Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

November 20, 2013
Solar-powered battery woven into fabric overcomes hurdle for 'wearable electronics'
Though some people already seem inseparable from their smartphones, even more convenient, wearable, solar-powered electronics could be on the way soon, woven into clothing fibers or incorporated into watchbands.

Carnegie Mellon computer searches web 24/7 to analyze images and teach itself common sense
A computer program called the Never Ending Image Learner (NEIL) is running 24 hours a day at Carnegie Mellon University, searching the Web for images, doing its best to understand them on its own and, as it builds a growing visual database, gathering common sense on a massive scale.

Virtual sailing simulator shows key role of recreation
Researchers at the Kennedy Krieger Institute announced today the results of a pilot study demonstrating use of a virtual therapeutic sailing simulator as an important part of rehabilitation following a spinal cord injury.

Study reveals higher levels of control and support at work increases wellbeing
Research from Queen Mary University of London reveals positive aspects of working life -- such as high levels of control at work, good support from supervisors and colleagues, and feeling cared for -- support higher levels of well-being among Britain's workers.

NASA's Chandra helps confirm evidence of jet in Milky Way's black hole
Astronomers have long sought strong evidence that Sagittarius A*, the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way, is producing a jet of high-energy particles.

Impacts of plant invasions become less robust over time
Among the most impressive ecological findings of the past 25 years is the ability of invasive plants to radically change ecosystem function.

UCI engineering school gets grant from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
The Henry Samueli School of Engineering at UC Irvine will receive a $100,000 Grand Challenges Explorations grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for developing a solar stove that enables carbon emissions-free cooking.

Linking risk factors and disease origins in breast cancer
Researchers from the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth have found that epigenetic changes to DNA are associated with aging in disease-free breast tissues and are further altered in breast tumors.

Drug strategy blocks a leading driver of cancer
The protein in cells that most often drives the development of cancers has eluded scientists' efforts to block it for three decades -- until now.

Tiny antisense molecules increase 'good cholesterol' levels in obese primates
A strategy developed by Massachusetts General Hospital-based investigators to increase levels of beneficial high-density lipoprotein (HDL) has been shown for the first time to be effective in non-human primates.

Mental stress + heart disease: Stronger presence in women under 50
Researchers have found that women younger than 50 with a recent heart attack are more likely to experience restricted blood flow to the heart (myocardial ischemia) in response to psychological stress.

Study shines light on what makes digital activism effective
Digital activism is usually nonviolent and tends to work best when social media tools are combined with street-level organization, according to new research from the University of Washington.

University of Tennessee professor receives Gates Foundation Award to reinvent condom, improve global health
Jimmy Mays, a chemistry professor at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, responded to a challenge by Bill and Melinda Gates with a design that will encourage condom use in developing countries.

Roman emperor's virtual villa to be unveiled Friday
Indiana University's first archaeo-informaticist, Bernie Frischer, will bring to life one of the Roman Empire's best-known and best-preserved imperial villas -- Hadrian's Villa -- during a public launch of the Digital Hadrian's Villa Project on Friday, Nov.

Magnetic nanoparticles could aid heat dissipation
MIT researchers find that particles suspended in cooling water could prevent hotspots in nuclear plant cooling systems and electronics.

Metabolically healthy obesity does not guarantee clean bill of health
Obese people who are currently metabolically healthy face a higher risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease, according to new research accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

'Undruggable' mutation meets its match
In the field of drug design, the protein K-Ras is legendary.

Large study links nut consumption to reduced death rate
In the largest study of its kind, people who ate a daily handful of nuts were 20 percent less likely to die from any cause over a 30-year period than were those who didn't consume nuts, say scientists from Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and the Harvard School of Public Health.

Brain still injured from concussion after symptoms fade
After a mild concussion, special brain scans show evidence of brain abnormalities four months later, when symptoms from the concussion have mostly dissipated, according to research published in the Nov.

PTSD raises risk for obesity in women
Women with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) gain weight more rapidly and are more likely to be overweight or obese than women without the disorder, find researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and Harvard School of Public Health.

Spanish scientists identify a new ancestral enzyme that facilitates DNA repair
Researchers from the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre, led by Juan Mendez, head of the DNA Replication Group, together with Luis Blanco, from the Severo Ochoa Molecular Biology Centre, have discovered how a new human enzyme, the protein PrimPol, is capable of recognizing DNA lesions and facilitate their repair during the DNA copying process, thus avoiding irreversible and lethal damage to the cells and, therefore, to the organism.

