Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 31, 2013
First global analysis reveals alarming rise in peripheral artery disease with over a quarter of a billion cases worldwide
The number of people with peripheral artery disease worldwide has risen dramatically (by 23.5 percent) in just 10 years, from about 164 million in 2000 to 202 million in 2010, according to the first robust global estimates, published in The Lancet.

Words and actions
Words and gestures are -- partially -- connected inside the brain.

Penn: New variants at gene linked to kidney disease, sleeping sickness resistance
A new study led by University of Pennsylvania researchers involves a classic case of evolution's fickle nature: a genetic mutation that protects against a potentially fatal infectious disease also appears to increase the risk of developing a chronic, debilitating condition.

Sensitive parenting can boost premature children's school performance
Sensitive parenting helps protect against the negative effects of being born prematurely on children's school success, a new study has found.

Brain maps to benefit epileptic surgery
A brain imaging research team led by Simon Fraser University neuroscientist Dr.

3-D look at prion may help find cure to brain diseases, University of Alberta work shows
Work conducted at the University of Alberta in Canada helps to open the door to designing a molecule that would block prion infection.

Georgia Tech uncovers iOS security weaknesses
Researchers from the Georgia Tech Information Security Center have discovered two security weaknesses that permit installation of malware onto Apple mobile devices using seemingly innocuous applications and peripherals, uncovering significant security threats to the iOS platform.

Man-made quakes could lead to safer, sturdier buildings
Earthquakes never occur when you need one, so a team led by Johns Hopkins structural engineers is shaking up a building themselves in the name of science and safety.

Southerners are less trusting, but trust is a factor in environmental cooperation, study shows
Southerners are generally not as trusting as people who live in other parts of the country, but trusting people are more likely to cooperate in recycling, buying green products and conserving water, a new Baylor University study shows.

New therapy improves life span in melanoma patients with brain metastases, SLU researchers find
The treatment, given to patients with brain metastases, triggers the body's own immune system to recognize and destroy cancer cells.

FASD impacts brain development throughout childhood and adolescence not just at birth
Medical researchers at the University of Alberta recently published findings showing that brain development is delayed throughout childhood and adolescence for people born with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.

Exercise is good for you, but it won't cut hot flashes
Exercise has proven health benefits, but easing hot flashes isn't one of them.

Cleveland Clinic study finds lowest risk treatment for severe carotid and coronary disease
Of the three most common treatment approaches for patients with severe carotid and coronary artery disease, patients who underwent stenting of the carotid artery followed by open heart surgery had the best outcomes, according to a retrospective study from Cleveland Clinic published online today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Chemists develop innovative nano-sensors for multiple proteins
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz have developed a new method for parallel protein analysis that is, in principle, capable of identifying hundreds or even thousands of different proteins.

Lunch with company reduces cognitive control, may increase social harmony
Lunch at a restaurant with friends reduces cognitive control more than lunch eaten alone at a desk does, according to research published July 31 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Werner Sommer from the Humboldt University at Berlin, Germany, and colleagues from other institutions.

The history of visual magic in computers
Have you have ever looked at a fantastic science fiction movie, an amazingly complex computer game or a TV commercial where cars behaved liked people and wondered,

New 3-D colonoscopy eases detection of precancerous lesions
New technology offers three-dimensional images, making it easier to detect precancerous lesions.

American Neurological Association and Wiley launch new open access journal
John Wiley & Sons, Inc. and the American Neurological Association announced today a partnership to launch Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology, a new online-only, open access journal.

Digest this: Cure for cancer may live in our intestines
Treating a cancerous tumor is like watering a houseplant with a fire hose -- too much water kills the plant, just as too much chemotherapy and radiation kills the patient before it kills the tumor.

How do student characteristics predict university graduation odds?
While policymakers often blame university systems for low graduation among college students, according to new research, characteristics known about a student before he or she even enters a college classroom can accurately predict graduation rates.

Key factors for wireless power transfer
What happens to a resonant wireless power transfer system in the presence of complex electromagnetic environments, such as metal plates?

'Highway from hell' fueled Costa Rican volcano
In a new study in the journal Nature, scientists suggest that the 1960s eruption of Costa Rica's largest stratovolcano was triggered by magma rising from the mantle over a few short months, rather than thousands of years or more, as many scientists have thought.

