Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 16, 2013
Genetics plays major role in victimization in elementary school
Genetics plays a major role in peer rejection and victimization in early elementary school, according to a study recently published on the website of the journal Child Development by a team directed by Dr.

Inaccurate diagnoses of melanoma by smartphone apps could delay doctor visits, life-saving treatment
Smartphone applications that claim to evaluate a user's photographs of skin lesions for the likelihood of cancer instead returned highly variable and often inaccurate feedback, according to a study led by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Yaks are back
A team of American and Chinese conservationists from the Wildlife Conservation Society and University of Montana recently counted nearly 1,000 wild yaks from a remote area of the Tibetan-Qinghai Plateau.

Marginal lands are prime fuel source for alternative energy
Marginal lands ­-- those unsuited for food crops -- can serve as prime real estate for meeting the nation's alternative energy production goals.

Robot allows 'remote presence' in programming brain and spine stimulators
With the rapidly expanding use of brain and spinal cord stimulation therapy (neuromodulation), new

HRH Crown Princess Mary of Denmark announced as patron of Australian and Danish twin registries
Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark has become the International Patron of the Australian Twin Registry, based at the University of Melbourne, and the Danish Twin Registry, announced in a joint ceremony in Denmark overnight.

2013 economic outlook for global chemical industry
The 2013 outlook for the global chemical industry -- a $3 trillion enterprise that impacts virtually every other sector of the economy -- is the topic of the cover story in this week's edition of Chemical & Engineering News.

Mayo Clinic: Skin problems, joint disorders top list of reasons people visit doctors
A new Mayo Clinic Proceedings study shows that people most often visit their health care providers because of skin issues, joint disorders and back pain.

Breast Cancer Message Board study finds frequent discussion of drug side effects, stopping therapy
In the first study to examine discussion of drug side effects on Internet message boards, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that breast cancer survivors taking the commonly prescribed adjuvant therapy known as aromatase inhibitors often detailed in these forums troublesome symptoms resulting from the drugs, and they were apt to report discontinuing the treatment or switching to a different drug in the same class.

ASU partners with Life Technologies on US DHHS funded project to rapidly assess radiation dose
Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute® has announced a partnership with Life Technologies Corporation as it enters the next phase of a multi-million-dollar, multi-institutional research project to develop a medical device to rapidly assess an individual's exposure to radiation in the event of a nuclear incident.

H1N1 flu shots are safe for pregnant women
Norwegian pregnant women who received a vaccine against the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus showed no increased risk of pregnancy loss, while pregnant women who experienced influenza during pregnancy had an increased risk of miscarriages and still births, a study has found.

Hepatitis B virus promotes oncogenesis through microRNA modulation
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Xiaoje Xu and colleagues at the Beijing Institute of Biotechnology report that miR-148a is repressed by hepatitis B virus (HBV) X protein (HBx) to promote growth and metastasis of liver cancer.

Study: Antiretroviral therapy for HIV-1 in first 4 months is crucial
Giving antiretroviral therapy (ART) to HIV-1 patients during an early window after the infection - the first four months - helped 64 percent of the patients to recover their CD4+ T-cell counts to approximately normal.

COPD patients at risk of dangerous bacterial infections
It is well known that COPD patients run a higher risk of contracting respiratory infections.

Developed new method to diagnose hereditary breast and ovarian cancer
Researchers of the Catalan Institute of Oncology at the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute have developed and validated a new method to diagnose hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome based on mass sequencing of BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes.

New Antarctic geological timeline aids future sea-level predictions
Radiocarbon dates of tiny fossilized marine animals found in Antarctica's seabed sediments offer new clues about the recent rapid ice loss from the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and help scientists make better predictions about future sea-level rise.

Researchers develop integrated dual-mode active and passive infrared camera
Researchers at Northwestern's Center for Quantum Devices have found a way to integrate active and passive infrared imaging capability into a single chip, opening the way to lighter and simpler dual-mode cameras.

Light exposure during pregnancy key to normal eye development
New research in Nature concludes the eye -- which depends on light to see -- also needs light to develop normally during pregnancy.

