Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 03, 2013
UI biology professor finds 'Goldilocks' effect in snail populations
A University of Iowa researcher has discovered that a

Breast tomosynthesis increases cancer detection and reduces recall rates
Researchers have found that digital breast tomosynthesis led to reduced recall rates and an increase in cancer detection in a large breast cancer screening program.

First real-time flu forecast successful
Scientists were able to reliably predict the timing of the 2012-2013 influenza season up to nine weeks in advance of its peak.

Citrus fruit inspires a new energy-absorbing metal structure
It has been said that nature provides us with everything that we need.

Scientists discover new survival mechanism for stressed mitochondria
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have discovered a natural mechanism that cells use to protect mitochondria, the tiny but essential

LSTM researchers among first to sequence snake genome
Researchers from LSTM, along with a team of international biologists who have recently sequenced the genome of the king cobra, say that their work reveals dynamic evolution and adaptation in the snake venom system, which seemingly occurs in response to an evolutionary arms race between venomous snakes and their prey.

Top scientists to present at Epigenetic Control and Cellular Plasticity symposium
The second annual Epigenetic Control and Cellular Plasticity symposium will focus on how epigenetic control and chromatin remodeling contribute to various processes that lead to cellular plasticity.

Antarctic fjords are climate-sensitive hotspots of diversity in a rapidly warming region
In the first significant study of seafloor communities in the glacier-dominated fjords along the west Antarctic Peninsula, scientists expected to find an impoverished seafloor highly disturbed by glacial sedimentation, similar to what has been documented in well-studied Arctic regions.

Model: Ocean currents shape Europa's icy shell in ways critical for potential habitats
In a finding of relevance to the search for life in our solar system, researchers have shown the subsurface ocean on Jupiter's moon Europa may have deep currents and circulation patterns with heat and energy transfers capable of sustaining biological life.

NIST announces new center for materials research to advance manufacturing and innovation
NIST has announced that it has selected a consortium led by Northwestern University to establish a new center of excellence for advanced materials research.

New book 'Going Viral' explores nature, impact of Internet virality
Will we of the early 21th century be remembered for Internet memes like Grumpy Cat?

Researchers turn current sound-localization theories 'on their ear'
A recent paper by Mass. Eye and Ear/Harvard Medical School researchers in collaboration with researchers at the Ecole Normale Superieure, France, challenge the two dominant theories of how people localize sounds, explain why neuronal responses to sounds are so diverse and show how sound can be localized, even with the absence of one half of the brain.

Expedition yields unexpected clues to ocean mysteries
A University of Houston geoscientist and his colleagues reveal new discoveries about Earth's development, following a major international expedition that recovered the first-ever drill core from the lower crust of the Pacific Ocean.

20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014) plenary speakers announced
More than 14,000 participants and 1,200 journalists from approximately 200 countries are expected to convene in Melbourne for the 20th International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2014), which represents a tremendous opportunity to highlight the diverse nature of the epidemic worldwide and in the Asia Pacific region specifically and the unique responses to it.

NSU researcher receives US Patent for developing fall prevention model
Patrick Hardigan, Ph.D., executive director for Health Professions Division research at Nova Southeastern University, set out to develop a model used to help predict the effect of medication and dosage on injurious falling.

NERC announces the winner of its first photo and essay competition
The winners of NERC's inaugural short article and photography competition were announced at an awards ceremony in central London this evening.

Elsevier and the Library of Alexandria sign an agreement to provide access for low inccome countries
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, and the Library of Alexandria announced today that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to provide 150 researchers working in least-developed and low-income countries across the globe with access to ScienceDirect.

Anglo-French partnership develops guidance on future management of English Channel
An Anglo-French partnership of academic, government, industry and environmental organisations are working together to influence future policy decisions affecting the world's busiest waterway.

New study examines methods to reduce acute care costs without sacrificing quality
Jesse Pines, M.D., director of the Office of Clinical Practice Innovation and professor of emergency medicine and health policy at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, was recently published in the journal Health Affairs for his study titled

Accelerated corrosion testing of silver provides clues about performance in atmospheric conditions
Gaining a deeper understanding of how environments containing humidity and ozone combined with sodium chloride surface contamination and ultraviolet illumination affect the corrosion rate of silver will enable researchers to create new models to better predict real-world atmospheric corrosion rates.

