Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 17, 2014
New evidence raises questions about the link between fatty acids and heart disease
Study finds that the current level of evidence does not support guidelines restricting saturated fatty acid consumption to reduce coronary risk nor does it support high consumption of polyunsaturated fats -- such as omega 3 or omega 6 -- to reduce coronary heart disease.

Follow the ant trail for drug design
New drugs often fail because they cause undesirable side effects.

Earthquakes caused by clogged magma a warning sign of eruption, study shows
New research in Geophysical Research Letters examines earthquake swarms caused by mounting volcanic pressure which may signal an imminent eruption.

New reason to eat oats for heart health
The soluble fiber in oats helps lower total and LDL cholesterol, but scientists now say that the cardiovascular health benefits of oats goes beyond fiber.

Kessler Foundation awarded >$718,000 in research grants from Craig Neilsen Foundation
Kessler Foundation has received more than $718,000 in grant funding from the Craig Neilsen Foundation.

COPD associated with increased risk for mild cognitive impairment
A diagnosis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in older adults was associated with increased risk for mild cognitive impairment (MCI), especially MCI of skills other than memory, and the greatest risk was among patients who had COPD for more than five years.

New therapeutic target identified for acute lung injury
A bacterial infection can throw off the equilibrium between two key proteins in the lungs and put patients at risk for a highly lethal acute lung injury, researchers report.

Ohio State partners with MedVax Technologies Inc. to bring a cancer peptide vaccine to patients
The Ohio State University, through the Ohio State Innovation Foundation, has signed an exclusive world-wide licensing agreement with MedVax Technologies Inc. for the licensing of groundbreaking cancer peptide vaccine technologies.

The International Meeting for Autism Research
The 13th Annual International Meeting for Autism Research will host more than 1700 researchers, delegates, autism specialists and students from 40 countries in the world's largest gathering of researchers and clinicians as they exchange and disseminate the latest scientific findings and stimulate progress in autism research into the nature, causes and treatments for ASD.

Researchers change coercivity of material by patterning surface
Researchers from North Carolina State University have found a way to reduce the coercivity of nickel ferrite thin films by as much as 80 percent by patterning the surface of the material, opening the door to more energy efficient high-frequency electronics, such as sensors, microwave devices and antennas.

NIH scientists track evolution of a superbug
Using genome sequencing, National Institutes of Health scientists and their colleagues have tracked the evolution of the antibiotic-resistant bacterium Klebsiella pneumoniae sequence type 258 (ST258), an important agent of hospital-acquired infections.

MU study uses video-game device with goal of preventing patient falls
Infrared motion-capture technology used in video games is making its way to hospital rooms, where researchers at the University of Missouri hope to learn new ways to prevent falls among hospital patients.

Children's preferences for sweeter and saltier tastes are linked to each other
Scientists from the Monell Center have found that children who most prefer high levels of sweet tastes also most prefer high levels of salt taste and that, in general, children prefer sweeter and saltier tastes than do adults.

Archaeologists discover the earliest complete example of a human with cancer
Archaeologists have found the oldest complete example in the world of a human with metastatic cancer in a 3,000-year-old skeleton.

Antarctic moss lives after 1,500+ years under ice
Researchers from the British Antarctic Survey and University of Reading report in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on March 17 that Antarctic mosses can essentially come back to life after 1,500 completely inactive years under the ice.

Strengthening learning in children: Get outside and play
Researchers examine a growing worldwide trend in building early childhood learning, motor skills and a love for nature.

Innovative computer under scrutiny
A new and innovative computing machine is currently attracting a great deal of attention in specialist circles.

Eat more, die young: Why eating a diet very low in nutrients can extend lifespan
A new evolutionary theory in BioEssays claims that consuming a diet very low in nutrients can extend lifespan in laboratory animals, a finding which could hold clues to promoting healthier aging in humans.

First guidelines for patients with pulmonary hypertension in sickle cell disease
Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine physicians have helped create the first set of clinical guidelines for treating patients with pulmonary hypertension in sickle cell disease.

Satellite movie shows a Mid-Atlantic St. Patrick's Day snow
The green of St. Patrick's Day in the Mid-Atlantic was covered by white snow as a result of a late winter snow storm.

Toward 'vanishing' electronics and unlocking nanomaterials' power potential
Brain sensors and electronic tags that dissolve. Boosting the potential of renewable energy sources.

Crop intensification and organic fertilizers can be a long-term solution to perennial food shortages in Africa
Farmers in Africa can increase their food production if they avoid over dependence on chemical fertilizers, pesticides and practice agricultural intensification -- growing more food on the same amount of land -- using natural and resource-conserving approaches such as agroforestry.

