Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (May 2015)

Science news and science current events archive May, 2015.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from May 2015

Article concludes no reason for laughing gas to be withdrawn from operating theaters
An article on the 'Current place of nitrous oxide in clinical practice' published in the European Journal of Anaesthesiology, concludes that there is 'no clinically relevant evidence for the withdrawal of nitrous oxide.'

Galaxy's snacking habits revealed
A study published today in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society reveals a spiral galaxy devouring a nearby compact dwarf galaxy and evidence of previous galactic snacks in unprecedented detail.

Kidney failure impacts survival of sepsis patients
Researchers at Duke Medicine have determined that kidney function plays a critical role in the fate of patients being treated for sepsis, a potentially life-threatening complication of an infection.

Dasabuvir in hepatitis C: Indication of added benefit in certain patients
The new drug combination showed an advantage in three of a total of 10 patient groups, particularly regarding virologic response. The extent of added benefit remains unclear, however.

$10 million in new funding adds innovative dimensions to Alzheimer's disease prevention trial
The Alzheimer's Association, GHR Foundation and Fidelity Biosciences Research Initiative today announced $10 million in new research funding to Banner Alzheimer's Institute, Phoenix, Ariz., to support a groundbreaking Alzheimer's disease prevention trial that will launch later this year.

The £6.5 million Track to the Future rail project underway
The University's Institute of Railway Research will constructing new test facilities to focus on developing switches and crossings that 'last longer and require much less maintenance.'

Mayo Clinic to study 10,000 patients for drug-gene safety
Mayo Clinic, in collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine, is planning to launch a study of 10,000 Mayo biobank members for potential risk of drug reactions or lack of drug effect based on each individual's genome.

EARTH: Amber-encased specimen could be oldest known grass
The evolutionary age of grass has been hotly contested. Scientists have previously dated the earliest grasses to 55 million years ago; after the dinosaurs went extinct. Now, a new 100-million-year-old specimen of amber from Myanmar potentially pushes back grass evolution to the Late Cretaceous.

Exposure to air pollution in the first year of life increases risk for allergies
New research from the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development study shows that exposure to outdoor air pollution during the first year of life increases the risk of developing allergies to food, mold, pets and pests.

UTSW's Dr. Madhukar Trivedi receives American Psychiatric Association's top research award
Dr. Madhukar Trivedi, Director of the Center for Depression Research and Clinical Care at UT Southwestern Medical Center and an internationally recognized expert in depression and mood disorders, is receiving the 2015 American Psychiatric Association Award for Research, the Association's most significant award for research.

Life's a yawn for budgie buddies
Have you ever caught yourself yawning right after someone else did? The same happens to budgies, says Andrew Gallup of State University of New York in the US. His research team is the first to note that contagious yawning also occurs between members of a bird species. Thus far, it has only been known to happen with a few mammals. The results are published in Springer's journal Animal Cognition.

US West's power grid must be prepared for impacts of climate change
Arizona State University researchers say in coming decades a changing climate will pose challenges to operations of power generation facilities, especially in the Western United States. They recommend what should be done to ensure reliable electricity supplies as the region gets hotter and drier. One suggestion: More use of renewable energy sources.

The Bronze Age Egtved Girl was not from Denmark
One of the best-known Danish Bronze Age finds, the Egtved Girl from 1370 BC, was not born in Egtved, Denmark, reveals new research from the National Museum of Denmark and University of Copenhagen. Strontium isotope analyses of the girl's hair, teeth and nails show that she was born and raised hundreds of miles from Egtved, most probably in Southern Germany, and that she arrived in Egtved shortly before she died.

Livers donated after cardiac death are safe to use in liver cancer patients
Patients with liver cancer can be cured with a liver transplant. In the largest study of its kind, transplant physicians at Mayo Clinic in Florida have found that liver cancer patients have the same beneficial outcomes using organs donated by patients who died of cardiac death. The study was recently published online in the American Journal of Transplantation.

This Slinky lookalike 'hyperlens' helps us see tiny objects
It looks like a Slinky suspended in motion. Yet this photonics advancement -- called a metamaterial hyperlens -- doesn't climb down stairs. Instead, it improves our ability to see tiny objects.

The Lancet: New developments in personalized medicine could save billions of dollars in improved health
New developments in personalized and precision medicine could offer enormous gains in healthy life expectancy for Americans, but the incentives to develop them are weak, according to Dr. Victor Dzau, President of the US Institute of Medicine, and colleagues, writing in a Personal View in The Lancet.

