Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

October 29, 2013
Unravelling the true identity of the brain of Carl Friedrich Gauss
Researchers reveal the true identity of the brains of mathematicians Carl Friedrich Gauss and medical scholar Conrad Heinrich Fuchs.

New molecular target for malaria control identified
Malaria is a leading cause of death in tropical and subtropical regions and it is transmitted by a bite from infected female mosquitoes.

How poverty molds the brain
Groundbreaking research nearly two decades ago linking a mother's educational background to her children's literacy and cognitive abilities stands out among decades of social science studies demonstrating the adverse effects of poverty.

Weight at time of diagnosis linked to prostate cancer mortality
Men who are overweight or obese when they are diagnosed with prostate cancer are more likely to die from the disease than men who are of healthy weight, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published today in the journal Obesity Research & Clinical Practice.

Cat's eyes: Designing the perfect mixer
Using magnets and opposing jets, researchers in France and England create the optimal industrial mixer, which creates a pattern that resembles a cat's eye.

Expanding research communities and collaborations
From the depths of oceans, to wide swaths of forests, and rising to the troposphere, where weather changes occur, the DOE Joint Genome Institute 2014 Community Science Program portfolio seeks to parse functional information extracted from complex ecosystems to address urgent energy and environmental challenges.

Scientists gain new insights into dolphin's evolutionary history and conversation
Researchers from Nanjing Normal University and BGI report their original genomic research on Baiji, also known as Yangtze River dolphin (Lipotes vexillifer).

NSF, US Antarctic Program partners, working to restore Antarctic research season to the maximum extent possible
Officials at the National Science Foundation -- working cooperatively with the agency's private-sector, military and interagency partners -- are restoring field science supported by the US Antarctic Program, the nation's research program on the southernmost continent, to the maximum extent possible, following the October federal government shutdown.

People seem more attractive in a group than they do apart
People tend to be rated as more attractive when they're part of a group than when they're alone, according to findings published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Seeing in the dark
For infrared tracking and recognition, two sensors are better than one, according to an article in the journal Review of Scientific Instruments.

Events coordination during embryogenesis
A new study by Weill Cornell Medical College scientists reveals a mechanism through which the expression of genes is controlled -- a finding that highlights genetic mutations that can impair the timing of gene expression.

Old bat gets a new name
The Mortlock Islands flying fox, a species threatened by climate change and rising sea levels, is one of the world's least studied bats.

Surviving -- then thriving
Modern medicine usually considers trauma -- both the physical and the psychological kinds -- as unequivocally damaging.

Sedentary behavior linked to recurrence of precancerous colorectal tumors
Men who spend the most time engaged in sedentary behaviors are at greatest risk for recurrence of colorectal adenomas, benign tumors that are known precursors of colorectal cancers.

Stanford faculty awarded $2.2 million for innovative energy research
Stanford University's Precourt Institute, Precourt Energy Efficiency Center and TomKat Center have awarded 11 seed grants to Stanford faculty for early-stage energy research.

Canadian discoveries pivotal to the science of toxins and illness associated with E. coli
Many Canadian scientists and clinicians were unsung heroes during the early years (1977-1983) of research unfolding around verotoxigenic E. coli (VTEC).

International research team weighs in on the negative consequences of noise on overall health
The combined toll of occupational, recreational and environmental noise exposure poses a serious public health threat going far beyond hearing damage, according to an international team of researchers writing today in The Lancet.

New study suggests coral reefs may be able to adapt to moderate climate change
Coral reefs may be able to adapt to moderate climate warming, improving their chance of surviving through the end of this century, if there are large reductions in carbon dioxide emissions, according to a study funded by NOAA and researched by the agency's scientists and its academic partners.

New study: Enterocystoplasty in children with genitourinary abnormalities is safe and effective
Enterocystoplasty is a good surgical option with a low rate of severe complications in the treatment of children who were born with developmental abnormalities of the genitourinary system, according to the new study conducted by a group of Portuguese urologists.

Obamacare could reverse long trend of uncompensated care in ERs
Emergency departments, which have suffered shortfalls in reimbursement for decades due to the high rate of uninsurance in the United States, may begin receiving

Einstein researchers lead panels at NIH Aging and Chronic Disease Symposium on Geroscience
The National Institutes of Health has chosen two leading aging researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University to chair panels at the first symposium on

Plasmonic crystal alters to match light-frequency source
A plasma-containing crystal, tunable by varying a voltage, could increase the bandwidth of high-speed communication networks and generally enhance high-speed electronics.

