Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (October 2010)

Science news and science current events archive October, 2010.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from October 2010

Queen's University Belfast lung injury study could save lives in critically ill
Researchers at Queen's University Belfast are investigating a potential new treatment for lung disease that could save many lives each year. The research team is studying how statins, drugs which are commonly used to treat high cholesterol, can be used to treat lung disease.

Plagiarism sleuths tackle full-text biomedical articles
In scientific publishing, how much reuse of text is too much? Researchers at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech and collaborators have shown that a computer-based text-searching tool is capable of unearthing questionable publication practices from thousands of full-text papers in the biomedical literature.

Plastic monitors itself
A new polymer-metal material that has sensory properties makes it possible to produce plastic component parts that monitor themselves. This material can be combined with various others and used in a variety of different ways. Researchers at Fraunhofer will be unveiling this polymer-metal composite at the ELECTRONICA 2010 fair (Nov. 9-12 in Munich, Germany).

Push and pull get eyes to work together
Researchers appear to have found a better way to correct sensory eye dominance, a condition in which an imbalance between the eyes compromises fine depth perception. The key is a push-pull training method in which the weak eye is made to work while vision in the strong eye is actively suppressed, according to a report published online on Oct. 14 in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication.

'Lubricin' molecule discovered to reduce cartilage wear
A team of researchers in North Carolina has discovered that lubricin, a synovial fluid glycoprotein, reduces wear to bone cartilage, a result that has implications for the treatment of osteoarthritis.

1 in 8 parents forgoes pediatrician-recommended care
One in eight parents reported that his or her child had not received pediatrician-recommended care -- medication, laboratory testing and/or appointments with specialists -- during the previous 12 months due to concerns over cost and payment, according to a study, presented Sunday, Oct. 3, at the American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference and Exhibition in San Francisco.

New report reveals two-thirds of spinal fractures remain undiagnosed and untreated
A new report issued by the International Osteoporosis Foundation for World Osteoporosis Day puts the spotlight on the severe impact of spinal fractures and calls on health professionals to recognize the signs of these fractures in their patients.

Light on silicon better than copper?
As good as copper has been in zipping information from one circuit to another on silicon inside computers and other electronic devices, optical signals can carry much more, according to Duke University electrical engineers. So the engineers have designed and demonstrated microscopically small lasers integrated with thin film-light guides on silicon that could replace the copper in a host of electronic products.

BOEMRE leads study of deepwater communities post-Deepwater Horizon spill
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement today announced that a team of scientists led by BOEMR will embark on a research cruise that will examine deep sea coral and chemosynethetic community sites in the Gulf of Mexico. Findings from this research will help scientist discover the posible effects of the large volumes of oil released in the deepwater following the Deepwater Horizon blowout and spill.

Metabolic status before pregnancy predicts subsequent gestational diabetes
Cardio-metabolic risk factors such as high blood sugar and insulin, and low high-density lipoprotein cholesterol that are present before pregnancy, predict whether a woman will develop diabetes during a future pregnancy, according to a Kaiser Permanente study in the current issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology.

Doctors at University of Colorado School of Medicine to train African doctors in AIDS care
The HIV epidemic continues to grow, especially in Africa where it has orphaned millions of children and decimated entire communities. In this environment, funding to train African health care providers is critical.

Paper highlights blood pressure risk in overweight children
The ESC welcomes the findings of a paper presented today at the American Heart Association's High Blood Pressure Research 2010 Scientific Sessions (HBPR 2010) held in Washington, DC. The paper details research into the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and blood pressure in children.

Train a computer to classify pictures and videos based on the elements that they contain
At present, computer search and classification of images is made basing on the name of the file, folder or on features as date or size, but the visual information contained was never used for classification purposes. This pioneer technique developed by the University of Granada allows the classification of pictures or images depending on whether individuals or specific objects are present in such images.

What can country of birth tell us about childhood asthma?
Researchers from Tufts pooled data from five epidemiological studies to investigate the prevalence of asthma in children in two Boston neighborhoods. Among children born in the United States, low socioeconomic status and exposure to mice and cockroaches were both associated with increased risk of asthma. Neither association was present in children born outside of the US.

Scientists find gene linked to alcoholism
Researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine have discovered a gene variant that may protect against alcoholism.

Professional sports persons should drink more water
Top sports persons must always perform to their maximum capacity, making them the most vulnerable to the effects of dehydration. Now, a new study conducted by researchers from the Universidad de Castilla la Mancha reveals that 91 percent of professional basketball, volleyball, handball and football players are dehydrated when they begin their training sessions.

