Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 18, 2012
Study pinpoints and plugs mechanism of AML cancer cell escape
Turning off the gene that codes for WEE1 sensitizes acute myeloid leukemia cells to chemotherapy.

Enhancing cognition in older adults also changes personality
A program designed to boost cognition in older adults also increased their openness to new experiences, researchers report, demonstrating for the first time that a non-drug intervention in older adults can change a personality trait once thought to be fixed throughout the lifespan.

Unveiling malaria's 'cloak of invisibility'
The discovery by researchers from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of a molecule that is key to malaria's 'invisibility cloak' will help to better understand how the parasite causes disease and escapes from the defenses mounted by the immune system.

UCLA researchers uncover mechanism by which melanoma drug accelerates secondary skin cancers
Researchers at UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, working with investigators from the Institute of Cancer Research in London, Roche and Plexxikon, have elucidated the mechanism by which vemurafenib excels at fighting melanoma but also allows for the development of skin squamous cell carcinomas.

New research reveals how alpha-synuclein interacts with cell membranes in Parkinson's disease
Accumulation of α-synuclein is one of the hallmarks of Parkinson's disease.

Combination of oral drugs suppresses common type of hepatitis C
A new combination of investigational drugs successfully suppressed hepatitis C genotype 1 infection in a high percent of patients who had not responded to previous treatment in a study led by a University of Michigan hepatologist.

Lack of sleep makes your brain hungry
New research from Uppsala University, Sweden, shows that a specific brain region that contributes to a person's appetite sensation is more activated in response to food images after one night of sleep loss than after one night of normal sleep.

Reinforcing behavior in the brain
Harvard scientists have developed the fullest picture yet of how neurons in the brain interact to reinforce behaviors that range from learning to the use of illegal drugs, a finding that could open the door to new breakthroughs in the treatment of addiction.

Long-term decline in global abortion rate has stalled, and proportion of abortions that are unsafe continues to rise
After a period of substantial decline, the global abortion rate has stalled, but the proportion of unsafe abortions continues to rise.

UCSB researchers uncover transparency limits on transparent conducting oxides
Computational Materials researchers at UC Santa Barbara use cutting-edge calculations to determine fundamental optical transparency limits in conducting oxide material tin oxide.

Taking another look at the roots of social psychology
Psychology textbooks have made the same historical mistake over and over.

German innovation award for Celitement
Environmentally compatible cement developed by KIT wins in the category of Product and Service Innovations.

The great gas hydrate escape
A computer analysis of gas hydrates reveals key details of their structure.

University of Toronto/Royal Ontario Museum scientists discover unusual 'tulip' creature
A bizarre creature that lived in the ocean more than 500 million years ago has emerged from the famous Middle Cambrian Burgess Shale in the Canadian Rockies.

Nursing home residents with dementia: Antidepressants are associated with increased risk of falling
Nursing home residents with dementia who use average doses of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are three times more likely to have an injurious fall than similar people who don't use these drugs.

Radiation-induced damage to brain tissue reversed by oxygen starvation in mice
Treating brain tumors with whole brain radiation therapy can damage healthy brain tissue, but a new study in mice reveals that limiting the oxygen supply, or hypoxia, can alleviate some of the cognitive impairment caused by the radiation

Study finds few well-being advantages to marriage over cohabitation
A new study, published in the Journal of Marriage and Family reveals that married couples experience few advantages for psychological well-being, health, or social ties compared to unmarried couples who live together.

Despite the risks, mephedrone users in the UK are ready to try the next legal high
Since mephedrone was made illegal in the UK in 2010, the street price of the drug has risen while the quality has degraded, which in turn may have reduced use of the drug.

Dung beetle dance provides crucial navigation cues
The dung beetle dance, performed as the beetle moves away from the dung pile with his precious dung ball, is a mechanism to maintain the desired straight-line departure from the pile, according to a study published in the Jan.

NEI awards new grant to study the biological origins of eye allergies
The National Eye Institute has awarded researchers at the Schepens Eye Research Institute, a subsidiary of Mass.

Solving the mystery of an old diabetes drug that may reduce cancer risk
In a new paper published in the journal Cancer Prevention Research, researchers from McGill University and the University of Montreal report on how the diabetes drug metformin potentially reduces cancer risk.