The naked mole-rat's secret to staying cancer free
A team of researchers from the University of Rochester (NY) and the University of Haifa discovered the naked mole rat's unique mechanism to staying cancer free- a super sugar called high-molecular-mass Hyaluronan (HMM-HA).

Chemical company giants stall with global economy
The world's 50 largest chemical companies -- with combined 2012 sales of almost $1 trillion and products that touch the lives of people everywhere -- are the topic of the cover story in the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News.

The flexible tail of the prion protein poisons brain cells
For decades, there has been no answer to the question of why the altered prion protein is poisonous to brain cells.

Clean water and soap may help improve growth in young children
Access to clean water and soap in low and middle income countries can lead to improvements in the growth of children under the age of five, according to a new Cochrane Systematic Review from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Scientists at Mainz University decode mechanisms of cell orientation in the brain
When the central nervous system is injured, oligodendrocyte precursor cells (OPC) migrate to the lesion and synthesize new myelin sheaths on demyelinated axons.

The pathway to potato poisons
Weizmann Institute scientists reveal the gene network for producing the toxin in green potatoes, which may help improve crops.

UT Austin researchers successfully spoof an $80 million yacht at sea
A radio navigation research team from The University of Texas at Austin successfully discovered they could subtly coerce a 65-meter superyacht off its course, using a custom-made GPS device.

1 in 3 US youths report being victims of dating violence
About one in three American youths age 14-20 say they've been of victims of dating violence and almost one in three acknowledge they've committed violence toward a date, according to new research presented at the American Psychological Association's 121st Annual Convention.

Berkeley Lab researchers discover universal law for light absorption in 2D semiconductors
Berkeley Lab researchers have demonstrated a universal law of light absorption for 2D semiconductors.

NIH launches neurological drug development projects
The NIH launched three innovative projects that will focus on development of therapeutics for Fragile X syndrome, nicotine addiction, and age-related macular degeneration.

Cross-country collaboration leads to new leukemia model
They were postdocs at Stanford when they first began considering the problem.

Rituximab therapy effective for ANCA-associated vasculitis
Immune Tolerance Network researchers demonstrate rituximab is as effective as the standard treatment protocol in ANCA-associated vasculitis.

Major awards announced for innovative solutions to prevent infant/maternal deaths
Twenty-two projects from nine countries -- Australia, Canada, Guatemala, Italy, Senegal, Spain, Uganda, UK and the USA -- won grants today ranging in size from $250,000 to $2 million from the Saving Lives at Birth partnership, comprised of USAID, Grand Challenges Canada, DFID (UK), NORAD (Norway) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Prominent Cedars-Sinai medical physicist receives highest honor from distinguished association
Benedick Fraass, Ph.D., FAAPM, FASTRO, FACR, vice chair for Research and professor and director of Medical Physics at Cedars-Sinai, has received the highest honor from the American Association of Physicists in Medicine -- the William D.

Personality and social psychology at the 2013 APA Convention
From how secrets influence our emails to personality traits that increase the risk of obesity -- a guide to some talks with new research in personality and social psychology at the APA Convention in Honolulu, July 31 -- August 4, 2013.

Tiny, brightly shining silicon crystals could be safe for deep-tissue imaging
Tiny silicon crystals caused no health problems in monkeys three months after large doses were injected, marking a step forward in the quest to bring such materials into clinics as biomedical imaging agents, according to a new study.

Bartke earns GSA's 2013 Robert W. Kleemeier Award
The Gerontological Society of America -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has chosen Andrzej Bartke, Ph.D., of Southern Illinois University as the 2013 recipient of the Robert W.

Satellite sees Flossie fizzle fast
Tropical Depression Flossie fizzled fast on July 30 in the Central Pacific Ocean.

Could planting trees in the desert mitigate climate change?
As the world starts feeling the effects of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide and consequent global temperature rise, researchers are looking for a Plan B to mitigate climate change.

Understanding the effects of genes on human traits
Recent technological developments in genomics have revealed a large number of genetic influences on common complex diseases, such as diabetes, asthma, cancer or schizophrenia.

Binding together repelling atoms
New theoretical predictions show that the combination of a repelling force and controlled noise from an environment can also have the surprising effect of leading to a bound state, although one with quite exotic properties.

