Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 26, 2012
Steroids prevent protein changes seen in the joints of people with rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disease where the body begins to attack the joints and organs of the body.

New therapeutic target to combat liver cancer discovered
Researchers at CIC Biogune, the Cooperative Centre for Research into Biosciences and led by Dr.

Georgetown Lombardi researchers present new findings on head & neck cancers
Georgetown researchers are examining a hypothesis about whether HPV+ patients with a head and neck cancer should receive more or less chemotherapy.

Exploring how a parent's education can affect the mental health of their offspring
Could depression in adulthood be tied to a parent's level of education?

Radiation plus chemotherapy provides long-term positive results for head and neck cancer patients
A select subgroup of advanced head and neck cancer patients treated with radiation therapy plus the chemotherapy drug cisplatin had more positive outcomes than patients treated with radiation therapy alone and continued to show positive results 10 years post-treatment, according to a study presented at the Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Symposium, sponsored by AHNS, ASCO, ASTRO and SNM.

Stop taking steroids: Kidney transplant recipients may not need long-term prednisone
Patients who quickly stop taking the immunosuppressant prednisone after receiving a kidney transplant avoid experiencing serious prednisone-related side effects.

UMass Amherst ecologists among the first to record and study deep-sea fish noises
University of Massachusetts Amherst fish biologists have published one of the first studies of deep-sea fish sounds in more than 50 years, collected from the sea floor about 2,237 feet below the North Atlantic.

Does antimatter weigh more than matter?
Does antimatter weigh more than matter? UC Riverside physicists want to know.

UK researchers shed light on magnetic mystery of graphite
The physical property of magnetism has historically been associated with metals such as iron, nickel and cobalt; however, graphite -- an organic mineral made up of stacks of individual carbon sheets -- has baffled researchers in recent years by showing weak signs of magnetism.

Changing people's behavior: From reducing bullying to training scientists
If you want to change how teenagers view bullying, go to the straight to the source of most school trends: the most connected crowd.

Scientist: Temperate freshwater wetlands are 'forgotten' carbon sinks
A new study comparing the carbon-holding power of freshwater wetlands has produced measurements suggesting that wetlands in temperate regions are more valuable as carbon sinks than current policies imply, according to researchers.

ASU center ensures access to archaeological data that otherwise may be lost
The ASU Center for Digital Antiquity contains the world's largest repository of worldwide archaeology data.

Sharper imaging in glaucoma focus of $1.85 million NIH grant
A University of Houston vision scientist has received a $1.85 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to investigate whether his techniques are more effective than others in understanding the earliest changes of glaucoma, which could lead to developing a way to earlier diagnose this potentially blinding disease.

Viruses con bacteria into working for them
MIT researchers have discovered that certain photosynthetic ocean bacteria need to beware of viruses bearing gifts.

Gatekeeper signal controls skin inflammation
A new study unravels key signals that regulate protective and sometimes pathological inflammation of the skin.

President Obama calls for sustained investment in research
In his State of the Union address, President Barack Obama presented the nation with a new economic blueprint which includes maintaining our commitment to funding research and development that can improve our quality of life.

Oral HPV infection, HPV-related cancers more common in men
Oral HPV infection is more common among men than women, explaining why men are more prone than women to develop an HPV related head and neck cancer, according to a study presented at the Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Symposium, sponsored by AHNS, ASCO, ASTRO and SNM.

Standard treatments for head and neck cancer less effective in HIV-positive patients
Radiation therapy with or without chemotherapy is less effective for patients with HIV when compared to the recurrence and overall survival rates in patients who do not have HIV, according to a study presented at the Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Symposium, sponsored by AHNS, ASCO, ASTRO and SNM.

LITHOSPHERE Highlights: February 2012
he new issue of LITHOSPHERE is online now. Papers present evidence for the on-going re-shaping of the Rocky-Mountain-Colorado Plateau region by young uplift driven from below (mantle buoyancy), research in the Aegean Sea that documents a newly defined extensional fault system, and study of the hydrologic heterogeneity of faulted and fractured sediment layers with implications for similar rocks to affect the flow of moisture downward toward the spent nuclear fuel geologic repository at Yucca Mountain.

