Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 25, 2012
CT angiography speeds emergency diagnosis of heart disease in low-risk patients
Incorporating coronary CT angiography into the initial evaluation of low-risk patients coming to hospital emergency departments with chest pain appears to reduce the time patients spend in the hospital without incurring additional costs or exposing patients to significant risks.

How a low-protein diet predisposes offspring to adulthood hypertension
The children of mothers on a low-protein diet are more likely to develop hypertension as adults, but why?

Cyberbullying: 1 in 2 victims suffer from the distribution of embarrassing photos and videos
Embarrassing personal photos and videos circulating in the Internet: Researchers at Bielefeld University have discovered that young people who fall victim to cyberbullying or cyber harassment suffer most when fellow pupils make them objects of ridicule by distributing photographic material.

Piglets in mazes provide insights into human cognitive development
Events that take place early in life almost certainly have consequences for later cognitive development.

American Health Assistance Foundation announces grants to advance promising vision research
The American Health Assistance Foundation announced today that it has awarded 21 new grants totaling $2.1 million to scientists worldwide who are studying glaucoma and macular degeneration.

NASA and university researchers find a clue to how life turned left
Researchers analyzing meteorite fragments that fell on a frozen lake in Canada have developed an explanation for the origin of life's handedness - why living things only use molecules with specific orientations.

Scientists explore molecular link between arsenic exposure and lung cancer
Arsenic is a natural element in the environment, sometimes found in air, soil and water.

Protected areas face threats in sustaining biodiversity, Penn's Daniel Janzen and colleagues report
Establishing protection over a swath of land seems like a good way to conserve its species and its ecosystems.

Chemical makes blind mice see; compound holds promise for treating humans
UC Berkeley neuroscientists and University of Washington ophthalmologists have synthesized a chemical that, when injected into the eyes of genetically blind mice, makes their retinas light sensitive.

Climate research with maximum added value
The sun is the driving force of life on earth.

Robot Road Run: Racing robots game inspired by EU robotic project arrives as iPhone app
Scientists at Queen Mary, University of London have launched a fun new smartphone app that lets users interact with and control their own emotional pet robot, using ideas taken from a recent European robotics research project called LIREC.

Darker wings for monarch butterflies mean better flight
For monarch butterflies, redder wings are correlated with better flight performance, according to research published July 25 in the open-access journal PLoS ONE.

FAPESP hosts meeting to discuss IPCC SREX report in São Paulo, Brazil
São Paulo Research Foundation and the National Institute for Space Research, will host in São Paulo on August 16-17, 2012 a workshop to discuss the IPCC special report

With the crisis, less money is wagered but more people play
Researchers at the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid have recently published a report which analyzes the impact of the economic crisis on gambling and the social perception of games of chance.

High blood sugar, obesity increase risk for surgical site infection
Two recent studies in the July issues of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery (JBJS) looked at surgical site infections and hyperglycemia, the technical term for high blood glucose, or high blood sugar.

The debate over ecstasy continues
There has been significant debate in policy circles about whether governments have over-reacted to ecstasy by issuing warnings against its use and making it illegal.

Medical follow-up in celiac disease is less than optimal
Follow-up exams for patients with celiac disease are often inadequate and highly variable.

Sickle cell trait can cause sudden cardiac death in black athletes: Why is this controversial?
While some published research has hinted at the connection between the sickle cell trait and sudden cardiac death among young, athletic African-American males, which was initially observed in black military recruits 25 years ago, a new study with the first sizeable patient series definitively confirms this risk for these individuals during competitive sports.

Adolescent sexual behavior tied to motion picture sexual content exposure, says MU researcher
Young people who watch more sexual content from movies also tend to engage in more sexual behavior and begin sexual activity at an earlier age, according to a University of Missouri researcher's study.

URI names prominent ocean scientist to lead Graduate School of Oceanography
Following an international search, the University of Rhode Island has appointed Bruce H.

Miriam researchers urge physicians to ask younger men about erectile dysfunction symptoms
Researchers say it's time to expand ED symptom screening to include younger and middle-aged men.

Women with diabetes more likely to experience sexual dissatisfaction
Women with diabetes are just as likely to be interested in, and engage in, sexual activity as non-diabetic women, but they are much more likely to report low overall sexual satisfaction, according to a UCSF study.

Key function of protein discovered for obtaining blood stem cells as source for transplants
Researchers from IMIM have deciphered the function executed by a protein called b-catenin in generating blood tissue stem cells.

Locally produced proteins
Contrary to scientific belief, a crucial protein for peripheral nerve repair is manufactured within the axon near the injury site.

New method to encourage virtual power plants for efficient renewable energy production
Researchers from the University of Southampton have devised a novel method for forming virtual power plants to provide renewable energy production in the UK.

