Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 16, 2012
AGU journal highlights for April 16, 2012
Featured in this release are research papers on the following topics:

Wider cleft width appears associated with hypernasal speech, nasal air escape
Patients with wider cleft palates appear more likely to postoperatively develop velopharyngeal insufficiency, a condition characterized by hypernasal speech and nasal air escape when speaking, according to a study published Online First by Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, a JAMA Network publication.

Aesthetic appeal may have neurological link to contemplation and self-assessment, NYU researchers find
A network of brain regions which is activated during intense aesthetic experience overlaps with the brain network associated with inward contemplation and self-assessment, NYU researchers have found.

Blending conference translates substance abuse research into practice
Experts will share the latest clinical research with addiction treatment professionals, healthcare providers, policy makers, and others during the April 19 Blending Conference in Atlanta, Ga.

Study identifies potential treatment for lethal childhood leukemia
Researchers have demonstrated that two related enzymes -- phosphoinositide-3 kinase gamma and delta -- play a key role in the development of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a highly aggressive childhood leukemia that is difficult to treat.

Omega-3 fatty acids not associated with beneficial effects in multiple sclerosis
Omega-3 fatty acid supplements were not associated with beneficial effects on disease activity in patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, according to a report of a randomized controlled trial published Online First by Archives of Neurology, a JAMA Network publication.

Ammonites found mini oases at ancient methane seeps
Research led by scientists at the American Museum of Natural History shows that ammonites -- an extinct type of shelled mollusk that's closely related to modern-day nautiluses and squids -- made homes in the unique environments surrounding methane seeps in the seaway that once covered America's Great Plains.

Study examines risk factors for small-bowel obstruction following surgery
Surgical technique is a factor related to small-bowel obstruction (SBO) and compared with laparoscopic surgery, open surgery appears to be associated with an increased risk of SBO, according to a study published in the April issue of Archives of Surgery, a JAMA Network publication.

Biodegradable stent safe for long-term treatment of coronary artery disease
The first fully biodegradable stent inserted into humans proved safe in a 10-year study.

Study compares sleeve gastrectomy with medical treatment in obese patients with type 2 diabetes
A study comparing a bariatric surgical procedure with conventional medical treatment in morbidly obese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus suggests that surgery was associated with remission or improvement in diabetes-related outcomes, according to a report published Online First by Archives of Surgery, a JAMA Network publication.

X-rays create a window on glass formation
Scientists have for the first time visualized the transformation of powder mixtures into molten glass.

CU-Boulder study shows Greenland may be slip-sliding away due to surface lake melt
Like snow sliding off a roof on a sunny day, the Greenland Ice Sheet may be sliding faster into the ocean due to massive releases of meltwater from surface lakes, according to a new study by the University of Colorado Boulder-based Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences.

Some patients do not walk after surgery despite encouragement
Despite the well-documented benefits of walking after surgery, some patients are reluctant to make an attempt even with the encouragement of medical staff.

Parasite arms race spurs color change in bird eggs
The eggs laid by two African bird species have evolved different color patterns over a period of just 40 years, according to new research published in the American Naturalist.

Mayo Clinic breast cancer study finds new type of mutation
Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered a new class of molecular mutation in various forms of breast cancer, a finding that may shed new light on development and growth of different types of breast tumors.

MU receives national award for using mind-body approach to improve health
The University of Missouri award-winning program,

Target set on cancer gene MCL1
A research team pursuing one of the most commonly altered genes in cancer has laid a critical foundation for understanding this gene that could point the way toward developing drugs against it.

Not taking gastroprotective drugs prescribed with anti-inflammatory medicines
Arthritis sufferers are prescribed medications that may include non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitors, both of which can irritate the digestive tract.

Mayo Clinic study suggests coronary stents not harmful to patients with history of metal allergy
Cardiologists have long grappled with how to best manage patients with coronary artery disease who report skin hypersensitivity to nickel or other metal components found in stents -- small tubes placed in narrowed or weakened arteries to help improve blood flow to the heart.

