Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 29, 2014
Implanting 125I seeds into rat DRG for neuropathic pain: Only neuronal microdamage occurs
Experimental results showed that the mechanical pain threshold was elevated after implanting 125I seeds without influencing motor functions of the hind limb, although cell injury was present.

First grade reading suffers in segregated schools
A groundbreaking study from the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute has found that African-American students in first grade experience smaller gains in reading when they attend segregated schools -- but the students' backgrounds likely are not the cause of the differences.

Solving the 'secrecy dilemma' for democracies
National security secrets can benefit democracies, but only if there's a strong system in place to later dig those secrets up, a Michigan State University political scientist finds in a new book.

Congenital heart disease specialists develop nonsurgical technique to correct birth defects
A new technique for repairing the most common cardiac birth defect in newborns, commonly referred to as 'a hole in the heart,' has been used successfully to mend the condition in six premature infants without subjecting the tiny patients to open-heart surgery.

Beware of claims about cosmetic stem cells procedures, says review in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Advertising claims for cosmetic procedures using stem cells are running far ahead of the scientific evidence for safety and effectiveness, according to a review in the August issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

New gadget helps the vision-impaired to read graphs
People who are blind can now read more than just words, such as graphs and graphics, following the development of an affordable digital reading system by Curtin University researchers.

Mysterious esophagus disease is autoimmune after all
Achalasia is a rare disease -- it affects one in 100,000 people -- characterized by a loss of nerve cells in the esophageal wall.

NOAA: Alaska fisheries and communities at risk from ocean acidification
Ocean acidification is driving changes in waters vital to Alaska's valuable commercial fisheries and subsistence way of life, according to new NOAA-led research that will be published online in Progress in Oceanography.

Scientists to study hereditary breast cancer to find BRCA1 treatment
People with a BRCA1 gene mutation are at much higher risk for breast cancer, but no treatments exist to specifically target this problem.

A blood test could help prevent neural tube birth defects
A blood test to measure folate concentrations in a mother's red blood cells could help in the prevention of neural tube birth defects, suggests a large study published on the BMJ's website.

Mysterious molecules in space
New research has offered a tantalizing new possibility in the realm of interstellar molecules and diffuse interstellar bands: these mysterious molecules may be silicon-capped hydrocarbons like SiC3H, SiC4H and SiC5H.

Improve peer review by making the reviewers better suited to the task
A 'kitemark' that identifies randomized-controlled trials reviewed by specially trained peer reviewers would improve public trust in the robustness of clinical trials, according to an opinion piece in the open-access journal BMC Medicine.

Underwater elephants
Douglas McCauley got back to basics in order to discover the positive and negative effects that bumphead parrotfish exert on coral reef ecosystems.

The quantum Cheshire cat: Scientists separate a particle from its properties
The quantum Cheshire cat: Can a particle be separated from its properties?

From 'Finding Nemo' to minerals -- what riches lie in the deep sea?
As fishing and the harvesting of metals, gas and oil expand deeper and deeper into the ocean, scientists are drawing attention to the services provided by the deep sea, the world's largest environment.

Research shows impact of soft drinks in meal planning
New research by academics in the University of Bristol's Nutrition and Behaviour Unit has looked into whether we take liquid calories into account when planning meals.

'Killer sperm' prevents mating between worm species
Most cross-species mating is merely unsuccessful in producing offspring. However, when researchers at the University of Maryland and the University of Toronto mated Caenorhabditis worms of different species, they found that the lifespan of the female worms and their number of progeny were drastically reduced compared with females that mated with the same species.

Time of arrival at hospital impacts time to treatment and survival of heart attack patients
Study shows heart attack patients who arrive at the hospital during weeknights, weekends and holidays have a 13 percent increased risk of dying compared with those arriving during regular business hours.

A new way to make microstructured surfaces
A team of researchers has created a new way of manufacturing microstructured surfaces that have novel three-dimensional textures.

Asian Scientist Intelligence launched to meet science communication needs in Asia
Asian Scientist Intelligence, Asia's first full-service science public relations communications firm, has announced its official launch on July 29, 2014.

Weighing the Milky Way
Does the Milky Way look fat in this picture? Has Andromeda been taking skinny selfies?

Research may explain how foremost anticancer 'guardian' protein learned to switch sides
A cellular program that evolved over eons to heal wounds may have been hijacked by mutant p53 proteins to enable cancers to spread out of control.

