Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 04, 2012
New technology improves malaria control and vaccine development
A new technique that accurately determines the risk of infants in endemic countries developing clinical malaria could provide a valuable tool for evaluating new malaria prevention strategies and vaccines.

Antidepressant helps relieve pain from chemotherapy, study finds
The antidepressant drug duloxetine, known commercially as Cymbalta, helped relieve painful tingling feelings caused by chemotherapy in 59 percent of patients, a new study finds.

Many new mothers spend more time on Facebook after giving birth
A small, exploratory study suggests that many first-time parents - particularly mothers - actually increase the amount of time they spend on Facebook after the birth of their child.

High-contrast, high-resolution CT scans now possible at reduced dose
Scientists have developed an X-ray imaging method that could drastically improve the contrast of CT scans whilst reducing the radiation dose.

Study finds high risk of GI cancers among childhood cancer survivors
Survivors of childhood cancers are at an increased risk of another battle with cancer later in life, according to new research published online June 5 by the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Cell transplantation of lung stem cells has beneficial impact for emphysema
Mesenchymal stem cells are considered for transplantation because they are readily available, highly proliferative and display multi-lineage potential.

'Synthetic Biology for the Next Generation'
At this National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering symposium, stakeholders will examine the tools, platforms, and infrastructure needed for continued advances in synthetic biology; political and social strategies to pursue these advances; and research applications in key areas.

Minnesota, Mayo Clinic join to advise primary care doctors on pediatric mental health
The Minnesota Department of Human Services has entered into a two-year contract with Mayo Clinic to provide expert guidance to pediatricians and other primary care providers who prescribe psychotropic medications for children.

A new multitarget molecule designed with high potential in future treatments for Alzheimer's disease
It acts simultaneously on several targets in the brain. In vitro studies reveal a reduction in the ß-amyloid peptide aggregation, involved in the disease, and a boost in cognitive function.

Mosquitoes fly in rain thanks to low mass
Even though a single raindrop can weigh 50 times more than a mosquito, the insect is still able to fly through a downpour.

A search engine for social networks based on the behavior of ants
Research at Carlos III University in Madrid is developing an algorithm, based on ants' behavior when they are searching for food, which accelerates the search for relationships among elements that are present in social networks.

DFG presents 'Funding Atlas 2012': Competition for third-party funding an 'everyday reality'
Growing numbers of universities and research institutions competing for grants from ministries and organizations.

Physicians may not always report brain cancer patients unfit to drive
Ontario doctors are legally required to report patients they consider medically unfit to drive to the Ministry of Transportation - yet they may not be doing it.

New immune therapy shows promise in kidney cancer
An antibody that helps a person's own immune system battle cancer cells shows increasing promise in reducing tumors in patients with advanced kidney cancer, according to researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

PTSD psychotherapy is enhanced with D-cycloserine
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is among the most common, distressing, and disabling medical consequences of combat or other extremely stressful life events.

Johns Hopkins' Hospital at Home program improves patient outcomes while lowering health care costs
Using a Johns Hopkins-developed program that allows medical professionals to provide acute hospital-level care within a patient's home, a New Mexico health system was able to reduce costs by roughly 20 percent and provide equal or better outcomes than hospital inpatients, according to new research.

University of Houston engineering researcher receives $2.6 million RPSEA grant
A University of Houston engineering researcher has received a $2.6 million RPSEA grant to develop a

New statistical model lets patient's past forecast future ailments
Analyzing medical records from thousands of patients, statisticians have devised a statistical model for predicting what other medical problems a patient might encounter.

Food for thought? Study says soy may not help preserve thinking skills in women
Contrary to earlier reports, a new study suggests that soy protein may not preserve overall thinking abilities in women over the age of 45, but may improve memory related to facial recognition.

Export extravaganza
In the first comprehensive census of human cells' export workers, scientists at EMBL Heidelberg, found an unexpected variety of genes involved in transporting molecules to the cell membrane and beyond.

Cleveland Clinic study detects 'chemobrain' in EEG activity
A Cleveland Clinic study has detected significant changes in the electroencephalogram brain activity patterns of patients receiving chemotherapy.

Study examines comparative effectiveness of rhythm control vs. rate control drug treatment
An observational study that examined the comparative effectiveness of rhythm control vs. rate control drug treatment on mortality in patients with atrial fibrillation (a rapid, irregular heart beat) suggests there was little difference in mortality within four years of treatment, but rhythm control may be associated with more effective long-term outcomes, according to a report published online first by Archives of Internal Medicine, a JAMA Network publication.