More REEs please
A GSA Pardee Keynote Symposium on Wednesday concentrates on world politics, the rare Earth locations that hold elements important to modern civilization, and the need to find more in the US.

Mount Sinai oncologists improve quality of care for cancer patients
A pilot initiative conducted at Mount Sinai Hospital offers compelling evidence that establishing standardized criteria for calling a palliative care consultation improves the quality of care for patients hospitalized with advanced cancer.

UCLA report urges new global policy effort to tackle crisis of plastic litter in oceans
A new report by authors from UCLA School of Law's Emmett Center on Climate Change and the Environment and UCLA's Institute of the Environment and Sustainability explores the sources and impacts of plastic marine litter, and offers domestic and international policy recommendations to tackle these growing problems--a targeted, multifaceted approach aimed at protecting ocean wildlife, coastal waters and economies, and human health.

Exercise programs could help to prevent fall injuries in older people
Exercise programs designed to prevent falls in older adults also appear to prevent injuries caused by falls, suggests a paper published today on

Results of the SAFE-PCI trial presented at TCT 2013
A clinical trial conducted exclusively in women suggests that an initial strategy of using the radial artery in the arm as the entry point for cardiac catheterization or percutaneous coronary intervention (PCI) in women has potential for reducing bleeding complications.

Passing the Gac
Listeria poses a significant risk to human health. The bacterium is frequently transmitted via dairy products, so it is important to disinfect dairies regularly.

Pregnant rats exposed to obesity hormone lose birth's protective effect on breast cancer
Like humans, young rats that give birth have a reduced risk of breast cancer later in life.

Bright eyes: Study finds reindeers' eyes change colour with Arctic seasons
Researchers have discovered the eyes of Arctic reindeer change color through the seasons from gold to blue, adapting to extreme changes of light levels in their environment and helping detect predators.

Evaluation of hospital infection prevention policies can identify opportunities for improvement
Identifying gaps in infection prevention practices may yield opportunities for improved patient safety, according to a survey published in the Nov. issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

Thawing permafrost: The speed of coastal erosion in Eastern Siberia has nearly doubled
The high cliffs of Eastern Siberia -- which mainly consist of permafrost -- continue to erode at an ever quickening pace.

Microbiome in gut, mouth, and skin of low birth weight infants differentiate weeks after birth
Low birth weight infants are host to numerous microorganisms immediately after birth, and the microbiomes of their mouths and gut start out very similar but differentiate significantly by day 15 according to a study published in mBio, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Results of the COREVALVE EXTREME RISK trial presented at TCT 2013
In a clinical trial, a self-expanding transcatheter aortic valve met the key performance objective of reducing death and stroke in patients with severe aortic stenosis at

NRL demonstrates capabilities of coupled oceanic and atmospheric prediction tools
Researchers demonstrate in-situ atmospheric and oceanic sensing systems and real-time operational mesoscale numerical weather prediction models at TRIDENT WARRIOR 2013.

A therapeutic hypothesis for glucose intolerance after cerebral ischemia
The researchers believed that glucose intolerance after cerebral ischemia can be improved by suppressing the loss of brain-derived neurotrophic factor in the hypothalamus.

New forensic technique for identifying cloth fibers
Analysis of chemical signatures on common fibers may help solve crimes; work to be presented at the AVS Meeting in Long Beach, Calif.

Obesity: A new appetite-increasing mechanism discovered
Despite their efforts, many morbidly obese people continue to consume too much food (hyperphagia) compared to their reserves and their needs.

Results of the SORT-OUT VI trial presented at TCT 2013
A new study found that both drug-eluting stents (DES) with biocompatible polymers and DES with biodegradable polymers were associated with low major adverse coronary events, demonstrating the non-inferiority of the biocompatible polymer stents in patients undergoing percutaneous coronary intervention.

Joystick advances independent voting
A voting joystick created at Michigan State University could eventually enable people with dexterity impairments, senior citizens and others to exercise their right to cast ballots independently.

