Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

April 29, 2014
SDSC resources, expertise used in genomic analysis of 115 year-old woman
A team of researchers investigating the genome of a healthy supercentenarian since 2011 has found many somatic mutations -- permanent changes in cells other than reproductive ones -- that arose during the woman's lifetime.

Man landing on Madeira could be 4 centuries prior to its colonization by the Portuguese
Four centuries before its colonization by the Portuguese, man may have landed on Madeira Island.

Very low 30-day mortality can give false sense of complacency in arterial switch ops
The surgery of choice for transposition of great arteries, the arterial switch operation, is usually performed within the first few weeks of life.

Immunogenic mutations in tumor genomes correlate with increased patient survival
Developing immunotherapies for cancer is challenging because of significant variability among tumors and diversity in human immune types.

Research sees overlap in genes altered in schizophrenia, autism, intellectual disability
A multinational team of scientists presents new evidence supporting the theory that in at least some cases of schizophrenia, autism and intellectual disability, malfunctions in some of the same genes are contributing to pathology.

Vitamin D may raise survival rates among cancer patients
Cancer patients who have higher levels of vitamin D when they are diagnosed tend to have better survival rates and remain in remission longer than patients who are vitamin D-deficient, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

CNIO team presents a new strategy to personalise cancer therapies
Researchers led by Manuel Hidalgo, Vice-Director of Translational Research at CNIO, have developed a new strategy to personalized medicine in advanced cancer patients with a poor prognosis.

Mobile users may not buy into instant gratification cues
Gimmicky contest ads and flashy free-prize messages may be an instant turnoff for mobile users, according to Penn State researchers.

N-glycan remodeling on glucagon receptor is an effector of nutrient-sensing by HBP
A possible therapeutic target for control of blood glucose in the treatment of type 2 diabetes and obesity has been identified by Dr.

Graphene only as strong as weakest link
Labs at Rice University and Georgia Tech test the fracture toughness of graphene for the first time by making and measuring 'pre-cracks' under stress.

The intergalactic medium unveiled: Caltech's Cosmic Web Imager
Caltech astronomers have taken unprecedented images of the intergalactic medium -- the diffuse gas that connects galaxies throughout the universe -- with the Cosmic Web Imager, an instrument designed and built at Caltech.

How a fish can fry: Scientists uncover evolutionary clues behind electric fish
Take a muscle cell, modify it over millions of years, and you end up with an exciting and literally shocking evolutionary result: the electric fish.The authors speculate that the down-regulation of the Scn4aa gene leads to quicker evolution and adaptation.

Preliminary results show improvement in MS symptoms
Combining the estrogen hormone estriol with Copaxone, a drug indicated for the treatment of patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis, may improve symptoms in patients with the disorder, according to preliminary results from a clinical study of 158 patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis.

Stroke risk reduced if brain blood vessel disorder is left alone
Treating patients who suffer from a common condition that affects blood vessels in the brain increases their risk of stroke, a study from the University of Edinburgh has found.

Study: WHO tool underestimates need for osteoporosis treatment
The World Health Organization's tool for assessing bone fracture risk underestimates the true dangers for people who are younger than 65 or have been treated for a single broken bone, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Researchers unveil wearable computational jewelry to monitor health
Researchers from Clemson University and Dartmouth College revealed their computational jewelry to support mobile health applications at the third USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C.

Experiment on Earth demonstrates effect observed in space
Streaming jets of high-speed matter produce some of the stunning objects seen in space.

New tool for Joint Lab to investigate the chemistry of nature
The Aziz' team at the Joint Laboratory between Freie Universitaet Berlin and HZB has built a laser-based tabletop setup which generates ultrashort XUV light pulses and achieves their monochromatization by implementing special reflection zone plates, developed and produced by the team of Alexei Erko.

Screening out: What are parents doing to limit screen time for young children?
Fifty-three percent say they limit media devices by location, banning use in the bedroom or at mealtime, says U-M National Poll on Children's Health.

