Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

February 26, 2014
Antidote can deactivate new form of heparin
Low-molecular-weight heparin is commonly used in surgeries to prevent dangerous blood clots.

Caffeine-based gold compounds are potential tools in the fight against cancer
The side effects of ingesting too much caffeine -- restlessness, increased heart rate, having trouble sleeping -- are well-known, but recent research has shown that the stimulant also has a good side.

Beta-catenin alters T cells in lasting and harmful ways
Activation of beta-catenin, the primary mediator of the ubiquitous Wnt signaling pathway, alters the immune system in lasting and harmful ways, causing chronic inflammation in the intestine and colon, eventually leading to cancer.

Research: Fructose not responsible for increase in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
A meta-analysis of all available human trials published today in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition says fructose in and of itself is not to blame for the increase in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Fighting the rise of the app attackers
Researchers have been given a share of £3 million by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to counter cyber-criminals who are using malicious apps which can collude with each other to infect the smartphone in your pocket.

Experimental treatment developed at UCLA eradicates acute leukemia in mice
A team of scientists from the University of California Los Angeles Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center has developed an experimental treatment that eradicates an acute type of leukemia in mice without any detectable toxic side effects.

Secondhand smoke exposure linked to adverse pregnancy outcomes
Secondhand smoking is linked with pregnancy loss, including miscarriage, stillbirth and tubal ectopic pregnancy, according to new research from scientists at Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the University at Buffalo.

New gas-phase compounds form organic particle ingredients
Scientists made an important step in order to better understand the relationships between vegetation and climate.

'SuperMum' campaign results in startling improvements in people's hand-washing behavior
An analysis of a unique 'SuperMum' hand-washing campaign shows for the first time that using emotional motivators, such as feelings of disgust and nurture, rather than health messages, can result in significant, long-lasting improvements in people's hand-washing behavior, and could, in turn, help to reduce the risk of infectious diseases.

UNC receives more than $40 million for global clinical trials unit to treat and prevent HIV
A more than $40 million grant from the NIH will support five clinical research sites in the Unites States and sub-Saharan Africa that will lead clinical research to address HIV treatment, prevention, and cure.

Spotted seal study reveals sensitive hearing in air and water
Two spotted seals orphaned as pups in the Arctic are now thriving at UC Santa Cruz's Long Marine Laboratory, giving scientists a rare opportunity to learn about how these seals perceive their environment.

Pine forest particles appear out of thin air, influence climate
New research by German, Finnish and US scientists elucidates the process by which gas wafting from coniferous trees creates particles that can reflect sunlight or promote formation of clouds.

JILA physicists discover 'quantum droplet' in semiconductor
JILA physicists used an ultra-fast laser and help from German theorists to discover a new semiconductor quasiparticle -- a handful of smaller particles that briefly condense into a liquid-like droplet.

New study looks at biomarkers in assessing pitch count's bearing on injury
A pioneering research project looking at the correlation between pitch count and throwing arm injuries involves movement and strength studies along with what is believed to be a first in this field of research -- biomarkers.

Exercise, surgically removing belly fat improves cognition in obese, diabetic mice
Cognitive decline that often accompanies obesity and diabetes can be reversed with regular exercise or surgical removal of belly fat, scientists report.

New excavation delves into mysteries of Old Vero Man site
A unique partnership between a private university -- Mercyhurst -- and a citizens group in Vero Beach, Fla.

SMA unveils how small cosmic seeds grow into big stars
New images from the Smithsonian's Submillimeter Array telescope provide the most detailed view yet of stellar nurseries within the Snake nebula.

Researchers find virtual computer-based world an effective learning environment
Boston University School of Medicine researchers have demonstrated the potential of using a virtual computer environment for distance healthcare education for an international audience that often has limited access to conventional teaching and training.

Scientists wake up to causes of sleep disruption in Alzheimer's disease
New research using fruit flies with Alzheimer's protein finds that the disease doesn't stop the biological clock ticking but detaches it from the sleep-wake cycle that it usually regulates.

Cesarean babies are more likely to become overweight as adults
Babies born by cesarean section are more likely to be overweight or obese as adults, according to a new analysis.

