Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 08, 2012
Physical activity linked to reduced mortality in breast and colon cancer patients
Physical activity is associated with reduced breast and colon cancer mortality, but there is insufficient evidence on the association for other cancer types, according to a study published May 8 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Fall in deaths involving painkiller co-proxamol after drug withdrawn in UK
During the six years following the withdrawal of the analgesic co-proxamol in the UK in 2005, there was a major reduction in poisoning deaths involving this drug, without apparent significant increase in deaths involving other analgesics.

Non-drug depression treatment rapidly and significantly improves disease symptoms and QoL
New data released today at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association show that patients with unipolar, non-psychotic major depressive disorder receiving transcranial magnetic stimulation with NeuroStar TMS Therapy® achieved significant improvements in both depression symptoms and in quality of life measurements.

Palliative care resource helps ease changes
An interactive toolkit created by a team from the University of Alberta helps palliative care patients and their care providers to deal with the physical, emotional and relationship changes that come with terminal and chronic illnesses.

Dr. Betty Vohr and Women & Infants to receive $3.2 million to improve health care
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius today announced that Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island is among the first batch of organizations selected for Health Care Innovation awards.

Study shows link between pre-pregnancy obesity and lower test scores
Women who are obese before they become pregnant are at higher risk of having children with lower cognitive function - as measured by math and reading tests taken between ages five to seven years - than are mothers with a healthy pre-pregnancy weight, new research suggests.

Are women with a history of violent experiences more likely to have risky sex?
New research suggests certain patterns of violence in both childhood and adulthood may make a woman more likely to take significant sexual risks.

Psychologists reveal how emotion can shut down high-level mental processes without our knowledge
Psychologists at Bangor University, Wales, believe that they have glimpsed for the first time, a process that takes place deep within our unconscious brain, where primal reactions interact with higher mental processes.

2 Cell Transplantation studies impact dental stem cell research for therapeutic purposes
A study on stem cells derived from dental tissues found that human immature dental pulp stem cells can be an alternative source for creating induced pluripotent stem cells, however the reprogramming methodology

Scientists find new pieces of hearing puzzle
Researchers funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council have gained important new insights into how our sense of hearing works.

Plastic trash altering ocean habitats, Scripps study shows
A 100-fold upsurge in human-produced plastic garbage in the ocean is altering habitats in the marine environment, according to a new study led by a graduate student researcher at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego.

New light on enigmatic burial rituals in Cambodian mountains
Researchers from the University of Otago in New Zealand working in remote Cambodian mountains are shedding new light on the lost history of an unidentified people by studying their enigmatic burial rituals.

Politics, civility, ideology and brains at psych science meeting
We are political animals and it all starts in our brains.

Weed-eating fish 'help protect jobs, livelihoods'
Jobs, livelihoods and ecotourism industries can benefit from having a diverse supply of weed-eating fish on the world's coral reefs, marine researchers say.

The Auburn Tiger trapdoor spider -- a new species discovered from a college town backyard
A team of researchers at Auburn University reports the discovery of a new species of trapdoor spider found in the heart of the city of Auburn, Ala.

UT's global science Internet extends link to Egypt
Slowed by the country's revolution, it took more than two years to complete the link, which is part of the Global Ring Network for Advanced Applications Development, or GLORIAD -- a fiber-optic science network that circles the world.

College men find steroids for better game less ethical than stimulants for better grades, study says
In the eyes of young college men, it's more unethical to use steroids to get an edge in sports than it is to use prescription stimulants to enhance one's grades, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.

Equation may accurately predict risk of certain outcomes for patients with impaired kidney function
In a study that included data from more than one million adults, use of a newer risk prediction equation classified fewer individuals as having chronic kidney disease and more accurately categorized the risk for death and end-stage renal disease, according to a study in the May 9 issue of JAMA.

LA BioMed's Dr. Kalantar-Zadeh: Risk prediction equation for death/end-stage renal disease
Kamyar Kalantar-Zadeh, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., principal investigator at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, is the author of an invited editorial in JAMA.

