Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 24, 2014
Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for Feb. 25, 2014
The United States Preventive Services Task Force recommends against the use of beta-carotene or vitamin E supplements for the primary prevention of cardiovascular disease or cancer, according to a recommendation statement being published inAnnals of Internal Medicine.

Geosphere covers Mexico, the Colorado Plateau, Russia, and offshore New Jersey
New Geosphere postings cover using traditional geochemistry with novel micro-analytical techniques to understand the western Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt; an investigation of mafic rock samples from a volcanic field near Yampa, Colorado, travertine deposits in the southeastern Colorado Plateau of New Mexico and Arizona; a study of 'Slushball Earth' rocks from Karelia, Russia, using field and micro-analytical techniques; and an addition to the 'The History and Impact of Sea-level Change Offshore New Jersey' special issue.

Researcher builds a better job performance review
A critical job performance evaluation can have a negative effect on any employee, according to Kansas State University research.

New study supports body shape index as predictor of mortality
In 2012, Dr. Nir Krakauer, an assistant professor of civil engineering in CCNY's Grove School of Engineering, and his father, Dr.

Study reveals new ways deadly squirrelpox is transmitted to red squirrels
Native red squirrels have declined throughout Britain and Ireland for the last century due to a combination of habitat loss and the introduction of the North American eastern grey squirrel.

OU researcher and team discover disease-causing bacteria in dental plaque preserved for 1,000 years
When a University of Oklahoma researcher and an international team of experts analyzed the dental calculus or plaque from teeth preserved for 1,000 years, the results revealed human health and dietary information never seen before.

Is previous hypoglycemia a risk factor for future hypoglycemic episodes?
In individuals with type 1 diabetes who have had previous episodes of hypoglycemia the threshold suspend feature may be less effective at preventing subsequent events, according to important new results from the ASPIRE study published in Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics.

Pointing is infants' first communicative gesture
Catalan researchers have studied the acquisition and development of language in babies on the basis of the temporary coordination of gestures and speech.

New risk gene illuminates Alzheimer's disease
A team of international scientists, including a researcher from Simon Fraser University, has isolated a gene thought to play a causal role in the development of Alzheimer's disease.

Vascular disease affecting women 'poorly understood' by many health care providers
A vascular disease called fibromuscular dysplasia, which can cause high blood pressure, kidney failure, stroke and other symptoms -- mostly in women -- is 'poorly understood by many healthcare providers,' according to a Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association.

Volcanoes, including Mount Hood in the US, can quickly become active
New research results suggest that magma sitting 4-5 kilometers beneath the surface of Oregon's Mount Hood has been stored in near-solid conditions for thousands of years.

Parents' attitudes about helping their grown children affect their mental health
Older parents frequently give help to their middle-aged offspring, and their perceptions about giving this help may affect their mental health, according to a team of researchers.

Vitamin water: Measuring essential nutrients in the ocean
Oceanographers have found that archaea, a type of marine microbe, can produce B-12 vitamins in the open ocean.

Age-21 drinking laws save lives, study confirms
Although some advocates want to lower the legal drinking age from 21, research continues to show that the law saves lives.

Study: Heart attacks, stroke at work often follow vigorous physical activity
Firefighters who died of heart attacks and other vascular problems such as stroke while on the job were most often doing vigorous physical activity right before the attack, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 66th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, April 26-May 3, 2014.

Medication to treat high blood pressure associated with fall injuries in elderly
Medication to treat high blood pressure in older patients appears to be associated with an increased risk for serious injury from falling such as a hip fracture or head injury, especially in older patients who have been injured in previous falls.

On the road to Mottronics
At Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source, researchers controlled the conducting/insulating phases of ultra-thin films of Mott materials by applying an epitaxial strain to the crystal lattice.

Acupuncture holds promise for treating inflammatory disease
Rutgers researchers have documented a direct connection between the use of acupuncture and physical processes that could alleviate sepsis, a condition that often develops in hospital intensive care units, springs from infection and inflammation, and takes an estimated 250,000 lives in the United States every year.

NJIT's Newark College of Engineering announces honorees for annual Salute to Excellence
The Newark College of Engineering at New Jersey Institute of Technology will host the 16th annual Salute to Engineering Excellence on March 27, 2014, in the Campus Center Atrium.

Like mom or dad? Some cells randomly express one parent's version of a gene over the other
Both of our parents contribute one copy of a gene to our genetic makeup.

Preventive oophorectomy reduces risk of death by 77 percent for women with BRCA mutation
Women who carry a BRCA gene mutation and opt for a preventive oophorectomy, or ovary removal surgery, have a 77 percent lower risk of death than those who do not, according to a new study led by Women's College Hospital's Amy Finch and Dr.

