Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 12, 2014
Zambia hosts Southern African Regional Office of Astronomy for Development
The International Astronomical Union has signed an agreement with the Copperbelt University in Zambia to host a Southern African regional node of the IAU Office of Astronomy for Development.

Delay in correcting a-fib irregular cardiac rhythm linked with increased complications
A delay of 12 hours or longer to correct an abnormal cardiac rhythm from atrial fibrillation was associated with a greater risk of thromboembolic complications such as stroke, according to a study in the Aug.

Scared of crime? Good
A study by a Michigan State University criminologist suggests a healthy fear of crime is a good thing.

Heart failure is a substantial health burden in low- and middle-income countries
Heart failure is a major public health burden in many low- and middle-income countries, with substantial variation in the presentation, causes, management, and outcomes of heart failure across different LMICs, according to a study published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

WSU researcher sees survival story in Antarctic fly's small genome
The Antarctic midge -- an extremophile that develops over two brutal winters -- has the smallest insect genome sequenced so far.

Ames Laboratory's Thiel winner of 2014 Welch Award
Pat Thiel has been named the 2014 winner of the American Vacuum Society Medard W.

Stem cell therapy for central nerve system injuries: Glial cells hold the key
A review critically analyzes current findings of the roles of glial cells in CNS regeneration, and highlights strategies for regulating glial cells' behavior to create a permissive microenvironment for neuronal stem cells.

Clotting drug linked to fewer blood transfusions in joint surgery
Giving the clotting drug tranexamic acid to patients undergoing joint replacement surgery can reduce the need for blood transfusions while not increasing the risk of complications, finds a study published on thebmj.com today.

Hijacking the brain's blood supply: Tumor discovery could aid treatment
Dangerous brain tumors hijack the brain's existing blood supply throughout their progression, by growing only within narrow potential spaces between and along the brain's thousands of small blood vessels, new research shows for the first time.

Copper foam turns carbon dioxide into useful chemicals
Scientists at Brown University's Center for Capture and Conversion of Carbon Dioxide have discovered that copper foam could provide a new way of converting excess carbon dioxide into useful industrial chemicals.

Beating childhood cancer does not make survivors healthier adults
Having survived cancer as a child does not necessarily have a ripple effect that makes people lead a healthier lifestyle once they grow up.

New analysis reveals tumor weaknesses
Epigenetic markers in cancer cells could improve patient treatment.

Lead released from African cookware contaminates food
Researchers at Ashland University and Occupational Knowledge International tested 29 samples of aluminum cookware made in Cameroon and found almost all had considerable lead content.

Pitt Engineering develops strategic alliance with Lubrizol Corp.
Thanks to a new four-year, $1.2 million partnership between the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering and The Lubrizol Corporation, promising Pitt engineering students will learn about industry needs and have a chance to develop ideas and products in the new Lubrizol Innovation Laboratory.

Anxiety and amen: Prayer doesn't ease anxiety disorders for everyone, Baylor study finds
Whether the problem is health, enemies, poverty or difficulty with aging, 'Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there,' suggested the late gospel musician Charles A.

Majority of Quebec children placed in out-of-home care are reunited with their family
The majority of children in Quebec's youth protection system who are placed in out-of-home care (family foster care, or in a group or rehabilitation center) are reunited with their 'natural' families within six months, according to a study led by professor Tonino Esposito of University of Montreal's School of Social Work.

23andMe announces agreement with Pfizer to research inflammatory bowel disease
Today, 23andMe and Pfizer Inc. announce a new research collaboration to study inflammatory bowel disease in a nationwide initiative designed to recruit and genotype 10,000 individuals from the United States who have Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.

Federal Drug Discount Program faces challenges, report finds
A federal program that provides billions in drug discounts to safety net hospitals and other health care providers is expanding under health care reform, but divergent views on the purpose and scope of the program is in dispute.

ADHD, substance abuse and conduct disorder develop from the same neurocognitive deficits
Researchers at the University of Montreal and Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sainte-Justine Research Center have traced the origins of ADHD, substance abuse and conduct disorder, and found that they develop from the same neurocognitive deficits, which in turn explains why they often occur together.

Flexible sigmoidoscopy screening reduces colorectal cancer incidence, rate of death
Among about 100,000 study participants, screening with flexible sigmoidoscopy resulted in a reduced incidence and rate of death of colorectal cancer, compared to no screening, according to a study in the Aug.

Fires in northern Washington state
The Pacific Northwest has been inundated with wildfires most stemming from lightning strikes during summer storms.

