Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (January 2015)

Science news and science current events archive January, 2015.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from January 2015

Diabetes debate: Triglycerides form in liver despite insulin resistance
Solving one of the great mysteries of type 2 diabetes, a team of Yale researchers found that triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood and liver, are produced in the liver independent of insulin action in the liver.

Trying to project an image of success? It could make you dwell on your failures
Life is full of experiences that challenge how we see ourselves and we often compensate by buying products that reinforce our ideal self-image. A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research shows that this type of retail therapy could backfire and lead us to think more about our failures.

Bariatric surgery associated with improved long-term survival
Among obese patients receiving care in the Veterans Affairs health system, those who underwent bariatric surgery, compared with obese patients who did not have this surgery, had a lower all-cause rate of death at five years and up to 10 years following the procedure, according to a study in the Jan. 6 issue of JAMA.

Alcohol warnings from parents matter
Parenting practices and restrictions when it comes to alcohol use can make a difference with adolescent drinking, and there is considerable value to consistent and sustained parental attitudes about drinking, according to new research by a University at Buffalo psychologist.

Seeds out of season
Past research has examined how environmental and genetic factors affect plant life stages individually, but a new study models how the three stages (seed, vegetative, and reproductive) interact with each other.

Many religious people view science favorably, but reject certain scientific theories
A new study finds that many US adults -- roughly one in five -- are deeply religious, know a lot about science, and support many practical uses of science and technology in everyday life, but reject scientific explanations of creation and evolution.

Helicopter parenting better for pets than for kids
Helicopter parenting may not be the best strategy for raising independent kids. But a healthy measure of overprotectiveness could actually be advantageous when raising dogs and cats, according to a new study that compares 'dog people' to 'cat people' and correlates neuroticism with better pet care.

FASEB Science Research Conference: Autoimmunity
The FASEB Science Research Conference for Autoimmunity has an uninterrupted tradition of over 20 years and this year it is moving for the first time from Saxtons River, Vt., to the beautiful Eaglewood Resort, Itasca, Ill.

Research uncovers connection between Craigslist personals, HIV trends
Craigslist's entry into a market results in a 15.9 percent increase in reported HIV cases, according to research from the University of Minnesota published in the December issue of MIS Quarterly.

Many cancer survivors have unmet physical and mental needs related to their disease and its treatment
Even decades after being cured, many cancer survivors face physical and mental challenges resulting from their disease and its treatment.

Neuroprosthetics for paralysis: Biocompatible, flexible implant slips into the spinal cord
New therapies are on the horizon for individuals paralyzed following spinal cord injury. The e-Dura implant developed by EPFL scientists can be applied directly to the spinal cord without causing damage and inflammation. The device is described in an article appearing online Jan. 8, 2015, in Science magazine.

Sleep tight and stay bright? Better sleep in younger years may aid memory in old age
'Investing' in sound sleep in youth and middle-age may help with memory late in life, when quality of sleep lessens, says a Baylor University researcher.

Drugs from dirt -- Scientists develop first global roadmap for drug discovery
Rockefeller University scientists have analysed soils from beaches, forests, and deserts on five continents and discovered the best places in the world to mine untapped antibiotic and anticancer drugs. The findings, published in the open-access journal eLife, provide new insights into the natural world as well as a road map for future drug discovery.

Oatmeal for breakfast results in greater fullness and lower calorie intake at lunch
A new study suggests that your breakfast cereal choice may affect how full you feel and how much you eat for lunch, especially if you're overweight.

Added fructose is a principal driver of type 2 diabetes
Recent studies have shown that added sugars, particularly those containing fructose, are a principal driver of diabetes and pre-diabetes, even more so than other carbohydrates. Clinical experts writing in Mayo Clinic Proceedings challenge current dietary guidelines that allow up to 25 percent of total daily calories as added sugars, and propose drastic reductions in the amount of added sugar, and especially added fructose, people consume.

WHO grants approval for safe, effective meningitis A vaccine for infants
The World Health Organization has opened the door to routine immunization of infants in sub-Saharan Africa by approving for use an innovative and affordable vaccine that has all but rid the meningitis belt of a major cause of deadly epidemics.

Combined therapy can reduce chance of recurrence in women with small, HER2+ breast tumors
Dana-Farber researchers report women with small, HER2-positive breast tumors who received a combination of lower-intensity chemotherapy and a targeted drug following surgery were highly unlikely to have the cancer recur within three years.

Tumor suppressor protein plays key role in maintaining immune balance
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have discovered that a protein widely known for suppressing tumor formation also helps prevent autoimmune diseases and other problems by putting the brakes on the immune response. The research was published recently online ahead of print in the scientific journal Nature Immunology.

