Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 04, 2011
Ohio State organizes research sharing between Brazil, US
Scientists from Brazil and the United States will discuss scientific studies of mutual interests and explore future partnerships at a three-day symposium in Washington on Oct.

Natural compound helps reverse diabetes in mice
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have restored normal blood sugar metabolism in diabetic mice using a compound the body makes naturally.

MRI study finds that depression uncouples brain's hate circuit
A new study using MRI scans, led by Professor Jianfeng Feng, from the University of Warwick's Department of Computer Science, has found that depression frequently seems to uncouple the brain's

NSF grant will virtualize evidence-based teaching for science and engineering
Harvard University and The University of Texas at Austin have received a $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop open access research-based tools for advancing learning in science and engineering.

2011 Nobel Prize in Physics: Background info and a statement by AIP Executive Director and CEO
The 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics will be awarded to Saul Perlmutter of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, Calif., and the University of California, Berkeley; Brian Schmidt of the Australian National University; and Adam Riess of Johns Hopkins University and the Space Telescope Science Institute, both in Baltimore, Md.,

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, October 2011
1) Getting to the finish line quickest with the least environmental impact.

Researchers from Boston University receive grant to develop improved virus detection system
A team of researchers from Boston University's School of Medicine and College of Engineering have been awarded a five-year, $4.8 million National Institutes of Health grant to develop a low-cost, multiplexed virus detection platform.

Study: growing up in bad neighborhoods has a devastating impact
Growing up in a poor neighborhood significantly reduces the chances that a child will graduate from high school, according to a study published in the October issue of the American Sociological Review.

Growing up in bad neighborhoods has a 'devastating' impact
Growing up in a poor neighborhood significantly reduces the chances that a child will graduate from high school, according to a study published in the October issue of the American Sociological Review.

Hundreds of undiscovered artifacts found at Gallipoli
More than 100 artifacts from the First World War have been uncovered in an archaeological fieldwork survey on the Gallipoli battlefield, leading to some interesting theories about life on the front line according to University of Melbourne survey archaeologist Professor Antonio Sagona.

Prison education programs reduce inmate prison return rate, University of Missouri study shows
A University of Missouri researcher has found that educating inmates and preparing them to find jobs upon their release from prison greatly reduces their recidivism rate.

For common toy breed dog windpipe issue, MU veterinarians use technology and precision
Jack, a 12-year-old Yorkshire terrier, was lethargic and gasping for air when he arrived at the University of Missouri Veterinary Hospital.

Partnership focuses on developing East Coast fever vaccine
A vaccine that protects cattle against East Coast fever, a destructive disease in eastern and central Africa, is being developed by scientists at the US Department of Agriculture and the International Livestock Research Institute in Kenya.

Lungfish provides insight to life on land
A study into the muscle development of several different fish has given insights into the genetic leap that set the scene for the evolution of hind legs in terrestrial animals.

Early pedagogical assessment of young children at preschool
Swedish preschools are now part of a strong culture of assessment. Young children's development and learning is documented through tests and measurement, and is assessed using a variety of diagnostic tools.

USDA makes $40 million award to ASPB member to develop biofuels from sustainable lumber stocks
USDA has made two $40 million consortia grants to Washington State institutions to use sustainable woody biomass in the Pacific Northwest to produce biofuels for aviation and other uses.

Combination of MRI techniques identifies recent stroke
Patients with an acute ischemic lesion detected with diffusion-weighted imaging but not with fluid-attenuated inversion recovery imaging are likely to be within the 4.5 hour time-window for which thrombolysis is safe and effective, say authors in an article published online first in the Lancet Neurology.

Certain biofuel mandates unlikely to be met by 2022; unless new technologies, policies developed
It is unlikely the United States will meet some specific biofuel mandates under the current Renewable Fuel Standard by 2022 unless innovative technologies are developed or policies change.

Children with spina bifida need personal 'starter'
Children born with spina bifida often have difficulties to perform everyday activities.

Is informed consent threatening biobank research?
Having to obtain informed consent for the use of leftover human tissue samples could be hampering essential biobank research says a research group on today.

Scientists identify microbes responsible for consuming natural gas in Deepwater Horizon spill
In the results of a new study, scientists explain how they used DNA to identify microbes present in the Gulf of Mexico following the Deepwater Horizon oil spill -- and the particular microbes responsible for consuming natural gas immediately after the spill.