Too much information: When does adding mildly favorable details dilute the big message?
When a large item and a small one are packaged together, consumers often perceive the overall value to be less than that of the large item, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for April 17, 2012, issue
Below is information about articles being published in the April 17 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

Much work remains to be done to improve the lives of children with dyslexia
Scientific understanding and medical treatments for dyslexia have advanced over the past five years, but much work remains to be done to fully understand the causes of dyslexia and to improve the lives of children who struggle to learn to read, according to a seminar published online first in the Lancet.

That is why plants grow towards the light!
Have you ever wondered why stems grow upwards and roots downwards?

Math teachers demonstrate a bias toward white male students
While theories about race, gender, and math ability among high school students have long been debated, a recent study found that math teachers are in fact, unjustifiably biased toward their white male students.

New stats: Chin surgery skyrockets among women, men, all age groups
New statistics released 4/16/12 by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons show that chin augmentation is the fastest growing plastic surgery trend among all major demographics.

Mechanical tissue resuscitation technology shows promise
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center researchers seeking a successful treatment for traumatic brain injury have found that the size and extent of damaged tissue can be reduced by using a new device to prevent cell death.

Swallowing exercises linked with short-term improvement among patients with head and neck cancer
Among patients undergoing chemoradiation therapy (CRT) for head and neck cancer, performing targeted swallowing exercises following CRT is associated with short-term improvement in swallowing function; however, there were no significant differences in swallowing function between the intervention group and controls at nine or 12 months following treatment, according to a report in the April issue of Archives of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery, a JAMA Network publication.

Queen's aims to change the future of car manufacturing with 'super computer'
Leading industry experts and international car manufacturers are coming to Queen's University to see how academics are aiming to change the future of car manufacturing through a new

Immunotherapy for elderly cancer patients finds new promise in drug combination
Cancer is much more likely in the elderly than the young, and their bodies often are less prepared to fight the disease and the side effects of treatment.

Replication of immunodeficiency virus in humans
Drs. Beatrice Hahn and Frank Kirchoff led an international research effort to understand what adaptations allow a chimpanzee strain of SIV to replicate in human tissues.

Desert to Rainforest global classroom links future teachers, classrooms in Phoenix and Panama
A collaborative

Countries that best prepare math teachers share similarities
Countries that best prepare math teachers meet several key conditions generally lacking in the United States, according to the first international study of what teacher preparation programs are able to accomplish.

New study traces the evolutionary history of what mammals eat
The feeding habits of mammals haven't always been what they are today, particularly for omnivores, finds a new study.

JCI early table of contents for April 16, 2012
This article includes a summary of research articles to be published by the Journal of Clinical Investigation on April 16th.

Aging of the brain: Genetic modifications now identified
The hippocampus is a part of the brain that shrinks as we age, causing memory disorders.

Pollen levels are rising across Europe
From Reykjavik to Thessaloniki, pollen levels are on the increase.

When do consumers react to social exclusion with charitable behavior?
People who feel ignored tend to engage in conspicuous consumption, whereas consumers who are rejected are more likely to volunteer or donate to a worthy cause, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

More baby boomers facing old age alone
Startling new statistics from Bowling Green State University's National Center for Family and Marriage Research paint a bleak future for the largest generation in history, the baby boomers, as they cross into old age.

Study examines medicare use for Mohs micrographic surgery and surgical excision for skin cancer
An analysis of Medicare beneficiaries suggests that surgical treatment for nonmelanoma skin cancer increased substantially from 2001 through 2006, primarily due to a doubling in the rate of Mohs micrographic surgery procedures, according to a report published in the April issue of Archives of Dermatology, a JAMA Network publication.

Bristol researchers solve 70-year-old mystery
Chemists and biologists from the University of Bristol have finally cracked one of the longest standing chemical mysteries.

University of Toronto biologists predict extinction for organisms with poor quality genes
Evolutionary biologists at the University of Toronto found that individuals with low-quality genes may produce offspring with even more inferior chromosomes, possibly leading to the extinction of certain species over generations.

Research reveals 1 of the earliest farming sites in Europe
University of Cincinnati research is revealing early farming in a former wetlands region that was largely cut off from Western researchers until recently.

Genetically engineered compound for back pain falls short
Despite the great promise that injecting a new type of anti-inflammatory pain medicine into the spine could relieve the severe leg and lower back pain of sciatica, a Johns Hopkins-led study has found that the current standard of care with steroid injections still does better.

