Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 04, 2014
Program to move families out of high-poverty neighborhoods has mixed results
A program designed to move families out of high-poverty neighborhoods resulted in reduced rates of depression and conduct disorder among girls, but increased rates of depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and conduct disorder among boys, according to a study published in the March 5 issue of JAMA.

Alzheimer's in a dish
Harvard stem cell scientists have successfully converted skins cells from patients with early-onset Alzheimer's into the types of neurons affected by the disease, making it possible for the first time to study this leading form of dementia in living human cells.

New technique targets C code to spot, contain malware attacks
Researchers from North Carolina State University have developed a new tool to detect and contain malware that attempts root exploits in Android devices.

New: An environmentally friendly chemical reaction that does not waste any atoms
In the research group of Nuno Maulide, a chemist working at the University of Vienna, a new chemical synthesis for alpha-arylated Carbonyl derivatives was developed.

IOF-IFCC study summarizes fracture prediction strength of reference bone turnover markers
A new study by a joint IOF and IFCC scientific working group summarizes the clinical performance of serum procollagen type I N propeptide and serum C-terminal cross-linking telopeptide of type I collagen in fracture risk prediction in untreated individuals in prospective cohort studies.

Anthropologist's new book explores how apes and humans evolved side by side
Russell Tuttle, one of the nation's leading paleoanthropologists, incorporates his research with a synthesis of a vast amount of research from other scientists who study primate evolution and behavior to explain how apes and humans evolved in relation to one another, and why humans became a bipedal, tool-making, culture-inventing species.

Lower index to ring finger ration associated with higher risk of osteoarthritis in knee
A new study published online today in the journal Rheumatology has found that the lower the ratio between a person's index finger and their ring finger, the higher their risk of developing severe osteoarthritis in their knees, requiring a total knee replacement.

Study shows nearly fivefold increased risk for heart attack after angry outburst
New research from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical shows an even more compelling reason to think about getting anger in check -- a nearly fivefold increase in risk for heart attack in the two hours following outbursts of anger.

HIV/STI prevention program in Haiti is changing and saving lives
New research from the University of Toronto shows that a little training can go a long way in a desperate situation.

Laminar-flow cleanroom inventor honored posthumously by National Inventors Hall of Fame
The inventor of the modern cleanroom, Willis Whitfield, will be honored posthumously by the National Inventors Hall of Fame for a technology that revolutionized manufacturing in electronics and pharmaceuticals, made hospital operating rooms safer and advanced space exploration.

New therapy helps to improve audio and visual perception in stroke patients
Stroke is one of the most common neurological disorders worldwide.

Moving out of high poverty appears to affect the mental health of boys, girls differently
For families who moved out of high-poverty neighborhoods, boys experienced an increase and girls a decrease in rates of depression and conduct disorder, according to a study in the March 5 issue of JAMA.

Study finds experiences of racism associated with weight gain in African American women
A recent analysis conducted by investigators from the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University has found that frequent experiences of racism were associated with a higher risk of obesity among African American women.

New probes from Scripps research quantify folded and misfolded protein levels in cells
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have invented small-molecule folding probes that enable them to quantify functional, normally folded and disease-associated misfolded conformations (shapes) of a protein-of-interest in cells under different conditions.

NASA satellite sees Faxai hit typhoon strength
NASA's Aqua satellite captured an image of the tropical cyclone called Faxai as it reached typhoon strength in the Northwestern Pacific Ocean today, Mar.

A new study reveals the nutrition, cost and safety benefits of canned foods
A new study published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine addresses the common call to action from public health experts to improve access to and consumption of fruits and vegetables.

New research seeks beneficial qualities of viruses
The National Science Foundation awarded a five-year, $2-million grant to Rachel Whitaker, a microbiologist at the Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois, and an interdisciplinary, multi-institutional team to explore the idea of viruses and their hosts coevolving together in the lab in the model system of hot springs at Yellowstone National Park.

Suicidal ideation among US soldiers begins before enlistment
A major new study found that a majority (58.2 percent) of soldiers who had ever thought of suicide had these thoughts before enlistment, 76.6 percent of US Army soldiers with current mental disorders had onsets of the disorders before enlistment, and nearly half (47 percent) of soldiers who had ever made a suicide attempt did so for the first time before enlistment.

Female fertility: What's testosterone got to do with it?
The use of testosterone to improve outcomes in women undergoing in vitro fertilization is taking hold across the country, but data on its use is slim and mixed.

