Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 22, 2012
The American Society for Microbiology honors David Tobin
David M. Tobin, Ph.D., Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Duke University School of Medicine, has been honored as a recipient of the 2012 ICAAC Young Investigator Award.

Low-dose sedative alleviates autistic-like behavior in mice with Dravet syndrome mutation
A low dose of the sedative clonazepam alleviated autistic-like behavior in mice with a mutation that causes Dravet syndrome in humans.

First evidence from humans on how alcohol may boost risk of cancer
Almost 30 years after discovery of a link between alcohol consumption and certain forms of cancer, scientists are reporting the first evidence from research on people explaining how the popular beverage may be carcinogenic.

Close contact with young people at risk of suicide has no effect
Researchers, doctors and patients tend to agree that during the high-risk period after an attempted suicide, the treatment of choice is close contact, follow-up and personal interaction in order to prevent a tragic repeat.

Experts say ethical dilemmas contribute to 'critical weaknesses' in FDA postmarket oversight
Ethical challenges are central to persistent

Cramming for a test? Don't do it, say UCLA researchers
UCLA study that sacrificing sleep for extra study time, whether it's cramming for a test or plowing through a pile of homework, is actually counterproductive and may lead to more academic problems, not less.

The American Society for Microbiology honors Andrew Lovering
Andrew Lee Lovering, Ph.D., School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, has received a 2012 ICAAC Young Investigator Award for his seminal work on the structural biology and biochemistry of the proteins that synthesize and modify cell walls in bacteria.

As TB grows more difficult to control, vaccine candidate to prevent disease enters clinical testing
Aeras and the Infectious Disease Research Institute (IDRI) announce today the start of the first clinical trial of IDRI's novel tuberculosis vaccine candidate.

How to act if there is a fire on the AVE
Researchers at the University of Cantabria have used computer models to analyze the best way to evacuate the Spanish High Speed Train, AVE, in the case of fire.

Vaccine and autism debate masks real problem
The bitter debate over whether vaccines cause autism is masking real problems with the modern inoculation schedule and encouraging a growing number of parents to refuse recommended vaccines for their children, argues a Michigan State University scholar.

MMV develops framework to assess risk of resistance for antimalarial compounds
MMV has developed a framework to evaluate the risk of resistance for the antimalarial compounds in its portfolio.

The American Society for Microbiology honors Lawrence Corey
Lawrence Corey, M.D., president and director of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, has been honored with the 2012 Cubist-ICAAC Award.

New era in camouflage makeup: Shielding soldiers from searing heat of bomb blasts
Camouflage face make-up for warfare is undergoing one of the most fundamental changes in thousands of years, as scientists today described a new face paint that both hides soldiers from the enemy and shields their faces from the searing heat of bomb blasts.

NIH researchers find possible cause of immune deficiency cases in Asia
A clinical study led by NIH investigators has identified an antibody that compromises the immune systems of HIV-negative people, making them susceptible to infections with opportunistic microbes such as nontuberculous mycobacteria.

A project aims to modernize communications in the emergency services
A research team in the Department of Communications Engineering of the University of the Basque Country is leading the European Project GERYON which is seeking to improve and modernize the communications used by the emergency services.

The American Society for Microbiology honors William Hanage
William P. Hanage, Ph.D., Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, has received a 2012 ICAAC Young Investigator Award.

MDA supports Duchenne muscular dystrophy research by University of Nevada School of Medicine
A novel treatment in development at the University of Nevada School of Medicine for the most common form of muscular dystrophy is advancing towards human trials with a $308,000 boost from the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

Key to burning fat faster discovered
Newly discovered on/off switch in enzymes may help battle fat-related disease ranging from stroke and diabetes to acne.

First UK operation to tackle heart failure with novel nerve-stimulating implant
University of Leicester researchers undertake revolutionary treatment of a condition that has reached 'epidemic proportions.'

Imaging study sheds new light on alcohol-related birth defects
The new imaging study in a mouse model for fetal alcohol spectrum disorders could enhance the diagnoses of birth defects caused by alcohol exposure in the womb and it illustrates how the precise timing of that exposure could determine specific kinds of defects.

