Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 03, 2012
UCLA Brain Injury Research Center gets NCAA funding for research on sports concussions
in an effort to better understand the long-term consequences of sports-related concussions, the National Collegiate Athletic Association is funding a study by a consortium of researchers who will examine the effects of head injuries on student-athletes over the course of their college careers and beyond.

NIH's 'PEERx' for teens to be showcased at Rx Drug Abuse Summit
A unique, new campaign targeting teens will be on exhibit at the first national summit addressing the prescription drug abuse epidemic.

Researchers validate staging classifications for neuroendocrine pancreatic tumor surgery response
Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center have carried out a study to validate the utility of new tumor classification systems for staging and predicting relapse-free survival for patients with neuroendocrine tumors and who may be candidates for surgery.

Noninvasive stool test for colorectal cancer unaffected by variables
Patients did not have to adjust lifestyle or common drugs for this test.

'Positive stress' helps protect eye from glaucoma
Working in mice, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Don't send your recycled glasses to developing countries
You might feel good sending your old reading glasses to a developing country.

Cholesterol drug shows benefit in animal study of Alzheimer's disease
A cholesterol drug commonly prescribed to reduce cardiovascular disease risk restores blood vessel function in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease, according to a study in the April 4 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

Programming computers to help computer programmers
Computer scientists from Rice University and eight other institutions are teaming up to address one of the greatest ironies of the information age: While computers have automated the manufacture of thousands of products, the software that allows them to do this is still written by hand.

Science philosopher Nancy Cartwright to receive honorary degree at SMU commencement
Nancy Cartwright, considered one of the most important and influential contemporary philosophers of science, will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Southern Methodist University during the university's commencement ceremony in Dallas on May 12.

NASA infrared image sees a stronger Tropical Storm Daphne
Tropical Storm Daphne strengthened overnight and was captured in an infrared image from NASA's Terra satellite.

Viral replication impedes the efficacy of a targeted therapy against virus-induced lymphomas
Kaposi's sarcoma herpesvirus (KSHV) is a human tumor virus and an etiological agent for Kaposi's sarcoma and primary effusion lymphoma (PEL).

Mayo Clinic study identifies optimal gene targets for new colon cancer test
A study presented today by Mayo Clinic researchers at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2012 in Chicago identified two genes that are optimal targets to be analyzed in a new noninvasive test for colorectal cancer developed by Mayo Clinic, in collaboration with Exact Sciences Corporation.

ONR grant expands University of Miami satellite research in Asia Pacific
The Office of Naval Research has provided a grant that expands the University of Miami's satellite research into typhoons, monsoons, and internal waves in Asia-Pacific region.

Is bioenergy expansion harmful to wildlife?
Despite the predicted environmental benefits of biofuels, converting land to grow bioenergy crops may harm native wildlife.

Renowned geneticist R. Rodney Howell receives ACMG Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award
R. Rodney Howell, M.D., FACMG, is the recipient of the 2012 American College of Medical Genetics Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award.

Scripps Research Institute scientists find promising vaccine targets on hepatitis C virus
A team led by scientists at the Scripps Research Institute has found antibodies that can prevent infection from widely differing strains of hepatitis C virus in cell culture and animal models.

Targeted therapeutics for colon cancer to be presented at AACR meeting
Anurag Singh, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics at Boston University School of Medicine has been invited to present his recent work on targeted therapeutics for colon cancer at the American Association of Cancer Research Annual Meeting in Chicago, Ill.

A new application allows online statistical analysis of gene-expression data
The journal Computers in Biology and Medicine has published an article on the new IT application BootstRatio, created by IDIBELL researchers.

Future naval force may sail with the strength of titanium
Steel may have met its match: an Office of Naval Research-funded project will produce a full-size ship hull section made entirely with marine grade titanium using a welding innovation that could help bring titanium into future Navy ship construction, officials announced April 3.

