Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (July 2013)

Science news and science current events archive July, 2013.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from July 2013

Cosmetic surgery to look whiter fails to boost women's self-esteem
Many black or racially mixed women in Venezuela are undergoing nose jobs in an effort to look whiter, but the procedure only temporarily improves their self esteem and body image in a culture that values whiteness, a Dartmouth College study finds.

Infection biology: How Legionella subverts to survive
Bacteria of the genus Legionella have evolved a sophisticated system to replicate in the phagocytic cells of their hosts. Researchers at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich have now identified a novel component of this system.

New mechanism for human gene expression discovered
University of Chicago researchers have identified yet another layer of complexity to how genes are expressed, with their discovery of the first human

Brain research shows psychopathic criminals do not lack empathy, but fail to use it automatically
A brain imaging study in the Netherlands shows individuals with psychopathy have reduced empathy while witnessing the pains of others. When asked to empathize, however, they can activate their empathy.

Miriam researcher helps develop global hepatitis C recommendations for injection-drug users
Dr. Lynn Taylor from The Miriam Hospital in Providence, RI was the only US researcher invited to join an expert panel to develop the first international recommendations for treating hepatitis C in people who inject drugs. She also wrote a separate paper calling for improved HCV care for individuals who are infected with both hepatitis C and HIV and also inject drugs.

Brain and eye combined monitoring breakthrough could lead to fewer road accidents
Latest advances in capturing data on brain activity and eye movement are being combined to open up a host of 'mindreading' possibilities for the future. These include the potential development of a system that can detect when drivers are in danger of falling asleep at the wheel. The research has been undertaken at the University of Leicester with funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and in collaboration with the University of Buenos Aires in Argentina.

Tailoring diabetes treatment to older patients yields dramatic results
More than a quarter of over 70s with type 2 diabetes could benefit simply from improving communication and education in the clinic, new research has revealed. A study led by the University of Exeter Medical School and published in the Lancet found that 27 percent achieved better glycaemic control through individualized care alone.

Deciphering butterflies' designer colors: Findings could inspire new hue-changing materials
A team of researchers in Hong Kong has uncovered how subtle differences in the tiny crystals of butterfly wings create stunningly varied patterns of color even among closely related species. The discovery, reported today in the Optical Society's open-access journal Optical Materials Express, could lead to new coatings for manufactured materials that could change color by design, if researchers can figure out how to replicate the wings' light-manipulating properties.

Medical illustrator wins Elsevier's Netter art contest
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, today announced the winner of the first Netter Atlas Medical Illustration Contest. Paul J. Kim, a professional medical illustrator based in Montclair, N.J., was selected by a distinguished panel of judges who chose 10 finalists, with Mr. Kim as the grand prize winner.

First global analysis reveals alarming rise in peripheral artery disease with over a quarter of a billion cases worldwide
The number of people with peripheral artery disease worldwide has risen dramatically (by 23.5 percent) in just 10 years, from about 164 million in 2000 to 202 million in 2010, according to the first robust global estimates, published in The Lancet.

The hair of the dog
A surprisingly large number of dogs suffer from hyperadrenocorticism. The symptoms are caused by excessive amounts of hormones -- glucocorticoids -- in the body. Unfortunately, though, diagnosis of the disease is complicated. Recent research at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna has shown that glucocorticoids accumulate in the animals' hair and that analysis of a dog's hair can provide quick and reliable preliminary diagnosis. The results are published in the current issue of the journal Veterinary Dermatology.

Loopholes in health care law could result in employee harassment
As firms grapple with the significant cost increases associated with the Affordable Care Act, the possibility emerges that employers would harass or retaliate against employees in order to avoid the law's financial penalties, according to law professors Peter Molk and Suja A. Thomas.

Study: Online tools accelerating earthquake-engineering progress
A new study has found that online tools, access to experimental data and other services provided through

Going through the motions improves dance performance
Dance marking -- loosely practicing a ballet routine by

Words and actions
Words and gestures are -- partially -- connected inside the brain. It is the result of a study carried out also by, among others, the International School for Advanced Studies of Trieste, which sheds light on a debate that has been engaging the scientific community for many years: is cognition

Lack of cultural understanding makes forced marriage victims wary of social services, study finds
Victims of forced marriage and honor violence in the UK are hesitant to seek professional help because they are worried social workers will not understand their cultural differences, according to new research presented today at Royal Holloway University.

Shifting patterns of temperature volatility in the climate system
In recent decades there has been increased variability in yearly temperature records for large parts of Europe and North America, according to a study published online today in Nature. The study was carried out by scientists from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, the University of East Anglia and the University of Exeter.

