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Science News | Science Current Events | Brightsurf | March 24, 2015


Mayo Clinic Center for Tuberculosis launches new TB journal
The Mayo Clinic Center for Tuberculosis, a regional training and consultation center at Mayo Clinic's campus in Rochester, Minn, is today launching a new medical journal, the Journal of Clinical Tuberculosis and Other Mycobacterial Diseases.
PNNL team wins American Chemical Society award
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory wins the first-ever team award for the American Chemical Society's Catalysis Lectureship for the Advancement of Catalytic Science.
Women with diabetes more likely to be diagnosed with advanced stage breast cancer
Diabetes is associated with more advanced stage breast cancer, according to a new study by the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and Women's College Hospital.
Running barefoot may increase injury risk in older, more experienced athletes
In recent years there has been an explosion in barefoot running, as well as the purchase and use of 'minimalist' running shoes that more closely resemble barefoot running by encouraging the balls of the feet, between the arch and toes, to hit the pavement first.
Legally high? Teenagers and prescription drug abuse
Legal drugs such as OxyContin now kill more people than heroin and cocaine combined.
The challenges for anthropologists when they're the expert in the courtroom
A national presentation and discussion will examine the intellectual, practical and ethical challenges for anthropologists when they're hired to serve as expert witnesses.
Survey defines advance practice dietitians, paving way for career path
A nationwide survey of registered dietitian nutritionists is helping to formalize a career path for RDNs seeking more responsibility and autonomy as clinicians, according to a paper published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Looking to space to quantify natural gas leaks on Earth
Increasing natural gas production could provide a bridge to a lower carbon future.
Air pollution linked to increased risk of anxiety and stroke
Air pollution is linked to a higher risk of stroke, particularly in developing countries, finds a study published in The BMJ today.
Gene editing technology investigator honored for groundbreaking research
Feng Zhang, Ph.D., of the Broad Institute of Massachusetts Institute of Technology is the 2015 recipient of the American Association of Anatomists C.J.
Children less likely to come to the rescue when others are available
Children as young as 5 years old are less likely to help a person in need when other children are present and available to help, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
Genetic discovery may offer new avenue of attack against schistosomiasis
Researchers have discovered a group of genes in one species of snail that provide a natural resistance to the flatworm parasite that causes schistosomiasis, and opens the door to possible new drugs or ways to break the transmission cycle of this debilitating disease.
NASA sees Nathan weakening near Darwin, Australia
Tropical Cyclone Nathan has been weakening as it continued to move over land in Australia's Northern Territory on March 24.
Searching for traces in the atmosphere
Fourth generation halogenated coolants and foaming agents have only been in use for a few years.
Preparing for natural disasters: What policies protect the vulnerable consumer?
Despite catastrophic earthquakes, the most vulnerable residents do not take steps to prepare themselves against future disaster, according to a new study in the Journal of Public Policy & Marketing.
American Association of Anatomists awards lifetime achievement in the anatomical sciences
American Association of Anatomists awards lifetime achievement in the anatomical sciences at its annual meeting at Experimental Biology 2015 in Boston, Mass., March 28-April 1.
Squeeze to remove heat: Elastocaloric materials enable more efficient, 'green' cooling
In the Journal of Applied Physics, from AIP Publishing, a team of researchers from Technical University of Denmark report that the elastocaloric effect opens the door to alternative forms of solid-state refrigeration that are direct replacements for vapor compression technology.
After learning new words, brain sees them as pictures
When we look at a known word, our brain sees it like a picture, not a group of letters needing to be processed.
NASA-funded mission studies the Sun in soft X-rays
At any given moment, our sun emits a range of light waves far more expansive than what our eyes alone can see: from visible light to extreme ultraviolet to soft and hard X-rays.
