Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 04, 2012
Ovarian cancer cells hijack surrounding tissues to enhance tumor growth
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center report that ovarian cancer cells activate the HOXA9 gene to compel stromal cells to create an environment that supports tumor growth.

More than 70% of electronic waste management is uncontrolled
Almost three quarters of disposed electrical household appliances in Spain are processed out of the Integrated Waste Management System (SIG).

Vitamin D supplement fails to lower cholesterol in short term
Correcting low vitamin D levels with high doses of vitamin D3 supplements failed to improve cholesterol levels at two months and worsened the cholesterol profile for some people.

Sleep apnoea linked with increased risk of cancer death
Sleep apnoea severity has been associated with increased cancer mortality in a new study.

New study shows promise in using RNA nanotechnology to treat cancers and viral infections
A new study by University of Kentucky researchers shows promise for developing ultrastable RNA nanoparticles that may help treat cancer and viral infections by regulating cell function and binding to cancers without harming surrounding tissue.

That giant tarantula is terrifying, but I'll touch it
Can simply describing your feelings at stressful times make you less afraid and less anxious?

Canada should remove section of Criminal Code that permits physical punishment of children
To promote good parenting, Canada should remove section 43 of its Criminal Code because it sends the wrong message that using physical punishment to discipline children is acceptable, argues Dr.

Winners announced for Springer's API Challenge 2.0
In the wake of the success of its first API challenge in 2011, Springer recently concluded its API Challenge 2.0, and announced the winners of the competition.

Magazines jeopardize and empower young women's sexuality
While the effects of sexualized media on young women has long been debated, a new study finds that women who read sex-related magazine articles from popular women's magazines like Cosmopolitan are less likely to view premarital sex as a risky behavior.

Smokers who value the future are more likely to quit
Addiction researchers have known for many years that smokers are less likely than non-smokers to look to the future in planning their lives.

Less ferocious Tasmanian devils could help save species from extinction
Evolving to become less aggressive could be key to saving the Tasmanian devil -- famed for its ferocity -- from extinction, research suggests.

Women & Infants receives Women's Choice Award
Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island has received the Women's Choice Award from WomenCertified distinguishing it as one of the 2012 America's Best Hospitals for Patient Experience.

National survey of economists uncovers vast gender gap in policy views
A new national study finds that while most economists agree on core economic concepts, values and methods, they differ along gender lines in their views on important economic policy.

InnoTrans 2012: High-tech for safe rails
Goods transport on Germany's rails is booming. To manage the increasing challenges to people and materials, innovative railroad technology is in demand.

Violent video games not so bad when players cooperate
New research suggests that violent video games may not make players more aggressive -- if they play cooperatively with other people.

Every atom counts in graphene formation
Rice University researchers detail the atom-by-atom energies at play in the chemical vapor deposition process of creating graphene.

JCI early table of contents for Sept. 4, 2012
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Sept.

Newborn Tropical Storm Michael struggling like Leslie and Isaac
Tiny Tropical Storm Michael formed today, Sept. 4, from the thirteenth tropical depression in the Atlantic Ocean, but it seems that wind shear will make Michael struggle to intensify over the next couple of days like his

Magazine articles jeopardize and empower young women's sexuality
While the effects of sexualized media on young women has long been debated, a new study finds that women who read sex-related magazine articles from popular women's magazines like Cosmopolitan are less likely to view premarital sex as a risky behavior.

Rare genetic disease offers insight into common cancers
Fanconi anemia is a rare genetic condition in which cells lose the ability to repair DNA.

A*STAR scientists discover potential drug for deadly brain cancer
A*STAR scientists have identified a biomarker of the most lethal form of brain tumours in adults- glioblastoma multiforme.

Introducing decision aids may lower surgery for arthritis
After Group Health introduced video

Explosion of galaxy formation lit up early universe
The universe was dark until the first stars began to form, but really lit up once massive hydrogen clouds began birthing galaxies of stars.

A blueprint for 'affective' aggression
A North Carolina State University researcher has created a roadmap to areas of the brain associated with affective aggression in mice.

