Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

May 29, 2014
First-of-its-kind study: Swimmers gain an advantage when they recover with chocolate milk
Grabbing chocolate milk after a hard swim could give swimmers a performance edge, according to new research presented at one of the nation's top sports medicine conferences -- the American College of Sports Medicine's annual conference.

The Lancet: Improvements in blood pressure control may have prevented hundreds of thousands of major cardiovascular events in England over 17 years
Hypertension -- raised blood pressure -- treatment rates have almost doubled and control rates have trebled in England between 1994 and 2011, resulting in the saving of tens of thousands of lives each year, according to a new study published in a special themed issue of The Lancet.

Heavy airplane traffic potentially a major contributor to pollution in Los Angeles
Congested freeways crawling with cars and trucks are notorious for causing smog in Los Angeles, but a new study finds that heavy airplane traffic can contribute even more pollution, and the effect continues for up to 10 miles away from the airport.

Gene expression signature identifies patients at higher risk for cardiovascular death
A study of 338 patients with coronary artery disease has identified a gene expression profile associated with an elevated risk of cardiovascular death.

New report details more geoscience job opportunities than students
In the American Geosciences Institute's newest Status of the Geoscience Workforce Report, released May 2014, jobs requiring training in the geosciences continue to be lucrative and in-demand.

Creatures of habit: Disorders of compulsivity share common pattern and brain structure
People affected by binge eating, substance abuse and obsessive compulsive disorder all share a common pattern of decision making and similarities in brain structure, according to new research from the University of Cambridge.

Spruce up your selfie
Now MIT researchers, and their colleagues at Adobe Systems and the University of Virginia, have developed an algorithm that could allow you to transfer those distinctive styles to your own cellphone photos.

Mechanisms of ibrutinib resistance identified in chronic lymphocytic leukemia
A new study has discovered how resistance develops in patients taking ibrutinib, a new and highly effective drug for the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

Amber discovery indicates Lyme disease is older than human race
Lyme disease is a stealthy, often misdiagnosed disease that was only recognized about 40 years ago, but new discoveries of ticks fossilized in amber show that the bacteria which cause it may have been lurking around for 15 million years -- long before any humans walked on Earth.

Vibration exercise study finds some relief for fibromyalgia
A pilot study by Indiana University researchers found that whole-body vibration exercise may reduce pain symptoms and improve aspects of quality of life in individuals diagnosed with fibromyalgia.

New coronavirus inhibitor exhibits antiviral activity by blocking viral hijacking of host
Since the SARS epidemic in 2003, coronaviruses have been on the watch list for emerging pathogens, and the ongoing outbreak of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) confirmed that they represent a serious threat.

Ostracism more damaging than bullying in the workplace
Being ignored at work is worse for physical and mental well-being than harassment or bullying, says a new study from the University of British Columbia's Sauder School of Business.

Clinical Scholars Review shines policy spotlight on nurse anesthetists
As a profession, nurse anesthesia is at a tipping point.

Ecosystem services: Looking forward to mid-century
As population grows, society needs more -- more energy, more food, more paper, more housing, more of nearly everything.

Study shows environmental influences may cause autism in some cases
Research by scientists at Albert Einstein College of Medicine may help explain how some cases of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) can result from environmental influences rather than gene mutations.

Remember parathyroid hormone as well as vitamin D to assess vitamin's role in diabetes
Research on vitamin D in diabetes should focus on patients with both low vitamin D and increased PTH.

Glow-in-the-dark tool lets scientists find diseased bats
Scientists working to understand the devastating bat disease known as white-nose syndrome now have a new, non-lethal tool to identify bats with WNS lesions -- ultraviolet, or UV, light.

Pitt earns $1.5 million grant to educate, retain science students
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute announced today that the University of Pittsburgh has received a $1.5 million, five-year grant to continue, develop, and create new lab-based biology courses aimed at retaining students in the sciences.

How breast cancer 'expresses itself'
Two Tel Aviv University researchers have found that 'gene regulation,' the process that shuts off certain parts of a cell's DNA code or blueprint in healthy breast tissue cells, may also play a critical role in the development of breast cancer.

