Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 07, 2014
NASA sees system 91B making landfall in southwestern India
A tropical low was affecting southern India and Sri Lanka on May 6 at 0809 UTC when the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission satellite called TRMM flew above it.

A new tool to measure the speed of aging
A physical test for measuring age shows wide differences between the rates of aging among different population groups, according to new research by demographers at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis.

Study suggests improved survivorship in the aftermath of the medieval Black Death
Human mortality and survival may have improved in the generations following the Black Death.

Unilabs and BGI sign innovative collaboration agreement
Unilabs, a leading medical diagnostic services company in Europe and BGI, one of the world's largest genomics research centers, have signed a collaboration agreement.

From tasty treats to sugary snacks: The sweeter side of science
Have you ever wondered what makes those delectable little gummy bears gummy?

Iterative reconstruction techniques reduce radiation dose for pediatric brain CT
Estimated radiation doses are substantially lower for pediatric CT exams of the brain that used an adaptive statistical iterative reconstruction technique (ASIR) compared to those that did not use ASIR.

Astronomers create first realistic virtual universe
Move over, Matrix - astronomers have done you one better.

Glutamate imaging better than MR spectroscopy in first 3 hours after ischemic stroke
Glutamate imaging reveals ischemic lesions in the first three hours after stroke that are not distinguishable in T1-weighted and T2-weighted imaging.

Scientists link honeybees' changing roles throughout their lives to brain chemistry
Scientists have been linking an increasing range of behaviors and inclinations from monogamy to addiction to animals', including humans', underlying biology.

Matching the expertise of perfumers to create new scents
From jasmine to sandalwood, the alluring scents of the most luxurious perfumes might seem more art than science, but a new way to analyze them breaks from the tradition of relying only on experts' sense of smell to blend fragrances.

Energy device for flexible electronics packs a lot of power
While flexible gadgets such as 'electronic skin' and roll-up touch screens are moving ever closer to reality, their would-be power sources are either too wimpy or too stiff.

Early depression, anger may taint love life even 20 years later, study shows
Negative emotions people may have suffered as young adults can have a lasting grip on their couple relationships, well into middle age.

Study urges caution in stem cell clinical trials for heart attack patients
A new study in Nature challenges research data that form the scientific basis of clinical trials in which heart attack patients are injected with stem cells to try and regenerate damaged heart tissue.

Multidimensional frailty score helps predict postoperative outcomes in older adults
A multidimensional frailty score may help predict postoperative outcomes in older adults.

Statistical test increases power of genetic studies of complex disease
The power of genome-wide association studies to detect genetic influences on human disease can be substantially increased using a statistical testing framework reported in the May issue of the journal GENETICS.

Image-guided peritoneal dialysis catheter placement significantly reduces complications
Patients undergoing peritoneal dialysis catheter placement via fluoroscopy and ultrasound-guidance experienced significantly fewer complications at 1 year post-insertion than did patients whose catheters were placed laparoscopically.

Scientists focus on role of ventilation in preventing tuberculosis transmission
Scientists studying the role of room ventilation in tuberculosis transmission found that students in Cape Town, South Africa, spend almost 60 percent of their day in poorly ventilated rooms, at risk of transmission.

Rising CO2 poses significant threat to human nutrition
At the elevated levels of atmospheric CO2 anticipated by around 2050, crops that provide a large share of the global population with most of their dietary zinc and iron will have significantly reduced concentrations of those nutrients.

Results on the largest study on stroke risk factors presented at World Congress of Cardiology
Preliminary findings from the completed INTERSTROKE study presented for the first time today at the World Heart Federation's World Congress of Cardiology reported new and important results.

Teen mentored by UC San Diego professors wins $250,000 in science prizes
A 17-year-old senior at Canyon Crest Academy in San Diego's North County recently won not one, but three major science competitions after being mentored by two University of California, San Diego, professors in a project that combined supercomputer modeling with experimental research to speed up the discovery of influenza virus inhibitors.

rAAV/ABAD-DP-6His attenuates oxidative stress induced injury of PC12 cells
The effects of Amyloid beta (Aβ)-Aβ-binding alcohol dehydrogenase may exacerbate Alzheimer's disease pathology.