Building TCTE: The perfect combination of enthusiasm, spare parts and resources
Getting an instrument ready for spaceflight in five months took a little bit of luck, ingenuity, determination -- and some spare parts.

Connections in the brains of young children strengthen during sleep, CU-Boulder study finds
While young children sleep, connections between the left and the right hemispheres of their brain strengthen, which may help brain functions mature, according to a new study by the University of Colorado Boulder.

Let's just harvest invasive species -- problem solved?
According to a recent study at the University of Illinois, harvesting invasive plants for use as biofuels may sound like a great idea, but the reality poses numerous obstacles and is too expensive to consider, at least with the current ethanol pathways.

Zale Lipshy University Hospital recognized for patient satisfaction
Zale Lipshy University Hospital at UT Southwestern Medical Center received the 2013 Press Ganey Beacon of Excellence Award for patient satisfaction, one of only three academic medical centers in the nation and one of 26 health care facilities selected nationally to receive that distinction.

Listen to this: Stanford research upends understanding of how humans perceive sound
A key piece of the scientific model used for the past 30 years to help explain how humans perceive sound is wrong, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Women prescribed combination HRT should use caution when taking apigenin supplement, MU study finds
In 2011, studies conducted by University of Missouri researchers found that a natural compound called apigenin, which is found in celery, parsley, and apples, could reduce the incidence of tumor growth in women receiving hormone replacement therapy.

Large dishes increase how much cereal kids request, eat, and waste
Bigger dishes can cause adults to serve and consume more food, but this study reveals that kids are also vulnerable to this bowl-size bias.

What composes the human heart? U of T researchers crunch the numbers
A foundational study published in top biomedical journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week by researchers at the University of Toronto's Institute of Biomaterials & Biomedical Engineering and the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine have identified the optimal structure and cell ratio associated with heart function -- and the discovery has already led the team to another research first: the engineering of the first-ever living, 3-D human arrhythmic tissue.

NASA's TRMM satellite sees Melissa's tropical transition
Once a subtropical storm, now a tropical storm, Melissa made the transition on Nov.

BU, MIT team engineers add new wrinkles to waterproofing
Intuition tells us that a smooth surface should shed water faster than a textured one.

The closest relatives of papaya are 4 species from Mexico and Guatemala
For decades, researchers thought the closest relatives of papaya were certain trees from the Andes.

No canine rabies, no canine babies: Smaller exposure risks to both children and adults
Thomas Jefferson University is developing a single dose rabies and contraceptive vaccine to reduce the infection's human mortality rates worldwide as part of their Grand Challenges Explorations award, an initiative funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Montefiore and Einstein researchers receive $1.17 million grant to develop comparative effectiveness
The New York State Department of Health has awarded Montefiore Medical Center a $1.17 million grant to support the Center for Comparative Effectiveness Research, a joint project between Montefiore and Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University.

USC Viterbi engineers cut time to 3-D print heterogeneous objects from hours to minutes
Three-dimensional printing has long had the potential to revolutionize manufacturing, but so far its application in the marketplace has been held back by slow fabrication, especially for heterogeneous objects.

Recessions experienced in mid-life linked to higher risk of cognitive decline later on
People who live through economic recessions in early to mid-life may be at higher risk of cognitive decline in later life, suggests research published online in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Job market mixed for college grads
A steadily improving job market will greet most college graduates this year, although those with a newly minted MBA may find tough sledding, according to Michigan State University's annual Recruiting Trends report.

UT Arlington's Nguyen named American Heart Association fellow
Associate bioengineering professor Kytai Nguyen has been elected as a fellow of the American Heart Association, an honor conferred by the national organization's Council on Basic Cardiovascular Sciences.

Blood vessel tangles in brain best left alone, study suggests
Patients with a condition that causes blood vessels in the brain to form an abnormal tangle could be helped by the findings of new research.

