Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 25, 2012
Engineered bacteria effectively target tumors, enabling tumor imaging potential in mice
Tumor-targeted bioluminescent bacteria have been shown for the first time to provide accurate 3D images of tumors in mice, further advancing the potential for targeted cancer drug delivery

Scientists aboard Iberian coast ocean drilling expedition report early findings
Mediterranean bottom currents and the sediment deposits they leave behind offer new insights into global climate change, the opening and closing of ocean circulation gateways and locations where hydrocarbon deposits may lie buried under the sea.

Pycnogenol (French maritime pine bark extract) shown to improve visible signs of aging in new study
Natural supplement Pycnogenol, an antioxidant plant extract from the bark of the French maritime pine tree, was found to improve skin hydration and elasticity in women in a clinical trial published this month in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology.

An invitation to Europe's largest forum on breast cancer
The 8th European Breast Cancer Conference will take place in Vienna, Austria on March 21-24, 2012.

Chemists synthesize artificial cell membrane
Chemists have taken an important step in making artificial life forms from scratch.

Will you have a heart attack or stroke?
Your risk of having a heart attack or stroke may be worse than you think.

Brachytherapy reduced death rates in high-risk prostate cancer patients, study finds
A population-based analysis looking at almost 13,000 cases revealed that men who received brachytherapy alone or in combination with external beam radiation therapy had significantly reduced mortality rates.

Young Americans recognize the impact of innovation on US economy according to survey
The 2012 Lemelson-MIT Invention Index indicates that young Americans are acutely aware of the importance of invention and innovation in their personal lives, and within the context of the nation's economy.

Clinical technique sets new standard for speed in battle to prevent pandemic infection
A new diagnosis technique developed by researchers at the RIKEN Omics Science Center has succeeded in detecting influenza virus infection in only 40 minutes and with 100 times the sensitivity of conventional methods.

Grafted watermelon plants take in more pesticides
The widely used farm practice of grafting watermelon and other melon plants onto squash or pumpkin rootstocks results in larger amounts of certain pesticides in the melon fruit, scientists are reporting in a new study.

New standard for vitamin D testing to ensure accurate test results
At a time of increasing concern about low vitamin D levels in the world's population and increased use of blood tests for the vitamin, scientists are reporting development of a much-needed reference material to assure that measurements of vitamin D levels are accurate.

Working too much is correlated with 2-fold increase in likelihood of depression
The odds of a major depressive episode are more than double for those working 11 or more hours a day compared to those working seven to eight hours a day.

White roofs to make for cooler Melbourne buildings
New research launched by the City of Melbourne and University of Melbourne today will give buildings owners across Melbourne access to information that can help their buildings absorb less heat and stay cooler during hot days.

CU-Boulder-led team to assess decline of Arctic sea ice in Alaska's Beaufort Sea
A national research team led by the University of Colorado Boulder is embarking on a two-year, multi-pronged effort to better understand the impacts of environmental factors associated with the continuing decline of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean.

Journal of American Dietetic Association becomes Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics announce that the Journal of the American Dietetic Association has become the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, mirroring the name change of the association on behalf of which it is published.

Injecting sulfate particles into stratosphere won't fully offset climate change
New research demonstrates that one suggested method of geoengineering the atmosphere to deal with climate change, injecting sulfate particles into the stratosphere, probably would have limited success.

With a little help from our ancient friends
The social networks of the Hadza, a group of hunter-gatherers in Tanzania, show evidence that many elements of social network structure may have been present at an early point in human history; that early humans may have formed ties with both kin and non-kin, based in part on their tendency to cooperate; and that social networks may have contributed to the emergence of cooperation.

The wild early lives of today's most massive galaxies
Using the APEX telescope, astronomers have found the strongest link so far between the most powerful bursts of star formation in the early Universe, and the most massive galaxies found today.

Study: Adolescents from unstable families lose ground in rigorous high schools
Research continues to support a connection between instability in the home and school performance in adolescents, but a new study in the January issue of Sociology of Education takes the research a step further by exploring how the relationship between family structure change and adolescent academic careers is also affected by the kinds of schools they attend.

A leukemia drug kills cancerous T-cells while sparing normal immunity
Researchers report that low-dose Campath (alemtuzumab) not only treats patients with L-CTCL but does so without increasing their risk of infections.

