Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 12, 2014
Arctic 2050: Towards ecosystem-based management in a changing Arctic Ocean
About 150 scientists, policy makers and members of industry are gathering today at the 4th European Marine Board Forum in Brussels to discuss how best to manage the consequences of a changing Arctic Ocean for human health and well-being.

Estradiol preserves key brain regions in postmenopausal women at risk for dementia
When initiated soon after menopause, hormone therapy with estradiol prevented degeneration in key brain regions of women who were at heightened dementia risk, according to a new study led by Stanford University School of Medicine researchers.

Theoretical analysis of patterns formed on the ancient Damascus blades
Metallurgists have puzzled for several centuries as to how the unique patterns on the ancient Damascus blades were formed.

UK seeing significant rise in older people living and being diagnosed with HIV
A new paper published online today in the British Geriatrics Society journal Age and Ageing argues that despite a year-on-year increase in the number of people over the age of 50 being diagnosed with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), there is a reluctance of healthcare professionals to offer HIV tests to older people.

IRX3 is likely the 'fat gene'
Mutations within the gene FTO have been implicated as the strongest genetic determinant of obesity risk in humans, but the mechanism behind this link remained unknown.

Key heart-failure culprit discovered
A team of cardiovascular researchers from Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute, the Cardiovascular Research Center at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, and the University of California, San Diego have identified a small but powerful new player in the onset and progression of heart failure.

Surface characteristics influence cellular growth on semiconductor material
Changing the texture and surface characteristics of a semiconductor material at the nanoscale can influence the way that neural cells grow on the material.

First thin films of spin ice reveal cold secrets
Thin films of spin ice have been shown to demonstrate surprising properties which could help in the development of applications of magnetricity, the magnetic equivalent of electricity.

Bacterium and fungus team up to cause virulent tooth decay in toddlers
Early childhood caries, a highly aggressive and painful form of tooth decay that frequently occurs in preschool children, especially from backgrounds of poverty, may result from a nefarious partnership between a bacterium and a fungus, according to a paper published ahead of print in the journal Infection and Immunity.

Ground validation: Contributing to Earth observations from space
With GPM, scientists will gather vast amounts of precipitation data on a global scale.

Scientists discover epigenetic mechanism that could affect risk of obesity-related disease
In one of the largest epigenome-wide association studies to date, published in The Lancet, scientists have identified a new epigenetic mechanism that may play a role in mediating some of the harmful effects of becoming overweight, such as diabetes.

Climate of Genghis Khan's ancient time extends long shadow over Asia of today
Climate was very much on Genghis Khan's side as he expanded his Mongol Empire across northeastern Asia.

Peripheral nerve regeneration using a nerve growth factor-containing fibrin glue membrane
Complete regeneration is usually very difficult following peripheral nerve damage, though microsurgical techniques have vastly increased the success rate of surgery to repair the injured nerve.

Heart scans only useful in prescribing statins under certain conditions, UCSF team reports
As long as inexpensive statins, which lower cholesterol, are readily available and patients don't mind taking them, it doesn't make sense to do a heart scan to measure how much plaque has built up in a patient's coronary arteries before prescribing the pills, according to a new study by researchers at UC San Francisco.

Back surgery offers long-term societal benefits, according to new study
A new study uncovered that the estimated average annual earnings of working patients who undergo surgery are $47,619, compared to $45,694 for those with non-surgical treatments.

Gestational diabetes may raise risk for heart disease in midlife
Pregnant women may face an increased risk of early heart disease if they develop gestational diabetes.

Lawns across America: Is the US becoming 1 shade of green?
How their human residents manage that icon of America, the urban lawn, or so hypothesized a team of scientists.

What happened when? How the brain stores memories by time
New research from UC Davis shows that a part of the brain called the hippocampus stores memories by their 'temporal context' -- what happened before, and what came after -- and not by content.

Play it again, Sam: How the brain recognizes familiar music
Research from McGill University reveals that the brain's motor network helps people remember and recognize music that they have performed in the past better than music they have only heard.

