Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 03, 2014
LSU Health New Orleans awarded $2.2 million to support young breast cancer survivors
The LSU Health New Orleans School of Public Health has been awarded a $2.2 million grant to increase the availability of health information and support services for young breast cancer survivors in the Gulf South.

Almost three-quarters of patients with no coronary heart disease have persistent symptoms
Almost three-quarters of patients investigated for coronary heart disease, and given the all-clear, still have persistent symptoms up to 18 months later, indicates a small study published in the online journal Open Heart.

The 2014 Wilder-Penfield Prize goes to Michael Meaney
The Douglas Mental Health University Institute is proud to announce that its researcher and neurobiologist, Michael Meaney, C.M., Ph.D., C.Q., FRSC, is the 2014 laureate of the prestigious prix Wilder-Penfield.

Pain and depression place older adults at risk of delirium following surgery
New research reports that preoperative pain and depressive symptoms in older adults place them at greater risk of delirium following surgery.

Study: Maple syrup production declines after big seed year
New research in the journal Forest Ecology and Management reveals a more valuable metric for understanding -- and even predicting -- syrup production: How many seed helicopters rained down from the trees the year before.

What is a species? It could be difficult to reply if you work with aphids
Karyotype analysis of strains of the green peach aphid Myzus persicae evidenced several populations possessing rearranged chromosomes, also within single individuals.

NYU study points to perception divide in abortion: Whom we think we know
Pro-life Americans are less likely to hear about the abortions women they know have had than are pro-choice Americans, a New York University study shows.

Groundwater patches play important role in forest health, water quality
Patches of soaked soil act as hot spots for microbes removing nitrogen from groundwater and returning it to the atmosphere.The discovery provides insight into forest health and water quality, say researchers from Virginia Tech and Cornell.

NASA sees Super Typhoon Nuri's eye open in 2 days
Over the course of two days, from Nov. 1 to Nov.

Combining 'Tinkertoy' materials with solar cells for increased photovoltaic efficiency
Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have received a $1.2 million award from the US Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative to develop a technique that they believe will significantly improve the efficiencies of photovoltaic materials and help make solar electricity cost-competitive with other sources of energy.

News from Nov. 4, 2014 Annals of Internal Medicine
People who have had a kidney stone should increase their fluid intake to achieve at least two liters of urine per day to prevent a recurrence, according to a new evidence-based clinical practice guideline from the American College of Physicians being published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

TSRI study shows how exercise could reduce relapse during meth withdrawal
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have found that even brief workouts can reduce the risk of relapse in rats withdrawing from methamphetamine.

Inhaled Ebola vaccine may offer long-term protection from virus
A potentially breathable, respiratory vaccine in development has been shown to provide long-term protection against the Ebola virus for non-human primates, as reported this week in Molecular Pharmaceutics.

Nasal spray vaccine has potential for long-lasting protection from Ebola virus
A nasal vaccine in development by researchers at the University of Texas at Austin has been shown to provide long-term protection for non-human primates against the deadly Ebola virus.

ACP releases new recommendations to prevent recurrent kidney stones
In a new evidence-based clinical practice guideline published today in Annals of Internal Medicine, the American College of Physicians (ACP) recommends that people who have had a kidney stone increase their fluid intake to achieve at least two liters of urine per day to prevent another kidney stone from forming.

Why we are made of 'star stuff'
As Carl Sagan famously said, 'We are made of star stuff.' It's a mind-boggling thought, but what exactly did he mean?

Putting batteries in a kidsafe coat of armor
A Brigham and Women's Hospital led team has developed a simple 'coat of armor' to encase small batteries, rendering them harmless if they are ever swallowed.

Beliefs about the soul and afterlife that we acquire as children stick with us
Beliefs about the soul and afterlife, acquired in childhood, tend to stick with us.

Women's sexual journey is usually an evolution, not revolution
From motherhood to menopause, from marriage to divorce, women's sexual experiences have profound -- and often unexpected -- effects on not just their sexuality, but also on their feelings of self-worth, according to a Penn State Abington sociologist.

Western retailers in China boost Chinese manufacturing supremacy
When western retailers like Walmart and Tesco move into China, Chinese manufacturing gets a boost, shows a new study by the University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business.

