Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 03, 2012
Ensuring high-quality dietary supplements with 'quality-by-design'
If applied to the $5-billion-per-year dietary supplement industry,

The mathematics of leaf decay
MIT researchers have analyzed data from a variety of forests and ecosystems across North America, and discovered general trends in decay rates among all leaves.

Ancient mollusk tells a contrary story
A fossil unearthed in Great Britain may end a long-running debate about the mollusks, one of life's most diverse invertebrate groups: Which evolved first, shelled forms like clams and snails, or their shell-less, worm-like relatives?

Ecologists start new Antarctic season with paper comparing animals' handling of adversity
Montana State University ecologists who are about to return to Antarctica have found that Weddell seals were better than Emperor penguins at handling adverse conditions from icebergs.

Novel blood-based protein signature determined for rare, aggressive lung cancer
Researchers have discovered a panel of 13 blood proteins that may be effective biomarkers to detect malignant mesothelioma, according to a study published Oct.

Not getting sleepy? Stanford research explains why hypnosis doesn't work for all
Not everyone is able to be hypnotized, and new research from the Stanford University School of Medicine shows how the brains of such people differ from those who can easily be.

Warning, automatic braking systems on autos will help save lives, research predicts
Virginia Tech researchers extracted 1,396 incidents of rear-end collisions from a national database and looked at them on a case-by-case basis to determine whether the intelligent vehicle systems being studied would have been called into play and, if so, how they would have helped.

Boston Children's surgeons pilot expandable prosthetic valves for congenital heart disease
Surgeons at Boston Children's Hospital have successfully implanted a modified version of an expandable prosthetic heart valve in several children with mitral valve disease.

National Science Foundation awards Rutgers $1.4 million to help create ways to analyze 'big data'
The National Science Foundation has awarded two Rutgers researchers nearly $1.4 million as part of an initiative to extract useful information from so-called

Scripps Health, STSI Get $3.75M grant from Qualcomm Foundation
Scripps Health has received a $3.75 million grant from the Qualcomm Foundation to support development of breakthrough digital technologies designed to revolutionize the practice of medicine.

Simple test may ease management of esophagitis
A simple new test, in which the patient swallows a string, can monitor treatment of eosinophilic esophagitis as effectively as an invasive, expensive and uncomfortable procedure that risks complications, particularly in children.

Anthropologist finds evidence of hominin meat eating 1.5 million years ago
A skull fragment unearthed in Tanzania shows our ancient ancestors ate meat at least 1.5 million years ago, shedding new light on human evolution.

Deforestation in snowy regions causes more floods
New research suggests that cutting down swaths of forest in snowy regions at least doubles -- and potentially quadruples -- the number of large floods that occur along the rivers and streams passing through those forests.

Methane emissions can be traced back to Roman times
Emissions of the greenhouse gas methane into the atmosphere can be traced back thousands of years in the Greenland ice sheet.

Onset of flu season raises concerns about human-to-pet transmission
As flu season approaches, people who get sick may not realize they can pass the flu not only to other humans, but possibly to other animals, including pets such as cats, dogs and ferrets.

Less is more when choosing between groups of assorted items
When making decisions about the value of an assortment of different objects, people approximate an average overall value, which though frequently useful can lead to apparently irrational decision-making.

Penn-developed mouse model of debilitating lung disease suggests potential treatment regimen
Researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania report in Science Translational Medicine a new mouse model of LAM (pulmonary lymphangioleiomyomatosis), producing a way to study disease etiology and develop drugs.

US Department of Defense awards Penn researchers funding to investigate new anti-infection drug
A team of researchers led by Samir Mehta, MD, chief of the Orthopaedic Trauma & Fracture Service at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, has received a $2.5 million grant from the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program, provided through the US Department of Defense, to begin Phase 2 human trials of a study that examines the effective treatment of post-surgical orthopedic infections using Microbion Corporation's topical BisEDT drug.

Tomb of Maya queen K'abel discovered in Guatemala
Archaeologists in Guatemala have discovered the tomb of Lady K'abel, a seventh-century Maya Holy Snake Lord considered one of the great queens of Classic Maya civilization.

Chloroquine makes comeback to combat malaria
Malaria-drug monitoring over the past 30 years has shown that malaria parasites develop resistance to medicine, and the first signs of resistance to the newest drugs have just been observed.