Managerial role associated with more automatic decision-making
Managers and non-managers show distinctly different brain activation patterns when making decisions, according to research published Aug.

Toward medicines that recruit the body's natural disease-fighting proteins
Like recruiters pitching military service to a throng of people, scientists are developing drugs to recruit disease-fighting proteins present naturally in everyone's blood in medicine's war on infections, cancer and a range of other diseases.

Deadly outbreak of West Nile virus highlights urgent need for more research, funding
Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, a major peer-reviewed journal, has published numerous timely and informative studies on West Nile virus, and articles on the topic are available free on the journal website through Sept.

Australian general practitioners in training spend less time with peds patients than with adults
Registrars may not get enough exposure to children during training, according to new study.

In Fiji, marine protection gets local boost
A new study by researchers from the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland, the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University, and the Wildlife Conservation Society has found that locally managed marine protected areas within Fiji are playing an increasingly important role in the nation's strategy to protect inshore habitats.

Sky-high methane mystery closer to being solved, UCI researchers say
Increased capture of natural gas from oil fields probably accounts for up to 70 percent of the dramatic leveling off seen in atmospheric methane at the end of the 20th century, according to new UC Irvine research being published Thursday, Aug.

NIH uses genome sequencing to help quell bacterial outbreak in Clinical Center
A New York City patient carrying a multi-drug-resistant strain of Klebsiella pneumoniae, a microbe frequently associated with hospital-borne infections, introduced the dangerous bacteria into the 243-bed research hospital while participating in a clinical study in the summer of 2011.

Super-strong, high-tech material found to be toxic to aquatic animals
Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have potential uses in everything from medicine to electronics to construction.

MR enterography is option for pediatric patients with Crohn disease
Parents with children nine years old and older who have Crohn disease should ask their children's doctor about MR enterography as a replacement for small bowel x-rays or CT enterography, a new study indicates.

Typical IBD patients not represented in research studies
Major randomized controlled trials of new therapies for inflammatory bowel disease are conducted on patients who are not typical of those who physicians see in day-to-day practice.

Self-awareness in humans is more complex, diffuse than previously thought
A research team led by the University of Iowa has upended current thinking about areas in the human brain responsible for self awareness.

Wide circle of friends key to mid-life wellbeing for both sexes
The midlife wellbeing of both men and women seems to depend on having a wide circle of friends whom they see regularly, finds research published online in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

New device monitors schoolroom air for carbon dioxide levels that may make kids drowsy
With nearly 55 million students, teachers and school staff about to return to elementary and secondary school classrooms, scientists today described a new hand-held sensor -- practical enough for wide use -- that could keep classroom air fresher and kids more alert for learning.

The American Society for Microbiology honors Mario Santiago
The 2012 ICAAC Young Investigator Award designated for a researcher working in the area of HIV has been bestowed upon Mario L.

Patients with anorexia judge own body size inaccurately, view others' accurately
Patients with anorexia have trouble accurately judging their own body size, but not others', according to research published Aug.

Intense prep for law school admission test alters brain structure
Intense prep courses for the Law School Admission Test are popular for good reason: They can improve scores significantly.

Dartmouth medical research closes in on new tuberculosis vaccine
With a resurgence of TB in the developing world, Dartmouth medical science in Hanover, N.H., and Africa is accelerating the development of a new, more effective vaccine.

Glass offers improved means of storing UK's nuclear waste
University of Sheffield researchers have shown, for the first time, that a method of storing nuclear waste normally used only for high level waste, could provide a safer, more efficient, and potentially cheaper, solution for the storage and ultimate disposal of intermediate level waste.

Internists praise primary care practices inclusion in CPCI
The American College of Physicians today praised the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for its announcement of primary care practices to participate in a historic public-private partnership to strengthen primary care, the Comprehensive Primary Care Initiative.

Brigham and Women's Hospital researchers initiate major cardiovascular inflammation reduction trial
Researchers announce the launch of a new randomized clinical trial, funded by the NHLBI to determine whether lowering inflammation with a common anti-inflammatory drug will in turn reduce rates of recurrent heart attack, stroke, death.