Risk of birth defects small with HIV drugs
The risks of birth defects in children exposed to antiretroviral drugs in utero are small when considering the clear benefit of preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV but where there are safe and effective alternatives, it might be appropriate to avoid use by pregnant women of drugs that may be associated with elevated risks of birth defects, such as zidovudine and efavirenz, according to a study published by French researchers published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

When harm done can never be balanced: Vicarious revenge and the death of Osama bin Laden
Friday will mark the third anniversary of Osama bin Laden's assassination, a day when President Barack Obama famously stated 'Justice has been done.' But has it?

Octillions of microbes in the seas: Ocean microbes show incredible genetic diversity
The smallest, most abundant marine microbe, Prochlorococcus, is a photosynthetic bacterial species essential to the marine ecosystem.

Declines in large wildlife lead to increases in disease risk
In the Middle Ages, fleas carried by rats were responsible for spreading the Black Plague.

People rely on what they hear to know what they're saying
You know what you're going to say before you say it, right?

Snobby staff can boost luxury retail sales
When it comes to luxury brands, the ruder the sales staff the better the sales, according to new research.

Tapah through infrared satellite eyes: Now a typhoon
Tropical Storm Tapah strengthened since April 28 and early on April 29, the storm reached typhoon strength.

Mother's diet affects the 'silencing' of her child's genes
New research, led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and based on a unique 'experiment of nature' that took place in The Gambia, has now revealed that a mother's diet before she conceives has a permanent effect on her offspring's genetics.

Major lung resection safer than ever, especially at the busiest hospitals
A major new study using data from the National Cancer Data Base details the impact of annual hospital volume on 30- and 90-day mortality rates.

Like puzzle pieces, 3-D genomics holds a key to classifying human diseases
To solve a puzzle, you need to recognize shapes, patterns and a particular kind of order.

Biofilms research gets big boost at Binghamton University
The fluorescence-activated cell sorter allows researchers to separate a mixture or population of cells into subpopulations.

Heart attack survivors who eat lots of fiber live longer
People who survive heart attacks have a greater chance of living longer if they increase their dietary intake of fiber -- and eating lots of cereal fiber is especially beneficial, finds research published today on

Live virus implicates camels in MERS outbreak
Scientists at the Center for Infection and Immunity at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health, King Saud University, and EcoHealth Alliance extracted a complete, live, infectious sample of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus from two camels in Saudi Arabia.

In a commanding position -- and now cheaper
Transparent conductive films are now an integral part of our everyday lives.

A risk management framework improves health systems' resilience to high-impact weather
According to a new study by the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Policy Program, a risk management framework can improve the resilience of healthcare facilities and services to high-impact weather such as tornadoes and hurricanes.

RI Hospital: Medicare patients with dementia 20 percent more likely to be readmitted
A review of more than 25,000 admissions of Medicare beneficiaries to Rhode Island hospitals has found that patients with a documented diagnosis of dementia are nearly 20 percent more likely to be readmitted within 30 days than those without dementia.

Consuming high-protein breakfasts helps women maintain glucose control, MU study finds
Previous research has shown that extreme increases in glucose and insulin in the blood can lead to poor glucose control and increase an individual's risk of developing diabetes over time.

Safe(bee) in numbers
Bumblebees can distinguish between safe and dangerous environments, and are attracted to land on flowers popular with other bees when exposed to perilous situations, according to new research from Queen Mary University of London.

Drug monitoring information improves regimen adherence, Carnegie Mellon researchers say
In a 10-month study in the homes of older adults with chronic health problems, Carnegie Mellon University researchers found that adherence to a medication regimen improved when people had ready access to a digital display of their medication-taking record.

Rice U. study: How state ownership hampered entrepreneurship in Chinese companies
For state-owned companies in China, the significant detriment in employing innovation may be linked to the company's ownership structure, according to a new study on Chinese entrepreneurship by Chinese business experts at Rice University, the University of Hong Kong, Texas Christian University, Jilin University and Shantou University.

