Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 10, 2014
The genetic origins of high-altitude adaptations in Tibetans
Genetic adaptations for life at high elevations found in residents of the Tibetan plateau likely originated around 30,000 years ago in peoples related to contemporary Sherpa.

MARC Travel Awards announced for the ACSM 2014 Texas Regional Chapter Meeting
FASEB MARC (Maximizing Access to Research Careers) Program has announced the travel award recipients for the American College of Sports Medicine Texas Regional Chapter meeting in Fort Worth, TX from February 27-28, 2014.

Matchmaking this Valentine's Day: How it can bring you the most happiness
If you follow your instinct to play Cupid this Valentine's Day, it'll pay off in happiness -- not necessarily for the new couple, but definitely for you.

Drifting herbicides produce uncertain effects
Farmers should take extra precautions so drifting herbicides do not create unintended consequences on neighboring fields and farms, according to agricultural researchers.

Weakness exposed in most common cancer gene
NYU Langone Medical Center researchers have found a biological weakness in the workings of the most commonly mutated gene involved in human cancers, known as mutant K-Ras, which they say can be exploited by drug chemotherapies to thwart tumor growth.

Study finds 3-fold increase in pregnancy among young girls with mental illness
Young girls with mental illness are three times more likely to become teenage parents than those without a major mental illness, according to a first-of-its-kind study by researchers at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences and Women's College Hospital.

Flowing water on Mars appears likely but hard to prove
Two Georgia Tech studies take a closer look at this puzzling summertime streaks on Mars, searching for the minerals they leave in their wake.

New trial results affirm better blood pressure management during C-section
New trial results1 have shown that the world's first Double Intravenous Vasopressor Automated System affords superior control of maternal blood pressure in women undergoing caesarean section under spinal anaesthesia, when compared with manually-administered medication to manage reduced blood pressure (vasopressor).

New therapy for personality disorders proven more effective than other major treatments
A large scale randomized control trial, just released in the American Journal of Psychiatry, shows Schema Therapy to be significantly more effective than two major alternative approaches to the treatment of a broad range of personality disorders.

Researchers build nonflammable lithium ion battery
Researchers led by chemist Joseph DeSimone at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have created a nonflammable lithium-ion battery, a discovery that could renew consumer confidence in a technology that has attracted significant concern after recent lithium battery fires in Boeing 787 Dreamliners and Tesla Model S vehicles.

Heart attack research discovers new treatment target
Research led by David Lefer, Ph.D., Professor and Director of the Cardiovascular Center of Excellence at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Medicine, demonstrates for the first time cross-talk between two protective signaling molecules during a heart attack.

Supreme Court of Canada ruling on life support has wider impact: Hassan Rasouli
In the debate over whether to withdraw life support for patients who have no hope of recovery, the recent judgment by the Supreme Court of Canada on the Hassan Rasouli case in Ontario has broader implications for health care in the country, argue authors in a commentary in Canadian Medical Association Journal.

MARC Travel Awards announced for the ACSM 2014 Southeast Regional Chapter Meeting
FASEB MARC (Maximizing Access to Research Careers) Program has announced the travel award recipients for the American College of Sports Medicine Southeast Regional Chapter meeting in Greenville, SC from February 13-15, 2014.

Hidden crop pest threat to poorer nations revealed
The abundance of crop pests in developing countries may be greatly underestimated, posing a significant threat to some of the world's most important food producing nations, according to research led by the University of Exeter.

EORTC characterizes responders & survivors on pazopanib for advanced soft tissue sarcoma
An EORTC analysis appearing in Annals of Oncology confirmed the importance of known prognostic factors such as performance status and tumor grading for having a long-term outcome in patients treated with pazopanib for metastatic soft tissue sarcoma.

Sometimes the average just isn't good enough
Computational biologists from the Max F. Perutz Laboratories of the University of Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna show that averaging is not always a good thing when it comes to analyzing protein crystal structures.

