Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 15, 2012
Biomarkers: New tools of modern medicine
Over the last few decades there has been an explosion in the discovery of biomarkers for diagnosis, disease monitoring, and prognostic evaluation.

BRG1 mutations confer resistance to hormones in lung cancer
A study led by the research group on Genes and Cancer of the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute has shown that the loss of BRG1 gene implies a lack of response of cells to these hormones, and therefore the tumor may continue growing.

Suppressing feelings of compassion makes people feel less moral
It's normal to not always act on your sense of compassion -- for example, by walking past a beggar on the street without giving them any money.

Leading infectious diseases experts call for increased focus on protecting antibiotics
A new position paper from the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, Infectious Diseases Society of Americaand Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society outlines measures necessary to improve the use and ensure the impact of antibiotics on emerging health-care-associated infections.

EASL-EORTC publish joint clinical practice guidelines on hepatocellular carcinoma management
The European Association for the Study of the Liver and the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer announce their first joint Clinical Practice Guidelines on the management of hepatocellular carcinoma.

Childhood trauma exposure is very common among alcohol-dependent inpatients
Childhood trauma experience (CTE) can include sexual, physical, and emotional abuse as well as physical or emotional neglect.

Can 1 simple strategy help consumers say 'no' to temptation?
When facing temptation, can a simple change of language make a difference?

Research uncovers genetic marker that could help control, eliminate PRRS virus
A Kansas State University researcher was part of a collaborative effort that recently discovered a genetic marker that identifies pigs with reduced susceptibility to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, or PRRS.

Higher European Union e-waste collection objective is unfeasible
The forthcoming EU collection objective for discarded electrical equipment and energy saving lamps (e-waste) is only achievable if governments are prepared to introduce additional measures, experts conclude.

Scholars call for global governance overhaul to ensure Earth's sustainability
A group of the world's leading environmental scholars are sounding the alarm that human societies need to transform their national and international environmental institutions into a more coherent and robust planetary stewardship model in order to steer away from rapid and irreversible changes to the Earth's subsystems.

Epigenetics and epidemiology -- hip, hype and science
Epigenetics is the new hip science. Time Magazine's front cover and article,

PLoS/HIFA 2015 webinar: 'Can Open-Access Publishing Provide Health Care Information for All by 2015?'
The first HIFA2015 webinar, supported by PLoS, the Public Library of Science, a HIFA2015 Supporting Organization and a leading publisher of open-access journals, will take place on March 28, 2012.

GW hosts leaders in the field of thymosins in health and disease
GW will present the 2012 Abraham White Scientific, Humanitarian, and Public Service Awards, which honor individuals who have made unique contributions to science and medicine.

NYC suicide rate 29 percent higher at economy's nadir vs. peak
New evidence on the link between suicide and the economy shows that the monthly suicide rate in New York City from 1990 to 2006 was 29 percent higher at the economic low point in 1992 than at the peak of economic growth in 2000.

Cancer cells send out the alarm on tumor-killing virus
Brain-tumor cells that are infected with a cancer-killing virus release a protein

The stress of undress
University of Alberta study explores women's experiences of public change rooms and locker rooms; finds many don't relish the experience of being naked in front of others.

Inheritance -- do we spend it or save it?
Ever wondered what other people do with their inheritance? Do they save, spend or turn it down?

Food stamp customers buy more at farmers' markets when point-of-sale system is available
A study conducted by researchers from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholars Program and the Food Trust at the Clark Park Farmers' Market has found that making it easier for vendors to collect Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamp) payments with electronic point-of-sale systems increased fresh produce sales to SNAP recipients by 38 percent.

A wandering mind reveals mental processes and priorities
Odds are, you're not going to make it all the way through this article without thinking about something else.

Very few low-income moms meet breastfeeding recommendations
Less than 2 percent of low-income mothers met breastfeeding recommendations in a recent study -- a drastic decline compared with a more affluent population -- and a lack of support and available resources appears to play a key role.

Dr. Rowan Chlebowski: Effects of estrogen alone vs. estrogen plus progestin on breast cancer risk
In the past decade, results from large prospective cohort studies and the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) randomized placebo-controlled hormone therapy trials have substantially changed thoughts about how estrogen alone and estrogen plus progestin influence the risk of breast cancer.

Gladstone director receives 2012 Abraham White Scientific Achievement Award
Gladstone Institutes Senior Investigator Deepak Srivastava, M.D., has won the prestigious 2012 Abraham White Scientific Achievement Award from The George Washington University.

