Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 16, 2013
Survived cancer? Now look out for cardiovascular risks
New research from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center finds that CVD risk factors may be overlooked during survivorship care.

Cell-permeable peptide shows promise for controlling cardiovascular disease
Atherosclerosis -- sometimes called

Lawrence Livermore scientists discover new materials to capture methane
Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and UC Berkeley and have discovered new materials to capture methane, the second highest concentration greenhouse gas emitted into the atmosphere.

Experiencing existential dread? Tylenol may do the trick
Thinking about death can cause us to feel a sort of existential angst that isn't attributable to a specific source.

Physician entrepreneurs are key contributors to new medical devices
Startup companies founded by physician entrepreneurs are an important source of patents used in developing innovative new medical devices, suggests a study in the May issue of Medical Care.

Biodiversity crisis: The impacts of socio-economic pressures on natural floras and faunas
A new study on extinction risk has shown that proportions of plant and animal species being classified as threatened on national Red Lists are more closely related to socioeconomic pressure levels from the beginning than from the end of the 20th century.

Society of Neurological Surgeons hosts highly successful boot camp courses
In July 2010, the Society of Neurological Surgeons initiated nationwide boot camp courses designed to teach incoming postgraduate Year One trainees fundamental skills in neurosurgery.

New material gets itself into shape
Inspired by plant components that respond to external stimuli, material scientists from ETH Zurich have devised a new method for producing composite materials from a variety of materials that adopt a pre-programmed shape autonomously.

Impact of portion size on overeating is hard to overcome
People given large servings of food eat more than those given smaller servings, even after they have been taught about the impact of portion size on consumption, research from the University of New South Wales shows.

Transcription factors regulating blood oxygen linked to melanoma metastases
Researchers at the University of North Carolina have discovered that transcription factors regulating the levels of oxygen in the blood also play a role in the spread of the skin cancer melanoma.

Migraines in childhood and adolescence associated with having colic as an infant
In a study including children and adolescents six to 18 years of age, those who have experienced migraine headaches were more likely to have had colic as an infant, according to a study in the April 17 issue of JAMA.

Aerobic exercise may protect cognitive abilities of heavy drinkers, says CU-Boulder study
Aerobic exercise may help prevent and perhaps even reverse some of the brain damage associated with heavy alcohol consumption, according to a new University of Colorado Boulder study.

Stanford scientists pinpoint brain's area for numeral recognition
Scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine have determined the precise anatomical coordinates of a brain

How does acupuncture work? The science behind the therapy explored
A special issue of Medical Acupuncture presents a series of articles by authors from around the world who provide diverse and insightful perspectives on the science and physiologic responses underlying medical acupuncture.

Conference to highlight latest in postharvest pest control
Recent developments in postharvest disease control will be highlighted at the 35th annual Citrus Postharvest Pest Control conference sponsored by University of California, Riverside Extension, April 23 and 24, in Santa Barbara.

Liverpool Bay sediment discovery could save millions
New research tracking the movement of dredged sediment around Liverpool Bay could save millions of pounds, according to scientists at the National Oceanography Centre in Liverpool.

Resurgence of endangered deer in Patagonian 'Eden' highlights conservation success
New research shows that collaborative approaches to conservation can give hope to endangered species such as Chilean national icon the Huemul deer.

Prophylactic sodium bicarbonate infusion and acute kidney injury after open heart surgery
Contrary to the positive findings of a previous pilot study, administration of a sodium bicarbonate-based infusion to induce urinary alkalinization during and after surgery does not reduce the incidence of acute kidney injury and may even cause harm in patients undergoing open heart surgery.

Plasma device developed at MU could revolutionize energy generation and storage
University of Missouri engineer Randy Curry and his team have developed a method of creating and controlling plasma that could revolutionize American energy generation and storage.

Aerobic exercise may alleviate some of the white-matter damage caused by heavy drinking
Aerobic exercise can slow cognitive decline, and decrease negative neural changes linked to aging and disease.

