Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 19, 2011
Men win humor test (by a hair)
UC San Diego researchers used New Yorker cartoons to explore the gender stereotype that men are funnier than women.

B-lymphocyte depletion using the anti-CD20 antibody rituximab in chronic fatigue syndrome
Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) may be alleviated by the anti-cancer drug Rituximab, suggesting that the source of the disease could lie in the immune system, according to a new study published Oct.

Interventional radiologists: Tough on liver cancer, kind to patients
Finding innovative, minimally invasive ways to treat liver cancer -- and being able to tailor that treatment individually to patients -- are hallmarks of interventional radiologists.

Future-Directed Therapy helps depression patients cultivate optimistic outlook
Patients with major depression do better by learning to create a more positive outlook about the future, rather than by focusing on negative thoughts about their past experiences, researchers at Cedars-Sinai say after developing a new treatment that helps patients do this.

University of Delaware to lead DoD orthopaedic rehabilitation consortium
The Department of Defense (DoD) Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) Peer Reviewed Orthopaedic Research Program (PRORP) has awarded a $19.7 million grant to the University of Delaware to create and manage a consortium that will improve the quality of life for warfighters who suffer significant limb injuries in combat.

Durham University peer tutoring in math project wins new support
The largest of the first of four EEF grants has been awarded to a Durham University-led project supporting teachers to use older pupils aged 10 and 11 to tutor younger pupils aged eight to nine in math.

Combination of available tests helps predict Alzheimer's disease risk
A team of physicians and scientists from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, and elsewhere describe using a combination of broadly available medical tests to produce a much improved predictive picture of the likelihood of impending AD in patients with mild cognitive impairment -- an intermediate stage between the expected cognitive decline of normal aging and the more pronounced decline of dementia.

Propensity for longer life span inherited non-genetically over generations, Stanford study shows
We know that our environment -- what we eat, the toxic compounds we are exposed to -- can positively or negatively impact our life span.

University of Southampton launches art and design program in China
The University of Southampton's Winchester School of Art and Dalian Polytechnic University in China are launching the country's first collaborative art and design program.

New tool to help surgeons remove more cancer tissue during brain surgery
Scientists are reporting development and successful initial testing of a new tool that tells whether brain tissue is normal or cancerous while an operation is underway, so that surgeons can remove more of the tumor without removing healthy tissue, improving patients' survival.

Next-generation brain stimulation may improve treatment of Parkinson's disease
Now, a study published by Cell Press in the Oct.

NJIT math professor announces picks for Cy Young and Most Valuable Player: Says Rangers will win
With Major League Baseball's World Series set to begin today, NJIT math professor Bruce Bukiet has once again analyzed the players most deserving of winning baseball's most important awards for the 2011 season.

Keeping acrylic paintings clean poses big challenges
With the first acrylic paintings -- the medium made famous by artists like Mark Rothko, Andy Warhol, Robert Motherwell, and David Hockney -- pushing 60 years of age, scientists specializing in art conservation are seeking ways to rejuvenate these paintings and keep them looking their best.

New study shows passing mood can profoundly alter 'rational decisions'
Could a passing mood influence your financial portfolio for decades to come?

Spiral arms point to possible planets in a star's dusty disk
A new image of the disk of gas and dust around a sun-like star is the first to show spiral-arm-like structures.

Syracuse University scientists discover way to determine when water was present on Mars and Earth
The discovery of the mineral jarosite in rocks analyzed by the Mars Rover, Opportunity, on the Martian surface had special meaning for a team of Syracuse University scientists who study the mineral here on Earth.

Analysis of over 10,000 breast cancer patients shows that, following breast conserving surgery, radiotherapy almost halves 10-year-risk of recurrence, and reduces 15-year-risk of mortality by a sixth
An analysis of 10,801 women with breast cancer shows that, following breast conserving surgery, radiotherapy treatment halves the rate at which the disease recurs over the next 10 years and reduces the breast cancer death rate by one sixth over the next 15 years.

