Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 21, 2014
Shattering past of the 'island of glass'
University of Leicester team uncover explosive history of a 'celebrity hotspot.'

New tide gauge uses GPS signals to measure sea level change
A new way of measuring sea level using satellite navigation system signals, for instance GPS, has been implemented by scientists at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden.

Cyberbullying affects rich and poor alike
Cyberbullying isn't just a problem in middle class and affluent areas.

Improved GP access in standard hours may trump extended opening times
Improving family doctor access during standard working hours might be better for reducing out of hours service use than extending the opening times of GP surgeries, suggests research published online in Emergency Medicine Journal.

Team validates potentially powerful new way to treat HER2-positive breast cancer
A CSHL-led research team reports that it has found a means of inhibiting a protein called PTP1B, whose expression is upregulated in HER2-positive breast cancer.

Temperature influences gender of offspring
Whether an insect will have a male or female offspring depends on the weather, according to a study led by Joffrey Moiroux and Jacques Brodeur of the University of Montreal's Department of Biological Sciences.

Imaging examines risky decision making on brains of methamphetamine users
Methamphetamine users showed less sensitivity to risk and reward in one region of the brain and greater sensitivity in other brain regions compared with non-users when performing an exercise involving risky decision making.

Study examines prophylactic double mastectomy following breast cancer diagnosis
Many women diagnosed with cancer in one breast consider, and eventually undergo, a contralateral prophylactic mastectomy to remove both breasts, although few of them have a clinically significant risk of developing cancer in both breasts.

Designing defenses against cyberbullying
Social media websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, can be fertile ground for cruel and inappropriate online behavior among young people.

NHAES researchers receive $482,500 grant to study nitrogen loss in soils
Researchers at the NH Agricultural Experiment Station, College of Life Sciences and Agriculture at the University of New Hampshire, have received a $482,500 USDA grant to study the loss of environmental nitrogen in agricultural systems.

The interruption of biological rhythms during chemotherapy worsen its side effects
Patients receiving chemical treatment for cancer often suffer fatigue and body weight loss, two of the most worrying effects of this therapy linked to the alteration of their circadian rhythms.

Scientists find an unlikely stress responder may protect against Alzheimer's
In surprise findings, scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have discovered that a protein with a propensity to form harmful aggregates in the body when produced in the liver protects against Alzheimer's disease aggregates when it is produced in the brain.

Partners in crime: When do friends conspire to eat more chocolate?
As a human race we strive for perfection, knowing that no one is perfect.

EuroPCR 2014 showcases technological advances in complex cardiovascular interventions
New technological advances, such as innovation in the field of cardiac pacing as seen in the area of leadless pacing, were discussed at a session jointly organized by the European Heart Rhythm Association and the European Association for Percutaneous Cardiovascular Interventions at EuroPCR 2014, currently taking place in Paris.

Buying a BMW: How do social expectations influence your purchases?
People who drive BMWs and wear expensive suits must surely occupy roles of power and authority.

New book examines states' influence on national voter turnout
In her new book, 'How the States Shaped the Nation: American Electoral Institutions and Voter Turnout 1920-2000,' Melanie Jean Springer, UC Santa Cruz assistant professor of politics, examines voter turnout in the United States, one of the lowest in any developed democracy, and reform efforts to improve it.

Scaly gem discovered in South American cloudforests
Ecuadorian scientists have discovered a gem-looking new species of shade lizard in cloudforests of northwestern Ecuador.

Research breakthrough paves the way for understanding serious diseases
New basic research reveals how the body's cells transport lipid.

What makes things cool? When breaking the rules can boost your cool factor
Coolness helps sell everything from fashion and music to electronics and cigarettes.

A new solution for storing hydrogen fuel for alternative energy
Turning the 'hydrogen economy' concept into a reality, even on a small scale, has been a bumpy road, but scientists are developing a novel way to store hydrogen to smooth out the long-awaited transition away from fossil fuels.

Very distant galaxy cluster confirmed
The structures and star populations of massive galaxies appear to change as they age, but much about how these galaxies formed and evolved remains mysterious.

Oil and gas development homogenizing core-forest bird communities
Conventional oil and gas development in northern Pennsylvania altered bird communities, and the current massive build-out of shale-gas infrastructure may accelerate these changes, according to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

Ka'ena Volcano: First building block for O'ahu discovered
Researcher John Sinton of the University of Hawai'i along with colleagues from the Monterrey Bay Aquarium and the French National Center for Scientific Research have announced the discovery of an ancient Hawaiian volcano.

