Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 15, 2016
Beta-blockers following angioplasty show little benefit for some older patients
Following coronary angioplasty, beta-blockers did not significantly improve mortality rates or reduce the number of future cardiovascular incidents for older patients with stable angina but no history of heart attack or heart failure, according to a study published today in the JACC: Cardiovascular Interventions.

Methane leaks: A new way to find and fix in real time
Researchers have flown aircraft over an oil and gas field and pinpointed -- with unprecedented precision -- sources of the greenhouse gas methane in real time.

Persian Gulf public amenable to energy subsidy reforms
Traditional subsidized energy prices may be unnecessary for large numbers of residents of the Persian Gulf monarchies like Saudi Arabia, according to a new article from Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.

Many life-saving defibrillators behind locked doors during off-hours, study finds
When a person suffers cardiac arrest, there is a one in five chance a potentially life-saving Automated External Defibrillator is nearby.

Rice cultivation in Southeast Asia: 5 years of lessons learned by LEGATO
Five years of irrigated rice cultivation research reached its pinnacle at the Final LEGATO Conference, which took place from Aug.

How mechanical force triggers blood clotting at the molecular scale
Using a unique single-molecule force measurement tool, a research team has developed a clearer understanding of how platelets sense the mechanical forces they encounter during bleeding to initiate the cascading process that leads to blood clotting.

Signs of pure altruism converge in the brain and increase with age
Combining insights from psychology, behavioral economics and neuroscience, University of Oregon researchers have found converging signs of pure altruism and behavior that increase with age in the brain.

Long-lived parents could mean a healthier heart into your 70s
The longer our parents lived, the longer we are likely to live ourselves, and the more likely we are to stay healthy in our 60s and 70s.

New study explains why MRSA 'superbug' kills influenza patients
Researchers have discovered that secondary infection with the methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacterium (or 'superbug') often kills influenza patients because the flu virus alters the antibacterial response of white blood cells, causing them to damage the patients' lungs instead of destroying the bacterium.

How antiviral antibodies become part of immune memory
Emory scientists probe activated B cells, important for forming immune memory, during flu vaccination and infection and Ebola infection in humans.

Pulmonary complications in adult survivors of childhood cancer
A team of researchers from nine leading academic hospitals and research centers have published a paper in the early online edition of the journal Cancer that describes pulmonary outcomes among childhood cancer survivors.

Indoor tanning: Women say no to total ban, yes to stricter policies
Most young adult women who regularly visit indoor tanning salons support the introduction of policies to make it safer, but are against a total ban.

Michigan research universities to receive $9M for Michigan Alzheimer's Disease Core Center
The US National Institutes of Health will award an estimated $9 million over the next 5 years to a new statewide center to enhance the understanding and treatment of Alzheimer's disease and related dementias in Michigan.

How shaping light can change particle behavior
Interactions between tiny particles trapped in light are found to differ, depending on the light's shape.

UCI physicists confirm possible discovery of fifth force of nature
Recent findings indicating the possible discovery of a previously unknown subatomic particle may be evidence of a fifth fundamental force of nature, according to a paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters by theoretical physicists at the University of California, Irvine.

Season and region of birth linked to heightened childhood celiac disease risk
Circulating viral infections may help explain the temporal and geographical patterns associated with the risk of developing childhood celiac disease, conclude Swedish researchers in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Scientists take big step toward recreating primordial 'RNA world' of 4 billion years ago
Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have succeeded in creating a ribozyme that can basically serve both to amplify genetic information and generate functional molecules, a big step toward the laboratory re-creation of the 'RNA world' generally believed to have preceded modern life forms based on DNA and proteins.

UW research backs up ongoing efforts to protect the enigmatic Nautilus
New research blurs the distinction between nautilus species, making their conservation all the more important.

Einstein-Montefiore and CUNY research team receives $9.4 million to lead study of HIV/AIDS care in Central Africa
Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore, in collaboration with the City University of New York, have received a $9.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to lead research in Central Africa to improve clinical care and health outcomes for patients with HIV.

