Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 12, 2014
Brain may never fully recover from exposure to paint, glue, degreasers
People who are exposed to paint, glue or degreaser fumes at work may experience memory and thinking problems in retirement, decades after their exposure, according to a study published in the May 13, 2014, print issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Researchers find new molecule to treat asthma
A study identifies a novel molecule that prevents the symptoms associated with allergen-induced asthma.

HADES searches for dark matter
Recent results of HADES experiments have shown, that the dark photon or U boson is no longer a top candidate to explain the nature of dark matter.

Birth by C-section, early antibiotic use put kids at risk for allergic esophagitis
Children delivered by Cesarean section and those given antibiotics during early infancy appear more prone to developing allergic inflammation of the esophagus -- the muscular tube that connects the mouth to the stomach -- according to results of a study by investigators from the Johns Hopkins Children's Center and Harvard Medical School.

ADHD treatment associated with lower smoking rates
Treating attention deficit hyperactivity disorder with stimulant medication may reduce smoking risk, especially when medication is taken consistently, according to an analysis led by researchers at Duke Medicine.

Springer to collaborate with 5 Japanese societies on an open-access journal
Springer is starting an open-access publication of the journal Earth, Planets and Space (EPS) on behalf of five academic societies in Japan.

New research sets stage for noninvasive monitoring of HIV-induced peripheral neuropathy
Corneal nerve fiber assessment has great potential as a tool to diagnose and monitor peripheral neuropathy induced by HIV, say scientists at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

JAX researchers identify potential therapeutic target for wound-healing and cancer
A Jackson Laboratory research team led by Professor Lenny Shultz, Ph.D., reports that a protein involved in wound healing and tumor growth (an inactive rhomboid protease, iRhom2) could be a potential therapeutic target.

In the age of open science, repurposing and reproducing research pose their own challenges
Growing numbers of researchers are making the data underlying their publications freely available online, largely in response to data sharing policies at journals and funding agencies.

Screening is 'not effective' in the fight against domestic violence
One in three women around the world have experienced physical or sexual violence from a partner.

NREL assembles industry group to explore solar lending potential
Increasingly, banks, credit unions, and other lenders are beginning to offer loan products to homeowners and businesses for the installation of rooftop solar systems.

Elderly men with high blood pressure lower death risk with moderate fitness
Elderly men with high blood pressure can lower their risk of death with even moderate levels of fitness.

Diets rich in antioxidant resveratrol fail to reduce deaths, heart disease or cancer
A study of Italians who consume a diet rich in resveratrol -- the compound found in red wine, dark chocolate and berries -- finds they live no longer than and are just as likely to develop cardiovascular disease or cancer as those who eat or drink smaller amounts of the antioxidant.

University of Chicago chosen as a center for new cancer clinical trials network
A team from the University of Chicago Medicine Comprehensive Cancer Center has received a five-year, $3.9-million award from the National Cancer Institute to serve as a Lead Academic Participating Site for the newly created National Clinical Trials Network.

UBC scientists find new way to mobilize immune system against viruses
University of British Columbia scientists have uncovered an intricate chain reaction in the body's immune system and have used the knowledge to develop a new treatment against harmful viruses.

Ames Lab creates multifunctional nanoparticles for cheaper, cleaner biofuel
The US Department of Energy's Ames Laboratory has created a faster, cleaner biofuel refining technology that not only combines processes, it uses widely available materials to reduce costs.

Respect for human rights is improving
By ignoring how the collection of data on political repression changes over time, human rights watchers may be misjudging reports that seem to show respect for human rights has not been improving, according to a Penn State political scientist.

Unusual neural connection between injured cingulum and brainstem in a SAH patients
Dr. Sung Ho Jang and team from College of Medicine, Yeungnam University in Korea report on a patient who showed unusual neural connections between injured cingulums and brainstem cholinergic nuclei following aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage, using diffusion tensor tractography.

Pregnancy significantly increases risk of serious traffic crashes
Pregnancy is associated with a significant risk of a serious car crash requiring emergency medical care during the second trimester, according to a research paper published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Dopamine turns worker ants into warrior queens
The ritualized fighting behavior of one ant species is linked to increases in dopamine levels that trigger dramatic physical changes in the ants without affecting their DNA, according to research from North Carolina State University, Arizona State University and the US Department of Agriculture.

