Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 11, 2014
Walking in their shoes: How fundraisers can boost donations
When natural disaster strikes, calls for help are broadcast on television and across the Internet.

Slim pickings for 2 weight-loss drugs?
Many medications for weight loss have been proposed or are under development.

Researchers find source of new lineage of immune cells
The elusive progenitor cells that give rise to innate lymphoid cells -- a recently discovered group of infection-fighting white blood cells -- have been identified in fetal liver and adult bone marrow of mice.

Could statins be used to fight a deadly viral infection?
Two Perelman School of Medicine microbiologists may have found a way to use statins, the well-known blockbuster cholesterol-lowering drugs, to fight the hantavirus, a mysterious and lethal microorganism that appeared suddenly in the US southwest over 20 years ago.

Tech products can turn uncool when they become too popular
In the tech world, coolness takes more than just good looks.

Dressing down: Can this actually boost your social status?
From wearing a suit to a wedding to donning a tie for a job interview, American society has established unspoken rules for dress codes and proper etiquette.

Preterm infants more likely to have elevated insulin levels in early childhood
Researchers have found that preterm infants are more likely to have elevated insulin levels at birth and in early childhood compared to full-term infants, findings that provide additional evidence that preterm birth may be a risk factor for type 2 diabetes, according to a study in the Feb.

New evidence shows how chronic stress predisposes brain to mental disorders
UC Berkeley biologist Daniela Kaufer and colleagues have shown in rats that chronic stress makes stem cells in the brain produce more myelin-producing cells and fewer neurons, possibly affecting the speed of connections between cells as well as memory and learning.

Estimated 1 in 14 women worldwide sexually assaulted by someone other than a partner
Worldwide, one in 14 women (7.2 percent) aged 15 years or older report being sexually assaulted by someone other than an intimate partner at least once in their lives, according to new research published in The Lancet looking at the prevalence of non-partner sexual violence in 56 countries.

Internists review progress, challenges and opportunities
In a 21-page report, ACP offers its assessment of where things stand with both the Affordable Care Act and Medicare Physician Payment Reform and the next steps to be taken to build on the progress made.

After committing a crime, guilt and shame predict re-offense
Within three years of being released from jail, two out of every three inmates in the US wind up behind bars again -- a problem that contributes to the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world.

YOLO: Aging and the pursuit of happiness
As human beings, we expend a great deal of time, money, and energy in the pursuit of happiness.

Game changer: Biomarker identified for noncancerous pancreatic cysts
Researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine have discovered a highly accurate, noninvasive test to identify benign pancreatic cysts.

New research sheds light on how the body regulates fundamental neuro-hormone
New research has revealed a previously unknown mechanism in the body which regulates a hormone that is crucial for motivation, stress responses and control of blood pressure, pain and appetite.

A breast cancer drug to fight fungal disease?
The drug tamoxifen appears to kill a fungus associated with a deadly brain infection that afflicts HIV/AIDS patients, according to a University of Rochester study published online today by mBio, the journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Smoking cessation may improve mental health
Although many health professionals who treat people with psychiatric problems overlook their patients' smoking habits, new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Language vitality barometer toolkit for detecting endangered languages available online
The EuLaViBar language vitality barometer is a tool that can be used to determine the extent to which a language is threatened with extinction.

A new postal code for cancer
Prof. Prasad Shastri and his Team from the University of Freiburg/Germany have discovered that a polymer can provide a key to get into tumors.

MIT robot may accelerate trials for stroke medications
The study's authors found that by using a robot's measurements to gauge patient performance, companies might only have to test 240 patients to determine whether a drug works -- a reduction of 70 percent that Krebs says would translate to a similar reduction in time and cost.

4 years on, ICU Patients with kidney injury show high mortality & elevated urinary protein
In four years of follow up of 1464 participants in the randomized controlled trial Randomised Evaluation of Normal vs.

