Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 11, 2013
Retailers should referee customer conflict
A new study by UBC's Sauder School of Business says retailers should consider admonishing queue jumpers and thoughtless store browsers to ease aggression between shoppers.

New research urges caution on use of peer support in chronic disease
Health organizations need to give careful consideration to schemes which encourage people with chronic diseases to seek support from peers, to avoid the potential negative effects, new research shows.

NTU designs social media and web system that can predict dengue hotspots
Researchers at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University have developed a social media-based system called Mo-Buzz that can predict where and when dengue might occur.

Less friction loss in combustion engines
Researchers have developed a method that can reduce engine friction and wear even during production of engine components.

NREL adds eyes, brains to occupancy detection
It's a gnawing frustration of modern office life. You're sitting quietly -- too quietly -- in an office or carrel, and suddenly the lights go off.

Landsat satellite looks back at El Paso, forward to a new mission
For more than 40 years, Landsat satellites have collected millions of images of this region and others worldwide.

Diabetes drug points the way to overcoming drug resistance in melanoma
Despite the success of melanoma-targeting drugs, tumors inevitably become drug resistant and return, more aggressive than before.

Society of Interventional Radiology publishes definitive literature review
The Society of Interventional Radiology announces the release of

New consumer health care application from Finland
A research scientist working at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed a user-friendly smart phone application that allows consumers to take an electrocardiogram in the comfort of their own homes.

Perfect pitch may not be absolute after all
People who think they have perfect pitch may not be as in tune as they think, according to a new study in which people failed to notice a gradual change in pitch while listening to music.

Low- and middle-income countries need to prioritize noncommunicable disease prevention
Nine years after the World Health Organization adopted a global strategy on diet, physical activity, and health to address risk factors for chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes (referred to internationally as noncommunicable diseases), only a few low- and middle-income countries have implemented robust national policies to help prevent such diseases, according to a study by international researchers published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Nanofiber sensor detects diabetes or lung cancer faster and easier
Il-Doo Kim, Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering Department at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, and his research team have recently developed a highly sensitive exhaled breath sensor by using hierarchical SnO2 fibers that are assembled from wrinkled thin SnO2 nanotubes.

Study builds dossier on JC polyomavirus
A new study shows that common mutant forms of the deadly JC polyomavirus are not responsible for the pathogen's main attack, which causes a brain-damaging disease in immunocompromised patients called progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy.

Flu vaccines aimed at younger populations could break annual transmission cycle
The value of vaccinating more children and young adults for influenza is being seriously underestimated.

Polymer structures serve as 'nanoreactors' for nanocrystals with uniform sizes, shapes
Using star-shaped block co-polymer structures as tiny reaction vessels, researchers have developed an improved technique for producing nanocrystals with consistent sizes, compositions and architectures -- including metallic, ferroelectric, magnetic, semiconductor and luminescent nanocrystals.

New therapy target for kids' fever-induced seizures
Fever-induced childhood seizures can be terrifying for parents and carry a long-term risk to brain development.

Research paints new picture of 'dinobird' feathers
The first complete chemical analysis of feathers from Archaeopteryx, a famous fossil linking dinosaurs and birds, reveals that the feathers were patterned--light in color, with a dark edge and tip--rather than all black, as previously thought.

Sleep apnea increases risk of sudden cardiac death
A moderate case of obstructive sleep apnea can significantly increase a person's risk for sudden cardiac death, an often fatal condition where the heart stops beating and must be immediately treated with CPR or an automated external defibrillator, according to the largest study of its kind published online today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Obesity increases the risk of preterm delivery
The risk of preterm delivery increases with maternal overweight and obesity, according to a new Swedish study published in Journal of the American Medical Association.

Oldest record of human-caused lead pollution detected
Humans began contributing to environmental lead pollution as early as 8,000 years ago, according to a University of Pittsburgh research report.

Scientists identify thousands of plant genes activated by ethylene gas
It's common wisdom that one rotten apple in a barrel spoils all the other apples, and that an apple ripens a green banana if they are put together in a paper bag.

Painting by numbers
Individuals of a particular species generally differ from one another.

The Human Frontier Science Program on track for 2014-2016
At an Intergovernmental Conference hosted by the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium on June 11th, representatives from the governments that support the Human Frontier Science Program came together to confirm a financial framework for the continuation of the Program from 2014-2016.

Frequent soccer ball 'heading' may lead to brain injury
Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University have shown that soccer players who frequently head the ball have brain abnormalities resembling those found in patients with concussion (mild traumatic brain injury).

