Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 22, 2013
Baby's life saved with groundbreaking 3-D printed device that restored his breathing
A specially-designed tracheal splint, made from a biopolymer using 3D printing, was created and used at the University of Michigan to save a baby from life-threatening tracheobronchomalacia.

NASA's SDO observes mid-level solar flare
The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare on the morning of May 22, 2013.

Study: Empathy plays a key role in moral judgments
Utilitarian judgment may arise not simply from enhanced cognitive control but also from diminished emotional processing and reduced empathy, according to a report by Liane Young, assistant professor of psychology at Boston College in Massachusetts and Ezequiel Gleichgerrcht of the Institute of Cognitive Neurology and Favaloro University in Argentina.

U-M study challenges notion that umpires call more strikes for pitchers of same race
A University of Michigan study challenges previous research that suggests umpire discrimination exists in Major League Baseball.

Overcoming resistance to anti-cancer drugs by targeting cell 'powerhouses'
Re-routing anti-cancer drugs to the

NASA's SDO observes another mid-level solar flare
An image, captured at 11:06 a.m. EDT on May 22, 2013, from the ESA/NASA Solar Heliospheric Observatory shows the conjunction of two coronal mass ejections streaming away from the sun.

Study finds new pneumococcal vaccine appears to be as safe as previously used vaccine
The new 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine appears to be as safe as the previous version used prior to 2010, the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published today in Vaccine.

Pay attention: How we focus and concentrate
Scientists at Newcastle University have shed new light on how the brain tunes in to relevant information.

Study links chemicals widely found in plastics and processed food to elevated blood pressure in children and teens
Plastic additives known as phthalates are odorless, colorless and just about everywhere: They turn up in flooring, plastic cups, beach balls, plastic wrap, intravenous tubing and -- according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention -- the bodies of most Americans.

Migraine and depression together may be linked with brain size
Older people with a history of migraines and depression may have smaller brain tissue volumes than people with only one or neither of the conditions, according to a new study in the May 22, 2013, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Costs to treat stroke in America may double by 2030
Stroke costs are predicted to more than double in the next 20 years.

Study shows people can be trained to be more compassionate
Until now, little was scientifically known about the human potential to cultivate compassion -- the emotional state of caring for people who are suffering in a way that motivates altruistic behavior.

Unique method creates correct mirror image of molecule
Many molecules have a right and a left form, just like shoes.

Acne treatment: Natural substance-based formula is more effective than artificial compounds
The principle ingredient in the new formula -- patented through the Office for the Transfer of Research Results -- is a circular-structured, 70 amino acid protein known as AS-48.

More emphasis needed on recycling and reuse of Li-ion batteries
The discovery of potential environmental and human health effects from disposal of millions of rechargeable lithium-ion batteries each year has led scientists to recommend stronger government policies to encourage recovery, recycling and reuse of lithium-ion battery materials.

The tropical upper atmosphere 'fingerprint' of global warming
The winds of the quasibiennial oscillation in the tropical upper atmosphere have greatly weakened at some altitudes over the last six decades, according to a new study by scientists at the International Pacific Research Center, University of Hawaii at Manoa, and the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology.

Fish oil may help the heart beat mental stress
Why is fish oil good for the heart? A new study suggests that this omega 3 fatty acid-rich nutrient could blunt some cardiovascular effects of mental stress.

Study finds COPD is over-diagnosed among uninsured patients
More than 40 percent of patients being treated for COPD at a federally funded clinic did not have the disease, researchers found after evaluating the patients with spirometry, the diagnostic

Parent and teacher support protects teens from sleep problems and depression
A new study suggests that disturbed sleep in adolescents is associated with more symptoms of depression and greater uncertainly about future success.

Small, speedy plant-eater extends knowledge of dinosaur ecosystems
Dinosaurs are often thought of as large, fierce animals, but new research highlights a previously overlooked diversity of small dinosaurs.

Johns Hopkins rewrites obsolete blood-ordering rules
Johns Hopkins researchers have developed new guidelines -- the first in more than 35 years -- to govern the amount of blood ordered for surgical patients.

AERA to launch open access research journal
The American Educational Research Association (AERA) announced today that it will launch

UAF researchers contribute to global glacier study
Alaska's melting glaciers remain one of the largest contributors to the world's rising sea levels, say two University of Alaska Fairbanks scientists.

