Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 03, 2011
A new definition for periprosthetic joint infection
The new definition for PJI, published in the November issue of Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research, was developed by a Musculoskeletal Infection Society working group led by Javad Parvizi, M.D., director of Research at the Rothman Institute at Jefferson.

Study finds voters concerned with privacy in US elections
Voters in their neighborhood's political minority feel 30 percent less confident in the privacy of their ballot.

Annual UH Mars Rover event gets $400,000 boost from NASA
Working tirelessly at the helm of the annual Mars Rover Model Celebration and Exhibition for a decade, University of Houston physics professor Edgar Bering has plans to take it to the next level with a $414,000 grant from NASA.

NYUCD awarded $2.2 million NIH grant to decode genome of caries-causing bacteria
The recent development of whole genome sequencing has made it much easier to identify destructive bacteria.

Human skin begins tanning in seconds, and here's how
We all know that human skin tans after days spent in the sun.

NASA's Fermi finds youngest millisecond pulsar, 100 pulsars to date
An international team of scientists using NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope has discovered a surprisingly powerful millisecond pulsar that challenges existing theories about how these objects form.

Alternate ending -- living on without telomerase
Scientists of the German Cancer Research Center have discovered an alternative mechanism for the extension of the telomere repeat sequence by DNA repair enzymes.

Researchers find anti-depressants reduce pain in opioid-dependent patients
In what is believed to be the first study of its kind to demonstrate an association between the antidepressant escitalopram and improved general pain, researchers from Boston University School of Medicine, have found that opioid-dependent patients treated with escitalopram experienced meaningful reductions in pain severity and pain interference during the first three months of therapy.

What sort of youth centers do young people really want?
Politicians and local councilors are currently looking for the best way to control spending across services.

It takes two: Brains come wired for cooperation, neuroscientist asserts
The brain was built for cooperative activity, whether it be dancing on a TV reality show, building a skyscraper or working in an office.

11/11/11: Anthropologist debunks doomsday myths
This fall, Hoopes and his students have watched two predicted cataclysmic dates -- Oct.

Safer medical kit by plasma-activated water
Researchers have used plasma -- similar to the form created in neon signs, fluorescent tubes and TV displays -- to create water that stays significantly antibacterial and can be used as a disinfectant for at least seven days after becoming plasma-active.

The devastating health consequences of earthquakes
A review published online first by the Lancet details the devastating health effects of earthquakes and the challenges posed by these natural disasters.

The perfect clone
Professional safe-crackers use a stethoscope to find the correct combination by listening to the clicks of the lock.

Low vitamin D common in spine surgery patients
A new study indicates that many patients undergoing spine surgery have low levels of vitamin D, which may delay their recovery.

The benefits of being the first to settle
New research into the genealogies of early human pioneers suggests that the settlers who were first to colonize a new region of the world produced more offspring than the settlers who followed them.

GP receptionists help safeguard patients in repeat prescribing, finds study
Receptionists and administrative staff in UK general practices make important

Saving the day
External chest compressions (ECC) can literally be the difference between life or death for someone who has stopped breathing.

First-of-its-kind search engine will speed materials research
Researchers from the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and MIT jointly launched today a groundbreaking online tool called the Materials Project, which operates like a

Albert Einstein College of Medicine receives $8 million from NIH to study how cancer spreads
The National Cancer Institute has awarded Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University two grants totaling $8 million to study the micro-environments that drive the spread of cancer from the primary tumor to other parts of the body in the process known as metastasis.

Commercial weight loss programs more effective than NHS-based services
Commercial weight loss programs are more effective and cheaper than primary care based services led by specially trained staff, finds a study published on today.

Caucasians who avoid sun exposure more likely to be vitamin D deficient, Stanford study suggests
Light-skinned people who avoid the sun are twice as likely to suffer from vitamin D deficiency as those who do not, according to a study of nearly 6,000 people by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

University Hospitals Case Medical Center receives Get with the Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus award
For the third consecutive year, University Hospitals Case Medical Center has received the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association's Get With the Guidelines Stroke Gold Plus Quality Achievement Award.

Lung cancer patients with high EGFR expression live longer with cetuximab treatment
Patients with the most common form of lung cancer whose tumors express high levels of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) are more likely to benefit from cetuximab treatment and live longer compared with those given chemotherapy alone, according to a study published online first in the Lancet Oncology.

Discovery of new gene could improve efficiency of molecular factories
The discovery of a new gene is helping researchers at Michigan State University envision more-efficient molecular factories of the future.

Millisecond pulsar in spin mode
The gamma radiation of a rapidly rotating neutron star casts doubt on the models of the origin of such objects.

