Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 08, 2011
New imaging agent has an appetite for dangerous prostate tumors
According to Lawson Health Research Institute's Drs. John Lewis and Len Luyt, a new molecular imaging probe could distinguish between malignant and benign prostate cancer.

Potential breast cancer prevention agent found to lower levels of 'good' cholesterol over time
Exemestane steadily lowered levels of

Decisions, decisions: House-hunting honey bees work like complex brains
Researchers, including a bee expert at UC Riverside, have found a signal, overlooked until now, that plays a role when honey bees split off from their mother colony and go scouting for a new home.

Depressed? Crossed wires in the brain
Major depressive disorder is a severely debilitating illness characterized by sadness and an inability to cope.

Penn study unlocks origins of blood stem cells
A research team led by Nancy Speck, Ph.D., professor of Cell and Developmental Biology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, has discovered a molecular marker for the immediate precursors of hematopoietic stem cells in the developing embryo, which provides much-needed insights for making these cells from engineered precursors.

Research study shows link between earthquakes and tropical cyclones
A groundbreaking study led by University of Miami scientist Shimon Wdowinski shows that earthquakes, including the recent 2010 temblors in Haiti and Taiwan, may be triggered by tropical cyclones.

PSA testing, combined with other relevant patient data can reduce unnecessary prostate biopsies
Prostate cancer screening that combines an adjusted blood test with other factors including the size of the gland, the patient's overall weight and family history, can help up to one-quarter of men avoid biopsies and the risks associated with them, a Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center-led research team says.

Decision making in bee swarms mimic neurons in human brains
Swarms of bees and brains made up of neurons make decisions using strikingly similar mechanisms, says a new study in the Dec.

Extra weight loss from dietary fibers extracted from seaweed
A new research project conducted at the Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, shows that dietary fibers from brown algae boost the sensation of satiety, thereby making people eat less and lose more weight.

Many women do not undergo breast reconstruction after mastectomy
Despite the benefits, only a small minority of women, regardless of age, are opting for immediate reconstructive breast surgery after undergoing mastectomy for treatment of breast cancer, according to data presented at the 2011 CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

Sound and vision work hand in hand, UCLA psychologists report
Our senses of sight and hearing work closely together, perhaps more so than people realize, a new UCLA psychology study shows.

Law enforcement vital for great ape survival
A recent study shows that, over the last two decades, areas with the greatest decrease in African great ape populations are those with no active protection from poaching by forest guards.

The heart of the plant
Food prices are soaring at the same time as the Earth's population is nearing 9 billion.

Young conservation biologist receives National Geographic's 10,000th grant
Conservation biologist Krithi K. Karanth of Bangalore, India, is the recipient of the National Geographic Society's 10,000th grant.

Sandia fuels expert urges policymakers to think about practical ways to reach energy goals
A transportation fuels expert from Sandia National Laboratories says policy makers should consider such practical issues as the number of gas stations selling ethanol and how long it takes to get new transportation technologies to market as they introduce aggressive federal and state energy policies.

Evidence for early 'bedding' and the use of medicinal plants at a South African rock shelter
An international team of archaeologists is reporting 77,000-year-old evidence for preserved plant bedding and the use of insect-repelling plants in a rock shelter in South Africa.

Patients with persistent kidney injuries rarely see specialists
Most patients with an abrupt kidney injury that does not get better do not see a kidney specialist within a year, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

Study shows more shrubbery in a warming world
Scientists have used satellite data from NASA-built Landsat missions to confirm that more than 20 years of warming temperatures in northern Quebec, Canada, have resulted in an increase in the amount and extent of shrubs and grasses.

Prince Philippe of Belgium leads industrial delegation visiting ESO sites in Chile
The heir apparent to the throne of Belgium visited ESO's Paranal Observatory, accompanied by a business delegation exploring future opportunities for European industry within the context of ESO's European Extremely Large Telescope project.

Risk for developing new cancer in other breast increased for survivors with BRCA mutation
Breast cancer survivors who carry the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genetic mutation are at high risk for developing contralateral breast cancer -- a new primary tumor in the other breast -- and certain women within this group of carriers are at an even greater risk based on age at diagnosis and first tumor status.

New target found for aggressive cancer gene
Researchers have found a way to kill human cells hijacked by a potent cancer oncogene known as Myc.

Nation's largest federation of biological and biomedical organizations welcomes 2 new members
The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology is pleased to announce the addition of two new member societies, the Society for Glycobiology and the Society for Pediatric Research, which will bring the Federation membership to 26 societies in 2012.

