Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 23, 2012
Animated characters keep it real in teen violence prevention videos
Briana and Damon could be the kids up the block.

Online tool can detect patterns in US election news coverage
Academics at the University of Bristol have developed an online tool, Election Watch, which analyzes the content of news about the US election by the international media.

Climate change, biofuels mandate would cause corn price spikes
A study from Purdue and Stanford university researchers predicts that future climate scenarios may cause significantly greater volatility in corn prices, which would be intensified by the federal biofuels mandate.

Colitis in test mice responds to treatment with human umbilical cord-derived mensenchymal cells
In a study to determine if human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal cells would be therapeutic when transplanted into test mice modeled with acute colitis, researchers found that the cells homed in on the inflamed colon and effectively ameliorated colitis.

Even positive stereotypes can hinder performance, researchers report
Does hearing that you are a member of an elite group -- of chess players, say, or scholars -- enhance your performance on tasks related to your alleged area of expertise?

Botanical institutions announce plans to create first online World Flora
The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburg; the New York Botanical Garden; and the Missouri Botanical Garden have announced plans to develop the World Flora -- the first modern, online catalog of the world's plants -- to be made available by the year 2020.

New study finds a protein combination is best to consume post-workout for building muscle
Today at Experimental Biology 2012, Dr. Blake Rasmussen and colleagues presented a new and first-of-its-kind clinical study:

Johns Hopkins researchers uncover genes at fault for cystic fibrosis-related intestinal obstruction
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have identified a gene that modifies the risk of newborns with cystic fibrosis (CF) developing neonatal intestinal obstruction, a potentially lethal complication of CF.

Study shows that, in restaurants, race matters
A new study from North Carolina State University shows that more than one-third of restaurant servers discriminate against African-American customers.

Opioids effective in relieving severe shortness of breath in COPD patients
Patients with advanced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and shortness of breath found that opioids provided relief and improved their quality of life, states an article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Quantum physics mimics spooky action into the past
Anton Zeilinger and group at the Institute for Quantum Optics and Quantum Information, the University of Vienna, and the Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technolog have, for the first time, demonstrated in an experiment that the decision whether two particles were in an entangled or in a separable quantum state can be made even after these particles have been measured and may no longer exist.

UH makes Princeton Review's Green List 3 years in a row
Each year, UH continues to reduce its carbon footprint through enhanced sustainability initiatives and increased participation from the campus community.

The effects of weak magnetic fields on cancer cells and other aspects of biology
We are immersed in a constantly changing magnetic field, be it the Earth's or those emanating from devices, such as cell phones.

SDSC's Trestles supercomputer speeds clean energy research
A team of Harvard University researchers has been allocated time on the Trestles supercomputer at the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego to perform computational calculations with the goal of creating the next generation of organic solar cells as an inexpensive and efficient source of energy.

IU Simon Cancer Center joins WellPoint in developing health care solutions
Indiana University Melvin and Bren Simon Cancer Center will provide clinical expertise to help shape WellPoint's new health care solutions.

Intravenous vaccination promotes brain plasticity and prevents memory loss in Alzheimer's disease
Recent studies conducted by Dr. Giulio Maria Pasinetti, Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, suggests that prolonged administration of human immunoglobulin is effective at attenuating Alzheimer's disease-type cognitive dysfunction while promoting synaptic plasticity.

GBIF Annual Report for 2011 published
GBIF has published its annual report for 2011, ten years after it was created as an intergovernmental initiative to facilitate universal access to data about life on Earth.

IADR/AADR publish studies on severe early childhood caries - proposes new classification
The International and American Associations for Dental Research have published two studies about dental caries in children.

Brain surgery for epilepsy underutilized
Ten years ago, a landmark clinical trial in Canada demonstrated the unequivocal effectiveness of brain surgeries for treating uncontrolled epilepsy, but since then the procedure has not been widely adopted -- in fact, it is dramatically underutilized according to a new study from the University of California, San Francisco.