Plant breeding academy opens to boost Africa's food supply with improved indigenous crops
The African Orphan Crops Consortium (AOCC) today opened the African Plant Breeding Academy to help improve the livelihoods of Africa's smallholder farmers and their families, reduce hunger and boost Africa's food supply.

Improving patient continuity of care in hospitals linked with reduction in medical errors
Implementation of a multifaceted program to improve patient handoffs (change in staff caring for a patient) among physicians-in-training residents at a children's hospital was associated with a reduction in medical errors and preventable adverse events, according to a study appearing in the Dec.

Beetles that live with ants: A remarkably large and colorful new species from Guyane
The Pseudomorphini Tribe of the Family Carabidae is a group of extraordinary beetles reported to live with ants in the soil and in the rainforest canopy.

Thousands of new particles in workplaces despite large knowledge gap
In a growing number of industries, workers are often unknowingly exposed to nanoparticles (NPs).

New research will allow more reliable dating of major past events
Academics have developed a new internationally agreed radiocarbon calibration curve which will allow key past events to be dated more accurately.

Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation to host conference on valvular heart disease
The Minneapolis Heart Institute Foundation™ has created a scientific program,

Prostate cancer stem cells are a moving target, UCLA researchers say
Prostate cancer stem cells evolve into different cells as prostate cancer progresses becoming a moving target for therapy.

Study examines incidence, trend of substance use disorder among medical residents
Among anesthesiology residents entering primary training from 1975 to 2009, 0.86 percent had a confirmed substance use disorder during training, with the incidence of this disorder increasing over the study period and the risk of relapse high, according to a study appearing in the Dec.

Laser communication mission targets 2017 launch
NASA's next laser communication mission recently passed a Preliminary Design Review, another major milestone towards the launch of the Laser Communications Relay Demonstration scheduled for 2017.

Aviation initiative to get $2.6 million to test unmanned aircraft systems
The addition of unmanned aircraft into the national airspace is expected to create a billion-dollar industry in the United States in the coming years.

U of T study finds that fear of being single leads people to settle for less in relationships
Fear of being single is a meaningful predictor of settling for less in relationships among both men and women, a new University of Toronto study has found.

Planetarium and visitor center donated to ESO
ESO has received a donation of a planetarium and visitor center at the site of its Headquarters in Garching bei München, Germany.

Signalers vs. strong silent types: Sparrows exude personalities during fights
Some song sparrows are more effusive than others in defending territory.

Molecular sensor detects early signs of multiple sclerosis, Gladstone study finds
For some, the disease multiple sclerosis (MS) attacks its victims slowly over a period of years.

New thermoelectronic generator
Through a process known as thermionic conversion, heat energy can be converted into electricity with very high efficiency.

UCSB team discovers how to change cell types by flipping a single switch
With few exceptions, cells don't change type once they have become specialized -- a heart cell, for example, won't suddenly become a brain cell.

Silent stalkers of dark ocean waters
The mating roar of a male harbor seal is supposed to attract a partner, not a predator.

Nanotechnology experts to gather in Singapore for 3rd Nano Today Conference
Over 400 scientists worldwide will converge in Singapore for the 3rd Nano Today Conference which will be held at the Biopolis on December 9 to 11, 2013.

Companies could make the switch to wood power
Some companies could economically convert their operations to wood boilers for heat and power, according to a team of forestry researchers.

Many trial results in ClinicalTrials.gov not published
The trial registry ClinicalTrials.gov, which permits posting of trial results, includes results of some trials that have not been published in a peer-reviewed journal and in some cases includes more information than published trials, according to Carolina Riveros (INSERM, Paris, France) and colleagues, authors of a PLOS Medicine study published this week.

New compound for slowing the aging process can lead to novel treatments for brain diseases
A joint collaboration between researchers at the Hebrew university of Jerusalem and the startup company TyrNovo may lead to a potential treatment of brain diseases.

Alzheimer's risk gene may begin to affect brains as early as childhood, CAMH research shows
People who carry a high-risk gene for Alzheimer's disease show changes in their brains beginning in childhood, decades before the illness appears, new research from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health suggests.

Hubble traces subtle signals of water on hazy worlds
Using the powerful eye of NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, two teams of scientists have found faint signatures of water in the atmospheres of five distant planets.

