Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (March 2013)

Science news and science current events archive March, 2013.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from March 2013

Researchers form new nerve cells – directly in the brain
The field of cell therapy, which aims to form new cells in the body in order to cure disease, has taken another important step in the development towards new treatments. A new report from researchers at Lund University in Sweden shows that it is possible to re-program other cells to become nerve cells, directly in the brain.

Greening the blues -- what business can learn from Avatar
Norm Borin of California Polytechnic State University and Arline Savage of the School of Business at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, argue that the fictitious mining company in the 2009 James Cameron movie, Avatar, makes a perfect case study for how not to be a sustainable company and offers lesson to more down to earth corporations hoping to gain green credentials as opposed to the blues.

Differences in bone healing in old mice may hold answers to better bone healing for seniors
By studying the underlying differences in gene expression during healing after a bone break in young versus aged mice, Jaimo Ahn, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, and his colleagues aim to find specific pathways of fracture healing in humans. The team of researchers will present their findings in a poster presentation beginning Tuesday, March 19, 2013 at the 2013 American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons annual meeting in Chicago.

NRC Research Press adds a new title to collection of scientific and technical journals
The Journal of Unmanned Vehicle Systems (JUVS) is a new quarterly, electronic-only publication that is now accepting papers; the inaugural issue is scheduled for release in the Fall of 2013. Developed in partnership with Unmanned Systems Canada and with support from the Kenneth M Molson Foundation, JUVS is an exciting addition to the NRC Research Press journal roster.

Early detection of MS treatment complication may improve survival
The drug natalizumab is effective for treating multiple sclerosis, but it increases the risk of a rare but potentially fatal brain infection called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML). A study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 65th Annual Meeting in San Diego, Mar. 16 to 23, 2013, suggests that early detection of PML may help improve survival and disability levels.

Researchers create nanoscale spinning magnetic droplets
Researchers have successfully created a magnetic soliton -- a nano-sized, spinning droplet that was first theorized 35 years ago.

New beautifully colored long-horned beetle from Yunnan, China
A new beautifully colored long-horned beetle species, Schwarzerium yunnanum, has been discovered in the Yunnan province, China. Additionally, seven already known representatives of the Cerambycidae family have been reported for the first time from the region. The study was published in the open access journal Zookeys.

New model predicts hospital readmission risk
Preventing avoidable readmissions could result in improved patient care and significant cost savings. In a new model developed at Brigham and Women's Hospital, researchers help clinicians identify which medical patients are at the greatest risk for potentially avoidable hospital readmissions so extra steps can be taken to keep those patients healthy and out of the hospital. The model is published in the March 25, 2013 online edition of JAMA Internal Medicine.

Events in the future seem closer than those in the past
Time flies, marches on, and flows like a river -- our descriptions of time are closely linked to our experiences of moving through space. Now, new research suggests that the illusions that influence how we perceive movement through space also influence our perception of time. The findings, published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, provide evidence that our experiences of space and time have even more in common than previously thought.

Surprising rate of women depressed after baby
A surprisingly high number of women have postpartum depression, reports a new, large-scale study of 10,000 women. A high rate of women had considered harming themselves. The study's screening likely saved several lives. Most postpartum women with depression are not identified or treated even though they are at a higher risk for psychiatric disorders. It's a major public health problem because a woman's mental health affects her child's physical and emotional development.

Planck challenges our understanding of the Universe
New maps provide excellent evidence for our standard model of cosmology. Planck dates Universe at 13.82 billion years old. Anomalies suggest that Universe may be different on scales larger than those we can directly observe. Most accurate values yet for the ingredients of the Universe, with normal matter contributing just 4.9 percent of the mass/energy density of the Universe and dark matter making up 26.8 percent -- nearly a fifth more than the previous estimate.

Autism Speaks trailblazer study -- Blocking cell distress signals can ease autism symptoms
Robert Naviaux, M.D., Ph.D., a Suzanne and Bob Wright Trailblazer Award researcher, presents a new theory in PLOS ONE that autism may result from chronic danger signaling by mitochondria. This novel theory suggests a chronic

Pew announces 2013 Marine Fellows
Five distinguished scientists and conservationists based in Canada, India, Indonesia, Palau, and Rwanda, are this year's recipients of the Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation. The fellowship program provides fellowships to outstanding scientists and other individuals across the globe to support innovative projects aimed at developing and implementing solutions to critical challenges facing the world's oceans.

Genetic analysis calls for the protection of 2 highly endangered Portuguese fish species
A chromosome study of the endemic Portuguese fish Squalius aradensis and S. torgalensis draws attention to their current status of highly endangered species. Rapid habitat loss in combination with ongoing geographic confinement and a poor genetic bank of the two species requires the fast application of specific conservation measures to preserve the integrity of their genomes. The study was published in the open access journal Comparative Cytogenetics.

