Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (May 2013)

Science news and science current events archive May, 2013.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from May 2013

Why we love it or hate it: The 3 E's
Why do brands such as Manchester United and Apple capture hearts and minds? How do marketers make consumers develop a strong attachment for a product or service? According to a recent study from USC Marshall School of Business, it is achieved by appealing to people's aesthetic needs (enticing/annoying to the self), functional needs (enabling/disabling for the self) and spiritual needs (whether something is enriching/impoverishing).

4 Rutgers professors elected members of the National Academy of Sciences
Four Rutgers professors are among 84 distinguished researchers elected to membership in the National Academy of Sciences this year, one of the highest honors an American scientist or engineer can achieve.

Salt levels in food still dangerously high
The dangerously high salt levels in processed food and fast food remain unchanged, despite numerous calls from health agencies for the food industry to voluntarily reduce sodium. Excess sodium in the diet is a major cause of high blood pressure and prematurely kills up to 150,000 people in the US each year. The government must regulate sodium, the study says.

USF researchers find far-reaching, microvascular damage in uninjured side of brain after stroke
An animal-model study led by researchers at the University of South Florida finds far-reaching microvascular damage in the uninjured side of the brain after a stroke. The findings suggest repair of the protective blood-brain barrier may help prevent this breach in the days following the acute injury.

Wit, grit and a supercomputer yield chemical structure of HIV capsid
Researchers report that they have determined the precise chemical structure of the HIV capsid, a protein shell that protects the virus's genetic material and is a key to its virulence. The capsid has become an attractive target for the development of new antiretroviral drugs. The report appears as the cover article in the journal Nature.

May 2013 story tips from Oak Ridge National Laboratory
The following are story ideas from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory for May 2013.

Spinal 'spacer' procedure has fewer complications, but higher risk of repeat surgery
Interspinous spacer implantation -- a less-invasive alternative surgical option for spinal stenosis -- has a lower complication rate than spinal fusion, reports a study in the May 1 issue of Spine. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.

Monell scientists identify critical link in mammalian odor detection
Researchers at the Monell Center have identified a protein that is critical to the ability of mammals to smell. Mice engineered to be lacking the Ggamma13 protein in their olfactory receptors were functionally anosmic -- unable to smell. The findings may lend insight into the underlying causes of certain smell disorders in humans.

Virginia Tech announces 2013 football helmet ratings; 1 more added to the 5 star mark
The newly redesigned Xenith X2 joined the Riddell 360, Rawlings Quantum Plus, and Riddell Revolution Speed as the only helmets with a 5 star rating awarded by the Virginia Tech Helmet Ratingsā„¢.

Rats have a double view of the world
Rodents move their eyes in opposite directions, thereby always keeping an eye on the airspace above them.

Underrepresented minority students receive fellowships in digestive disease and nutrition research
Illustrating a commitment to the support of underrepresented minority researchers, the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Research Foundation has announced the inaugural AGA Investing in the Future Student Research Fellowship Award recipients. Supported by the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, this new award helps underrepresented minority students to further their research careers in digestive disease and nutrition research.

Mental health and NCDs
Non-communicable diseases and mental disorders each constitute a huge portion of the worldwide health care burden, and often occur together, so they should be addressed together. These are the conclusions of the third article in a series published in PLOS Medicine that provides a global perspective on integrating mental health.

Poliovirus vaccine trial shows early promise for recurrent glioblastoma
An attack on glioblastoma brain tumor cells that uses a modified poliovirus is showing encouraging results in an early study to establish the proper dose level, researchers at Duke Cancer Institute report.

Stanford researchers develop new technique to track cell interactions in living bodies
Researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine have developed a new technique to see how different types of cells interact in a living mouse.

ASPS supports new legislation to ensure women are aware of all breast cancer treatment options
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons announced its strong support of the

Sleep problems may increase risk for prostate cancer
Problems falling asleep and staying asleep increased the risk for prostate cancer. The association was stronger for advanced disease. Larger studies with longer follow-up are necessary for confirmation.

NASA measures rainfall as Cyclone Zane approaches Queensland, Australia
NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite passed over Cyclone Zane as it was approaching Queensland Australia's Cape York Peninsula and measured rainfall rates within the storm. TRMM data showed a disorganized storm with the strongest rain falling northwest of the center.

Collecting DNA for human rights: How to help while safeguarding privacy
DNA databases might help identify victims of crime and human trafficking, but how do we safeguard the personal privacy of innocent victims and family members? A new report online May 15 in the Cell Press journal Trends in Genetics identifies a number of key challenges to consider as experts develop such programs.

