Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 26, 2013
Researchers form new nerve cells – directly in the brain
The field of cell therapy, which aims to form new cells in the body in order to cure disease, has taken another important step in the development towards new treatments.

Vitamin D benefits breathing in tuberculosis patients
Maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D can help people breathe better and may even protect against tuberculosis, according to a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Hospital remains most common place of death for cancer patients in England
In England, the hospital is still the most common place for patients with cancer to die, but an increase in home and hospice deaths since 2005 suggests that the National End of Life Care Programme (a Programme to promote the rollout of national end-of-life care initiatives) has helped more people to die at their preferred place of death, according to a UK study.

Sexual agreements among gay couples show promise for HIV prevention
The majority of gay men in relationships say they establish a

NYU Dentistry and Medicine are awarded a $840,864 collaborative grant by the Lustgarten Foundation
New York University College of Dentistry and New York University School of Medicine researchers have been awarded a four-year $840,864 collaborative grant by the Lustgarten Foundation to investigate a potential link between pancreatic cancer development and endogenous gut microbiota.

Radiosurgery for treating unruptured intracranial arteriovenous malformations
Researchers at the University of Virginia Health System recommend radiosurgery for treating unruptured arteriovenous malformations (AVMs), because the procedure has a reasonable benefit-to-risk profile.

Young women do not want to run for office
New research shows young women are less likely than young men ever to have considered running for office, to express interest in a candidacy at some point in the future, or to consider elective office a desirable profession.

Geostatistical method predicts urban pollution
Researchers from the University of Castilla-La Mancha have developed a measurement system which permits the prediction of atmospheric pollution due to nitrogen oxides in a specific location and at a particular time.

Climate change likely to worsen threat of diarrheal disease in Botswana, arid African countries
In a National Science Foundation funded study, Kathleen Alexander, an associate professor of wildlife at Virginia Tech, found that climate drives a large part of diarrheal disease and increases the threat that climate change poses on vulnerable communities.

Sequencing without PCR reduces bias in measuring biodiversity
DNA barcode sequencing without the amplification of DNA by PCR beats the problem of false positives which can inflate estimates of biodiversity, finds a study published in BioMed Central and BGI Shenzhen's open access journal GigaScience.

NIH funds UT Dallas study on cause of Huntington's disease
Dr. Santosh D'Mello, professor of molecular and cell biology at The University of Texas at Dallas, has received a federal grant for research that may shed light on why and how specific brain cells are affected by Huntington's disease, a devastating, degenerative brain disorder.

Study finds strong genetic component to childhood obesity
Childhood body weight is strongly influenced by genes, according to new research published today in the International Journal of Obesity.

University of Montreal researchers discover how drug prevents aging and cancer progression
University of Montreal researchers have discovered a novel molecular mechanism that can potentially slows the aging process and may prevent the progression of some cancers.

Mice show innate ability to vocalize
While humans and birds must learn to vocalize, a Washington State University neurophysiologist has found that deaf male mice will vocalize to females the same way as hearing mice.

Counting white blood cells at home
Engineers at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), working with a collaborator from the Jerusalem-based company LeukoDx, have developed a portable device to count white blood cells that needs less than a pinprick's worth of blood and takes just minutes to run.

AGU journal highlights -- Mar. 26, 2013
Featured in this release are research papers on the following topics:

LRO's LAMP ultraviolet spectrograph observes mercury and hydrogen in GRAIL impact plumes
When NASA's twin GRAIL spacecraft made their final descent for impact onto the Moon's surface last December, the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter's sophisticated payload was in position to observe the effects.

Chelation therapy may result in small reduction of risk of CV events
A randomized trial that included patients with a prior heart attack found that use of a chelation regimen modestly reduced the risk of a composite of adverse cardiovascular outcomes, but the findings do not support the routine use of chelation therapy for treatment of patients who have had a heart attack, according to a study in the March 27 issue of JAMA.

Measuring Mars: The MAVEN magnetometer
When the Mars Atmosphere and Volatile Evolution mission begins its journey to the Red Planet in 2013, it will carry a sensitive magnetic-field instrument built and tested by a team at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Squished bug genomics: Insect goo aids biodiversity research
GigaScience (a BGI and BioMed Central open access journal) announces the publication of an article that presents a new method for assessing and understanding biodiversity that uses a DNA-soup made from crushed-up insects and next generation sequencing technology.

