Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 11, 2012
Dengue Vaccine Initiative welcomes latest progress in vaccine development
Today, the Dengue Vaccine Initiative welcomed new clinical trial results that reveal progress in developing the first-ever dengue vaccine.

Researchers improve gene therapy technique for children with immune disorder
Researchers enhance gene therapy approach for children with adenosine deaminase-deficient severe combined immunodeficiency using chemotherapy as conditioning regimen.

University of Tennessee, ORNL lead national team to study nuclear fusion reactors
A team of researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, in collaboration with seven other institutions, is trying tackle the challenges of bringing fusion energy to the commercial marketplace.

King's to develop unique sunscreen with Aethic
King's College London has entered into an agreement with skincare company Aethic to develop the first sunscreen based on MAA's (mycosporine-like amino acids), produced by coral.

Ageism presents dilemmas for policymakers worldwide
The negative consequences of age discrimination in many countries are more widespread than discrimination due to race or gender, yet differential treatment based on a person's age is often seen as more acceptable and even desirable, according to the newest edition of the Public Policy & Aging Report (PP&AR).

More traffic deaths in wake of 9/11
The fear of terrorist attacks can alter our everyday behavior and result in more fatal traffic accidents.

What do saving money and losing weight have in common?
Consumers will pay more when they are given different options to pursue short-term goals, but will pay more for similar options when pursuing long-term goals, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

UCLA stem cell researchers use gene therapy to restore immune systems in 'bubble babies'
UCLA stem cell researchers have found that a gene therapy regimen can safely restore immune systems to children with so-called

NASA infrared data reveals fading Tropical Storm Leslie and peanut-shaped Michael
When NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the Atlantic on Sept.

Mixed findings emerge on immigrant families' home environments
A nationally representative study of more than 5,000 homes found mixed strengths in the social-emotional and early learning practices of Latino immigrant, Asian immigrant, and native-born white mothers of preschoolers.

A minute crustacean invades the red swamp crayfish
The small ostracod Ankylocythere sinuosa measures no more than half a millimeter in length and lives on other crayfish.

Invisible QR codes tackle counterfeit bank notes
An invisible quick response code has been created by researchers in an attempt to increase security on printed documents and reduce the possibility of counterfeiting, a problem which costs governments and private industries billions of pounds each year.

Study examines cost-savings of physician group practice program
In an analysis of the cost-savings achieved by an earlier pilot program, the Medicare Physician Group Practice Demonstration (PGPD), researchers found modest estimates of overall savings associated with the PGPD, but larger savings among the dually eligible patients (Medicare and Medicaid), with savings achieved in large part through reductions in hospitalizations, according to a study in the September 12 issue of JAMA.

Genetic test predicts risk for Autism
A team of Australian researchers, led by University of Melbourne has developed a genetic test that is able to predict the risk of developing Autism Spectrum Disorder, ASD.

A study analyzes the search for information in stock photography agencies
Research carried out at Universidad Carlos III in Madrid analyzes the search and visualization systems used by commercial stock photography agencies, whose estimated annual net sales reach over 150 billion euros.

American Physiological Society to receive $2.3 million in federal grants
American Physiological Society to receive $2.3 million in federal grants to be used to provide new opportunities aimed at bringing traditionally underrepresented groups into science, biomedical careers

Analyzing the 'Facebook Effect' on organ and tissue donation
When Facebook introduced a feature that enables people to register to become organ and tissue donors, thousands did so, dwarfing any previous donation initiative, write Blair L.

Planets can form in the galactic center
At first glance, the center of the Milky Way seems like a very inhospitable place to try to form a planet.

Teachers, school climate key to Latino immigrants' academic success
Teachers and schools that value diversity impact the academic experiences of Latino immigrant children living in predominantly White communities.

Substantial road traffic noise in urban areas contributes to sleep disturbance and annoyance
The World Health Organization recently recognized environmental noise as harmful pollution, with adverse psychosocial and physiological effects on public health.

Vitamin C and beta-carotene might protect against dementia
Researchers from the University of Ulm, including Professor Gabriele Nagel and Professor Christine von Arnim, have discovered that the serum-concentration of the antioxidants vitamin C and beta-carotene are significantly lower in patients with mild dementia than in control persons.