Malaria resurgence is linked to reduction of malaria-control programs
Since the 1930s, there have been 75 documented episodes of malaria resurgence worldwide, most of which were linked to weakening of malaria-control programs, finds a study published in BioMed Central's open-access journal Malaria Journal.

Gatekeeper of brain steroid signals boosts emotional resilience to stress
Researchers shows how a regulator of glucocorticoid receptors may provide a path towards resilience to stress by modulating glucocorticoid signaling in the brain.

High levels of TRAIL protein in breast milk might contribute to anticancer activity
The benefits of breast milk are well known, but why breastfeeding protects against various forms of cancer remains a mystery.

New stem cell found in the brain
Researchers at Lund University have discovered a new stem cell in the adult brain.

Virtual learning environments put new demands on teachers
Introduction of hi-tech teaching aids in the classroom often comes with great hopes for enhanced learning.

Vitamin D: A double-edged sword in the fight against osteoporosis?
Vitamin D is renowned for its role in creating strong bones and is a key regulator of serum calcium levels.

Bascom Palmer Eye Institute announces breakthrough for degenerative vision disorder
A research team, led by John Guy, M.D., professor of ophthalmology at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, has pioneered a novel technological treatment for Leber Hereditary Optic Neuropathy, an inherited genetic defect that causes rapid, permanent, and bilateral loss of vision in people of all ages, but primarily males ages 20-40.

Diversity aided mammals' survival over deep time
The first study of how mammals in North America adapted to climate change in

First fruitful, then futile: Ammonites or the boon and bane of many offspring
Ammonites changed their reproductive strategy from initially few and large offspring to numerous and small hatchlings.

Timing is everything when using oxygen to regenerate bone
A research team at Tulane University will report this week that the application of high levels of oxygen to a severed bone facilitates bone regrowth, study results that may one day hold promise for injured soldiers, diabetics and other accident victims.

Hispanic lung cancer patients tend to live longer than blacks and whites
A new analysis has found that Hispanic lung cancer patients seem to live longer than white or black patients.

Link between common environmental contaminant and rapid breast cancer growth
Studies by researchers at Dominican University of California show that breast cancer cells become increasingly aggressive the longer they are exposed to small concentrations of cadmium, a heavy metal commonly found in cosmetics, food, water and air particles.

Towards an agroforestry policy in Indonesia
Indonesia, the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, most of which come from deforestation, is setting out to reverse the trend.

Women & Infants participating in study of treatment of common viral infection in pregnancy
Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, through its participation in the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units Network, has been named the lead center in a 14-site, $25 million study of cytomegalovirus, the most common infection during pregnancy.

Scientists see solution to critical barrier to fusion
Physicists have discovered a possible solution to a mystery that has long baffled researchers working to harness fusion.

Coalition petitions FDA to fortify corn masa flour with folic acid
Six organizations petitioned the US Food and Drug Administration to fortify corn masa flour with the B vitamin folic acid.

Global CVD leaders call the world to action - 25 by 2025 - from the World Congress of Cardiology
The Global Cardiovascular Disease Taskforce called on the 11,000 World Congress of Cardiology delegates in Dubai, and the cardiovascular disease community at large, to support the adoption of a global goal to reduce premature non-communicable disease mortality by 25 percent by 2025.

Putting plants online: 4 leading botanical gardens to create first online catalog of all plants
Four prominent botanical gardens in the United States and the United Kingdom have agreed to collaborate on creating the first-ever online catalog of information about all of the plant life on Earth -- up to 400,000 species.

Study finds 'Western diet' detrimental to fetal hippocampal tissue transplants
Researchers found that a high saturated fat and high cholesterol (HFHC) diet had direct effects on middle-aged laboratory rats.

Obstructive sleep apnea's damage evident after 1 month
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) affects some 1 in 5 US adults.

