Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 02, 2013
2 LSU Professors named AAAS Fellows
LSU Professors John Fleeger and Robert Lipton have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS.

What makes the deadliest form of malaria specific to people?
Why does the deadliest malaria parasite, Plasmodium Falciparum, only infect humans?

Messy children make better learners
Parents, let your children get messy in the high chair.

Genetic mutation may play key role in risk of lethal prostate cancer in overweight patients
Obesity is associated with a worse prostate cancer prognosis among men whose tumors contain a specific genetic mutation.

Athletes and the words for actions
The International School for Advanced Studies of Trieste took part in a study on a sample of professional women volleyball players to better understand the relationship between the cognitive and motor systems.

Diverticulosis is much less risky than previously thought, UCLA researchers find
People who have diverticulosis, or pouches in the lining of the colon, often worry that they will eventually develop a painful and sometimes serious condition called diverticulitis, but the risk is less than was thought.

Congenital heart defects affects long-term developmental outcome
Babies born with a congenital heart defect may face long-term neurodevelopmental impairments.

To boost concern for the environment, emphasize a long future, not impending doom
Looking back on a nation's past can prompt action that leads to a greener future, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Difficult dance steps: Team learns how membrane transporter moves
Researchers have tried for decades to understand the undulations and gyrations that allow transport proteins to shuttle molecules from one side of a cell membrane to the other.

Newly discovered human peptide may become a new treatment for diabetes
There is new hope that diabetes might be thwarted. New research published in the December 2013 issue of The FASEB Journal shows how a recently discovered human peptide, called humanin, could lead to new treatments for people living with diabetes.

Living with chronic pain: The daily struggle with a 'new self'
People who suffer with chronic musculoskeletal pain face a daily struggle with their sense of self and find it difficult to prove the legitimacy of their condition.

Dual protein knockout could lead to new male contraceptive
A new male contraceptive could be on the horizon after scientists identified a novel way to block the transport of sperm during ejaculation.

NASA Goddard joins new virtual research institute
Researchers from NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

West coast lumber and log exports increased in value, volume in third quarter of 2013
Lumber and log exports from Washington, Oregon, northern California, and Alaska both increased dramatically in the third quarter of 2013, compared to this time last year, the US Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station reported.

Elsevier announces the launch of open access journal: Current Plant Biology
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, today announced the launch of a new open access journal: Current Plant Biology.

Researchers analyze growth potential in African bank loans
In Africa, small women-owned business owners find it easier to obtain loans than their male counterparts.

Who can objectively assess autonomic nerve functions in patients with spinal cord injury?
Who can objectively assess autonomic nerve functions in patients with spinal cord injury?

The importance of standardizing drug screening studies
A bioinformatics expert at the IRCM, Benjamin Haibe-Kains, recently published an article stressing the importance of standardizing drug screening studies in the prestigious scientific journal Nature.

Amplifying our vision of the infinitely small
Richard Martel and his research team at the Department of Chemistry of the Université de Montréal have discovered a method to improve detection of the infinitely small.

Salk scientists crack riddle of important drug target
A new approach to mapping how proteins interact with each other, developed at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies, could aid in the design of new drugs for diseases such as diabetes and osteoporosis.

SU biologist develops method for monitoring shipping noise in dolphin habitat
A biologist in Syracuse University's College of Arts and Sciences has developed a system of techniques for tracking ships and monitoring underwater noise levels in a protected marine mammal habitat.

Tracking fracking pollution
A team of geochemistry researchers has just completed the first detailed study to examine the natural quality of groundwater prior to fracking.

Study shows reforestation in Lower Mississippi Valley reduces sediment
A modeling study by US Forest Service researchers shows that reforesting the Lower Mississippi Alluvial Valley can significantly reduce runoff from agricultural lands and the amount of sediment entering the area's rivers and streams -- and ultimately the Gulf of Mexico.