Hospital for Special Surgery investigators receive National Football League grant for PRP research
Researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery have been awarded a $100,000 grant from the National Football League Charities to research the use of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cells as treatments for tendon injury and degeneration.

Quality of life and treatment of late-stage chronic kidney disease
In people with late-stage chronic kidney disease, renal transplantation is the best treatment option to improve quality of life, but for those receiving dialysis, home-based automated peritoneal dialysis (in which fluids are infused into the abdominal cavity and can be done nightly at home) provides a better quality of life than continuous ambulatory peritoneal dialysis (a type of dialysis performed continuously throughout the day), according to a study by Australian researchers published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Comic relief for stressed emergency teams
Researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine have created a comic influenced by the Japanese manga style to help busy medical staff who treat patients suffering from bleeding.

Hearing impaired ears hear differently in noisy environments
The world continues to be a noisy place, and Purdue University researchers have found that all that background chatter causes the ears of those with hearing impairments to work differently.

Pregnancy exposures determine risk of breast cancer in multiple generations of offspring
Researchers from Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center demonstrate, in animals, that maternal exposure to a high-fat diet or excess estrogen during pregnancy can increase breast cancer risk in multiple generations of female offspring -- daughters, granddaughters and even great-granddaughters.

Active follow-up with telephone help can reduce deaths in chronic heart failure patients
Chronic heart failure patients are less likely to have died a year after discharge if they are involved in a programme of active follow-up once they have returned home than patients given standard care, according to a new Cochrane systematic review.

New software helps reveal patterns in space and time
The GeoDa Center for Geographical Analysis & Computation new version of its signature software, OpenGeoDa, adds space-time analysis -- maps and charts that make it possible to track changes in spatial patterns over time.

Under the influence: Reminders of money impact consumer decision-making
When reminded of money (not cost), consumers are more likely to evaluate a new product based on its primary features or brand name, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

'Mad Cow' blood test now on the horizon
A simple blood test for Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease and Mad Cow disease is a step closer, following a breakthrough by medical researchers at the University of Melbourne.

What's the main cause of obesity -- our genes or the environment?
The ongoing obesity epidemic is creating an unprecedented challenge for healthcare systems around the world, but what determines who gets fat?

Research finds little difference in outcomes among strategies to adjust asthma therapy in adults
Among adults with asthma controlled with low-dose inhaled corticosteroid therapy, the time to treatment failure was not significantly different among patients who received corticosteroid dose adjustment based on physician assessment, a biomarker, or symptom occurrence, according to a study in the September 12 issue of JAMA.

Risk-glorifying video games may lead teens to drive recklessly, new research shows
Teens who play mature-rated, risk-glorifying video games may be more likely than those who don't to become reckless drivers who experience increases in automobile accidents, police stops and willingness to drink and drive, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.

Yellow lights mean drivers have to make right choice -- if they have time
Virginia Tech research group studies drivers' behaviors as they approach yellow lights with the goal of determining safe and efficient signal times for intersections.

Molecular beacons light up stem cell transformation
In a new study, Brown University researchers demonstrate a new tool for visually tracking in real-time the transformation of a living population of stem cells into cells of a specific tissue.

Study provides insight into why severely obese women have difficulty getting pregnant from IVF
One third of American women of childbearing age are battling obesity, a condition that affects their health and their chances of getting pregnant.

Scrub jays react to their dead
Western scrub jays summon others to screech over the body of a dead jay, according to new research from UC Davis.

Aussie wasp on the hunt for redback spiders
University of Adelaide researchers say a small wasp that scientists had forgotten about for more than 200 years is now making a name for itself - as a predator of Australia's most common dangerous spider, the redback.

New grant awards aim to prevent autoimmune diseases
Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason recently received two major grant awards to explore how to regulate the immune system, as part of a nationwide collaborative program to prevent autoimmune diseases, including Type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis and Crohn's disease.

Reconstructed 1918 influenza virus has yielded key insights, scientists say
The genetic sequencing and reconstruction of the 1918 influenza virus that killed 50 million people worldwide have advanced scientists' understanding of influenza biology and yielded important information on how to prevent and control future pandemics, according to a new commentary by scientists at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, and several other institutions.

Was Kepler's supernova unusually powerful?
This composite image of Kepler's supernova remnant shows different colors ranging from lower to higher energies: red, yellow, green, blue and purple.

