Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 21, 2015
Examination of use of diabetes drug pioglitazone and risk of bladder cancer
Although some previous studies have suggested an increased risk of bladder cancer with use of the diabetes drug pioglitazone, analyses that included nearly 200,000 patients found no statistically significant increased risk, however a small increased risk could not be excluded, according to a study in the July 21 issue of JAMA.

ECOG-ACRIN opens trial of treatment sequencing in advanced melanoma
In its latest treatment trial, EA6134, the ECOG-ACRIN Cancer Research Group studies whether to start treatment with drugs that trigger patients' immune systems to kill melanoma skin cancer, or with other drugs that identify and attack molecules within tumor cells

Genome analysis pins down arrival and spread of first Americans
An international team of researchers compared the genomes of 31 living Native Americans, Siberians and people from Oceania with 23 ancient Native American genomes to establish a timeline for the arrival and spread of Amerindian populations.

Sweet revenge against superbugs
A special type of synthetic sugar could be the latest weapon in the fight against superbugs.

The population history of Native Americans
A large genome-scale study conducted by an international team headed by the Centre for GeoGenetics at the University of Copenhagen reveal that the ancestors of all present-day Native Americans arrived in the Americas as part of a single migration wave, no earlier than 23 KYA.

Regular consumption of sugary drinks associated with type 2 diabetes
Regular consumption of sugar sweetened drinks is positively associated with type 2 diabetes independent of obesity status, finds a study published in The BMJ this week.

New computer program first to recognise sketches more accurately than a human
Researchers from Queen Mary University of London have built the first computer program that can recognize hand-drawn sketches better than humans.

Detecting disease in beef cattle using ear tag units
University of Calgary researchers studied beef cattle with in-ear accelerometers.

Comparing your partner to someone else's? Find yours comes up short?
When people compare their significant other to someone else's, they ocasionally find reason to think their partner is inferior in some aspect -- appearance, occupation, sharing of household duties or raising children, etc.

One night of sleep loss can alter clock genes in your tissues
Swedish researchers at Uppsala University and the Karolinska Institute have found that genes that control the biological clocks in cells throughout the body are altered after losing a single night of sleep, in a study that is to be published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism.

A handy field guide to the nearshore marine fishes of Alaska
Even experienced biologists can have difficulty identifying the juvenile phases of many species of fish.

NYU nursing and medical students learn teamwork with virtual teammates
The NYU researchers have designed a virtual IPE curriculum in which students were paired with a virtual team member to learn with, from, and about each other to improve collaboration and the delivery of care.

International forum showcases QUT biotech research
QUT is leading new genetic research that aims to provide a food boost for livestock without relying on nutritional supplements.

Chaos is an inherent part of city traffic
A team of researchers in Colombia and Chile has explored the role of chaos in the dynamics of vehicles within cities, keeping traffic and the bus systems of various countries in mind, and this week in the journal Chaos, the team presents and analyzes the consequences of 'discrete mapping' the exact evolution of a bus operating under ideal city conditions.

Studies examine use of bystander interventions for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest
Two studies in the July 21 issue of JAMA find that use of interventions such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation and automated external defibrillators by bystanders and first responders have increased and were associated with improved survival and neurological outcomes for persons who experienced an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

Forages and Pastures Symposium leads to 3 new papers in Journal of Animal Science
Feeding marginal-quality feeds to improve the efficiency of cattle production, while keeping costs at a minimum and considering ecological balance.

Shallow fracking raises questions for water, new Stanford research shows
Stanford scientist's investigations show that drinking water sources may be threatened by thousands of shallow oil and gas wells mined with the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing.

Georgetown physician leads national melanoma study
A Georgetown University Medical Center physician renowned for his research in melanoma will lead a new national clinical trial involving novel treatments for the disease.

Genetic data informs how Native American ancestors entered Americas
Using genetic data from ancient and modern individuals, researchers have provided one of the clearest pictures yet of how and when the ancestors of present-day Native Americans entered the Americas, suggesting they did so as a single wave -- not in multiple waves, as some have thought.

