Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 07, 2013
Spinal 'spacer' procedure has fewer complications, but higher risk of repeat surgery
Interspinous spacer implantation -- a less-invasive alternative surgical option for spinal stenosis -- has a lower complication rate than spinal fusion, reports a study in the May 1 issue of Spine.

Sleep problems may increase risk for prostate cancer
Problems falling asleep and staying asleep increased the risk for prostate cancer.

Pathogen turns protein into a virulence factor in 1 easy step
To infect its host, the respiratory pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa takes an ordinary protein usually involved in making other proteins and adds three small molecules to turn it into a key for gaining access to human cells.

Study links diet with daytime sleepiness and alertness in healthy adults
A new study suggests that your level of sleepiness or alertness during the day may be related to the type of food that you eat.

In Cleveland Clinic study, less than half of deaths after angioplasty result of procedure
Only 42 percent of the deaths occurring within 30 days of percutaneous coronary interventions (PCI) were attributable to complications from the procedure, according to a Cleveland Clinic study published online in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Initiation of breast cancer treatment varies by race; patient-doctor communication is key
Black women with breast cancer were found to be three times more likely than their white counterparts to delay treatment more than 90 days -- a delay associated with increased deaths from the disease.

Kountakis is editor of first otolaryngology encyclopedia
Dr. Stilianos E. Kountakis, Professor and Vice Chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University, is Editor-in-Chief of the first encyclopedia of otolaryngology.

UF launches HiPerGator, the state's most powerful supercomputer
The University of Florida today unveiled the state's most powerful supercomputer, a machine that will help researchers find life-saving drugs, make decades-long weather forecasts and improve armor for troops.

Older adults' memory lapses linked to problems processing everyday events
Some memory problems common to older adults may stem from an inability to segment daily life into discrete experiences, according to a new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

New insights into Ebola infection pave the way for much-needed therapies
The Ebola virus is among the deadliest viruses on the planet, killing up to 90 percent of those infected.

IDIBELL license to Minoryx a patent of a product to treat a rare neurodegenerative disease
IDIBELL has signed a licensing agreement with the Spanish biotechnology company Minoryx of a patent for the treatment of X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy, a rare serious neurodegenerative disease, which has no effective treatment.

PLOS Collection assesses measurement of health interventions for women and children in LMICs
Measuring coverage of maternal, newborn and child health in low- and middle-income countries is critical to ensuring that health interventions are reaching the women and children who need them most, says a new Collection of articles published by PLOS this week.

AGU journal highlights -- May 7, 2013
Featured in this release are research papers on the following topics:

Exercise-related changes in estrogen metabolism may lower breast cancer risk
Physical activity may reduce breast cancer risk by altering estrogen metabolism.

NREL staff recognized for breakthrough technologies
The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory recently recognized the professionals behind the lab's greatest innovations from the past year during its Intellectual Property & Technology Transfer Awards.

Link between intimate partner violence and depression
Not only are women who have experienced violence from their partner (intimate partner violence) at higher risk of becoming depressed, but women who are depressed may also be at increased risk of experiencing intimate partner violence, according to a study by international researchers published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Economy recovers but not mental health
Though Wall Street reached record highs on Friday, and the jobs report looks better than it has since 2009, America's mental health may not be doing as well.

Scripps Research announces research & license agreement with Janssen Pharmaceuticals
The Scripps Research Institute today announced a five-year agreement with Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Restless legs syndrome, insomnia and brain chemistry: A tangled mystery solved?
Johns Hopkins researchers believe they may have discovered an explanation for the sleepless nights associated with restless legs syndrome, a symptom that persists even when the disruptive, overwhelming nocturnal urge to move the legs is treated successfully with medication.

Protecting the heart health of diabetic patients
Diabetics have an increased risk of developing coronary artery disease and plaque build-up in their arteries, even if they receive cholesterol-lowering therapies.

Biomechanical performances of old-fashioned leather and modern football helmets
Researchers at the Center for Injury Biomechanics at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia compared the relative safety afforded by two 1930-vintage leather football helmets and 10 modern football helmets during impacts to players' heads.

