Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 09, 2011
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers unravel biochemical factor important in tumor metastasis
A protein called

Diagnoses of autism spectrum disorders vary widely across clinics
To diagnose autism spectrum disorders, clinicians typically administer a variety of tests or scales and use information from observations and parent interviews to classify individuals into subcategories listed in standard psychiatric diagnostic manuals.

Cosmic voyager has a layover in St. Louis
Last January two amateur meteorite hunters dropped by Randy Korotev's office at Washington University in St.

Obese monkeys lose weight on drug that attacks blood supply of fat cells
Obese rhesus monkeys given an experimental anti-obesity drug lost on average 11 percent of their body weight over four weeks.

New reports urges more detailed utility metering to improve building efficiency
A new interagency report recommends systematic consideration of new metering technologies, called submetering, that can yield up-to-date, finely grained snapshots of energy and water usage in commercial and residential buildings to guide efficiency improvements and capture the advantages of a modernized electric power grid.

Faculty of 1000 and DynaMed partner to identify practice-changing medical research
Making Evidence-Based Medicine Actionable: DynaMed™ and Faculty of 1000, have partnered to better serve the needs of medical professionals looking for rapid access to the best available medical evidence.

No need to shrink guts to have a larger brain
The so-called expensive-tissue hypothesis, which suggests a trade-off between the size of the brain and the size of the digestive tract, has been challenged by researchers at the University of Zurich.

Are electron tweezers possible? Apparently so
A recent paper by researchers from NIST and the University of Virginia demonstrates that the beams produced by modern electron microscopes can be used not just to look at nanoscale objects, but to move them around, position them and perhaps even assemble them.

Office of Naval Research young investigators honored with Presidential Award
Nine of this year's Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) selectees contributed breakthrough advances to ONR-funded programs.

Weird world of water gets a little weirder
Strange, stranger, strangest! To the weird nature of one of the simplest chemical compounds -- the stuff so familiar that even non-scientists know its chemical formula -- add another odd twist.

World's first bedside genetic test proves effective
World's first bedside genetic test proves effective: Canadian heart researchers' pioneering

Getting on your nerves: $1.4 million NIH grant to study the regeneration of nerves
Injuries to the nervous system affect large numbers of people globally.

Lipid blocks influenza infection
A natural lipid in the fluid lining the lungs inhibits influenza infections in both cell cultures and mouse models, according to researchers at National Jewish Health.

Results of the TRIGGER-PCI trial reported at TCT 2011
A clinical trial comparing prasugrel to clopidogrel for patients with high on-clopidogrel platelet reactivity (HCPR) following percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) was ended early due to relatively few occurrences of cardiac death or myocardial infarction -- the primary endpoint -- at six month follow up.

Revolutionary ultrasonic nozzle that will change the way water cleans
A team of scientists from the University of Southampton have developed a revolutionary ultrasonic attachment for taps, which massively enhances the ability of water to clean.

NASA develops super-black material that absorbs light across multiple wavelength bands
NASA engineers have produced a material that absorbs on average more than 99 percent of the ultraviolet, visible, infrared, and far-infrared light that hits it -- a development that promises to open new frontiers in space technology.

New research finds extreme antisocial personality predicts gang membership
Research into the 2011 London riots found they were mostly committed by antisocial persons, less than 20 percent of whom were explicitly gang members.

Scientists to use scent to control destructive rodent behavior
Research on the scent signals of mice and rats, by a team at the University of Liverpool and Rothamsted Research, will help inform future rodent-control strategies aimed at reducing the damage they cause to food resources around the world.

Leading North American institutions endorse the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge
Thirty-three research institutions, associations, and foundations in the US, Canada, and Mexico have made a commitment to Open Access to research by signing the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities.

Aerial robot system can save firefighter lives
A system built by University of Cincinnati experts around an unmanned aerial vehicle has faced a real-world test in a West Virginia controlled forest burn, and proved its usefulness.

