Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 13, 2013
New way to dissolve semiconductors holds promise for electronics industry
Semiconductors, the foundation of modern electronics used in flat-screen TVs and fighter jets, could become even more versatile as researchers make headway on a novel, inexpensive way to turn them into thin films.

Amateur divers share species data for science
Species observations from thousands of scuba divers all over the world are now freely accessible via the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.

Lifting fusion power onto an (optimized) pedestal
New technique that will help optimize the transport barrier, or pedestal, in fusion plasmas, which will be key to increasing future fusion power performance.

Schools help kids choose carrots over candy bars
When schools adopt healthful nutrition policies and practices, kids' diets improve.

Gut microbes in healthy kids carry antibiotic resistance genes
Friendly microbes in the intestinal tracts of healthy American children have numerous antibiotic resistance genes, according to results of a pilot study by scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

New compound inhibits cognitive impairment in animal models of Alzheimer's disease
The novel compound IRL-1620 may be useful in treating Alzheimer's disease as it has been shown to prevent cognitive impairment and oxidative stress in animal models.

Building a better tokamak by blowing giant plasma bubbles
New simulations shed light on the mechanisms at work in magnetic bubbles inside tokomak fusion machines, clarifying what happens at various stages in the ultrafast phenomenon.

Monkeys 'understand' rules underlying language musicality
Many of us have mixed feelings when remembering painful lessons in German or Latin grammar in school.

Development and clinical approval of biodegradeble magnesium alloy
This biodegradable and bioabsorbable metal decomposes from 6 months to 2 years after being transplanted into human body and hence, medical devices made with these materials are expected to reshape the landscape in the field of fracture treatment, as it reminders second operation to take out the device after patient recovery obsolete.

McMaster researchers test bandaging for swollen arm
As a complication of treatment, breast cancer patients may develop swelling in the arm, called lymphedema, which can last a long time.

BU study finds gymnasts' face high exposure to flame retardants
Competitive gymnasts have a higher exposure to potentially harmful flame-retardants than the general population, likely because such contaminants are present in foam used in gym equipment, a study led by Boston University School of Public Health researchers has found.

Geranylgeraniol suppresses the viability of human prostate cancer cells and HMG CoA reductase
Geranylgeraniol may be a new weapon in the arsenal of mevalonate-suppressive isoprenoids with potential synergism in the fight against prostate cancer.

NIH study finds low-intensity therapy for Burkitt lymphoma is highly effective
Adult patients with a type of cancer known as Burkitt lymphoma had excellent long-term survival rates--upwards of 90 percent--following treatment with low-intensity chemotherapy regimens, according to a new clinical trial finding.

National project tracks the spread of UK flu and extends monitoring to schools
Researchers appeal for people to sign up to the UK's biggest crowd-sourced study of influenza, as new findings from last flu season are revealed.

Danish researchers predict risk of valvular heart disease
Researchers at the University of Copenhagen, Herlev Hospital and Rigshospitalet have identified a clear link between narrowed heart valves and a special lipoprotein in the blood.

Human stem cells used to elucidate mechanisms of beta-cell failure in diabetes
Scientists from the New York Stem Cell Foundation Research Institute and Columbia University Medical Center have used stem cells created from the skin of patients with a rare form of diabetes -- Wolfram syndrome -- to elucidate an important biochemical pathway for beta-cell failure in diabetes.

NHS 111 increases ambulance and urgent and emergency care use
The call handling service NHS 111 increased the use of ambulance and urgent and emergency care services during its first year of operation, shows a detailed evaluation, published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Expert assessment: Ocean acidification may increase 170 percent this century
In a major new international report, experts conclude that the acidity of the world's ocean may increase by around 170 percent by the end of the century bringing significant economic losses.

Newly discovered mechanism suggests novel approach to prevent type 1 diabetes
New research led by Harvard School of Public Health demonstrates a disease mechanism in type 1 diabetes that can be targeted using simple, naturally occurring molecules to help prevent the disease.

Plasma experiment demonstrates admirable self-control
A self-generated, or

Major chemical companies turn to new specialties for growth
Triggered by the recession that began in 2008, major chemical companies are aggressively re-inventing themselves through multi-billion dollar overhauls, reports Chemical & Engineering News, the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society.

Intranasal insulin improves cognitive function in patients with type 2 diabetes
A research team led by investigators at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center finds that a single dose of intranasal insulin can improve cognitive function in patients with diabetes.

The 'evolution' of Little Red Riding Hood
Evolutionary analysis can be used to study similarities among folktales.

