Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 15, 2011
Next generation gamers: Computer games aid recovery from stroke
Computer games are not just for kids. New research published in Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation, a BioMed Central open access journal, shows that computer games can speed up and improve a patient's recovery from paralysis after a stroke.

Splitting water to create renewable energy simpler than first thought?
An international team, of scientists, led by a team at Monash University, Australia has found the key to the hydrogen economy could come from a very simple mineral, commonly seen as a black stain on rocks.

'Walking distance' test an accurate indicator of disease severity in patients with COPD
The six-minute walking distance test (6MWD), a test that measures a patient's ability to tolerate exercise and physical activity, is an effective tool for understanding disease severity in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to a three-year global study of patients with COPD sponsored by drug manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline.

Tiny variation in 1 gene may have led to crucial changes in human brain
The human brain has yet to explain the origin of one its defining features -- the deep fissures and convolutions that increase its surface area and allow for rational and abstract thoughts.

Researchers move closer to identifying new class of asthma, COPD drugs
Researchers in Baltimore have identified new compounds whichrelax airway muscles and may provide relief from shortness of breath for patients with COPD and asthma.

Scientists looking to burst the superconductivity bubble
Bubbles are blocking the current path of one of the most promising high temperature superconducting materials, new research suggests.

Malaria against malaria: A pre-existing malaria infection can prevent a second infection
A team of researchers have found that pre-existing malaria prevents secondary infection by another Plasmodium strain, the parasite responsible for malaria, by restricting iron availability in the liver of the host.

Researchers identify DNA region linked to depression
Researchers at Washington University and King's College London have independently identified DNA on chromosome 3 that appears to be related to depression.

Plasticity of hormonal response permits rapid gene expression reprogramming
Gene expression is the process of converting the genetic information encoded in DNA into a final gene product such as a protein or any of several types of RNA.

Winding back the clock with kidney stem cells
For the first time, scientists at Monash University's Immunology and Stem Cell Laboratories In Clayton, Australia have shown that they can make human stem cells from healthy adult kidneys without working on human embryos, circumventing ethical concerns around this research.

Gene variant linked with development of COPD in men
Researchers have linked a variant in the vitamin D receptor gene (VDR) with the onset of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in Caucasian men.

Vitamin D improves exercise outcomes in patients with COPD
Vitamin D supplements may help patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) get more from their pulmonary rehabilitation programs, according to a study conducted by researchers from Belgium.

'Computer synapse' analyzed at the nanoscale
Researchers at Hewlett Packard and the University of California, Santa Barbara, have analyzed in unprecedented detail the physical and chemical properties of an electronic device that computer engineers hope will transform computing.

Exotic behavior when mechanical devices reach the nanoscale
Mechanical resonators are extensively used in high-tech industry, to mark time in electronic components, and to stabilize radio transmissions.

Gene expression changes in nasal cells may help identify lung cancer in earliest stages
A simple, minimally-invasive technique using cells from the interior of the nose could help clinicians detect lung cancer in its earliest -- and most treatable -- stages, according to a study conducted by researchers in Boston.

Special issue on advanced microelectronics technologies
A special issue on Advanced Microelectronics Technologies is published in volume 54, issue 5 of Science China: Information Sciences, in May 2011.

New understanding of brain chemistry could prevent brain damage after injury
A protective molecule has been identified in the brain which, if used artificially, may prevent brain damage from the likes of stroke, head injury and Alzheimer's.

New evidence shows mobile animals could have evolved much earlier than previously thought
A University of Alberta-led research team has discovered that billions of years before life evolved in the oceans, thin layers of microbial matter in shallow water produced enough oxygen to support tiny, mobile life forms.

CPAP improves daytime sleepiness even in patients with low levels of symptoms
Continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, can increase alertness and even improve quality of life for sufferers of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), even if their symptoms are minimal, according to a study conducted by researchers in Europe.

Obesity linked to higher risk of prostate cancer progression
Even when treated with hormone therapy to suppress tumor growth, obese men face an elevated risk of their prostate cancer worsening, researchers at Duke University Medical Center have found.

'Master switch' gene for obesity and diabetes discovered
A team of researchers, led by King's College London and the University of Oxford, have found that a gene linked to type 2 diabetes and cholesterol levels is in fact a

CPAP decreases cardiovascular mortality in elderly patients
Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) effectively decreases the risk of cardiovascular death in elderly patients who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), according to a study conducted by researchers in Spain.

Researchers examine procedure utilization trends in patients with clinically localized renal masses
Certain groups of patients, like those with localized renal masses, may be more appropriately treated through surgical techniques that focus on preserving as much functional kidney as possible -- especially since emerging data suggests that a loss of kidney function can lead to higher long-term risks of morbidity and mortality.

Advanced-stage prostate cancer patients experience 20-year survival rates with surgery
Long-term survival rates for patients with advanced prostate cancer suggest they can be good candidates for surgery, Mayo Clinic researchers have found.

Researchers demonstrate autonomous robots able to explore and map buildings
As part of a project sponsored by the US Army Research Laboratory, researchers are giving autonomous robots the ability to work together to explore and map the interior of buildings.

Scientists find new class of compounds with great potential for research and drug development
Scientists from the Scripps Research Institute have identified a class of compounds that could be a boon to basic research and drug discovery.

Cell division abnormality contributes to inflammation in COPD
Changes in the ability of lung cells to divide may play a role in initiating or prolonging lung tissue inflammation, a hallmark of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to a study conducted by researchers in France.

Rapid growth may be appropriate trigger for treatment in patients with renal masses
Today, Fox Chase Cancer Center researchers will announce the results of its systematic review and pooled analysis, which for the first time combined several institutions' experience with active surveillance of small renal masses.

Pneumonia patients at risk for in-hospital cardiac arrest
Hospital patients with pneumonia may be at risk of experiencing sudden cardiac arrest, often with few or no warning signs, according to research from the University of Chicago Medical Center under the auspices of the American Heart Association's Get with the Guidelines project.
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