Ganetespib shows potency against ALK-positive lung cancer and overcomes crizotinib resistance
Ganetespib killed ALK-driven NSCLC cell lines more effectively than crizotinib.

Notre Dame researchers scoring a win-win with novel set of concussion diagnostic tools
A Notre Dame team has developed a tablet-based testing system that captures the voice of an individual and analyzes the speech for signs of a potential concussion anytime, anywhere, in real-time.

APL backpack-sized mini-mapper captures intel in tight spots
Engineers have developed a portable mapping system -- carried in a backpack -- that can be used to automatically create annotated physical maps of locations where GPS is not available, such as underground or on ships.

New model may pinpoint timing of final menstrual period
For women enduring hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause, a new model could better estimate the timing of the final menstrual period, according to a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

MU program helps health care workers move past tragedy
Health care workers can be affected deeply due to the emotional bonding that can occur between patients and their caregivers.

Microorganisms detected via breath test linked to body mass, fat accumulation
The content of a person's breath may indicate how susceptible they are to weight gain, according to a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Mountain pine beetle genome decoded
The genome of the mountain pine beetle - the insect that has devastated B.C.'s lodgepole pine forests - has been decoded by researchers at the University of British Columbia and Canada's Michael Smith Genome Sciences Centre.

Mindfulness improves reading ability, working memory, and task-focus
If you think your inability to concentrate is a hopeless condition, think again -- and breathe, and focus.

Cedars-Sinai study: Obesity may be linked to microorganisms living in the gut
How much a person eats may be only one of many factors that determines weight gain.

DNA says lemur lookalikes are 2 new species
Scientists have identified two new species of mouse lemur, the saucer-eyed, teacup-sized primates native to the African island of Madagascar.

Europe, the global power
In exciting times for Europe, the new standard work on the influence of the EU in the world is set to be released.

MRI shows brain abnormalities in migraine patients
A new study suggests that migraines are related to brain abnormalities present at birth and others that develop over time.

Protein-rich breakfasts prevent unhealthy snacking in the evening
Eating a breakfast rich in protein significantly improves appetite control and reduces unhealthy snacking on high-fat or high-sugar foods in the evening, which could help improve the diets of more than 25 million overweight or obese young adults in the US.

Death in young children linked to their mother's poor health
In poorer countries, young children are more likely to die in the months before their mother's death, when she is seriously ill, and also in the period after her death, according to a study by international researchers published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Research suggests popular diabetes drugs can cause abnormal pancreatic growth in humans
Individuals who had taken a type of drug commonly used to treat Type 2 diabetes showed abnormalities in the pancreas, including cell proliferation, that may be associated with an increased risk of neuroendocrine tumors,

NSF-funded superhero supercomputer helps battle autism
When it officially came online at the San Diego Supercomputer Center in early January 2012, Gordon was instantly impressive.

Simulations uncover obstacle to harnessing laser-driven fusion
Researchers at The Ohio State University have uncovered an obstacle to the cone-guided approach to fast-ignition fusion energy through simulations at the Ohio Supercomputer Center and experiments at the National Ignition Facility.

Queen's 'super solvents' voted 'Most Important British Innovation of the 21st Century'
Research by scientists from Queen's University Belfast on ionic liquid chemistry has been named the

Youth with type 1 diabetes may suffer health risks when transitioning from pediatric to adult care
Adolescent type 1 diabetes patients face greater risk for heart attacks, strokes, blindness and kidney failure later in life if their transition from pediatric to adult care is not carefully managed, two CU researchers have found.

Researchers find novel way plants pass traits to next generation
New research explains how certain traits can pass down from one generation to the next - at least in plants - without following the accepted rules of genetics.

Brief mindfulness training may boost test scores, working memory
Mindfulness training may help to boost standardized test scores and improve working memory, according to a new study in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Why sticking around is sometimes the better choice for males
Researchers from Lund University and the University of Oxford have been able to provide one answer as to why males in many species still provide paternal care, even when their offspring may not belong to them.

