Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 27, 2014
A new 'Kabuto-like' nickel catalyst forms bioactive frameworks from phenol derivatives
Researchers at ITbM, Nagoya University developed a new nickel catalyst with a 'Kabuto-like' structure that was found to catalyze the cross-coupling reaction between carbonyl compounds and readily available phenol derivatives, to form alpha-arylketones, which are found in many biologically active compounds (Kabuto = a helmet worn by Japanese samurai).

Seeing e-cigarette use encourages young adult tobacco users to light up
Seeing people use electronic cigarettes increases the urge to smoke among regular combustible cigarettes users, according to a new study of young adult smokers.

School scheme unable to boost healthy eating and activity among kids
A school-based scheme to encourage children to eat healthily and be active has had little effect, conclude researchers in a study published on bmj.com today.

Maintaining mobility in older adults can be as easy as a walk in the park
With just a daily 20-minute walk, older adults can help stave off major disability and enhance the quality of their later years, according to results of the Lifestyle Interventions and Independence for Elders Study, conducted by researchers at Yale School of Medicine in collaboration with seven other institutions around the country.

What what role does MSG play in obesity and fatty liver disease?
A new study that identifies MSG as a critical factor in the initiation of obesity and shows that a restrictive diet cannot counteract this effect but can slow the progression of related liver disease is published in Journal of Medicinal Food, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers.

Moderate-intensity physical activity program for older adults reduces mobility problems
Among older adults at risk of disability, participation in a structured moderate-intensity physical activity program, compared with a health education intervention, significantly reduced the risk of major mobility disability (defined in this trial as loss of ability to walk 400 meters, or about a quarter mile), according to a study published by JAMA.

Rice researcher rebooting 'deep brain stimulation'
Deep brain stimulators, devices that zap Parkinson's disease tremors by sending electrical current deep into nerve centers near the brain stem, may sound cutting-edge, but Rice University's Caleb Kemere wants to give them a high-tech overhaul.

Keeping active pays off even in your 70s and 80s
Older people who undertake at least 25 minutes of moderate or vigorous exercise everyday need fewer prescriptions and are less likely to be admitted to hospital in an emergency, new research has revealed.

New epilepsy treatment offers 'on demand' seizure suppression
A new treatment for drug-resistant epilepsy with the potential to suppress seizures 'on demand' with a pill, similar to how you might take painkillers when you feel a headache coming on, has been developed by UCL researchers funded by the Wellcome Trust.

Butterfly 'eyespots' add detail to the story of evolution
A new study of the colorful 'eyespots' on the wings of some butterfly species is helping to address fundamental questions about evolution that are conceptually similar to the quandary Aristotle wrestled with about 330 B.C.

Large numbers of shadow economy entrepreneurs in developing countries, according to new report
There are large numbers of entrepreneurs in developing countries who aren't registering their businesses with official authorities, hampering economic growth, according to new research.

Quantity, not quality: Risk of sudden cardiac death tied to protein overproduction
A genetic variant linked to sudden cardiac death leads to protein overproduction in heart cells, Johns Hopkins scientists report.

X-ray dark-field radiography provides detailed imaging of lung diseases
Scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München working in cooperation with the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Hospital and the Technischen Universität München tested for the first time X-ray dark-field radiography on a living organism for the diagnosis of lung disease.

Large Hadron Collider Physics Conference in New York City, June 2-7
Hundreds of physicists from around the world will gather in New York City June 2-7 to discuss the origin of mass, supersymmetry, and other mysteries of matter and the universe at the second annual Large Hadron Collider Physics Conference.

Google Glass adaptation opens the universe to deaf students
A group of deaf university students and their professor developed a system to display video narrating planetarium shows onto glasses worn by deaf students.

Dealing with stress -- to cope or to quit?
We all deal with stress differently. For many of us, stress is a great motivator, but for others, stress triggers depression.

Attack is not always the best defense
For many inflammatory diseases as asthma, rheumatism, arteriosclerosis and cancer there are only few effective therapies.

Investigating the pleasure centers of the brain: How reward signals are transmitted
Research presented today by Jonathan Britt, McGill University, helps to better understand how reward signals, such as those produced by addictive drugs, travel through the brain and modify brain circuits.

Chest CT helps predict cardiovascular disease risk
Incidental chest computed tomography findings can help identify individuals at risk for future heart attacks and other cardiovascular events, according to a new study.