For the rooster, size matters
A lone rooster sees a lot of all the hens in the flock, but the hen with the largest comb gets a bigger dose of sperm -- and thus more chicks.

Try a little tenderness and your brain will tell
Using functional MRI, researchers at the Cognitive and Behavioral Neuroscience Unit at the D'Or Institute, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil have found that the human brain responds to affiliative experiences in a very particular way.

Study finds biologic therapies for rheumatoid arthritis not associated with increased cancer risk
Biologic therapies developed in the last decade for rheumatoid arthritis are not associated with an increased risk of cancer when compared with traditional treatments for the condition, according to new research from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

How language change sneaks in
Languages are continually changing, not just words but also grammar.

Review finds some evidence for 'chemo brain' in breast cancer survivors, Moffitt Cancer Center says
A large meta-analysis conducted by researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center has concluded that breast cancer patients treated with chemotherapy are at risk for mild cognitive deficits after treatment.

Danforth Plant Science Center hosts 14th Annual Fall Symposium
This year's theme will focus on synthetic and systems level explorations in biology that are establishing fundamental emergent properties of complex biological systems.

ERC starting grant for Friederike Range
One of this year's ERC Starting Grants has been awarded to Friederike Range, of the Messerli Research Institute at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna.

Overcoming barriers to point-of-care testing in low-resource settings
In a Policy Forum article in this week's PLOS Medicine Madhukar Pai from McGill University, Canada and colleagues discuss a framework for how point-of-care testing can be applied to infectious diseases in low- and middle-income countries.

NASA satellites showed little change in Tropical Storm Leslie
Over the weekend of Aug. 31 to Sept. 2, Tropical Storm Leslie's maximum sustained winds were pretty constant and satellite imagery from NASA's Aqua and Terra satellites confirm the steadiness of the storm.

Medicare kidney spending reaches crucial moment
Medicare has covered treatment for anyone with end-stage renal disease since 1972.

In elk hunting, success depends on the animal's personality
University of Alberta led research shows an elk's personality type is a big factor in whether or not it survives the hunting season.

Longer CPR attempts might benefit some patients, U-M research finds
There isn't a hard and fast rule for how long doctors should perform CPR, but new research from the University of Michigan Health System shows longer attempts might be beneficial for some patients.

Picky penguins: Does mate choice depend on genes that help resist disease?
Magellanic penguins have a high level of variation in genes associated with the ability to fight infectious disease, but a recent study found that the mechanism the penguins use to ensure that diversity is far from black and white.

Longer resuscitation attempts could improve survival after in-hospital cardiac arrest
New research published Online First in The Lancet suggests that increasing the duration of resuscitation efforts could improve survival in patients who arrest in hospital, challenging the common belief that extending resuscitation in patients who do not respond immediately is often futile.

Deadly witch hunts targeted by grassroots women's groups
Witch hunts are common and sometimes deadly in the tea plantations of Jalpaiguri, India.

ESMO 2012 Congress: Program preview
The final program of the ESMO 2012 Congress --including all late breaking-abstract titles is online.

Study points to new target for cancers resistant to Iressa and Herceptin
A more-sensitive method to analyze protein interactions has uncovered a new way that cancer cells may use the cell-surface molecule HER3 to drive tumor progression following treatment with HER1 and HER2 inhibitors.

UCF researchers record world record laser pulse
A University of Central Florida research team has created the world's shortest laser pulse and in the process may have given scientists a new tool to watch quantum mechanics in action -- something that has been hidden from view until now.

Realizing the promise of RNA nanotechnology for new drug development
The use of RNA in nanotechnology applications is highly promising for many applications, including the development of new therapeutic compounds.

Zoologists are no longer restricted to publish new species on paper
In a highly debated decision, the rules for publication of scientific zoological names have been changed to allow purely digital publications to meet the requirements of the stringent Code of Zoological Nomenclature.

'Fitness and fatness': Not all obese people have the same prognosis
Two studies to be published in the European Heart Journal show that: 1) not all obese people have the same prognosis and it's possible to be obese but metabolically healthy and with the same prognosis as normal-weight, healthy people; and 2) once a patient has developed heart disease, they have a reduced risk of dying if they are overweight or obese compared to normal or underweight patients.

