Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 10, 2013
New app powers better sanitation in developing world
A new mobile phone app developed by a University of Nottingham researcher is changing the lives of millions of people in Africa by giving them the power to instantly report problems with poor sanitation.

Major symposium on arsenic contamination in food and water supplies
After virtually eliminating arsenic as a useful tool for homicide, science now faces challenges in doing the same for natural sources of this fabled old

Doctors not informed of harmful effects of medicines during sales visits
The majority of family doctors receive little or no information about harmful effects of medicines when visited by drug company representatives, according to an international study involving Canadian, US and French physicians.

Chemist Bozhi Tian selected as 2013 Searle Scholar
Bozhi Tian, assistant professor in chemistry, has been named a 2013 Searle Scholar and will receive $300,000 to support his research over the next three years.

Multidisciplinary research on physics of 'living systems' earns prestigious prize
Professor Eshel Ben-Jacob of Tel Aviv University has been awarded the 2013 Weizmann Prize in Exact Sciences.

In an economic crash, public health improves
The economic crash in Cuba following the fall of the Soviet Union has provided researchers with a unique natural experiment on obesity, diabetes and heart disease, according to a study in the British Medical Journal.

UNC researchers engineer 'protein switch' to dissect role of cancer's key players
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine have

Ludwig presents advancements in immunotherapy and epigenetics at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting
A dozen Ludwig scientists from around the world presented the latest advancements in basic and clinical cancer research at this week's American Association of Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2013.

Chickens with bigger gizzards are more efficient
According to animal scientists, farmers could further protect the environment by breeding chickens with larger digestive organs.

Crime rate calculation method due for overhaul, Wayne State University researchers say
A technique for calculating criminal incidence rates significantly underestimates the number of crimes -- especially the violent kinds -- that occur in Canada, two Wayne State University researchers believe.

Aircraft sensors without batteries or cables
Sensors record essential data about the structural health of an aircraft.

Cardiovascular issues up mortality rates in patients with advanced fibrosis
New research reveals that advanced fibrosis is a significant predictor of mortality in patients with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), largely brought about by cardiovascular causes.

War on bugs: University of Cincinnati research could lead to better bed bug control
Genetic analysis of the tiny but tough bloodsuckers reveals a potential biological target for pest control methods.

'Sustainable fishing' certification too lenient and discretionary, study finds
The certification of seafood as

Co-Q10 deficiency may relate to concern with statin drugs, higher risk of diabetes
A laboratory study has shown for the first time that coenzyme Q10 offsets the cellular changes that are linked to a side-effect of some statin drugs -- an increased risk of adult-onset diabetes.

Alcohol use, anxiety predict Facebook use by college students, MU study finds
Russell Clayton, now a doctoral student at the University of Missouri School of Journalism, found that anxiety and alcohol use significantly predict emotional connectedness to Facebook.

First objective measure of pain discovered in brain scan patterns by CU-Boulder study
For the first time, scientists have been able to predict how much pain people are feeling by looking at images of their brains, according to a new study led by the University of Colorado Boulder.

T cell biology pioneer Allison wins first AACR honor for cancer immunology
The discoverer of drug to treat T cells, not tumors, receives inaugural AACR-CRI Lloyd J.

New therapy for fragile X chromosome syndrome discovered
Researchers at the University of the Basque Country and the Achucarro Neurosciences Center have discovered a new therapy for the fragile X chromosome syndrome.

Eating solid food early sets marmosets on path to obesity
Baby marmoset monkeys that began eating solid food earlier than their peers were significantly more likely to be obese at one year of age, scientists at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio and the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute found.

How Seattle Cancer Care Alliance implemented Washington's Death with Dignity Act
Because several states are considering similar Death with Dignity laws, and because such legislation disproportionately affects cancer patients and their families, SCCA conducted a study to describe the institution's implementation of the Washington state law and its experience with patients who chose to participate.

The adult generations of today are less healthy than their counterparts of previous generations
Despite their greater life expectancy, the adults of today are less

Reliability of neuroscience research questioned
New research has questioned the reliability of neuroscience studies, saying that conclusions could be misleading due to small sample sizes.

Predicting the next eye pathogen; analysis of a novel adenovirus
Researchers used a combined genomic, bioinformatics and biological analysis to identify a unique deletion in a key protein of the viral capsid and further suggested the potential of the virus to cause severe ocular infection.

Complaint-prone doctors can be identified before complaints occur
A small group of doctors accounts for half of all patient complaints against doctors, a University of Melbourne study has found.

