Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 02, 2014
Albertans support perinatal mental health screening
A UAlberta study shows that 63 percent of Albertans favor screening during pregnancy; support jumps to 72.7 percent postpartum.

Key chocolate ingredients could help prevent obesity, diabetes
Improved thinking. Decreased appetite. Lowered blood pressure. The potential health benefits of dark chocolate keep piling up, and scientists are now homing in on what ingredients in chocolate might help prevent obesity, as well as type 2 diabetes.

World's largest global bone, muscle and joint congress opens in Seville, Spain
Investigators and clinicians from more than 60 countries will gather today in Seville, Spain for the World Congress on Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases.

Publication in Nature showcases most comprehensive wiring diagram of the mammalian brain to date
Researchers from the Allen Institute for Brain Science have published the first comprehensive, large-scale data set on how the brain of a mammal is wired, providing a groundbreaking data resource and fresh insights into how the nervous system processes information.

Sport makes muscles and nerves fit
Endurance sport does not only change the condition and fitness of muscles but also improves the neuronal connections to the muscle fibers based on a muscle-induced feedback.

Longer stay in hospital ICU has lasting impact on quality of life
Patients have substantial physical impairments even two years after being discharged from the hospital after a stay in an intensive care unit, new Johns Hopkins research suggests.

Team identifies novel biomarker for head and neck cancer, non-small cell lung cancer
A biomarker is linked to better outcomes in patients with head and neck cancers and non-small cell lung cancer.

Running, cardio activities in young adulthood may preserve thinking skills in middle age
Young adults who run or participate in other cardio fitness activities may preserve their memory and thinking skills in middle age, according to a new study published in the April 2, 2014, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Morning rays keep off pounds
A surprising new strategy for managing your weight? Bright morning light.

UofL pediatrician elected to Medical Honor Society
University of Louisville pediatrician Dr. V. Faye Jones has been elected to Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society.

Positive, negative thinkers' brains revealed
The ability to stay positive when times get tough -- and, conversely, of being negative -- may be hardwired in the brain, finds new research led by a Michigan State University psychologist.

Levels of sodium intake recommended by CDC associated with harmful health outcomes
Current levels of sodium intake recommended by the CDC have been discovered as unhealthy, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Hypertension.

Study suggests symptoms of childhood eczema persist, likely a lifelong illness
Children diagnosed with atopic dermatitis -- eczema -- may have symptoms persist into their 20s, and the condition is likely to be a lifelong illness marked by waxing and waning skin problems.

Dinosaur chase reconstructed 70 years after excavation
Scientists digitally reconstructed a model of a dinosaur chase using photos of theropod and sauropod footprints excavated 70 years ago.

Europium complexes emit red light at record efficiency
Researchers worldwide continue search for better luminescent materials for OLED manufacturing.

One or 2? How to decide how many species you have got
It is often difficult to decide whether two animals belong to the same or two distinct species.

Structural insights into the inner workings of a viral nanomachine
Researchers at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute are using new nanoscale im-aging approaches to shed light on the dynamic activities of rotaviruses, important pathogens that cause life-threatening diarrhea in young children.

Americans using more energy according to Lawrence Livermore analysis
Americans used more renewable, fossil and even nuclear energy in 2013, according to the most recent energy flow charts released by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

Eyes in the cereal aisle -- how Cap'n Crunch's gaze is influencing your purchasing
Director of Cornell's Food and Brand Lab Brian Wansink and post-doctoral lab researcher Aner Tal, are releasing a new study today published in the Journal of Environment and Behavior that discovered consumers are 16 percent more likely to trust a brand of cereal when the characters on the boxes on the supermarket shelves look them straight in the eye.

Tiny biomolecular tweezers studying force effect of cells
A new type of biomolecular tweezers could help researchers study how mechanical forces affect the biochemical activity of cells and proteins.

Three observations for geoscience programs: Report on academic program classification released
Answering a community-wide call from geoscience societies and employers, an American Geoscience Institute inter-society ad hoc committee examined the issue of academic geosciences program accreditation.