Sum of the parts? How our brains see men as people and women as body parts
A new study suggests that two distinct cognitive processes are in play with our basic physical perceptions of men and women -- and, importantly, provides clues as to why women are often the targets of sexual objectification.

After the Canadarm, the Canadeyes for the future Webb
Two instruments whose development was led by by the University of Montreal's Professor René Doyon, known by the acronyms NIRISS and FGS, will be integrated into the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST or Webb for short) that will replace Hubble in 2018.

Forest carbon monitoring breakthrough in Colombia
Using new techniques, Carnegie and Colombian scientists have developed ultra-high resolution maps of the carbon stocks locked in tropical vegetation for 40 percent of the Colombian Amazon, an area about four times the size of Switzerland.

NIH-funded study finds high HIV infection rates among gay and bisexual black men in the US
The rate of new HIV infections among black men who have sex with men in the United States, particularly younger men, is high and suggests the need for prevention programs specifically tailored to this population, according to initial findings from the HPTN 061 study.

Tropical arks reach tipping point
Almost half of the tropical forest reserves in a new study are ineffective, according to results published in the journal Nature by William Laurance, research associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute now at James Cook University in Australia and more than 200 co-authors.

ONR-funded research takes flight in Popular Science article
The Office of Naval Research is looking at birds' perceptual and maneuvering abilities as inspiration for small unmanned aerial vehicle autonomy, and Popular Science is featuring this effort in its August issue.

Scientists looking for second-line defense for patients with NSCLC
In lung cancer, patients who benefit from drugs like erlotinib will inevitably develop drug resistance.

Hunter-gatherers, Westerners use same amount of energy, contrary to theory
Modern lifestyles are generally quite different from those of our hunter-gatherer ancestors, a fact that some claim as the cause of the current rise in global obesity, but new results published July 25 in the open access journal PLoS ONE find that there is no difference between the energy expenditure of modern hunter-gatherers and Westerners, casting doubt on this theory.

Rapamycin effective in mouse model of inherited heart disease and muscular dystrophies
Rapamycin, an FDA-approved immunosuppressant drug under study in aging research labs, improved function and extended survival in mice suffering from a genetic mutation which leads to dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) and rare muscular dystrophies in humans.

International regulation curbs illegal trade of caviar
A team of scientists from the Institute for Conservation Science at Stony Brook University and the Sackler Institute for Comparative Genomics at the American Museum of Natural History repeated a market survey of commercially available caviar in the New York City area that was conducted before the protection was put in place, and the results showed nearly a 50 percent decrease in fraudulently labeled caviar.

Researchers find new gene mutation associated with congenital myopathy
University of Michigan researchers have discovered a new cause of congenital myopathy: a mutation in a previously uncharacterized gene.

New milestone book documents changes in the south Florida marine ecosystem
A new book,

Local weather patterns affect beliefs about global warming, NYU and Temple researchers find
Local weather patterns temporarily influence people's beliefs about evidence for global warming, according to research by political scientists at New York University and Temple University.

ASH launches multi-million-dollar grant program to support critical blood disease research
The American Society of Hematology, the world's largest professional organization dedicated to the causes and treatment of blood disorders, today announced its commitment of nine million dollars over a three-year period to provide funding, in the form of bridge grants, for its hematologists whose vital research will not be accomplished due to the severe funding reductions for biomedical research.

Mind vs. body? Dualist beliefs linked with less concern for healthy behaviors
Many people, whether they know it or not, are philosophical dualists.

Obama needs to show Americans he's still 'one of them'
To win a second term in office, President Obama needs to persuade voters that he is still one of them - and recapture some of the charisma that help propel him to the top four years ago.

Expanding Medicaid to low-income adults leads to improved health, fewer deaths
A new study from Harvard School of Public Health finds that expanding Medicaid to low-income adults leads to widespread gains in coverage, access to care, and -- most importantly -- improved health and reduced mortality.

Gene therapy holds promise for reversing congenital hearing loss
A new gene therapy approach can reverse hearing loss caused by a genetic defect in a mouse model of congenital deafness, according to a preclinical study published by Cell Press in the July 26 issue of the journal Neuron.

Spatial skills may be improved through training, new review finds
Spatial skills -- those involved with reading maps and assembling furniture -- can be improved if you work at it, that's according to a new look at the studies on this topic by researchers at Northwestern University and Temple.

Newfound gene may help bacteria survive in extreme environments
A newfound gene may help bacteria survive in extreme environments.

How the fluid between cells affects tumors
There are many factors that affect tumor invasion, the process where a tumor grows beyond the tissue where it first developed.

