Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 05, 2012
UCLA researchers to study depression in breast cancer survivors
UCLA researchers received a five-year, five million dollar grant from the National Cancer Institute that will fund a study seeking to uncover risk profiles of breast cancer survivors likely to suffer from depression.

Hydro-fracking: Fact vs. fiction
In communities across the US, people are hearing more and more about a controversial oil and gas extraction technique called hydraulic fracturing - aka, hydro-fracking.

Electron microscopes with a twist
Viennese Scientists have developed a new way of producing electron beams in electron microscopes.

Once in a lifetime experience for theSkyNet citizen scientist
Last week the top contributor to citizen science initiative theSkyNet traveled to the heart of the West Australian outback to visit the future site of the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope.

Healthy living adds 14 years to your life
If you have optimal heart health in middle age, you may live up to 14 years longer, free of cardiovascular disease, than your peers who have two or more cardiovascular disease risk factors, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study.

Tech fund boosts Binghamton inventors
Binghamton University researcher Ron Miles invented a tiny directional microphone -- suitable for use in hearing aids -- that filters out unwanted sounds.

Many patients who die while awaiting liver transplant have had donor organs declined
The majority of patients on the liver transplant waitlist who died received offers of high-quality donated livers that were declined prior to their death.

Texas Biomed reports faster, more economical method for detecting bioterror threats
Texas Biomedical Research Institute scientists have developed a faster, less expensive route to screen suitable tests for bioterror threats and accelerate the application of countermeasures.

2 NIH studies show power of epidemiology research; Underscore need to address health disparities
Heart disease risk factors are widespread among Hispanic/Latino adults in the United States, with 80 percent of men and 71 percent of women having at least one risk factor for heart disease, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health.

23andMe demonstrates comprehensive research capabilities at annual meeting for ASHG
23andMe, the leading personal genetics company, is participating in five panels and presentations, as well as hosting 17 poster presentations at this year's annual meeting of the American Society of Human Genetics.

First gene therapy study in human salivary gland shows promise
This finding comes from the first-ever Phase I clinical study of gene therapy in a human salivary gland.

More mobility - Due to deafferentation
Painkilling drugs that make many therapies possible are a blessing for patients.

New research suggests standardized booster seat laws could save lives of children
A new study by researchers in Boston Children's Hospital's Division of Emergency Medicine indicates that a nationwide standard on booster seat laws for children 4 feet 9 inches and shorter, or up to 8 years old, would save lives.

Assessing the risk of heart attack and stroke among Hispanics
A study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) indicated that many Hispanic/Latino adults living in the United States are at high risk for heart attack or stroke.

Grandfathers play a more prominent role
Europeans spend much time with their grandchildren. And past 70, the grandfather takes the lead.

Scripps studies show community-based diabetes programs are key to lowered costs and improved care
New findings from a 15-year series of studies led by care providers at Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute reveal that culturally tailored community-created programs are effective at reducing health-related costs and delivering higher quality care.

Spinal cord injury puts patients at high risk of life-threatening cardiovascular events
Cardiovascular (CV) disease is a leading cause of illness and death following SCI, and changes in baroreflex sensitivity--the body's ability to detect and respond to changes in blood pressure--may be predictive of a CV event.

New DNA vaccine technology poised to deliver safe and cost-effective disease protection
A research team led by Roy Curtiss, director of the Center for Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology, and Wei Kong, a research assistant professor, at Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute have taken a dramatic step forward in vaccine research, revealing the design of a universal platform for delivering highly potent DNA vaccines, by employing a cleverly re-engineered bacterium to speed delivery to host cells in the vaccine recipient.

Bypass surgery improves survival for patients with diabetes and multi-vessel coronary artery disease
An international, clinical research trial has shown that patients with diabetes whose multi-vessel coronary artery disease is treated with bypass surgery live longer and are less likely to suffer severe complications like heart attacks than those who undergo angioplasty.

Higher anxiety associated with poorer functioning in children with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome
UC Davis researchers have found that for children with the genetic disorder known as chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome anxiety -- but not intelligence -- is linked to poorer adaptive behaviors, such as self-care and communication skills, that affect daily life.

New Open Innovation Forum
Virttu has created an Open Innovation Forum to give researchers access to its modified oncolytic virus as a carrier for new oncology combination therapies.

Low vitamin D levels associated with longevity
Low levels of vitamin D may be associated with longevity, according to a study involving middle-aged children of people in their 90s published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Drought in 2001-2002 fueled Rocky Mountain pine beetle outbreak
Results of a new study show that episodes of reduced precipitation in the Southern Rocky Mountains, especially during the 2001-2002 drought, greatly accelerated a rise in numbers of mountain pine beetles.