'Breaking bad': Insect pests in the making
Of thousands of known species of Drosophila fruit flies, just one is a known crop pest, depositing eggs inside ripening fruit so its maggots can feed and grow.

UCLA geographers create 'easy button' to calculate river flows from space
The frustrated attempts of a UCLA graduate student to quantify the amount of water draining from Greenland's melting ice sheet led him to discover a new way to measure river flows from outer space, he and his professor report in a new study.

Geologists to meet at the junction of the northern and southern Appalachians
Geoscientists from across the northeastern US and beyond will convene in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA, on March 23-25 to discuss new science, expand on existing science, and explore the unique geologic features of the region.

Climatologists offer explanation for widening of Earth's tropical belt
A team of climatologists, led by researchers at the University of California, Riverside, posits that the recent widening of the tropical belt is primarily caused by multi-decadal sea surface temperature variability in the Pacific Ocean.

Research on the protein gp41 could help towards designing future vaccinations against HIV
Researchers from the University of Granada have discovered, for the first time, an allosteric interaction (that is, a regulation mechanism whereby enzymes can be activated or deactivated) between this protein, which forms part of the sheath of the human immunodeficiency virus and an antibody that neutralizes the virus.

First direct evidence of cosmic inflation
Researchers from the BICEP2 collaboration today announced the first direct evidence for cosmic inflation.

Back to life after 1,500 years
Researchers from the British Antarctic Survey and Reading University have demonstrated that, after over 1,500 years frozen in Antarctic ice, moss can come back to life and continue to grow.

Study finds that fast-moving cells in the human immune system walk in a stepwise manner
A team of biologists and engineers at UC San Diego applied advanced mathematical tools to answer a basic question in cell biology about how cells move and discovered that the mechanism looks very similar to walking.

Rocky Mountain wildflower season lengthens by more than a month
A 39-year study of wildflower blooms in a Rocky Mountain meadow shows more than two-thirds of alpine flowers changed their blooming pattern in response to climate change.

Global problem of fisheries bycatch needs global solutions
Whenever fishing vessels harvest fish, other animals can be accidentally caught or entangled in fishing gear as bycatch.

Hepatitis C remains major problem for HIV patients despite antiretroviral therapy
A new study led by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has found that the risk of hepatitis C-associated serious liver disease persists in HIV patients otherwise benefiting from antiretroviral therapy to treat HIV.

Cosmic inflation finding first predicted by JHU cosmologist
A team of observational cosmologists may have found evidence that cosmic inflation occurred a fraction of a second after the Big Bang, a point predicted 18 years ago by Johns Hopkins.

The Lancet: China halves tuberculosis prevalence in just 20 years
Over the last 20 years, China has more than halved its tuberculosis prevalence, with rates falling from 170 to 59 per 100 000 population.

Young women most at risk least likely to be offered HPV jab
Young women who are most at risk of developing cervical cancer are the least likely to be offered the protective HPV jab and to complete the full course when they are, reveals research published online in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections.

Researchers identify risk factors for little-known lung infection
Severe and sometimes fatal lung disease caused by a group of bacteria in the same family as those that cause tuberculosis is much more common than previously thought, with Caucasians 55 and older at greatest risk, report researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine.

Reintroduction experiments give new hope for a plant on the brink of extinction
A critically endangered plant known as marsh sandwort is inching back from the brink of extinction thanks to the efforts of a UCSC plant ecologist and her students.

Hold that RT: Much misinformation tweeted after 2013 Boston Marathon bombing
University of Washington researchers have found that misinformation spread widely on Twitter after the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing despite efforts by users to correct rumors that were inaccurate.

What's so bad about feeling happy?
Why is being happy, positive and satisfied with life the ultimate goal of so many people, while others steer clear of such feelings?

US headache sufferers get $1 billion worth of brain scans each year, U-M study finds
One in eight visits to a a doctor for a headache or migraine end up with the patient going for a brain scan, at a total cost of about $1 billion a year, a new University of Michigan Medical School study finds.

How the science of deer hunting can help patients with diabetes
Body odor is a deer hunter's worst enemy, an alert to animals that an ominous presence is lurking, but the science behind suppressing it to give hunters an edge oddly enough could help researchers develop a life-saving device for diabetes patients.

Chicken bones tell true story of Pacific migration
Did the Polynesians beat Columbus to South America? Not according to the tale of migration uncovered by analysis of ancient DNA from chicken bones recovered in archaeological digs across the Pacific.

