Brightsurf Science News & Current Events Archive (June 2013)

Science news and science current events archive June, 2013.

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Top Science News & Current Event Articles from June 2013

Retailers should referee customer conflict
A new study by UBC's Sauder School of Business says retailers should consider admonishing queue jumpers and thoughtless store browsers to ease aggression between shoppers.

Scientists discover thriving colonies of microbes in ocean 'plastisphere'
Scientists have discovered a diverse multitude of microbes colonizing and thriving on flecks of plastic that have polluted the oceans -- a vast new human-made flotilla of microbial communities that they have dubbed the

Lose weight between babies, Saint Louis University study suggests
A Saint Louis University study calls for women who are obese to lose weight between pregnancies and not to gain excessive weight when they are pregnant. Obese moms face special health risks during pregnancy, and are more likely to have a baby who is large for his or her gestational age and could have health problems.

With new $1.7 million grant, U-M, Johns Hopkins researchers will develop dementia treatment tool
With the help of a $1.7-million grant from the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Nursing Research), researchers from the University of Michigan and Johns Hopkins University will design an easy-to-use, web-based tool that helps caregivers track, understand and treat the behavioral symptoms of dementia.

Rapid adaptation is purple sea urchins' weapon against ocean acidification
In the race against climate change and ocean acidification, some sea urchins may still have a few tricks up their spiny sleeves, suggesting that adaptation will likely play a large role for the sea creatures as the carbon content of the ocean increases.

PET/MR effective for imaging recurrent prostate cancer
A relatively new imaging system that simultaneously combines positron emission tomography and magnetic resonance demonstrates a higher capacity for mapping recurrent prostate cancer than the already high standard of integrated PET and computed tomography, say researchers presenting a study at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging's 2013 Annual Meeting.

Spanish researchers writing in cell describe the 9 hallmarks of aging
The prestigious journal Cell is now publishing an exhaustive review of the subject that aims to set things straight and

Lab reproduction of a marine compound with antibiotic properties
Chemists at IRB Barcelona synthesize baringolin, a substance isolated from the depths of the sea by the pharmaceutical company BioMar S.A. At very small doses this compound inhibits the growth of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Malawi trial saves newborn lives
A five-year program that mobilized communities to improve the quality of care for mothers and newborns reduced newborn mortality by 30 percent and saved at least 1,000 newborn lives in rural Malawi.

Warm ocean drives most Antarctic ice shelf loss, UC Irvine and others show
Ocean waters melting the undersides of Antarctic ice shelves, not icebergs calving into the sea, are responsible for most of the continent's ice loss, a study by UC Irvine and others has found.

World Stem Cell Summit to be presented by Genetics Policy Institute, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., and Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News
The Genetics Policy Institute and Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers have announced that the 2013 World Stem Cell Report will be published as a special supplement to the peer-reviewed journal Stem Cells and Development.

Prenatal exposure to BPA affects fat tissues in sheep
New research suggests that fetal exposure to the common environmental chemical bisphenol A, or BPA, causes increased inflammation in fat tissues after birth, which can lead to obesity and metabolic syndrome. Results of the animal study were presented Monday at The Endocrine Society's 95th Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

People are overly confident in their own knowledge, despite errors
Overprecision -- excessive confidence in the accuracy of our beliefs -- can have profound consequences, inflating investors' valuation of their investments, leading physicians to gravitate too quickly to a diagnosis, even making people intolerant of dissenting views. Now, new research confirms that overprecision is a common and robust form of overconfidence driven, at least in part, by excessive certainty in the accuracy of our judgments.

Solar scientists to gather July 8-11 at Montana State University
Solar physicists from around the world will gather July 8-11 at Montana State University. Activities for the general public will include a lecture and teachers' workshop.

3-D Printing and Additive Manufacturing preview issue publishing Fall 2013
Mary Ann Liebert Inc., publishers announces the launch of 3-D Printing and Additive Manufacturing, a highly innovative, peer-reviewed journal on this rapidly growing disruptive technology.

Screening at-risk adolescents for celiac disease proves cost-effective
The current standard practice of screening adolescents who are either symptomatic or at high-risk for celiac disease proves to be more cost-effective than universal screening. Additionally, the strategy is successful in preventing bone loss and fractures in celiac patients, according to a new study in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association.