National Academy of Engineering honors Nicholas Peppas with Founders Award
The National Academy of Engineering honors The University of Texas at Austin engineering chair.

Diabetes screening study finds no reduction in mortality rates
Screening for type 2 diabetes does not appear to affect overall population mortality rates, according to a new study published in The Lancet.

New evidence on easing inflammation of brain cells for Alzheimer's disease
New research proves the validity of one of the most promising approaches for combating Alzheimer's disease with medicines that treat not just some of the symptoms, but actually stop or prevent the disease itself, scientists are reporting.

Celebrating the centennial of a landmark in culinary chemistry
Billions of people around the world today will unknowingly perform a chemical reaction first reported 100 years ago.

Virginia Tech to tackle the 'Big Data' challenges of next-generation sequencing with HokieSpeed
The National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health today announced nearly $15 million in new big data fundamental research projects.

A complete solution for oil-spill cleanup
Scientists are describing what may be a

Infertility treatments may significantly increase multiple sclerosis activity
Researchers in Argentina report that women with multiple sclerosis (MS) who undergo assisted reproduction technology infertility treatment are at risk for increased disease activity.

Nadine bringing tropical storm conditions back to the Azores
NASA satellites continue to gather data from Tropical Storm Nadine on its twenty-second day of life in the eastern Atlantic as it threatens the Azores again.

Rutgers study finds economic abuse affects maternal mental health, parenting
Mothers who experience economic and psychological abuse during the first year of a relationship with their child's father are more likely to become depressed and spank the child in year five, researchers from the Rutgers School of Social Work have found.

Surgeons investigate whether rural colon cancer patients fare worse than urban patients
According to research presented at ACS 2012 Annual Clinical Congress, colon cancer patients living in rural areas are less likely to receive an early diagnosis, chemotherapy, or thorough surgical treatment when compared with patients living in urban areas.

50-hour whole genome sequencing provides rapid diagnosis for children with genetic disorders
Today investigators at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City reported the first use of whole genome information for diagnosing critically ill infants.

New Queen's University Belfast plasma jet gives 'cold' shoulder to superbugs
The new approach developed by scientists in the School of Mathematics and Physics and the School of Pharmacy at Queen's passes electrical currents through flowing gas mixtures to create a wide variety of reactive species.

UT Dallas research shows graphene nanopores can be controlled
Engineers at the University of Texas at Dallas have used advanced techniques to make the material graphene small enough to read DNA.

New study sheds light on cancer-protective properties of milk
Milk consumption has been linked to improved health, with decreased risks of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and colon cancer.

The brief but violent life of monogenetic volcanoes
A new study in the journal Geology is shedding light on the brief but violent lives of maar-diatreme volcanoes, which erupt when magma and water meet in an explosive marriage below the surface of the earth.

OU researchers implement a multi-photon approach in quantum cryptography
Move over money, a new currency is helping make the world go round.

Newborn mortality was higher for several years after large-scale closures of urban maternity units
After a series of Philadelphia hospitals started closing their maternity units in 1997, infant mortality rates increased by nearly 50 percent over the next three years.

New gender benchmarking study finds numbers of women in science and technology fields alarmingly low
In the first study of its kind, researchers have found that numbers of women in the science, technology and innovation fields are alarmingly low in the world's leading economies, and are actually on the decline in others, including the United States.

NSF announces interagency progress on administration's Big Data initiative
The National Science Foundation, with support from the National Institutes of Health, today announced nearly $15 million in new Big Data fundamental research projects.

National Science Foundation awards $24.4 million to upgrade financial accounting system
The National Science Foundation has awarded a $24.4 million contract to Accenture Federal Services LLC of Chicago, Ill, to modernize the agency's 25 year-old financial accounting system.

Key environmental factors influencing manta ray behavior identified
Manta rays are more likely to gather together under either a new or a full moon, according to new research published Oct.

FDA recommends approval for Second Sight's Argus II retinal prosthesis system in the USA
US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Ophthalmic Devices Advisory Panel unanimously voted 19-0 that the probable benefit of the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System outweighs the risks to health, an important step toward the FDA market approval of this product manufactured by Second Sight Medical Products, Inc.

