Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 24, 2012
Sexually transmitted infections in adolescents in countries of all incomes remain a great concern, as does urbanization in low-income and middle-income countries
In a comment linked to the Lancet 'Series on Adolescent Health,' Professor Robert W Blum (Chair of the Department of Population, Family, and Reproductive Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD, USA) and colleagues highlight some of the major challenges facing adolescents today.

Scripps research scientists find anticonvulsant drug helps marijuana smokers kick the habit
Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have found clinical evidence that the drug gabapentin, currently on the market to treat neuropathic pain and epilepsy, helps people to quit smoking marijuana.

Many athletes with asthma may be using the wrong treatment
Many athletes with asthma may not be using the best treatment for their condition and could be putting their long term health at risk, according to a roundup by journalist Sophie Arie published by the BMJ today.

Global health priorities should shift to preventing risky behaviors in adolescence: UW professor
As childhood and adolescent deaths from infectious diseases have declined worldwide, policymakers are shifting attention to preventing deaths from noncommunicable causes, such as drug and alcohol use, mental health problems, obesity, traffic crashes, violence and unsafe sex practices.

Smart bridges
Iowa State University engineers are working with the Iowa Department of Transportation to develop and test a comprehensive monitoring system on a new bridge.

Molecular probes identify changes in fibronectin that may lead to disease
Researchers have identified molecular probes capable of selectively attaching to fibronectin fibers under different strain states, enabling the detection and examination of fibronectin strain events that have been linked to pathological conditions including cancer and fibrosis.

Component of pizza seasoning herb oregano kills prostate cancer cells
A new study by researchers at Long Island University (LIU) indicates that an ingredient of the spice oregano could potentially be used to treat prostate cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death in American men.

Fracking requires a minimum distance of at least 0.6 kilometers from sensitive rock strata
The chances of rogue fractures due to shale gas fracking operations extending beyond 0.6 kilometers from the injection source is a fraction of one percent, according to new research led by Durham University.

NASA research estimates how long Titan's chemical factory has been in business
Saturn's giant moon Titan hides within a thick, smoggy atmosphere that's well-known to scientists as one of the most complex chemical environments in the solar system.

Physical abuse may raise risk of suicidal thoughts
Adults who were physically abused during childhood are more likely than their non-abused peers to have suicidal thoughts, according to a new study from the University of Toronto.

GW researchers receive supplemental grant to measure enhanced immune response of novel adjuvants
GW Researchers have been awarded a Pilot Grant from the Clinical and Translational Science Institute-Children's National to investigate innovative methods for evaluating the immune response to vaccines with a novel Toll-like Receptor-4 agonist adjuvant.

Professor Oded Netzer of Columbia Business School receives the 2012 George S. Eccles Research Award
Oded Netzer, the Philip H. Geier Jr. Associate Professor at Columbia Business School, has received the 2012 George S.

New microdevice enables culture of circulating tumor cells for cancer diagnosis, treatment
Researchers from Harvard's Wyss Institute and Children's Hospital Boston have created a device that can harvest circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from blood to enable their expansion in culture for analysis.

Pod corn develops leaves in the inflorescences
A leaf gene active in the maize cob causes leaves to grow in the male and female inflorescences.

Family history of liver cancer increases risk of developing the disease
A family history of liver cancer is reported to increase risk of developing hepatocellular carcinomas, independent of hepatitis according to findings published in the May issue of Hepatology, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

Creating nano-structures from the bottom up
Microscopic particles are being coaxed by Duke University engineers to assemble themselves into larger crystalline structures by the use of varying concentrations of microscopic particles and magnetic fields.

Fibrosis and fatty liver disease increase risk of early atherosclerosis
Italian researchers report that severe fibrosis increases the early atherosclerosis risk in patients with genotype I chronic hepatitis C virus infection.

Medical bills: Sticker shock and confused consumers
According to a provocative new UCSF analysis, patients are all too often left in the dark about how and what hospitals charge for their medical care -- even in the face of a mounting push nationally for consumers to have a voice in how their health care dollars are spent.

