Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 12, 2013
2 wildfires in Idaho
NASA's Aqua satellite captured this image of Idaho's two large fires on Aug.

Tool kit answers mental health and epilepsy questions for parents
Researchers from Case Western Reserve University and Cleveland Clinic have created

Infectious diseases and climate change intersect with no simple answers
Climate change is already affecting the spread of infectious diseases -- and human health and biodiversity worldwide -- according to disease ecologists reporting research results in this week's issue of the journal Science.

ADHD and texting found to significantly impair teenage driving
ADHD and texting both significantly impair driving performance among teenagers, according to a study published online today in JAMA Pediatrics.

Strong grandparent-adult grandchild relationships reduce depression for both
A new study shows that grandparents and grandchildren have real, measurable effects on each other's psychological well-being long into grandchildren's adulthood.

Carnegie Mellon researchers say readers' identities can reveal much about content of articles
Articles that people share on social networks can reveal a lot about those readers, research has shown.

If you were a preemie, take heed for your heart
Being born prematurely may be linked to important changes in how your heart forms and works as an adult.

Fifty Shades of Grey romanticizes sexual violence and emotional abuse of women
The main characters' relationship in the best-selling novel Fifty Shades of Grey helps perpetuate the problem of intimate partner violence against women, according to an article in Journal of Women's Health.

New twist in the graphene story
Berkeley Lab researchers, working at the Advanced Light Source, have discovered that in the making of bilayer graphene, a tiny structural twist arises that can lead to surprisingly strong changes in the material's electronic properties.

Tests passed
Physicists at the Alfred Wegener Institute, the Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research, successfully tested a thermal imaging system aboard the research vessel Polarstern.

MARC travel awards announced for the August 2013 FASEB Science Research Conferences
FASEB MARC (Maximizing Access to Research Careers) Program has announced the travel award recipient for the FASEB Science Research Conferences held in August, 2013.

Physicists investigate formation of defects during phase transitions in crystals of ions
Recent research findings are relevant to a model of matter structure formation tiny fractions of a second after the Big Bang.

NASA satellites capture Super-Typhoon Utor before and after landfall
Four NASA satellites provided data on Super-Typhoon Utor before and after the storm made landfall in the Philippines.

Sense of smell: The nose and the brain make quite a team... in disconnection
Alan Carleton's team from the Neuroscience Department at the University of Geneva Faculty of Medicine has just shown that the representation of an odor evolves after the first breath, and that an olfactory retentivity persists at the central level.

LLNL scientists make new discoveries in the transmission of viruses between animals and humans
Outbreaks such as the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS) have afflicted people around the world, yet many people think these trends are on the decline.

Planning by postcode -- new map reveals how prepared cities are for climate change
New 'Urban Climate Change Preparedness Score' highlights huge variations in the state of readiness for climate change across the UK, and will now be used to assess the preparedness of cities around the world.

Your eyes may hold clues to stroke risk
Photographing the retina may help detect which high blood pressure patients are more likely to have a stroke.

Introducing 'ACS Photonics,' a new journal from the American Chemical Society
The American Chemical Society Publications Division today announced launch of ACS Photonics, which meets the growing need for an interdisciplinary journal dedicated to high-impact research in the field of photonics, the study of interactions of light with matter.

Sudy evaluates distracted driving among adolescents with ADHD
A study using a driving simulator suggests that adolescents with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder who were distracted while driving demonstrated more variability in speed and lane position than adolescents without ADHD, according to a study published by JAMA Pediatrics, a JAMA Network publication.

Young beer-drinkers binge-drink more frequently
Beer is the favorite alcoholic beverage among young Swiss men.

Oprah's and Einstein's faces help spot dementia
Simple tests that measure the ability to recognize and name famous people such as Albert Einstein, Bill Gates or Oprah Winfrey may help doctors identify early dementia in those 40 to 65 years old.

NASA saw Henriette fading and 2 struggling lows behind
Once a hurricane, Henriette weakened to a depression in the Central Pacific Ocean on Sunday, Aug.

There's life after radiation for brain cells
Scientists have long believed that healthy brain cells, once damaged by radiation designed to kill brain tumors, cannot regenerate.

Why early pregnancy conferes breast cancer protection
Harvard Stem Cell Institute researchers discover why breast cancer is less likely in women with pregnancy in early to mid-20s.

Scientist names new fly species after the professor who has supported his work
Professor Richard Preziosi, from the Faculty of Life Sciences, said he was delighted with the unusual tribute from researcher Dr.

Research examines how books can have a positive impact on a child's social struggles
New research explores the positive effects of reading as part of a parental intervention strategy for children struggling with social issues.

