Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 19, 2014
Fish study links brain size to parental duties
Male stickleback fish that protect their young have bigger brains than counterparts that don't care for offspring, finds a new University of British Columbia study.

Ruxolitinib for myelofibrosis: Indication of considerable added benefit
In comparison with 'best supportive care,' there is an indication that the new drug is better at relieving symptoms, and a hint of longer survival.

Exporting US coal to Asia could drop emissions 21 percent
Under the right scenario, exporting US coal to power plants in South Korea could lead to a 21 percent drop in greenhouse gas emissions compared to burning it at less energy-efficient US plants.

Common antibiotic linked with heart deaths
The antibiotic clarithromycin -- widely used for treating common bacterial infections -- is associated with an increased risk of heart deaths, finds a study published on thebmj.com today.

Seafood substitutions can expose consumers to unexpectedly high mercury
New measurements from fish purchased at retail seafood counters in 10 different states show the extent to which mislabeling can expose consumers to unexpectedly high levels of mercury, a harmful pollutant.

VCU receives NIH grant to expand Alcohol Research Center
Virginia Commonwealth University has received a federal grant totaling $6.9 million to study the genetics of alcohol abuse and alcoholism -- work that may lead to further advances in its treatment, control and prevention.

57 exceptional mentors and teachers recognized with 2014 Educator of the Year Award
The Association of Residents in Radiation Oncology has honored 57 educators with the 2014 Educator of the Year Award.

UTSA researcher awarded $38K+ to evaluate energy efficiency options for historic homes
A team of UTSA researchers has been awarded a nearly $40,000 grant from the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, an office of the National Park Service and US Department of the Interior.

VCU Massey Cancer Center receives $4.4 million NCORP grant
Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center was awarded a $4.4 million, 5-year, renewable grant from the National Cancer Institute to support a statewide network for cancer clinical research in Virginia that brings state-of-the-art clinical trials to patients in their own communities and emphasizes the inclusion of minorities in clinical trials and a focus on research that addresses cancer disparities.

The difficult question of Clostridium difficile
Clostridium difficile is a major problem as an aetiological agent for antibiotic-associated diarrhoea.

Love makes sex better for most women
Love and commitment can make sex physically more satisfying for many women, according to a Penn State Abington sociologist.

Straight Talk: The Future of Medical and Health Research
Leaders from government, industry, academia and patient advocacy organizations will explore the future of R&D investments, policy trends, public-private partnerships, public health and social sciences research, global health threats and other timely medical and health research issues in panel discussions hosted by Research!America.

Nurses driven mainly by a desire to help others are more likely to burn out
Nurses who are motivated primarily by the desire to help others, rather than by enjoyment of the work itself or the lifestyle it makes possible, are more likely to burn out on the job, University of Akron researchers say.

University of Houson program earns kudos for improving grades, retaining students
To improve students' chances of completing introductory biology courses and decrease poor grades, the University of Houston implemented a comprehensive student success program, employing various interventions for students at risk for failure.

Electrical engineers take major step toward photonic circuits
Engineering researchers at the University of Alberta are breaking another barrier, designing nano-optical cables small enough to replace the copper wiring on computer chips.

Zebrafish help to unravel Alzheimer's disease
New fundamental knowledge about the regulation of stem cells in the nerve tissue of zebrafish embryos results in surprising insights into neurodegenerative disease processes in the human brain.

Book: 'Aspiring Adults Adrift'
This follow-up to Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa's landmark Academically Adrift takes the students from that study through the rest of college and into the workplace, and reveals the surprising -- and troubling -- realities of life and learning for young people today.

Targeted brain training may help you multitask better
The area of the brain involved in multitasking and ways to train it have been identified by a research team at the Institut universitaire de geriatrie de Montreal and the University of Montreal.

Markey researchers develop web-based app to predict glioma mutations
A new web-based program developed by University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center researchers will provide a simple, free way for healthcare providers to determine which brain tumor cases require testing for a genetic mutation.

Nurse staffing and mortality in stroke centers
Hospital staffing levels have been associated with patient outcomes, but staffing on weekends has not been well studied.

Queen's and NASA join forces in major international investigation into 'solar flares'
A major new collaboration between the Astrophysics Research Centre at Queen's University Belfast and American space agency NASA is set to investigate 'solar flares' and their potential to cause disruption here on Earth.

Perampanel for epilepsy: Still no proof of added benefit
In its second dossier, the drug manufacturer deviated from the appropriate comparator therapy and again provided no relevant data for the assessment of the added benefit of perampanel.

Moving single cells around -- accurately and cheaply
Scientists have figured out how to pick up and transfer single cells using a pipette -- a common laboratory tool that's been tweaked slightly.

