Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 13, 2014
Weighing particles at the attogram scale
New device from MIT can measure masses as small as one millionth of a trillionth of a gram, in solution.

Americans with and without children at home report similar life satisfaction but more positive and negative emotions
Americans aged 34 to 46 with children at home rate their life satisfaction at higher levels than those without children at home, according to a report by Princeton University and Stony Brook University.

Passing bowls family-style teaches day-care kids to respond to hunger cues, fights obesity
When children and child-care providers sit around a table together at mealtime, passing bowls and serving themselves, children learn to recognize when they are full better than they do when food is pre-plated for them, reports a new University of Illinois study of feeding practices of two- to five-year-old children in 118 child-care centers.

NASA adds up Tropical Cyclone Colin's rainfall rates
Tropical Cyclone Colin continued moving through the Southern Indian Ocean on Jan.

Brief mental training sessions have long-lasting benefits for seniors' cognition and everyday function
Older adults who received as few as 10 sessions of mental (cognitive) training showed improvements in reasoning ability and speed-of-processing when compared with untrained controls participants as long as 10 years after the intervention.

Panel at odds over new BP guidelines
In a commentary published in Annals of Internal Medicine, members of the Institute of Medicine's Eighth Joint National Committee, or JNC 8, explain why they voted against relaxing systolic blood pressure targets to 150 mmHg for patients aged 60 and older without diabetes or chronic kidney disease.

NPL links up with GlaxoSmithKline to support research into new medicines
The National Physical Laboratory, working with major pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline, has initiated a project called 3D nanoSIMS to develop a label-free molecular imaging instrument with unmatched spatial resolution, capable of measuring the intracellular drug distribution.

Viewing macro behaviors of ultra-cold quantum gases through the micro-world
In a recent study published in Science researchers have been able to observed, for the first time, the collective spin dynamics of ultra-cold fermions with large spins.

How fruit flies detect sweet foods
Using the common fruit fly, researchers at the University of California, Riverside, have performed a study that describes just how the fly's taste receptors detect sweet compounds.

Project will create better Amazon hydrology model for climate prediction
A Penn State-led team will develop an improved computer model of the Amazon that could ultimately help scientists better understand climate, thanks to a new grant from the Department of Energy.

Autism spectrum disorder: A guide for physicians to help families
Increased awareness of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is placing huge demands on health care systems and health care professionals to help children and their families cope with the disorder.

AACR and Prostate Cancer Foundation to host conference on prostate cancer research
The American Association for Cancer Research and the Prostate Cancer Foundation will host the AACR-Prostate Cancer Foundation Conference on Advances in Prostate Cancer Research at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, Calif., Jan.

EGU 2014 General Assembly: Media advisory 1 -- Media registration now open
The latest research in Earth, planetary and space sciences will be presented at the 2014 General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union in Vienna, Austria, from 27 April to 2 May.

NHS cancer risk threshold 'too high' for patients, research indicates
Patients have expressed an appetite for potential cancer symptoms to be checked out much sooner than current NHS thresholds guidelines suggest, new research has revealed.

Study finds MTV's '16 & Pregnant' and 'Teen Mom' contributed to record decline in US teen childbearing
A new study coauthored by Wellesley economist Phillip B. Levine and University of Maryland economist Melissa Schettini Kearney, shows that MTV's

Researchers find substantial drop in use of affirmative action in college admissions
University of Washington researchers Grant H. Blume and Mark C.

A new, more economical sonification prototype to assist the blind
Researchers at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid have developed an assistive technology system that works by sounds which contributes to the autonomy of persons with visual impairments.

Study finds more targeted form of radiation improves survival in patients with head and neck cancers
Intensity-modulated radiation therapyreduces side effects, and also improves outcomes.

T-cell research sheds light on why HIV can persist despite treatment
Research by an international team that includes the University of Delaware provides evidence that a particular T-cell type may help researchers better understand why HIV can persist despite treatment.