Rice research investment delivers sixfold return
A US$12 million investment in rice research has returned more than $70 million in benefits to rice farmers and national economies in four Asian countries, according to a new report.

Hearing loss associated with hospitalization, poorer self-reported health
The authors found that compared with individuals with normal hearing, individuals with hearing loss were more likely to have a positive history for cardiovascular risk factors, have a history of hospitalization in the past year, and have more hospitalizations.

NIH awards UCI $10 million to study early-life origins of adolescent mental disorders
With $10 million in new federal funding, UC Irvine researchers will study how maternal signals and care before and after birth may increase an infant's vulnerability to adolescent cognitive and emotional problems, such as risky behaviors, addiction and depression.

Obesity can be predicted from infancy, CWRU researchers find
Infants as young as two months old already exhibit growth patterns that can predict the child's weight by age 5, according to researchers at Case Western Reserve University's Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing and Tennessee State University.

American Chemical Society podcast: The first caffeine-'addicted' bacteria
The latest episode in the American Chemical Society's award-winning Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions podcast series describes bacteria that are

PET medical image analysis improved in order to optimize radiotherapy treatments
Elena Prieto-Azkarate, a graduate in Telecommunications Engineering at the NUP/UPNA-Public University of Navarre and member of the Nuclear Medicine Service of the University College Hospital of Navarre, has implemented 12 algorithms to process medical images produced by means of PET (Positron Emission Tomography).

NASA's TRMM Satellite sees Andrea's heavy rains in Cuba, US East Coast
The TRMM data showed rainfall totals on the order of 400 to 500 mm (~16 to 20 inches) stretching from the eastern tip of the Yucatan to western Cuba and over the southeast Gulf of Mexico.

New archaeogenetic research refutes earlier findings
When did modern humans settle in Asia and what route did they take from mankind's African homeland?

UT Arlington civil engineering professor studying Texas high-speed rail plan
A UT Arlington civil engineering associate professor is studying the feasibility of placing a high-speed rail line within the public right of way from North Texas to Houston and San Antonio.

Intervention improves adherence to antibiotic prescribing guidelines for children
An intervention consisting of clinician education coupled with personalized audit and feedback about antibiotic prescribing improved adherence to prescribing guidelines for common pediatric bacterial acute respiratory tract infections, although the intervention did not affect antibiotic prescribing for viral infections, according to a study in the June 12 issue of JAMA.

'Heading' a soccer ball could lead to brain injury
Soccer players who

Experimental vaccine shows promise against TB meningitis
A team of Johns Hopkins researchers working with animals has developed a vaccine that prevents the virulent TB bacterium from invading the brain and causing the highly lethal condition TB meningitis, a disease that disproportionately occurs in TB-infected children and in adults with compromised immune system.

Screening fails to affect breast cancer mortality statistics
New research analysing breast cancer mortality data spanning almost 40 years concludes that breast cancer screening does not yet show an effect on mortality statistics.

Females fend off gut diseases
At least among mice, females have innate protection from certain digestive conditions, according to a new Michigan State University study.

Hearing loss clue uncovered
Researchers from the Department of Otolaryngology at the University of Melbourne and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Monash University have discovered how hearing loss in humans is caused by a certain genetic mutation.

1 in 6 women at fracture clinics report domestic violence
The research, called the PRAISE study, examined the yearly and lifetime prevalence of Intimate Partner Violence among 2,945 adult women presenting to 12 fracture clinics across Canada, the US, the Netherlands, Denmark, and India.

Scripps Research Institute scientists uncover new details of natural anticancer mechanism
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have identified key triggers of an important cancer-blocking mechanism in cells.

Mayo Clinic: Big toe isn't biggest culprit in gout flare-ups; other joints tied to higher risk
The painful rheumatic condition gout is often associated with the big toe, but it turns out that patients at highest risk of further flare-ups are those whose gout first involved other joints, such as a knee or elbow, Mayo Clinic has found.

Caregiving dads treated disrespectfully at work, new study finds
If policy-makers want to do something about falling birth rates, they may want to take a look at improving how people are treated at work when they step outside of traditional family roles at home.

Tillage and reduced-input rotations affect runoff from agricultural fields
A new study from researchers at the USDA Agricultural Research Service provides information about runoff under different management practices and can help farmers choose the practice that is best for them.

Children's cognitive abilities relatively unaffected by having working mothers
Children's literacy, maths ability and behavior are not on average harmed if their mothers go out to work during the first years of their lives, a leading researcher said today [11 June].

Childhood cancer survivors found to have significant undiagnosed disease as adults
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has found that childhood cancer survivors overwhelmingly experience a significant amount of undiagnosed, serious disease through their adult years, establishing the importance of proactive, life-long clinical health screenings for this growing high-risk population.