DNA test better than standard screens in identifying fetal chromosome abnormalities
A study in this week's New England Journal of Medicine potentially has significant implications for prenatal testing for major fetal chromosome abnormalities.

Follow-up care for older breast cancer survivors needs to be all-encompassing
Older women who have overcome breast cancer are likely to struggle with heart disease, osteoporosis and hypertension further on in their lives.

More evidence that vision test on sidelines may help diagnose concussion
A simple vision test performed on the sidelines may help determine whether athletes have suffered a concussion, according to a study released today that will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 66th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, April 26-May 3, 2014.

Harvested rainwater harbors pathogens
South Africa has been financing domestic rainwater harvesting tanks in informal low-income settlements and rural areas in five of that nation's nine provinces.

Can a simple handshake predict cancer survival rates?
New acquaintances are often judged by their handshake. Research has now recognized the simple squeeze as an important diagnostic tool in assessing strength and quality of life among critical care patients.

Artificial muscles that do the twist
Researchers have developed a low-cost, programmable soft actuated material that they used to replicate the complex motion of the heart, along with a matching 3-D computer model.

Offshore wind farms could tame hurricanes before they reach land, Stanford-led study says
Computer simulations by professor Mark Z. Jacobson have shown that offshore wind farms with thousands of wind turbines could have sapped the power of three real-life hurricanes, significantly decreasing their winds and accompanying storm surge, and possibly preventing billions of dollars in damages.

Second-most common breast cancer subtype may benefit from personalized treatment approach
The second-most common type of breast cancer is a very different disease than the most common and appears to be a good candidate for a personalized approach to treatment.

Self-rated physical fitness in midlife an indicator of dementia risk
How would you rate your own physical fitness? Is it good, satisfactory or maybe even poor?

New blood analysis predicts risk of death
The general state of a person's metabolism can be diversely illustrated with a new scientific blood analysis.

Research shows ovulation motivates women to outdo other women
For approximately one week every month, millions of women change their economic behavior and become more focused on their social standing relative to other women.

Low birth weight reduces ability to metabolize drugs
Researchers have identified another concern related to low birth weight -- a difference in how the body reacts to drugs, which may last a person's entire life and further complicate treatment of illnesses or diseases that are managed with medications.

New autism definition may decrease diagnosis by one-third, Columbia University finds
New diagnosis guidelines for autism issued by the American Psychiatric Association may reduce by almost one third the total number of people being diagnosed, according to new research from Columbia University School of Nursing published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

Screen some patients with acute pancreatitis for pancreatic cancer, SLU researchers suggest
Banke Agarwal, M.D., associate professor of gastroenterology and hepatology at Saint Louis University, says there is a much higher risk of pancreatic cancer in patients with acute pancreatitis than commonly believed.

Attitude during pregnancy affects weight gain
Overweight or obese women with the mentality that they are 'eating for two' are more likely to experience excessive weight gain while pregnant, according to researchers at Penn State College of Medicine.

New data book outlines Hispanic/Latino health
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, released the largest and most comprehensive health and lifestyle analysis of people from a range of Hispanic/Latino origins.

Climate change causes high, but predictable, extinction risks
Judging the effects of climate change on extinction may be easier than previously thought, according to a paper published today in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Passive smoking linked to increased miscarriage, stillbirth, and ectopic pregnancy risk
Passive smoking is linked to a significantly increased risk of miscarriage, stillbirth and ectopic pregnancy, finds a large observational study published online in Tobacco Control.

NPL scientists blend synthetic air to measure climate change
Scientists at the National Physical Laboratory have produced a synthetic air reference standard which can be used to accurately measure levels of carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere.

Don't throw out old, sprouting garlic -- it has heart-healthy antioxidants
'Sprouted' garlic -- old garlic bulbs with bright green shoots emerging from the cloves -- is considered to be past its prime and usually ends up in the garbage can.

Tree branch filters water
A small piece of freshly cut sapwood can filter out more than 99 percent of the bacteria E. coli from water.

