Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 03, 2015
Endovascular intervention compared to standard treatment for stroke
In a meta-analysis of randomized clinical trials for the treatment of acute ischemic stroke, an endovascular intervention (such as use of a very small catheter to remove a blood clot) compared to standard medical care (administration of a clot dissolving agent) was associated with improved functional outcomes and higher rates of functional independence at 90 days, but no significant difference in symptomatic intracranial hemorrhage (bleeding in the brain) or all-cause mortality, according to a study in the Nov.

Artificial kidney research advances through UCSF collaboration
Development of a surgically implantable, artificial kidney has received a $6 million boost, thanks to a new grant from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering.

Simple test predicts response to chemotherapy in lung cancer patients
Scientists at Lawson Health Research Institute have found that adenocarcinoma patients who undergo chemotherapy and surgery experience significantly improved survival rates when their tumor is lacking the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor protein.

Alzheimer's may be a collection of diseases that should be treated separately
Deciphering the mechanism that underlies Alzheimer's disease development in some families but not others, Hebrew University of Jerusalem researchers have proposed that the malady is actually a collection of diseases that should probably be treated with a variety of approaches.

New genetic risk marker for late-life depression
One of the most powerful predictors in neuropsychiatry is the epsilon 4 allele of the apolipoprotein gene.

New test for ancient DNA authenticity throws doubt on Stone Age wheat trade
A new method reliably tests whether DNA shows ancient or modern patterns of biochemical change.

Electrical engineer's work may signal better wireless connections
The National Science Foundation has awarded more than $2 million to support three projects by electrical engineering professor Dr.

New studies question the treatment of female infertility with stem cells
It has been claimed that a treatment for female infertility will be available by stem cell therapy.

The role of plant science in food security
Plant science has an important role to play in meeting the global food security challenge, conclude Dr.

Professor receives grant to seek a cure for a leading cause of death in children under 5
Lesly Temesvari, an Alumni Distinguished Professor and Fulbright Scholar in Clemson University's biological sciences department, has been awarded a two-year, $290,400 grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, part of the National Institutes of Health.

The better to eat you with? How dinosaurs' jaws influenced diet
Just how bad was T. rex's bite? New research from the University of Bristol has found that the feeding style and dietary preferences of dinosaurs was closely linked to how wide they could open their jaws.

Baffling lab mystery leads to potential new anemia treatment
A bizarre result of a routine lab experiment has led researchers to an unexpected new way to trigger the production of red blood cells.

Anti-HIV drug for adults is safe, effective in children exposed to nevirapine in the womb
HIV-infected children exposed in the womb to nevirapine, a drug used to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission, can safely and effectively transition to efavirenz, a similar drug recommended for older children and adults, according to a study funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, part of the National Institutes of Health.

Forming glass shapes: Lowering the 'softening temperature' via electric field
On a serendipitous occasion, listening to Rishi Raj, a professor at University of Colorado Boulder, speak about the remarkable effect of moderate electrical fields on lowering the sintering temperature of certain ceramic powders, Himanshu Jain, a professor at Lehigh University, began to wonder if a similar phenomenon was possible in glass -- because he knew that the implications could be huge for glass technology.

Diamonds may not be so rare as once thought
Diamonds may not be as rare as once believed, but this finding won't mean deep discounts at local jewelry stores.

Energy-efficient reaction drives ORNL biofuel conversion technology
A new study from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory explains the mechanism behind a technology that converts bio-based ethanol into hydrocarbon blend-stocks for use as fossil fuel alternatives.

Righting a wrong? Right side of brain can compensate for post-stroke loss of speech
After a debate that has lasted more than 130 years, researchers at Georgetown University Medical Center have found that loss of speech from a stroke in the left hemisphere of the brain can be recovered on the back, right side of the brain.

Storage advance may boost solar thermal energy potential
Engineers have identified a new approach for the storage of concentrated solar thermal energy, to reduce its cost and make it more practical for wider use.