Minimally invasive VATS-LCSD helps children with refractory ventricular arrhythmias
Video-assisted thoracoscopic left cardiac sympathetic denervation (VATS-LCSD) is a minimally invasive procedure that can help many children with refractory cardiac arrhythmias.

Salk scientists find potential therapeutic target for Cushing's disease
Scientists at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have identified a protein that drives the formation of pituitary tumors in Cushing's disease, a development that may give clinicians a therapeutic target to treat this potentially life-threatening disorder.

1 big European family
From Ireland to the Balkans, Europeans are all closely related according to a new study of the DNA of people from across the continent.

New robotic instruments to provide real-time data on Gulf of Maine red tide
A new robotic sensor deployed by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Gulf of Maine coastal waters may transform the way red tides or harmful algal blooms are monitored and managed in New England.

Lewis Thomas Prize to be awarded to Kay Redfield Jamison
Kay Jamison, a professor of psychiatry at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, has made extensive contributions to the field of psychology and is considered one of the country's foremost authorities on manic-depressive bipolar illness.

Pitt discovery holds potential in destroying drug-resistant bacteria
Through the serendipity of science, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh have discovered a potential treatment for deadly, drug-resistant bacterial infections that uses the same approach that HIV uses to infect cells.

Bacteria adapt and evade nanosilver's sting -- new study
Although nanosilver has effective antimicrobial properties against certain pathogens, it can cause other potentially harmful organisms to rapidly adapt and flourish, a UNSW study reveals.

Gene offers clues to new treatments for a harmful blood clotting disorder
A gene associated with both protection against bacterial infection and excessive blood clotting could offer new insights into treatment strategies for deep-vein thrombosis -- the formation of a harmful clot in a deep vein.

Period pain not made worse by copper IUD
Using a copper intrauterine device, or coil, does not exacerbate period pain, reveals a study where researchers from the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, followed 2,100 women for 30 years.

Missouri Botanical Garden program announces collaboration with L'Herboretum
Sacred Seeds, an international non-profit that supports plant conservation and addresses the rapid loss of biodiversity and cultural knowledge, has extended its reach to Europe through collaboration with L'Herboretum whose international headquarters are in Saint-Ay, France.

Rethinking treatment goals improves results for those with persistent anorexia
Patients with severe and enduring anorexia nervosa not only stuck with treatments in a clinical trial but also made significant improvements with just a slight modification of the standard goals and methods of care.

FRAX newly released as version 3.8 -- Over 5 million online calculations since June 2011
FRAX® is a scientifically validated online fracture-risk calculator that has been developed by the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Metabolic Bone Diseases at the University of Sheffield, UK.

Genes show 1 big European family
From Ireland to the Balkans, Europeans are basically one big family, closely related to one another for the past thousand years, according to a new study of the DNA of people from across the continent.

Turning Alzheimer's fuzzy signals into high definition
Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute scientists discover that cholinesterase inhibitors -- a class of drugs that stop the breakdown of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine -- allow signals to enter the brain with more precision and less background noise.

Women with unintended pregnancy are more likely to suffer from postpartum depression
Women with unintended pregnancy are four times more likely to suffer from postpartum depression at twelve months postpartum, suggests a new study published today (8 May) in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

New technique can help nanoparticles deliver drug treatments
A Wayne State University researcher has successfully tested a technique that can lead to more effective use of nanoparticles as a drug delivery system.

US urban trees store carbon, provide billions in economic value
America's urban forests store an estimated 708 million tons of carbon, an environmental service with an estimated value of $50 billion, according to a recent US Forest Service study.

NREL quantifies significant value in concentrating solar power
Researchers from the US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory have quantified the significant value that concentrating solar power plants can add to an electric grid.

Combining strategies speeds the work of enzymes
Enzymes could break down cell walls faster -- leading to less expensive biofuels for transportation -- if two enzyme systems are brought together in an industrial setting, new research by the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory suggests.

