Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 07, 2011
Major project to implement new treatments to boost kala-azar elimination strategies
A comprehensive four-year project including over 10,000 patients in clinical and pharmacovigilance studies for diagnosis and treatment of visceral leishmaniasis (VL, also known as kala-azar) in India and Bangladesh was launched by an international consortium formed last month to support control and elimination strategies in both countries, where the concentration of disease burden is among the world's highest.

Castles in the desert - satellites reveal lost cities of Libya
The fall of Gaddafi lifts the veil on archaeological treasures.

Individual CO2 emissions decline in old age
New demographic analysis reveals that the CO2 emissions of the average American increase until around the age of 65, and then start to decrease.

No more getting lost in the crowd: New technology tracks multiple athletes at once
International sports federations would like to be able to follow the movements of individual athletes more easily during televised matches, even when they're hidden from view.

Lost in translation: Credit card bill notes curb cardholders' monthly payments
Notes printed on credit card statements about minimum payments due actually result in lower cardholder repayments, a team of American and British researchers report in the Journal of Marketing Research.

Building a full-scale model of a trapped oil reservoir in a laboratory
Getting trapped oil out of porous layers of sandstone and limestone is a tricky and costly operation for energy exploration companies the world over.

Health impact project receives funding to make health a factor in housing-sector decisions
The Health Impact Project, a collaboration of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts, announced today that The Kresge Foundation will support two health impact assessments to inform decisions in the housing sector.

Gates Foundation funds novel Third World sanitation proposal
For less than $100 and a day's work, a single family in an undeveloped country can construct a solid waste disposal system that not only processes the waste, but requires no electricity or additional energy while destroying harmful pathogens.

UC Santa Barbara receives Grand Challenges Explorations funding
UC Santa Barbara Computer Science researchers receive $100,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a wireless technology system and immunization database for rural populations.

Novel surface triples stem-cell growth in culture
By irradiating typical polystyrene lab plates with ultraviolet waves, Whitehead Institute and MIT scientists have created a surface capable of tripling the number of human embryonic stem and induced pluripotent stem cells that can be grown in culture by current methods.

Researchers using new technology to study breath for toxins
New technologies -- including hair-thin sorption devices found in microelectromechanical systems -- can detect trace amounts of possible toxins in a person's breath on the parts per billion or the micro-particle scale, and have improved test performance in terms of identifying biomarkers, and reduced analysis time, sample volume, and consumables such as solvents and reagents.

Mask-bot: A robot with a human face
Robotics researchers in Munich have joined forces with Japanese scientists to develop an ingenious technical solution that gives robots a human face.

Your stroke risk profile may also help predict your risk of memory problems
A new study shows a person's stroke risk profile, which includes high blood pressure, smoking, and diabetes, may also be helpful in predicting whether a person will develop memory and thinking problems later in the life.

Why did healthy children fall critically ill in the 2009 H1N1 flu pandemic?
During the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, many previously healthy children became critically ill, developing severe pneumonia and respiratory failure, sometimes fatal.

St. Michael's Hospital receives Grand Challenges Explorations funding
St. Michael's Hospital announced today that it will receive funding through Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative created by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that enables researchers worldwide to test unorthodox ideas that address persistent health and development challenges.

Web-based intervention appears ineffective for preventing weight gain in adolescents
A web-based computer-tailored intervention aiming to increase physical activity, decrease sedentary behavior, and promote healthy eating among adolescents was not associated with positive long-term outcome measures, but may have positive short-term effects on eating behaviors, according to a report published Online First by Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Banning sugar-sweetened beverages in schools does not appear to reduce consumption among adolescents
State policies banning all sugar-sweetened beverages in schools are associated with reduced in-school access and purchase of these beverages, however these policies are not associated with a reduction in overall consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, according to a report published Online First by Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Berkeley Lab researchers ink nanostructures with tiny 'soldering iron'
Berkeley Lab researchers at the Molecular Foundry have shed light on the role of temperature in controlling a fabrication technique for drawing surface chemical patterns as small as 20 nanometers.

Simulating real-world surfaces
These days, cars are developed on computers, and to assist with this, designers want processes which generate realistic surfaces such as seat covers.

