Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 13, 2013
Genetics Society of America announces recipients of spring 2014 DeLill Nasser Award
Eleven early career researchers receive travel grants to attend conferences to aid in their professional development.

True story: Not everyone lies frequently
Does everybody lie? We are taught that this is common sense and that most people tell little white lies.

How to keep our children safe from online predators
Cyberbullying is one of the darker and most troubling aspects of the growing use of new media technologies.

Changing chemo not beneficial for metastatic B.C. patients with elevated circulating tumor cells
For women with metastatic breast cancer who had elevated amounts of circulating tumor cells in their blood after a first line of chemotherapy, switching immediately to a different chemotherapy did not improve overall survival or time to progression, according to the results of a phase III clinical trial presented here at the 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec.

Plaque composition, immune activation explain cardiovascular risk in HIV-infected women
A Massachusetts General Hospital research team has discovered a possible mechanism behind the elevated risk of cardiovascular disease in women infected with HIV, a risk even higher than that of HIV-infected men.

Duke engineers make strides toward artificial cartilage
A Duke research team has developed a better recipe for synthetic replacement cartilage in joints, calling for a newly designed durable hydrogel to be poured over a three-dimensional fabric

Open-vent volcanoes and the maturation of volcanic hazards study
Understanding and mitigating volcanic hazards is evolving and is increasingly being managed by scientists and engineers in their home countries.

UTHealth's Rex Marco, M.D., honored by sarcoma cancer foundation
Rex Marco, M.D., professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Medical School, is the recipient of an award recognizing excellence in the treatment of a type of cancer called sarcoma.

Obstetric care may differ at rural versus urban hospitals, reports Medical Care
Rates of unnecessary cesarean section and other potentially risky obstetric procedures show some significant differences between rural and urban hospitals in the United States, reports a study in the January issue of Medical Care.

Clot-busters, caught on tape
Ultrasound-stimulated microbubbles have been showing promise in recent years as a non-invasive way to break up dangerous blood clots.

Disease, not climate change, fueling frog declines in the Andes, study finds
Climate change is widely believed to be behind the rapid decline of frog populations in the Andes mountains, but a new study finds that the real culprit is a deadly fungus that has wiped out amphibian species worldwide.

The colors of nature: 9 beautiful new wasp species from China
The first revision of the cuckoo wasp genus Cleptes from China has brought to light nine new gorgeously colored species from the genus.

Marine biologists unmask species diversity in coral reefs
Some corals have been found to have the ability to survive in harsh environments, according to research to be published on 7 Feb.

Defending medical oncology to assure quality care for cancer patients
Medical oncologists have a vital role to play in cancer care, particularly as treatments become ever more complex, a new position statement from the European Society for Medical Oncology says.

New way to predict prognosis in patients with heart failure
Gurusher Panjrath, M.D., assistant professor of medicine and director of the Heart Failure and Mechanical Support Program at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, was recently published in the journal Science Translational Medicine for his study,

Chimpanzees are rational, not conformists
Chimpanzees are sensitive to social influences but they maintain their own strategy to solve a problem rather than conform to what the majority of group members are doing.

Bisphosphonate treatment fails to improve outcomes for women with chemoresistant breast cancer
Treatment with the bisphosphonate zoledronate did not improve outcomes for women with chemoresistant breast cancer, according to initial results of a phase III clinical trial presented here at the 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec.

New discovery on how skin cells form 'bridges' paves the way for advances in wound healing
A team of researchers from the National University of Singapore have discovered that outer skin cells are able to unite to form suspended

New concerns over safety of common anesthetic
Patients receiving the widely used anesthesia drug etomidate for surgery may be at increased risk or mortality and cardiovascular events, according to a study in the Dec. issue of Anesthesia & Analgesia, official journal of the International Anesthesia Research Society.

New organization brings together top researchers to sequence genomes of invertebrates
The Global Invertebrate Genomics Alliance was created to provide a network of diverse scientists who will promote comparative genomics and bioinformatics research on non-insect/non-nematode invertebrates.

Wrist fracture significantly raises risk of hip fracture
A new study presented today at the IOF Regionals 4th Asia-Pacific Osteoporosis Meeting in Hong Kong showed that patients with Colles' fracture are at higher risk than patients with osteoporosis to have a subsequent hip fracture within one year; Colles' fracture and osteoporosis together further increase the risk of hip fracture.

No 2 people smell the same
With about 400 odor receptors in the human nose, and more than 900,000 variations on the genes that build those receptors, it would appear that no two humans smell things the same way.

