Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 19, 2013
Obesity and nutrition are keys to avoiding metabolic syndrome
Data reported by the Hearts Beat Back: The Heart of New Ulm Project reinforce the positive influence of lifestyle factors in mitigating risks that potentially increase the likelihood of heart disease and other health problems.

Scientists nearing forecasts of long-lived wildfires' paths
Scientists have developed a new computer modeling technique that for the first time offers the promise of continually-updated daylong predictions of wildfire growth through the lifetimes of long-lived blazes.

Fruit bat population covering central Africa is carrier of 2 deadly viruses
A population of fruit bats which is found across much of continental Africa is widely infected with two deadly viruses that could spread to humans, new research reveals.

DFG establishes 10 new research training groups
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft is establishing 10 new Research Training Groups (RTGs) to further support early career researchers in Germany.

LSUHSC faculty shares inside knowledge in book to develop nation's research scientists
In his first book, Andrew D. Hollenbach, Ph.D., associate professor of genetics at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans, shares his insider knowledge of how applications for one of the nation's most prestigious and sought-after series of training grants are reviewed, the biases that influence the process, and invaluable tips, insights and key suggestions.

New study determines more accurate method to date tropical glacier moraines
A Dartmouth-led team has found a more accurate method to determine the ages of boulders deposited by tropical glaciers, findings that will likely influence previous research of how climate change has impacted ice masses around the equator.

Study: Odds of rehospitalization of cognitively impaired varies by discharge destination
An Indiana University and Regenstrief Institute study demonstrates that cognitive impairment is not independently associated with rehospitalizations and that this relationship is modified by discharge destination.

Oral drug may improve survival in men with metastatic prostate cancer
An investigational prostate cancer treatment slows the disease's progression and may increase survival, especially among men whose cancer has spread to the bones, according an analysis led by the Duke Cancer Institute.

Hospital treatment for patients who self-harm in England is 'as variable as ever'
Researchers from The University of Manchester found 40 percent of those attending hospital after an overdose or other self-injury did not get a specialist psychosocial assessment.

New findings could help target the bacteria that cause Lyme disease and syphilis
The bacterial pathogens that cause Lyme disease and syphilis are highly invasive.

Older sedentary adults reduced injury to heart through moderate physical activity
Moderate physical activity in sedentary older adults reduced the progression of injury to the heart, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2013.

Zinc sulfate, sugar alcohol zinc sprays improve apple quality
Researchers calculated the response of apple fruit quality to sprays of zinc sulfate and sugar alcohol zinc to determine whether continuing to supply zinc to trees could increase the fruit quality of

Phthalate exposure linked to preterm birth
The odds of preterm birth for women exposed to a commonly used class of chemicals known as phthalates are increased significantly, according to a new study from the University of Michigan School of Public Health and Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

Preschoolers can learn lasting heart-healthy lessons
Preschoolers can learn about healthy eating and exercise through Sesame Street.

Asteroids' close encounters with Mars
MIT scientists find that Mars, not Earth, shakes up some near-Earth asteroids.

High tunnel, open-field production systems compared for lettuce, tomato
Researchers used crop enterprise budgets to provide baseline information and contrast the economic potential of growing lettuce and tomato under high tunnel and open-field production systems.

New case studies link smoking synthetic marijuana with stroke in healthy, young adults
Add stroke to the list of severe health hazards that may be associated with smoking synthetic marijuana, popularly known as spice or K2, a University of South Florida neurology team reports.

HIV virus spread and evolution studied through computer modeling
Researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory are investigating the complex relationships between the spread of the HIV virus in a population (epidemiology) and the actual, rapid evolution of the virus (phylogenetics) within each patient's body.

Many pediatricians uncomfortable providing care to kids with genetic conditions
Many primary care pediatricians say they feel uncomfortable providing health care to patients with genetic disorders.

Blood test accurately diagnoses concussion and predicts long term cognitive disability
A new blood biomarker correctly predicted which concussion victims went on to have white matter tract structural damage and persistent cognitive dysfunction following a mild traumatic brain injury.

Breakthrough in adult heart repair
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is responsible for approximately one-third of all deaths.

Liberals aren't like the rest, or so they think
Liberals tend to underestimate the amount of actual agreement among those who share their ideology, while conservatives tend to overestimate intra-group agreement, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Origin of species: Protein imbalances doom hybrids
Why do crosses between closely related species fail to produce fertile hybrids?

Researchers develop technique to convert thermoelectric material into high performance electricity
A team of Clemson University physicists consisting of nanomaterial scientists and thermoelectricians worked synergistically through the newly established Clemson Nanomaterials Center to develop a novel technique of tailoring thermoelectric properties of n-type bismuth telluride for high thermoelectric performance.