Accelerating robotic innovation
Robots are a study in contrasts. They can perform superhuman feats and get tripped up by toddler-level tasks.

Ames Laboratory will share in over $4.5 million in rare-earth alternatives research grants
The US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory is working to develop alternatives to neodymium-iron-boron permanent magnets, based on cerium or manganese, both of which are far more abundant than neodymium.

Methane may be answer to 56-million-year question
The release of massive amounts of carbon from methane hydrate frozen under the seafloor 56 million years ago has been linked to the greatest change in global climate since a dinosaur-killing asteroid presumably hit Earth nine million years earlier.

UHN, University of Toronto launch Techna innovation hub to get health technologies to patients faster
The Techna Institute, an innovation hub poised to integrate and fast track research, development and commercialization of new healthcare technologies, launches today at University Health Network and the University of Toronto.

Lose the fat and improve the gums, CWRU dental researchers find
Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine researchers found the human body is better at fighting gum disease when fat cells, which trigger inflammation, disappear.

NOAA greenhouse gas index continues to climb
NOAA's updated Annual Greenhouse Gas Index (AGGI), which measures the direct climate influence of many greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane, shows a continued steady upward trend that began with the Industrial Revolution of the 1880s.

Study finds primary health care providers fail to report substantial cases of child abuse
A team of researchers from Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center report that primary care providers fail to report a substantial number of cases of child maltreatment.

Supreme Court voting patterns show high predictability
Supreme Court rulings can dramatically shape American policies, but the Court's decisions may actually be quite predictable, according to a new study published in the Nov.

In a childhood cancer, basic biology offers clues to better treatments
By studying tumor biology at the molecular level, researchers are gaining a deeper understanding of drug resistance -- and how to avoid it by designing pediatric cancer treatments tailored to specific mutations in a child's DNA.

Brain function involved in recovery of facial paralysis is different according to sex
Research work drawn up by specialists from the Department of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery at the University of Navarra Hospital has shown that, after surgical treatment for facial paralysis through using muscular transplant and nervous transposition (connection of facial muscle to a nerve different from the injured facial nerve), the brain of a woman - in comparison to that of a male - manages to adapt itself better, recovers the spontaneous smile and has a greater time period available for repairing the paralysis.

Two national diabetes initiatives coordinated at GHSU
Two national efforts supporting diabetes research will again be coordinated by a Georgia Health Sciences University bioinformatics expert.

Tiny new device will make milk safer
Milk is about to get a whole lot safer for consumers, thanks to Concordia University researchers who've developed a new instrument to detect harmful foreign substances in dairy and other products.

Ancient lunar dynamo may explain magnetized moon rocks
The presence of magnetized rocks on the surface of the moon, which has no global magnetic field, has been a mystery since the days of the Apollo program.

Discovery of 2 types of neutron stars points to 2 different classes of supernovae
Astronomers at the universities of Southampton and Oxford have found evidence that neutron stars, which are produced when massive stars explode as supernovae, actually come in two distinct varieties.

Winners named for the 2011 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards
Stories on the use of genetic analysis to help save a boy imperiled by a devastating disease, on the potential impact of climate change in two localities, and on the secret lives of scientists and engineers are among the winners of the 2011 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards.

Groundbreaking study quantifies health costs of climate-change related disasters in the US
Health costs exceeding $14 billion dollars, 21,000 emergency room visits, nearly 1,700 deaths, and 9,000 hospitalizations are among the staggering impacts of six climate change-related events in the United States during the last decade, according to a first-of-its-kind study.

Pitt researchers using mathematics to target Parkinson's disease symptoms
University of Pittsburgh mathematicians have been collaborating with Pitt's School of Medicine to find ways to stop the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, thanks in part to a four-year, $1.86 million grant from the National Science Foundation and a five-year $1.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

Report provides new analysis of carbon accounting, biomass use, and climate benefits
A recent report provides new ideas regarding carbon and energy benefits forests and forest products provide.

