Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 07, 2012
Study compares standard against newer treatment in women whose breast cancer has spread
Results from a phase III clinical trial comparing a newer chemotherapy agent called eribulin mesylate with capecitabine, a standard drug used for chemotherapy today in women with previously treated metastatic breast cancer, showed that eribulin demonstrated a trend toward improved overall survival.

UTMB receives $7.6 million grant
The asthma and allergy research effort at the University of Texas Medical Branch got a boost recently with a five-year, $7.6 million project grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

Green scientists propose safety testing system for development of new chemicals
A group of scientists, including Carnegie Mellon's Terry Collins, has developed a five-tiered testing system that manufacturers can use to ensure that the chemicals and consumer products they produce are free of harmful endocrine disrupting chemicals like BPA or DDT.

Vanderbilt study finds diverse genetic alterations in triple-negative breast cancers
Most triple-negative breast cancer patients who were treated with chemotherapy to shrink the tumor prior to surgery still had multiple genetic mutations in their tumor cells, according to a study by Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center investigators.

New IDSA guidelines aim to reduce death, disability, and cost of prosthetic joint infections
Of the one million people each year who get hips and knees replaced, as many as 20,000 will get an infection in the new joint, a number that is expected to skyrocket in the next 20 years.

New MRI technology to provide even better images of the inside of the human body
Over the past 30 years, magnetic resonance imaging has evolved into one of the most important imaging procedures in medical diagnostics.

6 Berkeley Lab scientists are 2012 APS Fellows
A bumper crop of American Physical Society (APS) honorees from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory -- John Byrd, Derun Li, David Robin, and Carl Schroeder of the Accelerator and Fusion Research Division, Zoltan Ligeti of the Physics Division, and Howard Padmore of the Advanced Light Source -- have been named APS Fellows for 2012.

New agricultural insurance compensates 1,600 farmers in southern Rwanda following drought
For the first time in Rwanda 1,600 smallholder farmers have received a crop insurance payout after drought cut their yields by 50 percent.

Claudia Felser appointed Fellow of the American Physical Society
Professor Dr. Claudia Felser has been appointed a Fellow of the American Physical Society.

Protein tied to cancer-drug resistance in mice
Blocking a specific protein renders tumors more vulnerable to treatment in mice, suggesting new therapies could eventually achieve the same in humans, according to new research from Fox Chase Cancer Center to be presented at the 2012 CTRC-AACR San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium on Friday, Dec.

The effect of treating institution on outcomes in head and neck cancer
Patients with head and neck cancer receiving radiation treatment at an academic center have a higher survival rate than those receiving treatment at a community center, according to a study in the December 2012 issue of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery.

German Research Foundation to fund globally unique twin study on social inequality
The German Research Foundation has approved funding for a long-term research project by professors Dr.

Crowdsourcing site compiles new sign language for math and science
The ASL-STEM Forum is a crowdsourcing project, similar to Wikipedia or the Urban Dictionary, that creates a new sign language for the latest scientific and technical terms.

NASA infrared data shows Typhoon Bopha re-strengthened in South China Sea
The deadly typhoon that caused almost 300 deaths in the southern Philippines is making a loop in the South China Sea, and infrared NASA satellite data indicated that Bopha re-intensified.

Mathematicians tackle global issues
More than 100 academic institutions and scholarly societies have joined in a major world-wide initiative: Mathematics of Planet Earth (MPE2013).

How the common 'cat parasite' gets into the brain
Toxoplasma is a common 'cat parasite', and has previously been in the spotlight owing to its observed effect on risk-taking and other human behaviors.

Wildfires light up western Australia
Careful observers of the new

Another muscular dystrophy mystery solved; MU scientists inch closer to a therapy for patients
In a new study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, MU School of Medicine scientists Yi Lai and Dongsheng Duan have discovered the missing pieces to a muscular dystrophy puzzle that could ultimately lead to a therapy and, potentially, a longer lifespan for patients suffering from the disease.

NASA casts infrared eye on Southern Indian Ocean's Tropical Cyclone Claudia
The third tropical cyclone in the Southern Indian Ocean has been renamed Tropical Cyclone Claudia as NASA's Aqua satellite passed overhead.The AIRS instrument on Aqua captured infrared imagery of Claudia over two days that showed the western quadrant is most powerful part of the cyclone.

USDA, USAID collaborate to improve productivity of the common bean
The US Department of Agriculture today awarded five grants totaling $4.5 million in support of research to improve the production of the common bean, a main staple produced throughout food insecure areas of the world, including East and Southern Africa.

1 in 4 physicians uses social media daily
A new survey shows that about one in four physicians uses social media daily or multiple times a day to scan or explore medical information, and 14 percent use social media each day to contribute new information, according to an oncologist at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center.

Texas Bar Foundation awards UTSA $20,000 grant to mentor delinquent foster youth
The Texas Bar Foundation has awarded a one-year, $20,000 grant to scholars in the Bank of America Child and Adolescent Policy Research Institute at The University of Texas at San Antonio to initiate a mentoring program for delinquent foster youth in San Antonio.

Long-distance solute transport in trees improved by intercellular pathways in living woody tissues
As large organisms, trees face some remarkable challenges, particularly regarding long-distance transport and communication.

High hormone levels put young black males at risk for cardiovascular disease
Increased levels of the hormone aldosterone in young black males correlate with an unhealthy chain of events that starts with retaining too much salt and results in an enlarged heart muscle, researchers say.

