Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 05, 2014
Possible treatment for kidney disease in lupus studied at UH
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the immune system turns against itself, attacking a person's healthy tissue, cells and organs.

Choosing a screening method for cervical cancer: Pap alone or with HPV test
Karen Smith-McCune, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of California, San Francisco, writes: 'The updated guidelines leave physicians and other clinicians with a question: is cotesting with Pap-plus-HPV testing truly preferred over Pap testing alone (the American Cancer Society/the American Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology/the American Society of Clinical Pathology recommendation), or are the options equivalent (the US Preventive Services Task Force recommendation)?'

Study: Game developers say success hinges on more than just programming skills
Aspiring game developers may want to bone up on their interpersonal skills.

GW researcher studies the effects of BPA and DEHP on the cardiovascular system
George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences researcher Nikki Posnack, Ph.D., received a $209,926 grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to study plastics and their potential human health risks, particularly in the cardiovascular system.

Low testosterone levels may indicate worsening of disease for men with prostate cancer
For men with low-risk prostate cancer, low levels of testosterone may indicate a worsening of their disease.

Physician practice facilitation ensures key medical care reaches children
Leona Cuttler, M.D., knew that the simple act of adding an outside eye could dramatically improve pediatric care.

Food security increased by new scientific model in agricultural production
Predicting crop yields based on climate, planting, and other variables can help regions optimize their limited resources.

Terahertz imaging on the cheap
New theory could reduce number of sensors required for high-resolution imaging systems.

Caring for horses eases symptoms of dementia
In the first study of its kind, researchers have determined that spending time with horses eases symptoms of Alzheimer's dementia.

Climate change threatens to worsen US ozone pollution
Ozone pollution across the continental United States will become far more difficult to keep in check as temperatures rise, according to new research led by NCAR.

Electronic tool helps reduce drug errors among hospitalized children
When children are admitted to the hospital, sometimes the medications they take at home are lost in the shuffle, or they may be given the wrong dose.

Keck Futures Initiative awards more than $1 million for 13 research projects
Projects selected will explore use of advanced nuclear technologies, from improving crop yield and sustainability through nuclear imaging to the design of a supersensitive nuclear 'e-nose' that detects radiation signatures.

Elsevier journal Translational Proteomics endorsed by the Human Proteome Organization
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, and the Human Proteome Organization (HUPO) are delighted to announce HUPO's affiliation with Elsevier's new, open-access journal, Translational Proteomics.

Simulated model of eye's 3-D structure facilitates stem cells transplant
Scientists have developed a model that mimics the complex structure of the cornea to enable the transplant of healthy corneal stem cells.

Women and PAD: Excellent treatment outcomes in spite of disease severity
Stakes are higher for women with PAD, a circulation issue that's common among older adults.

Virtual patients, medical records and sleep queries may help reduce suicide
A virtual patient, the electronic medical record, and questions about how well patients sleep appear effective new tools in recognizing suicide risk, researchers say.

After single moms get laid off, their kids may suffer for years
When single mothers lose their jobs, their children suffer significantly as young adults, according to a new study by researchers from the California Center for Population Research at UCLA.

Cajal-Retzius cell loss and amyloidosis in Alzheimer's disease
Cajal-Retzius cells are reelin-secreting neurons in the marginal zone of the neocortex and hippocampus.

Spotting a famous face in the crowd
People can only recognize two faces in a crowd at a time -- even if the faces belong to famous people.

Tufts University licenses silk biomaterials technology to Akeso Biomedical
Tufts University today announced that it has licensed a novel silk technology for the treatment of chronic skin wounds to Akeso Biomedical, Inc., an early stage medical device company.

UEA research identifies molecules that guide embryonic heart-forming cells
Reserach from the University of East Anglia reveals how cells that form the heart in developing embryos are guided to move into the correct place.

Exenatide has potential as a disease modifying agent in Parkinson's disease
A follow-up study of patients with Parkinson's disease (PD) who participated in an earlier 'proof of concept' clinical trial using exenatide showed that improvements persisted 12 months after discontinuing exenatide therapy.

Few children receive dental care before recommended age of 1 year
Less than one percent of healthy urban children surveyed in Toronto had received dental care by the recommended age of 12 months and less than two percent had seen a dentist by the age of 24 months.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for May 6, 2014
The May 6, 2014, issue of Annals of Internal Medicine includes articles on 'Deaths decline after Massachusetts' health care reform'; 'A decade later, Women's Health Initiative study shows high return on public investment'; 'Investigators use social media to study effects of nerve agent poisoning'; and 'Observation: Copious coffee consumption while taking MAO inhibitors may lead to severe hypertension.'

