Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 22, 2014
Carnegie Mellon system lets iPad users explore data with their fingers
Spreadsheets may have been the original killer app for personal computers, but data tables don't play to the strengths of multi-touch devices such as tablets.

Media advisory 4: On-site registration, press conferences streamed online
The General Assembly of the European Geosciences Union, a meeting with over 11,000 scientists that covers all disciplines of the Earth, planetary and space sciences, is taking place next week (April 27-May 2) in Vienna, Austria.

Researchers identify a mechanism linking bariatric surgery to health benefits
Bariatric surgery has positive effects not only on weight loss but also on diabetes and heart disease.

Pitt, UPMC to serve as the first US host of global health conference
The biennial All Together Better Health conference will hold its first US meeting in Pittsburgh this June to highlight the latest research on interprofessionalism and team-based health care delivery.

Sleep disorder linked to brain disease
Researchers at the University of Toronto say a sleep disorder that causes people to act out their dreams is the best current predictor of brain diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

Getting at the root of the mountain pine beetle's rapid habitat expansion and forest
The mountain pine beetle has wreaked havoc in North America, across forests from the American Southwest to British Columbia and Alberta, with the potential to spread all the way to the Atlantic coast.

UV-radiation data to help ecological research
Researchers at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research have processed existing data on global UV-B radiation in such a way that scientists can use them to find answers to many ecological questions.

Grant for research that could lead to new therapies for Parkinson's Disease
A team of scientists led by researchers at Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry, has received a grant from the Medical Research Council for work which could lead to new and effective therapies for those with Parkinson's Disease.

Multiple sclerosis: A review of current treatments for physicians
A review of the literature on treating multiple sclerosis aims to provide physicians with evidence-based information on the latest treatments for this chronic disease.

New drugs offer hope for migraine prevention
Two new studies may offer hope for people with migraine.

Biting vs. chewing
There's a new secret to get your child to behave at the dinner table -- cut up their food!

More than two-thirds of Americans support mandated coverage of birth control in health plans
Support for mandated coverage higher among those who may be more likely to directly benefit from affordable birth control.

International team sequences rainbow trout genome
Using fish bred at Washington State University, an international team of researchers has mapped the genetic profile of the rainbow trout, a versatile salmonid whose relatively recent genetic history opens a window into how vertebrates evolve.

$8 million NIH grant will fund multicenter clinical trial of stroke intervention drug
Cedars-Sinai stroke intervention researchers have been informed that the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, part of the National Institutes of Health, will award an $8 million grant to fund a multicenter Phase II clinical trial of an experimental drug for stroke.

Bioinformatics profiling identifies a new mammalian clock gene
Over 15 mammalian clock proteins have been identified, but researchers surmise there are more.

Routine blood glucose measurements can accurately estimate hemoglobin A1c in diabetes
Blood levels of A1c are typically measured every few months in a laboratory, but now researchers have developed a data-based model that accurately estimates A1c using self-monitored blood glucose readings.

Protein expression gets the heart pumping
Most people think the development of the heart only happens in the womb, however the days and weeks following birth are full of cellular changes that play a role in the structure and function of the heart.

How the body fights against viruses
Scientists of the Max F. Perutz Laboratories of the University of Vienna and the Medical University of Scientists of the Max F.

International Communication Association to hold Annual Conference in Seattle, Wash.
The International Communication Association will hold its 64th annual conference, May 22-26 in Seattle, Wash.

Nanomaterial outsmarts ions
Ions are an essential tool in chip manufacturing, but they can also be used to produce nano-sieves.

Minnesota projects offer hope and practical help to communities facing more extreme storms
A 10-year-old program in the Midwest and New England works with communities to prepare for more extreme storms.

AMP publishes curriculum recommendations for medical laboratory scientists
The Association for Molecular Pathology released a report today in the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics on recommendations for a molecular diagnostics curriculum at both the baccalaureate and master's levels of education.

Grasp of SQUIDs dynamics facilitates eavesdropping
Superconducting Quantum Interference Device is a highly sensitive magnetometer used to measure extremely subtle magnetic fields.

