Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 27, 2013
Rats have a double view of the world
Rodents move their eyes in opposite directions, thereby always keeping an eye on the airspace above them.

Program announced for the 4th Asia-Pacific Osteoporosis Meeting in Hong Kong
The International Osteoporosis Foundation has announced the scientific program for the 4th Asia-Pacific Osteoporosis Meeting, to be held in Hong Kong from December 12-15, 2013.

How patient centered are medical decisions?
A national survey sample of adults who had discussions with their physicians in the preceding two years about common medical tests, medications and procedures often did not reflect a high level of shared decision making, according to an article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

When perks don't work
New UBC research reveals that giving a free bump in service can backfire for retailers if the perk is given randomly in front of others.

Stem cell injections improve spinal injuries in rats
An international team led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine reports that a single injection of human neural stem cells produced neuronal regeneration and improvement of function and mobility in rats impaired by an acute spinal cord injury.

Even farm animal diversity is declining as accelerating species loss threatens humanity
The accelerating disappearance of Earth's species of both wild and domesticated plants and animals constitutes a fundamental threat to the well-being and even the survival of humankind, warns the founding Chair of a new global organization created to narrow the gulf between leading international biodiversity scientists and national policy-makers.

Integrated stroke care system results in fewer deaths, discharges to long-term care facilities
An integrated system of stroke care delivery in Ontario, Canada, has resulted in fewer deaths from stroke and fewer discharges to long-term care facilities because of better access to optimal stroke care, according to a study published in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

UCI researchers find sea anemone venom-derived compound effective in anti-obesity studies
Scientists at UC Irvine reported this week that a synthetic compound ShK-186, originally derived from a sea anemone toxin, has been found to enhance metabolic activity and shows potential as a treatment for obesity and insulin resistance.

KISS ME DEADLY proteins may help improve crop yields
Dartmouth College researchers have identified a new regulator for plant hormone signaling -- the KISS ME DEADLY family of proteins (KMDs) -- that may help to improve production of fruits, vegetables and grains.

Down syndrome neurons grown from stem cells show signature problems
In new research published this week, Anita Bhattacharyya, a neuroscientist at the Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, reports on brain cells that were grown from skin cells of individuals with Down syndrome.

Communication between physicians and patients important for expectations
Seriously ill patients undergoing hemodialysis are more optimistic about their prognosis and prospects for transplants than their nephrologists, according to a study published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

Effective regulation of alcohol brand placements in movies could limit underage drinking
Researchers at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center have found that current constraints on advertising for alcohol products in movies that adolescents watch are not effective.

Surge in children accidentally eating marijuana-laced foods
A new study shows the relaxation of marijuana laws in Colorado has caused a spike in the number of young children treated for accidentally eating marijuana-laced cookies, candies, brownies and beverages.

Preterm birth affects ability to solve complex cognitive tasks
Being born preterm goes hand in hand with an increased risk for neuro-cognitive deficits.

Meta-analysis: Bug and weed killers, solvents may increase risk of Parkinson's disease
A large analysis of more than 100 studies from around the world shows that exposure to pesticides, or bug and weed killers, and solvents is likely associated with a higher risk of developing Parkinson's disease.

Helicopter-light-beams -- A new tool for quantum optics
A light wave oscillates perpendicular to its propagation direction -- that is what students learn in school.

How do plants grow toward the light?
Plants have developed a number of strategies to capture the maximum amount of sunlight through their leaves.

Spine function improves following cell replacement therapy with fetal human stem cells
Human fetal stem cell grafts improve both motor and sensory functions in rats suffering from a spinal cord injury, according to research published this week in BioMed Central's open access journal Stem Cell Research and Therapy.

German and Israeli scientists gain new insights into protein disposal
Cells have a sophisticated system to control and dispose of defective, superfluous proteins and thus to prevent damage to the body.

The Bechstein's bat is more Mediterranean than originally thought
Although the Bechstein's bat is regarded as a Euro-Siberian species, a study by researchers in the UPV/EHU's Department of Zoology and Animal Cell Biology has revealed that the historical transformation of part of its original habitat rather than bioclimatic reasons could be responsible for this distribution.