NASA's TRMM satellite eyes rainfall in Tropical Cyclone Fobane
Some towering thunderstorms were spotted in Tropical Cyclone Fobane as NASA's TRMM satellite passed over the Southern Indian Ocean on Feb.

Cars, computers, TVs spark obesity in developing countries
The spread of obesity and Type 2 diabetes could become epidemic in low-income countries, as more individuals are able to own higher priced items such as TVs, computers and cars.

New live-cell printing technology works like ancient Chinese woodblocking
With a nod to 3rd century Chinese woodblock printing and children's rubber stamp toys, researchers in Houston have developed a way to print living cells onto any surface, in virtually any shape.

Young, unvaccinated adults account for severest flu cases
A snapshot of patients who required care at Duke University Hospital during this year's flu season shows that those who had not been vaccinated had severe cases and needed the most intensive treatment.

EU rules are denying children latest cancer drugs
Children with cancer are being denied new, potentially life-saving drugs, because EU rules are allowing companies to trial some drugs only in adults, leading cancer experts warn today.

Grant supports Cedars-Sinai study of possible links between air pollution and brain cancer
Researchers at the Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute and Department of Neurosurgery at Cedars-Sinai will conduct a study to determine if several potentially toxic compounds that exist in polluted air are capable of entering the brain from the bloodstream and causing brain cancer.

University of Tennessee study finds crocodiles climb trees
When most people envision crocodiles, they think of them waddling on the ground or wading in water -- not climbing trees.

Wind farms to blink only when necessary
They can be seen from afar -- the blinking beacons on wind turbines intended to warn approaching aircraft at night.

MRI to offer advances in treatment for chronic kidney disease
Detailed structural and functional

When you always gotta go...
Urgency incontinence is considered the most troubling urinary symptom in both men and women, according to a recent study published in the leading urology journal, European Urology.

New advance in 3-D printing and tissue engineering technology
Researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Carnegie Mellon University have introduced a unique micro-robotic technique to assemble the components of complex materials, the foundation of tissue engineering and 3-D printing.

Is height important in matters of the heart? New study says yes
Is height important in matters of the heart? According to new research from Rice University and the University of North Texas, the height of a potential partner matters more to women than men, and mostly for femininity and protection.

Massive neutrinos solve a cosmological conundrum
Scientists have solved a major problem with the current standard model of cosmology identified by combining results from the Planck spacecraft and measurements of gravitational lensing in order to deduce the mass of ghostly sub-atomic particles called neutrinos.

How do polar bears stay warm? Research finds an answer in their genes
Among polar bears, only pregnant females den up for the colder months.

Virtual avatars may impact real-world behavior
How you represent yourself in the virtual world of video games may affect how you behave toward others in the real world, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Surprising trends in cause of long-term death after percutaneous coronary intervention
More people who have known coronary heart disease die from other causes -- such as cancer, and lung and neurological diseases -- than heart disease, compared with 20 years ago, according to a Mayo Clinic study published online today in Circulation, an American Heart Association journal.

MARC Travel Awards announced for Association of Biomolecular Resource Facilities Meeting
FASEB MARC (Maximizing Access to Research Careers) Program has announced the travel award recipients for the Association of Biomolecular Resource Facililties annual meeting in Albuquerque, NM from March 22-25, 2014.

Threatened eels disappear in the deep on their way to the Sargasso Sea
When the threatened European eels cross the Atlantic Ocean to get to the Sargasso Sea to spawn, they swim in deep water.

American Chemical Society to honor UT Arlington chemist
University of Texas at Arlington professor Daniel W. Armstrong has more than 550 scientific works to his credit and technology he invented is on its way to a rendezvous with a comet.

Research reveals the give and take of urban temperature mitigating technologies
Greenhouse-gas induced warming and megapolitan expansion are both significant drivers of our warming planet.

Slowing down the immune system when in overdrive
Many people suffer from chronic inflammation because their immune systems overreact to 'self' tissue.

