Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 07, 2013
Costly breast cancer screenings don't add up to better outcomes
Even though Medicare spends over $1 billion per year on breast cancer screenings such as a mammography, there is no evidence that higher spending benefits older women, researchers at Yale School of Medicine found in a study published Online First by JAMA Internal Medicine, a JAMA Network publication.

Centralization to fewer surgeons results in better survival after esophageal cancer surgery
Patients who undergo surgery for esophageal cancer have a much greater chance of long term survival if the operation is carried out by a surgeon who has performed this particular operation many times before, according to a large-scale study conducted by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.

Cell loss in the brain relates to variations in individual symptoms in Huntington's disease
Scientists have wrestled to understand why Huntington's disease, which is caused by a single gene mutation, can produce such variable symptoms.

Study looks at how states decide which child receives early intervention for developmental problems
A new study out by researchers at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, found large differences in the criteria that states use to determine eligibility for Part C early intervention services for infants and toddlers who have developmental delays.

Peanut therapy shows promise in treating peanut allergy
A new study suggests that sublingual immunotherapy (SLIT) can reduce the allergic response to peanut in adolescents and adults.

HPV-associated cancer incidence rates point to needed efforts to increase HPV vaccination coverage
Despite the decline in cancer death rates in the US, there is an increase in incidence rates for cancers associated with human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and more efforts are needed to increase HPV vaccination coverage levels to prevent the occurrence of these cancers in the future according to a study published Jan.

'Clinical Endocrinology of Companion Animals'
Wiley is pleased to announce the publication of a complete, accessible reference for clinically relevant information on managing veterinary patients with endocrine disease.

Electronic health records with technical assistance can improve patient care in New York City
The relationship between a physician practice's adoption of electronic health records (EHR) and quality improvements in patient care remains unclear.

Southern Medical Journal presents special issue on disaster preparedness
Surveys suggest that while most US physicians are willing to play a role in responding to natural and man-made disasters, most do not feel adequately prepared to fulfill that role.

'Small Animal Regional Anesthesia and Analgesia'
Wiley is pleased to announce the publication of an up-to-date, concise resource for performing local anesthetic techniques in small animal patients.

Penn researchers show new level of control over liquid crystals
An interdisciplinary team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania has shown a new way to direct the assembly of liquid crystals, generating small features that spontaneously arrange in arrays based on much larger templates.

Timely reminders boost childhood immunizations rates
New research from Children's Hospital Colorado shows that timely reminders from local and state health departments are more effective at increasing immunization rates than those from primary care providers.

Giant fossil predator provides insights into the rise of modern marine ecosystem structures
An international team of scientists has described a fossil marine predator measuring 8.6 meters in length (about 28 feet) recovered from the Nevada desert in 2010 as representing the first top predator in marine food chains feeding on prey similar to its own size.

US cancer death rates continue to decline, national report finds
A report from the nation's leading cancer organizations shows rates of death in the United States from all cancers for men and women continued to decline between 2000 and 2009.

Can blood pressure drugs reduce the risk of dementia?
People taking the blood pressure drugs called beta blockers may be less likely to have changes in the brain that can be signs of Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 65th Annual Meeting in San Diego, March 16 to 23, 2013.

Ovarian cancer stem cell study puts targeted therapies within reach
Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have identified a key link between stem cell factors that fuel ovarian cancer's growth and patient prognosis.

Wayne State University researcher working to make intersections safer
A Wayne State University researcher is part of a federally funded effort that could lead to safer intersections on our nation's roadways.

Songbird sings in 3D
The question

Molecular '2-way radio' directs nerve cell branching and connectivity
Working with fruit flies, Johns Hopkins scientists have decoded the activity of protein signals that let certain nerve cells know when and where to branch so that they reach and connect to their correct muscle targets.

Physical education requirement at 4-year universities at all-time low
Even as policy makers and health experts point to an increased need for exercise, more than half of four-year colleges and universities in the United States have dropped physical education requirements compared to historic levels.

Major cuts to surging CO2 emissions are needed now, not down the road, study finds
Halting climate change will require

Breastfeeding tips women share intrigue doctors
Breastfeeding advice has been passed down for generations and many new mothers are faced with a lot of information and folk remedies to sort through.

Jonathan Wisco honored by Anatomy Society for excellence in teaching, research and scholarship
AAA's 2013 Basmajian Award will be presented to Jonathan Wisco, associate professor in the Department of Physiology and Developmental Biology, and the Neuroscience Center at Brigham Young University; and adjunct associate professor at the Division of Integrative Anatomy, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles.

Detecting dusty clouds and stars in our galaxy in a new way
Northwestern University's Farhad Zadeh has discovered a new tool for detecting dusty clouds and stars in the center of the Milky Way galaxy: simply take a picture using radio waves.

