Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 25, 2013
Directed police patrols reduce gun crime
Gun possession arrests made by a concentrated, proactive patrol unit in the Houston Police Department were linked to significant reductions in subsequent crimes involving firearms, a study by Sam Houston State University found.

Death rates from heart disease continue to decline in most of the EU
Death rates from heart disease in the European Union have more than halved in many countries since the early 1980s, according to new research published online in the European Heart Journal.

Researchers strike gold with nanotech vaccine
Scientists in the US have developed a novel vaccination method that uses tiny gold particles to mimic a virus and carry specific proteins to the body's specialist immune cells.

New study on popular prostate cancer protein provides insight into disease progression
Researchers at the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute have uncovered for the first time the vital role a popular protein plays in the stroma, the cell-lined area outside of a prostate tumor.

Doubts cast on the molecular mechanism of 'read-through' drug PTC124/Ataluren
A drug developed to treat genetic diseases such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy and cystic fibrosis may need a radical rethink.

Clearing up confusion on future of Colorado River flows
Leading experts on water issues in the Western US have come together to establish what is known about the future of Colorado River water, and understand the wide range of estimates for future flows.

New IT tool predicts book sales prior to publication
The system goes through a learning phase, considering data on thousands of previously published books, to obtain a mathematical model capable of estimating probable sales.

Study details cancer-promoting mechanisms of overlooked components in secondhand smoke
A University of Colorado Cancer Center study published in the journal PLoS One shows that overlooked components of secondhand smoke may help the more well known molecules like BaP cause and promote cancer.

Astronomers find 3 'super-Earths' in nearby star's habitable zone
An international team of astronomers has found that a nearby star previously thought to host two or three planets is in fact orbited by six or seven worlds, including an unprecedented three to five

PET-CT improves care of limited-stage small-cell lung cancer patients
A study published in the July issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, concludes that PET-CT improves staging accuracy and intrathoracic disease identification, which translates into an improvement in clinical outcome in these patients.

Pediatric HIV/AIDS experts to present at 2013 International AIDS Society Conference
Experts from the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation will give oral presentations, moderate conference events, and exhibit a variety of educational posters and abstracts.

Causal relationship between adiposity and heart failure, and elevated liver enzymes
New evidence supports a causal relationship between adiposity and heart failure, and between adiposity and increased liver enzymes, according to a study published this week in PLOS Medicine.

Spatial training boosts math skills
Training young children in spatial reasoning can improve their math performance, according to a groundbreaking study from Michigan State University education scholars.

One in 5 students in Grades 7-12 say they have had a traumatic brain injury in their lifetime
One in five adolescents surveyed in Ontario said they have suffered a traumatic brain injury that left them unconscious for five minutes or required them to be hospitalized overnight, a statistic researchers in Toronto say is much higher than previously thought.

New theory of emotions
A life without feelings -- unimaginable. Although emotions are so important, philosophers are still discussing what they actually are.

Investigators from Montefiore Medical Center and Albert Einstein College of Medicine to present research data at American Diabetes Association meeting
Researchers from Montefiore Medical Center and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University will present findings from studies that explore a wide range of topics including hypoglycemia, the benefits of behavioral intervention, insulin pump therapy and fetal outcomes in diabetic women at the annual meeting of the American Diabetes Association, which begins Friday in Chicago.

NREL reports 31.1 percent efficiency for III-V solar cell
The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Lab has announced a world record of 31.1 percent conversion efficiency for a two-junction solar cell under one sun of illumination.

Use of advanced treatment technologies for prostate cancer increases among men with low-risk disease
Use of advanced treatment technologies for prostate cancer, such as intensity-modulated radiotherapy and robotic prostatectomy, has increased among men with low-risk disease, high risk of noncancer mortality, or both, a population of patients who are unlikely to benefit from these treatments, according to a study in the June 26 issue of JAMA.

Astronomers spy on galaxies in the raw
A CSIRO radio telescope has detected the raw material for making the first stars in galaxies that formed when the Universe was just three billion years old -- less than a quarter of its current age.