Breakthrough: Nasal spray may soon replace the pill
When the doctor gives us medicine, it is often in the shape of a pill.

Risky alcohol use in male-dominated industries
The workplace can provide an ideal environment to implement support, well-being, and testing interventions aimed at reducing risky alcohol use among men.

Drug-target database lets researchers match old drugs to new uses
A study recently published in the journal Bioinformatics describes a new database and pattern-matching algorithm that allows researchers to evaluate rational drugs and drug combinations, and also recommends a new drug combination to treat drug-resistant non-small cell lung cancer.

A star cluster in the wake of Carina
This colorful new image from the MPG/ESO 2.2-meter telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile shows the star cluster NGC 3590.

Shared custody is becoming the norm
It's no longer a certainty that American mothers will get custody over their children during a divorce.

University of Maryland School of Medicine research finds drugs that may treat MERS virus
A series of research articles published ahead of print in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy have identified a number of existing pharmaceutical drugs and compounds under development that may offer effective therapies against Middle East Respiratory Syndrome.

A new strategy for diabetes treatment
Harvard scientists have discovered a compound that inhibits insulin degrading enzyme from breaking down insulin in the body, allowing animals to maintain higher insulin levels and lower blood sugar levels.

NIH Pain Consortium's first pain care curriculum improves clinical skills
An online training module designed for the evaluation and care of chronic pain greatly improved medical student clinical skills, according to a report in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Novel RNAi therapy silences mutated Huntington's disease gene and reduces symptoms
A targeted gene silencing strategy blocks production of the dysfunctional huntingtin (Htt) protein, the cause of Huntington's disease, a fatal, inherited neurodegenerative disorder.

Not just for the heart, red wine shows promise as cavity fighter
For anyone searching for another reason to enjoy a glass of red wine with dinner, here's a good one: A new study has found that red wine, as well as grape seed extract, could potentially help prevent cavities.

Univ. of MD researchers identify fat-storage gene mutation that may increase diabetes risk
Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine have identified a mutation in a fat-storage gene that appears to increase the risk for type 2 diabetes and other metabolic disorders, according to a study published online today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

New, fossil-fuel-free process makes biodiesel sustainable
A new fuel-cell concept, developed by an Michigan State University researcher, will allow biodiesel plants to eliminate the creation of hazardous wastes while removing their dependence on fossil fuel from their production process.

Cancer avatars for personalized medicine
Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center have used computer simulations of cancer cells -- cancer avatars -- to identify drugs most likely to kill cancer cells isolated from patients' brain tumors.

Late pulmonary function abnormalities are common among Iraq/Afghanistan veterans
Pulmonary function abnormalities may be a precursor to chronic respiratory disease in Iraq/Afghanistan and Gulf War veterans years after their deployment, according to a new study presented at the 2014 American Thoracic Society International Conference.

Circuits and sensors direct from the printer
Printers are becoming more and more versatile. Now they can even print sensors and electronic components on 2-D and 3-D substrates.

MU researcher receives $1.5 million NIH grant to study vascular functions in Alzheimer's
Alzheimer's is a progressive brain disease that affects older adults, slowly destroys their memories and may cause dementia.

Admitting our faults: When does self-acceptance trump self-destruction?
When face-to-face with our failures, it's hard not to deny the consequences of our shortcomings -- and sometimes we make problems worse by engaging in the behaviors we have been trying so hard to avoid.

Sanford-Burnham and Daiichi Sankyo form alliance to study novel drug targets
The Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute and Daiichi Sankyo Co., Ltd., today announced they have entered into a three-year comprehensive alliance to develop first-in-class therapeutics for the treatment of cardiovascular-metabolic diseases.

Molecule linked to aggressive pancreatic cancer offers potential clinical advances
Mayo Clinic researchers have discovered an enzyme they say is tightly linked to how aggressive pancreatic cancer will be in a patient.

Richard Sylvester receives European Urology 2014 Platinum Award for Excellence
Dr. Sylvester recently stepped down as the statistical editor of European Urology, and in recognition of his work for the journal, both as editor and reviewer and also for his publications in the journal, he recently received the journal's 2014 Platinum Award for excellence during the 2014 European Association of Urology Congress in Stockholm.

