Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 29, 2012
Women & Infants studying therapies to relieve urinary urge incontinence
Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island is conducting a study to compare the effect of two therapies in women who have bothersome urinary urge incontinence after trying other treatments.

A 2-pronged attack: Why loss of STAT1 is bad news
Breast cancer represents about a fifth of all cancers diagnosed in women.

Discovery in Nature elucidates immune cells in skin and supports novel vaccine approach
Research in Nature shows for the first time in vivo that powerful immune system cells called TREMs (T-Resident Effector Memory cells) prevalent in the skin are more protective in fighting infection than central memory T-cells in the bloodstream.

The ever-expanding definition of 'diversity'
Diversity has become a goal for all sorts of institutions -- but what it means may depend on who you ask.

Floor of oldest forest discovered in Schoharie County
Scientists from Binghamton University and Cardiff University, and New York State Museum researchers, and have reported the discovery of the floor of the world's oldest forest in a cover article in the March 1 issue of Nature, a leading international journal of science.

ESC: In the current context, industry support for continuing medical education remains essential
In a groundbreaking white paper published today in the European Heart Journal, the European Society of Cardiology has set out its perspective on the relationship between the health-care industry and professional medical associations with regard to the funding and delivery of continuing medical education.

UF scientists name new ancient camels from Panama Canal excavation
The discovery of two new extinct camel species by University of Florida scientists sheds new light on the history of the tropics, a region containing more than half the world's biodiversity and some of its most important ecosystems.

3 scientific expeditions seek treasure under the ice in the Frozen Continent
In a modern iteration of the great age of Antarctic exploration, three teams of scientists are rushing to reach lakes deep below the surface of the Frozen Continent believed to hold scientific treasures.

New treatment using inhaled interferon may improve lung function in pulmonary fibrosis
Inhaled interferon-gamma may be an effective treatment for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a chronic and progressive form of lung disease caused by excessive formation of fibrotic, or scar tissue, in the lungs, according to an article published in Journal of Aerosol Medicine and Pulmonary Drug Delivery, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital launches study to genetically test for autism
Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital has launched a study to determine whether genetic markers can be used to help identify children who are at risk of developing autism.

In what ways does lead damage the brain?
Exposure to lead wreaks havoc in the brain, with consequences that include lower IQ and reduced potential for learning.

Snow leopard diet determined by DNA analysis of fecal samples
A new DNA-based method, which analyzes genetic material from feces, could be a useful tool, and researchers have shown its utility to characterize the diet of snow leopards in Mongolia.

MU scientists study how to improve pesticide efficiency
MU researchers are studying the molecular structure of a controversial pesticide used in fruit crops to determine if the product could be made more efficient and safer for those living near, and working in, treated fields.

Mitral valve repair with bypass surgery may improve heart function
Repairing leaky mitral valves at the time of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery benefited patients with ischemic heart disease.

Old drug reveals new tricks
A drug once taken by people with HIV/AIDS but long ago shelved after newer, modern antiretroviral therapies became available has now shed light on how the human body uses its natural immunity to fight the virus -- work that could help uncover new targets for drugs.

Winning makes people more aggressive toward the defeated
In this world, there are winners and losers -- and, for your own safety, it is best to fear the winners.

St. Joseph's trauma researchers discover way to block body's response to cold
Researchers at St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Arizona, in collaboration with Amgen Inc. and several academic institutions, have discovered a way to block the body's response to cold using a drug.

EARTH: Listening for gas bubbles
What if we could cheaply and efficiently detect a potent new energy source, while also monitoring for environmental safety?

Queen's professor urges health research to focus on the positive
Political Studies professor Colin Farrelly wants to see more research into remarkable examples of health - such as why some people live 100 years disease-free.

Foot bones allow researchers to determine sex of skeletal remains
Law enforcement officials who are tasked with identifying a body based on partial skeletal remains have a new tool at their disposal.

Mitochondrial dysfunction present early in Alzheimer's, before memory loss
Mitochondria -- subunits inside cells that produce energy -- have long been thought to play a role in Alzheimer's disease.

'Miracle tree' substance produces clean drinking water inexpensively and sustainably
The latest episode in the American Chemical Society's award-winning

Experts call for cleaner air to tackle invisible killer
Urgent action is needed to reduce the high concentrations of dangerous air pollutants in Europe, according to experts writing in the European Respiratory Journal on March 1, 2012.