Magnetic vortex antennas for wireless data transmission
Three-dimensional magnetic vortices were discovered by scientists from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf together with colleagues from the Paul Scherrer Institute within the scope of an international cooperation.

Nerve stimulation for severe depression changes brain function
For nearly a decade, doctors have used implanted electronic stimulators to treat severe depression in people who don't respond to standard antidepressant treatments.

NCAR powers up renewable energy forecasts
The National Center for Atmospheric Research, building on a pioneering wind energy forecasting system that saved millions of dollars for Xcel Energy ratepayers in eight states, has entered into a new agreement with the utility for even more sophisticated weather forecasts to increase the reliability of solar and wind energy.

Genetic variations associated with susceptibility to bacteria linked to stomach disorders
Two genome-wide association studies and a subsequent meta-analysis have found that certain genetic variations are associated with susceptibility to Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria that is a major cause of gastritis and stomach ulcers and is linked to stomach cancer, findings that may help explain some of the observed variation in individual risk for H pylori infection, according to a study in the May 8 issue of JAMA.

UF is first university to fully connect to Internet2 Innovation Platform's three components
The University of Florida is the first university to fully connect to the Internet2 Innovation Platform's three components, an achievement that will transform research at UF and provide a national model for research computing.

AFOSR-funded research key to revolutionary 'green' spacecraft propellant
In 1998, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research began a search for an environmentally friendly spacecraft propellant to replace hydrazine, which was toxic, corrosive, and highly flammable.

ASTRO and AUA issue joint guideline for radiation therapy after prostatectomy
The American Society for Radiation Oncology and the American Urological Association are pleased to announce the publication of the joint guideline on radiation therapy after prostatectomy for patients with and without evidence of prostate cancer recurrence.

For adolescents, Subway food may not be much healthier than McDonald's, UCLA study finds
Subway may promote itself as the

Type 1 diabetes and heart disease linked by inflammatory protein
Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes appears to increase the risk of heart disease, the leading cause of death among people with high blood sugar, partly by stimulating the production of calprotectin, a protein that sparks an inflammatory process that fuels the buildup of artery-clogging plaque.

Measuring hidden HIV
A new mathematical modeling technique reveals HIV virus may be replicating in body even when undetectable in the blood.

Geneticists find causes for severe childhood epilepsies
Using a DNA sequencing technique capable of deciphering all human genes at the same time, University of Arizona researchers have discovered genetic mutations underlying seizure disorders in previously undiagnosed children.

Promising strategies to reduce use of indoor tanning devices and prevent skin cancer
Preventing skin cancer by reducing use of indoor tanning devices requires a coordinated approach at the national, state, and local levels suggests a pair of papers by CDC authors in a special theme issue of the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Theta brainwaves reflect ability to beat built-in bias
Many animals, including humans, harbor ingrained biases to actively obtain rewards and to remain inactive to avoid punishment.

The brain-gut connection: A link between depression and common hospital-acquired infection
Depression, being widowed and living alone increase risk of serious hospital-acquired infection.

High home ownership can seriously damage your labor market, new study suggests
Government policies that boost the amount of home ownership in a country are likely to inflict severe damage on the labor market, new research from the University of Warwick suggests.

Parents who suck on their infants' pacifiers may protect their children against developing allergy
Swedish researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, report that a simple habit may give significant protection against allergy development, namely, the parental sucking on the baby's pacifier.

Certain bladder-cancer patients may be at high risk of disease recurrence despite bladder removal
Patients with advanced bladder cancers that are surgically removed might need additional therapy to prevent recurrence in certain situations, a new UT Southwestern Medical Center study suggests.

And the beat goes on...: The reliable heartbeat of hibernators
At the current temperatures, all hibernators have probably emerged from their winter hibernation and are enjoying the warm weather.

Study evaluates effect of increasing detection intervals in implantable cardioverter-defibrillators
Programming an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) with a long-detection interval compared with a standard-detection interval resulted in a reduction in anti-tachycardia pacing episodes, ICD shocks delivered, and inappropriate shocks, according to a study in the May 8 issue of JAMA.