New compound targets key mechanism behind lymphoma
Scientists at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia have come one step closer to developing the first treatment to target a key pathway in lymphoma.

A study confirms that long commercials evoke stronger emotions
Through a psycho-physiological study developed jointly by El Bureau de la Comunicacion, the Tecnalia Centre for Applied Research, and the UPV/EHU, it has been possible to measure the emotional response of a person to a series of television adverts.

New method yields insulin-producing pancreatic cell clusters
Three-dimensional clusters of pancreatic beta-cells that live much longer and secrete more insulin than single cells grown in the laboratory are valuable new tools for studying pancreatic diseases such as diabetes and for testing novel therapies.

Race may play role in presentation of triple-negative breast cancer in hispanic women
Disease prevalence is similar between Hispanics in Puerto Rico and California.

4 works better than 3
Findings from a Saint Louis University study should bring better protection from influenza.

SFU HIV/AIDS vaccine research gets financial boost
Jamie Scott, a Simon Fraser University professor and Canada Research Chair in molecular immunity, and three international collaborators are getting a hefty financial boost in their efforts to develop an effective HIV/AIDS vaccine.

Credible medical evidence of widespread torture in Darfur
Allegations of widespread, sustained torture and other human rights violations by the Government of Sudan and Janjaweed forces against non-Arabic-speaking civilians are corroborated in a study published in this week's PLoS Medicine.

Researchers discover a DNA marker that indicates if ovarian cancer treatment will be successful
Researchers and doctors at the North Shore-LIJ Health System and the have discovered that blood can help determine the best treatment plan for patients with ovarian cancer.

Southampton research could lead to better treatments for cardiovascular disease
Scientists at the University of Southampton have discovered a new process that controls the ability of arteries to regulate blood pressure.

Changing old attitudes to aging and making aging well a global priority
This year's WHO World Health Day will be on healthy aging, with the official launch on April 4 ahead of the actual World Health Day on April 7.

5 awarded by biochemistry and molecular biology society
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researchers have received five of the 11 awards for excellence in biochemistry and microbiology announced by the Australian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology this month.

Oral use of antibiotic fluoroquinolones may increase risk of retinal detachment; absolute risk small
In an analysis of a cohort that included nearly one million patients who had visited an ophthalmologist, patients who were taking oral fluoroquinolones had a higher risk of developing a retinal detachment, a serious eye condition, compared with nonusers, although the absolute risk was small, according to a study in the April 4 issue of JAMA.

Excess body weight associated with increased risk for prostate cancer recurrence
Risk for prostate cancer recurrence increased as excess body weight increased.

'An Early Start for Your Child with Autism'
Sally Rogers and Geraldine Dawson are pioneering autism researchers known for their work on early interventions for infants and preschoolers.

'Saints under Siege' explores raid that removed 439 children from their parents for months
James Richardson, professor of sociology and judicial studies at the University of Nevada, Reno, and Stuart A.

Young women at growing risk of drunk-driving crashes
Underage female drinkers have been at a growing risk of fatal car crashes in recent years -- so much that they've caught up with their male counterparts, according to a study in the May issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

Researchers reveal why some pain drugs become less effective over time
Researchers at the University of Montreal's Sainte-Justine Hospital have identified how neural cells like those in our bodies are able to build up resistance to opioid pain drugs within hours.

April 2012 story tips
A team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Jeremy Smith demonstrated how the combination of high-performance computer simulation and a type of neutron analysis called spin echo can be used to study certain motions in proteins.

Stopping the spread of a deadly childhood bone cancer
Many children with the bone cancer osteosarcoma die after the tumor spreads to their lungs.

Advanced power-grid research finds low-cost, low-carbon future in West
The least expensive way for the Western US to reduce greenhouse gas emissions enough to help prevent the worst consequences of global warming is to replace coal with renewable and other sources of energy that may include nuclear power, according to a new study by UC Berkeley researchers.