Satellite tracking identifies Atlantic Ocean risk zones for leatherback turtles
The last large populations of the leatherback turtle are at risk because their migratory routes in the Atlantic Ocean clash with the locations of industrial fisheries, a new study shows.

Data on today's youth reveal childhood clues for later risk of STDs
Here's yet another reason to focus on kids' early years.

UTMB study examines hospital readmission rates after inpatient rehabilitation
Nearly 12 percent of Medicare patients who receive inpatient rehabilitation following discharge from acute-care hospitalization are readmitted to the hospital within 30 days after discharge from the rehabilitataion facility according to new research published in the Feb.

OU next-generation radar deployed in DFW area
University of Oklahoma next generation radar was deployed in Addison, Texas, today as part of a new cutting-edge system designed to save lives and property by providing near-surface, fine-scale, rapidly updated information on severe weather.

Implementing an advance care planning program in German nursing homes
In the 1990s advance care planning (ACP) developed as an alternative to the traditional approach to creating advance directives.

Is an earthquake behind the Shroud of Turin image?
An earthquake in Old Jerusalem might be behind the famous image of the Shroud of Turin, says a group of researchers in an article published in Springer's journal Meccanica.

Study examines legislative challenges to school immunization mandates
From 2009-2012, 36 bills introduced in 18 states sought to modify school immunization mandates, with the majority seeking to expand exemptions although none of the bills passed, according to a study in the Feb.

Hacking the environment: bringing biodiversity hardware into the open
New technologies are changing the way we collect biodiversity data, providing low-cost and customizable alternative to expensive proprietary data loggers and sensors.

Skin reactions during radiation therapy preventable
Severe skin reactions during radiation therapy could be prevented by applying a thin transparent silicone dressing to the skin from the first day of treatment, a clinical trial shows.

Alcohol-breakdown molecule may play a role in breast cancer development
Scientists from The University of Manchester -- part of the Manchester Cancer Research Centre -- and the University of Salford looked at a particular enzyme, a biological molecule that accelerates chemical reactions -- known as CYP2E1.

Child abuse rises with income inequality, study shows
As the Great Recession deepened and income inequality became more pronounced, county-by-county rates of child maltreatment -- from sexual, physical and emotional abuse to traumatic brain injuries and death -- worsened, according to a nationwide study by Cornell University.

Revolutionary new view on heritability in plants
Complex heritable traits are not only determined by changes in the DNA sequence.

Could pizza herb prevent winter vomiting disease?
Scientists have found that carvacrol -- the substance in oregano oil that gives the pizza herb its distinctive warm, aromatic smell and flavor -- is effective against norovirus, causing the breakdown of the virus' tough outer coat.

What is the safest way to stop postmenopausal hormone therapy?
A new study that explores optimal approaches to manage symptoms such as trouble sleeping, mood swings, and depression on discontinuation of HT is published in Journal of Women's Health.

New imaging technique can diagnose common heart condition
A new imaging technique for measuring blood flow in the heart and vessels can diagnose a common congenital heart abnormality, bicuspid aortic valve, and may lead to better prediction of complications.

How to make the wonder material graphene superconducting
Whenever a new material is discovered, scientists are eager to find out whether or not it can be superconducting.

Annual screening does not cut breast cancer deaths, suggests Canadian study
Annual screening in women aged 40-59 does not reduce mortality from breast cancer beyond that of physical examination or usual care, concludes a 25-year study from Canada published on today.

Even moderate weight loss can prevent and cure obstructive sleep apnoea
Even a moderate weight reduction can prevent the progression of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), and even cure it, according to a 4-year Finish follow-up study published recently in Sleep Medicine.

Researchers discover 'epic' new Burgess Shale site in Canada's Kootenay National Park
Yoho National Park's 505-million-year-old Burgess Shale -- home to some of the planet's earliest animals, including a very primitive human relative -- is one of the world's most important fossil sites.

First observation of a human HAT, key proteins in numerous pathologies
A study published this week in PNAS has revealed the first structure of one of the eight human HATs.

