Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 09, 2013
Medical experts recommend steps to reduce risk of inadvertent harm to potentially normal pregnancies
A panel of 15 medical experts from radiology, obstetrics-gynecology and emergency medicine, convened by the Society of Radiologists in Ultrasound, recommends new criteria for use of ultrasonography to determine when a first trimester pregnancy is nonviable (no chance of progressing and resulting in a live-born baby).

Northwestern medicine researchers study new heart valve that doesn't require open-heart surgery
Northwestern's Bluhm Cardiovascular Institute has enrolled its first participant in SALUS, a clinical trial studying the effectiveness of a non-metallic prosthetic aortic heart valve that can be placed without open-heart surgery and moved into a new position after it has been placed.

New strategy lets cochlear implant users hear music
University of Washington scientists have developed a new way of processing the signals in cochlear implants to help users hear music better.

Use of statin does not improve survival among adults with ventilator-associated pneumonia
Laurent Papazian, M.D., Ph.D., of Hopital Nord, Marseille, France, and colleagues conducted a study to determine whether statin therapy decreased day-28 mortality among intensive care unit patients with ventilator-associated pneumonia.

NSF awards UC Riverside neuroscientist $867,000 CAREER grant
Khaleel Razak has been awarded a CAREER grant from the National Science Foundation to further his research on how the brain processes information about sound locations.

Single gene mutation linked to diverse neurological disorders
A research team, headed by Theodore Friedmann, M.D., professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, says a gene mutation that causes a rare but devastating neurological disorder known as Lesch-Nyhan syndrome appears to offer clues to the developmental and neuronal defects found in other, diverse neurological disorders like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases.

An experiment puts auditing under scrutiny
Researchers at MIT and Harvard University, along with the Gujarat Pollution Control Board, conducted a two-year study that finds randomly assigning auditors to plants, paying auditors from central funds, double-checking their work, and rewarding the auditors for accuracy had large effects.

Scientists use blur to sharpen DNA mapping
Rice researchers have found a simple way to pinpoint the location of specific sequences along single strands of DNA, a technique that could someday help diagnose genetic diseases.

Discovery of a 2,700-year-old portico in Greece
A 2,700-year-old portico was discovered this summer on the site of the ancient city of Argilos in northern Greece, following an archaeological excavation led by Jacques Perreault, Professor at the University of Montreal's Centre of Classical Studies and Zisis Bonias, an archaeologist with the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports.

Northwestern researchers develop compact, high-power terahertz source at room temperature
Northwestern University researchers have tripled the output power of a compact, room-temperature terahertz source, a breakthrough that could lead to advances in homeland security, industrial applications, and space research.

Asqella spinning out new security screening technology developed at VTT
Asqella, a spin-off of VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, sells revolutionary passive THz imaging systems capable of remote detection of items concealed about the body.

Want ripples on your icicles? University of Toronto scientists suggest adding salt
Though it's barely the beginning of autumn, scientists at the University of Toronto are one step closer to explaining why winter's icicles form with Michelin Man-like ripples on their elongated shapes.

Study finds readmission rates impacted by a patients' knowledge and skills
A study by physicians at Boston Medical Center has found that patients with a high degree of activation (possessing the knowledge, skills, confidence and inclination to assume responsibility for managing one's health and health-care needs) were less likely to be readmitted to the hospital within 30 days of discharge than those with a low level of activation.

Water impurities key to an icicle's ripples
A group of physicists from Canada have been growing their own icicles in a lab in the hope of solving a mystery that has, up until now, continued to puzzle scientists.

Study in Nature reveals urgent new time frame for climate change
The seesaw variability of global temperatures often engenders debate over how seriously we should take climate change.

Skill ratings predict which surgeons perform safer surgeries
Video ratings data of surgeons' operating skills successfully predicted whether patients would suffer complications after surgery, according to a University of Michigan Health System study.

