Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 23, 2013
Quit smoking? Vitamin E may give extra boost to heart health
Taking a specific form of a vitamin E supplement can accelerate the health benefits that occur when people quit smoking, new research suggests.

New fatigue model leads to more durable ships
Heikki Remes, a researcher at the Aalto University in Finland, has developed a model making it possible to determine how fatigue sets in with various welded steel materials.

Study examines methods, procedures for improved diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy
For women with abdominal pain or vaginal bleeding during early pregnancy, patient history and clinical examination alone are insufficient to indicate or eliminate the possibility of ectopic pregnancy, while transvaginal sonography appears to be the single best diagnostic method for evaluating suspected ectopic pregnancy, according to an analysis of previous studies reported in the April 24 issue of JAMA.

New research examines connection between inflammatory stimulus and Parkinson's disease
Parkinson's disease is a progressive degenerative disease affecting a person's ability to coordinate and control their muscle movement.

Endangered African language explored
Children growing up in the Rufiji region along the coast of Tanzania are learning Swahili as their first language.

Insights into deadly coral bleaching could help preserve reefs
Coral reefs are stressed because of climate change. Researchers from Northwestern University and The Field Museum of Natural History have discovered corals themselves play a role in their susceptibility to deadly coral bleaching due to the light-scattering properties of their skeletons.

UCLA space scientists find way to monitor elusive collisions in space
UCLA space scientists reveal the important role played by collisions between small objects in interplanetary space in destroying rogue debris orbiting the sun.

Ticking along
It may be slighter later than expected but spring finally seems to be upon us.

Gene variant ID could lead to better fatty liver disease diagnosis
More patients could be diagnosed earlier with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease after a cohort study presented at the International Liver CongressTM 2013 identified variants within four genes significantly associated with the histological features of the disease.

Epigenetic changes shed light on biological mechanism of autism
Scientists from King's College London have identified patterns of epigenetic changes involved in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by studying genetically identical twins who differ in autism traits.

New research project aims to improve cancer therapies using type I interferons
The German Cancer Aid (Deutsche Krebshilfe e.V.) is donating EUR 180,000 to fund a research project at the University Medical Center of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz that is to identify mechanisms underlying the effects of the cancer drug interferon-α when it comes to fighting cancer cells by means of the blockade of so-called immunological tolerance processes.

Your body's microbiome has a unique 'fingerprint'
The microbiome is your body's set of microbial communities; microbial cells outnumber human cells roughly ten to one.

Pride, prejudice and strategic thinking: Jane Austen wrote the book on game theory
Game theory is one of the most popular technical approaches in social science today.

Team deploys hundreds of tiny untethered surgical tools in first animal biopsies
Using swarms of untethered grippers, each as small as a speck of dust, engineers and physicians have devised a new way to perform biopsies that could provide a more effective way to access narrow conduits in the body as well as find early signs of cancer or other diseases.

Anti-smoking ads with strong arguments, not flashy editing, trigger part of brain involving behavior change
Smokers who viewed ads with strong arguments had significantly less nicotine metabolites in their urine when tested a month after viewing ads.

Study reveals alcohol industry tactics to influence alcohol policy reform in Scotland
The alcohol industry misrepresented international evidence on effective alcohol control measures in an attempt to influence the Scottish Government's public health policy to its advantage, according to new research from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

A belt to prevent and rehabilitate lower back pain problems is launched
FIK, Tecnalia and BTS launch a belt to prevent lower back pain problems and provide rehabilitation at home and at work.

8th edition of LSUHSC faculty's textbook published
The 8th Edition of PULMONARY PHYSIOLOGY by Dr. Michael G.

EARTH: Denying sea-level rise
In 2009, the North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission, a body that controls and regulates coastal development in North Carolina, asked 13 members of its advisory Science Panel to prepare a report on the state of sea-level rise in North Carolina.

Geosphere features top geoscience technology, including LiDAR, EarthScope, CHIRP, ALSM, and IODP
Geosphere papers posted online 4 and 17 April 2013 use LiDAR, ALSM (Airborne Laser Swath Mapping), EarthScope, CHIRP (compressed high-intensity radar pulse), and IODP (International Ocean Drilling Program) data to further geoscientists' understanding of the nature of Earth.

