Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 21, 2011
US residents say Hawaii's coral reef ecosystems worth $33.57 billion per year
A peer-reviewed study commissioned by NOAA shows the American people assign an estimated total economic value of $33.57 billion for the coral reefs of the main Hawaiian Islands.

New instrument helps researchers see how diseases start and develop in minute detail
Researchers at Lund University can now study molecules which are normally only found in very small concentrations, directly in organs and tissue.

More African-Americans burdened by osteoarthritis in multiple large joints
New research suggests African-Americans have a higher burden of multiple, large-joint osteoarthritis (OA), and may not be recognized based on the current definition of

Researchers get $3 million National Institutes of Health grant for mathematical models of prostate cancer aggressiveness
Alexander R. A. Anderson, Ph.D., co-director of Integrative Mathematical Oncology at Moffitt Cancer Center, and his colleagues, Simon Hayward, Ph.D., at Vanderbilt University and Gustavo Ayala, M.D., at Baylor College of Medicine, have received a five-year, three million dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health to create new mathematical models to predict prostate cancer aggressiveness.

Evolutionary biologist inducted into American Academy of Arts and Sciences
David Reznick, a leading evolutionary biologist at UC Riverside, has been inducted into the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

New cancer vaccine extends progression-free survival in patients with advanced lung cancer
A Phase 2 trial, published online first in the Lancet Oncology, has shown that combining standard platinum-based chemotherapy with the new cancer vaccine TG4010 enhances the effect of chemotherapy and slows down the progression of advanced non-small-cell-lung cancer, the most common type of lung cancer, compared with chemotherapy alone.

Georgia Tech holds international symposium on epitaxial graphene
Scientists from across the globe will meet October 24-27 at the Third International Symposium on the Science and Technology of Epitaxial Graphene.

Plants feel the force
At the bottom of plants' ability to sense touch, gravity or a nearby trellis are mechanosensitive channels, pores through the cells' plasma membrane that are opened and closed by the deformation of the membrane.

American Society of Plant Biologists supports science outreach by grad students and postdocs
The American Society of Plant Biologists has named 12 plant biology researchers as science education mentors for the PlantingScience Master Plant Science Team (MPST).

When do consumers try to increase social standing by eating too much?
Consumers who feel powerless will choose larger size food portions in an attempt to gain status, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

European studies on risks of hepatocellular carcinoma
Among known risk factors for hepatocellular cancer, smoking, obesity, and heavy alcohol consumption, along with chronic hepatitis B and C infection, contribute to a large share of the disease burden in Europe, according to a cohort study published online Oct.

Blood-pressure-lowering drug after stroke aids recovery, study finds
A commonly prescribed blood pressure-lowering medication appears to kick start recovery in the unaffected brain hemisphere after a stroke by boosting blood vessel growth, a new University of Georgia study has found.

Study finds no correlation between primary kidney stone treatment and diabetes
A Mayo Clinic study finds no correlation between the use of shock waves to break up kidney stones and the long-term development of diabetes.

Elaborate plumage due to testosterone?
In female barred buttonquails, high testosterone levels correlate with elaborate plumage and good body condition.

Trio of studies support use of PET/CT scans as prostate cancer staging tool
Recent studies have suggested that C-11 choline positron emission tomography/computerized tomography scans can be utilized as a staging and potentially therapeutic tool in prostate cancer.

Joint preservation in osteoarthritis
Reconstructive surgical approaches can help delay endoprosthetic joint replacement in patients with osteoarthritis.

A new mechanism inhibiting the spread and growth of cancer found in motile cells
A revolutionary discovery regarding motile cancer cells made by research scientists at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the University of Turku is challenging previous conceptions.

Why does explaining why a cupcake is delicious make us love it less?
When consumers share their thoughts about products or experiences, their opinions can intensify, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Mayo Clinic study: PSA test valuable in predicting biopsy need, low-risk prostate cancer
The prostate-specific antigen test, commonly known as the PSA test, is valuable in predicting which men should have biopsies and which are likely to be diagnosed with low-risk prostate cancer, a Mayo Clinic study has found.

NIPPV linked to increased hospital mortality rates in small group of patients
Although increased use of noninvasive positive-pressure ventilation (NIPPV) nationwide has helped decrease mortality rates among patients hospitalized with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), a small group of patients requiring subsequent treatment with invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) have a significantly higher risk of death than those placed directly on IMV, according to researchers in the United States who studied patterns of NIPPV use.

VTT brings top metabolics experts to Finland
VTT is seeking to create new development paths towards a healthier life.

NJIT to host digital forensics, watermarking, steganography conference
The 10th International Workshop on Digital-Forensics and Watermarking will be held Oct.

Is it best to withhold favorable information about products?
Consumers are more likely to choose products when marketers withhold some favorable information until late in the choice process, according to the Journal of Consumer Research.

Preventing cancer development inside the cell cycle
Researchers from the NYU Cancer Institute, an NCI-designated cancer center at NYU Langone Medical Center, have identified a cell cycle-regulated mechanism behind the transformation of normal cells into cancerous cells.

Simple lifestyle changes can add a decade or more healthy years to the average lifespan
Health prevention strategies to help Canadians achieve their optimal health potential could add a decade or more of healthy years to the average lifespan and save the economy billions of dollars as a result of reduced cardiovascular disease, says noted cardiologist Dr.

Pastoralists in drought-stricken Kenya receive insurance payouts for massive livestock losses
In the midst of a drought-induced food crisis affecting millions in the Horn of Africa, an innovative insurance program for poor livestock keepers is making its first payouts today, providing compensation for some 650 insured herders in northern Kenya's vast Marsabit District who have lost up to a third of their animals.