Too much weekly sport seems to be as bad as too little for teen wellbeing
Too much weekly sport seems to be as bad as too little for teen well-being, suggesting there's an inverted U-shaped relationship between the two, finds research published online in the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Brits Abroad: Photographic exhibition features British expatriates in Spain
A photographic exhibition challenging stereotypes of

Study finds differences in brains of children with nonverbal learning disability
A Michigan State University researcher has discovered the first anatomical evidence that the brains of children with a nonverbal learning disability -- long considered a

Hormone therapy could enhance the therapeutic effect of head and facial bone grafts
Bone grafts, which are used to treat head injuries and birth defects, still pose major medical challenges, but scientists are reporting progress toward a new hormone therapy that could improve the outcomes of these surgeries.

Tropical Cyclone Helen headed for landfall in India
Tropical Cyclone 04B has strengthened and been renamed

Illinois receives Grand Challenges Explorations grants
Two Illinois professors, Daniel Rock and Mark Kuhlenschmidt, are receiving Grand Challenges Explorations grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for research on single dose perpetual livestock vaccines and a system to study the dangerous protozoan Cryptosporidium.

Long-term unemployment may accelerate aging in men
Men who are unemployed for more than two years show signs of faster aging in their DNA, a new study has found.

Researcher test first-in-class compound for neuroprotection, hope of stopping MS disease progression
A $500,000 drug development grant from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society was awarded to a partnership between a multiple sclerosis research team at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and Karyopharm Therapeutics Inc., a clinical stage pharmaceutical company.

Current practice may over-diagnose vitamin D deficiency
The current

Smokers who quit cut heart disease risk faster than previous estimates
Certain smokers who quit can reduce their risk of heart disease to the level of never-smokers sooner than previously thought.

Ancient Siberian genome reveals genetic origins of Native-Americans
The genome sequence of a 24,000-year-old Siberian individual has provided a key piece of the puzzle in the quest for Native-American origins.

Dismantling Syria's chemical weapons in the midst of war
Syria no longer has the capacity to produce new chemical weapons en masse, but arms control experts caution that what remains is the more difficult job of destroying the existing stockpile in the midst of the country's brutal civil war.

Geneticists receive funding to improve citrus production and health
Two plant geneticists at the University of California, Riverside have received a $450,000 grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture of the US Department of Agriculture to develop a

New health economics study highlights long-term benefits of rotator cuff surgery
Each year, close to two million people in the United States visit their doctor for shoulder pain.

Researchers use CT and 3-D printers to recreate dinosaur fossils
Data from computed tomography scans can be used with three-dimensional printers to make accurate copies of fossilized bones, according to new research.

Reducing the salt in bread without losing saltiness, thanks to a texture trick
Want to make bread taste pleasantly salty without adding more salt?

Top hospitals reduce readmissions by preventing complications across all diagnoses
Checking back into the hospital within 30 days of discharge is not only bad news for patients, but also for hospitals, which now face financial penalties for high readmissions.

Novel material stores unusually large amounts of hydrogen
An international team of researchers has synthesized a new material that stores an unusually large amount of hydrogen.

Engineering education may diminish concern for public welfare issues
Collegiate engineering education may foster a

Sudden steep drop in blood pressure on standing from lying down may predict atrial fibrillation
Results of a Johns Hopkins-led study have identified a possible link between a history of sudden drops in blood pressure and the most common form of irregular heartbeat.

In an era of less media scrutiny, John F. Kennedy hid serious health problems from the public
An article published in Annals of Internal Medicine discusses the surprising health history of President John F.

Elsevier and Algerian Ministry of Higher Education and Research announce the winners of 2013 Algerian Scopus Awards
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical, and medical information products and services, and the Algerian Ministry of Higher Education today announced the winners of the 2013 Algerian Scopus Awards.

Aging erodes genetic control, but that's flexible
In yeast at least, the aging process appears to reduce an organism's ability to silence certain genes that need to be silenced.

Dartmouth-led study shows diet alone can be significant source of arsenic
Diet alone can be a significant source of arsenic exposure regardless of arsenic concentrations in drinking and cooking water, a Dartmouth College-led study finds.

Scripps oceanography researchers engineer breakthrough for biofuel production
Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have developed a method for greatly enhancing biofuel production in tiny marine algae.

Insomnia linked to mortality risk
Insomnia, the most common sleep disorder, affects up to one-third of the population in the United States.

Frequent breaks from sedentary behavior makes kids healthier
This study suggests that frequent interruptions in children's sedentary time -- or the number of times children got up, rather than the duration of the break -- can have a positive impact on reducing global health risks.