Researchers find additional evidence that families that eat together may be the healthiest
Researchers at Rutgers recently evaluated results from 68 previously published scientific reports considering the association between family mealtime and children's health.

That impulsive, moody preschooler may grow up to be a problem gambler
Give me the child at age three and I will give you the adult compulsive gambler.

Robots fighting wars could be blamed for mistakes on the battlefield
Humans apply a moderate amount of morality and other human characteristics to robots that are equipped with social capabilities and are capable of harming humans, new findings show.

A comparison of 2 home exercises to treat vertigo
A CU School of Medicine researcher who suffers from benign paroxysmal positional vertigo and had to

Xenotransplantation as a therapy for type 1 diabetes
Transplantation of a whole pancreas or isolated insulin-producing beta cells are the only therapy to cure type I diabetes.

Preventing dementia
Cognitive decline is a pressing global health care issue. Worldwide, one case of dementia is detected every seven seconds.

Can video games promote healthier aging?
Video-game technology is proving to be a valuable tool for helping people of all ages improve lifestyle and health habits and manage disease.

Immunosignaturing: An accurate, affordable and stable diagnostic
A new technique known as immunosignaturing harnesses the human immune system as an early warning sentry -- one acutely sensitive to changes in the body that may be harbingers of illness.

Researchers find mechanism that gives plants 'balance'
Researchers at Michigan State University, as part of an international collaboration, have figured out how plants are able to make the

Warwick researchers solve 40-year-old Fourier Transform Mass Spectrometry phasing problem
Scientists at the University of Warwick have developed a computation which simultaneously doubles the resolution, sensitivity and mass accuracy of Fourier Transform Mass Spectrometry at no extra cost.

Nano-devices that cross blood-brain barrier open door to treatment of cerebral palsy
A team of scientists from Johns Hopkins and elsewhere have developed nano-devices that successfully cross the brain-blood barrier and deliver a drug that tames brain-damaging inflammation in rabbits with cerebral palsy.

JCI early table of contents for April 23, 2012
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, April 23, 2012, in the JCI: EDITOR'S PICK, Vitamin D: a double-edged sword in the fight against osteoporosis?; GENE THERAPY, Inadvertent changes: how engineered viruses disrupt normal gene expression; IMMUNOLOGY, Novel vaccination strategy improves response to fungal antigens in immunocompromised mice; ALLERGY AND ASTHMA, Scratching below the surface of allergic contact dermatitis; HIV/AIDS, Enhancing Immune Responses to Limit Chronic Immune Activation During SIV.

Study examines subclinical hyperthyroidism, coronary heart disease and mortality risk
An analysis of individual data from prospective studies assessing the risks of thyroid dysfunction suggests that subclinical hyperthyroidism may be associated with increased risk of total mortality, coronary heart disease (CHD) death and incident atrial fibrillation, although the risk of CHD mortality and AF is higher when thyrotropin levels are below 0.10 mIU/L, according to a report published online first in Archives of Internal Medicine, a JAMA Network publication.

Researchers find potential link between drinking alcohol and breast cancer
Alcohol consumption long has been established as a risk factor for breast cancer.

Association for Psychological Science, SAGE launch Clinical Psychological Science
The Association for Psychological Science and SAGE announce the launch of Clinical Psychological Science, a new peer-reviewed journal focused on publishing advances in clinical science and providing a venue for cutting-edge research across a wide range of conceptual views, approaches, and topics.

Understanding and treating bedwetting in older children
Bedwetting in older children is common, but it can be distressing.

New research underscores the health benefits of fibers, including bone health
New research commissioned by Tate & Lyle and presented at the 2012 Experimental Biology conference in San Diego adds to the body of emerging research on fibers, including additional support for the role of soluble corn fiber in bone health.

Shingles vaccine is safe, according to new study
The herpes zoster vaccine, also known as the shingles vaccine, is generally safe and well tolerated according to a Vaccine Safety Datalink study of 193,083 adults published online in the Journal of Internal Medicine.

