Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 23, 2014
AGU: Odds of storm waters overflowing Manhattan seawall up 20-fold, new study shows
Maximum water levels in New York harbor during major storms have risen by nearly two and a half feet since the mid-1800s, making the chances of water overtopping the Manhattan seawall now at least 20 times greater than they were 170 years ago, according to a new study.

Study: Iron consumption can increase risk for heart disease
A new study from the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington has bolstered the link between red meat consumption and heart disease by finding a strong association between heme iron, found only in meat, and potentially deadly coronary heart disease.

Stem cells in circulating blood affect cardiovascular health, study finds
New research suggests that attempts to isolate an elusive adult stem cell from blood to understand and potentially improve cardiovascular health -- a task considered possible but very difficult -- might not be necessary.

More Americans in their golden years are going hungry
Recent research at the University of Illinois using data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey revealed that the seniors who are dealing with hunger are also facing negative health and nutrition consequences.

Quality control guidelines for genomics studies
How do doctors pinpoint the genetic changes that really cause disease?

How to avoid water wars between 'fracking' industry and residents
The shale gas boom has transformed the energy landscape in the US, but in some drier locations, it could cause conflict among the energy industry, residents and agricultural interests over already-scarce water resources, say researchers.

The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology: Vitamin D supplements have little effect on risk of falls in older people
A new meta-analysis, published in The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology journal, concludes that there is no evidence to suggest that vitamin D supplements prevent falls, and that ongoing trials to test this theory are unlikely to change this result.

Conservation priorities released for several protected areas along US-Mexico border
The CEC releases its Conservation Assessment for the Big Bend-Rio Bravo Region: A Binational Collaborative Approach to Conservation, which identifies 29 priority conservation areas in a region straddling the United States-Mexico border that includes 11 different protected areas in the states of Texas, Coahuila, and Chihuahua.

ADHD drug may help preserve our self-control resources
Methylphenidate, also known as Ritalin, may prevent the depletion of self-control, according to research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Study examines risk of early death for people with mild cognitive impairment
One of the first studies to look at a relationship between death and the two types of mild cognitive impairment, or problems with memory and thinking abilities, suggests that people who have thinking problems but their memory is still intact might have a higher death rate in a period of six years compared to those who have no thinking or memory problems.

NIH scientist to receive Ross Prize in Molecular Medicine
John J. O'Shea, M.D., scientific director at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases, has been named the 2014 recipient of the Ross Prize in Molecular Medicine, conferred by the Feinstein Institute's peer-reviewed, open-access journal Molecular Medicine.

Airport security-style technology could help doctors decide on stroke treatment
A new computer program could help doctors predict which patients might suffer potentially fatal side-effects from a key stroke treatment.

EMBO Gold Medal 2014 awarded to Sophie Martin
EMBO today announced Sophie Martin of the University of Lausanne, Switzerland, as the winner of the 2014 EMBO Gold Medal.

Economics = MC2 -- A portrait of the modern physics startup
In recent decades, many large high-tech companies have eliminated in-house research programs, turning instead to startup companies as their primary source of breakthrough innovations.

Marijuana use may increase heart complications in young, middle-aged adults
Marijuana use may result in heart-related complications in young and middle-aged adults.

Non-uniform genetic mutations identified in lung cancers could lead to targeted treatment
Victorian researchers have extensively studied three of the more common genetic mutations and their distribution across individual lung cancers to see if they matched up to regions of different tumor architecture under the microscope.

RI Hospital physician: Legalizing medical marijuana doesn't increase use among adolescents
Parents and physicians concerned about an increase in adolescents' marijuana use following the legalization of medical marijuana can breathe a sigh of relief.

Scientists identify source of mysterious sound in the Southern Ocean
Scientists have conclusive evidence that the source of a unique rhythmic sound, recorded for decades in the Southern Ocean and called the 'bio-duck,' is the Antarctic minke whale (Balaenoptera bonaerensis).

New target for prostate cancer resistant to anti-hormone therapies
Researchers have found a new target that could remain sensitive even when prostate cancer becomes resistant to current treatments.

