Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 12, 2011
The disappearance of the elephant caused the rise of modern man
Dr. Ran Barkai and his colleagues at Tel Aviv University connected evidence about diet with other cultural and anatomical clues to conclude that the disappearance of the elephants led to the emergence of Homo sapiens in the Middle East much earlier than first suspected.

Researchers use new finding to clear bloodstream malaria infection in mice
University of Iowa researchers and colleagues have discovered how malaria manipulates the immune system to allow the parasite to persist in the bloodstream.

US Patent Office affirms 'Zamore Design Rule' patents
The United States Patent and Trademark Office has reaffirmed the validity of four important patents in the field of RNA therapeutics.

New scanning strategy could help develop heart disease treatments
Patients with life-threatening heart valve disease could be helped with alternative scanning techniques that provide greater insight into the condition.

Variations in cardiac procedures related to physician recommendations and hospital characteristics
Physician preferences and hospital characteristics influence the type of procedures performed on blockages of the heart, leading to significant variations in rates of bypass, stent or angioplasty procedures, found an article in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Blood pressure monitoring: Room for improvement
Because some clinicians fail to stick to official recommendations for blood pressure monitoring, a number of patients are misclassified, which could have an impact on decisions about their treatment.

A rosy future for Pakistan's cut flower industry
The current status and future prospects for cut rose flower production and post-harvest management in Punjab, Pakistan, were investigated in a research study.

Discovery could lead to treatment for eye diseases that cause blindness
A new study has identified a gene that plays a major role in maintaining clarity of the cornea in humans and mice -- and could possibly be used as gene therapy to treat diseases that cause blindness.

WPI receives $1.2 million to develop smart phone app for advanced diabetes and wound care
An interdisciplinary research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has received a $1.2 million award from the National Science Foundation to develop a smart phone application that will help people with advanced diabetes and foot ulcers better manage their disease.

The brain on trial
Three prominent researchers -- Alan Leshner, Martha Farah and Jay Giedd -- discuss how neuroscience is, and should be, influencing criminal courts, from the determination of criminal responsibility to the issuing of sentences.

Bone marrow and blood stem cell transplant survival rates equal, when donor is unrelated to patient
Patients who receive a blood stem cell transplant from a donor outside of their family to treat leukemia and other blood diseases are more likely to have graft failure but less likely to experience graft-versus-host disease, a condition caused by the donor cells attacking the recipient's body, if the transplanted blood cells come directly from a donor's bone marrow, rather than from blood stem cells circulating in the donor's bloodstream (PBSCs), according to new research.

Researcher studies the globalization of sex trafficking and the organizations that work to stop it
A Kansas State University professor is studying ways that anti-trafficking groups are fighting the global issue of human trafficking.

Researchers identify agent responsible for protection against early stages of atherosclerosis
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine have identified for the first time the A2b adenosine receptor as a possible new therapeutic target against atherosclerosis resulting from a diet high in fat and cholesterol.

Zeolite synthesis made easy
Zeolites are porous materials with important applications in chemistry and industry including the purification of air or water such as the contaminated seawater around Fukushima.

Massive DNA search uncovers new mutations driving blood cancer
The most comprehensive search to date of DNA abnormalities in chronic lymphocytic leukemia has unearthed several new altered genes that drive this common blood cancer, a finding that could potentially help doctors predict whether an individual patient's disease will progress rapidly or remain indolent for years, say scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Broad Institute.

10 years after attacks on World Trade Center, human health cost is still being counted
The World Trade Center disaster exposed nearly half a million people to hazardous chemicals, environmental toxins, and traumatic events.

Plant growth affected by tea seed powder
Scientists investigated the growth regulatory effect of tea seed powder, a waste product from tea seed oil production.

A logistics approach to malaria in Africa
The problems of archaic logistics infrastructure, inefficient distribution channels and disruptive black markets must all be addressed urgently if Africa is to cope with the growing problem of malaria, according to a study published in the International Journal of Logistics Systems and Management.

Researchers identify genetic mutation responsible for most cases of Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia
Scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have identified a gene mutation that underlies the vast majority of cases of Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia, a rare form of lymphoma that has eluded all previous efforts to find a genetic cause.

Scientists discover new way to target cancer
Scientists have discovered a new way to target cancer through manipulating a master switch responsible for cancer cell growth.