Springer grants Haitian students and researchers free access to online platform
As Haiti continues to rebuild in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, Springer Science+Business Media is granting 15,000 students and researchers access to its online platform SpringerLink.

Transforming medical implants
Currently, medical implants used for everything from coronary stents to repairing a torn ligament are made with titanium alloys or stainless steel.

Does MRI pose more than minimal risk in pediatric research?
Shedding light on a question that has baffled research ethics review boards, a new analysis of the use of magnetic resonance imaging in pediatric clinical trials finds that the risks of physical and psychological harm associated with this procedure are no greater than the risks that healthy children face from everyday activities.

Frequently used weight-loss method is light on evidence
Although the transtheoretical model stages of change (TTM SOC) method is frequently used to help obese and overweight people lose weight, a newly published Cochrane systematic review indicates there is little evidence that it is effective.

Remitting multiple sclerosis: Natalizumab reduces relapses and disability
Taking the new generation anti-inflammatory drug natalizumab for two years lowers the number of remitting multiple sclerosis patients who experience relapses and progression of disability.

Sport tourism development book reveals new insights on growing leisure activity
With the increasing popularity of sport tourism and more countries vying to host major sporting events to promote economic growth, authors Tom Hinch and James Higham have updated their foundational text, 'Sport Tourism Development.' Intended as a text for senior undergraduate and graduate students, the book will be a good resource for tourism researchers trying to understand why people travel, and scholars of sport management, who see tourism as an added dimension to their field.

A coating that prevents barnacles forming colonies
It is not necessary for an effective anti-fouling coating to release toxins into the environment.

6th Annual International Translational Medicine Symposium held at Penn
A unique gathering of international experts will be charting the unfolding landscape of how to bring personalized medicines to the consumer.

Stroke rate 25 percent higher for Metis
The stroke rate among Manitoba Métis is nearly 25 percent higher than for other Manitobans, according to a study by the University of Manitoba and the Manitoba Métis Federation.

Electricity market's policy instruments not a good combination
While they may have similar environmental aims, the Swedish electricity market's two policy instruments -- tradable green certificates and carbon emissions allowances -- are not easy bedfellows.

Undetected strokes increase risk
The PURE MIND study finds a quarter of seniors over 70 have had silent strokes.

Practical play: Interactive video games appear valuable for ICU patients
Interactive video games, already known to improve motor function in recovering stroke patients, appear to safely enhance physical therapy for patients in intensive care units, new research from Johns Hopkins suggests.

Circadian clock may impact organ transplant success
Health-care providers assess blood and tissue type as well as organ size and health to enhance transplant success.

UNH team wins NSF award for 'sun-to-ice' study
An interdisciplinary team of scientists from the University of New Hampshire's Institute for the Study of Earth, Oceans, and Space has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation's new Frontiers in Earth-System Dynamics program.

Keeping track of reality
A structural variation in a part of the brain may explain why some people are better than others at distinguishing real events from those they might have imagined or been told about, researchers have found.

Study shows looking for job on Internet reduces unemployment time
A new study shows that using the Internet to look for a job reduces the time spent unemployed by an average of 25 percent.

Sociability may depend upon brain cells generated in adolescence
Mice become profoundly anti-social when the creation of new brain cells is interrupted in adolescence, a surprising finding that may help researchers understand schizophrenia and other mental disorders, Yale researchers report.

Same-day discharge after coronary artery stenting safe, yet not used
Patients discharged the same day they undergo coronary artery stenting do just as well as patients hospitalized overnight for observation, according to researchers at Duke University Medical Center.

Culling can't save the Tasmanian devil
Culling will not control the spread of facial tumor disease among Tasmanian devils, according to a new study published this week in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied Ecology.

Regular exercise improves health of people with long-term kidney disease
There are many reasons why people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) often lose fitness and have increasing difficulty performing normal daily tasks, but new research shows scientific evidence for the benefits of regular exercise for people with CKD, including those with a kidney transplant.

Oral supervised HIV self-testing in Malawi is acceptable and accurate
In this week's PLoS Medicine, Augustine Choko of the Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme, Malawi, and colleagues assess the uptake and accuracy of home-based supervised oral HIV self-testing in Malawi, demonstrating the feasibility of this approach in a high-prevalence, low-income setting.

Blood tests may hold clues to pace of Alzheimer's disease progression
A team of scientists, led by Johns Hopkins researchers, say they may have found a way to predict how quickly patients with Alzheimer's disease will lose cognitive function by looking at ratios of two fatty compounds in their blood.

