Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 14, 2012
The gut could reveal effect of climate change on fish
As sea temperatures rise, stocks of some fish species can decline while others may grow, reveals new research from the University of Gothenburg looking at gastrointestinal function in fish.

Study examines retinal vessel diameter and CVD risk in African Americans with type 1 diabetes
Among African Americans with type 1 diabetes mellitus, narrower central retinal arteriolar equivalent (average diameter of the small arteries in the retina) is associated with an increased risk of six-year incidence of any cardiovascular disease and lower extremity arterial disease.

CNIO scientists successfully test the first gene therapy against aging-associated decline
Published in EMBO Molecular Medicine, the study consists of inducing cells to express telomerase, the enzyme which -- metaphorically -- slows down the biological clock.

6th Annual Canadian Neuroscience Meeting, Vancouver, May 20-23, 2012
Top neuroscientists from Canada and around the world are meeting next week in Vancouver.

Economic growth in China has not meant greater life satisfaction for Chinese people
Despite an unprecedented rate of economic growth, Chinese people are less happy overall than they were two decades ago, reveals timely new research from economist Richard Easterlin, one of the founders of the field of

Got a pirate problem? There's even an app for that
The Department of Defense will begin funding an Office of Naval Research-sponsored project aimed at developing Web applications to help multinational navies police the world's oceans, officials announced May 14.

Managing obesity in adults: Tips for primary care physicians
Managing adult obesity is challenging for primary care physicians, but a new review published in CMAJ aims to provide an evidence-based approach to counseling patients to help them lose weight and maintain weight loss.

Religion replenishes self-control
There are many theories about why religion exists, most of them unproven.

Real science in virtual school labs
Up-to-date marine data enables students to carry out scientifically valid virtual experiments.

Cutting-edge device controls acute inflammation
When acute inflammation escalates out of control, such as in sepsis, it causes nearly ten percent of deaths in the US and more than $17 billion in healthcare costs each year.

Smoked cannabis can help relieve muscle tightness and pain in people with multiple sclerosis
People with multiple sclerosis may find that smoked cannabis provides relief from muscle tightness -- spasticity -- and pain, although the benefits come with adverse cognitive effects, according to a new study published in CMAJ.

Brain circuitry is different for women with anorexia and obesity
Why does one person become anorexic and another obese? A study recently published by a University of Colorado School of Medicine researcher shows that reward circuits in the brain are sensitized in anorexic women and desensitized in obese women.

Are people with HIV/AIDS more prone to sudden cardiac death?
In a comprehensive, 10-year UCSF study, researchers found patients with HIV/AIDS suffered sudden cardiac death at a rate four times higher than the general population.

Research: Too much, too little noise turns off consumers, creativity
Ambient background noise turns out to be an important factor affecting creative cognition among consumers, according to research from Ravi Mehta, a professor of business administration at Illinois.

Research opens doors to UV disinfection using LED technology
Research from North Carolina State University will allow the development of energy-efficient LED devices that use ultraviolet light to kill pathogens such as bacteria and viruses.

Genetic test identifies eye cancer tumors likely to spread
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have developed a genetic test that can accurately predict whether the most common form of eye cancer will spread to other parts of the body, particularly the liver.

Researchers from UC3M monitor a chicken's brain
Researchers from Carlos III University in Madrid are part of a team that, for the first time ever, has been able to monitor the brain activity of a chicken embryo and to confirm that superior brain activity (carrying out complex tasks) begins long before the chick hatches.

Researchers say urine dipstick test is accurate predictor of renal failure in sepsis patients
Henry Ford Hospital researchers have found that the presence of excess protein in a common urine test is an effective prognostic marker of acute renal failure in patients with severe sepsis.

Laxative-free CT colonography may be as accurate as colonoscopy in detecting high-risk polyps
A CT-scan-based form of virtual colonoscopy that does not require laxative preparation appears to be as effective as standard colonoscopy in identifying the intestinal polyps most likely to become cancerous.

New journal on disruptive science and technology launched by Mary Ann Liebert Inc. publishers
Disruptive Science and Technology, a new groundbreaking, peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert Inc. publishers, has officially released its inaugural issue.

American College of Physicians publications win awards for publishing excellence
The American College of Physicians is pleased to announce that ACP Internist and ACP Hospitalist have won awards for excellence in publishing.

Understanding why some people have propensity to disease
Frances Sladek of the University of California, Riverside, has received a $1.5 million National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases grant to support a research project that will allow her to examine the effect single nucleotide polymorphisms, the most common type of genetic variation among people, have on a special class of proteins called nuclear receptors that bind DNA and regulate the expression of important genes in response to hormones, vitamins and drugs.