Knowing whether food has spoiled without even opening the container (video)
A color-coded smart tag could tell consumers whether milk has turned sour or green beans have spoiled without opening the containers, say researchers.

Many parents have infant-feeding, TV, and activity practices which may increase obesity risk
A majority of parents in a new study reported infant feeding and activity behaviors believed to increase the child's risk for later obesity.

Bright future for protein nanoprobes
Berkeley Lab researchers at the Molecular Foundry have discovered surprising new rules for creating ultra-bright light-emitting crystals that are less than 10 nanometers in diameter.

CF Foundation and CF care expert partnership yields striking progress for people with cystic fibrosi
A decade of strategic efforts to improve care has had a key role in improving quality of life and added years to predicted survival for people with cystic fibrosis in the United States, according to the editors of a BMJ Quality & Safety supplement dedicated to the disease.

Dr. Roger Unger wins international Luft Award for endocrinology and diabetes research
Dr. Roger Unger, Professor of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center has been awarded the 2014 Rolf Luft Award for his identification of glucagon as a pancreatic hormone that raises blood sugar levels, having the opposite effect of insulin.

Bacterial reporters that get the scoop
A new engineered strain of E. coli bacteria non-destructively detected and recorded an environmental signal in the mouse gut, and remembered what it 'saw.' The advance could lead to a radically new screening tool for human gut health.

New therapeutic target discovered for Alzheimer's disease
A team of scientists from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, the Medical University of South Carolina and San Diego-based American Life Science Pharmaceuticals, Inc., report that cathepsin B gene knockout or its reduction by an enzyme inhibitor blocks creation of key neurotoxic pGlu-Aβ peptides linked to Alzheimer's disease.

Drug trafficking corrupts Kyrgyzstan's politics and underworld
Kyrgyzstan, a landlocked and mountainous country in Central Asia, serves a powerful role in the Eurasian drug trade by playing the 'mule' that carts heroin and other opiates between Afghanistan and Russia.

Chronic sleep disturbance could trigger onset of Alzheimer's
A new pre-clinical study by researchers at Temple University shows that people who suffer from chronic sleep disturbances are at a higher risk for the early onset of Alzheimer's disease.

Study: Colon cancer incidence rates decreasing steeply in older Americans
Colon cancer incidence rates have dropped 30 percent in the US in the last 10 years among adults 50 and older due to the widespread uptake of colonoscopy, with the largest decrease in people over age 65.

Lessons from a meadow
Presenting some of the most comprehensive information on blooming cycles over the course of four decades reveals that the timing of events within biological communities is more complex than previously thought.

UT Arlington information systems professors determine successful software programming aids
The success of having software programmers work in pairs greatly depends on the ability level of those individual programmers, two UT Arlington College of Business professors have written in a recently released paper.

Closer to detecting preeclampsia
Researchers have found a set of biomarkers in urine and serum samples that were different between women with preeclampsia, women with normal pregnancies and women who were not pregnant.

Computer analyzes massive clinical databases to properly categorize asthma patients
A computer program capable of tracking more than 100 clinical variables for almost 400 people has shown it can identify various subtypes of asthma, which perhaps could lead to targeted, more effective treatments.

Better continuity of care for elderly pataients cuts costs and complications, study finds
Patients with chronic illnesses often face care that is poorly coordinated, leading to higher use of health services and poorer outcomes.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for March 18, 2014
This release contains information about articles being published in Annals of Internal Medicine on March 18, 2014.

Democrats, Republicans see each other as mindless -- unless they pose a threat
We are less likely to humanize members of groups we don't belong to -- except, under some circumstances, when it comes to members of the opposite political party.

Study finds high utilization of neuroimaging for headaches despite guidelines
Neuroimaging for headaches is frequently ordered by physicians during outpatient visits, despite guidelines that recommend against such routine procedures.

NASA satellite sees Tropical Cyclone Gillian return to remnant low status
NASA's Aqua satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Cyclone Gillian's remnants in the southern Arafura Sea today, as it passes north of Australia's 'Top End.'

Parents matter more than they think in how their children eat
A new study by a researcher at the University of Colorado School of Medicine shows that parents influence how much children eat more than they may think.

Stanford makes flexible carbon nanotube circuits more reliable and power efficient
Engineers want to create flexible electronic devices, like e-readers that could fold into a pocket.

Shale could be long-term home for problematic nuclear waste
Shale, the source of the United States' current natural gas boom, could help solve another energy problem: what to do with radioactive waste from nuclear power plants.

