Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 01, 2011
Targeted antibiotic drug safest among recommended treatments for irritable bowel disease
Among the most commonly used treatments for irritable bowel syndrome -- which affects as many as 20 percent of the United States population -- a targeted antibiotic was shown to be the safest in a new study by Cedars-Sinai researchers, based on an analysis of 26 large-scale clinical trials.

Senior citizens as co-researchers to improve urban planning
Heavy carrier bags and a lurching bus are an equation that is difficult to solve for most people, but for an elderly person getting the shopping home on public transport can be an almost insurmountable task.

A new species of a tiny freshwater snail collected from a mountainous spring in Greece
A new minute freshwater snail species belonging to the genus Daphniola was found by a researcher from University of Athens in a spring on Mt.

Acute kidney injury in hospitalized diabetic patients linked to chronic kidney disease
Findings from a recent University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center study show that multiple episodes of acute kidney injury during hospital stays for patients with diabetes are associated with a risk for developing chronic kidney disease.

Possible therapy for one form of inherited nerve dysfunction
Hereditary neuropathies are common nervous system conditions characterized by progressive loss of muscle control and/or sensory function.

Cellular repair could reduce premature aging
Researchers have identified a potential drug therapy for a premature aging disease that affects children causing them to age up to eight times as fast as the usual rate.

Shorter hospital stay with person-centered healthcare
Healthcare that implements a person-centered approach not only make care more efficient, but also yields more satisfied patients.

4 projects target cystic fibrosis with Hunt for a Cure funds
Discovering new treatments and battling dangerous infections are the focus of four Michigan State University researchers targeting the genetic disorder cystic fibrosis with projects funded by a Grand Rapids-based advocacy organization.

Landsat's TIRS instrument comes out of first round of thermal vacuum testing
The Thermal Infrared Sensor that will fly on the next Landsat satellite came out of its first round of thermal vacuum testing Tuesday, Oct.

Potential treatment for iron overload disorders
Multiple organs, including the liver and the heart, become damaged if an individual has an excessive amount of iron in their body.

Conflicting views of a child's behavior problems from parents, teachers, and the child may be helpful to clinician
Clinicians often face the challenge of trying to make sense of conflicting reports from parents, teachers, and children about a child's behavioral problems.

NSF-funded research fellowship program to focus on producing experts to aid people with disabilities
With support from a grant of approximately $3 million from the National Science Foundation, Arizona State University and California State University, Long Beach will provide fellowships to as many as 30 doctoral students for research training, education and practical experience in fields that contribute to assisting people with disabilities to enhance the quality of their lives.

ASU leads $5 million NIH-sponsored research initiative to advance diabetes care and treatment
Arizona State University will lead a four-year, $5 million expanded initiative sponsored by the National Institutes of Health to discover proteins, or biomarkers, to help predict cardiovascular disease and to assess potential new treatments in people with Type 2 diabetes.

Radiologists: Going green with small, simple step
Having radiologists shut down their workstations (and monitors) after an eight hour shift leads to substantial cost savings and energy reduction, according to a study in the November issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Ready for their close-up
Proteins caught 'in action' in intact cells using new electron microscopy technique.

Catch the fever: It'll help you fight off infection
With cold and flu season almost here, the next time you're sick, think twice before taking something for your fever.

Pairing up: How chromosomes find each other
After more than a century of study, mysteries still remain about the process of meiosis -- a special type of cell division that helps insure genetic diversity in sexually reproducing organisms.

How lonely you are may impact how well you sleep, research shows
Study of adults in tight-knit South Dakota community shows lonely feelings associated with compromised sleep -- that is, the stronger the loneliness, the more disruptions during the night, with potentially negative consequences on wellness.

Growing without cell division
An international team of scientists, including biologists from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, may have pinpointed for the first time the mechanism responsible for cell polyploidy, a state in which cells contain more than two paired sets of chromosomes.

Could social media be used to detect disease outbreaks?
New research by academics at the University of Bristol's Intelligent Systems Laboratory has looked at whether social media could be used to track an event or phenomenon, such as flu outbreaks and rainfall rates.

Recipients of organ transplants at increased risk for broad range of cancers
Patients who have received a solid organ transplant, such as kidney, liver, heart or lung, have an overall cancer risk that is double that of the general population, with an increased risk for many different types of malignancies, according to a study in the Nov.

