Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 17, 2013
Volcano discovered smoldering under a kilometer of ice in West Antarctica
A temporary seismic array in Marie Byrd Land in West Antarctica recorded two bursts of activity in 2010 and 2011.

Effect of reducing blood pressure with medications immediately following ischemic stroke
Jiang He, M.D., Ph.D., of the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, and colleagues examined whether moderate lowering of blood pressure within the first 48 hours after the onset of an acute ischemic stroke would reduce death and major disability at 14 days or hospital discharge.

Weight reduction decreases atrial fibrillation and symptom severity
Hany S. Abed, B.Pharm., M.B.B.S., of the University of Adelaide and Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, Australia and colleagues evaluated the effect of a structured weight reduction program on atrial fibrillation symptoms.

Salk scientists for the first time generate 'mini-kidney' structures from human stem cells
Diseases affecting the kidneys represent a major and unsolved health issue worldwide.

Environmental toxins linked to heart defects
There was a correlation between yearly rates of congenital heart defects in children and yearly emissions of some industrial pollutants in Alberta, Canada.

'Virtual reality hands' may help stroke survivors recover hand function
Scientists used brain-computer interface technology to help stroke survivors use their minds to power

Physical fitness improves survival, prevents some heart attacks
A new study highlights the importance of exercise and physical fitness among people with stable coronary artery disease.

Study compares outcomes of device for chest compressions vs manual CPR
Sten Rubertsson, M.D., Ph.D., of Uppsala University, Sweden and colleagues assessed whether cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in which chest compressions are delivered with a mechanical device would result in superior 4-hour survival in patients with out-of-hospital cardiac arrest compared to CPR with manual chest compression.

Body mass index may predict heart disease risk for type-2 diabetic patients new study finds
Researchers from the Intermountain Medical Center Heart Institute, in collaboration with researchers from Johns Hopkins University and the National Institutes of Health, have discovered a simple way to further predict a diabetic patient's risk for heart disease: by measuring their body mass index or BMI.

Heart disease no. 1 cause of pregnancy-related deaths in California
Heart disease is the leading cause of pregnancy-related deaths in California and is likely true for the rest of the nation.

Childhood cancer treatment takes toll on hearts of survivors
Childhood cancer survivors have changes in their arteries that may increase their risks of early heart disease and atherosclerosis.

Novel study charts aggressive prostate cancer
Many patients diagnosed with prostate cancer have indolent, slow-growing forms of the disease that are not life-threatening.

American Academy of Ophthalmology launches national initiative to benchmark and improve patient care
The American Academy of Ophthalmology today unveiled the nation's first comprehensive eye disease and condition patient database.

Novel gene variant found in severe childhood asthma
An international scientific team has discovered a gene associated with a high risk of severe childhood asthma.

Scientists fingerprint single cancer cells to map cancer's family tree
Scientists at The Institute of Cancer Research, London, have used a DNA sequencing technique to identify mutations present across thousands of cancer cells in three patients with leukemia.

Protein coding 'junk genes' may be linked to cancer
By using a new analysis method, researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Science for Life Laboratory in Sweden have found close to one hundred novel human gene regions that code for proteins.

Study examines effectiveness, safety of transcatheter aortic valve replacement in US
Michael J. Mack, M.D., of the Baylor Health Care System, Plano, Texas, and colleagues describe the experience in the US with transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), including patient selection, procedural details, and in-hospital and 30-day outcomes following TAVR, a less invasive procedure than open heart-valve surgery for replacing the aortic valve in the heart.

Researchers identify main genes responsible for asthma attacks in children
An international team spearheaded by researchers from the University of Copenhagen has identified the genes that put some children at particularly high risk of serious asthma attacks, including one not previously suspected of being implicated in the disease.

Evidence found for granite on Mars
Researchers now have stronger evidence of granite on Mars and a new theory for how the granite -- an igneous rock common on Earth -- could have formed there, according to a new study.

Effect of lowering of body temperature for adults with cardiac arrest prior to hospital arrival
Francis Kim, M.D., of Harborview Medical Center, Seattle, and colleagues evaluated whether early prehospital cooling (lowering body temperature) improved survival to hospital discharge and neurological outcome in cardiac arrest patients with or without ventricular fibrillation.

Method to estimate LDL-C may provide more accurate risk classification
Seth S. Martin, M.D., of the Johns Hopkins Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease, Baltimore, and colleagues developed a method for estimating low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels that is more accurate than the standard measure.

Oxygen, phosphorous and early life on Earth
Two billion years ago the Earth system was recovering from perhaps the single-most profound modification of its surface environments: the oxygenation of the atmosphere and oceans.

Columbia engineers make world's smallest FM radio transmitter
A team of Columbia Engineering researchers, led by Mechanical Engineering Professor James Hone and Electrical Engineering Professor Kenneth Shepard, has taken advantage of graphene's special properties -- its mechanical strength and electrical conduction -- and created a nano-mechanical system that can create FM signals, in effect the world's smallest FM radio transmitter.

Drug shows early promise in treating seizures
A study out today in the journal Nature Medicine suggests a potential new treatment for the seizures that often plague children with genetic metabolic disorders and individuals undergoing liver failure.

Scientists invent self-healing battery electrode
Researchers have made the first battery electrode that heals itself, opening a new and potentially commercially viable path for making the next generation of lithium ion batteries for electric cars, cell phones and other devices.

Hybrid heart valve is strong, durable in early tests
A hybrid heart valve created from thin and highly elastic mesh embedded within layers of human cells was strong and durable in a study presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2013.

Early statin therapy helps kids with inherited high cholesterol
Children with inherited high levels of cholesterol who receive cholesterol-lowering statins in their early years have a lower risk of coronary heart disease than their affected parents, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2013.

Graphene nanoribbons for 'reading' DNA
One of the methods used for examining the molecules in a liquid consists in passing the fluid through a nano-sized hole so as to detect their passage.

Texting heart medication reminders improved patient adherence
Getting reminder texts helped patients take their heart medicines (anti-platelet and cholesterol-lowering drugs) more regularly, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2013.

Rate of aortic valve replacement for elderly patients has increased; outcomes improved
Jose Augusto Barreto-Filho, M.D., Ph.D., of the Federal University of Sergipe and the Clinica e Hospital Sao Lucas, Sergipe, Brazil, and colleagues assessed procedure rates and outcomes of surgical aortic valve replacement among 82,755,924 Medicare fee-for-service beneficiaries between 1999 and 2011.

2 for 1 in solar power
A process that could revolutionize solar energy harvesting has been efficiently demonstrated in solution for the first time.

Researchers capture structure of key part of deadly Nipah virus
Researchers at The Scripps Research Institute have solved the structure of a key protein in the Nipah virus, which could pave the way for the development of a much-needed antiviral drug.

Johns Hopkins heart researchers develop formula to better calculate 'bad' cholesterol in patients
Johns Hopkins researchers have developed a more accurate way to calculate low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the so-called

Paths out of uncertainty
Unlike long-term climate predictions, forecasts about the next twenty to fifty years are fraught with major uncertainties. 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