Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 16, 2011
Awards honor excellence in social and personality psychology
Racial prejudice and stereotyping, pay-what-you-want pricing, cross-cultural training -- these are just a few of the research areas of this year's winners of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology (SPSP) annual awards.

Probiotic protects intestine from radiation injury
Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have shown that taking a probiotic before radiation therapy can protect the intestine from damage -- at least in mice.

Toward more cost-effective production of biofuels from plant lignocellulosic biomass
Lignocellulosic biomass contains bound acetate, which is released upon processing and is an inhibitor of microbial fermentation of sugars into bioethanol.

Research aims to prevent obesity by reaching parents, young children through child care
A Kansas State University research group is jumping ahead to improve nutrition and physical activity among young children and prevent childhood obesity.

Scientists find evidence for 'great lake' on Europa and potential new habitat for life
In a significant finding in the search for life beyond Earth, scientists from the University of Texas at Austin and elsewhere have discovered what appears to be a body of liquid water the volume of the North American Great Lakes locked inside the icy shell of Jupiter's moon Europa.

ONR maps long-term investment for future Naval requirements
The Office of Naval Research (ONR) released Nov. 16 its latest science and technology (S&T) strategic plan, which reflects future naval requirements, including a new emphasis on autonomous systems, and current fiscal realities.

New device uses gold nanoparticles to test for lung cancer
Proof of concept, recently published in the journal Nanomedicine, showed that the new device clearly distinguishes between the volatile organic compounds in cancer patients' exhaled breath compared to the breath of a control group.

Gallery of fluid motion
Every year, the American Physical Society's Division of Fluid Dynamics hosts posters and videos that show stunning images, graphics, and animations from either computational or experimental studies of flow phenomena.

Garlic oil component may form treatment to protect heart
A component of garlic oil may help release protective compounds to the heart after heart attack, during cardiac surgery, or as a treatment for heart failure.

New American Chemical Society podcast: Genetically-engineered spider silk for gene therapy
A new episode in the American Chemical Society's (ACS) award-winning

Forests cooler or warmer than open areas depending on latitude, study finds
A study that will be published in Nature on Thursday, Nov.

Awards honor UT Dallas researcher and Ph.D. students
UT Dallas students and faculty have won three competitive awards from the American Speech Language and Hearing Association (ASHA), which will present the prizes at its annual conference this week in San Diego.

Drug-eluting balloons are a promising tool in treatment of narrowed metal stents
A drug-coated balloon inserted in a narrowed bare metal stent is a promising therapy for restoring blood flow, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2011.

Psoriasis is associated with impaired HDL function, Penn study finds
In two new studies presented at the 2011 American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, Penn researchers show that the systemic inflammatory impact of psoriasis may alter both the makeup of cholesterol particles and numbers, as well as impair the function of high density lipoprotein, the

3 p.m. slump? Why a sugar rush may not be the answer
A new study has found that protein and not sugar activates the cells responsible for keeping us awake and burning calories.

Scientists tackle the carbon conundrum
Scientists have developed a new, integrated, ten-year science plan to better understand the details of Earth's carbon cycle.

TV viewing poses greater risk than computer use for cardiovascular disease
Physical activity will definitely lower children's chances of developing cardiovascular disease down the road, but physical inactivity will not necessarily increase it.

New Stanford model establishes guidelines for earlier cancer detection
Tumors can grow for 10 years or longer before currently available blood tests will detect them, a new mathematical model developed by Stanford University School of Medicine scientists indicates.

Mass. General Cancer Center and Vall d'Hebron Institute of Oncology biomarker alliance
The BBVA Foundation will fund the collaborative efforts of MGHCC and VHIO to develop personalized therapies for cancer patients through biomarker research.

Cancer's sweet tooth may be its weak link
Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have discovered that cancer cells tap into a natural recycling system to obtain the energy they need to keep dividing.

Exercise may be better than stents for PAD patients
Supervised exercise was shown to be more effective than stenting or medication for improved walking ability in patients with peripheral artery disease.

NIH grantees rebut theory that seasonal flu strains originate in tropical regions
Influenza researchers have found that flu strains migrate back and forth between different regions of the world, evolving along the way.

