Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 22, 2013
Tumors with ALK rearrangements can harbor more mutations
The identification of potentially targetable kinase mutations has been an exciting advancement in lung cancer treatment.

Study shows reproductive effects of pesticide exposure span generations
North Carolina State University researchers studying aquatic organisms called Daphnia have found that exposure to a chemical pesticide has impacts that span multiple generations -- causing the so-called

For development in Brazil, 2 crops are better than 1
Brazil is in the midst of an explosion of agricultural production, but who is profiting from that production -- wealthy land owners and investors or average Brazilians is the subject of debate.

Forensic sciences are 'fraught with error'
A target article recently published in Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition reviews various high-profile false convictions.

BioMed Central announces winner of 7th Annual Research Awards
Open access publisher BioMed Central is proud to reveal the winner of the 7th Annual Research Awards.

Ecology, economy and management of an agro-industrial Amazon frontier
A special issue of the Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society -- Biological Sciences addresses a major challenge facing our society: feeding a global population that is simultaneously growing and increasing its per capita food consumption, while preventing widespread ecological and social impoverishment.

Particular DNA changes linked with prostate cancer development and lethality
A new analysis has found that the loss or amplification of particular DNA regions contributes to the development of prostate cancer, and that patients with two of these DNA changes have a high likelihood of dying from the disease.

Using black holes to measure the universe's rate of expansion
Prof. Hagai Netzer of Tel Aviv University has developed a method that uses black holes to measure distances of billions of light years with a high degree of accuracy.

Joslin scientists advance understanding of human brown adipose tissue and grow new cells
Joslin scientists report significant findings about the location, genetic expression and function of human brown adipose tissue (BAT) and the generation of new BAT cells.

'Lazy eye disorder -- A promising new therapeutic approach
A research team led by Dr. Robert Hess from McGill University and the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre has used the popular puzzle video game Tetris in an innovative approach to treat adult amblyopia, commonly known as

RI Hospital: Nearly half of older women diagnosed with UTI not confirmed in urine culture
Older adults represent a growing demographic in emergency departments (ED) across the country, with urinary tract infections (UTIs) being one of the leading causes for ED visits.

Researchers discover mushrooms can provide as much vitamin D as supplements
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine have discovered that eating mushrooms containing Vitamin D2 can be as effective at increasing and maintaining vitamin D levels (25-hydroxyvitamin D) as taking supplemental vitamin D2 or vitamin D3.

3 new studies reveal added fiber's impact on various health indices
Three new studies contribute to the growing body of evidence for the health benefits of added fibers in the diet.

Metastasis stem cells in the blood of breast cancer patients discovered
Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center and the National Center for Tumor Diseases Heidelberg have been the first to detect cancer cells that can initiate metastasis in the blood of breast cancer patients.

Honor among (credit card) thieves?
A Michigan State University criminologist dug into the seamy underbelly of online credit card theft and uncovered a surprisingly sophisticated network of crooks that is unique in the cybercrime domain.

Cutting back on sleep harms blood vessel function and breathing control
Researchers have tested the effects of partial sleep deprivation on blood vessels and breathing control and found that reducing sleep length over two consecutive nights leads to less healthy vascular function and impaired breathing control.

U. of Illinois researchers measure near-field behavior of semiconductor plasmonic microparticles
For the first time, researchers have measured nanometer-scale infrared absorption in semiconductor plasmonic microparticles using a technique that combines atomic force microscopy with infrared spectroscopy.

Scientists find antibody that transforms bone marrow stem cells directly into brain cells
In a serendipitous discovery, scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have found a way to turn bone marrow stem cells directly into brain cells.

Regional insights set latest study of climate history apart
Researchers found pronounced regional differences in past temperature changes as they produced the most comprehensive study to date of temperature change of Earth's continents over the past 1,000 to 2,000 years.

NASA's HyspIRI: Seeing the forest and the trees and more!
Light contains fingerprints of materials that can be detected by sensors that capture the unique set of reflected wavelengths.

New NASA satellite takes the Salton Sea's temperature
An image from an instrument aboard NASA's Landsat Data Continuity Mission or LDCM satellite may look like a typical black-and-white image of a dramatic landscape, but it tells a story of temperature.

OHSU teams with Intel to decode the root causes of cancer and other complex diseases
Oregon Health and Science University and Intel Corp. are teaming up to develop next-generation computing technologies that advance the field of personalized medicine by dramatically increasing the speed, precision and cost-effectiveness of analyzing a patient's individual genetic profile.

