Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 19, 2012
Greenland's viking settlers gorged on seals
Greenland's viking settlers, the Norse, disappeared suddenly and mysteriously from Greenland about 500 years ago.

Yeast protein breaks up amyloid fibrils and disease protein clumps differently
Hsp104, an enzyme from yeast, breaks up both amyloid fibrils and disordered clumps.

Less than half of youth with mental illness received adequate follow-up care, new study finds
Youth with mental illness are among the most vulnerable, but new research from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health has found that less than half of Ontario youth aged 15 to 19 hospitalized with a psychiatric diagnosis received follow-up care with a primary care doctor or psychiatrist within a month after being discharged.

Stress management counselling in the primary care setting is rare
While stress may be a factor in 60 to 80 percent of all visits to primary care physicians, only three percent of patients actually receive stress management counseling, say researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Study suggests repeat testing common among Medicare beneficiaries
A study suggests that diagnostic tests are frequently repeated among Medicare beneficiaries.

A code of silence in acute myeloid leukemia
In a study published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers led by Daniel Tenen at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center found that a transcriptional regulator known as C/EBPG was highly expressed in a subset of AML samples that had an epigenetically silenced C/EBPA gene.

New tumor tracking technique may improve outcomes for lung cancer patients
Thomas Jefferson University researchers have shown that a real-time tracking technique can better predict and track tumor motion and deliver higher levels of radiation to lung cancer patients and others with moving tumor targets, and also successfully be implemented into existing clinical equipment.

'Dark Energy': Life beneath the seafloor discussed at upcoming American Geophysical Union conference
Scientists affiliated with the National Science Foundation Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations will discuss recent progress in understanding life beneath the seafloor at the American Geophysical Union fall meeting, held in San Francisco from Dec.

£12 million funding to tackle devastating livestock and poultry viruses
Over £5.6M to transform the way foot and mouth disease will be controlled in the future.

Ah, that new car smell: NASA technology protects spacecraft from outgassed molecular contaminants
Outgassing -- the physical process that creates that oh-so-alluring new car smell -- isn't healthy for humans and, as it turns out, not particularly wholesome for sensitive satellite instruments, either.

Comments, traffic statistics help empower bloggers
Whether bloggers are writing to change the world, or just discussing a bad break-up, they may get an extra boost of motivation from traffic-measuring and interactive tools that help them feel more connected to and more influential in their communities, according to researchers.

Embattled childhoods may be the real trauma for soldiers with PTSD
New research on posttraumatic stress disorder in soldiers challenges popular assumptions about the origins and trajectory of PTSD, providing evidence that traumatic experiences in childhood - not combat - may predict which soldiers develop the disorder.

Hold the ice: NYU chemists reveal behavior of antifreeze molecules
NYU chemists have discovered a family of anti-freeze molecules that prevent ice formation when water temperatures drop below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

New study review examines benefits of music therapy for surgery patients
A new study review published by the University of Kentucky found that music therapy can be beneficial to patients before, during and after a surgical procedure and may reduce pain and recovery time.

Inpatient sleeping drug quadrupled fall risk
A drug commonly prescribed to help patients sleep in hospitals has been associated with an increased risk of falls, according to a study published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine.

Decreased kidney function leads to decreased cognitive functioning
The greater a person's decrease in renal functioning, the greater the decrease in their overall cognitive functioning, particularly abstract reasoning and verbal memory, finds a new study, the first to describe change in multiple domains of cognitive functioning in order to determine which specific abilities are most affected in individuals with impaired renal function.

University of East Anglia research shows telomere lengths predict life expectancy in the wild
Researchers at the University of East Anglia have found that biological age and life expectancy can be predicted by measuring an individual's DNA.

Sound bullets in water
Sound waves are commonly used in applications ranging from ultrasound imaging to hyperthermia therapy, in which high temperatures are induced, for example, in tumors to destroy them.

Estrogenic plants linked to altered hormones, possible behavior changes in monkeys
Male red colobus monkeys that ate more of an estrogen-containing plant not only had higher levels of the hormones estradiol and cortisol in their systems, they were more aggressive, had more sex and groomed less.