Astronomers harness the galaxy's biggest telescope
An international team of astronomers has made a measurement of a distant neutron star that is one million times more precise than the previous world's best.

U-M paleontologists unveil online showcase of 3-D fossil remains
More than two decades ago, University of Michigan paleontologist Daniel Fisher and some of his students began the laborious task of digitally scanning the bones of mastodons, mammoths and other prehistoric creatures so the images could be displayed on computers.

Is self-fumigation for the birds?
When University of Utah biologists set out cotton balls treated with a mild pesticide, wild finches in the Galapagos Islands used the cotton to help build their nests, killing parasitic fly maggots to protect baby birds.

Getting to the root of enamel evolution
Thick tooth enamel is one of the features that distinguishes our genus, Homo, from our primate relatives and forebears.

Frankland Award win for Monash professor
Monash University professor Cameron Jones was surprised to discover he has won the Royal Society of Chemistry 's coveted Frankland Award, thus joining an elite field of international scientists.

UAF unmanned aircraft site conducts first test flight
The University of Alaska Fairbanks flew an unmanned aircraft today in Fairbanks, the first research flight among six federally approved FAA test sites.

Stigma: At the root of ostracism and bullying
Increasing evidence shows that stigma -- whether due to a child's weight, sexual orientation, race, income or other attribute -- is at the root of bullying, and that it can cause considerable harm to a child's mental health.

Dementia diagnosis twice as likely if older adult has schizophrenia; cancer less likely
Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University researchers who followed over 30,000 older adults for a decade have found the rate of dementia diagnosis for patients with schizophrenia to be twice as high as for patients without this chronic, severe and disabling brain disorder.

Science finds wines' fruity flavors fade first
Testing conventional wisdom with science, recently published research from Washington State University reveals how different flavors 'finish,' or linger, on the palate following a sip of wine.

Molecular tumor board helps in advanced cancer cases
With accelerating development of personalized cancer treatments matched to a patient's DNA sequencing, proponents say front-line physicians increasingly need help to maneuver through the complex genomic landscape to find the most effective, individualized therapy.

Economics of high tunnels examined in southwestern United States
Three types of high tunnel structures were investigated for winter production of spinach and lettuce.

'Severe escalation' of anti-Jewish atmosphere in 2013
Despite a 20 percent decline in the number of violent incidents against Jews, last year saw a sharp rise in abusive language and behavior, threats, and harassment of Jewish people on an individual basis around the world, according to an annual report presented in April by Tel Aviv University's Kantor Center for the Study of Contemporary European Jewry.

Bone marrow-on-a-chip unveiled
Researchers at Harvard's Wyss Institute have created the first method to reproduce the structure, functions and cellular make-up of bone marrow in the laboratory.

What fuels Salmonella's invasion strategy?
Scientists from the Institute of Food Research have described the nutritional requirements for Salmonella bacteria to invade human epithelial cells.

Genetic diagnosis can rule out a suspected Huntington's chorea patient
Huntington's disease is an autosomal-dominant inherited neurodegenerative disease with a distinct phenotype, but the pathogenesis is unclear.

The fragile fetus is featured topic at the May 16 McDonough Lectureship
Dr. Louis J. Guillette Jr., Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Director of Marine Biomedicine and Environmental Science at the Medical University of South Carolina, is the guest lecturer for the Sixth Paul G.

Study finds family-based exposure therapy effective treatment for young children with OCD
A new study from the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center has found that family-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is beneficial to young children between the ages of five and eight with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

Researchers present findings on promising biomarker for esophageal cancer
A new biomarker for esophageal cancer shows promise in improving screening for this deadly disease and its precursor, Barrett's esophagus.

New UCLA book explores LA's Nisei girls clubs
Before, during and after World War II, countless young Nisei -- or second-generation Japanese-Americans -- pursued their interests -- or just a good time -- in racially and ethnically segregated social and recreational clubs.

Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy announces winner of the Best Paper Prize
The editors of the new Open Access journal Materials for Renewable and Sustainable Energy have elected the Best Paper among those published in 2013.

New knowledge about muscular dystrophy
Researchers at Aarhus University have revealed a previously unknown function of a cellular enzyme that can disperse toxic aggregates in the cells of patients with muscular dystrophy.

Rising treatment costs drive up health care spending
In health economics research, there are conflicting findings on the causes of rising average spending on health care in the United States.

Cataract surgery decreases risk of falls in older patients
New research finds that cataract surgery dramatically decreases the number of falls individuals suffer due to poor vision.