Three doses of HPV vaccine recommended against genital warts
Two doses of vaccine against human papillomavirus provide good protection against genital warts, but three doses is better according to an extensive register study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.

€3.5m to improve diagnosis of balance disorders
GPs and other doctors will be equipped with a new, online information system to help diagnose and treat a range of balance disorders, thanks to €3.5m European Union funding for EMBalance.

From surgery to laboratory and back again
A University of York scientist's experience in seeing his partner in hospital recovering from a double lung transplant prompted him to design and synthesise new chemical agents that could revolutionise post-operative patient care.

No clowning around: Juggling sheds light on how we run
Juggling may seem like mere entertainment, but engineers used this circus skill to gather critical clues about how vision and the sense of touch help control the way humans and animals move their limbs in a repetitive way, such as in running.

Biodiversity in production forests can be improved without large costs
Forest management is based on recommendations that are supposed to maximize economic revenues.

Change in guidelines for Type 2 diabetes screening may lead to under-diagnosis in children
New guidelines for Type 2 diabetes screening in children are less effective and more costly than previous screening methods.

New weather radar network in Dallas area to provide more frequent, precise storm data
The DFW area becomes first in the nation to host this next generation of small, near-surface, fine-scale, rapidly updating weather radar developed by researchers at the Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere led by UMass Amherst with partners at Colorado State University and the University of Oklahoma.

Study finds small increased risk of kidney disease following kidney donation
An analysis of nearly 100,000 kidney donors finds that there is a small increased lifetime risk of developing end-stage renal disease following donation compared with healthy nondonors, although the risk is still much lower than that in the general population, according to a study in the Feb.

Fifty-five genes linked to a powerful tumor suppressor predict breast cancer survival
A panel of 55 genes, almost all of which are impacted by the loss of a particular protein, appears to predict if breast cancer will become invasive, leading to poorer survival.

Population bomb may be defused, but research reveals ticking household bomb
After decades of fretting about population explosion, scientists are pointing to a long-term hidden global menace.

Study: Resilience in parents of children undergoing stem cell transplant
After a child's stem cell transplant, parents feel increased distress at the time of the procedure, but eventually recover to normal levels of adjustment.

Kidney failure risk for organ donors 'extremely low'
The risk of a kidney donor developing kidney failure in the remaining organ is much lower than in the population at large, even when compared with people who have two kidneys, according to results of new Johns Hopkins research.

Targeting tumors: Ion beam accelerators take aim at cancer
Hear the latest in the development of particle accelerators for delivering cancer-killing beams from a physicist, a radiobiologist, and a clinical oncologist, and participate in a discussion about cost, access, and ethics.

Penn Medicine: Cognitive development 'growth charts' may help diagnose and treat psychosis-risk kids
Penn Medicine researchers have developed a better way to assess and diagnose psychosis in young children.

Exercise may slow retinal degeneration
Moderate aerobic exercise helps to preserve retinal function in a model of age-related macular degeneration.

Managing southern forests under climate change
US Forest Service scientists recently published a new comprehensive guide, Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation Management Options: A Guide for Natural Resource Managers in Southern Forest Ecosystems, to help natural resource managers in the South develop options for managing southern forest ecosystems in the face of climate change.

New way to measure electron pair interactions
Measuring electron pair emission measurements has always been difficult because it was traditionally done using highly expensive synchrotron light sources, which are available in only a few laboratories worldwide.

What makes memories last?
Prions can be notoriously destructive, spurring proteins to misfold and interfere with cellular function as they spread without control.

How our brain networks: Research reveals white matter 'scaffold' of human brain
For the first time, neuroscientists have systematically mapped the white matter

Exon skipping prevents formation of toxic protein fragments in Huntington's disease
An innovative therapeutic strategy for reducing the levels of toxic protein fragments associated with Huntington's disease uses a new approach called exon skipping to remove the disease-causing component of the essential protein, huntingtin.