Gene and stem cell therapy combination could aid wound healing
Johns Hopkins researchers, working with elderly mice, have determined that combining gene therapy with an extra boost of the same stem cells the body already uses to repair itself leads to faster healing of burns and greater blood flow to the site of the wound.

Nobel Peace Laureate Jody Williams to discuss memoir, Nov. 20
Jody Williams will discuss her memoir,

BUSM identifies barriers to implementing complimentary medicine curricula into residency
Investigators at Boston University School of Medicine have identified that lack of time and a paucity of trained faculty are perceived as the most significant barriers to incorporating complementary and alternative medicine and integrative medicine training into family medicine residency curricula and training programs.

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientist recognized by American-Italian Cancer Foundation
Charles J. Sherr, M.D., Ph.D., chair of the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Department of Tumor Cell Biology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, has been selected to receive the 2013 Prize for Scientific Excellence in Medicine by the American-Italian Cancer Foundation.

Poetry is like music to the mind, scientists prove
Scientists at the University of Exeter used state-of-the-art functional magnetic resonance imaging technology, which allows them to visualize which parts of the brain are activated to process various activities.

Penn study: Visits to multiple HIV clinics linked to poorer outcomes
Patients who received care at multiple HIV clinics -- as opposed to only one -- were less likely to take their medication and had higher HIV viral loads, a new study published in the journal AIDS and Behavior of almost 13,000 HIV patients in Philadelphia from Penn Medicine found.

Notre Dame researchers make progress toward a treatment for dangerous allergies
New research published in the journal Nature Chemical Biology shows that a group of scientists, led by faculty at the University of Notre Dame, has made concrete progress toward the development of the first-ever inhibitory therapeutic for Type I hypersensitive allergic reactions.

Having a stroke may shave nearly 3 out of 5 quality years off your life
Stroke treatments and prevention to improve quality of life for people who experience a stroke is poorer than researchers hoped, with stroke still taking nearly three out of five quality years off a person's life, according to a new study published in the Oct.

Depression in newly diagnosed PD patients linked to reduced striatal dopamine synthesis
Depression in Parkinson's disease may reflect impaired striatal dopamine function, but previous investigations have produced contradictory results.

Tufts researchers identify potential topical treatment for macular degeneration
Tufts University researchers have identified a possible topical treatment for age-related macular degeneration (AMD).

Book explores undiscovered economics of everyday life
Economists gave imaginative tests to people outside the laboratory to determine how they respond in real world setting to incentives and then compared those results with the ways people respond when they don't have the same incentives.

Improving health care, controlling costs -- Rutgers launches new initiative
Rutgers is spearheading the creation of an Accountable Care Organization, called Robert Wood Johnson Partners, that will coordinate treatment among doctors, other health professionals, and hospitals through better use of electronic health records.

New study shows uterine fibroids have greater impact in African-American women
A national survey has found that uterine fibroids have a disproportionate impact on African American women, causing more severe symptoms, interfering with their daily life, and causing them to miss work.

New technique allows anti-breast cancer drugs to cross blood-brain barrier
Some breast cancer drugs can penetrate the blood-brain barrier (BBB), but they have not been very effective against brain metastases, whereas other, more effective anti-breast cancer drugs cannot penetrate the BBB at all.

McGill discovery should save wheat farmers millions of dollars
Research by a McGill team suggest that the solution to pre-harvest wheat sprouting may lie not with genetics alone, but rather with a combination of genetic and epigenetic factors.

University of Tennessee professor receives high honor for supercomputing accomplishments
Dongarra is being recognized for designing and promoting standards for mathematical software used to solve numerical problems common to high-performance computing.

Berlin Targeting Mitochondria 2013 reached record participants
The Chairmen of Targeting Mitochondria 2013 commented,

Honey shows no advantages compared to standard antibiotics in trial on patients with kidney failure
Applying medical grade honey to wound sites in patients undergoing peritoneal dialysis -- a procedure used to clean the blood in patients with kidney failure -- shows no advantages over standard antibiotic use, according to new results published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Geoscience Currents No. 78
This Geoscience Currents explores why students declared a geoscience major during their formative undergraduate years.

