Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 27, 2011
Free health care: Yes, but with caution
Over the last years, many low and middle-income countries have removed user fees in their health care sector.

NYUCN receives $299 thousand from NCSBN to study patient safety in nursing homes
New York University College of Nursingreceived a two-year, $299,990.00 grant from the National Council of State Boards of Nursing Grant (NCSBN) to research the

Statin therapy fails to slow progression of atherosclerosis in pediatric lupus patients
Atorvastatin therapy was found to be ineffective in reducing atherosclerosis progression in children and adolescents with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

Speedy 3-D X-rays in the operating room
Having an operation always places strain on patients, and this is especially true of complicated operations.

Natural intestinal flora involved in the emergence of multiple sclerosis
Beneficial intestinal bacteria can activate immune cells and trigger the overreaction of the immune system.

Physicists manipulate single molecules to unravel secrets of protein folding
Munich-based physicists are opening a new window on protein folding, using a technique that lets them grab the ends of a single protein molecule and pull, making continuous, direct measurements as it unfolds and refolds.

Cattle parasite vaccine offers hope to world's poorest farmers
A new approach to vaccinating cattle could help farmers worldwide, research suggests.

UCI Institute for Money, Technology & Financial Inclusion awarded $4.17 million
UC Irvine's Institute for Money, Technology & Financial Inclusion has received a $4.17 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to continue research on current and potential uses of mobile technology in providing banking and financial services to people in developing countries.

ONR strengthens partnerships at Hispanic-American conference
The Office of Naval Research will promote its science and technology opportunities at the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities 25th Annual Conference, Oct.

RV Polarstern launches 28th Antarctic season
On Friday, Oct. 28, 2011 the research icebreaker Polarstern sets off on its 28th Antarctic expedition.

Intestinal stem cells respond to food by supersizing the gut
Many organs, from muscles and intestines to the liver, change size during adulthood.

2.5 million California children still at risk of secondhand smoke exposure
Despite having the second-lowest smoking rate in the nation, California is still home to nearly 2.5 million children under the age of 12 who are exposed to secondhand smoke, according to a new policy brief from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research.

Single photons for optical information transfer
A research team at the University of Alberta wants to refine the optical transmission of information by using a single photon, the fundamental building block of light that can allow unprecedented applications in optical information transfer.

BMC selected spinal cord injury model system site by NIDRR
The New England Regional Spinal Cord Injury Center at Boston Medical Center has been selected as a Spinal Cord Injury Model System by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.

Good parenting is just a joke
Parents who joke and pretend with their toddlers are giving their children a head start in terms of life skills.

Researchers use new approach to overcome key hurdle for next-generation superconductors
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new computational approach to improve the utility of superconductive materials for specific design applications -- and have used the approach to solve a key research obstacle for the next-generation superconductor material yttrium barium copper oxide.

'An Archaeology of Desperation' details the Donner tragedy
If you are familiar with the Donner party tragedy in the Sierra Nevada in the winter of 1846-1847, start with the eight-page final chapter of

Nearly half of Ontario seniors do not see dentists regularly
Forty-five per cent of Ontarians 65 years and older did not see a dentist in the last year, increasing their risk of chronic diseases and a reduced quality of life, a new study by researchers at St.

NYU College of Nursing receives 450 thousand dollar NIH grant to research post-breast cancer lymphedema
New York University College of Nursing received a two-year, $452,218.00 grant from the national Institutes of Health to research

Unraveling the complex signaling that helps cells know when to grow, when to sit tight
A finely tuned system evolved early on to help cells survive in a world where good times come as fast as they go.

Georgetown researchers examine 21-year series of nipple sparing mastectomy cases and find no cancers
A new study suggests some women needing a lumpectomy or mastectomy to treat their breast cancer have another potential option that is safe and effective -- nipple sparing mastectomy.