Doctors and medical students in India should stop wearing white coats
Doctors and medical students in India should stop wearing white coats, argues a doctor in The BMJ this week.

DNA sequencing of noninvasively collected hair expands the field of conservation genetics
Information embedded within DNA has long contributed to biodiversity conservation, helping to reconstruct the past history of species, assess their current status, and guide strategies for their protection.

New drug combination treats hepatitis C patients also infected with HIV
Researchers at the University of California, School of Medicine found a new combination that effectively treats hepatitis C patients co-infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV).

Keeping up that positive feeling: The science of savoring emotions
Savoring a beautiful sunset and the positive emotions associated with it can contribute to improved well-being, according to research.

Young South African women can adhere to daily PrEP regimen as HIV prevention, study finds
A clinical study funded by the NIH has found that young, single black women in South Africa adhered to a daily pill regimen to prevent HIV infection -- an HIV prevention strategy known as pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP.

Transgender youth have typical hormone levels
Johanna Olson, M.D., and her colleagues at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, provide care for the largest number of trans youth in the US and have enrolled 101 patients in a study to determine the safety and efficacy of treatment that helps patients bring their bodies into closer alignment with their gender of identity.

Yeast cells optimize their genomes in response to the environment
Researchers at the Babraham Institute and Cambridge Systems Biology Centre have shown that yeast can modify their genomes to take advantage of an excess of calories in the environment and attain optimal growth.

Study of human body fluid shifts aboard space station advances journey to Mars
NASA and the Russian Space Agency Roscosmos are collaborating aboard the International Space Station on a One-Year Mission study to learn more about bodily fluids shifting to the upper body and whether there is a correlation with vision changes.

Thriving in the tropics of Borneo: 2 new Hoya species on the third largest island
Two new tropical plants species from the large and complex genus Hoya were found in Borneo.

Stress 'sweet spot' differs for mellow vs. hyper dogs
People aren't the only ones who perform better on tests or athletic events when they are just a little bit nervous -- dogs do too.

Fertile corals discovered in deeper waters off US Virgin Islands
Researchers discovered a threatened coral species that lives in deeper waters off the US Virgin Islands is more fertile than its shallow-water counterparts.

Both birth weight and adult lifestyle influence diabetes risk
A low birth weight combined with an unhealthy lifestyle in adulthood are jointly related to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, finds a study published in The BMJ this week.

Words jump-start vision, psychologist's study shows
A study published recently in The Journal of Neuroscience shows that words have a profound effect even on the first electrical twitches of perception.

Diabetes drug may protect against Parkinson's disease
Diabetes patients taking glitazone antidiabetes drugs had a 28 percent lower incidence of Parkinson's disease than people taking other antidiabetic treatments, according to new research led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

HIV treatment has social and socioeconomic benefits, as well as improved health: Study
New research shows that HIV treatment for illicit drug users improves their social and socioeconomic well-being as well as their health.

The ends count starting at birth
The cognitive system encodes better the first and last syllables of words.

MoveSense app makes cellphone an oxygen saturation monitor for heart and lung patients
Patients suffering from chronic cardiopulmonary diseases could soon have a solution to help them accurately monitor their health and warn doctors at the first sign of trouble.

Making Europe sweat
Stable high-pressure systems can lead to summer heatwaves -- such as the one Europe is currently experiencing.

Dr. Fauci at IAS 2015: Comprehensive global prevention can end HIV/AIDS pandemic
Although much progress has been made in combating the global HIV/AIDS pandemic, to halt new infections and end the pandemic, a combination of non-vaccine and vaccine prevention modalities will be needed.

Drawing a line between quantum and classical world
In a new paper, published in the July 20 edition of Optica, University of Rochester researchers show that a classical beam of light that would be expected to obey Bell's Inequality can fail this test in the lab, if the beam is properly prepared to have a particular feature: entanglement.