Canadian provinces need to adopt a patient charter of rights
Canadian provinces should adopt a patient charter of rights with independent enforcement as part of the move to patient-centered care, argues an analysis article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Canadian drug shortage: recent history of a mystery
The shortage of prescription generic drugs in Canada is not a recent event, dating back to the fall of 2010 or earlier, states a recent history of the shortage in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

New South Asia network to tackle 'massive' climate adaptation challenge
Today, recognizing the knowledge gap between the existing evidence of climate change and adaptation on the ground, researchers in Asia launched a novel learning platform to improve agricultural resilience to changing weather patterns, and to reduce emissions footprint.

More effort needed to prevent exposure to silica hazards as silicosis remains a major cause of illness and death worldwide
Immediate concerted efforts are needed to recognize and control exposure to silica hazards worldwide as the incurable and potentially fatal lung disease silicosis remains a major cause of illness and death around the world, concludes a seminar published Online First in the Lancet.

Fish larvae find the reef by orienting: The earlier the better
For the first time, a numerical study conducted by the University of Miami incorporates horizontal larval fish navigation skills into realistic 3D flow fields, creating a powerful tool that spells out how larvae use environmental cues to find their way back to the reef after being out on the open ocean.

Letting go can boost quality of life
Most people go through life setting goals for themselves. But what happens when a life-altering experience makes those goals become unachievable or even unhealthy?

New study: Focusing on staff pays off
How can businesses create competitive advantages that are sustainable in the long term?

Study suggests smoking, but not nicotine, reduces risk for rare tumor
New research confirms an association between smoking and a reduced risk for a rare benign tumor near the brain, but the addition of smokeless tobacco to the analysis suggests nicotine is not the protective substance.

Clinical decline in Alzheimer's requires plaque and proteins
According to a new study, the neuron-killing pathology of Alzheimer's disease, which begins before clinical symptoms appear, requires the presence of both amyloid-beta plaque deposits and elevated levels of an altered protein called p-tau.

A physician's guide for anti-vaccine parents
In the limited time of an office visit, how can a primary care physician make the case to parents that their child should be vaccinated?

Researcher suggests: 35-hour workweek for parents
Swedish mothers of small children work a lot more than in the 1970.

Global measles mortality has fallen 74 percent between 2000 and 2010, short of the 90 percent target; India and Africa are major concerns
In 2008 all WHO member states endorsed a target of 90 percent reduction in measles mortality by 2010 over 2000 levels.

Protein prevents DNA damage in the developing brain and might serve as a tumor suppressor
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have rewritten the job description of the protein TopBP1 after demonstrating that it guards early brain cells from DNA damage.

Palms reveal the significance of climate change for tropical biodiversity
Palm assemblages we find in the tropics today are to a large extent formed by climatic changes of the past, taking place over millions of years.

2 distinguishable gene groups detected: 1 'normal' and 1 problematic
Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and other institutions have identified two distinguishable groups of genes: Those that produce very abundant biochemical products in the cell and function properly in the majority of biological processes, and a flexible subset that might have abnormal function in a disease.

Northern Canada feels the heat - Climate change impact on permafrost zones
As climate change in the near future is likely to bring raised temperatures at northern latitudes, the characteristics of permafrost could greatly change.

Research is ensuring stormwater systems are designed for the future
A Kansas State University team is researching how climate change is affecting rainfall and weather patterns to help with future adaptation and mitigation strategies.

Unique research on inner life of Google
Google is one of the world's most innovative companies. Swedish researcher Annika Steiber at Chalmers University of Technology has been seeking answers inside the company's headquarters Googleplex for nearly a year.

New Domain: International team installs first of 3 telescopes in Antarctica
A team of scientists representing several international institutions, including Texas A&M University, has succeeded in installing the first of three Antarctic Survey Telescopes at the Chinese Kunlun Station at Dome Argus, the highest point of the Antarctic Plateau.

