Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 12, 2012
Genetic link between pancreatitis and alcohol consumption, says Pitt team
A new study published online today in Nature Genetics reveals a genetic link between chronic pancreatitis and alcohol consumption.

Partisanship shapes beliefs about political and non-political issues
A pre-election survey by the independent research organization NORC at the University of Chicago found that party affiliation alters how people react to political as well as non-political issues, including how individuals assess their own financial well-being.

Housing quality associated with children's burn injury risk
New research indicates that children may be at heightened risk for fire and scald burns by virtue of living in substandard housing.

The energy of stunt kites
It may seem as though the German plains are all but tapped out when it comes to wind energy production.

Persistence or extinction: Through a mathematical lens
A paper published last month in the SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics uses mathematical modeling to study Allee effects, the phenomenon by which a population's growth declines at low densities.

'Raising the african voice' on climate change
Fifteen science academies of Africa issued a joint statement in Lagos, Nigeria, today calling on the African scientific community to intensify its study of the impact of climate change.

Snap judgments during speed dating
For speed daters, first impressions are everything. But it's more than just whether someone is hot or not.

George Washington University awarded $2.3 million contract to study teaching health centers
The George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services recently received a $2.3 million contract to assess the baseline characteristics and outcomes of training medical residents in community-based settings, often located in regions struggling with a severe shortage of health care providers.

List of diseases spread by deer tick grows, along with their range
An emerging tick-borne disease that causes symptoms similar to malaria is expanding its range in areas of the northeast where it has become well-established, according to new research presented today at the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Looking for information?
Putting on a pair of novel data glasses with an OLED microdisplay allows you to see not only the real world, but also a wealth of virtual information.

On the hunt for rare cancer cells
Jellyfish-inspired device that rapidly and efficiently captures cancer cells from blood samples could enable better patient monitoring.

FASEB urges biomedical research community to speak out against sequestration
The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology is rallying the biomedical research community to advocate against devastating funding cuts facing the nation's research agencies unless Congress acts before the end of the year.

Childhood obesity more likely to affect children in poorer neighborhoods
Children living in poorer neighborhoods are nearly 30 percent more likely to be obese than children in more affluent residences, according to a new study from Rice University.

National study shows protective eyewear reduces eye, head, and facial injuries
A new study conducted by researchers at Hasbro Children's Hospital, the Center for Injury Research and Policy of The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital, Fairfax (VA) County Public Schools, and Boston Children's Hospital has found that high school field hockey players competing in states with mandated protective eyewear have significantly lower rates of head, eye, and facial injuries when compared to players who compete in states without protective eyewear mandates.

Gene sequencing project identifies abnormal gene that launches rare childhood leukemia
Research led by the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital -- Washington University Pediatric Cancer Genome Project has identified a fusion gene responsible for almost 30 percent of a rare subtype of childhood leukemia with an extremely poor prognosis.

Study examines how elderly go from being perceived as capable consumer to 'old person'
Many baby boomers want to improve the way people view aging, but an Oregon State University researcher has found they often reinforce negative stereotypes of old age when interacting with their own parents, coloring the way those seniors experience their twilight years.

Scientists at IRB BARCELONA discover a key process that allows colon cancer to metastasize
Researchers at the IRB Barcelona have determined that the ability of colon cancer to metastasize lies in the healthy cells, called stroma, that surround the tumor.

Equol-producer status of US women influences soy food effects on menopause symptoms
Eating more soy was associated with larger reductions in menopausal vasomotor symptoms, such as hot flashes, among US women that can convert soy to a compound called equol, according to data from a first-of-its-kind study presented in an oral session at the North American Menopause Society 2012 annual meeting.

Elsevier launches new journal: 'Health Care: The Journal of Delivery Science and Innovation'
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, is pleased to announce the launch of

Study offers new tool for incorporating water impacts into policy decisions
A new policy-making framework published in the Nov. 6 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, provides a tool for assessing and valuing the many services clean water provides -- from recreation and beauty to navigation and hydropower -- and incorporating them into policy decisions.

