Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 14, 2014
Pioneering findings on the dual role of carbon dioxide in photosynthesis
Scientists at Umea University in Sweden have found that carbon dioxide, in its ionic form bicarbonate, has a regulating function in the splitting of water in photosynthesis.

Faithful allies since the Cretaceous
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology and the University of Regensburg, Germany, in collaboration with researchers in the USA, discovered that certain wasps tightly control mother-to-offspring transmission of their bacterial symbionts.

Nano shake-up
Researchers in the University of Delaware Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering have shown that routine procedures in handling and processing can have a significant influence on the size, shape and delivery of drug nano carriers.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for April 15, 2014
This release summarizes articles being published in Annals of Internal Medicine April 15, 2014, including 'New delirium severity score helps to predict outcomes for hospitalized patients,' 'US Survey: Obesity to blame for dramatic rise in diabetes cases,' and 'Shock therapy improves pain and function in patients with chronic calcific shoulder tendinitis.'

Osteoporosis drugs appear to impede cell membrane repair
A class of drugs widely used to treat osteoporosis appears to impede a cell's ability to repair a protective outer membrane that helps determine what enters and exits, researchers report.

Empowerment program greatly decreases incidence of rape, Stanford/Packard-led study finds
A low-cost empowerment program for adolescent girls in Kenyan slums sharply curtails rape and sexual harassment of these girls, who live in an environment where women have low status and are frequently attacked, a large new study shows.

Longer nurse tenure on hospital units leads to higher quality care
Patients get the best care when they are treated in units that are staffed by nurses who have extensive experience in their current job, according to a study from researchers at Columbia University School of Nursing and Columbia Business School.

The Pershing Square Foundation awards $17 million to Harvard University
Harvard University announced today that New York-based Pershing Square Foundation, founded by alumni Bill Ackman AB '88, MBA '92, and his wife, Karen Ackman, MLA '93, has awarded the University $17 million to catalyze the work of Harvard's Foundations of Human Behavior Initiative.

Young people with epilepsy significantly more at risk of injury
Children and young adults with epilepsy are more likely to suffer broken bones, burns and poisonings compared to those without the neurological disorder, new research has found.

Climate change: The role of oceanic carbon reservoir over glacial cycles
Why are climate conditions different between interglacials, even with similar orbital parameters?

Boston-area researchers develop new delirium severity measure for older adults
A new method for measuring delirium severity in older adults has been developed by researchers from Harvard, Brown, and UMass.

Chemotherapy before or after surgery for high-risk bladder cancer improves survival, but is not routinely administered
Contrary to treatment guidelines for high-risk bladder cancer, chemotherapy before or after surgery is not commonly used in routine clinical practice.

Neuroscientists: Brain activity may mark the beginning of memories
By tracking brain activity when an animal stops to look around its environment, neuroscientists now can mark the birth of a memory.

Henry Ford Hospital hits new heart valve surgery milestone
Doctors at Henry Ford Hospital reached a medical milestone April 3, performing the 25th successful transcatheter valve replacement using a novel way to access the heart.

Making sense of our senses
According to a new book by Tel Aviv University's professor Thalma Lobel, our senses influence our decisions and behavior more than we can possibly imagine.

Women who gain too much or too little weight during pregnancy at risk for having an overweight child
Gaining both too much or too little weight during pregnancy appears to increase the risk of having an overweight or obese child, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published today in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

NASA sees Tropical Cyclone Ita over the Coral Sea
Tropical Cyclone Ita made landfall in northeastern Queensland, Australia, on April 11 as a powerful Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale, moved south and re-emerged in the Coral Sea on April 14 where NASA's TRMM and NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP Satellites captured imagery of the weakened storm.

Long-term antibiotic treatment for Q fever causes weight gain
Scientists have unearthed still more evidence that antibiotics can contribute to obesity.

Antibiotics alone are a successful treatment for uncomplicated acute appendicitis in kids
Using antibiotics alone to treat children with uncomplicated acute appendicitis is a reasonable alternative to surgery that leads to less pain and fewer missed school days, according to a pilot study.