Domestication of dogs may explain mammoth kill sites and success of early modern humans
A new analysis of European archaeological sites containing large numbers of dead mammoths and dwellings built with mammoth bones has led to a new interpretation of these sites -- that their abrupt appearance may have been due to early modern humans working with the earliest domesticated dogs to kill the now-extinct mammoth.

EPSRC adopts 2 new Centres for Doctoral Training
Two new Centres for Doctoral Training (CDTs), based at Queen's University Belfast and the University of Bath, have joined the 113 previously announced centres under the auspices of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Unexpected water explains surface chemistry of nanocrystals
Berkeley Lab researchers have found unexpected traces of water in semiconducting nanocrystals that helps answer long-standing questions about their surface chemistry.

Engineering a better way to rebuild bone inside the body
A new technology under development at the Georgia Institute of Technology could one day provide more efficient delivery of the bone regenerating growth factors with greater accuracy and at a lower cost.

Diet and exercise in cancer prevention and treatment: Focus of APNM special
This Special Issue titled 'The role of diet, body composition, and physical activity on cancer prevention, treatment, and survivorship' comprises both invited reviews and original papers investigating various themes such as the role of omega-3 fatty acids, amino acids, cancer cachexia, muscle health, exercise training, adiposity and body composition.

Reduced kidney function associated with higher risk of renal and urothelial cancer
A key measure of reduced kidney function and chronic kidney disease -- reduced glomerular filtration rate -- is an independent risk factor for renal and urothelial cancer, according to a study published online today in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology.

Study: Baltimore hookah bars contain elevated levels of carbon monoxide and air nicotine
In an analysis of air quality in seven Baltimore waterpipe bars, commonly known as hookah bars, researchers found that airborne particulate matter and carbon monoxide exceeded concentrations previously measured in public places that allowed cigarette smoking and that air nicotine was markedly higher than in smoke-free establishments.

New £8.1m Centre at Queen's to tackle world's data storage needs
A Queen's University Belfast led collaboration with the University of Glasgow and industry has received £8.1m for a new center to tackle some of the challenges created by the increasing quantities of data generated by society today.

Gender stereotypes keep women in the out-group
Women have accounted for half the students in US medical schools for nearly two decades, but as professors, deans, and department chairs in medical schools their numbers still lag far behind those of men.

Press inivtation to the 22nd European Biomass Conference and Exhibition
Access the latest biomass and bioenergy information and meet the key players of the global biomass community by participating in the EU BC&E 2014.

Think fast, robot
An algorithm that harnesses data from a new sensor could make autonomous robots more nimble.

A tool to better screen and treat aneurysm patients
New research by an international consortium, including a researcher from Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, may help physicians better understand the chronological development of a brain aneurysm.

Study finds mode of transportation affects how we feel
A recent study has found that people are in the best mood while they are bicycling compared to any other mode of transportation.

UNL team explores new approach to HIV vaccine
UNL scientists are pursuing a promising new approach to a live attenuated HIV-1 vaccine, using a genetically modified form of the HIV virus.

Two GOES-R instruments complete spacecraft integration
Two of the six instruments that will fly on NOAA's first Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite - R satellite have completed integration with the spacecraft.

Patients using online resources prompts study to examine online ratings of otolaryngologists
Many otolaryngologists have online profiles on physician-rating websites and most reviews are positive, but physicians need to be aware of the content because patients use the information to choose physicians.

Rare skin cancer on palms and soles more likely to come back compared to other melanomas
A rare type of melanoma that disproportionately attacks the palms and soles and under the nails of Asians, African-Americans, and Hispanics, who all generally have darker skins, and is not caused by sun exposure, is almost twice as likely to recur than other similar types of skin cancer, according to results of a study in 244 patients.

RCUK commits £14 million to UK Energy Research Centre
The UK Energy Research Centre will continue to act as the focal point of UK energy research following the announcement today of a further £14 million of funding from three research councils EPSRC, NERC and ESRC via the RCUK Energy Programme.

Improved identification of war wound infections promises more successful treatment
War wounds that heal successfully frequently contain different microbial species from those that heal poorly, according to a paper published ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology.