Study identifies source of oil sheens near Deepwater Horizon site
A chemical analysis indicates that the source of oil sheens recently found floating at the ocean's surface near the site of the Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon oil spill is pockets of oil trapped within the wreckage of the sunken rig.

Plant biologist Stephen Long presents at prestigious 2013 AAAS Riley Lecture
Stephen Long, Gutgesell Endowed Professor of Plant Biology and Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, spoke of barriers to meeting the growing demand for food, such as global atmospheric change, stagnation of yield increases, uncertain societal acceptance, and government policies at the 2013 AAAS Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Lecture.

MU researchers find condition in dogs that may help further research into human disease
Some people possess a small number of cells in their bodies that are not genetically their own; this condition is known as microchimerism. It is difficult to determine potential health effects from this condition because of humans' relatively long life-spans. Now, researchers at the University of Missouri have found that microchimerism can be found in dogs as well.

Researchers question practice of automatically transfusing large amounts of blood to trauma patients
Researchers at St. Michael's Hospital are asking questions about the practice of automatically transfusing large amounts of blood and blood products to trauma patients with major bleeding.

The ferromagnetic Kondo effect
A group of physicists that includes scientists of the International School for Advanced Studies of Trieste have shown how to obtain a particular case of a physical effect -- so far never observed in reality -- whose studies have earned a Nobel Prize. The scientists have also observed the response of the material subject to such effect. These observations will provide precious indications to the experimental physicists in order to verify, in the future, their theory.

Satellite quilt of wildfires, smoke throughout Canada
NASA's Aqua satellite captured multiple images of fire and smoke from Canadian wildfires on July 4, 2013. The images were stitched together to form a visual quilt.

An 'obesity-risk' allele alters hunger-stimulating hormone production
Rachel Batterham and colleagues at University College London identify a link between FTO and the hunger-stimulating hormone, ghrelin. Subjects homozygous for the

National Psoriasis Foundation awards inaugural Dr. Mark G. Lebwohl Medical Dermatology Fellowship
The National Psoriasis Foundation awarded Zelma Chiesa Fuxench, M.D., of the University of Pennsylvania, its inaugural Dr. Mark G. Lebwohl Medical Dermatology Fellowship, recognizing her work as a promising psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis researcher. Dr. Chiesa received a one-year, $40,000 fellowship to study psoriasis, the most common autoimmune disease in the country.

Solving DNA puzzles is overwhelming computer systems, researchers warn
Scientists in the fast-growing field of computational genomics are getting lots of data but lack the computer power needed to analyze it quickly.

Penn: New variants at gene linked to kidney disease, sleeping sickness resistance
A new study led by University of Pennsylvania researchers involves a classic case of evolution's fickle nature: a genetic mutation that protects against a potentially fatal infectious disease also appears to increase the risk of developing a chronic, debilitating condition.

Sensitive parenting can boost premature children's school performance
Sensitive parenting helps protect against the negative effects of being born prematurely on children's school success, a new study has found.

After millennia of mining, copper nowhere near 'peak'
New research shows that existing copper resources can sustain increasing world-wide demand for at least a century, meaning social and environmental concerns could be the most important restrictions on future copper production.

Ketamine as anesthetics can damage children's learning and memory ability
Recent studies have found that anesthesia drugs have neurotoxicity on the developing neurons, causing learning and memory disorders and behavioral abnormalities. Ketamine is commonly used in pediatric anesthesia. A clinical retrospective study found that children below 3 years old who receive a long time surgery, or because of surgery require ketamine repeatedly will exhibit the performance of school-age learning and memory disorders and behavioral abnormalities.

CSI-style DNA fingerprinting tracks down cause of cancer spread
How do stationary cancer cells get the mutations that allow them to travel through the body to seed metastasis? Do they just grow these mutations themselves? Study shows that cancer cells fuse with blood cells -- which already can travel! -- to create a hybrid, metastatic cancer cell.

Exercise-induced improvements in glycemic control and type 2 diabetes
Exercise-induced improvements in glycemic control are dependent on the pre-training glycemic level, and although moderate-intensity aerobic exercise can improve glycemic control, individuals with ambient hyperglycemia (high blood glucose) are more likely to be nonresponders, according to a research letter by Thomas P. J. Solomon, Ph.D. of the Centre of Inflammation and Metabolism, Copenhagen, Denmark, and colleagues.

Study explains why Africans may be more susceptible to tuberculosis
A researcher from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and colleagues have identified the genetic mutation in Africans with HIV that puts them at a much higher risk for tuberculosis infections.

New species of Hero Shrew found in equatorial Africa
Scientists at Chicago's Field Museum and international collaborators have described a new species of Hero Shrew -- the mammal with the most bizarre lower spine on Earth.

