Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 25, 2013
New model predicts hospital readmission risk
Preventing avoidable readmissions could result in improved patient care and significant cost savings.

Scientists confirm first 2-headed bull shark
Scientists have confirmed the discovery of the first-ever, two-headed bull shark.

New lung cancer study takes page from Google's playbook
A new study shows that the same sort of mathematical model that Google uses to predict which websites people want to visit may help researchers predict how lung cancer spreads through the human body.

Geiger Gibson Program recognizes 8 emerging leaders at annual symposium
The Geiger Gibson Program in Community Health Policy at the George Washington University announces the selection of 8 emerging leaders in the field of health and community health care.

Higher soy intake prior to lung cancer diagnosis linked to longer survival in women
A study being published online March 25, 2013, in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, reports that Chinese women who consumed more soy before being diagnosed with lung cancer lived longer compared with those who consumed less soy.

Kidney sparing surgery underutilized for patients who need it most
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have released study results that show national treatment trends in the surgical management of patients with kidney disease.

Study finds data on experience-related outcomes limited in children's surgery
A review of the available medical literature suggests that data on experience-related outcomes in children's surgery are limited and vary widely in methodologic quality, according to a report published Online First by JAMA Pediatrics, a JAMA Network publication.

Psychology study shows distance plays key role in gun control arguments
New UT psychology study shows people are more supportive of gun control policy when elected officials base their arguments on broader statistics, rather than isolated incidents.

A paradox for young docs: New work-hour restrictions may increase, not decrease, errors
At hospitals around the US, young doctors work long hours as part of their residency training.

Endangered lemurs' complete genomes are sequenced and analyzed for conservation efforts
For the first time, the complete genomes of three separate populations of aye-ayes -- a type of lemur -- have been sequenced and analyzed in an effort to characterize patterns of genetic diversity and help guide conservation efforts for the species.

Cleverly designed vaccine blocks H5 avian influenza in models
Until now, most experimental vaccines against the highly lethal H5N1 avian influenza virus have lacked effectiveness.

Sexually abused or neglected adolescent girls at risk of becoming moms while still teenagers
Abused or neglected teenage girls become teen mothers at nearly five times the national rate of teen motherhood.

How school report cards can backfire
In the wake of President Obama's

Tearing down the technological 'Tower of Babel' along international borders
A recent experiment in communications between Canada and the US proved interoperable communications between the two countries will work.

Decreased water flow may be trade-off for more productive forest
As the need for carbon sequestration, biofuels, and other forest products increases, study suggests that there might be unintended consequences to enhancing ecosystems using fertilization.

Researchers decode biology of blood and iron disorders mapping out novel future therapies
Two studies led by investigators at Weill Cornell Medical College shed light on the molecular biology of three blood disorders, leading to novel strategies to treat these diseases.

46 gene sequencing test for cancer patients on the NHS
The first multi-gene DNA sequencing test that can help predict cancer patients' responses to treatment has been launched in the National Health Service, thanks to a partnership between scientists at the University of Oxford and Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust.

Women make better decisions than men
Women's abilities to make fair decisions when competing interests are at stake make them better corporate leaders, researchers have found.

New mechanism for long-term memory formation discovered
UC Irvine neurobiologists have found a novel molecular mechanism that helps trigger the formation of long-term memory.

Springer and the Basque Center for Applied Mathematics launch new book partnership
Springer and the Basque Center for Applied Mathematics will partner to publish BCAM SpringerBriefs.

5-year-olds who watch TV for 3+ hours a day more likely to be antisocial
Five year-olds who watch TV for three or more hours a day are increasingly likely to develop antisocial behaviours, such as fighting or stealing by the age of seven, indicates research published online in Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Smithsonian scientists use DNA to quickly unravel relationship between plants and insects
It can take years of direct observation for a researcher to fully understand the diets of a community of herbivorous insects in a tropical rain forest.

NSF grant boosts research on proteins that affect fertility
Infertility among men is a complex disorder that scientists are still trying to understand.

Gladstone investigator Shinya Yamanaka to receive 'Commitment to a Cure' award
Shinya Yamanaka, M.D., Ph.D., a senior investigator at the Gladstone Institutes, next month will receive the Essey Award for his

Researchers issue forecast for 'moderate' New England red tide in 2013
New England is expected to experience a

Relieving chronic pain
A new, implantable device for treating chronic pain passes an important safety test.

