Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 12, 2013
New distance record for 400 Gb/s data transmission
A team from AT&T has devised a new patent-pending technique enabling 400 Gb/s signals to be sent over today's 100 gigahertz-grid optical networks over ultra-long distances for the first time.

RI Hospital: Radiation can be reduced while maintaining high quality in CT colonography
A new study by a Rhode Island Hospital researcher has found it's possible to maintain high-quality CT colonography diagnostic images while reducing the radiation dose.

Use of adjunctive antipsychotic medications in depression
A study published this week in PLOS Medicine finds that while antipsychotic medications are associated with small-to-moderate improvements in depressive symptoms in adults, there is little evidence for improvement on measures of quality of life and these medications are linked to adverse events such as weight gain and sedation.

A high-resolution endoscope as thin as a human hair
Engineers at Stanford have developed a prototype single-fiber endoscope that improves the resolution of these much-sought-after instruments fourfold over existing designs.

Device may lead to quicker, more efficient diagnostics
A twist on thin-film technology may provide a way to optically detect and analyze multiple substances simultaneously, leading to quicker diagnostics in such industries as health care and homeland security, according to Penn State researchers.

Despite weight gain, quitting smoking associated with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease
Among adults without diabetes, quitting smoking, compared with continuing smoking, was associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease despite subsequent weight gain, according to a study appearing in the March 13 issue of JAMA.

Bitter melon juice prevents pancreatic cancer in mouse models
A University of Colorado Cancer study published today in the journal Carcinogenesis shows that bitter melon juice restricts the ability of pancreatic cancer cells to metabolize glucose, thus cutting the cells' energy source and eventually killing them.

Fluorescent light revealed as gauge of coral health
Coral reef decline in recent years due to a variety of threats -- from pollution to climate warming -- has lent urgency to the search for new ways to evaluate their health.

The natural ecosystems in the Colombian Orinoco Basin are in danger
About 80 percent of the total area of the Orinoco basin -- one of the most biodiverse and vulnerable regions on our planet -- is covered by natural ecosystems.

New app for dementia assessment
A new app to help clinicians assess patients with possible dementia will be unveiled at the Healthcare Innovation Expo 2013 in London tomorrow (March 13, 2013).

Extremely rare triple quasar found
For only the second time in history, a team of scientists -- including Carnegie's Michele Fumagalli -- have discovered an extremely rare triple quasar system.

Mystery of 'zombie worm' development unveiled
How do bone-eating worms reproduce? A new study by Norio Miyamoto and colleagues from the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology sheds light on this question through a detailed observation of the postembryonic development and sexual maturation of Osedax worms, also known as

Tickling the brain with magnetic stimulation improves memory in schizophrenia
Cognitive impairments are disabling for individuals with schizophrenia, and no satisfactory treatments currently exist.

Hereditary neurodegeneration linked to ADP-ribose modification
Researchers have identified a much sought after enzyme that removes ADP-ribose modifications from proteins by studying a genetic mutation that causes neurodegenerative disease in humans.

Sleator lab identifies single point mutation in Listeria monocytogenes
The bacterial foodborne pathogen, Listeria monocytogenes is the causative agent of listeriosis -- a debilitating disease linked with ~2,500 illnesses and more than 500 deaths per annum in the US alone.

Recovery in motion
A new study has found a link between the activity levels of elderly people who have just been released from the hospital and the risk that they will require readmission within 30 days.

Study: Brain imaging after mild head injury/concussion can show lesions
Brain imaging soon after mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) or mild concussion can detect tiny lesions that may eventually provide a target for treating people with mTBI, according to a study released today and that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 65th Annual Meeting in San Diego, March 16 to 23, 2013.

IU researchers receive $3.2 million to develop, improve therapies for pancreatic cancer
Indiana University researchers have been awarded a multi-year, $3.2 million NCI grant to develop and improve therapies for pancreatic cancer, the fourth leading cause of cancer death in the United States.

Asterix's Roman foes -- Researchers have a better idea of how cancer cells move and grow
Researchers at the University of Montreal's Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer have discovered a new mechanism that allows some cells in our body to move together, in some ways like the tortoise formation used by Roman soldiers depicted in the Asterix series.

Using fat to fight brain cancer
In laboratory studies, Johns Hopkins researchers say they have found that stem cells from a patient's own fat may have the potential to deliver new treatments directly into the brain after the surgical removal of a glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive form of brain tumor.