Snail shell coiling programmed by protein patterning
Snail shells coil in response to a lopsided protein gradient across their shell mantles, finds research in BioMed Central's open access journal EvoDevo.

Increase in unintentional marijuana ingestion among children following new drug laws in Colorado
Following modification of drug enforcement laws for possession of marijuana in Colorado, there was an apparent increase in unintentional marijuana ingestions by young children, according to a report and accompanying editorials published Online First by JAMA Pediatrics, a JAMA Network publication.

Intelligent street lights adapt to conditions in Finland
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed a dimmable LED street light that consumes significantly less energy than current lighting systems, while improving the lighting characteristics.

Patients with end-stage kidney disease have different expectations than their doctors
A new study from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center finds that doctors who treat patients with kidney failure are reluctant to discuss a difficult prognosis, and their patients are likely to have distorted expectations about their own probable outcomes.

Reproductive Health Matters announces publication of its latest themed issue
Young people are demanding information and education about their bodies, sex, their sexuality and sexual health, as well as access to services that will support them to stay safe and healthy.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for May 28, 2013
This news release summarizes articles being published in the May 28 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

Colon cancer screening: Immunological tests are superior
Tests for hidden traces of blood (

Healthy habits die hard: In times of stress, people lean on established routines -- even healthy ones
Stress and exhaustion may turn us into zombies, but a novel study shows that mindless behavior doesn't just lead to overeating and shopping sprees -- it can also cause us to stick with behaviors that are good for us.

The Antarctic polar icecap is 33.6 million years old
These findings, reported in the journal Science, are based on fossil records in sediment cores at different depths.

The formula for turning cement into metal
In a move that would make the alchemists of King Arthur's time green with envy, scientists have unraveled the formula for turning liquid cement into liquid metal.

Decision-making preferences among patients with heart attacks
In a research letter, Harlan M. Krumholz, M.D., S.M., from Yale University School of Medicine and colleagues,

When doctors and patients share in decisions, hospital costs go up
Doctors and patients have long been encouraged to share decision making.

Salmonella uses protective switch during infection
For the first time, researchers have found a particular kind of molecular switch in the food poisoning bacteria Salmonella Typhimurium under infection-like conditions.

Elsevier launches new open access journal: Translational Proteomics
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, is pleased to announce the launch of Translational Proteomics, an online-only, open access journal devoted to transferring fundamental discoveries in the field of proteomics to clinical applications, accelerating understanding and treatment of human diseases.

Should you stop blood thinners before surgery? AAN guideline provides direction
A new guideline from the American Academy of Neurology will help people who take blood thinners decide whether or not to take them during surgery or other medical procedures.

Crystal-clear method for distinguishing between glass and fluids
Many solids are produced from melting. Depending on how quickly they cool off, invariably, internal tensile stresses begin to build up.

Pitt team finds mechanism that causes noise-induced tinnitus and drug that can prevent it
An epilepsy drug shows promise in an animal model at preventing tinnitus from developing after exposure to loud noise, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

New safety test predicts reactions to novel drugs and cosmetics
A simple lab-based skin test which eliminates the risk of adverse reactions to new drugs, cosmetics and household chemicals has been developed by a Newcastle University team.

All in one shot
Researchers from Brigham and Women's Hospital have discovered a sugar polymer that is common on the cell surface of several pathogens.

Patient participation in decision making associated with increased costs, services
A survey of almost 22,000 admitted patients at the University of Chicago Medical Center found patient preference to participate in decision making concerning their care was associated with a longer length of stay and higher total hospitalization costs, according to a report published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

Levosimendan improves event free survival by 50 percent in end-stage heart failure
Ambulatory levosimendan improves event free survival by 50 percent compared to placebo, according to results from the LevoRep Study presented today during the late breaking trial session1 of the Heart Failure Congress 2013.

Study examines placement of tobacco and alcohol brands in movies rated for youth audiences
An analysis of top box-office movies released in the United States indicated tobacco brand producer placements in movies have declined since implementation of the Master Settlement Agreement, but alcohol placements, which are subject only to industry self-regulation, have increased in movies rated acceptable for youth audiences, according to a study published Online First by JAMA Pediatrics, a JAMA Network publication.
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