Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 05, 2013
Drug combination therapy causes cancer cells to 'eat themselves'
Results from a recent preclinical study have shown that a new drug combination therapy being developed at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center effectively killed colon, liver, lung, kidney, breast and brain cancer cells while having little effect on noncancerous cells.

Intervention does not improve depression symptoms
Among depressed patients evaluated in a primary care setting, use of an interactive multimedia computer program immediately prior to a primary care visit resulted in the increased receipt of antidepressant prescription recommendation, mental health referral, or both; however, it did not result in improvement in mental health at 12-week follow-up, according to a study in the Nov.

Study examines effect of sleep deficiency and possible surgical complications
Surgeons who had operated the night before an elective daytime gallbladder surgery did not have a higher rate of complications, according to a study in the Nov.

NASA sees warm sea surface helped strengthen Tropical Storm 30W
NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the South China Sea and revealed that warm sea surface temperatures and low wind shear enabled Tropical Depression 30W to strengthen into a tropical storm.

Creatures of influence
An international research team has developed mathematical tools that can estimate which species are most influential in a food web.

Mutual benefits: Stressed-out trees boost sugary rewards to ant defenders
When water is scarce, Ecuador laurel trees ramp up their investment in a syrupy treat known as honeydew imbibed by ants that nest in the laurels' stem cavities.

New ligament discovered in the human knee
Two knee surgeons at University Hospitals Leuven have discovered a previously unknown ligament in the human knee.

Study: Higher rates of diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and stroke found in food desert
A study being discussed Tuesday during the American Public Health Association's annual meeting examined the health impact of developing a grocery store in a low-income urban neighborhood on the east side of Indianapolis.

Scientists use light to uncover the cause of sickle cell disease
In sickle cell disease, hemoglobin -- the oxygen-carrying component of blood -- forms fibers that stiffen red blood cells and cause life-threatening symptoms.

Endocrine Society announces 2014 Laureate Award winners
The Endocrine Society today announced it has selected 15 accomplished endocrinologists as winners of the organization's prestigious 2014 Laureate Awards.

New findings could overcome major stumbling blocks to tissue cryopreservation for medical care
Developing an efficient way to freeze and store living tissues could transform many aspects of medical care and research, but ice crystallization often occurs within cells during such cryopreservation procedures, leading to cell death.

New discovery could dramatically reduce leishmaniasis treatment doses and side effects
An international team of scientists, with the participation of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, have developed a compound to treat leishmaniasis in humans using today's most commonly prescribed drug, but with an 83 percent increase in its effectiveness.

Bad boys: Research predicts whether boys will grow out of it -- or not
Using the hi-tech tools of a new field called neurogenetics and a few simple questions for parents, a University of Michigan researcher is beginning to understand which boys are simply being boys and which may be headed for trouble.

VC predicts the motion of the ocean
The Vice-Chancellor of The Australian National University has just published research that will help you every morning with the surf report.

Effects of chronic stress can be traced to your genes
New study suggests

Video: Knife-wielding robot trains for grocery checkout job using new coactive learning technique
Cornell University engineers have taught a robot to work in a mock-supermarket checkout line, modifying a Baxter robot from Rethink Robotics in Boston to

MiR-137, a new target for post-stroke depression?
Is miR-137 a new target for post-stroke depression?

Intelligent training with a fitness shirt and an e-bike
How do we know what the optimum level of training is?

Just a few years of early musical training benefits the brain later in life
Older adults who took music lessons as children but haven't actively played an instrument in decades have a faster brain response to a speech sound than individuals who never played an instrument, according to a study appearing Nov.

Machines learn to detect breast cancer
Software that can recognize patterns in data is commonly used by scientists and economics.

Global map provides new insights into land use
In order to assess the global impacts of land use on the environment and help provide appropriate countermeasures, a group of researchers under the leadership of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research has created a new world map of land use systems.

MIT Portugal is a partner of 2 projects distinguished by the Green Project Awards
Every year the Green Project Awards acknowledges projects that aim for the development of good practices in sustainability.

15th International Conference on Intracranial Pressure & Brain Monitering
The National Neuroscience Institute and SingHealth Academy will be hosting the 15th International Conference on Intracranial Pressure and Brain Monitoring for a period of 5 days, from 6 - 10 November, at The Academia, within Singapore General Hospital.

Gambling addicts present brain function abnormalities that affect their decision-making capacity
University of Granada researchers compare psychological similarities and differences and brain function in cocaine addicts and gambling addicts.