Breakthrough could lead to protection from fatal infections
Researchers at UTMB have found a way to protect against what can be a fatal rickettsial infection.

New presurgery treatment combination more effective for women with triple-negative breast cancer
Adding the chemotherapy drug carboplatin and/or the antibody therapy bevacizumab to standard presurgery chemotherapy increased the number of women with triple-negative breast cancer who had no residual cancer detected at surgery, according to results of a randomized, phase II clinical trial presented here at the 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec.

Project on sustainable management and gas emission reduction in irrigation farming
The Soil Management Group of the Public University of Navarre is participating alongside INTIA (The Navarrese Institute of Agrifood Technologies and Infrastructure) and Fundagro (Foundation for Rural Development in Navarre) in the European LIFE project RegaDIOX.

Misunderstanding of palliative care leads to preventable suffering
A new review says palliative care's association with end of life has created an

Zebrafish help decode link between calcium deficiency and colon cancer
A tiny, transparent fish embryo and a string of surprises led scientists to a deeper understanding of the perplexing link between low calcium and colon cancer.

Significant minority think doctors should help 'tired of living' elderly to die if that's their wish
One in five people believes that doctors should be allowed to help the elderly who are not seriously ill, but who are tired of living, to die, if that is their stated wish, reveals research published online in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

Cologne scientist discovers water plumes on Jupiter's moon Europa
A Cologne scientist has, together with American colleagues, discovered huge active plumes containing water vapor being released from the surface of Jupiter's moon Europa.

Pilot study finds ways to better screen and recover guns from domestic violence offenders
More intensive screening to identify firearm owners among individuals who are subject to domestic violence restraining orders, and streamlining processes to recover guns at the time those restraining orders are served could help enforce existing laws that prohibit these offenders from having firearms, a pilot study conducted by violence prevention experts at the University of California, Davis, and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has found.

UTHealth's Arthur Day, M.D., honored by neurosurgical association
Arthur L. Day, M.D., professor of neurosurgery at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and a neurosurgeon at the Mischer Neuroscience Institute at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, has received one of the top honors awarded by the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

Ethanol blends carry hidden risk
Blending more ethanol into fuel to cut air pollution carries a hidden risk that toxic or explosive gases may leach into buildings, according to researchers at Rice University.

New public attitudes about access to medical information, bio tissue for research
When aware of the privacy safeguards, people approve of unconsented use of tissue, health records for population-based studies.

Tighten up value for money appraisals of new drugs in England, urges DTB
The body that appraises the clinical and cost effectiveness of new drugs in England would do well to take a leaf out of its sister organizations' books in Wales and Scotland, says an editorial in the Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin.

Philadelphia surpasses US average in rate of global innovation connectedness
The city of Philadelphia has reason to be proud: It outpaces the nation as a whole in terms of innovation connectedness.

Swirls in remnants of big bang may hold clues to universe's infancy
South Pole Telescope scientists have detected for the first time a subtle distortion in the oldest light in the universe, which may help reveal secrets about the earliest moments in the universe's formation.

Antarctic neutrino-hunting project IceCube named Breakthrough of the Year by Physics World
International high-energy physics research project IceCube has been named the 2013 Breakthrough of the Year by British magazine Physics World.

Jailhouse wine is not as delicious as it sounds, could be deadly
In a case series seemingly tailor-made for cinematic tragedy or farce, emergency physicians report severe botulism poisoning from a batch of potato-based

UT Arlington marketing study shows ethnically diverse workforce may improve customer experience
Service-oriented businesses that want to succeed with minority customers should consider hiring frontline employees who represent those ethnic groups, particularly when the business caters to Hispanics or Asians, a recent UT Arlington study contends.

UTHealth named one of nation's NIH stroke network centers
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston has been named one of 25 regional stroke centers by the National Institutes of Health and the only one in Texas.

New combination therapy fails to delay progression of advanced breast cancer
Adding the antibody therapy ramucirumab to the chemotherapy drug docetaxel did not delay disease progression for patients with HER2-negative, advanced breast cancer, according to results of a placebo-controlled, randomized, phase III clinical trial presented here at the 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium, held Dec.

National award honors CHOP scientist for career work in gene therapy for hemophilia
Katherine A. High, M.D., of The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, was honored for her trailblazing scientific and clinical research in the bleeding disorder hemophilia when she received the 2013 E.

MD Anderson researcher Jim Allison wins Breakthrough Prize for his innovative cancer immunology rese
Basic science research that exposed vital details of cancer's defense against the immune system, revealing an entirely new way to combat these diseases, has earned Jim Allison, Ph.D., a Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences.