EORTC head & neck cancer trial shows assessing HRQOL is valuable to both patients and their doctors
EORTC trial 24954 set out to compare two treatment schemes for patients with respectable hypopharyngeal and laryngeal cancers, and the results published in Cancer show that there is a trend towards worse HRQOL scores in patients receiving alternating chemoradiotherapy (alternating arm) as opposed to those given sequential induction chemotherapy and radiotherapy (sequential arm).

Excessive testosterone raises mortality risk in older men
Older men whose testosterone levels were neither low nor high tended to live longer, according to new research accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

USF researchers show invasive sparrows immune cells sharpen as they spread
Researchers find the immune systems of house sparrows at the edge of the species' range in Kenya were more attuned to finding dangerous parasites than birds from older sites in the same country.

Almost two-thirds of women who attempt natural delivery after a C-section are successful
Almost two-thirds of women who attempt a natural delivery after having a cesarean section for their first birth are successful, according to a new study published Nov.

Coffee may help perk up your blood vessels
A small study showed that a cup of coffee improved small blood vessel function.

National survey finds frog abnormalities are rare
A 10-year study by the US Fish and Wildlife Service shows some good news for frogs and toads on national wildlife refuges.

Size, connectivity of brain region linked to anxiety level in young children, Stanford study shows
Stanford University School of Medicine researchers have shown that by measuring the size and connectivity of a part of the brain associated with processing emotion -- the amygdala -- they can predict the degree of anxiety a young child is experiencing in daily life.

Graduate school Symmetry Breaking in Fundamental Interactions continues with second phase
The German Research Foundation has extended the Research Training Group on

International Tree Nut Council funded study links nut consumption to reduced death rate
In a study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers looked at the association of nut consumption with total and cause-specific mortality among 76,464 women in the Nurses' Health Study and 42,498 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.

Latest findings on how alcohol impairs the immune system
On Nov. 22, leading alcohol researchers from the United States and Europe will present the latest findings on how alcohol impairs the immune system.

IUPUI study: Finding Occam's razor in an era of information overload
How to predict actions and reactions of things invisible to human eye?

Temple's Dr. Steven Houser recognized by the American Heart Association
Steven R. Houser, Ph.D., FAHA, Director of the Cardiovascular Research Center at Temple University School of Medicine, has been studying the heart for nearly three and a half decades.

Introducing solid foods while continuing to breast feed could prevent child allergies
Introducing solid food with breast milk after the 17th week of birth could reduce food allergies in babies, according to University of Southampton research.

Predicting human body height from DNA
Predicting adult body height from genetic data is helpful in several areas such as pediatric endocrinology and forensic investigations.

Box office success linked to blogging, study finds
Though it would seem that studios have little control over public reaction to their movies, a new study by Pradeep K.

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation awards $600,000 grant to Commons Lab to continue mass collaboration work
The Commons Lab of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars has received a two-year, $600,000 grant from the Alfred P.

Framework could improve southeast rainfall forecasts
A new study by two Duke University scientists may help improve seasonal forecasts in the Southeastern US by providing a new Bayesian statistical

Focusing on faces
Difficulties in social interaction are considered to be one of the behavioral hallmarks of autism spectrum disorders.

Hedgehog's long snout finds a cure
In 2013 the European Medicines Agency approved a new anti-cancer drug, Erivedge, developed by Genentech and Curis Inc., for the treatment of basal cell carcinoma.

Aging impacts epigenome in human skeletal muscle
Our epigenome is a set of chemical switches that turn parts of our genome off and on at strategic times and locations.

Scientists create perfect solution to iron out kinks in surfaces
A new technique that allows curved surfaces to appear flat to electromagnetic waves has been developed by scientists at Queen Mary University of London.

3 new wafer trapdoor spiders from Brazil
Scientists discover three new gorgeous species of the wafer trapdoor genus Fufius.

Researchers break a theoretical time barrier on bouncing droplets
Those who study hydrophobic materials -- water-shedding surfaces such as those found in nature and created in the laboratory -- are familiar with a theoretical limit on the time it takes for a water droplet to bounce away from such a surface.

Scientists far from finish line in understanding anemia in female athletes
When Kaitlyn Patterson's fatigue progressed to hyperventilating even during slow runs, and then forced her to quit high school distance running for the season, she knew something was very wrong.

