Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 15, 2014
Little too late: Researchers identify disease that may have plagued 700-year-old skeleton
European researchers have recovered a genome of the bacterium Brucella melitensis from a 700-year-old skeleton found in the ruins of a Medieval Italian village.

KPMG and Imperial team up to transform UK into global leader in big data analytics
KPMG and Imperial College London today announce the launch of a major new partnership to create the 'KPMG Centre for Advanced Business Analytics'.

Cardiac patients underserved globally due to lack of rehab programs: York University researcher
The article, Global availability of cardiac rehabilitation, published online at Nature Reviews Cardiology, indicates that while 68 per cent of high-income countries have cardiac rehabilitation, only 23 per cent of low-income and middle-income countries do, despite the fact that 80 per cent of deaths from heart disease occur in these countries.

Internet Society to measure, display quality of Internet connections around the world with Netradar
The Internet Society and Aalto University are launching a new collaboration to measure the diversity of Internet access around the world.

Zhichan decoction increases dopaminergic neurons from transplanted NSCs in PD
There is an increasing interest in Parkinson's disease treatment by increasing dopamine content and reducing dopaminergic metabolites in the brain.

New statement on 'PEG' feeding tubes in children published by Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology
Placement of a percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) tube has become an 'essential' technique for children and young people with a wide range of problems with feeding and nutrition, according to a position statement in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, official journal of the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.

BUSM study: Obesity may be impacted by stress
A new study shows that stress may play a role in the development of obesity.

Smallest Swiss cross -- Made of 20 single atoms
The manipulation of atoms has reached a new level: Together with teams from Finland and Japan, physicists from the University of Basel were able to place 20 single atoms on a fully insulated surface at room temperature to form the smallest 'Swiss cross', thus taking a big step towards next generation atomic-scale storage devices.

Royal Society of Chemistry's flagship journal goes Gold open access
The Royal Society of Chemistry's flagship journal, Chemical Science, is going Gold open access from 2015 -- making it the world's first high-quality open access chemistry journal.

Neurons, brain cancer cells require the same little-known protein for long-term survival
Researchers at the UNC School of Medicine have discovered that the protein PARC/CUL9 helps neurons and brain cancer cells override the biochemical mechanisms that lead to cell death in most other cells.

4 lessons for effective, efficient research in health care settings
University of Colorado Cancer Center study shows that by taking into account the real-world constraints of the systems in which providers deliver care and patients receive it, researchers can help speed results, cut costs, and increase chances that recommendations from their findings will be implemented.

Team studies immune response of Asian elephants infected with a human disease
Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the organism that causes tuberculosis in humans, also afflicts Asian -- and occasionally other -- elephants.

Protein's 'hands' enable bacteria to establish infection, research finds
Kansas State University biochemists have discovered how protein's 'hands' enable bacteria to establish infection.

Genetic testing for alcohol dependence risk in African Americans
Alcohol dependence has a genetic component and testing can determine a person's genetic risk for susceptibility to AD.

Cholesterol activates signaling pathway that promotes cancer
Everyone knows that cholesterol, at least the bad kind, can cause heart disease and hardening of the arteries.

New UK study helps scientists understand melanoma development
A new study by University of Kentucky researchers shows how a genetic defect in a specific hormonal pathway may make people more susceptible to developing melanoma, the deadliest type of skin cancer.

Registration is now open for the HFES 2014 International Annual Meeting
The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society invites you to register to attend the 2014 Annual Meeting, to be held October 27-31 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago.

Directly visualizing hydrogen bonds
Using a newly developed, ultrafast femtosecond infrared light source, chemists at the University of Chicago have been able to directly visualize the coordinated vibrations between hydrogen-bonded molecules -- the first time this sort of chemical interaction, which is found in nature everywhere at the molecular level, has been directly visualized.

Age-related changes in lateral ventricular width and periventricular white matter by DTI
Ventricular enlargement has been suggested as a structural biomarker for normal aging and progression of some illnesses, such as Alzheimer's disease.

What increases the neuronal plasticity of endogenous NSCs after focal cerebral ischemia?
Stem cells can substitute the lost cells after central nervous system injury, decrease nervous tissue damage and promote neurofunctional recovery.

Mutation stops worms from getting drunk
Neuroscientists at The University of Texas at Austin have generated mutant worms that do not get intoxicated by alcohol, a result that could lead to new drugs to treat the symptoms of people going through alcohol withdrawal.