Place in the sun carries risks for outdoor workers
Those individuals who work outdoors with resultant sun exposure are at increased risk for non-melanoma skin cancers, such as squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma.

Dance intervention improves self-rated health of girls with internalizing problems
A dance intervention program improved the self-rated health of Swedish girls with internalizing problems, such as stress and psychosomatic symptoms

Saving lives could start at shift change: A simple way to improve hospital handoff conversations
At hospital shift changes, doctors and nurses exchange crucial information about the patients they're handing over -- or at least they strive to.

Catch and release
A research team at Brigham and Women's Hospital has developed a novel device that may one day have broad therapeutic and diagnostic uses in the detection and capture of rare cell types, such as cancer cells, fetal cells, viruses and bacteria.

Wiley Partners with TED
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., (NYSE:JWa, JWb), a global provider of content and workflow solutions in areas of scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly research; professional development; and education, announced today a new collaboration with TED, the non-profit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading, to create and supply instructor materials for their recently launched series of

Good quality of life for couples who adopt
Couples who adopt after unsuccessful IVF treatment have a better quality of life than both childless couples and couples without fertility problems, reveals a study from the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

Scientists take objective look at terms 'least toxic pesticides' applied as 'last resort'
Recommendations and decisions to use

PI3-kinase and PARP inhibitor combo may offer new treatment option for triple-neg breast cancers
PI3-kinase inhibitors sensitized tumors to PARP inhibitors. Combination significantly prolonged progression-free survival in mouse model.

Study shows how chronic inflammation can cause cancer
A new study has found that interleukin-15 (IL-15) alone can cause large granular lymphocytic (LGL) leukemia, a rare and usually fatal form of cancer.

CERN collider to become the world's fastest stopwatch?
In heavy ion collisions at CERN, light pulses can be produced which are a million times shorter than the shortes light pulses created in laser labs today.

Study shows veterans are becoming more segregated in the US
Veterans are becoming more geographically isolated as they migrate to smaller, more rural counties surrounding military bases finds a recent article in Armed Forces & Society, a SAGE journal published on behalf of the Inter-University Seminar on Armed Forces and Society.

PATH's Kent Campbell honored for lifetime achievement in the fight against malaria
Kent Campbell, PATH's Malaria Control Program director, received the distinguished Joseph Augustin LePrince Medal in recognition of outstanding work in the field of malariology at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene's award ceremony.

Call for global monitoring of infectious diseases in dogs and cats
A new study recommends a global system is needed to monitor infectious diseases of companion dogs and cats.

Cilia guide neuronal migration in developing brain
A new study demonstrates the dynamic role cilia play in guiding the migration of neurons in the embryonic brain.

Robots enable scar-free hysterectomies for some women
The precision and three-dimensional view provided by robots can enable essentially scar-free surgery for some women needing hysterectomies, physicians report.

Nurse practitioners: The right prescription to ease doctor shortage
Reports indicate that Michigan faces a physician shortage much larger than the national average, and it will grow as millions of Americans qualify for insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

Statement on the handling of risk situations by scientists
On occasion of the sentencing of Italian scientists for supposedly not having warned sufficiently against the severe earthquake of L'Aquila 2009, the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and the French Academie des sciences publish a statement concerning the handling of risks situations by scientists.

'Social environmental factors' affect rehospitalization risk in home healthcare patients
For elderly patients receiving home healthcare after a hospital stay,

More scientific research of 'fracking' urged in Pennsylvania
Mercyhurst University public health scholar David Dausey, Ph.D., says Pennsylvania has opened its doors to fracking without doing the scientific research necessary to ensure the public's safety.

New low carbon TINA reports
The role that new low carbon technologies can play in helping the UK meet its targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and moving towards a green economy have been highlighted today with the publication of three in-depth reports into core areas of innovation.

Devotes, a project to investigate marine biodiversity and the environment of European seas
The European Commission has started an ambitious project investigating knowledge of marine biodiversity and assessing marine environmental status.