Personalized treatment for Crohn's Disease a step closer following gene mapping
Three new locations for Crohn's Disease genes have been uncovered by scientists at UCL using a novel gene mapping approach.

Study: Supplemental reading programs work better when aligned with core curricula
Students who struggle with reading get an extra benefit from a supplemental reading program when its content is aligned with the students' core reading curriculum, according to a study published in the December issue of the Elementary School Journal.

Premature babies harbor fewer, but more dangerous microbe types
One of the most comprehensive studies to date of the microbes that are found in extremely low-birthweight infants found that hard-to-treat Candida fungus is often present, as well as some harmful bacteria and parasites.

Neuroscientists boost memory using genetics and a new memory-enhancing drug
When the activity of a molecule that is normally elevated during viral infections is inhibited in the brain, mice learn and remember better, researchers at Baylor College of Medicine reported in a recent article in the journal Cell.

Uncovering how cerebral malaria damages the brain
Building on a quarter century of work in Malawi, a Michigan State University researcher is traveling to neighboring Zambia to perform MRI scans on children newly diagnosed with cerebral malaria in hopes of unlocking how it damages the brain.

Princeton study: Nighttime images help track disease from the sky
Princeton University-led researchers report in the journal Science that satellite images of nighttime lights normally used to spot where people live can help keep tabs on the diseases festering among them, too.

Research raises new questions about animal empathy
The emotions of rats and mice and the mental infrastructure behind them promise to illuminate the nature of human emotions, including empathy and nurturance, a Washington State University neuroscientist writes in this Friday's issue of the journal Science.

Carving at the nanoscale
Researchers at the Catalan Institute of Nanotechnology have successfully demonstrated a new method for producing a wide variety of complex hollow nanoparticles.

Climate change driving tropical birds to higher elevations
Tropical birds are moving to higher elevations because of climate change, but they may not be moving fast enough, according to a new study by Duke University researchers.

NASA sees Alenga become a cyclone in the Southern Indian Ocean
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Cyclone Alenga and captured a visible image of the rounded and more powerful storm is it makes its way toward Western Australia.

Early lineage of Larkspur and Monkshood plants rediscovered in Southern Europe
Larkspurs, monkshoods, and aconites are plants, widely cultivated for their beauty and medicinal properties.

Proteins do not predict outcome of herceptin treatment in HER2-positive breast cancer
Precisely quantifying the amount of three different HER growth proteins, along with several other proteins believed linked to breast cancer, did not predict a patient's outcome after treatment for HER2-positive breast cancer with herceptin, say Mayo Clinic researchers.

How Salmonella forms evil twins to evade the body's defenses
To swim or not? The same biological control that determines which capability genetically identical Salmonella will have impacts the virulence of the food pathogen.

Tufts chemist named 2011 Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science
Mary Jane Shultz, professor of chemistry in the School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University, has been selected as a Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Football could contribute to strokes in adolescents
Young football players may be at higher risk for stroke, according to a new study released in Journal of Child Neurology, published by SAGE.

Promising results in mice on needle-free candidate universal vaccine against various flu viruses
Scientists from the International Vaccine Institute have discovered that an antigen common to most influenza viruses, and commonly referred to as matrix protein 2, when administered under the tongue could protect mice against experimental infection caused by various influenza viruses, including the highly pathogenic avian H5 virus and the pandemic H1 virus.

Scientists capture single cancer molecules at work
Researchers have revealed how a molecule called telomerase contributes to the control of the integrity of our genetic code, and when it is involved in the deregulation of the code, its important role in the development of cancer.

Study probes genetic link to sickle cell pain management
A study that may help personalize pain medication management for sickle cell disease patients is underway at Georgia Health Sciences University.

Backpacks, not the bombs inside, key to finding DNA
Catching terrorists who detonate bombs may be easier by testing the containers that hide the bombs rather than the actual explosives, according to pioneering research led by Michigan State University.

Study shows species can change
A study of South American songbirds completed by the Department of Biology at Queen's University and the Argentine Museum of Natural History, has discovered these birds differ dramatically in color and song yet show very little genetic differences which indicates they are on the road to becoming a new species.

New data allows for unique conflict research
Which factors increase the risk for armed conflict and war?