University of Minnesota invention helps advance reliability of alternative energy
A University of Minnesota invention could help make storage of solar and wind energy more efficient and economical.

New findings, imaging may aid diagnosis of concomitant AD in patients with Parkinson's disease dementia
Dementia is a frequent complication of Parkinson's disease (PD), but it is clinically impossible to distinguish PD dementia (PDD) from PD with coexistent Alzheimer's disease (PDAD).

Scientists find neural stem cell regulator
Researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine have found that lack of a specific gene can interrupt neural tube closure.

Study: Policy language regarding girls education often limiting, not empowering
Education for girls in developing countries has received more attention in recent years.

Live imaging shows response to cancer drugs can be boosted by altering tumor microenvironment
It should be possible to significantly improve the response of common cancers to existing

2012 Hannover Messe: Innovations by KIT
At the 2012 Hannover Messe from April 23-27, KIT will present innovations relating to energy, mobility, IT, and other topics of relevance to the future.

Assessing whether a person with dementia can take decisions is the job of neurologists
Luis Carlos Alvaro, a clinical neurologist at the Hospital of Basurto and lecturer at the University of the Basque Country, has had an article published on the capacity of patients with dementia to make decisions.

Nearly 1 in 4 grandparents store prescription medicines where children can easily find them
Two-thirds of adults support single-dose packaging to avoid accidental poisoning, according to U-M's National Poll on Children's Health.

On the safe side: Contact-free analysis of chemical substances
Is it drugs, medicines or explosives? At the Analytica trade fair, Fraunhofer researchers, joined by the Huebner Company, are presenting a terahertz spectrometer that provides reliable, contact-free identification of substances.

Rose-colored glasses: Are optimistic consumers more likely to trust salespeople?
People who believe the world is a just place trust salespeople more than consumers who don't -- but only after they've made a purchase, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

How does the global financial crisis affect consumer decision making?
Consumers who feel financially deprived are more likely to seek scarce products, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Tips from the journals of the American Society for Microbiology
In this month's issue:

New hope in HIV prevention research: International Microbicide Conference focuses on what works and next steps
Researchers, activists and funders are meeting this week in Sydney to discuss the state of HIV prevention research.

The psychological science of relationships
Our relationships with others are an essential part of everyday life, but that doesn't mean that understanding and getting along with other people is easy.

Beds in pediatric intensive care unit could be used more efficiently with improved flow
The pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) is a precious resource.

Early screening for anxiety disorders in children helps prevent mental health concerns: UBC study
A University of British Columbia researcher has developed a simple two-question test to screen kindergarten-aged children for future anxiety disorders -- the most commonly reported mental health concern among children.

Rectal microbicides become a high priority in the fight against HIV in Africa
Today International Rectal Microbicide Advocates will release

Therapy exploits 'addiction' of leukemia cells
A new study describes a therapeutic approach to halting cancer progression by exploiting a previously unrecognized

Measuring our carbon footprint
All of us contribute to the greenhouse gas emissions that are causing climate change, and, therefore, have a

Why does simply trusting your feelings lead to much better predictions?
If you trust your feelings you are better able to predict future events -- from the weather to the stock market, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

UWM discovery advances graphene-based electronics
An interdisciplinary research team at UWM recently created an entirely new carbon-based material that is synthesized from the

Canadian study suggests off-label prescribing of medications is common
A study evaluating off-label prescribing of medications in a primary care network in Canada suggests the practice is common, although it varies by medication, patient and physician characteristics, according to a report published Online First by Archives of Internal Medicine, a JAMA Network publication.

Copernicus Award 2012 for German-Polish collaboration in business information systems
Experts in business information systems professor Erwin Pesch from Siegen and professor Jacek Blazewicz from Poznan have been awarded the Copernicus Award by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft and the Foundation for Polish Science in recognition of their achievements in German-Polish scientific collaboration.

Can social media detect the changes in public mood?
New research has analyzed the mood of Twitter users in the UK and detected various changes in the mood of the public.