Brain cell changes may cause sleep troubles in aging
Older animals show cellular changes in the brain

Today's 1.8 billion adolescents more exposed to harmful alcohol consumption, sexually transmitted diseases, and other risks than in the past, and face other new challenges such as social media
There are some 1.8 billion adolescents (those aged 10-24 years) in the world today, comprising more than a quarter of the world's population.

Scientists develop new technique that could improve heart attack prediction
An award-winning research project, funded by the British Heart Foundation, has tested a new imaging method which could help improve how doctors predict a patient's risk of having a heart attack.

Lung transplant recipient thrives nearly 20 years later
UT Southwestern Medical Center has performed more than 300 lung transplants in recent decades, and Michael Young represents a remarkable success story.

Prions in the brain eliminated by homing molecules
Toxic prions in the brain can be detected with self-illuminating polymers.

PNAS: Precise molecular surgery in the plant genome
Crop plants have always been adapted to the needs of man by breeding for them to carry more fruit, survive droughts, or resist pests.

Violence puts wear and tear on kids' DNA
Children who have experienced violence might really be older than their years.

Single scan could safely rule out pregnancy-related DVT
A single ultrasound scan may safely rule out a diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis in women during pregnancy or in the first few weeks after giving birth, finds a study published on today.

Pistachio consumption may promote a beneficial gut environment
A preliminary study suggests that eating pistachios may help alter levels of potentially beneficial bacteria in the gut, a finding that holds promise for supporting digestive health.

An unexpected virus reservoir
International researchers under the aegis of the University of Bonn have discovered the probable cause of not just one, but several infectious agents at the same time.

Crew schedules, sleep deprivation, and aviation performance
Night-time departures, early morning arrivals, and adjusting to several time zones in a matter of days can rattle circadian rhythms, compromise attention and challenge vigilance.

Geophysicists employ novel method to identify sources of global sea level rise
As the Earth's climate warms, a melting ice sheet produces a distinct pattern of sea level change known as its sea level fingerprint.

Connecting cilia: Cellular antennae help cells stick together
Primary cilia are hair-like structures which protrude from almost all mammalian cells.

Putting adolescents at the center of health and development
A Lancet editorial that accompanies the series says that unprecedented momentum is gathering to put adolescents into the center of global health policies.

Dietary changes help some children with ADHD
Together with child and adolescent psychiatrists, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have just completed an extensive report which reviews the studies which have been done so far on the significance of diet for children and young people with ADHD.

10 percent of total funding for children and adolescents should be moved to preventive interventions in communities and schools within 5 years
A comment linked to the Lancet 'Series on Adolescent Health' calls for major investments in adolescent health, including moving ten percent of total funding for children and adolescents towards preventive interventions in communities and schools within five years.

NASA's Webb Telescope flight backplane section completed
The center section of the backplane structure that will fly on NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has been completed, marking an important milestone in the telescope's hardware development.

The wealth of Thai villages
Examining Thai villages as smaller versions of a national economy provides a new understanding of the dynamics of economic growth and yields fresh insights to the financial lives of villages and households.This is the conclusion from a new study by the Consortium on Financial Systems and Poverty.

CAM therapy combined with conventional medical care may improve treatment of lower back pain
Many patients suffering from persistent low back pain might benefit significantly from an individualized, team-based model of care that includes access to licensed complementary care practitioners in addition to conventional care providers.

Many countries still lack a health research strategy
Although there has been a steady increase in medical research from low- and middle- income countries in recent decades, there are still many countries that lack anything resembling a health research strategy, according to international experts writing in this week's PLoS Medicine.

Locked down, RNA editing yields odd fly behavior
At the level of proteins, organisms can adapt by editing their RNA -- an and editor can even edit itself.

Early menopause linked to higher risk of osteoporosis, fracture and mortality
Women who go through the menopause early are nearly twice as likely to suffer from osteoporosis in later life, suggests new research published today in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Can weight loss help African-American breast cancer survivors?
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago's Institute for Health Research and Policy have designed a novel community-based weight loss intervention designed for African-American breast cancer survivors.

