Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 09, 2012
Is delaying premature delivery safe?
An editorial published today on asks if delaying premature labor is actually safe.

UMass Amherst biochemists open path to molecular 'chaperone' therapy for metabolic disease
This offers hope for developing the first ever drug treatment for this very rare disease.

Scripps research scientists devise screening method to aid RNA drug development research
Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have developed a new method of screening more than three million combinations of interactions between RNA and small molecules to identify the best targets on RNA as well as the most promising potential drug compounds.

Secondary osteoporosis: More than what meets the eye!
An SGH study has revealed that considering all osteoporotic patients as having simple osteoporosis and treating all of them alike by putting them on potent long term medication without finding out the cause of their osteoporosis may be ineffective and in most cases downright harmful.

Dead stars could be the future of spacecraft navigation
Scientists at the National Physical Laboratory and the University of Leicester have been commissioned by the European Space Agency (ESA) to investigate the feasibility of using dead stars to navigate spacecraft in deep space.

'Dream team' wins $10 million grant to probe mystery of advanced prostate cancer
Many men survive prostate cancer, but thousands of others -- whose cancer spreads -- inevitably develop resistance to even the most promising treatments, leaving them with few medical options and a dwindling span of life. 

Organizational culture matters on the bottom line: Evidence from the high-tech industry
Berkeley-Haas management professor Jennifer Chatman finds firms with strong cultures perform better financially if they contain

Scientists discover gene behind rare disorders
Scientists at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital -- The Neuro, McGill University working with a team at Oxford University have uncovered the genetic defect underlying a group of rare genetic disorders.

'Like this page' to prevent sexually transmitted infections
Sexually transmitted infection (STI) prevention messages delivered by Facebook can be effective in promoting condom use among young adults in the short term, a new study has found.

Chronic kidney disease alters intestinal microbial flora, UCI study finds
Chronic kidney disease changes the composition of intestinal bacterial microbes that normally play a crucial role in staving off disease-causing pathogens and maintaining micronutrient balance, according to UC Irvine researchers.

New DARPA director to bring fresh perspective to ONR's biennial event
Dr. Arati Prabhakar, director of DARPA, and Dr. Charles Wessner, director of Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the National Academy of Sciences, have confirmed as speakers at ONR's biennial event.

Chaperone protein subverts removal of glaucoma-causing protein
The chaperone protein Grp94 can interfere with the clearance of another protein known to cause the glaucoma when mutated, a new study led by researchers at the University of South Florida has found.

Looks like turtle weed, but it's not
Newly described species points to richer marine biodiversity in Guam waters than previously understood.

New point of focus found for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases
Scientists affiliated with VIB and UGent have discovered a mechanism used by the protein A20 to combat inflammation.

Robots using tools: With new grant, researchers aim to create 'MacGyver' robot
A Georgia Tech research team has received a grant from the Office of Naval Research to work on a project that intends to teach robots how to use objects in their environment to accomplish high-level tasks.

HRT taken for 10 years significantly reduces risk of heart failure and heart attack
Women who take HRT for 10 years following menopause have a significantly reduced risk of mortality, heart failure and heart attack without any increased risk of cancer, DVT or stroke, a study published today on suggests. 

Hospitals that cooperate on infection control fare better than hospitals acting alone
An individual hospital's infection control efforts have a ripple effect on the prevalence of a deadly and highly infectious bacterium in hospitals throughout its surrounding region, a multi-center research group led by the University of Pittsburgh demonstrated in a computer simulation-based study.

Academic achievement improved among students active in structured after-school programs
Participating in structured after-school care programs such as Boys and Girls Clubs positively affects academic achievement, says a new study from Southern Methodist University, Dallas.

AAPS and AFPE initiate strategic alliance to advance pharmaceutical education
The American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists and the American Foundation for Pharmaceutical Education have entered into an exciting new strategic alliance to advance support for pharmaceutical science education.

Swimming with hormones: Researchers unravel ancient urges that drive the social decisions of fish
Researchers have discovered that a form of oxytocin -- the hormone responsible for making humans fall in love -- has a similar effect on fish, suggesting it is a key regulator of social behavior that has evolved and endured since ancient times.

MedImmune joins forces with leading cancer organizations to advance immunotherapy research
The Cancer Research Institute, the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and MedImmune, the global biologics arm of AstraZeneca, today announced that they have signed a collaboration agreement to advance the research of immunotherapy in cancer.

EARTH: Arctic humidity on the rise
The Arctic is getting warmer and wetter. As temperatures rise and sea ice melts, scientists suspect that system feedback cycles may further speed up the warming process.