Pear genome provides new insight into breeding improvement and evolutionary trace analysis
International consortium led by Chinese scientists crack pear genome, providing new insight into breeding improvement and evolutionary trace analysis.

Genetic factor holds key to blood vessel health
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University have identified a genetic factor that prevents blockages from forming in blood vessels, a discovery that could lead to new therapies for cardiovascular diseases.

Electronic visits offer accurate diagnoses, may lead to overprescribing of antibiotics
One of the first studies to compare patients who see their doctors in person to those who receive care through the Internet, known as an e-visit, underscores both the promise and the pitfalls of this technology.

First study of eating disorders in teen ER patients suggests an opportunity to spot hidden problems
Could the emergency room be a good place to spot undiagnosed eating disorders among teens, and help steer them to treatment?

University of Texas team claims 'Student Cluster Challenge' victory at SC12
The University of Texas at Austin team, mentored by staff of the Texas Advanced Computing Center, won the seventh annual Student Cluster Competition this year at the Supercomputing '12 conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Uninsured brain cancer patients may be more likely than insured to die after surgery to remove tumor
Uninsured patients who undergo surgery to remove a brain tumor could be twice as likely to die in the hospital as those who have the same operation but are privately insured, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.

Rice unveils super-efficient solar-energy technology
Rice University scientists have unveiled a revolutionary new technology that uses nanoparticles to convert solar energy directly into steam.

Seattle Children's Research Institute helps identify causes of sagittal craniosynostosis
International team finds genes associated with condition that causes premature skull fusion.

Astrophysicists identify a 'super-Jupiter' around a massive star
Astrophysicists at the University of Toronto and other institutions around the globe have discovered a 'super-Jupiter' around the massive star Kappa Andromedae.

A 3-D light switch for the brain
A new tool for neuroscientists delivers a thousand pinpricks of light to individual neurons in the brain.

UBC professor wins Canada's top pharmaceutical research award
University of British Columbia microbiologist Robert E.W. Hancock has received the Prix Galien 2012 Research Award, widely considered the most prestigious honor in Canadian pharmaceutical research and innovation.

More female board directors add up to improved sustainability performance
As a corporate responsibility consultant, Kellie McElhaney publicly criticized Apple's recent appointment of another man to an already all-male executive team.

Body may be able to 'coach' transplanted stem cells to differentiate appropriately
Pluripotent stem cells are nature's double-edged sword. Because they can develop into a dizzying variety of cell types and tissues, they are a potentially invaluable therapeutic resource.

NIH awards Georgia malaria research consortium up to $19.4 million contract
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded a five-year contract of up to $19.4 million, depending on contract options exercised, to establish the Malaria Host-Pathogen Interaction Center (MaHPIC).

Advanced manufacturing venture highlights region's economic prospects
Printed electronics and related advanced manufacturing technologies have the potential to be a $45 billion global industry, according to business analysts.

Limiting neurosurgery residents' work hours hasn't decreased complication rates
Limits on duty hours for residents in training haven't increased the safety of one common brain operation, concludes a study in the November issue of Neurosurgery, official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

The benefits of gratitude, how weight stigma affects health, and more
Story leads and experts on the benefits of gratitude, the link between group victimhood and trust, how weight stigma affects health, and more, available online...

1 week at a health spa improves your health, study shows
Take off those Thanksgiving pounds with a week at a spa retreat.

Mosquitos fail at flight in heavy fog
Mosquitos have the remarkable ability to fly in clear skies as well as in rain, shrugging off impacts from raindrops more than 50 times their body mass.

Protein test is first to predict rate of progression in Lou Gehrig's disease
A novel test that measures proteins from nerve damage that are deposited in blood and spinal fluid reveals the rate of progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in patients, according to researchers from Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida, Emory University and the University of Florida.

Kids with psoriasis likely to be obese or overweight
The largest international study of physician-treated children with psoriasis shows children with the skin disease are about twice as likely to be overweight or obese than children who don't have the disease.

