Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 18, 2012
Women earn more if they work in different occupations than men
Women earn less money than men the more the sexes share the same occupations, a large-scale survey of 20 industrialized countries has found.

New method for estimating thermal comfort in low-energy buildings at the design stage
MSc Riikka Holopainen from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, has written a doctoral thesis on a new method for estimating the actual level of human thermal comfort in low-energy buildings.

pH measurements: How to see the real face of electrochemistry and corrosion?
For several decades antimony electrodes have been used to measure the acidity/basicity - and so to determine the pH value.

Ozone levels have sizeable impact on worker productivity
Researchers assessed the impact of pollution on agricultural worker productivity using daily variations in ozone levels.

Global rates of infertility remain unchanged over past 2 decades
In 2010, almost 50 million couples worldwide were unable to have a child after five years of trying.

Evidence insufficient to recommend routine antibiotics for joint replacement patients
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, and the American Dental Association found that there is insufficient evidence to recommend the routine use of antibiotics.

Greed, not generosity, more likely to be 'paid forward'
Paying it forward -- a popular expression for extending generosity to others after someone has been generous to you -- is a heartwarming concept, but it is less common than repaying greed with greed, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.

Researchers use liquid metal to create wires that stretch 8 times their original length
Researchers from North Carolina State University have created conductive wires that can be stretched up to eight times their original length while still functioning.

Reappraisal defuses strong emotional responses to Israel-Palestine conflict
Reappraisal is a widely-used cognitive strategy that can help people to regulate their reactions to emotionally charged events.

Antibiotics based on a new principle may defeat MRSA
Scientists at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have presented a new principle for fighting bacterial infections, in other words, a new type of antibiotic, in the FASEB Journal.

EARTH: Here comes the solar maximum
In 1859, the largest recorded coronal mass ejection from the sun, known as the Carrington Event, disrupted what little electrical technology was used at the time.

Way to make one-way flu vaccine discovered by Georgia State researcher
A new process to make a one-time, universal influenza vaccine has been discovered by a researcher at Georgia State University's Center for Inflammation, Immunity and Infection and his partners.

Tax evasion in Greece: Billions earned by high-income professionals go untaxed
Wide-scale tax evasion in Greece accounts for 28 billion Euros in unreported taxable income -- just among the self-employed, according to a new study,

Cancer cells co-opt immune response to escape destruction
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report that tumor cells use stress signals to subvert responding immune cells, exploiting them to actually boost conditions beneficial to cancer growth.

Penn metamaterials experts show a way to reduce electrons' effective mass to nearly 0
The field of metamaterials involves augmenting materials with specially designed patterns, enabling those materials to manipulate electromagnetic waves and fields in previously impossible ways.

Researcher: Hypnosis should be offered to patients with IBS
Hypnotherapy helps fight IBS symptoms. These are the findings of a thesis from Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden which proposes implementing this treatment method into the care of severe sufferers of this common disease.

Mayo Clinic researchers identify enzyme linked to prostate cancer
Researchers at Mayo Clinic's campus in Florida have identified an enzyme specifically linked to aggressive prostate cancer, and have also developed a compound that inhibits the ability of this molecule to promote the metastatic spread of the cancer.

Birdsong bluster may dupe strange females, but it won't fool partners
Male birds use their song to dupe females they have just met by pretending they are in excellent physical condition.

World Trade Center rescue, recovery workers have had increased incidence of certain types of cancer
Among rescue and recovery workers exposed to the dust, debris, and fumes following the World Trade Center terrorist attack, there was an increased incidence of prostate and thyroid cancers and multiple myeloma, although it is not clear how big a factor medical screening and non-WTC risk factors contributed to these increases.

NREL and Johnson Matthey announce 5-year collaboration on biofuels
The US Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory will partner with Johnson Matthey, a global specialty chemicals company, in a five-year, seven million dollar effort to economically produce drop-in gasoline, diesel and jet fuel from non-food biomass feedstocks, the federal laboratory announced today.

Researchers find model system to study promising cancer drug
Researchers have found that the budding yeast is an acceptable model system to study KP1019, an anti-cancer drug that uses ruthenium, a rare metal, a new study found.

Intensive weight-loss intervention linked with increased chance of partial remission from diabetes
Among overweight adults, participation in an intensive lifestyle intervention (that included counseling sessions and targets to reduce caloric intake and increase physical activity) was associated with a greater likelihood of partial remission of Type 2 diabetes, however the absolute remission rates were modest.

Little evidence to support TB interventions in real-world, low-resource settings
There is little evidence from real world situations in low-and-middle income countries to support the effectiveness and financial value of five interventions recommended by the World Health Organization to control tuberculosis, which may be a reason why these interventions have not been implemented in many countries, according to a study by international experts published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Tecnalia revitalizes areas of conflict in Bosnia and Herzegovina through the use of technology
Tecnalia and Cultural Heritage without Borders are embarking on a new project in Stolac, Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Johns Hopkins researchers at American Society of Cell Biology Annual Meeting
Research topics presented by Johns Hopkins researchers include

Host cholesterol secretion likely to influence gut microbiota
For more than half a century, researchers have known that the bacteria that colonize the gastrointestinal tract of mammals influence their host's cholesterol metabolism.

