Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 03, 2014
Tiny power generator runs on spit
Saliva-powered micro-sized microbial fuel cells can produce minute amounts of energy sufficient to run on-chip applications, according to an international team of engineers.

Researchers manipulate tiny objects with ultrasound
Utilizing the physical effects of ultrasonic waves provides effective strategies to handle micro/nano objects, which has huge potential applications in micro/nano fabrication, biomedical analyses and manipulations, nano measurement and assembling, high-end material production, etc.

IOF President's Award presented to notable osteoporosis advocates from 6 regions
At a ceremony held during the World Congress on Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases in Seville, Spain, the International Osteoporosis Foundation awarded the IOF President's Award in recognition of outstanding contributions and dedication to the work of IOF and to osteoporosis awareness and education worldwide.

Knowledge, use of IUDs increases when women are offered counseling and 'same-day' service
Health care clinics should routinely offer same-day placement of intrauterine devices (IUDs) to women seeking emergency contraception, according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Stroke risk higher after shingles, but antiviral drugs may provide protection
Patients' risk of stroke significantly increased following the first signs of shingles, but antiviral drugs appeared to offer some protection, according to a new study in Clinical Infectious Diseases, now available online.

When managers attack: Coaches who care about pundits' opinions worse at controlling anger
The notoriously short fuses of some sports coaches could be explained by excessive concern with how they will be seen by others, according to new research.

Which couples who meet on social networking sites are most likely to marry?
Nearly 7 percent of Americans married between 2005-2012 met on social networking sites.

A satellite view of volcanoes finds the link between ground deformation and eruption
Using satellite imagery to monitor which volcanoes are deforming provides statistical evidence of their eruption potential, according to a new study led by the University of Bristol published today in Nature Communications.

Sanford-Burnham presents cancer research at AACR
Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute will present a wide range of new research data at the annual American Association for Cancer Research Meeting in San Diego starting Saturday, April 5, at the San Diego Convention Center.

New tweetment: Twitter users describe real-time migraine agony
Someone's drilling an icicle into your temple, you're throwing up, and light and sound are unbearable.

Off the shelf, on the skin: Stick-on electronic patches for health monitoring
Wearing a fitness tracker on your wrist or clipped to your belt is so 2013.

Synergy of high protein intake and exercise in youth enhances bone structure and strength
A study presented during in Seville shows that high levels of protein intake enhance the positive impact of high physical activity on bone structure and strength in healthy pre-pubertal boys.

Cancer and the Goldilocks effect
Researchers at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine have found that too little or too much of an enzyme called SRPK1 promotes cancer by disrupting a regulatory event critical for many fundamental cellular processes, including proliferation.

Calcium waves help the roots tell the shoots
For Simon Gilroy, sometimes seeing is believing. In this case, it was seeing the wave of calcium sweep root-to-shoot in the plants the University of Wisconsin-Madison professor of botany is studying that made him a believer.

Resting-state functional connection during low back pain
The default mode network is a key area in the resting state, involving the posterior cingulate cortex, precuneus, medial prefrontal and lateral temporal cortices, and is characterized by balanced positive and negative connections classified as the 'hubs' of structural and functional connectivity in brain studies.

Researchers probe the next generation of 2-D materials
As the properties and applications of graphene continue to be explored in laboratories all over the world, a growing number of researchers are looking beyond the one-atom-thick layer of carbon for alternative materials that exhibit similarly captivating properties.

Watching for a black hole to gobble up a gas cloud
G2, a doomed gas cloud, is edging closer to Sgr A*, the hungry supermassive black hole at the Milky Way's center.

Pulmonary hypertension deaths have increased over past decade according to CDC report in CHEST
Deaths from pulmonary hypertension have increased over the past decade, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What bank voles can teach us about prion disease transmission and neurodegeneration
Transmission of prions between species is inefficient, and only a small proportion of exposed recipients become sick within their lifetimes.

