Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

March 18, 2014
Reducing anxiety with a smartphone app
Playing a science-based mobile gaming app for 25 minutes can reduce anxiety in stressed individuals, according to research published in Clinical Psychological Science.

Risk of psychiatric diagnoses, medication use increases after critical illness
Critically ill patients receiving mechanical ventilation had a higher prevalence of prior psychiatric diagnoses and an increased risk of a new psychiatric diagnosis and medication use after hospital discharge, according to a study in the March 19 issue of JAMA.

Study of complete RNA collection of fruit fly uncovers unprecedented complexity
Scientists from Indiana University are part of a consortium that has described the transcriptome of the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster in unprecedented detail, identifying thousands of new genes, transcripts and proteins.

NASA releases first interactive mosaic of lunar north pole
Scientists, using cameras aboard NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, have created the largest high resolution mosaic of our moon's north polar region.

The precise reason for the health benefits of dark chocolate: Mystery solved
The health benefits of eating dark chocolate have been extolled for centuries, but the exact reason has remained a mystery -- until now.

Planting cotton early may mean less stink bug damage
New research published in the Journal of Economic Entomology shows that planting cotton early in the planting window will allow growers to escape peak stink bug pressure and thereby possibly eliminate or minimally reduce the number of sprays required to manage them.

New from Geology: Fossils, earthquakes, gold, and sea-bed landslides
Geology papers published March 17, 2014, cover modeling of seabed turbidity currents; a large earthquake at Lake Vaettern, Switzerland, about 11,500 years ago; genesis of high-grade gold at the Porgera gold deposit, Papua New Guinea; discovery of the Ediacaran guide fossil Cloudina sp. and the depositional age of the Bambui Group; earthquakes along the fossil Moho in Alpine Corsica; and using LiDAR to better understand New Zealand's Alpine Fault.

Alberta diabetes research receives a big boost
The Alberta Diabetes Institute at the University of Alberta has announced a new collaboration with Janssen Inc. in Canada to advance early-stage technologies related to Type I and Type II diabetes.

Who's afraid of math? Study finds some genetic factors
A new study of math anxiety shows how some people may be at greater risk to fear math not only because of negative experiences, but also because of genetic risks related to both general anxiety and math skills.

Launching a botanical journal on the verge of WWI: the politics of the AJB
One hundred years ago on the brink of WWI, American botanists changed the course of plant science with the founding of a national publication, the American Journal of Botany.

Penn Medicine researchers show how lost sleep leads to lost neurons
Using a mouse model of chronic sleep loss, Penn Medicine researchers have determined that extended wakefulness is linked to injury to, and loss of, neurons that are essential for alertness and optimal cognition, the locus coeruleus neurons.

CHEST and Sibionix co-develop a portable training solution for EBUS-TBNA
Simbionix, a world leader in medical simulation, and the American College of Chest Physicians, a leader in advanced simulation education, enter the second phase of their collaboration to promote bronchoscopy education.

Study examines use of age-adjusted D-dimer levels to exclude lung blood clots
Using a patient's age to raise the threshold for an abnormal result of a blood test used to assess patients with a suspected pulmonary embolism (blood clot in lungs) appeared to be safe and led to fewer healthy patients with the diagnosis, according to a study in the March 19 issue of JAMA.

Stem cells from muscle can repair nerve damage after injury, Pitt researchers show
Stem cells derived from human muscle tissue were able to repair nerve damage and restore function in an animal model of sciatic nerve injury, according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Using big data to identify triple-negative breast, oropharyngeal, and lung cancers
Researchers at Case Western Reserve University and colleagues used 'big data' analytics to accurately predict if a patient is suffering from aggressive or more treatable forms of breast cancer and a type of head and neck cancer.

Study finds risk of death among ICU patients with severe sepsis has decreased
In critically ill patients in Australia and New Zealand with severe sepsis or septic shock, there was a decrease in the risk of death from 2000 to 2012, findings that were accompanied by changes in the patterns of discharge of intensive care unit patients to home, rehabilitation, and other hospitals, according to a study appearing in JAMA.