Diabetes, previous joint pain and overall physical health predicts arthritis pain
Diabetes and previous joint pain, along with a patient's overall physical health status, may predicts arthritis pain with nearly 100 percent accuracy, in new research presented today at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Hip replacement patients may safely drive as early as 2 weeks following surgery
Thanks to improved surgical, pain management and rehabilitation procedures, patients who undergo a total hip replacement may be able to safely drive as early as two weeks following surgery, according to new research presented today at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Could a tampon one day help predict endometrial cancer? Mayo Clinic researchers say yes
Researchers at Mayo Clinic have shown that it is possible to detect endometrial cancer using tumor DNA picked up by ordinary tampons.
Ultimate Fighting Championship should save heavyweight fights for pay per view
A researcher at the University of Missouri has found that fans' interest in the sport and, thus, their desire to spend money differs based on the venue.
Rapid testing for gene variants in kidney donors may optimize transplant outcomes
Kidney transplantation outcomes from deceased African-American donors may improve through rapid testing for apolipoprotein L1 gene renal risk variants at the time of organ recovery, according to a new study led by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
NIH researchers identify red blood cell traits associated with malaria risk in children
NIAID researchers have found that certain red blood cell traits in children can increase or decrease their risk for malaria.
Study: Patients going home after knee replacement do as well as those going to rehab facility
Hospital for Special Surgery study finds that patients can be safely discharged to their home to receive physical therapy following knee replacement, dispelling the common notion that rehabilitation at an inpatient facility is essential for a successful recovery.
Good bone, bad bone
Until now, doctors have been able to measure bone loss -- a process that happens slowly, over time -- but haven't had the means for gauging actual bone strength.
Fat turns from diabetes foe to potential treatment
A new weapon in the war against type 2 diabetes is coming in an unexpected form: fat.
The price of delirium: New study finds nearly half of patients have delirium
A new study presented today at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) found that 48 percent of hip fracture patients, age 65 and older, had delirium, or acute confusion, before, during and after surgery (perioperative), resulting in significantly longer hospital stays and higher costs for care.
Hip-replacement patients may safely drive as early as 2 weeks following surgery
Thanks to improved surgical, pain management and rehabilitation procedures, patients who undergo a total hip replacement may be able to safely drive as early as two weeks following surgery, according to new research presented today at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Why some HPV infections go away and others become cancer
A Duke study finds that the body's ability to clear an infection by the cancer-causing human papilloma virus (HPV) may be largely due to unpredictable division patterns in HPV-infected stem cells, rather than the strength of the person's immune response as previously thought.
Physicists solve low-temperature magnetic mystery
Physicists at the University of Connecticut and Brookhaven National Lab have discovered the mechanism that drives the Kondo Effect, a phenomenon that may hold the key to the next generation of refrigeration technology.
BPA can adversely affect reproduction of future generations of fish
Bisphenol A is a chemical that is used in a variety of consumer products, such as water bottles, dental composites and resins used to line metal food and beverage containers.
Engineers develop new yeast strain to enhance biofuel and biochemical production
Researchers use metabolic engineering and directed evolution to develop a new, mutant yeast strain that could lead to a more efficient biofuel production process.
Cancer patients want more information about medical imaging risk
A substantial gap exists between patient expectations and current practices for providing information about medical imaging tests that use radiation, according to a new study.
'Goldilocks material' could change spintronics
Attempting to develop a novel type of permanent magnet, a team of researchers at Trinity College has discovered a new class of magnetic materials based on Mn-Ga alloys.
A vineyard's soil microbes shape the grapes' microbial community
In the first study of an entire wine grapevine's microbiome, researchers have found that the microbes associated with the grapes, leaves and flowers are largely derived from the soil microbes found around the plant's roots.
Disturbingly little known about microbeads and plastics in the Great Lakes
National Democratic Party Member of Parliament Megan Leslie is calling on the Canadian government to list microbeads, tiny plastic flakes used in cosmetics, as a potential toxic substance.
Researchers find link between genetic variation and alcohol dependence
Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine researchers have discovered a biological clue that could help explain why some drinkers develop a dependence on alcohol and others do not.