NASA's new satellite movie of 1 week's ash activity from Mexico's Popocatepetl Volcano
Satellites continue to provide a look at the ash and gas clouds being emitted from Mexico's Popocatepetl Volcano.

Medical 'lightsabers': Laser scalpels get ultrafast, ultra-accurate, and ultra-compact makeover
Researchers from the University of Texas at Austin has developed a small, flexible endoscopic medical device fitted with a femtosecond laser

Bartonella infection associated with rheumatoid illnesses in humans
A bacterium historically associated with cat scratch fever and transmitted predominately by fleas may also play a role in human rheumatoid illnesses such as arthritis, according to new research from North Carolina State University.

Launch an observatory for monitoring R + D +i at Spanish universities
Today the Observatory of Spanish University Research is presented; this observatory is an instrument which will allow the R + D+i activities at both public and private Spanish universities to be seen and analyzed using six dimensions and 42 indicators.

Leeches are DNA bloodhounds in the jungle
Copenhagen Zoo and University of Copenhagen have in collaboration developed a new and revolutionary, yet simple and cheap, method for tracking mammals in the rainforests of Southeast Asia.

Study reveals how ancient viruses became genomic 'superspreaders'
Scientists have uncovered clues as to how our genomes became riddled with viruses.

Vitamin E in diet protects against many cancers
Scientists at the Center for Cancer Prevention Research, at Rutgers Mario School of Pharmacy, and the Cancer Institute of New Jersey, believe that two forms of vitamin E - gamma and delta-tocopherols - found in soybean, canola and corn oils as well as nuts do prevent colon, lung, breast and prostate cancers while the alpha tocopherols found in vitamin E supplements provide no such protection.

Groundbreaking Nigeria summit results in major commitment to reduce child deaths
Nigeria's top government officials, civil society leaders and leaders of private industry resolved last week at the first Nigerian National Vaccine Summit to join forces to expand vaccine access nationwide, a major step in the fight to reduce child mortality in a country with the world's second highest number of child deaths.

Leaders in children's health to gather in Boston
The latest scientific research in children's health will be presented in Boston April 28-May 1 at the Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting.

New guidelines: Treatments can help prevent migraine
Research shows that many treatments can help prevent migraine in certain people, yet few people with migraine who are candidates for these preventive treatments actually use them, according to new guidelines issued by the American Academy of Neurology.

The fat stopper
Biology major Adam Reese may have found the key to keep fat cells from forming.

Carnegie Mellon fluorescent biosensor reveals mechanism critical to immune system amplification
Using a new fluorescent biosensor they developed, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University have discovered how a key set of immune cells exchange information during their coordinated assault on invading pathogens.

Making human textiles: Research team ups the ante with development of blood vessels woven from donor cells
A lot of people were skeptical when two young California-based researchers set out more than a decade ago to create a completely human-derived alternative to the synthetic blood vessels commonly used in dialysis patients.

WSU astrobiologist proposes fleet of probes to seek life on Mars
A Washington State University astrobiologist is leading a group of 20 scientists in calling for a mission to Mars with

Birds cultivate decorative plants to attract mates
An international team of scientists has uncovered the first evidence of a non-human species cultivating plants for use other than as food.

Gut organisms could be clue in controlling obesity risk
Researchers from the French Institute for Agricultural Research find that mice that received intestinal bacteria from obesity-prone animals ate more food, gained more weight, and became more obese than those receiving microbiota from obesity-resistant animals.

Mechanism of HIV spread has potential for future drug therapy
A new understanding of the initial interactions of human immunodeficiency virus type 1 and dendritic cells is described by Boston University School of Medicine researchers in a study currently featured in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Wild birds respond differently to the first long days of a year
For great tits spring does not always start at the same time.

Olympic boxing may damage the brain
Olympic boxers can exhibit changes in brain fluids after bouts, which indicates nerve cell damage.

