Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 29, 2012
Too much vitamin D can be as unhealthy as too little
Scientists know that vitamin D deficiency is not healthy. However, new research from the University of Copenhagen now indicates that too high a level of the essential vitamin is not good either.

The Mediterranean diet is definitively linked to quality of life
For years the Mediterranean diet has been associated with a lesser chance of illness and increased well-being.

Female fat prejudice persists even after weight loss, study finds
Overweight women may never escape the painful stigma of obesity -- even after they have shed the pounds, new research suggests.

Why do Scots die younger?
Life expectancy in Scotland is markedly lower compared to other European nations and the UK as a whole.

21st century bloodletting reduces cardiovascular risk
It seems that while the practice of bloodletting throughout history had little or no effect on most diseases, and the practice was abandoned in the 19th century, new research published in BioMed Central's open-access journal BMC Medicine demonstrates that blood donation has real benefits for obese people with metabolic syndrome.

New approach to screen pregnant women for mental health disorders
A new model of care for screening and treating women around the time of childbirth for mental health disorders shows promise according to researchers from South Africa reporting in this week's PLoS Medicine as part of the newly launched series in global mental health practice.

Cancerous tumors deliver pro-metastatic information in secreted vesicles
Cancer researchers have known for well over a century that different tumor types spread only to specific, preferred organs.

Berkeley Lab and CalCEF galvanize California's battery industry
CalCEF, which creates institutions and investment vehicles for the clean energy economy, and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory today announced a partnership to launch CalCharge, a consortium uniting California's emerging and established battery technology companies with critical academic and government resources.

Made-in-Singapore H5N1 diagnostic kit -- detects all known strains of H5N1 virus with a single test
The close collaboration between scientists from the Experimental Therapeutics Centre under the Agency for Science and Technology Research and clinicians from Tan Tock Seng Hospital has enabled the successful development of the most comprehensive and rapid H5N1 bird flu test kit available to date.

GW researchers discover biomarker for advanced bile duct fibrosis and bile duct cancer
GW researchers, along with colleagues from Khon Kaen University in Thailand, have determined that plasma interleukin-6 levels are an sensitive and specific biomarker for the detection of the advanced bile duct fibrosis and bile duct cancer that comes from chronic infection with the Asian liver fluke.

NASA satellites watch Tropical Storm Beryl
Tropical Storm Beryl formed off the Carolina coast on Friday, May 25 as

Mathematicians can conjure matter waves inside an invisible hat
An international team of mathematicians has devised an amplifier that can boost light, sound or other waves while hiding them inside an invisible container.

£425,000 Queen's study could lead to new treatments for reversing symptoms of multiple sclerosis
A novel study at Queen's University Belfast which could eventually lead to new treatments for multiple sclerosis has been awarded £425K by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council.

Old aerial photos supply new knowledge on glaciers in Greenland
The glaciers in southeast Greenland are retreating rapidly with the ongoing global climate change.

Diabetes drug could be a promising therapy for traumatic brain injury
A Tel Aviv University researcher says that a common FDA-approved diabetes drug significantly minimizes brain damage when administered shortly after a traumatic injury suffered in an explosion or car accident.

STeleR study: Telerehab improves functioning after stroke
Researchers led by Regenstrief Institute investigator Neale Chumbler, Ph.D, have developed STeleR, a home telerehabilitation program that they report improves lower body physical functioning after a stroke.

Use of stun guns increases injuries
The police use of stun guns increases the risk of injuries for those on the receiving end, but tends to increase officer safety, according to the most comprehensive study of such devices to date.

Mutations impair childhood growth and development by disrupting organization of chromosome pairs
Researchers studying rare genetic disorders have uncovered insights into those diseases in biological structures that regulate chromosomes when cells divide.

ACRG and BGI report findings from genomics research on recurrent hepatitis B virus integration
ACRG and BGI report findings from genomics research on recurrent hepatitis B virus integration.

MindSpec launches online Autism Reading Room
MindSpec proudly announces the public launch of its new science outreach website, Autism Reading Room.

Nowhere to hide: New device sees bacteria behind the eardrum
Doctors can now get a peek behind the eardrum to better diagnose and treat chronic ear infections, thanks to a new medical imaging device invented by University of Illinois researchers.

