Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 08, 2014
Phase II trial of efatutazone shows challenge of matching treatment to population
Work at the University of Colorado Cancer Center led to phase II trial of efatutazone with erlotinib in patients with refractory non-small cell lung cancer.

Kinesin-5 structure opens cancer drug targets
The structure of a key part of the machinery that allows cells to divide has been identified by researchers at UC Davis -- opening new possibilities for throwing a wrench in the machine and blocking runaway cell division in cancer.

Scientists use Google Glass to map the future of medical testing (video)
A team of researchers at UCLA has transformed Google Glass into powerful, wearable medical testing laboratory.

Improved access to integrated biodiversity data for science, practice, and policy
The world's biodiversity faces an ongoing decline and closer interaction between science and policy has been proposed as a main route towards improvement.

The double whammy of multiple sex partners and drinking in HIV/STI prevention
The more you drink and sleep around, the less likely you are to participate in HIV intervention counseling.

Good provider communication improves antidepressant adherence for diabetes patients
Adult patients with diabetes who trust their medical provider and feel included in treatment decisions are significantly more likely to take and maintain a newly prescribed antidepressant medication, according to a new study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

A new tiny species of crayfish from the swamps of coastal eastern Australia
Hidden in one of Australia's most developed and fastest growing areas lives one of the world's smallest freshwater crayfish species.

Expanding particles to engineer defects
Northwestern University researchers find that adding a larger particle to a crystalline system can create order rather than distortions.

Memory accuracy and strength can be manipulated during sleep
The sense of smell might seem intuitive, almost something you take for granted.

Children's National researchers receive NIH grant for pediatric acute myelogenous leukemia treatment
A $1.92 million grant from the National Institutes of Health was awarded to a research team that focuses on new approaches for treatment of relapsed pediatric acute myelogenous leukemia, led by Yang Liu, Ph.D., Bothworth Chair and Director of the Center for Cancer and Immunology Research (CCIR) at Children's Research Institute of Children's National Health System, and Reuven Schore, M.D., member of CCIR.

The long reach of Alzheimer's
To address the burgeoning demands of Alzheimer's disease that will affect generations, new policies will have to be adopted to acknowledge the complex and unique needs of people with dementia.

NASA's LRO mission and North America to experience total lunar eclipse
When people in North America look up at the sky in the early morning hours of April 15, they can expect the moon to look a little different.

'RoboClam' hits new depths as robotic digger
A digging robot inspired by the unique mechanisms employed by the Atlantic razor clam has been created by a group of researchers in the US.

Radiator Labs wins Popular Science magazine's Annual Invention Award
For more than two years, Marshall Cox and John Kymissis, associate professor of electrical engineering, have been working on their startup Radiator Labs.

Scalable CVD process for making 2-D molybdenum diselenide
Nanoengineering researchers at Rice University and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore have unveiled a potentially scalable method for making one-atom-thick layers of molybdenum diselenide -- a material that is similar to graphene but has better properties for making certain electronic devices like switchable transistors and light-emitting diodes.

Future computers that are 'normally off'
Researchers at the Japanese National Projects have broadly envisioned the future of spin-transfer torque magnetoresistive random access memory, and in the Journal of Applied Physics, they describe how it will radically alter computer architectures and consumer electronics.

UNC researchers find genetic trigger for RSV-induced infant hospitalizations
Researchers at UNC School of Medicine have pinpointed a viral protein that plays a major role in making respiratory syncytial virus the most common cause of hospitalization in children under one year of age.

Northwest patients to gain easy access to clinicians' notes
A unique regional collaboration among nine prominent health systems and medical groups in the Northwest will provide more than one million patients in Oregon and Southwest Washington with electronic access to the notes their providers include in medical records.

Rapid, broad countermeasures sought against mystery infections
A group of University of Washington scientists is seeking broad, versatile countermeasures effective against several different kinds of viruses and other pathogens.

Global food safety debate comes to Belfast
Food safety experts from around the world will be at Queen's University Belfast this week (April 8-10) to highlight current and emerging threats to the integrity of the food chain.

Where credit is due: How acknowledging expertise can help conservation efforts
Scientists know that tapping into local expertise is key to conservation efforts aimed at protecting biodiversity -- but researchers rarely give credit to these local experts.

National survey links teen binge drinking and alcohol brand references in pop music
A study links brand mentions in popular music lyrics to binge drinking in teens and young adults.

Hybrid technology could make Star Trek-style tricorder a reality
Scientists at the University of Southampton are aiming to develop a handheld testing device to provide same day diagnosis from a patient's bedside.

