Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 15, 2013
Researchers question practice of automatically transfusing large amounts of blood to trauma patients
Researchers at St. Michael's Hospital are asking questions about the practice of automatically transfusing large amounts of blood and blood products to trauma patients with major bleeding.

An 'obesity-risk' allele alters hunger-stimulating hormone production
Rachel Batterham and colleagues at University College London identify a link between FTO and the hunger-stimulating hormone, ghrelin.

Solving DNA puzzles is overwhelming computer systems, researchers warn
Scientists in the fast-growing field of computational genomics are getting lots of data but lack the computer power needed to analyze it quickly.

CSI-style DNA fingerprinting tracks down cause of cancer spread
How do stationary cancer cells get the mutations that allow them to travel through the body to seed metastasis?

Neurotoxicity of chemotherapy drugs
Chemotherapy is one of the primary treatments for cancer. However, one of the most disturbing findings of recent studies of cancer survivors is the apparent prevalence of chemotherapy-associated adverse neurological effects, including vascular complications, seizures, mood disorders, cognitive dysfunctions, and peripheral neuropathies.

Distorted GPS signals reveal hurricane wind speeds
Researchers have found a way to do something completely different with GPS: Measure and map the wind speeds of hurricanes.

Free market is best way to combat climate change, study suggests
The best way to reduce carbon emissions and combat climate change is through the use of market forces, according to a new study.

The heart of space weather observed in action
Two NASA spacecraft have provided the most comprehensive movie ever of a mysterious process at the heart of all explosions on the sun: magnetic reconnection.

Is paeonol effective for neurodegenerative diseases?
Microglial cells play an important role in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.

Drug shows dramatic reduction in seizures in patients with tuberous sclerosis complex
A drug originally developed to prevent the rejection of transplanted organs has now been shown to dramatically reduce seizures in patients with tuberous sclerosis complex -- a genetic disease characterized by benign tumors on multiple organ systems.

NIST offers guidance on building 21st-century forensic labs
A new National Institute of Standards and Technology handbook provides law enforcement agencies with a detailed how-to guide on the planning, design, construction and relocation of forensic science laboratories.

Dad's obesity could be inherited by multiple generations
The sperm of obese fathers could increase the risk of both their children and their grandchildren inheriting obesity, according to new research from the University of Adelaide.

Very preterm babies show bonding difficulties despite parental sensitivity
A new study suggests that some very preterm babies have trouble bonding with their care-givers due to neurological impairments and not to the way their parents interact with them.

Affordable Care Act could cause people to leave their jobs
As a consequence of the Affordable Care Act, between 500,000 and 900,000 Americans may choose to stop working.

Path of plaque buildup in brain shows promise as early biomarker for Alzheimer's disease
The trajectory of amyloid plaque buildup -- clumps of abnormal proteins in the brain linked to Alzheimer's disease -- may serve as a more powerful biomarker for early detection of cognitive decline rather than using the total amount to gauge risk, researchers from Penn Medicine's Department of Radiology suggest in a new study published online July 15 in Neurobiology of Aging.

Scientists construct visual of intracellular 'zip code' signaling linked to learning, memory
New University of Vermont research provides a rare

Taking the 'random' out of a random laser
Random lasers are a new kind of light source: Tiny structures, which emit a unique light pattern.

NASA Hubble finds new Neptune moon
NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has discovered a new moon orbiting the distant blue-green planet Neptune, the 14th known to be circling the giant planet.

Educators explore innovative 'theater' as a way to learn physics
In a study released last week, education researchers found that personifying energy allowed students to grapple with difficult ideas about how energy works.

Prior flu exposure dictates your future immunity, allowing for new, rationally developed regiments
Wistar scientists have determined that it might be possible to stimulate the immune system against multiple strains of influenza virus by sequentially vaccinating individuals with distinct influenza strains isolated over the last century.

In children with fever, researchers distinguish bacterial from viral infections
Many children develop fevers without an obvious cause. Now, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine have shown they can tell whether a child has a viral or bacterial infection by profiling the activity of genes in a blood sample.