New drug strategy attacks resistant leukemia and lymphoma
Scientists at the Dana-Farber/Children's Hospital Cancer Center have developed an anti-cancer peptide that overcomes the stubborn resistance to chemotherapy and radiation often encountered in relapsed and refractory blood cancers, which are difficult to cure because their cells deploy strong protein

NAMS journal Menopause reflects on the WHI 10 years later
A great deal has been learned in the decade since the first results from the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) were published on July 9, 2002.

Speeding up drug discovery with rapid 3-D mapping of proteins
A new method for rapidly solving the three-dimensional structures of a special group of proteins, known as integral membrane proteins, may speed drug discovery by providing scientists with precise targets for new therapies, according to a paper published May 20 in Nature Methods.

Typhoon Sanvu had a bad weekend
Typhoon Sanvu had a bad weekend. It went from Typhoon status on May 25 to an extra-tropical storm and finally into a remnant low pressure area by May 29, 2012, and the changes were seen by NASA satellites.

16th-century Korean mummy provides clue to hepatitis B virus genetic code
The discovery of a mummified Korean child with relatively preserved organs enabled an Israeli-South Korean scientific team to conduct a genetic analysis on a liver biopsy which revealed a unique hepatitis B virus genotype C2 sequence common in Southeast Asia.

Simulation technology allows users to safely practice phacoemulsification cataract surgery
Phacoemulsification cataract surgery is one of the most frequently performed eye surgeries and is also one of the most complex procedures to learn.

Does dinner make a strong family, or does a strong family make dinner?
The family meal is often touted and encouraged for its social and health benefits, but a new Cornell University study questions the nature of this association, finding that the perceived benefits may not be as strong or as lasting once a number of factors are controlled for.

New PLoS Medicine series will focus on best practice in global mental health
A new series on the best ways to help people with mental health problems around the world is launched in this week's PLoS Medicine.

ACP joins Million Hearts to help save lives from preventable heart attacks and strokes
The American College of Physicians, the second-largest physician group in the United States, has joined Million Hearts, a public-private sector initiative that aims to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes in five years.

After 25 years, World No Tobacco Day is making an impact
May 31 marks the 25th anniversary of World No Tobacco Day, but does the day really inspire anyone to think about quitting smoking?

The first chemical circuit developed
Klas Tybrandt, doctoral student in organic electronics at Linkoping University, Sweden, has developed an integrated chemical chip.

Copper-nickel nanowires could be perfect fit for printable electronics
Duke University chemists mixed some nickel into their recipe for low-cost copper nanowires to prevent them from turning green like old pennies.

Is California preparing for climate change?
A majority of California's coastal planners and resource managers now view the threats from climate change as sufficiently likely that practical steps on the ground need to be taken to protect against growing threats, according to results from a new survey.

Why chemotherapy fails
Tracing the lineage tree of recurring leukemia cells provides evidence for slowly dividing cancer stem cells that resist chemotherapy as the source of the recurrence.

Discovery of historical photos sheds light on Greenland ice loss
A chance discovery of 80-year-old photo plates in a Danish basement is providing new insight into how Greenland glaciers are melting today.

World's largest release of comprehensive human cancer genome data helps speed discoveries
To speed progress against cancer and other diseases, the St.

Freecycling has viral effect on community spirit and generosity
Reinforcing that the best things in life are free, a new study from the University of California, Berkeley, shows that online freebie-exchange communities such as

Children exposed to the common pollutant naphthalene show signs of chromosomal damage
According to a new study, children exposed to high levels of the common air pollutant naphthalene are at increased risk for chromosomal aberrations (CAs), which have been previously associated with cancer.

Where not to have a heart attack in Australia
Every single town in Australia has been rated on its proximity to cardiac care, before and after a heart attack, in a new report published in Circulation and headed by Queensland University of Technology.

Tendency of operational routines to falter is widespread but fixable
The tendency of operational routines to move toward a state of higher

New mini-sensor measures magnetic field of the brain
In future a new magnetic sensor the size of a sugar cube might simplify the measurement of brain activity.

