Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 05, 2013
RI researchers validate tool for pain assessment in patients following cardiac surgery
How do you measure the pain of a patient who can't communicate?

CARING Criteria shows 1 year death risk at time of hospital admission
A new tool allows doctors to recognize patients at highest mortality risk, matching treatments to values and health goals.

UF researchers' experiment is first to simulate warming of Arctic permafrost
Although vegetation growth in the Arctic is boosted by global warming, it's not enough to offset the carbon released by the thawing of the permafrost beneath the surface, University of Florida researchers have found in the first experiment in the Arctic environment to simulate thawing of permafrost in a warming world.

Navy launches UAV from submerged submarine
A milestone in US Navy history, an all-electric NRL developed unmanned aircraft was successfully launched and flown from the submerged USS Providence.

Social ties more important than biology when it comes to teen sleep problems
Medical researchers point to developmental factors, specifically the decline of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin, as an explanation for why children get less sleep as they become teenagers.

Probiotic therapy alleviates autism-like behaviors in mice
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is diagnosed when individuals exhibit characteristic behaviors, decreased social interactions, and impaired communication.

India's blood pressure skyrockets
The European Society of Cardiology presents the educational program at the 65th Annual Conference of the Cardiological Society of India.

New IOM report assesses oversight of clinical gene transfer protocols
In most cases, human gene transfer research is no longer novel or controversial enough to require additional review from the National Institutes of Health's Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee, known as RAC, says a new report by the Institute of Medicine.

HIV can infect transplanted kidneys in HIV-positive recipients with undetectable virus
HIV infection occurred in 68 percent of the HIV-positive transplant recipients' new kidneys even in the absence of any detectable HIV in their blood.

More alcohol and traffic laws mean fewer traffic deaths, NYU Steinhardt study concludes
States with a higher number of alcohol- and traffic-related laws have a lower proportion of traffic deaths than do states with fewer such laws on the books, a study by researchers at NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development has found.

Quadriplegics at risk for serious sleep breathing disorder
New findings suggest that where the spinal cord is injured -- in the neck, or lower -- can affect the likelihood and type of breathing problems during sleep, including central sleep apnea.

Gut bacteria linked to autism-related behavior in mice
Mice whose mothers suffered from infection or inflammation during pregnancy are at greater risk for developing behaviors similar to those seen in people with autism spectrum disorders.

Database tracks toxic side effects of pharmaceuticals
Sometimes the cure can be worse than the disease. Pharmaceutical drugs are known for their potential side effects, and an important aspect of personalized medicine is to tailor therapies to individuals to reduce the chances of adverse events.

Priming 'cocktail' shows promise as cardiac stem cell grafting tool
Researchers have identified a new tool that could help facilitate future stem cell therapy for the more than 700,000 Americans who suffer a heart attack each year.

Berkeley Lab researchers create a nonlinear light-generating zero-index metamaterial
Berkeley Lab researchers have used a unique optical metamaterial with zero-index refraction to generate phase mismatch-free nonlinear light, an important step towards efficient light generation for future quantum networks and light sources.

'Soft' (and miniaturized) robots
The miniaturization of robots requires them to acquire the same

Membrane enzymes 'stop and frisk' proteins indiscriminately
For what is believed to be the first time, researchers at The Johns Hopkins University have illuminated the inner workings of an important class of enzymes located inside the outer envelopes of cells.

Malignant cells adopt a different pathway for genome duplication
Genomes must be replicated in two copies during cell division.

NIH-funded scientists describe how mosquitoes are attracted to humans
Scientists at the University of California, Riverside have shown that certain mosquito nerve cells, known as cpA neurons, cause mosquitoes to be attracted to humans by detecting exhaled carbon dioxide and odors emitted from human skin.

Bats illuminate ways to control and prevent disease research earns top prize for young scientists
For his novel research using viral infections in bats to help answer questions about how infectious diseases jump between species, Daniel G.

European innovation prize for Fraunhofer
Technology can assist in compiling history. Fraunhofer researchers receive the European Innovation Prize from the European Association of Research and Technology Organisations on 4 Dec 2013 for software that reconstructs files of the East German state security service.