Tiny crooners: Male house mice sing songs to impress the girls
Male house mice produce melodious songs to attract mates. Unfortunately for us, because the melodies are in the ultra-sonic range human ears cannot detect them.

Danish health care fast track program reduces cancer patients' treatment, diagnosis wait time
In Denmark, implementing a national fast track system for cancer patients reduced the waiting time between a patient's initial meeting with a health care provider and their first treatment by four weeks when comparing 2010 to 2002, according to a study presented at the Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Symposium, sponsored by AHNS, ASCO, ASTRO and SNM.

Mary Ann Liebert Inc. launches next-generation Web platform
Mary Ann Liebert Inc. announces the launch of its new website, offering streamlined access to over 92,000 articles from 70 high-impact publications.

Life beyond Earth? Underwater caves in Bahamas could give clues, says Texas A&M marine expert
Discoveries made in some underwater caves by Texas &M University at Galveston researchers in the Bahamas could provide clues about how ocean life formed on Earth millions of years ago, and perhaps give hints of what types of marine life could be found on distant planets and moons.

Scientists map 1 of life's molecular mysteries
All living organisms are made up of cells, behind these intricate life forms lie complex cellular processes that allow our bodies to function.

System to deliver organ transplant drug -- without harmful side effects
A new system for delivering a drug to organ transplant patients, which could avoid the risk of harmful side effects, is being developed by scientists at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.

New GEOLOGY articles online Jan. 23
New GEOLOGY articles posted ahead of print examine the role of climate warming in the Permian-Triassic mass extinction, documentation of one of the first examples of land-based magnetic lineations similar to those that characterize sea-floor spreading centers, evidence that the disappearance of the Indus Valley Civilization around 2000 BC may be linked to a rearrangement of river drainage systems, fossil trees from the Cretaceous that reveal the true magnitude of past climate warmth, and more.

New Queen's University research sheds light on gene destruction linked to aggressive prostate cancer
Researchers at Queen's University in Kingston, Canada have identified a possible cause for the loss of a tumor suppressor gene that can lead to the development of more aggressive forms of prostate cancer.

Independent medical device review site Which Medical Device launches new Anaesthetics section
Which Medical Device, the only online review site to provide independent, expert opinion and reviews of medical devices, have launched a new section devoted to Anaesthetic devices.

New lung cancer test predicts survival
In the two largest clinical studies ever conducted on the molecular genetics of lung cancer, an international team led by scientists at the University of California, San Francisco has demonstrated that an available molecular test can predict the likelihood of death from early-stage lung cancer more accurately than conventional methods.

Researchers show how viruses evolve, and in some cases, become deadly
Researchers at Michigan State University have demonstrated how a new virus evolves, shedding light on how easy it can be for diseases to gain dangerous mutations.

Science magazine honors method that teaches essence of experimentation
Priscilla Laws, David Jackson and Scott Franklin are honored for having developed an inquiry-focused curriculum for students who are not majors in science called Explorations in Physics.

Rap music powers rhythmic action of medical sensor
The driving bass rhythm of rap music can be harnessed to power a new type of miniature medical sensor designed to be implanted in the body.

For the birds
Location matters for birds on the hunt for caterpillars, according to researchers at UC Irvine and Wesleyan University.

Diagnostic brain tumor test could revolutionize care of patients
Researchers have developed what they believe to be the first clinical application of a new imaging technique to diagnose brain tumors.

Newly engineered highly transmissible H5N1 strain ignites controversy about balancing scientific discovery and public safety
Below is information about two articles being published early online, the Annals of Internal Medicine website.

URMC finds leukemia cells are 'bad to the bone'
University of Rochester Medical Center researchers have discovered new links between leukemia cells and cells involved in bone formation, offering a fresh perspective on how the blood cancer progresses and raising the possibility that therapies for bone disorders could help in the treatment of leukemia.