Study finds 1 in 3 former ICU patients shows symptoms of depression
A so-called meta-analysis of reports on more than 4,000 patients suggests that almost one in three people discharged from hospital intensive care units has clinically important and persistent symptoms of depression, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

Mindfulness combats depression for disadvantaged black women
A new pilot Northwestern Medicine study showed that eight weeks of mindfulness training helped alleviate depressive symptoms and reduce stress in African-American women with lower socio-economic status, providing an effective alternative to more conventional treatment.

NYU study looks at how racial inequality is produced online
Internet users tend to navigate between websites in a racially segregated way, despite pathways that provide equitable access to different sites, finds a new study by NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

Warming climate likely to have 'minor' impact on power plant output
Future climate warming will likely cause only minor cuts in energy output at most US coal- or gas-fired power plants, a new Duke study finds.

Cancer in context: 37 years of painstakingly collected data
'Cancer in Los Angeles County: Trends by Race/Ethnicity 1976-2012,' released on Aug.

NASA analyzes deadly Louisiana flooding
Record-setting rainfall and flooding in southern Louisiana have been calculated at NASA with data from satellites.

New insights into how the mind influences the body
Neuroscientists have identified the neural networks that connect the cerebral cortex to the adrenal medulla, which is responsible for the body's rapid response in stressful situations.

Accelerating materials discovery
A powerful materials discovery platform created at Harvard University to dramatically accelerate the process of screening millions of molecules for use in future technologies will now speed the commercial development of next-generation electronic displays.

Brown dwarfs reveal exoplanets' secrets
Brown dwarfs are smaller than stars, but more massive than giant planets.

Simulations by PPPL physicists suggest that magnetic fields can calm plasma instabilities
PPPL physicists have conducted simulations that suggest that applying magnetic fields to fusion plasmas can control instabilities known as Alfvén waves that can reduce the efficiency of fusion reactions.

Study finds B.C. physician incentives not enough to improve complex patient care
A program that offers incentives for B.C.'s primary care physicians to care for patients with complex health conditions has failed to improve access to primary care or reduce hospitalizations, according to a study led by SFU health sciences professor Ruth Lavergne.

Work productivity is key factor in assessing recovery of depressed patients
While medications can quickly reduce depressive symptoms, monitoring work productivity can provide unique insight into whether a patient will require additional treatments to achieve long-term remission, a new study through the Peter O'Donnell Jr.

Chronic kidney disease may cause diabetes
A team from the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre (CRCHUM) has discovered a novel link between chronic kidney disease and diabetes.

Offspring live longer when parents lived longer, UK study reports
In middle aged populations, the risks of cardiovascular conditions are progressively lower the longer a person's parents lived past 69 years old, according to a study of 186,000 participants using a voluntary database published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

UH biomedical engineer pursues nerve regeneration
Injuries and certain degenerative diseases -- including Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and multiple sclerosis -- can disrupt the nervous system, posing a challenge for scientists seeking ways to repair the damage.

'Bursts' of chromosome changes fuel breast cancer tumor growth
As with most cancers, triple-negative breast cancer cells have abnormal amounts of chromosomes or DNA copy number aberrations in their genomes.

New enzyme-mapping advance could help drug development
Scientists at MIT and the University of São Paulo in Brazil have identified the structure of an enzyme that could be a good target for drugs combatting three diseases common in the developing world.

NASA's Van Allen probes catch rare glimpse of supercharged radiation belt
An interplanetary shock struck the outermost of Earth's Van Allen radiation belts on March 17, 2015, resulting in the greatest geomagnetic storm of the past 10 years.

Is acetaminophen use when pregnant associated with kids' behavioral problems?
Using the common pain-relieving medication acetaminophen during pregnancy was associated with increased risk for multiple behavioral problems in children, according to an article published online by JAMA Pediatrics.

Does longer walking distance to buy cigarettes increase quitting among smokers?
Walking one-third of a mile longer from home to the nearest tobacco shop to buy cigarettes was associated with increased odds that smokers would quit the habit in an analysis of data in Finnish studies, according to an article published online by JAMA Internal Medicine.

