Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 26, 2013
U of M researchers identify genetic variation behind acute myeloid leukemia treatment success
Researchers from the College of Pharmacy and Medical School working within the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota, have partnered to identify genetic variations that may help signal which acute myeloid leukemia patients will benefit or not benefit from one of the newest antileukemic agents.

Self help books and websites can benefit severely depressed patients
Patients with more severe depression show at least as good clinical benefit from 'low-intensity' interventions, such as self help books and websites, as less severely ill patients, suggests a paper published on bmj.com today.

Superbugs may have a soft spot, after all
The overuse of antibiotics has created strains of bacteria resistant to medication, making the diseases they cause difficult to treat, or even deadly.

Fecal microbiota transplantation cures gastrointestinal diseases
Clostridium difficile infections have developed into a virtual pandemic over the past two decades.

South Carolina College of Pharmacy professors receive awards
Two renowned scientists at the South Carolina College of Pharmacy have garnered national recognition from the Society of Toxicology, which named them recipients of two of its individual annual awards.

Survey shows medical students have frequent interactions with pharmaceutical companies
A first-of-its kind national survey of medical students and residents finds that despite recent efforts by medical schools and academic medical centers to restrict access of pharmaceutical sales representatives to medical trainees, medical students and residents still commonly receive meals, gifts, and industry-sponsored educational materials.

NREL's economic benefit to Colorado totals $814.8 million in FY 2012
The net economic benefit of the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory to Colorado's economy was $814.8 million in fiscal year 2012, according to a study by the University of Colorado's Leeds School of Business.

Long-term use of medication does not improve symptoms for heart failure patients
Among patients with heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, long-term treatment with the medication spironolactone improved left ventricular diastolic function but did not affect maximal exercise capacity, patient symptoms, or quality of life, according to a study appearing in the Feb.

U-M study challenges notion of using Herceptin only for HER2-positive breast cancer
New research from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center finds that the protein HER2 plays a role even in breast cancers that would traditionally be categorized as HER2-negative -- and that the drug Herceptin, which targets HER2, may have an even greater role for treating breast cancer and preventing its spread.

HPS2-THRIVE trial: Side-effects cause a quarter of heart patients to stop treatment
The largest randomized study of the vitamin niacin in patients with occlusive arterial disease (narrowing of the arteries) has shown a significant increase in adverse side-effects when it is combined with statin treatment.

Pain can be a relief
When something causes less pain than expected it is even possible for it to feel pleasant, a new study reveals.

Light particles illuminate the vacuum
Researchers from the Finnish Aalto University and the Technical Research Centre of Finland succeeded in showing experimentally that vacuums have properties not previously observed.

Cleveland Clinic study shows bariatric surgery restores pancreatic function by targeting belly fat
In a substudy of the STAMPEDE trial (Surgical Therapy And Medications Potentially Eradicate Diabetes Efficiently), Cleveland Clinic researchers have found that gastric bypass surgery reverses diabetes by uniquely restoring pancreatic function in moderately obese patients with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes.

Cell discovery could hold key to causes of inherited diseases
Fresh insights into the protective seal that surrounds the DNA of our cells could help develop treatments inherited muscle, brain, bone and skin disorders.

European Society of Cardiology opens Brussels bureau
While the treatment of heart diseases in both primary and hospital care has been very successful with mortality rates declining markedly over the past 20 years, at the community level the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease, despite the notable successes of anti-smoking legislation, has done less well.

For some, surgical site infections are in the genes
An estimated 300,000 US patients get surgical site infections every year, and while the causes are varied, a new University of Utah study suggests that some who get an infection can blame it partly on their genes.

Bridal registries replace matriarch with marketplace, new Notre Dame study shows
Bridal registries might be efficient -- sparing the gift-giver from hours of shopping and the recipient from having to return unwanted items.

NREL employees honored by industry associations
The US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory and its employees have garnered new awards and recognition from industry groups for advancing energy efficiency and renewable energy research.

Blueprint for an artificial brain
Senior lecturer Dr. Andy Thomas from Bielefeld University's Faculty of Physics is experimenting with memristors -- electronic microcomponents that imitate natural nerves.