Supermaterial goes superpermeable
Wonder material graphene has revealed another of its extraordinary properties -- University of Manchester researchers have found that it is superpermeable with respect to water.

Erlotinib dose-adjusted for smoking status effective as first treatment for head and neck cancer
Head and neck cancers respond well to the anti-cancer drug erlotinib when it is administered before surgery and a stronger dose is given to patients who smoke, according to a study presented at the Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Symposium, sponsored by AHNS, ASCO, ASTRO and SNM.

Commentary in Nature: Can economy bear what oil prices have in store?
The economic pain of a flattening oil supply will trump the environment as a reason to curb the use of fossil fuels, say two scientists, one from the University of Washington and one from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, in the Jan.

Tracking the birth of an evolutionary arms race between HIV-like viruses and primate genomes
Using a combination of evolutionary biology and virology, scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have traced the birth of the ability of some HIV-related viruses to defeat a newly discovered cellular-defense system in primates.

Newer radiation technology improves head and neck cancer patients' long-term quality of life
Patients treated with IMRT for head and neck cancer report an increasingly better quality of life post-treatment when compared to patients receiving other forms of radiation therapy, according to a study presented at the Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Symposium, sponsored by AHNS, ASCO, ASTRO and SNM.

UNH research: US hospitality industry often reluctant to hire people with disabilities
People with disabilities trying to find employment in the US hospitality industry face employers who are often reluctant to hire them because of preconceived notions that they cannot do the job and that they are more costly to employ that people without disabilities, according to new research from the University of New Hampshire.

Muscling in on MS
Tel Aviv University researchers have discovered that specific lab tests for leg muscle endurance and gait are effective in identifying mobility deficits in the first stages of MS -- deficits difficult to discover during standard neurological testing.

Living on the edge: An innovative model of mangrove-hammock boundaries in Florida
University of Miami Ecologist Donald L. DeAngelis, who is also a researcher for the US Geological Survey, has worked with collaborators to develop a novel computer model describing how future hurricanes and sea level rise may trigger changes to South Florida's native coastal forests.

Study: Diabetes affects hearing loss, especially in women
Having diabetes may cause women to experience a greater degree of hearing loss as they age, especially if the metabolic disorder is not well controlled with medication, according to a new study from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

Routine follow-up scans can detect head and neck cancer recurrences earlier
Routine use of positron emission tomography/computed tomography scans in head and neck cancer patient follow-up can detect local recurrences before they become clinically apparent and may improve the outcome of subsequent salvage therapy, according to a study presented at the Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Symposium, sponsored by AHNS, ASCO, ASTRO and SNM.

Notre Dame researchers publish new findings on aging pediatric bruises
A multi-university research group which includes several University of Notre Dame faculty and graduate students, has recently published a paper detailing new work on the analysis and dating of human bruises.

Jostling for position
Another attractive theory falls foul of the facts. A census of trees in rainforests on three continents has confirmed that competition plays a central role in structuring communities.

Mutated Kras spins a molecular loop that launches pancreatic cancer
Scientists have connected two signature characteristics of pancreatic cancer, identifying a self-perpetuating

Mass. Eye and Ear awarded $150,000 grant from Research to Prevent Blindness
Research to Prevent Blindness has granted Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary cornea specialist James Chodosh, M.D., M.P.H., a $150,000 Senior Scientific Investigator Award.

New lung cancer assay is better than all existing methods at predicting survival after surgery for early disease
Research on a new lung cancer assay, published online first by the Lancet, shows it is possible to more accurately predict which patients will be cured by surgery and those who may die within five years of the operation.

Overgrazed grasslands tied to locust outbreaks
Scientists from Arizona State University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences show that insect nutrition and agricultural land management practices may partially explain modern day locust outbreaks.

Survival rates for pediatric bone marrow transplants top in nation
The UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital has the best overall survival rates in the nation for bone marrow transplants, according to a recent independent review of 156 programs nationwide.

