Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (August 2014)

Science news and science current events archive August, 2014.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from August 2014

Research explores why interval walking training is better than continuous walking training
New research published in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, suggests that training with alternating levels of walking intensity could be better than walking at a constant speed to help manage blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes.

Shuganjieyu capsule increases neurotrophic factor expression in a rat model of depression
Shuganjieyu capsule has been approved for clinical treatment by the State Food and Drug Administration of China since 2008. In the clinic, Shuganjieyu capsule is often used to treat mild to moderate depression.

Selective therapy may improve artery repair after interventional cardiovascular procedures
A new therapy developed by researchers at the University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine and Columbia University Medical Center may help reduce the life-threatening complications of interventional cardiovascular disease treatment. The preclinical study is reported in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

MIPT and RAS scientists made an important step towards creating medical nanorobots
Researchers at Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and Russian Academy of Sciences made an important step towards creating medical nanorobots discovering a way of enabling them to produce logical calculations using a variety of biochemical reactions.

Food allergies more widespread among inner-city children
Already known for their higher-than-usual risk of asthma and environmental allergies, young inner-city children appear to suffer disproportionately from food allergies as well, according to results of a study led by scientists at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center.

Research underway to create pomegranate drug to stem Alzheimer's and Parkinson's
The onset of Alzheimer's disease can be slowed and some of its symptoms curbed by a natural compound that is found in pomegranate. Also, the painful inflammation that accompanies illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis and Parkinson's disease could be reduced, according to the findings of a two-year project headed by University of Huddersfield scientist Dr. Olumayokun Olajide, who specialises in the anti-inflammatory properties of natural products.

Growing human GI cells may lead to personalized treatments
A method of growing human cells from tissue removed from a patient's gastrointestinal tract eventually may help scientists develop tailor-made therapies for inflammatory bowel disease and other GI conditions. Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have made cell lines from individual patients in as little as two weeks. They said the cell lines can help them understand the underlying problems in the GI tracts of individual patients and be used to test new treatments.

Why sibling stars look alike: Early, fast mixing in star-birth clouds
Early, fast, turbulent mixing of gas within giant molecular clouds -- the birthplaces of stars -- means all stars formed from a single cloud bear the same unique chemical 'tag' or 'DNA fingerprint,' write astrophysicists at University of California, Santa Cruz, reporting on the results of computational simulations in the journal Nature, published online on Aug. 31, 2014. Could such chemical tags help astronomers identify our own Sun's long-lost sibling stars?

Report advocates improved police training
A new report released yesterday by the Mental Health Commission of Canada identifies ways to improve the mental health training and education that police personnel receive.

CU Denver study shows excess parking at some Denver sports stadiums
Sports stadiums in Denver suffer from excess parking, creating unattractive concrete spaces, heat islands, and missed economic opportunities, according to a new study from the University of Colorado Denver.

Brief counseling for drug use doesn't work, BU study finds
In an effort to stem substance use, the US has invested heavily in the past decade in a brief screening-and-intervention protocol for alcohol and other drugs.

Researchers find security flaws in backscatter X-ray scanners
A team of researchers from the University of California, San Diego, the University of Michigan, and Johns Hopkins University have discovered security vulnerabilities in full-body backscatter X-ray scanners deployed to US airports between 2009 and 2013. In laboratory tests, the team was able to conceal firearms and plastic explosive simulants from the Rapiscan Secure 1000 scanner. The team modified the scanner operating software to present an 'all-clear' image to the operator even when contraband was detected.

Medication shows mixed results in reducing complications from cardiac surgery
Administration of colchicine, a plant-based medication commonly used to treat gout, before and after cardiac surgery showed mixed results in reducing potential complications from this type of surgery, but it did increase the risk of gastrointestinal adverse effects, according to a study published by JAMA. The study is being released early online to coincide with its presentation at the European Society of Cardiology Congress.

New research debunks the family myth as primary reason for gender gap in politics
American University professor of government and director of the Women & Politics Institute Jennifer Lawless debunks the widely touted myth that traditional family structures and roles contribute to women's lower political ambition.

Mammography benefits women over 75
Mammography-detected breast cancer is associated with a shift to earlier stage diagnosis in older women, subsequently reducing the rate of more advanced, difficult-to-treat cases, according to a new study. Researchers said the findings lend support to regular mammography screening in women ages 75 and older.

UTSA researcher awarded NSF grant to create computer models for food insecurity project
Eric Jing Du, assistant professor of Construction Science in The University of Texas at San Antonio College of Architecture, has been awarded major funding from the National Science Foundation Interdisciplinary Behavioral and Social Science Research Program to complete a four-year research project about food security issues in West Africa using real-time simulation computer models. Du will apply models to predict human behavior in different scenarios relating to the food security issue.