Emerging optics technology to fly on microsatellite
A kitchen gadget used to sift flour and other ingredients is the inspiration behind the name of an emerging technology that could resolve some of the more intriguing components of the sun's chromosphere -- the irregular layer above the photosphere that contributes to the formation of solar flares and coronal mass ejections.

New research yields insights into Parkinson's disease
An innovative technique looks into the mechanisms implicated in Parkinson's disease, and could lead to new treatments.

Reign of the giant insects ended with the evolution of birds
Giant insects ruled the prehistoric skies during periods when Earth's atmosphere was rich in oxygen.

Joslin researchers find 'good fat' activated by cold, not ephedrine
Researchers at Joslin Diabetes Center have shown that a type of

Rehospitalizations after surgical site infections add $10-65 million to health-care costs
Preventing further complications in patients who develop infections after surgery to replace a knee or hip could save the US health-care system as much as $65 million annually, according to an analysis presented today at the 39th Annual Educational Conference and International Meeting of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

JEBDP looks at connections between preventive dentistry and public health
The dental profession needs to build a stronger connection between oral health and general health -- not only for individual patients, but also at the community level, according to the special June issue of the Journal of Evidence-Based Dental Practice, the foremost publication of information about evidence-based dental practice, published by Elsevier.

UN names sustainability dean at Arizona State University a 'Champion of the Earth'
Sander van der Leeuw, the dean of the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University, is among the six winners of the 2012 United Nations Champions of the Earth award.

N.Y. prison inmates overuse and misuse antibiotic ointments, study says
Prisoners need education on the appropriate use of topical antibiotic products, according to a study released today at the 39th Annual Educational Conference and International Meeting of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

UMD scientists create faster, more sensitive photodetector by tricking graphene
Researchers at the University of Maryland have developed a highly sensitive detector of infrared light that can be used in applications ranging from detection of chemical and biochemical weapons from a distance and better airport body scanners to chemical analysis in the laboratory and studying the structure of the universe through new telescopes.

Practical tool can 'take pulse' of blue-green algae status in lakes
Scientists have designed a screening tool that provides a fast, easy and relatively inexpensive way to predict levels of a specific toxin in lakes that are prone to blue-green algal blooms.

Investigational diabetes drug may have fewer side effects
Drugs for Type 2 diabetes can contribute to unwanted side effects, but Washington University researchers have found that in mice, an investigational drug appears to improve insulin sensitivity without side effects.

Genetics, rapid childhood growth and the development of obesity
A 38-year longitudinal study of New Zealanders suggests that individuals with higher genetic risk scores were more likely to be chronically obese in adulthood, according to a report published in the June issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, a JAMA Network publication.

RHESSI will use Venus transit to improve measurements of the sun's diameter
With the new data obtained during the Venus transit on June 5-6, 2012, the RHESSI team hopes to improve the knowledge of the exact shape of the sun and provide a more accurate measure of the diameter than has previously been obtained.

Artificial muscle as shock absorber
Engineers are working on intelligent materials that can diminish vibrations and extract power from the environment.

How religion promotes confidence about paternity
Religious practices that strongly control female sexuality are more successful at promoting certainty about paternity, according to a study published in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

June 2012 story tips from Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Windshields, windows, solar panels, eyeglasses, heart stents and hundreds of other products representing a multi-billion-dollar market are potential targets for Oak Ridge National Laboratory's thin-film superhydrophobic technology.

Carfilzomib demonstrates efficacy as new frontline treatment regimen for multiple myeloma
Results from a study published online today in Blood, the Journal of the American Society of Hematology, demonstrate that inclusion of carfilzomib, a novel targeted therapy for multiple myeloma, in combination with lenalidomide and low-dose dexamethasone, resulted in complete or near complete remission in a majority of patients with newly diagnosed multiple myeloma.

Many physicians recommend unnecessary cancer screening for the old and sick
A significant number of physicians would recommend colorectal cancer screening for elderly patients with a severe illness, according to David Haggstrom from the Richard L.

Regional care systems to treat severe heart attacks improve survival rates
North Carolina's coordinated regional systems to rapidly treat severe heart attacks saved lives and are a model for national standards for heart attack care.

