Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 10, 2013
Long-term use of common heartburn and ulcer medications linked to vitamin B12 deficiency
Long-term use of commonly prescribed heartburn and ulcer medications is linked to a higher risk of vitamin B12 deficiency, according to a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

You are what your father eats
Mothers get all the attention. But a study led by McGill researcher Sarah Kimmins suggests that the father's diet before conception may play an equally important role in the health of their offspring.

Transgender medical research and provider education lacking
As a result of the limited transgender medical training offered at medical schools, very few physicians possess the knowledge needed to treat transgendered patients.

Muscular head pumps give long-proboscid fly the edge
A long-proboscid fly with an extra-long, tongue-like proboscis might seem to take extra-long to feed on a flower, but it actually has an advantage over its counterparts with average sized nectar-sipping mouth parts.

Motivating healthy adults to be more physically active improves their cardiorespiratory fitness
Fewer than half of adults in the United States meet the recommended physical activity guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Transportation research aimed at designing more livable communities
A UT Arlington civil engineer will investigate how advanced technologies can improve public transportation and alternative transportation modes as part of a national initiative aimed at developing more

New technologies for manufacturing composites
Tecnalia is participating in the REFORM project by focusing its work on the machining of composite materials by means of waterjet as well as conventional cutting.

New method for efficient removal of uranium and other heavy metals from water
A new and efficient method for the removal of uranium and other heavy metals from water has been developed at the University of Eastern Finland.

ASH late-breaking abstracts offer insights on genetic origins of disease and treatment strategies
A range of studies highlighting late-breaking research advances in the understanding and treatment of blood cancers and bleeding disorders are being presented today during the 55th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition in New Orleans.

Countdown to zero: New 'zero-dimensional' carbon nanotube may lead to superthin electronics and synt
Synthetic, man-made cells and ultrathin electronics built from a new form of 'zero-dimensional' carbon nanotube may be possible through research at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering.

Social entrepreneur elective gives students opportunity to be leaders of social change
In a new paper, New York University College of Nursing's Mattia Gilmartin describes a unique undergraduate honors elective in social entrepreneurship, which connects the nursing profession to its roots of social innovation and action for change.

Gut microbes affect MicroRNA response to bacterial infection
When it comes to fighting off pathogens like Listeria, your best allies may be the billions of microorganisms that line your gut, according to new research published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Novel cancer cell DNA damage repair mechanism unveils
Cancer cells have an exceptional ability to repair damage to their DNA caused during uncontrolled cell division.

Study raises questions about longstanding forensic identification technique
Forensic experts have long used the shape of a person's skull to make positive identifications of human remains.

Danger in disguise: UCLA researchers find brain cancer cells can 'hide' from drugs
Glioblastoma is the most common and deadly form of brain cancer.

Strong state alcohol policies protective against binge drinking
According to a new study, a novel composite measure consisting of 29 alcohol policies demonstrates that a strong alcohol policy environment is a protective factor against binge drinking in the U.S.

Resisting temptation: Why reading your horoscope on diet days might be a bad idea
Most major newspapers publish daily horoscopes, and for good reason -- even when we deny being superstitious, human nature drives us to believe in our own fate.

Measuring up
Many birds have reason to worry that the eggs in their nest might not be their own: Birds often deposit eggs into other nests and it is not easy for parents to tell their eggs from others.

Money may corrupt, but thinking about time can strengthen morality
Priming people to think about money makes them more likely to cheat, but priming them to think about time seems to strengthen their moral compass, according to new research published in Psychological Science.

Learning with 'stronger peers' yields no boost
A new study contradicts the popular theory that students perform better when surrounded by higher achieving classmates.

Serengeti's animals under pressure
New research shows that Tanzania needs to increase the buffer zones around its national parks to minimize the conflicts between humans and wild animals.

Antibiotic-resistant typhoid likely to spread despite drug control program
Restricting the use of antibiotics is unlikely to stop the spread of drug resistance in typhoid fever, according to a study funded by the Wellcome Trust and published in the journal eLife.

Boosting self-expression online may limit impulsive purchases
Long online transactions can take a toll on a person's self-control, but adding more self-expression and personal identity to those processes can help restore control, according to Penn State researchers.

