Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 10, 2012
Why are action stars more likely to be Republican?
Fighting ability, largely determined by upper body strength, continues to rule the minds of modern men, according to a new study by Aaron Sell from Griffith University in Australia and colleagues.

Miniature Sandia sensors may advance climate studies
An air sampler the size of an ear plug is expected to cheaply and easily collect atmospheric samples to improve computer climate models.

Food insecurity linked to reduced odds of condom use for women in Brazil
In PLoS Medicine, Alexander Tsai of Harvard University, Cambridge, USA, and colleagues show that in sexually active women in Brazil severe food insecurity was positively associated with symptoms potentially indicative of sexually transmitted infection and with reduced odds of condom use.

Supplement use predicts folate status in Canadian women
Researchers have gained new insight into why 22 percent of Canadian women of childbearing age are still not achieving a folate concentration considered optimal for reducing the risk of having babies with neural tube defects, despite a virtual absence of folate deficiency in the general Canadian population.

Research offers new clues to prevent infection in cardiac devices
Bacteria are able to form colonies -- called biofilms -- on a medical implant, such as a replacement heart valve or pacemaker, which can lead to wider infections such as endocarditis, a bacterial infection of the heart.

Older adults with ECG abnormalities may be at increased risk of coronary heart disease events
In a study that included elderly men and women without preexisting cardiovascular disease, major and minor electrocardiographic abnormalities were associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) events and improved the prediction of CHD events such as heart attack, beyond traditional cardiovascular risk factors, according to a study in the April 11 issue of JAMA.

UBC president helps identify key steps to respond to growing Asia Pacific research strengths
The most dramatic new developments in science are taking place among nations in the Asia-Pacific and the phenomenon is changing the dynamic of science around the globe, according to three science and academic leaders from the US, Canada and Singapore.

Feral pigs exposed to nasty bacteria
A North Carolina State University study shows that, for the first time since testing began several years ago, feral pigs in North Carolina have tested positive for Brucella suis, an important and harmful bacteria that can be transmitted to people.

Researchers find critical regulator to tightly control deadly pulmonary fibrosis
An international team of researchers led by Georgia State University scientists have found a key component in the pathological process of pulmonary fibrosis, a fatal disease for which there is currently no cure.

Study finds peoples' niceness may reside in their genes
It turns out that the milk of human kindness is evoked by something besides mom's good example.

Research finds bright future for alternative energy with greener solar cells
Research to green alternative energy technologies has led to a dye-sensitized solar cell that uses a bacteria and dye to generate energy.

Marriage and a high socioeconomic level improve health
The study -- conducted at the University of Granada -- has demonstrated that having a high level of education and a job are protective against diseases.

Washington's Life Sciences Discovery Fund awards commercialization grants
The Life Sciences Discovery Fund today announced nearly $450,000 in awards to three Washington non-profit organizations to foster commercial translation of new health and health-care products.

Frequent dental X-rays linked to most common brain tumor
People who received frequent dental X-rays in the past have an increased risk of developing the most commonly diagnosed primary brain tumor in the United States.

Researchers use brain-injury data to map intelligence in the brain
Scientists report that they have mapped the physical architecture of intelligence in the brain.

Study: Women not getting enough exercise; at risk of developing metabolic syndrome
A national study shows that women are less likely than men to get at least 30 minutes of exercise per day, resulting in greater odds of developing metabolic syndrome -- a risky and increasingly prevalent condition related to obesity.

Risk of blood loss in childhood back surgery varies with cause of spine deformity
The relative risk of blood loss during corrective spine surgery in children appears linked to the underlying condition causing the spinal deformity, according to a study from Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

What triggers a mass extinction?
The second-largest mass extinction in Earth's history coincided with a short but intense ice age.

ASBMB wins National Science Foundation grant to enhance K-12 science education
The National Science Foundation has awarded the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology a grant of $70,450 for a program that seeks to enhance the caliber of science education in middle and high schools.

HUNT Biosciences and SomaLogic collaborate to validate protein biomarkers of cardiovascular risk
HUNT Biosciences and SomaLogic Inc. announce a new collaboration to advance the clinical use of protein biomarkers, with an initial focus on the validation of biomarkers for the prediction of cardiovascular events such as strokes, heart attacks, and heart failure.