Fear of being too skinny may put teen boys at risk for depression, steroid use
Teenage boys who think they're too skinny when they are actually a healthy weight are at greater risk of being depressed as teens and as adults when compared to other boys, even those who think they are too heavy, according to findings published by the American Psychological Association.

Study: Kidney cancer patients preserve kidney function with robot-assisted partial nephrectomy
Patients with chronic kidney disease who received robot-assisted partial nephrectomy to treat kidney cancer have minimal loss of kidney function -- a smaller amount even than patients with normal kidney function, according to researchers at Henry Ford Hospital's Vattikuti Urology Institute.

BU study: 1 question may gauge the severity of unhealthy drug and alcohol use
Primary care physicians seeking to determine whether a patient's drug or alcohol use is problematic often have to rely on lengthy questionnaires containing dozens of items with multiple response options.

Heart attack survivors paint a complex picture of adhering to medicine
The study shows that heart attack survivors adhere to their preventative medications differently depending on their gender and race.

Keeping stem cells pluripotent
In a paper published in this week's online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine identify a key gene receptor and signaling pathway essential to maintaining human embryonic stem cells in an undifferentiated state.

Primates: Now with only half the calories!
New research shows that humans and other primates burn 50 percent fewer calories each day than other mammals.

Discovery of new Tiktaalik roseae fossils reveals key link in evolution of hind limbs
The discovery of well-preserved pelves and a partial pelvic fin from Tiktaalik roseae, a 375-million-year-old transitional species between fish and the first legged animals, reveals that the evolution of hind legs actually began as enhanced hind fins.

Congenital diaphragmatic hernia traced from genetic roots to physical defect
A team including researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have discovered that a specific gene may play a major role in the development of a life-threatening birth defect called congenital diaphragmatic hernia, or CDH, which affects approximately one out of every 3,000 live births.

Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation grants prestigious awards to 20 top young scientists
The Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on supporting innovative early career researchers, named 15 new Damon Runyon Fellows at its fall Fellowship Award Committee review.

Bragging rights: MSU study shows that interventions help women's reluctance to discuss accomplishments
Montana State University research found that women dislike promoting their own accomplishments, but it is possible for negative effects to be offset and to improve self-promotion.

Study demonstrates need to change scoring system for heart disease
A study led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine shows that one of the most widely used systems for predicting risk of adverse heart events should be re-evaluated.

More to biofuel production than yield
When it comes to biofuels, corn leads the all-important category of biomass yield.

2 players produce destructive cascade of diabetic retinopathy
The retina can be bombarded by reactive oxygen species in diabetes, prompting events that destroy healthy blood vessels, form leaky new ones and ruin vision.

School drug tests don't work, but 'positive climate' might
School drug testing does not deter teenagers from smoking marijuana, but creating a

Understanding secondary light emission by plasmonic nanostructures may improve medical imaging
Applications in imaging and sensing typically involve the emission of light at a different wavelength than the excitation, or

New test could simplify the diagnosis of coeliac disease
A new blood test being developed by Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researchers can rapidly and accurately diagnose coeliac disease without the need for prolonged gluten exposure.

Wistar receives funding to lead trial to diminish HIV-1 viral reservoir
Wistar has received a $6.2 million grant to lead a clinical trial that seeks to

Benefits of cognitive training can last 10 years in older adults
Exercises meant to boost mental sharpness can benefit older adults as many as 10 years after they received the cognitive training.

New discovery could stimulate plant growth and increase crop yields, researchers say
Scientists led by experts at Durham University have discovered a natural mechanism in plants that could stimulate their growth even under stress and potentially lead to better crop yields.

Scientists develop promising drug candidates for pain, addiction
Scientists from the Florida campus of the Scripps Research Institute have described a pair of drug candidates that advance the search for new treatments for pain, addiction and other disorders.

Hang up or hold on?
A recent study offers a more accurate approach to modeling caller patience than ever before.

