Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 01, 2012
More than 9-in-10 ED patients who receive CT of the abdomen and pelvis are clinically complex
The overwhelming majority (93.8 percent) of patients undergoing computed tomography of the abdomen and pelvis in the emergency department (ED) setting are classified as clinically complex, according to a study in the June issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Magnets may help prevent rare complication of spinal anesthesia
A simple technique using local anesthetic mixed with magnetized

High-tech tools may help small grains breeders 'see' valuable plant traits faster
Two tools from industry are being applied to the small grains breeding program by a Texas AgriLife Research team to help identify valuable drought-resistance traits in wheat faster and less intrusively than with normal practices.

Altitude training: Study puts some data behind conventional wisdom
With altitude training, coaches of elite runners generally fall into two camps when determining when their runners should compete after coming back from altitude, even though little research has been conducted on this question.

FASEB 2013 Excellence in Science Award recipient announced
The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology is pleased to announce that Terry Orr-Weaver, Ph.D., will be the recipient of the FASEB 2013 Excellence in Science Award.

Where have all the hummingbirds gone?
The glacier lily as it's called, is a tall, willowy plant that graces mountain meadows throughout western North America.

How does exercise affect nerve pain?
Exercise helps to alleviate pain related to nerve damage (neuropathic pain) by reducing levels of certain inflammation-promoting factors, suggests an experimental study in the June issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia, official journal of the International Anesthesia Research Society.

Optical tweezers help researchers uncover key mechanics in cellular communication
By using a laser microbeam technology called optical tweezers, UC Irvine and UCLA researchers have uncovered fundamental properties of the Notch network, a key molecular signaling system involved with development, cancer and cardiovascular disease.

First mission for new ocean floor observatory
On Saturday, May 26, the German research vessel POSEIDON sailed from the port of Bergen, Norway, for an expedition to the Norwegian Sea.

The right combination: Overcoming drug resistance in cancer
Several drug therapies have been developed to treat these EGFR-associated cancers; however, many patients have developed resistance to these drugs and are therefore no longer responsive to drug treatment.

Quantum computers will be able to simulate particle collisions
Quantum computers are still years away, but a trio of theoretical physicists can already make the claim

UI's Scudder makes first observations of process linked to northern lights
Jack Scudder, University of Iowa professor of physics and astronomy, and his colleagues have reached a milestone in describing how the northern lights work by way of a process called

A new method for picking the 'right' egg in IVF
In a groundbreaking study, Yale School of Medicine researchers and colleagues at the University of Oxford have identified the chromosomal make-up of a human egg.

NASA infrared satellite imagery shows Tropical Storm Mawar strengthening
The infrared instrument on NASA's Aqua satellite captured temperature data on Tropical Storm Mawar in the western North Pacific Ocean and showed that the cloud top temperatures were growing colder.

Babies to mothers who smoke weigh 200 grams less at birth
Smoking during pregnancy has widely documented health repercussions both for mother and baby.

Combination treatment with lapatinib and pazopanib doesn't improve outcomes for patients with IBC
Inflammatory breast cancer is a very aggressive type of cancer associated with poor survival rates, and the prognosis is even worse for patients with tumors expressing the ErbB2 receptor.

Biologists honor excellence in research, education, and service
Today, the American Institute of Biological Sciences, or AIBS, honored the professional achievements of three globally recognized biologists with the AIBS Distinguished Scientist Award, Outstanding Service Award, and Education Award.

University of Nevada, Reno scientists confirm Sierra Nevada 200-year megadroughts
Scientists at the University of Nevada, Reno and their partners at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in San Diego in a recent paper, a culmination of a comprehensive high-tech assessment of Fallen Leaf Lake -- a small moraine-bound lake at the south end of the Lake Tahoe Basin -- reports that stands of pre-Medieval trees in the lake suggest the region experienced severe drought at least every 650 to 1,150 years during the mid- and late-Holocene period.

Neuroscientists reach major milestone in whole-brain circuit mapping project
Neuroscientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory reached an important milestone today, publicly releasing the first installment out of 500 terabytes of data so far collected in their pathbreaking project to construct the first whole-brain wiring diagram of a vertebrate brain, that of the mouse.

LICR highlights a dozen-plus abstracts at ASCO
Scientists from the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR) will share research findings from more than a dozen studies both as posters and as part of the published proceedings during the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) taking place June 1-5 at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill.

'Jack Spratt' diabetes gene identified
It has long been hypothesized that Type 2 diabetes in lean people is more

Clinical studies support health and development benefits of algal DHA during pregnancy, infancy
Research presented at the 10th Congress of the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids in Vancouver supports health and development benefits of algal DHA during pregnancy and infancy.

