Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 10, 2014
New towns going up in developing nations pose major risk to the poor
Satellite city projects across the developing world are putting an increasing number of poor people at risk to natural hazards and climate change, according to a new study from the University of Colorado Denver.

Tamiflu & Relenza: How effective are they?
The BMJ and Cochrane call on government and health policy decision makers to review guidance on use of Tamiflu in light of the most recent evidence.

Researchers show fruit flies have latent bioluminescence
A synthetic luciferin developed by scientists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School shows that fruit flies are secretly harboring the biochemistry needed to glow in the dark -- otherwise known as bioluminescence.

Researchers bolster development of programmable quantum computers
University of Chicago researchers and their colleagues at University College London have performed a proof-of-concept experiment that will aid the future development of programmable quantum computers.

Fruit flies, fighter jets use similar nimble tactics when under attack
When startled by predators, tiny fruit flies respond like fighter jets -- employing screaming-fast banked turns to evade attacks.

Construction to begin on NASA spacecraft set to visit asteroid in 2018
NASA's team that will conduct the first US mission to collect samples from an asteroid has been given the go-ahead to begin building the spacecraft, flight instruments and ground system, and launch support facilities.

Carleton College Summer Math Program honored for achievements
The Carleton College Summer Mathematics Program (SMP) has been chosen to receive the 'Mathematics Programs that Make a Difference' award, the American Mathematical Society announced today.

New research on gigabit wireless communications
Research on gigabit wireless communications has been presented by researchers from the University of Bristol at the world's leading wireless communications and networking conference, IEEE WCNC 2014, in Turkey earlier this week.

Obsessive-compulsive disorder may reflect a propensity for bad habits
Two new studies published this week in Biological Psychiatry suggest that a tendency to develop habits, i.e., the compulsive component of the disorder, may be a core feature of the disorder rather than a consequence of irrational beliefs.

Insights into how a bird flu virus spreads could prevent pandemics
The H5N1 bird flu virus has killed hundreds of people, despite the fact that the virus can't spread easily between people.

NASA simulation portrays ozone intrusions from aloft
Outdoor enthusiasts in Colorado's Front Range are occasionally rewarded with remarkable visibility brought about by dry, clear air and wind.

MU researchers find rare fossilized embryos more than 500 million years old
The Cambrian Period is a time when most phyla of marine invertebrates first appeared.

Camels emit less methane than cows or sheep
When digesting ruminants exhale methane. Their contribution to this global greenhouse gas is considerable.

Health of ecosystems on US golf courses better than predicted
Currently, there are more than 18,300 golf courses in the US covering over 2.7 million acres.

Common sense health for young adult cancer survivors
Many factors influence the life expectancy of childhood cancer survivors: not getting enough exercise, being underweight, and being worried about their future health or their health insurance.

For sick, elderly patients, surgical decision making 'takes a village'
Surgery for sick, elderly patients can be very risky. Decision making surrounding a possible surgical procedure should be orchestrated by a multidisciplinary team, including the patient, his or her family, the surgeon, primary care physician, nurses and non-clinicians, such as social workers, advocates a perspective piece published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Revive your smartphone in 30 seconds
Demonstrated at a Microsoft conference in Tel Aviv this month, a new prototype battery developed by Tel Aviv University researchers and compatible with the Samsung Galaxy 4 device can be charged to full capacity in just 30 seconds.

3-D printing cancer cells to mimic tumors
A group of researchers in China and the US have successfully created a 3-D model of a cancerous tumor using a 3-D printer.

Four-eyed daddy longlegs fossil fills in evolutionary tree
Living harvestmen -- a group of arachnids more commonly known as daddy longlegs -- have a single pair of eyes that help them navigate every continent except Antarctica.

Using mathematics to beat jetlag effectively
Our 'internal clock' is predicted to shift more rapidly than previously thought.

Planaria deploy an ancient gene expression program in the course of organ regeneration
In the April 15, 2014, issue of the online journal eLife, Stowers Institute for Medical Research Investigator Alejandro Sanchez Alvarado and colleagues report the identification of genes that worms use to rebuild an amputated pharynx.

HIV battle must focus on hard-hit streets, paper argues
When it comes to HIV, geography can be destiny, argue authors of a new article in the American Journal of Public Health.