NRL researchers develop harder ceramic for armor windows
The Department of Defense needs materials for armor windows that provide essential protection for both personnel and equipment while still having a high degree of transparency.

New research shows increasing ocean temperatures affecting coral reefs
A group of international researchers has found increasing ocean temperatures are causing coral reefs to retain more of their larvae, thus leaving large reef systems less interconnected.

Brain tumor cells penetrated by tiny, degradable particles carrying genetic instructions
Working together, Johns Hopkins biomedical engineers and neurosurgeons report that they have created tiny, biodegradable 'nanoparticles' able to carry DNA to brain cancer cells in mice.

Deep origins to the behavior of Hawaiian volcanoes
Kīlauea volcano typically has effusive eruptions, wherein magma flows to create ropy pāhoehoe lava, for example.

NIH center sets new goals for global health research and training
Global health research and training efforts should focus on combatting the growing epidemic of noncommunicable diseases, better incorporating information technology into research and training, and more effectively converting scientific discoveries into practice in low-resource settings, according to the Fogarty International Center's new strategic plan, released today.

Liquefaction of seabed no longer a mystery
The primary aim of the book is to describe liquefaction processes and their implications for marine structures such as marine pipelines, sea outfalls, quay walls, caisson structures, large individual blocks, sea mines, etc. with the focus on physics of liquefaction, mathematical modelling, and assessment of liquefaction potential, supported by numerical examples.

'Tell-tail' MRI image diagnosis for Parkinson's disease
An image similar in shape to a Swallow's tail has been identified as a new and accurate test for Parkinson's disease.

Study confirms increased prevalence of GI symptoms among children with autism
A new study indicates that children with autism spectrum disorder are more than four times more likely to experience general gastrointestinal (GI) complaints compared with peers, are more than three times as prone to experience constipation and diarrhea than peers, and complain twice as much about abdominal pain compared to peers.

Low cholesterol in immune cells slows HIV progression
Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh have identified why some HIV-infected people experience much slower disease progression, even without medication, and it has to do with cholesterol levels in specific immune cells.

NPL CaviMeter™ distribution agreement reached
NPL and the Onda Corporation, a leading global provider of ultrasound measurement instrumentation, announced an agreement to distribute worldwide the CaviMeter™, a novel measurement instrument to detect the level of acoustic cavitation for ultrasonic cleaning and sonoprocessing applications.

Low cholesterol in immune cells tied to slow progression of HIV
People infected with HIV whose immune cells have low cholesterol levels experience much slower disease progression, even without medication, according to University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health research that could lead to new strategies to control infection.

Stem cells aid heart regeneration in salamanders
Imagine filling a hole in your heart by regrowing the tissue.

Molecular networks provide insights for computer security, Carnegie Mellon finds
The robust defenses that yeast cells have evolved to protect themselves from environmental threats hold lessons that can be used to design computer networks and analyze how secure they are, say computer scientists at Carnegie Mellon University.

Coral reefs provide potent new anti-HIV proteins
Researchers have discovered a new class of proteins capable of blocking the HIV virus from penetrating T-cells.

CWRU researchers profile women's employment, caregiving workloads, effort and health
A study from the Case Western Reserve University nursing school provides a profile of women with the dual responsibilities of full-time paid work and unpaid care for an elderly family member.

Facial transplantation: Almost a decade out, surgeons prepare for burgeoning demand
Plastic and reconstructive surgeons leading the first retrospective study of all known facial transplants worldwide conclude that the procedure is relatively safe, increasingly feasible, and a clear life-changer that can and should be offered to far more carefully selected patients.

Eplerenone reduces primary endpoint in acute myocardial infarction patients
A drug known to reduce mortality rate in patients with heart failure has now been found significantly effective when administered early in patients following an acute myocardial infarction.

