Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 26, 2011
Compound found in common wart treatment shows promise as leukemia therapy
A new potential leukemia therapy targets only cancer cells, while leaving healthy cells alone.

Thomas Jefferson University Hospital cuts Whipple procedure wound infections in half with new measures
Thomas Jefferson University Hospital surgeons found that a carefully selected surgical care check list of 12 measures reduced Whipple procedure wound infections by nearly 50 percent.

New drug targets revealed from giant parasitic worm genome sequence
Scientists have identified the genetic blueprint of the giant intestinal roundworm, Ascaris suum, revealing potential targets to control the devastating parasitic disease, ascariasis which affects more than one billion people in China, South East Asia, South America and parts of Africa, killing thousands of people annually and causing chronic effects in young children.

Wind farm development can be powerful, as long as proper design is implemented
According to a study published in the Oct. 26 issue of the online journal PLoS ONE, with proper planning and design, wind energy production can address ecological concerns and still achieve development goals.

Advance toward a breath test to diagnose multiple sclerosis
Scientists are reporting the development and successful tests in humans of a sensor array that can diagnose multiple sclerosis (MS) from exhaled breath, an advance that they describe as a landmark in the long search for a fast, inexpensive and non-invasive test for MS -- the most common neurological disease in young adults.

Study finds that annual screening with chest x-ray does not reduce rate of lung cancer deaths
In a trial that included more than 150,000 participants, those who underwent annual chest radiographic screening for up to 4 years did not have a significantly lower rate of death from lung cancer compared to participants who were not screened, according to a study in the November 2 issue of JAMA.

NOAA designates critical habitat for black abalone
NOAA's Fisheries Service today filed with the Federal Register a final rule that identifies black abalone critical habitat along the California coast.

Good relationship with teacher can protect first graders from aggression
A new study of 217 Canadian seven-year-old twins finds that children who were genetically vulnerable to being aggressive were more likely to be victimized by their classmates than others.

Faraway Eris is Pluto's twin
Astronomers have measured the diameter of the dwarf planet Eris by catching it as it passed in front of a faint star.

Wind Energy Manufacturing Lab helps Iowa State engineers improve wind power
Iowa State University's Wind Energy Manufacturing Laboratory is helping engineers study and develop new, low-cost manufacturing systems that could improve the productivity of turbine blade factories.

Clinical trial shows first evidence that anal cancer is preventable
A large, international clinical trial led by doctors at the University of California, San Francisco indicates that a vaccine to prevent anal cancer is safe and effective, according to a study reported in the Oct.

Study shows why underrepresented men should be included in binge eating research
Binge eating is a disorder which affects both men and women, yet men remain underrepresented in research.

Scientists predict faster retreat for Antarctica's Thwaites Glacier
The retreat of Antarctica's fast-flowing Thwaites Glacier is expected to speed up within 20 years, once the glacier detaches from an underwater ridge that is currently holding it back, says a new study in Geophysical Research Letters.

Friendship makes a difference in stress regulation
A nationwide Dutch study of 100 fourth graders sought to determine whether victimization and exclusion by peers were related to increases in cortisol (a stress hormone), and whether friendships moderated this association.

Inadequate supply of protein building blocks may explain pregnancy failures in bovine cloning experiments
Amino acids, the building blocks of proteins, are essential to support the normal growth of a developing embryo and the placenta.

Found in the developing brain: Mental health risk genes and gender differences
Most genes associated with psychiatric illnesses are expressed before birth in the developing human brain, a massive study headed by Yale University researchers discovered.

The architects of the brain
Bochum's neurobiologists have found that certain receptors for the neurotransmitter glutamate determine the architecture of nerve cells in the developing brain.

Cornell researchers discover only recorded flight of lost imperial woodpecker
Most believe the imperial woodpecker faded unseen into history in the late 20th century in the high mountains of Mexico.