Mayo Clinic: Preclinical tests may lead to new approach to treat CNS lymphoma
A drug recently approved for use in multiple myeloma is now being tested for its ability to fight central nervous system lymphoma, a deadly cancer of the immune system that can affect the brain, spinal cord and fluid, and eyes.

Earnings of physicians providing 'cognitive care' vs performing common specialty procedures
Medicare reimburses physicians three to five times more for common procedural care than for cognitive care (the main professional activities of primary care physicians), and these financial pressures may be a contributing factor to the US health care system's emphasis on procedural care, according to a study by Christine A.

Elsevier launches first video journal in gastrointestinal endoscopy
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, is pleased to announce the launch of Video Journal and Encyclopedia of GI Endoscopy -- an open access video journal providing scientists and clinicians with state-of-the-art visual information of gastrointestinal pathologies and step-by-step demonstrations and the first of its kind in the field of gastrointestinal endoscopy.

Multi-disciplinary Penn research identifies protein required for cell movement
A new multi-disciplinary study by University of Pennsylvania researchers has now illuminated a crucial step in the process of cell movement.

African-American females have good odds to get a loan
Lenders have high impressions of African-American females and are apt to loan them as much money as white males, according to a new study by University of Iowa sociologist Sarah Harkness.

Induced or augmented childbirth appears to be associated with increased risk for autism
An analysis of North Carolina birth and educational records suggests that induction (stimulating uterine contractions prior to the onset of spontaneous labor) and augmentation (increasing the strength, duration, or frequency of uterine contractions with spontaneous onset of labor) during childbirth appears to be associated with increased odds of autism diagnosis in childhood, according to a study by Simon G.

Scientists develop method that ensures safe research on deadly flu viruses
The strategy will enable healthy molecules in human lung cells to latch on to these viruses and cut the bugs up before they have a chance to infect the human host.

Undergraduate biomedical engineering teams win NIH competition
Winners were announced in the Design by Biomedical Undergraduate Teams (DEBUT) competition for diagnostics, therapeutics, and technologies for underserved populations.

Opertech Bio researchers develop method for high-throughput taste evaluation
Scientists at Opertech Bio, Inc. have developed a proprietary apparatus and methodology for high-throughput taste evaluation.

Harvard's Wyss Institute to use 'organ-on-a-chip' microdevices to evaluate therapies for lethal radiation exposure
Organs-on-chips -- tiny, microfluidic devices that are lined by living human cells and mimic complex organ physiology -- offer a new way to test how radiation affects human physiology and to evaluate drugs for radiation sickness.

Research on which gender pays for dates shows change and resistance from convention
Conventional notions of chivalry dictate that on a

From Einstein to Oprah: Famous faces may help spot early dementia
A new study suggests that simple tests that measure the ability to recognize and name famous people such as Albert Einstein, Bill Gates or Oprah Winfrey may help doctors identify early dementia in those 40 to 65 years of age.

Scientists look into Earth's 'deep time' to predict future effects of climate change
Climate change alters the way in which species interact with one another -- a reality that applies not just to today or to the future, but also to the past, according to a paper published by a team of researchers in this week's issue of the journal Science.

Scientists have found new evidence to show how early humans migrated into Europe
Humans originated in Africa. But what route did they take as they began to disperse around the world 60,000 years ago?

Latino families in study eat more fruits and veggies, drink less soda
A successful program that increased the number of fruits and vegetables eaten and decreased sugar-sweetened beverage consumption by 50 percent among Latino children had two secret weapons, according to a University of Illinois researcher.

School lunch and TV time linked with childhood obesity
Among middle-school children, the behaviors most often linked with obesity are school lunch consumption and two hours or more of daily TV viewing.

NRL develops low cost, high efficiency solar sensor
Navy researchers develop novel, low cost, and highly efficient spectral sensor for field analysis of solar cell irradiance performance and spectral distribution.

Electrical signatures of consciousness in the dying brain
About 20 percent of cardiac arrest survivors report having a near death experience with vivid, lucid visions and perceptions, but are the experiences real?

From my living room to yours: Research examines race and social media discussions
A trend arises from a study of top-trending videos -- involving themes of racism, stereotyping and hostility.

Cosmology in the lab using laser-cooled ions
The principle of symmetry and its disturbance can definitely be investigated under controlled laboratory conditions.

Solutions for improving first aid in cardiorespiratory arrests
An algorithm capable of diagnosing heart rhythm with just 3 seconds' worth of signal, and the demonstration that it is possible to come up with the diagnosis without stopping cardiac massage, constitute the types of solutions and proposals being developed by researchers in the Signal and Communications Group of the Faculty of Engineering in Bilbao.

