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BioTechCircle News®

News You Can Use

January 2012

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Issue 103, Part a

See all previous Biotech Circle News issues at our archives; follow us on Twitter.

In this inaugural News You Can Use section: links to 46 free Web articles in 8 major categories with practical information that you can apply in your daily life. A couple of the articles are a tad off-the-wall, but we were amused with them and thought you would be too. We're using the same categories and subcategories as our Bioblog. Click on the category list below to go immediately to that section. (Part b continues our original classifications, with links to articles on research advances and other areas that have longer-range impact.)

The major categories below are further subdivided to make it easy for you to locate
news and technology developments, the business and the markets in the life sciences
of particular interest to you. The brief synopses will help you decide which articles you'd
like to read. Simply click on the article's title to go directly to the original article.

Here are this month's major categories:

Business (2 articles)
Education (1 article)
Environment (2 articles)
Health/Lifestyle (19 articles)
Medical (18 articles)
Science/Technology (1 article)
Social (1 article)
Tech Tools (3 articles)

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Subcategory: Investment

This VC Has Heard 10,000 Pitches: Here's What Works
Boonsri Dickinson Business Insider (19-Jan-12)
"…of the 114 deals I've closed, exactly zero reached out to me in a cold
email," says investor. The first step is make sure you get the meeting. The
entrepreneur has to do a lot of homework of targeting investors. Reveals how.

Top 10 Business Ideas & Opportunities for 2012
Springwise (01-Jan-12)
Concepts include crowdsourced biofuels, new font for readers with dyslexia,
10-piece mix-and-match fashion set that spans a year's wardrobe, mobile app
scans for skin cancer, all-in-one home vegetable growing kits.

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Subcategory: Gender Issues

“Women Worse at Math than Men” Explanation Scientifically Incorrect, Experts

Steven Adams Science Daily (18-Jan-12)
Scientists now believe "the wrong problem is being addressed" and that basing
interventions on the stereotype threat is actually doing more harm than good,
as vital resources are being dedicated to a problem that does not exist.

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Subcategory: Energy/Fuel

Buildings and Clothes could Melt to Save Energy
New Scientist (05-Jan-12)
Phase-change materials that freeze at around room temperature could
revolutionize energy storage, cooling things that are too hot and warming them
later on. Market could reach $130 million in annual sales by 2020.

Subcategory: Global Warming - Climate

Planting Zones Reflect Warming Winters
Seth Borenstein Laboratory Equipment (26-Jan-12)
Some plants that once seemed too vulnerable to cold can now survive farther
north. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's updated online map is searchable
by zip code, shows the exact average coldest temperature for each of the 26
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Subcategory: Aging

Improved Cognition Changes Elderly Personality Traits
Laboratory Equipment (19-Jan-12)
Program to boost cognition in older adults also increased their openness to
new experiences. Shows that a non-drug intervention in older adults can
change a personality trait once thought to be fixed throughout the lifespan.

Mid-lane Driving Helps Older Adults Stay Safe
University of Leeds (04-Jan-12)
Researchers compare the motor skills of healthy younger adults, aged between
18 and 40, with a group of over-60s, find older adults made allowances for
their age by staying in the middle of the road lines when driving.

Subcategory: Children, Infants

Study: Babies Try Lip-reading in Learning to Talk

Lauran Neergaard Bioscience Technology (16-Jan-12)
At 6 months, when babies' brains gain the ability to control their attention
rather than automatically look toward noise, babies begin observing lip
movement. Explains why it's easier for babies to become bilingual than older
children or adults.

Another Clue in the Mystery of Autism
Bioscience Technology (20-Jan-12)
A new study involving identical twin pairs suggests that low birth weight is
an important environmental factor contributing to the risk of autism spectrum
disorder (ASD).

High Fructose May Up Teens' Cardiovascular Risk
Laboratory Equipment (25-Jan-12)
High-fructose diets in teens correlate with higher blood pressure, fasting
glucose, insulin resistance and inflammatory factors that contribute to heart
and vascular disease. High fructose corn syrup is used liberally in processed
foods and beverages.

Subcategory: Disease Prevention

Office Air May Contain Toxic Substances
Laboratory Equipment (19-Jan-12)
Scientists are reporting that the indoor air in offices is an important source of
worker exposure to potentially toxic substances released by carpeting,
furniture, paint and other items. These polyfluorinated compounds (PFCs)
may have adverse effects.

Subcategory: Exercise

Reaping Benefits of Exercise Minus the Sweat
Richard Saltus Harvard Gazette (11-Jan-12)
A natural hormone from muscle cells triggers some of the key health benefits
of exercise. The protein is a highly promising candidate for development as a
novel treatment for diabetes, obesity, and perhaps other disorders, including

Exercise Triggers Beneficial Cellular Recycling
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (18-Jan-12)
Cells break down unwanted proteins and other cellular junk during exercise in
a process called autophagy, which acts like a “cellular garbage disposal." May
explain how exercise fends off diabetes and protects against other diseases.

