Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 25, 2012
Statins appear associated with reduced risk of recurrent cardiovascular events in men, women
Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs appear to be associated with reduced risk of recurrent cardiovascular events in men and women, but do not appear to be associated with reduced all-cause mortality or stroke in women, according to a report of a meta-analysis published June 25 in the Archives of Internal Medicine, a JAMA Network publication.

World experts meet in Edinburgh to consider how life experiences impact on our genes
World experts from the fields of social, biological and medical science will today, June 25, 2012, gather in Edinburgh to discuss how they can cooperate to improve our understanding of the way behaviors and life experiences can influence how our genetic inheritance is expressed (epigenetics).

Clifford Saper, MD, PhD, receives Distinguished Scientist Award from the Sleep Research Society
Clifford Saper, MD, PhD, Chairman of the Department of Neurology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and James Jackson Putnam Professor of Neurology and Neuroscience at Harvard Medical School, received the 2012 Distinguished Scientist Award from the Sleep Research Society (SRS).

Overweight men can boost low testosterone levels by losing weight
Weight loss can reduce the prevalence of low testosterone levels in overweight, middle-aged men with prediabetes by almost 50 percent, a new study finds.

3-fold increase in acute dialysis after cardiac, vascular surgeries
There has been a three-fold increase in the number of patients receiving acute dialysis because of injury after cardiac and vascular surgeries since 1995, states a new study in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

New tools for evaluating quality of life for cats, dogs with heart disease
Veterinarians at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine have developed and tested tools for measuring quality of life among dogs and cats with heart disease.

Gene expression test identifies low-risk thyroid nodules
A new test can be used to identify low-risk thyroid nodules, reducing unnecessary surgeries for people with thyroid nodules that have indeterminate results after biopsy.

Drug addiction study offers new insight on compulsive behavior
The same neurological mechanism involved in the transition from habitual to compulsive drug use could underlie less severe, but still harmful, compulsive behaviors.

7 pharmaceutical companies join academic researchers to speed TB drug discovery
Seven pharmaceutical companies and four research institutions, working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, have launched a groundbreaking partnership that aims to speed the discovery of essential new treatments for tuberculosis (TB).

WPI professor wins Catalyst Award for innovative design for grid storage batteries
An innovative design developed by a researcher at Worcester Polytechnic Institute for flow batteries -- rechargeable energy systems that can be used to store energy produced by wind and solar power installations -- has received a 2012 Catalyst Award from the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center.

Safety fears and agism denying care home residents right to consensual sex
Concerns about safety, and ageism, are needlessly denying elderly care home residents what is often one of their few remaining pleasures - the right to consensual sex - say specialists in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

Condor lead poisoning persists, impeding recovery, says CU-UCSC study
The California condor is chronically endangered by lead exposure from ammunition and requires ongoing human intervention for population stability and growth, according to a new study led by the University of California, Santa Cruz, and involving the University of Colorado Boulder.

The growth of immigration in Spain has not caused a rise in crime
There is a social perception that growth in the immigrant population tends to lead to a rise in the crime rate, but a study carried out by Universidad Carlos III of Madrid demonstrates that this cause and effect relationship cannot be inferred in the case of Spain, according to the Agency SINC.

Immigration growth in Spain has not caused more crime
Society tends to perceive an increase in the immigrant population with an increase in crime.

Computer analysis of EEG patterns suggests a potential diagnostic test for autism
From researchers at Boston Children's Hospital, the largest, most rigorous study to date to investigate EEGs as a potential diagnostic tool for autism, and offers hope for an earlier, more definitive test.

Modified bariatric surgery provides remission of Type 2 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes often reverses after modified weight loss surgery, especially when the duration of diabetes is less than 10 years, a new study finds.

Leading health care quality expert is 2012 AcademyHealth Distinguished Investigator
AcademyHealth announced today that Elizabeth McGlynn, Ph.D., is the 2012 recipient of its Distinguished Investigator Award.

GW announces creation of Computational Biology Institute to conduct integrated research
Keith Crandall, a renowned biologist and population geneticist, has been named founding director of the George Washington University Computational Biology Institute.

Metformin may lower cancer risk in people with Type 2 diabetes
A commonly prescribed diabetes drug, metformin, reduces the overall cancer risk in people with Type 2 diabetes, a large systematic review study finds.