Why does cognitive dysfunction appear after subarachnoid hemorrhage?
Why does cognitive dysfunction appear after subarachnoid hemorrhage?

Osteoporosis drugs compared for side effects, efficacy in Loyola study
A study comparing the efficacy and tolerability of two popular osteoporosis drugs, denosumab and zoledronic acid, found that denosumab had a significantly greater effect on increasing spine bone mineral density and zoledronic acid caused more flulike symptoms.

How bacteria respond so quickly to external changes
Understanding how bacteria adapt so quickly to changes in their external environment with continued high growth rates is one of the major research challenges in molecular microbiology.

Ethnic identification helps Latina adolescents resist media barrage of body images
A strong sense of ethnic identity can help Latina girls feel positive about their body and appearance, a new study concludes, even as this group slips further into dissatisfaction with themselves when compared to a media-filled world of unrealistic images of thin white women.

MRI technique reveals low brain iron in ADHD patients
Magnetic resonance imaging provides a noninvasive way to measure iron levels in the brains of people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to a new study.

Himalayan flowers shed light on climate change
Flower color in some parts of the world, including the Himalayas, has evolved to attract bees as pollinators, research has shown for the first time.

Mount Sinai study: Age-related cognitive decline linked to energy in synapses in prefrontal cortex
Mount Sinai scientists have demonstrated that synaptic health in the brain is closely linked to cognitive decline, and that estrogen restores synaptic health and also improves working memory.

Scientists present groundbreaking HIV prevention research
Researchers at the Oak Crest Institute of Science are making history by proving that it's possible to develop a drug delivery system that has the potential to protect women from sexually transmitted HIV and herpes simplex virus, while at the same time preventing unintended pregnancy.

Scientists build a low-cost, open-source 3-D metal printer
Using under $1,500 worth of materials, Joshua Pearce's team has built a 3-D metal printer than can lay down thin layers of steel to form complex geometric objects.

Researchers revise Darwin's thinking on invasive species
Rebutting Charles Darwin, researchers writing in the latest issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences say the relatedness of native and introduced species is not as important as the details of how they go about doing their business.

New UK study suggests low vitamin D causes damage to brain
A new study led by University of Kentucky researchers suggests that a diet low in vitamin D causes damage to the brain.

Illinois initiative creates futuristic facility
Through the CompGen initiative, the University of Illinois' Institute for Genomic Biology and the Coordinated Science Laboratory in the College of Engineering are bringing together top faculty in genomic and computational sciences to create a dynamic team that will develop new technology for genomic breakthroughs.

Process holds promise for production of synthetic gasoline
A chemical system developed by researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago can efficiently perform the first step in the process of creating syngas, gasoline and other energy-rich products out of carbon dioxide.

Division of labor in the test tube
The division of labor is more efficient than a struggle through life without help from others -- this also applies to microorganisms.

A new weapon in the war against superbugs
In the arms race between bacteria and modern medicine, bacteria have gained an edge.

NASA's HS3 hurricane mission called it a wrap for 2013
NASA's Hurricane and Severe Storms Sentinel airborne mission known as HS3 wrapped up for the 2013 Atlantic Ocean hurricane season at the end of Sept., and had several highlights.

Precipitation declines in Pacific Northwest mountains
Scientists previously attributed streamflow declines in the Pacific Northwest USA to warming temperatures based on data collected from long-term monitoring stations located in lower elevation valleys.

IQWiG publishes new version of its General Methods
The first step in the revision of the methods paper is completed.

When aluminum outshines gold
Aluminum's plasmonic properties may make it far more valuable than gold and silver for certain applications.

Air pollution and genetics combine to increase risk for autism
Exposure to air pollution appears to increase the risk for autism among people who carry a genetic disposition for the neurodevelopmental disorder, according to newly published research led by scientists at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California.

Leopoldina cooperates with Israeli academy
The National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and The Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities will work together even more closely in the future.