Wing structure helps female monarch butterflies outperform males in flight
In a study comparing physical traits of female and male monarchs, University of Georgia found that although female monarchs have smaller wings and smaller flight muscles than males, their wings are thicker and also bear less weight per square inch, making them both sturdier and more efficient in flight.

Buried in ash, ancient Salvadoran village shows images of daily life
A continuing look at a Maya village in El Salvador -- frozen in time by a blanket of volcanic ash from 1,400 years ago -- shows the farming families who lived there went about their daily lives with virtually no strong-arming by the elite royalty lording over the valley.

The complexity of modeling
In recent years, advances in materials synthesis techniques have enabled scientists to produce increasingly complex functional materials with enhanced or novel macroscopic properties.

Lipid helps keep algae and brain fluid moving
The same lipid that helps algae swim toward the light also appears to enable one type of brain cell to keep cerebrospinal fluid moving, researchers report.

3-D printed 'building blocks' of life
Scientists have developed a 3-D printing method capable of producing highly uniform 'blocks' of embryonic stem cells.

Fireworks are fun but can reduce atmospheric visibility
To some, holidays such as Bastille Day, Independence Day, and New Year's Eve, as well as major sporting events, wouldn't be the same without fireworks.

San Antonio enlists WuXi NextCODE to speed unparalleled open-access Cancer Genome Project
The San Antonio 1000 Cancer Genome Project is collecting tumor and normal patient samples in the 10 most common cancers from across a single metropolitan area.

Study suggests potential connection between low blood sugar and cardiovascular problems
Studies have shown an association between strict control of blood sugar and increased mortality.

Consistent source of care is key factor in limiting kids' repeat visits to the hospital
UCLA researchers looked at the five components of a primary care medical home and found that one factor -- having a usual source of care -- was the most reliable predictor of whether a child would be readmitted to a hospital or emergency room within a month after being discharged.

Study: How depressive thoughts persevere, interfere with memory in people with depression
A study from the Center for BrainHealth at The University of Texas at Dallas shows that depressive thoughts are maintained for longer periods of time for people with depressed mood, and this extended duration may reduce the amount of information that these individuals can hold in their memory.

$5 million for international neuroscience 'dream team'
A 'dream team' of experts in sensors, electronics, data analysis and neuroscience has been awarded a $5 million grant to help unravel the mysteries of the brain and cross-train an international group of neuroscientists and engineers.

Teen tobacco dependence should be treated with 'same urgency as other drugs,' study says
Substance abuse treatments that target main issues such as serious drug and alcohol addiction are not frequently being used to also wean adolescents from tobacco, a University of Georgia study finds.

Study examines factors that may contribute to hypersexuality
In a study of European men, hypersexuality -- a preoccupation with sexual fantasy or an excessive indulgence in sexual activity -- correlated with proneness to sexual boredom and problems with erectile function.

RegMedNet showcases KCL's Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine
For the next five weeks, RegMedNet will offer an exclusive spotlight on the aims and expertise of King's College London's Centre for Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine.

Health campaigns that tap teen culture curtail risky adolescent behavior
Health campaigns that target teens based their social groups and subcultures, such as hip hop, preppy or alternative, can be an effective tool in dissuading adolescents from engaging in risky behaviors such as smoking and drinking, suggests a survey of the literature and a case study.

Weaponized shame
'Beyond Bullying' weaves research from the fields of psychology, sociology, economics, and history to create a single overarching theory of shame, offering a window into disturbing aspects of human behavior.

Researchers develop 3-D printing method for creating patient-specific medical devices
Northeastern University researchers have developed an innovative 3-D printing technology that could revolutionize important biomedical equipment, enhancing treatment for everyone from premature babies to patients needing implants.

Blood stem cell self-renewal dependent on surroundings
Stem cells have two important capabilities: they can develop into a wide range of cell types and simultaneously renew themselves, creating fresh stem cells.