Record-breaking photo reveals a planet-sized object as cool as the Earth
The photo of a nearby star and its orbiting companion -- with a temperature like a hot summer day in Arizona -- will be revealed during a presentation at the Signposts of Planets conference at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center on Oct.

New evidence for the oldest oxygen-breathing life on land
New University of Alberta research shows the first evidence that oxygen-breathing bacteria occupied and thrived on land 100 million years earlier than previously thought.

After pregnancy loss, Internet forums help women understand they are not alone
An anonymous survey of more than 1,000 women on pregnancy loss message boards opens a new window into who is using the forums and why.

Can breastfeeding reduce pain in preterm infants?
Poorly managed pain in the neonatal intensive care unit has serious short- and long-term consequences, causing physiological and behavioral instability in preterm infants and long-term changes in their pain sensitivity, stress arousal systems, and developing brains.

For patients with both HIV and tuberculosis the timing of drug therapies is critical
How best to treat 700,000 tuberculosis patients globally who are HIV positive is the subject of a new study whose authors had previously shown that integrating antiretroviral therapy (ART) concurrently with tuberculosis treatment is preferable to treating the diseases sequentially.

Stranded dolphins exhibit bubbles, and ability to recover
In a study published online in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, a team that includes researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has confirmed that bubbles do form in live, stranded dolphins.

Discovery of a cell mechanism that reduces effectiveness of breast cancer treatment
Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and CIC bioGUNE discover a complex cell mechanism activated by a protein -- HOXB9 -- that becomes an obstacle for radiation effectiveness.

New aggression tool predicted violent patients in medical and surgical wards
Using a specially designed risk assessment tool was an effective way of identifying violent hospital patients in medical and surgical units.

NIST measures key property of potential 'spintronic' material
An advanced material that could help bring about next-generation 'spintronic' computers has revealed one of its fundamental secrets to a team of scientists from NIST and Argonne National Laboratory (ANL).

Mental health relief efforts often overlooked in wake of disasters
A new issue of the Counseling Psychologist (published by SAGE) titled

Could a probiotic be used to treat inflammatory bowel disease?
A new study by the University of Bristol has found a scientific

Mayo Clinic study guides physicians using therapeutic cooling to treat cardiac arrest patients
Sudden cardiac arrest is the leading cause of death in the United States, and just 7 percent of victims survive that initial collapse.

Too much undeserved self-praise can lead to depression
People who try to boost their self-esteem by telling themselves they've done a great job when they haven't could end up feeling dejected instead, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.

'Albedo effect' in forest disturbances can cause added warming, bonus cooling
Wildfire, insect outbreaks and hurricanes destroy huge amounts of forest every year and increase the amount of carbon dioxide entering the atmosphere, but scientists are now learning more about another force that can significantly affect their climate impact.

US rivers and streams saturated with carbon
Rivers and streams in the United States are releasing substantially more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than previously thought.

Rochester study: Age a big factor in prostate cancer deaths
Contrary to common belief, men age 75 and older are diagnosed with late-stage and more aggressive prostate cancer and thus die from the disease more often than younger men, according to a University of Rochester analysis published online this week by the journal, Cancer.

Durham University spin-out company scoops an 'Oscar for innovation'
Reinnervate, an innovative biotechnology company founded by professor Stefan Przyborski of Durham University's School of Biological and Biomedical Sciences, has won a major international research and development award at the prestigious Annual R&D 100 Awards.

'Microring' device could aid in future optical technologies
Researchers at Purdue University and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have created a device small enough to fit on a computer chip that converts continuous laser light into numerous ultrashort pulses, a technology that might have applications in more advanced sensors, communications systems and laboratory instruments.

What makes tires grip the road on a rainy day?
A team of scientists from Italy and Germany has recently developed a model to predict the friction occurring when a rough surface in wet conditions (such as a road on a rainy day) is in sliding contact with a rubber material (such as a car tire tread block) in an article to be published shortly in the Springer journal EPJE.

