Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 08, 2012
Maternal depression affects language development in babies
Maternal depression and a common class of antidepressants can alter a crucial period of language development in babies, according to a new study by researchers at the University of British Columbia, Harvard University and the Child & Family Research Institute at BC Children's Hospital.

Can eating tomatoes lower the risk of stroke?
Eating tomatoes and tomato-based foods is associated with a lower risk of stroke, according to new research published in the Oct.

Deep cleaning with carbon dioxide
The Fraunhofer Cleaning Technology Alliance FAR is celebrating its 10th birthday at the parts2clean trade fair in Stuttgart, from Oct.

Study finds nearly 50% of retail firewood infested with insects
A new study published in the Journal of Economic Entomology reports that live insects were found in 47% of firewood bundles purchased from big box stores, gas stations and grocery stores in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

Scripps Florida scientist awarded $2.1 million to test potential ALS treatments
A team led by scientists at the Scripps Research Institute has been awarded $2.1 million by the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs to study several compounds with the potential to greatly improve the quality of life for those with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's disease.

Gladstone scientists identify biological mechanism that plays key role in early-onset dementia
Using animal models, scientists at the Gladstone Institutes have discovered how a protein deficiency may be linked to both brain injury and to frontotemporal dementia -- which is a form of early-onset dementia that is similar to Alzheimer's disease.

Scientists identify genetic signatures for aggressive form of prostate cancer
Scientists have discovered two separate genetic 'signatures' for prostate cancer that appear to be able to predict the severity of the disease, leading to hopes that in future, accuracy of prognosis and treatment of the disease could be greatly improved.

Embargoed news from Annals of Internal Medicine
Below is information about an article being published in the October 9 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

Illustrated guides provide first ever view of zooplankton crucial to Arabian Sea's food web
Two new illustrated guides provide first-ever compilation of zooplankton or

Demographic miracle in the deserts
Dryland ecosystems cover 41 percent of the Earth's land surface.

Liquorice offers clue to cleaner medical implants
A nanotech material containing an extract from liquorice can be used to sterilize and protect medical devices and implants which include biological components, and protects these functional bio-components during the sterilization process.

Study finds decline in HIV deaths for most men, women by race/ethnicity, education
Overall death rates due to human immunodeficiency virus infection declined over time between 1993 and 2007 for most men and women by race/ethnicity and educational levels, with the largest absolute decreases for nonwhites, but rates remain high among blacks.

Researchers develop new way to determine amount of charge remaining in battery
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new technique that allows users to better determine the amount of charge remaining in a battery in real time.

Making computer data storage cheaper and easier
Case Western Reserve University researchers have developed technology aimed at making an optical disc that holds one to two terabytes of data - the equivalent of 1,000 to 2,000 copies of Encyclopedia Britannica.

Poorer lung health leads to age-related changes in brain function
Keeping the lungs healthy could be an important way to retain thinking functions that relate to problem-solving and processing speed in one's later years, new research suggests.

New link between high-fat 'Western' diet and atherosclerosis identified
Researchers have found that a diet high in saturated fat raises levels of endothelial lipase, an enzyme associated with the development of atherosclerosis, and, conversely, that a diet high in omega-3 polyunsaturated fat lowers levels of this enzyme.

VIB concludes that Séralini study is not substantiated
On Sept. 19, 2012, Gilles-Eric Séralini and his colleagues published a sensational study which, in his opinion, gave clear indications that genetically modified crops and Roundup are dangerous to health.

McGill researchers link genetic mutation to psychiatric disease and obesity
McGill researchers have identified a small region in the genome that conclusively plays a role in the development of psychiatric disease and obesity.

Scientists develop a blood test that detects aggressive prostate cancers
Scientists from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre in Madrid, along with British colleagues from the Institute for Cancer Research and the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, have developed a test that studies genetic patterns in blood cells to detect advanced-stage prostate cancer.

A welcome predictability
Berkeley Lab researchers have developed an adapator that makes the genetic engineering of microbial components substantially easier and more predictable.

Maths adds new weapon in fight against pandemics
Mathematicians have developed a powerful tool to quantify the spread and infectiousness of viruses like the pandemic H1N1 flu strain, which can be used together with modern laboratory techniques to help the healthcare system plan its response to disease outbreaks.

MRSA researchers identify new class of drug effective against superbug
In two separate published studies, researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center have discovered a new class of treatment against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus as well as evidence of a growing need to quickly genotype individual strains of the organism most commonly referred to as the

UC research finds small signs lead to big frustrations
University of Cincinnati analysis of national consumer survey data on signage as marketing communication finds that signs that are too small or unclear to consumers seem to be a growing national issue.