Scientists discover secret to highly efficient swimming in some animals, such as jellyfish
Previous studies have shown that jellyfish and eels can move using very low amounts of energy.

New method for tracking the sources of diamonds
A technique for identifying the sources of diamonds without the use of clues such as the presence of specific inclusions will be reported on Wednesday, 4 Nov., in a presentation by Catherine McManus, Chief Scientist at Materialytics, LLC, at The Geological Society of America's Annual Meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Increase seen in prescription drug use in US
Between 1999-2012, overall prescription drug use increased among US adults, with this increase seen for the majority of but not all drug classes, according to a study in the Nov.

National survey of Americans' health app use shows technology's promise and weakness
Like the treadmills and stationary bikes that become rec room coatracks, fitness and other health-related smartphone apps are acquired in large numbers by Americans, but over time, many are left unused by those who download them.

Race matters on college campuses
Affirmative action bans not only contribute to the decline of student body diversity, but also negatively influence the success of students of color on campus, according to higher education researchers at Penn State and Columbia University.

WSU Spokane researcher to lead study of Affordable Care Act, people with disabilities
A Washington State University researcher will lead a $2.5 million examination of the federal Affordable Care Act's impact on what may be the largest group in need of its services: people with disabilities.

The new wave in wireless communication
UCSB researchers take aim at the potential bottleneck created by the flood of shared multimedia content on wireless networks.

Large-scale study on Lumos Labs' online cognitive assessment published in Frontiers in Psychology
Lumos Labs, the makers of Lumosity, today announced the publication regarding its NeuroCognitive Performance Test, a brief, repeatable, web-based cognitive assessment platform.

New study reveals how specialized cells help each other survive during times of stress
A team led by scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and the University of Pittsburgh has shown for the first time how one set of specialized cells survives under stress by manipulating the behavior of key immune system cells.

Country-to-country aid for health varies dramatically
An analysis of country-to-country aid for health over a 20-year period suggests wide variations among donor countries' giving that do not always reflect recipient countries' health needs.

Closing the dyslexia achievement gap
A large achievement gap between dyslexic and typical readers is already present at first grade and persists throughout school; therefore, it is critical to identify and provide effective interventions at the start of school, according to a report by the University of California-Davis and Yale School of Medicine.

Being moody may help us adapt to change
It's long been known that mood biases our judgments and perceptions, but this effect has usually been regarded as irrational or disadvantageous.

Penn Medicine: Brain's hippocampus is essential structure for all aspects of recognition memory
The hippocampus, a brain structure known to play a role in memory and spatial navigation, is essential to one's ability to recognize previously encountered events, objects, or people -- a phenomenon known as recognition memory -- according to new research from the departments of Neurosurgery and Psychology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

'Chemsex' needs to become a public health priority
Chemsex -- sex under the influence of illegal drugs -- needs to become a public health priority, argue experts in The BMJ this week.

Announcing the AAAS Community Engagement Fellowship program
The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) announced Tuesday that it will establish a new fellowship program in community engagement with the support of a $772,995 grant from the Alfred P.

Media advisory: 3,000 insect scientists to meet at Entomology 2015 in Minneapolis
Members of the media are invited to attend Entomology 2015, which will be held Nov.

Early hospitalization key to survival for Ebola victims
Scientists looked at data from nearly 1,000 cases over 38 years in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has experienced more Ebola outbreaks than any other country since the virus was discovered in 1976.

Anti-vaccination websites use 'science' and stories to support claims, study finds
A content analysis of nearly 500 anti-vaccination websites found that over two-thirds used what they represented as scientific evidence to support the idea that vaccines are dangerous and nearly one-third contained anecdotes that reinforced the perception.

Vanderbilt University Medical Center receives NIH grant to develop artificial kidney
The National Institutes of Health has awarded a four-year, $6 million grant to investigators at Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) and the University of California at San Francisco (UCSF) to develop an implantable artificial kidney.

