Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 03, 2013
CHOP collaborates with Pfizer's Centers for Therapeutic Innovation to speed pediatric R & D
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and Pfizer, Inc., are joining forces with the goal of translating biomedical discoveries into novel treatments.

Assessing disease surveillance and notification systems after a pandemic
Significant investments over the past decade into disease surveillance and notification systems appear to have

Shape from sound: New methods to probe the universe
A new mathematical tool reported in the journal Physical Review Letters should allow scientists to use

Taken under the 'wing' of the small magellanic cloud
The Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) is one of the Milky Way's closest galactic neighbors.

Choosing less a form of protection says new study on decision-making
New research conducted in collaboration with a professor at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management shows that if a person is feeling threatened, or concerned with their status, they are more likely to choose the option that gives them less.

Damaging effects of unemployment and unexpected wealth losses on mobility and economic security
A new study from The Pew Charitable Trusts,

Final MAVEN instrument integrated to spacecraft
An instrument that will measure the composition of Mars' upper atmosphere has been integrated to NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft.

Marriage can threaten health: Study finds satisfied newlyweds more likely to gain weight
A study of 169 newlywed couples finds that spouses who are more satisfied with their marriage are more likely to gain weight because they are less likely to consider divorce and thus find a new partner, says psychologist and lead researcher Andrea Meltzer, Southern Methodist University, Dallas.

River dolphins use lower pitch sonar signals than marine dolphins, whales
Freshwater dolphins use echolocation signals that are quieter, more low-pitched and more frequent than those used by their marine counterparts, according to research published March 27 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Frants Havmand Jensen from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and colleagues.

2013 wintertime Arctic sea ice maximum fifth lowest on record
During the cold and dark of Arctic winter, sea ice refreezes and achieves its maximum extent, usually in late Feb. or early Mar.

Prostate cancer treatment study changing the way doctors practice
A New England Journal of Medicine paper recommends a dramatic shift in treating metastatic prostate cancer.

Same-day water pollution test could keep beaches open more often
With warm summer days at the beach on the minds of millions of winter-weary people, scientists are reporting that use of a new water quality test this year could prevent unnecessary beach closures while better protecting the health of swimmers.

Ancient pool of warm water questions current climate models
A huge pool of warm water that stretched out from Indonesia over to Africa and South America four million years ago suggests climate models might be too conservative in forecasting tropical changes.

New view of origins of eye diseases
Using new technology and new approaches, researchers at Lund University in Sweden hope to be able to explain why people suffer vision loss in eye diseases such as retinal detachment and glaucoma.

Papyrus plant detox for slaughterhouses
Humans have used the papyrus sedge for millennia. The Ancient Egyptians wrote on it, it can be made into highly buoyant boats, it is grown for ornamentation and parts can even be eaten.

Volunteers use historic US ship logbooks to uncover Arctic climate data
Citizen scientists are transcribing millions of atmospheric and sea-ice observations collected from U.S. ships that spent time in the Arctic.

Measuring ultrasound for better treatment of muscle injuries
A new tool developed at the National Physical Laboratory, the UK's National Measurement Institute, could help improve the quality of ultrasound treatment for soft tissue injuries such as muscle strains and ligament damage.

Brain Activity Mapping Project aims to understand the brain
The scientific tools are not yet available to build a comprehensive map of the activity in the most complicated 3 pounds of material in the world -- the human brain, scientists say in a newly published article.

The North American Cordillera: Constructive collisions
The mountain ranges of the North American Cordillera are made up of dozens of distinct crustal blocks.

Painted turtle gets DNA decoded
Scientists have decoded the genome of the western painted turtle, one of the most abundant turtles on Earth, finding clues to their longevity and ability to survive without oxygen during long winters spent hibernating in ice-covered ponds.

Study finds ionic thrusters generate efficient propulsion in air
Researchers at MIT have run their own experiments and found that ionic thrusters may be a far more efficient source of propulsion than conventional jet engines.

