Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 14, 2011
KS-herpesvirus induces reprogramming of lymphatic endothelial cells to invasive mesenchymal cells
Kaposi's sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV) is an etiological agent for Kaposi's sarcoma and two other rare lymphoproliferative malignancies, and it is the most common cancer in HIV-infected untreated individuals.

Overall hospital admission rates in US linked with high rates of readmission
High hospital readmission rates in different regions of the US may have more to do with the overall high use of hospital services in those regions than with the severity of patients' particular conditions or problems in the quality of care during and after hospital discharges, according to a new study from researchers at Harvard School of Public Health.

Biophysical Society announces speakers for Future of Biophysics Burroughs Wellcome Fund Symposium
The Biophysical Society is pleased to announce the speakers for the Future of Biophysics Burroughs Wellcome Fund Symposium.

BUSM researchers find link between pulmonary inflammation, diesel exhaust, house dust
A study conducted by researchers at Boston University School of Medicine has found that diesel exhaust particulates and house dust extract causes pulmonary inflammation that aggravates asthma.

Vaginal progesterone reduces preterm birth, neonatal morbidity and mortality in women at risk
Women with a short cervix should be treated with vaginal progesterone to prevent preterm birth, according to a landmark study by leading obstetricians around the world.

A new genre of tires: Call 'em 'sweet' and 'green'
Motorists may be driving on the world's first

Statins may reduce mortality in patients hospitalized with influenza
The two main ways to prevent and control influenza today are annual immunization and antiviral drugs.

Camera phones can be a valuable tool for remote diagnosis and (peer) education
Camera phones may be the future for assistance in medical diagnosis, especially in remote areas, according to a new study published Dec.

Erosion of traditional 'taboos' threatens Madagascar's lemurs
Madagascar is world famous for its unique animals, many of which are protected by law, but recent research has demonstrated that illegal hunting of these protected species may be widespread and pose an urgent threat the country's globally important biodiversity.

New report identifies research needed on 'modified risk' tobacco products
A new Institute of Medicine report specifies the types of research that the Food and Drug Administration should require before allowing tobacco companies to sell or advertise

Study finds superior drug combo for difficult-to-control epilepsy
About one-third of Americans with epilepsy do not have good seizure control.

Patients at risk of knee joint complications when new technology is used
Orthopedic surgeons face a steep learning curve to get used to new prostheses before new total knee replacement procedures are as effective as conventional methods.

Closest Type Ia supernova in decades solves a cosmic mystery
Even as the

Georgia Tech identifies coming media megatrends in FutureMedia Outlook 2012
The coming years will bring increased personalization, innovation and flexibility in the media landscape, according to the Georgia Institute of Technology.

3 Rutgers professors named AAAS fellows
Three Rutgers professors are among 539 scholars that the American Association for the Advancement of Science has elevated to the rank of fellow.

How doctors make diagnoses
Doctors use similar brain mechanisms to make diagnoses and to name objects, according to a study published in the Dec.

Gladstone scientists identify human proteins that may fuel HIV/AIDS transmission
Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes have discovered new protein fragments in semen that enhance the ability of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, to infect new cells -- a discovery that one day could help curb the global spread of this deadly pathogen.

MIT research: A glow of recognition
Researchers at MIT have developed a new way of revealing the presence of specific chemicals -- whether toxins, disease markers, pathogens or explosives.

ACR in Choosing Wisely campaign to promote wise use of resources among physicians and patients
As part of its ongoing efforts to ensure safe, effective and appropriate medical imaging, the American College of Radiology has joined the ABIM Foundation and eight other medical specialty societies in Choosing Wisely.

Seeing red: Decoding the hidden information on robins' feathers
Red breasted robins are a classic symbol of the winter months and have adorned Christmas cards for over a century.

Stress causes clogs in coffee and coal
Scientists still aren't sure what causes clogs in flowing macroscopic particles, like corn, coffee beans and coal chunks.

Toward a therapy to healing stroke
The thalamus is the central translator in the brain: Specialized nerve cells (neurons) receive information from the sensory organs, process it, and transmit it deep into the brain.

