Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 20, 2014
Elevated blood eosinophil levels are a risk factor for asthma exacerbations
In adults with persistent asthma, elevated blood eosinophil levels may be able to predict which individuals are at increased risk for exacerbations, according to a new study presented at the 2014 American Thoracic Society International Conference.

Experiments using virulent avian flu strains pose risk of accidental release
Experiments creating dangerous flu strains that are transmissible between mammals pose too great a risk to human life from potential release, according to an editorial by researchers from Harvard School of Public Health and Yale School of Public Health.

Lifestyle interventions are better than genetic tests for preventing type 2 diabetes
Targeted interventions based on genetic risk may not be the best approach for preventing type 2 diabetes and instead universal strategies to prevent obesity should be prioritized, according to new research published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

CWRU student discovers new praying mantis species in Rwanda
A Case Western Reserve University student working with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History discovered the bush tiger mantis, a new species, in Nyungwe Forest National Park, Rwanda.

Chest pain reports down among older Americans and whites, but not blacks
The percentage of people reporting chest pain dropped in the last two decades among Americans 65 and older and whites 40 and older, but not among blacks.

Cognitive test can differentiate between Alzheimer's and normal aging
Researchers have developed a new cognitive test that can better determine whether memory impairments are due to very mild Alzheimer's disease or the normal aging process.

The Lancet: Biggest public health challenge at London 2012 Olympics was reassuring politicians and the media that there were no health threats
In this review, researchers led by Dr. Brian McCloskey, who coordinated the Health Protection Agency's seven year preparations for the London 2012 Olympic Games, report that although no major public health incidents arose during the Games, the biggest challenge was reassuring the organizing committee, government, media, and the public that there were no health-protection concerns.

Genomic tumor testing to match lung cancer patients with targeted drugs transforms care
New data from a study led by Memorial Sloan Kettering physicians that used targeted therapy for patients with the most common type of lung cancer has helped transform treatment for the disease.

School-based interventions could benefit children from military families
Nearly two million children in the United States have experienced a parent's military deployment.

Research explains action of drug that may slow aging and related disease
A proven approach to slow the aging process is dietary restriction, but new research helps explain the action of a drug that appears to mimic that process -- rapamycin.

Stem cells as a future source for eco-friendly meat
The scientific progress that has made it possible to dream of a future in which faulty organs could be regrown from stem cells also holds potential as an ethical and greener source for meat.

Immigration at a young age may increase risk for later alcohol and drug problems
Hispanic immigrants have lower rates of alcohol- and drug-related problems than their US-born counterparts.

First widespread look at evolution of venomous centipedes
Venomous creatures usually conjure up images of hissing snakes or stinging scorpions -- but for scientists Bryan Fry, et. al., an overlooked group -- centipedes -- are all the rage.

The added value of local food hubs
As the largest purchaser of wholesale produce in Santa Barbara County, UC Santa Barbara's residential dining services provided the perfect avenue for a pilot project incorporating local pesticide-free or certified organic produce into an institutional setting.

'Supermodel' mouse reveals mechanisms that regulate metabolism, researchers find
A lean 'Supermodel' mouse type has revealed the potentially critical role played by a largely unknown gene that regulates metabolism, findings that could provide new insight into diseases ranging from diabetes to obesity.

Scientists seek answers with space station thyroid cancer study
Researchers recently made use of the microgravity environment aboard the space station for the Microgravity on Human Thyroid Carcinoma Cells study, with the hope to reveal answers that will help in the fight against thyroid cancer.

Study compares newer and older antipsychotic medications for schizophrenia
Among adults with schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder, treatment with the newer, more costly antipsychotic paliperidone palmitate, compared with the older antipsychotic haloperidol decanoate, found no significant difference on a measure of effectiveness, according to a study in the May 21 issue of JAMA.

Can dogs help kids lose weight?
The fight against childhood obesity may have new allies: pets and veterinarians.

Public interest in climate change unshaken by scandal, but unstirred by science
Princeton University and University of Oxford researchers found that negative media reports seem to have only a passing effect on public opinion, but that positive stories don't appear to possess much staying power, either.