There's no faking it -- your sexual partner knows if you're really satisfied
There is no point faking it in bed because chances are your sexual partner will be able to tell.

Genetic distinctness to guide global bird conservation
In the midst of today's global extinction crisis, decisions about conservation should include prioritizing how best to preserve as much of the tree of life as possible.

Appearance of night-shining clouds has increased
First spotted in 1885, silvery blue clouds sometimes hover in the night sky near the poles, appearing to give off their own glowing light.

New SHEA Epi project winner to examine best practices in HAI surveillance
The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America has announced Jason Lempp, M.P.H., CIC, as the winner of the third annual EPI Project Competition.

Filter developed by VTT helps recover 80 percent of gold in mobile phone scrap
Mobile phone scrap can contain precious metals, such as gold and copper.

SU geologists prove early Tibetan Plateau was larger than previously thought
Earth scientists in Syracuse University's College of Arts and Sciences have determined that the Tibetan Plateau -- the world's largest, highest, and flattest plateau -- had a larger initial extent than previously documented.

Common virus may cause anemia in patients with kidney disease
Kidneys from most patients with chronic kidney disease were positive for active cytomegalovirus infection.

SU professors test boundaries of 'new physics' with discovery of 4-quark hadron
Physicists in Syracuse University's College of Arts and Sciences have helped confirm the existence of exotic hadrons -- a type of matter that cannot be classified within the traditional quark model.

American College of Physicians releases policy paper on medical liability crisis
The American College of Physicians today released a policy paper on the medical liability crisis, which continues to have a profound effect on the medical system.

Enzyme revealed as promising target to treat asthma and cancer
In experiments with mice, Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center scientists have identified an enzyme involved in the regulation of immune system T cells that could be a useful target in treating asthma and boosting the effects of certain cancer therapies.

Poor mimics can succeed as long as they mimic the right trait
There are both perfect and imperfect mimics in nature. An imperfect mimic might have a different body shape, size or color pattern arrangement compared to the species it mimics.

NEJM: High-risk seniors surgery decisions should be patient-centered, and physician-led
Surgery for frail, senior citizen patients can be risky. A new patient-centered, team-based approach to deciding whether these high-risk patients will benefit from surgery is championed in an April 10 perspective of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Pseudo-mathematics and financial charlatanism
'Backtest overfitting' is a dubious yet common practice in finance.

Yeast provides genetic clues on drug response
Why do people respond differently to the same drug? For the first time, researchers have untangled genetic and environmental factors related to drug reactions, bringing us a step closer to predicting how a drug will affect us.

Abstention from alcohol has increased sharply among Australian adolescents
A broad change in drinking behavior has occurred among Australian adolescents in the last decade.

Researchers find that influenza has an Achilles' heel
Flu epidemics cause up to half a million deaths worldwide each year, and emerging strains continually threaten to spread to humans and cause even deadlier pandemics.

Head injuries can make children loners
The study looked at kids three years after the initial incident and found that lingering injury in the brain's right frontal lobe is associated with lower social competence (participation in groups, number of friends, etc.).

Forging iron women
A new University of Melbourne study has found that women who take iron supplements experience a marked improvement in their exercise performance.

Vermont study addresses treatments for waited-listed opioid-dependent individuals
A new University of Vermont study focuses on the development of a novel interim treatment program featuring five components to help opioid-dependent Vermonters bridge challenging waitlist delays.

News from the Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, April 2014
Select clinical nutrition research findings from the Journal of Parenteral and External Nutrition are presented.

New research puts conventional theories on Titanic disaster on ice
Academics at the University of Sheffield have dispelled a long-held theory that the Titanic was unlucky for sailing in a year with an exceptional number of icebergs and say the risk of icebergs is actually higher now.

Researchers identify transcription factors distinguishing glioblastoma stem cells
The activity of four transcription factors -- proteins that regulate the expression of other genes -- appears to distinguish the small proportion of glioblastoma cells responsible for the aggressiveness and treatment resistance of the deadly brain tumor.

New prediction model to improve patient survival after paracetamol-related liver failure
A new prediction model is to improve patient survival after paracetamol-related liver failure.

Gutting of campaign finance laws enhances influence of corporations and wealthy Americans
Affluent individuals and business corporations already have vastly more influence on federal government policy than average citizens, according to recently released research by Princeton University and Northwestern University.

