Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 04, 2013
Next-generation global e-infrastructure for taxon names registry
Issue no. 346 of ZooKeys has been automatically registered in ZooBank on its day of publication last Friday.

NPL leads research project to help deliver 10x faster computer processing speeds
The Nanostrain project will support the development of cheaper, more reliable and energy efficient technologies delivering 10 fold increases in chip processor speed to 30 GHz, faster internet connections and huge energy savings worldwide.

NJIT professor invents a flexible battery
Researchers at NJIT have developed a flexible battery made with carbon nanotubes that could potentially power electronic devices with flexible displays.

Gravity and the robot satellite attitude problem
Using an in-orbit robot to capturing a malfunctioning satellite that is tumbling out of control is currently just a theoretical idea.

Carnegie Mellon study suggests repetition of rare events could reduce screening mistakes by security
The failure to detect infrequent, but obvious security threats at airport screenings and other checkpoints may have less to do with incompetence or poor training than a human tendency to overlook rare events.

Alfred Russel Wallace: Co-founder of the theory of biological evolution
The Springer journal Theory in Biosciences is publishing a special issue

UCSF researchers offer solutions to looming health-care provider shortage
Thanks to a wave of aging baby boomers, epidemics of diabetes and obesity, and the Affordable Care Act, which aims to bring health care coverage to millions more Americans, the United States faces a severe shortage of primary health care providers.

Quantum 'sealed envelope' system enables 'perfectly secure' information storage
Breakthrough guarantees

Climate change, people and ecosystems: Assessing strategies for adaptation
The November 2013 issue of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment is devoted to an assessment of climate change effects on ecosystems, and the consequences for people.

Professor who links nutrition to birth defects honored by The March of Dimes
Gary M. Shaw, DrPH, professor and associate chair for Clinical Research in the Department of Pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine will receive the March of Dimes Agnes Higgins Award for outstanding achievements in the field of maternal-fetal nutrition.

Do you want the good news or the bad news first?
There's good news and there's bad news. Which do you want to hear first?

Astronomers answer key question: How common are habitable planets?
UC Berkeley and University of Hawaii astronomers analyzed all four years of Kepler data in search of Earth-size planets in the habitable zones of sun-like stars, and then rigorously tested how many planets they may have missed.

Geoscientist receives NSF grant to develop GPS and LiDAR education at UH
University of Houston professor Guoquan (Bob) Wang received a three-year, $168,000 National Science Foundation award that will integrate Global Positioning Systems and Light Detection and Ranging into the UH undergraduate geosciences curriculum.

Crafting a better enzyme cocktail to turn plants into fuel faster
Scientists looking to create a potent blend of enzymes to transform materials like corn stalks and wood chips into fuels have developed a test that should turbocharge their efforts.

Designer piercings: New membrane pores with DNA nanotechnology
A new way to build membrane-crossing pores, using Lego-like DNA building blocks, has been developed by scientists at UCL, in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Cambridge and the University of Southampton.

Women and African-Americans at higher risk of heart attack from atrial fibrillation
Doctors have known for years that atrial fibrillation, or irregular heartbeat, increases the risk for stroke, but now researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center have shown that it also increases the risk for heart attack.

$100 million gift launches Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center
In a bold and singular step toward delivering the therapeutic promise of human stem cells, businessman and philanthropist T.

Mutations linked to breast cancer treatment resistance
Researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have identified a type of mutation that develops after breast cancer patients take anti-estrogen therapies.

Stem cells linked to cognitive gain after brain injury in preclinical study
A stem cell therapy previously shown to reduce inflammation in the critical time window after traumatic brain injury also promotes lasting cognitive improvement, according to preclinical research led by Charles Cox, M.D., at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Medical School.

Breast cancer -- combining imaging techniques for quicker and gentler biopsies
Taking tissue samples can often be a traumatic experience for breast cancer patients.