Drug-related morbidity in more than 10 percent of adults
Twelve percent of adults in Sweden have diseases related to their use of medicines.

The world's largest heart failure congress
The latest scientific advances and emerging therapies in heart failure will be showcased at Heart Failure 2014, the main annual meeting of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology.

A new 'APEX' in plant studies aboard the International Space Station
The crew of the International Space Station will assist with the Advanced Plant Experiments investigation, a series of studies on the effects of the spaceflight environment on biological systems.

RNA shows potential as boiling-resistant anionic polymer material for nanoarchitectures
Nanotechnology researchers at the University of Kentucky have discovered new methods to build boiling-resistant nanostructures and arrays using a new RNA triangle scaffold.

Cloaked DNA nanodevices survive pilot mission
By mimicking a viral strategy, scientists at Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering have created the first cloaked DNA nanodevice that survives the body's immune defenses.

Power to gas: Storing the wind and sun in natural gas
Electricity from sun and wind is an important part of the energy-mix in Germany.

Rotman professor named as a Fellow of the Regional Science Association International
A leading researcher and teacher of urban economics and real estate at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management has been elected a Fellow of the Regional Science Association International in recognition of his lifetime contributions to the scholarship of regional science.

New research focuses on streamwater chemistry, landscape variation
Winsor Lowe, interim director of the University of Montana's Wildlife Biology Program, co-wrote a research paper on how streamwater chemistry varies across a headwater stream network.

Best practices in communication for the animal world
Effective communication is not just about the signaler, according to the study, the receiver also needs to assess the signaler efficiently.

Connecticut River watershed study will assess impacts of extreme rain events
A team of Yale researchers will lead a five-year, $3 million study to determine whether an increase in extreme rain events is affecting the transport of dissolved organic matter through the Connecticut River watershed, a phenomenon they say could alter the chemical composition and water quality of the watershed and Long Island Sound.

Report recommends insurers use prescription monitoring data to reduce opioid abuse, deaths
The Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Center of Excellence at Brandeis University has issued a ground-breaking report recommending that medical insurers use prescription monitoring data to reduce the overdoses, deaths and health care costs associated with abuse of opioids and other prescription drugs.

Acupuncture at Waiguan improves activation of functional brain areas of stroke patients
Both acupuncture at Waiguan and sham acupuncture can activate/deactivate several brain regions in patients with ischemic stroke.

Study examines patient preferences for emergency treatment of stroke
The majority of adults surveyed indicated they would want administration of clot-dissolving medications if incapacitated by a stroke, a finding that supports clinicians' use of this treatment if patient surrogates are not available to provide consent, according to a study in the April 23/30 issue of JAMA, a neurology theme issue.

Neuroscientists discover brain circuits involved in emotion
Neuroscientists have discovered a brain pathway that underlies the emotional behaviours critical for survival.

CT measures potentially dangerous arterial plaque in diabetic patients
Imaging of the coronary arteries with computed tomography angiography provides an accurate assessment of arterial plaque and could have a dramatic impact on the management of diabetic patients who face a high risk of heart attacks and other cardiovascular events, according to a new multicenter study.

Life stressors trigger neurological disorders, researchers find
When mothers are exposed to trauma, illness, alcohol or other drug abuse, these stressors may activate a single molecular trigger in brain cells that can go awry and activate conditions such as schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder and some forms of autism.

Risk of pregnancy greater with newer method of female sterilization
The risk of pregnancy among women using a newer method of planned sterilization called hysteroscopic sterilization is more than 10 times greater over a 10-year period than using the more commonly performed laparoscopic sterilization, a study by researchers at Yale University and UC Davis has found.

Cannabis chemistry: How scientists test pot for potency and safety (video)
Marijuana is in the headlines as more and more states legalize it for medicinal use or decriminalize it entirely.

Newly approved brain stimulator offers hope for individuals with uncontrolled epilepsy
A recently FDA-approved device has been shown to reduce seizures in patients with medication-resistant epilepsy by as much as 50 percent.