Arizona State University astronomers discover faintest distant galaxy
ASU professors Sangeeta Malhotra and James Rhoads have led surveys hunting for faraway galaxies since 1998, going to ever higher redshifts.

UH students develop prototype device that translates sign language
Thanks to a group of University of Houston students, the hearing impaired may soon have an easier time communicating with those who do not understand sign language.

JCI early table of contents for June 1, 2012
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, June 1, 2012, in the JCI:

Skeleton key
Northwestern University researchers are the first to discover that very different complex networks -- ranging from global air traffic to neural networks -- share very similar backbones.

Expedition studies acid impacts on Arctic
The effects of ocean acidification on Arctic seas will be studied by a team of 30 researchers, including Dr.

Global research team yields new health insights into different types of trans fats
According to findings presented at the 10th Congress for the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids & Lipids (ISSFAL), there is an important public health message to convey about ruminant natural trans fats and how they are different from the industrial trans fats that have been targeted as harmful to health.

New understanding of terrestrial formation has significant and far reaching future implications
The current theory of continental drift provides a good model for understanding terrestrial processes through history.

John DeLuca, Ph.D., and Massimo Filippi, M.D., chair ENS-AAN teaching course in Prague
John DeLuca, Ph.D., of Kessler Foundation, West Orange, N.J., and Massimo Filippi, M.D., of University Ospedale San Raffaele Milan, Italy, present the joint ENS-AAN teaching course Neuroimaging Correlates of Neuropsychological Impairment at the 22nd European Neurological Society Meeting.

Low-fiber diet puts adolescents at higher risk of cardiovascular disease
Adolescents who don't eat enough fiber tend to have bigger bellies and higher levels of inflammatory factors in their blood, both major risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, researchers report.

Why is it so difficult to trace the origins of food poisoning outbreaks?
As illustrated by the 2011 E. coli outbreak in Germany, any delay in identifying the source of food poisoning outbreaks can cost lives and cause considerable political and economical damage.

University Hospitals Case Medical Center experts present at ASCO Annual Meeting
In a Phase 2 study presented at the 48th Annual Meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology, clinical researchers from University Hospitals Case Medical Center's Seidman Cancer Center developed a more effective way to treat gynecologic cancers, shortening radiation treatment time from five weeks to three days.

NASA mission sending unmanned aircraft over hurricanes this year
Beginning this summer and over the next several years, NASA will be sending unmanned aircraft dubbed

Plant research funding crucial for the future
The scientific community needs to make a 10-year, $100 billion investment in food and energy security, says Carnegie's Wolf Frommer and Tom Brutnell of the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in an opinion piece published in the June issue of The Scientist.

A patient's socioeconomic status may predict their preference in treatment options
Little has been known about the extent to which cost and side effects influence a patient's treatment decision.

Integrated sensors handle extreme conditions
A team of Case Western Reserve University engineers has designed and fabricated integrated amplifier circuits that operate under extreme temperatures -- up to 600 degrees Celsius.

Connectome: Uniting people and machines to map the mind
Join 2012 Kavli Prize Laureate Winfried Denk and connectomist Sebastian Seung at the German Center for Research and Innovation New York on Wednesday, June 6, to learn about their innovative transatlantic quest to map the connectome, a wiring diagram of neural activities in the brain.

The cell's 'New World'
Scientists at EMBL Heidelberg cataloged all proteins that bind to RNA, finding 300 previously unknown to do so.

SDO to observe Venus transit
On June 5, 2012, at 6:03 PM EDT, the planet Venus will do something it has done only seven times since the invention of the telescope: cross in front of the sun.

Online tool to quit smoking
StopAdvisor is a new Web-based smoking cessation program, which takes smokers from preparation for the target quit date to the quit date itself.

Researching tomorrow's innovative textiles
Around 200 textile research professionals met at the end of May in St.

Clinical trial design supports original accelerated approval of sunitinib for GIST
Patients benefitted from an important design element in the pivotal phase III clinical trial that led to Food and Drug Administration and worldwide regulatory approval of sunitinib for the treatment of gastrointestinal stromal tumors resistant to the only other available therapy, according to a study in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Potential new approach to regenerating skeletal muscle tissue
An innovative strategy for regenerating skeletal muscle tissue using cells derived from the amniotic fluid is outlined in new research published by scientists at the UCL Institute of Child Health.