New modelling technique could bypass the need for engineering prototypes
A new modelling technique has been developed that could eliminate the need to build costly prototypes, which are used to test engineering structures such as aeroplanes.

A CNIO study recreates the history of life through the genome
One of the most important processes in the life of cells is genome replication.

Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013 news tips
Propping open clogged heart arteries with a

Scientists brave Old Man Winter to dig out secrets of lake-effect snows
Rare anywhere, thundersnow is sometimes heard during the lake-effect snowstorms of the Great Lakes.

The human health costs of losing natural systems: Quantifying Earth's worth to public health
A new paper from members of the HEAL (Health & Ecosystems: Analysis of Linkages) consortium delineates a new branch of environmental health that focuses on the public health risks of human-caused changes to Earth's natural systems.

Smartphone apps lack proven strategies to help smokers quit
An estimated 11 million smokers in the United States own a smartphone and increasingly they're turning to apps in an attempt to quit.

Long-lasting gene therapy benefits advanced heart failure patients
Researchers from the Cardiovascular Research Center at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai reported the long-term benefits of a single dose of their gene therapy AAV1/SERCA2a in advanced heart failure patients on Nov.

Many sudden cardiac arrests preceded by warning signs
More than half of the men who had a sudden cardiac arrest had symptoms up to a month before.

Staphylococcus aureus bacteria turns immune system against itself
Around 20 percent of all humans are persistently colonized with Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, a leading cause of skin infections and one of the major sources of hospital-acquired infections, including the antibiotic-resistant strain MRSA.

Treating alcohol dependence: Medication plus therapy leads to longer abstinence
Alcohol treatment incorporating a stepped-care rationale -- when services are escalated -- appears to increase efficacy of the treatment.

Casual employment is linked to women being childless by the age of 35
Women who have worked in temporary jobs are less likely to have had their first child by the age of 35, according to research published in Europe's leading reproductive medicine journal Human Reproduction.

Alcohol's frontal-lobe damage may become evident before general mental status is challenged
Executive performance, such as attention and memory, is associated with the frontal lobes.

See a Honda, buy a Mountain Dew? What happens when consumers fast-forward through commercials?
Consumers are bombarded with advertising throughout the course of any given day, often to the point where they rarely devote any conscious attention to processing the brand information.

AGU Fall Meeting: Virtual press room, PIO uploader, and Quiet Room sign up -- now live!
During the Fall Meeting, journalists will find press releases and many resources online in the Virtual Press Room.

Demand for details on food labels includes the good -- and the bad
It's no surprise that labels are becoming the

Holistic cell design leads to high-performance, long cycle-life Li/S battery
Researchers at Berkeley Lab have demonstrated in the laboratory a lithium-sulfur (Li/S) battery that has more than twice the specific energy of lithium-ion batteries, and that lasts for more than 1,500 cycles of charge-discharge with minimal decay of the battery's capacity.

Researchers test effects of LEDs on leaf lettuce
Scientists determined the effects of blue and red LED ratios on leaf shape, plant growth, and the accumulation of antioxidant phenolic compounds of a red leaf lettuce and a green leaf lettuce cultivar.

Non-specialist health workers play important role in improving mental health in developing countries
Non-specialist health workers are beneficial in providing treatment for people with mental, neurological and substance-abuse problems in developing countries -- where there is often a lack of mental health professionals -- according to a new Cochrane review from researchers at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Monkeys can point to objects they do not report seeing
Are monkeys, like humans, able to ascertain where objects are located without much more than a sideways glance?

New bale unroller design deemed effective
An existing round-bale unroller was modified to create an offset bale unroller for applying hay and wheat straw mulch at two thicknesses to between-row areas of watermelon.

New study helps predict life expectancy in healthy people using complete blood count risk score
For years, doctors have been divided on how effective annual testing and screenings are for apparently healthy individuals.

The semantics behind the sale price: When does the 'original' price matter?
Consumers love a sale. In fact, when asked what makes a sale appealing, most simply say,

Bedtime aspirin may reduce risk of morning heart attack
Taking aspirin at bedtime instead of in the morning might reduce acute heart events, according a new study presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2013.

Study finds youth prefer and benefit more from rapid point-of-care HIV testing
Youth prefer, accept and receive HIV results more often when offered rapid finger prick or saliva swab tests rather than traditional blood tests according to a study by researchers at St.