Drought response identified in potential biofuel plant
Drought resistance is the key to large-scale production of Jatropha, a potential biofuel plant -- and an international group of scientists has identified the first step toward engineering a hardier variety.

GOES-R improvements to provide stunning, continuous full-disk imagery
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's next generation of GOES satellites, beginning with GOES-R, will have the ability to take full-disk images of Earth at five-minute intervals.

Astrophysicist Mercedes Richards is Woman Physicist of the Month for July 2013
Astrophysicist Mercedes Richards of Penn State is being honored by the American Physical Society as its Woman Physicist of the Month for July 2013.

1-year mortality remains high in patients with prosthetic valve endocarditis
Prosthetic valve endocarditis (inflammation and infection involving the heart valves and lining of the heart chambers) remains associated with a high one-year mortality rate and early valve replacement does not appear to be associated with lower mortality compared with medical therapy.

A new form of carbon: Grossly warped 'nanographene'
By introducing multiple odd-membered ring defects into a graphene lattice, researchers from Boston College and Nagoya University have experimentally demonstrated that the electronic properties of graphene can be modified in a predictable manner through precisely controlled chemical synthesis.

Study reveals new dietary risk factors for colorectal cancer
Fizzy drinks, cakes, biscuits, crisps and desserts have all been identified as risk factors for bowel cancer, according to new research.

How cranberries impact infection-causing bacteria
Researchers in McGill University's Department of Chemical Engineering are shedding light on the biological mechanisms by which cranberries may impart protective properties against urinary tract and other infections.

Biochemists uphold law of physics
Experiments by biochemists at UC Davis show for the first time that a law of physics, the ergodic theorem, can be demonstrated by a collection of individual protein molecules -- specifically, a protein that unwinds DNA.

Cancer researchers discover how BRCA1 mutation starts breast, ovarian cancers
Scientists led by Drs. Mona Gauthier and Tak Mak at The Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre have solved a key piece in the puzzle of how BRCA1 gene mutations specifically predispose women to breast and ovarian cancers.

RI Hospital study: Lunar cycle affects cardiac patients undergoing acute aortic dissection
If you need cardiac surgery in the future, aortic dissection in particular, reach for the moon.

An end-of-life 'conversation guide' for physicians to speak with patients
How does a doctor tackle the delicate issue of end-of-life care planning with a patient?

Dr. Valentin Fuster receives 2013 SCCT Arthur S. Agatston Cardiovascular Disease Prevention Award
The Society of Cardiovascular Computed Tomography (SCCT) has honored Valentin Fuster, M.D., Ph.D., Director of Mount Sinai Heart at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, with the 2013 SCCT Arthur S.

Novel study using new technologies outlines importance of California condor social groups
The intricate social hierarchy of the California condor, an endangered species, is something that could not be studied until recently due to the severe reduction of this population in the wild.

Researchers generate long-lasting blood vessels from reprogrammed human cells
Massachusetts General Hospital researchers have used vascular precursor cells derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells to generate, in an animal model, functional blood vessels that lasted as long as nine months.

Africa's social-ecological challenges being researched at the UoC
In many African countries food production per capita is in decline.

Robotic frogs help turn a boring mating call into a serenade
With the help of a robotic frog, biologists have discovered that two wrong mating calls can make a right for female túngara frogs.

Chemical compound shows promise as alternative to opioid pain relievers
A drug targeting a protein complex containing two different types of opioid receptors may be an effective alternative to morphine and other opioid pain medications, without any of the side effects or risk of dependence, according to research led by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Genetic secrets of the world's toughest little bird
Scientists from Griffith University have taken part in an international study which has revealed the genetic secrets of how a small bird can survive in one of the most hostile environments on earth.

Medicaid patients at higher risk of complications after spine surgery
Among patients undergoing spinal surgery, Medicaid beneficiaries are at higher risk of experiencing any type of complication, compared to privately insured patients, reports a study in the July 15 issue of of Spine.

Attractive and successful
Researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, have now analyzed the dominance relations between male and female wild bonobos and took particular interest in the high social status ranking of some females.

