Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 15, 2013
Smartphone way to lose weight
Forget fad diets and hypnotherapy; your smartphone could be a key tool to losing those post-Easter egg pounds, according to scientists at the University of Leeds, UK.

Marine algae show resilience to carbon dioxide emissions
A type of marine algae could become bigger as increasing carbon dioxide emissions are absorbed by the oceans, according to research led by scientists based at the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton.

Routine screening and counselling for partner violence in health-care settings does not improve women's quality of life
New research published Online First in The Lancet confirms that routine intimate partner violence screening and counselling in primary-care settings does not improve women's quality of life, but does help reduce depressive symptoms.

UNC Charlotte researcher leads effort to forecast optimal energy investments
A Department of Energy SunShot award will fund a team that will use modeling based on the principles of ecological dynamics to forecast optimal investments for the array of solar energy technologies that are emerging.

Researchers untangle molecular pathology of giant axonal neuropathy
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Robert Goldman and colleagues at Northwestern University uncover how mutations in gigaxonin contribute to neural aggregation.

Stanford researchers turn skin cells directly into the cells that insulate neurons
Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have succeeded in transforming skin cells directly into oligodendrocyte precursor cells, the cells that wrap nerve cells in the insulating myelin sheaths that help nerve signals propagate.

Increased risk of cardiovascular disease for pregnant women with high blood pressure
Women with high blood pressure during pregnancy have an increased risk of high blood pressure even 40 years after maternity, which leads in turn to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

Fainting may run in families while triggers may not
New research suggests that fainting may be genetic and, in some families, only one gene may be responsible.

Fish prone to melanoma get DNA decoded
Scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and elsewhere have decoded the genome of the platyfish, a cousin of the guppy and a popular choice for home aquariums.

JCI early table of contents for April 15, 2013
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, April 15, 2013, in the JCI: Researchers untangle molecular pathology of giant axonal neuropathy; Resistance is futile: researchers identify gene that mediates cisplatin resistance in ovarian cancer; and many more.

TEDMEDLive comes to Bristol
Could the quantum computing revolution transform drug development, are there new approaches for improving sleep and do people benefit from being diagnosed with early-stage dementia?

NYU researchers offer 12 principles for effective contraceptive counseling
New research by Professor James Jaccard, Ph.D., and Nicole Levitz, M.P.H., of the New York University Silver School of Social Work and its Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health has led them to suggest 12 evidence-based principles that can be used to improve contraceptive counseling of adolescents in US health care clinics, doctor's offices, and health service organizations.

ORNL leading study focused on afterlife of electric vehicle batteries
Once they've finished powering electric vehicles for hundreds of thousands of miles, it may not be the end of the road for automotive batteries, which researchers believe can provide continued benefits for consumers, automakers and the environment.

Gene-expression signature may signify risk for recurrence, metastasis in prostate cancer
A team led by Massachusetts General Hospital researchers has identified a genetic signature that appears to reflect the risk of tumor recurrence or spread in men surgically treated for prostate cancer.

Research finds invasive kudzu bugs may pose greater threat than previously thought
The invasive kudzu bug has the potential to be a major agricultural pest, causing significant damage to economically important soybean crops.

UCLA researchers find nanodiamonds could improve effectiveness of breast cancer treatment
Researchers at the UCLA School of Dentistry and their collaborators have developed a new drug delivery system based on nanodiamonds to effectively delivery cancer chemotherapy.

Picture this: A dramatic drop in wrong patient errors
Adding a photo of a face to X-ray images can reduce

Study reveals seasonal patterns of tropical rainfall changes from global warming
Projections of rainfall changes from global warming have been very uncertain because scientists could not determine how two different mechanisms will impact rainfall.

Concert cacophony: Short-term hearing loss protective, not damaging
Contrary to conventional wisdom, short-term hearing loss after sustained exposure to loud noise does not reflect damage to our hearing: Instead, it is the body's way to cope.

C-peptide levels linked to death and heart disease in nondiabetic adults
High blood levels of the serum C-peptide are linked to heart disease and death in people without diabetes, according to a large study published in CMAJ.

Drinking cup of beetroot juice daily may help lower blood pressure
Blood pressure decreased about 10 mm Hg in high blood pressure patients who drank a cup of beetroot juice daily.

Inter-American Network of Science Academies celebrates women scientists -- April 17 event
The National Academy of Sciences will host the US book release of Women Scientists in the Americas: Their Inspiring Stories from the Inter-American Network of Academies of Science.

Resistance is futile: Researchers identify gene that mediates cisplatin resistance in ovarian cancer
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Anil Sood and colleagues at M.D.

BGI Health forms partnership with ACIBADEM hospital on genetic disease testing
BGI Health and ACIBADEM Healthcare Group Genetic Diagnostic Center in cooperation with Genoks Company Molecular Biology, signed a Memorandum of Understanding for jointly introducing the advanced genetic testing technologies to Turkey and improving Turkish reproductive healthcare.