Awareness campaign shows signs of delaying onset of drug-resistant gonorrhea in UK
Gonorrhea threatens to become resistant to all antibiotics used to treat it.

Study says we're over the hill at 24
It's a hard pill to swallow, but if you're over 24 years of age you've already reached your peak in terms of your cognitive motor performance, according to a new Simon Fraser University study.

Scripps Research Institute announces 'Scripps Advance,' a new drug discovery initiative
The Scripps Research Institute today announced the formation of Scripps Advance, a new drug discovery initiative to translate early-stage biomedical research projects, both internal and external to TSRI, into clinical development candidates.

Efficient analysis of small quantity of cells improves chances to understand disease
Chang Lu of Virginia Tech's Chemical Engineering Department has developed techniques that allow him to obtain reliable results over the course of disease development inside cells.

Study supports detrimental effects of television viewing on sleep in young children
A study following more than 1,800 children from ages 6 months to nearly 8 years found a small but consistent association between increased television viewing and shorter sleep duration.

How your government is ignoring you
If it seems the federal government has largely ignored the public's biggest concerns for the past 70 years, it's because it has, contends a new book by a Michigan State University political scientist.

Fire and drought may push Amazonian forests beyond tipping point
Future simulations of climate in the Amazon suggest a longer dry season leading to more drought and fires.

Lashing out at your spouse? Check your blood sugar
Lower levels of blood sugar may make married people angrier at their spouses and even more likely to lash out aggressively, new research reveals.

Bizarre parasite may provide cuttlefish clues
University of Adelaide research into parasites of cuttlefish, squid and octopus has uncovered details of the parasites' astonishing life cycles, and shown how they may help in investigating populations of their hosts.

Device turns flat surface into spherical antenna
By depositing an array of tiny, metallic, U-shaped structures onto a dielectric material, a team of researchers in China has created a new artificial surface that can bend and focus electromagnetic waves the same way an antenna does.

Gene variant puts women at higher risk of Alzheimer's than it does men, study finds
Carrying a copy of a gene variant called ApoE4 confers a substantially greater risk for Alzheimer's disease on women than it does on men, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

New Commission study identifies Europe's top ICT hubs
A new EU Atlas of ICT hotspots shows where digital technologies thrive and examines the factors contributing to this success.

Let the sun shine in: Redirecting sunlight to urban alleyways
In response to ever-crowded urban conditions in developing countries, researchers in Egypt have developed an inexpensive way of re-directing natural sunlight into dimly lit streets and alleys, where lack of sun is linked to health problems.

Professor receives young scientist honor
David Kisailus, the Winston Chung Endowed Chair of Energy Innovation at the University of California, Riverside's Bourns College of Engineering, has been named a Kavli Fellow.

Simple test in the ambulance saves lives after heart attack, new study finds
A new study from the University of Surrey, published today in the journal Heart, has identified a positive link between the survival of heart attack patients and the use of an electrocardiogram, by ambulance crews.

Materials research partnership renewed between UC Santa Barbara and Mitsubishi Chemical
Mitsubishi Chemical Corporation of Tokyo and University of California, Santa Barbara are extending their successful materials research partnership -- the Mitsubishi Chemical Center for Advanced Materials at UCSB -- with a nearly $6 million reinvestment over the next four years.

Ex vivo efficacy of C1s antibody as Complement inhibitor in cold agglutinin disease
True North Therapeutics announced a publication demonstrating that the company's C1s antibody prevents the destruction of human red blood cells exposed to plasma samples of patients with a type of autoimmune hemolytic anemia.

Driven to high-energy excellence
Connor Richards, a second-year undergraduate student in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of California, Riverside, and has won a Barry M.

Better solar cells, better LED light and vast optical possibilities
NTNU-researchers have discovered that by tuning a small strain on single nanowires they can become more effective in LEDs and solar cells.

Collaborative care model manages depression, anxiety in patients with heart disease
A telephone-based collaborative care model helped manage depression and anxiety, and improved health-related quality of life in patients with heart disease.