HIV-1 vaccine development: Pinning down a moving target
In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers led by Brad Jones at the University of Toronto in investigated the feasibility of eliminating HIV-infected cells by targeting cellular immune responses against a human endogenous retrovirus.

The aftermath of calculator use in college classrooms
Math instructors promoting calculator usage in college classrooms may want to rethink their teaching strategies, says Samuel King, postdoctoral student in the University of Pittsburgh's Learning Research & Development Center.

Babies rely on words to 'decode' underlying intentions of others
A new Northwestern University study shows the power of language in infants' ability to understand the intentions of others. The results, based on two experiments, show that introducing a novel word for the impending novel event had a powerful effect on the infants' tendency to imitate the behavior.

News from Annals of Internal Medicine
Below is information about an article and commentary being published early online today in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Plan to turn farm waste into paper earns students $15,000
Johns Hopkins engineering students won $15,000 in a national competition for adapting a traditional Korean paper-making technique into a low-tech method that impoverished villagers can use to make paper for their children's underequipped schools.

Scientists unravel the mystery of marine methane oxidation
Researchers uncover how microorganisms on the ocean floor protect the atmosphere against methane.

Children's headaches rarely indicate a need for eyeglasses
A new study provides the first clear evidence that vision or eye problems are rarely the cause of recurring headaches in children, even if the headaches usually strike while the child is doing schoolwork or other visual tasks.

The consequences of late preterm birth
Delivery at any time before the 39th week of gestation increases the risk of postnatal problems and mortality.

Emotional disconnection disorder threatens marriages, researcher says
University of Missouri interpersonal communication researchers found when one spouse suffers from alexithymia, the partners can experience loneliness and a lack of intimate communication that lead to poor marital quality.

Helmets save lives of skiers and snowboarders
The use of helmets by skiers and snowboarders decreases the risk and severity of head injuries and saves lives, new Johns Hopkins-led research suggests.

Erosion has a point -- and an edge, NYU researchers find
Erosion caused by flowing water does not only smooth out objects, but can also form distinct shapes with sharp points and edges, a team of New York University researchers has found.

Divorce costs thousands of women health insurance coverage
About 115,000 women lose private health insurance every year in the wake of divorce, a University of Michigan study shows.

Leader experts in neurorehabilitation gather in Toledo, Spain
The First International Conference on NeuroRehabilitation, held as part of the HYPER project headed by CSIC, will discuss the latest advances in therapies and technologies.

Allied Minds and The George Washington University partner to form LuxCath LLC
The George Washington University and Allied Minds, Inc., a premier US investment firm, are partnering to form LuxCath LLC, a medical technology company that is developing real-time lesion visualization technology based on breakthrough research from the university.

Pneumonia remains the leading killer of children despite decline in global child deaths
Marking the fourth annual World Pneumonia Day, November 12th, world leaders including the UN Secretary General and the Global Coalition Against Child Pneumonia are calling for major efforts in the fight against childhood pneumonia, which remains the number one killer of children under age five.

Smart drug improves survival in older patients with acute myeloid leukemia
Acute myeloid leukemia accounts for around a third of all leukemias diagnosed in the UK.

Smoking parents often expose children to tobacco smoke in their cars
MassGeneral Hospital for Children study suggests that parents may not recognize the dangers of smoking in their cars with a child present.

Mongolia and the Altai Mountains: Origins of genetic blending between Europeans and Asians
A group of researchers led by the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona has discovered the first scientific evidence of genetic blending between Europeans and Asians in the remains of ancient Scythian warriors living over 2,000 years ago in the Altai region of Mongolia.

Patients shy away from asking healthcare workers to wash hands
According to a new study published online today, most patients at risk for healthcare-associated infections agree that healthcare workers should be reminded to wash their hands, but little more than half would feel comfortable asking their physicians to wash.

Expert: Time to break the beta blocker habit?
Millions of people take beta blockers for everything from heart disease to stage fright, from treating glaucoma to preventing migraines.

New studies shed light on what it cost to vaccinate girls against HPV in low income countries
Two studies published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Medicine examined the cost of delivering the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to primary school girls in Tanzania.