Antennae help flies 'cruise' in gusty winds
Caltech researchers combined bursts of air, digital video cameras, and a variety of software and sensors to explain a mechanism for a fruit fly's 'cruise control' in flight -- revealing a relationship between a fly's vision and its wind-sensing antennae.

Extending terrorism insurance program could lower federal costs, study finds
After the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the US Congress passed legislation to help support the market for terrorism risk insurance -- a program that will expire this year.

Experts disagree on horses with incoordination
At least one in 100 horses at some point in its life will lose the ability to control its gait as a result of developing the neurological disorder ataxia.

Researchers determine how mechanical forces affect T-cell recognition and signaling
Researchers have developed a new understanding of the T-cell recognition process by describing how T-cell receptors use mechanical contact -- the forces involved in their binding to the antigens -- to make decisions about whether or not the cells they encounter are threats.

National Institutes of Health awards Mount Sinai contract to further influenza research
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases has awarded a team of researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai for the Center on Influenza Pathogenesis.

SU plays key role in search for elusive dark matter
The ongoing search for invisible dark matter is the subject of a recent article involving physicists from Syracuse University's College of Arts and Sciences.

Study resolves controversy over nitrogen's ocean 'exit strategies'
A decades-long debate over the dominant way that nitrogen is removed from the ocean may now be settled.

'Body hack' app by math researchers shortcuts jet-lag recovery
A different kind of jet-lag mobile app released today by University of Michigan mathematicians reveals previously unknown shortcuts that can help travelers snap their internal clocks to new time zones as efficiently as possible.

Drug provides health benefits to diabetics with kidney disease
Low doses of atrasentan, an endothelin receptor A inhibitor, lowered urinary protein excretion by 36 percent in patients with diabetes and kidney disease.

Iconic boreal bird species declining in the Adirondacks, study says
A new study from the Wildlife Conservation Society finds that several iconic Adirondack birds are in trouble, with declines driven by the size of their wetland habitats, how connected these wetlands are to one another, and how near they are to human infrastructure.

More evidence that NAFLD is an independent cardiovascular risk factor
Two new studies presented today at the International Liver Congress 2014 have provided more evidence to clarify the role of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease as an independent risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease.

Single mothers don't delay marriage just to boost tax credit, study says
When the Earned Income Tax Credit was expanded in 1993, supporters hoped it would reward poor parents for working while critics feared that it might discourage single mothers from marrying or incentivize women to have more children to boost their tax refund.

Medicare's flawed adjustment methodology poor way to spend billions
The methodology Medicare uses to adjust the billions of dollars it pays health plans and hospitals to account for how sick their patients are is flawed and should be replaced, according to a new study by Dartmouth investigators published in the journal BMJ that weighed the performance of Medicare's methodology against alternatives.

Math and Statistics Department at Williams College receives AMS national award
The Department of Mathematics and Statistics at Williams College is the 2014 recipient of the AMS Award for an Exemplary Program or Achievement in a Mathematics Department, the American Mathematical Society announced today.

Thermoelectric generator on glass fabric for wearable electronic devices
A team of KAIST researchers headed by Byung Jin Cho, a professor of electrical engineering, proposed a solution to this problem by developing a glass fabric-based thermoelectric generator that is extremely light and flexible and produces electricity from the heat of the human body.

Researchers discover possible new target to attack flu virus
Scientists at the University of Texas at Austin have discovered that a protein produced by the influenza A virus helps it outwit one of our body's natural defense mechanisms.

Yale researchers search for earliest roots of psychiatric disorders
Now, Yale University researchers have identified a single molecular mechanism in the developing brain that sheds light on how cells may go awry when exposed to a variety of different environmental insults.

Tumor-suppressor connects with histone protein to hinder gene expression
A tumor-suppressing protein acts as a dimmer switch to dial down gene expression.

Name of new weakly electric fish species reflects hope for peace in Central Africa
Two new species of weakly electric fishes from the Congo River basin are described in the open-access journal ZooKeys.

How widespread is tax evasion?
A new study puts a cost on 'round-tripping,' a method investors use to avoid the tax collector.