Chromosomal 'breakpoints' linked to canine cancer
North Carolina State University researchers have uncovered evidence that evolutionary

Adolescent amphetamine use linked to permanent changes in brain function and behavior
Amphetamine use in adolescence can cause neurobiological imbalances and increase risk-taking behavior, and these effects can persist into adulthood, even when subjects are drug free.

November GSA Today science article -- Southern Gulf of California
The November GSA Today science article,

Evolution during human colonizations
Most human populations are the product of a series of range expansions having occurred since modern humans left Africa some 50,000 years ago to colonize the rest of the world, but how have these processes influenced today's population diversity?

Researchers help in search for new ways to image, therapeutically target melanoma
Because the incidence of malignant melanoma is rising faster than any other cancer in the US, Moffitt Cancer Center researchers and colleagues at Intezyne Technologies Inc., Western Carolina University and the University of Arizona are working overtime to develop new technologies to aid in both malignant melanoma diagnosis and therapy.

A KAIST research team has developed a fully functional flexible memory
The team of Professor Keon Jae Lee has developed fully functional flexible non-volatile resistive random access memory where a memory cell can be randomly accessed, written, and erased on a plastic substrate.

Chromosome centromeres are inherited epigenetically
The histone protein CenH3 is both necessary and sufficient to trigger the formation of centromeres and pass them on from one generation to the next

First-time divorce rate tied to education, race
New research from the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green State University shows there is substantial variation in the first-time divorce rate when it is broken down by race and education.

The human cause of climate change: Where does the burden of proof lie?
The debate may largely be drawn along political lines, but the human role in climate change remains one of the most controversial questions in 21st century science.

Embryonic signal drives pancreatic cancer and offers a way to kill it
Pancreatic cancer is a particularly challenging one to beat; it has a tendency to spread and harbors cancer stem cells that stubbornly resist conventional approaches to therapy.

Scientists identify genes that may signal long life in naked mole-rats
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have identified high levels of a number of genes in the naked mole-rat that may suggest why they live longer than other rodents and demonstrate resistance to age-related diseases.

Impulsive vs. controlled men: Disinhibited brains and disinhibited behavior
New research in Biological Psychiatry shows that people may react this way, in part, because they have lower levels of GABA, the most important inhibitory neurotransmitter, in a specific part of their brain involved in regulating self-control.

Skin 'sees' UV light, starts producing pigment
In a new study, biologists report that melanocyte skin cells detect ultraviolet light using a photosensitive receptor previously thought to exist only in the eye.

San Diego Zoo scientists establish cell cultures of endangered frog
San Diego Zoo Global Wildlife Conservancy scientists have taken a tremendous leap forward in banking viable amphibian cells.

Texas A&M center confronts antibiotic crisis with potential new bacterial treatment
It's been called

Exercise provides clue to deadly ataxia
When Dr. John Fryer and Dr. Huda Zoghbi rescribed mild exercise for mice with a neurodegenerative disorder called spinocerebellar ataxia 1, they did not know what to expect.

NASA-sponsored study describes how space flight impacts astronauts' eyes and vision
A new study sponsored by NASA finds that space flights lasting six months or more can cause a spectrum of changes in astronauts' visual systems.

BGSU researchers harness power of genome institute for Great Lakes study
A project by three Bowling Green State University biologists and a colleague is expected to unleash a virtual tsunami of information that will be usable for years to come not only by them but also by scientists worldwide studying greenhouse gases and lake ecosystems.

The cerebellum as navigation assistant
The cerebellum is far more intensively involved in helping us navigate than previously thought.

'Health Information Technology and Patient Safety' - IOM report releases Nov. 10
The federal government is investing billions of dollars to encourage hospitals and health care providers to adopt health information technology so that all Americans can benefit.

Brain probe that softens after insertion causes less scarring
A hard probe inserted in the cerebral cortex of a rat model turns nearly as pliable as the surrounding gray matter in minutes, and induces less of the tough scarring that walls off hard probes that do not change, researchers at Case Western Reserve University have found.

Penn collaborates on $8 million Barrett's esophagus research network
A research group at the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania, led by John Lynch, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology, has received a National Cancer Institute grant to establish a Barrett's esophagus translational research network with Columbia University (led by Dr.

Research shows GP receptionists are unsung heroes
Researchers exploring how GP surgeries administer repeat prescriptions have found frontline staff play a major and important role in ensuring that patients get the correct treatments when they need them.

City lights could reveal E.T. civilization
In the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, astronomers have hunted for radio signals and ultra-short laser pulses.