Hasbro Children's Hospital study finds texting program good option for teen girls' health
Megan Ranney, M.D., M.P.H., an emergency medicine attending physician at Hasbro Children's Hospital, recently led a study that found a text-message program may be an effective violence prevention tool for at-risk teen girls.

Parasites in humans influence each other via shared food sources
Humans are often infected by parasites, sometimes even several species at a time.

Majority of transgender patients report negative experiences in emergency departments
A new study by Greta Bauer, Ph.D., of Western University (London, Canada) has found the majority (52 percent) of transgender patients surveyed have had negative experiences when it comes to receiving emergency department (ED) care.

Chronic pain research explores the brain
New insights into how the human brain responds to chronic pain could eventually lead to improved treatments for patients, according to University of Adelaide researchers.

A tailor-made molecule against malaria
The malaria parasite is particularly pernicious since it is built to develop resistance to treatments.

Dr. Evan Spruijt -- the winner of the Dream Chemistry Award
Dutch chemist Dr. Evan Spruijt won this year's Dream Chemistry Award.

Facebook feelings are contagious
Research led by UC San Diego shows that emotions spread in an online social network -- and that positive posts are more contagious than negative.

Heart risks of glucose-lowering drugs being overlooked in clinical trials
Why is heart failure not more rigorously assessed in clinical trials of antidiabetes drugs?

Researchers destroy cancer with cryoablation & nanoparticle-encapsulated anticancer drug
Combining nanodrug-based chemotherapy and cryoablation provides an effective strategy to eliminate cancer stem-like cells the root of cancer resistance and metastasis, which will help to improve the safety and efficacy of treating malignancies that are refractory to conventional therapies.

Microbes help to battle infection
Caltech researchers found that beneficial gut bacteria are necessary for the development of innate immune cells -- specialized types of white blood cells that serve as the body's first line of defense against invading pathogens.

Countering the caregiver placebo effect
How do you know that your pet is benefiting from its pain medication?

Europe's resilience of natural gas networks during conflicts and crises probed with maths
Gas networks in Eastern European countries, such as Ukraine and Belarus are less resilient than the UK during conflicts and crises, according to new research from mathematicians at Queen Mary University of London.

National Science Foundation presents FY 2015 budget request
The FY15 Budget Request for NSF of $7.3 billion supports investments in fundamental research across all scientific disciplines, engineering and education that continue to enhance our national economy, security and quality of life.

'Ultracold' molecules promising for quantum computing, simulation
Researchers have created a new type of 'ultracold' molecule, using lasers to cool atoms nearly to absolute zero and then gluing them together, a technology that might be applied to quantum computing, precise sensors and advanced simulations.

Wishing to be another gender: Links to ADHD and autism spectrum disorders
Children and teenagers with an autism spectrum disorder or those who have attention deficit and hyperactivity problems are more likely to wish to be another gender.

Gestational diabetes linked to increased risk for heart disease in midlife
Women who experience gestational diabetes may face an increased risk of early heart disease later in life, even if they do not develop type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome subsequent to their pregnancy, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published today in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Iron overload is a risk factor for diabetic peripheral neuropathy
Iron overload is a risk factor for diabetic peripheral neuropathy.

AZTI-Tecnalia develops a methodology for authenticating canned tuna species within 24 hours
AZTI-Tecnalia, the R&D center based on marine and food research, has developed a new method to authenticate canned tuna, which allows you to check if a product is albacore tuna, yellowfin or bigeye tuna, and others tuna species within 24 hours.

PD-L1: A potential treatment target for multiple sclerosis
Qun Xue, Fanli Dong and co-workers from the First Affiliated Hospital of Soochow University in China speculated that programmed cell death 1 ligand 1 plays an important role in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis.

Meta-analysis: Any blood pressure reading above normal may increase risk of stroke
Anyone with blood pressure that's higher than the optimal 120/80 mmHg may be more likely to have a stroke, according to a new meta-analysis published in the March 12, 2014, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Doctors issue new treatment guidelines for skin abscesses caused by MRSA
It has been more than 10 years since the clinical battle began with community-acquired MRSA, and doctors are still grappling with how to diagnose, treat and prevent this virulent form of staph infection.

