Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 04, 2014
App paired with sensor measures stress and delivers advice to cope in real time
Computer scientists at Microsoft Research and the University of California, San Diego have developed a system that combines a mobile application and sensor to detect stress in parents and delivers research-based strategies to help decrease their stress during emotionally charged interactions with their children.

Surprisingly strong magnetic fields challenge black holes' pull
A new study of supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies has found magnetic fields play an impressive role in the systems' dynamics.

Mechanism of cell death unraveled -- perspectives for treating inflammatory diseases
Researchers at VIB and Ghent University have unraveled the mechanism of necroptosis.

How to tell when a sewage pipe needs repair -- before it bursts
The nation's sewer system is a topic most people would prefer to avoid, but its aging infrastructure is wearing out, and broken pipes leaking raw sewage into streets and living rooms are forcing the issue.

GW Cancer Institute conducts survey on moving toward quality patient-centered care
The George Washington University Cancer Institute published research in the Journal of Oncology Navigation and Survivorship on patient navigation and survivorship programs and the challenges many of these programs face.

Habitat loss on breeding grounds cause of monarch decline, study finds
Habitat loss on breeding grounds in the United States -- not on wintering grounds in Mexico -- is the main cause of recent and projected population declines of migratory monarch butterflies in eastern North America, according to new research from the University of Guelph.

Dad's alcohol consumption could influence sons' drinking, Pitt study finds
Even before conception, a son's vulnerability for alcohol use disorders could be shaped by a father who chronically drinks to excess, according to a study from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Knoxville startup Fiveworx licenses ORNL energy analysis tool
Knoxville-based Fiveworx has licensed a technology that will help consumers reduce their utility bills by analyzing their home energy usage.

Drones give farmers an eye in the sky to check on crop progress
This growing season, crop researchers at the University of Illinois are experimenting with the use of drones -- unmanned aerial vehicles -- on the university's South Farms.

Doctors reluctant to discuss end-of-life care with heart failure patients
Few healthcare providers report talking to their heart failure patients about end-of-life care preferences.

New app collects wildlife-vehicle collision data
A new app used to report wildlife-vehicle collisions increased efficiency and accuracy when compared to manual methods.

Climate not to blame for the disappearance of large mammals
A new study unequivocally points to humans as the cause of the mass extinction of large animals all over the world during the course of the last 100,000 years.

NASA should maintain long-term focus on Mars as 'horizon goal' for human spaceflight
Arguing for a continuation of the nation's human space exploration program, a new congressionally mandated report from the National Research Council concludes that the expense of human spaceflight and the dangers to the astronauts involved can be justified only by the goal of putting humans on other worlds.

Air pollution linked to irregular heartbeat and lung blood clots
Air pollution is linked to an increased risk of developing an irregular heartbeat -- a risk factor for stroke -- and blood clots in the lung, finds a large study published online in the journal Heart.

How high blood pressure in middle age may affect memory in old age
New research suggests that high blood pressure in middle age plays a critical role in whether blood pressure in old age may affect memory and thinking.

Deppression with atypical features associated with obesity
Major depressive disorder with atypical features -- including mood reactivity where people can feel better when positive things happen in life, increased appetite or weight gain -- appears to be associated with obesity.

A new approach to diversity research
MIT professor suggests a rethinking of homogeneity as the baseline used to study diversity.

Courts face challenges when linking genetics to criminal behavior
Studies suggest that some people may be at increased risk of criminal behavior due to their genes.

Does practice make perfect? Or are some people more creative than others? If so, why?
Creativity may depend on greater brain integration, according to a new study published in Creativity Research Journal by Maharishi University brain researcher Fred Travis and University West quality management researcher Yvonne Lagrosen.

Sea star disease epidemic surges in Oregon, local extinctions expected
Just in the past two weeks, the incidence of sea star wasting syndrome has exploded along the Oregon Coast and created an epidemic of historic magnitude, one that threatens to decimate Oregon's entire population of purple ochre sea stars.

Report supports shutdown of all high seas fisheries
Fish and aquatic life living in the high seas are more valuable as a carbon sink than as food and should be better protected, according to research from the University of British Columbia.

Saturated fat intake may influence a person's expression of genetic obesity risk
In a new study, researchers from the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University associate a person's genetic risk for obesity with Body Mass Index, and show that saturated fat intake may influence the expression of a person's genetic obesity risk.

Heart disease without coronary plaque buildup linked to heart attack risk
Non-obstructive coronary artery disease was associated with a 28 to 44 percent increased risk of a major adverse cardiac event such as a heart attack or death.

Short intervals between pregnancies result in decreased pregnancy length
A new Ohio study demonstrates that women who have shorter birth spacing between the last delivery and their next conception have shorter pregnancy lengths, which puts mother and child at a greater risk for preterm birth.

UO researchers use rhythmic brain activity to track memories in progress
Using EEG electrodes attached to the scalps of 25 student subjects, University of Oregon researchers have tapped the rhythm of memories as they occur in near real time in the human brain.

E-cigarettes: More than just hot air
E-cigarettes are a potential smoking cessation aid and they may also be able to lower the risk of nicotine dependency in high-risk groups.

Wing design proves a key factor in determining migration success of Monarch butterflies
Dara A. Satterfield and Andrew K. Davis describe for the first time a close link between migration timing and optimal wing design in the migratory butterfly.

Has solar activity influence on the Earth's global warming?
Natural force can lead to the climate change of the Earth.

Drug trial shows promise for treating constipation caused by pain medicines
Taking medicines for chronic pain can often lead to constipation, but a New England Journal of Medicine study shows a daily pill can get things moving again.

First light for SPHERE exoplanet imager
SPHERE -- the Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet REsearch instrument -- has been installed on ESO's Very Large Telescope at the Paranal Observatory in Chile.