Study uncovers clues to young children's aggressive behavior
In a new longitudinal study that moves beyond descriptive findings to explain underlying processes, researchers looked at difficult infant temperament and negative maternal parenting for more than 260 mother and child pairs and found that negative maternal parenting mattered more than difficult infant temperament in putting parent-child pairs at risk for conflict in the toddler period, and then putting children at risk for conduct problems at school age.

Preschoolers' language skills improve more when they're placed with more-skilled peers
Preschool children with relatively poor language skills improve more if they are placed in classrooms with high-achieving students, a new study found.

Researchers complete mollusk evolutionary tree
Researchers at Brown University and partner institutions have compiled the most comprehensive evolutionary tree for mollusks to date.

Lab-made skin cells will aid transplantation, cancer, drug discovery research
Researchers have found a way to create melanocytes from mouse tail cells using embryonic stem cell-like intermediates called inducible pluripotent (iPS) cells.

Final version of NIST cloud computing definition published
After years in the works and 15 drafts, NIST's working definition of cloud computing has been published in final form.

Low-cost paper-based wireless sensor could help detect explosive devices
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a prototype wireless sensor capable of detecting trace amounts of a key ingredient found in many explosives.

ARISTOTLE trial finds new drug may revolutionize the treatment of atrial fibrillation
New research has the potential to revolutionize the treatment of atrial fibrillation, a condition affecting a quarter of a million Canadians which is expected to strike even more in the coming years, as the Canadian population ages.

What drives IT performance?
Concordia's John Molson School of Business studies the strategic role of IT in small-and medium-sized business manufacturers to understand its relationship to IT performance.

High-quality white light produced by four-color laser source
The human eye is as comfortable with white light generated by diode lasers as with that produced by increasingly popular light-emitting diodes, according to tests conceived at Sandia National Laboratories.

Why do woodpeckers resist head impact injury?
As reported in the Oct. 26 issue of the online journal PLoS ONE, an analysis of woodpecker anatomy and behavior revealed some features that could potentially be put to use in designing more effective helmets.

Einstein researcher helps lead consortium for $10 million 'X Prize' to sequence genomes of 100 centenarians
Nir Barzilai, M.D., director of the Institute for Aging Research at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University, will help lead a newly formed centenarian consortium for the Archon Genomics X PRIZE presented by Medco.

Food chemical regulations rely heavily on industry self-policing and lack transparency
Safety decisions concerning one-third of the more than 10,000 substances that may be added to human food were made by food manufacturers and a trade association without review by the US Food and Drug Administration, according to an analysis spearheaded by the Pew Health Group.

VTT and the MSI combine their unique competencies to a new Center for Bioengineering
The VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and the Molecular Sciences Institute have joined forces to establish a new research center in Berkeley, California.

University of Michigan announces Eric J. Topol Professorship in Cardiovascular Medicine
The University of Michigan Medical School today announced the establishment of the Eric J.

Through-the-nipple breast cancer therapy shows promise in early tests
Delivering anticancer drugs into breast ducts via the nipple is highly effective in animal models of early breast cancer, and has no major side effects in human patients, according to a report by Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers in Science Translational Medicine on Oct.

Source found for immune system effects on learning, memory
Specialized immune system cells in the brain called microglia release a signaling molecule called Interleukin-1, or IL-1, in response to an infection.

An online global map of coral and zooxanthellae data for climate change study is released
Researchers at the Hawai'i Institute of Marine Biology, an organized research unit in the University of Hawai'i at Manoa's School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology have developed a web application titled GeoSymbio that provides global geospatial bioinformatics and ecoinformatics data for Symbiodinium-host symbioses.

QB3 signs agreement to accelerate innovation
The California Institute for Quantitative Biosciences (QB3) has signed an agreement with the Johnson & Johnson Corporate Office of Science and Technology to fund University of California proof-of-concept research that brings innovative science to market.

Cyber workshop at Sandia Labs seeks potential responses to cyberattacks
Even as industrialized societies rely increasingly on computers to operate utilities, banks and basic security measures, the possibility of an adversary seriously damaging the increasingly complex programs that run these concerns has increased.