Subcategory: Food/Nutrition

Researchers Look at Effects of Two Common Sweeteners on the Body
Bioscience Technology (24-Jan-12)
Measurements show that high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) -sweetened soft
drinks resulted in significantly higher fructose levels than table sugar (sucrose)
-sweetened drinks. Fructose also increases uric acid levels, implicated in
blood pressure.

High Animal Fat Diet Increases Gestational Diabetes Risk
Bioscience Technology (26-Jan-12)
Gestational diabetes is a form of diabetes seen during pregnancy. Women
whose diets were high in total fat or other kinds of fats did not have an
increased risk.

Food Safety Modernization … A Year Later
Lindsey Coblentz ChemInfo (01-Jan-12)
The Food Safety Preventive Controls Alliance (FSPCA). is designed to help
facilities maintain compliance under the new law, with a focus on developing
effective food safety plans and identifying preventive controls to protect
against potential hazards.

LEDs Extend Meat Shelf Life
Laboratory Equipment (18-Jan-12)
A switch to LED from fluorescent lights in refrigeration units could save the
retail meat industry millions of dollars each year, according to researchers. If
so, LED lighting may be coming to your grocery or butcher shop soon.

Subcategory: Miscellaneous

Nanocrystals Make Dentures Shine
Nanowerk (05-Jan-12)
A new kind of glass ceramic with a nanocrystalline structure seems to be well
suited to be used in dentistry. Strength is 5 times higher than with comparable
denture ceramics available today

12 Crucial Consumer Trends for 2012
Trendwatching (01-Jan-12)
Among the trends: 2) do-it-yourself health; 4) eco-cycology (brands taking
back products for recycling); 6) bottom of the urban pyramid. Links to
articles discussing all 2012 trends.

Subcategory: Obesity

A Dieting Conundrum
Alexander Chernev Kellogg Insight (01-Jan-12)
Many think that adding a “healthy” option, such as a side dish of celery and
carrots, to a high-calorie meal such as a cheesesteak somehow reduces the
meal’s overall calorie content. Explains “dieter’s paradox.”

Tired Brains Have Big Appetites
Laboratory Equipment (19-Jan-12)
A specific brain region that contributes to a person’s appetite sensation is
more activated in response to food images after one night of sleep loss than
after one night of normal sleep. Poor sleep habits can affect people’s risk of
becoming overweight.

Subcategory: Psychology/Behavior

Eight Weeks to a Better Brain
Harvard Gazette (21-Jan-12)
Although the practice of meditation is associated with a sense of peacefulness
and physical relaxation, practitioners have long claimed that meditation also
provides cognitive and psychological benefits that persist throughout the day.

New Study Shows Internet Addicts' Brains Developing Differently
Oliver VanDervoort TMCnet (23-Jan-12)
People in a study who were found to be Internet addicts had lower levels in
the part of the brain that controls emotional reactions and executive decision
making. Questions remain as to how much is the result of addiction and to
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Subcategory: Addiction

Clues to Addiction
Peter Reuell Harvard Gazette (18-Jan-12)
New way of thinking about addiction in general may help to develop new
theories or treatments for addiction. Sheds new light on how behaviors can be
reinforced, either through normal brain function, or by damaging the way 2
types of neurons interact.

Subcategory: Aging

Mild Cognitive Impairment is Common, Affects Men Most
Bioscience Technology (26-Jan-12)
Mild cognitive impairment (MCI), the stage between normal forgetfulness of
aging and dimentia, appears to affect men and those who only have a high
school education more than women and those who have completed some
higher education.

Subcategory: Brain, Stroke

Dyslexia Appears in Brain Before Symptoms
Joel Shurkin Laboratory Equipment (26-Jan-12)
Dyslexia, a common learning disorder, is present in the brain of children when
they are born or shortly after birth—well before they start having difficulties
when symptoms appear and a diagnosis is made. Early intervention possible.

Subcategory: Cancer

Compounds in Mate Tea Induce Death in Colon Cancer Cells
Bioscience Technology 24-Jan-12
Scientists show that human colon cancer cells die when they are exposed to
the approximate number of bioactive compounds present in one cup of yerba
mate tea, which has long been consumed in South America for its medicinal

New Indicator May Help Identify Patients with Increased Risk from Throat

Bioscience Technology (16-Jan-12)
Patients with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma who had “matted”
lymph nodes – nodes that are connected together – had a 69%survival rate
over 3 years, compared to 94% for patients without matted nodes.

Sugar-Free Diet Has Cancer Cells Hungry
Drug Discovery & Development (13-Jan-12)
Study shows that B cells (lymph gland cancer cells) can use glutamine in the
absence of glucose for cell replication and survival. Finding is critical for
developing innovative cancer therapies by exploiting that survival strategy to
stop cancer.