More changes in health care needed to fulfill promise of health information technology
Despite wide investments nationally in electronic medical records and related tools, the cost-saving promise of health information technology has not been reached because the systems deployed are neither interconnected nor easy to use.

Wide binary stars can wreak havoc in planetary systems
An international team led by a Northwestern University astrophysicist has shown that planetary systems with very distant binary stars are particularly susceptible to violent disruptions, more so than if the systems had two stellar companions with tighter orbits around each other.

Even brief interruptions spawn errors
Short interruptions -- such as the few seconds it takes to silence that buzzing smartphone -- have a surprisingly large effect on one's ability to accurately complete a task, according to new research led by Michigan State University.

Autism Speaks awards $4.8 million for new research
Autism Speaks awards $4.8 million for 14 research projects to study gene-environment interaction, association of prenatal exposures and autism risk, brain function, and disturbed intestinal bacteria and viruses associated with autism and gastrointestinal problems.

Archaeologists unearth more than 300 prehistoric clay figurines in Greece
Archaeologists from the University of Southampton studying a Neolithic archaeological site in central Greece have helped unearth over 300 clay figurines, one of the highest density for such finds in south-eastern Europe.

Racial essentialism reduces creative thinking, makes people more closed-minded
New research suggests that racial stereotypes and creativity have more in common than we might think.

People with diabetes in Ontario getting fewer government-funded eye exams, new study finds
A new study has found that adults with diabetes in Ontario are getting significantly fewer government-funded eye exams than they were a decade ago.

IUPUI researcher named Scholar with top theoretical physics institute
Yogesh Joglekar, Ph.D., associate professor of physics at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, joins seven other scientists honored each year by Kavli Institute of Theoretical Physics.

Captive hyenas outfox wild relatives
When it comes to solving puzzles, animals in captivity are, well, different animals than their wild brethren.

'Practical Handbook of Advanced Interventional Cardiology'
Written and edited by today's most recognized interventional cardiology thought leaders, this guide for interventional cardiologists focuses on key procedures and techniques and provides

Cancer Genome Institute at Fox Chase among first to offer clinical blueprint of cancer genes
Fox Chase Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, is now offering patients with advanced cancer a cutting-edge clinical test that will provide them with a unique blueprint of their cancer genes.

Combating USDA's top-ranked invasive insect
The stink bug, an invasive species, is a major economic threat to orchard fruits, garden vegetables and row crops.

Dark matter made visible before the final cut
Research findings from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine are shining a light on an important regulatory role performed by the so-called dark matter, or

Black and Hispanic patients less likely to complete substance abuse treatment, Penn study shows
Roughly half of all black and Hispanic patients who enter publicly funded alcohol treatment programs do not complete treatment, compared to 62 percent of white patients, according to a new study from a team of researchers including the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Simulated mission to Mars reveals critical data about sleep needs for astronauts
In the first study of its kind, researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the Baylor College of Medicine have analyzed data on the impact of prolonged operational confinement on sleep, performance, and mood in astronauts from a simulated 520-day space mission to Mars.

A French nuclear exit?
France has been held up, worldwide, as the forerunner in using nuclear fission to produce electricity.

How do songbirds sing? In 3D!
A multinational team of researchers made a significant step forward in trying to understand how birds produce their beautiful songs.

At least 1 in 6 stars has an Earth-sized planet
The quest for a twin Earth is heating up. Using NASA's Kepler spacecraft, astronomers are beginning to find Earth-sized planets orbiting distant stars.

'Small Animal Soft Tissue Surgery', (with DVD-ROM)
Published by Wiley, Small Animal Soft Tissue Surgery offers the state-of-the-art, comprehensive resource on the surgical treatment of diseases and syndromes in small animal patients, with detailed, well-illustrated descriptions of surgical procedures.

Galaxy's gamma-ray flares erupted far from its black hole
In 2011, a months-long blast of energy launched by an enormous black hole almost 11 billion years ago swept past Earth.

AMSSM issues position statement on sport-related concussions
Athletes with concussions must be held out of practice or play until all symptoms have resolved, to avoid the risk of further injury during the vulnerable period before the brain has recovered.

New compound overcomes drug-resistant Staph infection in mice
Researchers have discovered a new compound that restores the health of mice infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), an otherwise dangerous bacterial infection.

Many physicians often fulfill patient requests for brand-name drugs instead of equivalent generics
More than a third of US physicians responding to a national survey indicated they often or sometimes prescribed brand-name drugs when appropriate generic substitutes were available simply because patients requested the brand-name drug.

Looming malpractice
The average physician will spend more than ten percent of his or her career facing an open malpractice claim.