Study shows image fusion-guided biopsy improves accuracy of prostate cancer diagnosis
The detection rate is twice as high using MRI and ultrasound fusion-guided biopsy.

Making light work of orbit and attitude control
Microsatellites have to be very light -- every gram counts.

Shopping online: Why do too many photos confuse consumers?
When shopping online, we often have the option of clicking on additional product photos taken from different angles or showing additional features.

Healthy diet linked with better lung function in COPD patients
Sure, everyone knows a healthy diet provides lots of health benefits for patients with respiratory diseases, but now a new study has shown a direct link between eating fish, fruit and dairy products and improved lung function among patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Most women who have double mastectomy don't need it, U-M study finds
About 70 percent of women who have both breasts removed following a breast cancer diagnosis do so despite a very low risk of facing cancer in the healthy breast, new research from the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center finds.

Questions raised about physio for hip osteoarthritis
Physiotherapy for hip osteoarthritis does not appear to relieve pain or increase function any more than 'sham' treatments, University of Melbourne research has determined.

Neuroscience's grand question
Researchers at Brandeis University have built a new theoretical model to understand how cells monitor and self-regulate their properties in the face of continual turnover of cellular components.

Study shows iron from melting ice sheets may help buffer global warming
A newly-discovered source of oceanic bioavailable iron could have a major impact our understanding of marine food chains and global warming.

Decision to jettison end of life Liverpool Care Pathway 'too extreme'
The decision to jettison the approach to care of the dying, known as the Liverpool Care Pathway, was 'too extreme,' given that its principles are widely regarded as among the best examples of palliative care in the world, argues a senior ethicist in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

Panel of 11 genes predicts alcoholism risk, gives new insights into biology of the disease
A group of 11 genes can successfully predict whether an individual is at increased risk of alcoholism, a research team from the United States and Germany has found.

JHU biologists identify new neural pathway in eyes that aids in vision
A less-well-known type of retina cell plays a more critical role in vision than previously understood.

On the road to improvement: EPA's troubled program on chemical hazards
Out of the thousands of chemicals used for countless everyday products, about 500 have been assessed for potential health risks by the federal program tasked with this colossal duty.

Retinal scanner that fits in a purse
A person can be identified unambiguously based on his or her retina.

Managing diabetes: How can online games help patients make healthier choices?
Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease of global relevance.

In your genes: Family history reveals predisposition to multiple diseases
Researchers have identified nine simple questions that can be used to identify people who may be at increased risk of various cancers, heart disease and diabetes because of their family history of these conditions.

National AOA Research Fellowship will help shine light on skin cancer
The same enzyme that enables us to walk in the sun without shedding our skin can also enable non-melanoma skin cancer to survive and grow, researchers say.

Molecule acts as umpire to make tough life-or-death calls
Researchers have demonstrated that an enzyme required for animal survival after birth functions like an umpire, making the tough calls required for a balanced response to signals that determine if cells live or die.

A new way to harness waste heat
Vast amounts of excess heat are generated by industrial processes and by electric power plants; researchers around the world have spent decades seeking ways to harness some of this wasted energy.

Paper-based diagnostics, made with a scrapbooking tool, could curb hepatitis C pandemic
To the relief of patients diagnosed with hepatitis C, the US Food and Drug Administration approved two new treatments late last year, and a few more are on the way.

Pulsed electrical fields destroy antibiotic-resistant bacteria infecting burn injuries
Application of a technology currently used to disinfect food products may help to get around one of the most challenging problems in medicine today, the proliferation of bacteria resistant to antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs.

CHEO doctor wins national award for mobile health innovation
CATAAlliance presents the TELUS Award for mHealth Innovation to Dr.

EORTC to present cancer research results at ASCO 2014
The EORTC will present nine abstracts at the ASCO 2014 Annual Meeting which will be held May 30-June 3, 2014, in Chicago, Ill.

The brand tourism effect: When do lower status consumers boost luxury brands?
When people purchase luxury items like expensive watches and high-end automobiles, they often consider themselves members of a select group of consumers.

Gambling history is common among homeless people in Toronto, new study
Homeless clients using services at Toronto's Good Shepherd Ministries are nearly nine times more likely to have a history of problem or pathological gambling than the general population, a new study from St.