Taming hurricanes
Offshore wind turbines have the potential to weaken hurricanes and reduce storm surge, according to a new study published in Nature Climate Change.

Sunburns strike twice
Melanoma is particularly dangerous because it can form metastases in vital organs such as the lungs, liver or brain.

Febrile illnesses in children most often due to viral infections
Most children ill with fever in Tanzania suffer from a viral infection.

WSU researchers say fear of death may curb youthful texting and driving
While drivers tend to believe it is dangerous to text and drive, many say they can still do it safely.

Better remote-sensing explosive detectors: The beginning of the end of full-body scanners?
Standing in a full-body scanner at an airport isn't fun, and the process adds time and stress to a journey.

Superabsorbing design may lower manufacturing cost of thin film solar cells
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a 'superabsorbing' design that may significantly improve the light absorption efficiency of thin film solar cells and drive down manufacturing costs.

Impact on mummy skull suggests murder
Blunt force trauma to the skull of a mummy with signs of Chagas disease may support homicide as cause of death, which is similar to previously described South American mummies.

MIT researchers make a water filter from the sapwood in tree branches
MIT group shows xylem tissue in sapwood can filter bacteria from contaminated water.

Still-fresh remnants of Exxon Valdez oil protected by boulders
Twenty-five years after the infamous Exxon Valdez oil spill in Prince William Sound, beaches on the Alaska Peninsula hundreds of kilometers from the incident still harbor small hidden pockets of surprisingly unchanged oil, according to new research.

Hormone therapy linked to better survival after lung cancer diagnosis in women
Survival among people with lung cancer has been better for women than men, and the findings of a recent study indicate that female hormones may be a factor in this difference.

Fox Chase researchers discover new mechanism of gene regulation
Additional insights into how cancer cells use PARP1 enzyme to resist current therapies may also point to the next generation of cancer drugs.

Major enigma solved in atmospheric chemistry
Aerosols in the atmosphere influence cloud formation, the Earth's radiation balance, and thus the climate.

Mental health of most UK troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq is 'resilient'
Despite prolonged combat missions to Iraq and Afghanistan, there has been no overall increase in mental health problems among United Kingdom soldiers, finds a review of the available evidence, published online in the Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps.

Beaumont study: Gamma Knife helps patients with painful facial nerve disorder
Research by Beaumont Health System radiation oncologists and neurosurgeons found that symptoms of trigeminal neuralgia were reduced in those treated with Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery.

After death, twin brains show similar patterns of neuropathologic changes
Study on the brains of twins finds that Alzheimer's disease is actually a diverse collection of diseases, symptoms and pathological changes.

Characterization of stink bug saliva proteins opens door to controlling pests
Brown marmorated stink bugs cause millions of dollars in crop losses across the United States because of the damage their saliva does to plant tissues.

Researchers trap moths with plant-produced sex pheromone
By engineering plants that emitted sex pheromones that mimic those naturally produced by two species of moths, researchers have demonstrated that an effective, environmentally friendly, plant-based method of insect control is possible.

Thirty-nine new species of endemic cockroach discovered in the southwestern US and Mexico
An American systematist has described 39 new species of endemic desert cockroaches from the southwestern US and Mexico.

Over-80s often over-treated for stroke prevention
People in their 80s are often prescribed drugs to ward off a stroke when the risk of a stroke is not that high and the drugs have other side effects, finds a perspective published online in Evidence Based Medicine.

Closest, brightest supernova in decades is also a little weird
The closest and brightest supernova in decades, SN 2014J, brightens faster than expected for Type Ia supernovae, the exploding stars used to measure cosmic distances, according to University of California Berkeley astronomers.

UNC researchers team up to find new target for dengue virus vaccine
Using an experimental technique new to the dengue field, UNC researchers showed that a molecular hinge where two regions of a protein connect is where natural human antibodies attach to dengue type-3 to disable it.

Kessler Foundation researchers study factors affecting self-reporting among people with TBI
Kessler Foundation researchers have found that among individuals with traumatic brain injury, depression and self-awareness affect subjective reports of memory, quality of life, and satisfaction with life.

