Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 19, 2014
Tip sheet from Annals of Internal Medicine May 20, 2014
The May 20 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine includes articles titled: 'Task Force finds insufficient evidence to recommend for or against screening for suicide risk'; 'Vaccination during 'optimal window' is the key to saving lives and money in next flu pandemic'; and 'Two separate studies suggest that longer echocardiographic screening intervals for childhood cancer survivors effective, cost-effective for detecting heart issues.'

Logged driving route can reduce energy consumption by 10 percent
For long distance driving, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles use the internal combustion engine more than necessary.

The results obtained in the evaluation of environmental strategies on livestock farms
The Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development (Neiker-Tecnalia) has coordinated the European BATFARM project, which is seeking to evaluate the effectiveness of technologies and practices used on livestock farms in the European Atlantic region in order to reduce their environmental impact on the air, water and soil.

Shorter lives for male fruit flies forced to compete
A University of Liverpool study of fruit flies has revealed that males forced to compete with other males become less attractive to females and die young.

Optical brain scanner goes where other brain scanners can't
Scientists have advanced a brain-scanning technology that tracks what the brain is doing by shining dozens of tiny LED lights on the head.

Olive oil supplements may protect against the adverse vascular effects of air pollution
Taking olive oil supplements may counteract some of the adverse cardiovascular effects of exposure to air pollution, according to a new study presented at the 2014 American Thoracic Society International Conference.

Power plant emissions verified remotely at Four Corners sites
Air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from two coal-fired power plants in the Four Corners area of northwest New Mexico, the largest point source of pollution in America, were measured remotely by a Los Alamos National Laboratory team.

Study calls for revisiting cardiac screening guidelines for survivors of childhood cancer
One of the first studies to analyze the effectiveness of screening survivors of childhood cancer for early signs of impending congestive heart failure finds improved health outcomes but suggests that less frequent screening than currently recommended may yield similar clinical benefit.

People more likely to choose a spouse with similar DNA, finds CU-Boulder study
Individuals are more genetically similar to their spouses than they are to randomly selected individuals from the same population, according to a new study from the University of Colorado Boulder.

Is duloxetine more or less effective than fluoxetine in children and teens with MDD?
Two studies of the anti-depressive drug duloxetine, a serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, compared its effectiveness and safety to either fluoxetine or placebo in children and adolescents with major depressive disorder.

Analysis reveals triple return on investment to save 3 million mothers' and babies' lives annually
A major new Series of papers, published Tuesday, May 20, in The Lancet, presents the clearest picture to date of progress and challenges in improving newborn survival around the world, and sets targets that must be achieved by 2030 in order to ensure every newborn has a healthy start.

Possible cause and source of Kawasaki disease found
An international team of scientists, including researchers from the University of California, San Diego, report that the likely causative agent of Kawasaki disease (KD) in Japan is a windborne agent originating from a source in northeast China.

A call to arms in cancer research
The rapid growth in the Hispanic population in the US is not matched by growth in Hispanics participating in cancer clinical trials -- not even close.

New research shows humans have more impact on tropical nitrogen levels
A new paper co-written by four University of Montana researchers finds that humans have more than doubled tropical nitrogen inputs.

Chinese scientists crack the genome of another diploid cotton Gossypium arboreum
Chinese scientists from Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and BGI successfully deciphered the genome sequence of another diploid cotton -- Gossypium arboreum after the completed sequencing of G. raimondii in 2012.

Teens who participate in sports show lower levels of hazardous drinking
New research in Criminal Behavior and Mental Health aimed to find the relationship between participation in organized sports and an increase in hazardous drinking.

Renewables, other energy issues to be focus of enhanced Sandia, SINTEF collaboration
A decades-long partnership between Sandia National Laboratories and the Norwegian research organization SINTEF (Stiftelsen for industriell og teknisk forskning) will now tackle energy challenges such as renewable energy integration, electric grid modernization, gas technologies and algae-based biofuels, under an expanded agreement.

San Diego County fires still rage
The San Diego County fires that began on Wednesday, May 14, as a single fire that erupted into nine fires burned out of control for days.

Border collies chase away beach contamination
Border collies are effective at reducing gull congregation on recreational beaches, resulting in lower E. coli abundance in the sand.

Public reporting of ICU mortality does not improve outcomes
A large study of intensive care patients in California found that public reporting of patient outcomes did not reduce mortality, but did result in reduced admission of the sickest patients to the ICU and increased transfer of critically ill patients to other hospitals.