Lifetime risk of developing cardiovascular disease substantial
Even in men and women with an optimal cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factor profile, the lifetime risk estimate for CVD is greater than 30 percent, and is more than 50 percent for men and women overall.

CONRAD to host HIV symposium at 2nd Annual Antivirals Congress
CONRAD HIV and microbicides experts will be featured at the 2nd Annual Antivirals Congress organized by Elsevier publications.

Build your own home theater for full-blast entertainment with 'Virtual Sound Ball'
Professor Yang-Hann Kim and Research Professor Jung-Woo Choi from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, KAIST, have succeeded in building an audio rendering system,

Healthcare ethics consultants share lessons learned
Healthcare ethics consultants are called upon in the most difficult of times; where do they turn for advice?

Sensors for the real world
Researchers at the University of Cambridge have developed gravimetric sensors which are not affected by temperature.

Record research funding for Griffith University
Griffith University has received more than $7.6 million in Australian Research Council Discovery Projects.

Crystals for efficient refrigeration
Researchers at the Carnegie Institution have discovered a new efficient way to pump heat using crystals.

Stirred not mixed: How seawater turbulence affects marine food webs
New research shows that ocean turbulence directly affects the ability of microscopic marine organisms to recycle organic material back into the food web.

Psychiatrist, pianist Richard Kogan visiting UH Nov. 9
Noted psychiatrist and concert pianist Richard Kogan will discuss the composer and perform his works during the lecture/concert

Etiologic diagnosis of nonsyndromic genetic hearing loss in adult vs pediatric populations
Genetic testing for a certain mutation in pediatric patients is valuable in determining a cause for unexplained hearing loss, according to a study in the November 2012 issue of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery.

Controlling vascular disease may be key to reducing prevalence of Alzheimer's disease
Over the last 15 years, researchers have found a significant association between vascular diseases such as hypertension, atherosclerosis, diabetes type 2, hyperlipidemia, and heart disease and an increased risk of Alzheimer's disease.

November 2012 story tips
Scientists have found that rising levels of ozone may amplify the impacts of higher temperatures and reduce streamflow from forests to rivers, streams and other water bodies.

Researchers find earliest known signs of Alzheimer's in people with genetic mutation that causes inherited form of the disease
Researchers have found the earliest signs of Alzheimer's disease yet detected in a group of people with a rare, inherited form of the disease, according to two Articles published in the Lancet Neurology.

New findings on gene regulation and bone development
The patients have single short fingers (metacarpals) and toes (metatarsals) and can be restricted in growth due to a shortened skeleton.

Checklists in the operating room: More safety for patients
The use of the World Health Organization's Surgical Safety Checklist in the operating room considerably lowers the risks of surgery.

US Hispanics at high risk for cardiovascular disease
Hispanics and Latinos living in the US are highly likely to have several major cardiovascular disease risk factors, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and smoking, according to a new, large-scale study.

HIV and AIDS prevention--Progress and the challenges ahead
The complex factors involved in the sexual transmission of HIV, the urgent need for new preventive approaches, and the most promising methods currently in development are examined in a special issue of AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses.

Cockatoo 'can make its own tools'
A cockatoo from a species not known to use tools in the wild has been observed spontaneously making and using tools for reaching food and other objects.

Heart attack packs a wallop to wallet of survivors, their employers
Heart attack and other forms of acute coronary syndrome are costly to patients and their employers.

Physical exercise improves gait speed, muscle strength, fitness in patients with Parkinson's disease
Physical exercise, including treadmill, stretching and resistance exercises, appears to improve gait speed, muscle strength and fitness for patients with Parkinson's disease.

Children's preexisting symptoms influence their reactions to disaster coverage on TV
After a natural disaster occurs, we often find ourselves glued to the TV, seeking out details about the extent of the damage and efforts at recovery.

Loser-pays-all rule in criminal cases could work for wealthy defendants
Adopting a loser-pays-all rule for criminal litigation would likely be feasible only if the rule applied to defendants who are wealthy, says a study from Nuno Garoupa, the H.

Older adults who are frail much more likely to be food insufficient, according to national study
A national study of older Americans shows those who have limited mobility and low physical activity - scientifically categorized as

Air exposure between blinks affects deposits on contact lenses
Modern contact lens materials are prone to drying when exposed to air, which contributes to the buildup of deposits on contact lenses, according to a study -

Genetically engineered tomatoes decrease plaque build-up in mice
For the first time, researchers have genetically engineered tomato plants to produce a peptide that mimics the actions of good cholesterol when eaten.