2011-2012 Lemelson-MIT InvenTeams; selected from national pool of applicants
Today, the Lemelson-MIT Program announced the 16 teams of students, teachers and mentors selected to participate in the 2011-2012 InvenTeam initiative.

Development of non-natural flavanones as antimicrobial agents
As microbes grow increasingly resistant to existing antibiotics, scientists are looking in new directions for drug development.

Can words heal? The role of the media in halting mass atrocities
The Montreal Institute for Genocide and Human Rights Studies at Concordia University, invites members of the media to

Perinatal flavor learning and adaptation to being weaned: All the pig needs is smell
Weaning can be a stressful time, but new research published in the Oct.

First report of increased safety using simultaneous techniques for cardiac testing published
The Canadian Journal of Cardiology has published a paper on the safety of cardiac imaging methods.

Impact study: Princeton model shows fallout of a giant meteorite strike
Seeking to better understand the level of death and destruction that would result from a large meteorite striking the Earth, Princeton University researchers have developed a new model that can not only more accurately simulate the seismic fallout of such an impact, but also help reveal new information about the surface and interior of planets based on past collisions.

False starts can sneak by in women's sprinting
Olympic timing procedures don't accurately detect false starts by female sprinters, according to a new analysis by University of Michigan researchers.

UT Southwestern research could lead to new treatments for IBD, viral infections
The intestinal ecosystem is even more dynamic than previously thought, according to two studies by UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers published in the latest issue of Science.

'The Royal Entomological Society Book of British Insects'
The Royal Entomological Society and Wiley-Blackwell are proud to present this landmark publication, celebrating the wonderful diversity of the insects of the British Isles, and the work of the RES.

Magnetic attraction: NIST/CU microchip demonstrates concept of 'MRAM for biomolecules'
Researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology and University of Colorado Boulder have developed a low-power microchip that uses a combination of microfluidics and magnetic switches to trap and transport magnetic beads.

Gypsies, graveyards and mysterious plants
A US Department of Agriculture scientist has confirmed the identity of a strange grass-like sedge discovered in a Mississippi graveyard, and believes the appearance of the potentially invasive plant is linked to the final resting places of several members of a royal Gypsy family.

New therapy protects monkeys from Hendra virus
A new treatment for the deadly Hendra virus has proven successful in primate tests -- a major step forward in combating the virus, which kills about 60 percent of those it infects and has been implicated in sporadic outbreaks in Australia ever since it was first identified in 1994.

Farm researchers and experts to meet in Kigali to assess food security in Great Lakes region
Later this month, farm researchers, development experts and other stakeholders will gather in Kigali for a landmark conference to take stock of agricultural development efforts in Central Africa's breadbasket and chart a path towards food security for the region.

Research proposes common link between autism, diabetes
A Rice University researcher suggests that autism might share a common underlying mechanism with Type 2 diabetes -- impaired glucose tolerance and hyperinsulinemia.

Scientists report major advance in human antibody therapy against deadly Hendra virus
A team of Federal and university scientists reports a breakthrough in the development of an effective therapy against a deadly virus, Hendra virus.

Explanation for glowing seas suggested
It has long been known that distinctive blue flashes -- a type of bioluminescence -- that are visible at night in some marine environments are caused by tiny, unicellular plankton known as dinoflagellates.

Older women still suffer from hot flushes and night sweats years after the menopause finds study
Women still have hot flushes and night sweats years after the menopause finds a new study published today in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

New role for Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor in regulating skin cancer stem cells
In a study published in Nature, researchers identify a new role for Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor in regulating skin cancer stem cells.

Using new technique, scientists uncover a delicate magnetic balance for superconductivity
Researchers deliberately created atomic-level disorder in order to probe the workings of heavy fermion compounds.

Wildlife Conservation Society uncovers record number of jaguars in Bolivia
In a new camera trap survey in the world's most biologically diverse landscape, researchers for the Wildlife Conservation Society have identified more individual jaguars than ever before.

