Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 18, 2012
Notre Dame professor examines mathematics and the world's greatest buildings
Notre Dame mathematician Alex Hahn examines the mathematics at work in great buildings in a compelling and richly illustrated new book

NASA's TRMM satellite sees very heavy rains in fading Tropical Storm Prapiroon
Heavy rainfall returned to Typhoon Prapiroon for a brief time on Oct.

Some 500 scientists have created a Top 10 list of plant-damaging fungi
Almost 500 international experts have worked together to develop a ranking system of the 10 most important phytopathogenic fungi on a scientific and economic level.

Does true love wait? Age of first sexual experience predicts romantic outcomes in adulthood
New psychology study from The University of Texas at Austin shows teenagers who wait longer to have sex are more likely to have satisfied romantic relationships later in life.

Predicting heart attack risk topic of UH lecture
Each year, seemingly healthy people suffer from acute heart attacks, strokes and sudden cardiac death.

Study shows elevated risk of blood clots in women taking birth control containing drospirenone
A US Food and Drug Administration-funded study led by the Kaiser Permanente Northern California Division of Research found an increased risk of arterial thrombotic events and venous thromboembolic events -- commonly referred to as blockage of arteries and blood clots, respectively -- associated with drospirenone-containing birth control pills compared to four low-dose estrogen combined hormonal contraceptives.

Study succeeds in cutting inappropriate antibiotic prescribing by pediatricians
A study involving one of the nation's largest networks of pediatric practices was able to nearly halve the inappropriate use of antibiotics through quarterly monitoring and feedback of the physicians' prescribing patterns.

A*Star scientists identify mutation that causes skin hyperproliferation
Scientists have identified a mutation in a gene that causes patches of very thick skin to appear on the palms and soles of affected people.

New study shows reprogrammed amniotic fluid cells could treat vascular diseases
A research team at Weill Cornell Medical College has discovered a way to utilize diagnostic prenatal amniocentesis cells, reprogramming them into abundant and stable endothelial cells capable of regenerating damaged blood vessels and repairing injured organs.

Online First in Annals of Internal Medicine
Below is information about an article being published early online today at

Kessler Foundation research director wins NIH grant to study chemotherapy effects on brain
Guang Yue, PhD, director of Human Performance and Engineering Research at Kessler Foundation, has been awarded a 2-year grant ($366,053) by the National Institutes of Health to study the effects of chemotherapy on brain structure, neurophysiology, and psychomotor behavior.

Antibiotic shows promise in treating extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis
When tested in patients hospitalized with extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis (XDR-TB) unresponsive to previous treatment, linezolid, an antibiotic used to treat severe bacterial infections, proved largely effective when added to the patients' ongoing TB treatment regimen.

Tropical collapse caused by lethal heat
Almost no life survived in the Early Triassic for 5 million years.

Technology has improved voting procedures
Thanks to better voting technology over the last decade, the country's election process has seen much improvement, according to a new report released today by researchers at Caltech and MIT.

Energize: ONR supports new energy partnership
The Office of Naval Research remains actively committed to the development of alternative energy sources for the American warfighter -- and is moving forward with a new research effort that involves partners ranging from naval warfare and engineering centers to veterans and wounded warrior programs.

Surviving triple-negative breast cancer
Prijatel's guide and personal account of surviving triple-negative breast cancer.

Bicycle infrastructure can reduce risk of cycling injuries by half: UBC study
Certain types of routes carry much lower risk of injury for cyclists, according to a new University of British Columbia study on the eve of Vancouver's Bike to Work Week.

'Time-capsule' Japanese lake sediment advances radiocarbon dating for older objects
A series of radiocarbon measurements from Japan's Lake Suigetsu will give scientists a more accurate benchmark for dating materials, especially for older objects, according to a research team including Oxford University.

Researchers elucidate transport pathway of immune system substances
To transport substances from the site of their production to their destination, the body needs a sophisticated transport and sorting system.

Radiotherapy after surgery has lasting benefits for prostate cancer patients
New research confirms that giving radiotherapy immediately after surgery to remove the prostate has long-term benefits for preventing the biochemical progression of the disease.