Hunger affects decision making and perception of risk
Different neural circuits process environmental signals depending on the state of satiation.

'Active surveillance' may miss aggressive prostate cancers in black men
A Johns Hopkins study of more than 1,800 men ages 52 to 62 suggests that African-Americans diagnosed with very-low-risk prostate cancers are much more likely than white men to actually have aggressive disease that goes unrecognized with current diagnostic approaches.

Practical approach makes new ESC cardiac pacing and resynchronization guidelines accessible to all
The 2013 ESC Guidelines on Cardiac Pacing and Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy have created a new classification system for bradyarrhythmias according to mechanisms rather than aetiology.

New Finnish solution shortens power cuts during storms
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed a tool that can be used to shorten power cuts caused by storms and to reduce the resulting costs and damage, such as faults in household electrical appliances and frozen water pipes.

Exercise benefits patients with type 2 diabetes
Moderate-intensity exercise reduces fat stored around the heart, in the liver and in the abdomen of people with type 2 diabetes mellitus, even in the absence of any changes in diet, according to a new study.

UW awarded $10 million to design paper-based diagnostic medical device
The University of Washington has received nearly $10 million from the US Department of Defense to continue a project aimed at building a small, paper-based device that could test for infectious diseases on-demand in areas where diagnostic capabilities are limited.

Health systems should be re-organized to better help stroke patients
Patients who have experienced a stroke spend a substantial amount of time and effort seeking out, processing, and reflecting on information about the management of their condition because the information provided by health services worldwide is currently inadequate, according to a study by UK and US researchers published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Automated plant factory for the prodution of vaccines
Molecular farming is an easy, fast, and safe method for producing vaccines and therapeutic proteins in plants.

TGen and Ventana Medical Systems Inc. join forces to fight cancer
The Translational Genomics Research Institute and Ventana Medical Systems Inc., a member of the Roche Group, today announced a collaborative research agreement to discover and develop diagnostic markers for treating cancer.

Memory improves for older adults using computerized brain-fitness program
UCLA researchers have found that older adults who regularly used a brain-fitness program on a computer demonstrated significantly improved memory and language skills.

Climate tug of war disrupting Australian atmospheric circulation patterns
Further evidence of climate change shifting atmospheric circulation in the southern Australian-New Zealand region has been identified in a new study.

Blind(fold)ed by science: Study shows the strategy humans use to chase objects
A new study has found that chasing down a moving object is not only a matter of sight or of sound, but of mind.

Policy issues plague hydropower as wind power backup
Theoretically, hydropower can step in when wind turbines go still, but barriers to this non-polluting resource serving as a backup are largely policy- and regulation-based, according to Penn State researchers.

Human and canine lymphomas share molecular similarities, first large-scale comparison shows
A team of scientists from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, North Carolina State University's College of Veterinary Medicine and Duke University have conducted one of the first studies to directly compare canine and human B-cell lymphoma by examining molecular similarities and differences between the two species.

Study identifies protein that contributes to cognitive decline in Alzheimer's
Researchers have demonstrated that a protein called caspase-2 is a key regulator of a signaling pathway that leads to cognitive decline in Alzheimer's disease.

Immunohistochemistry effectively detects ALK rearrangement
A study published in the July issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, concludes that immunohistochemistry can effectively detect ALK rearrangement in lung cancer.

Using serial neuroimaging studies to identify timing of abusive head trauma in infants
Researchers at Penn State College of Medicine and Penn State Hershey Medical Center have categorized the appearance and evolution of abnormalities on neuroimages that represent abusive head trauma (AHT) in infants.

Feeling stressed?
Scientists have shown that reaching out to other people during a stressful event is an effective way to improve your mood, and researchers at Concordia University suggest that the hormone oxytocin may help you accomplish just that.

Researchers use video game tech to steer roaches on autopilot
North Carolina State University researchers are using video game technology to remotely control cockroaches on autopilot, with a computer steering the cockroach through a controlled environment.