Yeast byproduct inhibits white-nose syndrome fungus in lab experiments
A microbe found in caves produces a compound that inhibits Pseudogymnoascus destructans, the fungus that causes white-nose syndrome in bats, researchers report in the journal Mycopathologia.

Researcher honored for impactful research at Alzheimer's Association International Conference®
The Alzheimer's Association is recognizing Li Gan, Ph.D., for publishing influential research on the biology of Alzheimer's disease with the Inge Grundke-Iqbal Award for Alzheimer's Research.

American History 201
Native Americans living in the Amazon bear an unexpected genetic connection to indigenous people in Australasia, suggesting a previously unknown wave of migration to the Americas thousands of years ago, a new study has found.

2015 awards recipients of The Geological Society of America
The Geological Society of America (GSA) will recognize outstanding scientific achievements and distinguished service to the profession at its 2015 Annual Meeting & Exposition in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Major collection documenting the US Civil Rights movement announced
Adam Matthew has today announced an agreement to digitally publish a wealth of documents from the 'Race Relations Department of the United Church Board for Homeland Ministries, 1943-1970' held by the Amistad Research Center.

Soybean meal positively affects pigs with PRRSV
Increased soybean meal concentrations in the diet may help alleviate the effects of PRRSV in infected weanling pigs.

Study suggests new treatment avenue to prevent serous retinal detachment
Wet age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of severe vision loss in older individuals.

Sex and violence may not really sell products
If there's one thing advertisers think they know, it is that sex and violence sell.

Adjuvants improve immune response to H7N9 flu vaccine
In a phase 2 trial that included nearly 1,000 adults, the AS03 and MF59 adjuvants (a component that improves immune response of inactivated influenza vaccines) increased the immune responses to two doses of an inactivated H7N9 influenza vaccine, with AS03-adjuvanted formulations inducing the highest amount of antibody response, according to a study in the July 21 issue of JAMA.

Fatherhood makes men fat
Men gain weight after they become fathers for the first time, reports a large new Northwestern study that tracked the weight of more than 10,000 men from adolescence to young adulthood.

New drug assessment program to offer value-based price benchmark
With drug prices for cancer and many other conditions soaring to new highs amid questions about their true value to patients, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review today launched a program to transform the way new drugs are evaluated and priced in the United States.

Satellites peer into rock 50 miles beneath Tibetan Plateau
Gravity data captured by satellite has allowed researchers to take a closer look at the geology deep beneath the Tibetan Plateau.

Bust up big kidney stones with tamsulosin
Tamsulosin works no better than placebo on small kidney stones, but does improve passage of more large kidney stones than placebo does.

Universal flu vaccine in the works
Each year, scientists create an influenza (flu) vaccine that protects against a few specific influenza strains that researchers predict are going to be the most common during that year.

Poor diabetes control found in older Americans
Only one in three older Americans have their diabetes under control as measured by guidelines set by the American Diabetes Association, new Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health research suggests.

Location-based ads need more than closeness to overcome creepiness
Location-based advertisements may pinpoint customers geographically, but often miss the target because customers may find the ads creepy and intrusive, according to an international team of researchers.

Exploring evolution via electric fish hybrid zone
Michigan State University is using a $700,000 National Science Foundation grant to study how electric fish signals evolve, research that could offer insights into the evolution of new species.

Cellphones seen as change agents for health among young, poor, urban women
In a survey of a diverse group of almost 250 young, low-income, inner-city pregnant and postpartum women, Johns Hopkins researchers have learned that more than 90 percent use smartphones or regular cellphones to give and get information.

Former professional rugby players have greater cervical spine degeneration
French researchers used clinical examinations and magnetic resonance imaging studies to determine whether retired professional rugby players experience more serious symptoms of cervical spine degeneration than people in the general population.

Applying New Jersey population traits to Louisiana reverses colorectal cancer trends
If Louisiana had the same risk factors, screening uptake, and survival rates as New Jersey, incidence and mortality from the disease would drop to levels below that of New Jersey.