How Australia got the hump with 1 million feral camels
A new study by a University of Exeter researcher has shed light on how an estimated one million-strong population of wild camels thriving in Australia's remote outback have become reviled as pests and culled on a large scale.

Researchers compare hip width and sexual behavior
In a new study, women who were more inclined to have one-night stands had wider hips, reveals Colin A.

Steering chemical reactions with laser pulses
Ultra short laserpulses in the femtosecond-range give scientists a powerful new method of controlling chemical reactions.

Functional electrical stimulation improves neuronal regeneration after cerebral infarction
Previous studies have shown that proliferation of endogenous neural precursor cells cannot alone compensate for the damage to neurons and axons.

First-of-its-kind NASA space-weather project
A NASA scientist is launching a one-to-two-year pilot project this summer that takes advantage of US high-voltage power transmission lines to measure a phenomenon that has caused widespread power outages in the past.

New discovery helps solve mystery source of African lava
Floods of molten lava may sound like the stuff of apocalyptic theorists, but history is littered with evidence of such past events where vast lava outpourings originating deep in the Earth accompany the breakup of continents.

Impact of whooping cough vaccination revealed
The most comprehensive study to date of Bordetella pertussis, the family of bacteria that causes whooping cough, could inform public health strategies to control the respiratory disease that kills 195,000 children worldwide each year.

Genetics risk, prenatal smoking may predict behavioral problems
Researchers have found evidence of an interaction between prenatal smoking and genetic risk factors that increase aggressive behavior in children, especially in girls.

NASA satellites show drought may take toll on Congo rainforest
A new analysis of NASA satellite data shows Africa's Congo rainforest, the second-largest tropical rainforest in the world, has undergone a large-scale decline in greenness over the past decade.

Bioethicists use theatrical narratives to bridge the gap between society and science
A new book from bioethicists at Johns Hopkins and Columbia universities uses dramatic narratives as an accessible gateway to the complex ethical issues of integrating genomics and health care.

Genetics explain why some boys and girls are bigger than others
The influence of genetic factors on differences between children's Body Mass Index increases from 43 percent at age four to 82 percent at age 10, reports a new study by researchers at University College London and King's College London.

Screening instrument to identify testosterone deficiency
A new simple screening questionnaire designed to identify testosterone-deficient men for further testing and possible treatment is described in an article in Journal of Men's Health.

Low birth weight, less breastfeeding create later health risks
Lower weight babies and babies who aren't breastfed or not breastfed for long are at greater risk of developing chronic inflammation and related health problems later in life, according to a new study.

Midlife occupational and leisure-time physical activity limits mobility in old age
Strenuous occupational physical activity in midlife increases the risk of mobility limitation in old age, whereas leisure-time physical activity decreases the risk.

Novel compound halts cocaine addiction and relapse behaviors
A novel compound that targets an important brain receptor has a dramatic effect against a host of cocaine addiction behaviors, including relapse behavior, a University at Buffalo animal study has found.

Toward unraveling the Alzheimer's mystery
Getting to the bottom of Alzheimer's disease has been a rapidly evolving pursuit with many twists, turns and controversies.

ASTRO issues guideline on the role of postoperative radiation therapy for endometrial cancer
The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) has issued a new guideline, 'The Role of Postoperative Radiation Therapy for Endometrial Cancer: An ASTRO Evidence-Based Guideline,' that details the use of adjuvant radiation therapy in the treatment of endometrial cancer.

Cell division speed influences gene architecture
Biological systems are sometimes under selective pressure to quickly 'read' genetic information.

Increased infrastructure required for effective oil spill response in US Arctic
A changing climate is increasing the accessibility of US Arctic waters to commercial activities such as shipping, oil and gas development, and tourism, raising concern about the risk of oil spills.

Halving hydrogen
Like a hungry diner ripping open a dinner roll, a fuel cell catalyst that converts hydrogen into electricity must tear open a hydrogen molecule.

Female intuition could be linked to lower exposure to testosterone in women while in womb
So-called 'female intuition' could actually have a biological component, related to the lower prenatal exposure to testosterone women receive in the womb.

