Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 09, 2013
MU researchers find condition in dogs that may help further research into human disease
Some people possess a small number of cells in their bodies that are not genetically their own; this condition is known as microchimerism.

Robots inspect cables
The bearer cables and tethers of bridges, elevators, and cable cars are exposed to high levels of stress.

Egyptian leader makes surprise appearance at archaeological dig in Israel
As modern Egypt searches for a new leader, Israeli archaeologists have found evidence of an ancient Egyptian leader in northern Israel.

Modern methods of abortion are not linked with an increased risk of preterm birth
The link between previous termination of pregnancy (abortion) and preterm delivery in a subsequent pregnancy has disappeared over the last 20-30 years, according to a study of data from Scotland published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Growth of cardiac services linked to competition, not improved patient care, study finds
New cardiac catheterization services offered by US hospitals mostly duplicate existing programs and do not help patients gain access to timely emergency cardiac care, according to a new study.

LSUHSC research identifies new risk factors for parasitic infection
A study conducted by Dr. James Diaz, Program Director Environmental/Occupational Health Sciences at the LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Public Health, found new modes of transmission and associated behaviors for a parasitic lung infection, identifying new groups of people at risk.

Urgent call for cardiovascular R&D revival to halt growing CVD epidemic
A resurgence in cardiovascular R&D is urgently needed to curb a new epidemic of cardiovascular diseases, according to leading cardiologists and industry representatives in the Cardiovascular Round Table.

What warring couples want: Power, not apologies, Baylor study shows
The most common thing that couples want from each other during a conflict is not an apology, but a willingness to relinquish power, according to a new Baylor University study.

Microparticles create localized control of stem cell differentiation
By using gelatin-based microparticles to deliver growth factors, researchers are creating three-dimensional structures from stem cells and reducing the use of the growth factors needed to promote differentiation.

Are clinical trial data shared sufficiently today?
On today, two authors debate the issue of publicly sharing clinical trial data.

School policies reduce student drinking -- if they're perceived to be enforced
School anti-alcohol policies do work, but only if students believe they will be enforced.

New analytical methodology can guide electrode optimization
Using a new analytical methodology -- a coupled micro-computed X-ray tomography and microfluidic-based electrochemical analysis -- researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are gaining new insights into electrode structure-performance relationships for energy conversion and storage devices.

Your primary school language reveals if you move away or stay behind
The way you speak in primary school reveals if you will stay behind in your native part of the country or head for the big city to get an education.

5D optical memory in glass could record the last evidence of civilization
Using nanostructured glass, scientists at the University of Southampton have, for the first time, experimentally demonstrated the recording and retrieval processes of five dimensional digital data by femtosecond laser writing.

GR20/Amaldi10: Space-time is not the same for everyone
Before the Big Bang, space-time as we know it did not exist.

Japan, China and South Korea account for 84 percent of the macroalgae patents
The algae, traditionally cultivated for the food sector, are accessible marine resources as they grow in coastal areas.

NIH scientists assess history, pandemic potential of H7 influenza viruses
The emergence of a novel H7N9 avian influenza virus in humans in China has raised questions about its pandemic potential as well as that of related influenza viruses.

Statin use linked to few side effects
Side effects from statins are rare, and the benefits outweigh the risks.

Wildfires may contribute more to global warming than previously predicted
Wildfires produce a witch's brew of carbon-containing particles, as anyone downwind of a forest fire can attest.

Double-barreled attack on obesity in no way a no-brainer
In the constant cross talk between our brain and our gut, two gut hormones are already known to tell the brain when we have had enough to eat.

NASA satellites see strong thunderstorms surround Typhoon Soulik's center
Visible and infrared satellite data show strong thunderstorms surrounding the low-level center of the tropical storm turned Typhoon Soulik.

Short-term exposure to most major air pollutants raises the risk of hospitalization for and death from heart failure
Short-term exposure to most major air pollutants appears to increase the risk of being hospitalized for and dying from heart failure, according to a systematic review and meta-analysis of data from 12 countries published in The Lancet.