Childhood meningitis associated with lower levels of educational achievement
In a study that included nearly 3,000 adults from Denmark, a diagnosis of meningococcal, pneumococcal, or Haemophilus influenzae meningitis in childhood was associated with lower educational achievement and economic self-sufficiency in adult life, according to a study in the April 24 issue of JAMA.

'Love handles' melt away at the push of a button
For a long time, scientists have dreamt of converting undesirable white fat cells into brown fat cells and thus simply have excess pounds melt away.

Earth Day: Big ecosystem changes viewed through the lens of tiny carnivorous plants
The water-filled pool within a pitcher plant, it turns out, is a tiny ecosystem whose inner workings are similar to those of a full-scale water body.

New material approach should increase solar cell efficiency
A University of Illinois research group brought together aspects of condensed matter physics, semiconductor device engineering, and photochemistry to develop a new form of high-performance solar photocatalyst based on the combination of the TiO2 (titanium dioxide) and other

Should kids sit less or move more? CHEO Research answers
Researchers discovered that participation in physical activity of at least moderate intensity is more critical to cardiometabolic health in childhood than overall sedentary time.

Humans feel empathy for robots
How do we really feel about non-sentient objects on a human level?

Baby sea turtles and flipper-driven robot reveal principles of moving on sand
Based on a study of both hatchling sea turtles and

Hand-held device cheaply, quickly diagnosis malaria
A Case Western Reserve University student-led startup aimed at saving lives through faster, better and cheaper malaria diagnosis won the 2013 LaunchTown Entrepreneurship Business Idea Competition at the University of Akron and took ninth-place -- out of 1,200 entries -- at the Rice Business Plan Competition, in the last two week.

Cause of LED efficiency droop finally revealed
UCSB and Ecole Polytechnique researchers have conclusively identified Auger recombination as the mechanism that causes light emitting diodes to be less efficient at high drive currents.

AWRI researcher honored for Lake Michigan outreach efforts
Janet Vail, associate research scientist at Grand Valley State University's Annis Water Resources Institute in Muskegon, will be given the prestigious 2013 Jack Vallentyne Award by the International Association for Great Lakes Research.

Food and Environmental Virology adds society affiliation
Springer's journal Food and Environmental Virology is now the official publication of the International Society for Food and Environmental Virology.

Study led by NUS scientists reveals escalating cost of forest conservation
Researchers illustrate how changes to farming could dramatically increase future costs of conservation.

Air pollution and hardening of arteries
Long term exposure to air pollution may be linked to heart attacks and strokes by speeding up atherosclerosis, or

Alcohol industry attempts to influence alcohol policy
The alcohol industry, including the major supermarkets ignored, misrepresented and undermined international evidence on effective alcohol control policies in an attempt to influence public health policy in Scotland to its advantage, according to UK experts writing in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Forging path for plant-based sustainable source of rubber and biofuels
An Arizona State University engineer will aid industry and government efforts to develop use of a sustainable natural resource for providing rubber for tires and producing biofuels.

71 new parasitoid wasp species discovered from Southeast Asia
A recent study of the parasitoid wasp genus Oxyscelio found a total of 90 species present in Southeast Asia.

AGU journal highlights -- 23 April 2013
Featured in this release are research papers on the following topics:

Researchers discover new explanation for diabetes and poor growth
A group of researchers from the University of Copenhagen has taken a significant step towards understanding the reasons for both diabetes and growth hormone deficiency.

New studies explore mango's potential health-affirming properties
New mango nutrition research was presented this week at the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology in Boston.

The Asian monsoon is getting predictable
For much of Asia, the pace of life is tuned to rhythms of monsoons.

Nanowires grown on graphene have surprising structure
When a team of University of Illinois engineers set out to grow nanowires of a compound semiconductor on top of a sheet of graphene, they did not expect to discover a new paradigm of epitaxy.