Global commission delivers food security policy recommendations
A new report published by an independent global commission of eminent scientists states that the world's food system needs an immediate transformation to meet current and future threats to food security and environmental sustainability.

First MacLean Center Prize in Clinical Ethics awarded to Dartmouth's John Wennberg
The first MacLean Center Prize in Clinical Ethics and Health Outcomes has been awarded to John E.

Harm not those strangers that pollinate, study warns
Princeton University researchers found that invasive species can become essential to the very ecosystems threatened by their presence, taking on important biological roles -- such as flower pollination -- once held by the species the interlopers helped eliminate.

Environmental troubles growing in Mid-East Gulf region due to rapid coastal development
The rapid, large scale coastal development underway in the Middle East must be better planned and managed to avoid aggravating already

Transcendental Meditation effective antidote to record stress levels in school students
With record levels of student stress reported in a recent UCLA survey, can a simple stress-reducing meditation technique be a viable solution?

Study IDs new genetic links to impulsivity, alcohol problems in men
Are different kinds of hastiness and rashness embedded in our DNA?

1 in 12 teenagers self-harm; however, the majority give up their self-harming behavior as they enter adulthood
The first population-based study to chart in detail the course of self-harm from adolescence to young adulthood is published online first by the Lancet today.

AAOS issues new clinical practice guideline for treating common elbow fractures in children
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons Board of Directors has recently approved and released an evidence-based clinical practice guideline (CPG) on

The secret of the best foie gras
Defying common sense, ducks that plump up less produce the finest foie gras -- that rich, buttery French delicacy made from goose or duck livers and sometimes eaten as slices atop lightly toasted bread -- scientists are reporting.

Mann to receive Hans Oeschger Medal from European Geosciences Union
Michael Mann, professor of meteorology and geosciences and director, Earth System Science Center, Penn State, was awarded the Hans Oeschger Medal of the European Geosciences Union.

Genome sequence sheds new light on how plants evolved nitrogen-fixing symbioses
The genome of Medicago, a close relative of alfalfa and a long-established model for the study of legume biology, has been sequenced by an international team of scientists, capturing around 94 percent of its genes.

Discovery may help fight late-stage ovarian cancer
A potential breakthrough in treating late-stage ovarian cancer has come from University of Guelph researchers who have discovered a peptide that shrinks advanced tumors and improves survival rates for this deadly but often undetected disease.

BGI unveils significant new global research collaborations at ICG-6
At the 6th International Conference on Genomics, one of the most influential global genomics conferences, multiple new global collaborative projects were announced, including three Million Genomes Projects, 10,000 Rice Genome and 1% Danes' Genome Project.

New model more accurately describes migratory animals' extinction risk
Predicting the risk of extinction is a complicated task, especially for species that migrate between breeding and wintering sites.

Royal Arch Masons present Autism Speaks with $100,000 Royal Arch research assistance grant
The General Chapter of Royal Arch Masons International presented Autism Speaks with a $100,000 in support of Autism Speaks' early diagnosis and early intervention initiative to investigate auditory processing disorders in children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Study documents toll of smoke inhalation injuries
A study of burn patients has found that those who suffered the most severe smoke inhalation also had more inflammation and spent more time on ventilators and in intensive care.

New TB treatment limits infection while reducing drug resistance
M. tuberculosis and several of its close relatives, including M.

Alarming pattern of antibiotic use in the southeastern United States
New research suggests a pattern of outpatient antibiotic overuse in parts of the United States -- particularly in the Southeast -- a problem that could accelerate the rate at which these powerful drugs are rendered useless, according to Extending the Cure, a project of the Center for Disease Dynamics, Economics & Policy.

Personal electronics' next revolution: Home printers that make 3-D objects
Just imagine: Instead of sending Grandma a holiday photo of the family for her fridge, you call up the image on your computer monitor, click

Increasing dosage of clopidogrel for patients with genetic variation improves response to medication
Among patients with stable cardiovascular disease who have a genetic variation that diminishes the response to the antiplatelet drug clopidogrel, tripling the standard daily dosage of this medication resulted in improved platelet reactivity, according to a study appearing in JAMA.

