Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 23, 2013
Gene therapy method targets tumor blood vessels
Working in mice, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Inosine treatment safely elevates urate levels in Parkinson's disease patients
A clinical trial assessing the potential of the nutritional supplement inosine to treat Parkinson's disease has found that the studied dosages successfully raised participants' levels of the antioxidant urate without producing serious side effects.

Beatboxing poses little risk of injury to voice
According to new research by voice expert Dr. H. Steven Sims of the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System, beatboxing may actually be gentler on the injury-prone vocal cords.

Study examines inosine to increase urate levels in patients with Parkinson disease
The drug inosine appears to be a safe and effective way to raise blood and cerebrospinal fluid urate levels in patients with early Parkinson disease, suggesting it may be a potential strategy to slow the disability progression of the degenerative neurological disorder, according to a report published by JAMA Neurology, a JAMA Network publication.

Cone snails are for life and not just at Christmas
Those who fly to tropical shores this Christmas in search of sea and sun may be unaware that an exotic shell picked from the beach could potentially bring relief to many thousands of people suffering life-threatening illnesses.

Coral Centre awarded 7 years of funding
The ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies has been awarded $A28m by the Australian Research Council for 2014 to 2020.

Enormous aquifer discovered under Greenland ice sheet
Buried underneath compacted snow and ice in Greenland lies a large liquid water reservoir that has now been mapped by researchers using data from NASA's Operation IceBridge airborne campaign.

Common antibiotic may combat dry eye disease
Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) is the leading cause of dry eye disease, which affects tens of millions of Americans.

Walking the walk: What sharks, honeybees and humans have in common
In the first study of human hunter-gatherer movement patterns, a team led by UA anthropologist David Raichlen has found that the tribe's movements while foraging can be described by a mathematical pattern called a Lévy walk -- a pattern that also is found in the movements of many other animals, from sharks to honey bees.

Resistance makes waves
There is a growing understanding of the conditions required for superconductivity and how it can be achieved at realistic temperatures.

In men, high testosterone can mean weakened immune response, Stanford study finds
Scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine have linked high testosterone levels in men to a poor immune response to an influenza vaccine.

Motor excitability predicts working memory
Humans with a high motor excitability have a better working memory than humans with a low excitability.

Breast cancer patients experience fewer side effects from anticancer drug when receiving acupuncture
A new analysis has found that both real and sham acupuncture treatments may help alleviate side effects of drugs commonly used to treat breast cancer.

Both real and 'sham' acupuncture help ease side effects of widely used breast cancer drug
Breast cancer patients experience fewer side effects while being treated with a widely used drug called an aromatase inhibitor when they get acupuncture -- either the real treatment or a

Testosterone-regulated genes may affect vaccine-induced immunity
A new study has identified a link between certain genes affected by testosterone and antibody responses to an influenza vaccine.

Henry M. Rowan Family Foundation transforms engineering education at Rowan University -- again
Henry M. Rowan and his family once again will transform engineering education.

Mongooses synchronize births to escape despotic females
Some mammals may have evolved to synchronize births as a way of evading the threat of infanticide, according to a study led by the University of Exeter.

1,000-year-old vineyards discovered
The terraced fields of Zaballa (Iruña de Oca) were used for intensive vine cultivation in the 10th century, according to archaeologists of the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country.

Embargoed study: New quality, payment initiative positively impacts pediatric care
Within two years of implementation, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts' Alternative Quality Contract -- a contracting model, based on global payment and pay-for-performance -- had a small but significant positive effect on the quality of pediatric care, according to a new study from Boston Children's Hospital.

Genetic clue to fighting new strains of flu
Researchers at the University of Melbourne have discovered a genetic marker that can accurately predict which patients will experience more severe disease in a new strain of influenza (H7N9) currently found in China.

NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Bruce lose its eye
Tropical Cyclone Bruce's eye caught the eye of NASA's Aqua satellite when it passed overhead on December 21, but two days later, Bruce's eye appeared cloud-filled on satellite imagery.

Study finds axon regeneration after Schwann cell graft to injured spinal cord
Transplanted self-donated Schwann cells (SCs) aid hind limb functional recovery in rats modeled with spinal cord injury.

Antibiotics before heart surgery protect against infection
A new study found preoperative antibiotic therapy administered within two hours of cardiac surgery decreased the risk of developing surgical site infections significantly.

Slippery bark protects trees from pine beetle attack, according to CU-Boulder study
Trees with smoother bark are better at repelling attacks by mountain pine beetles, which have difficulty gripping the slippery surface, according to a new study by the University of Colorado Boulder.

PDL-1 antibody could help immune system fight off influenza viral infection, study suggests
An antibody that blocks a component of a key signaling pathway in the respiratory airways could help the immune system rid the body of the influenza virus, a new study suggests.

Getting excited helps with performance anxiety more than trying to calm down, study finds
People who tell themselves to get excited rather than trying to relax can improve their performance during anxiety-inducing activities such as public speaking and math tests, according to a study published by the American Psychological Association.

Combination of cell transplantation and gene therapy for Alzheimer's disease
This release focuses on a combination of cell transplantation and gene therapy for Alzheimer's disease.

Preop testing for low-risk cataract surgery patients: Choosing wisely or low-value care? Penn Medicine
The elimination of extensive routine preoperative tests is an area of potentially large health care savings, particularly for low-risk patients having cataract surgery.

