Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 21, 2014
Study examines patient care patterns in Medicare accountable care organizations
A third of Medicare beneficiaries assigned to accountable care organizations (ACOs) in 2010 or 2011 were not assigned to the same ACO in both years and much of the specialty care received was provided outside the patients' assigned ACO, suggesting challenges to achieving organizational accountability in Medicare.

FDA approves first targeted drug for advanced stomach cancer
Based on results of a clinical trial led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists, the US Food and Drug Administration approved first targeted drug as treatment for advanced stomach cancer.

Airport security officers at TSA gaining insight from Sandia human behavior studies
A recent Sandia National Laboratories study offers insight into how a federal transportation security officer's thought process can influence decisions made during airport baggage screening, findings that are helping the Transportation Security Administration improve the performance of its security officers.

Safer alternatives to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pain killers
Building on previous work that showed that deleting an enzyme in the COX-2 pathway in a mouse model of heart disease slowed the development of atherosclerosis, researchers have now extended this observation by clarifying that the consequence of deleting the enzyme mPEGS-1 differs, depending on the cell type in which it is taken away.

Birthplace of the domesticated chili pepper identified in Mexico
Combining historical language and ecological information, as well as genetic and archaeological data, scientists have identified Central-east Mexico as the likely birthplace of the domesticated chili pepper.

Scientists target receptor to treat diabetic retinopathy
Like a daily pill to lower cholesterol can reduce heart attack and stroke risk, an easy-to-use agent that reduces eye inflammation could help save the vision of diabetics, scientists say.

New approach may help manage the most troubling symptoms of dementia, lessen use of drugs
A new approach to handling agitation, aggression and other unwanted behaviors by people with dementia may help reduce the use of antipsychotics and other psychiatric drugs in this population, and make life easier for them and their caregivers.

MSU physicists push new Parkinson's treatment toward clinical trials
The most effective way to tackle debilitating diseases is to punch them at the start and keep them from growing.

Amino-functionalized carbon nanotubes act as a carrier for nerve growth factor
Amino-functionalized carbon nanotubes act as a carrier for nerve growth factor.

Why alcoholism saps muscle strength
Researchers have found a common link between muscle weakness in alcoholics and mitochondrial disease: mitochondria that are unable to self-repair.

How often are unauthorized immigrant workers trafficked and abused?
Labor trafficking -- or recruiting a person for labor through force, fraud, or coercion for involuntary servitude, debt bondage, or even slavery -- has been a difficult problem to track among undocumented migrant workers.

Ecology team improves understanding of valley-wide stream chemistry
Understanding the chemistry of streams at a finer scale could help to identify factors impairing water quality and help protect aquatic ecosystems.

'Tween' television programming promotes some stereotypical conceptions of gender roles
The term 'tween' denotes a child who is between the ages of eight and 12.

'Upside-down planet' reveals new method for studying binary star systems
What looked at first like a sort of upside-down planet has instead revealed a new method for studying binary star systems, discovered by a University of Washington student astronomer.

Short-term environmental enrichment exposure induces maturity of newborn neurons
Many studies have shown that exposure to environmental enrichment can induce neurogenesis of the hippocampal region, thus improving learning and memory.

Lack of breeding threatens blue-footed boobies' survival
Blue-footed Boobies are on the decline in the Galapagos. A new study appearing in the journal Avian Conservation and Ecology indicates numbers of the iconic birds, known for their bright blue feet and propensity to burst into dance to attract mates, have fallen more than 50 percent in less than 20 years.

Increased prevalence of celiac disease in children with irritable bowel syndrome
There appears to be an increased prevalence of celiac disease among children with irritable bowel syndrome.

NASA sees wind shear affecting newborn Tropical Cyclone Jack
Tropical Cyclone Jack may have hurricane-force winds today, April 21, but strong vertical wind shear is expected to weaken the storm.

Teachers' scare tactics may lead to lower exam scores
As the school year winds down and final exams loom, teachers may want to avoid reminding students of the bad consequences of failing a test because doing so could lead to lower scores, according to new research published by American Psychological Association.