A once-only cataclysmic event and other mysteries of earth's crust and upper mantle
The April 2014 Lithosphere is now available in print. Locations covered include the Acatlán Complex, Mexico; east Yilgarn craton, Australia; the eastern Paganzo basin, Argentina; the hotspot-related Yellowstone crescent, USA; and the western Alps.

Fences cause 'ecological meltdown'
In a paper in the journal Science, published today, Apr.

Attracting wild bees to farms is a good insurance policy
Investing in habitat that attracts and supports wild bees in farms is not only an effective approach to helping enhance crop pollination, but it can also pay for itself in four years or less, according to Michigan State University research.

Indigenous societies' 'first contact' typically brings collapse, but rebounds are possible
An analysis led by the Santa Fe Institute's Marcus Hamilton paints a grim picture of the experiences of indigenous societies following contact with Western Europeans, but also offers hope to those seeking to preserve Brazil's remaining indigenous societies.

New study casts doubt on heart regeneration in mammals
The mammalian heart has generally been considered to lack the ability to repair itself after injury, but a 2011 study in newborn mice challenged this view, providing evidence for complete regeneration after resection of 10 percent of the apex, the lowest part of the heart.

New Global CVD Atlas shows wealthy countries gradually reducing their burden of heart disease and stroke while developing countries have more mixed performance
A new Global Cardiovascular Disease Atlas, launched by the World Heart Federation in its journal Global Heart, shows that in wealthy countries, the burden of cardiovascular disease is falling both in crude and age-standardized terms, while clusters of low-income and middle-income countries are seeing rises in their CVD burden as their populations continue adapt to demographic and behavioral changes including increased life expectancy, poor diet, continued and in some cases increased tobacco smoking, and a more sedentary lifestyle.

Hummingbirds' 22-million-year-old history of remarkable change is far from complete
The first comprehensive map of hummingbirds' 22-million-year-old family tree -- reconstructed based on careful analysis of 284 of the world's 338 known species -- tells a story of rapid and ongoing diversification.

Walking may help protect kidney patients against heart disease and infections
In kidney disease patients, 30 minutes of walking improved the responsiveness of certain immune cells to a bacterial challenge and induced a systemic anti-inflammatory environment in the body.

New data show the immediate value of scientific research
University research is a key component of the US economic ecosystem, returning the investment through enormous public value and impact on employment, business, and manufacturing nationwide.

Nanoparticles cause cancer cells to self-destruct
Using magnetically controlled nanoparticles to force tumour cells to 'self-destruct' sounds like science fiction, but could be a future part of cancer treatment, according to research from Lund University in Sweden.

Between accident and real harm in child injuries
Novel sensing skin adapted to a child surrogate is capable of capturing and recording potential bruising locations and impact force when used in simulated injurious events.

Tumor suppressor gene TP53 mutated in 90 percent of most common childhood bone tumor
The St. Jude Children's Research Hospital-Washington University Pediatric Cancer Genome Project found mutations in the tumor suppressor gene TP53 in 90 percent of osteosarcomas, suggesting the alteration plays a key role early in development of the bone cancer.

Radium-223 dichloride in prostate cancer: Major added benefit for certain patients
Trastuzumab emtansine: indication of major added benefit in metastatic breast cancer with previous anthracycline therapy.

Jean Marc Kaufman is awarded the Herbert A. Fleisch ESCEO-IOF Medal
The 4th Herbert A. Fleisch ESCEO-IOF Medal was awarded today to eminent Belgian researcher Jean-Marc Kaufman, Professor of Medicine at the Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium.

Taking action to deliver agriculture growth, jobs, food security in face of climate change
The influential Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, released this week, concluded that climate change is already damaging food production and increasing food prices and will have further impacts in the future.

Fighting cancer with lasers and nanoballoons that pop
Researchers are developing a better delivery method for cancer drugs by encapsulating the drugs in nanoballoons -- which are tiny modified liposomes that, upon being struck by a red laser, pop open and deliver concentrated doses of medicine.