New study shows a genetic link between feeding behavior and animal dispersal
New research from the University of Toronto Scarborough shows that animal dispersal is influenced by a gene associated with feeding and food search behaviors.

Pinwheel 'living' crystals and the origin of life
Simply making nanoparticles spin coaxes them to arrange themselves into what University of Michigan researchers call 'living rotating crystals' that could serve as a nanopump.

Exclusive David Gancberg article in Human Gene Therapy
Over the past three funding stages, the European Commission has invested nearly $475 million in 100 projects in the gene transfer and gene therapy field.

Study shows association between diabetes and stroke in women but not men
New research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes) shows that diabetes in women is associated with an increased risk of stroke, whereas the data do not show the same association among men.

As hubs for bees and pollinators, flowers may be crucial in disease transmission
In a recent review in Ecology Letters with colleagues at Yale and the University of Texas at Austin, UMass Amherst researchers McArt and Adler survey the literature and identify promising areas for future research on how floral traits influence pathogen transmission.

Prothelia and University of Nevada, Reno enter exclusive strategic agreements with Alexion
Dean Burkin, a professor and pharmacological researcher with the University of Nevada School of Medicine, and his team discovered that administering laminin-111, a naturally occurring protein, prevents muscle damage in mouse models of muscular dystrophies.

Watching how the brain works
For the first time, a group of scientists has been able to observe intact interactions between proteins, directly in the brain of a live animal.

Seed dispersal gets a test in carved-out 'habitat corridors'
Field ecologists go to great lengths to get data: radio collars and automatic video cameras are only two of their creative techniques for documenting the natural world.

Guideline: People with irregular heartbeat should take blood thinners to prevent stroke
An updated guideline from the American Academy of Neurology recommends that people with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation, or irregular heartbeat, take oral anticoagulants, a type of blood thinner pill, to prevent stroke.

AGU: Uncovering the secret world of the Plastisphere
Scientists are revealing how microbes living on floating pieces of plastic marine debris affect the ocean ecosystem, and the potential harm they pose to invertebrates, humans and other animals.

Jackson Laboratory researcher Gareth Howell, Ph.D., receives Lewis Rudin Glaucoma Prize
Jackson Laboratory assistant professor Gareth Howell, Ph.D., is one of two winners of the 2013 Lewis Rudin Glaucoma Prize from the New York Academy of Medicine.

Specialized cognitive therapy improves blood sugar control in depressed diabetes patients
A program of cognitive behavioral therapy that addresses both mood and diabetes self-care led to improved blood sugar control and produced faster relief of depression in patients with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes.

Marine algae can sense the rainbow
A new study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has shown for the first time that several types of aquatic algae can detect orange, green and blue light.

Nanotracer tester tells about wells
A tabletop device invented at Rice University can tell how efficiently a nanoparticle would travel through a well and may provide a wealth of information for oil and gas producers.

IRSF announces 2013 awards and implements new Translational Program
The International Rett Syndrome Foundation announces today 10 new research grants at leading global research institutions, a new Translational Research Program, and additional funding for current human clinical trials.

Study evaluates role of infliximab in treating Kawasaki disease
A study led by physicians at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego looked at intensification of initial therapy for all children with Kawasaki Disease in order to prevent IVIG-resistance and associated coronary artery abnormalities by assessing the addition of the medication infliximab to current standard therapy.

For older hypertension patients, an unwelcome tradeoff
Medications used by many older people to control their blood pressure also increase the risk of serious fall injuries by 30 percent to 40 percent -- injuries that have a similar effect on mortality and functional loss as the strokes and heart attacks the blood pressure drugs are meant to prevent -- according to a new study by Yale School of Medicine researchers in the Feb.

Penn researchers 'design for failure' with model material
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have devised a method to study stress at the macro and micro scales at the same time, using a model system in which microscopic particles stand in for molecules.

Now in 3-D: Video of virus-sized particle trying to enter cell
Tiny and swift, viruses are hard to capture on video.

Precursor of multiple myeloma more common in blacks than whites, Mayo study finds
Blacks may be twice as likely as whites to develop multiple myeloma because they are more likely to have a precursor condition known as monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS), a Mayo Clinic study has found.

Panel recommends listing depression as a risk for heart disease
A panel of experts, including researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Did you hear the one about the doctor?
In a study that demonstrates the potential of using social networking sites for research on health and medicine, Dartmouth researchers studied jokes made about doctors posted on Facebook.