First size-based chromatography technique for the study of living cells
Using nanodot technology, Berkeley Lab researchers demonstrated the first size-based form of chromatography for studying the membranes of living cells.

Male health linked to testosterone exposure in womb, study finds
Men's susceptibility to serious health conditions may be influenced by low exposure to testosterone in the womb, new research from the University of Edinburgh suggests.

Medication helps improve vision for patients with neurological disorder
In patients with idiopathic intracranial hypertension and mild vision loss, the use of the drug acetazolamide, along with a low-sodium weight-reduction diet, resulted in modest improvement in vision, compared with diet alone, according to a study in the April 23/30 issue of JAMA, a neurology theme issue.

Government and industry leaders herald launch of NJIT's New Jersey Innovation Institute
Government and industry leaders visited the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) today to join NJIT President Joel S.

What gave us the advantage over extinct types of humans?
In parallel with modern man (Homo sapiens), there were other, extinct types of humans with whom we lived side-by-side, such as Neanderthals and the recently discovered Denisovans of Siberia.

Inserm and the Institut Pasteur identify a new variant of Ebola virus in Guinea
In an article which appeared in The New England journal of Medicine on April 16, researchers from Inserm and the Institut Pasteur have published their initial findings on the characteristics of the Ebola virus discovered in Guinea.

New electric fish genus and species discovered in Brazil's Rio Negro
Discovery of a new species of electric knife fish in the Amazon Basin in Brazil is leading to a new interpretation of classifications and interrelationships among closely related groups.

Scientists pinpoint protein that could improve small cell lung cancer therapies
Approximately 15 percent of all lung cancers are small cell lung cancers, which grow rapidly and often develop resistance to chemotherapy.

Physicists consider implications of recent revelations about the universe's first light
Recent evidence that the universe expanded from microscopic to cosmic size in a mere instant brings with it important implications.

Two genes linked to inflammatory bowel disease
Cincinnati Cancer Center and University of Cincinnati Cancer Institute researcher Susan Waltz, Ph.D., and scientists in her lab have done what is believed to be the first direct genetic study to document the important function for the Ron receptor, a cell surface protein often found in certain cancers, and its genetic growth factor, responsible for stimulating cell growth, in the development and progression of inflammatory bowel disease.

NASA gets 2 last looks at Tropical Cyclone Jack
Tropical Cyclone Jack lost its credentials today, April 22, as it no longer qualified as a tropical cyclone.

Mantis shrimp stronger than airplanes
Inspired by the fist-like club of a mantis shrimp, a team of researchers led by University of California, Riverside, in collaboration with University of Southern California and Purdue University, have developed a design structure for composite materials that is more impact resistant and tougher than the standard used in airplanes.

EORTC and SIOG update expert opinion on management of elderly patients with NSCLC
In an article appearing in the Annals of Oncology, the EORTC Cancer in the Elderly Task Force and Lung Cancer Group along with the International Society for Geriatric Oncology have updated their expert opinion on managing treatment for elderly patients with non-small cell lung cancer.

Applying math to biology: Software identifies disease-causing mutations in undiagnosed illnesses
A computational tool developed at the University of Utah has successfully identified diseases with unknown gene mutations in three separate cases.

Vacuum ultraviolet lamp of the future created in Japan
A team of researchers in Japan has developed a solid-state lamp that emits high-energy ultraviolet (UV) light at the shortest wavelengths ever recorded for such a device, from 140 to 220 nanometers.

UTSA hosts Open BigCloud Symposium and OCP Workshop May 7-8
The University of Texas at San Antonio will host the inaugural Open BigCloud Symposium and Open Compute Project Workshop May 7-8 in the HEB University Center Ballroom on the UTSA Main Campus.

Gym culture likened to McDonald's
Visit a typical gym and you will encounter a highly standardized notion of what the human body should look like and how much it should weigh.

Cow manure harbors diverse new antibiotic resistance genes
Manure from dairy cows, which is commonly used as a farm soil fertilizer, contains a surprising number of newly identified antibiotic resistance genes from the cows' gut bacteria.