Experiment shows why some stress is good for you
Chronic stress is known to cause major health problems, yet acute stress can be good for you.

Oregon Biodiversity Information Center wins 2013 Natureserve Network Collaboration Award
The Institute for Natural Resources' Oregon Biodiversity Information Center (ORBIC) received the 2013 Network Collaboration Award last night at the NatureServe network's annual Biodiversity Without Boundaries conference in Baltimore.

Parents can help their children avoid alcohol pitfalls during transition from high school to college
The transition from high school to college is a particularly vulnerable time for alcohol experimentation.

PPP meets mental health needs in northern Uganda
A partnership involving the public and private sector successfully addressed the mental health needs of people in the post-conflict regions of northern Uganda and could be used as a model in other post-conflict settings, according to a Health In Action article by Ugandan and US researchers published in this week's PLOS Medicine as part of an ongoing series on Global Mental Health Practice.

Dying supergiant stars implicated in hours-long gamma-ray bursts
Three unusually long-lasting stellar explosions discovered by NASA's Swift satellite represent a previously unrecognized class of gamma-ray bursts.

Natural Heritage New Mexico wins 2013 NatureServe Network Conservation Impact Award
Natural Heritage New Mexico (NHNM) received the 2013 Conservation Impact Award last night at the NatureServe network's annual Biodiversity Without Boundaries conference in Baltimore.

For the very first time, 2 spacecraft will fly in formation with millimeter precision
Spanish industry is leading the Proba-3 mission, a world first in precise formation flying.

Haiti cholera mutations could lead to more severe disease
The cholera strain that transferred to Haiti in 2010 has multiple toxin gene mutations that may account for the severity of disease and is evolving to be more like an 1800s version of cholera.

Security holes in smartphone apps
Popular texting, messaging and microblog apps developed for the Android smartphone have security flaws that could expose private information or allow forged fraudulent messages to be posted, according to researchers at UC Davis.

System patented for building inflatable hydraulic dams, easy to assemble and disassemble
University of Granada researchers have designed a technique for assembling and dismantling a hydraulic dam in a few hours, with no specialized machinery and minimizing environmental harm.

NYU Nursing receives $6.7M NIH grant to continue the center for drug use and HIV research
NYU College of Nursing's Dr. Sherry Deren, Director of the Center for Drug Use and HIV Research (CDUHR), received a five-year, $6.7 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health for continued funding (for years 16-20) of the CDUHR.

North Carolina Natural Heritage Program earns 2013 Award for Science and Technical Achievement
The North Carolina Natural Heritage Program (NCNHP) received the 2013 Scientific and Technical Advancement Award last night at the NatureServe network's annual Biodiversity Without Boundaries conference in Baltimore.

Memory, the adolescent brain and lying: The limits of neuroscientific evidence in the law
Brain scans are increasingly able to reveal whether you believe you remember some person or event in your life.

Routine EKG finding could signal serious heart problem
A common test that records the heart's electrical activity could predict potentially serious cardiovascular illness, according to a UC San Francisco-led study.

Anxious about life? Tylenol may do the trick
Researchers have found a new potential use for the over-the-counter pain drug Tylenol.

Negative fathering plus barroom drinking are a dangerous mix, lead to aggression
A new study examines the role of the father-son relationship in male-to-male alcohol-related aggression (MMARA).

Stimulating the brain blunts cigarette craving
Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable deaths globally.

Layered '2-D nanocrystals' promising new semiconductor
Researchers are developing a new type of semiconductor technology for future computers and electronics based on

New study finds digoxin safe despite recent reports
A study published today in the European Heart Journal found no evidence that digoxin increases mortality in patients with atrial fibrillation, the opposite of results just published by another group in the same journal analyzing the same data.

Bed of needles
A parasitic worm may hold the answer to keeping skin grafts firmly in place over wounds.

