Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

January 15, 2014
Broad-spectrum cancer drug is goal of multinational project
Antibody therapy has already shown success in cancer treatment, and seven teams from Europe and Texas are embarking on a four-year, $8 million quest to develop an antibody therapy that could fight many cancers.

Oldest trees are growing faster, storing more carbon as they age
In a finding that overturns the conventional view that large old trees are unproductive, scientists have determined that for most species, the biggest trees increase their growth rates and sequester more carbon as they age.

2-proton bit controlled by a single copper atom
Just a single foreign atom located in the vicinity of a molecule can change spatial arrangement of its atoms.

Joslin finds metabolic clues to diabetic kidney failure
A new study by Joslin Diabetes Center researchers that compares the metabolic fingerprints of patients who develop end stage renal disease versus those who don't has furnished new clues to the disease.

CNIO researcher wins 1 of the most prestigious research grants for the second time
Oscar Fernandez-Capetillo has been awarded by the European Research Council a €2 million Consolidator Grant, one of the most prestigious research grants in the world.

Food processors beware: Salmonella biofilms incredibly resistant to powerful disinfectants
Once Salmonella bacteria get into a food processing facility and have an opportunity to form a biofilm on surfaces, it is likely to be extraordinarily difficult, if not impossible, to kill it, according to research published ahead of print in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Global warming's biggest offenders
When it comes to global warming, there are seven big contributors: the United States, China, Russia, Brazil, India, Germany and the United Kingdom.

Finally, a way to authenticate premium chocolate
For some people, nothing can top a morsel of luxuriously rich, premium chocolate.

Treating chronic kidney disease using clay minerals
Clay has healing powers. This natural product is destined to help treat chronic kidney disease: a well-tolerated agent based on clay minerals lowers patients' excessive phosphate levels.

Multihormone reverses metabolic damage of high calorie diet
A single molecule, which acts equally on the receptors of the metabolic hormones glucagon and glucagon-like peptide-1 improves body weight and diabetes through restored function of the anti-obesity hormone leptin.

Don't just sit there! Prolonged sitting linked to early mortality in women
Led by Cornell University nutritional scientist Rebecca Seguin, a new study of 93,000 postmenopausal American women found those with the highest amounts of sedentary time -- defined as sitting and resting, excluding sleeping -- died earlier than their most active peers.

New drug combo cures toughest cases of hepatitis C, hints to future injection-free therapies
Efforts to cure hepatitis C, the liver-damaging infectious disease that has for years killed more Americans than HIV/AIDS, are about to get simpler and more effective, according to new research at Johns Hopkins and elsewhere.

Ramularia and the 4 Rs
The gene that has provided spring barley with resistance to powdery mildew for over 30 years increases susceptibility to newly-important disease Ramularia leaf spot.

Finding pleasure in productive activities the key to boosting self-control
A new study from the University of Toronto Scarborough shows that while people have a harder time controlling themselves when tired, it doesn't mean they've exhausted all of their willpower.

Phase II trial of Bevacizumab (Avastin) in locally advanced cervical cancer 'promising'
Addition of Bevacizumab to the existing standard of care was safe and showed promising overall results.

Self-control isn't in short supply (despite what it looks like)
It might be true that people have a harder time controlling themselves when they are tired at the end of the day, but that doesn't mean that self-control is a limited resource, say authors in the Cell Press publication Trends in Cognitive Sciences on Jan.

Living in fantasyland? Luck is more important than fantasy sports players think
Fantasy sports players can spend thousands of dollars and certainly that many hours developing sophisticated leagues and playing strategies steeped in analysis and superstition -- all for teams that aren't real.

Study shows elevated rates of inadequate pap tests in transgender men
A new study finds that female-to-male transgender patients had over 10 times higher odds of having an inadequate Papanicolaou test compared to female patients.

UD-developed smart gels deliver medicine on demand
Researchers at the University of Delaware have developed a

Parental leave policies best promote gender equity and well-being in women's health
Government policies that allow both parents to take time off after a child is born provide positive benefits for the physical and mental health of women, according to a literature review that looked at the influence of public policies on women's overall health.