Research shows genes influence criminal behavior
University of Texas at Dallas criminologist Dr. J.C. Barnes has researched connections between genes and an individual's propensity for crime.

CDC reports that unexplained skin condition is non-infectious, not linked to environmental cause
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has completed a comprehensive study of an unexplained skin condition commonly referred to as Morgellons.

2012 Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine
The 2012 Louis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine is awarded to the German specialist in systems biology Matthias Mann, Director of the Department of Proteomics and Signal Transduction at the Max-Planck-Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried, and to the British biologist Fiona Powrie, Sidney Truelove Professor of Gastroenterology at the University of Oxford and Head of the Experimental Medicine Division of the Nuffield Department of Medicine at the John Radcliffe Hospital, University of Oxford.

Scientists create first atomic X-ray laser
Scientists have created the shortest, purest X-ray laser pulses ever achieved, fulfilling a 45-year-old prediction and opening the door to a new range of scientific discovery.

Lawrence Livermore physicist John Edwards elected 2011 Fellow of American Physical Society
John Edwards, associate program director for inertial confinement fusion and high energy density science at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, has been selected as a 2011 American Physical Society fellow.

Being ignored hurts, even by a stranger
Feeling like you're part of the gang is crucial to the human experience.

Scientists create first free-standing 3-D cloak
Researchers in the US have, for the first time, cloaked a three-dimensional object standing in free space, bringing the much-talked-about invisibility cloak one step closer to reality.

Microbubbles provide new boost for biofuel production
A solution to the difficult issue of harvesting algae for use as a biofuel has been developed using microbubble technology pioneered at the University of Sheffield.

Fighting poverty together: Open Repository partners with Oxfam
Today, Oxfam GB adopts

Mechanism sheds light on how the brain adapts to stress
Scientists now have a better understanding of the way that stress impacts the brain.

More than 7,500-year-old fish traps found in Russia
A team of international archeologists, led by the Spanish National Research Council, has documented a series of more than 7,500-year-old fish seines and traps near Moscow.

NASA sees development of tropical storm 09S in southern Indian Ocean
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the low pressure system called System 97S on Jan.

Studies on smoking cessation in ethnic minorities
Telephone counseling services (also known as quitlines) are an effective intervention for Chinese-, Korean-, and Vietnamese-speaking smokers living in the US, and should be incorporated into current smoking cessation services, according to a study published Jan.

High animal fat diet increases gestational diabetes risk
Women who consumed a diet high in animal fat and cholesterol before pregnancy were at higher risk for gestational diabetes than women whose diets were lower in animal fat and cholesterol, according to researchers at the National Institutes of Health and Harvard University.

Reserve your place at the largest bone event in Europe
Join the International Osteoporosis Foundation and the European Society for Clinical and Economic Aspects of Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis at the European Congress on Osteoporosis & Osteoarthritis and the 2nd IOF-ESCEO Pre-Clinical Symposium.

Strategic research plan needed to help avoid potential risks of nanomaterials
Despite extensive investment in nanotechnology and increasing commercialization over the last decade, insufficient understanding remains about the environmental, health, and safety aspects of nanomaterials.

In schizophrenia research, a path to the brain through the nose
A significant obstacle to progress in understanding psychiatric disorders is the difficulty in obtaining living brain tissue for study so that disease processes can be studied directly.

Avastin, Sutent increase breast cancer stem cells, U-M study shows
Cancer treatments designed to block the growth of blood vessels were found to increase the number of cancer stem cells in breast tumors in mice, suggesting a possible explanation for why these drugs don't lead to longer survival, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Protein in the brain could be a key target in controlling Alzheimer's
A protein recently discovered in the brain by Temple University researchers could play a key role in the development of Alzheimer's disease, as well as be a validated target for a potential Alzheimer drug or therapy.

Cardiologists suggest patient-centered approach to replacing implantable cardioverter-defibrillators
More than 100,000 implantable cardioverter-defibrillators are implanted in the United States annually, fully a quarter of those are generator replacements simply because the battery is depleted.

Middle-age risk factors drive greater lifetime risk for heart disease
A new study in today's New England Journal of Medicine reports that while an individual's risk of heart disease may be low in the next five or 10 years, the lifetime risk could still be very high, findings that could have implications for both clinical practice and public health policy.