Urinary tract infections 29 times more likely in schizophrenia relapse
Schizophrenia patients experiencing relapse are 29 times more likely than healthy individuals to have a urinary tract infection, researchers report.

On-and-off approach to prostate cancer treatment may compromise survival
Taking a break from hormone-blocking prostate cancer treatments once the cancer seems to be stabilized is not equivalent to continuing therapy, a new large-scale international study finds.

Phase 1 ALS trial is first to test antisense treatment of neurodegenerative disease
The initial clinical trial of a novel approach to treating amyotrophic lateral sclerosis -- blocking production of a mutant protein that causes an inherited form of the progressive neurodegenerative disease -- may be a first step towards a new era in the treatment of such disorders.

For Wikipedia users, being 'Wikipedian' may be more important than political loyalties
Wikipedia users who proclaim their political affiliations within the online community consider their identity as

Laser light zaps away cocaine addiction
By stimulating one part of the brain with laser light, researchers at the National Institutes of Health and the Ernest Gallo Clinic and Research Center at UC San Francisco have shown that they can wipe away addictive behavior in rats -- or conversely turn non-addicted rats into compulsive cocaine seekers.

UH math sciences major receives prestigious Goldwater Scholarship
Lindsey Michelle Brier, a mathematical sciences major at the University of Houston, has been named a Goldwater Scholar.

Anesthetists' research network to create buzz at national conference
A research network established by a network of training anesthetists in the South West of England, and which in just nine months has become one of the most successful of its kind in the UK, is set to create a buzz at the national Group of Anesthetists in Training annual scientific meeting in Oxford, UK.

Scientists identify first potentially effective therapy for human prion disease
Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have for the first time identified a pair of drugs already approved for human use that show anti-prion activity and, for one of them, great promise in treating rare and universally fatal disorders, such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, caused by misfolded proteins called prions.

Third-generation device significantly improves capture of circulating tumor cells
A new system for isolating rare circulating tumor cells -- living solid tumor cells found at low levels in the bloodstream -- shows significant improvement over previously developed devices and does not require prior identification of tumor-specific target molecules.

Accused of complicity in Alzheimer's, amyloid proteins may be getting a bad rap
Amyloids -- clumps of misfolded proteins found in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders -- are the quintessential bad boys of neurobiology.

NIH scientists develop monkey model to study novel coronavirus infection
National Institutes of Health researchers have developed a model of infection in rhesus macaques that will help scientists around the world better understand how an emerging coronavirus, first identified in Sept.

ORNL microscopy uncovers 'dancing' silicon atoms in graphene
Jumping silicon atoms are the stars of an atomic scale ballet featured in a new Nature Communications study from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

PeerJ launches PeerJ PrePrints -- a 'preprint server' for the biological and medical sciences
PeerJ, the Open Access publisher of the peer-reviewed journal PeerJ, today launched

A fingerprint of exhaled breath
ETH researchers could show that exhaled human breath contains a characteristic molecular

Study: Environmental policies matter for growing megacities
A new study shows clean-air regulations have dramatically reduced acid rain in the United States, Europe, Japan and South Korea over the past 30 years, but the opposite is true in fast-growing East Asian megacities, possibly due to lax antipollution rules or lack of enforcement.

Chinese foreign fisheries catch 12 times more than reported: UBC research
Chinese fishing boats catch about US$11.5 billion worth of fish from beyond their country's own waters each year -- and most of it goes unreported, according to a new study led by fisheries scientists at the University of British Columbia.

Gel safe and acceptable as approach to preventing HIV from anal sex
A reformulated version of an anti-HIV gel developed for vaginal use was found safe and acceptable by HIV-negative men and women who used it rectally, according to a Phase I clinical trial published today in PLOS ONE.

Researchers to develop next generation immunotherapy for children with deadly solid tumors
Adoptive T-cell immunotherapy in blood cancers have shown success, most notably in the case of a seven-year-old girl whose leukemia went into remission using altered T-cells and a disabled HIV virus.

CWRU-led scientists build material that mimics squid beak
Researchers led by scientists at Case Western Reserve University have turned to an unlikely model to make medical devices safer and more comfortable -- a squid's beak.

