Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 05, 2011
Childhood maltreatment associated with cerebral gray matter reductions in adolescents
Childhood maltreatment is associated with reductions in cerebral gray matter volume, and even if adolescents reporting exposure to maltreatment do not have symptoms that meet full criteria for psychiatric disorders, they may have cerebral gray matter changes that place them at risk for behavioral difficulties, according to a report in the December issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Pharmacogenomics study finds rare gene variants critical for personalized drug treatment
The use of genetic tests to predict a patient's response to drugs is increasingly important in the development of personalized medicine.

Orphan experiences lead to changes in children's genome functioning
Children who experience the stress of separation at birth from biological parents and are brought up in orphanages undergo biological consequences such as changes in their genome functioning, Yale School of Medicine researchers report in a new study.

Study finds headaches after traumatic brain injury highest in adolescents and girls
In a new study,

A new study suggests that a neurotransmitter might improve the treatment of cancer
A new study found that injections of the neurotransmitter dopamine can improve blood flow to tumors and delivery of an anticancer drug, doubling the amount of drug reaching tumors and increasing its effectiveness.

University of Kentucky researchers awarded CDC grant to study cancer survival in Appalachia
University of Kentucky researchers recently received a $225,000 grant to study the differences in cancer survival in Appalachia.

Child abuse changes the brain
When children have been exposed to family violence, their brains become increasingly

American first at the Montreal Heart Institute: A patient treated with a disappearing heart device
The interventional cardiology team at the Montreal Heart Institute used the world's first drug eluting bioresorbable vascular scaffold to successfully treat a woman suffering from coronary artery disease.

Researchers find confidence is key to women's spatial skills
Boosting a woman's confidence makes her better at spatial tasks, University of Warwick scientists have found, suggesting skills such as parking and map-reading could come more easily if a woman is feeling good about herself.

Oxidative stress: Less harmful than suspected?
Oxidative stress is considered to be involved in a multitude of pathogenic processes and is also implicated in the process of aging.

Depression increases risk of dementia in patients with Type 2 diabetes
Depression in patients with diabetes is associated with a substantively increased risk of development of dementia compared to those with diabetes alone, according to researchers from the University of Washington and Kaiser Permanente.

Follow-up of 100,000 women in over 100 breast cancer trials shows chemotherapy reduces breast cancer mortality by a third
A meta-analysis of 123 randomized trials involving some 100,000 women with breast cancer over the past 40 years shows that, in a wide range of patients, modern chemotherapy regimens reduce breast cancer mortality by around one third compared with no chemotherapy.

Public-private partnership helps monitor fish populations
Researchers from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science are working with commercial fishermen to collect and share fisheries data in a cooperative venture to build trust and foster sustainable and profitable fisheries in the Mid-Atlantic and New England regions.

Scientists rediscover rarest US bumblebee
A team of scientists from the University of California, Riverside recently rediscovered the rarest species of bumblebee in the United States, last seen in 1956, living in the White Mountains of south-central New Mexico.

How muscle fatigue originates in the head
Researchers from the University of Zurich have now studied in detail what sportsmen and women know from experience: The head plays a key role in tiring endurance performances.

University of Miami Center for Humanities hosts 'Florida at the Crossroads' conference
To mark the 500th anniversary of Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León's landing on the shores of Florida, the University of Miami Center for Humanities will host

Concerns about teen sexting overblown, according to new UNH research
Two new studies from the University of New Hampshire Crimes against Children Research Center suggest that concerns about teen

Carbon dioxide emissions rebound quickly after global financial crisis
The sharp decrease in global carbon dioxide emissions attributed to the worldwide financial crisis in 2009 quickly rebounded in 2010.

Healthy piglets? Not with sulfonamides!
Recent work from the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna confirms that sulfonamides can be used to control coccidiosis in piglets, although not without considerable effort and expense.