New analysis from the Nurses' Health Study: Association of alcohol with risk of breast cancer
A well-done analysis by Chen Wy et al., published in JAMA, assesses the association of moderate alcohol consumption during adult life, drinking patterns, and breast cancer risk.

UofL researcher to develop oral health plan for those with IDD
People with intellectual and developmental disabilities living in family or group homes are less likely to receive routine dental care than those living in institutions, according to University of Louisville School of Dentistry associate professor Catherine Binkley, D.D.S., Ph.D.

The selective advantage of being on the edge of a migration wave
Research published in Science today reveals that the first individuals settling on new land are more successful at passing on their genes than those who did not migrate.

Gladstone scientists identify gene critical for cell responses to oxygen deprivation
Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes have identified a protein that kick-starts the response to low levels of oxygen, suggesting new lines of research relevant to a variety of potentially fatal disorders associated with diminished oxygen supply, including cancer, heart disease, stroke and other neurological conditions that affect millions of people worldwide.

Android add-on monitors eyewitness mobile media reports
On-the-ground photos from the next political uprising may come with added authenticity tags.

Gene therapy shows promise as hemophilia treatment in animal studies
For the first time, researchers have combined gene therapy and stem cell transplantation to successfully reverse the severe, crippling bleeding disorder hemophilia A in large animals, opening the door to the development of new therapies for human patients.

Tiago Branco wins Eppendorf/Science Prize
Tiago Branco is the 2011 Grand Prize winner in the annual international competition for The Eppendorf & Science Prize for Neurobiology.

Copyright -- a conceptual battle in a digital age
What is it about copyright that doesn't work in the digital society?

Underutilized and obsolete facilities are $1.6 billion drain on federal budget
The federal government should embark on a coordinated, funded, and sustained effort to dispose of approximately 45,000 excess and underutilized facilities, says a new report from the National Research Council.

UC research finds that a duck's boon might be a turtle's bane
University of Cincinnati biologist Denis Conover discovers that overturned duck nest boxes can be death traps for wetland turtles.

Health check on the road
A research team at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen, in collaboration with researchers at the BMW Group, managed to develop a sensor system integrated into the steering wheel that can monitor the driver's state of health while driving.

Hybrid power plants can help industry go green
Professor Avi Kribus of Tel Aviv University has developed a technology that combines the conventional fuel used in today's power plants with the lower pressures and temperatures of steam produced by solar power.

Register now! Boston meeting will showcase latest aging discoveries
America's premier authorities on aging will share the most up-to-date news on the determinants of human longevity, seniors' economic security, the Older Americans Act, and other current topics at the Gerontological Society of America's upcoming 64th Annual Scientific Meeting.

Clemson researcher says high blood pressure may lead to missed emotional cues
Your ability to recognize emotional content in faces and texts is linked to your blood pressure, according to a Clemson University researcher.

Congress must 'go big' on physician payment reform
The American College of Physicians today told the 112th Congress to

Decline in dead zones: Efforts to heal Chesapeake Bay are working
Efforts to reduce the flow of fertilizers, animal waste and other pollutants into the Chesapeake Bay appear to be giving a boost to the bay's health.

Supercomputers accelerate development of advanced materials
A team of researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology teamed up to develop a new tool, called the Materials Project, to help find new materials crucial to building a clean energy economy--for everything from batteries to photovoltaics to lighter weight vehicles.,

Vegetarian diet, physical activity protect against diabetes in black population, study shows
A vegetarian diet and regular exercise significantly reduced the risk of diabetes in African Americans, who are twice as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes as non-Hispanic whites.

Secluding aggressive young offenders is always the last resort says 4-country study
Seclusion in a bare, locked room should always be the last resort when it comes to dealing with aggressive episodes involving young offenders aged from 12- to 18-year-olds, says a four-country study.

EARTH: Return of the dust bowl: Geoscientists predict a dry, dusty future for the American West
Haboobs, giant dust storms, walloped Arizona last summer -- some close to two kilometers high and 160 kilometers wide -- knocking out electricity, creating traffic jams and grounding airplanes.

Plutonium's unusual interactions with clay may minimize leakage of nuclear waste
As a first line of defense, steel barrels buried deep underground are designed to keep dangerous plutonium waste from seeping into the soil and surrounding bedrock, and, eventually, contaminating the groundwater.

Wayne State therapeutic marijuana use study could impact state policies, guide treatment
A $1.5 million grant to a Wayne State University researcher from the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health could have policy implications in Michigan and other states regarding the therapeutic use of marijuana.

VCU researchers discover mechanism in brain cancer responsible for neuron death
Researchers from Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center and the VCU Institute of Molecular Medicine have discovered a mechanism by which glioblastoma multiforme, the most common form of brain cancer, promotes the loss of function or death of neurons, a process known as neurodegeneration.