A*STAR scientists discover novel hormone essential for heart development
Scientists at A*STAR's Institute of Medical Biology and Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology have identified a gene encoding a hormone that could potentially be used as a therapeutic molecule to treat heart diseases.

DNA helicity and elasticity explained on the nanoscale
A simple mechanical model to effectively implement the well-known double-stranded structure and the elasticity of DNA on a nano-meter scale has been developed by Jae-Hyung Jeon and Wokyung Sung of Pohang University of Science and Technology in the Republic of Korea, in an effort to more comprehensively explore the nucleic acid containing genetic material of cells.

Dissolving electronics, energy: Kavli lectures at American Chemical Society meeting
One scientist is developing breakthrough electronic sutures and medical implants that dissolve when their jobs are done.

Liver transplant survival rates lower in black than white pediatric patients
Novel research reveals racial and socioeconomic disparities among pediatric liver transplant patients.

Tracking exercise as vital sign associated with weight loss and better glucose control for patients
Asking patients about their exercise habits was associated with weight loss in overweight patients and improved glucose control for patients with diabetes, according to a recently published study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Who is the culprit to cause memory impairment during brain aging?
Who is the culprit to cause memory impairment during brain aging?

Vaginally administered ED medication may alleviate menstrual cramping
Women with moderate to severe menstrual cramps may find relief in a class of erectile dysfunction drugs, according to a team of researchers led by Penn State College of Medicines Richard Legro.

Deep-sea study reveals cause of 2011 tsunami
The devastating tsunami that struck Japan's Tohoku region in March 2011 was touched off by a submarine earthquake far more massive than anything geologists had expected in that zone.

Proteins' passing phases revealed
A new method to identify previously hidden details about the structure of proteins may speed the process of novel drug design.

Cancer mutation likely trigger of scleroderma
Johns Hopkins scientists have found evidence that cancer triggers the autoimmune disease scleroderma, which causes thickening and hardening of the skin and widespread organ damage.

New method of DNA editing allows synthetic biologists to unlock secrets of a bacterial genome
A group of University of Illinois researchers, led by Centennial Chair Professor of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Huimin Zhao, has demonstrated the use of an innovative DNA engineering technique to discover potentially valuable functions hidden within bacterial genomes.

Inventions that improve lives are winners at the 2013 Newark Innovation Acceleration Challenge
Sensor equipment to help the visually impaired navigate more safely and a system for recycling computers efficiently were among the seven inventive business concepts to win seed funding from Capital One Bank and a spot in an intensive NJIT accelerator program at the fifth annual Newark Innovation Acceleration Challenge.

Discovery of partial skeleton suggests ruggedly built, tree-climbing human ancestor
A human ancestor characterized by

Activating pathway could restart hair growth in dormant hair follicles, Penn Study suggests
A pathway known for its role in regulating adult stem cells has been shown to be important for hair follicle proliferation, but contrary to previous studies, is not required within hair follicle stem cells for their survival, according to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania.

Stripped mobile phone camera turned into a mini-microscope for low-cost diagnostics
Simple imaging devices modified to inexpensive mini-microscopes are the new weapon in fight against tropical infectious diseases, show the researchers at the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, FIMM, University of Helsinki and Karolinska Institutet.

Gentler heart surgery remains without signs of dementia
Aortic valve stenosis: For patients at high risk, transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) remains the only opportunity.

Pulsatile blood flow unmasks new migraine features
With every heartbeat, the blood is sent to all our peripheral tissues, generating changes in pulsatile perfusion.

Stockings perform better than bandages to treat leg ulcers
A new study has found that leg ulcers take the same time to heal when people wear compression stockings rather than traditional bandages.

Further doubt cast on benefit of vitamin D supplementation for disease prevention
A comprehensive review of the evidence suggests that low vitamin D levels are not a cause but a consequence of ill health, casting strong doubt on the value of vitamin D supplements to protect against acute and chronic disorders such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Parkinson's disease, and even death.

New study explains why promising dementia drugs failed in clinical trials
Alzheimer's disease is the most common cause of dementia among older people, yet there currently are no effective drugs to stop, slow or prevent disease progression.