USC study: Internet outages in the US doubled during Hurricane Sandy
USC scientists who track Internet outages throughout the world noted a spike in outages due to Hurricane Sandy, with almost twice as much of the Internet down in the US as usual.

European trial confirms commonly prescribed antibiotic ineffective for treating cough
The antibiotic amoxicillin, that doctors typically prescribe for common lower respiratory tract infections (LRTI) such as cough and bronchitis, is no more effective at relieving symptoms than the use of no medication, even in older patients.

AI computer program develops free downloadable game for Christmas
Researchers at Imperial College London have developed an artificially intelligent computer program that has itself designed a video game for the Christmas season, which can be downloaded for free today.

Spread of cancer cells may be slowed by targeting of protein
The spread of cancer cells may be slowed by targeting the protein km23-1, according to researchers at Penn State College of Medicine.

Award-winning A/C uses old idea, new materials
If thirst is crucial to knowledge, then one crucial step in the evolution of air conditioning was born in the 1970s, when Ron Judkoff was a hot, thirsty Peace Corp volunteer in Kedougou, Senegal, one of the warmest places on Earth.

Regular aspirin use 10 or more years ago associated with increased risk of type of age-related macular degeneration
Among nearly 5,000 study participants, regular aspirin use reported ten years prior was associated with a small but statistically significant increase in the risk of neovascular age‑related macular degeneration.

Mistaking OCD for ADHD has serious consequences
Obsessive-compulsive disorder and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder appear very similar, but have very different neuropsychological roots.

Humanitarian organizations must do more for older people in emergencies
Emergency aid has failed to address the needs of older people in emergency situations and so donors and humanitarian agencies must urgently ensure that this vulnerable group is included in any emergency response, according to experts from the humanitarian organizations Médecins Sans Frontières and HelpAge International writing in this week's PLOS Medicine.

MRIs reveal signs of brain injuries not seen in CT scans, UCSF/SFGH researchers report
Hospital MRIs may be better at predicting long-term outcomes for people with mild traumatic brain injuries than CT scans, the standard technique for evaluating such injuries in the emergency room, according to a clinical trial led by researchers at the University of California, San Francisco and the San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center.

UNC researchers discover how hepatitis C virus reprograms human liver cells
Hepatitis C virus has evolved to invade and hijack the basic machinery of the human liver cell to ensure its survival and spread.

A new breed of stable anti-aromatic compound
The novel compound is a new chapter in a story that began in 1825, when English scientist Michael Faraday first isolated benzene from gas lights.

Visions of snowflakes: An American Chemical Society holiday video
For everyone with holiday visions of snowflakes dancing in their heads, the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, today issued a video explaining how dust, water, cold and air currents collaborate to form these symbols of the season.

Administration of clopidogrel prior to PCI associated with reduction in major cardiac events
Among patients scheduled for a percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI; procedures such as balloon angioplasty or stent placement used to open narrowed coronary arteries), pretreatment with the antiplatelet agent clopidogrel was not associated with a lower risk of overall mortality but was associated with a significantly lower risk of major coronary events.

Research finds crisis in Syria has Mesopotamian precedent
Research carried out at the University of Sheffield has revealed intriguing parallels between modern day and Bronze-Age Syria as the Mesopotamian region underwent urban decline, government collapse, and drought.

Celiac 'epidemics' link to infections early in life
Celiac disease affects about one percent of the population but occasional 'epidemics' have been noticed along with a seasonal variation in number of cases diagnosed.

Long-term survival after less-invasive repair of abdominal aneurysm same as with 'open' procedure
Despite earlier signs that a less-invasive surgery is safer and better than

Reproductive Health Matters announces publication of its themed issue
Sexual and reproductive morbidities are not a priority in health policy.

Study of pipestone artifacts overturns a century-old assumption
In a new study, the first to actually test pipestone from quarries across the upper Midwest, researchers conclude that those who buried ceremonial pipes in a famous mound site in southeastern Ohio got the stone - and perhaps even the finished, carved pipes - from Illinois.

Patients with diabetes may not receive best treatment to lower heart disease risk
For some people with diabetes, there may be such a thing as too much care.

Do palm trees hold the key to immortality?
For centuries, humans have been exploring, researching, and discovering how to stave off life-threatening diseases, increase life spans, and obtain immortality.

University of South Florida and National Academy of Inventors name NAI Charter Fellows
Five faculty members from the University of South Florida have been named a Charter Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors: Richard D.

From the seas to the stars: Modeling ships and space craft
Since the dawn of civilization, man has gazed across the oceans and up to the stars with dreams of conquering both.

Evidence on abortion figures overestimated in Mexico fuels scientific debate in medical journal
A new article published in a Mexican journal specialized in Obstetrics and Gynecology is bound to refuel the abortion debate following the recently published studies providing evidence of important overestimation of abortion figures and maternal mortality rates in Mexico by researchers of the Alan Guttmacher Institute and IPAS-Mexico.

Survival of the females
It is well known that many mammals are able to adjust the ratio of male and female young depending on the surrounding conditions at the time of conception.