UAlberta medical researchers find DNA marker that predicts breast cancer recurrence
Medical researchers at the University of Alberta tested the DNA of more than 300 women in Alberta and discovered a 'genetic marker' method to help accurately profile which women were more apt to have their breast cancer return years later.

In the Eastern US, spring flowers keep pace with warming climate
Using the meticulous phenological records of two iconic American naturalists, Henry David Thoreau and Aldo Leopold, scientists have demonstrated that native plants in the Eastern United States are flowering as much as a month earlier in response to a warming climate.

Surgical-site infections may increase risk of deadly blood clots after colorectal surgery
Despite receiving blood thinners and other clot prevention treatment, some patients still develop potentially lethal blood clots in the first month after their operations anyway, especially if they developed a surgical-site infection while in the hospital, according to results of a study at Johns Hopkins.

NASA sees 1 area of strength in Tropical Storm Emang
Tropical Storm Emang continues to move through open waters in the Southern Indian Ocean and NASA's TRMM satellite noticed one area of heavy rainfall near the center.

Study examines link between incarceration and psychiatric disorders
Psychiatric disorders are prevalent among current and former inmates of correctional institutions, but what has been less clear is whether incarceration causes these disorders or, alternatively, whether inmates have these problems before they enter prison.

Growing up bilingual
Language mixing -- using elements from two languages in the same sentence -- is frequent among bilingual parents and could pose a challenge for vocabulary acquisition by one- and two-year-old children, according to a new study by Concordia University psychology professor Krista Byers-Heinlein.

Using snail teeth to improve solar cells and batteries
An assistant professor at the University of California, Riverside's Bourns College of Engineering is using the teeth of a marine snail found of the coast of California to create less costly and more efficient nanoscale materials to improve solar cells and lithium-ion batteries.

Joint Polar Satellite System spacecraft completes delta critical design review
The Joint Polar Satellite System spacecraft recently cleared its final major design review, demonstrating that spacecraft development is on track to provide critical environmental data when launched no later than the first quarter of calendar year 2017.

Towards better recovery of waste resources
A considerable amount of valuable raw materials is lost in waste utilization and processing chains.

New study sheds light on the origin of the European Jewish population
Despite being one of the most genetically analyzed groups, the origin of European Jews has remained obscure.

Pandemic vaccination did not increase risk of fetal death
Pregnant women who were vaccinated against pandemic influenza were not at increased risk of experiencing fetal death.

Vaccination responsible for dramatic fall in Salmonella infections
Mass poultry vaccination programs introduced to combat Salmonella infections have led to a dramatic fall in the number of cases since the late 1990s, according to a researcher at the University of Liverpool.

Body's ibuprofen, SPARC, reduces inflammation and thus bladder cancer development and metastasis
A University of Colorado Cancer Center study published today in the Journal of Clinical Investigation shows that the protein SPARC (Secreted Protein Acidic and Rich in Cysteine) acts much like an anti-inflammatory drug, attempting to heal tissues inflamed by tumors.

PR professionals are not 'yes men' when pressured to be unethical, Baylor study finds
Public relations professionals who have provided ethics counsel to senior management are at least as fervent about serving the public interest -- sometimes more so -- as they are about their duty to their organizations, a Baylor University researcher has found.

Earliest sea cow ancestors originated in Africa, lived in fresh water
A new fossil discovered in Tunisia represents the oldest known ancestor of modern-day sea cows, supporting the African origins of these marine mammals.

Tree and human health may be linked
Evidence is increasing from multiple scientific fields that exposure to the natural environment can improve human health.

Could probiotics help HIV patients?
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers led by Jason Brenchley at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, demonstrated that probiotic supplementation improved gut immune function in SIV-infected macaques.

Paging Dr. Charles Dickens!
Professor Avi Ohry of Tel Aviv University says that readers of Charles Dickens' novels are confronted with the stark realities of the 19th century, including poor medical care and social discrimination against the physically disabled and the mentally ill.

Light from the darkness
An evocative new image from ESO shows a dark cloud where new stars are forming, along with a cluster of brilliant stars that have already emerged from their dusty stellar nursery.

