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Science News and Current Events for September 24, 2013


Sensor-augmented insulin pump therapy reduces rate of severe hypoglycemic events
Use of an insulin pump with a sensor that suspends insulin delivery when blood glucose falls below a set threshold reduced the rate of severe and moderate hypoglycemia among patients with type 1 diabetes and impaired awareness of hypoglycemia, according to a study in the Sept.
Ultra-fast electrons explain third radiation ring around Earth
In the already complicated science of what creates -- and causes constant change in -- two giant doughnuts of radiation surrounding Earth, researchers have added a new piece of information: Some of the electrons reach such enormous energies that they are driven by an entirely different set of physical processes.
JCI early table of contents for Sept. 24, 2013
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Sept.
NASA's Hubble and Chandra find evidence for densest nearby galaxy
Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory and telescopes on the ground may have found the most crowded galaxy in our part of the universe.
Disease-specific human embryonic stem cell lines from King's College London placed on NIH Registry
Scientists from King's have announced that 16 human embryonic stem cell lines have been approved by the National Institutes of Health, making them freely available for federally-funded research in the USA.
Late Cretaceous Period was likely ice-free
For years, scientists have thought that a continental ice sheet formed during the Late Cretaceous Period more than 90 million years ago when the climate was much warmer than it is today.
Older is wiser, at least economically
The brains of older people are slowing but experience more than makes up for the decline, a University of California, Riverside assistant professor of management and several colleagues found when asking the participants a series of financially related questions.
NOAA, government and academia partners deploy underwater robots to improve hurricane science
A fleet of underwater robots is descending into waters off the east coast to collect data that could help improve storm intensity forecasts during future hurricane seasons.
Low testosterone may be linked to heart problems
Men who have low testosterone levels may have a slightly elevated risk of developing or dying from heart disease, according to a recent study accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Fat and obesity gene also affects hip fracture
Researchers from Sydney's Garvan Institute of Medical Research have demonstrated a strong association between the FTO (fat and obesity) gene and hip fracture in women.
'Traffic light' test could prevent hundreds of people developing alcohol-related cirrhosis
A simple 'traffic light' test that detects hidden liver fibrosis and cirrhosis in high risk populations could reduce harmful drinking rates and potentially prevent hundreds of alcohol-related deaths a year.
Artificial lighting and noise alter biorhythms of birds
Noise from traffic and artificial night lighting cause birds in the city center to become active up to five hours earlier in the morning than birds in more natural areas.
Pfizer Pharmaceuticals supports MARC project
The Council on Health Research for Development is pleased to acknowledge the support of Pfizer Pharmaceuticals on Phase II of the Mapping African Research Ethics Review and Medicines Regulatory Capacity project.
Underage youth get cigarettes and alcohol from friends and family, survey shows
A survey conducted by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health shows that a majority of those underage students in Ontario, Canada who smoke or drink are getting cigarettes and alcohol from a friend or family member.
Time to rethink misguided policies that promote biofuels to protect climate
Policymakers need to rethink the idea of promoting biofuels to protect the climate because the methods used to justify such policies are inherently flawed, according to a University of Michigan energy researcher.
4-year repeat of bone mineral density screening in seniors offers limited value
Repeating bone mineral density tests after four years provides little clinical benefit when assessing bone fracture risk in seniors age 75 and older, according to a recent study led by researchers at the Harvard Medical School-affiliated Institute for Aging Research at Hebrew SeniorLife.
NASA sees inner-core structure of Typhoon Usagi persisted at landfall
The radar on NASA and JAXA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite saw Typhoon Usagi maintaining some of its inner-core structure an hour before landfall on Sept.
Georgia State researcher gets $499,209 NSF grant to advance sociogenomics
Dr. Walter Wilczynski in the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience at Georgia State University has received a five-year $499,209 National Science Foundation grant to form a Research Coordination Network focused on advancing the field of sociogenomics.