Transcatheter aortic valve implantation shows promise in patients with severe aortic stenosis
German researchers report success with transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) in patients with low-flow, low-gradient aortic stenosis -- a special form of aortic stenosis that is difficult to treat.

Symptoms that mimic epilepsy linked to stress, poor coping skills
Based on their clinical experience and observations, a team of Johns Hopkins physicians and psychologists say that more than one-third of the patients admitted to the Johns Hopkins Hospital's inpatient epilepsy monitoring unit for treatment of intractable seizures have been discovered to have stress-triggered symptoms rather than a true seizure disorder.

Approach to diabetes self-management too narrow, study suggests
A new study from researchers at Queen Mary, University of London reveals the many difficulties faced by people with diabetes in self-managing their disease.

12 companies join Stanford and Berkeley to launch new Open Networking Research Center
The new networking research center includes two research groups at Berkeley and Stanford as well as a new nonprofit networking lab.

Researchers identify successful strategies for weight loss in the obese
In a new study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, researchers from Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston have found in a nationally representative sample that obese dieters who said they ate less fat, exercised more, and used prescription weight loss medications were more likely to lose weight.

Chest pain patients educated about risk more likely to opt out of stress test
Researchers designed a

Scientists find possible cause of movement defects in spinal muscular atrophy
An abnormally low level of a protein in certain nerve cells is linked to movement problems that characterize the deadly childhood disorder spinal muscular atrophy, new research in animals suggests.

David H. Koch donates $10 million to Mount Sinai's Jaffe Food Allergy Institute
David H. Koch, Executive Vice President of Koch Industries, has committed $10 million to the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at the Mount Sinai Medical Center.

Scientific session and new research highlights
The American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology (ASPO) will hold its annual meeting, April 18-22, during the 2012 Combined Otolaryngology Spring Meetings (COSM) -- a joint meeting of eight otolaryngological societies in San Diego.

Study on inflammatory bowel disease in First Nations people adds to understanding of disease
Inflammatory bowel disease is relatively rare in Canadian First Nations people but common in white people, possibly due to different genetic variants, according to a new study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal that helps improve understanding of the mechanisms of the disease.

Autism by the numbers: Yale researchers examine impact of new diagnostic criteria
Getting an autism diagnosis could be more difficult in 2013 when a revised diagnostic definition goes into effect.

Mayo Clinic: Tool helps chest pain patients decide on tests, cuts ER costs
Patients who went to the emergency room with chest pain but were at low risk for a heart attack were less likely to seek more tests after their conditions were explained to them using an educational tool known as a decision aid, a Mayo Clinic study found.

Michigan cancer programs follow care guidelines for common cancers, study finds
A majority of Michigan oncology practices participating in a statewide consortium followed treatment guidelines for common cancers, but had gaps in managing symptoms and end-of-life care, according to a new study.

Following PETA campaign, DOT actively promotes non-animal corrosion tests
Following three years of repeated requests by PETA, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) has at last announced that it will no longer promote the use of live rabbits in painful and archaic skin corrosion tests.

Online tool estimates youth exposure to alcohol ads on radio
An interactive tool provides data for 75 media markets, representing almost half of US population ages 12 and older.

The green light gives the game away
The immune system is a vital part of our defenses against pathogens, but it can also attack host tissues, resulting in autoimmune disease.

Zip code as important as genetic code in childhood obesity
New study results indicate that where a child lives, including factors such as the neighborhood's walkability, proximity to higher quality parks, and access to healthy food, has an important effect on obesity rates.

Chips as mini Internets
The data-routing techniques that undergird the Internet could increase the efficiency of multicore chips while lowering their power requirements.

NJ stroke researchers report advances in spatial neglect research at AAN Conference
A. M. Barrett, M.D., will represent Kessler Foundation's Stroke Rehabilitation Research Laboratory at the upcoming AAN Conference.

