Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 02, 2012
Obesity epidemic in America found significantly worse than previously believed
The scope of the obesity epidemic in the United States has been greatly underestimated.

Study examines use of waist measures among overweight and obese adolescents
Waist measures (waist circumference, waist to height ratio) in conjunction with body mass index appear to be associated with lipid and blood pressure assessments among overweight and obese adolescents, according to a report published online first by Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, a JAMA Network publication.

Contact networks have no influence on cooperation among individuals
Researchers at Carlos III University of Madrid and the University of Zaragoza theoretically predict, in a scientific study, that contact networks have no influence on cooperation among individuals.

Radiology department develops smartcard to communicate radiation risks of adult radiologic exams
According to a study in the April issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology, the department of radiology at the University of Colorado in Denver has developed a convenient, pocket-sized reference card to communicate the effective doses and radiation risks of common adult radiologic exams to referring physicians and patients.

UMass Amherst computer scientist leads the way to the next revolution in artificial intelligence
Hava Siegelmann, an expert in neural networks, has taken Alan Turing's work to its next logical step, translating her 1993 discovery into an adaptable computational system that learns and evolves way much more like our brains do.

What do ADHD and cancer have in common? Variety
According to new research, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is more than one disorder.

Researchers questioning the link between violent computer games and aggressiveness
There is a long-lasting and at times intense debate about the possible link between violent computer games and aggressiveness.

Information superhighway 'bypassing adult learners' -- new study
Despite a world of opportunities just a click away, there has been no significant shift in the uptake of lifelong learning over the past decade, according to new research.

Virus protects against autoimmunity
To the surprise of investigating researchers, an animal model of Epstein Barr virus protected lupus-prone mice against development of the autoimmune disease.

Self-sculpting sand
New algorithms could enable heaps of

2 specific agents worse than 1 in treating endocrine resistant breast cancer cells
A new class of agents known as c-Src inhibitors is being tested in a number of different ways to treat breast cancer, but researchers at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center caution that they should not be used in combination with estrogen to treat endocrine resistant breast cancer.

Discovery of the first evidence for Pre-Columbian sources of Maya Blue
A team of scientists has established a link between contemporary indigenous knowledge and ancient sources of a mineral in the pigment known as Maya Blue.

JCI early table of contents for April 2, 2012
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, April 2, 2012, in the JCI.

Otto Warburg Medal for Alexander Varshavsky
Biochemist and geneticist Alexander Varshavsky, who was born in Moscow and has lived in the USA since 1977, has been awarded the Otto Warburg Medal of the German Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Newly found protein helps cells build tissues
Brown University biologists have found a new molecule in fruit flies that is key to the information exchange needed to build wings properly.

New project to invest US $12 million to boost yam productivity in Ghana and Nigeria
In one of the most ambitious efforts ever undertaken on behalf of an orphan crop like yam, the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture and a host of partners announced today a landmark new initiative to dramatically boost yam productivity and double the incomes of three million yam farmers in West Africa.

Nearly half of preschoolers lack 1 parent-supervised playtime per day
Parents reported that about half of the preschoolers in a nationally representative sample did not have at least one parent-supervised outdoor playtime per day, according to a report published online first by Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, a JAMA Network publication.

Gray seals consume as much fish as the fishing industry catches
The gray seals in the Baltic Sea compete for fish with the fishing industry.

BUSM researchers uncover liver's role in preventing dissemination of lung infection
Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine have discovered the regulation and functional significance of the acute phase response during a lung infection.

Scientists find evidence that human ancestors used fire one million years ago
An international team led by the University of Toronto and Hebrew University has identified the earliest known evidence of the use of fire by human ancestors.

Phase III research represents potential shift in standard of care for bladder cancer
Connaught strain of bacillus Calmette-Guérin proved superior. Patients treated with Tice strain may be at increased risk for recurrence.

Navy's new robotics lab will speed technology to the total force
Scientists based in the nation's capital are stepping into the desert and rainforest to run experiments on autonomous systems without having to set foot outside the Navy's new robotics laboratory, officials said April 2.