A leap forward in the quest to develop an artificial pancreas
A diabetes specialist and Artificial Intelligence expert have collaborated to test the prototype of an artificial pancreas.

Desecrated ancient temple sheds light on early power struggles at Tel Beth-Shemesh
In a finding unparalleled in the archaeological record, Tel Aviv University researchers have uncovered evidence of the desecration of a sacred temple at the excavation of Tel Beth-Shemesh in Israel.

Meditation appears to produce enduring changes in emotional processing in the brain
A new study has found that participating in an eight-week meditation training program can have measurable effects on how the brain functions even when someone is not actively meditating.

$50 million to speed discoveries for patients
Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has received a $50 million grant to help speed the translation of scientific discoveries into improvements in human health.

UT Arlington physics team demonstrates new power generation technique
University of Texas at Arlington and Louisiana Tech University researchers created a hybrid nanomaterial that can be used to convert light and thermal energy into electrical current.

Survey of ER docs and pediatricians highlights need for training, tools to manage kids' concussions
While general pediatricians and pediatric emergency physicians value their role in concussion management, a study of their self-reported knowledge, practices and attitudes points to the need for improved concussion-specific training and infrastructure to support optimal patient care.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for Nov. 13, 2012
Below is information about an article being published in the Nov.

Researchers unlock ancient Maya secrets with modern soil science
Soil scientists and archeologists have uncovered evidence that the Maya grew corn sustainably in the lowlands of Tikal, Guatemala, but that they may also have farmed erosion-prone slopes over time.

A better route to xylan
JBEI researchers have identified a gene in rice plants whose suppression improves both the extraction of xylan and the overall release of the sugars needed to make biofuels.

Psychiatric wait times in emergency departments
Patients with mental illness visiting emergency departments in Ontario have shorter waits to see a doctor during crowded periods and only slightly longer waits during less busy periods, found a study in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

New Liebert Author Advocacy Program (LAAP) promotes scholarly publishing
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers launches the Liebert Author Advocacy Program, an innovative membership program for academic, corporate, and funding institutions designed to support Open Access and enhance the visibility and share-ability of academic research.

Nottingham part of £20m investment for UK synthetic biology
The University of Nottingham has been awarded funding of £2.9m to help make low-carbon fuel.

Fasting time prior to blood lipid tests appears to have limited association with lipid levels
Fasting prior to blood lipid tests appears to have limited association with lipid subclass levels, suggesting that fasting for routine lipid level determinations may be unnecessary.

Enterprise Research Centre launches
Warwick and Aston Universities have been chosen to host a new Enterprise Research Centre that will help develop understanding of the factors affecting business investment, performance and growth.

New cause of thyroid hormone deficiency discovered
International researchers, including a team at McGill University, have discovered a new cause for thyroid hormone deficiency, or hypothyroidism.

£39 million for UK energy efficiency research to cut carbon use
One of the Research Councils' biggest investments in research to support energy efficiency policy and contribute to cutting carbon use and greenhouse gas emissions in the UK was unveiled today.

Awareness could eliminate inequalities in cancer diagnoses
There are substantial inequalities in the stage at which cancer patients receive their diagnosis -- a critical factor for cancer survival -- a new study by the University of Cambridge reveals.

Bringing measuring accuracy to radical treatment
An international team of scientists working at the Plasma Technology research unit at Ghent University, Belgium, has determined time the absolute density of active substances called radicals found in a state of matter known as plasma, in a study about to be published in EPJ D.

$3 million awarded to find biomarkers for potential test of cure for chagas disease
Today at the 61st Annual Meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative announces a new $3 million Strategic Translation Award from the Wellcome Trust to identify new biological markers for the evaluation of treatment efficacy in Chagas disease, a potentially fatal neglected tropical disease.

UNC, Vanderbilt discover a new live vaccine approach for SARS and novel coronaviruses
Collaborating researchers at the University of North Carolina and Vanderbilt University have found that accelerating the rate of mutations in the coronavirus responsible for deadly severe acute respiratory syndrome cripples the virus's ability to cause disease in animals.