Silk and cellulose biologically effective for use in stem cell cartilage repair
Over 20 million people in Europe suffer from osteoarthritis which can lead to extensive damage to the knee and hip cartilage.

Older people in Africa have limited functional ability
The number of adults living into older age in sub-Saharan Africa is rapidly growing yet many older men and women will have an illness or disability that limits their ability to function, according to a study by researchers from the US and Malawi published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Human brain cells developed in lab, grow in mice
A key type of human brain cell developed in the laboratory grows seamlessly when transplanted into the brains of mice, UC San Francisco researchers have discovered, raising hope that these cells might one day be used to treat people with Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, and possibly even Alzheimer's disease, as well as and complications of spinal cord injury such as chronic pain and spasticity.

Amplification of a Stat5 gene produces excess oncogenic protein that drives prostate cancer spread
An international group of investigators, led by researchers at Thomas Jefferson University's Kimmel Cancer Center, have solved the mystery of why a substantial percentage of castrate-resistant metastatic prostate cancer cells contain abnormally high levels of the pro-growth protein Stat5.

DFG announces recipients of 2013 Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prize
This year's recipients of the most important prize for early career researchers in Germany have been announced.

Twitter analysis shows Boston bombings had little effect on immigration reform conversations
An analysis by researchers at the Institute for Immigration Research at George Mason University shows that the Boston Marathon bombings had little effect on conversations on social media regarding immigration reform.

Study shows that bedtime regularity predicts CPAP compliance
A new study suggests that regularity of bedtime prior to initiation of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy is an important factor that may influence treatment compliance in adults with obstructive sleep apnea.

When women sell themselves short on team projects
Working on a team is always a challenge, but a new study highlights a particular challenge to women: how much they credit themselves in a joint success.

New lung cancer guidelines recommends offering screening to high-risk individuals
This release on The American College of Chest Physicians third edition of evidence-based lung cancer guidelines, Diagnosis and Management of Lung Cancer, 3rd ed: American College of Chest Physicians Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guidelines, recommends offering low-dose computed tomography scanning for lung cancer screening to people with a significant risk of lung cancer due to age and smoking history.

Do bats know voices of friends they hang out with?
Is it possible that mammals have the ability to recognize individuals of the same species, whom they know well, by their voice?

Public lecture at UC Riverside to discuss challenges in assessing human impact on ecosystems
Humans are conducting massive experiments on ecosystems around the world by fragmenting habitats, killing predators, introducing exotic species, boosting nutrient concentrations, and altering climates.

Nutritional quality at fast-food restaurants still needs improvement
Known for menu items containing high amounts of fat, sugar, and salt, fast-food restaurants have contributed to America's poor diets and increased risk of diet-related chronic diseases, like heart disease and diabetes.

Laminopathies: Key components in the disease mechanism identified
A collaborative study between American and Finnish scientists shows that abnormal structure of the nuclear lamina, caused by laminopathy mutations, leads to changes in gene expression by disturbing the function of a specific transcription regulating protein.

New mechanism converts natural gas to energy faster, captures CO2
Chemical engineering researchers have identified a new mechanism to convert natural gas into energy up to 70 times faster, while effectively capturing the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide.

Sunshine could benefit health and prolong life, study suggests
Exposing skin to sunlight may help to reduce blood pressure, cut the risk of heart attack and stroke -- and even prolong life, a study suggests.

The more feathers a male sparrow carries to the nest, the more eggs the female will lay
An international team lead by the University of Granada has found that female sparrows will invest more energy into laying eggs according to the male's ability to fill the nest with feathers which serve to insulate the chicks from the cold and keep them alive.

Study: Using anticholinergics for as few as 60 days causes memory problems in older adults
Research from the Regenstrief Institute, the Indiana University Center for Aging Research and Wishard-Eskenazi Health on medications commonly taken by older adults has found that drugs with strong anticholinergic effects cause cognitive impairment when taken continuously for as few as 60 days.