Study: Only 1 in 5 US pancreatic cancer patients get this key blood test at diagnosis
Only one in five US pancreatic cancer patients receive a widely available, inexpensive blood test at diagnosis that can help predict whether they are likely to have a better or worse outcome than average and guide treatment accordingly, a Mayo Clinic study shows.

Study examines issues related to prenatal detection of trisomies
Cell-free (cf) DNA analysis of maternal blood for trisomies 21, 18 and 13 is superior to other methods of screening, but it's expensive.

Vast energy value in human waste: UN University
UN University's Canadian-based water institute estimates that biogas potentially available from human waste worldwide would have a value of up to US$ 9.5 billion in natural gas equivalent.

Pertussis infection in children associated with small increased risk of epilepsy
Although the absolute risk was low, researchers found an increased risk of childhood-onset epilepsy among children in Denmark who had a hospital-diagnosed pertussis infection, compared with the general population, according to a study in the Nov.

Researchers create transplantation model for 3-D printed constructs
Using sugar, silicone and a 3-D printer, a team of bioengineers at Rice University and surgeons at the University of Pennsylvania have created an implant with an intricate network of blood vessels that points toward a future of growing replacement tissues and organs for transplantation.

Cancer-associated mutations are common in patients with unexplained low blood counts
Patients with unexplained low blood counts and abnormally mutated cells who do not fit the diagnostic criteria for recognized blood cancers should be described as having clonal cytopenias of undetermined significance (CCUS), suggest University of California, San Diego School of Medicine researchers in a recent paper published in the journal Blood.

NASA sees first land-falling tropical cyclone in Yemen
Tropical Cyclone Chapala made landfall in Yemen early on Nov.

Uptake mechanisms of cytostatics discovered
Scientists at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association and the Leibniz-Institut für Molekulare Pharmakologie in Berlin, in cooperation with a Dutch group, have now succeeded in showing that the volume-regulated anion channel VRAC is 50 percent responsible for active substance uptake.

Persistent clusters sustain Netherlands HIV epidemic among men who have sex with men
The resurgent HIV epidemic among men who have sex with men (MSM) in the Netherlands is driven by several large, persistent, self-sustaining, and, in many cases, growing sub-epidemics shifting towards new generations of MSM, according to new research published this week in PLOS Medicine by Daniela Bezemer from HIV Monitoring Foundation, Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and Anne Cori from Imperial College London, UK, and colleagues.

Humans can empathize with robots
Toyohashi Tech researchers in cooperation with researchers at Kyoto University have presented the first neurophysiological evidence of humans' ability to empathize with a robot in perceived pain.

Stanford engineers help discover the surprising trick jellyfish use to swim
Through clever experiments and insightful math, an interdisciplinary research team has revealed a startling truth about how jellyfish and lampreys, another ancient species that undulate like eels, move through the water with unmatched efficiency.

Muscle loss linked with falls and fractures in elderly
Older people with an age-related loss of muscle mass and strength may be at greater risk of falling and bone fractures, according to new research led by the University of Southampton.

The solution to faster computing? Sing to your data
A UK team of engineers may have found the answer to faster computing using minimal power: sound.

Einstein and Berkeley receive $4.25 million from NIH for next-generation gene imaging
Now that researchers have successfully sequenced the human genome, understanding how those genes operate is one of the next great challenges.

Protein Photonics special section in Journal of Biomedical Optics honors Osamu Shimomura
A special section on Protein Photonics in the Journal of Biomedical Optics celebrates the work and influence of Nobel Laureate Osamu Shimomura, discoverer of green fluorescent protein from jellyfish.

Restoration project recreates variation in the Vindel River
Vindel River LIFE is an EU project aimed at restoring tributaries in northern Sweden that were affected by a century-long timber-floating era.

