Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 25, 2012
Longer breastfeeding with extended ART could reduce mother-to-child HIV transmission and improve infant survival
Giving antiretroviral drugs to HIV-infected mothers or their babies is highly effective at preventing HIV transmission through breast milk.

Watching neurons learn
Learning novel associations between sensory stimuli and adequate motor actions is key to many aspects of our daily lives.

Study confirms anatomic existence of the elusive G-spot
For centuries, women have been reporting engorgement of the upper, anterior part of the vagina during the stage of sexual excitement, despite the fact the structure of this phenomenon had not been anatomically determined.

Dublin: CVD prevention capital of the world
Ireland hosts premier cardiac prevention meeting from May 3 to 5, 2012 at Convention Centre, Dublin, Ireland.

Researchers develop a path to liquid solar cells that can be printed onto surfaces
Scientists at USC have developed a potential pathway to cheap, stable solar cells made from nanocrystals so small they can exist as a liquid ink and be painted or printed onto clear surfaces.

Stanford and MIT scientists win Perl-UNC Neuroscience prize
The Perl prize carries a $10,000 award and is given to recognize a seminal achievement in neuroscience.

In developing world, economic benefits trump expense of C-sections
Surgery can be a highly cost-effective and economically viable tool for improving global health, a new study of the benefit-cost ratio of cesarean delivery (C-section) in the developing world shows.

Thinking in a foreign language helps economic decision-making
In a study with implications for businesspeople in a global economy, researchers at the University of Chicago have found that people make more rational decisions when they think through a problem in a non-native tongue.

Anxiety increases cancer severity in mice, Stanford study shows
Worrywarts, fidgety folk and the naturally nervy may have a real cause for concern: accelerated cancer.

Gladstone scientist Warner C. Greene receives Washington University School of Medicine Alumni Award
Warner C. Greene, M.D., Ph.D. -- who directs virology and immunology research at the Gladstone Institutes -- has won the 2012 Alumni Achievement Award from the Washington University School of Medicine in St.

New study sheds light on debate over organic vs. conventional agriculture
Although organic techniques may not be able to feed the world alone, they do have an important role to play in feeding a growing global population while minimizing environmental damage, according to researchers at McGill University and the University of Minnesota.

UT Dallas bioengineering head to be inducted as Fellow of Royal Society
Dr. Mathukumalli Vidyasagar, an internationally known expert in control and system theory, has been elected a Fellow of The Royal Society, the oldest continuously operating scientific society in the world.

Evolution in an island, the secret for a longer life
ICP researchers published today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B one of the first fossil-based evidences supporting the evolutionary theory of aging, which predicts that species evolving in low mortality and resource-limited ecosystems tend to be more long-lived.

New diagnostic tool determines aggressiveness of prostate cancer
One in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer during his lifetime, the second leading cause of death among men in the United States.

Louisiana Tech students, professor to present research at national meeting
Several graduate and Ph.D. students at Louisiana Tech University, and Dr.

Bacteria beware
Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital could change the playing field of man versus bacteria.

Regular exercise could reduce complications of sickle cell trait
A study suggests regular exercise might help combat the problems likely caused by oxidative stress that increase morbidity and mortality in people with sickle cell trait (SCT).

Global warming has driven Europe's mountain plants to migrate 2.7 meters upwards in 7 years
While species diversity in summits of temperate-boreal regions has increased, it has declined in Mediterranean regions.

Scientists uncover strong support for once-marginalized theory on Parkinson's disease
University of California, San Diego scientists have used powerful computational tools and laboratory tests to discover new support for a once-marginalized theory about the underlying cause of Parkinson's disease.

Just a few cell clones can make heart muscle
Just a handful of cells in the embryo are all that's needed to form the outer layer of pumping heart muscle in an adult zebrafish.

Antibiotic resistance flourishes in freshwater systems
McMaster University researchers have now discovered that floc -

Stroke risk high when anti-clotting drugs stopped
Patients with irregular heartbeats who take anti-clotting medications are at high risk of stroke or blood clot whenever the drugs are stopped.

Facial defects shown to self-repair
Tufts developmental biologists have identified a

6.8 million birds die each year at communication towers
More than six million birds die every year as they migrate from the United States and Canada to Central and South America.

Chronicling pink slime's fall from grace
The process for producing what has become known as

Selenium impacts honey bee behavior and survival
Entomologists at UC Riverside have a

Salmonella infection, but not as we know it
BBSRC-funded researchers at Cambridge University have shed new light on a common food poisoning bug.

