Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 28, 2014
UT Arlington nursing professor studying online students' stress, sense of belonging
A Texas nursing researcher comparing the experiences of online and traditional master's degree students will present her results this week at an multidisciplinary conference in Boston.

Better catalysts for the petrochemical industry
When crude oil is refined to fuels and chemicals, help is at hand -- in the form of so-called catalysts.

Increased social network can have big payoff for nonprofits, study shows
Charitable fundraising once depended primarily upon a charity's size, efficiency and longstanding reputation.

Virtual Physiological Human Conference 2014
If we are to succeed in developing predictive, preventive and participatory medicine envisioned by so many, we must build a much stronger transdisciplinary ties between the life sciences, the mathematical sciences and engineering across the whole spectrum of basic, translational and applied research.

Cocktail party neuroscience: Making sense of voices in a crowd
Listening to a conversation in the context of a cocktail party presents a great challenge for the auditory system.

The Lancet: Most comprehensive global study to date shows obesity rates climbing worldwide
Worldwide, there has been a startling increase in rates of obesity and overweight in both adults (28 percent increase) and children (up by 47 percent) in the past 33 years, with the number of overweight and obese people rising from 857 million in 1980 to 2.1 billion in 2013, according to a major new analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013, published in The Lancet.

Tiny mutation triggers drug resistance for patients with one type of leukemia
Researchers have pinpointed exactly what goes wrong when chronic lymphocytic leukemia patients develop resistance to ibrutinib, a highly effective, precisely targeted anti-cancer drug.

Marathon runners' times develop in a U shape
Spanish researchers have demonstrated that the relationship between marathon running times and the age of the athlete is U-shaped.

Variety in diet can hamper microbial diversity in the gut
Scientists from The University of Texas at Austin and five other institutions discovered that the more diverse the diet of a fish, the less diverse are the microbes living in its gut.

Salk professor named grantee in new pancreatic cancer research program
Ronald M. Evans, director of the Gene Expression Laboratory at Salk and Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, is one of three scientists chosen to receive $5 million in research funding as part of The Lustgarten Foundation's new 'Distinguished Scholars' program, which recognizes individuals who have made outstanding achievements in research to focus their efforts on finding a cure for pancreatic cancer.

Toxins in the environment might make you older than your years
Why are some 75-year-olds downright spry while others can barely get around?

Most physicians would forgo aggressive treatment for themselves at the end of life
Most physicians would choose a do-not-resuscitate or 'no code' status for themselves when they are terminally ill, yet they tend to pursue aggressive, life-prolonging treatment for patients facing the same prognosis, according to a study from the Stanford University School of Medicine to be published May 28 in PLOS ONE.

Women's contraceptive use influenced by contraception education and moral attitudes
MU researchers have found that levels of prior sex education and moral attitudes toward contraception influence whether women use contraceptives to prevent pregnancy.

A path toward more powerful tabletop accelerators
Making a tabletop particle accelerator just got easier. A new study shows that certain requirements for the lasers used in an emerging type of small-area particle accelerator can be significantly relaxed.

Negative social interactions increase hypertension risk in older adults
Keeping your friends close and your enemies closer may not be the best advice if you are 50 or older.

Study affirms value of epigenetic test for markers of prostate cancer
A multicenter team of researchers report that a commercial test designed to rule out the presence of genetic biomarkers of prostate cancer may be accurate enough to exclude the need for repeat prostate biopsies in many -- if not most -- men.

Nearly one-third of the world's population is obese or overweight, new data show
Today, 2.1 billion people -- nearly 30 percent of the world's population -- are either obese or overweight, according to a new, first-of-its kind analysis of trend data from 188 countries.

New analysis suggests an overhaul of strategies on nuclear weapons
In a new book, an MIT political scientist examines the multiple political uses of nuclear weapons.

'Nanodaisies' deliver drug cocktail to cancer cells
Biomedical engineering researchers have developed daisy-shaped, nanoscale structures that are made predominantly of anti-cancer drugs and are capable of introducing a 'cocktail' of multiple drugs into cancer cells.

