Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 18, 2013
An article in 'Cell' reveals a new resistance mechanism to chemotherapy in breast and ovarian cancer
The team led by Spanish National Cancer Research Centre researcher Óscar Fernández-Capetillo, head of the Genomic Instability Group, together with researchers from the National Cancer Institute in the US, have participated in a study that describes the causes that explain why tumors with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations stop responding to PARP inhibitor drugs.

Bay Area thrushes nest together, winter together, and face change together
Swainson's thrushes, from a local population near Bolinas, Calif., spend their winters together in Mexico, according to a new tracking study released by Point Blue Conservation Science.

Herbal extract boosts fruit fly lifespan by nearly 25 percent, UCI study finds
The herbal extract of a yellow-flowered mountain plant long used for stress relief was found to increase the lifespan of fruit fly populations by an average of 24 percent, according to UC Irvine researchers.

Small dam construction to reduce greenhouse emissions is causing ecosystem disruption
Researchers conclude in a new report that a global push for small hydropower projects, supported by various nations and also the Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, may cause unanticipated and potentially significant losses of habitat and biodiversity.

NOAA, partners predict possible record-setting deadzone for Gulf of Mexico
NOAA-supported modelers at the University of Michigan, Louisiana State University, and the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium are forecasting that this year's Gulf of Mexico hypoxic

Iodine in bread not enough for pregnant women
Research from the University of Adelaide shows that iodized salt used in bread is not enough to provide healthy levels of iodine for pregnant women and their unborn children.

Study finds need for improvement on state health care price websites
Among the findings and recommendations of the researchers:

Why do appetizers matter more when you're dining out with friends?
First impressions of experiences have a greater impact when consumers share the experience with others, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Atherosclerosis in abdominal aorta may predict adverse cardiovascular events, UTSW scientists report
Magnetic resonance imaging of aortic atherosclerosis can predict the risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular events in otherwise healthy individuals, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found.

Which qubit my dear? New method to distinguish between neighbouring quantum bits
Researchers at the University of New South Wales have proposed a new way to distinguish between quantum bits that are placed only a few nanometres apart in a silicon chip, taking them a step closer to the construction of a large-scale quantum computer.

CAMH policy study outlines ways to reduce alcohol harms
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health has released a summary report outlining policy strategies to reduce the harms related to alcohol, with a focus on the province of Ontario, Canada.

New drug could help AMD sufferers
University of Iowa ophthalmologists have tested a new drug to treat age-related macular degeneration in older patients.

Storytelling program helps change medical students' perspectives on dementia
Treating patients with dementia can be viewed as a difficult task for doctors, but Penn State College of Medicine researchers say that storytelling may be one way to improve medical students' perceptions of people affected by the condition.

'Images of the inside of a fly' elected as computed microtomography's Best Film of the Year
The images were filmed by a Department of Zoology researcher using a microtomograph -- a high-resolution scanner that facilitates the study of small animals.

Exposure to high pollution levels during pregnancy may increase risk of having child with autism
Women in the US exposed to high levels of air pollution while pregnant were up to twice as likely to have a child with autism as women who lived in areas with low pollution.

Stone Age technological and cultural innovation accelerated by climate
According to a study by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, the University of Cardiff and the Natural History Museum in London, technological innovation during the Stone Age occurred in fits and starts and was climate-driven.

Markers of beta-cell dysfunction associated with high rate of progression to type 1 diabetes
The majority of children at risk of type 1 diabetes who developed 2 or more diabetes-related autoantibodies developed type 1 diabetes within 15 years, findings that highlight the need for research into finding interventions to stop the development of multiple islet autoantibodies, according to a study in the June 19 issue of JAMA.

Study shows how the Nanog protein promotes growth of head and neck cancer
Researchers have identified a biochemical pathway in cancer stem cells that is essential for promoting head and neck cancer.

Hard to make us personally or financially responsible for our health
Free and equal access to medical treatment has been a staple of the Danish welfare state, but more and more Danes express the view that people treated for lifestyle diseases should pay for their own treatment.

Origins of 'The Hoff' crab revealed
The history of a new type of crab, nicknamed 'The Hoff' because of its hairy chest, which lives around hydrothermal vents deep beneath the Southern Ocean and Indian Ocean, has been revealed for the first time.

Timely treatment after stroke is crucial, UCLA researchers report
A major analysis led by UCLA researchers has examined the importance of speed of treatment when using a clot-dissolving drug to restore blood flow to the brain after a stroke.

