Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 20, 2014
HPV-positive SCCOP patients' recurrence differs from HPV-negative patients
Patients with HPV-positive squamous cell carcinoma of the oropharynx had a longer time to development of distant metastasis after initial treatment, and had more metastatic sites in more atypical locations compared to HPV-negative patients, according to research presented today at the 2014 Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Symposium.

Developing countries face 'leading medical scourge of developed countries'
Chronic illness, already a major and expensive problem in developed countries, is rapidly increasing in developing countries, adding to the longstanding burden caused by high rates of infectious diseases.

New research shows the way a room is lit can affect the way you make decisions
The next time you want to turn down the emotional intensity before making an important decision, you may want to dim the lights first.

New apps may help detect seizures, treat strokes
Two new smart phone applications may help people detect epileptic seizures and get better stroke treatment, according to two studies released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 66th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, April 26-May 3, 2014.

Humidification of the mouth, throat during RT for head and neck cancer reduces mucositis, hospital stay
Patients who received daily humidification of the mouth and throat region beginning from day one of radiation therapy treatment spent nearly 50 percent fewer days in the hospital to manage their side effects, according to research presented today at the 2014 Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Symposium.

Sequencing hundreds of nuclear genes in the sunflower family now possible
Researchers have developed an efficient approach for sequencing hundreds of nuclear genes across members of the Compositae (sunflower family) to better-resolve phylogenetic relationships within the family, as well as a bioinformatic workflow for processing and analyzing the resulting sequence data.

Cell behavior in low oxygen conditions mapped
Research at the University of Liverpool has explained how cells behave when placed in a low oxygen environment, a development that could have implications for cancer patients and other serious illnesses.

Biopsies before transplantation do not determine success of donated kidneys
Biopsies of donated kidneys provide little information for determining the suitability of organs for transplantation, according to two studies appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Dismantling pancreas cancer's armor
Pancreas cancer is notoriously impervious to treatment and resists both chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Many kidney disease patients experience hazardous events related to their medical care
In a study of 267 patients with chronic kidney disease, 69 percent of participants experienced at least one hazardous event related to their outpatient care.

GW researcher finds gene therapy a promising tool for cardiac regeneration
Scott Shapiro, M.D., Ph.D., assistant professor of medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, found that gene therapy can elicit a regenerative response in pig hearts.

Liquor converter, BBQ logs win €20K prizes at UK innovation showcase
British clean-tech start-ups have won prizes worth €20,000 each this month in an award-scheme supported by the EU's main climate innovation initiative, Climate-KIC.

Rural primary care physicians are committed to professionalism, quality improvement
Although studies show the quality of care delivered to rural patients is as good or better than that available in urban areas, the belief persists that top-quality primary care is only available in big cities.

CHOP researcher co-leads study finding genes that affect blood pressure
A large international study has discovered 11 new genetic signals associated with blood pressure levels.

Why are some children more resilient to post-traumatic stress?
Children exhibit a range of responses to traumatic events such as natural disasters, with some suffering acute traumatic reactions that resolve over time and others experiencing long-term symptoms of posttraumatic stress.

High cost of fruits, vegetables linked to higher body fat in young children
High prices for fresh fruits and vegetables are associated with higher body mass index in young children in low- and middle-income households, according to American University researchers in the journal Pediatrics.

NASA's TRMM satellite saw extreme rainfall from Tropical Cyclone Guito
Tropical Cyclone Guito has been a powerful rainmaker, and fortunately, data from NASA's TRMM satellite shows that the heaviest rainfall has occurred over the open waters of the Mozambique Channel and not over land.

Crime Lab receives $1 million MacArthur Foundation award
The University of Chicago Crime Lab is one of seven nonprofit organizations around the world to receive a $1 million award from the John D. and Catherine T.

High potency statins linked to better outcome following a heart attack
A study looking at the data of thousands of patients who suffered heart attacks has suggested treatment with high-potency statins offers a significantly improved chance of survival compared to those taking normal statins.

Mauritius kestrels show long-term legacy of man-made habitat change
The widespread loss of forest to sugarcane fields on the island of Mauritius has forced kestrels living there to survive by speeding up their life histories, according to a report published online on Feb.