Researchers identify how zinc regulates a key enzyme involved in cell death
The molecular details of how zinc, an essential trace element of human metabolism, interacts with the enzyme caspase-3, which is central to apoptosis or cell death, have been elucidated in a new study led by researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Killing a name of an extinct sea cow species
In a recent publication of the open access journal Zoosystematics and Evolution, Manja Voss from the Museum fuer Naturkunde Berlin deals with a new hypothesis of two distinct species that lived about 30 Millions of years ago in Central Europe and draws conclusions on the invalidity of the common species name Halitherium schinzii in favor of a new nominal framework for fossil sea cows.

A new tree-planting technique for ecological control of desert
A recent research using desert plant Haloxylon ammodendron discovered that high desert surface temperature is a major limiting factor under numerous desert habitats.

A critical window into the developing human brain profiled in Nature
Researchers at the Allen Institute for Brain Science have generated a high-resolution blueprint for how to build a human brain, with a detailed map of where different genes are turned on and off during mid-pregnancy at unprecedented anatomical resolution.

New FRAX app launched by the International Osteoporosis Foundation
A new FRAX app will allow clinicians access to the latest version of the WHO Fracture Risk Assessment Tool (FRAX) using their mobile phones -- so that patients' 10-year risk of fracture can be assessed in any clinical setting.

Pharmocogenomics has not fulfilled its promise to developing countries
From 1997 to 2010, despite promises made by the international scientific community, pharmacogenomic research produced few studies focusing on rare, orphan and tropical diseases prevalent in developing countries.

New project to help millions of people living in deltas adapt to climate change
Researchers from the University of Southampton are leading an international project to understand the effect of climate change on people living in deltas in South Asia and Africa, and how they respond.

Sleep apnea linked with blood sugar levels
Sleep apnea has been linked with elevated blood sugar levels, suggesting people with the condition could be at an increased risk of cardiovascular illness and mortality.

AChemS 36th Annual Meeting: Smell and taste experts to discuss new discoveries
Members of AChemS are arriving in Bonita Springs to present the latest findings generated from research on taste, smell and related issues Research topics range from molecular biology to the clinical diagnosis and treatment of smell and taste disorders.

Finnish research improves the reliability of ice friction assessment
Sliding speed and ice temperature affect the surface friction of ice more than had previously been thought.

NASA sees Tropical Cyclone's Hellen's lively remnants
Powerful Tropical Cyclone Hellen rapidly weakened after hitting northwestern Madagascar, but Hellen's remnants have recently started to show signs of life.

Skipping meals may affect butterfly wing size, coloration
High food stress may impact wing size and coloration -- both indicators of migratory success -- in monarch butterflies.

Ethics guidelines for next generation of risky NASA missions
An Institute of Medicine committee will issue a report Wednesday April 2, 2014, on ethical principles and decision-making guidelines for protecting the health of astronauts on risky long duration and exploration spaceflights.

NIST's simple microfluidic devices now have valves
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology have added yet another innovation -- miniature valves -- to their ever-growing collection of inexpensive, easy-to-manufacture and highly efficient microfluidic devices made from plastic films and double-sided tape.

River ice reveals new twist on Arctic melt
A new study led by Lance Lesack, a Simon Fraser University geographer and Faculty of Environment professor, has discovered unexpected climate-driven changes in the mighty Mackenzie River's ice breakup.

NASA releases images of M-class solar flare
On April 2, 2014, the sun emitted a mid-level solar flare, peaking at 10:05 a.m.

Ancient volcanic explosions shed light on Mercury's origins
The surface of Mercury crackled with volcanic explosions for extended periods of the planet's history, according to a new analysis led by researchers at Brown University.

Don't move a mussel (or a clam, or a snail)
Anyone that has spent time at a seaside pier has witnessed the destruction barnacles wreak on boat hulls.

Men who started smoking before age 11 had fatter sons
Men who started smoking regularly before the age of 11 had sons who, on average, had 5-10 kg more body fat than their peers by the time they were in their teens, according to new research from the Children of the 90s study at the University of Bristol.

