Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 29, 2013
Navy, city of Chicago team up for groundbreaking education
The Department of the Navy and City of Chicago this month kicked off a unique collaboration to give high school and community college students an intense, hands-on experience in naval-relevant science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.

National Eye Institute grant aims to protect sight from diabetes
Diabetes alters the dynamic, causing inflammation that produces too much arginase inside the cells lining blood vessels in the retina.

New modular vaccine design combines best of existing vaccine technologies
Boston Children's researchers develop new method of vaccine design -- Multiple Antigen Presentation System.

Examination of lymph nodes provides more accurate breast cancer prognosis
After a breast cancer operation, the removed tumour is always examined, as its subtype can provide an indication of how aggressive the disease is.

Mini-monsters of the forest floor
A University of Utah biologist has identified 33 new species of predatory ants in Central America and the Caribbean, and named about a third of the tiny but monstrous-looking insects after ancient Mayan lords and demons.

Young cannabis-smokers aware of the health risks
Young Swiss men who drink alcohol and smoke tobacco or cannabis read up on addictive substances more frequently than their abstinent peers.

Computer scientists develop 'mathematical jigsaw puzzles' to encrypt software
UCLA computer science professor Amit Sahai and a team of researchers have designed a system to encrypt software so that it only allows someone to use a program as intended while preventing any deciphering of the code behind it.

Decision aids reduce men's conflict about PSA screening, but don't change their decisions
Men who decide to be screened for prostate cancer and those who forgo PSA screening stick with their decisions after receiving materials explaining the risks and benefits of the test.

Video killed the interview star
A study from the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University shows that using video conferencing for job interviews disadvantages both employers and candidates.

NRL researchers discover novel material for cooling of electronic devices
As microelectronic devices become smaller, faster and more powerful, thermal management becomes a critical challenge.

Binghamton University study aims to improve dyslexia treatment
Neuroscientist Sarah Laszlo wants to understand what's going on in children's brains when they're reading.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Flossie near Hawaii
NASA's Aqua satellite flew over Tropical Storm Flossie as it neared Hawaii.

Of bears and berries: Return of wolves aids grizzly bears in Yellowstone
A new study suggests that the return of wolves to Yellowstone National Park is beginning to bring back a key part of the diet of grizzly bears that has been missing for much of the past century -- berries that help bears put on fat before going into hibernation.

Female deaths much less likely to be reported to coroner in England and Wales
Doctors in England and Wales are much less likely to report a woman's death to a coroner than they are a man's, reveals research published online in the Journal of Clinical Pathology.

Could sleeping stem cells hold key to treatment of aggressive blood cancer?
Scientists studying an aggressive form of leukaemia have discovered that rather than displacing healthy stem cells in the bone marrow as previously believed, the cancer is putting them to sleep to prevent them forming new blood cells.

Saliva samples can reveal serious illnesses
Björn Klinge and his research group have now shown that it is also possible that saliva contains traces of other illnesses with an inflammatory component, including for example the growth of certain tumors, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.

Study looks beyond averages to track variability in a bacterial population
As a result of the variable nature of gene expression, genetically identical cells inhabiting the same environment can vary significantly in their numbers of key enzymes, which in turn results in strikingly different cellular behaviors.

Looking at outcomes important to patients may improve results of cataract surgery
Cataract surgery can lead to good results from a clinical standpoint yet have poor outcomes from the patient's point of view, reports a study,

New American Chemical Society video on a real stinker: The corpse flower's odor
After six years of anticipation, that rock star of plants -- a rainforest giant known as the corpse flower for its putrid odor -- has bloomed in Washington, D.C., and is the subject of a new video by the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

Higher cancer incidences found in regions near refineries and plants that release benzene
The incidence of a particular type of blood cancer is significantly higher in regions near facilities that release the chemical benzene into the environment.

Scientists from Mainz and Antananarivo describe Lavasoa Dwarf Lemur as new primate species
Based on fieldwork and laboratory analyses, researchers of the universities of Mainz and Antananarivo now identified a previously unknown species of dwarf lemur.

Playing college football linked with high blood pressure risk
College football players, especially linemen, may develop high blood pressure over the course of their first season, according to a small study in the American Heart Association's journal Circulation.

New technology allows scientists, school children to examine biological details
Now, new computer technology is making highly sophisticated biological systems available for viewing by students and researchers.

