Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 08, 2013
Brain and eye combined monitoring breakthrough could lead to fewer road accidents
Latest advances in capturing data on brain activity and eye movement are being combined to open up a host of 'mindreading' possibilities for the future.

Tailoring diabetes treatment to older patients yields dramatic results
More than a quarter of over 70s with type 2 diabetes could benefit simply from improving communication and education in the clinic, new research has revealed.

Plant biologist Stephen Long presents at prestigious 2013 AAAS Riley Lecture
Stephen Long, Gutgesell Endowed Professor of Plant Biology and Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, spoke of barriers to meeting the growing demand for food, such as global atmospheric change, stagnation of yield increases, uncertain societal acceptance, and government policies at the 2013 AAAS Charles Valentine Riley Memorial Lecture.

National Psoriasis Foundation awards inaugural Dr. Mark G. Lebwohl Medical Dermatology Fellowship
The National Psoriasis Foundation awarded Zelma Chiesa Fuxench, M.D., of the University of Pennsylvania, its inaugural Dr.

What do rotten eggs and colon cancer have in common?
University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston researchers have discovered that hydrogen sulfide -- the pungent-smelling gas produced by rotten eggs -- is a key player in colon cancer metabolism, and a potential target for therapies for the disease.

NASA satellite sees 2 views of Tropical Storm Soulik over Marianas Islands
When NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Storm Soulik in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean, the MODIS and AIRS instruments captured images that showed the storm's eastern quadrant covered the Marianas Islands and that the storm has become more organized in the last day.

NASA's polar robotic ranger passes first Greenland test
Defying 30 mph gusts and temperatures down to minus 22 F, NASA's new polar rover recently demonstrated in Greenland that it could operate completely autonomously in one of Earth's harshest environments.

Brain structural deficits may contribute to increased functional connections
Major depressive disorder is associated with a dysregulation of brain regions including the prefrontal cortex and limbic system.

IVF for 200 euro per cycle
A study performed in Belgium has shown that low-cost IVF for developing and poor resource countries is feasible and effective, with delivery rates not much different from those achieved in conventional IVF programs.

Cosmic dust belts without dust
An international research team of astrophysicists of Jena University has discovered six ultra-cold debris disks -- the coldest debris disks known so far.

Low-cost in-vitro fertilization method developed at CU may help couples in developing countries
A new low-cost method of in vitro fertilization developed at the University of Colorado Boulder that performed successfully in recent human clinical trials in Belgium may help thousands of infertile couples in developing countries.

JCI early table of contents for July 8, 2013
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, July 8, 2013, in the JCI: Immune cells play a role in early pregnancy; Removal of tumor-associated immune cell protein decreases tumor progression; and many more.

CASIS opens opportunities for talented students
Students compete nationally based on skills learned with help from NASA HUNCH.

CPAP therapy reduces nightmares in veterans with PTSD and sleep apnea
A new study suggests that CPAP therapy reduces nightmares in veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and obstructive sleep apnea.

African-Americans with blood cancer do not live as long as Caucasians, despite equal care
A new analysis has found that among patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia, African-Americans more commonly present with advanced disease, and they tend to have shorter survival times than Caucasians despite receiving the same care.

Health-related website search information may be leaked to third-party tracking entities
Patients who search on free health-related websites for information related to a medical condition may have the health information they provide leaked to third party tracking entities through code on those websites, according to a research letter by Marco D.

Gunning for trouble: Study of young assault victims finds risky mix of gun possession and aggression
They're young. They've been injured in an assault -- so badly they went to the emergency room.

Medical safety innovation gets a boost from systematic analysis
Health care organizations have an untapped opportunity to use their own administrative data as a

New opportunities to treat bowel cancer
Researchers found that existing anticancer drugs, already on pharmacy shelves, may be effective against many cases of bowel cancer.

Removal of tumor-associated immune cell protein decreases tumor progression
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Shelley Earp and colleagues at the University of North Carolina a Chapel Hill demonstrate that removal of the protein MerTK from immune cells decreased tumor growth in mouse models of breast cancer, melanoma, and colon cancer.

OU researchers receive OCAST awards for health research projects
Four University of Oklahoma Norman campus researchers were awarded OCAST grants for health research projects on subjects that range from the development of bone grafts using adult stem cells to the identification of genes to block parasite development in mosquitoes to new drug development pipelines to improvements in limb movement.

