Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (2014)

Science news and science current events archive 2014.

Show All Years  •  2014

Top Science News & Current Event Articles from 2014

The key to reaching personal goals in 2014: Conquer stress first
Americans will start the new year with resolutions that are doomed to fail if they don't deal with the underlying issue of stress before they join a gym, start a diet or throw the cigarettes away. Research shows that stress negatively impacts our ability to lose weight, quit smoking and stick with a new healthy lifestyle change.

The Lancet: World's most advanced dengue vaccine candidate shows promise in phase 3 trial
The first dengue vaccine candidate to reach phase 3 clinical testing has shown moderate protection, 56 percent, against the disease in Asian children, according to new research published in The Lancet.

Managing coasts under threat from climate change and sea-level rise
Coastal regions under threat from climate change and sea-level rise need to tackle the more immediate threats of human-led and other non-climatic changes, according to a team of international scientists.

Good cause + moderate discount = more sales
Many businesses now offer customers the opportunity to make charitable donations to good causes along with their purchases, but does this really encourage the customer to buy more? According to a new study in the Journal of Marketing, the answer is a firm 'Yes.'

MSU scientists find way to boost healthy cells during chemo
Michigan State University scientists are closer to discovering a possible way to boost healthy cell production in cancer patients as they receive chemotherapy. By adding thymine -- a natural building block found in DNA -- into normal cells, they found it stimulated gene production and caused them to multiply.

O'Neill to receive GSA's 2014 Joseph T. Freeman Award
The Gerontological Society of America -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has chosen Desmond 'Des' O'Neill of Tallaght Hospital Dublin and Trinity College Dublin as the 2014 recipient of the Joseph T. Freeman Award.

Temperature and ecology: Rival Chilean barnacles keep competition cool
A lot of research shows that temperature can strongly influence species interactions and sometimes shape the appearance and functioning of biological communities. That's why a newly published finding that changes in temperature did not alter the competitive balance of power between two rival species of Chilean barnacles is an ecological surprise.

Researchers find new molecule to treat asthma
A study identifies a novel molecule that prevents the symptoms associated with allergen-induced asthma.

Partnership between PETA, Simulab and surgeons brings $1 million in simulators to 9 countries
A first-of-its-kind collaboration between People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Seattle-based medical simulation manufacturer Simulab, and trauma surgeons in nine countries is saving animals and modernizing medical training in Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia.

Disconnect between parenting and certain jobs a source of stress, study finds
Some working parents are carrying more psychological baggage than others -- and the reason has nothing to do with demands on their time and energy. The cause is their occupation.

Microfluidic device with artificial arteries measures drugs' influence on blood clotting
A new microfluidic method for evaluating drugs commonly used for preventing heart attacks has found that while aspirin can prevent dangerous blood clots in some at-risk patients, it may not be effective in all patients with narrowed arteries. The study, which involved 14 human subjects, used a device that simulated blood flowing through narrowed coronary arteries to assess effects of anti-clotting drugs.

Discovery offers new possibilities for clean energy research
University of Houston physicists have discovered a new thermoelectric material offering high performance at temperatures ranging from room temperature up to 300 degrees Celsius, or about 573 degrees Fahrenheit. Zhifeng Ren, M.D. Anderson Chair professor of physics at UH and the lead author of a paper describing the discovery, published online by Nano Energy, said the work could be important for clean energy research and commercialization at temperatures of about 300 degrees Celsius.

Most published medical research is false; Here's how to improve
In 2005, in a landmark paper viewed well over a million times, John Ioannidis explained in PLOS Medicine why most published research findings are false. To coincide with PLOS Medicine's 10th anniversary he responds to the challenge of this situation by suggesting how the research enterprise could be improved.

Study: Game developers say success hinges on more than just programming skills
Aspiring game developers may want to bone up on their interpersonal skills. A forthcoming study from North Carolina State University and Microsoft Research finds that game developers need a suite of non-programming skills -- including communication skills -- that are considered less important in other fields of software development.

A taxonomic toolkit ends a century of neglect for a genus of parasitic wasps
Entomologists from the University of Alberta have used a combination of morphometric and molecular techniques to describe the first new North American species of a particularly morphologically-challenging genus of parasitic wasps in over 100 years. The study was published in the open access journal ZooKeys.

AGU: Odds of storm waters overflowing Manhattan seawall up 20-fold, new study shows
Maximum water levels in New York harbor during major storms have risen by nearly two and a half feet since the mid-1800s, making the chances of water overtopping the Manhattan seawall now at least 20 times greater than they were 170 years ago, according to a new study.

Design of micro and nanoparticles to improve treatments for Alzheimer's and Parkinson's
At the Faculty of Pharmacy of the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country encapsulation techniques are being developed to deliver correctly and effectively certain drugs.