New materials for future green tech devices
Thermoelectric devices, which convert heat to electricity and vice versa, can harness that wasted heat, and possibly provide the green tech energy efficiency that's needed for a sustainable future.

Telecare intervention improves chronic pain
A telephone-delivered intervention, which included automated symptom monitoring, produced clinically meaningful improvements in chronic musculoskeletal pain compared to usual care, according to a study in the July 16 issue of JAMA.

To accept or not accept -- Patients want a say in liver transplant decisions
A novel study reveals that more than half of liver transplant patients want to be informed of donor risk at the time a liver is offered for transplantation.

How strongly does tissue decelerate the therapeutic heavy ion beam?
Cancer treatment with heavy ion irradiation: Scientists of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt in Germany have established an experiment for the more exact determination of the stopping power of tissue for carbon ions in the therapeutically relevant area which is so far unique worldwide.

Rollout strategy is key to battling India's TB epidemic, researchers find
A new study led by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers suggests that getting patients in India quickly evaluated by the right doctors can be just as effective at curbing tuberculosis as a new, highly accurate screening test.

Widespread support for rapid HIV testing in dental surgeries -- new study
More than 80 per cent of oral health patients are willing to receive rapid HIV-testing in dental settings, which could help reduce the spread of the HIV according to a groundbreaking study revealed today at a Sydney University HIV Testing Symposium.

TGen-led study finds likely origin of lung fungus invading Pacific Northwest
Cryptococcus gattii, a virulent fungus that has invaded the Pacific Northwest is highly adaptive and warrants global

Fundamental chemistry findings could help extend Moore's Law
In a bid to continue decreasing transistor size while increasing computation and energy efficiency, chip-maker Intel has partnered with researchers from the US Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Lab to design an entirely new kind of resist.

Fuel cells for powering homes
One of the applications that fuel cells may have is the supplying of homes with electrical power.

Is it time to lock up those who commit research fraud?
On thebmj.com today, two doctors debate whether research fraud should be classed as a criminal act.

Elsevier announces the launch of open access journal: Burnout Research
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, is pleased to announce the launch of open access journal Burnout Research.

SLU scientists hit 'delete': Removing regions of shape-shifting protein explains how blood clots
Researchers used X-ray crystallography to publish the first image of prothrombin.

Do women talk more than men? It's all about context
A new study from Northeastern University professor David Lazer was able to tease out a more accurate picture of the talkative-woman stereotype we're so familiar with -- and they found that context plays a large role.

JAMA study: Telecare program optimizing non-opioid chronic pain medication very effective
Primary-care patients enrolled in a 12-month telecare program optimizing non-opioid medications for chronic pain were twice as likely to see improvement as patients who received usual care for chronic pain according to VA and Regenstrief Institute study published in JAMA.

Fish oil supplements reduce incidence of cognitive decline, may improve memory function
Rhode Island Hospital researchers have completed a study that found regular use of fish oil supplements (FOS) was associated with a significant reduction in cognitive decline and brain atrophy in older adults.

GW and Peking University awarded funding to understand common blood coagulation disorder
The George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences and The Peking University Medical College in Beijing, China are pleased to announce the award of significant funding for an international co-operative project to understand the molecular mechanisms of a very common blood coagulation disorder affecting both Americans and Chinese.

WPI wins NIH grant to study components of a potentially potent, low-cost malaria treatment
With a three-year, $420,000 award from the National Institutes of Health, a team of researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, led by Pamela Weathers, PhD, will test a plant-based therapy it is developing that consists of dried leaves from the sweet wormwood plant, Artemisia annua.

Game theory model reveals vulnerable moments for cancer cells' energy production
Cancer's no game, but researchers at Johns Hopkins are borrowing ideas from evolutionary game theory to learn how cells cooperate within a tumor to gather energy.

New feathered predatory fossil sheds light on dinosaur flight
A new raptorial dinosaur fossil with exceptionally long feathers has provided exciting insights into dinosaur flight.

Do daughters really cause divorce? Maybe not
Couples with daughters are somewhat more likely to divorce than couples with sons.

Researchers assess emergency radiology response after Boston Marathon bombings
An after-action review of the Brigham and Women's Hospital emergency radiology response to the Boston Marathon bombings highlights the crucial role medical imaging plays in emergency situations and ways in which radiology departments can improve their preparedness for mass casualty events.