Cancer research brief: Targeting pancreatic cancer drug resistance
In an effort to combat drug resistance in pancreatic cancer, researchers have been investigating methods to enhance chemotherapy.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Chantal develop quickly in Atlantic
The third tropical cyclone of the Atlantic Ocean season developed in the Atlantic and not in the Gulf of Mexico as the previous two systems,Tropical Storm Chantal.

Exposure to stress even before conception causes genetic changes to offspring
A female's exposure to distress even before she conceives causes changes in the expression of a gene linked to the stress mechanism in the body -- in the ovum and later in the brains of the offspring from when they are born, according to a new study on rats conducted by the University of Haifa.

Egg donation in European clinics: Why do women do it?
Egg donation is now one of the major reasons why couples travel abroad for fertility treatment.

Fixed payments not a barrier to quality of care in HMOs, study finds
Between the years 2003 and 2009, patients in Medicare HMOs were more likely to receive recommended ambulatory preventive services such as breast cancer screening, cholesterol testing, and diabetes exams, than patients in traditional fee-for-service Medicare.

Corals cozy up with bacterial buddies
Corals may let certain bacteria get under its skin, according to a new study by researchers at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and soon to be published in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Early universe to be revealed
Solar storms, space junk and the formation of the Universe are about to be seen in an entirely new way with the start of operations today by the $51 million Murchison Widefield Array radio telescope.

Ethical quandary about vaccinations sparked by tension between parental rights and protecting public health
Increased concerns about the perceived risk of vaccination, inconvenience, or religious tenets are leading more US parents to opt-out of vaccinating their children.

Rhode Island Hospital successfully manages case of severe EEE
Rhode Island Hospital successfully treated a 21-year-old patient with severe neuroinvasive Eastern Equine Encephalitis, minimizing neurological deficits and resulting in a very positive outcome.

Glimpse into the future of acidic oceans shows ecosystems transformed
In the waters surrounding Castello Aragonese, a 14th century castle off the coast of Italy, volcanic vents naturally release bubbles of carbon dioxide gas, creating different levels of acidity among the marine-animal and plant communities there.

Rate of aging may be determined in the womb and linked to birthweight, study reveals
Scientists have found that key metabolites in blood -- chemical 'fingerprints' left behind as a result of early molecular changes before birth or in infancy -- could provide clues to a person's long-term overall health and rate of aging in later life.

Nearly half of sarcoma surgeries done by nonsurgical oncology specialists
Orthopedic oncologists and surgical oncologists, who have been trained in the complex procedures required to remove sarcomas located deep in the muscles and other soft tissues of the limbs, conducted only 52 percent of these operations at 85 academic medical centers during a three-year period, according to an analysis of national data by UC Davis researchers.

Buckling up to turn
Marine microbes change swimming direction via a high-speed mechanical instability.

Sydney's urban areas to be hit hardest by global warming
Green spaces, trees and bodies of water are must-have design features for future development in Sydney's suburbs after researchers found that by 2050 global warming combined with Sydney's urban heat island effect could increase temperatures by up to 3.7°C.

2 blood pressure drugs linked to lower risk of heart disease in diabetics
Two drugs, telmisartan and valsartan, which are used to reduce blood pressure in people with diabetes, are associated with a lower risk of hospitalization for heart attack, stroke or heart failure, according to a study published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Inhibiting macrophage MerTK signaling creates an innate immune response against cancer
New evidence by a University of North Carolina-led team shows that MerTK macrophage action in the microenvironment that surrounds cancer cells blunts the immune response, allowing the tumor cell to grow and metastasize.

Consuming soy peptide may reduce colon cancer metastasis
After a recent University of Illinois study showed that injection of the soy peptide lunasin dramatically reduced colon cancer metastasis in mice, the researchers were eager to see how making lunasin part of the animals' daily diet would affect the spread of the disease.

Improved interpretation of volcanic traces in ice
How severely have volcanoes contaminated the atmosphere with sulfur particles in past millennia?

New book by UCLA historian traces role of gender in 1992 Los Angeles riots
A new book by a UCLA historian shows how the 1991 killing of black teenage girl by a Korean shopkeeper laid the foundation for the 1992 L.A. riots, which remains the most costly and deadly race riot in American history.