RET rearrangement a new oncogene and potential target in lung cancer
In results presented at ASCO 2013, a University of Colorado Cancer Center study provides important details for a recently identified driver and target in lung adenocarcinoma: Rearrangement of the gene RET.

New research urges caution on use of peer support in chronic disease
Health organizations need to give careful consideration to schemes which encourage people with chronic diseases to seek support from peers, to avoid the potential negative effects, new research shows.

Bugs provide new insights into relationships between animals and bacteria
Scientists have taken a closer look at mealybugs and their nested bacterial helpers and untangled a surprisingly unique and intricate relationship. Their findings provide potential insights into the complex association between humans and the microbes we rely on for our health.

Women reject sexually promiscuous peers when making female friends
College-aged women judge promiscuous female peers more negatively than more chaste women and view them as unsuitable for friendship, finds a study by Cornell University developmental psychologists.

EORTC study opens for elderly patients with HER-2 positive metastatic breast cancer
Although the incidence of cancer is higher in persons over 65 years old, we still have an inadequate understanding on how best to treat elderly cancer patients. Elderly patients are occasionally included in clinical trials, but the included patients are mostly healthy, so the broader elderly patient population is not well represented. The EORTC Cancer in the Elderly Task Force has now opened a trial in for elderly patients with HER-2 positive metastatic breast cancer.

NASA sees heavy rainfall in tropical storm Andrea
NASA's TRMM satellite passed over Tropical Storm Andrea right after it was named, while NASA's Terra satellite captured a visible image of the storm's reach hours beforehand.

Liver protein crucial for pregnancy
A protein first shown to function in the liver plays a crucial role in pregnancy in mice and has a key role in the human menstrual cycle, according to researchers at the University of Montreal.

Rapid change in China brings significant improvements in health
In China between 1990 and 2010, communicable disease and child mortality decreased while life expectancy increased. But China faces significant challenges. The top five causes of health loss are dietary risks, high blood pressure, tobacco use, ambient air pollution, and household air pollution. Non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer increased in the past 20 years. China has five cancers in its top 15 causes of premature mortality, more than any G20 country.

An article in 'Cell' reveals a new resistance mechanism to chemotherapy in breast and ovarian cancer
The team led by Spanish National Cancer Research Centre researcher Óscar Fernández-Capetillo, head of the Genomic Instability Group, together with researchers from the National Cancer Institute in the US, have participated in a study that describes the causes that explain why tumors with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations stop responding to PARP inhibitor drugs.

Different neuronal groups govern right-left alternation when walking
Scientists at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have identified the neuronal circuits in the spinal cord of mice that control the ability to produce the alternating movements of the legs during walking. The study, published in the journal Nature, demonstrates that two genetically-defined groups of nerve cells are in control of limb alternation at different speeds of locomotion, and thus that the animals' gait is disturbed when these cell populations are missing.

Bringing cheaper, 'greener' lighting to market with inkjet-printed hybrid quantum dot LEDs
It's not easy going green. For home lighting applications, organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs) hold the promise of being both environmentally friendly and versatile. Though not as efficient as regular light-emitting diodes (LEDs), they offer a wider range of material choices and are more energy efficient than traditional lights. OLEDs can also be applied to flexible surfaces, which may lead to lights or television displays that can be rolled up and stowed in a pocket.

Directed police patrols reduce gun crime
Gun possession arrests made by a concentrated, proactive patrol unit in the Houston Police Department were linked to significant reductions in subsequent crimes involving firearms, a study by Sam Houston State University found.

Mysterious monument found beneath the Sea of Galilee
Prof. Shmulik Marco of Tel Aviv University and his fellow researchers have discovered a mysterious monument beneath the waves of the Sea of Galilee. The site resembles early burial sites in Europe and was likely built in the early Bronze Age.

Nearly half of all child deaths caused by malnutrition
Malnutrition is responsible for nearly half (45 percent) of all deaths in children under five, according to new research published as part of The Lancet Series on maternal and child nutrition. The results show that malnutrition is now responsible for around 3.1 million deaths in children under five annually.