Microbes in the gut help determine risk of tumors
Transferring the gut microbes from a mouse with colon tumors to germ-free mice makes those mice prone to getting tumors as well, according to the results of a study published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Researchers find black hole in globular cluster
Last year when a team of astronomers led by a Michigan State University professor discovered two black holes in a collection of stars known as a globular cluster, they weren't sure if their presence was a common occurrence or a unique stroke of luck.

Increased cardiovascular risk in men using testosterone therapy prompts warning
Men taking testosterone therapy had a 29 percent greater risk of death, heart attack and stroke according to a study of a

Ethical research with minorities
Johns Hopkins bioethicist Nancy Kass is a guest editor of the AJPH special issue taking a comprehensive look at the current ethical landscape of human subjects research with minority populations.

New aluminum alloy stores hydrogen
We use aluminum to make planes lightweight, store sodas in recyclable containers, keep the walls of our homes energy efficient and ensure that the Thanksgiving turkey is cooked to perfection.

Mutual benefits: Stressed-out trees boost sugary rewards to ant defenders
When water is scarce, Ecuador laurel trees ramp up their investment in a syrupy treat that sends resident ant defenders into overdrive, protecting the trees from defoliation by leaf-munching pests.

Looking for tomorrow's power source? Go fly a (underwater) kite
As the world looks to wean itself from fossil fuels, a new answer may be emerging: underwater kites.

Temple researchers uncover clues to how existing heart drugs work
Some of the most commonly prescribed drugs for the treatment of heart failure are beta-blockers and nitrates, which help to relax blood vessels and decrease the heart's workload.

SwRI-led ISET selected founding member of NASA's Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute
NASA has selected a team led by Southwest Research Institute to be a founding member of the agency's new Solar System Exploration Research Virtual Institute.

Study: Access to health care increases prescription opioid availability and associated abuse
Researchers at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis say one way to gauge the extent of prescription opioid pain reliever abuse in any Indiana county is to count the number of health care providers, particularly dentists and pharmacists.

Muggings more than double in London after dark
Muggers in London strike around two and half times more often during hours of darkness then in daylight, a new study shows.

Breakthrough by Temple researchers could lead to new treatment for heart attack
The stop and start of blood flow to the heart during and after a heart attack causes severe damage to heart cells, reducing their capacity to function and potentially causing their death.

Syphilis screening and treatment in pregnancy may be cost-effective in sub-Saharan Africa
Screening and treating pregnant women in sub Saharan Africa for syphilis may be a cost-effective use of resources, according to a study published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Hypersensitivity to pain produced by early life stress is worsened by later stress exposure
Childhood neglect and abuse, whether physical or psychological, confers a lifetime vulnerability to stress, anxiety, and mood problems.

Bringing out the best in X-ray crystallography data
Combining components of Rosetta and PHENIX, two successful software programs for creating 3-D structural models of proteins and other biomolecules, Berkeley Lab researchers have created a new method for refining those models and making the best of available experimental data.

Anticipation and navigation: Do your legs know what your tongue is doing?
UCLA scientists built a virtual world to manipulate a rat's environment.

Smart water meters stop money going down the drain
Water is increasingly becoming one of Australia's most precious commodities, yet leaking taps and pipes may be costing householders an extra 10 percent on their water bills.

Play promotes emotional healing in children battling serious illnesses
Playing out medical experiences can help chronically ill children, as well as their siblings, express fears and foster hope for recovery, according to University of Cincinnati researchers.

Japanese superfood prevents flu infection
Scientists have discovered that bacteria found in a traditional Japanese pickle can prevent flu.

New drug combination offers hope to patients with currently untreatable Hepatitis C
A novel single-pill combination drug could present a new treatment option for patients with the most difficult-to-treat forms of hepatitis C, according to the results of a Phase 2 trial, published in The Lancet.

November story tips from Oak Ridge National Laboratory
The following are story ideas from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory for November 2013.

Christof Koch nominated as keynote speaker for TEDxRAINIER 2013
Allen Institute Chief Scientific Officer Christof Koch, Ph.D., will present a TEDxRainier talk on Panpsychism, a philosophy that has its origin with Plato and other Western thinkers.

Emissions pricing revenues could overcompensate profit losses of fossil fuel owners
Revenues from global carbon emission pricing could exceed the losses fossil fuel owners suffer from this policy.

'Smart foam' takes aim at concussions by measuring helmet impact
Combining nanotechnology with foam, BYU student Jake Merrell has created a smart-foam that can be placed inside a football helmet to measure the impact of each hit.

AVS announces its major award winners of 2013
The AVS has selected its major award winners for 2013.

