Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 13, 2014
Parental care of the young from 450 million years ago
Scientists discover new fossil species revealing parental care of the young from 450 million years ago, and name it after Lucina, goddess of childbirth.

Extinct California porpoise had a unique underbite
Millions of years ago, the coast of California was home to a species of porpoise distinguished from its living relatives by a lower jaw that extended well beyond the upper, according to researchers who report their findings in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on March 13.

Standardized evaluation consent forms for living liver donors needed
New research reveals that 57 percent of liver transplant centers use living donor evaluation consent forms that include all the elements required by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Mexican-Americans suffer worse outcomes after stroke
Mexican-Americans had worse neurologic, functional and cognitive outcomes 90 days after their stroke compared to non-Hispanic whites.

Mid-level solar flare seen by NASA's SDO
The sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 6:34 p.m.

Robotic fish designed to perform escape maneuvers described in Soft Robotics journal
A soft-bodied, self-contained robotic fish with a flexible spine that allows it to mimic the swimming motion of a real fish also has the built-in agility to perform escape maneuvers.

New view of tumors' evolution
MIT researchers find that the sequencing of cancer cell genomes reveals potential new drug targets for an aggressive type of lung cancer.

Mathematical and biochemical 'design features' for cell decoding of pulses revealed
Every cell in the body has to sense and respond to chemicals such as hormones and neurotransmitters.

Education and culture affect children's understanding of the human body
Experiences of life and death can help children's understanding of the human body and its function, according to research by psychologists at the University of East Anglia.

Stem cell therapy may help severe congestive heart failure
Researchers want to know whether patients with debilitating heart failure can benefit by having their own stem cells injected into their ailing heart muscle.

Fish species unique to Hawaii dominate deep coral reefs in Northwestern Hawaiian Islands
Deep coral reefs in Papahanaumokakea Marine National Monument may contain the highest percentage of fish species found nowhere else on Earth, according to a study by NOAA scientists published in the Bulletin of Marine Science.

Creating a graphene-metal sandwich to improve electronics
Researchers have discovered that creating a graphene-copper-graphene 'sandwich' strongly enhances the heat conducting properties of copper, a discovery that could further help in the downscaling of electronics.

Tropical grassy ecosystems under threat, scientists warn
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have found that tropical grassy areas, which play a critical role in the world's ecology, are under threat as a result of ineffective management.

Fossil porpoise has a chin for the ages
Scientists have identified a new species of ancient porpoise with a chin length unprecedented among known mammals, and suggest the animal used the tip of its face to probe the seabed for food.

Innovative solar-powered toilet developed by CU-Boulder ready for India unveiling
A revolutionary University of Colorado Boulder toilet fueled by the sun that is being developed to help some of the 2.5 billion people around the world lacking safe and sustainable sanitation will be unveiled in India this month.

Same-day double knee replacement safe for select rheumatoid arthritis patients
Same-day bilateral knee replacement surgery is safe for select patients with rheumatoid arthritis, researchers from Hospital for Special Surgery in New York have found.

Heritable variation discovered in trout behavior
Populations of endangered salmonids are supported by releasing large quantities of hatchery-reared fish, but the fisheries' catches have continued to decrease.

New cell line should accelerate embryonic stem cell research
Researchers at the University of Washington have successfully created a line of human embryonic stem cells that have the ability to develop into a far broader range of tissues than most existing cell lines.

Scientists find new way to upgrade natural gas
Chemists discovered of a new way to turn raw natural gas into upgraded liquid alcohol fuel.

Scripps Florida scientists devise new, lower cost method to create more usable fuels
As the United States continues to lead the world in the production of natural gas, scientists from the Florida campus of he Scripps Research Institute have devised a new and more efficient method with the potential to convert the major components found in natural gas into useable fuels and chemicals -- opening the door to cheaper, more abundant energy and materials with much lower emissions.

One out of 2 parents do not see their child's weight problem
One out of two parents of children with overweight feel that their child's weight is normal.

Exchange rate behaves like particles in a molecular fluid
The swings in market prices and exchange rates have the same foundations as molecule movements in physics.

New satellite movie shows massive Eastern US cool down
Three days of satellite imagery from NOAA's GOES-East satellite were compiled into an animation that showed the progression of the storm system that drastically changed temperatures in the Mid-Atlantic and northeastern US from spring-like warmth to the bitter cold of winter.

A novel battleground for plant-pathogen interactions
A new finding opens the door to improving crop disease resistance by optimizing how plants recognize pathogenic microbes.

Unraveling a mystery in the 'histone code' shows how gene activity is inherited
Every cell in our body has exactly the same DNA, yet every cell is different.