How our vision dims: Chemists crack the code of cataract creation
Groundbreaking new findings by UC Irvine and German chemists about how cataracts form could be used to help prevent the world's leading cause of blindness, which currently affects nearly 20 million people worldwide.

NASA watching a post-Atlantic hurricane season low
System 90L has developed in the eastern Atlantic Ocean today and NASA's Aqua satellite took an infrared look at the low pressure area to see if it had development potential.

Progesterone changes may cause cognitive impairment of Alzheimer's disease patients
Progesterone changes may cause cognitive impairment of Alzheimer's disease patients.

International study finds lower-dose IUDs are safe and effective
In a finding that could expand the use of one of the most effective forms of birth control, two intrauterine contraceptive systems that had lower doses of the contraceptive hormone, levonorgestrel, were found to be safe and effective in preventing pregnancies.

Ancient 'fig wasp' lived tens of millions of years before figs
A 115-million-year-old fossilized wasp from northeast Brazil presents a baffling puzzle to researchers.

NRL scientists demonstrate infrared light modulation with graphene
Since its discovery, graphene has generated considerable interest. Researchers at NRL investigate the possibility for new optical devices using graphene for communications, and image and signal processing.

Pre-moxibustion and moxibustion prevent Alzheimer's disease
Pre-moxibustion and moxibustion prevent Alzheimer's disease.

Better water purification with seeds from Moringa trees
Seeds from Moringa oleifera trees can be used to purify water.

Brain cancer cells hide while drugs seek
A team of scientists, led by principal investigator Paul S.

Researchers identify fundamental differences between human cancers and genetically engineered mouse models of cancer
Researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA have taken a closer look at existing mouse models of cancer, specifically comparing them to human cancer samples.

Queen's Professor appointed to world's largest scientific society
A Queen's University Professor has been elected as a fellow of the world's largest general scientific society, the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Acute kidney injury may be more deadly than heart attacks
Among a group of veterans discharged from the hospital after acute kidney injury or heart attacks, death occurred most often in patients who experienced both conditions and least often in patients experiencing heart attacks alone.

Coffee or beer? The choice could affect your genome
Coffee and beer are polar opposites in the beverage world -- coffee picks you up, and beer winds you down.

Home-based exercise as rehabiltation
Home-based high-intensity exercise for rehabilitation after cardiovascular disease can be effective, even if patients work out without expensive exercise monitoring machines, new research from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology has shown.

Studies assess impact of IOM report on nursing reforms
Two new studies by researchers at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services examine how well hospitals and other health care facilities are doing when it comes to a call to reform the nursing profession.

Recurring memory traces boost long-lasting memories
While the human brain is in a resting state, patterns of neuronal activity which are associated to specific memories may spontaneously reappear.

UEA researchers receive share of £1.26 million to reduce animal experimentation for drug development
Researchers at the University of East Anglia are launching a new project to develop methods which could one-day decrease the use of rats and mice in pharmaceutical testing.

NASA eyes another developing depression in northern Indian Ocean
Infrared satellite data from NASA's Aqua satellite showed bands of thunderstorms wrapping around low pressure System 92B's center.

Crop-infecting virus forces aphids to spread disease
Viruses alter plant biochemistry in order to manipulate visiting aphids into spreading infection.

Resistant against the flu
A new study published in the scientific journal PLOS Pathogens points out that mice lacking a protein called Tmprss2 are no longer affected by certain flu viruses.

Love connection
University of Iowa researchers may have come up with the right matchmaking formula for online dating sites: Pair people according to their past interests and online mating success, rather than who they say they're interested in.

Scientists accelerate aging in stem cells to study age-related diseases like Parkinson's
A study in Cell Stem Cell has revealed a new method for converting induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) into nerve cells that recapitulate features associated with aging as well as Parkinson's disease.

Eating healthy vs. unhealthy diet costs about $1.50 more per day
The healthiest diets cost about $1.50 more per day than the least healthy diets, according to new research from Harvard School of Public Health.