Obesity doesn't reduce chance of getting pregnant with donor eggs
In women who use donor eggs to become pregnant through in vitro fertilization, those who are obese are just as likely to become pregnant as normal weight women, according to a new report.

Ecosystem service mapping and modelling -- new special issue shows big steps forward
Big steps forward toward practical application of the ecosystem services concept in science, policy and practice have been made recently and are presented in the new Special Issue

Study offers promising new direction for organ regeneration and tissue repair
Researchers have identified an entirely new approach to enhance tissue growth, findings that could lead to advances in organ regeneration and tissue repair, with widespread therapeutic applications.

ITN achieves scientific manuscript first -- provides open, interactive access to clinical trial data
Immune Tolerance Network researchers published data of their

Rubber slat mats could improve animal well-being
Animal scientists and producers are testing new kinds of flooring to improve animal health.

Ancient whale coprolites, fault slickensides, shergottites, Ediacara, and Cascadia
Two new Geology articles this month are open access:

Computational biology: Cells reprogrammed on the computer
Scientists at the Luxembourg Centre for Systems Biomedicine of the University of Luxembourg have developed a model that makes predictions from which differentiated cells -- for instance skin cells -- can be very efficiently changed into completely different cell types -- such as nerve cells, for example.

New book explores importance of understanding presidential preoccupation with power
Prof. William G. Howell hopes to focus the national conversation about the American presidency.

Improving heat removal qualities of graphene
Three Bourns College of Engineering professors at the University of California, Riverside, have received a three-year, $360,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to further study the thermal properties of graphene, which is expected to lead to new approaches for the removal of heat from advanced electronic and optoelectronic devices.

Boomers hit hardest by 'Great Recession'
A new study by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research looks at California data on the uninsured between 2007 and 2009 and finds that of the approximately 700,000 Californians to lose health insurance during this time, a majority were between the ages of 45-64.

Hide, ambush, kill, eat: The giant water bug Lethocerus patruelis kills a fish
The largest European water insect Lethocerus patruelis, commonly known as giant water bug, can reach the impressive size of up to 8 cm in length.

NASA finds powerful storms in quickly intensifying Tropical Storm Gil
No sooner had Tropical Storm Flossie dissipated then another tropical cyclone called Tropical Depression 7E formed yesterday, July 30, in the eastern Pacific Ocean.

NASA technologist makes traveling to hard-to-reach destinations easier
Traveling to remote locations sometimes involves navigating through stop-and-go traffic, traversing long stretches of highway and maneuvering sharp turns and steep hills.

Bird brains predate birds themselves
New research provides evidence that dinosaurs evolved the brainpower necessary for flight well before they actually took to the air as birds.

1 size doesn't fit all
One size chart doesn't fit all when it comes to evaluating birth weight and health outcomes of newborns.

Navy turns to UAVs for help with radar, communications
Scientists recently launched unmanned aerial vehicles from a research vessel in a significant experiment that could help boost the Navy's radar and communications performance at sea.

Autism symptoms not explained by impaired attention
Two aspects of attention -- reorienting focus and attending to social information -- do not seem to account for the diversity symptoms seen in autistic children, according to new research from Clinical Psychological Science.

BIDMC's George Tsokos, M.D., receives NIH MERIT award
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Chief of Rheumatology George Tsokos, M.D., is the recipient of a MERIT Award from the National Institutes of Health.

'Exploring the Latest Evidence of Dairy's Contribution to Nutrition at IUNS Satellite Symposium'
The International Union of Nutritional Science 20th Congress of Nutrition, taking place in Granada, Spain from 15-20 September 2013, will gather nutrition experts from around the world to discuss the latest nutrition research developments.

New protein discovered with vast potential for treatment of cancer and other diseases
In cancer research, discovering a new protein that plays a role in cancer is like finding a key and a treasure map: follow the clues and eventually there could be a big reward.

Texas Hurricane Center presents conference at UH Aug. 2
Coastal protection and debris management for hurricanes and other disasters are among the many topics to be discussed at a conference at the University of Houston Aug.

Oregon lab changes game for synthesizing new materials
University of Oregon chemist David C. Johnson likens his lab's newly published accomplishments to combining two flavors of ice cream and churning out thousands of flavors to appeal to any taste bud.