Cosmology in a Petri dish
Scientists have found that micron-size particles which are trapped at fluid interfaces exhibit a collective dynamic that is subject to seemingly unrelated governing laws.

Survey suggests family history of psychiatric disorders shapes intellectual interests
Survey results published by Princeton University researchers in the journal PLoS ONE suggest that a family history of psychiatric conditions such as autism and depression could influence the subjects a person finds engaging.

European Geosciences Union General Assembly, April 22-27, 2012, Vienna, Austria
Journalists, science writers, and public information officers can now register online to the 2012 General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union.

Prevalence of oral HPV infection higher among men than women
The overall prevalence of oral human papillomavirus (HPV) infection is approximately 7 percent among men and women ages 14 to 69 years in the United States, while the prevalence among men is higher than among women, according to a study appearing in JAMA.

Oral temperature changes in head and neck cancer patients predicts side effect severity
Slight temperature increases of the oral mucus membranes early in a head and neck cancer patient's chemotherapy and radiation therapy treatment is a predictor of severe mucositis later in treatment, according to a study presented at the Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Symposium, sponsored by AHNS, ASCO, ASTRO and SNM.

MSU researchers show how new viruses evolve, and in some cases, become deadly
In the current issue of Science, researchers at Michigan State University demonstrate how a new virus evolves, which sheds light on how easy it can be for diseases to gain dangerous mutations.

Rice, UCSD scientists probe form, function of mysterious protein
Using computer models and laboratory experiments, scientists from Rice University and the University of California, San Diego have probed the structure of the protein mitoNEET to better understand its role in aging, cancer and diabetes.

Scientists link evolved, mutated gene module to syndromic autism
A team led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine reports that newly discovered mutations in an evolved assembly of genes cause Joubert syndrome, a form of syndromic autism.

Extreme droughts could increase by 15 percent in Spain by the middle of the century
A team at the Polytechnic University of Cartagena has designed a new method for calculating drought trends.

Penn anthropologists clarify link between Asians and early Native-Americans
A tiny mountainous region in southern Siberia may have been the genetic source of the earliest Native Americans, according to new research by a University of Pennsylvania-led team of anthropologists.

Huge potential of NHS junior doctors being ignored
Junior doctors in the NHS are willing and able to help improve health services, but they don't feel valued or heard, reveals the results of a regional survey published online in BMJ Quality and Safety.

Study pinpoints genetic variation that raises a risk linked to bisphosphonates
Researchers at the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine have identified a genetic variation that raises the risk of developing serious necrotic jaw bone lesions in patients who take bisphosphonates, a common class of osteoclastic inhibitors.

Believing the impossible and conspiracy theories
Distrust and paranoia about government has a long history, and the feeling that there is a conspiracy of elites can lead to suspicion for authorities and the claims they make.

Iowa State engineer wants to 'sculpt' more powerful electric motors and generators
Iowa State University's Dionysios Aliprantis is developing several technologies that could improve the performance of electric motors and generators.

Study reveals implications of the incentive to coordinate among bank lenders
Columbia Business School study shows that a bank reacts more to the same piece of news if it knows that other banks have the same information and hence will be reacting to the news as well.

Are you a happy shopper? Research website helps you find out
Psychologists have found that buying experiences makes people happier than possessions, but who spends their spare cash on experiences?

2 in 5 adults with rheumatoid arthritis are physically inactive
A new study, funded by a grant from the National Institute for Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, found that two in five adults with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) were inactive.

Workplace safety program can reduce injuries if aggressively enforced, study finds
A longstanding California occupational safety program requiring all businesses to eliminate workplace hazards can help prevent injuries to workers, but only if it is adequately enforced, according to a new study by the RAND Corporation.

New biodiversity map of the Andes shows species in dire need of protection
A new study published in BioMed Central's open-access journal BMC Ecology has used information collected over the last 100 years by explorers, and from satellite images, which reveals detailed patterns of species and ecosystems that occur only in Andes-Amazon basin of Peru and Bolivia.