March of Dimes calls for 50 percent reduction in preterm births by 2030
The March of Dimes is calling for a nationwide effort to reduce US preterm births to 5.5 percent of by 2030.

Research partnership is key to biodiversity conservation
A new policy paper led by University of York scientists, in partnership with Proforest, aims to increase awareness among researchers of the High Conservation Value approach to safeguarding ecosystems and species.

Half of smokers using Liverpool Stop Smoking Services used e-cigs
Over half the smokers using the Liverpool Stop Smoking Service have tried electronic cigarettes.

Compared with apes, people's gut bacteria lack diversity, study finds
The microbes living in people's guts are much less diverse than those in humans' closest relatives, the African apes, an apparently long evolutionary trend that appears to be speeding up in more modern societies, with possible implications for human health, according to a new study.

Food allergy development linked to skin exposure
Food allergies are on the rise in the US and other developed countries.

Story tips from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, November 2014
The Oak Ridge National Laboratory's October 2014 story tips include stories on organic solar cells, drilling for gas vresus oil and batteries.

String field theory could be the foundation of quantum mechanics
Scientists propose a link between string field theory and quantum mechanics that could open the door to using string field theory as the basis of all physics.

UT Dallas neuroscientists offer novel insight on brain networks
New research from the Center for Vital Longevity at UT Dallas offers a different approach for looking at the way the brain operates on a network level, and could eventually lead to new clinical diagnostic criteria for age-related memory disorders.

The effects of poor eating habits persist even after diet is improved
In a new report appearing in the November 2014 issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, scientists use mice to show that even after successful treatment of atherosclerosis, including lowering of blood cholesterol and a change in dietary habits, the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle still affect the way the immune system functions.

New tool could help reshape the limits of synthetic biology
NYU Langone yeast geneticists report they have developed a novel tool -- dubbed 'the telomerator' -- that could redefine the limits of synthetic biology and advance how successfully living things can be engineered or constructed in the laboratory based on an organism's genetic, chemical base-pair structure.

School environment affects teacher expectations of their students
The school environment in which teachers work is related to their expectations of students, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Montreal.

Diet affects pesticide resistance in honey bees
Feeding honey bees a natural diet of pollen makes them significantly more resistant to pesticides than feeding them an artificial diet, according to a team of researchers, who also found that pesticide exposure causes changes in expression of genes that are sensitive to diet and nutrition.

Plasma: Casimir and Yukawa mesons
A new theoretical work establishes a long-sought-after connection between nuclear particles and electromagnetic theories.

Berkeley Lab scientists ID new driver behind Arctic warming
Scientists have identified a mechanism that could turn out to be a big contributor to warming in the Arctic region and melting sea ice.

New research reveals what to discuss near life's end
The more elements of care that physicians discussed with patients, the higher the satisfaction that they and their families reported regarding care received, and the higher the concordance between preferred and prescribed goals of care.

Malaria from monkeys now dominant cause of human malaria hospitalizations in Malaysia
The majority of malaria hospitalizations in Malaysia are now caused by a dangerous and potentially deadly monkey-borne parasite once rarely seen in humans, and deforestation is the potential culprit in a growing number of infections that could allow this virulent malaria strain to jump from macaque monkeys to human hosts, according to research presented today at the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) Annual Meeting.

Nanotubes could serve as 'universal scaffolding' for cell membrane channels
A study, in which the Membrane Nanomechanics group led by the Ikerbasque lecturer Dr.

UCLA astronomers solve puzzle about bizarre object at the center of our galaxy
The mystery about a thin, bizarre object in the center of the Milky Way that some astronomers believe to be a hydrogen gas cloud headed toward our galaxy's enormous black hole has been solved by UCLA astronomers.

Biological fat with a sugar attached essential to maintaining the brain's supply of stem cells
Fat and sugar aren't usually considered healthy staples, but scientists have found that a biological fat with a sugar attached is essential for maintaining the brain's store of stem cells.

Countries with poor marine safety records linked to oil spill vessels
More than half of ships involved in the 100 largest oil spills of the past three decades were registered in states that consistently fail to comply with international safety and environmental standards, UBC researchers have determined.

Thirdhand smoke: Toxic airborne pollutants linger long after the smoke clears
Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have published a new study assessing the health effects of thirdhand smoke constituents present in indoor air.

