Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (April 2013)

Science news and science current events archive April, 2013.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from April 2013

Smell and taste experts to discuss new discoveries
Members of AChemS are arriving in Huntington Beach to present the latest findings generated from research on taste, smell and related issues. Research topics range from molecular biology to the clinical diagnosis and treatment of smell and taste disorders. April 17-21, 2012, Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort, Huntington Beach, California; Phone 1-714-698-1234 and 850-241-6392 (cell).

Periodic bursts of genetic mutations drive prostate cancer
Cancer is typically thought to develop after genes gradually mutate over time, finally overwhelming the ability of a cell to control growth. But a new closer look at genomes in prostate cancer by an international team of researchers reveals that, in fact, genetic mutations occur in abrupt, periodic bursts, causing complex, large scale reshuffling of DNA driving the development of prostate cancer.

Quit smoking? Vitamin E may give extra boost to heart health
Taking a specific form of a vitamin E supplement can accelerate the health benefits that occur when people quit smoking, new research suggests.

Survived cancer? Now look out for cardiovascular risks
New research from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center finds that CVD risk factors may be overlooked during survivorship care.

Tumors with ALK rearrangements can harbor more mutations
The identification of potentially targetable kinase mutations has been an exciting advancement in lung cancer treatment. Although the mutations driving many lung carcinomas remain unknown, approximately 50 percent of lung adenocarcinoma cases harbor KRAS mutation, EGFR mutation, or ALK translocation, and an additional 5 percent or so have been shown to have mutations involving BRAF, PIK3CA, HER2, MET, MEK1, NRAS, and AKT. In the vast majority, these driver mutations are mutually exclusive.

New fatigue model leads to more durable ships
Heikki Remes, a researcher at the Aalto University in Finland, has developed a model making it possible to determine how fatigue sets in with various welded steel materials. The model allows for the development of lighter structures, and as a consequence, more energy-efficient ships.

Blood tests can provide fuller picture of mutations in cancer than traditional biopsies do
Dana-Farber researchers find that a blood test can provide a fuller picture of cancer mutations in gastrointestinal stromal tumors than biopsies.

Material screening method allows more precise control over stem cells
When it comes to delivering genes to living human tissue, the odds of success come down the molecule. The entire therapy -- including the tools used to bring new genetic material into a cell -- must have predictable effects.

Study examines methods, procedures for improved diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy
For women with abdominal pain or vaginal bleeding during early pregnancy, patient history and clinical examination alone are insufficient to indicate or eliminate the possibility of ectopic pregnancy, while transvaginal sonography appears to be the single best diagnostic method for evaluating suspected ectopic pregnancy, according to an analysis of previous studies reported in the April 24 issue of JAMA.

UH SOEST and Hawai'i DAR provide new understanding of rare white shark movement around Hawai'i
A study just published by scientists at University of Hawai'i -- Manoa's School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology and Randy Honebrink of the Hawai'i DLNR Division of Aquatic Resources sheds new light on the relatively rare but occasionally recorded presence of white sharks in waters surrounding the Hawaiian Islands, and suggests a new method to help distinguish between white sharks and close relatives, such as mako sharks.

Cell-permeable peptide shows promise for controlling cardiovascular disease
Atherosclerosis -- sometimes called

Smartphone way to lose weight
Forget fad diets and hypnotherapy; your smartphone could be a key tool to losing those post-Easter egg pounds, according to scientists at the University of Leeds, UK.

Coelacanth genome surfaces
An international team of researchers has decoded the genome of the African coelacanth. The species was once thought to be extinct, but a living coelacanth was discovered off the African coast in 1938. Coelacanths today closely resemble the fossilized skeletons of their more than 300-million-year-old ancestors. Its genome confirms what many researchers had long suspected: genes in coelacanths are evolving more slowly than in other organisms.

New research examines connection between inflammatory stimulus and Parkinson's disease
Parkinson's disease is a progressive degenerative disease affecting a person's ability to coordinate and control their muscle movement. What starts out as a tremor in a finger will eventually lead to difficulty in writing and speaking, and ultimately the inability to walk without assistance.

Tiny octopus-like microorganisms named after science fiction monsters: UBC research
University of British Columbia researchers have discovered two new symbionts living in the gut of termites, and taken the unusual step of naming them after fictional monsters created by American horror author HP Lovecraft. The single-cell protists, Cthulhu macrofasciculumque and Cthylla microfasciculumque, help termites digest wood.