Essential clue to Huntington's disease solution found by McMaster researchers
Researchers at McMaster University have discovered a solution to a long-standing medical mystery in Huntington's disease.

Study predicts potential surge in medically-attended injuries
As federal and state policies encouraging people to be covered by health insurance go into effect, this study signals a need to prepare for potential large increases in demand for care of minor and moderate pediatric and young adult injuries in both emergency department and outpatient settings.

Catching aerosols in a CATS eye
Weather satellites do a phenomenal job of monitoring clouds, air temperatures, moisture and other factors.

Graduate student awarded NIH fellowship to study electronic cigarettes
Rachel Behar, a University of California, Riverside graduate student, has received a National Institutes of Health fellowship of more than $90,000 to study the cytotoxic effects -- effects that are toxic to the body's cells -- of e-cigarette use.

Cockatoos know what is going on behind barriers
How do you know that the cookies are still there although they have been placed out of your sight into the drawer?

Physicians should counsel patients about sex life after cardiac event
New statement from American and European cardiology experts advises heart patients and their partners to receive individually tailored counseling from healthcare professionals about resuming sexual activity.

PTSD after traumatic events: Which teens are at risk?
With a large new study from Boston Children' Hospital, researchers identified risk factors for children exposed to trauma in developing PTSD from analyzing 6,483 teen-parent pairs from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication, a survey of the prevalence and correlates of mental disorders in the United States.

NIH math model predicts effects of diet, physical activity on childhood weight
Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have created and confirmed the accuracy of a mathematical model that predicts how weight and body fat in children respond to adjustments in diet and physical activity.

New model shows that some children can outgrow obesity without losing weight
A new study published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology reveals a sophisticated new model showing how excessive calorie intake affects the weight of children and adolescents, which could lead to improved weight loss interventions for obese and overweight children.

$20,000 APS Foundation grant helps fund TGen2School education initiative
A $20,000 grant from the APS Foundation will help the Translational Genomics Research Institute expand its TGen2School initiative by providing science kits and instruction in science, technology, engineering and math education.

Evolution of monogamy in humans the result of infanticide risk
The threat of infants being killed by unrelated males is the key driver of monogamy in humans and other primates.

Professor Vanessa Hayes awarded for exceptional Africa-related work
Professor Vanessa Hayes, from Sydney's Garvan Institute of Medical Research, received a Celebration of African Australians Inc Award at Australia's Parliament House on Saturday.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for July 30, 2013
Below is information about an article being published in the July 30 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

NIH researchers identify therapy that may curb kidney deterioration in patients with rare disorder
A team led by NIH researchers has overcome a biological hurdle to find improved treatments for patients with methylmalonic acidemia .

Adolescent kidney transplant recipients appear to be at higher risk of transplant failure
Patients who received their first kidney transplant at ages 14 to 16 years appear to be at increased risk for transplant failure, with black adolescents having a disproportionately higher risk of graft failure, according to a report published by JAMA Internal Medicine, a JAMA Network publication.

Most ward nurses say time pressures force them to 'ration' care
Most ward nurses say they are forced to ration care, and not do or complete certain aspects of it -- including adequate monitoring of patients -- because they don't have enough time, indicates research published online in BMJ Quality & Safety.

UCLA researchers double efficiency of novel solar cell
Nearly doubling the efficiency of a photovoltaic breakthrough made in 2012, UCLA researchers have developed a two-layer, see-through solar film that could be placed on building windows, sunroofs, smartphone displays and other surfaces to harvest energy from the sun.

Antibiotic reduction campaigns do not necessarily reduce resistance
Antibiotic use -- and misuse -- is the main driver for selection of antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Cell phones could increase cancer risk
Dr. Yaniv Hamzany of Tel Aviv University has revealed that his new study finds a strong link between heavy cell phone users and higher oxidative stress to all aspects of a human cell, including DNA.

Rattlesnakes and ticks, competition and cannibalism, and Fungi's potential
The upcoming 98th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America will feature presentations on species interactions, including new research suggesting that top predators like the timber rattlesnake play an important role in regulating the incidence of Lyme disease, competitive pressures that may lead to cannibalistic salamanders, and the untapped potential of Fungi to contribute to engineering and other human applications.

'Cowcatcher' enzyme fixes single-strand DNA
Single-stranded DNA repair is a critical process whose mechanism has never been determined.