Violent aftermath for the warriors at Alken Enge
Denmark attracted international attention in 2012 when archaeological excavations revealed the bones of an entire army, whose warriors had been thrown into the bogs near the Alken Enge wetlands in East Jutland after losing a major engagement in the era around the birth of Christ.

$15 billion annual public funding system for doctor training needs overhaul, says IOM
The US should significantly reform the federal system for financing physician training and residency programs to ensure that the public's $15 billion annual investment is producing the doctors that the nation needs, says a new report by the Institute of Medicine.

Differential gene expression in proximal and distal nerve segments after sciatic nerve injury
A study, reported in the Neural Regeneration Research, identifies differential gene expression in the proximal and distal segments of a nerve during Wallerian degeneration, analyzes dynamic biological changes of these genes, and provides a useful platform for the detailed study of nerve injury and repair during Wallerian degeneration.

New anesthesia technique helps show cause of obstruction in sleep apnea
A simplified anesthesia procedure may enable more widespread use of preoperative testing to demonstrate the cause of airway obstruction in patients with severe sleep apnea, suggests a study in Anesthesia & Analgesia.

Revolutionary microshutter technology hurdles significant challenges
NASA technologists have hurdled a number of significant technological challenges in their quest to improve an already revolutionary observing technology originally created for the James Webb Space Telescope.

Study: Pediatric preventive care guidelines need retooling for computerized format
In a new study published in Applied Clinical Informatics, researchers from the Indiana University School of Medicine and the Regenstrief Institute report that substantial work lies ahead to convert the American Academy of Pediatrics' Bright Future's guidelines into computerized prompts for physicians, but the payoff has the potential to significantly benefit patients from birth to age 21.

Tough foam from tiny sheets
Tough, ultralight foam of atom-thick sheets can be made to any size and shape through a chemical process invented at Rice University.

Diet affects men's and women's gut microbes differently
The microbes living in the guts of males and females react differently to diet, even when the diets are identical, according to a study by scientists from The University of Texas at Austin and six other institutions published this week in the journal Nature Communications.

Penn team makes cancer glow to improve surgical outcomes
The best way to cure most cases of cancer is to surgically remove the tumor.

Menu secrets that can make you slim by design
If you've ever ordered the wrong food at a restaurant, don't blame yourself; blame the menu.

Researchers uncover secrets of internal cell fine-tuning
New research from scientists at the University of Kent has shown for the first time how the structures inside cells are regulated -- a breakthrough that could have a major impact on cancer therapy development.

Prehistoric dairy farming at the extremes
Finland's love of milk has been traced back to 2500 BC thanks to high-tech techniques to analyze residues preserved in fragments of ancient pots.

New method provides researchers with efficient tool for tagging proteins
With a new method, researchers use a piece of DNA engineered to bind to metal ions.

Researchers take steps toward development of a vaccine against tick-transmitted disease
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine researchers have made an important advancement toward developing a vaccine against the debilitating and potentially deadly tick-transmitted disease, human granulocytic anaplasmosis.

Informal child care significantly impacts rural economies, MU study finds
University of Missouri researchers have studied the child care sector in Kansas, particularly in rural areas, and have found that informal child care services create a large economic impact in the state.

1996 research article deemed a classic paper
A 1996 research paper authored by University of California, Riverside's Michael J.

Urbanization of rural Africa associated with increased risk of heart disease and diabetes
The increasing urbanization of rural areas in sub-Saharan Africa could lead to an explosion in incidences of heart disease and diabetes, according to a new study carried out in Uganda which found that even small changes towards more urban lifestyles was associated with increased risk of cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

The quantum Cheshire cat
A team of researchers has succeeded in creating a system, in which neutrons appear to travel along one path, whereas one of their properties (the spin) can only be influenced somewhere else.

SPIE launches Neurophotonics journal with special section on BRAIN Initiative
Coinciding with the launch of the BRAIN Initiative in the USA, the new journal Neurophotonics, published by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, will facilitate further collaboration on technological advances in optogenetics, photoacoustics, spectroscopy, and more.

Book: 'The Beginning and the End'
Grounded in science and committed to philosophical rigor, the book The Beginning and the End presents an evolutionary worldview where the rise of intelligent life is not an accident, but may well be the key to unlocking the universe's deepest mysteries.

Bacardis make gift to significantly advance Mayo Clinic's regenerative medicine research
Imagine a future in which a new lung is grown for a patient in need, using the patient's own cellular material, or a day when an injection of replacement cells will enable a patient to self-heal damage in the brain, nerves or other tissues.