Autism model in mice linked with genetics
For the first time, researchers have linked autism in a mouse model of the disease with abnormalities in specific regions of the animals' chromosomes.

Photons run out of loopholes
A team led by the Austrian physicist Anton Zeilinger has now carried out an experiment with photons, in which they have closed an important loophole.

National study of scientist-educators reveals surprises in training, funding
The first large-scale study of US science faculty with education specialties concludes that their training and funding vary considerably depending on their college or university.

Resorts nationwide go sun smart
Researchers led by an SDSU professor Peter Andersen, have teamed up with resorts nationwide for Go Sun Smart, which is funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Following a Western style diet may lead to greater risk of premature death
Data from a new study of British adults suggest that adherence to a

Preventing cognitive decline in healthy seniors
Cognitive training exercises -- or mental exercise -- may help prevent cognitive decline in healthy older adults, while evidence for the benefits of pharmacologic substances and exercise is weak, outlines a review published in CMAJ.

'Comparison shopping' by doctors saves money
Research at Johns Hopkins suggests that if hospitals would show physicians the price of some diagnostic laboratory tests at the time the tests are ordered, doctors would order substantially fewer of them or search for lower-priced alternatives.

VCU Medical Center first in Virginia to implant telescope for macular degeneration
Physicians at the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center have become the first in Virginia to successfully implant a telescope in a patient's eye to treat macular degeneration.

Bad decisions arise from faulty information, not faulty brain circuits
Princeton University researchers have found that it might be the information rather than the brain's decision-making process that is to blame.

A shortcut to timely, cost-effective interventions for HIV
South Africa is home to the largest HIV epidemic in the world.

Excess vitamin E intake not a health concern
Despite concerns that have been expressed about possible health risks from high intake of vitamin E, a new review concludes that biological mechanisms exist to routinely eliminate excess levels of the vitamin, and they make it almost impossible to take a harmful amount.

System allows multitasking runners to read on a treadmill
A new innovation allows treadmill users to work their bodies and brains at the same time.

Without adequate funding, deadly wheat disease could threaten global food supplies
Disease-resistant wheat developed over the past half century helped ensure steady world food supplies, but a global team led by researchers from the University of Minnesota warns in a new paper that without increased financial support for disease resistance research, new strains of a deadly fungal disease could leave millions without affordable access to food.

Surprising findings on hydrogen production in green algae
New research results from Uppsala University, Sweden, instil hope of efficient hydrogen production with green algae being possible in the future, despite the prevailing skepticism based on previous research.

Lack of consensus among health care providers in identifying sepsis poses threat to treatment
Though the toll of sepsis is known to be enormous -- costing the US health care system $24.3 billion each year, and is the nation's third-leading killer -- the true magnitude of incidence of and death from the illness remains unknown.

Plant protein puzzle solved
Researchers from North Carolina State University believe they have solved a puzzle that has long vexed science.

Key bone marrow protein identified as potential new leukemia treatment target
A new study on how the progression of acute lymphocytic leukemia is influenced by the bone marrow environment has demonstrated for the first time that targeting a specialized protein known as osteopontin may be an effective strategy to increase the efficacy of chemotherapy in patients with this type of blood cancer.

Getting to the root of horseradish root problems
Approximately 55 percent of the horseradish produced in the United States is grown in the Collinsville, Ill., area, the self-proclaimed

UCLA scientist discover new kidney cancer subtypes
UCLA Researchers have classified kidney cancer into several unique subtypes, a finding that will help physicians tailor treatment to individual patients.

Penn study shows a quarter of patients discharged from hospitals return to ERs within 30 days
Nearly one quarter of patients may return to the emergency department within 30 days of being discharged from a hospitalization, according to researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and Boston University School of Medicine.

History of Life, 5th Edition
Wiley is pleased to announce the publication of the 5th Edition of History of Life, an updated, full color text designed for students and anyone with an interest in the history of life on our planet.

Tiny colorful snails are in danger of extinction with vanishing limestone ecosystems
Three new species of brightly colored carnivorous snails have been described from north and northeastern Thailand, as a part of an extensive study of the terrestrial snails family Streptaxidae.

Cancer cell metabolism kills
Adenosine-5'-triphosphate (ATP) is the main energy source for all forms of work inside our cells.

Nonsurgical treatment turns back the clock, shrinks enlarged prostate
Men with a common condition that causes frequent nighttime trips to the bathroom can get relief with a minimally invasive treatment that shrinks the prostate, suggests a study being presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 38th Annual Scientific Meeting in New Orleans.

UCLA engineers craft new material for high-performing 'supercapacitors'
Taking a significant step toward improving the power delivery of systems ranging from urban electrical grids to regenerative braking in hybrid vehicles, researchers at the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have synthesized a material that shows high capability for both the rapid storage and release of energy.