2 Women & Infants midwives inducted as fellows of ACNM
Linda Hunter, CNM, EdD, FACNM, and Linda Nanni, CNM, MS, FACNM, are among a group of 15 midwives recently honored by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) for demonstrating outstanding professional achievement and contributions to the midwifery community.

World's poorest children twice as likely to contract malaria as least poor
In the world's most impoverished nations and communities, children from the poorest households are twice as likely to contract malaria as the least poor, new research shows.

Scientists find new biomarker to measure sugar consumption
Scientists at the University of Alaska Fairbanks identified a new tool that can dramatically improve the notoriously inaccurate surveys of what and how much an individual eats and drinks.

Key protein is linked to circadian clocks, helps regulate metabolism
Inside each of us is our own internal timing device.

Getting enough sleep could help prevent type 2 diabetes
Getting more sleep increases insulin sensitivity and reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Tackling a framework for surgical innovation
An international team of investigators co-led by Weill Cornell Medical College is offering a new framework for evidence-based surgery and device research, similar to the kind of risk and benefit analysis used in evidence-based medicine.

Hospital, doctor shopping isn't easy for patients looking to compare prices of health care services
Patient access to health care service price tags is limited.

The hidden agenda of Obama's opposition
Is the US Tea Party movement a racial backlash against President Obama?

Novel enzyme from tiny gribble could prove a boon for biofuels research
Researchers from the United Kingdom, the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and the University of Kentucky have recently published a paper describing a novel cellulose-degrading enzyme from a marine wood borer Limnoria quadripunctata, commonly known as the gribble.

UH Case Medical Center launches novel clinical trial using stem cells to prevent amputation
University Hospitals Case Medical Center has launched a clinical trial to evaluate the ability of a patient's own stem cells to prevent leg amputations in end stage peripheral arterial disease.

Earlier treatment following stroke linked with reduced risk of in-hospital death
In a study that included nearly 60,000 patients with acute ischemic stroke, thrombolytic treatment (to help dissolve a blood clot) that was started more rapidly after symptom onset was associated with reduced in-hospital mortality and intracranial hemorrhage and higher rates of independent walking ability at discharge and discharge to home, according to a study in the June 19 issue of JAMA.

It's the way you tell em': Study discovers how the brain controls accents and impersonations
A study, led by Royal Holloway University researcher Carolyn McGettigan, has identified the brain regions and interactions involved in impersonations and accents.

Fiber-optic pen helps see inside brains of children with learning disabilities
For less than $100, University of Washington researchers have designed a computer-interfaced drawing pad that helps scientists see inside the brains of children with learning disabilities while they read and write.

NIH to fund collaborations with industry to identify new uses for existing compounds
The National Institutes of Health has awarded $12.7 million to match nine academic research groups with a selection of pharmaceutical industry compounds to explore new treatments for patients in eight disease areas, including Alzheimer's disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy and schizophrenia.

Podium finish for Genetrainer
The world's first computer guided fitness training system using a person's DNA was announced as one of the three winners of the LeWeb'13 London Startup Competition, Europe's largest technology conference.

ACS NSQIP® data is more accurate than administrative data for tracking 30-day hospital readmissions
A new study appearing in the June issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons finds that the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program® led to more accurate data tracking than another popular database, the University HealthSystem Consortium, for tracking 30-day hospital readmissions among colorectal surgical patients.

Early-life air pollution linked with childhood asthma in minorities, in study
A research team led by UCSF scientists has found that exposure in infancy to nitrogen dioxide, a component of motor vehicle air pollution, is strongly linked with later development of childhood asthma among African-Americans and Latinos.

The discerning fruit fly: Linking brain-cell activity and behavior in smell recognition
Comparing apples to oranges, or different apples. Neuroscientists in Associate Professor Glenn Turner's group at CSHL have visualized and quantified the activity of cells in the fruit fly brain that process smell.

Can new FDA graphic warning labels for tobacco pass a first amendment legal challenge?
When the FDA imposes new graphic warning labels for tobacco products, they can survive a First Amendment challenge if they depict health consequences and their effectiveness is supported by adequate scientific evidence, says a Georgetown public health expert/attorney.

A guide for the study of the potential environmental impacts of offshore renewable energies
The global operator of renewable energy ACCIONA-Energy in collaboration with the Marine Research Unit of AZTI-Tecnalia has developed a guide that will facilitate the writing of the Environmental Impact Studies of Marine Renewable Energy Projects.

Hormonal therapy for transsexualism safe and effective
Hormonal therapy for transsexual patients is safe and effective, a multicenter European study indicates.

New language discovery reveals linguistic insights
A new language has been discovered in a remote Indigenous community in northern Australia that is generated from a unique combination of elements from other languages.