Prognosis of pneumonia: value of respiratory rate often overlooked
Pneumonia -- a severe lung infection -- is the most common disease calling for hospital admission.

University of Alaska Fairbanks awarded $18.8 million for biomedical research, education
The University of Alaska Fairbanks received an $18.8 million award from the National Institutes of Health to fund statewide biomedical research and student training focused on the interface of health, disease and the environment in people and animals.

Hand sanitizers in classrooms do not reduce school absences in children
Installing alcohol-based hand sanitizer dispensers in the classrooms does not lead to reductions in the rate of school absences in children, according to a study published in this week's PLOS Medicine led by Patricia Priest and colleagues from the University of Otago, New Zealand.

Could hemp nanosheets topple graphene for making the ideal supercapacitor?
As hemp makes a comeback in the US after a decades-long ban on its cultivation, scientists are reporting that fibers from the plant can pack as much energy and power as graphene, long-touted as the model material for supercapacitors.

Contrary to popular belief, more exercise is not always better
The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends about 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise or about 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise.

Foam favorable for oil extraction
Rice University researchers demonstrate that foam may be a superior fluid to displace and extract tough-to-reach oil.

Climate relicts may help researchers understand climate change
Ecologist Scott Woolbright of the Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois describes how populations and communities known as climate relicts can help scientists understand how ecological communities are affected by climate change.

Digital literacy reduces cognitive decline in older adults, experts find
Researchers have found a link between digital literacy and a reduction in cognitive decline, according to a study published in The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Medical Sciences on July 8th.

Community pharmacies could play bigger part in tackling poor health
Community pharmacies could play a vital role in tackling major public health concerns such as obesity and smoking because the vast majority of people in England live within easy walking distance, say researchers.

Roadside research from the pinelands and coast to coast
Three doctoral students did a cross-country road trip survey of roadside ecology on the way to the Ecological Society of America meeting.

Our ancestor's 'leaky' membrane answers big questions in biology
All life on Earth came from one common ancestor -- a single-celled organism -- but what it looked like, how it lived and how it evolved into today's modern cells is a four-billion-year-old mystery being solved by researchers at UCL using mathematical modeling.

The Maldives and the whale shark: The world's biggest fish adds value to paradise
They are the largest fish in the world but the impact of this majestic and charismatic animal on the economy of the island nation of the Maldives was largely unknown.

Morphological changes of GnRHR neurons in the rat preoptic area across puberty
To clarify the regulatory mechanism of puberty onset, Dr. Quan Liu and co-workers from the First Hospital of Jilin University, China, investigated the morphological changes of GnRH neurons in the preoptic area of GnRH-enhanced green fuorescent protein transgenic rats.

Overhaul of our understanding of why autism potentially occurs
An analysis of autism research covering genetics, brain imaging, and cognition led by Laurent Mottron of the University of Montreal has overhauled our understanding of why autism potentially occurs, develops and results in a diversity of symptoms.

The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology: 2 out of every 5 Americans expected to develop type 2 diabetes during their lifetime
Forty percent of the adult population of the USA is expected to develop type 2 diabetes at some point during their lifetime, suggests a major study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology.

Regional anesthesia for pediatric knee surgery reduces pain, speeds recovery
A recent study of an ultrasound-guided regional anesthesia technique, called femoral nerve block, shows that it leads to less opioid use and allows the majority of patients to go home within hours of surgery.

NASA's space station fix-it demo for satellites gets hardware for 2.0 update
In its second phase of activities, the Robotic Refueling Mission will move past its refueling roots to test out the inspection capabilities of a new space tool called the Visual Inspection Poseable Invertebrate Robot.

Graphene-based planar micro-supercapacitors for on-chip energy storage
The development trend towards miniaturized portable electronic devices has increased demand for ultrathin, flexible and sustainable on-chip micro-supercapacitors that have enormous potential to complement, or even replace, micro-batteries and electrolytic capacitors.

Scientists discover the miracle of how geckos move, cling to ceilings
Researchers have developed a model that explains how geckos, as well as spiders and some insects, can run up and down walls, cling to ceilings, and seemingly defy gravity with such effortless grace.

Loss of eastern hemlock affects peak flows after extreme storm events
The loss of eastern hemlock could affect water yield and storm flow from forest watersheds in the southern Appalachians, according to a new study by US Forest Service scientists at the Coweeta Hydrologic Laboratory located in Otto, N.C.