Support for climate change action drops, Stanford poll finds
Americans' support for government action on global warming remains high but has dropped during the past two years, according to a new survey by Stanford researchers in collaboration with Ipsos Public Affairs.

Gene Signal presents data at ARVO 2012 showing topical aganirsen is active in retinal disease
Gene Signal's aganirsen, an antiangiogenic antisense product targeting IRS-1, shows activity in retinal disease, according to data presented at ARVO2012.

WHOI to host public forum on climate change and global water supplies
The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution will host a public forum on the impacts of climate change on water availability worldwide.

Fewer suicides after antidepressive treatment for schizophrenia
Antidepressive drugs reduce the mortality rate of schizophrenic patients, while treatment with bensodiazepines greatly increases it, especially as regards suicide.

New research reveals challenges in genetically engineered crop regulatory process
The development of new genetically engineered crops has slowed and one research team finds answers following a study of lawsuits.

Model forecasts long-term impacts of forest land-use decisions
Accurate predictions found in early test results of new model, which is timely due to emerging questions regarding forest land use and the environmental impact.

H1N1 discovery paves way for universal flu vaccine: UBC research
University of British Columbia researchers have found a potential way to develop universal flu vaccines and eliminate the need for seasonal flu vaccinations.

Repeat act: Parallel selection tweaks many of the same genes to make big and heavy mice
Max Planck scientists decode genes for a complex characteristic.

ICA Fellow and past President Barbie Zelizer named Patten Lecturer
International Communication Association Fellow and past President Barbie Zelizer has been named a William T.

Men can rest easy - sex chromosomes are here to stay
Fears that sex-linked chromosomes, such as the male Y chromosome, are doomed to extinction have been refuted in a new genetic study which examines the sex chromosomes of chickens.

2012 AAPS National Biotechnology Conference heads to San Diego
The 2012 AAPS National Biotechnology Conference will gather scientists from industry, government, and academia for three days of educational offerings specifically geared toward the biotechnology sector of the pharmaceutical sciences.

Cafe conquerors use high-tech gadgets to make public spaces their own ... for hours
Increasingly territorial cafe patrons spread out a barricade of laptop computers, mobile phones, purses and coats to exclude other patrons from public spaces, according to a report about this brewing consumer clash in the Journal of Service Research.

Consumption of probiotics associated with reduced risk of diarrhea from antibiotic use
Consumption of probiotics (live microorganisms, which may occur naturally in foods such as yogurt, intended to confer a health benefit when consumed) is associated with a reduced risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea, a common adverse effect of antibiotic use, according to a review and meta-analysis of previous studies published in the May 9 issue of JAMA.

Casualties of war: Ex-armed forces service personnel in prison
University of Leicester criminologist presents research findings on May 9.

Why women wiggling in high heels could help improve prosthetic limbs and robots
People walking normally, women tottering in high heels and ostriches strutting all exert the same forces on the ground despite very differently-shaped feet, according to research funded by the Wellcome Trust and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

Negative view of foreign aid for health is based on flawed analysis
The evidence underlying the current widely-held view that foreign aid for health in a recipient country leads to a displacement or diversion of government funds from that country's health sector is unreliable and should not be used to guide policy, according to experts writing in this week's PLoS Medicine.

Flavonoid compound found in foods and supplements shown to prevent the formation of blood clots
A compound called rutin, commonly found in fruits and vegetables and sold over the counter as a dietary supplement, has been shown to inhibit the formation of blood clots in an animal model of thrombosis.

KIT researchers succeed in realizing a new material class
A research team lead by Professor Martin Wegener at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology has succeeded in realizing a new material class through the manufacturing of a stable crystalline metafluid, a pentamode metamaterial.

Not your grandma's quilt
A group of researchers at the University of California, Riverside, Bourns College of Engineering have developed a technique to keep cool a semiconductor material used in everything from traffic lights to electric cars.

