biologists at the University of Texas at Austin Marine Science Institute are developing means to efficiently breed saltwater aquarium fish, seahorses, plankton and invertebrates in captivity in order to preserve the biologically rich ecosystems of the world's coral reefs.

Sustaining young forest communities
The recent Southern Research Station (SRS) publication Sustaining Young Forest Communities: Ecology and Management of Early Successional Habitats in the Central Hardwood Region, USA, addresses a variety of concerns raised by Forest Service managers and natural resource professionals regarding early successional habitats.

Intuitive thinking may influence belief in God
Intuition may lead people toward a belief in the divine and help explain why some people have more faith in God than others, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

A good night's sleep may reduce risk of type 2 diabetes in obese teens
Obese teenagers who don't get the proper amount of sleep may have disruptions in insulin secretion and blood sugar (glucose) levels, say pediatric researchers.

Test could detect breast cancers earlier in young, high-risk African-American women
Certain cancer signaling pathways that are activated in aggressive cancer can be detected very early, even in precancerous cells, among young African-American women at high risk for breast cancer.

Depression associated with increased risk of stroke and stroke-related death
An analysis of nearly 30 studies including more than 300,000 patients finds that depression is associated with a significantly increased risk of developing stroke and dying from stroke, according to an article in the Sept.

Scientists reveal how organisms avoid carbon monoxide poisoning
Scientists have discovered how living organisms -- including humans -- avoid poisoning from carbon monoxide generated by natural cell processes.

ONR officials meet with Navy Surgeon General to coordinate medical research
Influential leaders from the medical and research communities held high-level discussions on biomedical science and technology (S&T) initiatives at the Office of Naval Research, Sept.

QBI researchers identify signals triggering dendrite growth
A study in worms that are less than a millimeter long has yielded clues that may be important for understanding how nerves grow.

NRL TacSat-4 spacecraft encapsulated
Encapsulated into the nose cone of an Orbital Sciences Corporation Minotaur-IV+ launch vehicle, TacSat-4 is scheduled to launch from the Alaska Aerospace Corporation's Kodiak Launch Complex into a highly elliptical orbit, providing multiple combatant commanders around the globe an additional outlet for data transmission and communications on the move.

Benefits of radionuclide therapy for neuroendocrine tumors
According to new Dutch research featured in the September issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, a peptide receptor radiolabeled therapy (PRRT), [177Lu-DOTA0,Tyr3]Octreotate (177Lu-octreotate) , is effective not only in decreasing tumor size but also in reducing the severity of side effects that often accompany a cancer diagnosis.

Texas AgriLife Research scientists making better melons
With the extended statewide dry spell, researchers at the Texas AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Uvalde and elsewhere have been focusing their attention on improving varieties of drought-tolerant melons.

Candid discussion regarding sexuality can improve quality of life for prostate cancer survivors
Physicians are now better able to predict a man's recovery of sexual function after prostate cancer treatment, making a conversation between doctor and patient an important part of pre-treatment planning, a Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center-led research team suggests.

First recurrent gene fusion identified in ovarian cancer
Researchers studying ovarian cancer have discovered that, in a substantial fraction of ovarian tumors, a gene closely related to the estrogen receptor is broken and fused to an adjacent gene by a chromosome rearrangement; a finding that could shed light on how these deadly tumors develop and spread.

If insurance companies pay out too often, farmers will be threatened with ruin in the long term
Insurance can help farmers to survive dry periods. However, it can also result in the long term in overgrazing and therefore threaten their existence if insurance companies pay out in periods of moderate drought and farmers change their management strategies as a result.

Turning the Tide Together: AIDS 2012 theme selected
The AIDS 2012 Conference Coordinating Committee have selected Turning The Tide Together as the theme for the XIX International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2012), which will be held in Washington, D.C., July 22-27, 2012

Digital panoramas of rangelands could be rich source of research data
A scientist at the US Department of Agriculture is exploring how rangeland ecologists could use high-resolution digital panoramas to track landscape changes.

Long-term effectiveness of new family planning method shown in study
A new study finds that a simple-to-use, fertility-awareness based method of family planning developed by researchers from the Institute for Reproductive Health at Georgetown University Medical Center so effectively meets the needs of users that they continue to rely on it for years.