Mice can inherit learned sensitivity to a smell
A surprising example of apparent inheritance of an experience: Researchers found that when a mouse is trained to become afraid of a certain odor, his or her pups will be more sensitive to that odor, even though the pups have never encountered it.

Prenatal exposure to alcohol disrupts brain circuitry
Prenatal exposure to alcohol severely disrupts major features of brain development that potentially lead to increased anxiety and poor motor function, conditions typical in humans with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, according to neuroscientists at the University of California, Riverside.

New study sheds light on the functional importance of dinosaur beaks
Why beaks evolved in some theropod dinosaurs and what their function might have been is the subject of new research by an international team of palaeontologists published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

NASA investigating the life of Comet ISON
After several days of continued observations, scientists continue to work to determine and to understand the fate of Comet ISON: There's no doubt that the comet shrank in size considerably as it rounded the sun and there's no doubt that something made it out on the other side to shoot back into space.

11 undergraduates win travel awards to present research at fruit fly conference
Eleven undergraduates win Victoria Finnerty Travel Awards to present research at the Genetics Society of America's Drosophila Research Conference in San Diego in March, 2014.

UCSB researcher shows microplastic transfers chemicals, impacting health
With global production of plastic exceeding 280 metric tons every year, a fair amount of it makes its way to the natural environment.

Integrated pest managment techniques can help manage the Bagrada bug
An article in the latest issue of the Journal of Integrated Pest Managment provides information on the Bagrada bug's biology and host range in the United States that will facilitate the development of Integrated Pest Management strategies.

Predicting outcome for high-dose IL-2 therapy in cancer patients
Previous studies indicate that regulatory T cell (Treg) populations increase in patients undergoing HD IL-2 therapy, and in this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Lazlo Radvanyi and colleagues at M.D.

New drug cuts risk of deadly transplant side effect in half
A new class of drugs reduced the risk of patients contracting a serious and often deadly side effect of lifesaving bone marrow transplant treatments, according to a study from researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Potassium current density increased sharply after 2 weeks of NSCs neural differentiation
Potassium current density increased sharply after 2 weeks of NSCs neural differentiation.

ESC Congress 2014: Registration opens today
The ESC Congress is the world's largest and most influential cardiovascular event with over 500 expert sessions and 10,000 abstracts contributing to global awareness of the latest clinical trials and breakthrough discoveries.

ACP recommends tighter transfusion strategy to treat anemia in patients with heart disease
New ACP guideline presents evidence-based recommendations for treating anemia in patients with heart disease.

Understanding hearing
Children learning to speak depend on functional hearing. So-called cochlear implants allow deaf people to hear again by stimulating the auditory nerve directly.

Aerobic fitness and hormones predict recognition memory in young adults
Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine have found further evidence that exercise may be beneficial for brain health and cognition.

Charles M. Lieber receives the first Nano Research Award
The first Nano Research Award will be given to Charles M.

New algorithm finds you, even in untagged photos
A new algorithm designed at the University of Toronto has the power to profoundly change the way we find photos among the billions on social media sites such as Facebook and Flickr.

Information technologies could remove the 'shroud of secrecy' draped across private health care cost
Until recently, private health care costs have been hidden within a

HIV plus HPV leads to increased anal cancer risk in men
A study led by the UCLA School of Nursing found that men ages 40-69 who are having sex with other men, are HIV-infected and smoke are at a much higher risk of HPVs that most often cause anal cancer.

Secrets to 'extreme adaptation' found in Burmese python genome
The Burmese python's ability to ramp up its metabolism and enlarge its organs to swallow and digest prey whole can be traced to unusually rapid evolution and specialized adaptations of its genes and the way they work, an international team of biologists says in a new paper set to be published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Tufts experts named Fellows by American Association for the Advancement of Science
Two faculty members at Tufts University have been elected Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.