Are plants more intelligent than we assumed?
Plants are also able to make complex decisions. At least this is what scientists from the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research and the University of Goettingen have concluded from their investigations on barberry, which is able to abort its own seeds to prevent parasite infestation.

Meeting face to face vs. meeting on Facebook -- new study on social anxiety
Nearly a billion people use Facebook, the largest social networking site, but interacting with someone on social media is not the same as meeting them in person.

Controlling protein intake may be key to a long and healthy life
While it's clear that diet can affect longevity, there's great uncertainty about which combinations of foods are best for attaining a long and healthy life.

Flying snakes -- how do they do it?
New research, titled 'Lift and Wakes of Flying Snakes,' appears March 4 in the journal Physics of Fluids.

'Gaydar' revisited
A new study by Northeastern researchers explores the differences between straight and lesbian women's perceptions of other women.

New data confirms Arctic ice trends: Sea ice being lost at a rate of 5 days per decade
The ice-free season across the Arctic is getting longer by five days per decade, according to new research from a team including Prof Julienne Stroeve (UCL Earth Sciences).

The Lancet: Milestone study shows benefits of community-based treatment of schizophrenia
The first randomized trial to rigorously test community-based care for people with schizophrenia in a low-income country shows that treatment in the community led by lay health workers is more effective than standard facility-based care.

What makes flying snakes such gifted gliders?
Animal flight behavior is an exciting frontier for engineers to both apply knowledge of aerodynamics and to learn from nature's solutions to operating in the air.

Physics in 3-D? That's nothing. Try 0-D
Zero-dimensional quantum dots identified by University of Cincinnati researchers could someday have a big effect on a variety of technologies, such as solar energy, lasers and medical diagnostics.

Silk-based surgical implants could offer a better way to repair broken bones
Using pure silk protein derived from silkworm cocoons, investigators have developed surgical plates and screws that offer improved remodeling following injury and can be absorbed by the body over time.

Cholesterol study suggests new diagnostic, treatment approach for prostate cancer
Researchers have discovered a link between prostate cancer aggressiveness and the accumulation of a compound produced when cholesterol is metabolized in cells, findings that could bring new diagnostic and treatment methods.

Gene transfer optimization
Controlled gene transfer into different target cells by means of specific surface markers is significantly more efficient than gene transfer without this assistance.

Research benefits surgeons making decisions on how to help their patients breathe easier
UC researchers use computer simulations developed for aircraft design to improve treatment of human airways.

Reduced ignition propensity requirement may cause changes to cigarette smoke chemistry
For the first time, researchers have revealed the RIP bands in cigarettes cause two significant temperature changes that could explain differences in the chemical composition of smoke produced by RIP versus non-RIP cigarettes.

Raising an army of armchair activists?
Researchers analyzed fundraising and recruitment behavior among members of the Save Darfur Cause on Facebook.

New school meal standards significantly increase fruit, vegetable consumption
New federal standards launched in 2012 that require schools to offer healthier meals have led to increased fruit and vegetable consumption, according to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health.

Off with your glasses
Tel Aviv University researchers have discovered new evidence that correlates visual crowding in a small part of the retina to the brain's processing speed.

Young children form first impressions from faces
Just like adults, children as young as 3 tend to judge an individual's character traits, such as trustworthiness and competence, simply by looking at the person's face, new research shows.

Warfarin for a-fib does not worsen outcomes for patients with kidney disease
Although some research has suggested that the use of the anticoagulant warfarin for atrial fibrillation among patients with chronic kidney disease would increase the risk of death or stroke, a study that included more than 24,000 patients found a lower one-year risk of the combined outcomes of death, heart attack or stroke without a higher risk of bleeding, according to a study in the March 5 issue of JAMA.

Plant extract offers hope for infant motor neuron therapy
Scientists from the University of Edinburgh have found that a plant pigment called quercetin -- found in some fruits, vegetables, herbs and grains -- could help to prevent the damage to nerves associated with the childhood form of motor neuron disease.

Exploring sexual orientation and intimate partner violence
Two studies at Sam Houston State University examined issues of sexual orientation and intimate partner violence, including its impact on substance abuse and physical and mental health as well as the effects of child abuse on its victims.

Dramatic drop in US IPO activity can't be blamed on tougher regulations
An extensive study of initial public offerings shows dramatic changes in the IPO landscape around the world over the past two decades, including a large decrease in the importance of IPOs in the United States while IPOs became more important in other countries.

Sea-level rise threatens UNESCO World Heritage sites
Some of the world's most recognisable and important landmarks could be lost to rising sea-levels if current global warming trends are maintained over the next two millennia.