Hot lithium vapors shield fusion facility walls
Lithium treatment could alleviate widespread concerns that liquid-lithium plasma-facing components will rapidly overwhelm the core of the plasma with impurities and abort fusion reactions.

Grant supports Clemson study of coastal biodiversity
A grant from the National Science Foundation will support a Clemson University scientist's study of the impact of environmental changes on lucinids, a common species of clam found in Southern coastal marine sediments.

Snow melts faster under trees than in open areas in mild climates
University of Washington researchers have found that tree cover actually causes snow to melt more quickly in warm, Mediterranean-type climates around the world.

Astronomers reveal contents of mysterious black hole jets
An international team of astronomers has answered a long standing question about the enigmatic jets emitted by black holes, in research published today in prestigious journal Nature.

Science on the trail of The Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood
New insights into the origins and development of folk tales such as Little Red Riding Hood are being provided by the application of scientific analysis more commonly used by biologists to produce an evolutionary tree of life diagram.

Gene linked to common intellectual disability
University of Adelaide researchers have taken a step forward in unraveling the causes of a commonly inherited intellectual disability, finding that a genetic mutation leads to a reduction in certain proteins in the brain.

Feral cats avoid urban coyotes, are surprisingly healthy
Cats that live outdoors in the city do their darnedest to steer clear of urban coyotes, a new study says.

Automated test construction can better assess student mastery of common core state standards
The Nov. 2013 issue of Educational Researcher (ER), a peer-reviewed journal of the American Educational Research Association, is now available on the association's website.

Mystery explained: How a common chemo drug thwarts graft rejection in bone marrow transplants
Results of a Johns Hopkins study may explain why a chemotherapy drug called cyclophosphamide prevents graft-versus-host (GVHD) disease in people who receive bone marrow transplants.

Book, app developed by UCLA researcher helps teens with autism make friends
Socially challenged teens and young adults, such as those with autism, often have trouble making and keeping friends and can become easy targets for bullying, a situation that challenges their coping skills.

Could the next new cancer drug come from Kentucky coal mines?
In their ongoing quest to develop the latest and most effective drugs for disease treatment, researchers in the University of Kentucky's Center for Pharmaceutical Research and Innovation are looking deep -- as in, deep underground.

Deletion of any single gene provokes mutations elsewhere in the genome
Johns Hopkins researchers report that the deletion of any single gene in yeast cells puts pressure on the organism's genome to compensate, leading to a mutation in another gene.

UT Arlington professor will use NSF funds to reveal reactions' inner workings
The National Science Foundation has awarded $450,000 to a UT Arlington chemistry professor studying the way that metals such as gold, silver, mercury and zinc bind with organic compounds for chemical reactions.

Wireless sensors used to study meditation's effect on heart health
Demystifying meditation with science, researchers at the Scripps Translational Science Institute have teamed with The Chopra Foundation and The Chopra Center for Wellbeing in a novel study of the ancient practice that uses wireless health sensors to collect physiological data from meditators.

Speedy analysis of steel fiber reinforced concrete
Steel fiber reinforced concrete (SFRC) is a practical construction material that is quick and easy to use.

Island biodiversity in danger of total submersion with climate change
Island ecosystems constitute the most biodiverse regions in the world, holding a large number of endemic flora and fauna.

European young investigators network for Usher syndrome awarded E-Rare collab project
Based on a ranking list that was established by the EU Scientific Evaluation Committee, the E-Rare funding bodies recommended the European young investigators network for Usher syndrome (EUR-USH) coordinated by Dr.

Elsevier announces the launch of a new journal: Materials Today -- Proceedings
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, and home to the materials science and engineering family Materials Today, is proud to announce the launch of a new journal, Materials Today: Proceedings.

Menstrual cycle influences concussion outcomes
Researchers found that women injured during the two weeks leading up to their period (the premenstrual phase) had a slower recovery and poorer health one month after injury compared to women injured during the two weeks directly after their period or women taking birth control pills.

Frontiers in Agricultural Sustainability: Studying the Protein Supply Chain
The Sackler Institute for Nutrition Science at the New York Academy of Sciences will host a conference on Dec.

CVI puts research into practice on firearms and domestic violence
The Crime Victims' Institute at Sam Houston State University initiated a new series of reports to help victim advocates translate the latest research in the field into practical services and resources for victims, beginning with a study on firearms and intimate partner violence.

SDSC researchers awarded at White House information technology event
Projects from two 'centers of excellence' at the San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego -- the Center for Large-scale Data Systems research and the Predictive Analytics Center of Excellence -- were highlighted at a White House Office of Science and Technology Policy meeting focused on accelerating research, development, and collaborations in data-enabled science and engineering.