Poverty-related stress affects readiness for school
Researchers studying 1,300 mostly low-income children looked at demographic characteristics, household environment, parenting quality, and cortisol levels when the children were 7-24 months old and executive functions when the children were 3.

Our brains are made of the same stuff, despite DNA differences
Despite vast differences in the genetic code across individuals and ethnicities, the human brain shows a

New process for manufacturing nanocellulose recognized with the Empa Research Award
For some time now nanocellulose has been at the focus of a good deal of industrial and scientific interest as a novel biomaterial.

Future 'comb on a chip': NIST's compact frequency comb could go places
NIST researchers have developed a compact laser frequency comb -- a class of extraordinarily precise tools for measuring frequencies of light.

Lay-language summaries of research at Acoustical Society meeting now online
Understanding the spoken word, acoustical tools to treat cancer, and harvesting sound for energy are just some of the nearly 60 lay-language versions of papers being presented at the 162nd Acoustical Society of America's meeting in San Diego, Calif., Oct.

Ovarian stimulation for IVF treatment increases risk of borderline ovarian tumors later in life
New research from The Netherlands has shown that sub-fertile women whose ovaries are stimulated into producing extra eggs for in-vitro fertilization have an increased risk of ovarian malignancies, in particular borderline ovarian tumors, later in life.

No hands required -- scientists achieve precise control of virtual flight
Scientists have designed a novel, noninvasive system that allows users to control a virtual helicopter using only their minds, as reported in the online journal PLoS ONE on Oct.

Gene responsible for relapses in young leukemia patients
One of the causes of resistance to cancer treatment in children is now beginning to be elucidated.

Religious, spiritual support benefits men and women facing chronic illness, MU study finds
Individuals who practice religion and spirituality report better physical and mental health than those who do not.

Steps being taken towards achieving an early diagnosis of cancer of the large intestine
Itxaro Perez, a biochemist at the University of the Basque Country, has contributed in such a way that, in the long term, the early diagnosis of cancer of the large intestine could be feasible.

Growing something out of nothing
Professor Amram Eshel of Tel Aviv University has found that forests of the hardy salt cedar tree, indigenous to old-world deserts, have the potential to significantly offset the amount of carbon dioxide that human communities produce.

Multiple malaria vaccine offers protection to people most at risk
A new malaria vaccine could be the first to tackle different forms of the disease and help those most vulnerable to infection, a study suggests.

Louisiana Tech University engineering students, grads see bright future in solar power
Students and graduates from Louisiana Tech University's College of Engineering and Science have teamed up with a Louisiana-based solar energy company to develop innovative ways of producing clean energy in homes and businesses across the country.

Astronomers discover complex organic matter in the universe
In today's issue of the journal Nature, Prof. Sun Kwok and Dr.

Medical researchers ID potential new drug target that could stop debilitating effects of MS
Medical researchers at the University of Alberta have discovered a potential new drug target for Multiple Sclerosis that could prevent physical disability associated with the disease, once a new drug is developed.

Shaken, not stirred: Berkeley lab scientists spy molecular maneuvers
By shaking not stirring their solutions, Berkeley Lab researchers at the Molecular Foundry have been able to engineer two-dimensional, biomimetic nanosheets with atomic precision for a wide range of applications, including the creation of platforms for sensing molecules or membranes for filtration.

Researchers develop method to better estimate vaccine coverage
Vaccination coverage estimates can be improved by combining administrative data with survey data.

For certain orchids, relatives more important than pollinators in shaping floral attractants
Bees, bats, and moths follow their noses in search of food from flowers.

UCSF-Pfizer partnership yields projects aimed at clinical trials
An 11-month-old partnership between UCSF and Pfizer Inc., aimed at rapidly moving new therapies into human clinical trials, has selected its first projects for funding and joint development.

Technology enables Colorado specialists to test Guam infant for hearing loss
Venerannda Leon Guerrero cradled her slumbering infant in her arms in a CEDDERS testing center at the University of Guam as she watched an audiologist in Colorado conduct a diagnostic test to determine whether or not her baby has a hearing loss.