Adjusting bacteria in intestines may lead to obesity treatments
A drug that appears to target specific intestinal bacteria in the guts of mice may create a chain reaction that could eventually lead to new treatments for obesity and diabetes in humans, according to a team of researchers.
Study: Majority of patients who qualify for lifesaving heart treatment do not receive it
A new study of patients who died of sudden cardiac arrest, a usually fatal condition that causes the heart to stop beating, shows the majority who qualified to receive potentially lifesaving treatment did not receive it.
External beam RT for early-stage breast cancer does not increase mortality risks
Early-stage breast cancer patients who receive external beam therapy are not at higher risk for serious long-term side effects in the chest area, including increase in deaths from cardiac disease and secondary malignancies, according to research presented today at the American Society for Radiation Oncology's 55th Annual Meeting.
Diet and exercise for knee osteoarthritis produces greater improvement in knee pain, function
Among overweight and obese adults with knee osteoarthritis, combining intensive diet and exercise led to less knee pain and better function after 18 months than diet-alone and exercise-alone, according to a study in the Sept.
NREL calculates emissions & costs of power plant cycling necessary for increased wind and solar
New research from the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory quantifies the potential impacts of increasing wind and solar power generation on the operators of fossil-fueled power plants in the West.
Northern moths may fare better under climate warming than expected
Moths in northern Finland are less susceptible to rising temperatures than expected, suggesting high latitude moth populations around the world may be partly buffered from the effects of rapid climate warming, according to a new Dartmouth-Finnish study based on the most extensive analyses yet conducted of seasonal patterns in forest animals.
Warning of potential side effects of a product can increase its sales
Drug ads often warn of serious side effects, from nausea and bleeding to blindness, even death.
How the gut got its villi
The principles guiding the growth of intestinal structures called villi are surprisingly similar across chickens, frogs, mice, and snakes.
Fusion, anyone?
The dream of igniting a self-sustained fusion reaction with high yields of energy, a feat likened to creating a miniature star on Earth, is getting closer to becoming reality, according the authors of a new review article in the journal Physics of Plasmas.
A link between zinc transport and diabetes
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Yoshio Fujitani and colleagues at Juntendo University investigated the role of zinc transport by SLC30A8 in beta cells.
AGU Journal Highlights -- Sept. 24, 2013
The following highlights summarize research papers that have been recently published in Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres, Journal of Geophysical Research-Solid Earth and Paleoceanography.
Past weight loss an overlooked factor in disordered eating
The focus of eating disorder research has largely been on the state of patients' thoughts, beliefs and emotions, with historically little focus on how current and past body weights contribute.
UCSF establishes largest endowed program for Ph.D. education in history of UC
Sequoia Capital Chairman Sir Michael Moritz, KBE, and his wife, Harriet Heyman, in collaboration with UC San Francisco, have kicked off a new endowment with a $60 million contribution to ensure the future of Ph.D. education programs in the basic sciences.
International Niels Bohr Conference: An open world
After helping the US develop the atomic bomb, Niels Bohr worked tirelessly to promote a world where knowledge was freely accessible.
A shot of anxiety and the world stinks
In evolutionary terms, smell is among the oldest of the senses.
Do anaesthetics trigger stress?
New research could improve the welfare standards of millions of fish used by scientists around the world.
Vitamin D alone does little to protect bone health in postmenopausal women
While calcium supplements noticeably improved bone health in postmenopausal women, vitamin D supplements did not reduce bone turnover, according to a recent study accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
New study shows how ICU ventilation may trigger mental decline
A new study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine from researchers at the University of Oviedo in Spain, St.
Scientists discover possible way to turn fungus from foe to friend
Candida albicans is a double agent: In most of us, it lives peacefully, but for people whose immune systems are compromised by HIV or other severe illnesses, it is frequently deadly.
Cheats of the bird world -- Cuckoo finches fool host parents
Cuckoo finches that lay more than one egg in their victims' nests have a better chance of bamboozling host parents into fostering their parasitic young, a study has found.