Gene therapy may aid failing hearts
In an animal study, researchers at the University of Washington show that it was possible to use gene therapy to boost heart muscle function.

Climate models are not good enough
Only a few climate models were able to reproduce the observed changes in extreme precipitation in China over the last 50 years.

You don't 'own' your own genes
Humans don't

Ephemeral vacuum particles induce speed-of-light fluctuations
Two forthcoming EPJ D papers challenge established wisdom about the nature of vacuum.

Carmustine decreases amyloid beta plaques
Long-term treatment by carmustine, a chemical relative of mustard gas and already used to treat some types of brain cancer, can decrease the amount of amyloid beta and number of amyloid plaques in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.

Sequencing tracks animal-to-human transmission of bacterial pathogens
Researchers have used whole genome sequencing to reveal if drug-resistant bacteria are transmitted from animals to humans in two disease outbreaks that occurred on different farms in Denmark.

Researchers developing antiviral drug to combat contagious norovirus
A Kansas State University-led team is researching ways to stop the spread of norovirus, a contagious stomach illness that infects one in 15 Americans each year.

Science of soot lands Hope Michelsen in Alameda County Women's Hall of Fame
Sandia National Laboratories scientist Hope Michelsen, who peers through atmospheric soot to learn about the air we breathe, has been named by the Alameda County Women's Hall of Fame as the 2013 Outstanding Woman in Science.

UW researchers discover the brain origins of variation in pathological anxiety
New findings from nonhuman primates suggest that an overactive core circuit in the brain, and its interaction with other specialized circuits, accounts for the variability in symptoms shown by patients with severe anxiety.

'Metascreen' forms ultra-thin invisibility cloak
Up until now, the invisibility cloaks put forward by scientists have been fairly bulky contraptions -- an obvious flaw for those interested in Harry Potter-style applications.

Brown University, affiliated hospitals strike IP agreements
Brown University's Technology Ventures Office will help manage and market select biomedical discoveries and inventions generated by researchers in the Lifespan heath care system.

Genetic alterations linked with bladder cancer risk, recurrence, progression, and patient survival
A new analysis has found that genetic alterations in a particular cellular pathway are linked with bladder cancer risk, recurrence, disease progression, and patient survival.

Developing our sense of smell
Caltech biologists have found that neural-crest stem cells--multipotent, migratory cells unique to vertebrates that give rise to facial bones, smooth muscle, and other structures--also play a key role in building the nose's olfactory sensory neurons, the only neurons that regenerate throughout adult life.

Research: Women over 40 still need effective contraception
Women reaching the age of 40 tend to be less vigilant about birth control because they think the risk of pregnancy is low -- or that birth control can cause health problems -- but a review of the evidence by a team that includes a Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island physician recently underscored the need to be vigilant about contraception even in perimenopause.

Too much choice leads to riskier decisions, new study finds
The more choices people have, the riskier the decisions they make, according to a new study which sheds light on how we behave when faced with large amounts of information.

Smokefree workplaces linked to smokefree homes in India
Adults in India are substantially more likely to abstain from smoking at home if they are prohibited from smoking at work, a new study has found.

How can we prepare better for emergencies?
Well designed and planned exercises are essential to ensure that the UK can respond effectively to emergencies of all kinds, according to research funded by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Scientists propose alternative method for the study of ions
Scientists at the Department of Physics of the University of Oulu have teamed up with scientists in France, Russia and Japan to propose a new experimental method for researching positively charged ions.

A tiny grain helps reveal the history of a rock
Researchers can use the mineral rutile to learn about rock types and their history.

Einstein study reveals new approach for stopping herpes infections
Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have discovered a novel strategy for preventing infections due to the highly common herpes simplex viruses, the microbes responsible for causing genital herpes (herpes simplex virus 2) and cold sores (herpes simplex virus 1).

How common is 'The John Next Door'?
While the media is replete with examples of

NCEAS research sheds light on achieving conservation's holy grail
Solutions that meet the broad, varied, and often competing priorities of conservation are difficult to come by.

Reversing blood and freshening it up
The blood of young and old people differs. In an article published recently in the scientific journal Blood, a research group at Lund University in Sweden explain how they have succeeded in rejuvenating the blood of mice by reversing, or re-programming, the stem cells that produce blood.