Controversy over reopening the 'Sistine Chapel' of Stone Age art
Plans to reopen Spain's Altamira caves are stirring controversy over the possibility that tourists' visits will further damage the 20,000-year old wall paintings that changed views about the intellectual ability of prehistoric people.

New 'scarless' surgery takes out tumors through natural skull opening
A technique developed by Johns Hopkins surgeons is providing a new route to get to and remove tumors buried at the base of the skull: through the natural hole behind the molars, above the jawbone and beneath the cheekbone.

Boaters' risk of illness on Chicago River similar to other waterways
According to a University of Illinois at Chicago study, canoeing, kayaking, rowing, boating and fishing on the Chicago River pose the same risk of gastrointestinal illness as performing these same activities on other local waters -- a risk that turns out to be higher than that intended for swimmers at Lake Michigan beaches.

Betcha won't eat just one: Study shows people consume more candies when they're indivdually wrapped
If you believe that good things always come in small packages, University of Alberta researcher Jennifer Argo's new study may change your mind -- especially this close to Halloween.

Quantum computer components 'coalesce' to 'converse'
A team of NIST physicists has shown for the first time how very different types of photons can be made to share

NIU biologist Virginia Naples is helping put new face on ferocious saber-tooth cats
Northern Illinois University Biology Professor Virginia Naples and two colleagues -- Larry Martin of the University of Kansas and fossil hunter John Babiarz -- are editors of a new book on saber-tooth cats titled:

New tool clears the air on cloud simulations
Climate models have a hard time representing clouds accurately because they lack the spatial resolution necessary to accurately simulate the billowy air masses.

Three new planets and a mystery object discovered outside our solar system
Three planets -- each orbiting its own giant, dying star -- have now been discovered by a team led by Alexander Wolszczan, the discoverer of the first planets ever found outside our solar system.

Policymakers should prepare for major uncertainties with Medicaid expansion
The number of low-income, uninsured Americans enrolling in Medicaid under the expanded coverage made possible by the Affordable Care Act of 2010 could vary considerably from the levels currently projected by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, according to a new study by Harvard School of Public Health researchers.

Study identifies genetic basis of human metabolic individuality
In what is so far the largest investigation of its kind, researchers uncovered a wide range of new insights about common diseases and how they are affected by differences between two persons' genes.

Recycling thermal cash register receipts contaminates paper products with BPA
Bisphenol A (BPA) -- a substance that may have harmful health effects -- occurs in 94 percent of thermal cash register receipts, scientists are reporting.

Access to legal aid depends a lot on where you live, report says
Half of Americans are confronting a civil legal problem at any one time, according to one estimate.

NIST releases 2 wireless security guides, requests comment
NIST has issued for public review and comment two draft guides to securing related to security in wireless communication networks, one on Bluetooth networks and one on wireless local area networks.

NIH awards group $4.5 million for smart artificial pancreas technology
An international team of diabetes research experts is engineering an intelligent artificial pancreas system that responds in real-time to meals, exercise, stress and changes in physiology for type 1 diabetes patients

Testing geoengineering
Solar radiation management is a class of theoretical concepts for manipulating the climate in order to reduce the risks of global warming.

Improved characterization of nanoparticle clusters for EHS and biosensors research
NIST researchers have demonstrated a method to measure accurately both the distribution of clusters of nanoparticles in solution and how their light absorption spectrum changes with size.

Jefferson physician named an 'Educator of the Year' by the Assocociation of Residents in Radiation Oncology
Voichita Bar-Ad, M.D., an associate professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Thomas Jefferson University, is one of the select few to be named an

Preschoolers' classmates influence their language skills
A study of 330 ethnically diverse 4-year-olds enrolled in 49 preschool classrooms used beginning- and end-of-year language skills assessments to find that that preschoolers' language growth was associated with the average level of language skills shown by their classmates.

Novel treatment protects mice against malaria; approach may work in humans as well
Malaria is a major global health concern, and researchers are in need of new therapeutic approaches.