Egg banking for social reasons
Egg freezing as insurance against age-related infertility is a growing trend in many countries.

Outdated practice of annual cervical-cancer screenings may cause more harm than good
For decades, women between the ages of 21 and 69 were advised to get annual screening exams for cervical cancer.

CU study shows how early Earth kept warm enough to support life
Solving the

Promise and caution shown in ongoing research into stem cell treatment of strokes
While stem-cell therapy offers great promise for the treatment of stroke, much research remains to be done to show its long-term effectiveness and to understand the potential for dangerous side effects.

H7N9 influenza: History of similar viruses gives cause for concern
The H7N9 avian flu strain that emerged in China earlier this year has subsided for now, but it would be a mistake to be reassured by this apparent lull in infections.

Health info exchange: Short-term growth, but long-term concerns
While record numbers of hospitals and doctors participate in electronic health information exchange efforts, which enable medical histories to follow patients as they move between healthcare providers, the long-term success of these programs is in question.

When we consume emotions instead of food
AZTI-Tecnalia is working on a pioneering methodology that is seeking to identify the emotions linked to the consumption of food; the idea is to design new products and new actions for communication focussing particularly on the reality of companies and their customers.

Note to teens: Just breathe
UCLA researchers have found that a workshop for adolescents that teaches skills to keep impulsive acts under control, is effective.

Titus Schleyer first to hold chair established to honor informatics giant Clem McDonald
Indiana University School of Medicine and the Regenstrief Institute are establishing an endowed chair to honor Clement McDonald, M.D., a pioneer and innovator in the use of health information technology to improve patient care and outcomes.

Silicon oxide memories transcend a hurdle
A Rice University laboratory working on next-generation

Survey shows limited use of sex offender registry
Texas has the second largest sex offender registry in the country, but relatively few people are accessing it or using it to develop protective actions against future sex crimes, a study by the Crime Victims' Institute at Sam Houston State University found.

Bird vaccine for West Nile Virus
University of British Columbia researchers have developed a vaccine to halt the spread of West Nile Virus among common and endangered bird species.

Suspicions confirmed: Brain tumors in children have a common cause
An overactive signaling pathway is a common cause in cases of pilocytic astrocytoma, the most frequent type of brain cancer in children.

Fitness test for corrosion protection coatings
Internal coatings in the different sections of oil treatment plants are subjected to a variety of stresses.

Don't worry, be healthy
People with cheerful temperaments are significantly less likely to suffer a coronary event such as a heart attack or sudden cardiac death, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.

Big name for a small worm
Biologists in Tübingen name a newly discovered threadworm after physicist Max Planck.

NREL research earns 3 prestigious R&D 100 Awards
A new energy-efficient approach to building occupancy detection, a better way to detect heat loss in electric-vehicle batteries and a high-efficiency silicon solar cell - all developed or advanced at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory -- have been named among this year's most significant innovations by R&D Magazine.

Breakthrough study reveals biological basis for sensory processing disorders in kids
In a groundbreaking new study from UC San Francisco, researchers have found that children affected with sensory processing disorders have quantifiable differences in brain structure, showing a biological basis for the disease that sets it apart from other neurodevelopmental disorders.

Parasites in cat poop: Potential public health problem?
Each year in the United States, cats deposit about 1.2 million metric tons of feces into the environment, and that poop is carrying with it what may be a vast and underappreciated public health problem, say scientists July 9 in the journal Trends in Parasitology, a Cell Press publication.

Study investigates whether improving sleep reduces heart disease risk in caregivers
The University of South Florida College of Nursing is conducting research to improve sleep in those caring for people with Alzheimer's disease and other dementias, with the aim of determining if better sleep affects heart health.

Physicians slow to implement HPV vaccination and cervical cancer screening guidelines
Recent breakthroughs in cervical cancer prevention have resulted in new vaccination and cervical cancer screening guidelines.