Fewer deaths, complications with robotic bladder cancer surgery, but cost is higher
A study found that compared to traditional open surgery, robotic surgery for removal of the bladder due to cancer had fewer deaths and complications, but was more expensive.

Too dog tired to avoid danger
How do dogs behave when their ability to exert self-control is compromised?

South Pole Telescope provides new insights into dark energy and neutrinos
Analysis of data from the National Science Foundation- funded ten-meter South Pole Telescope in Antarctica provides new support for the most widely accepted explanation of dark energy, the source of the mysterious force that is responsible for the accelerating expansion of the universe.

A*STAR scientists discover special class of natural fats stimulates immune cells to fight diseases
An international research team led by scientists from Singapore Immunology Network under the Agency of Science, Technology and Research discovered that a special class of fatty molecules is essential for activating a unique group of early-responding immune cells.

Study finds doctors have exaggerated fears when starting patients on insulin
Doctors are more reluctant to start their patients on insulin than the patients are themselves, according to a new study led by researchers at St.

PTSD genes identified by UCLA study
Why do some persons succumb to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) while others who suffered the same ordeal do not?

'Druggable' protein complex identified as a therapeutic target in acute myeloid leukemia
Scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have identified a candidate drug target for treating acute myeloid leukemia, a white blood cell cancer that proliferates out of control in the bone marrow.

Hypnosis provides effective treatment for IBS
Hypnosis can be a highly effective treatment for the bowel disorder IBS.

Partner aggression in high-risk families affects parenting beginning at birth
Bickering spouses may need to clean up their act. New research at the University of Oregon finds that the level of aggression between partners around the time when a child is born impacts how a mom will be parenting three years later.

Scientists find slow subsidence of Earth's crust beneath the Mississippi delta
The Earth's crust beneath the Mississippi Delta sinks at a much slower rate than what had been assumed.

Scripps Florida scientists shed light on age-related memory loss and possible treatments
Scientists from the Florida campus of the Scripps Research Institute have shown in animal models that the loss of memory that comes with aging is not necessarily a permanent thing.

New boost for pancreatic cancer therapy
Scientists at Fox Chase Cancer Center are developing a new way to treat pancreatic cancer by boosting the effects of gemcitabine (Gemzar) -- the chemotherapy drug that is considered standard therapy for the disease.

Clemson scientist receives NIH grant to continue study of deadly tropical disease
Clemson University researcher James Morris received a $360,079 competitive renewal grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue his study of Trypanosoma brucei, the single-celled parasite that causes African sleeping sickness.

Mission critical: Species explorers propose steps to map biosphere
An ambitious goal to describe 10 million species in less than 50 years is achievable and necessary to sustain Earth's biodiversity, according to an international group of 39 scientists, scholars and engineers who provided a detailed plan, including measures to build public support, in the March 30 issue of the journal Systematics and Biodiversity.

In defense of older drivers
The notion that senior drivers have higher rates of crashes because they are poorer drivers is largely a misconception, according to a commentary in CMAJ.

Sampling the Pacific for signs of Fukushima
An international research team is reporting the results of a research cruise they organized to study the amount, spread, and impacts of radiation released into the ocean from the tsunami-crippled reactors in Fukushima, Japan.

University of Toronto researchers shedding new light on neural imaging research
Using cutting-edge illumination technology, professor Ofer Levi and his research students from the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering and the Edward S.

Whole genome sequencing not informative for all, Johns Hopkins study shows
With sharp declines in the cost of whole genome sequencing, the day of accurately deciphering disease risk based on an individual's genome may seem at hand.

Teen alcohol and illicit drug use and abuse examined in study
A survey of a nationally representative sample of US teenagers suggests that most cases of alcohol and drug abuse have their initial onset at this important period of development, according to a report published in the April issue of Archives of General Psychiatry, a JAMA Network publication.

H5N1 research symposium to be webcast live to public
The Royal Society in London will host an international symposium this week to address research issues surrounding H5N1 avian influenza research.