Don't call it vaporware: Scientists use cloud of atoms as optical memory device
Scientists at the Joint Quantum Institute of the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the University of Maryland have taken this to a whole new level by demonstrating that they can store visual images within quite an ethereal memory device -- a thin vapor of rubidium atoms.

New evidence shows PubMed Central undermines journal usage
PubMed Central may draw readership away from biomedical journal sites, with this effect increasing over time.

Will cell therapy become a 'third pillar' of medicine?
Treating patients with cells may one day become as common as it is now to treat the sick with drugs made from engineered proteins, antibodies or smaller chemicals, according to UC San Francisco researchers.

Verifying that sorghum is a new safe grain for people with celiac disease
Strong new biochemical evidence exists showing that the cereal grain sorghum is a safe food for people with celiac disease, who must avoid wheat and certain other grains, scientists are reporting.

Largest class survey reveals polarized UK society and the rise of new groups
The largest survey of the British class system ever carried out has revealed a new structure of seven social divisions, ranging from an

Experts propose research priorities for making concrete 'greener'
According to a new report from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the potential engineering performance, energy-efficiency and environmental benefits of making concrete greener -- reducing its sizable carbon footprint without compromising performance -- is a challenge worth undertaking.

Language by mouth and by hand
Humans favor speech as the primary means of linguistic communication.

'A better path' toward projecting, planning for rising seas on a warmer Earth
More useful projections of sea level are possible despite substantial uncertainty about the future behavior of massive ice sheets.

Fracking: Challenges and opportunities
A technology vital for tapping much-needed energy or one that's environmentally destructive?

Light tsunami in a superconductor
Superconductors are materials which conduct electric currents without any resistance.

Dental anesthesia may interrupt development of wisdom teeth in children
Researchers from Tufts University School of Dental Medicine have discovered an association between local dental anesthesia given to children ages two to six and evidence of missing lower wisdom teeth.

Shark tooth weapons reveal missing shark species in Central Pacific islands
The Gilbert Island reefs in the Central Pacific were once home to two species of sharks not previously reported in historic records or contemporary studies.

UCLA brain-imaging tool and stroke risk test help identify cognitive decline early
UCLA researchers have used a brain-imaging tool and stroke risk assessment to identify signs of cognitive decline early on in individuals who don't yet show symptoms of dementia.

The evolutionary consequences of infidelity
Can extra-pair relationships give rise to sexual dimorphism?

Ophthalmologists urge early diagnosis and treatment of age-related macular degeneration
A study recently published online in Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, showed that AMD still causes severe vision loss in approximately 15 percent of Americans 85 and older.

LSUHSC research identifies co-factors critical to PTSD development
Research led by Ya-Ping Tang, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Cell Biology and Anatomy at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, has found that the action of a specific gene occurring during exposure to adolescent trauma is critical for the development of adult-onset Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

New relief for gynecological disorders
Researchers at Tel Aviv University have discovered an injectable protein that reverses symptoms of two dangerous gynecological conditions, endometriosis and overian hyperstimulation syndrome.

Medical enigma probed by Hebrew University researchers
The same factor in our immune system that is instrumental in enabling us to fight off severe and dangerous inflammatory ailments is also a player in doing the opposite at a later stage, causing the suppression of our immune response.

Collaborations forged to create innovative solutions to children's health issues
Virginia Tech, Children's National Medical Center, and the George Washington University have partnered in a unique program to create research breakthroughs in children's health.

Building quantum states with individual silicon atoms
By introducing individual silicon atom 'defects' using a scanning tunnelling microscope, scientists at the London Centre for Nanotechnology have coupled single atoms to form quantum states.

Brain cell signal network genes linked to schizophrenia risk in families
New genetic factors predisposing to schizophrenia have been uncovered in five families with several affected relatives.

Columbia experts at American Assoc. for Cancer Research 2013 Annual Meeting
The following research from clinician-scientists at the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center will be presented at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting, April 6, 2013, in Washington, DC.