First Nations migration dynamics are shaped by socioeconomic inequalities
Socioeconomic inequalities between First Nations communities, and also between these communities and the non-Aboriginal population of Canada, determine the nature, the intensity and the direction of First Nations migration flows.
Quarantine yes/no?
The decision to quarantine individuals or groups during epidemics is not an exact science and is open to various interpretations.
NASA satellites catch 'growth spurt' from newborn protostar
Using data from orbiting observatories, including NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope, and ground-based facilities, an international team of astronomers has discovered an outburst from a star thought to be in the earliest phase of its development.
Mayo Clinic study of thousands of brains reveals tau as driver of Alzheimer's disease
By examining more than 3,600 postmortem brains, researchers at Mayo Clinic's campuses in Jacksonville, Florida, and Rochester, Minnesota, have found that the progression of dysfunctional tau protein drives the cognitive decline and memory loss seen in Alzheimer's disease.
American Association of Anatomists awards Young Investigators
American Association of Anatomist Young Investigator awards recognize investigators in the early stages of their careers who have made important contributions to biomedical science through their research in cell/molecular biology, comparative neuroanatomy, developmental biology, or the morphological sciences.
Scientists coax stem cells to form 3-D mini lungs
Scientists coax stem cells to form mini lungs, 3-D structures that mimic the structure and complexity of human lungs.
Lung transplant patients in the UK fare better than publicly insured Americans
Publicly insured Americans who undergo lung transplantation for cystic fibrosis fare markedly worse in the long run than both publicly insured patients in the United Kingdom and privately insured Americans, according to the results of a study conducted by researchers from Johns Hopkins in Baltimore and UK colleagues working in that nation's government-funded National Health Service.
Men have a higher level of function before and after total knee replacement surgery
While men and women have similar levels of improvement following total knee replacement (TKR) surgery, men have higher levels of function before and after TKR, according to new research presented today at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Bar-Ilan U. researchers identify 'tipping point' between quantum and classical worlds
If we are ever to fully harness the power of light for use in optical devices, it is necessary to understand photons -- the fundamental unit of light.
Are our schools damaging children's eyes?
Shockingly, research has shown a dramatic increase in the number of students leaving secondary school with short-sightedness, or myopia, and a new study published in the Journal Perspectives in Public Health, published by SAGE, suggests lighting in schools could be a factor.
Quantum experiment verifies Einstein's 'spooky action at a distance'
An experiment devised in Griffith University's Centre for Quantum Dynamics has for the first time demonstrated Albert Einstein's original conception of 'spooky action at a distance' using a single particle.
What is the definition of 'natural' foods? Consumers want to know
After decades of debate there remains no generally accepted definition of a 'natural' food product.
High-energy TV commercials: Too much stress for consumers?
Consumers are tuning out TV commercials, making advertisers run louder, higher-energy ads to force their attention.
Can perovskites and silicon team up to boost industrial solar cell efficiencies?
A collaboration between the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University may be poised to shake things up in the solar energy world.
Rethinking wetland restoration: Smaller wetlands more valuable than previously thought
Most efforts to protect and restore wetlands mistakenly focus on preserving only total wetland area, with no consideration of ecosystem services provided by different wetland types, according to a new study from the University of Waterloo.
Brain tumor cells decimated by mitochondrial 'smart bomb'
An experimental drug that attacks brain tumor tissue by crippling the cells' energy source called the mitochondria has passed early tests in animal models and human tissue cultures, say Houston Methodist scientists.
IQ of children in better-educated households is higher, study indicates
A study comparing the IQs of male siblings in which one member was reared by biological parents and the other by adoptive parents found later that the children adopted by parents with more education had higher IQs.
Automation offers big solution to big data in astronomy
The Square Kilometer Array, a radio telescope planned for Africa and Australia, will have an unprecedented ability to deliver data -- lots of data points, with lots of details -- on the location and properties of stars, galaxies and giant clouds of hydrogen gas.