Pottery reveals Ice Age hunter-gatherers' taste for fish
Hunter-gatherers living in glacial conditions produced pots for cooking fish, according to the findings of a pioneering new study led by the University of York which reports the earliest direct evidence for the use of ceramic vessels.

Ocean nutrients a key component of future change say scientists
Variations in nutrient availability in the world's oceans could be a vital component of future environmental change, according to a multi-author review paper involving the National Oceanography Centre, Southampton.

Subconscious mental categories help brain sort through everyday experiences
Princeton University researchers found that the brain breaks experiences into the

1 in 5 seniors on risky meds; more in US South
A study of more than six million seniors in Medicare Advantage plans in 2009 found that 21 percent received a prescription for at least one potentially harmful

U-M researchers find new way to clear cholesterol from the blood
Researchers at the University of Michigan have identified a new potential therapeutic target for lowering cholesterol that could be an alternative or complementary therapy to statins.

Despite what you may think, your brain is a mathematical genius
The irony of getting away to a remote place is you usually have to fight traffic to get there.

In sales, confidence and charisma may not seal the deal
Think of a stereotypical salesperson and you're likely to conjure up someone who's extraverted, gregarious, and assertive.

People buy more soda when offered packs of smaller sizes than if buying single large drink
People buy larger amounts of soda when purchasing packs of smaller drinks than when offered single servings of different sized drinks, according to research published Apr.

Clinging to crevices, E. coli thrive
The scourge of the health care industry, bacteria like E.

ACP unveils tools to improve care for patients with prediabetes, gout, obesity, and Alzheimer's
The American College of Physicians today unveiled a series of interventions to help patients and physicians manage prediabetes, gout, obesity and weight loss, and Alzheimer's disease.

Gabriel Hortobagyi honored for mentoring minority researchers
Gabriel Hortobagyi, M.D., professor in the Department of Breast Medical Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, will receive the Jane Cooke Wright Lectureship from the American Association for Cancer Research and its Minorities in Cancer Research membership group.

New research challenges assumptions about effects of global warming on mountain tree line
For years, many scientists believed that forest tree lines on mountains everywhere would shift to higher elevations as the planet's temperature increased due to global warming.

Naturally-occurring substance proves effective against deadly skin cancer in laboratory tests
For the first time, scientists have demonstrated the mechanism of action of gossypin, a naturally-occurring substance found in fruits and vegetables, as a treatment for melanoma, which causes the majority of deaths from skin cancer.

Training gives kids of AIDS patients a leg up
A simple in-home training program for caregivers can give children of AIDS patients a better shot at prosperity by improving their early-childhood development, according to a study led by a Michigan State University researcher.

Penn research shows that young children have grammar and chimpanzees don't
A new study from the University of Pennsylvania has shown that children as young as two understand basic grammar rules when they first learn to speak and are not simply imitating adults.

Research enables fishermen to harvest lucrative shellfish on Georges Bank
New scientific understanding of toxic algal blooms on Georges Bank, along with an at-sea and dockside testing protocol, has allowed fishermen to harvest ocean quahogs and surf clams in these offshore waters for the first time in more than two decades.

'Mobility shoes' take a load off for knee osteoarthritis sufferers
New research suggests that patients with knee osteoarthritis (OA) who wear flat, flexible footwear (mobility shoes) had significant reduction in knee loading -- the force placed upon the joint during daily activities.

The beat goes on: Modeling the human heart
Computational models of the human heart can be very useful in studying not just the basic mechanisms of heart function, but also to analyze the heart in a diseased state, and come up with methods for diagnosis and therapy.

Unusual anal fin offers new insight into evolution
An unusual fossil fish that has fins behind its anus could have implications for human evolution according to a scientist at The University of Manchester.

Mayo Clinic: Cardiopoietic 'smart' stem cells show promise in heart failure patients
Translating a Mayo Clinic stem-cell discovery, an international team has demonstrated that therapy with cardiopoietic (cardiogenically-instructed) or

Metagenomics used to identify organisms in outbreaks of serious infectious disease
Researchers have been able to reconstruct the genome sequence of an outbreak strain of Shiga-toxigenic Escherichia coli, which caused over 50 deaths in Germany, using an approach known as metagenomics which bypasses the need for growing bacteria in the lab.

Some types of papilloma virus might prevent cervical cancer
Certain types of papilloma virus might actually prevent cervical cancer, according to a new study by researchers from The University of Manchester.

Early warning signs of population collapse
Spatial measurements of population density could reveal when threatened natural populations are in danger of crashing.