LSUHSC research adds new info to improve pediatric dental sedation
Research led by Priyanshi Ritwik, DDS, MS, LSUHSC Associate Professor of Pediatric Dentistry at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, reports important findings about side effects and how long they linger after discharge of common oral drugs used to sedate some children during dental procedures.

Measuring molecules in their undistorted form
Using a special electron beam apparatus, scientists at Bielefeld University can determine the precise three-dimensional structure of gaseous molecules.

'Scent device' could help detect bladder cancer
Researchers from the University of Liverpool and University of the West of England have built a device that can read odors in urine to help diagnose patients with early signs of bladder cancer.

Getting to the root of the matter
Plant molecular biologists go looking for the genetics of poplar root growth in low-nitrogen soil and wind up with a model for genetic interaction.

GR20/Amaldi10: Warsaw -- World capital of research on gravity
Studying the nature of gravity is one of the broadest and most intellectually sophisticated fields of modern science.

New anti-cancer compound shows promise for breast cancer
Melbourne researchers have discovered that anti-cancer compounds currently in clinical trials for some types of leukaemia could offer hope for treating the most common type of breast cancer.

Researchers investigate mechanism of Alzheimer's therapy
Researchers at the University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, led by faculty member Donna Wilcock, have recently published a new paper in the Journal of Neuroscience detailing an advance in treatment of Alzheimer's disease.

Research points to biomarker that could track Huntington's disease progression
A team of SRI International researchers has demonstrated that measurements of electrical activity in the brains of mouse models of Huntington's disease could indicate the presence of disease before the onset of major symptoms.

Irregular bed times curb young kids' brain power
Going to bed at different times every night throughout early childhood seems to curb children's brain power, finds a large, long term study published online in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Early, late first exposure to solid food appears associated with development of Type 1 diabetes
Both an early and late first exposure to solid food for infants appears to be associated with the development of Type 1 diabetes mellitus, according to a study published by JAMA Pediatrics, a JAMA Network publication.

Scientists solve titanic puzzle of popular photocatalyst
A breakthrough in our understanding of the properties of titania (titanium dioxide) -- the basis of self-cleaning window technology -- has been made by scientists at UCL, uncovering a decades old misunderstanding that has clouded our knowledge of how mixed phase titania catalysts operate.

Robot mom would beat robot butler in popularity contest
If you tickle a robot, it may not laugh, but you may still consider it humanlike -- depending on its role in your life, reports an international group of researchers.

Finding the Goldilocks sites to store CO2 underground
To implement carbon capture and storage successfully, each underground repository will need careful appraisal based on its unique history and setting, according to a new study co-authored by researchers from the University of Bristol.

CWRU dental researcher's NIDCR grant targets oral bacteria and fetal death link
A new four-year, $1.58 million grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, will allow a Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine researcher to advance her work linking oral bacteria to fetal death.

Fears that pet ponies and donkeys traded for horsemeat in Britain unfounded
Fears that pet ponies and donkeys are being traded for horsemeat are unfounded, reveals research published online in the Veterinary Record.

Are the US News medical school rankings for primary care education relevant?
The US News & World Report graduate school rankings inspire discussion and marketing, but do they actually reflect quality differences between schools when it comes to medical education in primary care?

An unlikely competitor for diamond as the best thermal conductor
Researchers from Boston College and the Naval Research Lab report the potential for boron arsenide to challenge the extraordinarily high thermal conductivity of diamond, which could pave the way for a more plentiful and affordable alternative to cooling high tech devices.

Adverse effects of phthalates on ovarian response to IVF
Phthalates are among a group of industrial chemicals shown in some studies to have adverse effects on reproductive health and development, particularly in the male.

Nurse practitioners provide more primary care in states with least restrictive regulations
According to a new study by researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, those states with the fewest restrictions on nurse practitioners' scope of practice had two-and-a-half times more patients receiving primary care from nurse practitioners than did the most restrictive states.

The University of Cambridge wins SAUC-Europe '13 at CMRE
The University of Cambridge triumphed over 7 other teams to win the 8th Student Autonomous Underwater Vehicle Challenge -- Europe.