Repeated preschool wheeze may set the stage for long-term damage in lung function
Children who wheeze are at risk of developing damage that will affect their lung function by the age of six years, according to researchers at CHU Sainte-Justine Hospital and the University of Montreal.

Athletes' fear of failure likely to lead to 'choke,' study shows
New research demonstrates that anxiety about a competitive situation makes even the most physically active of us more likely to slip-up -- and backs up 'catastrophe theory.'

Musical training increases blood flow in the brain
Scientists from the University of Liverpool have found that brief musical training can increase the blood flow in the left hemisphere of our brain.

Study finds genetic patterns in preeclampsia
A comprehensive review of preeclampsia genetics found important patterns among more than 500 significant genes.

A lab in your pocket
Labs-on-a-chip hold huge promise for reducing the cost of medical diagnostics while expanding access to health care.

For slumbering diabetics, a way to detect low blood sugar and stop insulin delivery
New research could soon make it easier for people with type-1 diabetes to get a safe night's sleep, says a Stanford University School of Medicine scientist who led the study.

NASA watching year's first tropical low headed for southwestern Mexico
There's a tropical low pressure area in the Eastern Pacific Ocean today, about 8 days before the official Eastern Pacific hurricane season begins.

New care approach eases depression among women
Women who received collaborative care for depression at an obstetrics and gynecology clinic showed fewer symptoms after treatment than women receiving usual depression care in the same setting, University of Washington research found.

UTSA Cloud and BigData Laboratory launches one of the largest open clouds in academia
The University of Texas at San Antonio announced today that the Cloud and BigData Laboratory in the UTSA College of Sciences is launching one of the largest Open Clouds in academia.

Airborne measurements confirm leaks from oil and gas operations
During two days of intensive airborne measurements, oil and gas operations in Colorado's Front Range leaked nearly three times as much methane, a greenhouse gas, as predicted based on inventory estimates, and seven times as much benzene, a regulated air toxic.

Brain noise found to nurture synapses
A study has shown that a long-overlooked form of neuron-to-neuron communication called miniature neurotransmission plays an essential role in the development of synapses, the regions where nerve impulses are transmitted and received.

Clues about black hole formation
On Oct. 24, 2012, observatories across the world were alerted about a huge stellar explosion, the GRB121024A.

NASA telescopes coordinate best-ever flare observations
On March 29, 2014, an X-class flare erupted from the right side of the sun... and vaulted into history as the best-observed flare of all time.

Phytoplankton and zooplankton biomass will decrease 6 percent and 11 percent due to climate change
It is estimated that ocean temperature warming will cause phytoplankton and zooplankton biomass to decrease by 6 percent and 11 percent respectively by the end of the century.

Melting an entire iceberg with a hot poker: Spotting phase changes triggered by impurities
'What a curious feeling,' says Alice in Lewis Carroll's tale, as she shrinks to a fraction of her size, and everything around her suddenly looks totally unfamiliar.

Sleep researchers at SRI International identify promising new treatment for narcolepsy
Neuroscientists at SRI International have found that a form of baclofen, a drug used to treat muscle spasticity, works better at treating narcolepsy than the best drug currently available when tested in mice.

Ka-band represents the future of space communications
NASA saw a trend in the burden of the world's communications bands years ago and started opening up a new part of the electromagnetic spectrum called Ka-band, which is now considered the spectrum of the future for NASA communications.

Starting signal for antiviral defense
Cells have to protect themselves: against damage in their genetic material for one thing, but also against attack from the outside, by viruses for example.

Shuganjieyu capsule increases neurotrophic factor expression in a rat model of depression
Shuganjieyu capsule has been approved for clinical treatment by the State Food and Drug Administration of China since 2008.

Perceived age and weight discrimination worse for health than perceived racism and sexism
Perceived age and weight discrimination, more than perceived race and sex discrimination, are linked to worse health in older adults, according to new research from the Florida State University College of Medicine.