People with mild cognitive impairment may die at higher rate than people without condition
Mayo Clinic research studying the relationship between death and the two types of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) suggests that people who have these conditions die at a higher rate than people without MCI.

Superconducting qubit array points the way to quantum computers
A fully functional quantum computer is one of the holy grails of physics.

Norovirus in food outlets to be mapped for the first time
The University of Liverpool is leading a £2 million Food Standards Agency project to map the occurrence of norovirus in food premises and industry workers.

Hearing quality restored with bionic ear technology used for gene therapy
Researchers at UNSW Australia have for the first time used electrical pulses delivered from a cochlear implant to deliver gene therapy, thereby successfully regrowing auditory nerves.

Physical activity keeps hippocampus healthy in people at risk for Alzheimer's disease
A study of older adults at increased risk for Alzheimer's disease shows that moderate physical activity may preserve the hippocampus -- the brain region responsible for memory and spatial orientation that is attacked first in Alzheimer's disease.

Loss of memory in Alzheimer's mice models reversed through gene therapy
For the first time, researchers from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona have been able to use gene therapy to reverse memory loss in its initial stages in model mice with Alzheimer's disease.

Study identifies enzymes that help fix cancer-causing DNA defects
Purdue University researchers have identified an important enzyme pathway that helps prevent new cells from receiving too many or too few chromosomes, a condition that has been directly linked to cancer and other diseases.

Microbes provide insights into evolution of human language
Big brains do not explain why only humans use sophisticated language, according to researchers who have discovered that even a species of pond life communicates by similar methods.

On the defensive
'Mutant' protein clusters, long blamed for the progression of Huntington's and other neurodegenerative diseases, have been the primary focus of therapies in development by pharmaceutical companies.

The world, through a mathematical lens
Math comes in handy for answering questions about a variety of topics, from calculating the cost-effectiveness of fuel and determining the best regions to build high-speed rail to predicting the spread of disease and assessing roller coasters on their 'thrill' factor.

Some astronauts at risk for cognitive impairment, animal studies suggest
Johns Hopkins scientists report that rats exposed to high-energy particles, simulating conditions astronauts would face on a long-term deep space mission, show lapses in attention and slower reaction times, even when the radiation exposure is in extremely low dose ranges.

Community-based weight loss program aids diabetes management
A University of California, San Diego School of Medicine randomized controlled trial of obese adults with type 2 diabetes suggests that participants enrolled in a community-based structured weight loss program are able to shed more pounds, improve blood sugar control and reduce or eliminate insulin use and other medications compared to a control group.

Change 'authoritarian' football culture to produce future stars, says research
UK Premier League soccer stars are subjecting their club's junior players to regular insults and practical jokes in a humiliating rite of passage, the British Sociological Association's annual conference in Leeds heard today.

Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute hosts World Malaria Day
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health is bringing together some of the best minds in academia, government and faith-based organizations on World Malaria Day, Friday, April 25, 2014, for a day of discussion on leveraging community involvement to combat malaria in Africa.

Chemical companies shore up supplement science
As evidence mounts showing the potential health benefits of probiotics, antioxidants and other nutritional compounds, more and more people are taking supplements.

Rural microbes could boost city dwellers' health
The greater prevalence of asthma, allergies and other chronic inflammatory disorders among people of lower socioeconomic status might be due in part to their reduced exposure to the microbes that thrive in rural environments, according to a new scientific paper.

Fires in the Primorsky Province of Russia
The uncontrolled method of managing agricultural areas each year turns the entire southern tip of Primorsky Province into an enormous firebed, enveloping up to 40 percent of the entire territory.

Pollutants from coal-burning stoves strongly associated with miscarriages in Mongolia
Burning coal for domestic heating may contribute to early fetal death according to a new study by experts from the Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles and Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia -- the coldest capital city in the world.

Fiction prepares us for a world changed by global warming
Climate fiction, or simply cli-fi, is a newly coined term for novels and films which focus on the consequences of global warming.