Many things can be read in a newborn's gaze
Experienced nannies and doctors have always known how much the visual contact with a newborn can convey.
More flavorful, healthful chocolate could be on its way
Chocolate has many health benefits -- it can potentially lower blood pressure and cholesterol and reduce stroke risk.
New technique paints tissue samples with light
One infrared scan can give pathologists a window into the structures and molecules inside tissues and cells, enabling fast and broad diagnostic assessments, thanks to an imaging technique developed by University of Illinois researchers and clinical partners.
Interim report on UK alcohol industry's 'billion units pledge' is flawed say researchers
The Department of Health's interim evaluation of an alcohol industry pledge to remove one billion alcohol units from the market is flawed, argue researchers in The BMJ this week.
Milk could be good for your brain
New research conducted at the University of Kansas Medical Center has found a correlation between milk consumption and the levels of a naturally-occurring antioxidant called glutathione in the brain in older, healthy adults.
Wiki-Kids: Teaching educators a thing or two about learning
A new encyclopedia application designed and launched by a Tel Aviv University doctoral student aims to channel a child's natural curiosity toward fun to enrich learning.
Top Indian and US scientists share Tyler Prize for work in changing environmental policy
The Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement Executive Committee today named the Honorable Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D., of Oregon State University, and Madhav Gadgil, Ph.D., of Goa University, as the recipients of the 2015 Tyler Prize for their leadership and engagement in the development of conservation and sustainability policies in the United States, India and internationally.
Second Tommy John surgery linked to performance decline, shortened career
Major League Baseball pitchers who underwent a second Tommy John surgery saw their performance decline and their career shortened, according to researchers at Henry Ford Hospital.
Building shape inspires new material discovery
Physicists inspired by the radical shape of a Canberra building have created a new type of material which enables scientists to put a perfect bend in light.
Study provides academic support for new Steve Jobs portrayal
The new Steve Jobs biopic, 'Becoming Steve Jobs,' paints a picture of a less arrogant, humbler leader than previously thought.
Discovery of heat-tolerant beans could save 'meat of the poor' from global warming
Feared as an early casualty of climate change, beans are now set to withstand extreme temperatures.
Artificial hand able to respond sensitively thanks to muscles made from smart metal wires
Engineers at Saarland University have taken a leaf out of nature's book by equipping an artificial hand with muscles made from shape-memory wire.
Study shows racial and socioeconomic disparities in hip fracture care
Study found that African-American patients, Medicaid patients, and patients from impoverished communities are at increased risk for poor outcomes.
Complex genetic ancestry of Americans uncovered
By comparing the genes of current-day North and South Americans with African and European populations, an Oxford University study has found the genetic fingerprints of the slave trade and colonisation that shaped migrations to the Americas hundreds of years ago.
Educating China's elderly to fight obesity in the young
Academics from the University of Birmingham, UK are engaging with grandparents in China, to help tackle the increasing problem of obesity amongst Chinese children in a trailblazing public health program.
New study indicates laparoscopic hysterectomy with morcellation may be safer than abdominal procedure
In a new study published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, researchers from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill compared the relative risks of laparoscopic hysterectomy (with morcellation) with abdominal surgery for hysterectomy in premenopausal women undergoing surgery for presumed uterine fibroids.
Got (fresh) milk?
High voltage, short pulsed electric fields selectively damage cell membrane directly killing the contaminating bacteria by a process known as electroporation.
Elsevier announces publishing agreement with the International Society for Sexual Medicine
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, has announced that it has been selected by the International Society for Sexual Medicine to publish its flagship journal, The Journal of Sexual Medicine, as well as Sexual Medicine Reviews and open access journal Sexual Medicine, as of January 2016.
Concerns over the online market of human breast milk
The sale of human breast milk on the internet poses serious risks to infant health and needs urgent regulation, argue experts in The BMJ today.
Move from individual projects to challenge programs to maximize low carbon activities
A new study by Climate-KIC shows how towns and cities can chart a path for a successful transition to a low carbon economy.