Powerful tool to fight wildlife crime unveiled
A free high-tech tool to combat the wildlife poaching crisis was offered to grassroots rangers by a consortium of conservation organizations at the World Conservation Congress.

Dartmouth research imparts momentum to mobile health
Dartmouth Professor David Kotz's team explores new approaches to electronic health monitoring while colleague Andrew Campbell's group adds to the mHealth software arsenal.

Book offers resources for PTSD sufferers
Close to 5.2 million adults experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) every year.

Latinos more vulnerable to fatty pancreas, Type 2 diabetes, Cedars-Sinai study shows
Latinos are more likely to store fat in the pancreas and are less able to compensate by excreting additional insulin, a Cedars-Sinai study shows.

'Spin' in media reports of scientific articles
Press releases and news stories reporting the results of randomized controlled trials often contain

Religions play positive role in African AIDS crisis
While the Western press often targets religious groups for their roles in handling the African AIDS crisis, these groups tend to play positive -- and critical -- roles in fighting the epidemic, according to sociologists.

Inhaled pain relief in early labor is safe and effective
Inhaled pain relief appears to be effective in reducing pain intensity and in giving pain relief in the first stage of labor, say Cochrane researchers.

Newly discovered letters and translated German ode expand Texas link to infamous Bone Wars
In the late 1800s, furious fossil speculation across the American West escalated into a high-profile national feud.

Birth-defect mechanism found by BYU biochemists
Biochemists studied an ion channel that regulates the electrical charge of a cell and found that blocking this channel disrupts the work of a protein that is supposed to carry marching orders to the nucleus.

Investigators identify gene linking cataracts and Alzheimer's disease
In a recent study, investigators at Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health identified a gene linking age-related cataracts and Alzheimer's disease.

Want to encourage eco-friendly behavior? Give consumers a nudge (Don't tell them what to do)
Consumers are more likely to change their behavior if they voluntarily commit to changing rather than being told what to do, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Who (and what) can you trust?
People face this predicament all the time -- can you determine a person's character in a single interaction?

Researchers devise more accurate method for predicting hurricane activity
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new method for forecasting seasonal hurricane activity that is 15 percent more accurate than previous techniques.

Scripps Research scientists devise powerful new method for finding therapeutic antibodies
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have found a new technique that should greatly speed the discovery of medically and scientifically useful antibodies, immune system proteins that detect and destroy invaders such as bacteria and viruses.

New discovery related to gum disease
A UofL scientist has discovered a mechanism to reduce inflammation and subsequent bone loss related to gum disease.

Next Mars mission enters final phase before launch
NASA's Mars Atmosphere And Volatile EvolutioN mission has passed a critical milestone, Key Decision Point-D or KDP-D.

University of Minnesota chemist named 1 of Popular Science's 'Brilliant 10'
University of Minnesota chemist Christy Haynes has been named one of Popular Science magazine's

Improved nanoparticles deliver drugs into brain
The brain is a notoriously difficult organ to treat, but Johns Hopkins researchers report they are one step closer to having a drug-delivery system flexible enough to overcome some key challenges posed by brain cancer and perhaps other maladies affecting that organ.

Children of immigrants have advantage in academics, school engagement
A new study finds that children of immigrants have an advantage over children of native-born Americans when it comes to the transition to adulthood.

At least 200,000 tons of oil and gas from Deepwater Horizon spill consumed by gulf bacteria
Researchers from the University of Rochester and Texas A&M University have found that, over a period of five months following the disastrous 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill, naturally-occurring bacteria that exist in the Gulf of Mexico consumed and removed at least 200,000 tons of oil and natural gas that spewed into the deep Gulf from the ruptured well head.

Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation not associated with lower risk of major CVD events
In a study that included nearly 70,000 patients, supplementation with omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids was not associated with a lower risk of all-cause death, cardiac death, sudden death, heart attack, or stroke, according to an analysis of previous studies published in the September 12 issue of JAMA.

Unnecessary oil disasters
The BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico 2010 could have been avoided if the experiences of earlier disasters had been put to use, researcher Charles Woolfson, Linköping university, claims.

Little Ice Age led to migration of island hopping arctic foxes
The Little Ice Age allowed a new wave of arctic foxes to colonise Iceland, according to new research.