Titles from Springer collection cover wide range of disciplines on Apple's iBookstore
Springer Science+Business Media now offers one of the largest scientific, technical and medical book collections on the iBookstore with more than 20,000 individual Springer titles.

Improving access to education and employment and reducing the risk of transport-related injury are among the best ways to improve adolescent health
The second paper in the Lancet 'Series on Adolescent Health' addresses the social determinants that affect health in this age group.

Louisiana Tech University professor earns NSF Early Career Development grant
Dr. Niel Crews, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Louisiana Tech University and a member of Tech's Institute for Micromanufacturing, has been awarded an Early Career Development grant by the National Science Foundation for his proposal,

ICRISAT and BGI seal research partnership on molecular crop breeding
ICRISAT and BGI seal research partnership on molecular crop breeding.

Bile - not acid - is bad guy in triggering precancerous condition associated with reflux disease
For many people with GERD, acid reflux drugs are the answer to their woes, curbing the chronic heartburn characteristic of the disorder.

The search for a job begins and ends with you
New research shows that having a more positive, motivational outlook had a beneficial effect on job pursuit, especially at the outset of the search.

Did bone ease acid for early land crawlers?
In a new paper in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, scientists propose that the bony structures in the skin of many early four-legged creatures might have been there to relieve acid buildup in bodily fluids.

Stanford study points to potential treatment for stroke
Stanford University School of Medicine neuroscientists have demonstrated, in a study to be published online April 24 in Stroke, that a compound mimicking a key activity of a hefty, brain-based protein is capable of increasing the generation of new nerve cells, or neurons, in the brains of mice that have had strokes.

Scientists advance field of research with publication of newly validated method for analyzing flavanols in cocoa
A method for the analysis of flavanols in cocoa has been developed by a team of researchers from Mars Botanical, a scientific division of Mars, Incorporated, and recently published in the Journal of AOAC International.

Fewer complications, better outcomes with robot-assisted prostate cancer surgery
Robot-assisted surgery is now both more common and far more successful than radical

Soy-based S-equol supplement reduces hot flash frequency, muscle & joint pain in US women
A dose of 10 milligrams daily of S-equol delivered via a newly developed fermented soy germ-based nutritional supplement is as effective as a standard dose of soy isoflavones at reducing hot flash frequency significantly and is even more effective for relieving muscle and joint pain, according to a peer-reviewed study in US postmenopausal women published in the June Journal of Women's Health, available now as a Fast Track article online ahead of print.

Mayo Clinic identifies gene critical to development and spread of lung cancer
A single gene that promotes initial development of the most common form of lung cancer and its lethal metastases has been identified by researchers at Mayo Clinic in Florida.

Blood transfusions still overused and may do more harm than good in some patients
Citing the lack of clear guidelines for ordering blood transfusions during surgery, Johns Hopkins researchers say a new study confirms there is still wide variation in the use of transfusions and frequent use of transfused blood in patients who don't need it.

Scientists discover bilayer structure in efficient solar material
Detailed studies of one of the best-performing organic photovoltaic materials reveal an unusual bilayer lamellar structure that may help explain the material's superior performance at converting sunlight to electricity and guide the synthesis of new materials with even better properties.

New biomarker may predict prognosis for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia
Researchers at the University of California -- San Diego School of Medicine have shown that G protein-coupled receptor expression may predict the prognosis of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

School climate can affect overweight children for life
Researchers at Oklahoma State University and the University of Arkansas studied 1,139 first-graders in 29 rural schools where obesity risk is especially high.

Malaria resurgence directly linked to funding cuts
Funding cuts for malaria control are the single most common reason for the resurgence of the deadly disease, according to a new study that has linked overall weakened malaria control programs to the majority of global resurgences since 1930.