Healing cuts for Medicare
Medicare payment reforms mandated in the Affordable Care Act for post-acute care have great potential to lower costs without harming patients.

2 UNC faculty receive Autism Centers of Excellence grants for new research
Two autism researchers in the University of North Carolina School of Medicine have each been awarded $12.6 million grants in the latest round of funding from the National Institutes of Health's Autism Centers of Excellence research program.

Experts propose 'cyber war' on cancer
Mounting evidence of intricate social cooperation among cancer cells has led researchers at Rice University, Tel Aviv University and Johns Hopkins University to suggest a new strategy for outsmarting cancer through its own social intelligence.

Cardiac study evaluates prevalence of unrecognized heart attacks among older adults
Using cardiac magnetic resonance imaging among older adults in Iceland, researchers estimated the prevalence of unrecognized heart attacks, which was associated with an increased risk of death

Use of regional PACS network associated with lower repeat rates, costs and less radiation exposure
According to a study in the September issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology, using a combination of the Internet and compact discs to transfer images during inter-hospital transfer is associated with much lower repeat imaging rates, suggesting that regional PACS networks may be useful for reducing cost and radiation exposure associated with trauma.

Rapid response in cases of smoke poisoning
Smoke poisoning can be caused by a number of things, including cyanides, the salts of hydrocyanic acid.

Z├╝lch Prize 2012 for founders of optogenetics
The Gertrud Reemtsma Foundation recognises the importance of the young field of optogenetics for the neurosciences.

Increase in respiratory symptoms following volcanic eruption
Exposure to volcanic ash can increase respiratory symptoms such as an extreme cough, or phlegm, according to a new study.

Southeast Asian ovalocytosis protects against P. vivax malaria
A multinational group of authors, led by Ivo Mueller from the Walter & Eliza Hall Institute, Australia and the Papua New Guinea Institute of Medical Research, have found a strong association between Southeast Asian ovalocytosis, an inherited disorder that affects the shape of red blood cells, and protection against malaria caused by Plasmodium vivax.

Simple tool may help inexperienced psychiatrists better predict violence risk in patients
Inexperienced psychiatrists are less likely than their veteran peers to accurately predict violence by their patients, but a simple assessment checklist might help bridge that accuracy gap, according to new research from the University of Michigan.

New Danish fungal species discovered
A new fungal species, called

Syrian obsidian discovery opens new chapter in Middle Eastern studies
An archaeologist from the University of Sheffield has revealed the origin and trading routes of razor-sharp stone tools 4,200 years ago in Syria.

What role will academic libraries play in moving towards and open access future?
In April, leading independent academic and professional publisher SAGE convened a roundtable in association with the British Library into the role of the academic library in an open access (OA) future.

Human impact felt on Black Sea long before industrial era
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution geologist Liviu Giosan and an international team of collaborators including environmental engineers, modelers, paleogeographers, and paleobiologists have pieced together a unique history of the Danube River delta and watershed that ultimately provides evidence for a transformative impact of humans on the Black Sea over hundreds, if not thousands of years.

Non-invasive diagnostic imaging costs to Medicare Part B down significantly since 2006
According to a study in the Sept. issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology, overall non-invasive diagnostic imaging costs to Medicare Part B dropped 21 percent from 2006 to 2010.

Professor Huanming Yang elected to the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
Professor Huanming Yang was elected to the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina.

New Delft model: Coastline erosion due to sea level rise greater than previously thought
A new model allows researchers at UNESCO-IHE, Delft University of Technology and Deltares to much more accurately predict coastline erosion due to rising sea levels.

Smoking and natural disasters: Christchurch residents increase tobacco consumption post-earthquake
The prevalence of smoking in Christchurch, New Zealand, increased following the 2010 earthquake, according to a new study.

Biofuel waste product recycled for electricity
A by-product of biofuel manufacture can power microbial fuel cells to generate electricity cheaply and efficiently, according to scientists presenting their work at the Society for General Microbiology's Autumn Conference.