Shifts in physiological mechanisms let male bats balance the need to feed and the urge to breed
A forthcoming article in Physiological and Biochemical Zoology reveals shifts in the mechanisms bats use to regulate metabolism throughout their seasonal activity period.

Drug could improve working memory of people with autism, study finds
University of Missouri investigators found that propranolol, a drug commonly used to treat high blood pressure, anxiety and panic, improves the working memory performance of individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for April 16, 2013, issue
Below is information about articles being published in the Apr.

Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics honored for achievements
The Nebraska Conference for Undergraduate Women in Mathematics (NCUWM) has been chosen to receive the

Strong urban cores promote socializing in the city
Opportunities for social interactions -- which are important for individual, economic and social well-being -- are hampered in cities that are decentralized, even more than by fragmented urban layouts and long commutes, a study from the University of Utah shows.

Scientists learn what makes nerve cells so strong
Axons, the long, cable-like projections on neurons, are made stronger by a unique modification of the common molecular building block of the cell skeleton.

Taste of beer, without effect from alcohol, triggers dopamine release in the brain
The taste of beer, without any effect from alcohol itself, can trigger dopamine release in the brain, which is associated with drinking and other drugs of abuse, according to Indiana University School of Medicine researchers.

ECT can restore quality of life for some severely depressed patients
Patients whose severe depression goes into remission for six months following electroconvulsive therapy report a quality of life similar to that of healthy individuals, researchers say.

Testing the water -- urine test identifies babies at most risk of necrotizing enterocolitis
Abnormal gut bacteria in premature babies can be found days before the onset of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) finds new research in BioMed Central's open access journal Microbiome.

Gene signature can predict who will survive chemotherapy
An eight gene

Paper: Sharing individual health information could improve care and reduce costs for all
Information collected from individual patients at doctor's office and hospital visits could be used to improve health care and reduce costs on a national scale, according to a discussion paper released by the Institute of Medicine.

Can new plasma-based biomaterials speed healing of injured tissues?
The potential to use bioactive plasma-based biomaterials to enhance the healing of difficult-to-treat connective tissue injuries affecting cartilage, tendons, and ligaments is described in a new article in Disruptive Science and Technology.

UT Arlington Math Department wins national honor for exemplary Ph.D. program
The American Mathematical Society has named The University of Texas at Arlington the winner of its 2013 AMS Award for an Exemplary Program or Achievement in a Mathematics Department.

In sex, happiness hinges on keeping up with the Joneses, CU-Boulder study finds
In sex, happiness hinges on keeping up with the Joneses, CU-Boulder study finds.

Penn Medicine researcher awarded prestigious Grand Prix Scientifique by the Institut de France
Garret FitzGerald M.D., FRS, chairman of the Pharmacology Department and director of the Institute for Translational Medicine and Therapeutics, Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, has been awarded the 2013 Grand Prix Scientifique by the Institut de France.

No evidence drugs, vitamins, supplements help prevent cognitive decline in healthy older adults
A review of published research has found no evidence that drugs, herbal products or vitamin supplements help prevent cognitive decline in healthy older adults.

Teachers' assessments not always conducive to fair education
Teachers' assessments of pupils' literacy can vary significantly, even for pupils with similar test scores.

Our futures look bright -- Because we reject the possibility that bad things will happen
People believe they'll be happy in the future, even when they imagine the many bad things that could happen, because they discount the possibility that those bad things will actually occur, according to a new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

La Jolla Institute's surprising finding could alter the face of dengue vaccine development
As efforts to create a strong and effective vaccine for the dreaded dengue virus continue to hit snags, a new study from researchers at the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology offers surprising evidence that suggests the need for a revamped approach to dengue vaccine design.

An important discovery in breast cancer by IRCM researchers
A team of researchers at the IRCM, led by Dr.

Groundbreaking study to transform service users' involvement in mental health care
A groundbreaking study could help to revolutionise the way in which mental health service users and their carers plan their care.

Research sheds new light on traumatic brain injuries
A new paper by researchers at the University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, appearing in the Journal of Neuroscience, offers the latest information concerning a

Mammogram tool improves some breast cancer detection but also increases false alarms
A costly and widely used mammography add-on increases detection of noninvasive and early-stage invasive breast cancer but also makes more mistakes than mammography alone, researchers from UC Davis and the University of Washington have found.

High glucose levels could impair ferroelectricity in body's connective tissues
New research suggests that more sugar in the body could damage the elastic proteins that help us breathe and pump blood.

Cyclone Imelda's eye opens and closes for NASA's Aqua satellite
Cyclone Imelda reached hurricane strength on April 14 and its eye

Training the brain to improve on new tasks
A brain-training task that increases the number of items an individual can remember over a short period of time may boost performance in other problem-solving tasks by enhancing communication between different brain areas.