Elsevier's Maturitas publishes position statement on the role of vitamin D in postmenopausal women
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, announced today the publication of a position statement by the European Menopause and Andropause Society in the journal Maturitas on the role of vitamin D in postmenopausal women with summary recommendations.

Sensor sensibility -- better protection for concrete coastal structures
Innovative sensors have been developed that will dramatically improve the ability to spot early warning signs of corrosion in concrete.

Recent study by Mars, Incorporated and partners underscores importance of metabolism in understanding health benefits of cocoa flavanols
A comprehensive investigation of flavanol absorption and metabolism has provided a critical step forward in our understanding of how cocoa flavanols work in the body to exert their circulatory and cardiovascular benefits.

Appetite accomplice: Ghrelin receptor alters dopamine signaling
New research reveals a fascinating and unexpected molecular partnership within the brain neurons that regulate appetite.

'DIMming' cancer growth -- STAT: Diindolylmethane suppresses ovarian cancer
Ovarian cancer is a major cause of death worldwide. The novel anti-cancer drug diindolylmethane (DIM) has been shown in laboratory to inhibit the growth of ovarian cancer cells.

Blood-forming stem cells' growth identified in first breakthrough from new institute
Scientists with the new Children's Research Institute at UT Southwestern Medical Center have identified the environment in which blood-forming stem cells survive and thrive within the body, an important step toward increasing the safety and effectiveness of bone-marrow transplantation.

Coastal storms have long-reaching effects, study says
Coastal storms are known to cause serious damage along the shoreline, but they also cause significant disruption of the deep-sea ecosystem as well.

Warning over cost of asthma caused by traffic-related air pollution
The total cost of asthma due to traffic-related air pollution is much higher than previous estimates, according to new research.

New GSA Bulletin research posted ahead of print in January
New GSA Bulletin postings discuss how subsurface data can be used to understand the form and origin of giant submarine landslides, give new clues to the tectonic history of the Eastern Cordillera, present an alternative theory on how the mountains along the Atlantic margin of northeastern Brazil formed long after the opening of the South Atlantic, integrate several kinds of geological dating for Upper Cretaceous rocks from the Pacific Coast of North America, and more.

Asthma rate and costs from traffic-related air pollution are much higher than once believed
A research team led by University of Massachusetts Amherst resource economist Sylvia Brandt, with colleagues in California and Switzerland, have revised the cost burden sharply upward for childhood asthma and for the first time include the number of cases attributable to air pollution.

Princeton research: Hurricane Katrina survivors struggle with mental health years later
Survivors of Hurricane Katrina have struggled with poor mental health for years after the storm, according to a new study of low-income mothers in the New Orleans area.

Aiding cancer therapy by mathematically modeling tumor-immune interactions
A paper published last month in the SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics proposes a differential equation model to describe tumor-immune interactions.

High school whiz kids may face reading comprehension issues in university
Everyone knows a high-school high achiever who has floundered in university.

Kaiser Permanente study finds Gardasil does not trigger autoimmune conditions after vaccination
Gardasil, the human papillomavirus vaccine that is now recommended for male and female adolescents and young adults, does not trigger autoimmune conditions such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, Type 1 diabetes or multiple sclerosis after vaccination in young women, according to a new study in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

Rapid urbanization as well as cultural habits explain Gulf states' rise in heart disease prevalence
While the rapid improvement in socioeconomic conditions is thought responsible for the high rates of cardiovascular disease in the Gulf states, deep-rooted cultural factors also play a part.

Researchers discover method to unravel malaria's genetic secrets
Researchers at National Jewish Health have devised a technique to overcome a genetic oddity of Plasmodium falciparum, the major cause of human malaria, which has stymied research into the organism's genes.

Love design? NJIT's free architecture lectures featuring top pros are the ticket
Check your calendars so as not to miss one of NJIT's famous free architecture lectures scheduled from February through April.

IBD travelers are not at higher risk of contracting intestinal infections
Inflammatory bowel disease travelers have an increased risk of illness during trips to industrialized countries, but not to developing or tropical regions.

Prenatal testosterone linked to increased risk of language delay for male infants, study shows
New research by Australian scientists reveals that males who are exposed to high levels of testosterone before birth are twice as likely to experience delays in language development compared to females.

