Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (October 2012)

Science news and science current events archive October, 2012.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from October 2012

Mine your business: Text mining insights from social media
Thanks to blogs, online forums, and product review sites, companies and marketers now have access to a seemingly endless array of data on consumers' opinions and experiences. In principle, businesses should be able to use this information to gain a better understanding of the general market and of their own and their competitors' customers.

Notre Dame professor examines mathematics and the world's greatest buildings
Notre Dame mathematician Alex Hahn examines the mathematics at work in great buildings in a compelling and richly illustrated new book

Philippe Généreux, MD, presented with 2012 TCT Young Investigator Award
Philippe Genereux, MD was presented the TCT 2012 Thomas J. Linnemeier Spirit of Interventional Cardiology Young Investigator Award in a ceremony held today during the 24th annual Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics (TCT) scientific symposium. The award is given each year to a promising researcher in the field of interventional cardiovascular medicine. Sponsored by the Cardiovascular Research Foundation, TCT is the world's premier educational meeting specializing in interventional cardiology.

Happiness at work depends on a good salary, but also on how much colleagues earn
One of the keys to happiness at work is earning a lot of money, but what is equally important, if not more important, is that our earnings not be inferior to those of our peers, that is, of the colleagues we compare ourselves to. This is revealed by a study carried out at Universidad Carlos III in Madrid that analyzes the relationship between happiness and income from work.

JDRF to showcase spectrum of prominent research at European Diabetes Conference
JDRF, the world's leader in setting the agenda of type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, is preparing to join researchers from around the globe this week at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD), being held in Berlin from October 1 through October 5.

Penn researchers find error reporting improves perceptions of safety and may reduce incidents
Documenting adverse events improves perceptions of safety and may decrease incidents in multi-site clinical practices, according to a new study from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The results of the year-long study, which focused on the Radiation Oncology department's workflow, show a strong correlation between the implementation of a Conditions Reporting System and increasingly positive responses to staff surveys focusing on the culture of safety within the department.

US shale gas drives up coal exports
A report by researchers at the University of Manchester has concluded that whilst the US is burning less coal due to shale gas production, millions of tonnes of unused coal are being exported to the UK, Europe and Asia. As a result, the emissions benefits of switching fuels are overstated.

Ensuring high-quality dietary supplements with 'quality-by-design'
If applied to the $5-billion-per-year dietary supplement industry,

New inhibitors of elusive enzymes promise to be valuable scientific tools
Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have discovered the first selective inhibitors of an important set of enzymes. The new inhibitors, and chemical probes based on them, now can be used to study the functions of enzymes known as diacylglycerol lipases, their products, and the pathways they regulate.

Nano-hillocks: Of mountains and craters
In the field of nanotechnology, electrically-charged particles are frequently used as tools for surface modification. Researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf and the TU Vienna were at last able to reconcile important issues concerning the effects of highly charged ions on surfaces.

New procedure helps patients with severe asthma breathe easier
For a small group with severe persistent asthma, frequent hospital visits tend to be the norm and taking medications and lifestyle changes don't do the trick. Northwestern Memorial Hospital is now using a new procedure called bronchial thermoplasty, the first non-drug therapy approved by the Federal Drug Administration, for patients with severe asthma.

NASA's TRMM satellite sees very heavy rains in fading Tropical Storm Prapiroon
Heavy rainfall returned to Typhoon Prapiroon for a brief time on Oct. 18 when NASA's TRMM satellite passed overhead. Prapiroon is battling strong wind shear and is expected to transition into an extra-tropical storm in the next day.

Liverpool care pathway has transformed end of life care, argues doctor
The Liverpool care pathway has transformed end of life care from an undignified, painful experience into a peaceful, dignified death at home, argues a doctor in this week's BMJ.

Researchers find ancient carbon resurfacing in lakes
A new study reveals that a significant amount of carbon released into the atmosphere from lakes and rivers in Southern Québec, Canada, is very old -- approximately 1,000 to 3,000 years old -- challenging the current models of long-term carbon storage in lakes and rivers.

How sexual power can be disempowering
It is often assumed that men should dominate women sexually. This assumption may lead to loss of both power and the ability to control sexual behavior among women and men, as well as lead to increased sexual risk-taking, such as not using a female condom. The new study, by Dr. Lisa Rosenthal from Yale University in the US, and her colleagues, is published online in Springer's journal Sex Roles.

Smoking takes 10 years off life expectancy in Japan, not 4 as previously thought, experts warn
Smoking reduces life expectancy by ten years in Japan, but much of the risk can be avoided by giving up smoking, a paper published on today shows.