Columbia Nursing develops online tool to reduce stress in Hispanic caregivers of dementia patients
Although the prevalence of dementia in the Hispanic community is more than twice the national average, most research to help alleviate caregiver burden is focused only on the general population.

IU studies find workplace and financial stress lead to poor health choices
Two studies from the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington highlight the negative impact workplace and financial stress can have on health behaviors.

Posttraumatic stress disorder treatment: Genetic predictor of response to exposure therapy
There is growing evidence that a gene variant that reduces the plasticity of the nervous system also modulates responses to treatments for mood and anxiety disorders.

Zoe robot returns to Chile's Atacama Desert On NASA mission to search for subsurface life
The autonomous, solar-powered Zoë, which became the first robot to map microbial life during a 2005 field expedition in Chile's Atacama Desert, is heading back to the world's driest desert this month on a NASA astrobiology mission led by Carnegie Mellon University and the SETI Institute.

You're so vain: U-M study links social media and narcissism
Facebook is a mirror and Twitter is a megaphone, according to a new University of Michigan study exploring how social media reflect and amplify the culture's growing levels of narcissism.

How preferences of patients can be determined
In a pilot project IQWiG tested whether the

Telephone counseling plus physician advice key to motivating breast cancer survivors to exercise
Miriam Hospital researchers say telephone-based counseling, when combined with physician advice, can help breast cancer survivors become more physically active, improving quality of life and lessening the side effects of cancer treatment.

£3.5m project to research ancient music
Dr Rupert Till -- who is already renowned for projects such as a recreation of the acoustics of Stonehenge -- is one of a team of researchers throughout Europe who have devised the European Music Archaeology Project.

American Geophysical Union and Wiley partner to launch new open access journal
The American Geophysical Union and John Wiley & Sons, Inc., announced today their partnership to publish the new open access peer-reviewed journal, Earth's Future, which will begin accepting submissions on 17 June.

Walking or cycling to work linked to healthier weight in India
People in India who walk or cycle to work are less likely to be overweight or obese, according to a study led by Christopher Millett from Imperial College London and the Public Health Foundation of India and colleagues.

Discovery of the gene responsible for multiple intestinal atresia in newborns
Physicians and researchers from Sherbrooke, Montreal and Quebec City have conducted a study that has led to the discovery of a gene that causes multiple intestinal atresia, a rare and life-threatening hereditary disorder that affects newborns.

FASEB highlights the negative impacts of inconsistent regulation of the research enterprise
The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology has submitted comments in response to the National Science Board's Task Force on Administrative Burdens Request for Information on reducing investigators administrative workload for federally funded research.

Chlamydia protein has an odd structure, scientists find
Discovery of the structure of a protein secreted by the chlamydia bug may lead to novel therapies for the common sexually transmitted disease, which infects more than a million Americans annually.

Background mortality rates key to accurate reporting of vaccine safety risks
In a study using the Vaccine Safety Datalink (VSD), investigators analyzed four years of data and determined that background mortality rates (rates of death irrespective of cause) are crucial in interpreting the numbers of deaths following vaccination.

Hyundai Hope on Wheels awards grant to UCLA's Children's Discovery and Innovation Institute
Hyundai Hope on Wheels and Los Angeles-area Hyundai dealers have awarded a $75,000 Hyundai Scholar Grant to Dr.

Genetic studies lead to clinical trial of new treatment for type 1 diabetes
A clinical trial is underway for a potential new treatment for type 1 diabetes that could eventually mean patients are able to reduce insulin treatment from several times a day to only once or twice a week.

Video gamers really do see more
Hours spent at the video gaming console not only train a player's hands to work the buttons on the controller, they probably also train the brain to make better and faster use of visual input, according to Duke University researchers.

Do parasites upset food web theory?
Parasites comprise a large proportion of the diversity of species in every ecosystem, but are rarely included in analyses or models of food webs.

Hebrew University student wins award for research on safer drugs through skin applications
New, more efficient drug formulations designed to treat illnesses through skin applications -- thus avoiding serious side effects associated with oral drug-taking -- have been developed by a student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

How to stop a trunk and start a tail? The leg has the key
One of the most remarkable anatomical differences among vertebrate bodies is the relative size of their neck, trunk and tail.

Why is my baby hospitalized? Many moms in under-developed countries don't know the answer
The communication gap between moms and providers in low-income countries about why sick newborns are hospitalized puts babies at higher health risks.

New means to communicate population risk assessments among scientists and decision-makers
Population viability analyses are commonly used to assess extinction risks for species.