Study looks at safety, effectiveness of generics for treating depression
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are studying the quality, effectiveness and safety of generic drugs used to treat depression.

The Association for Molecular Pathology announces highlights of Phoenix meeting
The event, to be held November 14-16 at the Phoenix Convention Center in Phoenix, AZ will highlight an array of topics focusing on genomics, proteomics, informatics, reimbursement, and optimization of patient care.

New chemistry: Drawing and writing in liquid with light
Researchers from the Laboratory of Polymer Chemistry in the University of Helsinki's Department of Chemistry, Finland, have managed to draw in an alcohol-based solution using laser light.

AAO-HNSF clinical practice guideline: Bell's palsy
A multidisciplinary clinical practice guideline to improve the accurate and efficient diagnosis and treatment of Bell's palsy was published Monday in the journal Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery.

NASA sees Tropical Depression 30W affecting central Philippines
Tropical Depression 30W formed and moved through Visayas, Philippines.

Acupuncture effects on neuropathic pain: A study on signal pathways
Peripheral or central nerve injury often leads to neuropathic pain, a chronic condition that can manifest behaviorally as spontaneous pain, hyperalgesia and allodynia, and which also results in neurological dysfunction.

Work towards largest telescope awarded
The international Square Kilometre Array office awarded contracts to prepare for the world's largest radio telescope yesterday, marking the start of the return on Australia and WA's investment in the ambitious Square Kilometre Array.

NASA sees strengthening Tropical Storm Haiyan lashing Micronesia
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over Tropical Storm Haiyan on Nov.

Diamond imperfections pave the way to technology gold
Using ultrafast 2-D electronic spectroscopy, Berkeley Lab researchers have recorded unprecedented observations of energy moving through the atom-sized diamond impurities known as nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers.

Electronic and Internet health tools may decrease in-person physician visits
Analysis of recent trends in digital health care and a review of the scientific literature indicates patients' future use of physician services will change dramatically as electronic health records and consumer e-health

Dolphin genetic study provides revelations
A 10-year study found genetic differences in dolphins that were along geographic lines (onshore, offshore and even within same general area, such as the Indian River Lagoon in Fla.).

Study shows calm candidates perform better on tests used to screen job applicants
Applying for a job can be stressful at the best of times and even more so in today's very competitive job market.

Treadmill step training promotes motor function after incomplete spinal cord injury
A large body of evidence shows that spinal circuits are significantly affected by training, and that intrinsic circuits that drive locomotor tasks are located in lumbosacral spinal segments in rats with complete spinal cord transection.

Scientists take a step closer to developing vaccine against C. difficile
A group of leading scientists from across Europe have launched a three-year project aimed at developing an oral vaccine against Clostridium difficile, an infection that kills around 4,000 people a year (almost four-times more than MRSA) and for which there are currently no effective treatments.

A better way to track your every move
Physical activity tracking apps on smartphones are a potentially important tool for doctors who want to collect data and create treatment or intervention plans to improve the health of patients who struggle with activity and movement -- such as those with Parkinson's disease.

Learning and memory: How neurons activate PP1
A study in The Journal of Cell Biology describes how neurons activate the protein PP1, providing key insights into the biology of learning and memory.

Global change: Stowaways threaten fisheries in the Arctic
The increased sea temperature expected in 2100 will in itself mean that the potential number of species introduced by ships will increase more than sixfold in the Norwegian Archipelago Svalbard in the Arctic Ocean.

Positive results for non surgical heart valve replacement
Researchers are reporting positive results from a landmark clinical trial of an investigational aortic valve that is deployed with a catheter, without open heart surgery.

Transgender controversies can lead to 'gender panic,' study finds
When New York City moved in 2006 to make it easier for transgender people to revise the gender on their birth certificates, the proposal was widely expected to pass.

Combination of 3 propulsion technologies brings maritime fuel savings
According to the TRIPOD research project coordinated by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland lower fuel consumption and emissions are expected for an innovative propulsion system to be used as a promising alternative to conventional propellers.