Stepfamilies add to caregiver burden
Caregiving is always tough, but it's that much tougher when caregivers have to rely on family ties that are ambiguous, strained or virtually nonexistent, suggests a University of Michigan study.
Decision-making tool may help rule out brain hemorrhage for patients in emergency department
Researchers have developed a simple clinical decision rule that may help doctors identify patients with headache in the emergency department who have subarachnoid hemorrhage (bleeding in a certain area of the brain), according to a study in the Sept.
Regenstrief, IU automated CHICA system makes ADHD diagnosis more accurate
New study finds that using CHICA -- Child Health Improvement through Computer Automation -- to pre-screen for ADHD increased the likelihood that pediatricians screened for and documented appropriate, evidence-based criteria to diagnose ADHD, and made them more likely to seek more information from parents and school.
Economic rewards of better land management: Estimated 2.3 billion tons of crops worth $1.4 trillion
Adopting proven sustainable land management practices could raise world crop supplies by an estimated 2.3 billion tonnes, worth $1.4 trillion, experts say in a study being released at a major global desertification conference.
Oldest existing lizard-like fossil hints at scaly origins
The fossilized remains of a reptile closely related to lizards are the oldest yet to be discovered.
Acupuncture or counselling plus usual care 'may improve' depression symptoms
Acupuncture or counselling plus usual care 'may improve' depression symptoms.
Acupuncture & care may help depression; Pneumococcal infection vaccine; A disruptive medical journal
Acupuncture or counselling, provided alongside usual care, could benefit patients with depression.
2 tests in combination can provide better asthma diagnosis
It was previously thought that the two test methods signalled the same type of asthma.
Mayo-led study: Drug fails to reduce diarrhea in patients receiving radiation therapy
Sulfasalazine, a drug commonly prescribed to reduce diarrhea in patients with inflammatory bowel disease, does not reduce diarrhea in patients receiving radiation therapy for cancers in the pelvic area a Mayo Clinic-led study has found.
Penn Medicine study: Proton therapy cuts side effects for pediatric head and neck cancer patients
The precise targeting and limited dosing of radiation via proton therapy is proving to be an advantage in ongoing efforts to reduce treatment side effects among head and neck cancer patients, according to a new study of pediatric patients from researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.
Scientists confirm functionality of emergency ventilation system for horses
Respiratory or cardiovascular arrest in outdoor animals poses a huge challenge to veterinarians.
Researchers use smart phone photography to diagnose eye disease
Massachusetts Eye and Ear researchers describe the relatively simple technique of fundus photography in human and rabbit eyes using a smartphone, an inexpensive app for the smartphone, and instruments that are readily available in an ophthalmic practice.
Link between antidepressants and diabetes risk is real
Clinicians should be extra vigilant when prescribing antidepressants as they could pose a risk of type 2 diabetes, researchers at the University of Southampton have warned.
New CU-Boulder-led study finds 'microbial clock' may help determine time of death
An intriguing study led by the University of Colorado Boulder may provide a powerful new tool in the quiver of forensic scientists attempting to determine the time of death in cases involving human corpses: A microbial clock.
NOAA launches website holding millions of chemical analyses from Deepwater Horizon oil spill
NOAA announced the release of a comprehensive, quality-controlled dataset that gives ready access to millions of chemical analyses and other data on the massive Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.
Hereditary spastic paraplegia development associated with changes in endoplasmic reticulum
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Christian Huebner and colleagues at Jena University develop a mouse model of HSP by introducing a human-associated mutation into the gene encoding receptor accessory protein 1.
Study confirms that rare mutations increase risk of late-onset Alzheimer's disease
Massachusetts General Hospital researchers have identified and validated two rare gene mutations that appear to cause the common form of Alzheimer's disease (AD) that strikes after the age of 60.