Novel agent set for unique clinical test in inflammatory breast cancer
A drug now used to treat a type of lymphoma has shown surprising benefit in preclinical studies of inflammatory breast cancer.

Food and Chemical Toxicology Editor-in-Chief, A. Wallace Hayes, publishes response to letters to the editor
The following statement will be published in the journal, Food and Chemical Toxicology, alongside a selection of letters to the editors regarding the decision to retract the paper by Séralini et al.

Multimaterial 3D printers create realistic hands-on models for neurosurgical training
Researchers from the University of Malaya in Malaysia, with collaboration from researchers from the University of Portsmouth and the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, announce the creation of a cost-effective two-part model of the skull for use in practicing neurosurgical techniques.

Astrophysicists launch ambitious assessment of galaxy formation simulations
One of the most powerful tools for understanding the formation and evolution of galaxies has been the use of computer simulations -- numerical models of astrophysical processes run on supercomputers and compared with astronomical observations.

Natural disaster relief: How does psychological distance affect donations?
When natural disasters occur, news reports can tug on our hearts and influence how we react to relief efforts.

Drug-antibody pair has promising activity in non-Hodgkin lymphoma
A toxin linked to a targeted monoclonal antibody has shown

Social exclusion and consumer product preference: Drink Pepsi to fit in, but fly American to stand out?
Social networks are commonplace in this day and age, and how we fit in may depend on anything from political affiliation, to religion, to even our own personality traits.

Early initiation of ER palliative care consultations resulted in shorter hospital stays
NYU College of Nursing researcher Abraham A. Brody, R.N., Ph.D., GNP-BC and colleagues reporting in Journal of Palliative Medicine found that initiating a palliative care consult in the emergency department reduced hospital length of stay when compared to patients who receive the palliative care consult after admission.

Norwegian University signs research agreement worth US $50 million
The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and Statoil signed an agreement on Dec.

Use of CPAP for sleep apnea reduces blood pressure for patients with difficult to treat hypertension
Among patients with obstructive sleep apnea and hypertension that requires 3 or more medications to control, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment for 12 weeks resulted in a decrease in 24-hour average and diastolic blood pressure and an improvement in the nocturnal blood pressure pattern, compared to patients who did not receive CPAP, according to a study appearing in the December 11issue of JAMA.

TGen's Dr. Frederic Zenhausern is named to Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors
Dr. Frederic Zenhausern, a professor at the Translational Genomics Research Institute and developer of a rapid DNA processor, has been named to the Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors.

Malnourished children still have hope beyond first 1,000 days
New research from Brigham Young University is finding that global health workers should not give up on impoverished children after the first 1,000 days.

Colleges pay attention: How do top 10 rankings influence applications?
Ranked lists are everywhere. If you want to pick out a college, restaurant, hotel, or doctor, chances are there's a Top 10 list that can tell you which ones are the best.

WPI Professor Tanja Dominko Named Slovenian Ambassador of Science for 2013
Tanja Dominko, associate professor of biology and biotechnology at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), is the 2013 Slovenian Ambassador of Science, a national award given to one Slovenian native each year in recognition of outstanding achievements and global scientific impact.

CWRU faculty members named National Academy of Inventors Fellows
Case Western Reserve University's Robert H. Miller, professor of neurosciences and the university's vice president for research, and P.

Scientists identify more powerful approach to analyze melanoma's genetic causes
There may be a better way to analyze the genetic causes of cutaneous melanoma according to a study published in Human Genetics conducted by researchers Yale and Dartmouth.

NREL's industry growth forum brings together energy innovators
The Industry Growth Forum hosted by the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory this week attracted nearly 400 investors, entrepreneurs, scientists and thought leaders to Denver.

NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Madi nearing India's east coast
Tropical Cyclone Madi has maintained its tropical storm-force strength over 24 hours as it neared the coast of east central India on December 10.

University of Houston physicist honored as rising star in Texas research
A University of Houston physicist has been honored with the Edith and Peter O'Donnell Award in Science from The Academy of Medicine, Engineering & Science of Texas.

SIRT5 regulation has dramatic effect on mitochondrial metabolism
The Sirtuin family of protein deacylases has received considerable attention due to its links to longevity, diabetes, cancer, and metabolic regulation.