Medicare beneficiaries overspend by hundreds, Pitt Public Health finds
Medicare beneficiaries are overpaying by hundreds of dollars annually because of difficulties selecting the ideal prescription drug plan for their medical needs, an investigation by University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health researchers reveals.

LA BioMed's Dr. Bowen Chung delivering mental health care to troubled youths and adolescents
Approximately 14% of individuals suffering from depression and other mental health issues in the United States are minorities in underserved communities, yet very few medications or psychosocial interventions have been developed utilizing the participation of these groups.

Every third child incorrectly restrained in cars
Car accidents are the main cause of serious injury and death among children in Norway.

Glowing DNA invention points towards high speed disease detection
Many diseases, including cancers, leave genetic clues in the body just as criminals leave DNA at a crime scene.

USC develops software to facilitate large-scale biological inquiry
The world's leading mass spectrometer manufacturers have agreed to license technology that enabled University of Southern California researchers to develop software that, for the first time, allows scientists to easily use and share research data collected across proprietary platforms.

ONR honored as go-to institution for STEM Education
The Office of Naval Research (ONR) earned accolades as a national

Florida Tech researchers diagnose coral disease
Muller and van Woesik mapped the clustering of three coral diseases in the Caribbean and concluded that they are stress-related rather than contagious.

Mayo Medical Laboratories introduces 2 mobile applications for physicians
Mayo Medical Laboratories is introducing two comprehensive mobile applications for iPhones and iPads, allowing physicians and pathologists unparalleled access to clinical laboratory expertise from Mayo Clinic.

UI research may help build a better drug
University of Iowa team discovers new biological pathway in blood vessel cells, which may contribute to the blood pressure-lowering effects of TZD drugs used to treat Type 2 diabetes.

Florida State University researchers earn federal support for mobile app project
A Florida State University research team working to minimize the time and costs involved in bringing people together got a big boost for its efforts through a new National Science Foundation grant aimed at helping researchers build companies and transform their work into marketable products.

NSF funds Clemson research of mobile technology for perioperative services
Three Clemson University professors have received $797,066 from the National Science Foundation to investigate how the use of mobile technology can improve coordination in perioperative services.

Preterm labor powerhouse therapy offers promise for inflammatory diseases
Magnesium sulfate is given to many pregnant women to treat preterm labor and preeclampsia and was recently shown to prevent cerebral palsy; however little is known about how it works.

Marc Travel Awards announced for the 2012 Joint Meeting of the SFG and the ASMB
FASEB MARC Program has announced the travel award recipients for The 2012 Joint Meeting of the Society for Glycobiology and the American Society for Matrix Biology in San Diego, CA from Nov.

Brace yourself...
Wearing a knee brace following anterior cruciate ligament surgery has no effect on a person's recovery.

Navy evaluating second electromagnetic railgun innovative naval prototype
The Office of Naval Research's Electromagnetic Railgun program is evaluating the second of two industry railgun prototype launchers at a facility in Dahlgren, Va., officials announced today.

Solar cells made from black silicon
Solar cells convert three-quarters of the energy contained in the Sun's spectrum into electricity -- yet the infrared spectrum is entirely lost in standard solar cells.

Healthy mom with lots of help key to thriving brood say scientists
What does it take to raise successful, self-sufficient offspring? A healthy mom with lots of in-house help, says Utah State University researcher Dan MacNulty.

New interactive system detects touch and gestures on any surface
People can let their fingers -- and hands -- do the talking with a new touch-activated system that projects onto walls and other surfaces and allows users to interact with their environment and each other.

Wiley's 'Roitt's Essential Immunology, 12th Edition' wins BMA Book of the Year Award
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., today announced that 'Roitt's Essential Immunology, 12th Edition,' has won the prestigious British Medical Association Book of the Year Award.

IspH -- a protein free to choose its partners
The iron-sulfur protein IspH plays a central role in the terpene metabolism of several pathogens.

Moffitt researchers study effect of chemotherapy combined with immunotherapy for advanced cancers
Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center and colleagues at the University of South Florida and Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital in China have discovered that combining chemotherapy drugs and immunotherapy cancer vaccines results in an enhanced anti-tumor effect.

Contracts for Community Support Agriculture clarify expectations for producers and consumers
University of Illinois professor of agricultural law A. Bryan Endres and his wife are both lawyers so, between the two of them, they've read a lot of legal documents, but when they became members of their local Community Supported Agriculture, even they struggled to understand the agreement they were asked to sign.