Attempts to correct 'death panel' myth may backfire
Efforts to correct false beliefs about health care reform may backfire, depending on individuals' political views and level of knowledge, suggests a study in the February issue of Medical Care.

Breast cancer mortality has not declined in women over 85
Since 1992 the number of deaths linked to breast cancer in Spain has decreased among young and middle aged patients, but not among the elderly.

Privacy a problem for mothers of newborns in neonatal intensive care units, CWRU study finds
Many mothers of newborns in neonatal intensive care units have difficulty finding private, quiet places in the hospital to express milk, according to a new study from the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing at Case Western Reserve University.

Eliminating or curtailing mortgage interest deduction would have modest long-run effects on economy
Eliminating or curtailing the mortgage interest deduction would initially result in declines in housing prices and investment but would have only modest aggregate macroeconomic effects in the long run, according to a new paper from Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.

New UMass Amherst research shows fishways have not helped fish
Hydropower dams on major Northeast US waterways, including the Merrimack and Connecticut rivers, have failed to let economically important species such as salmon, shad and river herring reach their spawning grounds, say a team of economists and fish ecologists including Adrian Jordaan of the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

U-M to develop guide for parents of children with disorders of sex development
University of Michigan researchers were awarded funding to develop decision-making aid for parents that outlines all viable treatment options.

Photovoltaics beat biofuels at converting sun's energy to miles driven
In 2005, President George W. Bush and American corn farmers saw corn ethanol as a promising fossil fuel substitute that would reduce both American dependence on foreign oil and greenhouse gas emissions.

Pulp as biodegradable plastic in disposable food containers
USDA scientists and university cooperators have developed a biodegradable plastic that could be used in disposable food containers.

Embracing debate on how cancers develop: Without the answer, effective therapies remain elusive
Disruptive Science and Technology has launched a Debate section in which ideas and counterpoints can be debated in public.

Elsevier launches new journal: Journal of Unconventional Oil and Gas Resources
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, is pleased to announce the launch of a new journal, Journal of Unconventional Oil and Gas Resources.

PODEX experiment to reshape future of atmospheric science
NASA scientists and engineers are working now to lay the groundwork for the Aerosol-Cloud-Ecosystem (ACE) mission, a satellite that will dramatically change what we can do from space to learn about clouds and aerosols.

IOM report details strategy for monitoring safety of childhood immunization schedule
A review of the available evidence underscores the safety of the federal childhood immunization schedule.

Recent study suggests bats are reservoir for ebola virus in Bangladesh
EcoHealth Alliance, a nonprofit organization that focuses on local conservation and global health issues, released new research on Ebola virus in fruit bats in the peer reviewed journal, Emerging Infectious Diseases.

'Shell-shocked' crabs can feel pain
The food and aquaculture industries should reconsider how they treat live crustaceans such as crabs, prawns and lobsters.

Promising new finding for therapies to treat persistent seizures in epileptic patients
In a promising finding for epileptic patients suffering from persistent seizures known as status epilepticus, researchers reported today that new medication could help halt these devastating seizures.

New Carnegie Mellon research reveals exactly how the human brain adapts to injury
For the first time, scientists at Carnegie Mellon University's Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging have used a new combination of neural imaging methods to discover exactly how the human brain adapts to injury.

Immunology research sheds new light on cell function, response
Researchers have characterized a new protein that affects how cells in the innate immune system function and protect humans against invading bacteria such as E. coli O157:H7.

Checklists in operating rooms improve performance during crises
In a new study published in the Jan. 17 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers at Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health system innovation at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard School of Public Health, have found that teams using checklists have markedly better safety performance.

Trapping malaria parasites inside host cell basis for new drugs
Penn researchers have identified the cell signaling pathway used by malaria parasites to escape from and destroy their host cells and infect new cells -- pointing the way toward possible new strategies to stop these diseases in their tracks.

Engineer making rechargeable batteries with layered nanomaterials
A researcher is developing more efficient ways to save costs, time and energy when creating nanomaterials and lithium-ion batteries.

New study finds malaria, typhoid -- not Ebola -- biggest health threat for travelers to tropics
Feeling feverish after a visit to the tropics? It may not just be a bout with this year's flu.