How octopuses don't tie themselves in knots revealed by Hebrew University scientists
Hebrew University of Jerusalem researchers have discovered how octopuses avoid getting tangled up in themselves.

Novel pulmonary hypertension drug proves safe and effective in Phase III Trial
After a year of being treated with a novel drug, patients with inoperable chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension and those with persistent or recurrent pulmonary hypertension after an operation for the disease showed sustained improvement in a multicenter, international trial presented at the 2014 American Thoracic Society International Conference.

Fluoridating water does not lower IQ: New Zealand research
New research out of New Zealand's world-renowned Dunedin Multidisciplinary Study does not support claims that fluoridating water adversely affects children's mental development and adult IQ.

Low-income Latino children show benefits from Montessori pre-kindergartern programs study finds
Low-income Latino children who experienced one year of Montessori pre-K education at age 4 made dramatic improvements in early achievement and behavior even though they began the year at great risk for school failure, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.

Genes play key role in brain injury risk for premature babies
Premature babies' risk of brain injury is influenced by their genes, a new study suggests.

EPA ToxCast data validates BioMAP® systems' ability to predict drug, chemical toxicities
Research demonstrates the ability of BioMAP® Systems, a set of primary human cell and co-culture assays that model human disease and pathway biology, to identify important safety aspects of drugs and chemicals more efficiently and accurately than animal testing.

Keywords hold vocabulary together in memory
Like key players in social networks, University of Kansas scientists have found evidence that there are keywords in word networks that hold together groups of words in memory.

'Smoking gun' evidence for theory that Saturn's collapsing magnetic tail causes auroras
Saturn's auroras are caused by the same phenomenon which leads to dramatic auroral displays on Earth, University of Leicester research shows.

The young sperm, poised for greatness
It was long assumed that the joining of egg and sperm launched a dramatic change in how and which genes were expressed.

First ever consultation of countries with highest newborn death rates underlines urgent need for more investment, medicines, and health workers
A major new Series of papers, published Tuesday, May 20, in The Lancet, presents the clearest picture to date of progress and challenges in improving newborn survival around the world, and sets targets that must be achieved by 2030 in order to ensure every newborn has a healthy start.

Chemists challenge conventional understanding of how photocatalysis works
Photocatalysts are most often semiconductors, with metals (platinum, gold) added to promote their activity.

Children who exercise have better body-fat distribution, regardless of their weight
Maybe the numbers on the scale aren't alarming, but that doesn't mean that healthy-weight children get a pass on exercising, according to a new University of Illinois study published in Pediatrics.

Home testing and management of OSA reduces costs without impacting clinical outcomes
Home testing of obstructive sleep apnea followed by initiation of home treatment with an auto-titrating continuous positive airway pressure device reduced costs compared with in-laboratory testing and titration without negatively impacting clinical outcomes, researchers have shown in a new study presented at the American Thoracic Society International Conference.

Climate change, forest fires drove widespread surface melting of Greenland ice sheet
Rising temperatures and ash from Northern Hemisphere forest fires combined to cause large-scale surface melting of the Greenland ice sheet in 1889 and 2012, contradicting conventional thinking that the melt events were driven by warming alone, a Dartmouth College-led study finds.

UT Dallas lab eliminates rare metals in electric motors
A team from the Renewable Energy and Vehicular Technology Laboratory was one of five research groups selected to demonstrate their work replacing rare metals in electric motors at a Department of Energy conference.

Mars mineral could be linked to microbes
Scientists have discovered that living organisms on Earth were capable of making a mineral that may also be found on Mars.

New 'T-ray' tech converts light to sound for weapons detection, medical imaging
A device that essentially listens for light waves could help open up the last frontier of the electromagnetic spectrum -- the terahertz range.

Several new apple varieties recommended for growers
A study was completed on the long-term effects of five 'Fuji' apple strains on fruit yield and harvest time quality attributes in southwest Idaho.

Why you need olive oil on your salad
A diet that combines unsaturated fats with nitrite-rich vegetables, such as olive oil and lettuce, can protect you from hypertension, suggests a new study led by King's College London.

The spot-tail golden bass: A new fish species from deep reefs of the southern Caribbean
Smithsonian scientists describe a new species of small coral reef sea bass from underexplored deep-reef depths of Curaçao, southern Caribbean.

Skunk Fire, Arizona
The Skunk Fire continues to burn on the San Carlos Apache Reservation in southeastern Arizona.