Earliest known bug-repellant plant bedding found at South African rock shelter
Rare finds such as early ornaments, cave drawings and Middle Stone Age engravings are the subjects of a good deal of anthropological study and they provide clues.

Brief, high-intensity workouts show promise in helping diabetics lower blood sugar: Study
Researchers at McMaster University have found that brief high intensity workouts, as little as six sessions over two weeks, rapidly lower blood sugar levels in Type 2 diabetics, offering a potential fix for patients who struggle to meet exercise guidelines.

Book explores discoveries in cosmology and how our universe could have come from nothing
In his new book,

Sports medicine researcher studies impact of lockouts, warns NBA of injuries
With NBA training camps underway, serious injuries may come next.

Rutgers study: When it comes to use of dental services, not all NJ youngsters are equal
When it comes to receiving dental care, New Jersey has its share of underserved children, according to a Rutgers study.

Bigger, scarier weapons help spiders get the girl
If you're a red-headed guy with eight bulging eyes and a unibrow, size does indeed matter for getting the girl.

Gene mutation signals a high risk of recurrence in some older acute-leukemia patients
Older people with acute myeloid leukemia and normal looking chromosomes in their cancer cells have a higher risk of recurrence if they have mutations in the ASXL1gene, according to a new study.

The smallest conceivable switch
For a long time miniaturization has been the magic word in electronics.

Trudeau Institute announces latest discovery in vaccine development
New research from the laboratory of Dr. Elizabeth Leadbetter at the Trudeau Institute may lead to a whole new class of vaccines.

Rose torture: severe heat in Texas yields better varieties for research
At least one person admits that the extreme heat in Texas this year was beneficial.

NCAA mandatory sickle cell screening program not enough to save athletes' lives
In response to a lawsuit after a college football player died from complications due to sickle cell trait (SCT) during a workout, the NCAA implemented mandatory SCT screening of all Division I student-athletes.

RI Hospital study analyzes link between HIV infection and overdose risk
A Rhode Island Hospital study is the first to systematically review and analyze the literature on the association between HIV infection and overdose risk.

Researchers say therapy improves stem cell engraftment in umbilical cord blood transplant recipients
A therapy involving a natural compound may improve the ability of stem cells from umbilical cord blood to engraft in patients receiving a stem cell transplant for cancer or other diseases, a phase I clinical trial led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists indicates.

Early black holes grew big eating cold, fast food
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University's Bruce and Astrid McWilliams Center for Cosmology have discovered what caused the rapid growth of early supermassive black holes -- a steady diet of cold, fast food.

Working moms feel better than stay-at-home moms, study finds
Mothers with jobs tend to be healthier and happier than moms who stay at home during their children's infancy and preschool years, according to a new study published by the American Psychological Association.

Exercising harder -- and shorter -- can help Type 2 diabetes
Exercising harder, but for a shorter period, may have significant benefits for some with Type 2 diabetes.

Size matters: Sugars regulate communication between plant cells
Multicellular organisms must have a means for cells to communicate with one another.

Survival rates increase with chemotherapy alone in patients with limited-stage Hodgkin's lymphoma
New research led by the NCIC Clinical Trials Group at Queen's University has proven patients with limited stage Hodgkin's lymphoma have a better chance of long-term survival if they undergo a standard chemotherapy regimen as opposed to radiation-based treatment.

The case of the dying aspens
Over the past 10 years, the death of forest trees due to drought and increased temperatures has been documented on all continents except Antarctica.

Scientists develop vaccine that attacks breast cancer in mice
Researchers from the University of Georgia and the Mayo Clinic in Arizona have developed a vaccine that dramatically reduces tumors in a mouse model that mimics 90 percent of human breast and pancreatic cancer cases -- including those that are resistant to common treatments.

New strain of lab mice mimics human alcohol consumption patterns
A line of laboratory mice developed by a researcher from the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis drinks more alcohol than other animal models and consumes it in a fashion similar to humans: choosing alcohol over other options and binge drinking.

New discovery on how the body fights dengue fever
A report coming out in the online journal mBio on Dec.

UC Davis researcher develops model to foster new drug development to treat pain and epilepsy
Drawing on X-ray crystallography and experimental data, as well as a software suite for predicting and designing protein structures, a UC Davis School of Medicine researcher has developed an algorithm that predicts what has been impossible to generate in the laboratory: the conformational changes in voltage-gated sodium channels when they are at rest or actively transmitting a signal in muscle and nerve cells.