Tracking the origins of HIV
Human immunodeficiency virus may have affected humans for much longer than is currently believed.

Are we closing in on dark matter?
This fall, a colloquium brought together more than 100 cosmologists, particle physicists and observational astrophysicists -- three fields now united in the hunt to determine what is dark matter.

Springer Hilfsfonds e.V. awards grants to young people hit by the disaster in Fukushima
Springer Science+Business Media will be providing 15,000 euros each to three Japanese students from the district of Tohoku, which was devastated by the tsunami.

Psychologists: Scrooge's transformation parallels real life-changing experiences
Psychologists studied 14 people who had sudden life-changing experiences. They say Ebenezer Scrooge's transformation fits right in.

Study: Curbing car travel could be as effective as cutting calories
Those considering how to maintain a healthy weight during holiday festivities, or looking ahead to New Year's resolutions, may want to think twice before reaching for traditional staples like cookies or candy - or the car keys.

Ants aquaplaning on a pitcher plant
An insect-trapping pitcher plant in Venezuela uses its downward pointing hairs to create a 'water slide' on which insects slip to their death, new research reveals.

Analysis of Marcellus flowback finds high levels of ancient brines
Brine water that flows back from gas wells in the Marcellus Shale region after hydraulic fracturing is many times more salty than seawater, with high contents of various elements, including radium and barium.

Long-terms benefits follow brain surgery for certain forms of epilepsy
Brain surgery for certain difficult forms of epilepsy often reduces or eliminates seizures for more than 15 years after the procedure, according to new research by neurologists at Henry Ford Hospital.

The Green Revolution is wilting
The Green Revolution has stagnated for key food crops in many regions of the world, according to a study published in the Dec.

Charge detector for ion chromatography co-developed by UT Arlington and Thermo Fisher Scientific
The University of Texas at Arlington and Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., the world leader in serving science, announced that they have been granted a United States patent (#8,293,099) for a novel charge detector for ion chromatography that they developed together.

Prehistoric ghosts revealing new details
Scientists at the University of Manchester have used synchrotron-based imaging techniques to identify previously unseen anatomy preserved in fossils.

National Academy of Inventors announces 2012 NAI Charter Fellows
The National Academy of Inventors (NAI) has named 98 innovators to NAI Charter Fellow status, representing 54 prestigious research universities and non-profit research institutes.

EurekAlert! announces the recipients of the 2013 AAAS-EurekAlert! Fellowships for International Science Reporters
EurekAlert!, the global science news service operated by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), is pleased to announce five recipients of the 2013 AAAS-EurekAlert!

Southampton researchers find a glitch' in pulsar 'glitch' theory
Researchers from the University of Southampton have called in to question a 40 year-old theory explaining the periodic speeding up or 'glitching' of pulsars.

More children surviving in-hospital cardiac arrest
Three times as many children survived in-hospital cardiac arrest in 2009 vs.

Silent stroke can cause Parkinson's disease
Scientists at the University of Manchester have for the first time identified why a patient who appears outwardly healthy may develop Parkinson's disease.

Hass Avocado Board study published in Food & Function journal
The pilot study on 11 healthy men (18-35 years old), Hass Avocado Modulates Postprandial Vascular Reactivity and Postprandial Inflammatory Responses to a Hamburger Meal in Healthy Volunteers, conducted by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles, and supported by the Hass Avocado Board, has been published in November's issue of the journal Food and Function.

Complexities of human disease targeted with $16 million in funding
Scientists at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Melbourne, Australia, have received more than $16 million in Australian Government funding to pursue research into cancer, malaria, rheumatoid arthritis and the immune system, it was announced today.

Immediate health risk must be weighed against radiation-induced cancer risk
The lifetime risks of cancer from medical radiation may be overemphasized relative to more immediate health risks, according to a new study.

£6 million award to enable UK-owned X-ray facility to continue delivering world class science
UK physicists, material scientists and chemists to benefit from five years of funding for world leading x-ray scattering instrument.

A swoosh in space: Merry Christmas from Hubble
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope celebrates the holiday season with a striking image of the planetary nebula NGC 5189.

Scientists discover how HIV virus gains access to carrier immune cells to spread infection
Scientists from the AIDS Research Institute IrsiCaixa have identified how HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, enters the cells of the immune system enabling it to be dispersed throughout an organism.

Blood test accurately detects lymphedema, Stanford study shows
Scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine have identified a set of proteins circulating in blood whose levels accurately flag the presence of lymphedema.

UC Riverside turfgrass specialist receives high honor
Victor Gibeault, a cooperative extension specialist, emeritus, at the University of California, Riverside, will receive the 2013 United States Golf Association (USGA) Green Section Award.

KAIST announces a major breakthrough in high-precision indoor positioning
Professor Han and his research team have recently developed a new method to build a WiFi radio map that does not require GPS signals.

JAMA article discusses critical need for iodine supplements during pregnancy and while nursing
A viewpoint in this week's Journal of the American Medical Association discusses the issue of iodine deficiency in pregnant women in the US and the potential negative health implications for both mothers and their children from this deficiency. 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