Plantable containers show promise for use in groundcover production, landscaping
Scientists studied the use of plantable containers for growing groundcover plants.

No credible evidence to support cardiac risk of testosterone therapy
Recent articles in the scientific literature and mass media that question the use of testosterone (T) therapy to treat T deficiency, or 'low T,' and assert the cardiovascular risks of T therapy, are flawed.

Tracking turtles through time, Dartmouth-led study may resolve evolutionary debate
Turtles are more closely related to birds and crocodilians than to lizards and snakes, according to a study from Dartmouth, Yale and other institutions that examines one of the most contentious questions in evolutionary biology.

Eliminating copayments improves adherence, reduces adverse events in nonwhite patients
Research demonstrates that lowering copayments for cardiovascular medications results in better adherence and outcomes among all patients, but until now, little was known about whether lowering copayments could improve known disparities in cardiovascular care.

Genetic approach helps design broadband metamaterial
A specially formed material that can provide custom broadband absorption in the infrared can be identified and manufactured using 'genetic algorithms,' according to Penn State engineers, who say these metamaterials can shield objects from view by infrared sensors, protect instruments and be manufactured to cover a variety of wavelengths.

Study looks at predicting fracture risk after women stop bisphosphonate therapy
Age and testing of hip bone mineral density when postmenopausal women discontinue bisphosphonate therapy can help predict the likelihood of fractures over the next five years.

A symbiotic way of life
A study by University of Miami researchers reveals how, at the cellular level, an animal and its symbiotic bacteria work together to make up a single organismal system.

Women with unintended pregnancies take the shortest maternity leaves
Mothers in the United States who have unintended pregnancies return to work sooner after childbirth than mothers whose pregnancy was intended, according to a study led by Dr.

Disease outbreak may not spur parents to have children vaccinated
Conventional wisdom holds that when the risk of catching a disease is high, people are more likely to get vaccinated to protect themselves.

NeuroStar TMS Therapy shows promise as maintenance therapy for major depression
Neuronetics Inc. announced today results from a new, dual-arm randomized pilot study that showed a trend toward symptomatic improvements with once-monthly TMS maintenance therapy in medication-free patients treated with NeuroStar TMS Therapy for major depressive disorder.

Liver cancer screening highly beneficial for people with cirrhosis
Liver cancer survival rates could be improved if more people with cirrhosis are screened for tumors using inexpensive ultrasound scans and blood tests, according to a review by doctors at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Middle school students introduced to arboriculture topic
Researchers determined that structural defect recognition in trees is an appropriate topic for sixth grade curriculum augmentation.

First reversible glue bandage could save injured soldiers' vision
Scientists have developed the first reversible glue that could be used on the battlefield to treat eye injuries, potentially saving soldiers' vision.

How does stress increase your risk for stroke and heart attack?
Scientists have shown that anger, anxiety, and depression not only affect the functioning of the heart, but also increase the risk for heart disease.

With 'self-fumigation,' Darwin's finches combat deadly parasitic flies
Researchers have found a way to protect threatened Darwin's finches on the Galápagos Islands from deadly parasitic nest flies in a manner that's as simple as it is ingenious: by offering the birds insecticide-treated cotton for incorporation into their nests.

New technique tracks proteins in single HIV particle
An interdisciplinary team of scientists from KU Leuven in Belgium has developed a new technique to examine how proteins interact with each other at the level of a single HIV viral particle.

ORNL paper examines clues for superconductivity in an iron-based material
For the first time, scientists have a clearer understanding of how to control the appearance of a superconducting phase in a material, adding crucial fundamental knowledge and perhaps setting the stage for advances in the field of superconductivity.

New cause of high blood pressure and heart disease discovered
Why phosphate rich foods can increase blood pressure and promote vascular calcifications has been discovered by scientists at the Vetmeduni Vienna.

Earth and environmental engineering prof. Pierre Gentine wins NASA NIP grant
Pierre Gentine, assistant professor of earth and environmental engineering, has won a three-year grant from NASA's New Investigator Program in Earth Science to study turbulence in the earth's atmosphere and develop new models that can predict climate more effectively: 'We're trying to model something that's fundamentally very challenging: turbulence, the irregular motion of air, and its random nature.'

Genetic, environmental influences equally important risk for autism spectrum disorder
Researchers led by Mount Sinai found that individual risk of ASD and autistic disorder increased with greater genetic relatedness in families -- that is, persons with a sibling, half-sibling or cousin diagnosed with autism have an increased likelihood of developing ASD themselves.