Taming a poison: Saving plants from cyanide with carbon dioxide
A team of Canadian and Finnish scientists has discovered cyanoformate -- a simple, unstable ion involved in the fruit-ripening process that has evaded detection for decades.

An ultrathin collagen matrix biomaterial tool for 3-D microtissue engineering
A novel ultrathin collagen matrix assembly allows for the unprecedented maintenance of liver cell morphology and function in a microscale 'organ-on-a-chip' device that is one example of 3-D microtissue engineering.

Gravity measurements confirm subsurface ocean on Enceladus
Scientists, including Caltech's David Stevenson, have used a geophysical method to confirm that the Saturnian moon Enceladus harbors a large ocean beneath its icy shell.

Report documents cardiopulmonary arrest in premature infant after cyclomydril eyedrops
Eyedrops administered to infants as part of routine outpatient retinopathy of prematurity screening can have life-threatening consequences.

Scientists say new computer model amounts to a lot more than a hill of beans
Crops that produce more while using less water seem like a dream for a world with a burgeoning population and already strained resources.

The war on salt
The World Congress of Cardiology will convene leading experts across the world in Melbourne, Australia from 4-7 May to debate and present the latest findings in heart health.

Vascular changes caused by deep brain stimulation using brain MRI
Deep brain stimulation has been widely used to treat patients with movement disorders and increasing attention has been paid to its use in the treatment of neurological and psychiatric disorders.

Discovery of a mechanism that makes tumor cells sugar addicted
For almost a hundred years ago is known that cancer cells feel a special appetite for a type of sugar called glucose.

HIV vaccine research must consider various immune responses
Future HIV vaccine research must consider both protective immune responses and those that might increase susceptibility to infection

DFG to establish 5 new research units
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft will establish five new Research Units.

Immune cell defenders protect us from bacteria invasion
An international team of researchers including University of Melbourne staff has identified the exact biochemical key that awakes the body's immune cells and sends them into fight against bacteria and fungi.

Insomnia may significantly increase stroke risk
Insomnia may significantly increase your risk of stroke and subsequent stroke hospitalizations.

Clinical value of ginsenoside Rb1 against neuronal damage following cerebral ischemia
Activated microglia-mediated inflammation promotes neuronal damage under cerebral hypoxic-ischemic conditions, so it is likely that inhibiting hypoxia-induced activation of microglia will alleviate neuronal damage.

Dopamine and hippocampus
Bruno Giros, PhD, a researcher at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute and a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at McGill University, has demonstrated, for the first time, the role that dopamine plays in a region of the brain called the hippocampus.

Possible world's first: UT Southwestern Physicians use CyberKnife to treat vocal cord cancer
Stephen Wiley, a lifelong cowboy from Terrell, has helped UT Southwestern Medical Center pioneer a new treatment for vocal cord cancer.

Aging workforce requires new strategies for employee retention, MU researcher says
As more baby boomers working in state governments reach retirement age, state governments face the likelihood of higher workforce turnover.

16 new Priority Programmes
The Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft will establish 16 new Priority Programmes, in which researchers will investigate fundamental scientific questions in particularly topical or emerging areas of research over the next few years.

A new approach to detecting changes in GM foods
Comparing biochemicals of GM foods to their non-GM counterparts helps lead decisions.

Research studies highlight advantages and potential of computer-guided spinal surgery
In a series of research studies, Cedars-Sinai spinal surgeons show that a new method of computer-guided spine surgery is beneficial for spinal reconstruction and for treating complex tumors and degenerative spine problems, resulting in fewer complications and better outcomes for patients.

Jamming a protein signal forces cancer cells to devour themselves
Inhibiting cancer-promoting prolactin causes unconventional cell death in preclinical research.

Brand new old journal
One of the oldest European zoological journals, Zoosystematics and Evolution -- formerly Mitteilungen aus dem Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin, Zoologische Reihe -- established in 1898 now joins the open access family of Pensoft Publishers to combine tradition and innovation.

Truven Health and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health launch institute
Today Truven Health Analytics and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health announced their collaboration in the establishment of the Institute for Health and Productivity Studies at the Johns Hopkins University.