More schools, more challenging assignments add up to higher IQ scores
More schooling -- and the more mentally challenging problems tackled in those schools -- may be the best explanation for the dramatic rise in IQ scores during the past century, often referred to as the Flynn Effect, according to a team of researchers.
Manganese speeds up honey bees
The industrial metal manganese, once scarce, is now ubiquitous in our environment.
CV organizations issue recommendations for minimally invasive valve treatments for children, adults
As congenital heart disease (CHD) treatment advances, children with these conditions are living into adulthood, and over time, they may need additional treatment.
Norovirus candidate vaccine induces broad antibody responses in trial participants
A multivalent candidate vaccine elicits broad antibody responses to a range of norovirus strains, including strains not included in the vaccine or previously encountered by participants, according to a new study published this week in PLOS Medicine.
Study: Hip replacement an excellent option to relieve pain in juvenile arthritis patients
A study at Hospital for Special Surgery finds that hip replacement is an excellent option to alleviate pain and improve function in juvenile arthritis patients under age 35 when conservative treatments fail to provide relief.
Singapore identifies mutations that may enable earlier diagnosis of colorectal cancer recurrence
A multi-disciplinary team of doctors and scientists from Singapore has characterised the genetic changes associated with the spread of colorectal cancer to the liver.
Malaria-infected cells produce odors attractive to mosquitoes
The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum produces chemical compounds called terpenes that give off odors that attract mosquitoes, according to new research.
Routine bisphosphonate treatment for women over age 65
Osteoporosis is a disease of progressive bone loss affecting more than 44 million Americans and contributing to an estimated 2 million bone fractures each year.
New Alzheimer's Association report -- less than half say they were told Alzheimer's diagnosis
The Alzheimer's Association's 2015 Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures report, released today, found that only 45 percent of people with Alzheimer's disease or their caregivers say they were told the diagnosis by their doctor.
Researchers successfully measure the duende of flamenco dancers
Scientists from the University of Granada Brain, Mind and Behavior Research Center have identified the 'thermal imprint' of the duende of flamenco.
Younger motorists and females most likely to use cell phone while driving
18 percent of drivers on academic and medical campuses use their cell phones while driving, according to researchers from The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health.
Enriching the diet of calves by using flax seeds improves nutritional quality
How can beef be made healthier for consumption purposes? When ingredients rich in n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids, like flax seeds, and CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) were added to the food of these animals, their fat was modified, achieving an increase in omega-3 fatty acids and CLA -regarded as being beneficial for health- and a reduction in saturated fatty acids linked to cardiovascular disease.
Use your real name: Online communication details that affect sales
Online word-of-mouth communications are having a significant effect on product sales, yet research to date has failed to understand why that effect fluctuates, according to a new study in the Journal of Marketing.
Child with autism improves with antibiotic; prompts new investigations into autism
An article describing a case in which a child's autism symptoms improved following administration of a common antibiotic appears in a special issue dedicated to autism and the microbiome in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.
A call for more research on brain damage in American football
More research is needed to identify how athletes sustain brain injury from American football, and also to develop strategies to protect them, write experts in The BMJ today.
Cancer Research UK partners with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Cancer Research UK has partnered with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
New method to hack air-gapped computers using heat -- Ben-Gurion University research
BGU's BitWhisper bridges the air-gap between the two computers, approximately 15 inches (40 cm) apart that are infected with malware by using their heat emissions and built-in thermal sensors to communicate.
First study of its kind describes outcomes after thyroid surgery for pro singers
Massachusetts Eye and Ear surgeons developed a neural monitoring system to be used intraoperatively to improve outcomes.
Chemical tag marks future microRNAs for processing, study shows
By adding a chemical group to a particular sequence on RNA molecules, cells appear able to label the molecules that should be trimmed to make microRNAs.
Pay gap between male and female RNs has not narrowed
An analysis of the trends in salaries of registered nurses (RNs) in the United States from 1988 through 2013 finds that male RNs outearned female RNs across settings, specialties, and positions, with no narrowing of the pay gap over time, according to a study in the March 24/31 issue of JAMA.
