Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 13, 2014
Massachusetts' fire-safe cigarette law appears to decrease likelihood of residential fires
A six-year-old Massachusetts law requiring that only

Plants recycle too
A research team from VIB and Ghent University (Belgium), and Staffan Persson from the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Plant Physiology in Potsdam (Germany) has now identified a new protein complex which is crucial for endocytosis in plants.

NOAA researcher says Arctic marine mammals are ecosystem sentinels
As the Arctic continues to see dramatic declines in seasonal sea ice, warming temperatures and increased storminess, the responses of marine mammals can provide clues to how the ecosystem is responding to these physical drivers.

Asian longhorned beetles pheromone could be used to manage pest
Female Asian longhorned beetles lure males to their locations by laying down sex-specific pheromone trails on tree surfaces, according to an international team of researchers.

Interactive map of human genetic history revealed
A global map detailing the genetic histories of 95 different populations across the world, showing likely genetic impacts of European colonialism, the Arab slave trade, the Mongol Empire and European traders near the Silk Road mixing with people in China, has been revealed for the first time.

Children living close to fast food outlets more likely to be overweight
Research from the University of East Anglia shows that children living close to fast food outlets are more likely to be overweight.

Amidst bitter cold and rising energy costs, new concerns about energy insecurity
With many regions of the country braced by an unrelenting cold snap, the problem of energy insecurity continues to go unreported despite its toll on the most vulnerable.

Data links quick fix
Software that can fix 90 percent of broken links in the web of data, assuming the resources are still on the site's server, has been developed by researchers in Iran.

Cat parasite found in western Arctic Beluga deemed infectious
University of British Columbia scientists have found for the first time an infectious form of the cat parasite Toxoplasma gondii in western Arctic Beluga, prompting a health advisory to the Inuit people who eat whale meat.

UEF study: Metabolic syndrome is similar in different age groups
Metabolic risk factors cluster similarly in children and adults, according to a study carried out at the University of Eastern Finland.

New book offers financial advice for when we 'get stupid'
Baby boomers can learn how to protect their hard-earned assets and guarantee a steady income for the rest of their lives through a new book by Lewis Mandell, Ph.D., professor emeritus of finance and managerial economics in the University at Buffalo School of Management.

Ambulance magnesium treatment fails to improve stroke outcome
Giving magnesium to stroke patients in an ambulance soon after symptoms began did not reduce the severity of disability measured 3 months later.

Laboratory detective work points to potential therapy for rare, drug-resistant cancer
University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute scientists have shown that old drugs might be able to do new tricks.

Conservation science partnership thrives, expands
For nearly a decade, Northwestern University and the Art Institute of Chicago have been partners in conservation science, unlocking secrets about the museum's masterpieces and developing new methods and technologies to investigate art.

Researchers find brain's 'sweet spot' for love in neurological patient
A region deep inside the brain controls how quickly people make decisions about love, according to new research at the University of Chicago.

World-renowned scientist Dr. Brenda Milner receives Dan David Prize
Dr. Brenda Milner, an active researcher at the age of 95 at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital, McGill University and McGill University Health Centre, has been awarded the 2014 Dan David Prize for her fundamental contributions to the science of memory and the brain.

Superconductivity in orbit: Scientists find new path to loss-free electricity
Researchers at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory have combined atoms with multiple orbitals and precisely pinned down their electron distributions.

Study explores link between selling and leasing market prices for cars
Changes in the selling prices of cars can be used to improve calculations for how much people should be paying to lease a vehicle, according to a new study.

Could restless sleep cause widespread pain in older folks?
Researchers in the U.K. report that non-restorative sleep is the strongest, independent predictor of widespread pain onset among adults over the age of 50.

Marriage's 'haves' and 'have nots'
Today Americans are looking to their marriages to fulfill different goals than in the past -- and although the fulfillment of these goals requires especially large investments of time and energy in the marital relationship, on average Americans are actually making smaller investments in their marital relationship than in the past, according to new research from Northwestern University.