NASA sees the end of Tropical Depression Genevieve
Cloud tops were warming and precipitation was waning in Tropical Depression Genevieve when NASA's Aqua satellite flew overhead.

Genetically engineered fruit flies could save crops
Releasing genetically engineered fruit flies into the wild could prove to be a cheap, effective and environmentally friendly way of pest control according to scientists at the University of East Anglia and Oxitec Ltd.

Mouth bacteria can change its diet, supercomputers reveal
Mouth bacteria can change their metabolism in disease versus health.

Tropical Storm Iselle departs Hawaii while Julio stays well north
The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite passed over Tropical Storm Iselle and gathered data on clouds and rainfall as it affected Hawaii.

Transgender relationships undermined by stigma
A study that looked at the effect of stressors such as poverty, discrimination and the stigma of transgender relationships, found that they weigh heavily on transgender women and their male partners.

Research may lead to reliable alternative to open-heart surgery
A University of Houston mathematician is leading an interdisciplinary team to improve the treatment of failing heart valves.

Stinky gases emanating from landfills could transform into clean energy
A new technique transforming stinky, air-polluting landfill gas could produce the sweet smell of success as it leads to development of a fuel cell generating clean electricity for homes, offices and hospitals, researchers say.

New drug candidate for Chagas disease tested in patients in Bolivia
The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative announced today at the International Congress of Parasitology, the launch of a Phase II drug trial to test fexinidazole, a drug shelved in the 1980s and 'rediscovered' by DNDi nearly a decade ago, for Chagas disease patients.

Approach used to conduct meta-analyses may affect outcomes
Depending on the analysis strategy used, estimating treatment outcomes in meta­-analyses may differ and may result in major alterations in the conclusions derived from the analysis, according to a study in the Aug.

A gene linked to disease found to play a critical role in normal memory development
A study from The Scripps Research Institute's Florida campus and Columbia University shows the huntingtin gene plays a critical role in long-term memory.

The Lancet: Nearly half of women at risk of preterm birth do not receive cheap drug that could prevent millions of newborn deaths
A major international study of more than 303,000 births in 29 low-income and middle-income countries has found that only half (52 percent) of women who are eligible to receive a simple, effective, low-cost treatment to prevent death and disability in their newborn babies are getting it.

UMN and NYBC research finds potential MERS transmission mechanism between bats and humans
Researchers have identified the mechanism used by the deadly Middle East Respiratory Syndrome virus to transmit from bats to humans.

Protecting newborns: Milk protein could save millions from harm
An international effort led by the University of Sydney hopes to protect hundreds of Bangladeshi newborns from a host of severe health problems by assessing the effect of lactoferrin, a natural protein found in breast and cow's milk, in the treatment of iron deficiency anemia in pregnancy.

Dartmouth study demonstrates key brain region in contextual memories
Dartmouth researchers demonstrate in a new study that a previously understudied part of the brain, the retrosplenial cortex, is essential for forming the basis for contextual memories, which help you to recall events ranging from global disasters to where you parked your car.

Kessler Foundation scientists identify predictors of prospective memory deficit post TBI
Kessler Foundation scientists have identified predictors of prospective memory impairment after traumatic brain injury.

Microvax cancer vaccine first in human clinical trial in Singapore
MicroVAX, LLC, a biotech company located in Manassas, Va., announced today the commencement of a phase I clinical trial for its unique and proprietary vaccine platform that allows under the provisions of an FDA IND entry of patients with cancers of the, breast, prostate, colon, ovary and lung, that have relapsed after initial salvage therapy.

Moore quantum materials: Recipe for serendipity
Rice University physicist Emilia Morosan has won a Materials Synthesis Investigator award from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Lauren Sciences LLC research team at Ben-Gurion University awarded grant from The ALS Association to develop V-Smart™ Therapeutic for ALS
Lauren Sciences LLC, the private New York biotechnology company developing transformative V-Smart therapeutics, with its innovative V-Smart targeted drug delivery system, based upon its novel V-Smart nanovesicle platform technology, announced the award of a grant today from The ALS Association to its research team at Ben-Gurion University.

University of Oklahoma professor awarded NSF CAREER grant to create visualization tools
A University of Oklahoma professor is creating innovative new ways for people to interact with data in the digital humanities with a five-year, $496,124 National Science Foundation CAREER grant.

NIH awards $20 million grant to Oak Crest Institute of Science
Researchers at the Oak Crest Institute of Science have been awarded a $20 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to systematically develop an intravaginal ring capable of delivering powerful antiretroviral drugs to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted HIV in women.