TGen/Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center publish results of new drug for pancreatic cancer patients
Patients at Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials at Scottsdale Healthcare were the first in the nation to participate in a clinical trial to determine the safety, tolerability and effectiveness for usage of a new drug combination consisting of a standard drug called gemcitabine and a drug called nab-paclitaxel for patients with advanced pancreatic cancer.

Fishy behaviour
A fish's personality may determine how it is captured. This association between personality difference and capture-technique could have significant evolutionary and ecological consequences for affected fish populations, as well as for the quality of fisheries.

Making the healthy choice the easy choice
It is no secret that Americans are facing an obesity epidemic, exacerbated by high consumption of unhealthy foods and too little physical activity.

Boosting creativity with interactive technology
Researchers at the University of Gothenburg show that interactive technology generates new ways of seeing, showing and creating.

Oligonol receives Supplyside West 2011 scientific Excellence Award
Maypro Industries LLC announced today that Oligonol, manufactured by Amino Up Chemical Company and distributed by Maypro, will be a recipient of the SupplySide West 2011 Scientific Excellent Award.

Combination therapy beneficial for head and neck skin carcinomas, UNC study shows
Patients who have high-risk non-melanoma skin carcinomas of the head and neck may benefit from concomitant radiotherapy and chemotherapy, according to a UNC-led study.

Herbivore populations will go down as temperatures go up, University of Toronto study says
As climate change causes temperatures to rise, the number of herbivores will decrease, affecting the human food supply, according to new research from the University of Toronto.

President Obama names UC Riverside seismologist a top young scientist
President Barack Obama has announced that Elizabeth Cochran, an adjunct assistant professor at the University of California, Riverside, will receive the United States government's highest honor for scientists and engineers in the early stages of their independent research careers -- the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

Association between advance directives and Medicare end-of-life expenditures varies across regions
Medicare patients with advance directives specifying limits in treatment who lived in regions with higher levels of end-of-life spending were less likely to have an in-hospital death, averaged significantly lower end-of-life Medicare spending and had significantly greater odds of hospice use than decedents without advance directives in these regions, according to a study in the Oct.

Researchers question key quality measure for asthma
Researchers studying the first national quality measure for hospitalized children have found that it has little impact on patient outcomes.

Estimating severity of a flu epidemic
In this week's PLoS Medicine, Joseph Wu of the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong and colleagues report that using serological data coupled with clinical surveillance data can provide real-time estimates of the infection attack rates and severity in an emerging influenza pandemic.

Young children show improved verbal IQ
Canadian scientists who specialize in learning, memory and language in children have found exciting evidence that preschoolers can improve their verbal intelligence after only 20 days of classroom instruction using interactive, music-based cognitive training cartoons.

Secretary Chu congratulates DOE supported researcher on 2011 Nobel Prize in physics
Secretary of Energy Steven Chu today congratulated Saul Perlmutter, a physicist at DOE's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a professor of physics at the University of California at Berkeley, for winning the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics.

New tool helps identify prostate cancer patients with highest risk of death
After a prostate cancer patient receives radiation treatment, his doctor carefully monitors the amount of prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, in his blood.

Society of Interventional Radiology member receives award for career contributions
Society of Interventional Radiology member Barry T. Katzen, M.D., FSIR, an interventional radiologist and founder and medical director of Baptist Cardiac & Vascular Institute in Miami, Fla., was awarded this year's Vascular Disease Foundation's Julius H.

Springer and the Korean Physical Society sign co-publishing agreement
Springer and the Korean Physical Society will collaborate to publish the society's official publication, the Journal of the Korean Physical Society, beginning in 2012.

Why narcoleptics get fat
People with narcolepsy are not only excessively sleepy, but they are also prone to gaining weight.

Gladstone experiments suggest research avenues for treating excess fat storage and obesity
A team of scientists at the Gladstone Institutes and Yale University have begun to unravel the complex process by which cells take in and store microscopic fat molecules, suggesting new directions for further research into solutions for obesity and its related conditions, such as heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and fatty liver disease.

A new leaf turns in carbon science
A new insight into global photosynthesis, the chemical process governing how ocean and land plants absorb and release carbon dioxide, has been revealed in research that will assist scientists to more accurately assess future climate change.

