Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

December 16, 2013
Nuclei in wrong place may be cause, not result, of inherited muscle diseases
Researchers solve puzzle of whether out-of-position cell nuclei are cause or consequence of congenital muscle diseases.

Bedtime for toddlers: Timing is everything, says CU-Boulder study
The bedtime you select for your toddler may be out of sync with his or her internal body clock, which can contribute to difficulties for youngsters attempting to settle in for the night, according to a new University of Colorado Boulder study.

Common misconceptions by cat owners lead to high numbers of unwanted kittens
New research suggests that the high number of unwanted kittens may be due to common misconceptions held by cat owners.

Mothers see their youngest as shorter than they are
Many parents say when their second child is born that their first child suddenly appears to have grown overnight.

A Terahertz generator with the highest signal quality
Researchers at the Universidad Carlos III of Madrid and the firm Luz WaveLabs are developing an innovative Terahertz generator that improves signal quality by one million times as compared to the best device of this kind currently on the market; it will allow this technology to be applied in the areas of biomedicine, transportation safety, industry and radio astronomy, among others.

ORNL devises recipe to fine-tune diameter of silica rods
By controlling the temperature of silica rods as they grow, researchers at the DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory could be setting the stage for advances in anti-reflective solar cells, computer monitors, TV screens, eye glasses and more.

Fracking chemicals disrupt hormone function
A controversial oil and natural gas drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, uses many chemicals that can disrupt the body's hormones, according to new research accepted for publication in the Endocrine Society's journal Endocrinology.

VTT: Biorefinery business could put the South Australian forest industry back on the growth track
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, at the request of the South Australian State Government, studied the condition of the forest sector industries in the Green Triangle region and examined the added value that may be achievable through high technology production.

Innovative instrument probes close binary stars, may soon image exoplanets
Close binary stars cannot be resolved with today's optical telescopes, despite adaptive optics that removes the fuzziness caused by atmospheric turbulence.

Families urged to get to the heart of their medical histories this Christmas
Doctors are encouraging people to take advantage of Christmas gatherings with relatives to discuss family medical histories to help tackle ill-health.

Personalized vaccine for most lethal type of brain tumor shows promise
Patients with recurrent glioblastoma multiforme treated with an experimental vaccine made from the patient's own resected tumor tissue showed an improved survival compared with historical patients who received the standard of care alone, according to an analysis of a phase 2 trial of this vaccine that was recently published in the journal Neuro-Oncology and accompanied by an editorial highlighting the importance of the trial.

Drought and climate change: An uncertain future?
Drought frequency may increase by more than 20 percent in some regions of the globe by the end of the 21st century, but it is difficult to be more precise as we don't know yet how changes in climate will impact on the world's rivers.

Pediatricians urge consumption of only pasteurized dairy products
Pregnant women, infants and young children should avoid raw or unpasteurized milk and milk products and only consume pasteurized products, according to a new policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics.

'Superbugs' found breeding in sewage plants
Tests at wastewater treatment plants in China revealed antibiotic-resistant bacteria were not only escaping purification but also breeding and spreading their dangerous cargo.

Study: Pay kids to eat fruits and vegetables
Researchers observed three schools adjust to new school lunch standards that require a serving of fruits or vegetables on every student's tray -- whether the child intends to eat it or not.

Nanoparticles and their orbital positions
Physicists have developed a

Study finds piece-by-piece approach to emissions policies can be effective
New analysis from researchers at MIT shows that policies addressing energy consumption and technology choices individually can play an important part in reducing emissions.

Regenerative medicine: Mayo Clinic and collaborators develop new tool for transplanting stem cells
Mayo Clinic researchers and colleagues in Belgium have developed a specialized catheter for transplanting stem cells into the beating heart.

4 degree rise will end vegetation 'carbon sink'
New research suggests that a temperature increase of four degrees is likely to

Tailored methane measurement services are to be developed for shale gas extraction, municipal waste
Climate-KIC, Europe's largest public-private innovation partnership working to address the challenge of climate change, has awarded 1.266 million euros to FuME (Fugitive Methane Emissions), a new project that will help to identify fugitive methane emissions.