MOOCs Forum: The public venue for sharing and shaping developments in massive open online courses
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers announces the launch of MOOCs Forum to serve as the host and chronicle for discussions, debates, announcements, and advancements for all issues and constituents in the Massive Open Online Courses community.

US budget cuts could jeopardize development of life-saving tools against major killers
Across-the-board cuts to US R&D programs could have a devastating impact on efforts to develop new drugs for tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, the world's first malaria vaccine, and other vital global health products in development, according to a new report from a coalition of nonprofit groups focused on advancing innovation to save lives.

Simple method devised for determining atrial fibrillation risk in women
Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital have devised and tested a simple atrial fibrillation risk prediction model, based on six easily obtained factors: A woman's age, height, weight, blood pressure, alcohol consumption and smoking history.

Scientists explore topical health issues at meeting in Texas
Researchers will meet at the Society of Toxicology's Annual Meeting and ToxExpo March 10-16 to discuss a number of health concerns that have received growing public attention over the past several months.

Frequency of surveillance scans for small aneurysms can be reduced for most patients
In contrast to the commonly adopted surveillance intervals in current abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) screening programs, surveillance intervals of several years may be clinically acceptable for the majority of patients with small AAA, as the smallest AAAs often do not appear to change significantly over many years, according to a meta-analysis of previous studies reported in the Feb.

Insect research heads down path to start-up company with NSF I-Corps program
A team of researchers at the University of Nevada, Reno have strayed from the lab to the boardroom in an effort to build a business based on discoveries from years of research studying insect enzymes.

Libertarian paternalism and school lunches: Guiding healthier behavior while preserving choices
New US Department of Agriculture regulations have altered what foods schools offer for lunch, but schools cannot require students to eat specific foods.

Most first-time mothers wait until after 6 weeks before resuming sex following childbirth
Most first-time mothers wait until after six weeks postpartum to resume vaginal sex following childbirth and women who have an operative vaginal birth, caesarean section, perineal tear or episiotomy appear to wait longer, suggests a new study published today in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Biting back - snake venom contains toxic clotting factors
The powerful venom of the saw-scaled viper Echis carinatus contains both anticoagulants and coagulants finds a study published in the launch edition of BioMed Central's open access journal Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases.

New tool for measuring frozen gas in ocean floor sediments
A collaboration between the National Oceanography Centre and the University of Southampton is to develop an instrument capable of simulating the high pressures and low temperatures needed to create hydrate in sediment samples.

Novel combination therapy shuts down escape route, killing glioblastoma tumor cells
Scientists at Ludwig uncovered an unexpected, but important molecular mechanism of mTOR inhibitor resistance and a novel drug combination that reverses this resistance using low dose arsenic in mice.

Space Foundation selects NASA Goddard Einstein educator fellow as new teacher liaison
Paulo Oemig of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., was chosen as one of 20 outstanding educators by the Space Foundation for its 2013 Teacher Liaisons.

3 Johns Hopkins researchers recognized for medical inventions
Johns Hopkins' John Wong, Ph.D., has won a BioMaryland LIFE Award, and Ronald Berger, M.D., Ph.D., and Hien Nguyen, M.D., were awarded funds from the Abell Foundation, the researchers learned last week.

In probing mysteries of glass, researchers find a key to toughness
Glass doesn't have to be brittle. Scientists propose a way of predicting whether a given glass will be brittle or ductile -- a property typically associated with metals like steel or aluminum -- and assert that any glass could have either quality.

Sweet news for stem cell's 'Holy Grail'
Scientists have used sugar-coated scaffolding to move a step closer to the routine use of stem cells in the clinic and unlock their huge potential to cure diseases from Alzheimer's to diabetes.

Brazilian Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases moves to BioMed Central
In the auspicious Year of the Snake, BioMed Central, the open-access publisher, is pleased to announce that the Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases, the official academic journal of the The Center for the Study of Venoms and Venomous Animals of São Paulo State University, based in Brazil, has moved to BioMed Central's open-access publishing platform.

EARTH: Setting sail on unknown seas
On Jun. 5, 2012, a massive dock hit Oregon's coast.

African-ancestry babies get less prenatal care in Brazil
Babies in Brazil of African ancestry, alone or mixed, are more likely to have low birth weights and to be born prematurely than those born to parents of European-only ancestry, according to a new study from the University of Iowa.

