Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 26, 2015
Possible overuse of anticoagulants, PCI outcomes studied using registry data
The American College of Cardiology's National Cardiovascular Data Registry was the source of data for seven studies published in the first four months of 2015, including a study that identified possible overuse of anticoagulants in low-risk atrial fibrillation patients and research that found a relationship between operator experience and outcomes in certain patients after percutaneous coronary intervention or angioplasty.

Subclinical hyperthyroidism associated with an increased risk of hip and other fractures
In an analysis that included more than 70,000 participants from 13 studies, subclinical hyperthyroidism was associated with an increased risk for hip and other fractures including spine, according to a study in the May 26 issue of JAMA.

Pathbreaking study by Israeli and American neuroscientists reveals autism's 'noisy' secret
Strapped into a motion-enabled simulator and wearing 3-D glasses, 36 adolescent volunteers recently experienced what it was like to 'travel' through a field of virtual stars.

Soy isoflavone supplement does not improve symptoms for poorly controlled asthma
Although some data have suggested that supplementation with soy isoflavone may be an effective treatment for patients with poor asthma control, a randomized trial that included nearly 400 children and adults found that use of the supplement did not result in improved lung function or clinical outcomes, including asthma symptoms and episodes of poor asthma control, according to a study in the May 26 issue of JAMA.

Collaboration could lead to biodegradable computer chips
In an effort to alleviate the environmental burden of electronic devices, a team of University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers has collaborated with researchers in the Madison-based US Department of Agriculture Forest Products Laboratory to develop a surprising solution: a semiconductor chip made almost entirely of wood.

Future vaccine may help lower blood pressure long-term
A DNA vaccine helped lower blood pressure for up to six months, reduced tissue damage to the heart and blood vessels associated with hypertension in rats.

Research 'challenges assumption that arthritis patients take their medication regularly'
New UK research has challenged the assumption that people with rheumatoid arthritis always take their medication as prescribed.

NIST develops first 'roadmap' for public safety communications research
The US Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology has published the first 'roadmap' for the next 20 years of research needed to establish seamless, broadband public safety communications networks across the United States.

New NIST Center of Excellence to improve statistical analysis of forensic evidence
As part of a national collaborative effort to strengthen the scientific basis for forensic evidence used in the criminal justice system, the National Institute of Standards and Technology has awarded Iowa State University up to $20 million over five years to establish a Forensic Science Center of Excellence focused on pattern and digital evidence.

Nearly indestructible virus yields tool to treat diseases
By unlocking the secrets of a bizarre virus that survives in nearly boiling acid, scientists at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have found a blueprint for battling human disease using DNA clad in near-indestructible armor.

Hearing loss in developing countries: Canada, Google fund creative innovations
Investments of CDN$2.3 million (US$1.85 million) from sources in Canada and the USA, including Grand Challenges Canada and, will enable two Canadian organizations address hearing loss in developing countries.

New University of Texas System database connects government and industry to researchers
Influuent is a free online searchable database of researchers and resources that enable potential collaborators to easily identify and connect with faculty experts across all departments to conduct all levels of research (basic, applied and clinical), develop new technologies and processes and overcome technical challenges.

Severe ozone depletion avoided
We are already reaping the rewards of the Montreal Protocol, with the ozone layer in much better shape than it would have been without the UN treaty, according to a new study in Nature Communications.

Penn study links better 'good cholesterol' function with lower risk of later heart disease
HDL, the 'good cholesterol' helps remove fat from artery walls, reversing the process that leads to heart disease.

New national study finds autoimmune disease severely impacts patients
In a new national survey of rheumatoid arthritis patients, Health Union found a severe impact on quality of life, employment, and ability to afford treatment.

Pitt team IDs two new, very large classes of RNAs linked to cancer biomarker
Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have identified two new classes of RNAs that are closely associated with a protein known to be a prognostic biomarker for breast cancer and could play a role in progression of prostate cancer.

On-demand X-rays at synchrotron light sources
Researchers at Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source have developed an 'X-rays on demand' technique in which ALS users can have access to the X-ray beams they want without affecting beams for other users.

Fostering science & innovation ecosystems: Portugal-US partnerships
On May 28 and 29, 2015 at Palácio Foz in Lisbon, the US-Portugal Partnerships sponsored by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia will hold their first Joint Conference and Exhibition on Fostering Science and Innovation Ecosystems.

