Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 23, 2013
Anti-cancer drug viewed as possible Alzheimer's treatment doesn't work in UF study
An anti-cancer drug about to be tested in a clinical trial by a biomedical company in Ohio as a possible treatment for Alzheimer's disease has failed to work with the same type of brain plaques that plague Alzheimer's patients, according to results of a study by University of Florida researchers.

Antibiotics: A new understanding of sulfonamide nervous system side effects
Sulfonamide antibiotics are used against a wide spectrum of bacterial infections.

Yuan Ping receives DOE Early Career Research Program Award
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory physicist Yuan Ping has been selected as a recipient of a Department of Energy Office of Science Early Career Research Program award.

Breakthrough on Huntington's disease
Researchers at Lund University have succeeded in preventing very early symptoms of Huntington's disease, depression and anxiety, by deactivating the mutated huntingtin protein in the brains of mice.

Biochemistry: Unspooling DNA from nucleosomal disks
The tight wrapping of genomic DNA around nucleosomes in the cell nucleus makes it unavailable for gene expression.

Research identifies a way to make cancer cells more responsive to chemotherapy
Breast cancer characterized as

Diabetes' genetic underpinnings can vary based on ethnic background, Stanford studies say
Ethnic background plays a surprisingly large role in how diabetes develops on a cellular level, according to two new studies led by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

West coast log and lumber exports decrease
Log and lumber exports from the West coast plummeted in the first quarter of 2013 according to a Forest Service research economist.

Accurate distance measurement resolves major astronomical mystery
It was the famous double-star system with regular, bright outbursts that the theorists said shouldn't be happening.

Scientists develop powerful new method for finding therapeutic antibodies
Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have devised a powerful new technique for finding antibodies that have a desired biological effect.

Bacterium from Canadian High Arctic offers clues to possible life on Mars
The recent discovery by a McGill University led team of scientists of a bacterium that is able to thrive at -15ÂșC, the coldest temperature ever reported for bacterial growth, is exciting because it offers clues about some of the necessary preconditions for microbial life on Mars.

New insights contradict promising Alzheimer's research
Approximately a year ago, Science published an article about bexarotene as a potential Alzheimer's drug.

Frequent heartburn may predict cancers of the throat and vocal cord
A frequent history of heartburn elevated risk for throat and vocal cord cancers.

Researchers find common childhood asthma unconnected to allergens or inflammation
Little is known about why asthma develops, how it constricts the airway or why response to treatments varies between patients.

Schools should provide students with daily physical activity, IOM recommends
A new report from the Institute of Medicine says schools should be responsible for helping pupils engage in at least 60 minutes of vigorous or moderate intensity activity during each school day.

PNNL staff recognized for scientific accomplishments, moving technologies into the marketplace
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory honored more than 165 staff for their creation, development and commercialization of intellectual property at PNNL's annual Intellectual Property Commercialization Recognition & Rewards Program banquet.

People with high IQ suppress sensory information
People with high IQ scores aren't just more intelligent. They also process sensory information differently, according to a study reported in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on May 23.

Hormone signal drives motor neuron growth, fish study shows
A discovery made in fish could aid research into motor neuron disease.

First successful treatment of pediatric cerebral palsy with autologous cord blood
Bochum's medics have succeeded in treating cerebral palsy with autologous cord blood.

Schools should provide opportunities for 60 minutes of daily physical activity to all students
Given the implications for the overall health, development, and academic success of children, schools should play a primary role in ensuring that all students have opportunities to engage in at least 60 minutes per day of vigorous or moderate-intensity physical activity, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine.

When oxygen is short, EGFR prevents maturation of cancer-fighting miRNAs
Even while being dragged to its destruction inside a cell, a cancer-promoting growth factor receptor fires away, sending signals that thwart the development of tumor-suppressing microRNAs before it's dissolved, researchers reported in an early online publication at Nature.

NIH scientists discover molecule triggers sensation of itch
Scientists report they have discovered in mouse studies that a small molecule released in the spinal cord triggers a process that is later experienced in the brain as the sensation of itch.

Future doctors unaware of their obesity bias
Two out of five medical students have an unconscious bias against obese people, according to a new study by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Scientists discover how rapamycin slows cell growth
University of Montreal researchers have discovered a novel molecular mechanism that can potentially slow the progression of some cancers and other diseases of abnormal growth.

Discarded immune cells induce the relocation of stem cells
The study reveals a surprising coordination between two fundamental body systems, the immune and the hematopoietic.

U Alberta teams with citizen researchers 370 light years from Earth
A University of Alberta physicist brought together back-yard astronomers and professionals to confirm the mysterious behaviour of two stars more than 300 light years from Earth.