Pine bark substance could be potent melanoma drug
A substance that comes from pine bark is a potential source for a new treatment of melanoma, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

Increased risk of birth asphyxia in babies born to overweight and obese women
The risk of experiencing an oxygen deficit at birth (birth asphyxia) increases for babies born to women who are overweight or obese, according to a study by Swedish and US researchers published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Busting rust with light: New technique safely penetrates top coat for perfect paint job
To keep your new car looking sleek and shiny for years, factories need to make certain that the coats of paint on it are applied properly.

Research identifies genetic alterations in lung cancers that help select treatment
Multiplexed testing of lung cancer tumors identified genetic alterations that were helpful in selecting targeted treatments.

Eric Mazur selected to receive Minerva Prize for Advancements in Higher Education
The Minerva Academy today announced Eric Mazur as the first winner of the Minerva Prize for Advancements in Higher Education.

UofL researcher and team explore broader definition of successful aging
In an article published today in Journal of Transcultural Nursing, University of Louisville School of Nursing assistant professor Valerie Lander McCarthy, Ph.D., RN, and her team explore whether a broader definition of successful aging could positively influence research, clinical practice and health policy in the United States and China.

Fossils prove useful in analyzing million year old cyclical phenomena
Research conducted at the University of Granada has shown that the cyclical phenomena that affect the environment, like climate change, in the atmosphere-ocean dynamic and, even, disturbances to planetary orbits, have existed since hundreds of millions of year ago and can be studied by analysing fossils.

Parents of overweight kids more likely to give schools failing grades for fighting obesity
Parents more likely to give schools a D or F when it comes to nutrition and physical education, says U-M National Poll on Children's Health.

Simulated learning in medical education improves patient care and outcomes
The use of simulation techniques in medical education, such as lifelike mannequins and computer systems, results in improved patient care, better outcomes and other benefits, according to a study led by a Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine researcher.

National survey on long-term care: Expectations and reality
The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research has released the results of a major survey on long-term care in the United States.

Particles near absolute zero do not break the laws of physics after all
In theory, the laws of physics are absolute. However, when it comes to the laws of thermodynamics there are times where they no longer seem to apply.

Study shows how streptococcal bacteria can be used to fight colon cancer
Researchers at Western University have shown how the bacteria primarily responsible for causing strep throat can be used to fight colon cancer.

Students swayed by 'relaxing, fun' image of hookah smoking ignore health harms
Educational campaigns meant to dissuade college students from initiating hookah tobacco smoking may be more successful if they combat positive perceptions of hookah use as attractive and romantic, rather than focusing solely on the harmful components of hookah tobacco smoke, a new University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine study found.

Improved computer simulations enable better calculation of interfacial tension
Researchers from Mainz University identify novel mechanisms of logarithmic finite-size corrections relevant to the determination of interfacial tension.

Testing a paleo diet hypothesis in the test tube
By comparing how gut microbes from human vegetarians and grass-grazing baboons digest different diets, researchers have shown that ancestral human diets, so called 'paleo' diets, did not necessarily result in better appetite suppression.

Physical therapy for hip osteoarthritis does not provide greater improvement for pain
Among adults with painful hip osteoarthritis, physical therapy did not result in greater improvement in pain or function compared with a placebo treatment, but was associated with relatively frequent but mild adverse effects, raising questions about its value for these patients, according to a study in the May 21 issue of JAMA.

Update for Skunk Fire, Arizona
The Skunk Fire which began as a lightning strike on Saturday, April 19, is currently 31,167 acres large including fire growth and back burns.

Little exercise and heavy use of electronic media constitute a significant health risk for children
The Physical Activity and Nutrition in Children Study, PANIC, carried out by the Institute of Biomedicine at the University of Eastern Finland shows that low levels of physical activity combined with heavy use of electronic media and sedentary behavior are linked to an increased risk for type 2 diabetes and vascular diseases already in 6- to 8-year-old children.

The first termite genome fills a gap in social inset genomics
Like ants and honey bee, termites are also eusocial insects.