BUSM professor receives 2013 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers
Katherine Iverson, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at the Boston University School of Medicine, has been named as a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

New analysis shows fewer years of life lost to cancer
A new statistical approach to measuring the cancer burden in the United States reveals decades of progress in fighting cancer, progress previously masked by the falling death rates of other diseases.

When a doctor's visit is a guilt trip
Some patients react to a shaming encounter with a health provider in a way that promotes health while others turn to lying or avoidance.

Living in densely populated neighborhoods can actually decrease risk of diabetes and obesity
Torontonians living in neighborhoods that aren't conducive to walking have a 33 percent greater risk of developing diabetes or being obese, according to new research.

UK law to stop further sales of booze to drunk customers routinely flouted
Bar tenders in clubs and pubs are routinely flouting UK legislation intended to prevent further sales of alcohol to those who are already drunk, reveals a study of purchase patterns in one UK city, published online in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.

Quantum physics could make secure, single-use computer memories possible
Computer security systems may one day get a boost from quantum physics as a result of recent research at NIST.

Patients with spinal cord injuries should be assessed for sleep apnea
A new study suggests that patients with spinal cord injuries could benefit from careful assessment for sleep apnea.

Low national funding for LGBT health research contributes to inequities, analysis finds
Only one-half of 1 percent of studies funded by the National Institutes of Health between 1989 and 2011 concerned the health of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, contributing to the perpetuation of health inequities, according to a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health-led analysis.

Popular blood type diet debunked
Researchers from the University of Toronto have found that the theory behind the popular blood type diet -- which claims an individual's nutritional needs vary by blood type -- is not valid.

Crittercam captures crocodilian foraging behaviors
An animal-borne camera reveals that alligators may attempt to capture prey most often at night, even though the calculated probability of catching prey is highest in the morning.

Hugging hemes help electrons hop
Researchers simulating how certain bacteria run electrical current through tiny molecular wires have discovered a secret Nature uses for electron travel.

BYU's smart object recognition algorithm doesn't need humans
If we've learned anything from post-apocalyptic movies it's that computers eventually become self-aware and try to eliminate humans.

Gene therapy improves eyesight in people born with an incurable form of blindness
A new gene therapy has restored some sight in people born with an inherited, progressive form of blindness.

Computers, Privacy & Data Protection Conference
The conference will include panels covering all current debates in the field: the data protection reform in the European Union, PRISM, big data, privacy by design, cloud computing, biometrics, and e-health and will have special sessions on impact assessments, Roma empowerment in the digital era and other topics.

Assessing others: Evaluating the expertise of humans and computer algorithms
Caltech researchers used fMRI technology to monitor the brain activity of volunteers as they interacted with

First planet found around solar twin in star cluster
Astronomers have used ESO's HARPS planet hunter in Chile, along with other telescopes around the world, to discover three planets orbiting stars in the cluster Messier 67.

Diabetes blood glucose targets are risk free, research shows
Diabetes research led by the University of Exeter Medical School has underlined the importance of people with diabetes achieving their blood sugar goals, to reduce the risk of complications.

NASA's TRMM satellite provides time series of powerful Tropical Cyclone Ian
NASA's TRMM satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Ian three days in a row and captured rainfall and thunderstorm cloud height data about the deadly storm as it strengthened and weakened.

New strategy emerges for fighting drug-resistant malaria
Malaria is one of the most deadly infectious diseases in the world today, claiming the lives of over half a million people every year, and the recent emergence of parasites resistant to current treatments threatens to undermine efforts to control the disease.

World's largest animal genome belongs to locust
The world's largest animal genome belongs to the locust.

Mercury and ozone depletion events in the Arctic linked to sea-ice dynamics
This week a new study published in Nature and co-authored by Drs.

New study shows: Large landmasses existed 2.7 billion years ago
Seventy-one percent of the Earth's surface is covered by oceans and 29 percent by land.

Women with a high economic status claim to have better sex
An analysis based on the first Spanish National Sexual Health Survey, carried out in 2009, confirms that socioeconomic factors affect sexual satisfaction.

Head injuries triple long-term risk of early death
Survivors of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are three times more likely to die prematurely than the general population, often from suicide or fatal injuries, finds an Oxford University-led study.