New imaging techniques used to help patients suffering from epilepsy
New techniques in imaging of brain activity developed by Jean Gotman, from McGill University's Montreal Neurological Institute, and his colleagues lead to improved treatment of patients suffering from epilepsy.

Death rates decline for advanced heart failure patients, but outcomes are still not ideal
UCLA researchers examining outcomes for advanced heart-failure patients over the past two decades have found that, coinciding with the increased availability and use of new therapies, overall mortality has decreased and sudden cardiac death, caused by the rapid onset of severe abnormal heart rhythms, has declined.

Adult day services for dementia patients provide stress relief to family caregivers
Family caregivers of older adults with dementia are less stressed and their moods are improved on days when dementia patients receive adult day services, according to Penn State researchers.

Astronomers team up with the public to solve decade old puzzle
An extremely precise measurement of the distance to a star system has finally allowed astronomers to solve a decade-old puzzle, confirming understanding of the way exotic objects like black holes interact with nearby stars.

University of Illinois biophysicists measure mechanism that determines fate of living cells
For the first time, biophysicists at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have measured the molecular force required to mechanically transmit function-regulating signals within a cell.

Researchers suggest boosting body's natural flu killers
A known difficulty in fighting influenza is the ability of the flu viruses to mutate and thus evade various medications that were previously found to be effective.

ESO's Very Large Telescope celebrates 15 years of success
With this new view of a spectacular stellar nursery ESO is celebrating 15 years of the Very Large Telescope -- the world's most advanced optical instrument.

King Richard III found in 'untidy lozenge-shaped grave'
A world first academic peer-reviewed paper on the University of Leicester's Search and Discovery of Richard III reveals the slain king was buried in hastily dug grave.

New filtration material could make petroleum refining cheaper, more efficient
A newly synthesized material might provide a dramatically improved method for separating the highest-octane components of gasoline.

Gold nanocrystal vibration captured on billion-frames-per-second film
A billon-frames-per-second film has captured the vibrations of gold nanocrystals in stunning detail for the first time.

Frontiers news briefs: May 23
In this week's news briefs: CNS discovery Pipeline 3.0; spatial learning of female mice; and changes in the patterns and complexity of anterior cingulate cortex activity.

Giving blood donors a good reason to give
Canada and other countries should reassess guidelines that prohibit offering economic incentives such as gift cards to potential blood donors, says a study from the University of Toronto Mississauga.

Drug reverses Alzheimer's disease deficits in mice, Pitt research confirms
An anti-cancer drug reverses memory deficits in an Alzheimer's disease mouse model, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health researchers confirm in the journal Science.

IU and Regenstrief receive PCORI award to improve health care access for underinsured
The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute has approved a three-year research award of more than $2 million to Indiana University and the Regenstrief Institute Inc. to study ways to improve health care access for the underinsured.

Understanding job committment may lead to better correctional employees
Commitment to the job by correctional staff members cannot be bought but must be earned by an organization, a Wayne State University researcher believes.

UBC engineer helps pioneer flat spray-on optical lens
A University of British Columbia engineer and a team of US researchers have made a breakthrough utilizing spray-on technology that could revolutionize the way optical lenses are made and used.

UEA scientists make breast cancer advance that turns previous thinking on its head
Scientists at the University of East Anglia have made an advance in breast cancer research which shows how some enzymes released by cancerous cells could have a protective function.

Researchers identify new target to boost plant resistance to insects and pathogens
Plants have evolved unique and sophisticated immune systems to defend themselves against insects and pathogens.

A quantum simulator for magnetic materials
Physicists at ETH Zurich have developed a quantum simulator that allows arranging atoms in a way that they mimic the behavior of electrons in magnetic materials.

MRI-based measurement helps predict vascular disease in the brain
Aortic arch pulse wave velocity, a measure of arterial stiffness, is a strong independent predictor of disease of the vessels that supply blood to the brain, according to a new study.

Protein preps cells to survive stress of cancer growth and chemotherapy
Scientists have uncovered a survival mechanism that occurs in breast cells that have just turned premalignant -- cells on the cusp between normalcy and cancers -- which may lead to new methods of stopping tumors.

Using big data to identify prostate cancers and best treatments
Some prostate cancer patients unnecessarily undergo surgery or harsh treatments because science fails to identify the differences between slow-growing and aggressive forms of the disease.

Ferrets, pigs susceptible to H7N9 avian influenza virus
Chinese and US scientists have used a virus isolated from a person who died from H7N9 avian influenza infection to determine whether the virus could infect and be transmitted between ferrets.