Self-healing materials could arise from finding that tension can fuse metal
Unexpected result of MIT research shows that in some cases, pulling apart makes cracks in metal fuse together.

US health spending projected to grow an average of 5.8 percent annually through 2022
New estimates released Sept. 18, 2013 from the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services project that aggregate health care spending in the US will grow at an average annual rate of 5.8 percent for 2012-22, or 1.0 percentage point faster than the expected growth in the GDP.

Physician job satisfaction driven by quality of patient care
An in-depth study about doctors' job satisfaction has found physicians are motivated primarily by their ability to provide quality health care to their patients and obstacles that interfere with those efforts are a source of stress for doctors.

Amniotic stem cells show promise in helping to repair cardiac birth defects
Researchers at the University of Michigan Department of Surgery have begun testing an alternative to embryonic stem cells that could one day regenerate muscle tissue for babies with congenital heart defects.

Running a marathon can be bad for the heart, especially in less prepared runners, say experts
Investigators who studied a group of recreational marathon runners have established that strenuous exercise such as running a marathon can damage the heart muscle.

CU team finds likely culprit behind liver problems linked to intravenous feeding
Researchers know that feeding some patients intravenously can save their lives -- but also can cause liver damage.

Household chaos may be hazardous to a child's health
Kindergarten-age children have poorer health if their home life is marked by disorder, noise and a lack of routine and they have a mother who has a chaotic work life, new research suggests.

Mayo Clinic: Cataract surgeries on the rise as boomers age, raising access, cost issues
A Mayo Clinic study looked at one of those -- cataract surgery -- and found that more people are getting the vision-improving procedure, seeking it at younger ages and having both eyes repaired within a few months, rather than only treating one eye.

Among critically ill patients, muscle wasting occurs rapidly
Zudin A. Puthucheary, M.R.C.P., of University College London, England, and colleagues conducted a study to characterize and evaluate the time course and pathophysiology of acute muscle loss in critical illness.

New initiative supports research to strengthen health systems in low- and middle-income countries
The Wellcome Trust, the Department for International Development, the Medical Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council today announced a £15 million collaboration to support research that will generate practical measures to improve health systems in low- and middle-income countries.

New potential for nutrient-rich prairie fruits
Researchers working at the University of Saskatchewan have discovered new potential in prairie fruits, in particular, buffaloberry, chokecherry and sea buckthorn, according to a new study published today in the Canadian Journal of Plant Science.

New studies show cholera emerging as a driver of progress in public health in Haiti
The deadly cholera epidemic that rocked earthquake-shattered Haiti in 2010, claiming 8,000 lives and counting, has rallied the public health community to seek water and sewer improvements that, combined with vaccination, could prevent some 89,000 future cholera infections.

Trauma-related psychophysiologic reactivity identified as best predictor of PTSD diagnosis
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine and several other institutions including the National Center for PSTD, VA Boston Healthcare System, Suffolk University, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University, have determined that psychophysiologic reactivity to trauma-related, script-driven imagery procedures is a promising biological predictor of a post-traumatic stress disorder diagnosis.

European and Chinese cardiology societies work together
With a recent World Health Organization report showing hypertension affects over 40% of Chinese adults aged 45 or older, combating high blood pressure will be high on the agenda of the 24th Great Wall International Congress of Cardiology & Asia Pacific Heart Congress, in Beijing.

When it comes to the good cholesterol, fitness trumps weight
New findings suggest that maintaining a

New mechanism preserving genomic integrity and is abnormal in the rare DiGeorge syndrome
An international team including GENYO center researchers has described a molecular mechanism that defends human genome integrity against

$1 million award to unravel the secrets behind lupus
Melbourne scientist Associate Professor David Tarlinton has received the Distinguished Innovator award from the US-based Lupus Research Institute to investigate the causes of lupus and develop new approaches to its treatment.