Researchers sequence genome of primitive termite
The findings on the genetic blueprint of the dampwood termite, one of the world's most primitive social insects, highlight key differences and similarities with other social insects like ants, wasps and bees, and provide insight into how social insects evolved.

Sleep apnea tied to hearing loss in large study
Both high and low frequency hearing impairment have been linked with sleep apnea in a new study of nearly 14,000 individuals.

Fairy circles apparently not created by termites after all
For several decades scientists have been trying to come up with an explanation for the formation of the enigmatic, vegetation-free circles frequently found in certain African grassland regions.

Shale development generally helps local government coffers
Oil and gas development from shale fields has generally helped the public finances of local communities, providing new revenues and resources that usually -- but not always -- outweigh the increased demand for public services and other costs, according to a new analysis from two Duke University researchers.

Bacteria can linger on airplane surfaces for days
Disease-causing bacteria can linger on surfaces commonly found in airplane cabins for days, even up to a week, according to research presented at the annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.

New lithium battery created in Japan
A team of researchers has created a new type of lithium ion conductor for future batteries that could be the basis for a whole new generation of solid-state batteries.

Executive function deficits can lead to attentional impairments during alcohol dependence
A new study looks at three brain attentional networks -- alerting, orienting, and executive control -- among alcohol-dependent (AD) individuals.

Central Valley sees big drop in wintertime fog needed for fruit and nut crops
California's winter tule fog has declined dramatically over the past three decades, raising a red flag for the state's multibillion dollar agricultural industry, according to UC Berkeley researchers.

Nine young scientists awarded by the Genetics Society of America for fruit fly research
The Genetics Society of America and the Drosophila research community are pleased to announce the winners of GSA Poster Awards at the 55th Annual Drosophila Research Conference.

Boosting immune process with IFN-γ helps clear lethal bacteria in cystic fibrosis
Boosting a key immune process called autophagy with interferon gamma -- IFN-γ -- could help clear a lethal bacterial infection in cystic fibrosis, a new study suggests.

New study on mobile phones and children's cognitive development
A new study launching today will investigate whether the use of mobile phones and other wireless technologies might affect children's cognitive development.

Unlocking the potential of bacterial gene clusters to discover new antibiotics
A method for activating biosynthetic silent gene clusters could aid in the discovery of new antibiotics.

The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology: Adults who lose weight at any age could enjoy improved cardiovascular health
Weight loss at any age in adulthood is worthwhile because it could yield long-term heart and vascular benefits, suggests new research published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

Is there really cash in your company's trash?
One company's trash can be another's treasure.

Exercise could be key to maintaining metabolically healthy obesity
Exercise may be the best way for obese women to keep heart disease and related metabolic problems at bay, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

With climate changing, southern plants outperform northern
Can plants and animals evolve to keep pace with climate change?

Researcher aids understanding of collective excitations in MoS2
The large direct band gap in a monolayer of MoS2 leads to the appearance of the interband dipolar mode which couples to the intraband plasmon.

Compound reverses symptoms of Alzheimer's disease in mice, SLU research shows
Research in an animal model at Saint Louis University supports the potential therapeutic value of an antisense compound to treat Alzheimer's disease.

Stroke recovery should include exercise prescription
Exercise should be prescribed for stroke survivors. Exercise prescriptions could significantly reduce disability and the risk of recurrent stroke in survivors who also may face other barriers such as fatigue and depression.

Game changer: Patients of doctors who played online game had better control of blood pressure
Primary care providers who engaged in an online game to solve clinical cases about hypertension management improved blood pressure control of their patients in a shorter amount of time compared to non-gamers, according to a new study by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital and the Veterans Affairs Boston Healthcare System.

Key genetic link between chronic pain conditions like IBS discovered
Researchers at King's College London have discovered a link between four common chronic pain syndromes, suggesting that some people may be genetically predisposed to suffer from conditions of this type.

Vitamin E in canola and other oils hurts lungs
A large new study upends our understanding of vitamin E and ties increasing consumption of supposedly healthy, vitamin E-rich oils -- canola, soybean and corn -- to the rising incidence of lung inflammation and, possibly, asthma.