Predicting future threats for global amphibian biodiversity
Amphibian populations are declining worldwide, and their declines far exceed those of other animal groups: more than 30 percent of all species are listed as threatened according to the Red List of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Kessler Foundation reports benefits of behavioral technique for cognitive rehabilitation in MS
Impairments in cognitive processing, eg, new learning and memory, are common deficits in MS and have been shown to negatively impact everyday life.

Form and function: New MRI technique to diagnose or rule out Alzheimer's disease
Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found a new way of diagnosing and tracking Alzheimer's disease, using an innovative magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique called Arterial spin labeling (ASL) to measure changes in brain function.

WTC workers exposed earlier to dust cloud have higher risk of atherosclerotic lesions
In the first study using magnetic resonance imaging to evaluate cardiovascular risk in World Trade Center first responders, researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine have found that the responders who experienced high levels of exposure to the initial dust cloud on Sept.

People with stroke history who receive clot-busting therapy fare better
People with a history of stroke or diabetes who were given clot-busting drugs to break up blood clots after stroke fared better than those who did not receive the drugs, according to a study published in the Nov.

Frogs' amazing leaps due to springy tendons
The secret to frogs' superlative jumping lies in their tendons.

Childhood obesity -- what are the health risks?
A second systematic review of research into childhood obesity and metabolic disease in adult life has shown there is little evidence of a direct link and suggests that treating obesity during childhood will remove any risk of lasting harm.

Yale study shows deforestation causes cooling
Deforestation, considered by scientists to contribute significantly to global warming, has been shown by a Yale-led team to actually cool the local climate in northern latitudes, according to a paper published today in Nature.

Low risk? Women and young men responsible for large portion of heart attacks
In a contemporary cohort of acute heart attack patients, 70 percent of the patients were unaware they had coronary heart disease prior to the event and 60 percent of those patients were women or young men.

Pristine reptile fossil holds new information about aquatic adaptations
Extinct animals hide their secrets well, but an exceptionally well-preserved fossil of an aquatic reptile, with traces of soft tissue present, is providing scientists a new window into the behavior of these ancient swimmers.

New report highlights LGBT older adults' needs, identifies policy opportunities
The National Academy on an Aging Society and Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders today released the first-ever issue of the acclaimed Public Policy & Aging Report on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) aging, highlighting gaps in policy and research on LGBT older adults, and current and future solutions to address the needs of LGBT elders.

Drug clears chronic urinary infections in mice
An experimental treatment for urinary tract infections has easily passed its first test in animals, alleviating weeks-long infections in mice in as little as six hours.

University of Calgary researcher named Canada's Health Researcher of the Year
University of Calgary researcher Paul Kubes, Ph.D., is the recipient of one of Canada's top awards for medical research.

Rusk experts present at American Association of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation meeting
Experts from Rusk Institute of Rehabilitation Medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center will present research and clinical insight into complex medical rehabilitation, the treatment of traumatic brain injuries and the integration of handheld technologies into practice management at the American Association of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (AAPM&R) Annual Meeting in Orlando, Nov.

Reduced bone density, stunted growth in turtles exposed to common chemical
Manufactured until 1977, and banned by the Environmental Protection Agency in 1979, pentachlorobiphenyls are chemicals still commonly found in the environment because they break down slowly.

NYU Steinhardt professor receives to study insulin's role in obesity-related cancers
Niyati Parekh, an assistant professor at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, has received a $720,000 Research Scholar Grant from the American Cancer Society to study the role of insulin in obesity-related cancers.

Rice chemists cram 2 million nanorods into single cancer cell
Rice University chemists have found a way to load more than two million tiny gold particles called nanorods into a single cancer cell.

Long-term study shows acid pollution in rain decreased with emissions
Emissions regulations do have an environmental impact, according to a long-term study of acidic rainfall by researchers at the University of Illinois.

Perceived racism may impact black Americans' mental health
For black American adults, perceived racism may cause mental health symptoms similar to trauma and could lead to some physical health disparities between blacks and other populations in the United States, according to a new study published by the American Psychological Association.

New study links excessive amounts of vitamin D to onset of atrial fibrillation
While previous studies have linked vitamin D deficiency to an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, new research at the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute in Salt Lake City shows that too much vitamin D can lead to the onset of a dangerous heart condition known as atrial fibrillation.

