Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 10, 2012
Long-lived rodents have high levels of brain-protecting factor
The naked mole rat, which lives 25 to 30 years, maintains large amounts of a neuroprotective protein called NRG-1 throughout life.

Discovery in cell signaling could help fight against melanoma
At the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Medical School, scientists have made a key discovery in cell signaling that is relevant to the fight against melanoma skin cancer and certain other fast-spreading tumors.

Smart phones are changing real world privacy settings
New studies conducted by Tel Aviv University researchers reveal that smartphone users have a radically different conception of behavior in public spaces than their conventional phone counterparts.

Inducing labor can reduce birth complications without increasing Cesareans
Induction of labor beyond 37 weeks of pregnancy can reduce perinatal mortality without increasing Cesarean section rates, finds a study published on today.

Inducing labor around due date boosts baby survival rates
Babies born when labor is induced around their due date may have better survival rates than those whose birth is not induced, a study suggests.

Improved survival rates for mitral valve heart surgery patients
Patients with mitral regurgitation, a type of valvular heart disease common in the elderly, are living longer after surgery, Yale School of Medicine researchers report in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

The ESOF 2012 Careers program showcases opportunities across science, technology and research
The Euroscience Open Forum 2012 Careers program has been announced.

Economic theory actually works in health care
A study of 7,424 privately insured colon cancer patients found that managed care presence in the market and hospital competition increased the likelihood laparoscopic surgery to treat colon cancer lowered costs, a national team of researchers led by a professor at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services reported in the journal Cancer, May 8, 2012.

Simon Foundation gift bolsters oral advocacy programs at Boston College Law School
The William E. Simon Foundation of New York has made a one million dollar gift to Boston College Law School to create the Simon Oral Advocacy Program, which helps to sharpen skills in oral advocacy, moot court and public speaking.

Dawn reveals complexities of ancient asteroidal world
New findings from NASA's Dawn spacecraft provide the first geological overview of asteroid (4)Vesta and confirm the existence of two giant impact basins in its southern hemisphere.

Nanotube 'sponge' has potential in oil spill cleanup
A carbon nanotube sponge that can soak up oil in water with unparalleled efficiency has been developed with help from computational simulations performed at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Mini-projector for smartphones
Their very small displays sometimes make smartphones difficult to operate.

Hospitals performing expensive heart procedures are more costly for all patients
Hospitals that perform expensive, invasive cardiovascular procedures on a disproportionate number of patients are more costly for all heart failure patients, including those treated with noninvasive methods, according to a new Yale study.

New screening technique yields elusive compounds to block immune-regulating enzyme
Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have found the first chemical compounds that act to block an enzyme that has been linked to inflammatory conditions such as asthma and arthritis, as well as some inflammation-promoted cancers.

Global & Asian experts converge at NTU in showcase of animation & virtual breakthroughs
About 200 leading minds from Asia, Europe and across the globe are converging at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University this week to exchange ideas for advancing research in computer animation, social robots and virtual humans.

Caltech researchers gain greater insight into earthquake cycles
For those who study earthquakes, one major challenge has been trying to understand all the physics of a fault -- both during an earthquake and at times of

Mellon Foundation supports new software tools for humanities researchers
Computers have changed the landscape of humanities research. Innovations continue to make it cheaper and easier to digitize and analyze ever larger volumes of data.

Hubble observes a dwarf galaxy with a bright nebula
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has made detailed observations of the dwarf galaxy NGC 2366.

Loyola Med student wins prize for excellence in neurology
Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine student Jason Cuomo has received a 2012 American Academy of Neurology Medical Student Prize for Excellence in Neurology.

Home telemonitoring by pharmacists helps control patients' blood pressure
Patients receiving telemonitoring support from pharmacists were more likely to control their blood pressures than patients not receiving extra support.

ACP pleased with rule to increase Medicaid payment rates
The American College of Physicians, representing 132,000 internal medicine specialists and medical student members, is pleased to see the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' release of the proposed rule to increase Medicaid payment rates for certain primary care services to the level of Medicare, which will apply to both fee-for-service and managed care Medicaid plans.

Language diversity will make London a true global player
Understanding linguistic diversity among London's schoolchildren is key for the city's future as a 'global player', research shows.

5-limbed brittle stars move bilaterally, like people
Brittle stars and people have something in common: They move in fundamentally similar ways.

Researchers map fish species at risk from dams
Researchers report the results of a global assessment of the threat that dams pose to fish species.