New screening approach identifies small proteins unique to melanoma cells, Moffitt researcher says
Jamie K. Teer, Ph.D., assistant member of the Cancer Biology and Evolution Program at Moffitt Cancer Center, and colleagues have developed a new streamlined method to rapidly identify the genetic changes in small protein fragments unique to melanoma cancer cells.

Patient factors play key role in emergency department imaging
Despite concerns to the contrary, very little of the variation in Emergency Department imaging utilization is attributable to physician experience, training or gender, according to a new study.

Involving community group in depression care improves coping among low-income patients, study finds
Improving care for depression in low-income communities -- places where such help for depression is frequently unavailable or hard to find -- provides greater benefits to those in need when community groups such as churches and even barber shops help lead the planning process, according to a new study.

Averting worse economic collapses
By managing macro-economic parameters, scientists believe that -- unlike previously thought -- it is possible to steer an economy around irreversible changes in its complex dynamics and avert potential economic disasters.

New laser shows what substances are made of; could be new eyes for military
A new laser that can show what objects are made of could help military aircraft identify hidden dangers such as weapons arsenals far below.

Device aims to avert repeated breast cancer surgeries
Johns Hopkins graduate students, aiming to make many second breast cancer surgeries unnecessary, design a device to make pathology exams possible while the patient is still in the operating room for her first lumpectomy.

New palm-sized microarray technique grows 1,200 individual cultures of microbes
A new palm-sized microarray that holds 1,200 individual cultures of fungi or bacteria could enable faster, more efficient drug discovery, according to a study published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Kids' reading success boosted by long-term individualized instruction
Students who consistently receive individualized reading instruction from first through third grade become better readers than those who don't, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

A deep brain disorder
A group of investigators from San Diego State University's Brain Development Imaging Laboratory are shedding a new light on the effects of autism on the brain.

Book from Waterloo professor teaches how to build a brain
It sounds like science fiction, but a new book by a University of Waterloo professor is actually a step-by-step guide, teaching readers how they can build their own computer model of the human brain.

Gene mutation may have effect on benefit of aspirin use for colorectal cancer
In 2 large studies, the association between aspirin use and risk of colorectal cancer was affected by mutation of the gene BRAF, with regular aspirin use associated with a lower risk of BRAF-wild-type colorectal cancer but not with risk of BRAF-mutated cancer, findings that suggest that BRAF-mutant colon tumor cells may be less sensitive to the effect of aspirin, according to a study in the June 26 issue of JAMA.

Efficient production process for coveted nanocrystals
A formation mechanism of nanocrystalline cerium dioxide (CeO2), a versatile nanomaterial, has been unveiled by scientists from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf and the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia.

UT Arlington engineer to design prototype that predicts flash flooding
A UT Arlington water resources engineer is developing a first-of-its-kind prototype that would allow the City of Fort Worth to more effectively dispatch emergency personnel to save lives and property when flash flooding occurs.

Mutua Madrileña funds IDIBELL and ICO project to improve diagnosis of Lynch syndrome
The Fundación Mutua Madrileña, in its 10th Call for Aids to Research, has selected a project to improve the diagnosis of Lynch syndrome led by researcher Marta Pineda, from the Hereditary Cancer research group of the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute and the Catalan Institute of Oncology.

New research finds flu shot effective regardless of circulating flu strain
New research out of St. Michael's Hospital has found that despite popular belief, the flu shot is effective in preventing the flu, even if the virus going around does not match the vaccine.

Past brain activation revealed in scans
What if experts could dig into the brain, like archaeologists, and uncover the history of past experiences?

1 star, 3 habitable planets
A team of astronomers, including Carnegie's Paul Butler, has combined new observations with existing data to reveal a solar system packed full of planets.

Technique to promote nerve regeneration after spinal cord injury restores bladder function in rats
Using a novel technique to promote the regeneration of nerve cells across the site of severe spinal cord injury, researchers have restored bladder function in paralyzed adult rats, according to a study in the June 26 issue of The Journal of Neuroscience.