Simplified solutions to deforestation ineffective in the long run
Deforestation is the second largest source of CO2 emissions after consumption of fossil fuels. So-called PES programs, where landowners are paid to replant or protect forests, have been promoted as a way to reduce deforestation. However, the effectiveness of the programs has been questioned, and new research from the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, points to potential negative long-term effects and a need for broader guidelines and policies.

Focus on STD, not cancer prevention, to promote HPV vaccine use
The HPV vaccine can prevent both cervical cancer and a nasty sexually transmitted disease in women. But emphasizing the STD prevention will persuade more young women to get the vaccine.

Low-dose anticoagulation therapy used with new design mechanical heart valve lowers bleeding risk
Investigators show that lower dose anticoagulation therapy, combined with low-dose aspirin, resulted in a reduction of 55 to 60 percent of the incidence of adverse bleeding events without significant increases in stroke, transient ischemic attack or total neurological events when used in conjunction with the On-X mechanical aortic valve.

Stretchable, transparent graphene-metal nanowire electrode
A hybrid transparent and stretchable electrode could open the new way for flexible displays, solar cells, and even electronic devices fitted on a curvature substrate such as soft eye contact lenses, by the UNIST(Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology) research team.

A survey of GPs reveals that many identify nicotine as a harmful cigarette-smoke component
A survey of GPs in the UK and Sweden revealed that some believe nicotine to be one of the greatest health risks from smoking. Nicotine is addictive, but unlike some other constituents of tobacco smoke, it is not carcinogenic. Switching to alternative nicotine products can, therefore, help smokers quit smoking or cut down. But GPs views may influence their recommendations on the use of alternative nicotine products to quit or cut down.

Gemini Observatory captures Comet ISON hurtling toward uncertain destiny with the Sun
A new series of images from Gemini Observatory shows Comet C/2012 S1 racing toward an uncomfortably close rendezvous with the Sun. In late November the comet could present a stunning sight in the twilight sky and remain easily visible, or even brilliant, into early December of this year.

Competing antibodies may have limited the protection achieved in HIV vaccine trial in Thailand
Continuing analysis of an HIV vaccine trial undertaken in Thailand is yielding additional information about how immune responses were triggered and why the vaccine did not protect more people.

IU study: Unique omega-3 source effective at reducing exercise-induced asthma symptoms
An Indiana University study has found that a unique omega-3 supplement derived from the New Zealand green-lipped mussel significantly improved lung function and reduced airway inflammation in asthmatics who experience exercise-induced bronchoconstriction, also called exercise-induced asthma.

Program announced for the 4th Asia-Pacific Osteoporosis Meeting in Hong Kong
The International Osteoporosis Foundation has announced the scientific program for the 4th Asia-Pacific Osteoporosis Meeting, to be held in Hong Kong from December 12-15, 2013. The Meeting will feature an enriching scientific program of direct relevance to daily practice, with lectures, Meet-the-Expert sessions and Roundtables led by key experts from the region and around the world.

Could eating peppers prevent Parkinson's?
New research reveals that Solanaceae--a flowering plant family with some species producing foods that are edible sources of nicotine--may provide a protective effect against Parkinson's disease. The study appearing today in Annals of Neurology, a journal of the American Neurological Association and Child Neurology Society, suggests that eating foods that contain even a small amount of nicotine, such as peppers and tomatoes, may reduce risk of developing Parkinson's.

New computer-based tool measures readability for different readers
Today most public services involve electronic communication, which requires that people are able to read relatively well. However, a significant number of adults cannot fully understand the texts they read for example on the internet. A new doctoral thesis from the University of Gothenburg shows that a new model called SVIT can be used as a tool to measure the readability of texts and therefore how appropriate they are for different target groups.

Thijn Brummelkamp receives the EMBO Gold Medal for 2013
EMBO today announced Thijn Brummelkamp of the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam as the winner of the 2013 EMBO Gold Medal. The award acknowledges his outstanding work to accelerate the genetic analysis of human disease.

Understanding the past and predicting the future by looking across space and time
In a new paper published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and elsewhere validate a fundamental assumption at the very heart of a popular way to predict relationships between complex variables.

Early brain responses to words predict developmental outcomes in children with autism
The pattern of brain responses to words in 2-year-old children with autism spectrum disorder predicted the youngsters' linguistic, cognitive and adaptive skills at ages 4 and 6, according to a new study. The findings are among the first to demonstrate that a brain marker can predict future abilities in children with autism.

Anti-cancer drug viewed as possible Alzheimer's treatment doesn't work in UF study
An anti-cancer drug about to be tested in a clinical trial by a biomedical company in Ohio as a possible treatment for Alzheimer's disease has failed to work with the same type of brain plaques that plague Alzheimer's patients, according to results of a study by University of Florida researchers.