Low-grade concrete strengthened in flexure by means of inorganic based composites
Engineer Pello Larrinaga Alonso has studied the positive effects of an innovative inorganic-based composite called Textile Reinforced Mortar.

Tiny 'spherules' reveal details about Earth's asteroid impacts
Researchers are learning details about asteroid impacts going back to the Earth's early history by using a new method for extracting precise information from tiny

Text messages help patients with long term conditions stick to their meds
Text message prompts can help patients living with long term conditions stick to their treatment programs - at least in the short term - indicates a review of the available evidence, published online in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.

Number line is learned, not innate human intuition
The concept of number lines, a hallmark of elementary math classrooms, does not reflect universal human intuition.

Research!America says house funding levels for FY13 could undermine medical progress
Research!America President and CEO Mary Woolley says the House Appropriations Subcommittee's top-line allocation for the Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services is far from what's needed to maintain a thriving research enterprise that saves lives and spurs new businesses and jobs throughout the country.

Mayo Clinic: Obesity epidemic fueling rise in rheumatoid arthritis among women
Obesity and the painful autoimmune disorder rheumatoid arthritis are each becoming more common, raising a logical question: could one have something to do with the other?

Is it time for regional cardiovascular emergency care systems across the US?
Experts are proposing a new model of care collaboration to diagnosis, treat and follow patients who present with various emergent cardiovascular conditions which require rapid, resource-intensive care and confer a high risk of mortality, in an article published April 24 in Circulation.

Nano nod for lab on a chip
You wouldn't know it from appearances, but a metal cube the size of a toaster, created at the University of Alberta, is capable of performing the same genetic tests as most fully equipped modern laboratories -- and in a fraction of the time.

Genetic markers for tracking species
At the supermarket checkout, hardly anybody enters prices manually anymore.

Rapid tsunami warning by means of GPS
GPS shield offers speed up in tsunami warning as shown by the Fukushima event.

Neighborhoods -- not immigrants -- determining factor for homicides
Public opinion and public policy often assume that immigration is directly related to higher rates of crime, but the social conditions of neighborhoods actually have a more significant effect on violent crimes than immigrant populations.

Penn researchers create first custom designed protein crystal
Protein design is technique that is increasingly valuable to a variety of fields, from biochemistry to therapeutics to materials engineering.

Intense light prevents, treats heart attacks
There are lots of ways to treat a heart attack -- CPR, aspirin, clot-busters and more.

Pig stomach mucins are effective as anti-viral agents for consumer products
Scientists are reporting that the mucus lining the stomachs of pigs could be a long-sought, abundant source of

First camera trap photos of rare leopard in China
The first-known camera trap photos of an Amur leopard in China have recently been taken by protected area staff in Hunchun Amur Tiger National Nature Reserve in Jilin Province according to the Wildlife Conservation Society.

A cluster within a cluster
The star cluster NGC 6604 is shown in this new image taken by the Wide Field Imager attached to the 2.2-meter MPG/ESO telescope at the La Silla Observatory in Chile.

Resistant starch may offer potential to help protect against bowel cancer
Consumption of resistant starch leads to positive changes in the bowel and could protect against genetic damage implicated in bowel cancer.

Study finds twist to the story of the number line
Challenging a mainstream scholarly position, a study suggests that the number-line concept is not innate but learned and that precise numbers can exist in a culture without linear representation.

Malaria bed net strategies will save global community estimated $600 million over the next 5 years
A new report released by the Results for Development Institute identifies malaria bed net market dynamics strategies that will save the global community an estimated $600 million over the next five years.

NIST physicists benchmark quantum simulator with hundreds of qubits
Physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have built a quantum simulator that can engineer interactions among hundreds of quantum bits (qubits) -- 10 times more than previous devices.

Warm ocean currents cause majority of ice loss from Antarctica
Warm ocean currents attacking the underside of ice shelves are the dominant cause of recent ice loss from Antarctica, a new study using measurements from NASA's Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite revealed.

Spinal cord injury researchers win Apple Award for article on niacin for dyslipidemia
American Spinal Injury Association has awarded its 2012 Apple Award to the article by Mark Nash, Ph.D., et al, entitled,

Flies process attractive and deterrent odors in different brain areas
Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, have developed an apparatus that automatically applies odors to an airstream, while filming and analyzing the behavior of insects simultaneously.

Dogs turn down extra food if a human provides the right cues
Dogs can be manipulated to choose against their preference by human cues, opting to turn down extra food in order to follow the human's choice.

Agent reduces autism-like behaviors in mice
Researchers have reversed behaviors in mice resembling two of the three core symptoms of autism spectrum disorders.

Why not marry your cousin? Millions do
The health risks of marrying a cousin have been grossly overstated, says a new book.