New research constructs ant family tree
Several hypotheses have been proposed to explain the higher species numbers in the tropics, but these hypotheses have never been tested for the ants, which are one of the most ecologically and numerically dominant groups of animals on the planet.

Hepatitis c-like viruses identified in bats and rodents
Investigators at the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health report the discovery of hepaciviruses and pegiviruses -- close relatives of HCV -- in rodents and bats.

Grape intake may protect against metabolic syndrome-related organ damage
Consuming grapes may help protect against organ damage associated with the progression of metabolic syndrome, according to research presented this week at the Experimental Biology conference in Boston.

New studies examine caffeine's effect on cognitive tasks, food pairing
Since 1977, there has been a 70 percent increase in caffeine consumption among children and adolescents.

Study: Physicians less likely to 'bond' with overweight patients
In a small study of 39 primary care doctors and 208 of their patients, Johns Hopkins researchers have found that physicians built much less of an emotional rapport with their overweight and obese patients than with their patients of normal weight.

Rivers act as 'horizontal cooling towers,' study finds
Running two computer models in tandem, scientists from the University of New Hampshire have detailed for the first time how thermoelectric power plants interact with climate, hydrology, and aquatic ecosystems throughout the northeastern US and show how rivers serve as

Wayne State researchers seek calcium channels to target cancer tumors
Two Wayne State University researchers are working on a technique that could lead to easier, faster identification of cancer tumors that can be effectively treated by calcium channel-based therapies with the help of a grant from the National Cancer Institute.

40 percent of parents give young kids cough/cold medicine that they shouldn't
Many parents disregard label warnings, give children under age 4 common medicines, according to new U-M National Poll on Children's Health.

Pitt education professor awarded year's exclusive access to unique dataset on teacher evaluation
A professor in the University of Pittsburgh's School of Education has been chosen to lead a team of researchers that is one of only 10 teams nationally to be granted one-year exclusive access to an unparalleled set of teacher-evaluation data that was collected during a three-year research project sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Is food truly addictive?
Biological Psychiatry is proud to announce this week's publication of a special issue focusing on the question of food as an addiction.

£2million project aims to revolutionize the study of cancer cells in the lab
Researchers from Queen Mary, University of London have been awarded a €2.43million grant from the European Research Council for a project which aims to revolutionize the field of cancer cell research by using bioengineering techniques to grow the first complex 3-dimensional human 'tumor microenvironment' in the laboratory.

Bugs produce diesel on demand
It sounds like science fiction but a team from the University of Exeter, with support from Shell, has developed a method to make bacteria produce diesel on demand.

Retrospective study suggests that patients with lung cancer who carry specific HER2 mutations may benefit from certain anti-HER2 treatments
Summary of a retrospective study being published online April 22, 2013 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, reports that certain HER2 targeted drugs may benefit patients with advanced lung cancer who carry rare mutations in the HER2 protein.

Anatomist is fleshing out dinosaur heads, reaching people about science
Accurately depicting dinosaur anatomy has come a long way since the science fiction films of the 1960s.

The bee's knees for detecting disease
Monitoring orchards to detect the dangerous plant disease fire blight is very hard.

Diagnosis and management of pancreatic cancer: A review for physicians
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of death from cancer, and while family physicians in Canada only see 1 cases a year, the number of cases is expected to increase as the population ages.

Using nitrous oxide for anesthesia doesn't increase -- and may decrease -- complications and death
Giving nitrous oxide as part of general anesthesia for noncardiac surgery doesn't increase the rate of complications and death -- and might even decrease the risk of such events, according to a pair of studies in the May issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia, official journal of the International Anesthesia Research Society.

Surgical delay of more than 48 hours increases mortality in older hip fracture patients
Although hip fractures in older patients are known to be a major cause of long term disability and increased risk of death, less is known about the relationship between surgical delay after hip fracture and mortality risk.

Alternative therapies may help lower blood pressure
Alternative therapies such as aerobic exercise, resistance or strength training and isometric hand grip exercises could help people reduce blood pressure.

'Clean' your memory to pick a winner
Predicting the winner of a sporting event with accuracy close to that of a statistical computer programme could be possible with proper training, according to researchers.