Researchers unlock a new means of growing intestinal stem cells
Researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women's Hospital have shown that they can grow unlimited quantities of intestinal stem cells, then stimulate them to develop into nearly pure populations of different types of mature intestinal cells.

Researchers turn to machines to identify breast cancer type
Team from University of Alberta and Alberta Health Services develop new technique to determine if tumours fed by estrogen.

Oxygen levels increase and decrease the effectiveness of anti-inflammatory therapies
A new research discovery published in the December 2013 issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology yields an important clue toward helping curb runaway inflammation.

Energy drinks plus alcohol pose a public health threat
Mixing energy drinks with alcohol is riskier than just drinking alcohol alone, according to a new study that examines the impact of a growing trend among young adults.

Arctic study shows key marine food web species at risk from increasing CO2
A research expedition to the Arctic, as part of the Catlin Arctic Survey, has revealed that tiny crustaceans, known as copepods, that live just beneath the ocean surface are likely to battle for survival if ocean acidity continues to rise.

Driver's eye movements key to controlled curve driving
All drivers know from personal experience that they must keep their eyes on the road when driving through curves.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for Dec. 3, 2013 -- 'Overweight and healthy' is a myth
Below is information about articles being published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Federal grant to fund development of dental fillings that self-heal, fight cavity-causing bacteria
The American Dental Association and the ADA Foundation today announced that the foundation's Anthony Volpe Research Center received a five-year, $2.2 million grant from the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research to develop new resin composite dental fillings.

Rice U. study: It's not easy 'being green'
Think you don't recycle enough? You're not alone. However, people's ability to overcome self-doubt plays a critical role in how successfully they act in support of environmental issues, according to a new study co-authored by management and organizational behavior scholars from Rice University, the University of Michigan and the University of Toronto.

New evidence that 'gout' strongly runs in the family
It's historically known as

JCI early table of contents for Dec. 2, 2013
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, Dec.

Mary Ann Liebert to receive award for stem cell education at World Stem Cell Summit in San Diego
The Genetics Policy Institute will bestow its 2013 Education Award on Mary Ann Liebert, President and CEO of the company that bears her name.

Forget the needle consider the haystack
Computer scientists at Princeton University have developed a method to uncover hidden patterns in huge data collections.

Brain connectivity study reveals striking differences between men and women
A new brain connectivity study from Penn Medicine published today in the Proceedings of National Academies of Sciences found striking differences in the neural wiring of men and women that's lending credence to some commonly-held beliefs about their behavior.

PRP therapy improves degenerative tendon disease in athletes
Ultrasound-guided delivery of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) improves functionality and reduces recovery time in athletes with degenerative disease in their tendons, according to a new study.

Airborne radar looking through thick ice during NASA polar campaigns
The bedrock hidden beneath the thick ice sheets covering Greenland and Antarctica has intrigued researchers for years.

Culling vampire bats to stem rabies in Latin America can backfire
Culling vampire bat colonies to stem the transmission of rabies in Latin America does little to slow the spread of the virus and could even have the reverse effect, according to University of Michigan researchers and their colleagues.

Stanford engineers show how to optimize carbon nanotube arrays for use in hot spots
Experimental evidence and computer simulations suggest how to grow structures with the best trade offs between three desired characteristics: strength, flexibility and the ability to dissipate heat.

Mission possible: Simulation-based training and experimentation on display
A unique system that merges the virtual and real worlds to train Sailors for combat scenarios was unveiled Dec.

Blocking antioxidants in cancer cells reduces tumor growth in mice
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Navdeep Chandel and colleagues from Northwestern University report the effects of a SOD1 pharmacological inhibitor on non-small-cell lung cancer cells.

Scientists discover that short-term energy deficits increase factors related to muscle degradation
Building upon the discovery that a high-protein diet reduces muscle loss when dieting, a new research report published online in The FASEB Journal now helps explain why.