Rice physicists move 1 step closer to quantum computer
Rice University physicists have created a tiny

New findings validate the accuracy of autism diagnosis in children with Down syndrome
New findings from a 16-year study confirm that the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders, the gold-standard for the classification of mental health conditions, can be used to accurately identify autism spectrum disorders in children with Down syndrome, according to research from Kennedy Krieger Institute.

Intensive training helps children with reading and writing difficulties
Intensive daily training for a limited period is better for children with reading and writing difficulties than the traditional remedial tuition offered by schools, reveals new research from the University of Gothenburg.

Fox Chase Gleason scores better predict prostate cancer's recurrence after radiation
In a new study led by Fox Chase Cancer Center radiation oncologist Natasha Townsend, M.D., researchers have found that Gleason scores determined by pathologists at Fox Chase Cancer Center more accurately predict the risk of recurrence than Gleason scores from referring institutions.

Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2011: Jules Hoffmann
This year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to internationally renowned biologist Jules Hoffmann, accompanied by American Bruce Beutler and Canadian Ralph Steinman.

More children in Europe with Swedish family policy
European politicians who want women to have more children should consider the Swedish model with subsidized child care and paid parental leave. This is the conclusion of a new doctoral thesis from the University of Gothenburg.

Women with PCOS have family heart disease link
A new study from the University of Adelaide shows the parents of women with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) are more likely to have some form of cardiovascular disease.

New study of Glover's Reef challenges whether corals will benefit from Marine Reserves' protection
New study of Glover's Reef challenges whether corals will benefit from Marine Reserves' Protection.

Practical guide to qualitative research methods published
A new text,

Advance offers new opportunities in chemistry education, research
Researchers have created a new, unifying method to describe a basic chemical concept called

Biological fingerprints improve diagnosis of dementia
Differentiating between the various forms of dementia is crucial for initiating appropriate treatment.

Pumice proposed as home to the first life forms: A new hypothesis in Astrobiology journal
The glassy, porous, and once gas-rich rock called pumice may have given rise to early life forms, according to a provocative new hypothesis on the origin of life published in Astrobiology, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert Inc.

A hormone that fights fat with fat
In a study published Oct. 5 in Cell Metabolism, Sanford-Burnham researchers discovered that the hormone orexin activates calorie-burning brown fat in mice.

University of Texas marine scientists awarded $5.6 million for study of critical Arctic environment
A team of Arctic researchers led by the University of Texas Marine Science Institute's Ken Dunton will embark on a comprehensive study of the Hanna Shoal ecosystem in the Chukchi Sea off Alaska's northwest coast with a $5.6 million grant from the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement.

Temporary agency workers face poor development potential
Staffing agency personnel who stay with a client company for a long time face a low development potential and feel that they are not increasing their perceived employability.

University of Texas Health Science Center: Alzheimer's might be transmissible in similar way as infectious prion diseases
The brain damage that characterizes Alzheimer's disease may originate in a form similar to that of infectious prion diseases such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow) and Creutzfeldt-Jakob, according to newly published research by The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

New book on mammary gland biology, edited by Mina Bissell, Kornelia Polyak and Jeffrey Rosen
Studies of mammary gland biology are critically important given the prevalence of breast cancer in the population.

Telestroke the next best thing
Telestroke saves lives and money. The use of long-distance video and data hookups to link remote community hospitals with stroke neurologists in large centers provides the same level of care as having everyone in the same room.

Efforts to defund or ban infant male circumcision are unfounded and potentially harmful
Johns Hopkins infectious disease experts say the medical benefits for male circumcision are clear and that efforts in an increasing number of states (currently 18) to not provide Medicaid insurance coverage for male circumcision, as well as an attempted ballot initiative in San Francisco earlier this year to ban male circumcision in newborns and young boys, are unwarranted.

Scientists take up golf to prove long-standing theory of cell stickiness
State-of-the-art, highly-sensitive golf clubs, developed by scientists, regularly catch the eye of golf's elite; however before the likes of Rory McIlroy get excited this time, this new golf putter is being put to use in microbiology laboratories.

Same-day discharge after elective PCI not associated with increased risk of death, rehospitalization
Among selected low-risk Medicare patients who underwent an elective percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI; procedures such as balloon angioplasty or stent placement used to open narrowed coronary arteries), same-day discharge was rarely implemented, but was not associated with an increased risk of being rehospitalized or having a higher risk of death at two days or at 30 days, than patients who remained in the hospital overnight, according to a study in the Oct.