Green tea compound shows promise for tackling cancer
A compound found in green tea could be a weapon in treatments for tackling cancer, according to newly-published research at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Isaac and Tropical Depression 10 racing in Atlantic
There are now two active tropical cyclones in the Atlantic and NASA is generating satellite imagery to monitor their march westward.

U OF A expert pinpoints nutrient behind fresh water algae blooms
University of Alberta ecologist David Schindler has reviewed data from studies of controlling human-caused algae blooms in lakes and says controlling the input of the nutrient phosphorus is the key to fighting the problem.

Scientists reveal how river blindness worm thrives
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found that the worm which causes River Blindness survives by using a bacterium to provide energy, as well as help 'trick' the body's immune system into thinking it is fighting a different kind of infection.

30 minutes of daily exercise does the trick
Same effect in half the time: Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have shown that 30 minutes of daily training provide an equally effective loss of weight and body mass as 60 minutes.

Thinking about kids? Man, you gotta shed the kilos
Australian scientists studying the impact obesity has on pregnancy, are urging men to get 'match fit' before conceiving to assist with fetal development.

Survival without water: A key trait of an aquatic invader to spread
How can aquatic invertebrates spread among different catchments? Spanish researchers have found that an invasive snail from New Zealand (the mudsnail Potamopyrgus antipodarum) can survive up to two days out of water.

More sophisticated wiring, not just bigger brain, helped humans evolve beyond chimps
A new study pinpoints uniquely human patterns of gene activity in the brain that could shed light on how we evolved differently than our closest relative.

Iconic Darwin finch genome sequenced in Genome 10K international collaboration
Early fruits of the collaboration between the Genome 10K project and Beijing Genomics Institute to sequence 100 vertebrate species have resulted in the sequencing and release of the genome of one of naturalist Charles Darwin's Galapagos finches, the medium ground finch Geospiza fortis.

Ready. Get set. Repress!
The first step in gene expression is the exact copying of a segment of DNA by the enzyme known as RNA polymerase II, or pol II, into a mirror image RNA.

The Milky Way now has a twin (or 2)
Research presented today at the International Astronomical Union General Assembly in Beijing has found the first group of galaxies that is just like ours, a rare sight in the local Universe.

Joint Commission certifies 2 Primary Stroke Centers at Penn Medicine
Two Penn Medicine hospitals have received Primary Stroke Center certification from The Joint Commission for efforts to achieve long-term success in improving outcomes for stroke patients.

Double trouble continues in the Philippine Sea: Tembin and Bolaven
Typhoon Tembin and Typhoon Bolaven continue to churn in the Philippine Sea, and infrared satellite data from NASA showed the power within both storms.

Video shows the traffic inside a brain cell
Using bioluminescent proteins from a jellyfish, a team of scientists has lit up the inside of a neuron, capturing spectacular video footage that shows the movement of proteins throughout the cell.

Potency of statins linked to muscle side effects
A study from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, published Aug.

Parasitic wasps remember better if reward is greater
Two parasitic wasp species show similar memory consolidation patterns in response to rewards of different quality, providing evidence that the reward value affects the type of memory that is consolidated.

UCI microbiologists find new approach to fighting viral illnesses
By discovering how certain viruses use their host cells to replicate, UC Irvine microbiologists have identified a new approach to the development of universal treatments for viral illnesses such as meningitis, encephalitis, hepatitis and possibly the common cold.

Lawson researcher sings the baby blues
The impact of bipolar disorder during pregnancy has been hotly contended among the research community.

Rewired visual input to sound-processing part of the brain leads to compromised hearing
Scientists at Georgia State University have found that the ability to hear is lessened when, as a result of injury, a region of the brain responsible for processing sounds receives both visual and auditory inputs.

Radiotherapy results in higher diabetes risk for some childhood cancer survivors
Childhood cancer survivors who underwent radiotherapy treatment that exposed their pancreas to radiation may be at higher risk of developing diabetes in later life, according to an article published Online First in the Lancet Oncology.

Iowa State, Ames Lab researchers study the structure of drug resistance in tuberculosis
A research group led by Edward Yu of Iowa State University and the Ames Laboratory is beginning to study disease resistance in tuberculosis.