Arctic ducks combine nutrients from wintering and breeding grounds to grow healthy eggs
It takes a lot of nutrients to build an egg. One of the big questions among researchers who study the eggs of migratory birds is where those nutrients come from -- does the mother make the egg directly out of what she eats during the breeding season, or does she save up nutrients consumed on her wintering grounds? The answer appears to be both for Common Eiders, large, sea-going ducks that breed in the Arctic.

RTOG 0537 shows acupuncture-like ENS may provide relief for radiation-induced dry mouth
Phase III results of Radiation Therapy Oncology Group 0537 indicate that acupuncture-like, transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation may be equally effective as pilocarpine, the current prescription medication in a pill, to treat radiation-induced dry mouth, according to a study published in the June 1, 2015 issue of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology * Biology * Physics.

Narrow misses can propel us toward other rewards and goals
Whether it's being outbid at the last second in an online auction or missing the winning lottery number by one digit, we often come so close to something we can 'almost taste it' only to lose out in the end. These 'near wins' may actually boost our motivation to achieve other wins, leading us to pursue totally unrelated rewards, according to new research in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

A 'graduation' from poverty
An anti-poverty program tested extensively on three continents has produced sustained gains in individuals' income, wealth, and well-being, according to a study published today in the journal Science.

Location matters in the lowland Amazon
You know the old saying: Location, location, location? It turns out that it applies to the Amazon rainforest, too. New work from Carnegie's Greg Asner illustrates a hidden tapestry of chemical variation across the lowland Peruvian Amazon, with plants in different areas producing an array of chemicals that changes across the region's topography.

Hitting the borders of expansion
IST Austria scientists research how population size and genetic drift affect the limits to a species' range. Jitka Polechov√° and Nick Barton explain in this week's edition of PNAS why sharp range margins arise in natural populations.

UGA study pinpoints the likeliest rodent sources of future human infectious diseases
Researchers have developed a way to predict which species of rodents are likeliest to be sources of new disease outbreaks in humans. The findings could help public health officials take a more preemptive approach to disease surveillance, prevention and control.

Glacier changes at the top of the world
If greenhouse-gas emissions continue to rise, glaciers in the Everest region of the Himalayas could experience dramatic change in the decades to come. A team of researchers in Nepal, France and the Netherlands have found Everest glaciers could be very sensitive to future warming, and that sustained ice loss through the 21st century is likely. The research is published May 27 in The Cryosphere, an open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union.

New studies contradict earlier findings on Rett syndrome
Scientists at the University of Iowa, Baylor College of Medicine, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and the University Medical Center Gottingen, in Germany, show that bone marrow transplant does not rescue mouse models of Rett syndrome, a severe neurological disease that affects very young girls. The findings contradict seemingly promising results published in 2012, which initiated a clinical trial for human patients.

Clinical trial shows intuitive control of robotic arm using thought
Through a clinical collaboration between Caltech, Keck Medicine of USC and Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center, a 34-year-old paralyzed man is the first person in the world to have a neural prosthetic device implanted in a region of the brain where intentions are made, giving him the ability to perform a fluid hand-shaking gesture, drink a beverage, and even play 'rock, paper, scissors,' using a robotic arm.

Will Mexico's aging population see cancer care as a priority?
Mexico is the second largest economy in Latin America -- and its population is aging rapidly. Researchers offer new predictions and suggestions for lessening the impact of Mexico's cancer burden.

Hubble observes one-of-a-kind star nicknamed 'Nasty'
Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have uncovered surprising new clues about a hefty, rapidly aging star whose behavior has never been seen before in our Milky Way galaxy. In fact, the star is so weird that astronomers have nicknamed it 'Nasty 1,' a play on its catalog name of NaSt1. The star may represent a brief transitory stage in the evolution of extremely massive stars.

Aclidinium bromide/formoterol in COPD: Added benefit for certain patient groups
Patients with COPD grade III with no more than one flare-up per year and grade II patients benefit from the new drug combination.

Graphene holds key to unlocking creation of wearable electronic devices
Groundbreaking research has successfully created the world's first truly electronic textile, using the wonder material, graphene.

Credit cards a valuable option for farmers' markets
Farmers' markets wanting to increase purchases by customers should consider accepting more than just cash or checks as payment, according to Washington State University researchers. 'Customers are willing to buy more if they have other payment options,' said Karina Gallardo, a WSU associate professor and extension specialist in the School of Economic Sciences. 'They may not necessarily pay more, but they'll buy more.'