Rocky Mountain wildflower season lengthens by more than a month
A 39-year study of wildflower blooms in a Colorado Rocky Mountain meadow shows that more than two-thirds of alpine flowers have changed their blooming patterns in response to climate change.

Small step towards growing tissue in the lab
University of Adelaide mathematicians have devised a method for identifying how cell clusters have formed by analyzing an image of the cluster.

New lens design drastically improves kidney stone treatment
Engineers have reversed a decades-long trend of decreasing efficiency in lithotripsy machines by designing simple modifications to shock wave lenses.

Tamiflu reduces risk of death by 25 percent in adults hospitalized with H1N1 pandemic influenza
Adults hospitalized with H1N1 influenza during the 2009-2010 pandemic were 25 percent less likely to die from the disease if they were given antiviral drugs called neuraminidase inhibitors such as Tamiflu, according to a large meta-analysis involving more than 29,000 patients from 38 countries, published in The Lancet Respiratory Medicine journal.

Exposure to snuff smoke in non-smokers fell by 90 percent after the tobacco control laws
The study evaluated a biomarker of exposure to snuff smoke in non-smokers and also their perception before and after the entry into force of the two laws.

Canadian drinking-age laws have significant effect on deaths among young males
A recent study by a University of Northern British Columbia-based scientist associated with the University of British Columbia Faculty of Medicine and University of Northern British Columbia's Northern Medical Program demonstrates that Canada's drinking-age laws have a significant effect on youth mortality.

Nanopores control the inner ear's ability to select sounds
The inner-ear membrane uses tiny pores to mechanically separate sounds, researchers find.

Ultrasound can identify pregnant women at risk for respiratory failure, study says
An ultrasound of the lungs could help doctors quickly determine if a pregnant woman with preeclampsia is at risk for respiratory failure, suggests preliminary research published in the April issue of Anesthesiology.

The Lancet: Statin may slow untreatable, progressive stage of multiple sclerosis
Results of a phase 2 study published in The Lancet suggest that simvastatin, a cheap cholesterol lowering drug, might be a potential treatment option for the secondary progressive, or chronic, stage of multiple sclerosis, which is currently untreatable.

Wayne State professor receives NSF CAREER award; research to impact Detroit-area schools
A Wayne State University researcher has been awarded a National Science Foundation Early Career Development Award, the agency's most prestigious award for up-and-coming researchers in science and engineering.

Study fingers chickens, quail, in spread of H7N9 influenza virus
Among the copious species of poultry in China, quail and chickens are the likely sources of infection of H7N9 influenza virus to humans, according to a paper published ahead of print in the Journal of Virology.

Self-healing paint could halt rust on military vehicles
A new additive could help military vehicles, including the Marine Corps variant of the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle, heal like human skin and avoid costly maintenance as a result of corrosion.

Antimony nanocrystals for batteries
Researchers from ETH Zurich and Empa have succeeded for the first time to produce uniform antimony nanocrystals.

Building heart tissue that beats
When a heart gets damaged, such as during a major heart attack, there's no easy fix.

Increased adiposity and reduced physical activity in children: Cause or effect?
Increased adiposity is likely to cause reduced physical activity in children, according to research published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

A novel mechanism for fast regulation of gene expression
Yehuda Ben-Shahar and his team at Washington University in St.

Researchers devise new, stretchable antenna for wearable health monitoring
Engineering researchers have developed a new, stretchable antenna that can be incorporated into wearable technologies, such as health monitoring devices.

TGen-led study spotlights dog DNA role in developing new therapies for human cancers
Using genomic analysis to study cancer in dogs can help develop new therapies for humans with cancer, according to a proof-of-concept study led by the National Cancer Institute and the Translational Genomics Research Institute.

Ancient DNA shows moa were fine until humans arrived
New research shows humans may be to blame for the disappearance of the New Zealand 'emu.'