Cancer drugs hitch a ride on 'smart' gold nanoshells
Nanoparticles capable of delivering drugs to specifically targeted cancer cells have been created by a group of researchers from China.

Efficient treatment a step closer in the fight against cancer-causing herpes
Herpes virus proteins are more

America's natural gas system is leaky and in need of a fix, new study finds
The US natural gas system is letting more methane, a potent greenhouse gas, escape into the air than previously thought, a study in the journal Science confirms.

Patented airflow system decreases pollutants from large piston engines
An airflow control system enables large-bore, multi-cylinder engines used in trains, pipelines, backup diesel generators and other fields to run efficiently while producing lower levels of harmful emissions than they do currently.

Early career women scientists from developing countries honored for research
Five chemists are being honored with Elsevier Foundation Awards for Early Career Women Scientists in the Developing World, each for research that looks to nature for ways to address cancer, malaria and other medical problems.

Case Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers discover pathway of protein that helps cancer cells survive
A team of researchers from Case Western Reserve School of Medicine has discovered how the cancer-related protein Bcl-2 signals cancer cells to live longer.

Air pollution increases risk for hypertension in pregnant women
Breathing the air outside their homes may be just as toxic to pregnant women -- if not more so -- as breathing in cigarette smoke, increasing a mom-to-be's risk of developing deadly complications such as preeclampsia, according to findings from a new University of Florida study.

Discovery may help to explain mystery of 'missing' genetic risk
A new study could help to answer an important riddle in our understanding of genetics: why research to look for the genetic causes of common diseases has failed to explain more than a fraction of the heritable risk of developing them.

Graphene's love affair with water
Water filters allowing precise and fast sieving of salts and organic molecules have been revealed by University of Manchester scientists.

Is zinc the missing link for osteoarthritis therapies?
A study published in the journal Cell reveals that osteoarthritis-related tissue damage is caused by a molecular pathway that is involved in regulating and responding to zinc levels inside of cartilage cells.

Stroke survivors often return to driving without being evaluated for ability
Stroke survivors often return to driving without being evaluated for ability.

Stanford climate scientist to discuss state of climate science, coming risks
The world is staring down the barrel of climate change that is faster than at any time in the last 65 million years, says climate expert Chris Field.

Most people have access to stroke care, but few get recommended treatment
More than 80 percent of people in the United States live within an hour's drive of a hospital able to treat acute stroke but only 4 percent get recommended treatment in the key hours after stroke.

Two new weapons in the battle against bacteria
Proteases are vital proteins that serve for order within cells.

Metal implants may cut chemotherapy side effects, study suggests
Cancer patients could one day experience fewer side effects from chemotherapy following a discovery from University of Edinburgh researchers that opens the door for more targeted treatments.

Immunologists from the University of Bonn topple dogma
An international team of scientists under the leadership of the University of Bonn disproves a dogma: To date, immunologists have assumed that the macrophages functioning as 'scavenger cells' can be classified into two different forms.

Can-do plan gets women trimmer, healthier, and cuts hot flashes
A woman can beat middle-aged spread, her disease risks, and her hot flashes with the help of her healthcare provider.

Mental health patients up to 4 times more likely to be infected with HIV, Penn study finds
People receiving mental health care are up to four times more likely to be infected with HIV than the general population, according to a new study published Feb.

Moderate exercise cuts women's stroke risk, helps offset increase risk from hormone thep
Moderate exercise like brisk walking may cut women's stroke risk 20 percent.

Common infections may increase risk for memory decline
Exposure to common infections is linked to problems with memory and cognitive skills.

Discovery may help to explain mystery of 'missing' genetic risk
A new study could help to answer an important riddle in our understanding of genetics: why research to look for the genetic causes of common diseases has failed to explain more than a fraction of the heritable risk of developing them.

Stopping smoking linked to improved mental health
Quitting smoking is associated with an improvement in mental health in comparison with continuing to smoke, suggests a study published on today.