Leading statistician receives national citation award
Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researcher professor Terry Speed was today awarded the 2012 Thomson Reuters Citation Award in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.

Got nectar? To hawkmoths, humidity is a cue
Humidity emanating from a flower's nectar stores tells moths if the flower is worth a visit, research led by a UA entomologist has discovered.

Iconic New Zealand reptile shows chewing is not just for mammals
The tuatara, an iconic New Zealand reptile, chews its food in a way unlike any other animal on the planet -- challenging the widespread perception that complex chewing ability is closely linked to high metabolism.

Defense funding awarded to 4 Scripps Oceanography researchers
Scripps researchers will acquire and deploy oceanographic instruments using awards granted through Department of Defense Defense-University Research Instrumentation Program

Scientists discover gene which causes rare disease in babies
Scientists at Queen Mary, University of London have discovered 20 distinct mutations in a specific gene found in patients with the rare adrenal disease, familial glucocorticoid deficiency.

EARTH: Better warnings for consequences of earthquakes
Global seismic hazard maps exist to help societies and decision-makers anticipate and prepare for earthquakes.

Short movies stored in an atomic vapor
A two-frame

Building 45 payloads for balloon mission
Robyn Millan's lab is a little crowded at the moment.

Antioxidant shows promise as treatment for certain features of autism, Stanford study finds
A specific antioxidant supplement may be an effective therapy for some features of autism, according to a pilot trial from the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital that involved 31 children with the disorder.

Ghostly gamma-ray beams blast from Milky Way's center
As galaxies go, our Milky Way is pretty quiet. Active galaxies have cores that glow brightly, powered by supermassive black holes swallowing material, and often spit twin jets in opposite directions.

Cabazitaxel can offer an advantage in certain patients
Cabazitaxel can increase survival time in men with metastatic prostate for whom further treatment with docetaxel is no longer an option.

Older adults may need more vitamin D to prevent mobility difficulties
Older adults who don't get enough vitamin D -- either from diet, supplements or sun exposure -- may be at increased risk of developing mobility limitations and disability, according to new research from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

SLEEP 2012 presents latest in sleep medicine and research June 11-13 in Boston
Sleep clinicians and scientists from around the world will be in Boston on June 11-13 for SLEEP 2012, the 26th Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC (APSS) being held at the John B.

Secure, sustainable funding for Indigenous participation in Arctic Council a key priority: Report
One of the world's foremost initiatives on Arctic issues, the Canadian-based Munk-Gordon Arctic Security Program, today offered 19 recommendations to the Canadian government as it prepares to chair the Arctic Council in 2013.

La Jolla Institute discovery could lead to new way to screen drugs for adverse reactions
Adverse drug reactions are a major issue that cause harm, are costly and restrict treatment options for patients and the development of new drugs.

Trafficked women experience violence and poor health
Women who have been trafficked for sexual exploitation experience violence and poor physical and mental health but there is little evidence available about the health consequences experienced by trafficked children, men or people trafficked for other forms of exploitation according to a study by UK researchers published in this week's PLoS Medicine.

Auto industry lean techniques boost morale and teamwork in the operating room
Head and neck surgeons at the University of Michigan Health System used waste-reduction techniques from the auto industry to boost morale and teamwork in the operating room.

50-year cholera mystery solved
For 50 years scientists have been unsure how the bacteria that gives humans cholera manages to resist one of our basic innate immune responses.

NIH scientists identify new HIV-inhibiting protein
Scientists have identified a new HIV-suppressing protein in the blood of people infected with the virus.

Gum disease joins hot flashes and PMS associated with women's hormones
Women, keep those toothbrushes and dental floss handy. A comprehensive review of women's health studies by Charlene Krejci, associate clinical professor at the Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine, has shown a link between women's health issues and gum disease.

Study takes novel 'back-casting' approach to transform cities for healthier lives
Researchers at four of the country's leading universities are embarking on a low carbon engineering project that could transform the way cities are built, as well as the way we live in them, by taking a novel

Child abandonment in Europe is neglected issue, say researchers
Researchers have called for a consistent and supportive approach to child abandonment in Europe to protect the welfare of the hundreds of youngsters given up by their parents every year.