Processing new information during sleep compromises memory
New research appearing in the April 9 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience highlights the important role sleep plays in strengthening and maintaining the accuracy of a memory and hints at why the brain shuts out sensory information during periods of deep sleep.

Researchers measure smartphone malware infection rates
Researchers show now that infection rates in Android devices at around 0.25 percent are significantly higher than the previous independent estimate.

Scientists disagree on responsible research
Responsible research has been put firmly on the political agenda with, for instance, EU's Horizon 2020 program in which all research projects must show how they contribute responsibly to society.

Logo color affects consumer emotion toward brands, MU study finds
Jessica Ridgway, a doctoral student in the MU Department of Textile and Apparel Management, found that the specific colors used in a company's logo have a significant impact on how that logo, and the brand as a whole, is viewed by consumers.

Innovative, coordinated brain care could save billions of health care dollars
A new patient and caregiver centered model of innovative, coordinated brain care for older adults not only improves health outcomes and quality of care for those with cognitive impairment.

The surprising truth about obsessive-compulsive thinking
People who check whether their hands are clean or imagine their house might be on fire are not alone.

More insights from tissue samples
A new way of preparing patient tissue for analyses might soon become the new standard.

Spinal stimulation helps 4 patients with paraplegia regain voluntary movement
Four people with paraplegia are able to voluntarily move previously paralyzed muscles as a result of a novel therapy that involves electrical stimulation of the spinal cord, according to a study funded in part by the National Institutes of Health and the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.

TGen Dr. Michael Barrett awarded $200,000 grant at national cancer conference in San Diego
The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and the American Association for Cancer Research awarded a $200,000 grant today to Dr.

Study examines biomarkers in HPV negative squamous-cell carcinomas of the head and neck
A quartet of proteins that play critical roles in cell replication, cell death and DNA repair could lead to better targets for therapy against treatment-resistant head-and-neck squamous cell cancers.

Study: Black carbon is ancient by the time it reaches seafloor
A fraction of the carbon that finds its way into Earth's oceans -- the black soot and charcoal residue of fires -- stays there for thousands for years.

Rice U. study: Creativity and innovation need to talk more
Creativity and innovation are not sufficiently integrated in either the business world or academic research, according to a new study by Rice University, the University of Edinburgh and Brunel University.

Regular aerobic exercise boosts memory area of brain in older women
Regular aerobic exercise seems to boost the size of the area of the brain involved in verbal memory and learning among women whose intellectual capacity has been affected by age, indicates a small study published online in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Snowstorms and power outages present elevated risk for carbon monoxide poisoning
Large weather events, such as snowstorms and heavy storms that cause power outages, can lead to an increase in the number of reported carbon monoxide exposures.

Domain walls in nanowires cleverly set in motion
Researchers at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz have achieved a major breakthrough in the development of methods of information processing in nanomagnets.

National survey links teen binge drinking and alcohol-brand references in pop music
Binge drinking by teenagers and young adults is strongly associated with liking, owning and correctly identifying music that references alcohol by brand name, according to a study by the University of Pittsburgh and Norris Cotton Cancer Center.

Scientists reveal potential link between brain development and breast cancer gene
Scientists at the Salk Institute have uncovered details into a surprising -- and crucial -- link between brain development and a gene whose mutation is tied to breast and ovarian cancer.

Western University study unlocking secrets of breast tissue
A unique population of microbes in the female breast may lay the groundwork for understanding how this bacterial community contributes to health and disease, according to a new study out of Western University.

Lipid levels during prenatal brain development impact autism: York U study
In a groundbreaking York University study, researchers have found that abnormal levels of lipid molecules in the brain can affect the interaction between two key neural pathways in early prenatal brain development, which can trigger autism.

Searching high and low for dark matter
How is the hunt for dark matter going? Researchers from around the world recently gathered at UCLA to take stock of their progress.

Kitchens are a source of multi-drug resistant bacteria
After handling raw poultry, hands of food preparers and cutting boards remain a source of transmission for multi-drug resistant bacteria, such as E. coli that produce extended-spectrum beta-lactamases.

Tracking sugar movement in plants
Study overturns long-held belief that plant hormones control the shape of plant growth.

Webb telescope's heart complete, final instrument installed
The last piece of the James Webb Space Telescope's heart was installed inside the world's largest clean room at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Study examines criteria for 'choosing wisely' lists of least beneficial medical services
In the creation of lists by specialty societies of medical services deemed least beneficial (the 'Choosing Wisely' initiative), inclusion was often justified by evidence suggesting no additional benefit with higher risk, higher cost, or both, compared with other options, according to a study in the April 9 issue of JAMA.

