Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 26, 2013
New therapeutic target identified for Huntington's disease
A new study published 26th Nov. in the open access journal PLOS Biology, identifies a new target in the search for therapeutic interventions for Huntington's disease -- a devastating late-onset neurodegenerative disorder.

HHS, APIC, and SHEA honor Wisconsin hospital for achievements in eliminating health-care infections
The US Department of Health and Human Services, the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, and the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America today recognized the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics with the 2013 Partnership in Prevention Award for achieving sustainable improvements towards eliminating health-care-associated infections.

Rensselaer professor Deborah L. McGuinness named Fellow of the AAAS
AAAS cites Rensselaer Professor Deborah L. McGuinness for contributions to the Semantic Web, knowledge representation, and reasoning environments.

Protective effects of dl-3n-butylphthalide against diffuse brain injury
This release focuses on the protective effects of dl-3n-butylphthalide against diffuse brain injury.

Guard dogs reduce killing of threatened species
Research from the University of Kent has revealed that guarding dogs can significantly reduce conflict between livestock and large carnivores, such as cheetahs or leopards, helping to reduce unwarranted killing of endangered species in South Africa.

Health insurance increases preventive care but not risky behaviors
People with health insurance are more likely to use preventive services such as flu shots and health screenings to reduce their risk of serious illness, but they are no more likely than people without health insurance to engage in risky health behaviors such as smoking or gaining weight, researchers at UC Davis and University of Rochester have found.

Women living with HIV share their stories through photography
A University of Missouri researcher found that participating in photovoice, a process by which individuals document their lives by taking pictures, empowered women living with HIV to realize their strengths in the midst of their struggles.

VTT introduces deforestation monitoring method for tropical regions
Halting deforestation in tropical regions requires verification of forest conditions.

No qualms about quantum theory
A colloquium paper published in EPJ D looks into the alleged issues associated with quantum theory.

Study finds the forgotten ape threatened by human activity and forest loss
The most detailed range-wide assessment of the bonobo (formerly known as the pygmy chimpanzee) ever conducted has revealed that this poorly known and endangered great ape is quickly losing space in a world with growing human populations.

Researchers at Penn uncover mechanism behind blood stem cells' longevity
Researchers have long wondered what allows blood stem cells to persist for decades, when their progeny last for days, weeks or months before they need to be replaced.

Vanderbilt study finds limited resources for injured surgeons
Nearly half of orthopaedic surgeons sustain at least one injury during their career and, in many cases, the resources available to them are inadequate, according to a Vanderbilt study in The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery.

Inexpensive 'nano-camera' can operate at the speed of light
The device could be used in medical imaging, collision-avoidance detectors for cars, and interactive gaming.

Combustion chemist to be awarded Polanyi Medal for pioneering work at Sandia Labs
Sandia National Laboratories combustion chemist Craig Taatjes, whose groundbreaking work on Criegee intermediates has provided scientific insight into hydrocarbon combustion and atmospheric chemistry, has been selected to receive the prestigious Polanyi Medal by the International Symposium on Gas Kinetics.

New technique for testing drugs to treat cystic fibrosis and epilepsy
Researchers from the University of Southampton, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Quebec at Montreal, have developed a new microsystem for more efficient testing of pharmaceutical drugs to treat diseases such as cystic fibrosis, MG (myasthenia gravis) and epilepsy.

Kessler stroke researchers explore five new avenues for rehabilitation research
Because the concept of permanent neurological injury has given way to recognition of the brain's potential for long-term regeneration ad reorganization, rehabilitations strategies are undergoing radical changes.

Why do stroke patients show poor limb motor function recovery?
Why do stroke patients show poor limb motor function recovery?

Iron preserves, hides ancient tissues in fossilized remains
New research from North Carolina State University shows that iron may play a role in preserving ancient tissues within dinosaur fossils, but also may hide them from detection.

Flower power
Plants can reproduce in a multitude of different ways, unlike humans and animals.

Study finds no increased risk of retinal detachment with use of certain antibiotics
In contrast to findings of a recent study, researchers in Denmark did not find an association between use of a class of antibiotics known as fluoroquinolones (such as ciprofloxacin) and an increased risk of retinal detachment, according to a study appearing in the Nov.

Implantable slimming aid
ETH-Zurich biotechnologists have constructed a genetic regulatory circuit from human components that monitors blood-fat levels.