VLBW infants born at hospitals known for nursing excellence have better outcomes on some measures
In a study that included more than 72,000 very low-birth-weight infants, among those born in hospitals with recognition for nursing excellence (RNE), compared with non-RNE hospitals, there was a significantly lower rate of hospital infection, death at 7-days and severe intraventricular hemorrhage but not lower rates of death at 28-days or hospital stay mortality, according to a study in the April 25 issue of JAMA.

New Avalere study IDs 5 key practices that lead to successful hospital-to-home transitions
Community health plans are improving how patients transition from hospital to home by breaking down silos of care, coordinating among providers, and directly engaging with patients, according to a new report entitled Transitions of Care from Hospital to Home.

Stopping adolescent problems progressing to adulthood: Adolescents, parents, and governments must embrace proven prevention programs
Evidence exists on a wide range of prevention policies and programs for adolescent health, but as in other parts of health care, policy makers and parents are yet to embrace prevention programs as useful and cost-effective.

Text message reminders may get more parents to vaccinate kids against flu
Text message reminders to parents about flu vaccinations may help boost the number of children vaccinated, according to researchers at Columbia University Medical Center.

2012 ARVO Award recipients honored at annual meeting
The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology is pleased to announce its 2012 ARVO Award recipients.

First-ever release of endangered burying beetles in Missouri
The Saint Louis Zoo's Center for American Burying Beetle Conservation; the US Fish & Wildlife Service; the Missouri Department of Conservation; and the Nature Conservancy are reintroducing up to 600 Zoo-bred American burying beetles - for the first time ever in Missouri - beginning in June in locations across the 4,040-acre Wah' Kon-Tah Prairie in Southwest Missouri.

Cassini sees new objects blazing trails in Saturn ring
Queen Mary scientists working with images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft have discovered strange half-mile-sized objects punching through parts of Saturn's F ring, leaving glittering trails behind them.

Beyond apples: A serving a day of dark chocolate might keep the doctor away
Researchers at San Diego State University find that chocolate, in particular dark chocolate which contains higher levels of flavanols than milk chocolate, may protect against the risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering blood pressure, blood flow, and improving blood lipid levels.

Discerning males remain faithful
Sex for male orb web spiders is a two shot affair since the act of mating destroys their genitalia.

Watching and waiting is best management for pregnant women whose waters break early
Pregnant women whose waters break late in preterm pregnancy but before they are in labor -- the medical term for this situation is preterm pre-labor rupture of the membranes -- are best managed by monitoring and waiting until they deliver spontaneously rather than by inducing labor according to a study by Dutch researchers published in this week's PLoS Medicine.

Heart infection involving ICD associated with high rate of complications, risk of death
Patients with infective endocarditis involving implanted cardiac devices experience a high rate of complications such as valve infections, heart failure, and persistent bacteremia, and high in-hospital and 1-year mortality rates, particularly if there is valve involvement, according to a study in the April 25 issue of JAMA.

'Junk DNA' can sense viral infection
Non-coding RNA -- molecules that do not translate into proteins -- were once considered unimportant

Bridging the gap in treatment for older women with breast cancer
Sheffield researchers are investigating ways to improve the treatment and survival rate of elderly patients diagnosed with breast cancer.

How the brain's daily clock controls mood: A new project
A math professor at the University of Michigan will lead an international, one million dollar project examining the links between bipolar disorder and abnormalities in the circadian, or daily, rhythms of a mammal's internal clock.

Study finds chronic fatigue syndrome patients had reduced activity in brain's 'reward center'
In a new study, researchers have found differing brain responses in people with this condition compared to healthy controls, suggesting an association between a biologic functional response and chronic fatigue syndrome.

On-the-job deaths steady in Michigan; Number of burn injuries underreported
The rate of workplace deaths in Michigan remained steady in 2011, as 141 workers died on the job compared with 145 in 2010, according to an annual report from Michigan State University.

Chronic cocaine use may speed up aging of brain
New research by scientists at the University of Cambridge suggests that chronic cocaine abuse accelerates the process of brain aging.