Press registration now open for CNS 2012 Annual Meeting
The Cognitive Neuroscience Society invites members of the press to attend its annual meeting, March 31- April 3, 2012, in Chicago at the Palmer House Hotel.

Study of wildfire trends in Northwestern California shows no increase in severity over time
Even though wildfires have increased in size over time, they haven't necessarily grown in severity nor had corresponding negative impacts to the ecosystem, according to a recently published study appearing in the journal Ecological Applications.

Workforce from the digital cloud
By means of cloud computing, enterprises can access scalable computing power and storage capacity.

Study: Over 100,000 Californians likely to miss out on health care due to language barriers
Over 100,000 fewer Californians are likely to enroll in health care reform expansion programs due to language barriers, according to a new study jointly published by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research, the California Pan-Ethnic Health Network, and the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education.

NASA finds thickest parts of Arctic ice cap melting faster
A new NASA study revealed that the oldest and thickest Arctic sea ice is disappearing at a faster rate than the younger and thinner ice at the edges of the Arctic Ocean's floating ice cap.

Study shows earthworms to blame for decline of ovenbirds in northern Midwest forests
A recent decline in ovenbirds, a ground-nesting migratory songbird, in forests in the northern Midwest United States is being linked by scientists to a seemingly unlikely culprit: earthworms.

Canadian scientist develops world's most advanced drug to protect the brain after a stroke
Scientists at the Toronto Western Research Institute, Krembil Neuroscience Center, have developed a drug that protects the brain against the damaging effects of a stroke in a lab setting.

Gluten-free, casein-free diet may help some children with autism
A gluten-free, casein-free diet may lead to improvements in behavior and physiological symptoms in some children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to researchers at Penn State.

AGU Journal highlights - Feb. 29 2012
Featured in this release are research papers on the following topics:

Increased fertility rate for IVF patients achieved by new equipment design
A novel system for processing embryos during IVF treatment has been shown to significantly improve the chances of pregnancy -- by more than a quarter.

Montrealer heads to Congo to fight childhood disfigurement
Marie Renaud, an intern at the University of Montreal and CHUM Hospital's International Health, will be joining the World Health Organization's African office, where she will be working on the funding of the fight against Noma.

University of Tennessee researchers invent device to rapidly detect infectious disease
University of Tennessee researchers have developed a portable device that can be used onsite to detect infectious diseases, pathogens as well as physiological conditions in people and animals.

PETA launches in silico testing resource to reduce number of animal tests
Seeking to maximize the value of computational modeling in avoiding animal testing for the European Union's Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals Foundation has produced a free resource for chemical companies, identifying sources of information and expertise on the use of quantitative structure activity relationships.

Experts: Linking farmers to markets critical for Africa's rural development
As a food crisis unfolds in West Africa's Sahel region, some of the world's leading experts in agriculture markets say the time is ripe to confront the

Meeting biofuel production targets could change agricultural landscape
Almost 80 percent of current farmland in the U.S. would have to be devoted to raising corn for ethanol production in order to meet current biofuel production targets with existing technology, a new study has found.

Liquid treasure or trouble? UCLA political scientist explores downside of oil wealth
Poor and developing countries with oil wealth are more vulnerable than other countries to dictators, violent insurgencies, pronounced economic swings, oppression of women and other afflictions, writes a UCLA political scientist in a new book.

Research re-examines role of Maya Women
UC Riverside graduate student's discoveries in the British Museum and on the Yucatan Peninsula prompt reinterpretation of women's roles in pre-colonial Mexico.

Springer launches 6 new medical review journals
Springer is adding six new quarterly clinical review journals to its existing medicine portfolio in March 2012.

Federal laws have enhanced pediatric drug studies
Federal laws that motivate or require drug and biologic developers to conduct pediatric studies have yielded beneficial information to guide the use of medications in children.

New drug, Vemurafenib, doubles survival of metastatic melanoma patients
A report published this week in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that the 50 percent of metastatic melanoma patients with a specific genetic mutation benefit from the drug Vemurafenib -- increasing median survival from about six months to 15.9 months.

Do women with bulimia have both an eating disorder and a weight disorder?
Researchers at Drexel University have found that a majority of women with bulimia nervosa reach their highest-ever body weight after developing their eating disorder, despite the fact that the development of the illness is characterized by significant weight loss.

Real-life CSI: Study to gauge stress of forensic scientists
Michigan State University researchers will use a federal grant to investigate the working environments of forensic scientists and develop policy recommendations to improve efficiency and job satisfaction and decrease stress.