NASA satellite sees Tropical Storm Yagi just south of Japan
Tropical Storm Yagi is not expected to make landfall in Japan, but NASA satellite imagery showed that the storm was just south of the big island.

Scientists discover new layer of the human cornea
Scientists at The University of Nottingham have discovered a previously undetected layer in the cornea, the clear window at the front of the human eye.

X-rays reveal new picture of 'dinobird' plumage patterns
The first complete chemical analysis of feathers from Archaeopteryx, a famous fossil linking dinosaurs and birds, reveals that the feathers of this early bird were patterned -- light in color, with a dark edge and tip to the feather -- rather than all black, as previously thought.

Asian cinema reignites smoking in movies debate
A University of Adelaide expert says that while the war against smoking in Hollywood movies has been largely won, Asian cinema represents the next major battleground for anti-smoking and anti-cancer groups.

Researchers discover 2-step mechanism of inner ear tip link regrowth
A team of NIH-supported researchers is the first to show, in mice, an unexpected two-step process that happens during the growth and regeneration of inner ear tip links.

Cloud computing user privacy in serious need of reform, scholars say
University of Illinois law professor Jay P. Kesan says the current

NREL teams with Navy, private industry to make jet fuel from switchgrass
The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory is partnering with Cobalt Technologies, U.S.

Bacterium that causes gum disease packs a 1-2 punch to the jaw
The newly discovered bacterium that causes gum disease delivers a one-two punch by also triggering normally protective proteins in the mouth to actually destroy more bone, a University of Michigan study found.

Smartphones, drones, to save lives in Malawi
A mobile phone equipped to measure heart rate, body temperature and breathing, with a digital medical manual for health care staff.

Long-distance cross-country skiers at increased risk of heart rhythm disturbances
Cross-country skiers who take part in one of the world's most challenging ski races, the 90 km Vasaloppet in Sweden, are at increased risk of developing arrhythmia -- problems with the rate or rhythm of their heart beat -- according to a study of nearly 53,000 race participants published online in the European Heart Journal.

Maternal overweight and obesity during pregnancy associated with increased risk of preterm delivery
In a study that included more than 1.5 million deliveries in Sweden, maternal overweight and obesity during pregnancy were associated with increased risk for preterm delivery, with the highest risks observed for extremely preterm deliveries, according to a study in the June 12 issue of JAMA.

Study finds cancer guidelines do not fully meet IOM standards
Researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center looked at 169 cancer clinical practice guidelines and found that none of the guidelines fully met standards set in 2011 by the Institute of Medicine.

The Genetics Society of America announces Fall 2013 DeLill Nasser Travel Award recipients
The Genetics Society of America announces the selection of five graduate students and five postdoctoral researchers as recipients of 2013 DeLill Nasser Awards for Professional Development in Genetics.

Training and advising pediatricians in antibiotic usage improves compliance with Rx guidelines
As disease-causing microbes continue their worrisome trend of developing resistance to commonly used antibiotics, public health experts have called for more selective use of those medicines.

Fishing for carpets
Nine thousand kilos of discarded fishing nets have been collected for recycling into carpet tiles, drastically transforming littered beaches along the Danajon Bank, Philippines.

Wood not so green a biofuel
Using wood for energy is considered cleaner than fossil fuels, but a Dartmouth College-led study finds that logging may release large amounts of carbon stored in deep forest soils.

Patent awarded today to NJIT for novel use of water jets to create high tensile strength alloy parts
US Patent Number 8,459,078 entitled

Hebrew University professor top Kaye Award winner for solution of bee colony collapse disorder
Research leading towards a solution to the problem of colony collapse disorder-- a world-wide syndrome of bee disappearance inflicting losses of an estimated $35 billion annually in the US alone -- has earned a Hebrew University of Jerusalem professor first prize in this year's Kaye Awards for Innovation.

'Popcorn' particle pathways promise better lithium-ion batteries
Researchers at Sandia National Laboratories have confirmed the particle-by-particle mechanism by which lithium ions move in and out of electrodes made of lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4, or LFP), findings that could lead to better performance in lithium-ion batteries in electric vehicles, medical equipment and aircraft.

Mayo Clinic first in US to test stem cells in pediatric congenital heart disease patients
Mayo Clinic has announced the first US stem cell clinical trial for pediatric congenital heart disease.

Certain inflammatory biomarkers associated with increased risk of COPD exacerbations
Simultaneously elevated levels of the biomarkers C-reactive protein, fibrinogen and leukocyte count in individuals with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) were associated with increased risk of having exacerbations, even in those with milder COPD and in those without previous exacerbations, according to a study in the June 12 issue of JAMA.