Starch intake may influence risk for breast cancer recurrence
Researchers have linked increased starch intake to a greater risk for breast cancer recurrence, according to results presented at the 2011 CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

Mayo Clinic: Obese patients with HER2-positive breast cancer may have worse outcomes
Obese patients with early-stage HER2-positive breast cancer may have worse outcomes than patients who are normal weight or overweight, Mayo Clinic researchers found in a study presented today at the 2011 CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

Toronto researchers obtain detailed molecular 'signature' for Tankyrase
Researchers at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute of Mount Sinai Hospital have uncovered the detailed architecture of a crucial component of Tankyrase, a protein linked to the bone development disorder cherubism and involved in a myriad of cellular processes.

To keep nurses, improve their work environments
Nurses working in hospitals around the world are reporting they are burned out and dissatisfied with their jobs, reported researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing's Center for Health Outcomes and Policy Research in a study of 100,000 nurses in nine countries.

New Columbia engineering technique diagnoses non-periodic arrhythmias in a single heartbeat
Thanks to a new Columbia Engineering School study, doctors may now be able to diagnose in their offices non-periodic arrhythmias within a single heartbeat.

Changing the locks: HIV discovery could allow scientists to block virus's entry into cell nucleus
Scientists have found the 'key' that HIV uses to enter our cells' nuclei, allowing it to disable the immune system and cause AIDS.

AIUM officially recognizes ACEP Emergency Ultrasound Guidelines
In keeping with the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine's overarching mission of advancing the safe and effective use of ultrasound in medicine through education, research and development of guidelines, the AIUM recognizes the American College of Emergency Physicians Policy Statement Emergency Ultrasound Guidelines as meeting the qualifications for performing ultrasound in the emergency setting.

Study challenges decades-old treatment guidelines for anorexia
Adolescents hospitalized with anorexia nervosa who receive treatment based on current recommendations for refeeding fail to gain significant weight during their first week in the hospital, according to a new study by UCSF researchers.

Carnegie Mellon researchers use NMR to determine whether gold nanoparticles exhibit 'handedness'
Carnegie Mellon University's Roberto R. Gil and Rongchao Jin have successfully used NMR to analyze the structure of infinitesimal gold nanoparticles, which could advance the development and use of the tiny particles in drug development.

Functionalized graphene oxide plays part in next-generation oil-well drilling fluids
Graphene's star is rising as a material that could become essential to efficient, environmentally sound oil production.

Researchers describe how critical protein activates plant immune system
Two papers published in the Dec. 9 issue of Science demonstrate how the protein EDS1 activates different components of the plant immune system.

Journal supplement presents strategies for introducing health care delivery innovation
The 10th Biennial Regenstrief Institute Conference supplement to the December 2011 issue of the journal Medical Care tackles key conceptual questions, reviews effective programs and initial results, proposes strategies for the redesign of health care delivery, and outlines a research agenda to create transformational change in health care.

Bilateral oophorectomy associated with higher prevalence of low bone mineral density and arthritis in younger women
Women who underwent surgery to remove their ovaries before the age of 45 years were more likely to have arthritis and low bone mineral density compared with women with intact ovaries, researchers found.

Brigham and Women's Hospital awarded $9.6 million to study whole genome sequencing
Brigham and Women's Hospital has been awarded $9.6 million over four years from the National Human Genome Research Institute to fund the Medical Sequencing Research Project.

Suppression of protein critical to cell division stops cancer cells from dividing, kills them
Suppressing a newly identified and characterized protein involved in regulating cell division could be a novel strategy to fight certain cancers because it stops the malignant cells from dividing and causes them to die quickly.

MRI may be noninvasive method to measure breast cancer prognosis
Quantitative magnetic resonance imaging measures were associated with prognostic tumor markers, demonstrating the potential of magnetic resonance imaging for prediction of disease prognosis and stratification of patients to appropriate therapies.

Humility key to effective leadership
Humble leaders are more effective and better liked, according to a study forthcoming in the Academy of Management Journal.

Chronic pain in children and adolescents becoming more common
Children who suffer from persistent or recurring chronic pain may miss school, withdraw from social activities, and are at risk of developing internalizing symptoms such as anxiety, in response to their pain.

First genome sequencing clinical trial for triple negative cancer points to new treatments
Initial results from an ongoing clinical trial, the first designed to examine the utility of whole-genome sequencing for triple negative breast cancer, were reported today during the CRTC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

Breakthrough in regulating fat metabolism
Scientists at Warwick Medical School have made an important discovery about the mechanism controlling the body's 'fat switch', shedding new light on our understanding of how proteins regulate appetite control and insulin secretion.