Observations refute widely held view on causal mechanism in ALS
Munich-based researchers have refuted a widely accepted hypothesis about a causative step in neurodegenerative conditions.

VLT rediscovers life on Earth By looking at the moon
By observing the Moon using ESO's Very Large Telescope, astronomers have found evidence of life in the universe -- on Earth.

LSUSHC research identifies new experimental drug for stroke
Research led by Nicolas Bazan, M.D., Ph.D., Boyd Professor and Director of the Neuroscience Center of Excellence at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, has found that a synthetic molecule protected the brain in a model of experimental stroke.

First breakdown of public health data for Cleveland neighborhoods
Today, the Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods of Case Western Reserve University release new health data from Cleveland neighborhood groups on three of the most pressing public health concerns: obesity, hypertension, and diabetes.

Plug 'leaks,' create 'cradle to career' education system to meet world challenges: Top US educator
Plugging major

New light shed on cause of lung injury in severe flu
While some scientists report engineering a super virulent strain of the H5N1 influenza virus, which could potentially wipe out a significant percentage of the human population, another group of researchers from the United Kingdom now reports a discovery in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology that may one day help mitigate the deadly effects of all flu strains.

Skin infection sheds light on immune cells living in our skin
A study at Brigham and Women's Hospital has used a vaccinia virus infection to answer important questions about how newly discovered cells protect us.

Triceratops controversy continues
Millions of years after its extinction, Triceratops is inciting controversy about how to classify the ancient animals.

Scripps Florida scientists awarded $3 million to develop new, more effective pain treatments
Scripps Florida scientists have been awarded $3.1 million by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health, to study and develop several new compounds that could prove to be effective in controlling pain without the unwanted side effects common with opiate drugs, such as morphine, Oxycontin®, and Vicoden®.

Air Force Office of Scientific Research hosts annual program Spring Review
The Air Force Office of Scientific Research will soon host its annual Spring Review from March 5-9, 2012.

ORNL completes first phase of Titan supercomputer transition
Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Jaguar supercomputer has completed the first phase of an upgrade that will keep it among the most powerful scientific computing systems in the world.

Studying the importance of biological rhythms for the ecological performance of plants
Ian Baldwin has received an Advanced Grant of the European Research Council.

Best rehabilitation practices for amputees studied with $300,000 grant
With the help of a $300,000 grant from the US Department of Defense, one University of Missouri researcher will use the MU Brain Imaging Center to look for insights into the mental and physical discomfort that amputees experience in an effort to improve current rehabilitation strategies.

Exotic material boosts electromagnetism safely
Using exotic man-made materials, scientists from Duke University and Boston College believe they can greatly enhance the forces of electromagnetism, one of the four fundamental forces of nature, without harming living beings or damaging electrical equipment.

Adapting personal glucose monitors to detect DNA
An inexpensive device used by millions of people with diabetes could be adapted into a home DNA detector that enables individuals to perform home tests for viruses and bacteria in human body fluids, in food and in other substances, scientists are reporting in a new study.

Why birds of a feather lek together
A new study by University of Miami Evolutionary Biologist J.

When continents collide: A new twist to a 50 million-year-old tale
Fifty million years ago, India slammed into Eurasia, a collision that gave rise to the tallest landforms on the planet, the Himalaya Mountains and the Tibetan Plateau.

Commentary in Nature: How do you stop a synthetic-biology disaster?
In a new Nature editorial, experts argue that at least $20 million to $30 million in government research is needed over the next decade to adequately identify and address the possible ecological risks of synthetic biology, an emerging research area focused on the design and construction of new biological parts with potential applications in areas ranging from energy to chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

Cholera's nano-dagger
High-resolution images show how the cholera pathogen fights off microbial competitors in its environment and damages human cells during disease.

Reawakening neurons: Researchers find an epigenetic culprit in memory decline
In a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease, memory problems stem from an overactive enzyme that shuts off genes related to neuron communication.

Measuring blood flow to monitor sickle cell disease
MIT professor Sangeeta Bhatia, MIT postdoc David Wood, and colleagues at Harvard University, Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women's Hospital have now devised a simple blood test that can predict whether sickle cell patients are at high risk for painful complications of the disease.

Sheriff Adrian Garcia delivers keynote at social work awards breakfast
Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia will deliver the keynote address,

Researcher tracks agricultural overuse of bug-killing technology
High corn prices are leading many growers to plant corn every year and to overuse pesticides and other bug-killing technology to maximize yields, researchers report.

