Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 12, 2012
Roadway with recycled toilets is world's first official 'Greenroad'
Greenroads, a rating system developed at the University of Washington, has made the first official certification for sustainable road construction.

FASEB announces new client: Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology announced today the signing of its newest client, the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology.

Reducing academic pressure may help children succeed
Children may perform better in school and feel more confident about themselves if they are told that failure is a normal part of learning, rather than being pressured to succeed at all costs, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.

Southeastern Entomology awards presented in Little Rock, Arkansas
The Southeastern Branch of the Entomological Society of America presented awards at a Joint Meeting between the Southeastern and Southwestern Branches in Little Rock, Arkansas, held March 3-7, 2012.

Artificially structured metamaterials may boost wireless power transfer
Scientists calculate that a

Preemies still receive inhaled nitric oxide despite lack of supporting evidence and standards
Many premature infants throughout the United States continue to receive inhaled nitric oxide (iNO) during their NICU stay, despite the lack of evidence to support its use.

UNC study identifies pockets of high cervical cancer rates in North Carolina
A study of cervical cancer incidence and mortality in North Carolina has revealed areas where rates are unusually high.

Major study stops bladder cancer from metastasizing to lungs
Study shows that the protein versican aids bladder cancer metastasis to the lungs and that high levels of versican are associated with poor prognosis in bladder cancer.

Lifestyle changes for obese patients linked to modest weight loss
A program that helps obese patients improve healthy behaviors is associated with modest weight loss and improved blood pressure control in a high-risk, low-income group, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Routine glaucoma screening program may benefit middle-age African-American patients
Implementing a routine national glaucoma screening program for middle-age African-American patients may be clinically effective; however its potential effect on reducing visual impairment and blindness may be modest, according to a computer-based mathematical model reported in the March issue of Archives of Ophthalmology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Wayne State research funded by Gates Foundation to improve teacher quality measurements
A Wayne State University researcher is working on a national initiative aimed at improving ways to measure the quality of teachers.

Extensive taste loss in mammals
Scientists from the Monell Center report frequent loss of sweet taste in mammalian species that are exclusive meat eaters.

Network approach improves outcomes in IBD despite lack of new treatment options
Many children with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis who received treatment through ImproveCareNow, a national quality improvement and research network, ceased to have symptoms and no longer needed to take steroids for disease management.

Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement threatens public health
An editorial to be published by the scientific journal Addiction has been made available online, revealing that negotiations are underway behind closed doors for a far-reaching new trade and investment agreement that could tie the hands of governments' future alcohol and tobacco control policies in perpetuity.

Researcher uses medical imaging technology to better understand fish senses
Marine biologist Jacqueline Webb gets an occasional strange look when she brings fish to Rhode Island Hospital.

Diacetylmorphine for opioid addiction cheaper and more effective than methadone
Using injectable diacetylmorphine -- the active ingredient in heroin -- to treat chronic opioid addiction is cheaper and more effective than methadone, states an article in CMAJ.

JCI early table of contents for March 12, 2012
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, March 12, 2012, in the JCI, including:

More children now living with 'life-limiting' conditions
The number of children with conditions such as muscular dystrophy, neurodegenerative disorders or severe cerebral palsy who are surviving into adulthood has been underestimated, a new study shows.

Latest data confirms high failure rates for metal-on-metal hip replacements
Ten days after the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency announced that patients who have received stemmed metal-on-metal hip replacements will need annual check-ups, the Lancet publishes

Scientists name 2 new species of horned dinosaur
Two new horned dinosaurs have been named based on fossils collected from Alberta, Canada.

Touch of gold improves nanoparticle fuel-cell reactions
Chemists at Brown University have created a triple-headed metallic nanoparticle that reportedly performs better and lasts longer than any other nanoparticle catalyst studied in fuel-cell reactions.

Restoring what's lost: Uncovering how liver tissue regenerates
The liver is unique among mammalian organs in its ability to regenerate.

Defect in transport system causes DNA chaos in red blood cells
Researchers from BRIC, University of Copenhagen, have just found a mechanism of the protein Codanin-1, shedding light on the blood disease CDAI.

Common North American frog identified as carrier of deadly amphibian disease
Known for its distinctive

Detecting clouds from both sides now
Researchers have developed a more precise method to detect the boundary between clouds and clear air, by exploiting the swinging motions of a weather balloon and its payload.