Delaware Fire Service offers important lessons for fire prevention programs nationwide
Fire and life safety programs in Delaware offer a strategic, comprehensive and coordinated approach to fire prevention.

Suboxone is most effective in treating painkiller addiction
Individuals addicted to prescription painkillers are more likely to succeed in treatment with the aid of the medication buprenorphine-naloxone (Suboxone), report McLean Hospital and Harvard Medical School researchers in today's online edition of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Hospital safety climate linked to both patient and nurse injuries: Drexel study
Researchers, led by Dr. Jennifer Taylor, an assistant professor in Drexel's School of Public Health, found that safety climate was associated with both patient and nurse injuries, suggesting that patient and nurse safety may be linked outcomes.

Pharmaceutical intellectual property laws need reform
Canada's pharmaceutical intellectual property laws need major reform to encourage and protect innovation in developing new drugs, states an analysis in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Experimental drug suppresses rebound of hepatitis C virus in liver transplant patients
A human monoclonal antibody developed by MassBiologics of the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) given to patients with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection undergoing liver transplantation significantly suppressed the virus for at least a week after transplant and delayed the time to viral rebound.

Sowing the seeds of the obesity epidemic in babyhood
The growth charts pediatricians use at well-baby visits can predict a baby's risk for obesity later in life, finds a population-based study from Children's Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School and Harvard Pilgrim Healthcare.

Michigan State University professor's invention analyzes plant diseases without leaving the field
Farmers and field scientists can now instantly identify diseases attacking crops and plants, thanks to a Michigan State University professor's new invention.

UT MD Anderson study finds advances in breast cancer don't extend to older women
The survival rates for older women with breast cancer lag behind younger women diagnosed with the disease, indicating that the elder population may be missing out on improvements in treatment and detection, according to new research from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Attention! End of traffic jam!
Interdisciplinary research between biology and physics aims to understand the cell and how it organizes internally.

Neuromuscular warm-up associated with reduced lower extremity injuries in adolescent female athletes
Integrating a coach-led neuromuscular warm-up prior to sports practice appeared to reduce the risk of lower extremity injuries in female high school soccer and basketball athletes, according to a report in the November issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Monkey mothers found to be key to sons' reproductive success
In a study of wild primates, reported Nov. 7, 2011, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Madison anthropologist Karen B.

Prostate cancer surgery better at teaching hospitals
A newly published study finds that prostate cancer patients who undergo radical prostatectomy get better results at teaching hospitals than at non-academic medical institutions.

Research in cellular memory
How do fetal cells know what cell types to become?

Tying atomic threads in knots may produce material benefits
A new generation of lighter, stronger plastics could be produced using an intricate chemical process devised by scientists.

Einstein study indicates brain plays role in regulating blood sugar in humans
Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have demonstrated for the first time that the brain is a key player in regulating glucose (sugar) metabolism in humans.

Space shuttle data leads to better model for solar power production in California
The space shuttle program may have ended, but data the space craft collected over the past three decades are still helping advance science.

Effective arguments for the protection of biodiversity are needed
BESAFE - an EU-funded, Framework program 7 project investigating how much importance people attribute to alternative arguments for the protection of biodiversity is officially launched on Nov.

The economic cost of advanced liver disease
Health care costs for hepatitis C patients with end-stage liver disease are nearly 2.5 times higher than those in the early stages, according to a Henry Ford Hospital study.

NJIT physicist receives Innovators Award for tonometer and more
More than a half dozen licensed inventions that will someday enable people to lead healthier and more productive lives has brought a unique honor to NJIT Professor Gordon A.

Rates of breast reconstruction after mastectomy in Canada
Few patients in Canada undergo breast reconstruction after mastectomy, despite its safety as a procedure and the positive psychological benefits, states a review article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

22 young researchers join the 2011 EMBO Young Investigator Program
EMBO today acknowledges the work of 22 young European scientists selected for excellence in research to join the Young Investigator Program.

Early trial suggests rectal microbicide is safe, could significantly reduce HIV transmission
A topically applied microbicide gel containing a potent anti-HIV drug has been found to significantly reduce infection when applied to rectal tissue that was subsequently exposed to HIV in the laboratory.