New mechanism discovered in meiosis
The research group headed by molecular biologist Andrea Pichler from the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg has made an important discovery in meiosis research. Pichler and her group have identified a new mechanism that plays an important role in meiosis.

New drug enhances radiation treatment for brain cancer in preclinical studies
A novel drug may help increase the effectiveness of radiation therapy for the most deadly form of brain cancer, report scientists at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center. In mouse models of human glioblastoma multiforme, the new drug helped significantly extend survival when used in combination with radiation therapy.

Gym class reduces probability of obesity, study finds for first time
Little is known about the effect of physical education on child weight, but a new study from Cornell University finds that increasing the amount of time that elementary schoolchildren spent in gym class reduces the probability of obesity.

Where on Earth did the moon's water come from?
Water is perhaps the most important molecule in our solar system. Figuring out where it came from and how it was distributed within and among the planets can help scientists understand how planets formed and evolved. New research from a team including Carnegie's Erik Hauri demonstrates that water from the interiors of the Earth and moon has a common origin.

Dehydration is a problem in combat sports
Athletes in combat sports often try to shed body weight in order to compete against lighter and smaller opponents. A new doctoral thesis from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, points to the human body's limited ability to quickly recover following extensive short-term weight loss. Almost half of the studied athletes were severely dehydrated on the morning of their matches.

Team describes molecular detail of HIV's inner coat, pointing the way to new therapies
A team led by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine has described for the first time the 4-million-atom structure of the HIV's capsid, or protein shell. The findings, reported today in Nature, could lead to new ways of fending off an often-changing virus that has been very hard to conquer.

Baby's life saved with groundbreaking 3-D printed device that restored his breathing
A specially-designed tracheal splint, made from a biopolymer using 3D printing, was created and used at the University of Michigan to save a baby from life-threatening tracheobronchomalacia.

Women's immune systems remain younger for longer
Women's immune systems age more slowly than men's, suggests research in BioMed Central's open access journal Immunity & Ageing. The slower decline in a woman's immune system may contribute to women living longer than men.

Iodine deficiency during pregnancy may adversely affect children's mental development
A study of around 1,000 UK mothers and their children, published in The Lancet, has revealed that iodine deficiency in pregnancy may have an adverse effect on children's mental development. The research raises concerns that the iodine status of pregnant women is a public health issue that needs to be addressed.

Pathogen turns protein into a virulence factor in 1 easy step
To infect its host, the respiratory pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa takes an ordinary protein usually involved in making other proteins and adds three small molecules to turn it into a key for gaining access to human cells. In a study to be published May 7 in mBio researchers uncover this previously unknown virulence factor in P. aeruginosa, one of the most common causes of hospital-acquired pneumonia.

Study identifies possible new acute leukemia marker, treatment target
A study has identified microRNA-155 as a new independent prognostic marker and treatment target in patients with acute myeloid leukemia that has normal-looking chromosomes under the microscope (that is, cytogenetically normal acute myeloid leukemia). The findings suggest that this molecule is important in leukemia development and should be targeted by a drug that will inhibit it.

Leading explanations for whooping cough's resurgence don't stand up to scrutiny
Whooping cough has exploded in the United States and some other developed countries in recent decades, and many experts suspect ineffective childhood vaccines for the alarming resurgence.

Bacterial infection in mosquitoes renders them immune to malaria parasites
Scientists funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health, have established an inheritable bacterial infection in malaria-transmitting Anopheles mosquitoes that renders them immune to malaria parasites. Specifically, the scientists infected the mosquitoes with Wolbachia, a bacterium common among insects that previously has been shown to prevent malaria-inducing Plasmodium parasites from developing in Anopheles mosquitoes.

Cancer drug prevents build-up of toxic brain protein
Researchers have used tiny doses of a leukemia drug to halt accumulation of toxic proteins in the brains of mice. They say their study offers a unique and exciting strategy to treat neurodegenerative diseases that feature abnormal buildup of proteins in Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, frontotemporal dementia, Huntington's disease and Lewy body dementia, among others.

Ketamine cousin rapidly lifts depression without side effects
GLYX-13, a molecular cousin to ketamine, induces similar antidepressant results without the street drug side effects, reported a study funded by the National Institute of Mental Health that was published last month in Neuropsychopharmacology.

Are children who take Ritalin for ADHD at greater risk of future drug abuse?
Children who take medication such as Ritalin and Adderall for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are at no greater risk for later taking alcohol, marijuana, nicotine and cocaine than children with ADHD who do not take the medication, report UCLA psychologists who have conducted the most comprehensive assessment ever on this question.

Mathematicians help to unlock brain function
Mathematicians from Queen Mary, University of London will bring researchers one step closer to understanding how the structure of the brain relates to its function in two recently published studies.

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