New model shows moderate resource use & reduced economic inequality keys to sustainability
A new analytical tool adds human factors to a widely-used biological model of how animal populations interact, suggesting that human societies can reach a steady state that is sustainable when they do not over-deplete natural resources and avoid extreme economic inequality.

Food pantry clients struggle to afford diapers, detergent, other non-food items
Many food-insecure families also struggle to afford basic non-food household goods, such as personal care, household, and baby-care products, according to a new University of Illinois study published in the Journal of Family and Economic Issues.

Remotely operated aircraft successfully tested as tool for measuring changes in polar ice sheets
Scientists studying the behavior of the world's ice sheets--and the future implications of ice sheet behavior for global sea-level rise--may soon have a new airborne tool that will allow radar measurements that previously would have been prohibitively expensive or difficult to carry out with manned aircraft.

'3-D' test could reduce reliance on animals for testing asthma and allergy medications
To determine whether new medicines are safe and effective for humans, researchers must first test them in animals, which is costly and time-consuming, as well as ethically challenging.

First UK study of ketamine for people with severe depression
The first UK study of the use of ketamine intravenous infusions in people with treatment-resistant depression has been carried out in an NHS clinic by researchers at Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Oxford.

Chordoma Foundation grant to JAX, University College
The Chordoma Foundation has made a seed grant of $75,000 to Adrienne Flanagan, M.D., Ph.D., of University College, London, and her Jackson Laboratory collaborator, Mike Sasner, Ph.D., to develop a new mouse model for chordoma, a difficult-to-treat bone cancer affecting the skull and spine.

Ludwig scientists to present at 2014 AACR Annual Meeting
Ludwig Cancer Research previewed today the full scope of discoveries to be presented by Ludwig scientists at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting next week, April 5-9, in San Diego, Calif.

Diffeomorphometry and geodesic positioning systems for human anatomy
A team of researchers from the Center for Imaging Science at the Johns Hopkins University and the CMLA of the École Normale Supérieure Cachan have demonstrated new algorithmic technologies for the parametric representation of human shape and form.

Research method integrates meditation, science
Mindfulness meditation produces personal experiences that are not readily interpretable by scientists who want to study its psychiatric benefits in the brain.

Magnetic anomaly deep within Earth's crust reveals Africa in North America
The repeated cycles of plate tectonics that have led to collision and assembly of large supercontinents and their breakup and formation of new ocean basins have produced continents that are collages of bits and pieces of other continents.

Steel-fiber reinforced concrete for conventional construction work as well
An engineer of the UPV/EHU shows that adding steel fibers the size of a clip, concrete is less prone to cracking.

Enhancing the immune response through next generation polymeric vaccine adjuvants
Adjuvants, such as aluminum salts, have been integrated into vaccines for more than 70 years to augment the body's immune response to pathogens.

Why were young males behind recent attacks on schools and public gatherings?
A multidisciplinary expert panel explores the possible reasons for high incidence of these crimes, especially in the US, and the motives of the young male perpetrators.

Radiation able to be securely stored in nontoxic molecule, study finds
Researchers discovered that microscopic 'bubbles' are safe and effective storage lockers for harmful isotopes that emit ionizing radiation for treating tumors.

Record number of older adults completing living wills
Study suggests people are less timid about broaching end-of-life planning and talking about death.

Contrary to expectations, life experiences better use of money than material items
Why do shoppers continue to buy material items, despite research showing that purchasing life experiences will make them happier?

First peanut genome sequenced
The International Peanut Genome Initiative -- a group of multinational crop geneticists who have been working in tandem for the last several years -- has successfully sequenced the peanut's genome.

Weight loss reduces risk of death from cardiovascular disease in those at risk of diabetes
Many research studies have shown that lifestyle interventions, such as exercise programs or weight loss, in people with impaired glucose tolerance (those at high risk of diabetes) can prevent progression to overt type 2 diabetes.

New research initiative investigates gene regulation in evolution and development
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz has received EUR 900,000 for three years to investigate, jointly with the Institute of Molecular Biology, how gene regulation affects evolution and development.

