Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 18, 2013
Infection biology: How Legionella subverts to survive
Bacteria of the genus Legionella have evolved a sophisticated system to replicate in the phagocytic cells of their hosts.

Ketamine as anesthetics can damage children's learning and memory ability
Recent studies have found that anesthesia drugs have neurotoxicity on the developing neurons, causing learning and memory disorders and behavioral abnormalities.

Chimpanzees and orangutans remember distant past events
We humans can remember events in our lives that happened years ago, with those memories often surfacing unexpectedly in response to sensory triggers like flavor or scent.

HIV/AIDS vaccines: Defining what works
A team of researchers led by scientists at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., has developed a strategy for inducing a key part of an effective immune response to HIV.

For women with hysterectomies, estrogen may be a lifesaver after all
The widespread rejection of estrogen therapy after the 2002 Women's Health Initiative study has most likely led to almost 50,000 unnecessary deaths over the last 10 years among women aged 50 to 69 who have had a hysterectomy, Yale School of Medicine researchers reveal in a study published in the July 18 issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

Best papers in applied technology from Springer journals chosen
King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), a scientific organization in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has provided awards for the best paper from five technical journals it publishes in collaboration with Springer.

New approach to protecting prion protein from altering shape
A team of researchers from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have identified a mechanism that can prevent the normal prion protein from changing its molecular shape into the abnormal form responsible for neurodegenerative diseases.

Snow in an infant solar system
A snow line has been imaged in a far-off infant solar system for the very first time.

NASA's 2 views of Tropical Storm Cimaron making landfall in China
Two NASA satellites provided an outside and inside look at Tropical Storm Cimaron as it was starting to make landfall in China.

A snow line in an infant solar system: Astronomers take first images
Like the elevation in the Rocky Mountains where the snow caps begin, a snow line in a solar system is the point where falling temperatures freeze and clump together water or other chemical compounds that would otherwise be vapor.

Dartmouth researchers aim to discover the unknown causes of premature birth
Dartmouth researchers from the Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Sciences, the Center for Integrative Biomedical Sciences, and the Center for Genomic Medicine at the Geisel School of Medicine are studying the unknown causes of premature birth, as part of a $10 million March of Dimes grant.

Milikelvins drive droplet evaporation
Evaporation is so common that everybody thinks it's a well understood phenomenon.

Irish potato famine-causing pathogen even more virulent now
The plant pathogen that caused the Irish potato famine in the 1840s lives on today with a different genetic blueprint and an even larger arsenal of weaponry to harm and kill plants.

NUS researchers developed world's first water treatment techniques using apple and tomato peels
Low cost and efficient, the novel water purification methods could benefit economically and technologically disadvantaged communities.

Sigma-Aldrich® & TSRI partner to accelerate commercialization of research reagents
Sigma-Aldrich Corporation today announced a partnership with The Scripps Research Institute to fund research and provide immediate, day-of-publication access to TSRI researchers' discoveries for the synthesis and analysis of potential drugs.

Gene mutation linked to obesity
Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital have identified a genetic cause of severe obesity that, though rare, raises new questions about weight gain and energy use in the general obese population.

Long-distance relationships can form stronger bonds than face-to-face ones
The long-distance relationship has plagued college students and people relocated for work for ages.

Singing helps students tune into a foreign language, study shows
Singing in a foreign language can significantly improve learning how to speak it, according to a new study.

Antiepileptic drug use while pregnant impacts early child development
Children whose mothers took antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) while pregnant are at increased risk of early development issues, according to a new study published in Epilepsia, a journal published by Wiley on behalf of the International League Against Epilepsy.

Thwarting protein production slows cancer cells' malignant march
Protein production or translation is tightly coupled to a highly conserved stress response -- the heat shock response and its primary regulator, heat shock factor 1 (HSF1) -- that cancer cells rely on for survival and proliferation, according to Whitehead Institute researchers.

How mice teach us about disease
To power research into a wide range of diseases, more than 900 genes in mice have been individually switched off.

Most people with moderate kidney disease have medication-resistant hypertension
More than 50 percent of individuals with moderate kidney disease have hypertension that is resistant to medications, and those who are black or have a larger waist circumference, diabetes, or a history of heart attacks or strokes are at highest risk, according to a study appearing in an upcoming issue of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Emerging importance of computerized cognitive testing -- new therapies for dementia
Computerized cognitive testing is increasingly playing a key role in therapy development for dementia and Alzheimer's disease.

Lizards show evolution is predictable
If you could hit the reset button on evolution and start over, would essentially the same species appear?

American Academy of Microbiology publishes West Nile virus report
Where does the virus come from? How is it spread?