Northwestern Medicine debuts new prostate test, reducing need for invasive biopsies
Northwestern Medicine is the first health care provider in the country to offer a new noninvasive blood test for prostate cancer that is nearly three times more accurate than the current standard prostate-specific antigen blood test.

Suicide among apparently well-functioning young men
Suicide among young men is a major public health concern in many countries, despite great efforts to find effective prevention strategies.

Photopharmacology: Optoswitches turn pain off and sight on
Photoreactive compounds developed by scientists of Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich directly modulate nerve-cell function and open new routes to the treatment of neurological diseases, including chronic pain and certain types of visual impairment.

Study shows why breastfed babies are so smart
Responsiveness to children's emotional cues boosts kids' math and reading skills.

Ambitious new pollution targets needed to protect Lake Erie from massive 'dead zone'
Reducing the size of the Lake Erie 'dead zone' to acceptable levels will require cutting nutrient pollution nearly in half in coming decades, at a time when climate change is expected to make such reductions more difficult.

Self-administration of flu vaccine with a patch may be feasible, study suggests
The annual ritual of visiting a doctor's office or health clinic to receive a flu shot may soon be outdated, thanks to the findings of a new study published in the journal Vaccine.

Waterbirds' hunt aided by specialized tail
The convergent evolution of tail shapes in diving birds may be driven by foraging style.

National award for animal testing alternative
Dr. Gyorgy Fejer from Plymouth University School of Biomedical and Healthcare Sciences has received a national award for his work developing the lab-based creation of a type of mouse cell line which could be used in place of live animals for research related to infectious diseases.

Nanoscale freezing leads to better imaging
New X-ray tool allows for more sensitivity to trace metals, such as those that cause cancer, in whole cells and tissues.

Study: Mailing free tests to patients' homes boosts colon cancer screening rates
Colon cancer screening rates increased by nearly 40 percent when free stool tests were mailed to patients' homes, according to results of a pilot study published today in the journal BMC Cancer.

3-D microgels 'on-demand' offer new potential for cell research
Stars, diamonds, circles. Rather than your average bowl of Lucky Charms, these are three-dimensional cell cultures generated by an exciting new digital microfluidics platform, the results of which have been published in Nature Communications this week.

Study finds social-media messages grow terser during major events
Study shows a regular decline in length of social media messaging during public events as the volume of messages increases.

Decline of Bronze Age 'megacities' linked to climate change
Climate change may have contributed to the decline of a city-dwelling civilization in Pakistan and India 4,100 years ago, according to new research.

Improved prescribing and reimbursement practices in China
Pay-for-performance has become a major component of health reforms in the United States, the United Kingdom, and other affluent countries.

Breast cancer cells less likely to spread when one gene is turned off
New research suggests that a protein only recently linked to cancer has a significant effect on the risk that breast cancer will spread, and that lowering the protein's level in cell cultures and mice reduces chances for the disease to extend beyond the initial tumor.

A road map -- and dictionary -- for the arthropod brain
In an unprecedented effort to standardize the anatomical nomenclature of insect brains, University of Arizona neuroscientists have helped create a road map for discoveries that will advance studies of human brain function and disease.

IU study ties father's age to higher rates of psychiatric, academic problems in kids
An Indiana University study with the Karolinska Institute found that advancing paternal age can lead to higher rates of psychiatric and academic problems in offspring than previously estimated.

Whales, ships more common through Bering Strait
A three-year survey of whales in the Bering Strait reveals that many species of whales are using the narrow waterway, while shipping and commercial traffic also increase.

Humans have a poor memory for sound
According to a new study from researchers at the University of Iowa, our memory for sounds is significantly worse than our memory for visual or tactile things.

A predictive fitness model for influenza
Researchers at Columbia University and the University of Cologne have created a new model to successfully predict the evolution of the influenza virus from one year to the next.

Surge in designer drugs, tainted 'E' poses lethal risks
With up to 10 new designer drugs flooding streets every year, more education is needed to convey risks, especially among youth, say UAlberta researchers.