Gardener's delight offers glimpse into the evolution of flowering plants
Double flowers -- though beautiful -- are mutants. The genetic interruption that causes that mutation previously helped scientists pinpoint the genes for normal development of flower sexual organs in Arabidopsis thaliana.

Rate of women with pregnancy-associated cancer on the increase
The rate of pregnancy-associated cancer is increasing and is only partially explained by the rise in older mothers suggests new research published Sept.

Stiffening of aortic wall linked with increased risk of high blood pressure
An analysis of the relationship between several vascular function measures and blood pressure levels finds that certain measures including higher aortic stiffness were associated with a higher risk of new hypertension; however, initial blood pressure was not independently associated with risk of progressive aortic stiffening, suggesting that vascular stiffness may be a precursor rather than the result of hypertension.

Biologic therapy for rheumatoid arthritis not significantly linked with increased malignancy risk
Although there are concerns regarding the potential development of malignancies in patients with rheumatoid arthritis who are receiving treatment with biologic response modifiers (BRMs), pooled results from more than 60 randomized controlled trials did not find a statistically significant increased risk of any type of cancer with use of BRMs for at least 6 months compared with traditional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs or with placebo.

Showing the way to improved water-splitting catalysts
Scientists and engineers around the world are working to find a way to power the planet using solar-powered fuel cells.

Norwich Research Park Prostate Cancer Initiative wins major award
The Prostate Cancer Foundation is providing $1 million of funding to the Institute of Food Research and the University of East Anglia to study the protective effects of broccoli consumption against prostate cancer.

Research finds heart remodeling rapidly follows cardiac injury
Cardiac injury leads to significant structural changes in the heart, including enlargement, excess formation of fibrous growth tissue, and abnormalities of the coronary vasculature.

Hormone therapy for fruit flies means better pest control
Released en masse, sterile Mexican fruit flies can undermine a wild population of the fruit-damaging pests so that fewer applications of insecticide are needed.

Using magnetism to understand superconductivity
EPFL research in atomic scale magnetism could play a role in the development of new materials that could permit lossless electricity transmission.

Does gallows humor among physicians encourage accusations of murder and euthanasia?
In a recent survey of palliative care medicine practitioners, nearly three quarters of the sample reported having been

Little evidence of health benefits from organic foods, Stanford study finds
Stanford researchers have conducted the most comprehensive meta-analysis to date of existing studies comparing organic and conventional foods.

Birth of a planet
The Earth and the planets of our solar system are not alone in the universe.

SMM 2012
At the SMM 2012, shipbuilding, machinery & marine technology international trade fair, 4-7 September 2012 in Hamburg, four Fraunhofer Institutes will be exhibiting solutions that make it easier to plan and build seaports, terminals and ships.

PharmaNet system dramatically reduced inappropriate prescriptions of potentially addictive drugs
A centralized prescription network providing real-time information to pharmacists in British Columbia, Canada, resulted in dramatic reductions in inappropriate prescriptions for opioid analgesics and benzodiazepines, widely used and potentially addictive drugs.

EARTH: Antarctic trees surprise scientists
'Warm' and 'Antarctica' are not commonly used in the same sentence; however, for scientists, 'warm' is a relative term.

New genetic clues to why most bone marrow transplant patients develop graft-versus-host disease
A team of scientists led by a bone marrow transplant researcher at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has shed new light on why most bone marrow transplant patients who receive tissue-matched cells from unrelated donors still suffer acute graft-versus-host disease.

Binding sites for LIN28 protein found in thousands of human genes
A study led by researchers at the UC San Diego Stem Cell Research program and funded by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine looks at an important RNA binding protein called LIN28, which is implicated in pluripotency and reprogramming as well as in cancer and other diseases.

Spinach power gets a big boost
Spinach power has just gotten a big boost. Vanderbilt researchers have combined the photosynthetic protein that converts light into electrochemical energy in spinach with silicon, the material used in solar cells, in a fashion that produces substantially more electrical current than has been reported by previous

New gene variants raise risk of neuroblastoma, influence tumor progression
Researchers have discovered two gene variants that raise the risk of the pediatric cancer neuroblastoma.