A close look at the Toby Jug Nebula
ESO's Very Large Telescope has captured a remarkably detailed image of the Toby Jug Nebula, a cloud of gas and dust surrounding a red giant star.

New strategy to treat multiple sclerosis shows promise in mice
Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have identified a set of compounds that may be used to treat multiple sclerosis in a new way.

Researchers close in on cause of gynecological disease
For the first time, researchers have created a model that could help unlock what causes adenomyosis, a common gynecological disease that is a major contributor to women having to undergo hysterectomies.

Researchers identify likely causes, treatment strategies for systemic scleroderma
Using mice, lab-grown cells and clues from a related disorder, Johns Hopkins researchers have greatly increased understanding of the causes of systemic sclerosis, showing that a critical culprit is a defect in the way certain cells communicate with their structural scaffolding.

Use of beta-blocker helps achieve target heart rate level among patients in septic shock
Andrea Morelli, M.D., of the University of Rome, Italy, and colleagues conducted a study to investigate the effect of the short-acting beta-blocker esmolol on the heart rate of patients with severe septic shock and high risk of death.

Gliptins: IQWiG assessed data subsequently submitted by the manufacturer
New subgroup analyses showed that two studies on sitagliptin were also relevant for the fixed combination of sitagliptin/metformin.

Multivitamins with minerals may protect older women with invasive breast cancer
Findings from a study involving thousands of postmenopausal women suggest that women who develop invasive breast cancer may benefit from taking supplements containing both multivitamins and minerals.

'Chimpanzees of a feather sit together': Friendships are based on homophily in personality
Like humans, many animals have close and stable friendships. However, until now, it has been unclear what makes particular individuals bond.

Science Minister announces projects to monitor ocean currents
Science Minister David Willetts announces two major NERC-funded projects to monitor ocean currents.

Recombinant human prion protein inhibits prion propagation
Case Western Reserve University researchers today published findings that point to a promising discovery for the treatment and prevention of prion diseases, rare neurodegenerative disorders that are always fatal.

Peer pressure's influence calculated by mathematician
Using mathematical models, a Strathclyde academic has analyzed data taken from 15 networks -- including US school superintendents and Brazilian farmers -- to outline peer pressure's crucial role in society.

Novel gene therapy enables persistent anti-tumor immune response
Cancer immunotherapy can successfully use the body's own immune system to kill tumor cells.

Longer life for humans linked to further loss of endangered species
As human life expectancy increases, so does the percentage of invasive and endangered birds and mammals, according to a new study by the University of California, Davis.

Evidence for a new nuclear 'magic number'
Researchers have come one step closer to understanding unstable atomic nuclei.

Forests most likely to continue shrinking: U of G study
Forest cover around the world will continue a slow shrinking before stabilizing at a lower level, according to a new study from the University of Guelph.

Crystal mysteries spiral deeper, NYU chemists find
NYU chemists have discovered crystal growth complexities, which at first glance appeared to confound 50 years of theory and deepened the mystery of how organic crystals form.

Football players suffer more injuries when their team is ahead
Male football players are at a greater risk of injury five minutes after a card has been given or after a goal has been scored.

Spinning-disk microscope offers window into the center of a cell
A new method of imaging cells is allowing scientists to see tiny structures inside the

SAGE to publish Language and Linguistics from 2014
SAGE is delighted to announce a partnership with the Institute of Linguistics, Academia Sinica to publish its flagship journal, Language and Linguistics as of 2014.

Sleeping in on the weekends doesn't fix all the deficits caused by workweek sleep loss
A new study assesses the effects of extended

Whites more prone to certain heart condition than other ethnic groups
An individual's race or ethnic background could be a determining factor when it comes to risk of atrial fibrillation, the most frequently diagnosed type of irregular heart rhythm, according to researchers at UC San Francisco.