Study finds increased gender variance in children with autism and ADHD
John F. Strang, Psy.D., a pediatric neuropsychologist at Children's National Health System, and colleagues, found that children with autism spectrum disorders or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder were more likely to exhibit gender variance, the wish to be the other gender, than children with no neurodevelopmental disorder, or a medical neurodevelopmental disorder such as epilepsy or neurofibromatosis.

New report prescribes recommendations to Congress to restore US leadership in global health
The ceasefire in budget battles on Capitol Hill is good news for global health, but is the budget deal made by policymakers enough to handle the diseases in need of US investments and leadership?

Dinosaur skull may reveal T. rex's smaller cousin from the north
A 70-million-year-old fossil found in the Late Cretaceous sediments of Alaska reveals a new small tyrannosaur.

NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Lusi over Vanuatu
Tropical Cyclone Lusi reached hurricane force as NASA's Aqua satellite passed overhead early on March 12.

Good vibes for catalytic chemistry
University of Utah chemists discovered how vibrations in chemical bonds can be used to predict chemical reactions and thus design better catalysts to speed reactions that make medicines, industrial products and new materials.

Boosting self-esteem prevents health problems for seniors
The importance of boosting self-esteem is normally associated with the trials and tribulations of adolescence.

Water-rich gem points to vast 'oceans' beneath the Earth: UAlberta study
The first terrestrial discovery of ringwoodite confirms the presence of massive amounts of water 400 to 700 km beneath the Earth's surface.

Simulating how the Earth kick-started metabolism
Researchers have developed a new approach to simulating the energetic processes that may have led to the emergence of cell metabolism on Earth -- a crucial biological function for all living organisms.

VLT spots largest yellow hypergiant star
ESO's Very Large Telescope has revealed the largest yellow star -- and one of the 10 largest stars found so far.

Economic degrowth compatible with wellbeing if work stability is maintained
Researchers from ICTA-UAB surveyed almost one thousand Barcelonans in order to analyse the effects environmental policies based on economic degrowth would have on happiness and wellbeing.

Infection is the leading cause of failed prosthetic knee joints
A new study found that infection is the leading cause of failed prosthetic knee joints, with elderly, female patients with a moderate number of comorbidities, representing the largest proportion of the revision population.

'Love hormone' could provide new treatment for anorexia
Oxytocin, also known as the 'love hormone,' could provide a new treatment for anorexia nervosa, according to new research by a team of British and Korean scientists.

Large study identifies the exact gut bacteria involved in Crohn's disease
While the causes of Crohn's disease are not well understood, recent research indicates an important role for an abnormal immune response to the microbes that live in the gut.

Second largest research award at Notre Dame fights malaria and dengue fever
Notre Dame biologists Nicole Achee and Neil Lobo are leaders of an international $23 million research grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Kappa Delta awards recognize innovative orthopedic research
The Kappa Delta Sorority and the Orthopaedic Research and Education Foundation presented four research awards today to scientists who are performing research that translates to improvements in patient treatment and care.

Transition to ICD-10 may cause information, financial losses for providers
The study, appearing in the March issue of the Journal of Oncology Practice, looked at coding ambiguity for hematology-oncology diagnoses to anticipate challenges all providers may face during the transition from ICD-9-CM to ICD-10-CM.

Purified fish oils could help treat rare disease affecting newborn babies
A rare and potentially lethal disease of newborn babies whose bodies make too much insulin may be treatable with fish oils, according to researchers from the University of Manchester.

Can material rivaling graphene be mined out of rocks? Yes, if...
Will one-atom-thick layers of molybdenum disulfide, a compound that occurs naturally in rocks, prove to be better than graphene for electronic applications?

FASEB releases best practices guide on mitigating the risk from animal rights extremism
The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology released a best practices guide designed to aid individuals and organizations in reducing the threat posed by animal rights extremists.

Turing's theory of morphogenesis validated 60 years after his death
Sixty years after Turing's death, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and Brandeis University have provided the first experimental evidence that validates Turing's theory in cell-like structures.