NIH study sheds light on how to reset the addicted brain
Could drug addiction treatment of the future be as simple as an on/off switch in the brain?

Satellite tagging maps the secret migration of white sharks
Long-life batteries and satellite tagging have been used to fill in the blanks of female white sharks' (Carcharodon carcharias) lifestyles.

Advances in molecular testing offer new hope for lung cancer patients
The emergence of molecular diagnostic testing in lung cancer offers new hope for patients battling the number one cancer killer in the United States and abroad.

A giant step toward miniaturization
Semiconductor nanowires are quasi-one-dimensional nanomaterials that have sparked a surge of interest as one of the most powerful and versatile nanotechnological building blocks with actual or potential impact on nanoelectronics, photonics, electromechanics, environmentally friendly energy conversion, biosensing, and neuro-engineering technologies.

High blood pressure in pregnancy may spell hot flashes later
Women who have hypertensive diseases during pregnancy seem to be at higher risk of having troublesome hot flashes and night sweats at menopause, report researchers from the Netherlands in an article published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society.

Climate change winners: Adélie penguin population expands as ice fields recede
Adelie penguins may actually benefit from warmer global temperatures, the opposite of other polar species, according to a breakthrough study by an international team led by University of Minnesota Polar Geospatial Center researchers.

Diversity programs give illusion of corporate fairness, study shows
Diversity training programs lead people to believe that work environments are fair even when given evidence of hiring, promotion or salary inequities, according to new findings by psychologists at the University of Washington and other universities.

Johns Hopkins researcher Se-Jin Lee wins Ho-Am Prize in Medicine
On April 3, South Korea's Ho-Am Foundation announced that Johns Hopkins researcher Se-Jin Lee, M.D., Ph.D., has won this year's Ho-Am Prize in Medicine.

Gender bias found in how scholars review scientific studies
A scientist's gender can have a big impact on how other researchers perceive his or her work, according to a new study.

NIH scientists, grantees map possible path to an HIV vaccine
In an advance for HIV vaccine research, scientists have for the first time determined how both the virus and a resulting strong antibody response co-evolved in one HIV-infected individual.

Thin clouds drove Greenland's record-breaking 2012 ice melt
If the sheet of ice covering Greenland were to melt in its entirety tomorrow, global sea levels would rise by 24 feet.

Carnegie Mellon startup, Neon, secures VC Seed funding
Neon, the Carnegie Mellon University startup that uses cognitive neuroscience to improve online video clicks, has secured venture capital (VC) funding in a Series Seed round led by True Ventures, a Silicon Valley-based venture capital firm.

First data released from the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer
The first published results from the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), a major physics experiment operating on the International Space Station, were announced today by the AMS collaboration spokesman, Nobel Laureate Samuel Ting.

Earth is 'lazy' when forming faults like those near San Andreas
In particular, they study irregularities along strike-slip faults, the active zones where plates slip past each other such as at the San Andreas Fault of Southern California.

UTHealth research: Vermont's health care reform has lessons for other states
Vermont's aggressive health care reform initiatives can serve as a roadmap for other states, according to a Master of Public Health candidate at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston.

Green Pea galaxies could help astronomers understand early universe
The rare Green Pea galaxies discovered by the general public in 2007 could help confirm astronomers' understanding of reionization, a pivotal stage in the evolution of the early universe, say University of Michigan researchers.

NYSCF scientists develop new protocol to ready induced pluripotent stem cell clinical application
A team of New York Stem Cell Foundation Research Institute scientists led by David Kahler, PhD, NYSCF Director of Laboratory Automation, have developed a new way to generate induced pluripotent stem cell lines from human fibroblasts, acquired from both healthy and diseased donors.

Exhaled breath carries a 'breathprint' unique to each individual
Stable, specific 'breathprints' unique to an individual exist and may have applications as diagnostic tools in personalized medicine, according to research published April 3 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Renato Zenobi and colleagues from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the University Hospital Zürich, Switzerland.