First child to receive stem cell trachea transplant doing well after 2 years
The first child stem cell-supported trachea transplant is functioning well two years on, according to an article published Online First in the Lancet today [Wednesday, July 25].

U of M researcher's 'Darwinian Agriculture' explains how evolution can improve agriculture
While an extreme, this summer's drought is a reminder of a larger challenge facing agriculture -- to use limited resources like water in an effective and sustainable manner.

Pioneering study shows drug can purge dormant HIV
Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have published pioneering research showing that a drug used to treat certain types of lymphoma was able to dislodge hidden virus in patients receiving treatment for HIV.

WPI to host international workshop focused on technology solutions for first responders
Worcester Polytechnic Institute, a leader in the development of technology for safeguarding first responders, will host the Seventh Annual International Workshop on Precision Indoor Personnel Location and Tracking Technology August 6 and 7.

It's a bird, not a plane: York U study finds migrating songbirds depart on time
A new study by York University researchers finds that songbirds follow a strict annual schedule when migrating to their breeding grounds - with some birds departing on precisely the same date each year.

Study links alcohol/energy drink mixes with casual, risky sex
A new study from the University at Buffalo's Research Institute on Addictions has found a link between the consumption of caffeinated energy drinks mixed with alcohol and casual -- often risky -- sex among college-age adults.

Scientists explore new class of synthetic vaccines
In a study published in the journal Nano Letters, Biodesign immunologist Yung Chang joined forces with her colleagues, including DNA nanotechnology innovator Hao Yan, to develop the first vaccine complex that could be delivered safely and effectively by piggybacking onto self-assembled, three-dimensional DNA nanostructures.

ACR: Medical imaging study in health affairs incomplete and potentially misleading
In response to a study published in the August issue of Health Affairs regarding declining medical imaging use in recent years, the American College of Radiology (ACR) released a statement explaining that physician education efforts and quality assurance steps have resulted in more efficient use of imaging, but that arbitrary Medicare cuts are damaging patient access to care.

University of Arizona electrical and computer engineering professor honored for outstanding service
University of Arizona professor Marwan Krunz of the UA department of electrical and computer engineering has been recognized this year by the IEEE Technical Committee on Computer Communications, or TCCC, for his outstanding service.

NIH scientists identify likely predictors of hepatitis C severity
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health have identified several factors in people infected with the hepatitis C virus that may predict whether the unusually rapid progression of disease from initial infection to severe liver conditions, such as cirrhosis, will occur.

Disabled Pakistani women abandoned, ignored after quake
Researcher finds disabled women face more social, emotional and financial obstacles than men after 2005 earthquake in Pakistan.

Can a virus fight cancer?
Two Ottawa researchers are taking innovative approaches to improving virus-based cancer therapy with new funding from the Canadian Cancer Society.

Heart CT scans may help emergency room personnel more quickly assess patients with chest pain
Adding computed tomography scans to standard screening procedures may help emergency room staff more rapidly determine which patients complaining of chest pain are having a heart attack or may soon have a heart attack, and which patients can be safely discharged, according to a study funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Birds, young children show similar solving abilities for 'Aesop's fable' riddle
Birds in the crow family can figure out how to extract a treat from a half-empty glass surprisingly well, and young children show similar patterns of behavior until they reach about eight years old, at which point their performance surpasses that of the birds.

Beyond the Genome
Biomed Central the open access publisher is proud to present in conjunction with its journals Genome Medicine and Genome Biology the third annual Beyond the Genome conference, taking place at Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA from September 27-29, 2012.

Children of 'The Troubles' more prone to suicide
People who grew up in the worst years of 'The Troubles' are more prone to suicide in Northern Ireland, according to new research carried out at Queen's University Belfast.

Texas A&M biologists prove ZOLOFT packs potential to fight fungal meningitis
New research conducted by biologists at Texas A&M University suggests that ZOLOFT®, one of the most widely prescribed antidepressants in the world, also packs a potential preventative bonus -- potent mechanisms capable of inhibiting deadly fungal infections.

Ageless education: Researchers create guide for intergenerational classrooms at nursing homes
A Kansas State University researcher and writing team are developing ways for nursing home residents and elementary school students to learn in a shared setting: An intergenerational classroom.

Women have a poorer quality of life after a stroke or mini stroke than men
Having a stroke or mini stroke has a much more profound effect on women than men when it comes to their quality of life.

Basal cell carcinoma risk can be chronic
A new analysis of factors that predict basal cell carcinoma recurrence in high-risk people finds that for many people it's more of a chronic disease.

Research charts growing threats to biodiversity 'arks'
Many of the world's tropical protected areas are struggling to sustain their biodiversity, according to a study by more than 200 scientists from around the world.