United Technologies plans $10 million investment for UConn systems engineering institute
The UConn School of Engineering, in partnership with United Technologies Corporation, has launched the UTC Institute for Advanced Systems Engineering at UConn, thanks to $10 million in planned investments from UTC.

Obesity, smoking increase risk after immediate breast reconstruction with implants
New research findings published in the December issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons confirm that factors such as smoking and obesity increase the odds of early implant loss in women who undergo mastectomy and immediate breast reconstruction with implants.

How onions recognize when to bulb
New research from New Zealand identifies the gene that controls onion bulb deveopment will help to breed new varieties tailored to grow in specific conditions.

Remembrances of things past
Berkeley Lab researchers have discovered a way to introduce a shape memory effect in bismuth ferrite that is larger than any observed in a metal.

Our pupils adjust as we imagine bright and dark scenes
Conjuring up a visual image in the mind -- like a sunny day or a night sky -- has a corresponding effect on the size of our pupils, as if we were actually seeing the image, according to new research published in Psychological Science.

1950s pandemic influenza virus remains a health threat, particularly to those under 50
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have evidence that descendants of the H2N2 avian influenza A virus that killed millions worldwide in the 1950s still pose a threat to human health, particularly to those under 50.

Forest science benefits water resources, aids developing countries
US Forest Service researchers are expanding a web-based planning tool designed to project future water availability in the United States, Mexico, and Africa.

SCPMA published special issue of 85th anniversary for the Institute of Physics, CAS
In celebration of the 85th anniversary for the Institute of Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Science China-Physics, Mechanics & Astronomy published a special issue in Dec.

New evidence suggests Neanderthals organized their living spaces
Scientists have found that Neanderthals organized their living spaces in ways that would be familiar to modern humans, a discovery that once again shows similarities between these two close cousins.

Rensselaer researchers to map step-by-step mechanism of photosynthesis
With support from the Photosynthetic Systems Division at the US Department of Energy, researchers in the School of Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute are expanding a successful research program to uncover the minute workings of the photosynthetic protein, Photosystem II.

Dispelling an urban legend, new study shows who uses emergency departments frequently
Frequent emergency department users are have a substantial burden of disease, often having multiple chronic conditions and many hospitalizations, according to the analysis of Medicaid data for New York City by researchers at NYU Wagner and the University of California (San Francisco).

Continuing with pledge pathways to 2030 could push climate goals out of reach
Current pledges for greenhouse gas emission reductions are inadequate and will further increase the challenge to reach internationally agreed climate targets, according to new research from a global consortium of 13 international research teams coordinated by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impacts Research.

International study finds heart disease similar in men and women
An analysis of data from an international multicenter study of coronary computed tomography angiography reveals that men and women with mild coronary artery disease and similar cardiovascular risk profiles share similar prognoses.

Agricultural fires in Ecuador Dec. 3, 2013
The fires (outlined in red) in this image of Ecuador taken by the Aqua satellite are most likely agricultural in nature.

Malaria treatment could improve in children
Antimalarial drug resistance has hampered malaria control programs for almost 60 years.

Domestication of dogs may have elaborated on a pre-existing capacity of wolves to learn from humans
Wolves can learn from observing humans and pack members where food is hidden and recognize when humans only pretend to hide food, reports a study for the first time in the open-access journal Frontiers in Psychology.

Fruit pest targeted by genomic research
Genome sequencing of the spotted wing drosophila, a major fruit pest, is expected to accelerate basic and applied research, leading to better monitoring and control strategies for the insect.

HIV-1 movement across genital tract cells surprisingly enhanced by usurping antibody response
Infectious disease researchers have identified a novel mechanism wherein HIV-1 may facilitate its own transmission by usurping the antibody response directed against itself.

Studies: Moral outrage may influence jurors
Two new studies point to important legal implications when moral outrage is generated through the interactive effect of anger and disgust.

$12.5 million, five-year research grant allows scientists to tackle melanoma from multiple angles
A team of melanoma scientists from The Wistar Institute and the University of Pennsylvania received a $12.5 M, five-year program project grant (P01) from the National Institutes of Health to continue trailblazing research on targeted therapies in melanoma.