First 3-D movies of living sperm
Now doctors may soon have a new technique to help them sort the good sperm cells from the less viable ones: a tracking system, developed by a team of researchers from four European institutions, that takes 3-D movies of living sperm.

Media alert: Register to attend SIR 2014
The Society of Interventional Radiology's Annual Scientific Meeting, the world's most comprehensive meeting dedicated to research that directly benefits patients with image-guided, minimally invasive medicine, attracts nearly 5,300 doctors, scientists and allied health professionals.

Acidic tumor pH inhibits drug effect
Low pH in tumors counteracts the desired effect of the drug chloroquine, according to a new study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.

Study challenges a close link between recent weight gain and diabetes
It is a common notion that type 2 diabetes is precipitated by substantial progressive weight gain, but a study published this week in PLOS Medicine suggests that this might not be true.

The genome of clonal raider ant provides a promising model to study social evolution and behavior
The genome of clonal raider ant provides a promising model to study social evolution and behavior.

Excess weight linked to brain changes that may relate to memory, emotions, and appetite
Being overweight appears related to reduced levels of a molecule that reflects brain cell health in the hippocampus, a part of the brain involved in memory, learning, and emotions, and likely also involved in appetite control, according to a study performed by researchers at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and other institutions.

NREL director Arvizu elected to National Academy of Engineering
Dan Arvizu, director of the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory, has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering.

I smoke, but I'm not a smoker
While smoking among California adults has dramatically declined in recent decades, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine report there is a surprisingly large number of people who say they use cigarettes, but don't consider themselves to be

Photo + fragrance of chocolate cake = more chocolate cakes sold
Fashion magazines come pre-loaded with scratch-and-sniff panels for perfume and aftershave, but what about advertisements for foods like chocolate chip cookies and fresh-baked bread?

Exhausted? It's the perfect time to make health decisions
From keeping up a daily exercise routine to eating healthy foods and avoiding impulse purchases, self-control is hard work.

Largest flock of Earth-imaging satellites launch into orbit from Space Station
A new fleet of 28 small satellites made by Planet Labs, called Flock 1, is considered the largest single constellation of Earth-imaging satellites ever to launch into space.

Exercise may slow progression of retinal degeneration
Moderate aerobic exercise helps to preserve the structure and function of nerve cells in the retina after damage, according a Feb.

Males and females differ in specific brain structures
New study examines thousands of brains from two decades of research to reveal differences between male and female brain structure.

NASA still sees some high thunderstorms in Tropical Cyclone Fobane
Tropical Cyclone Fobane was located southeast of Reunion Island in the southwest Indian Ocean when the TRMM satellite passed over and captured rainfall and cloud data on the storm.

Rare cancers: the challenge of accurate diagnosis -- press release
Inaccurate diagnosis is a major obstacle for the proper treatment of patients with rare cancers.

Source of 'moon curse' revealed by eclipse
Signals bounced off reflectors on the lunar surface return surprisingly faint echoes on full moon nights.

Helical electron and nuclear spin order in quantum wires
Physicists at the University of Basel have observed a spontaneous magnetic order of electron and nuclear spins in a quantum wire at temperatures of 0.1 kelvin.

Scientists identify gene linking brain structure to intelligence
For the first time, scientists at King's College London have identified a gene linking the thickness of the grey matter in the brain to intelligence.

Urban bees using plastic to build hives
A new study by a University of Guelph graduate and a U of G scientist reveals that some bees use bits of plastic bags and plastic building materials to construct their nests.

Dartmouth study provides first global evidence that foreign aid boosts public opinion
A study by Dartmouth and Australian researchers provides the first empirical evidence using data from a variety of countries that foreign aid can greatly improve foreign public opinion of donor countries.