Stem cells hint at potential treatment for Huntington's Disease
Huntington's disease, the debilitating congenital neurological disorder that progressively robs patients of muscle coordination and cognitive ability, is a condition without effective treatment, a slow death sentence.

Surprising pine beetle breeding habits help explain increasing tree damage, says CU study
Long thought to produce only one generation of tree-killing offspring annually, some populations of mountain pine beetles now produce two generations per year, dramatically increasing the potential for the bugs to kill pine trees, University of Colorado Boulder researchers have found.

Researchers develop graphene supercapacitor holding promise for portable electronics
Researchers at UCLA have used a standard LightScribe DVD optical drive to produce electrodes composed of an expanded network of graphene that shows excellent mechanical and electrical properties as well as exceptionally high surface area.

Low-income mothers risk obesity to feed children
Mothers who financially struggle to provide food for their families tend to put themselves at risk for obesity while trying to feed their children, according to Penn State sociologists.

When does planning NOT help consumers gain self-control?
Planning your diet won't really help you gain self-control unless you're feeling good about your weight in the first place, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Cell phone use in pregnancy may cause behavioral disorders in offspring
Exposure to radiation from cell phones during pregnancy affects the brain development of offspring, potentially leading to hyperactivity, Yale School of Medicine researchers have determined.

Researcher watches the start of his own disease with unprecedented detail
These days, most of us don't head to the doctor until we are already ill.

Asian breast cancer survivors suffer cognitive impairments associated with chemotherapy
Researchers from the National University of Singapore and National Cancer Centre Singapore found that Asians breast cancer sufferers undergoing chemo develop memory loss and decision-making and speech problems.

Australian firm to help explore final frontier
West Australian Science and Innovation Minister John Day today announced Fremantle-based company, Poseidon Scientific Instruments had been awarded a $1.3 million contract to help deliver a key radio astronomy project which will gain international recognition.

Blood vessel disease of retina may be marker of cognitive decline
Women 65 or older who have even mild retinopathy, a disease of blood vessels in the retina, are more likely to have cognitive decline and related vascular changes in the brain, according to a multi-institutional study led by scientists at the University of California, San Francisco.

Solitary waves induce waveguide that can split light beams
Researchers have designed the first theoretical model that describes the occurrence of multiple solitary optical waves, referred to as dark photovoltaic spatial solitons.

NIH brain imaging study finds evidence of basis for caregiving impulse
Distinct patterns of activity -- which may indicate a predisposition to care for infants -- appear in the brains of adults who view an image of an infant face -- even when the child is not theirs, according to a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health and in Germany, Italy, and Japan.

Mental health problems twice as prevalent in deaf people; provision of specialist services needed to improve access to mental health services for this population
A review in this week's Lancet says that mental health problems are about twice as prevalent in deaf people compared with the general population, and also reports disparities in access to and quality of mental health care for deaf people.

Wild orangutans stressed by eco-tourists, but not for long, IU study out of north Borneo finds
Wild orangutans that have come into contact with eco-tourists over a period of years show an immediate stress response but no signs of chronic stress, unlike other species in which permanent alterations in stress responses have been documented, new research from an Indiana University anthropologist has found.

An early spring drives butterfly population declines
Early snow melt in Colorado initiates two chains of events resulting in population decline in Speyeria mormonia.

New research reveals chief executive 'churn' as myth
Research into the leadership structure of the UK's largest companies, carried out by the University of Southampton in collaboration with executive search consultants Thorburn McAlister, suggests turnover rates or

Dr. Betty Vohr honored for Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Excellence
Betty R. Vohr, M.D., director of Women & Infants Hospital's Neonatal Follow-Up Clinic and medical director of the Rhode Island Hearing Assessment Program, has been presented with the national Antonia Brancia Maxon Award for Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Excellence.

Cystic fibrosis gene therapy program gets green light with public funding
A groundbreaking gene therapy trial for cystic fibrosis will begin in March, thanks to a new grant from a government funding body.

Taking another shot at RAGE to tame Alzheimer's
Researchers have taken another crack at a promising approach to stopping Alzheimer's disease that encountered a major hurdle last year.

Lung doctors expect respiratory diseases will worsen with global climate change
Worldwide increases in the incidences of asthma, allergies, infectious and cardiovascular diseases will result from a variety of impacts of global climate change, including rising temperatures, worsening ozone levels in urban areas, the spread of desertification, and expansions of the ranges of communicable diseases as the planet heats up, the professional organization representing respiratory and airway physicians stated in a new position paper released today.