Personal mobile computing increases doctors' efficiency
Personal mobile computers help medical residents increase efficiency, reduce delays in patient care and enhance continuity of care.

New study examines how medical symptoms presented online makes a difference in health-care choices
Details of a new study examining how symptoms presented online influence people's reactions to possible medical conditions will be presented in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Correcting human mitochondrial mutations
Researchers at the UCLA stem cell center and the departments of chemistry and biochemistry and pathology and laboratory medicine have identified, for the first time, a generic way to correct mutations in human mitochondrial DNA by targeting corrective RNAs.

Smartphones more accurate, faster, cheaper for disease surveillance
Smartphones are showing promise in disease surveillance in the developing world.

Research on rare bone disorder reveals new insights into autism
Researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute found that a mouse model of multiple hereditary exostoses (MHE), a rare bone disorder, meets the three defining characteristics of autism: social impairment, language deficits, and repetitive behavior.

The shape of things to come
For those involved in managing the fallout from environmental disasters like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, it is essential to have tools that predict how the oil will move, so that they make the best possible use of resources to control the spill.

DNDi launches Phase I in-human clinical trial for promising oral drug for sleeping sickness
The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative has commenced a Phase I clinical trial in healthy adults in Paris, France, to determine the safety and tolerability of a promising oral drug candidate Oxaborole SCYX-7158, to treat human African trypanosomiasis (HAT, or sleeping sickness) for stage 1 and stage 2 of the disease.

Trudeau Institute launches nonprofit contract research organization
The Trudeau Institute announced today that it has expanded the scope of its biomedical research by creating a contract research organization, the Trudeau Institute Contract Research Organization.

Increased honey bee diversity means fewer pathogens, more helpful bacteria, IU biologist finds
A novel study of honey bee genetic diversity co-authored by an Indiana University biologist has for the first time found that greater diversity in worker bees leads to colonies with fewer pathogens and more abundant helpful bacteria like probiotic species.

Growing market for human organs exploits poor
A Michigan State University anthropologist who spent more than a year infiltrating the black market for human kidneys has published the first in-depth study describing the often horrific experiences of poor people who were victims of organ trafficking.

Narcissism impairs ethical judgment even among the highly religious, Baylor study finds
Although high levels of narcissism can impair ethical judgment regardless of one's religious orientation or orthodox beliefs, narcissism is more harmful in those who might be expected to be more ethical, according to a Baylor University study published online in the Journal of Business Ethics.

Why do promiscuous queens produce healthier honey bee colonies? Study reveals surprising clues
A new Wellesley College study sheds light on the link between genetic diversity and healthier bee colonies -- by revealing the makeup of microscopic life inside the bees' guts, food, and on their bodies.

Statin use appears associated with modest reduction in Parkinson's disease risk
Regular use of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs may be associated with a modest reduction in risk for developing Parkinson disease, particularly among younger patients, according to a study in the March issue of Archives of Neurology, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

March/April 2012 Annals of Family Medicine tip sheet
Four articles in the current issue draw attention to policy initiatives and implications of the rapidly changing US health care environment.

A georeferenced digital 'comic' to improve emergency management
Researchers at the Universidad Carlos III of Madrid have developed a computer application that allows georeferenced images that have been uploaded to social networks on the Internet to be recovered, located on maps and organized like a comic to create a visual perspective of a specific story, such as a crisis situation or an emergency.

Potential role of parents' work exposures in autism risk examined
Could parental exposure to solvents at work be linked to autism spectrum disorder in their children?

Voter registration policy may depress minority participation in electoral politics
An article released by Social Forces indicates that voter identification requirements have a substantially negative impact on the voting of all groups except for Asians.

Magma fingers, volcanic plumbing, knickzones, and atmospheric river events
Highlights include several studies based in the US Sierra Nevada, including a description of

Largest ever study of childhood ALL shows improving survival
A 21,626-person study published today in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that the five-year survival rate for children and adolescents with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), the most common childhood cancer, improved from 83.7 percent in those diagnosed during the years 1990-1994, to 90.4 percent for those diagnosed in the years 2000-2005.

Beliefs about genes, God, can change health communication strategies
Beliefs about nature and nurture can affect how patients and their families respond to news about their diagnosis, according to Penn State health communication researchers.

Butterfly molecule may aid quest for nuclear clean-up technology
Scientists have produced a previously unseen uranium molecule, in a development that could help improve clean-up processes for nuclear waste.