The buffer stops here
A new technology developed by researchers at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University may make spotty streaming and data-hogging downloads a thing of the past.

Chemist receives high honor from American Society for Mass Spectrometry
Yinsheng Wang, a professor of chemistry at the University of California, Riverside, has received the Biemann Medal, awarded by the American Society for Mass Spectrometry to an individual early in his or her career in recognition of significant achievement in basic or applied mass spectrometry.

Haydale announce breakthrough graphene inks to accelerate graphene applications
Haydale, a leader in facilitating the commercial application of graphenes announces that with its development partner, Gwent Electronic Materials, it has developed graphene based inks with properties that now quickly enable its customers to use graphene in a wide range of applications.

Study ranks social contacts by job and social group in bid to fight infectious diseases
In the light of Novel Corona Virus, concerns over H7N9 Influenza in SE Asia, and more familiar infections such as measles and seasonal influenza, it is as important as ever to be able to predict and understand how infections transmit through the UK population.

Vietnam vets with PTSD more than twice as likely to have heart disease
Male twin Vietnam veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were more than twice as likely as those without PTSD to develop heart disease during a 13-year period, according to a study supported by the National Institutes of Health.

How men and women cooperate
Cooperation is essential in any successful romantic relationship, but how men and women experience cooperation emotionally may be quite different, according to new research from the University of Arizona.

Lauren Sciences LLC awarded second Michael J. Fox Foundation grant to further develop V-Smart™ Therapeutic for Parkinson's disease
Lauren Sciences LLC, a privately-held biotechnology company continuing development of its novel V-Smart™ platform technology, announced today the award of a second grant by The Michael J.

NREL drives toward the future with fuel cell EVs
Efforts currently underway at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory are contributing to rapid progress in the research, development and testing of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.

Children with ADHD more likely to be moderately disabled after mild traumatic brain injury
Researchers at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Chicago have found that children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are more likely to demonstrate a moderate disability after sustaining a mild traumatic brain injury than children without ADHD.

Hiding in plain sight: New species of bird discovered in capital city
A team of scientists with the Wildlife Conservation Society, BirdLife International, and other groups have discovered a new species of bird with distinct plumage and a loud call living not in some remote jungle, but in a capital city of 1.5 million people.

Hypertension-driven disease rapidly rising in sub-Saharan Africa
Based on the experience of a large hospital in Tanzania, Weill Cornell Medical College researchers have discovered a

Study finds dramatic increase in hospitalization of US children with inflammatory bowel disease
The largest investigation to date has found a dramatic increase in hospitalizations for children with inflammatory bowel disease during the past decade in the US.

GAP-AF study helps to define optimal approach to ablation
Using catheter ablation to create complete linear lesions around pulmonary veins, proved more effective than the creation of incomplete lesions in preventing recurrence of atrial fibrillation (AF), reports the GAP-AF study.

Prize for outstanding research theses
Three young researchers have been recognized for producing final dissertations that demonstrate scientific excellence.

Effects of diluted bitumen on crude oil transmission pipelines
Diluted bitumen has no greater likelihood of accidental pipeline release than other crude oils, says a new report from the National Research Council.

Study examines prevalence, characteristics of traumatic brain injuries among adolescents
The estimated lifetime prevalence of TBI was 20.2 percent; 5.6 percent of respondents reported at least 1 TBI in the past 12 months (4.3 percent of girls and 6.9 percent of boys) and 14.6 percent reported a TBI in their lifetime but not in the past 12 months (12.8 percent of girls and 16.2 percent of boys).

3 planets in habitable zone of nearby star
A team of astronomers has combined new observations of Gliese 667C with existing data from HARPS at ESO's 3.6-meter telescope in Chile, to reveal a system with at least six planets.

Symptoms of Prader-Willi syndrome associated with interference in circadian, metabolic genes
Researchers with the UC Davis MIND Institute and Agilent Laboratories have found that Prader-Willi syndrome -- a genetic disorder best known for causing an insatiable appetite that can lead to morbid obesity -- is associated with the loss of non-coding RNAs, resulting in the dysregulation of circadian and metabolic genes, accelerated energy expenditure and metabolic differences during sleep.