Global health requires new dynamics, suggests science panel
How can science better address global health crises? This week, Rita Colwell, Alice Dautry, Harvey Fineberg, and Kiyoshi Kurokawa discussed priorities and related topics at the 2012 Kavli Prize Science Forum, moderated by BBC's Pallab Ghosh.

NASA sees the short life of Tropical Depression John
Tropical Storm John had about one day of fame in the Eastern Pacific.

U of M faculty find antimicrobials altering intestinal bacteria composition in swine
Researchers from the University of Minnesota's College of Veterinary Medicine, concerned about the use of antibiotics in animal production, have found that antimicrobial growth promoters administered to swine can alter the kind of bacteria present in the animal's intestinal track, resulting in an accelerated rate of growth and development in the animals.

Scripps Florida scientists design molecule that reverses some fragile X syndrome defects
Scientists on the Florida campus of the Scripps Research Institute have designed a compound that shows promise as a potential therapy for one of the diseases closely linked to fragile X syndrome, a genetic condition that causes mental retardation, infertility, and memory impairment, and is the only known single-gene cause of autism.

Eurofins MWG Operon reinforces NGS capability with Illumina HiSeq 2500 and Illumina MiSeq
Eurofins MWG Operon, one of the pioneers and key providers of next generation sequencing (NGS), has added an Illumina HiSeq 2500 and an Illumina MiSeq sequencer to its fleet of NGS sequencers.

Repeated exposure to traumatic images may be harmful to health
Repeated exposure to violent images from the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and the Iraq War led to an increase in physical and psychological ailments in a nationally representative sample of US adults, according to a new UC Irvine study.

Waste not, power up
Materials scientists are rescuing waste silicon and recycling it into anodes for lithium-ion batteries.

Health-care costs hit the elderly hard, diminish financial wellbeing
The protection of the savings of the elderly -- one of the primary goals of Medicare -- is under threat from a combination of spiraling health-care costs and increased longevity.

Preeclampsia poses a significant long-term health risk according to new research from Ben-Gurion U.
According to the study, the BGU researchers found patients with preeclampsia had significantly higher rates of chronic hypertension diagnosed after pregnancy.

Increased mortality in HIV-positive South African men versus women is unrelated to HIV/AIDS
In South Africa, HIV-infected men who are receiving treatment with anti-HIV drugs (antiretroviral therapy) are almost a third more likely to die than HIV-positive women who are receiving similar treatment: however, these differences are likely to be due to gender differences in death rates in the general population rather than related to HIV, according to a study by a team of international researchers published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Chicken and egg question (and answer) for rural Uganda
Jagdev Sharma, a researcher at Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute, along with collaborators from NAGRC (Uganda) and Keggfarms (India) are pioneering a new approach to poultry raising in Uganda, with the potential to help lift hundreds of thousands of families out of cyclic poverty and toward a healthier and more sustainable condition.

'Benign' malaria key driver of human evolution in Asia-Pacific
The malaria species rampant in the Asia-Pacific region has been a significant driver of evolution of the human genome, a new study has shown.

Pretreatment PET/CT imaging of lymph nodes predicts recurrence in breast cancer patients
Disease-free survival for invasive ductal breast cancer (IDC) patients may be easier to predict with the help of F-18-fludeoxyglucose positron emission tomography (PET)/computed tomography (CT) scans, according to research published in the September issue of The Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

Vitamin D supplements do not improve cholesterol as previous research suggested
A team of scientists from Rockefeller University has shown that, at least in the short term, cholesterol levels did not improve when volunteers with vitamin D deficiency received mega-doses of vitamin D.

Shark rules need teeth, groups tell IUCN
The Wildlife Conservation Society and over 35 government agency and NGO partners participating in IUCN's World Conservation Congress this week are urging the world's governments to take urgent steps to save the world's sharks and rays from the relentless pressure of over-fishing for international trade. 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