My eyes are up here!
A study released Oct. 29 uses eye-tracking technology to empirically document the visual behavior of both men and women when they viewed images of females with different body types.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Raymond fading fast
Satellite data showed some recent convective activity within Tropical Storm Raymond on Oct.

Results from many large clinical trials are never published
A new analysis of 585 large, randomized clinical trials registered with finds that 29 percent have not been published in scientific journals.

Media advisory for Entomology 2013 in Austin, Texas
Nearly 3,500 insect scientists will swarm to the Austin Convention Center from Nov.

ER study finds 1 in 10 older teens misuse Rx painkillers & sedatives
With prescription drug abuse at epidemic levels nationwide, and overdoses killing more people than auto accidents in many states, a new study provides striking new data about the misuse of potent prescription painkillers and sedatives by teens and young adults.

EU sponsors fabrication of molecular electronic components on the sub-nanometer scale
Professor Angelika Kühnle and her work group at the Institute of Physical Chemistry at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz are participating in a new EU project focusing on information and communication technology.

New molecular target for malaria control identified
A new study led by Harvard School of Public Health and University of Perugia researchers has shown that egg development in the mosquito species primarily responsible for spreading malaria depends on a switch in the female that is turned on by a male hormone delivered during sex.

Fertility treatment outcomes can be significantly influenced by mother's ethnicity
Maternal ethnicity is a significant determinant of successful outcomes after fertility treatment, suggests a new study published today in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Thyroid project sheds light on molecular processes related to cystic fibrosis
Veterinary medicine research is leading to a better understanding of the molecular interactions in the thyroid gland related to cystic fibrosis.

Child sexual abuse via the Internet on the rise
Sexual abuse of children and adolescents is widespread in Switzerland, experienced by almost two in five girls and one in six boys.

Less toxic metabolites, more chemical product
By preventing the build-up of toxic metabolites in engineered microbes, a dynamic regulatory system developed at JBEI can help boost production of an advanced biofuel, a therapeutic drug, or other valuable chemical products.

Identifying the signs of autism earlier
How early can you diagnose autism? The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends screening children beginning at 18 months, but research suggests subtle warning signs may be apparent even earlier, according to Patricia Manning-Courtney, M.D., FAAP, who delivered a plenary address Tuesday, Oct.

Estrogen protects women with NASH from severe liver fibrosis
New research suggests that estrogen protects women with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis from severe liver fibrosis.

Scientists shine light on world's least-studied bat
The Mortlock Islands flying fox, a large, breadfruit-eating bat native to a few remote and tiny Pacific islands, has long been regarded as one of the world's least studied bats.

Clemson, Education Department focus on rural dropouts
Clemson University's National Dropout Prevention Center/Network and Clemson Broadcast Productions will help the US Department of Education analyze and enhance rural dropout prevention efforts in 15 states.

A potential new class of fast-acting antidepressant
More than one in 10 Americans take antidepressants, but these medications can take weeks -- and for some patients, months -- before they begin to alleviate symptoms.

RI Hospital study measures impact of education, information on hand hygiene compliance
How often do you clean your hands? A study at Rhode Island Hospital observed staff on 161,526 occasions to monitor how often they cleaned their hands (i.e., hand hygiene) between July 2008 to Dec.

New study on neurodevelopmental effects of prenatal exposure to paracetamol
Paracetamol (acetaminophen) is the most commonly used medicine in pregnancy, yet there are very few studies that have investigated the possible long-term consequences for the child.

NASA sees newborn twenty-ninth Depression in the Philippine Sea
NASA infrared imagery revealed that bands of thunderstorms have been wrapping into the center of newborn Tropical Depression 29W, indicating it's organizing and strengthening in the Philippine Sea.

News that is better or worse than expected influences health decisions
Patients who are unrealistically optimistic about their personal health risks are more likely to take preventive action when confronted with news that is worse than expected, while unrealistic pessimists are less likely to change their behavior after receiving feedback that is better than expected.

Archaeologists and historians to investigate a vast network of Mediterranean Roman ports
The University of Southampton has been awarded €2.49 million by the European Research Council to study a large network of Roman ports stretching from Turkey in the east, to Spain in the west.

How a metamaterial might improve a depression treatment
A brain stimulation technique that is used to treat tough cases of depression could be considerably improved with a new headpiece designed by University of Michigan engineers.

