Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 31, 2012
Targeting malaria hotspots key to reducing transmission
In this week's PLoS Medicine, Teun Bousema of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK and colleagues argue that targeting malaria

Researchers visualize the development of Parkinson's cells
In the US alone, at least 500,000 people suffer from Parkinson's disease, a neurological disorder that affects a person's ability to control his or her movement.

Norovirus is the leading cause of infection outbreaks in US hospitals
Norovirus, a pathogen that often causes food poisoning and gastroenteritis, was responsible for 18.2 percent of all infection outbreaks and 65 percent of ward closures in US hospitals during a two-year period, according to a new study published in the February issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of APIC - the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

Gene linked to pancreatic cancer growth, U-M study finds
A mutant protein found in nearly all pancreatic cancers plays a role not only in the cancer's development but in its continued growth, according to a new study from University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers.

NSABB and H5N1 redactions: Biosecurity runs up against scientific endeavor
In response to recent actions of the US National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity, which recommended that two scientific journals withhold crucial details in upcoming reports about experiments with a novel strain of the bird flu virus, H5N1, the American Society for Microbiology will publish a special series of commentaries by prominent scientists, including the acting chair of the NSABB, in its online, open-access journal, mBio.

New hypertension treatment device category created by Britain's National Health Service
From today, RESPeRATE, the $300 respiratory modulator clinically-proven to lower blood pressure becomes the first non-drug hypertension treatment to be reimbursed by UK's National Health Service Drug Tariff under a newly created sub-section 'Devices for the adjunctive treatment of hypertension.

Commercial electronic prescribing systems can reduce medication errors in hospital patients
A study published in this week's PLoS Medicine shows that commercial electronic prescribing systems (commonly known as e-prescribing, in which prescribers use a computer to order medications for their patients through a system with the help of prompts, aids, and alerts) could substantially reduce prescribing error rates in hospital in-patients.

Women not following through with recommended breast screening MRI
A study of 64,659 women, recently published in the journal Academic Radiology, found that while 1,246 of these women were at high enough breast cancer risk to recommend additional screening with MRI, only 173 of these women returned to the clinic within a year for the additional screening.

Research from the 2012 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium highlights new treatments, compares existing therapies for prostate cancer
Research on promising new therapies and data on the relative benefits of established treatments for prostate cancer were released today, in advance of the fourth annual Genitourinary Cancers Symposium, being held Feb.

New GSA resources lay foundation for relieving seniors' pain
The pain suffered by older adults is the shared focus of the two newest entries in the Gerontological Society of America's

Genes linked to cancer could be easier to detect with liquid lasers
Using a liquid laser, University of Michigan researchers have developed a better way to detect the slight genetic mutations that might predispose a person to a particular type of cancer or other diseases.

New species of ancient crocodile discovered
A University of Missouri researcher has identified a new species of prehistoric crocodile.

5 US urban counties lead 'Terror Hot Spots' list, but rural areas not exempt
Five urban counties lead the list of US terror

Authors of new book reveal the artist behind architect Le Corbusier
The exhaustive research carried out by the authors provides valuable new insight into the aesthetic principles of Le Corbusier during the post World-War-II period.

People who retire early due to back problems face long-term financial disadvantage
Back problems are a highly prevalent health issue, and people with the condition have a significantly greater chance of retiring early from the workforce, much more so than for any other health condition.

Sporting event ads viewed favorably - especially if the game is close
The average price for a 30-second advertising spot in the 2012 Super Bowl on Feb.

The future of Fermilab
In this month's Physics World, reviews and careers editor, Margaret Harris, visits the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory to explore what future projects are in the pipeline now that the Tevatron particle accelerator has closed for good.

Facebook can get you fired: UC research reveals the perils of social networking for school employees
In a January publication for Ohio educators, a University of Cincinnati researcher highlights a top-10 list of recommendations for schools as they consider the legal implications of social media.

Weightlessness weighs heavy on genes -- a fly's perspective
New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Genomics has used diamagnetic levitation to counteract the effects of gravity on the fruit fly and found that the expression of several genes was affected.

NIH to join multi-center clinical trial of new tuberculosis vaccine
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the United States National Institutes of Health, has joined as a partner for a Phase II proof-of-concept clinical trial of a tuberculosis vaccine candidate jointly developed by Aeras and Dutch biopharmaceutical company Crucell.