Microwave imaging can see how well treatment is progressing
Microwave imaging can be used to monitor how well treatment for breast cancer is working, finds new research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Breast Cancer Research.

Roe deer more likely to be run over at nightfall on a Sunday in April
Traffic accidents involving wildlife are on the rise in Europe.

News media registration open for ENDO 2013: The 95th annual meeting & EXPO in San Francisco, CA
Members of the media can now register to attend The Endocrine Society's 95th Annual Meeting & Expo being held in San Francisco, Calif., on June 15-18, 2013.

Dr. Anne Gershon receives 2013 Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal Award
Today, the Sabin Vaccine Institute presented its annual Albert B.

Israeli scientists discover why soft corals have unique pulsating motion
Scientists from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have discovered why Heteroxenia corals pulsate.

Binge drinking in college can lead to heart disease later in life
Frequent binge drinking in college can cause more than a hangover.

New designer drug, 'bath salts,' may confer additional risk for adolescents
Use and abuse of

New technology that improves your brain
Improving brain function is one of the topics explored in the latest issue of Technology and Innovation -- Proceedings of the National Academy of Inventors.

What drives activity on Pinterest?
Researchers at Georgia Tech and the University of Minnesota have released a new study that uses statistical data to help understand the motivations behind Pinterest activity, the roles gender plays among users and the factors that distinguish Pinterest from other popular social networking sites.

Moms more likely than other employees to leave male-dominated jobs with long hours
As demands for long work hours continue to increase, an Indiana University study found that mothers are more likely than other employees to leave jobs in male-dominated fields.

Calculating phosphorus and calcium concentrations in meat and bone meal for pig diets
Following the drought of 2012, the prices of corn and soybean meal for livestock diets have increased significantly.

AGU: Wildfires can burn hot without ruining soil, new study finds
When scientists torched an entire 22-acre watershed in Portugal in a recent experiment, their research yielded a counterintuitive result: Large, hot fires do not necessarily beget hot, scorched soil.

BMW Group and NTU set up first joint research lab in Southeast Asia
BMW Group and Nanyang Technological University today launched the joint Future Mobility Research Lab, the first for BMW Group in Southeast Asia.

Rescue me: New study finds animals do recover from neglect
Animal sanctuaries can play an important role in rehabilitating goats and other animals that have suffered from neglect, according to scientists at Queen Mary, University of London.

People care about source of money, attach less value to 'tainted' wealth
It's no accident that money obtained through dishonest or illegal means is called

Ancient DNA reveals Europe's dynamic genetic history
Ancient DNA recovered from a series of skeletons in central Germany up to 7,500 years old has been used to reconstruct the first detailed genetic history of modern Europe.

Sea turtles inspire beach-walking robot
A sea turtle-inspired robot has been created by a group of researchers in the US to help understand the mechanics of walking and crawling on complex surfaces.

National study: Teen misuse and abuse of prescription drugs up 33 percent since 2008
New, nationally projectable survey results released today by The Partnership at Drugfree.org and MetLife Foundation confirmed that one in four teens has misused or abused a prescription (Rx) drug at least once in their lifetime -- a 33 percent increase over the past five years.

Achilles tendon injuries more likely in male 'Weekend Warriors' than others
Male athletes are the group most likely to tear their Achilles tendon, according to a new study published in the April 2013 issue of Foot & Ankle International, A SAGE journal.

Drug reduces fat by blocking blood vessels
Researchers have long known that cancerous tumors grow collections of abnormal blood cells, the fuel that feeds this disease and keeps it growing.

The Melanoma Research Alliance Foundation supports CNIO research
A consortium led by the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre's researcher María S.

Vitamin E identified as potential weapon against obesity
A potential new way to fight obesity-related illness has been uncovered, thanks to serendipitous research led by investigators at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.

New research points to benefits of eggs, even for those at cardiovascular risk
This week at Experimental Biology 2013, scientists from around the world are gathering to share research on a variety of topics, including nutrition and health.

New data show that white potatoes increase intake of potassium
The consumption of white potatoes is linked to an increased intake of potassium, according to a new study by the Alliance for Potato Research and Education released today at Experimental Biology 2013.