Novel gene predicts both breast cancer relapse and response to chemotherapy
Scientists have made it easier to predict both breast cancer relapses and responses to chemotherapy, through the identification of a unique gene.

Intervention helps smokers quit following hospital stay
Among hospitalized adult smokers who wanted to quit, a postdischarge intervention that included automated telephone calls and free medication resulted in higher sustained smoking cessation rates at six months than standard postdischarge advice to use smoking cessation medication and counseling, according to a study in the Aug.

Leave the car at home for a healthier daily commute, say experts
Commuting to work by active (walking or cycling) and public modes of transport is linked to lower body weight and body fat composition compared with those using private transport, suggests a UK study published on thebmj.com today.

Bubbling down: Discovery suggests surprising uses for common bubbles
In a finding with scientific and industrial applications, Princeton researchers find that bursting bubbles can push tiny particles down into a liquid as well as up into the air.

Providing futile care in the ICU prevents other patients from receiving critical care
Providing futile treatment in the intensive care unit sets off a chain reaction that causes other ill patients needing medical attention to wait for critical care beds.

How parents juggle work hours may influence kids' weight
The way parents balance their work schedules may affect their adolescent children's eating habits, according to Penn State researchers.

New study first to examine quality of cardiac rehabilitation programs in Canada
The quality of cardiac rehabilitation programs across Canada is strong, with specific criteria areas now identified as requiring further enhancement to improve patient outcomes, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the Peter Munk Cardiac Center, York University and University Health Network.

CU Denver researcher shows economic disparities impact infant health
Women who are poor experience higher cortisol levels in pregnancy and give birth to infants with elevated levels of the stress hormone, putting them at greater risk for serious disease later in life, according to a new research from the University of Colorado Denver.

Life on Mars? Implications of a newly discovered mineral-rich structure
A new ovoid structure discovered in the Nakhla Martian meteorite is made of nanocrystalline iron-rich clay, contains a variety of minerals, and shows evidence of undergoing a past shock event from impact.

Deaths rise with shift from in-hospital to outpatient procedures for urology surgeries
As hospitals have shifted an array of common urological surgeries from inpatient procedures to outpatient, potentially preventable deaths have increased following complications.

In an already stressful workplace, Great Recession's health effects hard to find
The Great Recession of 2007-2009 had little direct effect on the health of workers who survived the waves of job cuts that took place during that period, according to a new University of Akron study.

Why global warming is taking a break
The average temperature on Earth has barely risen over the past 16 years.

Hartford/VA Geriatric Social Work Scholars Program selects new cohort
The prestigious Hartford/Veteran's Affairs Scholars Program has selected three geriatric social work researchers for a two-year award that provides career development and mentorship for projects that will improve health outcomes not only for older veterans, but for all older adults.

In-utero methadone, subutex exposure could alter gene expression, cause severe neonatal abstience syndrome
Some infants born with neonatal abstinence syndrome secondary to in-utero opioid exposure have a more difficult time going through withdrawal than others, but the underlying reasons are not well understood.

UCSF-led study finds SCID previously underdiagnosed in infants with fatal infections
Severe combined immunodeficiency, a potentially life-threatening, but treatable, disorder affecting infants, is twice as common as previously believed, according to a new study that is the first to examine the national impact of this newborn screening test.

Gene therapy protects mice from lethal heart condition, MU researchers find
A new gene therapy developed by researchers at the University of Missouri School of Medicine has been shown to protect mice from a life-threatening heart condition caused by muscular dystrophy.

Researchers block plant hormone
A small molecule inhibits jasmonic acid and helps to explain its effects.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Karina losing its punch
Tropical Storm Karina continues to weaken in the Eastern Pacific over open waters, and NASA data shows there's not much punch left in the storm.

Natural (born) killer cells battle pediatric leukemia
Researchers at Children's Hospital Los Angeles have shown that a select team of immune-system cells can be multiplied in the lab, creating an army of natural killer cells that can be used to destroy leukemia cells.

UK dyslexia charities should give balanced view on expensive lenses to improve reading
UK dyslexia charities should give a more balanced account of the evidence for colored overlays and lenses in dyslexia say experts on thebmj.com today.

Rates of heart disease and stroke continue to decline in Europe
Deaths from heart disease and stroke are declining overall in Europe, but at differing rates, according to research, published in the European Heart Journal.

Laser optical tweezers reveal how malaria parasites infect red blood cells
Little is known about how malaria invades one red blood cell after another because it happens so quickly.