'Gut'-throat competition: Research on digestive tract bacteria yields surprising findings
From tiny villages in developing nations to suburban kitchens in the United States, dangerous strains of E. coli bacteria sicken millions of people each year - and kill untold numbers of children.

Artwork found on walls a first for a Maya dwelling
A vast city built by the ancient Maya and discovered nearly a century ago is finally starting to yield its secrets.

Could the ways animals regenerate hair and feathers lead to clues to restore human fingers and toes?
The latest edition of Physiology has a review article that examines what's known about regenerative biology and applies it to regenerative medicine.

Research reveals novel transport mechanism for large ribonucleoproteins
The movement of genetic materials, such as RNA and ribosomes, from the nucleus to the cytoplasm is a critical component in a cell's ability to make the proteins necessary for essential biological functions.

First forecast calls for mild Amazon fire season in 2012
Forests in the Amazon Basin are expected to be less vulnerable to wildfires this year, according to the first forecast from a new fire severity model developed by university and NASA researchers.

Clot-busting drug safe for stroke patients taking blood thinner
It's safe to treat acute ischemic stroke patients who take the blood thinner warfarin with the clot-busting drug tissue plasminogen activator when used according to American Heart Association/American Stroke Association guidelines.

You're beautiful, Vesta
Vesta looks like a little planet.

OU researcher examines the healthy and unhealthy snack choices of fourth- and fifth-grade students
A health nutrition education program to fight childhood obesity in America is a possible outcome of a study by a University of Oklahoma researcher and a colleague.

Autism Speaks selects Prometheus Research to develop integrated data management system
The Autism Genetic Resource Exchange partners with Prometheus Research to build a data management system to integrate and centralize Autism Speaks data and biospecimen repositories.

Neighboring chimp communities have their own nut-cracking styles
People don't always do as their neighbors do, and the same is true of neighboring chimpanzees.

Pneumonia and preterm birth complications are the leading causes of childhood death
Researchers examined the distribution of child deaths globally by cause and found that 64 percent were attributable to infectious causes and 40 percent occurred in neonates.

University of Leicester study identifies key cellular mechanisms behind the onset of tinnitus
Research into hearing loss after exposure to loud noises could lead to the first drug treatments to prevent the development of tinnitus.

Science of mothers and families, and more
This article covers what is new in the journals: From how our attachment with our moms at age 14 affects our future relationships, to the connection between family size and general intelligence.... and more.

Systemic sclerosis complications more severe in African Americans than Caucasians
African Americans have more severe complications from systemic sclerosis, also known as scleroderma, than Caucasians.

Think global, act local: New roles for protein synthesis at synapses
Planck researchers found over 2500 mRNA along dendrites and axons.

Leopoldina gives recommendations to the G8 summit in Camp David
In the run-up to the G8 summit in Camp David, Maryland, the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, in partnership with the national science academies of the G8 member states and seven other science academies, has equipped the world leaders with a set of recommendations on addressing some of the planet's most pressing challenges.

Science academies issue 'G-Science' statements to call world leaders' attention how science and technology can help solve global challenges
National science academies from 15 countries issued joint statements today calling on world leaders who are about to meet at the upcoming G8 Summit and other international gatherings this year to give greater consideration to the vital role science and technology could play in addressing some of the planet's most pressing challenges.

Evolution's gift may also be at the root of a form of autism
A recently evolved pattern of gene activity in the language and decision-making centers of the human brain is missing in a disorder associated with autism and learning disabilities, a new study by Yale University researchers shows.

Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development prior to Rio + 20
A major five-day Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Development will be held in the days just prior to the Rio + 20 conference.

Decisions! Decisions! Decisions! and how we make them -- insights from Psychological Science
Wouldn't it be nice if all our decisions were the results of clear, rational, deductive reasoning?

Quality variations exist, even among leading health systems
Five leading health systems are changing aspects of how they perform total knee replacements, as a result of data they collected that showed variations in length of stay, length of operating room time, and in-hospital complications.

A&A special feature: Early results of the GREAT instrument onboard the SOFIA airborne observatory
Astronomy & Astrophysics is publishing a special feature dedicated to the early science results of the GREAT far-infrared instrument onboard the SOFIA airborne observatory.

Researchers discover how to overcome poor response to radiotherapy caused by low haemoglobin levels
Patients with low haemoglobin levels in their tumors do not respond well to radiotherapy, but now Dutch researchers have found that combining accelerated radiotherapy with a mixture of carbon dioxide and oxygen and the vitamin nicotinamide can overcome this problem in head and neck cancer.