Use of over-the-counter thyroid support pills is risky, Mayo Clinic Researcher finds
People who use over-the-counter

Breaking new paths: Templeton Frontiers Program established at Perimeter Institute
The new Templeton Frontiers Program at Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics aims to catalyze path-breaking research by encouraging young scientists to pursue ambitious and daring ideas.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers find more clues to causes of breast cancer
Publishing in the current issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., have discovered additional mechanisms of

Progeria: Promising results from new gene therapy on animals
Huge progress has been made over the last few years in scientific research into Progeria, a disease that leads to premature aging in children.

Promising kidney drug fails in large clinical trial
What was hoped to be a promising new drug to protect the kidneys has failed to benefit diabetes patients with kidney disease, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

Nobel Laureate Bruce Beutler on molecular sensors as a trigger for autoimmune disease
Bruce Beutler, M.D., a co-recipient of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Medicine, has coauthored an article describing a novel molecular mechanism that can cause the body to attack itself and trigger an autoimmune disease.

Research: Graphene grows better on certain copper crystals
New observations could improve industrial production of high-quality graphene, hastening the era of graphene-based consumer electronics, thanks to University of Illinois engineers.

Childhood diet lower in fat and higher in fiber may lower risk for chronic disease in adulthood
A recent study has found that a childhood behavioral intervention to lower dietary intake of total fat and saturated fat and increase consumption of foods that are good sources of dietary fiber resulted in significantly lower fasting plasma glucose levels and lower systolic blood pressure when study participants were re-evaluated in young adulthood.

Yeast model connects Alzheimer's disease risk and amyloid beta toxicity
In a development that sheds new light on the pathology of Alzheimer's disease (AD), a team of Whitehead Institute scientists has identified connections between genetic risk factors for the disease and the effects of a peptide toxic to nerve cells in the brains of AD patients.

What role do cytokines play in autoimmune diseases?
Cytokines, a varied group of signaling chemicals in the body, have been described as the software that runs the immune system, but when that software malfunctions, dysregulation of the immune system can result in debilitating autoimmune diseases such as lupus, arthritis, and diabetes.

An IRB Barcelona project on computational biology receives an ERC Advanced Grant
The multidisciplinary project awarded within the category of Physical Sciences and Engineering is specialized in chemistry and computational biology, structural biology, biophysics, and bioinformatics and will have direct applications in several fields of biomedicine, such as the regulation of gene expression, and epigenetic mechanisms.

Dr. Jennifer L. Howse elected to Institute of Medicine
Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, President of the March of Dimes Foundation, has been elected to membership in the Institute of Medicine, the nation's premier advisory group on improving health.

Press registration -- Entomological Society of America's Annual Meeting, Nov. 13-16, 2011 in Reno
The Entomological Society of America invites journalists from accredited news organizations and public information officers to register for a complimentary press pass to Entomology 2011, ESA's 59th Annual Meeting in Reno, Nev., Nov.

A step in unraveling Alzheimer's described in Science article
Scientists outline new methods for better understanding links between specific proteins and the risks associated with Alzheimer's disease in an article co-authored by University of Alabama researchers and publishing today in Science Express.

Navy's modern airship receives historical identification
Unveiled at a ceremonious ribbon-cutting event, Oct. 26 at the Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Lakehurst, New Jersey, NAWCAD and the US Naval Research Laboratory, reveal the MZ-3A airship now adorned with the insignia of Scientific Development Squadron ONE and the banner of the US Navy.

Researchers study infrasonic signals to warn pilots of volcanic ash at high altitudes
To aid aviation operations with early warnings of ash in the atmosphere, a study is being conducted by Florida Institute of Technology and the University of Hawaii, which is funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Different paths to drug resistance in Leishmania
This release describes two papers on Leishmania, a disfiguring and potentially fatal disease.

Seaweed records show impact of ocean warming
As the planet continues to warm, it appears that seaweeds may be in especially hot water.