Researchers identified a protein useful in predicting the risk of pulmonary metastases in breast cancer patients
Researchers from the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute have shown that breast cancer cells that metastasize to the lung express a higher level of the protein peroxiredoxin 2 The study suggests that the modulation of the levels of this protein could be a new therapeutic strategy to prevent lung metastases.

Pre-nursing home hospitalization of dementia patients incurs sizable Medicare costs
Among the key findings of a novel analysis of Alzheimer's disease-related Medicare expenditures, is that the federal insurer faces particularly high payments for hospitalization during the period between when patients are first diagnosed and when they enter long-term care.

Presidential keynote address and new research highlights from the American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology meeting
The American Society of Pediatric Otolaryngology will hold its annual meeting, April 18-22, during the 2012 Combined Otolaryngology Spring Meetings -- a joint meeting of eight otolaryngological societies in San Diego, Calif.

Tamiflu: Full reports from trials should be public and regulators respond to Tamiflu recommendations
The full clinical study reports of drugs that have been authorized for use in patients should be made publicly available in order to allow independent re-analysis of the benefits and risks of such drugs, according to leading international experts who base their assertions on their experience with Tamiflu.

Mechanical properties and microstructure of cranial and beak bones of the woodpecker and the lark
Woodpeckers do not experience head injury despite repeated high-speed impacts during pecking at 6-7 m/s and decelerations up to 1,000 g.

Words from a formerly fat physician
For obese patients, losing weight may require a different solution than calorie reduction and exercise, writes a formerly obese physician in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Report outlines innovative breast cancer rehabilitation model
A new supplement in the journal Cancer outlines an innovative model to address a wide range of physical issues faced by women with breast cancer and offers hope for improved function and full participation in life activities for patients through rehabilitation and exercise.

Overcoming obsessive-compulsive disorder
Did I remember to lock the back door? Did I turn off the stove?

Eggs of enigmatic dinosaur in Patagonia discovered
An Argentine-Swedish research team has reported a 70 million years old pocket of fossilized bones and unique eggs of an enigmatic birdlike dinosaur in Patagonia.

Restocking rural communities
A Kansas State University initiative is helping rural communities across the nation restock their town with a disappearing business: grocery stores.

An efficient method for solving sound propagation in range-dependent ocean waveguides found
Modeling sound propagation in range-dependent waveguides is of particular interest to the underwater acoustics research community.

Personality, habits of thought and gender influence how we remember
We all have them -- positive memories of personal events that are a delight to recall, and painful recollections that we would rather forget.

Mobile stroke unit roughly halves time to diagnosis and treatment of patients with suspected stroke
Using a specialized ambulance or mobile stroke unit to assess and treat patients who have had a suspected stroke at the site of the emergency roughly halves the time from the initial call for help to treatment decision, and could increase the number of patients eligible for life-saving treatment, according to results of a study published online first in the Lancet Neurology.

Web-based tool produces fast, accurate autism diagnosis
Researchers at Harvard Medical School have significantly reduced from hours to minutes the time it takes to accurately detect autism in young children.

Antioxidant may disrupt Alzheimer's disease process
Alzheimer's disease (AD) is now the sixth leading cause of death among Americans.

Bats save energy by drawing in wings on upstroke
Bat wings are like hands: meaty, bony and full of joints.

£6 million boost for UK space technology industry
The government is to grant nearly £6 million to co-fund major new British research that will develop commercial products and services using space technology and data from space-based systems.

Can a standard vision test predict nighttime driving performance?
Just because a driver has passed the motor vehicle administration's vision test may not mean he or she is safe to drive.

Restoring flood plains, creating cash crop, growing biomass are goals of new MU study
Storm water runoff can carry sediment, fertilizers and other chemicals directly into a stream or creek, potentially harming the waterway for years.

Waging war against rotavirus
Canada should show leadership in supporting adoption of the rotavirus vaccination in developing countries, but it must also ensure that all Canadian infants are vaccinated against the virus, states an editorial in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Alzheimer's precursor protein controls its own fate, study finds
A new study led by researchers at the University of South Florida found that a fragment of the amyloid precursor protein (APP) -- known as sAPP-alpha and associated with Alzheimer's disease -- appears to regulate its own production.