High heart rate at rest signals higher risk of death even in fit healthy people
A high heart rate (pulse) at rest is linked to a higher risk of death even in physically fit, healthy people, suggests research published online in the journal Heart.

England's smoking ban linked to annual 5 percent drop in emergency admissions for asthma
Emergency admissions for asthma among adults fell by just under five percent in each of the first three years after the ban on smoking in public places was introduced in England, reveals the largest study of its kind, published online in Thorax.

Laser liposuction melts fat, results in tighter skin
A new, minimally invasive treatment that uses lasers to melt fat could replace the

Cholesterol increases risk of Alzheimer's and heart disease
Using insights gained from studying two much rarer disorders, Down Syndrome and Niemann Pick-C disease, researchers at the Linda Crnic Institute for Down Syndrome and the Department of Neurology of the University of Colorado School of Medicine found that cholesterol wreaks havoc on the orderly process of cell division, leading to defective daughter cells throughout the body.

Brain development is guided by junk DNA that isn't really junk
Specific DNA once dismissed as junk plays an important role in brain development and might be involved in several devastating neurological diseases, UC San Francisco scientists have found.

The bigger the group, the smaller the chance of interracial friendship
The larger the group, the smaller the chance of forming interracial friendships, a new University of Michigan study shows.

Handbook of Loss Prevention Engineering, 2 Volume Set
Wiley is pleased to announce the publication of the only one-stop source for loss prevention principles, policies, practices, programs and methodology.

Musicians who learn a new melody demonstrate enhanced skill after a night's sleep
A new study examining how the brain learns and retains motor skills provides insight into musical skill.

Genetic variation contributes to pulmonary fibrosis risk
A newly published study of patients with pulmonary fibrosis has discovered multiple genetic variations that should help with future efforts to treat the disease.

Research aims to settle debate over origin of Yellowstone volcano
A debate among scientists about the geologic formation of the supervolcano encompassing the region around Yellowstone National Park has taken a major step forward, thanks to new evidence provided by a team of international researchers led by University of Rhode Island Professor Christopher Kincaid.

Peihua Jiang receives Ajinomoto Award for Young Investigators in Gustation from AChemS
Monell Center molecular neurobiologist Peihua Jiang, Ph.D., is the 2013 recipient of the Ajinomoto Award for Young Investigators in Gustation, an annual award presented by the Association for Chemoreception Sciences to an exceptional junior scientist who is a rising leader in the field of gustation.

Homosexuality has become an image of modernity in Denmark
New research from the University of Copenhagen shows how public opinion on homosexuality has changed dramatically over the past 25 years.

Stenting dramatically improves treatment access for dialysis patients
Kidney failure patients on dialysis derive long-term benefit from the minimally invasive placement of a stent that improves the function of dialysis access grafts, according to 12-month trial results being presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 38th Annual Scientific Meeting in New Orleans.

Math Department at University of Texas Arlington receives AMS national award
The Mathematics Department at the University of Texas at Arlington is the 2013 recipient of the AMS Award for an Exemplary Program or Achievement in a Mathematics Department, the American Mathematical Society announced today.

Advanced learning through negotiations
In the modern knowledge society, pupils and students are expected to acquire increasingly advanced knowledge and skills.

Vitamin D may reduce risk of uterine fibroids, according to NIH study
Women who had sufficient amounts of vitamin D were 32 percent less likely to develop fibroids than women with insufficient vitamin D, according to a study from researchers at the National Institutes of Health.

Fires in Nepal
Agricultural fires are set all over the world at different times to prepare the soil for the planting of new crops.

Melanoma Research Alliance awards $9.6 million in research grants
The Melanoma Research Alliance, the largest private funder of melanoma research, today announced grant awards exceeding $9.6 million to 49 scientists at leading academic institutions around the world for investigating new treatments and cures for melanoma.

Leopoldina strengthens cooperation with French national academy
The German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and the French Académie des sciences are set to collaborate even more closely in future.

Patients go undercover to record encounters with doctors
A UIC study finds health outcomes improve when physicians individualize care and take their patients' life circumstances into account.

Leicester scientists organize groundbreaking Saturn observational campaign
The Hubble Space Telescope, Cassini, Keck Observatory, VLT and IRTF are to be used in month-long observation of Saturn's auroras -- coordinated by University of Leicester.

Standard CT protocol for trauma patients leads to overutilization of imaging
It is unnecessary to scan trauma patients based on a non-focused standard trauma CT protocol, if the patient is transferred for care after already undergoing a focused CT examination based on the patient's history and physical examination, a new study shows.

Researchers discover biomarker for devastating intestinal disease found in early preterm infants
Researchers have discovered a biomarker that may help prevent a devastating intestinal disease that occurs in one of every 10 early preterm infants. 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