Stem cells in urine easy to isolate and have potential for numerous therapies
Could harvesting stem cells for therapy one day be as simple as asking patients for a urine sample?

$1.8 million grant to support research on impact of social stress
Dr. Kim Huhman, a researcher in the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience at Georgia State University, has received a federal five-year, $1.8 million grant for research that may lead to improved strategies for treating and preventing mental health problems associated with exposure to social stress.

Mount Sinai launches first-ever genetic testing program in the primary care setting
Primary-care providers will use patients' genomic information at the point-of-care to individualize treatment, testing and monitoring with Mount Sinai's Clinical Implementation of Personalized Medicine through Electronic Health Records and Genomic Program, or CLIPMERGE, a novel clinical-decision support engine for delivering guidelines with genetic variants of clinical significance to enhance treatment.

New Journal of Integrated Pest Management articles useful for farmers and military
The latest issue of the Journal of Integrated Pest Management -- an open-access, peer-reviewed, extension journal covering the field of integrated pest management -- contains articles on using IPM to control corn earworms, beetles, and other insect pests, plus an article highlighting the accomplishments of the Research Program for Deployed Warfighter Protection against disease-carrying insects.

Male Holocaust survivors have a longer life-expectancy
According to a recent study conducted at the University of Haifa and Leiden University that examined over 55-thousand Polish Jews who immigrated to Israel before and after World War II.

New Explorer mission chooses the 'just-right' orbit
Principal investigator George Ricker likes to call it the

First experimental signs of a New Physics beyond the Standard Model
A team of physicists from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and the French CNRS have predicted deviations in the probability of one of the B meson decays that have been detected experimentally in the LHC accelerator at CERN.

SAGE announces winners of the SAGE/STP Teaching Innovations and Professional Development Award
SAGE and the Society for Teaching of Psychology are pleased to announce that Dr.

Fertility therapy not associated with long-term cardiovascular disease
Women who gave birth following fertility treatment had no long-term increased risk of death or major cardiovascular events compared to women who gave birth without fertility therapy, according to new research by the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and Women's College Hospital.

Robots strike fear in the hearts of fish
The latest in a series of experiments testing the ability of robots to influence live animals shows that bio-inspired robots can not only elicit fear in zebrafish, but that this reaction can be modulated by alcohol.

3-D molecular syringes
Abdominal pain, fever, diarrhea -- these symptoms could point to an infection with the bacterium Yersinia.

Figuring out flow dynamics
Since 2006, Beverley McKeon, professor of aeronautics at Caltech, and collaborator Ati Sharma have been working together to build models of turbulent flow.

Ready-to-sign license speeds up Sandia tech transfer
Sandia National Laboratories is building a portfolio of intellectual property that can be licensed by businesses in as little as an hour.

Anemia linked to increased risk of dementia
Anemia, or low levels of red blood cells, may increase the risk of dementia, according to a study published in the July 31, 2013, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Cleaning solar panels often not worth the cost, engineers at UC San Diego find
Don't hire someone to wash your dirty solar panels. That's the conclusion of a study recently conducted by a team of engineers at the University of California, San Diego.

August 2013 Lithosphere concentrates on China, the Himalaya, India, and North America
The complete August 2013 issue of Lithosphere is now available online.

Wilson earns GSA's 2013 Maxwell A. Pollack Award for Productive Aging
The Gerontological Society of America -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has chosen Nancy L.

Breath analysis reliably indicates presence, level of infection in mice, UCI study finds
Breath analysis may prove to be an accurate, noninvasive way to quickly determine the severity of bacterial and other infections, according to a UC Irvine study appearing online today in the open-access journal PLOS ONE.

Using gold and light to study molecules in water
Thanks to a new device that is the size of a human hair, it is now possible to detect molecules in a liquid solution and observe their interactions.

Wonders of nature inspire exotic man-made materials
In this month's edition of Physics World, a group of physicists describe how unique structures in the natural world are inspiring scientists to develop new types of materials with unprecedented properties.

New signal stabilizes atherosclerotic plaques
Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have identified a new stabilizing agent of atherosclerotic plaques.

Genetic link to gestational diabetes
New Northwestern Medicine® research on the genetics of diabetes could one day help women know their risk for developing gestational diabetes before they become pregnant -- and lead to preventive measures to protect the health of offspring.

