Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 01, 2011
Optical Materials Express Focus Issue: Liquid Crystal Materials
Liquid crystals are fast becoming a household name thanks to their widespread use in television, smartphone and computer displays.

Green tea flavonoid may prevent reinfection with hepatitis C virus following liver transplantation
German researchers have determined that epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) -- a flavonoid found in green tea -- inhibits the hepatitis C virus from entering liver cells.

NSF awards University of Arizona researchers $530,000 for development of new spectral imager
University of Arizona engineering researchers have received funding for the development of a spectral imager that will emit electromagnetic radiation, or spectra, in the terahertz range of frequencies.

Probiotics reduce infections for patients in intensive care
Traumatic brain injury is associated with a profound suppression of the patient's ability to fight infection.

NJIT's Louis Lanzerotti to be honored as AGU's 2011 William Bowie Medalist
Lanzerotti has spent four and one-half decades contributing to research that includes studies of space plasmas and geophysics, and engineering problems related to the impact of atmospheric and space processes on terrestrial technologies, and those in space.

ASH honors Senator Robert Casey and patient advocate Marie Arturi with 2011 Public Service Awards
The American Society of Hematology will recognize Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) and Marie Arturi, co-founder and Executive Director of the Daniella Maria Arturi Foundation, with awards for their outstanding support and advocacy for biomedical research and the practice of hematology at the 53rd ASH Annual Meeting in San Diego.

Transplant candidates seek 'best quality' livers despite having to remain on waiting list
New research reveals that liver transplantation candidates want to be involved in decisions regarding quality of the donor organ, and many are reluctant to accept organs with a higher risk of failure.

Manchester jet engine project takes FLITES
The University of Manchester is leading a £2.7 million research project to create a key component in reducing jet engine emissions.

Where does my beer come from?
Researchers at the University of Seville have developed a technique based on chemical patterns for identifying the country of origin of beer.

Moral dilemma: Would you kill 1 person to save 5?
Nine out of 10 people would kill one person to save five others, according to a provocative new morality study led by Carlos David Navarrete, a Michigan State University psychologist.

Newly established neuroscience clinical trials center could bring treatments to patients faster
In a development that could pave the way for treatment for rare neurological diseases and clues to more common ones, physician-scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and Montefiore Medical Center, the University Hospital for Einstein, have secured a grant to establish a clinical site for the Network for Excellence in Neuroscience Clinical Trials.

Newly discovered heart stem cells make muscle and bone
Researchers have identified a new and relatively abundant pool of stem cells in the heart.

Transplant candidates seek best quality livers, even if it means waiting longer
U-M researcher finds patients would rather be on waiting list than accept an organ with higher risk of failure.

Unable to work because of burnout syndrome
In the media, burnout is a topic covered with repetitive regularity.

Studies of patients with cirrhosis uncover limitations in liver cancer screening
Two studies available in the December issue of Hepatology, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, have uncovered limitations in screening for primary liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma.

World's first captive breeding of Ozark hellbenders at Saint Louis Zoo
After a decade-long effort, Saint Louis Zoo and the Missouri of Department of Conservation report that Ozark hellbenders have been bred in captivity -- a first!

New evidence of an unrecognized visual process
We don't see only what meets the eye. The visual system constantly takes in ambiguous stimuli, weighs its options, and decides what it perceives.

MU researchers recommend exercise for breast cancer survivors, lymphedema patients
Lymphedema, a chronic swelling condition common in breast cancer survivors, affects three million people in the US.

Ecotechnology for the smart cities
The Cities Knowledge Platform, led by Tecnalia Research & Innovation and the Metrópoli Foundation, has been set up with the aim of applying the new Technologies on sustainability to cities.

New Nordic test center behind electric car charging standard
Risoe DTU is behind the establishment of a new Nordic EV Interoperability Center, which will enable electric car owners to charge their cars at any EV charging station -- irrespective of provider.

BMC resident receives American Society for Clinical Pathology awards
Stephen Hammond, M.D., a fourth-year resident in clinical and anatomic pathology at Boston Medical Center, recently received the highly coveted Resident Leadership Representative Award from the American Society for Clinical Pathology for demonstrating leadership and promoting ASCP membership and resident activities.

AGU meeting: Stanford scientists subject rocks to hellish conditions to combat global warming
A team of Earth scientists at Stanford University is subjecting chunks of rock to hellish conditions in the laboratory - all in the name of curbing climate change.