Funding models not associated with better preventive care delivery
Female physicians, smaller patient loads and electronic reminders are associated with better delivery of preventive health care to patients, rather than the way in which primary care practices are funded, states an article in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Few parents recall being told by doctors that their child is overweight
A study by UNC researchers finds that among parents of overweight children, less than 25 percent recall ever being told by a doctor or other health care provider that their child is overweight.

Early Earth may have been prone to deep freezes, says CU-Boulder study
Two University of Colorado Boulder researchers who have adapted a three-dimensional, general circulation model of Earth's climate to a time some 2.8 billion years ago when the sun was significantly fainter than present think the planet may have been more prone to catastrophic glaciation than previously believed.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for Dec. 6, 2011
Below is information about articles being published in the Dec.

Chemists become molecular sculptors, synthesizing tiny, molecular traps
Using clever but elegant design, University at Buffalo chemists have synthesized tiny, molecular cages that can be used to capture and purify nanomaterials.

A new, more versatile type of control for autonomous systems
Scientists at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid are applying a type of algorithms that allow them to obtain a greater number of design specifications, and which will have numerous industrial applications.

Kids born just a few weeks early at risk of behavioural problems
Children born just a few weeks too early are significantly more likely to have behavioural and/or emotional problems in the pre-school years, suggests research published online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Marine predators in trouble: UBC researchers
Iconic marine predators such as sharks, tunas, swordfish, and marlins are becoming increasingly rare under current fishing trends, say University of British Columbia researchers.

Preoperative aspirin therapy can benefit cardiac surgery patients
Aspirin taken within five days of cardiac surgery is associated with a significant decrease in the risk of major postoperative complications, including renal failure, a lengthy intensive care unit stay and even early death, according to a study by researchers at Thomas Jefferson University and UC Davis Medical Center set to appear in the journal Annals of Surgery.

Dogs of war: Historian shows the role of canines in World War II
Seventy years since the United States entered World War II after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, a historian has a new look at an often overlooked breed of soldier.

New map shows malaria strain -- impervious to interventions -- holding steady in Asia, Latin America
With signs of declining malaria deaths in Africa raising hopes of eradicating the disease worldwide, researchers unveiled today at the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene a new malaria map that is the first to identify on a global scale where the long-lasting and potentially deadly form of malaria -- a parasite known as Plasmodium vivax -- has a firm foothold in large swaths of South Asia and parts of Latin America.

Why do some Mexican parents discourage teens' physical activity?
A teen who is about to enter college heads off for a game of soccer.

UCSB scientist contributes to discovery of the fastest-rotating massive star ever recorded
An international team of scientists has found the fastest-rotating massive star ever recorded.

Autonomous deployment demonstration program completes flight testing
Close-In Covert Autonomous Disposable Aircraft, or CICADA, allows for the low-cost delivery of multiple precision-located sensors without placing the warfighter in harm's way.

Maryland study finds that US Hispanics were at greater risk for H1N1 flu during 2009 pandemic
Social determinants, including the lack of paid sick leave, contributed to higher risk of exposure to the influenza A (H1N1) virus among Hispanics in the US during the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, according to a study led by Sandra Crouse Quinn with the Maryland Center for Health Equity at the University of Maryland School of Public Health.

How advertising shapes the image of gayness in America
The University of Miami School of Communication releases research findings about gays in mainstream advertising.

Ancient dry spells offer clues about the future of drought
As parts of Central America and the US Southwest endure some of the worst droughts to hit those areas in decades, scientists have unearthed new evidence about ancient dry spells that suggest the future could bring even more serious water shortages.

Memory and attention problems may follow preemies into adulthood
Babies born at a very low birth weight are more likely to have memory and attention problems when they become adults than babies born at a low to normal weight, according to a study published in the Dec.

Maltreated children show same pattern of brain activity as combat soldiers
Children exposed to family violence show the same pattern of activity in their brains as soldiers exposed to combat, new research has shown.

Old recipe making a come back
Humans ate sourdough bread in ancient times and it's remained a traditional part of the diets in some countries and regions.