USC researchers receive NIH support for important, little-explored cancer research
Three groups of University of Southern California researchers -- representing medicine, chemistry and chemical engineering -- are recipients of highly competitive grants from the National Institutes of Health's National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Moving forward with controversial H5N1 research
With biosafety concerns raised over the possible release of new strains of H5N1 influenza that could easily pass between mammals viruses, researchers agreed on a six-month moratorium on H5N1 research -- classified as

Field Museum presents conservation award to Nina R. Ingle
On Oct. 11, 2012, the Field Museum will present the prestigious Parker/Gentry award to Nina R.

The beauty of the accused unfairly affects perceptions of their culpability
A study from the University of Granada based on police surveys indicates that in domestic violence crimes in which the woman kills her abuser, if she is more attractive she is perceived as guiltier.

Kessler Foundation Fellow named to NIDRR-sponsored ARRT Young Investigators Panel
Abhijit Das, M.D., D.M., a postdoctoral fellow in Neuropsychology & Neuroscience Research at Kessler Foundation, has received recognition for his research in cognitive fatigue in multiple sclerosis.

Strategies proposed to improve impact of comparative effectiveness studies
Comparative effectiveness research conducted over the past decade has had a limited impact on the way medical care is delivered.

Electronic health records shown to improve the quality of patient care
A new study by Weill Cornell Medical College researchers, published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, provides compelling evidence that electronic health records enhance the quality of patient care in a community-based setting with multiple payers, which is representative of how medicine is generally practiced across the United States.

Portable lung perfusion device could revolutionize transplant procedures
Scientists have demonstrated that the first ever portable device to perform normothermic perfusion on lungs for transplant safely preserved lungs and resulted in successful transplants in a small group of high-risk recipients, according to a proof-of-concept study published in the Lancet.

Intervention reduces sexual risk behavior and unintended preganancies in teen girls, study finds
Adolescent girls participating in a sexual risk reduction intervention were more likely to practice abstinence and, if sexually active, showed substantial decreases in unprotected sex, number of partners and unintended pregnancies, reports a study in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Rates of procedures such as angioplasty lower in states with public reporting of outcomes
In an analysis that included nearly 100,000 Medicare patients who had experienced a heart attack, the use of a percutaneous coronary intervention was lower for patients treated in states with public reporting of PCI outcomes compared with patients treated in states without public reporting, with these differences being particularly large in the highest-risk patients.

Most pregnancy-related infections are caused by 4 treatable conditions
In low-and-middle income countries, pregnancy-related infections are a major cause of maternal death, can also be fatal to unborn and newborn babies, and are mostly caused by four types of conditions that are treatable and preventable, according to a review by US researchers published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Animal models developed by researchers at IDIBELL and ICO can revolutionize the study of cancer
Some animal models developed by researchers at the Institute of Biomedical Research of Bellvitge and the Catalan Institute of Oncology has served to validate the effectiveness of a new drug against ovarian cancer resistant to cisplatin.

New global project on university reforms
Aarhus University in Denmark will be heading a global education network for Ph.D. students to compare and rethink university reforms in Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Baruch College professor leads NIH study on weight loss interventions
A new NIH-funded study found that overweight and obese adults who participated in three different weight loss treatments, all involving intensive, multi-component counseling delivered in groups, lost significant weight after 48 weeks whether the treatment was led by a health professional or by someone who had previous weight loss success.

An operating system in the cloud
A new cloud-based operating system for all kinds of computer is being developed by researchers in China.

CME credits offered at IOF Regional 3rd Asia-Pacific Osteoporosis Meeting in Kuala Lumpur
The 3rd Asia-Pacific Osteoporosis Meeting, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia from Dec.

With problem drinking, where you live may matter
Some people living in disadvantaged neighborhoods may be at increased risk of problem drinking--though much may depend on race and gender, according to a new study in the November issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

North American Freshwater Mussels
A new book by US Forest Service scientist Wendell Haag provides the first comprehensive view of the ecology and conservation of the approximately 300 species of North American freshwater mussels.

How to save our planet
International conventions on climate change are held on a frequent basis.

What are the biggest challenges to global democracy?
In the new fall issue of the World Policy Journal, the editors liken today's period of politics to an

Heart attack patients in states with public reporting less likely to receive angioplasty
Patients entering hospitals with heart attacks in states with mandatory public reporting are less likely to receive angioplasties to fix heart blockages than patients in states without public reporting, according to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health.

New MRI technique used to identify early-stage coronary disease
With the results of an MRI study from the National Institutes of Health, researchers say they are closer to finding an imaging technique that can identify thickening of the coronary artery wall, an early stage of coronary heart disease.

Potential debt problems more common among the educated, study suggests
Before the financial crash of 2008, it was highly educated Americans who were most likely to pile on unmanageable levels of debt, a new study suggests.