UAlberta researchers develop E. coli test for food processing facilities
Medical, agriculture and computer science researchers from the University of Alberta have teamed up to develop a test that will make Canadians feel safer about the meat they put on their tables.

Nesting Gulf loggerheads face offshore risks
Threatened loggerhead sea turtles in the northern Gulf of Mexico can travel distances up to several hundred miles and visit offshore habitats between nesting events in a single season, taking them through waters impacted by oil and fishing industries.

Scientists at NCI generate largest data set of cancer-related genetic variations
Scientists at the National Cancer Institute have generated a data set of cancer-specific genetic variations and are making these data available to the research community, according to a study published in Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

A guide to help physicians talk to their patients about dying
A new conversation guide to help physicians talk to their patients about end-of-life care and dying has been published by CMAJ.

Electronic health records slow the rise of healthcare costs
Use of electronic health records can reduce the costs of outpatient care by roughly 3 percent, compared to relying on traditional paper records.

Social parenting: Teens feel closer to parents when they connect online
Teenagers who are connected to their parents on social media feel closer to their parents in real life.

Study finds clues on how to keep kids engaged with educational games
If you want teams of students to stay engaged while playing educational games, you might want them to switch seats pretty often.

Common autism supplement affects endocrine system
Plant-based diets are healthy. Plants are high in flavonoids. So flavonoids are healthy.

Is workplace flexibility failing to give parents time with their children?
Parents are increasingly experiencing a

New Rotman-University of Toronto Press book collects the best on design thinking
Over the past decade, University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management and its award-winning publication, Rotman magazine, have emerged as leaders in the field of design thinking.

Ethnic inequalities in mental health care prompt call for review
Individual ethnic groups use psychiatric and mental health services in Scotland very differently, a study suggests.

Notre Dame researchers offer new insights on cancer cell signaling
A pair of studies by a team of University of Notre Dame researchers led by Crislyn D'Souza-Schorey, professor of biological sciences, sheds light on a biological process which is activated across a vast range of malignancies.

Protecting the body in good times and bad
The nasty side effects of radiation and chemotherapy are well known: Fatigue, hair loss and nausea, to name a few.

Brain discovery could help schizophrenics
The discovery of brain impairment in mice may eventually lead to better therapies for people with schizophrenia and major depression.

Phytoplankton social mixers
Scientists at MIT and Oxford University have shown that the motility of phytoplankton also helps them determine their fate in ocean turbulence.

Pain control in children with cerebral palsy
Researchers at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital have found that more than 25 percent of children with cerebral palsy seen by physicians have moderate to severe chronic pain, limiting their activity.

JCI early table of contents for July 15, 2013
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, July 15, 2013, in the JCI: An

TGen President Dr. Jeffrey Trent speaks at Brookings Institution biomedical conference
Dr. Jeffrey Trent, President and Research Director for the Translational Genomics Research Institute, will discuss state-of-the-art genomics research July 16 at the Brookings Institution.

Researchers discover new retroviruses in polar bear Knut and panda Bao Bao
Researchers at Saarland University and Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin have analyzed the genetic material of the polar bear Knut at Berlin Zoo and discovered and characterized new sequences of endogenous retroviruses.

Air Force support for a new generation of lithium-ion batteries
Four years ago, a Rice University research team demonstrated that they could chemically unzip cylindrical shaped carbon nanotubes into soluble graphene nanoribbons (GNR) without compromising the electronic properties of the graphitic structure.

When diffusion depends on chronology
The Internet, motorways and other transport systems, and many social and biological systems are composed of nodes connected by edges.

Understanding the role of IKACh in cardiac function
Researchers have uncovered a previously unknown role for the acetylcholine-activated inward-rectifying potassium current in cardiac pacemaker activity and heart rate regulation, according to a study in The Journal of General Physiology.

Extend HPV jab to young gay men, say sexual health experts
Young gay men should be vaccinated against human papillomavirus infection, because their risk of developing anal cancer is more than 15 times higher than it is in straight men, and it would be cost effective for the NHS, say sexual health experts writing in Sexually Transmitted Infections.