Drop in global malnutrition depends on ag productivity, climate change
Global malnutrition could fall 84 percent by the year 2050 as incomes in developing countries grow -- but only if agricultural productivity continues to improve and climate change does not severely damage agriculture, Purdue University researchers say.

Minority entrepreneurs face discrimination when seeking loans
A disheartening new study from researchers at Utah State University, Brigham Young University and Rutgers University reveals that discrimination is still tainting the American Dream for minorities.

Four-billion-year-old rocks yield clues about Earth's earliest crust
UAlberta Ph.D. student's studies of ancient rocks show Earth's earliest crust generated in an Iceland-like setting.

Study links unexpected death of a loved one with onset of psychiatric disorders
The sudden loss of a loved one can trigger a variety of psychiatric disorders in people with no history of mental illness.

Global survey: Climate change now a mainstream part of city planning
An MIT survey reveals cities are planning for climate change, but still searching for links to economic growth.

Scripps Research Institute scientists win $13 million grant in AIDS vaccine effort
A team led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute has received a grant of more than $13 million from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease of the National Institutes of Health to study antibodies to the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) -- which will play an essential role in the creation of any effective vaccine against HIV.

Family support may improve adherence to CPAP therapy for sleep apnea
A new study suggests that people with obstructive sleep apnea who are single or have unsupportive family relationships may be less likely to adhere to continuous positive airway pressure therapy.

Cloud formation & rainfall affected by pollutant oxidation of biodiesel emissions
Methyl oleate, a main component of biodiesel which is used increasingly but can promote the growth of water droplets in the atmosphere, is broken down surprisingly fast by ozone.

Zinc deficiency before conception disrupts fetal development
Female mice deprived of dietary zinc for a relatively short time before conception experienced fertility and pregnancy problems and had smaller, less-developed fetuses than mice that ingested zinc during the same times, according to researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

JCAP stabilizes common semiconductors for solar fuels generation
Caltech researchers at the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis have devised a method for protecting technologically important semiconductors from corrosion even as the materials continue to absorb light efficiently.

Neural transplant reduces absence epilepsy seizures in mice
New research from North Carolina State University pinpoints the areas of the cerebral cortex that are affected in mice with absence epilepsy and shows that transplanting embryonic neural cells into these areas can alleviate symptoms of the disease by reducing seizure activity.

Having children is contagious among high school friends during early adulthood
A new study suggests that having children is contagious among female high school friends during early adulthood.

American Chemical Society member among winners of top science prize
For his pioneering work in optics, Stefan W. Hell, an American Chemical Society member for eight years, was named one of three winners of the Kavli Prize in Nanoscience.

Activation of brain region can change a monkey's choice
Artificially stimulating a brain region believed to play a key role in learning, reward and motivation induced monkeys to change which of two images they choose to look at.

Study suggests strong link between depression and early death among seniors with diabetes
A new UCLA-led study finds that among adults 65 and older with diabetes, depression is linked with a far greater chance for early death compared with people of the same age who do not have depression.

Reduced kidney function associated with higher risk of renal and urothelial cancer
Researchers who investigated the level of kidney function and subsequent cancer risk in more than one million adults have found that reduced glomerular filtration rate -- a key measure of reduced kidney function and chronic kidney disease -- is an independent risk factor for renal and urothelial cancer but not other cancer types.

New tools help protect world's threatened species
New tools to collect and share information could help stem the loss of the world's threatened species, according to a paper published today in the journal Science.

Grape-enriched diet supports eye health
Research suggests that regular grape consumption may play a role in eye health by protecting the retinal structure and function.

Study: Performance improved even after athletes learned of deception
Indiana University researchers say a little deception caused cyclists in their 4-kilometer time trial to up their performance even after they realized they had been tricked.

Circumcision linked to reduced risk of prostate cancer in some men
Circumcision is performed for various reasons, including those that are based on religion, aesthetics, or health.

Mothers of women with PCOS have increased risk of early death
Mothers of daughters with polycystic ovary syndrome have a significantly increased risk of death, particularly if they also have diabetes, when compared to the general population, according to new research.