Taming suspect gene reverses schizophrenia-like abnormalities in mice
Scientists have reversed behavioral and brain abnormalities in adult mice that resemble some features of schizophrenia, by restoring normal expression to a suspect gene that is over-expressed in humans with the illness.

Researchers reveal model of Sun's magnetic field
Researchers at the Universities of Leeds and Chicago have uncovered an important mechanism behind the generation of astrophysical magnetic fields such as that of the Sun.

Why the Super Bowl's location matters: Local ties still bind corporations: Study on philanthropy
If you're a small charity looking for some corporate largesse, pegging your ask to a big morale-boosting event planned for your community may help seal the deal, suggests a new study on corporate giving.

Progress after recent breakthrough which opened new chapter in anti-cancer cell therapies
John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center, one of the nation's top 50 cancer centers, will bring together leading cancer experts, for presentation and discussion of the latest developments and implications of cell therapy and interventional immunology in oncology, on Friday, June 7 from 7:00am to 1:30pm.

New discovery in fight against deadly meningococcal disease
Professor Michael Jennings, Deputy Director of the Institute for Glycomics at Griffith University, was part of an international team that discovered the previously unknown pathway of how the bacterium colonizes people.

Why We Can't Wait: Conference to Eliminate Health Disparities in Genomic Medicine
Despite steady improvement in the overall health of the US, underserved groups continue to suffer lapses in care.

Alleviating hunger in the US -- researcher says, it's a SNAP
University of Illinois researcher Craig Gundersen says that the cornerstone of our efforts to alleviate food insecurity should be to encourage more people to participate in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

Do songbirds hold key to stuttering?
A tiny Australian songbird may hold the answer to discovering the biological source of stuttering.

A pan-European study: Signs of motor disorders can appear years before disease manifestation
It is known that signs of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's and Huntington's disease can appear years before the disease becomes manifest; these signs take the form of subtle changes in the brain and behavior of individuals affected.

The Norway spruce genome sequenced
Swedish scientists have mapped the gene sequence of Norway spruce (the Christmas tree) -- a species with huge economic and ecological importance -- and that is the largest genome to have ever been mapped.

Children of married parents less likely to be obese
Children living in households where the parents are married are less likely to be obese, according to new research from Rice University and the University of Houston.

University of Wisconsin chemists find new compounds to curb staph infection
In an age when microbial pathogens are growing increasingly resistant to the conventional antibiotics used to tamp down infection, a team of Wisconsin scientists has synthesized a potent new class of compounds capable of curbing the bacteria that cause staph infections.

Footwear's (carbon) footprint
Study finds the bulk of shoes' carbon footprint comes from manufacturing processes.

Help wanted: Public needed to uncover clues in bug collections
UC Berkeley's Essig Museum of Entomology is opening up its collections to citizen scientists.

NASA's Landsat satellite looks for a cloud-free view
For decades, Landsat satellites have documented the desiccation of the Aral Sea in Central Asia.

Researchers complete largest genetic sequencing study of human disease
Researchers from Queen Mary, University of London have led the largest sequencing study of human disease to date, investigating the genetic basis of six autoimmune diseases.

Detecting mirror molecules
Harvard physicists have developed a novel technique that can detect molecular variants in chemical mixtures -- greatly simplifying a process that is one of the most important, though time-consuming, processes in analytical chemistry.

Magnetic fingerprints of superfluid helium-3
With their SQUIDs, low-temperature specialists of the Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt have made it possible for the magnetic moments of atoms of the rare isotope 3He to be measured with extreme sensitivity.

Chemical Safety Improvement Act of 2013: PETA International Science Consortium
Reform of chemical safety legislation will succeed only if it also modernizes toxicity testing.

Research offers promising new approach to treatment of lung cancer
Researchers have developed a new drug delivery system that allows inhalation of chemotherapeutic drugs to help treat lung cancer, and in laboratory and animal tests it appears to reduce the systemic damage done to other organs while significantly improving the treatment of lung tumors -- the tumors virtually disappeared.

Mechanism discovered which aids Legionella to camouflage itself in the organism
Research led by the Basque biosciences research center, CIC bioGUNE, in which teams from the National Institute of Health of the USA and the National Supercomputation Centre in Barcelona have also participated, has described for the first time a mechanism that aids Legionella pneumophila bacteria to camouflage itself in human cells.