Texas Invasive Species Program established at UT Austin
To combat and manage pesky invasive species such as fire ants, tawny crazy ants and Cactoblastis moths, the Texas Invasive Species Program has been established at The University of Texas at Austin with $2.7 million in support from the Lee and Ramona Bass Foundation.

NIH grant lets Virginia Tech's X.J. Meng study how hepatitis E virus infects across species barrier
X.J. Meng, a University Distinguished Professor at Virginia Tech and a virologist at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, has received a four-year, nearly $1.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to better understand the genetic elements that allow hepatitis E virus to transfer from animals to people.

York physicists offer novel insight into experimental cancer treatment
Physicists from the University of York have carried out new research into how the heating effect of an experimental cancer treatment works.

Early spatial reasoning predicts later creativity and innovation, especially in STEM fields
Exceptional spatial ability at age 13 predicts creative and scholarly achievements over 30 years later, according to results from a new longitudinal study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

NASA caught Soulik's visible eye before making deadly landfall
Typhoon Soulik still maintained an eye just before making landfall in southeastern China on July 13, and NASA's Terra satellite captured the eye in an image.

Chinese people may be at higher risk for stroke than Caucasians
A new study suggests that Chinese people may be at higher risk for stroke than Caucasians.

Air Force supported scientist honored with 2013 Körber European Science Prize
German physicist Immanuel Bloch will be honored with the 2013 Körber European Science Prize for work stemming directly from former grants provided by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research's European Office of Aerospace Research, located in London, United Kingdom.

Music decreases perceived pain for kids in pediatric ER: UAlberta medical research
Newly published findings by medical researchers at the University of Alberta provide more evidence that music decreases children's perceived sense of pain.

MU researcher works to increase hearing-aid use among adults with hearing impairments
Nearly half of individuals who are prescribed hearing aids do not wear the devices, previous research has shown.

Elevated blood pressure increasing among children, adolescents
The risk of elevated blood pressure among children and adolescents rose 27 percent during a thirteen-year period.

Clinical trials for cancer, 1 patient at a time
New department at Columbia University Medical Center is developing a different approach to cancer clinical trials, in which therapies are designed and tested one patient at a time.

Wayne State University scientists identify neural origins of hot flashes in menopausal women
A new study from neuroscientists at the Wayne State University School of Medicine provides the first novel insights into the neural origins of hot flashes in menopausal women in years.

Fear factor: Missing brain enzyme leads to abnormal levels of fear in mice, reveals new research
A little bit of learned fear is a good thing, keeping us from making risky, stupid decisions or falling over and over again into the same trap.

Black-legged ticks linked to encephalitis in New York state
Ostfeld concludes:

Surgical patients' mortality rates drop at ACS NSQIP hospitals in California
A new study evaluating surgical outcomes at California hospitals enrolled in the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) found surgical patients at ACS NSQIP hospitals had significantly reduced mortality rates compared with non-ACS NSQIP hospitals.

Ionic liquid breakthrough in thermal electrical energy
Harvesting waste heat from power stations and even vehicle exhaust pipes could soon provide a valuable supply of electricity.

Current blood transfusion practice in trauma centers feasible but wastes scarce plasma
The use of a 1:1:1 blood transfusion protocol in patients with severe trauma is feasible in hospitals, although it is associated with higher waste of plasma, according to a randomized trial published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

JNK3 expression after traumatic brain injury
Dr. Jiang Long and colleagues from the First Affiliated Hospital of Kunming Medical University, China found that JNK3 expression was down-regulated at early stages of brain injury, which may be associated with apoptosis of nerve cells.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for July 16, 2013
Below is information about articles being published in the July 9 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

Scientists outline long-term sea-level rise in response to warming of planet
A new study estimates that global sea levels will rise about 2.3 meters, or more than seven feet, over the next several thousand years for every degree (Celsius) the planet warms.

Archimedes new study shows health checks may lead to cost effective improvements in health
Archimedes Inc., a healthcare modeling company, announced results of a two-year long collaboration with Novo Nordisk A/S, a world leader in diabetes care, showing that health check strategies assessing diabetes, hypertension, lipids and smoking over 30-year period would likely improve health and cost-effectiveness outcomes in six European countries. 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