To boldly go? Experts issue ethics guidelines for NASA's next generation of risky missions
An Institute of Medicine committee has issued a report with ethics principles and guidelines to aid NASA in decision-making for longer, higher risk human spaceflights.

An ethics framework should be used to decide health standards for extended, exploratory spaceflights
NASA should use an ethics framework when deciding whether, and under what conditions, spaceflights that venture outside low Earth orbit or extend beyond 30 days are acceptable if they do not meet current health standards, says a new report from the Institute of Medicine, the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences.

IOF-Servier Young Investigator Research Grant to support sarcopenia research
The IOF-Servier Young Investigator Research Grant was awarded to Charlotte Beaudart and Emmanuel Biver, M.D., at the opening of the World Congress on Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases, taking place from April 2-5 in Seville, Spain.

Coffee consumption reduces mortality risk from liver cirrhosis
New research reveals that consuming two or more cups of coffee each day reduces the risk of death from liver cirrhosis by 66 percent, specifically cirrhosis caused by non-viral hepatitis.

Researcher: Chowing down on watermelon could lower blood pressure
A new study by Florida State University Associate Professor Arturo Figueroa, published in the American Journal of Hypertension, found that watermelon could significantly reduce blood pressure in overweight individuals both at rest and while under stress.

Study shows Florida's participation in ACS NSQIP resulted in statewide improvement
A surgical collaborative of hospitals across Florida resulted in broad improvement in the state, helping most hospitals significantly improve, according to a new study published today in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

'Trans Fat, Regulation, Legislation and Human Health'
Clinical Therapeutics features a special report in its March issue focusing on the science and policy leading up to the US Food and Drug Administration's preliminary steps toward restricting industrially produced trans fatty acids, or trans fat, at the federal level.

Intelligent warning systems may make 'dilemma zone' safer
A new study published in Human Factors examines how intelligent warning systems help drivers negotiate the dilemma zone and encourage safer driving behavior.

Gastro outbreaks hit elderly hardest
Frail elderly people living in residential care facilities are at increased risk of severe illness or death from outbreaks of viral gastroenteritis.

Crib mattresses emit potentially harmful chemicals, Cockrell School engineers find
In a first-of-its-kind study, a team of environmental engineers from the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin found that infants are exposed to high levels of chemical emissions from crib mattresses while they sleep.

Criticism of violent video games has decreased as technology has improved, gamers age
Greg Perreault, a doctoral student at the MU School of Journalism, found that journalists from GamePro expressed a considerable amount of concern about the level of violence in the game software companies were creating in the early 1990s, when video game design was limited by technology.

Despite economic times, US demand for total joint replacement remains steady
A new study appearing in the April issue of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery showed that the economic downturns in the 2000s did not substantially influence the national growth trends for hip and knee arthroplasty in the United States.

Software to calculate the environmental, social and economic impacts of transport
A Basque consortium, with the participation of Tecnalia among others, is designing a new tool to improve the sustainability of the transport sector, responsible for 25 percent of greenhouse gases.

UCSB researchers create first regional Ocean Health Index
Brazil was the site of the first Ocean Health Index regional assessment designed to evaluate the economic, social and ecological uses and benefits that people derive from the ocean.

Optimal distance between 2 electrode tips when recording compound nerve action potentials
The distance between the two electrode tips can greatly influence the parameters used for recording compound nerve action potentials.

Strain-specific Lyme disease immunity lasts for years, Penn research finds
A new study led by researchers from the University of Pennsylvania shows that humans appear to develop immunity against specific strains of the Lyme disease that can last six to nine years.

Lifespan researcher develops first blood test to predict risk of sudden cardiac death
A researcher at the Cardiovascular Institute at Rhode Island, The Miriam and Newport hospitals has found that a simple blood test can predict a person's risk for sudden cardiac death, enabling physicians to more quickly and accurately assess a patient's need for an implantable cardiac defibrillator.