Google Glass puts the focus on Parkinson's
New research by Newcastle University, UK, to investigate the potential of Google Glass to support people with Parkinson's.

Chemotherapy may be better for certain patients with advanced lung cancer
Among patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer without a mutation of a certain gene, conventional chemotherapy, compared with treatment using epidermal growth factor receptor tyrosine kinase inhibitors, was associated with improvement in survival without progression of the cancer, but not with overall survival, according to a study in the April 9 issue of JAMA.

New research may provide effective nonsurgical treatment for knee osteoarthritis
A new nonsurgical approach to treating chronic pain and stiffness associated with knee osteoarthritis has demonstrated significant, lasting improvement in knee pain, function, and stiffness.

Lead continues to be a serious threat to California condor populations
The California condor was one of the first species to be listed under the Endangered Species Preservation Act in 1966 when the population was reduced to a handful of birds.

A new twist makes for better steel, researchers find
In steelmaking, two desirable qualities -- strength and ductility -- tend to be at odds: stronger steel is less ductile, and more ductile steel is not as strong.

Unexpected results in cancer drug trial
Research from the University of Southampton has shown a drug, used in combination with chemotherapy to treat advanced colorectal cancer, is not effective in some settings, and indeed may result in more rapid cancer progression.

Access to improved water and sanitation varies widely within sub-Saharan Africa
Access to improved drinking water and sanitation is highly variable within individual countries in sub-Saharan Africa, according to a study published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Geography research could improve the effectiveness of hospital patient transport services
Factoring patient transport by air or by land: Technology is providing a firm diagnosis on critical transport times.

A faster Internet for your smartphones
Northwestern University researchers have released Namehelp Mobile, an application that lets users learn how to get the best mobile web experience with the right DNS.

Are women in Iran who use Facebook less likely to wear a veil?
Use of social media such as Facebook can influence attitudes and behaviors among people of all countries and cultures.

New methodology to find out about yeast changes during wine fermentation
Ruben Martinez, a graduate in Biology and Biochemistry, has developed a new methodology that makes it possible to know what physiological state the yeast is in at each point in the wine fermentation process.

Are Southern death-row inmates more polite?
Southern states are known to uphold a culture of honor and adhere to traditional politeness norms, but does this hold true for death-row convicts?

Graphene nanoribbons as electronic switches
One of graphene's most sought-after properties is its high conductivity.

Efficient operation of wastewater treatment plants
The German Federal Environmental Foundation announces the launch of a groundbreaking project for which the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) is developing sophisticated measuring sensors.

Location matters when it comes to deal-making, says new study
Even six-year-olds know who you sit beside matters, whether you're in first grade or at a high-powered dinner.

Dartmouth researchers identify potential therapeutic target for deadly brain cancer
Researchers from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth will present a scientific poster on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, at the American Association of Cancer Researchers conference in San Diego, Calif.

Synthetic gene circuits pump up cell signals
Synthetic genetic circuitry created by researchers at Rice University is helping them monitor cell mechanisms that degrade the misfolded proteins implicated in neurodegenerative diseases.

Intranasal ketamine confers rapid antidepressant effect in depression
A research team from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai published the first controlled evidence showing that an intranasal ketamine spray conferred an unusually rapid antidepressant effect -- within 24 hours -- and was well tolerated in patients with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder.

Breast cancer cell subpopulation cooperation can spur tumor growth
Sub-populations of breast cancer cells sometimes cooperate to aid tumor growth, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers, who believe that understanding the relationship between cancer sub-populations could lead to new targets for cancer treatment.

Crafty alcohol advertising directed at US adolescents through music and branding
Researchers investigate links between adolescents' involvement with music and their drinking-related behaviors.

Chronic smoking can diminish postural stability
Chronic cigarette smoking has a high co-occurrence with alcohol use disorders.

Deep, integrated genomic analysis re-classifies lower-grade brain tumors
Comprehensive genomic analysis of low-grade brain tumors sorts them into three categories, one of which has the molecular hallmarks and shortened survival of glioblastoma multiforme.

Expert guidance highlights practices to reduce prevalence of catheter-associated UTIs
New expert guidance highlights strategies for implementing and prioritizing efforts to prevent catheter-associated urinary tract infections in hospitals.

From learning in infancy to planning ahead in adulthood: Sleep's vital role for memory
Babies and young children make giant developmental leaps all of the time.

Montreal researchers explain how our immune system kills abnormal blood cells
A team of researchers at the IRCM, led by Andre Veillette, M.D., explains how our immune system kills abnormal blood cells.