Depression, shortened telomeres increase mortality in bladder cancer patients
Low depressive symptoms and a longer telomere length are compelling factors that contribute to a prolonged life for bladder cancer patients according to researchers at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Taking the bite out of baseball bats
Miss hitting the

New tools for assessing the patient's experience with health care--progress report
An ongoing program is developing new tools for assessing health care quality from the most important viewpoint--that of the patient receiving care, according to a special supplement to Medical Care.

Norovirus outbreaks in nursing homes associated with increase in hospitalizations, risk of death
In a study that included more than 300 Medicare-certified nursing homes, rates of hospitalization and death were substantially increased during outbreaks of norovirus gastroenteritis vs. non-outbreak periods.

The hidden burden of bovine Tuberculosis
Up to 21 percent of herds clearing restrictions for bovine Tuberculosis (bTB) in Great Britain may be harbouring infection, according to a study published in PLOS Computational Biology this week.

Living in ethnically homogenous area boosts health of minority seniors
An African-American or Mexican-American senior living in a community where many neighbors share their background is less likely to have cancer or heart disease than their counterpart in a more mixed neighborhood.

Expalination for ball lightning
Australian scientists have unveiled a new theory which explains the mysterious phenomenon known as ball lightning.

TGen's and NAU's Dr. Paul Keim named AZBio's 2012 Bioscience Researcher of the Year
Dr. Paul Keim, Director of the Pathogen Genomics Division of the Translational Genomics Research Institute and the Cowden Endowed Chair of Microbiology at Northern Arizona University, will receive the 2012 Bioscience Researcher of the Year award from the Arizona BioIndustry Association.

Short booms still annoying: Scientists study how mid-level noise bursts lasting less than a second affect the concentration of arithmetic-solving test subjects
Noise can be distracting, especially to a person trying to concentrate on a difficult task.

A cancer diagnosis does not make young people religious
A sociologist of religion from the University of Copenhagen has interviewed 21 young patients diagnosed with a life-threatening cancer about their religious beliefs.

Collaborative grant looks for genetic roots of Type 1 diabetes
In a new $4.3 million grant from the NIH, scientists from Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, Seattle Children's Research Institute and University of Virginia combine their expertise in three different areas of research in order to determine how genes contribute to the development of T1D.

Solar power is contagious
People are more likely to install a solar panel on their home if their neighbors have one, according to a Yale and New York University study in the journal Marketing Science.

Low calcium diet linked to higher risk of hormone condition in women
A low calcium diet is associated with a higher risk of developing a common hormone condition in women, known as primary hyperparathyroidism, suggests a study published on today.

Team support for cessation in the workplace helped motivate cigarette smokers to quit
Cigarette smoking remains a leading cause of preventable death. The workplace may be an ideal setting for cessation programs.

Italian Health Minister joins international call for secondary fracture prevention
The new IOF report

Cancer Research Institute honors Dr. Laurie H. Glimcher
Dr. Laurie H. Glimcher, the Stephen and Suzanne Weiss Dean of Weill Cornell Medical College and provost for medical affairs of Cornell University, is a winner of the 2012 William B.

Viruses act like 'self-packing suitcases'
Researchers at the University of Leeds have identified a crucial stage in the lifecycle of simple viruses like polio and the common cold that could open a new front in the war on viral disease.

Mechanisms of action for green tea extract in breast cancer prevention identified
Polyphenon E may target tumor growth factors. Researcher says it is still too early to recommend green tea consumption.

Food versus fuel: Is there surplus land for bioenergy?
An interdisciplinary team of scientists from seven European countries and the USA have discussed the concept to utilize so called surplus land for the production of feedstock for bioenergy.

Minneapolis Heart Institute foundation announces schedule of events at TCT conference
The Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation today announced its schedule of presentations at the Cardiovascular Research Foundation's annual Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) scientific symposium, which runs from October 22-26 at the Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami, FL.

$5.4 million awarded for research to guide Alzheimer's drug development
Understanding who is most susceptible to Alzheimer's disease and developing early detection models, effective therapies and possibly a cure is the goal of the largest single private scientific grant ever invested in Alzheimer's Whole Genome Sequencing focused on families afflicted with the disease.

From the twitching whiskers of babes: Naptime behavior shapes the brain
The whiskers of newborn rats twitch as they sleep, in a whisker equivalent of rapid-eye-movements, and that could open the door to new understandings about the intimate connections between brain and body.