Scientists study the catalytic reactions used by plants to split oxygen from water
Green plants produce oxygen from water using a catalytic technique powered by sunlight.

From beaker to bits: Collaboration creates computational model of human tissue
Computer scientists and biologists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a rare collaboration between the two very different fields to pick apart a fundamental roadblock to progress in modern medicine.

How stress influences disease: Carnegie Mellon study reveals inflammation as the culprit
Stress wreaks havoc on the mind and body. Until now, it has not been clear exactly how stress influences disease and health.

Patients want immediate access to radiology test results
You've been experiencing severe back pain and weakness in your right leg.

Science means innovation
On March 29, 2012, the National Science Foundation conducted a bipartisan congressional briefing sponsored by the Coalition for National Science Funding and hosted by the Congressional Research and Development Caucus and its Co-Chairs Rush Holt (NJ-12) and Judy Biggert (IL-13) and special guests Representatives Daniel Lipinski (IL-3) and Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18).

Molecular imaging links systemic inflammation with depression
New research published in the April issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine reveals that systemic inflammation causes an increase in depressive symptoms and metabolic changes in the parts of the brain responsible for mood and motivation.

Empathy doesn't extend across the political aisle
When we try to put ourselves in someone else's shoes, we usually go all the way, assuming that they feel the same way we do.

Early PET response to neoadjuvant chemo predicts increased survival in sarcoma patients
An early Positron Emission Tomography response after the initial cycle of neoadjuvant chemotherapy can be used to predict increased survival in patients with soft tissue sarcomas.

ACR updates guidelines for use of DMARDs and biologic drugs in treating rheumatoid arthritis
The American College of Rheumatology has released the 2012 recommendations for the use of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs and biologic agents in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

UNH research brings new understanding to past global warming events
A series of global warming events called hyperthermals that occurred more than 50 million years ago had a similar origin to a much larger hyperthermal of the period, the Pelaeocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), new research has found.

The ACR endorses standardized measures to determine rheumatoid arthritis disease activity
A working group convened by the American College of Rheumatology has evaluated more than 60 disease activity measures for rheumatoid arthritis.

UT Southwestern chair of molecular biology wins 2012 Beering Award
Dr. Eric N. Olson, chairman of molecular biology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, is the winner of the 2012 Steven C.

Cancer stem cell vaccine in development shows antitumor effect
Stem cells had greater effect than differentiated tumor cells in eliciting antitumor immunity in vivo.

Sparrows change their tune to be heard in noisy cities
Sparrows in San Francisco's Presidio district changed their tune to soar above the increasing cacophony of car horns and engine rumbles, details new George Mason University research in the April edition of Animal Behaviour.

Measles-containing vaccines not linked with increased risk of febrile seizures in kids 4-6
Vaccines for measles were not associated with an increased risk of febrile seizures among 4-6 year olds during the six weeks after vaccination, according to a study by the Kaiser Permanente Vaccine Study Center that appears in the current issue of Pediatrics.

Walking can help alleviate fatigue after a cancer operation
A new study in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons reveals how a regular walking regimen can benefit some cancer survivors.

Nearly half of preschool children not taken outside to play by parents on a daily basis: Study
A new study led by Pooja Tandon, M.D., M.P.H., of Seattle Children's Research Institute found that nearly half of preschoolers in a sample representing four million US children did not have even one parent-supervised outdoor play opportunity per day.

TGen presents triple-negative breast cancer study supported by Life Technologies
Because cases of triple-negative breast cancer are so genetically different, whole-genome sequencing is needed to detect the subtle molecular differences that might point to specific treatments for individual patients.

Increasing numbers of employers request extracts from the Criminal Records Registry
It has become evermore common that employers check whether an applicant for a job has a criminal record.

New research could stop tumor cells from spreading
Researchers from the department of chemistry and molecular biology at the University of Gothenburg have managed for the first time to obtain detailed information about the role of the protein metastasin in the spread of tumor cells.