Feinstein Institute to receive grant to improve schizophrenia treatment
The Zucker Hillside Hospital campus of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research has been approved for a $9.3+ million federal grant to train clinicians on how to better care for patients with schizophrenia.

JCI early table of contents for June 25, 2012
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, June 25, 2012, in the JCI: The skinny on what makes us fat, Inflammatory bacterial deposits remain after antibiotic treatment, Oxidative stress fuels Trypanosoma cruzi infection in mice, Keeping the beat: regulating the cardiac conduction system, and more.

Exercise, even mild physical activity, may reduce breast cancer risk
A new analysis has found that physical activity - either mild or intense and before or after menopause - may reduce breast cancer risk, but substantial weight gain may negate these benefits.

Romancing the firefly
While a female firefly's initial assessment of potential mates is based on males' luminescent flashes, once a pair makes physical contact, sexy flashes no longer matter.

UC Riverside graduate student gets rare opportunity to consort with Nobel laureates
Michael Maroun, a physics graduate student at the University of California, Riverside, is one of only 580 young researchers from 69 countries who will spend six days next month with more than 25 Nobel laureates at the 62nd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting.

Study identifies factors related to violence in veterans
A national survey identifies which US military veterans may be at most risk of aggression after deployment and what strategies could potentially help reduce likelihood of violence when service members return home.

Treating vitamin D deficiency may improve depression
Women with moderate to severe depression had substantial improvement in their symptoms of depression after they received treatment for their vitamin D deficiency, a new study finds.

Transgenic technique to 'eliminate' a specific neural circuit of the brain in primates
The collaborative research group consisting of professor Masahiko Takada from the Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University, professor Atsushi Nambu from the National Institute for Physiological Sciences, National Institutes of Natural Sciences, and professor Kazuto Kobayashi from Fukushima Medical University School of Medicine succeeded in development of the gene transfer technique that can

Electronic data methods research seeks to build a 'learning health care system'
Researchers participate in the Electronic Data Methods (EDM) Forum to maximize shared experiences and learning for using electronic clinical data to improve medical care and making informed health decisions.

Greenland ice may exaggerate magnitude of 13,000-year-old deep freeze
Ice samples pulled from nearly a mile below the surface of Greenland glaciers have long served as a historical thermometer, adding temperature data to studies of the local conditions up to the Northern Hemisphere's climate.

Testosterone-replacement therapy improves symptoms of metabolic syndrome
Hormone-replacement therapy significantly improved symptoms of metabolic syndrome associated with testosterone deficiency in men, a new study from Germany finds.

Arsenic for better drugs and cleaner crops
Research carried out at the University of Gothenburg may lead to more effective arsenic-containing drugs.

Gut hormone receptor in brain is key to gastric emptying rate; may help prevent obesity
Researchers have discovered how a hormone in the gut slows the rate at which the stomach empties and thus suppresses hunger and food intake.

The 1st International Conference on Neurorehabilitation to be held in Toledo, Spain
Researchers and students from the fields of Clinical Rehabilitation, Applied Neurophysiology and Biomedical Engineering will meet Nov.

Computer program aids blood-sugar control among critically ill
A computer-software program more effectively controlled blood-sugar levels among critically ill patients than nurse-directed care did, according to the first large clinical trial of its kind.

Acute kidney injury after major elective surgery more common than ever before: Study
The number of patients receiving acute dialysis after cardiac and vascular surgery has increased three-fold since 1995.

Inflammatory bacterial deposits remain after antibiotic treatment
To investigate antibiotic-refractory arthritis associated with Lyme disease, Dr. Linda Bockenstedt at Yale University and colleagues reported on a fluorescent form of the bacteria that causes Lyme disease to determine what happens to the bacteria during and after antibiotic treatment.

Unraveling the mysteries of exotic superconductors
Scientists at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory are using specialized techniques to help unravel the mysteries of iron-based superconductors.

Swine flu vaccination program a success in Scotland
The H1N1 (

Targeted gene therapy enhances treatment for Pompe disease
Gene therapy to replace the protein missing in Pompe disease can be effective if the patient's immune system does not react against the therapy.

Thinking about choice diminishes concern for wealth inequality
Against the backdrop of a worldwide recession, wealth inequality has become a prominent theme in discussions about politics and the economy.