To diagnose heart disease, visualization experts recommend a simpler approach
HemoVis, a new visualization tool developed at Harvard, increases diagnostic accuracy from 39% to 91% by changing the presentation of data.

Researchers build largest protein interaction map to date
Researchers have built a map that shows how thousands of proteins in a fruit fly cell communicate with each other.

Drug treatment shows promise for brain blood vessel abnormality
A drug treatment has been proven to prevent lesions from cerebral cavernous malformation -- a brain blood vessel abnormality that can cause bleeding, epilepsy and stroke -- for the first time in a new study.

On the trail of biomarkers and signalling substances with major instrumentation
DFG to fund nine imaging mass spectrometers for use in the life sciences.

Astronomers pin down galaxy collision rate with Hubble data
A new analysis of Hubble surveys, combined with simulations of galaxy interactions, reveals that the merger rate of galaxies over the last 8 billion to 9 billion years falls between the previous estimates.

Discovery announced in Science represents 'new paradigm' in the way drugs can be manufactured
Robert Linhardt is working to forever change the way some of the most widely used drugs in the world are manufactured.

Research makes it possible to predict how cancers will respond to chemo
Challenging a half-century-old theory about why chemotherapy agents target cancer, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists have devised a test that can predict how effective the drugs will be by determining whether tumor cells are already

OpenSim open-source software from Stanford accurately models human motion
In a new exhibit at The Leonardo, a science and technology museum in Salt Lake City, a team of Stanford engineers is demonstrating an open source software package called OpenSim that accurately models human movement.

Scientists make strides toward drug therapy for inherited kidney disease
Scientists at UC Santa Barbara have discovered that patients with an inherited kidney disease may be helped by a drug that is currently available for other uses.

How major signaling pathways are wired to our genome gives new insight into disease processes
Whitehead Institute scientists have determined that master transcription factors determine the genes regulated by key signaling pathways.

Poorer countries, countries that spend little on health-care have worse stroke outcomes
People living in poor countries or countries that spend proportionately less on health-care are about 30 percent more likely to have a stroke, a new study shows.

South Tel Aviv school is a model for language intervention
Professor Liat Kishon-Rabin of Tel Aviv University has been leading a program that takes a multipronged approach to help underprivileged students improve in different areas of language acquisition.

Belief in God cuts two ways, study finds
Being reminded of the concept of God can decrease people's motivation to pursue personal goals but can help them resist temptation, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.

Vitamin B derivative helps diabetics with mild kidney disease
Pyridorin may prevent kidney failure, but not in patients with advanced kidney disease.

Prehistoric greenhouse data from ocean floor could predict earth's future, MU study finds
New research from the University of Missouri indicates that Atlantic Ocean temperatures during the greenhouse climate of the Late Cretaceous Epoch were influenced by circulation in the deep ocean.

Less invasive anesthetic methods better for endovascular aneurysm repair
Researchers have identified a safer, more cost effective way to provide anesthesia for patients undergoing endovascular repair of an abdominal aortic aneurysm -- a common, often asymptomatic condition that, if not found and treated, can be deadly.

Astronomers pin down galaxy collision rates by comparing Hubble images to supercomputer simulations
A new analysis of images from the Hubble Space Telescope combined with supercomputer simulations of galaxy collisions has cleared up years of confusion about the rate at which smaller galaxies merge to form bigger ones.

Caution advised when considering patient and colleague feedback on doctors
Official assessments of a doctor's professionalism should be considered carefully before being accepted due to the tendency for some doctors to receive lower scores than others, and the tendency of some groups of patient or colleague assessors to provide lower scores, claims new research published on today.

Brain imaging study: A step toward true 'dream reading'
When people dream that they are performing a particular action, a portion of the brain involved in the planning and execution of movement lights up with activity.

Insects are scared to death of fish
The mere presence of a predator causes enough stress to kill a dragonfly, even when the predator cannot actually get at its prey to eat it, say biologists at the University of Toronto.