Minorities' health would benefit most from beverage sugar tax, UCSF researchers report
Taxing sugar-sweetened beverages is likely to decrease consumption, resulting in lower rates of diabetes and heart disease, and these health benefits are expected to be greatest for the low-income, Hispanic and African-American Californians who are at highest risk of diabetes, according to a new analysis led by researchers at UC San Francisco.

Gene variant exacerbates inflammatory arthritis in mice
University of Utah researchers have discovered a naturally occurring genetic variation in mice that predisposes carriers toward developing severe, inflammatory arthritis.

The effects of sequestration on Indian health
As federal legislators work toward a budget agreement, a new commentary documents the harmful effects of sequestration on the Indian Health Service.

Affordable Care Act offers opportunities to strengthen trauma systems
Traumatic injuries are the leading cause of death and disability for people under the age of 45 and the fourth-leading cause of death for people of all ages.

Antihypertensives associated with lower dialysis risk for patients with advanced CKD
Patients with stable hypertension and the most advanced stage of chronic kidney disease before dialysis appeared to have a lower risk for long-term dialysis or death if they were treated with the antihypertensive drugs known as angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors or angiotensin II receptor blockers, according to a study published by JAMA Internal Medicine, a JAMA Network publication.

Stanford researchers take a step toward developing a 'universal' flu vaccine
On the surface of the flu virus sits a mushroom-shaped protein with a head that changes and a stem that stays more constant; current vaccines target the head so they must change each year; could a vaccine that targets the stem offer broader, multi-year protection?

Physicians who prefer hospice care for themselves more likely to discuss it with patients
Although the vast majority of physicians participating in a multiregional study indicated that they would personally enroll in hospice care if they received a terminal cancer diagnosis, less than one-third would discuss hospice care early in the course of treating a terminally ill cancer patient.

NIH names leadership, research units for restructured HIV/AIDS
Principal investigators and clinical trials units (CTUs) have been chosen to lead and conduct the research of five HIV/AIDS clinical trials networks through 2021.

Study indicates oral garlic not useful in treating vaginal thrush
In a world-first study, led by the University of Melbourne and the Royal Women's Hospital, researchers have found garlic does not significantly reduce vaginal candida (thrush).

A mouse model to evaluate potential age-promoting compounds
Recently, a mouse strain (p16LUC mice) was developed that can be used to evaluate the transcription of p16INK4, which is increasingly expressed during aging and in age-associated diseases.

2 in 3 13-year-old girls afraid of gaining weight
Six in 10 13-year-old girls, compared to four in 10 boys the same age, are afraid of gaining weight or getting fat according to new research that uses data on over 7,000 participants in the Children of the 90s study at the University of Bristol from when they were aged 13 and 15.

Regenstrief and IU investigators identify first biomarker linked to delirium duration
Researchers from the Regenstrief Institute and the Indiana University Center for Aging Research have identified the first biomarker that appears to be linked to the duration of delirium.

'Automation addiction,' other airline flight issues could be mitigated by better user interface
Airline tragedies like the Asiana incident in San Francisco point to ways in which cockpit automation might be improved through application of HF/E research and methods.

Canadian youth choosing transit-rich urban cores over suburbs, new study finds
Young adults want to live close to transit, high-density housing, and urban amenities, says research out of the University of Waterloo appearing in an upcoming issue of the Canadian Geographer.

SOFS take to water
Berkeley Lab researchers have unveiled the first two-dimensional SOFs -- supramolecular organic frameworks -- that self-assemble in solution, an important breakthrough that holds implications for sensing and separation technologies, energy sciences, and biomimetics.

Can a glass of wine a day keep the doctor away?
It's the time of year when many of us celebrate the holidays with festive foods and drinks, including alcohol.

Guidelines 2.0: New guideline development checklist for health researchers
Researchers hope that a comprehensive new checklist will help guideline developers/organizations around the world create and implement better recommendations for health care.

Black mayoral candidates win close elections in the South, pointing to importance of voter mobilization
Compiling the first dataset of its kind, a Princeton professor shows that black mayoral candidates in the South -- but not the North -- won almost all close elections against White candidates.