Early warning system for seizures could cut false alarms
Biomedical engineers have devised seizure detection software to significantly cut the number of unneeded electrical pulses an epilepsy patient receives from brain implants.

Baseline hormone levels may predict survival in metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer
High hormone levels are linked to longer survival regardless of treatment.

Northwestern study compares endovascular brain aneurysm repair devices
Researchers seek to determine if newly FDA approved gel-coated coils are more effective than the current standard bare platinum coils for aneurysm treatment.

Serious complications after esophageal surgery cause lasting health problems in long-term survivors
Esophageal cancer is a very serious form of cancer that, if not fatal, requires extensive surgery.

Robosquirrels vs. rattlesnakes
Robot squirrels from UC Davis are going into rattlesnake country near San Jose, continuing a research project on the interaction between squirrels and rattlesnakes.

Quantum information motion control is now improved
Physicists have recently devised a new method for handling the effect of the interplay between vibrations and electrons on electronic transport.

Online tool helps you assess your intellectual property awareness
A new online tool developed by NIST and the US Patent and Trade Office can help small companies and entrepreneurs evaluate their awareness of intellectual property -- trade secrets, company data and more -- and learn how to protect it.

Increased risk of cardiovascular disease for relatives of cancer patients
A current study shows that the risk for coronary heart disease and stroke increases by almost thirty per cent in a person whose partner has cancer.

Plants mimic scent of pollinating beetles
The color and scent of flowers and their perception by pollinator insects are believed to have evolved in the course of mutual adaptation.

Algae biofuels: the wave of the future
Researchers at Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech have assembled the draft genome of a marine algae sequence to aid scientists across the US in a project that aims to discover the best algae species for producing biodiesel fuel.

Infection linked to dangerous blood clots in veins and lungs, U-M study shows
Obesity, smoking and diabetes are among the most common risk factors linked to blood clots.

Annual mammography with screening ultrasound may benefit women at increased risk of breast cancer
The addition of a screening ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging to annual mammography in women with an increased risk of breast cancer and dense breast tissue resulted in a higher rate of detection of incident breast cancers, according to a study in the April 4 issue of JAMA.

Detectable pancreatic lesions common in people at high risk for hereditary pancreatic cancer
A team of scientists led by Johns Hopkins researchers have found that more than four in 10 people considered at high risk for hereditary pancreatic cancer have small pancreatic lesions long before they have any symptoms of the deadly disease.

Lithosphere posts new research in California, Nevada and the Tibetan Plateau
New Lithosphere research about Earth's crust and upper mantle presents what may be the best-documented ancient sedimentary record of subduction initiation along a continental margin in the El Paso Mountains region of California; an integrated approach to understanding the Karakoram Fault Zone, Tibet; and back-and-forth exchanges between field-based observations and lab analyses and modeling that lead researchers to 40-year-old interpretation of the geologic history of the Walker Lane belt, Nevada.

Darwin in the genome
A current controversy raging in evolutionary biology is whether adaptation to new environments is the result of many genes, each of relatively small effect, or just a few genes of large effect.

Chemo may get boost from cholesterol-related drug
This news tip is based on abstracts and presentations by Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center scientists scheduled to present their work at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2012, March 31-April 4, in Chicago.

Caffeine and exercise may be protective against skin cancer caused by sun exposure
Caffeine and exercise decreased risk for sunlight-caused skin cancers in mice.

Former professional baseball pitcher now keeps his 'strike zone' in proteins
A native of Puerto Rico who pitched for five seasons in the minors, the Arizona and California Leagues, for the Oakland A's and San Francisco Giants' organizations, Velázquez-Delgado gave up a baseball career for science.

Older subjects who regularly practice Tai Chi found to have better arterial compliance
Older subjects who regularly practice Tai Chi found to have better arterial compliance and greater muscle strength than non-practitioners.