For bees and flowers, tongue size matters
When it comes to bee tongues, length is proportional to the size of the bee, but heritage sets the proportion.

Singapore joins Human Frontier Science Program Organization
The Human Frontier Science Program Organization is pleased to welcome Singapore as a new contributing country to the Program.

Scientists gear up to fight deadly snake fungal disease
Researchers have developed a faster and more accurate way to test for infection with Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, a fungus that is killing snakes in the Midwest and eastern United States.

Study reveals how gardens could help dementia care
A new study has revealed that gardens in care homes could provide promising therapeutic benefits for patients suffering from dementia.

Banner Alzheimer's Institute partners with Novartis in new Alzheimer's prevention trial
Researchers from the Banner Alzheimer's Institute today announced a partnership with Novartis in a pioneering medical trial to determine whether two investigational anti-amyloid drugs -- an active immunotherapy and an oral medication -- can prevent or delay the emergence of symptoms of Alzheimer's in people at particularly high risk for developing the disease at older ages.

Hear Jane read: Rutgers University-Newark researcher gives new meaning to semantics
There are different ways to be a good reader. There has been much discussion over the years about some readers having more of a sound-based style and others having more of a meaning-based style.

Molecular 'eat now' signal makes cells devour dying neighbors
A team of researchers has devised a Pac-Man-style power pellet that gets normally mild-mannered cells to gobble up their undesirable neighbors.

Physicians have higher rate of organ donation registration than general public
A study that included about 15,000 physicians found that they were more likely to be registered as an organ donor compared to the general public, according to a study in the July 16 issue of JAMA.

Dodos and spotted green pigeons are descendants of an island hopping bird
The mysterious spotted green pigeon was a relative of the dodo, according to scientists who have examined its genetic make-up.

Chrysophanol attenuates injury to hippocampal neurons in lead-exposed neonatal mice
Previous studies have shown that chrysophanol protects against learning and memory impairments in lead-exposed adult mice.

Smarter ads for smartphones: When they do and don't work
Brands spent $8.4 billion on mobile advertising in 2013, and that number is expected to quadruple to $36 billion by 2017, according to eMarketer.

Patients at highest risk of suicide in first 2 weeks after leaving hospital
Mental health patients are at their highest risk of dying by suicide in the first two weeks after leaving hospital -- a report out today shows.

History of stroke linked with increased risk of adverse outcomes after non-cardiac surgery
In an analysis that included more than 480,000 patients who underwent elective noncardiac surgery, a history of stroke was associated with an increased risk of major adverse cardiovascular events and death, particularly if time elapsed between stroke and surgery was less than nine months, according to a study in the July 16 issue of JAMA.

New assay to spot fake malaria drugs could save thousands of lives
Chemists have created a new type of chemical test, or assay, that's inexpensive, simple, and can tell whether or not one of the primary drugs being used to treat malaria is genuine -- an enormous and deadly problem in the developing world.

Does intravenous transplantation of BMSCs promote neural regeneration after TBI?
The brain has a low renewable capacity for self-repair and generation of new functional neurons in the treatment of trauma, inflammation and cerebral diseases.

This week from AGU: Dust models, Arctic Ocean waves, floods and climate change
Global climate models fail to simulate key dust characteristics.

Experts voice concerns over arsenic in rice, reports Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Inorganic arsenic in rice and rice-based foods poses health concerns in infants and young children, and steps should be taken to minimize exposure, according to a commentary in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, official journal of the European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition and the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.

3-D nanostructure could benefit nanoelectronics, gas storage
A three-dimensional porous nanostructure would have a balance of strength, toughness and ability to transfer heat that could benefit nanoelectronics, gas storage and composite materials that perform multiple functions, according to engineers at Rice University.

Hidden variations in neuronal networks may explain traumatic brain injury outcomes
A team of researchers at the Neuroscience Institute at Georgia State University has discovered that hidden differences in the properties of neural circuits can account for whether animals are behaviorally susceptible to brain injury.

Physicians struggle to clinically diagnose early HIV infection
Most physicians are unable to use clinical skills to differentiate those who should and should not be tested for HIV infection, highlighting the importance of routine HIV testing.