Technology transforms health care
The current special issue of Technology and Innovation -- Proceedings of the National Academy of Inventors, devoted to studies on medical technology and health care delivery, focuses on a wide range of topics, from new technologies to reduce the cost of health care to understanding the human microbiome.

Rise in sodium intake in US over last decade despite health officials' call for reduction
Research presented today at the American Society for Nutrition Experimental Biology conference in Boston indicates US sodium intake has been on an upward trend -- increasing by 63 mg/day every two years from 2001 until 2010.

Bacteria may contribute to premature births, STDs
New research at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

UC San Diego launches groundbreaking policy research lab
How can we alleviate poverty? What policies can be implemented to promote health, welfare and security?

CMU's Alex John London to speak at Presidential Commission for Study of Bioethical Issues Meeting
Carnegie Mellon University's Alex John London, an internationally renowned expert on research ethics, will speak at the Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues meeting on April 30.

New review sets international standards for best practice in fracture liaison services
Health care systems around the world are failing to identify and treat fracture patients who are at high risk of osteoporosis and secondary fractures.

Genetic circuit allows both individual freedom, collective good
An investigation of the ways bacteria engage in collective decision-making has led researchers at Rice University, Tel Aviv University and Harvard Medical School to suggest new principles for collective decisions that allow both random behavior by individuals and nonrandom outcomes for the population as a whole.

Hasbro Children's Hospital physician receives $3.2 million grant to study teen alcohol use
Hasbro Children's Hospital emergency medicine physician James Linakis, M.D., Ph.D, was recently awarded a five-year, $3.2 million grant from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism at the National Institutes of Health to validate a more efficient test to screen teenagers for future alcohol abuse and other risk behaviors.

RAFT polymerization technology enabling the biotech industry
CSIRO and Mirus Bio LLC are pleased to announce a new license arrangement that will enable Mirus Bio to utilize the unique characteristics of CSIRO's Reversible Addition-Fragmentation chain Transfer polymerization technology to expand upon its high-end polymer development capabilities for the biotech industry.

Palliative radiotherapy for bone metastases in elderly patients improves quality of life
Giving palliative radiotherapy to elderly patients with painful bone metastases can significantly improve their quality of life.

Physicists find right (and left) solution for on-chip optics
Physicists have found a new way to precisely manipulate light at the subwavelength scale without damaging a signal that could carry data.

3 unique genes found to influence body size and obesity in people of African ancestry
Researchers from Dartmouth's Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Sciences and the Center for Genomic Medicine have helped to discover three unique genetic variations that influence body size and obesity in men and women of African ancestry.

Mammograms reveal response to common cancer drug
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet have developed a method for assessing the effect of tamoxifen, a common drug to prevent the relapse of breast cancer.

UCSB scientist identifies protein molecule used to maintain adult stem cells in fruit flies
Understanding exactly how stem cells form into specific organs and tissues is the holy grail of regenerative medicine.

Atlantic cod in for even more stress?
Researchers have known for some years that the Atlantic cod beats the retreat in the direction of the Arctic when the waters in its traditional habitat become too warm.

Gone, but not forgotten
An international team of neuroscientists has described for the first time, in exhaustive detail, the underlying neurobiology of an amnesiac who suffered from profound memory loss after damage to key portions of his brain.

Snail tale: Fossil shells and new geochemical technique provide clues to ancient climate cooling
Using a new laboratory technique to analyze fossil snail shells, scientists have gained insights into an abrupt climate shift that transformed the planet nearly 34 million years ago.

Women & Infants physician earns $1.6 million NIH grant
Kristen A. Matteson, MD, MPH, of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Women & Infants Hospital and assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, has earned a $1.6 million grant from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development of the National Institutes of Health to study the effectiveness of two treatments options for heavy menstrual bleeding.

Stanford researchers develop new method to assess options for heart-disease surgery
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have developed a method of predicting which patients with heart disease would benefit more from surgery and which would benefit more from angioplasty.

Germanium made laser compatible
Good news for the computer industry: a team of researchers has managed to make germanium suitable for lasers.

Rare condition implicated in pregnant women infected with malaria
A passing remark launched the project that will be described at the Experimental Biology 2013 conference in Boston on Monday.

New study examines leadership programs in academic medical centers
Academic medical centers invest considerable time, money and other resources in leadership training programs, yet there is no evidence such programs work, a new study has found.