Non-infected babies born to HIV mothers have reduced immunity to measles
Non-infected babies born to HIV positive mothers should be vaccinated early against measles, to avoid them acquiring the virus or passing it on to others.

Study shows breastfeeding reduced risk for ER/PR-negative breast cancer
Researchers examined the association between reproductive risk factors -- the number of children a woman delivers, breast-feeding and oral contraceptive use -- and found an increased risk for estrogen receptor- and progesterone receptor- (ER/PR) negative breast cancer in women who do not breast-feed.

Child's home address helps predict risk of readmission to hospital
Simply knowing a child's home address and some socioeconomic data can serve as a vital sign -- helping hospitals predict which children admitted for asthma treatment are at greater risk for re-hospitalization or additional emergency room visits, according to new research in the American Journal of Public Health.

Conservation scientists look beyond greenbelts to connect wildlife sanctuaries
In a human-dominated world, an expanding web of highways, cities, and intensive agriculture traps many animals and plants in islands and cul-de-sacs of habitat, held back by barriers of geography or architecture from reaching mates, food, and wider resources.

Collaborative model for promoting competence and success for students with ASD
This book is a must-have reference for professionals working with children with ASD--clinicians, scientist practitioners, researchers, and graduate students across many disciplines

Poetry in motion: Gemini Observatory releases image of rare polar ring galaxy
Brian Svoboda of the University of Arizona, who recently studied the chemical and temperature environment of NGC 660, believes that unique morphology arises from a previous interaction with a gas-rich galaxy.

High levels of hormones during pregnancy associated with higher risk for HR-negative breast cancer
Pregnancy hormones linked to HR-negative tumors diagnosed before age 50.

NASA pursues atom optics to detect the imperceptible
A pioneering technology capable of atomic-level precision is now being developed to detect what so far has remained imperceptible: gravitational waves or ripples in space-time caused by cataclysmic events including even the Big Bang itself.

World's largest subwoofer: Earthquakes 'pump' ground to produce infrasound
Earthquakes sway buildings, buckle terrain, and rumble -- both audibly and in infrasound, frequencies below the threshold of human hearing.

American Society of Human Genetics annual meeting to occur Nov. 6-10 in San Francisco
A significant relationship between human mortality and the length of telomeres, the stretches of DNA that protect the ends of chromosomes, will be among the research news at American Society of Human Genetics 2012.

American Academy of Pediatrics renews commitment to preventing gun injuries in children
The American Academy of Pediatrics is renewing its call to reduce the destructive effects of guns in the lives of children and adolescents, including counseling parents about safe gun storage as well as supporting legislation to prevent firearm injuries and deaths.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation's SECURE THE FUTURE® program announces new findings confirming Grandmothers Against Poverty and AIDS has positive impact on mitigating HIV/AIDS impact in the community
Survey finds empowerment program helps 57 percent of respondents reduce socioeconomic impact of HIV/AIDS by providing tools to reduce poverty and emotional burden of disease.

How flick knife thumbs help Japan's rare fighting frogs
Combat-ready spikes which shoot from fingers sounds like the weaponry of a comic book hero, but a Japanese scientist has found exactly this in a rare breed of frog.

Genes and immune system shaped by childhood poverty, stress
A University of British Columbia and Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics study has revealed that childhood poverty, stress as an adult, and demographics such as age, sex and ethnicity, all leave an imprint on a person's genes.

UC to study generic vs. brand-name transplant drugs with a $2.7 million FDA grant
A new study at the University of Cincinnati seeks to end the questions over generic-vs.-brand for a common immunosuppressive drug for transplant patients, tacrolimus.

First-of-its-kind self-assembled nanoparticle for targeted and triggered thermo-chemotherapy
Researchers describe the design and effectiveness of a first-of-its-kind, self assembled, multi-functional, NIR responsive gold nanorods that delivers a chemotherapy drug specifically targeted to cancer cells and selectively release the drug in response to an external beam of light while creating heat for synergistic thermo-chemo mediated anti-tumor efficacy.

NASA sees strong wind shear adversely affect Tropical Storm Maria
Tropical Storm Maria is moving away from Japan and strong wind shear is pushing its rainfall east of the storm's center, according to NASA satellite imagery.