Giant squids' giant eyes: The better to see hungry whales with
Now, researchers reporting online on March 15 in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, have used complex computations to explain those massive peepers.

Most Americans save only about half of their inheritances, study finds
A new national study suggests that adults who receive an inheritance save only about half of what they receive, while spending, donating or losing the rest.

Combination treatment in mice shows promise for fatal neurological disorder in kids
There are no effective treatments for Batten disease, a rare but fatal neurological disorder in children.

CYFRA21-1 might be predictive marker in advanced NSCLC
Researchers found that CYFRA and change in levels of CYFRA were found to be reliable markers for response to chemotherapy for non-small cell lung cancer in a study of 88 patients.

Pants on fire: When consumers lie to service providers
Is honesty the best policy? According to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, consumers who lie during a service encounter are more satisfied than truth tellers when they get what they want.

Poor literacy skills linked to increased mortality risk among older people
One in three older people who have difficulty reading and understanding basic health related information may be at increased risk of death, concludes a study published on today.

ChronoZoom: A deep dive into the history of everything
Working with eight UC Berkeley students and resources from Microsoft Research Connections, geologist Walter Alvarez has created new Web-based software that allows students, researchers and the general public to cruise from human history out to cosmic timescales.

Menopausal hormone therapy and breast cancer risk
In the past decade, results from large prospective cohort studies and the Women's Health Initiative randomized placebo-controlled hormone therapy trials have substantially changed thoughts about how estrogen alone and estrogen plus progestin influence the risk of breast cancer, according to a review published March 15 in the Journal of The National Cancer Institute.

Why would consumers pay more for separate than bundled products?
Packaging an expensive item with a cheap one seems like a no-brainer.

Researchers demonstrate versatility of solid-state protein sensor
A novel type of sensor, based on nanometer-scale pores in a semiconductor membrane, is a step closer to practical use in applications such as analyzing protein contents of a single cell.

Prominent national health leaders to speak at Keeneland Conference in April
Prominent health leaders representing the public, private and nonprofit sectors will speak next month at the 2012 Keeneland Conference, sponsored by the National Coordinating Center for Public Health Services and Systems Research which is housed at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health and funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

PCP genetic pathway acts as stop sign for cell growth
Little is known about how new cell growth is halted during normal processes.

Rising ocean temperatures harm protected coral reefs
Special conservation zones known as marine protected areas provide many direct benefits to fisheries and coral reefs.

MIT research: The power of being heard
MIT researchers show that when it comes to intergroup conflict, the group with less power benefits more from sharing its perspective, in a paper published online in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

Ottawa researchers to lead world-first clinical trial of stem cell therapy for septic shock
A team of researchers from the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and the University of Ottawa has been awarded $367,000 from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and $75,000 from the Stem Cell Network to lead the first clinical trial in the world of a stem cell therapy for septic shock.

New dataset provides 40-year record of carbon dioxide accumulation in the surface ocean
The most comprehensive dataset of surface water carbon dioxide measurements for the world's oceans and coastal seas is launched today by an international team of scientists led by the University of East Anglia.

European grasslands challenge rainforests as the most species-rich spaces on Earth
The city of Manila holds the human world record for the most densely populated space and now an international team of ecologists are seeking the natural equivalent, the most species rich area on earth.

Scientists map hotspots for genetic exchange in chimpanzees
Scientists at the University of Oxford and the University of Chicago have constructed the world's first genetic map in chimpanzees of recombination -- the exchange of genetic material within a chromosome that makes us all unique.

Clash of the crayfish: Why the Americans are winning
Aggressive American signal crayfish are threatening Britain's native white-clawed crayfish populations because they have better resistance to parasites and are less fussy about what they eat.

ONR outreach focuses on Pacific total force
The Office of Naval Research will bring its technologically advanced fuel cell vehicle and scientific expertise to the 2012 Pacific Operational Science & Technology Conference in Honolulu, March 19-22.

First-ever integrative 'Omics' profile lets Stanford scientist discover, track his diabetes onset
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine reached an unprecedented analysis in the field of personalized medicine.

Straintronics: Engineers create piezoelectric graphene
By depositing atoms on one side of a grid of the

First step taken to image ultra-fast movements in chemical reactions
A team of international researchers have fired ultra-fast shots of light at oxygen, nitrogen and carbon monoxide molecules as part of a development aimed at mapping the astonishingly quick movements of atoms within molecules, as well as the charges that surround them.