Internists 'applaud' Schwartz Proposal to prevent 'devastating' Medicare cuts
The 132,000 Internal medicine physician and medical student members of the American College of Physicians applaud Rep.

Illegal drug use is associated with abnormal weight in teens
A survey of more than 33,000 Italian high school students reveals that both underweight and overweight teens consume 20 to 40 percent more illegal drugs than their normal-weight peers.

Today's teens will die younger of heart disease
A new Northwestern Medicine study of adolescent cardiovascular health in the US reveals a bleak picture of teens likely to die of heart disease at a younger age than adults do today.

Children experience differing changes one year after a sibling's death from cancer
The majority of children experience personal changes and changes in relationships one year after their sibling has died from cancer; however, positive and negative changes are not universal.

Deforestation causes cooling in Northern US, Canada
The impact of deforestation on global warming varies with latitude, according to new research from a team of scientists representing 20 institutions from around the world.

Snake spills venomous secrets
Examining venom from a variety of poisonous snakes, a group of researchers at the University of California, San Francisco has discovered why the bite of one small black, yellow and red serpent called the Texas coral snake can be so painful.

European consortium contributes to global standards for 4G technology
A European consortium has developed global standards for the next generation of mobile communication devices.

New screening method can detect a range of clinical conditions from a single dried blood spot
Scientists have developed a rapid method that can be used to simultaneously screen patients for a range of genetic and acquired clinical conditions from a single dried blood spot.

False confessions may lead to more errors in evidence, a study shows
A man with a low IQ confesses to a gruesome crime.

Wayne State University to study novel treatment for antibiotic-resistant bacteria
Researchers at Wayne State University recently received funding from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health to study a novel antibiotic that may treat VRE infection and decrease mortality.

Jackson Laboratory researchers uncover steps in synapse building, pruning
The brain is constantly building networks of synapses, while pruning out redundant or unneeded synapses.

Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology
The following articles appear in the November 2011 journals of the American Society for Microbiology:

Global commission charts pathway for achieving food security in face of climate change
Ahead of the UN global climate talks in Durban, South Africa, an independent, global commission of eminent scientists today released a set of recommendations to policy makers on how to achieve food security in the face of climate change.

Communal living of the insect kind
The social lives of ants, wasps and bees have long been a puzzle to scientists.

On track to getting even fatter
In 2020, the vast majority of adults in America will be overweight or obese and more than half will suffer from diabetes or pre-diabetic conditions, according to projections presented by Northwestern Medicine researchers at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions Wednesday, Nov.

A realistic look at the promises and perils of nanomedicine
Is the emerging field of nanomedicine a breathtaking technological revolution that promises remarkable new ways of diagnosing and treating diseases?

Zeroing in on more powerful enzymes for degrading persistent pollutants
For the first time, researchers have identified two important strategies for optimizing the effects of the enzymes involved in degrading persistent pollutants such as PCBs.

Gobbling extra stuffing: Willpower no match for cheap food, big portions, say Cornell nutritionists
Ditching the diet for Thanksgiving? Turkey with all the fixings isn't the only temptation causing would-be dieters to miss their goals, according to a new Cornell University review article that finds powerful environmental cues are subconsciously bending willpower every day.

Gamburtsev Mountains enigma unraveled in East Antarctica
The birth of the Gamburtsev Subglacial Mountains buried beneath the vast East Antarctic Ice Sheet -- a puzzle mystifying scientists since their first discovery in 1958 -- is finally solved.

Of mice and men, a common cortical connection
A new study using magnetic resonance imaging data of 406 adult human twins affirms the long-standing idea that the genetic basis of human cortical regionalization -- the organization of the outer brain into specific functional areas -- is similar to and consistent with patterns found in other mammals, indicating a common conservation mechanism in evolution.

Tamoxifen causes significant side effects in male breast cancer patients
About half of male breast cancer patients who take the drug tamoxifen to prevent their disease from returning report side effects such as weight gain and sexual dysfunction, which prompts more than 20 percent of them to discontinue treatment, according to researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

New material can enhance energy, computer, lighting technologies
A new compound material produced by an Arizona State University electrical engineering research team could help improve solar-energy generation, computers, lighting technology and Internet capabilities.