Electronic monitoring systems can improve health care hand hygiene compliance
GOJO Industries, a leader in hand hygiene and skin health and inventors of PURELL hand sanitizer, conducted an independent research study at the John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, to determine the impact on hand hygiene compliance rates when the hospital hand hygiene program included an electronic compliance activity monitoring system.

NIH-funded study suggests that moving more may lower stroke risk
Here's yet another reason to get off the couch: new research findings suggest that regularly breaking a sweat may lower the risk of having a stroke.

Bacteriophages battle superbugs
IFR microbiologists are reinvigorating a way of battling C. difficile infections that they hope will help overcome the growing problem of antibiotic resistant superbugs in hospitals.

An easier way to make a topological insulator for advanced electronics
Physicists at the University of Michigan say they have devised a more elegant way to fine-tune the behavior of topological insulators -- peculiar, two-faced materials whose electrical properties differ markedly between their surface and their interior.

EU and the US extend scientific co-operation on standards and measurements
Lowered tariffs and harmonized standards -- this is where the real savings for businesses and consumers will be achieved in the future free trade agreement between the EU and the US.

Mining for meaning: Getting computers to understand natural language texts
Software giant Google has awarded the Saarbr├╝cken computer scientist its Google Focused Research Award worth US $140,000.

Americans continue to use more renewable energy sources, according to Lawrence Livermore analysis
Americans used more natural gas, solar panels and wind turbines and less coal to generate electricity in 2012, according to the most recent US energy charts released by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

New evidence for warm-blooded dinosaurs
University of Adelaide research has shown new evidence that dinosaurs were warm-blooded like birds and mammals, not cold-blooded like reptiles as commonly believed.

'Worrying' rise in alcohol deaths among young women in England and Scotland
There has been a

Cellular channels vital for hearing identified
Boston Children's researchers identified two proteins in the inner ear, critical for hearing that cause hearing loss when damaged by genetic mutations.

Scientists develop new way to measure cumulative effect of head hits in football
Scientists at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have developed a new way to measure the cumulative effect of impacts to the head incurred by football players.

Bearing witness to the phenomenon of symmetric cell division
For more than 125 years, scientists have been peering through microscopes, carefully watching cells divide.

Subdiaphragmatic vagotomy reduces intake of sweet-tasting solutions in rats
A new study reports that subdiaphragmatic vagotomy reduces intake of sweet-tasting solutions in rats, and eliminate the hedonic perception produced by sucrose and saccharin in rats.

Unusual material expands dramatically under pressure
If you squeeze a normal object in all directions, it shrinks in all directions.

Abnormal activation of the occipital lobes in major depressive disorder patients
A recent study published in the Neural Regeneration Research combined cognition tasks and functional MRI, and designed multiple repeated event-related tasks.

Drinking alcohol during pregnancy affects learning and memory function in offspring?
Maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy has detrimental effects on fetal central nervous system development.

RI Hospital: Caregivers of those with dementia may benefit from tailored interventions
Rhode Island Hospital researchers have found that multiple factors contribute to the burden felt by caregivers of people living with Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia.

Consensus statement on pediatric arrhythmias released by ESC and AEPC
A joint consensus statement on the treatment of pediatric arrhythmias has been released by the European Heart Rhythm Association of the European Society of Cardiology and the Association for European Paediatric and Congenital Cardiology.

European fish stocks poised for recovery
The results of a major international effort to assess the status of dozens of European fish stocks find that many of those stocks in the northeast Atlantic are being fished sustainably today and that, given time, those populations should continue to recover.

Springer partners with State Grid Electric Power Research Institute in China
Springer is publishing a new open access journal in collaboration with the State Grid Electric Power Research Institute in China.

Missed diagnoses and drug errors make up bulk of primary care malpractice claims
Missed diagnoses -- particularly of cancer, heart attack, and meningitis -- and drug errors make up the bulk of malpractice claims brought against doctors in primary care, finds an analysis of published data in the online journal BMJ Open.

Marriage rate lowest in a century
Fewer women are getting married and they're waiting longer to tie the knot when they do decide to walk down the aisle.

Study reveals how smoking increases vulnerability to alcohol abuse
Smoking is a well-known risk factor for subsequent alcohol abuse, but the mechanisms underlying this link are unknown.

Study analyzes dynamical properties in antibiotic resistance enzyme
Using biophysical modeling and bioinformatics analysis, researchers show significant evolution in the structural characteristics and physiochemical properties of the antibiotic-destroying enzyme beta-lactamase across bacterial families, but also find that these evolutionary characteristics do not appear to be specifically related to different versions of antibiotic resistance.

