Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 16, 2013
Study identifies source of oil sheens near Deepwater Horizon site
A chemical analysis indicates that the source of oil sheens recently found floating at the ocean's surface near the site of the Gulf of Mexico Deepwater Horizon oil spill is pockets of oil trapped within the wreckage of the sunken rig.

Highest risk Alzheimer's genetic carriers take positive steps after learning risk status
People who found out they carried an uncommon genetic risk for Alzheimer's disease did not experience more anxiety, depression or distress than non-carriers, and were more active in efforts to reduce their risk of Alzheimer's disease -- by exercising, eating a healthy diet and taking recommended vitamins and medications -- report researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania today at the 2013 Alzheimer's Association International Conference.

People with pre-diabetes who drop substantial weight may ward off type 2 diabetes
People with pre-diabetes who lose roughly 10 percent of their body weight within six months of diagnosis dramatically reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes over the next three years, according to results of research led by Johns Hopkins scientists.

Duke bioengineers develop new approach to regenerate back discs
Cell therapies may stop or reverse the pain and disability of degenerative disc disease and the loss of material between vertebrae, according to Duke University scientists.

Long-forgotten seawall protected New Jersey homes from Hurricane Sandy's powerful storm surges
Two beachfront communities in New Jersey were hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, but one fared much better than the other thanks to a long-forgotten seawall buried beneath the sand.

Electronic data methods for health care research -- update from the EDM forum
Research using electronic clinical data (ECD) has the potential to make major contributions to health care research and improve patient outcomes.

Human-driven change on Argentine forests
A new report by the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Disease Ecology Laboratory of Instituto de Ciencias Veterinarias del Litoral, Argentina shows that increases in precipitation and changes in vegetative structure in Argentine forests -- factors driven by climate change and deforestation in the region -- are leading to increased parasitism of young nesting birds by fly larvae of the species Philornis torquans.

Minnesota Energy & Environment Senior Advisor Ellen Anderson to receive ESA Regional Policy Award
On Sunday, August 4, 2013, the Ecological Society of America will present its sixth annual Regional Policy Award to Ellen Anderson, Energy and Environment Senior Advisor to Minnesota's Governor Dayton, during the Society's conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Study identifies Deepwater Horizon debris as likely source of Gulf of Mexico oil sheens
A chemical analysis of oil sheens found floating recently at the ocean's surface near the site of the Deepwater Horizon disaster indicates that the source is pockets of oil trapped within the wreckage of the sunken rig.

What are fructooliogosaccharides and how do they provide health benefits?
A new presentation at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting & Expo in Chicago focused on the health benefits of short-chain fructooliogosaccharides, which are low-calorie, non-digestible carbohydrates that can improve food taste and texture while aiding immunity, bone health and the growth and balance of important bacteria in the digestive track.

New study addresses trade-offs between food security and climate change mitigation
Improving agricultural productivity could help cut greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, shows new IIASA research.

The global burden of sickle cell anemia in young children is increasing
The global burden of sickle cell anemia, a hereditary blood disorder, is increasing, with almost half a million babies estimated to be born with the condition in 2050, according to a study published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Collection that may hold key to ocean's mysteries looks to expand in new waterfront home
Ocean Genome Legacy, New England Biolabs Inc., and Northeastern University have reached an agreement that will bring a collection of tissue from the world's most rare, strange, and remarkable ocean creatures to the Marine Science Center in Nahant, Mass.

Ex-offender data shows high risk of sexually transmitted infections after release
The American health care system may be missing a golden opportunity to curtail STIs in communities, according to a new study of offenders following release from the justice system.

Use of ADT for treatment of prostate cancer linked with increased risk of kidney injury
In a study that included more than 10,000 men with nonmetastatic prostate cancer, use of androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) was associated with a significantly increased risk of acute kidney injury, with variations observed with certain types of ADTs, according to a study in the July 17 issue of JAMA.