Long antibiotic treatments: Slowly growing bacteria to blame
Whether pneumonia or sepsis -- infectious diseases are becoming increasingly difficult to treat. One reason for this is the growing antibiotic resistance. But even non-resistant bacteria can survive antibiotics for some time, and that's why treatments need to be continued for several days or weeks. Scientists at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel showed that bacteria with vastly different antibiotic sensitivity coexist within the same tissue. In the scientific journal Cell they report that, in particular, slowly growing pathogens hamper treatment.

Disconnect between parenting and certain jobs a source of stress, study finds
Some working parents are carrying more psychological baggage than others -- and the reason has nothing to do with demands on their time and energy. The cause is their occupation.

O'Neill to receive GSA's 2014 Joseph T. Freeman Award
The Gerontological Society of America -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has chosen Desmond 'Des' O'Neill of Tallaght Hospital Dublin and Trinity College Dublin as the 2014 recipient of the Joseph T. Freeman Award.

Managing coasts under threat from climate change and sea-level rise
Coastal regions under threat from climate change and sea-level rise need to tackle the more immediate threats of human-led and other non-climatic changes, according to a team of international scientists.

Retrievable transcatheter aortic valve effective and safe in real world setting
A retrievable and repositionable transcatheter aortic valve is effective and safe in a real world setting, according to research presented at ESC Congress 2014 today by Dr. Stylianos Pyxaras from Germany. The direct flow medical transcatheter aortic valve has unique features that improve operator control and has the potential to improve transcatheter aortic valve implantation outcomes in patients with severe aortic stenosis.

Rheumatologic diseases like lupus can initially look like neurological disorders
Lupus and other rheumatologic diseases can initially present as neurological disorders such as headaches and seizures, and thus delay diagnosis for many months. And treatments can cause adverse neurological effects.

New research offers hope for HIV vaccine development
In a scientific discovery that has significant implications for HIV vaccine development, collaborators at the Boston University School of Medicine and Duke University School of Medicine have uncovered novel properties of special HIV antibodies. The paper, published in Cell Host and Microbe, describes how some HIV antibodies experience an unusual type of mutation, a phenomenon that allows them to neutralize many different strains of HIV.

Good news for diabetics who are sick of the finger prick
Diabetes affects nearly 10 percent of the US population. Fortunately, research published in ACS Chemical Biology reports the development of a protein that could lead to less pain and more accurate results for diabetes patients. In the American Chemical Society's newest ACS Breakthrough Science video, Sylvia Daunert, Ph.D., shows off her 'designer protein' that could eventually allow diabetics to check their blood sugar from their iPhones.

Primary care physicians can be critical resource for abused women in rural areas
Many primary care physicians in rural communities do not routinely screen women for intimate partner violence, according to Penn State medical and public health researchers. Rural women who are exposed to such violence have limited resources if they seek help.

APA presents highest honor to Spelman College president
The American Psychological Association presented Spelman College President Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D., with its highest honor, the Award for Outstanding Lifetime Contribution to Psychology, recognizing her path-breaking work in race relations and leadership in higher education.

Researching fundamental rhythms of life
Casey Diekman, assistant professor of mathematical sciences at New Jersey Institute of Technology, is helping to gain greater insight into the biological clock that sets the pace for daily life.

Happy Camper and July fire complexes in California
The Happy Camp and July Fire Complex can both be seen in this Aqua satellite image from Aug. 23, 2014.

Implanted neurons become part of the brain
Scientists at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine (LCSB) of the University of Luxembourg have grafted neurons reprogrammed from skin cells into the brains of mice for the first time with long-term stability. Six months after implantation, the neurons had become fully functionally integrated into the brain. This successful, because lastingly stable, implantation of neurons raises hope for future therapies that will replace sick neurons with healthy ones in the brains of Parkinson's disease patients, for example.

Ten-hut: New discoveries on how military organization affects civilians
Researchers reveal how general populations benefit from some forms of military organization, as well as how militarization exerts a negative impact on civilians.

New tools advance bio-logic
Researchers are making modular genetic circuits that can perform more complex tasks by swapping protein building blocks.

Zambia hosts Southern African Regional Office of Astronomy for Development
The International Astronomical Union has signed an agreement with the Copperbelt University in Zambia to host a Southern African regional node of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development. This is the second regional node on the African continent and forms part of the International Astronomical Union's decadal strategic plan. The signing follows the approval of a proposal from Copperbelt University, which enjoyed the support of many collaborators, including the South African Square Kilometer Array.

Drug shows promise against Sudan strain of Ebola in mice
Researchers from Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and other institutions have developed a potential antibody therapy for Sudan ebolavirus (SUDV), one of the two most lethal strains of Ebola. A different strain, the Zaire ebolavirus (EBOV), is now devastating West Africa. First identified in 1976, SUDV has caused numerous Ebola outbreaks -- most recently in 2012 -- that have killed more than 400 people in total. The findings were reported in ACS Chemical Biology.