MBL Microbial Diversity course to receive 'Milestones in Microbiology Site' designation
The Microbial Diversity course at the Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, Mass., has been designated a

ATS publishes clinical practice guidelines on sleep apnea and driving
The American Thoracic Society has released new clinical practice guidelines on sleep apnea, sleepiness, and driving risk on non-commercial drivers. The new guidelines appear in June 1, 2013 American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Personality is the result of nurture, not nature, suggests study on birds
Personality is not inherited from birth parents says new research on zebra finches. External factors are likely to play a bigger part in developing the personality of an individual than the genes it inherits from its parents, suggests the study.

NTU designs social media and web system that can predict dengue hotspots
Researchers at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University have developed a social media-based system called Mo-Buzz that can predict where and when dengue might occur. It combines a web system that taps into historical data on weather and dengue incidents and swift reports by the public on mosquito bites and breeding sites via smart phones and tablets.

Biotech crops vs. pests: Successes and failures from the first billion acres
Experts at the UA's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences have published a landmark study analyzing why pest resistance to genetically modified crops evolved quickly in some cases, but not others. The global assessment could help to gauge the risk of resistance for new biotech crops before they are commercialized.

Regulatory approval opens the way for European launch of new single-size contraceptive diaphragm
European regulators have granted the single-size SILCS Diaphragm a CE marking, allowing the product to be sold throughout Europe. The launch is also an important step toward expanding nonhormonal contraception options for women worldwide. SILCS is the first new cervical barrier method to receive regulatory approval and enter the market in more than a decade.

New report offers science-based strategies for management of western free-ranging horses and burros
The US Bureau of Land Management's current practice of removing free-ranging horses from public lands promotes a high population growth rate, and maintaining them in long-term holding facilities is both economically unsustainable and incongruent with public expectations, says a new report by the National Research Council.

Brain re-training may improve memory, focus in schizophrenia
Much like physical exercise can re-chisel the body, researchers hope targeted mental workouts can sharpen the memory, focus and function of adults with schizophrenia.

Less friction loss in combustion engines
Researchers have developed a method that can reduce engine friction and wear even during production of engine components. Special coatings can help to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

DNA-altering enzyme is essential for blood cell development
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Scott Hiebert and colleagues at Vanderbilt University examined the role of HDAC3 in the development of blood cells by disrupting its expression in mice.

Amazon forest fire risk to increase in 2013
University and NASA researchers predict that the severity of the 2013 fire season will be considerably higher than in 2011 and 2012 for many Amazon forests in the Southern Hemisphere. The outlook is based on a fire severity model that produced a successful first forecast in 2012.

Powerhouse Fire, California
NASA's Terra satellite captured this natural-color satellite image of California's Powerhouse Fire with the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer instrument on June 1, 2013.

Zebrafish help identify mutant gene in rare muscle disease
Zebrafish with very weak muscles helped scientists decode the elusive genetic mutation responsible for Native American myopathy, a rare, hereditary muscle disease that afflicts Native Americans in North Carolina.

USC report: Law dramatically reduced hospital prices for the uninsured
A study indicates that California's statewide fair pricing law reduced prices for the uninsured.

CHERISH trial demonstrates efficacy of tocilizumab in juvenile idiopathic arthritis
A new study presented today at EULAR 2013, the Annual Congress of the European League Against Rheumatism shows that tocilizumab is efficacious and leads to a sustained clinically meaningful improvement in children with polyarticular Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis.

A cheaper drive to 'cool' fuels
University of Delaware scientists have developed an inexpensive catalyst that uses the electricity generated from solar energy to convert carbon dioxide into synthetic fuels.

Greater convenience and safety for wheelchair users
With modern communication aids, users of electric powered wheelchairs can operate a PC and cellphone without human assistance. A new module is set to transform electric powered wheelchairs into communication hubs.

Teacher collaboration, professional communities improve many elementary school students' math scores
Many elementary students' math performance improves when their teachers collaborate, work in professional learning communities or do both, yet most students don't spend all of their elementary school years in these settings, a new study shows.

Simple theory may explain mysterious dark matter
The reason dark matter, which makes up 85 percent of all the matter in the universe, is invisible could be because it possesses a rare, donut-shaped type of electromagnetism instead of the more exotic forces that have been proposed, according to an analysis of a pair of Vanderbilt theoretic physicists.

Study finds disincentives to energy efficiency can be fixed
A new study finds that utilities aren't rewarded for adopting energy efficiency programs, and that reforms are needed to make energy efficiency as attractive as renewables. 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