Genomic data reveals emergence in Africa of drug resistant strain of typhoid
Scientists at the University of Liverpool and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, in partnership with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, have revealed the emergence of a novel strain of Typhoid fever in Malawi, Africa.

Study identifies possible role for carbon monoxide in treating hemorrhagic stroke
Carbon monoxide is often associated with brain injury and other neurological symptoms.

ER doctors stress need for good communications with police
A good working relationship with police is essential for the smooth operation of a busy Emergency Department.

Study connects credit default swaps to mortgage delinquencies
Researchers at The University of Texas at Dallas recently published the first empirical investigation connecting credit default swaps to mortgage defaults that helped lead to the 2007-2008 financial crisis.

Cocaine addiction, craving and relapse
One of the major challenges of cocaine addiction is the high rate of relapse after periods of withdrawal and abstinence.

Clinical trial reduces stress of cancer caregivers
A randomized control trial funded by the National Cancer Institute by members of the University of Colorado Cancer Center, published in the journal Bone Marrow Transplantation, demonstrates an intervention that successfully reduces the stress of caregivers in the context of cancer patients treated with stem cell transplantation.

Study examines association of genetic variants with cognitive impairment
Individually rare but collectively common intermediate-size copy number variations may be negatively associated with educational attainment, according to a study in the May 26 issue of JAMA.

Achieving effective technology transfer in biotechnology
The book, 'Effective Technology Transfer in Biotechnology' examines funding mechanisms on different levels that facilitate the transfer of know- how and technologies from academia to industry.

Blueprint for a thirsty world from Down Under
The Millennium Drought in southeastern Australia forced Greater Melbourne, a city of 4.3 million people, to successfully implement innovations that hold critical lessons for water-stressed regions around the world, according to findings by UC Irvine and Australian researchers.

One to ovoid?
Old-school field work meets cutting-edge technology! For decades, researchers have been making artificial eggs out of plaster, wood, and other materials to test how birds identify and reject the eggs that invading 'brood parasites' sometimes sneak into their nests.

New tech keeps your smart phone charged for 30 percent longer
New technology developed at The Ohio State University makes cell phone batteries last up to 30 percent longer on a single charge.

NYU researchers find 'decoder ring' powers in micro RNA
MicroRNA can serve as a 'decoder ring' for understanding complex biological processes, a team of New York University chemists has found.

New technique speeds nanoMRI imaging
NanoMRI is a scanning technique that produces nondestructive, high-resolution 3D images of nanoscale objects, and promises to become a powerful tool.

Flood aftermath linked to post-traumatic stress: Queensland University of Technology study
Brisbane flood victims suffered more psychological distress during the rebuilding phase than as waters inundated their homes and businesses, a Queensland University of Technology study has found.

Beliefs about complementary and alternative medicine predict use among patients with cancer
A new study has shed light on how cancer patients' attitudes and beliefs drive the use of complementary and alternative medicine.

Watching worms will help humans age more gracefully
Tiny worms who spent time aboard the International Space Station could help humans understand more about the effects of aging in space.

CBD targets protect biodiversity only if new protected areas are more than 'paper parks'
Researchers from the University of Helsinki stress the importance of international collaborations to achieve global conservation goals.

The first fraction of ejaculate is the most effective for conception
Sperm in the first fraction of ejaculate are more numerous, move more and present better quality DNA than those lagging behind.

Changes in forest structure affect bees and other pollinators
Over the past century, many forests have shifted from open to closed canopies.

Wrasse project offers production boost to Scottish salmon industry
Aquaculture experts from the University of Stirling, Scotland, are leading the research behind a £4 million project to boost production in the Scottish salmon farming industry.

Scientists identify origins of process that is key to diabetes
Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation scientists have pinpointed a cell that begins the process of scarring in fatty tissue.

Breakthrough measures Parkinson's progression in the brain
University of Florida researchers have identified a biomarker that shows the progression of Parkinson's disease in the brain, opening the door to better diagnosis and treatment of the degenerative disease.

Moderate drinking in later years may damage heart
Moderate to heavy alcohol intake later in life may be associated with subtle changes in the structure and efficiency of the heart.

Top challenges for the future of humanity and the planet
Leading global experts serving on the UN Secretary-General's Scientific Advisory Board have identified key scientific challenges that must be addressed to ensure the sustainability of humanity on Earth.