Laser guided codes advance single pixel terahertz imaging
By using a laser beam to send a detailed set of instructions that create a coded aperture, researchers at Boston College have enabled a new method that may help tame terahertz waves in order to create new imaging technology.

DOE, NREL announce new research center to boost clean energy technologies on a smarter grid
The Energy Department and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory today announced the Energy Systems Integration Facility in Golden, Colorado, as the latest Energy Department user facility and the only one in the nation focused on utility-scale clean energy grid integration.

More women pick computer science if media nix outdated 'nerd' stereotype
The media often portray computer scientists as nerdy males with poor social skills.

1.24 million for Cologne mathematician
Cologne mathematician Professor Dr. Kathrin Bringmann has been awarded the European Research Council starting grant.

High-octane bacteria could ease pain at the pump
Potent gasoline-like biofuels are needed to fuel millions of cars with internal combustion engines, and current biofuels don't pack the necessary power.

3D magnetic field measurement
Magnetic field sensors are a contact- and wear-free means of measuring the position of machine parts and products.

Overweight causes heart failure -- large study with new method clarifies the association
An international research team led by Swedish scientists has used a new method to investigate obesity and overweight as a cause of cardiovascular disease.

Telecoupling pulls pieces of sustainability puzzle together
Global sustainability is like a high-stakes jigsaw puzzle -- and an international group of scientists have created a new framework to assemble the big picture without losing pieces.

USC research IDs potential treatment for deadly, HIV-related blood cancer
Researchers at the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center have discovered a promising new way to treat a rare and aggressive blood cancer most commonly found in people infected with HIV.

Varied quality of CPR among EMS, hospitals hurts survival
The quality of CPR varies among EMS departments and hospitals.

Cutlery: Do size, weight, shape and color matter?
The appearance of cutlery can affect perception of a food's taste, reports BioMed Central's open access journal Flavour.

Study shows heart failure survivors at greater risk for cancer
Heart failure patients are surviving more often with the heart condition but they are increasingly more likely to be diagnosed with cancer, a trend that could be attributed to increased surveillance, side effects of treatments, or other causes, according to a study published online today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology

Fishing for chips
Until recently, horses were generally branded to be able to identify individual animals.

Problem-solving governs how we process sensory stimuli
Various areas of the brain process our sensory experiences. How the areas of the cerebral cortex communicate with each other and process sensory information has long puzzled neuroscientists.

Programming model for supercomputers of the future
The demand for even faster, more effective, and also energy-saving computer clusters is growing in every sector.

Cola and honey: Exploring food riddles in rhythm disturbances
Drinking excessive amounts of cola and eating honey made from the pollen of Rhododendrons can cause unusual syncope (fainting) and symptoms of arrhythmia, report two case studies presented as abstracts at the EHRA EUROPACE 2013 meeting, in Athens 23 to 26 June.

Research team discovers new kind of signalling mechanism in plant cells
Plants possess receptors which are similar to the glutamate receptors in the brain of humans and animals.

Article in ACS Nano honored for most valuable contribution to ceramics
A scientific research paper published in ACS Nano has been selected as recipient of a prestigious award from the American Ceramic Society.

First-ever therapeutic offers hope for improving blood transfusions
Researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have developed an unprecedented approach to restore nitric oxide to donated blood, a breakthrough that could dramatically reduce harmful effects from transfusions.

MS researchers determine that brain reserve independently protects against cognitive decline in MS
US and Italian researchers have determined that brain reserve, as well as cognitive reserve, independently protects against cognitive decline in MS.

Delivering the best care to the right patient at the right time
There are two popular models when it comes to delivering the best healthcare -- using evidence-based guidelines or applying personalized medicine.

Continued research needed on treatment for women with lung cancer who are never smokers
A study published in the July issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology, concludes that lung cancer in women who have never smoked is more frequently associated with EGFR mutations and estrogen receptor overexpression.
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