Immune drug doesn't help kids with hard-to-treat kidney disorder
The drug rituximab, an antibody that targets the immune system and is often used to treat immune disorders such as lymphoma and arthritis, has recently emerged as a potential treatment for a childhood kidney disorder known as idiopathic nephrotic syndrome (INS).

University of Tennessee professor looks at how stars' endorsements can help -- or hurt -- politicians
University of Tennessee Professor Anthony Nownes has found that celebrities who contribute to political campaigns can make a party more or less likable, depending on what voters think of the celebrities in the first place.

Cybersecurity experts investigate self-adapting computer network that defends itself from hackers
Cybersecurity experts are researching the feasibility of building a computer network that could protect itself against online attackers by automatically changing its setup and configuration.

New twist on ancient math problem could improve medicine, microelectronics
A hidden facet of a math problem that goes back to Sanskrit scrolls has just been exposed by nanotechnology researchers at the University of Michigan and the University of Connecticut.

Hunting for bomb-eating bugs
University of Arizona researchers are investigating bacterial eating habits as part of a $1 million study to determine the environmental fate of newly developed munitions.

Glial cells supply nerve fibers with energy-rich metabolic products
Glial cells pass on metabolites to neurons.

New report illustrates impact of sequestration to medical research
The report

Free-floating planets in the Milky Way outnumber stars by factors of thousands
A few hundred thousand billion free-floating life-bearing Earth-sized planets may exist in the space between stars in the Milky Way.

Mechanistic discovery links psoriasis to increased risk of cardiovascular disease
The link between psoriasis and cardiovascular events has been observed for years, however the mechanics were unknown.

Researchers develop a web application for the evaluation of the ecological status of rivers
University of Granada researchers have designed a web application called MEDPACS, a project inspired in similar projects developed in other countries as the United Kingdom and Australia.

Gifts of the MAGI in schizophrenia and bipolar disorder
These findings are not about the classic story of gift-giving, although the MAGI genes (officially named membrane associated guanylate kinase, WW and PDZ domain containing proteins) do influence brain function in important ways.

RNA regulator of melanoma could be a new target for cancer therapy
Melanoma is the most deadly form of skin cancer, estimated by the National Cancer Institute to afflict more than 70,000 people in the United States annually and the incidence rate continues to rise.

Social jetlag is a real health hazard
Social jetlag -- a syndrome related to the mismatch between the body's internal clock and the realities of our daily schedules -- does more than make us sleepy.

Unseen planet revealed by its gravity
More than a 150 years ago, before Neptune was ever sighted in the night sky, French mathematician Urbain Le Verrier predicted the planet's existence based on small deviations in the motion of Uranus.

Successful stem cell differentiation requires DNA compaction, study finds
New research findings show that embryonic stem cells unable to fully compact the DNA inside them cannot complete their primary task: Differentiation into specific cell types that give rise to the various types of tissues and structures in the body.

GERD-related inflammation may contribute to esophageal cancer risk
Inflammation might be an important factor in the progression from reflux to esophageal cancer.

Helping Hands reaches out to patients with cerebral palsy
Rice University students' Dino-Might was designed to help children with cerebral palsy restore strength and flexibility to their hands and wrists.

Establishing a threshold for surgery in recurrent acute rhinosinusitis
A study in the May 2012 issue of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery suggests a threshold for when to choose surgery over medical therapy for recurrent acute rhinosinusitis (RARS) based on the patients' lost productivity in response to RARS and each treatment strategy.

PharmedOut conference to address public health effects of industry promotion
PharmedOut, a Georgetown University Medical Center-based pharmaceutical marketing research project, hosts its highly acclaimed third annual conference focusing on the misinformation and patient harm that can occur from pharmaceutical and medical device marketing.

Discovery of a gene that causes Joubert Syndrome
C5ORF42 was identified as the gene that causes Joubert Syndrome in a number of families in the Lower St.

Heart attack patients taken to PCI hospitals first treated faster
Patients taken directly to a hospital equipped to treat heart attacks with percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) received treatments an average of 31 minutes faster than patients first taken to a hospital without PCI capability and later transferred for treatment.

A healthy look at social media
The creation of a social media videoconferencing platform geared towards healthcare might pave the way for enhanced use of social media in the world of healthcare according to a study published this month in the International Journal of Electronic Finance.

Screening for esophageal disease with unsedated transnasal endoscopy is safe and feasible
Researchers report that unsedated transnasal endoscopy is a feasible, safe, and well-tolerated method to screen for esophageal disease in a primary care population.