The physics of earthquake forecasting
One year on from the magnitude 9.0 earthquake that unleashed a devastating tsunami and caused a partial meltdown of the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant, this month's special issue of Physics World, on the theme of

NJIT invites manufacturers to free summit about clean energy
Large or small New Jersey manufacturers looking to grow their base won't want to miss NJIT's upcoming free summit on clean energy supply chains.

Study finds new genes that cause Baraitser-Winter syndrome, a brain malformation
Scientists from Seattle Children's Research Institute and the University of Washington, in collaboration with the Genomic Disorders Group Nijmegen in the Netherlands, have identified two new genes that cause Baraitser-Winter syndrome

Blockade of learning and memory genes may occur early in Alzheimer's disease
A repression of gene activity in the brain appears to be an early event affecting people with Alzheimer's disease, researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health have found.

Use of microfluidic chips a first in bitumen-gas analysis
A new analytic tool developed by researchers at the University of Toronto could save the oil and gas industry both time and money.

Can industrial parks be more environmentally friendly?
Although industrial parks are often considered major economic engines for the communities in which they reside, they can also consume environmental resources and produce significant pollution that can negatively affect human health and quality of life.

Blue whale behavior affected by man-made noise
Blue whale vocal behavior is affected by man-made noise, even when that noise does not overlap the frequencies the whales use for communication,

Media alert: Press registration open for 2012 SIR Annual Scientific Meeting
Health, science and medical reporters are invited to register now for the Society of Interventional Radiology's 37th Annual Scientific Meeting March 24-29 at Moscone Center, San Francisco, Calif.

Inherited epigenetics produced record fast evolution
The domestication of chickens has given rise to rapid and extensive changes in genome function.

Young people face double penalty in a slow job market
The latest official unemployment figures show that unemployment among young people has soared to 22.3 percent, higher than the recession of the 1990s, while the overall unemployment rate is 9 percent.

Who's in the know? To a preschooler, the person doing the pointing
If you want a preschooler to get the point, point.

Contamination of La Selva geothermal system in Girona, Spain
Monitoring the construction of wells, avoiding overexploiting cold groundwater close to hot groundwater, and controlling mineral water extraction.

A*STAR scientists make groundbreaking discovery on stem cell regulation
A*STAR scientists have for the first time, identified that precise regulation of polyamine levels is critical for embryonic stem cell (ESC) self-renewal -- the ability of ESCs to divide indefinitely -- and directed differentiation.

No workout? No worries: Scientists prevent muscle loss in mice, despite disease and inactivity
If you want big muscles without working out, there's hope.

Nowhere to hide: Study finds future of Sumatran tigers threatened by human disturbances
A study that investigated the use of different land cover types -- not just forests but also plantation areas -- for tiger habitat has determined that the Sumatran tiger subspecies is nearing extinction.

Recruitment starts on MS hookworm trial
Parasitic worms could offer a new treatment hope for patients suffering from the autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis, scientists believe.

Ultrasound technology proves accurate in diagnosing cirrhosis from recurrent hepatitis C
Researchers from the Mayo Clinic confirm that ultrasound-based transient elastography provides excellent diagnostic accuracy for detecting cirrhosis due to recurrent infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection following liver transplantation.

Ice Age mariners from Europe were among America's first people
Some of the earliest humans to inhabit America came from Europe according to a new book.

New test can better predict successful IVF embryos, scientists say
Scientists at University College Dublin have discovered a new way of measuring the potential success rate of an embryo before it is transferred back into the womb during in vitro fertilization (IVF).

University of Hawaii scientists analyze a tiny comet grain to date Jupiter's formation
Particles from comet 81P/Wild 2 brought to Earth in 2006 by NASA's Stardust spacecraft indicate that Jupiter formed more than three million years after the formation of the first solids in our Solar System.

Is Twitter reinforcing negative perceptions of epilepsy?
A revealing study published in Epilepsy & Behavior provides evidence that the perception of epilepsy is not faring well in social media.

Scientists learn how insects 'remodel' their bodies between life stages
How is it that an insect can remake itself so completely that it appears to be a different creature altogether, not just once, but several times in its lifetime?

Fitness programs for minority adults lack cultural relevance, MU study finds
In a new study, University of Missouri researchers found that minority adults who received exercise interventions increased their physical activity levels.