MVI and Inovio partner to develop malaria vaccines using innovative vaccine delivery tech
The PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative and Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced a follow-on collaboration to advance malaria vaccine development and new vaccination delivery technologies.

Study: Parkinson's disease itself does not increase risk of gambling, shopping addiction
Parkinson's disease itself does not increase the risk of impulse control problems such as compulsive gambling and shopping that have been seen in people taking certain drugs for Parkinson's disease, according to new research published in the January 8, 2013, print issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

New path to more efficient organic solar cells uncovered at Berkeley Lab's advanced light source
Working at Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source, an international team of scientists found that for highly efficient polymer/organic solar cells, size matters.

Preventing climate change: The size of the energy challenge
In 2004 a very popular study aimed to address climate change by deploying wedges of different existing energy technologies or approaches.

Italian immigrants live longer
Immigrants from Italy live longer than members of their host country.

A mathematical study of the famous Dirac equation that describes particles
The mathematician Naiara Arrizabalaga has studied in her Ph.D. thesis of the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country the mathematical framework of one of the most famous and complex equations in physics: the Dirac equation.

Cognitive deficits from concussions still present after 2 months
The ability to focus and switch tasks readily amid distractions was compromised for up to two months following brain concussions suffered by high school athletes, according to a study at the University of Oregon.

All in the family: A genetic link between epilepsy and migraine
New research reveals a shared genetic susceptibility to epilepsy and migraine.

Obese moms risk having babies with low vitamin D
Women who are obese at the start of their pregnancy may be passing on insufficient levels of vitamin D to their babies, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study.

Modified antibodies trigger immune response, point to novel vaccine design strategies
In an approach with the potential to aid therapeutic vaccine development, Whitehead Institute scientists have shown that enzymatically modified antibodies can be used to generate highly targeted, potent responses from cells of the immune system.

Detrimental effect of obesity on lesions associated with Alzheimer's disease
Researchers from Inserm and the Université Lille/Université Lille Nord de France have recently used a neurodegeneration model of Alzheimer's disease to provide experimental evidence of the relationship between obesity and disorders linked to the tau protein.

Pollen exposure during pregnancy affects child's risk of early asthma
A woman's exposure to high pollen levels in late pregnancy increases the risk of early asthma in the child, according to a group of researchers at Sweden's Umea University in a recent study.

Massive outburst in neighbor galaxy surprises astronomers
Astronomers making a long-term study of galaxies see sudden, energetic outburst in one of them.

'The H Factor of Personality'
Why some people are manipulative, self-entitled, materialistic, and exploitive -- and why it matters for everyone; that's the sub-title of the new book The H Factor of Personality, written by psychology professors Kibeom Lee from the University of Calgary and Michael C.

UI researcher learns mechanism of hearing is similar to car battery
University of Iowa biologists have advanced their knowledge of human hearing by studying a similar auditory system in fruit flies -- and by making use of the fruit fly

Cheap and easy technique to snip DNA could revolutionize gene therapy
Methods to precisely cut DNA have advanced a lot in the past year, leading researchers to more seriously consider gene-replacement therapies for genetic disease and even cures for infectious diseases such as AIDS.

Study defines when disclosing a whistle-blower's identity, like in an email, becomes retaliation
Under the law, whistle-blowers are supposed to be protected from direct reprisals on the job, including discrimination.

3-D color X-Ray imaging radically improved for identifying contraband, corrosion or cancer
Scientists at The University of Manchester have developed a camera that can be used to take powerful three dimensional colour X-ray images, in near real-time, without the need for a synchrotron X-ray source.

Exocomets may be as common as exoplanets
Astronomers have found thousands of potential exoplanets and many stars with massive disks of gas and dust that suggest planets are forming, but not much of the stuff intermediate between dust and planets, such as asteroids, planetesimals and comets.

The reason we lose at games
If you have ever wondered why you never seem to win at skill-based games such as poker or chess, there might be a very good reason.

High salt intake linked to social inequalities
People from low socio-economic positions in Britain eat more salt than the well off, irrespective of where they live, states a paper led by Warwick Medical School published on Tuesday in the BMJ Open journal.

Seismic fabric coming on the market
In the case of earthquakes, only seconds may remain for a safe escape from buildings.

Wind shear and dry air bashing Tropical Depression Sonamu
Once a cyclone, now a tropical depression, Sonamu is being battered by moderate wind shear and an intrusion of dry air and it has practically stalled in the South China Sea.