JCI early table of contents for Dec. 16, 2013
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online Dec.

History of ethnic foods in the United States
A review paper in the January 2014 issue of Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety published by the Institute of Food Technologists reveals some interesting statistics about the history of the following popular ethnic foods in the United States.

Nearby failed stars may harbor planet
Astronomers, including Carnegie's Yuri Beletsky, took precise measurements of the closest pair of failed stars to the Sun, which suggest that the system harbors a third, planetary-mass object.

Neanderthals buried their dead, new research concludes
Neanderthals, forerunners to modern humans, buried their dead, an international team of archaeologists has concluded after a 13-year study of remains discovered in southwestern France.

Penn-led team reduces toxicity associated with Lou Gehrig's disease in animal models
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a devastating illness that gradually robs sufferers of muscle strength and eventually causes a lethal, full-body paralysis.

Brittle-bone babies helped by fetal stem cell grafts
Osteogeneis imperfecta is a congenital bone disease that causes stunted growth and repeated, painful fracturing.

Linking social science and ecology to solve the world's environmental problems
Researchers from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University are engaging social science to help solve some of the world's biggest environmental problems.

Elective early-term deliveries increase complications for baby and mom, Mayo Clinic study says
Enduring the last few weeks of pregnancy can be physically and emotionally challenging for some women.

Regulation of cancer-causing protein could lead to new therapeutic targets
Researchers with the Cincinnati Cancer Center and the University of Cincinnati Cancer Institute have discovered a new regulation for the cancer-causing protein KRas which may help with the development of targeted therapies for patients with a KRas mutation.

Investment in product verification to help supply chain profit
The National Physical Laboratory has won a contract worth up to GBP4.4 million to be one of the key providers for the ambitious Sharing in Growth (SiG) program.

New classification system to improve scheduling of emergency surgery highlighted in BJS issue
Researchers in Finland have implemented a classification system for emergency operations that allows for a fair and efficient way to manage a large volume of such surgery.

Graphene nanoribbons an ice-melting coat for radar
A composite of graphene nanoribbons and polyurethane paint is a robust, light, cost-effective coating to keep radar domes free of ice.

Oregano oil may help sunflower seeds keep longer
A study in the Journal of Food Science published by the Institute of Food Technologists showed that the addition of oregano essential oils to sunflower seeds preserved their positive sensory attributes and freshness quality.

Change in Pacific nitrogen content tied to climate change
Using deep sea corals gathered near the Hawaiian Islands, a Lawrence Livermore scientist in collaboration with UC Santa Cruz colleagues have determined that a long term shift in nitrogen content in the Pacific Ocean has occurred as a result of climate change.

Intelligent transport systems for automobile industry are tested in demanding weather conditions in Finland
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland is involved in an extensive international DRIVE C2X project that tests and develops intelligent transport solutions.

Researchers engineer a hybrid 5 times more effective in delivering genetic material into cells
Researchers at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University and the NYU College of Dentistry have developed a carrier in their lab that is five times more efficient in delivering DNA into cells than today's commercial delivery methods -- reagent vectors.

Do degrading TV portrayals of women cause gender harassment?
Researchers Silvia Galdi, Anne Maass, and Mara Cadinu designed two experimental studies that used video materials of actual TV shows to investigate the causal relationship between TV exposure and harassing conduct.

NTU scientists discover potential vaccine for malaria
Scientists from Singapore's Nanyang Technological University have discovered a key process during the invasion of the blood cell by the Malaria parasite, and more importantly, found a way to block this invasion.

Brigham and Women's Hospital receives a $140 million NIH grant to fund the AIDS Clinical Trial Group
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has awarded two seven-year grants to Brigham and Women's Hospital to fund the AIDS Clinical Trial Group Network.

Aging cells unravel their DNA
Senescent cells, which are metabolically active but no longer capable of dividing, contribute to aging, and senescence is a key mechanism for preventing the spread of cancer cells.

Better first response medical care during catastrophes
When large-scale emergencies occur, it often takes far too long before victims receive the care their injuries demand.