Scientists create powerful artificial muscle with fishing line
Researchers are using fibers from fishing line and sewing thread to create inexpensive artificial muscles that could be used in medical devices, humanoid robots, prosthetic limbs, or woven into fabrics.

UT Dallas-led team makes powerful muscles from fishing line and sewing thread
An international team led by the University of Texas at Dallas has discovered that ordinary fishing line and sewing thread can be cheaply converted to powerful artificial muscles.

Spotlighting black chemists and chemical engineers (video)
Their research may lead to a new generation of renewable fuels, medical devices and safer home products.

Case Western Reserve grants exclusive license to Compadre; AeroClay LLC is formed
Compadre, a company best known for transit packaging solutions, has obtained an exclusive license to pursue commercial uses for AeroClay, an innovative technology developed in a Case Western Reserve University materials lab.

Engineer honored for pioneering graphene research
Alexander A. Balandin, a professor of electrical engineering at the University of California, Riverside's Bourns College of Engineering, has been elected a fellow of the Materials Research Society.

Hypnosis therapy shown to decrease fatigue levels in breast cancer patients
Breast cancer patients receiving radiotherapy showed decreased fatigue as a result of cognitive behavioral therapy plus hypnosis, according to a study recently published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Researchers regenerate sound-sensing cells in the ears of mice with hearing damage
For years, scientists have thought that sound-sensing hair cells in the inner ear are not replaced once they're lost, but new research reveals that supporting cells in the ear can turn into hair cells in newborn mice.

Study shows that premature infants benefit from adult talk
Research led by a team at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island and The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University has been published in the Feb.

Crop species may be more vulnerable to climate change than we thought
A new study by a Wits University scientist has overturned a long-standing hypothesis about plant speciation (the formation of new and distinct species in the course of evolution), suggesting that agricultural crops could be more vulnerable to climate change than was previously thought.

Unilateral radiation therapy for advanced stage tonsil cancer results in favorable outcomes
Limiting radiation therapy to lymph nodes on one side of the neck for advanced tonsil cancer resulted in good local regional control and no cancer recurrence on the untreated side, according to research presented today at the 2014 Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Symposium.

SAGE announces winners of the 2014 Junior Faculty Professional Development Teaching Award
SAGE and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences are delighted to announce the winners of the 2014 SAGE Junior Faculty Professional Development Teaching Award.

Multilevel approach to coping with stigmas identified
Socially stigmatized groups have poorer health than non-stigmatized groups, but a team of researchers believes that more emphasis on two-way and multidisciplinary interventions will have a greater and more successful impact on relieving many health issues.

Chemical chaperones have helped proteins do their jobs for billions of years
An ancient chemical, present for billions of years, appears to have helped proteins function properly since time immemorial.

MATH, HPV status in HNSCC patients effective markers of improved patient outcome
Evaluating next-generation sequencing data and associated clinical records of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma patients from several institutions, made available through The Cancer Genome Atlas, showed that combining mutant-allele tumor heterogeneity as a biomarker with the patient's HPV status provides an effective indicator of improved patient outcome, according to research presented today at the 2014 Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Symposium.

Greece's deepening health crisis
Greece's health crisis is worsening as a result of continued healthcare budget cuts, says a new study published in the medical journal, The Lancet.

NCI recommends the Wistar Institute receive $14.9 million support grant renewal
After an extensive review by a panel of top cancer experts, the National Cancer Institute rated The Wistar Institute Cancer Center as 'exceptional' and recommended renewal for Wistar's Support Grant with an award of $14.9 million over the next five years.

Researchers say distant quasars could close a loophole in quantum mechanics
MIT researchers propose using distant quasars to test Bell's theorem.

New journal, Brain and Gut, edited by David Perlmutter, best-selling author of 'Grain Brain,' launching in summer 2014
Mary Ann Liebert Inc., publishers announces the launch of a new, peer-reviewed journal, Brain and Gut.

Unstable Atlantic deep ocean circulation under future climate conditions
A new study looking at past climate change, asks if these changes in the future will be spasmodic and abrupt rather than a more gradual increase in the temperature.

A changing view of bone marrow cells
Using a novel microfluidic technique, researchers at Caltech have shown that blood stem cells might be more actively involved in battles against infection.

