Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

August 30, 2013
Oral nutritional supplements demonstrate significant health and cost benefits
A recent health economics and outcomes study, conducted by leading health economists and supported by Abbott, found that oral nutritional supplements provided to patients during hospitalization were associated with significant reductions in length of stay and hospitalization cost.

UNC researchers find promising new angle for drugs to prevent stroke and heart attack
A new study -- the first to apply a new screening technique to human platelets -- netted a potential drug target for preventing dangerous blood clots in high-risk people.

Red spruce reviving in New England, but why?
In the 1970s, red spruce was the forest equivalent of a canary in the coal mine, signaling that acid rain was damaging forests and that some species, especially red spruce, were particularly sensitive to this human induced damage.

How vegetation competes for rainfall in dry regions
Vegetation in semi-arid environments (or regions with low rainfall) self-organizes into patterns or

Study reveals the face of sleep deprivation
A new study finds that sleep deprivation affects facial features such as the eyes, mouth and skin, and these features function as cues of sleep loss to other people.

Alaska tundra shows surprising resilience after unprecedented fire
Despite the size and severity of the massive 2007 Anaktuvuk River fire on Alaska's North Slope, much of the arctic vegetation has recovered and the tundra is likely to return to its pre-fire condition according to University of Alaska Fairbanks scientist Syndonia

HSS uses grant to test new MRI techniques & biomarkers for arthritis prevention treatments
Hospital for Special Surgery and two other institutions have been awarded $1 million from the Arthritis Foundation to validate the use of new MRI techniques and newly identified biomarkers to solve this vexing problem.

Possible links: Epigenetics, aging, nucleus protein mutations to cancer, rare disorders
Cell senescence, an irreversible arrest of proliferation, is thought to be associated with normal aging and is protective against cancer.

When things are at their worst, Christianity is intensely enacted
A new University of Copenhagen Ph.D. thesis has taken a look at faith as practiced in the daily lives of Danish cancer survivors.

AGU Journal Highlights -- Aug. 30, 2013
Featured in this release are research papers on the following topics:

The more the merrier
In many species, females frequently mate with more than one male.

Researchers identify new drug target for treating jet lag and shift work disorders
University of Notre Dame researchers, as part of a collaborative effort, have identified a protein that potentially could be a target for drugs that that would help people recover faster from jet lag and better adjust their circadian rhythms during rotational shift work.

Mosquitoes smell you better at night, study finds
In work published this week in Nature: Scientific Reports, a team of researchers from the University of Notre Dame's Eck Institute for Global Health, led by associate professor Giles Duffield and assistant professor Zain Syed of the Department of Biological Sciences, revealed that the major malaria vector in Africa, the Anopheles gambiae mosquito, is able to smell major human host odorants better at night.

A deep-sea squid with tentacle tips that 'swim' on their own
Many deep-sea animals such as anglerfish use parts of their body as lures to attract prey.

Whales feel the (sun)burn!
Scientists at Newcastle University, UK have revealed the pigment in whale skin increases in response to sunshine, just as we tan.

Brain imaging study reveals the wandering mind behind insomnia
A new brain imaging study may help explain why people with insomnia often complain that they struggle to concentrate during the day even when objective evidence of a cognitive problem is lacking.

New superheavy elements can be uniquely identified
An international team of researchers presents fresh evidence that confirms the existence of the superheavy chemical element 115.

Rim Fire update -- Aug. 30, 2013
The rate of spread for the Rim Fire has slowed the past few days and firefighters are optimistic that containment can be achieved by Sept.

NASA's TRMM sees heavy rain over Taiwan from Tropical Storm Kong-Rey
NASA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission or TRMM satellite flew directly above western Taiwan on Aug.

Rheumatoid arthritis: Biologics in second-line therapy show benefit
All 9 biotechnologically produced drugs for the treatment of adult patients with rheumatoid arthritis in whom prior pharmacological treatment failed to show a benefit for at least one outcome criterion.

Satellite panorama of fizzling Juliette and 2 lows in Eastern Pacific
Tropical Depression Juliette became post-tropical and two low pressure areas were struggling to develop in the Eastern Pacific Ocean on Aug.

Membranes contain beautiful patterns -- but their function is a mystery
Biological cells are surrounded by a membrane, and here some of the most important processes for sustaining life take place.

New insights on wildfire smoke could improve climate change models
By viewing particles captured during the 2011 Las Conchas fire in New Mexico under a field emission scanning electron microscope, Michigan Tech scientists found that there's more to tar balls and soot than meets the naked eye.

Civil engineers using recycled plastic pins to shore up failing highway slopes
A UT Arlington civil engineering researcher has won a $1 million state transportation department grant to install pins made from reclaimed and recycled plastic along some of the region's busiest highways to shore up clay soils that support the roads.

Drug design success propels efforts to fight HIV with a combination of 2 FDA-approved drugs
A University of Minnesota research team has developed a new delivery system for a combination of two FDA approved drugs that may serve as an effective treatment for the human immunodeficiency virus.

Study finds increased menthol cigarette use among young people
A new study on mentholated cigarette use in the US finds an increase in menthol cigarette smoking among young adults and concludes that efforts to reduce smoking likely are being thwarted by the sale and marketing of mentholated cigarettes, including emerging varieties of established youth brands.

CARRE Foundation selects TGen for unprecedented research into causes of multiple system atrophy
Under the banner,

Study: Overweight and obese women are equally capable of the impulse control that lean women exhibit
Previous studies have shown that overweight and obese people have a harder time delaying gratification, so they are more likely to forego the healthy body later on in favor of eating more calorie-dense foods now.

New ocean forecast could help predict fish habitat 6 months in advance
The first seasonal forecast of conditions that matter for fisheries could help to better manage stocks.

Little changes -- large effects
Scientists at the University of York have discovered that very small chemical changes to dietary flavonoids cause very large effects when the plant natural products are tested for their impact on the human immune system.

Nobelist David Gross to receive 2013 Prange Prize
Nobel laureate David Gross of the University of California, Santa Barbara and the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics has been named the 2013 recipient of the Richard E.

Researchers a step closer to finding cosmic ray origins
The origin of cosmic rays in the universe has confounded scientists for decades.

Curvy plastic tube fights obesity, no surgery required
Students and clinicians at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Hadassah Medical Center invented a gastric sleeve that blocks food absorption and fights obesity without the need for surgery.

From cancer treatment to ion thruster
A Michigan Tech scientist's self-assembling electrospray thruster uses magnets to transform a very unusual fluid into a tiny-yet-study engine for moving nanosatellites into orbit.

BUSM researchers call for individualized criteria for diagnosing obesity
In a review article, researchers at Boston University School of Medicine discuss the importance of eliminating healthy obese persons from unnecessary pharmaceutical treatments of the disease. 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