Control by the matrix: RUB researchers decipher the role of proteins in the cell environment
How astrocytes, certain cells of the nervous system, are generated was largely unknown.

Blue light irradiation promotes growth, increases antioxidants in lettuce seedlings
Researchers determined the effects of raising seedlings with different light spectra such as with blue, red, and blue plus red light-emitting diode lights on seedling quality and yield of red leaf lettuce plants.

New study documents cumulative impact of mountaintop mining
Increased salinity and concentrations of trace elements in one West Virginia watershed have been tied directly to multiple surface coal mines upstream by a detailed new survey of stream chemistry.

Alcohol can lead to unsafe sex: It's official
A new study has found that alcohol consumption directly impacts a person's intention to have unsafe sex.

Early defoliation of Great Lakes wine grapes tested
Economically significant varieties of wine grapes in eastern North America can be susceptible to harvest season cluster rot.

Why do people defend unjust, inept, and corrupt systems?
Why do we stick up for a system or institution we live in -- a government, company, or marriage -- even when anyone else can see it is failing miserably?

World's tiniest preemies are growing up and doing fine
The world's smallest and fourth smallest preemies, each weighing less than 10 oz. at birth, now are ages seven and 22 and have normal motor and language development, Loyola University Medical Centers doctors report in the journal Pediatrics.

Major new study examines explanations for math 'gender gap'
A major new study appearing in the January 2012 issue of the Notices of the American Mathematical Society marshals a plethora of evidence showing that many of the hypotheses put forth to account for the so-called

'Tele-assistance' for sports people
Teskal is a computing application designed to relieve

Novel export-inhibitor shows promise for treating CLL
An experimental drug that works by blocking the export of key control molecules from the nucleus of cancer cells shows promise as a treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia and other incurable B-cell malignancies, according to a new study.

Peptide 'cocktail' elicits immune response to multiple myeloma
Scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have created a

CSIC analyzes gold composition of pre-Columbian treasure
An international project including CSIC, in collaboration with the Museo de America in Madrid, is studying a set of pre-Columbian metallurgic pieces with the latest advances in observational and non-destructive analysis techniques.

Jumping droplets take a lot of heat
Microscopic water droplets jumping from one surface to another may hold the key to a wide array of more energy efficient products.

Intestine crucial to function of immune cells, research shows
Researchers at the University of Toronto have found an explanation for how the intestinal tract influences a key component of the immune system to prevent infection, offering a potential clue to the cause of autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

NDAR federation creates largest source of autism research data to date
A data partnership between the National Database for Autism Research, and the Autism Genetic Resource Exchange positions NDAR as possibly the largest repository to date of genetic, phenotypic, clinical, and medical imaging data related to research on autism spectrum disorders.

Disease progression halted in rat model of Lou Gehrig's disease
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is an incurable adult neurodegenerative disorder that progresses to paralysis and death.

It's all in the wrapping
A man-made package filled with nature's bone-building ingredients delivers the goods over time and space to heal serious bone injuries faster than products currently available, Cleveland researchers have found.

Making copies at the right time
Lars Jansen and his team, at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, have worked out how one of the cell's organizing centers is faithfully passed on from mother to daughter cells.

Artificially enhanced athletes
Superstar swimmers and certain comic book superheroes have something unusual in common -- when they wear special suits, they gain phenomenal abilities.

Growing US violent extremism by the numbers: UMD database
Attacks and plots by homegrown US terrorists are increasing, 40 percent of them by 'lone wolves,' says an analysis by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland.

Simple, model-free analysis of voltage-gated channels
A new study in the Journal of General Physiology provides fresh insight into voltage-gated channels -- transmembrane ion channels that play a critical role in the function of neuronal and muscle tissue.

Affordable solar?
A new analysis shows that solar photovoltaic systems are very close to achieving the tipping point in many regions: they can make electricity that's as cheap -- sometimes cheaper -- than what consumers pay their utilities.

Drs. Michael Dennis and Christy Scott earn Hazelden's Dan Anderson Research Award
Michael L. Dennis, Ph.D., Senior Research Psychologist at the Lighthouse Institute, Chestnut Health Systems, and Christy K.

GW researcher awarded NIH grant to identify molecular mechanisms to predict neurological and psychiatric diseases
Anthony-Samuel LaMantia, Ph.D., professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Physiology and Director of the GW Institute for Neuroscience in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences has been awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health to identify molecular mechanisms that define embryonic olfactory epithelium stem cells.