Changing diagnosis codes will challenge emergency medicine
Emergency medicine faces special challenges during this fall's changeover in how medical diagnoses are coded.

EU biofuels regime failing to meet its objectives under current regulatory framework
The European Union regulatory framework for biofuels has the potential to address its climate, energy and environmental objectives, but only if carefully tailored and effectively implemented, according to research from the University of Eastern Finland.

TVs and second screens a bad combination for advertisers
If you're watching television while using a second screen -- like a smartphone or tablet -- new research suggests that some of the most expensive marketing messages aimed at you are missing their mark.

Infusions of donor bone marrow cells help children with inherited skin blistering
Promising results from a trial of a new stem-cell based therapy for a rare and debilitating skin condition have been published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology.

Study adds to evidence that increasing dietary fiber reduces the risk of developing diabetes
New research published today in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes) indicates that consuming greater quantities of dietary fibre reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Friendships start better with a smile
If you want to strike up a new relationship, simply smile.

Dietary Guidelines for Americans linked to lower death rates in population in southeast US
In a low-income population from the southeastern US, higher adherence to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans was linked with 14-23 percent lower mortality from cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other diseases, according to a study published by Wei Zheng and colleagues from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, USA, in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Study finds association between exposure to aflatoxin and gallbladder cancer
In a small study in Chile that included patients with gallbladder cancer, exposure to aflatoxin (a toxin produced by mold) was associated with an increased risk of gallbladder cancer, according to a study in the May 26 issue of JAMA.

Researchers say anti-pollution rules have uncertain effects
Air pollution regulations issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency are estimated to save thousands of lives annually.

Babies can think before they can speak
Analogical ability -- the ability to see common relations between objects, events or ideas -- is a key skill that underlies human intelligence and differentiates humans from other apes.

New evidence confirms link between newer contraceptive pills and higher clot risks
A study published by The BMJ today provides new evidence to confirm the link between newer contraceptive pills and higher risk of serious blood clots (known as venous thromboembolism or VTE).

Better fine motor skills with delayed cord clamping
The importance of the umbilical cord not only for the foetus but for newborn infants too was shown by Swedish researchers several years ago, in a study that received great international acclaim.

Seeing the action
Researchers develop a novel device to image the minute forces and actions involved in cell membrane hemifusion.

Cooperation among viral variants helps hepatitis C survive immune system attacks
Warring armies use a variety of tactics as they struggle to gain the upper hand.

Protein scaffold
OIST researchers chart a protein that scaffolds the chromosome along its length to help perpetuate life.

New urine test could reduce need for blood samples
If you've been to the doctor, you probably know what to do when you're handed a plastic cup and shown to the bathroom.

Researchers develop intelligent handheld robots
Researchers at the University of Bristol have developed and started studying a novel concept in robotics -- intelligent handheld robots.

Measuring arm circumference is a more reliable indicator of malnutrition
The World Health Organization's current weight-based guidelines for assessing malnutrition in children with diarrhea are not as reliable as measuring the child's upper arm circumference.

Advance in quantum error correction
Protocol corrects virtually all errors in quantum memory, but requires little measure of quantum states.

Protecting South America's iconic golden dorado fish
A new study launched this month by University of Massachusetts Amherst fisheries biologist Andy J.

You're driving yourself to burnout, literally
In terms of your mental health, University of Montreal industrial relations researcher Annie Barreck identifies the best ways to get yourself to work.

Squeezed quantum cats
ETH professor Jonathan Home and his colleagues reach deep into their bag of tricks to create so-called 'squeezed Schrödinger cats.' These quantum systems could be extremely useful for future technologies.

Surgical skills lab and dissection curricula train neurosurgical residents
A surgical skills laboratory and corresponding dissection curricula were established in the Department of Neurosurgery at the Cleveland Clinic in the 2011-2012 academic year.

Extrusion, unroofing, buoyancy, denudation: Lithosphere, May 13-21, 2015
Lithosphere articles posted May 13 and 21 cover several fascinating locations and geodynamic processes.

Psychedelic drugs should be legally reclassified as they may benefit patients
Legal restrictions imposed on medical use of psychedelic drugs, such as LSD and psilocybin (the compound found in 'magic' mushrooms), are making trials almost impossible and authorities should 'downgrade their unnecessarily restrictive class A, schedule 1 classification,' writes a psychiatrist in The BMJ this week.