Novel rehabilitation device improves motor skills after stroke
Using a novel stroke rehabilitation device that converts an individual's thoughts to electrical impulses to move upper extremities, stroke patients reported improvements in their motor function and ability to perform activities of daily living.

Cardiovascular Institute: Unfolded protein response contributes to sudden death in heart failure
A researcher at the Cardiovascular Institute (CVI) at Rhode Island, The Miriam and Newport hospitals has found a link to human heart failure that if blocked, may reduce the risk of sudden cardiac death.

Prescription opioid abusers prefer to get high on oxycodone and hydrocodone
Prescription opioid abuse has reached epidemic levels in the past 15 years.

USAID awards CONRAD and Eastern Virginia Medical School funding for development of new HIV prevention
Richard V. Homan, MD, President and Provost of Eastern Virginia Medical School (EVMS) and Dean of the School of Medicine, along with Alfred Z.

Head out to the ski slopes, for happiness' sake
Are you contemplating a skiing holiday? The all-out pleasure and enjoyment you experience on a pair of skis or a snowboard is positively priceless to enhance your overall happiness.

Special journal issue focuses on imaging screening
To be published online Monday, Dec. 2, a special issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology addresses imaging-based screening and radiology's increasing role in preventive medicine.

Evolution, Civil War history entwine in plant fossil with a tragic past
A fossil leaf collected on a Virginia canal bank is one of North America's oldest flowering plants, a 120-million-year-old species new to science.

Micromovements hold hidden information about severity of autism, researchers report
Movements so minute they cannot be detected by the human eye are being analyzed by researchers to diagnose autism spectrum disorder and determine its severity in children and young adults.

Johns Hopkins researchers show how a modified pacemaker strengthens failing hearts
Johns Hopkins heart researchers are unraveling the mystery of how a modified pacemaker used to treat many patients with heart failure, known as cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT), is able to strengthen the heart muscle while making it beat in a coordinated fashion.

A living desert underground
UA researchers have discovered a surprisingly diverse ecosystem of microbes in a limestone cave near Tucson, Arizona, eking out a living from not much more than drip water, rock and air.

Art could help create a better 'STEM' student
A University of Houston researcher focuses on how to incorporate creativity into STEM education with the implication that doing so will increase the quality of STEM graduates.

Detailed image shows how genomes are copied
For the first time, researchers at Umeå University in Sweden have succeeded in showing how the DNA polymerase epsilon enzyme builds new genomes.

Nanorobot for transporting drugs in the body
The first step has been taken towards developing a nanorobot that -- in the long run -- will enable the targeted transport of medications in the body.

The Affordable Care Act: Translational research experiment to improve health
An editorial by Harry P. Selker, M.D., MS.P.H., William H.

Kids whose bond with mother was disrupted early in life show changes in brain
Children who experience profound neglect have been found to be more prone to a behavior known as

New report illustrates persistent global burden of anemia among high-risk populations
Despite increasing efforts to diagnose and treat anemia worldwide, there remains a surprisingly large global burden of the disease, particularly among young children and women, according to a new report on trends in anemia between 1990 and 2010.

Imaging shows long-term impact of blast-induced brain injuries in veterans
Using a special type of magnetic resonance imaging, researchers have found that soldiers who suffered mild traumatic brain injury induced by blast exposure exhibit long-term brain differences, according to a new study.

New technique identifies pathogens in patient samples faster, in great detail
A team of Danish investigators has shown how to identify pathogens faster, directly from clinical samples.

Koalas' low-pitched voice explained by unique organ
The pitch of male koalas' mating calls is about 20 times lower than it should be, given the Australian marsupial's relatively small size.

Specific heart contractions could predict atrial fibrillation
A commonly used heart monitor may be a simple tool for predicting the risk of atrial fibrillation, the most frequently diagnosed type of irregular heart rhythm, according to researchers at UC San Francisco.

On the trail of prostate cancer
New biomarkers will improve diagnostics of endemic diseases in future, such as prostate cancer.