Zebrafish discovery may shed light on human kidney function
Researchers say the discovery of how sodium ions pass through the gill of a zebrafish may be a clue to understanding a key function in the human kidney.

Recurrent mouth and throat cancers less deadly when caused by virus, study shows
People with late-stage cancer at the back of the mouth or throat that recurs after chemotherapy and radiation treatment are twice as likely to be alive two years later if their cancer is caused by the human papillomavirus, new research led by a Johns Hopkins scientist suggests.

'Mission of firsts' showcased new range-safety technology at NASA Wallops
Range safety officers used the ORS-3 mission, run by the US military's Operationally Responsive Space Office, to carry out the first of three planned certification tests of a new technology that promises to eventually eliminate the need for expensive down-range tracking and command infrastructure to manually terminate rockets if they veer off course.

Vibration energy the secret to self-powered electronics
A multi-university team of engineers has developed what could be a promising solution for charging smartphone batteries on the go -- without the need for an electrical cord.

Forest model predicts canopy competition
Scientists use measurements from airborne lasers to gauge changes in the height of trees in the forest.

Stress hormone linked to frailty
Lower morning and higher evening cortisol levels contribute to frailty in older individuals, according to new research accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Meet your match: Using algorithms to spark collaboration between scientists
Scientists at Cambridge have developed a novel approach to enabling collaborations between researchers at conferences and academic meetings -- by treating them like genes.

Sustainable use of energy wood resources shows potential in North-West Russia
A doctoral dissertation completed at the University of Eastern Finland analyzed the potential of energy wood resources in the Leningrad region of Russia at regional and district levels.

Human and dog brains both have dedicated 'voice areas'
The first study to compare brain function between humans and any non-primate animal shows that dogs have dedicated voice areas in their brains, just as people do.

New calibration confirms LUX dark matter results
A new calibration of the Large Underground Xenon dark matter detector brought a 10-fold increase in calibration accuracy, confirming findings announced last October from the instrument's first 90-day run.

Roots to shoots: Hormone transport in plants deciphered
A new study from a research team led by biochemist Chang-Jun Liu at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory identifies the protein essential for relocating cytokinins from roots to shoots.

Astronomers find solar storms behave like supernovae
Researchers at UCL have studied the behavior of the sun's coronal mass ejections, explaining for the first time the details of how these huge eruptions behave as they fall back onto the sun's surface.

Patients with oropharyngeal cancer report quality of voice and speech affected post-treatment
Oropharyngeal cancer patients treated with combined chemotherapy and radiation therapy reported a decrease in their voice and speech quality for up to one year after the completion of treatment, according to research presented today at the 2014 Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Symposium.

Internists recognize today's 'rotten anniversary'
A flawed sustainable growth rate formula continues and has not lead to better payment system.

Legal harvest of marine turtles tops 42,000 each year
A new study has found that 42 countries or territories around the world permit the harvest of marine turtles -- and estimates that more than 42,000 turtles are caught each year by these fisheries.

With friends like these, who needs democracy?
From Ethiopia to Nicaragua, countries that go through civil war are much less likely to become democratic if the winning side gets help from rival nations, a Michigan State University political scientist argues.

Enhancement of chemotherapy by prevention of tumor cell repair
The body naturally tries to repair lesions in the DNA of tumor cells, and thus reduces the efficacy of chemotherapy.

CNIO team explains lower cancer incidence rate in patients with central nervous system disesase
Alfonso Valencia, researcher and Vicedirector of Basic Research at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre, today publishes the first evidence of a molecular relationship between cancer and central nervous system diseases in the journal PLOS Genetics.

Color vision problems become more common with age, reports Optometry and Vision Science
Abnormal color vision increases significantly with aging -- affecting one-half or more of people in the oldest age groups, reports a study in Optometry and Vision Science, official journal of the American Academy of Optometry.

Reducing RT dose to bilateral IB lymph nodes results in better patient-reported salivary function
For head and neck cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy, a reduction in the amount of radiation treatment volume to the submandibular (level IB) lymph nodes resulted in better patient-reported salivary function, according to research presented today at the 2014 Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Symposium.