Why we should vaccinate boys against HPV as well as girls
In a personal view published on the BMJ website today, a lecturer in chronic illnesses says that boys should be vaccinated against the HPV virus, as well as girls, to cut incidence of genital warts and several cancers.

New partnership to improve access to essential pain medications for people living with HIV
Today the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation and the American Cancer Society announced a new partnership to improve access to essential pain medications for people living with HIV in Swaziland.

Could summer camp be the key to world peace?
The researchers' data shows that campers who formed a close relationship with at least one member from the other side at camp, and especially those who maintained those relationships once the program was over, retained the strongest feelings of positivity toward the other side.

Continuing the quest for better stroke therapies
Helping people recover from the debilitating effects of a stroke is an immensely complex challenge that requires deep knowledge of neurophysiology as well as effective therapy.

Eating tree nuts results in 'modest decreases' in blood fats and sugars, survey finds
Eating tree nuts appears to help reduce two of the five markers for metabolic syndrome, a group of factors that raise the risk for heart disease and other health problems such as diabetes and strokes, a new research paper says.

Malaria vaccine shows continued protection during 18 months of follow-up
A vaccine previously shown to reduce malaria in young infants and children reduces larger numbers of malaria cases in areas of higher malaria transmission, according to results from an ongoing clinical trial published in PLOS Medicine.

Bowers to receive GSA's 2014 Minority Mentorship Award
The Gerontological Society of America -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has chosen Barbara J.

Preterm children's brains can catch up years later
There's some good news for parents of preterm babies -- latest research from the University of Adelaide shows that by the time they become teenagers, the brains of many preterm children can perform almost as well as those born at term.

New route to identify drugs that can fight bacterial infections
About 100 drugs already approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for other purposes can also prevent the growth of certain bacterial pathogens inside human cells, including those that cause Legionnaires' disease, brucellosis, and Mediterranean spotted fever.

Prestigious Crohn's and Colitis Canada grants fund promising Canadian research
Crohn's and Colitis Canada funds progressive and innovative projects that bring together the finest scientific minds to find new approaches and treatments for Crohn's and colitis, known collectively as inflammatory bowel disease.

Research shows impact of soft drinks in meal planning
New research by academics in the University of Bristol's Nutrition and Behaviour Unit has looked into whether we take liquid calories into account when planning meals.

Optimum inertial self-propulsion design for snowman-like nanorobot
Swimming microorganisms are subjected to relatively small inertial forces compared to the viscous forces exerted by the surrounding fluid.

New network unites university health care research
Four major health institutions, including Penn State College of Medicine, have jointly received nearly $7 million to develop and expand a health data research network.

Drinking sugar-sweetened beverages during adolescence impairs memory
Research to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior, the foremost society for research into all aspects of eating and drinking behavior, finds that daily consumption of beverages sweetened with high-fructose corn syrup or sucrose can impair the ability to learn and remember information, particularly when consumption occurs during adolescence.

Our galaxy is way smaller than previous estimates, study shows
The Milky Way is smaller than astronomers previously thought, according to new research from the University of Edinburgh.

Team studies the social origins of intelligence in the brain
By studying the injuries and aptitudes of Vietnam War veterans who suffered penetrating head wounds during the war, scientists are tackling -- and beginning to answer -- longstanding questions about how the brain works.

NASA-funded X-ray instrument settles interstellar debate
New findings from a NASA-funded instrument have resolved a decades-old puzzle about a fog of low-energy X-rays observed over the entire sky.

Scientists separate a particle from its properties
The first experimental observation of a 'quantum Cheshire cat' could help to perform high precision measurements of quantum systems.

App for headache sufferers shows success
A unique app that helps headache sufferers to record the severity and regularity of their pain is being used as part of a Griffith research study.

Löckenhoff earns GSA's 2014 Baltes Foundation Award
The Gerontological Society of America -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has chosen Corinna E.

Huge waves measured for first time in Arctic Ocean
The first measurements of waves in the middle of the Arctic Ocean recorded house-sized waves during a September 2012 storm.

Local education politics 'far from dead'
Teach for America, known for recruiting teachers, is also setting its sights on capturing school board seats across the nation.

NASA sees warmer cloud tops as Tropical Storm Hernan degenerates
Tropical Storm Hernan degenerated into a remnant low pressure area on July 29.

Healthy lifestyle may buffer against stress-related cell aging, study says
A new study from UC San Francisco is the first to show that while the impact of life's stressors accumulate overtime and accelerate cellular aging, these negative effects may be reduced by maintaining a healthy diet, exercising and sleeping well.