Child-free women feel intense pressure to have kids -- but rarely stress over it
The study, from a national survey of nearly 1,200 American women of reproductive age with no children, It sought to determine if the reason a woman had no children contributed to different types and levels of stress.

Prenatal mercury exposure may be associated with risk of ADHD-related behaviors
A study of children in the New Bedford, Mass., area suggests that low-level prenatal mercury exposure may be associated with a greater risk of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder-related behaviors and that fish consumption during pregnancy may be associated with a lower risk of these behaviors

Super-microbes engineered to solve world environmental problems
On Oct. 8, world class scientist professor Sang Yup Lee of KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) will give a lecture on systems metabolic engineering that could lead to the development of solutions to environmental problems.

JCI early table of contents for October 8, 2012
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, October 8, 2012, in the JCI: Sinusitis: Leaving a bad taste in your mouth; Synaptic protein linked to Levodopa-induced dyskinesia; Researchers elucidate role of progranulin in frontotemporal dementia; Defining the pathogenesis of spinocerebellar ataxia; Hedgehog signaling is associated with poor clinical outcome in intermediate risk prostate cancer; and many more.

Free public symposium to focus on water policy in the west
Three experts on water issues will give talks at a public symposium at the University of California, Riverside on Oct.

Use of fresh red blood cells for transfusions for premature infants does not improve outcomes
Among premature, very low-birth-weight infants requiring a transfusion, use of fresh red blood cells (RBCs) compared with standard RBC transfusion practice did not improve clinical outcomes that included rates of complications or death.

New methods might drastically reduce the costs of investigating polluted sites
New methods might allow polluted sites to be investigated and monitored long term at significantly reduced costs.

Moving from high-poverty to low-poverty neighborhoods appears beneficial for some adolescent girls
Although some girls benefited from a program that moved families from high-poverty areas to low-poverty areas, boys and adolescents from families with preexisting health-related vulnerabilities did not appear to experience mental health benefits.

School hearing tests: Are they as good as they sound?
Should every primary school pupil in the UK be given a hearing test and what's the most effective way of doing it?

Neurosurgeon Mark P. Carol, MD, named ASTRO 2012 Honorary Member
The American Society for Radiation Oncology has named Mark P.

Adaptable button mushroom serves up genes critical to managing the planet's carbon stores
The button mushroom occupies a prominent place in our diet; in nature, Agaricus bisporus decays leaf matter on the forest floor.

Why wine and tea pair so well with a meal: It's all in the mouthfeel
Of course a nice glass of wine goes well with a hearty steak, and now researchers who study the way food feels in our mouths think they may understand why that is: the astringent wine and fatty meat are like the yin and yang of the food world, sitting on opposite ends of a sensory spectrum.

2010 Korea bomb 'tests' probably false alarms, says study
This spring, a Swedish scientist sparked international concern with a journal article saying that radioactive particles detected in 2010 showed North Korea had set off at least two small nuclear blasts -- possibly in experiments designed to boost yields of much larger bombs.

Fossil of ancient spider attack only 1 of its type ever discovered
Researchers have found what they say is the only fossil ever discovered of a spider attack on prey caught in its web - a 100 million-year-old snapshot of an engagement frozen in time.

Researchers examine how teachers can increase students' interest and engagement in the classroom
Joseph Mazer's article, published today in Communication Education, explored how specific teacher communication behaviors can influence students' emotional interest, cognitive interest, and engagement.

Curb kids' screen time to stave off major health and developmental problems
Curbs on children's daily screen time and delaying the age at which they start

Grant-winning PPPL scientists lead fusion to the edge
A center based at the US Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory has won a highly competitive $12.25 million grant to develop computer codes to simulate a key component of the plasma that fuels fusion energy.

Eberli recognized with inaugural Johannes Walther Medal for outstanding efforts in sedimentology
University of Miami Marine Geology & Geophysics Professor Gregor Peter Eberli recognized with inaugural Johannes Walther Medal for outstanding efforts by the International Association of Sedimentologists.

Health Canada's fast-tracked drug approvals can put public at risk
Dr. Joel Lexchin of York University has found that drugs streamed into Health Canada's 180-day priority review process are more likely to be withdrawn from the market or earn a serious safety warning than those that undergo the 300-day standard review.

Optimal therapy sought for patients who cannot defecate effectively
Nearly one third of the 40 million Americans with constipation unknowingly work against themselves, squeezing when they should be pushing, and living painfully uncomfortable lives, according to Dr.

Learning from past flu epidemics to model outbreaks as they happen
A new model of influenza transmission, published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Medicine, using more detailed information about patterns and severity of infection than previous models, finds that cases and transmission rates of H1N1 during the 2009-2010 flu pandemic have been underestimated.