Logic fights impulse in economic decision-making
Money can make people act crazy, but there is a small group of people that act more rationally than most, and this behavior may be due to their high

New metamaterial allows transmission gain while retaining negative refraction property
Electrical engineers at the University of Arizona studying a negative index metamaterial have observed a previously unheard of net gain at microwave frequency, demonstrating a previously debated hypothesis; study to be published in forthcoming APS journal, Physical Review Letters.

Eric J. Topol, M.D. presented with 2011 TCT Career Achievement Award
Eric J. Topol, MD, a world-renowned cardiologist and physician-scientist, was presented the 2011 TCT Career Achievement Award in a ceremony held today during the 23rd annual Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) scientific symposium, sponsored by the Cardiovascular Research Foundation (CRF).

New University of Houston research addresses problem drinking among college students
Perceptions of peer drinking of alcohol may be the strongest predictor of excessive alcohol use among college students according to new research by Clayton Neighbors, a professor and director of the social psychology program in the department of psychology at the University of Houston.

30-day results of ADAPT-DES registry reported at TCT 2011
The relationship of platelet responsiveness to antiplatelet medications; and, the correlation of poor response, and overall platelet aggregation while on dual antiplatelet therapy to the risk of drug-eluting stent thrombosis after 30 days was examined in ADAPT-DES, the largest registry to date to fully examine these relationships.

Stop the clocks, the kids need to play
New research highlights potential health benefits of British Summer Time.

New studies show progress, value in vaccination against deadly pneumonia
In a paper in International Health, authors estimate two pneumococcal vaccines being introduced with support from GAVI could save lives of 3-4 million children over the next 10 years.

Stanford team trains computer to evaluate breast cancer
In a paper to be published Nov. 9 in Science Translational Medicine, computer scientists at the Stanford School of Engineering and pathologists at the Stanford School of Medicine report their collaboration to train computers to analyze breast cancer microscopic images.

UC research examines eugenics past and present, driven by race, class, economics
UC historian Wendy Kline will present her case study research on coercive birth control used as a form of eugenics.

Birds help keep vineyards pest-free
Properly functioning ecosystems have their own pest management system -- predation -- but as new manmade ecosystems develop, these natural maintenance systems are often disrupted.

New mothers, newborns happy with home visits
Home nursing visits are as safe and effective as office-based care for initial post-delivery well-baby check-ups, according to medical researchers.

First proof of principle for treating rare bone disease
Scientists at Penn's Perelman School of Medicine Center for Research in FOP and Related Disorders have developed a new genetic approach to specifically block the damaged copy of the gene for a rare bone disease, while leaving the normal copy untouched.

Tufts University researcher develops living tissue
Research by Catherine K. Kuo, Ph.D., an assistant professor of biomedical engineering in Tufts University's School of Engineering, could yield insight into factors that contribute to orthopedic birth defects that occur in utero, such as club foot.

Fast new test for terrible form of food poisoning
Scientists are reporting development of a fast, reliable new test that could help people avoid a terrible type of food poisoning that comes from eating fish tainted with a difficult-to-detect toxin from marine algae growing in warm waters.

Neurological disorder impacts brain cells differently
In a paper published in the Nov. 9 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and University of Washington describe in deeper detail the pathology of a devastating neurological disorder, but also reveal new cellular targets for possibly slowing its development.

Adoptive parents put through wringer- new report finds
The first ever comprehensive report on people's experiences of the adoption process in Victoria reveals that many found the current system to be inflexible and focused almost exclusively on administrative tasks and bureaucratic formalities.

Chemists reveal the force within you
A new method for visualizing mechanical forces on the surface of a cell, reported in Nature Methods, provides the first detailed view of those forces, as they occur in real-time.

Under money strains, some older adults may turn to alcohol
During financial hard times, some older adults may turn to alcohol or cigarettes as a way to cope, according to a study in the November issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

Clear vision despite a heavy head
The brain likes stereotypes - at least for movements. Simple actions are most often performed in the same manner.