High blood pressure in middle age versus old age may better predict memory loss
People in middle age who have a high blood pressure measure called pulse pressure are more likely to have biomarkers of Alzheimer's disease in their spinal fluid than those with lower pulse pressure, according to research published in the Nov.

Novel aspects of histamine research discussed in Versita open access book
Readers will be provided with extensive knowledge on histamine metabolism, cellular histamine transport, storage and release, effects of histamine and histamine receptor ligands, with particular attention to the H4R, inflammatory cells, basophils, eosinophils, neutrophils, macrophages, dendritic cells, and T cells.

Study finds few patients with newly-diagnosed hyperlipidemia receive recommended thyroid screening
Despite current guidelines that recommend newly diagnosed high-cholesterol patients have a TSH blood test done to make sure they do not have hypothyroidism, researchers from Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center have found that only about half of these patients were screened for thyroid dysfunction.

Monitoring material changes in the hostile environment of a fusion reactor
Researchers at MIT's Plasma Science and Fusion Center have demonstrated for the first time a novel diagnostic instrument that can remotely map the composition of material surfaces inside a magnetic fusion device.

Breathalyzer technology detects acetone levels to monitor blood glucose in diabetics
A novel hand-held, noninvasive monitoring device that uses multilayer nanotechnology to detect acetone has been shown to correlate with blood-glucose levels in the breath of diabetics.

No hot flashes? Then don't count on hormones to improve quality of life
Hormones at menopause can help with sleep, memory, and more, but only when a woman also has hot flashes, find researchers at Helsinki University in Finland.

Young stars paint spectacular stellar landscape
Astronomers at ESO have captured the best image so far of the clouds around the star cluster NGC 3572.

Novel gene therapy works to reverse heart failure
Researchers at the Cardiovascular Research Center at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have successfully tested a powerful gene therapy, delivered directly into the heart, to reverse heart failure.

Tel Aviv University part of team launching global Human Brain Project
Between Oct. 6 and 11, 2013, Tel Aviv University researchers participated in the kickoff in Switzerland of the Human Brain Project, a decade-long global initiative to leverage human intelligence and computing power to better understand the human brain.

Better batteries through biology?
MIT researchers find a way to boost lithium-air battery performance, with the help of modified viruses.

Social networks make us smarter
The secret to why some cultures thrive and others disappear may lie in our social networks and our ability to imitate, rather than our individual smarts, according to a new University of British Columbia study.

Taiwan scientists report first case of new bird flu virus in humans
Scientists from Taiwan report on the world's first confirmed case of human infection with a wild avian influenza A H6N1 virus in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine.

New center to deliver research-based solutions to rising health care costs
In response to rising national health care costs, the Indiana University School of Medicine and the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute have launched an innovative initiative to create a more efficient and effective health care system.

Lignin-feasting microbe holds promise for biofuels
Researchers at the Joint BioEnergy Institute have identified a rain forest microbe that feasts on the lignin in plant leaf litter, making it a potential ally for the cost-effective production of advanced biofuels.

Study finds widespread use of opioid medications in nonsurgical hospital patients
Amid a growing climate of concern regarding the overuse of opioid pain medications, a comprehensive analysis of more than 1 million hospital admissions has found that over 50 percent of all nonsurgical patients were prescribed opioids during their hospitalization -- often at very high doses -- and that more than half of those exposed were still receiving these medications on the day they were discharged from the hospital.

Finding antitumor T cells in a patient's own cancer
In a paper recently published in Clinical Cancer Research, investigators in the lab of Daniel Powell, Ph.D., at the Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, demonstrated for the first time that a T cell activation molecule can be used as a biomarker to identify rare antitumor T cells in human cancers.

Tomato therapy: Engineered veggies target intestinal lipids, improve cholesterol
UCLA researchers report that tiny amounts of a specific type of lipid in the small intestine may play a greater role than previously thought in generating the high cholesterol levels and inflammation that lead to clogged arteries.

Redesigned protein opens door for safer gene therapy
A fusion protein engineered by researchers at KU Leuven combining proteins active in HIV and Moloney murine leukaemia virus replication may lead to safer, more effective retroviral gene therapy.

Buried leaves reveal precolonial eastern forests and guide stream restoration
Sediment behind milldams in Pennsylvania preserved leaves deposited just before European contact that provide a glimpse of the ancient forests, according to a team of geoscientists, who note that neither the forests nor the streams were what they are today.