Europe's rarest orchid rediscovered on 'lost world' volcano in the Azores
Researchers studying speciation of butterfly orchids on the Azores have been startled to discover that the answer to a long-debated question

Onboard camera captures Juno's approach to Earth
When NASA's Juno spacecraft flew past Earth early in October 2013, recording a first-of-a-kind movie of the approach was a special assignment for an onboard camera system known as a star tracker.

Research unveils clues about protein mechanism critical to plant growth and yield
Scientists at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center have made several scientific discoveries demonstrating the significant roles Heterotrimeric G proteins play in plant development and yield.

The story of what makes us all unique
Each human being is unique with distinct ways of thinking, acting, speaking and moving, all of which change across the life time.

New study highlights key role soil structure plays in water uptake by crops
The increased global consumption of food means that there is an increasing yield gap between crop production and crop usage.

Announcing project agora: Ambitious comparison of computer simulations of galaxy evolution
A long-standing difficulty with supercomputer simulations of the evolution of galaxies has been getting consistent results among different codes (programs) and with actual observations, so simulated galaxies look like real galaxies.

Pest-killing wasps and berry fungus
We know more about wildlife this week, thanks to research by two Canadian teens.

Holiday shopping for friends? Why looking for unique gifts might not be the best plan
Finding the perfect gift for that special someone is never easy and the challenge gets even harder during the holiday season.

Stimulant-addicted patients can quit smoking without hindering treatment
Smokers who are addicted to cocaine or methamphetamine can quit smoking while being treated for their stimulant addiction, without interfering with stimulant addiction treatment.

MU researcher close to solving problem for cancer patients
Many cancer patients, and those with other chronic diseases, can experience a wasting disease, cachexia anorexia, which causes the body to consume its own organs.

Video of failed bike stunt lends insights into biomechanics of facial fracture
A man attempting a bicycle stunt made a significant -- if unintended -- contribution to surgical science, as a video of his crash allowed researchers to analyze the

Motivating women to forget the message: When do breast cancer ads backfire?
After a traumatic experience, the details we remember surrounding the event are sometimes foggy.

Eurofins' scientists discover genetic differences between 'identical' twins
Eurofins' Genomics and Forensics laboratories develop first twin DNA test for forensic and paternity testing.

Scientists shed new light on the fight against cancer
The Leuven-based VIB researchers have revealed a mechanism that explains why the anti-tumor activity of specific immune cells called macrophages is suppressed during tumor growth.

CHOP and Drexel experts team up to boost pipeline of medical devices for children
For medical devices, the market for children is a small fraction of the adult market, and there are far fewer child-sized devices.

Low vitamin B12 levels increase the risk of fractures in older men
Older men who have low levels of vitamin B12 have a higher risk of having fractures.

Volatile ecosystems, a natural wind tunnel, volcanic lightning, and stress & strain on Venus
New Geology articles posted online ahead of print on 6 Dec. cover fossil estuarine fauna from the Austrian Miocene; a

New way to finance health in world's less developed nations
Countries and major donors are changing the way they finance maternal and child, malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS health programs in low-income countries to increase their impact.

First the hype, now the science: Evidence-based recommendations for PRP
A paper in the Dec. issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons offers the first evidence-based recommendations for use of PRP in orthopaedic care.

What climate change means for federally protected marine species
As the Endangered Species Act nears its 40th anniversary, climate scientists and conservation biologists are looking at what global climate change will mean for the legislation.

NASA: Fire vs. ice: The science of ISON at perihelion
After a year of observations, scientists waited with bated breath on Nov.

Game-changing shift occurring in cancer discovery and treatment
Research advances that have come to fruition over the past year demonstrate extraordinary progress in the fight against cancer, according to a new report released today by the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

Princeton report charts a step-by-step path toward a nuclear weapons-free Middle East
The recent nuclear agreement with Iran could serve as a first step toward a Middle East free of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction.

NREL reports soft costs now largest piece of solar installation total cost
Two detailed reports from the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) find that solar financing and other non-hardware costs -- often referred to as

Turning off major memory switch dulls memories
A faultily formed memory sounds like hitting random notes on a keyboard while a proper one sounds more like a song, scientists say.