Finance sector top industry for geoscientist salaries
The American Geological Institute's Workforce Program today released an analysis of salaries for geoscientists by industry relative to those of other scientific fields.

NIDA Avant-Garde-Medications Development Award winners announced
Scientists proposing to develop vaccines against methamphetamine and nicotine have been selected to receive NIDA's second Avant-Garde Awards for Innovative Medication Development Research.

BGI develops RNA-Seq (Quantification) from as low as 100 Ng total RNA
BGI, the world's largest genomics organization, reported that they have achieved optimization RNA-Seq (Quantification) library construction with total RNA inputs as low as 100 ng.

Earth science education toolkit expands Spanish, English offerings
Nearly 30 educational activities and resources have been added to the newly updated SEED Earth Science Week Online Toolkit, a partnership of Schlumberger Excellence in Educational Development and the American Geological Institute, which provides Earth science education resources in both Spanish and English.

Join GSA in Boston for the nation's premier aging conference
The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) invites all journalists to attend its 64th Annual Scientific Meeting -- the country's largest interdisciplinary conference in the field of aging -- from Nov.

Blood pressure drugs may lengthen lives of melanoma patients
Beta-blocker drugs, commonly used to treat high blood pressure, may also play a major role in slowing the progression of certain serious cancers, based on a new study.

3-D microscope opens eyes to prehistoric oceans and present-day resources
A University of Alberta research team has turned their newly developed 3-D microscope technology on ancient sea creatures and hopes to expand its use.

Proton-based transistor could let machines communicate with living things
Human devices, from light bulbs to iPods, send information using electrons.

Using bone marrow to protect the brain
Through a clinical product called NurOwn, research from Tel Aviv University is turning bone marrow stem cells into astrocyte-like cells which are responsible for the well-being of the brain's neurons.

Former astronaut Bernard Harris visits UH for book signing, lecture
Traveling more than 7.2 million miles and logging 438 hours in space, Dr.

Brigham and Women's Hospital researcher receives NIH Transformative Research Project Award
Brigham and Women's Hospital physician and researcher Thomas S. Kupper, M.D., is one of 17 recipients nationally, to receive a NIH Transformative Research Award in 2011.

Catching molecular motion at just the right time
University of Oregon researchers have devised a mathematically rich analytic approach to account for often-missing thermodynamic and molecular parameters in molecular dynamic simulations.

Spiral constriction -- how dynamin mediates cellular nutrient uptake
Dr. Katja Fälber and professor Oliver Daumke, structural biologists at the Max Delbrueck Center for Molecular Medicine Berlin-Buch, together with researchers from Freie Universitaet Berlin, have determined the molecular structure of dynamin, a

Maypro's Japanese partner, Amino Up Chemical, opens new production facility
Maypro Industries LLC announced today the opening of a new expanded production facility by its Japanese partner, Amino Up Chemical Co., Ltd.

Racing against time
When the twin towers collapsed on Sept. 11, 2011, one of the most critical challenges that first responders faced was cutting through concrete to get to victims trapped.

The 'silent majority' agrees with me, voters believe
We like to think that others agree with us. It's called

2 Scripps Research scientists win prestigious NIH Innovator Awards
Two Scripps Research Institute scientists have won prestigious National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director's New Innovator Awards.

Continued treatment for lupus may boost survival of those patients with end-stage kidney disease
Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have shown that close supervision by rheumatologists and the use of immunosuppressant drugs improve the survival of lupus patients with end-stage kidney disease -- a finding that could reverse long-standing clinical practice.

Preterm birth associated with higher risk of death in early childhood, young adulthood
In a study that included more than 600,000 individuals born in Sweden between 1973-1979, those born preterm (less than 37 weeks gestation) had a higher risk of death during early childhood and young adulthood than persons born at term, according to a study in the Sept.

Genetic differences may cause higher rates of prostate cancer in African-American men
Genetic differences in prostate cells seem to be a root cause of the prostate cancer disparities between African-American men and white men, according to findings presented at the Fourth AACR Conference on The Science of Cancer Health Disparities, held here Sept.