Novel technique developed by NUS scientists opens door to better solar cells
A team of scientists, led by assistant professor Andrivo Rusydi from the Department of Physics at the National University of Singapore's Faculty of Science, has successfully developed a technique to study the interface between materials, shedding light on the new properties that arise when two materials are put together.

New design for mobile phone masts could cut carbon emissions
A breakthrough in the design of signal amplifiers for mobile phone masts could deliver a massive 200MW cut in the load on UK power stations, reducing CO2 emissions by around a half million tons a year.

Dietary supplement use among US adults more prevalent than previously thought
Dietary supplement use by US adults is more prevalent than indicated by published data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys, according to a new article in the peer-reviewed Journal of the American College of Nutrition.

Springer launches new book series Science for Sustainable Societies
Springer and the Integrated Research System for Sustainability Science of the University of Tokyo have launched a new English-language book series called Science for Sustainable Societies.

SpaceX's Dragon headed to space station to create astronaut farmers
'Enter the Dragon' takes on a whole new meaning this month as SpaceX's Dragon capsule heads to the space station for its third commercial resupply mission on April 14.

The science of caffeine, the world's most popular drug (video)
It seems there are new caffeine-infused products hitting the shelves every day.

Puget Sound's rich waters supplied by deep, turbulent canyon
UW oceanographers made the first detailed measurements of fast-flowing water and intense mixing in a submarine canyon just off the Washington coast.

Veggie will expand fresh food production on space station
A plant growth chamber bound for the space station inside the Dragon capsule on the SpaceX-3 resupply mission may help expand in-orbit food production capabilities in more ways than one, and offer astronauts fresh food.

Scientists open door to better solar cells, superconductors and hard-drives
Using DESY's bright research light sources, scientists have opened a new door to better solar cells, novel superconductors and smaller hard-drives.

Quantum manipulation: Filling the gap between quantum and classical world
Quantum superposition is the most intriguing property of the microscopic world, which also gives quantum computer enormous computational power.

New clinical definition for epilepsy improves diagnosis accuracy
An expert task force has created a new definition for epilepsy that refines the scope of patients diagnosed with this brain disease.

NASA sees remnants of Tropical Depression Peipah over Southern Philippines
Tropical Depression Peipah has been very stubborn and has moved over the southern and central Philippines bringing clouds, showers and gusty winds.

Three new species of yellow-shouldered bats discovered in museum collections
Scientists at Chicago's Field Museum and international collaborators have reconstructed the phylogeny and biological history for the Yellow-shouldered bats in the New World tropics, the region of the Earth surrounding the equator.

Climate change a likely culprit in coqui frog's altered calls, say UCLA biologists
The abundant Puerto Rican coqui frog has experienced changes since the 1980s that are likely due to global warming, UCLA biologists report.

Rare bone diseases and their dental, oral and craniofacial manifestations
The International and American Associations for Dental Research (IADR/AADR) have published a paper titled 'Rare Bone Diseases and Their Dental, Oral, and Craniofacial Manifestations.' The complete review is published in the OnlineFirst portion of the IADR/AADR Journal of Dental Research.

Pharmacists can significantly improve blood pressure, cholesterol in stroke patients
Stroke patients managed by a pharmacist had a 12.5 percent improvement in blood pressure and low-density lipoprotein, or 'bad' cholesterol levels compared with a control group, according to a clinical trial published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Young dads at high risk of depression, too
This study is the first to identify when young fathers are at increased risk of developing depressive symptoms.

Better climate predictions within grasp
A proposed satellite mission -- that will improve our understanding of the consequences of climate change and could save the global economy up to $30 trillion -- has received funding to develop a more detailed design of the technology and identify partners.

Neanderthals and Cro-magnons did not coincide on the Iberian Peninsula
The meeting between a Neanderthal and one of the first humans, which we used to picture in our minds, did not happen on the Iberian Peninsula.

Kessler Foundation scientists receive Biogen Idec grant to study actual reality in MS
John DeLuca, Ph.D., and Yael Goverover, Ph.D., O.T., received a grant 'Use of Actual Reality to Measure Everyday Life Functional Activity in Multiple Sclerosis' from Biogen Idec to study how persons with multiple sclerosis perform everyday life tasks.