Type 1 diabetes: Gut microbiota networks may influence autoimmune processes
The interactions of the gut microbiota in children with typical diabetes autoantibodies differ from that in healthy children.

Breast cancer gene could play critical role in obesity and diabetes
The gene known to be associated with breast cancer susceptibility, BRCA 1, plays a critical role in the normal metabolic function of skeletal muscle, according to a new study led by kinesiology researchers in the University of Maryland School of Public Health.

New bilateral pilot opportunity will fund collaborations between US and UK bioscience researchers
A new, two-year pilot opportunity -- known as the US NSF/BIO-UK BBSRC Lead Agency Pilot Opportunity -- is being formally launched today.

Protein key to cell motility has implications for stopping cancer metastasis
A Penn team describes how a key cell-movement protein called IRSp53 is regulated in a resting and active state, and what this means for cancer-cell metastasis.

Side effects reported in those taking statins are not actually attributable to the drugs
Only a small number of symptomatic side effects reported in those taking statins are actually attributable to statins, according to large meta-analysis of prevention trials.

NASA sees ex-Tropical Cyclone Gillian in Australia's Gulf of Carpentaria
Tropical Cyclone Gillian made landfall on the western Cape York Peninsula of Queensland, Australia, weakened and has now meandered back over water.

MU study suggests new rehabilitation methods for amputees and stroke patients
When use of a dominant hand is lost by amputation or stroke, a patient is forced to compensate by using the nondominant hand exclusively for precision tasks like writing or drawing.

Study: Response to emotional stress may be linked to some women's heart artery dysfunction
Researchers at the Barbra Streisand Women's Heart Center at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute have found that emotional stressors -- such as those provoking anger -- may cause changes in the nervous system that controls heart rate and trigger a type of coronary artery dysfunction that occurs more frequently in women than men.

Stem cells inside sutures could improve healing in Achilles tendon injuries
Researchers have found that sutures embedded with stem cells led to quicker and stronger healing of Achilles tendon tears than traditional sutures, according to a new study published in the March 2014 issue of Foot & Ankle International (published by SAGE).

Queen's to plug cyber security gap
International experts in cyber security are at the Centre for Secure Information Technologies, at Queen's University Thursday, March 13, for the fourth annual cyber security summit.

Most of the sand in Alberta's oilsands came from eastern North America, study shows
They're called the Alberta oilsands but most of the sand actually came from the Appalachian region on the eastern side of the North American continent, a new University of Calgary-led study shows.

Computer model predicts vastly different ecosystem in Antarctica's Ross Sea in the coming century
The Ross Sea, a major, biologically productive Antarctic ecosystem, 'clearly will be extensively modified by future climate change' in the coming decades as rising temperatures and changing wind patterns create longer periods of ice-free open water, affecting the life cycles of both predators and prey, according to a paper published by researchers funded by the National Science Foundation.

UT Arlington research says treadmill workstation benefits employees, employers
Employees who use treadmill workstations not only receive physical benefits but also are more productive at work, according to a recently published study by researchers from the University of Texas at Arlington, the Mayo Clinic and the University of Minnesota.

Large waist linked to poor health, even among those in healthy body mass index ranges
Having a big belly has consequences beyond trouble squeezing into your pants.

Sound trumps meaning in first language learning
A new study reveals that four-to-seven-year-old children rely on the sounds of new nouns more than on their meaning when assigning them to noun classes, even though the meaning is more predictive of noun class in the adult language.

President Obama honors exemplary math and science teachers
Teachers know something about snow days. A snow and ice storm hit Washington, D.C., as about 100 science and mathematics teachers arrived here on March 2.

Genes bring music to your ears
Multiple regions in the human genome are reported to be linked to musical aptitude, according to a study published this week in Molecular Psychiatry.

Microbes in space
Microbes collected from Northern California and throughout the nation will soon blast into orbit for research and a microgravity growth competition on the International Space Station.