Clinical news alert from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
This release contains highlights of orthopedic research studies appearing in the May 2, 2012, issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, as well as the issue's full table of contents.

Probiotics can reduce risk of diarrhea caused by antibiotics, study finds
Taking probiotics -- microorganisms that are believed to improve health by maintaining a normal balance of microorganisms in the human intestines -- can reduce the risk of developing the diarrhea that is a common side effect of taking antibiotics, according to a new study.

Dominant East Asians face workplace harassment says study from Rotman School
When they don't conform to common racial stereotypes, such as being non-dominant, even people of East Asian descent are

A better method for diagnosing kidney disease
Assessing glomerular filtration rate (GFR) using kidney filtration markers in blood is the standard means for determining kidney function, diagnosing kidney disease and measuring its progression.

Many US families are underwater with debts
As the country emerges from the Great Recession, a substantial number of US families are underwater -- and not just with their mortgages.

Sequencing works in clinical setting to help -- finally -- get a diagnosis
Advanced high-speed gene-sequencing has been used in the clinical setting to find diagnoses for seven children out of a dozen who were experiencing developmental delays and congenital abnormalities for mysterious reasons.

Southeast program to fight diabetes awarded nearly $10 million by HHS
A plan to reduce death and disability from Type 2 diabetes among at-risk populations in four, underserved Southeastern counties is among the preliminary Health Care Innovation Award recipients announced today by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

WSU researches patterns of heavy alcohol use and life commitments in at-risk young adults
A Wayne State University researcher believes a better understanding of risk factors for excessive alcohol use may one day help at-risk adolescents transition more quickly to healthier and more productive behavior patterns in young adulthood.

Erectile dysfunction drug may benefit cardiac function in young patients with heart defects
Sildenafil, also known as the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra, may give a boost to underdeveloped hearts in children and young adults with congenital heart defects.

New heart repair strategies discussed at UH lecture May 15
Research impacting strategies for heart repair will be addressed during an evening lecture May 15 at UH.

Income inequality leads to more US deaths, study finds
A new study provides the best evidence to date that higher levels of income inequality in the United States actually lead to more deaths in the country over a period of years.

Unique physiology key to diagnosing and treating diabetes in Asian populations
Many of the standard ways to detect diabetes fail in people of Asian descent.

Regulatory immune cell diversity tempers autoimmunity in rheumatoid arthritis
To stop rheumatoid arthritis, it takes the collective efforts of a diverse array of regulatory T cells and not just a T cell primed to handle the disease-causing self-antigen, according to Wistar researchers.

Quantum dots brighten the future of lighting
Vanderbilt researchers have boosted the efficiency of a novel source of white light called quantum dots more than tenfold, making them of potential interest for commercial applications.

Geoscience Currents 57 examines engagement factors in US geoscience majors
AGI conducted a follow-up study to research conducted by Houlton (Geoscience Currents 45-48) in a Geoscience Currents series that examines the various pathways taken by undergraduate geoscience majors when deciding to concentrate in the Earth sciences.

TDRS-4 mission complete; spacecraft retired from active service
The Tracking and Data Relay Satellite 4 (TDRS-4) recently completed almost 23 years of operations support and successfully completed end-of-mission de-orbit and decommissioning activities.

Americans fall short of federal exercise recommendations
Americans spend, on average, only about two hours each week participating in sports and fitness activities, according to researchers at Penn State and the University of Maryland who examined US government data from the American Time Use Study.

New ONR program aims to develop solid-state laser weapons for ships
To help sailors defeat small boat threats and aerial targets without using bullets, the Office of Naval Research wants to develop a solid-state laser weapon prototype that will demonstrate multi-mission capabilities aboard a Navy ship, officials announced May 8.

1 in 6 cancers worldwide caused by infections that are largely preventable or treatable
Infectious agents cause around two million new cancer cases a year worldwide, of which 80 percent occur in less developed regions, according to new estimates published online first in the Lancet Oncology.