SideBySide projection system enables projected interaction between mobile devices
Researchers at Disney Research, Pittsburgh, and Carnegie Mellon University have devised a system called SideBySide that enables animated images from two separate handheld projectors to interact with each other on the same surface.

Glowing beacons reveal hidden order in dynamical systems
A dynamical system in which repeated measurements on a single particle yield the same mean result as a single measurement of the whole ensemble is said to be ergodic.

Andrew J. Dannenberg, M.D., honored with AACR-Prevent Cancer Foundation Award
The AACR will present the 2011 AACR-Prevent Cancer Foundation Award for Excellence in Cancer Prevention Research to Andrew J.

Care for mentally ill veterans is as good or better than in other health systems, study finds
A major study of the quality of mental health care provided by the US Department of Veterans Affairs finds that the care provided by the VA is as good as or better than that reported by privately insured, Medicare or Medicaid populations.

The eyes have it: Computer-inspired creativity
Constraints on creativity imposed by computer-aided design tools are being overcome, thanks to a novel system that incorporates eye-tracking technology.

Researchers turn viruses into molecular Legos
UC Berkeley researchers have turned a benign virus into building blocks for assembling structures that mimic collagen, one of the most important structural proteins in nature.

Cheaper and easier isn't necessarily better in new colon cancer screening procedures
Tim Byers, M.D., M.P.H., associate director for prevention and control at the University of Colorado Cancer Center says that the growing use of fecal immunochemical testing for colorectal cancer,

VISTA finds new globular star clusters and sees right through the heart of the Milky Way
Two newly discovered globular clusters have been added to the total of just 158 known globular clusters in our Milky Way.

Double duty: Anti-HIV topical gel also protects against herpes virus
HIV infection is commonly associated with other sexual infections, such as herpes simplex virus (HSV).

Putting light-harvesters on the spot
How the light-harvesting complexes required for photosynthesis get to their site of action in the plant cell is reported by RUB biologists in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

Antibody treatment protects monkeys from Hendra virus disease
A human antibody given to monkeys infected with the deadly Hendra virus completely protected them from disease, according to a study published by National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists and their collaborators.

AMIA honors Regenstrief Institute's President and CEO with 2011 Morris F. Collen Award
The Morris F. Collen Award goes to an individual each year who has exemplified personal commitment and dedication to advancing informatics in health and biomedicine.

Pre-term babies' exposure to steroids associated with impaired brain growth
Premature infants exposed after birth to drugs known as glucocorticoids are at increased risk for having impaired growth of the cerebellum, according to findings from a new UCSF-led study.

Regenstrief Institute president to receive national recognition
William M. Tierney, M.D., president and CEO of the Regenstrief Institute, will receive the 2011 Morris F.

BUSM receives $13.6m grant to develop tools for the early detection of lung cancer
Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) is the lead institution on a $13.6 million study aimed at developing novel technologies for the early detection of lung cancer.

Unraveling the mysteries of the maternal brain: Odors influence the response to sounds
Motherhood is associated with the acquisition of a host of new behaviors that must be driven, at least in part, by alterations in brain function.

Electrochemistry controlled with a plasma electrode
Engineers at Case Western Reserve University have made an electrochemical cell that uses a plasma for an electrode, instead of solid pieces of metal.

Blame backbone fractures on evolution, not osteoporosis
Osteoporosis is blamed for backbone fractures. The real culprit could well be our own vertebrae, which evolved to absorb the pounding of upright walking, researchers at Case Western Reserve University say.

Canadian Journal of Cardiology publishes report on delayed vs. immediate coronary stenting
The Canadian Journal of Cardiology has published a paper on the timing of coronary stenting, a thought-provoking paper that challenges one of the dogmas of acute heart attack management today.

Time on your hands -- good or bad?
What is more desirable: too little or too much spare time?

Evidence-based medicine in health-care reform
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 mandates a national comparative outcomes research project agenda for pragmatic and clinical trials that provide optimal evidence-based medicine, according to an article published in the October 2011 issue of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery.