Cell Press launches Enhanced Career Network
Cell Press launches its new career network to help life scientists discover the best jobs in industry, academia, and government.

Suicide in the Civil War South
A Binghamton University historian is contributing to new ideas about the Civil War and its consequences.

New study is first to show that pesticides can induce morphological changes in vertebrate animals
The world's most popular weed killer, Roundup®, can cause amphibians to change shape, according to research published today in Ecological Applications.

Combination drug treatment can cut malaria by 30 percent
Malaria infections among infants can be cut by up to 30 percent when antimalarial drugs are given intermittently over a 12-month period, a three-year clinical trial in Papua New Guinea has shown.

Discovery paves way for improved painkillers
An international team of researchers involving the University of Adelaide and University of Colorado has made a major discovery that could lead to more effective treatment of severe pain using morphine.

Asbestos workers at significantly increased risk of heart disease/strokes
Workers exposed to asbestos as part of their job are at significantly greater risk of heart disease and stroke than the general population, finds research published online in Occupational and Environmental Medicine.

CU study has implications for increasing morphine effectiveness, decreasing drug abuse
A University of Colorado Boulder-led research team has discovered that two protein receptors in the central nervous system team up to respond to morphine and cause unwanted neuroinflammation, a finding with implications for improving the efficacy of the widely used painkiller while decreasing its abuse potential.

Giant Telescope project partners pass on federal funds
The board of directors of the Giant Magellan Telescope Organization has informed the National Science Foundation that they will not participate in an upcoming funding opportunity.

Exploring the antidepressant effects of testosterone
Testosterone, the primary male sex hormone, appears to have antidepressant properties, but the exact mechanisms underlying its effects have remained unclear.

Caloric moderation can reverse link between low birth weight and obesity, early study indicates
Babies who are born small have a tendency to put on weight during childhood and adolescence if allowed free access to calories.

Graduated drivers' licenses for seniors
Introducing graduated drivers' licenses for seniors in Canada might help improve road safety, states an editorial in CMAJ.

Fermi observations of dwarf galaxies provide new insights on dark matter
Scientists working with data from NASA's Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope have looked for signals from dark matter by zeroing in on 10 small, faint galaxies that orbit our own.

Death cap mushroom poison to arrest pancreatic cancer in mice
Scientists of the German Cancer Research Center have coupled the fungal toxin amanitin to an antibody which recognizes a cancer-typical target molecule.

The sounds of Mars and Venus are revealed for the first time
In a world first, the sounds of Mars and Venus are revealed as part of a planetarium show in Hampshire this Easter.

Mayo Clinic study finds dramatic rise in skin cancer in young adults
Even as the rates of some cancers are falling, Mayo Clinic is seeing an alarming trend: the dramatic rise of skin cancer, especially among people under 40.

Sweden's largest Facebook study: A survey of 1,000 Swedish Facebook users
The surveyed women spend an average of 81 minutes per day on Facebook, whereas men spend 64 minutes.

Researchers identify a gene that predicts recurrence in squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck
Squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck is the sixth most common type of cancer worldwide.

Fertilizer use responsible for increase in nitrous oxide in atmosphere
UC Berkeley chemists have analyzed the isotopic composition of nitrous oxide - a greenhouse and ozone-destroying gas - in air samples from as far back as 1940 and found the fingerprint of nitrogen-based fertilizer.

Breast cancer resistance linked to timing of soy consumption
In preclinical models, soy isoflavone genistein intake in adult life which continues during tamoxifen treatment for breast cancer appears to make the tumors resistant to tamoxifen.

Routine mammograms may result in significant overdiagnosis of invasive breast cancer
New Harvard School of Public Health research suggests that routine mammography screening -- long viewed as an essential tool in detecting early breast cancers -- may in fact lead to a significant amount of overdiagnosis of disease that would otherwise have proved harmless.

Climate model to predict malaria outbreaks in India
Scientists from the University of Liverpool are working with computer modeling specialists in India to predict areas of the country that are at most risk of malaria outbreaks, following changes in monsoon rainfall.