Newer, easier-to-manage medications may not always be the best choice
If you are over age 75, and taking an anticoagulant, the old standard may be the gold standard, Mayo Clinic researchers and collaborators have determined.

New form of inherited blindness discovered
Scientists from the University of Leeds, in collaboration with researchers from the Institute of Ophthalmology in London and Ghent University in Belgium, have discovered that mutations in the gene DRAM2 cause a new type of late-onset inherited blindness.

NREL announces participants for executive energy leadership program
The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory has selected 21 leaders to participate in its 2015 Executive Energy Leadership program, which empowers executives to integrate clean energy solutions in their communities.

All NASA eyes on Tropical Storm Dolphin
Three NASA satellite instruments took aim at Tropical Storm Dolphin. Dolphin responded by posing for pictures as it headed west towards Guam gathering strength and speed as it moves.

New 'designer carbon' from Stanford boosts battery performance
Stanford University scientists have created a new carbon material that significantly improves the performance of batteries and supercapacitors.

Global study finds psychotic experiences infrequent in general population
Psychotic experiences were infrequent in the general population, with an average lifetime prevalence of ever having such an episode estimated at 5.8 percent, according to an article published online by JAMA Psychiatry.

Baiting the hook
A study of the multichannel UK grocery shopping environment recently yielded insights that will be useful for retailers with an online channel or considering adding one to their customers' options.

'Insufficient evidence' on degenerative brain disease in athletes
Available research does not support the contention that athletes are uniquely at risk of chronic traumatic encephalopathy or other neurodegenerative disorders, according to a review in the June issue of Neurosurgery, official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer.

Altering genes with the aid of light
Scientists have been manipulating genes for a while. The University of Pittsburgh's Alexander Deiters just found a way to control the process with higher precision. By using light.

CU Anschutz researchers create microscope allowing deep brain exploration
A team of neuroscientists and bioengineers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus have created a miniature, fiber-optic microscope designed to peer deeply inside a living brain.

Nanotechnology identifies brain tumor types through MRI 'virtual biopsy' in animal studies
Biomedical researchers at Cedars-Sinai have invented a tiny drug-delivery system that can identify cancer cell types in the brain through 'virtual biopsies' and then attack the molecular structure of the disease.

Odd histone helps suppress jumping genes in stem cells, study says
Research begun at Rockefeller University has uncovered a purpose for a rare type of histone: preventing mutations by keeping certain so-called 'jumping genes' in place. This discovery reveals a basic mechanism for epigenetics, or the control of inherited traits through means other than DNA.

Institutional factors play role in cardiac rehab referral rates after angioplasty
Hospitals in the Midwest were more likely than others to refer patients for guideline-recommended cardiac rehabilitation following angioplasty, possibly because more rehab programs are available in the region, according to original research and an accompanying editorial published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

How our view of what makes us happy has changed in 80 years
In 2014 Sandie McHugh and Professor Jerome Carson repeated the Mass Observation survey by asking people from the town, via the Bolton News, to complete a questionnaire that repeated the questions from 1938 as closely was possible. She then compared the new findings with those from 1938.

Geochemical process on Saturn's moon linked to life's origin
New work has revealed the pH of water spewing from a geyser-like plume on Saturn's moon Enceladus. Their findings are an important step toward determining whether life could exist, or could have previously existed, on the sixth planet's sixth-largest moon.

MRI shows potential to improve breast cancer risk prediction
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) provides important information about a woman's future risk of developing breast cancer, according to a new study. Researchers said the findings support an expanded role for MRI in more personalized approaches to breast cancer screening and prevention.

Smokers don't vote: 11,626-person study shows marginalization of tobacco users
Survey of 11,626 shows that, even with all else equal, smokers are 60 percent less likely to vote than nonsmokers.

One in five people will develop heart failure
One person in five is expected to develop heart failure in developed countries, a disease with no cure but which is largely preventable. It feels as if every breath in and out is through a narrow straw. The Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology is calling for greater public awareness of heart failure symptoms as countries across Europe hold events for Heart Failure Awareness Day on May 8-10.

Nature inspires first artificial molecular pump
Using nature for inspiration, Northwestern University scientists are the first to develop an entirely artificial molecular pump, in which molecules pump other molecules. The machine mimics the pumping mechanism of proteins that move small molecules around living cells to metabolize and store energy from food. The pump draws its power from chemical reactions, driving molecules step-by-step from a low-energy state to a high-energy state. The pump one day might be used to power other molecular machines, such as artificial muscles.

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