People with depression may not reap full benefits of healthy behaviors
Depression may inhibit the anti-inflammatory effects typically associated with physical activity and light-to-moderate alcohol consumption, according to researchers at Duke Medicine.

Potential Chagas vaccine candidate shows unprecedented efficacy
Scientists are getting closer to a Chagas disease vaccine, something many believed impossible only 10 years ago.

Crash, bang, thump -- the hidden dangers around the home
Bunk beds and baby change tables are among the hidden dangers around the home causing serious injury and death to Queensland children, according to a new report prepared by QUT's Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety - Queensland.

Explorer James Cameron gives DEEPSEA CHALLENGER sub to Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Explorer and filmmaker James Cameron and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution have formed a partnership to stimulate advances in ocean science and technology and build on the breakthroughs of the 2012 Cameron-led DEEPSEA CHALLENGE expedition exploring deep-ocean trenches.

Penn Researchers attach Lyme disease antibodies to nanotubes, paving way for diagnostic device
Existing Lyme disease tests assess the presence of antibodies, which take weeks to form after the initial infection and persist after the infection is gone.

Regulation recommendations so that biofuel plants don't become weeds
In the United States, only species listed on state or federal noxious weed lists are regulated, and those lists are often biased toward species that affect agricultural crops.

UGA discovery may allow scientists to make fuel from CO2 in the atmosphere
Excess carbon dioxide in the Earth's atmosphere created by the widespread burning of fossil fuels is the major driving force of global climate change, and researchers the world over are looking for new ways to generate power that leaves a smaller carbon footprint.

Fruit flies fed organic diets are healthier than flies fed nonorganic diets, study finds
Fruit flies fed an organic diet recorded better health outcomes than flies fed a nonorganic diet, according to a study at Southern Methodist University, Dallas.

Pining for a beetle genome
The sequencing and assembly of the genome of the mountain pine beetle, Dendroctonus ponderosae, is published online this week in Genome Biology.

Research measures financial impact of brownfields on nearby property values
Houses close to contaminated sites known as brownfields lose value.

Physicist Neal Lane receives 2013 Vannevar Bush Award
The National Science Board announced today that physicist Neal Lane, a former Presidential Science Adviser and former National Science Foundation director, is the 2013 recipient of its Vannevar Bush Award.

Ludwig cancer researchers honored among first class of fellows in AACR Academy
Three Ludwig scientists were named as Fellows in the inaugural class of the AACR Academy, the most prestigious honor bestowed by the American Association for Cancer Research.

American Society of Civil Engineers honors scholar of water issues
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) awarded Mohammad Karamouz, the director of the environmental engineering program at Polytechnic Institute of New York University, its 2013 Service to the Profession Award.

Researchers find a way to predict the date of a woman's final menstrual period
A new UCLA-led study suggests a way to predict when a woman will have her final menstrual period.

Trees used to create recyclable, efficient solar cell
Georgia Institute of Technology and Purdue University researchers have developed efficient solar cells using natural substrates derived from plants such as trees.

Astronomers discover new kind of supernova
Supernovae were always thought to occur in two main varieties.

Vitamin D may lower diabetes risk in obese children and adolescents, MU study finds
Being obese puts individuals at greater risk for developing type 2 diabetes, a disease in which individuals have too much sugar in their blood.

Researchers discover sex-selection process of multi-sexed organism Tetrahymena
It's been more than 50 years since scientists discovered that the single-celled organism Tetrahymena thermophila has seven sexes.

Researchers find novel mechanism regulating replication of insulin-producing beta cells
Bringing scientists a step closer to new treatments for diabetes, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the Mount Sinai Medical Center have discovered a novel mechanism that regulates the replication of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas.

Researchers build functional ovarian tissue in lab
A proof-of-concept study suggests the possibility of engineering artificial ovaries in the lab to provide a more natural option for hormone replacement therapy for women.

Better treatment for stroke patients on horizon
Two molecules may provide, for the first time, an indication of which stroke patients will suffer a further, long-term neurological deficit, allowing doctors to tailor treatment more effectively.