Depression treatment can prevent adolescent drug abuse
Treating adolescents for major depression can also reduce their chances of abusing drugs later on, a secondary benefit found in a five-year study of nearly 200 youths at 11 sites across the United States.

U of S researchers create powerful new tool for research and drug development
A research team led by Tony Kusalik and Scott Napper has harnessed bioinformatics and molecular biology to create powerful software that promises to become a

NY-Presbyterian has the most top doctors in metro area
For the twelfth straight year, NewYork-Presbyterian has more physicians listed in New York Magazine's prestigious

Stanford/USC study finds little cognitive benefit from soy supplements for older women
In a new study of the effects of soy supplements for postmenopausal women, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and the USC Keck School of Medicine found no significant differences -- positive or negative -- in overall mental abilities between those who took supplements and those who didn't.

Richest and poorest people in Toronto hospitalized for different reasons
Researchers who examined the income levels of patients at central Toronto hospitals found that people in the highest and lowest income brackets are being hospitalized for different reasons and that different hospitals serve different income groups.

Families of kids with staph infections have high rate of drug-resistant germ
Family members of children with a staph infection often harbor a drug-resistant form of the germ, although they don't show symptoms, a team of researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Awards target novel research on species distributions
This year's €30,000 Ebbe Nielsen Prize should contribute to better understanding of how plants respond to climate change, following the selection of Nathan Swenson from the United States to receive the prestigious annual award funded by the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.

Emergency department algorithm may predict risk of death for heart failure patients
Physicians can reduce the number of heart failure deaths and unnecessary hospital admissions by using a new computer-based algorithm that calculates each patient's individual risk of death.

The mysterious arc of Venus
When Venus transits the sun on June 5-6, an armada of spacecraft and ground-based telescopes will be on the lookout for something elusive and, until recently, unexpected: the arc of Venus.

Under pressure from Medicare, hospitals hold more seniors for observation
A new study finds that more elderly patients in the emergency departments of hospitals are being held for observation rather than admitted as inpatients.

Not ready to play nice: Online attacks by presidential candidates
As voters increasingly rely on websites of presidential primary candidates for news, they run a risk because candidates' online attacks are not vetted through traditional

Researchers use flexible channel width to improve user experience on wireless systems
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a technique to efficiently divide the bandwidth of the wireless spectrum in multi-hop wireless networks to improve operation and provide all users in the network with the best possible performance.

Teaching tree-thinking through touch
A pair of new studies by computer scientists, biologists, and cognitive psychologists at Harvard, Northwestern, Wellesley, and Tufts suggest that collaborative touch-screen games have value beyond just play.

4 major foundations join together to advance interprofessional health education
The Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, and The John A.

Vaccinations of US children declined after publication of now-refuted autism risk
UC health economics research has found that publication of the perceived risk linking the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine to autism in the late 1990s seemingly led to declines in the vaccination rate of children.

Acetaminophen overdoses in children can be life-threatening but are avoidable
Acetaminophen, a widely available over-the-counter medication, can cause liver toxicity in children if doses are exceeded, and more public education is needed to warn of potential adverse effects, states an article published in CMAJ.

Fossil discovery sheds new light on evolutionary history of higher primates
An international team of researchers has announced the discovery of a new fossil primate from Myanmar that illuminates a critical step in the evolution of early anthropoids.

New high-performance computers make Rhineland Palatinate a leader in scientific computing
The two newly installed high-performance mainframe computers at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and at the University of Kaiserslautern provide the German federal state of Rhineland-Palatinate a new national profile in high-performance computing.

Columbia's Cancer Center receives $40 million from Herbert & Florence Irving
Herbert and Florence Irving, Columbia University Medical Center's leading benefactors, have given an additional $40 million to support Columbia's Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center.

System improves automated monitoring of security cameras
Police and security teams need to know immediately when someone enters a prohibited area.

Study examines models to improve care and reduce the high cost for Medicare beneficiaries
It's well known that a relatively small percentage of chronically ill patients accounts for a disproportionate amount of health care dollars.

Repelling the drop on top
It would make life a lot easier if the surfaces of window panes, corrosion coatings or microfluidic systems in medical labs could keep themselves free of water and other liquids.

Facebook photos may reflect unconscious cultural differences
The photos we select for our Facebook profiles may reflect individual preferences, but they also appear to reflect more deeply rooted, unconscious cultural differences.