Solar energy that doesn't block the view
A team of researchers at Michigan State University has developed a new type of solar concentrator that when placed over a window creates solar energy while allowing people to actually see through the window.

Blood glucose levels measured in hospitalized patients can predict risk of type 2 diabetes
Blood glucose levels measured in hospitalized adults during acute illness can be used to predict risk of developing type 2 diabetes over the following three years, according to a study published by David McAllister and colleagues from the University of Edinburgh, UK, in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Daughters provide as much elderly parent care as they can, sons do as little as possible
Parents are better off having daughters if they want to be cared for in their old age suggests a new study, which finds that women appear to provide as much elderly parent care as they can, while men contribute as little as possible.

Evolution of marine crocodilians constrained by ocean temperatures
The ancestors of today's crocodiles colonised the seas during warm phases and became extinct during cold phases, according to a new Anglo-French study which establishes a link between marine crocodilian diversity and the evolution of sea temperature over a period of more than 140 million years.

NASA sees Depression 12-E become Tropical Storm Lowell
In less than 24 hours after Tropical Depression 12-E was born in the eastern Pacific Ocean it strengthened into Tropical Storm Lowell.

Graphene rubber bands could stretch limits of current healthcare, new research finds
New research published today in the journal ACS Nano identifies a new type of sensor that can monitor body movements and could help revolutionise healthcare.

Unlike less educated people, college grads more active on weekends than weekdays
People's educational attainment influences their level of physical activity both during the week and on weekends, according to a study whose authors include two University of Kansas researchers.

The ABC's of animal speech: Not so random after all
The calls of many animals, from whales to wolves, might contain more language-like structure than previously thought, according to study that raises new questions about the evolutionary origins of human language.

Financial weight makes it trickier to lose pounds where it counts
Weight-loss advertising tends to target people ready, willing and able to pay for diet programs, special meals or gym memberships.

New textbook introduces undergraduates to mathematics for the life sciences
Today's students in college biology and other science courses are increasingly being asked to analyze problems in quantitative ways, and now they have a new textbook to help them do so.

NMR using Earth's magnetic field
Berkeley Lab researchers carried out nuclear magnetic resonance experiments using an ultra-low magnetic field comparable to Earth's magnetic field.

Prevalence of HSV type 2 decreases among pregnant women in the Pacific Northwest
In a study that included approximately 15,000 pregnant women, seroprevalence of herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 2 decreased substantially between 1989 and 2010 while there was no overall decrease for HSV type 1, but a slight increase among black women, according to a study in the Aug.

Study examines incidence, survival rate of severe immunodeficiency disorder in newborns
Newborn screening performed in numerous states indicates that the incidence of the potentially life-threatening disorder, severe combined immunodeficiency, is higher than previously believed, at one in 58,000 births, although there is a high rate of survival, according to a study in the Aug.

Increase in reported flooding a result of higher exposure
A rise in the number of reported floods in the UK over the past 129 years can mainly be explained by increased exposure, resulting from urban expansion and population growth, according to new research by the University of Southampton.

Anesthesia professionals not sufficiently aware of risks of postoperative cognitive side effects
Postsurgical cognitive side effects can have major implications for the level of care, length of hospital stay, and the patient's perceived quality of care, especially in elderly and fragile patients.

Guiding stars
Can nutrition rating systems be used in supermarkets to encourage healthier spending habits?

How steroid hormones enable plants to grow
Plants can adapt extremely quickly to changes in their environment.

San Antonio Life Sciences Institute awards $750,000 to innovators
The University of Texas at San Antonio and The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and today announced the awarding of more than $750,000 in grants through the San Antonio Life Sciences Institute Innovation Challenge.

Has the puzzle of rapid climate change in the last ice age been solved?
The cold period of the last ice age was repeatedly interrupted by much warmer climate conditions.

Intimacy a strong motivator for PrEP HIV prevention
Many HIV-negative gay or bisexual men in steady relationships with other HIV-negative men don't always use condoms out of a desire for intimacy.

First indirect evidence of so-far undetected strange baryons
New supercomputing calculations provide the first evidence that particles predicted by the theory of quark-gluon interactions but never before observed are being produced in heavy-ion collisions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider.

Study finds increased rates of preventable deaths in the US following common urologic procedures
In recent years, a shift from inpatient to outpatient surgery in the US for commonly performed urologic procedures has coincided with increasing deaths following complications that were potentially recognizable or preventable.

Repeat ED visits for acute heart failure suggest need for better outpatient care
Almost one-third of acute heart failure syndrome patients seen in hospital emergency departments in Florida and California during 2010 had ED visits during the following year, findings that suggest a lack of appropriate outpatient care.