Research advancements made in diabetes-induced blindness
Investigators at the Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute have identified new molecular abnormalities in the diabetic cornea that could contribute to eye problems in affected patients.

Some families would consider terminal sedation for kin in a permanent vegetative state
The families of some very severely brain injured patients believe that once all treatment options are exhausted, allowing their relatives to die with the help of terminal sedation would be a humane and compassionate option, research carried out by the University of York and Cardiff University has revealed.

Resisting the flu
McGill researchers, led by Dr. Maya Saleh of the Department of Medicine, have identified an enzyme, cIAP2, that helps the lungs protect themselves from the flu by giving them the ability to resist tissue damage.

Study highlights growing threat of intense tropical cyclones hitting East Asia
The intensity of tropical cyclones hitting East Asia has significantly increased over the past 30 years, according to a new study published today.

LLNL partnership with Calysta works to convert natural gas to liquid fuel
In an effort to put to good use natural gas (methane) that might otherwise become pollution, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is collaborating with start-up company Calysta Energy on a new technology to convert natural gas to liquid fuel.

Gold nanoparticles help to develop a new method for tracking viruses
Researchers at the Nanoscience Center of University of Jyvaskyla in Finland have developed a novel method to study enterovirus structures and their functions.

Acidification, predators pose double threat to oysters
The once-booming, now struggling Olympia oyster native to the West Coast could face a double threat from ocean acidification and invasive predators, according to new research from UC Davis' Bodega Marine Laboratory.

Exposures to some phthalates fall after federal ban
Americans are being exposed to significantly lower levels of some phthalates that were banned from children's articles in 2008, but exposures to other forms of these chemicals are rising steeply, according to a study led by researchers at UC San Francisco.

How fiber prevents diabetes and obesity
Scientists have known for the past 20 years that a fiber-rich diet protects the organism against obesity and diabetes but the mechanisms involved have so far eluded them.

Heavy drinking in middle age may speed memory loss by up to 6 years in men
Middle-aged men who drink more than 36 grams of alcohol, or two and a half US drinks per day, may speed their memory loss by up to six years later on, according to a study published in the Jan.

First comprehensive test to detect genetic modification in food
As the abundance of genetically modified (GM) foods continues to grow, so does the demand for monitoring and labeling them.

Camera-carrying falcons reveal mystery of raptor pursuit
Raptors are the masters of the aerial dogfight. Intercepting prey on the wing, falcons lock their victims in their gaze before engaging in battle.

Geosphere examines volcanic zones, the Sierra Nevada, and Utah's Confusion Range
New Geosphere papers posted online Jan. 14 cover the San Joaquin Basin in California, the Catalan Volcanic Zone in Spain, the Taupo Volcanic Zone of New Zealand, the Confusion Range of west-central Utah, and the southern US Sierra Nevada.

DNA detectives able to 'count' thousands of fish using as little as a glass of water
A mere glass full of water from Monterey Bay Aquarium's 1.2 million-gallon Open Sea tank, among the 10 largest aquariums in the world, is all scientists really needed to identify the Pacific Bluefin tuna, dolphinfish and most of the other 13,000 fish swimming there.

Leukemia: Mode of action of a targeted treatment clarified
The mechanism of senescence -- or premature cell aging -- can have an anticancer effect.

Heart attack damage slashed with microparticle therapy
After a heart attack, much of the damage to the heart muscle is caused by inflammatory cells that rush to the scene.

Nationwide minimally invasive surgery rates triple for pancreatic disease
Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report a three-fold increase in the use of minimally invasive surgery (MIS) across the nation for patients with pancreatic disease.

Alaskan caribou and ptarmigan migrations recorded
A ladder of 14 automated cameras has for the first time recorded the northward springtime migrations of caribou and ptarmigan in the foothills of the Brooks Range, Alaska.

Endotracheal extubation technique training video by BMC anesthesiologist published in NEJM
An endotracheal extubation training video produced by Rafael Ortega, M.D., the vice-chair of academic affairs for the department of anesthesiology at Boston Medical Center and professor of anesthesiology at Boston University School of Medicine, and his colleagues is featured in this week's New England Journal of Medicine.