Fundamental overhaul of global environmental governance needed, argues article in Science
Reducing the risk of potential global environmental disaster requires a

Pleurectomy/decortication proposed preferred surgical procedure
Patients with early stage malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), a cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs, may be eligible for aggressive multi-modality therapy involving surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Now a cyclone, NASA sees Lua closer to a landfall in northern Australia
Warnings are in effect and evacuations have taken place along the northern Australia coast near Port Hedland.

Children in low-income neighborhood with special walking/bike trail exercised more
Children living in a neighborhood designed with a special bike trail were three times as likely as those in a traditional neighborhood to engage in vigorous physical activity, according to new research presented at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2012 Scientific Sessions.

Pancreatic Cancer Action Network-AACR Pathway to Leadership grants
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and the American Association for Cancer Research have awarded Stephanie K.

Protein researchers unravel the molecular dance of DNA repair
Using state-of-the-art technology, scientists at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research at the University of Copenhagen and their international collaborators have successfully obtained

Some people may be more susceptible to alcohol-induced fragmentary blackouts
A new study examines neural activation among individuals with and without a history of alcohol-induced fragmentary blackouts.

Bright future ahead for antibody cancer therapy
Antibodies, once touted as the

Recent generations focus more on fame, money than giving back
The times are changing, and not necessarily for the better when it comes to giving back to society, according to 40 years of research on nine million young adults.

Overweight, obese adults use electronic device to stick to diet, exercise
Overweight and obese adults who used an electronic diary program on a personal digital assistant did better at staying on diet and physical activity programs, researchers reported at the American Heart Association's Epidemiology and Prevention/Nutrition, Physical Activity and Metabolism 2012 Scientific Sessions.

NASA's IceBridge 2012 Arctic campaign takes to the skies
Researchers and flight crew with NASA's Operation IceBridge, an airborne mission to study changes in polar ice, began another season of science activity with the start of the 2012 Arctic campaign on March 13.

Designer lights from the physics lab
An international team, led by LMU researchers, has used

How do mood and emotional arousal affect consumer choices?
When they're in a positive mood, people tend to choose products that match their mood and their level of emotional arousal, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

A pioneer in mathematics: First woman math Ph.D. in America
Winifred Edgerton Merrill (1862-1951) was the first woman to receive a Ph.D. in mathematics in the United States.

Deprived of sex, jilted flies drink more alcohol
Now a group of scientists at the University of California, San Francisco has discovered that a tiny molecule in the fly's brain called neuropeptide F governs this behavior -- as the levels of the molecule change in their brains, the flies' behavior changes as well.

Syringe exchange programs -- a critical public health strategy without federal funding
A study from Rhode Island Hospital examined the two-year period when the current ban on federal funding for syringe exchange programs (SEPs) was lifted.

With climate change, US could face risk from Chagas disease
People in the US may be at higher risk for Chagas disease than previously understood.

Children exposed to cigarette smoke have increased risk of COPD in adulthood
A new study published in the journal Respirology reveals that children who are exposed to passive smoke have almost double the risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in adulthood compared with non-exposed children.

Empowering nurses to help diagnose mental health issues among children, adolescents
Within the health care system, children and adolescents with mental health and psychiatric conditions often go undiagnosed.

What the doctor didn't order: Exploring incidental findings in clinical genome sequencing
With whole-genome and whole-exome sequencing declining in price and improving in accuracy, these technologies are rapidly being integrated into clinical medicine.

'Unconscious' racial bias among doctors linked to poor communication with patients
Primary care physicians who hold unconscious racial biases tend to dominate conversations with African-American patients during routine visits, paying less attention to patients' social and emotional needs and making these patients feel less involved in decision making related to their health, Johns Hopkins researchers report.

Mini-CT scanner developed as a teaching tool
Biophysics professors at Western University in London, Canaada, have developed a CT scanner small enough to sit on a desk.

Leicester partnering world sidecar champions
The Department of Engineering at the University of Leicester is collaborating with Ben and Tom Birchall, former World Sidecar Champions, to improve the performance of their F2 sidecar at this year's Isle of Man Tourist Trophy races.

Is it a peanut or a tree nut? Half of those with allergies aren't sure
Adults and children in a recent study could correctly identify, on average, fewer than half of an assortment of the peanuts and tree nuts that are among the most common food allergens in the United States.