Eat dessert first? It might help you control your diet
Consumers watching their diet should pay close attention to the amount of unhealthy foods they eat, but can relax when it comes to healthier options, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

NIH researchers restore children's immune systems with refinements in gene therapy
Researchers have demonstrated that a refined gene therapy approach safely restores the immune systems of some children with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID).

Lights off? International experts call attention to dangers of exposure to light at night
World experts discussing

Fasting makes brain tumors more vulnerable to radiation therapy
A new study from USC researchers is the first to show that controlled fasting improves the effectiveness of radiation therapy in cancer treatments, extending life expectancy in mice with aggressive brain tumors.

Trouble in paradise: Does nature worship harm the environment?
Consumers nurture romantic ideas of nature by engaging in practices that are often harmful to the environment, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Engineering research centers awarded $55.5 million to innovate in nanoscale science and engineering
The National Science Foundation recently awarded $55.5 million to university consortia to establish three new Engineering Research Centers that will advance interdisciplinary nanosystems research and education in partnership with industry.

Sliding metals show fluidlike behavior, new clues to wear
Researchers have discovered a swirling fluidlike behavior in a solid piece of metal sliding over another, providing new insights into the mechanisms of wear and generation of machined surfaces that could help improve the durability of metal parts.

Human remains discovered in search for King Richard III
Findings to be announced from University of Leicester archaeological dig: The search for Richard III.

Asthma study could bring big change to daily regimen
For two decades, asthma treatment for millions of people with a milder form of the disease has consisted of daily inhaled steroid medicine to reduce inflammation.

NASA's Global Hawk investigating Atlantic Tropical Depression 14
NASA's Hurricane and Severe Storm Sentinel (HS3) airborne mission sent an unmanned Global Hawk aircraft this morning to study newborn Tropical Depression 14 in the central Atlantic Ocean that seems primed for further development.

LSUHSC research finds ginkgo biloba doesn't improve cognitive function in MS
A research study conducted by Dr. Jesus Lovera, Assistant Professor of Neurology at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, and colleagues has found that the herbal supplement Ginkgo biloba does not improve cognitive function in patients with Multiple Sclerosis.

Report recommends cost-effective plan to strengthen US defense against ballistic missile attacks
To more effectively defend against ballistic missile attacks, the US should concentrate on defense systems that intercept enemy missiles in midcourse.

American Physiological Society's October conference examines the integrative biology of exercise
Upcoming conference on the integrative biology of exercise explores potential mechanisms behind the health benefits of exercise and latest research incorporating exercise in personalized medicine.

Genetic make-up of children explains how they fight malaria infection
Researchers from Sainte-Justine University Hospital Center and University of Montreal have identified several novel genes that make some children more efficient than others in the way their immune system responds to malaria infection.

Technique using CT linked with improved detection of lymph node metastasis in patients with melanoma
Preoperative 3-dimensional visualization of sentinel lymph nodes (SLNs) with a technique known as single-photon emission computed tomography/computed tomography was associated with a higher rate of detection of positive SLNs and a higher rate of disease-free survival among patients with melanoma, according to a study in the September 12 issue of JAMA.

How genetics shape our addictions
Have you ever wondered why some people find it so much easier to stop smoking than others?

Interventions can reduce falls in people over 65 who live at home
There is now strong evidence that some interventions can prevent falls in people over the age of 65 who are living in their own homes.

Children's health, access to care differ by parents' immigrant status
Research has found that children's health and access to health care services differ according to the immigrant status of their parents.

Moffitt researchers say race affect likelihood of finding suitable stem cell donor
Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center and colleagues have published a study describing the greater difficulty in finding matched, unrelated donors for non-Caucasian patients who are candidates for hematopoietic cell transplantation.

Serious games could be integrated into surgical training subject to validation
Serious gaming can be used to enhance surgical skills, but games developed or used to train medical professionals need to be validated before they are integrated into teaching methods.

Screening technique uncovers 5 new plant activator compounds
A new high-throughput screening technique developed by researchers at the RIKEN Plant Science Center has been used to uncover five novel immune-priming compounds in Arabidopsis plants.

Parents of babies with sickle cell trait are less likely to receive genetic counseling, study says
Physicians report parents of infants who are cystic fibrosis carriers are more likely to receive genetic counseling.