Genetic screens bring new hope for tackling sleeping sickness
Research led by scientists at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has exploited a revolutionary genetic technique to discover how human African Trypanosomiasis drugs target the parasite which causes the disease.

Gladstone scientists identify protein that contributes to symptoms of Parkinson's disease
Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes, an independent and nonprofit biomedical-research organization, have identified a protein that exacerbates symptoms of Parkinson's disease -- a discovery that could one day lead to new treatments for people who suffer from this devastating neurodegenerative illness.

American Academy of Neurology: Neurologists should ask patients about abuse
A new position statement issued by the American Academy of Neurology calls on neurologists to begin screening their patients for abusive or violent treatment by family, caretakers or others.

State of the Union speech: Promising outlook for research and innovation
Research!America's Board chair, former Congressman John Edward Porter (R-Ill.), applauds President Obama's commitment to protect our nation's investment in basic research.

Attack or retreat? Circuit links hunger and pursuit in sea slug brain
If you were a blind, cannibalistic sea slug, living among others just like you, nearly every encounter with another creature would require a simple cost/benefit calculation: Should I eat that -- or flee?

CAMH discovery identifies potential target for anti-craving medications
Scientists at the Center for Addiction and Mental Health have identified a potential target for the development of anti-craving medications for people with addictions to stimulants such as methamphetamine.

Olivucci models potential of toxic algae photoreceptors
Blue-green algae is causing havoc in Midwestern lakes, but researchers are using supercomputers to study a closely related strain of the toxic cyanobacteria to harness its beneficial properties.

Mayo Clinic finds mild cognitive impairment is common, affects men most
Researchers involved in the Mayo Clinic Study of Aging reported today that more than 6 percent of Americans age 70 to 89 develop mild cognitive impairment every year.

Prostate cancer screening and treatment decisions must act on evidence, not beliefs
Physicians advising men whether to be screened for prostate cancer with a PSA test must rely more on available evidence when recommending screening, biopsies and treatments rather than long held beliefs that PSA-based testing is beneficial for all, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center prostate expert Marc B.

Dr. Brian Druker honored with Japan Prize
Oregon Health & Science University congratulates Brian J. Druker, M.D., who has been awarded the 2012 Japan Prize in Healthcare and Medical Technology for his pioneering role in targeted cancer drugs.

Researchers induce Alzheimer's neurons from pluripotent stem cells
Led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, scientists have, for the first time, created stem cell-derived, in vitro models of sporadic and hereditary Alzheimer's disease, using induced pluripotent stem cells from patients with the much-dreaded neurodegenerative disorder.

Queen's study shows the rights of people with disabilities are not being promoted
Historic legal rulings did not protect the rights of persons with disabilities, while legal rulings concerned with race or gender provided much more protection of individual rights and freedoms according to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms Queen's University Ph.D. student Christopher A.

How the Big Three forgot Accounting 101
The Big Three were so driven by short-term profits that they forgot - or ignored - basic accounting practices that could have helped guard against production decisions with long-term damage, according to an award-winning study by Michigan State University and Maastricht University in the Netherlands.

Geosphere science posted online ahead of print -- Jan. 12-23
New Geosphere research posted online ahead of print interprets the Eocene-Early Miocene paleotopography of Nevada, examines the origin of the Colorado Mineral Belt, compares mountain building processes in Alaska, uncovers more about the dynamic Antarctic ice from the AND-1B borehole, and more.

World's most powerful X-ray laser creates 2-million-degree matter
Researchers working at the US Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have used the world's most powerful X-ray laser to create and probe a 2-million-degree piece of matter in a controlled way for the first time.

Could Alzheimer's disease be diagnosed with a simple blood test?
Spanish researchers have uncovered a new promising way to diagnose Alzheimer's disease more accurately.

PNNL recognized for technology transfer
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is receiving a Federal Laboratory Consortium award for bringing a lab-developed technology that improves research sample analysis to the marketplace.

2012 SSR Annual Meeting: Call for abstracts
The Society for the Study of Reproduction invites you to submit an abstract for presentation at the 45th SSR Annual Meeting to be held in State College, Pa., Aug.

Mathematics confirm the chaos of the Spanish labor market
Unemployment time series in Spain behave in a chaotic way according to a study at the University of Seville.

New fluorescent dyes highlight neuronal activity
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have created a new generation of fast-acting fluorescent dyes that optically highlight electrical activity in neuronal membranes.