Transformative NIH grant will support development of tissue regeneration therapeutics
The National Institutes of Health has awarded nearly $2 million to researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University to develop a new class of therapeutics for treating traumatic injuries and degenerative diseases.

Rude employee behavior quietly sabotages the bottom line
Rude employee behavior is rampant and consumers report they respond to such episodes not by reporting incidents to managers, but by taking their business to competitors.

Massive push to improve the health of women and children
In only one year, more than 100 countries, foundations, multilateral organizations, the UN, the private sector and academic and professional associations have made unprecedented financial and political commitments to greatly improve the health of women and children.

Living in poor neighborhood a risk factor for out-of-hospital cardiac death
People living in poor neighborhoods are at higher risk of dying of heart disease outside a hospital than are people who live in wealthier neighborhoods, research suggests.

How key genes cooperate to make healthy skin
An essential relationship among leading genes and proteins that control the health of the skin has been revealed by a multinational research team.

Landmark international study confirms common genetic contribution to mental illness
An international research consortium has confirmed that common genetic variants contribute to a person's risk of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

Rice wins grant to develop CO2 capture technology
A Rice University research team is one of 16 chosen by the Department of Energy to develop innovative new technologies that can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by capturing carbon dioxide (CO2) from power plants.

American Chemical Society names Paul Raeburn 2012 recipient of prestigious journalism award
The American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, has selected nationally renowned science journalist, author, broadcaster and blogger Paul Raeburn as the 2012 recipient of its James T.

Early antiretroviral therapy for HIV shown cost-effective
Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College and GHESKIO have shown that early treatment of HIV not only saves lives but is also cost-effective.

Power corrupts, especially when it lacks status
In a new study, researchers at USC, Stanford and the Kellogg School of Management have found that individuals in roles that possess power but lack status have a tendency to engage in activities that demean others.

AGU journal highlights -- September 20, 2011
Featured in this release are research papers on the following topics:

Countries worldwide are saving mothers' and children's lives at a faster pace
With four years left for countries to achieve international targets for saving the lives of mothers and children, more than half the countries around the world are lowering maternal mortality and child mortality at an accelerated rate, according to a new analysis by IHME.

Costly blood clots more common than expected among cancer patients
An analysis of more than 30,000 cancer patients has shown that blood clots are a more common complication than doctors may realize, causing additional hospitalizations and driving up the cost of care, according to a study led by a Duke Cancer Institute researcher.

Adding cognitive behavioral therapy to drug treatment of pediatric OCD appears to improve symptoms
Children and teens with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) who were receiving some benefit from treatment with medication had a significantly greater reduction in OCD symptoms with the addition of cognitive behavior therapy, according to a study in the Sept.

Excavation of islands around Britain to establish origins of neolithic period
Archaeologists at the University of Liverpool are investigating three island groups around Britain to further understanding of why, in approximately 4,000 BC, humans altered their lifestyle from hunting and gathering to farming the land.

Stanford researchers create first human heart cells that can be paced with light
In a compact lab space at Stanford University, Oscar Abilez, M.D., trains a microscope on a small collection of cells in a Petri dish.

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists publishes Japanese translation of special Fukushima issue
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists today published Japanese translations of articles from its new special issue on the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station disaster.

African-American men living in poor sunlight areas at risk for vitamin D deficiency
African-American men living in low sunlight areas are more likely to experience vitamin D deficiency than European-American men living in the same environment.

Amateur botanists discover a genuflecting plant in Brazil
A new plant that buries its seeds has been discovered in the Atlantic forest of Brazil.

Seminar to explore advanced tools for unlocking treasures that lie right at the surface
Studying the complexities of surfaces -- their textures, their roughness, their behavior -- can yield a world of information in a broad range of fields, including anthropology, archeology, biomedical sciences, food science, forensics, and manufacturing.

Buyer beware: Advertising may seduce your brain, UCLA researchers say
UCLA researchers and colleagues have found that certain types of subtle advertisements reduce activity in the decision-making areas of the brain, suggesting that some ads seduce, rather than persuade, consumers to buy their products.

Possible new blood test to diagnose heart attacks
Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine researchers are reporting a possible new blood test to help diagnose heart attacks.