Gene variants protect against relapse after treatment for hepatitis C
Researchers at the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, have identified a gene, which explains why certain patients with chronic hepatitis C do not experience relapse after treatment.

Cancer patients with insulin-treated diabetes have 4 times higher mortality compared to cancer patients without diabetes
People who have diabetes at the time they are diagnosed with cancer are more likely to die early than those without diabetes, concludes research published in Diabetologia (the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes).

Study: Hypertension going untreated in US Hispanic community
There is a significant deficit in recognition and control of hypertension in the Hispanic population of the United States, according to a new study published in American Journal of Hypertension.

Nanoscale optical switch breaks miniaturization barrier
An ultra-fast and ultra-small optical switch has been invented that could advance the day when photons replace electrons in the innards of consumer products ranging from cell phones to automobiles.

These boosts are made for walkin'
New research by UC San Francisco neuroscientists suggests that the body may get help in fast-changing situations from a specialized brain circuit that causes visual system neurons to fire more strongly during locomotion.

Penn team links Africans' ability to digest milk to spread of cattle raising
A new study led by University of Pennsylvania researchers -- constituting the largest investigation ever of lactose tolerance in geographically diverse populations of Africans -- investigated the genetic origins of this trait and offers support to the idea that the ability to digest milk was a powerful selective force in a variety of African populations which raised cattle and consumed the animals' fresh milk.

Heat-based technique offers new way to measure microscopic particles
Researchers have developed a new heat-based technique for counting and measuring the size of microscopic particles.

A brake for spinning molecules
Chemical reactions taking place in outer space can now be more easily studied on Earth.

Research findings link post-heart attack biological events that provide cardioprotection
Heart attack and stroke are among the most serious threats to health.

Scripps Research Institute scientists discover a better way to make unnatural amino acids
Chemists at the Scripps Research Institute have devised a greatly improved technique for making amino acids not found in nature.

Number of days without rain to dramatically increase in some world regions
By the end of the 21st century, some parts of the world can expect as many as 30 more days a year without precipitation, according to a new study by Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego researchers.

Prostate specific antigen screening declines after 2012 USPSTF recommendations
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals Case Medical Center have assessed the impact of the 2012 US Preventive Services Task Force recommendations against routine prostate specific antigen (PSA) cancer screenings, which cited evidence that the risks of screening outweigh the benefits.

Humans' ability to digest milk stems from the advent of cattle domestication in Africa
Most people lose the ability to digest the milk sugar lactose after weaning, but some populations retain high levels of an enzyme called lactase, allowing them to break down lactose in adulthood.

Stroke survivors may lose month of healthy life for 15-minute delay in treatment
Every 15-minute delay in delivering a clot-busting drug after stroke robs survivors of an average month of healthy life.

Microorganism shows promise in inhibiting thrush
Scientists at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine and University Hospitals Case Medical Center have discovered how the beneficial fungal yeast, Pichia, holds at bay a harmful fungal yeast, Candida.

Commonly used pain relievers have added benefit of fighting bacterial infection
Some commonly used drugs that combat aches and pains, fever, and inflammation are also thought to have the ability to kill bacteria.

Study finds that social ties influence who wins certain Hollywood movie awards
When it comes to Oscars and some other Hollywood movie awards, who your friends are affects whether you win, according to a new study.

More to biological diversity than meets the eye
UI biology researcher Andrew Forbes and his colleagues studied fly and wasp species on plants in a Chilean rainforest and found more species than biological theory would have predicted because specialized interactions between species allow a larger, more diverse number of species to live in the same place.

Patients should wait 6 to 12 weeks before driving after shoulder surgery
In a new study presented today at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, shoulder replacement patients showed improved driving performance at 12 weeks, with a significant decrease in the number of collisions in the simulated driving course compared to the tests conducted preoperatively and two weeks after surgery.

Study suggests potential association between soy formula and seizures in children with autism
A University of Wisconsin-Madison researcher has detected a higher rate of seizures among children with autism who were fed infant formula containing soy protein rather than milk protein.

'Velcro protein' found to play surprising role in cell migration
Studying epithelial cells, the cell type that most commonly turns cancerous, Johns Hopkins researchers have identified a protein that causes cells to release from their neighbors and migrate away from healthy mammary, or breast, tissue in mice.

You should be ashamed -- or maybe not
Shame on you. These three simple words can temporarily -- or, when used too often, permanently -- destroy an individual's sense of value and self-worth.

Saving large carnivores in the ecosystem requires multifaceted approach
Social species, such as the African wild dog, require strict participation from group members to be successful.