A gene mutation for excessive alcohol drinking found
UK researchers have discovered a gene that regulates alcohol consumption and when faulty can cause excessive drinking.

DFG establishes 9 new collaborative research centers
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) has approved the establishment of nine new Collaborative Research Centres (CRCs).

Red Squirrels showing resistance to squirrelpox
A study by the University of Liverpool has found that the red squirrel population along the Sefton coastline appears to be recovering from a serious outbreak of squirrelpox in 2008.

NREL-developed software tackles building efficiency and offers cost savings
A unique software application created by the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory could improve the efficiency of commercial buildings by allowing occupants to interact with buildings more directly.

ADHD linked to social and economic disadvantage
A team led by the University of Exeter Medical School analyzed data from the Millennium Cohort Study, a database of more than 19,500 UK children born between 2000 and 2002.

Flexible, stretchable fire-ant rafts
Fire-ant rafts aren't just unusual in that they're

Induced hypothermia does not improve outcomes for patients with severe bacterial meningitis
In a study of adults with severe bacterial meningitis, therapeutic hypothermia (reduction of body temperature) did not improve outcomes, and it may even have been harmful, according to a study appearing in the Nov.

Countdown to 20th International AIDS Conference launched on World AIDS Day
More than 14,000 participants and 1,200 journalists from approximately 200 countries are expected to convene in Melbourne for AIDS 2014, which represents a tremendous opportunity to highlight the diverse nature of the epidemic worldwide and in the Asia Pacific region specifically and the unique responses to it.

FSU engineers net more than $1 million for materials research
Florida State researchers have been awarded more than $1.4 million from the National Science Foundation to develop a system that will produce large amounts of a state-of-the-art material made from carbon nanotubes that researchers believe could transform everything from the way airplanes are built to how prosthetic limbs fit the human body.

Entomologist recognized for exceptional service to California's vegetable industry
John Trumble, a distinguished professor of entomology at the University of California, Riverside, has been named the recipient of the 2013 Oscar Lorenz Award, which recognizes outstanding accomplishments in research and/or extension education benefiting the California vegetable industry.

Better combustion through plasma
Scientists know that by introducing plasma to combustion, new chemical species are produced that catalyze the reaction.

Drug improves remission of Crohn disease among children and adolescents
Among children and adolescents with Crohn disease not responding to treatment, use of the drug thalidomide resulted in improved clinical remission after eight weeks of treatment compared with placebo, according to a study appearing in the Nov.

Wayne State part of team for license on new ways to manage cancer with green tea extracts
Wayne State University, along with McGill University and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, have executed an exclusive worldwide license with Viteava Pharmaceutical Inc. for an intellectual property portfolio claiming composition of matter and/or methods of use of novel analogs and derivatives of the green tea flavonoid, (-)epigallocatechin-3-gallate.

For many older adults, vision prescription differs between eyes
Follow-up in older adults shows a high rate of anisometropia, or differing levels of visual abnormalities between eyes, reports a study in Optometry and Vision Science, official journal of the American Academy of Optometry.

Genetics contribute to increased risk for end-stage renal disease for African Americans with CKD
A large study co-authored by Dominic Raj, M.D., director of the division of nephrology and professor of medicine at GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences, identifies factors that mediate differences in the progression of chronic kidney disease in order to reduce the excess burden of end-stage renal disease and its complications in black patients.

Large study shows pollution impact on coral reefs -- and offers solution
One of the largest and longest experiments ever done to test the impact of nutrient loading on coral reefs today confirmed what scientists have long suspected -- that this type of pollution from sewage, agricultural practices or other sources can lead to coral disease and bleaching.

Finding hidden circles may improve social network privacy settings
Creating a computer program to find relationships in networks, such as Google Plus and Facebook, may help users more easily set up and maintain privacy settings, according to researchers.

Medical research needs kids, but two-thirds of parents unaware of opportunities
To improve healthcare for children, medical research that involves kids is a must.

Interaction of nurses, pharmacists, and other non-physician clinicians within pharmaceutical industry is common
Scrutiny of physician relationships with industry has culminated in passage of the US Physician Payments Sunshine Act (part of the Affordable Care Act), intended to bring greater transparency to such relationships.

NASA sees Ex-Tropical Cyclone Alessia's remnants trying to reorganize
After making landfall near Darwin on Nov. 24, the remnants of Ex-Tropical Cyclone Alessia worked its way over to Australia's Northern Territory where it was seen from NASA's Aqua satellite.