NCI, NCRI and EORTC outline risk-assessment approach for biomarker-driven cancer clinical trials
In an article published in The Lancet Oncology, an NCI, NCRI, and EORTC working group outline a practical risk-management approach for effective integration of biomarkers into cancer clinical trials.

Proving uncertainty: New insight into old problem
Nearly 90 years after Werner Heisenberg pioneered his uncertainty principle, a group of researchers from three countries has provided substantial new insight into this fundamental tenet of quantum physics with the first rigorous formulation supporting the uncertainty principle as Heisenberg envisioned it.

Anti-smoking TV ads should use anger, Dartmouth-Cornell study suggests
Anti-smoking television advertisements that appeal to viewers' emotions are more persuasive when they use anger rather than sadness, a Dartmouth-Cornell study suggests.

Stem cell therapies look promising for heart disease
Stem cell therapies work as a complement to standard treatments, potentially cutting the number of deaths after a year, suggests evidence from the latest Cochrane review: Stem cell therapy for chronic ischemic heart disease and congestive heart failure.

Dampening of positive feelings found to predict postpartum depressive symptoms
A new KU Leuven study shows for the first time that the dampening or suppression of positive emotions plays an important role in the development of postpartum depression.

You took the words right out of my brain
Our brain activity is more similar to that of speakers we are listening to when we can predict what they are going to say, a team of neuroscientists has found.

Graphene not all good
In a first-of-its-kind study of how a material some think could transform the electronics industry moves in water, researchers at the University of California, Riverside Bourns College of Engineering found graphene oxide nanoparticles are very mobile in lakes or streams and therefore likely to cause negative environmental impacts if released.

NERSC, Cray, Intel to collaborate on next-generation supercomputer for science
The US Department of Energy's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center and Cray Inc. announced today that they have signed a contract for a next generation of supercomputer to enable scientific discovery.

Major World's Fairs archive to be digitized
Digital primary sources publisher, Adam Matthew, today announced the digitization of one of the largest World's Fairs collections in the world: the Donald G.

NOAA reports show strong economic gains from fishing, continued improvement in fish stocks
Two new NOAA reports, Fisheries Economics of the United States 2012 and the Status of US Fisheries 2013, show positive trends in the steady rebuilding of the country's federally managed fisheries off our coasts, and the important role fisheries contribute to the United State economy.

Review offers insight on managing surgical patients who are taking new drugs to prevent blood clots
New oral anticoagulant drugs that treat and prevent clots offer a much-needed alternative to warfarin, which has been used for more than six decades and has serious shortcomings.

Scripps Florida scientists reveal molecular secrets behind resveratrol's health benefits
Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have now identified one of the molecular pathways that resveratrol, associated with positive health effects in aging, inflammation and metabolism, uses to achieve its beneficial action.

'Charismatic' organisms still dominating genomics research
Decades after the genomics revolution, half of known eukaryote lineages still remain unstudied at the genomic level -- with the field displaying a research bias against 'less popular,' but potentially genetically rich, single-cell organisms.

Model sheds new light on sports-related brain injuries
A new study has provided insight into the behavioral damage caused by repeated blows to the head.

The Strangler: The chemistry behind the Game of Thrones poison (video)
Game of Thrones gave us a shock with the Purple Wedding and now everyone is asking: 'Who poisoned King Joffrey?' While the search for the killer continues, the American Chemical Society's latest Reactions video focuses on what killed the hated king.

Stress research in therapy dogs reveals animals' needs
Scientists at the Vetmeduni Vienna investigated how therapy dogs feel in a therapy setting and how one can create a largely stress-free situation for the animals.

UNC researchers discover 'master regulator' role for little-known protein in cancer cells
Researchers in the UNC School of Medicine found that the protein DAZAP1 plays a key role in the regulation of many genes through a process known as alternative splicing, and when highly expressed in cancer cell line experiments, DAZAP1 was shown to inhibit several types of cancer cells from dividing and moving.