Spring cleaning in your brain: New stem cell research shows how important it is
Deep inside your brain, a legion of stem cells lies ready to turn into new brain and nerve cells when you need them.

Nanoparticles boost therapeutic potential of siRNA drugs
New classes of drugs that can silence specific genes, such as small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), offer great therapeutic potential.

'Unknown' neurological disorder often incorrectly diagnosed
The very serious hereditary disease HDLS was discovered in 1984 in Sweden.

8 M € from EU to enhance access by scientists to the largest European 'biobanks'
A four-year project involving 30 partners from 17 European countries has received a 8M € funding to enhance access by academic and industry scientists to the largest European 'biobanks.' The project is led by the Institute of Molecular Medicine Finland and the University of Leiden, the Netherlands.

$1.5 million clinical trial will test book reading to treat language impairment
Specific language impairment affects 7 percent of kindergarten children but few treatments for characteristic word learning deficits exist.

AACR news: Studies show increasing evidence that androgen drives breast cancer
Estrogen and progesterone receptors, and the gene HER2 -- these are the big three markers and/or targets in breast cancer.

Methane emissions from natural gas local distribution focus of new study
Washington State University's (WSU) Laboratory for Atmospheric Research is leading a nationwide field study to better understand methane emissions associated with the distribution of natural gas.

Cryogenic Ltd and the National Physical Laboratory improve the world's resistance measurement
Cryogenic Ltd and the National Physical Laboratory have designed and developed the most accurate instrument for comparative measurements of electric current.

The surprising ability of blood stem cells to respond to emergencies
A research team today revealed an unexpected role for hematopoietic stem cells: They do not merely ensure the continuous renewal of our blood cells; in emergencies they are capable of producing white blood cells

New cutting-edge cell research will lead to safer medical experiments on humans
In almost 90 percent of cases, novel drugs tested on humans by pharmaceutical companies do not work as intended and must be scrapped.

Genes reveal which patients will benefit from scleroderma drug
The drug used to treat scleroderma is potentially toxic and doesn't work for everyone.

Scientists use nature against nature to develop an antibiotic with reduced resistance
A new broad range antibiotic has been found to kill a wide range of bacteria, including drug-resistant Staphylococcus (MRSA) bacteria that do not respond to traditional drugs, in mice.

A ghostly green bubble
This intriguing new picture from ESO's Very Large Telescope shows the glowing green planetary nebula IC 1295 surrounding a dim and dying star located about 3300 light-years away in the constellation of Scutum (The Shield).

Registration opens for Asia-Pacific's largest medical conference on osteoporosis
The International Osteoporosis Foundation, the Hong Kong Osteoporosis Foundation and the Osteoporosis Society of Hong Kong look forward to welcoming clinicians from around the world to Hong Kong for the IOF Regional 4th Asia-Pacific Osteoporosis Meeting.

World's oldest dinosaur embryo bonebed yields organic remains
A 190-million-year-old dinosaur bonebed near the city of Lufeng, in Yunnan, China has revealed for the first time how dinosaur embryos grew and developed in their eggs.

Effect of medication is affected by copies of genetic information
The number of copies of the complete genetic information found in human cells can have a decisive effect on the properties of these cells.

Need your appendix out? How about scarless surgery through the navel
A new study suggests that surgery for appendicitis that uses a pinhole incision through the navel may be a feasible alternative to traditional appendectomies.

Rates of childhood squint surgery have plummeted over past 50 years
Rates of surgery to correct childhood squint in England have tumbled over the past 50 years, finds research published online in the British Journal of Ophthalmology.

Adaptable leaders may have best brains for the job, study finds
Effective leaders' brains may be physically

DNDi Latin America pledges 2013 Carlos Slim Health Award to chagas disease
The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative Latin America today announced that it will pledge the US $100,000 Carlos Slim Health Award to Chagas disease, the leading parasitic killer of the Americas.

Society of Interventional Radiology: 38th Annual Scientific Meeting
From miniature ice balls that can zap pain and lung tumors to an image-guided, minimally invasive method to shrink the prostate, physicians will present the latest research on cutting-edge treatments at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 38th Annual Scientific Meeting April 13-18 at the Ernest N.

American College of Physicians releases ACP Clinical Guidelines app
Doctors can now access ACP's evidence-based recommendations at their fingertips.

Fat-free see-through brain bares all
Slicing optional: Scientists can now study the brain's finer workings, while preserving its 3-D structure and integrity of its circuitry.

Protected wildlife areas are 'welcome mats' for UK's bird newcomers
A new study by scientists at the University of York and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds shows that bird species which have colonized the UK in recent decades breed initially almost exclusively in nature reserves and other areas specially protected for wildlife.