Accelerating adoption of agricultural technology
A research initiative designed to accelerate technology adoption by tree fruit professionals included an information technology survey.

A small step for lungfish, a big step for the evolution of walking
The eel-like body and scrawny

Hundreds of threatened species not on official US list
Many of the animal species at risk of extinction in the United States have not made it onto the country's official Endangered Species Act list, according to new research from the University of Adelaide.

Spring's rising soil temperatures see hormones wake seeds from their winter slumber
Dormant seeds in the soil detect and respond to seasonal changes in soil temperature by changing their sensitivity to plant hormones, new research by the University of Warwick has found.

Vision scientists demonstrate innovative learning method
New research published Dec. 9 in the journal Science suggests it may be possible to use brain technology to learn to play a piano, reduce mental stress or hit a curve ball with little or no conscious effort.

Predicting resistance to brain tumor chemotherapy
Glioblastoma multiforme is the most common and lethal human brain tumor that originates in the brain.

Fish may provide key to stopping disease spread, Wayne State University researcher says
A small fish may prove useful to understanding a worldwide health problem, if a Wayne State University researcher is correct.

Survey reveals scientists have trouble accessing human embryonic stem cell lines
A survey of more than 200 US human embryonic stem cell researchers found that nearly four in ten researchers have faced excessive delay in acquiring a human embryonic stem cell line and that more than one-quarter were unable to acquire a line they wanted to study.

Rare genetic disorder provides clues to development of the pancreas
A rare genetic disorder has given researchers at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Exeter, a surprising insight into how the pancreas develops.

Elevated risk of serious cardiovascular events not linked to ADHD medications in adults
Researchers have found little evidence of increased risk of heart attack, sudden cardiac death or stroke associated with use of medications used primarily used to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

URMC study: Most cancer-related blood clots occur in outpatients
In a study of nearly 18,000 cancer patients, University of Rochester Medical Center researchers found that when blood clots develop - a well-known and serious complication of cancer treatment - 78 percent of the time they occur when a person is out of the hospital, at home or elsewhere, while on chemotherapy.

World's smallest frogs discovered in New Guinea
Field work by researcher Fred Kraus from Bishop Museum, Honolulu has found the world's smallest frogs in southeastern New Guinea.

Immunity against the cold
Throughout the interior spaces of humans and other warm-blooded creatures is a special type of tissue known as brown fat, which may hold the secret to diets and weight-loss programs of the future.

Childhood cancer survivors' exposure to chemotherapy, radiation does not increase risk of birth defects in their children
Children of childhood cancer survivors do not have an increased risk for birth defects -- despite the fact that their parents received treatment with radiation and/or certain forms of chemotherapy that can damage the DNA of cancer cells and healthy cells alike.

'Twinning' US- based and Rwandan physicians improve lymphoma outcomes in children
In an African county lacking any specialists in children's cancers, a team approach that

A whole new meaning for thinking on your feet
Smithsonian researchers report that the brains of tiny spiders may fill their body cavities and overflow into their legs.

Addiction is a disease, and negative attitudes must change
Health professionals and society must change their negative attitudes toward addiction, which is a disease that requires treatment like other health conditions, states an editorial in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Only few seabird species contract avian malaria
Climate differences have less impact on the transmission of blood parasites than expected.

'PARP' drug sabotages DNA repair in pre-leukemic cells
Looking for ways to halt the uncontrolled growth of cancer cells, scientists at Johns Hopkins have found that a new class of drugs, called PARP inhibitors, may block the ability of pre-leukemic cells to repair broken bits of their own DNA, causing these cells to self-destruct.

NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia surgeons perform first 'ex vivo' lung transplants in New York
A 59-year-old woman from upstate New York and a 60-year-old woman from the New York metro area were the first patients in New York state and among the first in the United States to receive transplanted lungs that were assessed and reconditioned in the operating room -- a technique that has the potential to dramatically increase the availability of lungs for transplant.

Study participants at risk for Alzheimer's want to know their potential fate
If you had a family history of developing Alzheimer's disease, would you take a genetic test that would give you more information about your chances?

Strip-till improves nutrient uptake and yield
A new University of Illinois study revealed that strip-till was superior to no-till and increased yield in soybean.

1,200 recycling sector companies will save up to 10 percent thanks to a new system developed by Tecnalia
Tecnalia Research and Innovation has developed a new recycling system enabling the classification of waste from electrical and electronic equipment that cannot be ordered by conventional procedures, due to their similarities in color, weight and shape.

