Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 17, 2012
New drug for advanced melanoma offers potential breakthrough in treatment of brain metastases
Results of a Phase I trial published in this week's Lancet show substantial shrinking of metastatic tumors in patients treated with a new drug, dabrafenib, that blocks the activity of the cancer-causing mutated form of the BRAF gene, which occurs in about half of melanomas.

Researchers undertake radical new cancer survivorship study
Researchers from the Macmillan Survivorship Research Group, at the University of Southampton, have developed the first study of its kind looking at the experiences and needs of people after primary treatment of colorectal cancer.

Common genetic variants identify autism risk in high risk siblings of children with ASD
By focusing on the identification of common genetic variants, IntegraGen researchers have identified 57 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that predict -- with a high degree of certainty -- the risk that siblings of children with autism spectrum disorder will also develop the condition.

A new category of heel: The customer service saboteur
There are jerks, and then there are jerks. Joel Anaya has given them a fair amount of study, focusing on that very special jerk who can take a routine service experience -- dining out, paying at a cash register, air travel -- and make it a nightmare.

Attraction or repulsion? New method predicts interaction energy of large molecules
Krzysztof Szalewicz, professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Delaware, and Rafal Podeszwa of the University of Silesia Institute of Chemistry in Poland have developed and validated a more accurate method for predicting the interaction energy of large molecules, such as biomolecules used to develop new drugs.

Tiny tool can play big role against tuberculosis, UF researcher finds
Using the traditional microscope-based diagnosis method as a starting point, a University of Florida lung disease specialist and colleagues in Brazil have devised a way to detect more cases of tuberculosis.

Computing experts unveil superefficient 'inexact' chip
Researchers have unveiled an

Wiley-Blackwell launches new open-access journal: Food Science & Nutrition
Wiley-Blackwell announces the launch of Food Science & Nutrition as part of the Wiley Open Access publishing program.

Visualizing the imprints of past and present Earth dynamics
New Lithosphere articles posted online May 16, 2012, report on (1) seismic anisotropy measured beneath 14 broadband stations in southeastern India; why geoscientists should persist in their efforts to reach and study such spectacular sub-sea geologic features as the Mariana Trench (recently explored by film director James Cameron) and how

Introducing Screenplay: An interactive children's waiting room experience
Elaine Biddiss, professor at the University of Toronto's Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering and scientist at the Holland Bloorview Research Institute, has developed a cutting edge medical-setting waiting room for children.

ACP urges HHS to consider using SNOMED-CT for coding of clinical problems
The American College of Physicians (ACP) today urged the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to use the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) implementation delay to consider specifying the use of Systemized Nomenclature of Medicine -- Clinical Term (SNOMED-CT), rather than ICD-10, for coding problems in all situations.

Flock talk: Bird vocalization research could improve poultry production, lower costs
Listening to squawks and other chicken

Germany's energy transition: 1 year later
After the Fukushima nuclear explosions, Germany responded to the heightened international focus on energy procurement by returning to a fast-paced nuclear phase-out program.

Weight management in pregnancy with diet is beneficial and safe and can reduce complications
For pregnant women, including those who are overweight and obese, following a healthy calorie controlled diet during pregnancy is safe and can reduce the risk of serious complications such as pre-eclampsia, diabetes and premature birth, finds a study published on today.

Parents are happier than non-parents, new research suggests
New research by psychologists at three North American universities, including the University of British Columbia, finds that parents experience greater levels of happiness and meaning from life than non-parents.

Concordia welcomes world's best synthetic biology researchers
What do synthetic fuels, new treatments for malaria and genetic engineering have in common?

Pediatric epilepsy impacts sleep for the child and parents
Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital for Children in Boston have determined that pediatric epilepsy significantly impacts sleep patterns for the child and parents.

IU research: Forest diversity from Canada to the sub-tropics influenced by family proximity
How species diversity is maintained is a fundamental question in biology.

NIH-led study finds genetic test results do not trigger increased use of health services
People have increasing opportunities to participate in genetic testing that can indicate their range of risk for developing a disease.

Penn and Genographic Project scientists illuminate the ancient history of circumarctic peoples
Two studies led by scientists from the University of Pennsylvania and National Geographic's Genographic Project reveal new information about the migration patterns of the first humans to settle the Americas.