New study finds closing gap in diarrhea care of African children could save 20,000 lives
Young children suffering from diarrheal diseases are less likely to receive life-saving oral rehydration therapy if they seek treatment at private, for-profit clinics, according to the first-ever, large-scale study of child diarrhea treatment practices in sub-Saharan Africa.

Piezotronics and piezo-phototronics leading to unprecedented active electronics and optoelectronics
Strain-induced polarization charges in piezoelectric semiconductors can effectively modulate the electronic and optoelectronic processes of charge carriers at the metal-semiconductor interface and p-n junction, which has resulted in both novel fundamental phenomenon and unprecedented device applications.

Beneficial organisms react differently to parasite drug
The drug ivermectin is used around the world to combat parasites in humans and animals.

Penicillin redux: Rearming proven warriors for the 21st century
Drug-resistant bacteria like MRSA are hard to treat because so many antibiotics are ineffective against them.

British-American experimental physicist Stuart Parkin receives Millennium Technology Prize
Professor Stuart Parkin of the IBM Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California, USA, received the 2014 Millennium Technology Prize for his contributions to interdisciplinary materials research.

Study identifies a likely key driver of colorectal cancer development and progression
A new study identifies a molecule that is a probable driving force in colorectal cancer.

A stable model for an unstable target
Researchers provide new insights about singlet oxygen and set the stage for better understanding of this highly reactive and challenging substance.

Anasys licenses ORNL nanoscale mass spectrometry imaging technology
Anasys Instruments Corp. has licensed a technology that allows for simultaneous chemical and physical characterization and could lead to advances in materials and drug development.

'Problem wells' source of greenhouse gas at unexpected stage of natural gas production
High levels of the greenhouse gas methane were found above shale gas wells at a production point not thought to be an important emissions source.

Everest trek shows how some people get type 2 diabetes
Scientists have gained new insights into the molecular process of how some people get type 2 diabetes, which could lead to new ways of preventing people from getting the condition.

Nutrient-rich forests absorb more carbon
The ability of forests to sequester carbon from the atmosphere depends on nutrients available in the forest soils, shows new research from an international team of researchers including the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.

Community-based HIV prevention can boost testing, help reduce new infections
Study finds that communities in Africa and Thailand that worked together on HIV-prevention efforts saw not only a rise in HIV screening but a drop in new infections, demonstrating that programs such as this can encourage community-wide testing and help reduce HIV transmission.

Study gives high marks to NC Pre-K program
Scientists from UNC's Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute have released their new study of NC Pre-K, the state's program to prepare four-year-olds for success in kindergarten.

Cosmic slurp
A 'tidal disruption' occurs when a star orbits too close to a black hole and gets usurped.

Ice breaker: ONR researchers explore a changing Arctic
As sea ice continues to recede at a record pace in the Arctic, officials at the Office of Naval Research announced April 14 new efforts to determine the pace of change in what some are calling Earth's final frontier.

Ferns borrowed genes to flourish in low light
During the age of the dinosaurs, the arrival of flowering plants as competitors could have spelled doom for primitive ferns.

Proteomics International biomarker study closer to a CDx test for diabetic kidney disease
Drug discovery company Proteomics International has completed an important milestone towards the development of a companion diagnostic test with the validation of several of its protein biomarkers.

Does germ plasm accelerate evolution?
Scientists at the University of Nottingham have published research in the leading academic journal Science that challenges a long held belief about the way certain species of vertebrates evolved.

Making dams safer for fish around the world
The pressure changes that many fish experience when they travel through the turbulent waters near a dam can seriously injure or kill the fish.

Website information on colon cancer too complex, fails to address key concerns
Popular web information on colorectal cancer is too difficult for most lay people to read and doesn't address the appropriate risks to and concerns of patients, a study by UT Southwestern gastroenterologists suggests.

Shared decision making during radiation therapy improves patient satisfaction
Playing an active role in their radiation treatment decisions leaves cancer patients feeling more satisfied with their care, and may even relieve psychological distress around the experience, researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania report in the journal Cancer.

