Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 01, 2014
STAR AF 2 -- in ablation for persistent atrial fibrillation, 'less may be more'
In patients with persistent atrial fibrillation -- an abnormal heart rhythm -- treating only the pulmonary veins with a procedure called ablation resulted in reasonable outcomes without the need to treat other areas of the heart, according to a new study presented as a Hot Line today at ESC Congress 2014.

Quality of US diet shows modest improvement, but overall remains poor
Dietary quality in the US has improved steadily in recent years -- spurred in large part by reduced trans fat intake -- but overall dietary quality remains poor and disparities continue to widen among socioeconomic and racial/ethnic groups, according to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health.

RELAX AHF -- serelaxin reduces in-hospital worsening heart failure
Serelaxin reduces the occurrence of in-hospital worsening heart failure by almost half in patients admitted for acute heart failure, according to the RELAX-AHF trial.

FOCUS -- polypill increases adherence to post MI treatment
A new polypill increases adherence to treatment following a myocardial infarction (MI), according to results from the FOCUS Study presented for the first time at ESC Congress 2014 today by principal investigator Dr.

Faster, cheaper tests for sickle cell
Harvard scientists have developed a new test for sickle cell disease that provides results in just 12 minutes and costs as little as 50 cents -- far faster and cheaper than other tests.

Scientists devise a bar code for the bacteria that causes tuberculosis
Doctors and researchers will be able to easily identify different types of tuberculosis thanks to a new genetic barcode devised by scientists from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Low-carb vs. low-fat diets
Articles in the Sept. 2 Annals of Internal Medicine include 'Low-carb trumps low-fat for weight loss and cardiovascular risk' and 'Rise in obesity is a substantial contributor to increased prevalence of diabetes.'

BIOSCIENCE -- experimental coronary stent combines ultrathin structure with biodegradable material
A new generation of coronary artery stent that combines a biodegradable component with an ultrathin scaffold showed promising results compared with the current gold standard, in a large population of coronary artery disease patients, according to a new study.

Neurons in human skin perform advanced calculations
Neurons in human skin perform advanced calculations, previously believed that only the brain could perform.

Week-long meeting on naming algae, fungi, and plants recorded for posterity
The XVIII International Botanical Congress in Melbourne, Australia in 2011 included a week-long meeting of 200 of the world's experts on naming algae, fungi, and plants.

EUROECO-ICD home monitoring: Cost compares, but reimbursement lags
Roughly a decade since the start of telemonitoring capabilities in implantable cardiac defibrillators (ICDs), the first financial assessment of the impact of home monitored follow-up estimates the cost to physicians, hospitals and insurance providers is the same as traditional in-office monitoring, according to a new study.

Location of body fat can increase hypertension risk
People with fat around their abdominal area are at greater risk of developing hypertension when compared to those with similar body mass index but fat concentrations elsewhere on the body, according to a study published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

'Quantum Chance': Book
'Quantum Chance,' a delightful and concise exposition, does not avoid the deep logical difficulties of quantum physics, but instead gives the reader the insights needed to appreciate them.

Fruit consumption cuts CVD risk by up to 40 percent
Daily fruit consumption cuts the risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) by up to 40 percent, according to research presented at ESC Congress today by Dr.

Training your brain to prefer healthy foods
It may be possible to train the brain to prefer healthy low-calorie foods over unhealthy higher-calorie foods, according to new research by scientists at Tufts University and at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Computer simulations visualize ion flux
A team led by pharmacologist Anna Stary-Weinzinger from the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Vienna investigated how ion flux through a voltage gated sodium ion channel works in detail.

Family dinners reduce effects of cyberbullying in adolescents
Sharing regular family meals with children may help protect them from the effects of cyberbullying, according to a study by McGill professor Frank Elgar, Institute for Health and Social Policy.

CvL PRIT -- complete revascularization improves outcome in heart attack patients
In patients being treated for heart attack, complete revascularization of all significantly blocked arteries leads to better outcomes compared to a strategy of unblocking just the 'culprit' artery responsible for the heart attack, according to a new study presented today at ESC Congress 2014.

A nucleotide change could initiate fragile X syndrome
Researchers reveal how the alteration of a single nucleotide -- the basic building block of DNA -- could initiate fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited form of intellectual disability.

Report shows use of care plans in UK is rare with limited benefits
The study, published in the British Journal of General Practice, measured the adoption of care plans and care planning, and explored the relationships with patient outcomes, using a controlled prospective cohort study.

Algal growth a blooming problem Space Station to help monitor
The space station's Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean (HICO) instrument can help research harmful algal blooms, similar to recent concerns in Lake Erie.

Quality of US diet improves, gap widens for quality between rich and poor
The quality of the US diet showed some modest improvement in the last decade in large measure because of a reduction in the consumption of unhealthy trans fats, but the gap in overall diet quality widened between the rich and the poor.

NOMI -- nitric oxide inhalation in heart attack patients sends mixed messages, but may offer benefit
Inhaled nitric oxide, delivered to heart attack patients before and during treatment with percutaneous coronary intervention did not reduce the extent of damaged tissue (infarct), but may have improved recovery, according to Hot Line results presented today at ESC Congress 2014.

Experts defend operational earthquake forecasting, counter critiques
Experts defend operational earthquake forecasting (OEF) in an editorial published in the Seismological Research Letters, arguing the importance of public communication as part of a suite of activities intended to improve public safety and mitigate damage from earthquakes.

Biventricular pacing disappoints in BIOPACE trial
Biventricular pacing failed to significantly improve outcome compared to right ventricular pacing in patients with atrio-ventricular block according to preliminary results presented as a Hot Line at ESC Congress 2014.