Professor uses diamond to produce graphene quantum dots and nano-ribbons of controlled structure
Kansas State University researchers have come closer to solving an old challenge of producing graphene quantum dots of controlled shape and size at large densities, which could revolutionize electronics and optoelectronics.

Parents are happier people
Contrary to recent scholarship and popular belief, parents experience greater levels of happiness and meaning in life than people without children, according to researchers from the University of California, Riverside, the University of British Columbia and Stanford University.

Geosphere introduces a new special issue theme
Geosphere articles posted May 17 include an introduction to the new theme; a multifaceted study of the formation and transport of ancient oceanic rocks now found in southeastern Yukon, Canada; a new technique to help find the initial age of a multiply reactivated fault; and bathymetry studies of unusual flat-topped seafloor mounds beneath the Ross Sea that the authors believe are of volcanic origin, erupted during a geomagnetic reversal and under a grounded ice sheet.

Suspicion resides in 2 regions of the brain
Scientists at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute have found that suspicion resides in two distinct regions of the brain: the amygdala, which plays a central role in processing fear and emotional memories, and the parahippocampal gyrus, which is associated with declarative memory and the recognition of scenes.

Weight in pregnancy best controlled by diet, study shows
Pregnant women, including those who are obese or overweight, should be encouraged to minimize weight gain through diet, according to major new research from Queen Mary, University of London.

Climate engineering report ranked among top government priorities by Copenhagen Consensus Center
The effect of global warming could potentially be ameliorated by engineering ways to reflect more sunlight back into space, according to a report by a professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. DeLuca of Kessler Foundation participates in nationwide National MS Society webcast
John DeLuca, Ph.D., VP of Research & Training at Kessler Foundation, is a panelist for the May 23 (7-8 pm ET) national webcast sponsored by National MS Society,

35th Annual Sarnoff Symposium opens at NJIT featuring 60-plus expert talks
Managing malware, better ways to fight electronic warfare and creating smarter wireless networks will number among the dozens of fascinating technology topics available to the public May 21-22, 2012, at NJIT when the prestigious 35th Annual IEEE Sarnoff Symposium opens in the Campus Center.

Hybrid vaccine demonstrates potential to prevent breast cancer recurrence
A breast cancer vaccine already shown to elicit a powerful immune response in women with varying levels of HER2 expression has the ability to improve recurrence rates and is well tolerated in an adjuvant setting, according to new research from a clinical trial led by researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Reduced glycerin formulation of tenofovir vaginal gel safe for rectal use
Changing the formulation of tenofovir gel, an anti-HIV gel developed for vaginal use, may make it safer to use in the rectum, suggests a study published online this week in the Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy.

Bay Area PV Consortium announces $7.5 million in grants to lower the cost of large-scale solar
The Bay Area Photovoltaic Consortium -- an industry-supported program led by Stanford University and the University of California-Berkeley -- has announced its first research grants aimed at making utility-scale solar power cost-competitive by the end of the decade.

Genetic testing may not trigger more use of health services
Receiving results of genetic testing doesn't appreciably drive up -- or diminish -- test recipients' demand for potentially costly follow-up health services, according to a new study in the May 17, 2012, early online issue of Genetics in Medicine.

Simple procedure lowers blood pressure in kidney disease patients
A minimally invasive procedure called renal denervation, which disrupts certain nerves in the kidneys, lowers blood pressure in patients with chronic kidney disease and hypertension.

Phase I clinical trial shows drug shrinks melanoma brain metastases
An experimental drug targeting a common mutation in melanoma successfully shrank tumors that spread to the brain in nine out of 10 patients in part of an international phase I clinical trial report in the May 18 issue of the Lancet.

New study shows simple task at 6 months of age may predict risk of autism
A new prospective study of six-month-old infants at high genetic risk for autism identified weak head and neck control as a red flag for autism spectrum disorder and language and/or social developmental delays.

Researchers reveal an RNA modification influences thousands of genes
Over the past decade, research in the field of epigenetics has revealed that chemically modified bases are abundant components of the human genome and has forced us to abandon the notion we've had since high school genetics that DNA consists of only four bases.

When you eat matters, not just what you eat
When it comes to weight gain, when you eat might be at least as important as what you eat.

CSHL study uncovers a new exception to a decades-old rule about RNA splicing
There are always exceptions to a rule, even one that has prevailed for more than three decades, as demonstrated by a Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) study on RNA splicing, a cellular editing process.