New knowledge from old collections: DFG supports indexing and digitization of research-relevant objects
The project 'Development of Standards for the Photographic Documentation of Permanent Microscope Slide Mounts in Precarious Mounting Media' is just one of 12 projects at museums, universities and non-university institutes which the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft is supporting with the aim of electronically indexing research collections, digitizing the objects and making them accessible online.

Sauder research shows why innovation takes a nosedive
The paper, by Sauder School of Business associate professor Marc-David L.

Children exposed to methamphetamine before birth have increased cognitive problems
Youngsters exposed to methamphetamine before birth had increased cognitive problems at age 7.5 years, highlighting the need for early intervention to improve academic outcomes and reduce the potential for negative behaviors.

Child ADHD stimulant medication use leads to BMI rebound in late adolescence
The study, thought to be the most comprehensive analysis of ADHD and stimulant use in children to date, found that the earlier the medication began, and the longer the medication was taken, the slower the BMI growth in earlier childhood but the more rapid the BMI rebound in late adolescence, typically after discontinuation of medication.

From DNA to diagnosis
Compared to 10 years ago, sequencing the human genome has plummeted in cost by one-million-fold and can be completed in a fraction of the time.

Strongest evidence yet of 2 distinct human cognitive systems
Cognitive scientists may have produced the strongest evidence yet that humans have separate and distinct cognitive systems with which they can categorize, classify, and conceptualize their worlds.

Why international sanctions do not always work
It is far from always that international sanctions and diplomatic pressure have the intended effect.

An end to animal testing for drug discovery?
As some countries and companies roll out new rules to limit animal testing in pharmaceutical products designed for people, scientists are stepping in with a new way to test therapeutic drug candidates and determine drug safety and drug interactions -- without using animals.

JCI online ahead of print table of contents for March 18, 2014
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers published online, March 18, 2014 in the JCI: Cardiac conduction altered by intragenic enhancer, Inflammatory feedback loop promotes colorectal cancer metastasis, Insulin resistance in bone disrupts whole-body glucose homeostasis, Pathogenic interactions between platelets and neutrophils are mediated by AKT2, Sympathetic activity-associated periodic repolarization dynamics predict mortality following myocardial infarction, and more.

Nanotube composites increase the efficiency of next generation of solar cells
Carbon nanotubes are becoming increasingly attractive for photovoltaic solar cells as a replacement to silicon.

Lockheed Martin and Rowan University partner on radar technology
Lockheed Martin and Rowan University are kicking off an innovative, strategic partnership to develop new technologies for a broad range of radar system applications in support of national defense.

NRL models Deepwater Horizon oil spill
Dr. Jason Jolliff, an oceanographer with the US Naval Research Laboratory, published a paper showing combined COAMPS and BioCast data predicted where oil would go after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill.

Global food trade can alleviate water scarcity
International trade of food crops led to freshwater savings worth $2.4 billion in 2005 and had a major impact on local water stress.

Owl monkeys don't cheat, Penn study shows
A new study by University of Pennsylvania researchers shows that Azara's owl monkeys (Aotus azarae) are unusually faithful.

Statins slow the progression of advanced multiple sclerosis in clinical trial
Statins may provide doctors with an unlikely new weapon with which to slow the progression of multiple sclerosis.

New airborne GPS technology for weather conditions takes flight
A new technique led by a researcher at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego stands to improve weather models and hurricane forecasting by detecting precise conditions in the atmosphere through a new GPS system aboard airplanes.

Nineteen new speedy praying mantis species discovered that hide and play dead to avoid capture
A scientist has discovered 19 new species of praying mantis from Central and South America.

Analysis of 50 years of hit songs yields tips for advertisers
Researchers have analyzed 50 years' worth of hit songs to identify key themes that marketing professionals can use to craft advertisements that will resonate with audiences.

Cultural hitchhiking: How social behavior can affect genetic makeup in dolphins
A UNSW-led team of researchers studying bottlenose dolphins that use sponges as tools has shown that social behavior can shape the genetic makeup of an animal population in the wild.