Blue light phototherapy kills antibiotic-resistant bacteria, according to new studies
Blue light has proven to have powerful bacteria-killing ability in the laboratory.

Tweaking energy consumption to combat muscle wasting and obesity
Using a new technique to evaluate working muscles in mice, researchers have uncovered physiological mechanisms that could lead to new strategies for combating metabolism-related disorders like muscle wasting and obesity.

Pecan shell extracts may provide antimicrobial option for preventing listeria in organic meats
A study in the Journal of Food Science published by the Institute of Food Technologists showed that extracts from pecan shells may be effective at protecting meats, such as chicken from listeria growth.

NIH and NFL tackle concussion research
The National Institutes of Health has selected eight projects to receive support to answer some of the most fundamental problems on traumatic brain injury, including understanding long-term effects of repeated head injuries and improving diagnosis of concussions.

New global study reveals how diet and digestion in cows, chickens and pigs drives climate change 'hoofprint'
The resources required to raise livestock and the impacts of farm animals on environments vary dramatically depending on the animal, the type of food it provides, the kind of feed it consumes and where it lives, according to a new study that offers the most detailed portrait to date of

Golden trap: Highly sensitive system to detect individual molecules
Medical diagnostics is searching for substances capable of documenting whether a disease is developing.

Fruit fly studies help scientists swat aggressive relapsing leukemia
Using genetic information initially uncovered in fruit fly studies, scientists have developed a unique therapeutic strategy that stops an aggressive and deadly form of leukemia in laboratory models of the disease.

Assessing the impact of climate change on a global scale
Thirty research teams in 12 different countries have systematically compared state-of-the-art computer simulations of climate change impact to assess how climate change might influence global drought, water scarcity and river flooding in the future.

Traffic jams lend insight into emperor penguin huddle
Emperor penguins maintain the tight huddle that protects them from the harsh conditions of an Antarctic winter with stop-and-go movements like cars in a traffic jam, a new study has shown.

National Academy of Inventors names 4 UT Arlington professors as fellows
Four University of Texas at Arlington faculty members and senior administrators have been named fellows of the National Academy of Inventors.

Health care costs steadily increase with body mass
According to a study published in the journal Obesity, health care costs increase in parallel with body mass measurements, even beginning at a recommended healthy weight.

Chicago scientist involved in discovery of 4 new mammal species in Democratic Republic of Congo
Julian Kerbis Peterhans, a Roosevelt University professor and adjunct curator at the Field Museum who has conducted extensive studies on mammals in Africa, has announced the discovery of four new species of small mammals in the eastern section of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

EU membership may have led to allergy increase in rural Poland
Poland's entry into the EU may have had the surprising consequence of increasing allergies in rural villages, according to a new study.

Vanderbilt study: Ancient chemical bond may aid cancer therapy
A chemical bond discovered by Vanderbilt University scientists that is essential for animal life and which hastened the 'dawn of the animal kingdom' could lead to new therapies for cancer and other diseases.

Microprinting leads to low-cost artificial cells
Easily manufactured, low-cost artificial cells manufactured using microprinting may one day serve as drug and gene delivery devices and in biomaterials, biotechnology and biosensing applications, according to a team of Penn State biomedical engineers.

5 effective parenting programs to reduce problem behaviors in children
University of Washington researchers evaluated about 20 parenting programs and found five that are especially effective at helping parents and children at all risk levels avoid adolescent behavior problems that affect not only individuals, but entire communities.

Spurred by food allergies, 2 esophagus conditions stump doctors
Researchers at the UNC School of Medicine found that two on-the-rise esophagus conditions are so similar that even a biopsy is not enough to distinguish one disease from the other.

Recognizing the elephant in the room: Future climate impacts across sectors
A pioneering collaboration within the international scientific community has provided comprehensive projections of climate change effects, ranging from water scarcity to risks to crop yields.

Nanofriction on the tip of the microscope
A research paper published in the journal Nature Materials, the result of the collaboration between a group of theoretical physicists from the International School for Advanced Studies in Trieste and a group of experimental physicists from the University of Basel, reveals the secrets of the nanofriction produced when an atomic force microscope observes the surface of certain materials.