DoD, CIA required military MDs to breach ethics in dealing with detainees: New report
An independent panel of military, ethics, medical, public health, and legal experts today charged that US military and intelligence agencies directed doctors and psychologists working in US military detention centers to violate standard ethical principles and medical standards to avoid infliction of harm.

Transmitting stress response patterns across generations
Children of survivors of extremely stressful life events face adjustment challenges of their own, as has been most carefully studied among the children of Nazi Death Camp survivors.

Canadian researchers discover how to measure quality of life for rare blood condition
Quality of life is moving from a research tool, where studies are done to show that one drug is better than another drug, and it's evolving into something that practitioners will use to optimize individual patient care.

Substantial weight loss for severely obese individuals 3 years after bariatric surgery
In three-year follow-up after bariatric surgery, substantial weight loss was observed among individuals who were severely obese, with most of the change occurring during the first year; however, there was variability in the amount of weight loss, as well as in diabetes, blood pressure, and lipid outcomes, according to a study published online by JAMA.

Will the Nagoya Protocol impact your synthetic biology research?
A new report from the Synthetic Biology Project looks at how the Nagoya Protocol to the Convention on Biological Diversity may affect US researchers working in the field of synthetic biology.

Weighing in: 3 years post-op bariatric surgery patients see big benefits, Pitt study says
For millions of Americans struggling with obesity and considering surgical procedures to achieve weight loss and alleviate obesity-related health complications, a new study adds weight to the health benefits attributed to bariatric surgery.

Elusive bay cat caught on camera
The world's least known cat has been caught on camera in a previously unsurveyed rainforest by scientists from the Zoological Society of London and Imperial College London.

Fossil of largest known platypus discovered in Australia
Until recently, the fossil record indicated that the platypus lineage was unique, with only one species inhabiting the Earth at any one time.

As world sets new development goals, Malaysia calls for poverty relief within green agenda
The Prime Minister of Malaysia today outlined his country's position on the United Nations' next set of global development goals, saying they need to address the relief of poverty within a green agenda reflecting deep environmental concerns.

Population Council awarded flagship family planning implementation science project by USAID
The Population Council has been granted a cooperative agreement from the US Agency for International Development's Office of Population and Reproductive Health.

Virginia Tech researchers explore natural way to displace harmful germs from household plumbing
Microbes in tap water are mostly harmless, with a few exceptions.

Snakes control blood flow to aid vision
A new study from the University of Waterloo shows that snakes can optimize their vision by controlling the blood flow in their eyes when they perceive a threat.

Much of what is known about cancer development comes from curiosity-driven, basic science
In a new book,

Eating disorders more common in males than realized
Parents and doctors assume eating disorders very rarely affect males.

Qatar residents gain access to Springer's eBooks and online journals
Springer and the Qatar National Library have signed a groundbreaking agreement for access to eBooks and electronic journals on Springer's platform SpringerLink.

Genetic study proves Israel's wild boars originated in Europe
Scientists had no reason to suspect Israeli wild boars were any different than their brothers and sisters roaming the Middle East.

Clinical trial indicates gabapentin is safe and effective for treating alcohol dependence
The generic drug gabapentin, which is already widely prescribed for epilepsy and some kinds of pain, appears to be safe and effective in the treatment of alcohol dependence.

Leicester scientists map structure of key complex in the immune system
A new study reveals the structure of complement component C1 -- a target for complement-mediated diseases including strokes and heart attacks.

Gene responsible for hereditary cancer syndrome found to disrupt critical growth-regulating pathway
Whitehead Institute scientists report that the gene mutated in the rare hereditary disorder known as Birt-Hogg-Dubé cancer syndrome prevents activation of mTORC1, a critical nutrient-sensing and growth-regulating cellular pathway.

