Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 05, 2012
Mothers' teen cannabinoid exposure may increase response of offspring to opiate drugs
A study in rats suggests that mothers who use marijuana during their teen years -- then stop -- may put their eventual offspring at risk of increased sensitivity to opiates.

Majority of families in urban areas have access to Internet
In a study of mostly minority and socioeconomically disadvantaged families, 99 percent of participants reported having access to the Internet.

UBC recognizes brain and heart researchers with $50,000 prizes
Two of Canada's most distinguished health researchers - Dr. Guy Rouleau of the University of Montreal and Dr.

Monumental effort to save the threatened Viking treasures of Oseberg
Researchers from the Museum of Cultural History in Oslo, working closely with Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin, have been studying ancient wooden Viking artefacts at the synchrotron radiation source BESSY II.

Blood test could lead to improved diagnosis and treatment of breast cancer
Scientists have discovered that a simple blood test could lead to better diagnosis and treatment for early-stage breast cancer patients, according to an article published online first in the Lancet Oncology.

PETA to FDA: Don't let more animals suffer and die for tobacco products
PETA today submitted official comments to the Food and Drug Administration regarding the agency's Draft Guidance for Industry: Modified Risk Tobacco Product (MRTP) Applications, which, as currently written, will lead to animal studies being conducted in support of MRTP applications.

Physicist and entrepreneur Dr. Stephen Quake honored with $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize
Dr. Stephen Quake, one of the world's most prolific inventors, was announced as recipient of the 2012 $500,000 Lemelson-MIT Prize.

Therapists phone it in and keep more patients
New research shows patients who had telephone therapy were more likely to complete treatment than those who had face-to-face sessions.

New ways to stretch DNA and other organic molecules
By taking advantage of the unique patterns generated when two immiscible fluids flow together, scientists have developed a new tool for studying tiny biomolecules.

Missouri Botanical Garden receives $3 million from Monsanto Company toward World Flora
The Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, Mo., US has received a generous three-year, three million dollar gift from Monsanto Company to support its work on the development of a World Flora Online.

NJIT architect designs award-winning house that looks like an igloo
An NJIT College of Architecture and Design architect who designed an

WPI awarded $3 million from the NSF for new graduate program in biofabrication
Worcester Polytechnic Institute has received a five-year, $3 million award from the National Science Foundation to launch an innovative graduate program in biofabrication.

Pirfenidone: Extent of added benefit assessed
Pirfenidone has been approved for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis since January 2011.

Mathematicians model heat flow in human tears
Mathematicians from the University of Delaware have created a new model of the fluid dynamics and heat flow in human tears.

The potential impact of olfactory stem cells as therapy reported in Cell Transplantation
Researchers found that olfactory neural stem cells derived from a patient's own cells are plentiful because the olfactory epithelium undergoes neurogenesis and continual replacement of sensory neurons throughout adult life.

Winners of IOM-NAE 'Go Viral to Improve Health' Collegiate
VaxNation, an app designed to make it easier for people to keep up with their families' immunizations, won first place and a $10,000 prize in this year's

How immune system, inflammation may play role in Lou Gehrig's disease
In an early study, UCLA researchers found that the immune cells of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease, may play a role in damaging the neurons in the spinal cord.

Rice research IDs vulnerable bridges
More than a dozen Gulf Coast bridges in or near Galveston, Texas, would likely suffer severe damage if subjected to a hurricane with a similar landfall as Hurricane Ike but with 30 percent stronger winds, according to researchers at Rice University.

Type 2 diabetes linked to increased blood cancer risk, say Miriam Hospital researchers
A new meta-analysis by Miriam Hospital researchers reveals patients with type 2 diabetes have a 20 percent increased risk of developing blood cancers.

EARTH: Ecosystem collapse in Pleistocene Australia
In the Late Quaternary, Australia was home to an array of megafauna.

Ultrasounds spot heart disease early in rheumatoid arthritis patients, Mayo Clinic finds
Special echocardiograms show promise for early detection of a potentially deadly complication in rheumatoid arthritis: heart disease, Mayo Clinic research shows.