A new field of developmental neuroscience changes our understanding of the early years of human life
This special volume published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and authored largely by researchers of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, sets out an emerging new field of the developmental science of childhood adversity.

Advantages, challenges of cloud computing discussed Oct. 10 at NJIT
Cloud computing is a hot topic in cyber-circles and the popular media.

Researchers discover regenerated lizard tails are different from originals
Just because a lizard can grow back its tail, doesn't mean it will be exactly the same.

Low-level mercury exposure in pregnant women connected to ADHD risk in children
A Brigham and Women's Hospital study, published October 8, links low-level prenatal mercury exposure with a greater risk of ADHD-related behaviors.

Young people need financial support and guidance when they age out of foster care, MU expert says
A University of Missouri child welfare expert studied young people who transitioned out of the foster care system and participated in Opportunity Passport, a financial education and matched-savings program.

DRI scientist co-authors study outlining vast differences in polar ocean microbial communities
An international team of scientists, led by Dr. Alison Murray, an Associate Research Professor at the Desert Research Institute's Division of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences reported this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science that a clear difference exists between the marine microbial communities in the Southern and Arctic oceans, contributing to a better understanding of the biodiverisity of marine life at the poles and its biogeography.

App protects Facebook users from hackers
A recent four-month experiment conducted by several UC Riverside engineering professors and graduate students found that the application they created to detect spam and malware posts on Facebook users' walls was highly accurate, fast and efficient.

Wireless data at top speed
Digital cameras and camcorders deliver high resolution film sequences that are several gigabytes in size.

$2.7M LSUHSC grant to reduce alcohol use & improve HIV outcomes
Dr. Patricia Molina, Professor and Chair of Physiology at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, has been awarded a $2.7M NIH grant to develop a behavioral approach to reduce alcohol use and disorders in people living with HIV/AIDS.

New study reveals bitter taste receptors regulate the upper respiratory defense system
A new study from a team of researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the Monell Chemical Senses Center, and the Philadelphia VA Medical Center, reveals that a person's ability to taste certain bitter flavors is directly related to their ability to fight off upper respiratory tract infections, specifically chronic sinus infections.

Catalytic converters like it hot
Catalytic converters work poorly if they have not yet warmed up.

Gene variant linked with reduced lung cancer risk
A variant in a gene involved with inflammation and the immune response is linked with a decreased risk of lung cancer.

Language learning makes the brain grow
At the Swedish Armed Forces Interpreter Academy, young recruits learn a new language at a very fast pace.

Putting a block on neuropathic pain before it starts
Using tiny spheres filled with anesthetic from a shellfish toxin, researchers at Boston Children's Hospital and MIT developed a way to delay the rise of neuropathic pain, chronic pain from flawed signals transmitted by damaged nerves.

Scientists develop 'barcode' blood test for aggressive prostate cancer
Scientists have designed a blood test that reads genetic changes like a barcode -- and can pick out aggressive prostate cancers by their particular pattern of gene activity.

Leicester leads the way in most comprehensive ever hate-crime study
Research will include widest range of groups to be investigated in a single study.

Caffeine may block inflammation linked to mild cognitive impairment
A new University of Illinois study has discovered a novel signal that activates the brain-based inflammation associated with neurodegenerative diseases, and caffeine appears to block its activity.

Power in the palm of your hands
Removing the need for hand-held remote controls - instead, the user controls devices such as mobile phones and televisions with subtle hand movements enabling 3D interaction anytime - anywhere.

'Wonder material' graphene could revolutionize cell phones, solar panels and more
Smart phones almost as thin and flexible as paper and virtually unbreakable.

Gladstone scientists discover gene 'bursting' plays key role in protein production
Scientists at the Gladstone Institutes have mapped the precise frequency by which genes get turned on across the human genome, providing new insight into the most fundamental of cellular processes--and revealing new clues as to what happens when this process goes awry.

Researchers probe protein linked to hereditary spastic paraplegia
Rice University biochemist James McNew is using a new grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the protein atlastin, a key player in the genetic disorders known as hereditary spastic paraplegia.

A DNA-made trap may explain amyloidosis aggravation
New study done at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil reveals that amyloid fibers are caught in a cellular trap, with devastating consequences for amyloidosis patients.

Kessler Foundation scientists present rehabilitation research findings at 2012 ACRM-ASNR Conference
At the Oct. 9-13 meeting of American College of Rehabilitation Medicine-American Society for Neurorehabilitation, scientists at Kessler Foundation will share advances that improve cognition and mobility in people with disabilities caused by stroke, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, and spinal cord injury.

IIASA conference: 'Worlds Within Reach - From Science to Policy'
IIASA's Worlds Within Reach Conference will explore scientific solutions to climate change, energy, poverty, and environmental challenges.