Neandertals made the first specialized bone tools in Europe
New finds demonstrate: Neandertals were the first in Europe to make standardized and specialized bone tools -- which are still in use today.

Shinya Inoué is designated Honorary Scholar at Friday Harbor Laboratory's E.S. Morse Institute
MBL Distinguished Scientist Shinya Inoué has been designated as the second Honorary Scholar within the Edward Sylvester Morse Institute at the University of Washington.

Illinois researchers advance understanding of schistosome reproduction
University of Illinois researchers, including Institute for Genomic Biology Fellow Bo Wang, Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology Phil Newmark, and Department of Cell and Developmental Biology postdoctoral researcher James Collins are studying the unique mechanisms that allow schistosomes' germinal cells to create thousands of clonal larvae that can then infect humans.

Perception of fertility affects quality of life in young, female cancer survivors
A recently published CU Cancer Center study shows that beyond the fact of fertility, a young woman's perception of fertility based on regular menstrual cycles after cancer treatment affects her quality of life long after treatment ends.

Seasonal carbon dioxide range expanding as more is added to Earth's atmosphere
Levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere rise and fall each year as plants, through photosynthesis and respiration, take up the gas in spring and summer, and release it in fall and winter.

'Dark-horse' molecule is a potential new anti-cancer target
Australian researchers have identified a molecule called interleukin-11 as a potential new target for anti-cancer therapies.

Research examines masculinity and sexuality in sport
Findings are presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association in New York.

Singapore scientists unravel cancers linked to herbal remedies
A team of scientists from the National Cancer Centre Singapore, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore, and Taiwan's Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, LinKou, have made a breakthrough in understanding the cancer-promoting action of Aristolochic Acid, a natural product of Aristolochia plants traditionally used in some Asian herbal remedies for weight loss and slimming.

Simulating flow from volcanoes and oil spills
Some time around 37,000 BCE a massive volcano erupted in the Campanian region of Italy, blanketing much of Europe with ash, stunting plant growth and possibly dooming the Neanderthals.

Use of simple rule in children's ankle injuries reduces use of radiography by 22 percent
The application of a simple rule in emergency departments can help children with ankle injuries avoid unnecessary radiography, reducing it by 22 percent according to a clinical trial in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Irrigation in arid regions can increase malaria risk for a decade
New irrigation systems in arid regions benefit farmers but can increase the local malaria risk for more than a decade -- which is longer than previously believed -- despite intensive and costly use of insecticides, new University of Michigan-led study in northwest India concludes.

Research explores the 'cultural mythologies' of pregnancy
New research reinforces how media and culture contribute to people's understandings of health, illness and medicine.

Melting water's lubricating effect on glaciers has only 'minor' role in future sea-level rise
Concerns that melting water would speed up the decline of Greenland's ice sheet have been allayed by new research which shows the lubricating effect of water beneath glaciers will not significantly add to sea-level rise.

Study: Many evangelicals are ambivalent about homosexuality and civil unions for gays
Tolerance toward gays and lesbians is growing within the evangelical community -- long a stronghold against homosexuality -- with many expressing ambivalent views about the issue, according to a Baylor University study.

African-American females have good odds of getting a loan
Need a loan? You appear to have an advantage if you're an African-American female.

Microentrepreneurs may be an untapped market for product design
The key, MIT study finds, is designing products that make money for the microentrepreneur.

Onsite colposcopy clinic improves cancer screening rates: Study
Women who had a colposcopy at a sexual health clinic that provided extra support and counselling were 34 per cent more likely to undergo the cancer screening procedure compared to women who were referred to a hospital or doctor's office, according to a new study by Women's College Hospital's Dr.

New insights into neuroblastoma tumor suppressor may provide clues for improved treatment
Loss of a gene required for stem cells in the brain to turn into neurons may underlie the most severe forms of neuroblastoma, a deadly childhood cancer of the nervous system, according to a Ludwig Cancer Research study.

Soil biodiversity crucial to future land management and response to climate change
Research by scientists at The University of Manchester and Lancaster shows maintaining healthy soil biodiversity can play an important role in optimising land management programmes to reap benefits from the living soil.

Brain's flexible hub network helps humans adapt
New research from Washington University in St. Louis offers compelling evidence that a well-connected core brain network based in the lateral prefrontal cortex and the posterior parietal cortex -- parts of the brain most changed evolutionarily since our common ancestor with chimpanzees -- contains

New gene repair technique promises advances in regenerative medicine
Using human pluripotent stem cells and DNA-cutting protein from meningitis bacteria, researchers from the Morgridge Institute for Research and Northwestern University have created an efficient way to target and repair defective genes.