Study examines effect of increased blood flow during and after major surgery
In a study that included high-risk patients undergoing major gastrointestinal surgery, the use of a cardiac-output guided intervention to improve hemodynamics (blood flow and blood pressure) during and after surgery did not reduce complications and the risk of death after 30 days, compared with usual care.

Does birth control impact women's choice of sexual partners?
Birth control is used worldwide by more than 60 million women.

Solar energy prospects are bright for Scotland, experts say
Installing state-of-the-art solar panels on a quarter of a million roofs could meet one-sixth of Scotland's electricity demands, experts say.

Air pollution exposure in second trimester may increase asthma risk in children
Children who are exposed in utero to high levels of particulate air pollution during the second trimester of pregnancy may be at greater risk of developing asthma in early childhood, according to a new study presented at the 2014 American Thoracic Society International Conference.

Citizen scientists map the flyways of North American birds
Flyways used by migratory birds as they travel across America have long been a topic of fascination for ornithologists.

Sunday school teachers as 'culture warriors': Lay leaders wield political clout, Baylor
Volunteer lay leaders serve as political opinion leaders within churches, with considerable power to deepen -- or bridge -- gaps between religion and politics, according to a Baylor University study.

Your high school GPA could affect your income
A team of researchers led by Michael T. French, professor of health economics at the University of Miami, finds that high school grade point average (GPA) is a strong predictor of future earnings.

Predicting which stroke patients will be helped -- or harmed -- by clot-busting treatment
Johns Hopkins researchers say they have developed a technique that can predict -- with 95 percent accuracy -- which stroke victims will benefit from intravenous, clot-busting drugs and which will suffer dangerous and potentially lethal bleeding in the brain.

An Internet-mediated exercise program improves quality of life in COPD patients
A pedometer-based walking program supported by Internet-based instruction and support can improve health-related quality of life in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to a new study presented at the 2014 American Thoracic Society International Conference.

Intake of dietary methyl donors in the first trimester affects asthma risk in children
Maternal intake of dietary methyl donors during the first trimester of pregnancy modulates the risk of developing childhood asthma at age 7, according to a new study presented at the 2014 American Thoracic Society International Conference.

Improved supercapacitors for super batteries, electric vehicles
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have developed a novel nanometer scale ruthenium oxide anchored nanocarbon graphene foam architecture that improves the performance of supercapacitors, a development that could mean faster acceleration in electric vehicles and longer battery life in portable electronics.

Analyzing sun-like stars that eat Earth-like planets
Vanderbilt astronomers have developed a model that estimates the effect that ingesting large amounts of the rocky material from which 'terrestrial' planets like Earth, Mars and Venus are made has on a star's chemical composition and has used the model to analyze a pair of twin stars which both have their own planets.

Neutron beams reveal how antibodies cluster in solution
Results from neutron spin-echo analysis at the Institut Laue-Langevin and the National Center of Neutron Research in the United States are an important advance towards enabling subcutaneous injections of concentrated biopharmaceuticals used to treat cancer and autoimmune disorders (e.g. arthritis, multiple sclerosis).

Wildfires around Lake Baikal, Russia
Temperatures in this region have skyrocketed in the past few weeks to the 70s prompting outbreaks of fires.

Engineers find way to lower risk of midair collisions for small aircraft
Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed new modifications for technology that helps pilots of small aircraft avoid midair collisions.

Global progress in preventing newborn deaths and stillbirths hindered by inadequate investment, leadership, measurement and accountability
A major new series of papers, published today in The Lancet, presents the clearest picture to date of progress and challenges in improving newborn survival around the world, and sets targets that must be achieved by 2030 in order to ensure every newborn has a healthy start.

Dyspnea increases long-term mortality risk
Individuals with dyspnea, or shortness of breath, have an increased long-term mortality risk compared with individuals without dyspnea, according to a new study presented at the 2014 American Thoracic Society International Conference.

Antarctica's ice losses on the rise
Three years of observations show that the Antarctic ice sheet is now losing 159 billion tonnes of ice each year -- twice as much as when it was last surveyed.

Sanofi Pasteur announces favorable Phase II data for investigational C. difficile vaccine
Sanofi Pasteur, the vaccines division of Sanofi, presented Phase II (H-030-012) trial results for an investigational vaccine for the prevention of Clostridium difficile infection at the 114th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

Donation spearheads annual Portland cancer research summit
Prominent cancer researchers from throughout the country will be invited to gather at Oregon Health & Science University yearly beginning in 2016 to expand upon the Knight Cancer Institute's vision for transforming cancer treatment through early detection, thanks to a $1 million gift from the Gordon Sondland and Katherine Durant Foundation.