A fast and effective mechanism to combat an aggressive cancer
Professor Dan Peer of Tel Aviv University has developed a new strategy to tackle an aggressive subtype of ovarian cancer using a new nanoscale drug-delivery system designed to target specific cancer cells.

Ecotourism reduces poverty near protected parks, Georgia State University research shows
Protected natural areas in Costa Rica reduced poverty by 16 percent in neighboring communities, mainly by encouraging ecotourism, according to new research published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

New process uses recyclable catalyst to create porous materials
University of Connecticut chemists have discovered a new way of making monomodal mesoporous metal oxides that allows for greater manufacturing controls and has significantly broader applications than the longtime industry standard.

GM spuds beat blight
Results of three-year field trial to test whether potatoes engineered to recognize blight (so their natural defense mechanisms are activated) can withstand races of blight in the UK.

Cardiovascular Institute researcher: Cancer drug may lower sudden cardiac death risk
A researcher at the Cardiovascular Institute at Rhode Island Miriam and Newport hospitals has found that a new class of drugs, originally developed to treat cancer, reduces sudden cardiac death risk after a heart attack.

New ideas change your brain cells: UBC research
A new University of British Columbia study identifies an important molecular change that occurs in the brain when we learn and remember.

Now it will become cheaper to make second-generation biofuel for our cars
Producing second-generation biofuel from dead plant tissue is environmentally friendly -- but it is also expensive because the process, as used today, needs expensive enzymes, and large companies dominate this market.

Personalized medicine best way to treat cancer, study argues
A new study found evidence that assessing the route to cancer on a case-by-case basis might make more sense than basing a patient's cancer treatment on commonly disrupted genes and pathways.

New blood test could detect heart attacks more quickly
A new blood test can detect heart attacks hours faster than the current gold-standard blood test.

Bushfires continue to plague Victoria, Australia
Bushfires still continue in Victoria, Australia, as evidenced by this Terra satellite image taken on Feb.

Study examines acetaminophen use in pregnancy, child behavioral problems
Children of women who used the pain reliever acetaminophen (paracetamol) during pregnancy appear to be at higher risk for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder-like behavioral problems and hyperkinetic disorders.

Blocking autophagy with malaria drug may help overcome resistance to melanoma BRAF drugs
A new preclinical study published online ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Investigation from Penn Medicine researchers found that the root of BRAF drug resistance may lie in a never-before-seen autophagy mechanism induced by the BRAF inhibitors vermurafenib and dabrafenib.

Computerized checklist reduces type of hospital infection, Stanford/Packard study finds
A computerized safety checklist that automatically pulls information from patients' electronic medical records was associated with a threefold drop in rates of one serious type of hospital-acquired infection, according to a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford.

Southern insect scientists meeting in Greenville, S.C.
Hundreds of insect scientists and entomology students will be meeting in Greenville, S.C., next week as members of the Southeastern Branch of the Entomological Society of America get together for their 88th annual meeting.

New digital atlas details Alaska sea ice history since 1860
A new web portal provides access to 160 years of historical sea ice concentration data for Alaska's Beaufort, Chukchi, and Bering seas, and allows users to view and download sea ice concentration data from 1850 to the present.

Cancer patients turning to mass media and non-experts for info
The increasing use of expensive medical imaging procedures in the US like positron emission tomography scans is being driven, in part, by patient decisions made after obtaining information from lay media and non-experts, and not from health care providers.

Abdominal fat accumulation prevented by unsaturated fat
New research from Uppsala University shows that saturated fat builds more fat and less muscle than polyunsaturated fat.

Tumors 'light up' with new, unique imaging system using scorpion venom protein and a laser
Researchers at Cedars-Sinai have developed a unique, compact, relatively inexpensive imaging device to 'light up' malignant brain tumors and other cancers.

Significant discrepancies between FISH and IHC results for ALK testing
The findings of a recent study indicate that routine testing with both fluorescent in situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry may enhance the detection of ALK-positive non-small cell lung cancer.

NIST microanalysis technique makes the most of small nanoparticle samples
Researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Food and Drug Administration have demonstrated that they can make sensitive chemical analyses of minute samples of nanoparticles by, essentially, roasting them on top of a quartz crystal.

Scientists complete the top quark puzzle
Researchers on the two main Tevatron experiments, CDF and DZero, have discovered the final predicted way of producing top quarks.

Mental health conditions in most suicide victims left undiagnosed at doctor visits
The mental health conditions of most people who commit suicide remain undiagnosed, even though many visit a primary care provider or medical specialist in the year before they die, according to a national study.