MAVEN launches on 10-month journey to Mars orbit
At 1:28 p.m. EST today (11/18/2013), NASA's Mars Atmosphere and Volatile EvolutioN (MAVEN) spacecraft launched aboard a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida, beginning a 10-month journey to Mars orbit.

'CaroTex-312,' new Habanero-type pepper introduced
Researchers have introduced

Corticosteroid added to standard treatment improves eyesight in patients with sudden vision loss
Nonarteritic anterior ischemic optic neuropathy (NAION) is one of the leading causes of sudden and irreversible loss of vision in older adults.

First-ever survey of Do-It-Yourself Biology community challenges myths
A first-ever survey of Do-It-Yourself Biology (DIYbio) practitioners by the Synthetic Biology Project at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars finds the community to be far different from fearful and often sensationalist media representations.

NASA begins first antarctic airborne campaign from McMurdo Station
NASA's Operation IceBridge has begun its 2013 Antarctic field campaign with the arrival of the agency's aircraft and scientists at the National Science Foundation's McMurdo Station in Antarctica.

New technique controls dimensions of gold nanorods while manufacturing on a large scale
North Carolina State University researchers have a developed a technique for efficiently producing nanoscale gold rods in large quantities while simultaneously controlling the dimensions of the nanorods and their optical properties.

Hashtag health
A social media-monitoring program led by San Diego State University geography professor Ming-Hsiang Tsou could help physicians and health officials learn when and where severe outbreaks are occurring in real time.

Study may impact guidelines for mitral valve surgery for severe ischemic mitral regurgitation
Study reports for the first time evidence on whether or not there is any significant difference between the two current surgical approaches to treat patients with severe ischemic mitral regurgitation -- mitral valve repair and mitral valve replacement.

Study: Ureteral injury during robot-assisted prostate surgery
There may be warning signs to help surgeons avoid damaging part of the urinary system during robot-assisted surgical removal of prostate cancer, ultimately preventing the expense of additional surgery, according to researchers at Henry Ford's Vattikuti Urology Institute.

Social values vary across Canada
According to a national survey led by researchers at Concordia University, the importance of providing assistance to those in need, and the importance of Aboriginal self-governance varies across Canada.

Slackers unite: How fundraisers convert social supporters into socially active citizens
Although somewhat counterintuitive, it turns out that those who support a cause anonymously tend to be more meaningfully supportive of the cause than those who offer more noticeable initial support, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Brain imaging reveals dynamic changes caused by pain medicines
A study in the Dec. issue of Anesthesiology suggests a role for brain imaging in the assessment and potential treatment of chronic pain.

New program offers blueprint and 'Golden Rules' for increasing sustainable electricity in developing countries
How to light the developing world with cleaner, reliable, affordable electricity produced through public private partnerships is the aim of a new international program launched at the world climate talks in Warsaw, Poland.

Bedroom access to screen-based media may contribute to sleep problems in boys with autism, MU researchers find
Having bedroom access to television, computers or video games is linked to less sleep in boys with autism spectrum disorder, a team of University of Missouri researchers found.

Researchers classify urban residential desert landscapes
Researchers developed a method to quantitatively classify urban residential landscapes in a desert environment in New Mexico.

Grieving for Tony Soprano: How the public responds to the death of a brand
In a testament to the pervasiveness of consumerism, studies have shown that consumers form subcultures, communities, and tribes around the brands they truly love.

Sex of speaker affects listener language processing
Grammar and syntax have been thought for decades to be automatic and untouchable by other brain processes and that everything else -- the sex of the speaker, their dialect, etc.

Advances and Controversies in Clinical Nutrition: Diet, Technology and Practice
The three-day program delivers valuable clinical updates in hotly debated nutrition areas, several different satellite sessions, and networking opportunities.

Peering into the future: How cities grow
How cities will grow in the future depends on fundamental laws, which have been uncovered by EPFL researchers.

HZDR researchers simulate electrons in astrophysical plasma jets
Physicists of Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf have been able to simulate the motion of billions of electrons within astrophysical plasma jets and calculate the light they emit with the help of a high-performance computer.

The fashion scout and the cop: Scanning the streets with similar methods for different targets
University of Cincinnati research compares practices used by fashion industry casting directors to the New York City Police Department's controversial stop-and-frisk program.

Age affects short-term quality of life after breast biopsy
Breast biopsies can adversely affect short-term quality-of-life, and the effects are more pronounced in younger patients, according to a new study.

China National Genebank initiates collaboration to sequence transcriptomes of 1,000 fish species
The 1,000 Fish Transcriptome Project (Fish T1K) has assembled a world-class team of researchers from CNGB, BGI, George Washington University, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, University of Guelph, Yellow Sea Fisheries Research Institute of Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences, Sun Yat-Sen University, Kunming Institute of Zoology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, among others.