Less sleep leads to more eating and more weight gain, according to new CU-Boulder study
Sleeping just five hours a night over a workweek and having unlimited access to food caused participants in a new study led by the University of Colorado Boulder to gain nearly two pounds of weight.

New grant expands beach water research at Presque Isle State Park
Mercyhurst University has received a new grant to augment its ongoing research of emerging contaminants in the recreational waters of Lake Erie at Presque Isle State Park.

Hannover Messe: Heating with powder and plastic wastes
Disposing of waste - whether it is coating powder or swarf - is expensive. In the future, a combustor for powdery residues will enable companies to cut disposal costs and heating costs at the same time.

Daily HIV prevention approaches didn't work for African women in the VOICE study
A major HIV prevention trial found daily use of a product was not the right approach for young, unmarried African women. Of three products tested in VOICE -- tenofovir gel, oral tenofovir and oral Truvada -- none was effective among the 5,029 women in the trial; most participants did not use them daily as recommended. Moreover, young, single women were least likely to use the products and most likely to acquire HIV.

Researchers advance fight against biggest hidden virus
The Cardiff University and La Jolla Institute collaboration makes headway in developing a vaccine for the leading infectious cause of congenital birth defects.

New study highlights strong anti-cancer properties of soybeans
First study to report that proteins found in soybeans, could inhibit growth of colon, liver and lung cancers, published in Food Research International.

TGen and Scottsdale Healthcare help test cancer drug in clinical trial leading to FDA approval
The FDA has approved a thyroid cancer drug successfully tested at Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Clinical Trials, a partnership of Scottsdale Healthcare and the Translational Genomics Research Institute. The US Food and Drug Administration approved cabozantinib for the treatment of progressive, metastatic medullary thyroid cancer (MTC), a rare endocrine gland cancer affecting the thyroid. Previously, MTC patients had limited treatment options.

Poor kidney response to hormone may increase risks for kidney disease patients
Suboptimal kidney response to the hormone FGF-23 may put chronic kidney disease patients at an increased risk of premature death and cardiovascular events. Resistance to the hormonal actions of FGF-23 in the kidney may identify novel aspects of kidney dysfunction. 60 million people globally have chronic kidney disease.

New distance record for 400 Gb/s data transmission
A team from AT&T has devised a new patent-pending technique enabling 400 Gb/s signals to be sent over today's 100 gigahertz-grid optical networks over ultra-long distances for the first time.

University of South Florida researchers play key role in discovery of new drug to combat malaria
University of South Florida researchers played a key role in an international multidisciplinary project that has yielded a promising new antimalarial drug with the potential to cure the mosquito-borne disease and block its transmission with less expensive, low doses.

RI Hospital: Radiation can be reduced while maintaining high quality in CT colonography
A new study by a Rhode Island Hospital researcher has found it's possible to maintain high-quality CT colonography diagnostic images while reducing the radiation dose. This is important as the use of CT colonography, or virtual colonoscopy, becomes more widely used for colorectal cancer screenings. The paper, by Kevin J. Chang, M.D., is published in the current issue of the journal Radiology.

Light may recast copper as chemical industry 'holy grail'
Wouldn't it be convenient if you could reverse the rusting of your car by shining a bright light on it? It turns out that this concept works for undoing oxidation on copper nanoparticles, and it could lead to an environmentally friendly production process for an important industrial chemical, University of Michigan engineers have discovered.

Language used in immigration debates may be as important as the policies
The language activists and politicians use in immigration debates may be as important as the policies they are debating when it comes to long-term effects, according to the author of a new study in the Apr. issue of the American Sociological Review.

Therapies for ALL and AML targeting MER receptor hold promise of more effect with less side-effect
Two University of Colorado Cancer Center studies show that the protein receptor Mer is overexpressed in many leukemias, and that inhibition of this Mer receptor results in the death of leukemia cells -- without affecting surrounding, healthy cells.

IRB Barcelona researchers discover mechanism that regulates steroid hormone production in Drosophila
Scientists at IRB Barcelona identify a micro-RNA key to insulin's regulation of steroid hormones in flies.

HIV sufferers need hepatitis safeguards
Stronger protections are needed to prevent people with HIV from also becoming infected with hepatitis, researchers argue in a new study led by Michigan State University.

Scientists confirm first 2-headed bull shark
Scientists have confirmed the discovery of the first-ever, two-headed bull shark.

Mother Teresa: Anything but a saint...
The myth of altruism and generosity surrounding Mother Teresa is dispelled in a paper by Serge Larivee and Genevieve Chenard of University of Montreal's Department of Psychoeducation and Carole Senechal of the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Education.