Emory, Georgia Tech receive first human exposome center grant in US
Investigators at Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University, along with partners at the Georgia Institute of Technology, have received a $4 million grant over four years to establish the HERCULES Center at Emory University (Health and Exposome Research Center: Understanding Lifetime Exposures).

Gutenberg Research College welcomes new fellows and bestows the 2013 Gutenberg Research Award
In an evening ceremony held on the campus of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, the Gutenberg Research College presented the Gutenberg Research Award 2013 and welcomed its new fellows.

Wayne State receives second year funding from the NEI to build technology commercialization efforts
Wayne State University received notice of a $820,398 grant from the New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan that will continue to support the Technology Commercialization Office's efforts to expand and improve the university's entrepreneurial culture and technology commercialization results.

The Lancet Series: Transfusion medicine
Mounting evidence that blood transfusions make patients more susceptible to infections and increase the risks of poor outcomes such as longer hospital stays, cancer recurrences, and multi-organ system failure has led to the dawning of a new age in transfusion medicine, and the development of multiple approaches to minimize the use of blood products.

Media registration open for ASTRO's 55th Annual Meeting
ASTRO's Annual Meeting is the premier scientific meeting in radiation oncology and is expected to attract more than 11,000 attendees including oncologists from all disciplines, medical physicists, dosimetrists, radiation therapists, radiation oncology nurses and nurse practitioners, biologists, physician assistants, practice administrators, industry representatives and other health care professionals from around the world.

Rate of bicycle-related fatalities significantly lower in states with helmet laws
Existing research shows that bicyclists who wear helmets have an 88 percent lower risk of brain injury, but researchers at Boston Children's Hospital found that simply having bicycle helmet laws in place showed a 20 percent decrease in deaths and injuries for children younger than 16 who were in bicycle-motor vehicle collisions.

Anxious men fare worse during job interviews, study finds
Nervous about that upcoming job interview? You might want to take steps to reduce your jitters, especially if you are a man.

Bittersweet: Bait-averse cockroaches shudder at sugar
Sugar isn't always sweet to German cockroaches, especially to the ones that avoid roach baits.

It's not your imagination: Memory gets muddled at menopause
Don't doubt it when a woman harried by hot flashes says she's having a hard time remembering things.

Link between war support and PTSD, time it late in negotiations and courtship by narcissists
In time for Memorial Day, new research on war support and PTSD, as well as experts on trauma and loss and other new studies in our journals.

UCI study reveals new mechanism for estrogen suppression of liver lipid synthesis
By discovering the new mechanism by which estrogen suppresses lipid synthesis in the liver, UC Irvine endocrinologists have revealed a potential new approach toward treating certain liver diseases.

Motion quotient
A brief visual task can predict IQ, according to a new study.

White tiger mystery solved
White tigers today are only seen in zoos, but they belong in nature, say researchers reporting new evidence about what makes those tigers white.

Consumers largely underestimating calorie content of fast food
People eating at fast food restaurants largely underestimate the calorie content of meals, especially large ones, according to a paper published today on

Syracuse University professor argues Earth's mantle affects long-term sea-level rise estimates
New findings by a team of researchers, including Robert Moucha, assistant professor of Earth Sciences in Syracuse University's College of Arts and Sciences, reveal that the US shoreline -- from Virginia to Florida -- has been uplifted by more than 210 feet, meaning less ice melted than expected.

Depression common among children with temporal lobe epilepsy
A new study determined that children and adolescents with seizures involving the temporal lobe are likely to have clinically significant behavioral problems and psychiatric illness, especially depression.

Milwaukee-York researchers forward quest for quantum computing
Research teams from UW-Milwaukee and the University of York investigating the properties of ultra-thin films of new materials are helping bring quantum computing one step closer to reality.

Scientists announce top 10 new species
An amazing glow-in-the-dark cockroach, a harp-shaped carnivorous sponge and the smallest vertebrate on Earth are just three of the newly discovered top 10 species selected by the International Institute for Species Exploration at Arizona State University.

Regenerating spinal cord fibers may be treatment for stroke-related disabilities
A study by researchers at Henry Ford Hospital found

New microsphere-based methods for detecting HIV antibodies
Detection of HIV antibodies is used to diagnose HIV infection and monitor trials of experimental HIV/AIDS vaccines.

The secret lives, and deaths, of neurons
University of North Carolina School of Medicine researchers uncover surprising insights about how nerve cells rewire themselves, shedding light on a process linked with neurodegenerative diseases and neurodevelopmental disorders like schizophrenia and autism.

Reforestation study shows trade-offs between water, carbon and timber
More than 13,000 ships per year transit the Panama Canal each year.