Study shows social deprivation a key factor in mortality in type 1 diabetes
Levels of social deprivation, as well as how well a patient controls their blood sugar, is an independent risk factor for mortality in people with type 1 diabetes.
MicroRNA-31 might predict lung-cancer spread
A new study suggests that measuring levels of miR-31 in tumor tissue might accurately determine whether the most common form of lung cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes.
Epigenetic changes observed in blood may point to early stages in Parkinson disease
Researchers from UCSD have now shown that a distinctive pattern of epigenetic modifications is observed in specific genes associated with Parkinson Disease.
Arizona State University secures top funding in Earth sciences
Two ASU research projects, funded by the National Science Foundation, aim to unlock Earth's mysteries.
Development of autoimmunity in patients with common variable immune deficiency
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Eric Meffre and colleagues at Yale University evaluated B cell activation and tolerance development in healthy individuals and CVID patients with one or two mutated copies of TACI.
How peers influence teens' interest in studying math and science
Dasgupta recently received a five-year, $1.5 million grant from the National Science Foundation to identify solutions to this problem.
LA astronomer Edwin C. Krupp wins AIP's 2013 Andrew Gemant Award
The American Institute of Physics has announced that Edwin C.
Professional French horn players in danger of developing noise-induced hearing loss
A new study published online in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Hygiene found further evidence that French horn players are one of the most at-risk groups of developing NIHL among professional orchestral musicians.
New European database launched to map strengths and gaps in research infrastructure provision
A new public database of Europe's finest scientific research facilities has been launched today to better inform policy makers about the deployment of science funding and to help scientists locate and access the most appropriate equipment and services to support their research.
Cross-ethnic friendships in urban middle schools make youths feel less vulnerable, safer
A new study found that cross-ethnic friendships in urban middle schools help make youths feel safer and less vulnerable.
Prevalence of poorer kidney function increases among adults 80 years of age and older
The researchers found that the prevalence of an estimated GFR of less than 60 mL/min/1.73 m2 was 40.5 percent in 1988-1994, 49.9 percent in 1999-2004, and 51.2 percent in 2005-2010.
New research shows how heart cells communicate to regulate heart activity
New research from Western University is leading to a better understanding of what happens during heart failure; knowledge that could lead to better therapeutics or a more accurate predictor of risk.
International Conference on Rhetoric in Europe, 9-13 October
Do all Europeans present their arguments in the same way, or are there as many styles of speaking as there are languages?
Uphill for the trees of the world
You'll need to get out your mountain boots to go for a walk in the woods in the future.
Duojia Pan awarded Paul Marks Prize for innovation in cancer research
Memorial Sloane-Kettering Cancer Center has recognized Duojia
Genetic study pushes back timeline for first significant human population expansion
Using new genetic tools, the authors conclude that the first significant expansion of human populations appears to be much older than the emergence of farming and herding, dating back to the Paleolithic (60,000-80,000 years ago) rather than Neolithic age (10,000 years ago).
Having children lowers mortality in people with type 1 diabetes, but for women more than men
New research published at this week's annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes in Barcelona, Spain, shows that having children lowers mortality in people with type 1 diabetes, but for women more than men.
University of Toronto prize-winning technology reduces marine bio-fouling
A University of Toronto technology that provides a cost-effective and environmentally sound solution to the fishing industry's multi-billion-dollar bio-fouling problem has been recognized with a Clean50 Award.
Targeted radiation therapy safe, effective treatment for elderly with pancreatic cancer
A highly targeted cancer radiation therapy may offer a safe and effective treatment option for elderly pancreatic cancer patients unable to undergo surgery or combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy, according to researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.
Penn team receives $20 million in federal funding to establish Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science
A $20 million federal grant will create the University of Pennsylvania Tobacco Center of Regulatory Science.
Study findings may explain delayed onset of heart disease in women
A biological ability to compensate for the body's reduced response to insulin may explain why women typically develop heart disease 10 years later than men, according to a recent study accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
Iowa State, Ames Lab chemists help find binding site of protein that allows plant growth
Chemists from Iowa State and the Ames Laboratory are part of a research team that discovered where a protein binds to plant cell walls, a process that makes it possible for plants to grow.