First large-scale study of stock market volatility and mental disorders
Falling stock prices lead to increased hospitalisations for mental disorders, according to new research published today in the journal Health Policy and Planning.

What makes the newborn immune system in the lungs different and vulnerable?
Newborns are more susceptible to infections, presumably because of their immature and inexperienced immune systems.

Vitamin B12 accelerates worm development
Every day our cells take in nutrients from food and convert them into the building blocks that make life possible.

How bacteria communicate with us to build a special relationship
Communication is vital to any successful relationship. Researchers from the Institute of Food Research and the University of East Anglia have discovered how the beneficial bacteria in our guts communicate with our own cells.

For understanding family structure to trauma: New technology is yielding bigger data
Social media can do more than just entertain us and keep us connected.

IBEX research shows influence of galactic magnetic field extends beyond our solar system
In a report published today, new research suggests the enigmatic

Rebuilding the brain after stroke
Enhancing the brain's inherent ability to rebuild itself after a stroke with molecular components of stem cells holds enormous promise for treating the leading cause of long-term disability in adults.

Why did the orangutan come down from the trees?
Orangutans come down from the trees and spend more time on the ground than previously realized -- but this behavior may be partly influenced by man, a new study has found.

€85million European programme targets novel antibiotics
The growing problem of resistance to antibiotics is very costly, both in human lives and in resources.

Stanford psychologist shows why talking to kids really matters
Exposure to child-directed speech sharpens infants' language processing skills and can predict future success.

Experts add radon test to 'must-dos' for home safety -- as important as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Pointing to startling statistics on lung cancer risks, child health and other experts in Canada are ramping up calls for families nationwide to test their homes for radon gas contamination.

A new target for cancer and diabetes: A novel role for the adaptor protein p66shc in regulating glucose metabolism
A protein that has been known until recently as part of a complex communications network within the cell also plays a direct role in regulating sugar metabolism, according to a new study published online in the journal Science Signaling.

New stem cell method may eliminate need for blood donations to maintain platelet supply
Platelets, whose primary function is to prevent bleeding, are vital for treating various forms of trauma and blood diseases.

What is 'Iranian Religion'?
Officially, the Islamic Republic of Iran has a 99% Muslim majority.

Light-induced degradation in amorphous silicon thin film solar cells
Light-induced degradation in amorphous silicon thin film solar cells: New insight into microscopic mechanism

Department of Energy speakers and sessions at AAAS
Attendees of the 2014 AAAS Annual Meeting are invited to the events at which representatives from DOE's Office of Science and its labs will play an active part.

Berkeley Lab researchers at AAAS 2014
Can more accurate climate models help us understand extreme weather events?

Sedation before nerve block increases risk, not pain relief
New research suggests that sedating patients before a nerve block needed to diagnose or treat chronic pain increases costs, risks and unnecessary surgeries, and sedation does nothing to increase patient satisfaction or long-term pain control.

Diabetes, epilepsy and asthma increase risk of self-harm
New research quantifying the risk of admission to hospital for self-harm has identified a raised risk of self-harm among groups of patients with certain physical illnesses.

The Protein Society announces its 2014 award recipients
The Protein Society, the only international society devoted to furthering research aimed at the understanding proteins, announces the winners of the 2014 Protein Society Awards.

Scripps Florida team awarded $2.3 million to unlock mysteries of long-term memory
Scientists from the Florida campus of the Scripps Research Institute have been awarded approximately $2.3 million from the National Institute of Mental Health to study the processes involved in long-term memory and how deficits in those processes contribute to brain diseases.

Robotic construction crew needs no foreman
Computer scientists and engineers at Harvard University have created an autonomous robotic construction crew.

Books rate more negatively after winning award, study finds
New research from Amanda Sharkey of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business finds that a book read after winning a prestigious award will likely be judged more negatively than if it's read in its pre-award days.

Science is used to reveal masterpiece's true colors
Northwestern University chemist Richard Van Duyne, in collaboration with conservation scientists at the Art Institute of Chicago, has been using a powerful scientific method to investigate masterpieces by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Winslow Homer and Mary Cassatt.