University Hospitals Seidman Cancer Center tests novel drug that makes brain tumors glow hot pink
To help identify the difference between brain tumors and healthy tissue and improve tumor resection, Dr.

New study finds timely acute care could cut the cost of stroke cost
New research published in the journal Age and Aging suggests that timely acute care immediately after a stroke reduces the level of disability in stroke survivors and the associated need for long-term care, therefore reducing aftercare costs.

Mayo Clinic research improves diagnosis and potential treatment of neuromyelitis optica
Mayo Clinic researchers have identified critical steps leading to myelin destruction in neuromyelitis optica (NMO), a debilitating neurological disease that is commonly misdiagnosed as multiple sclerosis.

La Jolla Institute researchers provide world's first view of Type 1 diabetes as it unfolds
A war is being waged in the pancreases of millions of people throughout the world.

2 top biological imaging centers offer powerful free online tool to researchers and public
The collaboration of two leading cell image resource centers now provides a more extensive and advanced facility for archiving, sharing, and analyzing microscope images in great detail.

Big challenges of inter-American seas region meet big idea at Florida State
Powered by interdisciplinary muscle and global vision, Florida State University is launching an ambitious research initiative focused on the rising tide of ecological, economic and cultural problems facing the inter-American seas and the severe deficit of research aimed at solving them.

Not all cellular reprogramming is created equal
Tweaking the levels of factors used during the reprogramming of adult cells into induced pluriopotent stem (iPS) cells can greatly affect the quality of the resulting iPS cells, according to Whitehead Institute researchers.

Study debunks 6 myths about electricity in the South
Clean energy can help meet growing electricity demand and minimize pollution in the Southern United States, but progress to adopt renewable energy strategies has been hindered by a number of myths, according to a new study by Duke and Georgia Tech researchers.

Tumor-targeting compound points the way to new personalized cancer treatments
One major obstacle in the fight against cancer is that anticancer drugs often affect normal cells in addition to tumor cells, resulting in significant side effects.

Aggression prevents the better part of valor ... in fig wasps
Researchers at the University of Leeds have confirmed a unique behavior within the male population of tiny fig wasps that pollinate fig trees -- they team up to help pregnant females, regardless of whether they have mated themselves.

Christmas burst reveals neutron star collision
A strangely powerful, long-lasting gamma-ray burst on Christmas Day, 2010 has finally been analyzed to the satisfaction of a multinational research team.

Leicester set to fly high in India's first-ever national astronomy mission
Highly specialized equipment constructed at the University of Leicester for India's first national astronomy satellite -- Astrosat -- is to be handed over to a delegation from India in December.

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Dec. 2011
1) Computer hackers could lose a huge advantage. 2) Solar and wind energy could become more viable.

Study: Working moms multitask more and have worse time doing so than dads
Not only are working mothers multitasking more frequently than working fathers, but their multitasking experience is more negative as well, according to a new study in the December issue of the American Sociological Review.

Study identifies most effective ways to assess progression in Huntington's disease, which could speed up development of disease-modifying drugs
A set of objective, validated measures for assessing new treatments for Huntington's disease in Phase 2 and 3 clinical trials has been identified.

Salads you can trust -- safe farm practices get major test
Ever since 2006, when a deadly batch of spinach killed three and sickened hundreds, US farm producers and others have argued over how best to protect consumers and assure the safety of leafy greens and tomatoes.

Bitter sensitive children eat more vegetables with help of dip
Close to 70 percent of children have a sensitivity to bitter tasting foods, and that can cause them to avoid many of the leafy, green vegetables they should be eating for healthy development.

Danish HIV patients can live as long as the general population when treated optimally
Researchers who have been following Danish HIV patients for more than fifteen years now see that the patients may live as long as other Danes if they take their medicine.

Language may be dominant social marker for young children
Children's reasoning about language and race can take unexpected turns, according to University of Chicago researchers, who found that for younger white children in particular, language can loom larger than race in defining a person's identity.

Creative Commons 'non-commercial' licenses impede the re-use of biodiversity information
Open access to information about biodiversity is of crucial importance to society, directly affecting areas such as conservation and climate change research and education.

Health gap has grown among young US adults, study finds
Levels of health disparity have increased substantially for people born in the United States after 1980, according to new research.