Researchers find safer way to use common but potentially dangerous medication
A team of global scientists, led by researchers at Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City, has developed a safer and more accurate way to administer warfarin, one of the most commonly prescribed but also potentially dangerous medications in the United States.

Reversing Alzheimer's gene 'blockade' can restore memory, other cognitive functions
MIT neuroscientists have shown that an enzyme overproduced in the brains of Alzheimer's patients creates a blockade that shuts off genes necessary to form new memories.

2 genes do not make a voter
Voting behavior cannot be predicted by one or two genes as previous researchers have claimed, according to Evan Charney, a Duke University professor of public policy and political science.

New leading-edge postpartum health clinic targets cardiovascular disease risk
A Queen's obstetrics professor has founded one of the first clinics in the world to use pregnancy and the postpartum as a key opportunity in a woman's life to focus on disease prevention.

New hybrid 'NOSH aspirin' as possible anti-cancer drug
Scientists have combined two new

First Internet treatment for adolescents with chronic fatigue syndrome highly effective: With nearly two-thirds reporting recovery after just 6 months
According to new research, Fatigue In Teenagers on the interNET (FITNET), the first Web-based therapeutic program for adolescents with chronic fatigue syndrome, is substantially more effective than treatment as usual at reducing symptoms of this debilitating disorder.

Effects of a concussion may last longer than symptoms, study shows
A study recently published by the University of Kentucky's Scott Livingston shows that physiological problems stemming from a concussion may continue to present in the patient even after standard symptoms subside.

Heavy metal pollution causes severe declines in wild bees
Wild bees are among the most important pollinators of crops and wildflowers and help ensure ecosystem functioning.

NASA satellite sees tropical cyclone Irina headed for Mozambique
Visible and Infrared satellite imagery together provide a clearer picture of what a tropical cyclone is doing.

Nanofiber breakthrough holds promise for medicine and microprocessors
A new method for creating nanofibers made of proteins promises to greatly improve drug delivery methods, aid in regenerating human tissue, and pave the way to an organic method of building nanofibers for tiny, powerful microprocessors.

Green schools and students' science scores are related
A nationwide survey shows a positive correlation between Green School practices and student achievement in science.

Research finds bullies and victims 3 times more likely to have suicidal thoughts by age 11
Children involved in bullying -- as both a victim and a bully -- are three times more likely to have suicidal thoughts by the time they reach 11 years old, according to research from the University of Warwick.

Drug improves survival and quality of life for people with myelofibrosis
A drug that relieves the severe symptoms of a life-threatening bone marrow cancer called myelofibrosis also improves the survival of patients with the disease, according to a phase III clinical trial published in the March 1 edition of New England Journal of Medicine.

Oldest fossilized forest revealed
An international team, including a Cardiff University researcher, who previously found evidence of the Earth's earliest tree, has gone one step further.

Drug offers relief for symptoms of myelofibrosis, according to multisite study including Stanford
People with a blood cancer -- myelofibrosis -- can benefit from a drug called ruxolitinib, according to a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial that included patients and researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine.

CU team's efficient unmanned aircraft jetting toward commercialization
Propulsion by a novel jet engine is the crux of the innovation behind a University of Colorado Boulder-developed aircraft that's accelerating toward commercialization.

Ragon Institute study finds HIV-specific CD4 cells that control viral levels
A subpopulation of the immune cells targeted by HIV may play an important role in controlling viral loads after initial infection, potentially helping to determine how quickly infection will progress.

New infant formula ingredients boost babies' immunity by feeding their gut bacteria
Adding prebiotic ingredients to infant formula helps colonize the newborn's gut with a stable population of beneficial bacteria, and probiotics enhance immunity in formula-fed infants, two University of Illinois studies report.

Mayor Gray, University presidents pledge to make DC the 'Greenest College Town in America'
Nine university presidents representing the nation's most prestigious higher education institutions joined Mayor Vincent C.

Carbon dioxide catchers
Using techniques from drug discovery, and state-of-the-art advances in mathematics, computational algorithms and supercomputing, researchers in Berkeley Lab's Computational Research Division developed a tool for identifying the most efficient porous materials for CO2.

China's urbanization unlikely to lead to fast growth of middle class: UW geographer
The growing number of people living in China's cities is considered a boon for the consumer goods market.

Pecan weevil biology, management and control strategies
A new article in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management describes the biology, life stages, crop injury, monitoring approaches, and primary control strategies currently used for pecan weevil, a major pest of pecans throughout the southeastern United States, as well as portions of Texas and Oklahoma. 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