Hot on the trail of cellular metabolism
Cells have a metabolism that can be altered according to its function.

Predators delay pest resistance to Bt crops
Crops genetically modified with the bacterium Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) produce proteins that kill pest insects.

Carotid artery MRI helps predict likelihood of strokes and heart attacks
Noninvasive imaging of carotid artery plaque with MRI can accurately predict future cardiovascular events like strokes and heart attacks in people without a history of cardiovascular disease, according to a new study.

Does palliative chemotherapy palliate?
Terminal cancer patients who receive chemotherapy in the last months of their lives are less likely to die where they want and are more likely to undergo invasive medical procedures than those who do not receive chemotherapy, according to research in this week's BMJ.

USDA school meal standards positively impact low-income students' fruit and vegetable consumption
While there is no doubt that steps should be taken to lower the amount of overall food waste in schools, the new standards from the USDA appear to be a step in the right direction by helping students to consume more fruits and vegetables without leading to an increase in the amount of food thrown away.

Springer to partner with the Università degli Studi di Palermo
Springer has entered into a partnership with Università degli Studi di Palermo to publish a new English-language book series.

Imprint of chemotherapy linked to inflammation in breast cancer survivors
Chemotherapy can leave a long-lasting epigenetic imprint in the DNA of breast cancer patients' blood cells.

Spiral galaxy spills blood and guts
This new Hubble image shows spiral galaxy ESO 137-001, framed against a bright background as it moves through the heart of galaxy cluster Abell 3627.

Pulling polymers leads to new insights into their mechanical behavior
In collaboration with colleagues from Berlin and Madrid, researchers at the Department of Physics at the University of Basel have pulled up isolated molecular chains from a gold surface, using the tip of an atomic force microscope.

Prequel outshines the original: Exceptional fossils of 160 million year old doahugou biota
A new paper published in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology shows that several Jurassic sites are linked together by shared species and can be recognized as representing a single fossil fauna and flora, containing superbly preserved specimens of a diverse group of amphibian, mammal, and reptile species.

Drinking buddies deny copying alcoholic drink orders
People who copy their friend's drinking behaviour will deny that their decision has been influenced, researchers at the University of Liverpool have shown.

Promise of value-based payments in health care remains unproven, study finds
Pay-for-performance, accountable care organizations and bundled payment programs are widely embraced across health care as a way to improve quality and reduce costs.

Intimate partner violence in men who have sex with men is linked to adverse health effects
Intimate partner violence (IPV) among men who have sex with men (MSM) is linked to greater risk of mental and physical health symptoms, substance misuse, and sexually transmitted infections, according to a research article published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Discovery in France of the New Guinea flatworm
One of the consequences of globalization and increased worldwide freight trade is the introduction of invasive alien species.

Space Station sensor to capture 'striking' lightning data
Researchers at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., developed a sophisticated piece of flight hardware called a Lightning Imaging Sensor to detect and locate lightning over the tropical region of the globe.

What bat brains might tell us about human brains
Could a new finding in bats help unlock a mystery about the human brain?

Research Methods for the Behavioral Sciences wins 2014 Most Promising New Textbook Award
Research Methods for the Behavioral Sciences, by Dr. Gregory J.

CHOP researcher finds more genetic signals linking weight and heart health risk factors
Two recent genetic studies expand the list of genes involved with body fat and body mass index, and their connection to major Western health problems: heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

New evidence confirms link between IQ and brain cortex
Rate of change in the thickness of the brain's cortex is an important factor associated with a person's change in IQ, according to a collaborative study by scientists in five countries including researchers at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital -- The Neuro.

New online care from dietitians helps control weight
A rich chocolate cake is tempting you, but where is a dietitian when you need one?

Behavioral measures of product use didn't measure up in VOICE HIV prevention trial
A new analysis from the NIH-funded Microbicide Trials Network confirms what they and others had already assumed: The behavioral measures used for assessing adherence in the VOICE study -- an HIV prevention trial involving more than 5,000 women in sub-Saharan Africa -- did not provide accurate information about women's use and nonuse of the products being tested.

NASA's Hubble finds life is too fast, too furious for this runaway galaxy
The spiral galaxy ESO 137-001 looks like a dandelion caught in a breeze in this new Hubble Space Telescope image.

Sea turtles 'lost years' mystery starts to unravel
Small satellite-tracking devices attached to sea turtles swimming off Florida's coast have delivered first-of-its-kind data that could help unlock they mystery of what endangered turtles do during the 'lost years.'