Role of pro-urokinase in neuronal apoptosis and revascularization after ACI
Among the drugs used for acute ischemic stroke, recombinant tissue plasminogen activator is widely accepted internationally.

Alternative pathways let right and left communicate in early split brains
Humans who lack the corpus callosum, a bundle of 200 million fibers that connect the left and right hemispheres of the brain, have long fascinated physicians, neuroscientists and other curious minds.

Education by animation: Videos reaching tens of thousands of Ethiopian farmers
Teff, a nutritious grain, is a staple in Ethiopia. Its seeds are so small that some say its name was derived from the Amharic word for 'lost.' Now, thanks to a creative educational initiative, much less of the precious teff will be lost in Ethiopia.The initiative brings practical health and agricultural information to people around the world using simple animations -- often viewed on cellphones -- that are narrated in local languages.

All in the rotation
Berkeley Lab researchers have shed new light on a type of molecular motor used to package the DNA of a number of viruses, including herpes and the adenoviruses.

US cervical cancer rates higher than previously reported, especially among older women
Cervical cancer rates in the United States are higher than previously believed, particularly among 65- to 69-year-old women and African-American women, according to a study led by a researcher at the University of Maryland School of Medicine published in the journal Cancer.

The largest electrical networks are not the best
There is an optimum size for electrical networks if what is being considered is the risk of a blackout.

Parental disapproval contributes to racial/ethnic differences in prescription drug misuse by teens
Parents' attitudes toward substance use may help to explain observed racial/ethnic variations in prescription drug misuse among teens, reports a study in the May Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics, the official journal of the Society for Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.

NJIT granted FAA permission to test unmanned aircraft systems
On May 8 the FAA awarded NJIT a COA, making it the first New Jersey university and first public institution in state granted permission to test the UAS.

Can we construct workplace citizenship under globalization?
New frontiers for citizenship at work are being explored at an international conference organized by the Interuniversity Research Centre on Globalization and Work (CRIMT -- Université de Montréal, HEC Montréal, Université Laval).

Drug therapy for allergy moves forward
Researchers have identified several target molecules which are suitable for the development of new allergy drugs.

Dartmouth scientists identify genetic blueprint for cancerous tumors of the appendix
Using next generation DNA sequencing, Dartmouth scientists have identified potentially actionable mutations in cancers of the appendix.

New cancer immunotherapy aims powerful T cells against tumors
Deadly skin cancers in mice shrank in response to a new treatment that may complement other 'immunotherapies' developed recently to boost the body's own defenses against disease threats, according to a new study published by UC San Francisco researchers in the May 2014 edition of the Journal of Experimental Medicine.

Researchers find a new gene expression mechanism of PRRS virus
A collaborative study involving Kansas State University researchers has discovered a new gene expression mechanism in porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, or PRRS, virus -- an important swine pathogen that costs the US pork industry more than $600 million a year.

Current guidelines underestimate US cervical cancer incidence and older women's risk
Rates of cervical cancer in American women may be higher than previously thought, and the disease may arise most often at an age when adequately screened women are advised to stop getting screened.

NREL staff recognized for top innovations
The Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory recently recognized the professionals behind the lab's greatest innovations from the past year during its annual Innovation and Technology Transfer Awards ceremony.

Three Brookhaven physicists receive DOE Early Career Research Program funding
Three physicists at Brookhaven Lab are among 35 scientists selected by DOE's Office of Science to receive Early Career Research Program funding.

Beaumont Children's Hospital awarded $20,000 from CureSearch for cancer research
CureSearch for Children's Cancer has awarded a $20,000 grant to Beaumont Children's Hospital to help fund therapeutic clinical trials.

West Antarctic glacier loss appears unstoppable, UCI-NASA study finds
A rapidly melting section of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet appears to be in irreversible decline, with nothing to stop the entire glacial basin from disappearing into the sea, according to researchers at the University of California, Irvine and NASA.

PSC, Hopkins computer model helps Benin vaccinate more kids at lower cost
Researchers from Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, the University of Pittsburgh School of Engineering and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health have used HERMES, their modeling software, to help the Republic of Benin in West Africa determine how to bring more lifesaving vaccines to its children.