NREL and Stanford team up on peel-and-stick solar cells
It may be possible soon to charge cell phones, change the tint on windows, or power small toys with peel-and-stick versions of solar cells, thanks to a partnership between Stanford University and the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Patients with surgical complications provide greater hospital profit-margins
Privately insured surgical patients with a complication provided hospitals with a 330 percent higher profit margin than those without a complication, report researchers from Ariadne Labs, a joint center for health system innovation at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard School of Public Health, Boston Consulting Group, Texas Health Resources, and Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.

Virginia Tech research team creates potential food source from non-food plants
A team of Virginia Tech researchers has succeeded in transforming cellulose into starch, a process that has the potential to provide a previously untapped nutrient source from plants not traditionally thought of as food crops.

NASA's Wind mission encounters 'SLAMS' waves
To tease out what happens at that boundary of the magnetosphere and to better understand how radiation and energy from the sun can cross it and move closer to Earth, NASA launches spacecraft into this region to observe the changing conditions.

Outcomes for treating heart failure with cell therapy, high-dose ultrasound
Treatment that consisted of shock wave (procedure using high-dose ultrasound)-mediated preconditioning of the target heart tissue prior to administration of bone marrow-derived mononuclear cells was associated with significant, albeit modest improvement in left ventricular ejection fraction (a measure of how well the left ventricle of the heart pumps with each contraction) after four months in patients with chronic postinfarction heart failure.

Softening steel problem expands computer model applications
Sandia National Laboratories worked with the National Nuclear Security Administration's Kansas City Plant on the rapid design of an annealing process to soften stainless steel tubing.

Researchers devise X-ray approach to track surgical devices, minimize radiation exposure
Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have developed a new tool to help surgeons use X-rays to track devices used in

Wild parent spawns super salt-tolerant rice
Farmers are set to reclaim salt-ravaged land thanks to a single rice plant born of two unlikely parents that is spawning a new generation of rice that has double the salinity tolerance of other rice.

Differences in staging and treatment likely to be behind UK's low bowel cancer survival
Incomplete diagnostic investigation and failure to get the best treatment are the most likely reasons why survival for bowel cancer patients is lower in the UK than in other comparable countries, according to new research led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

How smart are your clothes?
From corsets to caftans, we have seen dramatic changes in popular style over the past 100 years.

NREL survey shows dramatic improvement in B100 biodiesel quality
The latest national survey of 100 percent biodiesel

Catch me if you can: 2 new species of moth from the Russian Far East
Showing a range of peculiar habits and difficult to be discovered and collected, Ypsolophid moths present an exciting catch for scientists.

Building a better capacitor with custom nanorods
A new process for growing forests of manganese dioxide nanorods may lead to the next generation of high-performance capacitors.

Tobacco companies keep people smoking despite UK cigarette tax increases
The tobacco industry keeps the price of its cheapest cigarettes virtually static despite annual increases in tobacco taxes, circumventing the United Kingdom's public health policy to reduce smoking through higher prices.

Common pregnancy conditions risk future diabetes
Two common conditions in pregnancy may be risk factors for future diabetes according to a Canadian study of over one million women published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

BGI hosts its '2nd International Conference on Genomics in the Americas'
BGI Hosts its 2nd International Conference on Genomics in the Americas

Better coordination necessary to reduce hospital readmission rates
Achieving widespread reductions in preventable hospital readmissions among Medicare beneficiaries may take longer than many health care professionals originally anticipated, according to researchers at Penn State, the Weill Cornell Medical College and the University of Pennsylvania.

Genetic markers linked to the development of lymphedema in breast cancer survivors
A new UCSF study has found a clear association between certain genes and the development of lymphedema, a painful and chronic condition that often occurs after breast cancer surgery and some other cancer treatments.

Fun activities can improve language learning, Nottingham academics reveal
Playing simple games using words and pictures can help people to learn a new language with greater ease, researchers from The University of Nottingham have shown.