Leading cfaed scientists organize international workshop about DNA-based microchips
Dresden's scientists are internationally renowned in the field of biomimetic material synthesis which uses biological principles such as molecular recognition and self-assembling for the tailor-made synthesis of new materials and structures.

Sharper selfies!
Despite their popularity, smartphone cameras still don't possess the sharp zoom capabilities of digital still cameras, so the resulting pictures can be messy and out-of-focus.

Cell biologists' top scientific honor goes to pioneers of the cytoskeleton
If cells were cars, the three pioneering cell biologists just named winners of the 2014 E.B.

Arctic study sheds light on tree-ring divergence problem
New research from San Francisco State University has found that changes in tree-ring density in the Arctic may be evidence of changes in light intensity during the trees' growth.

New tools to help prevent the burden of rheumatic heart disease amongst children
Two new studies presented at the World Heart Federation's World Congress of Cardiology today show the importance of collecting comprehensive patient information nationally and providing timely access to health services in tackling one of the world's most neglected and easily prevented diseases in children, rheumatic heart disease.

UTMB awarded $4.4 million to develop universal flu vaccine
UTMB researchers are working to create a universal flu vaccine -- one that could eliminate the need for an annual flu shot.

BMC's/BU's Department of Pediatrics receives Health Care Delivery Award
The Department of Pediatrics at Boston Medical Center and Boston University School of Medicine has been honored with the Academic Pediatric Association 2014 Health Care Delivery Award.

Scientists create first living organism that transmits added letters in DNA 'alphabet'
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have engineered a bacterium whose genetic material includes an added pair of DNA 'letters,' or bases, not found in nature.

Automated CT dose-tracking software effectively monitors dosage in a clinical setting
For commonly ordered abdominal CT exams, iterative reconstruction techniques enabled approximately 50 percent radiation dose reduction compared to the national averages.

High-efficiency water treatment using light using a novel UV-light system
Many harmful substances in waste water stubbornly resist being broken down by biological waste water treatment plants.

The Lancet: Antipsychotic medication associated with reduced rate of violent crime
People who use antipsychotic medication -- such as clozapine or risperidone -- to treat psychiatric illness are nearly half as likely to commit a violent crime compared to when they are not using such medication, according to new results published in The Lancet.

Pushing the boundaries of stem cells
Adults suffering from diseases such as leukemia, lymphoma, and other blood-related disorders may benefit from life-saving treatment commonly used in pediatric patients.

Community doulas can be a big help for mother-baby relationships
Young mothers are more likely to breastfeed and have positive relationships with their babies when they have another woman 'mothering' them in the delivery room, according to new research at the University of Chicago on the value of doulas -- women who help with deliveries and early care for mothers and babies.

Official statement by ACS: Release of National Climate Assessment demands action
The American Chemical Society (ACS), the world's largest scientific society with more than 161,000 members, commends the release of the National Climate Assessment.

Breastfeeding promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut
The nutritional factor that has the greatest impact on the development of a child's gut flora is whether the child is breastfed, according to a new study by the National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, and the University of Copenhagen.

Berkeley Lab develops nanoscope to probe chemistry on the molecular scale
By combining atomic force microscopy with infrared synchrotron light, researchers from Berkeley Lab and the University of Colorado have improved the spatial resolution of infrared spectroscopy by orders of magnitude, while simultaneously covering its full spectroscopic range, enabling the investigation of variety of nanoscale, mesoscale, and surface phenomena that were previously difficult to study.

First-ever study describes deep-sea animal communities around a sunken shipping container
Thousands of shipping containers are lost from cargo vessels each year.

Recycling the next generation
About 70 billion tons of raw materials are extracted world wide annually.

Regular doctor visits may greatly diminish skin cancer deaths
The risk of dying from the most dangerous type of skin cancer is significantly reduced with regular doctor visits, according to a Henry Ford Hospital study.

Breast tomosynthesis after screening mammography reduces need for ultrasound, biopsies
Breast tomosynthesis in the diagnostic workup for one- or two-view focal asymmetry detected at screening mammography resulted in less use of ultrasound, fewer biopsies, and higher positive predictive value for cancer than when diagnostic exams involved only 2-D mammography.