NREL researcher honored with Hispanic STEM award
A national organization devoted to getting more Hispanics into the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math, has honored a scientist at the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory with its annual Outstanding Technical Achievement Award.

Extracting energy from bacteria
Microbial electrode catalysts that turn wastewater into watts presented at AVS Meeting in Long Beach, Calif.

This week in Molecular Biology and Evolution: A step ahead of influenza, honeybee sex
In this week's advanced online edition of Molecular Biology and Evolution, researchers trace drug resistance against all strains of the flu by using an extensive influenza virus database, and examine the exquisite molecular control behind honeybee sex determination.

Events coordination during embryogenesis
A new study by Weill Cornell Medical College scientists reveals a mechanism through which the expression of genes is controlled -- a finding that highlights genetic mutations that can impair the timing of gene expression.

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago receives $1.79 million to study communication
Communication in PICUs is very complicated. This award allows Lurie Children's to study this dynamic and to see ways to improve it so families make better decisions regarding their child's care.

Wiley and EMBO announce expanded partnership
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., today announced that it will provide editorial production, global marketing and distribution services for The EMBO Journal, EMBO reports and Molecular Systems Biology.

EMBO announces the launch of EMBO Press
EMBO today announced that it will launch EMBO Press on Dec.

Discovered how mice survive infection by virulent Toxoplasma parasites
The parasite Toxoplasma can infect most warm-blooded animals, including humans, causing toxoplasmosis.

Mechanisms of wound healing are clarified in MBL zebrafish study
A crucial component of wound healing in many animals, including humans, is the migration of nearby skin cells toward the center of the wound.

Miriam Hospital researcher awarded $2.9 million NIH grant to study impact of maternal smoking
Laura Stroud, Ph.D., a researcher with The Miriam Hospital's Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine, was recently awarded a five-year, $2,885,481 grant from the National Institutes of Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health, to further her work on the physiological impact of maternal smoking on fetal development and behavior.

Is YouTube a driver for social movements like Occupy Wall Street?
Social media such as YouTube videos provide a popular and flexible venue for online activism.

NREL to research revolutionary battery storage approaches in support of ARPA-E RANGE program
The Energy Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency -- Energy has announced that a project at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory is among 22 projects that will receive funding to develop transformational electric vehicle energy storage systems using innovative chemistries, architectures and designs.

Unpublished trial data 'violates an ethical obligation' to study participants, say researchers
Almost one in three (29 percent) large clinical trials remain unpublished five years after completion.

Older children with HIV may need to start treatment sooner to normalize future CD4 count
Although younger children with HIV are at high risk of disease progression if not treated, new research published this week in PLOS Medicine indicates that they have good potential for achieving high CD4 counts (a measure of a type of white blood cell that correlates with immune function) in later life provided antiretroviral therapy is initiated according to current treatment guidelines.

UK and US water engineers collaborate on global water issues
A new trans-Atlantic collaboration,

USC CTM releases report on Americans' media consumption
The report looks at media consumption by individuals in and out of the home, excluding the workplace, between 2008 and 2015, breaking

Bats and whales behave in surprisingly similar ways
Sperm whales weigh up to 50 tons, and the smallest bat barely reaches a gram.

Researchers identify way to increase gene therapy success
Scientists in The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital have found a way to overcome one of the biggest obstacles to using viruses to deliver therapeutic genes: How to keep the immune system from neutralizing the virus before it can deliver its genetic payload.

HIV -- Geneticists map human resistance to AIDS
The key to future HIV treatment could be hidden right in our own genes.

EarthCube: NSF funds $14.5 million in grants to improve geosciences cyberinfrastructure
Imagine a world with unlimited access to scientific data in any field, where researchers can plot data from any source and visualize it any way they'd like, and where they can model results and explore ideas from a desktop, a lab or the field.

Eye tracking technology suggests people 'check out' women at first glance
Eye tracking technology has reconfirmed what women have known all along: that people look at their sexual body parts more and faces less when evaluating their appearance.

The dark side of black metal music
Concordia University education professor Vivek Venkatesh sheds light on the dark side of black metal in a chapter appearing in a forthcoming peer-reviewed book, Educational, Psychological, and Behavioral Considerations in Niche Online Communities.