2 TSRI professors named Simons Investigators
Professors Donna Blackmond, Ph.D., and Gerald Joyce, M.D., Ph.D., of the Scripps Research Institute have been named Simons Investigators for the Collaboration on the Origins of Life, sponsored by the Simons Foundation, a New York-based nonprofit organization established in 1994 to advance the frontiers of research in mathematics and basic sciences.

Contemplating the Brazilian dilemma: Abundant grain/inadequate storage
Tropical climates that allow for year-round farming would seem to be a tremendous economic advantage, but for corn and soybean farmers in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso it also poses a problem -- an abundance of grain followed by about a 10 percent postharvest loss, partially due to a lack of storage.

Journal highlights Arctic sea ice study by UM professor
New research by University of Montana bioclimatology Assistant Professor Ashley Ballantyne models the influence of Arctic sea ice on Arctic temperatures during the Pliocene era.

Women who give birth to multiple babies after IVF are at higher risk of breast cancer
Women who give birth to multiple babies following IVF treatment are at a higher risk of breast cancer than those giving birth to singletons or who remain childless.

Alaska Satellite Facility debuts new image collection
A treasure trove of new images is now available through the Alaska Satellite Facility Distributed Active Archive Center.

Excessive cerebral spinal fluid, enlarged brain size in infancy are potential biomarkers for autism
Children who were later diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder had excessive cerebral spinal fluid and enlarged brains in infancy, a study by a multidisciplinary team of researchers with the UC Davis MIND Institute has found, raising the possibility that those brain anomalies may serve as potential biomarkers for the early identification of the neurodevelopmental disorder.

Research suggests Madagascar no longer an evolutionary hotspot
Madagascar has long been known as a hotspot of biodiversity.

Birds outpace climate change to avoid extinction
A new study has shed light on the potential of birds to survive in the face of climate change.

Biceps bulge, calves curve, 50-year-old assumptions muscled aside
The basics of how a muscle generates power remain the same: Filaments of myosin tugging on filaments of actin shorten, or contract, the muscle -- but the power doesn't just come from what's happening straight up and down the length of the muscle, as has been assumed for 50 years.

Research demonstrates the influence of temporal niches in maintaining biodiversity
By studying rapidly evolving bacteria as they diversify and compete under varying environmental conditions, researchers have shown that temporal niches are important to maintaining biodiversity in natural systems.

Losing weight over the phone
An intensive lifestyle intervention, proven to help people lose weight to prevent diabetes, also works in primary care when delivered over the telephone to obese patients with metabolic syndrome.

Guidance on fair contract negotiation in collaborative research partnerships
The Council on Health Research for Development has recently published a guidance document aimed at optimizing research institution building through better contracts and contracting in research partnerships.

NASA infrared data shows a shrunken Tropical Depression Erick
Infrared imagery from the AIRS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite revealed that Erick, now a tropical depression has reduced in strength and size and continues to weaken.

Dip, dip, hooray -- Kids eat more veggies with flavored dips
Many parents have a difficult time persuading their preschool-aged children to try vegetables, let alone eat them regularly.

Carnegie's Chris Field receives Max Planck Research Prize
Christopher Field, the founding director of Carnegie's Department of Global Ecology has been awarded one of Germany's most prestigious prizes, the Max Planck Research Prize with Markus Reichstein

Research examines differences in rates of cardiac catheterization between New York State and Ontario
The increased use of cardiac catheterization in New York relative to Ontario appears related to selecting more patients at low risk of obstructive coronary artery disease, with the subsequent diagnostic yield (i.e., the proportion of tested patients in whom disease was diagnosed) of this procedure in New York significantly lower than in Ontario, according to a study in the July 10 issue of JAMA.

Tiny new catfish species found in Rio Paraíba do Sul basin, Brazil
A new diminutive species of catfish was found in Rio Paraíba do Sul basin in Brazil.