Princeton release: Not just the poor live hand-to-mouth
Thirty to 40 percent of US households live hand-to-mouth, but work by researchers at Princeton and New York University found that most of those people aren't poor.

Atomic switcheroo explains origins of thin-film solar cell mystery
Treating cadmium-telluride solar cell materials with cadmium-chloride improves their efficiency, but researchers have not fully understood why.

Your T-shirt's ringing: Telecommunications in the spaser age
A new version of 'spaser' technology being investigated could mean that mobile phones become so small, efficient, and flexible they could be printed on clothing.

People with more education may recover better from traumatic brain injury
People with more years of education may be better able to recover from a traumatic brain injury, according to a study published in the April 23, 2014, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Cyber buddy is better than 'no buddy'
A Michigan State University researcher is looking to give exercise enthusiasts the extra nudge they need during a workout, and her latest research shows that a cyber buddy can help.

New study finds 2.5 million basketball injuries to high school athletes in 6 seasons
A recently published study by researchers in the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital is the first to compare and describe the occurrence and distribution patterns of basketball-related injuries treated in emergency departments and the high school athletic training setting among adolescents and teens.

Hundreds of genetic mutations found in healthy blood of a supercentenarian
Genetic mutations are commonly studied because of links to diseases such as cancer; however, little is known about mutations occurring in healthy individuals.

WSU innovation improves drowsy driver detection
Researchers at Washington State University Spokane have developed a new way to detect when drivers are about to nod off behind the wheel.

Liquid spacetime
If spacetime were a fluid, it would have very low viscosity, just like a 'superfluid.' A study carried out jointly by the International School for Advanced Studies of Trieste and the Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich shows how the 'atoms' making up the fluid of spacetime should behave, according to models of quantum gravity.

Picky male black widow spiders prefer well-fed virgins
New University of Toronto Scarborough research shows that male black widow spiders prefer their female mates to be well-fed virgins -- a rare example of mate preference by male spiders.

Picture books aren't just fun
Children hear as much sophisticated information about animals when parents read picture book stories about animals as when they read flashcard-type animal vocabulary books, according to a new study from the University of Waterloo.

Autologous stem cell therapy improves motor function in chronic stroke victims
One group of chronic stroke victims had their peripheral blood stem cells injected directly into the brain while another group did not.

'Off-the-shelf' equipment used to digitize insects in 3-D
Scientists have developed a cost-effective, off-the-shelf system to obtain natural-color 3-D models of insects.

Is nuclear power the only way to avoid geoengineering?
'I think one can argue that if we were to follow a strong nuclear energy pathway -- as well as doing everything else that we can -- then we can solve the climate problem without doing geoengineering.' So says Tom Wigley, one of the world's foremost climate researchers, in the current issue of Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, published by SAGE.

UH biomedical engineer works to make blood transfusions safer
A biomedical engineer at the University of Houston is working to develop highly innovative technology to make blood transfusions safer.

Higher education associated with better recovery from traumatic brain injury
Better-educated people appear to be significantly more likely to recover from a moderate to severe traumatic brain injury, suggesting that a brain's 'cognitive reserve' may play a role in helping people get back to their previous lives, new Johns Hopkins research shows.

It's a bubble, but not as we know it
Multi-sensory technology that creates soap bubbles, which can have images projected onto them or when the bubbles are burst release a scent, will be unveiled at an international conference later this month.

EARTH Magazine: Faking quakes at full scale
A lone seven-story condominium complex northwest of Kobe, Japan, was violently shaken by an earthquake.

Too many chefs: Smaller groups exhibit more accurate decision-making
The trope that the likelihood of an accurate group decision increases with the abundance of brains involved might not hold up when a group faces a variety of factors, Princeton University researchers report.

Scientists identify cancer specific cell for potential treatment of gastric cancer
A team of scientists led by a researcher from the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore at the National University of Singapore has identified the cancer specific stem cell which causes gastric cancer.

Ravens understand the relations among others
Cognitive biologists of the University of Vienna revealed that ravens do understand and keep track of the rank relations between other ravens.

