Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 18, 2014
Cutoff switch may limit spread, duration of oxygen minimum zones
A new study examining the impact of iron released from continental margin sediments has documented a natural limiting switch that may keep these ocean systems from developing a runaway feedback loop that could lead to unchecked hypoxic areas, or persistent 'dead zones.'

E-cigarettes may boost resistance of drug-resistant pathogens
Despite being touted by their manufacturers as a healthy alternative to cigarettes, e-cigarettes appear in a laboratory study to increase the virulence of drug- resistant and potentially life-threatening bacteria, while decreasing the ability of human cells to kill these bacteria

Higher temperatures may cause greater illness among COPD patients
If you suffer from COPD, staying cool this summer may provide much more significant benefits than simply feeling more comfortable.

Cardiovascular diseases rise during Greek financial crisis
Hospital admissions for cardiovascular diseases increased during the Greek financial crisis, according to two studies from Athens.

Urine test could help clinicians spot blood clots in at-risk patients
A new study by researchers from California and Canada indicates a simple urine test can indicate the presence of venous thromboembolism, a blood clot that has broken free from its point of origin and which travels through the bloodstream, eventually lodging in a vein.

COPD patients at significantly higher risk of heart failure
As if increased risks of high blood pressure, respiratory infections, lung cancer and even depression weren't enough, researchers say patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease have another complication to worry about: heart failure.

Temple-led study finds no benefit in taking statin drugs for COPD exacerbation prevention
A statin drug commonly used to lower cholesterol is not effective in reducing the number and severity of flare ups from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), according to the results of a large multicenter clinical trial designed and directed by Gerard J.

QVAR real-world study to be presented at annual ATS International Conference
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., today announced that results from a real-life, retrospective, observational study of QVAR will be presented at the American Thoracic Society 2014 International Conference in San Diego on May 18, 2014.

Painkillers may decrease susceptibility to recurring urinary infections
Women plagued by repeated urinary tract infections may be able to prevent the infections with help from over-the-counter painkillers, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

For pregnant smokers, vitamin C supplements improve lung function of newborn
Supplemental vitamin C taken by pregnant smokers improved measures of lung function for newborns and decreased the incidence of wheezing for infants through one year, according to a study published by JAMA.

Windshield washer fluid a source of Legionnaires
A form of bacteria responsible for respiratory illness, including the deadly pneumonia known as Legionnaire's disease, may be able to grow in windshield washer fluid and was isolated from nearly 75 percent of school buses tested in one district in Arizona, according to research presented today at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

Vitamin D supplementation does not improve asthma treatment, symptoms
In adults with persistent asthma and low vitamin D levels, treatment with vitamin D3 did not reduce the rate of treatment failure or exacerbation of symptoms, according to a study published by JAMA.

Scientists discover how to turn light into matter after 80-year quest
Imperial College London physicists have discovered how to create matter from light -- a feat thought impossible when the idea was first theorized 80 years ago.

New technique to prevent anal sphincter lesions due to episiotomy during child delivery
An inexpensive disposable intra-anal probe carrying 16 circumferential electrodes identifies and displays, on a laptop or tablet, the innervation zones of the anal sphincter so that episiotomy, if deemed necessary at the moment of child delivery, can be avoided -- if too risky -- or properly planned, thereby reducing the likelihood of partial sphincter denervation and future incontinence.

Statins fail to reduce mortality rate in sepsis patients with ARDS
Despite previously-reported observational and basic science evidence suggesting the use of statins may improve outcomes in patients with sepsis and acute respiratory distress syndrome, a double-blinded clinical trial of rosuvastatin in those patients was futile, and the study was halted.

Painkillers may decrease susceptibility to recurring urinary infections
Women plagued by repeated urinary tract infections may be able to prevent the infections with help from over-the-counter painkillers, new research in mice shows.

Sepsis involved in high percentage of hospital deaths
An analysis that included approximately 7 million hospitalizations finds that sepsis contributed to one in every two to three deaths, and most of these patients had sepsis at admission, according to a study published by JAMA.

Cedars-Sinai study identifies heart-specific protein that protects against arrhythmia
Researchers at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute have identified a heart-specific form of a protein, BIN1, responsible for sculpting tiny folds in pockets that are present on the surface of heart muscle cells.

Studies published in NEJM identify promising drug therapies for fatal lung disease
Researchers in separate clinical trials found two drugs slow the progression of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, a fatal lung disease with no effective treatment or cure, and for which there is currently no therapy approved by the Food and Drug Administration.

Sepsis contributes to as many as half of all hospital deaths in US, study says
Although it's present in only a tenth of all patients who are admitted to the hospital, sepsis contributes to up to half of all hospital deaths in the US, according to a study presented at the American Thoracic Society's annual conference here.

Study debunks common myth that urine is sterile
Bacteria live in the bladders of healthy women, discrediting the common belief that normal urine is sterile.

Greenland will be far greater contributor to sea rise than expected
Greenland's icy reaches are far more vulnerable to warm ocean waters from climate change than had been thought, according to new research by UC Irvine and NASA glaciologists.

Bacteria in mouth may diagnose pancreatic cancer
Patients with pancreatic cancer have a different and distinct profile of specific bacteria in their saliva compared to healthy controls and even patients with other cancers or pancreatic diseases, according to research presented today at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

Clinicians urged to consider spironolactone in HFPEF despite TOPCAT results
Clinicians have been urged to consider using spironolactone in their patients with heart failure and preserved ejection fraction after a post-hoc analysis of the TOPCAT trial showed benefit in patients from the Americas.

Illuminating neuron activity in 3-D
Researchers at MIT and the University of Vienna have created an imaging system that reveals neural activity throughout the brains of living animals.

Bacteria in urine could contribute to overactive bladder
Contrary to popular belief, urine is not sterile and the bacteria in it may be associated with overactive bladder in some women, according to research presented today at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

Sleep apnea is common after acute respiratory failure
Clinically important sleep apnea is common among survivors of acute respiratory failure, according to a new study presented at the 2014 American Thoracic Society International Conference.

Beyond GDP: Birth weight, hours slept, eyeglasses among innovative yardsticks of well-being, wealth
Birth weight, hours slept, eyeglasses, city birds, washing machines, teenage schoolgirls and other quantifiable signals of well-being can help measure the wealth of a nation beyond Gross Domestic Product, experts say.

Gum disease bacteria may cause heart disease
A University of Florida study shows that the same bacteria that cause gum disease also promotes heart disease -- a discovery that could change the way heart disease is diagnosed and treated.

How does snow affect the amount of water in rivers?
New research has shown for the first time that the amount of water flowing through rivers in snow-affected regions depends significantly on how much of the precipitation falls as snowfall.

Patients with low pulmonary vascular resistance may benefit from complex procedure for PH
Patients with chronic pulmonary thromboembolic disease may benefit from pulmonary thromboendarterectomy, even if the patients don't have severe pulmonary hypertension, according to University of California, San Diego, researchers.

Study finds limited benefit for vitamin D in asthma treatment
Adding vitamin D to asthma treatment to improve breathing only appears to benefit patients who achieve sufficient levels of the supplement in the blood.

One small chip -- one giant leap forward for early cancer detection
An international team of researchers, led by ICFO- Institute of Photonic Sciences in Castelldefels, announce the successful development of a 'lab-on-a-chip' platform capable of detecting protein cancer markers in the blood using the very latest advances in plasmonics, nano-fabrication, microfluids and surface chemistry.

Heart failure hospitalization more than doubles in IBD flares
Heart failure hospitalization more than doubles during inflammatory bowel disease flares, according to a study of more than five million Danish people. 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