Ancient 'spider' images reveal eye-opening secrets
Stunning images of a 305-million-year-old harvestman fossil reveal ancestors of the modern-day arachnids had two sets of eyes rather than one.

Researchers develop novel molecular blood group typing technique
Scientists in France have designed a new system for molecular blood group typing that offers blood banks the possibility of extensive screening of blood donors at a relatively low cost.

Too much protein may kill brain cells as Parkinson's progresses
Scientists may have discovered how the most common genetic cause of Parkinson's disease destroys brain cells and devastates many patients worldwide.

Getting to the root of Parkinson's disease
Working with human neurons and fruit flies, researchers at Johns Hopkins have identified and then shut down a biological process that appears to trigger a particular form of Parkinson's disease present in a large number of patients.

Philosophy professor to study self-control with $4.5 million grant
Self-control is one of the most fundamental keys to success in life.

How the brain pays attention
MIT neuroscientists identify a brain circuit that's key to shifting our focus from one object to another.

Team solves decades-old mystery of how cells keep from bursting
A team led by scientists at the Scripps Research Institute has identified a long-sought protein that facilitates one of the most basic functions of cells: regulating their volume to keep from swelling excessively.

Lactate metabolism target halts growth in lung cancer model
A team led by investigators at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center has found that an enzyme responsible for the final step of glucose metabolism not only halts tumor growth in non-small-cell lung cancer, but actually leads to regression of established tumors.

New report provides solution to NEET challenge in UK and abroad
The Youth Resolution, according to the new report, would be a locally co-ordinated national policy to drive up labor market standards.

Increased time on Facebook could lead women to negative body images
The mediated version of what women should look like has always been under scrutiny, particularly looking at actresses and fashion models.

Eye of the beholder -- improving the human-robot connection
Researchers are programming robots to communicate with people using human-like body language and cues, an important step toward bringing robots into homes.

Neurofinance study confirms that financial decisions are made on an emotional basis
The willingness of decision makers to take risks increases when they play games of chance with money won earlier.

AACR 2014 study highlights new drug, molecular insight into triple negative breast cancers
University of Colorado Cancer Center study presented today at the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2014 showcased a new drug active against triple-negative breast cancer, and through analysis of the drug's mechanism of action, offers increased understanding of the biology of this very aggressive form of breast cancer.

Undergraduate Summer Institute of Statistics honored for achievements
The Rice University Summer Institute of Statistics has been chosen to receive the 'Mathematics Programs that Make a Difference' award, the American Mathematical Society announced today.

Moffitt Cancer Center begins Phase I clinical trial of new immunotherapy
Moffitt Cancer Center has initiated a phase I clinical trial for a new immunotherapy drug, ID-G305, made by Immune Design.

Paul Sally honored for impact on education
Paul J. Sally, Jr., of the University of Chicago, has been awarded the first AMS Award for Impact on the Teaching and Learning of Mathematics, the American Mathematical Society announced today.

Therapeutic options and bladder-preserving strategies in bladder cancer
Men are three to four times more likely to get bladder cancer than women.

Brainy courage of the rainbowfish
The boldest black-lined rainbowfish are those that are born in the wild.

Scarless wound healing -- applying lessons learned from fetal stem cells
In early fetal development, skin wounds undergo regeneration and healing without scar formation.

SETAC Europe 24th Annual Meeting
The SETAC Europe 24th Annual Meeting, will be held in Basel, Switzerland, from May 11-15, 2014.

Study shows 'dinosaurs of the turtle world' at risk in Southeast rivers
Conservation of coastal rivers of the northern Gulf of Mexico is vital to the survival of the alligator snapping turtle, including two recently discovered species, University of Florida scientists say.

Sneak a peek through the mist to technology of the future
A tabletop display with personal screens made from a curtain of mist that allow users to move images around and push through the fog-screens and onto the display, will be unveiled at an international conference later this month.

Solute redistribution profiles during rapid solidification of undercooled ternary Co-Cu-Pb alloy
Researchers at the Department of Applied Physics, Northwestern Polytechnical University in Xi'an, China used the glass-fluxing method to realize the containerless processing and investigate the solidification mechanism of ternary Co-Cu-Pb immiscible alloys.