NASA sees late season subtropical storm Melissa form in Atlantic
Hurricane Season ends on Nov. 30, and subtropical storm Melissa formed with less than two weeks to go.

Recessionary woes lead to adverse alcohol outcomes for men and middle-aged Americans
Economic downturns can have adverse health-related consequences, including poorer mental health and higher rates of suicide.

DIY for the holidays: Why do consumers enjoy gifts that require work?
From gourmet cooking to assembling a flower bouquet, consumers thrive in a creative environment.

Researchers suggest China consider national flu vaccination plan with staggered timing
China should tailor its influenza vaccination strategies to account for its three distinct flu regions, according to the first comprehensive study of the country's flu patterns conducted by a research team of Chinese and American scientists.

Individuals who flush after drinking are at higher risk of alcohol-related hypertension
Excessive drinking is a known risk factor for hypertension. Drinking that results in facial flushing indicates high sensitivity or even intolerance to alcohol.

A fresh step towards quantum computing
The researcher Jose Ignacio Pascual of nanoGUNE, together with researchers of the Free University of Berlin, has developed a method to manipulate magnetism in atoms.

Children's cardiovascular fitness declining worldwide
Around the globe, children are about 15 percent less fit than their parents were when they were young.

A Best Manuscript Award goes to Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
The Editors of the American Heart Association's journal Circulation Research have awarded Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai researchers a

CAMH and Assurex Health launch joint venture to advance personalized medicine in Canada
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Canada's leading hospital for mental health, and Assurex Health, a global leader in personalized medicine, have signed an agreement for a joint venture to bring the benefits of this treatment approach to more Canadians.

People with highly superior powers of recall also vulnerable to false memories
People who can accurately remember details of their daily lives going back decades are as susceptible as everyone else to forming fake memories, UC Irvine psychologists and neurobiologists have found.

UC Davis Institute for Population Health Improvement funds state's first 'Blue Button' project
As part of its mission to accelerate the adoption of health information exchange throughout California, the UC Davis Institute for Population Health Improvement's California Health eQuality program awarded $400,000 to L.A.

Study finds altered brain connections in epilepsy patients
Patients with the most common form of focal epilepsy have widespread, abnormal connections in their brains that could provide clues toward diagnosis and treatment, according to a new study.

Blacks have less access to cancer specialists, treatment
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine say metastatic colorectal cancer patients of African-American descent are less likely to be seen by cancer specialists or receive cancer treatments.

Advanced CT imaging proves as accurate as invasive tests to assess heart blockages, study shows
An ultrafast, 320-detector computed tomography (CT) scanner that shows both anatomy within coronary arteries and blood flowcan accurately sort out which people need -- or don't need -- an invasive procedure to identify coronary blockages, according to an international study.

NSU researchers receive $4.1 million grant from DOD to investigate Gulf War illness
Nova Southeastern University President and CEO George L. Hanbury II, Ph.D., recently announced that a NSU research team led by Mariana Morris, Ph.D., and Nancy Klimas, M.D., was selected by the US Department of Defense as one of two DoD Gulf War Illness Research Program Consortium awardees.

New study reports on the high cost of cardiac surgery healthcare associated infections
After cardiac surgery, healthcare-associated infections are common complications associated with increased morbidity, mortality, and use of resources.

Higher emotional intelligence leads to better decision-making
The anxiety people feel making investment decisions may have more to do with the traffic they dealt with earlier than the potential consequences they face with the investment, but not if the decision-maker has high emotional intelligence a recent study published in Psychological Science suggests.

Researchers identify a new genetic risk factor for severe psychiatric illness
Investigators at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research have discovered a new genetic risk factor for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder called NDST3.

AIDS guidelines for children may not improve death rates but may improve treatment access
Recent changes to World Health Organization guidelines for starting anti-AIDS drugs (antiretroviral therapy--ART) in young children are unlikely to improve death rates but may increase the numbers of children receiving ART by simplifying access to treatment, according to a study by international researchers published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

'Magic numbers' disappear and expand area of nuclear deformation
A team of researchers from the RIKEN Nishina Center for Accelerator-Based Science in Japan has demonstrated that the magic numbers 20 and 28 disappear from all neutron-rich magnesium isotopes, thereby establishing a new, larger area of nuclear deformation in the nuclear chart.

Genome scale view of great white shark uncovers unexpected and distinctive features
A new study by scientists from Nova Southeastern University's Save Our Seas Shark Research Centre and Cornell University published in final form today in the journal BMC Genomics now undertakes the first large-scale exploration of the great white shark's genetic repertoire, and comes up with unexpected findings.