Testosterone therapy following angiography associated with increased risk of adverse outcome
Among a group of men who underwent coronary angiography and had a low serum testosterone level, the use of testosterone therapy was associated with increased risk of death, heart attack, or ischemic stroke, according to a study in the Nov.

US citizenship increases women's odds of receiving mammograms, cancer tests
Citizenship, particularly for non-US natives, largely determines a woman's odds of having a mammogram and being screened for cervical and colorectal cancer, according to researchers at Penn State.

CCNY physicists patent method to change skin-color perception
How someone perceives color is determined by how the item they are looking at scatters and emits light.

NASA investigates Typhoon Haiyan's intense rainfall
As Typhoon Haiyan has been strengthening, NASA's TRMM satellite investigated how much rain was falling throughout the storm.

Pleasure and pain brain signals disrupted in fibromyalgia patients
New research indicates that a disruption of brain signals for reward and punishment contributes to increased pain sensitivity, known as hyperalgesia, in fibromyalgia patients.

Multi-million pound grant awarded to train UK's future scientific leaders
Royal Holloway University and eight other world-leading institutions have announced the creation of a new London NERC Doctoral Training Partnership, which will specialize in training the next generation of environmental scientists.

Male lizards prefer more-feminine lizards to 'bearded ladies,' new research finds
Mating-behavior studies of lizards in three southern US states have revealed which females male lizards find to be the sexiest.

Torture permanently damages normal perception of pain
Held alone in tiny, filthy spaces for weeks or months, sometimes handcuffed and blindfolded, prisoners of war suffer severe beatings, burns, electric shocks, starvation, and worse.

Experts recommend universal diabetes testing for pregnant women at first prenatal visit
The Endocrine Society today issued a Clinical Practice Guideline to help health care professionals provide the best care to pregnant women who have diabetes.

Staying alive in the high and dry
New research published this week from MBL senior scientist Zoe Cardon, John Stark (Utah State University), and their two former students, sheds light on how desert plants gain nutrients they desperately need -- even in the driest circumstances.

AGA publishes tool to help GIs manage HCV patients
The American Gastroenterological Association Clinical Decision Tool for the Screening and Evaluation of Hepatitis C (HCV) will help gastroenterologists in the early management of HCV-positive patients, according to a new paper in Gastroenterology, the official journal of the American Gastroenterological Association.

Internet helps ensure mother knows best when it comes to preventing childhood obesity
University of Cincinnati research shows how Web-based, at-home interventions can help mothers address behaviors known to protect against childhood obesity.

How pigeons may smell their way home
Homing pigeons are extraordinary navigators, but how they find their way home is still debated.

Calculating the risk: Child sexual assault
Affluent girls residing in two-parent homes are much less likely to be sexually assaulted than other female youth, according to a new study conducted by University of Iowa School of Social Work professor Amy Butler.

Endometriosis risk linked to 2 pesticides
A Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center-led study has found that two organochlorine pesticides are associated with an increased risk of endometriosis, a condition that affects up to 10 percent of reproductive-age women.

Sanders-Brown researchers produce new research on little-understood brain disease
Three recent papers authored by Dr. Peter Nelson and others at the University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, explore the neuropathology behind a little-understood brain disease, hippocampal sclerosis (known to scientists and clinicians as HS-AGING).

Hurricane Sandy's impact measured by millions of Flickr pictures
A new study has discovered a striking connection between the number of pictures of Hurricane Sandy posted on Flickr and the atmospheric pressure in New Jersey as the hurricane crashed through the US state in 2012.

The oldest ice core
How far into the past can ice-core records go? Scientists have now identified regions in Antarctica they say could store information about Earth's climate and greenhouse gases extending as far back as 1.5 million years, almost twice as old as the oldest ice core drilled to date.

Why psychosis is frequently associated with Parkinson's disease?
Why psychosis is frequently associated with Parkinson's disease?

Most nations lack means to assess biodiversity, key ecosystem services and their value: Experts
Most of the world's nations -- unanimously committed to protecting biodiversity -- nevertheless cannot measure and assess their genetic and biological resources, nor the value of key ecosystem services nature provides to them, international experts from 72 countries warned today.

Why can Buyang Huanwu Decoction be used to treat stroke?
Why can Buyang Huanwu Decoction be used to treat stroke?

Depression second leading cause of global disability burden
A study published this week in PLOS Medicine reports the most recent and comprehensive estimates on how much death and disability is attributable to depression, both world-wide and in individual countries and regions.