AgriLife Research study seeks to pinpoint wheat drought-tolerance mechanisms
Maybe it's in the shoot, maybe the root. Texas AgriLife Research scientists are on a quest to find where different wheat varieties popular in the High Plains get their drought tolerance.

Mental stress may be harder on women's hearts
Stress reduction is important for anyone, regardless of gender, but a new study shines a light on how stress differently affects the hearts of women, potentially putting them at greater risk of a coronary event.

Dynamic earth processes across time and space
The dynamics of Earth are discussed in this new batch of GSA Bulletin papers posted online April 6.

Fish oil could be therapy for periodontal disease
To evaluate whether fish oil supplementation could be an adjunct therapy for periodontitis, Dr.

World's largest digital camera project passes critical milestone
A 3.2 billion-pixel digital camera designed is now one step closer to reality.

NASA goes on top of the Smokies, all covered in light rain
As part of the Science Team for NASA's Precipitation Measurement Missions that measure rainfall from space, a research team trekked into the Great Smoky Mountains and other areas of the southern Appalachian Mountains, to learn more about where, when and how rain falls in the rugged terrain.

Science and industry club together to deliver better crops
Today, the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council is announcing nine new industry-relevant crop science projects as part of the Crop Improvement Research Club.

Flu vaccination reminder via text messaging improves rate of vaccination among low-income children
A text messaging intervention with education-related messages sent to parents increased influenza vaccination coverage compared with usual care in a traditionally hard-to-reach, low-income, urban, minority population of children and adolescents, although coverage overall remained low, according to a study in the April 25 issue of JAMA.

Outpatient surgery patients also at risk for blood clots
A new University of Michigan Health System study shows a rising risk for blood clots among the large and growing group of patients having outpatient surgery.

'Inhabitants of Madrid' ate elephants' meat and bone marrow 80,000 years ago
Humans that populated the banks of the river Manzanares during the Middle Palaeolithic fed themselves on pachyderm meat and bone marrow.

Leukaemia cells have a remembrance of things past
Even single groups of cancers, such as those of the white blood cells, may show widely differing properties.

Improving on the amazing: Ames Laboratory scientists seek new conductors for metamaterials
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory have designed a method to evaluate different conductors for use in metamaterial structures, which are engineered to exhibit properties not possible in natural materials.

Egg nutrition research reveals positive impact on metabolic syndrome and satiety
This week at Experimental Biology 2012 in San Diego, experts are convening to discuss the latest science in a variety of health and disease-related areas, including nutrition.

Rhode Island Hospital researcher: Broadening bipolar disorder criteria is a bad idea
A Rhode Island Hospital psychiatrist and researcher explains the negative impact of broadening the diagnostic criteria for bipolar disorder in the upcoming Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition.

Graphene boosts efficiency of next-gen solar cells
Yun Han Hu's team found that adding graphene to the titanium dioxide brought 52.4 percent more current into the circuit.

Binge eating may lead to addiction-like behaviors
A history of binge eating -- consuming large amounts of food in a short period of time -- may make an individual more likely to show other addiction-like behaviors, including substance abuse, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

Family life study reveals key events that can trigger eating disorders
Eating disorders can be triggered by lack of support following traumatic events such as bereavement, relationship problems, abuse and sexual assault.

Maryland gets its first 'Certified Sustainable' community: Berlin
The first Maryland community to earn a

Do urban 'heat islands' hint at trees of future?
A new study shows that common native red oak seedlings grow as much as eight times faster in New York's Central Park than in more rural, cooler settings in the Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountains.

RANK protein promotes the initiation, progression and metastasis of human breast cancer
Researchers from the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute have shown that over-activation of the RANK signaling pathway promotes the initiation, progression and metastasis of tumors in human breast epithelial cells by de-differentiation of breast cells to stem cells.

Omega-3 fatty acids don't improve heart's ability to relax and efficiently refill with blood
New study finds taking an omega-3 supplement daily for three months didn't change diastolic function in older adults, suggesting that omega-3's benefits might fall on other aspects of cardiovascular function.