'Boys will be boys' in US, but not in Asia
A new study shows there is a gender gap when it comes to behavior and self-control in American young children -- one that does not appear to exist in children in Asia.

New advances in cognitive behavioral therapy
Dozens of leading psychology researchers are about to descend upon Concordia University for the annual Canadian Association of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies conference.

OSA is associated with less visceral fat accumulation in women than men
A new study from researchers in Japan indicates that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is independently associated with visceral (abdominal) fat accumulation only in men, perhaps explaining gender differences in the impact of OSA on cardiovascular disease and mortality.

DFG establishes 11 new research training groups
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft is establishing 11 new Research Training Groups to further support early career researchers in Germany.

Addiction to unhealthy foods could help explain the global obesity epidemic
Research presented today shows that high-fructose corn syrup can cause behavioral reactions in rats similar to those produced by drugs of abuse such as cocaine.

Fragile mega-galaxy is missing link in history of cosmos
Two hungry young galaxies that collided 11 billion years ago are rapidly forming a massive galaxy about 10 times the size of the Milky Way, according to UC Irvine-led research published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

Tests lead to doubling of fuel cell life
Researchers working to improve durability in fuel cell powered buses have discovered links between electrode degradation processes and bus membrane durability.

PNNL-developed injection molding process recognized with emerging technologies award
An injection-molding method that has potential to aid the aerospace, biomedical and auto industries by increasing the use of titanium and other durable, lightweight and corrosion-resistant metals has earned a national innovation award.

Researchers eliminate schizophrenia symptoms in an animal model
Overexpression of a gene associated with schizophrenia causes classic symptoms of the disorder that are reversed when gene expression returns to normal, scientists report.

The Universe comes to Vancouver, Canada
Astronomers from across Canada and around the world converge on the University of British Columbia to share their latest discoveries at the Canadian Astronomical Society annual meeting: May 27, 2013.

Successful results in developing oral vaccine against diarrhea
The University of Gothenburg Vaccine Research Institute announces successful results in a placebo controlled phase I study of an oral, inactivated Escherichia coli diarrhea vaccine.

Ants and carnivorous plants conspire for mutualistic feeding
An insect-eating pitcher plant teams up with ants to prevent mosquito larvae from stealing its nutrients, according to research published May 22 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Mathias Scharmann and colleagues from the University of Cambridge and the University Brunei Darussalam.

Fish oil supplements may help fight against Type 2 diabetes
Widely-used fish oil supplements modestly increase amounts of a hormone that is associated with lower risk of diabetes and heart disease, according to a study accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

What the smallest infectious agents reveal about evolution
Radically different viruses share genes and are likely to share ancestry, according to research published in BioMed Central's open access journal Virology Journal this week.

Novel approach for influenza vaccination shows promise in early animal testing
A new approach for immunizing against influenza elicited a more potent immune response and broader protection than the currently licensed seasonal influenza vaccines when tested in mice and ferrets.

New cave-dwelling arachnids discovered in Brazil
Two new species of cave-dwelling short-tailed whipscorpions have been discovered in northeastern Brazil, and are described in research published May 22 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Adalberto Santos, from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil) and colleagues.

Scientists develop worm EEG to test the effects of drugs
Scientists from the University of Southampton have developed a device which records the brain activity of worms to help test the effects of drugs.

Governments hold long-overdue meeting on reducing early death from rheumatic heart disease
Today, at the World Health Assembly, top health officials from New Zealand, South Africa, Australia, Fiji and Rwanda met to discuss the vital need for countries to integrate rheumatic fever and rheumatic heart disease prevention and control into national action plans.

Researchers explain magnetic field misbehavior in solar flares
When a solar flare erupts from the sun, its magnetic fields sometime break a widely accepted rule of physics.

Study shows that insomnia may cause dysfunction in emotional brain circuitry
A new study provides neurobiological evidence for dysfunction in the neural circuitry underlying emotion regulation in people with insomnia, which may have implications for the risk relationship between insomnia and depression.

DNA damage: The dark side of respiration
Adventitious changes in cellular DNA can endanger the whole organism, as they may lead to life-threatening illnesses like cancer.