Online news portals get credibility boost from trusted sources
People who read news on the web tend to trust the gate even if there is no gatekeeper, according to Penn State researchers.

Pairing masks and hand washing could drastically slow spread of pandemic flu
Masks and hand hygiene could cut the spread of flu-like symptoms up to 75 percent, a University of Michigan study found.

Moonlighting enzyme works double shift 24/7
A team of researchers led by Michigan State University has discovered an overachieving plant enzyme that works both the day and night shifts.

IBEX probe glimpses interstellar neighborhood
Space scientists, including researchers from Los Alamos National Laboratory, today described the first detailed analyses of captured interstellar neutral atoms -- raw material for the formation of new stars, planets and even human beings.

Study finds substantial variability in rate of additional surgery after partial mastectomy
Nearly one in four women who undergo a partial mastectomy for treatment of breast cancer have another surgery to remove additional tissue (reexcision), and there is substantial surgeon and institutional variation in the rate of reexcisions that cannot be explained by patients' clinical characteristics, according to a study in the Feb.

'Your password is invalid': Improving website password practices
Internet users are increasingly asked to register with a user name and password before being able to access the content of many sites.

Massachusetts General study defines a new genetic subtype of lung cancer
Investigators at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center have defined the role of a recently identified gene abnormality - rearrangements in the ROS1 gene - in a deadly form of lung cancer.

Risks of pregnancy via egg donation similar for women over age 50 as for younger women
Although women over age 50 who become pregnant via egg donation are at an elevated risk for developing obstetrical complications, their complication rates are similar to those of younger recipients, according to a study by Columbia University Medical Center researchers to be published in the February 2012 issue of the American Journal of Perinatology.

UCSF School of Medicine leaders explore bioinformatics in research, patient care and education
The amount of data that health care providers and scientists collect from patients and research participants is growing explosively.

Final agenda now available for CRF meeting on chronic total occlusions and left main interventions
The Complex PCI: Left Main and CTO Summit is a three-day conference featuring state-of-the-art technologies, research findings and new developments in therapeutic procedures essential for interventional cardiologists to optimize success in chronic total coronary occlusions and left main coronary interventions.

Boston University researchers develop novel drug delivery system
A team of researchers led by Boston University biomedical engineer and chemist Mark Grinstaff has developed a unique material and drug delivery mechanism that could pave the way for implants that release a drug at a designated rate for months.

Satellite study reveals critical habitat and corridors for world's rarest gorilla
Conservationists working in Central Africa to save the world's rarest gorilla have good news: the Cross River gorilla has more suitable habitat than previously thought, including vital corridors that, if protected, can help the great apes move between sites in search of mates, according to the North Carolina Zoo, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and other groups.

Rensselaer Professor Ryan Gilbert receives NSF CAREER award
Ryan Gilbert, assistant professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has won a prestigious Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation.

IBEX team, UNH scientist present mission findings today at NASA press conference
Space scientists, including researchers from the University of New Hampshire, today described the first detailed analyses of samples of captured interstellar neutral atoms -- raw material for the formation of new stars, planets, and human beings.

NASA sees strong thunderstorms still surround Cyclone Iggy's center
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Iggy on Jan.

Mass. Life Sciences Center grant expands Dana-Farber's cancer imaging research
The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center has awarded Dana-Farber Cancer Institute a $10 million grant to support the expansion of its pioneering cancer imaging research program.

Exercise can improve the health and wellbeing of cancer patients
Exercise can improve the health of cancer patients who have completed their main cancer-related treatment finds a study published on

Twinkle, twinkle kidney stone: With a push you could be gone
What would happen if an astronaut developed kidney stones during a mission?

Automated cDNA preparation system accelerates CAGE analysis on a single molecule sequence
Researchers at the RIKEN Omics Science Center have developed a robotic workflow for sample preparation on the HeliScope single molecule sequencer which drastically reduces sample preparation time to from 42 days to only eight days.

New agent improves kidney transplant survival in mice, likely to speed replacement of other organs
New research published online in the FASEB Journal details a new antibody, called

Men more likely to have an accurate memory of unpleasant experiences
A woman's memory of an experience is less likely to be accurate than a man's if it was unpleasant and emotionally provocative, according to research undertaken by University of Montreal researchers at Louis-H Lafontaine Hospital.

National Foundation for Cancer Research funds critical TGen-UA cancer research
The Translational Genomics Research Institute and the University of Arizona have received a three-year, $600,000 grant to study targeted cancer therapies from the National Foundation for Cancer Research.