Spontaneous thoughts are perceived to reveal meaningful self-insight
A research team from Carnegie Mellon University and Harvard Business School set out to determine how people perceive their own spontaneous thoughts and if those thoughts or intuitions have any influence over judgment.

Where have all the craters gone?
Impact craters reveal one of the most spectacular geologic process known to man.

A habitable environment on Martian volcano?
A study by Brown University geologists suggests that the Martian volcano Arsia Mons may have been home to one of the most recent habitable environments yet found on the Red Planet.

New tick-borne disease threatens primarily immune suppressed persons
A newly discovered tick-borne bacterium known as 'Candidatus Neoehrlichia mikurensis' has been implicated in six cases of disease in Sweden.

Citizens help researchers to challenge scientific theory
Science crowdsourcing was used to disprove a widely held theory that 'supertasters' owe their special sensitivity to bitter tastes to an usually high density of taste buds on their tongue, according to a study published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Integrative Neuroscience.

People attribute free will to mind, not soul
A new study tested whether people believe free will arises from a metaphysical basis or mental capacity.

Differences in phenolic makeup of indigenous rose species and modern cultivars
Researchers determined leaf and petal phenolic profiles of four rose species traditionally used for medicinal purposes and three modern rose cultivars.

Study identifies risk of chemotherapy related hospitalization for eary-stage breast cancer patients
Oncologists now have a new understanding of the toxicity levels of specific chemotherapy regimens used for women with early stage breast cancer, according to research from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Scientists develop new hybrid energy transfer system
Scientists from the University of Southampton, in collaboration with the Universities of Sheffield and Crete, have developed a new hybrid energy transfer system, which mimics the processes responsible for photosynthesis.

Steroids prescribed in the ICU linked to delirium
New Johns Hopkins research suggests that critically ill patients receiving steroids in a hospital's intensive care unit (ICU) are significantly more likely to develop delirium.

New jigsaw piece for the repair of DNA crosslinks
DNA damage repair is highly complex. UZH researchers have now discovered another piece in the puzzle for the removal of extremely dangerous DNA lesions.

HIV can cut and paste in the human genome
Aarhus University has developed a technology that uses the HIV virus as a tool in the fight against hereditary diseases -- and in the long term, against HIV infection as well.

New venture aims to heal disrupted brain circuitry to treat mental illnesses
Scientists and physicians at UC San Francisco are leading a $26 million, multi-institutional research program in which they will employ advanced technology to characterize human brain networks and better understand and treat a range of common, debilitating psychiatric disorders.

May 27 update on Slide Fire, Arizona
The winds have shifted and the Slide Fire smoke that once hung heavy and gray over Flagstaff is now covering the city of Sedona in Arizona.

Researchers identify a new suppressor of breast metastasis to the lung
The research headed by Roger Gomis at IRB Barcelona, with the collaboration of Joan Massagué, describes that the loss of the suppressor RARRES3 promotes the colonization of breast cancer cells in the lung.

Recovery from sports-related concussion slower than believed
Scientists at the Sahlgrenska Academy have shown that analysis of the cerebrospinal fluid after concussion can be used to determine the magnitude of brain injury and to follow its course.

More access to health care may lead to unnecessary mammograms
Researchers have concluded that providing better access to health care may lead to the overuse of mammograms for women who regularly see a primary care physician and who have a limited life expectancy.

Migrating stem cells possible new focus for stroke treatment
Two years ago, a new type of stem cell was discovered in the brain that has the capacity to form new cells.

UCI researchers identify new functional roles on cell surfaces for estrogen
A discovery by UC Irvine endocrinologists about the importance of cell surface receptors for estrogen has the potential to change how researchers view the hormone's role in normal organ development and function.

Prehistoric birds lacked in diversity
Birds come in astounding variety -- from hummingbirds to emus -- and behave in myriad ways: they soar the skies, swim the waters, and forage the forests.

Should sugary drinks carry a health warning?
In a personal view published on bmj.com today, a professor of public health at a leading university thinks there should be health warning labels on sugary drinks.

Vanderbilt study finds women referred for bladder cancer less often than men
Women with blood in their urine were less than half as likely as men with the same issue to be referred to a urologist for further tests, according to a new Vanderbilt University study.

Smaller accelerators for particle physics?
It took every inch of the Large Hadron Collider's 17-mile length to accelerate particles to energies high enough to discover the Higgs boson.

FDA approves many drugs that predictably increase heart and stroke risk
The agency charged to protect patients from dangerous drug side effects needs to be more vigilant when it comes to medications that affect blood pressure.