Hospital screening tool for suicide risk among self-harmers should be ditched
A screening tool used in general hospitals to detect suicide risk among patients who have self harmed should be ditched, concludes a study published online in Emergency Medicine Journal.

Unraveling genetic networks
Now a special issue of the journal CHAOS, produced by AIP Publishing, explores new experimental and theoretical techniques for unraveling genetic networks.

Adolescents are what they don't eat, too
Diets lacking omega-3 fatty acids -- found in foods like wild fish, eggs, and grass-fed livestock -- can have worsened effects over consecutive generations, especially affecting teens, according to a University of Pittsburgh study.

Evolution of diverse sex-determining mechanisms in mammals
Scientists historically have argued that evolution proceeds through gradual development of traits.

NOAA-supported scientists find large Gulf dead zone, but smaller than predicted
NOAA-supported scientists found a large Gulf of Mexico oxygen-free or hypoxic 'dead' zone, but not as large as had been predicted.

Pulsating star sheds light on exoplanet
A team of researchers has devised a way to measure the internal properties of stars -- a method that offers more accurate assessments of their orbiting planets.

EARTH: A journey through Cuba's culture and geology
Few destinations capture the imagination like Cuba; a forbidden fruit to US citizens.

New study finds increase in nonfatal food-related choking among children in the US
Choking is a leading cause of injury among children, especially for children 4 years of age and younger.

Living longer, living healthier
Based on data collected between 1991 and 2009 from almost 90,000 individuals who responded to the Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey, David Cutler, the Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics, says that, even as life expectancy has increased over the past two decades, people have become increasingly healthier later in life

NASA's Chandra sees eclipsing planet in X-rays for first time
For the first time since exoplanets, or planets around stars other than the sun, were discovered almost 20 years ago, X-ray observations have detected an exoplanet passing in front of its parent star.

How does hydrogen metallize?
Hydrogen is deceptively simple. It has only a single electron per atom, but it powers the sun and forms the majority of the observed universe.

NASA keeping an eye on Dorian's remnants
NASA and NOAA satellites continue to keep a close eye on the remnants of Tropical Storm Dorian as they make their way through the eastern Caribbean Sea.

Decision aids associated with increase in informed decision making about prostate cancer screening
Both web-based and print-based decision aids appear to improve patients' informed decision making about prostate cancer screening up to 13 months later, but does not appear to affect actual screening rates, according to a study by Kathryn L.

New coating may help joint replacements bond better with bone
Researchers have found that bone cells grow and reproduce faster on a textured surface than they do on a smooth one -- and they grow best when they can cling to a microscopic shag carpet made of tiny metal oxide wires.

When fluid dynamics mimic quantum mechanics
MIT researchers expand the range of quantum behaviors that can be replicated in fluidic systems, offering a new perspective on wave-particle duality.

Parents don't fully understand biobank research, study finds
Researchers who collect genetic samples from children for medical research need to explain the process more clearly to parents, according to a new study that suggests many parents don't fully understand the finer details about how these samples will be used and stored.

Treatment for back pain varies despite published clinical guidelines
Management of back pain appears to be variable, despite numerous published clinical guidelines, according to a report published by JAMA Internal Medicine, a JAMA Network publication.

Plant-based compound may inhibit HIV
A compound found in soybeans may become an effective HIV treatment without the drug resistance issues faced by current therapies.

Impaired visual signals might contribute to schizophrenia symptoms
By observing the eye movements of schizophrenia patients while playing a simple video game, a University of British Columbia researcher has discovered a potential explanation for some of their symptoms, including difficulty with everyday tasks.

Global warming endangers South American water supply
Chile and Argentina may face critical water storage issues due to rain-bearing westerly winds over South America's Patagonian Ice-Field to moving south as a result of global warming.

The invisible driver
Fully autonomous cars may still be the stuff of science fiction.

BIDMC study suggests worsening trends in back pain management
Patient care could be enhanced and the health care system could see significant cost savings if health care professionals followed published clinical guidelines to manage and treat back pain, according to researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and published in the July 29 issue of JAMA Internal Medicine.

Monogamy evolved as a mating strategy
Social monogamy, where one breeding female and one breeding male are closely associated with each other over several breeding seasons, appears to have evolved as a mating strategy, new research reveals.

Intent to harm: Willful acts seem more damaging
How harmful we perceive an act to be depends on whether we see the act as intentional, reveals new research published in Psychological Science.