Physical activity reduces the effect of the 'obesity gene'
The genetic predisposition to obesity due to the

Age no longer a barrier to stem cell transplantation for older patients
Age alone no longer should be considered a defining factor when determining whether an older patient with blood cancer is a candidate for stem cell transplantation.

Live-action films of worm sperm help researchers track critical fertility enzymes
Compared to most other cells in an organism, sperm undergo a radical transformation to become compact and mobile delivery systems for paternal DNA.

Hippocampus plays bigger memory role than previously thought
In a pair of papers published in the Nov. 2 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers at the University of California, San Diego, report a new methodology that more deeply parses how and where certain types of memories are processed in the brain, and challenges earlier assumptions about the role of the hippocampus.

Study shows that fast-food dining is most popular for those with middle incomes
A new national study of eating out and income shows that fast-food dining becomes more common as earnings increase from low to middle incomes, weakening the popular notion that fast food should be blamed for higher rates of obesity among the poor.

NIMBioS, WIGGIO announce new partnership in cloud collaboration
Wiggio.com and the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis just announced their partnership to spearhead the Wiggio Priemium application, which offers groups and organizations a private-labeled collaboration tool.

Anti-clotting drugs do not increase bleeding risk in GI procedure, Mayo study finds
Patients with recent use of aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or anti-clotting drugs such as clopidogreal do not appear to have an increased risk of bleeding during or after removal of precancerous lesions in the digestive tract, according to results of a Mayo Clinic study.

Team discovers how a cancer-causing bacterium spurs cell death
Researchers report they have figured out how the cancer-causing bacterium Helicobacter pylori attacks a cell's energy infrastructure, sparking a series of events in the cell that ultimately lead it to self-destruct.

Online interactions can lead to risky financial decision-making
People who participate in online communities are more likely to make risky financial decisions, according to a new study from researchers at Rice University, the University of British Columbia and the University of Zurich.

Attacks on federal air pollution regulations dangerous to Americans' health
Efforts by some in Congress to dismantle clean air laws are a threat to public health, experts warn in a

Abnormal oscillation in the brain causes motor deficits in Parkinson's disease
The research group headed by Professor Atsushi Nambu has shown that the 'oscillatory' nature of electrical signals in subcortical nuclei, the basal ganglia, causes severe motor deficits in Parkinson's disease, by disturbing the information flow of motor commands.

People rationalize situations they're stuck with, but rebel when they think there's an out
People who feel like they're stuck with a rule or restriction are more likely to be content with it than people who think that the rule isn't definite.

DIY screening could save lives of women who cannot access smear test
A study published today in the Lancet shows how a do-it-yourself screen for cervical cancer could help prevent the disease in thousands of women who, for a number of reasons, cannot have a smear test.

Low levels of alcohol consumption associated with small increased risk of breast cancer
Consumption of three to six alcoholic drinks per week is associated with a small increase in the risk of breast cancer, and consumption in both earlier and later adult life is also associated with an increased risk, according to a study in the Nov.

Switching senses
Many meat-eating animals have unique ways of hunting down a meal using their senses.

Lessons from the Christchurch, New Zealand earthquake
Details of an earthquake that rocked the largest city in the South Island of New Zealand in February 2011 may transform the way scientists assess the potential threat of fault lines that run through urban centers.

Health risk from eating well-done meat may be underestimated
Mice are often used to test whether substances in food are harmful to humans.

More years to life and life to years through increased motivation for an active life
Regular physical activity is associated with a lower risk of suffering depression in old age.

'Protein microarrays' may reveal new weapons against malaria
A new research technology is revealing how humans develop immunity to malaria, and could assist programs aimed at eradicating this parasitic disease.

Researchers roll out a new form of lighting
In this month's edition of Physics World, Paul Blom and Ton van Mol from the Holst Centre in Eindhoven describe a way of creating thin, flexible sheets of organic light-emitting diodes using a cheap, newspaper-style

Regimen may improve cell transplantation outcomes for older adults with blood, bone marrow cancers
Older patients with advanced hematologic malignancies, such as leukemia and lymphoma, who received a conditioning regimen that included minimal-intensity radiation therapy prior to allogeneic (genetically different) hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT; receipt of bone marrow or stem cells transplant) had survival and progression-free survival outcomes suggesting that this treatment approach may be a viable option for older patients with these malignancies, according to a study in the Nov.