Stem cells repair lung damage after flu infection
Researchers have now identified and characterized adult stem cells that have the capacity to regenerate lung tissue.

CU-Boulder python study may have implications for human heart health
A surprising new University of Colorado Boulder study shows that huge amounts of fatty acids circulating in the bloodstreams of feeding pythons promote healthy heart growth, results that may have implications for treating human heart disease.

Fatty acids involved in python heart growth could benefit diseased human heart
Identification of three fatty acids involved in the extreme growth of Burmese pythons' hearts following large meals could prove beneficial in treating diseased human hearts, according to research co-authored by a University of Alabama scientist and publishing in the Oct.

Natural killer cells could be key to anthrax defense
Researchers have found new allies for the fight against anthrax.

Healthy mouth bacteria provide ideal conditions for gum disease
Gum disease can only develop with the help of normal bacteria living in the mouth, Queen Mary, University of London research has revealed.

New book proposes solutions to social and ecological challenges posed by climate change
The impacts of climate change on the world's land and sea will become more pronounced in the years to come.

Lupus classification system too complicated
The current classification system for kidney complications in patients with lupus is too detailed, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

ERC Advanced Grant for large-scale study of coastal change
TU Delft professor Marcel Stive has received a €2.9 million ERC Advanced Grant from the EU.

Florida poll: Research important for state economy, jobs
A majority of Floridians believe it is important for their state to be a leader in science and medical research, according to a new state poll commissioned by Research!America.

University of Minnesota study uncovers clues to young children's aggressive behavior
Children who are persistently aggressive, defiant, and explosive by the time they're in kindergarten very often have tumultuous relationships with their parents from early on.

Lung stem cells offer therapeutic clues
Researchers have cloned stem cells from the airways of the human lung and have shown that these cells can form into the lung's alveoli air sac tissue.

Do bacteria age? Biologists discover the answer follows simple economics
When a bacterial cell divides into two daughter cells and those two cells divide into four more daughters, then 8, then 16 and so on, the result, biologists have long assumed, is an eternally youthful population of bacteria.

Lower dose of corticosteroids just as effective as higher for shoulder pain
In a study scheduled for publication in the December issue of the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, researchers report on the first comparative study of the two most commonly corticosteroid doses administered for shoulder pain.

Curiosity doesn't kill the student
Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it's good for the student.

Children suffer unnecessarily from chronic postoperative pain
Are children suffering needlessly after surgery? UC Irvine anesthesiologists who specialize in pediatric care believe so.

Programming cells to home to specific tissues may enable more effective cell-based therapies
Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital have developed a platform approach to chemically incorporate homing receptors onto the surface of cells.

Gender differences: Viewing TV coverage of terrorism has more negative effect on women
Exposure to television coverage of terrorism causes women to lose psychological resources much more than men, which leads to negative feelings and moodiness.

Proposed NIH genetic testing registry lacks clarity, understates costs
The Association for Molecular Pathology submitted comments to the National Institutes of Health, in which the Association voiced concerns about the proposed Genetic Testing Registry as currently designed, and requested that NIH take clarity and cost into consideration when designing a test registry.

UK scientists come together to help feed the 7 billion
The Universities of Exeter and Bristol, in partnership with Rothamsted Research have officially joined forces to tackle one of the biggest challenges facing humanity: how can we sustainably feed a growing population?

Building better HIV antibodies
Using highly potent antibodies isolated from HIV-positive people, researchers have recently begun to identify ways to broadly neutralize the many possible subtypes of HIV.

From genomic data to new cancer drug
New discoveries about follicular lymphoma, a currently intractable form of cancer, highlight the power of functional genomics in cancer gene discovery.

Aspirin reduces colorectal cancer rates by around 60 percent in those with increased hereditary risk, providing clear case for using aspirin for prevention
The first randomized controlled trial to assess aspirin's effect on cancer prevention, published Online First by the Lancet, has shown a reduction in colorectal cancer incidence of over 60 percent in patients at genetically increased risk who use aspirin long-term.

