Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

September 14, 2014
Asian monsoon much older than previously thought
The Asian monsoon already existed 40 million years ago during a period of high atmospheric carbon dioxide and warmer temperatures, an international research team led by a University of Arizona geoscientist reports in the journal Nature.

Study sheds new light on why batteries go bad
A comprehensive look at how tiny particles in a lithium ion battery electrode behave shows that rapid-charging the battery and using it to do high-power, rapidly draining work may not be as damaging as researchers had thought -- and that the benefits of slow draining and charging may have been overestimated.

Breast screening for over 70s doesn't prompt sharp fall in advanced disease
Including much older women in a national breast cancer screening program does not prompt a sharp fall in new cases of advanced disease in this age group -- as would be expected for a successful initiative -- reveals a study of the Dutch experience, published on thebmj.com today.

Experts raise concern over unnecessary treatment of mild hypertension in low risk people
Lowering the drug threshold for high blood pressure has exposed millions of low-risk people around the world to drug treatment of uncertain benefit at huge cost to health systems, warn US experts on thebmj.com today.

International study identifies new genetic variants indicating risk for prostate cancer
An international data study co-led by Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California scientists and researchers in the United Kingdom has revealed 23 new genetic susceptibility locations indicating risk for prostate cancer.

Results of PARTNER I trial reported at TCT 2014
New data from a landmark clinical trial found that after five years, transcatheter aortic valve replacement demonstrated a persistent mortality benefit, improved functional status, and resulted in a lower rate of repeat hospitalizations when compared with standard therapy for patients with severe aortic stenosis who are not candidates for surgery.

Three's a charm: NIST detectors reveal entangled photon triplets
Researchers at the University of Waterloo in Canada have directly entangled three photons in the most technologically useful state for the first time, thanks in part to superfast, super-efficient single-photon detectors developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

UNC researchers find final pieces to the circadian clock puzzle
UNC researchers discovered how two genes -- Period and Cryptochrome -- keep the circadian clocks in cells in proper rhythm with the 24-hour day.

Marie Claude Morice presented with Master Clinical Operator Award at TCT
Marie Claude Morice, M.D., was presented the TCT 2014 Geoffrey O.

New insights in survival strategies of bacteria
Bacteria are particularly ingenious when it comes to survival strategies.

Improved survival shown in early-stage Hodgkin's Disease patients who receive radiation therapy
Patients with stage I and II Hodgkin's Disease who receive consolidated radiation therapy have a higher 10-year survival rate of 84 percent, compared to 76 percent for patients who did not receive RT; and, the data also shows a decrease in utilization of RT, according to research presented today at the American Society for Radiation Oncology's 56th Annual Meeting.

Cheaper alternative to licensed drug for treating eye disease has similar side-effects
Health policies which favour using ranibizumab for treating eye disease in older people over safety concerns for a cheaper alternative should take account of a new Cochrane Review published today.

Muscular dystrophy: Repair the muscles, not the genetic defect
A potential way to treat muscular dystrophy directly targets muscle repair instead of the underlying genetic defect that usually leads to the disease.

Walking or cycling to work improves wellbeing, University of East Anglia researchers find
Walking or cycling to work is better for people's mental health than driving to work, according to new research by health economists at the University of East Anglia.

Blood test for VEGF-A, TGF-B1 could help determine treatment options for esophageal cancer patients
A blood test may be beneficial in indicating neoadjuvant treatment regimens for patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, according to research presented today at the American Society for Radiation Oncology's 56th Annual Meeting.

Rules of thumb for climate change turned upside down
With a new analysis of land regions, ETH climate researcher are challenging the general climate change paradigm that dry regions are getting drier and wet regions are getting wetter.

Results of CLEAN-TAVI trial reported at TCT 2014
A first-of-its kind study found that using a cerebral protection device during transcatheter aortic valve replacement can significantly reduce the number and volume of cerebral lesions in high risk patients with severe aortic stenosis.