High risk of acute mountain sickness on Mount Kilimanjaro
Climbers of high peaks such as Mount Kilimanjaro are at high risk for acute mountain sickness, or AMS. Trekkers should not ignore AMS warning signs, which can progress to more serious medical outcomes. Mountain climbers can best minimize their risk for altitude sickness by becoming acclimatized to increased altitudes before an ascent, according to a study in the current issue of High Altitude Medicine & Biology.

Mount Sinai researchers find potential therapeutic target across a range of cancer types
Researchers from Mount Sinai School of Medicine, in collaboration with investigators of the National Institute of Health and Medical Research of France led by Nicolae Ghinea, Ph.D., have found a common link among several malignant tumor types in all grades of cancer. This breakthrough may ultimately provide a new diagnostic or therapeutic target to detect cancer early or stop tumor growth. The study is published in the Oct. 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Population report: More Jews live in the US than in Israel
A new report called Jewish Population in the United States-2010 published by researchers from the University of Miami and the University of Connecticut shows a greater number of Jews in the US than in Israel. The report includes new Internet-based estimates of small Jewish communities that had not been included in previous reports.

December 2010 Lithosphere highlights
The December 2010 Lithosphere analyzes tectonic histories across the Llano Uplift, Texas; activity along the ~85-mile-long Kern Canyon fault, southern Sierra Nevada; deformed mantle materials in the Twin Sisters ultramafic body of Washington State; a giant granitic intrusion called the Sahwave Intrusive Suite near Reno, Nevada; the Socorro Magma Body, New Mexico; gravity anomalies on and offshore of the Antarctic continent; and the shallow upper mantle stratification of the

Women fight the effects of chemotherapy long after treatment ends
For some women, the effects of breast cancer, the most common cancer affecting women, do not end when they leave the hospital. Now, researchers in the University of Missouri School of Health Professions have studied the lives of breast cancer patients following chemotherapy and found that their environments and available support systems help determine the quality of their lives.

Manchester team wins $1.9 million grant for 'cell control' study
A team investigating how genes respond to hormonal changes and inflammation has been awarded a Wellcome Trust grant of $1.9 million for a five-year study.

Poor start in life need not spell doom in adulthood
A biology graduate student at the University of California, Riverside reports that how individuals fare as adults is not simply a passive consequence of the limits that early conditions may impose on them. Studying how adult Trinidadian guppies responded to their early food conditions, Sonya Auer found that the guppies had compensated for a poor start to life in unexpected, and potentially adaptive, ways by being flexible in their growth and reproductive strategies.

The effects of hydrogen on growing carbon nanotubes
Carbon nanotubes have many potential uses in nanotechnology, optics, electronics, and many other fields. Their exact properties depend on their structure, but controlling that structure, which is determined during their initial formation, is difficult, and scientists do not know precisely how they grow. In a paper in the Journal of Applied Physics, researchers from the University of Minnesota shed new light on the process.

Mars: How low can you go?
There are few places on Mars lower than this. On the left of this image, the floor of Melas Chasma sinks nine kilometers below the surrounding plains. New images from ESA's Mars Express highlight the complex history of this enormous martian canyon.

Older women with normal T-scores may not need bone mineral density screening for 10 years
A new study led by UNC's Dr. Margaret L. Gourlay, finds that women aged 67 years and older with normal bone mineral density scores may not need screening again for 10 years. She presented these results on Sunday, Oct. 17, at the annual meeting of the American Society for Bone Mineral Research (ASBMR) in Toronto.

American Chemical Society to host public interest forum on science in public policy on Oct. 27
The American Chemical Society, a member of Professionals for the Public Interest, has organized a forum on

Food allergies raise risk of asthma attacks
Food allergies are more common among people with asthma and may contribute to asthma attacks, according to one of the most comprehensive surveys of food allergies ever undertaken.

Hebrew University research holds promise for development of new osteoporosis drug
Researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have discovered a group of substances in the body that play a key role in controlling bone density, and on this basis they have begun development of a drug for prevention and treatment of osteoporosis and other bone disorders.

New lung cancer research finds half of advanced lung cancer patients receive chemotherapy
For the first time to date, research published in the October edition of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology sought to determine the use of chemotherapy in a contemporary, diverse non-small cell lung cancer population encompassing all patient ages. Prior population-based studies have shown that only 20 to 30 percent of advanced lung cancer patients receive chemotherapy treatment.

Rotten experiments help to create picture of our early ancestors
How can watching primitive fish rot away reveal answers to the fundamental questions of how, when and why our earliest vertebrate ancestors evolved?

Mayo Clinic review of ethical decision making with end-of-life care
In a review article published in the October issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Mayo Clinic physicians differentiate the ethical and legal permissibility of withholding or withdrawing life-sustaining treatments and accepted comfort measures, specifically palliative sedation, from that of physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia.