Hubble images help pin down identity of August supernova's companion star
UC Berkeley's Weidong Li and colleagues looked at past images from the Hubble Space Telescope and saw no evidence of a star where the August 2011 supernova, SN2011fe, exploded.

London researchers lead innovative new cancer treatment study
An innovative treatment technology could give cancer patients new hope for survival.

Mobile assistance for AIDS patients in South Africa
The first mobile safety laboratory to operate under Biosafety Level 3 has been in use in South Africa since May 2011.

A brain's failure to appreciate others may permit human atrocities
It may be that a person can become callous enough to commit human atrocities because of a failure in the part of the brain that's critical for social interaction.

INFORMS presents Ramsey Medal to health care financial analytics executive Don Kleinmuntz
The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences today announced the award of the INFORMS Decision Analysis Society Frank P.

'Green routing' can cut car emissions without significantly slowing travel time
The path of least emissions may not always be the fastest way to drive somewhere.

University of Maryland finds restricting post-surgery blood transfusion is safe for some hip patients
More than half of the older, anemic patients in a New England Journal of Medicine study did not need blood transfusions as they recovered from hip surgery, according to new research co-authored by University of Maryland School of Medicine scientists.

HPV testing best cervical screening option for all women over the age of 30
Human papillomavirus (HPV) DNA testing is the best cervical cancer screening option for all women over the age of 30, detecting the lesions which lead to cervical cancer earlier and preventing more cervical cancer than cytology alone.

Cotton fabric cleans itself when exposed to ordinary sunlight
Imagine jeans, sweats or socks that clean and deodorize themselves when hung on a clothesline in the sun or draped on a balcony railing.

Blue marlin blues: Loss of dissolved oxygen in oceans squeezes billfish habitat
A new scientific paper in Nature Climate Change shows that expanding

Fraunhofer researchers receive the Franco-German Business Award 2011
Fraunhofer researchers have teamed up with their French colleagues at the Carnot-Institut Laboratoire d'électronique des technologies de l'information CEA-LETI to develop reusable substrates for III-V multi-junction solar cells -- and on Dec.

Nikolaus Rajewsky of the MDC to receive the Leibniz Prize
Professor Nikolaus Rajewsky of the Max Delbrueck Center Berlin is to receive Germany's most prestigious research award, the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize.

Elemental 'cookbook' guides efficient thermoelectric combinations
A repository developed by Duke University engineers that they call a

Removing sulfur from jet fuel cools climate
A Yale study examining the impact of aviation on climate change found that removing sulfur from jet fuel cools the atmosphere.

A black hole's dinner is fast approaching
Astronomers using ESO's Very Large Telescope have discovered a gas cloud with several times the mass of the Earth accelerating fast towards the black hole at the center of the Milky Way.

Pythons and people take turns as predators and prey
People and giant snakes not only target each other for food -- they also compete for the same prey, according to a study co-authored by a Cornell University researcher.

At Senate Aging Committee's 50th anniversary, experts ponder future legislative concerns
Fifty years after its inception, the US Senate Special Committee on Aging will have a more important role than ever as America's senior population continues to grow, according to the newest issue of the Public Policy and Aging Report (PPAR).

NTU hosts race to design innovative 'green microchips'
Innovative microchips which are energy efficient was unveiled yesterday at Singapore's first international chip design competition.

New test could help track down and prosecute terrorists who use nerve gas and other agents
Scientists are reporting development of a first-of-its-kind technology that could help law enforcement officials trace the residues from terrorist attacks involving nerve gas and other chemical agents back to the companies or other sources where the perpetrators obtained ingredients for the agent.

Global health funding slows as deadline for Millennium Development Goals nears
Developed countries and funding agencies are putting the brakes on growth in development assistance for health, raising the possibility that developing countries will have an even harder time meeting the Millennium Development Goal deadline looming in 2015, according to new research from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington.

140 new species described by California Academy of Sciences in 2011
In 2011, researchers at the California Academy of Sciences added 140 new relatives to our family tree.