Superbug spreads from big city hospitals to regional health centers, study suggests
Hospitals in large cities act as breeding grounds for the superbug MRSA prior to it spreading to smaller hospitals, a study suggests.

Relative reference: Foxtail millet offers clues for assembling the switchgrass genome
The US Department of Energy is interested in the perennial grass switchgrass as a prospective biofuels feedstock, but the plant genome is complex.

Dip chip technology tests toxicity on the go
A Tel Aviv University researcher has developed a portable

Preventing depression requires proactive interventions by health-care system
Major depressive episodes can be prevented, and to help ensure that they are, the health care system should provide routine access to depression-prevention interventions, just as patients receive standard vaccines, according to a new article co-authored by UCSF researcher Ricardo F.

Measuring CO2 to fight global warming
If the world's nations ever sign a treaty to limit emissions of climate-warming carbon dioxide gas, there may be a way to help verify compliance: a new method developed by scientists from the University of Utah and Harvard.

Cellular secrets of plant fatty acid production understood
A curious twist in a family of plant proteins called chalcone-isomerase recently was discovered by Salk Institute for Biological Studies scientist Joseph Noel and colleagues at Iowa State University led by Eve Wurtele.

Color of robins' eggs determines parental care
A male robin will be more diligent in caring for its young if the eggs its mate lays are a brighter shade of blue.

Begin early: Researchers say water with meals may encourage wiser choices
Water could change the way we eat. That's the conclusion of new research by T.

New York Stem Cell Foundation scientist grows bone from human embryonic stem cells
Dr. Darja Marolt, an investigator at the New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) Laboratory, is lead author on a study showing that human embryonic stem cells can be used to grow bone tissue grafts for use in research and potential therapeutic application.

Urban landscape's power to hurt or heal
Research shows that street furniture, barriers, parks, public spaces and neighborhood architecture can stir up powerful emotions in local residents.

Gastric feeding tubes may raise pressure ulcer risk
In the Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers report that despite the conventional wisdom that feeding tubes help dementia patients resist pressure ulcers, feeding tubes actually are associated with an increased risk of ulcers developing.

New research could mean faster computers and better mobile phones
Graphene and carbon nanotubes could improve the electronics used in computers and mobile phones, reveals new research from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Clemson professor awarded nearly $600,000 4-year grant to study language of plants
Clemson University researcher Julia Frugoli has received the first installment of a nearly $600,000 four-year grant to study how plant roots and shoots communicate to control their growth.

New species of fish in Sweden
Reticulated dragonet have been found in Väderöarna --

Study sheds new light on importance of human breast milk ingredient
A new University of Illinois study shows that human milk oligosaccharides, or HMO, produce short-chain fatty acids that feed a beneficial microbial population in the infant gut.

Scientists make groundbreaking discovery of mutation-causing genetic disorder in humans
Scientists at A*STAR's Institute of Medical Biology, in collaboration with doctors and scientists in Jordan, Turkey, Switzerland and USA, have identified the genetic cause of a birth defect known as Hamamy syndrome.

Tilting cars on the assembly line: A new angle on protecting autoworkers
Letting autoworkers sit while they reach into a car's interior could help prevent shoulder and back strain -- but another solution might be to tilt the entire car so that workers can stand up.

UTSA study finds ovulating women perceive sexy cads as good dads
Nice guys do finish last at least when it comes to procreation according to a study from the University of Texas at San Antonio that answers the question of why women choose bad boys.

Smoked cannabis reduces some symptoms of multiple sclerosis
A clinical study of 30 adult patients with multiple sclerosis at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine has shown that smoked cannabis may be an effective treatment for spasticity -- a common and disabling symptom of this neurological disease.

Washington University receives $8 million to lead international childhood malnutrition effort
Jeffrey I. Gordon, M.D., at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Bedient hopes 'Lessons from Hurricane Ike' prompts action
In the new book

Study examines exercise testing in asymptomatic patients after coronary revascularization
Asymptomatic patients who undergo treadmill exercise echocardiography after coronary revascularization may be identified as being at high risk but those patients do not appear to have more favorable outcomes with repeated revascularization.

Where bees are, there will be honey (even pre-historic)
Amber from the Cretaceous period found in Spain has revealed the first ever fossil record of insect pollination.

Secret soil cracks linger, despite surface sealing
Researchers at the University of NSW in Sydney have developed an innovative technique for examining the flow of water through cracks in soil by measuring electrical resistivity.

Novel drug candidates offer new route to controlling inflammation
Pursuing a relatively untapped route for regulating the immune system, an international team of researchers has designed and conducted initial tests on molecules that have the potential to treat diseases involving inflammation, such as asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, stroke and sepsis.