Dental care in school breaks down social inequalities
A new global survey conducted by the University of Copenhagen and the World Health Organization documents how dental care in the school environment is helping to assure a healthy life and social equity -- even in developing countries.

Transcendental Meditation significantly reduces PTSD in African refugees within 10 days
African civilians in war-torn countries have experienced the threat of violence or death, and many have witnessed the abuse, torture, rape and even murder of loved ones.

CDC research finds West Nile virus hospitalizations cost nearly $800 million in US since 1999
In a study of the economic impact of West Nile virus in the United States, a research team from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that in the 14 years since the virus was first detected in New York, hospitalized cases of WNV disease have cost a cumulative $778 million in health care expenditures and lost productivity.

Researchers discover immune signature that predicts poor outcome in influenza patients
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have identified a signature immune response that might help doctors identify which newly diagnosed influenza patients are most likely to develop severe symptoms and suffer poor outcomes.

Long distance signals protect brain from viral infections
The brain contains a defense system that prevents at least two unrelated viruses -- and possibly many more -- from invading the brain at large.

TGen study uncovers possible genetic markers in breast cancer that spreads to the brain
The Translational Genomics Research Institute has uncovered possible genetic origins of breast cancer that spreads to the brain, according to a first-of-its-kind study published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.

Embargoed news on statins and personal genome services
Below is information about articles being published in Annals of Internal Medicine.

Obese children more likely to have complex elbow fractures and further complications
Pediatric obesity is currently an epidemic, with the prevalence having quadruped over the last 25 years.

UCF researcher bringing 3-D TV back from the dead
One UCF researcher may be on the brink of bringing 3-D- TV back from the dead.

Giant mass extinction may have been quicker than previously thought
MIT researchers find that the end-Permian extinction happened in 60,000 years -- much faster than earlier estimates.

EHR-based screening program for AAA cuts the number of at-risk men by more than half
A screening program for abdominal aortic aneurysms, integrated into an electronic health record, dramatically reduced the number of unscreened at-risk men by more than 50 percent within 15 months, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published today in the Journal of Vascular Surgery.

'Cut-and-paste' gene defect hints at cause of developmental disease
Melbourne researchers have made a major step forward in understanding how changes in an essential cellular process, called minor class splicing, may cause a severe developmental disease.

Maps show expected redistribution of global species due to climate change
As climate change unfolds over the next century, plants and animals will need to adapt or shift locations to follow their ideal climate.

Genetic discovery to keep crops disease-free
Curtin University researchers have found a way to breed disease-resistant wheat with no downside, potentially bringing multi-million dollar savings to Australia's agricultural industry.

Researchers call for more study into impact of repetitive heading in soccer
Researchers warned in a paper published today that not enough attention has been given to the unique aspect of soccer -- the purposeful use of the head to control the ball -- and the long-term consequences of repetitive heading.

Fish living near the equator will not thrive in the warmer oceans of the future
According to an international team of researchers, the rapid pace of climate change is threatening the future presence of fish near the equator.

Wasps use ancient aggression genes to create social groups
Aggression-causing genes appeared early in animal evolution and have maintained their roles for millions of years and across many species, even though animal aggression today varies widely from territorial fighting to setting up social hierarchies, according to researchers from Iowa State University, Penn State and Grand Valley State University.

ASTRO and SSO issue consensus guideline on margins for breast-conserving surgery with WBI
The American Society for Radiation Oncology and the Society of Surgical Oncology are pleased to announce the publication of the consensus guideline on margins for breast-conserving surgery with whole-breast irradiation in stages I and II invasive breast cancer.

Point-of-care ultrasound for suspected appendicitis in kids proves accurate
Point-of-care ultrasound should be the first-line imaging test of choice for suspected appendicitis in kids, the most common surgical problem in the ED.

University clinical pharmacologist researching chronic lead intoxication in goats
An associate professor of clinical pharmacology of anatomy and physiology is part of a team of researchers from Egypt, Jordan and the US that is evaluating the effect of chronic lead intoxication in goats.