U-M researchers land $2M grant to 'cooperate with nature' on growing algae for energy
A team of University of Michigan researchers has been awarded a $2 million federal grant to identify and test naturally diverse groups of green algae that can be grown together to create a high-yield, environmentally sustainable and cost-effective system to produce next-generation biofuels.

Microfluidic breakthrough in biotechnology
Chemical flasks and inconvenient chemostats for cultivation of bacteria are likely soon to be discarded.

Therapy for severe vasculitis shows long-term effectiveness
Administering the drug rituximab once weekly for one month provides the same benefits as 18 months of daily immunosuppressive therapy in people with severe forms of vasculitis, or inflammation of the blood vessels, a study has found.

BPA exposure disrupts human egg maturation
New research led by Catherine Racowsky, Ph.D., director of the Assisted Reproductive Technologies Laboratory at Brigham and Women's Hospital, shows that exposure to BPA (Bisphenol-A) could be a contributing factor as to why some infertile couples are having difficulty conceiving.

Chanel, UCSB's corpse flower, blooms and causes a big stink
Chanel, UC Santa Barbara's corpse flower, has finally spread her odiferous wings, broadcasting a stench that smells like a cross between rotting flesh and Limburger cheese.

Electrified sewage: New American Chemical Society video on electricity from wastewater
Shocking as it may seem, wastewater flushed down toilets and sinks is getting a new life thanks to special fuel cells that use it to produce electricity, according to the latest video in the American Chemical Society's Bytesize Science series.

BMJ editorial: India's research participant protection policy
In an editorial published online today in BMJ, bioethicist Jeremy Sugarman and other experts warn that action is urgently needed to deal with possible unintended consequences of India's new policy protecting research participants.

Studying the emotions which cause opinions to change
Social phenomena fascinate with their complexity, but are not easily understood.

New target identified for food allergy therapy
Researchers at National Jewish Health have identified an enzyme that is essential to the allergic reaction to peanuts.

New poll shows minority populations support clinical trials to improve health of others
Altruism is a strong motivating factor for clinical trial participation in the general population and even more so among several minority groups.

Citizen scientists rival experts in analyzing land-cover data
Data gathered and analyzed by non-experts can rival the quality of data from experts, shows a new IIASA study of crowdsourced data from its Geo-Wiki project.

Entomological Society of America announces 2013 fellows
The Entomological Society of America has elected ten new Fellows of the Society for 2013.

Gene decoding obeys road traffic rules
Weizmann scientists show that a proper distance between

Progress in using ethanol to make key raw material now produced from oil
Ethanol from corn and other plants could become the sustainable, raw material for a huge variety of products, from plastic packaging to detergents to synthetic rubber, that are currently petroleum-based.

Placebo effects of different therapies not identical
Not all placebos are equal, and patients who respond to one placebo don't always respond to others, according to research published July 31 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Jian Kong from Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and colleagues from other institutions.

Insect-inspired super rubber moves toward practical uses in medicine
The remarkable, rubber-like protein that enables dragonflies, grasshoppers and other insects to flap their wings, jump and chirp has major potential uses in medicine, scientists conclude in an article in the journal ACS Macro Letters.

VCU physicists discover theoretical possibility of large, hollow magnetic cage molecules
Virginia Commonwealth University researchers have discovered, in theory, the possibility of creating large, hollow magnetic cage molecules that could one day be used in medicine as a drug delivery system to non-invasively treat tumors, and in other emerging technologies.

Guided growth of nanowires leads to self-integrated circuits
Teaching nanowires self-control from the outset enabled Weizmann Institute scientists to produce complex electronic nanocomponents.

Mad for cell biology? ASCB meeting puts new spin on quants, meds and physical bio
ASCB 2013 will feature over 100 scientific sessions and 2,500 poster presentations with the latest on cellular machines, the dynamic genome, translational medicine, cancer cell biology, cell interactions and the proverbial much, much more.

Allman earns GSA's 2013 Donald P. Kent Award
The Gerontological Society of America -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has chosen Richard M.

Internet-based training could help in the fight against antibiotic resistance
Antibiotic prescribing rates for acute respiratory tract infections could be significantly lowered using internet-based training for clinicians, new research has shown. 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