Smart SPHERES are about to get a whole lot smarter
The Intelligent Robotics Group at NASA's Ames Research Center is working to upgrade the smartphones currently equipped on a trio of volleyball-sized free-flying satellites on the space station.

Personalized medicine has finally arrived -- or has it?
As the price for decoding a person's DNA keeps dropping, expectations for personalized medicine based on specific genetic profiling rise.

A cavity that you want
An international research team is developing an optical 'nanocavity' that boosts the amount of light that ultrathin semiconductors absorb.

11th International Conference on Urban Health
The proportion of people living in cities is projected to increase to 70 percent by 2050 and the conference aims to help decision makers and medics respond to the large-scale health challenges affecting countries and communities worldwide.

MSU advances algae's viability as a biofuel
Lab success doesn't always translate to real-world success. A team of Michigan State University scientists, however, has invented a new technology that increases the odds of helping algae-based biofuels cross that gap and come closer to reality.

Software maps ambiguous names in texts to the right person
Computer scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Informatics in Saarbruecken have developed software that resolves the ambiguity of names within texts automatically.

No warming hiatus for extreme hot temperatures
While there are claims that there has been a hiatus in global average temperatures, no such hiatus has occurred at the extreme end of the temperature spectrum.

Finding a few foes among billions of cellular friends
Beating cancer is all about early detection, and new research from the University of South Carolina is another step forward in catching the disease early.

$1.6 million to study 'feel-good' brain chemical and hearing
Washington State University Vancouver research scientist Christine Portfors will study how the brain chemical dopamine influences hearing with support from the National Institutes of Health.

Four GOES-R instruments ready for integration
Four of the six instruments that will fly on the first Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite R-Series (GOES-R) were delivered to Lockheed Martin in Denver for integration onto the spacecraft bus this month.

Cardiovascular nursing congress highlights psychological links to heart disease
The latest evidence on the role of the mind in the development and response to cardiovascular disease will be presented at EuroHeartCare 2014, the official annual meeting of the Council on Cardiovascular Nursing and Allied Professions of the European Society of Cardiology.

Mayo Clinic discovers African-Americans respond better to rubella vaccine
Somali Americans develop twice the antibody response to rubella from the current vaccine compared to Caucasians in a new Mayo Clinic study on individualized aspects of immune response.

Is therapeutic hypothermia beneficial in all patients following cardiac arrest?
New data indicate that in certain patients therapeutic hypothermia is less effective and may even worsen neurological outcomes, as described in an article in Therapeutic Hypothermia and Temperature Management.

Hubble monitors supernova in nearby galaxy M82
This is a Hubble Space Telescope composite image of a supernova explosion designated SN 2014J in the galaxy M82.

New advances in the chronic lymphocytic leukaemia genome
The Chronic Lymphatic Leukaemia (CLL) Genome Consortium moves closer to the functional study of the genome and its application for improving the treatment of the disease.

New research indicates causal link between vitamin D, serotonin synthesis and autism
Serotonin and vitamin D have been proposed to play a role in autism, however, no causal mechanism has been established.

Reproductive coercion, intimate partner violence prevalent
Enough women experience reproductive coercion -- male behavior to control contraception and pregnancy outcomes -- that a research team now recommends health care providers address the subjects with their patients and tailor family planning discussions and recommendations accordingly.

Elsevier titles receive American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Awards
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, announced today that four of its titles have been recognized in the American Journal of Nursing Book of the Year Awards.

Research maze puts images on floor, where rodents look
Visual acuity is sharpest for rats and mice when the animals are looking down.

Cows are smarter when raised in pairs
Cows learn better when housed together, which may help them adjust faster to complex new feeding and milking technologies on the modern farm, a new University of British Columbia study finds.

One gene influences recovery from traumatic brain injury
Researchers report that one change in the sequence of the BDNF gene causes some people to be more impaired by traumatic brain injury than others with comparable wounds.

Uninsured parents don't take breastfeeding classes, even though breast is best
Only 12 percent of parents without coverage take breast feeding classes.

Different eggs in adolescent girls and adult women
Are the eggs produced by adolescent girls the same as the ones produced by adult women? 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