Smoking linked with increased risk of most common type of breast cancer
Young women who smoke and have been smoking a pack a day for a decade or more have a significantly increased risk of developing the most common type of breast cancer.

NJIT grad elected to National Academy of Engineering
Lieutenant General Ellen Pawlikowski, who graduated in 1978 with a degree in chemical engineering, was recently elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

Clues to cancer pathogenesis found in cell-conditioned media
Primary effusion lymphoma (PEL) is a rare B-cell neoplasm distinguished by its tendency to spread along the thin serous membranes that line body cavities without infiltrating or destroying nearby tissue.

Pitt's Center for Medical Innovation announces pilot funding for biomedical technology
The University of Pittsburgh's Center for Medical Innovation awarded a total of $82,000 to six research groups through its 2013 Round-2 Pilot Funding Program for Early Stage Medical Technology Research and Development.

Study suggests ways to improve common furniture fire test
The test widely used to evaluate whether a burning cigarette will ignite upholstered furniture may underestimate the tendency of component materials to smolder when these materials are used in sofas and chairs supported by springs or cloth, according to researchers from NIST and American University.

Mayo Clinic identifies a key cellular pathway in prostate cancer
Mayo Clinic researchers have shed light on a new mechanism by which prostate cancer develops in men.

Mechanism elucidated: How smell perception influences food intake
A research team led by Giovanni Marsicano, a Inserm Research Director at Unit 862 (NeuroCentre Magendie, Bordeaux), has succeeded in elucidating how the endocannabinoid system controls food intake through its effects on the perception of smells.

UNH personality psychologist unveils new theory of personal intelligence
John Mayer, the University of New Hampshire psychologist and internationally recognized researcher who co-developed the groundbreaking theory of emotional intelligence, now introduces another paradigm-shifting idea: in order to become our best selves, we use an even broader intelligence -- personal intelligence -- to understand our own personality and the personalities of the people around us.

Measuring wind turbines remotely
The rotor and mast of a wind turbine can oscillate even in normal operation.

New pain target for bacterial infections
Components in the outer wall of bacteria directly activate pain sensors, triggering immediate pain and inflammatory responses.

Normal enzyme aids a mutant 1 to fuel blood cancer's growth
Researchers from Dana-Farber/Boston Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Center report that a normal enzyme called SYK pairs with FLT3, the most commonly mutated enzyme found in acute myelogenous leukemia (AML), to promote the cancer's growth.

UTA professor's new book explores international response time to foreign conflicts
Timely intervention in civil conflicts can save lives, but interpersonal relationships and organizational culture can trump formal rules in ways that help get things done.

The chemistry of love: Valentine's Day science from ACS Reactions
Love has inspired timeless songs and sonnets -- as well as a few less-than-timeless romantic comedies.

Brain researchers discover how Galileo's visual illusion works in the mind's eye
A new study by SUNY College of Optometry researchers Dr.

Report calls for abolition of fixed retirement age
A report led by a professor at the University of Southampton recommends the worldwide removal of the fixed or default retirement age.

Flat-pack lens boosts solar power
Micro-machining could be used to create almost flat, Fresnel lenses, that boost the electrical efficiency of solar panels, according to researchers in China.

Design prototype chip makes possible a fully implantable cochlear implant
Researchers from Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Harvard Medical School, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology have designed a prototype system-on-chip that could make possible a fully implanted cochlear implant.

No strength in numbers
Urban legislators have long lamented that they do not get their fair share of bills passed in state governments, often blaming rural and suburban interests for blocking their efforts.

Keep romance alive with double dates
Going on a double date may be more effective at reigniting passion in your own relationship than the classic candlelit dinner for two.

The content of our cooperation, not the color of our skin
Peaceful cooperation can reduce or eliminate the nonconscious tendency to categorize people by race, say UCSB social scientists.

Better RNA interference, inspired by nature
New MIT nanoparticles offer best-ever gene silencing, could help treat liver diseases.