KIT: Processes at the surface of catalysts
In chemical industry, heterogeneous catalysis is of crucial importance to the manufacture of basic or fine chemicals, in catalytic converters of exhaust gas, or for the chemical storage of solar energy.

Has the Dead Sea used up its 9 lives?
Professor Zvi Ben-Avraham of Tel Aviv University says that recent drilling into the sediment of the Dead Sea indicates that it has recovered from several periods of dryness and very little rainfall in the ancient past, but warns that there's still cause for concern.

Hispanics are worse off than whites under certain university admission policies
Changes to college admission policies in Texas have been detrimental to Hispanics, according to Dr.

Stroke risk considerably higher if sibling had stroke
If your brother or sister had a stroke, your risk of having one may be at least 60 percent higher.

Why letting salmon escape could benefit bears and fishers
New research suggests that allowing more Pacific salmon to spawn in coastal streams will not only benefit the natural environment, including grizzly bears, but could also lead to more salmon in the ocean and thus larger salmon harvests in the long term -- a win-win for ecosystems and humans.

Mothers and OCD children trapped in rituals have impaired relationships
A new study from Case Western Reserve University finds mothers tend to be more critical of children with obsessive-compulsive disorder than they are of other children in the family.

Study shows botanical formula fights prostate cancer
A non-toxic, botanical formula controls aggressive human prostate tumors in mice, according to a peer-reviewed study in the the International Journal of Oncology.

High blood pressure medication use by heart failure patients not linked with increased risk of death
Although observational studies have suggested that losartan, a drug used primarily for the treatment of hypertension, may be associated with an increased risk of death among patients with heart failure compared with other medications in the same class of drugs, an analysis that included nearly 6,500 patients found that overall, use of losartan was not associated with increased all-cause death or cardiovascular death compared with use of the ARB candesartan, according to a study in the April 11 issue of JAMA.

Sulfur in every pore
Lithium-sulfur batteries may be the power storage devices of the future.

'Real life' guide to neurologic disorders
The new fourth edition of

Geographic information systems demonstrate links between health and location
The neighborhoods in which children and adolescents live and spend their time play a role in whether or not they eat a healthy diet, get enough exercise or become obese, concludes a collection of studies in a special theme issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

EKG can help predict heart attacks in healthy elderly people
Can a simple diagnostic test used to measure a heart's electrical activity help predict heart attacks?

Dental X-rays linked to common brain tumor
In the largest study of its kind, researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital, Yale University School of Medicine, Duke University, UCSF, and Baylor College of Medicine have found a correlation between PAST frequent dental x-rays, which are the most common source of exposure to ionizing radiation in the US, and an increased risk of developing meningioma.

Canada should play a role in addressing the global cancer epidemic
Cancer is a growing health concern in low- and middle-income countries, and there is an opportunity for Canada to make a significant contribution to help tackle the disease, states an analysis in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

How many calories does it take to reach childhood obesity prevention goals?
In order for the nation to achieve goals set by the federal government for reducing obesity rates by 2020, children in the United States would need to eliminate an average of 64 excess calories per day, researchers calculated in a study published today in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

More exercise, eating less fat and weight loss programs are in, popular diets are out
Contrary to popular perception, a large proportion of obese Americans can and do lose weight, say researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

New study examines risks and benefits of the first line treatment for diabetes
Although the drug metformin is considered the gold standard in the management of Type 2 diabetes, a study by a group of French researchers published in this week's PLoS Medicine suggests that the long-term benefits of this drug compared with the risks are not clearly established.

Prestigious prize for mathematical achievement
Professor Ib Madsen is one of the world's leading researchers within pure mathematics.

New MRI technique may predict progress of dementias
A new technique for analyzing brain images offers the possibility of using magnetic resonance imaging to predict the rate of progression and physical path of many degenerative brain diseases, report scientists at the San Francisco VA Medical Center and the University of California, San Francisco.

UCLA researcher explores the risk and rewards of stem cell products
UCLA has developed a road map that could help guide researchers, stem cell product manufacturers, treating physicians and patients through the complex maze of imagining, creating and developing stem cell products and using them to treat disease. 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