Study finds overweight teens want to lose weight, going about it the wrong way
A review of data collected from the Philadelphia Youth Risk Behavior Survey has found that while a majority of teens report wanting to lose weight, many engage in behavior that's counterproductive to that goal.

MIT: Bacteria may readily swap beneficial genes
In a paper appearing in Nature online Oct. 30, researchers -- led by Eric Alm of MIT's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Department of Biological Engineering -- say they've found evidence of a massive network of recent gene exchange connecting bacteria from around the world: 10,000 unique genes flowing via HGT among 2,235 bacterial genomes.

Research supports broader screening for sudden cardiac death
Around one in 500 Swedes carry a genetic mutation which can cause sudden cardiac death.

Aluminum alloy overcomes obstacles on the path to making hydrogen a practical fuel source
A team of researchers from the University of Texas at Dallas and Washington State University in Pullman, WA, has made the counter-intuitive discovery that aluminum, with a minor modification, is able to both break down and capture individual hydrogen atoms, potentially leading to a robust and affordable fuel storage system.

MIT: New algorithm could substantially speed up MRI scans
MIT researchers have developed a new algorithm that could substantially speed up MRI scans from 45 to 15 minutes.

National Academy of Sciences awards Gamedesk $225,000 grant to develop science-based interactive game for classrooms
As part of its Science & Entertainment Exchange, the National Academy of Sciences today announced that the GameDesk Institute will be awarded $225,000 to develop its Science in Motion project, an

New drug shows promise against multiple sclerosis
An experimental drug called Ocrelizumab has shown promise in a phase two clinical trial involving 220 people with multiple sclerosis, an often debilitating, chronic autoimmune disease that affects an increasing number of people in North America.

Lessons to learn from community land ownership in Scotland
Community land ownership (CLO) is bringing people back to the Highlands and Islands of Scotland and helping to create more vibrant and resilient communities, according to a report from the Scottish Agricultural College.

Novel technique switches triple-negative breast cancer cells to hormone-receptor positive cells
Within many hormone-receptor positive breast cancers lives a subpopulation of receptor-negative cells - knock down the hormone-receptor positive cells with anti-estrogen drugs and you may inadvertently promote tumor takeover by more dangerous, receptor-negative cells.

Preventing HIV/AIDS 1 SMS at a time
One million people in Uganda live with HIV/AIDS, where long distances and expensive travel costs significantly limit access to treatment.

Crowdsourcing nutrition in a snap
If keeping a food diary seems like too much effort, despair not: Computer scientists at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences have devised a tool that lets you snap a photo of your meal and let the crowd do the rest.

Acinetobacter baumannii found growing in nearly half of infected patient rooms
Multidrug-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii was found in the environment of 48 percent of the rooms of patients colonized or infected with the pathogen, according to a new study published in the November issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of APIC -- the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

Radiologists, primary users of non-cardiac ultrasound
Although non-radiologist physicians have contributed to the widespread use of point-of-care (POC) ultrasound, radiologists remain the primary users, according to a study in the November issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Poor sleep quality in first, third trimesters linked to preterm births
Significant risk for preterm birth found in women reporting sleep disruptions during their first and third trimesters, even after medical risk factors and income levels were accounted for.

Researchers pinpoint possible new cause for unexplained miscarriages
Researchers at St. Michael's Hospital have identified a potential new cause for unexplained miscarriages in mice.

Why some birds think simple songs are sexy
This release contains news tips from the November issue of the American Naturalist.

Navy's electromagnetic railgun reaches testing milestone
The US Naval Research Laboratory Materials Testing Facility demonstrated, Oct.

Women undergoing PCI display greater number of co-morbidities than men
New research shows that women undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI), also known as angioplasty, exhibit more co-morbidities and cardiovascular risk factors than men.

Equity must remain the focus of social determinants of health agenda
Piroska Oestlin of the WHO, Copenhagen, Denmark and colleagues argue in this week's PLoS Medicine that a paradigm shift is needed to keep the focus on health equity within the social determinants of health research agenda.

Teaming up to create a successful forage grass
With the help of a US Department of Agriculture small business grant, Wisconsin farmer-breeder Peter Pitts teamed up with Pure-Seed Testing, Inc., of Hubbard, Ore., to create a now widely popular variety of conventional grass forage that is also probably the first certified organic festulolium in North America.