Duration of breastfeeding during infancy does not reduce a child's risk of being overweight, obese
In research that included nearly 14,000 healthy infants in Belarus, an intervention that succeeded in improving the duration and exclusivity of breastfeeding during infancy did not result in a lower risk of overweight or obesity among the children at age 11.5 years, according to a study appearing in the March 13 issue of JAMA.

Earth-sized planets in habitable zones are more common than previously thought
The number of potentially habitable planets is greater than previously thought, according to a new analysis by a Penn State researcher, and some of those planets are likely lurking around nearby stars.

Atotech and CWRU to shrink wiring for smaller semiconductors
Atotech Deutschland GmbH and Case Western Reserve University have signed a major research contract aimed at developing novel chemistries and processes that will enable the manufacturing of smaller semiconductor devices than heretofore possible in routine production.

Women's College Hospital clinician-scientist to receive prestigious YWCA award
Women's College Hospital clinician-scientist Dr. Ophira Ginsburg has been named a recipient of the 2013 YWCA Women of Distinction Awards for her innovative work to improve the lives of women and girls.

Found a genetic mutation causing mental retardation very similar to Angelman syndrome in Amish
Researchers from the research group in growth factors and cell differentiation at IDIBELL and the University of Barcelona have participated in an international study that has identified the genetic cause of developmental delay observed in Amish individuals in the USA.

On-site electric current measurement to improve Smart Grid design
New and improved technology for measuring power quality in smart grids could save 839k tonnes of carbon and bring £250 million annual GVA in economic benefit.

Heat-stressed cows spend more time standing
Animal scientists from the University of Arizona and Northwest Missouri State University have found that cows stand for longer bouts of time on hot days.

Pesticide application as potential source of noroviruses in fresh food supply chains
Contaminated water used to dilute pesticides could be responsible for viruses entering the food chain, warn scientists.

Nevada climate, environmental data network to inform research, community
Climate data from 13 geospatial monitoring stations across the Great Basin are being made available to researchers, educators and the public by a group of researchers from the Nevada System of Higher Education.

A European invader outcompetes Canadian plants even outside its usual temperature range
Vincetoxicum rossicum, commonly known as dog-strangling vine, is an alien invasive plant from the Ukraine and southwestern Russia that has now established itself in the northeastern United States and southern Ontario, Canada.

Autistic children may be at greater risk of suicide ideation and attempts
Children with an autism spectrum disorder may be at greater risk for contemplating suicide or attempting suicide than children without autism, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers.

Stanford researchers map out an alternative energy future for New York
A study, co-authored by Stanford researcher Mark Z. Jacobson, outlines a path to statewide renewable energy conversion, and away from natural gas and imported fuel.

Sri Lankan snake study reveals new species, rich biodiversity in island country
Alex Pyron's expertise is in family trees. Who is related to whom, who begat whom, how did they get where they are now.

Infants prefer individuals who punish those not like themselves, Yale researchers find
Infants as young as nine months old prefer individuals who punish those who are not like them, and this seemingly innate mean streak grows stronger in the next five months of life, a study by researchers at Yale University has found.

Single concussion may cause lasting brain damage
A single concussion may cause lasting structural damage to the brain, according to a new study.

Babies prefer individuals who harm those that aren't like them
Infants as young as nine months old prefer individuals who are nice to people like them and mean to people who aren't like them, according to a new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Implementing e-health in Malawi
In this week's PLOS Medicine, Miguel SanJoaquin from the University of Malawi College of Medicine and colleagues describe their experience of implementing an electronic patient record system in a large referral hospital in southern Malawi.

Updated 'stereo EEG' workflow simplifies planning of epilepsy surgery
For patients with

BUSM study reveals therapeutic targets to alter inflammation, type 2 diabetes
New research from Boston University School of Medicine reveals that B cells regulate obesity-associated inflammation and type 2 diabetes through two specific mechanisms.

Prenatal exposure to pesticide DDT linked to adult high blood pressure
Infant girls exposed to high levels of the pesticide DDT while still inside the womb are three times more likely to develop hypertension when they become adults, according to a new study led by the University of California, Davis.

Weight gain after quitting smoking does not negate health benefits
A study led by Massachusetts General Hospital researchers finds that the health effects of weight gained after quitting smoking do not counteract the known cardiovascular benefits of smoking cessation.

Anemia drugs does not improve health of anemic heart failure patients
Researchers from Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Sweden, have found that a commonly used drug to treat anemia in heart failure patients does not improve patients' health, nor does it reduce their risk of death from heart failure.

Cryptic clams: U-M biologists find species hiding in plain view
Cryptic comments seem to have an ambiguous, obscure or hidden meaning.