UCI psychiatrist wins Sarnat Prize for research on mood disorders
Dr. William E. Bunney, Distinguished Professor of psychiatry & human behavior at UC Irvine's School of Medicine, has been awarded the prestigious Institute of Medicine's 2011 Rhoda & Bernard Sarnat International Prize in Mental Health for his work enhancing the treatment and understanding of mood disorders.

One size does not fit all for knee replacements and other medical devices
Undergoing a knee replacement involves sophisticated medical equipment, but innovative prosthetic design may not offer the same benefits for all knee replacement recipients, Yale School of Medicine researchers report in a perspective article in the Oct.

New bacteria toxins against resistant insect pests
Scientists have developed Bt toxins for the management of Bt resistance in European corn borer and other crop pests.

1st Middle East and Africa Osteoporosis Meeting opens in Dubai
Some 1,000 doctors and clinical investigators from throughout the Middle East gathered today in Dubai for the opening of the International Osteoporosis Foundation's (IOF) 1st Middle-East & Africa Osteoporosis Meeting.

Blue stragglers

Polymer characterization 'tweezers' turn Nobel theory into benchtop tool
Researchers at UC Santa Barbara have developed a new and highly efficient way to characterize the structure of polymers at the nanoscale -- effectively designing a routine analytical tool that could be used by industries that rely on polymer science to innovate new products, from drug delivery gels to renewable bio-materials.

Fiery volcano offers geologic glimpse into land that time forgot
The first scientists to witness exploding rock and molten lava from a deep sea volcano now report in Nature Geoscience that the eruption was near a tear in the Earth's crust that is mimicking the birth of a subduction zone.

Manufacturing goes viral
Researchers have directed filamentous viruses to serve as structural building blocks for materials with a wide range of properties.

Health groups issue proposed cervical cancer screening guidelines
The American Cancer Society, the American Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology, and the American Society for Clinical Pathology have proposed new guidelines for the prevention and early detection of cervical cancer.

SMU scientists to lead water quality study at UN refugee camps
The search for solutions to dangerous water quality issues in refugee camps is driving an SMU lab group's partnership with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees -- an agreement that will put the university's faculty and students to work both in the lab and on the ground in Kenya, Uganda, Liberia and Bangladesh.

A new discipline emerges: The psychology of science
You've heard of the history of science, the philosophy of science, maybe even the sociology of science.

New generation of superlattice cameras add more 'color' to night vision
Recent breakthroughs have enabled scientists from the Northwestern University's Center for Quantum Devices to build cameras that can see more than one optical waveband or

Early HIV treatment dramatically increases survival in patients co-infected with tuberculosis
Timing is everything when treating patients with both HIV and tuberculosis.

Spiral arms hint at the presence of planets
A new image of the disk of gas and dust around a sun-like star has spiral-arm-like structures.

Louisiana Tech University, Cyber Innovation Center to co-host cyber research conference
Louisiana Tech University and the Cyber Innovation Center in Bossier City will co-host the Cyber Engineering Research Conference, Nov.

AAN releases updated guideline for treating essential tremor
The American Academy of Neurology is releasing an updated guideline on how to best treat essential tremor, which is the most common type of tremor disorder and is often confused with other movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease.

Most breast cancer patients do not have breast reconstruction surgery
Only seven per cent of female breast cancer patients opt for breast reconstruction surgery.

1 clock with 2 times
General relativity, the joint theory of gravity, space and time gives predictions that become clearly evident on a cosmic scale of stars and galaxies.

Springer extends its services for authors
In the future, Springer will be working closely with the Edanz Group, an editing service for scientific manuscripts, thus stepping up its hands-on support for authors.

Conference on 'smart cities
DTU invites you, in cooperation with Danish Energy Industries Federation and City of Copenhagen, to a conference on

3 factors could point to your fate after surgery
Duke University Medical Center researchers have verified data that suggest three medical factors appear to correlate with mortality for a patient who has been under anesthesia for an operation.