Seeing beyond cameras: Predicting where people move in CCTV blind spots
A new model from Queen Mary, University of London could be a useful security tool in tracking people in large, busy venues such as airport terminals and shopping centers.

INRS acquires a groundbreaking advanced imaging infrastructure
Professor Federico Rosei, Director of the INRS Energy Materials Telecommunications Research Centre, will soon have access to a Dynamic Transmission Electron Microscope.

New surfaces repel most known liquids
In an advance toward stain-proof, spill-proof clothing, protective garments and other products that shrug off virtually every liquid -- from blood and ketchup to concentrated acids -- scientists are reporting development of new

U of T and Harvard study finds growing 'weight extremes' in the developing world
Obese and overweight people are gaining weight rapidly in low- and middle-income countries while those who are severely undernourished are not experiencing similar weight gains, according to a University of Toronto and Harvard School of Public Health study.

NFL players may be at higher risk for depression as they age
National Football League players may be at increased risk of depression as they age due to brain damage resulting from concussions, according to two studies released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 65th Annual Meeting in San Diego, March 16-23, 2013.

Institute of Medicine report details for monitoring safety of childhood immunization schedule
A review of the available evidence underscores the safety of the federal childhood immunization schedule, according to a report released today by the Institute of Medicine.

Gene in eye melanomas linked to good prognosis
Melanomas that develop in the eye often are fatal. Now, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Study finds a new culprit for epileptic seizures
A new study from MIT neuroscientists suggests that some seizures may originate in non-neuronal cells known as glia, which were long believed to play a mere supporting role in brain function.

Shorter woman, taller man: Preferences for partner height translate into actual partner choices
Finding Mr. or Ms. Right is a complicated process, and choosing a mate may involve compromising on less important factors like their height.

Warmest spring on record causes earliest flowering ever observed in eastern U.S.
Exceptionally warm spring weather in 2010 and 2012 resulted in the earliest flowering times known in 161 years of recorded history at two sites in the eastern US, according to research published January 16 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Elizabeth Ellwood of Boston University and colleagues.

Early treatment for HIV slows damage to immune system and reduces risk of transmission
A 48-week course of antiretroviral medication taken in the early stages of HIV infection slows the damage to the immune system and delays the need for long term treatment, according to research published today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Designing carbon-pricing policy to drive innovation and limit emissions
A research project funded by Carbon Management Canada is developing economic models to examine the multitude of factors that will be affected by policies to reduce carbon dioxide emissions with the aim of providing a more complete picture of costs and benefits.

European Congress on Osteoporosis and Osteoarthritis
The largest European bone event, the European Congress on Osteoporosis & Osteoarthritis (ESCEO13-IOF) and the IOF-ESCEO 3rd Pre-Clinical Symposium, is taking place in Rome from Apr.

Popping the question is his job
With marriage proposals in the air around the new year, researchers at UC Santa Cruz report that both women and men tend to hold traditional views when it comes to marriage proposals.

A material that most liquids won't wet
A nanoscale coating that's at least 95 percent air repels the broadest range of liquids of any material in its class, causing them to bounce off the treated surface, according to the University of Michigan engineering researchers who developed it.

New research finds slower growth of preterm infants linked to altered brain development
Preterm infants who grow more slowly as they approached what would have been their due dates also have slower development in an area of the brain called the cerebral cortex, report Canadian researchers in a new study published today in Science Translational Medicine.

New robotic fish glides indefinitely
A high-tech robotic fish hatched at Michigan State University has a new look.

New research throws doubt on earlier 'killer walrus' claims
Palaeontologists who examined a new fossil found in southern California have thrown doubt on earlier claims that a

An early sign of spring, earlier than ever
A Harvard Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Davis is co-author, with researchers at Boston University and the University of Wisconsin, of a recent study which reports spring flowering began earlier in the eastern United States in 2010 and 2012 than ever before - in some cases beginning as early as March.

Study suggests lung cancer mortality highest in black persons living in most segregated counties
Lung cancer mortality appears to be higher in black persons and highest in blacks living in the most segregated counties in the United States, regardless of socioeconomic status.