Pushing microscopy beyond standard limits
Engineers at the California Institute of Technology have devised a method to convert a relatively inexpensive conventional microscope into a billion-pixel imaging system that significantly outperforms the best available standard microscope.

Study shows job training results in competitive employment for youth with autism
A study shows intensive job training benefits youth with Autism Spectrum Disorders, one of the most challenging disabilities in the world where only 20 percent find employment.

Natural affinities -- unrecognized until now -- may have set stage for life to ignite
The chemical components crucial to the start of life on Earth may have primed and protected each other in never-before-realized ways, according to new research.

Premature aging of immune cells in joints of kids with chronic arthritis, Pitt team says
The joints of children with the most common form of chronic inflammatory arthritis contain immune cells that resemble those of 90-year-olds, according to a new study led by researchers at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Aberrant splicing saps the strength of 'slow' muscle fibers
In people with myotonic dystrophy, the second most common form of muscular dystrophy, type 1 fibers do not work well, wasting away as the genetic disorder takes over.

Head hits can be reduced in youth football
Less contact during practice could mean a lot less exposure to head injuries for young football players, according to researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center and Virginia Tech.

Are you hiring the wrong person?
Have you ever applied for a job and wondered why it is offered to someone who appears to be less qualified than you?

UT Southwestern researchers identify novel mechanism that helps stomach bug cause illness
A seafood contaminant that thrives in brackish water during the summer works like a spy to infiltrate cells and quickly open communication channels to sicken the host, researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center report.

Prison reform results in strain on welfare system
The burden of improved conditions in state prisons may be borne by welfare recipients, according to new research from Rice University and Louisiana State University.

Major changes urged for cancer screening and treatment
To address the growing problem of people being overdiagnosed and overtreated for cancer, a group of scientists convened by the National Cancer Institute and chaired by a UC San Francisco breast cancer expert is proposing a major update of the way the nation approaches diseases now classified as

Ice-free Arctic winters could explain amplified warming during Pliocene
Year-round ice-free conditions across the surface of the Arctic Ocean could explain why the Earth was substantially warmer during the Pliocene Epoch than it is today, despite similar concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, according to new research carried out at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Study unravels genetics behind debilitating inflammatory disease Takayasu arteritis
Researchers have uncovered the genetics behind what makes some people susceptible to Takayasu arteritis.

X chromosomes: Undoing a hairpin doubles gene activity
Male fruit flies have one X chromosome per cell, females have two.

Beaumont Health System launches research trial of bioresorbable heart scaffold
Beaumont Health System has joined a multicenter, international research study of a new temporary heart device that helps keep an artery open following angioplasty, then is broken down and absorbed by the body.

Hot flashes? Thank evolution
A study of mortality and fertility patterns among seven species of wild apes and monkeys and their relatives, compared with similar data from hunter-gatherer humans, shows that menopause sets humans apart from other primates.

Field test could lead to reducing CO2 emissions worldwide
An injection of carbon dioxide, or CO2, has begun at a site in southeastern Washington to test deep geologic storage.

Cells move as concentration shifts
New research sheds new light on the physical mechanisms provoking the displacement of a sheet of cell, known as an epithelium.

GOES-R satellite magnetometer boom deployment successful
The GOES-R Magnetometer Engineering Development Unit made an important development in the construction of the spacecraft recently after completing a successful boom deployment test at an ATK facility in Goleta, Calif.

Protocol for a clinical study on reduced toxicant prototype cigarettes published
British American Tobacco has published the protocol for a clinical study designed to determine whether using reduced-toxicant prototype cigarettes that reduce smokers' exposure to smoke toxicants impacts biological effect (ISRCTN81286286).

Brain implant aims to stifle drug highs
Researchers at Case Western Reserve and Illinois State universities are investigating what happens in an animal brain when drugs of abuse provide no high.

NIH expands study to better understand kidney disease progression
Researchers from the Chronic Renal Insufficiency Cohort (CRIC) study are embarking on another five years of work to identify risk factors for progression of early stage chronic kidney disease (CKD), better understand the importance of reduced kidney function in older persons, and learn what role CKD may play in other illnesses that require hospitalization.

Sharing the wealth with loyal workers
Workers who are loyal to their employers tend to be paid more, according to the first broad-scale study of worker loyalty and earnings.