Treatment target identified for a public health risk parasite
In the developing world, Cryptosporidium parvum has long been the scourge of freshwater.

Screening new inmates for HIV may not reveal many new undetected cases, study shows
More than 22,000 inmates entering North Carolina prisons in 2008 and 2009 were tested for HIV, but only 20 previously undiagnosed cases of HIV were found in this population.

Smithsonian scientists honored as AAAS Fellows
Four Smithsonian scientists have been awarded the distinction of Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Scientists offer recommendations for delaying resistance to Bt corn in western corn rootworm
While Bt corn has been highly effective against the European corn borer, it has been less so against the western corn rootworm.

Researchers have a nose for how probiotics could affect hay fever
A study has shown that a daily probiotic drink changed how cells lining the nasal passages of hay fever sufferers reacted to a single out-of-season challenge.

Transferring fewer embryos doesn't reduce delivery rates if linked to reimbursing 6 IVF cycles
Research from Belgium has shown that if governments legislate to restrict the numbers of embryos transferred during fertility treatment, but combine it with a policy of reimbursing six cycles of assisted reproduction technology, there is no detrimental impact on pregnancy and delivery rates, while the multiple birth rate is halved.

The lingering clouds
A new study reveals how pollution causes thunderstorms to leave behind larger, deeper, longer lasting clouds.

Disputed asthma drugs have safe record in British Columbia
A popular combination asthma therapy dogged by safety concerns has not harmed British Columbians and should remain in use, according to researchers at the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute.

UMass Medical School licenses technology for the development of new cancer immunotherapeutics
The University of Massachusetts Medical School has licensed

NASA satellite tracks Tropical Cyclone Lehar moving toward India
Tropical cyclone Lehar, located in the Bay of Bengal, continues to gain intensity while heading toward the same area of India where a much weaker tropical cyclone Helen recently came ashore.

Gratitude or guilt? People spend more when they 'pay it forward'
As shoppers across the nation prepare to pounce on Black Friday sales, researchers at UC Berkeley are looking at what happens to commerce when there's no set price tag.

A brain reward gene influences food choices in the first years of life
Research has suggested that a particular gene in the brain's reward system contributes to overeating and obesity in adults.

How can we measure the value and impact of orthopaedic care?
A recent article published in JBJS Reviews,

Drug reduces brain changes, motor deficits associated with Huntington's disease
A drug that acts like a growth-promoting protein in the brain reduces degeneration and motor deficits associated with Huntington's disease in two mouse models of the disorder, according to a study appearing Nov.

A Whirling Dervish puts physicists in a spin
A force that intricately links the rotation of the Earth with the direction of weather patterns in the atmosphere has been shown to play a crucial role in the creation of the hypnotic patterns created by the skirts of the Whirling Dervishes.

Fashion, sex, 'gray market of power' helped lead to French Revolution
Today we call it influence, clout,

UCLA research may help scientists understand what causes pregnancy complications
Dr. Hanna Mikkola and researchers at UCLA's Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research have identified a specific type of cell and a related cell communication pathway that are key to the successful growth of a healthy placenta.

Reef fish find it's too hot to swim
A team of researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University has shown that ocean warming may reduce the swimming ability of many fish species, and have major impacts on their ability to grow and reproduce.

Micronutrient supplements reduce risk of HIV disease progression and illness
Long-term (24-month) supplementation with multivitamins plus selenium for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients in Botswana in the early stages of disease who had not received antiretroviral therapy delayed time to HIV disease progression, was safe and reduced the risk of immune decline and illness, according to a study appearing in the Nov.

Seahorse heads have a 'no wake zone' that's made for catching prey
Seahorses are slow, docile creatures, but their heads are perfectly shaped to sneak up and quickly snatch prey, according to marine scientists from the University of Texas at Austin.

Scientists characterize effects of transplanted fecal microbiota
Scientists at the Institute for Genome Sciences at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and physicians at Sinai Hospital, Baltimore, Md., have found that restoring the normal, helpful bacteria of the gut and intestines may treat patients suffering from recurrent Clostridium difficile infections.

Scientists design and test new approach for corneal stem cell treatments
Researchers in the Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute have designed and tested a novel, minute-long procedure to prepare human amniotic membrane for use as a scaffold for specialized stem cells that may be used to treat some corneal diseases.

An abnormal resting-state functional brain network indicates progression towards AD
An abnormal resting-state functional brain network indicates progression towards AD.