Georgia Tech develops speedy software designed to improve drug development
Georgia Tech has developed a computer program that can study larger molecules faster than any other program in existence.

Hormone that controls iron levels may be target for atherosclerosis treatment
Researchers have identified hepcidin, a hormone that regulates iron levels in the body, as a potential target for treating atherosclerosis.

New 'smart' material could help tap medical potential of tissue-penetrating light
Scientists are reporting development and successful initial testing of the first practical

Immunization Action Coalition's director receives national recognition
The Immunization Action Coalition is proud to announce that its executive director, Deborah Wexler, M.D., has been selected as the honoree of the Every Child By Two Immunization Leadership Award.

Research reveals when and why students smoke in effort to help them quit
Discovering when and why students smoke might lead to the development of better intervention methods, according to researchers at the University of Missouri.

Rheumatologists update assessments for adult pain
Assessment of patient outcomes allows physicians and researchers to measure the success or failure of diagnostics and treatments that patients receive.

Professor Doug Hilton wins Research Australia Award
Medical researcher and director of the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, professor Doug Hilton, has tonight received the 2011 Research Australia Leadership and Innovation Award.

Study: Mycophenolate is superior to azathioprine as treatment for lupus nephritis
A new large, international study finds that the immunosuppressant drug mycophenolate mofetil is superior to azathioprine, an older immunosuppressant, as a maintenance therapy for lupus nephritis.

Finnish researchers discover regulator of human cell activity
The research teams headed by professors Johanna Ivaska and Marko Salmi have discovered that the SHARPIN protein regulates human cell activity.

CU-Boulder led study of smoking twins points to growing influence of genetic factors
A new study of twins led by the University of Colorado Boulder shows that today's smokers are more strongly influenced by genetic factors than in the past and that the influence makes it more difficult for them to quit.

The cool clouds of Carina -- APEX gives us a new view of star formation in the Carina Nebula
Observations made with the APEX telescope in submillimeter-wavelength light reveal the cold dusty clouds from which stars form in the Carina Nebula.

Action plan for information on invasive alien species
A new joint work program under the Convention on Biological Diversity sets out a roadmap for sharing and harmonizing diverse data services on invasive alien species.

Blood disorders are a public health issue
Public health should focus not only on reducing the burden of common diseases but also address the needs of people with blood disorders , experts say in a supplement to December's American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Inundated AIT helps Thailand map floods
The Thailand-based Asian Institute of Technology is in charge of project management of the Disaster Charter on Thailand floods, and it is producing flood maps despite being inundated itself.

Response time to open arteries for most critical patients still too slow
Cardiologists are quick to point to statistics showing that the

New drug combo targets multiple cancers
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Kyushu University Medical School say a novel combination of a specific sugar molecule with a pair of cell-killing drugs prompts a wide variety of cancer cell types to kill themselves, a process called apoptosis or programmed cell death.

Arizona State University engineers aim to improve performance of technology in extreme environments
With support from the US Department of Defense, Arizona State University engineers are leading research to develop materials and improve information and communications systems that will help make

Gladstone scientist receives American Heart Association's Katz prize for cardiovascular research
Li Qian, Ph.D., has won the Louis N. and Arnold M.

5 rare wild cat species caught on camera in Sumatra
After an amazing five of the seven wild cat species found on the Indonesian island of Sumatra were recently caught on camera in tract of forest being rapidly lost to deforestation, WWF-Indonesia is urging companies and authorities to take immediate steps to save the valuable area.

Chimps play like humans: Playful behavior of young chimps develops like that of children
Playful behavior is widespread in mammals, and has important developmental consequences.

Preliminary report on radiation levels in Fukushima reveals relative safety of residents
Researchers have released a preliminary report on the effects of the Fukushima nuclear disaster on the surrounding areas, following radiation levels for approximately three months following the event and surveying more than 5,000 people in the region.

LGBT seniors face harder old age, national study finds
Aging and health issues facing lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender baby boomers have been largely ignored by services, policies and research.

Elsevier launches new journal: Research in Transportation Business and Management
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, has announced the publication of the first volume of the new journal Research in Transportation Business and Management. 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