Brain can be trained in compassion, study shows
A new study by researchers at the Center for Investigating Healthy Minds at the Waisman Center of the University of Wisconsin-Madison shows that adults can be trained to be more compassionate.

Mild hypothyroidism raises mortality risk among heart failure patients
Patients with underlying heart failure are more likely to experience adverse outcomes from mild hypothyroidism, according to a recent study accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

New archaeological 'high definition' sourcing sharpens understanding of the past
A new method of sourcing the origins of artefacts in high definition is set to improve our understanding of the past.

New technique may open up an era of atomic-scale semiconductor devices
Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a new technique for creating high-quality semiconductor thin films at the atomic scale -- meaning the films are only one atom thick.

Penn study shows how immune system peacefully co-exists with 'good' bacteria
The human gut is loaded with helpful bacteria microbes, yet the immune system seemingly turns a blind eye.

Mosquito behavior may be immune response, not parasite manipulation
Malaria-carrying mosquitoes appear to be manipulated by the parasites they carry, but this manipulation may simply be part of the mosquitoes' immune response, according to Penn State entomologists.

Swine flu pandemic of 2009 more deadly for younger adults, UCI study finds
As the world prepares for what may be the next pandemic strain of influenza virus, in the H7N9 bird flu, a new UC Irvine study reveals that the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic was deadliest for people under the age of 65, while those 65 and over had greater immunity due to previous exposure to similar viruses.

Fast new, 1-step genetic engineering technology
A new, streamlined approach to genetic engineering drastically reduces the time and effort needed to insert new genes into bacteria, the workhorses of biotechnology, scientists are reporting.

How healthy are you for your age?
On May 22, JoVE will publish details of a technique to measure the health of human genetic material in relation to a patient's age.

CU-Boulder helps tap crowds to digitize museum records of bugs and plants
A new online project, brought to life with the help of a team from the University of Colorado Boulder, is using citizen scientists to help transcribe museum records.

UC Riverside announces science research grants related to immortality
Phenomena related to near-death experiences, immortality in virtual reality, and genes that prevent a species of freshwater hydra from aging are among the first research proposals funded by The Immortality Project at the University of California, Riverside.

NLST: CT detects twice as many lung cancers as X-ray at initial screening exam
Low-dose CT scans detected twice as many early-stage lung cancers as chest X-ray on initial screening exam, according to additional National Lung Screening Trial results.

Drought makes Borneo's trees flower at the same time
A drought period causes the trees in Borneo's tropical forests to flower at the same time.

GW launches center to address health disparities in the Latino immigrant community
Today the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services (SPHHS) announced the launch of the Avance Center for the Advancement of Immigrant/Refugee Health, a collaboration between SPHHS, the Maryland Multicultural Youth Centers, the Rivera Group, and other community partners.

Fetch, boy! Study shows homes with dogs have more types of bacteria
New research from North Carolina State University and the University of Colorado shows that households with dogs are home to more types of bacteria -- including bacteria that are rarely found in households that do not have dogs.

Pinpointing how nature's benefits link to human well-being
What people take from nature -- water, food, timber, inspiration, relaxation -- are so abundant, it seems self-evident.

Good marriage can buffer effects of dad's depression on young children
What effect does a father's depression have on his young son or daughter?

Enzyme-activating antibodies revealed as marker for most severe form of rheumatoid arthritis
In a series of lab experiments designed to unravel the workings of a key enzyme widely considered a possible trigger of rheumatoid arthritis, researchers at Johns Hopkins have found that in the most severe cases of the disease, the immune system makes a unique subset of antibodies that have a disease-promoting role.

2 miniature spider species discovered in giant panda sanctuaries of China
Two tiny, bizarre shaped spider species have been discovered in the Sichuan province and Chongqing city of China.

NIH researchers conduct first genomic survey of human skin fungal diversity
In the first study of human fungal skin diversity, National Institutes of Health researchers sequenced the DNA of fungi at skin sites of healthy adults to define the normal populations across the skin and to provide a framework for investigating fungal skin conditions.

Overeating learned in infancy, study suggests
Research shows that clinical obesity at 24 months of age strongly traces back to infant feeding patterns.

Innovation could bring flexible solar cells, transistors, displays
Researchers have created a new type of transparent electrode that might find uses in solar cells, flexible displays for computers and consumer electronics and future

Addiction as a disorder of decision-making
New research shows that craving drugs such as nicotine can be visualized in specific regions of the brain that are implicated in determining the value of actions, in planning actions and in motivation.