Acupuncture may ease severe nerve pain associated with cancer treatment
Acupuncture may help ease the severe nerve pain associated with certain cancer drugs, suggests a small preliminary study published in Acupuncture in Medicine.

Post-partum psychiatric episodes linked with increased risk of developing bipolar affective disorder
Experiencing a psychiatric episode within the first 30 days post-partum appears to be associated with an increased risk of developing bipolar affective disorder, according to a report published Online First by Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Louisiana Tech University associate dean, professor to be honored at White House
Dr. Jenna Carpenter, associate dean for the College of Engineering and Science and the Wayne and Juanita Spinks Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at Louisiana Tech University, is being recognized Friday at the White House for her work with and contributions to advancing women in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields.

A more ethical way to compare epilepsy treatments
For the first time, a new research methodology recently approved by the Food and Drug Administration has been used to demonstrate that converting patients from one anti-epileptic drug to another - in this case, lamotrigine extended-release - is well-tolerated, effective and safe.

New material's capability to increase weapons' explosive force demonstrated at Navy test range
Military, government and industry officials watched the demonstration of a revolutionary material that increases the explosive force and lethality on enemy targets during a test at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren, Va., on Dec.

Past abuse leads to loss of gray matter in brains of adolescents
Adolescents who were abused and neglected have less gray matter in some areas of the brain than young people who have not been maltreated, a new Yale School of Medicine study shows.

Record-breaking black holes discovered, U of T astronomer on international team
An international team of astronomers has discovered two gigantic black holes with masses about 10 billion times the mass of our sun.

Where is the accurate memory? The eyes have it
The witness points out the criminal in a police lineup.

Whitefly, tomato growers find truce in new Texas variety
The whitefly in Texas may be sending up a surrender flag to tomato processors in the state thanks to a Texas AgriLife Research scientist developing a new variety that resists the virus spread by this pesky insect.

Studying how skyscraper foundations stand up to earthquakes
UC Davis engineers are preparing to conduct the first rigorous tests of how the steel columns that secure skyscrapers to their foundations stand up during earthquakes, research that could make the towering structures safer -- and perhaps less expensive to build.

The first molybdenite microchip
After having revealed the electronic advantages of molybdenite, EPFL researchers have now taken the next definitive step.

A study of strong ground motion may show need to modify building codes
New testing conducted in a steep, mountainous region of Utah, using mining induced events, is providing a new set of data necessary for better predictions.

American Society of Clinical Oncology issues annual report on progress against cancer
The American Society of Clinical Oncology today released Clinical Cancer Advances 2011: ASCO's Annual Report on Progress Against Cancer, an independent review of the advances in cancer research that have had the greatest impact on patient care this year.

Global Carbon Project annual emissions summary
Global carbon dioxide emissions increased by a record 5.9 per cent in 2010 following the dampening effect of the 2008-2009 Global Financial Crisis, according to scientists working with the Global Carbon Project.

Study examines family formations in young adulthood
For many, an important marker of adulthood is forming a family, whether it's having a child, getting married or cohabiting with a romantic partner.

University Hospitals is world winner for digital radiological imaging storage, recovery solutions
In a world-wide competition, University Hospitals, located in Cleveland, Ohio, received the Mission-Critical Innovation Award - Humanitarian/Environmental Impact category presented by the multinational information technology companies Hewlett-Packard and Intel.

Major report identifies significant gaps and weaknesses in children's health information
Children and young people who have chronic health conditions or need operations don't always have access to the high-quality, child-friendly information they need to understand what is happening to them.

UK invests £75 million in European research infrastructure to support knowledge-based economy
The European Molecular Biology Laboratory's European Bioinformatics Institute and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council warmly welcome today's announcement from the UK Government of a £75 million commitment from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills' Large Facilities Capital Fund for the ELIXIR research infrastructure.

Moffitt researchers will be strong participants in American Society of Hematology meeting
When the American Society of Hematology convenes its 53rd Annual Meeting and Exposition on Dec.