Memory, judgment, and neuroeconomics -- News tips from Current Directions in Psychological Science
Current Directions in Psychological Science, a publication of the Association for Psychological Science, provides snapshots of developments taking place across many different areas of psychological science.

Higher taxes, smoke-free policies are reducing smoking in moms-to-be
It's estimated that almost 23 percent of women enter pregnancy as smokers and more than half continue to smoke during pregnancy, leading to excess health-care costs at delivery and beyond.

Climate change remains an urgent public health concern
Top-down advocacy on health and climate at the UN level needs to be mirrored by bottom-up public health actions that bring health and climate co-benefits according to international experts writing in this week's PLoS Medicine.

NYBG scientists identify 81 new plant and fungus species
In a single year, scientists at the New York Botanical Garden discovered and described 81 new species of plants and fungi from around the world.

Complex world of microbes fine-tune body weight
Researcher Rosa Krajmalnik-Brown and her colleagues at the Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology at Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute in collaboration with John DiBaise from the Division of Gastroenterology at the Mayo Clinic, review the role of gut microbes in nutrient absorption and energy regulation.

Antioxidant shows promise as therapy for some features of autism
Promising new data in the treatment of autism was published Friday June 1 in an international journal, Biological Psychiatry.

Unique clinic helps amputee athletes push physical boundaries
A diverse group of young athletes came together recently for a common purpose: to participate in UCSF's Amputee Comprehensive Training program at the Orthopaedic Institute, where they pushed themselves further than they had ever imagined possible.

MRSA incidence reduced among elderly patients by 82 percent over nearly 3-year period
The introduction of daily bathing with disposable, germ-killing cloths resulted in a sustained, significant decrease in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) incidence at a Canadian geriatric facility, according to a poster presented at the 39th Annual Educational Conference and International Meeting of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

Blood test identifies increased risk of death following surgery: McMaster researchers
The VISION study demonstrated that a simple blood test strongly identifies which non-cardiac surgery patients are at high risk of dying in the next 30 days.

Identified an anti-oncogene into an oncogene
A study coordinated by Manel Esteller, Director of the program of epigenetics and cancer biology at the Bellvitge Institute for Biomedical Research, Professor of genetics at the University of Barcelona and ICREA researcher, has discovered the existence of an antitumor molecule that originates within an oncogene.

The Obamas and the new politics of race
With the 2012 US presidential election campaign in full swing, the meaning and significance of Barack Obama and his presidency are once again in the spotlight.

Springer and the Japanese Society of Nephrology intensify their collaboration
Springer and the Japanese Society of Nephrology will collaborate to publish the new journal Clinical and Experimental Nephrology Case Reports.

La Jolla Institute's Shane Crotty receives prestigious award for early-career scientists
Shane Crotty, Ph.D., a scientist at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology, has been selected for the prestigious Biosciences Investigator Award in recognition of his groundbreaking work in vaccine research.

Air pollution linked to chronic heart disease
Cardiac patients living in high pollution areas were found to be over 40 percent more likely to have a second heart attack when compared to patients living in low pollution areas, according to Dr.

Post-stroke depression linked to functional brain impairment
Researchers studying stroke patients have found a strong association between impairments in a network of the brain involved in emotional regulation and the severity of post-stroke depression.

Study examines major bleeding risk with low-dose aspirin use in patients with and without diabetes
Among nearly 200,000 individuals, daily use of low-dose aspirin was associated with an increased risk of major gastrointestinal or cerebral bleeding, according to a study in the June 6 issue of JAMA.

We are drinking too much water
Our bodies need about two liters of fluids per day, not two liters of water specifically.

Burden of full & subsyndromal PTSD in police who responded to the World Trade Center disaster
Studies have found that police demonstrated considerable resilience to PTSD compared to other disaster workers after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center.

Nuclear weapon simulations show performance in molecular detail
US researchers are perfecting simulations that show a nuclear weapon's performance in precise molecular detail, tools that are becoming critical for national defense because international treaties forbid the detonation of nuclear test weapons.