Big data reaps big rewards in drug safety
Using the Food and Drug Administration's Adverse Event Reporting System, a hospital electronic health records database, and an animal model, a team of researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai report that by adding a second drug to the diabetes drug rosiglitazone, adverse events dropped enormously.

PENTAX Medical supports AGA's technology initiatives
Today, the American Gastroenterological Association Institute announced a new partnership with PENTAX Medical.

Does good cholesterol increase breast cancer risk?
A team of Thomas Jefferson University researchers has shown that an HDL receptor found on breast cancer cells may be responsible for making this cancer more aggressive, proposing a new molecular target that could help treat the disease.

First-ever study reveals smell of sweat may alter how women are judged
Today, a new study from P&G Beauty, the makers of SecretTM deodorants, and lead investigator Pamela Dalton, Ph.D., M.P.H., member of the Monell Chemical Senses Center, confirms for the first time that the smell of stress sweat does, in fact, significantly alter how women are perceived by both males and females.

Effects of TM practice on trait anxiety: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
A new meta-analysis published today in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found Transcendental Meditation has a large effect on reducing trait anxiety for people with high anxiety.

Organ donor promotion at DMV brings increase in registrations
More than 90 percent of the public supports organ donation, yet less than half the population registers as donors, surveys show.

Carbon's new champion
Calculations at Rice University show carbyne, a simple chain of carbon atoms, may be the strongest material of all.

No serious adverse reactions to HPV vaccination
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden and their Danish colleagues have monitored HPV-vaccinated girls via patient data registries in order to examine the incidence of a wide range of diseases and thus determine if there are any serious adverse effects of the vaccine.

ALS stem cell trial begins at U-M Health System with first 2 patients receiving injections
Two patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis have received stem cell injections to their spinal cords at the University of Michigan Health System -- the first two to receive the experimental injections in Michigan as part of a national clinical trial.

Crowdsourcing seahorses: New smartphone app offers hope for seahorse science and conservation
Marine conservationists from the University of British Columbia, Zoological Society of London, and John G.

Historic trends predict future global reforestation unlikely
Feeding a growing global population while also slowing or reversing global deforestation may only be possible if agricultural yields rise and/or per capita food consumption declines over the next century,

New research refutes claim that mummified head belonged to King Henry IV of France
New research led by KU Leuven professor Jean-Jacques Cassiman exposes erroneous conclusions in forensic studies by Spanish and French researchers.

Why we can't accurately judge our friends' behavior
There is no such thing as objectivity when it comes to your friends: according to a new study, people evaluate their friends' behavior more positively than do strangers, regardless of actual performance on a series of tasks.

Standard, RHDVRT for bladder cancer has comparable tumor control, decreased toxicity
Standard and reduced high-dose volume radiation therapy for muscle-invasive bladder cancer provide comparable tumor control and decreased late toxicity when compared to surgery, according to a study published in the Oct.

Suicidal talk on Twitter mirrors state suicide rates
Researchers compared tweets with suicide-related content with actual suicide rates across the country.

UT Arlington professor to increase speed, capacity on silicon chips with novel lasers
A UT Arlington electrical engineering professor, funded by a new National Science Foundation grant, is working to harness the power of lasers on silicon chips to increase capacity and speed in computing and communications systems.

IQWiG: Reliable assessment of drugs is only possible on the basis of clinical study reports (CSRs)
IQWiG researchers reveal large gaps in publications of clinical trials and demand free access to full CSRs.

Water and lava, but -- curiously -- no explosion
A new study finds that hollow, land-based lava pillars in Iceland likely formed in a surprising reaction where lava met water without any explosion occurring.

40 years of federal nutrition research fatally flawed
Four decades of nutrition research funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention may be invalid because the method used to collect the data was seriously flawed, according to a new study by the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina.

Insulin 'still produced' in most people with type 1 diabetes
New technology has enabled scientists to prove that most people with type 1 diabetes have active beta cells, the specialized insulin-making cells found in the pancreas. 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