Immigrants at lower risk of overdose, death from codeine than people born in Canada
Immigrants are at lower risk of an overdose or death after being prescribed codeine than people born in Canada, a new study has found.

Decline in daily functioning related to decreased brain activity in Alzheimer's
Decline in daily functioning associated with Alzheimer's disease is related to alterations in activity in certain regions of the brain, according to a study published in the August 2014 issue of the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease.

Is empathy in humans and apes actually different?
Whether or not humans are the only empathic beings is still under debate.

UTMB researchers develop model to predict COPD hospital readmission
Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston have identified predictors of early rehospitalization among patients hospitalized for complications of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Princeton's Bhargava receives Fields Medal for influential mathematicians under 40
Princeton University mathematician Manjul Bhargava was awarded the 2014 Fields Medal, one of the most prestigious awards in mathematics, in recognition of his work in the geometry of numbers.

Oxidative stress is significant predictor for hip fracture, research shows
Oxidative stress is a significant predictor for hip fracture in postmenopausal women, according to new research led by University of Cincinnati epidemiologists.

Experiencing a-fib while hospitalized for surgery linked with increased risk of stroke
In a study that included 1.7 million patients undergoing inpatient surgery, experiencing atrial fibrillation while hospitalized was associated with an increased long-term risk of ischemic stroke, especially following noncardiac surgery, according to a study in the Aug.

Neck manipulation may be associated with stroke
Treatments that involve neck manipulation may be associated with strokes, although this association is not proven, according to a study published in the journal Stroke.

Infants absorb more than we might think
A new study from Concordia shows that infants as young as 10 months old can tell the difference between the kinds of paths naturally taken by a walking animal, compared to a moving car or piece of furniture.

No excess baggage: Antarctic insect's genome, newly sequenced, is smallest to date
Scientists who sequenced the genome of the Antarctic midge suspect the genome's small size -- the smallest in insects described to date -- can probably be explained by the midge's adaptation to its extreme living environment.

Shift workers: Evidence for sleep-inducing and alertness drugs is weak
Shift workers are taking drugs to help them stay awake or get to sleep despite weak evidence for their benefit, according to a new Cochrane review.

Longtime UCLA professor earns highest honor in applied mathematics
Stanley Osher, UCLA professor of mathematics and director of applied mathematics, today was named the third person ever to be awarded the prestigious Gauss Prize, the highest honor in applied mathematics.

'Trojan horse' treatment could beat brain tumors
A 'Trojan horse' treatment for an aggressive form of brain cancer, which involves using tiny nanoparticles of gold to kill tumor cells, has been successfully tested by scientists.

NTU start-up, Blacksmith Group, launches Singapore's first 3-D printer-cum-scanner
Nanyang Technological University's start-up, Blacksmith Group, has launched a 3-D printer that can also scan items into virtual models.

NASA sees a weaker Tropical Storm Julio far north of Hawaii
Tropical Storm Julio continues to weaken as it moves through cooler waters of the Central Pacific Ocean.

Notre Dame paper offers insights into a new class of semiconducting materials
A new paper by University of Notre Dame researchers describes their investigations of the fundamental optical properties of a new class of semiconducting materials known as organic-inorganic 'hybrid' perovskites.

Less radical procedures offer similar cancer control for kidney cancer patients
Needle-guided tumor destruction procedures offer near equivalent lengths of local cancer control compared to surgery for patients with small kidney cancer tumors, according to the results of a large study published in the journal European Urology.

A highly sensitive microsphere-based assay for early detection of Type I diabetes
A rapid, highly sensitive assay technique for measuring type 1 diabetes mellitus marker autoantibodies can provide better temporal resolution of disease onset and progression.

Treating Alzheimer's disease with Yizhijiannao granules by inhibiting neuronal apoptosis
Previous studies have shown that Yizhijiannao granule can enhance cognitive performance in Alzheimer's disease patients and Alzheimer's disease-model mice.

Researchers prove stability of wonder material silicene
An international team of researchers has taken a significant step towards understanding the fundamental properties of the two-dimensional material silicene by showing that it can remain stable in the presence of oxygen.

Sniffing out billions in US currency smuggled across the border to Mexico
Criminals are smuggling an estimated $30 billion in US currency into Mexico each year from the United States, but help could be on the way for border guards, researchers will report here today.

This week from AGU: Supperrotation on Venus and Titan, exploratory modeling
This week from AGU: Supperrotation on Venus and Titan and exploratory modeling.
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