Simple test to help diagnose bowel and pancreatic cancer could save thousands of lives
A simple online calculator could offer family GPs a powerful new tool in tackling two of the most deadly forms of cancer, say researchers.

CSE Prize 2011 awarded for outstanding work in computational science and engineering
Springer has awarded the Computational Science and Engineering Prize 2011 to Laura Alisic, Carsten Burstedde and Georg Stadler for their outstanding work on simulating global mantle convection at tectonic plate boundary-resolving scales.

'Tis the season to be wary of elder financial abuse
Seniors should be advised that, along with seasonal elevations of joy and good cheer, the risk of falling victim to elder financial abuse is also increasing, researchers report.

Brain and heart link may explain sudden death in Rett
In a study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, BCM researchers and colleagues found that heart problems that occur in nearly 20 percent of children with Rett syndrome, a neurological disorder, originate because the Rett gene is lost in nerve cells -- not in heart muscle cells.

More clues in the hunt for the Higgs
Physicists have announced that the Large Hadron Collider has produced yet more tantalizing hints for the existence of the Higgs boson.

Dinosaurs with killer claws yield new theory about flight
New research from Montana State University has revealed how dinosaurs like Velociraptor and Deinonychus used their famous killer claws, leading to a new hypothesis on the evolution of flight in birds.

Disaster looms for gas cloud falling into Milky Way's central black hole
Astronomers have observed a cloud of gas several times the mass of Earth approaching the 4.3 million solar-mass black hole at the center of the Milky Way, and calculate that it will not survive the encounter.

The ability to love takes root in earliest infancy
The ability to trust, love, and resolve conflict with loved ones starts in childhood -- way earlier than you may think.

Scientists publish new findings about the 'supernova of a generation'
An international team of scientists, including astrophysicists from UC Santa Barbara, has discovered that a supernova that exploded in August -- dubbed the supernova of a generation -- was a

Wayne State study shows early research on cellphone conversations likely overestimated crash risk
A Wayne State University study published in the January 2012 issue of the journal Epidemiology points out that two influential early studies of cellphone use and crash risk may have overestimated the relative risk of conversation on cellphones while driving.

Society may get stuck with the bill for expensive higher education
The rising cost of a college education and limited access to financial aid may create a less productive workforce and steeper wealth inequity, according to a study by North American economists.

Joint mathematics meetings in Boston Jan. 4-7, 2012
Researchers will present a record number of papers -- over 2,500 -- from all specialties of mathematics.

Leibniz Prize 2012 to honor 11 outstanding researchers
Next year's winners of the most important research award in Germany have been announced: The Joint Committee of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft in Bonn today named eleven researchers -- two women and nine men -- as winners of the 2012 Leibniz Prize.

Missouri Botanical Garden scientists examine toxicity of medicinal plants in Peru
Many developing countries rely on traditional medicine as an accessible and affordable treatment option for human maladies.

Local man turns Parkinson's diagnosis into mission to find a cure
The Paul Ruby Foundation has made a $100,000 contribution to Northwestern Medicine Parkinson's disease research.

MIT research update: Sharpening the lines
In recent years, the technologies behind microchips have begun to bump up against fundamental limits, such as the wavelengths of light used for critical steps in chip manufacturing.

New ONR technology will enable ship systems to share information seamlessly
With Sailors and Marines increasingly relying upon networked data and apps, the Office of Naval Research demonstrated to Department of the Navy officials how a new suite of information technology tools could improve fleet operations during experiments Dec.

Solving a supernova mystery
A team of scientists, including Carnegie's Mansi M. Kasliwal, has observed the early stages of a Type Ia supernova that is only 21 million light years away from Earth -- the closest of its kind discovered in 25 years.

Stand Up to Cancer and Melanoma Research Alliance announce dream team
Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), the Melanoma Research Alliance and SU2C's scientific partner, the American Association for Cancer Research, today announced a new dream team dedicated to melanoma research.