Mapping the destructive path from cigarette to emphysema
In a report online in the journal Science Translational Medicine, the scientists, including two from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, described the track the toxic smoke takes through the tissues and how they accomplish their destructive work.

First-of-kind seminar teaches teamwork to varied medical professionals
Columbia University Medical Center's Program in Narrative Medicine is introducing a more collaborative approach to education with a first-of-its-kind interdisciplinary, interprofessional seminar on teamwork in medicine.

Why smart growth frustrates players in the system: UMD research
Maryland planners, developers and land-use advocates consider the state's smart growth tools too weak, frustrating their desire for development within existing urban areas, finds a new University of Maryland study.

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, January 2012
Among the ORNL's January 2012 story tips are articles about how carbon trapped in permafrost soils could be released a lot faster than previously thought; the Coast Guard going green; and tracking cell death protein.

Save the date: American Physical Society 2012 March Meeting, Feb. 27-March 2 in Boston
Superconductivity, biophysics, and advanced materials, as well as talks and sessions dedicated to social issues, medical technology, energy, and national security to be featured at the largest physics meeting of the year.

MIT: The faster-than-fast Fourier transform
At the Association for Computing Machinery's Symposium on Discrete Algorithms this week, MIT researchers will present a new algorithm that, in a large range of practically important cases, improves on the fast Fourier transform.

Quality improvement initiatives can save moms, babies in Africa
New research from lead author Medge Owen, M.D., a professor of obstetrical anesthesiology at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, outlines how QI initiatives that demonstrate best practices and care can increase overall survival rates for mothers and their children.

Behavioral priming paradigm needs update
Behavioral priming, in which behavior is changed by introducing subconscious influences, is a well-established phenomenon, but a new study shows that the cause may be different than what was previously assumed.

UCLA joins forces with White House to meet unique needs of veterans, families
As part of a White House effort to ensure that America's military heroes receive care worthy of their service, the UCLA Health System and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA have pledged to mobilize their uniquely integrated missions in education, research and clinical care to help train physicians to meet the special needs of veterans, active service members and their families.

Future of Genomic Medicine V conference set for March 1-2 in San Diego
The Future of Genomic Medicine V will offer a dynamic, interactive forum where human geneticists, genomic scientists, physicians and health-care professionals of all disciplines can gain valuable insights from many of the nation's leading genomics experts.

Novel gene mutations associated with bile duct cancer
Investigators at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center have identified a new genetic signature associated with bile duct cancer, a usually deadly tumor for which effective treatment currently is limited.

'Miracle tree' substance produces clean drinking water inexpensively and sustainably
A natural substance obtained from seeds of the

Contact lenses provide extended pain relief to laser eye surgery patients
Scientists are reporting development of contact lenses that could provide a continuous supply of anesthetic medication to the eyes of patients who undergo laser eye surgery -- an advance that could relieve patients of the burden of repeatedly placing drops of medicine into their eyes every few hours for several days.

To fight epidemic of unnecessary suffering, Stanford dean calls for major public health campaign
The amount of needless suffering caused by both acute and chronic pain in the United States is a major, overlooked medical problem that requires improved education at multiple levels, stretching from the implementation of new public health campaigns to better training of primary care physicians in pain management.

Which direction now? Just ask the north-facing map in your head
You're driving from work to pick up your kids at school.

Cardiff drug development at heart of billion-plus deal
American pharmaceutical giant Bristol-Myers Squibb has agreed the purchase of US biotech company Inhibitex, in a $2.5Bn deal which includes the promising new anti-hepatitis C drug INX-189, first designed and prepared in Cardiff University.

Good intentions ease pain, add to pleasure: UMD study
A nurse's tender loving care really does ease the pain of a medical procedure, and grandma's cookies really do taste better, if we perceive them to be made with love -- suggests newly published research by a University of Maryland psychologist.

New research finds sport is effective in reducing reoffending rates
A new research project into the role of sport in rehabilitating young prisoners has found that sport can be effective in reducing the reconviction rate of offenders.

Advance in lung cancer treatment
Scientists from the University of Colorado Cancer Center have once again advanced the treatment of a specific kind of lung cancer.

Climate balancing: Sea-level rise vs. surface temperature change rates
Engineering our way out of global climate warming may not be as easy as simply reducing the incoming solar energy, according to a team of University of Bristol and Penn State climate scientists.