New compound could become 'cool blue' for energy efficiency in buildings
A new type of durable, environmentally-benign blue pigment discovered at Oregon State University has also been found to have unusual characteristics in reflecting heat -- it's a

Cancer drugs: Better, cheaper
Cancer drug development is known to be too slow, costly and fraught with failure.

New release of Web-based resource resolves confusion over plant names
Up to 30 percent of the plant names in major biological databases are incorrect in some way, sowing confusion among scientists.

UGA scientists map and sequence genome of switchgrass relative foxtail millet
A newly published genetic sequence and map of foxtail millet, a close relative of switchgrass and an important food crop in Asia, is giving scientists working to increase biofuel and crop yields a powerful new tool.

Improving obesity-induced insulin sensitivity
To identify drug targets that will improve insulin sensitivity, Dr.

Radiology programs would benefit from incorporating tablet devices into education of residents
Radiology programs and their residents would benefit from incorporating tablet devices, like the iPad, into residency education, according to a study in the June issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Researchers discover new combination of 2 previously approved FDA drugs to treat lung cancer
A team of researchers led by Dr. Goutham Narla at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in collaboration with scientists at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, have discovered a previously unrecognized signaling network disrupted in lung cancer that can be turned back on by a novel combination of two previously approved FDA drugs.

Anxiety disorders in children are not detected in due time
Only few children suffering from anxiety disorders undergo treatment. Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have looked into how many children who suffer from the anxiety disorders that are actually diagnosed in Denmark.

Fox Chase researchers find that not all patients will pay for genetic testing
More than one-fifth of people who have received referrals to test for cancer-causing genes say they will only undergo testing if their insurance covers the cost -- just as more insurers are instituting cost-sharing for medical services like genetic testing, according to new findings from Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia released at this year's 2012 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology on Saturday, June 2.

Some butterfly species particularly vulnerable to climate change
A recent study of the impact of climate change on butterflies suggests that some species might adapt much better than others, with implications for the pollination and herbivory associated with these and other insect species.

Sandia National Laboratories' unique approach to materials allows temperature-stable circuits
Sandia has developed a unique materials approach to multilayered, ceramic-based, 3-D microelectronics circuits, such as those used in cell phones.

Caltech research shows Medicare auction will face severe difficulties
Medicare's new method for buying medical supplies and equipment -- everything from wheelchairs and hospital beds to insulin shots and oxygen tanks -- is doomed to face severe difficulties, according to a new study by researchers at the California Institute of Technology.

Human hands leave prominent ecological footprints
Early human activity has left a greater footprint on today's ecosystem than previously thought, say researchers working at the University of Pittsburgh and in the multidisciplinary Long Term Ecological Research Network.

New therapy on the horizon for ALK+ non-small cell lung cancer
A new compound that targets anaplastic lymphoma kinase-positive (ALK+) non-small cell lung cancer is well-tolerated by patients and is already showing early signs of activity, including in patients who no longer respond to crizotinib -- the only approved ALK inhibitor.

Noninvasive brain stimulation shown to impact walking patterns
In a step towards improving rehabilitation for patients with walking impairments, researchers from the Kennedy Krieger Institute found that noninvasive stimulation of the cerebellum, an area of the brain known to be essential in adaptive learning, helped healthy individuals learn a new walking pattern more rapidly.

Distinguished Scholars Program launches at UH Case Medical Center's Harrington Discovery Institute
University Hospitals Case Medical Center's Harrington Discovery Institute has launched a new program aimed at supporting physician-scientists seeking to move their research into therapies that will improve patients' lives.

Computer-designed proteins programmed to disarm variety of flu viruses
Proteins found in nature, but that do not normally bind the flu, can be engineered to act as broad-spectrum antiviral agents against many flu virus strains, including H1N1 pandemic influenza.

New finding important to heart health, also changed faculty member's entire research path
Medical scientist Howard Young's research has taken a dramatic, unexpected turn in the last few months, thanks to a serendipitous chain of events that could lead to a genetic test that can predict heart failure in certain people before it happens.

American teens are less likely than European teens to use cigarettes and alcohol
The US had the second-lowest proportion of students who used tobacco and alcohol compared to their counterparts in 36 European countries, a new report indicates.

Study shows consumers need more guidance about fish consumption choices
In a first-of-its kind summary of fish consumption choices, a team of researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital has determined that consumers are not getting all the information they need to make informed decisions about fish consumption.

Wisconsin research team reveals novel way to treat drug-resistant brain tumor cells
New research from the University of Wisconsin-Madison explains why the incurable brain cancer, glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), is highly resistant to current chemotherapies. 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