Saltier intravenous fluids reduce complications from surgery
Infusing a saltier saline solution during and after surgery decreases overall complication rate for a complex procedure.

Cooperation among humans, a question of age
According to an article by scientists from the Universities of Barcelona, Carlos III of Madrid, and of Zaragoza which was published in the journal Nature Communications, young people between the ages of ten and sixteen demonstrate more fickle behavior when it comes to cooperating, unlike other age groups.

Study finds decrease in incidence of stroke, subsequent death
In a study that included a large sample of black and white US adults from several communities, rates of stroke incidence and subsequent death decreased from 1987 to 2011, with decreases varying across age-groups, according to a study in the July 16 issue of JAMA.

Transplantation of new brain cells reverses memory loss in Alzheimer's disease model
A new study from the Gladstone Institutes has revealed a way to alleviate the learning and memory deficits caused by apoE4, the most important genetic risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, improving cognition to normal levels in aged mice.

Rice nanophotonics experts create powerful molecular sensor
Nanophotonics experts at Rice University have created a unique sensor that amplifies the optical signature of molecules by about 100 billion times.

Oetzi's 'non-human' DNA
Oetzi's human genome was decoded from a hip bone sample taken from the 5,300 year old mummy.

IGN taps Carnegie Mellon startup Neon Labs for immediate 30 percent boost in video views
Neon Labs, the Carnegie Mellon University startup that uses an image selection platform for monetizing digital content, today announced that IGN Entertainment has inked an agreement and is working closely with Neon to maximize its current video viewership of 48.7 million unique visitors per month.

Gene discovery could lead to better soybean varieties for Northern United States
Researchers from Purdue University and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln have discovered a soybean gene whose mutation affects plant stem growth, a finding that could lead to the development of improved soybean cultivars for the northern United States.

New skin gel fights breast cancer without blood clot risk
A gel form of tamoxifen applied to the breasts of women with noninvasive breast cancer reduced the growth of cancer cells equally to the oral drug but with fewer side effects that deter some women from taking it.

The American College of Chest Physicians to host SimGHOSTS Medical Simulation Conference
The American College of Chest Physicians announced today the organization will host SimGHOSTS, The Gathering Of Healthcare Simulation Technology Specialists.

Adolescent males seek intimacy and close relationships with the opposite sex
Teenage boys desire intimacy and sex in the context of a meaningful relationship and value trust in their partnerships, according to researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

Rainwater discovered at new depths
University of Southampton researchers have found that rainwater can penetrate below the Earth's fractured upper crust, which could have major implications for our understanding of earthquakes and the generation of valuable mineral deposits.

Transparency lacking in clinical trials, BU study finds
A significant percentage of completed drug clinical trials, especially those funded by industry, are not disclosed to the public, years after being completed -- a trend that 'threatens the validity of the clinical research literature in the US,' according to a study led by a Boston University School of Public Health researcher.

Research alliance for the digital revolution
Collaborative research of Siemens with the Technische Universität München, the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence and the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied and Integrated Security New technology base for automation, Internet of Things, cloud solutions, IT security and smart data Siemens to invest a sum in the double-digit million-euro range over three years

Common treatment of certain autoimmune disease does not appear effective
Among patients with the systemic autoimmune disease primary Sjögren syndrome, use of hydroxychloroquine, the most frequently prescribed treatment for the disorder, did not improve symptoms during 24 weeks of treatment compared with placebo, according to a study in the July 16 issue of JAMA.

Hidden variations in neuronal networks may explain differences in brain injury outcomes
A team of researchers at the Neuroscience Institute at Georgia State University has discovered that hidden differences in the properties of neural circuits can account for whether animals are behaviorally susceptible to brain injury.

Study finds unintended consequences of raising state math, science graduation requirements
Raising state-mandated math and science course graduation requirements may increase high school dropout rates without a meaningful effect on college enrollment or degree attainment, according to new research published in Educational Researcher, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association.

Scientists launch far-ranging campaign to detail Front Range air pollution
Scientists at NCAR and partner organizations are launching a major field project across Colorado's Front Range this month to track ozone pollution.

Mormon pioneer mortality rate calculated at 3.5 percent
Statisticians from BYU helped a historian calculate the mortality rate of Mormon pioneers.