Molecular matchmaking for drug discovery
Computational drug discovery allows researchers to target a small group of possible molecules for therapeutic use, saving significant time and money.

Dinosaurs lighter than previously thought
Scientists have developed a new technique to accurately measure the weight and size of dinosaurs and discovered they are not as heavy as previously thought.

Magazine trends study finds increase in advertisements using sex
Sex sells, or at least that is what advertisers hope.

Team determines how estrogens to persist in dairy wastewater
Wastewater from large dairy farms contains significant concentrations of estrogenic hormones that can persist for months or even years, researchers report in a new study.

Survey: Latin American and Asian cities lead way in planning for global warming
The cities that are most active in preparing for climate change are not necessarily the biggest or wealthiest.

Splitting the unsplittable
Researchers from the University of Bonn have just shown how a single atom can be split into its two halves, pulled apart and put back together again.

Overfed fruit flies develop insulin resistance; Represent new tool to study human diabetes
Researchers at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, demonstrate that adult fruit flies fed either high-carb or high-protein diets develop metabolic abnormalities, including insulin resistance, which is a hallmark of type 2 human diabetes.

Thermal conductivity of argon at high pressures and temperatures
To better understand thermal conductivity, researchers from the United States and Sweden placed a thin film of iridium sandwiched between layers of argon in a DAC, subjected it to extreme pressure and then used microsecond laser bursts to heat it to 2,500 degrees K.

Scientists work together to achieve milestone against deadly diseases
Investigators at the Center for Structural Genomics of Infectious Diseases and the Seattle Structural Genomics Center for Infectious Disease reached a significant milestone by determining 1,000 protein structures from infectious disease organisms.

UBC drug formulation receives $1.1 million for clinical development as HIV treatment
A drug delivery system developed through the University of British Columbia's Neglected Global Diseases Initiative and licensed to iCo Therapeutics Inc. will receive $1.1 million from the National Research Council of Canada for clinical development as a treatment for HIV patients.

University of Houston professor receives Fulbright award
Marta Fairclough, associate professor of Spanish linguistics and director of the Spanish as a Heritage Language Program at University of Houston, has been awarded a US Fulbright Scholar grant to research Croatian as a heritage language at the University of Zagreb in Croatia.

UH research team uses airborne LiDAR to unveil Honduran archaeological ruins
A University of Houston research team has used airborne laser mapping to unveil archaeological ruins in a Honduran rainforest.

How do studies get selected for publication?
Factors predicting the eventual impact of scientific research (i.e. high citation rates) were successfully identified in abstracts selected for presentation at the annual ESC Congress.

RIH study: Restricted food intake a predictor of increased suicide attempts in BDD patients
Rhode Island Hospital and Auburn University researchers found a link between restrictive food intake, or excessive dieting, and an increase in suicide attempts in people with Body Dysmorphic Disorder.

Waist circumference linked to diabetes risk, independently of body mass index
A collaborative re-analysis of data from the InterAct case-control study conducted by Claudia Langenberg and colleagues has established that waist circumference is associated with risk of Type 2 diabetes, independently of body mass index.

NASA satellites see changes in weakening Typhoon Mawar
NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission and Aqua satellites are just two in NASA's fleet that have been providing data on the evolving and now devolving tropical cyclone.

Calorie-restricted diet keeps heart young
People who restrict their caloric intake in an effort to live longer have hearts that function more like those in people who are 20 years younger.

Biomarker levels associated with increased risk of death following noncardiac surgery
Certain levels of the biomarker troponin T (a protein) measured in the first three days following noncardiac surgery are associated with an increased risk of death within 30 days, according to a study in the June 6 issue of JAMA.

University of British Columbia recognizes brain and heart researchers with $50,000 prizes
Two of Canada's most distinguished health researchers -- Dr. Guy Rouleau of the University of Montreal and Dr.