Penn researchers find Epstein Barr-like virus infects and may cause cancer in dogs
Best known for causing mononucleosis, or

Diamond-based materials brighten the future of electronics
Researchers at the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have found a way to combine ultrananocrystalline diamond with graphene and gallium nitride, greatly improving the thermal properties of the material and helping to overcome theoretical limitations on semiconducting circuits.

University of Louisville/Jewish Hospital program helps avoid, delay heart transplant
Some patients with advanced heart failure caused by cardiomyopathy, the deterioration of function of the heart muscle, are benefiting from a new recovery protocol at the University of Louisville and Jewish Hospital.

Study of ribosome evolution challenges 'RNA World' hypothesis
In the beginning -- of the ribosome, the cell's protein-building workbench -- there were ribonucleic acids, the molecules we call RNA that today perform a host of vital functions in cells.

Laser lightning rod: Guiding bursts of electricity with a flash of light
Lightning is a fascinating but dangerous atmospheric phenomenon. New research reveals that brief bursts of intense laser light can redirect these high-power electrical discharges.

Forest service report shows forest growth in north outpacing other parts of country
According to the Forests of the Northern United States report, forest coverage in the United States has increased by 28 percent across the region that includes Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine.

A new theory on the formation of the oldest continents
Geologists from the Universities of Bonn and Cologne have demonstrated new scientific results in the April issue of the scholarly journal Geology, which provide a new theory on the earliest phase of continental formation.

A lifetime of research may be leading to a life-saving treatment for shock
A 200-patient Phase 2 clinical pilot study will be initiated this month to test the efficacy and safety of a new use, and method of administering, an enzyme inhibitor to prevent multi-organ failure in critically ill patients developed by University of California, San Diego Bioengineering Professor Geert Schmid-Schönbein.

Smithsonian NEMESIS tracks marine invaders online
Mitten crabs, zebra mussels and rock vomit: these and hundreds of other non-native species have invaded coastal regions throughout the United States, often causing dramatic changes to coastal ecosystems and significant economic costs.

Statue, chapels and animal mummies found in Egypt by U of T team
A wooden statue of a king, a private offering chapel, a monumental building and remains of over 80 animal mummies found by a University of Toronto-led team in Abydos, Egypt, reveal intriguing information about ritual activity associated with the great gods.

Researchers participate in Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco's annual meeting
Researchers from Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Fla., are participating in the 18th Annual Meeting of the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco from March 13-16 at the Hilton Americas Houston Hotel in Texas.

More red meat consumption appears to be associated with increased risk of death
Eating more red meat appears to be associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality and death from cardiovascular disease and cancer, but substituting other foods including fish and poultry for red meat is associated with a lower mortality risk, according to a study published online first by Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

2 University of Houston students receive Hogg Foundation Bilingual Scholarship
University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work first-year students Emilio Herrera and Victoria Reyes received full scholarships by the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health to support bilingual mental health services in Texas.

The shape of things to come
An article published in the PNAS details the collaboration between researchers at the University of Miami and McGill University whereby scientists have developed mathematical methods to predict the movement of oil in water that are equally applicable to the spread of ash in the air, following a volcanic explosion, using Lagrangian Coherent Structures.

Sugar-sweetened drinks linked to increased risk of heart disease in men
Men who drank one sugar-sweetened beverage a day had a 20 percent higher risk of heart disease compared to men who did not drink any sugar-sweetened drinks.

A clinical study: Selective neck dissection in laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma
Metastasis of tumors to level IIb lymph nodes is rare in patients with laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma; this area can be ignored during selective neck dissection to avoid damaging the spinal accessory nerve (SAN), making this surgery more conservative and minimizing SAN morbidity, according to the March 2012 issue of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

The first dinosaur discovered in Spain is younger than originally thought
The research group from Aragon that has the same name as the first Aragosaurus ischiaticus dinosaur discovered 25 years ago in Teruel reveals that it is 15 million years younger than originally believed.

Mini-molecule governs severity of acute graft vs. host disease, study finds
New research has identified a molecule that helps control the severity of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), a life-threatening complication for 35 to 45 percent of leukemia patients who receive a bone-marrow transplant.

Pressures to increase volume of colonoscopies adversely impacts how screenings are performed
Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have found that 92 percent of more than 1,000 gastroenterologists responding to a survey believed that pressures to increase the volume of colonoscopies adversely impacted how they performed their procedures, which could potentially affect the quality of colon cancer screening.