Mortality rates increase due to extreme heat and cold
When temperatures are extremely high or low, there is a significant increase in the number of deaths caused by heart failure or stroke.

Parents' reported food preparation time is inversely associated with energy density
Research to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior, the foremost society for research into all aspects of eating and drinking behavior, suggests that the amount time parents spend on food preparation at home influences children's food intake decisions made in the laboratory without parental supervision.

Socialization relative strength in fragile X longitudinal study
Standard scores measuring 'adaptive behavior' in boys with fragile X syndrome tend to decline during childhood and adolescence, the largest longitudinal study of the inherited disorder to date has found.

Brainwaves can predict audience reaction
Media and marketing experts have long sought a reliable method of forecasting responses from the general population to future products and messages.

Autistic brain less flexible at taking on tasks, Stanford study shows
The brains of children with autism are relatively inflexible at switching from rest to task performance, according to a new brain-imaging study from the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Five daily portions of fruit and vegetables may be enough to lower risk of death
Eating five daily portions of fruit and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of death from any cause, particularly from cardiovascular disease, but beyond five portions appears to have no further effect, finds a study published on the BMJ website today.

Secular and longitudinal trends in dieting strategies in young adult women from 1982 to 2012
Research to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior, the foremost society for research into all aspects of eating and drinking behaviors, finds that the younger a woman is when she goes on her first diet, the more likely she is to experience several negative health outcomes later in life.

Genomic analysis of prostate cancer indicates best course of action after surgery
The study in the postoperative radiation oncology field to show that molecular signature of patient's tumor can help stratify patients requiring additional treatment.

23andMe scientists receive approximately $1.4 million in funding from National Institutes of Health
23andMe, the leading personal genetics company, has received from the National Institutes of Health a grant totaling $1,367,504 for a two-year project to support the further development of 23andMe's web-based database and research engine for genetic discovery.

Unique images bring fossil insects back to life
A groundbreaking new book that brings together two of the major disciplines behind 'Jurassic Park' is aiming to raise the profile of insect fossils through stunning photographs and unique illustrations.

Is hunger suppression the key to reducing risk of overeating and obesity?
Research to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior , the foremost society for research into all aspects of eating and drinking behavior, suggests that people who demonstrate a weak suppression in hunger after a standardised breakfast showed a greater risk profile for overeating and obesity.

NASA sees developing Tropical Storm Halong causing warning
NASA infrared satellite data revealed that Tropical Storm Halong is surrounded by strong thunderstorms and an eye appears to be developing.

Counting down to FEBS-EMBO 2014 in Paris, France
With 30 days to go and almost 2,500 registered participants, the final preparations for the FEBS-EMBO 2014 Conference are well underway.

Mercury's magnetic field tells scientists how its interior is different from Earth's
Mercury's interior is different from the Earth's interior in a way that explains Mercury's bizarre magnetic field, UCLA planetary physicists report.

Wildfires continue near Yellowknife, Canada
The wildfires that have been plaguing the Northern Territories in Canada and have sent smoke drifting down to the Great Lakes in the US continue on.

Brainwaves can predict audience reaction for television programming
By analyzing the brainwaves of 16 individuals as they watched mainstream television content, researchers were able to accurately predict the preferences of large TV audiences, up to 90 percent in the case of Super Bowl commercials.

Brazilian researchers identify RNA that regulates cell death
Researchers from the University of Sao Paulo have identified an RNA known as INXS that modulates the action of an important gene in the process of programmed cell death.

Study tracks worldwide spread of beneficial blood cell gene variant
Two beneficial variants of a gene controlling red blood cell development have spread from Africa into nearly all human populations across the globe, according to a new study led by King's College London.

Microscopic rowing -- without a cox
New research shows that the whip-like appendages on many types of cells are able to synchronize their movements solely through interactions with the fluid that surrounds them.

Major turtle nesting beaches protected in 1 of the UK's far flung overseas territories
Sea turtles are not a species one would normally associate with the United Kingdom.

Ablation increases survival for adults with atrial fibrillation
Easing heart palpitations is one benefit of catheter ablation. A longer life span is another.

Short sellers not to blame for 2008 financial crisis, study finds
Contrary to widespread media reports, the collapse of several financial firms during the 2008 economic crisis was not triggered by unsettled stock trades, according to new research from the University at Buffalo School of Management.

Reducing kidney injury using a quality improvement method
Using quality improvement measures in eight of the 10 hospitals in the Northern New England Cardiovascular Disease Study Group, researchers have found a way to reduce kidney injury in patients undergoing a procedure with contrast dye.