Autism may involve disordered white matter in the brain
It's still unclear what's different in the brains of people with autism spectrum disorders, but evidence from genetic and cell studies points to abnormalities in how brain cells, connect to each other.

UCSF, GE Healthcare team up on pioneering cord blood project
UCSF and the Cell Technologies business of GE Healthcare Life Sciences have begun a unique collaboration aimed at overcoming the lack of blood-forming stem cells available to patients suffering from life-threatening diseases such as lymphoma, myeloma, leukemia or sickle cell anemia.

Follow-up study finds prolonged fatigue for those who had chemotherapy for breast cancer
In a follow-up study, researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center and colleagues have found that patients who receive chemotherapy for breast cancer might experience prolonged fatigue years after their therapy.

When the heat's on, fish can cope
Australian scientists have discovered that some tropical fish have a greater capacity to cope with rising sea temperatures than previously thought - by adjusting over several generations.

'Double tsunami' doubled Japan destruction
Researchers discovered that the destructive tsunami generated by the March 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake was a long-hypothesized

Rice as a source of arsenic exposure
A study by a Dartmouth team of scientists advances our understanding of the sources of human exposure to arsenic and focuses attention on the potential for consuming harmful levels of arsenic via rice.

MU veterinarians find infections faster by monitoring blood compound
In pets and people, the time it takes to diagnose an infection may mean life or death.

Low vitamin D levels may contribute to development of Type 2 diabetes
A recent study of obese and non-obese children found that low vitamin D levels are significantly more prevalent in obese children and are associated with risk factors for Type 2 diabetes.

C. difficile lengthens hospital stays by 6 days
A new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal reports that hospital-acquired Clostridium difficile infection increases length of stay in hospital by an average of six days.

Mothers are not reaching breastfeeding goals -- what needs to change?
More mothers are breastfeeding their newborns, but for too short a duration to gain the maximum benefits of breastfeeding for both mothers and infants.

Ecstasy drug produces lasting toxicity in the brain
Recreational use of Ecstasy -- the illegal

Study finds nursing shortage may be easing
The number of young people becoming registered nurses has grown sharply since 2002, a trend that should ease some of the concern about a looming nursing shortage in the United States.

Tiny genetic variation can predict ovarian cancer outcome
Yale Cancer Center researchers have shown that a tiny genetic variation predicts chances of survival and response to treatment for patients with ovarian cancer.

People matter in climate change models
Climate change does not discriminate among regions or their inhabitants, but the continued growth of the human population will most likely contribute to the ill-effects of climate change.

'Label-free' imaging tool tracks nanotubes in cells, blood for biomedical research
Researchers have demonstrated a new imaging tool for tracking structures called carbon nanotubes in living cells and the bloodstream, which could aid efforts to perfect their use in biomedical research and clinical medicine.

Parents' views sought on childhood obesity risk
A new website has been launched to help raise awareness of work being done in the East Midlands region of the UK to tackle childhood obesity and to seek the views of parents and healthcare professionals.

Proton beam experiments open new areas of research
By focusing proton beams using high-intensity lasers, a team of scientists have discovered a new way to heat material and create new states of matter in the laboratory.

Wayne State receives NIH grant to study numerical processing in infants with FASDs
A team of researchers led by Sandra W. Jacobson, Ph.D., and Joseph L.

2 nations' leading universities to collaborate in the stars
Tel Aviv University and Harvard University have launched the new Raymond and Beverly Sackler Harvard-Tel Aviv Astronomy Initiative.

Chinese health coverage increases with new government efforts
A new study of health insurance in nine Chinese provinces shows that individual coverage surged within a two-year time frame, from 2004-2006, coinciding with new government interventions designed to improve access to health care.

State laws mandating P.E., recess linked with increased in-school physical activity among children
State and school district-level policies mandating minimum requirements for in-school physical education and recess time are associated with increased odds of schools in those states and districts meeting physical activity recommendations for students, according to a report published Online First by Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

VLT finds fastest rotating star
ESO's Very Large Telescope has picked up the fastest rotating star found so far.