Rutgers University launches neuroscience consortium
The challenge of understanding the mysteries of the mind has prompted scientists and physicians from Rutgers University and its two new medical schools to launch a neuroscience consortium.

Researchers uncover that moths talk about sex in many ways
Originally moths developed ears so that they could hear their worst enemy, the bat, but now moths also use their ears to communicate about sex in a great number of different ways.

'Watermark Ink' device wins R&D 100 Award
A device that can instantly identify unknown liquids based on their surface tension has been selected to receive the 2013 R&D 100 Award -- known as

Denormalizing smoking: Making the case for banning cigarettes in parks and on beaches
Many state and local governments banned smoking in parks and on beaches on the basis that passive smoke is a risk for non-smokers, cigarette butts pollute the environment, and seeing people smoke poses a long-term risk to children.

Diana Lados receives international honor for seminal contributions to structural integrity
Diana Lados, associate professor of mechanical engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and founding director of the university's Integrative Materials Design Center, received the inaugural Constance Tipper Silver Medal from the World Academy of Structural Integrity at the academy's International Conference on Fracture, held in Beijing June 16-21.

Most babies born to mums on methadone exposed to several illicit drugs in womb
Most babies born to drug addicted mums on methadone maintenance are exposed to several other drugs while in the womb, and half are additionally exposed to excess alcohol, reveal the results of a small study published online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood Fetal & Neonatal Edition.

New metallic bubble wrap offers big benefits over other protective materials
Researchers at North Carolina State University have developed a new metallic bubble wrap that is lighter, stronger and more flexible than sheet metal and more heat- and chemical-resistant than plastic or other polymer-based bubble wraps.

Immune cells play a role in early pregnancy
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Sarah Robertson and colleagues at the University of Adelaide investigated the role of macrophages in early pregnancy.

Study shows 'dead zone' impacts Chesapeake Bay fishes
A 10-year study of Chesapeake Bay fishes by researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science provides the first quantitative evidence on a bay-wide scale that low-oxygen

July/August 2013 Annals of Family Medicine tip sheet
Three research studies and an accompanying editorial in the July/August issue of Annals of Family Medicine address the importance of shared decision making around prostate cancer screening.

Detection of single photons via quantum entanglement
A team of quantum physicists in Innsbruck led by Christian Roos and Cornelius Hempel have realised an extremely sensitive method for the spectroscopy of atomic and molecular atoms.

Eavesdropping on lithium ions
It's a jungle down there at batteries' atomic level, with ions whacking into electrodes, eventually causing the battery to fail.

Sleepless nights can turn lovers into fighters
Relationship problems can keep us awake at night. But new research from UC Berkeley suggests that sleepless nights also can worsen lovers' fights.

Early life and in utero factors found to influence testicular function in adulthood
A new study based on a 20-year follow-up of one of the world's largest study cohorts, suggests that exposure to several factors in utero and in early life may lead to reduced semen parameters in adulthood and potentially to a decline in male fertility.

Seizures late in life may be an early sign of Alzheimer's disease
Patients with epilepsy who had amnestic mild cognitive impairment or Alzheimer's disease presented earlier with cognitive decline than patients who did not have epilepsy, according to a report published by JAMA Neurology, a JAMA Network publication.

Second door discovered in war against mosquito-borne diseases
In the global war against disease-carrying mosquitoes, scientists have long believed that a single molecular door was the key target for insecticide.

Rotman Professor receives fellowship to study employee stock ownership
An assistant professor of accounting at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management has received the Accurate Equity Fellowship for 2013-2014.

Patients who are engaged in their own care are more likely to reduce the risk of future fractures
People over the age of 50 who have suffered a fracture because of a slip or trip play a central role in making sure they get proper care to prevent a future fracture, a new study has found.

Immune cells essential to establishing pregnancy
New research from the University of Adelaide shows for the first time that immune cells known as macrophages are critical to fertility by creating a healthy hormone environment in the uterus.

TU Vienna develops light transistor
Light waves can oscillate in different directions. Special materials can rotate the polarization of light -- but usually, this effect is very small.

Using the sun to illuminate a basic mystery of matter
Antimatter has been detected in solar flares via microwave and magnetic-field data, according to a presentation by NJIT Research Professor of Physics Gregory D.

Research finds people with depression tend to pursue generalized goals
Researchers from the University of Liverpool have found that people with depression have more generalized personal goals than non-depressed people.