UNC researchers find new target for chronic pain treatment
UNC researchers led by Mark Zylka, Ph.D, discovered that the enzyme PIP5K1C controls the activity of cellular receptors that signal pain.

Soil bacteria may provide clues to curbing antibiotic resistance
Bacteria that naturally live in the soil have a vast collection of genes to fight off antibiotics, but they are much less likely to share these genes, a new study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Surgical site infections associated with excess costs at Veterans Affairs hospitals
Surgical site infections (SSIs) acquired by patients in Veterans Affairs hospitals are associated with costs nearly twice as high compared to patients who do not have this complication.

Scientists win $2 million grant to study impact of early nutrition on lifespan
Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have been awarded a $2 million grant from the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health to study the effects of early nutrition on lifespan and overall health.

Personalizing revascularization strategy for STEMI patients is vital, EuroPCR panel finds
A Great Debate at EuroPCR 2014 saw experts discussing the role of the two most valuable strategies to save the lives of ST-segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction patients: primary percutaneous coronary intervention and thrombolysis.

New study finds inhaler reminders dramatically improve asthma controller adherence
Reminders prompting asthma patients to take their control inhalers if they miss a dose significantly improve medication adherence, according to a primary-care based study conducted by a research team in Australia.

Identified for the first time what kind of explosive has been used after the detonation
Within terahertz wavelength range we can detect, for example, a foreign body hidden under clothing, and also determine what material it is made of.

New technique reveals supernova progenitor
Wolf-Rayet stars are very large and very hot. Astronomers have long wondered whether Wolf-Rayet stars are the progenitors of certain types of supernovae.

The Net Children Go Mobile Project launches its report at the ICA 64th Annual Conference
The Net Children Go Mobile project will release new data on children's mobile use at the 64th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association at the Seattle Sheraton hotel.

Training brain patterns of empathy using functional brain imaging
An unprecedented research conducted by a group of neuroscientists has demonstrated that it is possible to train brain patterns associated with empathic feelings.

Dr. Denis Mukwege selected for 2014 Inamori Ethics Prize
For a life's commitment to such important humanitarian efforts, the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, has selected Dr.

NASA sees developing tropical cyclone in Bay of Bengal
A tropical low pressure area known as System 92B has been organizing in the Northern Indian Ocean's Bay of Bengal and NASA's TRMM satellite has shown strong thunderstorms and heavy rainfall in the developing storm.

Home-based walking program eases clogged leg arteries
A home-based exercise program helped people with clogged leg arteries walk farther and faster.

Too cute to resist: Do whimsical products make consumers overspend?
Babies are cute. Kittens are cute. But for some people, products that emphasize baby features like chubby cheeks and large eyes cause them to be more careful and restrained.

Protective proteins reduce damage to blood vessels
Researchers have uncovered how proteins found in our blood can reduce damage caused to blood vessels as we age, and in conditions such as atherosclerosis and arthritis.

Skinny lens makes cheap surveillance camera for home use
The new silicon lens is as thick as a fingernail with a diameter less than that of a No.

New study reveals corporate social responsibility can lead to better customer service
Currently accepted wisdom in the corporate world is that in order to motivate frontline employees who serve customers, corporations need to increase their salary, make them feel more positive about the company, or give them more explicit instructions on how to interact with customers.

Ape ancestors' teeth provide glimpse into their diets and environments
Newly analyzed tooth samples from the great apes of the Miocene indicate that the same dietary specialization that allowed the apes to move from Africa to Eurasia may have led to their extinction.

Low IQ students learn to read at 1st-grade level after persistent, intensive instruction
Children identified as intellectually disabled or low IQ learned to read at a first-grade level after persistent, intensive instruction from a scientifically based curriculum.

New method for propulsion in fluids
Researchers at MIT have discovered a new way of harnessing temperature gradients in fluids to propel objects.

Laser light needs more bass
In attosecond physics, different wavelengths are combined to create laser pulses which interact with atoms.

Deciphering the role of fat stem cells in obesity and diabetes
With three million people dying worldwide each year as a direct result of being overweight or obese, a new study will look at stem cells to pinpoint how excess fat is stored -- potentially paving the way for new treatments to combat killer diseases associated with obesity.

Functional nerve cells from skin cells
Research will make the study of diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's easier, and could lead to personalized therapies for a variety of neurodegenerative disorders.