Recent decades likely wettest in 4 millennia in Tibet
Recent decades may have been the wettest in 3,500 years in North East Tibet -- according to climate researchers at the University of East Anglia and the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

New target isolated for leukemia drug development
The protein WTAP and its relationship to Heat shock protein 90 are two discoveries at The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio that open the door to developing more effective therapies in Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

Women with breast cancer gene mutation more likely to survive cancer after double mastectomy
Women who carry a mutation on the BRCA breast cancer gene -- and are diagnosed with early stage breast cancer -- are significantly less likely to die if they undergo a double mastectomy than those who have only one breast removed, suggests a paper published on today.

NREL report finds similar value in 2 CSP technologies
Parabolic troughs and dry-cooled towers deliver similar value for concentrating solar power plants, despite different solar profiles, a new report by the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory has found.

Brilliant blue G may shine in treating traumatic brain injuries
A close cousin of the dye that makes fabric, M&M's and sports drinks blue may improve recovery from traumatic brain injuries.

Breast cancer drug fights fungal disease
Tamoxifen, a drug currently used to treat breast cancer, also kills a fungus that causes a deadly brain infection in immunocompromised patients.

Fewer doses of HPV vaccine still results in reduced risk of STD
Although maximum reduction in the risk of genital warts (condylomata) was seen after three doses of human papillomavirus vaccine, receipt of two vaccine doses was associated with considerable reduction in risk, particularly among women who were younger than 17 years at first vaccination, according to a study in the Feb.

Hospital readmission rate varies following care at rehabilitation facility
Among rehabilitation facilities providing services to Medicare fee-for-service patients, 30-day hospital readmission rates vary, from about 6 percent for patients with lower extremity joint replacement to nearly 20 percent for patients with debility (weakness or feebleness), according to a study in the Feb.

New UK study shows potential for targeting aggressive breast cancers
A new study led by University of Kentucky Markey Cancer Center researcher Peter Zhou shows that targeting Twist, a nuclear protein that is an accelerant of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition program in human cells, may provide an effective approach for treating triple-negative breast cancer.

Man's best friend equally adapted to high altitudes of Tibet
In a new study published in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution, author Dong-Dong Wu, et. al., explored the genetic basis of high-altitude adaptation of Tibetan Mastiffs, which were originally domesticated from the Chinese native dogs of the plains.

RI Hospital: Cognitive behavioral therapy benefits patients with body dysmorphic disorder
In a recent study, researchers at Rhode Island Hospital found significant benefits of cognitive behavioral therapy as a treatment modality for patients with Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD).

Manchester researchers world first in complex genetics testing
Chronic Pulmonary Aspergillosis -- a debilitating fungal lung infection claims the lives of thousands of people in the UK and millions more worldwide.

Impulse spending? Save money by getting organized
Reality television has turned the spotlight on to people with excessive behaviors like hoarding and stockpiling.

Double mastectomy halves death risk for women with BRCA-related breast cancer
Women with BRCA-related breast cancer who have a double mastectomy are nearly 50 percent less likely to die of breast cancer within 20 years of diagnosis compared to women who have a single mastectomy, according to a new study led by Women's College Hospital's Kelly Metcalfe.

Minority political candidates just need a chance
It's not necessarily voters who should be blamed for the lack of minorities in state legislatures, but instead the two major political parties for not recruiting enough candidates, indicates new research by a Michigan State University scholar.

NIH-funded researchers use antibody treatment to protect humanized mice from HIV
NIH-funded scientists have shown that boosting the production of certain broadly neutralizing antibodies can protect humanized mice from both intravenous and vaginal infection with HIV.

Are you a high achiever? Even the best products might leave you dissatisfied
Make the honor roll, go for the promotion, or try the tastiest entrée on the menu.

UNC study reveals potential route to bladder cancer diagnostics, treatments
UNC School of Medicine researchers conducted a genetic analysis of invasive bladder cancer tumors to discover that the disease shares genetic similarities with two forms of breast cancer.

Nanoparticles treat muscular dystrophy in mice
Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have demonstrated a new approach to treating muscular dystrophy. 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