NASA sees last vestiges of Tropical Depression Jack
Tropical Cyclone Jack had weakened to a tropical depression when NASA and JAXA's Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite passed above on April 22, 2014.

The surface area of the digestive tract 'only' as large as a studio apartment
The internal surface area of the gastro-intestinal tract has long been considered to be between 180 and 300 square meters.

Study shows aspirin can reduce colorectal cancer risks for those with specific gene
The humble aspirin may have just added another beneficial effect beyond its ability to ameliorate headaches and reduce the risk of heart attacks: lowering colon cancer risk among people with high levels of a specific type of gene.

Forschungszentrum Juelich joins the OpenPOWER Foundation
Forschungszentrum Juelich has joined the OpenPOWER Foundation, an open development community based on the POWER microprocessor architecture.

Male-biased tweeting
Today women take an active part in public life. Without a doubt, they also converse with other women.

Argentina joins EMBL as associate member state
At a signing ceremony in Buenos Aires yesterday, Argentina joined the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) as an associate member state.

The Lancet Global Health: Recurrent violence linked to substantially higher rates of mental disorders in post-conflict communities
In the aftermath of war, communities who continue to experience repeated violence could have a major escalation in rates of post-traumatic stress disorder and severe distress, suggests new research published in the Lancet Global Health journal.

AGA announces 2014 Class of AGA Research Scholars
The American Gastroenterological Association Research Foundation is pleased to announce the 2014 American Gastroenterological Association Research Scholars.

New study links inflammation in those with PTSD to changes in microRNA
With a new generation of military veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has become a prominent concern in American medical institutions and the culture at-large.

WSU researchers tackle 'virtually ignored' psychological study of spite
In spite of spite's large and small impacts, and the obvious power it can hold on the human psyche, it has been 'virtually ignored' by social, personality and clinical psychologists, Marcus said in a recent paper, 'The Psychology of Spite and the Measurement of Spitefulness,' in the journal Psychological Assessment.

A key to enjoying massive online photo files may be giving up some control
Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Microsoft Research Cambridge, United Kingdom, have found people who have massive online photo collections might actually enjoy their archives more by giving up a bit of control.

In lab tests, the antimicrobial ingredient triclosan spurs growth of breast cancer cells
Some manufacturers are turning away from using triclosan as an antimicrobial ingredient in soaps, toothpastes and other products over health concerns.

Study finds long-term survival of human neural stem cells transplanted into primate brain
Human neural stem cells (hNSCs) labeled with magnetic nanoparticles were followed by MRI after transplantation into the brains of primates.

Scientists discover a new shape using rubber bands
While experimenting with elastic strips, Harvard researchers have stumbled upon a surprising discovery: a hemihelix with multiple perversions, a shape rarely seen in nature.

High-calorie and low-nutrient foods in kids' TV
Fruits and vegetables are often displayed in the popular Swedish children's TV show Bolibompa, but there are also plenty of high-sugar foods.

Gold nanoparticles help target, quantify breast cancer segments in a living cell
Purdue University researchers have developed a way to detect and measure cancer levels in a living cell by using tiny gold particles with tails of synthetic DNA.

From liability to viability: Genes on the Y chromosome prove essential for male survival
The human Y chromosome has over the course of millions of years of evolution preserved a small set of genes that has ensured not only its own survival but also the survival of men.

Following a protein's travel inside cells is key to improving patient monitoring, drug development
Virginia Tech chemical engineer Chang Lu and his colleagues have used a National Science Foundation grant to develop a technique to detect subcellular location of a protein.

Citizen scientists match research tool when counting sharks
Shark data collected by citizen scientists may be as reliable as data collected using automated tools.

Scientists discover a new shape using rubber bands
Rubber bands may provide important clues for fabricating a variety of 3-D shapes from flat parts.

Death rates from pancreatic cancer predicted to rise in Europe in 2014
Pancreatic cancer is the only cancer for which deaths are predicted to increase in men and women rather than decrease in 2014 and beyond, according to a comprehensive study published in the leading cancer journal Annals of Oncology.

Male or female?
The Y chromosome, which distinguishes males from females at the genetic level, appeared some 180 million years ago. 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