A new accelerator to study steps on the path to fusion
NDCX-II, the recently completed second generation Neutralized Drift Compression Experiment at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, is a compact accelerator whose dense ion beam will be able to deliver a powerful punch for producing warm dense matter - a step on the road to heavy-ion nuclear fusion.

Brantley elected to National Academy of Sciences
Susan L. Brantley, Distinguished Professor of Geosciences at Penn State and director of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences' Earth and Environmental Systems Institute has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences for her excellence in original scientific research.

Improving African justice systems essential to prevent spread of HIV and TB in prisons
In order to reduce HIV and TB in African prisons, African governments and international health donors should fund criminal justice reforms, experts from Human Rights Watch say in this week's PLoS Medicine.

Creating energy from light and air - new research on biofuel cells
Researchers from the University of Leeds are studying how to make electricity from electrodes coated in bacteria, and other living cells, using light or hydrogen as the fuel.

Study indicates finding a positive parental balance is key
Wondering why your toddler is acting up? University of Alberta researcher Christina Rinaldi says it may be time to take a look at your parental style -- and your partner's.

AGU: Groundwater pumping leads to sea level rise, cancels out effect of dams
As people pump groundwater for irrigation, drinking water, and industrial uses, the water doesn't just seep back into the ground -- it also evaporates into the atmosphere, or runs off into rivers and canals, eventually emptying into the world's oceans.

ACCF, SCAI publish new standards defining best practices for modern cardiac cath labs
Modern cardiac catheterization laboratories bear scant resemblance to the cath labs of a decade ago.

New advances in treating inherited retinal diseases highlighted in Human Gene Therapy
Gene therapy strategies to prevent and treat inherited diseases of the retina that can cause blindness have progressed rapidly.

CUNY Energy Institute battery system could reduce buildings' electric bills
The CUNY Energy Institute, which has been developing innovative low-cost batteries that are safe, non-toxic, and reliable with fast discharge rates and high energy densities, announced that it has built an operating prototype zinc anode battery system.

GW professor's research on ancient ballgame reveals more about early Mesoamerican society
George Washington University Professor Jeffrey P. Blomster's latest research explores the importance of the ballgame to ancient Mesoamerican societies.

Female and younger athletes take longer to overcome concussions
New research out of Michigan State University reveals female athletes and younger athletes take longer to recover from concussions, findings that call for physicians and athletic trainers to take sex and age into account when dealing with the injury.

EWiND facility aimed at improvements in wind energy
A wind turbine and a meteorological tower recently erected on the University of Notre Dame's White Field are a highly visible symbol of the University's commitment to establish a premier wind energy research program.

JCI early table of contents for May 8, 2012
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, May 8, 2012, in the JCI.

Camera trap video offers rare glimpse of world's rarest gorilla
Conservationists working in Cameroon's Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary have collected the first camera trap video footage of the Cross River gorilla.

Block its recycling system, and cancer kicks the can, according to new Penn study
All cells have the ability to recycle unwanted or damaged proteins and reuse the building blocks as food.

University of Pittsburgh geologists map prehistoric climate changes in Canada's Yukon Territory
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have joined an international group of scientists to study past climate changes in the Arctic.

UC Irvine study finds racial, economic disparities in ovarian cancer care, survival
Poor women and African Americans with ovarian cancer are less likely to receive the highest standards of care, leading to worse outcomes than among white and affluent patients, according to a study of 50,000 women presented by UC Irvine's Dr.

Women's scientific achievements often overlooked and undervalued
A new study from Social Studies of Science (published by SAGE) reveals that when men chair committees that select scientific awards recipients, males win the awards more than 95 percent of the time.

Mystery of the missing breast cancer genes
Researchers from the University of Adelaide are hoping to better understand why the mutated genes for breast and ovarian cancer are not passed on more frequently from one generation of women to the next.

Creating a new weapon in the fight against malaria
Wesley Van Voorhis at the University of Washington in Seattle and Oliver Billker at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, England assembled an international research team to tackle the challenge of finding new ways to combat malaria.