New book from MIT professor details a new theory of information propagation in various communities
Media Lab professor's new book ties more than a decade's research into a new theory of information propagation in communities large and small.

Plant extract hope for infant muscle disease
Researchers from Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry have been part of an international team led by the University of Edinburgh, who have identified that a chemical found in plants could reduce the symptoms of a rare muscle disease that leaves children with little or no control of their movements.

Cultural world heritage threatened by climate change
From the Statue of Liberty in New York to the Tower of London or the Sydney Opera House -- sea-level rise not only affects settlement areas for large parts of the world population but also numerous sites of the UNESCO World Heritage.

Women's jobs are poorer paid, less flexible and more stressful
Women's jobs are poorer paid, less flexible, more stressful, and offer fewer promotion opportunities than men's, a large international study has found.

Gonorrhea infections start from exposure to seminal fluid
Researchers have come a step closer to understanding how gonorrhea infections are transmitted.

Bright pulses of light could make space veggies more nutritious, says CU-Boulder study
Exposing leafy vegetables grown during spaceflight to a few bright pulses of light daily could increase the amount of eye-protecting nutrients produced by the plants, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Opening a casino linked with lower rate of overweight children in that community
The opening or expansion of a casino in a community is associated with increased family income, decreased poverty rates and a decreased risk of childhood overweight or obesity, according to a study in the March 5 issue of JAMA.

Two studies advance HIV prevention options for women
Two early clinical studies of novel HIV prevention products for women -- the first combination antiretroviral vaginal ring and a vaginal film -- show the products to be safe and open the door to product improvements that could expand options for women-initiated prevention tools.

TGen identifies key protein that helps prevent lung cancer tumors from being destroyed
Researchers at the Translational Genomics Research Institute have discovered a protein, Mcl-1, that helps enable one of the most common and deadly types of cancer to survive radiation and drug treatments.

New markers for acute kidney injury reported
A University of Louisville associate clinical professor headed up a lab involved in determining two new markers for acute kidney injury reports the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Common cancers evade detection by silencing parts of immune system cells
Johns Hopkins researchers say they have identified a set of genes that appear to predict which tumors can evade detection by the body's immune system, a step that may enable them to eventually target only the patients most likely to respond best to a new class of treatment.

Horses set to gain health benefits from stem cell advance
Horses suffering from neurological conditions similar to those that affect humans could be helped by a breakthrough from stem cell scientists at the University of Edinburgh's Roslin Institute.

Children with ADHD have higher risk of teenage obesity and physical inactivity
Children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are more likely to become obese and sedentary teenagers, according to new research.

Study examines gap in federal oversight of clinical trials
An analysis of nearly 24,000 active human research clinical trials found that between 5 percent and 16 percent fall into a regulatory gap and are not covered by two major federal regulations, according to a study in the March 5 issue of JAMA.

Investigational drug may increase survival for some patients with advanced melanoma
An experimental drug aimed at restoring the immune system's ability to spot and attack cancer-halted cancer progression or shrank tumors in patients with advanced melanoma, according to a multi-site, early-phase clinical trial at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and 11 other institutions.

Study comparing injectable contraceptives DMPA and NET-EN finds HIV risk higher with DMPA
Women who used an injectable contraceptive called DMPA were more likely to acquire HIV than women using a similar product called NET-EN, according to a secondary analysis of data from a large HIV prevention trial called VOICE.

Brandeis University researchers illuminate key structure in heart cells
Brandeis University researchers have unlocked the structure of potassium ion channels that regulate contractions in the heart.

First look at how Staphylococcus cells adhere to nanostructures could help fight infections
A team of researchers led by Berkeley Lab scientists have explored, for the first time, how individual Staphylococcus cells glom onto metallic nanostructures of various shapes and sizes that are not much bigger than the cells themselves.

Clemson receives $5.3M from NSF to broaden cyberinfrastructure education, outreach
The National Science Foundation has awarded Clemson University a $5.3 million grant to enable a national network of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Research and Education Facilitators to broaden the impact of advanced computing resources at campuses across the country.

Prevalence of allergies the same, regardless of where you live
In the largest, most comprehensive, nationwide study to examine the prevalence of allergies from early childhood to old age, scientists from the National Institutes of Health report that allergy prevalence is the same across different regions of the United States, except in children 5 years and younger.

'Dimer molecules' aid study of exoplanet pressure, hunt for life
Astronomers at the University of Washington have developed a new method of gauging the atmospheric pressure of exoplanets, or worlds beyond the solar system, by looking for a certain type of molecule.