Computer science team developing system to ensure privacy in electronic health records
Two University of Texas at Arlington researchers are leading a collaborative National Science Foundation project to protect personal, electronic healthcare data while ensuring that the anonymous records can be used for secondary analysis and improved health care.

Imaging studies may predict tumor response to anti-angiogenic drugs
Advanced imaging techniques may distinguish which patients' tumors will respond to treatment with anti-angiogenic drugs and which will not.

Hot-air balloon rides -- researchers advise, proceed with caution
Recent data show that helicopter and fixed-wing commercial air tour operations in the US have high crash rates compared with similar commercial aviation operations, and crash rates increase with less regulated standards of operation.

Missouri Botanical Garden aims to improve access to digital texts through online gaming
The Missouri Botanical Garden was recently awarded a $449,641 grant by the Institute of Museum and Library Services to test new means of using crowd sourcing and gaming to support the enhancement of texts from the Biodiversity Heritage Library.

Researchers gain new insights into brain neuronal networks
A paper published in a special edition of the journal Science proposes a novel understanding of brain architecture using a network representation of connections within the primate cortex.

Kids who sleep more, may eat less, new study finds
Fighting childhood obesity may be as simple as turning out the lights.

Computer-aided image analysis aims to offer 'second opinion' in breast tumor diagnosis
Researchers at the University of Chicago hope radiologists will be able to routinely incorporate computer-aided image analysis and diagnosis in identifying tumor characteristics and forming patient-specific breast cancer treatment plans.

Brain structure in post-traumatic stress disorder
Wars, earthquakes, major traffic accidents, and terrorist attacks may bring about profound spiritual pains, and even cause extreme fear and helplessness for people that have experienced or witnessed these unusual threats or disasters.

Sexual function dramatically improves in women following bariatric surgery, Penn study finds
The first study to look extensively at sexual function in women who underwent bariatric surgery found that significant improvements in overall sexual function, most reproductive hormones and in psychological status were maintained over two years following surgery.

Riboswitches in action
Riboswitches are RNA segments that switch genes on and off, either during DNA transcription or during protein translation, but little is known about the precise workings of this process.

College of Veterinary Medicine researcher doubles down on deadly, infectious cat diseases
An animal health expert has developed a research approach that tackles two deadly infectious feline diseases at the same time.

Scientists study 'fishy' behavior to solve an animal locomotion mystery
The puzzling, apparently wasteful habit of some animals to exert force in the direction opposite of where they want to go actually has an important purpose: to increase both stability and maneuverability at the same time.

Computer model anticipates crime hot spots
A unique collaboration between a University of California, Riverside sociologist and the Indio Police Department has produced a computer model that predicts, by census block group, where burglaries are likely to occur.

Race and romance online
An analysis of interactions on matchmaking site by UC San Diego sociologist Kevin Lewis finds that race matters but also that

Researchers unmask centuries-old elephant imposter
Through state-of-the-art ancient DNA and protein research and an extensive investigation of historical literature, researchers have determined a 300-year-old type specimen for Asian elephants is actually an African elephant.

SAWS partners with UTSA Engineering to reduce capacity-related sanitary sewer overflows
Beginning this fall, University of Texas at San Antonio civil and environmental engineering professor and Water Institute of Texas researcher Marcio Giacomoni will embark on a two-year pilot project to partner with San Antonio Water System in identifying reliable and cost effective solutions to reduce the occurrence of capacity-related sanitary sewer overflow in the city of San Antonio.

Grammatical structures as a window into the past
A new world atlas of colonial-era languages reveals massive traces of African and Pacific source languages.

1 dose of HPV vaccine may be enough to prevent cervical cancer
Women vaccinated with one dose of a human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine had antibodies against the viruses that remained stable in their blood for four years, suggesting that a single dose of vaccine may be sufficient to generate long-term immune responses and protection against new HPV infections, and ultimately cervical cancer, according to a study published in Cancer Prevention Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Earlier onset of puberty in girls linked to obesity
New research in Pediatrics shows obesity is the largest predictor of earlier onset puberty in girls, which is affecting white girls much sooner than previously reported.