Wake Forest Baptist researchers study alcohol addiction using optogenetics
Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center researchers are gaining a better understanding of the neurochemical basis of addiction with a new technology called optogenetics.

Elite technology for gene silencing
Christof Fellmann and colleagues at Mirimus Inc. developed new technology to address the remaining limitations of RNA interference, a powerful method that enables functional gene annotation in normal homeostasis and disease.

Ultrafast heating of water -- This pot boils faster than you can watch it
Scientists from the Hamburg Center for Free-Electron Laser Science have devised a novel way to boil water in less than a trillionth of a second.

WSU scientists find burglary-ring-like mechanism in lethal 'Contagion' virus
A team of scientists from Washington State University has discovered how one of the planet's most deadly known viruses employs burglary-ring-like teamwork to infiltrate the human cell.

Hybrid protein deregulates complement in dense deposit disease
In this issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Peter Zipfel and colleagues at the Leibniz Institute for Natural Products Research and Infection Biology, evaluated an index family that had two reported cases of dense deposit disease.

Swift satellite catches 100,000 new cosmic X-ray sources
Astronomers from University of Leicester provide new insights into cosmic phenomena.

Fungal pathogen shows profound effects from spaceflight
Biodesign Institute researcher and lead author Aurélie Crabbé joins a multi-institute collaborative team in this study, which represents the first global gene expression profiling and phenotypic characterization of a fungal pathogen during spaceflight.

Heavy marijuana users have abnormal brain structure and poor memory
Teens who were heavy marijuana users had abnormal changes in their brains related to memory and performed poorly on memory tasks, reports a new study.

Poor owner knowledge of cat sex life linked to 850,000 unplanned kittens every year
Widespread ignorance among cat-owners about the sex lives of their pets may be leading to more than 200,000 unplanned litters -- or more than 850,000 kittens every year in the UK, finds research published online in Veterinary Record.

Scientists identify molecular biomarkers of vaccine immunity
Scientists at Emory Vaccine Center have taken an important step toward making a

Study analyzes diabetes drug metformin as obesity treatment for children
Treatment with the diabetes drug metformin appears to be associated with a modest reduction in body mass index in obese children when combined with lifestyle interventions such as diet and exercise, according to a study by Marian S.

Lion numbers could improve with new sustainable hunting quotas
Researchers have devised a simple and reliable way to set sustainable quotas for hunting lions, to help lion populations to grow, in a new study.

Ear acupuncture can help shed the pounds
Ear acupuncture can help shed the pounds, indicates a small study published online in Acupuncture in Medicine.

Climate change puts 40 percent more people at risk of absolute water scarcity: Study
Water scarcity impacts people's lives in many countries already today.

A universal RNA extraction protocol for land plants
Studies of gene expression in plants and other organisms rely on the extraction of high-quality RNA.

Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai garners $6 million NIH grant for concussion research
The Brain Injury Research Center of Mount Sinai has received a four-year, $6 million grant to study traumatic brain injuries in civilians.

ACA brings legal immigrants opportunities as well as responsibilities
The Affordable Care Act does not expand access to health insurance for undocumented immigrants but may pave the way for many legal immigrants who have trouble obtaining this crucial coverage, concludes a report released today by the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services.

Queen's fertility expert wins international award
A Queen's University professor has received international recognition for her research into male infertility.

Cat domestication traced to Chinese farmers 5,300 years ago
Five-thousand years before it was immortalized in a British nursery rhyme, the cat that caught the rat that ate the malt was doing just fine living alongside farmers in the ancient Chinese village of Quanhucun, a forthcoming study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences has confirmed.

Lung cancer death rates continue to fall, helping the decrease in overall cancer death rates
The Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, covering the period 1975, showed death rates for lung cancer, which accounts for more than one in four cancer deaths, dropping at a faster pace than in previous years.

Do patients in a vegetative state recognize loved ones?
Patients in a vegetative state do not respond to what is happening around them and exhibit no signs of conscious awareness.

Discovered diversity of antiviral bacteria
Wolbachia bacteria have been found to protect insects against viral infections.