Frontier science featured at AVS International Symposium in Tampa, Oct. 28 - Nov. 2
Preserving historical treasures, self-healing materials, and surfaces that slough off bacteria are just some of the topics from the more than 1,300 intriguing talks that will be presented at the AVS 59th International Symposium & Exhibition.

Winners of 2012 Moskowitz Prize for sustainable, responsible, impact investing study announced
Using 10 years of privately compiled data, three leading academics have tied positive market performance to corporate social responsibility activities at major publicly traded US companies.

Advanced surgical approaches may benefit elderly patients with colorectal, bladder cancers
Researchers reporting findings from two separate studies presented today at the 2012 Annual Clinical Congress of the American College of Surgeons said advanced surgical techniques and minimally invasive surgical procedures may extend survival and improve recovery in octogenarians with bladder and colorectal cancers when compared with patients who undergo conventional open operations

Got dry eyes? Measuring eyelid sensitivity may reflect the causes
A simple test of eyelid sensitivity may help vision professionals in evaluating one of the most common eye-related symptoms: dry eyes.

Rice U. study: State deregulation of open-heart surgery beneficial to patients
Certificate of Need, a form of state government regulation designed to keep mortality rates and health care costs down, appears to do neither for heart bypass surgery, according to a health economics researcher at Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine.

New EPA grant will help develop early detection technology for high-risk invasive species
The University of Notre Dame has received a $599,931 Environmental Protection Agency grant under the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative to develop technologies for the early detection of invasive species using environmental DNA.

Mom's high blood pressure in pregnancy could affect child's IQ in old age
New research suggests that a mother's high blood pressure during pregnancy may have an effect on her child's thinking skills all the way into old age.

Discrimination from one's manager really bites
Study examines impact of discrimination on mental health workers

Our preferences change to reflect the choices we make, even three years later
Whether we're choosing between presidential candidates or household objects, research shows that we come to place more value on the options we chose and less value on the options we rejected.

People with schizophrenia more likely to die of heart attack, CAMH finds
The risk of death resulting from heart attack is higher in people with schizophrenia than in the general public, according to scientists at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences.

NASA identifies where Tropical Storm Gaemi's power lies
Tropical Storm Gaemi is packing a lot of power around its middle and on one side of the storm, and that was apparent in NASA satellite imagery.

UCLA public health researchers get $20M grant to promote health and fitness, fight obesity
The UCLA Fielding School of Public Health has been awarded a five-year, $20 million grant from the CDC to further their innovative efforts to address obesity.

Nurse-led intervention deters substance abuse among homeless youth
Alcohol use and in particular, binge drinking and methamphetamine use is pervasive among homeless youth.

Does moral decision-making in video games mirror the real world?
Making moral judgments is increasingly a central element of the plots of popular video games.

NSF awards $11.9 million for Sustainable Climate Risk Management
An interdisciplinary team of scholars has received an $11.9 million award from the National Science Foundation to support the establishment of a institution research network on Sustainable Climate Risk Management strategies.

Who was TV's first anchorman? IU professor's research finds it wasn't Walter Cronkite
No kidding: The history of the first anchorman may have more to do with Will Ferrell than people might think, according to new research by a journalism historian at Indiana University.

Surprising black-hole discovery changes picture of globular star clusters
Astronomers using the Very Large Array didn't find what they were looking for, but got a surprise that is changing their understanding of globular star clusters.

Mollusc missing link revealed in 3-D
Scientists have discovered a rare fossil called Kulindroplax, the missing link between two mollusc groups.

Leukemia Research Foundation names Dr. Tulio Rodriguez 'Hero of Hope'
The Leukemia Research Foundation has named Loyola University Medical Center oncologist Dr.

Black hole surprise in ancient star cluster
Astronomers have made the unexpected discovery of two black holes inside an ancient cluster of stars in our galaxy, the Milky Way.

Group therapy is an effective treatment option for depressed women with Type 2 diabetes
Gender-specific group therapy is effective for treating depressed women with Type 2 diabetes, according to a study published in the latest issue of the Annals of Behavioral Medicine and funded by the National Institute of Nursing Research.

'Humanized' mice advance study of rheumatoid arthritis
Northwestern researchers have developed the first animal model that duplicates the human response in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an important step that may enable scientists to discover better medicines to treat the disease.