Special function of nestin+ neurons in medial septum-diagonal band of Broca in adult rats
Dr. Yuhong Zhao and co-workers from Sun Yat-sen University in China explored the projection of nestin+ neurons to the olfactory bulb and the time course of nestin+ neurons in the medial septum-diagonal band of Broca in adult rats during injury recovery after olfactory nerve transection.

Virus structure inspires novel understanding of onion-like carbon nanoparticles
Symmetry is ubiquitous in the natural world. It occurs in gemstones and snowflakes and even in biology, an area typically associated with complexity and diversity.

Global poverty could be up to a third higher than reported
With over one billion people in the world living on less than $1.25 per day, the World Bank aims to end 'extreme poverty' by 2030.

INRS launches the UNESCO Chair
INRS is proud to announce the launch of the UNESCO Chair on Materials and Technologies for Energy Conversion, Saving and Storage.

Plants evolve ways to control embryo growth
A new generation of high yield plants could be created following a fundamental change in our understanding of how plants develop.

Clinical Research Forum announces top 10 clinical research achievements awards
Clinical Research Forum honors examples of scientific innovation resulting from the nation's investment in clinical research that can benefit human health and well-being.

Wiring for smell sets up early, then persists
A new study in Science reveals that the fundamental wiring of the olfactory system in mice sets up shortly after birth and then remains stable but adaptable.

Identified epigenetic factors associated with an increased risk of developing cancer
IDIBELL researchers show that one in four human tumor presents genetic polymorphisms associated with increased risk of cancer that cause an epigenetic change that modifies the expression of neighboring genes.

Sunlight generates hydrogen in new porous silicon
Porous silicon manufactured in a bottom up procedure using solar energy can be used to generate hydrogen from water, according to a team of Penn State mechanical engineers, who also see applications for batteries, biosensors and optical electronics as outlets for this new material.

NASA's Hubble extends stellar tape measure 10 times farther into space
Using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, astronomers now can precisely measure the distance of stars up to 10,000 light-years away -- 10 times farther than previously possible.

New cell models for tracking body clock gene function will help find novel meds
Researchers have developed a new cell model that tracks and reports clock gene function.

Proof that antidepressants and breastfeeding can mix
Researchers have found that women on antidepressants are more successful at breastfeeding their babies if they keep taking the medication.

Some birds come first -- a new approach to species conservation
A research team developed a new approach to species conservation that prioritizes genetic and geographic rarity and applied it to all 9,993 known bird species.

NASA sees hurricane-strength Tropical Cyclone Ita heading toward Queensland
Tropical Cyclone Ita has been strengthening over the last two days and by April 10, Ita had become a major hurricane in the Coral Sea when NASA's Terra satellite passed overhead.

Princeton, PPPL join major arms-control project
Princeton University and the Princeton Plasma Physics Physics Laboratory have joined a $25 million consortium to address technology and policy issues related to arms control.

Laboratory-grown vaginas implanted in patients, scientists report
Scientists report the first human recipients of laboratory-engineered vaginal organs.

Uncovering a new angle on mental distance
Why does the second hour of a journey seem shorter than the first?

Scientists grow cartilage to reconstruct nose
Scientists at the University of Basel report first ever successful nose reconstruction surgery using cartilage grown in the laboratory.

Finding the target: How timing is critical in establishing an olfactory wiring map
In the April 11, 2014, issue of Science, associate investigator C.

World ranking tracks evoluntionary distinctness of birds
A team of international scientists, including a trio from Simon Fraser University, has published the world's first ranking of evolutionary distinct birds under threat of extinction.

Penn study finds mechanism that regulates lung function in disease Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome
Researchers at Penn Medicine have discovered that the tumor suppressor gene folliculin is essential to normal lung function in patients with the rare disease Birt-Hogg-Dube syndrome, a genetic disorder that affects the lungs, skin and kidneys.

ACP offers policy recommendations for reducing gun-related injuries, deaths in US
A new policy paper from the American College of Physicians offers nine strategies to address the societal, health care, and regulatory barriers to reducing firearms-related violence, injuries, and deaths in the United States.

INFORMS awards 2014 UPS George D. Smith to MIT LGO Program
The Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences has awarded its prestigious UPS George D.

Enzyme 'wrench' could be key to stronger, more effective antibiotics
Builders and factory workers know that getting a job done right requires precision and specialized tools. 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