Screening does not shift breast cancer to earlier stages
New research from Aarhus University suggests that screening for breast cancer results in increased diagnoses of early stage cancer -- but without a similarly sized decrease in the more serious and aggressive cases.

HPV vaccine provides significant protection against cervical abnormalities
The HPV vaccine offers significant protection against cervical abnormalities in young women, suggests a paper published on today.

Next step in live-donor uterus transplant project
In the spring of 2013, a team of researchers and doctors at the University of Gothenburg performed the last of nine planned uterus transplants.

High consumption of fish oil may benefit cardiovascular health, Pitt public health finds
Eating fish in amounts comparable to those of people living in Japan seems to impart a protective factor that wards off heart disease, according to an international study funded by the National Institutes of Health and led by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health.

Satellite video captures the eastern US winter storm track
NOAA's GOES-East satellite sat in a fixed orbit providing visible and infrared imagery of the major winter storm that hit the US east coast on Mar.

Fighting against HIV in the Central African Republic -- the importance of perseverance
According to Pierre-Marie David of the University of Montreal's Faculty of Pharmacy, stock-outs of antiretroviral drugs in recent years in the Central African Republic have had a dramatic impact on the health of HIV-infected people.

Research connects drug war violence in Mexico with desensitization in social media
Amid times of crisis, citizens often turn to social media as a method to share information, make observations and vent.

Report describes Central Hardwoods forest vulnerabilities, climate change impacts
New research describes expected effects of a changing climate in southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and the Missouri Ozarks and assesses the vulnerability of forest ecosystems to these effects.

Chemotherapy in last months of life associated with increased risk of dying away from home
The use of chemotherapy in terminally-ill cancer patients in the last months of life is associated with increased risk of undergoing resuscitation and dying in an intensive care unit, suggests a paper published on today.

Not even freezing cold stops alien species in high altitudes
They hitchhike with us under the soles of our shoes and muddy car tires.

How sexual contacts with outsiders contribute to HIV infections within communities
While a number of strategies can prevent and control HIV transmission and spread, their effective use depends on understanding the sexual networks within and between communities.

How 19th century physics could change the future of nanotechnology
University of Cincinnati physics researchers have developed a new way of using an old technique that could help build better nanotechnology.

Passive smoking causes irreversible damage to children's arteries
Exposure to passive smoking in childhood causes irreversible damage to the structure of children's arteries, according to a study published online in the European Heart Journal.

Researchers find protein 'switch' central to heart cell division
In a study that began in a pair of infant siblings with a rare heart defect, Johns Hopkins researchers say they have identified a key molecular switch that regulates heart cell division and normally turns the process off around the time of birth.

SAGE acquires 2 leading Science History Journals
SAGE a leading independent academic and professional publisher today announced the acquisition of two new Science History Journals.

NASA satellite catches last glimpse of Kofi as a tropical cyclone
Tropical Cyclone Kofi was becoming an extra-tropical storm on Mar.

LA BioMed board member Dr. Richard Glassock honored
LA BioMed board member was honored by the American Association of Kidney Patients.

Society of Interventional Radiology: Understand long-term risks of DVT
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) often brings with it the risk of post-thrombotic syndrome, an under-recognized but serious complication that often causes long-term disability for patients.

Combination ARV vaginal ring to prevent HIV safe in trial but 1 ARV carries the weight
An early phase clinical trial of a vaginal ring containing the antiretroviral (ARV) drugs dapivirine and maraviroc found the ring was safe in women who wore it for 28 days and evidence of dapivirine in cervical tissue and blood.

Which interventions are most effective to promote exclusive breastfeeding?
The effectiveness of different types of interventions for promoting exclusive breastfeeding in high-income countries is the focus of a Review article published in Breastfeeding Medicine.

Military dads have to re-learn parenting after deployment
Fathers who returned after military service report having difficulty connecting with young children who sometimes don't remember them, according to a study released this week.

Meat and cheese may be as bad for you as smoking
A high-protein diet during middle age makes you nearly twice as likely to die and four times more likely to die of cancer, but moderate protein intake is good for you after 65.

Aggression, rule-breaking common among Taiwanese teenagers who have early sex
Taiwanese teenagers -- and especially females -- who become sexually active at a very young age are more likely to be rule-breakers and be more aggressive than their peers.

Mother's diet linked to premature birth
Pregnant women who eat a 'prudent' diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and who drink water have a significantly reduced risk of preterm delivery, suggests a study published online by the British Medical Journal today.

Plymouth chosen as Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence
Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry has been chosen by charity Brain Tumour Research to be its next research center of excellence. 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