Everyday discrimination impacts mental health
Researchers have determined that African Americans and Caribbean blacks who experience discrimination of multiple types are at substantially greater risk for a variety of mental disorders including anxiety, depression and substance abuse.

Patient-reported data shows RT does not increase risk of lymphedema in node-negative BC patients
A secondary analysis of the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project B-32 trial indicates that radiation therapy does not increase the incidence of lymphedema in patients with node-negative breast cancer, according to research presented today at the American Society for Radiation Oncology's 56th Annual Meeting.

Results of ISAR-CLOSURE trial reported at TCT 2014
A new clinical trial found that vascular closure devices are non-inferior to manual compression in patients undergoing transfemoral coronary angiography.

Blood-cleansing biospleen device developed for sepsis therapy
Things can go downhill fast when a patient has sepsis, a life-threatening condition in which bacteria or fungi multiply in a patient's blood -- often too fast for antibiotics to help.

Shorter course of ADT for high-risk prostate cancer patients yields improved quality of life
High-risk prostate cancer patients who receive radiation therapy and an 18-month course of androgen deprivation therapy recover a normal testosterone level in a shorter amount of time compared to those who receive a 36-month course of ADT, thus resulting in a better quality of life and without detriment to long-term outcomes, according to research presented today at the American Society for Radiation Oncology's 56th Annual Meeting.

University of Leeds press release: One care lapse can be fatal for heart attack patients
University of Leeds research has revealed that heart attack patients have a 46 percent increased chance of death within a month of discharge if they miss any one of nine types of care.

The Lancet: Some lung cancer patients could live longer when treated with new radiotherapy strategy
Treating advanced small-cell lung cancer with thoracic radiation therapy in addition to standard treatment significantly prolongs long-term survival and reduces cancer recurrence in the chest by almost 50 percent, according to new research published in The Lancet and being presented simultaneously at ASTRO's 2014 Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

Measuring modified protein structures
ETH-Zurich researchers have developed a new approach to measure proteins with structures that change.

Genetic testing can identify men at 6-fold increased risk of prostate cancer
Scientists can now explain one-hird of the inherited risk of prostate cancer, after a major international study identified 23 new genetic variants associated with increased risk of the disease.

Researchers find neural compensation in people with Alzheimer's-related protein
UC Berkeley researchers have found that the human brain is capable of a neural workaround that compensates for the buildup of beta-amyloid, a destructive protein associated with Alzheimer's disease.

How an ancient vertebrate uses familiar tools to build a strange-looking head
In this study, investigator and scientific director Robb Krumlauf, Ph.D., and colleagues show that the sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus, a survivor of ancient jawless vertebrates, exhibits a pattern of gene expression that is reminiscent of its jawed cousins, who evolved much, much later.

Advanced esophageal cancer patients who receive RT alone experience less problems when swallowing
Radiation therapy alone is as effective in decreasing swallowing complications experienced by advanced esophageal cancer patients as RT combined with chemotherapy, thus allowing patients to forgo chemotherapy, according to research presented today at the American Society for Radiation Oncology's 56th Annual Meeting.

Nature: New drug blocks gene driving cancer growth
When active, the protein called Ral can drive tumor growth and metastasis in several human cancers including pancreatic, prostate, lung, colon and bladder.

Results of US CoreValve High Risk Trial reported at TCT 2014
According to a new study, transcatheter aortic valve replacement provided meaningful clinical benefits relative to surgical aortic valve replacement in high risk patients with incremental costs considered acceptable from a US perspective.

Two-year results of the CoreValve US Pivotal trial reported at TCT 2014
In extended follow-up from a clinical trial, a self-expanding transcatheter aortic valve was shown to have low rates of all-cause mortality and major stroke.

Manuka honey does not decrease pain of radiation-induced esophagitis for lung cancer patients
Patient-reported data indicates that when Manuka honey is prescribed for esophagitis pain during radiation therapy, it is not more effective than standard medical care, according to research presented today at the American Society for Radiation Oncology's 56th Annual Meeting.
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