UAlberta researchers uncover why combination drug treatment ineffective in cancer clinical trials
Medical researchers at the University of Alberta have discovered that combination drug therapy didn't work well in clinical trials for cancer patients because one drug was making the other drug ineffective.

Scientists calculate friction of Japan's 9.0 earthquake in 2011
An international team of scientists that installed a borehole temperature observatory following the 2011 Tohoku-Oki earthquake in Japan has been able to measure the

Slippery fault unleashed destructive Tohoku-Oki earthquake and tsunami
For the first time, scientists have measured the frictional heat produced by the fault slip during an earthquake.

Computer model suggests genetic breast cancer screening may benefit those at intermediate risk
Archimedes Inc., a healthcare modeling and analytics company, today announced results of a simulated clinical trial which found that the seven single-nucleotide polymorphisms (7SNP) genetic test for breast cancer was most cost effective when used to guide MRI screenings for patients found to have an intermediate lifetime risk of developing the disease.

Single microRNA powers motor activity
New research from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai shows that microRNA-128 is one of the strongest regulators of nerve cell excitability and motor activity, and that it does so by adjusting an entire neuronal signaling pathway.

Vaccine study reveals link between immunity and cells' starvation response
Scientists studying immune responses to the yellow fever vaccine have identified a gene whose activation in key immune cells is a sign of a robust response.

Nutrition experts explore dietary approaches that influence type 2 diabetes risk
To help shed light on the role of diet in the prevention and management of diabetes and diabetes-related risk factors, the Egg Nutrition Center convened a group of internationally-recognized experts today for The Controversial Role of Dietary Protein in Diabetes and Related Disorders Satellite Symposium in conjunction with the American Society for Nutrition's Advances & Controversies in Clinical Nutrition.

SOI collaborating with WHOI on construction of world's most advanced deep-diving robotic vehicle
Schmidt Ocean Institute (SOI) has begun working with the Deep Submergence Laboratory at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution to design and build the world's most advanced robotic undersea research vehicle for use on SOI's ship Falkor.

New finding shows that mother sharks 'home' to their birthplace to give birth, like salmon and sea turtles
Research conducted in Bimini in The Bahamas spanning almost two decades shows that female lemon sharks that were born there returned 15 years later to give birth to their own young, confirming this behavior for the first time in sharks.

Laser light at useful wavelengths from semiconductor nanowires
Thread-like semiconductor structures called nanowires, so thin that they are effectively one-dimensional, show potential as lasers for applications in computing, communications, and sensing.

Those fruit flies are pickier than you think
On your kitchen counter, it might seem as though fruit flies will show up for just about any type of fruit.

NASA begins search for what is left of Comet ISON
Just prior to its closest approach to the sun on Nov.

Blacks happier at work than whites despite fewer friends, less autonomy
Despite working in more routine and less autonomous jobs, having fewer close friends at work, and feeling less supported by their coworkers, blacks report significantly more positive emotions in the workplace than whites, according to a new study in the Dec. issue of Social Psychology Quarterly.

Thermoelectric materials nearing production scale
Half-Heusler compounds are especially suited for manufacturing thermoelectric modules. Waste heat can be converted to electricity with them.

Hummingbird metabolism unique in burning glucose and fructose equally
Hummingbird metabolism is a marvel of evolutionary engineering. These tiny birds can power all of their energetic hovering flight by burning the sugar contained in the floral nectar of their diet.

Aging process accompanied by decreased hippocampal synaptophysin
Aging process is accompanied by decreased hippocampal synaptophysin.

Pediatric HIV/AIDS experts to present at 17th Int'l Conference on AIDS and STI's in Africa
Experts from the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation will give oral presentations, moderate conference events, and exhibit a variety of educational posters and abstracts.

Prostate cancer biomarker may predict patient outcomes
Researchers at Vanderbilt University Medical Center and the University of Alberta in Canada have identified a biomarker for a cellular switch that accurately predicts which prostate cancer patients are likely to have their cancer recur or spread.