Fit people have a better attention span than those with bad physical health
An article published in the journal PLOS ONE confirms that good physical health is related to a better functioning of both the central nervous system and the autonomic nervous system.

Botanists in the rainforest
Chimpanzees use botanical skills to discover fruit.

Marketing research offers prescription for better nutrition
It may seem counterintuitive to take health advice from a marketing professor, but when it comes to analyzing consumer data and its relationship to managing health issues such as diabetes, one University of Alberta researcher may have the right prescription.

Extreme algae blooms: The new normal?
A 2011 record-breaking algae bloom in Lake Erie was triggered by long-term agricultural practices coupled with extreme precipitation, followed by weak lake circulation and warm temperatures, scientists have discovered.

Getting CLARITY: Hydrogel process developed at Stanford creates transparent brain
Combining neuroscience and chemical engineering, researchers at Stanford University have developed a process that renders a mouse brain transparent.

LSUHSC research reveals Rx target for HPV, Hep C and related cancers
New discoveries by a team of scientists at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans for the first time reveal the inner workings of a master regulator that controls functions as diverse as the ability of nerve cells to

GUMBOS technology promises new drugs, electronic devices
Mention a breakthrough involving

Understanding the life of lithium ion batteries in electric vehicles
Scientists today answered a question that worries millions of owners and potential owners of electric and hybrid vehicles using lithium-ion batteries: How long before the battery pack dies, leaving a sticker-shock bill for a fresh pack or a car ready for the junk heap?

Florida Tech professors present 'dark side of dark lightning' at conference
Florida Institute of Technology faculty presented their terrestrial gamma ray flashes research modeling work at a press conference meeting of the European Geosciences Union in Vienna, Austria, April 10.

Forum tackles the rising costs, challenges and diminished outcomes associated with treating obese patients for orthopaedic conditions
The obesity epidemic in America and its impact on musculoskeletal health, as well as related treatment outcomes and costs, was discussed during the AAOS Now forum,

Australia and Singapore join forces to tackle emerging infectious diseases
The fight against a number of significant infectious diseases in the Asia-Pacific region has been given a boost through a new research collaboration between the National Health and Medical Research Council in Australia and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research in Singapore.

Wiley selects TEMIS for semantic big data initiative
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., a leading publisher serving the global Scientific, Technical, Medical and Scholarly communities, today announced it has signed a major license and services agreement with TEMIS, the award-winning provider of Semantic Content Enrichment solutions.

Dr. DeLuca of Kessler Foundation speaks at Consortium of MS Centers meeting in Chicago
John DeLuca, Ph.D., VP of Research at Kessler Foundation, will speak at the Embassy Suites Chicago Downtown-Lakefront in Chicago, Ill., on April 26, 2013.

X-rays reveal coexisting structures in glass
Despite the long and rich history and widespread use of glass, surprisingly little is known about the interplay between the mechanical properties of glasses and their inner structures.

New method restores grip function more quickly to patients with tetraplegia
A new method in which a number of operations are performed simultaneously can provide people with tetraplegia with a better grip function and the ability to open their hand.

Researchers develop tool to assist areas of infectious disease outbreaks
Researchers have developed a simple new tool to help governments worldwide decide whether to screen airplane passengers leaving or arriving from areas of infectious disease outbreaks.

Biofilms help Salmonella survive hostile conditions, Virginia Tech researchers say
In addition to protecting Salmonella from heat-processing and sanitizers such as bleach, biofilms preserve the bacteria in extremely dry conditions, and again when the bacteria are subjected to normal digestive processes.

Safety reflector technology from footwear getting new life in detecting bioterror threats
Microscopic versions of the reflectors on sneakers and bicycle fenders that help ensure the safety of runners and bikers at night are moving toward another role in detecting bioterrorism threats and diagnosing everyday and emerging infectious diseases, scientists said today at the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society in New Orleans.

Mining information contained in clinical notes could yield early signs of harmful drug reactions
Mining the records of routine interactions between patients and their care providers can detect drug side effects a couple of years before an official alert from the US Food and Drug Administration, a Stanford University School of Medicine study has found.

Exciting breakthrough in search for neurodegenerative disease treatments
A significant breakthrough has been made by scientists at the University of Manchester towards developing an effective treatment for neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntington's, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

CPAP improves work productivity for sleep apnea patients
Continuous positive airway pressure is effective at increasing work productivity, according to a new study.