Capturing black hole spin could further understanding of galaxy growth
Astronomers have found a new way of measuring the spin in supermassive black holes, which could lead to better understanding about how they drive the growth of galaxies.

Glucose intolerance, diabetes or insulin resistance not linked with pathological features of AD
Glucose intolerance or insulin resistance do not appear to be associated with pathological features of Alzheimer disease or detection of the accumulation of the brain protein β-amyloid, according to a report published by JAMA Neurology, a JAMA Network publication.

Understanding why male mammals choose monogamy
This new study informs the setting in which social monogamy evolved in male mammals, which has been debated by evolutionary biologists for decades.

Like water for batteries
Objects made from graphite -- such as lithium-ion batteries -- are

Tetrapod nanocrystals light the way to stronger polymers
Berkeley Lab researchers have developed advanced opto-mechanical stress probes based on tetrapod quantum dots (tQDs) that allow precise measurement of the tensile strength of polymer fibers with minimal impact on the polymer's mechanical properties.

UK's 'super mouse' yielding major discoveries in cancer research
It appears tiny and inconsequential enough, but the

Be happy: Your genes may thank you for it
Your state of mind -- that is, your happiness -- affects your genes, say UCLA scientists.

Seemingly competitive co-catalysts cooperate to accelerate chemical reaction
Boston College chemists report in the journal Nature Chemistry that a new and counterintuitive strategy, inspired by computational studies, opened the door to the development of a substantially more efficient chemical reaction from a highly valued catalyst their team has been developing since 2006.

Topical analgesic may provide pain-free 'skin glue' repair of cuts in children
More than 50 percent of children who were given a topical analgesic had no pain during wound repair with

Breastfeeding duration appears associated with intelligence later in life
Breastfeeding longer is associated with better receptive language at 3 years of age and verbal and nonverbal intelligence at age 7 years, according to a study published by JAMA Pediatrics, a JAMA Network publication.

Social amoebae travel with a posse
Some social amoebae farm the bacteria they eat. Now a collaboration of scientists at Washington University in St.

Friendships reduce risky behaviors in homeless youth
Homeless young women may be at greater risk for sexually transmitted infections than homeless young men because of the structure of their social groups and friendships, according to new research from UC San Francisco.

Borneo's orangutans are coming down from the trees
Orangutans might be the king of the swingers, but primatologists in Borneo have found that the great apes spend a surprising amount of time walking on the ground.

Experimental quest to test Einstein's speed limit
Special relativity states that the speed of light is the same in all frames of reference and that nothing can exceed that limit.

Human cells respond in healthy, unhealthy ways to different kinds of happiness
Human bodies recognize at the molecular level that not all happiness is created equal, responding in ways that can help or hinder physical health, according to new research led by Barbara L.

The best of 2 worlds: Solar hydrogen production breakthrough
Using a simple solar cell and a photo anode made of a metal oxide, HZB and TU Delft scientists have successfully stored nearly five percent of solar energy chemically in the form of hydrogen.

UK researcher earns 2013 Discovery Award
The Society for Free Radical Biology & Medicine recently named the University of Kentucky's Dr.

Keeping your balance
Professor Kathleen Cullen has been able to identify a distinct and surprisingly small cluster of cells deep within the brain that react within milliseconds to readjust our movements when something unexpected happens, whether it is slipping on ice or hitting a rock when skiing.

Early exposure to insecticides gives amphibians higher tolerance later
Amphibians exposed to insecticides early in life -- even those not yet hatched -- have a higher tolerance to those same insecticides later in life, according to a recent University of Pittsburgh study.

Danes contract Salmonella infections abroad
In 2012 the number of Salmonella cases increased slightly after the record low incidence in 2011.

Make it yourself and save -- a lot
By making household items with 3-D printers, families can save hundreds if not thousands of dollars over the purchase price.

Researchers identify genetic mutation linked to congenital heart disease
A mutation in a gene crucial to normal heart development could play a role in some types of congenital heart disease -- the most common birth defect in the US.

Locations: Anthropology in the academy, the workplace, and the public sphere
This release focuses on the Biannual Conference of the German Anthropological Association from October 2-5, 2013 at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.

Hope for tigers lives in Sumatra
In time for the third annual International Tiger Day, recent findings from a camera trap survey in Sumatra, Indonesia, have uncovered a burgeoning tiger stronghold on an island that typically makes headlines for its rampant loss of forests and wildlife. 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