Smoking and depressive symptoms in adolescent girls are 'red flag' for postmenopausal osteoporosis
Depression, anxiety, and smoking are associated with lower bone mineral density in adults, but these factors have not previously been studied during adolescence, when more than 50 percent of bone accrual occurs.

Quantum cryptography: On wings of light
Physicists from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich have, for the first time, successfully transmitted a secure quantum code through the atmosphere from an aircraft to a ground station.

Medical patients aren't bargain hunters
Despite the incentive to shop around, patients with increasingly popular Consumer-Directed Health Plans pay roughly the same amount as their traditionally insured counterparts.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers say 1 specific microrna promotes tumor growth and cancer spread
Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center have determined that the overexpression of microRNA-155 (miR-155), a short, single strand of ribonucleic acid encoded by the miR-155 host gene, promotes the growth of blood vessels in tumors, tumor inflammation, and metastasis.

University of Miami study reveals strategy for using free giveaways to maximize sales
Whether or not a gift with purchase works depends on the type of initial item being purchased.

Tagging the launch of Animal Biotelemetry
Open access publisher BioMed Central is proud to announce the launch of Animal Biotelemetry.

Baldness linked to increased risk of coronary heart disease
Male pattern baldness is linked to an increased risk of coronary heart disease, but only if it's on the top/crown of the head, rather than at the front, finds an analysis of published evidence in the online journal BMJ Open.

Multiple factors predict repeat suicide-related behavior in youth: Study
New research out of St. Michael's Hospital has found that multiple factors independently predict what makes youth more likely to make repeat suicide-related behavior.

Effectiveness of a spray that greatly improves dry mouth sensation caused by anti-depressants
Scientists from the universities of Granada and Murcia have confirmed the effectiveness of a product containing 1% malic acid that stimulates saliva production in patients with medication-induced xerostomy (dry mouth).

Low testosterone levels may herald rheumatoid arthritis in men
Low testosterone levels may herald the subsequent development of rheumatoid arthritis in men, suggests research published online in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Researchers find potential map to more effective HIV vaccine
By tracking the very earliest days of one person's robust immune response to HIV, researchers have charted a new route for developing a long-sought vaccine that could boost the body's ability to neutralize the virus.

Quantum tricks drive magnetic switching into the fast lane
Researchers at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory, Iowa State University, and the University of Crete in Greece have found a new way to switch magnetism that is at least 1000 times faster than currently used in magnetic memory technologies.

Ability to 'think about thinking' not limited to humans
Humans' closest animal relatives, chimpanzees, have the ability to

Dementia costs top those for heart disease or cancer, study finds
The most-detailed examination of the costs of dementia in the United States finds the disease is more costly to the nation than either heart disease or cancer.

Cisplatin-resistant cancer cells sensitive to experimental anticancer drugs, PARP inhibitors
Cisplatin-resistant non-small cell lung cancer cells were expressed in high levels of hyperactivated PARP1.

Ancient climate questions could improve today's climate predictions
Climate models for the early Pliocene might be missing key processes.

Targeting mental defeat among pain patients could prevent anxiety and depression
A new study of Hong Kong chronic pain patients suggests that targeting feelings of mental defeat could prevent severe depression, anxiety and interference with daily activities.

Physicists decipher social cohesion issues
Migrations happen for a reason, not randomly. A new study, based on computer simulation, attempts to explain the effect of so-called directional migration -- migration for a reason -- on cooperative behaviors and social cohesion.

Breakthrough cancer-killing treatment has no side-effects
The scientific crusade against cancer recently achieved a victory under the leadership of University of Missouri Curators' Professor M.

Invasive crabs help Cape Cod marshes
Ecologists are wary of non-native species, but along the shores of Cape Cod where grass-eating crabs have been running amok and destroying the marsh, an invasion of predatory green crabs has helped turn back the tide in favor of the grass.

Notre Dame imaging specialists create 3-D images to aid surgeons
University of Notre Dame researchers have successfully created three-dimensional anatomical models from CT scans using 3-D printing technology, a process that holds promise for medical professionals and their patients. 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