Cardiac arrest in pregnant women more common than you'd think
Although cardiac arrest during childbirth is rare, it may be two times more common than previously reported in the literature, suggests the first large US study on the potentially deadly condition published in the April issue of Anesthesiology.

In IBS, non-GI issues are more powerful than symptoms in patients' health perceptions
Social relationships, fatigue and other coexisting medical problems have a stronger effect on how patients with irritable bowel syndrome rate their overall health than the severity of their gastrointestinal symptoms, a University at Buffalo study has found.

NASA sees some strength left in remnants of Tropical Cyclone Gillian
NASA's TRMM satellite passed over the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Gillian and spotted some towering thunderstorms and areas of heavy rainfall, indicating there's still power in the former tropical storm.

Many low-income women don't want to leave hospital after false-labor diagnosis
More than 40 percent of pregnant low-income women discharged from the hospital after a diagnosis of false or early labor did not want to be sent home, with the most common reasons being that they were in too much pain or lived too far away, according to a study by Baylor University's Louise Herrington School of Nursing and Parkland Health & Hospital System.

Form of epilepsy in sea lions similar to that in humans, Stanford researchers find
California sea lions exposed to a toxin in algae develop a form of epilepsy that is similar to one in humans, according to a new study led by Stanford University School of Medicine researchers.

Pitt study challenges accepted sepsis treatment
A structured, standardized approach to diagnose and treat sepsis in its early stages did not change survival chances for people who develop this deadly condition, according to a national, randomized clinical trial led by experts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Effect of receptor activity-modifying protein-1 on vascular smooth muscle cells
Although transplanting mesenchymal stem cells can improve cardiac function and contribute to endothelial recovery in a damaged artery, mesenchymal stem cells may induce neointimal hyperplasia by directly or indirectly acting on vascular smooth muscle cells.

A 'back to the future' approach to taking action on climate change
Researchers take on fighting the disastrous consequences of extreme changes in climate before they occur.

Variations in eye structure and function may reveal features of early-stage Alzheimer's disease
Investigators at the Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute have discovered eye abnormalities that may help reveal features of early-stage Alzheimer's disease.

Humans drive evolution of conch size
Smithsonian scientists found that 7,000 years ago, the Caribbean fighting conch contained 66 percent more meat than its descendants do today.

NHS sight tests lead to waste
On today, a leading eye doctor says that opticians are making too many referrals to doctors.

Sorption energy storage and conversion for cooling and heating
New materials and technologies are making it possible to utilize thermal energy more efficiently.

One in 3 patients with bloodstream infections given inappropriate therapy
Growing drug resistance, a high prevalence of S. aureus bacteria and ineffective antibiotics prescribed to one in three patients are among the challenges facing community hospitals in treating patients with serious bloodstream infections, according to researchers at Duke Medicine.

Study finds no evidence that vitamin D supplements reduce depression
Vitamin D deficiency has been implicated in numerous health conditions in recent years, including depressed mood and major depressive disorder.

Scent of the familiar: You may linger like perfume in your dog's brain
An area of the canine brain associated with reward responds more strongly to the scents of familiar humans than it does to the scents of other humans, or even to those of familiar dogs.

Cardiologists define new heart failure symptom: Shortness of breath while bending over
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center cardiologists have defined a novel heart failure symptom in advanced heart failure patients: shortness of breath while bending over, such as when putting on shoes.

Moffitt researchers discover new mechanism allowing tumor cells to escape immune surve
The immune system plays a pivotal role in targeting cancer cells for destruction.

Rice study: Simple changes to homework improved student learning
A new educational study offers evidence that simple and inexpensive changes to existing courses can help students learn more effectively.

NSF-funded researchers say Antarctic telescope may have provided the first direct evidence of cosmic
Researchers with the National Science Foundation-funded BICEP2 Collaboration today announced that their telescope in Antarctica has allowed them to collect what they believe is the first direct evidence for cosmic inflation.