Worldwide water shortage by 2040
Water is used around the world for the production of electricity, but new research results show that there will not be enough water in the world to meet demand by 2040 if the energy and power situation does not improve before then.

Facilitating transparency in spinal cord injury studies using recognized information standards
A short review published in Neural Regeneration Research considers relevant background and potential solutions to this problem in the axon regeneration domain.

A new brain-based marker of stress susceptibility
Some people handle stressful situations better than others, and it's not all in their genes: Even identical twins show differences in how they respond to adversity.

Astronomers measure weight of galaxies, expansion of universe
Astronomers at the University of British Columbia have collaborated with international researchers to calculate the precise mass of the Milky Way and Andromeda galaxies, dispelling the notion that the two galaxies have similar masses.

Study: Contrary to image, city politicians do adapt to voters
Urban politicians in the US are responsive to voters' views, regardless of the form of government.

Good outcomes with multiple limb salvage after severe combat injuries, reports Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
For survivors of severe combat injuries threatening more than one limb, reconstructive surgical procedures using tissue flaps have a good record of safety and effectiveness in avoiding amputation, reports a paper in the August issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

University of Maryland Schools of Dentistry and Medicine receive NIH grant
The University of Maryland Schools of Dentistry and Medicine jointly announced today that they have received a five-year $10.7 million grant award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health to study the causes, prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases.

Scientists caution against exploitation of deep ocean
The world's oceans are vast and deep, yet rapidly advancing technology and the quest for extracting resources from previously unreachable depths is beginning to put the deep seas on the cusp of peril, an international team of scientists warned this week.

Problem drinking in midlife doubles chance of memory problems in later life
A study published Wednesday, July 30, in the American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry, indicates that middle-aged adults with a history of problem drinking are more than twice as likely to suffer from severe memory impairment in later life.

Maternal obesity modulates offspring microflora composition and gastrointestinal functions
Research to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior, the foremost society for research into all aspects of eating and drinking behavior, finds that maternal obesity leads to marked changes in the offspring's gastrointestinal microflora composition and gastrointestinal function.

Small increases in Ugandan urbanicity tied to CVD risk factors
Urban dwellers tend to have higher risk for cardiovascular diseases than people living in more rural locations.

Determine patient preferences by means of conjoint analysis
The method tested by IQWiG is in principle suitable to find out how important different treatment goals are for patients.

This week from AGU: Cell tower rain gauges, lightning channels, North Sea storm surge
This week from AGU: Cell phone tower rain gauges, lightning channels, North Sea storm surge.

Brand-specific television alcohol ads predict brand consumption among underage youth
The researchers found that the relationship between consumption of a brand and advertising exposure for that brand was significant, and that the relationship was strongest at lower levels of exposure.

Bacteria-resistant materials -- £2 million to get the 'inside' story
Researchers who discovered a group of new materials capable of repelling bacteria have each won a prestigious research award worth a combined £2 million to find out why.

UC San Diego's WIFIRE project helps firefighters get a jump on wildfires
In recent years, the number and scale of wildfires in the US has risen, threatening cities and forests, and at times forcing large-scale evacuations.

Caring for donors
To make follow-up care more accessible, UC San Francisco and Walgreens are collaborating to launch the first program in the country that provides blood pressure testing at no charge to living kidney donors.

Gitlin earns GSA's 2014 M. Powell Lawton Award
The Gerontological Society of America -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has chosen Laura N.

Charon to receive 2014 Gene D. Cohen Award
The Gerontological Society of America and the National Center for Creative Aging have chosen Rita Charon, M.D., Ph.D., of Columbia University as the 2014 recipient of the Gene D.

Vision-correcting display makes reading glasses so yesterday
Researchers at UC Berkeley are developing vision-correcting displays that can compensate for a viewer's visual impairments to create sharp images without the need for glasses or contact lenses.

Monash researcher receives Antarctic science award
Monash University professor Steven Chown has been awarded the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research's 2014 Medal for Excellence in Antarctic Research.

Striatal dopamine transporter binding correlates with body composition and visual attention bias for food cues in healthy young men
Research to be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior, the foremost society for research into all aspects of eating and drinking behavior, describes a way that brain chemistry may make some people notice food more easily, which can tempt overeating even in people who are not overweight.

Blood sugar levels closely linked to how our brains respond to the sight of food, twin study finds
Our brain's response to the sight of food appears to be driven more by how low our blood sugar level is at the moment than our upbringing or genetics, researchers said at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior.
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