Interactive computer program helps patients talk with their physician about depression
Patients who used an interactive computer program about depression while waiting to see their primary-care doctor were nearly twice as likely to ask about the condition and significantly more likely to receive a recommendation for antidepressant drugs or a mental-health referral from their physician, according to a new study by researchers at UC Davis.

How does electrical stimulation modulate electrophysiological environment after SCI?
How does electrical stimulation modulate electrophysiological environment after SCI?

SCIENCE CHINA chemistry special topic: Extraction of uranium from seawater
2013 No.11 issue of SCIENCE CHINA Chemistry published a special topic on extraction of uranium from Seawater recently.

UTSA chemist awarded $300,000 in NASA funding to build 'lab on a robot' prototype
University of Texas at San Antonio Chemistry Professor Carlos Garcia, UTSA Physics Professor Arturo Ayon and HJ Science & Technology Inc. of Santa Clara, Calif. have been awarded more than $300,000 in NASA funding to build the fourth prototype of a

Nanoscale 'tsunami' helps locusts tune in
The remarkable mechanism by which the tiny ears of locusts can hear and distinguish between different tones has been discovered by researchers from the University of Bristol.

Frontiers launches 2 new open-access journals: Frontiers in Earth Science and Frontiers in Environmental Science
Frontiers launches two new open-access journals: Frontiers in Earth Science and Frontiers in Environmental Science.

Peak production of rhythmic proteins occurs at 2 times of day
Sleep disorders are reported to affect 50 to 70 million Americans, and have been linked to obesity and diabetes, as well as depression and other psychiatric disorders.

The next big thing in the energy sector: Photovoltaic generated DC electricity
A viable solution for sustainable energy transmission is the onsite generation of electricity using the photovoltaic method of converting solar energy directly into electrical energy.

Holograms offer hope in fight against malaria, study suggests
Scientists have developed a 3D filming technique that could help inform research to stem the spread of malaria.

Study links intestinal bacteria to rheumatoid arthritis
Researchers have linked a species of intestinal bacteria known as Prevotella copri to the onset of rheumatoid arthritis, the first demonstration in humans that the chronic inflammatory joint disease may be mediated in part by specific intestinal bacteria.

Exercise program in senior centers helps reduce pain and improve mobility of participants
A study presented at the American Public Health Association annual meeting shows the benefits of an exercise program offered by Hospital for Special Surgery in senior centers in New York City's Chinatown and in Flushing, Queens.

Clay may have been birthplace of life, new study suggests
Clay -- a seemingly infertile blend of minerals -- might have been the birthplace of life on Earth.

A single-atom light switch
Scientists in Vienna have built a device in which light can be transmitted in two different glass fiber cables.

Hatched in a swimming pool: 50 years of relativistic astrophysics
The scientific discipline of relativistic astrophysics was born in Dallas in 1963, at the first Texas Symposium on Relativistic Astrophysics.

Transgender patients have special needs in the ER
While approximately one-third of transgender (trans) patients needed emergency care in the previous year, only 71 percent of those with self-reported need indicated they were able to obtain care, which researchers theorize may be due to

Wollemi National Park bushfires in New South Wales, Australia
NASA's Aqua satellite detected many bushfires in Wollemi National Park, located in the Australian state of New South Wales, outside of Sydney.

Understanding what makes a thin film solar cell efficient
Empa scientists have developed a new technique for manufacturing high-efficiency, flexible, thin film solar cells from CIGS (copper indium gallium di-selenide) semiconductors.

AGU journal highlights -- Nov. 5 2013
In this release: Anthropogenic aerosols increasing over India, comparing climate impact of different geoengineering methods, new physical model calculates airline crews' radiation exposure, magnetic energy determines electron bulk heating, coastal radar observations reveal complex surface circulations and assessing a plan to clear energetic protons from the radiation belt.

Considerable gender, racial and sexuality differences in attitudes toward bisexuality
Men who identify themselves as heterosexual are three times more likely to categorize bisexuality as

Carbon storage recovers faster than plant biodiversity in re-growing tropical forests
A new study of re-growing tropical forests has concluded that plant biodiversity takes longer to recover than carbon storage following major disturbances such as clearance for farming.

Autoantibodies found in blood years before symptom onset of autoimmune disease
Autoantibodies are present many years before symptom onset in patients with primary Sjögren syndrome, an autoimmune disease, according to a Research Letter published in the Nov.

EARTH Magazine: CSI La Brea -- Tiny traces reveal big secrets of the tar pits
Thousands of creatures met their demise in the muck of the La Brea tar pits in Los Angeles, where they slowly sank into the tar and were fossilized. 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