KAIST developed the biotemplated design of piezoelectric energy harvesting device
A research team led by Professor Keon Jae Lee and Professor Yoon Sung Nam from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at KAIST has developed the biotemplated design of flexible piezoelectric energy harvesting device, called

3-D mammography increases cancer detection and reduces call-back rates, Penn study finds
Compared to traditional mammography, 3-D mammography -- known as digital breast tomosynthesis -- found 22 percent more breast cancers and led to fewer call backs in a large screening study at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, researchers reported today at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America.

Assessing dangerous climate change and call for climate change response papers
PLOS ONE is publishing

Wiley announces new agreement with Educational Testing Service
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., was today announced as the new publisher of research reports from Educational Testing Service (ETS), the world's largest nonprofit educational assessment and research organization.

Higher case load lowers cost of repairing bones that protect eye
Adding to evidence that

Integrated pest management for billbugs in orchardgrass
A new article in the open-access Journal of Integrated Pest Management called presents an overview of the biology of orchardgrass and its associated billbug pests.

UK review examines gender differences in COPD patients
A new study review authored by the University of Kentucky's Dr.

Clemson professor receives Menzie Environmental Education Award
Clemson University professor Stephen Klaine received the Menzie Environmental Education Award from the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.

Study documents catastrophic collapse of Sahara's wildlife
A new study led by the Wildlife Conservation Society and Zoological Society or London warns that the world's largest tropical desert, the Sahara, has suffered a catastrophic collapse of its wildlife populations.

AGU Fall Meeting: Press conference schedule; briefings streamed online; badge pickup
Please visit the 2013 AGU Fall Meeting Media Center for previous media advisories that include important information about visas for international reporters, searching the scientific program and Fall Meeting events.

New insights into cancer evolution help define screening window of opportunity
Researchers discover that cancer arises a few years after cells undergo drastic mutations, contrary to common belief.

Simulation-based communication training does not improve quality of end-of-life care
Among internal medicine and nurse practitioner trainees, simulation-based communication skills training compared with usual education did not improve quality of communication about end-of-life care or quality of end-of-life care but was associated with a small increase in patients' symptoms of depression, according to a study appearing in the Dec.

Development near Oregon, Washington public forests
Private development along the edges of most public forests in Oregon and Washington more than doubled since the 1970s, a new study conducted by the US Forest Service Pacific's Northwest Research Station has found.

Breast cancer risk related to changes in breast density as women age
Automated breast density measurement is predictive of breast cancer risk in younger women, and that risk may be related to the rate at which breast density changes in some women as they age, according to new research.

Los Angeles benefactor pledges $5M to Alzheimer's research at USC
Los Angeles resident Selim Zilkha, a member of the Keck School of Medicine of USC Board of Overseers, has pledged a gift of $5 million to the school to fund a new endowed chair in Alzheimer's disease research.

Talk therapy may reverse biological changes in PTSD patients
A new paper published in Biological Psychiatry suggests that cognitive behavioral therapy for posttraumatic stress disorder not only reduces symptoms but also affects the underlying biology of this disorder.

Tuberculosis: Nature has a double-duty antibiotic up her sleeve
Technology has made it possible to synthesize increasingly targeted drugs.

Sounding tall
Our voice can reveal a lot about us: our age, our gender, and now -- it seems -- our height as well.

Do sports concussions really cause chronic traumatic encephalopathy?
It's been widely reported that football and other contact sports increase the risk of a debilitating neurological condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Effect on exam scores of attending clinical and tutorial-based activities by medical students
Among fourth-year medical students completing an 8-week obstetrics/gynecology clinical rotation, there was a positive association between attendance at clinical and tutorial-based activities and overall examination scores, according to a study appearing in the Dec.

New report calls for attention to abrupt impacts from climate change
A new report from the National Research Council extends the idea of abrupt climate change, stating that even steady, gradual change in the physical climate system can have abrupt impacts elsewhere -- in human infrastructure and ecosystems for example -- if critical thresholds are crossed.

Disability, distress in RA patients cut in half over last 20 years
New research reveals that patients with rheumatoid arthritis today have an easier time with daily living than patients diagnosed two decades ago.

Children's National researcher authors study on pediatric brain stem tumors
Children's National researcher, Javad Nazarian, Ph.D., authored a new study entitled,

Exercise beneficial for dementia
Exercise may benefit older people with dementia by improving their cognitive functioning and ability to carry out everyday activities, according to a new systematic review published in The Cochrane Library.