Process makes polymers truly plastic
Just as a chameleon changes its color to blend in with its environment, Duke University engineers have demonstrated for the first time that they can alter the texture of plastics on demand, for example, switching back and forth between a rough surface and a smooth one.

Study looks at discrimination's impact on smoking
Smoking, the leading preventable cause of mortality in the United States, continues to disproportionately impact lower income members of racial and ethnic minority groups.

India cannot achieve China-like growth without reforms
Without new and sustained governmental reforms, India will not realize its economic growth goals or potential, according to a new policy report from Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.

New research suggests cap and trade programs do not provide sufficient incentives for innovation
Cap and trade programs to reduce emissions do not inherently provide incentives to induce the private sector to develop innovative technologies to address climate change, according to a new study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Sex-deprived fruit flies' alcohol preference could uncover answers for human addictions
Troy Zars, an associate professor of biological sciences at the University of Missouri and neurobiology expert, said that understanding why rejected male flies find solace in ethanol could help treat human addictions.

Computer simulations help explain why HIV cure remains elusive
In the March 2012 issue of the Genetics Society of America journal Genetics , Australian scientist Jack da Silva, Ph.D., explains how he used computer simulations to discover that a population starting from a single human immunodeficiency virus can evolve fast enough to escape immune defenses, making development of a cure and treatment difficult.

Bilingual immigrants are healthier, according to new Rice study
Bilingual immigrants are healthier than immigrants who speak only one language, according to new research from sociologists at Rice University.

Information processing in Drosophila: New EU research network for doctoral candidates
Eight European research institutes, including Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), and three commercial partners have joined forces in an EU project to provide young academics with an outstanding research environment in the field of systemic neuroscience.

Keck award enables Carnegie Mellon and Stanford to dramatically expand crowdsourced RNA design
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Stanford University are expanding EteRNA -- a unique research project that taps online game play to create RNA designs that are then tested in a laboratory -- thanks to new support from the W.M.

Astronomers using NASA's Hubble discover quasars acting as gravitational lenses
Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have found several examples of galaxies containing quasars, which act as gravitational lenses, amplifying and distorting images of galaxies aligned behind them.

Panel of serum biomarkers may reduce number of lung biopsies needed
A panel of serum biomarkers could help predict the level of lung cancer risk in high-risk patients, offering doctors an option before proceeding with a biopsy.

White rice increases risk of Type 2 diabetes
The risk of Type 2 diabetes is significantly increased if white rice is eaten regularly, claims a study published today on

CNIO researchers take part in the most comprehensive personalized medicine study performed to date
The availability of cheaper techniques to read and analyze the genome have encouraged more and more people to get theirs sequenced.

Decision quicksand: Why do consumers get mired in trivial choices?
Does it matter which toothbrush or breakfast cereal you buy?

Dietary cadmium may be linked with breast cancer risk
Dietary cadmium, a toxic metal widely dispersed in the environment and found in many farm fertilizers, may lead to an increased risk of breast cancer, according to a study published in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Basketball-sized eyes help squids play defense
A physical and biological model of the 10-inch eyes and knowledge of the light environment at 1000 meters deep leads to supposition about how the eyes are used.

Cancer paradigm shift: Biomarker links clinical outcome with new model of lethal tumor metabolism
Researchers at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson have demonstrated for the first time that the metabolic biomarker MCT4 directly links clinical outcomes with a new model of tumor metabolism that has patients

How does the order of choices affect consumer decisions?
Let's say you've got to book a flight, choose a hotel, and rent a car.

Moderate drinking associated with lower risk of stroke in women
Light to moderate alcohol consumption has been consistently associated with lower risk of heart disease, but data for stroke are less certain, especially among women.

More is not always better: Frequent dialysis does not markedly improve physical health
Some recent observational studies suggest that more frequent hemodialysis may prolong kidney failure patients' lives compared with conventional dialysis.

Disabling cancer cells' defenses against radiation
Researchers at Winship Cancer Institute are developing a technique to remove cancer cells' defenses against radiation.

Alcohol-dependent individuals have problems transferring new knowledge to new contexts
A new study examines the ability of alcohol-dependent (AD) patients to learn and transfer acquired knowledge.

Monitoring antibiotic use cuts millions in wasteful spending, study finds
Curbing unnecessary use of antibiotics is our best defense against the spread of drug-resistant infections.

Researchers create more efficient hydrogen fuel cells
Hydrogen fuel cells, like those found in some 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