A quicker way to determine who's faking it on the Internet
Researchers at the University of Montreal have developed an improved chemical analysis method that is more efficient and faster in detecting counterfeit medicines, which have skyrocketed in recent years.

PCR Innovation Day promotes interaction between stakeholders in cardiovascular innovation
The first PCR Innovation Day focused on facilitating a constructive interaction between the key stakeholders -- physicians, inventors, entrepreneurs, investors, start-ups, MedTech incubators, regulatory organisations and larger companies -- in the ecosystem of European cardiovascular innovation.

Engineers build world's smallest, fastest nanomotor
Cockrell School of Engineering assistant professor Donglei 'Emma' Fan and her team have built the fastest, smallest and longest-running nanomotor to date.

Detroit Lions help rebuild city with innovative gridiron giving, U-M researchers say
The Detroit Lions' new model of philanthropy and community engagement may prove to be a touchdown for the city of Detroit.

How movies may make you drink more
Alcohol use is often portrayed positively or even glamorized in movies.

Scientists study biomechanics behind amazing ant strength
A recent study into the biomechanics of the necks of ants -- a common insect that can amazingly lift objects many times heavier than its own body -- might unlock one of nature's little mysteries and, quite possibly, open the door to advancements in robotic engineering.

Hedonistic motives may drive people to drink alcohol + energy drinks
Mixing alcohol with energy drinks (A+ED) continues to grow in popularity.

Flu vaccines in schools limited by insurer reimbursement
School-based influenza vaccine programs have the potential to reach many children at affordable costs and with parental support, but these programs are limited by low rates of reimbursement from third-party payers, according to recently published study results by researchers from the University of Colorado School of Medicine.

A full serving of protein at each meal needed for maximum muscle health
Most Americans eat a diet that consists of little to no protein for breakfast, a bit of protein at lunch and an overabundance of protein at dinner.

Microbes from 1,500-year-old feces support archeological theories
By evaluating the bacteria and fungi found in fossilized feces, microbiologists are providing evidence to help support archeologists' hypotheses regarding cultures living in the Caribbean over 1,500 years ago.

Termite genome lays roadmap for 'greener' control measures
A team of international researchers has sequenced the genome of the Nevada dampwood termite, providing an inside look into the biology of the social insect and uncovering new genetic targets for pest control.

DFG establishes 13 new research training groups
German Research Foundation is establishing 13 new Research Training Groups (RTGs) to further support early career researchers in Germany.

First Nations people less likely to receive coronary angiography after heart attack
First Nations people are less likely to receive guideline-recommended angiography after a heart attack compared with non-First Nations people and have poorer long-term survival rates, according to new research published in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Women repeatedly short-changed in case of premature ejaculation
Around a third of all men suffer from premature ejaculation.

The Lancet: Boosting pilgrims' safety with the latest electronic disease surveillance at the Hajj
In this review, professor Ziad Memish, Deputy Minister of Health for Public Health in Saudi Arabia and colleagues outline the latest real-time disease surveillance system that was recently piloted to successfully monitor and assess public health risks among the five million pilgrims from 184 countries during the Hajj 2012 and Hajj 2013.

Can mobile phones cause allergic reactions?
Despite efforts to control allergen release in phones, many phones on the market release levels of metals, such as nickel and chromium, which are sufficient to induce allergic contact dermatitis.

Physical activity can protect overweight women from risk for heart disease
For otherwise healthy middle-aged women who are overweight or obese, physical activity may be their best option for avoiding heart disease, according to a study that followed nearly 900 women for seven years.

NIH researchers discover key factor in early auditory system development
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have uncovered a molecule in an animal model that acts as a key player in establishing the organization of the auditory system.

High cholesterol may delay pregnancy
Couples may take longer to conceive a child when one or both partners has high cholesterol, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Bottom trawling causes deep-sea biological desertification
A study led by scientists from the Polytechnic University of Marche -- Ancona, Italy -- involving researchers from the Institute of Marine Sciences and the Autonomous University of Barcelona, has determined that fishing trawling causes intensive, long-term biological desertification of the sedimentary seabed ecosystems, diminishing their content in organic carbon and threatening their biodiversity.