Today's Antarctic region once as hot as California, Florida
Parts of ancient Antarctica were as warm as today's California coast, and polar regions of the southern Pacific Ocean registered 21st-century Florida heat, according to scientists using a new way to measure past temperatures.

Simulating in tiny steps gave birth to long-sought-after method
Using computer simulations to predict which drug candidates offer the greatest potential has thus far not been very reliable, because both small drug-like molecules and the amino acids of proteins vary so much in their chemistry.

UH student named Goldwater Scholar, 2 more receive honorable mention
Performing brain research that can one day be applied to medical and technological advances, University of Houston junior Khanh Nguyen has been recognized as one of the nation's top science students.

Scientists find key steps linking dietary fats and colon cancer tumor growth
Scientists have shown new genetic evidence that could strengthen the link between the role of dietary fats with colon cancer progression.

Mental illness not usually linked to crime, research finds
In a study of crimes committed by people with serious mental disorders, only 7.5 percent were directly related to symptoms of mental illness, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.

Regulating legal marijuana could be guided by lessons from alcohol and tobacco, study says
Recent ballot initiatives that legalized marijuana in Colorado and Washington for recreational uses are unprecedented.

Grant to fund research on possible cell contaminants
Scientists at the University of Texas at Dallas have received a federal grant to investigate how tiny carbon structures used in the manufacture of many everyday products might affect human health.

Penn researchers find link between sleep and immune function in fruit flies
When we get sick it feels natural to try to hasten our recovery by getting some extra shuteye.

'Dustman' protein helps bin cancer cells
Cancer researchers have discovered a new 'dustman' role for a molecule that helps a drug kill cancer cells according to a study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Krypton-dating technique allows researchers to accurately date ancient Antarctic ice
A team of scientists, funded by the National Science Foundation, has successfully used a new technique to confirm the age of a 120,000-year-old sample of Antarctic ice.

UCSF study finds codeine often prescribed to children, despite available alternatives
Despite its potentially harmful effects in children, codeine continues to be prescribed in US emergency rooms, according to new research from UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital San Francisco.

A protein required for integrity of induced pluripotent stem cells
A study published today in the journal Stem Cell Reports, from the Cell Publishing Group, reveals that the SIRT1 protein is needed to lengthen and maintain telomeres during cell reprogramming.

Progress made in developing nanoscale electronics
Alexander Shestopalov, an assistant professor of chemical engineering at the University of Rochester, has figured out how to reliably control the current that flows through a circuit that is the width of a single molecule.

Allina Health study shows information sharing between health systems reduces tests
Researchers analyzed the care of patients who were seen emergently during a six month period in 2012.

A plague in your family
The first view of the Black Death bacterium's entire family tree shows some how family members evolve to become harmful.

For an immune cell, microgravity mimics aging
T-Cell Activation in Aging will study the effects of microgravity on immune cells to better understand how our immune systems change as we age.

Taking the pulse of mountain formation in the Andes
Carmala Garzione, a professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of Rochester, explains that the Altiplano plateau in the central Andes -- and most likely the entire mountain range -- was formed through a series of rapid growth spurts.

Study: Centuries of sand to grow Mississippi Delta
The wetlands of the Mississippi River Delta are slowly sinking and rapidly eroding, but new research from Rice University and the University of South Carolina has found the river's supply of sand -- the material engineers most need to rebuild the delta -- will stay constant for centuries.

A new key to unlocking the mysteries of physics? Quantum turbulence
The recent discovery of the Higgs boson has confirmed theories about the origin of mass and, with it, offered the potential to explain other scientific mysteries.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for April 22, 2014
Patients and families should be included in the training environment not only as the recipients of care, but also as teachers and evaluators of residents and students, according to a new commentary being published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Penn Medicine researchers uncover hints of a novel mechanism behind general anesthetic action
Despite decades of common use for surgeries of all kinds, the precise mechanism through which general anesthesia works on the body remains a mystery.

Edible flowers may inhibit chronic diseases
A new study in the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists, found that common edible flowers in China are rich in phenolics and have excellent antioxidant capacity.