Researchers create laser the size of a virus particle
The miniaturization of the laser -- a key, workhorse instrument -- is critical to ultra-fast data processing and ultra-dense information storage.

Recreational cocaine use linked to conditions that cause heart attack
Recreational cocaine users may have higher blood pressure, stiffer arteries and thicker heart muscle walls than non-users -- all of which can cause a heart attack.

Researchers discover how underground rodent wards off cancer
Biologists at the University of Rochester have determined how blind mole rats fight off cancer--and the mechanism differs from what they discovered three years ago in another long-lived and cancer-resistant mole rat species, the naked mole rat.

Superbug MRSA identified in US wastewater treatment plants
A team led by researchers at the University of Maryland School of Public Health has found that the

Kids consume more soda and calories when eating out
Children and adolescents consume more calories and soda and have poorer nutrient-intake on days they eat at either fast-food or full-service restaurants, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Daily doses of a new probiotic reduces 'bad' and total cholesterol
A new probiotic lowered LDL

Daily multivitamin use among men does not reduce risk of major cardiovascular events
In a randomized study that included nearly 15,000 male physicians who were middle-aged or older, daily multivitamin use for more than 10 years of treatment and follow-up did not result in a reduction of major cardiovascular events, heart attack, stroke, or death from cardiovascular disease.

Study: New tool helps doctors predict heart attack patients at risk for repeat hospitalization
Some heart attack patients end up back in the hospital just weeks after going home.

Loyola names Junior and Senior Scientists of the Year
Katherine L. Knight, PhD, one of the nation's leading immune system researchers, has been named 2012 Senior Scientist of the Year at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

We're more passive than we predict when sexually harassed, new study shows
Sexual harassment is devastating in and of itself for its victims, but new research from the University of Notre Dame shows there can be an even more insidious and troubling consequence that goes along with it.

Waste management -- good marketing
Spanish legislation on waste management changed in July last year.

Scientists and Google to keep an eye on environment
Detailed satellite imagery about Australian landscapes will soon be only a button push away for land managers in community and non-profit sectors thanks to a partnership between Australian scientists and Google, announced this week.

An innovative model for estimating the excavation parameters of tunnels is developed
In his Ph.D. thesis defended at the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country, Javier Gallo has presented an innovative model that allows the excavation rate of tunnel excavation machines in rocks and soils to be predicted by means of simple variables that can be measured in real time.

Infusing 'good' cholesterol protein may lower risk of subsequent heart attack
In early tests in humans, infusing the chief protein in

Duke Medicine News -- PTSD linked to smaller brain area regulating fear response
Recent combat veterans who are diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder have significantly smaller volume in an area of the brain critical for regulating fear and anxiety responses, according to research led by scientists at Duke University and the Durham VA Medical Center.

Study examines smoking by inpatients during hospital stay
A study of smokers admitted to a large urban teaching hospital in Massachusetts found that 18.4 percent reported smoking during their hospitalization.

Connected vehicle, roadway test sites operating in Virginia
In Northern Virginia, as you speed along Interstate 66 in Fairfax County, or move more sedately along Routes 29 and 50, you may notice large metal boxes with eggbeater-like antennae along the sides of the roads.

Carbon buried in the soil rises again
A team of researchers estimated that roughly half of the carbon buried in soil by erosion will be re-released into the atmosphere within about 500 years, and possibly faster due to climate change.

Clinical trials for first-ever human hookworm vaccine advance
The Sabin Vaccine Institute (Sabin) today announced the start of Part II of its Phase I clinical trial of the Na-GST-1 vaccine candidate, marking another major milestone in the progress toward developing a human hookworm vaccine.

Daily multivitamin use does not reduce cardiovascular disease risk in men
New research from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) finds that daily multivitamin use does not reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in men.

Eating at fast-food, full-service restaurants associated with increased calorie intake
Eating meals and other foods from fast-food and full-service restaurants appears to be associated with increased caloric intake for children and adolescents, as well as a higher intake of sugar, total fat, saturated fat and sodium.

Massive volcanic eruption puts past climate and people in perspective
The largest volcanic eruption on Earth in the past millions of years took place in Indonesia 74,000 years ago and researchers from the Niels Bohr Institute can now link the colossal eruption with the global climate and the effects on early humans.

MU Nursing School receives $14.8 million for project to reduce re-hospitalizations
The University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing today announced a nearly $15 million grant from the US Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Women's body talk: Perception stronger than reality?
How women think their friends feel about their bodies influences their own body concerns, according to a new study by Dr.