Nine scientific pioneers receive the 2014 Kavli Prizes
Nine pioneering scientists have been named this year's recipients of the Kavli Prizes -- prizes that recognize scientists for their seminal advances in astrophysics, nanoscience and neuroscience.

New technologies making it easier to protect threatened species
Online databases, smart phone apps, crowd sourcing and new hardware devices are making it easier to collect data on species.

NASA widens 2014 hurricane research mission
During this year's Atlantic hurricane season, NASA is redoubling its efforts to probe the inner workings of hurricanes and tropical storms with two unmanned Global Hawk aircraft flying over storms and two new space-based missions.

New 3-D representation of Richard III's spine shows 'spiral nature' of his scoliosis
Shakespeare may have characterized Richard III as a hunchback, but now everyone can explore the true shape of one of history's most famous spinal columns.

The Lancet: Systolic and diastolic blood pressures predict risk of different cardiovascular diseases
Raised systolic and diastolic blood pressures may have different effects on different types of cardiovascular diseases and at different ages, according to new research involving 1.25 million patients from primary care practices in England published in a special themed issue of The Lancet.

NASA missions let scientists see moon's dancing tide from orbit
Scientists combined observations from two NASA missions to check out the moon's lopsided shape and how it changes under Earth's sway -- a response not seen from orbit before.

When eradicating invasive species threatens endangered species recovery
Efforts to eradicate invasive species increasingly occur side by side with programs focused on recovery of endangered ones.

Researchers address major geographic disparities in access to kidney transplantation
There is substantial geographic variation in access to kidney transplantation among the more than 4,000 US dialysis facilities that treat patients with kidney failure, with a disproportionate lack of access to those in the Southeast.

Where one lives matters in the relationship between obesity and life satisfaction
A new study suggests that how one compares weight-wise with others in his or her community plays a key role in determining how satisfied the person is with his or her life.

Police reform law underenforced by Department of Justice
A law designed to combat police misconduct is hamstrung by limited resources, a lack of transparency and 'political spillover' at the U.S.

Powerful tool combs family genomes to find shared variations causing disease
Scientists at the University of Utah, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and colleagues have developed a powerful tool called pVAAST that combines linkage analysis with case control association to help researchers and clinicians identify disease-causing mutations in families faster and more precisely than ever before.

Huge tooth fossil shows marine predator had plenty to chew on
A fossilized tooth belonging to a fearsome marine predator has been recorded as the largest of its kind found in the UK, following its recent discovery.

Poker and marketing strategies might help doctors think better
Stroke doctors might be wise to think about poker players and marketers before making medical decisions, according to an article published today in the American Heart Association journal Stroke.

Leading Irish scientist speaks on how the mind works to educators at ILLUSION Expo
Professor in psychology, Fiona Newell at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, whose scientific research forms part of the ILLUSION exhibition currently on display at the Reuben H.Fleet Science Centre in San Diego, Calif., will deliver a keynote address this evening.

Early childhood stimulation intervention in Jamaica yields better pay in adulthood
In the May 30 edition of the journal Science, researchers find that early childhood development programs are particularly important for disadvantaged children in Jamaica and can greatly impact an individual's ability to earn more money as an adult.

Fertility: Sacrificing eggs for the greater good
Part of a woman's egg production involves a winnowing of the egg supply during fetal development.

Study: New genes identified may unlock mystery of keloid development
Researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit have uncovered previously unidentified genes that may be responsible for keloid scarring, a discovery that could unlock the mystery of keloid development and provide insight for more effective treatment.

Penn study shows how misfolded proteins are selected for disposal
Researchers have identified a protein recycling pathway in mammalian cells that removes misfolded proteins.

An ecological risk research agenda for synthetic biology
Environmental scientists and synthetic biologists have for the first time developed a set of key research areas to study the potential ecological impacts of synthetic biology.

PCOS diagnosis tied to inflammation during pregnancy
Women who have polycystic ovary syndrome -- the most common hormone disorder in women of reproductive age -- are more likely to experience chronic low-grade inflammation during pregnancy than counterparts who do not have the condition, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

Stress degrades sperm quality
Psychological stress is harmful to sperm and semen quality, affecting its concentration, appearance, and ability to fertilize an egg, according to a study led by researchers Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and Rutgers School of Public Health.