Mediterranean earthworm species found thriving in Ireland as global temperatures rise
Scientists have discovered a thriving population of Mediterranean earthworms in an urban farm in Dublin, Ireland.

Published clinical trial demonstrates efficacy of Sea-Band® for migraine-related nausea
First published clinical trial demonstrates efficacy of Sea-Band® for migraine-related nausea.

Public strongly supports programs helping farmers adapt to climate change
A survey conducted by Michigan State University reveals strong public support for government programs to assist farmers to adapt to climate change.

Citizen science helps unlock European genetic heritage
A University of Sheffield academic is helping a team of citizen scientists to carry out crucial research into European genetic heritage.

NIDA supports development of combined anti-heroin and HIV vaccine
Dr. Gary R. Matyas has been selected the 2012 recipient of the NIDA Avant-Garde Award for Medications Development.

John Theurer Cancer Center researchers shed light on new multiple myeloma therapy
Researchers from John Theurer Cancer Center at HackensackUMC, one of the nation's 50 best hospitals for cancer, played leading roles in three separate multi-center studies with the new proteasome inhibitor carfilzomib published in Blood, a major peer-reviewed scientific journal.

Hidden rift valley discovered beneath West Antarctica reveals new insight into ice loss
Scientists have discovered a one mile deep rift valley hidden beneath the ice in West Antarctica, which they believe is contributing to ice loss from this part of the continent.

In muscular dystrophy, what matters to patients and doctors can differ
Complex, multi-system diseases like myotonic dystrophy - the most common adult form of muscular dystrophy - require physicians and patients to identify which symptoms impact quality of life and, consequently, what treatments should take priority.

Adult stem cells from liposuction used to create blood vessels in the lab
Researchers used stem cells from fat to grow new small-diameter blood vessels in the laboratory.

Force of habit: Stress hormones switch off areas of the brain for goal-directed behaviour
Cognition psychologists at the Ruhr-Universität together with colleagues from the University Hospital Bergmannsheil have discovered why stressed persons are more likely to lapse back into habits than to behave goal-directed.

New gene therapy strategy boosts levels of deficient protein in Friedreich's ataxia
A novel approach to gene therapy that instructs a person's own cells to produce more of a natural disease-fighting protein could offer a solution to treating many genetic disorders.

National Science Foundation awards $1 million to improve the efficiency of DNA fabrication
The National Science Foundation has awarded a three-year $999,531 grant to Virginia Tech to optimize the laboratory processes used to make custom DNA molecules with the tools and methods of industrial engineering.

Alpine Fault study shows new evidence for regular magnitude 8 earthquakes
A new study published in the prestigious journal Science, co-authored by University of Nevada, Reno's Glenn Biasi and colleagues at GNS Science in New Zealand, finds that very large earthquakes have been occurring relatively regularly on the Alpine Fault along the southwest coastline of New Zealand for at least 8,000 years.

Ancient mummy had lung infection, according to novel proteomics analysis
A 500-year-old frozen Incan mummy suffered from a bacterial lung infection at the time of its death, as revealed by a novel proteomics method that shows evidence of an active pathogenic infection in an ancient sample for the first time.

Global expansion all about give and take, study finds
The key to successful global business expansion is spreading operations across multiple countries, rather than trying to dominate a region or market, according to a new study led by Michigan State University researchers.

Contaminant transport in the fungal pipeline
Now, together with British colleagues from the University of Lancaster, the UFZ researchers have come upon another phenomenon.

Increasing dopamine in brain's frontal cortex decreases impulsive tendency, UCSF-Gallo study finds
Raising levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the frontal cortex of the brain significantly decreased impulsivity in healthy adults, in a study conducted by researchers at the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center at the University of California, San Francisco.

NJIT's Mike Jaffe to be named fellow of the American Chemical Society
NJIT Research Professor Michael Jaffe, an expert in materials science and high performance polymers, has been selected to be a member of the 2012 class of Fellows of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Aesop's Fable unlocks how we think
Cambridge scientists have used an age-old fable to help illustrate how we think differently to other animals.

Identifying the arrogant boss
A new measure of arrogance, developed by researchers at the University of Akron and Michigan State University, can help organizations identify arrogant managers before they have a costly and damaging impact.

Scientists looking for noninvasive ways to detect lung cancer early
Scientists are looking for noninvasive ways to detect lung cancer in order to reduce the number of patients diagnosed with an advanced stage of the disease.

2 Solar System puzzles solved
How did icy comets obtain particles that formed at high temperatures, and how did the particles acquire rims with different compositions?

New research seeks to improve survival for myeloma and lymphoma patients
Researchers at the University of York are launching a major study of lymphoma and myeloma aimed at promoting earlier diagnosis and improving survival for patients with these cancers, which are among the most common in the UK. 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