Sedentary time may raise heart disease risk -- sit less, move more
Sedentary time -- even among physically active people -- may be associated with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and more.

Expanded role of PARP proteins opens the door to explore therapeutic targets in cancer
Using technology they developed, UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have identified a previously unknown role of a certain class of proteins: as regulators of gene activity and RNA processing.

Flu nasal spray provides similar protection against influenza as flu shot: Study
For the study, the research team conducted a three-year trial in a Hutterite colony, where people live communally and are relatively isolated from cities and towns, to determine whether vaccinating children and adolescents with the flu nasal spray provided better direct and community protection than the standard flu shot.

Blood pressure diet improves gout blood marker
A diet rich in fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and reduced in fats and saturated fats (the DASH diet), designed decades ago to reduce high blood pressure, also appears to significantly lower uric acid, the causative agent of gout.

Unraveling knotty chemical structures enables rapid screening of anti-cancer compounds
It isn't often that a graduate student makes a spectacular technical leap in his field, or invents a process that can have a significant impact on a real-world problem.

Genomics solutions to the riddle of the tobacco hornworm sphinx moth
'Whooo ... are ... you?' asked the hookah-smoking caterpillar of Alice, in Wonderland.

Researchers examine how Parkinson's disease alters brain activity over time
Neuroscientists peered into the brains of patients with Parkinson's disease and two similar conditions to see how their neural responses changed over time.

Don't scan so close to me
What does the 1960s Beatles hit 'Girl' have in common with Astor Piazolla's evocative tango composition 'Libertango'?

Gaming camera could aid MS treatment
A commonly used device found in living rooms around the world could be a cheap and effective means of evaluating the walking difficulties of multiple sclerosis patients.

CU Boulder study: Mate choices of barn swallows tied to diverging appearances
If you are a male barn swallow in the United States or the Mediterranean with dark red breast feathers, you're apt to wow potential mates.

Tel Aviv University researcher awarded 2016 MetLife Foundation prize
Tel Aviv University's Dr. Inna Slutsky won the 2016 MetLife Foundation Promising Investigator Award in Medical Research for Alzheimer's Disease.

Scientists find the brain's generosity center
Scientists from Oxford University and UCL have identified part of our brain that helps us learn to be good to other people.

NASA's spots extra-tropical cyclone Conson in Sea of Okhotsk
NASA's Terra satellite captured an image of extra-tropical cyclone Conson's clouds spread Japan's northern most island, the Sea of Okhotsk and Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula.

New research sheds light on the role of proteins and how synapses work
Loss of synapses and synapse function sit at the heart of a number of diseases, not just neurodegenerative examples such as dementia and Parkinson's disease but also conditions such as diabetes.

Researchers discover that DNA naturally fluoresces
The new discovery opens door for staining-free, super-resolution imaging and expands understanding of biology.

New findings on flu nasal spray
A study conducted in the Hutterite community found that immunizing children with the live attenuated influenza vaccine, the kind found in the flu nasal spray, did not provide better direct or community protection against influenza than the inactivated influenza vaccine, or standard flu shot.

A very hungry caterpillar: Researchers sequence genome of 'gluttonous' tobacco hornworm
Researchers at Boyce Thompson Institute and Kansas State University led an international team of researchers who have sequenced the genome of the tobacco hornworm -- an important model of insect biology.

China facing epidemic of heart disease, stroke
A 20-year rise in cardiovascular disease (CVD) in China appears to have been spurred largely by increases in high blood pressure, according to a new study from Harvard T.H.

Computer programming made easier
In order to simplify program development, a National Science Foundation-supported project called Expeditions in Computer Augmented Program Engineering, is developing technology that provides human operators with automated assistance.

Financial analytics technology tackles 'Big Data' crop research at biotech leader
Kx System, US, has been chosen by Earlham Institute, UK, as their technology partner for a new project which will revolutionize research into bioinformatics and promote a sustainable bioeconomy.