Cynical? You may be hurting your brain health
People with high levels of cynical distrust may be more likely to develop dementia, according to a study published in the May 28, 2014, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Artificial lung the size of a sugar cube
What medications can be used to treat lung cancer, and how effective are they?

Wild coho may seek genetic diversity in mate choice
A new study suggests that wild coho salmon that choose mates with disease-resistant genes different from their own are more likely to produce greater numbers of adult offspring returning to the river some three years later.

What shaped it, how old is it, and are they connected?
Two articles recently published online for the journal LITHOSPHERE investigate the influence of climate, erosion, and tectonics on the lay of the land in the Bolivian Andes.

Dads who do chores bolster daughters' aspirations
Fathers who help with household chores are more likely to raise daughters who aspire to less traditional, and potentially higher paying, careers.

Black trauma patients 65 and older more likely to survive than white counterparts
In a finding that runs counter to most health disparities research, Johns Hopkins researchers say that while younger black trauma patients are significantly more likely than whites to die from their injuries, black trauma patients over the age of 65 are 20 percent less likely to do so.

NASA's TRMM and Aqua satellites peer into Tropical Storm Amanda
Hurricane Amanda has weakened to a tropical storm, but not before NASA's TRMM satellite took a look under its clouds at the rate of heavy rainfall it was generating.

Chapman University research article wins 'Best of 2013' award
The global scientific society Institute of Physics recently announced that their editors selected a research article by a team from Chapman University's Institute for Quantum Studies 'for inclusion in the exclusive 'Highlights of 2013' collection.' The paper, titled, 'The classical limit of quantum optics: not what it seems at first sight,' was originally published in the New Journal of Physics last year.

Indoor tanning, even without burning, increases the risk of melanoma
People sometimes use indoor tanning in the belief that this will prevent burns when they tan outdoors.

Vocal fry hurts women in the labor market
A form of speech known as vocal fry that is low in pitch and creaky sounding is increasingly common among young American women.

Survival after trauma related to race, age
Race and age affect trauma outcomes in older and younger patients.

David Geffen to receive UCLA's highest honor at School of Medicine commencement
Entertainment magnate and influential philanthropist David Geffen will receive the UCLA Medal, the university's highest honor, during the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA's Hippocratic Oath Ceremony on Friday, May 30.

In Africa, STI testing could boost HIV prevention
Sexually transmitted infections can make HIV transmission more likely, undermining the prevention benefit of HIV treatment.

SAGE announces winner of early research bursary for EERA annual international conference 2014
SAGE is delighted to announce Denise Mifsud as the winner of the European Educational Research Association/SAGE conference travel bursary for 2014.

Drug users switch to heroin because it's cheap, easy to get
A nationwide survey of heroin users indicates that they are attracted to the drug not only for the 'high' but because it is less expensive and easier to get than prescription painkillers, and Washington University researchers have found that many suburban drug users have made the switch.

Crow or raven? New birdsnap app can help!
Columbia Engineering computer scientists have taken bird-watching to a new level.

Suspect strep throat? Re-check negative rapid test results with lab culture
Clinical guidelines for diagnosing strep throat in teens and adults differ, as do physician practices.

NUS researchers discover unusual parenting behavior by a Southeast Asian treefrog
Researchers from the Department of Biological Sciences at the National University of Singapore Faculty of Science have discovered that a Southeast Asian species of treefrog practices parental care to increase the likelihood of survival of its offspring.

Sight for sore eyes: Augmented reality without the discomfort
A major limitation Google-glass-like devices is that moving back and forth between a 2-D image on the screen and a 3-D world in front of you causes eye strain.

Meek male and fighting female scorpions
Threatened female bark scorpions sting quicker than males, likely to compensate for reduced ability to flee the threat.

Some high blood pressure drugs may be associated with increased risk of vision-threatening disease
There may be a connection between taking vasodilators and developing early-stage age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of vision loss and blindness among Americans who are age 65 and older, according to a study published online in Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

A more earth-friendly way to make bright white cotton fabrics
With a growing number of consumers demanding more earth-friendly practices from the fashion world, scientists are developing new ways to produce textiles that could help meet rising expectations.