Activity in brain networks related to features of depression
Depressed individuals with a tendency to ruminate on negative thoughts, i.e. to repeatedly think about particular negative thoughts or memories, show different patterns of brain network activation compared to healthy individuals, report scientists of a new study in Biological Psychiatry.

Study: Golfers can improve their putt with a different look
Golfers looking to improve their putting may find an advantage in visualizing the hole as bigger, according to a new study from Purdue University.

Flavor and the new Nordic cuisine: BioMed Central's new scientific journal Flavor is launched
BioMed Central's new journal Flavour was officially launched last night at a seminar

Gladstone scientists find increased ApoE protein levels may promote Alzheimer's disease
Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes have enhanced our understanding of how a protein linked to Alzheimer's disease keeps young brains healthy, but can damage them later in life -- suggesting new research avenues for treating this devastating disease.

How do cancers become resistant to chemotherapy?
Genetic mutations in cancer cells can lead to resistance to treatment, thereby potentially resulting in relapse.

New drug prevents spread of human prostate cancer cells
A new drug developed by Northwestern Medicine scientists prevented human prostate cancer cells from spreading to other tissues without any toxic effects.

Why is traumatic brain injury increasing among the elderly?
As the population ages in western countries, traumatic brain injury (TBI) resulting mainly from falls is on the rise among the elderly, introducing new complications and treatment challenges, according to an article in Journal of Neurotrauma, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.

Rensselaer professor Jie Lian receives NSF CAREER Award
Jie Lian, assistant professor at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, has won a prestigious Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation.

Early-life exposure to BPA affects adult learning
This study is the first to identify a neurobehavioral effect of BPA using a zebrafish model exposed to concentrations comparable to what humans might encounter in the environment.

Adding drug to chemotherapy following colon cancer surgery does not improve disease-free survival
Adding the drug cetuximab to a regimen of drugs used for the treatment of patients following surgery for stage III colon cancer did not result in improved disease-free survival, according to a study in the April 4 issue of JAMA.

Changes in asthma treatment improve wait time and patient care in Emergency
Traditionally, for patients presenting with asthma arriving at the Emergency Department, the triage nursing staff would administer a relief medicine in a puffer or mask, to open the airways and ease breathing.

A better understanding of complex flows for industry: Multiphase Flow Conference in Dresden, Germany
Between June 12-14, 2012, approximately 100 international experts will be discussing the latest discoveries in the field of simulation, experimental research, and the application of multiphase flow at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf.

Lower GI problems plague many with rheumatoid arthritis, Mayo Clinic study finds
Add lower gastrointestinal (GI) problems such as ulcers, bleeding and perforations to the list of serious complications facing many rheumatoid arthritis patients.

How social contact with sick ants protects their nestmates
Like crowded megacities, ant colonies face a high risk of disease outbreaks.

TGen-Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center pancreatic cancer clinical trial results released
The feasibility of selecting treatment based on individual molecular characteristics was demonstrated in a first-of-its kind pancreatic cancer clinical trial reported today by the Translational Genomics Research Institute and the Virginia G.

Researchers use a game to change how scientists study outbreaks
An international team of scientists has created an innovative tool for teaching the fundamentals of epidemiology -- the science of how infectious diseases move through a population.

Love it or leave it?
Love it or leave it -- if only it were that simple.

Our brains on food: From anorexia to obesity and everything in between
The brains of people with anorexia and obesity are wired differently, according to new research.

Cruciferous vegetable consumption linked to improved breast cancer survival rates
Intake is associated with decreased mortality and recurrence rates. Dose-response relationship was observed.

How a cancer drug leads to diabetes
The drug known as rapamycin is widely used by cancer and transplant patients.

MIT project could transform robotic design and production
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is leading an ambitious new project to reinvent how robots are designed and produced.

UC research shows entrepreneurial differences between the sexes
Data reveals men are most likely to start businesses for the money, women for social value.