CHOP collaborates with Pfizer's Centers for Therapeutic Innovation to speed pediatric R & D
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and Pfizer, Inc., are joining forces with the goal of translating biomedical discoveries into novel treatments. CHOP is announcing its participation in the Centers for Therapeutic Innovation network, a novel collaboration model built by Pfizer that brings academic researchers together with Pfizer scientists to expedite the pace of innovation.

Reviving a foe of cancer
p53 is a vitally important tumor suppressor whose function is disrupted in one way or another in various cancer types. In the recent issue of Cancer Cell, a research team, led by Xin Lu, Ph.D., Ludwig director and member at the University of Oxford, describes how p53 is silenced in advanced melanomas by a protein named iASPP, and applies that information to restore p53 function in such cells.

Intensity modulated radiotherapy reduces side effects in patients with early breast cancer
Intensity modulated radiotherapy gives better results than standard radiotherapy in patients with early breast cancer, according to results from a randomized trial presented on Sunday to the 2nd Forum of the European Society for Radiotherapy and Oncology. IMRT is an advanced, high-precision form of radiotherapy that can deliver an even dose of radiation, thus reducing the cosmetic problems that can often occur after breast radiotherapy.

People present themselves in ways that counteract prejudices toward their group
Individuals from stigmatized groups choose to present themselves in ways that counteract the specific stereotypes and prejudices associated with their group, according to a new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Genetics Society of America's Genetics journal highlights for April 2013
The selected highlights for the April 2013 issue of Genetics cover a wide array of topics including methods, technology and resources; gene expression; genetics of complex traits; genome integrity and transmission; population and evolutionary genetics; cellular genetics; and, genome system biology.

Assessing disease surveillance and notification systems after a pandemic
Significant investments over the past decade into disease surveillance and notification systems appear to have

Risk of depression influenced by quality of relationships, U-M research says
After analyzing data from nearly 5,000 American adults, researchers from the University of Michigan found that the quality of a person's relationships with a spouse, family and friends predicted the likelihood of major depression disorder in the future, regardless of how frequently their social interactions took place.

Lawrence Livermore scientists discover new materials to capture methane
Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and UC Berkeley and have discovered new materials to capture methane, the second highest concentration greenhouse gas emitted into the atmosphere.

Alcohol consumption has no impact on breast cancer survival
Although previous research has linked alcohol consumption to an increased risk of developing breast cancer, a new study has found that drinking before and after diagnosis does not impact survival from the disease.

Teens' brains are more sensitive to rewarding feedback from peers
Teenagers are risk-takers -- they're more likely than children or adults to experiment with illicit substances, have unprotected sex, and drive recklessly. But research shows that teenagers have the knowledge and ability to make competent decisions about risk. So what explains their risky behavior? In a new report, psychological scientist Laurence Steinberg and colleagues argue that this risky behavior may reflect the unique effect of peer influence on the still-developing teenage brain.

Shape from sound: New methods to probe the universe
A new mathematical tool reported in the journal Physical Review Letters should allow scientists to use

A novel surface marker helps scientists 'fish out' mammary gland stem cells
In an advancement by the Hannon lab at CSHL, it is now possible to profile normal and cancerous mammary stem cells at an unprecedented high degree of purity. This may help identify genes that should be investigated as the next breast cancer drug targets.

New app powers better sanitation in developing world
A new mobile phone app developed by a University of Nottingham researcher is changing the lives of millions of people in Africa by giving them the power to instantly report problems with poor sanitation.

Major symposium on arsenic contamination in food and water supplies
After virtually eliminating arsenic as a useful tool for homicide, science now faces challenges in doing the same for natural sources of this fabled old

Common osteoporosis drug slows formation of new bone
Although the drug zoledronic acid slows bone loss in osteoporosis patients, it also boosts levels of a biomarker that stops bone formation, according to a recent study accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Vanderbilt study finds lack of exercise not a factor in health disparities
Health disparities between white and black adults in the South are not connected to a lack of exercise but more likely related to other factors such as access to health care, socioeconomic status and perhaps genetics, according to a Vanderbilt study published in the journal PLOS ONE.

How would you like your assistant -- Human or Robotic?
In a Georgia Tech study, more than half of healthcare providers interviewed said that if they were offered an assistant, they preferred it to be a robotic helper rather than a human. However, they don't want robots to help with everything. They were very particular about what they wanted a robot to do, and not do.