Taking race out of the equation in measuring women's risk of osteoporosis and fractures
For women of mixed racial or ethnic backgrounds, a new method for measuring bone health may improve the odds of correctly diagnosing their risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures.

Foster kids do equally well when adopted by gay, lesbian or heterosexual parents
High-risk children adopted from foster care do equally well when placed with gay, lesbian and heterosexual parents, UCLA psychologists report.

FMC grant funds STEM career days for Philadelphia students
Philadelphia public middle-school students and their teachers will be able to interact with scientists from FMC Corporation and explore learning and career opportunities in science and math thanks to a grant from the Philadelphia-based chemical company, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University announced today.

Blood hormone levels can predict long-term breast cancer risk
Blood hormone tests can predict a woman's risk for developing postmenopausal breast cancer for up to 20 years, according to a study led by Xuehong Zhang, MD, Channing Division of Network Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital Department of Medicine.

Elsevier honors the 2012 Nobel Laureates
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, today announced the launch of a Nobel Prize tribute website in honor of eight 2012 Nobel Laureates, providing free access to their research published by Elsevier.

No antibodies, no problem
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have determined a new mechanism by which the mosquitoes' immune system can respond with specificity to infections with various pathogens, including the parasite that causes malaria in humans, using one single gene.

What we know and don't know about fungal meningitis outbreak
In a new perspective piece being published Online First tonight in Annals of Internal Medicine, a physician recalls lessons learned from treating patients affected by the 2002 outbreak of Exophiala (Wangiella) dermatitidis meningitis or arthritis related to contaminated, injectable coticosteroids prepared from a compounding pharmacy.

Germs in space: Preventing infection on long flights
On a long spaceflight unique conditions including microgravity could give microbes the upper hand, but not if astronauts and their spacecrafts are properly prepared.

Developed a technology that predicts metastasis in breast cancer
Researchers at the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute and The Institute of Photonic Sciences have collaborated on the development of a diagnostic tool that identifies the metastatic ability of breast cancer cells.

Criminal punishment and politics: Elected judges take tougher stance prior to elections
The last few months leading up to an election can be a critical, political game changer.

New target for treating diabetic kidney disease, the leading cause of kidney failure
A drug that activates the liver x receptor blocks expression of an inflammatory molecule involved in diabetic nephropathy, the leading cause of kidney failure.

Tel Aviv University to spearhead groundbreaking nanotechnology consortium
Tel Aviv University has been appointed to lead a new consortium of 11 laboratories dedicated to developing nano-sized drug delivery systems for the detection and treatment of cancer, infectious, and heart diseases by the Israel National Nanotechnology Initiative.

MARC travel awards announced for the 2012 ABRCMS Annual Meeting
FASEB MARC Program has announced the travel award recipients for the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students Annual Meeting in San Jose, Calif., from Nov.

University of Florida chemists pioneer new technique for nanostructure assembly
A team of researchers from the University of Florida department of chemistry has developed a new technique for growing new materials from nanorods.

Blood hormone levels predicted long-term breast cancer risk for postmenopausal women
A single blood test can help define a woman's risk.

NASA catches last image of Rafael as a hurricane, now merged with front
Hurricane Rafael is no longer a tropical cyclone. The storm merged with a cold front on Oct.

Food vs. fuel: Is there surplus land for bioenergy?
An interdisciplinary team of 11 scientists from seven European countries and the USA have discussed the concept to utilize so called surplus land for the production of feedstock for bioenergy.

Rutgers researchers unveil 3-D structure of 'molecular machine' that initiates DNA transcription
Rutgers University scientists have determined the three-dimensional structure of the transcription initiation complex, the key intermediate in the process by which cells read out genetic information in DNA.

Dinosaur-era acoustics: Global warming may give oceans the 'sound' of the Cretaceous
Global temperatures directly affect the acidity of the ocean, which in turn changes the acoustical properties of sea water.

Female Pulitzer Prize winners require higher qualifications, MU study finds
A University of Missouri researcher has found that female Pulitzer Prize winners are more likely to have greater qualifications their male counterparts in order to win the coveted award.

How to prove a sexual addiction
A UCLA-led team of experts has tested a proposed set of criteria to define

Researchers make strides toward creating tissue-engineered kidneys
From suspensions of single kidney cells, researchers have constructed

Scientists harness immune system to prevent lymphoma relapse
UK scientists hope that lymphoma patients could benefit from a new drug that triggers the cancer-fighting properties of the body's own immune system, after highly promising early laboratory results.