More radionuclide therapy is better for prostate cancer patients
For prostate cancer patients with bone metastases, repeated administrations of radionuclide therapy with 188Re-HEDP are shown to improve overall survival rates and reduce pain, according to new research published in the November issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

UCLA scientists design experimental treatment for iron-overload diseases
UCLA scientists have developed an experimental treatment for iron-overload diseases that affect millions worldwide.

The tangled web in Alzheimer's protein deposits is more complex than once thought
Scientists have made a discovery that will change the direction of Alzheimer's research.

Berkeley lab to build cost model for fuel cells
Fuel cells seem like an ideal energy source -- they're clean, efficient, silent and don't require transmission lines.

How staff perceptions of their roles impact patients experience in the emergency department
A study from Rhode Island Hospital examined how the perception of roles among emergency department staff can impact patient satisfaction.

Starving prostate cancer
Researchers at the Centenary Institute in Sydney have discovered a potential future treatment for prostate cancer -- through starving the tumour cells of an essential nutrient they need to grow rapidly.

Is that a robot in your suitcase?
A flying robot as small as a dinner plate that can zoom to hard-to-reach places and a fleet of eco-friendly robotic farm-hands are just two of the exciting projects the robotics team at the Queensland University of Technology is working on.

GSA picture book introduces children to plate tectonics
The Geological Society of America announces its first children's book.

Study: A rich club in the human brain
Just as the Occupy Wall Street movement has brought more attention to financial disparities between the haves and have-nots in American society, researchers from Indiana University and the University Medical Center Utrecht in The Netherlands are highlighting the disproportionate influence of so called

World leading center of excellence in vibrometry to be established at University of Leicester
The University of Leicester has been allocated £1.07 ($1.7) million towards a £5.6 ($8.9) million high-tech project supporting and impacting advanced engineering and manufacturing automotive, aerospace and space industry sectors.

Diagnostic physicians at increased risk for medical malpractice claims due to communication failures
Because clinical evaluation often depends on diagnostic tests, diagnostic physicians have a responsibility to notify referring clinicians when test results reveal urgent or unexpected findings.

Structure, not scientists to blame for Los Alamos failings
Policy decisions and poor management have substantially undermined the US Los Alamos National Laboratory -- and, consequently, national security, according to an article available today in the current issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, published by SAGE.

Technology makes storing radioactive waste safer
Queensland University of Technology researchers have developed new technology capable of removing radioactive material from contaminated water and aiding clean-up efforts following nuclear disasters.

Many radiologists disagree on management of incidental findings, study finds
According to a recent study published in the November issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology, many radiologists disagree on the management of incidental findings found on body computed tomography scans.

NC schools take lead in national HS math initiative
A special program for Charlotte-area high school math teachers is the latest contribution in a national initiative to improve applied math that has seen North Carolina universities and school systems take the lead in making America more competitive in math and science.

Obesity hormone adiponectin increases the risk of osteoporosis in the elderly
While obesity is a well-known cause of cardiovascular disease, research from the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, has now revealed that the body's obesity hormones - adiponectin - are also linked to osteoporosis and an increased risk of fractures.

First clinical trial of red wine ingredient shows metabolic shifts
When obese men take a relatively small dose of resveratrol in purified form every day for a month, their metabolisms change for the better.

Obese adolescents benefit from high-dose vitamin D supplements
Vitamin D deficiency is common in Americans, and especially in overweight and obese adolescents, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Preterm birth rate shows three year improvement in most states
Preterm birth rates improved in almost every state between 2006 and 2009, according to the March of Dimes 2011 Premature Birth Report Card.

Pesky ants found in Hawaii demonstrate invasive characteristics
Odorous house ants - so called because they tend to invade houses and smell like coconut when smashed - have found their way to Hawaii.

NYUCN receives $994,000 HRSA grant to research increasing nursing faculty diversity and the use of simulation
New York University College of Nursing received a three-year, $994,741 grant from the Human Resources & Services Administration to research

Mutation in gene associated with rare eye disease also contributes to bladder cancer growth
Research conducted by Dr. Jayne S. Weiss, Professor and Chair of Ophthalmology at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, and colleagues has found that a defect in a gene involved in a rare disease of the cornea also contributes to the progression of invasive bladder cancer.