How Parkinson's disease starts and spreads
Injection of a small amount of clumped protein triggers a cascade of events leading to a Parkinson's-like disease in mice, according to an article in the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Tattoos, piercings, and drinking
Tattoos and body piercings have become more popular in western societies.

Metformin can substantially reduce the risk of Parkinson's disease in diabetes
A major 12-year study based on a Taiwanese population cohort has demonstrated that not only does diabetes increase the risk of developing Parkinson's disease more than twofold, the use of sulfonylureas, commonly used as treatment for diabetes, increases the risk further by about 57 percent.

Salt levels in fast food vary significantly between countries
Salt levels vary significantly in the fast foods sold by six major companies in various developed countries, which suggests that technical issues, often cited as barriers to salt reduction initiatives, are not the issue, according to a study in CMAJ.

What is contemporary global nomadism and how does it affect materialism?
Is John Lennon's line

Study dusts sugar coating off little-known regulation in cells
In Alzheimer's disease, brain neurons become clogged with tangled proteins.

Chimpanzee ground nests offer new insight into our ancestors descent from the trees
The first study into rarely documented ground-nest building by wild chimpanzees offers new clues about the ancient transition of early hominins from sleeping in trees to sleeping on the ground.

IU, Regenstrief automated system aims to improve child health
An automated system tailored to individual patients, developed by researchers from Indiana University and the Regenstrief Institute, can help pediatricians utilize the short amount of time they have to provide preventive care to focus on specific issues that are most critical to the health of the specific child.

FASEB analysis demonstrates devastating impact of sequestration on medical research
The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB) has released an analysis of the impact that sequestration would have on biomedical research.

Technology's power to misinform dims utopian hopes
The ability for computer technology to automatically create a society of smart, tolerant citizens may be more hype and hope than reality, according to a Penn State Altoona researcher.

Giving preventive drug to men at high risk for HIV would be cost-effective, Stanford study shows
A once-a-day pill to help prevent HIV infection could significantly reduce the spread of AIDS, but only makes economic sense if used in select, high-risk groups, Stanford University researchers conclude in a new study.

Asteroid craters on Earth give clues in search for life on Mars
Craters made by asteroid impacts may be the best place to look for signs of life on other planets, a study suggests.

Babalung gets babies breathing again
Rice University students have developed an inexpensive, battery-powered neonatal monitor for infants that could save many lives in the developing world.

Adolescents can benefit from 12-step involvement
Adolescents who misuse alcohol and other drugs to the point where they need treatment must contend with costly and limited options for youth-specific care, as well as high relapse rates following treatment.

UT MD Anderson study finds cancer related pain often undertreated
More than one-third of patients with invasive cancer are undertreated for their pain, with minorities twice as likely to not receive analgesics, according to research from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Stress about wife's breast cancer can harm a man's health
Caring for a wife with breast cancer can have a measurable negative effect on men's health, even years after the cancer diagnosis and completion of treatment, according to recent research.

Alcoholism's short-term effects on memory functioning are harmful
Alcoholism can disrupt memory functioning prior to later-stage Korsakoff's syndrome.

Pill reduced number of MS lesions in Phase II trial
An investigational oral drug called ONO-4641 reduced the number of lesions in people with multiple sclerosis, according to the results of a phase two clinical trial to be presented as Emerging Science (formerly known as Late-Breaking Science) at the American Academy of Neurology's 64th Annual Meeting in New Orleans April 21-28, 2012.

First contact: Early intervention key in diagnosis and treatment of serious mental illness
Northwestern Medicine behavioral health experts from the Stone Institute of Psychiatry at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine have launched First Contact, a program aimed at preventing the onset of long-term disability due to severe mental illness by increasing awareness of signs and symptoms and encouraging people to seek help earlier.

2 repressor genes identified as essential for placental development
Two particular repressor genes in a family of regulatory genes are vital for controlling cell proliferation during development of the placenta.

MP3 song-searching can increase risk for drivers
Human factors/ergonomics researchers find that MP3 players might increase driver distraction risk, depending on which devices drivers use and how long they look away from the road while searching for their favorite song.

Specific inhibition of autophagy may represent a new concept for treatment of kidney cancer
New research at the University of Cincinnati suggests that kidney cancer growth depends on autophagy, a complex process that can provide cells with nutrients from intracellular sources.