Study shows fertility drugs do not increase breast cancer risk
Women who took clomiphene citrate (brand name Clomid) or gonadotropins as a part of fertility treatment did not experience an increased risk for breast cancer over 30 years of follow-up, compared with women who were not treated with these medications, according to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research.

Hummingbird evolution soared after they invaded South America 22 million years ago
Researchers led by Jim McGuire of UC Berkeley generated a family tree of the hummingbirds that shows they diverged from swifts and treeswifts 42 million years ago, invaded South America 22 million years ago, and diversified rapidly to take over America.

Lactase persistence alleles reveal ancestry of southern African Khoe pastoralists
In a new study a team of researchers lead from Uppsala University show how lactase persistence variants tell the story about the ancestry of the Khoe people in southern Africa.

Moving the fence posts
The use of fenced areas to protect threatened species in the wild should be a last resort, argue scientists from the Zoological Society of London and the Wildlife Conservation Society.

Hot mantle drives elevation, volcanism along mid-ocean ridges
Using data from seismic waves, scientists have shown that temperature deep in Earth's mantle controls the elevation and volcanic activity along mid-ocean ridges, colossal mountain ranges that line the ocean floor.

Dwindling visibility of tobacco in prime time US TV linked to fall in smoking rates
The dwindling visibility of tobacco products in prime time US TV drama programs may be linked to a fall in smoking prevalence of up to two packs of cigarettes per adult a year, suggests research published online in the journal Tobacco Control.

Women do not apply to 'male-sounding' job postings
Even the wording of an employment ad can be a crucial factor whether the job goes to a woman or a man -- as women tend not to apply in case of doubt.

Transplant drugs may help wipe out persistent HIV infections
New research suggests that drugs commonly used to prevent organ rejection after transplantation may also be helpful for combating HIV.

The feasibility of a crop should be investigated before it can be promoted for adoption by farmers
With rising food and energy costs, smallholder farmers are looking for alternative crops that can generate more income and provide a better livelihood; however, bringing in new crops without tried and tested evidence about its viability may be counter productive.

Higher total folate intake may be associated with lower risk of exfoliation glaucoma
Researchers designed a prospective cohort study using more than 20 years of follow-up data from the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study.

Geology spans the minute and gigantic, from skeletonized leaves in China to water on mars
New Geology studies include a mid-Cretaceous greenhouse world; the Vredefort meteoric impact event and the Vredefort dome, South Africa; shallow creeping faults in Italy; a global sink for immense amounts of water on Mars; the Funeral Mountains, USA; insect-mediated skeletonization of fern leaves in China; first-ever tectonic geomorphology study in Bhutan; the Ethiopian Large Igneous Province; the Central Andean Plateau; the Scandinavian Ice Sheet; the India-Asia collision zone; the Snake River Plain; and northeast Brazil.

Researchers design trees that make it easier to produce paper
Researchers have genetically engineered trees that will be easier to break down to produce paper and biofuel, a breakthrough that will mean using fewer chemicals, less energy and creating fewer environmental pollutants.

Dose-escalated hypofractionated IMRT, conventional IMRT for prostate cancer have like side effects
Dose-escalated intensity modulated radiation therapy with use of a moderate hypofractionation regimen -- 72 Gy in 2.4 Gy fractions -- can safely treat patients with localized prostate cancer with limited grade 2 or 3 late toxicity, according to a study published in the Apr.

Cassini reports sub-surface ocean on Enceladus
New results from the Cassini spacecraft, which has been among Saturn's moons for the past 10 years, show that Enceladus -- one of the planet's smaller moons -- harbors an ocean of water beneath 18 to 24 miles (30 to 40 kilometers) of ice.

Ouch! Computer system spots fake expressions of pain better than people
A joint study by researchers at the University of California, San Diego, the University at Buffalo, and the University of Toronto has found that a computer-vision system can distinguish between real or faked expressions of pain more accurately than can humans.