The future of aerospace takes off in Montreal
The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada -- alongside industrial partners, Bombardier Aerospace, Bell Helicopter Textron Canada Ltd., Composites Atlantic, Delastek and Emergia Aerospace -- announced $3.4 million in funding over five years for aerospace research at Concordia University.

Researchers use light to switch on gene expression
Imagine being able to control genetic expression by flipping a light switch.

Disparities in treatment of children in the emergency department based on their insurance status
In 2009, children with public insurance were three times more likely and children with no insurance were eleven time more likely not to have a primary care physician, compared with children with private insurance.

New research on seaweeds shows it takes more than being flexible to survive crashing waves
Seaweeds are important foundational species that are vital both as food and habitat to many aquatic and terrestrial shore organisms.

Global shift in therapy: Integrating new technologies into neurorehabilitation -- SSNR2012
Students, world-class professors and researchers from the fields of clinical rehabilitation and biomedical engineering will convene September 16-21, 2012, in Zaragoza, Spain, for the 2012 Summer School of Neurorehabilitation.

Louisiana Tech University to graduate 4 National Academy of Grand Challenge Scholars
Louisiana Tech University's National Academy of Grand Challenge Scholars program is about to add four more graduates to its prestigious ranks.

Patients see benefits and risks to direct-to-consumer genetics tests
Patients see potential benefits from direct-to-consumer genetic testing, but are also concerned about how test results will be used, and generally are unwilling to pay more than $10 or $20 for them.

Enzyme corrects more than 1 million faults in DNA replication
Enzyme corrects more than one million faults in DNA replication.

Tracking nutrient pollutant in Chesapeake
Too much of a good thing can kill you, the saying goes.

Reducing brain activity improves memory after cognitive decline
Research suggests a new approach to improving memory and interrupting disease progression in patients with a form of cognitive impairment that often leads to full-blown Alzheimer's disease.

ASPB members elected to National Academy of Sciences
Six members of the American Society of Plant Biologists have been elected as members or foreign associates of the US National Academy of Sciences in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.

A closer look at PARP-1 reveals potential new drug targets
A new study published in Science May 11 is shedding light on the molecular details of PARP-1, a DNA damage-detecting enzyme that when inhibited has been shown to be effective in fighting cancer and other diseases.

Novel imaging could better identify patients who would benefit from ICDs
New research from the University at Buffalo suggests that cardiologists may have a new way to identify patients who are at the highest risk of sudden cardiac arrest, and the most likely to benefit from receiving an implantable cardiac defibrillator.

Culprit responsible for severe systemic scleroderma complications in African-Americans found
A new analysis finds that compared to Caucasians, African-Americans with systemic scleroderma have more antibodies in the blood that are linked to severe complications and an increased likelihood of death.

Researchers at the RUB and from Taiwan discover energy supply for protein secretion
In order to interact with the environment, bacteria secrete a whole arsenal of proteins.

ICU stays for worst asthma drop 74 percent, review finds
Researchers studied cases of patients with severe asthma who were admitted to a hospital's intensive care unit between 1980 and 2010.

A push from the Mississippi kept Deepwater Horizon oil slick off shore, Penn research shows
New research by a trio of geoscientists, including the University of Pennsylvania's Douglas Jerolmack, offers an explanation for why the Deepwater Horizon oil spill didn't have the environmental impact that many had feared.

NJIT hemophilia expert to speak at Medical History Society on May 16
NJIT Associate Professor Stephen Pemberton will speak about hemophilia to physicians on May 16, 2012 in Princeton at the Nassau Club at a special meeting of the Medical History Society of New Jersey.

40th anniversary global atmospheric monitoring annual conference in Boulder, Colo.
Atmospheric researchers from around the world will gather in Boulder, Colo. next week for the 40th Global Monitoring Annual Conference.

Smoking ban reduced maternal smoking and preterm birth risk
A citywide ban on public smoking in Colorado led to significant decreases in maternal smoking and preterm births, providing the first evidence in the US that such interventions can impact maternal and fetal health.

Rutgers receives $3 million in gifts for faculty position in cell biology and neuroscience
Motorola Solutions announced a $1.5 million gift to help create the Gregory Q.

The Journal of Urology® wins 2012 ASAE Gold Circle Award
The Journal of Urology, the official journal of the American Urological Association, has won the 2012 ASAE Gold Circle Award- Peer-Reviewed Journal category.