New research re-creates planet formation, super-earths and giant planets in the laboratory
New laser-driven compression experiments reproduce the conditions deep inside exotic super-Earths and giant planet cores, and the conditions during the violent birth of Earth-like planets, documenting the material properties that determined planets' formation and evolution processes.

How does salt melt ice? (video)
Winter weather can mean treacherous driving across much of the country. Road crews spread rock salt all over the highways and byways, but why? This week, Reactions breaks down the chemistry that keeps the roads safe when bad weather hits.

Hygiene practices affect contact lens case contamination, reports Optometry and Vision Science
Contact lens wearers who don't follow certain hygiene habits have increased bacterial contamination of their contact lens cases, reports a study in the February issue of Optometry and Vision Science, official journal of the American Academy of Optometry. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.

Survival of very premature infants is improving in France
Since 2011, nearly 7,000 premature infants have been enrolled in the Inserm EPIPAGE 2 study. This study is aimed at assessing the survival of infants born between 22 and 34 weeks' gestation, and their subsequent outcomes. Compared with data from the EPIPAGE 1 cohort in 1997, the proportion of infants born in 2011 from the 25th week of gestation, who survived without severe neonatal disease, showed a definite increase. However, survival is still rare for infants born before 25 weeks.

How does white-nose syndrome kill bats?
For the first time, scientists have developed a detailed explanation of how white-nose syndrome is killing millions of bats in North America, according to a new study by the US Geological Survey and the University of Wisconsin.

Going viral: Targeting brain cancer cells with a wound-healing drug
Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute scientists were awarded a grant from the Commonwealth Research Commercialization Fund, part of the Center for Innovative Technology, to engineer a viral therapy for a difficult-to-treat brain cancer.

Antisocial and non-antisocial siblings share difficulty recognizing emotions
Teenagers with brothers and sisters who exhibit severe antisocial behavior share a similar impairment with their siblings in recognizing emotions, according to a new study from the University of Southampton.

Crohn's study seeks to find causes of incurable bowel condition
British scientists are playing a key role in a global quest to find the causes of an incurable bowel condition. The University of Edinburgh is leading the UK's input to the Genetics, Environmental, Microbial project to tackle Crohn's disease.

Stress shared by same-sex couples can have unique health impacts
New research by Allen LeBlanc, Health Equity Institute Professor of Sociology at San Francisco State University, studies how minority stress -- which results from being stigmatized and disadvantaged in society -- affects same-sex couples' stress levels and overall health. LeBlanc asserts that the health effects of minority stress shared by a couple can be understood as distinct from individual stress, a new framework in the field.

Revolutionary device found to lower blood pressure
A revolutionary device has been shown to significantly lower blood pressure among patients with uncontrolled high blood pressure, compared to those treated with usual drug measures -- according to research from Queen Mary University of London and published in The Lancet.

Does time pass?
Philosopher Brad Skow's new book says it does -- but not in the way you may think.

Quantum optical hard drive breakthrough
Scientists developing a prototype optical quantum hard drive have improved storage time by a factor of over 100. The team's record storage time of six hours is a major step towards a secure worldwide data encryption network based on quantum information which could be used for banking transactions and personal emails.

Solving a case of intercellular entrapment
Optogenetics, which uses light to control cellular events, is poised to become an important technology in molecular biology and beyond. The Reich Group in UC Santa Barbara's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry has made a major contribution to this emergent field by developing a light-activated nanocarrier that transports proteins into cells and releases them on command. The findings appear in the journal Molecular Pharmaceutics.

Organic and conventional milk -- comparing apples to apples?
Consumers perceive that organic cow milk differs from conventionally produced milk and that these differences justify the premium price for organic milk. In a review published in the Journal of Dairy ScienceĀ®, researchers in New Zealand found that the differences between organic and conventional milk are not so straightforward.

Lucky charms: When are superstitions used most?
Eric Hamerman at Tulane University and Carey Morewedge at Boston University have determined that people are more likely to turn to superstitions to achieve a performance goal versus a learning goal. Their research is published in Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin.

Concern over skin whitener marketing
A study led by a James Cook University marketing expert has raised concerns over the ethics of the marketing of skin-whitening products, widely available in Australia.

Malassezia yeasts -- everywhere and sometimes dangerous
Malassezia yeasts have been found in human dandruff, deep-sea vents, and pretty much everywhere in between. The skin of most if not all warm-blooded animals is covered with these microbes, and while they mostly live in peaceful co-existence with their hosts, they can cause serious diseases in humans and our furry friends. A Pearl (a short review) published on Jan. 8 in PLOS Pathogens discusses the diseases caused by Malassezia, their detection, and treatment.