Dry leaves make for juicy science
The simple observation that leaves shrink when they dry out has far-reaching consequences for scientists studying how ecosystems work, a University of Arizona graduate student has discovered.

Chronic pain in parents appears associated with chronic pain
Chronic pain in parents appears to be associated with chronic nonspecific pain and chronic multisite pain in adolescents and young adults.

Beargrass, a plant of many roles, is focus of new report
Beargrass is an ecologically, culturally, and economically important plant in the Western United States and, for the first time, landowners, managers, and harvesters now have a comprehensive report about the species.

Is that nervous feeling social anxiety disorder, or is it simply a case of being shy?
Most people are faced with embarrassment or humiliation at some point in their lives.

Kessler Foundation researchers predict hidden epidemic of neurological disability for India
This article in the Nov. 20 issue of Neurology® details a hidden epidemic of neurologic disability for India.

Study examines postdischarge complications after general surgery
A study of postdischarge (PD) complications after general surgery procedures found that overall, 16.7 percent of patients experienced a complication and 41.5 percent of complications occurred PD.

Singular polymer, multiple functions
Darrell Reneker, University of Akron distinguished professor of polymer science; Matthew Becker, UA associate professor of polymer science; and polymer science graduate student Jukuan Zheng developed what they call a one-size-fits-all polymer system that can be fabricated and then specialized to perform healing functions ranging from fighting infection to wound healing.

Failed explosions explain most peculiar supernovae
Supercomputer simulations have revealed that a type of oddly dim, exploding star is probably a class of duds -- one that could nonetheless throw new light on the mysterious nature of dark energy.

Martian history: Finding a common denominator with Earth's
A team of scientists studied the hydrogen in water from the Martian interior and found that Mars formed from similar building blocks to that of Earth, but that there were differences in the later evolution of the two planets.

BaBar experiment confirms time asymmetry
Digging through nearly 10 years of data from billions of BaBar particle collisions, researchers found that certain particle types change into one another much more often in one way than they do in the other, a violation of time reversal symmetry and confirmation that some subatomic processes have a preferred direction of time.

School exclusion policies contribute to educational failure, study shows
University of Texas at Austin sociologist finds school exclusion policies and lack of support from teachers contribute to high dropout rate among students who have been arrested.

Major advance in using sunlight to produce steam without boiling water
Scientists today are describing a revolutionary new way to use sunlight to produce steam and other vapors without heating an entire container of fluid to the boiling point.

Can't stop? Smoking less helps
Vicki Myers of Tel Aviv University found that while quitters had the biggest improvements in mortality rates, even those who reduced their smoking were able to cut their mortality risk by 15 percent.

Study: High vitamin D levels in pregnancy may protect mother more than baby against MS
Pregnant women who have higher levels of vitamin D in their blood may have a lower risk of developing multiple sclerosis than women with lower levels, while their babies may not see the same protective effect, according to a study published in the Nov.

Researchers use computer simulations to find true cost of HIV screenings
Introducing HIV screenings into the nation's emergency departments leaves some doctors worrying about longer wait times, disrupted operations, and possible interference with necessary emergency services.

Multiple sclerosis 'immune exchange' between brain and blood is uncovered
DNA sequences obtained from a handful of patients with multiple sclerosis at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center have revealed the existence of an

American oak skeletonizer moth invades Europe
The North American oak skeletonizer, a very small moth, has invaded North West Europe since 1989, and feeds commonly on planted Northern red oaks in the Netherlands, Belgium and adjacent Germany.

New species literally spend decades on the shelf
Many of the world's most unfamiliar species are just sitting around on museum shelves collecting dust.

Immune cell migration is impeded in Huntington's disease
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers led by Paul Muchowski at the J.

Does your job increase your breast cancer risk?
Is there a link between the risk of breast cancer and the working environment?

Study reveals clues to cause of hydrogen embrittlement in metals
Hydrogen can easily dissolve and migrate within metals to make these otherwise ductile materials brittle and more prone to failures.