Zebrafish could hold the key to understanding psychiatric disorders
Research from Queen Mary, University of London shows that zebrafish could be used to study the cause and prognosis of psychiatric disorders.

Ancient giant turtle fossil revealed
Picture a turtle the size of a Smart car, with a shell large enough to double as a kiddie pool.

Prosthetic retina offers simple solution to restoring sight
A device which could restore sight to patients with one of the most common causes of blindness in the developed world is being developed in an international partnership.

Inauguration of the SNOLAB International Laboratory for Particle Physics
Today, the University of Montreal and its partners are launching SNOLAB, an underground particle physics laboratory that grew out of a collaboration between the university's researchers and their colleagues at Carleton, Queen's, Alberta and Laurentian.

From quirky to practical, NTU students create innovations to solve everyday problems
From quirky to practical, NTU School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering students create innovations to solve everyday problems at the 14th Engineering Innovation and Design Open House and Competition.

Teaching creativity to children from a galaxy away
A new study from professor Nira Liberman of Tel Aviv University demonstrates that children can be

Untangling the development of breast cancer
The team created a catalog of all the mutations in the genomes of the 21 breast cancer genomes.

Southern pine beetle impacts on forest ecosystems
Research by USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station (SRS) scientists shows that the impacts of recent outbreaks of southern pine beetle further degraded shortleaf pine-hardwood forest ecosystems in the southern Appalachian region.

Religion is a potent force for cooperation and conflict, research shows
Across history and cultures, religion increases trust within groups but also may increase conflict with other groups, according to an article in a special issue of Science.

Higher pain tolerance in athletes may hold clues for pain management
Investigators from the University of Heidelberg have conducted a meta-analysis of available research and find that in fact, athletes can indeed tolerate a higher level of pain than normally active people.

Scientists study serious immune malfunction
Defects in the gene that encodes the XIAP protein result in a serious immune malfunction.

New technique reveals unseen information in DNA code
A multi-institutional research team has used a new technique to map 5-methylcytosine (5-mC) and 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5-hmC) in DNA from human and mouse embryonic stem cells, revealing new information about their patterns of distribution.

'Rare' genetic variants are surprisingly common, life scientists report
A large survey of human genetic variation, published today in the online version of the journal Science, shows that rare genetic variants are not so rare after all, and offers insights into human diseases.

Pain relief through distraction -- it's not all in your head
Mental distractions make pain easier to take, and those pain-relieving effects aren't just in your head, according to a report published online on May 17 in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication.

UF researchers name new extinct giant turtle found near world's largest snake
University of Florida researchers have described a new extinct giant turtle species from the same Colombian mine where they discovered Titanoboa -- and one of the only animals the world's largest snake could not have eaten.

Babies' susceptibility to colds linked to immune response at birth
Innate differences in immunity can be detected at birth, according to new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Open heart surgery for kidney disease patients
One type of open heart surgery is safer than the other -- in terms of both health and survival -- for chronic kidney disease patients.

Specialized care by experienced teams cuts death and disability from bleeding brain aneurysms
A U-M neurosurgeon co-authors new national guidelines for treatment of subarachnoid hemorrhage, a type of

Pollination with precision: How flowers do it
Pollination could be a chaotic disaster. With hundreds of pollen grains growing long tubes to ovules to deliver their sperm to female gametes, how can a flower ensure that exactly two fertile sperm reach every ovule?

Resolving the ortholog conjecture
Researchers at the Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics and the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute have confirmed the long-held conjecture that studying the genes we share with other animals is a viable means of extrapolating information about human biology.

Mayo Clinic recognized as an economic driver in Phoenix
Mayo Clinic is recognized as the first recipient of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce Impact award as an economic driver.

Fighting bacteria's strength in numbers
Scientists at the University of Nottingham have opened the way for more accurate research into new ways to fight dangerous bacterial infections by proving a long-held theory about how bacteria communicate with each other.

MAJORANA, the search for the most elusive neutrino of all
Neutrinos may be even stranger than they seem, if indeed they are the only fermions (particles of matter) that are their own antiparticles.

Could cap and trade for water solve problems facing the United States' largest rivers?
Lake Mead, on the Colorado River, is the largest reservoir in the United States, but users are consuming more water than flows down the river in an average year, which threatens the water supply for agriculture and households.