Glutamine ratio is key ovarian cancer indicator
A Rice University-led analysis of the metabolic profiles of hundreds of ovarian tumors has revealed a new method for tailoring treatments for ovarian cancer and for assessing whether ovarian cancer cells have the potential to metastasize.

UCLA's 'Laughter Guy' dissects features of counterfeit chortling
Ever wonder how often you fool your boss or in-laws by pretending to laugh at their dumb jokes?

Outwitting immunity to treat disease: Start-up raises 37 millions dollars
What do multiple sclerosis, type I diabetes and food allergies have in common?

BrightFocus honors 5 vision researchers
The BrightFocus Foundation today honored five outstanding scientists in the fields of macular degeneration and glaucoma, presenting them with named research awards at an event during the annual meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Lower Hispanic participation in Medicare drug benefit may point to barriers
Hispanic seniors are 35 percent less likely to have prescription drug coverage despite the existence of the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan -- also known as Part D -- and the availability of assistance to help pay insurance premiums.

Animal hoarding, a lesser-known problem for public health and welfare
Animal hoarding is a psychiatric disorder that consists of accumulating large numbers of animals at home, usually cats and dogs, without providing them with a minimal standard of care.

Groovy turtles' genes to aid in their rescue
The diverse patterns on the diamondback terrapins' intricately grooved shell may be their claim to fame, but a newly published US Geological Survey study of the genetic variation underneath their shell holds one key to rescuing these coastal turtles.

Smaller microchips that keep their cool
Temperatures often over 200 degrees C occur in geothermal and oil production -- conventional microelectronics hit their limits there.

Elsevier selected publish official journal: Engineering in Agriculture, Environment & Food
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, is pleased to announced that going forward it will publish the official journal of the Asian Agricultural and Biological Engineering Association: Engineering in Agriculture, Environment and Food.

Test that measures 'everyday task' performance is a good predictor of hospital readmission
Patients freshly discharged from acute care hospitals with low scores on a standard test that measures how well they perform such everyday activities as moving from a bed to a chair are far more likely to need readmission to a hospital within 30 days than those who score better, according to new Johns Hopkins research.

Where DNA's copy machine pauses, cancer could be next
A comprehensive mapping of the 'fragile sites' where chromosomes are more likely to experience breakage shows the damage appears in specific areas of the genome where the DNA copying machinery is slowed or stalled during replication, either by certain sequences of DNA or by structural elements.

Press registration opens for 2014 fall national meeting of world's largest scientific society
Journalists may now apply for press credentials for the American Chemical Society's (ACS') 248th National Meeting & Exposition.

New gel-based eye fluid aids post-operative healing
In an effort to avoid serious side effects suffered after surgery to repair retinal detachment, vision scientists have developed a new product to help stabilize the eye while it heals.

Hypertension related to new cancer therapies -- a new syndrome emerges
New cancer therapies, particularly agents that block vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) signaling, have improved the outlook for patients with some cancers and are now used as a first line therapy for some tumors.

WHI reports $37.1 billion economic return on combined hormone therapy clinical trial
The overall economic return from the Women's Health Initiative E+P trial indicates that changes in practice stemming from the trial provided a net economic return of $37.1 billion over the 10-year period since the main findings were published.

Henry Ford Hospital study links social, community factors with hospital readmissions
Factors like the level of poverty in a neighborhood, living alone, and age affect a patient's chances of being readmitted to a hospital after discharge, even after possible variations in quality of care in the hospital have been taken into account.

Analyzing living cells quickly and accurately
In order to investigate inflammation, tumors or stem cells, medical practitioners analyze living cells.

A journey between XX and XY
A team of researchers from the University of Geneva has been involved in a thorough genetic investigation based on the case of a child suffering from the Nivelon-Nivelon-Mabille Syndrome, a complex condition characterized mainly by a sexual development disorder.

Active seniors can lower heart attack risk by doing more, not less
Maintaining or boosting your level of physical activity after age 65 can improve your heart's electrical well-being and lower your risk of heart attack.

When wine hits the right nerve
If wine leaves a bitter, cotton-like coating on the tongue, neither the sense of taste nor the sense of smell is responsible.

AGA honors GI leaders with prestigious recognition awards
The American Gastroenterological Association has announced the recipients of its annual recognition awards, given in honor of outstanding contributions and achievements in gastroenterology.

Bioinformatics approach helps researchers find new uses for old drug
Developing and testing a new anti-cancer drug can cost billions of dollars and take many years of research.

Buckley receives American Psychiatric Association award for mentorship
Dr. Peter F. Buckley, a psychiatrist specializing in schizophrenia and Dean of the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University, is the 2014 winner of the Kempf Fund Award for Research Development in Psychobiological Psychiatry from the American Psychiatric Association.