Multiple research teams unable to confirm high-profile Alzheimer's study
Teams of highly respected Alzheimer's researchers failed to replicate what appeared to be breakthrough results for the treatment of this brain disease when they were published last year in the journal Science.

Statin use is linked to increased risk of developing diabetes, warn researchers
Treatment with high potency statins (especially atorvastatin and simvastatin) may increase the risk of developing diabetes, suggests a paper published today on

Vaccine blackjack: IL-21 critical to fight against viral infections
Scientists at Emory Vaccine Center have shown that an immune regulatory molecule called IL-21 is needed for long-lasting antibody responses in mice against viral infections.

The world's favorite fruit only better-tasting and longer-lasting
Research with GM purple tomatoes could lead to improved varieties of tomatoes with consumer and commercial benefits through conventional breeding or GM.

UMN veterinary student awarded 2013 AMP/Michael D. Hayre Fellowship in Public Outreach!
Chris Thomson, a second year veterinary student at University of Minnesota's College of Veterinary Medicine, has been awarded the 2013 AMP/Michael D.

A hidden population of exotic neutron stars
Magnetars -- the dense remains of dead stars that erupt sporadically with bursts of high-energy radiation -- are some of the most extreme objects known in the Universe.

Gutenberg Research Award 2013 for quantum physicist Maciej Lewenstein
The Gutenberg Research College of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz bestowed this year's Gutenberg Research Award upon the internationally acclaimed quantum physicist Professor Dr.

Improved chemo regimen for childhood leukemia may offer high survival, no added heart toxicity
Treating pediatric leukemia patients with a liposomal formulation of anthracycline-based chemotherapy at a more intense-than-standard dose during initial treatment may result in high survival rates without causing any added heart toxicity, according to the results of a study published online today in Blood, the Journal of the American Society of Hematology.

Economic incentives increase blood donation without negative consequences
Economic incentives such as gift cards, T-shirts, and time off from work motivate people to increase their donations of blood without endangering the blood supply.

Mayo Clinic genomic analysis lends insight to prostate cancer
Mayo Clinic researchers have used next generation genomic analysis to determine that some of the more aggressive prostate cancer tumors have similar genetic origins, which may help in predicting cancer progression.

Defective cellular waste removal explains why Gaucher patients often develop Parkinson's disease
Gaucher disease causes debilitating and sometimes fatal neurodegeneration in early childhood.

New screening approach uncovers potential alternative drug therapies for neuroblastoma
Nearly two-thirds of patients with high-risk neuroblastoma -- a common tumor that forms in the nerve cells of children -- cannot be cured using tumor-killing cancer drugs.

Heart healthy lifestyle may cut kidney disease patients' risk of kidney failure
Compared with kidney disease patients who had zero or one heart healthy lifestyle component in the ideal range, those with two, three, and four ideal factors had progressively lower risks for kidney failure over four years.

Cradle turns smartphone into handheld biosensor
Researchers and physicians in the field could soon run on-the-spot tests for environmental toxins, medical diagnostics, food safety and more with their smartphones.

UC Santa Barbara scientists discover cinnamon compounds' potential ability to prevent Alzheimer's
Cinnamon: Can the red-brown spice with the unmistakable fragrance and variety of uses offer an important benefit?

Hubble reveals the Ring Nebula's true shape
The Ring Nebula's distinctive shape makes it a popular illustration for astronomy books.

H7N9 animal model looks at transmission of H7N9 influenza virus
An international team of scientists has proved that the H7N9 influenza virus is efficiently transmitted when animals are in close contact -- defined in the study as touching, coughing and the exchange of bodily fluids.

Second-generation TAVI device -- Lotus Valve -- shows good performance in REPRISE II
The Lotus Valve, a second-generation transcatheter aortic valve implantation device, was successfully implanted in all of the first 60 patients in REPRISE II.

Monkey teeth help reveal Neanderthal weaning
Studies on monkeys at the California National Primate Research Center at UC Davis have helped US and Australian researchers calculate when a Neanderthal infant was weaned.

'Should We Eat Meat?'
Meat eating is often a contentious subject, whether considering the technical, ethical, environmental, political, or health-related aspects of production and consumption.

Frontiers launches new open-access journal in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
Frontiers, one of the world's largest and fastest growing open-access publishers, today announces the launch of a new journal, Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology.

Scientists offer first definitive proof of bacteria-feeding behavior in green algae
Researchers have captured images of green alga consuming bacteria, offering a glimpse at how early organisms dating back more than 1 billion years may have acquired free-living photosynthetic cells.

Researchers identify networks of neurons in the brain that are disrupted in psychiatric disease
Studying the networks of connections in the brains of people affected by schizophrenia, bipolar disease or depression has allowed Dr. 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