Research: Tablet computers good medium for educational materials
It's increasingly important for educators to understand how mobile technology such as touch-screen tablets can enhance learning instead of being classroom distractions, says Dilip Chhajed, a professor of business administration at Illinois and co-author of new research from a team of University of Illinois experts in business and e-learning.

Physicians explore why children with sickle cell disease are experiencing mixed results on hydroxyurea
Electronic medication monitoring caps may help physicians put together the puzzle of why children taking a medicine that promises to curb sickle cell disease are showing mixed, confusing results.

The BMJ calls for action over illegal payments to India's private medical colleges
Action is urgently needed to tackle the illegal but seemingly common practice of paying huge fees for admission to India's private medical colleges, warns a special report in The BMJ by Mumbai journalist, Jeetha D'Silva.

Low-frequency deep brain stimulation improves difficult-to-treat Parkinson's symptoms
Parkinson's disease patients treated with low-frequency deep brain stimulation show significant improvements in swallowing dysfunction and freezing of gait over typical high-frequency treatment. The study, published in Neurology on Jan 27, provides a new route for treating Parkinson's patients with these difficult-to-treat and sometimes life-threatening symptoms.

What motivates males who commit sexual assault on campus?
The shocking statistic that about one in five women will be the victim of sexual assault while in college is made even more so by the fact that most of those women will know their assailants. No one-size-fits-all approach to rape prevention will be effective, as some offenders are driven by hostility toward women, while others may objectify women and view forceful intercourse as part of expected male dominant behavior.

Research findings have implications for regenerating damaged nerve cells
Two new studies involving the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia have identified a unique molecule that not only gobbles up bad cells, but also has the ability to repair damaged nerve cells.

New UCLA research suggests walnuts may improve memory
Eating walnuts may improve performance on cognitive function tests, including those for memory, concentration and information processing speed according to new research from the David Geffen School of Medicine at The University of California, Los Angeles, led by Dr. Lenore Arab. Cognitive function was consistently greater in adult participants that consumed walnuts, regardless of age, gender or ethnicity.

Into the dark: Two new encrusting anemones found in coral reef caves
Three marine biologists from Japan have discovered two new and unusually unique species of encrusting anemone. Unlike almost all known species within their genus, these two new species do not have light-harvesting symbiotic zooxanthellae, having lost them as they adapted to life in cracks and caves in shallow coral reefs. The study was published in the open-access journal ZooKeys.

Predicting superbugs' countermoves to new drugs
With drug-resistant bacteria on the rise, even common infections that were easily controlled for decades are proving trickier to treat with standard antibiotics. New drugs are desperately needed, but so are ways to maximize the effective lifespan of these drugs. To accomplish that, Duke University researchers used software they developed to predict a constantly-evolving infectious bacterium's counter-moves to one of these new drugs ahead of time, before the drug is even tested on patients.

'Citizen science' reveals positive news for Puget Sound seabirds
Many seabird species are thought to have declined around Puget Sound since the 1960s and 1970s but the new results indicate the trends have turned up for many species. The Puget Sound Partnership lists some of the species as barometers of the health of Puget Sound.

Patents provide insight on Wall Street 'technology arms race'
A new study by New Zealand's University of Otago has used US patent data to shed light on the technological roots behind Wall Street's ongoing 'technology arms race.' The way financial assets are traded, and the nature of the markets themselves, has dramatically changed over the last two decades, says study co-author Dr Ivan Diaz-Rainey of the University's Department of Accountancy and Finance.

Gut microbes trigger autoimmune disease later in life in mice
Researchers have revealed that the colonization of the gut of young mice by certain types of bacteria can lead to immune responses later in life that are linked to disease. Increases in the levels of segmented filamentous bacteria can trigger changes in the lymphoid tissue of the mouse gut that result in the production of antibodies that attack components of the cell nucleus. This type of damage is a hallmark of autoimmune diseases like systemic lupus erythematosus and systemic sclerosis.

WSU researchers see effect of BPA and estradiol on sperm development
Washington State University researchers have found a direct link between the plastics component bisphenol A, or BPA, and disrupted sperm production. Writing in the journal PLOS Genetics, they say the chemical disrupts the delicate DNA interactions needed to create sperm. WSU geneticist and principle investigator Pat Hunt says she and her team may have unearthed the physiological mechanism that could account for decreased sperm counts seen in several human studies.

Greenland meltwater contributes to rising sea levels
As the largest single chunk of melting snow and ice in the world, the massive ice sheet that covers about 80 percent of Greenland is recognized as the biggest potential contributor to rising sea levels due to glacial meltwater.

Study: Former NFL players who played tackle football before age 12 at increased risk of memory and thinking problems later
Former National Football League players who participated in tackle football before the age of 12 were more likely to have memory and thinking problems in adulthood, according to a new study published in the Jan. 28, 2015, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

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