Researchers at GIS develop systematic approach for accurate DNA sequence reconstruction
Researchers at the Genome Institute of Singapore have, for the very first time, developed a computational tool that comes with a guarantee on its reliability when reconstructing the DNA sequence of organisms, thus enabling a more streamlined process for reconstructing and studying genomic sequences.

Study examines prevalence of conduct disorder among families of Mexican migrants in the US
The prevalence of conduct disorder appears to have increased substantially across generations of the Mexican-origin population after migration to the United States, however this increase was observed more for nonaggressive than aggressive symptoms of CD, according to a report in the December issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Record massive black holes discovered lurking in monster galaxies
UC Berkeley astronomers using the Keck, Gemini and MacDonald observatories have discovered the largest black holes to date: Two monsters with masses equivalent to 10 billion suns that are threatening to consume anything, even light, within a region five times the size of our solar system.

Study finds climate changes faster than species can adapt
The ranges of species will have to change dramatically as a result of climate change between now and 2100 because the climate will change more than 100 times faster than the rate at which species can adapt, according to a newly published study by Indiana University researchers.

Ground-level ozone pollution helped to recover normal ozone levels over the Iberian Peninsula
The reconstruction of ozone levels over the Iberian Peninsula between 1979 and 2008 reveals that positive trends began eight years after the ratification of the Montreal Protocol.

Blood protein EPO involved in origin and spread of cancer
Researchers at the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet have demonstrated that a growth hormone, PDGF-BB, and the blood protein EPO are involved in the development of cancer tumors and that they combine to help the tumors proliferate in the body.

New thesis studies conditions for bank aid in the EU
Because of the major importance of banks for the financial system, the European Commission's application of the rules on state aid has become more flexible.

Neuroethics of memory to be explored at Dec. 9 symposium
Scientists, ethicists, and legal scholars will explore the neuroethics of memory at a symposium organized by SUNY Downstate Medical Center on Friday, Dec.

NASA sees birth of first Southern Indian Ocean season tropical storm
The Southern Indian Ocean cyclone season is off and running and NASA's Aqua satellite saw the birth of Tropical Cyclone 01S.

UCSB scientists make advances in neuroscience and vision research
Thanks to a new study of the retina, scientists at UC Santa Barbara have developed a greater understanding of how the nervous system becomes wired during early development.

Nervous system activity may predict successful weight loss
A recent study of obese volunteers participating in a 12-week dietary weight-loss program found that successful weight losers had significantly higher resting nerve activity compared to weight-loss resistant individuals.

Study examines trends in quality of care and health care spending for depression
Over a 10-year period, spending for Medicaid-enrolled patients with depression increased substantially but only minimal improvements in quality of care were observed, according to a report in the December issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Experts call on governments, industries and the water and trade research communities
With greater water scarcity in some regions and increasing global demand for high quality water, international trade agreements need to help save water globally.

Physical fitness trumps body weight in reducing death risks
Maintaining or improving physical fitness is linked to lower death risks even after controlling for BMI change.

Scientist investigates how world's largest glacier is contributing to sea-level rise
A team of scientists from British Antarctic Survey is to survey the largest glacier in the world - Pine Island Glacier in Antarctica - to understand how ice is being lost and its likely contribution to future sea-level rise.

Neuroscientists find greater complexity in how we perceive motion
How we perceive motion is a significantly more complex process than previously thought, researchers at NYU's Center for Neural Science, Stanford University and the University of Washington have found.

Regenstrief investigator a winner of Top 11 in 2011 Innovator Challenge
Regenstrief Institute investigator Martin Were, M.D., M.S., assistant professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine, has been selected as a winner of the mHealth Alliance and Rockefeller Foundation's Top 11 in 2011 Innovators Challenge.

