Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 03, 2013
New study suggests changing bacterial mix may lead to painful sex after menopause
The mix of bacteria in the vagina changes as women go through menopause.

Improving water security with blue, green, and gray water
With limited water and an increasing number of people depending on it, water security is tenuous.

How Instagram can ruin your dinner
Warning Instagrammers: you might want to stop taking so many pictures of your food.

Brain stimulation affects compliance with social norms
Neuroeconomists at the University of Zurich have identified a specific brain region that controls compliance with social norms.

Great potential for faster diagnoses with new method
The more accurately we can diagnose a disease, the greater the chance that the patient will survive.

3D dynamic imaging of soft materials
Through a combination of transmission electron microscopy and ta unique graphene liquid cell, Berkeley Lab researchers have recorded the three-dimensional motion of DNA connected to gold nanocrystals, the first reported use of TEM for 3D dynamic imaging of soft materials.

Kessler Foundation's Krch awarded $600,000 NIDRR grant for virtual reality study in TBI
Denise Krch, PhD, research scientist at Kessler Foundation was awarded a 3-year, $600,000 NIDRR Field-Initiated Grant titled

Native tribes' traditional knowledge can help US adapt to climate change
New England's Native tribes, whose sustainable ways of farming, forestry, hunting and land and water management were devastated by European colonists four centuries ago, can help modern America adapt to climate change.

NSF grant funds study to unlock secrets of biodiversity
The tropics are home to a far greater diversity of life than any other region on the planet, but the reasons for this disparity have puzzled scientists for centuries.

Genetics used to sort out poorly known -- and hunted -- whale species
Saving the whales often means knowing -- sometimes genetically -- one group of whales from another, say researchers attempting to define populations of a medium-sized and poorly understood baleen whale that is sometimes targeted by Japan's scientific whaling program.

UC Berkeley, Berkeley Lab announce Kavli Energy NanoSciences Institute
The Kavli Foundation has endowed a new institute at UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to explore the basic science of how to capture and channel energy on the molecular or nanoscale, with the potential for discovering new ways of generating energy for human use.

Chemistry with sorted molecules
Scientists at the University of Basel and the Center of Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg were able for the first time to successfully sort out single forms of molecules with electric fields and have them react specifically.

The art of amplification: A desktop-size 10 terawatt laser
A compact new generation optical amplifier has been constructed by physicists from the Laser Centre of the Institute of Physical Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Faculty of Physics of the Warsaw University.

Optics and photonics leaders, researchers and companies to convene at Frontiers in Optics 2013
Innovations from more than 740 scientific, technical and educational presentations will be highlighted during the Optical Society's 97th Annual Meeting, Frontiers in Optics 2013, being held Oct.

Naked jets of water make a better pollutant detector
When you shine UV through water polluted with certain organic chemicals and bacteria, the contaminants measurably absorb the UV light and then re-emit it as visible light.

Johns Hopkins experts devise a way to cut radiation exposure in children needing repeat brain scans
A team of pediatric neurosurgeons and neuroradiologists at the Johns Hopkins Children's Center has developed a way to minimize dangerous radiation exposure in children with a condition that requires repeat CT scans of the brain.

CHOP genetics expert co-leads NIH grant on psychiatric illness in patients with deletion syndrome
Genetics experts from The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia are among the top leaders of a major international collaboration researching why patients with chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome have an elevated risk of schizophrenia and other psychiatric illnesses.

VTT to test and develop advanced wireless network for PSA, world's largest transshipment hub
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has been selected to test and develop an advanced wireless network for PSA Singapore Terminals, the world's largest transshipment hub.

Possible culprits in congenital heart defects identified
Mitochondria are the power plants of cells, manufacturing fuel so a cell can perform its many tasks.

New advances in the study of human mitochondrial DNA
A study concerning the evolution of mitochondrial DNA, performed by researchers from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, has allowed to determine the frequency and pattern of heteroplasmy in the complete mitochondrial genome using a representative sample of the European population.

New data-driven machine learning method effectively flags risk for post-stroke dangers
A team of experts in neurocritical care, engineering, and informatics, with the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, have devised a new way to detect which stroke patients may be at risk of a serious adverse event following a ruptured brain aneurysm.

Rare research into false killer whales reveals anti-predator partnerships
False killer whales (Pseudorca crassidens) are one of the least studied species of ocean dolphin, but new light has been cast on their behavior by a team of marine scientists from New Zealand.

Why do humans pig out?
Researchers from University of Copenhagen have discovered big differences in the variability of eating habits among pigs.

Old remedy shows promise as new chemo drug for bladder cancer
An old home remedy called ipecac syrup, once stocked in medicine cabinets in case of accidental poisoning, is showing promise as a new chemotherapy drug for bladder cancer.