Short-term risk of shingles recurrence low
People who have had an episode of herpes zoster, also known as shingles, face a relatively low short-term risk of developing shingles, according to a Kaiser Permanente Southern California study published online in the Journal of Infectious Diseases.

Anxious girls' brains work harder
In a discovery that could help in the identification and treatment of anxiety disorders, Michigan State University scientists say the brains of anxious girls work much harder than those of boys.

Noninvasive genetic test for Down syndrome and Edwards syndrome highly accurate
Current screening strategies for Down syndrome, caused by fetal trisomy 21, and Edwards syndrome, caused by fetal trisomy 18, have false positive rates of 2-3 percent, and false negative rates of 5 percent or higher.

Health and ethics must be included in future climate change talks
Human health and health ethics considerations must be given equal status to economic considerations in climate change deliberations and furthermore, the health community, led by health ministers and the World Health Organization, must play a central role in climate change deliberations, argues an international expert in this week's PLoS Medicine.

New Firefly technology lights up more precise kidney sparing surgery
During kidney surgery, Firefly fluorescence used with the da Vinci robot lights up in

Keeping up with embryogenesis
A new imaging technology developed at HHMI's Janelia Farm Research Campus lets users track each cell in an embryo as it takes shape over hours or days.

Growing popularity of hip and knee replacement surgery places extra burden on critical care services
Roughly htree percent of patients who undergo total hip and knee replacement surgery require critical care services before they are discharged from the hospital, according to an analysis of roughly half a million patients.

Milk ingredient does a waistline good
A natural ingredient found in milk can protect against obesity even as mice continue to enjoy diets that are high in fat.

VTT seeks solutions to autonomic service networks consisting of machines
The amount of network-connected devices, capable of M2M communication, is increasing rapidly.

Gasification may convert mesquite and juniper wood to a usable bioenergy
Biomass gasification is being considered as a possible technology for converting at least 10 million acres of Texas brush into biofuel, according to Dr.

Research identifies precise measurement of radiation damage
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory researchers have for the first time simulated and quantified the early stages of radiation damage that will occur in a given material.

Between the ear and brain, an orderly orchestra of synapses
The brain receives information from the ear in a surprisingly orderly fashion, according to a University at Buffalo study scheduled to appear June 6 in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Study compares effectiveness of different types of cognitive behavioral therapy for depression
Patients with major depression who received telephone-administered cognitive behavioral therapy (T-CBT) had lower rates of discontinuing treatment compared to patients who received face-to-face CBT, and telephone administered treatment was not inferior to face-to-face treatment in terms of improvement in symptoms by the end of treatment; however, at 6-month follow-up, patients receiving face-to-face CBT were less depressed than those receiving telephone administered CBT, according to a study in the June 6 issue of JAMA.

Army reservist awarded highest volunteer honor from American Academy of Dermatology
Lt. Col. Dore Gilbert, a California-based dermatologist, recently received a Members Making a Difference award from the American Academy of Dermatology for his service in the US Army Reserve providing skin cancer screenings for Soldiers as well as his work with

UC San Diego to study accelerated aging in schizophrenia
Researchers at the Stein Institute for Research on Aging at the University of California, San Diego have received a $4 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health, part of the National Institutes of Health, to study accelerated biological aging in schizophrenia.

Rural COPD patients receiving vital care thanks to U of A program
A researcher in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry and his colleagues in the Centre for Lung Health are on a mission to keep patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder out of hospital.

Study offers hope for more effective treatment of nearsightedness
Research by a University of Houston optometrist supports the continued investigation of optical treatments that attempt to slow the progression of nearsightedness in children.

Sepsis outbreak at L.A. County dialysis center prompts public health investigation
Three patients with chronic kidney failure treated at a dialysis center in Los Angeles County, Calif., contracted a bacterial infection in the blood (sepsis) caused by improper cleaning and disinfection of a reusable medical device called a dialyzer -- an artificial kidney.

Earth science professor honored by Geological Society of America
The Geological Society of America has honored Gary Rosenberg, an associate professor of earth sciences in the School of Science at IUPUI, with the Mary C.
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