High-risk, underserved women benefited from MRI screening for breast cancer
Using breast magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) screenings among targeted, high-risk, underserved women significantly decreased diagnostic cost and increased patient compliance rates with follow-up compared to using general risk mammography screenings.

MU researchers to study dangerous, deadly weather phenomenon
University of Missouri researchers are collaborating with the A.M. Obukhov Institute of Atmospheric Physics of the Russian Academy of Sciences in a 3 million Russian ruble (about $104,000) project to understand and predict atmospheric blocking patterns, which can cause deadly heat waves.

ASPB convenes leaders to chart future of plant science research
Later this week, the American Society of Plant Biologists will convene more than 75 scientists from across plant science to chart the future of the field.

10 ways to make better decisions about cancer care
Researchers explain how patients can tap into best practices in risk communication to become fluent in the language of cancer care and better understand their options.

NASA sees heavy rainfall in Typhoon Roke
NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite is providing forecasters with a look at the intense rainfall within Typhoon Roke as it continues to near the big island of Japan.

John Theurer Cancer Center among first clinical trial sites to join landmark MMRF study
The John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, a top 50 US News best hospital for cancer, is one of the first four clinical sites enrolling patients in a landmark study designed to uncover the molecular segments and variations of multiple myeloma.

Microwave ovens a key to energy production from wasted heat
More than 60 percent of the energy produced by cars, machines, and industry around the world is lost as waste heat -- an age-old problem -- but researchers have found a new way to make

Study examines platelet function testing for guiding antithrombotic treatment before PCI procedures
Among patients with acute coronary syndromes undergoing a procedure such as angioplasty, those who received platelet function tests before receiving antithrombotic therapy to determine appropriate clopidogrel dosing and who had high residual platelet reactivity (platelets resistant to antithrombotic therapy) were at an increased risk of an ischemic event at short- and long-term follow-up of up to two years, according to a study in the Sept.

UNC scientist proves potential of new nanoparticle design for cancer therapy
A new type of nanoparticle developed in the laboratories at the University of North Carolina has shown potential for more effective delivery of chemotherapy to treat cancer.

USDA-sponsored initiatives tackle food safety concerns
Scientists at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University are working to better diagnose and prevent two of the most pervasive food-borne microbes, relying on a pair of new USDA grants aimed at aggressively combating food-related illness.

New book explores the evolution of a key scientific idea
For those seeking to understand and manage ecosystems, a key idea has resonated for more than two decades: spatial variation is essential for ecological sustainability over time.

Stem cells, potential source of cancer-fighting T cells
Adult stem cells from mice converted to antigen-specific T cells -- the immune cells that fight cancer tumor cells -- show promise in cancer immunotherapy and may lead to a simpler, more efficient way to use the body's immune system to fight cancer, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

Society of Interventional Radiology Foundation accepts St. Jude Medical Foundation gift
The Society of Interventional Radiology Foundation's Discovery Campaign, which seeks to further the growth of minimally invasive medicine into new areas of discovery, announced a major corporate pledge to that initiative.

Differences in effects on atherosclerosis of regular moderate drinking and binge drinking
An excellent study among experimental mice has reported very dramatic differences between the effects of alcohol administered in moderation on a daily basis and the same total weekly amount of alcohol administered on only two days of the week, replicating binge drinking.

One size doesn't fit all for vitamin D and men
African-American men living in areas with low sunlight are up to 3 ½ times more likely to have vitamin D deficiency than Caucasian men and should take high levels of Vitamin D supplements, reports a new study.

UMass researcher points to suppression of evidence on radiation effects by 1946 Nobel Laureate
University of Massachusetts Amherst environmental toxicologist Edward Calabrese, whose career research shows that low doses of some chemicals and radiation are benign or even helpful, says he has uncovered evidence that one of the fathers of radiation genetics, Nobel Prize winner Hermann Muller, knowingly lied when he claimed in 1946 that there is no safe level of radiation exposure.

University of Illinois faculty members named University Scholars
Paul Kenis and James Slauch have been named as University Scholars, a program created to recognize the university's most talented teachers, scholars and researchers.

Scientists turn back the clock on adult stem cells aging
Researchers have shown they can reverse the aging process for human adult stem cells, which are responsible for helping old or damaged tissues regenerate.