1 million hours of psychiatrist time wasted yearly on phone approval for hospitalization
A study by Harvard researchers published today [Tuesday, April 23] in Annals of Emergency Medicine reports lengthy waits for severely ill psychiatric patients in need of immediate hospitalization in the Boston area, due in part to time-consuming prior authorizations required by insurance companies.

Wayne State University startup, Advaita, to participate in new Michigan I-Corps program
Advaita, a Plymouth, MI biotechnology startup company spun out from Wayne State University, is one of 25 companies selected to participate in the new Michigan I-Corps program starting May 2013.

Seena Magowitz Foundation donates $500,000 for TGen pancreatic cancer research
The Seena Magowitz Foundation has donated $500,000 from two charity golf tournaments dedicated to supporting pancreatic cancer research at the Translational Genomics Research Institute.

Obese men with benign biopsy at high risk for prostate cancer
Obese men were more likely to have precancerous lesions detected in their benign prostate biopsies compared with nonobese men and were at a greater risk for subsequently developing prostate cancer, according to data published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Is the media to blame for violent teenage crime?
A campus shooting. A gang assault. With each successive event, fingers are pointed at the usual suspects: violent films, bloody video games, explicit websites.

Strengthening legumes to tackle fertilizer pollution
An international team of scientists create the first model of legume iron transportation aimed at maximizing nitrogen fixation, even in poor soil.

Atrophy in key region of brain associated with multiple sclerosis
Magnetic resonance imaging measurements of atrophy in an important area of the brain are an accurate predictor of multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a new study.

New IU study: 'How' often is more important than 'why' when describing breakups
Maybe rocker Greg Kihn was being prophetic in his 1981 hit,

Obese men at high risk for prostate cancer even after benign biopsy
Obese men were more likely to have precancerous lesions detected in their benign prostate biopsies compared with non-obese men, and were at a greater risk for subsequently developing prostate cancer, according to researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

Repairing articular cartilage defects with an injectable gel engineered with gene modified BMSCs
Tissue engineering combined with gene therapy technology has the potential to manage the repair of defective articular cartilage.

Researchers identify new pathway, enhancing tamoxifen to tame aggressive breast cancer
Tamoxifen is a time-honored breast cancer drug used to treat millions of women with early-stage and less-aggressive disease, and now a University of Rochester Medical Center team has shown how to exploit tamoxifen's secondary activities so that it might work on more aggressive breast cancer.

New study shows children routinely injured or killed by guns
While gun control issues usually surface after major incidents like the fatal shooting of 20 elementary school students in Newtown, CT, a new study shows that children are routinely killed or injured by firearms.

Rare galaxy found furiously burning fuel for stars
Astronomers have found a galaxy turning gas into stars with almost 100 percent efficiency, a rare phase of galaxy evolution that is the most extreme yet observed.

Researchers observe an increased risk of cancer in people with history of non-melanoma skin cancer
Researchers found that people with a history of non-melanoma skin cancer had a modestly increased risk of getting cancer in the future, specifically breast and lung cancer in women and melanoma in both men and women.

AfriCoLeish receives funding boost from European Union
Research and development project, AfriCoLeish, is supported by the European Union Seventh Framework Programme through a grant of €3 million.

Deficiency in p53 anti-tumor protein delays DNA repair after radiation, Moffitt researchers say
Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center have found that a deficiency in an important anti-tumor protein, p53, can slow or delay DNA repair after radiation treatment.

Air pollution diminishing air quality at Devils Postpile National Monument
Air pollution from wildland fires and urban and agricultural areas in California is diminishing air quality at Devils Postpile National Monument, according to a recent study published in the journal Atmospheric Environment.

The future of power?
South Dakota School of Mines & Technology researchers have successfully split water molecules during multiple thermochemical cycles at low temperatures, sparking hope that sustainable hydrogen energy will one day be feasible.