Major advance in understanding risky but effective multiple sclerosis treatment
A new study by multiple sclerosis researchers at three leading Canadian centers addresses why bone marrow transplantation has positive results in patients with particularly aggressive forms of MS.

Penn research: Quitting marshmallow test can be a rational decision
A psychological experiment known as

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers design small molecule to disrupt cancer-causing protein
Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center and colleagues at the University of South Florida have developed a small molecule that inhibits STAT3, a protein that causes cancer.

NREL assembles industry working group to advance solar securitization
The US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory recently convened the Solar Access to Public Capital working group with a mission to enable securitization of solar PV assets and associated cash flows in the marketplace.

Researchers discover how model organism Tetrahymena plays roulette with 7 sexes
It's been more than fifty years since scientists discovered that the single-celled organism Tetrahymena thermophila has seven sexes.

Federally-funded research and development centers spend $17.8 billion in fiscal year 2011
The nation's 40 federally-funded research and development centers spent $17.8 billion on research and development in fiscal year 2011, according to a recent report from the National Science Foundation.

Early-onset baldness in African-American men may be linked to prostate cancer
African-American men are at high risk for developing prostate cancer.

Gilman elected inaugural Fellow of the American Association for Cancer Research
Nobel Laureate Dr. Alfred Gilman, Regental Professor Emeritus of Pharmacology at UT Southwestern Medical Center, has been elected one of the inaugural Fellows of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Researchers question evaluation methods for protected areas in the Amazon
The indicators currently being used to guide policy and investments into protected areas in the Amazon may not be having the desired effect.

Lancet Series examines the state of health in Europe
A new Lancet Series on Europe provides a comprehensive examination of some of the most important issues affecting the health of people in Europe today.

Commonly used cholesterol calculation underestimates heart disease danger for many
In what promises to be an eye-opener for many doctors and patients who routinely depend on cholesterol testing, a study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine found that the standard formula used for decades to calculate low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels is often inaccurate, especially in the range considered desirable for high-risk patients.

Antibiotic may provide benefit for treatment of respiratory disorder
Among patients with the lung disorder non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis, treatment with the antibiotic erythromycin resulted in improvement in symptoms but also increased the risk of antibiotic resistance, according to a study appearing in the March 27 issue of JAMA.

Pig wasting syndrome costing farmers millions
Stark new figures show that a common pig virus, present on 99 percent of pig farms, has major economic implications for individual farmers and the pig industry as a whole.

Key find for treating wastewater on World Water Day
A newly developed membrane used to separate waste from water could become key in the treatment of pollutants ranging from acid mine drainage to oil-containing wastewater, as well as in processes ranging from desalination to kidney dialysis.

Experts find link between low doses of vitamin D and adverse pregnancy outcomes
There is a link between vitamin D insufficiency and adverse health outcomes such as gestational diabetes and preeclampsia in mothers-to-be and low birth weight in newborns, suggests a paper published on today.

Research yields significant insights into a common form of autism
Results from a study led by Larry T. Reiter, PhD, at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center are providing significant insights into autism through the study of a specific form of the disorder caused by a duplication on chromosome 15.

Carnegie Mellon's Kevin Zollman earns NSF award to investigate economics of science
Carnegie Mellon University's Kevin Zollman has received a Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation for his project

Many cancer institution websites lack nutritional guidance, others give mixed messages
A review of all 21 of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network member institutions found that only four provided nutritional guidelines, with seven linking to external sites.

Philadelphia shifts to a Northern accent
The traditional Southern inflections associated with the Philadelphia regional accent are increasingly being displaced by Northern influences.

GW professor researching ways to improve human tissue dissection, reduce blood transfusions
A George Washington University researcher recently received a grant to study ways to cut human tissue more efficiently, an effort that could minimize the need for blood transfusions and other products for patients during surgery.

Rural cancer care may be closer than you think
Research from the University of Iowa suggests that cancer care is more accessible in rural areas than thought when Visiting Consultant Centers are considered, and this increased accessibility should be considered as changes are made in the health care system under the Affordable Care Act.