Caucasian boys show highest prevalence of color blindness among preschoolers
The first major study of color blindness in a multi-ethnic group of preschoolers has uncovered that Caucasian male children have the highest prevalence among four major ethnicities, with one in 20 testing color blind.

Forward Looks report available 'Media in Europe: New Questions for Research and Policy'
A new report from the European Science Foundation, 'Media in Europe: New Questions for Research and Policy', examines the field of media studies and proposes an agenda for research for the next decade.

How electrodes charge and discharge
A new MIT analysis probes charge transfer in porous battery electrodes for the first time.

Bacteria get new badge as planet's detoxifier
A study published recently in PLOS ONE authored by Dr.

Iowa State scientist developing materials, electronics that dissolve when triggered
An Iowa State research team led by Reza Montazami is developing 'transient materials' and 'transient electronics' that can quickly and completely melt away when a trigger is activated.

Intense treatment no better than advice & exercise at reducing pain from chronic whiplash
Results of a new trial of treatments for chronic whiplash pain, published in The Lancet, suggest that expensive, intense physiotherapy sessions do not show any additional benefit over a single physiotherapy session of education and advice with phone follow-up.

Economic evaluation of an osteoporosis screening campaign using FRAX
In new research presented at the World Congress on Osteoporosis, Osteoarthritis and Musculoskeletal Diseases today, a study from Belgium showed that an osteoporosis screening strategy using FRAX as a pre-screening tool is cost-effective if the follow up of the screening and medication adherence are optimized.

Drawing conclusions
According to Tel Aviv University's Dr. Carmit Katz, illustrations by children can be a critical tool in forensic investigations of child abuse.

Poor quality of life may contribute to kidney disease patients' health problems
In African-American patients with chronic kidney disease, poor quality of life was linked with increased risks of disease progression and heart problems.

Examination of a cave-dwelling fish finds a possible genetic link to human disorders
Researchers report on an exciting discovery in the prestigious journal, Genetics.

Quantum cryptography for mobile phones
An ultra-high security scheme that could one day get quantum cryptography using Quantum Key Distribution into mobile devices has been developed and demonstrated by researchers from the University of Bristol's Centre for Quantum Photonics in collaboration with Nokia.

Dress and behavior of mass shooters as factors to predict and prevent future attacks
In many recent incidents of premeditated mass shooting the perpetrators have been male and dressed in black, and may share other characteristics that could be used to identify potential shooters before they commit acts of mass violence.

Adults' tonsillectomy complications are higher than previously thought
Twenty percent of adults who have tonsillectomies will have a complication, which is significantly higher than previously shown, according to a team of researchers.

Study shows more than half of high-risk alcohol users report improvement after surgery
Much has been reported about the potential for increased risk of alcohol misuse after weight loss surgery, with most theories pointing to lower alcohol tolerance and a longer time to return to a sober state after surgery, but a new study from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center suggests that upwards of half of high-risk drinkers are actually less likely to report high-risk drinking behavior after weight loss surgery.

Scientists emphasize metabolites' role in understanding disease
Overreliance on genetic-centered approaches in predicting, diagnosing and treating disease will lead to few future scientific breakthroughs, cautioned a University of Alabama researcher who co-authored an article in an early online issue of Genetics that advocates for a greater emphasis on the body's metabolites in understanding illnesses.

Research conference on child and family policy
The Society for Research in Child Development will hold a meeting at the Hilton Alexandria Old Town April 3-5, 2014.

'Homo' is the only primate whose tooth size decreases as its brain size increases
Andalusian researchers, led by the University of Granada, have discovered a curious characteristic of the members of the human lineage, classed as the genus Homo: they are the only primates where, throughout their 2.5-million year history, the size of their teeth has decreased alongside the increase in their brain size.

One million person study explores the combined influence of genetics and lifestyle in the development of Alzheimer's disease
A global study involving more than one million people worldwide will explore the relationship between genetics and lifestyle in the development of Alzheimer's disease.