Two-pronged approach successfully targets DNA synthesis in leukemic cells
Researchers show that a novel two-pronged strategy targeting DNA synthesis can treat leukemia in mice while sparing damage to normal blood cells.

Nearly half of uninsured children live in immigrant families, reports study in Medical Care
Children from immigrant families now account for 42 percent of uninsured children in the United States, reports a study in the March issue of Medical Care.

WSU researcher creates cooking-oil-based 'bioasphalt'
A Washington State University researcher has developed a way to use restaurant cooking oil in a type of asphalt that looks and handles just like its petroleum-based counterpart.

Volcanoes contribute to recent warming 'hiatus'
Volcanic eruptions in the early part of the 21st century have cooled the planet, according to a study led by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

New study settles how social understanding is performed by the brain
A new study from Aarhus University, Denmark, settles an important question about how social understanding is performed in the brain.

Costs vary widely for care of children with congenital heart defects across US hospitals
Variations as much as nine-fold in some cases, reinforces the need for standardized practices to cut costs and improve quality, says a new study.

Caring for patients with multiple chronic conditions -- New research and future challenges
The millions of Americans living with more than one chronic disease are at high risk of poor health outcomes, and account for a disproportionate share of health care costs.

Water is detected in a planet outside our solar system
Water has been detected in the atmosphere of a planet outside our solar system with a new technique that could help researchers to learn how many planets with water, like Earth, exist throughout the universe.

Mood and food: The better your mood, the better you eat
Individuals select healthy or indulgent foods depending on whether they are in a good or a bad mood, respectively.

New biological scaffold offers promising foundation for engineered tissues
Engineered tissues like artificial skin begin with a scaffold for cells to grow on.

Mdm2 suppresses tumors by pulling the plug on glycolysis
Cancer cells have long been known to have higher rates of the energy-generating metabolic pathway known as glycolysis.

McMaster researchers discover secret of bowel movement
McMaster University researchers have discovered that the segmentation motion occurs when not one but two sets of pacemakers interact with each other to create a specific rhythm.

Secondary thyroid cancer more deadly than primary malignancy in young individuals
A new analysis has found that adolescents and young adults who develop thyroid cancer as a secondary cancer have a significantly greater risk of dying than those with primary thyroid cancer.

Study of Hispanic/Latino health presents initial findings
Robert Kaplan, Ph.D., along with other researchers from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and three other sites, have released initial findings from the landmark Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos.

Almost 200 new species of parasitoid wasps named after local parataxonomists in Costa Rica
An astonishing number of 186 new species of parasitoid wasps attacking caterpillars in the Area de Conservacion Guanacaste, Costa Rica, are described through an innovative approach integrating morphological, molecular and biological data, computer-generated descriptions, and high-quality illustrations.

The chemistry of Sriracha: Hot sauce science
Forget ketchup and mustard -- Sriracha might be the world's new favorite condiment.

Scripps Clinic first to implant miniature cardiac monitor
Scripps Green Hospital has become the first hospital in the United States to implant the world's smallest implantable cardiac monitoring device.

Building a better mouse model to understand pancreatic cancer
In a new study, researchers report two breakthroughs in understanding pancreatic cancer: the development of the first mouse model that simulates a precursor lesion called intraductal papillary mucinous neoplasia (IPMN), and the identification of an enzyme, Brg1, that appears to help cause the formation of IPMN lesions while also suppressing another precursor lesion.

EARTH Magazine: Tsunamis from the sky
Only recently have scientists unraveled how a storm can create and propagate these far-traveling waves -- called meteorological tsunamis or meteotsunamis.

A paper diagnostic for cancer
A low-cost urine test developed by MIT engineers amplifies signals from growing tumors to detect disease.

Medical researchers use light to quickly and easily measure blood's clotting properties
Defective blood coagulation is one of the leading causes of preventable death in patients who have suffered trauma or undergone surgery.

Preventing suicide should start in a general medical setting
The mental health conditions of most people who commit suicide remain undiagnosed, even though most visit a primary care provider or medical specialist in the year before they die.

How much does African dust add to Houston's pollution?
A University of Houston professor is delving into how the migration of Saharan dust affects the city's air pollution levels, especially during the hottest months of the year.

Death of partner associated with increased risk of heart attack, stroke
The risk of heart attack or stroke is increased in the 30 days after a partner's death.

JCI online ahead of print table of contents for Feb. 24, 2014
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers published online, Feb.

Novel assay developed for detecting ALK rearrangement in NSCLC
Researchers have developed a novel technique for detecting ALK rearrangements in non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) that is more sensitive and easier to perform than currently available techniques.