Breastfeeding initiation and success is impacted by diabetes status of mother
Women diagnosed with diabetes before or during pregnancy are less likely to initiate and continue breastfeeding their newborns than women without diabetes, a new study suggests.

Can chemicals produced by gut microbiota affect children with autism?
Children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) have significantly different concentrations of certain bacterial-produced chemicals, called metabolites, in their feces compared to children without ASD.

AAPS announces 2014 National Biotechnology Conference award winners
At the Plenary Session of the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists 2014 National Biotechnology Conference, AAPS President Marilyn Morris, Ph.D. will present the following ground-breaking researchers with awards commemorating their contributions to the pharmaceutical biotechnology.

Taste test: Could sense of taste affect length of life?
Researchers find a link between taste and aging in fruit flies.

Better science for better fisheries management
Northeastern University researchers are studying, in the first of a series of research articles, how various types of fishing gear can impact the Northeast region's fisheries.

Scientists discover genetic basis of pest resistance to biotech cotton
A team of researchers led by the UA and US Department of Agriculture scientists have discovered how insect pests resist cotton plants engineered to kill them.

Brain steroids make good dads
Insights from a highly social fish can help understand how other androgenic steroids, like testosterone, can shape a male's parenting skills, according to a recent Georgia State University research study.

Racing the clock to help young patients with old hearts
University of Maryland biologists used induced plenipotent stem cell technology to discover a destructive cellular process in progeria, a rare genetic disorder that causes premature aging.

New book, 'Origin and Evolution of Eukaryotes,' from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
Eukaryotes -- organisms whose cells possess a nucleus and internal membranes -- first appeared on earth around two billion years ago, when one prokaryotic cell engulfed another.

Scripps Research Institute chemists discover structure of cancer drug candidate
Chemists at The Scripps Research Institute have determined the correct structure of a highly promising anticancer compound approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for clinical trials in cancer patients.

2014 Avant-Garde Awards focus on strengthening the immune system
With proposals ranging from enhancing the immune system's ability to fight HIV infection to improving long-term immune health in HIV-infected drug users, three scientists have been chosen to receive the 2014 Avant-Garde Award for HIV/AIDS Research from NIDA.

National heart organizations join to combat the global hypertension epidemic
In an effort to help manage the hypertension epidemic, leading scientists from the American Society of Hypertension, American Heart Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention convened a joint panel to discuss a global project aiming to improve the treatment and control of hypertension worldwide.

Hospital visits for irregular heart rhythms rising
Hospital visits for the irregular heartbeat known as atrial fibrillation are escalating, increasing the burden on our healthcare system.

UT Dallas study sheds light on how infants understand speech
In a study published May 10th in the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, Dr.

Making better medicines with a handful of chemical building blocks
Soon, making and improving medical drugs could be as easy for chemists as stacking blocks is for a child.

Infection Control Association honors study on CA-MRSA
The Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology will present its Award for Publication Excellence at its annual conference in Anaheim on June 7.

New figures on global newborn deaths and stillbirths reveal 5.5 million 'invisible deaths' every year
A major new series of papers, published Tuesday, May 20, in The Lancet, presents the clearest picture to date of progress and challenges in improving newborn survival around the world, and sets targets that must be achieved by 2030 in order to ensure every newborn has a healthy start.

Low risk prostate cancer not always low risk
Selection of men for active surveillance should be based not on the widely used conventional biopsy, but with a new, image-guided targeted prostate biopsy.

Poorer patients present with more advanced pulmonary hypertension
Pulmonary hypertension patients from lower socioeconomic groups present for initial evaluation at a more advanced disease state than those from higher income groups, according to a new study presented at the 2014 American Thoracic Society International Conference.

Higher health insurance cost-sharing impacts asthma care for low-income kids
Parents in low-income families were less likely to delay asthma care for their children or avoid taking their children to see a doctor is they had lower vs. higher levels of health insurance cost-sharing.

Stanford engineer invents a way to beam power to medical chips deep inside the body
Stanford researchers have invented a way to wirelessly beam power to programmable devices deep inside the body.

Frontiers launches a new open-access journal: Frontiers in Robotics and AI
Frontiers -- a community driven open-access publisher and research networking platform -- is pleased to announce the launch of a new open-access journal: Frontiers in Robotics and AI.

Higher BMI is associated with lower mortality risk in patients with severe PH
In patients with congestive heart failure, obesity and a larger waist size have paradoxically been associated with a better prognosis in the prior investigations.