International team to sequence genomes of fungi
Fungi represent one of the largest branches of the Tree of Life and have an enormous impact on human affairs and ecosystem functioning.

Malaria's Achilles' heel revealed?
It was previously thought that the malaria parasite enters the red blood cell by binding to several proteins on the surface of the cell.

NC State, NSF project to boost computer science knowledge through gaming
North Carolina State University researchers are launching a project to develop a video game that will help improve computer science knowledge in middle school students - and contribute to a better educated workforce in the future.

Breakthrough in understanding the genetics of high blood pressure
Study co-authored by University of Leicester cardiovascular expert identifies key genetic mechanisms that help control blood pressure

Sound, digested
Audio engineers have developed a novel artificial intelligence system for understanding and indexing sound, a unique tool for both finding and matching previously un-labeled audio files.

Potential new NASA mission would reveal the hearts of undead stars
Neutron stars have been called the zombies of the cosmos, shining on even though they're technically dead, and occasionally feeding on a neighboring star if it gets too close.

Do plants perform best with family or strangers? Researchers consider social interactions
In the fight for survival, plants are capable of complex social behaviors and may exhibit altruism towards family members, but aggressively compete with strangers.

NICE issues cybersecurity workforce framework for public comment
The National Initiative on Cybersecurity Education (NICE) has published for public comment a draft document that classifies the typical duties and skill requirements of cybersecurity workers.

Big, little, tall and tiny: Words that promote important spatial skills
Preschool children who hear parents use words describing the size and shape of objects and who then use those words in their day to day interactions do much better on tests of their spatial skills, a University of Chicago study shows.

Results of the DESERT registry reported at TCT 2011
The risk of late stent thrombosis (ST) in the first generation of drug-eluting stents continues for up to seven years after implantation, and certain types of patients, including smokers and those who are younger, are at higher risk, according to results of the DESERT registry.

'Localism' is doomed unless Whitehall can change
The government's commitment to

Helping others helps teens stay on the road to addiction recovery
A new study of teens undergoing substance abuse treatment finds helping others helps the adolescent helper by reducing cravings for alcohol and drugs, a major precipitator of relapse.

Scientists find a new species of fungus -- in a wasp nest
In their exploration of bacteria and fungi species in novel environments, a team headed by Tufts researchers turned their attention towards nests of an invasive paper wasp.

Dairy foods may improve bone health during diet and exercise in overweight premenopausal women
A recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM) found that consumption of dairy foods and higher protein resulted in improvements in markers of bone formation and reductions in markers of bone degradation in overweight and obese young women over 16 weeks of diet- and exercise-induced weight loss.

Results of the PARIS registry Reported at TCT 2011
Non-adherence to antiplatelet therapy - which prevents blood clots following percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) -- was associated with higher rates of both ischemic and bleeding events at 30 days.

Combination epigenetic therapy clinical trial results
A new type of therapy aimed at reversing the gene-silencing that promotes cancer-cell growth has shown promising results in a small clinical trial conducted by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

Testing of seafood imported into the US is inadequate
A new study by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future shows that testing of imported seafood by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is inadequate for confirming its safety or identifying risks.

Americans using more fossil fuels
American energy use went back up in 2010 compared to 2009, when consumption was at a 12-year low.

Community-based care coordination effective for real world asthma management programs
Effective management of childhood asthma should extend beyond the doctor's office into communities, homes and schools where children spend most of their time dealing with the disease, according to newly published studies.

Data on Vivitrol for opioid dependence showed sustained efficacy over 18 months
Positive results from the one-year, open-label extension of the six-month pivotal study showed sustained efficacy and safety of Vivitrol as measured by the number of opioid-free urine screens, in patients who received Vivitrol, in combination with psychosocial treatment, for a total of 18 months of treatment.

Northwest natives were fishers, not hunter-gatherers
Native people of the Pacific Northwest were fishermen and food producers, as well as stewards of their environment who timed their fishing practices to promote the production of salmon and the other fish that they relied on.