Hastings Center calls on health care professionals and organizations to meet standards for good care near the end of life
Updated and expanded edition of the Center's landmark guidelines is

Robot-assisted kidney cancer surgery offers many benefits, but at a cost
Robot-assisted surgery to remove kidney cancers has seen a rapid increase in use, and has both replaced and proven safer than laparoscopic procedures for the same purpose, according to a study by the Vattikuti Urology Institute at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

Rats take high-speed multisensory snapshots
New research from the laboratory of CSHL neuroscientist Adam Kepecs shows that rats create high-speed

Local geology, global connections: GSA Cordilleran Section to convene in Fresno
Geoscientists from western North America and beyond will convene in Fresno, California, USA, on 20 May to celebrate GSA's 125th Anniversary and discuss current geoscience research.

Discovery of new hormone opens doors to new type 2 diabetes treatments
Harvard School of Public Health researchers have discovered that a particular type of protein (hormone) found in fat cells helps regulate how glucose (blood sugar) is controlled and metabolized in the liver.

TB, HIV and malaria vaccine research gets major boost
Aeras, a nonprofit biotech advancing TB vaccines for the world, the University of Oxford and Okairos, a biopharmaceutical company specializing in T-cell vaccines, today announced a $2.9 million grant to Aeras in support of a collaboration among the three parties to support the development of vaccines against tuberculosis, HIV and malaria.

All hospitals should require drug, alcohol tests for physicians
To improve patient safety, hospitals should randomly test physicians for drug and alcohol use in much the same way other major industries in the United States do to protect their customers.

Decline in snow cover spells trouble for many plants, animals
For plants and animals forced to tough out harsh winter weather, the coverlet of snow that blankets the north country is a refuge, a stable beneath-the-snow habitat that gives essential respite from biting winds and subzero temperatures.

Duke researchers describe how breast cancer cells acquire drug resistance
A seven-year quest to understand how breast cancer cells resist treatment with the targeted therapy lapatinib has revealed a previously unknown molecular network that regulates cell death.

Luxembourg University to host major finance conference
The Luxembourg School of Finance of the University of Luxembourg will host the European Conference of the Financial Management Association International on June 12-14, at Neumunster Abbey in Luxembourg City.

Kidney stone surgery: More women, more complications with minimally invasive procedure
While the number of people -- especially women -- who have a minimally invasive procedure to remove kidney stones has risen in recent years, so has the rate of complications related to the surgery, according to a published study by Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.

Antimicrobial resistance in Vietnam
Heiman Wertheim and Arjun Chandna from Oxford University and colleagues describe the launch and impact of VINARES, an initiative to strengthen antimicrobial stewardship in Vietnam, which may be instructive for other countries struggling to address the threat of antimicrobial resistance.

Live and learn
More than one in every 10 members of Generation X are enrolled in classes to continue their formal educations, according to a new University of Michigan study released today.

New advocates join global effort to eliminate neglected tropical diseases
Today, the Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases (Global Network), a major initiative of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, announced His Excellency, President Alvaro Arzú Irigoyen of Guatemala (1996-2000), His Excellency, President Ricardo Lagos Escobar of Chile (2000-2006) and former Pan American Health Organization Director Dr.

Study demonstrates that once-a-day pill offers relief from ragweed allergy symptoms
An international team of researchers, led by physician-scientists at Johns Hopkins, reports that a once-daily tablet containing a high dose of a key ragweed pollen protein effectively blocks the runny noses, sneezes, nasal congestion and itchy eyes experienced by ragweed allergy sufferers.

First corneal transplant with pre-loaded donor tissue performed at Mass. Eye and Ear
The first successful cornea transplant with donor endothelial tissue preloaded by an eye bank has been performed at Massachusetts Eye and Ear in Boston, Mass.

Another 'trophy' for the chemistry cabinet
The search for cleaner, low temperature nuclear fuels produces shock result for a team of experts at The University of Nottingham.

Study of new 'bone-head' hints at higher diversity of small dinosaurs
Scientists have named a new species of bone-headed dinosaur (pachycephalosaur) from Alberta, Canada.

Chaos proves superior to order
An international team of physicists, including researchers from the Universities of York and St. 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