Is the power grid too big?
Researchers are asking whether there is a 'right' size for the US power grid; they believe that smaller grids would reduce the likelihood of severe outages, such as the 2003 Northeast blackout, likening the grid behavior to sandpiles: 'Sandpiles are stable until you get to a certain height.

Grandmas stay sharp when they care for grandkids once a week
Taking care of grandkids one day a week helps keep grandmothers mentally sharp, finds a study from the Women's Healthy Aging Project study in Australia, published online today in Menopause, the journal of the North American Menopause Society.

Perception that eating disorders women's problem delays men getting help
The widespread perception that only women have eating disorders is preventing men with these problems from getting the help and support they need, indicates a small study published in the online journal BMJ Open.

BU researchers identify specific causes of brown fat cell 'whitening'
Boston University researchers have learned new information about the consequences of overeating high-calorie foods.

Breakthrough therapy allows 4 paraplegic men to voluntarily move their legs
Four young men who have been paralyzed for years achieved groundbreaking progress -- moving their legs -- as a result of epidural electrical stimulation of the spinal cord, an international team of scientists reports today in the medical journal Brain.

Thinking about a majority-minority shift leads to more conservative views
Facing the prospect of racial minority groups becoming the overall majority in the United States leads White Americans to lean more toward the conservative end of the political spectrum, according to research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

UCSF launches groundbreaking online registry to drive brain disease research
A new online project led by researchers at UC San Francisco promises to dramatically cut the time and cost of conducting clinical trials for brain diseases, while also helping scientists analyze and track the brain functions of thousands of volunteers over time.

New epidemiology model combines multiple genomic data
Data about DNA differences, gene expression, or methylation can each tell epidemiologists something about the link between genomics and disease.

Advanced warning systems increase safety at intersections, study shows
A major factor making driving difficult is hazards that are sudden and hard to predict.

Poor neighborhoods create misfortune, ill health
Residents of poorer Chicago neighborhoods are more likely to suffer terrible life events -- and they may get sick as a result, according to a new Duke University study of 343 neighborhoods.

Saint Louis University receives $600,000 to study immune attacks gone awry
Saint Louis University researcher Daniel Hawiger, M.D., Ph.D., has been awarded $608,376 from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to gain a better understanding of how the autoimmune process that causes multiple sclerosis may be stopped or slowed down.

DNA modifications measured in blood signal related changes in the brain
Johns Hopkins researchers say they have confirmed suspicions that DNA modifications found in the blood of mice exposed to high levels of stress hormone -- and showing signs of anxiety -- are directly related to changes found in their brain tissues.

Few Americans know where elected officials and candidates stand on government support for research
Two-thirds of Americans (66 percent) say it's important for candidates running for office to assign a high priority to funding medical research, according to America Speaks, Volume 14, a compilation of key questions from public opinion polls commissioned by Research!America.

NASA satellite sees Tropical Depression Peipah approaching Philippines
As Tropical Depression Peipah continues moving toward the central Philippines, NASA's Aqua satellite passed overhead and took an infrared look at the cloud top temperatures for clues about its strength.

Henry Ford Hospital researcher wins 2014 Abraham White Distinguished Science Award
Michael Chopp, Ph.D., scientific director of the Henry Ford Neuroscience Institute at Henry Ford Hospital, won the 2014 Abraham White Distinguished Science Award for his discovery of the role of a protein in the treatment of brain injuries and neurodegenerative diseases.

Experimental drug shows promise for treatment-resistant leukemias
Research in mice and human cell lines has identified an experimental compound dubbed TTT-3002 as potentially one of the most potent drugs available to block genetic mutations in cancer cells blamed for some forms of treatment-resistant leukemia.

UTHealth's Sibai receives national recognition award
Baha M. Sibai, M.D., professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Medical School, has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.

Italian adolescents wrongly believe energy drinks are comparable to soda and sports drinks
Energy drinks have become increasingly popular among teenagers and young adults during recent years.

JCI online ahead of print table of contents for April 8, 2014
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers published online, April 8, 2014 in the JCI: 'Visualizing calcium dynamics in the kidney,' 'Characterization of an asplenic patient with disorder of sexual development,' 'Vascular rarefaction mediates whitening of brown fat in obesity,' 'Autophagy-regulating TP53INP2 mediates muscle wasting and is repressed in diabetes,' 'CXCL11-dependent induction of FOXP3-negative regulatory T cells suppresses autoimmune encephalomyelitis,' and more.

What songbirds tell us about how we learn
When you throw a wild pitch or sing a flat note, it could be that your basal ganglia made you do it.