New drug extends survival in patients with drug-resistant prostate cancer
A new drug, MDV3100, is improving the survival rate in men with advanced prostate cancer, results of a large, Phase III clinical trial show.

How do you fight fire in space? Experiments provide some answers
Improving fire-fighting techniques in space and getting a better understanding of fuel combustion here on Earth are the focus of a series of experiments on the International Space Station, led by a professor at the Jacobs School of Engineering at the University of California, San Diego.

ACCF/AATS/SCAI/STS release consensus document to help guide use of minimally invasive heart therapy
With the USFood and Drug Administration's recent approval of transcatheter aortic valve replacement for patients with aortic valvular stenosis, the American College of Cardiology Foundation, along with the American Association for Thoracic Surgery, the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions and the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, today released an expert consensus document to provide important guidance on its use.

Book explores worldwide resonance of heavy metal
Music has been described as the

College reduces odds for marriage among disadvantaged
For those with few social advantages, college is a prime pathway to financial stability, but it also unexpectedly lowers their odds of ever marrying, according to a study by Cornell University sociologist Kelly Musick being published in the February issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family.

Stimulation of brain hormone action may improve pneumonia survival
An international research team may have found a way to block a second wave of death that can result from pneumonia treatment.

ORNL microscopy reveals 'atomic antenna' behavior in graphene
Atomic-level defects in graphene could be a path forward to smaller and faster electronic devices.

Are diet soft drinks bad for you?
Individuals who drink diet soft drinks on a daily basis may be at increased risk of suffering vascular events such as stroke, heart attack, and vascular death.

Researchers identify key peptides that could lead to a universal vaccine for influenza
Researchers at the University of Southampton, University of Oxford and Retroscreen Virology Ltd have discovered a series of peptides, found on the internal structures of influenza viruses that could lead to the development of a universal vaccine for influenza, one that gives people immunity against all strains of the disease, including seasonal, avian, and swine flu.

Perfect nanotubes shine brightest
A painstaking study by Rice University has brought a wealth of new information about single-walled carbon nanotubes through analysis of their fluorescence.

IBEX spacecraft measures 'alien' particles from outside solar system
Using data from NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer spacecraft, an international team of researchers has measured neutral

Gene mutation is linked to accumulation of fat, other lipids in liver
A team of scientists from the University of Utah and the University of California at San Francisco has discovered that the mutation of a gene encoding a ketone body transporter triggers accumulation of fat and other lipids in the livers of zebrafish.

Honey could be effective at treating and preventing wound infections
Manuka honey could help clear chronic wound infections and even prevent them from developing in the first place, according to a new study published in Microbiology.

IBEX: Glimpses of the interstellar material beyond our solar system
NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer, known as IBEX for short, methodically measures samples of the mysterious neighborhood beyond our home.

University of Leicester researchers lead on new autism study published today
Britain's first adult autism survey reveals previously 'invisible' group with autism.

Scripps Research team proves plausibility of new pathway to life's chemical building blocks
A group from the Scripps Research Institute has proven an alternative pathway to life-essential sugars called the glyoxylate scenario, which may push the field of pre-life chemistry past the formose reaction hurdle.

Faculty of 1000 introduces a novel Open Access publishing venture: F1000 Research
Faculty of 1000 today announces F1000 Research, a new fully Open Access publishing program across biology and medicine that will launch later this year.

Partisans not locked in media 'echo chambers,' study finds
Despite the fears of some scholars and pundits, most political partisans don't avoid news and opinion sources that contradict their own beliefs, according to a new study.

Quality medical journal news releases can help newspapers do a better job informing public
Medical journal press releases are the most direct way that journals communicate with the news media about new research.

Lung transplant system often skips over those most in need
The system for allocating donated lungs based on proximity and not on need appears to decrease the potential benefits of lung transplantation and increase the number of patients who die waiting.

Risk-based passenger screening could make air travel safer
A study by Illinois researchers demonstrates that intensive screening of all airline passengers actually makes the system less secure by overtaxing security resources, while risk-based methods increase overall security.

Sandia tool determines value of solar photovoltaic power systems
Consistent appraisals of real estate outfitted with photovoltaic installations are a challenge for the nation's real estate industry, but a new tool developed by Sandia National Laboratories and Solar Power Electric and licensed by Sandia addresses that issue.