Moffitt Cancer Center melanoma expert reviews unique adverse events with newly approved drug
An internationally recognized melanoma researcher at Moffitt Cancer Center and colleagues at the University of Kiel in Germany, including Axel Hauschild, M.D., and Katharina C.

Good news for banana lovers: Help may be on the way to slow that rapid over-ripening
A solution finally may be at hand for the No.

University of Minnesota receives $13.1 million in DOE funding for 2 new nationwide centers
The University of Minnesota has been awarded two grants from the US Department of Energy totaling $13.1 million over the next five years to fund two nationwide centers headquartered in the Department of Chemistry in the University's College of Science and Engineering.

Elusive metal discovered
Carnegie scientists are the first to discover the conditions under which nickel oxide can turn into an electricity-conducting metal.

Foreclosures impact California voter turnout
California neighborhoods reeling from record foreclosures also experienced lower levels of voter turnout in the 2008 presidential election.

Biorefinery makes use of every bit of a soybean
Scientists today unveiled new technology intended to move soybeans, second only to corn as the top food crop in the US, along the same use-to-all path of corn and crude oil as a raw material for a wider portfolio of products.

Native landscaping in urban areas can help native birds
The study is one of the first to use quantitative measures and a systematic approach, with 24-hour video monitoring, to assess and compare foraging behavior of common backyard birds in yards in Phoenix, at the northern edge of the Sonoran Desert.

University of East Anglia breakthrough boosts bacterial understanding
Having healthy gut bacteria could have as much to do with a strategy that insurance companies use to uncover risk as with eating the right foods - according to researchers at the University of East Anglia.

Many medications for elderly are prescribed inappropriately
Approximately one in five prescriptions to elderly people is inappropriate, according to a study published Aug.

Johns Hopkins researchers return blood cells to stem cell state
Johns Hopkins scientists have developed a reliable method to turn the clock back on blood cells, restoring them to a primitive stem cell state from which they can then develop into any other type of cell in the body.

With a little training, signs of schizophrenia are averted
Animals that literally have holes in their brains can go on to behave as normal adults if they've had the benefit of a little cognitive training in adolescence.

Children's body fatness linked to decisions made in the womb
Scientists at the University of Southampton have shown that decisions made in the womb could have an effect on how fat we are as children.

Traumatic mating may offer fitness benefits for female sea slugs
Female sea slugs mate more frequently than required to produce offspring, despite the highly traumatic and biologically costly nature of their copulation, as reported Aug.

Archived Guthrie cards find a new purpose
Spotting of newborn's blood onto filter paper for disease screening, called Guthrie cards, has become so routine that since 2000, more than 90 percent of newborns in the United States have had Guthrie cards created.

Targeting inflammation to prevent, treat cancers
Researchers at the Georgia Health Sciences University Cancer Center have identified a gene that disrupts the inflammatory process implicated in liver cancer.

The American Society for Microbiology honors María Soledad Ramírez
María Soledad Ramírez, Ph.D., Fellow, National Scientific and Technical Research Council, Buenos Aires, Argentina, has been awarded a 2012 ICAAC Young Investigator Award.

American College of Physicians awarded 3-year federal grant to increase adult immunization rates
The American College of Physicians was awarded an initial $175,000 grant for 2012-13 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to create a three-year, evidence-based program to increase adult immunization rates in five states.

Large health gaps found among black, Latino, and white fifth-graders
Many racial/ethnic disparities were found for harmful health-related issues in 5,000 fifth graders from Alabama, Texas, and California.

Better monitoring of food quantity makes self-control easier
New research from the University of Minnesota's Carlson School of Management suggests learning how to stop enjoying unhealthy food sooner may play a pivotal role in combating America's obesity problem.

University of Colorado analysis of election factors points to Romney win
A University of Colorado analysis of state-by-state factors leading to the Electoral College selection of every US president since 1980 forecasts that the 2012 winner will be Mitt Romney.

Ancient fossils reveal how the mollusc got its teeth
The radula sounds like something from a horror movie - a conveyor belt lined with hundreds of rows of interlocking teeth.

First identification of a strong oral carcinogen in smokeless tobacco
At the 244th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, scientists today reported identification of the first substance in smokeless tobacco that is a strong oral carcinogen ― a health risk for the 9 million users of chewing tobacco, snuff and related products in the U.S.