Maternal depression affects language development in babies
Maternal depression and a common class of antidepressants can alter a crucial period of language development in babies, according to a new study by researchers at the University of British Columbia, Harvard University and the Child & Family Research Institute at BC Children's Hospital.

TMT will take discoveries of stars orbiting the Milky Way's monster black hole to the next level
Researchers have discovered a star that whips around the giant black hole at the center of our galaxy in record time, completing an orbit every 11.5 years. The finding, appearing today in the journal Science, points ahead to groundbreaking experiments involving Einstein's general theory of relativity. Those tests will be fully enabled by the Thirty Meter Telescope, slated to begin observations next decade.

High schools with athletic trainers have more diagnosed concussions, fewer overall injuries
High schools with athletic trainers have lower overall injury rates, according to a new study,

5 year olds are generous only when they're watched
Children as young as five are generous when others are aware of their actions, but antisocial when sharing with a recipient who can't see them, according to research published Oct. 31 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Kristin Lyn Leimgruber and colleagues from Yale University.

Camels give President Obama's Alzheimer's plan a lift
President Obama's plan to fight Alzheimer's disease got a lift thanks to a discovery that may lead to enhanced imaging of, and improved drug delivery to the brain. Research in The FASEB Journal describes a new class of antibody from camelids that can cross the blood-brain barrier, diffuse into brain tissue, and reach specific targets. These antibodies may be instrumental for people with brain diseases poorly diagnosed and treated using today's tools.

Many cancer survivors face health-related quality of life issues
Beating cancer is just the first step. More than one third of the 12.6 million cancer survivors in the United States have physical or mental problems that put their overall health in jeopardy, according to researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Can eating tomatoes lower the risk of stroke?
Eating tomatoes and tomato-based foods is associated with a lower risk of stroke, according to new research published in the Oct. 9, 2012, print issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Tomatoes are high in the antioxidant lycopene.

CAMH protein discovery may lead to new treatment to prevent smoking relapse
Scientists at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health have identified a potential new approach to preventing smoking relapse, which occurs frequently in smokers who attempt to quit, despite current treatments.

Risks of esophagus cancer studied: Statins may protect against esophageal cancer
Statin use is associated with protection from esophagus cancer according to a new meta-analysis of existing clinical studies exploring the cancer prevention effects of statins presented by a Mayo Clinic researcher, Dr. Siddharth Singh, at the American College of Gastroenterology 77th Annual Scientific Meeting in Las Vegas, Nev.

SwRI to build miniature solar observatory for manned suborbital flight
Southwest Research Institute has received funding from NASA to build a miniature, portable solar observatory for developing and testing innovative instrumentation in suborbital flight.

Plants in space!
How plants handle stress in space and what astronauts can learn from them is the subject of a new study at Michigan State University. Federica Brandizzi, Michigan State University plant biologist, will use a grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to shed light on how plants and humans can adapt to handle the stress of long-term space missions.

Deep cleaning with carbon dioxide
The Fraunhofer Cleaning Technology Alliance FAR is celebrating its 10th birthday at the parts2clean trade fair in Stuttgart, from Oct. 23 - 25 2012 in Hall 1, Booth F610/G707. To mark the occasion, FAR will be presenting highlights from 10 years of the Fraunhofer alliance, along with the latest concepts, technologies, and test procedures for component cleaning and analysis techniques that can be integrated into the production process.

Study finds nearly 50% of retail firewood infested with insects
A new study published in the Journal of Economic Entomology reports that live insects were found in 47% of firewood bundles purchased from big box stores, gas stations and grocery stores in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming.

Embargoed news from Annals of Internal Medicine
Below is information about an article being published in the Oct. 16 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine. The information is not intended to substitute for the full article as a source of information. Annals of Internal Medicine attribution is required for all coverage.

American Academy of Pediatrics weighs in for first time on organic foods for children
To offer guidance to parents -- and the pediatricians caring for their children's health -- the American Academy of Pediatrics has conducted an extensive analysis of scientific evidence surrounding organic produce, dairy products and meat.

Maths sheds light on what delays in getting pregnant means for prospects of having a baby
A new mathematical method can help to predict a couple's chances of becoming pregnant, according to how long they have been trying.

Discovery reveals important clues to cancer metastasis
New research led by investigators at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center explains how mesenchymal stem cells help cancer cells to spread beyond primary tumor.