New program will study the role of religion in practicing medicine
Is a doctor's spirituality an obstacle or a benefit in the clinic?

Mayo Clinic-led study finds 2-drug combo slows advanced pancreatic cancer
The combination of the novel drug TH-302 with the standard drug gemcitabine has shown early signs of delaying the worsening of cancer in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer, a Mayo Clinic-led study has found.

Suicide rates in Canada increasing in girls aged 10-19
Suicide rates in Canada are increasing for girls but decreasing for boys, with suffocation now the most common method for both sexes, according to an article in CMAJ.

To boldly go where no glass has gone before
QUT's first foray into space is bound to be a giant step for mankind.

Early life emotional trauma may stunt intellectual development
Early life emotional trauma may stunt intellectual development, indicates the first long term study of its kind, published online in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Can we feed a world of 9 billion people?
With the world population already exceeding seven billion, can the fight against hunger be won in the future?

Researchers uncover new clues to the development of blood and other cancers
Scientists at Fox Chase Cancer Center have uncovered more details about how defects in components of the machinery that makes new proteins can lead to blood and other cancers.

Embargoed news for Annals of Internal Medicine
Below is information about articles being published in the April 3 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

Study links intrauterine antipsychotic medication exposure to lower scores on infant neuromotor test
Among six-month-old infants, a history of intrauterine antipsychotic medication exposure was associated with significantly lower scores on a standard test of neuromotor performance, according to a report published online first by Archives of General Psychiatry, a JAMA Network publication.

Corals 'could survive a more acidic ocean'
Corals may be better placed to cope with the gradual acidification of the world's oceans than previously thought -- giving rise to hopes that coral reefs might escape climatic devastation.

Aging accelerates brain abnormalities in childhood onset epilepsy patients
New research confirms that childhood onset temporal lobe epilepsy has a significant impact on brain aging.

New clinical trial explores novel noninvasive colon cancer screening test
In a first-of-its-kind clinical trial, physician-scientists at University Hospitals Case Medical Center's Seidman Cancer Center and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine are studying a promising new noninvasive technology for colon cancer screening -- stool DNA (sDNA).

No Estelle effect in the 'confidence barometer'
Professors Soren Holmberg and Lennart Weibull presented the 2012 results of the annual study

Dartmouth scientists track radioactive iodine from Japan nuclear reactor meltdown
Using a new investigative methodology, Dartmouth researchers have found and tracked radioactive iodine in New Hampshire from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

Task force recommends reducing global harvest of 'forage fish'
A task force has strongly recommended more conservative catch limits for global

Safe, low-cost device could prevent premature delivery in women at high risk of preterm birth
Insertion of a safe, low-cost cervical pessary during the midtrimester of pregnancy in women who are at a high risk for preterm birth significantly reduces the likelihood of premature delivery, the leading cause of death in newborns.

Can cold cash, social game relieve rush hour traffic?
To lower traffic congestion and pollution at Stanford University, a new program seeks to get drivers to avoid arriving and departing the campus during peak hours.

Guidelines-based CPR saves more non-shockable cardiac arrest victims
CPR can save someone with cardiac arrest even if they don't respond to a defibrillator.

Burtele foot indicates Lucy not alone
A new fossil discovery from Eastern Africa called the Burtele foot indicates Australopithecus afarensis, an early relative of modern humans, may not have been the only hominin to walk the plains and woodlands of what is now the Afar region of Ethiopia some 3.4 million years ago.

Postpone the nuclear waste decision
Although nuclear waste has been produced for a long time, there is still no good way to discard the highly toxic material, which remains hazardous for up to 130,000 years.

Cancer patients under-referred for orthopedic oncology services
There is a disconnect between the number of cancer patients estimated to have bone metastases and the number of patients who are sent for orthopedic care each year, states an article in the Canadian Journal of Surgery.

Yale Nobel laureate creates compound that halts growth of malaria parasite
A drug candidate that has shown promise for neutralizing dangerous bacteria also prevents the parasite that causes malaria from growing, new research by a Yale University team headed by Nobel laureate Sidney Altman shows.