Beliefs about causes of obesity may impact weight, eating behavior
Whether a person believes obesity is caused by overeating or by a lack of exercise predicts his or her actual body mass, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Loyola receives $1.5 million grant to study vitamin D for diabetes and depression
A Loyola University Chicago Niehoff School of Nursing researcher has received a four-year, $1.49 million grant to study whether vitamin D can improve mood in women with diabetes who are depressed.

Research shows moves to ban pay-to-delay deals are justified
Controversial deals that delay generic versions of drugs coming onto the market can lead to consumers paying significantly more for some treatments, according to new research by an academic from the University of East Anglia.

Male on male consensual sex and sexual assault common in South Africa
A survey of adult South African men published in this week's PLOS Medicine, shows that while overlapping sexual relationships with women appear to be common, roughly one in 20 men reported consensual sexual contact with a man, approximately one in ten reported being sexually assaulted by another man, and around 3 percent reported perpetrating such an assault.

Parasites affect the food web more than you think, UCSB researchers say
Parasites are ubiquitous. They feed on virtually every animal and even on each other.

New concussion data: 2 biomarkers better than 1
Scientists are scrambling to gather data for the FDA to support the need for a blood test to diagnose brain injury in the United States.

Social media initiative may help increase organ donations
A new social media initiative helped to boost organ donor registration rates, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Transplantation.

The verdict on tiger-parenting?
Long before Amy Chua's provocative 2011 memoir,

Scientists discover new details about rice blast, a deadly plant fungus
An international team of researchers discover new information about how rice blast fungus invades plants.

The American Society for Microbiology honors Marc Torrent
Marc Torrent, Ph.D., Medical Research Council, Laboratory of Molecular Biology, has been honored as a recipient of a 2013 ICAAC Young Investigator Award.

Atherosclerosis in abdominal aorta may signal future heart attack, stroke
In a study of more than 2,000 adults, researchers found that two MRI measurements of the abdominal aorta -- the amount of plaque in the vessel and the thickness of its wall -- are associated with future cardiovascular events, such as a heart attack or stroke.

University of Southern Denmark receives Euro 8 M
New state of the art equipment benefits science at University of Southern Denmark.

Printing tiny batteries
Three-dimensional printing can now be used to print lithium-ion microbatteries the size of a grain of sand.

US and Canadian researchers drive towards cheaper fuel cells for electric cars
A million electric cars could be on roads across North America before the end of the decade with the help of research by the United States Department of Energy, Los Alamos National Laboratory and the University of Waterloo.

Sexual minority youth need specialized treatment from therapists
Despite advances in civil rights, sexual minority youth are still at greater risk for suicide than their heterosexual peers, according to the Suicide Prevention Resource Center.

Gel or whitening? Consumer choice and product organization
Consumers choose lower-priced products and are more satisfied with their purchase when products are organized by benefits instead of features, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

MRI screening may help identify spinal infections from contaminated drug injections
Magnetic resonance imaging at the site of injection of a contaminated lot of a steroid drug to treat symptoms such as back pain resulted in earlier identification of patients with probable or confirmed fungal spinal or paraspinal infection, allowing early initiation of medical and surgical treatment, according to a study in the June 19 issue of JAMA.

Chemical probe confirms that body makes its own rotten egg gas, H2S, to benefit health
A new study confirms directly what scientists previously knew only indirectly -- that poisonous

Study evaluates procedures for diagnosing sarcoidosis
Among patients with suspected stage I/II pulmonary sarcoidosis who were undergoing confirmation of the condition via tissue sampling, the use of the procedure known as endosonographic nodal aspiration compared with bronchoscopic biopsy, the current diagnostic standard, resulted in greater diagnostic yield, according to a study in the June 19 issue of JAMA.

Academics earn street cred with TED Talks but no points from peers, IU research shows
TED Talks, the most popular conference and events website in the world with over 1 billion informational videos viewed, provides academics with increased popular exposure but does nothing to boost citations of their work by peers, new research led by Indiana University has found.

The American Society for Microbiology honors Joshua Obar
Joshua Obar, Ph.D., Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, Montana State University -- Bozeman, has been honored with a 2013 ICAAC Young Investigator Award for his research on factors affecting the regulation of immunological memory responses to infection.

Free perks and upgrades: Could they actually embarrass consumers?
Consumers may not enjoy receiving free perks or upgrades in public, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

MIT and UC Berkeley launch energy-efficiency research project
Researchers at MIT and UC Berkeley announce

Pioneering breakthrough of chemical nanoengineering to design drugs controlled by light
Researchers at IRB Barcelona and IBEC achieve photo-switchable molecules to control protein-protein interactions in a remote and non-invasive manner.