Asteroid collision that spawned Vesta's asteroid family occurred more recently than thought
A team of researchers led by a NASA Lunar Science Institute member based at Southwest Research Institute has discovered evidence that the giant impact crater Rheasilvia on Asteroid Vesta was created in a collision that occurred only about one billion years ago, much more recently than previously thought.

Study adds to evidence on clot risks of non-oral contraceptives
A study published on today adds to the evidence that certain non-oral hormonal contraceptives carry a higher risk of serious blood clots than others.

Optimal planning of solar power plants
The photovoltaics industry is booming, and the market for solar farms is growing quickly all over the world.

NJIT submits Neshanic River watershed clean-up plan
NJIT associate professor Zeyuan Qiu has authored and submitted a plan to restore the Neshanic River Watershed to the NJ Department of Environmental Protection.

ASA news release: Lay-language summaries of research at acoustics meeting now online
Acoustic cues for blind travelers, sound as a tool, and the use of metamaterials for seismic mitigation are just some of the lay-language versions of papers being presented at the Acoustics 2012 meeting in Hong Kong, May 13-18, a joint meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Acoustical Society of China, Western Pacific Acoustics Conference, and the Hong Kong Institute of Acoustics.

HPV-positive throat cancer patients respond better to radiotherapy alone than HPV-negative patients
New findings from a large Danish database of cancer patients suggest that, even though the human papilloma virus (HPV) can trigger throat cancer, patients who are HPV-positive and are light smokers, or don't smoke at all, have a good response to treatment using radiotherapy alone, without the addition of chemotherapy with its consequent toxic side-effects.

North Atlantic storm patterns throw light on 1987 gale
The cyclone that brought about the devastating winds that battered the UK in the great storm of October 1987 was exceptional in both its strength and path across the south of the country.

Preventable infectious diseases caused almost two-thirds of global child under-5 deaths in 2010
In 2010, preventable infectious diseases were responsible for almost two-thirds of the 7.6 million deaths of children under five worldwide, according to new estimates published Online First in the Lancet.

CNIO researchers describe a new target for developing anti-angiogenic and anti-tumoral therapies
The antibody-based blocking of ephrinB2, a protein involved in angiogenesis and lymphoangiogenesis, may represent an effective strategy for the development of antiangiogenic and antitumoral therapies.

UF study finds logging of tropical forests needn't devastate environment
Harvesting tropical forests for timber may not be the arch-enemy of conservation that it was once assumed to be, according to a new study led by a University of Florida researcher.

Genetic predictor of breast cancer response to chemotherapy
Chemotherapy is a major first line defense against breast cancer.

International Programme Office of ICSU's new World Data System opened
The International Progamme Office of ICSU's new World Data System was opened officially in Tokyo on Wednesday, May 9.

Military marriages stay strong despite challenges
Despite the fact that military service means working long hours with unpredictable schedules, frequent relocations, and separations from loved ones due to deployment, a new study published in the Journal of Family Issues (a SAGE journal) finds that marriages of military members are not more vulnerable than civilian marriages.

Chimpanzee uses innovative foresighted methods to fool humans
Chimpanzee Santino achieved international fame in 2009 for his habit of gathering stones and manufacturing concrete projectiles to throw at zoo visitors.

New IBEX data show heliosphere's long-theorized bow shock does not exist
New results from NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer reveal that the bow shock, widely accepted by researchers to precede the heliosphere as it plows through tenuous gas and dust from the galaxy does not exist.

Scientists identify protein that stimulates brown fat to burn calories
Scientists have identified a protein which regulates the activation of brown fat in both the brain and the body's tissues.

Researchers discover that obesity hinders kidney donation
Researchers at the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine and Feinstein Institute for Medical Research conducted a retrospective analysis which found that morbid obesity impedes kidney donation.

Obesity and the biological clock
Urgent appointments, tight work timetables and hectic social schedules structure modern life, and they very often clash with our intrinsic biological rhythms.

NASA's IBEX reveals a missing boundary at the edge of the solar system
For the last few decades, space scientists have generally accepted that the bubble of gas and magnetic fields generated by the sun moves through space, creating three distinct boundary layers that culminate in an outermost bow shock.

3-D image guided brachytherapy helps avoid hysterectomies for cervical cancer patients
Delivering radiotherapy directly to cancer of the cervix using 3-D imaging techniques is effective at controlling the return and spread of the disease and, in most cases, avoids the need for hysterectomies.

New 'Map of Life' project aims to show distribution of all animals, plants on planet
A research team involving Yale University and the University of Colorado Boulder has developed a first public demonstration version of its 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