Melanoma, pediatric cancer and lymphoma dominate research from NYU Langone at ASCO 2015
NYU Langone Medical Center and its Laura and Isaac Perlmutter Cancer Center will have a high profile at the 51st Annual Meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO), with researchers presenting close to 30 abstracts accepted for oral, poster and publication presentations.

Study suggests using excess stress to kill therapy resistant breast cancer
Maxing out the inherently stressed nature of treatment-resistant breast cancer cells thwarts their adaptive ability to evolve genetic workarounds to treatment, according to a study published May 26 in Science Signaling.

Genetic defect linked to visual impairment in dyslexics
A risk gene for dyslexia is associated with impairments in visual motion detection, according to a study published May 27 in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Sarah Teichmann and Ido Amit awarded EMBO Gold Medal 2015
The 2015 EMBO Gold Medal has been awarded to Sarah Teichmann and Ido Amit.

Study identifies Ebola virus's Achilles' heel
An international team including scientists from Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases has identified the molecular 'lock' that the deadly Ebola virus must pick to gain entry to cells.

Debunking 3 common food myths (video)
You might have heard that microwaving your food is dangerous.

What is the most humane way to kill a cane toad?
Professor Rick Shine from the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Sydney is lead author on research published in Biology Open today.

Simple recipe to make sensory hair cells in the ear
Millions of people worldwide have permanent hearing and balance impairments due to damage to the hair cells in their inner ears.

Soy supplements don't improve asthma
Despite previous findings suggesting a link between soy intake and decreased asthma severity, a new placebo-controlled study shows soy supplements do not improve lung function for patients with asthma.

From worker to queen at the drop of a gene
University of Leicester researchers discover the genes that cause the buff-tailed bumblebee to develop into a male, worker or queen.

MaterialsLab improves how we conduct research on Earth and in space
An initiative between NASA and the National Institute of Standards and Technology has created MaterialsLab -- a new approach to materials science research that will provide worldwide collaboration.

Drug treatment to prevent hip fracture is neither viable nor cost effective
The current focus on drugs to prevent hip fractures is neither viable as a public health strategy nor cost effective, argue an international team of researchers in The BMJ this week.

MCW researcher to study gene therapies for hemophilia
A researcher at the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) has received a four-year, $1.5 million dollar grant from the National Institutes of Health's National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute to continue her study of blood platelet gene therapies for hemophilia A, a genetic bleeding disorder.

Opportunity knocks: Innovators welcome at the Navy Opportunity Forum
Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Mat Winter will address innovators, technology experts and hundreds of leading small businesses June 1 at this year's Navy Opportunity Forum in Crystal City, Virginia, sponsored by the Navy's Small Business Innovation Research program.

Study examines umbilical cord clamping and neurodevelopment
Delayed clamping of the umbilical cord to help prevent iron deficiency in infancy was associated with improved scores in fine-motor and social skills in children at age 4, particularly in boys, although it was not associated with any effect on overall IQ or behavior compared with children whose cords were clamped seconds after delivery, according to an article published online by JAMA Pediatrics.

Honesty can keep companies' stock prices up during hard times
Honesty is the best policy, and a new study from the University of Missouri finds that companies can benefit when they publicly accept the blame for poor performance.

Physicists solve quantum tunneling mystery: ANU media release
An international team of scientists studying ultrafast physics have solved a mystery of quantum mechanics, and found that quantum tunneling is an instantaneous process.

Colloid and Polymer Science Lecture 2015 honors Steven P. Armes
The Springer journal Colloid and Polymer Science awards Steven P.

Iowa State to be home to a new, $20 million national center for forensic science
Iowa State University will be the home of a national Forensic Science Center of Excellence.

New findings about mechanisms underlying chronic pain reveal novel therapeutic strategies
Canadian neuroscientist Michael Salter and his team have uncovered a critical role for a class of cells present in the brain and spinal cord, called microglia, in pain.

Supernovas help 'clean' galaxies
Recent research, led by Michigan State University astronomers, finds that the black holes located at the cores of galaxies launch fountains of charged particles, which can stir up gas throughout the galaxy and temporarily interrupt star formation.

World first as viral immunotherapy for skin cancer shows patient benefit in phase III trial
A genetically engineered herpes virus can halt the progression of skin cancer by killing cancer cells and sparking the immune system into action against tumours, a landmark clinical trial has shown.