Improved sexual functioning, hormones after weight-loss bariatric surgery
Women who underwent bariatric surgery experienced better sexual functioning, improvement in reproductive hormones, and better health-related and weight-related quality of life, according to a report published Online First by JAMA Surgery, a JAMA Network publication.

Assessing noise impact of offshore wind farm construction may help protect marine mammals
Growth in offshore wind generation is expected to play a major role in meeting carbon reduction targets around the world, but the impact of construction noise on marine species is yet unknown.

MU researcher finds way to reduce unnecessary lab tests, decrease patient costs by modifying software
When patients undergo diagnostic lab tests as part of the inpatient admission process, they may wonder why or how physicians choose particular tests.

Solving the pediatric obesity problem in rural communities
Using telemedicine to unite clinicians and provide health education for them -- and by extension, their patients -- is an effective way to manage childhood obesity in remote areas.

The Franklin Institute honors 2 Carnegie Mellon professors
The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia has named two Carnegie Mellon University professors recipients of its annual awards honoring leaders in science, engineering, technology and business.

New strep throat risk score brings patient data and big data together to potentially reduce unnecess
A new risk measure called a

CWRU pscyhologist explores childhood play and adult creativity
In her new book, Pretend Play in Childhood: Foundation of Adult Creativity (American Psychological Association, 2014), Sandra Russ, Case Western Reserve University professor of psychology, explores how unstructured, free play in childhood builds a foundation for adult creativity that can lead to scientific discoveries, new engineering designs, architectural wonders, best-selling novels, paintings and other art forms.

Is clinicians' decision making affected by 'precious baby' phenomenon?
Parents who conceive through assisted reproductive technologies are likely to receive different medical advice in relation to prenatal testing than those who conceive naturally, academics have suggested.

Physician shortage could be cut by new primary care models, study finds
The US expects a substantial shortages of primary care physicians in the future.

Pittsburghese: Carnegie Mellon's Barbara Johnstone uncovers the story of a dialect
A new book by Carnegie Mellon University's Barbara Johnstone uncovers that there is much more to

Overhaul of medical education to address primary care physician shortage recommended by national panel
A national expert panel unveils a plan in Health Affairs to overhaul medical education and Cleveland Clinic partners with a college to expedite graduation.

Community health centers integrate mental and medical services to address care gap
A new analysis by a team led by researchers at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services examines factors affecting the integration of mental health and substance abuse treatment services with medical care at community health centers.

Ibuprofen no good in treating colds or sore throats
Questions have been raised about the advice given to patients with a cold and sore throat, in research published in the British Medical Journal.

Wives matter more when it comes to calming down marital conflicts
Marriage can be a battlefield. But a new study conducted at the University of California, Berkeley, has found that, when it comes to keeping the peace, it's more important for wives -- than for husbands -- to calm down after a heated argument.

U-M study: 'Smarter' blood pressure guidelines could prevent many more heart attacks and strokes
Current medical guidelines use a one-size-fits-all treatment approach based on target blood pressure values that leads to some patients being on too many medications and others being on too little.

New test may predict severe high blood pressure during pregnancy
A new test may identify women at high risk for developing severe high blood pressure during pregnancy.

Little difference found between self-reported and measured weights following bariatric surgery
In an analysis that included nearly 1,000 patients, self-reported weights following bariatric surgery were close to measured weights, suggesting that self-reported weights used in studies are accurate enough to be used when measured weights are not available, according to a research letter published online by JAMA.

NASA video shows birth and death of Tropical Storm Sonia
Tropical Storm Sonia formed on Friday, Nov. 1 from the eighteenth tropical depression of the Eastern Pacific Ocean hurricane season.

Why tumor cells go on dangerous tours
Tumors become highly malignant when they acquire the ability to colonize other tissues and form metastases.