Gender fairness prevails in most fields of academic science
A comprehensive new report investigating women's underrepresentation in science, technology, math, and engineering (STEM) fields reveals that, despite many differences between the sexes prior to college -- reflected in occupational preferences, math ability, cultural attitudes, and amount of AP coursework taken, for example -- the playing field eventually levels for women who continue in most of these fields once they earn their PhD.

Comprehensive breast center improves quality of care for breast reconstruction
After opening a comprehensive breast center, one hospital achieved significant improvement in key measures of quality of care for women undergoing breast reconstruction, reports the November issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Swallowing a sponge on a string could replace endoscopy as pre-cancer test
Swallowing a sponge on a string could replace traditional endoscopy as an equally effective but less invasive way of diagnosing a condition that can be a forerunner of esophageal cancer.

Wiley and Safari's PubFactory announce strategic partnership on eve of the 2014 Charleston Conference
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., and Safari today announced a strategic partnership that will deliver the next generation in digital reference platforms for students, faculty and librarians.

Climate change: Limiting short-lived pollutants cannot buy time on CO2 mitigation
Targeting emissions of non-CO2 gases and air pollutants with climate effects might produce smaller benefits for long-term climate change than previously estimated, according to a new integrated study of the potential of air pollution and carbon dioxide mitigation.

AGA introduces new journal: Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology
The American Gastroenterological Association is pleased to welcome a new member to its family of journals: Cellular and Molecular Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

NASA lining up ICESat-2's laser-catching telescope
Last week, engineers and technicians at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, fitted the mirrored telescope of the Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) into its place.

Even when you're older you need chaperones
Aging is the most significant risk factor for developing neurodegenerative diseases, and the risk increases disproportionately with age.

On the throne with the flu
Flu infection has long-ranging effects beyond the lung that can wreak havoc in the gut and cause gastrointestinal symptoms, according to researchers in China.

'Mild' control of systolic blood pressure in older adults is adequate: 150 is good enough
A broad review of the use of medications to reduce blood pressure has confirmed that 'mild' control of systolic pressure is adequate for adults age 65 or older -- in the elderly, there's no clear benefit to more aggressive use of medications to achieve a lower pressure.

Report: Performance measures should include patient actions
The actions -- or inaction -- of patients should be considered in programs designed to improve care and patient outcomes, according to a report released today by the American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Nurses Association in collaboration with other professional organizations.

Grant success for Monash economists
Economist and lead researcher Dr. Paulo Santos from Monash University's Centre for Development Economics has received a $1.5 million grant from the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research for his project on improving food security in the northern uplands of Laos.

MRSA bugs linked to livestock are found in hospitals, study finds
Some methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bugs in UK hospitals can be traced back to a type of bacteria found in farm animals, a study suggests.

Singapore conference highlights global health needs
The world is rapidly shrinking at the same time that medical collaborations are expanding -- for the benefit of patient care right across the globe, a major international health conference in Singapore will hear next week.

Forests lose essential nitrogen in surprising way, find scientists
Even during summer dry spells, some patches of soil in forested watersheds remain waterlogged.

Women with bipolar disorder at 50 percent greater risk of delivering preterm babies
Women who have been previously hospitalized for bipolar disorder are nearly twice as likely to have premature babies compared to women without a history of mental illness, according to a new study by researchers at Women's College Hospital and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences.

Improving memory deficits following anesthesia
General anesthesia results in expended cognitive decline for many individuals following surgical procedure.

Study finds parent intervention is best for helping toddlers with autism
For the first time, toddlers with autism have demonstrated significant improvement after intensive intervention by parents rather than clinicians, according to a new Florida State University study published online in the journal Pediatrics.

Assessing elderly drivers: Doctors and law enforcement receive training
Every day in America roughly 10,000 people turn age 65.

NSAIDs prevent colon cancer by inducing death of intestinal stem cells that have mutation
Aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) protect against the development of colorectal cancer by inducing cell suicide pathways in intestinal stem cells that carry a certain mutated and dysfunctional gene, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute and the School of Medicine.

More than half of obese patients opt out of the bariatric surgical procedure process
University Health Network researchers are trying to determine why many patients who are referred for a bariatric operation do not ultimately have the procedure performed, despite being in a publicly funded health care program.