Researchers develop 'conversation cards' to broach subject of pediatric weight management
Medical researchers at the University of Alberta have created a deck of cards with conversation starters about sensitive and informational topics related to weight, that parents can use to guide their discussions when talking about their child's weight management with health professionals.

Commentary and podcast on landmark gene therapy clinical trial for hemophilia B
A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that Factor IX gene therapy in patients with hemophilia B was able to convert severe hemophilia to moderate or even mild disease.

Planting improves heart rate, stress levels of mentally challenged adults
A study examined how horticultural activities affect stress relief for patients who are mentally challenged.

The paradox of gift giving: More not better, says new study
Holiday shoppers, take note. Virginia Tech and University of Michigan researchers have found that in gift giving, bundling together an expensive

New communication code discovered in disease-causing bacteria
Single-celled bacteria communicate with each other using coded messages to coordinate attacks on their targets.

Patient isolation associated with hospital delirium: Study
A new study finds that patients who are moved into isolation during a hospital stay are nearly twice as likely to develop delirium, a potentially dangerous change in mental status that often affects hospital patients.

New fracture analysis plan would change bridge fabrication, inspection
Virginia Tech and Purdue researchers want to develop an all-inclusive systems method that would reliably predict the fatigue and fracture limit states of steel, the ultimate strength of the connections in the structure, the stability of the system, the overall condition, and the value of having an in-service inspection.

Wheat can't stop Hessian flies, so scientists find reinforcements
Wheat's genetic resistance to Hessian flies has been failing, but a group of Purdue University and US Department of Agriculture scientists believe that other plants may soon be able to come to the rescue.

Interactive maps reveal London's history in unprecedented detail
Researchers have today unveiled a new interactive map that reveals London's social history in unprecedented detail, enabling users to explore everything from the world's first gay scene to 18th century riots.

How brain tumors invade
Scientists have pinpointed a protein that allows brains tumors to invade healthy brain tissue, according to work published this week in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Tapping the brain orchestra
Researchers at the Norwegian University of Life Sciences (UMB) and Forschungszentrum Jülich in Germany have developed a new method for detailed analyses of electrical activity in the brain.

Study of 2 sisters sheds light on lymphoma evolution
A woman received a transplant from her sister to treat leukemia.

Weaning transplant recipients from their immunosuppressive drugs
Transplant surgeons live in the hope that one day they will be able to wean at least some of their patients off the immunosuppressive drugs that must be taken to prevent rejection of a transplanted organ.

Malaria during pregnancy: New study assesses risks during first trimester
The largest ever study to assess the effects of malaria and its treatment in the first trimester of pregnancy has shown that the disease significantly increases the risk of miscarriage, but that treating with antimalarial drugs is relatively safe and reduces this risk.

Scott & White Hospital -- Temple receives ACE accreditation for percutaneous coronary intervention
Scott & White Hospital -- Temple's Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory has become only the fourth cardiac catheterization laboratory in the United States to be accredited for percutaneous coronary intervention by Accreditation for Cardiovascular Excellence (ACE), an organization dedicated to ensuring adherence to the highest quality standards for cardiovascular and endovascular care.

Ruxolinitib better at reducing myelofibrosis symptoms, study shows
In a major advance in treatment, a multicenter study found that ruxolinitib did a better job than off-label chemotherapy drugs reducing the terrible symptoms associated with myelofibrosis, including pain, enlarged spleen, anemia, fever, chills, fatigue, and weight loss.

15 new conservation concerns
A review carried out by a group of international specialists has identified several emerging issues that are likely to damage biodiversity in the coming years.

Climate change blamed for dead trees in Africa
Trees are dying in Africa's Sahel, and human-caused climate change is to blame, according to a new study led by a scientist at UC Berkeley.

Study finds no increased risk of serious cardiovascular events among adults who use ADHD medications
Although there have been cardiovascular safety concerns about attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medications because of their ability to increase heart rate and blood pressure levels, an analysis that included more than 150,000 ADHD users found no evidence of an increased risk of heart attack, stroke or sudden cardiac death associated with current use compared with nonuse or rare use among young and middle-aged adults, according to a study appearing in JAMA.

Babies born with no eyes: Scientists identify genetic cause
Scientists at UCD Dublin have identified a genetic alteration which causes a child to be born with no eyes, a condition called anophthalmia.