Study explores possible costs, benefits of making movies with 'Oscar appeal'
What do Hollywood moguls holding their breath this week for an Oscar nomination have in common with the influence peddlers on K Street in Washington, D.C.?

Study finds later school start times improve sleep and daytime functioning in adolescents
Julie Boergers, Ph.D., a psychologist and sleep expert from the Bradley Hasbro Children's Research Center, recently led a study linking later school start times to improved sleep and mood in teens.

BMC alleviates alarm fatigue by decreasing noise
Boston Medical Center successfully reduced audible alarms as a way to combat alarm fatigue and improve patient safety.

Trees grow faster and store more carbon as they age
Trees put on weight faster and faster as they grow older, according to a new study in the journal Nature.

The Eco-Innovation initiative rewards ideas for innovative products that protect the environment
The Eco-Innovation initiative bridges the gap between research and the market.

Next-gen reappraisal of interactions within a cancer-associated protein complex
At a glance, DNA is a rather simple sequence of A, G, C, T bases, but once it is packaged by histone proteins into an amalgam called chromatin, a more complex picture emerges.

Breakthrough announced in treatment of patient with rare type of leukemia
University of Leicester researchers deploy 'precision medicine' to successfully target advanced form of leukemia with skin cancer drug.

Key species of algae shows effects of climate change over time
A study of marine life in the temperate coastal waters of the northeast Pacific Ocean shows a reversal of competitive dominance among species of algae, suggesting that increased ocean acidification caused by global climate change is altering biodiversity.

Discovery of an early predictor of increased diabetes risk
A Montreal research team led by Jennifer Estall at the IRCM discovered that a protein found in muscle tissue may contribute to the development of type 2 diabetes later in life.

Cover story: The chemical industry heads into 2014 on solid footing
After spending three years struggling to recover from the 2007-2009 recession, the global chemistry industry can finally look forward to a rosier year ahead.

'Barcode' profiling enables analysis of hundreds of tumor marker proteins at once
A new technology developed at the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Systems Biology allows simultaneous analysis of hundreds of cancer-related protein markers from miniscule patient samples gathered through minimally invasive methods.

Speech means using both sides of our brain, NYU and NYU Langone researchers find
We use both sides of our brain for speech, a finding by researchers at New York University and NYU Langone Medical Center that alters previous conceptions about neurological activity.

Berkeley Lab-led project aims to produce liquid transportation fuel from methane
How's this for innovative: A Berkeley Lab-led team hopes to engineer a new enzyme that efficiently converts methane to liquid transportation fuel.

NASA sees system 94S still trying to organize near Darwin
Tropical low pressure area System 94S continues to soak Australia's Northern Territory near Darwin.

Narcissism -- to a point -- can make a more effective leader, researchers find
Although Narcissus himself might not have been able to step away from his reflection in the mirror to get to the office, when it comes to leadership, a moderate amount of narcissism can go a long way.

NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Colin's final bow
Tropical Cyclone Colin is becoming an extra-tropical system in the Southern Pacific Ocean and NASA's Aqua satellite captured an image of the transitioning storm.

Coral reefs in Palau surprisingly resistant to naturally acidified waters
Ocean researchers working on the coral reefs of Palau in 2011 and 2012 made two unexpected discoveries that could provide insight into corals' resistance and resilience to ocean acidification, and aid in the creation of a plan to protect them.

Researchers discover that coevolution between humans and bacteria reduces gastric cancer risk
Dartmouth professor of Genetics Scott Williams, Ph.D., studied two Colombian villages and discovered that the risk of gastric cancer (caused by Helicobacter pylori bacteria) depends on both the ancestry of the person and the ancestry of the microbe they carry.

Warping images using your PC graphics card
By projecting images onto contoured surfaces you get a virtual experience that puts you at the center of the action.

The internal clock and feeding rhythm set the pace of the liver
Living organisms have adapted to the day-night cycle and, in most cases, evolved a

Car manufacturing -- fast track towards mass production
New models of automobiles are initially manufactured in a pilot production run.

Fast food not the major cause of rising childhood obesity rates
For several years, many have been quick to attribute rising fast-food consumption as the major factor causing rapid increases in childhood obesity.