Women advised to avoid ZEN bust-enhancing supplements because of possible cancer risk
Women who use bust-enhancing dietary supplements containing the mycoestrogen zearalenone (ZEN), a naturally occurring toxin that widely contaminates agricultural products, could be increasing their risk of breast cancer.

Anonymization remains a powerful approach to protecting the privacy of health information
De-identification of health data has been crucial for all types of health research, but recent articles in medical and scientific literature have suggested that de-identification methods do not sufficiently protect the identities of individuals and can be easily reversed.

The impact of quantum matter
A new scattering experiment at the Joint Quantum Institute observes high-angular-momentum states for the first time at ultracold temperatures.

Breaking oncogene's hold on cancer cell provides new treatment direction
Just as people's bodies and minds can become addicted to substances their cancers can become addicted to certain genes that insure their continued growth and dominance.

For Midwesterners, more boxcars mean cleaner air
Shifting a fraction of truck-borne freight onto trains would have an outsized impact on air quality in the Midwest, according to researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Atoms dressed with light show new interactions, could reveal way to observe enigmatic particle
NIST physicists have found a way to manipulate atoms' internal states with lasers that dramatically influences their interactions in specific ways.

Few hospitals aggressively combat catheter-associated urinary tract infections
A new University of Michigan Health System and VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System study shows a no-payment rule may not be enough to encourage hospitals to combat hospital-acquired infections.

New paper calls for strong steps to tackle antibiotic resistance
A new paper by a group of the world's leading scientists in academia and industry calls for strong steps to be taken to control the global crisis of antibiotic resistance in bacteria.

Panel endorses active monitoring and delay of treatment for low-risk prostate cancer
An independent panel convened this week by the National Institutes of Health has concluded that many men with localized, low-risk prostate cancer should be closely monitored, permitting treatment to be delayed until warranted by disease progression.

New study supports claim that breast screening may be causing more harm than good
A new study published on today supports the claim that the introduction of breast cancer screening in the UK may have caused more harm than good.

Huntsman Cancer Institute awarded top honors as cancer imaging facility
Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah has been named a National Cancer Institute a Center for Quantitative Imaging Excellence.

Binge drinking by freshman women tied to sexual assault risk, according to new research
Many young women who steer clear of alcohol while they're in high school may change their ways once they go off to college.

Similar blood pressure drugs could have different impacts on dialysis patients' heart health
Two seemingly similar blood pressure-lowering drugs have different effects on the heart health of dialysis patients, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Journal of the American Society Nephrology.

Cancer-related pathway reveals potential treatment target for rare pediatric disease
Cancer researchers studying genetic mutations that cause leukemia have discovered a connection to the rare disease cherubism, an inherited facial bone disorder in children.

No clear evidence of a decrease in child maltreatment across 6 countries despite decades of policies designed to achieve this
A review of child maltreatment trends and policies across six countries/states (England, USA, Sweden, New Zealand, Western Australia, and Manitoba) shows that there is no clear evidence of a decrease in child maltreatment across these nations, despite decades of polices designed to achieve such a reduction.

Helping your fellow rat: Rodents show empathy-driven behavior
The first evidence of empathy-driven helping behavior in rodents has been observed in laboratory rats that repeatedly free companions from a restraint, according to a new study by University of Chicago neuroscientists.

Pharmaceutical spam
Spam advertising of pharmaceutical products is leading patients to seek out information about prescription drugs online, according to a report to be published in the International Journal Business and Systems Research.

Changes in London taxi drivers' brains driven by acquiring 'the Knowledge', study shows
Acquiring 'the Knowledge' - the complex layout of central London's 25,000 streets and thousands of places of interest - causes structural changes in the brain and changes to memory in the capital's taxi drivers, new research funded by the Wellcome Trust has shown.

Prestigious honor given to USGS scientist for work on aquifer contamination
Mary Jo Baedecker, USGS scientist emerita and former USGS Chief Scientist for Hydrology, has been named a 2011 American Geophysical Union Fellow for her pioneering research on aquifer contamination.

The world's biggest radar laboratory
In the past year, the Department of Energy's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility deployed 18 new scanning radars at its research sites in Oklahoma, Alaska, and the tropical western Pacific.

Researchers find smoking is strongly associated with squamous cell carcinoma among women
Women who have non-melanoma skin cancers are more likely to have smoked cigarettes compared to women without skin cancer, said researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., who published study results in a recent issue of Cancer Causes & Control.