U of Toronto-led team induces high-temperature superconductivity in a semiconductor with Scotch tape
An international team led by University of Toronto physicists has developed a simple new technique using Scotch poster tape that has enabled them to induce high-temperature superconductivity in a semiconductor for the first time.

Review: Altruism's influence on parental decision to vaccinate children is unclear
As outbreaks of preventable diseases such as whooping cough and measles increase in the United States, researchers from the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Medicine are investigating whether altruism, known to influence adults' decisions to immunize themselves, influences parental decisions to vaccinate their children.

Northern Ireland's space industry set for lift off
Queen's University is set to play a key role in doubling the UK's share of the global market for space products and services by 2030.

Chain reaction in the human immune system trapped in crystals
A research team from Aarhus University has revealed details of how a chain reaction in the human immune system starts.

Results from world's first registry of pregnancy and heart disease
Results from the world's first registry of pregnancy and heart disease have shown that most women with heart disease can go through pregnancy and delivery safely, so long as they are adequately evaluated, counseled and receive high quality care.

Hundreds more bleeding trauma patients could be saved if tranexamic acid was used more widely
The clot stabilizer drug tranexamic acid can be administered safely to a wide range of patients with traumatic bleeding and should not be restricted to the most severe cases, a study published on today suggests.

Breast cancer risks acquired in pregnancy may pass to next 3 generations
Researchers from Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center and from Virginia Tech Research Center - Arlington show in animals that maternal exposure to a high-fat diet or excess estrogen during pregnancy produces ensuing generations of daughters that appear healthy, but contain a greater than normal risk for breast cancer.

Obesity research wins Fernström Prize
This year's Fernström Foundation Nordic Prize, worth SEK one million, goes to Professor Peter Arner from Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, who conducts research on fat.

Disaster is just a click away
Two professors are researching how to help computer users who have little to no computer experience improve their Web browsing safety without security-specific education.

Millions of mild asthma patients may not need daily inhaled steroid therapy
New research has shown that the millions of people who use corticosteroids prescribed daily to control mild asthma do no better than those who use them only when symptoms occur.

UEA research reveals responses of genes in females to sex
Sex can trigger remarkable female responses including altered fertility, immunity, libido, eating and sleep patterns -- by the activation of diverse sets of genes, according to research from the University of East Anglia.

Body heat, fermentation drive new drug-delivery 'micropump'
Researchers have created a new type of miniature pump activated by body heat that could be used in drug-delivery patches powered by fermentation.

Springer opens new sales offices in Istanbul
Springer has recently expanded its international operations to include Turkey.

Key research from the 2012 Breast Cancer Symposium highlights treatment advances for early breast cancer
Four new studies on the treatment of early breast cancer, spanning from diagnosis through surgery, were released today in advance of the 2012 Breast Cancer Symposium.

Protein linked to therapy resistance in breast cancer
Berkeley Lab researchers have identified the FAM83A protein as a possible new oncogene and linked it to therapy resistance in breast cancer.

Partnership enhances biology teaching at California community colleges
With funding from the National Science Foundation, San Francisco State University is bringing together Bay Area community college biology instructors and helping them find innovative ways to refine their teaching.

Survey shifts spotlight away from poor as key supporters of militants in Pakistan
A groundbreaking survey of Pakistanis has found stronger support for militant groups among the middle class than the poor.

Gladstone scientists develop technique to decipher the dormant AIDS virus concealed in cells
Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes have gotten us one step closer to understanding and overcoming one of the least-understood mechanisms of HIV infection -- by devising a method to precisely track the life cycle of individual cells infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

Parents' education before migrating tied to children's achievement
Immigrant parents' education before migrating is more strongly tied to their children's achievement in the United States than any other parental attribute, either before or after migration.

What are the effects of the Great Recession on local governments?
A new issue of State and Local Government Review (SLGR) documents the crisis affecting city and county governments following the Great Recession.

Comparison of immigrant children in 4 nations shows strengths, lags
Young children whose families immigrate to Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States are as prepared and capable of starting school as their native-born counterparts, with one exception -- vocabulary and language development.

Diet could combat adverse side-effects of quinine
Scientists at the University of Nottingham say adverse side-effects caused by the anti-parasitic drug quinine in the treatment of malaria could be controlled by what we eat. 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