Factors leading to diabetes may contribute to milk supply problems for new mothers
New studies provide fresh evidence that the same factors that lead to diabetes contribute to low milk supply in some new mothers.

Significant decline in deaths after Massachusetts' health reform
In the first four years after Massachusetts instituted comprehensive health reform in 2006, mortality in the state decreased by 2.9 percent compared with similar populations in states that didn't expand health coverage, according to a new study led by Harvard School of Public Health researchers.

Novel antioxidant makes old arteries seem young again, CU-Boulder study finds
An antioxidant that targets specific cell structures -- mitochondria -- may be able to reverse some of the negative effects of aging on arteries, reducing the risk of heart disease, according to a new study by the University of Colorado Boulder.

Being born 4-6 weeks premature can affect brain structure, function
The brains of children who were born just a few weeks early differ from those born on time, and these differences may affect learning and behavior, according to a study to be presented Monday, May 5, at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Soy sauce molecule may unlock drug therapy for HIV patients
For HIV patients being treated with anti-AIDS medications, resistance to drug therapy regimens is commonplace.

Alley elected Foreign Member of Royal Society
Richard Alley, Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences, has been elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society, the national academy of science in the United Kingdom, for improving natural knowledge.

Having eczema may reduce your risk of skin cancer
Eczema caused by defects in the skin could reduce the risk of developing skin cancer, according to new research by King's College London.

Dual method to remove precancerous colon polyps may substantially reduce health-care costs
A surgical method combining two techniques for removing precancerous polyps during colonoscopies can substantially reduce the recovery time and the length of hospital stays, potentially saving the health-care system millions of dollars, according to research presented today at Digestive Disease Week.

Energy-subsidy reform can be achieved with proper preparation, outside pressure
Reform of energy subsidies in oil-exporting countries can reduce carbon emissions and add years to oil exports, according to a new paper from Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.

High-strength materials from the pressure cooker
High temperatures and high pressures -- this may not seem to be the best environment for organic polymers.

Genetic risk factor for premature birth found
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered a genetic risk factor for premature birth.

Evolution in species may reverse predator-prey population cycles
According to a study to be published this week, co-evolutionary changes in species may reverse traditional predator-prey population cycles, creating the appearance that prey are eating the predators.

History to blame for slow crop taming: Study
It's been about 10,000 years since our ancestors began farming, but crop domestication has taken much longer than expected -- a delay caused less by genetics and more by culture and history, according to a new study co-authored by University of Guelph researchers.

Study finds increased employee flexibility, supervisor support offer wide-ranging benefits
Work-family conflict is increasingly common among US workers, with about 70 percent reporting struggles balancing work and non-work obligations.

Mayo Clinic study finds nerve damage after hip surgery may be due to inflammation
A recent Mayo Clinic Proceedings article links some nerve damage after hip surgery to inflammatory neuropathy.

Light-sensitive 'eyes' in plants
Most plants try to turn towards the sun. Scientists from the University of Gothenburg have worked with Finnish colleagues to understand how light-sensitive proteins in plant cells change when they discover light.

Domestic violence victims more likely to take up smoking
One-third of women around the world have experienced physical or sexual violence at the hands of their intimate partners with consequences from post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression, to sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV.

Focused ultrasound reduces cancer pain
Non-invasive focused ultrasound thermal therapy reduces pain from bone metastases.

Monitoring RNA levels in blood yields dynamic picture of fetal development, disease
Researchers at Stanford University have moved beyond relying on the static information delivered by DNA sequences in the blood.

Immune cells outsmart bacterial infection by dying, Penn Vet study shows
A new study led by scientists at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine has painted a clearer picture of the delicate arms race between the human immune system and a pathogen that seeks to infect and kill human cells.

Younger adults benefit from gardening's moderate- to high-intensity activities
A study determined the exercise intensities of 10 gardening tasks for men and women in their 20s.

Strong institutions reduce in-group favoritism
Ineffective social and political institutions make people more likely to favour their family and own local social group, while good institutions make them more likely to follow impersonal rules that are fair to everyone, suggests a new study in press at the journal Human Nature.

Scientists convert stem cells to eye tissue
In two separate studies, scientists have developed methods to convert non-embryonic stem cells into eye cells that could be used to restore sight.

Tomato turf wars: Benign bug bests salmonella; tomato eaters win
Scientists from the US Food and Drug Administration have identified a benign bacterium that shows promise in blocking Salmonella from colonizing raw tomatoes. 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