Trends in food supplements differ from country to country, new study finds
A new study, published today in the journal in PLOS ONE, shows which plant food supplements are most popular across Europe, with consumers using them to complement their diets or to maintain health.

Autism Speaks announces 2014 Weatherstone Predoctoral Fellows
Autism Speaks, the world's leading autism science and advocacy organization, today announced the sixth class of the Dennis Weatherstone Predoctoral Fellows funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

New understanding of why chromosome errors are high in women's eggs
A new study from the University of Southampton has provided scientists with a better understanding of why chromosome errors are high in women's eggs.

Simulations predict blast scenarios, have crossover animation appeal in Disney's 'Frozen'
Simulation-based engineering science allows researchers to predict the effects of building explosions and analyze the response of building materials to those threats.

Indochina agricultural fires still ongoing
Agricultural fires continue to burn in the Indochina region as evidenced by this Aqua image taken on March 18, 2014.

Bees capable of learning feats with tasty prize in sight
Bumblebees are capable of some remarkable learning feats, especially when they might get a tasty reward, according to two studies by University of Guelph researchers.

Scientists open a new window into quantum physics with superconductivity in LEDs
A team of University of Toronto physicists led by Alex Hayat has proposed a novel and efficient way to leverage the strange quantum physics phenomenon known as entanglement.

Incentives needed to improve grain markets in India
Even after the agricultural reforms of 2002-03, for wheat, rice, and pearl millet farmers in India, grain markets are still pretty sticky.

Getting rid of bad vibrations
Scanning electron microscopes are extremely sensitive, and even subtle movements going on around them can affect their accuracy.

A low-cost way to avoid pipeline accidents
Excavators cause about 30 percent of pipeline accidents, and usually, the team working the excavator hadn't bothered to find out if a natural gas pipeline was nearby.

Children with glomerular kidney disease more likely to have hypertension as adults
Men who as children had glomerular disease, a disorder of the portion of the kidney that filters blood and one that usually resolves with time, were more likely than men without childhood glomerular disease to have high blood pressure as an adult, according to a study in the March 19 issue of JAMA.

Fried foods may interact with genes to influence body weight, say experts
Individuals who are genetically predisposed to obesity may be more susceptible to the adverse effects of eating fried foods, concludes a study published on today.

What factors contribute to sexual assault in the military and what can be done to prevent it?
Issues such as why there is more sexual assault in the military than in the general population, why it is under-reported, and what preventive approaches should the military adopt are explored in a provocative roundtable discussion published in Violence and Gender.

New view of supernova death throes
A powerful, new three-dimensional model provides fresh insight into the turbulent death throes of supernovas, whose final explosions outshine entire galaxies and populate the universe with elements that make life on Earth possible.

Sea anemone is genetically half animal, half plant
The team led by evolutionary and developmental biologist Ulrich Technau at the University of Vienna discovered that sea anemones display a genomic landscape with a complexity of regulatory elements similar to that of fruit flies or other animal model systems.

Lied-to children more likely to cheat and lie
UC San Diego experiment is the first to show a connection between adult dishonesty and children's behavior, with kids who had been lied to cheating more and then lying to cover up the transgression.

Some truth to the 'potent pot myth'
New research from the Netherlands shows that people who smoke high-potency cannabis end up getting higher doses of the active ingredient.

Sepsis study comparing 3 treatment methods shows same survival rate
A five-year, randomized clinical trial at 31 academic hospitals showed that survival of patients with septic shock was the same regardless of whether they received treatment based on specific protocols or the usual high-level of care.

Who wants to be a millionaire?
A new study demonstrates that lotto numbers follow a predicted pattern and provides a step-by-step guide on how to improve your chances of winning the lottery jackpot.

Rats' brains may 'remember' odor experienced while under general anesthesia
Rats' brains may remember odors they were exposed to while deeply anesthetized, suggests research in rats published in the April issue of Anesthesiology.

Scientists using UNH detector illuminate cause of sun's 'perfect storm'
In a paper published today in Nature Communications, an international team of scientists, including three from the University of New Hampshire's Space Science Center, uncovers the origin and cause of an extreme space weather event that occurred on July 22, 2012, at the sun and generated the fastest solar wind speed ever recorded directly by a solar wind instrument.