Colon cancer risk when a first-degree relative has precancerous polyps is not clear
Current colorectal cancer screening guidelines for individuals with first-degree relatives with precancerous colon polyps are based on studies that were not properly designed or were too limited to shape those guidelines, according to a new systemic review of research on the topic.

Lawrence Livermore work may improve the efficiency of the biofuel production cycle
Using new experimental methods and computational analysis, a team of scientists from the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), led by Lawrence Livermore's Michael Thelen, discovered how certain bacteria can tolerate manmade toxic chemicals used in making biofuels.

Real smart: Protective clothing with built-in A/C
In order to test the new

Great recession reflux amounts to more hunger among seniors
A new study that looked at the hunger trends over a 10-year period found that 14.85 percent of seniors in the United States, more than one in seven, face the threat of hunger.

Springer to publish book series with the Italian National Institute for Higher Mathematics
Starting in 2012 Springer and the Italian National Institute for Higher Mathematics will collaborate to publish a new book series Springer INdAM Series.

Groundbreaking new model for predicting vaccine efficacy and safety
Vaccine testing and development is an extremely lengthy and complex process that costs billions of dollars every year.

Bio-hybrid device acts as 'thermostat' to control systemic inflammation in sepsis
A small, external bioreactor holding human cells pumped out an anti-inflammatory protein to prevent organ damage and other complications in a rat with acute inflammation caused by bacterial products in a model of sepsis, according to a report from researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

Growing risks from hatchery fish
A newly published collection of more than 20 studies by leading university scientists and government fishery researchers in Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California, Russia and Japan provides mounting evidence that salmon raised in man-made hatcheries can harm wild salmon through competition for food and habitat.

Children's brain tumors more diverse than previously believed
Paediatric brain tumors preserve specific characteristics of the normal cells from which they originate - a previously unknown circumstance with ramifications for how tumor cells respond to treatment.

A walk in the park gives mental boost to people with depression
In one of the first studies to examine the effect of nature walks on cognition and mood in people with major depression, researchers in Canada and the US have found promising evidence that a walk in the park may provide some cognitive benefits.

To get the full flavor, you need the right temperature
Can the temperature of the food we eat affect the intensity of its taste?

Press accreditation opens for 'World Series of Science'
News media now can apply for accreditation to cover the American Chemical Society's 244th National Meeting & Exposition, one of the meetings that news media have termed

Study finds number of battery-related emergency department visits by children more than doubles
A new study conducted by researchers at the Center for Injury Research and Policy of the Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital found that the annual number of battery-related emergency department visits among children younger than 18 years of age more than doubled over the 20-year study period, jumping from 2,591 emergency department visits in 1990 to 5,525 emergency department visits in 2009.

Playful games promote reading development
Short but intense training sessions in the form of structured language games from the age of four can stimulate children's early language development and may also make it easier for children to learn to read.

Nearly one-tenth of hemisphere's mammals unlikely to outrun climate change
A safe haven could be out of reach for 9 percent of the Western Hemisphere's mammals, and as much as 40 percent in certain regions, because the animals just won't move swiftly enough to outpace climate change.

Georgetown physician leads national resveratrol study for Alzheimer's disease
A national, Phase II clinical trial examining the effects of resveratrol on individuals with mild to moderate dementia due to Alzheimer's disease has begun as more than two dozen academic institutions recruit volunteers in the coming months.

Blood pressure drugs don't protect against colorectal cancer
A new study has found that, contrary to current thinking, taking beta blockers that treat high blood pressure does not decrease a person's risk of developing colorectal cancer.

How to minimize stroke damage
Following a stroke, factors as varied as blood sugar, body temperature and position in bed can affect patient outcomes, Loyola University Medical Center researchers report.

Acupuncture appears linked with improvement in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
According to a small clinical trial reported by investigators from Japan, acupuncture appears to be associated with improvement of dyspnea (labored breathing) on exertion, in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Drug kills cancer cells by restoring faulty tumor suppressor
The research, published by Cell Press in the May 15 issue of the journal Cancer Cell, uses a novel, computer based strategy to identify potential anti-cancer drugs, including one that targets the third most common p53 mutation in human cancer, p53-R175H.

Paradigm-shifting publishing format for scientific research
In direct contrast to the increasingly cumbersome and frustrating current model for authoring, editing, reviewing, and publishing scientific literature, Kondziolka et al. have developed an interactive knowledge network, called World Science, that will radically change how scientific knowledge is written, published, and shared.

Embargoed news for Annals of Internal Medicine
Below is information about three articles being published in the May 15 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

Legislation to ban burqa is liberal overkill, researchers claim
Banning and criminalizing the Muslim face veil tests the very foundations of modern liberal society, warn researchers from Queen Mary, University of London and the University of Sussex.