Scientists predict paradoxical laser effect
An intriguing new effect in microlasers has been discovered: Two microlasers can be coupled in such a way that they suppress each other an the laser system stays dark - even if both lasers are supplied with energy and would emit light on their own.

Protecting your brain: 'Use it or lose it'
The findings of a new study suggest that the protective effects of an active cognitive lifestyle arise through multiple biological pathways.

1 in 3 households misreports smoke alarm coverage
One in three households in Baltimore misreports its smoke alarm coverage, with the vast majority of errors due to over-reporting coverage, according to a new study.

Novel mutations linked to autism identified in genes associated with fragile X
A new study, published by Cell Press in the April 26 issue of the journal Neuron, discovers several genes associated with autism and finds evidence for a shared genetic mechanism underlying autism and fragile X syndrome, the most common genetic cause of intellectual disability.

Which ads are winners? Your brain knows better than you do
Advertisers and public health officials may be able to access hidden wisdom in the brain to more effectively sell their products and promote public health and safety, UCLA neuroscientists report in the first study to use brain data to predict how large populations will respond to advertisements.

Programming highlights for the annual meeting of the American Association of Anatomists
The American Association of Anatomists will gather this week for its annual meeting in conjunction with the Experimental Biology 2012 conference, which will draw more than 14,000 scientists from industry, government and academia.

X-rays reveal molecular arrangements for better printable electronics
By employing powerful X-rays that can see down to the molecular level of organic materials used in printable electronics, researchers are now able to determine why some materials perform better than others.

Older age and free school meals are associated with increased likelihood of substance use
A new study, published today in the Journal of Public Health, explores the relationship between substance use, subjective wellbeing and socioeconomic status in 10-15 year olds attending schools in two local authorities in the North West of England.

Switching subject categories could improve test scores
Students of all ages could improve their test scores if the category of information changed abruptly midway through the test, according to a new study on memory by researchers from Syracuse University, the University of South Florida and Indiana University.

A new 'Achilles' heel' in fungus that causes dandruff
Research on the fungus that ranks as one cause of dandruff -- the embarrassing nuisance that, by some accounts, afflicts half of humanity -- is pointing scientists toward a much-needed new treatment for the condition's flaking and itching.

With new design, bulk semiconductor proves it can take the heat
Boston College and MIT researchers report a novel nanotech design boosts the conversion efficiency of the bulk semiconductor alloy silicon germanium, improving performance while also reducing the amount of costly materials.

Longer breastfeeding along with antiretroviral drugs could lower HIV transmission to babies
New research finds that early weaning - stopping breastfeeding before six months - is of little, if any, protective value against HIV transmission nor is it safe for infant survival.

Study suggests atrial fibrillation should be surgically treated when performing cardiac surgery
Northwestern Medicine researchers reveal patients with atrial fibrillation (A-fib) who undergo cardiac surgery, have a lower long-term survival rate than patients who are in sinus rhythm.

Small 'neural focus groups' predict anti-smoking ad success
Brain scans of a small group of people can predict the actions of entire populations, according to a new study by researchers from the University of Michigan, the University of Oregon and the University of California at Los Angeles.

C-sections are cost-effective way to improve maternal outcomes in developing countries
Investing in C-sections could be a cost-effective way to improve outcomes for difficult deliveries in developing countries.

New research finds no association between white potato consumption (baked, boiled mashed) and obesity, Type 2 diabetes or systemic inflammation
Preliminary research presented today at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology Conference in San Diego demonstrates that habitual consumption of white potatoes (baked, boiled and mashed) is not associated with obesity, Type 2 diabetes or levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of systemic inflammation once potential confounding factors are controlled for (e.g., age, gender, and education).

8 species of wild fish have been detected in aquaculture feed
Researchers from the University of Oviedo have for the first time analyzed a DNA fragment from commercial feed for aquarium cichlids, aquaculture of salmon and marine fish in aquariums.

Queen's is UK leader for female scientists and engineers
Queen's has been named as the lead university in the United Kingdom for tackling the unequal representation of women in science and engineering.

Electron politics: Physicists probe organization at the quantum level
A study this week in Nature by researchers at Rice University, two Max Planck Institutes in Dresden, Germany, and UCLA finds that

New tests monitor brain health during children's heart surgery
Two new monitoring methods may help detect brain damage in infants and children undergoing surgery to repair heart defects.

The wisdom of retail traders
A forthcoming paper in the Journal of Finance by professor Paul Tetlock, Roger F.