Trudeau Institute announces latest discovery
New research from the Trudeau Institute addresses how the human body controls gamma-herpesviruses, a class of viruses thought to cause a variety of cancers.

Delay in surgery can cause irreparable meniscus tears in children with ACL injuries
For children aged 14 and under, delaying reconstructive surgery for anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries may raise their risk of further injury, according to a new study by pediatric orthopaedic surgeons.

Circumcision may help protect against prostate cancer
A new analysis led by researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has found that circumcision before a male's first sexual intercourse may help protect against prostate cancer.

Behavioral intervention appears to improve outcomes among socioeconomically disadvantaged patients
A behavioral intervention program appears to be associated with modest weight loss and improved blood pressure control in a high-risk, socioeconomically disadvantaged group of obese patients, according to a study published online first by Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

New study examines stair-related injuries among children in the US
A new study by researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital found that from 1999 through 2008, more than 93,000 children younger than five years of age were treated in US emergency departments for stair-related injuries.

'2 steps' ahead in cystic fibrosis research
A recent study led by Gergely Lukacs, a professor at McGill University's Faculty of Medicine, Department of Physiology, and published in the January issue of Cell, has shown that restoring normal function to the mutant gene product responsible for cystic fibrosis (CF) requires correcting two distinct structural defects.

Prescribing opioids for pain after short-stay surgery appears associated with long-term use
Prescribing opioids for pain to older patients within seven days of short-stay surgery appears to be associated with long-term analgesic use compared to those patients who did not receive prescriptions for analgesics after surgery, according to a study published in the March 12 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals.

Study reports steady increases in long-term survival among children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, reflecting impact of treatment advances
Summary of a study being published online March 12, 2012 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, reporting that five- and 10-year survival increased steadily among children and teenagers treated for acute lymphoblastic leukemia (the most common type of pediatric cancer) between 1990 and 2005, as part of Children's Oncology Group clinical trials.

DuPont joins Stanford's Global Climate and Energy Project
DuPont is GCEP's newest corporate sponsor, joining ExxonMobil, GE, Schlumberger and Toyota in support of innovative research on sustainable energy technologies.

Tweens just say 'maybe' to cigarettes and alcohol
When it comes to prevention of substance use in our tween population, turning our kids on to thought control may just be the answer to getting them to say no.

Medically prescribed heroin more effective, less costly than current methadone treatment
Medically prescribed heroin is more cost-effective than methadone for treating long-term street heroin users.

Study finds variation in CT scan ordering by ED docs
A new study by Brigham and Women's Hospital researchers found significant variation in the use of head computed tomography (CT) exams among doctors within the emergency department (ED).

Blood on the menu
For the red pigmentation to develop, blood oranges normally require a period of cold as they ripen.

Re-inventing the planned city
In the 1950s, many

Red meat consumption linked to increased risk of total, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality
A new study from Harvard School of Public Health researchers has found that red meat consumption is associated with an increased risk of total, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality.

2 European neuroscientists awarded the Brain Prize 2012
The Brain Prize 2012 is jointly awarded to Christine Petit and Karen Steel for their pioneering work on the genetics of hearing and deafness.

Scientists document first consumption of abundant life form, Archaea
Scientists have documented for the first time that animals can and do consume Archaea - a type of single-celled microorganism thought to be among the most abundant life forms on Earth.

DNDi secures €2 million Strategic Translation Award from Wellcome Trust to develop a new drug against Chagas disease
The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative has received a €2 million Strategic Translation Award from the Wellcome Trust to develop the azole compound E1224, a promising drug to treat Chagas disease being tested in adult patients in Bolivia.

Powerful treatment provides effective relief for urinary incontinence -- new study
The biggest study into the treatment of urinary incontinence with botulinum toxin has demonstrated that it is effective in treating overactive bladder -- a debilitating common condition which can affect up to 20 percent of people over the age of 40.

Dual solidification mechanisms of liquid ternary Fe-Cu-Sn alloy
A liquid ternary Fe47.5Cu47.5Sn5 alloy displays novel dual solidification mechanisms: normal peritectic transformation when undercooling is below 196K, and macroscopic phase separation once bulk undercooling exceeds this threshold.

ESA Southwestern branch awards presented in Little Rock
The Southwestern Branch of the Entomological Society of America presented awards at a Joint Meeting between the Southeastern and Southwestern Branches in Little Rock, Arkansas, held March 3-7, 2012. 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