Scientists reveal cosmic roadmap to galactic magnetic field
Scientists on NASA's Interstellar Boundary Explorer mission, including a team leader from the University of New Hampshire, report that recent, independent measurements have validated one of the mission's signature findings -- a mysterious

IK4 sets to offer Basque companies European-level opportunities in intelligent systems
The Basque R&D Alliance is participating in the European project EXPRESS that brings together eight industrial clusters and other players in technological innovation.

First-ever book on Mekong rattan species aims to promote sustainable practices
Rattan, a type of climbing palm used to make furniture and many other products, is the basis of a multi-billion-dollar industry that provides vital economic support for communities across Southeast Asia, but its natural stocks are in decline in many places.

Builder bots ditch blueprints for local cues
Termites inspired researchers to design smart robots. Without the coordinated strategy or detailed communication plan that humans building buildings require, these robots can build complex structures.

Grape seed promise in fight against bowel cancer
University of Adelaide research has shown for the first time that grape seed can aid the effectiveness of chemotherapy in killing colon cancer cells as well as reducing the chemotherapy's side effects.

New atlas helps protect the soils of Latin America and the Caribbean
The atlas shows the delicate relationships between soils and the functions that they provide.

NCSU entomologist Fred Gould to present 2014 Founders' Memorial Lecture
Dr. Fred Gould, William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Entomology at North Carolina State University, has been selected to deliver the Founders' Memorial Award lecture at Entomology 2014, the 62nd Annual Meeting of the Entomological Society of America to be held in Portland, Oregon, Nov.

Head, neck injuries may increase stroke risk among trauma patients younger than 50
Suffering an injury to the head or neck increases ischemic stroke risk three-fold among trauma patients younger than 50, according to research presented at the American Stroke Association's International Stroke Conference 2014.

Virginia Tech Transportation Institute to drive vehicle-to-vehicle communication effort
The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has been tapped by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to design the integration framework that will allow vehicles to

Scientists discover the mechanism of heart failure in fish exposed to oil spills
Researchers from NOAA Fisheries and Stanford University, working on the Natural Resources Damage Assessment following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, have found that some petroleum compounds act as ion channel blockers in the heart cells of young tuna, disrupting normal cardiac function.

Nuclear fusion: Julich's role in ITER
Forschungszentrum Jülich will lead a consortium of European partners to design a measuring system for the fusion experiment ITER.

Researchers find breast cancer drug in bodybuilding supplement
Researchers have found the breast cancer drug tamoxifen in samples of a widely available bodybuilding dietary supplement.

'Sexy' underwear is not the only way to feel feminine on Valentine's Day, academic says
Underwear consumption expert Dr. Christiana Tsaousi says TV shows and glossy magazines give the false impression that only one type of underwear can make women feel feminine.

Science: Cortical convolutions controlled in sections
Researchers have tied a particular gene to the development of cortical convolutions -- the prominent but enigmatic folds covering the surface of the human brain.

TGen Physician-in-Chief Dr. Daniel Von Hoff inducted today into Joshua Lederberg Society
Dr. Daniel D. Von Hoff, Distinguished Professor and Physician-in-Chief of the Translational Genomics Research Institute, will be inducted today into the Joshua Lederberg Society for his work in developing the drug Abraxane for advanced pancreatic cancer patients.

Study highlights indigenous response to natural disaster
When a tsunami struck American Samoa in 2009, indigenous institutions on the islands provided effective disaster relief that could help federal emergency managers in similar communities nationwide, according to a study from the University of Colorado Denver and the University of Hawaii at Manoa .

How memory and schizophrenia are connected
Many psychiatric disorders are accompanied by memory deficits. Basel scientists have now identified a network of genes that controls fundamental properties of neurons and is important for human brain activity, memory and the development of schizophrenia.

Could action video games help people with dyslexia learn to read?
In addition to their trouble with reading, people with dyslexia also have greater difficulty than typical readers do when it comes to managing competing sensory cues, according to a study reported February 13 in Current Biology, a Cell Press publication.

Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry Best Paper Award to Sherrie Elzey and De-Hao Tsai
The Springer journal Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry (ABC) has chosen Sherrie Elzey and De-Hao Tsai as the recipients of its Best Paper Award 2013.

MRC funds BREATHE Africa partnership
The Medical Research Council has announced £580,000 of funding to facilitate collaboration between established trial sites and to increase research capacity in Africa focused on the health effects of Household Air Pollution.

Treating stroke with IV magnesium within an hour of symptoms fails to improve outcomes
In the first study of its kind, a consortium led by UCLA physicians found that giving stroke patients intravenous magnesium within an hour of symptom onset does not improve stroke outcomes.

A promising new approach for treating leukemia discovered
A group of researchers at the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer (IRIC) of Université de Montréal discovered a promising new approach to treating leukemia by disarming a gene that is responsible for tumor progression.

Harvard scientists find cell fate switch that decides liver, or pancreas?
Harvard stem cell scientists have a new theory for how stem cells decide whether to become liver or pancreatic cells during development.

Valentine's Day: True love makes pacific salmon healthier
Salmon can spot their true love across a crowded stream, according to research from a university-industry partnership involving the University of Waterloo.

Blood clot risk remains higher than normal for at least 12 weeks after women deliver babies
Risk of a blood clot is higher than normal for at least 12 weeks after a woman delivers a baby -- twice as long as previously recognized.

Wealthy neighborhoods fuel materialistic desires, study says
Living in a wealthy neighborhood could fuel feelings of materialism and compulsive spending, according to new research from San Francisco State University.

Rewriting the text books: Scientists crack open 'black box' of development
We know much about how embryos develop, but one key stage -- implantation -- has remained a mystery.

Genetic chip will help salmon farmers breed better fish
Atlantic salmon production could be boosted by a new technology developed by scientists at the University of Edinburgh's Roslin Institute that will help select the best fish for breeding.

Hispanic stroke patients less likely to receive clot-busting drugs in
Hispanic stroke patients less likely to receive clot-busting drugs in border state hospitals.

Stanford, NOAA scientists discover mechanism of crude oil heart toxicity
While studying the impact of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill on tuna, a research team led by Barbara Block, a professor of marine sciences, discovered that crude oil interrupts a molecular pathway that allows fish heart cells to beat effectively.

Broad, MIT researchers reveal structure of key CRISPR complex
Researchers from the Broad Institute and MIT have teamed up with colleagues from the University of Tokyo to form the first high definition picture of the Cas9 complex -- a key part of the CRISPR-Cas system used by scientists as a genome-editing tool to silence genes and probe the biology of cells.

Muscle loss ups mortality and sepsis risk in liver transplant candidates
Japanese researchers have determined that sarcopenia -- a loss of skeletal muscle mass -- increases risk of sepsis and mortality risk in patients undergoing live donor liver transplantation.

Intensive dialysis in pregnant women with kidney failure benefits mother and baby
For pregnant women with kidney failure who underwent dialysis for more than 36 hours per week, the live birth rate was 85 percent, while it was only 48 percent in women dialyzed for 20 hours or less per week.

Protein switch dictates cellular fate: stem cell or neuron
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that a well-known protein has a new function: It acts in a biological circuit to determine whether an immature neural cell remains in a stem-like state or proceeds to become a functional neuron.

Screening wastewater biosolids for environmental contaminants
Researchers describe a cost-effective method for screening chemicals found in wastewater biosolids used in fertilizer for potential environmental impact.

London's bicycle sharing scheme has had positive overall health effect
London's bicycle sharing scheme has had a positive overall health effect, but the benefits of cycling in the cycle hire zone are clearer for men than for women and for older users than for younger users, finds a study published on today.

Environment influences ability of bacterium to block malaria transmission
The environment significantly influences whether or not a certain bacterium will block mosquitoes from transmitting malaria, according to researchers at Penn State. 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