Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 26, 2013
The arithmetic of gun control
Aiming to quell heated national debate about gun control with factual answers, two UC Irvine mathematicians have designed parameters to measure how to best prevent both one-on-one killings and mass shootings in the United States.

Discovered a genetic biomarker that detects Lewy body dementia
The Germans Trias i Pujol Health Sciences Research Institute and the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona have discovered the first genetic biomarker to detect Lewy body dementia, a disease that can be confused with Alzheimer's.

Pew commends FDA for releasing draft rules to make imported foods safer
The Pew Charitable Trusts commended the US Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, today for issuing two draft rules needed to implement the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act.

Weekly recap from the International Space Station expedition lead scientist
The Expedition 36 crew completed packing the Materials International Space Station Experiment-8 (MISSE-8) Payload Experiment Container (PEC) and Optical Reflector Materials Experiment-III (ORMatE-III) after it was retrieved during the spacewalk.

Empowering your customers? Think twice about social media campaigns
Companies that empower consumers by involving them in important processes such as product development shouldn't also try to influence them through social media, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Singing fruit flies, Alzheimer's diagnostics among student projects
From seeking evolutionary clues through the courtship and survival habits of fruit flies to new diagnostics and treatments for Alzheimer's and breast cancer, University of Houston students are devoting their summer to serious research.

Removing complexity layers from the universe's creation
Complicated statistical behaviour observed in complex systems such as early universe can often be understood if it is broken down into simpler ones.

1-year results of ADAPT-DES trial published in The Lancet
Patients who receive a drug-eluting stent and demonstrate high platelet reactivity on clopidogrel are more likely to have blood clots form on the stent and to suffer a heart attack; however, these patients are less likely to develop bleeding complications.

Singapore scientists discover new drug targets for aggressive breast cancer
Scientists at A*STAR's Genome Institute of Singapore led in a study that has identified genes that are potential targets for therapeutic drugs against aggressive breast cancer.

People with mental health problems hit harder by recession
Since the start of the recession, the rate of unemployment for people with mental health problems has risen more than twice as much than for people without mental health problems, according to new research from King's College London.

Is it Bell's palsy or a stroke? Emergency physicians have the answer
Emergency physicians correctly identified nearly 100 percent of patients with Bell's palsy, the symptoms of which are nearly identical to potentially life-threatening diseases such as stroke and brain tumors.

Is Facebook actually making communication about products and brands more interesting?
Communication channels such as Facebook may be leading consumers to discuss more interesting products, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Isolated psychiatric episodes rare, but possible, in common form of autoimmune encephalitis
A small percentage of people diagnosed with a mysterious neurological condition may only experience psychiatric changes -- such as delusional thinking, hallucinations, and aggressive behavior -- according to a new study by researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

NASA sees heaviest rain north of Tropical Storm Flossie's center
As Eastern Pacific Ocean's Tropical Storm Flossie continues to move further west toward Hawaii, NASA's TRMM satellite analyzed its rainfall.

Overactive immune response blocks itself
As part of the innate immune system natural killer cells play an important role in immune responses.

Gold nanoparticles improve photodetector performance
Using with nanoparticles of gold, researchers at the National University of Singapore have found a way to boost the performance of molybdenum disulfide MoS2 photodetectors, which are used in a wide range of technologies, such as environmental sensing, process control in factories, and optical communication devices.

Potential well water contaminants highest near natural gas drilling, UT Arlington study says
Researchers tested 100 samples from water wells in and near the Barnett Shale natural gas drilling area and found elevated levels of potential contaminants such as arsenic closest to active gas extraction sites.

What can plants reveal about global climate change?
While the media continues to present climate change as a controversial issue, many scientists are working hard to gather data, collaborate across disciplines, and use experimental and modeling techniques to track how organisms and ecosystems are responding to the current changes in our Earth's global environment.

Migraine is associated with variations in structure of brain arteries
The network of arteries supplying blood flow to the brain is more likely to be incomplete in people who suffer migraine, a new study by researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania reports.

HIV-associated lymphoma survival has not improved during the antiretroviral therapy era
Stable survival rates were observed for HIV-associated lymphoma patients during the antiretroviral therapy era in the US, according to a new study published July 26 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Soc of Vert Paleontology members awarded by Mongolia for role in repatriation of stolen fossils
Three paleontologists, all members of the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology, were recently awarded a Polar Star for their work to help return smuggled fossils to Mongolia.

Give them a hand: Gesturing children perform well on cognitive tasks
Young children who use gestures outperform their peers in problem-solving tasks, says a study due to be published in the Aug., 2013 issue of Developmental Psychology.