A New Way to Beat Blood Cancer?
The Times of India (18-Jan-12)
Treatments that remove the protein Mcl-1 -- called "pro-survival" protein
because it can make cells long-lived -- from AML (acute myeloid leukemia, an
aggressive form of blood cancer) cells can rapidly kill these aggressive cancer

Subcategory: Children, Infants

Study: Heartburn Drugs Don't Aid Children's Asthma
Lindsey Tanner Bioscience Technology (24-Jan-12)
Use of acid reflux drugs has more than doubled in U.S. children in recent years
for hard-to-treat asthma. Children on prescription Prevacid pills had more
colds, sore throats, bronchitis infections and broken bones than those given
dummy pills.

Cord Blood Stem Cells May Restore Hearing
UPI.com (20-Jan-12)
Children only have 18 months to acquire language skills. Study will follow 10
children, ages 6 weeks to 18 months, who have sustained post-birth hearing
loss. Treatment involves the patients' own stored cord blood.

Subcategory: Diabetes

CDC: Diabetes Amputations Falling Dramatically
Bioscience Technology (24-Jan-12)
Close monitoring and stepped-up patient education may be a factor in
reducing amputations. Reduction began after Medicare began paying for blood
sugar monitoring and for protective shoes and other medical devices for
elderly diabetics.

Subcategory: Digestion

Diets High in Fiber Won't Protect Against Diverticulosis
Bioscience Technnology (24-Jan-12)
New study finds that consuming a diet high in fiber raised, rather than
lowered, the risk of developing diverticulosis, a disease of the large intestine.
While more research is needed, study offers valuable insights on diverticulosis
risk factors.

Subcategory: Disease Prevention

Aspirin May Help Prevent Cancer In HIV-Infected Women
Drug Discovery & Development (20-Jan-12)
Simple, inexpensive solution has the potential to provide enormous benefit for
women, especially women in the Caribbean, Latin America, and Africa, who
suffer from a disproportionately high rate of cervical cancer death.

Too Many Tests? Routine Checks Getting Second Look
Lauran Neergaard PharmPro (24-Jan-12)
Example of simple tests that can harm; discusses overused tests, including
annual EKGs or other cardiac screening for low-risk patients, bone-density
scan for osteoporosis, cholesterol and other tests.

Report Finds Most Errors at Hospitals Go Unreported
Robert Pear The New York Times (06-Jan-12)
Hospital employees recognize and report only one out of seven errors,
accidents and other events that harm Medicare patients while they are
hospitalized, federal investigators say in a new report.

Subcategory: Eyes

Frequent Aspirin Use Linked to Aging Macula Disorder
MDNews (06-Jan-12)
Frequent use of aspirin in patients aged 65 years and older is associated with
early aging macula disorder (AMD) and wet late AMD, according to a recent

UCI Team Discovers how Protein in Teardrops Annihilates Harmful Bacteria
UC Irvine (19-Jan-12)
A disease-fighting protein in our teardrops has jaws that latch on and chomp
through the walls of the bacteria that are trying to get into your eyes and
infect them.

Subcategory: Miscellaneous

Mind can Overcome Allergies
Laboratory Equipment (20-Jan-12)
If someone has a lesser sense of ownership over a part of their body, their
immune system responds differently to that body part, treating it as
“non-self” rather than “self.” May help understand conditions such as stroke,
schizophrenia, autism, others.

Subcategory: Nervous System

Beginning of Parkinson's Exposed
Laboratory Equpment (17-Jan-12)
When errors happen in protein folding, those proteins clump together to form
plaques such as those found in Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s and Lou
Gehrig’s disease, and cause cells to degenerate.

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Subcategory: Miscellaneous

Feature: Appliance of Science - “There’s no such Thing as a Non-science Story”
Quentin Cooper Wellcome Trust (17-Jan-12)
Broadcaster and journalist says: "Science is part of absolutely everything. I
hate science being confined to science programmes and science festivals and
science pages. To me, science isn’t a domain but a way of looking at things."

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Subcategory: Gender Issues

How Universities Fail Women Inventors
Scott Shane Business Week (28-Dec-11)
Technology licensing officers are gate-keepers who influence which university
inventions get patented, licensed, and become the basis for spinoff
companies. Experiment with 239 male & female tech licensing officers shows
hidden bias.

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Subcategory: E-medicine

Mobile Health Data Access Jumps 125 Percent: comScore
Brian T. Horowitz eWeek (20-Jan-12)
People are more comfortable using mobile apps. Younger Americans are
actively using mobile phones to access health data and physicians have
demonstrated an interest in accessing pharmaceutical data on smartphones and

Subcategory: Monitoring Sensors

Biochip Measures Glucose in Saliva, not Blood
Richard Lewis Brown University (20-Jan-12)
A biological device that can measure glucose concentrations in human saliva
could eliminate the need for diabetics to draw blood to check their glucose

Rap Music Powers Rhythmic Action of Medical Sensor
R & D (26-Jan-12)
Acoustic waves from music, particularly rap, were found to effectively
recharge the pressure sensor. Such a device might ultimately help to treat
people stricken with aneurisms or incontinence due to paralysis. What if you
prefer Bach?

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Copyright 2012, Technology Management Associates, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not 
be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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