RNA diagnostic test from paraffin improves lung cancer diagnosis over routine microscopic evaluation
Scientists at the Universities of North Carolina and Utah have developed a histology expression predictor for the most common types of lung cancer: adenocarcinoma, carcinoid, small cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

Artificial organelles transform free radicals into water and oxygen
Researchers at the University of Basel have successfully developed artificial organelles that are able to support the reduction of toxic oxygen compounds.

Tide is turning in skin cancer battle
Recent advances have put melanoma at the forefront of cancer research, raising hopes that scientists and clinicians may have cornered the deadliest of all skin cancers.

Capturing the artistic approach
A new research project at Concordia University has received $2.95 million from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada to explore a new approach to academics commonly known as

Weill Cornell presents updated results from Phase 3 trial of IVIG for Alzheimer's disease
Weill Cornell Medical College neurologist Dr. Norman Relkin reported new findings today from the Phase 3 clinical trial of IVIG (intravenous immunoglobulin) in mild to moderate Alzheimer's disease at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in Boston, Mass.

Revealed the keys to reducing the impact of agriculture on climate change
Land is not being used to its best advantage according to a new study by Ikerbasque Professor Unai Pascual from the Basque Centre for Climate Change and University of Cambridge, and a team of environmental economists from Europe.

Owner to dog -- 'Just do it!'
Dogs can learn, retain and replay actions taught by humans after a short delay.

Exercising during pregnancy reduces the risk of high birth weight newborns
The researchers found that moderate-intensity exercise three times a week during the second and third trimesters of pregnancy halves the risk of having a newborn baby with macrosomia.

Broadband photodetector for polarized light
Using carpets of aligned carbon nanotubes, researchers from Rice University and Sandia National Laboratories have created a solid-state electronic device that is hardwired to detect polarized light across a broad swath of the visible and infrared spectrum.

Weight gain early in pregnancy means bigger, fatter babies
A UAlberta researcher cautions against too much weight early into pregnancy, which leads to larger, chubbier babies.

New technology will improve neuron activation induced by cochlear implants
Cochlear implants, electrical prosthetic devices that stimulate inner ear neurons of individuals who have lost their cochlear sensory cells, restore usable hearing to deaf patients.

Review article describes epidemiology, characteristics and prevention of West Nile virus
Lyle R. Petersen, M.D., M.P.H., of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, US Public Health Service, Department of Health and Human Services, Fort Collins, Colo., and colleagues conducted a review of the medical literature and national surveillance data to examine the ecology, virology, epidemiology, clinical characteristics, diagnosis, prevention, and control of West Nile virus.

Fires in the Canadian Yukon province
In the Yukon territory of Canada, several large wildfires continue to burn unabated.

Family tree of fish yields surprises
The mighty tuna is more closely related to the delicate seahorse than to a marlin or sailfish.

Researchers shed new light on supraglacial lake drainage
Supraglacial lakes -- bodies of water that collect on the surface of the Greenland ice sheet -- lubricate the bottom of the sheet when they drain, causing it to flow faster.

Using pressure to swell pores, not crush them
High pressure doesn't crush zeolites -- it actually makes interior nanopores expand.

Mosquito indexing system identifies best time to combat potential West Nile Virus outbreaks
UT Southwestern researchers have unlocked some of the mysteries of West Nile virus outbreaks and shown that use of a mosquito vector-index rating system works well to identify the best time for early intervention.

Susceptibility genes for cerebral infarction or hemorrhage in the Han in Hunan, China
Atherosclerosis is widely recognized as an independent risk factor for stroke, and its occurrence is closely related to lipid metabolism.

Changing atmosphere affects how much water trees need
Spurred by increasing levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, forests over the last two decades have become dramatically more efficient in how they use water.

New Web-enabled technology records the presence of species by analyzing their sounds
Identifying, and monitoring the fluctuations of thousands of species in tropical ecosystems is a difficult challenge, but newly developed technology now makes it much easier.

Ecological forces structure your body's personal mix of microbes
Environmental conditions have a stronger influence on the mix of microbes living in your body than does competition between species.