Health and forensic databases may contribute to racial disparities
There is too little attention paid in national and international public policy circles to the digital divide in health and law enforcement databases, says a new article in this week's PLoS Medicine.

Teaching non-language courses in a foreign language improves language learning
Students who in addition to their traditional German language courses are taught other courses in German end up with both a stronger vocabulary and a better communicative ability, according to a new doctoral thesis in German from the University of Gothenburg.

Advance directives related to use of palliative care, lower Medicare end-of-life spending
Advance directives do have an impact on health care at the end of life, especially in regions of the country with high spending on end-of-life care, according to a University of Michigan study.

Cothenius Medal awarded to Arizona State University social insect scientist for life's work
The German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina honored Arizona State University Foundation Professor Bert Hölldobler and two others with Cothenius Medals as part of the opening ceremonies of the Leopoldina's annual assembly.

An important breakthrough at the IRCM associated with osteoporosis
Researchers at the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal, directed by Dr.

Yale researchers reveal 1 reason why fat cells fail
Yale University researchers have found one of the mechanisms that cause fat cells to lose their ability to efficiently store and use energy -- a scientific mystery and a phenomenon that contributes to a major public health problem.

People as 'sensors': Twitter messages reveal NFL's big plays and fans'
Using millions of Twitter subscribers as living

To win hearts and minds, focus on small projects, study finds
US efforts to bring stability to Iraq and Afghanistan in recent years have focused less on killing insurgents and more on gaining the cooperation of the local population.

Preterm infants exposed to stressors in NICU display reduced brain size
New research shows that exposure to stressors in the Neonatal Intensive care Unit (NICU) is associated with alterations in the brain structure and function of very preterm infants.

Asthma quality measure compliance not linked with reduced readmission rates at children's hospitals
Even though there has been high-compliance or improvement by children's hospitals regarding asthma care quality measures, improved compliance with providing a written home management plan upon discharge has not been associated with subsequent lower emergency department usage or asthma-related readmission rates, according to a study in the Oct.

Hysterectomy is associated with increased levels of iron in the brain
Science knows that men have more iron in their bodies and brains then do women.

Bush responded to 9/11 according to traditional US foreign policy
The war on terror that former US President George W.

Green tea helps mice keep off extra pounds
Green tea may slow down weight gain and serve as another tool in the fight against obesity, according to Penn State food scientists.

A shot of cortisone stops traumatic stress
Professor Joseph Zohar of Tel Aviv University says that a single extra dose of cortisone -- which the body naturally produces just after a traumatic event -- reduces the chance that an individual will develop PTSD by 60 percent.

Panama REDD: Getting what you pay for
A new report by researchers from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama and Canada's McGill University identifies gaps in forest monitoring and ways to improve data collection.

Fate of lakes focus of international meeting in Sunapee, N.H.
On Oct. 10-14, more than a hundred scientists from 24 countries will meet at Lake Sunapee to discuss freshwater lakes and reservoirs, including what can be done to keep them healthy in the face of population growth and competing demands.

Grant to LSUHSC Tumor Registry creates pediatric cancer research tool
Dr. Vivien Chen, Professor of Public Health and Director of the Louisiana Tumor Registry at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, has been awarded a grant totaling $794,091 over three years to develop a system to rapidly collect and report pediatric cancer cases at the local, state, and national levels.

Calorific controversy for intensive care patients
Patients who are fed more calories while in intensive care have lower mortality rates than those who receive less of their daily-prescribed calories, according to a recent study of data from the largest critical care nutrition database in the world.

Smoking could lead to 40 million excess tuberculosis deaths by 2050
Between 2010 and 2050, smoking could be responsible for 40 million excess deaths from tuberculosis, according to research published on today.

A 'carbonizing dragon': Construction drives China's growing CO2 emissions
Constructing buildings, power plants and roads has driven a substantial increase in China's CO2 emission growth, according to a new study involving the University of East Anglia.

Study finds non-English speaking head and neck cancer patients have significantly worse outcomes
Researchers from Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine have found that among advanced head and neck cancer patients receiving radiation-based treatment, being non-English speaking was a more significant predictor of treatment outcome than being of non-white race.

New Geological Society of America earth science research posted
New research from three Geological Society of America journals is now online.

Long bone shape: A family affair
Although humans and chimpanzees move quite differently, muscle attachment sites at their thighbones are similar.

This is your brain on estrogen
Now, researchers reporting in the October Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication, have traced those hormonal effects on metabolism to different parts of the brain. 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