Caught by a hair
Crime fighters could have a new tool at their disposal following promising research by Queen's professor Diane Beauchemin.

Reduced kidney function linked with higher risk of kidney and urothelial cancers
Individuals' risk of kidney cancer increased with decreasing kidney function.

Retention of UC Riverside students in STEM fields receives major financial boost
Sixty percent of students in the United States who begin college intending to major in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics fail to earn a STEM degree.

Grant will help University of Houston re-think 'gateway' math, science classes
The University of Houston has received a $1.5 million grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute to help solve a national shortage in the number of Americans with college degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

$1.5 million HHMI grant boosts undergraduate STEM teaching at Brown
With a new grant from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Brown University will implement several innovative, evidence-based changes in introductory science classes to improve retention of underrepresented students in STEM concentrations.

Lost in translation?
In any animal's lifecycle, the shift from egg cell to embryo is a critical juncture that requires a remarkably dynamic process that ultimately transforms a differentiated, committed oocyte to a totipotent cell capable of giving rise to any cell type in the body.

Tropical Storm Amanda gets bisected and animated by NASA's CloudSat
Tropical Storm Amanda continues to weaken in the eastern Pacific from dry air and wind shear.

There's more than one way to silence a cricket
For most of us, crickets are probably most recognizable by the distinctive chirping sounds males make with their wings to lure females.

Pleasant smells increase facial attractiveness
New research from the Monell Chemical Senses Center reveals that women's faces are rated as more attractive in the presence of pleasant odors.

Multi-million dollar low-carbon investment programs to be coordinated in Europe
Climate-KIC, the EU's main climate innovation initiative, and the Lower Silesia region in Poland will coordinate their multi-million dollar investment programs to support the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Smells like deceit: A record number of species use the same odor to exploit each other
Ecologists discover a fascinating story of hijacked signals, deceit, stowaways, and eavesdropping in the natural world.

'Listening' helps scientists track bats without exposing the animals to disease
Researchers have determined ways to improve a sampling technique known as acoustic monitoring -- listening to bats in their environment.

Solar panel manufacturing is greener in Europe than China, study says
Solar panels made in China have a higher overall carbon footprint and are likely to use substantially more energy during manufacturing than those made in Europe, said a new study from Northwestern University and Argonne.

The Hoosier Cavefish, a new and endangered species from the caves of southern Indiana
A new eyeless cavefish is described from Indiana and named after the Indiana Hoosiers.

Unprecedented detail of intact neuronal receptor offers blueprint for drug developers
Biologists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory report today that they have succeeded in obtaining an unprecedented view of a type of brain-cell receptor that is implicated in a range of neurological illnesses, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, depression, schizophrenia, autism, and ischemic injuries associated with stroke.

Dentists' knowledge, confidence tied to care for scleroderma patients
A survey of dentists in Massachusetts suggests that their confidence in treating patients with scleroderma may be related to their familiarity with the autoimmune disease.

The Lancet: Scientists use 3-D scans to uncover the truth about Richard III's spinal condition
Research led by the University of Leicester, working with the University of Cambridge, Loughborough University, and University Hospitals of Leicester in the UK, has finally uncovered the truth about King Richard III's spinal condition, according to a new Case Report published in The Lancet.

'Free choice' in primates altered through brain stimulation
When electrical pulses are applied to the ventral tegmental area of their brain, macaques presented with two images change their preference from one image to the other.

UH part of $7.5 million NIH clinical trial on nearsightedness in children
The University of Houston is part of a National Institutes of Health study to determine whether commercially available, soft bifocal contact lenses slow the progression of nearsightedness in children.

New laser sensing technology for self-driving cars, smartphones and 3-D video games
The new system, developed by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, can remotely sense objects across distances as long as 30 feet, 10 times farther than what could be done with comparable current low-power laser systems.

Melanoma of the eye caused by 2 gene mutations
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have identified a therapeutic target for treating the most common form of eye cancer in adults.
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