Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 10, 2013
Lack of cultural understanding makes forced marriage victims wary of social services, study finds
Victims of forced marriage and honor violence in the UK are hesitant to seek professional help because they are worried social workers will not understand their cultural differences, according to new research presented today at Royal Holloway University.

Assessing impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico
While numerous studies are under way to determine the impacts of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico, the extent and severity of these impacts and the value of the resulting losses cannot fully be measured without considering the goods and services provided by the Gulf, says a new report from the National Research Council.

Calculating the value of effortful behavior: A clue to schizophrenia-related disability?
Many people with schizophrenia have marked problems with motivation, failing to initiate and persist in goal-directed behavior.

Do antibiotics in animal feed pose a serious risk to human health?
As fears rise over antibiotic resistance, two experts on today debate whether adding antibiotics to animal feed poses a serious risk to human health.

Jagged graphene edges can slice into cell membranes
Researchers from Brown University have shown how tiny graphene sheets can be big trouble for cells.

Discovery of the 'Plastisphere' -- a new marine ecological community
The masses of plastic debris that float over large areas of the world's oceans have become new ecological communities that scientists have named the

Photosynthesis: Membranes in tight corners
Photosynthesis takes place in specialized membrane systems, made up of stacked disks linked together by unstacked planar leaflets.

Factors influencing delay in breast cancer treatment differ for African-American and white women
A study using data from the Carolina Breast Cancer Study Phase III, a program of UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, found that among White women, household size and losing a job due to one's diagnosis were reasons for delay in treatment, while among African-American women, the type of treatment received influenced delay.

Cloud brightening to cool seas can protect coral reefs
The seeding of marine clouds to cool sea surface temperatures could protect threatened coral reefs from being bleached by warming oceans.

Bio-Teams: From the laboratory to the market
Bioengineering Ph.D. Students developed go-to-market strategies for breakthrough technologies emerging form Portuguese research labs.

Mental performance of people who reach their nineties may be improving
People who reach their nineties today show improved mental performance compared to people in the same age group born a decade earlier, according to the results of a study conducted in Denmark and published in The Lancet.

The contribution of the Greenland ice sheet to sea-level rise will continue to increase
The contribution of the Greenland ice sheet to sea-level rise will continue to increase.

UK leads the way in race for new temperature definition
Scientists at the UK's National Physical Laboratory have performed the most accurate measurement yet of the Boltzmann constant.

Adults with eating disorders have a poorer prognosis if they suffer hyperactivity
A study made with 191 patients reveal that symptoms of hyperactivity due to the deficit of attention and hyperactivity disorder are associated with more impulsivity and more severity, and probably a worse prognosis in patients with eating disorders.

'Wasted' and 'hammered' versus 'buzzed' and 'tipsy' is more than just semantics
Prior research found that women tended to use moderate self-referral terms for intoxication, whereas men used heavy terms.

Quebec fires continue raging
Fires around James Bay continue raging in Canada due to the driest summer the region has seen in 40 years as seen in this Aqua satellite photo from July 09, 2013.

Joslin researchers find key mechanism in increased atherosclerosis risk for people with diabetes
Researchers at Joslin Diabetes Center have discovered that when excessive PKC beta is found in the endothelium, the thin layer of cells that line blood vessels, atherosclerosis is exacerbated.

People with Alzheimer's disease may have lower risk of cancer and vice versa
Older people with Alzheimer's disease are less likely to also have cancer, and older people with cancer are less likely to also have Alzheimer's disease, according to the largest study to date on the topic, which appears in the July 10, 2013, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Sun erupts with a CME toward Earth and Mercury
On July 9, 2013, at 11:09 a.m. EDT, the sun erupted with an Earth-directed coronal mass ejection or CME, a solar phenomenon that can send billions of tons of particles into space that can reach Earth one to three days later.

Vaccinated children: A powerful protection for older adults, Vanderbilt study shows
Children who receive a vaccine to prevent blood and ear infections, appear to be reducing the spread of pneumonia to the rest of the population, especially their grandparents and other older adults.

Dinosaurs, diets and ecological niches: Study shows recipe for success
A new scientific study answers a long-standing question in palaeontology -- how numerous species of large, plant-eating dinosaurs could co-exist successfully over geological time.

The dark side of artificial sweeteners
More and more Americans are consuming artificial sweeteners as an alternative to sugar, but whether this translates into better health has been heavily debated.