Twenty-five little bones tell a puzzling story about early primate evolution
A cache of exquisitely preserved bones, found in a coal mine in the state of Gujarat, India, appear to be the most primitive primate bones yet discovered, according to a new analysis.

Brain study confirms gene mutation link to psychiatric disorders
Brain scans have revealed how a genetic mutation linked to major psychiatric disorders affects the structure, function and chemistry of the brain.

New Worlds New Horizons: A Midterm Assessment -- new report
While scientists have made remarkable advancements in astronomy and astrophysics since the beginning of this decade -- notably the first detection of gravitational waves and the discovery of distant Earth-like planets -- unforeseen constraints have slowed progress toward reaching some of the priorities and goals outlined in the Academies' 2010 decadal survey of these disciplines, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Are expecting moms as well-prepared as they should be to breastfeed?
In July 2016, Lansinoh Laboratories, Inc., a leader in breastfeeding accessories, conducted a global survey of healthcare providers who work in pre- and post-natal care.

Skills gap for US manufacturing workers mostly a myth, paper says
Despite the outcry from employers over the dearth of job-ready workers, three-quarters of US manufacturing plants show no sign of hiring difficulties for job vacancies, says new research from Andrew Weaver, a professor of labor and employment relations at Illinois.

New book offers comprehensive look at fracturing horizontal wells
Fracturing horizontal wells has had a profound impact on the US oil and gas industry over the past 25 years, allowing production from fields once considered too marginal to produce.

New family of bacterial cell wall builders
Harvard Medical School scientists have discovered that a family of previously overlooked proteins plays a critical role in bacterial cell wall synthesis.

Sewage sludge could make great sustainable fertilizer
Ever thought of putting sewage on your plants? Scientists say thermally conditioned sewage sludge serves as an excellent fertilizer to improve soil properties.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Chanthu east of Japan
NASA's Terra satellite flew over Tropical Storm Chanthu as it continued moving past the big island of Japan and staying to the east of the country.

Mapping the health threat of wildfires under climate change in US West
A surge in major wildfire events in the US West as a consequence of climate change will expose tens of millions of Americans to high levels of air pollution in the coming decades, according to a new Yale-led study conducted with collaborators from Harvard.

Heading for a fall
The link between overconfidence and poor decision making is under the spotlight in an international study by scientists from Monash University and the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences in Leipzig.

Study examines 'weekend effect' in emergency surgery patients
Research has pointed to a 'weekend effect' in which patients admitted to the hospital on Saturdays or Sundays are more likely to die than those admitted on week days.

Enhanced electron doping on iron superconductors discovered
The IBS research team headed by the associate director of CCES, Kim Chang Young, presented the possibility of unifying theories to explain the working mechanism of iron- based superconductors.

Lack of fresh food choices linked to signs of early heart disease
A lack of access to nearby stores selling fresh food may increase residents' risk of developing early heart disease.

Researchers sequence genome of tobacco hornworm
A Kansas State University-led international team of 114 researchers has sequenced the genome of the tobacco hornworm, or Manduca sexta.

Biomarker breakthrough could improve Parkinson's treatment
A new, non-invasive way to track the progression of Parkinson's disease could help evaluate experimental treatments to slow or stop the disease's progression.

Wiring reconfiguration saves millions for Trinity supercomputer
A moment of inspiration during a wiring diagram review has saved more than $2 million in material and labor costs for the Trinity supercomputer at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Physician incentive program to improve care for complex patients did not result in improvements
Incentive payments to primary care physicians for the provision of care for patients with complex health conditions did not improve primary care or decrease hospitalizations in British Columbia, found a study in CMAJ.

UW computer scientists reveal history of third-party web tracking
At the USENIX Security Conference in Austin, Texas, a team of University of Washington researchers on Aug.

US female physicians reimbursed significantly less than male colleagues
Female physicians are reimbursed significantly less than their male counterparts, even adjusting for how hard a physician works, their productivity and years of experience, finds a new study -- one of the largest carried out in recent times -- published in the online edition of Postgraduate Medical Journal.