Wastewater injection spurred biggest earthquake yet, says study
A new study is the latest to tie a string of unusual earthquakes, in this case, in central Oklahoma, to injection of wastewater underground.

New study identifies unique mechanisms of antibiotic resistance
Microbiologists have identified mechanisms of antibiotic resistance in a clinical isolate of E. coli resistant to carbapenems, a class of

New insights into the development of the heart
Viewed from the outside, our body looks completely symmetrical. However, most internal organs -- including the heart -- are formed asymmetrically.

Wake Forest Baptist research provides clues to alcohol addiction vulnerability
A Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center team studying alcohol addiction has new research that might shed light on why some drinkers are more susceptible to addiction than others.

Uncovering Africa's oldest known penguins
Africa isn't the kind of place you might expect to find penguins.

Azithromycin may provide benefit for treatment of respiratory disorder
Among patients with the lung disorder non-cystic fibrosis bronchiectasis, treatment with the antibiotic azithromycin resulted in improvement in symptoms but also increased the risk of antibiotic resistance, according to a study appearing in the March 27 issue of JAMA.

Men benefit more than women from having authority on the job
Having more authority in the workplace comes with many rewards -- including greater forms of job control and higher earnings.

Study: Hospital infections in cancer patients climbed, deaths declined
In a nationwide study of patients undergoing surgery for cancer, Henry Ford Hospital researchers have found that while infections during hospital stays increased during a 10-year period, the death rate from those infections dropped.

Study explores gang activity on the internet
Gangs are not using the Internet to recruit new members or commit complex cybercrimes, according to a new study funded by Google Ideas.

Hope for Galapagos wildlife threatened by marine invaders
UK scientists are investigating the spread of invasive non-native marine species around the Galapagos Islands.

Appetite genes are key to better diets for poultry, study shows
The welfare of poultry could be improved by a discovery about how chickens regulate their appetites.

Review article examines sublingual immunotherapy for treatment of allergic rhinitis and asthma
In an examination of a type of treatment for allergic rhinitis and asthma that is used in Europe but not approved by the US Food and Drug Administration, researchers found moderate strength in the evidence from previous studies to support the use of sublingual immunotherapy for the treatment of these conditions, according to an article in the March 27 issue of JAMA.

$12 million for a center for research on aphasia
Northwestern University has received a $12 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to establish a center devoted to research on aphasia, a devastating language disorder that essentially robs the brain of language.

Acute stroke therapy used 3 times more at certified primary stroke centers
Certified Primary Stroke Centers are three times more likely to administer clot-busting treatment for strokes than non-certified centers, reports a new study by researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Certified stroke centers more likely to give clot-busting drugs
Stroke patients are three times more likely to receive clot-busting medication if they're treated at a hospital certified as a primary stroke center.

Erasing electronic footprints to protect victims of domestic violence
Experts at Newcastle University, UK, have developed a suite of technologies to erase the electronic trail left behind by those seeking help from an abusive relationship.

Overweight and obese women at higher risk of adverse neonatal and maternal outcomes
Overweight and obese women are more likely to require specialist medical care during their pregnancy due to the increased risk of adverse neonatal and maternal outcomes, finds a new study published today in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Restaurant service linked to customer demographics, race, Wayne State research finds
Restaurant servers are more likely to give better service to patron types they believe are more inclined to tip well, a Wayne State University researcher has found, a principle that has significant consequences when African-Americans are at the table.

Endangered lemurs' genomes sequenced
For the first time, the complete genomes of three populations of aye-ayes -- a type of lemur -- have been sequenced and analyzed.

Scientists and public school teachers team up to transform science education
The first phase of the Great Diseases Project, a collaboration between researchers at Tufts University School of Medicine and teachers in Boston Public Schools, has increased critical thinking and science literacy for high school students.

Paranoia persists in mugging victims for months after attack, study finds
Being mugged or randomly attacked in the street often leaves people paranoid and distrustful of others long after the attack, according to a study from Wellcome Trust researchers that is published today in the journal Psychological Medicine.

Details of gene pathways suggest fine-tuning drugs for child brain tumors
Pediatric researchers, investigating the biology of brain tumors in children, are finding that crucial differences in how the same gene is mutated may call for different treatments. 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