Several common genetic variants found to be associated with mental illness
As one of the leaders of an international research consortium, Mount Sinai School of Medicine researchers have discovered that several common genetic variants contribute to a person's risk of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, or manic-depressive illness.

Scientific support for food security and global governance
The main objective of the conference is to examine in a scientific manner the necessity to increase production and competitiveness while respecting sustainable development in the framework of global governance.

UTHealth student earns fellowships to research major source of bacterial infections
A doctoral student at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston has been awarded two research fellowships to study the spread of E. coli, a hard-to-treat bacterium that can lead to food poisoning.

Researchers at Mainz University make visible the structure of the smallest crystals
A radical new way of making structures visible at the nano level has been developed at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.

Early HIV treatment cost-effective in resource-limited settings
In a cost-effectiveness study, Bruce R Schackman of Weill Cornell Medical College, USA and colleagues compare early versus standard antiretroviral treatment (ART) for HIV, based on randomized clinical trial data from Haiti.

Illinois professor to receive NIH Director's New Innovator Award
Douglas A. Mitchell, IGB faculty member in the Mining Microbial Genomes for Novel Antibiotics research theme and assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry, is a recipient of the 2011 National Institutes of Health Director's New Innovator Award.

Vacuum-like device makes cellular exploration easier
Imagine a microscopic jet vacuum cleaner, the size of a pen nib that hovers over cell surfaces without ever touching them.

Study finds public sector workers more pro-socially motivated than their private sector counterparts
New research has found public sector workers are typically more pro-socially motivated than their private sector counterparts.

NOAA researchers release study on emissions from BP/Deepwater Horizon controlled burns
During the 2010 Gulf oil spill, an estimated one of every 20 barrels of spilled oil was deliberately burned to reduce surface oil slick size and minimize impacts of oil on sensitive shoreline ecosystems and marine life.

Stanford discovery of gene fusion in ovarian cancer could lead to earlier diagnoses
About 15 percent of cases of an aggressive, difficult-to-detect form of ovarian cancer contain a unique fusion between two neighboring, normally separate genes, say researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Experts want practical research to improve mental health of people experiencing humanitarian crises
Experts in regions experiencing humanitarian crises want more research focused on generating and developing practical knowledge that could have tangible benefits in humanitarian settings rather than yet more research on topics, such as the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder, that have to date dominated academic debates and research.

Study identifies risk factors for complications after spine surgery
A new study looks at the complications of spine surgery.

NIH Director's Awards go to 3 Johns Hopkins scientists
A pioneer in the field of epigenetics who has been spearheading the use of genome-wide technology for epigenetics research, a researcher who has revealed a weakness in the tuberculosis bacterium that makes it more susceptible to antibiotics, and a scientist who seeks to revolutionize new methods for toxicological testing to improve human health and reduce animal testing have received Director's Awards from the National Institutes of Health.

High pollution levels linked to increase in heart attack risk
High levels of pollution could increase the risk of having a heart attack for up to six hours after exposure, finds research published on today.

Epigenetic changes don't last
The first comprehensive inventory of epigenetic changes over several generations shows that these often do not last and therefore probably have limited effects on long-term evolution.

Electrical stimulation of brain boosts birth of new cells
Stimulating a specific region of the brain leads to the production of new brain cells that enhance memory, according to an animal study in the Sept.

A big step towards the redefinition of the kelvin
Scientists of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt have now succeeded in re-determining the Boltzmann constant.

Living alone is associated with an increased risk of alcohol-related deaths
Living alone is associated with an increased risk of alcohol-related mortality--from alcohol-related diseases and accidents -- according to a Finnish study published in this week's PLoS Medicine, suggesting that a lack of social relationships should be regarded as a potential risk factor for death from alcohol related causes.

Peacekeeping creatures help maintain woodland diversity
Common woodland creatures, including woodlice, millipedes and worms, can help ensure the survival of weaker species of woodland fungi, according to new research from Cardiff University.

Religion and ecology among China's Blang people
Fieldwork conducted by two Queen's University researchers could help develop culturally appropriate conservation efforts and environmental education programs in a remote mountainous area of southwest China where deforestation is a major environmental issue. 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