JCI early table of contents for Jan. 16, 2013
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Jan.

Oncologist expands HPV research to anal cancer
A basic connection of statistics lead a researcher at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island to question whether women should be screened for anal cancer during a regular visit to the gynecologist, and what technique is most effective.

Scientists identify new 'social' chromosome in the red fire ant
Researchers have discovered a social chromosome in the highly invasive fire ant that helps to explain why some colonies allow for more than one queen ant, and could offer new solutions for dealing with this pest.

Computational methods reveal how hospital-acquired bacteria spread
Scientists at the Academy of Finland's Centre of Excellence in Computational Inference Research have developed novel computational methods that have yielded essential knowledge of how hospital-acquired bacteria spread and develop.

Partnership for sustainable energy technologies
Fraunhofer and the University of British Columbia UBC in Vancouver, Canada will partner to jointly develop technologies for sustainable energy production and supply.

NASA's Webb telescope team completes optical milestone
Engineers working on NASA's James Webb Space Telescope met another milestone recently with they completed performance testing on the observatory's aft-optics subsystem at Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp's facilities in Boulder, Colo.

Portrayal of spring break excess may be stereotypes gone wild
The popular perception that college students are reaching new levels of self-indulgence and risky behavior during spring break excursions may be based on media coverage and scholarship that oversimplifies what has become an annual rite for many young adults, according to researchers.

Scanning the brain: Scientists examine the impact of fMRI over the past 20 years
The development of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) opened up an exciting new landscape for exploration of the human brain.

Development of the first way to make large amounts of promising anti-cancer substance
Scientists are reporting development of the first practical way to make large amounts of a promising new anti-cancer substance that kills cancer cells differently than existing medicines.

Sustainable reinforcement for concrete has newly discovered benefits
Fashionable people may turn up their noses at jute -- the cheap fiber used to make burlap, gunny sacks, twine and other common products -- but new research is enhancing jute's appeal as an inexpensive, sustainable reinforcement for mortar and concrete.

Mindfulness meditation may relieve chronic inflammation
People suffering from chronic inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease and asthma -- in which psychological stress plays a major role -- may benefit from mindfulness meditation techniques, according to a study by University of Wisconsin-Madison neuroscientists with the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the Waisman Center.

New biomarker may help in detecting gliomas, reports Neurosurgery
Researchers using sophisticated genetic testing techniques have identified a promising new biomarker for diagnosis of glioma -- the most common type of malignant brain tumor, reports the January issue of Neurosurgery, official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

New study: US $8.17 billion spent in 2011 to safeguard water by protecting watersheds
The number of initiatives that protect and restore forests, wetlands, and other water-rich ecosystems has nearly doubled in just four years as governments urgently seek sustainable alternatives to costly industrial infrastructure, according to a new report from Forest Trends' Ecosystem Marketplace.

Mathematical breakthrough sets out rules for more effective teleportation
Theoretical physicists have shown that quantum law of 'entanglement' may hold the key to eventual teleportation of quantum information.

UCSB announces Steven Chu as featured keynote speaker at 2013 Summit on Energy Efficiency
The Institute for Energy Efficiency at University of California, Santa Barbara, has announced that Steven Chu, Secretary of Energy at the US Department of Energy, will be the opening keynote speaker for its Summit on Energy Efficiency to be held May 1 and 2, 2013, in Santa Barbara.

Suborbital space research and education conference scheduled for June 2013
The Next-Generation Suborbital Researchers Conference (NSRC-2013), sponsored by Southwest Research Institute and the Commercial Spaceflight Federation, will be held Jun.

Risk factors identified for prolonged sports concussion symptoms
Clear, identifiable factors signal whether an athlete will experience concussive symptoms beyond one week.

New centers and large grants funding announced
Following the latest call for the centers and large grants competition, the Economic and Social Research Council is pleased to announce overall funding of nearly £30m for eight new investments.

Smartphone applications assessing melanoma risk appear to be highly variable
Performance of smartphone applications in assessing melanoma risk is highly variable and 3 of 4 applications incorrectly classified 30 percent or more of melanomas as unconcerning. 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