Study finds differences in benefits, service at hospices based on tax status
The tax status of a hospice (for-profit vs. nonprofit) affects community benefits, the population served and community outreach.

Agencies often hindered in addressing health concerns from industrial animal production
Regulatory agencies often take limited action when confronted with public health concerns resulting from industrial food animal production operations.

Children's Mercy physician leads effort to update AAP policy
Kathleen Neville, M.D., M.S., a physician at Children's Mercy Hospital, recently led an American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) committee in updating the policy with new recommendations guiding the off-label use of drugs in pediatric patients.

In the eye of a chicken, a new state of matter comes into view
Along with eggs, soup and rubber toys, the list of the chicken's most lasting legacies may eventually include advanced materials, according to researchers from Princeton University and Washington University in St.

Uninsured adolescents and young adults more likely to be diagnosed with advanced cancer
A new American Cancer Society study shows that uninsured adolescents and young adults were far more likely to be diagnosed with late-stage cancer, which is more difficult and expensive to treat and more deadly, compared to young patients with health insurance.

Better livestock diets to combat climate change and improve food security
The projected transition of livestock systems from pure grazing diets to diets supplemented by higher quality feeds will cut greenhouse gas emissions from land use change globally by as much as 23 percent by 2030, while improving food availability and farmers' income, shows new research from the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.

Tip to dieters: Beware of friends and late night cravings
There's more to dieting than just sheer willpower and self-control.

Vegetarian diets associated with lower blood pressure
Eating a vegetarian diet appears to be associated with lower blood pressure, and the diets can also be used to reduce blood pressure.

Species conservation poised to benefit from DNA advances
A biologist at the University of York is part of an international team which has shown that advanced DNA sequencing technologies can be used to accurately measure the levels of inbreeding in wild animal populations.

Use of acetaminophen during pregnancy linked to ADHD in children, UCLA researchers say
A study by researchers at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health shows that taking acetaminophen during pregnancy is associated with a higher risk in children of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Hyperkinetic Disorders.

Ames Laboratory's Karl Gschneidner wins Acta Materialia Materials and Society Award
Karl A. Gschneidner Jr., senior metallurgist at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory, was presented the 2014 Acta Materialia Materials and Society Award on Feb.

Stimulation glove for stroke patients
Improving the sense of touch and motor skills without active training -- what sounds impossible, does actually work.

Opioid abuse initiates specific protein interactions in neurons in brain's reward system
Opiate abuse alter the activity of RGS9-2 protein needed for normal functioning of brain's reward system and unexpectedly also altered the threshold for pain relief and opioid tolerance.

Duke teams set treatment priorities in new national research effort
Treatment regimens often evolve without strong scientific evidence of their benefits and drawbacks, particularly in comparison to other drugs or approaches.

Researchers find flowing water can slow down bacteria
In a surprising new discovery, scientists show that microbes are more likely to adhere to tube walls when water is moving.

Frontiers launches a new open-access journal: Frontiers in Materials
Frontiers -- a community driven open-access publisher and research networking platform -- is pleased to announce the launch of a new open-access journal: Frontiers in Materials.

Study shows preventive ovarian surgery in BRCA1 mutation carriers should be performed early
The findings of a large international prospective study published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology suggest for the first time that women with BRCA1 mutations should have preventive ovarian surgery (prophylactic oophorectomy) by age 35, as waiting until a later age appears to increase the risk of ovarian cancer before or at the time of the preventive surgery.

Biomedical bleeding affects horseshoe crab behavior
New research indicates that collecting and bleeding horseshoe crabs for biomedical purposes causes short-term changes in their behavior and physiology that could exacerbate the crabs' population decline in parts of the East Coast.

Gauging what it takes to heal a disaster-ravaged forest
Recovering from natural disasters usually means rebuilding infrastructure and reassembling human lives.

Creating animated characters outdoors
Placing animated characters live in feature films -- a method by computer scientists from Saarbruecken has made this possible for quite some time.

Building artificial cells will be a noisy business
If one wants to make something work using nanoscale components -- the size of proteins, antibodies, and viruses -- mimicking the behavior of cells is a good place to start.

Despite lower levels of drinking, African-Americans encounter more problems
A theoretical paper with lead author Tamika Zapolski, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology in the School of Science at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis, examines a paradox in African-American drinking.

Toxic injection with elastic band
Scientists discover how Tc toxins inject bacterial toxins.

Higher risks among perinatal women with bipolar disorder
Women with bipolar disorder often struggle with the illness during and after pregnancy. 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