Telephone counseling leads more adult childhood cancer survivors to get heart screenings
Supplementing written heart screening guidelines with telephone counseling from specially trained nurses more than doubled the likelihood that adult survivors of childhood cancer received recommended heart checks, according to results from the Childhood Cancer Survivor Study.

Texas A&M awarded grant to help reduce obesity, chronic disease
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service has been awarded a 'Programs to Reduce Obesity in High-Obesity Areas' grant to support national efforts by the US Department of Health and Human Services to reduce chronic diseases, promote healthier lifestyles, reduce health disparities and control health care spending.

No quick fix for global warming
A debate has broken out between politicians and scientists as to whether atmospheric warming can be delayed by reducing short-lived climate forcing agents.

Outsmarting thermodynamics in self-assembly of nanostructures
Berkeley Lab researchers have achieved symmetry-breaking in a bulk metamaterial solution for the first time, a critical step game toward achieving new and exciting properties in metamaterials.

Obesity a liability in cancer immunotherapy
Packing on the pounds may lead to dangerous inflammation in response to anti-cancer treatment.

Higher risk of bleeding in atrial fibrillation patients taking blood thinner dabigatran
Patients with atrial fibrillation who take the blood thinner dabigatran are at greater risk for major bleeding and gastrointestinal bleeding than those who take warfarin, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

Lung cancer diagnosed before it is detected by imaging
A team of researchers from Inserm led by Paul Hofman shows in the journal PLOS ONE, that it is possible to detect, in patients at risk of developing lung cancer, early signs, in the form of circulating cancer cells, several months, and in some cases several years, before the cancer becomes detectable by CT scanning.

PNAS: From HIV to cancer, IL-37 regulates immune system
A University of Colorado Cancer Center study published in this month's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences describes the activity of a recently discovered communication molecule of the body's immune system, Interleukin 37 or IL-37.

New classification improves risk prediction in chronic lymphocytic leukemia
If chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients with a good or poor prognosis could be identified already at the time of diagnosis, physicians would have better possibilities to adjust their therapeutic and follow-up strategies.

VLTI detects exozodiacal light
By using the full power of the Very Large Telescope Interferometer an international team of astronomers has discovered exozodiacal light close to the habitable zones around nine nearby stars.

New test shows promise in identifying new drugs to treat Lyme disease
Researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have developed a test they say will allow them to test thousands of FDA-approved drugs to see if they will work against the bacteria that causes tick-borne Lyme disease.

Study recommends integrating housing data with health data to improve patient medical care
A study to be released in the November issue of Health Affairs shows that integrating community housing data on such code violations as mold and cockroaches with health data can identify at-risk geographical areas of medical concern and help target patients for medical interventions.

Environmental influences on autism the focus of new $1.6 million federal grant to U-M
University of Michigan researchers will use a new $1.6 million federal grant to probe potential social and environmental links to autism, collecting location-specific information from tens of thousands of affected individuals and their families nationwide.

University of Toronto researchers discover why anesthetics cause prolonged memory loss
Researchers at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Medicine have shown why anesthetics can cause long-term memory loss, a discovery that can have serious implications for post-operative patients.

Preterm, low birth-weight babies may need new hips in adulthood
Researchers from Australia report that low birth weight and preterm birth are linked to increased risk for osteoarthritis (OA)-related hip replacements in adulthood.

Migraine linked to defective 'insulation' around nerve fibers, suggests study in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
A new study shows cellular-level changes in nerve structure and function that may contribute to the development of migraine headaches, reports the November issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Coenzyme Q10 helps veterans battle Gulf War illness symptoms
In a study published in the Nov. 1 issue of Neural Computation, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report that a high quality brand of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) -- a compound commonly sold as a dietary supplement -- provides health benefits to persons suffering from Gulf War illness symptoms.

Carnegie Mellon's Anna V. Fisher wins James S. McDonnell Foundation award
Fisher, an associate professor of psychology, will use the six-year, $600,000 award to continue her research into the emergence of higher-order cognition in the course of child development.