Many company closures await when elderly small business owners retire
The population of the European Union is becoming older, and an ever smaller number of people have to provide for the aging population.

Digging up clues: Research on buried blow flies to help crime scene investigators
When investigating a murder, every clue helps. New research from North Carolina State University sheds light on how -- and whether -- blow flies survive when buried underground during their development.

A*STAR's Experimental Power Grid Centre to spur R&D for future energy and smart grid solutions
The Experimental Power Grid Centre, one of the largest experimental power grid facilities in the world was officially opened in Singapore, today, by S.

Vitamin D study suggests no mortality benefit for older women
A study of postmenopausal women found no significant mortality benefit from vitamin D after controlling for health risk factors such as abdominal obesity.

Bisexual men: When sexual health requires stealth
Bisexual men have unique health needs compared to homosexual and heterosexual men, but the stigma they face makes learning of their needs -- and reaching them in their

First bilateral hand transplant performed at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
For the first time in the Delaware Valley region, a patient has undergone a complex and intricate transplant procedure that could significantly enhance the quality-of-life for persons with multiple limb loss.

Finest silk -- purest gold
True luxury has only one color -- gold. A nanometer-thin layer of pure gold now lends ties and pocket handkerchiefs that authentic gold sheen, thanks to a new Empa-developed process.

Roads are detrimental to Europe's protected bats, new study finds
A new study by the University of Leeds is the first to prove that major roads significantly reduce bat numbers, activity and diversity -- raising serious issues for how road construction projects mitigate their impact on these protected species.

Plant researchers locate transporter used for nicotine metabolism
A team of Virginia Tech and Purdue University scientists have identified a distinct transporter used by tobacco plant cells for nicotine metabolism.

JCI online early table of contents: November 1, 2011
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, November 1, 2011, in the JCI: Possible therapy for one form of inherited nerve dysfunction; Potential treatment for iron overload disorders; Stopping autoimmunity in the NIK of time; and CX3CR1: a protein with guts.

A new species of gall makers in the aphid genus of plant lice was found in China
Aphid researchers from Chinese Academy of Sciences found one new species, Aleurodaphis sinojackiae, from Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces, China.

Digital media a factor in ferocity of political campaigns
A University of Missouri study of recent political blogs indicates politics are getting nastier due to digital media, which are segmenting people into polarized interest groups.

Scientists discover new drug candidates for cystic fibrosis and other diseases
A report in the FASEB Journal describes how a new discovery may lead to pharmaceutical breakthroughs for illnesses involving the hydration of cells lining the inner surfaces of our body's organs and tissues.

Swimming jellyfish may influence global climate
Swimming jellyfish and other marine animals help mix warm and cold water in the oceans and, by increasing the rate at which heat can travel through the ocean, may influence global climate.

Drying intensifying wildfires, carbon release ninefold, study finds
Drying of northern wetlands has led to much more severe peatland wildfires and nine times as much carbon released into the atmosphere, according to new research led by a University of Guelph professor.

Hormone in birth control shot linked to memory loss
The birth control shot Depo Provera offers a convenient alternative for women who don't want to remember to take a daily pill.

Crop sensors outdo farmers at choosing nitrogen rates
In more than 50 on-farm demonstration projects, crop sensors chose nitrogen application rates that increased yield by almost two bushels per acre over producer-chosen rates, while reducing by 25 percent the amount of excess nitrogen that was applied to fields but not removed in grain.

Toronto-based genomics center gets $5 million injection
The Ontario Genomics Institute announced today that the Center for Applied Genomics has been awarded $5.1 million to support operations for two years as part of the Genome Canada Science and Technology Innovation Center Competition.

Architecture and design help the brain to recover
How does the hospital environment affect our rehabilitation? New research from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, into how the space around us affects the brain reveals that well-planned architecture, design and sensory stimulation increase patients' ability to recover both physically and mentally.

Babies understand thought process of others at 10 months old, MU research finds
New research from the University of Missouri indicates that at 10 months, babies start to understand another person's thought process, providing new insights on how humans acquire knowledge and how communication develops.

Warwick scientists discover how daughter cells receive the same number of chromosomes
Scientists at Warwick Medical School, UK, have uncovered the molecular process of how cells are bypassing the body's inbuilt
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