Study reveals how cancer drug causes diabetic-like state
Scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have discovered why diabetic-like symptoms develop in some patients given rapamycin, an immune-suppressant drug that also has shown anti-cancer activity and may even slow aging.

Scientists at Fox Chase discover link between estrogen and tobacco smoke
The hormone estrogen may help promote lung cancer -- including compounding the effects of tobacco smoke on the disease -- pointing towards potential new therapies that target the hormone metabolism, according to new research presented at the AACR Annual Meeting 2012 on Tuesday, April 3 by scientists at Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia.

New immune defense enzyme discovered
Neutrophil granulocytes comprise important defenses for the immune system. When pathogenic bacteria penetrate the body, they are the first on the scene to mobilize other immune cells via signal molecules, thereby containing the risk.

Pollen can protect mahogany from extinction
New research from the University of Adelaide could help protect one of the world's most globally threatened tree species -- the big leaf mahogany -- from extinction.

Significant improvement in neonatal care in England over 10 years
Neonatal services in England have seen a considerable improvement since the introduction of new guidelines in 2003, a study published on claims.

CWRU study identifies point when negative thoughts turn into depression
Negative thinking is a red flag for clinical depression. Stopping such thoughts early on can save millions of people from mental illness, according research study from the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University.

Bilingual children switch tasks faster than speakers of a single language
Children who grow up learning to speak two languages are better at switching between tasks than are children who learn to speak only one language, according to a study funded in part by the National Institutes of Health.

Increasing height and body mass index are risk factors for ovarian cancer
A study in this week's PLoS Medicine suggests that increasing height and, among women who have never taken menopausal hormone therapy, increased body mass index are risk factors for developing ovarian cancer.

Are we really a nation of animal lovers?
A new study by the University of Bristol has estimated that over 260,000 cats and dogs entered the care of UK rescue organizations during 2009, the first full year since the onset of the UK recession.

Young girls more likely to report side effects after HPV vaccine
Younger girls are more likely than adult women to report side effects after receiving Gardasil, the human papillomavirus vaccine.

Priorities for health systems strengthening efforts from the US CDC
In this week's PLoS Medicine, Peter Bloland and colleagues from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lay out the agency's priorities for health systems strengthening efforts.

Can a ray of sunshine help the critically ill?
In a six-month study, professor Howard Amital of Tel Aviv University found that intensive care patients with a vitamin D deficiency lived an average of 8.9 fewer days than those who had healthy vitamin D levels in their bodies.

Harmless human virus may be able to boost the effects of chemotherapy
Trials using a naturally occurring harmless virus show promise in treating head and neck cancer.

What can Hollywood teach us about our planet?
Plants have much to teach us about how our planet works.

Cedars-Sinai is LA's only cancer center to receive national achievement award for patient care
Cedars-Sinai's Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute is the only cancer center in Los Angeles to receive a Commission on Cancer 2011 Outstanding Achievement Award for providing quality care and services to cancer patients.

New biomarker to identify hepatitis B-infected patients at risk for liver cancer
Hepatitis B-infected patients with significantly longer telomeres -- the caps on the end of chromosomes that protect our genetic data -- were found to have an increased risk of getting liver cancer compared to those with shorter ones, according to findings presented by researchers at Jefferson's Kimmel Cancer Center at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2012.

Did climate change shape human evolution?
This question has some surprising new answers, to be addressed at this two-day summit of leaders in paleontology, anthropology and climate.

Entomology 2012 to present 105 insect symposia in November
Entomology 2012, the 60th Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America (ESA), will feature 105 symposia on insects and related arthropods, Nov.

New isotope measurement could alter history of early solar system
The early days of our solar system might look quite different than previously thought, according to research at the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory.

Less intense chemotherapy more effective and less toxic for patients with advanced Hodgkin's lymphoma
A study published Online First by the Lancet has found that patients with advanced Hodgkin's lymphoma can be treated more effectively with lower doses of chemotherapy.