MD Anderson announces immunotherapy collaboration with GSK
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center announced today it formed a research alliance with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), a global leader in pharmaceutical development, to strengthen its efforts in advancing therapies that train the body's immune system to combat cancer.

Glucosamine promotes longevity by mimicking a low-carb diet
The widely used food supplement glucosamine promotes longevity in aging mice by approximately 10 percent due to improved glucose metabolism.

Gothenburg scientist in Nature: Climate models underestimate costs to future generations
Future generations will have to pay more for today's carbon emissions than what governments across the world currently understand.

Launch of new antiobiotic test company
A company has been launched which is to develop a new, 10-minute test which could indicate to a doctor if a patient requires an antibiotic and, if so, which one.

Back to basics: Redesigning systems of care for older adults with Alzheimer's disease
In a paper published in the April issue of the peer-reviewed journal Health Affairs, Regenstrief Institute investigator Christopher M.

Why binge drinkers are slower to heal from their wounds
People who are injured while binge drinking are much slower to heal from wounds suffered in car accidents, shootings, fires, etc.

Language structure ... you're born with it
Humans are unique in their ability to acquire language. But how?

Sea otters can get the flu, too
Northern sea otters living off the coast of Washington state were infected with the same H1N1 flu virus that caused the world-wide pandemic in 2009, according to a new US Geological Survey and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study.

UC geographers develop a system to track the dynamics of drought
Detecting drought before it causes more catastrophe: the news could go down like a cool drink of water for regions feeling the heat.

Graphic photos on tobacco packs save lives: WHO report
Large, graphic health warnings on tobacco packets in China would increase awareness about the harms of smoking, help to cut smoking rates, and in doing so save lives according to global studies.

Teenagers' pornography and sexual experiences -- fewer differences than expected
Although a greater proportion of teenage boys than girls watch and fantasize about sex they have seen in pornography, there are no differences between the sexes when it comes to what types of sex they fantasize about.

Identifying risk factors for corporate financial fraud
In the wake of the global financial crisis, Jennifer Schwartz, a Washington State University associate professor of sociology and expert in crime trends, has secured a grant for more than a half-million dollars to study the risk factors for corporate financial fraud.

How coughs and sneezes float farther than you think
A novel study uncovers the way coughs and sneezes stay airborne for long distances.

Antimicrobial from soaps promotes bacteria buildup in human noses
An antimicrobial agent found in common household soaps, shampoos and toothpastes may be finding its way inside human noses where it promotes the colonization of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and could predispose some people to infection.

The Lancet: Small cash incentives dramatically improve hepatitis B vaccination rates among injecting drug users
Small financial incentives, totaling as little as £30, can dramatically increase the likelihood of people who inject drugs completing a course of hepatitis B virus vaccination, according to new research published in The Lancet.

Winners of competition to reimagine the chemistry set announced
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Society for Science & the Public today announced winners of the Science, Play and Research Kit Competition, a challenge to reimagine the chemistry set for the 21st century.

Global health funding reaches new high as funding priorities shift
Global health funding hit an all-time high of $31.3 billion in 2013, five times greater than in 1990.

Painkillers linked to heightened irregular heartbeat risk in older adults
Current and recent use of painkillers/anti-inflammatories may be linked to a heightened risk of an irregular heartbeat -- atrial fibrillation -- among older adults, finds a large population study published in the online journal BMJ Open.

New method confirms humans and Neandertals interbred
Technical objections to the idea that Neandertals interbred with the ancestors of Eurasians have been overcome, thanks to a genome analysis method described in the April 2014 issue of the journal GENETICS.

Fox Chase study identifies the process in which heat shock protein 90 contributes to metastases in ovarian cancer
By incapacitating the activities of a protein that guides other proteins to fold into a stable shapes, Fox Chase Cancer Center researchers shut off the spigot for two proteases that help ovarian cancer cells chew their way out of the tissue they grow in and dig in at new locations.

Blocking DNA repair mechanisms could improve radiation therapy for deadly brain cancer
UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have demonstrated in both cancer cell lines and in mice that blocking critical DNA repair mechanisms could improve the effectiveness of radiation therapy for highly fatal brain tumors called glioblastomas.

Common diabetes treatment could extend hypoglycemia
Researchers at the University of Adelaide have discovered that a common treatment for people with type 2 diabetes could cause longer-than-normal periods of the low blood sugar reaction hypoglycemia, which may result in increased health risks to people with diabetes.

NASA's Aqua satellite reveals Tropical Cyclone Ita strengthening
Tropical Cyclone Ita's maximum sustained winds have increased over the last day and NASA's Aqua satellite provided forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center with a visible look at the storm on April 8. 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