Analysis of 2,000 years of climate records finds global cooling trend ended in the 19th century
The most comprehensive evaluation of temperature change on Earth's continents over the past 1,000 to 2,000 years indicates that a long-term cooling trend -- caused by factors including fluctuations in the amount and distribution of heat from the sun, and increases in volcanic activity -- ended late in the 19th century.

The crystal's corners: New nanowire structure has potential to increase semiconductor applications
University of Cincinnati research describes the discovery of a new structure that is a fundamental game changer in the physics of semiconductor nanowires.

Health-care worker visits increase hepatitis B screening rates for Hmong Americans
In the first study of its kind, lay health workers increased screening rates for hepatitis B virus and knowledge about the disease among a group of Asian Americans, known as the Hmong, UC Davis researchers have found.

Menu labels displaying amount of exercise needed to burn calories show benefits
More restaurants are displaying calorie information on their menus than ever before.

Saint Louis University, University of Toronto biologists help decode turtle genome
A group of 50 researchers from around the globe, including biology professors Daniel Warren, Ph.D., from Saint Louis University and Leslie Buck, Ph.D., from the University of Toronto, have spent the last several years sequencing and analyzing the genome of the western painted turtle and the results of their research point to some important conclusions that may be important for human health.

Study: Source of organic matter affects Bay water quality
A study led by researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science reveals that organic carbon in runoff from urbanized landscapes is more likely to persist as it is carried downstream, thus contributing to low-oxygen

Infants' sweat response predicts aggressive behavior as toddlers
Infants who sweat less in response to scary situations at age 1 show more physical and verbal aggression at age 3, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Decoding touch
With their whiskers rats can detect the texture of objects in the same way as humans do using their fingertips.

Neurosurgical injuries sustained during the April 2011 tornado outbreak in Alabama
Neurosurgeons from the University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical Center recount their experiences in treating patients with head and spine injuries during the epic April 2011 tornado disaster.

A beautiful species of tree iguana redescribed 179 years after its discovery
The tree iguana, Liolaemus nigromaculatus, was the second species of the genus Liolaemus to be described and the nominal species of the group nigromaculatus.

Study finds troubling patterns of teacher assignments within schools
Even within the same school, lower-achieving students often are taught by less-experienced teachers, as well as by teachers who received their degrees from less-competitive colleges, according to a new study by researchers from the Stanford Graduate School of Education and the World Bank.

Hubble brings faraway comet into view
The NASA Hubble Space Telescope has given astronomers the clearest view yet of Comet ISON, a newly-discovered sun grazer comet that may light up the sky later this year.

Penn State Hass avocado research poster wins American Society For Nutrition Annual Awards
The scientific poster session, Interventions for the Treatment and Prevention of Nutrition-Related Diseases, included the poster that won first prize in two American Society for Nutrition Scientific Sessions at Experimental Biology contests -- the Student Interest Group Travel Award competition and the Aging and Chronic Disease Research Interest Section Graduate Student Poster competition.

Instagram -- more than self-portraits and pictures of food
The photo-sharing application Instagram is used by millions of people around the world daily.

Scientists provide 'new spin' on emerging quantum technologies
An international team of scientists has shed new light on a fundamental area of physics which could have important implications for future electronic devices and the transfer of information at the quantum level.

Brain biology tied to social reorientation during entry to adolescence
A specific region of the brain is in play when children consider their identity and social status as they transition into adolescence -- that often-turbulent time of reaching puberty and entering middle school, says a University of Oregon psychologist.

Flexible partnership allows lichens to occur in different habitats
A group of researchers led by the German lichenologist Christian Printzen, Senckenberg Research Institute (Frankfurt), discovered the survival secrets of a lichen that occurs in polar regions of the northern and southern Hemisphere, but curiously also dwells in the warm climate of the Mediterranean.

Contact killing of Salmonella by human fecal bacteria
Researchers at the Institute of Food Research have recently found a novel mode of interaction between Salmonella, a food-borne pathogen, and the bacteria that live in our guts.

Fertilizer that fizzles in a homemade bomb could save lives around the world
A Sandia engineer who trained US soldiers to avoid improvised explosive devices has developed a fertilizer that helps plants grow but can't detonate a bomb.