University of North Carolina receives $8 million grant to improve safe motherhood in Malawi
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has received a five-year, $8 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to improve maternal and infant health and save the lives of mothers and infants in Malawi by strengthening the President's Maternal Health and Safe Motherhood Initiative.

Intestinal bacteria may fuel inflammation and worsen HIV disease
A new study of HIV infection by UC San Francisco researchers points to changes in intestinal bacteria as a possible explanation for why successfully treated HIV patients nonetheless prematurely experience life-shortening chronic diseases.

Memorial Sloan-Kettering researchers develop new method for tracking cell signaling
Researchers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center have developed a new method for identifying the cell of origin of intracellular and secreted proteins within multicellular environments.

Location of body fat can elevate heart disease, cancer risk
Individuals with excessive abdominal fat have a greater risk of heart disease and cancer than individuals with a similar body mass index who carry their fat in other areas of the body, according to a study published online today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Researchers set out path for global warming reversal
Bioenergy with carbon capture and storage can reverse the global warming trend and push temperatures back below the global target of 2°C above pre-industrial levels, even if current policies fail and we initially overshoot this target.

Springer announces impact factor increases for journals in 2012
Thomson Reuters recently released its Journal Citation Reports® for 2012 and, among those journals receiving a first-time impact factor, 46 were Springer publications.

Later cord clamping after birth increases iron levels in babies
Delaying clamping of the umbilical cord after birth benefits newborn babies, according to a systematic review published in The Cochrane Library.

Putting more science into the art of making nanocrystals
Andrew Greytak, a chemist in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of South Carolina, is leading a research team that's making the process of synthesizing quantum dots much more systematic.

Huge iceberg breaks away from the Pine Island glacier in the Antarctic
On 8 July 2013 a huge area of the ice shelf broke away from the Pine Island glacier, the longest and fastest flowing glacier in the Antarctic, and is now floating in the Amundsen Sea in the form of a very large iceberg.

Astronomers witness birth of Milky Way's most massive star
Scientists have observed in unprecedented detail the birth of a massive star within a dark cloud core about 10,000 light years from Earth.

Sweden and SMU psychologists partner to launch parenting program that reduces child abuse
Psychologists at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, are helping to launch a parenting program in Sweden that's been shown to reduce child abuse in severely violent U.S. families.

CASL milestone validates reactor model using TVA data
Today, the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors (CASL) announced that its scientists have successfully completed the first full-scale simulation of an operating nuclear reactor.

Glued to your cell phone? Research suggests it may reduce your physical activity and fitness
Today's smartphones allow for increased opportunities for activities traditionally defined as sedentary behaviors, such as surfing the internet, emailing and playing video games.

New virus discovered in stranded dolphin
Researchers at the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and colleagues have identified a new virus associated with the death of a short-beaked dolphin found stranded on a beach in San Diego.

A Malaysian beauty: Newly described endemic herb species under threat of extinction
A new species of rare and beautiful plant has been described from the biodiversity rich Peninsular Malaysia.

Personality differences linked to later drinking have roots in early childhood
An individual enters adolescence with personality characteristics and life experiences already accumulated.

BMJ investigation finds GPs being forced to ration access to hospital care
Clinical commissioning groups in England have begun implementing new restrictions on referrals to secondary care as they strive to manage their resources amid increasing financial restraints, reveals a BMJ investigation today.

The allergist is listening: 5 things they need to hear, from your child
A study published in the July issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology highlights the importance of doctors asking both parents and children about asthma symptoms.

N.C.'s Southern Cricket Frog populations declining
A recent US Geological Survey report confirmed that the nation's amphibians, including frogs, toads and salamanders, are disappearing

Wind power does not strongly affect greater prairie chickens, 7-year study finds
Wind power development does not ruffle the feathers of greater prairie chicken populations, according to a seven-year study from a Kansas State University ecologist and his team.

Cells in the early embryo battle each other to death for becoming part of the organism
Spanish researchers at the Centro Nacional de Investigaciones Cardiovasculares have found that during the early stages of mammalian development, embryonic cells embark on a battle for survival.

Unraveling the scientific basis of the infant feeding axiom 'breast is best'
Scientists are making strides toward unraveling the surprisingly complex chemistry underpinning that axiom of infant feeding

Scientists decode mystery sequences involved in gene regulation
The mechanisms behind gene regulation are not well understood because the RNA sequences to which RNA binding proteins bind have been so difficult to decipher.

Researchers perform DNA computation in living cells
Chemists from North Carolina State University have performed a DNA-based logic-gate operation within a human cell.