MU researchers identify key plant immune response in fight against bacteria
Researchers at the University of Missouri have found a key process in a plant's immune system response that may help future crops fight off dangerous diseases.

Chimpanzees in research: IOM report release Dec. 15
'Chimpanzees in Biomedical and Behavioral Research: Assessing the Necessity,' is a new report from the Institute of Medicine.

Addition of trastuzumab may potentially equalize disease-free survival outcomes among obese and normal-weight patients
A large, multicenter, randomized study has shown that obese patients with HER2-positive breast cancer have larger tumors, increased lymph node involvement and, when not treated with trastuzumab, poorer long-term outcomes than normal-weight patients.

Blood pressure medicines reduce stroke risk in people with prehypertension
Blood pressure medicines reduced the risk of stroke by 22 percent in people with prehypertension.

Who gets the blame? Study sheds light on how people assign blame to organizations
Researchers from Boston College and Northwestern University show that the more cohesive a group appears -- be it a corporation, political party, governmental entity, pro sports team or other organization -- the more likely it is that people will hold its members less responsible for their own individual actions.

Keeping our beaches safe
Fecal contamination of public beaches caused by sewage overflow is both dangerous for swimmers and costly for state and local economies.

New energy sources fuel interest from Secretary of the Navy
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus visited Marine Corps Base Hawaii Dec.

Kidney injury: A serious risk to the health and survival of today's soldiers
Acute kidney injury (AKI), an abrupt or rapid decline in kidney function, is a serious and increasingly prevalent condition.

Researchers link patterns seen in spider silk, melodies
Using a new mathematical methodology, researchers at MIT have created a scientifically rigorous analogy showing the similarities between the physical structure of spider silk and the sonic structure of a musical composition, proving that the structure of each relates to its function in an equivalent way.

Intermittent, low-carbohydrate diets more successful than standard dieting
An intermittent, low-carbohydrate diet was superior to a standard, daily calorie-restricted diet for reducing weight and lowering blood levels of insulin, a cancer-promoting hormone, according to recent findings.

Paleoclimate record points toward potential rapid climate changes
New research into the Earth's paleoclimate history by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies director James E.

Freshman women's binge drinking tied to sexual assault risk
Many young women who steer clear of alcohol while they're in high school may change their ways once they go off to college.

NOAA issues scientific integrity policy
NOAA's commitment to science was further solidified this week with the release of a scientific integrity policy by Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere and NOAA administrator.

Danish mushroom inspires cancer researchers
Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have explored the active principles of a Danish mushroom and found that some of the substances it contains are particularly toxic towards cancer cells.

Genetics professor Jonathan Arnold named AAAS Fellow
University of Georgia geneticist Jonathan Arnold has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an honor bestowed on him by his peers for

New advance announced in reducing 'bad' cholesterol
Scientists from the University of Leicester and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) have announced a major advance towards developing drugs to tackle dangerous, or 'bad', cholesterol in the body.

New study shows evacuation plans need to incorporate family perspectives
Women who are engaged in traditional care giving roles may be exceptionally vulnerable to events that disrupt their neighborhood.

CAFE standards create profit incentive for larger vehicles
The current Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards create a financial incentive for auto companies to make bigger vehicles that are allowed to meet lower targets, according to a new University of Michigan study.

Building a sustainable hydrogen economy
The concept of the hydrogen economy (HE), in which hydrogen would replace the carbon-based fossil fuels of the twentieth century was first mooted in the 1970s.

Study sheds light on cancer burden in Australia
Over the past quarter century in Australia, cancer incidence rates have increased while deaths from cancer have steadily decreased.

Tart cherry juice drinkers gain sleep advantage
Americans seeking a better night's sleep may need to look no further than tart cherry juice, according to a new study in the European Journal of Nutrition.

Switchgrass as bioenergy feedstock
Scientists examined current knowledge about the potential contributions of bioenergy production from switchgrass to limit greenhouse gas emissions.

Via research aircraft instead of dog sled
With dog food and a pack of huskies Dr. Veit Helm would not get far on his Antarctic expeditions.

New study is first to test the actual impact of branded apps on consumers
A new research study co-authored by an Indiana University professor suggests that interactive applications for mobile phones such as Apple's iPhone and Google's Android may be some of the most powerful forms of advertising yet developed.

Taxi driver training changes brain structure
As London taxi drivers in training are busy learning how to navigate the city's thousands of streets and places of interest over a period of years, the experience actually changes the very structure of their brains, according to a report published online on Dec. 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