Tumor suppressor is needed for stem cells to mature into neurons
The previously proposed tumour suppressor CHD5 is essential for making nervous system stem cells mature into neurons, according to a new study from Karolinska Institutet.

Vitamin D supplementation does not appear to reduce blood pressure in patients with hypertension
Vitamin D supplementation does not appear to improve blood pressure or markers of vascular health in older patients with isolated systolic hypertension (a common type of high blood pressure), according to a study by Miles D.

New evidence that cancer cells change while moving throughout body
In a new study, published in the Journal of Ovarian Research, Georgia Tech scientists have direct evidence that EMT takes place in humans, at least in ovarian cancer patients.

Communicating nightingales: Older males trill better
Older male nightingales perform faster and more demanding trills than their younger rivals.

Competition changes how people view strangers online
An anonymous stranger you encounter on websites like Yelp or Amazon may seem to be just like you, and a potential friend.

Obesity and mortality association differs between individuals with and without diabetes
The relationship between body mass index and mortality appears to be stronger in adults without diabetes than those with existing diabetes.

Better scientific policy decisions start with knowing facts from values
When gathering public input on policy questions, scientists can speak with authority about facts, but must remember that everyone is an expert when it comes to values.

Research examines parents' use of bibliotherapy to help children struggling with social issues
A new study focuses on the experiences of parents concerned with their children's social behavior and parents' use of bibliotherapy as a tool for helping their children address this issue.

Lampreys provide hints to ancient immune cells
Lampreys have immune cells that resemble gamma delta T cells from mammals, birds and fish, researchers have found.

Study suggests late adolescent risk factors for young-onset dementia
A study of Swedish men suggests nine risk factors, most of which can be traced to adolescence, account for most cases of young-onset dementia diagnosed before the age of 65 years, according to a report published by JAMA Internal Medicine, a JAMA Network publication.

Few doctors have adequate training to effectively treat chronic pain patients
Pain is the most common reason a patient sees a physician but few physicians have received adequate training to help their patients, according to a Henry Ford Hospital article published in the Journal of American Osteopathic Association.

Rice writes rules for gene-therapy vectors
Rice University researchers are making strides toward a set of rules to custom-design viral vectors for gene therapy.

Study finds that some depressed adolescents are at higher risk for developing anxiety
Some adolescents who suffer with depression also may be at risk for developing anxiety, says psychologist Chrystyna Kouros, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, who led a new study of children's mental health.

New clue on the origin of Huntington's disease
The synapses in the brain act as key communication points between approximately one hundred billion neurons.

Protein that delays cell division in bacteria may lead to the identification of new antibiotics
Bacteria adjust to wide fluctuations in food supply by controlling how big they get and how often they divide.

Carbon ion radiotherapy safe and effective for treating inoperable spinal tumors
A new analysis has found that a type of radiation therapy called carbon ion radiotherapy can control cancer growth and prolong survival in patients with spinal tumors.

More realistic simulated cloth for more realistic video games and movies
Computer scientists at the University of California, San Diego, have developed a new model to simulate with unprecedented accuracy on the computer the way cloth and light interact.

Research examines hip-hop and social movement
Research on hip-hop music and social movements is presented at the American Sociological Association Annual Meeting.

UCSB to host international conference on autism intervention and treatment
Autism experts from around the world will gather at UC Santa Barbara next month for the 6th Annual International Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) Autism and Asperger's Conference.

Yerkes Research Center receives 5-year, $9.5 million grant to study oxytocin
The Yerkes National Primate Research Center, Emory University, has received a five-year, $9.5 million grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to establish a Silvio O.

Child obesity interventions -- is change in BMI a good measure of success?
A new study clearly shows that obesity interventions can have beneficial effects on other health outcomes, such as cardiovascular fitness, regardless of its effect on BMI.

Young or old, song sparrows experience climate change differently from each other
What's good for adults is not always best for the young, and vice versa.

Researchers find 'grammar' plays key role in activating genes
Researchers have probed deep into the cell's genome, beyond the basic genetic code, to begin learning the

Expert: Taxation of retirement income in need of reform
Scant attention has been paid to the tax consequences of retirement income, says University of Illinois law professor Richard L.

Better-performing elementary students receive disproportionate attention from parents
An Indiana University study found that higher-performing elementary school students received a disproportionate number of resources from their parents, compared to their lower-performing peers.