New hope for treatment of Alzheimer's disease
Judes Poirier, PhD, C.Q., from the Douglas Mental Health Institute and McGill University in Montréal and his team have discovered that a relatively frequent genetic variant actually conveys significant protection against the common form of Alzheimer's disease and can delay the onset of the disease by as much as 4 years.

Tel Aviv University to host leading international cyber conference
Cyber Week 2014, one of the most important annual cyber events, is slated to take place in Israel on September 14-17.

NASA sees Typhoon Rammasun's eye staring at Visayas, Philippines
Early on July 15, Typhoon Rammasun began making landfall in the eastern part of the central Philippines and NASA's Aqua and TRMM satellites spotted the 20 nautical-mile-wide (23 mile/37 km) eye of the storm close to landfall.

NOAA's GOES-R satellite Magnetometer ready for spacecraft integration
The Magnetometer instrument that will fly on NOAA's GOES-R satellite when it is launched in early 2016 has completed the development and testing phase and is ready to be integrated with the spacecraft.

Study finds why some firms are 'named and shamed' by activists
A new study of the anti-sweatshop campaigns of the 1990s reveals which companies are most likely to become targets of anti-corporate activists.

Underlying cause of cerebral palsy could lie in family links
Babies born into families in which someone has cerebral palsy are at an increased risk of having the condition, suggests a paper published on the bmj.com today.

JAMA study: Stroke risk and death rates fall over past 2 decades
Fewer Americans are having strokes and those who do have a lower risk of dying from them finds a new study led by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers.

New mite species from a Caribbean mesophotic coral ecosystem named after J.Lo
During a recent survey of organisms collected from Bajo de Sico, a mesophotic coral reef ecosystem in Mona Passage off Puerto Rico, one pontarachnid mite species new to science was discovered.

Taking B vitamins won't prevent Alzheimer's disease
Taking B vitamins doesn't slow mental decline as we age, nor is it likely to prevent Alzheimer's disease, conclude Oxford University researchers who have assembled all the best clinical trial data involving 22,000 people to offer a final answer on this debate.

No anti-clotting treatment needed for most kids undergoing spine surgeries
Blood clots occur so rarely in children undergoing spine operations that most patients require nothing more than vigilant monitoring after surgery and should be spared risky and costly anti-clotting medications, according to a new Johns Hopkins Children's Center study.

Researchers find organic pollutants not factor in turtle tumor disease
A new study by a team at the Hollings Marine Laboratory casts doubt on long-held suspicions that persistent organic pollutants in the environment make green turtle more susceptible to the virus that causes fibropapilomatosis, a disease that forms large benign tumors that can inhibit the animal's sight, mobility and feeding ability.

Rollout strategy for diagnostic test in India may impact TB
Xpert MTB/RIF, a recently implemented tuberculosis (TB) test, has the potential to control the TB epidemic in India, but only if the current, narrow, implementation strategy is replaced by a more ambitious one that is better funded, also includes the private sector, and better referral networks are developed between public and private sectors, according to new research published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Brain responses to emotional images predict PTSD symptoms after Boston Marathon bombing
By using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging scans from before the attack and survey data from after, the researchers found that heightened amygdala reaction to negative emotional stimuli was a risk factor for later developing symptoms of PTSD.

Identifying newly diagnosed HIV-infected people using electronic medical records
A new, validated software-based method for identifying patients with newly diagnosed HIV using electronic medical records is described in AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses.

NASA's Van Allen Probes show how to accelerate electrons
One of the great, unanswered questions for space weather scientists is just what creates two gigantic donuts of radiation surrounding Earth, called the Van Allen radiation belts.

Prostate cancer in young men -- More frequent and more aggressive?
The number of younger men diagnosed with prostate cancer has increased nearly 6-fold in the last 20 years, and the disease is more likely to be aggressive in these younger men, according to a new analysis from researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Study: Body Dysmorphic Disorder patients have higher risk of personal and appearance-based rejection sensitivity
Researchers have found that fear of being rejected because of one's appearance, as well as rejection sensitivity to general interpersonal situations, were significantly elevated in individuals with Body Dysmorphic Disorder.

Defects in fatty acid transport proteins linked to schizophrenia and autism
Using diverse methodologies, neuroscientists from the RIKEN Brain Science Institute report that defects in Fatty Acid Binding Proteins may help to explain the pathology in some cases of schizophrenia and autism spectrum disorders.
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