Two INRS professors elected to the Global Young Academy
Federico Rosei, director of Centre Energie Materiaux Telecommunications at INRS, is proud to announce that two members of the center's academic staff, Francois Legare and Fiorenzo Vetrone, have been elected to the Global Young Academy.

NASA sees remnants of Tropical Cyclone Hadi in South Pacific
Tropical Cyclone Hadi is now a remnant low pressure area in the Southern Pacific Ocean.

Quantum physics secures new cryptography scheme
The way we secure digital transactions could soon change. An international team has demonstrated a form of quantum cryptography that can protect people doing business with others they may not know or trust.

Roy Castle lung cancer research funding
The Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation has funded two new projects at the University of Liverpool which aim to improve survival rates for the UK's biggest cancer killer.

Bucking conventional wisdom, researchers find black sea bass tougher than expected
In a new study, fisheries researchers found that black sea bass can usually survive the physical trauma that results from being hauled up from deep water then released at the surface.

Alpha-synuclein effects on dopaminergic neurons: Protection or damage?
Alpha-synuclein is a principal component of Lewy bodies and Lewy neurites, which are pathologic hall-marks of Parkinson's disease.

Skating to the puck or avoiding the penalty box in health care?
In a Viewpoint published in the March issue of JAMA, researcher Jeremiah Brown of the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice and colleagues, Hal Sox and David Goodman, question whether the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services' use of financial penalties is the right tack for changing the behavior of hospitals.

Tuberculosis -- EPFL creates a foundation to launch an antibiotic
Researchers have discovered an promising antibiotic for tuberculosis. In an article published in EMBO Molecular medicine, the researchers show that, when combined with other drugs, the new antibiotic can take down even the most resistant strains.

Newly diagnosed Crohn's disease patients show imbalance in intestinal microbial population
A multi-institutional study has identified how the intestinal microbial population of newly diagnosed Crohn's disease patients differs from that of individuals free of inflammatory bowel disease.

Documentaries change our view of the world
In his new book, 'Engaging with Reality: Documentary and Globalization,' professor Ib Bondebjerg of the University of Copenhagen considers how documentary films address global challenges in far greater depth than news media.

Quantum chaos in ultracold gas discovered
The team of Francesca Ferlaino, University of Innsbruck, discovered that even simple systems, such as neutral atoms, can possess chaotic behavior, which can be revealed using the tools of quantum mechanics.

Missing link in plant immunity identified
An enzyme critical to plant immunity is found to be activated in a previously unknown way.

Building new drugs just got easier
Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have developed a method for modifying organic molecules that significantly expands the possibilities for developing new pharmaceuticals and improving old ones.

Nicotine withdrawal weakens brain connections tied to self-control over cigarette cravings
A new brain imaging study in this week's JAMA Psychiatry from scientists in Penn Medicine and the National Institute on Drug Abuse Intramural Research Program shows how smokers suffering from nicotine withdrawal may have more trouble shifting from a key brain network -- known as default mode, when people are in a so-called 'introspective' state -- and into a control network that could help exert more self-control over cravings and to focus on quitting for good.

Language 'evolution' may shed light on human migration out of Beringia
Evolutionary analysis applied to the relationship between North American and Central Siberian languages may indicate that people moved out from the Bering Land Bridge, with some migrating back to central Asia and others into North America.

Two definitions for chronic multisymptom illness afflicting gulf war vets should guide treatment
Two existing definitions of chronic multisymptom illness -- one by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and another from a study of Kansas Gulf War veterans -- should be used by the US Department of Veterans Affairs to guide research and treatment of Gulf War veterans, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine.

Review of home care visits for the elderly finds there is 'no proven benefit'
A large-scale review of academic literature into whether home care visits provide benefits for the elderly concludes there is 'no consistent evidence' to show they lead to the elderly living longer or having more independent lives than elderly people without visits.

Liver transplant may arrest neurological damage in a rare and progressive form of autism
A patient with a rare metabolic disease that causes liver failure and autistic behavior experienced significant improvements in both her physical and mental health after receiving a liver transplant, according to a new case report published in the American Journal of Transplantation. 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