UCLA-led research team develops world's most powerful nanoscale microwave oscillators
A team of UCLA researchers has developed the world's most powerful nanoscale microwave oscillators.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for June 26, 2012 online issue
Below is information about articles being published in the June 26 online issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

How bacteria change movement direction in response to oxygen: Molecular interactions unravelled
How single cell organisms like bacteria manage to react to their environment is not yet completely understood.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Debby's clouds blanket Florida
Like a white blanket, Tropical Storm Debby's clouds covered the entire state of Florida in a NASA satellite image.

Lung cancer death rates among young and middle-aged white women climb in some states
A new study comparing lung cancer death rates among women by year of birth shows dramatic differences in trends between states, likely reflecting the success or failure of tobacco control efforts between states.

Experimental drug helps diabetes patients lose weight
An experimental drug helped significantly more overweight patients with diabetes shed pounds, compared with placebo, a new study finds.

Hormone, oxytocin, shows potential as weight-loss treatment
A reproductive hormone helps regulate food intake and energy metabolism without causing adverse effects, a new animal study finds.

Elsevier launches new journal: International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and solutions, is pleased to announce the launch of a new quarterly journal, International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction.

'Dessert with breakfast diet' helps avoid weight regain by reducing cravings
Dieters have less hunger and cravings throughout the day and are better able to keep off lost weight if they eat a carbohydrate-rich, protein-packed breakfast that includes dessert.

The skinny on what makes us fat
Dr. Ormond MacDougald and colleagues at the University of Michigan sought to determine the mechanism of SFRP5-mediated obesity and found that mice lacking SFRP5 were resistant to diet-induced obesity, despite having similar numbers of fat cells as control mice.

Hormonal treatment associated with better test performance after stroke
Stroke patients treated who received hormonal treatment, combined with rehabilitation, performed better on functioning and reasoning tests than patients who received rehabilitative therapy alone, a new clinical study from Italy shows.

Economic policies in isolation won't lead to growth in Europe
A study led by Dr. Bryony Hoskins at the University of Southampton for the European Commission has warned of the dangers of concentrating solely on economic policies to create growth in European countries.

Vitamin D tests are inaccurate
Blood tests to measure vitamin D deficiency are among the most frequently ordered tests in medicine.

Welfare allowance may hit women's careers
The cash-for-care benefit paid to Norwegian mothers so that they can stay at home with small children means they may quickly fall behind in the world of work, according to recent research.

Well-known author and historian reports on progress in Huntington's therapies
Understanding the causes and mechanisms of Huntington's disease has grown at a dramatic pace since discovery of the genetic marker in 1983.

Stress link to Alzheimer's goes under the spotlight
Chronic stress is being investigated in a new Alzheimer's Society funded research project as a risk factor for developing dementia.

Elderly diabetics have fewer bouts of hypoglycemia at night with new insulin
A new variety of long-lasting insulin, called insulin degludec, lowers the risk of nighttime low blood sugar in elderly diabetic adults compared with insulin glargine, a systematic review of diabetes studies has found.

Microcirculation imaging
Microcirculation Imaging is the first handbook of its kind, introducing many different technical approaches for the visualization of microcirculation.

Stillbirth rate twice as high among least well off in England
The rate of stillbirths in England is twice as high among the least well off as it is among the most affluent, shows research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

2 new vitamin D blood tests are often highly inaccurate, researchers say
Two new blood tests for vitamin D are inaccurate in at least 40 percent of laboratory specimens analyzed, a new study finds.

Biological switch paves way for improved biofuel production
A mechanism that controls the way organisms breathe or photosynthesise has been discovered by scientists at Queen Mary, University of London.

Mystery of the flatfish head solved
A new discovery described in the latest issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology by Oxford University researcher Dr Matt Friedman describes a fossil fish, named Heteronectes (meaning

Eating garbage: Bacteria for bioremediation
A 150-foot-high garbage dump in Colombia, South America, may have new life as a public park.

Cambodia remains last vulture bastion in Southeast Asia
In face of what has become a precipitous slide toward extinction across the Asian continent, the vultures of Cambodia have persisted, giving conservationists hope that these important scavengers can come back from the brink, according to authors from the Wildlife Conservation Society, the Royal Government of Cambodia, and other groups in a new study.

Maths formula leads researchers to source of pollution
The leaking of environmentally damaging pollutants into our waters and atmosphere could soon be counteracted by a simple mathematical algorithm, according to researchers.

Genetic heart diseases may be responsible for unexplained stillbirths
Genetic researchers have made an important step towards resolving the mystery of the causes of intrauterine fetal demise, or stillbirth, where a baby dies in the womb after the 14th week of gestation.