New estimates suggest that prevalence of dementia is falling in UK
The proportion of people with dementia in the UK has fallen, according to new estimates from the first ever study to show how dementia prevalence has changed in the UK population over time, published in The Lancet.

Damaging non-native forest pests at home in northeastern US
In a study recently published on-line in the journal Diversity and Distributions, US Forest Service researchers and partners used spatial data to demonstrate that the distribution of invasive forest pests is highly focused, with a particularly large number of species established in the northeastern region and then moderate but still troublesome numbers radiating to the west and south.

Vitamins and minerals can boost energy and enhance mood
Vitamin and mineral supplements can enhance mental energy and well-being not only for healthy adults but for those prone to anxiety and depression, according to a July 15 panel discussion at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting & Food Expo held at McCormick Place.

AGU journal highlights -- July 16, 2013
Featured in this release are research papers on the following topics:

Eye-tracking could outshine passwords if made user-friendly
University of Washington engineers found in a recent study that the user's experience could be key to creating an authentication system that doesn't rely on passwords.

NASA sees newborn Tropical Depression 08W in infrared
Infrared satellite data helps identify cloud top and sea-surface temperatures, and the AIRS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite captured those when it flew over Tropical Depression 08W in the western North Pacific Ocean.

NYU chemists among R&D Magazine award winners for creation of optical evaluation instrument
New York University chemists have been recognized by R&D Magazine for their creation of an instrument that evaluates the viability of optical displays in consumer and industrial products.

Stop marine pollution to protect kelp forests
University of Adelaide marine biologists have found that reducing nutrient pollution in coastal marine environments should help protect kelp forests from the damaging effects of rising CO2.

New mode of cellular communication discovered in the brain
Researchers at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz have discovered a new form of communication between different cell types in the brain.

Chest radiation cancer patients with risk factors should have CV screening every 5-10 years
Cancer patients who receive chest radiation should be screened for heart disease every 5-10 years, according to the European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging of the European Society of Cardiology and the American Society of Echocardiography.

CME To pass Earth, Messenger and Juno
On July 16, 2013, at 12:09 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.

Each degree of global warming might ultimately raise global sea levels by more than 2 meters
Greenhouse gases emitted today will cause sea level to rise for centuries to come.

New phosphorus book on sustaining an element essential to human life
Phosphorus enables high-yield agriculture and sustains life. Yet phosphate fertilizer is produced by mining non-renewable deposits located in just a few countries.

Self-perpetuating signals may drive tumor cells to spread
A team of international researchers has identified a self-perpetuating signaling circuit inside connective tissue cells that allows these cells to form a front and a back and propel themselves in a particular direction over a long period of time.

Study: Young children with autism benefit regardless of high-quality treatment model
Researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have found that preschoolers with Autism Spectrum Disorder who receive high-quality early intervention benefit developmentally regardless of the treatment model used -- a surprising result that may have important implications for special-education programs and school classrooms across the country.

Men cut back on needed health care after switching to high-deductible insurance plans
After switching to high-deductible health plans in the US, men make fewer emergency department visits for even severe problems -- which may lead to a later increase in hospitalization rates, suggests a study in the August issue of Medical Care, published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.

Combination therapy may help improve rate of favorable neurological status following cardiac arrest
Among patients who experienced in-hospital cardiac arrest requiring vasopressors (drugs that increase blood pressure), use of a combination therapy during cardiopulmonary resuscitation resulted in improved survival to hospital discharge with favorable neurological status, according to a study in the July 17 issue of JAMA.

Where's Waldo? A new alien-like species discovered off California
A strange alien-like animal has been discovered in deep water off the coast of California.

Dartmouth's Jason Moore selected as a Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences
Professor Jason H. Moore of Dartmouth's Geisel School of Medicine has been selected as a Kavli Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences for 2013.

Educators explore innovative 'theater' as a way to learn physics
By role-playing how energy flows and changes, learners achieve rich insights about this central, globally relevant concept.