Despite rising health costs, few residency programs train doctors to practice cost-conscious care
Despite a national consensus among policy makers and educators to train residents to be more conscious of the cost of care, less than 15 percent of internal medicine residency programs have a formal curriculum addressing it, a new research letter published today in JAMA Internal Medicine by a Penn Medicine physician found.

Discovery of 1.4 million-year-old fossil human hand bone closes human evolution gap
A University of Missouri researcher and her international team of colleagues have found a new hand bone from a human ancestor who roamed the earth in East Africa approximately 1.42 million years ago.

SMA reveals giant star cluster in the making
W49A might be one of the best-kept secrets in our galaxy.

Free-flowing traffic on the information highway
Our communication networks have to process constantly increasing volumes of data, pushing them to the limits of their capacity.

Dust in homes with dogs may protect against allergies, asthma
A new study suggests that exposure to dust from homes with dogs may alter the immune response to allergens and other asthma triggers by affecting the composition of the gut microbiome -- the community of microbes that naturally colonize the digestive tract.

Alzheimer substance may be the nanomaterial of tomorrow
Amyloid protein causes diseases like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

IU cancer researchers: Retinoblastoma dysfunction promotes pancreatic cancer cell growth
Indiana University cancer researchers have discovered that a protein that normally suppresses tumors actually promotes the growth and spread of pancreatic cancer.

New report shows diagnosed diabetes, pre-diabetes, and gestational diabetes is on the rise among privately insured Americans
About 8.8 percent of the privately insured population in 2012 had diabetes or was diagnosed as being at high risk for diabetes, up from 8.3 percent in 2011, but the rates of disease varied depending on age, gender and region of the country, says a new report from the Health Care Cost Institute.

Cellulose nanocrystals possible 'green' wonder material
The same tiny cellulose crystals that give trees and plants their high strength, light weight and resilience, have now been shown to have the stiffness of steel.

Breathalyzer to detect lung cancer
Researchers at the University of Huddersfield are working on a breathalyzer device that will be able to detect very early signs of cancer, making a cure much more likely.

First clinical study of computer security conducted at Polytechnique Montreal
Determining the likelihood of a person's computer becoming infected to that person's characteristics, user behaviour and choice of computer security measures: This was the challenge taken up by professor Jose M.

Income inequality is rising, but maybe not as fast as you think
Americans' perceptions of income inequality are largely over-inflated when compared with actual census data, according to new research published in Psychological Science.

Life's not a squeeze for pregnant women
Despite their changed body size, pregnant women are just as good as other people at judging whether they are able to fit through openings, such as doorways, or not.

Brain waves encode information as time signals
Team at IST Austria examines synaptic mechanisms of rhythmic brain waves.

Researchers discover how a protein complex revs up T cell activation to fight infections
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have identified a protein complex that is essential for jumpstarting the immune response during the critical first 24 hours of an infection.

Research shows how household dogs protect against asthma and infection
Children's risk for developing allergies and asthma is reduced when they are exposed in early infancy to a dog in the household, and now researchers have discovered a reason why.

Loggerhead sea turtle nesting activity driven by recent climate conditions and returning nesting
New research indicates that for loggerhead sea turtles in the Northwest Atlantic, the number of returning nesting females in the population and favorable climate conditions in the year or two prior to the nesting year are strongly related to the number of nests produced by these animals in a given year.

The Liverpool Care Pathway has been made a scapegoat, says palliative care consultant
Claud Regnard, FRCP, a palliative care consultant, has called the demise of the Liverpool Care Pathway a

Vitamin supplements a waste of money?
Editorialists responding to three articles on vitamin and mineral supplementation being published in Annals of Internal Medicine urge US adults to stop wasting their money on dietary supplements.

With new multimillion-dollar grants, UCLA scientists take stem cell research to patients
Two prominent UCLA stem cell scientists receive CIRM Disease Team III awards for clinical trials scheduled to begin in 2014.

U-M tinnitus discovery opens door to possible new treatment avenues
For tens of millions of Americans, a diagnosis of tinnitus means there's no such thing as the sound of silence. 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