Columbia's 2013 Horwitz Prize awarded for discoveries that could lead to new Alzheimer's treatments
For discoveries about how the brain calculates and remembers where it is -- which could be part of the foundation of memory -- Columbia University will award the 2013 Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize to Edvard and May-Britt Moser of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, and John O'Keefe of the University College of London.

Propagated sensation along the meridian exists objectively
Propagated sensation along the meridian exists objectively.

Carnegie Mellon researchers create brand associations by mining millions of images from social media
The images people share on social media -- photos of favorite products and places, or of themselves at bars, sporting events and weddings -- could be valuable to marketers assessing their customers'

Cancer's game of hide-and-seek
A Ludwig Cancer Research study has uncovered an entirely novel mechanism by which glioblastoma (GBM), the most common kind of brain cancer, evades targeted therapies.

Study shows how water dissolves stone, molecule by molecule
Scientists from Rice University and the University of Bremen's Center for Marine Environmental Sciences in Germany have combined cutting-edge experimental techniques and computer simulations to find a new way of predicting how water dissolves crystalline structures like those found in natural stone and cement.

Pediatric infectious disease chief authors new vaccination guideline for immunocompromised patients
A new guideline released Thursday by the Infectious Diseases Society of America notes that most people with compromised immune systems are especially vulnerable to illness and should receive the flu shot and other vaccinations.

Welcome guests: Added molecules allow metal-organic frameworks to conduct electricity
Scientists from NIST and Sandia National Laboratories have added something new to a family of engineered, high-tech materials called metal-organic frameworks: the ability to conduct electricity.

How mosquitoes are drawn to human skin and breath
Scientists at the University of California, Riverside have found that the very receptors in the mosquito's maxillary palp that detect carbon dioxide are ones that detect skin odors as well, thus explaining why mosquitoes are attracted to skin odor -- smelly socks, worn clothes, bedding -- even in the absence of carbon dioxide.

New instrument continues gathering sun's effects on the Earth
Maintaining a record of solar measurements is important in understanding the sun's effect on Earth and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's, Total solar irradiance Calibration Transfer Experiment, or TCTE, is now providing that information.

Large-scale erythrocyte production method established using erythrocyte progenitor cells
By transducing two genes (c-MYC and BCL-XL) into iPS cells and ES cells, a Kyoto University research team led by Prof.

Protein clumps as memory
Yeast cells are able to form a memory through an aggregate composed of congregating

What is the central analgesic mechanism of acupuncture for migraine?
What is the central analgesic mechanism of acupuncture for migraine?

Electricity from waste heat with more efficient materials
Thermoelectric materials can convert waste heat directly into electricity. Tommi Tynell, M.Sc., who is a doctoral candidate at the Aalto University School of Chemical Technology, has developed hybrid thermoelectric materials which combine useful properties from different types of materials.

Added benefit of saxagliptin as monotherapy is not proven
Although the drug manufacturer presented studies for an indirect comparison with sulfonylurea, these were unsuitable because they did not investigate the right patient group.

International prize for VTT's allergy vaccine development work
The European Association of Research and Technology Organisations EARTO has awarded VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland an innovation prize for the technological development work behind allergy vaccine.

Rise in R&D funding could set stage for malaria eradication by providing new tools
A new analysis of funding trends in the global battle against malaria reveals that, over the last two decades, there has been a five-fold increase in annual funding for malaria research and development--from US$131 million in 1993 to $610 million in 2011.

NASA Goddard planetary instruments score a hat trick
Planetary instruments from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., hit the trifecta on Dec.

Army renews bio-inspired engineering and science research center at UC Santa Barbara with $48 million
UC Santa Barbara's Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies (ICB) has received an extension of its contract with the US Army Research Laboratory-Army Research Office, providing an additional $48 million over three years to support research that is inspired by biological systems.

UCSF wins grant of more than $9 million to transform treatment of prostate cancer
UC San Francisco has been awarded a major federal grant to

New genetic research finds shark, human proteins stunningly similar
Despite widespread fascination, the world's oldest ocean predators have long been a genetic mystery.

You can't get entangled without a wormhole
Physicist finds entanglement instantly gives rise to a 'wormhole'.