Creative individuals traveled to the south Swedish inland 9,000 years ago
Despite its good ecologic status, there were no permanent settlements in the south Swedish inland 9,000 years ago.

Remapping gang turf: Math model shows crimes cluster on borders between rivals
A mathematical model that has been used for more than 80 years to determine the hunting range of wild animals holds promise for mapping the territories of street gangs, a UCLA-led team of social scientists reports in a new study.

Severe reactions to food more common than thought in young children
Young children with allergies to milk and egg experience an unexpectedly high number of reactions to these and other foods, according to researchers at National Jewish Health.

New hormonal gel combination shows promise as reversible birth control for men
Male hormonal contraceptives applied daily to the skin reduce sperm production, finds a new study to be presented Sunday at the Endocrine Society's 94th Annual Meeting in Houston.

MARC travel award announced for the 2012 GSA Yeast Genetics and Molecular Biology Meeting
The FASEB MARC Program has announced the travel award recipient for the 2012 Genetics Society of America Yeast Genetics and Molecular Biology Meeting in Princeton, N.J., from July 31-Aug.

Smallest and largest fetuses at greater risk of being stillborn, research finds
The tiniest and the heaviest fetuses are at much higher risk of being stillborn than those of average weight, new research has found.

Removing estrogen from drinking water
A biological filter to remove estrogen from waste water and drinking water -- 15 Bielefeld students submitting this project to the International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston, USA, are setting their sights high.

BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill exacerbated existing environmental problems in Louisiana marshes
The BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill temporarily worsened existing manmade problems in Louisiana's salt marshes such as erosion, but there may be cause for optimism, according to a new study.

Scientists struggle with mathematical details
Many people remember struggling with maths at school, but few of us would expect that professional scientists suffer from a similar problem in their daily work.

Scientists twist light to send data
A multi-national team led by USC with researchers hailing from the US, China, Pakistan and Israel has developed a system of transmitting data using twisted beams of light at ultra-high speeds -- up to 2.56 terabits per second.

Mercury mineral evolution
Mineral evolution posits that Earth's near-surface mineral diversity gradually increased through an array of chemical and biological processes.

Economist shows the value of moving back with mom and dad
Though many may dread the idea, young adults who move back home with mom and dad after a job loss may benefit from it more than they realize.

Why do fat cells get fat? New suspect ID'd
As the world fights obesity at the human level, scientists at the University of Michigan and their colleagues have made a surprising finding at the microscopic level that could help fuel that fight.

Rate of severe reactions higher than thought in young children with food allergies
Young children with allergies to milk and egg experience reactions to these and other foods more often than researchers had expected, a study reports.

EEG test to identify autism in children
New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Medicine demonstrates that EEG can distinguish between children with autism and neurotypical controls.

Prions and cancer: A story unfolding
Prions, the causal agents of mad cow and other diseases, are very unique infectious particles.

Mount Sinai researcher finds timing of ADHD medication affect academic progress
A team of researchers led by an epidemiologist at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and University of Iceland has found a correlation between the age at which children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder begin taking medication, and how well they perform on standardized tests, particularly in math.

Nano-sandwich technique slims down solar cells, improves efficiency
Researchers from North Carolina State University have found a way to create much slimmer thin-film solar cells without sacrificing the cells' ability to absorb solar energy.

Study finds race has an impact on both enrollment and disenrollment in hospice care
Although use of hospice services is increasing dramatically, a study led by Regenstrief Institute investigator Kathleen T.

Sun exposure and cutaneous HPV infection found synergistic in skin cancers, Moffitt says
Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center and colleagues at the University of South Florida and the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg have found that having antibodies for cutaneous types of human papillomavirus, coupled with sun exposure (ultraviolet radiation) or poor tanning ability, can act

Vitamin D deficiency common among adolescents evaluated for weight-loss surgery
Most adolescents preparing for weight-loss, or bariatric, surgery are deficient in vitamin D, a new study demonstrates.

CWRU nurse researcher surveys infection control practices for home patients
Irena Kenneley, assistant professor of nursing at the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University, conducted a survey of home healthcare practices related to infection control.

Social workers lack time for families with migration background
Families with non-Western backgrounds are not treated the same by all social workers, according to a new doctoral thesis from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Ciénega de Santa Clara unchanged after pilot run of Yuma Desalting Plant
Mexico's Ciénega de Santa Clara has not changed since the 2010-11 pilot run of the Yuma Desalting Plant, according to a new report from a University of Arizona-led binational team of researchers.