Overestimation of radiation exposure may keep women from critical screening
Misinformation and misunderstanding about the risks associated with ionizing radiation create heightened public concern and fear, and may result in avoidance of screening mammography that can detect early cancers.

Malaria severity not determined solely by parasite levels in blood
Although malaria kills some 600,000 African children each year, most cases of the mosquito-borne parasitic disease in children are mild.

A hydrogel that knows when to go
Rice University bioengineers have created a hydrogel that instantly turns from liquid to semisolid at close to body temperature -- and then degrades at precisely the right time.

Researchers use DNA to build tool that may literally shine light on cancer
Bioengineers at the University of Rome Tor Vergata and the University of Montreal have used DNA to develop a tool that detects and reacts to chemical changes caused by cancer cells and that may one day be used to deliver drugs to tumor cells.

Cedars-Sinai study: Common drug restores blood flow in deadly form of muscular dystrophy
Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute researchers have found that a commonly prescribed drug restores blood flow to oxygen-starved muscles of boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a genetic muscle-wasting disease that rarely is seen in girls but affects one in 3,500 male babies, profoundly shortening life expectancy.

Newly found dinosaur is long-nosed cousin of Tyrannosaurus rex
Scientists have discovered a new species of long-snouted tyrannosaur, nicknamed Pinocchio rex, which stalked the Earth more than 66 million years ago.

Tecnalia launches an APP to assist the hearing impaired
Hearing the doorbell, the fire alarm or a tap that has not been properly turned off are everyday situations that can become a problem for a person who is hard of hearing.

EARTH Magazine: Naturally occurring methane found in groundwater in New York
Since hydraulic fracturing operations began in the Marcellus Shale region, debate has raged over whether drilling operations are causing high levels of methane in drinking-water wells.

Nanoscale heat flow predictions
Physicists are now designing novel materials with physical properties tailored to meet specific energy consumption needs.

STRIATUS/JBJS, Inc., announces initial pilot publishers for SocialCite
STRIATUS/JBJS, Inc., which offers the new qualitative citation measurement product SocialCite, is proud to announce that The Rockefeller University Press, the Genetics Society of America, and the American Physiological Society are the initial publishers participating in the pilot phase of SocialCite, which runs through 2014.

Heart to heart: Experts call for an end to gender bias in cardiovascular disease
Despite the fact that half of the 17.3 million deaths from cardiovascular disease each year happen in females , women are still discriminated against when it comes to the management and treatment of this disease.

New order of marine creatures discovered among sea anemones
A deep-water creature once thought to be one of the world's largest sea anemones, with tentacles reaching more than 6.5 feet long, actually belongs to a new order of animals.

Argentina yields 3 new tarantula species
A team of scientists from the Universidad de La República, Uruguay discovered and described three native to northern Argentina new species of the engaging spider group of the tarantulas.

CT-guided irreversible electroporation safe in unresectable pancreatic carcinoma
A small group of patients with locally advanced unresectable pancreatic carcinoma suffered no major ill effects -- pancreatitis or fistula formation -- after undergoing percutaneous CT-guided irreversible electroporation.

Blogosphere exerts new consumer influence on food industry
Earlier this year, bloggers scored a high-profile victory in their campaign against a common bread ingredient -- also used in yoga mats and other plastics -- when Subway announced it was dropping the substance from its dough recipe.

Vascular simulation research reveals new mechanism that switches in disease
New clues to endothelial cell behavior are emerging from vascular simulation research.

IU biologists receive $6.2 million to advance research on bacterial evolution
Indiana University biologists will receive over $6.2 million from the US Army Research Office to study how bacteria evolve in response to both their internal, population-influenced environments and their external natural environment.

New study sheds light on survivors of the Black Death
A new study in the journal PLOS ONE suggests that people who survived the medieval mass-killing plague known as the Black Death lived significantly longer and were healthier than people who lived before the epidemic struck in 1347.