Greenland ice sheet carries evidence of increased atmospheric acidity
Studies have shown decreasing levels of the isotope nitrogen-15 in core samples from Greenland ice starting around the time of the Industrial Revolution.

Winning the battle against leukaemia: Positive early results in clinical trial for DNA vaccine
Early results of a trial to treat leukaemia with a WT1 DNA vaccine, has shown robust vaccine-specific antibody responses in all vaccinated patients evaluated to date.

Monkey business: What howler monkeys can tell us about the role of interbreeding in human evolution
Did different species of early humans interbreed and produce offspring of mixed ancestry?

Massive crevasses and bendable ice affect stability of Antarctic ice shelf, CU research team finds
Massive crevasses and bendable ice affect stability of Antarctic ice shelf, CU-Boulder research team finds.

Existing drugs may help more breast cancer patients
More patients can benefit from highly effective breast cancer drugs that are already available, according to DNA sequencing studies by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Group interaction among elderly is the key to significant health outcomes
The health benefits of 'water clubs' in care homes for the elderly, where residents gather together regularly to drink water , owe as least as much to the social nature of the activity as to the value of drinking water itself, an investigation by psychologists has shown.

Antibiotic-eating bug unearthed in soil
Canadian and French scientists have uncovered a soil microbe that degrades a common veterinary antibiotic both to protect itself and get nutrition, an ability the researchers suggest could be widespread.

UT MD Anderson, GlaxoSmithKline to collaborate on new approach to cancer immune therapy
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and GlaxoSmithKline have signed a research collaboration and license agreement to develop new therapeutic antibodies that promote an immune system attack against cancer.

New small molecule inhibitor could be a safe and first-line treatment for metastatic breast cancer
Previous research has shown that a family of genes, proteins and enzymes called the uPA system (for urokinase plasminogen activator) plays an active role in different facets of cancer's biology, including tumor cell invasion, the spread of metastases, and the growth of a primary tumor.

Paradox of aging: The older we get, the better we feel?
Aging has been viewed as a period of progressive decline in physical, cognitive and psychosocial functioning, and is viewed by many as the

Physiology department gets training grant from Brazilian scientific group
The Department of Physiology at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Health Sciences University has been awarded a training grant from the Brazil Scientific Motility Society to advance the education of future scientists and scientific discovery.

A pattern given by nature
A unique hexagonal pattern has been discovered in a recently described plant-parasitic nematode worm, by a combined team of researchers from Netherlands, Belgium, and France.

Point of light
Engineers at the California Institute of Technology have created a device that can focus light into a point just a few nanometers (billionths of a meter) across -- an achievement they say may lead to next-generation applications in computing, communications, and imaging.

Obesity and overeating during menopause together promote breast tumor growth and progression
In a rat model, premenopausal obesity impaired ability to handle postmenopausal overeating.

X-ray vision can reveal the moment of birth of violent supernovae
University of Leicester team surprised by findings.

John Theurer Cancer Center to present 37 studies at the 2012 ASH Annual Meeting
Remaining at the forefront of blood cancer research, John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack UMC, one of the nation's top 50 best hospitals for cancer, will present research updates and clinical trial results of 37 blood cancer studies at the 2012 American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting being held in Atlanta from Dec.

Penn-led research suggests a new strategy to prevent or halt periodontal disease
By blocking a molecular receptor that bacteria normally target to cause chronic gum disease, or periodontitis, scientists from the University of Pennsylvania have demonstrated an ability in a mouse model to both prevent periodontitis from developing and halt the progression of the disease once it has already developed.

National museums as the cement of society
National museums can play a role in social cohesiveness and a community of values, yet this requires that they provide that they provide an important and relevant narrative that simultaneously is perceived as independent and credible.

Cheering microbes into space
A UC Davis microbiologist and a professional cheerleader are teaming up with

Putting electronic cigarettes to the test
Are e-cigarettes harmful to users? An unresolved question. It's harder still to judge the danger to bystanders.

Launch of the EU large-scale integrating project 'BlueGenics' to combat osteoporosis
Searching for substances from the deep sea to combat osteoporosis and other human common diseases is one of the objectives of the new European research project

Mayo Clinic IDs genes that predict whether trastuzumab will work for breast cancer patients
A team of US researchers, led by oncologists at Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida, have discovered 27 genes that are significantly associated with a good outcome with concurrent use of trastuzumab and chemotherapy, as well as five other genes linked to a poor outcome using the same treatment regimen.

Abuse during childhood linked to adult-onset asthma in African-American women
According to a new study from the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University, African-American women who reported suffering abuse before age 11 had a greater likelihood of adult-onset asthma compared to women whose childhood and adolescence were free of abuse.

Rilpivirine for HIV: Added benefit for single agent proven
Since the start of 2012, the drug rilpivirine has been available for adults with an HIV-1 infection in two different forms: as a single agent and as a fixed combination with other HIV drugs.

UT Arlington research team wins $1.35 million NSF robotics grant to develop smart skin applications
Imagine a human-like robot with skin and clothes embedded with sensors that could help machines better assist human owners.

2013 will be a good year, NJIT biz professor forecasts at Chicago Fed Board
Economic growth will rise to 3 percent in 2013 and 2014, while unemployment will drop to 7.3 percent by December of 2013, NJIT Leir Research Professor William V.
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