Molecular signaling in early placenta formation gives clues to causes of pregnancy complications
Understanding the molecular control of placenta formation, the organ which enables fetal growth, is critical in diagnosing and treating related pregnancy complications.

Don't even talk about it: New book aims to break taboo over industrial policy in US
A new book co-written by a UCLA professor calls for a complete re-thinking of America's Industrial Policy.

Circumcision alters penis microbiome, could explain HIV protection
Circumcision drastically alters the microbiome of the penis, changes that could explain why circumcision offers protection against HIV and other viral infections.

Social media can support healthiness of older people
The use of social media by older people can offer valuable additional support in cases of sickness and diseases, new research from the University of Luxembourg has shown.

Methods to repair kidney cells, assess kidney function on the horizon
Researchers may have found a way to block kidney-destroying inflammation and help damaged kidney cells recover.

College admission questions rarely identify criminal behavior
A new study shows that neither criminal background checks nor pre-admission screening questions accurately predict students likely to commit crime on college campuses.

Gene study helps understand pulmonary fibrosis
A study of the genomes of more than 1,500 patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis found multiple genetic associations with the disease, including one variant in a gene called TOLLIP that was linked to an increase in the risk of death.

Medications used to treat rheumatoid arthritis may affect abortion rate in women
A new study published in the American College of Rheumatology journal, Arthritis Care & Research, reveals that women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) who were on methotrexate, a drug commonly used to reduce inflammation caused by RA, had lower rates of induced abortions compared to women with RA who were not exposed to the medication.

Scientists look to ancient past to better predict how species may respond climate change
What do woolly mammoths wandering around the ancient spruce woodlands of eastern North America have to do with predicting how species could respond to climate change?

Small in size, big on power: New microbatteries the most powerful yet
The most powerful batteries on the planet are only a few millimeters in size, yet they pack such a punch that a driver could use a cellphone powered by these batteries to jump-start a dead car battery -- and then recharge the phone in the blink of an eye.

New approaches to maximize the antitumor activity of interferon
Interferons have antitumor activity and have been used to treat a variety of malignancies, including colorectal and ovarian cancers.

This month in Ecology: Oysters, big rivers, biofuels
Ecological dimensions of biofuels: a report on the state of the science.

American Society of Nutrition to host symposium on the impact of sweetened beverages on obesity
The American Society of Nutrition will be hosting a symposium at its annual Experimental Biology 2013 meeting in Boston where medical and health experts will examine the latest scientific evidence surrounding the recent controversy around sugar sweetened beverages.

CIC nanoGUNE launches Simune, an atomic-scale simulations service for companies
CIC nanoGUNE launches a new service called Simune with the aim of supporting a large variety of companies and institutions in their R+D processes.

Research uses mirrors to make solar energy cost competitive
Concentrating solar power technologies use mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight to produce heat, which can then be used to produce electricity, according to Ranga Pitchumani, Virginia Tech professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Concentrating Solar Power program.

Multicenter study confirms low testosterone in 84 percent of lung cancer patients taking crizotinib
A study published this week in the journal Cancer confirms the finding of low-testosterone in crizotinib patients, and for the first time details the mechanism of reduced testosterone, and provides promising preliminary evidence that widely available hormone replacement therapies can alleviate this side effect in many patients.

When a KISS (1) goes bad
KISS 1 is a metastasis-suppressor gene which helps to prevent the spread of cancers, including melanoma, pancreatic and ovarian cancers to name a few.

NREL and partners demonstrate quantum dots that assemble themselves
Scientists from the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory and other labs have demonstrated a process whereby quantum dots can self-assemble at optimal locations in nanowires, a breakthrough that could improve solar cells, quantum computing, and lighting devices.

NYU Langone research shows early investment in families helps children succeed in school
An innovative program that supports parents and teachers of public school pre-kindergarten students improves early academic achievement, according to a new study published in the April 15 online edition of Pediatrics.