Exploring the cause of sudden unexplained death in epilepsy
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Franck Kalume and colleagues examined the cause of sudden unexplained death in a mouse model of Dravet syndrome.

Compulsory community treatment for mentally ill patients does not reduce rates of hospitalization
The controversial practice of discharging people under Community Treatment Orders after they have been involuntarily hospitalized due to mental health problems has no effect on the patients' likelihood of being subsequently hospitalized, compared to Section 17 leave -- an older and less restrictive type of supervised discharge.

Artifacts shed light on social networks of the past
The advent of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter have made us all more connected, but long-distance social networks existed long before the Internet.

The latest genomic studies of wheat sheds new light on crop adaptation and domestication
The latest genomic studies of wheat sheds new light on crop adaptation and domestication.

New urgency in battle against 'bound legs' disease
The harm done by konzo -- a disease overshadowed by the war and drought it tends to accompany -- goes beyond its devastating physical effects to impair children's memory, problem solving and other cognitive functions.

Peculiar parasitoid wasp found on rare sawfly developing in ferns
An Austrian amateur entomologist discovered a peculiar parasitoid wasp living on a rare sawfly, living inside ferns.

Businesses increase revenue with social media
Researchers at Aalto University, the University at Buffalo, and Texas A&M University have proven a link between customers' use of social media and higher revenue.

Hybrid ribbons a gift for powerful batteries
Ribbons of vanadium oxide and graphene become ultrafast charging and discharging electrodes for lithium-ion batteries in new research at Rice University.

Wang's technology may answer host of medical questions
In an engineering breakthrough, a Washington University in St. Louis biomedical researcher has discovered a way to use light and color to measure oxygen in individual red blood cells in real time.

Ash from refuse could become hydrogen gas
Every year, millions of tons of environmentally harmful ash is produced worldwide, and is mostly dumped in landfill sites or, in some countries, used as construction material.

Nouns before verbs?
Researchers are digging deeper into whether infants' ability to learn new words is shaped by the language being acquired.

Nottingham-Australia collaboration on environmental conservation of the future
The national parks, nature reserves and wetlands of the semi-arid wheatbelt of Western Australia with their rich diversity of flora and fauna are the backdrop for new research to improve the management of natural resources in the 21st century.

T-cell therapy eradicates an aggressive leukemia in 2 children
Two children with an aggressive form of childhood leukemia had a complete remission of their disease -- showing no evidence of cancer cells in their bodies -- after treatment with a novel cell therapy that reprogrammed their immune cells to rapidly multiply and destroy leukemia cells.

Compounds found that alter cell signaling, could lead to new breast cancer treatments
Using a broad spectrum of analytical tools, scientists from the Florida campus of the Scripps Research Institute have uncovered a class of novel compounds that can alter cell signaling activity, resulting in a variety of responses including a strong anti-inflammatory effect.

Storming the gates: UNC research probes how pancreatic cancers metastasize
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have discovered that a protein found in the cells surrounding pancreatic cancers play a role in the spread of the disease to other parts of the body.

Homeowner associations can support native species in suburban neighborhoods
Although it's known that construction of homes in suburban areas can have negative impacts on native plants and animals, a recent study led by University of Massachusetts Amherst ecologist Susannah Lerman suggests that well- managed residential development such as provided by homeowners associations can in fact support native wildlife.

Laser empties atoms from the inside out
An international team of plasma physicists has used one of the world's most powerful lasers to create highly unusual plasma composed of hollow atoms.

Hunger-spiking neurons could help control autoimmune diseases
Neurons that control hunger in the central nervous system also regulate immune cell functions, implicating eating behavior as a defense against infections and autoimmune disease development, Yale School of Medicine researchers have found in a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Using fluctuating wind power
This is about a new strategy for integrating renewable wind power into existing power grids.

Global companies beware: Rude customer treatment depends on culture
A new UBC study reveals that North American service workers are more likely to sabotage rude customers, while Chinese react by disengaging from customer service altogether.

Predictions of climate impacts on fisheries can be a mirage
In the early 1940s, California fishermen hauled in a historic bounty of sardine that set the backdrop for John Steinbeck's

Increased time to pregnancy linked to child's neurological development
Taking a long time to get pregnant may be linked to minor neurodevelopmental problems in the child, suggests a small study published online in the Fetal & Neonatal Edition of Archives of Disease in Childhood.