Splatters of molten rock signal period of intense asteroid impacts on Earth
New research reveals that the Archean era -- a formative time for early life from 3.8 billion years ago to 2.5 billion years ago -- experienced far more major asteroid impacts than had been previously thought, with a few impacts perhaps even rivaling those that produced the largest craters on the Moon, according to a paper published online today in Nature.

Choosing the right hospital may save your baby's life
Choosing the right hospital may make the difference between life and death for very low birth weight infants, according to research led by the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and released today in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association.

A striking link is found between the Fragile-X gene and mutations that cause autism
A team led by scientists at CSHL publishes research today indicating a striking association between genes found disrupted in children with autism and genes that are targets of FMRP, the protein generated by the gene FMR1, whose dysfunction causes Fragile-X syndrome.

Study finds mammography beneficial for younger women
Researchers have published new findings that mammography remains beneficial for women in their 40s.

1-day program at Cedars-Sinai to focus on DBS for obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression
Deep brain stimulation, increasingly recognized as an effective therapy for certain cases of Parkinson's disease, dystonia and tremor, also may help patients who suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder or depression that fails to respond to other treatments.

Handheld plasma flashlight rids skin of bacteria instantly
A group of Chinese and Australian scientists, including CSIRO, have developed a handheld, battery-powered plasma-producing device that can rid skin of bacteria in an instant.

ASPB names 2012 award recipients
The American Society of Plant Biologists is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2012 awards, honoring excellence in research, education, outreach, and service.

National Geographic Society expands scientific and conservation grantmaking in China
The National Geographic Society announced today the expansion of its Global Exploration Fund to Asia with the newly established National Geographic Air and Water Conservation Fund.

LA BioMed's Dr. John Tsuang examines effects of Ibudilast and metamphetamines
John W. Tsuang, M.D., principal investigator at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, in conjunction with Steven J.

Cigarette pack health warnings can help ex-smokers stave off urge to resume smoking
Health warnings on cigarette packs can help ex-smokers stave off the urge to start smoking again, indicates research published online in Tobacco Control.

World Health Organization anti-smoking program could save millions of lives
Millions of smoking-related deaths could still be prevented by 2030 if the World Health Organization smoking reduction policy is applied immediately worldwide, say University of Michigan researchers.

New research shows avocado consumption may be associated with several potential benefits
Four scientific sessions (one symposium, one oral presentation and two poster sessions) revealing potential benefits of Hass avocado consumption on heart health, weight management, type 2 diabetes and healthy living will be presented at Experimental Biology 2012 April 21-25.

Kidney transplanted twice in 2 weeks
For the first time, a kidney that had been donated to a patient in need was removed and implanted into a new patient, the third individual to have the organ, after it failed in the first transplant recipient.

List of the top 10 toxic chemicals suspected to cause autism and learning disabilities
An editorial published today in the prestigious journal Environmental Health Perspectives calls for increased research to identify possible environmental causes of autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders in America's children and presents a list of ten target chemicals including which are considered highly likely to contribute to these conditions.

Fourth IMPAKT Breast Cancer Conference
Novel technologies and advances in drug development are having an enormous impact on how breast cancer patients are treated.

Wind pushes plastics deeper into oceans, driving trash estimates up
Decades of research into how much plastic litters the ocean, conducted by skimming only the surface, may in some cases vastly underestimate the true amount of plastic debris, according to a University of Washington oceanographer publishing in Geophysical Research Letters.

Genetic variants, tobacco exposure and lung cancer risk
There is an association between the rs1051730-rs16969968 genotype and objective measures of tobacco exposure, which indicates that lung cancer risk is largely, if not entirely, mediated by level of tobacco exposure, according to a study published April 25 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Shedding light on southpaws
Lefties (only ten percent of the general population) have always been a bit of a puzzle.

Mantis males engage in riskier mating behavior if deprived of female access
Male praying mantises are more likely to engage in risky mating behavior if they have not had recent access to females.

New embryonic stem cell line will aid research on nerve condition
A Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease line made from a never-frozen donated embryo The University of Michigan's second human embryonic stem cell line has just been placed on the US National Institutes of Health's registry, making the cells available for federally funded research.

Brand loyalty increases when other customers look, act like us
The more other customers look and act like us, the more likely we are to stay loyal to a particular store or product, according to a groundbreaking study co-authored by a Michigan State University marketing expert.

Global smoking prevalence set to fall only marginally by 2030 without concerted action
The global prevalence of cigarette smoking among adults is set to fall by just 1.7 percentage points by 2030 if governments do not do more to intervene, finds research published online in Tobacco Control.