New University of Colorado study illuminates how cancer-killing gene may actually work
Scientists armed with a supercomputer and a vast trove of newly collected data on the body's most potent

Cancer, bioelectrical signals and the microbiome connected
Bioelectrical signals from distant cells control the incidence of tumors arising from cancer-causing genes in tadpoles, and this process is impacted by levels of a common fatty acid produced by bacteria in the tadpole and also in humans.

Heavily decorated classrooms disrupt attention and learning in young children
Maps, number lines, shapes, artwork and other materials tend to cover elementary classroom walls.

Membrane Society conference highlights new materials, applications
More than 400 people are registered for the 24th annual meeting of the North American Membrane Society, set for May 31-June 4 in a Houston suburb.

Cod bones reveal 13th century origin of global fish trade
London's international fish trade can be traced back 800 years to the medieval period, according to new research published today in the journal Antiquity.

Agricultural fires light up central Africa
It is currently the dry season in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image on May 24, 2014.

Study proves physical activity helps maintain mobility in older adults
It's something we've all heard for years: exercise can help keep older adults healthy.

Miriam Hospital receives 8th consecutive award for quality care
The Miriam Hospital has received the Get With The Guidelines®-Stroke Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award for using American Heart Association/American Stroke Association quality improvement measures when treating stroke patients.

Just look, but don't touch: EMA terms of use for clinical study data are impracticable
The terms of use of the planned interface for clinical study data of the European Medicines Agency prohibit any data storage or processing; this makes analyses impossible.

Health issues, relationship changes trigger economic spirals for low-income rural families
When it comes to the factors that can send low-income rural families into a downward spiral, health issues and relationship changes appear to be major trigger events.

UH awarded $2 million for new engineering professor
Cancer imaging expert David Mayerich will join the University of Houston's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering this fall.

Barriers to HIV testing in older children
Concerns about guardianship and privacy can discourage clinics from testing children for HIV, according to new research from Zimbabwe published this week in PLOS Medicine.

Scientists map the worst times of day for people allergic to grass pollen
The grass pollen season is not just one seven to nine week period of agony for people allergic to grass pollen.

Africa's longest-known terrestrial wildlife migration discovered
Researchers have documented the longest-known terrestrial migration of wildlife in Africa -- up to several thousand zebra covering a distance of 500km -- according to World Wildlife Fund.

The secret cargo of mosquitoes
Most recent research data from the Vetmeduni Vienna have shown, for the first time that the parasite Dirofilaria repens has been imported to Austria and established here.

Clinical trial reaffirms diet beverages play positive role in weight loss
A groundbreaking new study published today in Obesity, the journal of The Obesity Society, confirms definitively that drinking diet beverages helps people lose weight.

Disturbance in blood flow leads to epigenetic changes and atherosclerosis
Disturbed patterns of blood flow induce lasting epigenetic changes to genes in the cells that line blood vessels, and those changes contribute to atherosclerosis, researchers have found.

Learning early in life may help keep brain cells alive
Using your brain -- particularly during adolescence -- may help brain cells survive and could impact how the brain functions after puberty.

Imaging scientists develop a better tool for tracking MS
Imaging scientists at Western University's Robarts Research Institute have developed a better way to track the progression of Multiple Sclerosis from its earliest stages.

Study examines variation in cardiology practice guidelines over time
An analysis of more than 600 class I (procedure/treatment should be performed/administered) American College of Cardiology/American Heart Association guideline recommendations published or revised since 1998 finds that about 80 percent were retained at the time of the next guideline revision, and that recommendations not supported by multiple randomized studies were more likely to be downgraded, reversed, or omitted, according to a study in the May 28 issue of JAMA.

Tackling autism from multiple angles
This book focuses on emerging and expanding areas of research on ASD and their potential to lead to better diagnosis and more effective therapies.

Why retailers need to pay attention to the smell of their stores
Retail stores overflowing with merchandise can make consumers feel claustrophobic rather than ready to spend.

AGU: Experts publish new view of zone where Malaysia Airlines flight 370 might lie
A new illustration of the seafloor, created by two of the world's leading ocean floor mapping experts that details underwater terrain where the missing Malaysia Airlines flight might be located, could shed additional light on what type of underwater vehicles might be used to find the missing airplane and where any debris from the crash might lie.

Light-colored butterflies and dragonflies thriving as European climate warms
Butterflies and dragonflies with lighter colors are out-competing darker-colored insects in the face of climate change.