T cell repertoire changes predictive of anti-CTLA-4 cancer immunotherapy outcome revealed
Sequenta Inc. today announced publication of a study that used the company's proprietary LymphoSIGHT immune repertoire sequencing platform to investigate the effects of anti-CTLA-4 antibody on the number and types of T cells present in a patient's blood.

Top aging research experts to present at 43rd Annual American Aging Association Conference
The American Aging Association holds its 43rd annual meeting featuring presentations from more than 70 leading experts on the latest groundbreaking developments and discoveries in the field of aging research.

Antarctic ice-sheet less stable than previously assumed
The first evidence for massive and abrupt iceberg calving in Antarctica, dating back 19,000 to 9,000 years ago, has now been documented by an international team of geologists and climate scientists.

A cure for dry eye could be a blink away
Kara Maki, assistant professor in Rochester Institute of Technology's School of Mathematical Sciences, contributed to a recent National Science Foundation study seeking to understand the basic motion of tear film traversing the eye.

Social networks linked to better health for older adults, studies find
Having regular positive interactions with family and friends and being involved in several different social networks can help older adults be healthier, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association.

NSF grant funds UCSC chemists developing alternatives to phthalate plasticizers
Rebecca Braslau, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at UC Santa Cruz, has received a $480,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to support her research to develop a safe and affordable alternative to phthalate plasticizers.

Scientists control rapid re-wiring of brain circuits using patterned visual stimulation
In a new study, published in this week's issue of the journal Science, researchers show for the first time how the brain re-wires and fine-tunes its connections differently depending on the relative timing of sensory stimuli.

Melting Arctic opens new passages for invasive species
For the first time in roughly 2 million years, melting Arctic sea ice is connecting the north Pacific and north Atlantic oceans.

Large muskies lured by the moon
The lunar cycle may synchronize with feeding activity, luring large muskies to take angler bait.

International collaboration highlights new mechanism explaining how cancer cells spread
UT Southwestern Medical Center cancer researchers have identified a protein critical to the spread of deadly cancer cells and determined how it works, paving the way for potential use in diagnosis and eventually possible therapeutic drugs to halt or slow the spread of cancer.

Supersonic spray delivers high quality graphene layer
A simple, inexpensive spray method that deposits a graphene film can heal manufacturing defects and produce a high quality graphene layer on a range of substrates, report researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Korea University.

Study: Amphetamines can delay exhaustion during exercise in the heat -- at a cost
Indiana University researchers found that amphetamines can delay exhaustion during exercise in the heat by increasing the temperature at which it occurs.

Zeroing in on the proton's magnetic moment
As part of a series of experiments designed to resolve one of the deepest mysteries of physics today, researchers from RIKEN, in collaboration with the University of Mainz, GSI Darmstadt and the Max Planck Institute for Physics at Heidelberg, have made the most precise ever direct measurement of the magnetic moment of a proton.

NASA sees northern Indian Ocean System 92B's end
The tropical low pressure area known as System 92B finally dissipated on the east central coast of India on May 27 after six days of struggling to develop.

Pitt physicist earns $3 million grant to study fundamental particle
University of Pittsburgh physicist Sergey Frolov has received a $3 million Office of Naval Research Basic Research Challenge grant to explore ways of transforming quantum computing through the use of an unusual particle.

Cats found to eat more in the winter
Cats eat more during the winter and owners should give their pet more food during this time, University of Liverpool research has found.

PTSD treatment cost-effective when patients given choice
A cost-analysis of post-traumatic stress disorder treatments shows that letting patients choose their course of treatment -- either psychotherapy or medication -- is less expensive than assigning a treatment and provides a higher quality of life for patients.

Technology marketers should take consumer life-cycle into account: New Rotman study
A new study from the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management suggests marketers should pay attention to where consumers are in their lifecycles when determining how to get them to adopt new technologies.

3,000 rice genome sequences made publicly available on World Hunger Day
The open-access, open-data journal GigaScience announces publication of 3,000 rice strain genome sequences and the release of this enormous dataset in a citable format in journal's affiliated database, GigaDB.

Filling in the gaps on the protein map
Substantial progress has been made in decoding the human proteome.