QUT develops software to reduce greenhouse gases
Technology developed at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane aims to help Australia reduce greenhouse gas emissions across its agricultural landscape.
Some childhood cancer survivors may face subsequent renal problems
Adult survivors of childhood cancers who underwent certain chemotherapy treatments or kidney surgery had worse kidney function that did not recover over time.
New steering tech for heavy equipment saves fuel, ups efficiency
Researchers at Purdue University have shown how to reduce fuel consumption while improving the efficiency of hydraulic steering systems in heavy construction equipment.
(Re)-locating religion in a technological age
For Concordia University communications professor Jeremy Stolow, the intermingling of religion and technology can shed new light on what it means to be human.
Responsive interactions key to toddlers' ability to learn language
Responsive interactions are the key to toddlers' ability to learn language, according to a new study.
Maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance in the kidney
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Regine Chambrey and colleagues at INSERM used a mouse model of dRTA to demonstrate that genetic loss of a proton pump in beta-intercalated cells results in increased levels of prostaglandin E2 in urine, which promotes hypokalemia and hypercalcemia.
Cheap dextrose gel could help prevent cause of brain damage in newborns
A cheap and easy-to-administer dextrose gel should be used to treat low blood sugars in newborns, a common problem that affects up to 15% of otherwise healthy babies, and a preventable cause of brain damage, according to new research published in The Lancet.
Astronomers discover densest galaxy ever
Imagine the distance between the sun and the star nearest to it -- a star called Alpha Centauri.
Penn Medicine researchers harness the immune system to fight pancreatic cancer
A team led by the University of Pennsylvania's Perelman School of Medicine and Abramson Cancer Center published results in Clinical Cancer Research of a clinical trial in which the standard chemotherapy drug for pancreatic cancer, gemcitabine, was paired with an agonist CD40 antibody, resulting in substantial tumor regressions among some patients with advanced disease.
Greek crisis has biological health effects
Young adults in Greece suffer more from stress and mental health problems and are less optimistic about the future than Swedes of the same age.
Recommendations guide physicians in treatment of systemic juvenile arthritis
In the US, there are nearly 300,000 children with juvenile arthritis and other rheumatic illnesses according to estimates from the American College of Rheumatology.
Deep sea ecosystem may take decades to recover from Deepwater Horizon spill
The deep-sea soft-sediment ecosystem in the immediate area of the 2010's Deepwater Horizon well head blowout and subsequent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico will likely take decades to recover from the spill's impacts, according to a scientific paper reported in the online scientific journal PLoS One.
Living better with heart failure by changing what you eat
Just 21 days of following a low-sodium DASH diet lowered blood pressure and improved heart function for older adults living with a common type of heart failure.
National Cancer Institute awards $48.6 million grant to MD Anderson
Broad, deep and outstanding research in cancer science, treatment and prevention have earned The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center a $48.6-million, five-year grant from the National Cancer Institute and an
UK study shows improvements in life expectancy in type 1 diabetes which should now be reflected in life insurance and other relevant policies for those with the condition
A study from the UK reveals that, in the population of Scotland, UK, life expectancy for people with type 1 diabetes has improved substantially, and this improvement should now be reflected in life insurance and other relevant policies for those with the condition.
Reliable method detects suicidal propensity
A simple measurement of the sweat gland activity of a depressed person can determine if he or she is suicidal -- with 97 percent accuracy.
NYU Steinhardt researcher pinpoints biological risk factor in obesity-related cancers
It is estimated that over a third of the new cancer cases expected to occur in the US in 2013 will be related to overweight or obesity, physical inactivity, and poor nutrition.
Researchers find no age-related differences in post-concussion symptoms
Do young athletes fare worse after sustaining a sports-related concussion than older athletes?