JCI online ahead of print table of contents for May 27, 2014
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers published online, May 27, 2014, in the JCI: 'Disturbed blood flow induces epigenetic alterations to promote atherosclerosis,' 'Protecting dopaminergic neurons from Parkinson's disease-associated degradation,' 'Splicing regulator SLU7 is essential for maintaining liver homeostasis,' 'Lineage-specific splicing of a brain-enriched alternative exon promotes glioblastoma progression,' 'WNT5A enhances resistance of melanoma cells to targeted BRAF inhibitors,' and more.

Making research findings freely available is an essential aid to medical progress
In a PLOS Medicine guest editorial, Paul Glasziou, professor of evidence-based medicine at Bond University in Australia, explores how open access publications could help moderate and reduce the vast waste of global medical research.

Penn study: Longest-lasting cardiology guidelines built on findings of randomized controlled trials
In a first-of-its-kind study, Penn Medicine researchers examined high-level recommendations published by the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association between 1998 and 2007 and found that recommendations which were supported by multiple randomized controlled trials were the most 'durable' and least likely to change over time.

Chicago hosts third ISS Research and Development conference
Scientists and engineers alike may soon agree with Frank Sinatra, who sang about Chicago as 'My Kind of Town' when the city hosts the third annual International Space Station Research and Development conference from June 17-19.

'Virtual human' shows that stiff arteries can explain the cause of high blood pressure
High blood pressure is highly age-related and affects more than one billion people worldwide.

An area's level of poverty or wealth may affect the distribution of cancer types
A new analysis has found that certain cancers are more concentrated in areas with high poverty, while other cancers arise more often in wealthy regions.

The science of school lunch
Since Fall 2012, USDA regulations require students across the country to take a fruit or vegetable with their lunch, a good intention that might easily go to the garbage.

Endoscopic procedure does not reduce disability due to pain following gallbladder removal
In certain patients with abdominal pain after gallbladder removal (cholecystectomy), undergoing an endoscopic procedure involving the bile and pancreatic ducts did not result in fewer days with disability due to pain, compared to a placebo treatment, according to a study in the May 28 issue of JAMA.

Mycotoxin protects against nematodes
Researchers at ETH Zurich have isolated a protein from a fungus of the spruce which combats nematodes.

Two new possible drug targets for triple negative breast cancer
The suppression of two genes reduce breast cancer tumor formation and metastasis by interfering with blood vessel formation and recruitment, report scientists in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Aircraft fuel consumption can be reduced by 15 percent
Two aircraft engine concepts, geared turbofan and open rotor, can enable a significant reduction to aircraft fuel consumption.

Rules to cut carbon emissions also reduce air pollution harmful to people, environment
Setting strong standards for climate-changing carbon emissions from power plants would provide an added bonus -- reductions in other air pollutants that can make people sick; damage forests, crops, and lakes; and harm fish and wildlife.

E-cigarettes: Not a healthy alternative to smoking
A new study examines the risks of e-cigarettes.

Intertwined evolution of human brain and brawn
The cognitive differences between humans and our closest living cousins, chimpanzees, are staggeringly obvious; however a new study suggests that human muscle may be just as unique.

Ultraviolet cleaning reduces hospital superbugs by 20 percent: Study
Healthcare-associated vancomycin-resistant enterococcus, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, Clostridium difficile, and other multidrug-resistant organisms were decreased among patients after adding ultraviolet environmental disinfection to the cleaning regimen, according to a study published in the June issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

Medical mechanics
A surgical grasper and three other tools designed by Harvard students earned prestigious awards from the Design of Medical Devices Conference at the University of Minnesota this spring in recognition of the devices' technical quality, medical practicality, and potential for commercial impact.

The future of sweet cherry in Australia
Projected changes in global climates were the impetus for a study to determine the viability of sweet cherry varieties in Australia.

Why are girl babies winning in the battle for survival?
Sexual inequality between boys and girls starts as early as in the mother's womb -- but how and why this occurs could be a key to preventing higher rates of preterm birth, stillbirth and neonatal death among boys.

Higher NHS spending in deprived areas can reduce health inequalities
A policy of higher NHS spending in deprived areas compared with affluent areas is associated with a reduction in absolute health inequalities from causes amenable to healthcare in England, suggests a study published on bmj.com today.

Addressing the physician shortage: Recommendations for medical education reform
Recommendations recently published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine prepared by the Health Policy Education Subcommittee of the Society of General Internal Medicine outline how to reform the GME system to support the development of a physician workforce that can provide high quality, high value, population-based, and patient-centered health care, aligned with the dynamic needs of America's healthcare delivery system.