Tying molecules in knots
A research team headed by Professor David Leigh of the University of Edinburgh and Academy Professor Kari Rissanen of the University of Jyväskylä have made the most complex molecular knot to date, as reported in Nature Chemistry.

Most lupus nephritis patients with end-stage renal disease opt for hemodialysis therapy
Newly published research shows that more patients with end-stage renal disease caused by lupus nephritis choose hemodialysis as their initial kidney replacement therapy over peritoneal dialysis and preemptive kidney transplantation.

Scott & White Cancer Research Institute receives $3.5 million grant
A grant in excess of $3.5 million has been awarded to the Scott & White Healthcare Cancer Research Institute to facilitate the production of new and investigational drugs for the prevention and treatment of cancer.

Technologies for the city of tomorrow - Morgenstadt
A city that obtains its power from renewable resources, where electric cars move quietly along the streets and which emits almost no carbon dioxide - German federal minister Mrs.

Connexins: Providing protection to cells destroyed in Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes occurs when a patient's immune system attacks the cells in their pancreas that produce the hormone insulin.

Students will use futuristic technology to dive into the past
A partnership between the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and the Watermen's Museum in historic Yorktown Virginia lets students use robotic subs to study shipwrecks from the Revolutionary War.

Creating an 'electronic nose' to sniff out tuberculosis from a patient's breath
Developers of a handheld

UGA researchers develop first mouse model to study important aspect of Alzheimer's
In research at the University of Georgia, a cellular biologist and his colleagues have found that Hirano bodies may play a protective role in the progression of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Pioneering professorship will teach innovative, patient-centered approach to cancer
Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine is honored to announce gifts to establish the inaugural Parker Hannifin - Helen Moss Cancer Research Foundation Professorship in Integrative Oncology.

JCI online early table of contents: Nov. 7, 2011
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Nov.

High-tech spider for hazardous missions
Spiders are very agile, and some can even jump. They owe this capability to their hydraulically operated limbs.

AMRI announces collaboration agreement with Lilly for in-sourced chemistry services
AMRI (NASDAQ: AMRI) announced today that, as part of a new collaboration agreement with Eli Lilly and Company, it anticipates hiring more than 40 synthetic chemists by the third quarter of 2012 to support Lilly's drug discovery programs.

Fatherhood can help change a man's bad habits
After men become fathers for the first time, they show significant decreases in crime, tobacco and alcohol use, according to a new, 19-year study.

Physical functioning declines more rapidly among the poor, study finds
A new national study shows that wealthier Americans and those with private health insurance fare better than others on one important measure of health - and this health gap only grows wider as they age.

How parasites modify plants to attract insects
Pathogens can alter their hosts, for example malaria parasites can make humans more attractive to mosquitoes, but how they do it has remained a mystery.

Routine iron fortification of infant formula linked to poorer development
Iron fortification has helped babies around the world, but a long-term study led by the University of Michigan raises questions about the optimal amount of iron in infant formula.

Fish follow the rules to school
The rules of school are simple: It is all about watching the kid nearest to you and making sure you do what they do.

EU project launch: PAGE 21 closes gap in our understanding of the climate system
Today researchers from eleven countries will meet in Potsdam to launch a new, four-year EU project.

Study shows stroke prevention clinics reduce 1-year mortality rates by over 25 percent
Research led by Dr. Vladimir Hachinski of The University of Western Ontario reveals just how important it is for patients to be referred to a stroke prevention clinic following either a mild stroke or a transient ischemic attack.

Study characterizes epigenetic signatures of autism in brain tissue
Neurons in the prefrontal cortex of individuals with autism show changes at numerous sites across the genome, according to a study being published Online First by the Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Genomics of wood for biofuels production investigated
Virginia Tech has received funding to conduct research to accelerate bioenergy crop production.

Drospirenone-containing contraceptives linked to higher risk of blood clots
The use of drospirenone-containing oral birth control pills is linked to a significantly higher risk of blood clots, both deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, according to an article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

New study challenges accepted approaches to research in senile dementia (Alzheimer's disease)
In an article scheduled for publication in the December issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease the authors suggest that when the National Institutes of Health separated out dementia from other senile conditions and redefined it as a distinct and

White and Hispanic teens more likely to abuse drugs than African-Americans
A new analysis of teenage drug abuse finds widespread problems among whites, Native Americans, Hispanics and youngsters of multiple races, with less severe abuse among Asian- and African-American teens.