BUSM researcher finds link between brain signaling and renal function
Boston University School of Medicine researchers recently uncovered a brain signaling pathway responsible for regulating the renal excretion of sodium.

Giant black hole kicked out of home galaxy
Astronomers have found strong evidence that a massive black hole is being ejected from its host galaxy at a speed of several million miles per hour.

Scottish library consortium signs comprehensive licensing agreement with Springer
Springer and the Scottish Higher Education Digital Library Consortium (SHEDL) recently signed a ground-breaking agreement for access to electronic journal subscriptions and eBooks on Springer's platform SpringerLink.

Hands-on research
A nuzzle of the neck, a brush of the knee -- these caresses often signal a loving touch, but can also feel highly aversive, depending on who is delivering the touch, and to whom.

Childhood cancer treatment found to pose similar risk for breast cancer as BRCA mutations
New data reveals that women treated with radiation to the chest for childhood cancer have a high risk of developing breast cancer similar to that of women with BRCA1/2 mutations.

Ill, older patients who rely on emergency room often live final days in hospital, study finds
Half of adults over age 65 made at least one emergency department visit in the last month of life, in a study led by a physician at the San Francisco VA Medical Center and UCSF.

High blood caffeine levels in older adults linked to avoidance of Alzheimer's disease
Those cups of coffee that you drink every day to keep alert appear to have an extra perk - especially if you're an older adult.

Concordia's 3-D innovation revolutionizes visual art
Concordia University's Leila Sujir and Sudhir Mudur are bringing visual arts into new territories.

Early childhood neglect may raise risk of adult skin cancer
Skin cancer patients whose childhood included periods of neglect or maltreatment are at a much greater risk for their cancers to return when they face a major stressful event, based on a new study.

Ginseng fights fatigue in cancer patients, Mayo Clinic-led study finds
High doses of the herb American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) over two months reduced cancer-related fatigue in patients more effectively than a placebo, a Mayo Clinic-led study found.

Canada should ban off-label antibiotic use in agriculture
Canada should ban off-label use of antibiotics in farm animals because it contributes significantly to antibiotic resistance in humans, states an editorial in CMAJ.

Mayo Clinic IDs immune system glitch tied to fourfold higher likelihood of death
Mayo Clinic researchers have identified an immune system deficiency whose presence shows someone is up to four times likelier to die than a person without it.

Filming life in the fast lane
New microscope enabled scientists at EMBL Heidelberg to film a fruit fly embryo, in 3D, from when it was about two-and-a-half hours old until it walked away from the microscope as a larva.

Underground search for neutrino properties unveils first results
Scientists studying neutrinos have found with the highest degree of sensitivity yet that these mysterious particles behave like other elementary particles at the quantum level.

Ancient jugs hold the secret to practical mathematics in Biblical times
Archaeologists and mathematicians alike have been puzzled for centuries by the use of spherical jugs in trade in the ancient world, and how merchants measured the volume of the commodities they held.

Clarification of unique communication channel with possible role in tumor
Guido David, associated with VIB and KU Leuven, and Pascale Zimmermann have discovered a new mechanism for the formation of exosomes, small vesicles with a role in tumor development.

Case Western Reserve secures federal funding from Ohio Medicaid
Through the Medicaid Technical Assistance and Policy Program (MEDTAPP) Healthcare Access Initiative (HAI), Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine has secured $6.4 million in federal funds through Ohio Medicaid to support its longstanding involvement in the health of its community.

Mature liver cells may be better than stem cells for liver cell transplantation therapy
Stem or progenitor cells have shown they can be cryopreserved for a long time and expanded in vitro.

Physicists close in on a rare particle-decay process
In the biggest result of its kind in more than ten years, physicists have made the most sensitive measurements yet in a decades-long hunt for a hypothetical and rare process involving the radioactive decay of atomic nuclei.

Healthy habits can prevent disease
Five new studies provide evidence to support simple steps we can take to prevent illness and improve our overall health.

How infectious disease may have shaped human origins
An international team of researchers, led by scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, suggest that inactivation of two specific genes related to the immune system may have conferred selected ancestors of modern humans with improved protection from some pathogenic bacterial strains, such as Escherichia coli K1 and Group B Streptococci, the leading causes of sepsis and meningitis in human fetuses, newborns and infants.