Walking or cycling to work linked to health benefits in India
People in India who walk or cycle to work are less likely to be overweight or obese, have diabetes or high blood pressure, a study has found.

Younger mothers and older mothers are at higher risk of adverse delivery outcomes
Younger mothers are at a higher risk of preterm birth while older mothers are more likely to have a caesarean section, suggests a new study published today (12 June) in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Exercise for stroke patients' brains
The researchers found that while the typical brain responded to the visual stimulus with activity in cortical motor regions that are generally activated when we watch others perform actions, in the stroke-affected brain, activity was strongest in these regions of the damaged hemisphere, and strongest when stroke patients viewed actions they would have the most difficulty performing.

New tasks become as simple as waving a hand with brain-computer interfaces
University of Washington researchers have demonstrated that when humans use brain-computer interfaces, the brain behaves much like it does when completing simple motor skills such as kicking a ball, typing or waving a hand.

Protein database for biomedical research
SAP AG and Technische Universitaet Muenchen today announced ProteomicsDB, a data base that stores protein and peptide identifications from mass spectrometry-based experiments.

Fetal neuromaturation associated with mother's exposure to ddt and other environmental contaminants
A study led by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has for the first time found that a mother's higher exposure to some common environmental contaminants was associated with more frequent and vigorous fetal motor activity.

Very high prevalence of chronic health conditions among adult survivors of childhood cancer
In an analysis that included more than 1,700 adult survivors of childhood cancer, researchers found a very high percentage of survivors with 1 or more chronic health conditions, with an estimated cumulative prevalence of any chronic health condition of 95 percent at age 45 years, according to a study in the June 12 issue of JAMA.

Understanding the heart's rhythm
Prof. Bernard Attali of Tel Aviv University has discovered a previously unidentified potassium channel in cardiac cells that regulate the human heartbeat.

Intelligent door seal prevents poor air quality
For a long time, heat insulation was en vogue -- and nearly no one was concerned about poor indoor air quality.

New book explains extraordinary gender differences in animal kingdom
What does it mean to be male or female in the animal kingdom?

Fourmile and Silver Fires in Arizona and New Mexico
The Fourmile fire located 20 miles northeast of Morenci, Arizona is basically a grass fire.

1 in 6 women attending orthopedic fracture clinics report domestic violence in the past year
One in six women attending orthopaedic fracture clinics have been victims of physical, emotional, or sexual violence at the hands of a partner (intimate partner violence; IPV) within the past year, and one in 50 attend as a direct result of IPV, according to the largest multinational study of its kind to date, published Online First in The Lancet.

Mount Sinai researchers provide 1st prospective characterization of a genetic subtype of autism
In the first prospective study of its kind, Seaver Autism Center researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai provide new evidence of the severity of intellectual, motor, and speech impairments in a subtype of autism called Phelan-McDermid Syndrome.

Workers do not quit due to mandatory flu shot, says Loyola study
Mandatory influenza (flu) vaccination, as a condition of employment, does not lead to excessive voluntary termination, according to a four-year analysis of vaccination rates at Loyola University Health System in Chicago.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine hosts conference on Jewish genetic research
Today, researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University convened a one-day conference on Jewish genetics designed to encourage collaboration and advance the field of research.

New research links body clocks to osteoarthritis
Scheduled exercise, regular meals and the periodic warming and cooling of joints could be used to relieve the symptoms of osteoarthritis according to scientists at The University of Manchester.

Moon radiation findings may reduce health risks to astronauts
Space scientists from the University of New Hampshire and the Southwest Research Institute report that data gathered by NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter show lighter materials like plastics provide effective shielding against the radiation hazards faced by astronauts during extended space travel.

Do women know which lifestyle choices may affect cancer risk?
A multifaceted new survey determined how women view diet and exercise in relationship to cancer and whether they believe they are engaging in healthy behaviors, and whether their diet and exercise choices really meet the minimum recommendations.

Institute funded to evaluate leukocyte telomere length, personality traits, & health outcomes
Oregon Research Institute scientist Grant W. Edmonds, Ph.D., has received funding from the National Institute of Aging to study the prospective influence of personality traits, particularly Conscientiousness, on telomere length.

Stem cells reach standard for use in drug development
Drug development for a range of conditions could be improved with stem cell technology that helps doctors predict the safety and the effectiveness of potential treatments.

Identification of animal disease-transmission agents based on social networks tools
Spanish and US scientists propose a new criterion to identify disease-transmission agents in an article published in the prestigious journal PNAS. 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