UC Davis MIND Institute researchers identify specific fetal antigens attacked by maternal antibodies
UC Davis MIND Institute researchers have identified the specific antibodies that target fetal brain proteins in the blood of a subset of women whose children are diagnosed with autism.

ICCB symposium to examine ecosystem management
At the 26th International Congress for Conservation Biology, leading experts on ecosystem-based management will discuss what decision makers and researchers can learn from efforts that have been put into practice and what impacts these integrated ecosystem management projects have on coastal and marine systems and the people who depend on them.

Female obesity linked to lower rates of live birth and embryo implantation in the uterus
An analysis of almost 10,000 first cycles of egg donation treatment at one of Europe's largest IVF centres shows that female obesity reduces the receptivity of the uterus to embryo implantation and thereby compromises reproductive outcome.

Poorer health for acetaminophen overdose survivors than other liver failure patients
Spontaneous survivors of acetaminophen overdose have significantly lower overall health compared to survivors or transplant recipients following acute liver failure caused by non-drug induced liver injury according to a new study published online in Liver Transplantation, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the International Liver Transplantation Society.

Tobacco control measures in India could prevent heart disease and stroke deaths
Implementing smoke-free laws and increased tobacco taxes in India would yield substantial and rapid health benefits by averting future cardiovascular disease deaths, according to a new study published this week in PLOS Medicine.

Avoidance strategies can be valuable stress reliever, says study on work/life/school balance
If achieving a work/life balance wasn't hard enough, researchers say many of us are juggling a third factor: school.

US farm subsidy policies contribute to worsening obesity trends
Failure to consider public health in the formulation of agricultural policy has compromised the American nutritional environment by promoting the production and consumption of unhealthy foods.

Females respond better to stress because of estrogen, UB animal study finds
The idea that females are more resilient than males in responding to stress is a popular view, and now University at Buffalo researchers have found a scientific explanation.

Contaminated ultrasound gel tied to outbreak of healthcare-associated infections
After a 2011 outbreak of P. aeruginosa, investigators at Beaumont Health System near Detroit, Michigan determined contaminated ultrasound gel was the source of bacteria causing the healthcare-associated infection.

ORNL wins 6 R&D 100s
Researchers at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory have received six R&D 100 awards, presented each year by R&D Magazine in recognition of the year's most significant technological innovations.

Researchers build 3-D structures out of liquid metal
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed three-dimensional printing technology and techniques to create free-standing structures made of liquid metal at room temperature.

Graphene on its way to conquer Silicon Valley
The remarkable material graphene promises a wide range of applications in future electronics that could complement or replace traditional silicon technology.

Tumor-suppressor Protein Gives Up Its Secrets
Genetic mutations aren't the only thing that can keep a protein called PTEN from doing its tumor-suppressing job.

Damon Runyon grants prestigious fellowship awards to 17 top young scientists
The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on supporting innovative early career researchers, named 17 new Damon Runyon Fellows at its spring Fellowship Award Committee review.

Sanford-Burnham researchers develop novel nanoparticle to deliver powerful RNA interference drugs
Silencing genes that have malfunctioned is an important approach for treating diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

Penn study shows vascular link in Alzheimer's disease with cognition
Researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that, across a variety of neurodegenerative diseases, cerebrovascular disease affecting circulation of blood in the brain was significantly associated with dementia.

Sun's loops are displaying an optical illusion
To understand how the corona is heated, some astronomers study coronal loops.

Newly identified bone marrow stem cells reveal markers for ALS
Prof. Miguel Weil of Tel Aviv University has uncovered four different biomarkers that characterize non-genetic ALS, a devastating motor neuron disease that rapidly atrophies the muscles and remains without a cure.

Pressure cooker on steroids treats human waste
Like alchemists, engineers from Duke University and the University of Missouri are developing a process to turn sewage into drinkable water, energy and useful byproducts at a cost of less than a nickel per person per day.

Doctor calls for investigation into possible lack of informed consent in premature baby studies
In an article on, a senior doctor today calls on several governments around the world to investigate whether parents of premature babies were fully informed of the risks of a study on the health effects of varying oxygen levels, as was not the case in the US.