New theory for analyzing interacting nuclear spins in solvents
The RUB's excellence cluster RESOLV has achieved successful results only a few months after its inception: by applying nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, an international team comprised i.e. of researchers from the RUB has solved a long-standing theoretical problem regarding the identification of solvent structures.
HPV linked to growing number of young adults with oropharyngeal cancer
The human papillomavirus may be to blame for the alarming increase of young adults with oropharyngeal cancer, according to researchers from Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit.
World Heart Day 2013
Obese children have blood vessel damage and insulin resistance that are precursors to atherosclerosis and diabetes, reveals research by Dr Norman Mangner presented at ESC Congress 2013.
NOAA awards $967,000 to 11 marine debris removal projects
NOAA's Marine Debris Program announced today that it provided $967,000 through NOAA's Restoration Center to support locally driven, community-based marine debris prevention and removal projects.
The 'in-law effect': Male fruit flies sleep around but females keep it in the family
Male fruit flies like to have a variety of sexual partners, whereas females prefer to stick with the same mate -- or move on to his brothers.
New genus of electric fish discovered in 'lost world' of South America
A previously unknown genus of electric fish has been identified in a remote region of South America by team of international researchers including University of Toronto Scarborough professor Nathan Lovejoy.
Playing with blocks may help children's spatial and math thinking
Playing with blocks may help preschoolers develop the kinds of skills that support later learning in science, technology, engineering, and math, according to a new study that examined over a hundred three-year-olds of various socioeconomic levels.
Abiraterone acetate delays quality of life decline in men with metastatic prostate cancer
Abiraterone acetate, a recently FDA-approved drug used to treat men with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, significantly delays progression of pain and quality of life deterioration when taken in conjunction with prednisone.
Lighting up can bring you down in colorectal surgery
The first large study to focus specifically on the effects of smoking after colorectal surgery found that smoking boosts the risk of complications like infection and pneumonia after some of the most common colorectal procedures, such as surgery for colon cancer or inflammatory bowel disease.
A neurological basis for the lack of empathy in psychopaths
When individuals with psychopathy imagine others in pain, brain areas necessary for feeling empathy and concern for others fail to become active and be connected to other important regions involved in affective processing and decision-making, reports a study published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.
NASA sees Typhoon Pabuk's veiled eye
NASA's Aqua satellite orbit around the Earth took it right over Typhoon Pabuk and the image showed an eye veiled with some high clouds.
Counting on neodymium
Magnetic molecules are regarded as promising functional units for the future of information processing.
Study findings question frequency of bone mineral density testing for predicting fracture risk
A second bone mineral density (BMD) screening four years after a baseline measurement provided little additional value when assessing risk for hip or other major osteoporotic fracture among older men and women untreated for osteoporosis, and resulted in little change in risk classification used in clinical management, findings that question the common clinical practice of repeating a BMD test every two years, according to a study in the Sept.
Rudolf Kingslake Medal awarded by SPIE for TNO paper on color image fusion
Researchers at TNO have won the 2012 Rudolf Kingslake Medal and Prize for their paper on state-of-the-art techniques of color image fusion for night-vision applications.
New device to revolutionize gaming in virtual realities
Engineers at TU Vienna have developed a device which allows users to glide on a low friction surface while the motion is picked up by sensors.
Scientists discover environmental enrichment for TBI patients may counter shrinkage in the brain
For the first time, scientists at Toronto Rehab have found that in people with chronic moderate-severe traumatic brain injury, atrophy (shrinkage) in the brain may be countered by participating in environmental enrichment -- increased physical, social and cognitive stimulation.
A single mild blast exposure can cause brain injuries with similarities to Alzheimer's disease
A new study published in the September issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease reports that even a single mild explosion can cause changes in the brain that have similarities to those found in diseases like Alzheimer's disease and chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
New book examines past links between slavery, universities
MIT historian Craig Wilder documents the manifold links between universities and the slave economy in colonial America.

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