Oldest evidence of regular meat consumption by early humans found
A fragment of a child's skull discovered at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, shows the oldest known evidence of anemia caused by a nutritional deficiency, reports a new paper published Oct.

Study finds faults in proposed mental disorder diagnosis
New research finds a much anticipated addition to the revised Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders fifth edition (DSM-5) questionable.

City of Ottawa sits atop soil, geologic features that amplify seismic waves
This study examines the local site response for the city of Ottawa, and the results indicate seismic waves may amplify ground motion greater than expected or referenced in the National Building Code of Canada.

NASA sees strongest side of Tropical Storm Maliksi
NASA's Aqua satellite took an infrared

MSU to lead $1.6 million grant on national crop pollination
The United States Department of Agriculture has awarded Michigan State University $1.6 million to lead a national crop pollination research and extension project.

Researchers identify dozens of new de novo genetic mutations in schizophrenia
Columbia University Medical Center researchers have identified dozens of new spontaneous genetic mutations that play a significant role in the development of schizophrenia, adding to the growing list of genetic variants that can contribute to the disease.

ARS scientists devising new ways to protect avocados
US Department of Agriculture scientists are coming up with new strategies to combat a beetle threatening the nation's avocado trees.

Army surgeons present new research on cancer vaccine, colorectal surgery
Yesterday US Army surgeons exhibited new research findings in two poster presentations at the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress.

Nursing outlook celebrates 60 years by publishing research on nurses in the media with UCLA
Historical impact and modern media stereotypes of nurses offer a fascinating contrast in the September/October issue of Nursing Outlook, published by Elsevier, the leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services.

Innovative new defibrillator offers alternative for regulating heart beat
A new ground-breaking technology was recently used at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute where two cardiologists, Dr.

Cardiac medication may reduce stiffness caused by certain muscle diseases
Mexiletine, a decades-old drug previously used to treat abnormal heart rhythms, has been used to alleviate the symptoms of patients with nondystrophic myotonias, rare diseases that affect the skeletal muscle and cause functionally limiting stiffness and pain.

Expansion of space measurement improved
A team of astronomers, led by Wendy Freedman, director of the Carnegie Observatories, have used NASA's Spitzer Space Telescope to make the most accurate and precise measurement yet of the Hubble constant, a fundamental quantity that measures the current rate at which our universe is expanding.

For some women, genes may influence pressure to be thin
Genetics may make some women more vulnerable to the pressure of being thin, a study published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders has found.

Blocking tumor-induced inflammation impacts cancer development
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report the discovery of microbial-dependent mechanisms through which some cancers mount an inflammatory response that fuels their development and growth.

New definition of autism in DSM-5 will not exclude most children with autism
Parents should not worry that proposed changes to the medical criteria redefining a diagnosis of autism will leave their children excluded and deemed ineligible for psychiatric and medical care, says a team of researchers led by psychologists at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Aspirin may temper brain power decline in elderly women at risk of heart disease
Daily low dose aspirin could slow the decline in brain power among elderly women at high risk of heart disease, indicates observational research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Scientists develop novel technology to identify biomarkers for ulcerative colitis
Scientists from the Florida campus of the Scripps Research Institute have developed a novel technology that can identify, in animal models, potential biomarkers of ulcerative colitis, a type of inflammatory bowel disease that affects the lining of the colon.

Getting athletes back in the game sooner following shoulder injuries
Biceps tenodesis hastens recovery, cuts rehabilitation time for labrum tears allowing athletes to return to play sooner

Brown University awarded $1.5 million for new Big Data tools
Computer scientists from Brown University have been awarded $1.5 million to develop new computer algorithms and statistical methods to analyze large, complex datasets.

New intervention may help identify and improve care for adolescents at risk for suicide
Investigators at Nationwide Children's Hospital and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center are hoping to better identify adolescents at risk for suicide and improve how these at-risk children receive follow up mental health treatment.

Drug reverses abnormal brain function in rett syndrome mice
A promising study out today in the prestigious Journal of Neurosciences showed that in a mouse model of Rett syndrome, researchers were able to reverse abnormalities in brain activity and improve neurological function by treating the animals with an FDA-approved anesthesia drug, ketamine.

Fear of treatment puts stress on women undergoing fertility therapy
Fertility treatment has a strong emotional impact on women who want to have children.