New venture explores frontiers of personalized medicine
Pharmaceuticals that seek out cancerous cells and deliver treatments to them; imaging techniques that can help doctors detect diseases before the physical signs begin to appear; and medicines that are tailor-made for individual patients, are within the sights of an exciting new Australian start-up venture.

DFG establishes 4 new research units
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft is establishing four new research units to facilitate cross-regional, interdisciplinary cooperation among researchers.

How H1N1 differs from other viruses as a respiratory illness
The 2009/2010 Influenza A (H1N1) is one of several viruses responsible for respiratory-related infections. A new study from Rhode Island Hospital examined patients with viruses and found distinguishing characteristics of the H1N1 virus in how it affects respiratory illness. Their findings will be presented at the annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America to be held in Vancouver, Canada on Friday, Oct. 22.

November 2010 Geology and GSA Today highlights
Geology includes two papers on the 2009 6.3 L'Aquila earthquake, one of which features a new analysis technique, focal mechanism tomography; a study on the impact of the Three Gorges Dam on the middle Yangtze; three papers on methane hydrates; findings of

Einstein researchers find osteoporosis drug may help women with kidney disease
The osteoporosis drug raloxifene may be useful in treating kidney disease in women, suggests a new study led by Michal Melamed, M.D., M.H.S., assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology & population health at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.

Surgical technique relieves painful spine fractures in patients with metastatic cancer
A surgical technique appears to offer quick and effective relief for debilitating spinal fractures often suffered by patients with metastatic cancer, researchers reported at the 35th Congress of the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) in Milan.

Blood test could diagnose Alzheimer's disease, UT Southwestern researchers find
A set of proteins found in blood serum shows promise as a sensitive and accurate way to diagnose Alzheimer's disease, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have found as part of a statewide study.

Science survey ranks top biopharma employers
Science's annual survey of Top Employers polls employees in the biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, pharmaceutical and related industries to determine the driving characteristics of the best employers and to determine the 20 best employers in these industries. Respondents to the Web-based survey were asked to rate companies based on 23 characteristics, including financial strength, easy adaptation to change, and a research-driven environment.

Study details molecular structure of major cell signaling pathway
Scientists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine have reported the exact molecular structure and mechanisms of a major cell signaling pathway that serves a broad range of functions in humans.

Preschool promises: Starting early on a new educational agenda for the United States
Why is there so much variability in preschool programs and are they meeting their potential for adequately preparing youngsters for school? A new report in Psychological Science in the Public Interest, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, reviews the current state of publicly funded preschool, what science has taught us about early childhood education, and the authors offer suggestions for improving efficacy of these programs.

Devastating impact of spinal osteoporotic fractures revealed on World Osteoporosis Day
A new report issued by the International Osteoporosis Foundation (IOF) for World Osteoporosis Day puts the spotlight on the severe impact of spinal fractures and calls on health professionals to recognize the signs of these fractures in their patients.

Young people with mental health problems at risk of falling through 'gap' in care services
Many young people with mental health problems are at risk of falling through a huge gap in provision when they move from adolescent to adult care services, according to new research from the University of Warwick.

Being more realistic about the public health impact of genomic medicine
Wayne Hall, Rebecca Mathews and Katherine Morley discuss the limitations of genomic risk prediction for population-level preventive health care.

Not all doctors follow cancer screening guidelines
Only one-fifth of primary care physicians in the US follow practice guidelines for colorectal cancer screening for all the tests they recommend, according to Dr. Robin Yabroff from the National Cancer Institute and her colleagues. About 40 percent followed guidelines for some of the tests they recommended and the remaining 40 percent did not follow guidelines for any of the screening tests they recommended. Their findings appear online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Studies: Pneumonia is misdiagnosed on patient readmissions
Patients were misdiagnosed with pneumonia at an alarming rate when they were readmitted to the hospital shortly after a previous hospitalization for the same illness, according to two Henry Ford Hospital companion studies.

GOES-13 on top of new seventeenth Atlantic (sub) tropical depression
The GOES-13 satellite keeps a vigilant eye on the Atlantic Ocean and eastern US and this morning at 5 a.m. EDT it saw System 97L organize into the seventeenth tropical depression of the Atlantic Ocean season. The only catch is that it is actually a subtropical depression, so it is currently known as Subtropical Depression 17.

Doctors evaluating heart problems should consider checking fat deposits around the heart
Cardiac imaging researchers at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute are recommending that physicians not overlook fatty deposits around the heart when evaluating patients for risk of major heart problems.

News and insights in gastroenterology presented at the ACG's 75th Annual Meeting
Many of the world's preeminent gastroenterologists will gather for the American College of Gastroenterology's (ACG) 75th Annual Scientific Meeting at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas, starting Monday, Oct. 18, 2010, to review the latest scientific advances in gastrointestinal research, treatment of digestive diseases and clinical practice management. 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