Can celebrity cancer diagnoses prompt quitting smoking?
In a study published this week in Preventive Medicine, researchers led by San Diego State University professor John Ayers found that when celebrities publicly discuss their struggles with cancer diagnoses, the resulting media coverage prompts more smokers to search for information on quitting than events like New Year's Day or World No Tobacco Day.

Mars and Venus go shopping: Does gender play a role in negative word of mouth advertising?
When do you complain about a faulty product or a bad shopping experience?

OU & Sandia National Laboratories announce formation of the Center for Energy, Security and Society
The University of Oklahoma and Sandia National Laboratories announce the launch of the Center for Energy, Security, and Society -- the latest in a 25-year history of collaborations between researchers at the two organizations.

Biodegradable or not?
In order to improve the evaluation process for the long-term consequences of pesticides, scientists have developed a new detection method and a model that can enable determinations regarding whether and how readily biodegradable the residues of pesticides are.

LED pioneer Jerry Woodall elected to National Academy of Inventors
You might not know what 'lattice-matched heterojunctions' are, but if you stopped at a new stoplight, played a DVD or used a laser pointer, you've made use of technology pioneered by Jerry Woodall, distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering at UC Davis.

University of Tennessee vice chancellor named National Academy of Inventors Fellow
In 2001, Taylor Eighmy was issued a patent for an invention that keeps heavy metal from contaminated marine sediments from seeping further into the water.

Exercise alleviates sexual side-effects of antidepressants in women, study shows
New UT Austin research shows exercise has the potential to restore sexual desire and function in women adversely affected by sexual side effects.

Acid-suppressing medications associated with vitamin B12 deficiency
Use for 2 or more years of proton pump inhibitors and histamine 2 receptor antagonists (two types of acid-inhibiting medications) was associated with a subsequent new diagnosis of vitamin B12 deficiency, according to a study appearing in the December 11 issue of JAMA.

Brain's never-before-seen cellular response to concussions could lead to therapy
Stanford biology student Theo Roth spent the past few summers developing an experiment for observing the brain's cellular response to a concussion.

NASA-USGS Landsat 8 satellite pinpoints coldest spots on Earth
What is the coldest place on Earth? It is a high ridge in Antarctica on the East Antarctic Plateau where temperatures in several hollows can dip below minus 133.6 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 92 degrees Celsius) on a clear winter night.

Police activities in Thailand may lead to riskier behaviors in people who inject drugs
Recent increasing police activities focused on people who inject drugs in Thailand have involved reported injustices that may lead to riskier behaviors in people who inject drugs, according to a study published this week in PLOS Medicine.

Scripps Florida compound dramatically reduces joint inflammation
An experimental compound synthesized and developed by scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute has the capacity to significantly reduce joint inflammation in animal models of rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that affects more than two million Americans.

Contractors who worked in conflict zones suffer high rates of PTSD, depression
Private contractors who worked in Iraq, Afghanistan or other conflict environments over the past two years report suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and depression more often than military personnel who served in recent conflicts, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

New study shows a breadth of antisense drug activity across many different organs
Antisense therapeutics, a class of drugs comprised of short nucleic acid sequences, can target a dysfunctional gene and silence its activity.

1 in 2 users accepts a lack of privacy on the Internet
Eighty-five out of every 100 people in Switzerland have access to the internet.

Silver Banksia plants excel at phosphate saving
Plants in the leached soils of Western Australia have developed a special strategy for coping with the scarcity of phosphorus.

Evolution of 'third party punishment'
The stronger a community's social ties and the longer most people stay within the community, the more likely it is that bystanders will step forward to punish a neighbor for perceived wrongdoing.

Scientists identified T372R mutation as potential target for diagnosis and treatment of insulinoma
Chinese researchers from Rui-Jin Hospital, Shanghai Jiao-Tong University School of Medicine, BGI and other institutes identified the recurrent T372R mutation in the transcription factor YY1 (Yin Yang 1) are related with insulinoma oncogenesis, implicating a potential marker for the diagnosis and treatment of functional pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (PNETs).

Majority of Americans avoid addressing end-of-life issues, according to new study
During the past two decades, high-profile legal cases surrounding end-of-life decisions have received widespread attention in the United States, prompting increased media focus and numerous debates on the subject.