Microfluidic technology reveals potential biomarker for early pancreatic cancer
The findings, published in Gastroenterology, revealed circulating pancreas cells seed the bloodstream before tumors can be detected using current clinical tests.

NAI Fellows paper on patents and commercialization for tenure, career advancement in PNAS
When six university leaders took the stage at the 2013 Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors to discuss 'Would Thomas Edison Receive Tenure,' they began a national conversation on changing the academic culture to recognize faculty patents and commercialization activity toward tenure and promotion and their paper, 'Changing the academic culture: Valuing patents and commercialization toward tenure and career advancement,' appears in the current Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Chronic stress heightens vulnerability to diet-related metabolic risk
New research out of UC San Francisco is the first to demonstrate that highly stressed people who eat a lot of high-fat, high-sugar food are more prone to health risks than low-stress people who eat the same amount of unhealthy food.

Saving crops and people with bug sensors
University of California, Riverside researchers have created a method that can classify different species of insects with up to 99 percent accuracy, a development that could help farmers protect their crops from insect damage and limit the spread of insect-borne diseases, such as malaria and Dengue fever.

NASA Goddard to bring satellite data to African agriculture
From hundreds of miles in orbit, NASA satellites can measure how much rain falls in Niger or detect plant health in Mali.

Study highlights importance of parents talking to kids about money
A new study from North Carolina State University and the University of Texas finds that children pay close attention to issues related to money, and that parents should make an effort to talk with their children to ensure that kids don't develop misconceptions about finance.

OCULLAR sees ocean color day and night
A team led at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., has developed an instrument capable of observing ocean color during normal sunlight conditions and under moonlight -- a first-ever capability that will allow scientists to monitor the health and chemistry of the planet's oceans literally around the clock.

Graphene only as strong as weakest link
Labs at Rice University and Georgia Tech test the fracture toughness of graphene for the first time by making and measuring 'pre-cracks' under stress.

NASA satellite sees colder temperatures at tops of severe weather thunderstorms
The weather system that dropped tornadoes in seven central and southern US states on April 27-28, moved east and generated more tornadoes on April 29.

Genealogy and biogeography meet personalized medicine
Biogeographical data is useful in screening for disease risk and drug sensitivity associated with certain ethnic groups.

Diabetes duration and severity associated with brain atrophy
Type 2 diabetes may be associated with brain degeneration, according to a new multi-center study.

New data suggest potassium & dietary fiber intake among toddlers should be priority
Recommendations to increase the intake of potassium and dietary fiber among young children should be a priority for the 2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, according to a new study by the Alliance for Potato Research and Education presented today at Experimental Biology 2014.

NASA satellite spots tornado track near Conway, Ark.
A violent tornado touched down in Arkansas on April 27, 2014, killing as many as 15 people.

Search for extraterrestrial life more difficult than thought
A new study from the University of Toronto Scarborough suggests the search for life on planets outside our solar system may be more difficult than previously thought.

Newly identified 'universal' property of metamagnets may lead to everyday uses
The refrigerator of 2024 may be cooled not by chemical refrigerants, but by magnetism, thanks to the work of a U.Va.-led team of physicists and materials scientists.

'Feel good' factor higher when you own, not just use, luxury items
It means more to people to own a luxury product or brand than to have the privilege of simply using one.

Poor QOL doesn't predict low survival in high-risk lung cancer patients undergoing surgery
High-risk operable lung cancer patients have poorer quality of life scores than the normal US population.

A protein key to the next green revolution sits for its portrait
Scientists are beginning to talk about re-engineering crop plants so that, like legumes, they will have on-site nitrogen-fixing systems, either in root nodules or in the plant cells themselves.

Urban river pollutants suppress wild bird development
New research indicates that hormone disrupting pollutants are affecting the health and development of wild birds nesting along the urban rivers of South Wales.

Two San Diego scientists elected to the National Academy of Sciences
Two scientists from San Diego county -- Dale Boger and Benjamin Cravatt of the Scripps Research Institute -- have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of their 'distinguished and continuing achievements in original research,' the academy announced today.