Magnet hospitals achieve lower mortality, reports Medical Care
Lower mortality and other improved patient outcomes achieved at designated

Women with HIV shown to have elevated resting energy expenditure
Studies have shown that about 10 percent of men infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) have an elevated resting energy expenditure.

Love at first sniff: Male moths go by first impressions
An international team of researchers, including an entomologist at the University of California, Riverside, has an explanation for why we see so many hybrid moths in nature.

Strange new bursts of gamma rays point to a new way to destroy a star
A team led by the University of Warwick has pinpointed a new type of exceptionally powerful and long-lived cosmic explosion, prompting a theory that they arise in the violent death throes of a supergiant star.

Polymer platform technology innovates drug delivery
A University of Alberta pharmacy researcher has patented a nano-scale polymer that improves drug absorption, targets delivery and reduces side-effects.

Can computer-based decision support control health care costs?
Informatics researcher William Tierney, M.D. focuses on the potential of electronic medical systems and computer-based decision support to control healthcare costs in

Study examines relationship between occurrence of surgical complications and hospital finances
Findings of an analysis that included nearly 35,000 surgical discharges from a 12-hospital system suggest that the occurrence of postsurgical complications was associated with a higher per-encounter hospital contribution margin for patients covered by Medicare and private insurance but a lower one for patients covered by Medicaid and who self-paid, according to a study in the April 17 issue of JAMA.

Nearly half of all deaths from prostate cancer can be predicted before age 50
Focusing prostate cancer testing on men at highest risk of developing the disease is likely to improve the ratio between benefits and the harms of screening, suggests a paper published today on

NASA imagery shows wind shear hammering Cyclone Imelda
Cyclone Imelda has lost both her punch and her hurricane status as the storm moved into an area of higher wind shear and cooler waters in the Southern Indian Ocean.

TGen-led study discovers dramatic changes in bacteria following male circumcision
Male circumcision reduces the abundance of bacteria living on the penis and might help explain why circumcision offers men some protection against HIV, according to a study led by the Translational Genomics Research Institute.

Adoption of healthy lifestyle low by individuals with CVD
Among patients with a coronary heart disease or stroke event from countries with varying income levels, the prevalence of healthy lifestyle behaviors (such as regular physical activity, eating a healthy diet, and not smoking) was low, with even lower levels in poorer countries, according to a study in the April 17 issue of JAMA.

Keystone Symposia announces grant from Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
Keystone Symposia has received a grant from the Alfred P.

Study suggests light drinking in pregnancy not linked to development problems in childhood
Light drinking during pregnancy is not linked to adverse behavioural or cognitive outcomes in childhood, suggests a new study published today (17 April) in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

What really makes us fat?
If we are to make any progress in tackling the obesity crisis, we have to look again at what really makes us fat, claims an article published in this week's BMJ.

A look at the world explains 90 percent of changes in vegetation
In the last thirty years, vegetation has changed significantly the world over.

Energy efficiency could increase infection risks in hospital wards
The chance of infection in some hospital wards varies dramatically according to whether the nurses leave the windows open.

Looking at food safety in Japan after the disaster at Fukushima
Following the Fukushima nuclear accident, a large volume of data was collected about the soil, air, dust, and seawater in the area.

Forage longer for berries, study on age-related memory decline suggests
Like birds which stop foraging too early on a berry-laden bush, a new study suggests older people struggle to recall items because they flit too often between 'patches' in their memories.

A trial to find out the effectiveness of biocides against Vespa velutina
The Monitoring Committee for the Asian hornet, the Vespa velutina, in which the Government of the Basque Autonomous Community (region), the Charter Provincial Councils, the Beekeeping sector and Neiker-Tecnalia are working together, will be taking steps aimed at controlling the Vespa velutina populations and minimizing their impact. 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