In-utero procedure for birth defect of the diaphragm significantly improves infant survival
A new study published in the journal Ultrasound in Obstetrics & Gynecology reveals that fetal tracheal occlusion improves infant survival rate in severe cases of congenital diaphragmatic hernia.

Magnetic stimulation of brain may help some stroke patients recover
Imagine waking up and being unable to see or recognize anything on the left side of your body.

Follow your nose
Compared to Neanderthals, modern humans have a better sense of smell.

Industry, regulators should take 'system safety' approach to offshore drilling in aftermath of Deepwater Horizon accident, says new report
To reduce the risk of another accident as catastrophic as the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill, a new report from the National Academy of Engineering and National Research Council says, companies involved in offshore drilling should take a

Mercury releases into the atmosphere from ancient to modern times
In pursuit of riches and energy over the last 5,000 years, humans have released into the environment 385,000 tons of mercury, the source of numerous health concerns, according to a new study that challenges the idea that releases of the metal are on the decline.

Worker ants paralyze and kill termites from afar
Worker ants from a particular species of African ants have potent venom that can paralyze and kill termites from a distance, according to a study published Dec.

Obesity and diabetes epidemics spur increase in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis
Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is rapidly increasing in the US mainly related to the epidemics of obesity and diabetes.

Study finds increasing atmospheric concentrations of new flame retardants
Compounds used in new flame-retardant products are showing up in the environment at increasing concentrations, according to a recent study by researchers at Indiana University Bloomington.

Microbial contamination found in orange juice squeezed in bars and restaurants
Scientists from the University of Valencia in Spain have analyzed fresh orange juice squeezed by machines in catering establishments.

The Concord Consortium awarded multi-million dollar Google grant
The Concord Consortium has received a $2.5 million grant from to pave the way for digital curricula that model the

New eco-friendly foliar spray provides natural anti-freeze
A new, biodegradable foliar/floral spray that increases plant resistance to both cold damage and cold mortality has been introduced to the commercial market.

Artichokes grow big in Texas
Marketable yield, yield components, quality, and phenolic compounds of artichoke heads were investigated in response to three irrigation regimes and four nitrogen rates under subsurface drip irrigation.

Improvements in survival of gynecological cancer in the Anglia region of England
Gynecological cancer survival rates have improved in Eastern England following the reorganization of services and multidisciplinary team working finds a new study published Dec.

When standard treatment fails: Jefferson to start unique immunotherapy for brain tumor patients
Physicians at the Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience, the region's only dedicated hospital for neuroscience, are tackling a particularly aggressive brain cancer that even surgery, chemotherapy and radiation often fail to treat with a promising new immunotherapy to attack a patient's tumor with their own cancer cells.

Twisting molecules by brute force: A top-down approach
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University have found they can use a macroscopic brute force to impose and induce a twist in an otherwise non-chiral molecule.

Online guide helps health organizations adopt electronic health records
A new online guide is available from the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to help hospitals and other health care organizations anticipate, avoid and address problems that can occur when adopting and using electronic health records.

Optical fiber innovation could make future optical computers a 'SNAP'
Optics and photonics may one day revolutionize computer technology with the promise of light-speed calculations.

Crows show advanced learning abilities
A team of researchers from the University of Auckland and the University of Cambridge have now shown these crows can learn to use new types of tools.

Complex sex life of goats could have implications for wildlife management
A new study of the mating habits of mountain goats reveals the vastly different strategies of males in different populations and could shed light on the unseen impacts of hunting.

RBMA becomes first affiliate of ACR's Radiology Leadership Institute
The Radiology Business Management Association is the first affiliate organization of the American College of Radiology's Radiology Leadership Institute (RLI).

Alzheimer's drug candidate may be first to prevent disease progression
A new drug candidate may be the first capable of halting the devastating mental decline of Alzheimer's disease, based on the findings of a study published today in PLoS one.

New food allergy model for fenugreek developed
A mouse model to investigate allergy to fenugreek has been developed by Norwegian researchers.