Saving dogs with spinal cord injuries
Dogs with spinal cord injuries may soon benefit from an experimental drug being tested by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco and Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences -- work that they hope will one day help people with similar injuries.

Older women with normal T-scores may not need bone mineral density screening for 15 years
A study led by Margaret L. Gourlay, MD, MPH of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine finds that women aged 67 years and older with normal bone mineral density scores may not need screening again for up to 15 years.

BU researchers identify genetic signatures of exceptional longevity in re-published study
While environment and family history are factors in healthy aging, genetic variants play a critical and complex role in conferring exceptional longevity, according to researchers from the Boston University Schools of Public Health and Medicine, Boston Medical Center, IRCCS Multimedica in Milan, Italy, and Yale University.

States reduce funding for research universities
States reduced per-student funding for major public research universities by a fifth during the past decade, while foreign competitors invested heavily to challenge the United States' once dominant global position in science, innovation, and higher education, according to new data publicly released today by the National Science Board.

The rail and road network in Spain does not follow economic criteria, but central
A researcher at the University of Barcelona has examined the construction of surface transportation infrastructure in Spain from 1720 to 2010.

Coexisting medical conditions increase treatment costs
More than 250,000 hip fractures occur every year in the US, often resulting in hospitalization, surgery, nursing-home admission, long-term disability, and/or extended periods of rehabilitation.

New test offers greater accuracy in early detection of colorectal cancer
Results of two studies suggest that a new, investigational colorectal cancer screening test developed in a collaboration between Mayo Clinic and Exact Sciences Inc. of Madison, Wis., is highly accurate and significantly more sensitive than other noninvasive tests at detecting precancerous tumors (adenomas) and early-stage cancer.

How drugs get those tongue-twisting generic names
Oseltamivir. Esomeprazole. Trastuzumab. Where do drugs get those odd-sounding generic names?

Important gene-regulation proteins pinpointed by new method
A novel technique precisely pinpoints the location of proteins that read and regulate chromosomes.

Weighing up the causes of obesity
Stress can make you fat - and being obese can create stress.

Aspirin merits testing for prevention of cervical cancer in HIV-infected women
Research conducted by NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center global health investigators and cancer specialists in New York, Qatar and Haiti suggests that aspirin should be evaluated for its ability to prevent development of cervical cancer in HIV-infected women.

Can we reduce crime by learning how we combine our real and cyber identities?
Researchers at the University of Southampton have launched a unique, international project to look at the complex nature of identity, both in the real world and online.

University of Tennessee researchers develop comprehensive, accessible vision testing device
Eighty-five percent of children's learning is related to vision. Yet in the US, 80 percent of children have never had an eye exam or any vision screening before kindergarten, statistics say.

Ancient popcorn discovered in Peru
People living along the coast of Peru were eating popcorn 1,000 years earlier than previously reported and before ceramic pottery was used there, according to a new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences co-authored by Dolores Piperno, curator of New World archaeology at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and emeritus staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

New study evaluates impact of land use activity in the Amazon basin
Portions of the Amazon basin are experiencing a transition in energy and water cycles.

'Women worse at math than men' explanation scientifically incorrect, MU researchers say
A University of Missouri researcher and his colleague have conducted a review that casts doubt on the accuracy of a popular theory that attempted to explain why there are more men than women in top levels of mathematic fields.

Salk scientist Ronald M. Evans wins 2012 Wolf Prize in Medicine
Salk Institute scientist Ronald Evans has been selected as the recipient of the prestigious 2012 Wolf Prize in Medicine, Israel's highest award for achievements benefiting mankind.

New guidebook provides framework for managing US forests in face of climate change
Resource managers at the nation's 155 national forests now have a set of science-based guidelines to help them manage their landscapes for resilience to climate change.

Non-invasive measurements of tricuspid valve anatomy can predict severity of valve leakage
A new study finds that the anatomy of the heart's tricuspid valve can be used to predict the severity of leakage in the valve -- a condition called tricuspid regurgitation.

Black Saturday provides bushfire answers
Clearing vegetation close to houses is the best way to reduce impacts of severe bushfires, according to a team of scientists from Australia and the USA who examined house loss after as a result of Black Saturday

American College of Chest Physicians achieves accreditation with commendation
The American College of Chest Physicians has received Accreditation With Commendation from the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education.