Can the friend of my friend be my enemy?
Just as humans can follow complex social situations in deciding who to befriend or to abandon, it turns out that animals use the same level of sophistication in judging social configurations, according to a new study that advances our understanding of the structure of animal social networks.

The human immune system in space
When the space shuttle Atlantis touched down in the summer of 2011 at Cape Canaveral, closing the book on the US shuttle program, a team of US Army researchers stood at the ready, eager to get their gloved hands on a small device in the payload that housed a set of biological samples.

Keeping the past in the future with 3-D mobile mapping
Australian researchers are using a novel mobile laser 3D mapping system called Zebedee to preserve some of the country's oldest and most culturally significant heritage sites.

WPI professor wins CAREER Award for work that aims to solve a mystery about how cells grow
Though biologists have long known which structures within the cell appear to participate in polarized growth, how they work together remains a mystery.

Biological activity alters the ability of sea spray to seed clouds
Ocean biology alters the chemical composition of sea spray in ways that influence their ability to form clouds over the ocean.

Study evaluates Mobile Acute Care of the Elderly (MACE) service vs. usual elder care
A matched cohort study by William W. Hung, M.D., M.P.H., of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, and colleagues examined the use of the Mobile Acute Care of the Elderly service compared with general medical service (usual care).

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for April 23, 2013
Below is information about articles being published in the April 23 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

Can team-based care improve primary care delivery and patient outcomes?
A team-based care model of delivering primary care can improve patient care, practice workflows, and patient and physician satisfaction, according to a study published in Population Health Management.

Is pet ownership sustainable?
There has been much talk about sustainability, but little attention has been paid to its nutritional aspects.

Scientists cage dead zebras in Africa to understand the spread of anthrax
Scavengers might not play as key a role in spreading anthrax through wildlife populations as previously assumed, according to findings from a small study conducted in Etosha National Park in northern Namibia.

Health impact assessments prove critical public health tool
As natural gas drilling expands, policymakers, communities and public health experts are turning to health impact assessments to predict the effects of gas drilling on communities, according to a new study.

Screening detects ovarian cancer using neighboring cells
Pioneering biophotonics technology developed at Northwestern University is the first screening method to detect the early presence of ovarian cancer in humans by examining cells easily brushed from the neighboring cervix or uterus, not the ovaries themselves.

New light shed on early stage Alzheimer's disease
The disrupted metabolism of sugar, fat and calcium is part of the process that causes the death of neurons in Alzheimer's disease.

Diagnostic errors more common, costly and harmful than treatment mistakes
In reviewing 25 years of US malpractice claim payouts, Johns Hopkins researchers found that diagnostic errors -- not surgical mistakes or medication overdoses -- accounted for the largest fraction of claims, the most severe patient harm, and the highest total of penalty payouts.

New findings on tree nuts and health presented at the Experimental Biology Meeting in Boston, Mass.
Three new studies involving tree nuts (almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamias, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts) were presented this week at the Experimental Biology Meeting in Boston, Mass.

Large animal models of Huntington's disease offer new and promising research options
Scientific progress in HD relies upon availability of appropriate animal models enabling insights into genetics and/or pathophysiology.

Study: Mushrooms provide as much vitamin D as supplements
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine have discovered that eating mushrooms containing vitamin D2 can be as effective at increasing and maintaining vitamin D levels as taking supplemental vitamin D2 or vitamin D3.

Viral curiosity spreads across continents
Biologist Esteban Engel, Ph.D., was named by The Pew Charitable Trusts as the

Positive effect of white button mushrooms when substituted for meat on body weight and composition changes during weight loss and weight maintenance
New research published as an abstract in the FASEB Journal and presented at Experimental Biology 2013 on Monday, April 22, ties mushrooms to positive health outcomes in the area of weight management.

Facial dog bites in children may require repeated plastic surgery
Dog bites to the face are a relatively common injury in young children, and often require repeated plastic surgery procedures to deal with persistent scarring, according to a report in the March Journal of Craniofacial Surgery, published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.

Less rainfall expected for the Hawaiian Islands
Almost imperceptibly, rainfall over the Hawaiian Islands has been declining since 1978, and this trend is likely to continue with global warming to the end of this century, according to a team of scientists at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Discovery of new genes will help childhood arthritis treatment
cientists from The University of Manchester have identified 14 new genes which could have important consequences for future treatments of childhood arthritis.