$20 million gift establishes Taylor Family Institute for Innovative Psychiatric Research
Andrew and Barbara Taylor and the Crawford Taylor Foundation, the charity of the Jack C.

Georgia State psychologist gets $2.6 million grant to study alcohol and intimate partner violence
Georgia State University's Dominic Parrott and Christopher Eckhardt at Purdue University in Indiana have received a five-year, $2.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to examine the underlying factors behind alcohol intoxication and violence between significant others and spouses.

Computational model IDs potential pathways to improve plant oil production
Using a computational model they designed to incorporate detailed information about plants' interconnected metabolic processes, scientists at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have identified key pathways that appear to

Sinusitis: Leaving a bad taste in your mouth
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers led by Noam Cohen at the University of Pennsylvania demonstrated that the bitter taste receptor T2R38 regulates the immune defense of the human upper airway.

Digital tabletop system with views on demand
A tabletop system where users can come together and view shared content will be unveiled today.

A system to automate traffic fines is designed
Researchers at Universidad Carlos III in Madrid have designed a system that automates the administrative sanctioning process by applying communication and information technologies to traffic flow and using sensors built into vehicles.

Media can register now for 24th EORTC-NCI-AACR symposium; Most abstracts published online on Oct. 23
Journalists can register now to attend the 24th EORTC-NCI-AACR cancer symposium in Dublin, Ireland, Nov.

Fast walking and jogging halve development of heart disease and stroke risk factors
Daily activities, such as fast walking and jogging, can curb the development of risk factors for heart disease and stroke by as much as 50 percent, whereas an hour's daily walk makes little difference, indicates research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Significant wheat production potential in 8 African nations-climate, soil and economic data analysis
In releasing the first ever comprehensive report on sub-Saharan Africa's economic and biological potential for producing wheat, scientists said today that the region's farmers may be growing only 10 to 25 percent of the production the research suggests is both biologically possible and economically profitable.

Graphene membranes may lead to enhanced natural gas production, less CO2 pollution says CU study
Engineering faculty and students at the University of Colorado Boulder have produced the first experimental results showing that atomically thin graphene membranes with tiny pores can effectively and efficiently separate gas molecules through size-selective sieving.

Southampton researchers explain how pulsars slow down with age
Researchers at the University of Southampton have developed a model which explains how the spin of a pulsar slows down as the star gets older.

Nearly half of children with autism wander or 'bolt' from safe places
A study published today in the journal Pediatrics found that nearly half of children with autism are reported to wander or

Cause of annoyance, concern, anxiety, and even anger:
To understand the effects of continuous computerized surveillance on individuals, a Finnish research group instrumented ten Finnish households with video cameras, microphones, and logging software for personal computers, wireless networks, smartphones, TVs, and DVDs.

Carnegie Mellon spinoff Astrobotic Technology assembles prototype of lunar water-prospecting robot
Astrobotic Technology Inc. and Carnegie Mellon University have completed assembly of a full-size prototype of Polaris, a solar-powered robot that will search for potentially rich deposits of water ice at the moon's poles.

Near atomic-scale deformation fields of a crack-tip were mapped experimentally at IMUT
Direct, very small scale, measurement of deformation fields around a crack-tip is important for understanding mechanics of materials, and has been a challenge for many years.

Cannabis extract eases muscle stiffness typical of multiple sclerosis
Cannabis seems to ease the painful muscle stiffness typical of multiple sclerosis, indicate phase III trial results, published in the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

Worldwide patent for a Spanish stroke rehabilitation robot
Robotherapist 3D, a robot which aids stroke patients' recovery, is to be brought to market by its worldwide patent holder, a spin-off company from the Miguel Hernández University of Elche.

Optics and photonics technology leaders, researchers and companies to convene at FiO 2012
Innovations from nearly 900 scientific, technical and educational presentations will be highlighted during the Optical Society's 96th Annual Meeting, Frontiers in Optics 2012, being held Oct.

River Thames invaded with foreign species
The second longest river in the UK, the River Thames, contains 96 non-native species, making it one of the most highly invaded freshwater systems in the world.

Fresh blood not better, clinical trial shows
In a finding that runs counter to commonly held beliefs about fresh being better, a clinical trial published today by the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that acutely ill premature babies who received fresher blood did not fare better than those who received the current standard of care.

Patient navigation leads to faster diagnosis for breast cancer, according to new study
Researchers from the George Washington University published a study showing that breast cancer patients can reduce potentially dangerous delays in the identification of breast cancer with the assistance of patient navigation services.

Endotrophin links obesity to breast cancer progression
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Phillip Scherer and Jiyoung Park of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center report that a portion of the Col6 protein, known as endotrophin, alters the tumor environment to promote tumor growth and metastasis in mice.
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