Large UK population study finds no increased cancer risk in children born after assisted conception
Children born as a result of assisted reproduction (ART) are at no greater risk of cancer than children born spontaneously in the general population, according to results of one of the largest ever cohort studies of ART children.

New software provides free framework for collaborative research in visual field analysis
Vision researchers have developed new software that will analyze visual fields in an open-source platform to improve and encourage collaborative research among independent labs.

Association of low vitamin D levels with risk of CHD events differs by race, ethnicity
In a multiethnic group of adults, low serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentration was associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease events among white or Chinese participants but not among black or Hispanic participants, results that suggest that the risks and benefits of vitamin D supplementation should be evaluated carefully across race and ethnicity, according to a study in the July 10 issue of JAMA.

SWiFT commissioned to study wind farm optimization
The U.S. Department of Energy, Sandia National Laboratories and Texas Tech University commissioned the DOE/Sandia Scaled Wind Farm Technology facility today at the Reese Technology Center in Lubbock, Texas.

Robotic ultrasound gives surgeon more direct control in mapping and removing kidney cancers
While the use of ultrasound to identify tumors during kidney cancer surgery is gaining acceptance, a research team at Henry Ford Hospital has successfully taken it a step further by showing an added benefit when the procedure is done robotically.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Chantal's heavy rainfall and towering thunderstorms
Two NASA satellites captured a look at Tropical Storm Chantal, from the inside and outside and revealed powerful, high thunderstorms dropping heavy rainfall.

Women working shifts are at greater risk of miscarriage, menstrual disruption and subfertility
Shift work, which encourages sleep deprivation and patterns of activity outside the circadian rhythm, has been associated with a greater risk of ill health and loss of well-being in some studies.

Technologies for monitoring remaining leukemia after treatment may help predict patient outcomes
New evidence suggests that using advanced genetics technologies to monitor for remaining cancer cells after treatment may soon become an effective tool to inform treatment decisions and ultimately predict patient outcomes for patients with a particularly aggressive form of acute lymphocytic leukemia.

Joyful notes: Testing the power of music to improve senior health
Music -- as poets have noted -- has the power to wash away the dust of everyday life, and medical experts believe it may also imbue physical and social benefits.

Infants' food linked to higher, lower Type 1 diabetes risk
Infants who get their first solid food before 4 months of age and after six months may have a higher risk of developing Type 1 diabetes.

Admission screenings find superbug infections in Virginia
In a new study, researchers screened all patients for carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae at admission to a long-term acute care hospital.

Women suffer higher rates of decline in aging and alzheimer's disease
The rates of regional brain loss and cognitive decline caused by aging and the early stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD) are higher for women and for people with a key genetic risk factor for AD, say researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine in a study published online July 4 in the American Journal of Neuroradiology.

Europe-wide study finds long-term exposure to even low levels of air pollution increases risk of lung cancer
Prolonged exposure to particulate air pollution increases the risk of lung cancer (particularly adenocarcinoma) even at levels below the European Union limit values, according to one of the largest studies of its kind published in The Lancet Oncology.

Study: Agents like Snowden prone to irrational decision making
US intelligence agents -- like the embattled Edward Snowden -- are more prone to irrational inconsistencies in decision making when compared to college students and post-college adults.

Over-confident CEOs can put companies at risk
CEOs with over-confidence can involve their companies in riskier ventures and put investors' funds at risk, according to a new study from the University of Missouri, Georgia Tech University and the University of Texas-Arlington.

Ben-Gurion U. and Sorrento Therapeutics sign agreement to develop anti-hepatitis C virus antibodies
This collaborative effort utilizes the respective strengths of each organization to create an important product opportunity consisting of therapeutic and/or prophylactic agents against HCV infections.

Mycobacteria get all the advantages of sex with none of the downsides
Sexual reproduction is costly to organisms that depend on it, like humans.