Researchers at Einstein and Montefiore present at Alzheimer's Association International Conference 2015
Investigators at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System will present multiple findings at AAIC, taking place July 18-23 in Washington, D.C.

Rock paper fungus
Believe it or not: X-ray works a lot better on rocks than on paper.

Seeing triple: New 3-D model could solve supernova mystery
In a paper published in the Astrophysical Journal Letters, a research team details how it developed a 3-D model of a giant star's last moments, work that could shed light on how these stars explode.

Foods with added phosphate cause spike in blood, even in people with healthy kidneys
Phosphates artificially added to dairy and cereal products appear to cause bigger spikes in blood phosphorus levels than naturally occurring phosphates, potentially putting harmful stress on kidneys.

Choosing Wisely in newborn medicine: Improving health outcomes, reducing costs
Advances in technology have spurred better outcomes for infants treated in neonatal intensive care units, but parents and physicians need to work together to avoid unnecessary and potentially harmful tests and treatments, according to new Choosing Wisely recommendations developed by neonatologists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and published online in Pediatrics, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Acupuncture impacts same biologic pathways in rats that pain drugs target in humans
In animal models, acupuncture appears to impact the same biologic pathways ramped up by pain and stress, analogous to what drugs do in humans.

Birmingham, Ala., neighborhood revitalization motivated exercise
A community revitalization effort in a struggling neighborhood of Birmingham, Ala., succeeded in promoting healthy physical activity.

Blood vessels can actually get better with age
Oxidative stress has been linked to cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases including diabetes, hypertension and age-related cancers.

PolyU establishes Hong Kong's first breast milk nutrient database
The Laboratory for Infant & Child Nutrition set up by the Food Safety and Technology Research Centre of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University has established Hong Kong's first breast milk nutrient database.

Cash transfers conditional on schooling do not prevent HIV among young South African women
A Phase III, individually randomized trial has found conditional cash transfers for school attendance did not reduce the risk of HIV among high-school aged women in South Africa, investigators from the HIV Prevention Trials Network reported today at the 8th International AIDS Society Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention in Vancouver, Canada.

Juvenile inmates have more mental health hospitalizations, Stanford study finds
Juvenile inmates are much more likely to be hospitalized for mental health problems than children and teenagers who are not incarcerated, according to a new study from the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Degrading BPA with visible light and a new hybrid photocatalyst
BPA's popularity soared after the 1950s, but evidence suggests that even low doses might be harmful to human and environmental health.

USAID awards $30M grant to Georgetown's Institute for Reproductive Health
The US Agency for International Development has awarded $30 million to Georgetown University Medical Center's Institute for Reproductive Health to fund its Passages Project, which aims to improve healthy timing and spacing of pregnancies among youth and first-time parents in developing countries.

Commercial ties may be fueling unnecessary and potentially harmful osteoporosis treatment
A complex web of interactions between industry, advocacy organizations, and academia may be fueling enthusiasm for calcium and vitamin D supplements to prevent and treat osteoporosis, despite evidence of lack of benefit, warn doctors in The BMJ this week.

UT Southwestern's technological integration places it among the 'Most Wired' for fifth year
UT Southwestern Medical Center is on the national 'Most Wired' hospitals list for a fifth consecutive year, thanks to its use of such technologies as databases to help physicians better identify high-risk patients and tools that keep physicians, nurses, and patients communicating effectively.

Researchers aim to produce cancer vaccine to save the Tasmanian devil
New research, led by University of Southampton biological scientist Dr.

Scientists track monster waves below the ocean surface
A scientific research team spent seven years tracking the movements of skyscraper-high waves in the South China Sea.

Economy main factor in US emissions decline
Recent declines in greenhouse gas emissions in the US were spurred more by the economic recession than by a shift from coal to natural gas, according to new IIASA research.

UT Arlington research could yield more resilient ceramic material for future spacecraft
A University of Texas at Arlington engineer is modifying molecular structures and blending ceramics to create new material that would be less brittle but retain the strength of the original ceramic and could be used on spacecraft, in power plants and for other applications.