Pregnant women advised to stay cool for baby's sake
Queensland University of Technology world-first research has found a link between increases in temperature and the incidence of stillbirth and shorter pregnancies.

Researchers explain what makes granular material become solid
What is it is that makes granular materials change from a flowing loose state to a

New method for enhancing thermal conductivity could cool computer chips, lasers and other devices
Vanderbilt engineers have discovered a surprising new way to increase a material's thermal conductivity that provides a new tool for managing thermal effects in computers, lasers and a number of other powered devices.

Work in cells, animals, patients reveals toxin's role in asthma
A swell of evidence from labs and clinical studies is suggesting that a common respiratory bacterial pathogen and the toxin it makes are worsening many asthma cases.

The 'supernova of a generation' shows its stuff
It was the brightest and closest stellar explosion seen from Earth in 25 years, dazzling professional and backyard astronomers alike.

Biochemical signature predicts progression to Alzheimer's disease
A study led by research professor Matej Oresic from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland suggests that Alzheimer's disease is preceded by a molecular signature indicative of hypoxia and up-regulated pentose phosphate pathway.

Controversy over Triceratops identity continues
Despite their extinction millions of years ago, Triceratops continue to incite controversy.

Heart drug may be effective for managing certain cancers: Queen's University study
Researchers at Queen's University have identified a new mechanism that could potentially explain why the body's immune system sometimes fails to eliminate cancer.

Supernova caught in the act
The earliest detection ever of a Type Ia supernova has led to unparalleled observations of the initial stages of the supernova and characterization of the stars that formed it.

A gene that protects against colorectal cancers
Patrick Mehlen's team at the Lyon Cancer Research Centre has just demonstrated that a gene (called DCC for

How exposure to irregular light affects plant circadian rhythms
A study of chrysanthemum investigated plants' circadian responses to interruptions in light cycles.

Jefferson researchers mirror human response to bacterial infection and resolution in mice
Reporting in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, a team of Jefferson immunologists found that a specialized

RTOG initiates a phase I trial testing the therapy ganitumab for locally advanced pancreatic cancer
Conducted by the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group, the results of the RTOG 1102 are expected to provide important dosing and safety information needed prior to advancing ganitumab evaluation to a phase II randomized trial.

Should we better prepare for earthquakes?
University of Adelaide researchers are leading an international project to help identify buildings most vulnerable to earthquakes and the best ways to strengthen them.

Industrial 'inertia to change' is delaying development of zero carbon homes, report finds
Tackling rising CO2 emissions from the residential sector could make a vital contribution towards mitigating climate change, according to a new report from the UCL Bartlett School of Planning.

Low iron levels in blood give clue to blood clot risk
People with low levels of iron in the blood have a higher risk of dangerous blood clots, according to research published in the journal Thorax today.

Experts strategize to bring desalination and renewable energy together
Renewable energy development will play a key role in improving and expanding desalination water projects throughout the United States, according to participants in the 56th Annual New Mexico Water Conference.

Growstones ideal alternative to perlite, parboiled rice hulls
A study determined the properties of an aggregate produced from ground waste glass and compared the component with perlite and parboiled rice hulls.

Cigarette and alcohol use at historic low among teens
Cigarette and alcohol use by eighth, 10th and 12th-graders are at their lowest point since the Monitoring the Future survey began polling teenagers in 1975, according to this year's survey results.

Landscape architecture survey: Is plant knowledge passé?
A study evaluated attitudes and perceptions of practicing landscape architects in the southeastern United States with regards to the importance of horticultural knowledge.

Elsevier and Federation of Biochemical Societies launch new journal
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, and the Federation of Biochemical Societies (FEBS) announced today the launch of FEBS Open Bio, an open-access journal.

Lawrence Livermore ramps up wind energy research
As the percentage of wind energy contributing to the power grid continues to increase, the variable nature of wind can make it difficult to keep the generation and the load balanced.

Does caffeine enhance exercise performance? The debate continues
Caffeine is regarded by some as being a potent stimulant, but the debate continues as to whether it enhances exercise performance. 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