Birth after cancer treatment with removal and storage of ovary
For the first time in Germany, a woman has given birth to a child after removal and preservation of tissue from one of her ovaries.

Physician's weight may influence obesity diagnosis and care
A new study suggests that obesity practices and beliefs differ by physician BMI.

Congress told to replace sequestration cuts with alternative to achieve responsible policies
Congress today was told to replace the $1.2 trillion in across-the-board sequestration-mandated budget cuts.

Making sense of sensory connections
A key feature of human and animal brains is that they are adaptive; they are able to change their structure and function based on input from the environment and on the potential associations, or consequences, of that input.

Mutation drives viral sensors to initiate autoimmune disease
A new study uses a mouse model of a human autoimmune disease to reveal how abnormal regulation of the intracellular sensors that detect invading viruses can lead to autoimmune pathology.

Visual nudge improves accuracy of mammogram readings
False negatives and positives plague the reading of mammograms, limiting their usefulness.

NASA infrared satellite instrument sees tropical storm Iggy growing in strength
The AIRS infrared instrument that flies on NASA's Aqua satellite has been providing forecasters with the cloud top temperatures in the Southern Indian Ocean's ninth tropical cyclone, which has officially been renamed Iggy.

CT scans for dizziness in the ER: Worth the cost?
Performing CT scans in the emergency department for patients experiencing dizziness may not be worth the expense -- an important finding from Henry Ford Hospital researchers as hospitals across the country look for ways to cut costs without sacrificing patient care.

NASA satellites see cyclone Funso exiting Mozambique Channel
Powerful Cyclone Funso is now beginning to exit the Mozambique Channel, and NASA's Aqua satellite captured a stunning image of the storm that shows the depth and extent of it.

Detecting detrimental change in coral reefs
Phil Dunstan has watched reefs deteriorate at an alarming rate.

Scottish medical charity and international drug consortium form partnership
Developing World Health, a leading medical charity based in Stirlingshire, Scotland, and committed to developing effective treatments for neglected tropical diseases, has signed a collaboration agreement with the internationally respected Consortium for Parasitic Drug Development, based at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Broad Institute awarded $32.5 million grant to launch new 'Cell Observatory'
The Eli and Edythe L. Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT today announced that it has received a $32.5 million grant from the Boston-based Klarman Family Foundation to support a new collaborative effort focused on deciphering how human cells are wired.

Following genetic footprints out of Africa
A new study, using genetic analysis to look for clues about human migration over sixty thousand years ago, suggests that the first modern humans settled in Arabia on their way from the Horn of Africa to the rest of the world.

Scientists create new atomic X-ray laser
Lab scientists and international collaborators have created the shortest, purest X-ray laser pulses ever achieved, fulfilling a 45-year-old prediction and ultimately opening the door to new medicines, devices and materials.

Catalyzing new uses for diesel by-products
A new catalytic process discovered at Cardiff University could unleash a range of useful new by-products from diesel fuel production.

NIH study shows caffeine consumption linked to estrogen changes
Asian women who consumed an average of 200 milligrams or more of caffeine a day -- the equivalent of roughly two cups of coffee -- had elevated estrogen levels when compared to women who consumed less, according to a study of reproductive age women by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and other institutions.

Berkeley Lab researchers discover critical rotational motion in cells
Berkeley Lab researchers have discovered a rotational motion that plays a critical role in the ability of breast cells to form the spherical structures in the mammary gland known as acini.

Ontario's first cardiac stem cell transplant performed last week at the Peter Munk Cardiac Centre
Peter Munk Cardiac Centre physicians performed the first cardiac stem cell transplant in Ontario, part of the IMPACT-CABG clinical trial, to treat advanced heart failure, using stem cells derived from the patient's bone marrow, isolated within the operating room, and implanted into the heart at the time of coronary bypass surgery.