How poor mental health and casual sex reinforce each other
A new study suggests that poor mental health and casual sex feed off each other in teens and young adults, with each one contributing to the other over time.

Tropical Cyclone 04B forms in northern Indian Ocean
The fourth tropical cyclone of the Northern Indian Ocean season formed and is headed for landfall in a couple of days in southeastern India.

Holiday shopping online: Don't overwhelm consumers with too many images
If presented with looking at an image or reading a paragraph describing the same product, consumers often prefer the visual option.

Could basic fertility information be key to reversing late-parenthood trend?
Increasingly, young people around the world are planning to have children later in life, despite the fact that fertility declines with age after young adulthood.

Synaesthesia is more common in autism
People with autism are more likely to also have synaesthesia, suggests new research in the journal Molecular Autism.

When bye bye becomes buy buy: How homophones affect consumer behavior
It is possible to affect how someone will think or act simply by priming that person with just a single word, according to a new study in the Journal of Consumer Research that examines the use of homophones in written advertising.

LVAD patients benefit from heart injection with millions of powerful cells
End-stage heart failure patients who receive a surgically implanted left ventricular assist device heart pump may also benefit from a single dose of millions of powerful cells injected directly into their heart during surgery.

Edoxaban effective in preventing stroke, reducing bleeding and cardiovascular death in patients with atrial fibrillation
A late-breaking clinical trial to be presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions on Nov.

mTOR: A key brain signaling mechanism for rapidly acting antidepressants
Two years ago, mammalian target of rapamycin or mTOR, a signaling protein, was identified as a key mediator of the antidepressant effects of ketamine, the first rapidly acting antidepressant medication to be identified.

Stanford study could lead to paradigm shift in organic solar cell research
A new study by Stanford scientists overturns a widely held explanation for how organic photovoltaics turn sunlight into electricity.

New study finds no benefit to selecting dose of blood thinner based on patients' genetic makeup
A new study led by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania has determined that a gene-based method for selecting patients' doses of the popular heart medication warfarin is no better than standardized dosing methods.

Shadehouses with photoselective nets featured in study of growing conditions
Researchers monitored environmental data inside shadehouses with full covering of red, blue, pearl, and black nets in central Florida over 12 months.

'GUMBOS' promise new drugs and electronics: American Chemical Society Prized Science video
A group of nanoparticles called

Natural compound mitigates effects of methamphetamine abuse, University of Missouri researchers find
Researchers at the University of Missouri have found that resveratrol may also block the effects of the highly addictive drug, methamphetamine.

Discovery of brain activity in severely brain injured patients who 'wake up' with sleep drug
George Melendez has been called a medical miracle. After a near drowning deprived his brain of oxygen, Melendez remained in a fitful, minimally conscious state until his mother, in 2002, decided to give him the sleep aid drug Ambien to quiet his moaning and writhing.

New method to diagnose sepsis is faster, cheaper
A new method could cut hours off the time it takes to diagnose blood infections while also eliminating the need for complicated manual processing and expensive equipment, according to a new report.

Smoking increases risk of death for nasopharyngeal carcinoma survivors
Survivors of nasopharyngeal carcinoma who are former or current smokers are more likely to have their disease progress, relapse, or spread, and are more likely to die of their disease, compared with survivors of nasopharyngeal carcinoma who have never smoked, according to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

NASA instrument determines hazards of deep-space radiation
Deep-space radiation is a significant danger for interplanetary human space flight.

Researchers find protein that regulates the burning of body fat
Body fat contains a small number of brown adipose cells -- special fat cells that generate heat without muscle activity.

Younger Hispanic women face higher risk of death from heart attack
Younger Hispanic women face a higher risk of death in hospitals after a heart attack, are more likely to suffer from co-existing conditions such as diabetes, and are less likely to undergo percutaneous coronary interventions or coronary artery bypass surgery as compared with white women and men, according to research presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2013.

Elsevier announces the launch of 2 new open access cardiology journals
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, today announced the launch of two new open access journals in its cardiology journals series: International Journal of Cardiology-Heart & Vessels and International Journal of Cardiology-Metabolic & Endocrine.

Study to identify functions of hypothetical genes in 2 infectious disease pathogens
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has awarded the University of Chicago $4.4 million over five years to study genes of unknown function in bacteria that cause plague and brucellosis.

UT Dallas computer scientists create 3-D technique
UT Dallas computer scientists are using a famous mathematician's theory to make 3-D images that are more accurate approximations of the shapes of the original objects. 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