No future without scarce metals
It is not just in laptop computers, mobile telephones and LED screens that scarce metals are to be found but also in solar cells, batteries for mobile technologies and many other similar applications.

Scientists decode brain waves to eavesdrop on what we hear
UC Berkeley neuroscientists and UCSF surgeons recorded electrical activity in the temporal lobe -- the seat of the auditory system -- to discover how the brain encodes sound.

New target for cancer therapy identified, preclinical study shows
Scientists from the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research in Brussels identified a new target for cancer therapy, an enzyme which prevents the immune system from recognizing and destroying certain types of tumors.

Exposure to common environmental bacteria may be source of some allergic inflammation
Could some cases of asthma actually be caused by an allergic reaction to a common environmental bacteria?

Accidents don't just happen: New Book on trends and takeaways in injury research
Researchers in the field of injury research have published the most comprehensive reference book to date on the methods and approaches underpinning the scientific discipline of injury control and prevention.

Protein study gives fresh impetus in fight against superbugs
Scientists have shed new light on the way superbugs such as MRSA are able to become resistant to treatment with antibiotics.

Innovation in male infertility research
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona patented an innovative system to specify in a simple, cost-effective and reliable manner the infertility of a person through the study of oxidative stress on sperm, a parameter rarely studied until now.

How health systems factors affect access to psychotropic medicines
In a cross-sectional analysis of WHO-AIMS data published in this week's PLoS Medicine, Ryan McBain of Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, USA and colleagues investigated the associations between health system components and access to psychotropic drugs in 63 low- and middle- income countries.

Built to withstand almost anything
Thanks to Homeland Security's Science & Technology Directorate, communities can fortify today's critical structures -- and design tomorrow's -- to absorb blows and remain open if assaulted by extreme earth, wind, water, fire, or man.

Rate of follow-up surgeries after partial mastectomy varies greatly
A new study reveals substantial differences -- by both surgeon and institution -- in the rates of follow-up surgeries for women who underwent a partial mastectomy for treatment of breast cancer.

Study: Vast majority of EU citizens are marginalized by dominance of English language
A new study finds nearly two-thirds of the European Union's 500 million people are linguistically disenfranchised because they don't speak English, the EU's dominant official language.

Winner of the Relevant Evidence to Advance Care and Health Challenge announced
AcademyHealth today announced that an experimental application to track patients' care experiences in real time is the winner of the Relevant Evidence to Advance Care and Health Developer Challenge.

Scientists decode brain waves to eavesdrop on what we hear
Neuroscientists have succeeded in decoding electrical activity in a region of the human auditory system called the superior temporal gyrus (STG).

Emergency departments' quality evaluation requires hospital-wide effort
Time can be important in an emergency department especially in a busy Level 1 Trauma Center like MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, when getting patients appropriate care is essential.

Cardiopulmonary exercise testing may predict post-liver transplantation survival
Researchers from the UK determined that preoperative cardiopulmonary exercise testing is a specific predictor of 90-day survival following liver transplantation.

Bariatric surgery in adolescents improves obesity-related diseases within first 2 years
Doctors at Nationwide Children's Hospital who perform weight loss surgery on adolescents took a look at their patient population in a retrospective study published in the January 2012 print edition of Pediatric Blood & Cancer.

Study examines hospital compliance with proposed emergency department performance measures
Compliance with proposed emergency department length of stay measures for admitted, discharged, transferred, and observed patients does not differ significantly between safety-net hospitals (which serve higher proportion of patients with poorer health care status) and non-safety-net hospitals, addressing the issue of whether safety-net hospitals may not be able to meet certain performance measures and could be at risk of reduced funding, according to a study in the Feb.

New collection of articles explores the science, application, and regulation of GM insects
The current issue of PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases presents a new collection of articles on the use of genetically modified (GM) insects for controlling some of the most widespread infectious diseases.

Maker of VSL#3 probiotic offers assistance program for ulcerative colitis and ileal pouch patients
People who have UC or Ileal Pouch know that finding the right regimen for extending their time between flares is crucial to successfully living with the condition.

NIU sociologist writes the book on daredevil bike messengers
In his book,

Technical Oscar for ARRI and Fraunhofer
The Munich-based producer of professional motion picture equipment ARRI and the Freiburg Fraunhofer Institute for Physical Measurement Techniques have been awarded the

Police integrity lost: A study of law enforcement officers arrested
A Bowling Green State University criminal justice team is developing the first national profile of police integrity through an analysis of police crime committed by sworn law enforcement officers.