More accurate, powerful genetic analysis tool opens new gene-regulation realms
Researchers from Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah have developed a novel and powerful technique to identify the targets for a group of enzymes called RNA cytosine methyltransferases in human RNA.

Fish was on the menu for early flying dinosaur
University of Alberta-led research reveals that Microraptor, a small flying dinosaur, was a complete hunter -- able to swoop down and pick up fish.

New agent might control breast-cancer growth and spread
A new study suggests that an unusual experimental drug can reduce breast-cancer aggressiveness, reverse resistance to the drug fulvestrant and perhaps improve the effectiveness of other breast-cancer drugs.

Cocktail of multiple pressures combine to threaten the world's pollinating insects
A new review of insect pollinators of crops and wild plants has concluded they are under threat globally from a cocktail of multiple pressures, and their decline or loss could have profound environmental, human health and economic consequences.

Latest research shows 2 items are key to decrease symptoms and prolong survival for LMC patients
Lung cancer is one of the most common primary cancers that cause leptomeningeal carcinomatosis (LMC), when cancer spreads to the membranes surrounding the spinal cord and brain.

Emotional intelligence trumps IQ in dentist-patient relationship, CWRU study finds
IQ directly relates to how students perform on tests in the first two years of dental school.

Nearly half of veterans found with blast concussions might have hormone deficiencies
Up to 20 percent of veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq have experienced at least one blast concussion.

Radioactive bacteria targets metastatic pancreatic cancer
Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have developed a therapy for pancreatic cancer that uses Listeria bacteria to selectively infect tumor cells and deliver radioisotopes into them.

Announcing 3 special sessions during ARVO 2013 Annual Meeting
The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology is pleased to host three special sessions during the 2013 Annual Meeting (May 5 - 9) in Seattle, Wash.

After age 18, asthma care deteriorates
Asthma care for young adults deteriorates after age 18, due primarily to a loss of health insurance coverage, as well as to a series of socially-mediated changes.

Geochemical method finds links between terrestrial climate and atmospheric carbon dioxide
A group of American and British scientists used a new chemical technique to measure the change in terrestrial temperature associated with a major shift in global atmospheric CO2 concentrations nearly 34 million years ago.

In India hip fracture is associated with high rates of mortality and disability
In an oral presentation held during the European Congress on Osteoporosis & Osteoarthritis in Rome, Italy, held from April 17 to 20 in Rome, Italy, researchers from Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India presented findings from a prospective study which found that Indian patients have a high rate of one-year mortality and functional impairment.

A formula that can calculate a person's speed by just looking at their footprints
Two Spanish scientists have designed an equation that provides a highly accurate estimate of an individual's speed based on stride length.

Online biodiversity databases audited: 'Improvement needed'
An audit of more than 9,000 species occurrence records in two online databases has uncovered a large number of errors.

Method makes it easier to separate useful stem cells from 'problem' ones for therapies
UCLA researchers at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research and the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have discovered a new agent that may be useful in strategies to remove pluripotent stem cells that fail to differentiate from their progeny, tissue-specific cells, potentially resulting in safer therapies for patients.

Green spaces may boost well-being for city slickers
People who live in urban areas with more green space tend to report greater well-being than city dwellers who don't have parks, gardens, or other green space nearby, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

NASA sees 3 coronal mass ejections
On April 20 and April 21, the sun erupted with 3 coronal mass ejections, a solar phenomenon that can send billions of tons of solar particles into space that can affect electronic systems in satellites.

Scientists map all possible drug-like chemical compounds
Drug developers may have a new tool to search for more effective medications and new materials.

Lung cancer mortality rates linked to primary care provider density
In a recent study published in the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer's Journal of Thoracic Oncology researchers found lower mortality was associated with higher primary care provider density.

Highly active antiretroviral therapies may be cardioprotective in HIV-infected children, teens
Long-term use of highly active antiretroviral therapies (HAART) does not appear to be associated with impaired heart function in children and adolescents in a study that sought to determine the cardiac effects of prolonged exposure to HAART on children infected with the human immunodeficiency virus, according to a report published Online First by JAMA Pediatrics, a JAMA Network publication.

Does international child sponsorship work? New research says yes
A new study to be published in the Journal of Political Economy shows international child sponsorship to result in markedly higher rates of schooling completion and substantially improved adult employment outcomes.

Fighting the 'dumb jock' stereotype
College coaches who emphasize their players' academic abilities may be the best defense against the effects of 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