Lower salt intake likely to have had key role in plummeting cardiovascular disease deaths in past decade
The 15 percent fall in dietary salt intake over the past decade in England is likely to have had a key role in the 40 percent drop in deaths from heart disease and stroke over the same period, concludes research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Dog ownership benefits families of children with autism, MU researcher finds
A University of Missouri researcher studied dog ownership decisions in families of children with autism and found, regardless of whether they owned dogs, the parents reported the benefits of dog ownership included companionship, stress relief and opportunities for their children to learn responsibility.

Combs of light accelerate communication
Miniaturized optical frequency comb sources allow for transmission of data streams of several terabits per second over hundreds of kilometers -- this has now been demonstrated by researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and the Swiss Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne in a experiment presented in the journal Nature Photonics.

Irrational health beliefs linked to skipping cardiac rehab sessions
Heart patients with irrational health beliefs -- such as doubting the preventive value of a flu vaccine -- are more likely to skip cardiac rehab sessions, new research suggests.

Plague alters cell death to kill host
Research at Northwestern Medicine has uncovered how the bacteria that cause pneumonic plague can subvert apoptotic cell death by directly destroying Fas ligand.

The result of slow degradation
Why do environmental pollutants accumulate in the cold polar regions?

Beam on target!
Late on April 1, the crown jewel of the Department of Energy's Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility sparkled its way into a new era.

Genetically modified tobacco plants as an alternative for producing bioethanol
Researchers at the NUP/UPNA-Public University of Navarre and the IdAB-Institute of Agrobiotechnology have conducted a study into genetically modified tobacco plants from which it is possible to produce between 20 and 40 percent more ethanol; this would increase their viability as a raw material for producing biofuels.

Study links severe sleep apnea to increased risk of stroke, cancer and death
A new study shows that moderate to severe obstructive sleep apnea is independently associated with an increased risk of stroke, cancer and death.

UT Dallas study: Youth who fail to envision future commit more crimes
In a UT Dallas study involving serious youth offenders, the answer to one open-ended question predicted the teenagers' offending patterns for the next seven years: 'How long do you think you'll live?' According to the study, having little hope for the future encourages offending over time.

Seniors and sleeping pills: Empowered patients choose wisely
'Many people believe that involving patients in the decision to curtail medical treatments is expecting too much.

Saturn's hexagon: An amazing phenomenon
An unusual structure with a hexagonal shape surrounding Saturn's north pole was spotted on the planet for the first time 30 years ago.

Shiny quantum dots brighten future of solar cells
A house window that doubles as a solar panel could be on the horizon, thanks to recent quantum-dot work by Los Alamos National Laboratory researchers in collaboration with scientists from University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy.

Researchers identify children with emotional behavior difficulties
Research on children orphaned by HIV/AIDS in South Africa may provide insight on how to identify and help children with emotional behavior issues in other areas of the world, which may have limited access to healthcare and further research that could lead to successful interventions.

'MicroRNA' could be key target for bowel cancer treatment
A tiny genetic molecule known as a microRNA plays a central role in bowel cancer and could be key to developing new treatments for the disease, a new study concludes.

Study links domestic abuse to mental health problems in new mothers
A new study shows that domestic abuse is closely linked to postpartum mental health problems, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, in mothers.

Chinese herbal remedy as good as methotrexate for treating rheumatoid arthritis
A traditional Chinese herbal remedy used to relieve joint pain and inflammation works as well as methotrexate, a standard drug treatment that is frequently prescribed to control the symptoms of active rheumatoid arthritis, reveals research published online in the Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.

Gene panels may be useful, cheaper alternative to whole-genome sequencing, study finds
As many as 10 percent of women with a personal or family history of breast or ovarian cancer have at least one genetic mutation that, if known, would prompt their doctors to recommend changes in their care, according to a new study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Researchers describe 4 new species of 'killer sponges' from the deep sea
Killer sponges sound like creatures from a B-grade horror movie.

Plugging an ozone hole
Extreme Antarctic ozone holes have not been replicated in the Arctic. 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