The nose's unheralded neighbor
The maxillary sinuses, those pouches on either side of the human nose, have a purpose after all: They act as cushions to allow noses to assume different shapes.

Nearly a third of antibiotic prescriptions for dialysis patients inappropriate
Patients who receive hemodialysis are at a significant risk of developing infections, a leading cause of hospitalization and death in this patient population.

Whole genome sequencing of wild rice reveals the mechanisms underlying oryza genome evolution
In a collaborative study published online today in Nature Communications, researchers from Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, BGI-Shenzhen, and University of Arizona have completed the genome sequencing of wild rice Oryza brachyantha.

What impact does a day of roller derby have on our skin microbiome?
The human skin is home to countless microorganisms that we can't see, but these microbes help define who we are.

Meta-analysis finds small excess risk of paralysis disorder associated with H1N1 flu vaccination, but benefits of vaccination outweigh risks
A meta-analysis of safety data gathered during the 2009 H1N1 vaccination program in the US has established that the vaccination was associated with a small excess risk -- about 1.6 extra cases per one million people vaccinated -- of acquiring Guillain-Barré syndrome, a disorder of the nervous system which can result in temporary or more long-lasting paralysis and infrequently death.

New automated process simplifies alignment and splicing of multicore optical fibers
New multicore optical fibers have many times the signal-carrying capacity of traditional single-core fibers, but their use in telecommunications has been restricted because of the challenge in splicing them together.

Breaking the final barrier: Room-temperature electrically powered nanolasers
An Arizona State University engineering research team has made an advance in nano-scale laser technology that should enable the improvement of many electronic devices, producing a nanolaser that operates at room temperature without need of a refrigeration system, is powered by a simple battery instead of by another laser, and is able to emit light continuously.

Large study finds that physician gender does not affect patient-care costs or mortality
Female doctors' patients do not use health-care services more or die less frequently than patients treated by male doctors, a prospective, observational study by researchers at UC Davis Health System has found.

Scientists identify why some fathers are left holding the baby
A century old mystery as to why, for some animals, it's the father rather than the mother that takes care of their young has been cracked by scientists at the University of Sheffield and University of Bath.

Astronomers observe planets around another star like never before
Thanks to a new high-tech gadget, astronomers have observed four planets orbiting a star relatively close to the sun in unprecedented detail, revealing the roughly ten-Jupiter-mass planets to be among the most exotic ones known.

New survey reports low rate of patient awareness during anesthesia
The Royal College of Anaesthetists and the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland today publish initial findings from a major study which looked at how many patients experienced accidental awareness during general anesthesia.

Catalysts that produce 'green' fuel
At the International School for Advanced Studies of Trieste, researchers are studying a way to economically produce a molecule that imitates (and improves) the photosynthesis of plants.

BGI and TGAC join efforts to tackle global challenges in food security, energy and health
BGI and TGAC join efforts to tackle global challenges in food security, energy and health.

Havoc in biology's most-used human cell line
HeLa cells are the world's most commonly used human cell lines for research.

Prediction of seasonal flu strains improves chances of universal vaccine
Researchers have determined a way to predict and protect against new strains of the flu virus, in the hope of improving immunity against the disease.

4 dinosaur egg species identified in Lleida
A study headed by the Miquel Crusafont Catalan Palaeontology Institute has for the first time documented detailed records of dinosaur egg fossils in the Coll de Nargó archaeological site in Lleida, Spain.

PNAS announces 6 2012 Cozzarelli Prize recipients
The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) Editorial Board has selected six papers published by PNAS in 2012 to receive the Cozzarelli Prize, an award that recognizes outstanding contributions to the scientific disciplines represented by the National Academy of Sciences.

Neural 'synchrony' may be key to understanding how the human brain perceives
In a perspective article published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, biomedical engineering professor Garrett Stanley detailed research progress toward

Current HIV screening guidelines are too conservative
Two Northwestern University researchers report that the CDC's current HIV screening guidelines are too conservative and that more frequent testing would be cost-effective in the long run for both high- and low-risk groups.

Kid's consumption of sugared beverages linked to higher caloric intake of food
A new study from the Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill reports that sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are primarily responsible for higher caloric intakes of children that consume SSBs as compared to children that do not (on a given day).

Eurofins MWG Operon launches SmartSeq -- An innovative DNA sequencing solution for premixed samples
SmartSeq is the most convenient and innovative prepaid solution for analyzing premixed samples with Sanger sequencing.

Job burnout can severely compromise heart health
Dr. Sharon Toker of Tel Aviv University has found a link between job burnout and coronary heart disease (CHD), the buildup of plaque in the coronary arteries that leads to angina and heart attacks.