Extensive cataloging of human proteins uncovers 193 never known to exist
Striving for the protein equivalent of the Human Genome Project, an international team of researchers has created an initial catalog of the human 'proteome,' or all of the proteins in the human body.

Fish more inclined to crash than bees
Swimming fish do not appear to use their collision warning system in the same way as flying insects, according to new research from Lund University in Sweden that has compared how zebra fish and bumblebees avoid collisions.

Can Tai Chi slow the aging process?
Evaluating the potential life-lengthening effect of Tai Chi, a traditional Chinese exercise, researchers conducted a year-long study comparing rejuvenating and anti-aging effects among three groups of young volunteers engaged in Tai Chi, brisk walking, or no exercise.

The brain's reaction to male odor shifts at puberty in children with gender dysphoria
The brains of children with gender dysphoria react to androstadienone, a musky-smelling steroid produced by men, in a way typical of their biological sex, but after puberty according to their experienced gender, finds a study for the first time in the open-access journal Frontiers in Endocrinology.

New study finds Antarctic Ice Sheet unstable at end of last ice age
A new study has found that the Antarctic Ice Sheet began melting about 5,000 years earlier than previously thought coming out of the last ice age -- and that shrinkage of the vast ice sheet accelerated during eight distinct episodes, causing rapid sea level rise.

NYU researchers pilot educational and behavioral program to reduce lymphedema risk
NYU researchers conducted a pilot study to evaluate a patient-centered educational and behavioral self-care program called The Optimal Lymph Flow.

Flame retardant exposure linked to lower IQs -- study
A new study involving Simon Fraser University researchers has found that prenatal exposure to flame retardants can be significantly linked to lower IQs and greater hyperactivity in five-year old children.

Uncovering clues to the genetic cause of schizophrenia
The overall number and nature of mutations -- rather than the presence of any single mutation -- influences an individual's risk of developing schizophrenia, as well as its severity, according to a discovery by Columbia University Medical Center researchers published in the latest issue of Neuron.

Diesel bus alternative
Electric school buses that feed the power grid could save school districts millions of dollars -- and reduce children's exposure to diesel fumes -- based on recent research by the University of Delaware.

Sneaky bacteria change key protein's shape to escape detection
Every once in a while in the US, bacterial meningitis seems to crop up out of nowhere, claiming a young life.

MRI catches breast cancer early in at-risk survivors of childhood Hodgkin lymphoma
The largest clinical study to evaluate breast cancer screening of female survivors of childhood Hodgkin lymphoma, who are at increased risk because they received chest radiation, shows that magnetic-resonance imaging detected invasive breast tumors at very early stages, when cure rates are expected to be excellent.

Coating stents with vitamin C could reduce clotting risks
Every year, more than one million people in the US who have suffered heart attacks or chest pain from blocked arteries have little mesh tubes called stents inserted into their blood vessels to prop them open.

Brazilian researchers find human menstrual blood-derived cells 'feed' embryonic stem cells
Researchers investigating the use of human menstrual blood-derived mesenchymal cells (MBMCs) as culture 'feeder layers' found that MBMCs can replace animal-derived feeder systems in human embryonic stem cell culture systems and support their undifferentiated growth, while helping the cells proliferate and survive.

New research center for development of novel methods in soft matter simulations approved
The German Research Foundation has approved the establishment of a new collaborative research center to be coordinated by Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.

Record-breaking 2,874 abstracts submitted to ASTRO's 56th Annual Meeting
The American Society for Radiation Oncology's 56th Annual Meeting garnered a record-breaking total of 2,874 abstracts submitted for selection at the nation's premier meeting in radiation oncology.

NASA IceBridge concludes Arctic field campaign
Researchers with NASA's Operation IceBridge have completed another successful Arctic field campaign.

Taking prescribed anti-clotting drug may help save stent patients' lives
Thirty percent of patients who had just received a stent failed to fill their prescription for an anti-clotting drug within three days of hospital discharge.