Climate change could deprive Volta Basin of water needed to boost energy and food production
A new study released today finds that so much water may be lost in the Volta River Basin due to climate change that planned hydroelectric projects to boost energy and food production may only tread water in keeping up with actual demand.

Cancer 'prehabilitation' can reduce complications and improve treatment outcomes
For patients with cancer,

New treatment offers hope for short-bowel syndrome patients
A new drug, teduglutide, offers significant relief for patients with short-bowel syndrome intestinal failure who are reliant on intravenous nutrition, according to a new study in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, the official clinical practice journal of the American Gastroenterological Association.

Study identifies a simple way to reduce healthcare costs
A study led by a Loyola University Medical Center ENT physician provides a case study of a simple action that can reduce healthcare costs without compromising care.

A warmer planetary haven around cool stars, as ice warms rather than cools
In a bit of cosmic irony, planets orbiting cooler stars may be more likely to remain ice-free than planets around hotter stars.

NASA's Hubble shows link between stars' ages and their orbits
Astronomers using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope have determined the orbital motion of two distinct populations of stars in an ancient globular star cluster, offering proof they formed at different times and providing a rare look back into the Milky Way galaxy's early days.

A constitutional right to health care
More than half of the world's countries have some degree of a guaranteed, specific right to public health and medical care for their citizens written into their national constitutions.

CU study illuminates mortality differences between nondrinkers and light drinkers
As a class, people who don't drink at all have a higher mortality risk than light drinkers.

First atlas on oceanic plankton
In an international collaborative project, scientists have recorded the times, places and concentrations of oceanic plankton occurrences worldwide.

Researchers report a complete description of gene expression in the human retina
Investigators at Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Harvard Medical School have published the most thorough description of gene expression in the human retina reported to date.

Another beautiful helix for biology, this time reminiscent of a parking garage
The endoplasmic reticulum is the protein-making factory within cells consisting of tightly stacked sheets of membrane studded with the molecules that make proteins.

Study finds boys more likely to receive HPV vaccine when their mothers receive preventive care
Boys are more likely to receive the quadrivalent human papillomavirus vaccine if their mothers receive flu shots or Pap screenings, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published in the American Journal of Public Health.

Facebook for molecules
Social media has expanded to reach an unlikely new target: molecules.

Optimal irradiation dose and time window of local X-ray for spinal cord injury
The glial scar is the main inhibitor of axon regeneration and functional recovery in the central nervous system.

Markey earns prestigious National Cancer Institute designation
The University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center was joined by national, state and local leaders last Friday to celebrate its designation as a National Cancer Institute cancer center.

Microbes can influence evolution of their hosts
Contrary to current scientific understanding, it appears that our microbial companions play an important role in their hosts' evolution.

Mapping the brain to understand cultural differences
A University of Maryland-led research team is working to help diplomats, military personnel and global managers to peer inside the minds of people from very different cultures.

Stanford scientists break record for thinnest light-absorber
Stanford scientists have built the thinnest, most efficient absorber of visible light on record, a nanosize structure that could lead to less-costly, more efficient, solar cells.

Weight loss drug helps curb cocaine addictions, Penn study finds
The drug topiramate, typically used to treat epilepsy and more recently weight loss, may also help people addicted to both cocaine and alcohol use less cocaine, particularly heavy users, researchers in the department of psychiatry at Penn Medicine report in a new study published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

Social media, DNA typing help identify source of foodborne strep outbreak
Facebook posts helped alert public health officials to a strep throat outbreak among a high school dance team in 2012, and DNA fingerprinting led investigators to pasta prepared by a previously ill parent as the likely source.

Computer system automatically generates TCP congestion-control algorithms
Computer-designed algorithms for controlling network congestion yield transmission rates two to three times as high as those designed by humans.

Snow falling around infant solar system
The sight of a snowfall can thrill children, but the first-ever snow line seen around a distant star gives astronomers an even greater thrill because of what it reveals about the formation of planets and our solar system's history.

An important discovery at the Montreal Heart Institute: A new approach to treat the most common heart valve disease in Western countries
A study conducted by the team of Dr. Jean-Claude Tardif, Director of the Research Centre at the Montreal Heart Institute, has led to the discovery of a new approach to treat aortic valve stenosis through the administration of a compound that prevents valve deterioration and can even reverse the progression of the disease.

Breaking a sweat while exercising regularly may help reduce stroke risk
Breaking a sweat while working out regularly may help lower your stroke risk.