John Theurer Cancer Center presents significant blood cancer research at 2012 ASCO Annual Meeting
Physicians and researchers at John Theurer Cancer Center at HackensackUMC, one of the nation's top 50 cancer centers, will present the latest findings in blood-cancer research at the 2012 American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting in Chicago on June 1-5.

IU bisexuality studies focus on health, behavior and identity
Bisexuality, often stigmatized, typically has been lumped with homosexuality in previous public health research.

Greenland's current loss of ice mass
Greenland's ice mass changes are regionally different.

Safeguards against misuse of genetic data urged
Rapid advances in genetic technologies have the potential to transform patient care, but necessitate innovative safeguards for patients.

New federal disclosure law may have little impact on drugs prescribed
A Colorado School of Public Health researcher has found that laws designed to illuminate financial links between doctors and drug companies have little to no effect on drugs prescribed.

'Eat your vegetables!' New book redefines how to raise healthy eaters
In her new book,

OHSU Oregon National Primate Research Center develops new, safer method for making vaccines
OHSU researchers have discovered a new method for creating vaccines that is thought to be safer and more effective than current approaches.

UC Santa Barbara's Kavli Institute receives 2 grants to explore interface of physics and biology
Imagine being able to mathematically describe the process by which an embryo develops into an animal, assigning numbers to its every function, and dysfunction.

Europe's largest contract research organization to set up UK headquarters
The first Fraunhofer Centre to be established in the UK will be based at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.

New study shows why swine flu virus develops drug resistance
Computer chips of a type more commonly found in game consoles have been used by scientists at the University of Bristol to reveal how the flu virus resists anti-flu drugs such as Relenza and Tamiflu.

Disease that stunts infants' growth traced to same gene that makes kids grow too fast
UCLA geneticists have identified the mutation responsible for IMAGe syndrome, a rare disorder that stunts infants' growth.

Better urban planning is essential to improve health of the 60 percent of the global population that will be living in cities by 2030
The proportion of the world's population that lives in cities has been steadily rising, so that three in five of all people globally will live in a city by 2030.

Blocking LRRK2 activity is not a simple answer to Parkinson's disease
Mutations in the LRRK2 gene are the most common cause of genetic Parkinson's disease.

Commonly used painkillers may protect against skin cancer
A new study suggests that aspirin and other similar painkillers may help protect against skin cancer.

Sandia Labs technology used in Fukushima cleanup
A Sandia National Laboratories technology has been used to remove radioactive material from more than 43 million gallons of contaminated wastewater at Japan's damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Researchers restore neuron function to brains damaged by Huntington's disease
Researchers from South Korea, Sweden, and the United States have collaborated on a project to restore neuron function to parts of the brain damaged by Huntington's disease (HD) by successfully transplanting HD-induced pluripotent stem cells into animal models.

Study reveals how the world's first drug for amyloid disease works
Scientists from the Scripps Research Institute and Pfizer Inc. have published a new study showing how a new drug called tafamidis (Vyndaqel®) works.

Study finds emissions from widely used cookstoves vary with use
The smoke rising from a cookstove fills the air with the tantalizing aroma of dinner -- and a cloud of pollutants and particles that threaten both health and the environment.

DFG establishes 20 new Collaborative Research Centres
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft is to establish 20 Collaborative Research Centres by July 1, 2012.

Livestock industry beefs up Illinois's economy
A recent report conducted by the University of Illinois provides an economic snapshot of the current state of the livestock industry, giving the Illinois livestock industry data to back up their importance to the state.

Progress of arachidonic acid biosynthesis in microorganisms
Oils extracted from single-celled microorganisms as alternative to plant- and animal-sourced lipids for human consumption have been pursued for over a century.

Significantly higher hospital costs found for surgical patients who smoke
A Journal of the American College of Surgeons study finds respiratory complications account for increased costs for smokers.

Flapping protective wings increase lift
New research from Lund University in Sweden reveals the value of carrying two layers of wings around.

Chemical fingerprinting tracks the travels of little brown bats
A novel technique using stable hydrogen isotopes -- a chemical fingerprint found in tissues such as hair -- has enabled researchers at Michigan Technological University to determine where hibernating bats originated. 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