Seismology tip sheet for Dec. 2011: BSSA
In the Dec. issue of BSSA: A new method to monitor small earthquakes in central and eastern US; When fractured, bedrock amplifies shaking (Randa, Switzerland); And a study of the 1909 earthquake may impact seismic hazard assessment for Fort Peck Dam in northeastern Montana.

Vaccine targeting latent TB enters clinical testing
Statens Serum Institute and Aeras today announce the initiation of the first Phase I clinical trial of a new candidate TB vaccine designed to protect people latently infected with TB from developing active TB disease.

Vaccination with a 1-2 punch effective against TB
It is estimated that one-third of the world's population is currently infected with the microbe that causes tuberculosis.

Plunge in CO2 put the freeze on Antarctica
Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels plunged by 40 percent before and during the formation of the Antarctic ice sheet 34 million years ago, according to a new study.

Kessler Foundation announces 24th Annual Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Board Review Course
Kessler Foundation offers this ACCME-accredited nine-day course as a refresher for practicing physicians and comprehensive review for fellows and residents preparing for Parts I & II of the Board Certification Examination in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation.

Pitt researchers invent a switch that could improve electronics
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have invented a new type of electronic switch that performs electronic logic functions within a single molecule.

La Jolla Institute finds new molecular candidates for treatment of asthma and allergies
La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology scientists have identified the histamine releasing factor molecule as a promising target for developing new treatments for a number of allergic reactions including asthma.

New insights into responses of Yellowstone wolves to environmental changes
A study of the wolves of Yellowstone National Park has improved predictions of how these animals will respond to environmental changes.

Israeli public supports middle east nuclear free zone: UMD poll
Nearly two-thirds of Israeli Jews, 64 percent, favor establishing a nuclear free zone in the Middle East - even when it's spelled out that this would mean both Israel and Iran would have to forego nuclear weapons - says a new University of Maryland poll.

Repairing spinal cord injury with dental pulp stem cells
One of the most common causes of disability in young adults is spinal cord injury.

Lower antioxidant level might explain higher skin-cancer rate in males
A new study may help explain why men are three times more likely than women to develop a common form of skin cancer.

Some atheist scientists with children embrace religious traditions, according to new Rice research
Some atheist scientists with children embrace religious traditions for social and personal reasons, according to research from Rice University and the University at Buffalo -- the State University of New York.

Swiss scientists prove durability of quantum network
Scientists and engineers have proven the worth of quantum cryptography in telecommunication networks by demonstrating its long-term effectiveness in a real-time network.

Violent video games alter brain function in young men
Sustained changes in the region of the brain associated with cognitive function and emotional control were found in young adult men after one week of playing violent video games, according to study results presented by Indiana University School of Medicine researchers at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.

Wastewater system generates energy, produces drinking water
A Michigan State University researcher is using a $1.92 million Department of Defense grant to develop a portable wastewater treatment system that could improve the military's efficiency.

Springer adds Biointerphases to portfolio
Starting in January 2012, Springer will publish Biointerphases: Journal for Quantitative Biological Interface Data.

When the ladybug has to count her spots
Children also suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder. In order to help with their treatment, the Center of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Zurich has developed the cognitive-behavioral computer game

Adult stem cells use special pathways to repair damaged muscle, MU researchers find
University of Missouri researchers recently found how even distant satellite cells could help with the repair, and are now learning how the stem cells travel within the tissue.

Like humans, the paper wasp has a special talent for learning faces
Though paper wasps have brains less than a millionth the size of humans', they have evolved specialized face-learning abilities analogous to the system used by humans, according to a University of Michigan evolutionary biologist and one of her graduate students.

Baker Institute research indicates China's demand for oil will equal US demand by 2040
Despite aggressive demand-management policies announced in recent years, China's oil use could easily reach levels comparable to today's US levels by 2040, according to a new energy study by the Baker Institute.

The American Society of Hematology announces awards honoring abstracts at 2011 Annual Meeting
The American Society of Hematology recognizes the following abstract presenters at the 53rd ASH annual meeting in San Diego, CA, with the highest scoring abstracts in the categories of undergraduate student, medical student, graduate student, resident physician, and postdoctoral fellow.

Research revealing spatial map of human genome earns top prize for young life scientists
For his novel approach to creating maps that enable researchers to zoom in on the human genome and reveal features of DNA structure inside the nucleus, Erez Lieberman Aiden has been named the 2011 Grand Prize winner for the GE & Science Prize for Young Life Scientists.