Avocado farmers face unique foe in fungal-farming beetle
Beetles with unusual

Widely used pesticide toxic to honeybees
Forthcoming research in the journal Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry concludes that the absence of mortality does not always indicate functional integrity.

Low-cost sterilization method for cats and dogs is focus of new research project
With a grant from the Found Animals Foundation, researchers hope to use a

Pro athletes can resume careers after cervical spine fusion surgery, reports Neurosurgery
Most professional athletes are able to return to competition within a year after vertebral fusion surgery on the upper (cervical) spine, reports a study in the July issue of Neurosurgery, official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons.

Eczema may play a key role in the development of food allergy in infants, study suggests
A breakdown of the skin barrier and inflammation in the skin that occurs in eczema could play a key role in triggering food sensitivity in babies, a new study reveals.

An effective initial polytherapy for infantile spasms
Adrenocorticotropic hormone is recommended worldwide as an initial therapy for infantile spasms.

New research suggests that gingival stem cells can be used in tissue regeneration
Today, the International and American Associations for Dental Research published a paper titled

Rhode Island autism experts unite to launch first-of-its-kind research and advocacy consortium
Dozens of autism experts across a variety of specialties have joined together to form the Rhode Island Consortium for Autism Research and Treatment.

Study demonstrates link between reclassification of cannabis and cannabis psychosis
Researchers from the University of York have demonstrated that the change in cannabis declassification in 2009 has coincided with a significant increase in hospital admissions for cannabis psychosis -- rather than the decrease it was intended to produce.

Why crop rotation works
Shift in soil microbes triggers cycle to improve yield, plant nutrition and disease resistance.

New approach to designing visual notations
A research paper by a University of Luxembourg scientist proposing a novel approach to designing visual notations has won the

Research leads to successful restoration of hearing and balance
A research project at Kansas State University has the potential to treat human deafness and loss of balance.

Salk scientists discover more versatile approach to creating stem cells
Stem cells are key to the promise of regenerative medicine: the repair or replacement of injured tissues with custom grown substitutes.

Moderate dose radiotherapy effective in EORTC trial for patients with desmoid-type fibromatosis
A phase 2 EORTC trial for patients with inoperable desmoid-type fibromatosis has shown that moderate dose radiotherapy is an effective treatment for patients with such a rare type of tumor.

The by-product resulting from organic waste management is effective as a fertilizer
The by-product resulting from the management of organic waste could offer optimum uses in fertilizing land intended for maize feed and soft winter wheat, according to a study carried out by the Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development, Neiker-Tecnalia.

NYU Langone Medical Center's tip sheet to the Alzheimer's Association International Conference on Alzheimer's Disease, July 13-18, 2013, in Boston, Mass.
Experts from the Comprehensive Center on Brain Aging at NYU Langone Medical Center will present new research at the 2013 Alzheimer's Association International Conference on Alzheimer's disease to be held in Boston, Mass., from July 13-18, 2013.

NWSC named 'green' data center of the year
The NCAR-Wyoming Supercomputing Center has been named the 2013

Biochemical mapping helps explain who will respond to antidepressants
Duke Medicine researchers have identified biochemical changes in people taking antidepressants -- but only in those whose depression improves.

Soft Robotics -- preview issue of groundbreaking journal on engineered soft devices that interact with living systems
Mary Ann Liebert Inc. publishers has introduced a preview issue of Soft Robotics, a new peer-reviewed journal dedicated to the science and engineering of soft materials in mobile machines.

Obesity and asthma: Study finds a link in the genes
Genes linked to chronic inflammation in asthma may be more active in people who are obese, according to new research that uncovers several biological ties between obesity and asthma.

Electronic health records help fight vaccine-preventable diseases, Columbia Nursing study finds
Using an Electronic Health Record system to automate the immunization data shared between health providers and public health agencies enables physicians to assist individual patients faster and more effectively, while also providing more immediate, cohesive community data to the agencies tasked with promoting public health.

Childhood abuse raises drug users' suicide risk
A new five-year study that tracked more than 1,600 drug users found that severe abuse in their childhood -- emotional, sexual, and to a lesser extent physical -- significantly elevated their risk of attempting suicide.

Stars' orbital dance reveals a generation gap
University of British Columbia astronomers have used NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to track the orbital motion of 33,000 stars in one of the Galaxy's oldest globular clusters, offering new insights into the formation of the Milky Way.

Carnegie's Richard Carlson receives Arthur L. Day Medal
Carnegie geochemist Richard Carlson has been awarded the prestigious Arthur L.

Transatlantic partnership to tackle neurodegenerative disease
Research into multiple sclerosis and motor neuron disease is to be boosted with an international collaboration to further understanding of these illnesses.