Study examines outcomes for treatment of sleep apnea with primary care vs. specialist care
Among patients who were identified as likely having moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea, treatment based in primary care was not clinically inferior to treatment at a specialist sleep center for improvement in daytime sleepiness scores, according to a study appearing in the March 13 issue of JAMA.

Study to examine mental-health effects of Mexican parents' deportation on their American children
How the deportation of undocumented Mexican migrants affects their American-born children, who are faced with either going with their parents to Mexico or remaining in the land of their birth without them, is an issue of paramount importance as the nation engages in discussion of comprehensive immigration reform -- and is the subject of groundbreaking new research by The University of Texas, Austin, UC Davis Health System and the National Institute of Psychiatry, Mexico.

Antarctic and Arctic insects use different genetic mechanisms to cope with lack of water
Although they live in similarly extreme ecosystems at opposite ends of the world, Antarctic insects appear to employ entirely different methods at the genetic level to cope with extremely dry conditions than their counterparts that live north of the Arctic Circle, according to National Science Foundation-funded researchers.

Shiner Beers launches nationwide support of TGen diabetes studies
Shiner Beers, the popular Texas craft brew, will launch a nationwide campaign to support The Waylon Jennings Fund for Diabetes Research at the Translational Genomics Research Institute.

Political strife undermines HIV treatment
Among other tragedies in countries with HIV epidemics, political violence can have the additional long-term consequence of an increase in viral resistance to treatment and HIV treatment failure, say the authors of a new paper in AIDS Reviews.

SAGE launches fourth edition of 'Discovering Statistics Using IBM SPSS Statistics'
SAGE today announced the publication of the fourth edition of its best-selling textbook 'Discovering Statistics Using IBM SPSS Statistics,' by Professor Andy Field, University of Sussex.

Repairing the nose after skin cancer in just one step
A new reconstruction technique allows surgeons to recreate a functioning nostril after removing skin cancer from the nose.

Stereotyping prime obstacle to women in commercial science
Female professors are underrepresented on corporates science advisory boards, and the gender gap decreases when academic administrators work to raise the profile of their high-performing female scientists, according to a recent study co-authored by a University of Maryland management professor.

Americans and religion increasingly parting ways
Religious affiliation in the United States is at its lowest point since it began to be tracked in the 1930s, according to analysis of newly released survey data by researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, and Duke University.

Ethical oversight needed for social network health research
Participant-led research, such as studies conducted via social networks, are increasingly common and have several advantages over more standard research but there are some concerns about their ethical oversight, according to experts writing in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Marine diversity study proves value of citizen science
Citizen science surveys compare well with traditional scientific methods when it comes to monitoring species biodiversity - according to new research from the University of East Anglia.

Fertilizers could help tackle nutritional deficiency in African country, researchers say
Enriching crops by adding a naturally-occurring soil mineral to fertilizers could potentially help to reduce disease and premature death in the African country of Malawi, researchers have said.

Potential early indicator of kidney injury identified
Acute kidney injury, a common and serious complication of hospitalization, is on the increase worldwide, affecting an estimated 6 percent of all hospitalized patients and 30-40 percent of adults and children having cardiopulmonary bypass surgery.

Low T3 syndrome predicts unfavorable outcomes in surgical patients with brain tumor
In a study of 90 patients undergoing surgery for brain tumor, researchers in Lithuania and the United States have discovered that the finding of low T3 (triiodothyronine) syndrome is predictive of unfavorable clinical outcomes and depressive symptoms.

Watery research theme to flow through new Tokmakoff lab
Chemistry Professor Tokmakoff arrived at the University of Chicago in January to tackle new problems in biology with the aid of ultrafast vibrational spectroscopy methods that he has developed.

University of Miami student awarded grant by the Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund
University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science graduate student Erica Towle was awarded a grant to study Acropora cervicornis, or staghorn corals, by the Mohamed bin Zayed Conservation Fund.

Preventing HIV infection with anti-HIV drugs in people at risk is cost-effective
An HIV prevention strategy in which people at risk of becoming exposed to HIV take antiretroviral drugs to reduce their chance of becoming infected (often referred to as pre-exposure prophylaxis or PrEP), may be a cost-effective method of preventing HIV in some settings, according to a study by international researchers published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

UF study shows spiders, not birds, may drive evolution of some butterflies
Butterflies are among the most vibrant insects, with colorations sometimes designed to deflect predators.

Steganography is no laughing matter
It is possible to hide secret messages in simple jokes, according to US research published in the latest issue of the International Journal of Security and Networks.