New mouthpiece found to reduce stress levels after strenuous exercise
Mouthguards are used by almost everyone participating in sports. These devices, typically purchased over-the-counter and used on the upper teeth, are designed to protect against broken teeth and an injured tongue.

Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases launched to tackle killer diseases
The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine's new Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases will focus research and expertise on this growing global health challenge.

Ophthalmologists urged to be alert for signs of child abuse
It has been estimated that roughly four percent to six percent of child abuse victims present first to an ophthalmologist.

BGI and Aspera collaborate on high-speed data exchange to advance genome research
BGI and Aspera collaborate on high-speed data exchange to advance genome research.

HIV prevention conference focuses on opportunities and challenges
The conclusion of the 2012 International Microbicides Conference, a gathering of researchers, advocates and funders in the HIV prevention field, wrapped up three days of discussion focused on access to prevention technologies, adherence in clinical trials, innovative financing, dual prevention technologies and new methods of preventing rectal transmission of HIV.

Identified 115 proteins that would allow designing new generation anti-cancer drugs
Researchers have identified 115 proteins in silico that could be highly relevant to treat colon-rectal cancer, since they would make it possible to define the strategy to design new generation anti-cancer drugs.

'Rogue DNA' plays key role in heart failure, study shows
Scientists from King's College London and Osaka University Medical School in Japan showed that during heart failure - a debilitating condition affecting 750,000 people in the UK - this 'rogue DNA' can kick start the body's natural response to infection, contributing to the process of heart failure.

Original research papers on acute cardiovascular care: ESC launches EHJ-ACVC
The new journal will be an important resource and guidance for cardiologists and allied healthcare professionals, offering useful information for daily clinical practice to improve the diagnosis, treatment and outcome of patients with acute cardiovascular syndromes.

Researchers give long look at who benefits from nature tourism
Using nature's beauty as a tourist draw can boost conservation in China's valued panda preserves, but it isn't an automatic ticket out of poverty for the human inhabitants, a unique long-term study shows.

Carnegie's Wolf B. Frommer receives Bogorad Award for Excellence in Plant Biology
The American Society for Plant Biology awarded Wolf B. Frommer, director of Carnegie's Department of Plant Biology, the Lawrence Bogorad Award for Excellence in Plant Biology Research for

Researchers announce GenomeSpace environment to connect genomic tools
Researchers from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard have announced that GenomeSpace, a software environment that seamlessly connects genomic analysis tools, is now available to the scientific community.

Growing up as a neural stem cell: The importance of clinging together and then letting go
Stem cell researchers at UCLA have identified new components of the genetic pathway that controls the adhesive properties and proliferation of neural stem cells and the formation of neurons.

Mother knows best, among wild vervet monkeys
Among vervet monkeys, social learning is strongly influenced by matrilineal family members.

Warm ocean currents cause majority of ice loss from Antarctica
Reporting this week, Thursday 26 April, in the journal Nature, an international team of scientists led by British Antarctic Survey has established that warm ocean currents are the dominant cause of recent ice loss from Antarctica.

Beyond stain-resistant: New fabric coating actively shrugs off gunk
Scientists are reporting development and successful testing of a fabric coating that would give new meaning to the phrase

Research shows how PCBs promote dendrite growth, may increase autism risk
New research from UC Davis and Washington State University shows that PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, launch a cellular chain of events that leads to an overabundance of dendrites -- the filament-like projections that conduct electrochemical signals between neurons -- and disrupts normal patterns of neuronal connections in the brain.

Feel-good music
For Concordia University's Sandra Curtis, a professor in the Department of Creative Arts Therapies, music is akin to medicine.

New harvesting approach boosts energy output from bacteria
A team of scientists from University of Colorado Denver has developed a novel energy system that increases the amount of energy harvested from microbial fuel cells by more than 70 times.

Supplements and cancer prevention: A cautionary tale
Government regulators and the scientific community should work to ensure that they give clear guidance to the public about dietary supplements and cancer risk, according to a commentary published April 25 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Blood samples show deadly frog fungus at work in the wild
The fungal infection that has killed a record number of amphibians worldwide leads to deadly dehydration in frogs in the wild, according to a new study by University of California, Berkeley and San Francisco State University researchers.

Syracuse University study finds autumn advantage for invasive plants in eastern United States
A new study by a Syracuse University biologist has found that the leaves of invasive plants continue to function in the fall, long after their native cousins have hunkered down for the winter.

Intensive kidney dialysis indicates better survival rates than conventional dialysis
A new study from Lawson Health Research Institute shows patients suffering with end-stage renal disease could increase their survival chances by undergoing intensive dialysis at home rather than the conventional dialysis in clinics. 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