New micropumps for hand-held medical labs produce pressures 500 times higher than car tire
In an advance toward analyzing blood and urine instantly at a patient's bedside instead of waiting for results from a central laboratory, scientists are reporting development of a new micropump capable of producing pressures almost 500 times higher than the pressure in a car tire. Described in ACS' journal Analytical Chemistry, the pumps are for futuristic

How does Pakistani media consumption affect opinions on violence?
University of Akron political science professor Karl Kaltenthaler received a $276,000 grant from the US Department of State to study the relationship between media consumption in Pakistan and beliefs about the legitimacy of Islamist violence.

Formula unlocks secrets of cauliflower's geometry
The laws that govern how intricate surface patterns, such as those found in the cauliflower, develop over time have been described, for the first time, by a group of European researchers.

Sick doctors returning to work struggle with feelings of shame and failure
Doctors who have been on long term sick leave find it hard to return to work because they are overwhelmed with feelings of shame and failure, and fear the disapproval of colleagues, finds research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Summer babies less likely to be CEOs: UBC research
Sauder School of Business researchers at the University of British Columbia have found that a person's date of birth can affect their climb up the corporate ladder.

Fostering tomorrow's scientific breakthroughs: New American Chemical Society video
A new episode in the American Chemical Society's popular Prized Science video series features a virtuoso in teaching the next generation of scientists, who must discover tomorrow's life-saving medicines and new fuels and help solve other global challenges. The videos from the world's largest scientific society are available at and by request on DVD.

Actionable alarm or crying wolf? Johns Hopkins safety team honored for reducing clinical alarms
The ECRI Institute has named The Johns Hopkins Hospital winner of the 2012 Health Devices Achievement Award for its efforts to enhance patient safety by reducing non-critical bedside alarms.

Health inequalities could be reduced by more effective health care, says new study
Health inequalities could be reduced by more effective healthcare, says new study.

Realizing the potential of stem cell therapy
New animal studies provide additional support for investigating stem cell treatments for Parkinson's disease, head trauma, and dangerous heart problems that accompany spinal cord injury, according to research findings released today. The work, presented at Neuroscience 2012, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience and the world's largest source of emerging news about brain science and health, shows scientists making progress toward using stem cell therapies to repair neurological damage.

New Big Data journal launched at Strata + Hadoop World, NY
To address the complicated questions surrounding the powerful and growing field of data discovery, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers has released an exclusive preview issue of Big Data at the Strata + Hadoop World conference in New York City.

New model reconciles the Moon's Earth-like composition with the giant impact theory of formation
The giant impact believed to have formed the Earth-Moon system has long been accepted as canon. However, a major challenge to the theory has been that the Earth and Moon have identical oxygen isotope compositions, even though earlier impact models indicated they should differ substantially. In a paper published today in the journal Science online, a new model by Southwest Research Institute accounts for this similarity in composition while also yielding an appropriate mass for Earth and Moon.

The mathematics of leaf decay
MIT researchers have analyzed data from a variety of forests and ecosystems across North America, and discovered general trends in decay rates among all leaves.

'Thick Infrastructure' proposes new amenities for Houston
Members of UH's Community Design Resource Center recently explored some of Houston's ditches, easements, Metro transit centers and park and rides. They then developed new ideas on how these components of the city can better serve its growing populations. They will share these visions during

High-risk carotid artery plaque formation is increased in older COPD patients
Older patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease are at increased risk for carotid artery plaque formation and for the presence of vulnerable plaques with a lipid core, according to a new study from researchers in the Netherlands.

Scripps Florida scientist awarded $2.1 million to test potential ALS treatments
A team led by scientists at the Scripps Research Institute has been awarded $2.1 million by the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs to study several compounds with the potential to greatly improve the quality of life for those with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's disease.

Evolving microbes help Iowa State engineers turn bio-oil into advanced biofuels
A research team led by Iowa State University's Laura Jarboe is working to develop hungry, robust microbes that can ferment biofuels from the bio-oil produced by rapidly heating biomass such as corn stalks and sawdust. It's all part of Iowa State's efforts to combine two conversion paths -- thermochemical and biochemical -- to produce the next generation of biofuels.

Gladstone scientists identify biological mechanism that plays key role in early-onset dementia
Using animal models, scientists at the Gladstone Institutes have discovered how a protein deficiency may be linked to both brain injury and to frontotemporal dementia -- which is a form of early-onset dementia that is similar to Alzheimer's disease. These results lay the foundation for therapies that may one day benefit those who suffer from these debilitating and potentially deadly conditions. 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