4 Argonne National Laboratory scientists named Distinguished Fellows
Four scientists at the US Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory have been named Argonne Distinguished Fellows, the laboratory's highest scientific honor.

MMR booster vaccine does not appear to worsen disease activity in children with juvenile arthritis
Among children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis who had undergone primary immunization, the use of a measles-mumps-rubella booster compared with no booster did not result in worse JIA disease activity, according to a study in the June 19 issue of JAMA.

UH Case Medical Center among first to enroll patients for global carotid artery trial
Physicians at University Hospitals Case Medical Center enrolled their first patients in the ROADSTER Study, a global, multicenter clinical trial evaluating a novel, less-invasive procedure to help clear blockages in carotid arteries and prevent strokes.

Graeme Bell gets Banting Medal for Scientific Achievement Award
Graeme Ian Bell, Ph.D., the Louis Block Distinguished Service Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics and an investigator in the University of Chicago Medicine Kovler Diabetes Center, has been awarded the 2013 Banting Medal for Scientific Achievement Award from the American Diabetes Association for his pioneering work in understanding the role of genetics in the diagnosis and treatment of diabetes.

UC San Diego researchers get access to Open Science Grid
The University of California, San Diego, and the Open Science Grid, a multi-disciplinary consortium funded by the US Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation, have announced a partnership under which campus researchers will have access to the OSG's fabric of distributed high-throughput computing capabilities.

Whooping cough has lifelong health impact, study finds
People born during whooping cough outbreaks are more likely to die prematurely even if they survive into adulthood, research at Lund University in Sweden has found.

New Alzheimer's research suggests possible cause: The interaction of proteins in the brain
For years, Alzheimer's researchers have focused on two proteins that accumulate in the brains of people with Alzheimer's and may contribute to the disease: Plaques made up of the protein amyloid-beta, and tangles of another protein, called tau.

Timing of calcium and vitamin D supplementation may affect how bone adapts to exercise
Taking calcium and vitamin D before exercise may influence how bones adapt to exercise, according to a new study.

UT Arlington research to benefit quality, flow in 150-mile Integrated Pipeline
A UT Arlington environmental engineer has been awarded a $394,300 grant from the Tarrant Regional Water District to ensure water quality and flow in the new facilities of the 150-mile Integrated Pipeline Project.

Respect may be the key to stopping patient 'no shows'
People with HIV are more likely to keep their scheduled medical appointments -- and their disease under control -- if they feel their physician listens, explains things clearly and knows them as a person, not just a

Personality test finds some mouse lemurs shy, others bold
In the last 10 years the study of animal personality has gained ground with behavioral ecologists.

Similar genetic variation found in overweight newborns and adults
Similar genetic variations occur in both overweight newborns and obese adults, a large study finds.

Older males make better fathers says new research on beetles
Researchers at the University of Exeter found that older male burying beetles make better fathers than their younger counterparts.

Stop hyperventilating, say energy efficiency researchers
A single advanced building control now in development could slash 18 percent -- tens of thousands of dollars -- off the overall annual energy bill of the average large office building, with no loss of comfort.

Smoking and neurosurgical outcomes
Researchers found strong evidence for the association between active smoking and perioperative complications throughout the surgical literature.

City slicker or country bumpkin
The origins of a young animal might have a significant impact on its behavior later on in life.

The Facebook effect: Social media dramatically boosts organ donor registration
In a single day, Johns Hopkins researchers found, suggesting social media might be an effective tool to address the stubborn organ shortage in the United States.

Lauren Sciences independently recognized as a Technology Innovator in Drug Delivery with its V-Smart™ Platform, and selected as a Featured Company, in new report by MCD Group
Lauren Sciences, a privately-held biotechnology company furthering development of its novel V-Smart™ nanovesicle platform technology, announced today that it was independently recognized as a Technology Innovator in Drug Delivery with its V-Smart™ Platform, and selected as a Featured Company, in new report by MCD Group.

UT Dallas study suggests new approach to fight lung cancer
Recent research has shown that cancer cells have a much different -- and more complex -- metabolism than normal cells.

AMP joins the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
The Association for Molecular Pathology is proud to announce it will join the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology on July 1, 2013.

Seismic gap outside of Istanbul
Earthquake researchers have now identified a 30 kilometers long and ten kilometers deep area along the North Anatolian fault zone just south of Istanbul that could be the starting point for a strong earthquake.