Computer model may help athletes and soldiers avoid brain damage and concussions
Concussions can occur in sports and in combat, but health experts do not know precisely which jolts, collisions and awkward head movements during these activities pose the greatest risks to the brain.

Young pigs prefer traditional soybean diet
Animal scientists have found that young pigs avoid the bitter taste of canola feed.

When hungry, Gulf of Mexico algae go toxic
When Gulf of Mexico algae don't get enough nutrients, they focus their remaining energy on becoming more and more poisonous to ensure their survival, according to a new study by scientists from North Carolina State University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Major bleeding following PCI associated with increased risk of death
In a study that included 3.3 million percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI; procedures such as balloon angioplasty or stent placement used to open narrowed coronary arteries) procedures, major bleeding after PCI was associated with significantly increased in-hospital mortality, with an estimated 12 percent of deaths after PCI related to bleeding complications, according to a study appearing in the Mar.

Antibiotic-resistant strain of E. coli increasing among older adults and residents of nursing homes
Antibiotic-resistant Escherichia coli (E. coli) continues to proliferate, driven largely by expansion of a strain of E. coli know as sequence type ST131.

Cancer researchers discover new type of retinoblastoma in babies
A team of Canadian and international cancer researchers led by Dr.

Medicare spending for advanced cancer not linked to survival differences
Substantial regional variation in Medicare spending for patients with advanced cancer is not linked to differences in survival, according to a study published March 12 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Penn conference tackles complex relationship between urbanization and food
'Feeding Cities: Food Security in a Rapidly Urbanizing World,' the first international conference examining the critical link between urbanization and food security, will be held at the University of Pennsylvania from Wednesday, March 13, through Friday, March 15, 2013.

Researchers find link between low cognitive score and risk of brain injury
Young men with low cognitive function and low socioeconomic status are significantly more likely to suffer from mild traumatic brain injury than those without, a study published today on suggests.

Launch of Chinese-German Center for Bio-Inspired Materials at Mainz University Medical Center
A German research team led by Professor Dr. Werner E.

Some bacteria may protect against disease caused by stomach infection
Half of the world's human population is infected with the stomach bacteria called Helicobacter pylori, yet it causes disease in only about 10 percent of those infected.

Wiley-VCH's Eva Wille awarded Carl Duisberg Medal
Eva Wille, Vice President and Executive Director for Global Chemistry, Wiley-VCH, has been awarded the 2013 Carl Duisberg Medal by Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker, the German Chemical Society, the leading continental European chemical society.

Ruptured aneurysm has lasting impact on quality of life
10 years after stroke caused by a ruptured aneurysm of the brain, surviving patients have persistent difficulties in several areas affecting quality of life, reports a study in the Mar. issue of Neurosurgery, official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

Ultra-high-speed optical communications link sets new power efficiency record
Ultrafast supercomputers that operate at speeds 100 times faster than current systems are now one step closer to reality.

Springer to publish open access journal with the Korea Basic Science Institute
Springer and the Korea Basic Science Institute (KBSI) are partnering to publish the Journal of Analytical Science and Technology.

David Jerison and John M. Lee receive Bergman Prize
David Jerison of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and John M.

'I don't want to pick!' Preschoolers know when they aren't sure
Children as young as three years old know when they are not sure about a decision, and can use that uncertainty to guide decision making, according to new research from the Center for Mind and Brain at UC Davis.

Fertility after ectopic pregnancy: Study finds reassuring evidence on different treatments
The first randomized trial to compare treatments for ectopic pregnancies has found no significant differences in subsequent fertility between medical treatment and conservative surgery on one hand, and conservative or radical surgery on the other.

Friend or foe: Babies choose sides early
Babies have a dark side under their cute exteriors, according new research that finds infants as young as nine months embrace those who pick on individuals who are different from them.

After years of growth, fewer transplants done through 'kidney chains'
An additional 1,000 patients could undergo kidney transplants in the United States annually if hospitals performed more transplants using paired kidney exchanges, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.

Biological wires carry electricity thanks to special amino acids
Slender bacterial nanowires require certain key amino acids in order to conduct electricity, according to a study to be published in mBio, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, on Tuesday, March 12.

AGU journal highlights - March 12, 2013
Featured in this release are research papers on the following topics:

Do blood thinners + stroke treatment = danger? Study indicates the risk is low
Millions of Americans take drugs to reduce their risk of heart attacks caused by blood clots.

Research rising to meet global challenges
New innovative engineering projects and an international partnership between the UK and US, announced today, will bring leading engineers and scientists together to address some of the major engineering challenges facing the world. 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