Drug represents first potential treatment for common anemia
An experimental drug designed to help regulate the blood's iron supply shows promise as a viable first treatment for anemia of inflammation, according to results from the first human study of the treatment published online today in Blood, the Journal of the American Society of Hematology.

New from CSHLPress, an essential guidebook for designing experiments
From CSHLPress, 'Experimental Design for Biologists' explains how to establish the framework for an experimental project, how to set up all of the components of an experimental system, design experiments within that system, determine and use the correct set of controls, and formulate models to test the veracity and resiliency of the data. This handbook is an essential source of theory and practical guidance for designing a research plan.

Discovery about wound healing key to understanding cell movement
Research by a civil engineer from the University of Waterloo is helping shed light on the way wounds heal and may someday have implications for understanding how cancer spreads, as well as why certain birth defects occur.

Scientists unravel mystery of brain cell growth
Dana-Farber scientists and international colleagues have discovered how a single protein can exert both a push and a pull force to nudge a neuron in the desired direction, helping neurons navigate to their assigned places in the developing brain.

Fish study links brain size to parental duties
Male stickleback fish that protect their young have bigger brains than counterparts that don't care for offspring, finds a new University of British Columbia study.

Laser makes microscopes way cooler
Laser physicists have found a way to make atomic-force microscope probes 20 times more sensitive and capable of detecting forces as small as the weight of an individual virus. The technique, developed by researchers at the Australian National University, hinges on using laser beams to cool a nanowire probe to -265 degrees Celsius.

New estrogen-based compound suppresses binge-like eating behavior in female mice
Researchers at the USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital found that the hormone estrogen can specifically trigger brain serotonin neurons to inhibit binge eating in female mice in a report today in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Pyruvate oxidation is critical determinant of pancreatic islet number and β-cell mass
Glucose is not only a major nutrient regulator of insulin secretion but also impacts on gene expression in β-cells. Using a mouse model of β-cell-specific knock-out of Pdha1 gene which encodes the α subunit of the pyruvate dehydrogenase component of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex, the authors demonstrated that mitochondrial metabolism of pyruvate derived from glucose not only regulates insulin secretion but also directly influences β-cell growth and plasticity.

Enhanced international cooperation needed in Antarctica
Countries need to work together to ensure Antarctic research continues and key questions on the region are answered, researchers say.

Bioengineers create functional 3-D brain-like tissue
Bioengineers have created three-dimensional brain-like tissue that functions like and has structural features similar to tissue in the rat brain and that can be kept alive in the lab for more than two months. The tissue could provide a superior model for studying normal brain function as well as injury and disease, and could assist in the development of new treatments for brain dysfunction.

'Deep sequencing' picks up hidden causes of brain disorders
A study from Boston Children's Hospital used a 'deep sequencing' technique and was able to identify subtle somatic mutations -- those affecting just a percentage of cells -- in patients with brain disorders.

Stop and listen: Study shows how movement affects hearing
When we want to listen carefully to someone, the first thing we do is stop talking. The second thing we do is stop moving altogether. The interplay between movement and hearing has a counterpart deep in the brain. A new Duke study, published in Nature, used optogenetics to reveal exactly how the motor cortex, which controls movement, can tweak the volume control in the auditory cortex, which interprets sound.

Ruxolitinib for myelofibrosis: Indication of considerable added benefit
In comparison with 'best supportive care,' there is an indication that the new drug is better at relieving symptoms, and a hint of longer survival.

Detecting neutrinos, physicists look into the heart of the sun
Using one of the most sensitive neutrino detectors on the planet, an international team of physicists including Andrea Pocar, Laura Cadonati and doctoral student Keith Otis at the University of Massachusetts Amherst report in the current issue of Nature that for the first time they have directly detected neutrinos created by the 'keystone' proton-proton fusion process going on at the sun's core.

WSU researchers see violent era in ancient Southwest
In numbers terms, the 20th Century was the most violent in history, with civil war, purges and two World Wars killing as many as 200 million people. But on a per-capita basis, Tim Kohler has documented a particularly bloody period more than eight centuries ago. Between 1140 and 1180, in the central Mesa Verde of southwest Colorado, four relatively peaceful centuries of pueblo living devolved into several decades of violence.

Kessler Foundation study of self-awareness in MS has implications for rehabilitation
New study by Kessler Foundation researchers shows that persons with MS may be able to improve their self-awareness through task-oriented cognitive rehabilitation. Yael Goverover, et al: 'Metacognitive knowledge and online awareness in persons with multiple sclerosis' was epublished July 2 in NeuroRehabilitation. Self-awareness is one's ability to recognize cognitive problems caused by brain injury. This is the first study of self-awareness in MS that includes assessment of online awareness, as well as metacognitive awareness.

Pinpointing genes that protect against frailty
Frailty is a common condition associated with old age, characterized by weight loss, weakness, decreased activity level and reduced mobility, which together increase the risk of injury and death. Yet, not all elderly people become frail; some remain vigorous and robust well into old-age. The question remains: why?

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