Scientists identify critical new protein complex involved in learning and memory
Scientists from the Florida campus of the Scripps Research Institute have identified a protein complex that plays a critical but previously unknown role in learning and memory formation.

Almost one-third of Canadian adults have experienced child abuse
Almost one-third of adults in Canada have experienced child abuse -- physical abuse, sexual abuse or exposure to intimate partner (parents, step-parents or guardians) violence in their home.

Uniting community development efforts could benefit members of underserved communities
Although many organizations address poverty, they often serve similar demographics and may compete for clients and resources.

Neurotics don't just avoid action: They dislike it
Neurotics don't just avoid taking action. By their very nature they dislike it.

High-performance, low-cost ultracapacitors built with graphene and carbon nanotubes
By combining the powers of two single-atom-thick carbon structures, researchers at the George Washington University's Micro-propulsion and Nanotechnology Laboratory have created a new ultracapacitor that is both high performance and low cost.

Turoctocog alfa in patients with hemophilia A: Added benefit not proven
As no relevant studies and no valid data are available, the added benefit of turoctocog alfa over other blood-clotting agents is not proven.

Scientists alter fat metabolism in animals to prevent most common type of heart disease
Working with mice and rabbits, Johns Hopkins scientists have found a way to block abnormal cholesterol production, transport and breakdown, successfully preventing the development of atherosclerosis, the main cause of heart attacks and strokes and the number-one cause of death among humans.

Media alert: IMPAKT Breast Cancer Conference abstracts online
How can experts and researchers best develop and better individualize new strategies to fight against breast cancer?

Full power: Alternative energy partnerships flourish in Asia
As President Barack Obama begins a trip to Asia to coordinate with allies and reconfirm America's strategic pivot to the Pacific, officials at the Office of Naval Research emphasized today the Asia-Pacific Technology and Education Partnership as an example of strong and growing ties between the United States and its allies in the region.

Child's autism risk accelerates with mother's age over 30
Older parents are more likely to have a child who develops an autism spectrum disorder than are younger parents.

Clinics not bogged down by red tape can ease health cost burdens
Health clinics that can provide primary care for low-income patients may ease the financial burden on both hospitals and insurance companies while improving patient health, researchers have concluded.

Pain curbs sex drive in female mice, but not in males
Researchers from McGill University and Concordia University in Montreal have investigated, possibly for the first time in any species, the direct impact of pain on sexual behavior in mice.

Quality improvement program helps lower risk of bleeding, death following stroke
In a study that included more than 71,000 stroke patients, implementation of a quality initiative was associated with improvement in the time to treatment and a lower risk of in-hospital death, intracranial hemorrhage (bleeding in the brain), and an increase in the portion of patients discharged to their home, according to the study appearing in the April 23/30 issue of JAMA, a neurology theme issue.

NeuroPhage discovers GAIM-changing molecules to combat Alzheimer's and related diseases
Researchers from NeuroPhage Pharmaceuticals Inc. have engineered a series of molecules based on the discovery of GAIM which have the potential to treat most neurodegenerative diseases that are characterized by misfolded proteins, such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases.

Cougars' diverse diet helped them survive the Pleistocene mass extinction
Cougars may have survived the mass extinction that took place about 12,000 years ago because they were not particular about what they ate, unlike their more finicky cousins the saber-tooth cat and American lion who perished, according a new analysis of the microscopic wear marks on the teeth of fossil cougars, saber-tooth cats and American lions.

LSDF announces commercialization grants and Entrepreneur Mentoring Program
Five for-profit and non-profit organizations in Washington will receive a total of $1.25 million in Proof of Concept grants to accelerate maturation of promising health-related technologies from ideas into commercial products, the Life Sciences Discovery Fund announced today.

Stillbirth may be associated with both severely restricted and excessive fetal growth
When several factors are accounted for, stillbirth may be associated with both severely restricted and excessive fetal growth, according to a study by US researchers published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

Ask yourself: Will you help the environment?
Whether it's recycling, composting or buying environmentally friendly products, guilt can be a strong motivator -- not just on Earth Day.