Greening operating rooms benefit the bottom line and the environment
Efforts to

Energy-dense biofuel from cellulose close to being economical
A new Purdue University-developed process for creating biofuels has shown potential to be cost-effective for production scale, opening the door for moving beyond the laboratory setting.

NASA looks at Typhoon Mawar, now heading to sea
Over the weekend of June 2-3, Typhoon Mawar skirted the east coast of the Philippines bringing heavy surf, heavy rainfall and gusty winds that led to several missing and injured people.

New in Lithosphere: Mars, Iraq, Canada, and the Spanish Pyrenees
New Lithosphere science posted online June 4 2012 includes a study of the Valles Marineris fault zone, Mars, and asks why such a trough system occurs there, when such structures on Earth are mainly associated with plate tectonics.

Shape-shifting shell
Scientists at EMBL Heidelberg have for the first time uncovered the structure of the shell that surrounds the genetic material of retroviruses such as HIV.

Iowa State's Takle addresses USDA on climate change and its effects on agriculture
Iowa State University's Gene Takle will tell US Department of Agriculture officials how farmers are adapting to climate changes.

Largest statewide coordinated care effort improves survival, reduces time to heart attack treatment
An ambitious effort to coordinate heart attack care among every hospital and emergency service in North Carolina improved patient survival rates and reduced the time from diagnosis to treatment, according to Duke University Medical Center researchers who spearheaded the program.

Drug combination highly effective for newly diagnosed myeloma patients
A three-drug treatment for the blood cancer multiple myeloma provided rapid, deep and potentially durable responses- the best reported to date.

Embargoed news from Annals of Internal Medicine
Below is information about three articles being published in the June 5 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

Knowing yeast genome produces better wine
The yeast Dekkera bruxellensis plays an important role in the production of wine, as it can have either a positive or a negative impact on the taste.

Excessive endurance training can be too much of a good thing, research suggests
Recent research suggests that chronic training for, and competing in, extreme endurance exercise such as marathons, iron man distance triathlons, and very long distance bicycle races may cause structural changes to the heart and large arteries, leading to myocardial injury.

ASTRO honored with 2 Hermes Awards
The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has been honored with two 2012 Hermes Creative Awards from the Association of Marketing and Communication Professionals for its work on the fall 2011 edition of ASTROnews and the Radiation Therapy for Cancer brochure.

Humans take place at top of food chain, eat crawdads to help Tahoe's ecosystem
The University of Nevada, Reno's Sudeep Chandra, a leading Lake Tahoe scientist who has studied invasive species and limnology at the lake for 20 years, said issuing permits for commercial harvesting of crayfish at Lake Tahoe will help improve clarity at the pristine lake, as well as take away a food source for other invasive species that threaten lake clarity and ecosystems.

Aging and breast cancer
A big step towards understanding the cellular basis for why women over the age of 50 are more vulnerable to breast cancer has been taken by Berkeley Lab researchers.

Scientists identify mechanism for regulating plant oil production
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have identified key elements in the biochemical mechanism plants use to limit the production of fatty acids.

Drug might protect hearts of childhood leukemia survivors
About 75 percent of children with leukemia who take chemotherapy face life-threatening heart problems as they age, but an international study led by a University of Rochester Medical Center investigator shows that giving a cardio-protective drug during cancer treatment may prevent the damage.

Bigger refuges needed to delay pest resistance to biotech corn
To slow resistance of western corn rootworm beetles to genetically protected crops, much larger

Researchers achieve RNA interference, in a lighter package
Using a technique known as

UT Southwestern investigators provide first atomic-level images of the CLOCK complex
UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have taken a major step toward understanding the cellular clock, mapping for the first time the atomic-level architecture of a key component of the timekeeper that governs the body's daily rhythms.

Are wider faced men more self-sacrificing?
Picture a stereotypical tough guy and you might imagine a man with a broad face, a square jaw, and a stoical demeanor.

Protein knots gain new evolutionary significance
A new study suggests that protein knots, a structure whose formation remains a mystery, may have specific functional advantages that depend on the nature of the protein's architecture.

Brain scans prove Freud right: Guilt plays key role in depression
Scientists have shown that the brains of people with depression respond differently to feelings of guilt -- even after their symptoms have subsided.

Life expectancy prolonged for esophageal cancer patients
For those with esophageal cancer, initial staging of the disease is of particular importance as it determines whether to opt for a curative treatment or palliative treatment. 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