MD Anderson's Freireich, Allison elected fellows of the AACR Academy
Freireich and Allison receive elite recognition for life-saving innovations of drug combinations and immunotherapy for cancer.

Science-themed music videos boost scientific literacy, study shows
As the United States puts ever-greater emphasis on science, technology, engineering and mathematics education to keep competitive in the global economy, schools are trying to figure out how to improve student learning in science.

An easier, safer, and more accurate treatment for pancreatic cancer
Dartmouth scientists develop 3-D imaging for PDT treatment of pancreatic cancer to help make it a safer, more effective treatment.

One in 4 people with high blood pressure not taking their meds properly
Around one in four people prescribed drugs to lower longstanding blood pressure either just doesn't take them at all or only part of the time, suggests a study of a simple technique designed to find out why drug treatment might not be working in these patients, and published online in the journal Heart.

Tiny crystals to boost solar
A new approach to studying solar panel absorber materials has been developed by researchers in France.

Joining forces globally against drug-resistant bacteria
Misuse of antibiotics and other antimicrobials in humans and animals has led to bacteria evolving resistance.

Adenoma detection rates linked to colorectal cancer and mortality
A study of over 224,000 patients and more than 314,000 colonoscopies found that adenoma detection rates closely tracked the future risk of colorectal cancer.

Infants are sensitive to pleasant touch
Infants show unique physiological and behavioral responses to pleasant touch, which may help to cement the bonds between child and parent and promote early social and physiological development, according to research published in Psychological Science.

Body odor changes following vaccination
Our understanding of the role of body odor in conveying personal information continues to grow.

Climate change forces flower festival forward a month since 1960s
Study shows flower festivals are being forced to adapt to increasingly early first blooming dates in spring owing to increasingly mild temperatures.

Going global
In textbooks, the grand finale of cell division is the tug-of-war fought inside dividing cells as duplicated pairs of chromosomes get dragged in opposite directions into daughter cells.

New general concept for the treatment of cancer
A team of researchers from five Swedish universities, led by Karolinska Institutet and the Science for Life Laboratory, have identified a new way of treating cancer.

Immune cell 'defenders' could beat invading bacteria
An international team of scientists has identified the precise biochemical key that wakes up the body's immune cells and sends them into action against invading bacteria and fungi.

Investing in the future through the Graduate Research Fellowship Program
The National Science Foundation has announced this year's recipients of Graduate Research Fellowships (GRF).

Galactic serial killer
This new image from the MPG/ESO 2.2-metre telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile shows two contrasting galaxies: NGC 1316, and its smaller neighbour NGC 1317.

A brain region for resisting alcohol's allure
When a region of the brain called the lateral habenula is chronically inactivated in rats, they repeatedly drink to excess and are less able to learn from the experience.

Scientists make major breakthrough in eye disease therapy
Scientists from Trinity College Dublin have discovered a potentially novel form of therapy for age-related macular degeneration that uses a component of our immune system.

Great minds think alike
Pinecone or pine nut? Friend or foe? Distinguishing between the two requires that we pay special attention to the telltale characteristics of each.

Making the most of carbon nanotube-liquid crystal combos
Dispersions of carbon nanotubes with liquid crystals have attracted much interest because they pave the way for creating new materials with added functionalities.

Good diet boosts health but not wealth
The idea that a good diet means a healthy population with lower health costs only holds true when it comes to emergency care, a study shows.

Professor Cyrus Cooper wins ESCEO-IOF Servier Pierre D. Delmas Prize
The 2014 ESCEO-IOF Servier Pierre D. Delmas Prize was awarded today to Cyrus Cooper, professor of rheumatology and director of the MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, Vice-Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Southampton, and Professor of Musculoskeletal Science at the University of Oxford.

French, American team finds regolith of small asteroids formed by thermal fatigue
The centimeter-sized fragments and smaller particles that make up the regolith -- the layer of loose, unconsolidated rock and dust -- of small asteroids is formed by temperature cycling that breaks down rock in a process called thermal fatigue, according to a paper published today in the Nature.