Deep Carbon: Quest underway to discover its quantity, movements, origins and forms in Earth
A landmark new book, Carbon in Earth, is the first major product after three years of work by world-leading scientists collaborating in the DCO -- a $500 million, 10-year international program which aims to reveal the quantity, movements, forms and origins of carbon inside our planet. An estimated 90 percent or more of Earth's carbon is locked away or in motion deep underground -- a hidden dimension of the planet as poorly understood as it is profoundly important to life on the surface.

Blood levels of fat cell hormone may predict severity of migraines
In a small, preliminary study of regular migraine sufferers, scientists have found that measuring a fat-derived protein called adiponectin before and after migraine treatment can accurately reveal which headache victims felt pain relief.

Navy creates iPad app for managing stress and fending off PTSD
The Office of Naval Research, in conjunction with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is sponsoring development of the Stress Resilience Training System, an iPad app training program that teaches Sailors and Marines to understand their stress responses and manage them by learning biofeedback techniques that work for their individual needs. The system will undergo field testing at the Naval Center for Combat and Operational Stress Control in San Diego in April.

Testing can improve learning among young and old people
Testing can improve learning among young and old people alike, according to new research from Rice University.

Vanderbilt study finds maternal diet important predictor of severity for infant RSV
An important predictor of the severity of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in infants may be what their mothers ate during pregnancy, according to a Vanderbilt study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Use of adjunctive antipsychotic medications in depression
A study published this week in PLOS Medicine finds that while antipsychotic medications are associated with small-to-moderate improvements in depressive symptoms in adults, there is little evidence for improvement on measures of quality of life and these medications are linked to adverse events such as weight gain and sedation.

New lung cancer study takes page from Google's playbook
A new study shows that the same sort of mathematical model that Google uses to predict which websites people want to visit may help researchers predict how lung cancer spreads through the human body.

LA BioMed researcher to receive national award for career achievements
The American Society for Investigative Pathology will present its highest honor, its Gold-Headed Cane Award, to Samuel W. French, M.D., a principal investigator at LA BioMed during its 2014 Annual Meeting.

Geiger Gibson Program recognizes 8 emerging leaders at annual symposium
The Geiger Gibson Program in Community Health Policy at the George Washington University announces the selection of 8 emerging leaders in the field of health and community health care.

The heart in the Petri dish
How can progenitor cells turn into tissues? At the Vienna University of technology, chemical substances have been developed which control the differentiation of progenitor cells into heart cells. The heart cells start beating in the Petri dish -- a discovery which could open the door to a new kind of regenerative medicine.

'Water Security': Experts propose a UN definition on which much depends
Calls have been growing for the UN Security Council to include water issues on its agenda. And there's rising international support for adopting

Mortality for acute aortic dissection near 1 percent per hour during initial onset
The belief among medical professionals in the 1950s that the mortality rate for type A acute aortic dissection during the initial 24 hours was one to two percent per hour appears to hold true in the contemporary era of treatment, based on a review of the large-scale IRAD registry being presented Mar. 9 at the American College of Cardiology Scientific Sessions.

UTHealth researchers find industrial chemicals in food samples
Researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston have discovered phthalates, industrial chemicals, in common foods purchased in the United States. Phthalates can be found in a variety of products and food packaging material, child-care articles and medical devices.

Gun retailers take a hard line on illegal firearm sales, UC Davis survey finds
A scientific survey of more than 9,700 gun retailers in the US has found that gun buyers frequently try to make illegal purchases and that gun retailers take a dim view of fellow sellers who engage in illegal activity -- regardless of whether they are actively breaking the law or simply looking the other way.

Higher soy intake prior to lung cancer diagnosis linked to longer survival in women
A study being published online March 25, 2013, in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, reports that Chinese women who consumed more soy before being diagnosed with lung cancer lived longer compared with those who consumed less soy.

Miriam study reveals financial benefits of a plant-based, Mediterranean diet
People who followed a six-week cooking program and followed simple, plant-based recipes decreased their total food spending, purchased healthier food items and improved their food security.

P&G Beauty & Grooming to present advancements in skin aging & stress sweat at AAD Meeting
Research presented by P&G Beauty & Grooming scientists at the 71st Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology examines skin care science from multiple perspectives, offering insights into new ingredient formulations, skin care regimens and more. P&G Beauty & Grooming has 22 studies on display, addressing innovative topics such as cellular bioenergetics, skin fatigue theory and scientific break-throughs in management of stress-related sweat.

Vitamin D benefits breathing in tuberculosis patients
Maintaining adequate levels of vitamin D can help people breathe better and may even protect against tuberculosis, according to a recent study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. The study of more than 10,000 Korean adults found that lung function improved when people had absorbed more vitamin D into their bodies. 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