Cyberknife radiation relieves stabbing pain of facial nerve condition
A technique that delivers highly focused beams of radiation, known as Cyberknife, can relieve the stabbing pain of the facial nerve condition trigeminal neuralgia, indicates a small study published online in the Journal of NeuroInterventional Surgery.

New seismology research on Haiti, slow earthquakes and the southern San Andreas Fault
The following articles will appear in the February issue of BSSA: the island of Hispaniola may be entering a new cycle of seismicity, a comparison of slow slip events and earthquakes and a revised perspective on the southern San Andreas Fault.

Multiple births lead to weight gain and other problems for mouse moms and male offspring
Study in model that mimics human effects of multiparity (giving birth more than once) finds mouse moms who gave birth four times accrued significantly more fat vs. primiparous females (those giving birth once) of similar age.

ASH opposes mandatory sickle cell trait screening for athletics, recommends training interventions
The American Society of Hematology, the world's largest professional society concerned with the causes and treatment of blood disorders, today issued a policy statement opposing mandatory screening of athletes for sickle cell trait as a prerequisite to athletic participation and urging athletics programs to adopt universal preventive interventions in their training programs to protect athletes from exertion-related illness and death.

Columbia Business School's Andreas Mueller awarded 2012 Arnbergska prize
Prof. Mueller was awarded for research that presents evidence that in recessions, the pool of unemployed shifts towards high-wage workers.

Following the first steps out of Africa
A new study uses genetic analysis to look for clues about the migration of the first modern humans who moved out of Africa more than 60,000 years ago.

How seawater could corrode nuclear fuel
Japan used seawater to cool nuclear fuel at the stricken Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear plant after the tsunami in March 2011 -- and that was probably the best action to take at the time, says Professor Alexandra Navrotsky at UC Davis.

JTCC brings leading experts to present 2011 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium research
The Breast Cancer Division of the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, one of the nation's top 50 cancer centers, will recap and explain research from the 2011 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium on Friday, Feb.

In the brain, an earlier sign of autism
In their first year of life, babies who will go on to develop autism already show different brain responses when someone looks at or away from them.

Our explosive sun
In the image-filled book,

IRCM researchers fuel an important debate in the field of molecular biology
Dr. François Robert, molecular biology researcher at the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal, and his team confirmed that the phosphorylation of RNA polymerase II, a key enzyme in the process of gene expression, is uniform across all genes.

Scripps research scientists illuminate cancer cells' survival strategy
A team led by scientists at the Scripps Research Institute has discovered key elements of a strategy commonly used by tumor cells to survive when they spread to distant organs.

Cell Press launches a new open-access journal, Cell Reports
Cell Press reinforces its commitment to provide a broad range of publishing options for the life sciences community with the inaugural issue of a new open-access journal: Cell Reports.

Grape seed extract kills head and neck cancer cells, leaves healthy cells unharmed
A study published this week in the journal Carcinogenesis shows that in both cell lines and mouse models, grape seed extract kills head and neck squamous cell carcinoma cells, while leaving healthy cells unharmed.

NIH launches trials to evaluate CPR and drugs after sudden cardiac arrest
The National Institutes of Health has launched two multi-site clinical trials to evaluate treatments for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

Report spotlights Sandia Lab's impact on the economy
Sandia National Laboratories spent close to $1 billion overall on the procurement of goods and services in fiscal year 2011, and small businesses across the nation were awarded more than half those dollars, $540 million or 59 percent, according to the Labs' latest economic impact report.

Research finds newer radiation therapy technology improves patients' quality of life
Patients with head and neck cancers who have been treated with newer, more sophisticated radiation therapy technology enjoy a better quality of life than those treated with older radiation therapy equipment, a study by UC Davis researchers has found.

Official patient complaints about health care 'tip of the iceberg'
Official complaints about health care are likely to be the

LED lights point shoppers in the right direction
Looking for an item in a large department store or mall can be like searching for a needle in a haystack, but that could change thanks to a hybrid location-identification system that uses radio frequency transmitters and overhead LED lights, suggested by a team of researchers from Penn State and Hallym University in South Korea. 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