Doctors named 'top' in reproductive endocrinology
Three physicians on the staff at the Center for Reproduction and Infertility at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island were recently named to the U.S.

AACR-NCI-EORTC to hold molecular targets meeting in San Francisco
Progress in oncology drug development will take center stage Nov.

Draft roadmap for cloud computing technology
NIST has released for public comment a draft

Evidence base for exercise programs for older people still in the balance
After adding 62 new studies to the pool of data, researchers say that while some useful ideas are emerging, there is still a need for high quality evidence that can determine which types of exercise are the most effective.

Jobs, jobs, jobs on the cover of weekly newsmagazine of world's largest scientific society
With concerns about jobs in the headlines around the world, this week's edition of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN) presents a 3-part cover story on the jobs situation for chemists -- whose work directly touches more than 96 percent of all manufactured goods, with the chemical industry in the United States alone a $674 billion enterprise.

People with Parkinson's disease more likely to have leg restlessness than restless leg syndrome
People with Parkinson's disease may be more likely to have a movement disorder called leg motor restlessness, but not true restless legs syndrome as previous studies have suggested, according to a study published in the Nov.

Tear drops may rival blood drops in testing blood sugar in diabetes
Scientists are reporting development and successful laboratory testing of an electrochemical sensor device that has the potential to measure blood sugar levels from tears instead of blood -- an advance that could save the world's 350 million diabetes patients the discomfort of pricking their fingers for droplets of blood used in traditional blood sugar tests.

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and BGI announce partnership and new Joint Genome Center
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and BGI, the world's largest genomics institute, today announced they have formed a partnership, BGI@CHOP, to conduct large-scale human genome sequencing and bioinformatics analysis at a newly established, state-of-the-art Joint Genome Center at Children's Hospital.

EEG can detect awareness in people previously thought to be in permanently vegetative state
A study published online girst by the Lancet shows that -- using a cheap, portable electroencephalography device -- awareness can be detected in people previously thought to be in a permanently vegetative state.

Protecting predator and prey when both are in trouble
The study, reported in the Nov. 9 issue of the online journal PLoS ONE, led by Rob Williams of the University of Washington in Seattle, and University of British Columbia, finds that salmon populations must significantly increase to sustain the hopeful growth of the southern resident killer whale population

Community leaders honored for helping Americans most in need
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is proud to announce today the recipients of its 2011 Community Health Leaders Award, honoring 10 individuals who have overcome daunting odds to improve the health and quality of life for disadvantaged or underserved communities across the country.

SwRI flyers first to evaluate pressure suits during simulated suborbital launches in centrifuge
Two researchers set to fly aboard suborbital spacecraft as a part of Southwest Research Institute's next-generation suborbital research program completed another milestone last week when they evaluated commercial spaceflight equipment during an intensive series of centrifuge runs that closely mimicked launches and re-entries aboard suborbital spacecraft.

US grant exclusive for UK dementia researcher
The US-based Alzheimer's Association has awarded Dr. David Llewellyn of Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Exeter, a prestigious two-year $100,000 New Investigator Research Grant to further his dementia research.

Epigenetic therapy shows promise in hard-to-treat lung cancer
Therapy extended median survival to 6.4 months. Two patients are alive four years after start of epigenetic treatment.

International team to drill beneath massive Antarctic ice shelf
An international team of researchers funded by NASA and the National Science Foundation (NSF) will travel next month to one of Antarctica's most active, remote and harsh spots to determine how changes in the waters circulating under an active ice sheet are causing a glacier to accelerate and drain into the sea.

Results of the BRIDGE trial reported at TCT 2011
Data from the BRIDGE clinical trial demonstrate that intravenous use of the drug cangrelor was effective at maintaining platelet inhibition in patients on thienopyridines who required bypass surgery.

Pitt researchers develop eButton, an easier way to monitor food intake, exercise, and lifestyle
People attempting to lose weight won't need to track their daily food intake anymore, thanks to a wearable, picture-taking device created at the University of Pittsburgh. eButton -- a device worn on the chest (like a pin) that contains a miniature camera, accelerometer, GPS, and other sensors -- captures data and information of health activities, eliminating the need for daily self-reporting.