Scientists make step towards using brain scans to predict outcome of psychotic episodes
Computer analysis of brain scans could help predict how severe the future illness course of a patient with psychosis will be, according to research funded by the Medical Research Council and the Wellcome Trust.

New study uncovers how brain cells degrade dangerous protein aggregates
Researchers at the RIKEN Brain Science Institute have discovered a key mechanism responsible for selectively degrading aggregates of ubiquitinated proteins from the cell.

Ancient DNA provides new insights into cave paintings of horses
An international team of researchers has used ancient DNA to shed new light on the realism of horses depicted in prehistoric cave paintings.

Landmark survey reveals that most women who are done having children do not discuss their options with their OB/GYNs
A recent first-of-its-kind survey of 1,006 mothers in the US showed that more than 75 percent of women reported being done having children, but only 24 percent discussed this decision with their OB/GYNs.

Faculty awarded for research that could improve reliability of foundation designs, reduce costs
A professor at the University of Texas at Austin's Cockrell School of Engineering and a graduate of the school have been awarded the Norman Medal, the most prestigious award given by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Grant will help bridge digital divide for people with disabilities
Personal health records have been going electronic, and patients, caregivers, and health-care providers are learning to navigate the new digital world of health information.

One if by land, Two if by sea? Climate change 'escape routes'
One if by land, two if by sea? Results of a study published this week in the journal Science show how fast animal and plant populations would need to move to keep up with recent climate change effects in the ocean and on land.

Grant funds feasibility study of microneedle patches for polio vaccination
Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have received a grant to study the use of microneedle patches for the low-cost administration of polio vaccine.

Why cooking counts
In a first-of-its kind study, Harvard researchers have shown that cooked meat provides more energy than raw meat, a finding that suggests humans are biologically adapted to take advantage of the benefits of cooking, and that cooking played a key role in driving the evolution of man from an ape-like creature into one more closely resembling modern humans.

Research to analyze the images of women in Roman mosaics
Research coordinated by Carlos III University in Madrid analyzes the images of women in Roman mosaics and their impact on the collective consciousness of feminine stereotypes.

Breakthrough scientific discoveries no longer dominated by the very young, study finds
Scientists under the age of 40 used to make the majority of significant breakthroughs in chemistry, physics and medicine - but that is no longer the case, new research suggests.

Organic light-emitting diodes
The Optical Society (OSA) today published a special Focus Issue on OLEDs in Energy Express, a bi-monthly supplement to its open access journal Optics Express.

Study looks at predicting NFL betting lines
When bookmakers set the over/under line for NFL games they tend to give weight to the number of points a team scored in its immediate previous game.

NIH study finds stroke risk factors may lead to cognitive problems
High blood pressure and other known risk factors for stroke also increase the risk of developing cognitive problems, even among people who have never had a stroke, a study funded by the National Institutes of Health has found.

Study finds wide variation in best-estimate clinical diagnosis of autism spectrum disorders
In a study conducted at 12 university-based research sites, there was wide variation in how best-estimate clinical diagnoses within the autism spectrum were assigned to individual children, according to a study being published Online First by the Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Potential for odd election outcomes with ranked choice voting system, says mathematician
Ranked choice voting -- in which voters rank candidates in order of preference -- is an increasingly popular alternative to voting for only one candidate in each race.

Decrease in observed rate of TB at a time of economic recession
The incidence of tuberculosis in the US is reported as being on the decrease, however untreated infected people act as a reservoir for disease.

Bundling payments to cut health costs proves difficult to achieve, study finds
Bundling payments to health care providers is proving difficult to accomplish.

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia receives Grand Challenges Explorations funding
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia announced today that it will receive funding through Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative created by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that enables researchers worldwide to test unorthodox ideas that address persistent health and development challenges.

University Hospitals Case Medical Center neurosurgeons champion brain bypass in select patients
A microsurgical procedure that has lost some ground to advances in endovascular therapy still plays a critical role in the management of selected neurovascular disorders, according to a University Hospitals Case Medical Center neurosurgeon who performs the procedure.

Opening the data bank -- scientists try to match new protein structures
Scientists at Rochester Institute of Technology and Dowling College are matching proteins to the job they perform in the human body.