New virus isolated from patients with severe brain infections
A study led by researchers at the Wellcome Trust Major Overseas Programme in Vietnam describes a new virus isolated from patients with severe brain infections.

Concussion patients show Alzheimer's-like brain abnormalities
The distribution of white matter brain abnormalities in some patients after mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI) closely resembles that found in early Alzheimer's dementia, according to a new study.

Why is it easier to lose 2-4 pounds rather than 3 pounds?
Consumers are more likely to pursue goals when they are ambitious yet flexible, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Scientists find potential genetic drivers behind male heart disease risk
University of Leicester scientists makes further important step forward in their research into the association between the Y chromosome and risk of coronary artery disease.

Scientists catch EGFR passing a crucial message to cancer-promoting protein
Researchers have discovered and mapped the signaling network between two previously unconnected proteins, exposing a link that, if broken, could cut off cancer cell growth at its starting point.

The secret of DNA methylation
Methylation refers to a chemical modification of DNA and this modification can occur in millions of positions in the DNA sequence.

New virus discovered in patients with central nervous system infections
Patients in Vietnam and other locations with central nervous system infections may well be suffering from the effects of a newly discovered virus, according to a study to be published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

New risk score could lead to earlier prevention of type 2 diabetes in African Americans
Researchers have developed a risk assessment scoring system that they believe may better identify certain adults-- especially African Americans-- at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke than does the current system of diagnosing the metabolic syndrome.

Long distance calls by sugar molecules
All our cells wear a coat of sugar molecules, so-called glycans.

SimuCase avatars advance speech-language pathology training
A new commercial venture, using technology developed at Case Western Reserve University's College of Arts and Sciences and Case School of Engineering, has made available avatars -- virtual patients -- to train speech-language pathologists.

The geometry of persuasion: How do seating layouts influence consumers?
Consumers seated in circular arrangements feel a greater need to belong than those seated in angular layouts, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Parenting and home environment influence children's exercise and eating habits
Kids whose moms encourage them to exercise and eat well, and model those healthy behaviors themselves, are more likely to be active and healthy eaters, according to researchers at Duke Medicine.

What makes people click?
A new study by academics at the University of Bristol's Intelligent Systems Laboratory has analyzed tens of thousands of articles available to readers of online news and created a model to find out 'what makes people click.'

Immunity mechanism discovered
Scientists at the University of Calgary's Faculty of Medicine have discovered a mechanism that is used to protect the body from harmful bacteria.

Geosphere details the geology of North America with 6 new papers online
Each of the six new papers published in Geosphere on June 13 address geoscience compiled in specially themed issues:

Feline behavior experts release guidelines to improve the welfare of cats
A team of internationally recognized feline experts including veterinarians and feline scientists were invited by the International Society of Feline Medicine and the American Association of Feline Practitioners to compile guidelines for veterinarians, owners and those working with cats on how to meet the environmental needs of the domestic cat.

Fat cells in breast may connect social stress to triple-negative breast cancer
Local chemical signals released by fat cells in the mammary gland appear to provide a crucial link between exposure to unrelenting social stressors early in life, and the subsequent development of aggressive breast cancer.

European publishing partnership for physics celebrates 15th anniversary
The European publishing partnership for physics, The European Physical Journal (EPJ), celebrates its 15th year in 2013.

Insulin degludec lowers risk of recurrent low blood sugar or has similar risk to insulin glargine
Insulin degludec, a new ultra-long-acting insulin, has a similar or reduced risk of recurrent hypoglycemia -- low blood sugar -- compared with the commercially available insulin glargine, a new meta-analysis study finds.

Rice blast research reveals details on how a fungus invades plants
A study by an international team of researchers has shed light on how the rice blast fungus, Magnaporthe oryzae, invades plant tissue.

Twice weekly iron supplementation to pregnant women as effective as a daily regime
Daily supplementation of iron tablets to pregnant women does not provide any benefits in birth weight or improved infant growth compared to twice weekly supplementation, according to a study by international researchers published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Computer modeling technique goes viral at Brandeis
Sophisticated computational models and advances in graphical processing units are helping scientists understand the complex interplay between genomic data, virus structure and the formation of the virus' outer

Huddersfield researcher publishes a study of psychopathy and criminal behavior
Dr Boduszek has published a critical review of psychopathy literature, with a particular focus on recent research examining the relationship between psychopathy and various forms of criminal behavior.

Brandeis scientist invents anti-cholesterol process
Senior Brandeis research scientist Daniel Perlman has discovered a way to make phytosterol molecules from plants dispersible in beverages and foods that are consumed by humans, potentially opening the way to dramatic reductions in human cholesterol levels. 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