Study: Mexican immigrants' politics more diverse than pundits assert
A new study published in the journal Electoral Studies finds that Mexican immigrants who are more politically invested are center or center-right in their political ideologies.

NHS facing a 'deepening financial crisis' says Head of Health Policy at the BMA
Head of the Health Policy and Economic Research Unit at the British Medical Association, Jon Ford, is warning that the NHS is facing a deep financial crisis and by April 2016 the service will have to

Huddersfield is revolutionizing embedded surface metrology
A BRIGHT future beckons for a University of Huddersfield metrology instrumentation designer who has recently completed his doctorate, won a national award and will now embark on a project to bring a patented product to the market.

Not so blue? Study suggests many Americans less depressed
Depression down among adults over 50, including elderly age 80-84; signs of increased depression in slice of late middle age population

Scripps research team shows 'bath salts' stimulant could be more addictive than meth
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have published one of the first laboratory studies of MDPV, an emerging recreational drug that has been sold as

IU researchers create the inner ear from stem cells, opening potential for new treatments
Indiana University scientists have transformed mouse embryonic stem cells into key structures of the inner ear.

Dye-sensitized solar cells rival conventional cell efficiency
Dye-sensitized solar cells rival conventional photovoltaic devices by getting an efficiency boost up to 15 percent thanks to a new solid-state version of the perovskite light harvester device and a two-step fabrication process developed by EPFL scientists.

Fear of deportation not an issue for farmworkers who receive care from community health centers
Migrant workers are more likely to receive medical care from community health centers in partnership with faith-based organizations, a new study shows, because fear of deportation is lower than they might face at other medical facilities.

Jealousy can drive us to view ourselves more like our rivals
If you see your partner flirt with someone else, you may feel hurt, angry, and jealous.

Emergency physicians use new tool to detect drug-seekers in the ER
Emergency physicians and other emergency department staff were fairly accurate in assessing which patients were drug-seekers in the emergency department, changing their prescribing plans for less than 10 percent of patients after consulting an objective computerized state prescription drug monitoring program.

Cool it, quick: Rapid cooling leads to stronger alloys
A team of researchers from the University of Rostock in Germany has developed a new way to rapidly produce high strength metallic alloys, at a lower cost using less energy than before.

United States losing ground to other countries in health outcomes
In nearly every major cause of premature death -- from ischemic heart disease to diabetes to interpersonal violence -- the United States trails its economic peers.

Inscription from time of David & Solomon found near Temple Mount in Hebrew University excavation
Hebrew University archaeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar unearthed a jar fragment near Jerusalem's Temple Mount bearing the earliest alphabetical written text ever found in Jerusalem.

Malaria in the Americas presents a complex picture
In a new study, Ananias Escalante and an international team explore the genetic diversity of malarial parasite P. vivax in the Americas and other areas of the world.

Rates of cardiovascular procedures differ for medicare beneficiaries
Rates of angiography and percutaneous coronary interventions were significantly lower among Medicare Advantage beneficiaries when compared to those covered by Medicare fee-for-service, according to a study by a University of Colorado School of Medicine physician published in the July 10 issue of JAMA.

Combination of smoking and heavy drinking 'speeds up cognitive decline'
The combination of smoking and heavy drinking speeds up cognitive decline, according to new research published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

Nanoparticles, 'pH phoresis' could improve cancer drug delivery
Researchers have developed a concept to potentially improve delivery of drugs for cancer treatment using nanoparticles that concentrate and expand in the presence of higher acidity found in tumor cells.

Toward a safer form of acetaminophen
Efforts to develop a safer form of acetaminophen -- the pain and fever-reducer that is one of the most widely used drugs -- have led to discovery of substances that may have less potentially toxic effects on the liver.

Size matters for creatures of cold polar waters
Scientists at the Universities of Liverpool, Plymouth, and Radboud, Netherlands, have challenged the view that giant animals are found in polar seas because of a superabundance of oxygen in cold water.

UT Southwestern researchers identify new source of powerful immunity protein
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center report the identification of a new cellular source for an important disease-fighting protein used in the body's earliest response to infection.

Tots who sleep less have more behavior problems, says study
Four-year-olds with shorter than average sleep times have increased rates of

Trees using water more efficiently as atmospheric carbon dioxide rises
Scientists analyzed direct, long-term measurements of whole-ecosystem carbon and water exchange and found a substantial increase in water-use efficiency in temperate and boreal forests of the Northern Hemisphere over the past two decades.