University of Houston establishes nation's first graduate program in subsea engineering
The University of Houston has received the state of Texas' approval to establish the nation's first subsea engineering graduate program.

From the Alps to the Deep Mantle
Geology articles posted online ahead of print this month survey topography, minerals, faults and tectonics, alluvium, modeling, snowball Earth, fossils and extinction, and pyrite-filled worm burrows.

Study shows effectiveness of ultraviolet light in hospital infection control
Research being presented at IDWeek 2012™ shows that a specific spectrum of ultraviolet light killed certain drug-resistant bacteria on the door handles, bedside tables and other surfaces of hospital rooms, suggesting a possible future weapon in the battle to reduce hospital-associated infections.

A little science goes a long way
A Washington State University researcher has found that engaging elementary school students in science for as little as 10 hours a year can lead to improved test scores in math and language arts.

AMP reports on possibilities, challenges, and applications of next-generation sequencing
NGS-related technologies and instrumentation introduced over the past decade have significantly alleviated the amount of resources required to conduct complex genomic analysis.The report illuminates the current state of NGS by calling out and highlighting the issues to be addressed in greater depth moving forward.

Stroke patients benefit from carmaker's efficiency
A process developed to increase efficiency and productivity in Japanese car factories has helped improve stroke treatment at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, report researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Treating vascular disorders with a cell-based strategy
A new approach for generating large numbers of circulatory system cells, known as vascular endothelial cells (VECs), from human amniotic-fluid-derived cells is reported in a study published by Cell Press Oct.

Japanese lake record improves radiocarbon dating
A new series of radiocarbon measurements from Japan's Lake Suigetsu should help make radiocarbon dating more precise and accurate, especially for older objects, researchers report.

Helmet-to-helmet collisions: Scientists model how vibrations from football hits wobble the brain
Hard collisions can lead to player concussions, but the physics of how the impact of a helmet hit transfers to the brain are not well understood.

Caltech modeling feat sheds light on protein channel's function
Chemists at the California Institute of Technology have managed, for the first time, to simulate the biological function of a channel called the Sec translocon, which allows specific proteins to pass through membranes.

Stanford researchers use solar power to study elephants in Africa
A team of elephant researchers from Stanford University has transformed a remote corner of southern Africa into a high-tech field camp run entirely on sunlight.

Ongoing disparities in breastfeeding highlighted at Fourth Annual Summit on Breastfeeding
Despite efforts to reduce disparities in breastfeeding, only 44 percent of African-American women report that they breastfeed compared with 66 and 68 percent of Hispanic and white women, respectively.

Genetically Modfied Organisms (GMO) need to be assessed through systematic networks
The authors of a paper published in the open access journal BioRisk propose a framework for a European-wide systematic impact assessment of Genetically Modified Organisms.

Ozone affects forest watersheds
US Forest Service and Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists have found that rising levels of ozone, a greenhouse gas, may amplify the impacts of higher temperatures and reduce streamflow from forests to rivers, streams, and other water bodies.

Rethinking toxic proteins on the cellular level
New research at the University of Rochester reveals a new role for lipid roles, as well as a fundamental shift in the concept of histone balance.

College students and credit card debt -- parents at fault?
Parents need to be good role models to help their children make sensible financial decisions, according to Adam Hancock and his team, from East Carolina University in the US.

Hospital uses 'lean' manufacturing techniques to speed stroke care
A hospital stroke team used auto industry

Damage to blood vessel lining may account for kidney failure patients' heart risks
Kidney failure patients have less sugar coating along the insides of their blood vessels, and they have high levels of the coating's constituents in the blood, consistent with increased shedding.

Optical vortices on a chip
An international research group led by scientists from the University of Bristol and the Universities of Glasgow (UK) and Sun Yat-sen and Fudan in China, have demonstrated integrated arrays of emitters of so call 'optical vortex beams' onto a silicon chip.

Panthera media director wins Wildlife Photojournalist of Year Award for wild tiger photos
On Oct. 17, 2012, Panthera's Media Director, Steve Winter, was awarded the prestigious Wildlife Photojournalist of the Year Award from the 2012 Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition. 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