Berkeley Lab researchers create first of its kind gene map of sulfate-reducing bacterium
Critical genetic secrets of a bacterium that holds potential for removing toxic and radioactive waste from the environment have been revealed in a study led by Berkeley Lab researchers.

Scripps Health/the Medicines Company announce late breaking BRIDGE trial results presented at TCT
Late breaking clinical trial results from testing of cangrelor, an investigational intravenous antiplatelet, showed patients can be

Learning spatial terms improves children's spatial skills
Preschool children who hear their parents describe the size and shape of objects and then use those words themselves perform better on tests of their spatial skills, researchers at the University of Chicago have found.

Young woman with amnesia unable to hold a single face in short-term memory...
A 22-year-old woman known as

Discovery of therapeutic peptides affecting mitochondria
In 2010, after more than 10 years of basic research, Dr.

Former football players prone to late-life health problems, MU study finds
Football players experience repeated head trauma throughout their careers, which results in short and long-term effects to their cognitive function, physical and mental health.

Fecal occult blood testing effective in colonoscopy screenings
Fecal immunochemical testing (FIT) is more effective in its health benefits at the same or lower costs compared to guaiac fecal occult blood testing (gFOBT) at all levels of colonoscopy capacity, according to a study published Nov.

Bigger birds are harder hit by human noise
A growing body of evidence shows that man-made noise is bad for birds, but some species are harder hit than others -- particularly bigger birds with low-frequency songs, finds a new study by Clinton Francis of the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center in Durham, N.C.

Looks do matter, according to new study
People with birthmarks, scars and other facial disfigurements are more likely to receive poor ratings in job interviews, according to a new study by researchers at Rice University and the University of Houston.

Spanning across three continents, new NTU center shows possibilities in 3-D communication
Exciting prototypes of advanced 3-D communication technologies are being developed by the new BeingThere Center at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University.

Online game aims to improve scientific peer review accuracy
Peer review of scientific research is an essential component of research publication, the awarding of grants, and academic promotion.

Fish flu: Genetics approach may lead to treatment
A NIST research team has provided the first look at a genetic structure that may play a critical role in the reproduction of the infectious salmon anemia virus (ISAV), more commonly known as the

Internists to reveal top 10 reasons why Congress should repeal the SGR now
The American College of Physicians (ACP) today began revealing the Top Ten reasons why Congress should repeal the SGR (sustainable growth rate) now.

NIST physicists chip away at mystery of antimatter imbalance
Why there is stuff in the universe is one of the long-standing mysteries of cosmology.

Results of rapid gene trial reported at TCT 2011
A clinical trial of patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) for acute coronary syndrome (ACS) and stable angina showed that a strategy of rapid genotyping followed by selective administration of prasugrel to carriers of a common genetic variant (CYP2C19*2) resulted in a decreased rate of high on-treatment platelet reactivity (platelet non-responder rate) compared to standard therapy.

'Tis better to give than to receive?
Providing support to a loved one offers benefits, to the giver, not just the recipient, a new UCLA neuroimaging study reveals.

California making headway in battle against childhood obesity but successes are uneven
A new study released today offers hope that California may finally be getting a handle on its 30-year battle with childhood obesity, but also showcases a patchwork of progress that leaves the majority of counties in the state still registering increases in obesity rates among California's school-age children.

Opening peer review may increase accuracy
Peer review is crucial for evaluation of scientific work, but it could be much more effective if it were not anonymous, according to a study published in the Nov.

New international health survey of sicker adults: Those with a medical home fare better
Chronically and seriously ill adults who received care from a medical home -- an accessible primary care practice that helps coordinate care -- were less likely to report medical errors, test duplication, and other care coordination failures, according to a new Commonwealth Fund international survey of patients' experiences in the US and 10 other high-income countries. 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