Stanford researchers survey protein family that helps the brain form synapses
How does nature make the different types of synapses that connect neurons?

Early detection of childhood eye cancer doesn't always improve survival, prevent eye loss
For the most common form of childhood eye cancer, unilateral retinoblastoma, shortening the time from the first appearance of symptoms to diagnosis of disease has no bearing on survival or stage of the disease, according to a study by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health in partnership with the Hospital Infantil de Mexico.

The frozen truth about glaciers, climate change and our future
University of Cincinnati researchers use years of Tibet and Himalayas analysis to better predict glacial response to global climate change.

New method is a thousand times more sensitive to performance-enhancing drugs
While the world's best athletes competed during last month's winter Olympics, doctors and scientists were waging a different battle behind the scenes to make sure no one had an unfair advantage from banned performance-enhancing drugs.

Crop intensification can be a long-term solution to perennial food shortages in Africa
Farmers in Africa can increase their food production if they avoid over dependence on chemical fertilizers, pesticides and practice agricultural intensification -- growing more food on the same amount of land -- using natural and resource-conserving approaches such as agroforestry.

Kessler Foundation researchers link body temperature to relapsing-remitting MS and fatigue
Kessler Foundation researchers have demonstrated for the first time ever that body temperature is elevated endogenously in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis and linked to worse fatigue.

European research project aims at early diagnosis of memory disorders
The PredictND project, started by European research organizations, aims at developing and validating new procedures for the earlier diagnosis of memory disorders and for detecting individuals at high risk of developing memory disorders.

Ipilimumab in advanced melanoma: Added benefit for non-pretreated patients not proven
In 2012, IQWiG determined a considerable added benefit for ipilimumab in pretreated patients.

New statistical models could lead to better predictions of ocean patterns
The world's oceans cover more than 72 percent of the earth's surface, impact a major part of the carbon cycle, and contribute to variability in global climate and weather patterns.

Pregnancy associated with greater risk of certain bacterial infection; may worsen outcomes
In a surveillance study of infection with the bacterium Haemophilus influenzae among women of reproductive age in England and Wales from 2009-2012, pregnancy was associated with a greater risk of this infection, which was associated with poor pregnancy outcomes such as premature birth and stillbirth, according to a study in the March 19 issue of JAMA.

The basis of a new bioinsecticide is developed to control a pest of banana plantations
The Chrysodeixis chalcites moth is regarded as one of the most serious pests in horticultural, ornamental and fruit crops.

Major breakthrough in developing new cancer drugs: Capturing leukemic stem cells
The Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer at the University of Montreal, in collaboration with the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital's Quebec Leukemia Cell Bank, recently achieved a significant breakthrough thanks to the laboratory growth of leukemic stem cells, which will speed up the development of new cancer drugs.

Risk of obesity from regular consumption of fried foods may depend on genetic makeup
People with a genetic predisposition to obesity are at a higher risk of obesity and related chronic diseases from eating fried foods than those with a lower genetic risk, according to a new study from researchers from Harvard School of Public Health, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Harvard Medical School.

Only one-fifth of people with hearing problems wear a hearing aid
The study, published in the journal Ear and Hearing, looked at the habits of 160,000 people in the United Kingdom aged 40 to 69 years.

NIST chips help BICEP2 telescope find direct evidence of origin of the universe
The BICEP2 tlescope camera that produced the data behind the announcement of the first direct evidence of the rapid inflation of the universe at the dawn of time relies in part on the extraordinary signal amplification made possible by NIST's superconducting quantum interference devices.

Fierce 2012 magnetic storm barely missed Earth
On July 23, 2012, a huge magnetic storm propelled by two nearly simultaneous coronal mass ejections on the sun plowed through Earth's orbit.

A new algorithm improves the efficiency of small wind turbines
In recent years, mini wind energy has been developing in a spectacular way. 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