Soft robotic fish moves like the real thing
A new robotic fish can change direction almost as rapidly as a real fish.

Autism and intellectual disability incidence linked with environmental factors
An analysis of 100 million US medical records reveals that autism and intellectual disability rates correlate with genital malformation incidence in newborn males, an indicator of congenital exposure to harmful environmental factors such as pesticides.

When big isn't better: How the flu bug bit Google
Numbers and data can be critical tools in bringing complex issues into focus.

Scientists catch brain damage in the act
Scientists have uncovered how inflammation and lack of oxygen conspire to cause brain damage in conditions such as stroke and Alzheimer's disease.

Virtual lab for nuclear waste repository research
A nuclear waste repository must seal in radioactive waste safely for one million years.

An equation to describe the competition between genes
Biologists typically conduct experiments first, and then develop models afterward to show how data fit with theory.

Pancreatic cancer surgery findings presented at SSO
Despite the benefits of surgery for early stage pancreatic cancer, it remains under-utilized for patients with this deadly disease, according to a new national analysis of trends and outcomes.

Husband's health and attitude loom large for happy long-term marriages
A husband's agreeable personality and good health appear crucial to preventing conflict among older couples who have been together a long time, according to a study from University of Chicago researchers.

Genomic testing links 'exceptional' drug response to rare mutations in bladder cancer
A patient with advanced bladder cancer in a phase I trial had a complete response for 14 months to a combination of the targeted drugs everolimus and pazopanib, report scientists led by a Dana-Farber Cancer Institute researcher, and genomic profiling of his tumor revealed two alterations that may have led to this exceptional response.

UCLA study yields more accurate data on thousands of years of climate change
Using a new, cutting-edge isotopic tool, UCLA researchers have reconstructed the temperature history of a climatically important region in the Pacific Ocean.

Outstanding research on improving animal welfare in science
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft will award the Ursula M. Haendel Animal Welfare Prize, which recognizes scientists who have improved the welfare of animals used in research, for the fifth time this year.

CNIO researcher awarded by the Prostate Cancer Foundation
David Olmos, the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre's Head of the Prostate Cancer and Genitourinary Tumours Clinical Research Unit, has won the 2014 Stewart Rahr-PCF Young Investigator Award, endowed by the Prostate Cancer Foundation -- the leading philanthropic organization for cutting-edge research into prostate cancer.

Mount Sinai scientists discover how Marburg virus grows in cells
Marburg virus leads to death in approximately 90 percent of cases and no treatments are yet available.

Religious beliefs of American Muslims influence attitudes toward organ donation
American Muslims who interpret negative events in life as punishment from God are less likely to believe that donating organs after death is ethical than those with a more positive outlook, according to a survey conducted by researchers from the University of Chicago's Program on Medicine and Religion.

Study identifies genetic differences in female athletes with ACL injuries
For the first time, a new study identified varied female-to-male expression of ribonucleic acid molecules leading to proteins maintaining ligament structure, that could explain why females are more likely to suffer an anterior cruciate ligament injury than males.

NASA sees wind shear affecting Tropical Cyclone Lusi
Tropical Cyclone Lusi is battling vertical wind shear that has been pushing the bulk of precipitation away from its center.

Condon publishes new research in Science
Marty Condon, professor of biology at Cornell College, has been studying flies in the tropics for years, and in a paper published in Science this week, she reports evidence that there is more to a fly's ecological niche than where it lives and what it eats -- you have to look at what eats the fly, as well.

Motion and muscles don't always work in lockstep, researchers find in surprising new study
Animals 'do the locomotion' every day, whether it's walking down the hall to get some coffee or darting up a tree to avoid a predator.

New stroke research combines brain stimulation, gait training
A University of Illinois at Chicago researcher will test whether brain stimulation combined with gait training can improve patients' ability to walk after a stroke, under a $1.5 million grant from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.

Stumbling fruit flies lead scientists to discover gene essential to sensing joint position
Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute have discovered an important mechanism underlying sensory feedback that guides balance and limb movements.

CU-Boulder-led study on lunar crater counting shows crowdsourcing is accurate tool
A new study led by the University of Colorado Boulder showed that as a group, volunteer counters who examined a particular patch of lunar real estate using NASA images did just as well in identifying individual craters as professional crater counters with five to 50 years of experience.

Falls among elderly reduced by state program
A low-cost program reduced falls in the elderly by 17 percent statewide, illustrating the value and effectiveness of using existing aging services, such as senior centers, in preventing falls, a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health study determined.