Discovery of a new class of white blood cells uncovers target for better vaccine design
Scientists at A*STAR's Singapore Immunology Network have discovered a new class of white blood cells in human lung and gut tissues that play a critical role as the first line of defence against harmful fungal and bacterial infections.

Chew more to retain more energy
Almonds may still be considered one of the highest energy food sources but it's not about how much you bite off, instead it's about how much you chew, according to a July 14 panel discussion at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting & Food Expo held at McCormick Place.

Pioneers in Alzheimer's research: Research couple honored for its lifetime achievement
The US Alzheimer's Association honors Dr. Eva-Maria Mandelkow and Professor Dr.

Longer duration of obesity associated with subclinical coronary heart disease
In a study of adults recruited and followed up over the past 3 decades in the United States, longer duration of overall and abdominal obesity beginning in young adulthood was associated with higher rates of coronary artery calcification, a subclinical predictor of coronary heart disease, according to a study in the July 17 issue of JAMA.

Despite health benefits, most children and adults have a 'nutrition gap' in omega-3 fatty acids
Because of a diet low in fish and seafood, children and adults in North America and other parts of the world, have a

Greatly increased risk of stroke for patients who don't adhere to anti-hypertensive medication
People with high blood pressure, who don't take their anti-hypertensive drug treatments when they should, have a greatly increased risk of suffering a stroke and dying from it compared to those who take their medication correctly.

Prostate cancers are fewer, smaller on walnut-enriched diet
New research from the School of Medicine at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio indicates that eating a modest amount of walnuts can protect against prostate cancer.

I can see clearly now -- A new method for rapid detection and identification of downy mildew in basil
Researchers at the City University of New York and Rutgers University have developed a novel procedure enabling early detection and identification of downy mildew in basil.

H7N9 influenza strain resistant to antivirals, but tests fail to identify resistance
Some strains of the avian H7N9 influenza that emerged in China this year have developed resistance to the only antiviral drugs available to treat the infection, but testing for antiviral resistance can give misleading results, helping hasten the spread of resistant strains.

Improving systematic reviews of animal studies will help translational medicine
Many new developments and initiatives have been introduced to improve the quality and translational value of animal research, and must continue with support from the wider scientific community.

Researchers step closer to custom-building new blood vessels
Researchers at Johns Hopkins have coaxed stem cells into forming networks of new blood vessels in the laboratory, then successfully transplanted them into mice.

6 steps could cut heart failure readmissions
Researchers have identified six steps hospital staff can do to help heart failure patients avoid another hospital stay in the 30 days after they're discharged.

RNA-interference pesticides will need special safety testing
RNA interference technology holds promise for the development of pesticides and genetically-modified crops, but possible harmful effects on beneficial species are a concern.

Health Affairs July issue contains global innovation studies from India And Brazil
Two new studies, in Health Affairs July 2013 issue, describe health success stories outside the US.

New insights into sustainable buildings
Paths to Adopt Green Innovations in Developed Countries by Umberto Berardi is the first study of green innovation diffusion which is written considering, with a large perspective, the worldwide situation of the construction industry sector.

Habits, not cravings, drive food choice during times of stress
Putting a new spin on the concept of

Health-related quality of life in PD patients in northeastern Sicily, Italy
Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory emphasizes the development of a series of nested environment systems with which an individual interacts.

Potential neurological treatments often advance to clinical trials on shaky evidence, study says
Clinical trials of drug treatments for neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's often fail because the animal studies that preceded them were poorly designed or biased in their interpretation, according to a new study from an international team of researchers.

The right snack may aid satiety, weight loss
Healthy snacks that promote a feeling of fullness (satiety) may reduce the amount of food intake at subsequent meals and limit overall food consumption, according to a presentation today at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting & Food Expo in Chicago.

Scientists put attitudes toward tigers on the map
It's easier to feel positive about the endangered tiger in your backyard if you live on the good side of town.

Steering stem cells with magnets
By feeding stem cells tiny particles made of magnetized iron oxide, scientists can then use magnets to attract the cells to a particular location in the body.