ALCF helps tackle the Large Hadron Collider's big data challenge
To help tackle the considerable challenge of interpreting data, researchers from the US Department of Energy's (DOE's) Argonne National Laboratory are demonstrating the potential of simulating collision events with Mira, a 10-petaflops IBM Blue Gene/Q supercomputer at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility (ALCF), a DOE Office of Science User Facility.

Grant establishes center for 3-D structure and physics of the genome at UMMS
The University of Massachusetts Medical School has been awarded a five-year, $15 million grant from the National Institutes of Medicine Common Fund to establish the Center for 3-D Structure and Physics of the Genome.

Guidelines first to focus on children with pulmonary hypertension
The first guidelines developed for children with pulmonary hypertension are the result of a collaboration between heart and lung experts and their review of 600 studies.

Effectiveness of efavirenz-based antiretroviral therapy for HIV-infected children
Louise Kuhn, Ph.D., of Columbia University, New York, and colleagues evaluated whether HIV-infected children in South Africa who had achieved viral suppression with one treatment could transition to efavirenz-based therapy without risk of viral failure.

University of Washington faculty study legal, social complexities of augmented reality
Augmented reality is the enhancement of human perception through overlaying technologies that can expand, annotate and even record the user's moment-to-moment experience.

How to model the immune system - 10 billion components at a time
The complexity of the human immune response has been difficult to characterize on a 'big picture' level, but researchers at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech have written the book on how it can be done.

Minuscule, flexible compound lenses magnify large fields of view
Drawing inspiration from an insect's multi-faceted eye, University of Wisconsin-Madison engineers have created miniature lenses with vast range of vision.

New method reveals female biased green sea turtle sex ratio in San Diego Bay
Scientists have for the first time determined the ratio of males to females in a wild foraging group of green turtles in the Eastern Pacific, which suggests that sea turtles may be vulnerable to feminization from the temperature rises expected with climate change.

Samumed to announce potential disease modifying treatment of osteoarthritis at ACR 2015
Samumed, LLC, a leader in tissue regeneration, announced today that it will present preclinical and clinical data on a small molecule modulator of the Wnt pathway (SM04690, an investigational new drug) for potential disease modifying treatment of osteoarthritis (OA) of the knee at 2015 ACR Annual Meeting.

Premature ejaculation isn't a true illness
A new review argues that premature ejaculation -- which has become the center of a multi-million dollar business -- should not be classified as a male sexual dysfunction.

CU-Boulder study: Ancient Salvadoran village buried by ash freezes daily life in time
A continuing look at a Maya village in El Salvador frozen in time by a blanket of volcanic ash 1,400 years ago shows the farming families who lived there went about their daily lives with virtually no strong-arming by the elite royalty lording over the valley.

Some chemicals less damaging to ozone can degrade to long-lived greenhouse gas
Some substitutes for ozone-damaging chemicals being phased out worldwide under international agreements are themselves potent greenhouse gases and contribute to warming.

The science of the perfect grilled cheese sandwich (video)
There's nothing like a gooey, melty, delicious grilled cheese sandwich.

Rural-to-urban migration associated with negative environmental effects in Chinese cities
A University of Missouri researcher has found a strong correlation between the influx of labor migrants from rural to urban areas and negative environmental effects on those destination cities.

Endurance expert: Drugs could help 'lazy' people exercise
Together with lack of time, physical exertion is one of the main perceived barriers to exercise.

Scientists find potential target for dry AMD
Scientists have good news for patients who suffer from currently untreatable dry age-related macular degeneration (dry AMD).

Standing and exercise linked to lower odds of obesity
Standing for at least one-quarter of the day has been linked to lower odds of obesity in a new study.

Study highlights risks of prescribing or monitoring errors in UK general practice
Around one in 100 patients in a study of over 500 UK general practices are at risk of receiving an inappropriate prescription and around one in 250 have no record of monitoring within the recommended time period, finds a study in The BMJ this week.