Deficient protein GM-CSF production found to impair gut's immune tolerance
Deletion of the GM-CSF gene in mice was shown to reduce and impair regulatory function of the gut tissue macrophages and dendritic cells, which compromised oral tolerance and increased susceptibility to inflammatory bowel disease.

3-D X-ray film: Rapid movements in real time
How does the hip joint of a crawling weevil move?

Human brains 'hard-wired' to link what we see with what we do
Your brain's ability to instantly link what you see with what you do is down to a dedicated information 'highway,' suggests new UCL-led research.

UChicago and MBL announce first recipients of Lillie Awards for Collaborative Research
The University of Chicago and the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) today announced the first two recipients of the Frank R.

Mindfulness-based meditation helps teenagers with cancer
Mindfulness-based meditation could lessen some symptoms associated with cancer in teens, according to the results of a clinical trial intervention led by researchers at the University of Montreal and its affiliated Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Sainte-Justine children's hospital.

MD Anderson, MedImmune join forces to advance cancer immunotherapy
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and MedImmune, the global biologics research and development arm of AstraZeneca, will collaborate through MD Anderson's Moon Shots Program to develop therapies that unleash patients' immune systems to attack their cancers.

'Super circles' to lessen rush-hour headaches according to Wayne State researchers
While Mother Nature continues to challenge drivers across the country, a team of traffic engineers is working hard on a new way to make rush-hour commutes safer and faster in any weather.

A gene family that suppresses prostate cancer
Cornell University researchers report they have discovered direct genetic evidence that a family of genes, called microRNA-34, are bona fide tumor suppressors.

Simple EMG classification can improve outcome of nerve transfer surgery
A study by researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery finds that electromyography (EMG) testing to determine the quality of donor nerves can improve the outcome of nerve transfer surgery to restore function in patients with a brachial plexus injury.

Emil Bozin awarded 2014 Science Prize from Neutron Scattering Society of America
The Neutron Scattering Society of America has named Emil Bozin, a condensed matter physicist at the US Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory, the recipient of their 2014 Science Prize.

Negative effects of joining a gang last long after gang membership ends
Joining a gang in adolescence has significant consequences in adulthood beyond criminal behavior, even after a person leaves the gang.

Some racial disparities in childbirth more environmental than genetic
A new study investigating racial disparities in birth outcomes shows that contrary to some theories vitamin D is unlikely to play a role in differences in preterm birth and low birth weight between African-Americans and whites.

Performing cardio and resistance training during the same session: Does the order matter?
Although the remarkable benefits of combined training have been clarified by numerous investigations, fitness enthusiasts struggle with the same question: does the order of cardio and resistance training influence the effectiveness of a training program?

Project MERCCURI 'crowdsourced' space station samples take flight
The Microbial Ecology Research Combining Citizen and University Researchers on the International Space Station project (Project MERCCURI) is a crowdsourced effort to send a litany of microbes to the space station for research.

Innovative gaming research gains national recognition
University of Texas at Arlington College of Nursing, Baylor Scott & White Health and UT Dallas developed a video-game simulation that they say can teach doctors and nurses to work more collaboratively by playing out tense situations in a virtual world.

Fighting for oral dominance: Good fungi keep bad ones in check in healthy mouths
Human mouths contain a balanced mix of microbes which, when disrupted, can lead to oral diseases.

Researchers identify gene that helps fruit flies go to sleep
In a series of experiments sparked by fruit flies that couldn't sleep, Johns Hopkins researchers say they have identified a mutant gene -- dubbed 'Wide Awake' -- that sabotages how the biological clock sets the timing for sleep.

Migration in China: Shifting slightly, but still going strong
The brain drain of educated workers is still felt most severely in China's central and western provinces, since most knowledge-based industries are generally concentrated in its large coastal cities.

Israel Prize awarded to professor Haim Levy -- the third for Hebrew University faculty in 2014
Israel's Education Minister announced that professor Haim Levy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem has won the 2014 Israel Prize for political science, managerial science and international relations.

NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Gillian's remnants hoping for comeback
Ex-Tropical Cyclone Gillian weakened to a remnant low pressure area after making landfall in the Western Cape York Peninsula of Queensland, Australia then returned into the Gulf of Carpentaria.

Forgetting is actively regulated
In order to function properly, the human brain requires the ability not only to store but also to forget: Through memory loss, unnecessary information is deleted and the nervous system retains its plasticity.

Trauma center closures linked to higher odds of death for injured patients, UCSF shows
Injured patients who live near trauma centers that have closed have higher odds of dying once they reach a hospital, according to a new analysis by UC San Francisco researchers.

Bioscientists develop 'grammar' to design useful synthetic living systems
Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Virginia Tech have used a computer-aided design tool to create genetic languages to guide the design of biological systems.