Columbia awards 2012 Naomi Berrie Award to Drs. Christophe Benoist & Diane Mathis
Columbia University Medical Center presented the 2012 Naomi Berrie Award to Christophe Benoist, MD, PhD, and Diane Mathis, PhD, both of Harvard Medical School, for their contributions to expanding understanding of the disease mechanisms underlying type 1 diabetes over the past three decades. research.

Researchers study links between conflict and fisheries in East Africa
Dr. Sarah Glaser, a visiting professor at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, has received a two-year, $243,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to continue her study of the links between armed conflict and fishery resources in East Africa's Lake Victoria basin.

New technology for a more efficient treatment of Pompe disease and other metabolic disorders
VIB researchers from UGent and Vrije Universiteit Brussel, together with a team of the firm Oxyrane have developed a new technology that can lead to a more efficient and possibly also cheaper therapy for diseases such as Pompe disease.

New Informatics and Bioimaging Center combines resources, expertise from UMD, UMB
A new center that combines advanced computing resources at the University of Maryland, College Park with clinical data and biomedical expertise at the University of Maryland, Baltimore could soon revolutionize the efficiency and effectiveness of health care in the state of Maryland and beyond.

The fragility of the welfare state
The social contract that supports the welfare state, where income is redistributed, is fragile.

Astronomers pin down origins of 'mile markers' for expansion of universe
A study using a unique new instrument on the world's largest optical telescope has revealed the likely origins of especially bright supernovae that astronomers use as easy-to-spot

Cincinnati and Boston Children's Hospitals receive an NIH Autism Center of Excellence Grant
A network of five leading medical centers, led by Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and Boston Children's Hospital, has received a five-year, $12.5 million National Institutes of Health grant to learn more about how autism develops.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for Nov. 20, 2012
Below is information about articles being published in the Nov.

Unemployment may be associated with increased heart attack risk
Unemployment, multiple job losses and short periods without work may be associated with increased risk for acute myocardial infarction (AMI, heart attack).

Toward competitive generic drug prices in Canada
The commitment of Canadian premiers to lower generic drug prices is a major change in how the country prices generic drugs, and government should learn from past attempts, states an article published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

TGen, Scottsdale Healthcare lead worldwide study of new drug for patients with pancreatic cancer
A new cancer drug combination demonstrated significant improvement in overall survival of late-stage pancreatic cancer patients compared to those receiving standard treatment, according to results of a Phase III clinical trial led by physicians from Scottsdale Healthcare's Virginia G.

Owls' ability to fly in acoustic stealth provides clues to mitigating conventional aircraft noise
Owls have the uncanny ability to fly silently, relying on specialized plumage to reduce noise so they can hunt in acoustic stealth.

Network's 'it takes a village' approach improves dementia care and informs research, study shows
The approach of the Indianapolis Discovery Network for Dementia -- with contributions from family members, community advocates, health care systems and researchers -- improves dementia care and informs dementia research, according to a new study by researchers from the Regenstrief Institute and the Indiana University Center for Aging Research.

Scientists pioneer method to predict environmental collapse
Scientists at the University of Southampton are pioneering a technique to predict when an ecosystem is likely to collapse, which may also have potential for foretelling crises in agriculture, fisheries or even social systems.

CAMH scientist wins Polanyi Prize
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is extremely proud to announce that psychiatrist Dr.

Vision stimulates courtship calls in the grey tree frog
Male tree frogs like to 'see what they're getting' when they select females for mating, according to a new study by Dr.

Fruit fly studies guide investigators to misregulated mechanism in human cancers
Changes in how DNA interacts with histones -- the proteins that package DNA -- regulate many fundamental cell activities from stem cells maturing into a specific body cell type or blood cells becoming leukemic.

Some cells don't know when to stop
Certain mutated cells keep trying to replicate their DNA -- with disastrous results -- even after medications rob them of the raw materials to do so, according to new research from USC.