Water caged in buckyballs
A research team describes how water molecules 'caged' in fullerene spheres ('buckyballs') are providing a deeper insight into spin isomers -- varieties of a molecule that differ in their nuclear spin.

Harvard Medical School/Mass. Eye and Ear faculty members to receive ARVO's highest honors
Two prominent faculty members of the Harvard Medical School Department of Ophthalmology and Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Schepens Eye Research Institute were selected to receive prestigious 2015 achievement awards from The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

Climate change brings mostly bad news for Ohio
Scientists delivered a mostly negative forecast for how climate change will affect Ohioans during the next year or so, and well beyond.

Cigarette smoking and male sex are risk factors for ocular sarcoidosis
Cigarette smoking and male sex are significant risk factors for developing ocular sarcoidosis, according to a new study presented at the 2014 American Thoracic Society International Conference.

Sleep apnea-stroke connection just as high in women as in men
The link between stroke and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has been established by several clinical studies in recent years, with the most significant risks attributed to male patients.

New analysis method uncovers factors in vehicle burglary rates
UT Dallas researcher Yongwan Chun refined a mathematical model technique in examining vehicle thefts in Plano, Texas.

NIH study links high cholesterol levels to lower fertility
High cholesterol levels may impair fertility in couples trying to achieve a pregnancy, according to a study by researchers at the National Institutes of Health, the University at Buffalo, and Emory University in Atlanta.

Professor gets $2.5 million MERIT award to study how body breaks down fat
Dr. Timothy J. Bartness, a Regents' Professor of Biology and director of the Center for Obesity Reversal at Georgia State University, has received a five-year, $2.5 million renewal of the MERIT Award from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases to study lipolysis, the breakdown of body fat, and thermogenesis, or heat production, from specialized fat cells.

Prolaris test predicts mortality risk in prostate cancer biopsy study
Data presented at AUA 2014 show the Prolaris test accurately predicted mortality risk from prostate cancer within 10 years in patients diagnosed with needle biopsy.

Professors' super waterproof surfaces cause water to bounce like a ball
Engineers like Julie Crockett and Dan Maynes have spent decades studying super-hydrophobic surfaces because of the plethora of real-life applications.

Cost-saving, coordinated brain care model for older adults attracting nationwide interest
The Center for Health Innovation & Implementation Science's population health management program is working to redesign care of older adults with goal of health improvement at lower cost.

Online game helps doctors improve patients' blood pressure faster
Patients whose doctors and nurses received high blood pressure education in a competitive online game reached their blood pressure goals sooner.

More than two-thirds of healthy Americans are infected with human papilloma viruses
In what is believed to be the largest and most detailed genetic analysis of its kind, researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center and elsewhere have concluded that 69 percent of healthy American adults are infected with one or more of 109 strains of human papillomavirus.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences joins SocialCite pilot
STRIATUS/JBJS Inc., which offers the new qualitative citation measurement product SocialCite, is proud to announce that the National Academy of Sciences, with their journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has joined the publishers participating in the pilot phase of SocialCite, which runs through 2014.

Reading privacy policy lowers trust
Website privacy policies are almost obligatory for many online services, but for anyone who reads these often unwieldy documents, trust in the provider is more commonly reduced than gained, according to US researchers.

Shrub growth decreases as winter temperatures fluctuate up
Many have assumed that warmer winters as a result of climate change would increase the growth of trees and shrubs because the growing season would be longer.

Program to reduce behavior problems boosts math, reading, NYU Steinhardt study shows
A program aimed at reducing behavior problems in order to boost academic achievement has improved performance in math and reading among low-income kindergartners and first graders, according to a study by researchers at New York University's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

Groundbreaking vaccine research unveiled at AAPS National Biotechnology Conference
Innovative vaccine research will be unveiled at the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists' National Biotechnology Conference.