UD scientist attempts to grow nanocomposites faster using novel approach
Zide will attempt to grow nanoscale materials in a new way through a 2012 Department of Energy Early Career Research grant from the Office of Basic Energy Sciences.

Bluetooth baby
Checking the heart of the unborn baby usually involves a stethoscope.

Good Samaritan Hospital, the first and only Dayton hospital, to offer bronchial thermoplasty
Good Samaritan Hospital announced today that it is now offering an innovative procedure called bronchial thermoplasty for the treatment of severe asthma.

Labor economist Richard Freeman to liken innovation to GDP at AAAS in June
Leading labor economist Dr. Richard Freeman will liken a new way of measuring innovation to GDP during his keynote address at a STEM measurement workshop in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday June 6.

Technology convergence may widen the digital divide
Technology is helping communication companies merge telephone, television and Internet services, but a push to deregulate may leave some customers on the wrong side of the digital divide during this convergence, according to a Penn State telecommunications researcher.

Google goes cancer: Researchers use search engine algorithm to find cancer biomarkers
The strategy used by Google to decide which pages are relevant for a search query can also be used to determine which proteins in a patient's cancer are relevant for the disease progression.

In chemical reactions, water adds speed without heat
An international team of researchers has discovered how adding trace amounts of water can tremendously speed up chemical reactions -- such as hydrogenation and hydrogenolysis -- in which hydrogen is one of the reactants, or starting materials.

Bringing home (less) of the bacon
New research shows that women stockbrokers sometimes earn as much as 20 percent less than their male counterparts.

Memory researcher Tsien receives international award
He's built a smarter mouse and taken a snapshot of a memory in his efforts to decode the brain.

SomaLogic and NEC announce launch of SomaSuite
SomaLogic and NEC Corporation today announced the release of SomaSuite, a professional software tool developed by NEC that provides simple, reliable and direct access to the highly multiplexed proteomic data generated by SomaLogic's SOMAscan assay technology.

NHS set to benefit from UK-led technologies
Video games, pioneering gene therapies and new medical devices are set to transform treatments on the NHS, with support from the Department of Health and the Wellcome Trust.

Preventing post-traumatic stress
A decade after the start of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, studies have shown that the incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among troops is surprisingly low, and a Harvard researcher credits the drop, in part, to new efforts by the Army to prevent PTSD, and to ensure those who do develop the disorder receive the best treatment available.

We can learn a lot from other species
Researchers at the SIB Swiss Institute of Bioinformatics and the EMBL-European Bioinformatics Institute have confirmed the long-held belief that studying the genes we share with other animals is useful.

NPS professor publishes article in the AAAS journal Science
The work of Naval Postgraduate School Operations Research professor Moshe Kress will be featured in the upcoming edition of the American Association for the Advancement of Science's Science journal, a leading scientific research and news publication.

Saks Fifth Avenue raises $17,000 for TGen biomedical research
Saks Fifth Avenue raised more than $1.1 million in charitable contributions nationwide through its month-long February Charity Program, including $17,000 for biomedical research at the Translational Genomics Research Institute.

Various metabolic risk factors could be linked to diabetes-related pain with major implications for treatment
Around one in 50 people in the general population and one in six of those aged over 40 years experience neuropathy (damage to the nerves of the peripheral nervous system), which can cause numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness.

Protein RAL associated with aggressive characteristics in prostate, bladder and skin cancers
A study published this week in the journal Cancer Research shows the proteins RalA and RalB are associated with aggressive cancer characteristics in human tumors.

Abundance of rare DNA changes following population explosion may hold clues to common diseases
Scientists have taken a first step toward understanding how rare genetic differences among people contribute to leading chronic illnesses.

Herschel Space Observatory study reveals galaxy-packed filament
A McGill-led research team using the Herschel Space Observatory has discovered a giant, galaxy-packed filament ablaze with billions of new stars.

Salk study may offer drug-free intervention to prevent obesity and diabetes
It turns out that when we eat may be as important as what we eat.

New study shows that workplace inspections save lives, don't destroy jobs
Results of a new study by researchers at Harvard Business School, Haas School of Business, and Boston University show that workplace inspections do reduce on-the-job injuries and their associated costs, with no harm to companies' performance or profits. 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