Cystic kidney growth curbed
Several million people worldwide suffer from the genetic disorder polycystic kidney disease.

Superstorm animation
A computer animation produced by University of Delaware researchers shows the explosive development of Hurricane Sandy, the superstorm and its unusual track.

Researchers make strides toward selective oxidation catalysts
Solid catalysts tend to be highly reactive, but more efficient chemical processes require that catalysts be more scrupulous about their reactants.

Louisiana Tech University professor earns national honor from Society of American Foresters
The Society of American Foresters has named Louisiana Tech University School of Forestry Associate Professor and Associate Director A.

Home blood pressure monitoring may not benefit patients with stroke and hypertension
Home blood pressure monitoring may help patients with hypertension and stroke but did not improve blood pressure control for patients who had normal blood pressure at the start or those with disabilities, according to a randomized controlled trial published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Study finds high prevalence of major cardiovascular disease risk factors among US Hispanic adults
In a study that involved more than 16,000 Hispanic/Latino men and women living in the United States, the prevalence of major cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors was high and varied markedly across different background groups; and those born in the US were more likely to report a history of coronary heart disease and stroke and to have multiple CVD risk factors.

Overcrowding in prisons negatively affects health
Overcrowding in prisons -- an issue in most prisons in Canada and other parts of the world -- negatively impacts the mental and physical health of prisoners, states an article in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Earth on acid: The present & future of global acidification
Climate change and extreme weather events grab the headlines, but there is another, lesser known, global change underway on land, in the seas, and in the air: acidification.

Warming temperatures cause aquatic animals to shrink the most
Warmer temperatures cause greater reduction in the adult sizes of aquatic animals than in land-dwellers in a new study by scientists from Queen Mary, University of London and the University of Liverpool.

Midwest regenerative medicine symposium to be held in Cincinnati
Hoxworth Blood Center, the University of Cincinnati and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center will host the Midwest Symposium on New Concepts For Tissue-Specific Regenerative Medicine, Nov.

Wellcome Trust and MRC invest £13 million to create a new national stem cell resource
The Wellcome Trust and Medical Research Council today announced a £12.75 million initiative to create a catalogue of high-quality adult stem cells, so-called induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells).

ICDs can reduce sudden death in young patients with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
A multicenter registry has demonstrated that the use of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators to combat sudden cardiac death in high-risk pediatric patients suffering from hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

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

Risk of fatal coronary heart disease higher among black men
In an examination of the incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD) in the US by race and sex, black men and women had twice the rate of fatal CHD compared with white men and women, with this increased risk associated with a greater prevalence of CHD risk factors.

Taking the 'pulse' of volcanoes using satellite images
A new study by scientists at the University of Miami in GRL uses satellite data to investigate deformation prior to the eruption of active volcanoes in Indonesia's west Sunda arc.

2001-2002 drought helped propel mountain pine beetle epidemic, says CU study
A new University of Colorado Boulder study shows for the first time that episodes of reduced precipitation in the southern Rocky Mountains, especially during the 2001-02 drought, greatly accelerated development of the mountain pine beetle epidemic.

Overweight patients hospitalized with pneumonia more apt to survive
Medical researchers at the University of Alberta studied the records of nearly 1000 patients who were admitted to hospital with pneumonia and noted those who were obese were more apt to survive compared to those who were of normal weight.

Learning a new sense
A Weizmann Institute experiment in which volunteers learned to sense objects' locations using just

Molecular Genetics & Genomic Medicine: New open access journal launched by Wiley
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., today announced the launch of Molecular Genetics & Genomic Medicine (MGGM), a new Wiley Open Access journal.

Less-experienced physicians more costly than more-experienced physicians
Physicians with the least experience spend significantly more money treating patients than physicians who have the most experience.

Rate of heart disease risk factors vary across Hispanic/Latino background groups
SDSU professor publishes results of the largest, comprehensive and contemporary study of heart disease risk factors across Hispanic Latinos.

Computers 'taught' to ID regulating gene sequences
Johns Hopkins researchers have succeeded in teaching computers how to identify commonalities in DNA sequences known to regulate gene activity, and to then use those commonalities to predict other regulatory regions throughout the genome.

Princeton researchers identify unexpected bottleneck in the spread of herpes simplex virus
New research suggests that just one or two individual herpes virus particles attack a skin cell in the first stage of an outbreak, resulting in a bottleneck in which the infection may be vulnerable to medical treatment.