SpinSat and things that slither splashdown with end of sixth SpaceX mission
The International Space Station had worms. Roundworms to be exact, but those and several other samples, hardware and data returned aboard the completed sixth SpaceX contracted resupply mission.

Science historian tells a timely story about Einstein and his most dangerous critic
Two of the 20th century's greatest minds, one of them physicist Albert Einstein, came to intellectual blows one day in Paris in 1922.

A chip placed under the skin for more precise medicine
It's only a centimeter long, it's placed under your skin, it's powered by a patch on the surface of your skin and it communicates with your mobile phone.

Climate change debate fueled by 'echo chambers,' new study finds
A new study demonstrates the highly contentious debate on climate change is fueled in part by how information flows throughout policy networks.

Researchers identify new target for Ebola drugs
A new study has demonstrated that a protein called Niemann-Pick C1 (NPC1) is critical for the Ebola virus to infect a host.

Disney researchers develop 2-legged robot that walks like an animated character
When Walt Disney created Mickey Mouse, he didn't give much thought to how he might bring his character to life in the real world.

U Wisconsin graduate new AMP/Michael D. Hayre Fellow in Public Outreach
Audrey Buelo, a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has been awarded the 2015/16 AMP/Michael D.

UC San Diego Health System named Center of Excellence for Huntington's Disease
The Huntington's Disease Clinical Research Center at UC San Diego Health System has been designated a Center of Excellence by the Huntington's Disease Society of America.

Obese male mice produce more disease-promoting immune cells than females
Obesity may be tougher on male immune systems than females'.

Fertilization regimen reduces environmental impact of landscape palms
A study showed that areca palms can be grown in a native sand soil or in a calcareous fill soil without supplemental phosphorus, and with no nitrogen applied during the rainy summer months (June-September) in southern Florida.

How racial stereotypes impact the way we communicate
Racial stereotypes and expectations can impact the way we communicate and understand others, according to UBC research.

Experiment confirms quantum theory weirdness: ANU media release
The bizarre nature of reality as laid out by quantum theory has survived another test, with scientists performing a famous experiment and proving that reality does not exist until it is measured.

Starved for fire, Wisconsin's pine barrens disappear
A century spent treating wildfires as emergencies to be stamped out may have cost Central Wisconsin a natural setting that was common and thriving before the state was settled.

Hospice use linked to fewer depressive symptoms for surviving spouses
Spouses of patients receiving hospice for three or more days more frequently reported reduced depression symptoms, compared to surviving spouses of patients who did not receive hospice.

Therapy-resistant breast cancer mechanism revealed
Mitsuyoshi Nakao, Director of the Institute of Molecular Embryology and Genetics in Kumamoto University and Associate Professor Noriko Saitoh revealed that a cluster of defined, non-coding RNAs are mechanistically involved in endocrine therapy resistance in human breast cancer cells.

Tiny heart, big promise
Studying zebrafish, investigators at The Saban Research Institute and the Heart Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles discovered a new source for cells that can develop into coronary vessels and have identified the signaling protein, a chemokine called CXCL12, which guides this process.

Cannabis use can be prevented, reduced or delayed
Contrary to some popular beliefs, marijuana is harmful to adolescent brains.

New insights could result in changes to the therapeutic strategy to combat Alzheimer's
A typical characteristic of the brain of an Alzheimer sufferer is the presence of insoluble Tau protein aggregates.

Strength-based parenting improves children's resilience and stress levels
Children are more likely to use their strengths to effectively cope with minor stress in their life if they have parents who adopt a strength-based approach to parenting.

Study examines hospice use and depression symptoms in surviving spouses
While most surviving spouses had more depression symptoms following the death of their partner regardless of hospice use, researchers found a modest reduction in depressive symptoms among some surviving spouses of hospice users compared with nonhospice users, according to an article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

Season influenza vaccination of children predicted to be highly cost-effective in Thailand
Seasonal influenza vaccination of children is likely to represent good short-term value for money in Thailand, according to a study published this week in PLOS Medicine.

New chip makes testing for antibiotic-resistant bacteria faster, easier
Researchers at the University of Toronto design diagnostic chip to reduce testing time from days to one hour, allowing doctors to pick the right antibiotic the first time. 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