Caffeine-based gold compounds are potential tools in the fight against cancer
The side effects of ingesting too much caffeine -- restlessness, increased heart rate, having trouble sleeping -- are well-known, but recent research has shown that the stimulant also has a good side. It can kill cancer cells. Now, researchers report in the American Chemical Society journal Inorganic Chemistry that combining a caffeine-based compound with a small amount of gold could someday be used as an anti-cancer agent.

Targeted tutoring can reduce 'achievement gap' for CPS students, study finds
High school students who were at risk for dropping out greatly improved their math test scores and school attendance with the help of intensive tutoring and mentoring, according to a new study by the University of Chicago Urban Education Lab. The program's benefits were equivalent to closing nearly two-thirds of the average gap in math test scores between white and black students, or the equivalent of what the average American high school student learns in math over three years.

Cardiac patients underserved globally due to lack of rehab programs: York University researcher
The article, Global availability of cardiac rehabilitation, published online at Nature Reviews Cardiology, indicates that while 68 per cent of high-income countries have cardiac rehabilitation, only 23 per cent of low-income and middle-income countries do, despite the fact that 80 per cent of deaths from heart disease occur in these countries.

Fighting parents hurt children's ability to recognize and regulate emotions
Exposure to verbal and physical aggression between parents may hurt a child's ability to identify and control emotions, according to a longitudinal study led by NYU's Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

Fight or flight? Vocal cues help deer decide during mating season
Male fallow deer are sensitive to changes in the groans that rivals make during mating season when competing for the attention of female deer, and can assess the level of threat other males pose simply from vocal cues, according to new research from Queen Mary University of London.

Scientists unravel the genetic secrets of nature's master of mimicry
Scientists investigating how one of the greatest shape shifters in the natural world is able to trick predators to avoid being eaten have identified the gene behind the fascinating feat.

New tide gauge uses GPS signals to measure sea level change
A new way of measuring sea level using satellite navigation system signals, for instance GPS, has been implemented by scientists at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden. Sea level and its variation can easily be monitored using existing coastal GPS stations, the scientists have shown.

Broad-spectrum cancer drug is goal of multinational project
Antibody therapy has already shown success in cancer treatment, and seven teams from Europe and Texas are embarking on a four-year, $8 million quest to develop an antibody therapy that could fight many cancers.

Lifestyle interventions are better than genetic tests for preventing type 2 diabetes
Targeted interventions based on genetic risk may not be the best approach for preventing type 2 diabetes and instead universal strategies to prevent obesity should be prioritized, according to new research published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Small fraction of students attended schools with USDA nutrition components
If the latest US Department of Agriculture standards for school meals and food sold in other venues such as vending machines and snack bars are fully implemented, there is potential to substantially improve school nutrition because only a small fraction of students attended schools with five USDA healthy nutritional components in place from 2008 through 2012, according to a study published online by JAMA Pediatrics.

Red alert: Body kills 'spontaneous' blood cancers on a daily basis
Immune cells undergo 'spontaneous' changes on a daily basis that could lead to cancers if not for the diligent surveillance of our immune system, Melbourne scientists have found.

Fat around the heart may cause irregular heartbeat
The layer of fat around the outside of the heart is more closely associated with atrial fibrillation than the most common measure of obesity, body mass index, a study has found.

UNC researchers pinpoint chemo effect on brain cells, potential link to autism
University of North Carolina School of Medicine researchers have found for the first time a biochemical mechanism that could be a cause of chemo brain' -- the neurological side effects such as memory loss, confusion, difficulty thinking, and trouble concentrating that many cancer patients experience while on chemotherapy to treat tumors in other parts of the body.

Study sheds new light on why batteries go bad
A comprehensive look at how tiny particles in a lithium ion battery electrode behave shows that rapid-charging the battery and using it to do high-power, rapidly draining work may not be as damaging as researchers had thought -- and that the benefits of slow draining and charging may have been overestimated. The results challenge the prevailing view that 'supercharging' batteries is always harder on battery electrodes than charging at slower rates.

New global wildfire analysis indicates humans need to coexist and adapt
A new study led by the University of California, Berkeley and involving the University of Colorado Boulder indicates the current response to wildfires around the world -- aggressively fighting them -- is not making society less vulnerable to such events.

International lifetime achievement award for Monash scientist and dean
The International Pharmaceutical Federation has honored a prominent Monash scientist and dean for his outstanding contribution to pharmaceutical sciences.

Animals built reefs 550 million years ago, fossil study finds
It is a remarkable survivor of an ancient aquatic world -- now a new study sheds light on how one of Earth's oldest reefs was formed.

Many bodies prompt stem cells to change
A new theory by scientists at Rice University shows a stem cell's journey to become bone, skin or other tissue is neither a simple step-by-step process nor all random.