No nano-dust danger from facade paint
After 42 months the EU research project NanoHouse has ended, and the verdict is a cautious

Study: Self-administered test helps spot early Alzheimer's
Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center researchers have developed an at-home test that can help doctors spot early symptoms of cognitive issues in their patients, like Alzheimer's disease.

White House lauds ONR-funded researchers for early success
Focusing on undersea vehicles that have fish-like sensations, advanced ship design and more, four scientists sponsored by the Office of Naval Research on Dec.

American Society for Microbiology launches science diplomacy magazine
The American Society for Microbiology announces a new quarterly publication, Cultures, that explores the intersection of science, policy, and the global challenges we all share by bringing diverse voices to a common platform.

Multiple myeloma study uncovers genetic diversity within tumors
The most comprehensive genetic study to date of the blood cancer multiple myeloma has revealed that the genetic landscape of the disease may be more complicated than previously thought.

Emerging drugs -- hype, legitimate concern or both?
A new book David Khey of Loyola University New Orleans,

White parents more likely to use age-appropriate car seats than non-whites
White parents reported higher use of age-appropriate car seats for one- to seven-year-old children than non-white parents, according to a new University of Michigan study.

How the immune system fights off malaria
A Massachusetts Institute of Technology study reveals immune cells that are critical to combating the parasite in early stages of infection.

Viral microRNAs responsible for causing AIDS-related cancer, new USC study shows
For the first time, scientists and engineers have identified a critical cancer-causing component in the virus that causes Kaposi's sarcoma, the most common cancer among HIV-infected people.

Small molecule shows promise as anti-cancer therapy
Johns Hopkins scientists say a previously known but little studied chemical compound targets and shuts down a common cancer process.

Towards perfect control of light waves
A team at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics in Garching (Germany) has constructed a detector, which provides a detailed picture of the waveforms of femtosecond laser pulses (1 fs = 10-15 seconds).

Developing methods for building precise nanostructures
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University have received a $540,000 NSF grant to test new methods of synthesizing nanostructures, using a plant virus as a template.

Most students exposed to school-based food commercialism
Most students in elementary, middle and high schools are exposed to food commercialism (including exclusive beverage contracts and the associated incentives, profits and advertising) at school, although there has been a decrease in beverage vending, according to a study by Yvonne Terry-McElrath, M.S.A., of the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and colleagues.

Mechanism affecting risk of prostate cancer is found
A research group at Biocenter Oulu in Finland has identified a mechanism related to a transcription factor that binds much more strongly onto a particular SNP variant, thereby initiating a genetic program which enhances prostate cancer proliferation and metastasis.

Postpartum depression improves with time -- but for many women, depressive symptoms linger
Research evidence shows that symptoms of postpartum depression decrease over time -- but depression remains a long-term problem for 30 to 50 percent of affected women, according to a report in the January Harvard Review of Psychiatry.

Study questions anti-cancer mechanisms of drug tested in clinical trials
The diabetes drug metformin is also being tested in numerous clinical trials for treating different cancers, and several studies point to its apparent activation of a molecular regulator of cell metabolism called AMPK to suppress tumor growth.

Microbes buy low and sell high
Microbes set up their own markets, comparing bids for commodities, hoarding to obtain a better price, and generally behaving in ways more commonly associated with Wall Street than the microscopic world.

Researchers identify key proteins responsible for electrical communication in the heart
Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute researchers have found that six proteins -- five more than previously thought -- are responsible for cell-to-cell communication that regulates the heart and plays a role in limiting the size of heart attacks and strokes.

Building 'belt' offers cheap, quick repair of earthquake damage
Four years after the January 2010 earthquake, 145,000 people still remain homeless in Haiti.

IMPRESSIONS: Advancing understanding of the consequences of high-end climate change
The large-scale European Union FP7 project IMPRESSIONS (Impacts and Risks from High-End Scenarios: Strategies for Innovative Solutions) is holding its official Kick-off Meeting from Jan.