MARC Travel Awards announced for the 26th Annual Symposium of the Protein Society
FASEB MARC (Maximizing Access to Research Careers) Program has announced the travel award recipients for The 26th Annual Symposium of The Protein Society in San Diego, CA from August 5-8, 2012.

First-ever Allen Brain Atlas Hackathon unleashes big data API to push neuroscience forward
The Allen Institute for Brain Science convened the first ever Allen Brain Atlas Hackathon last week, opening its doors to a diverse group of programmers and informatics experts for a non-stop week of collaboration, learning and coding based on its public online platform of data, tools and source code.

Viewing images of high-calorie foods brings on high-calorie cravings, USC research finds
New USC research indicates looking at images of high-calorie foods stimulates appetite and reward centers in the brain.

LEGATO conference is seeking answers through science
The international project LEGATO (Land-use intensity and Ecological Engineering -- Assessment Tools for risks and Opportunities in irrigated rice based production systems) is organizing a conference, titled

Lead poisoning blocks recovery of California condor population
A comprehensive study led by environmental toxicologists at UC Santa Cruz shows that California condors are continually exposed to harmful levels of lead, the principal source of that lead is ammunition, and lead poisoning from ammunition is preventing the recovery of the condor population.

Topics to be discussed during July International Coral Reef Symposium
The 12th International Coral Reef Symposium, the world's leading coral reef science conference held once every four years, will begin Monday, July 9, in Cairns, Queensland, Australia.

UCLA biologists reveal potential 'fatal flaw' in iconic sexual selection study
A classic study from more than 60 years ago that reportedly showed that males are more promiscuous and females more choosy in selecting mates may be wrong, say life scientists who are the first to repeat the historic experiment using the same methods.

Low vitamin D levels linked to weight gain in some older women
Older women with insufficient levels of Vitamin D gained more weight than those with sufficient levels of the vitamin, according to a new study funded by the National Institutes of Health and published online today in the Journal of Women's Health.

Study identifies causes for high rates of allergic reactions in children with food allergies
A team of researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine and four other institutions have found that young children with documented or likely allergies to milk and/or eggs, whose families were instructed on how to avoid these and other foods, still experienced allergic reactions at a rate of almost once per year.

Pandemic flu deaths could be fifteen times higher than previously reported
The number of deaths from the 2009 H1N1 (

Cassini shows why jet streams cross-cut Saturn
Turbulent jet streams, regions where winds blow faster than in other places, churn east and west across Saturn.

LA BioMed investigators, Drs. Kevin Bruhn and Noah Craft, develop novel treatment for melanoma
With summer upon us, more people will be heading outdoors and may be putting themselves at risk for various skin conditions which can be caused by continued exposure in the sun.

ORNL home to new battery manufacturing R&D facility
Future automotive batteries could cost less and pack more power because of a new manufacturing research and development facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Low vitamin D level is linked to greater chance of risk factors for Type 2 diabetes
A new study presents more evidence of a possible link between low vitamin D levels and a higher risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Intensive cholesterol therapy with multiple drugs effective over long term
For the first time, a study has found that intensive cholesterol therapy involving a combination of drugs for 20 years may be more effective over the long run than taking a single statin medication.

New evidence links ozone exposure to potential heart attacks
Young, healthy adults exposed to ozone for two hours developed changes in their cardiovascular system which could explain a possible link between ozone exposure and death.

To tackle health care's thorniest problems, 400 health researchers form new U-M-based institute
With a common goal of making health care better, safer, more cost effective and more equal, nearly 400 health researchers from across the University of Michigan and partner organizations have formed one of the nation's largest research entities of its kind.

Exercise, even mild physical activity, may reduce breast cancer risk
A new analysis done by University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers has found that physical activity -- either mild or intense and before or after menopause -- may reduce breast cancer risk, but substantial weight gain may negate these benefits.

STOP Obesity Alliance new state-level members share obstacles, opportunities in addressing obesity
The STOP Obesity Alliance today released a new bulletin for state leaders that offers information on ways to integrate obesity into a state's essential health benefits package.

Choosing when and how to die: Are we ready to perform therapeutic homicide?
A new report from the province of Quebec that recommends medical assistance to die will reignite the debate over euthanasia in Canada, states an editorial published in Canadian Medical Association Journal. 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