Social isolation: Are lonely consumers actually loners or conformers?
Despite the proliferation of social networks, many Americans feel alone and isolated.

Elderly long-term care residents suffer cognitively during disasters
In a summer with unprecedented weather events, from tornadoes, floods, fires and hurricanes, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing found that physiological changes associated with aging and the presence of chronic illness make older adults more susceptible to illness or injury, even death, during a disaster.

Researchers generate first complete 3-D structures of bacterial chromosome
A team of researchers at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Harvard Medical School, Stanford University and the Prince Felipe Research Centre in Spain have deciphered the complete three-dimensional structure of the bacterium Caulobacter crescentus's chromosome.

What you want vs. how you get it
New research reveals how we make decisions. Birds choosing between berry bushes and investors trading stocks are faced with the same fundamental challenge -- making optimal choices in an environment featuring varying costs and benefits.

How does hand orientation help consumers imagine using products?
Consumers need a little help when it comes to imagining using products, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

'PATH B,' a comprehensive support program in Europe for patients with chronic hepatitis B launched
Hepatitis B is one of the most common infectious diseases in the world, with 350 million people worldwide being chronically infected -- this compares with 33 million people living with HIV infection -- yet there remains a lack of reliable resources for hepatitis B patients and caregivers.

Children with certain dopamine system gene variants respond better to ADHD drug
Children with certain dopamine system gene variants have an improved response to methylphenidate -- the most commonly prescribed medication for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder -- in a finding that could help eliminate the guesswork from prescribing effective medications for children with ADHD.

Next-generation allergy vaccines to be developed in Finland to create effective and safe desensitization therapies
VTT Ventures Oy has established a spin-off which develops next-generation allergy vaccines.

Researchers find coupling of proteins promotes glioblastoma development
Two previously unassociated proteins known to be overly active in a variety of cancers bind together to ignite and sustain malignant brain tumors, a research team led by scientists at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center reports this week in the journal Cancer Cell.

Research involving thyroid hormone lays foundation for more targeted drug development
Research led by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists advances a strategy for taming the side effects and enhancing the therapeutic benefits of steroids and other medications that work by disrupting the activity of certain hormones.

The cost of consumer fibbing: Can it hurt to tell a little white lie?
Consumers who tell little white lies to avoid confrontation might find themselves rewarding the people who inconvenienced them, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Commonly used 3-drug regimen for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis found harmful
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, has stopped one arm of a three arm multi-center, clinical trial studying treatments for the lung-scarring disease idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis for safety concerns.

New discoveries on the state of hemoglobin in living red blood cells
Previous studies of hemoglobin were almost always conducted after first analyzing the red blood cells before conducting the intended analyses.

Fluoride shuttle increases storage capacity
KIT researchers have developed a new concept for rechargeable batteries.

Digital worlds can help autistic children to develop social skills
The benefits of virtual worlds can be used to help autistic children develop social skills beyond their anticipated levels, suggest early findings from new research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Why do some athletes choke under pressure?
Athletes know they should just do their thing on the 18th hole, or during the penalty shootout, or when they're taking a three-point shot in the last moments of the game.

What defines life satisfaction for consumers living in poverty?
People whose basic needs are met get more life satisfaction when they are more connected to others and when they experience greater autonomy, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Spousal death key link to loss of independent living for seniors
The death of a spouse is always a tragedy, but for seniors, that tragedy can spur some significant life changes.

New book from NJIT professor focuses on art, science and evolution
NJIT Professor David Rothenberg's newest book

DFG establishes 12 new research units
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft has established nine new research units and three clinical research units.

Siemens and VTT begin cooperation to improve the information security of industry
Siemens and VTT have entered into a cooperation agreement aimed at improving the information security of Finnish industry.

Geoinformatics: Transporting geology to the future
Geoinformatics: What does it mean? It means disaster management; sustainability assessment; societal impacts and benefits of properly managing geologic metadata; global satellite data dissemination; development of international geoscience standards; bridging the barriers of terminology and data; international cooperation for global mapping; and

Housing, health care contribute most to rising costs of living in Washington
It costs 8 percent more on average than it did two years ago for Washington residents to make ends meet, according to a new report from a University of Washington research group.

No simultaneous warming of Northern and Southern hemispheres as a result of climate change for 20,000 years
A common argument against global warming is that the climate has always varied.

November 2011 Geology highlights: New research posted Oct. 5
Another packed issue of GEOLOGY, The Geological Society of America's premier journal and the top-most cited geoscience journal in the world is online in pre-issue publication.

Study highlights issues faced by friends and family of the suicidal
A study focusing on the family and friends of people who were suicidal has highlighted the main challenges they face when trying to judge whether a person is in danger and decide what they should do about it.

Biomarker detects graft-versus-host-disease in cancer patients after bone marrow transplant
A University of Michigan Health System-led team of researchers has found a biomarker they believe can help rapidly identify one of the most serious complications in cancer patients after a bone marrow transplant.

How do protein binding sites stay dry in water?
In a report to be published soon in EPJE, researchers from the National University of the South in Bahia Blanca, Argentina, studied the condition for model cavity and tunnel structures resembling the binding sites of proteins to stay dry without losing their ability to react, a prerequisite for proteins to establish stable interactions with other proteins in water.

Vivid descriptions of faces 'don't have to go into detail'
Celebrated writers such as Charles Dickens and George Eliot described characters' faces vividly without going into detail about their features, according to a research group led at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland. 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