Embargoed news from Nov. 5, 2013 Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet
Below is information about articles being published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Neurophotonics journal will launch in 2014
The peer-reviewed journal

Antidepressant drug induces a juvenile-like state in neurons of the prefrontal cortex
Fluoxetine induces a juvenile-like state in the mouse prefrontal cortex.

NASA saw heavy rain in Typhoon Krosa before it hit wind shear
NASA's TRMM Satellite observed heavy rainfall occurring in Typhoon Krosa before it ran into strong wind shear.

We'll rise or fall on the quality of our soil
Great civilizations have fallen because they failed to prevent the degradation of the soils on which they were founded.

20 percent of nation's GME funds go to New York while 29 states get less than 1 percent, study says
New York state received 20 percent of all Medicare's graduate medical education (GME) funding while 29 states, including places struggling with a severe shortage of physicians, got less than 1 percent, according to a report published today by researchers at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services.

Is it safe to drive with my arm in a cast?
Orthopaedic surgeons Geoffrey S. Marecek, MD, and Michael F. Schafer, MD, co-authors of a new literature review outlining the potential limitations and necessary precautions for driving after orthopaedic surgery and procedures.

SAGE to publish Theological Studies from March 2014
SAGE is delighted to announce that it has been selected to publish one of the world's premier theology journals, Theological Studies, from March 2014.

Population Council to present more than 40 studies at International Conference on Family Planning
The Population Council, an international organization that conducts research to address critical health and development issues, will present findings from more than 40 studies at the International Conference on Family Planning in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (November 12-15, 2013).

Highly stable quantum light source for applications in quantum information developped
Physicists at the University of Basel have been successful in generating photons -- the quantum particles of light -- with only one color.

No major complications in most teens undergoing weight-loss bariatric surgery
Most severely obese teenagers who underwent bariatric weight-loss surgery experienced no major complications, according to a study published by JAMA Pediatrics, a JAMA Network publication.

New computing model could lead to quicker advancements in medical research, according to Virginia Tech
For the past two years, Wu Feng has led a research team that has now created a new generation of efficient data management and analysis software for large-scale, data-intensive scientific applications in the cloud.

Gas injection probably triggered small earthquakes near Snyder, Texas
A series of small earthquakes near Snyder, Texas between 2006 and 2011 were probably triggered by the underground injection of large volumes of gas, primarily carbon dioxide -- a finding that has implications for the process of carbon capture and storage.

Researchers warn of the 'myths' of global medical tourism
A team of British researchers, led by the University of York, is warning governments and healthcare decision makers across the globe to be wary of the myths and hype surrounding medical tourism.

New tool may unveil inhabitable worlds
Funding for SPIRou, a spectropolarimeter and a high-precision velocimeter optimized for both the detection of habitable Earth twins orbiting around nearby red dwarf stars and the study of the formation of Sun-like stars and their planets, was confirmed today by the Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope observatory.

Teens in child welfare system show higher drug abuse rate
Teenagers in the child welfare system are at higher-than-average risk of abusing marijuana, inhalants and other drugs, according to a study in the Nov. issue of the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs.

Brain aging is conclusively linked to genes
For the first time in a large study sample, the decline in brain function in normal aging is conclusively shown to be influenced by genes, say researchers from the Texas Biomedical Research Institute in San Antonio and Yale University.

The nitrogen puzzle in the oceans
A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology, the University of Basel, and Radboud University Nijmegen has now revealed the details of an important microbial process regulating the global nitrogen budget in the oceans.

Foreign-educated health workers play vital role in US health system
Foreign-educated and foreign-born health professionals play a vital role in the US health care workforce, particularly in addressing needs in primary care and other areas with worker shortages, according to a new study.

UCSB professor develops cutting-edge detector technology for astronomical observations
Semiconductors have had a nice run, but for certain applications, such as astrophysics, they are being edged out by superconductors. 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