Transcendental experiences during meditation
Millions of Americans practice yoga or meditation for fitness and health, yet the greater goal seems unknown or elusive to many practitioners -- transcendence.

Tricky protein may help HIV vaccine development
Duke scientists have taken aim at what may be the Achilles' heel of the HIV virus.

Parents accidentally confuse their children's names more often when the names sound alike
Psychology researchers find parents set themselves up for speech errors when they give their children similar-sounding names.

Researchers investigating how to make PET imaging even sweeter
An international research team led by Mount Sinai Heart at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is testing its novel sugar-based tracer contrast agent to be used with positron emission tomography imaging to help in the hunt for dangerous inflammation and high-risk vulnerable atherosclerotic plaque inside vessel walls that causes acute heart attacks and strokes.

Springer will collaborate with the Italian Society of Endocrinology
Springer and the Italian Society of Endocrinology have agreed to a five-year collaboration to publish the monthly Journal of Endocrinological Investigation, starting in January 2014 with Volume 37.

Need relief from asthma? Communicating with your allergist is key
Can't find relief from your asthma symptoms? The way you communicate with your allergist can be the root of your problems.

NASA's infrared satellite imagery shows wind shear affecting Cyclone Ian
Tropical Cyclone Ian has been battered by wind shear and infrared imagery from NASA's Aqua satellite revealed that the bulk of the precipitation has been pushed east and southeast of the storm's center.

Pilot program to let US high-school students experience Antarctic science at a Chilean station
Three high-school students and a teacher from Wisconsin will participate in a joint pilot program of the US and Chilean Antarctic programs that will send them to a Chilean research station this February for hands-on experience with Antarctic environments and ecosystems research.

Study examines probiotic use in preventing gastrointestinal disorders in infants
Giving an infant a probiotic during the first three months of life appears to reduce the onset of gastrointestinal disorders and result in lower associated costs, according to a study by Flavia Indrio, M.D., of the Aldo Moro University of Bari, Italy, and colleagues.

EARTH Magazine: Climate, terroir and wine: What matters most in producing a great wine?
Climate is arguably the most influential factor and it produces the most identifiable differences among wines.

Enforcement and anti-poaching measures set to fail
Enforcement and anti-poaching measures will fail because they don't address the real drivers of poaching and illegal trade, such as increasing demand, resulting in rising prices of illegal goods, including ivory.

Chemical signaling simulates exercise in cartilage cells
Cartilage is notoriously difficult to repair or grow, but researchers at Duke Medicine have taken a step toward understanding how to regenerate the connective tissue.

Safe havens revealed for biodiversity in a changed climate
Researchers have found a way to project future habitat locations under climate change, identifying potential safe havens for threatened biodiversity.

Debunking the sixth sense
New research led by the University of Melbourne has helped debunk the common belief that a sixth sense, also known as extrasensory perception, exists.

Flu forecasting website posts first predictions
Infectious disease experts at Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health have launched a website that reports weekly predictions for rates of season influenza in 94 cities in the United States based on a scientifically validated system.

Advanced radiation therapy for head and neck cancer may be better than traditional radiation at preventing side effects and cancer recurrence
Patients with head and neck cancer who are treated with an advanced form of radiation therapy may experience fewer side effects and be less likely to die from their disease than patients who receive standard radiation therapy.

Shoulder replacement eases pain, improves motion in rheumatoid arthritis patients, Mayo Study finds
Shoulder arthritis is a common problem for rheumatoid arthritis patients.

New hope for migraine sufferers
A blood pressure drug offers hope to migraine sufferers who currently get no relief from existing treatments.

Can Chinese innovation help address the climate crisis?
A unique new UK-China project launches today, investigating the social and political drivers and implications of low-carbon innovation in China, the world's largest carbon dioxide emitter by volume, rather than focusing on technical change alone.

Scientific study suggests an association between physical doping and brain doping
Physical doping and brain doping apparently often go hand in hand. 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