1,000 days of infrared wonders
For the last 1,000 days the Infrared Array Camera, aboard NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, has been operating continuously to probe the universe from its most distant regions to our local solar neighborhood.

Fiber protects against cardiovascular disease -- especially in women
Foods high in fiber provide good protection against cardiovascular disease, and the effect is particularly marked in women.

Dr. Sven Treitel to receive the AGI Marcus Milling Legendary Geoscientist Medal
Dr. Sven Treitel has been named the 2012 recipient of the Marcus Milling Legendary Geoscientist Medal.

Together, computer scientists from Saarbruecken and Luxembourg close digital security gaps
According to results of a recent survey commissioned by the Federal Association for Information Economy, Telecommunications, and New Media, three-fourths of German Internet users are feeling threatened.

Peers influence adolescent drinking, but not always how you might expect
Drinking during adolescence has both short- and long-term negative health consequences.

Expanded study will track adolescent behavior on Facebook
A large-scale, long-term UT Dallas study focusing on adolescent friendships and electronic communication is expanding to include Facebook posts.

Researcher explores the 'word of mouth' paradox
Sarah Moore says that if you want your memorable family resort vacation to stay memorable, move away from the keyboard.

Australia-New Zealand Square Kilometre Array site is already producing world-class astrophysics
CSIRO's Murchison Radioastronomy Observatory, located in remote Western Australia, is the site proposed by Australia and New Zealand to host the high-density core of the multi-billion-dollar Square Kilometre Array, and is already producing world-class research that will be described at an international conference in the UK this week.

Football-related catastrophic brain injuries on the rise
Catastrophic brain injuries associated with full-contact football appear to be rising, especially among high school students, according to a new report.

Sticking to our goals: What's the best approach for success?
Consumers have an easier time starting toward a goal than finishing it, but according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research, a shift in attention can make all the difference in reaching the finish line.

Significantly more boys born to Indian mothers in Canada than to Canadian-born mothers
Mothers born in India but living in Canada are significantly more likely to have male babies for their second and third births compared with women in Canada, found a new study of male:female ratios in CMAJ.

UC research explores early agriculture, which dogs make for the best hunters and more
University of Cincinnati researchers are strongly represented at the upcoming Society for American Archaeology meeting.

Shooting at ceramics
Producing thin ceramic components has until now been a laborious and expensive process, as parts often get distorted during manufacture and have to be discarded as waste.

Nanosponges soak up oil again and again
Researchers at Rice University and Penn State University have discovered that adding a dash of boron to carbon while creating nanotubes turns them into solid, spongy, reusable blocks that have an astounding ability to absorb oil spilled in water.

Promiscuous queen bees maintain genetic diversity
By mating with nearly 100 males, queen bees on isolated islands avoid inbreeding and keep colonies healthy.

University of Miami grad student receives NSF GRF to study impact of ocean acidification
University of Miami student, Rachael Heuer, was one of four to receive a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

Researchers have identified a gene with a key role in neuronal survival
Researchers at the Institute of Neurosciences at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona identified the fundamental role played by the Nurr1 gene in neuron survival associated with synaptic activity.

Diesel technologies drastically cut emissions under real-world conditions
New research from North Carolina State University shows that federal requirements governing diesel engines of new tractor trailer trucks have resulted in major cuts in emissions of particulate matter and nitrogen oxides -- pollutants that have significant human health and environmental impacts.

Social commitment and technology for development
Solar dryers, hydraulic micro turbines, solar stoves, low cost manual hand pumps ... all of these are part of the research that is being carried out in the Laboratorio de TecnologĂ­as Apropiadas (LTA -- Appropriate Technologies Laboratory) at Carlos III University of Madrid.

Prenatal exposure to air pollution linked to childhood obesity
Pregnant women in New York City exposed to higher concentrations of chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAH, were more than twice as likely to have children who were obese by age 7 compared with women with lower levels of exposure.

Study recommends ways to evaluate end-of-life care in nursing homes
While nursing homes are the place where an estimated 30 percent of Americans die, there currently exists no way to compare which institutions do a better job at managing end of life care. 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