Report looks at successful government crowdsourcing efforts for earthquake monitoring
The US Geological Survey and other scientific institutions are using social media and crowdsourcing to learn more about earthquakes, according to a new report from the Commons Lab at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

7 receive Genetics Society of America poster awards at worm meeting
Six graduate students and one undergraduate were named as recipients of Genetics Society of America poster awards at the 19th International C. elegans Meeting, held June 26 on the campus of the University of California, Los Angeles.

Efficiency in the forest
Though studies have long predicted that more efficient forest water use would result from increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, a research team consisting of Research Associate Trevor Keenan, Assistant Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology Andrew Richardson and colleagues, using data collected in the northeastern US, and elsewhere around the world, showed that forests were responding much more than the predictions of even the most state-of-the-art computer models.

Same beat set to different tunes changes walkers' pace
Personal tastes in music have little to do with how we keep time to a tune while walking, according to research published July 10 by Marc Leman and colleagues from Ghent University, Belgium in the open-access journal PLOS ONE.

Mammals can 'choose' sex of offspring, Stanford-led study finds
A new study led by a researcher at the Stanford University School of Medicine shows that mammalian species can

Cleveland Clinic Laboratories to provide testing and diagnostic services to ACL Laboratories
Cleveland Clinic Laboratories will now be the main provider of specialized testing and diagnostics services for ACL Laboratories, one of the largest hospital system laboratories in the United States.

First-ever presentation using holograms conducted by Dr. Sengupta at the ASE's 2013 24th Annual Scientific Sessions
Partho P. Sengupta, MBBS, MD, DM, FASE, Director of Cardiac Ultrasound Research and Associate Professor of Medicine in Cardiology at The Mount Sinai Medical Center, conducted the first-ever presentation using hologram technology at The American Society of Echocardiography's 2013 24th Annual Scientific Sessions on July 1 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Protein targeted for cancer drug development is essential for normal heart function
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have discovered that a protein used by cancer cells to evade death also plays a vital role in heart health.

A new way to trap light
MIT researchers discover a new phenomenon that could lead to new types of lasers and sensors.

53rd ICAAC: Media registration now open
Known as the preeminent world meeting for presenting new information on clinical and basic research in infectious diseases and anti-infective therapy, ICAAC has also traditionally served as a forum for the introduction of new antimicrobial agents.

Cyberbullying on college campuses bringing new ethical issues, UT Arlington researcher says
Researchers found that most respondents considered cyberbullying to be more prevalent at the secondary school level.

Test tube children develop mentally normal
The risk of mental disorders is not increased in IVF children.

Oldest use of flowers in grave lining
Radiocarbon dating at the Weizmann Institute determines the age of flowery graves.

Sharks stun sardine prey with tail-slaps
Thresher sharks hunt schooling sardines in the waters off a small coral island in the Philippines by rapidly slapping their tails hard enough to stun or kill several of the smaller fish at once, according to research published July 10 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Simon Oliver of the Thresher Shark Research and Conservation Project, and colleagues from other institutions.

Rare primate species needs habitat help to survive
The population of the critically endangered large primate known as the drill has been largely reduced to a few critical habitat areas in Cameroon, according to a recently published study by researchers with the San Diego Zoo's Institute for Conservation Research.

Typhoid's lethal secret revealed
Typhoid fever is one of the oldest documented diseases known to have afflicted mankind but what makes it so lethal has remained a mystery for centuries.

Stanford researchers say 'peak oil' concerns should ease
Should concerns about

Study confirms link between omega-3 fatty acids and increased prostate cancer risk
A second large, prospective study by scientists at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has confirmed the link between high blood concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids and an increased risk of prostate cancer.

Cigarette smoke impacts genes linked to health of heart and lungs
New insights into why obese cigarette smokers experience a high risk of heart disease suggest that cigarette smoke affects the activity of hundreds of key genes that both protect the heart and lungs and expose them to damage.

Bacteria from Salar de Uyuni in Bolivia conceal bioplastic
In Bolivia, in the largest continuous salt desert in the world, researchers from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia have found a bacterium that stores large amounts of PHB, a prized polymer.

Kids' allergies may correlate with omega-3, omega-6 lipid levels in cord blood
Children with high proportions of poly-unsaturated fatty acids in cord blood at birth are more likely to develop respiratory and skin allergies in their early teens, according to research published July 10 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Malin Barman and colleagues from the Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.

Prisoners doing yoga may see psychological benefits
Yoga can improve mood and mental wellbeing among prisoners, an Oxford University study suggests, and may also have an effect on impulsive behavior.