Study reveals unexpected cell hijack method in pancreatic cancer
Pancreatic stellate cells, which normally aid tissue repair, unwittingly help pancreatic cancer grow and spread in a method of

Penn's innovative community health worker model improves outcomes for high-risk patients
Experts at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have devised an effective, replicable program using trained lay Community Health Worker to improve a range of outcomes among patients at high risk for poor post-hospital outcomes.

Caltech-developed method for delivering HIV-fighting antibodies proven even more promising
In 2011, biologists at the California Institute of Technology demonstrated a highly effective method for delivering HIV-fighting antibodies to mice -- a treatment that protected the mice from infection by a laboratory strain of HIV delivered intravenously.

Chips that listen to bacteria
Researchers led by Ken Shepard (electrical engineering and biomedical engineering professor, Columbia Engineering) and Lars Dietrich, biological sciences assistant professor, Columbia University) have shown integrated circuit technology can be used for a most unusual application -- the study of signaling in bacterial colonies.

Political values influence people's response to health disparities messages
Policymakers and advocates discussing health disparities in the United States would be wise to consider the political affiliation of their audience, suggests a new study published in the Journal of Health Communication: International Perspectives.

Research analyzes the cultural construction of nudes in Roman mosaics
The female nudes in Roman mosaics exalt beauty, the carnality and eroticism, while male bodies reflect determination, strength and power.

Conserved nuclear envelope protein uses a shuttle service to travel between job sites
Researchers at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research have glimpsed two proteins working together inside living cells to facilitate communication between the cell's nucleus and its exterior compartment, the cytoplasm.

Experimental care program keeps people with dementia at home longer, study shows
An 18-month pilot program that brought resources and counselors to elderly Baltimore residents with dementia and other memory disorders significantly increased the length of time they lived successfully at home, according to Johns Hopkins researchers.

With their amazing necks, ants don't need 'high hopes' to do heavy lifting
The design of future space robots may take a cue from the neck joint of an unassuming American field ant.

Nanomotors are controlled, for the first time, inside living cells
Nanomotors have been controlled inside living cells for the first time, report a team of chemists and engineers at Penn State University.

Oil composition boost makes hemp a cooking contender
Scientists at the University of York today report the development of hemp plants with a dramatically increased content of oleic acid.

Online UNU Migration Network launches today
The UNU Network on Migration seeks to contribute to evidence-based migration policymaking.

Global imbalances in power undermine efforts to improve health & save lives
The organization of political power within and between nations and citizens fails to protect the public's health, according to the findings of a new Commission from The Lancet and the University of Oslo, published today.

JCI early table of contents for Feb. 10, 2014
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers to be published online, February 10, 2014 in the JCI:Memory regulatory T cells reside in human skin, ALS-associated mutation FUS-R521C causes DNA damage and RNA splicing defects, Optogenetic stimulation of the auditory pathway, B cells mediate chronic allograft rejection independently of antibody production, CXCL5-secreting pulmonary epithelial cells drive destructive neutrophilic inflammation in tuberculosis, and more.

Recycling of 'chauffeur protein' helps regulate fat production
Studying a cycle of protein interactions needed to make fat, Johns Hopkins researchers say they have discovered a biological switch that regulates a protein that causes fatty liver disease in mice.

Invisibility cloak for hearing aids and implants
Microsystems are at the heart of portable hearing aids and implants.

High pollutant levels in Guánica Bay 'represent serious toxic threat' to corals
Pollutants measured in the sediments of Guánica Bay, Puerto Rico, in a new NOAA study were among the highest concentrations of PCBs, chlordane, chromium and nickel ever measured in the history of NOAA's National Status & Trends monitoring program.

Obesity, type 2 diabetes epidemics spreading to developing world as more own TVs, computer
Lower income countries may soon be facing the same obesity and diabetes epidemics as their higher income counterparts.

Manga comics may help promote fruit consumption among youth
A recent pilot study in Brooklyn, N.Y., with minority students found that exposure to manga comics (Japanese comic art) promoting fruit intake significantly improved healthy snack selection. 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