Dam removal improves shad spawning grounds, may boost survival rate
Research from North Carolina State University finds that dam removal improves spawning grounds for American shad and seems likely to improve survival rates for adult fish, juveniles and eggs -- but for different reasons.

Funny River Fire, Alaska
According to the Alaskan Division of Forestry the Funny River fire was very active overnight, May 20, because of low humidity.

Disruption of circadian rhythms may contribute to inflammatory disease
A disruption of circadian rhythms, when combined with a high-fat, high-sugar diet, may contribute to inflammatory bowel disease and other harmful conditions, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at Rush University Medical Center.

Rhythmic bursts of electrical activity from cells in ear teach brain how to hear
A precise rhythm of electrical impulses transmitted from cells in the inner ear coaches the brain how to hear, according to a new study led by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

More maternal mental health surveillance is needed, suggests new study
Maternal depression is more common at four years following childbirth than at any other time in the first 12 months after childbirth, and there needs to be a greater focus on maternal mental health, suggests a new study published today in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

PMS may spell menopause symptoms later -- but not hot flashes
Having premenstrual syndrome before menopause does not mean women will be troubled by hot flashes afterward.

A faster track to the tools that track disease
Researchers at Princeton University have developed a direct method to single enantiomer PET tracers.

Dryland ecosystems emerge as driver in global carbon cycle
A Montana State University-led team has published new findings about the global carbon cycle in Nature.

New guidelines and technology needed for placement of feeding tubes in pediatric patients
Universal guidelines and improvements in technology are needed to reduce injuries and deaths from improper placement of nasogastric feeding tubes in pediatric patients, according to a comprehensive review of published literature.

Carnegie Mellon, Microsoft Research automate privacy compliance for big data systems
Web services companies, such as Facebook, Google and Microsoft, all make promises about how they will use personal information they gather.

TSRI scientists catch misguided DNA-repair proteins in the act
Scientists led by a group of researchers at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA, have discovered some of the key proteins involved in one type of DNA repair gone awry.

Illinois researchers combine weak chemical forces to strengthen novel imaging technology
Biomedical researchers at the University of Illinois have found ways to increase the effectiveness of certain contrast agents often used for imaging blood vessels and internal bleeding by associating them with nanoparticles.

Scientist uncovers links connecting environmental changes with spike in infectious disease
Smithsonian scientist Bert Van Bocxlaer and a team of researchers revealed that anthropogenic changes in Africa's Lake MalaƔi are a driving force behind the increase of urogenital schistosomiasis, a debilitating disease caused by parasitic flatworms.

Finnish researchers discovered a new anticancer compound
A team of research scientists from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the University of Turku and the University of Eastern Finland has discovered a previously unknown Cent-1 molecule that kills cancer cells.

Journalism fellowships will increase media spotlight on aging issues
The Journalists in Aging Fellows Program, run jointly by The Gerontological Society of America and New America Media since its launch in 2010, is expanding thanks to new funding support from AARP.

Researchers examine how touch can trigger our emotions
While touch always involves awareness, it also sometimes involves emotion.

Seeing is a matter of experience
Faces are of tremendous importance for human beings. That's why in the course of the evolution our visual perception has specialized in the recognition of faces in particular.

Dolutegravir in HIV-1 infection: Added benefit in adult patients
Adults without pretreatment and adults with pretreatment for whom an integrase inhibitor is mandatory have fewer side effects under dolutegravir than under the comparator therapy.

Confirmed: Stellar behemoth self-destructs in a Type IIb supernova
For the first time, astronomers have direct confirmation that a Wolf-Rayet star -- sitting 360 million light years away -- died in a violent explosion known as a Type IIb supernova.

Radiofrequency ablation and complete endoscopic resection equally effective for dysplastic Barrett's esophagus
According to a new systematic review article, radiofrequency ablation and complete endoscopic resection are equally effective in the short-term treatment of dysplastic Barrett's esophagus, but adverse event rates are higher with complete endoscopic resection.

Blowing in the (stellar) wind
Observing a supernova right after the onset enables astrophysicists to analyze the elements in its solar wind just prior to the explosion.

The failure of the couples gym membership: A self-control paradox?
Couples often go grocery shopping together, make joint financial decisions, and choose entertainment options to share. 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