People with impaired glucose tolerance can show cognitive dysfunction
People with impaired glucose tolerance -- the precursor to Type 2 diabetes -- often show impaired cognitive function that may be alleviated through a diet designed specifically for their condition, according to a panel discussion at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting & Expo.

Molecular relative of p53 tumor suppressor protein also helps cancer cells thrive
The protein TAp73 is a relative of the well-known, tumor-suppressor protein p53, yet it is still not known whether TAp73 enhances tumor cell growth and, if so, exactly how.

Study reveals how patients experience direct-to-consumer genetic testing
Several companies sell genetic testing directly to consumers, but little research has been done on how consumers experience such tests.

Study determines source of oil sheens near the site of Deepwater Horizon
A chemical analysis of oil sheens recently found floating at the ocean's surface near the site of the Deepwater Horizon disaster indicates that the source is pockets of oil trapped within the wreckage of the sunken rig.

University of Huddersfield project accepted for RGF funding for a Centre of Innovation in Rail
The University of Huddersfield together with the Rail Safety and Standards Board and private sector partners have received a conditional offer of funding for a major project in the fourth round of the Government's Regional Growth Fund.

Even healthy-looking smokers have early cell damage which destroys necessary genetic programming
Smokers who've received a clean bill of health from their doctor may believe cigarettes haven't harmed their lungs.

Research leads to affordable technology to fight mosquito-borne diseases
Technology that hampers mosquitoes' host-seeking behavior, identified at the University of California, Riverside in 2011, has led to the development of the world's first product that blocks mosquitoes' ability to efficiently detect carbon dioxide, their primary method of tracking human blood meals.

Study examines characteristics, features of West Nile virus outbreaks
An analysis of West Nile virus epidemics in Dallas County in 2012 and previous years finds that the epidemics begin early, after unusually warm winters; are often in similar geographical locations; and are predicted by the mosquito vector index (an estimate of the average number of West Nile virus-infected mosquitoes collected per trap-night), information that may help prevent future outbreaks of West Nile virus-associated illness, according to a study in the July 17 issue of JAMA.

Spectacular failures, new opportunities to be expected from equity crowdfunding, says Rotman paper
Equity crowdfunding is not yet legal, but when it is, experts say to expect a period of

Bias pervades the scientific reporting of animal studies
A new study published in the open access journal PLOS Biology suggests that the scientific literature could be compromised by substantial bias in the reporting of animal studies, and may be giving a misleading picture of the chances that potential treatments could work in humans.

UCLA researchers find link between intestinal bacteria and white blood cell cancer
This is the first demonstration that the intestinal microbiota plays a major role in longevity, genotoxicity, genetic instability, inflammation and latency of lymphoma in cancer predisposed mice.

Distinctive brain blood flow patterns associated with sexual dysfunction
Premenopausal women who aren't interested in sex and are unhappy about this reality have distinctive blood flow patterns in their brains in response to explicit videos compared to women with normal sexual function, researchers report.

2013 medals and awards of the Geological Society of America
The Geological Society of America will recognize outstanding scientific achievements and distinguished service to the profession at its 2013 Annual Meeting & Exposition in Denver, Colo., USA.

Inner speech speaks volumes about the brain
Whether you're reading the paper or thinking through your schedule for the day, chances are that you're hearing yourself speak even if you're not saying words out loud.

Community pharmacists support more involved role in customers' HIV treatment
Community pharmacists in the US have a unique opportunity to consult with customers about HIV treatment when selling over-the-counter HIV tests.

Diet additions may help youth with type 1 diabetes keep producing own insulin
Adding foods rich in specific amino and fatty acids to the diets of youth with type 1 diabetes kept them producing some of their own insulin for up to two years after diagnosis, said researchers at the Gillings School of Global Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Arg-Phe-amide-related peptides influence gonadotropin-releasing hormone neurons
During the last decade, our understanding of this hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis has quickly expanded.