CNIC scientists find the key to the first cell differentiation in mammals
Scientists at the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares have discovered the key to the appearance of the first differentiated cell types in mammalian embryos.

TASTE trial finds no benefit of thrombus aspiration for AMI at 1 year
Thrombus aspiration for acute myocardial infarction does not reduce mortality or other clinical endpoints long term, according to the awaited one-year follow-up results from the Thrombus Aspiration in ST- Elevation myocardial infarction in Scandinavia (TASTE) trial.

ATLANTIC -- ambulance administration of anti-clot drug may benefit heart attack patients
Ambulance administration of the antiplatelet medication ticagrelor to patients with a type of heart attack known as ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) is not better than hospital administration, in terms of improving blood flow in blocked arteries before a revascularization procedure, according to a new study presented at ESC Congress 2014 today.

One-year data from SYMPLICITY HTN-3 confirm findings from 6-month analysis
Longer-term follow-up data from the SYMPLICITY HTN-3 trial confirmed both the safety and absence of clinical benefit of renal denervation, according to the 12-month results presented for the first time at ESC Congress today by professor George L.

SEPTAL CRT -- study finds alternative lead position is safe in cardiac resynchronization therapy
In heart failure patients undergoing cardiac resynchronisation therapy, right ventricular lead placement in the mid-septum as compared to the conventional apical position results in similar outcomes, according to the SEPTAL-CRT study.

App notifications: Is there a good time to receive one?
A new Android app that has the ability to identify when users are most likely to notice and respond to its notifications has been launched by the University of Southampton to help relieve stress.

MITOCARE -- hopes dashed for an agent to prevent reperfusion injury
The administration of an experimental agent known as TRO40303 to patients who have had a heart attack, with the hope of preventing tissue damage when impaired blood flow is corrected, was disappointingly ineffective according to results of a European study of patients with acute ST-elevation myocardial infarction presented today as a Hot Line the ESC Congress 2014 with simultaneous publication in the European Heart Journal.

Engineers develop new sensor to detect tiny individual nanoparticles
A team of researchers at Washington University in St. Louis, led by Lan Yang, Ph.D., the Das Family Career Development Associate Professor in Electrical & Systems Engineering, and their collaborators at Tsinghua University in China have developed a new sensor that can detect and count nanoparticles, at sizes as small as 10 nanometers, one at a time.

ANTHEM-HF study shows significant improvement in cardiac function with left or right vagus nerve stimulation
Regulation of the autonomic nervous system with a device that delivers continuous, low-amplitude stimulation to the vagus nerve can significantly improve cardiac function and symptoms in patients with chronic heart failure, regardless of whether the device is implanted on the left or right vagus nerve, according to preliminary results presented today at ESC Congress 2014.

FAMOUS-NSTEMI -- diagnostic technique allows avoidance of surgery in one-fifth of heart attacks
A method for measuring coronary artery blockage in heart attack patients can help more than one-fifth of them avoid stents or surgery, according to a British study presented at the ESC Congress 2014 today.

Ride-sharing could cut cabs' road time by 30 percent
Analysis suggests ride-sharing could cut taxis' road time by 30 percent.

New polypill increases heart attack patients' medication adherence
New research shows a novel polypill increases patient adherence to treatment following a myocardial infarction (MI) or heart attack, according to new study results reported at the European Society of Cardiology's ESC Congress 2014 in Barcelona, Spain by Principal Investigator Valentin Fuster, M.D., Ph.D.

FAME 2 -- FFR-guided drug-eluting stenting better than medical therapy in stable CAD
Fractional flow reserve (FFR)-guided drug-eluting stenting reduces death, myocardial infarction or urgent revascularization, as compared to medical therapy in patients with stable coronary artery disease, according to the results of the FAME 2 trial presented for the first time today at ESC Congress by principal investigator Dr.

Permanent AF doubles risk of stroke compared to paroxysmal AF
Permanent atrial fibrillation (AF) doubles the risk of stroke compared to paroxysmal AF, according to research in more than 6,000 patients presented at ESC Congress today by Dr.

Singaporean birth cohort study finds benefits for babies exposed to 2 languages
A team of investigators and clinician-scientists in Singapore and internationally have found that there are advantages associated with exposure to two languages in infancy.

Nature's tiny engineers
Corals control their environment, stirring up water eddies to bring nutrients.

Can action movies make you fat?
Is television making us fat? An increasing amount of research shows an association between TV viewing and higher food consumption and a more sedentary lifestyle.

Research letter: Viewers ate more while watching Hollywood action flick on TV
Television shows filled with action and sound may be bad for your waistline.

Zooming in for a safe flight
Bats emit ultrasound pulses and measure the echoes reflected from their surroundings.

Sierra Nevada freshwater runoff could drop 26 percent by 2100, UC study finds
Freshwater runoff from the Sierra Nevada may decrease by as much as one-quarter by 2100 due to climate warming on the high slopes, according to scientists at UC Irvine and UC Merced.

Scientists call for investigation of mysterious cloud-like collections in cells
About 50 years ago, electron microscopy revealed the presence of tiny blob-like structures that form inside cells, move around and disappear.

Spinach extract decreases cravings, aids weight loss
A spinach extract containing green leaf membranes called thylakoids decreases hedonic hunger with up to 95 percent -- and increases weight loss with 43 percent.

Likely near-simultaneous earthquakes complicate seismic hazard planning for Italy
Before the shaking from one earthquake ends, shaking from another might begin, amplifying the effect of ground motion.

Family dinners good for teens' mental health, could protect from cyberbullying
Cyberbullying was associated with mental health and substance use problems in adolescents but family dinners may help protect teens from the consequences of cyberbullying and also be beneficial for their mental health. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to