Geoscience Online Learning Initiative webinar on critical and strategic minerals
The American Geosciences Institute in coordination with the American Institute of Professional Geologists presents the second webinar as a part of the Geoscience Online Learning Initiative.

Major Tropical Cyclone Funso analyzed by 2 NASA satellites
Tropical Cyclone Funso is now a dangerous Category four cyclone in the Mozambique Channel, moving southward between Mozambique on the African mainland and the island nation of Madagascar.

Study: Men at higher risk for mild memory loss than women
Men may be at higher risk of experiencing mild cognitive impairment, or the stage of mild memory loss that occurs between normal aging and dementia, than women, according to a study published in the Jan.

Deaths from heart attacks halved in last decade
The death rate from heart attack in England has halved in the last decade, claims a research paper published today on bmj.com.

Autism Speaks' first Philip and Faith Geier Autism Environmental Sciences Research grant
The Autism Speaks Philip and Faith Geier Autism Research Grant in Environmental Sciences honors Phil Geier and his late wife, Faith.

LA BioMed's Dr. John Torday examines evolution from a cellular perspective
The evolutionary processes of unicellular and multicellular organisms are continually under debate.

Corvette coupe raises $125,000 for cancer investigations at TGen
Auction of a 1993 Chevrolet Corvette 40th Anniversary coupe raised $125,000 at the 41st Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale Auction, benefiting cancer research at the Translational Genomics Research Institute.

NASA renames earth-observing mission in honor of satellite pioneer
NASA has renamed its newest Earth-observing satellite in honor of the late Verner E.

Barley adapts to climate change
The upsurge in droughts is one of the main consequences of climate change, and affects crops in particular.

Capsules that clean: New-look laundry detergents head for supermarket shelves
Consumers who remember laundry detergents from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s are about to get deja vu -- and younger people quite a surprise -- as detergent manufacturers try a major repackaging of their products.

Limiting protein or certain amino acids before surgery may reduce risk of surgical complications
Limiting certain essential nutrients for several days before surgery -- either protein or amino acids -- may reduce the risk of serious surgical complications such as heart attack or stroke, according to a new Harvard School of Public Health study.

Tsunami debris survey launched northwest of Midway
The area northwest of Midway is now being monitored by drifting buoys deployed in a project of a team of scientists from the International Pacific Research Center of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, the University of Hawaii at Hilo, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the Ocean Recovery Alliance.

Biochemistry community commends president's focus on basic research
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology President Suzanne Pfeffer responds to President Obama's State of the Union address.

Jupiter's 'Trojans' on an atomic scale
The Bohr Model describes the atom as a nucleus circled by electrons, much like a star circled by planets -- but quantum theory taught us that particles do not travel on well-defined trajectories but behave as a quantum wave.

Scorpions inspire scientists in making tougher surfaces for machinery
Taking inspiration from the yellow fattail scorpion, which uses a bionic shield to protect itself against scratches from desert sandstorms, scientists have developed a new way to protect the moving parts of machinery from wear and tear.

Adolescents with autism spend free time using solitary, screen-based media
Children with autism spectrum disorders tend to be fascinated by screen-based technology.

Vesta likely cold and dark enough for ice
Though generally thought to be quite dry, roughly half of the giant asteroid Vesta is expected to be so cold and to receive so little sunlight that water ice could have survived there for billions of years, according to the first published models of Vesta's average global temperatures and illumination by the sun.

Bringing programming and aviation know-how together to create safer flight systems
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute computer scientist Carlos Varela has received seed funding from the US Air Force to help make flight data as updated, active, and accurate as possible.

Young adults responded well to swine flu
About one in five young adults in their late 30's received a flu shot during the 2009-2010 swine flu epidemic, a University of Michigan study released today says.

Optimal basketball shooting rate proposed based on mathematical model
NBA players may be too conservative with their shots, according to a comparison with a theoretical model describing shot selection reported Jan.

Elevated risk factors linked to major cardiovascular disease events across a lifetime
In one of the largest-ever analyses of lifetime risks for cardiovascular disease (CVD), researchers have found that middle-aged adults who have one or more elevated traditional risk factors for CVD, such as high blood pressure, have a substantially greater chance of having a major CVD event, such as heart attack or stroke, during their remaining lifetime than people with optimal levels of risk factors.
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