Reading literary fiction improves 'mind-reading' skills
Researchers from The New School for Social Research have published a paper in Science demonstrating that reading literary fiction enhances a set of skills and thought processes fundamental to complex social relationships--and functional societies.

Molecular imaging predicts risk for abdominal aortic aneurysms
Several newly identified markers could provide valuable insight to predict the risk of rupture abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA), according to new research published in the October issue of the Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

Health of honey bees adversely impacted by selenium
Traditionally, honey bee research has focused on environmental stressors such as pesticides, pathogens and diseases.

Nothin' to sneeze at
Researchers have successfully tested treatments for people with allergies to grasses and to dust mites.

New technique identifies novel class of cancer's drivers
Scientists have revealed nearly 100 genetic variants implicated in the development of cancers such as breast cancer and prostate cancer.

High rates of unnecessary prescribing of antibiotics observed across the US
For decades, there has been a significant effort led by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others to reduce inappropriate antibiotic prescribing.

American Chemical Society podcast: A one-two punch against cancer
The latest episode in the American Chemical Society's award-winning Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions podcast series describes the development and successful lab tests on the first potential drug to pack a lethal one-two punch against melanoma skin cancer cells.

How an aggressive fungal pathogen causes mold in fruits and vegetables
A research team led by a University of California, Riverside molecular plant pathologist has discovered the mechanism by which an aggressive fungal pathogen infects almost all fruits and vegetables.

BMC pediatricians warn that cuts to SNAP program will harm children
In a commentary in this week's issue of Lancet, pediatricians from Boston Medical Center (BMC) call the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the Food Stamp Program), one of America's most cost-effective and successful public health programs in the country.

Antibiotics drastically overprescribed for sore throats, bronchitis, analyses show
A vast majority of people who see their doctors for sore throats or acute bronchitis receive antibiotics, yet only a small percentage should, according to analyses of two major national surveys being presented at IDWeek 2013™.

Leading experts offer advice on generating human induced pluripotent stem cell banks
Establishing well-characterized panels of induced pluripotent stem cells lines that reflect the diversity of the human population and include samples from patients with a range of diseases will be key to tapping into the potential of iPSCs.

A metabolic means to preserving egg supply and fertility
The stresses that come with aging, chemotherapy treatments, and environmental exposures all threaten fertility.

Researchers unveil method for creating 're-specified' stem cells for disease modeling
A team led by researchers in the Boston Children's Hospital's Stem Cell Transplantation Program reports a new approach for turning induced pluripotent stem cells into hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells for in vivo disease modeling.

2 new enigmatic spider species with peculiar living habits from Uruguay
Scientists describe two new spider species from the Nemesiidae family.

Scientists generate first map of clouds on an exoplane
Map reveals a lopsided cloud distribution on an extremely hot planet.

Advanced technology for gene expression analysis can facilitate drug development
When developing new drugs, monitoring cellular responses to candidate compounds is essential for assessing their efficacy and safety.

Feds fund concept for cheaper, better titanium made in US
Case Western Reserve University researchers propose a low-cost, energy-efficient way to extract titanium from ore, in an effort to boost the domestic titanium industry and secure the supply of the strategic metal.

$6.25 million research effort to find new therapies for most common childhood cancer
Researchers at the Cancer Institute at NYU Langone Medical Center are leading a $6.25 million, five-year research initiative, funded by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, to develop new therapies and advance the cure rate for children and young adults with acute lymphoblastic cancer, the most common form of childhood cancer.

How a 'mistake' in a single-cell organism is actually a rewrite essential to life
A tiny but unexpected change to a segment of RNA in a single-cell organism looks a lot like a mistake, but is instead a change to the genetic information that is essential to the organism's survival.

Updated systemic sclerosis criteria improve disease classification
New classification criteria for systemic sclerosis have just been published and are more sensitive than the 1980 criteria, enabling earlier identification and treatment of this disabling autoimmune disease.

Kessler Foundation collaborates with VA New Jersey Health Care System on study of Gulf War illness
A major grant totaling $761,222 from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Clinical Science Research and Development, involves a collaboration between Kessler Foundation and the VA New Jersey Health Care System.

Stem cells help repair traumatic brain injury by building a 'biobridge'
University of South Florida researchers suggest a new view of how stem cells may help repair the brain following trauma.

NIST physicists 'entangle' microscopic drum's beat with electrical signals
Extending evidence of quantum behavior farther into the large-scale world of everyday life, physicists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have

A question of style
Most molecules occur in several shapes, which may behave very differently.

Analysis of little-explored regions of genome reveals dozens of potential cancer triggers
A massive data analysis of natural genetic variants in humans and variants in cancer tumors has implicated dozens of mutations in the development of breast and prostate cancer, a Yale-led team has found.