New study links caffeinated coffee to vision loss
A new study suggests caffeinated coffee drinkers should limit their intake to reduce their chances of developing vision loss or blindness.

The association of alcohol and tobacco with age at diagnosis among subjects with pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic adenocarcinoma (PancCa) is a deadly disease, with essentially 100% mortality.

Mayo Clinic: Melanoma up to 2.5 times likelier to strike transplant, lymphoma patients
Melanoma is on the rise nationally, and transplant recipients and lymphoma patients are far likelier than the average person to get that form of skin cancer and to die from it, a Mayo Clinic review has found.

Survey: Clinicians believe EHRs will have positive impact on health care
Survey results released today reveal that an overwhelming majority of clinicians believe that the electronic exchange of health information will have a positive impact on improving the quality of patient care, coordinating care, meeting the demands of new care models, and participating in third-party reporting and incentive programs.

Mom's high blood pressure in pregnancy could affect child's IQ in old age
New research suggests that a mother's high blood pressure during pregnancy may have an effect on her child's thinking skills all the way into old age.

New fanged dwarf dinosaur from southern Africa ate plants
With tiny 1-inch long jaws, a new species of plant-eater has come to light in rocks in southern Africa dating to the early dinosaur era, some 200 million years ago.

Smartphones to steer unmanned rotorcraft on the battlefield
The Office of Naval Research awarded contracts to Lockheed Martin and Aurora Flight Sciences on Sept.

Patent issued for technology that improves eyesight dramatically
A US patent has been issued to the University of Rochester for technology that has boosted the eyesight of tens of thousands of people around the world to unprecedented levels and reduced the need for patients to undergo repeat surgeries.

Rare disease researchers notch a win
An older medication originally approved to treat heart problems eases the symptoms of a very rare muscle disease.

Understanding accents
With immigration on the rise, the use of English as a second language is sweeping the world.

Healthcare professionals as bad as patients at good respiratory inhaler technique
Healthcare professionals are as bad as patients when it comes to knowing how to use inhalers prescribed for asthma and other respiratory conditions correctly, says an editorial in Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin.

For some women, genes may influence pressure to be thin
Genetics may make some women more vulnerable to the pressure of being thin, a study led by Michigan State University researchers has found.

Discovery leads to new hope against ovarian cancer
Scientists at USC have discovered a new type of drug for the treatment of ovarian cancer that works in a way that should not only decrease the number of doses that patients need to take, but also may make it effective for patients whose cancer has become drug resistant.

Home-based assessment tool for dementia screening
Georgia Tech researchers have created a tool that allows adults to screen themselves for early signs of dementia.

CU Cancer Center opens phase i clinical trial of anti-cancer stem cell agent OMP-54F28
The University of Colorado Cancer Center, together with other participating academic medical centers, recently opened a phase I human clinical trial of the drug OMP-54F28 in patients with advanced solid tumor cancers.

Memory and thought-process training show promise in managing breast cancer symptoms
A new Indiana University study is the first of its kind to show it may be possible to improve memory and thought process speed among breast cancer survivors.

NASA sees fifteenth Atlantic tropical depression born
The fifteenth tropical depression of the Atlantic Ocean hurricane season was born on Oct.

Kessler Foundation researchers present at Society for Neuroscience Meeting in New Orleans
Kessler Foundation scientists will present findings in traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, and aging at the meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in New Orleans, October 13-17.

Southern Hemisphere becoming drier
A decline in April-May rainfall over south-east Australia is associated with a southward expansion of the subtropical dry-zone.

Iowa State researchers developing 'BIGDATA' toolbox to help genome researchers
The latest DNA sequencing technology is burying researchers in trillions of bytes of data.

Study suggests stem cell transplant survivors at increased risk of developing heart disease
New research appearing online today in Blood, the Journal of the American Society of Hematology, suggests that long-term survivors of hematopoietic cell transplants are at an increased risk of developing heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol when compared to the general population.

New sophisticated control algorithms poised to revolutionize electric battery technology
Engineers at the University of California, San Diego, have developed sophisticated estimation algorithms that allow lithium-ion batteries to run more efficiently, potentially reducing their cost by 25 percent and allowing the batteries to charge twice as fast as is currently possible. 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