November/December 2012 Annals of Family Medicine tip sheet
This tip sheet offers synopses of original research and editorials included in the November/December 2012 issue of Annals of Family Medicine research journal.

'Strain tuning' reveals promise in nanoscale manufacturing
ORNL researcher combined theoretical and experimental studies to understand and control the self-assembly of insulating barium zirconium oxide nanodots and nanorods within barium-copper-oxide superconducting films.

Study suggests L-DOPA therapy for Angelman syndrome may have both benefits and unanticipated effects
New research from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine provides a neurological justification for this therapeutic approach, but researchers caution there could be unanticipated effects.

Southampton to help develop new crops for water-stressed environments
The University of Southampton is to lead a new 11.6 million EU funded research project to develop new drought tolerate crops for bioenergy and bio-products.

Head injury + pesticide exposure = Triple the risk of Parkinson's disease
A new study shows that people who have had a head injury and have lived or worked near areas where the pesticide paraquat was used may be three times more likely to develop Parkinson's disease.

Ultrasound gel and infections: Researchers propose guidelines to reduce risk
In the December issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, guidelines have been proposed by epidemiologists from Beaumont Health System to reduce the risk of infection from contaminated gels.

At least 6 major earthquakes on the Alhama de Murcia fault in the last 300,000 years
Enjoying Spanish participation, an international group of researchers have analysed the most recent history of the Alhama de Murcia fault.

Obesity epidemic threatens health of all social groups equally
It is often assumed that those on low incomes and with low levels of education are overly represented in the major increase in obesity of recent decades.

New statistical method offers automatic mitotic cell detection for cancer diagnosis
Scientists have developed a statistical image analysis method which can assist in the grading of breast cancer by automatically segmenting tumour regions and detecting dividing cells in tissue samples.

Soothing sounds during cataract surgery reduces patient anxiety
New research shows that the use of an audio therapy known as binaural beats can significantly reduce patients' anxiety during cataract surgery.

Black patients with kidney cancer have poorer survival than whites
Among patients with the most common form of kidney cancer, whites consistently have a survival advantage over blacks, regardless of patient and tumor characteristics or surgical treatment.

Colorful wall hangings contain toxic substances
Traditional Swedish bonad paintings can contain toxic substances such as arsenic, reveals new research from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, in which painting conservator and conservation scientist Ingalill Nystrom analyzed the paint and techniques used in the traditional painted wall hangings from southern Sweden.

Physicians fail to disclose conflicts of interest on social media
As the use of Twitter and other social media by physicians and patients rises, more and more physicians seem to forget to do what many consider crucial for building doctor-patient trust: disclose potential conflicts of interest.

Job stress and mental health problems contribute to higher rates of physician suicide
U-M study sheds light on why physicians have a disproportionally higher rate of suicide than the rest of the population.

Ontario Genomics Institute invests in stem cell technology at Tissue Regeneration Therapeutics
The Ontario Genomics Institute, through its Pre-Commercialization Business Development Fund, has invested in Toronto-based Tissue Regeneration Therapeutics, a company that aims to use umbilical mesenchymal stem cells to treat a variety of serious medical conditions, such as arthritis, diabetes and Crohn's disease, to name a few.

Research suggests that humans are slowly but surely losing intellectual and emotional abilities
Human intelligence and behavior require optimal functioning of a large number of genes, which requires enormous evolutionary pressures to maintain.

Surveying Earth's interior with atomic clocks
Ultraprecise portable atomic clocks are on the verge of a breakthrough.

Duke Medicine news -- Genome sequencing of Burkitt Lymphoma reveals unique mutation
In the first broad genetic landscape mapped of a Burkitt lymphoma tumor, scientists at Duke Medicine and their collaborators identified 70 mutations, including several that had not previously been associated with cancer and a new one that was unique to the disease.

Home field advantage: Intravaginal immunization may help protect against infection
In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers led by John Schiller at the National Cancer Institute investigated the immune response to intravaginal immunization in mice infected with a form of the HPV virus carrying a model antigen. 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