Glaucoma drug helps women with blinding disorder linked to obesity
An inexpensive glaucoma drug, when added to a weight loss plan, can improve vision for women with a disorder called idiopathic intracranial hypertension, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health.

Speed-reading apps may impair reading comprehension by limiting ability to backtrack
To address the fact that many of us are on the go and pressed for time, app developers have devised speed-reading software that eliminates the time we supposedly waste by moving our eyes as we read.

New tool helps doctors better predict, prevent deadly respiratory failure
A new prediction tool can help doctors better identify patients who are at highest risk for respiratory failure after surgery and therefore prevent the often deadly condition, suggest data from a large multi-center study published in the May issue of Anesthesiology.

New challenges in internet of physical world addressed
With technology advances in electronics and computer sciences, the world has witnessed the arrival of a new generation of networks: the wireless sensor and robot networks that allow us to communicate and interact with our environment.

Online retailers have clear advantage by not collecting sales tax
Two independent studies use two very different approaches to reach the same conclusion: some online retailers really do have an advantage over traditional brick-and-mortar stores.

Energy Secretary Moniz announces 2013 Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award Winners
Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz today announced six exceptional scientists and engineers as recipients of the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award for their contributions in research and development that supports the Energy Department's science, energy and national security missions.

US medical innovation needs smarter incentives to cut health spending, study finds
A novel approach to curbing America's growing health care spending is to change the drugs, devices, and health information technology that get invented in the first place.

Study examines effectiveness of medications for treating epileptic seizures in children
Although some studies have suggested that the drug lorazepam may be more effective or safer than the drug diazepam in treating a type of epileptic seizures among children, a randomized trial finds that lorazepam is not better at stopping seizures compared to diazepam, according to a study in the April 23/30 issue of JAMA, a neurology theme issue.

Nanoreporters tell 'sour' oil from 'sweet'
Scientists at Rice University have created a nanoscale detector that checks for and reports on the presence and concentration of hydrogen sulfide in crude oil and natural gas while they're still in the ground.

Depressed? Researchers identify new anti-depressant mechanisms, therapeutic approaches
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center are making breakthroughs that could benefit people suffering from depression.

Researchers identify link between fetal growth and risk of stillbirth
Researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch and the Stillbirth Collaborative Research Network have identified a link between stillbirth and either restricted or excessive fetal growth.

Scientists discover a new way to enhance nerve growth following injury
New research published today out of the University of Calgary's Hotchkiss Brain Institute uncovers a mechanism to promote growth in damaged nerve cells as a means to restore connections after injury.

Lower birth weight, less breastfeeding linked to adult inflammation and disease
Individuals born at lower birth weights as well as those breastfed less than three months or not at all are more likely as young adults to have higher levels of chronic inflammation that contributes to cardiovascular disease, according to a new Northwestern University study using data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health.

Brain size matters when it comes to animal self-control
Chimpanzees may throw tantrums like toddlers, but their total brain size suggests they have more self-control than, say, a gerbil or fox squirrel, according to a new study of 36 species of mammals and birds ranging from orangutans to zebra finches.

Study: People pay more attention to the upper half of field of vision
A new study from North Carolina State University and the University of Toronto finds that people pay more attention to the upper half of their field of vision -- a finding which could have ramifications for traffic signs to software interface design.

New patenting guidelines are needed for biotechnology
Biotechnology scientists must be aware of the broad patent landscape and push for new patent and licensing guidelines, according to a new paper from Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy.

Neuroimaging: Live from inside the cell
A novel imaging technique provides insights into the role of redox signaling and reactive oxygen species in living neurons, in real time.

Like a hall of mirrors, nanostructures trap photons inside ultrathin solar cells
'We want to make sure light spends more quality time inside a solar cell,' said Mark Brongersma, a professor of materials science and engineering at Stanford.

Ph.D. training given £83.5 million boost
Postgraduate training in the UK's universities is to receive another injection of funding from The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Metamaterials research receives £2.5 million boost
Research into using metamaterials in optics has already produced the possibility of an invisibility cloak.