CAMH scientists discover genetic changes that may contribute to the onset of schizophrenia
Scientists from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health have discovered rare genetic changes that may be responsible for the onset of schizophrenia.

Length of time a young adult is obese linked with development of silent heart disease
The length of time a young adult is obese is associated with the development of silent, or subclinical, heart disease in middle age, independent of body mass index or waist circumference, according to National Institutes of Health-supported research.

Taste rules for kids and healthy food choices
Sweet and salty flavors, repeat exposure, serving size and parental behavior are the key drivers in children's food choices, according to a July 15 panel discussion at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting & Food Expo held at McCormick Place.

Surface porosity and wettability are key factors in boiling heat transfer
Understanding the properties that control surface dissipation of heat could lead to improved power plants and electronics with high heat-transfer rates.

New model to improve vehicle-to-vehicle communication for 'intelligent transportation'
Imagine a transportation system where vehicles communicate directly with each other in real time, giving drivers warnings about traffic delays, allowing a single driver to control multiple vehicles or routing vehicles around hazardous road conditions.

MS drug shows promise for preventing heart failure
A drug already approved to treat multiple sclerosis may also hold promise for treating cardiac hypertrophy, or thickening of the cardiac muscle -- a disorder that often leads to heart failure, researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine report.

Frontiers news briefs: July 16
This week's news briefs include: drinking water can boost cognitive performance; differences in brain circuitry make it more difficult for impulsive persons to control their craving for cigarettes; a mutant strain of zebrafish is an alternative model for Rett syndrome in humans; and how tick-borne diseases evade the tick's immune system.

Study suggests STD clinics could reduce obstacles to much needed cervical cancer screenings
A new study found that STD clinics could provide important access to cervical cancer screenings for women who traditionally have trouble receiving these screenings because of lack of insurance or other obstacles.

Dr. Steven M. Stanley wins Penrose Medal, top honor for pure geology
Dr. Steven M. Stanley, University of Hawai'i at Manoa, Department of Geology & Geophysics, is the recipient of the 2013 Geological Society of America Penrose Medal, the society's highest honor.

The Line Islands Collection -- Microbial dynamics of coral reef robustness and decline
Coral reefs face serious threats primarily arising from climate change, unsustainable fishing, and pollution.

A close Bond: How the CIA exploited 007 for gadget ideas and public relations
The real-life CIA copied outlandish gadgets from Goldfinger and From Russia With Love, according to a University of Warwick analysis of declassified letters and interviews revealing the bond between Ian Fleming and Allen Dulles.

Fat in organs and blood may increase risk of osteoporosis
A new study has found that obese people with higher levels of fat in their liver, muscle tissue and blood also have higher amounts of fat in their bone marrow, putting them at risk for osteoporosis.

Single dose of ADHD drug can reduce fall risk in older adults -- Ben-Gurion U researchers
According to The Journals of Gerontology, the BGU researchers found that a single dose of MPH improves walking by reducing the number of step errors and the step error rate in both single and dual tasks.

Spicing up food can make up for missing fat
Adding just a small amount of everyday herbs and spices to vegetables and reduced-calorie meals may make those foods more appetizing to consumers, which could ultimately help Americans cut down on dietary fat and choose more foods in line with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, according to research presented at the 2013 Institute of Food Technologists Annual Meeting & Food Expo.

New nanoscale imaging method finds application in plasmonics
Researchers from NIST and the University of Maryland have shown how to make nanoscale measurements of critical properties of plasmonic nanomaterials, the specially engineered nanostructures that modify the interaction of light and matter for a variety of applications including sensors, cloaking (invisibility), photovoltaics and therapeutics.

Computer scientist from Saarbr├╝cken receives highly endowed, prestigious EU research grant
Humans are able to capture their environment very accurately in a split second; they recognize motions and interpret them.

Mathematical models target disease with drugs chosen by your DNA
Medicines that are personally tailored to your DNA are becoming a reality, thanks to the work of US and Chinese scientists who developed statistical models to predict which drug is best for a specific individual with a specific disease. 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