Novel marker and possible therapeutic target for cardiovascular calcification identified
Led by Dr. Aikawa, a team of researchers at BWH and Kowa Company, Ltd., a Japanese pharmaceutical company, has discovered certain proteins in osteoclasts, a precursor to bone, that may be used in helping to destroy cardiovascular calcification by dissolving mineral deposits.

A versatile mouse that can teach us about many diseases and drugs
Scientists from the UK and Australia have created a mouse that expresses a fluorescing 'biosensor' in every cell of its body, allowing diseased cells and drugs to be tracked and evaluated in real time and in three dimensions.

Bladder cancer Pt with rare genetic mutations shows exceptional response to everolimus
A patient with advanced bladder cancer experienced a complete response for 14 months to the drug combination everolimus and pazopanib in a phase I trial, and genomic profiling of his tumor revealed two alterations that may have caused this exceptional response, according to a study published in Cancer Discovery, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Study proposes new ovarian cancer targets
Proteins called TAFs were once thought to be generic cogs in the machinery of gene expression, but in a new study Brown University scientists propose that they may be important suspects in the progression of ovarian cancer that should not continue to be overlooked.

Roomy cages built from DNA
Scientists at the Harvard's Wyss Institute have built a set of self-assembling DNA cages one-tenth as wide as a bacterium.

Columbia researchers discover reversible mechanism that increases muscle elasticity
Columbia University biological sciences professor Julio Fernandez and team report the discovery of a new form of mechanical memory that adjusts the elasticity of muscles to their history of stretching.

Researchers describe oxygen's different shapes
Oxygen-16, one of the key elements of life on earth, is produced by a series of reactions inside of red giant stars.

Halting immune response could save brain cells after stroke
A new study in animals shows that using a compound to block the body's immune response greatly reduces disability after a stroke.

Study generally finds comparable outcomes for outpatient, inpatient orthopaedic surgeries
In a new research study presented today at the 2014 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, same-day total joint replacement patient outcomes were comparable to those of patients admitted to the hospital and staying at least one night following surgery.

Higher exposure to takeaway food outlets could double the odds of being obese
People exposed to takeaway food outlets around their home, at work and on their way to work are more likely to consume more of these foods, as well as being more likely to be obese, suggest a paper published on today.

Stirring the simmering 'designer baby' pot
From genetic and genomic testing to new techniques in human assisted reproduction, various technologies are providing parents with more of a say about the children they have and 'stirring the pot of 'designer baby' concerns,' writes Thomas H.

Understanding how mountains and rivers make life possible
Stanford scientists have devised a pair of math equations that better describe how the topography and rock composition of a landscape affects the process by which carbon dioxide is transferred to oceans and eventually buried in Earth's interior.

Older adults: Build muscle and you'll live longer
New research suggests that the more muscle mass older Americans have, the less likely they are to die prematurely.

A brain signal for psychosis risk
Only one-third of individuals identified as being at clinical high risk for psychosis actually convert to a psychotic disorder within a three year follow-up period.

Stroke in children will be focus of $3 million grant
Researchers at the University of Colorado Denver | Anschutz Medical Campus, already focused on understanding and minimizing the effects of stroke in children, will receive $3 million as part of a national effort to better understand stroke.

One in 5 older Americans take medications that work against each other
About three out of four older Americans have multiple chronic health conditions, and more than 20 percent of them are being treated with drugs that work at odds with each other -- the medication being used for one condition can actually make the other condition worse.

'Virtual fish' research aims to reduce the requirement for live animal testing
The effectiveness of 'virtual fish' in establishing the toxicity and concentration of man-made chemicals is to be investigated by biological scientists at Plymouth University in collaboration with multinational pharmaceutical company, AstraZeneca.

TUD professor Gerhard Fettweis presents 'tactile internet' at CeBIT
The coordinator of the Center for Advancing Electronics Dresden, professor Gerhard Fettweis, is heading a common initiative by German research institutes and industrial companies presented at the German computer fair CeBIT in Hannover on March 10, 2014.

MD Anderson honors 2 champions for women in medicine and research
Two champions of gender equality in medicine and research will be honored by the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

Plant biology discovery furthers scientists' understanding of plant growth and development
UC Riverside plant cell biologists have discovered an 'auxin sensing and signaling complex' localized on the plant cell surface.

Survival after ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm significantly lower in England than USA
The care given to patients after ruptured abdominal aortic aneurysm (rAAA) in the US outstrips that in English NHS hospitals, according to a major new study published as part of a special issue of The Lancet ahead of the American College of Cardiology's 63rd Annual Scientific Session. 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