Study finds factors that may cause fluctuations in deep brain stimulation levels over time
Deep brain stimulation therapy blocks or modulates electrical signals in the brain to improve symptoms in patients suffering from movement disorders such as Parkinson's disease, essential tremor and dystonia, but a new study suggests that several factors may cause electrical current to vary over time.

IBEX spacecraft images the heliotail, revealing an unexpected structure
NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer spacecraft recently provided the first complete pictures of the solar system's downwind region, revealing a unique and unexpected structure.

Israel makes dramatic advance in blindness prevention
Professor Michael Belkin of Tel Aviv University says that rates of preventable blindness in Israel have been cut by more than half over the last decade.

Of aging bones and sunshine
Berkeley Lab researchers have shown that deficiencies in vitamin D -- the sunshine vitamin -- accelerates the aging of bone, reducing the quality and making it more susceptible to fracturing.

NTU invention transforms plain surfaces into low-cost touch screens
A low cost system developed by Nanyang Technological University, based on the principles of vibration and imaging that is able to track the movements of multiple fingers and of objects, can turn almost any surface into a touch-screen.

'Kangaroo care' offers developmental benefits for premature newborns
In the article,

Researchers create method to rapidly identify specific strains of illness
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine and George Washington University have developed a method to rapidly identify pathogenic species and strains causing illnesses, such as pneumonia, that could help lead to earlier detection of disease outbreaks and pinpoint effective treatments more quickly.

BrightFocus Foundation announces $7.2 million in grants for Alzheimer's and vision disease research
BrightFocus Foundation, a nonprofit organization that funds innovative, early-stage research on Alzheimer's disease and the vision diseases of glaucoma and macular degeneration, today announced grant awards totaling more than $7.2 million to 53 scientists in 16 states and four foreign countries.

ALMA prenatal scan reveals embryonic monster star
Observations using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter array have given the best view of a monster star in the process of forming within a dark cloud.

3-D-printed splint saves infant's life
Matthew Wheeler, a University of Illinois professor of animal sciences and member of the Regenerative Biology and Tissue Engineering research theme at the Institute for Genomic Biology, worked with a team of five researchers to test 3-D-printed, bioresorbable airway splints in porcine models with severe, life-threatening tracheobronchomalacia.

Rene Gerritsma receives EUR 1.5 million ERC Starting Grant for quantum simulations
Rene Gerritsma of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz has been awarded funding from the European Research Council in support of his work on quantum simulations with ultracold atoms and ions.

VTT introduces new video streaming technology for mobile phones
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed a new architecture for better-quality video streaming on mobile phones and across wireless networks.

Study tracks depression in seniors, ethnic groups
Major depression is a serious public health problem among older adults in the United States, but tends to affect ethnic groups differently, finds new research led by a Michigan State University scholar.

Economic crisis lowers birth rates
Rising unemployment rates stop upward trend of fertility in European countries.

Obesity rises in nearly all counties but Americans becoming more physically active
The rise in physical activity levels has had little impact so far on stopping the rising tide of obesity.

Optimizing microbe factories
Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology will join forces for a common project, the optimization of the MEP pathway.

Global bid to bring world's leading cancer minds to Manchester, UK
A global recruitment drive to bring 20 of the world's best cancer experts and their teams to Manchester, in the United Kingdom, is now underway.

The brain's response to sweets may indicate risk for development of alcoholism
Several human and animal studies have shown a relationship between a preference for highly sweet tastes and alcohol use disorders.

A fundamental problem for brain mapping
Is there a brain area for mind-wandering? For religious experience?

EARTH: Iowa impact crater confirmed
Scientists have recently confirmed the existence of an impact crater buried below the town of Decorah, Iowa.

Heat radiation of small objects: Beyond Planck's equations
In 1900, Max Planck came up with his famous equation, describing heat radiation of stars or glowing metal - but it is not applicable for very small objects.

Trapping T-rays for better security scanners
Medical diagnostic and security scanners with higher sensitivity could result from University of Adelaide research into detecting T-rays (terahertz waves).

Study puts troubling traits of H7N9 avian flu virus on display
The emerging H7N9 avian influenza virus responsible for at least 37 deaths in China has qualities that could potentially spark a global outbreak of flu, according to a new study published July 10, 2013, in the journal Nature.

Radioimmunotherapy deemed safe and effective for lymphoma patients
A new treatment option for patients with relapsing follicular, mantle cell and other indolent B-cell lymphomas has been determined safe and feasible by researchers exploring the potential of a low energy beta-emitter radiopharmaceutical. 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