What millennials want
Millennials, the generation after Generation X, born in the 1980s and 1990s, form their own demographic group, with their own unique tastes. According to a June 23rd panel at the 2014 Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting & Food Expo® in New Orleans, industry must keep up with Millennials high-speed, digital-age expectations, if they're going to gain and keep them as customers.

The genetic origins of high-altitude adaptations in Tibetans
Genetic adaptations for life at high elevations found in residents of the Tibetan plateau likely originated around 30,000 years ago in peoples related to contemporary Sherpa. These genes were passed on to more recent migrants from lower elevations via population mixing, and then amplified by natural selection in the modern Tibetan gene pool, according to a new study by scientists from the University of Chicago and Case Western Reserve University, published in Nature Communications on Feb. 10.

Disorder in gene-control system is a defining characteristic of cancer, study finds
The genetic tumult within cancerous tumors is more than matched by the disorder in one of the mechanisms for switching cells' genes on and off, scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard report in a new study. Their findings, published online today in the journal Cancer Cell, indicate that the disarray in the on-off mechanism -- known as methylation -- is one of the defining characteristics of cancer and helps tumors adapt to changing circumstances.

Nuclear spins control current in plastic LED
University of Utah physicists read 'spins' in hydrogen nuclei and used the data to control current in a cheap, plastic light emitting diode -- at room temperature and without strong magnetic fields. The study in Friday's issue of Science brings physics a step closer to practical machines that work 'spintronically:' super-fast quantum computers, more compact data storage devices and plastic or organic light-emitting diodes more efficient than those used today in displays for cell phones, computers and TVs.

Two studies, 2 editorials put focus on school breakfasts, lunches
Schools offering Breakfast in the Classroom (BIC) had higher participation in the national school breakfast program and attendance, but math and reading achievement did not differ between schools with or without BIC, according to a study published online by JAMA Pediatrics.

KPMG and Imperial team up to transform UK into global leader in big data analytics
KPMG and Imperial College London today announce the launch of a major new partnership to create the 'KPMG Centre for Advanced Business Analytics'. KPMG will invest over £20m, with the aim of putting the UK at the forefront of data science.

Young athletes with knee pain may turn to meniscus transplant
Patients undergoing meniscal allograft transplantation surgery require an additional operation approximately 32 percent of the time, but overall see a 95 percent success rate after an average five-year follow-up, according to new research released today at the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine's Specialty Day.

News from Annals of Internal Medicine Supplement
The US Preventive Services Task Force found insufficient evidence to assess the benefits and harms of screening for vitamin D deficiency in asymptomatic adults. The recommendation statement and systematic evidence review are being published together in Annals of Internal Medicine.

New app to monitor Ménière's Disease launched
A new mobile app has been launched this week to help researchers develop a better understanding of a rare condition affecting the inner ear. The tool will allow sufferers of Ménière's Disease to log details about their symptoms and see how they compare with people across the country.

CNIO researchers create a mouse model that reproduces noonan syndrome
A single mutation in the mouse genome -- within the K-Ras gene -- reproduces the main alterations found in humans of this rare syndrome, which include short stature, facial dysmorphia, cardiac dysfunction and haematological alterations Researchers are able to prevent the development of symptoms via prenatal treatment with MEK inhibitors The discovery opens avenues to novel therapeutic strategies for the disease

Kinesin-5 structure opens cancer drug targets
The structure of a key part of the machinery that allows cells to divide has been identified by researchers at UC Davis -- opening new possibilities for throwing a wrench in the machine and blocking runaway cell division in cancer.

Some Ohio butterflies threatened by rising temperatures
The combined heat from climate change and urbanization is likely to reduce the number of eastern swallowtails and other native butterflies in Ohio and promote the spread of invasive relatives. The findings, based on years of monitoring, are likely applicable globally.

SDSC resources, expertise used in genomic analysis of 115 year-old woman
A team of researchers investigating the genome of a healthy supercentenarian since 2011 has found many somatic mutations -- permanent changes in cells other than reproductive ones -- that arose during the woman's lifetime. Led by Erik Sistermans and Henne Holstege from the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, the team recently published its findings in the journal Genome Research as reported by GenomeWeb.

Bacteria may have ability to reduce impact of diazepam on UK river environments
Scientists at Plymouth University and the University of Liverpool have identified a reaction pathway which could reduce the potentially harmful impact of diazepam and similar chemicals on the UK's freshwater environment.

Calculating cooperation
Women of different social or professional 'ranks' cooperate less well with each other than men do, according to a new Harvard study. With those they see as equals, the study found no difference between the sexes. Cooperation among women was as frequent as cooperation among men.

Brightsurf.com 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 Amazon.com.