Memo to big box retailers: Goodwill has a shelf life
Big box retailers may have had the secret to combatting online retailers all along: instant gratification.

National study finds donor age not a factor in most corneal transplants
Ten years after a transplant, a cornea from a 71-year-old donor is likely to remain as healthy as a cornea from a donor half that age, and corneas from donors over 71 perform slightly less well but still remain healthy for most transplant recipients, according to a study funded by the National Eye Institute and led by the UC Davis Health System Eye Center and the University of Cincinnati Eye Institute.

Fox Chase earns prestigious Magnet nursing designation for fourth time in a row
Fox Chase Cancer Center, the first acute care hospital in Pennsylvania and specialty hospital in the country to receive Magnet designation for excellence in nursing services by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Magnet Recognition Program, has been designated with this prestigious recognition for the fourth time in a row -- now making it the first hospital in Pennsylvania to have achieved three successful re-designations.

MR spectroscopy shows differences in brains of preterm infants
Premature birth appears to trigger developmental processes in the white matter of the brain that could put children at higher risk of problems later in life, according to a study being presented next week.

High-fat diet during puberty speeds up breast cancer development
New findings show that eating a high-fat diet beginning at puberty speeds up the development of breast cancer and may actually increase the risk of cancer similar to a type often found in younger adult women.

Broadcom Foundation establishes cyber-authentication research fund at Tel Aviv University
The Broadcom Foundation has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Tel Aviv University to establish a two-year program to promote multidisciplinary research toward a new generation of authentication methods.

RSNA and Regenstrief Institute launch effort to unify radiology procedure naming
Under a contract awarded by the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, the developers of two advanced medical terminologies have begun work to harmonize and unify terms for radiology procedures.

NREL test helps make moisture barriers better
Moisture -- in the form of humidity, water spills, or rainfall -- spells early demise for cell phones, light-emitting diode displays, TVs, and solar photovoltaic panels worldwide.

Prevalence of undiagnosed HIV infection low among state prison entrants
An analysis indicates that the prevalence of undiagnosed human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection among state prison entrants in North Carolina was low, at 0.09 percent, according to a study appearing in the Nov.

NREL releases Renewable Energy Data Book detailing growing industry in 2012
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has released the 2012 Renewable Energy Data BookPDF on behalf of the Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

BUSM/BMC receives Grand Challenges Explorations grant to develop next generation condom
The department of radiology at Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center is a Grand Challenges Explorations winner, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

High salt levels in common medicines put patients at increased risk of cardiovascular events
Millions of patients taking effervescent, dispersible and soluble medicines containing sodium are at greater risk of cardiovascular events compared with patients taking non-effervescent, dispersible and soluble versions of the same drugs, finds a study published on today.

Google Earth reveals untold fish catches
Large fish traps in the Persian Gulf could be catching up to six times more fish than what's being officially reported, according to the first investigation of fish catches from space conducted by University of British Columbia scientists.

2009 pandemic flu death toll much higher than official worldwide estimates
A research team consisting of more than 60 collaborators in 26 countries has estimated the global death toll from the 2009 outbreak of the H1N1 virus to be 10 times higher than the World Health Organization's count, which was based on laboratory-confirmed cases of this flu.

Scientists discover how leukemia cells exploit 'enhancer' DNA elements to cause lethal disease
A team of researchers at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has identified a leukemia-specific stretch of DNA called an enhancer element that enables cancerous blood cells to proliferate in acute myeloid leukemia, a devastating cancer that is incurable in 70 percent of patients.

Latest GOES-R instrument cleared for installation onto spacecraft
The latest advanced instrument that will fly on NOAA's next-generation Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite-R known as GOES-R spacecraft is completed and cleared for installation onto the satellite.

4 from UT MD Anderson named Fellows in AAAS
A basic scientist, a biostatistician and two researchers who connect scientific findings with the clinic are the newest Fellows elected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

EARTH Magazine: Old photos help scientists relocate 1906 San Francisco quake rupture point
Geoscientists using every resource available to them -- from bare-earth LIDAR technology to knowledge of turn-of-the-century fashion -- have helped correct a 100-year-old mistake about where the San Andreas Fault rupture point was for the historic 1906 earthquake.

Children are significantly more likely to develop PTSD if the mother is already afflicted
In the study published in the Journal of Depression & Anxiety, while fewer than 10 percent (8.4 percent) of the mothers were suffering from PTSD, more than a fifth (21 percent) of their children presented PTSD symptoms. 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