Flexible sigmoidoscopy shown to increase detection of colorectal cancer
Repeated screening by flexible sigmoidoscopy increased the detection of colorectal cancer or advanced adenoma in women by one-fourth and in men by one-third, according to a study published Jan.

Poor neighborhoods suffer higher incidence of arthritis
People living in poor neighborhoods have a higher rate and risk of arthritis - one of the most common causes of disability in the developed world.

AGU journal highlights -- Jan. 31, 2012
Featured in this release are research papers on the following topics:

Ultra-fast photodetector and terahertz generator
Photodetectors made from graphene can process and conduct light signals as well as electric signals extremely fast.

LSUHSC's Gee helping address international medical education leadership void
Dr. Rebekah Gee, Assistant Professor at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans Schools of Public Health and Medicine, is the lead author of an article published in the Jan.

Women taking indigestion drugs at increased risk of hip fracture after menopause
Post-menopausal women are 35 percent more likely to suffer hip fracture if they take indigestion drugs, known as PPIs, a figure which increases to 50 percent if they are also current or former smokers, suggests a study published today on

Rate of follow-up surgeries after partial mastectomy varies greatly
A new study reveals substantial differences -- by both surgeon and institution -- in the rates of follow-up surgeries for women who underwent a partial mastectomy for treatment of breast cancer.

Does Borna disease virus cause mental illness?
Over the past 30 years, numerous studies have linked Borna disease virus with mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorder and dementia, but study results have been inconsistent.

Ancient DNA holds clues to climate change adaptation
Thirty-thousand-year-old bison bones discovered in permafrost at a Canadian goldmine are helping scientists unravel the mystery about how animals adapt to rapid environmental change.

Alexandra Witze and Jane Qiu awarded EGU Science Journalism Fellowship
The European Geosciences Union has named journalists Alexandra Witze and Jane Qiu as the winners of its first Geosciences Communications Fellowship for proposals on volcanology and climate change reporting, respectively.

ESC Congress 2012 Media Alert
More than 30,000 healthcare professionals from over 150 countries are set to gather in Munich, Germany, for this year's ESC Congress.

Short-term memory is based on synchronized brain oscillations
Scientists have now discovered how different brain regions cooperate during short-term memory.

Columbia engineers map energy use in NYC buildings
Many cities are trying to lower their energy consumption and carbon footprint by reducing associated greenhouse gas emissions.

Gene mutation in autism found to cause hyperconnectivity in brain's hearing center
New research from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory might help explain how a gene mutation found in some autistic individuals leads to difficulties in processing auditory cues and paying spatial attention to sound.

Consuming fish during pregnancy improves offspring's cognitive development and prosocial conduct
A study conducted within the framework of the NUTRIMENTHE project -coordinated by the University of Granada- revealed that infants born to mothers who consumed a considerable amount of fish during pregnancy score higher in verbal intelligence and fine motor skill tests, and present an increased prosocial behavior

PLoS Medicine editors highlight mismatch between global burden of ill-health and published research
Comprehensive work studying the burden of ill-health and death resulting from specific conditions, injuries, and risk factors -- the Global Burden of Disease project -- has shown that the burden of ill-health around the world is highly inequitable.

New survey on impacts of climate change on water resources in India
There will be huge challenges to maintaining adequate water supplies in India in the next few decades, but these can be overcome with an integrated, multi-sectorial approach that takes into account water use from farm to river basin level.

Testosterone makes us less cooperative and more egocentric, study finds
Testosterone makes us overvalue our own opinions at the expense of cooperation, research from the Wellcome Trust Center for Neuroimaging at UCL has found.

Heart failure is associated with loss of brain cells and a decline in mental processes
Australian researchers have found evidence that heart failure is associated with a decline in people's mental processes and a loss of grey matter in the brain.

Artguardian: Watchman for artworks
A publicly displayed object of art experiences a lot: Dazzling light, unfavorable temperatures or too much moisture.

Advisory: University of Louisville faculty at AAAS Annual Meeting
University of Louisville faculty will conduct sessions on efforts to tackle infectious diseases across specialties and in tobacco harm reduction to reduce illness and death at the 178th American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting, one of the largest gatherings of scientists from around the world.

Harper government invests in personalized medicine
he Harper Government today announced an important investment that will help Canadians in getting more effective treatments and make the healthcare system more sustainable through personalized medicine. 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