Nanoscale magnetic media diagnostics by rippling spin waves
A new tool developed by collaboration working at NIST can help magnetic memory device designers detect defects in magnetic structures as small as a tenth of a micrometer even if the region in question is buried inside a multilayer electronic device.

New hormone for lowering blood sugar
New evidence points to a hormone that leaves muscles gobbling up sugar as if they can't get enough.

Changes in diagnostic coding may affect data that indicate decline in pneumonia hospitalizations
Although data indicate that between 2003-2009 there was a substantial decline in the US in hospitalizations for pneumonia and inpatient deaths, analysis suggests that trends in documentation and diagnostic coding, rather than improvements in actual outcomes, may explain much of the observed changes, according to a study in the April 4 issue of JAMA.

Incisive research links teeth with diet
You are what you eat is truism that has been given new impetus by

Eliminating the 'good cholesterol' receptor may fight breast cancer
Removing a lipoprotein receptor known as SR-BI may help protect against breast cancer, as suggested by new findings presented at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2012 by Jefferson's Kimmel Cancer Center researchers.

2 University of Houston professors awarded National Endowment for the Humanities grant
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has awarded grants to two professors in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences (CLASS) at the University of Houston (UH).

Mayo Clinic: Nutritional supplement works against some pancreatic cancer cells in mice
The dietary supplement gamma-linoleic acid can inhibit the growth of a subset of pancreatic cancer cells and selectively promote cancer cell death in mice, a Mayo Clinic study has found.

Cracking idea for egg shell recycling gets Food and Drink iNet support at Easter
Scientists and food industry experts are hatching a plan this Easter to turn egg shells into plastics that could be used to manufacture anything from food packaging to construction materials.

Nearly half of cancer survivors died from conditions other than cancer
Fifty-one percent of people who have had cancer died from cancer.

Arteries under pressure early on
High fat diets cause damage to blood vessels earlier than previously thought, and these structural and mechanical changes may be the first step in the development of high blood pressure.

Being ignored online or in person, it's still exclusion
People who are excluded by others online, such as on Facebook, may feel just as bad as if they had been excluded in person, according to researchers at Penn State and Misericordia University.

Light switch added to gene tool opens new view of cell development
University of Oregon scientists collaborating with an Oregon company that synthesizes antisense Morpholinos for genetic research have developed a UV light-activated on-off switch for the vital gene-blocking molecule.

Autistic kids born preterm, post-term have more severe symptoms
For children with autism, being born several weeks early or several weeks late tends to increase the severity of their symptoms, according to new research out of Michigan State University.

Metal-on-metal hip replacement patients at no more risk of developing cancer
Patients who have had metal-on-metal hip replacements are no more likely to develop cancer in the first seven years after surgery than the general population, although a longer-term study is required, a study published on today claims.

Drug combination may provide option to patients with NSCLC ineligible for bevacizumab
Nab-paclitaxel and carboplatin yielded a 41 percent response rate. Toxicity of the combination is

Stroke experts write a doctor's guide for minimizing the risk of stroke
Two leading authorities on stroke, Dr. David Spence and Dr.

Strong and consistent evidence supports low-energy-density diets for weight loss
A new report published today in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics addresses the growing body of evidence linking ED, number of calories in a given amount of food, and body weight in adults, children and adolescents.

Stomata development in plants unraveled -- a valuable discovery for environmental research
Gent researchers at VIB have unraveled the action mechanism of the main plant hormone that regulates the development of stomata.

EARTH: Foretelling next month's tornadoes
Tornadoes are notoriously difficult to forecast, with often deadly results: In 2011, tornadoes in the US killed more than 550 people, a higher death toll than in the past 10 years combined.

Higher-spending hospitals have fewer deaths for emergency patients
Higher-spending hospitals do have better outcomes for their emergency patients, including fewer deaths, according to a Vanderbilt study released as a working paper through the National Bureau of Economic Research. 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