Slowing the aging process -- only with antibiotics
EPFL scientists reveal the mechanism responsible for aging hidden deep within mitochondria -- and dramatically slow it down in worms by administering antibiotics to the young.

Study details genes that control whether tumors adapt or die when faced with p53 activating drugs
When turned on, the gene p53 turns off cancer. However, when existing drugs boost p53, only a few tumors die -- the rest resist the challenge.

Mega genomes of spruce species decoded
Canadian and Swedish scientists today released genome sequences of two of the most economically important forest trees in the world.

Climate scientists and finance experts to study the value of climate information
The American Meteorological Society will assemble leading members of the climate science and finance communities June 3-4, 2013 in Washington, DC to explore climate information needs for financial decision-making.

Volcanoes cause climate gas concentrations to vary
Trace gases and aerosols are major factors influencing the climate.

Survey points out deficiencies in addictions training for medical residents
A 2012 survey of internal medicine residents at Massachusetts General Hospital -- one of the nation's leading teaching hospitals -- found that more than half rated the training they had received in addiction and other substance use disorders as fair or poor.

Calcium supplements linked to longer lifespans in women
Taking a calcium supplement of up to 1,000 mg per day can help women live longer, according to a recent study accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Hospitals profit when patients develop bloodstream infections
Johns Hopkins researchers report that hospitals may be reaping enormous income for patients whose hospital stays are complicated by preventable bloodstream infections contracted in their intensive care units.

Heart valve repair innovator receives Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute's Corday Prize in Heart Research
Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute is honoring the physician widely known as the leading pioneer in modern mitral heart valve repair, Alain Carpentier, M.D., Ph.D., with the second annual Eliot Corday, M.D., International Prize in Heart Research.

Thinking 'big' may not be best approach to saving large-river fish
Large-river specialist fishes -- from giant species like paddlefish and blue catfish, to tiny crystal darters and silver chub -- are in danger, but researchers say there is greater hope to save them if major tributaries identified in a University of Wisconsin-Madison study become a focus of conservation efforts.

Eyes on the prey
For most animal species, moving objects play a major role in the processing of sensory impressions in the brain, as they often signal the presence of a welcome prey or an imminent threat.

Making chaos visible
Exactly 50 years after the US-American meteorologist Edward Lorenz discovered chaos (remember the

Depression linked to telomere enzyme, aging, chronic disease
The first symptoms of major depression may be behavioral, but the common mental illness is based in biology -- and not limited to the brain.

Calorie information in fast food restaurants used by 40 percent of 9-18 year olds when making food choices
A new study published online today in the Journal of Public Health has found that of young people who visited fast food or chain restaurants in the US in 2010, girls and youth who were obese were more likely to use calorie information given in the restaurants to inform their food choices.

Scientists uncover molecular roots of cocaine addiction in the brain
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have unraveled the molecular foundations of cocaine's effects on the brain, and identified a compound that blocks cravings for the drug in cocaine-addicted mice.

Captive-bred wallabies may carry antibiotic resistant bacteria into wild populations
Endangered brush-tail rock wallabies raised in captive breeding programs carry antibiotic resistance genes in their gut bacteria and may be able to transmit these genes into wild populations, according to research published May 22 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Michelle Power and colleagues from Macquarie University in New South Wales, Australia.

SADC and aid donors influencing the civil society regionalization in southern Africa
Aid donors and the Southern African Development Community are restricting the autonomy of civil society organizations in southern Africa, affecting regionalization processes within the civil society.

Meeting the 'grand challenge' of a sustainable water supply
Scientists and engineers must join together in a major new effort to educate the public and decision makers on a crisis in providing Earth's people with clean water that looms ahead in the 21st century.

Calcium supplements linked to longer lifespans in women
Taking a calcium supplement of up to 1,000 mg per day can help women live longer, according to a study whose lead author was Lisa Langsetmo, a Ph.D. research associate at McGill University, and whose senior author was professor David Goltzman, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism in the Department of Medicine of the Faculty of Medicine and researcher in the Musculoskeletal Disorders axis at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre.

'Landscapes of Resilience' to study how people use nature as a source of recovery
US Forest Service scientists are part of 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