'Lonely' bacteria increase risk of antibiotic resistance
'Lonely' microbes are more likely to mutate, resulting in higher rates of antibiotic resistance.

Food safety partnership between Denmark and China
Technical University of Denmark (DTU) and the China National Center for Food Safety Risk Assessment have signed a memorandum of understanding that will strengthen knowledge exchange between Denmark and China in the field of food safety.

Solving a mystery of thermoelectrics
Paper explains why some materials work well for thermoelectric devices.

The big bad wolf was right; among wasps, bigger eyes evolved the better to see social cues
Some paper wasps have variable facial patterns recognized by their sister wasps, marking either individuals or their strength, much like a karate belt.

Females prefer lovers not fighters, study finds
It's official (in the horned beetle world at least), females prefer courtship over competitiveness -- and it doesn't matter about the size of your mandibles either.

Girls make higher grades than boys in all school subjects, analysis finds
Despite the stereotype that boys do better in math and science, girls have made higher grades than boys throughout their school years for nearly a century, according to a new analysis published by the American Psychological Association.

Only about half of strokes may be attributable to known causative risk factors
A large proportion of strokes may not be attributable to known causative risk factors, according to a study published in this week's PLOS Medicine.

The latest in scientific research in children's health to be presented in Vancouver
Research on bullying, firearms, ADHD, safe sleep, obesity, autism, vaccine hesitancy and other pediatric topics will be presented in Vancouver, British Columbia, May 3-6 at the Pediatric Academic Societies and Asian Society for Pediatric Research 2014 Joint Meeting, the largest international meeting focused on research in child health.

GWAS study ties ABCC9 anomalies, sulfonylurea exposure to HS-Aging
A genome-wide association study (GWAS) at the University of Kentucky has provided new insight into hippocampal sclerosis of aging (HS-A), a common disease affecting the elderly.

New analysis of 7 ant genomes reveals clues to longer life spans associated with sociality
In a new study, published in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution, J.

Bigger is not always better, but it helps, says new research on beetles
Researchers at the University of Exeter have found that the probability of a burying beetle winning fights, for the small animal carcasses it needs, depends on a combination of early life experiences and the competition it faces as an adult.

Two-part special issue of Ergonomics in Design highlights climate change
A special two-part issue of Ergonomics in Design examines how HF/E professionals can continue working to fight global warming and climate change.

Breath analysis offers non-invasive method to detect early lung cancer
Researchers at the University of Louisville School of Medicine are using breath analysis to detect the presence of lung cancer.

Information technology can simplify weight-loss efforts; social support still important for success
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 69 percent of adults in the United States are currently overweight or obese, which puts these individuals at increased risk for chronic health problems.

Simple tests of physical capability in midlife linked with survival
Low levels of physical capability (in particular weak grip strength, slow chair rise speed and poor standing balance performance) in midlife can indicate poorer chances of survival over the next 13 years, while greater time spent in light intensity physical activity each day is linked to a reduced risk of developing disability in adults with or at risk of developing knee osteoarthritis, suggest two papers published on today.

Anti-bullying policy must focus on all of society
Policy to reduce bullying in the schoolyard needs to span all levels of society, say researchers from the University of Warwick, who warn that socioeconomic status is not a reliable indicator of whether a child is likely to become a bully.

'Race, risk and behaviors: A type 2 diabetes update'
Clinical Therapeutics features a special report in its April issue focusing primarily on the behavioral issues associated with patients' self-management of type 2 diabetes.

Widespread tetraradial symmetry among early fossil sponges
Sponges are among the simplest living animals, but exactly where they fit in the tree of life is poorly understood.

Study yields potential drug targets for preeclampsia patients
Preeclampsia, the most common complication of pregnancy, is a major cause of premature delivery and both maternal and fetal death, yet what causes the syndrome remains unclear. 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