Drowsy Drosophila shed light on sleep and hunger
Sleep, hunger and metabolism are closely related, but scientists are still struggling to understand how they interact.

Hospitalized HIV patients benefit from seeing infectious diseases specialists
When patients with HIV are hospitalized for other conditions, such as a heart problem, surgery or complications of diabetes, mistakes are often made involving their complicated anti-retroviral therapy regimens.

LSUHSC researcher discovers target for new Rx class for inflammatory disorders
Research led by Charles Nichols, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pharmacology at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, describes a powerful new anti-inflammatory mechanism that could lead to the development of new oral medications for atherosclerosis and inflammatory bowel disorders.

Neglect of 'science communication environment' puts vaccine acceptance at risk
Failure to use science of science communication contributed to public controversy over HPV vaccine and could provoke similar conflict over other childhood vaccines.

New X-ray vision can reveal internal structure of objects
Scientists have developed a new kind of 'X-ray vision' that is able to peer inside an object and map the three-dimensional distribution of its nano-properties in real time.

Alcoholism treatment before, after liver transplantation reduces relapse
New research reports that liver transplant recipients who receive substance abuse treatment before and after transplantation have much lower alcohol relapse rates than those untreated or only treated prior to transplantation.

Facebook and Twitter may yield clues to preventing the spread of disease
Facebook and Twitter could provide vital clues to control infectious diseases by using mathematical models to understand how we respond socially to biological contagions.

Diesel exhaust stops honeybees from finding the flowers they want to forage
Exposure to common air pollutants found in diesel exhaust pollution can affect the ability of honeybees to recognize floral odors, new University of Southampton research shows.

How depression blurs memories
The more depressed someone feels, the harder it is for them to distinguish similar experiences they've had -- such as where they parked their car today.

Autism Speaks announces Preclinical Autism Consortium for Therapeutics (PACT)
Autism Speaks, the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization, today announced the launch of the Preclinical Autism Consortium for Therapeutics.

Louisiana Tech University physicists contribute to new findings of international research team
Physicists from Louisiana Tech University are part of an international team of researchers which has reported first results for the proton's weak charge based on precise new data from Jefferson Laboratory, the nation's premier electron beam facility for nuclear and particle physics research in Newport News, Va.

Genetic study of river herring populations identifies conservation priorities
A genetic and demographic analysis of river herring populations along the US east coast has identified distinct genetic stocks, providing crucial guidance for efforts to manage their declining populations.

DNA nanotechnology opens new path to super-high-resolution molecular imaging
A team at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University has been awarded a special $3.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop an inexpensive and easy-to-use new microscopy method that uses blinking DNA probes to spot many tiny components of cells simultaneously.

Penn co-leads $12 M NIH grant to study genetics of mental illnesses in deletion syndrome patients
A major international consortium co-led by Penn Medicine has received a $12 million National Institute of Mental Health grant for a large-scale genetics study investigating why patients with chromosome 22q11.2 deletion syndrome have an increased risk of schizophrenia and other psychiatric disorders.

Rett syndrome gene dysfunction redefined
Whitehead Institute researchers have discovered that the protein product of the gene MECP2, which is mutated in about 95 percent of Rett syndrome patients, is a global activator of neuronal gene expression.

Accurate maps of streams could aid in more sustainable development of Potomac River watershed
Where a stream ends is clear, but where it begins can be more difficult to discern.

The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation to honor 7 exceptional scientists
The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation will honor seven exceptional scientists at its Annual National Awards Dinner at the Pierre Hotel in New York City on Friday, Oct.

Silencing sudden death
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy -- a disease in which cardiac muscle thickens, weakening the heart -- can be prevented from developing for several months in mice by reducing production of a mutant protein.

CU-Boulder researchers use climate model to better understand electricity in the air
A research team led by the University of Colorado Boulder has developed a global electric circuit model by adding an additional layer to a climate model created by colleagues at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder.

Three hours is enough to help prevent mental health issues in teens
The incidence of mental health issues amongst 509 British youth was reduced by 25 to 33 percent over the 24 months following two 90-minute group therapy sessions, according to a study led by Dr.

Stowers team links dampened mTOR signaling with the developmental disorder Roberts syndrome
Children born with developmental disorders called cohesinopathies can suffer severe consequences, including intellectual disabilities, limb shortening, craniofacial anomalies, and slowed growth.

Blocking nerve cells could prevent symptoms of eczema
UC Berkeley research is leading to a new picture of how the nervous system interacts with the immune system to cause the itch and inflammation of eczema, a chronic skin disease.

Feinstein Institute presents inaugural Cerami Award to Weill Cornell researcher
The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research and Molecular Medicine announced today that it will confer the first Anthony Cerami Award in Translational Medicine to Carl Nathan, M.D., chairman of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Weill Cornell Medical College for his discoveries in immunology.