Springer permits commercial use for its hybrid open access program
Springer is bringing Open Choice, its hybrid open access option, into line with the fully open access journals published by BioMed Central and SpringerOpen.

The Encyclopedia of Life announces 2012 Rubenstein Fellows
The Encyclopedia of Life is pleased to announce the new class of 2012 EOL Rubenstein Fellows.

Canada-Australia collaboration to reveal chardonnay's secrets
The University of British Columbia's Wine Research Centre has launched an international collaboration with the Australian Wine Research Institute to sequence the chardonnay grape genome.

Genetics Society of America announces 2012 award recipients
The Genetics Society of America honors five genetics researchers and educators with its 2012 awards, whose research, support of colleagues and contribution to the public understanding of genetics may involve the use of model organisms such as mice, plants, and Drosophila.

Extremely rare turtle released into the wild
The Wildlife Conservation Society, in conjunction with the Cambodian Fisheries Administration and Wildlife Reserves Singapore, announced today the successful release of a Southern River terrapin - one of the most endangered turtles on earth - into the Sre Ambel River in Cambodia.

New medication, surgery may offer relief for patients with psoriatic arthritis
Medications or biologic agents that target T-cells, white blood cells involved in the body's immune system, appear to offer significant benefit to patients suffering from psoriatic arthritis, a type of arthritis that affects up to 48 percent of patients with the skin disease psoriasis, according to a new review article in the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

First link between potentially toxic PFCs in office air and in office workers' blood
In a first-of-its-kind study, scientists are reporting that the indoor air in offices is an important source of worker exposure to potentially toxic substances released by carpeting, furniture, paint and other items.

Museums and national identities
How museums are used and can be used to create a sense of community and identity is the theme for an event as part of the EuNaMus project.

Educational disadvantages associated with race still persist in Brazil despite improvements
Despite notable improvements in educational levels and opportunity during the past three decades, disadvantages associated with race still persist in Brazil, according to new research at the University of Texas at Austin.

Choking game prevalent among teens in Texas
Nearly one out of seven college students surveyed at a Texas university has participated in the Choking Game, a dangerous behavior where blood flow is deliberately cut off to the brain in order to achieve a high, according to a study by The Crime Victims' Institute at Sam Houston State University.

UK death in a home setting on the rise
Although around two thirds of us would prefer to die at home, in the developed world the trend in recent years has been for the majority to spend their final days in an institutional setting.

W&M professor named outstanding scientist for VA
Governor Bob McDonnell and the Science Museum of Virginia have named Chancellor professor John Milliman of the College of William and Mary's Virginia Institute of Marine Science as one of Virginia's Outstanding Scientists for 2012.

New book, 'The Creative Destruction of Medicine,' outlines digital health care revolution
Health care is on the verge of a medical revolution, writes author Dr.

Study shows connection between birth weights and armed conflict
A new study shows pregnant women exposed to armed conflict have a higher risk of giving birth to underweight babies.

Scientists uncover novel mechanism of glioblastoma development
Most research on glioblastoma development, a complicated tumor of the brain with a poor prognosis, has focused on the gene transcription level, but scientists suggest that post-transcriptional regulation could be equally or even more important.

Insects top latest inventory of newly discovered species
More than half of the 19,232 species newly known to science in 2009, the most recent calendar year of compilation, were insects -- 9,738 or 50.6 percent -- according to the 2011 State of Observed Species report released Jan.

Ulcer-causing bacteria baffled by mucus
Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have discovered how certain polymers -- like those found in human mucus and saliva -- make it significantly more difficult for ulcer-causing bacteria to coordinate.

Bacterial toxin may play important role in acute, chronic urinary tract infections
Researchers from the University of Utah have identified a process by which the most common types of urinary tract infection-causing bacteria are able to trigger bladder cell shedding and disable immune responses.

IADR/AADR publish proceedings from the workshop on effective use of fluoride in Asia
The International and American Associations for Dental Research have published the proceedings from the Workshop on Effective Use of Fluoride in Asia, which took place March 22-24, 2011, in Phan-Nga, Thailand.

Unhappy at work? The boss or the company may be to blame
If you are unhappy at work, it could be partly due to your boss' management style. 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