Solar cells utilize thermal radiation
Thermal radiation from the sun is largely lost on most silicon solar cells.

Largest lake in Britain and Ireland has lost three-quarters of winter water birds
The largest lake in Britain and Ireland, Lough Neagh, has lost more than three-quarters of its overwintering water birds according to researchers at Queen's University Belfast.

Queen bee's honesty is the best policy for reproduction signals
Queen bees convey honest signals to worker bees about their reproductive status and quality, according to an international team of researchers, who say their findings may help to explain why honey bee populations are declining.

Tossed on the waves: Charting the path of ejected particles
Experiments at the DIII-D National Fusion Facility in San Diego, California, are shedding light on one of the major mechanisms by which these

Study finds context is key in helping us to recognize a face
Why does it take longer to recognize a familiar face when seen in an unfamiliar setting, like seeing a work colleague when on holiday?

Generation length for mammals: An essential reference point for conservation studies
Life history traits are the basic ecological descriptors of a species.

USC study reveals a protein that keeps people -- and their skeletons -- organized
Most people think that their planners or their iPhones keep them organized, when proteins such as liver kinase b1 actually have a lot more to do with it.

Elsevier launches new open access journal: Photoacoustics
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, is pleased to announce the launch of the new open access journal Photoacoustics.

Natural disasters of the past can help solve future problems
Nobody can predict the future, of course -- but we can learn from the past.

Fantastic phonons: Blocking sound, channeling heat with 'unprecedented precision'
The phonon, like the photon or electron, is a physical particle that travels like waves, representing mechanical vibration.

HIVMA praises passage of the HOPE Act, urges swift enactment into law
The US Congress took an important step Tuesday evening with House passage of the HIV Organ Policy Equity Act, which will allow research on donation of organs from deceased HIV-infected donors to HIV-infected recipients.

Compound stymies polyomaviruses in lab tests
There is no approved medicine to treat polyomaviruses, which afflict those with weakened immune systems, but scientists have found that a chemical compound called Retro-2 is able to significantly reduce the infectivity and spread of the viruses in lab cell cultures.

Stingray movement could inspire the next generation of submarines
Stingrays swim through water with such ease that researchers from the University at Buffalo and Harvard University are studying how their movements could be used to design more agile and fuel-efficient unmanned underwater vehicles.

Fossil of new big cat species discovered; oldest ever found
Scientists have discovered the oldest big cat fossil ever found -- which fills in a significant gap in the fossil record.

Improving detection of radioactive material in nuclear waste water
As the Fukushima crisis continues to remind the world of the potential dangers of nuclear disposal and unforeseen accidents, scientists are reporting progress toward a new way to detect the radioactive materials uranium and plutonium in waste water.

Don't hold the anchovies: Study shows Peruvian fish worth more as food than as feed
The true potential of Peruvian anchovy lies not in fishmeal but as food for people and as part of the ocean food web, according to Canadian and Peruvian researchers.

BUSM/BMC study shows decrease in sepsis mortality rates
A recent study from Boston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical Center shows a significant decrease in severe sepsis mortality rates over the past 20 years.

Elsevier's Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) journal series adds open access journal: BBA Clinical
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, announces the launch of BBA Clinical, the first full open access journal within the Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) journal series.

Buffaloberry may be next 'super fruit'
New research has uncovered an underutilized berry that could be the new super fruit, the buffaloberry.

Probiotics may add functionality to fruit juices
A new study in the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists, found that fruit juices could potentially be good carriers for two different kinds of probiotics.

Sobriety, spirituality linked for teens in treatment
Increased spirituality in teens undergoing substance abuse treatment is associated with greater likelihood of abstinence (as measured by toxicology screens), increased positive social behaviors, and reduced narcissism, according to a study by researchers from The University of Akron, Case Western Reserve University and Baylor University.

Scorpions use strongest defense mechanisms when under attack
Scorpions tend to use their strongest defense mechanisms.

'Missing heat' discovery prompts new estimate of global warming
An interdisciplinary team of researchers say they have found 'missing heat' in the climate system, casting doubt on suggestions that global warming has slowed or stopped over the past decade.

IU cognitive scientists ID new mechanism at heart of early childhood learning and social behavior
An Indiana University study provides compelling evidence for a new and possibly dominant way for social partners to coordinate joint attention, key for parent-child communication and early language learning.

NASA sees a re-awakening of ex-Depression 30W in a different ocean
The former tropical storm known as 30W that moved from the western North Pacific Ocean basin into the northern Indian Ocean appears to be ramping up for a short stint at depression status again.