May/June 2012 Annals of Family Medicine tip sheet
This tip sheet includes synopses of original research articles and editorial content in the May/June 2012 issue of Annals of Family Medicine.

Iowa State, Salk researchers make plant protein discovery that could boost bioeconomy
Research groups from Iowa State University and the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have found three proteins involved in the accumulation of fatty acids in plants.

New biospecimens management system in development
Persistent Systems, the leader in outsourced software product development services, and the Translational Genomics Research Institute today announced that they are developing a high-quality biospecimen management system called Bio4D.

Mayo Clinic researchers discover biomarkers for prostate cancer detection, recurrence
Alterations to the

Sleepwalking more prevalent among US adults than previously suspected, Stanford researcher says
New Stanford University School of Medicine research found that about 3.6 percent of US adults -- or upward of 8.4 million -- are prone to sleepwalking.

Beyond the high-speed hard drive: Topological insulators open a path to room-temperature spintronics
Theorists and experimenters with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have led in the exploration of the unique properties of topological insulators, where electrons may flow on the surface without resistance, with spin orientations and directions intimately related.

Anthropologists discover earliest form of wall art
Anthropologists working in southern France have determined that a 1.5 metric ton block of engraved limestone constitutes the earliest evidence of wall art.

See how students' 'Twipolitico' uses tweets to predict political races
See UC senior engineering projects that take on real-world challenges and issues on Demo Day, Wednesday, May 16, in TUC, or check out their videos.

Scientists make breakthrough in bile duct cancer with discovery of new gene mutations
A team of international scientists has made a significant breakthrough in understanding the cause of bile duct cancer, a deadly type of liver cancer.

Hitch-hiking with birds for life
Although chewing lice spend their entire lives as parasites on birds, it is difficult to predict patterns of lice distribution, new research from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, reveals.

Study examines injuries with baby bottles, pacifiers and sippy cups in the US
A new study by researchers in the Center for Biobehavioral Health and the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital examined pediatric injuries associated with baby bottles, pacifiers and sippy cups.

Individuals with dementia more likely to die at home than in nursing homes
A new study from the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University has found that, at time of death, individuals with dementia are more likely to be living at home than in a nursing home.

Genes underlying the key domestication process in sorghum and other cereals
A study by a team of university and government scientists led by a Kansas State University researcher, indicates that genes responsible for seed shattering -- the process by which grasses disseminate their seeds -- were under parallel selection during sorghum, rice and maize domestication.

To avoid pain during an injection, look away
Health professionals commonly say,

Physical fitness may reduce hypertension risk in people with family history
If your parents have high blood pressure, you can significantly lower your risk of developing the disease with moderate exercise and increased cardiovascular fitness.

School politics increasingly important to Swedish voters
Education is a growing political issue in Sweden, school politics is becoming increasingly important to Swedish voters in elections to parliament, and the share of voters who support the school politics of the Liberal Party has increased.

A microRNA prognostic marker identified in acute leukemia
A study has identified microRNA-3151 as a new independent prognostic marker in patients with acute myeloid leukemia that has normal-looking chromosomes.

Large differences in outcomes of attempts to eliminate double taxation
A new doctoral thesis from the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, explores the issue of double taxation in connection with international transactions.

Young children of unmarried parents fare worse when a father's support is court-ordered
Court-ordered child support might not always be best for young children of unmarried parents.

Researchers reveal different mechanisms of pain
Researchers at the University of Leeds have found a previously unknown mechanism through which pain is signaled by nerve cells -- a discovery that could explain the current failings in the drug development process for painkillers and which may offer opportunities for a new approach.

Scripps Florida scientists awarded $8.4 million grant to develop new anti-smoking treatments
Scientists from the Florida campus of the Scripps Research Institute have been awarded an $8.4 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop new compounds to help prevent relapse in smokers who are kicking the habit.

Back pain improves in first 6 weeks but lingering effects at 1 year
For people receiving health care for acute and persistent low-back pain, symptoms will improve significantly in the first six weeks, but pain and disability may linger even after one year, states a large study published in CMAJ.

HIV prevention measures must include behavioral strategies to work, says APA
A drug that has been shown to prevent HIV infection in a significant number of cases must be combined with behavioral approaches if the US health care establishment is to succeed in reducing the spread of the virus, according to the American Psychological Association.

Pay-to-play sports keeping lower-income kids out of the game
Nearly one in five lower-income parents report costs forced their children to cut back on sports, according to U-M's National Poll on Children's Health.

Microbe that can handle ionic liquids
Researchers at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI) have identified a tropical rainforest microbe that can endure relatively high concentrations of an ionic liquid used to dissolve cellulosic biomass for the production of advanced biofuels. 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