Dolphin-power sufficient for propulsion without tricks
For 60 years the world has believed that dolphins did not have enough muscle to propel them at high speed and that they were resorting to some fluid-flow trickery to pull off their impressive performance.

IU study: Copycats pave the way to problem-solving success
It often is better to be surrounded by copycats than innovators, according to a new Indiana U. study.

Most practice guideline recommendations based on less-than-ideal quality of evidence
A study published in the January issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings shows that most clinical practice guidelines for interventional procedures (e.g., bronchoscopy, angioplasty) are based on lower-quality medical evidence and fail to disclose authors' conflicts of interest.

Don't fear the dawn of the drones; someday 1 might save your life, thanks to UC research
University of Cincinnati engineering researchers are finding new and unique approaches to developing autopilots for unmanned aerial vehicles and getting them into the hands of firefighters and other first responders.

Ants protect acacia plants against pathogens
The presence of mutualistic ants greatly reduces bacterial abundance on surfaces of acacia leaves and has a visibly positive effect on plant health.

Ray of hope for magazines in digital era
While print media continue to suffer at the hands of their online counterparts, new research from the University of Toronto Scarborough finds that print magazines with companion websites are able to attract more advertising dollars.

Using progesterone for hot flashes shown safe for women's cardiovascular health
Treatment with progesterone, a naturally occurring hormone that has been shown to alleviate severe hot flashes and night sweats in post-menopausal women, poses little or no cardiovascular risk, according to a new study by the University of British Columbia and Vancouver Coastal Health.

Layered security: Carbon nanotubes promise improved flame-resistant coating
Using an approach akin to assembling a club sandwich at the nanoscale, NIST researchers have succeeded in crafting a uniform, carbon-nanotube-based coating that greatly reduces the flammability of foam commonly used in furniture and other soft furnishings.

A deeper look at interfaces
A technique developed at Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source makes it possible for the first time to selectively study the electronic structure of buried interfaces in multilayer nanodevices.

Scientists warn: Conservation work in zoos is too random
The world's zoos work hard and spend enormous resources on the conservation of endangered species, but the resources are not always optimally spent.

Wayne State discovers potential treatment for better heart health in hemodialysis patients
Researchers at Wayne State University have discovered a potential way to improve the lipid profiles in patients undergoing hemodialysis that may prevent cardiovascular disease common in these patients.

UK rates of gout soaring, but treatment remains poor
UK rates of gout have soared since the late1990s, with one in every 40 people now affected by the condition -- the highest in Europe -- but treatment remains as poor now as it was then, reveals research published online in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Brain regions 'tune' activity to enable attention
The brain appears to synchronize the activity of different brain regions to make it possible for a person to pay attention or concentrate on a task, scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Megafloods: What they leave behind
South-central Idaho and the surface of Mars have an interesting geological feature in common: amphitheater-headed canyons.

No evidence of survival advantage for type 2 diabetes patients who are overweight or obese
Being overweight or obese does not lead to improved survival among patients with type 2 diabetes.

Genes and calls reveal 5-fold greater diversity of Amazon frog species
DNA is opening a new age of discovery of Amazonian frog species.

An international study allows a better prediction of the risk of hereditary cancer
An international study has developed a refined method to identify people at risk for certain inherited cancer as a result of Lynch syndrome.

Massive galaxy cluster verifies predictions of cosmological theory
By observing a high-speed component of a massive galaxy cluster, Caltech/JPL scientists and collaborators have detected for the first time in an individual object the kinetic Sunyaev-Zel'dovich effect, a change in the cosmic microwave background caused by its interaction with massive moving objects.

Research: 'Sourcing hub' could help create more efficient supply chain
The lack of contact between firms at either end of a supply chain prevents companies from gaining efficiencies in costs, design and materials, says Anupam Agrawal, a professor of business administration at Illinois.

2 diabetes studies in January 2014 Health Affairs
The January issue of Health Affairs examines two aspects of the growing worldwide diabetes crisis.

Take a stand and be active to reduce chronic disease, make aging easier, research finds
By sitting less and moving more, people can reduce their risks of chronic diseases and make aging easier, according to Kansas State University research. 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