Early data show potential for investigational bioengineered vessel as dialysis graft
An investigational, man-made blood vessel used in vascular grafts for kidney dialysis patients may potentially show encouraging early results among study patients in Poland, according to preliminary data reported Wednesday by a researcher at Duke Medicine.

World's leading lung societies unite to call for improvements in health care
Experts from the world's leading lung organizations have come together for the first time to call for a worldwide effort to improve health-care policies and systems and care delivery to make a positive difference for the lung health of the world.

New research gives clues of antibiotic use and resistance in US children's hospitals
Two studies published in the December issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology show antibiotic resistance patterns for children have held stable over a seven-year period and surgical patients in US children's hospitals account for 43 percent of all antibiotic use in children's hospitals, presenting an opportunity for targeted intervention.

Involving patients in their nurses' shift change reduces medical errors and satisfies patients
At shift change, incoming and outgoing nurses transfer accountability by exchanging information about the patients under their charge.

Financial decision makers need weather and climate information to manage risks
Maximizing returns on financial investments depends on accurately understanding and effectively accounting for weather and climate risks, according to a new study by the American Meteorological Society Policy Program.

X-class solar flare: Nov. 19
Adding on to a series of solar flares throughout October and November, the sun emitted another significant solar flare on Nov.

Texas A&M: 24,000-year-old skeletal remains raise new questions about first Americans
Results from a DNA study of a young boy's skeletal remains believed to be 24,000 years old could turn the archaeological world upside down -- it's been proven that nearly 30 percent of modern Native-Americans' ancestry came from this youngster's gene pool, suggesting First Americans came directly from Siberia, according to a research team that includes a Texas A&M University professor.

UH research finds potential key to learning a new language
A new study by University of Houston researchers may lead to dramatic changes in the way language is taught and learned -- especially a second language.

Team of Chicago hospitals awarded grant to accelerate stroke research, treatments
A new network dedicated to advancing research and therapies for stroke is forming in Chicago thanks to $2 million in grants from the National Institutes of Health.

Evidence of destruction in Tacloban, Philippines
The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA's Terra satellite acquired these images on Nov.

Rediscovered Apollo data gives first measure of how fast moon dust piles up
Scientists used rediscovered Apollo data to make the first determination of how fast lunar dust accumulates.

Study reveals how variant forms of APOE protein impact risk of Alzheimer's disease
Massachusetts General Hospital investigators have shown that even low levels of the Alzheimer's-associated APOE4 protein can increase the number and density of amyloid brain plaques, related neuronal damage, and the amount of soluble amyloid within the brain in mouse models of the disease.

The last croak for Darwin's frog
Deadly amphibian disease chytridiomycosis has caused the extinction of Darwin's frogs, believe scientists from the Zoological Society of London and Universidad Andres Bello, Chile.

Study is first to explain type of antimalarial drug resistance
This study explores why drugs designed to fight off malaria stop working in some people with the disease.

Mount Sinai finds brain abnormalities linked to impaired self-awareness in cocaine addiction
New research from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai reveals long-term cocaine abuse may be associated with deficits in parts of the brain involved in monitoring and overseeing one's own behavior.

Research uncovers secrets of Mars' birth from unique meteorite
As NASA prepares to launch a new Martian probe, a Florida State University scientist has uncovered what may be the first recognized example of ancient Martian crust.

New crizotinib side-effect
A University of Colorado Cancer Center study published today in the journal Cancer shows that using crizotinib to treat ALK positive non-small cell lung cancer appears to reduce kidney function when assessed by one of the most commonly used clinical methods.

E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation moving to Duke
Starting in Spring 2014, the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation will be based as an independent foundation at the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University with offices in the school's new home, Duke Environment Hall.

Neurons in brain's 'face recognition center' respond differently in patients with autism
In what are believed to be the first studies of their kind, Cedars-Sinai researchers recording the real-time firing of individual nerve cells in the brain found that a specific type of neuron in a structure called the amygdala performed differently in people who suffer from autism spectrum disorder than in those who do not.

Services fail to treat prisoners with schizophrenia -- increasing risk of violent reoffending
New research from Queen Mary University of London shows released prisoners with schizophrenia are three times more likely to be violent than other prisoners, but only if they receive no treatment or follow-up support from mental health services. 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