University of Nevada, Reno, professor publishes study on public education finance systems
Although education is the largest share of state and local government budgets, very little comprehensive information has been available on all 50 states related to state financing policies and programs for public elementary and secondary education.

Creating markets to pay for public good offer promise, peril
Payment mechanisms designed without regard for the properties of the services they cover may be environmentally harmful, say seven of the world's leading environmental scientists, who met to collectively to study the pitfalls of utilizing markets to induce people to take account of the environmental costs of their behavior and solutions.

9 new gamma pulsars
Discoveries in Fermi telescope data thanks to method used in gravitational wave astronomy.

Gene discovered as cause of fatal condition
Medical scientists have for the first time identified a gene responsible for a fatal abdominal condition that afflicts tens of thousands of people across the world.

High-ranking award for Antje Boetius
Professor Antje Boetius, head of the deep-sea research group at the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in the Helmholtz Association and professor of geomicrobiology at the University of Bremen has received confirmation of the European Research Council's commitment of funds to the amount of about 3.4 million Euros.

Researchers aim to improve lives of military families with special needs
Researchers at the Beach Center on Disability at the University of Kansas are analyzing military policy and developing recommendations to be enacted across all branches of the US military, with the goal of strengthening military families with special-needs children.

Yale receives opportunity to strengthen health care systems in developing countries
The Yale Global Health Leadership Institute announces a new partnership with Management Science for Health, as part of the United States Agency for International Development-funded Leadership, Management and Governance Project.

Reprogramming stem cells to a more basic form results in more effective transplant, study shows
Chinese stem cell scientists have published new research that improves the survival and effectiveness of transplanted stem cells.

UCLA researchers identify brain cells responsible for keeping us awake
UCLA Researchers have identified the group of neurons that mediates whether light arouses us and keeps us awake, or not.

Research team unravels tomato pathogen's tricks of the trade
Pseudomonas syringae pv. tomato is the causative agent of bacterial speck disease of tomato, a disease that occurs worldwide and causes severe reduction in fruit yield and quality.

Nano-tech makes medicine greener
Researchers at the University of Copenhagen are behind the development of a new method that will make it possible to develop drugs faster and greener.

Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute and Pfizer collaborate to speed drug discovery
Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute is the latest research organization to partner with Pfizer Inc. as part of Pfizer's commitment to transforming research and development through a focus on translational medicine.

Erasing the signs of aging in cells is now a reality
Inserm's AVENIR

Study identifies an expanded role for PKM2 in helping cancer cells survive
In recent years, the field of cancer metabolism has found that cancer cells can manipulate the PKM2 enzyme to grow and thrive.

Latex gloves lead to lax hand hygiene in hospitals, study finds
Healthcare workers who wear gloves while treating patients are much less likely to clean their hands before and after patient contact, according to a study published in the December issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

Tropical forests are fertilized by air pollution
Scientists braved ticks and a tiger to discover how human activities have perturbed the nitrogen cycle in tropical forests.

IVF proven unnecessary for many infertile couples
A new study published in European Obstetrics & Gynacology shows that the DuoFertility monitor and service used for six months gives the same chance of pregnancy as a cycle of in-vitro fertilization for many infertile couples.

Biologists use flies and mice to get to the heart of Down syndrome
A novel study involving fruit flies and mice has allowed biologists to identify two critical genes responsible for congenital heart defects in individuals with Down syndrome, a major cause of infant mortality and death in people born with this genetic disorder.

Scientists study the 'galaxy zoo' using Google Maps and thousands of volunteers
The reddest galaxies with the largest central bulb show the largest bars -- gigantic central columns of stars and dark matter -- according to a scientific study that used Google Maps to observe the sky.

Trillions served: Massive, complex projects for DOE JGI 2012 Community Sequencing Program
Taking advantage of massive-scale sequencing and data analysis capabilities, the US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute will serve up trillions of nucleotides of information from newly-selected projects geared to feed the data-hungry worldwide research community.

X marks the spot -- TBL1X gene involved in autism spectrum disorder
Autism spectrum disorder affects about one in 100 children resulting in a range of problems in language, communication and understanding other people's emotional cues, all of which can lead to difficulties in social situations.

Live from Newark: TEDxNJIT simulcast on Nov. 11 to viewers worldwide
The inaugural TEDxNJIT event takes place on Nov. 11, 2011 in the Jim Wise Theater on the New Jersey Institute of Technology campus and via an accompanying live simulcast broadcast available to viewers worldwide. 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