Electronic media associated with poorer well-being in children
The use of electronic media, such as watching television, using computers and playing electronic games, was associated with poorer well-being in children.

Supplements not associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease in elderly
Daily dietary supplements of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (also found in fish) or lutein and zeaxanthin (nutrients found in green leafy vegetables) were not associated with reduced risk for cardiovascular disease in elderly patients with the eye disease age-related macular degeneration.

New research links body clocks to chronic lung diseases
The body clock's natural rhythm could be utilized to improve current therapies to delay the onset of chronic lung diseases.

Document addresses improving quality, safety for PCIs performed without on-site backup
The increasing number of percutaneous coronary interventions being performed at low-volume centers without on-site cardiac surgery backup has driven the need for new safety and quality protocols, according to an expert consensus document released today and written by a committee representing the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions, the American College of Cardiology Foundation and the American Heart Association.

Media alert: European Lung Cancer Conference abstracts online
Latest results and state-of-the art treatment options will be discussed at the 4th European Lung Cancer Conference, which has become the reference event in Europe for professionals treating lung cancers.

UNH research: Positive memories of exercise spur future workouts
Getting motivated to exercise can be a challenge, but new research from the University of New Hampshire shows that simply remembering a positive memory about exercise may be just what it takes to get on the treadmill.

Health gap between adult survivors of childhood cancer and siblings widens with age
Adult survivors of childhood cancer face significant health problems as they age and are five times more likely than their siblings to develop new cancers, heart and other serious health conditions beyond the age of 35, according to the latest findings from the world's largest study of childhood cancer survivors.

Male, stressed, and poorly social
Stressed males tend to become more self-centred and less able to distinguish their own emotions and intentions from those of other people.

Will health care reform require new population health management strategies?
How the shifting landscape of health care coverage will impact population health management providers, employers, and employees is the focus of a commentary in Population Health Management.

New way to make biodiesel creates less waste from alligator, and likely other animal fats
Animal fat from chicken, pork, beef and even alligators could give an economical, ecofriendly boost to the biofuel industry, according to researchers who reported a new method for biofuel production here today.

Immunologists present improved mass spectrometric method for proteomic analyses
Mass spectrometry is a highly sensitive method of measurement that has been used for many years for the analysis of chemical and biological materials.

Suppressing unwanted memories reduces their unconscious influence on behavior
Researchers part-funded by the Medical Research Council have shown that, contrary to what was previously assumed, suppressing unwanted memories reduces their unconscious influences on subsequent behavior, and have shed light on how this process happens in the brain.

Younger men receive faster care for heart attacks, angina compared with women of same age
A new study indicates that in younger adults experiencing heart attacks and angina, men are more likely to receive faster care compared with women.

Overpopulation: The transparent elephant in the room causing crucial modern crises
A review of nearly 200 research articles (~75 percent published in the last 10 years) shows how the issue of population growth is being downplayed and trivialized despite its fundamental role on modern crises related to unemployment, public debt, welfare (e.g., reduced access to food and water or even health and education), extinction of species and climate change.

Fighting antibiotic resistance with 'molecular drill bits'
In response to drug-resistant 'superbugs' that send millions of people to hospitals around the world, scientists are building tiny, 'molecular drill bits' that kill bacteria by bursting through their protective cell walls.

Hubble revisits the Monkey Head Nebula for 24th birthday snap
To celebrate its 24th year in orbit, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has released a beautiful new image of part of NGC 2174, also known as the Monkey Head Nebula.

U-M scientists slow development of Alzheimer's trademark cell-killing plaques
University of Michigan researchers have learned how to fix a cellular structure called the Golgi that mysteriously becomes fragmented in all Alzheimer's patients and appears to be a major cause of the disease.

Primary androgen deprivation therapy ineffective for most men with early prostate cancer
A study of more than 15,000 men with early stage prostate cancer finds that those who received androgen deprivation as their primary treatment instead of surgery or radiation did not live any longer than those who received no treatment.

Study identifies most common, costly reasons for mental health hospitalizations for kids
Nearly one in 10 hospitalized children have a primary diagnosis of a mental health condition, and depression alone accounts for $1.33 billion in hospital charges annually, according to a new analysis led by UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

Workplace flexibility still a myth for most
While many companies boast of flexible, family friendly workplaces, a study by the Sloan Center on Aging and Work at Boston College finds workplace flexibility is limited in scope, and who it is offered to.

New hope for early detection of stomach cancer
University of Adelaide research has provided new hope for the early detection of stomach cancer with the identification of four new biomarkers in the blood of human cancer patients. 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