The Habitable Exoplanets Catalog, a new online database of habitable worlds
The Planetary Habitability Laboratory of UPR Arecibo showcases the Habitable Exoplanets Catalog, a new online database of habitable worlds.

LMU speech scientist wins major ERC grant
Jonathan Harrington, a phonetician and speech scientist at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich, has been awarded an Advanced Investigators Grant by the European Research Council for a project in which he will use laboratory techniques and speech analysis to elucidate the factors that give rise to sound change during the course of language evolution.

Snakebite victims absent in health system as most consult traditional healers
Fatal snakebites are a bigger-than-acknowledged global health problem that has been vastly under-reported, according to research presented today at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene's annual meeting.

Improving depression in nursing home rehab patients through telemedicine
A new pilot study is getting underway in Rhode Island aimed at improving depression in nursing home rehabilitation patients, all through telemedicine.

Global warming 'not slowing down,' say researchers
Researchers have added further clarity to the global climate trend, proving that global warming is showing no signs of slowing down and that further increases are to be expected in the next few decades.

PNNL talks climate, wind and carbon at AGU
The Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will present research related to climate change, wind power, carbon sequestration and more at the 2011 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, which runs Dec.

Lessons learned from yeast about human leukemia: The power of basic model organisms in human health
The trifecta of biological proof is to take a discovery made in a simple model organism like baker's yeast and track down its analogs or homologs in

First habitable-zone super-Earth discovered in orbit around a Sun-like star
NASA's Kepler Mission has discovered the first super-Earth orbiting in the habitable zone of a star similar to the Sun.

EMBO awards Installation Grants to 7 European scientists
EMBO today announces the selection of seven scientists as recipients of the 2011 EMBO Installation Grants.

DFG to fund 8 new collaborative research centers
Topics range from sustainable manufacturing to the preservation of tropical rainforests.

Neiker-Tecnalia sets up a mobile laboratory to reduce the environmental impact of farms
The Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development, Neiker-Tecnalia, has set up a mobile environmental monitoring unit to assess in situ greenhouse gas and ammonia emissions on farms.

Plasma-based treatment goes viral
Life-threatening viruses such as HIV, SARS, hepatitis and influenza, could soon be combated in an unusual manner as researchers have demonstrated the effectiveness of plasma for inactivating and preventing the replication of adenoviruses.

Can companies, political groups or organizations have a single mind?
News of employee misconduct always creates a whirlwind for the companies involved -- think of Enron, Goldman Sachs and UBS, for example.

Infectious fungus, thought to be asexual, isn't
Candida tropicalis turns out to have sex, making it the second medically important member of the genus to be capable of mating.

Scientists discover how brain corrects bumps to body
Researchers have identified the area of the brain that controls our ability to correct our movement after we've been hit or bumped -- a finding that may have implications for understanding why subjects with stroke often have severe difficulties moving.

Global winds could explain record rains, tornadoes
Two talks at a scientific conference this week will propose a common root for an enormous deluge in western Tennessee in May 2010, and a historic outbreak of tornadoes centered on Alabama in April 2011.

WCS confirms the return of the Persian leopard In Afghanistan's central highlands
Recent camera trap images from the rocky terrain of Afghanistan's central highlands have revealed a surprise: A Persian leopard, an apex predator long thought to have disappeared from the region, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Dust storms affect subsequent emergency hospital admissions
A new study published in the journal Respirology reveals that dust storms have an adverse effect on emergency hospital admission for chronic lung disease, often known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Giant super-earths made of diamond are possible
A planet made of diamonds may sound lovely, but you wouldn't want to live there.

Young women may reduce heart disease risk eating fish with omega 3 fatty acids
Women who seldom or never eat fish may be increasing their risk of cardiovascular disease by 50 percent or more, according to the first population-based study among younger women.

Defensive measures: Toward a vaccine for Ebola
Charles Arntzen, a researcher at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University, along with colleagues from ASU, the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix, and the United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, Fort Detrick, MD, have made progress toward a vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus. 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