Henry Ford researchers identify genetic factors that may aid survival from brain cancer
A Henry Ford Hospital research team has identified specific genes that may lead to improved survival of glioblastoma, the most common and deadly form of cancerous brain tumor.

Corn dwarfed by temperature dip suitable for growing in mines, caves
Lowering temperatures for two hours each day reduces the height of corn without affecting its seed yield, a Purdue study shows, a technique that could be used to grow crops in controlled-environment facilities in caves and former mines.

Improve grades, reduce failure -- undergrads should tell profs 'Don't lecture me'
A significantly greater number of students fail science, engineering and math courses that are taught lecture-style than fail in classes incorporating so-called active learning according to the largest and most comprehensive analysis ever published of studies comparing lecturing to active learning in undergraduate education.

Drug access delays due to pharmaceutical companies not Health Canada
Access to new prescription drugs in Canada is delayed by pharmaceutical company submissions to Health Canada rather than by a longer approval-processing time, according to an analysis published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

Penn research combines graphene and painkiller receptor into scalable chemical sensor
Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have led an effort to create an artificial chemical sensor based on one of the human body's most important receptors, one that is critical in the action of painkillers and anesthetics.

From Mars to Montana; Yellowstone to the Belt Basin -- new GSA meeting
Geoscientists across the western US will meet in Bozeman, Mont., USA, on May 19-21 to discuss new science, expand on existing science, and explore the unique geologic features of the region.

Oxford University Press releases 'Trans Bodies, Trans Selves'
Oxford University Press released 'Trans Bodies, Trans Selves,' a groundbreaking new resource guide for transgender populations, today.

Living near foreclosed property linked to higher blood pressure
This study provides the first evidence that foreclosed properties may increase neighbors' blood pressure.

Ultra-fast, the bionic arm can catch objects on the fly
A robot developed by EPFL researchers is capable of reacting on the spot and grasping objects with complex shapes and trajectories in less than five-hundredths of a second.

College students drive, ride after marijuana, alcohol use
Underage college students are likely to drive after using marijuana or drinking alcohol, and they also are likely to ride as passengers in the car of a driver who has used marijuana or been drinking.

Molecular regulation of hypoxic-ischemic brain damage
Dr. Lijun Yang and co-workers from Beijing Friendship Hospital, Capital Medical University in China prepared whole brain slices from a rat model of oxygen-glucose deprivation and explored dynamic expression pattern of Olig1 during hypoxic-ischemic brain damage and after miRNA-9 transfection.

Therapy sought to reduce major risk from minor bleeding that can follow stroke
Bleeding into the brain following a stroke doesn't have to be big to be bad, says a researcher exploring a therapy to eliminate the major risk of minor bleeding.

Low rate of adverse events associated with male circumcision
A low rate of adverse events was associated with male circumcision when the procedure was performed during the first year of life, but the risk was 10 to 20 times higher when boys were circumcised after infancy.

Mount Sinai researchers identify changes that may occur in neural circuits due to addiction
A research team from the Friedman Brain Institute of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has published evidence that shows that subtle changes of inhibitory signaling in the reward pathway can change how animals respond to drugs such as cocaine.

Video stories, other bonding exercises could help foster families connect
Teenagers and their foster families often say they don't feel connected and have trouble communicating, but few resources exist that nurture their bonding.

$1.9 billion in Medicare waste: 'Tip of the iceberg'
In the first large-scale study to directly measure wasteful spending in Medicare, researchers found that Medicare spent at least $1.9 billion in 2009 for patients to receive any of 26 tests and procedures with little or no health benefit.

NREL, Sandia team to improve hydrogen fueling infrastructure
A new project led by the Energy Department's National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories will support H2USA, a public-private partnership co-launched by industry and the Energy Department, and will work to ensure that hydrogen fuel cell vehicle owners have a positive fueling experience as fuel cell electric vehicles are introduced starting in 2014-2015.

Round 2: Reactions serves up a second helping of chemistry life hacks (video)
It was the video that started it all, and now the latest installment of the segment that is one-part Mendeleev, one-part MacGyver is here.

UCSF: E-cigarettes expose people to more than harmless vapor, should be regulated
In a major scientific review of research on e-cigarettes, UC San Francisco scientists found that industry claims about the devices are unsupported by the evidence to date, including claims that e-cigarettes help smokers quit.