An expert consensus on acute thoracolumbar spine and spinal cord injury in China
An expert consensus on acute thoracolumbar spine and spinal cord injury in China.

Transitioning epithelial cells to mesenchymal cells enhances cardiac protectivity
When human amniotic epithelial cells (AECs) were taken from placenta and converted into mesenchymal cells, a process called

Pregnant women need not avoid peanuts, evidence shows
Women need not fear that eating peanuts during pregnancy could cause their child to develop a peanut allergy, according to a new study from Boston Children's Hospital published online Dec.

Infectious diarrhea germs stick to healthcare worker hands
A new study finds nearly one in four healthcare workers' hands were contaminated with Clostridium difficile spores after routine care of patients infected with the bacteria.

Laser demonstration reveals bright future for space communication
The completion of the 30-day Lunar Laser Communication Demonstration or LLCD mission has revealed that the possibility of expanding broadband capabilities in space using laser communications is as bright as expected.

Hospital-diagnosed maternal infections linked to increased autism risk
Hospital-diagnosed maternal bacterial infections during pregnancy were associated with an increased risk of autism spectrum disorders in children, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published Dec.

Role of chronic medical conditions in readmissions
In new findings from Brigham and Women's Hospital, researchers find that the most frequent reasons for readmission were often related, either directly or indirectly, to patients' underlying chronic medical conditions (comorbidities), providing a new opportunity for focus in reducing readmission rates.

Alzheimer's prevention initiative marks milestone
The Alzheimer's Prevention Initiative trial in cognitively healthy individuals has reached a significant milestone with the first participants in Colombia receiving doses of an experimental anti-amyloid antibody, crenezumab designed to delay or prevent the onset of Alzheimer's disease.

Breast cancer patients experience fewer side effects from anticancer drug
A new analysis has found that both real and sham acupuncture treatments may help alleviate side effects of drugs commonly used to treat breast cancer.

Hypoxic preconditioning stimulates angiogenesis in ischemic penumbra after ACI
Hypoxic preconditioning stimulates angiogenesis in ischemic penumbra after ACI.

Acupuncture, real or sham, eases hot flashes due to breast cancer chemo
Both real and sham weekly acupuncture treatments eased hot flashes and other side effects of anticancer drug treatment in a small, preliminary study of breast cancer patients, Baltimore researchers have found.

New approach to vertex connectivity could maximize networks' bandwidth
Computer scientists are constantly searching for ways to squeeze ever more bandwidth from communications networks.

Study shows value of calcium scan in predicting heart attack, stroke among those considered at risk
A new study shows that coronary artery calcium (CAC) screening, an assessment tool that is not currently recommended for people considered at low risk, should play a more prominent role in helping determine a person's risk for heart attack and heart disease-related death, as well as the need for angioplasty or bypass surgery.

Democracy pays
Majority wants both punishment for tax evaders and things to go fine for themselves.

Fewer than 1 in 10 Canadians in ideal cardiovascular health
Fewer than 1 in 10 adult Canadians is in ideal cardiovascular health, according to the new CANHEART health index developed to measure heart health published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Increase in consultations for Medicare patients before cataract surgery
Preoperative consultations before cataract surgery became more common for Medicare patients despite no clear guidelines about when to require such a service, hinting at unnecessary use of health care resources, according to a study published by JAMA Internal Medicine, a JAMA Network publication.

Bright ideas chase investor dollars at forum
A company that can generate electricity using low-temperature waste heat was the big winner at the recent 26th annual Industry Growth Forum in downtown Denver, a gathering of people who have no qualms about making money while helping to build a more sustainable world.

Johns Hopkins review throws doubt on wound care treatment
A systematic review of 66 research papers focused on the treatment of skin ulcers suggests that most are so technically flawed that their results are unreliable.

The Russian Federation has decided to join the ESRF
The Russian Federation has decided to become, as of early 2014, a full Member of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in Grenoble.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for Dec. 24, 2013
Below is information about articles being published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Researchers identify gene that influences the ability to remember faces
New findings suggest the oxytocin receptor, a gene known to influence mother-infant bonding and pair bonding in monogamous species, also plays a special role in the ability to remember faces.

Transient receptor potential channel A1 may contribute to hyperalgesia
Transient receptor potential channel A1 may contribute to hyperalgesia.

Study faults a 'runaway' mechanism in intermediate-depth earthquakes
Researchers find immense heating at high pressures helps spread intermediate-depth quakes.

Making sad sense of child abuse
About 3.5 million cases of child abuse are reported in the United States every year.

Library that can determine resistance
Researchers have developed a method to create a comprehensive library of mutations across all genes in the mouse genome.

NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Amara spinning down
Tropical Cyclone Amara ran into wind shear, and dropped from Category four hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale to a minimal tropical storm on Dec.

Children at lower risk for peanut, tree nut allergies if moms ate more nuts while pregnant
Children appear to be less at risk for developing peanut or tree nut allergies if their mothers are not allergic and ate more nuts during pregnancy, according to a study published by JAMA Pediatrics, a JAMA Network publication.

A magnetic nanoparticles-based method for DNA extraction from the saliva after stroke
This release focuses on a magnetic nanoparticles-based method for DNA extraction from the saliva after stroke.

Higher mortality in postmenopausal women with RA and anti-CCP antibodies
New research shows mortality rates are two times higher in postmenopausal women with rheumatoid arthritis and anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide antibodies. 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