Feinstein Institute collaborates with GSK, UPenn, MIT to research body's electrical impulses
The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research today unveiled a collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts Institute of Technology being spearheaded by GlaxoSmithKline, which aims to discover medicines that use electrical impulses to regulate the body's organs and functions.

Revealing hidden artwork with airport security full-body-scanner technology
In the latest achievement in efforts to see what may lie underneath the surface of great works of art, scientists today described the first use of an imaging technology like that used in airport whole-body security scanners to detect the face of an ancient Roman man hidden below the surface of a wall painting in the Louvre in a report here today at the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.

Great white sharks
Captain Chris Fallows from Apex Expeditions collaborated with University of Miami scientists Dr.

Discover how GÉANT is helping nuclear fusion scientists tackle global energy crisis
A high-speed network is an essential link in the search for clean, sustainable energy.

ALBA Synchrotron used for first time as a microscope to determine protein structure
A study led by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona has determined the three-dimensional structure of certain proteins linked to the correct functioning of the cell division process: The LC8 and Nek9 pair.

Scientists use islands to gauge rainfall's effect on landscapes
Researchers at MIT use volcanic islands to measure how rainfall sets the pace of landscape formation.

Redesigned material could lead to lighter, faster electronics
Chemists at the Ohio State University have developed a method for making a material that conducts electrons 10 times faster than silicon.

Signature of circulating breast tumor cells that spread to the brain found
Some breast tumor circulating cells in the bloodstream are marked by a constellation of biomarkers that identify them as those destined to seed the brain with a deadly spread of cancer, said researchers led by those at Baylor College of Medicine in a report that appears online in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Johns Hopkins experts debate ethics of changing health-care system
Johns Hopkins bioethicists lead a call to reform the ethical foundation of the changing American health-care system, with new ethical obligations on providers, administrators and patients.

Scripps Research Institute scientists help unravel central mystery of Alzheimer's disease
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have shed light on one of the major toxic mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease.

Interdisciplinary team demonstrates superconducting qualities of topological insulators
An interdisciplinary research team at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, in collaboration with researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory's Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science Department, has measured superconductive surface states in TIs where the bulk charge carriers were successfully depleted.

Scientists decode genome of painted turtle, revealing clues to extraordinary adaptations
A UCLA scientist and other researchers who have just sequenced the first turtle genome uncovered clues about how people can benefit from the shelled creatures' remarkable longevity and ability to survive long stretches without oxygen.

Overcoming a major barrier to medical and other uses of 'microrockets' and 'micromotors'
An advance in micromotor technology akin to the invention of cars that fuel themselves from the pavement or air is opening the door to new medical and industrial uses for these tiny devices, scientists said here today.

Fox Chase researchers find some lung cancers linked to common virus
A common virus known to cause cervical and head and neck cancers may also trigger some cases of lung cancer, according to new research presented by Fox Chase Cancer Center at the AACR Annual Meeting 2013 on Wednesday, April 10.

IU study: 'Backbone' of mental illness stigma common in 16 countries studied
An international study found that despite widespread acceptance that mental illness is a disease that can be effectively treated, a common

Limiting greenhouse gas emissions from land use in Europe
New research presented by IIASA researcher Hannes Bottcher at the EGU General Assembly this week estimates future land use emissions for the European Union, showing that Europe could potentially reduce greenhouse gas emissions from land use by more than 60 percent by 2050.

Single best practice to prevent DVT reduces hospital costs by more than $1.5 million annually
Researchers at Medstar Health and Georgetown University School of Medicine, Washington DC, report success in using a concept called

Fighting disease from within the mosquito: New techniques to help halt the spread of disease
Scientists have revealed a new technique to introduce disease-blocking bacteria into mosquitoes, with promising results that may halt the spread of diseases such as dengue, yellow fever and potentially malaria.

IU study: Feelings of power can diffuse effects of negative stereotypes
New research from social psychologists at Indiana University Bloomington suggests that feeling powerful might protect against the debilitating effects of negative stereotypes.

Goosefish capture small puffins over deep water of Northwest Atlantic
A recent study has shown that bottom-dwelling goosefish, also known as monkfish, prey on dovekies, a small Arctic seabird and the smallest member of the puffin family.

Metabolic fingerprinting: Using proteomics to identify proteins in gymnosperm pollination drops
Proteomics is a powerful technique for examining the structure and function of the proteome.

Half of all patient complaints in Australia are about 3 percent of doctors
Half of all formal patient complaints made in Australia to health ombudsmen concern just 3 percent of the country's doctors, with 1 percent accounting for a quarter of all complaints, finds research published online in BMJ Quality & Safety. 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