Penn study sheds light on why low-income patients prefer hospital care to a doctor's office
Patients with low socioeconomic status use emergency and hospital care more often than primary care because they believe hospital care is more affordable and convenient, and of better quality than care provided by primary care physicians, according to the results of a new study from researchers at Penn Medicine.

NASA's TRMM satellite sees Tropical Storm Erick along Mexican coast
Tropical Storm Erick has been bringing some rain and rough surf along the southwestern coast of Mexico for a couple of days, and on July 7, 2013, NASA's TRMM satellite saw two areas of heavy rain within Erick on opposite ends of the storm.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip Sheet for 9 July 2013
Below is information about articles being published in the July 9 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

Global Health Corps announces fifth class of fellows
Global Health Corps launched its fifth class of fellows today, during the opening of its annual Training Institute at Yale University.

Less haze in Singapore as the cause becomes clearer and more complex
Small and large-scale farmers in Riau province, Sumatra, have been blamed for the recent choking smoke smothering Singapore and parts of Malaysia.

Cosmochemist discovers potential solution to meteorite mystery
A normally staid University of Chicago scientist has stunned many of his colleagues with his radical solution to a 135-year-old mystery in cosmochemistry.

Nanomaterial to help reduce CO2 emissions
University of Adelaide researchers have developed a new nanomaterial that could help reduce carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power stations.

UIC to serve as Chicago site for largest-ever US study of Hispanic/Latino health
The University of Illinois at Chicago Institute for Minority Health Research will manage a National Institutes of Health project to follow up, over the next six years, all Chicago participants in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos -- the largest-ever prospective health study of this population.

Medicaid programs vary in coverage of preventive care, report says
Existing Medicaid beneficiaries have largely been left out of the health reform movement when it comes to preventive services that can ward off cancer, heart disease and other potentially deadly diseases, according to a new study by researchers at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services.

Targeting errant immune system enzyme kills myelodysplastic cells
Scientists have successfully targeted a malfunctioning immune system enzyme to kill diseased cells from patients with myelodysplastic syndrome -- a blood disorder and precursor to leukemia.

Older age associated with disability prior to death, women more at risk than men
Persons who live to an older age are the more likely to be disabled near the end of life and require the assistance of a caregiver to complete the activities of daily living, and disability was more common in women than men two years before death, according to a report published by JAMA Internal Medicine, a JAMA Network publication.

Temperature increases causing tropical forests to blossom, according to study
A new study led by Florida State University researcher Stephanie Pau shows that tropical forests are producing more flowers in response to only slight increases in temperature.

Scientists unveil historical clues to Stradivari's craft
A new study, by Marco Malagodi from the Università degli Studi di Pavia in Italy and colleagues, uses a range of analytical methods to identify the techniques used by violin master Antonio Stradivari in the 17th century, and attempts to replicate his craftsmanship.

Earthworms could help scientists 'dig' into past climates
A team of UK researchers believe earthworms could provide a window into past climates, allowing scientists to piece together the prevailing weather conditions thousands of years ago.

The aging population and emergency departments
New research from Brigham and Women's Hospital shows that population aging will not cause the number of emergency department visits to increase between now and 2050.

Innovative MIT study estimates extent to which air pollution in China shortens human lives
A high level of air pollution, in the form of particulates produced by burning coal, significantly shortens the lives of people exposed to it, according to a unique new study of China co-authored by an MIT economist.

Not-weak knots bolster carbon fiber
Rice University scientists create carbon fiber from graphene oxide flakes.

In baseball, bigger still better
Theory predicts that elite pitchers will continue to be taller and thus throw faster.

UCSB's NCEAS find tropical forest blossoms are sensitive to changing climate
A new study conducted by UC Santa Barbara's National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) shows that to be erroneous.

Harvard researchers warn of legacy mercury in the environment
Environmental researchers at Harvard University have published evidence that significant reductions in mercury emissions will be necessary just to stabilize current levels of the toxic element in the environment.

Melody modulates choir members' heart rate
When people sing in a choir their heart beats are synchronised, so that the pulse of choir members tends to increase and decrease in unison.

Salk researchers identify potential biomarker for cancer diagnosis
Scientists studying cancer development have known about micronuclei for some time. 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