23andMe introduces HaploScore to improve detection of DNA shared between individuals
23andMe, the leading personal genetics company, said today it has published an analysis that improves the accuracy and efficiency of identity-by-descent detection through a new, open-source algorithm called HaploScore.

Scientists from USC and NYU design a molecule that blocks cancer growth in mice
New cancer-fighting drug prevents two critical proteins from interacting by mimicking the surface topography of one protein -- like wearing a mask -- which tricks the other protein into binding with it.

Artificial magnetic bacteria 'turn' food into natural drugs
Scientists from the University of Granada are the first to develop magnetic bacteria that, as part of food intake, help to diagnose digestive diseases like stomach cancer.

Unmanned air vehicle flow separation control using dielectric barrier discharge plasma at high wind
In order to make the plasma flow control technology more practical, the plasma authority must be improved at high wind speed.

Scientists slow brain tumor growth in mice
Much like using dimmer switches to brighten or darken rooms, biochemists have identified a protein that can be used to slow down or speed up the growth of brain tumors in mice.

Understanding aspirin's effect on wound healing offers hope for treating chronic wounds
In addition to its known capacity to promote bleeding events, aspirin also inhibits wound healing.

Entering adulthood in a recession linked to lower narcissism later in life
We often attribute the narcissistic tendencies of others to parenting practices or early social experiences.

NREL's work for the US Navy illuminates energy and cost savings
Field demonstrations of newly proven energy efficient technologies are yielding valuable results for the US Navy, helping it meet energy goals.

ERJ Open Research -- a new society-led open-access respiratory journal
The European Respiratory Society has announced the launch of a new open-access research journal, ERJ Open Research.

INFORMS study: Online buzz forecasts new product performance months before product release
Companies can significantly improve the forecasting accuracy of forthcoming products' performance by mining online consumer buzz prior to product release, according to a study being published by Marketing Science, a journal of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences.

Alcohol and drugs: Not just for modern man
Unlike modern man, the prehistoric people of Europe did not use mind-altering substances simply for their hedonistic pleasure.

Recombinant adenovirus-mediated 3β-hydroxysteroid-Δ24 reductase inhibits neural apoptosis
Recombinant adenovirus-mediated 3β-hydroxysteroid-Δ24 reductase inhibits neural apoptosis.

Triple negative breast cancer, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status
An analysis of a large nationwide dataset finds that regardless of their socioeconomic status, black women were nearly twice as likely as white women to be diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer, a subtype that has a poorer prognosis.

Which has a more efficient 'engine': A tuna or a whale?
A large whale and a much smaller tuna each propels itself through water.

Airborne radar surveys and data-based models indicate West Antarctic Ice Sheet collapse is underway
National Science Foundation-funded researchers at the University of Washington have concluded that Antarctica's fast-moving Thwaites Glacier will likely disappear in a matter of centuries, potentially raising sea level by more than a half a meter (2 feet).

Against the current with lava flows
Primeval lava flows formed the massive canyons and gorge systems on Mars.

René Ketting of the Institute of Molecular Biology elected to EMBO membership
The European Molecular Biology Organization has added 106 outstanding life sciences researchers to its membership, including René Ketting, a Scientific Director at the Institute of Molecular Biology.

Study: Former prisoners, parolees turn to emergency departments for care
Being released from prison or jail is a difficult time for the millions of Americans returning to their communities from correctional facilities.

Underage college men discount dangers of driving after marijuana use
The researchers say their findings probably reflect the widespread myth that driving after marijuana use is safe.

Surgery study shows worse health, more problems and higher costs among Medicaid patients
Surgery patients covered by Medicaid come into their operations with worse health, do worse afterward, stay in the hospital longer and find themselves back in the hospital more often than those covered by private insurance, a new analysis shows.

A form of immune therapy might be effective for multiple myeloma
A new study provides evidence that genetically modified immune cells might effectively treat multiple myeloma, a disease that remains incurable and will account for an estimated 24,000 new cases and 11,100 deaths in 2014.

Study measures low-value care in Medicare, may reflect broad overuse
A substantial number of Medicare beneficiaries receive low-value medical services that provide little or no benefit to patients, such as some cancer screenings, imaging, cardiovascular, diagnostic and preoperative testing, and this may reflect a broader overuse of services while accounting for a modest proportion of overall spending.