Public exposure leads to an increase in corrections to the scientific record
Individuals who wish to identify potential problems in the scientific literature can either choose to report their grievances privately (with the expectation that the issue will be appropriately handled) or they can post their accusations publicly.

Fermi data tantalize with new clues to dark matter
A new study of gamma-ray light from the center of our galaxy makes the strongest case to date that some of this emission may arise from dark matter, an unknown substance making up most of the material universe.

Study helps unravel the tangled origin of ALS
By studying nerve cells that originated in patients with a severe neurological disease, a University of Wisconsin-Madison researcher has pinpointed an error in protein formation that could be the root of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Quantum photon properties revealed in another particle -- the plasmon
One approach to make qubits for quantum computing relies on the creation of two single photons that interfere with one another in a device called a waveguide.

NASA's Aqua satellite flies over newborn Tropical Depression 05W
The fifth tropical depression of the northwestern Pacific Ocean tropical cyclone season formed far from land as NASA's Aqua satellite passed overhead and captured a visible image of the storm on April 4.

Energy breakthrough uses sun to create solar energy materials
Researchers have discovered a way to tap the sun not only as a source of power, but also to directly produce the solar energy materials that make this possible.

Patient stem cells help identify common problem in ALS
Harvard stem cell scientists have discovered that a recently approved medication for epilepsy may possibly be a meaningful treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis -- Lou Gehrig's disease, a uniformly fatal neurodegenerative disorder.

Synthetic biology lab backed by £2 million award
Scientists at the University of Liverpool have been awarded £2M to build a state-of-the-art DNA synthesis facility, a capability offering much needed tools for genome engineering to the academic and private sectors.

Smoking may dull obese women's ability to taste fat and sugar
People who smoke also tend to eat more high-fat foods.

NIST launches a new US time standard: NIST-F2 atomic clock
National Institute of Standards and Technology has officially launched a new atomic clock, called NIST-F2, to serve as a new US civilian time and frequency standard, along with the current NIST-F1 standard.

Deaths from ischemic stroke due to tobacco smoking in China, India and Russia more than for all the world's other countries combined
New research published in Global Heart (the journal of the World Heart Federation) shows that deaths from ischemic stroke due to tobacco use in China, India, and Russia together are higher than the total for all the world's other countries combined.

Daiichi Sankyo and UCSF announce collaboration in research for neurodegenerative diseases
Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd. and University of California San Francisco have established a drug-discovery collaboration focused on developing novel therapeutics and molecular diagnostics for multiple neurodegenerative diseases.

Timing training can increase accuracy in golf and soccer
Practicing your timing and rhythmicity can make you a more precise and stable golfer or soccer player.

'Unzipping' poplars' biofuel potential
What began 20 years ago as an innovation to improve paper industry processes and dairy forage digestibility may now open the door to a much more energy- and cost-efficient way to convert biomass into fuel.

Women entrepreneurs have limited chances to lead their new businesses
Women who start new businesses with men have limited opportunities to move into leadership roles, according to sociologists at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; and when they co-found a business with their husbands, they have even fewer chances to be in charge.

AZTI-Tecnalia expands its Food Mirror project globally through a mobile app
The Food Mirror project, promoted by AZTI-Tecnalia, has for the last few days had a virtual platform and its corresponding mobile app for Android smartphones; by means of images it will allow users to share the innovations and signs of food trends that are spotted in their everyday lives.

ER doctors commonly miss more strokes among women, minorities and younger patients
Analyzing federal health care data, a team of researchers led by a Johns Hopkins specialist concluded that doctors overlook or discount the early signs of potentially disabling strokes in tens of thousands of American each year, a large number of them visitors to emergency rooms complaining of dizziness or headaches.

Academy of Natural Sciences receives major grant for program to protect drinking water
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University will coordinate and oversee ecological monitoring projects by more than 40 national and regional environmental organizations in eight designated geographic areas in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and Delaware.

Sage grouse losing habitat to fire as endangered species decision looms
Wildfire is the predominant cause of habitat loss in the Great Basin. 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