Large water reservoirs at the dawn of stellar birth
ESA's Herschel space observatory has discovered enough water vapor to fill Earth's oceans more than 2,000 times over, in a gas and dust cloud that is on the verge of collapsing into a new sun-like star.

Mount Sinai School of Medicine study shows vitamin C prevents bone loss in animal models
Researchers at Mount Sinai School of Medicine have shown for the first time in an animal model that vitamin C actively protects against osteoporosis, a disease affecting large numbers of elderly women and men in which bones become brittle and can fracture.

Drawing a line, with carbon nanotubes
MIT researchers have designed a new type of pencil lead in which graphite is replaced with a compressed powder of carbon nanotubes.

MIT team builds most complex synthetic biology circuit yet
New sensor can detect four different molecules, could be used to program cells to precisely monitor their environments.

LAPhil and USC neuroscientists launch 5-year study of music education and child brain development
A longitudinal research collaboration to investigate the emotional, social and cognitive effects of musical training on childhood brain development.

Vigorous physical activity may increase risk of bleeding for children with hemophilia
In children and adolescents with hemophilia, vigorous physical activity was associated with an elevated risk of bleeding.

Recovering 'bodyguard' cells in pancreas may restore insulin production in diabetics
The key to restoring production of insulin in type I diabetic patients, previously known as juvenile diabetes, may be in recovering the population of protective cells known T regulatory cells in the lymph nodes at the

University of Michigan earns $21 million grant to study HIV virus behavior
A new $21-million grant will help researchers at the University of Michigan Health System better understand the HIV virus on a molecular level, potentially paving the way for new treatment approaches to AIDS and other diseases.

Research on enhanced transmissibility in H5N1 influenza: Should the moratorium end?
In a series of commentaries appearing on Tuesday, Oct. 9, in mBio, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, prominent microbiologists and physicians argue the cases both for and against lifting a voluntary moratorium on experiments to enhance the ability of the H5N1 virus to move from mammal to mammal, so-called

Patient navigation benefits timely cancer diagnosis, care for vulnerable patients
Researchers at Boston Medical Center have shown that patient navigation services help decrease the time to diagnosis for female patients who have received an abnormal result from a breast or cervical cancer screening.

Bioenergy - The broken promise
Biofuels are going to save us from climate threats and the oil crisis, while at the same time providing an opportunity to the smallholder farmers of the world.

Doubling up on advanced prostate cancer with PARP inhibitors
A newly discovered function of PARP-1 could be the key to more effective therapeutics to treat advanced prostate cancer patients, a recent preclinical study published in Cancer Discovery by Jefferson's Kimmel Cancer Center researchers suggests.

New psychology study reveals unexamined costs of rape
A new psychology study shows that female victims suffer from a wide spectrum of debilitating effects that may often go unnoticed or undiagnosed.

Intrauterine surgery can improve the prognosis for the fetus
Fetuses with congenital malformations can be helped by surgical intervention while still in the womb.

UC Berkeley study finds flirting can pay off for women
When Madeleine Albright became the first female US Secretary of State, she led high-level negotiations between mostly male foreign government leaders.

UCLA Dentistry receives major grant to develop saliva test to predict onset of PTSD
UCLA School of Dentistry receives $3.8 million to develop a saliva test to help predict the onset of post-traumatic stress disorder -- a leading cause of disability in civilian, military and minority populations.

Rearing technique may bolster biocontrol wasp's commercial prospects
The parasitoid wasp Habrobracon hebetor is a top candidate for use in programs to biologically control Indianmeal moths and other stored-product pests.

Rare genetic disorder points to molecules that may play role in schizophrenia
Scientists studying a rare genetic disorder have identified a molecular pathway that may play a role in schizophrenia, according to new research in the Oct.

Invisible tails help cancerous mRNA evade the body's censors
The National Cancer Institute's Provocative Questions program offers grants to investigate today's stickiest questions in cancer science.

Synthetic liver enzyme could result in more effective drugs with fewer side effects
Medicines could be made to have fewer side effects and work in smaller doses with the help of a synthetic enzyme developed at Princeton University that makes drug molecules more resistant to breakdown by the human liver.

AGA publications unveil new iPad apps, website
In order to best meet the needs of members, the American Gastroenterological Association has launched new electronic offerings to make it easier for busy health-care professionals to stay abreast of the latest research and news in gastroenterology while on the go.

Aspirin may decrease risk of aggressive form of ovarian cancer
New research shows that women who regularly use pain relief medications, particularly aspirin, have a decreased risk of serous ovarian cancer -- an aggressive carcinoma affecting the surface of the ovary.