AED accessibility a barrier during cardiac arrest
There's just a 1 in 5 chance that a potentially life-saving automated external defibrillator will be nearby when someone experiences cardiac arrest and a 20 to 30 percent chance that the nearby device will be inaccessible because it is inside a building that's closed, according to a study published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Providers face cultural challenges when evaluating refugee children
Numerous challenges face providers who are administering developmental screenings for refugee children, including differences in cultural and religious beliefs, language barriers, and disparate education levels, according to new research from the University of Rochester Medical Center published in the journal Pediatrics.

'Sniffer plasmons' could detect explosives
Scientists have proposed a graphene-based spaser that can 'sniff out' a single molecule, which could be used to detect even small amounts of various substances, including explosives.

Legions of nanorobots target cancerous tumors with precision
Researchers from Polytechnique Montréal, Université de Montréal and McGill University have just achieved a spectacular breakthrough in cancer research.

Time of day influences our susceptibility to infection, study finds
We are more susceptible to infection at certain times of the day as our body clock affects the ability of viruses to replicate and spread between cells, suggests new research from the University of Cambridge.

Humble moss helped create our oxygen-rich atmosphere
The evolution of the first land plants including mosses may explain a long-standing mystery of how Earth's atmosphere became enriched with oxygen, according to an international study led by the University of Exeter.

Today's electric vehicles can make a dent in climate change
New MIT study shows that electric cars that exist today could be widely adopted despite range constraints, replacing about 90 percent of existing cars, and could make a major dent in the nation's carbon emissions.

ASBMR2016: The latest on bone health and the crisis in the treatment of osteoporosis
The American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) 2016 Annual Meeting, the premier scientific meeting in the world on bone, mineral and musculoskeletal science, will be held in Atlanta, Georgia USA, Sept.

New DCIS consensus guideline could curb unnecessary breast surgery and reduce health system costs
Three leading national cancer organizations today issued a consensus guideline for physicians treating women who have ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) treated with breast-conserving surgery with whole breast irradiation.

Reduced ecosystem functions in oil palm plantations
Large areas of tropical lowland forests have been replaced by oil palm plantations, with major impact on environment and people.

High expression of short gene appears to contribute to destructive eye pressures in glaucoma
Too much of a short gene that normally has the tall order of helping the eye continuously clear fluid and regulate intraocular pressure appears instead to have the opposite effect and contribute to the most common form of glaucoma.

Urea impairs insulin-producing cells in chronic kidney disease
In this issue of the JCI, researchers at the University of Montreal demonstrated that high levels of urea may compromise the function of insulin-producing pancreas cells and lead to impaired blood sugar regulation in chronic kidney disease.

Leptomeningeal metastases more common in NSCLC patients with EGFR mutations
Leptomeningeal metastases (LM), a devastating complication and predictor of poor survival in lung cancer patients, was found to be more prevalent in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations.

New residential water heater concept promises high efficiency, lower cost
Scientists from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Florida has developed a novel method that could yield lower-cost, higher-efficiency systems for water heating in residential buildings.

Stubborn inequities in heart health persist for some African Americans in the South
Researchers from the Brigham and Women's Hospital examined data on ideal cardiovascular health in over 4,700 participants of the Jackson Heart Study in Jackson, Mississippi, one of the largest studies of heart health among African Americans in the US.

CRISPR gene editing reveals new therapeutic approach for blood disorders
An international team of scientists led by researchers at St.

Incentive payments increased quit rates among low-income smokers in Switzerland
Paying smokers to quit with payments that increased with the length of abstinence led one third of participants in a study to stop smoking for six months, according to research published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Defect in process that controls gene expression may contribute to Huntington's disease
Researchers identify gene silencing mechanism that maintains neuronal specification and protects against neurodegeneration.

A short heat-treatment of luggage may reduce spread of bedbugs
A University of California, Irvine entomologist has discovered that a brief blast of heat can kill bedbugs traveling on the outside of luggage, suggesting an additional way to use this nonchemical means of controlling the annoying insects.