Researcher finds way to identify aggressive cancers in black women
African-American women who get breast cancer often get more aggressive forms of the disease and at younger ages than other women.

Missing molecule in chemical production line discovered
It takes dozens of chemical reactions for a cell to make isoprenoids, a diverse class of molecules found in every type of living organism.

Mount Sinai researchers say new strain of bird flu packs a punch even after becoming drug-resistant
Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai reported that a virulent new strain of influenza -- the virus that causes the flu -- appears to retain its ability to cause serious disease in humans even after it develops resistance to antiviral medications.

Rising mountains dried out Central Asia, Stanford scientists say
The uplift of two mountain ranges in Central Asia beginning 30 million years ago expanded the Gobi Desert and set Central Asia on its path to extreme aridity, a Stanford study suggests.

Prevalence of chronic fatigue syndrome in youth is focus of Chicago-based study
The prevalence of chronic fatigue syndrome in children and the significant impairment it causes to their physical functioning, school attendance and performance, and extracurricular activities, are at the root of a new Chicago-based study led by DePaul University psychologist Leonard A.

Kurt H. Becker named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors
Kurt H. Becker, the associate provost for research and technology initiatives and a professor at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University, has been named a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors.

Less painful drug delivery for pediatric leukemia patients is safe, effective
Children with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common form of pediatric cancer, can safely receive intravenous infusions of a reformulated mainstay of chemotherapy that has been delivered via painful intramuscular injection for more than 40 years, research suggests.

Nutrients in food vital to location of early human settlements: The original 'Palaeo-diet'
Research led by the University of Southampton has found that early humans were driven by a need for nutrient-rich food to select

A rising tide lifts all boats: Study links broader health insurance in Massachusetts with better health and care
In 2006, Massachusetts was on the same brink that the entire nation is on today: the brink of expanding health insurance to cover far more people than before, through government-driven, market-based reform.

Viral puzzles
The genome of viruses is usually enclosed inside a shell called capsid.

Study provides nutritional information on oilseed crop for use in pig diets
Long considered a weed in North America, Camelina sativa is increasingly valued as an oilseed crop.

Researchers describe the key role of a protein in the segregation of genetic material during cell division
Researchers at the Cell Cycle Research Group of the Bellvitge Institute of Biomedical Research led by Ethel Queralt have reported in the journal PLoS Genetics an article which delve into the regulator mechanisms of mitosis, a key stage of the cell-cycle for the correct transmission of genetic information from parents to sons.

Hipster, surfer or biker? Computers may soon be able to tell the difference
Are you a hipster, surfer or biker? What is your urban tribe?

Pine plantations provide optimum conditions for natural forests to develop underneath them
If there is any native forest in the vicinity, tree, fern and herbaceous species typical of these forests penetrate under the pine plantations without any need for action.

American Physical Society names UT Arlington professor a fellow
J. Ping Liu, a University of Texas at Arlington physics professor who is working to develop stronger magnets for sustainable energy applications, has been named a fellow of the American Physical Society in 2013.

Embolic material at site of fatal hemorrhage occurring days after flow-diversion aneurysm treatment
Researchers found embolic polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) at sites of fatal brain hemorrhage in patients who several days earlier had received successful cerebral aneurysm treatment with the Pipeline™ Embolization Device (PED).

Review calls for increased attention to cancer risk from silica
A new review highlights new developments in understanding the health effects of silica, and calls for action to reduce illness and death from silica exposure at work.

Runaway process drives intermediate-depth earthquakes, Stanford scientists find
Stanford researchers have uncovered a vital clue about the mechanism behind a type of earthquake that originates deep within the Earth and accounts for a quarter of all temblors worldwide, some of which are strong enough to pose a safety hazard.

4 University of Houston researchers named to National Academy of Inventors
Four researchers from the University of Houston have been named as fellows of the National Academy of Inventors.

Wyss Institute at Harvard University announces election of 2 faculty to Natl Academy of Inventors
Wyss Core Faculty members George Whitesides, Ph.D., and David Edwards, Ph.D. have been named Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors -- joining 141 other innovators elected this year.

OU professors named Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors
Two University of Oklahoma professors -- Paul L. DeAngelis and Jeffrey Harwell -- have been named Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors, a high professional distinction awarded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society. 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