Engineering new bone growth
Massachusetts Institute of Technology researchers find that coated tissue scaffolds help the body grow new bone to repair injuries or congenital defects.

Opioid users breathe easier with novel drug to treat respiratory depression
People taking prescription opioids to treat moderate to severe pain may be able to breathe a little easier, literally.

New vaccine shows promise as stronger weapon against both tuberculosis and leprosy
A new University of California Los Angeles-led study finds that a recombinant variant of the century-old vaccine Bacille Calmette-Guerin is superior to Bacille Calmette-Guerin in protecting against tuberculosis in animal models, and also cross protects against leprosy.

This week from AGU: Long-term ecological research, predicting cholera outbreaks
This week from the American Geophysical Union: Long-term ecological research, predicting cholera outbreaks

Springer announces new book series, 'Healthy Ageing and Longevity'
As the longevity of the world's population continues to increase, the challenges accompanying this become more complex and touch nearly every aspect of society.

Novel oral anticoagulant prescriptions soar, but at a high cost
Warfarin, the longtime standard treatment for atrial fibrillation, is facing competition from new options in the anticoagulant drug marketplace including dabigatran, rivaroxaban, and apixaban.

Secrets of how worms wriggle uncovered
An engineer at the University of Liverpool has found how worms move around, despite not having a brain to communicate with the body.

New project is the ACME of addressing climate change
High performance computing will be used to develop and apply the most complete climate and Earth system model to address the most challenging and demanding climate change issues.

Asian inventions dominate energy storage systems
In recent years, the number of patent applications for electrochemical energy storage technologies has soared.

Using physics to design better drugs: Albert Einstein College of Medicine awarded $9 million NIH grant
The National Institutes of Health has awarded $9 million to renew a grant headed by Robert Callender, Ph.D., professor of biochemistry at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.

College education not always about what you have, but how you use it
Students who have books and computers at home, who take extramural cultural classes, and whose parents give advice and take part in school activities are most likely to enroll for a four-year college degree.

Extended support helps patients stay smoke-free after hospital discharge
A Massachusetts General Hospital study in the Aug. 20 issue of JAMA describes a program that increased the proportion of hospitalized smokers who successfully quit smoking after discharge by more than 70 percent.

Over-reliance of pulse oximetry for children with respiratory infection
Among infants presenting to a pediatric emergency department with mild to moderate bronchiolitis, those with an artificially elevated oxygen saturation reading were less likely to be hospitalized or receive hospital care for more than 6 hours than those with unaltered readings, suggesting that these readings should not be the only factor in the decision to admit or discharge, according to a study in the Aug.

Antibacterial soap exposes health workers to high triclosan levels
Handwashing with antibacterial soap exposes hospital workers to significant and potentially unsafe levels of triclosan, a widely-used chemical currently under review by the US Food and Drug Administration, according to a study led by researchers from University of California San Francisco.

Organic photovoltaic cells of the future
Organic photovoltaic cells -- a type of solar cell that uses polymeric materials to capture sunlight -- show tremendous promise as energy conversion devices, thanks to key attributes such as flexibility and low-cost production, but have complex power conversion processes.

Sequencing at sea
Scientists overcame equipment failure, space constraints and shark-infested waters to do real-time DNA sequencing in a remote field location.

Biomarker in an aggressive breast cancer is identified
Northwestern University scientists have identified a biomarker strongly associated with basal-like breast cancer, a highly aggressive carcinoma that is resistant to many types of chemotherapy.

Women will benefit from the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive coverage
Women could benefit greatly from the Affordable Care Act's mandate for contraceptive coverage, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

'Tickling' your ear could be good for your heart
Stimulating nerves in your ear could improve the health of your heart, researchers have discovered.

Taking a stand: Balancing the BENEFITS and RISKS of physical activity in children
Today the Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology took a stand on the promotion of childhood physical activity and published their position and recommendations in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism.

Philippine tarsier gets boost from Kansas research, and genetic proof of a new variety
The tarsier is the 'flagship' iconic species for promoting environmental stewardship and ecotourism in the Philippines, a nation suffering from large-scale destruction of natural habitat.

Scaling up health innovation: Fertility awareness-based family planning goes national
A new study from Georgetown University's Institute for Reproductive Health reports on the results of the successful large-scale implementation, in a low resource environment, of the Standard Days Method, a highly effective fertility awareness-based family planning method developed by Institute researchers.

Physically fit kids have beefier brain white matter than their less-fit peers
A new study of 9- and 10-year-olds finds that those who are more aerobically fit have more fibrous and compact white-matter tracts in the brain than their peers who are less fit.
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