Cardiovascular complications of type 2 diabetes associated with levels of physical activity
On World Diabetes Day, a study published today in EJPC, underlines importance of regular exercise.

Women with asthma could face a delay in becoming pregnant
Women with asthma could take longer to conceive, according to new research.

Healing powers
How do cells spread to cover and close a wound?

Back to the future: Nostalgia increases optimism
New research from the University of Southampton shows that feeling nostalgic about the past will increase optimism about the future.

Study: Your brain sees things you don't
A study by University of Arizona doctoral student Jay Sanguinetti indicates that our brains perceive objects in everyday life of which we may never be aware.

Carbon dioxide's new-found signalling role could be applied to blood flow, birth and deafness
New research reveals exactly how the body measures carbon dioxide and suggests that far from being a metabolic waste product, it could play a key role as a biological signalling molecule.

Nature's glowing slime: Scientists peek into hidden sea worm's light
Scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and their colleagues are unraveling the mechanisms behind a little-known marine worm that produces a dazzling bioluminescent display in the form of puffs of blue light released into seawater.

Impulsivity, rewards and Ritalin: Monkey study shows tighter link
Even as the rate of diagnosis has reached 11 percent among American children aged four to 17, neuroscientists are still trying to understand attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Squeeze and you shall measure -- squeezed coherent states shown to be optimal for gravitational wave
Extremely precise measurements of distances are key in all techniques used to detect gravitational waves.

Researchers warn against high emissions from oil palm expansion in Brazil
Expanding millions of hectares of Brazilian land to produce palm oil for food or for renewable, clean-burning biodiesel could result in extremely high emissions of carbon dioxide unless strict controls are put in place.

Smartphone accelerometers distinguish between different motorized transportation modalities
Researchers at University of Helsinki, Finland, demonstrate how the embedded accelerometers of smartphones can be used to distinguish between different motorized transportation modalities.

Northeastern researchers have discovered a new treatment to cure MRSA infection
Recent work from Northeastern University Distinguished Professor of Biology Kim Lewis promises to overcome one of the leading public health threats of our time.

Designing principles and optimization approaches of a bio-inspired self-organized network
By observing the collective behaviors of social species (such as honey bees, army ants, flocks of birds and schools of fish), several bio-inspired algorithms have been proposed and have proved to be effective in various areas.

New generation of micro sensors for monitoring ocean acidification
The first step in developing a cost-effective micro sensor for long-term monitoring of ocean acidification has been achieved by a team of scientists and engineers.

Can the eyes help diagnose Alzheimer's disease?
An international team of researchers studying the link between vision loss and Alzheimer's disease report that the loss of a particular layer of retinal cells not previously investigated may provide a new way to track disease progression.

Cutting edge research into drug side effects could save NHS money and make more drugs safely available
Severe side effects account for one in sixteen NHS hospital admissions and take up four per cent of hospital bed capacity.

Early uses of chili peppers in Mexico
Chili peppers may have been used to make spicy beverages thousands of years ago in Mexico.

Moderate coffee consumption may reduce risk of type 2 diabetes by 25 percent
Regular, moderate coffee consumption may decrease an individual's risk of developing type 2 diabetes, according to research highlighted in a report published by the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee.

Fusion foe lends a helping hand
Recent laboratory experiments and atomistic simulations have found that the oxygen bound by lithium at the walls of fusion devices plays a key role in improving plasma performance.

Fatty acid produced by gut bacteria boosts the immune system
New research from the RIKEN Center for Integrative Medical Sciences in Japan sheds light on the role of gut bacteria on the maturation of the immune system and provides evidence supporting the use of butyrate as therapy for inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn's disease.

Wayne State to study role of microRNAs in prostate cancer racial disparities
African American men have a 60 percent higher risk of developing prostate cancer than European American men, and a 2.4 times higher risk of dying from the disease.

Resting pulse rates of UK pre-teens have risen during past 30 years
The resting pulse rate of UK pre-teens may have risen by up to two beats a minute during the past 30 years.

Clues to cocaine's toxicity could lead to better tests for its detection in biofluids
A new study on cocaine, the notorious white powder illegally snorted, injected or smoked by nearly 2 million Americans, details how it may permanently damage proteins in the body.

Tecnalia is working to develop design tools for the deployment and improvement of ocean energy array
The DTOcean (Optimal Design Tools for Ocean Energy Arrays) initiative will allow a suite of design tools to be developed for the deployment of ocean energy arrays. 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