May 2 women in science symposium honors Anne Fausto-Sterling
Experts on feminism and science will gather for an afternoon symposium and exhibit Friday, May 2, 2014, to honor Anne Fausto-Sterling, the Nancy Duke Lewis Professor of Biology and Gender Studies, for her decades of scholarship on biology and gender in science and society.

The future of high-speed rail in the US and beyond
ayne State University, in partnership with the University of Michigan and Drexel University, has launched a two-and-a-half-year study of the imagination -- or l'imaginaire -- of high-speed rail in America.

Malfunction in molecular 'proofreader' prevents repair of UV-induced DNA damage
Malfunctions in the molecular 'proofreading' machinery, which repairs structural errors in DNA caused by ultraviolet light damage, help explain why people who have the disease xeroderma pigmentosum are at an extremely high risk for developing skin cancer, according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute.

A gene within a gene contributes to the aggressiveness of acute myeloid leukemia
A small gene that is embedded in a larger gene plays a much greater role in promoting acute myeloid leukemia than the better-known host gene, according to a new study by Ohio State University cancer researchers.

Fast, simple-to-use assay reveals the 'family tree' of cancer metastases
A Mass. General Hospital-based research team has developed a simple assay that can reveal the evolutionary relationships between primary tumors and metastases within a patient, information that may someday help with treatment planning.

False-positive mammograms associated with anxiety, willingness for future screening
Mammograms with false-positive results were associated with increased short-term anxiety for women, and more women with false-positive results reported that they were more likely to undergo future breast cancer screening.

Commonly available blood-pressure medication prevents epilepsy after severe brain injury
A team of neuroscientists has shown in rats that a drug commonly prescribed for hypertension can nearly eliminate the epilepsy that often follows severe head injury.

Earth Week: Bark beetles change Rocky Mountain stream flows, affect water quality
On Earth Week -- and in fact, every week now -- trees in mountains across the western United States are dying, thanks to an infestation of bark beetles that reproduce in the trees' inner bark.

New material coating technology mimics nature's lotus effect
A unique and low cost method to coat materials is the subject of a pending international patent.

Narrowing of neck artery without warning may signal memory and thinking decline
For the first time, researchers have demonstrated that narrowing of the carotid artery in the neck without any symptoms may be linked to problems in learning, memory, thinking and decision-making, compared to people with similar risk factors but no narrowing in the neck artery, 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.

The anti-inflammatory factory
Russian scientists, in collaboration with their colleagues from Pittsburgh University, find how lipid mediators are produced.

Ginseng can treat and prevent influenza and RSV, researcher finds
Ginseng can help treat and prevent influenza and respiratory syncytial virus, a respiratory virus that infects the lungs and breathing passages, according to research findings by a scientist in Georgia State University's new Institute for Biomedical Sciences.

Queuing theory helps physicist understand protein recycling
Will Mather tries to extend an understanding of waiting in line to how cells operate, especially as it relates to what the consequences could be of protein traffic jams inside cells.

People selectively remember the details of atrocities that absolve in-group members
Conversations about wartime atrocities often omit certain details. According to research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, these omissions can lead people to have different memories for the event depending on social group membership.

Geologic journey into the US Sierra Nevada
This new field-trip guide from the Geological Society of America takes readers on a six-day, west-to-east geologic journey across the Mesozoic magmatic arc of the central Sierra Nevada in California, USA.

Scientists successfully use krypton to accurately date ancient Antarctic ice
A team of scientists has successfully identified the age of 120,000-year-old Antarctic ice using radiometric krypton dating -- a new technique that may allow them to locate and date ice that is more than a million years old.

IU study: Death of public figures provides important opportunities for health education
An Indiana University study of reactions to the 2011 death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs suggests health communicators have a critical window of opportunity after a public figure dies to disseminate information about disease prevention and detection.

Lawrence Krauss is honored at international festival of science documentary films
Arizona State University Professor Lawrence Krauss was honored at the Academia Film Olomouc, near Prague, for his contributions to public understanding of science and for his work in increasing awareness of science in society. 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