May the force (shoes) be with you
On May 29, 2014, NASA will fly the ForceShoe, designed by XSENS, to the International Space Station and, although these shoes don't measure the same force of Star Wars lore, they will help NASA collect data for studying the loads, or force, placed on crew member bodies during exercise on the space station's Advanced Resistive Exercise Device.

Demographic of heroin users change in past 50 years
Heroin users nowadays are predominantly white men and women in their late 20s living outside large urban areas who were first introduced to opioids through prescription drugs compared to the 1960s when heroin users tended to be young urban men whose opioid abuse started with heroin.

How long should HCV treatment last? Study suggests answers are complex
As new treatments for hepatitis C virus are approved, biomedical scientists are exploring their mechanisms and what they reveal about the virus.

Billions of kg of CO2 could be saved by scrapping DVDs, research suggests
A new study has shown that streaming can be much better for the environment, requiring less energy and emitting less carbon dioxide, than some traditional methods of DVD renting, buying and viewing.

High-status co-eds use 'slut discourse' to assert class advantage
A new study suggests that high-status female college students employ 'slut discourse' -- defining their styles of femininity and approaches to sexuality as classy rather than trashy or slutty -- to assert class advantage and put themselves in a position where they can enjoy sexual exploration with few social consequences.

New research shows memory is a dynamic and interactive process
Research presented by Morris Moscovitch, from the University of Toronto, shows that memory is more dynamic and changeable than previously thought.

Experimental trial represents promising step toward universal antidote for snakebite
A team of researchers, led by Dr. Matthew Lewin of the California Academy of Sciences and Dr.

Critical assessment of the Baltic Model
Austerity packages work. Look at the Baltic countries: they responded to the financial crisis with drastic measures.

EARTH magazine: The history, science and poetry of New England's stone walls
When author John-Manuel Andriote returned to his hometown in New England after years away, he noticed something that had been invisible to him while growing up there -- the old stone walls tumbling off into the forests.

The scarier the better -- screening results that make smokers stop smoking
Screening for lung cancer leads to early detection and treatment, but can it also make people stop smoking before they get cancer?

Acute concern for health, environment highlighted at UN-backed E-waste Academy in Latin America
Acute concerns about e-waste management in developing countries were highlighted in expert presentations at a recent E-waste Academy for Managers in El Salvador organized by UN University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability hosted Step, Solving the E-Waste Program, Initiative.

Parasitic fig wasps bore with zinc-hardened drill bit tips
Parasitic fig wasps have to bore into tough unripe fruit with their slender ovipositors to lay their eggs, but how do they penetrate hard figs?

Researchers use light to coax stem cells to repair teeth
A Harvard-led team is the first to demonstrate the ability to use low-power light to trigger stem cells inside the body to regenerate tissue, an advance they reported in Science Translational Medicine.

Microalgae capable of assimilating the NH3 resulting from the management of agrifood waste
The Basque Institute for Agricultural Research and Development, Neiker-Tecnalia, has confirmed the capacity of Chlamydomonas acidophila microalgae to absorb ammoniacal nitrogen present in the effluent generated in the digestion of organic waste coming from the agri-food sector.

Study examines risk factors for sagging eyelids
Other than aging, risk factors for sagging eyelids include being a man, having lighter skin color and having a higher body mass index.

Surface physics: Leaving the islands
In a recent study involving researchers from Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet in Munich, the desorption of oxygen molecules from a silver surface was successfully visualized for the first time.

Major discovery on the mechanism of drug resistance in leukemia and other cancers
A mechanism that enables the development of resistance to acute myeloid leukemia anticancer drugs, thereby leading to relapse, has been identified by Kathy Borden of the University of Montreal's Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer and her collaborators.

International research group documents unique songbird diversity of the Eastern Himalayas
The Eastern Himalayas are home to more than 360 different songbird species, most of which are to be found nowhere else on the planet.

Mount Sinai researchers lead committee to define the clinical course of multiple sclerosis
Mount Sinai researchers have re-examined standardized multiple sclerosis descriptions published in 1996 to influence future research studies and clinical practice.

Lethal injection comes under new scrutiny after botched execution
The botched execution in April of a man convicted of murder brought to the fore of national consciousness the precarious state of capital punishment. 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