Pathological complete response predictor of favorable breast cancer outcome
Results of EORTC trial 10994 appearing in the Annals of Oncology show that pathological complete response after neoadjuvant chemotherapy is an independent predictive factor of favorable clinical outcomes in all molecular subtypes of breast cancer.

The science of champagne fizz: How many bubbles are in your bubbly?
The importance of fizz, more technically known as effervescence, in sparkling wines and champagnes is not to be underestimated -- it contributes to the complete sensory experience of a glass, or flute, of fine bubbly.

Gauging the impact of tropical forest logging: Winrock develops new method for quantifying carbon emissions
Researchers at Winrock International have developed a first-of-its-kind method for estimating carbon emissions from forest degradation caused by selective logging in tropical regions.

New research finds 'geologic clock' that helps determine moon's age
An international team of planetary scientists determined that the moon formed nearly 100 million years after the start of the solar system, according to a paper to be published April 3 in Nature.

From Martian rocks, a planet's watery story emerges
After 18 months on Mars, the rover Curiosity has taken more than 120,000 measurements of surface rocks and soil, painting a more detailed image of how much water was once on the Red Planet.

Earthquake research explores use of high-performance concrete
Bora Gencturk, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Houston, is studying ways to selectively use high-performance fiber-reinforced concrete in buildings, making them more likely to survive an earthquake without suffering major damage.

Unplanned pregnancy remains high among young Australian women
Despite high rates of contraceptive use, unwanted pregnancies resulting in terminations remain high among young women.

Cereal box psychology
Researchers from Cornell's Food and Brand Lab found that cereals that are marketed to children sit half as high as adult cereals on supermarket shelves.

Beyond proficiency: How early English exposure influences non-native speakers
Non-native speakers exposed to English through newspapers, books, TV and classes as well as traveling before moving to the US are more likely to use the language socially and culturally, according to a report led by Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School.

Global partners are taking the 'neglect' out of 'neglected tropical diseases'
Global leaders gathered in Paris today at the Institut Pasteur to announce that this partnership has catalyzed momentum and crucial resources against NTDs -- parasitic and bacterial infections that put one in six people worldwide at risk of being sickened, disabled or disfigured.

Drexel researchers open path to finding rare, polarized metals
Drexel University researchers are turning some of the basic tenets of chemistry and physics upside down to cut a trail toward the discovery of a new set of materials.

A pocket-size ultrasonic nebulizer employing a novel nozzle improves inhalers
Inhalation is an increasingly important route for non-invasive drug delivery for both systemic and local applications.

A rainy day can ruin an online restaurant review
After looking at 1.1 million online reviews for 840,000 restaurants in more than 32,000 cities across the country, Georgia Tech and Yahoo Labs researchers have found that the weather outside can be just as significant a factor for reviews as what happens inside a restaurant.

Notre Dame researchers provide new insights into quantum dynamics and quantum chaos
A team of researchers led by University of Notre Dame physicist Boldizsar Janko has announced analytical prediction and numerical verification of novel quantum rotor states in nanostructured superconductors.

Noisy brain signals: How the schizophrenic brain misinterprets the world
A new study from the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital -- The Neuro -- at McGill University and McGill University Health Centre, reveals that certain errors in visual perception in people with schizophrenia are consistent with interference or 'noise' in a brain signal known as a corollary discharge.

How niffy nappies could help develop new weapons in fight against bacteria
Bacteria 'plan ahead' by tightening their belts to help them survive looming lean periods, researchers at Cambridge have discovered.

Strain can alter materials' properties
New field of 'strain engineering' could open up areas of materials research with many potential applications.

Kessler Foundation awarded $750,000 grant from National MS Society for cognitive research
Kessler Foundation received a four-year $750,000 grant from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society to conduct a randomized controlled trial of speed of processing training (SPT) to improve cognition in multiple sclerosis.

Large carnivores with large geographic ranges better-studied
Scientists tend to study larger carnivores with larger geographic ranges than those with greater adaptability and broader diets.

Call for circumcision gets a boost
In the United States the rate of circumcision in men has increased to 81 percent over the past decade. 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