Environmental toxin Bisphenol A can affect newborn brain
Newborn mice that are exposed to Bisphenol A develop changes in their spontaneous behavior and evince poorer adaptation to new environments, as well hyperactivity as young adults.

UM School of Medicine finds new pathway critical to heart arrhythmia
University of Maryland School of Medicine researchers have uncovered a previously unknown molecular pathway that is critical to understanding cardiac arrhythmia and other heart muscle problems.

Teenage girls and senior students suffered highest levels of PTSD after major earthquake
This week's earthquake in Turkey provides a stark reminder of the devastation that such events can cause.

Misleading morphology: 3 European parasitoid wasp 'species' are seasonal forms of just 1
Through an examination of collections, both natural and experimental rearings, and DNA sequence data, three nominal species of ichneumon wasps, having very different morphologies and hitherto regarded as distinct, are shown to be seasonal forms of a single species, Scambus calobatus.

NIST releases update to smart grid framework
NIST has released for public comment an expanded list of standards, new cybersecurity guidance and product testing proposals in an updated roadmap for Smart Grid interoperability.

Does reading achievement spur independent reading, or vice versa?
A study of 436 pairs of identical and same-sex nonidentical twins at age 10 and again a year later at 11 finds that children's reading achievement at age 10 predicted their independent reading at 11, regardless of how much independent reading they were doing at 10.

Wayne State to develop a computer-delivered intervention for alcohol use during pregnancy
A team of researchers at Wayne State University's Parent Health Lab in the School of Medicine have received a three-year grant to develop a computer-delivered intervention for pregnant women at risk for alcohol use, which can lead to lifelong negative effects on the fetus.

FDA awards Georgetown University a Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science & Innovation
Georgetown University today announces a partnership with the US FDA to establish a first of its kind Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation.

High-dose melphalan and autologous stem cell transplantation increases survival
A team of researchers led by Boston University School of Medicine, has found treatment of selected immunoglobulin light chain, amyloidosis patients with high-dose melphalan and autologous stem cell transplantation, resulted in a high organ response rate and increased overall survival, even for those patients who did not achieve a hematologic complete response.

DNDi joins WIPO Re:Search but calls for more ambitious provisions
The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative welcomes WIPO's Re:Search initiative, but calls for WIPO to go beyond the current provisions, notably in terms of ensuring access not only in LDCs, but in all neglected disease-endemic countries, and in terms of more transparency of licensing practices with a public health goal.

Can plagiarism be weeded out?
A group of Concordia researchers presented preliminary findings of a new study on plagiarism at the recent 2011 International Conference on Academic Integrity in Toronto.

UK brains are under threat
The British appetite for zombies is becoming a growing trend.

Chiral metal surfaces may help to manufacture pharmaceuticals
New research shows how metal surfaces that lack mirror symmetry could provide a novel approach towards manufacturing pharmaceuticals.

New study finds fetal heart rate not a good indicator of a baby's health
Physicians preparing to deliver a baby look at fetal heart rate patterns to guide them in deciding whether or not to perform a C- section.

Scripps Research scientist awarded $500,000 grant to study Parkinson's disease
The Scripps Research Institute has been awarded a $500,000 grant by the Michael J.

Want to resist temptation? A new study suggests thinking might not always help you
Uh oh. Here comes temptation -- for a dieter, it's a sweet treat; an alcoholic, a beer; a married man, an attractive, available woman.

Bedside assessment may provide better outcomes for older cancer patients
New research from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center uses a simple assessment tool to determine how well older adults diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia can handle treatment.

Study indicates nanoparticles could help pain-relieving osteoarthritis drugs last longer
A novel study demonstrates that using nanoparticles to deliver osteoarthritis drugs to the knee joint could help increase the retention of the drug in the knee cavity, and therefore reduce the frequency of injections patients must receive.

Antarctic killer whales may seek spa-like relief in the tropics
NOAA researchers offer a novel explanation for why a type of Antarctic killer whale performs a rapid migration to warmer tropical waters in a paper published this month in the science journal Biology Letters. 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