Protein in prostate biopsies signals increased cancer risk
Researchers from Weill Cornell Medical College have shown that the presence of a particular protein in biopsied prostate tissue substantially increases the likelihood that cancer will develop in that organ.

Manufacturing a new gut to treat GI diseases
Researchers grow extensive numbers of intestinal stem cells, then coax them to develop into different types of mature intestinal cells.

MBL scientist Anne Giblin named 2013 AAAS Fellow
Anne E. Giblin, a senior scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory has been named a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the world's largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal, Science.

Rainfall to blame for decline in Arctic peregrines
Rain, crucial to sustaining life on Earth, is proving deadly for young peregrine falcons in Canada's Arctic, a University of Alberta study shows.

Have researchers found a new treatment for sepsis?
University of Leicester academics discover new receptor that may be instrumental in the body's response to devastating disease.

Circulating tumor cells in blood can predict a patient's response to chemotherapy
Scientists from the GENYO Centre and the University of Granada (Spain) have discovered that these cells are an excellent clinical tool to determine the response of treatments administered to patients with cancer of the colon.

Diversity initiatives do not increase representation of minorities on medical school faculty
From 2000 to 2010, the presence of a minority faculty development program at US medical schools was not associated with greater underrepresented minority faculty representation, recruitment, or promotion, according to a study appearing in the Dec.

Toxigenic C. difficile resides harmlessly in infants, poses risk to adults
Infants and toddlers frequently carry toxigenic Clostridium difficile, usually with no harm to themselves, but can serve as a reservoir and spread the bacteria to adults in whom it can cause severe disease, according to a study by a team of Swedish researchers published ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology.

Scripps leads first global snapshot of key coral reef fishes
In the first global assessment of its kind, researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have produced a landmark report on the impact of fishing on a group of fish known to protect the health of coral reefs.

New classification system for cardiomyopathy
Leading cardiologists at The Mount Sinai Hospital have contributed to the development of a new classification system called MOGE(S) for cardiomyopathies, the diseases of the heart muscle which can lead to heart enlargement and heart failure.

Gene therapy bolsters enzyme activity to combat Alzheimer's disease in mice
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have identified an enzyme that can halt or possibly even reverse the build-up of toxic protein fragments known as plaques in the brains of mice with Alzheimer's disease.

Mathematicians awarded for pioneering research
The Heinz Hopf Prize 2013 is being awarded to the two mathematicians Yakov Eliashberg from Stanford University and Helmut Hofer from the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton.

Neurofeedback tunes key brain networks, improving subjective well-being in PTSD
Pioneering research conducted at Western University (London, Canada) points to a promising avenue for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder: utilising neurofeedback training to alter the plasticity of brain networks linked to the condition.

Screeners miss the really rare stuff
A smartphone app that turns gamers into airport baggage screeners is showing that finding weapons and other illegal items isn't all that easy, even when you're looking for them.

American Mathematical Society to award prizes
On Thursday, January 16, 2014, the American Mathematical Society will award several major prizes at the Joint Mathematics Meetings in Baltimore.

Unlikely collaboration leads to discovery of 'gender-bending' plant
Bucknell University biology professor Chris Martine has discovered and described a new species of wild eggplant, found in Australia's Lost City.

Majority of Americans believe another government shutdown likely in coming months
Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of Americans say it's likely there will be another government shutdown in the months ahead as Congress continues to debate deficit and budget issues, according to a new national public opinion poll commissioned by Research!America and the American Society of Hematology.

Building life-saving batteries: American Chemical Society Prized Science video
The engineering feat that enables a device to jolt a dangerously misbehaving heart back to its normal rhythm and save millions of lives is featured in a new video from the popular Prized Science series from the American Chemical Society.

NASA sees thirty-third tropical depression form in Northwestern Pacific
The Northwestern Pacific Ocean tropical cyclone season continues with the formation of the thirty-third tropical depression today, Dec.

New research shows promise for possible HIV cure
Researchers have used radioimmunotherapy to destroy remaining human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected cells in the blood samples of patients treated with antiretroviral therapy, offering the promise of a strategy for curing HIV infection.

'Spooky action' builds a wormhole between 'entangled' quantum particles
New research indicates a phenomenon known as
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