Mega-bucks from Russia seed development of 'big data' tools
The Russian Ministry of Education and Science awarded a $3.4 million 'mega-grant' to Alexei Klimentov, Physics Applications Software Group Leader at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, to develop new 'big data' computing tools for the advancement of science.

Western University primatologist teams with international group to save lemurs
A Western University primatologist has teamed with 18 lemur conservationists and researchers, many of whom are from Madagascar or have been working there for decades, to devise an action plan to save Madagascar's 101 lemur species.

Scientists discover 11 new genes affecting blood pressure
New research from Queen Mary University of London has discovered 11 new DNA sequence variants in genes influencing high blood pressure and heart disease.

2014 Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Prizes
This year's recipients of the most important prize for early career researchers in Germany have been announced.

Younger people, men and those without children more likely to drop out of HIV care in South Africa
Analysis carried out by an academic at Royal Holloway, University of London has revealed that younger people, men and those without children are more likely to stop attending clinics for HIV treatment in South Africa.

What has happened to the tsunami debris from Japan?
The amount of debris in the ocean is growing exponentially, becoming more and more hazardous and harmful to marine life and therefore to our ocean food source.

Study shows gaps in inpatient psychiatry for Ontario youth
A first of its kind benchmarking survey was used to evaluate the state of inpatient psychiatry settings and services for youth at hospitals across Ontario.

Active thyroid may raise risk of depression in older individuals
When older individuals' thyroid glands are more active than average, it may be a risk factor for depression, according to new research accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Extreme weather decides distribution of insects
Extreme weather caused by climate change in the coming decades is likely to have profound implications for distributions of insects and other invertebrates.

New research blows away claims that aging wind farms are a bad investment
Wind turbines can remain productive for up to 25 years, making wind farms an attractive long-term choice for energy investors, according to new research.

Previous rapid thinning of Pine Island Glacier sheds light on future Antarctic ice loss
New research, published this week in Science, suggests that the largest single contributor to global sea level rise, a glacier of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, may continue thinning for decades to come.

Turning back the clock on aging muscles?
A study co-published in Nature Medicine this week by University of Toronto researcher Penney Gilbert has determined a stem cell based method for restoring strength to damaged skeletal muscles of the elderly.

From a distance: New technique for repair work
If problems occur at a company's complex plant, the local staff is often not able to solve them without external support.

Gathering the clues to rare gene variants contributing to schizophrenia
Schizophrenia has long been known to be highly heritable and is present in approximately 1 percent of the population.

Elsevier announces the launch of a new journal: TrEAC
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and solutions, is pleased to announce the launch today of a new journal: Trends in Environmental Analytical Chemistry.

Sustainable manufacturing system to better consider the human component
Engineers have developed a new approach toward 'sustainable manufacturing' that begins on the factory floor and tries to encompass the totality of manufacturing issues -- including economic, environmental, and social impacts.

Study in fruitflies strengthens connection among protein misfolding, sleep loss, and age
Pathways of aging and sleep intersect at the circuitry of a cellular stress response pathway, and that by tinkering with those connections, it may be possible to alter sleep patterns in the aged for the better -- at least in fruit flies.

Researching Facebook business
Establishing and maintaining relationships online is becoming ever more important in the expanding global knowledge economy.

Surprising culprit found in cell recycling defect
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have identified an unusual cause of the lysosomal storage disorder called mucolipidosis III, at least in a subset of patients.

Clinical opinion published on use of maternal oxygen during labor
When a fetal heartbeat pattern becomes irregular during labor, many practitioners give oxygen to the mother.

Feasible, safe to limit radiation to major salivary glands in head and neck cancer patients
Avoiding the contralateral submandibular gland during radiation therapy is feasible and safe with advanced stage, node positive head and neck cancers and base of tongue lesions, according to research presented today at the 2014 Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Symposium.

Skin tumor vaccine shows promise in wild mice, rising hope for transplant patients
Papillomaviruses (linked to cervical cancer when they infect the mucosal tissue in the female reproductive tract) can also infect normal skin, where they cause warts and possibly non-melanoma skin cancer, mostly in immune-suppressed organ transplant patients.

Neuron-generating brain region could hold promise for neurodegenerative therapies
Adult humans continuously produce new neurons in the striatum and these neurons could play an important role in possibly finding new treatments for neurodegenerative disorders, according to a Cell study.