Intrauterine devices provide the most effective emergency contraception
Intrauterine devices should be used routinely to provide emergency contraception, according to the authors of the first systematic review of all available data from the past 35 years published in Human Reproduction journal.

Dr. Yael Mosse will receive first Nachman Award in Pediatric Oncology at national conference
Yaël P. Mossé, M.D., who cares for patients with cancer at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, will receive the inaugural James B.

Psychiatric medication effects on brain structure
It is increasingly recognized that chronic psychotropic drug treatment may lead to structural remodeling of the brain.

Beetle-fungus disease threatens crops and landscape trees in Southern California
A plant pathologist at the University of California, Riverside has identified a fungus that has been linked to the branch dieback and general decline of several backyard avocado and landscape trees in residential neighborhoods of Los Angeles County.

Discovery may lead to targeted heart disease treatments
University of Guelph researchers have found the location and effect of abnormal heart proteins that can cause cardiac failure, a discovery that points to potential new ways to treat the most costly health problem in the world.

Canadian girl, 16, invents disease-fighting, anti-aging compound using tree particles
A Canadian girl, 16, who created a super-charged anti-oxidant compound using nano-particles from trees, won top national honors today in the 2012 Sanofi BioGENEius Challenge Canada.

UGA study finds there's not always safety in numbers when it comes to extinction risk
A basic tenet underpinning scientists' understanding of extinction is that more abundant species persist longer than their less abundant counterparts.

Visiting snowball Earth
Ancient glacial deposits in Norway (snowball Earth-aged Smalfjord and the younger Mortensnes formations) are superbly documented and illustrated in this comprehensive eight-day field guide.

Heart patients with a distressed personality reported worse health
Implantable cardioverter defibrillator patients who had a distressed (Type D) personality reported significantly poorer health than those who did not.

Risk of stroke greater for women than men among older patients diagnosed with atrial fibrillation
In a study that examined use of the anticoagulant medication warfarin and risk of stroke following a diagnosis of atrial fibrillation in older patients, women, especially those 75 years or older, had a higher risk of stroke than men, regardless of their risk profile and use of warfarin, suggesting that current anticoagulant therapy to prevent stroke might not be sufficient for older women, according to a study in the May 9 issue of JAMA.

UCLA scientists unlock mystery of how 'handedness' arises
UCLA chemists solved a molecular mystery, and report the discovery in the journal Nature Communications.

African scientist, designer partner to fashion anti-malaria garment that wards off bugs
A Cornell University scientist and designer from Africa have together created a fashionable hooded bodysuit embedded at the molecular level with insecticides for warding off mosquitoes infected with malaria.

As laws on repossessed auto sales ease, economists show consumer access to credit jumps
A key change in Brazilian law simplifying the sale of repossessed cars has enabled low-income borrowers in the country to get credit more easily and buy newer, more expensive cars, a new study shows.

Long commutes may be hazardous to health
As populations move even further away from urban centers, more people spend longer hours behind the wheel on their way to and from work.

Audio startup graduates from UC Davis tech incubator
Hear this: Dysonics, a startup based on audio technology research conducted at the UC Davis, is the first company to

Is a new form of life really so alien?
The idea of discovering a new form of life has not only excited astronomers and astrobiologists for decades, but also the wider public.

The Science Media Centre, London, wins the 2012 ECNP Media Award
The European College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) is pleased to announce that the winner of the 2012 ECNP Media Award is the Science Media Centre, London.

Internet and new drugs: A challenge for public health
During 2010 41 new psychoactive substances were officially notified to the European Union, nearly double than during the previous year, most of which are available on Internet.

Co-workers can be as important as supervisors for effective student internships, researcher finds
Summer internships are beginning, and career-related research from Kansas State University is helping determine what can make those internships more meaningful for students.

UMD team gives drug dropouts a second chance
A cross-disciplinary team of researchers at the University of Maryland has designed a molecular container that can hold drug molecules and increase their solubility, in one case up to nearly 3,000 times. 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