Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 29, 2014
Thanking customers can reap rewards
Companies rarely acknowledge customers who fill out those ubiquitous satisfaction surveys.

Report on remission in patients with MS 3 years after stem cell transplant
Three years after a small number of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) were treated with high-dose immunosuppressive therapy and then transplanted with their own hematopoietic stem cells, most of the patients sustained remission of active relapsing-remitting MS and had improvements in neurological function, according to a study published online by JAMA Neurology.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for Dec. 30, 2014
Editorials being published in the next issue of Annals of Internal Medicine include 'Medical ethicists offer recommendations for delivering life-sustaining therapies to Ebola patients' and 'Former Surgeon General discusses credibility and influence of 'The Nation's Doctor'.'

Study: Drug combo slows heart decline in muscular dystrophy
Early use of available heart failure drugs slows the progressive decline in heart function before symptoms are apparent in boys and young men with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).

New test measures doctors' ability to deliver patient-centered care
When health care providers take patients' perspectives into consideration, patients are more likely to be actively engaged in their treatment and more satisfied with their care.

Reprogramming stem cells may prevent cancer after radiation
University of Colorado Cancer Center study published today in Stem Cells shows that pre-programmed stem cell death allows cancer to grow after full-body irradiation, and that NOTCH signaling may restore stem cell function, protecting against cancer after radiation.

Parasite eggs from the Celtic period found in Switzerland
Archaeologists from the University of Basel discovered eggs of intestinal parasites in samples from the former Celtic settlement 'Basel-Gasfabrik,' and concluded that its population lived in poor sanitary conditions.

Enzyme's alter ego helps activate the immune system
Already known to cut proteins, the enzyme SPPL3 turns out to have additional talents, according to a new study from Johns Hopkins.

Microscopy reveals how atom-high steps impede oxidation of metal surfaces
A new study reveals that certain features of metal surfaces can stop the process of oxidation in its tracks.

Complications after thigh lift surgery common, but usually minor, reports Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Performed as part of body contouring procedures in patients with massive weight loss, a procedure called medial thigh lift carries a substantial risk of complications, reports a study in the January issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

What you tweet when you go party can be useful for improving urban planning
Millions of Twitter users are constantly reporting where they are and what they are doing.

Popping the cork on champagne science facts (video)
When the clock strikes midnight on New Year's Eve, the champagne gets popped all around the world.

Sugar molecule links red meat consumption and elevated cancer risk in mice
While people who eat a lot of red meat are known to be at higher risk for certain cancers, other carnivores are not, prompting researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine to investigate the possible tumor-forming role of a sugar called Neu5Gc, which is naturally found in most mammals but not in humans.

Patient self-reporting version of 'blood pressure cuff' for dementia is reliable and valid
Patient self-reporting version of the Healthy Aging Brain Care Monitor -- a primary-care tool to measure cognitive, functional and psychological symptoms -- is user-friendly, reliable and valid, including being sensitive to symptom change, according to new Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University Center for Aging Research study.

CCNY study unveils new half-light half-matter quantum particles
Prospects of developing computing and communication technologies based on quantum properties of light and matter may have taken a major step forward thanks to research by City College of New York physicists led by Dr.

Detecting extraterrestrial life through motion
EPFL scientists have developed an extremely sensitive device that can detect life forms by sensing the slightest motion.

American cities are many times brighter than German counterparts
German cities emit several times less light per capita than comparably sized American cities.

A close look at blinking after facial transplantation
Recovery of blinking function is a critical but easily overlooked outcome after facial transplantation, according to a report in the January issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

For facial transplantation patients, blink assessment is essential
Face transplantation can dramatically enhance a patient's quality of life after severe facial trauma, but lack of attention to eyelid function and vision can leave patients with impaired vision, corneal exposure, eyelid retraction that occurs when the upper or lower eyelid pulls away from the eyeball, and other eyelid-related complications.

Text messaging reminders increase second dose influenza vaccinations in children
Researchers studied the impact of text message reminders for the second dose of influenza vaccine required for many young children to protect them against the virus.

A qubit candidate shines brighter
A team of researchers has taken a major step forward in effectively enhancing the fluorescent light emission of diamond nitrogen vacancy centers -- a key step to using the atom-sized defects in future quantum computers.

Lyme disease enhances spread of emerging tick infection
Mice that are already infected with the pathogen that causes Lyme disease appear to facilitate the spread of a lesser-known but emerging disease, babesiosis, into new areas.

Year of birth significantly changes impact of obesity-associated gene variant
Investigators working to unravel the impact of genetics versus environment on traits such as obesity may also need to consider a new factor: when individuals were born.

Estrogen worsens allergic reactions in mice
Estradiol, a type of estrogen, enhances the levels and activity in mice of an enzyme that drives life-threatening allergic reactions, according to NIAID researchers.

Team finds mechanism of toxin's inflammatory effect on lungs
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and Washington State University researchers documented a never-before-seen mechanism by which a bacterial toxin leads to severe inflammation in asthma and other acute and chronic pulmonary diseases.

What are the mechanisms of zooxanthella expulsion from coral?
Coral bleaching, which often results in the mass mortality of corals and in the collapse of coral reef ecosystems, has become an important issue around the world, with the number of coral reefs decreasing annually.

Evolvable internet architecture
The existing Internet architecture is facing more and more challenges in scalability, security, mobility and performance.

Breast reconstruction using patient's own tissues yield higher satisfaction rates
For women who have undergone mastectomy, breast reconstruction using the patient's own tissues -- rather than implants -- provides higher satisfaction scores, reports a study in the January issue of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

How economic insecurity impacts diabetes control among patients
Difficulty paying for food and medications appears to be associated with poor diabetes control among patients in a study that examined the impact of economic insecurity on managing the disease and the use of health care resources, according to a report published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

NASA spots Tropical Storm Jangmi moving into Sulu Sea
NASA's Aqua satellite saw Tropical Storm Jangmi as it moved through the central and southern Philippines on Dec.

NASA's Aqua satellite sees Tropical Cyclone Kate in open ocean
Tropical Cyclone Kate peaked in strength on Dec. 28, and NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the storm on Dec.

Yoga as a potential therapy for cardiovascular disease and metabolic syndrome
The review demonstrates the potential for yoga to have an impact on concrete, physiological outcomes that represent some of the greatest health burdens today.

Protein ID'd as possible universal therapeutic target for many infections, including Ebola
A protein called GRP78 could be a universal therapeutic target for treating human diseases like brain cancer, Ebola, influenza, hepatitis and superbug bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, according to a Virginia Commonwealth University-led preclinical study published this month in the Journal of Cellular Physiology.

Study: Atom-high steps halt oxidation of metal surfaces
Rust never sleeps. Whether a reference to the 1979 Neil Young album or a product designed to protect metal surfaces, the phrase invokes the idea that corrosion from oxidation -- the more general chemical name for rust and other reactions of metal with oxygen -- is an inevitable, persistent process.

Cancer-causing mutation discovered in 1982 finally target of clinical trials
A recent article in the journal Cancer Discovery describes clinical trials at the University of Colorado Cancer Center and elsewhere that match drugs to long-overlooked oncogene, TRK, offering targeted treatment options for cancers that harbor these gene abnormalities.

The biological spoils of war
A Harvard study has found that, under certain circumstances, those who engage in violent conflict had more wives, and thus more opportunities to increase their reproductive success through having more children.

Tracing evolution of chicken flu virus yields insight into origins of deadly H7N9 strain
An international research team has shown how changes in a flu virus that has plagued Chinese poultry farms for decades helped create the novel avian H7N9 influenza A virus that has sickened more than 375 people since 2013. 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