Soy protein supplementation does not reduce risk of prostate cancer recurrence
Among men who had undergone radical prostatectomy, daily consumption of a beverage powder supplement containing soy protein isolate for 2 years did not reduce or delay development of biochemical recurrence of prostate cancer compared to men who received placebo, according to a study in the July 10 issue of JAMA.

AOSSM presents prestigious research awards at annual meeting
In order to recognize and encourage cutting-edge research in key areas of orthopaedic sports medicine, the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine will present ten research awards and seven grants during its Annual Meeting, July 11-14 in Chicago, IL.

Evolution too slow to keep up with climate change, study says
A study led by a UA ecologist has found that many species would have to evolve about 10,000 times faster to adapt to the rapid climate change expected in the next 100 years.

Scientists image vast subglacial water system under West Antarctica's Thwaites Glacier
In a development that will help predict sea level rise, scientists have used an innovation in radar analysis to accurately image the vast subglacial water system under West Antarctica's Thwaites Glacier, detecting a swamp-like canal system several times as large as Florida's Everglades.

Link between low vitamin D blood levels and heart disease varies by race
Evidence suggests low blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin are associated with higher risk of developing coronary heart disease among whites.

Illinois chemical/bioengineers use adhesion to combine advantages of silicones and organic materials
University of Illinois bioengineers led by led by Hyunjoon Kong, Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and member of the Regenerative Biology and Tissue Engineering research theme at the Institute for Genomic Biology, have found a way to strongly adhere hydrogels to hydrophobic silicone substrates, an innovation that provides a valuable new tool for microscale biotechnology.

Kessler Foundation awarded more than $1.2 million in grants by the NJ Commission on Sci Research
Scientists at Kessler Foundation received grants from the New Jersey Commission on Spinal Cord Injury Research.

Fewer Americans undergoing lower limb amputation
There have been dramatic decreases in the number and severity of lower limb amputations over the past decade, according to a new study published in the July 2013 issue of Foot & Ankle International.

Did Neandertals have language?
A recent study suggest that Neandertals shared speech and language with modern humans.

Dual antiplatelet therapy following coronary stent implantation is associated with improved outcomes
The researchers found that dual antiplatelet therapy with aspirin and a P2Y12 inhibitor (e.g., ticlopidine, clopidogrel, prasugref, ticagrelor) is associated with significant improvement in the outcomes of patients undergoing coronary stenting and remains the main medical therapy for optimizing stent-related outcomes after PCI and stent placement.

UC Davis MIND Institute researchers find exposure to maternal antibodies affects behavior
Researchers with the UC Davis MIND Institute have found that prenatal exposure to specific combinations of antibodies found only in mothers of children with autism leads to changes in the brain that adversely affect behavior and development.

News media registration opens for American Chemical Society National Meeting in Indianapolis
News media registration is now open for the American Chemical Society's 246th National Meeting & Exposition, September 8-12, 2013, in the Indiana Convention Center and downtown hotels in Indianapolis, Ind.

Pre-eclampsia poses cerebral palsy risk for premature and small babies
Exposure to pre-eclampsia is associated with an increased risk of cerebral palsy in newborns, if they are preterm or small at birth, suggests a study published today on

Placebo effect largely ignored in psychological intervention studies
Many brain-training companies tout the scientific backing of their products -- the laboratory studies that reveal how their programs improve your brainpower.

Rates of major CV procedures differ between Medicare Advantage and fee-for-service beneficiaries
In a study that included nearly 6 million Medicare Advantage and Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries from 12 states, rates of angiography and percutaneous coronary interventions were significantly lower among Medicare Advantage beneficiaries and geographic variation in procedure rates was substantial for both payment types, according to a study in the July 10 issue of JAMA.

Behavior change may have the greatest influence on waves of influenza outbreak: McMaster study
Behavioral changes of people, temperature trends and school closure all contributed to the three-wave mortality patterns in the UK during the 1918 influenza pandemic with behavioral changes having the greatest effect. 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