EASAC report warns Europe on extreme weather event increase
In a new report EASAC is warning the EU that urgent action needs to be taken to cope with the rising number of extreme weather events in Europe.

First Nations adults have more than double the risk of end-stage kidney disease
First Nations adults with diabetes have more than double the risk of end-stage kidney disease compared with non-First Nations adults, found a new study in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Burmese python genome reveals extreme adaptation
Scientists from the University of Colorado School of Medicine who sequenced the genome of the Burmese python have discovered large numbers of rapidly evolved genes in snakes.

A method to predict Alzheimer's disease within 2 years of screening
Sylvie Belleville and her team accurately predicted (at a rate of 90 percent) which of their research subjects with mild cognitive impairment would receive a clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease within the following two years and which subjects would not develop this disease.

Bronchial thermoplasty shows long-term effectiveness for asthma
The beneficial effects of bronchial thermoplasty, a non-pharmacologic treatment for asthma, last at least five years, according to researchers at National Jewish Health and other institutions.

Vitamin D decreases pain in women with type 2 diabetes and depression
Vitamin D decreases pain in women with type 2 diabetes and depression, according to a study conducted at Loyola University Chicago.

Treatment plans for brain metastases more accurately determined with aid of molecular imaging trace
Imaging with the molecular imaging tracer 18F-FDOPA can help distinguish radiation-induced lesions from new tumor growth in patients who have been treated with radiation for brain metastases, according to new research published in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine.

Key found to restoring 'exhausted' HIV-fighting immune cells
Researchers have identified a protein that causes loss of function in immune cells combating HIV.

Microplastics make marine worms sick
Tiny bits of plastic trash could spell big trouble for marine life, starting with the worms, say a team of researchers from Plymouth University and the University of Exeter who report their evidence in a pair of studies in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on Dec.

Bothersome pain afflicts half of older Americans
More than half of older adults in the United States -- an estimated 18.7 million people -- have experienced bothersome pain in the previous month, impairing their physical function and underscoring the need for public health action on pain.

LSU receives $2 million from NIH for biomedical sciences training for underrepresented students
LSU Professor Graca Vicente was recently awarded a grant of more than $2 million from the National Institutes of Health, or NIH, to continue Phase III of the Initiative for Maximizing Student Development, or IMSD.

Cardiac MRI reveals energy drinks alter heart function
Healthy adults who consumed energy drinks high in caffeine and taurine had significantly increased heart contraction rates one hour later, according to a new study.

Defending against electromagnetic attacks
Electromagnetic fields can interfere with or damage electronic devices. Electromagnetic radiation is invisible to people.

Can big cats co-exist? Study challenges lion threat to cheetah cubs
New research into cheetah cub survival has refuted the theory that lions are a cub's main predator and that big cats cannot coexist in conservation areas.

Epigenetics by Lyle Armstrong -- Now available
Garland Science is proud to announce the publication of Epigenetics by Lyle Armstrong.

Goals affect feelings of pride and shame after success and failure
When the St. Louis Cardinals lost the World Series, just how much shame did the players feel?

Silent RNAs express themselves in ALS disease
RNA molecules, used by cells to make proteins, are generally thought to be

Increased risk for cardiac ischemia in patients with PTSD
There is growing concern that long-term untreated posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms may increase the risk of developing a number of medical problems, particularly compromised cardiovascular health.

A single spray of oxytocin improves brain function in children with autism
A single dose of the hormone oxytocin, delivered via nasal spray, may improve the core social deficits in children with autism by making social interactions with other people more rewarding and more efficiently processed, Yale School of Medicine researchers report in a new study published in the Dec.

US mothers from 1965 to 2010: more TV, less housework
New research from the University of South Carolina's Arnold School of Public Health shows that mothers in the US are far less physically active than they were in previous decades and now spend more time engaged in sedentary activities like watching television than in cooking, cleaning and exercising combined. 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