Tiny bio-robot is a germ suited-up with graphene quantum dots
UIC researchers created an electromechanical device -- a humidity sensor -- on a bacterial spore.
NTU develops mobile app to help the university reduce its energy usage
With just a few taps on Nanyang Technological University's new mobile app, the central air-conditioning temperature settings could be adjusted, helping the university save on its energy bills.
Patients with asymptomatic pancreatic cysts do not need constant surveillance
A new guideline from the American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) changes clinical practice by recommending longer surveillance periods for patients with asymptomatic pancreatic cysts and new criteria that limits surgery to those who will receive the most benefit.
Higher volume of scoliosis surgeries linked to reduced reoperation rates
Adolescent patients who need scoliosis surgery may benefit most from going to a hospital that performs a high volume of the procedures, according to new research from NYU Langone spine surgeons.
Study compares outcomes for stent vs. medications for narrowed artery within the brain
Among patients with symptomatic intracranial arterial stenosis (narrowing of an artery inside the brain), the use of a balloon-expandable stent compared with medical therapy (clopidogrel and aspirin) resulted in an increased of stroke or transient ischemic attack, according to a study in the March 24/31 issue of JAMA.
Earthquakes caused by natural gas extraction generate house price decreases
Earthquakes in the northern parts of the Netherlands generate notable house price decreases.
Child pedestrians more likely to be struck by motor vehicles in the spring months
New research presented today at the 2015 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons found that most child pedestrian injuries involving a motor vehicle occurred while children were unsupervised, near schools and bus stops, and in the spring months during the afternoon and evening hours.
A cancer research breakthrough
Queen's University cancer researcher Madhuri Koti has discovered a biomarker that will help lead to better predictions of the success of chemotherapy in ovarian cancer patients.
'On Becoming a Teen Mom' examines life events that lead to teen pregnancy
'On Becoming a Teen Mom: Life Before Pregnancy' (University of California Press, 2015), a new book by Case Western Reserve University sociologists Mary Patrice Erdmans and Timothy Black, focuses on life events resulting in teen motherhood, revealing some realities behind the statistics.
Personality test finds Britain's most extroverted, agreeable and emotionally stable regions
A survey of almost 400,000 British residents has highlighted significant differences in personalities between regions.
UC Riverside ecologist receives 2015 Prigogine Gold Medal
The Prigogine Gold Medal is awarded annually to a leading scientist in the field of ecological systems.
Spinal surgery diminishes low back pain, improves sexual function
Chronic low back pain can limit everyday activities, including sex.
Diabetics with ankle fractures have longer lengths of stay, more health care costs
Experts from the Department of Orthopedic Surgery at NYU Langone Medical Center will present their latest clinical findings and research discoveries at the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, March 24-28 in Las Vegas, Nev.
New study shows non-invasive imaging tests can detect coronary artery disease long before it strikes
Adding two non-invasive imaging tests to traditional cardiovascular disease risk factor assessment more precisely predicts a healthy patient's future risk of heart attack, stroke, or premature death, according to a study led by Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and published in the March 24 edition of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Consumers value handmade products: What's love got to do with it?
Machine-made products today are often of very good quality, and many are relatively cheaper than their handmade counterparts.
New kind of 'tandem' solar cell developed
A new solar cell combines two materials for broader absorption.
How to grow a human lung
Scientists from the University of Michigan have grown the first 3-D mini lungs from stem cells.
Marketing, prescribing testosterone and growth hormone for aging is disease mongering
The marketing, prescribing and selling of testosterone and growth hormone as panaceas for aging-associated problems is disease mongering.
Leaders and their followers tick in sync
Great leaders are often good communicators. In the process of communication, the relationship between leaders and their followers develops spontaneously according to new research from the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig and the State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning and IDG/McGovern Institute for Brain Research in Beijing.

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