Watermelon reduces atherosclerosis in University of Kentucky study
In a recent study by University of Kentucky researchers, watermelon was shown to reduce atherosclerosis in animals.

Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer's cooling strategy revealed
Usain Bolt wouldn't sprint 100 m in a fur coat, but that is what winter reindeer do when they run, so how do they loose heat under their insulation?

Saul Perlmutter receives Nobel Prize in physics
Saul Perlmutter, an astrophysicist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and a professor of physics at the University of California at Berkeley, has won the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics

NRL refurbishes VAULT2.0 for reflight
Scientists at the Naval Research Laboratory are refurbishing the Very-high Angular resolution ULtraviolet Telescope (VAULT) in preparation for two launches aboard NASA sounding rockets from the Navy's launch complex at the White Sands Missile Range starting in 2013.

Rice's Barron wins World Technology Award for Materials
Rice University chemist and materials scientist Andrew Barron is the winner of the 2011 World Technology Award for Materials from the World Technology Network.

7 billion people are not the issue - human development is what counts
As the global media speculate on the number of people likely to inhabit the planet on Oct.

La Jolla Institute joins Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine
The La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology has become the fifth organization in the prestigious Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine, joining colleagues from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, the Scripps Research Institute, University of California, San Diego and the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in the first-of-its-kind multi-institutional stem cell research collaboration.

A*STAR scientists first to identify stem cell key to lung regeneration
Scientists at A*STAR'S Genome Institute of Singapore and Institute of Molecular Biology have made a breakthrough discovery in the understanding of lung regeneration.

Hospital team significantly reduced risk of further vascular events after 'mini strokes'
Patients who had a

Older men with higher testosterone levels lose less muscle mass as they age
A recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism found that higher levels of testosterone were associated with reduced loss of lean muscle mass in older men, especially in those who were losing weight.

Hard times during adolescence point to health problems later in life
According to Dr. Per E. Gustafsson from Umeå University in Sweden and colleagues, experience of social and material stressors around the time of transition into adulthood is linked to a rise in disease risk factors in middle age, including higher blood pressure, body weight and cholesterol.

New oncolytic virus shows improved effectiveness in preclinical testing
A new fourth-generation oncolytic virus designed to both kill cancer cells and inhibit blood-vessel growth has shown greater effectiveness than earlier versions when tested in animal models.

Science awards prestigious SPORE Prize to web site for exceptional students
Because of its effectiveness at reaching students and providing them with avenues toward greater involvement in science and engineering, Cogito has been chosen by the journal Science to receive the prestigious SPORE award.

Climate impact of Arctic Ocean subject of major new study
Future changes in the climate of the Arctic Ocean - and their possible impact on the climate of the United Kingdom and globally - are the subject of a major new study, supported by a £2.4 million grant from the UK's Natural Environment Research Council.

Governments must plan for migration in response to climate change, researchers say
Governments around the world must be prepared for mass migrations caused by rising global temperatures or face the possibility of calamitous results, say University of Florida scientists on a research team reporting in the Oct.

Why some kidney disease patients can't repair blood vessels
In some kidney diseases, patients have high blood levels of a protein that blocks blood vessel repair, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

Poorer countries, those spending less on health care have more strokes, deaths
Poorer countries and those that spend less on health care have greater incidences of stroke and stroke death than wealthier nations.

Global warming target to stay below 2 degrees requires more action this decade
Climate scientists say the world's target to stay below a global warming of 2 degrees, made at the United Nations conference in Copenhagen in 2009 and Cancun 2010 will require decisive action this decade.

High tech detection of breast cancer using nanoprobes and SQUID
Mammography saves lives by detecting very small tumors. However, it fails to find 10-25% of tumors and is unable to distinguish between benign and malignant disease. 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