Sleep and smartphones: The chemistry that keeps you awake -- video
The smartphones and tablets millions of us use every day may also keep us awake.

More activity: Less risk of gestational diabetes progressing to type 2 diabetes
Increased physical activity among women who had gestational diabetes mellitus can lower the risk of progression to type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Studies find existing and experimental drugs active against MERS-coronavirus
A series of research articles published ahead of print in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy have identified a number of existing pharmaceutical drugs and compounds under development that may offer effective therapies against Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.

Novel device successfully treats central sleep apnea in heart failure
A novel device implanted under the skin like a pacemaker successfully treats central sleep apnea in heart failure patients, according to research presented today at the Heart Failure Congress 2014, held 17-20 May in Athens, Greece.

Solution to helping teens with chronic disease may be at fingertips
Adolescents with chronic diseases (ACD), such as cystic fibrosis, gastrointestinal disorders (including Crohn's disease) and Type 1 diabetes, often find the transition of managing their health care needs into adulthood to be challenging.

Different types of El Nino have different effects on global temperature
The El Niño-Southern Oscillation is known to influence global surface temperatures, with El Niño conditions leading to warmer temperatures and La Niña conditions leading to colder temperatures.

Having and raising offspring is costly phase of life for baboon moms
Observations made in Kenya as part of one of the world's longest-running studies of a wild primate show how having offspring influences the health of female baboons.

Report finds site of mega-development project in Mexico is a biodiversity hotspot
Cabo Pulmo is a close-knit community in Baja California Sur, Mexico, and the best preserved coral reef in the Gulf of California.

Action plan will provide blueprint for progress, but preventable newborn deaths will be eliminated only with political commitment
A major new Series of papers, published Tuesday, May 20, in The Lancet, presents the clearest picture to date of progress and challenges in improving newborn survival around the world, and sets targets that must be achieved by 2030 in order to ensure every newborn has a healthy start.

Chronic insufficient sleep increases obesity, overall body fat in children
One of the most comprehensive studies of the potential link between reduced sleep and childhood obesity finds compelling evidence that children who consistently received less than the recommended hours of sleep during infancy and early childhood had increases in both obesity and in adiposity or overall body fat at age 7.

Weight bias plagues US elections
Overweight political candidates tend to receive fewer votes than their thinner opponents, finds a new study co-authored by a Michigan State University weight bias expert.

IN-TIME shows equal benefit of home telemonitoring in ICD and CRT-D patients
Home telemonitoring is equally effective in ICD and CRT-D patients, a subanalysis of the IN-TIME trial has shown.

Research finds few seizing patients receive EEGs in emergency department
Even though it could impact their admission or care in the hospital, few seizing patients receive a diagnostic electroencephalogram, or EEG, in the emergency department, says a new study by University of Cincinnati researchers.

PTSD symptoms common after an ICU stay
Patients who have survived a stay in the intensive care unit (ICU) have a greatly increased risk of developing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to a new study presented at the 2014 American Thoracic Society International Conference.

Scientists develop new approach for sampling gut bacteria
Scientists at Forsyth, Massachusetts General Hospital and the Harvard School of Public Health have developed a new protocol for collecting saliva and stool samples for genomic and transcriptomic analyses.

Liberating devices from their power cords
A new type of supercapacitor that can hold a charge when it takes a lickin' has been developed by engineers at Vanderbilt University.

Robot-assisted prostate cancer surgery as safe but more expensive as open surgery in older men
Minimally invasive robot-assisted surgery, which has become the main choice for surgically removing cancerous prostate glands during recent years, is as safe as open surgery for Medicare patients over age 65.

Favoritism, not hostility, causes most discrimination, says UW psychology professor
Most discrimination in the US is not caused by intention to harm people different from us, but by ordinary favoritism directed at helping people similar to us, according to a theoretical review published online in American Psychologist.

Gastroenterology highlights new microbiome research
The editors of Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association Institute, are pleased to announce the publication of this year's highly anticipated special 13th issue on the intestinal microbiome, which is considered one of the hottest areas of science today.

Study shows dementia patients benefit from holistic exercise program
While dementia patients can often suffer from depression and declining physical and mental ability, exercise has been shown to help improve both their physical and psychological wellbeing.

The next 'Big One' for the Bay Area may be a cluster of major quakes
A cluster of closely timed earthquakes over 100 years in the 17th and 18th centuries released as much accumulated stress on San Francisco Bay Area's major faults as the Great 1906 San Francisco earthquake, suggesting two possible scenarios for the next 'Big One' for the region, according to new research published by the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America.
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