Infrared digital holography allows firefighters to see through flames, image moving people
Firefighters now have a new tool that could help save lives.

Georgia physicians' study published in the Journal of Urology
This study, '25 Year Disease Free Survival Rate after Irradiation of Prostate Cancer Calculated with the Prostate Specific Antigen Definition of Recurrence Used for Radical Prostatectomy,' is the first-ever to analyze 25 years of follow-up data after radiation therapy treatment for prostate cancer patients.

New open access psychology journal BMC Psychology to join the BMC series portfolio
Open access publisher BioMed Central is proud to announce the launch of BMC Psychology, the newest addition to the BMC-series portfolio.

Commercial future for Model Gut
The Dynamic Gastric Model, developed from years of research at the Institute of Food Research, has taken significant steps towards improving its commercial use by food and drug companies worldwide.

Women's iron intake may help to protect against PMS
In one of the first studies to evaluate whether dietary mineral intake is associated with PMS development, senior author Elizabeth Bertone-Johnson at UMass Amherst, with lead author Patricia Chocano-Bedoya at Harvard assessed mineral intake in approximately 3,000 women in a case-control study nested within the prospective Nurses' Health Study II.

Afterschool programs evaluated for community support, resources
Afterschool programs seem to be most effective when their organization and implementation is supported by both organizational and community resources, according to Penn State human development researchers.

4th Asia-Pacific Osteoporosis Meeting to be led by region's leading bone experts
Clinicians and researchers are invited to attend Asia-Pacific's key clinical bone event in 2013.

Launched the Saudi Aramco-KAIST CO2 Management Center in Korea
The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology and Saudi Aramco, a global energy and petrochemicals enterprise, signed on Feb.

Breakthrough camera to improve detection of blinding eye disease and diabetes
The world's first intelligent retinal camera will accurately and rapidly detect and eventually diagnose sight-threatening conditions such as diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.

DNDi receives BBVA Foundation award for delivering new treatments for neglected diseases
Today in Madrid, Spain, the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative received the BBVA Foundation 'Frontiers of Knowledge and Culture Award for Development Cooperation'.

Linking insulin to learning
Though it's most often associated with disorders like diabetes, Yun Zhang, Associate Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, has shown how the pathway of insulin and insulin-like peptides plays another critical role in the body -- helping to regulate learning and memory.

Target: Cancer
A microscopy technique developed at the University of Akron could be key to improving cancer treatments with targeted therapeutic drugs.

NASA infrared data shows Tropical Cyclone 18S still battling wind shear
An infrared look at Tropical Storm 18S by NASA's Aqua satellite revealed wind shear continues to take its toll on the storm and keeps pushing its main precipitation away from the center of the storm.

Face values: Ability to recognize emotions in others impaired by AIDS
People with HIV are less able to recognize facial emotion than non-infected people finds a study published in the launch edition of BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Psychology.

The soldier as sexual aggressor
Soldiers can degenerate into barbarians during times of war. A political-psychological study of sexual violence committed during the Bosnian War reveals the mechanisms behind this behavior and provides valuable insight into what can be done to prevent such transgressions in the future.

NASA satellites see slow-moving Cyclone Rusty before landfall
Cyclone Rusty has been moving very slowly over the last two days on its approach to landfall near Port Hedland in Western Australia, and NASA satellites have observed the storm's increase in power.

Now hear this: Stanford researchers identify forerunners of inner-ear cells that enable hearing
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have identified a group of progenitor cells in the inner ear that can become the sensory hair cells and adjacent supporting cells that enable hearing.

Just a drop? Alcohol consumption much higher than reported in England
Alcohol consumption could be much higher than previously thought, with more than three-quarters of people in England drinking in excess of the recommended daily alcohol limit, according to a new paper in the European Journal of Public Health.

When morning sickness lasts all day
Severe nausea during pregnancy can be fatal, yet very little is known about this condition.

Dr. Howard Koh to receive highest honor from Society for Public Health Education
The Society for Public Health Education names Howard K. Koh, MD, MPH, and Assistant Secretary for Health, as its 2013 Honorary Fellow.