UNH researcher receives $360,000 to study strength training in elderly
A University of New Hampshire faculty member has received a grant of more than $360,000 from the National Institutes of Health to study the effectiveness of two distinct strength-training regimens on older adults.

Likely voters say president's 'first 100 days in office' should include plans for research
On the eve of the political conventions, nearly two-thirds of likely voters say the next president should announce initiatives promoting medical progress during his

Scientists from UCLA, Israel's Technion uncover brain's code for pronouncing vowels
Scientists at UCLA and the Technion, Israel's Institute of Technology, have unraveled how our brain cells encode the pronunciation of individual vowels in speech.

Researchers find benefits to early intervention in addressing brain abnormalities
Preemptive cognitive training -- an early intervention to address neuropsychiatric deficiencies -- can help the brain function normally later in life, a team of researchers has found through a series of experiments on laboratory rats.

US risks losing out to Asia in medical research, U-M team warns
Strong, sustained growth in research spending in Asian nations contrasts with US cuts and short-term approach - and a

Study suggests early exposure to antibiotics may impact development, obesity
Researchers at NYU School of Medicine have made a novel discovery that could have widespread clinical implications, potentially affecting everything from nutrient metabolism to obesity in children.

New climate history adds to understanding of recent Antarctic Peninsula warming
Results published this week by a team of polar scientists from Britain, Australia and France adds a new dimension to our understanding of Antarctic Peninsula climate change and the likely causes of the break-up of its ice shelves.

Future memory
A new class of organic materials developed at Northwestern University boasts an attractive but elusive property: Ferroelectricity.

Northwestern scientists create chemical brain
Northwestern University scientists have connected 250 years of organic chemical knowledge into one giant computer network -- a chemical Google on steroids.

NIH launches trial to evaluate anti-inflammatory treatment for preventing heart attacks, strokes, and cardiovascular deaths
An international multi-site trial has launched to determine whether a common anti-inflammatory drug can reduce heart attacks, strokes, and deaths due to cardiovascular disease in people at high risk for them.

Underground solution to starving rice plants
Scientists have pinpointed a gene that enables rice plants to produce around 20 percent more grain by increasing uptake of phosphorus, an important, but limited, plant nutrient.

Moms linked to teen oral health, says CWRU dental study
A mother's emotional health and education level during her child's earliest years influence oral health at age 14, according to a new study from Case Western Reserve University's School of Dental Medicine.

Menopause evolved to prevent competition between in-laws
The menopause evolved, in part, to prevent competition between a mother and her new daughter-in-law, according to research published today (Aug.

Scientists quantify nanofiber health risk to workers
Health risks posed to people who work with tiny fibers used in manufacturing industries could be reduced, thanks to new research.

ORNL researchers probe invisible vacancies in fuel cell materials
Knowing the position of missing oxygen atoms could be the key to cheaper solid oxide fuel cells with longer lifetimes.

Global 'epidemic' of gullet cancer seems to have started in UK in 1950s
The global

Losing stream in our battle to predict and prevent invasive species
The predictive power of invasive species hypotheses has declined over time, presenting a challenge to policy makers and resource managers who rely on accurate risk assessment - so reports a team of international scientists.

Research presented at TCT 2012 will have significant impact on interventional cardiology
TCT, the world's premier educational meeting specializing in interventional cardiovascular medicine, gathers leading medical researchers and clinicians from around the world to present and discuss the latest evidence-based research developments.

Ames Laboratory scientists crack long-standing chemistry mystery
A team of researchers at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory has answered a key question concerning the widely-used Fenton reaction - important in wastewater treatment to destroy hazardous organic chemicals and decontaminate bacterial pathogens and in industrial chemical production.

Nematodes with pest-fighting potential identified
Formosan subterranean termites could be in for a real headache.

Income, 'screen time' affect soda, junk food consumption
University of Alberta researchers survey dietary habits of 1,800 Edmonton-area preschoolers.

Male mice exposed to chronic social stress have anxious female offspring
A study in mice conducted by researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine suggests that a woman's risk of anxiety and dysfunctional social behavior may depend on the experiences of her parents, particularly fathers, when they were young.
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