EMBO enlarges its membership for 50th anniversary
EMBO announced today that 106 outstanding researchers in the life sciences were newly elected to its membership.

As CO2 levels rise, some crop nutrients will fall
Researchers have some bad news for future farmers and eaters: As carbon dioxide levels rise this century, some grains and legumes will become significantly less nutritious than they are today.

Nonscreened patients with breast cancer need more treatment than screened patients
Screening 40- to 49-year-old women for breast cancer has additional benefits beyond the proven decrease in mortality rate.

Common drug may help treat effects of muscle disease in boys
A drug typically prescribed for erectile dysfunction or increased pressure in the arteries may help improve blood flow in the muscles of boys with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, according to a study published in the May 7, 2014, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Geniposide protects hippocampal neurons via the non-classical estrogen signaling pathway
Amyloid-β plaques and neurofibrillary tangles are the main pathological hallmarks of Alzheimer's disease, as well as the loss of neurons and synapses.

Native algae species to blame for 'rock snot' blooms in rivers worldwide
The recent blooms of the freshwater algae known as 'rock snot' on river bottoms worldwide are caused by a native species responding to changing environmental conditions rather than by accidental introductions by fishermen or the emergence of a new genetic strain as widely believed, a Dartmouth College-led study suggests.

National coordination needed to advance convergent research
Convergent research -- which crosses disciplinary boundaries, integrating tools and knowledge from the life sciences, physical sciences, engineering, and other fields -- could spur innovation and help tackle societal challenges, but greater national coordination is needed, says a new report from the National Research Council.

International molecular screening program for metastatic breast cancer AURORA at IMPAKT
AURORA is the first international research program of its kind aiming to improve the lives of patients with metastatic breast cancer.

Neural states affect learning
Theta-band activity in hippocampus after an event seems to be crucial for learning.

Luminescent nanocrystal tags enable rapid detection of multiple pathogens in a single test
A research team using tunable luminescent nanocrystals as tags to advance medical and security imaging have successfully applied them to high-speed scanning technology and detected multiple viruses within minutes.

Sprites form at plasma irregularities in the lower ionosphere
Atmospheric sprites have been known for nearly a century, but their origins were a mystery.

IMPAKT Breast Cancer Conference: Oral presentation abstracts online
The impact of new technologies in the care of patients with breast cancer is at the core of the IMPAKT conference on translational research in breast cancer.

Yellowstone geyser eruptions influenced more by internal processes
The intervals between geyser eruptions depend on a delicate balance of underground factors, such as heat and water supply, and interactions with surrounding geysers.

Heart health disparities: Ethnic groups in Asia-Pacific at greater risk of cardiovascular disease
People from ethnic minorities and those from lower socio-economic groups are at significantly higher risk of experiencing cardiovascular disease than the rest of the population, according to widespread research to be presented at the World Heart Federation's World Congress of Cardiology.

Third US National Climate Assessment reports our ecosystems are already changing
Our planet is already changing. Current climate trends are bringing great disruption to ecosystems and the many species that share this planet -- including people, because this is our environment, our home, our life support system.

EHealth: The dawn of a new era in cardiovascular disease prevention and management
Studies presented at the World Heart Federation's World Congress of Cardiology on May 5, 2014, showcase new research on best practices in the design and development of healthcare mobile applications, in order to optimize usability and maximize impact in different populations across the world.

Largest ever analysis on the use of a polypill in cardiovascular disease
New data presented for the first time today at the World Heart Federation's World Congress of Cardiology 2014 shows a significant improvement in both patient adherence and risk factor control when patients at high risk of heart attack or stroke receive a polypill, compared to usual care.

TAG-1 induces apoptosisrelated gene expression without triggering glioma apoptosis
A recent study reported by Haigang Chang and co-workers from the First Affiliated Hospital of Xinxiang Medical University in China verified the effects of transient axonal glycoprotein-1 on cell viability and p53, epidermal growth factor receptor, and amyloid precursor protein intracellular C-terminal domain expression in U251 glioma cells.