The Lancet: Lessons learned from the management of Euro 2012 could help build health legacies for future sporting events
In this review, Dr. Catherine Smallwood and Dr. Maurizio Barbeschi of WHO, Geneva, Switzerland and colleagues outline the ways in which organizers of future sporting mass gatherings can, and should, learn from the management of the safety and well-being of more than eight million people at the Euro 2012 Football Championships in Poland and Ukraine.

Scots kids among world's least active, global health report card reveals
Video game-obsessed Scots children are among the least active in the world, research involving a University of Strathclyde academic has suggested.

Humpback whale subspecies revealed by genetic study
A new genetic study has revealed that populations of humpback whales in the oceans of the North Pacific, North Atlantic and Southern Hemisphere are much more distinct from each other than previously thought, and should be recognized as separate subspecies.

Tiny bush tiger from Rwanda: A new species of praying mantis
Scientists describe a new species of praying mantis, Dystacta tigrifrutex, or the bush tiger mantis from Rwanda's mountainous Nyungwe National Park.

New analysis eliminates a potential speed bump in quantum computing
A quantum particle can search for an item in an unsorted 'database' by jumping from one item to another in superposition, and it does so faster than a classical computer ever could, assuming that the particle can directly hop from any item to any other, in a structure with global symmetry.

A high-efficiency aerothermoelastic analysis method
Because of the high flight speed of hypersonic aircraft, aerodynamic heating would clearly affect the structural stiffness, which would result in complex aerothermoelastic problems.

Reducing resident hours may have unintended negative effects
Reducing medical resident duty hours may have unforeseen consequences; changes must be made carefully and evaluated rigorously to ensure patient safety and resident well-being, according to an analysis published in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Success of work team key in defining photonics career success, finds SPIE survey
Optics and photonics workers in government and military institutions, academia, and for-profits agree that the success of a team rates high among factors defining career success.

NIDA offers tools for talking to teens about marijuana
Two updated booklets about marijuana for teens and their parents will help families sort out marijuana myths from science-based facts.

Penn team identifies promising new target for gum disease treatment
University of Pennsylvania researchers have been searching for ways to prevent, half and reverse periodontitis.

E-cigarette use for quitting smoking is associated with improved success rates
People attempting to quit smoking without professional help are approximately 60 percent more likely to report succeeding if they use e-cigarettes than if they use willpower alone or over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapies such as patches or gum, finds a large UCL survey of smokers in England.

Reducing residents' work hours may have unintended consequences
Medical residents in Canada may work longer hours per shift and per week than their counterparts in Europe, Australia and New Zealand but there is conflicting evidence whether shorter shifts improve patient safety, a new study has found.

Antibiotics continue to be prescribed at high rate for bronchitis, contrary to guidelines
Despite clear evidence of ineffectiveness, guidelines and more than 15 years of educational efforts stating that the antibiotic prescribing rate for acute bronchitis should be zero, the rate was about 70 percent from 1996-2010 and increased during this time period, according to a study in the May 21 issue of JAMA.

Capillary device significantly improves manufacture of quality liposomes
Widespread application for the manufactured vesicles known as liposomes has been hindered by limiting factors such as size inconsistency, structural instability and high production costs.

Planting the 'SEEDS' of solar technology in the home
In an effort to better understand what persuades people to buy photovoltaic systems for their homes, researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have gathered data on consumer motivations that can feed sophisticated computer models and thus lead to greater use of solar energy.

Screen of existing drugs finds compounds active against MERS coronavirus
Clinicians treating patients suffering from Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) currently have no drugs specifically targeted to the MERS coronavirus (MERS-CoV), a virus first detected in humans in 2012.

Study links increasing severity of heart failure with increased risk of developing diabetes
New research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes) shows that increasing severity of heart failure is associated with an increased risk of developing diabetes.

Researchers discover new potential antibody treatment for asthma
The study found that giving a mild allergic asthma patient an antibody, which blocks a specific protein in the lungs, markedly improved asthmatic symptoms such as wheezing, breathlessness, chest tightness and cough after the allergic asthmatics had inhaled an environmental allergen.

Receptive to music
Pregnant women respond to music with stronger physiological changes in blood pressure.
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