Prostitution has gone online -- and pimps are thriving
With the sale of sex shifting online, today's pimps are avoiding police detection by using underground websites, social media, mobile apps and even by hiding their ads on mainstream sites such as Craigslist and Backpage.

New Baker Institute charts provide picture of drug use in the United States
An extensive and easy-to-use collection of charts that present findings from decades of government survey data of drug use in the United States is now available on the website of Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.

DASH diet may help prevent gout flares
New research indicates that a healthy diet can effectively lower blood levels of uric acid, a known trigger of gout.

Marshall SOM receives nearly $2.4 million grant to study nutrition and disease
Uma Sundaram, M.D., vice dean for research and graduate education at the Marshall University Joan C.

New material discovery allows study of elusive Weyl fermion
Researchers at the US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory have discovered a new type of Weyl semimetal, a material that opens the way for further study of Weyl fermions, a type of massless elementary particle hypothesized by high-energy particle theory and potentially useful for creating high-speed electronic circuits and quantum computers.

GPs' uncertainty at dealing with those bereaved by suicide revealed
Interviews carried out by the University of Manchester with GPs of parents whose children have died by suicide have revealed a lack of knowledge and confidence on how best to respond to and support those bereaved.

Researchers pinpoint key regulatory role of noncoding genes in prostate cancer development
Prostate cancer researchers studying genetic variations have pinpointed 45 genes associated with disease development and progression.

Trampoline park injuries 'emerging public health concern,' doctors warn
Indoor trampoline park injuries are an 'emerging public health concern,' warn doctors in the journal Injury Prevention.

SLAC, Stanford gadget grabs more solar energy to disinfect water faster
Researchers at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have created a nanostructured device, about half the size of a postage stamp, that disinfects water much faster than the UV method by also making use of the visible part of the solar spectrum, which contains 50 percent of the sun's energy.

Study of Chinese teens examines nonmedical use of Rx and suicidal behaviors
The nonmedical use of prescription drugs and the misuse of sedatives and opioids were associated with subsequent suicidal thoughts or attempts in a study of Chinese adolescents, according to an article published online by JAMA Pediatrics.

'Smoke waves' will affect millions in coming decades
Researchers have created a watch list of hundreds of counties in the western United States at the highest risk of exposure to dangerous levels of pollution from wildfires in the coming decades.

Replacing just one sugary drink with water could significantly improve health
Kiyah Duffey's findings, which were recently published in Nutrients, modeled the effect of replacing one 8-ounce sugar-sweetened beverage with an 8-ounce serving of water, based on the daily dietary intake of US adults aged 19 and older, retrieved from the 2007-2012 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys.

Nanoribbons in solutions mimic nature
Graphene nanoribbons twist and bend like DNA or proteins in a solution and their rigidity can be tuned, making them potentially useful for biomimetic applications, according to Rice University scientists.

Washington's foster children experience 'justice by geography,' report finds
A report from the University of Washington finds that inconsistent practices and policies leave many foster children in the state without an advocate in decisions that shape virtually every aspect of their lives.

NSF wants engineering researchers to bend rules (of classical physics)
The National Science Foundation has awarded $18 million to nine teams of engineering-led, interdisciplinary researchers to break the conventional ways in which light and acoustic waves propagate.

Researchers develop new strategy to limit side effects of stem cell transplants
Scientists in Germany have developed a new approach that may prevent leukemia and lymphoma patients from developing graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) after therapeutic bone marrow transplants.

Expanding the stable of workhorse yeasts
Yeasts are physically hard to distinguish, and it is easy to think they are all the same.

Racial inequity, violence climb list of child health concerns for black adults
Black adults rate school violence and racial inequities higher on their list of children's health concerns than other groups, a new national poll says.

Automating genetic analysis helps keep up with rapid discovery of new diseases,study finds
Stanford researchers are devising ways to have computers help perform some of the intensive genetic analysis now performed manually when scientists study a patient's genome to diagnose a disease. 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