Traditional forest management reduces fungal diversity
Biologists in the Department of Plant Biology and Ecology of the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country, have recently quantified this effect on fungi populations that live off dead wood in various beech groves in Navarre.

Database simplifies finding Canadian plant names and distribution
Determining the correct name of plants present in a particular area is often a chore to users of biodiversity information.

Space station research exposing the salty truth of supercritical water transitions
Water phases from boiling to steam or from freezing to ice.

From embarrassing Facebook posts to controversial Tweets, why are consumers oversharing online?
Increased use of digital communication is causing consumers to lose their inhibitions and

Building stronger policies to fight global hunger
As part of Feed the Future, the federal government's global hunger and food security initiative, Michigan State University will use a $10 million grant from the US Agency for International Development to strengthen developing countries' abilities to fight hunger through improved food policy.

Sudden decline in testosterone may cause Parkinson's disease symptoms in men
The results of a new study by neurological researchers at Rush University Medical Center show that a sudden decrease of testosterone, the male sex hormone, may cause Parkinson's like symptoms in male mice.

Why are consumers less likely to buy a product when it's the only option?
Consumers are more likely to search for alternatives when they are given only one option, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Researchers find new way to create 'gradients' for understanding molecular interactions
Scientists use tools called gradients to understand how molecules interact in biological systems.

Inherited virus can cause cognitive dysfunction and fatigue
Many experts believe that chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) has several root causes including some viruses.

Alternative-energy team wins US Department of Energy poster competition using only small words
Using only cartoons, drawings, photos, and the 1,000 most-commonly-used words in the English language, an alternative-energy team has taken first prize in a US DOE poster contest.

Materialism and loneliness: Is there really a vicious cycle?
Despite being much-maligned, materialism is not always bad for consumers.

Quantum of sonics: Bonded, not stirred
Researchers at McGill University have discovered a new way to join materials together using ultrasound.

Scientific authorities sign the TMT Master Agreement
The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT) project announces today that all of the scientific authorities of the TMT partners have signed a Master Agreement.

Legendary brands: Why are consumers still fascinated by the Titanic?
Brands do not necessarily need to present a clear, well-defined image in order to appeal to consumers, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Fraunhofer Center for Energy Innovation CEI established in the USA
On July 25 the contract is signed by Fraunhofer and the University of Connecticut UConn for the establishment of the new research facility.

Pesticides contaminate frogs from Californian National Parks
Pesticides commonly used in California's Central Valley, one of the world's most productive agricultural regions, have been found in remote frog species miles from farmland.

Oregon's Sunnyside Turnoff Fire
NASA's Aqua satellite captured an image of smoke from northern Oregon's Sunnyside Turnoff Fire on July 25 as the satellite passed overhead in space.

Oxford University Press to publish BioScience journal from 2014
Oxford University Press is delighted to announce that beginning in January 2014 it will be publishing the renowned journal BioScience, from the American Institute of Biological Sciences.

Neuroscience symposium bringing top scientists to Louisville, Aug. 1-2
Some of the top scientists in the nation, including National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine members, will make presentations at a University of Louisville-hosted symposium during the first week of August.

NASA's various views of Tropical Storm Dorian
NASA satellites analyzed Tropical Storm Dorian in infrared light, giving scientists an idea of the storm's structure, cloud heights and cloud temperatures.

Human stem cell-derived hepatocytes regenerate liver function
Researchers have generated functional hepatocytes from human stem cells, transplanted them into mice with acute liver injury, and shown the ability of these stem-cell derived human liver cells to function normally and increase survival of the treated animals.

Buying a used car? Be sure to flatter the seller
Consumers set high prices when selling their possessions because they feel threatened, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

A new coral reef species from the Gambier Islands, French Polynesia
A new shallow water coral species, Echinophyllia tarae sp. n., is described from the Gambier Islands, French Polynesia.

Evolution on the inside track: How viruses in gut bacteria change over time
The digestive tract is home to a vast colony of bacteria, as well as the myriad viruses that prey upon them.

Molecular monkey arranges X-chromosome activation
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute of Immunobiology and Epigenetics in Freiburg have now shown how the RNA molecules and proteins involved in the activation find and stick to each other.

Gadget genius
University of Akron researchers have developed giant surfactants, or surface coatings, which could lead to lighter laptops, slimmer televisions and crisper smartphone displays.

Researchers uncover cellular mechanisms for attention in the brain
The ability to pay attention to relevant information while ignoring distractions is a core brain function. 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