Compound improves cardiac function in mice with genetic heart defect, MU study finds
Congenital heart disease is the most common form of birth defect.

Researchers look for culprit behind oral health problems in HIV-positive patients
Researchers want to help HIV-positive patients live better by understanding why their essentially dormant infection is still wreaking havoc in their mouths.

MD Anderson researcher uncovers some of the ancient mysteries of leprosy
The disease may be the oldest human-specific infection and date back millions of years.

The Association for Gerontology in Higher Education honors new officers, fellows, awardees
The Association for Gerontology in Higher Education -- the educational branch of The Gerontological Society of America -- is proud to announce its newest elected officers, fellows, and awardees.

As America's senior population grows, meeting to outline effective education about aging
The Association for Gerontology in Higher Education -- the educational branch of The Gerontological Society of America -- will hold its 40th Annual Meeting and Educational Leadership Conference from Feb.

Editorial illustrates shift away from glycemic control in diabetes treatment
An editorial in American Family Physician proposes a simple way for physicians to communicate to patients about the best treatments for diabetes.

NASA researcher finds planet-sized space weather explosions at Venus
Researchers recently discovered that a common space weather phenomenon on the outskirts of Earth's magnetic bubble, the magnetosphere, has much larger repercussions for Venus.

Long-term daily multivitamin supplement use decreases cataract risk in men
Long-term daily multivitamin supplement use may lower cataract risk in men, according to a study of nearly 15,000 male physicians published this month in Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Better broccoli, enhanced anti-cancer benefits with longer shelf life
While researching methods to increase the already well-recognized anti-cancer properties of broccoli, researchers at the University of Illinois also found a way to prolong the vegetable's shelf life.

Smaller meals more times per day may curb obesity in cats
Researchers from the University of Illinois interested in finding a method to maintain healthy body weight in cats, looked at a previously suggested claim that increased meal frequency could help to increase overall physical activity.

Scientists find resistance mechanism that could impact antibiotic drug development
A new study by scientists from the Florida campus of the Scripps Research Institute has uncovered a mechanism of drug resistance.

HPV-positive OPSCC patients nearly twice as likely to survive as HPV-negative patients
A retrospective analysis of oropharyngeal patients with recurrence of disease after primary therapy in the Radiation Therapy Oncology Group studies 0129 or 0522 found that HPV-positive patients had a higher overall survival rate than HPV-negative patients (at two years post-treatment, 54.6 percent versus 27.6 percent, respectively), according to research presented today at the 2014 Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Cancer Symposium.

Nanoscale pillars could radically improve conversion of heat to electricity
University of Colorado Boulder scientists have found a creative way to radically improve thermoelectric materials, a finding that could one day lead to the development of improved solar panels, more energy-efficient cooling equipment, and even the creation of new devices that could turn the vast amounts of heat wasted at power plants into more electricity.

Molecular 'cocktail' transforms skin cells into beating heart cells
scientists at the Gladstone Institutes have devised a new method that allows for the more efficient -- and, importantly, more complete -- reprogramming of skin cells into cells that are virtually indistinguishable from heart muscle cells.

Study in mice raises question: Could PTSD involve immune response to stress?
Chronic stress that produces inflammation and anxiety in mice appears to prime their immune systems for a prolonged fight, causing the animals to have an excessive reaction to a single acute stressor weeks later, new research suggests.

Dishonesty and creativity: 2 sides of the same coin?
Lying about performance on one task may increase creativity on a subsequent task by making people feel less bound by conventional rules, according to new research published in Psychological Science.

Study examines correctional officer stress
Conflicts between work and family life were the most significant issues that affect work stress and job satisfaction among correctional officers, a new study by the Correctional Management Institute of Texas at Sam Houston State University found.

Genetic screening can identify men with advanced prostate cancer
Screening men with a family history of prostate cancer for a range of gene mutations can identify those who are at high risk of aggressive forms of the disease and in need of lifelong monitoring, a new study has shown.

Bioengineered growth factors lead to better wound healing
Scientists at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne have greatly improved the effectiveness of clinical growth factors, paving new strategies for regenerative medicine. 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