Is sexual addiction the real deal?
Controversy exists over whether what some mental health experts call hypersexuality, or sexual addiction, is a mental disorder at all.

How Mars' atmosphere got so thin: New insights from Curiosity
New findings from NASA's Curiosity rover provide clues to how Mars lost its original atmosphere, which scientists believe was much thicker than the one left today.

Good vibrations: Mediating mood through brain ultrasound
University of Arizona researchers have developed a novel technique to affect mood through ultrasound vibrations applied to the brain.

Science in plain English: An impossible dream?
Scientific writing is often dry, wordy, and difficult to understand.

Evolutionary changes could aid fisheries
Sustainable fishing practices could lead to larger fishing yields in the long run, according to a new study that models in detail how ecology and evolution affect the economics of fishing.

Early detection and treatment of Alzheimer's disease prevents psychological and behavioral symptoms
Persons with Alzheimer's disease are able to manage their everyday activities longer and they suffer from less psychological and behavioral symptoms if the diagnosis is made and treatment begun at a very early phase of the disease, indicates a recent study conducted at the University of Eastern Finland.

Deadliest cancers may respond to new drug treatment strategy
UC San Francisco researchers have found a way to knock down cancers caused by a tumor-driving protein called

Movement without muscles study in insects could inspire robot and prosthetic limb developments
Insects use

Hospital quality information on common heart procedure now publicly available
Information from the American College of Cardiology national database of hospital records on stenting and angioplasty, also known as percutaneous coronary intervention or PCI, is now available to consumers.

Registration is Open for First Ever Mushrooms and Health Summit
Registration is now open for the Mushrooms and Health Summit held at the Mayflower Renaissance hotel in Washington D.C. on September 9-10, 2013.

Ovarian cancer metastases influenced by factors in target tissues
Cancer researchers have wondered why ovarian cancer cells are so attracted to the abdominal cavity, especially the omentum, with the hope that such understanding could lead to better disease management or even prevention.

Graphene 'onion rings' have delicious potential
Hexagonal graphene

Spanish scientists successfully generate 'artificial bones' from umbilical cord stem cells
Although their results were obtained

Banner Health, Mayo Clinic receive grant
Researchers from Mayo Clinic in Arizona and Banner Sun Health Research Institute are working together on a diagnostic test to identify early Parkinson's disease in patients thanks to a $152,486 grant from The Michael J.

Children with ear deformity may need intervention to improve school performance
Children born with a complete absence of the external ear canal, even if only one ear is affected, are more likely than their peers to struggle in school, according to new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

New methods to visualize bacterial cell-to-cell communication
Researchers at the University of Basel have developed a live-cell fluorescent labeling that makes bacterial cell-to-cell communication pathways visible.

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria widespread in Hudson River, study finds
The risk of catching some nasty germ in the Hudson River just started looking nastier.

Computing toxic chemicals
A new computational method for working out in advance whether a chemical will be toxic will be reporting in a forthcoming issue of the International Journal of Data Mining and Bioinformatics.

A secret to making macrophages
Biologists at the California Institute of Technology have worked out the details of a mechanism that leads undifferentiated blood stem cells to become macrophages -- immune cells that attack bacteria and other foreign pathogens.

Penn researchers help show new way to study and improve catalytic reactions
A study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Trieste and Brookhaven National Laboratory has shown a way to precisely design the active elements of a certain class of catalysts, showing which parameters are most critical for improving performance.

LSUHSC researcher awarded NCI grant to study link between chronic inflammation and cancer
Yan Cui, Ph.D., associate professor of microbiology, immunology, and parasitology at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans and the LSUHSC Stanley S.

RI Hospital: Absence of specific enzyme in cartilage can lead to benign tumors in mice
Rhode Island Hospital researchers have found that the absence of the Shp-2 enzyme near specialized cartilage cells can lead to the development of multiple benign cartilage tumors in mice, a model that recapitulates the rare human tumor syndrome metachondromatosis.

Newly found CLAMP protein regulates genes
A newly discovered protein, found in many species, turns out to be the missing link that allows a key regulatory complex to find and operate on the lone X chromosome of male fruit flies, bringing them to parity with females.

MAVEN spectrometer opens window to Red Planet's past
When NASA's MAVEN mission begins its journey to the Red Planet later this year, it will be equipped with a special instrument to take the planet back in time.

Recommended calorie information on menus does not improve consumer choices, Carnegie Mellon study shows
Carnegie Mellon University researchers recently put menu labels to the test by investigating whether providing diners with recommended calorie intake information along with the menu items caloric content would improve their food choices. 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