Electrical brain stimulation may evoke a person's 'will to persevere'
What gives some people the ability to persevere through difficult situations that others may find insurmountable?

More logging, deforestation may better serve climate in some areas
Replacing forests with snow-covered meadows may provide greater climatic and economic benefits than if trees are left standing in some regions, according to a Dartmouth College study that for the first time puts a dollar value on snow's ability to reflect the sun's energy.

Singapore joins global translational medicine network as Asia-Pacific hub
SingHealth and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, which form Singapore's largest academic healthcare cluster, are joining a new global research network to accelerate the discovery of treatments and cures.

New Jersey Shore likely faces unprecedented flooding by mid-century
Geoscientists at Rutgers and Tufts universities estimate that the New Jersey shore will likely experience a sea-level rise of about 1.5 feet by 2050 and of about 3.5 feet by 2100 -- 11 to 15 inches higher than the average for sea-level rise globally over the century.

Astronomers discover planet that shouldn't be there
An international team of astronomers, led by a University of Arizona graduate student, has discovered the most distantly orbiting planet found to date around a single, sun-like star.

Sanford-Burnham researchers identify new target to treat psoriasis
The study identifies the BTLA inhibitory receptor as the key factor in limiting inflammatory responses, particularly in skin.

JILA team develops 'spinning trap' to measure electron roundness
JILA researchers have developed a method of spinning electric and magnetic fields around trapped molecular ions to measure whether the ions' tiny electrons are truly round -- research with major implications for future scientific understanding of the universe.

Group of anti-diabetic drugs can significantly lower cancer risk in women with type 2 diabetes
A Cleveland Clinic-led study shows that a specific type of diabetes drug can decrease the risk of cancer in female patients with type 2 diabetes by up to 32 percent.

7 world-class cities riding tall in bike-share boom, solving 'the last mile' without cars
Seven cities can boast of world-class bike-share systems, according to a new publication by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy that identifies the best practices embraced by these cities.

New insights into how human skin attracts mosquitoes could lead to better repellants and traps
Every time a mosquito is lured to the scent of your skin, you're at risk of contracting malaria, dengue fever, West Nile virus, or another deadly disease.

New Ocean Sensing and Monitoring brings tutorial approach to latest advances
Professionals from related fields and students needing an introduction to optical techniques for remote sensing of the ocean and ocean engineering will find answers in Ocean Sensing and Monitoring: Optics and Other Methods, a new book published by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics.

Gene found to be crucial for formation of certain brain circuitry
Using a powerful gene-hunting technique for the first time in mammalian brain cells, researchers at Johns Hopkins report they have identified a gene involved in building the circuitry that relays signals through the brain.

A sudden interest in math -- how teachers can motivate their pupils
In the eighth or ninth grade, many pupils lose interest in natural sciences and math.

High-tech athletic shoe for pure running pleasure
Jogging keeps you fit and is healthy. However, athletes that start training can overdo it and easily pull and tear ligaments.

TSRI scientists: Emerging bird flu strain is still poorly adapted for infecting humans
Avian influenza virus H7N9, which killed several dozen people in China earlier this year, has not yet acquired the changes needed to infect humans easily, according to a new study by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute.

UEA research gives first in-depth analysis of primate eating habits
From insect-munching tamarins to leaf-loving howler monkeys, researchers at the University of East Anglia have compiled the most thorough review of primate eating habits to date.

Study points to differences in high-school crack, powder cocaine use
The use of crack and powder cocaine both varies and overlaps among high school seniors, researchers at NYU and NYU Langone Medical Center have found.

When it comes to peer pressure, teens are not alone
It is well known that teenagers take risks -- and when they do, they like to have company.

Feeding by tourists compromises health of already-endangered iguanas, study finds
Feeding wildlife is an increasingly common tourist activity, but a new study published online today by the journal Conservation Physiology shows that already-imperilled iguanas are suffering further physiological problems as a result of being fed by tourists.

US stroke deaths declining due to improved prevention, treatment
Better blood pressure control, stop-smoking programs and faster treatment are a few of the reasons for a dramatic decline in US stroke deaths in recent decades.
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