Hospitals ranked on complications after hip and knee replacement surgeries
With an aging population comes an increase in hip and knee joint replacement surgeries, totaling almost one million procedures per year in the United States.

Study examines association between small-vessel disease, Alzheimer pathology
Cerebral small-vessel disease and Alzheimer disease pathology appear to be associated.

May/June 2014 Annals of Family Medicine tip sheet
This tip sheet offers synopsis of original research and commentary featured in the May/June 2014 issue of Annals of Family Medicine research journal.

Having a sense of purpose may add years to your life
Feeling that you have a sense of purpose in life may help you live longer, no matter what your age, according to research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Climate negotiation as a bargaining game
International climate negotiations have failed for 25 years. New research uses game theory to find out why, and what we can do to win the climate game.

No bioengineered gut bacteria, no glory
The motto 'no guts, no glory' may need rewriting if Rice University synthetic biologist Jeff Tabor succeeds in his quest to help the Navy create an edible probiotic bacterium that can help protect sailors and marines from obesity and depression.

Scientists discover a natural molecule to treat type 2 diabetes
Researchers at the Université Laval Faculty of Medicine, the Quebec Heart and Lung Institute Research Center, and the Institute of Nutrition and Functional Foods have discovered a natural molecule that could be used to treat insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

Hospitals recover from recession, some financial issues remain
The recent economic recession affected hospitals across the nation, regardless of financial status, but following the rebound, financially weak and safety-net hospitals continue to struggle, according to health researchers.

Bullying may have long-term health consequences
Bullied children may experience chronic, systemic inflammation that persists into adulthood, while bullies may actually reap health benefits of increasing their social status through bullying, according to researchers at Duke Medicine.

'Shocking' Stanford video reveals the surprising truth about cell wall growth
For a century biologists have thought they understood how the gooey growth that occurs inside cells caused their protective outer walls to expand.

Endocrine disruptors impair human sperm function
A plethora of endocrine-disrupting chemicals interfere with human sperm function in a way that may have a negative impact on fertilization.

Potential cure for captive amphibians with chytrid fungus
Researchers at Vanderbilt University have identified an alternative to a sometimes toxic therapy that protects frogs in zoos from a deadly fungal infection that has been destroying the amphibian populations worldwide.

Two genes together drive aggressive prostate cancer
Two genes work together to drive the most lethal forms of prostate cancer, according to new research from the Herbert Irving Comprehensive Cancer Center at Columbia University Medical Center.

The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology: Intensive insulin provides survival
Long-term follow-up of the DIGAMI 1 trial -- a landmark study of type 2 diabetes in Sweden -- shows that intensive insulin treatment prolonged life by more than two years in patients with diabetes after a heart attack, compared with standard treatment for diabetes, reports Dr.

Major breakthrough in understanding Prader-Willi Syndrome, a parental imprinting disorder
Scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have reported a major breakthrough in understanding the molecular basis for Prader-Willi syndrome, perhaps the most studied among diseases that involves defects in parental imprinting.

Children of nicotine-addicted parents more likely to become heavy smokers
We've known that children of parents who smoke are more likely to pick up a cigarette.

Resveratrol in red wine, chocolate, grapes not associated with improved health
The antioxidant resveratrol found in red wine, chocolate and grapes was not associated with longevity or the incidence of cardiovascular disease, cancer and inflammation.

Man's best friend shares similar 'albino' gene
Michigan State University researchers have identified a genetic mutation in Doberman pinschers that causes albinism in the breed, a discovery that has eluded veterinarians and breeders worldwide up until now.

Second opinion changes diagnosis from incurable to curable cancer
The Journal of Clinical Oncology reports the case of a woman diagnosed with advanced, incurable lung cancer, whose disease was in fact early stage, curable lung cancer with additional lung lesions due to a rare antibiotic side effect.

Kessler Foundation expert authors article on social enterprise business models
Elaine E. Katz, M.S., CCC-SLP, of Kessler Foundation is the author of 'Social enterprise businesses: A strategy for creating good jobs for people with disabilities' e-published ahead of print on May 5 by the Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation.

Nanostructures to facilitate the process to eliminate organic contaminants in water
Researcher at the Public University of Navarre has developed nanostructures that assist in the process to decontaminate water. 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