Scientists unveil first method for controlling the growth of metal crystals
Researchers have announced the first ever method for controlling the growth of metal-crystals from single atoms.

Water in moon rocks provides clues and questions about lunar history
A recent review of hundreds of chemical analyses of moon rocks indicates that the amount of water in the moon's interior varies regionally -- revealing clues about how water originated and was redistributed in the moon.

Skin grafts from genetically modified pigs may offer alternative for burn treatment
A specially-bred strain of miniature swine lacking the molecule responsible for the rapid rejection of pig-to-primate organ transplants may provide a new source of skin grafts to treat seriously burned patients.

New method discovered to protect against chemical weapons
Researchers have discovered that some compounds called polyoxoniobates can degrade and decontaminate nerve agents such as the deadly sarin gas, and have other characteristics that may make them ideal for protective suits, masks or other clothing.

Precision-guided epidurals and better blood monitors
Now, researchers have taken an established imaging technology called 'optical coherence tomography,' or OCT, and integrated it with other instruments to bring about the next revolution in imaging by helping doctors provide safer, less painful and more effective care for women in labor and people with diabetic retinopathy and glaucoma.

Why does bacon smell so good? (video)
We all know bacon is delicious, but what is it about cooking bacon that makes it smell so tantalizing?

Encounters at coffee shops help corporate communicators influence company 'chiefs'
Lobbying senior business executives informally -- whether in hallways or after work at Starbucks and fitness centers -- is a savvy way for corporate communicators to perform their jobs successfully, according to a Baylor University study.

Dialysis patients' anxiety and depression linked to physical impairments
Researchers found higher rates of depression and anxiety among adults undergoing dialysis could be associated with their impaired physical exercise capability and reduced daily physical activity.

Panama saves whales and protects world trade
A new scheme to separate boat traffic coming into the Panama Canal from humpback whales migrating through tropical waters based on two research papers by Smithsonian scientists, was approved by the International Maritime Organization on May 23.

Update on Funny River Fire, southern Alaska
NASA's Terra satellite passed over the central Alaska and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instrument that flies aboard captured an image of smoke and hot spots from the Funny River Fire in southern Alaska on May 26 at 5:45 p.m.

Vines choke a forest's ability to capture carbon, Smithsonian scientists report
As tropical forests take over abandoned agricultural land, scientists expect these new forests to mop up industrial quantities of atmospheric carbon.

HSP90 is a potential target for ameliorating skeletal muscle abnormalities in PD
Heat shock protein, HSP90, has been suggested to be involved in neuronal protein misfolding and accumulation in Parkinson's disease brains leading to dopaminergic neuronal death and the eventual dopamine depletion.

Climate warming favors light-colored insects in Europe
Butterflies and dragonflies with a lighter shade of color do better in warmer areas of Europe.

Study finds climate change accelerates hybridization between native, invasive trout
New research suggests that climate warming is increasing the hybridization of trout -- interbreeding between native and non-native species -- in the interior western United States.

Many children affected by posttraumatic stress disorder after traffic accidents
Nearly every third child in Sweden who is injured in traffic is subsequently affected by posttraumatic stress disorder.

Eastern Pacific season off with a bang: Amanda is first major hurricane
The first tropical cyclone of the Eastern Pacific hurricane season grew into a major hurricane as Hurricane Amanda reached Category 4 status on the Saffir-Simpson scale over the Memorial Day holiday weekend.

Sperm cells are extremely efficient at swimming against a current
A new study may explain how sperm travel long distances, through difficult terrain, to reach an egg.

Making the right choices in changing circumstances: Cognitive flexibility in the brain
Choosing what is best is not always simple. Should one choose a small, certain reward, or take risks and try to get a larger reward?

What can plants reveal about gene flow? That it's an important evolutionary force
How much gene flow is there between plant populations? How important is gene flow for maintaining a species' identity and diversity, and what are the implications of these processes for evolution, conservation of endangered species, invasiveness, or unintentional gene flow from domesticated crops to wild relatives?

Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Tata Memorial Centre sign MOU to pool expertise
Two world-renowned cancer centres today announced they will work together to further a shared vision of advancing innovation and delivery of best practices in all aspects of cancer care, research and education.

Moving 'natural capital' from metaphor to reality
In a new paper, researchers from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Arizona State University report developing an approach to calculate a fair and consistent price for natural capital stocks that is grounded in the same theory of economic capital that governs the pricing of other capital assets, from stock prices to factories.
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