Scientists report major advance in the treatment of Hendra virus
A collaborative research team from Boston University School of Medicine, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, the University of Texas Medical Branch and Galveston National Laboratory, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, and the National Cancer Institute, reports a breakthrough in the development of an effective therapy against a deadly virus, Hendra virus.

Improving training efficiency in horses
To counter the loss of muscle mass after hard training people may elect to take various dietary supplements -- legal or otherwise.

Scientists hope to create robot strawberry pickers
Scientists at the National Physical Laboratory, the UK's Measurement Institute, have developed an imaging technology which can identify the ripeness of strawberries before they are picked.

Autistic facial characteristics identified
University of Missouri researchers have found distinct differences between the facial characteristics of children with autism compared to those of typically developing children.

RUB researchers break W3C standard
Implementing a W3C standard does not mean that a system is secure.

Bed bug insecticide resistance mechanisms identified
Bed bugs, largely absent in the US since the 1950s, have returned with a hungry vengeance in the last decade in all 50 states.

X-linked mental retardation protein is found to mediate synaptic plasticity in hippocampus
Scientists at CSHL have solved part of a puzzle concerning the relationship between changes in the strength of synapses -- the tiny gaps across which nerve cells in the brain communicate -- and dysfunctions in neural circuits that have been linked with drug addiction, mental retardation and other cognitive disorders.

Moving poor women to lower-poverty neighborhoods improves their health
Low-income women with children who move from high-poverty to lower-poverty neighborhoods experience notable long-term improvements in some aspects of their health, namely reductions in diabetes and extreme obesity, according to a new study.

Frazier Rehab, UofL earn $2.2 million grant for Spinal Cord Injury Model System
The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research of the US Department of Education has awarded researchers at Frazier Rehab Institute and the University of Louisville $2.2 million for five years to establish a Spinal Cord Injury Model System.

Carnegie Mellon develops touchscreen technology that distinguishes taps by parts of finger
Smartphone and tablet computer owners have become adept at using finger taps, flicks and drags to control their touchscreens.

Computer games help people with Parkinson's disease
Playing computer-based physical therapy games can help people with Parkinson's disease improve their gait and balance, according to a new pilot study led by the UCSF School of Nursing and Red Hill Studios, a California serious games developer.

Study seeks to widen corneal transplant window
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine will lead a national study determining if corneas transplanted up to two weeks after donor death work as well as corneas transplanted up to one week after donor death.

UNC's Rubinow elected to Institute of Medicine
David R. Rubinow, MD, chair of psychiatry at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine has been elected to the Institute of Medicine, considered one of the nation's highest honors for those in the fields of health and medicine.

Brain scans support findings that IQ can rise or fall significantly during adolescence
IQ, the standard measure of intelligence, can increase or fall significantly during our teenage years, according to research funded by the Wellcome Trust, and these changes are associated with changes to the structure of our brains.

NIH training grant awarded to Boston University School of Medicine and College of Engineering
The National Institutes of Health has awarded Boston University School of Medicine and the College of Engineering a five year, $316,875 training grant to examine inflammatory disorders.

Home washing machines: Source of potentially harmful ocean 'microplastic' pollution
Scientists are reporting that household washing machines seem to be a major source of so-called

NASA releases visual tour of Earth's fires
NASA has released a series of new satellite data visualizations that show tens of millions of fires detected worldwide from space since 2002.

Study links pollutants to a 450 percent increase in risk of birth defects
Pesticides and pollutants are related to an alarming 450 percent increase in the risk of spina bifida and anencephaly in rural China, according to scientists at The University of Texas at Austin and Peking University.

Bridging the gap
Like a bridge that spans a river to connect two major metropolises, the corpus callosum is the main conduit for information flowing between the left and right hemispheres of our brains.

The cannabis genome: How hemp got high
Throughout history, Cannabis sativa has been exploited by humanity. Hemp seed oil is rich in omega 6, and its fiber is used in the production of fabrics. 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