Do sex and violence sell? Maybe not, says new study
Advertisers hoping to sway consumers might want to rethink running spots within media with violent or sexual themes, and might do better if the ads themselves have a G-rating, according to a study published by the American Psychological Association.

Manipulating molecule in the brain improves stress response, new target for depression treatment
Increasing the levels of a signaling molecule found in the brain can positively alter response to stress, revealing a potential new therapeutic target for treatment of depression, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers said.

New mussel-inspired surgical protein glue: Close wounds, open medical possibilities
Inspired by nature's wonders, Korean scientists have developed new light-activated adhesive hydrogel that is mussel protein-based.

Economic slump, not natural gas boom, responsible for drop in CO2 emissions
The 11 percent decrease in climate change-causing carbon dioxide emissions in the US between 2007 and 2013 was caused by the global financial recession -- not the reduced use of coal, research from the University of California Irvine, the University of Maryland, and the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis shows.

Leicester scientists to unlock the secrets of the biological clock
New project led by University of Leicester examines shortening of telomeres.

Elderberry benefits air travelers
The negative health effects of international air travel are well documented but now it seems that the common elderberry can provide some relief.

Study shows targeting bacteria causing ulcers may prevent stomach cancer
A research review for the Cochrane Library, led by McMaster University researchers, has found that eliminating Helicobacter pylori bacterium -- the main cause of stomach ulcers - with a short course of therapy of two commonly used medicines may help to reduce the risk of gastric cancer.

Questionnaire beats blood test in identifying at-risk drinking among ER patients
Emergency room physicians treating patients with alcohol-related trauma can better identify those at risk of future drinking-related trauma with a 10-point questionnaire rather than the standard blood alcohol content test, according to a study in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

Low-nicotine cigarettes fail to sway smokers
Smokers who successfully lowered their nicotine intake when they were switched to low-nicotine cigarettes were unable to curb their smoking habits in the long term, according to a study by researchers at UCSF and San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.

US Navy eyes graphene nanoribbon for ultimate power control system
The Office of Naval Research has awarded University at Buffalo engineers an $800,000 grant to develop narrow strips of graphene called nanoribbons that may someday revolutionize how power is controlled in ships, smartphones and other electronic devices.

Fluorescent material reveals how cells grow
Fiber from a semiconducting polymer, developed for solar cells, is an excellent support material for the growth of new human tissue.

New treatment for severe depression with far fewer side effects
Electroconvulsive therapy remains one of the most effective treatments for severe depression, but new UNSW research shows ultra-brief pulse stimulation is almost as effective as standard ECT, with far fewer cognitive side effects.

Study finds PrEP use feasible among high-risk groups in US community settings
A majority of men who have sex with men and transgender women at high risk for HIV infection took anti-HIV medication for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), most of the time, in a multi-site US study examining use of this HIV prevention strategy outside of a clinical trial.

The Society Of Neurointerventional Surgery to host annual meeting in San Francisco
The Society of NeuroInterventional Surgery will host the SNIS 12th Annual Meeting, featuring the latest research on endovascular treatment of diseases of the brain, spine, head and neck.

Specific protein as missing link for earliest known change in Alzheimer's pathology
A recent study conducted at Nathan S. Kline Institute for Psychiatric Research and NYU Langone Medical Center implicates a new culprit in Alzheimer's disease development.

Early antiretroviral therapy prevents non-AIDS outcomes in HIV-infected people, study
Starting antiretroviral therapy early not only prevents serious AIDS-related diseases, but also prevents the onset of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and other non-AIDS-related diseases in HIV-infected people, according to a new analysis of data from the Strategic Timing of AntiRetroviral Treatment study, the first large-scale randomized clinical trial to establish that earlier antiretroviral treatment benefits all HIV-infected individuals.

An easy, scalable and direct method for synthesizing graphene in silicon microelectronics
Graphene has been studied intensively for its unique properties, and now researchers have developed a microelectronics-compatible method to grow it and have synthesized wafer-scale, high-quality graphene on silicon substrates.