What a bunch of dodos!
The demise of the dodo is one of the better known bird extinctions in the world, but its sad fate was anticipated a thousand times over by its Pacific cousins.

Ghanaian pregnant women who sleep on back at increased risk of stillbirth
Pregnant women in Ghana who slept on their back (supine sleep) were at an increased risk of stillbirth compared to women who did not sleep on their back, according to new research led by a University of Michigan researcher.

An animal to feed your eco-car
Researchers at the University of Bergen and Uni Research have found that a certain type of tunicate -- Ascidiacea -- can be used as a renewable source of biofuel and fish food.

Mild cognitive impairment at Parkinson's disease diagnosis linked with higher risk for early dementia
Mild cognitive impairment at the time of Parkinson disease diagnosis appears to be associated with an increased risk for early dementia in a Norwegian study, according to a report published online first by JAMA Neurology, a JAMA Network publication.

RI Hospital researchers discover new strategy to effectively treat, prevent osteoarthritis
Rhode Island Hospital researchers have found that adding lubricin, a protein that our bodies naturally produce, to the fluid in our joints may reduce the risk of or even prevent osteoarthritis.

Study: Research reveals protective properties of influenza vaccines
Collaborating scientists from Nationwide Children's Hospital, Baylor Institute for Immunology Research, and Mount Sinai School of Medicine have identified an important mechanism for stimulating protective immune responses following seasonal influenza vaccinations.

Michigan hospitals national leaders in preventing common and costly urinary tract infections
Michigan hospitals take the lead in preventing catheter-associated UTIs.

Urban vegetation deters crime in Philadelphia
A new study of Philadelphia found that abundant vegetation, when well-maintained, can deter certain types of crime---particularly assault and robbery.

Feeling sick makes us less social online too
When it comes to posting on social media, there are few areas of our lives that are off limits.

Glass-blowers at a nano scale
Very much like a glass-blower, researchers at EPFL manage to shape the exit hole of a glass capillary and finely control its diameter between 200 nanometers and zero.

EARTH: Scientists reopen a lunar cold case
When Apollo 17 splashed down in the Pacific Ocean on Dec.

Kessler Foundation scientist receives National MS Society grant for new memory study
Nancy Chiaravalloti, Ph.D., was awarded a $43,494 grant to study the efficacy of a new cognitive treatment for memory loss in MS.

Youth with diabetes at greater risk following transition from pediatric to adult care
A new study found that young people with type 1 diabetes who had transitioned from pediatric to adult care were two and a half times more likely to have chronically high blood glucose levels, putting them at higher risk for heart attacks, strokes, blindness and kidney failure later in life.

Reducing smokers' exposure to cigarette smoke toxicants -- our first clinical study results
We have shown in our first clinical study of our novel prototype cigarettes that it is possible to reduce smokers' exposure to certain smoke toxicants.

New study analyzes the risk to endangered whales from ships in southern California
Researchers have identified areas off southern California with high numbers of whales and assessed their risk from potentially deadly collisions with commercial ship traffic in a study published in the scientific journal Conservation Biology.

Wake Forest researcher awarded NSF grant to develop novel flexible electronics
Advances in organic semiconductor technology could one day lead to video screens that bend like paper and electronics sewn into clothing.

Harvard's Wyss Institute awarded DARPA contract to further advance sepsis therapeutic device
The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University announced today that it was awarded a $9.25 million contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to further advance a blood-cleansing technology developed at the Institute with prior DARPA support, and to help accelerate its translation to humans as a new type of sepsis therapy.

Arguments in the home linked with babies' brain functioning
Being exposed to arguments between parents is associated with the way babies' brains process emotional tone of voice, according to a new study to be published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Reducing work hours for medical interns increases patient 'handoff' risks
Limiting the number of continuous hours worked by medical trainees failed to increase the amount of sleep each intern got per week, but dramatically increased the number of potentially dangerous handoffs of patients from one trainee to another, new research from Johns Hopkins suggests.

New book by Carnegie Mellon roboticist suggests humans brace themselves for robo-innovation
Robots already vacuum our floors, help dispose of bombs and are exploring Mars.