Templeton Foundation awards grant for meditation research
The John Templeton Foundation has awarded a grant of $2.3 million over three years to continue and extend the Shamatha Project based at UC Davis, the most comprehensive investigation yet conducted into the effects of intensive meditation training on mind and body.

Invisibility cloaking to shield floating objects from waves
A new approach to invisibility cloaking may one day be used at sea to shield floating objects -- such as oil rigs and ships -- from rough waves.

Can breast cancer cells' reaction to cancer drugs be predicted?
Finnish researchers have developed a triumphant solution for predicting responses of breast cancer cells to a set of cancer drugs.

Texas Biomed files patent for a novel HIV vaccine strategy
The Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio has applied for a patent for a genetically-engineered vaccine strategy to prevent HIV infection that targets the outer layers of body structures that are the first sites of contact with the virus.

Experimental drug improves memory in mice with multiple sclerosis
Johns Hopkins researchers report the successful use of a form of MRI to identify what appears to be a key biochemical marker for cognitive impairment in the brains of people with multiple sclerosis.

The Journal of Biological Chemistry commemorates an important 1987 discovery
It has been 25 years since the identification of two proteins that facilitate communication between nerve cells - a significant achievement that revealed a group of related proteins.

Medications are being discontinued -- and the pharmacist may not know
More than 85,000 medications are discontinued each year by physicians, yet while physicians share this information with their patients, it is too often not shared with the pharmacists.

New clinical recommendations for diagnosing and treating stable ischemic heart disease
Six organizations representing physicians, other health care professionals, and patients today issued two new clinical practice guidelines for diagnosing and treating stable ischemic heart disease, which affects an estimated one in three adults in the United States.

Support for gay marriage grows in Michigan
Support for gay marriage is growing in Michigan, mirroring changing attitudes in many parts of the United States, according to Michigan State University's State of the State Survey.

Method for assessing hand bone density may prevent hip fractures
A new study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden shows, that a technique for measuring bone density called digital X-ray radiogrammetry used on standard hand radiographs can help to identify patients with a higher risk of hip fracture.

4-degrees briefing for the World Bank: The risks of a future without climate policy
Humankind's emissions of greenhouse gases are breaking new records every year.

Research finds evidence of a 'mid-life crisis' in great apes
Chimpanzees and orangutans can experience a mid-life crisis just like humans, a study suggests.

Smoking in pregnancy tied to lower reading scores
Yale School of Medicine researchers have found that children born to mothers who smoked more than one pack per day during pregnancy struggled on tests designed to measure how accurately a child reads aloud and comprehends what they read.

Study examines surgical outcomes after head and neck cancer at safety-net hospitals
Safety-net hospitals appear to provide head and neck cancer surgical care to a vulnerable population, without an increase in short-term mortality, morbidity, or costs.

Protecting US troops against sand flies
US Department of Agriculture scientists are helping deployed American troops protect themselves against sand flies, which are major pests in Afghanistan, Africa and the Middle East.

CCNY landscape architect offers storm surge defense alternatives
The flooding in New York and New Jersey caused by Superstorm Sandy prompted calls from Gov.

A new factor of genetic susceptibility to Alzheimer's disease
A large-scale international study involving French researchers led by Philippe Amouyel, has just discovered a gene for susceptibility to a rare disease providing evidence of the heterogeneous aetiology of Alzheimer's disease.

Teleconcussion validated in Mayo Clinic case study
A program at Mayo Clinic using telemedicine technology is showing promise for patients with concussions in rural Arizona.

NASA sees sun's 2 Prominence Eruptions
The Sun erupted with two prominence eruptions, one after the other over a four-hour period on Nov.

A myth debunked: The full moon does not increase the incidence of psychological problems
Contrary to popular belief, there is no connection between lunar phases and the incidence of psychological problems.

'Different kind of stem cell' possesses attributes favoring regenerative medicine
A research team at Georgetown say the new and powerful cells they first created in the laboratory a year ago constitute a new stem-like state of adult epithelial cells.