Low birth weight combined with unhealthy adult lifestyle may increase type 2 diabetes risk
People who are a low weight at birth and have unhealthy habits as adults, such as eating nutritionally poor diets or smoking, may have a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes than people born at an average weight who live similar lifestyles, according to a new study led by researchers from Harvard T.H.

Simulations lead to design of near-frictionless material
Argonne scientists used the Mira supercomputer to identify and improve a new mechanism for eliminating friction, which fed into the development of a hybrid material that exhibited superlubricity at the macroscale for the first time.

Dartmouth team conducts first synthesis of molecules that cause rapid cell death in cancer
Dartmouth researchers and their colleagues have carried out the first total syntheses of certain compounds involved in excessive cell death in leukemia.

Biomarkers in blood shown to be highly selective indicators of brain damage
Researchers have shown that the levels of two proteins present in blood and cerebrospinal fluid increase significantly at different time points following traumatic brain injury, confirming their potential value as biomarkers of trauma-related brain damage.

Going green: Microalgae as a feedstuff for grower steers
Engineers across the country have developed biofuels, food additives and skincare products using the adaptive power of microalgae.

Class of diabetes medication associated with lower incidence of Parkinson's disease
A class of drugs used to treat diabetes may be associated with protection against Parkinson's disease, according to research published this week in PLOS Medicine.

In pursuit of precision medicine for PTSD
Brain scans of war veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder have led researchers to an area of the prefrontal cortex that appears to be a good predictor of response to treatment with SSRIs -- the first-line drug treatment for PTSD.

iPSCs show promise for kidney treatment
Renal progenitor cells derived from human iPS cells were shown to have therapeutic effects when transplanted into acute kidney injury model mice.

Antibiotic use and decrease in INR levels among patients taking vitamin K antagonists
Researchers have found an association between treatment with the antibiotic dicloxacillin and a decrease in international normalized ratio (INR; a measure of blood coagulation) levels among patients taking the vitamin K antagonists warfarin or phenprocoumon, according to a study in the July 21 issue of JAMA.

New 'TripAdvisor' site to address use of substandard biomedical research tools
An international panel of leading scientists is launching a new TripAdvisor-style website aimed at helping researchers choose better-quality research tools - and avoiding potentially serious errors in biomedical research.

The earlier the better -- bystanders save lives with CPR for cardiac arrest
Sudden cardiac arrest kills an estimated 200,000 people a year in the United States, but many of those lives could be saved if ordinary bystanders simply performed CPR, a new study led by Duke Medicine shows.

Controlled burns increase invasive grass in hardwood forests
Controlled burning is widely used to maintain biodiversity and enhance regeneration of important deciduous tree species such as oak and hickory, but a recent University of Illinois study found that this practice also increases the growth of an aggressive species of invasive grass.

Why we live on Earth and not Venus
Compared to its celestial neighbours Venus and Mars, Earth is a pretty habitable place.

PNAS: Evolution not just mutation drives development of cancer
A paper published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences argues against the commonly held 'accumulation of mutations' model of oncogenesis in favor of a model that depends on evolutionary pressures acting on populations of cells.

The medical odyssey of an undiagnosed child
For parents of children with ADNP-related autism syndrome, the mystery surrounding their infants' suffering can be even more agonizing than the syndrome itself, which has no known cure.

How do fireflies glow? (video)
Bruce Branchini, Ph.D., from Connecticut College and colleagues at Yale University have recreated the firefly's glow in the lab.

Virus-like particle vaccine protects mice from many flu strains
A vaccine that protects against a wide variety of influenza viruses (a so-called universal flu vaccine) is a critical public health goal given the significant rates of illness and death caused by seasonal influenza and the potentially devastating effects of a pandemic influenza strain.

Selfishness lasts a lifetime, according to mongoose study
Researchers studying wild banded mongooses in Uganda have discovered that these small mammals have either cooperative or selfish personalities which last for their entire lifetime. 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