Assessing impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico
While numerous studies are under way to determine the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico, the extent and severity of these impacts and the value of the resulting losses cannot fully be measured without considering the goods and services provided by the Gulf, says a new report from the National Research Council. The congressionally mandated report offers an approach that could establish a more comprehensive understanding of the impacts and help inform options for restoration activities.

Highest risk Alzheimer's genetic carriers take positive steps after learning risk status
People who found out they carried an uncommon genetic risk for Alzheimer's disease did not experience more anxiety, depression or distress than non-carriers, and were more active in efforts to reduce their risk of Alzheimer's disease -- by exercising, eating a healthy diet and taking recommended vitamins and medications -- report researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania today at the 2013 Alzheimer's Association International Conference.

Researchers identify 146 contemporary medical practices offering no net benefits
While there is an expectation that newer medical practices improve the standard of care, the history of medicine reveals many instances in which this has not been the case. Reversal of established medical practice occurs when new studies contradict current practice. Reporters may remember hormone replacement therapy as an example of medical reversal. A new analysis published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings documents 146 contemporary medical practices that have subsequently been reversed.

1 in 5 UK NHS staff report bullying by colleagues
One in five UK NHS staff report bullying by colleagues, with almost half saying they have witnessed bullying, in the past six months, indicates research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Robots inspect cables
The bearer cables and tethers of bridges, elevators, and cable cars are exposed to high levels of stress. For this reason, their functional reliability must be monitored on a regular basis. A new robot recognizes fissures before they pose a danger.

Foundation funding means good news for basic science
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation announced good news for science today: more than $90 million for basic research, specifically in the field of condensed matter physics. The Moore Foundation's new Emergent Phenomena in Quantum Systems initiative will focus this budget over a five-year period to explore the exotic and unexpected properties of a broad class of systems termed quantum materials.

LSDF announces grants to commercialize health-related products and services
The Life Sciences Discovery Fund (LSDF) today announced nearly $1.5 million in Proof of Concept grants to Washington for-profit and non-profit organizations to foster translation of health-related technologies from idea to market launch. Also announced was over $300,000 in supplemental funding to two ongoing grants to enhance the commercial potential of the technologies developed through those awards.

Egyptian leader makes surprise appearance at archaeological dig in Israel
As modern Egypt searches for a new leader, Israeli archaeologists have found evidence of an ancient Egyptian leader in northern Israel. At a site in Tel Hazor National Park north of the Sea of Galilee, archaeologists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have unearthed part of a unique Sphinx belonging to one of the ancient pyramid-building pharaohs. The inscription ties the artifact to a particular king for which no other Sphinx exists, making the discovery unexpected and important.

What do rotten eggs and colon cancer have in common?
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston researchers have discovered that hydrogen sulfide -- the pungent-smelling gas produced by rotten eggs -- is a key player in colon cancer metabolism, and a potential target for therapies for the disease.

Novel gene target shows promise for bladder cancer detection and treatment
Scientists from Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center have provided evidence from preclinical experiments that a gene known as melanoma differentiation associated gene-9/syntenin (mda-9/syntenin) could be used as a therapeutic target to kill bladder cancer cells, help prevent metastasis and even be used to non-invasively diagnose the disease and monitor its progression.

Study examines out-of hospital stroke policy at Chicago hospitals
Implementing an out-of hospital stroke policy in some Chicago hospitals was associated with significant improvements in emergency medical services use and increased intravenous tissue plasminogen activator use at primary stroke centers, according to a study published by JAMA Neurology.

Chimpanzees and orangutans remember distant past events
We humans can remember events in our lives that happened years ago, with those memories often surfacing unexpectedly in response to sensory triggers like flavor or scent. Now, researchers have evidence to suggest that chimpanzees and orangutans have similar capacities. In laboratory tests, both primate species were clearly able to recollect a tool-finding event that they had experienced just four times three years earlier and a singular event from two weeks before, the researchers show.

Antarctic glacier calves iceberg one-fourth size of Rhode Island
This week a European Earth-observing satellite confirmed that a large iceberg broke off of Pine Island Glacier, one of Antarctica's largest and fastest moving ice streams. The rift grew and formed a 280-square-mile ice island.

Why do we enjoy listening to sad music?
Sad music might actually evoke positive emotions reveals a new study by Japanese researchers published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Psychology.

Calculating the value of effortful behavior: A clue to schizophrenia-related disability?
Many people with schizophrenia have marked problems with motivation, failing to initiate and persist in goal-directed behavior. These negative symptoms of schizophrenia can be disabling and prevent individuals from realizing their potential.

NASA probes detect 'smoking gun' to solve radiation belt mystery
Space scientists have discovered a massive particle accelerator in the heart of one of the harshest regions of near-Earth space, a region of super-energetic, charged particles surrounding the globe called the Van Allen radiation belts. 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