Effectiveness of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis in Peru
In this week's PLOS Medicine, Anna Borquez from Imperial College London and an international group of authors developed a mathematical model representing the HIV epidemic among men who have sex with men and transwomen in Lima, Peru as a test-case for the effectiveness of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis.

Online attitudes predict individuals' compulsive and excessive Internet use and poor well-being
Researchers published an article today in Southern Communication Journal that explores how specific online communication attitudes--such as individuals' tendency for online self-disclosure, online social connection, and online anxiety--predicted their compulsive and excessive Internet use and, in turn, poor well-being.

NASA eyes Typhoon Prapiroon intensifying
Typhoon Prapiroon is the twenty-second tropical cyclone of the western North Pacific Ocean, making for a very active season.

Hormone level linked with increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, death
Plasma levels of proneurotensin are associated with the development of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular and total mortality, and breast cancer in women during long-term follow-up.

First universal standards guiding content, appearance of prescription container labels
With medication misuse resulting in more than one million adverse drug events per year in the United States, new standards released today by the US Pharmacopeial Convention for the first time provide a universal approach to the format, appearance, content and language of instructions for medicines in containers dispensed by pharmacists.

Safety pioneer Joan Claybrook receives 2012 Community Hero award
Joan Claybrook, President Emeritus of Public Citizen and former administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, has received the 2012 Community Hero award from the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy, part of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Study maps greenhouse gas emissions to building, street level for US cities
Arizona State University researchers have developed a new software system capable of estimating greenhouse gas emissions across entire urban landscapes, all the way down to roads and individual buildings.

Extending Einstein's theory beyond light speed
University of Adelaide applied mathematicians have extended Einstein's theory of special relativity to work beyond the speed of light.

Canadian C-spine rule more accurate in diagnosing important cervical spine injuries than other rules
To screen for cervical spine injuries such as fractures in the emergency department, the Canadian C-spine rule appears to be more accurate compared with NEXUS, another commonly used rule, according to a study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Apress unveils open-access book publishing program for the tech community
Apress, a leading publisher of technology books, announces the launch of ApressOpen, a program that offers technology companies and professionals the opportunity to publish technical and business content under an open-access model.

7-a-day for happiness and mental health
Happiness and mental health are highest among people who eat seven portions of fruit and vegetables a day, according to a new report.

Mayo Clinic researchers stop neuromyelitis optica attacks with new therapy
Mayo Clinic researchers have identified a new therapy for patients with neuromyelitis optica that appears to stop inflammation of the eye nerves and spinal cord.

NASA sees brief life of Tropical Storm Olivia
Tropical Storm Olivia was a three-day tropical cyclone in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

Looking out for #1 can make you happy, if you have no choice
We are, at our core, social creatures and we spend considerable time and effort on building and maintaining our relationships with others.

FGM significantly reduces sexual quality of life, suggests new study
Women who have undergone female genital mutilation have a significantly lower sexual quality of life finds a new study published today in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Fast toothpaste check
There are various types of toothpaste available on the market.

Interstellar travelers of the future may be helped by MU physicist's calculations
Former President Bill Clinton recently expressed his support for interstellar travel at the 100 Year Spaceship Symposium, an international event advocating for human expansion into other star systems.

Topological superconductors
A new study, taking into account realistic conditions for the first time, shows that Majorana qubits are possible

Study: Non-genetic factors play role in non-diabetic kidney disease among African-Americans
The high rate of non-diabetic kidney disease in African-Americans is strongly associated with variations in a particular gene.

How cancer cells break free from tumors
MIT study examines how tumor cells detach from the structural elements that normally hold tissues in place, then reattach themselves in a new site.

Coffee speeds up return of bowel function after colon surgery
Patients who drank coffee, rather than water, after bowel surgery to remove a part of their colon experienced a quicker return to bowel movements and tolerance of solid food, according to a comparative study of 80 patients.

Gamblers in a spin over frustrating losses
A new study provides evidence that gamblers interpret near-misses as frustrating losses rather than near-wins.

Leading researchers to present at Mental Health Research Symposium on October 26 in New York City
The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation will hold its 24th Annual Mental Health Research Symposium on Friday, October 26th from 9:00 am to 4:30 p.m. at Bohemian National Hall, 321 East 73rd Street, in New York City.

Hospital rankings dramatically affected by calculation methods for readmissions and early deaths
Hospital readmission rates and early death rates are used to rank hospital performance but there can be significant variation in their values, depending on how they are calculated, according to a new study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

World first network on integrative mental health to improve treatments
The first network of its kind endorsing an integrative approach to the treatment of mental health has been launched as part of World Mental Health Week. 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