Laparoscopy reduces the risk of small-bowel obstruction
Open surgery appears to be associated with an increased risk of small-bowel obstructions compared to laparoscopic procedures.

Collaborative research examines executive turnover in federal workplaces
The findings will be presented at the annual conference of the Society of Industrial and Organizational Psychology.

NTU actuarial science first in S'pore to receive Institute & Faculty of Actuaries accreditation
Nanyang Technological University's actuarial science program has become the first in Singapore to be accredited by the Institute and Faculty of Actuaries, the world's oldest actuarial professional body.

A matter of priorities
Bacteria evolved 'risk management' strategy to protect key genes from mutation, scientists at EMBL-EBI have found.

Researchers study costs of 'dirty bomb' attack in L.A.
A dirty bomb attack centered on downtown Los Angeles' financial district could severely impact the region's economy to the tune of nearly $16 billion, fueled primarily by psychological effects that could persist for a decade.

Lessons learned from the H5N1 research controversy -- May 1 workshop
Recent debate about whether to publish research findings on more easily transmitted strains of the H5N1 avian influenza virus has sparked an international discussion about the appropriateness of this type of research and the ways that research risks are assessed.

How the ecological risks of extended bioenergy production can be reduced
For years experts have discussed the ecological impact of the extended cultivation of energy crops.

Bark beetle management and ecology in southern pine forests
A new open-access article in the Journal of Integrated Pest Management suggests that preventative measures are most effective in minimizing losses to bark beetles, and several factors should be considered in planning bark beetle management programs.

Scientists have discovered genes that increase the risk of osteoporosis and fractures
Researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have identified the genetic variations that are believed to cause osteoporosis.

Rice University student engineers automate limb lengthening for kids
A team of Rice University students has invented a device they hope will make the process of correcting bone deformities safer and easier for children who currently have to manually turn a screw to lengthen their limb four times a day.

Study examines relationship between 2 proteins associated with Alzheimer's disease
A study that examined the relationship between two cerebrospinal fluid proteins associated with Alzheimer disease in clinically and cognitively normal older patients suggests that amyloid-beta-associated clinical decline was linked to the presence of elevated phospho-tau, according to a report published online first by Archives of Neurology, a JAMA Network publication.

Pain relief with PAP injections may last 100 times longer than a traditional acupuncture treatment
UNC researchers describe how exploiting the molecular mechanism behind acupuncture resulted in six-day pain relief in animal models.

Computing the best high-resolution 3-D tissue images
Real-time, 3-D microscopic tissue imaging could be a revolution for medical fields such as cancer diagnosis, minimally invasive surgery and ophthalmology.

Treatment of subclinical hypothyroidism linked with fewer ischemic heart events in younger patients
Treatment of subclinical hypothyroidism with the medication levothyroxine appears to be related to fewer ischemic heart disease events in younger patients but this finding was not evident in older patients, according to a report published online first in Archives of Internal Medicine, a JAMA Network publication.

New method to measure work addiction
Researchers from Norway and the United Kingdom have developed a new instrument to measure work addiction: The Bergen Work Addiction Scale.

Discovery of missing links for Salmonella's weapon system
Scientists have discovered multiple gene switches in Salmonella that offer new ways to curb human infection.

Research on carbon-consuming life-forms in Antarctica published in JoVE
Lake Bonney in Antarctica is perennially covered in ice. It is exposed to severe environmental stresses, including minimal nutrients, low temperatures, extreme shade, and, during the winter, 24-hour darkness.

Ohio state hosts national energy conference
Identifying the top energy challenges facing our nation and designing a path forward for enabling the research needed to solve those challenges will be the focus of the 2012 Public and Land-Grant University Conference on Energy Challenges.

Japanese researchers show that acupuncture can improve skeletal muscle atrophy
A team of Japanese researchers will reveal study results at 12:25 p.m. 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