Portable bed rails aren't safe - Groups ask FTC to ban false advertising
Portable bed rails marketed to

New energy technologies promise brighter future
In three studies published in the current issue of Technology and Innovation -- Proceedings of the National Academy of Inventors, innovators unveil creative technologies that could change our sources of energy, change our use of energy, and change our lives.

Former JLab director honored with prestigious Slack Award
Hermann Grunder, founding director of the US Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, has been awarded a Francis G.

Astronomers directly image massive star's 'super-Jupiter'
Astronomers using infrared data from the Subaru Telescope in Hawaii have discovered a

Happy youngsters more likely to grow into wealthy adults, study finds
The first in-depth investigation of whether youthful happiness leads to greater wealth in later life reveals that, even allowing for other influences, happy adolescents are likely to earn more money as adults.

NJIT civil engineer receives NSF grant to study storm's impact on Jersey Shore
A few days after Hurricane Sandy hit, NJIT Professor Michel Boufadel was awarded a National Science Foundation grant to study the impact of the storm on the New Jersey shoreline.

Alcohol provides protective effect, reduces mortality substantial
Injured patients were less likely to die in the hospital if they had alcohol in their blood, according to a study from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health -- and the more alcohol, the more likely they were to survive.

Lava dots: Rice makes hollow, soft-shelled quantum dots
Serendipity proved to be a key ingredient for the latest nanoparticles discovered at Rice University.

Uninsured patients undergoing craniotomy for brain tumor have higher in-hospital mortality
Compared to insured patients, uninsured patients have higher in-hospital mortality following surgery for brain tumors.

After 121 years, identification of 'grave robber' fossil solves a paleontological enigma
Researchers have resolved the evolutionary relationships of Necrolestes patagonensis, a paleontological riddle for more than 100 years.

Pilot facility launched in Ghana to transform human waste into renewable biodiesel fuel
Researchers at Columbia University's Engineering School, working in Ghana with Waste Enterprisers Ltd., the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, and the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly, today launched a pilot facility to convert fecal sludge into biodiesel fuel, addressing a ubiquitous societal problem while producing cost-effective sustainable energy.

Research gets real - Public votes determine winner of $100,000 research prize
Robert Green, M.D., M.P.H., has been named the winner of the $100,000 BRIght Futures Prize, after a unique competition in which nearly 6,500 online votes from people across the globe determined the winning project.

No elevated 10-year risk of heart disease for people who become ill during a large E. coli outbreak
According to a new study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal), people who became ill during the Walkerton, Ontario, Escherichia coli O157:H7outbreak were not at greater risk of heart disease or stroke 10 years later.

Scripps Research Institute team identifies a potential cause of Parkinson's disease
A team led by scientists from The Scripps Research Institute has pinpointed a key factor controlling damage to brain cells in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease.

The European Gender Summit - more women in science, better research results for everybody
The European Gender Summit - set to take place on Nov.

Sequester will have a devastating impact on America's research enterprise
Three organizations representing America's research universities today launched a website that aims to inform policymakers and the public of the impact that the upcoming budget sequester would have on federal funding for university research.

Faulty development of immature brain cells causes hydrocephalus
University of Iowa scientists have discovered a new cause of neonatal hydrocephalus.

Many seniors' sleep habits are similar to those of young adults, study suggests
More than half of all retired people aged 65 and over report sleeping at least 7.5 hours per night, and between the hours of 11 p.m. and 7:30 a.m., contrary to commonly held assumptions that most elderly go to bed early and have trouble sleeping through the night, according to a study by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh's Sleep and Chronobiology Center and University Center for Social and Urban Research.

Children with psoriasis may be at increased risk for overweight and obesity
A study of children in nine countries found that psoriasis in children was associated with an increased risk for overweight and obesity, regardless of psoriasis severity.

Fox Chase researchers find that most Medicare patients wait weeks before breast cancer surgery
Although patients may feel anxious waiting weeks from the time of their first doctor visit to evaluate their breast until they have breast cancer surgery, new findings from Fox Chase Cancer Center show that these waits are typical in the United States. 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