Children with HIV/AIDS falling through the cracks of treatment scale-up efforts
Less than one-quarter (23 percent) of children with HIV/AIDS who need treatment are getting it, according to a report released by the WHO on the occasion of World AIDS Day.

Save the date: National meeting of the world's largest scientific society
The American Chemical Society's 243rd National Meeting & Exposition, one of the largest scientific conferences of the New Year, will be held March 25-29, 2012, in San Diego, Calif.

Archaeologists find new evidence of animals being introduced to prehistoric Caribbean
An archaeological research team from North Carolina State University, the University of Washington and University of Florida has found one of the most diverse collections of prehistoric non-native animal remains in the Caribbean, on the tiny island of Carriacou.

'Seena' clinical trials named for pancreatic cancer advocate
A son's passion to find a cure for the cancer that claimed the life of his mother has led to a new series of clinical trials under a Translational Genomics Research Institute initiative to find a cure for pancreatic cancer.

When babies awake: New study shows surprise regarding important hormone level
Cortisol may be the Swiss Army knife of hormones in the human body -- just when scientists think they understand what it does, another function pops up.

2011 ASH Annual Meeting to highlight latest hematology research, clinical care breakthroughs
The American Society of Hematology will host more than 20,000 attendees from around the globe at its 53rd annual meeting December 10-13 at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA.

Food served in children's hospitals rated largely unhealthy
Given the obesity epidemic among the nation's young, one might hope that children's hospitals would serve as a role model for healthy eating.

Cell surface mutation protects against common type of malaria
A mutation on the surface of human red blood cells provides protection against malaria caused by the parasite Plasmodium vivax, research led by Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine shows.

Outsiders on the front lines
A new study looks at the perspective of 20 Israeli women soldiers who've served in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Innovative approaches help sleep apnea sufferers benefit from CPAP
People with obstructive sleep apnea are more likely to stick to prescribed treatment when a partner or parent is involved with their treatment, according to a team of sleep researchers.

Rise of atmospheric oxygen more complicated than previously thought
The appearance of oxygen in the Earth's atmosphere probably did not occur as a single event, but as a long series of starts and stops, according to an international team of researchers who investigated rock cores from the FAR DEEP project.

New 'Achilles' heel' in breast cancer: Tumor cell mitochondria
Researchers at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson have identified cancer cell mitochondria as the unsuspecting powerhouse and

Massachusetts General study finds amplification of multiple cell-growth genes in some brain tumors
A small percentage of the deadly brain tumors called glioblastomas, which usually resist treatment with drugs targeting mutations in cell-growth genes, appears to contain extra copies of two or three of these genes at the same time.

Health gap has grown among young US adults, study finds
Levels of health disparity have increased substantially for people born in the United States after 1980, according to new research.

Drop in carbon dioxide levels led to polar ice sheet, study finds
A drop in carbon dioxide appears to be the driving force that led to the Antarctic ice sheet's formation, according to a recent study led by scientists at Yale and Purdue universities of molecules from ancient algae found in deep-sea core samples.

Vegetables, fruits, grains reduce stroke risk in women
Swedish women who ate an antioxidant-rich diet had fewer strokes especially if they had no history of cardiovascular disease.

New insights come from tracing cells that scar lungs
Idiopathic oulmonary fibrosis is an incurable disease in which the delicate gas exchange region of the lung fills with scar tissue, which interferes with breathing.

Livermore and Russian scientists propose new names for elements 114 and 116
The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry today recommended new proposed names for elements 114 and 116, the latest heavy elements to be added to the periodic table.

Methods in Enzymology celebrates its 500th volume
Elsevier's Academic Press congratulates its editors and authors on the publication of the 500th volume of the highly-acclaimed Methods in Enzymology series.

Columbia River salmon are adapting to climate change
This release summarizes news tips from the December 2011 issue of the American Naturalist.

Northwestern to explore personalized medicine for scleroderma
Northwestern Medicine researchers have received NIH grants totaling $953,000 to study scleroderma, an autoimmune disease for which there currently is no cure.

Strange new 'species' of ultra-red galaxy discovered
In the distant reaches of the universe, almost 13 billion light-years from Earth, a strange species of galaxy lay hidden.

KAIST's successful transfer of green technology
The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology has reaped the fruits of its hard work in developing an innovative green technology that will benefit all industries, including public transit application.