Long term shift work linked to impaired brain power
Long term shift work is linked to impaired brain power, finds research published online in Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

Brain anatomy differences between autistic and typically developing individuals are indistinguishable
'Our findings offer definitive answers regarding several scientific controversies about brain anatomy, which have occupied autism research for the past 10 to 15 years,' says Dr.

Hurricane Vance dwarfs developing low pressure area
NOAA's GOES-West satellite captured an image of Hurricane Vance and a much smaller developing low pressure area in the Eastern Pacific Ocean on Nov.

Same pieces, different picture
Scientists at EMBL Heidelberg have obtained the first structure of the immature form of HIV at a high enough resolution to pinpoint exactly where each building block sits in the virus.

Immunotherapy for cancer toxic with obesity
Immunotherapy that can be effective against tumors in young, thin mice can be lethal to obese ones, a new study by UC Davis researchers has found.

Most mental health disorders not increasing in children and youth: Large Canadian study
Symptoms of mental illness in children and adolescents do not appear to be increasing, according to a large study of Canadian youth published in CMAJ.

Dance choreography improves girls' computational skills
Clemson researchers find that blending movement and computer programming supports girls in building computational thinking skills, according to an ongoing study funded by the National Science Foundation and emerging technology report published in journal Technology, Knowledge and Learning.

New process transforms wood, crop waste into valuable chemicals
Scientists today disclosed a new method to convert lignin, a biomass waste product, into simple chemicals.

Smoking is a pain in the back
A new Northwestern Medicine study has found that smokers are three times more likely than nonsmokers to develop chronic back pain, and dropping the habit may cut your chances of developing this often debilitating condition.

New study shows women have higher risk of injury than men
A new study of emergency department patients in 18 countries, made available online today by the scientific journal Addiction, shows that the risk of injury caused by acute alcohol consumption is higher for women compared with men.

End-of-life discussions: The top 5 things to talk about with patients and their families
What are the most important things for health care teams to talk about in end-of-life discussions with patients in hospital and their families?

Anthropologist's new book examines newspaper cartoons' importance to politics and culture
University of Texas Arlington cultural anthropologist Ritu Khanduri examines newspaper cartoons' importance to politics and culture in new book.

Dabigatran associated with higher incidence of major bleeding vs. warfarin
A study of Medicare beneficiaries suggests the anticoagulant medication dabigatran should be prescribed with caution because it appears to be associated with a higher incidence of major bleeding and a higher risk of gastrointestinal bleeding but a lower risk of intracranial hemorrhage than warfarin, according to a report published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

Biosimilar drugs could create billions in health care savings, study finds
The US Food and Drug Administration is expected soon to approve rules for introduction of 'biosimilars,' generic versions of complex biologic drugs used to treat illnesses such as cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.

Increased prevalence in autism diagnoses linked to reporting in Denmark
About 60 percent of the increase in the observed prevalence of autism spectrum disorders in Danish children appears to be largely due to changes in reporting practices, according to a study published online by JAMA Pediatrics.

Variations in ice sheet height influence global climate
Heinrich events, in which large masses of icebergs rapidly broke free from ice sheets during the last ice age, are thought to have influenced global climate by interrupting ocean circulation patterns with a large influx of freshwater.

New way to make batteries safer
A new battery coating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital prevents electrical current from damaging the digestive tract after battery ingestion.

How a giant impact formed asteroid Vesta's 'belt'
Collisions of heavenly bodies generate almost unimaginable levels of energy.

New technology allows medical professionals to step into their patients' shoes
A pioneering piece of technology will allow users to experience the world through the eyes of a person with young-onset Parkinson's disease -- which could revolutionize the way carers and medical staff treat people with the degenerative condition.

Massey researchers develop the first cancer health literacy tool
Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center researchers have developed the first and only tool that can accurately measure cancer health literacy and quickly identify patients with limited CHL.

Study shows clear new evidence for mind-body connection
For the first time, researchers have shown that practicing mindfulness meditation or being involved in a support group has a positive physical impact at the cellular level in breast cancer survivors.

Preclinical oncology coursework could help with practitioner shortage
The research showed an increase in the number of students considering specializing in oncology -- from 22 percent pre-course to 39 percent post-course.

How bile acids could fight diabetes
EPFL scientists have shown that a receptor activated by bile acids can reduce fat-tissue inflammation and insulin resistance in obesity-linked diabetes.
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