Osteoarthritis results from inflammatory processes, not just wear and tear, Stanford study suggests
n a study to be published online Nov. 6 in Nature Medicine, investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine have shown that the development of osteoarthritis is in great part driven by low-grade inflammatory processes.

Compelling research will flow at fluid dynamics meeting
The latest news and discoveries from the science of fluid motion will be featured at the 64th Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society's (APS) Division of Fluid Dynamics (DFD), held Nov.

First use of high-field MRI in developing brain reveals previously undetectable injuries
Pediatric neuroscientists at Oregon Health & Science University Doernbecher Children's Hospital are the first to use high magnetic field strength MRI to reveal tiny white matter injuries in the developing brain previously undetectable using standard MRI.

Nonterrestrial artifacts hard to pin down
Two Pioneer probes left our solar system carrying plaques about humankind, and two Voyager probes will soon join them to gather information about places far out in our galaxy.

New drug seems well-tolerated and merits further investigation in patients with Huntington's disease
A novel drug (pridopidine) that stabilizes dopamine signaling in areas of the brain that control movement and coordination, appears well tolerated and warrants further study in patients with Huntington's disease, a condition characterized by an imbalance in the signalling chemical dopamine.

Study examines racial and ethnic variations in substance-related disorders among adolescents
Substance use is widespread among adolescents in the United States, particularly among those of Native American, white, Hispanic and multiple race/ethnicity, and these groups are also disproportionally affected by substance-related disorders, according to a report in the November issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Specific criteria improve diagnosis of bipolar disorder, study finds
Use of criteria such as family history of mania and early onset of illness can result in detecting more cases of bipolar disorder in individuals experiencing a major depressive episode.

Paper uncovers power of Foldit gamers' strategies
Researchers studying the nature of crowds playing Foldit called some strategies

The secrets of tunneling through energy barriers
Electrons moving in graphene behave in an unusual way, as demonstrated by 2010 Nobel Prize laureates for physics Andre Geim and Konstantin Novoselov, who performed transport experiments on this one-carbon-atom-thick material.

Steven B. Abramson, MD, receives distinguished Basic Investigator Award at ACR 2011
Steven B. Abramson, MD, senior vice president and vice dean of education, faculty and academic affairs and professor, Departments of Medicine and Pathology at NYU Langone Medical Center received the Distinguished Basic Investigator Award at the American College of Rheumatology & Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals annual scientific meeting this week in Chicago.

What can we learn from America's fastest growing and least understood age group?
Between now and 2030, the number of people in the U.S. over the age of 80 is expected to almost triple.

Easily 're-programmable cells' could be key in creation of new life forms
Scientists at the University of Nottingham are leading an ambitious research project to develop an in vivo biological cell-equivalent of a computer operating system.

A Trojan horse in the fight against HIV/AIDS
The CRCHUM announced today that one of its researchers will receive funding of 100,000 US dollars through Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative created by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation that enables researchers worldwide to test unorthodox ideas that address persistent health and development challenges.

Polio still a threat to public health
After years of tracking isolated cases of live poliovirus, Dr.

UMMS researchers identify epigenetic signatures of autism
Scientists at UMass Medical School are the first to map epigenetic changes in neurons from the brains of individuals with autism, providing empirical evidence that epigenetic alterations -- changes in gene expression caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence -- may play an important role in the disease.

John Theurer Cancer Center to host inaugural Mantle Cell Lymphoma Symposium
The Lymphoma Division of the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center with the participation from the Facebook groups

An incredible shrinking material
They shrink when you heat 'em. Most materials expand when heated, but a few contract.

Employers need to tackle culture of ignorance around breast cancer survivors who work
Employers need to be more aware of the capabilities of women affected by breast cancer and provide them with better support, backed by employment directives and occupational health policies.

Forest Service part of team sequencing 1,000 fungal genomes
A 79-year-old collection of fungal cultures and the US Forest Service's Northern Research Station are part of a team that will sequence 1,000 fungal genomes in the next 5 years.

University of Colorado Denver receives Grand Challenges Explorations funding
The University of Colorado Denver announced today will receive funding through Grand Challenges Explorations, an initiative created by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. 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