2 out of 3 medical students do not know when to wash their hands
Only 21 percent of surveyed medical students could identify five true and two false indications of when and when not to wash their hands in the clinical setting, according to a study published in the December issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of APIC -- the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

New research project to examine the trans-Atlantic slave trade
A new research project will bring together an unprecedented range of young researchers to examine the history of the transatlantic slave trade and explore its long-term effects.

Virginia Tech's Rylander wins national biomedical engineering award
Marissa Nichole Rylander, an associate professor at Virginia Tech faculty, combines nanotechnology, laser therapy, and dynamic imaging to study tumor progression and to develop novel cancer treatments.

NASA satellite confirms sharp decline in pollution from US coal power plants
A team of scientists have used the Ozone Monitoring Instrument on NASA's Aura satellite to confirm major reductions in the levels of a key air pollutant generated by coal power plants in the eastern United States.

Bobsled runs -- fast and yet safe
They should prove a challenge for the athletes, but not put them in danger: bobsled runs have to be simulated before being built.

National experts from the John Theurer Cancer Center will present 31 studies at the 2011 ASH Meeting
The John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, one of the nation's top 50 best hospitals for cancer, will present research updates and clinical trial results of 31 cutting-edge studies at the 2011 American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting in San Diego from Dec.

JCI online early table of contents: Dec. 1, 2011
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Dec.

A vaccination against social prejudice
Evolutionary psychologists suspect that prejudice is rooted in survival: Our distant ancestors had to avoid outsiders who might have carried disease.

Seeing brands as people
From the Michelin Man to the Pillsbury Doughboy, anthropomorphized brands have often been used by companies eager to put a personal face on their products.

Parental controls on embryonic development?
Now, a new study published by Cell Press on Dec.

Mistaken identity: New report highlights the global impact of medical misdiagnosis
Researchers have discovered that over a million people worldwide diagnosed with TB go on to develop an incurable but manageable fungal infection which is usually left untreated because it is mistaken for a recurrence of the disease.

Autism Speaks launches 'Visual Supports' tool kit
The Autism Speaks Visual Supports and Autism Spectrum Disorder tool kit provides guidance on how to utilize pictures, photographs among visual supports to improve communication for children, adolescents and adults with autism with limited language skills.

Cancer cells' DNA repair disrupted to increase radiation sensitivity
Shortening end caps on chromosomes in human cervical cancer cells disrupts DNA repair signaling, increases the cells' sensitivity to radiation treatment and kills them more quickly, according to a study in Cancer Prevention Research.

'Just chill?' Relaxing can make you fatter
Professor Amit Gefen of Tel Aviv University has discovered that preadipocyte cells -- the precursors to fat cells -- turn into fat cells even faster and produce even more fat when subject to prolonged periods of

First whole-genome sequencing clinical trials for triple-negative breast cancer presented
Triple negative breast tumors, which make up nearly 20 percent of breast cancers, do not respond to treatment with targeted therapies such as Herceptin (trastuzumab).

Study of wolves will help scientists predict climate effects on endangered animals
Scientists studying populations of gray wolves in the USA's Yellowstone National Park have developed a way to predict how changes in the environment will impact on the animals' number, body size and genetics, amongst other biological traits.

SDSC researcher Amarnath Gupta named an ACM Distinguished Scientist
Amarnath Gupta, a researcher with the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego, has been named a Distinguished Scientist by the Association for Computing Machinery, the world's largest educational and scientific computing society.

HIV uncertainty pushes Malawians to want children earlier
People in Malawi who are uncertain about their HIV status are more eager to start families than those who are certain of their HIV status, according to researchers.

Serendipitous news reading online is gaining prominence, MU study shows
New research from the University of Missouri shows that Internet users often do not make the conscious decision to read news online, but they come across news when they are searching for other information or doing non-news related activities online, such as shopping or visiting social networking sites.

2011 CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium to focus on new treatments and prevention
Now in its 34th year, the 2011 CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium will focus on emerging treatments in hard-to-treat populations, including patients with metastatic breast cancer, and on new knowledge about prevention and risk.

Diametric shift in 2 protein levels spurs Alzheimer's plaque accumulation
A diametric shift in the levels of two proteins involved in folding, moving and cutting other proteins enables accumulation of the destructive brain plaque found in Alzheimer's disease, researchers report.
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