ASH Agenda for Hematology Research identifies most promising areas for scientific discovery
The American Society of Hematology, the world's largest professional society committed to the study and treatment of blood disorders, today issued a report urging federal agencies to coordinate hematology research funding around seven specific high-need areas that would produce the greatest impact and translate into improvements in patient care in the United States.

Plant perfumes woo beneficial bugs
Scientists funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council have discovered that maize crops emit chemical signals which attract growth-promoting microbes to live amongst their roots.

Emergency room CT exams have increased in children with abdominal pain
Computed tomography utilization in pediatric patients with nontraumatic abdominal pain increased in emergency departments each year between 1999 and 2007, according to a new study.

A report card on adolescents from UNICEF
In the final comment with the Lancet 'Series on Adolescent Health,' Dr.

Kinder Houston Area Survey reveals more Houstonians support mass transit
One of America's most automobile-dependent large cities may be heading into a new era, according to the 31st annual Kinder Houston Area Survey conducted by Rice University.

AgriLife Research: Dairy study to determine how breed and herd longevity are related
Texas AgriLife Research is trying to help the dairy industry determine how breed and conformation affects dairy cow longevity.

A tide of health risks engulfs the largest generation of adolescents in the world's history
There is wide variation between and within regions in the profile of adolescent health.

New clinical study evaluates first drug to show improvement in subtype of autism
In an important test of one of the first drugs to target core symptoms of autism, researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine are undertaking a pilot clinical trial to evaluate insulin-like growth factor in children who have SHANK3 deficiency (also known as 22q13 Deletion Syndrome or Phelan-McDermid Syndrome), a known cause of autism spectrum disorder.

Botox injections associated with only modest benefit for chronic migraine and daily headaches
Although botulinum toxin A (

University of Nevada, Reno GPS technology used for NASA quake monitoring test
GPS technology developed and implemented at the University of Nevada, Reno will be the centerpiece of a major test this year by NASA to pinpoint the location and magnitude of strong earthquakes along the West Coast of the United States.

From feast to famine: A metabolic switch that may help diabetes treatment
Humans are built to hunger for fat, packing it on during times of feast and burning it during periods of famine.

Mysterious 'monster' discovered by amateur paleontologist
For 70 years, academic paleontologists in Cincinnati have been assisted by a dedicated corps of amateurs.

Guidelines for prostate screening widely ignored
New research confirms that the controversial decision by Warren Buffet to undergo a blood test screening for prostate cancer despite his age is hardly unusual.

Evidence shows that anti-depressants likely do more harm than good, researchers find
Commonly prescribed anti-depressants appear to be doing patients more harm than good, say researchers who have published a paper examining the impact of the medications on the entire body.

BGI debuts 'EasyGenomics' cloud-based bioinformatics solution for omics-related research
BGI debuts 'EasyGenomics' cloud-based bioinformatics solution for omics-related research.

Yeast cell reaction to Zoloft suggests alternative cause, drug target for depression
Princeton University researchers have observed a self-degradation response to the antidepressant Zoloft in yeast cells that could help provide new answers to lingering questions among scientists about how antidepressants work, as well as support the idea that depression is not solely linked to the neurotransmitter serotonin.

In protein folding, internal friction may play a more significant role than previously thought
An international team of researchers has reported a new understanding of a little-known process that happens in virtually every cell of our bodies.

Wide variations in charges for special lenses
A new study has found huge variations in what ophthalmologists charge for a device used in one of the most common surgeries in Ontario.

Vibrating steering wheel guides drivers while keeping their eyes on the road
A vibrating steering wheel is an effective way to keep a driver's eyes safely on the road by providing an additional means to convey directions from a car's navigation system, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and AT&T Labs have shown.

Molecule movements that make us think
Every thought, every movement, every heartbeat is controlled by lightning-quick electrical impulses in the brain, the muscles, and the heart.

ORNL, Yale take steps toward fast, low-cost DNA sequencing device
Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Yale University have developed a new concept for use in a high-speed genomic sequencing device that may have the potential to substantially drive down costs. 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