New research findings open door to zinc-oxide-based UV lasers, LED devices
Researchers from North Carolina State University have solved a long-standing materials science problem, making it possible to create new semiconductor devices using zinc oxide -- including efficient ultraviolet lasers and LED devices for use in sensors and drinking water treatment, as well as new ferromagnetic devices.

Study examines outcomes of use of beta-blockers around time of surgery for higher-risk patients
Patients at elevated cardiac risk who were treated with beta-blockers on the day of or following noncardiac, nonvascular surgery had significantly lower rates of 30-day mortality and cardiac illness, according to a study in the April 24 issue of JAMA.

Jupiter's atmosphere still contains water supplied by the Shoemaker-Levy 9 impact
Astronomy & Astrophysics is publishing Herschel observations of water in Jupiter's stratosphere.

Shoulder injuries in baseball pitchers could be prevented with 3-D motion detection system
A new 3-D motion detection system could help identify baseball pitchers who are at risk for shoulder injuries, according to a new study.

Drug therapy offers high cure rate for 2 hepatitis C subtypes
A new drug is offering dramatic cure rates for hepatitis C patients with two subtypes of the infection -- genotype 2 and 3, say a team of scientists led by Weill Cornell Medical College researchers.

Battling with bugs to prevent antibiotic resistance
New scientific research published today in the journal PLoS Biology shows that bacteria can evolve resistance more quickly when stronger antibiotics are used.

ALS trial shows novel therapy is safe
An investigational treatment for an inherited form of Lou Gehrig's disease has passed an early phase clinical trial for safety, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

High-energy astrophysics puzzle
Blazars are the brightest of active galactic nuclei, and many emit very high-energy gamma rays.

Virtual, squishy creatures evolve to run using evolutionary algorithms
A research team led by Cornell University's Creative Machines Lab has created a computer algorithm that can be used to witness virtual creatures evolving their squishy, muscle-like features in order to teach themselves to walk.

Doctors-in-training spend very little time at patient bedside, study finds
Medical interns spend just 12 percent of their time examining and talking with patients, and more than 40 percent of their time behind a computer, according to a new Johns Hopkins study that closely followed first-year residents at Baltimore's two large academic medical centers.

Scientists seek an answer to an existential question for an East Texas hibiscus
Since 1997, a shrubby perennial found only in East Texas has been on a waiting list to be officially declared by the US Fish and Wildlife Service as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

Virus kills melanoma in animal model, spares normal cells
Researchers from Yale University School of Medicine have demonstrated that vesicular stomatitis virus is highly competent at finding, infecting, and killing human melanoma cells, both in vitro and in animal models, while having little propensity to infect non-cancerous cells.

What's old is new again
While automotive and medical device manufacturing may seem unrelated, the latter has benefited from the former.

Pain, epigenetics and endometriosis
Most of us probably know at least one woman, and maybe quite a few more, with endometriosis.

Use of anti-epileptic drug during pregnancy associated with increased risk of autism
Maternal use of valproate (a drug used for the treatment of epilepsy and other neuropsychological disorders) during pregnancy was associated with a significantly increased risk of autism in offspring, according to a study in the April 24 issue of JAMA.

Study finds that residential lawns efflux more carbon dioxide than corn fields
Urban heat islands raise the temperature of residential lawns, and hotter temperatures lead to more carbon dioxide efflux as compared to agricultural corn fields.

Use of psychedelic drugs remains prevalent in the United States
An article published in F1000Research, and approved for indexing in PubMed and other major bibliographical databases, estimates that there were approximately 32 million users of psychedelic drugs in the United States in 2010.

Whether human or hyena, there's safety in numbers
Humans, when alone, see threats as closer than they actually are.

Skin cancer linked to future risk of other cancers
White people who have types of skin cancer other than melanoma (non-melanoma skin cancer) may be at increased risk of having other forms of cancer in the future, according to a study by US researchers published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Epoxide hydrolase inhibition and Thiazolidinediones: A therapy for cardiometabolic syndrome
Scientists at the Medical College of Wisconsin and the University of California at Davis, led by Dr.
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