Study examines immunotherapy and cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers in patients with Alzheimer's disease
Immunotherapy with the antibody bapineuzumab in patients with mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease resulted in decreases in a cerebrospinal fluid biomarker, which may indicate downstream effects on the degenerative process, according to a report published online first by Archives of Neurology, a JAMA Network publication.

Seeing double: 1 in 30 babies born in US is a twin
Women having children at older ages and the growing availability of fertility treatments has led to a marked increase in the birth of twins: In 2009, one in every 30 babies born in the United States was a twin compared with one in every 53 in 1980.

Researchers find little secondary cancer risk from multi-detector CT scans in Medicare population
The secondary cancer risk from multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT) scans is low among older adults, according to a study from Stanford University in the April issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

MMRF and TGen announce molecular profiling; Biobanking for landmark multiple myeloma study
The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation today announced a unique oncology research partnership.

Osteoporosis drugs may increase risk of serious eye disease
Drugs that are commonly used to prevent osteoporosis may increase the risk of serious inflammatory eye disease in first-time users, found an article in CMAJ.

New Hillman Scholars Program offers UNC undergraduates accelerated path to nursing Ph.D.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing has been awarded $3 million over five years from the Rita and Alex Hillman Foundation to design and implement the Hillman Scholars Program in Nursing Innovation.

Should a genetic predisposition to breast cancer be disclosed to children?
When a mother undergoes genetic testing to determine whether she carries a gene for hereditary breast cancer, the parents must then decide whether and how to share this risk information with their children.

Stimulating the brain to improve speech, memory, numerical abilities
One of the most frustrating challenges for stroke patients can be the inability to find and speak words even if they know what they want to say.

English makes adolescents less motivated to learn a new language
Swedish adolescents' desire to learn a foreign language besides English, which they start learning relatively early, has been declining for a long time.

Getting down to the heart of the (gray) matter to treat Parkinson's disease
An agent under consideration for use in PET imaging combats neuronal death to relieve Parkinsonian symptoms in animal models, according to a study in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

New signaling pathway linked to breast cancer metastasis
Lymph nodes help to fight off infections by producing immune cells and filtering foreign materials from the body, such as bacteria or cancer cells.

Ancient Egyptian cotton unveils secrets of domesticated crop evolution
Scientists studying 1,600-year-old cotton from the banks of the Nile have found what they believe is the first evidence that punctuated evolution has occurred in a major crop group within the relatively short history of plant domestication.

Black holes grow big by eating stars
Most galaxies, including the Milky Way, have a supermassive black hole at their center weighing millions to billions of suns.

Strong oral carcinogen identified in smokeless tobacco
(S)-NNN is

Pitt researchers link neural variability to short-term memory and decision making
A team of University of Pittsburgh mathematicians is using computational models to better understand how the structure of neural variability relates to such functions as short-term memory and decision making.

BMC physician awarded NIDA grant for addiction medicine training program
Boston Medical Center physician Jeffrey Samet, M.D., chief, section of general internal medicine, in collaboration with co-principal investigator, Patrick O'Connor, M.D., chief section of general internal medicine at Yale School of Medicine, were awarded a five-year, $1.4 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse to aid the development of formal addiction medicine training programs.

Surgery cuts costs, improves outcomes for children with perforated appendicitis
A Journal of the American College of Surgeons study finds that early appendectomy leads to shorter hospital stays, fewer medical interventions, and lower hospital charges.

Genetically modified mice to visualize in vivo inflammation and metastasis
Researchers of the Spanish National Cancer Research Center, led by Sagrario Ortega, have created transgenic mice in which, for the first time, the growth of the lymphatic vessels can be visualized in the whole animal, by a light-emitting reaction, as tumor progresses and forms metastasis.

Sex‑offender registries list individuals not living in community, UW study
Do an online search for sex offenders living in your neighborhood and you may be alarmed by how many you find. 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