Oil-based pesticides most effective at killing contents of brown widow spider egg sacs
Researchers at the University of California, Riverside have found that pesticides in oil-based formulations are better than water-based formulations at penetrating the silk fibers of brown widow spider egg sacs.

Chemotherapy-induced hearing loss affects cognition in pediatric brain tumor survivors
More children are surviving malignant brain tumors than in the past, thanks to the use of intense treatments using platinum-based chemotherapy (cisplatin and high-dose carboplatin).

Link between small mammals and evolution of hepatitis A virus to humans discovered
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are part of an international team led by the University of Bonn, Germany, who have found a link between the origin of hepatitis A virus (HAV) and small mammals.

New drug provides safer alternative to conventional IVF treatment
The hormone kisspeptin could be a safer and more effective way for harvesting eggs during IVF treatment, according to a new study presented today at the Society for Endocrinology annual conference in Edinburgh.

Births down and deaths up in Gulf dolphins
A NOAA-led team of scientists is reporting a high rate of reproductive failure in dolphins exposed to oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill.

Links found between hunger and health
Almost 50 million people in the United States are food insecure -- that is, they lack access to adequate food because of limited money or other resources.

Study says cheerleading could help challenge gender stereotypes
New research from the University of East Anglia suggests that cheerleading has the potential to challenge traditional ideas about gender and to be an inclusive activity for both boys and girls.

Depression and weight gain in pregnancy linked to sitting down
A link between depression in pregnancy and long periods of sitting down has been identified by researchers from the University of Warwick.

American College of Cardiology releases hospital performance data
Heart disease patients and their caregivers can now search for in-depth data about their local hospitals and make informed decisions about their care through the American College of Cardiology's public reporting program.

The hepatitis A virus is of animal origin
The hepatitis A virus can trigger acute liver inflammation which generally has a mild course in small children but which can become dangerous in adults.

Sexual dysfunction is prevalent among recently deployed veterans
In a recent study of 247 US veterans returning from conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, almost 18 percent screened positive for sexual functioning difficulties.

New computational approach to predicting adverse drug reactions with higher confidence
A new integrated computational method helps predicting adverse drug reaction -- which are often lethal -- more reliably than with traditional computing methods.

Distant world's weather is mixed bag of hot dust and molten rain
Weather patterns in a mysterious world beyond our solar system have been revealed for the first time, a study suggests.

Study examines bacterial susceptibility to antibiotics used to treat gonorrhea
Although gonorrhea susceptibility to the antibiotic cefixime has been improving in recent years, suggesting a halt of a drift towards antibiotic resistance, data for 2014 indicates a worsening of susceptibility, according to a study in the Nov.

Fighting citrus greening with vibrating orange groves
Asian citrus psyllids are loathed by orange farmers because they spread a pernicious foe: the bacteria Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, which cause citrus greening, which turns the trees' leaves a sickly yellow and makes the fruit bitter and stunted.

Antiepileptic drugs may progressively impair balance
In a study of 26 twin and sibling pairs where one of each pair had received long-term antiepileptic drug therapy, participants who were taking these medications swayed more during static and dynamic balance tests compared with their siblings who were not taking antiepileptic medications.

Researchers provide detailed genetic information on fish
The fathead minnow has long been a premier animal model for research and regulation related to environmental toxins.

Past earthquakes play a role in future landslides, research suggests
The likelihood of an area experiencing a potentially devastating landslide could be influenced by its previous exposure to earthquakes many decades earlier.

A-plus potatoes may lead to more nutritious cassava crops
BTI's Joyce Van Eck has received a new patent for methods to fortify potatoes and other crops with beta-carotene, in the hope that enriched cassava could alleviate vitamin A deficiencies.

Military sexual trauma: Prevalent and under treated
Rates of military sexual trauma among men who served in the military may be as much as 15 times higher than has been previously reported, largely because of barriers associated with stigma, beliefs in myths about male rape, and feelings of helplessness, according to articles published by the American Psychological Association. 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