Chronic pain common complication of clot-caused strokes
Chronic or persistent pain is a common complication of clot-caused strokes. Pain may occur even when a stroke is of mild or moderate severity, and may not begin until months later. Stroke patients who develop chronic pain are more likely to have physical and cognitive decline.

U of M research: Mentoring, leadership program key to ending bullying in at-risk teen girls
New research from experts within the University of Minnesota School of Nursing has found teen girls at high risk for pregnancy reported being significantly less likely to participate in social bullying after participating in an 18-month preventive intervention program.

Individual donation amounts drop when givers are in groups
A University of Missouri anthropologist recently found that even when multiple individuals can contribute to a common cause, the presence of others reduces an individual's likelihood of helping.

Marine algae show resilience to carbon dioxide emissions
A type of marine algae could become bigger as increasing carbon dioxide emissions are absorbed by the oceans, according to research led by scientists based at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton.

Student named university's first Lawrence scholar, researching at national laboratory
A Kansas State University chemical engineering doctoral student has been named a Lawrence scholar for his research developing new semiconductors. He will conduct collaborative research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Study: Low-dose aspirin stymies proliferation of 2 breast cancer lines
Regular use of low-dose aspirin may prevent the progression of breast cancer, according to results of a study by researchers at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Kansas City, Mo., and the University of Kansas Medical Center.

Physicists, biologists unite to expose how cancer spreads
A multi-institutional study including researchers from Princeton University's Physical Sciences-Oncology Center found that cancer cells that can break out of a tumor and invade other organs are more aggressive and nimble than nonmalignant cells.

New BRAIN initiative announced at White House
The Kavli Foundation applauds today's launch by President Obama of his Administration's ambitious research effort to understand the brain by deciphering the brain's activity that gives rise to our perceptions, our experiences and our consciousness.

Endangered African language explored
Children growing up in the Rufiji region along the coast of Tanzania are learning Swahili as their first language. Consequently, their parents are expected to be the last generation to be fluent in the minority language Ndengeleko. A new doctoral thesis in African languages from the University of Gothenburg is the first, and maybe last, attempt ever to explore Ndengeleko grammatically.

Taken under the 'wing' of the small magellanic cloud
The Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) is one of the Milky Way's closest galactic neighbors. In fact, it was so bright that many navigators used this object to make their way across the oceans. A new composite image from three NASA telescopes -- Chandra, Hubble, and Spitzer -- shows this galaxy like Ferdinand Magellan, who lends his name to the SMC, could never have imagined.

Dedicated cleaning staff shown to reduce C. difficile contamination in hospital rooms
New research finds that a dedicated daily cleaning crew who adequately clean and disinfect rooms contaminated by C. difficile using a standardized process can be more effective than other disinfection interventions. The study is published in the May issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America, in a special topic issue focused on the role of the environment in infection prevention.

Insights into deadly coral bleaching could help preserve reefs
Coral reefs are stressed because of climate change. Researchers from Northwestern University and The Field Museum of Natural History have discovered corals themselves play a role in their susceptibility to deadly coral bleaching due to the light-scattering properties of their skeletons. No one else has shown this before. Using optical technology designed for early cancer detection, the researchers discovered that reef-building corals scatter light in different ways to the symbiotic algae that feed the corals.

Religious, nonreligious organizations may have similar impact on immigrants
Religious and nonreligious organizations may have a similar impact on the ability of immigrants to acclimate to life in the US, despite the organizations' different motivations for providing charitable services, according to new research from Rice University.

Postcode inequality for cancer diagnosis 'costs lives'
Study finds hundreds of lives could be prolonged if women in poorer areas were diagnosed with breast cancer at same stage as those in affluent areas.

Routine screening and counselling for partner violence in health-care settings does not improve women's quality of life
New research published Online First in The Lancet confirms that routine intimate partner violence screening and counselling in primary-care settings does not improve women's quality of life, but does help reduce depressive symptoms.

Doctors not informed of harmful effects of medicines during sales visits
The majority of family doctors receive little or no information about harmful effects of medicines when visited by drug company representatives, according to an international study involving Canadian, US and French physicians.

AACR honors Hagop Kantarjian for outstanding clinical research
Hagop Kantarjian, M.D., chair and professor in the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center's Department of Leukemia, will be honored for clinical research excellence at the AACR Annual Meeting 2013, April 6-10.

Knee bracing can 'significantly' reduce pain of kneecap osteoarthritis
Wearing a knee brace has been shown to

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