Stanford scientists develop 'molecular flashlight' that illuminates brain tumors in mice
In a breakthrough that could have wide-ranging applications in molecular medicine, Stanford University researchers have created a bioengineered peptide that enables imaging of medulloblastomas, among the most devastating of malignant childhood brain tumors, in lab mice.

Researchers optically levitate a glowing, nanoscale diamond
Researchers at the University of Rochester have measured for the first time light emitted by photoluminescence from a nanodiamond levitating in free space.

U of T Mississauga study highlights racial groups in TV ads
White people are more likely to be represented, and in a positive light, than Blacks or Asians in Canadian television advertisements, says a new study from the University of Toronto Mississauga.

Changes to symptom structure in DSM-5 support diagnosis of toddlers with autism spectrum disorder
A study published in the August 2013 issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry demonstrates support for the changes in autism symptom structure for toddlers with autism spectrum disorder (ASD found in the newly released Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition).

Study finds better-performing elementary students receive disproportionate attention from parents
An Indiana University study found that higher-performing elementary school students received a disproportionate number of resources from their parents, compared to their lower-performing peers.

Largest study of epilepsy patients ever conducted reveals new and surprising genetic risk factors
Neurologists and epilepsy researchers from NYU Langone Medical Center were among scientists who have 329 random genetic mutations associated with two of the most severe forms of epilepsy, according to a paper published today in Nature.

Gold Pan Complex Fire
Lightning ignited the Gold Pan Complex Fire on July 16, 2013, in the River of No Return Wilderness, Idaho.

Inducing and augmenting labor may be associated with increased risk of autism
Pregnant women whose labors are induced or augmented may have an increased risk of bearing children with autism, especially if the baby is male, according to a large, retrospective analysis by researchers at Duke Medicine and the University of Michigan.

New IBS treatment shows potential in Phase 2 study
Patients with diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS-D, treated with eluxadoline achieved better clinical response and experienced more symptom improvement than those using placebo, according to a recent study in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association.

Climate benefit for cutting soot, methane smaller than previous estimates
Cutting the amount of short-lived, climate-warming emissions such as soot and methane in our skies won't limit global warming as much as previous studies have suggested, a new study from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory shows.

Baby corals pass the acid test
Corals can survive the early stages of their development even under the tough conditions that rising carbon emissions will impose on them says a new study from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies.

4 projects awarded Discovery Transformation Grant funding by Minnesota Partnership
The Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics announced four research projects selected for funding from the 2013 Discovery Transformation Grant Program.

Aggressive breast cancers may be sensitive to drugs clogging their waste disposal
In a new paper in Cancer Cell, a team led by Judy Lieberman, Ph.D., of Boston Children's Hospital's Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine reports

New materials for bio-based hydrogen synthesis
Researchers have discovered an efficient process for hydrogen biocatalysis. They developed semi-synthetic hydrogenases, hydrogen-generating enzymes, by adding the protein's biological precursor to a chemically synthesized inactive iron complex.

Breastfeeding associated with decreased risk of overweight among children in Japan
Breastfeeding appears to be associated with decreased risk of overweight and obesity among school children in Japan, according to a study by Michiyo Yamakawa, M.H.Sc., of the Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Dentistry, and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Okayama City, Japan, and colleagues.

Metabolic 'fingerprinting' of tumors could help bowel cancer patients
It is possible to see how advanced a bowel cancer is by looking at its metabolic 'fingerprint', according to new research.

Researchers discover protein that helps plants tolerate drought, flooding, other stresses
A team including Dartmouth researchers has uncovered a protein that plays a vital role in how plant roots use water and nutrients, a key step in improving the production and quality of crops and biofuels.

Healthy diet, moderate alcohol linked with decreased risk of kidney disease in patient with diabetes
Eating a healthy diet and drinking a moderate amount of alcohol may be associated with decreased risk or progression of chronic kidney disease in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus, according to a report published by JAMA Internal Medicine, a JAMA Network publication.

Gauging ability of non-responsive patients to follow commands and communicate
A case study using functional magnetic resonance imaging suggests that behaviorally nonresponsive patients can use selective auditory attention to convey their ability to follow commands and communicate, according to a small study by Lorina Naci, Ph.D., and Adrian M.

Study finds novel worm community affecting methane release in ocean
Scientists have discovered a super-charged methane seep in the ocean off New Zealand that has created its own unique food web, resulting in much more methane escaping from the ocean floor into the water column.

Estrogen enhancers tied to aggressive breast cancer
Adding to the picture of what prompts breast cancers to form, researchers from the Cancer Therapy & Research Center at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio today announced that 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