Study debunks myths about gender and math performance
A major study of recent international data on school mathematics performance casts doubt on some common assumptions about gender and math achievement -- in particular, the idea that girls and women have less ability due to a difference in biology.

Tiny protein helps bacteria 'talk' and triggers defensive response in plants
Scientists have discovered a new signal that helps invading bacteria communicate but also helps targeted rice plants coordinate defensive attacks on the disease-causing invaders, a finding that could lead to new methods of combating infection not just in plants, but in humans.

Autism Speaks Autism Genetic Resource Exchange joins NIH National Database for Autism Research
Autism Speaks Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE) joins the National Database for Autism Research (NDAR), helping to create the largest multidisciplinary source of autism research data.

Exercise/memory research for Parkinson's
Researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the Baltimore VA Medical Center have launched a study of exercise and computerized memory training to see if those activities may help people with Parkinson's disease prevent memory changes.

Test for Alzheimer's disease predicts cognitive decline in Parkinson's disease
A method of classifying brain atrophy patterns in Alzheimer's disease patients using MRIs can also detect cognitive decline in Parkinson's disease, according to a new study by researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

AML patients have high response rate with vorinostat added to treatment
Adding a drug that activates genes to frontline combination therapy for acute myeloid leukemia resulted in an 85 percent remission rate after initial treatment, researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center reported at the 53rd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology.

Herbal amphetamine increases risk of death and stroke in those with heart disease
Chewing khat increases risk of death and stroke in patients with heart disease.

Widespread brain atrophy detected in Parkinson's disease with newly developed structural pattern
Atrophy in the hippocampus, the region of the brain known for memory formation and storage, is evident in Parkinson's disease patients with cognitive impairment, including early decline known as mild cognitive impairment, according to a study by researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Improved medication use could reduce severe asthma attacks
Researchers at Henry Ford Hospital have found that one-quarter of severe asthma attacks could be prevented if only patients consistently took their medication as prescribed.

Diamonds and dust for better cement
At the Department of Energy's Advanced Light Source, located at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, scientists seeking ways to use cement more efficiently and reduce the carbon emissions associated with its manufacture have revealed new properties of the mineral tobermorite.

Strict policy raises hospital's worker flu vaccination rate
A California hospital raised its employee influenza vaccination rate above 90 percent by shifting from a voluntary vaccination program to one mandating all healthcare workers either get vaccinated or wear a mask at work for the entire flu season (December through March).

Sleeping giants discovered
Astronomers recently discovered the most massive black holes to date.

As climate change sets in, plants and bees keep pace
An analysis of bee collection data over the past 130 years shows that spring arrives about 10 days earlier than in the 1880s, and bees and flowering plants have kept pace by arriving earlier in lock-step.

Autism researchers make exciting strides
Teaching young children with autism to imitate others may improve a broader range of social skills, according to a new study by a Michigan State University scholar.

JCI online early table of contents: Dec. 12, 2011
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Dec.

Nature's medicine cabinet could yield hundreds of new drugs
Far from being fully explored, the plant world probably contains at least 500 medically useful chemicals that could be developed as drugs or used as the basis for further drug research.

U-M divers retrieve prehistoric wood from Lake Huron
Under the cold clear waters of Lake Huron, University of Michigan researchers have found a five-and-a-half foot-long, pole-shaped piece of wood that is 8,900 years old.

Salt-tolerant crops show higher capacity for carbon fixation
Scientists compared carbon fixation by five plant species under conditions of salinity.

2-faced leukemia?
One kind of leukemia sometimes masquerades as another, according to a study published online this week in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Lawson research team working to personalize cancer care
The Lawson Translational Cancer Research Team of the Lawson Health Research Institute is one of five groups participating in a new study that seeks to personalize cancer drug treatment.

Independence Blue Cross teams with American College of Physicians to improve primary care
Philadelphia - Independence Blue Cross (IBC) today announced a new collaboration with the American College of Physicians (ACP) to improve primary care.

How long do electrons live in graphene?
Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf have added another important component towards understanding the material graphene; a material that is currently receiving a lot of attention: They have determined the lifetime of electrons in graphene in lower energy ranges.

Breast cancer survivors struggle with cognitive problems several years after treatment
A new analysis has found that breast cancer survivors may experience problems with certain mental abilities several years after treatment, regardless of whether they were treated with chemotherapy plus radiation or radiation only. 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