Triple-negative breast cancer target for drug development identified
Often deadly

Power of precision medicine shown in successful treatment of patient with disabling OCD
A multidisciplinary team led by a geneticist and psychiatrist from CSHL's Stanley Institute for Cognitive Genomics have published a paper providing a glimpse of both the tremendous power and the current limitations of

Why blame feels hard to take
When something we do produces a positive result, we actually perceive it differently than we would if that same action yielded a negative result.

The order of words
There are words that convey a meaning, like verbs, nouns or adjectives, and others, like articles or conjunctions that sustain them, providing a structure for the sentence.

Key cellular auto-cleaning mechanism mediates the formation of plaques in Alzheimer's brain
Autophagy, a key cellular auto-cleaning mechanism, mediates the formation of amyloid beta plaques, one of the hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease.

Study makes important step-forward in mission to tackle parasitic worm infections
Gastrointestinal parasitic infections, which are worm infections in the intestine, affect nearly one quarter of the world population and normally result in a chronic, long-lived infection associated with poor quality of life and health problems.

Fecal transplant pill knocks out recurrent C. diff infection, study shows
Swallowing pills containing a concentrate of fecal bacteria successfully stops recurrent bouts of debilitating Clostridium difficile infection by rebalancing the bacteria in the gut, suggests a study being presented at the IDWeek 2013™ meeting today.

Component of citrus fruits found to block the formation of kidney cysts
A new study published today in British Journal of Pharmacology has identified that a component of grapefruit and other citrus fruits, naringenin, successfully blocks the formation of kidney cysts.

Invasive mussel is not harmed by toxins and invades the freshwaters of Europe and North America
While most freshwater mussels react stressfully and weaken when exposed to the toxins in blue-green algae in their water environment, the little zebra mussel is rather indifferent.

Cats adapt food selection to meet demands of lactation
Lactating cats not only increase their total calorie consumption, they also significantly alter the make-up of their diet to meet the demands of feeding a litter, research from the WALTHAM® Centre for Pet Nutrition has shown.

Researchers find that bright nearby double star Fomalhaut is actually a triple
The nearby star system Fomalhaut -- of special interest for its unusual exoplanet and dusty debris disk -- has been discovered to be not just a double star, as astronomers had thought, but one of the widest triple stars known.

'Troubles' surgeon to tell all in the United States
Belfast surgeon and Queen's University Professor Roy Spence is set to tell US medics about his experience of treating hundreds of victims of the Northern Ireland 'Troubles'.

Innovative approach could ultimately end deadly disease of sleeping sickness
A tag team of two bacteria, one of them genetically modified, has a good chance to reduce or even eliminate the deadly disease African trypanosomiasis, or sleeping sickness, researchers at Oregon State University conclude in a recent mathematical modeling study.

New small-molecule catalyst does the work of many enzymes
Researchers report that they have created a man-made catalyst that is an

Genetic analysis of individuals with autism finds gene deletions
Using powerful genetic sequencing technology, a team of investigators, led by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, scanned the genome of hundreds of individuals, and discovered those diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder were more likely to have gene deletions than were people without the disorder.  That means those individuals -- seven percent of the study group -- had one copy of one or more genes when they should have had two.

Wealth inequality can promote cooperation
Unequal access to resources can promote cooperation, shows a new study based on evolutionary game theory.

Scripps Florida scientists identify potential new drug for inherited cancer
Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have identified a new drug candidate for an inherited form of cancer with no known cure.

5 regular meals a day reduce obesity risk among adolescents
A regular eating pattern may protect adolescents from obesity, according to a Finnish population-based study with more than 4,000 participants.

Jefferson Orthopedics receives grant to aid military in recovery from combat injuries
Researchers with Jefferson Orthopedics are using their experience and expertise in post-traumatic joint stiffness to develop treatments that could aid in optimal recovery and restoration of joint function for members of the military who sustain traumatic combat or combat-related injuries.

Warmer oceans could raise mercury levels in fish
Rising ocean surface temperatures caused by climate change could make fish accumulate more mercury, increasing the health risk to people who eat seafood, Dartmouth researchers and their colleagues report in a study in the journal PLOS ONE.

3-D printing: The greener choice
A life cycle impact analyses on three products, an orange juicer, a children's building block and a water spout, showed that making the items on a basic 3-D printer took from 41 percent to 64 percent less energy than making them in an overseas factory and shipping them to the US.

Identifying people by their bodies when faces are no help
Every day we recognize friends, family, and co-workers from afar -- even before we can distinctly see a face.

Scientists discover new role for cell dark matter in genome integrity
University of Montreal researchers have discovered how telomerase, a molecule essential for cancer development, is directed to structures on our genome called telomeres in order to maintain its integrity and in turn, the integrity of the genome. 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