Other stomach microbiota modulate resistance to H. pylori-driven ulcers
Mice with different naturally occurring stomach bacteria have distinct susceptibilities to disease caused by Helicobacter pylori, the well-known cause of ulcers in humans, according to a study published online ahead of print in the journal Infection and Immunity.

T-cell therapy eradicates an aggressive leukemia in 2 children
Two children with an aggressive form of childhood leukemia had a complete remission of their disease -- showing no evidence of cancer cells in their bodies -- after treatment with a novel cell therapy that reprogrammed their immune cells to rapidly multiply and destroy leukemia cells.

Decoding the genetic history of the Texas longhorn
Researchers analyzed almost 50,000 genetic markers from 58 cattle breeds.

Ultra-precision positioning
A novel rotary actuator provides greater torque, accuracy, and speed.

Global scientific experts convene in Cape Town to report on progress toward tuberculosis vaccines
At a time of growing global concern about the rising level of drug-resistant strains of tuberculosis in South Africa and worldwide, the world's top TB vaccine experts are meeting this week, the first time this scientific forum has been held in Africa, where they will present new research aimed at advancing development of vaccines against the deadly airborne disease.

Committee on Publication Ethics launches ethical guidelines for peer reviewers
Scholarly journals need to ensure that their peer reviewers act constructively, respect confidentiality and avoid conflicts of interests, according to new guidelines launched by the Committee on Publication Ethics.

Measuring the magnetism of antimatter
In a breakthrough that could one day yield important clues about the nature of matter itself, a team of Harvard scientists have succeeding in measuring the magnetic charge of single particles of matter and antimatter more accurately than ever before.

Registered Nurses Association gives awards to 2 St. Michael's nursing leaders
The Registered Nurses Association of Ontario has recognized two St.

Office workers carry biomarker of potentially harmful flame retardant, study finds
A flame retardant removed from children's pajamas 30 years ago but now used in polyurethane foam is prevalent in office environments, especially in older buildings, where urine testing of workers turned up widespread evidence of its biomarker, a new study led by Boston University School of Public Health researchers has found.

UEA researchers make breakthrough in race to create 'bio-batteries'
Scientists at the University of East Anglia have made an important breakthrough in the quest to generate clean electricity from bacteria.

Lymphatic vasculature: A cholesterol removal system
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, researchers led by Gwendalyn Randolph and colleagues at Washington University in St.

Museum exhibit developed at Harvard SEAS puts evolution at visitors' fingertips
Visitors to the Harvard Museum of Natural History in Cambridge, Mass., and three other US museums can experience and interact with a computerized tabletop exhibit that teaches them about evolution and the history of life on Earth.

Monoclonal antibody targets, kills leukemia cells
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego Moores Cancer Center have identified a humanized monoclonal antibody that targets and directly kills chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells.

Mathematical butterflies provide insight into how insects fly
Researchers have developed sophisticated numerical simulations of a butterfly's forward flight.

WSU responding to US demand for quinoa
The grain-like seed crop quinoa has grown in popularity and likely will be grown more widely in the Pacific Northwest, thanks to a $1.6 million US Department of Agriculture grant recently awarded to Washington State University researchers.

Nanoparticles show promise as inexpensive, durable and effective scintillators
A team of industrial and university researchers has shown that nanoparticles can be successfully incorporated into scintillation devices capable of detecting and measuring a wide energy range of X-rays and gamma rays.

Requests for lower-back MRIs often unnecessary: Alberta & Ontario medical research
More than half of lower-back MRIs ordered at two Canadian hospitals were either inappropriate or of questionable value for patients.

Hand surgery enhances life quality for those with spinal cord injuries
Reconstructive hand surgery can dramatically enhance the life quality and independence of those paralyzed by a cervical spinal cord injury.

New study suggests that same-sex parents are judged more harshly than heterosexual parents
Is there a double standard for gay parents? A new study published this month by a Binghamton University research team suggests that gay parents are being judged more harshly than straight parents.

Auto accidents often occur on low-speed roads, but a high-speed trip encourages reluctant bucklers
Virginia Tech researchers used naturalistic driving data to study variations in seatbelt use.

Could that cold sore increase your risk of memory problems?
The virus that causes cold sores, along with other viral or bacterial infections, may be associated with cognitive problems, according to a new study published in the March 26, 2013, print issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. 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