Sequestration is not a smart strategy for reducing the deficit, say small business leaders
More than two-thirds (67 percent) of small business leaders say basic research funded by the federal government is important to private sector innovation, according to a new nationwide survey of small business owners/operators commissioned by Research!America.

Kessler Foundation named site for major study of wheelchair use in spinal cord injury
Kessler Foundation is participating in Collaboration on Mobility Training (COMIT), a large study designed to maximize independence among wheelchair users with spinal cord injury.

Increased risk of sleep disorder in children who received swine flu vaccine
A study published on bmj.com today finds an increased risk of narcolepsy in children and adolescents who received the A/H1N1 2009 influenza vaccine (Pandemrix) during the pandemic in England.

PTSD symptoms common among ICU survivors
One in three people who survived stays in an intensive care unit and required use of a mechanical ventilator showed substantial post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms that lasted for up to two years, according to a new Johns Hopkins study of patients with acute lung injury.

COMBACTE: A new step in the fight against resistance to antibiotics
Antimicrobial resistance represents is a growing problem in public health due the increasing rarity of antibiotics capable of combating resistant bacteria.

'Fat worms' inch scientists toward better biofuel production
Fat worms confirm that researchers from Michigan State University have successfully engineered a plant with oily leaves -- a feat that could enhance biofuel production as well as lead to improved animal feeds.

American Chemical Society podcast: New super-nutritious puffed rice for breakfast cereals, snacks
The latest episode in the American Chemical Society's award-winning Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions podcast series reports a new process for blowing up grains of rice to produce a super-nutritious form of puffed rice, with three times more protein and a rich endowment of other nutrients.

Research suggests malaria can be defeated without a globally led eradication program
A researcher at the University of Southampton, working as part of a team from the UK and USA, believes the global eradication of malaria could be achieved by individual countries eliminating the disease within their own borders and coordinating efforts regionally.

Blood vessels 'sniff' gut microbes to regulate blood pressure
Researchers at The Johns Hopkins University and Yale University have discovered that a specialized receptor, normally found in the nose, is also in blood vessels throughout the body, sensing small molecules created by microbes that line mammalian intestines, and responding to these molecules by increasing blood pressure.

Persistent negative attitude can undo effectiveness of exposure therapy for phobias
Because confronting fear won't always make it go away, researchers suggest that people with phobias must alter memory-driven negative attitudes about feared objects or events to achieve a more lasting recovery from what scares them the most.

Wet computer server could cut internet waste
A revolutionary liquid-cooled computer server that could slash the carbon footprint of the internet is being tested at the University of Leeds.

2 new species of mushroom documented in the Iberian Peninsula
In collaboration with the Royal Botanic Gardens of Madrid and the Slovenian Forestry Institute, researchers in the Basque Country have documented two new species of Hydnum, commonly known as ox tongue mushrooms, as part of their study published in the Mycologia journal.

Research suggests scientists have overestimated capacity of wind farms to generate power
Mesoscale atmospheric modeling looking at the mass effects of kinetic energy absorption by wind turbines suggests that the power capacity of large-scale wind farms may have been significantly overestimated.

Connecting the (quantum) dots
University of Pittsburgh and Delft University of Technology researchers reveal in the Feb.

Researchers find controlling element of Huntington's disease
A three molecule complex may be a target for treating Huntington's disease, a genetic disorder affecting the brain.

Kauai, the Petrified Forest, Costa Rica, and more: New GSA Bulletin articles now online
New GSA Bulletin articles cover wind erosion and sediment traps in the Qaidam basin; rain erosion on Kauai; new insights from the Petrified Forest, USA; a forearc sliver in Costa Rica; Quebec's St.

Bariatric surgery complications rates following restricting coverage to higher-quality centers
In an analysis of data on patients who underwent bariatric surgery 2004-2009, there was no significant difference in the rates of complications and reoperation for Medicare patients before vs. after a 2006 Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services policy that restricted coverage of bariatric surgery to centers of excellence, according to a study appearing in the Feb.

Report: 'Water and Agriculture in Canada: Towards Sustainable Management of Water Resources'
A newly released report by the Council of Canadian Academies entitled, Water and Agriculture in Canada: Towards Sustainable Management of Water Resources, explores five key areas where additional science and action can contribute to better sustainable management of water in agriculture.