Physicists provide new insights into coral skeleton formation
An international team of scientists, led by physicists from the University of York, has shed important new light on coral skeleton formation.

Clemson hosting biomaterials symposium
As part of the program's 50th anniversary celebrations, Clemson's bioengineering department is hosting leading researchers and industry representatives at the 2013 Clemson Biomaterials Symposium, Biomaterials-What's Next, to share the latest scientific discoveries.

GW researchers examine increased ER reimbursements after ACA insurance coverage expansions
Researchers at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences found that outpatient emergency department encounters could reimburse considerably more after implementation of the insurance coverage expansions of the Affordable Care Act.

Green flame moths: Scientists discover 2 new Limacodidae species from China and Taiwan
Due to their distinguishable vibrant green wing patterns the moths from the Parasa undulata group contain some of the most exciting species within the Limacodidae family.

Interventions by non-mental health specialists may improve perinatal mental health disorders
In middle-income countries such as China, interventions that have a psychological or social component (often referred to as psychosocial interventions) delivered by health workers who are not mental health specialists could help women during the perinatal period, according to a study published this week in PLOS Medicine.

Dinner rituals that correlate with child and adult BMI
Families that eat together without the television on and stay seated until everyone's finished have children with lower weights and body mass index (BMI), reports this study conducted by Dr.

Human immune system shapes skin microbiome
Our skin plays host to millions of beneficial and potentially disease-causing microorganisms; however, whether our immune system influences these microbial communities to prevent disease is unknown.

Scientists reduce behaviors associated with problem gambling in rats
With the help of a rat casino, researchers have successfully reduced behaviors in rats that are commonly associated with compulsive gambling.

Knowledge about incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse lower among women of color
Knowing what symptoms to look for may help women with pelvic floor disorders improve their chances of successful treatment.

New Texas A&M gene study aimed at enhanced cotton fiber breeding, toolkits
A new study by Texas A&M University cotton researchers and breeders will take advantage of new high-throughput sequencing technology to rapidly advance cotton genetics research and breeding.

New report: Companies created from federally funded university research fuel American innovation, economic growth
A new report released today by The Science Coalition illustrates one of the many returns on investment of federally funded scientific research: the creation of new companies.

Autism Speaks announces 3 additional 2013 Weatherstone Predoctoral Fellows
Autism Speaks, the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization, today announced three additional recipients to the fifth class of Weatherstone Predoctoral Fellows funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

Male birth defect is weakly linked to pesticide exposure, Stanford-led study finds
A study of several hundred chemicals used in commercial pesticides has found only weak evidence that any of them are associated with a common birth defect in male infants.

Redwood trees reveal history of West Coast rain, fog, ocean conditions
Researchers have found a way to use coastal redwood trees as a window into historic climate, using oxygen and carbon atoms in the wood to detect fog and rainfall in previous seasons.

Klimagune: Opportunities, challenges and barriers for transitions towards sustainability
Klimagune Workshop is a forum for informal discussion on Climate Change, open to all the agents in the Basque Science and Technology Network.

October 2013 Educational Researcher examines gender gap in college enrollment
The October 2013 issue of Educational Researcher, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association, is now available.

Safer nuclear fuels
Presentation at AVS Meeting in Long Beach, Calif. describes new uranium pellets with degradation-resistant cladding for enhanced safety.

Scientists find that dolphin in Australian waters is a new species
A species of humpback dolphin previously unknown to science is swimming in the waters off northern Australia, according to a team of researchers working for the Wildlife Conservation Society, the American Museum of Natural History, and numerous other groups that contributed to the study.

MRSA declines are sustained in veterans hospitals nationwide
Five years after implementing a national initiative to reduce methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) rates in Veterans Affairs medical centers, MRSA cases have continued to decline, according to a study in the Nov. issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

Teenagers and young adults diagnosed with cancer are at increased risk of suicide
Teenagers and young adults are at increased risk of suicide after being diagnosed with cancer according to a study published in the leading cancer journal Annals of Oncology.

Queen's University in €6m bid to find new Cystic Fibrosis treatments
The new global program, known as CF Matters, aims to develop personalized antibiotic treatments for these chest infections.

El Nino events get more extreme as globe warms
New research shows El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomena have been more active and intense during the 30-year period between 1979-2009 than at any time during the past 600 years. 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