LA BioMed researcher honored for contributions to child abuse detection and prevention
Carol D. Berkowitz, M.D., an LA BioMed lead researcher, is honored for her distinguished contributions to the detection and prevention of child abuse and neglect.

Joslin Medalists maintain high levels of cells involved in blood-vessel repair
Decades after being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, some Joslin 50-Year Medalists, who have lived 50 or more years with the disease, maintain certain types of blood cells that could help to repair blood vessels.

False-positive mammogram anxiety has limited impact on women's well-being
Dartmouth researchers have found that the anxiety experienced with a false-positive mammogram is temporary and does not negatively impact a woman's overall well-being.

Research shows impact of Facebook unfriending
Two studies from the University of Colorado Denver are shedding new light on the most common type of 'friend' to be unfriended on Facebook and their emotional responses to it.

Specialized ambulance improves treatment time for stroke
Using an ambulance that included a computed tomography scanner, point-of-care laboratory, telemedicine connection and a specialized prehospital stroke team resulted in decreased time to treatment for ischemic stroke, according to a study in the April 23/30 issue of JAMA, a neurology theme issue.

Conservative management of vascular abnormality in brain associated with better outcomes
Patients with arteriovenous malformations (abnormal connection between arteries and veins) in the brain that have not ruptured had a lower risk of stroke or death for up to 12 years if they received conservative management of the condition compared to an interventional treatment, according to a study in the April 23/30 issue of JAMA, a neurology theme issue.

Remote surveillance may increase chance of survival for 'uncontacted' Brazilian tribes
Lowland South America, including the Amazon Basin, harbors most of the last indigenous societies that have limited contact with the outside world.

PETA science consortium to present hazard testing strategy at nanotoxicology meeting
PETA International Science Consortium will present a non-animal tiered-testing strategy for nanomaterial hazard assessment at the 7th International Nanotoxicology Congress being held in Antalya, Turkey on April 23-26, 2014.

Atorvastatin protects against cerebral ischemia/reperfusion injury
In addition to its lipid-lowering effect, statins exert anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects as well.

Mysteries of a nearby planetary system's dynamics now are solved
Mysteries of one of the most fascinating nearby planetary systems now have been solved, report authors of a scientific paper to be published by the journal Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society in its early online edition on April 22, 2014.

FASEB releases updated NIH state factsheets
The Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology has released updated factsheets for fiscal year 2013 highlighting how funding from the National Institutes of Health benefits each of the 50 states, DC, and Puerto Rico.

NREL unlocking secrets of new solar material
A new solar material that has the same crystal structure as a mineral first found in the Ural Mountains in 1839 is shooting up the efficiency charts faster than almost anything researchers have seen before -- and it is generating optimism that a less expensive way of using sunlight to generate electricity may be in our planet's future.

Stroke treatment, outcomes improve at hospitals participating in UCLA-led initiative
A study demonstrated that hospitals participating in a national quality-improvement program have markedly increased the speed with which they treat stroke patients with a clot-busting drug.

Acute respiratory distress syndrome: Study IDs surgical patients at risk
Acute respiratory distress syndrome is a leading cause of respiratory failure after surgery.

First brain images of African infants enable research into cognitive effects of nutrition
Brain activity of babies in developing countries could be monitored from birth to reveal the first signs of cognitive dysfunction, using a new technique piloted by a London-based university collaboration.

Beaumont awarded grants to study sports-related injury treatment, improve recovery
Two orthopedic organizations have presented Beaumont Health System with prestigious, competitive research grants that could improve patients' recovery from both athletic and nonathletic injuries.

Wildlife response to climate change is likely underestimated, experts warn
Analyzing thousands of breeding bird surveys sent in by citizen scientists over 35 years, wildlife researchers report that most of the 40 songbird species they studied shifted either northward or toward higher elevation in response to climate change, but did not necessarily do both.

Physicist demonstrates dictionary definition was dodgy
QUT senior lecturer in physics, Dr. Stephen Hughes, sparked controversy over how a humble siphon worked when he noticed an incorrect definition in the prestigious Oxford English Dictionary.

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 0.5 million tons a year. 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