UH Rainbow study finds rising incidence of acute pancreatitis in hospitalized children
The largest investigation to date has found a significant increase in the number of acute pancreatitis cases in hospitalized children in the United States.

Stephanie L. Borgland and Brian E. Chen both winners of 2014 CAN Young Investigator Awards
The Canadian Association for Neuroscience is proud to announce that Stephanie Borgland, Hotchkiss Brain Institute, and Brian Chen, McGill University, are both winners of CAN Young Investigator Awards for 2014.

Today's offenders are tomorrow's victims in gangs
Gang members are twice as likely to become both a victim and an offender of a crime than non-gang members, as single acts of violence often lead to retribution between gangs as a whole, according to a new study.

Mapping the spider genome
For the first time ever, a group of Danish and Chinese researchers has sequenced the genome of the spider.

Greenland melting due equally to global warming, natural variations
Up to half of the recent warming in Greenland and neighboring parts of the Canadian Arctic may be due to climate variations that originate in the tropical Pacific and are not connected with the overall warming of the planet.

Recent Ebola outbreak highlights need for better global response
In an invited perspective article on the Ebola outbreak under way in West Africa, Heinz Feldmann, M.D., Ph.D., of the National Institutes of Health emphasizes the need for scientists to make their data available to colleagues in real-time to improve the public health response to outbreaks.

New study examines premature menopause and effects on later life cognition
Premature menopause is associated with long-term negative effects on cognitive function, suggests a new study published May 7 in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Emerald ash borers were in US long before first detection
New research at Michigan State University shows that the uber-destructive emerald ash borer arrived at least 10 years before it was first identified in North America.

Ancient crater points to massive meteorite strike
An eight-kilometer-wide crater suggests a meteorite strike devastated southern Alberta within the last 70 million years, theorize a UAlberta and Alberta Geological Survey team.

New sensor array to monitor changing Gulf of Maine conditions and New England red tide
Scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution are kicking off an innovative NOAA-funded pilot program using robotic instruments and computer modeling analysis to shed light on changing ocean conditions in the Gulf of Maine as they relate to the harmful algal bloom phenomenon commonly known as the New England red tide.

How businesses can maximize revenue when introducing new products
Companies should use existing brand names and add new, sub-brand names to maximize revenue when introducing new products to market, according to a new study from the University at Buffalo School of Management.

The Swiss paper wasp, a new species of social Hymenoptera in Central Europe
Swiss scientists have discovered a new species of aculeate wasp, not hidden somewhere in a jungle on a remote continent, but in Central Europe, in a swampy area just a few kilometers from Zurich.

Psilocybin inhibits the processing of negative emotions in the brain
When emotions are processed in a negatively biased manner in the brain, an individual is at risk to develop depression.

Kaiser Permanente study finds radiation best treatment for a rare skin cancer
Radiation treatment can help reduce the recurrence of Merkel cell carcinoma, a rare and aggressive skin cancer, while chemotherapy does not appear to have any impact on recurrence or survival, according to a Kaiser Permanente study published online in the current issue of JAMA Dermatology.

Salt targets: A life-saving levy?
A new study has found that thousands of lives and millions of dollars could be saved by the implementation of national targets to reduce salt consumption, according to research to be presented at the World Heart Federation's World Congress of Cardiology on Tuesday, May 6.

Detecting trace amounts of explosives with light
University of Adelaide research may help in the fight against terrorism with the creation of a sensor that can detect tiny quantities of explosives with the use of light and special glass fibers.

From the couch to the cuff: Time spent in front of a screen linked to high blood pressure
A new study reveals that children who spend two hours or more in front of a screen have over 2.5 fold increase in their odds of having high blood pressure (BP).

Experts say 'insourcing' innovation may be the best approach to transforming health care
A group of health care and policy experts is urging health care institutions to look more to their own in-house personnel, including physicians and nurses, as a source of new ideas for improving how care is delivered.

Collective intelligence sharing to benefit daily practice will form core of EuroPCR 2014
The cornerstone of EuroPCR 2014 will be the sharing of collective interventional wisdom. 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