UC San Diego cancer researchers receive $4 million CIRM disease-team grant
Researcher Thomas J. Kipps, M.D., Ph.D., professor of medicine and deputy director of research operations at UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center, is principal investigator for one of six

New presurgery combination therapy may improve outcomes for women with triple-negative breast cancer
The I-SPY 2 trial, an innovative, multidrug, phase II breast cancer trial, has yielded positive results with the first drug to complete testing in the trial.

Saving the Great Plains water supply
Significant portions of the Ogalalla Aquifer, one of the largest bodies of water in the United States, are at risk of drying up if it continues to be drained at its current rate.

New tech lets cholesterol-tracking smartphone users take lifesaving selfies
With a new smartphone device, you can now take an accurate iPhone camera selfie that could save your life -- it reads your cholesterol level in about a minute.

Laying siege to chemoresistance
Some lymphoma types resistant to conventional therapies could be treated more effectively by using drugs geared towards the specific molecular alteration of the tumor.

UTHealth faculty members elected to prestigious scientific association
Two professors at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston -- Barry Davis, M.D., Ph.D., and Kevin Morano, Ph.D.

Additional drug shows promise for women with triple-negative breast cancer
In a nationwide study of women with

New gene discovery sheds more light on Alzheimer's risk
A research team from The University of Nottingham has helped uncover a second rare genetic mutation which strongly increases the risk of Alzheimer's disease in later life.

UI researcher studies evolution on the molecular level
UI researchers describe the evolution of various forms of the enzyme

New screening strategy to prevent cardiovascular complications in sports
Echocardiography with conventional M-mode and 2D modalities is a simple and cost effective way to increases the accuracy of pre-participation sports screening, according to research presented at EuroEcho-Imaging 2013 by Dr.

CU-Boulder to fly antibiotic experiment, education project on ants to space station
A University of Colorado Boulder research center will launch two payloads aboard Orbital Sciences Corp.'s commercial Cygnus spacecraft to the International Space Station on Dec.

Study breaks blood-brain barriers to understanding Alzheimer's
A study in mice shows how a breakdown of the brain's blood vessels may amplify or cause problems associated with Alzheimer's disease.

CPAP therapy improves golf performance in men with sleep apnea
A new study suggests that treating obstructive sleep apnea with continuous positive airway pressure therapy improves golf performance in middle-aged men.

Evidence of savings in accountable care organizations and cancer care
Approximately 10 percent of Medicare spending is for cancer care, and Medicare spending is nearly four times higher for beneficiaries with cancer than in those without the disease.

Strobe glasses improve hockey players' performance
Professional hockey players who trained with special eyewear that only allowed them to see action intermittently showed significant improvement in practice drills, according to a Duke University study with the NHL's Carolina Hurricanes.

Study shows new paradigm in breast cancer research
First results from an unprecedented nationwide effort to test promising new breast cancer drugs before the tumor is removed were presented during the 2013 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium.

UCSF research finds new link between obesity, early decline in kidney function
A new UCSF-led study of nearly 3,000 individuals links obesity to the development of kidney disease.

Snail fever expected to decline in Africa due to climate change
The dangerous parasite Schistosoma mansoni that causes snail fever in humans could become significantly less common in the future a new international study led by researchers from the University of Copenhagen predicts.

No math gene: Learning mathematics takes practice
What makes someone good at math? A love of numbers, perhaps, but a willingness to practice, too.

Scientists and practitioners don't see eye to eye on repressed memory
Skepticism about repressed traumatic memories has increased over time, but new research published in Psychological Science shows that psychology researchers and practitioners still tend to hold different beliefs about whether such memories occur and whether they can be accurately retrieved.

Loyola neurologist is co-editor of 3-volume, 1,480-page guide to clinical neurology
Loyola University Medical Center neurologist Jose Biller, M.D., is co-editor of a three-volume, 1,480-page comprehensive guide to clinical neurology.

Pathogen study explores blocking effect of E. coli O157:H7 protein
Philip Hardwidge, associate professor at the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University, is studying how pathogens such as E. coli use proteins to block a host's innate immune system.

Nutrition report cards receive high marks in pilot program
Parents receiving academic report cards throughout the school year is commonplace, but a new Cornell University study shows that for healthier nutrition, parents should opt to receive a nutrition report card, too.

A stop sign for cancer
Researchers from the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna have now discovered completely new targets for the treatment of blood cancers. 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