High-strength material advancements at Wayne State University may lead to new, life-saving steel
A group of researchers in Wayne State University's College of Engineering have been working to create advanced materials with high-yield strength, fracture toughness and ductility.

Field geologists (finally) going digital
Not very long ago a professional geologist's field kit consisted of a Brunton compass, rock hammer, magnifying glass, and field notebook.

Prenatal testosterone levels influence later response to reward
New findings led by Dr. Michael Lombardo, Prof. Simon Baron-Cohen and colleagues at the University of Cambridge indicate that testosterone levels early in fetal development influence later sensitivity of brain regions related to reward processing and affect an individual's susceptibility to engage in behavior, that in extremes, are related to several neuropsychiatric conditions that asymmetrically affect one sex more than the other.

Inhibition of enzyme NOX4 prevents liver fibrosis
Researchers at the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute have led a study published in PLOS ONE showing that the inhibition of a family member of NADPH oxidase enzyme, NOX4, plays an important role in liver fibrosis.

Scientists find Achilles' heel of cancer cells
Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsches Krebsforschungszentrum) and Heidelberg University Hospital have identified the HDAC11 enzyme as a promising target for new cancer therapies.

Duke Medicine news -- Some heart patients may respond differently to anti-platelet drugs
The cause of heart attacks or strokes among some patients treated with anti-platelet drugs may be different than for patients who have undergone surgical procedures to restore blood flow, according to researchers at Duke Medicine.

Therapy with bone marrow-derived stem cells does not improve short-term recovery after heart attack
Administering to patients stem cells derived from their own bone marrow either three or seven days after a heart attack is safe but does not improve heart function six months later, according to a clinical trial supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Medical care presents update on pharmaceutical health services research
Pharmaceutical health services research goes beyond studying the effects of individual drugs, to looking at the complex and interrelated effects of medications on the health of patients and the population.

MGH/MIT study discovers how brain activity changes when anesthesia induces unconsciousness
Investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital and Massachusetts Institute of Technology have identified for the first time a pattern of brain activity that appears to signal exactly when patients lose consciousness under general anesthesia.

The knowing nose: Chemosignals communicate human emotions
Many animal species transmit information via chemical signals, but the extent to which these chemosignals play a role in human communication is unclear.

Success for first international laser school
MORE than 80 scientists from across Europe converged on Caen, France for the first international school on laser applications, organized by LA3NET - a training network initiated and coordinated by the University of Liverpool and the Cockcroft Institute.

Indian monsoon failure more frequent with warming
Global warming could cause frequent and severe failures of the Indian summer monsoon in the next two centuries, new research suggests.

Scientists identify insect-repelling compounds in Jatropha
A tip about a folk remedy plant used in India and Africa to ward off bugs has led to the discovery of insect-repelling compounds.

Imaging facility develops successful radiation dose reduction program
According to an article in the November issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology, a medical imaging facility in San Diego, Imaging Healthcare Specialists, has implemented a successful radiation dose reduction program, reducing radiation exposure by up to 90 percent in some patients.

Study supports move toward common math standards
A new study analyzing the previous math standards of each state provides strong support for adoption of common standards, which US students desperately need to keep pace with their counterparts around the globe, a Michigan State University scholar argues.

Fraunhofer honored for its winning satellite navigation ideas
Fraunhofer institutes took home a total of four awards from this year's European Satellite Navigation Competition.

High fever and evidence of a virus? Caution, it still may be Kawasaki disease
Clinicians should take caution when diagnosing a child who has a high fever and whose tests show evidence of adenovirus, and not assume the virus is responsible for Kawasaki-like symptoms.

New mobile app helps migraine sufferers track and analyze pain
A new iPhone app developed at the University of Michigan lets migraine or facial pain patients easily track and record their pain, which in turn helps the treating clinician develop a pain management plan.

Vijay Tiwari awarded prestigious grant to study how cancer cells transform to become invasive
Dr. Vijay Tiwari, a Group Leader at the Institute of Molecular Biology at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, is one of only 11 Young Investigators to have been awarded a prestigious grant from the EpiGeneSys Network of Excellence this year.

Copyright laws are off balance
Multi-millionaire rockers such as Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Cliff Richard are set to benefit from recent changes to EU copyright legislation that extend the duration of copyright protection.

Electrical characteristics of printed products determined in a snap
The pilot production environment of VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and PrintoCent, the community of printed electronics, in Oulu is being complemented with roll-to-roll testing equipment.

World's rarest whale seen for the first time
A whale that is almost unknown to science has been seen for the first time after two individuals -- a mother and her male calf -- were stranded and died on a New Zealand beach. 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