Untreated Parkinson's disease patients no more likely to have impulse control disorders
While approximately one in five Parkinson's disease patients experience impulse control disorder symptoms, the disease itself does not increase the risk of gambling, shopping, or other impulsivity symptoms, according to research from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Targeting hepatitis C treatment: The importance of interleukin (IL)-28
A metanalysis published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Medicine has confirmed that polymorphisms in the gene coding for interleukin-28 (IL28B) influence natural hepatitis C viral clearance and response to pegylated interferon-α plus ribavirin.

Study provides guidance for use of acid-suppressive medications in hospital patients
Investigators at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center describe a new scoring system to help clinicians identify when -- and whether -- hospital patients need acid-suppressive medications.

Why do age-related macular degeneration patients have trouble recognizing faces?
Abnormalities of eye movement and fixation may contribute to difficulty in perceiving and recognizing faces among older adults with age-related macular degeneration (AMD), suggests a study

Sublingual immunotherapy shows promise as treatment for peanut allergy
Daily doses of a liquid containing peanut powder, in gradually increasing amounts, enabled patients with peanut allergy to safely consume peanut in amounts at least 10 times greater than their baseline.

Computer scientists find vulnerabilities in Cisco VoIP phones
Columbia Engineering researchers have found vulnerabilities in Cisco VoIP telephones, recently demonstrating how they can insert malicious code into a Cisco VoIP phone (any of the 14 Cisco Unified IP Phone models) and start eavesdropping on private conversations -- not just on the phone but also in the phone's surroundings -- from anywhere in the world.

Targeting use of acid-suppressants in hospital patients
Gastrointestinal bleeds which occur in the hospital, although rare, are a significant source of morbidity and mortality when they occur.

Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Awards granted for pioneering ideas in cancer research
The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation announced that seven scientists with novel approaches to fighting cancer have been named 2013 recipients of the Damon Runyon-Rachleff Innovation Award.

Engineered bacteria make fuel from sunlight
Chemists at UC Davis have engineered blue-green algae to grow chemical precursors for fuels and plastics -- the first step in replacing fossil fuels as raw materials for the chemical industry.

Heat-resistant corals provide clues to climate change survival
In a future shaped by climate change, only the strong -- or heat-resistant -- will survive.

International study suggests human genes influence gut microbial composition
New research led by the Karolinska Institutet, Sweden and the University of Glasgow, Scotland, has identified a link between a human gene and the composition of human gastrointestinal bacteria.

Romper suit to protect against sudden infant death
Breathing sensors built into romper suits could help prevent sudden cot deaths in the future.

Modern parenting may hinder brain development, research shows
Social practices and cultural beliefs of modern life are preventing healthy brain and emotional development in children, according to an interdisciplinary body of research presented recently at a symposium at the University of Notre Dame.

Psychological common ground could ease tensions among those with different religious beliefs
A University of Missouri study found that thoughts of death increased atheists, Christians, Muslims and agnostics conviction in their own world views.

Comprehensive public health approach urged to curb gun violence in US
In the wake of the horrific school shootings in Newtown, Conn. in December, three Harvard experts say the best way to curb gun violence in the US is to take a broad public health approach, drawing on proven, evidence-based strategies that have successfully reduced other public health threats like smoking, car crashes, and accidental poisonings.

Corn could help farmers fight devastating weed
Researchers in China investigate corn's ability to act as a trap crop and control sunflower broomrape.

First fossil bird with teeth specialized for tough diet
Beak shape variation in Darwin's finches is a classic example of evolutionary adaptation, with beaks that vary widely in proportions and shape, reflecting a diversity of ecologies.

Penn study shows mountains are only minor contributors to erosion and climate regulation
For years, geologists believed that mountains, due to their steep slopes and high rates of erosion, were large contributors to the trapping of carbon in ocean sediment.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for Jan. 8, 2013
A panel of experts has released a new 33-item protocol checklist focusing on clarifying the content of clinical trials.

Elsevier selected to publish Cytotherapy: The Journal of Cell Therapy
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, is pleased to announce that the International Society for Cellular Therapy has selected Elsevier to publish Cytotherapy: The Journal of Cell Therapy effective January 2013.

Violence against teachers spurs urgent call to action
Teachers across the United States report alarmingly high rates of personally experiencing student violence and harassment while at school, according to an article published by the American Psychological Association that presents comprehensive recommendations to make schools safer for school personnel as well as students.

15 new planets hint at 'traffic jam' of moons in habitable zone
Volunteers from the website, part of the Oxford University-led Zooniverse project, have discovered 15 new planet candidates orbiting in the habitable zones of other stars.

Smart search engines for news videos
Searching for video recordings regularly pushes search engines to their limit.

Protein production: Going viral
A research team of scientists from EMBL Grenoble and the IGBMC in Strasbourg, France, have, for the first time, described in molecular detail the architecture of the central scaffold of TFIID: the human protein complex essential for transcription from DNA to mRNA. 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