New study shows continued decline in the last remaining stronghold for leatherback sea turtles
Critically endangered leatherback sea turtle populations in the western Pacific Ocean may be losing their last foothold of survival on the beaches of Indonesia, according to a paper published today in the scientific journal Ecosphere by an international group of scientists.

3 distinguished keynote speakers to present during ARVO 2013 Annual Meeting
The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology 2013 Annual Meeting will feature lectures from three keynote speakers, including two Nobel laureates, during the organization's five-day conference, May 5 - 9 in Seattle, Wash.

A picture of health in schools
Feeling comfortable and confident in sport, health, or PE can be very difficult for some young people who can be seen as a 'risk' of becoming obese.

New tool in the fight against tropical diseases
A novel tool exploits baker's yeast to expedite the development of new drugs to fight multiple tropical diseases, including malaria, schistosomiasis, and African sleeping sickness.

Home based telehealth does not improve quality of life for patients with long term conditions
Telehealth does not improve generic health related quality of life or psychological outcomes for patients with long term conditions over 12 months, finds a study published on bmj.com today.

Ship noise makes crabs get crabby
A study published today in Biology Letters found that ship noise affects crab metabolism, with the largest crabs faring the worst, and found little evidence that crabs acclimatize to noise over time.

Gut microbiota plays important role in functional bowel disorders
An estimated 50 percent of patients consulting a gastroenterologist suffer from functional bowel disorders, such as dyspepsia or irritable bowel syndrome.

Sodium transporter appears likely target for treating salt-sensitive hypertension
Genetics and demographics likely put you at risk for salt-sensitive hypertension, and scientists are looking for a way to protect you.

Harvard Wyss Institute's Lung-on-a-Chip wins prize for potentially reducing need for animal testing
In a London ceremony, Wyss Founding Director Don Ingber, M.D., Ph.D., received the NC3Rs 3Rs Prize from the UK's National Centre for the Replacement, Refinement and Reduction of Animals in Research for his innovative Lung-on-a-Chip -- a microdevice lined by human cells that recapitulates complex functions of the living lung.

Obesity, physical inactivity linked with risk for certain molecular subtype of colorectal cancer
Obesity increased risk; physical activity lowered risk. Data consistent with prior research linking exercise to decreased mortality.

Clever battery completes stretchable electronics package
Researchers at Northwestern University and the University of Illinois are the first to demonstrate a stretchable lithium-ion battery -- a flexible device capable of powering their innovative stretchable electronics.

Turning off the dams and letting rivers come alive
As manuscripts for this new contribution to GSA's Reviews in Engineering Geology series were about to be submitted for publication, the US Bureau of Reclamation turned off the generators to the Elwha Dam in Washington State.

Over a million pregnant women infected with syphilis world-wide
Syphilis still affects large numbers of pregnant women world-wide, causing serious health problems and even death to their babies, yet this infection could be prevented by early testing and treatment, according to a study by international researchers published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

New Versita Open Access book title on history of diplomatic relations between the US and Hungary
This monograph portrays the role that the United States played in helping to achieve a successful launch of Hungarian financial reconstruction after 1924.

Married opposite-sex couples have better overall health than same-sex couples who live together
Same-sex couples who live together have worse health than married opposite-sex couples and similar health as opposite-sex couples who are living together (after adjusting for socioeconomic differences), according to a new study from researchers at Rice University.

Study finds small increase in incidence of advanced breast cancer among younger women
An analysis of breast cancer trends in the US finds a small but statistically significant increase in the incidence of advanced breast cancer for women 25 to 39 years of age, without a corresponding increase in older women, according to a study appearing in the Feb.

Police and firefighters at higher risk for mental disorders following traumatic events
New research suggests that exposure to diverse types of traumatic events among protective services workers is a risk factor for new onset of psychopathology and alcohol use disorders.

An atlas of the human heart is drawn using statistics
Researchers at Pompeu Fabra University have created a high resolution atlas of the heart with 3D images taken from 138 people.

Eat too much? Maybe it's in the blood
Bone marrow cells that produce brain-derived eurotrophic factor, known to affect regulation of food intake, travel to part of the hypothalamus in the brain where they
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