NIH, PCORI announce major award to prevent falls injuries in older people
The National Institutes of Health and the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) have joined to support a clinical trial to test individually tailored interventions to prevent fall-related injuries.

Observed by Texas telescope: Light from huge explosion 12 billion years ago reaches Earth
Intense light from the enormous explosion of a star 12.1 billion years ago -- shortly after the Big Bang -- recently reached Earth and was observed by the robotic telescope of Southern Methodist University, Dallas.

Mayo Clinic moves small-molecule drugs through blood-brain barrier
Researchers at Mayo Clinic have demonstrated in a mouse model that their recently developed synthetic peptide carrier is a potential delivery vehicle for brain cancer chemotherapy drugs and other neurological medications.

Five-question clinical tool the first to help screen risk of violence in military veterans
A new brief, five-question screening tool can help clinicians identify which veterans may be at greater risk of violence, according to a new study.

Crooning in the concrete jungle: Taiwan's frogs use drains to amplify mating calls
As our cities continue to grow many animal species have to choose to abandon their changing habitats or adapt to their new setting.

Brain protein may explain depression in pre-menopausal women
Women nearing menopause have higher levels of a brain protein linked to depression than both younger and menopausal women, a new study by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health shows.

Design of self-assembling protein nanomachines starts to click
Biological systems produce an incredible array of self-assembling protein tools on a nanoscale, such as molecular motors, delivery capsules and injection devices.

New diagnostic imaging techniques deemed safe in simulations
Gamma and neutron imaging offer possible improvements over existing techniques such as X-ray or CT, but their safety is not yet fully understood.

Scientist uses fossils to prove historic Ohio millstones have French origins
A geologist studied fossils to confirm that stones used in 19th century Ohio grain mills originated from France.

MU scientists successfully transplant, grow stem cells in pigs
Researchers at the University of Missouri have shown that a new line of genetically modified pigs will host transplanted cells without the risk of rejection, opening the door for future stem cell therapy research.

One and done: New antibiotic could provide single-dose option
In the battle against stubborn skin infections, including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus -- MRSA -- a new single-dose antibiotic is as effective as a twice-daily infusion given for up to 10 days, according to a large study led by Duke Medicine researchers.

Europe's premier basic cardiovascular science meeting
Cutting edge research in basic cardiovascular science will be presented at Frontiers in CardioVascular Biology (FCVB) 2014, held 4-6 July at the Palau de Congressos de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain.

Study: When hospital workers get vaccines, community flu rates fall
For every 15 healthcare providers who receive the influenza vaccination, one fewer person in the community will contract an influenza-like illness, according to a study using California public health data from 2009 - 2012.

Researching how residential environment impacts preterm delivery in African-Americans
High levels of racial disparities in preterm delivery exist, with African-Americans having higher rates than non-Hispanic whites.

Finding the lost art of Angkor Wat
An Australian National University researcher has discovered lost paintings on the walls of Cambodia's Angkor Wat temple.

Poor health, lifestyle factors linked to memory complaints, even among younger adults
UCLA researchers and the Gallup organization polled more than 18,000 people about their memory and a variety of lifestyle and health factors previously shown to increase the risk of Alzheimer's disease and dementia.

Locked, loaded & feeling low: Dangers of gun ownership in the elderly
In the United States the debate around gun ownership often focuses on teenagers; however, research shows that elderly Americans are the most likely to own a gun and that presents both medical and legal problems for physicians and carers.

No evidence of the double nature of neutrinos
After two years of searching for a special radioactive decay that would provide an indication of new physics beyond the standard model, an experiment deep under ground near Carlsbad has so far found no evidence of its existence.

Preserving bread longer: A new edible film made with essential oils
Essential oils have boomed in popularity as more people seek out alternatives to replace their synthetic cleaning products, anti-mosquito sprays and medicines.

Shaken, not stirred: Control over complex systems consisting of many quantum particles
Superpositions of different quantum states are often used for high precision measurements.

Increase in number of total knee replacement surgeries, especially in younger adults, linked to obesity
The number of total knee replacement surgeries more than tripled between 1993 and 2009.

Ice cream sensations on the computer
Changes in coldness, creaminess or texture that we experience in the mouth while we are eating an ice cream can be visualized on a screen using colored curves.

Aiming to improve the air quality in underground mines
Reducing diesel particulate matter exposure to miners in underground coalmines will be a step closer to reality with the awarding of a research grant from the Australian Coal Association Research Programme to engineers from Monash University.

Weight gain following antidepressant use examined
Bottom line: A modest differences exist between antidepressants with regard to weight gain among patients.

ALMA upgrade to supercharge Event Horizon Telescope, astronomy's 'killer app'
Scientists recently upgraded the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) by installing an ultraprecise atomic clock at ALMA's Array Operations Site, home to the observatory's supercomputing correlator.

Understanding mussels' stickiness could lead to better surgical and underwater glues
Mussels might be a welcome addition to a hearty seafood stew, but their notorious ability to attach themselves to ships' hulls, as well as to piers and moorings, makes them an unwelcome sight and smell for boaters and swimmers.

University of Louisville Hospital nurse residency program receives full accreditation
The nurse residency program at University of Louisville Hospital, a part of KentuckyOne Health, is one of 12 in the nation to receive recognition for consistent, high+quality care.

Crop science booms in 'The Triangle' and strives to address population growth
Research Triangle Park might not have the international renown that Silicon Valley has developed, but the North Carolina region has become a tech powerhouse in its own right -- in crop science.

Parasites fail to halt European bumblebee invasion of the UK
A species of bee from Europe that has stronger resistance to parasite infections than native bumblebees has spread across the UK, according to new research at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Two JAMA Surgery studies examine bariatric surgery for type 2 diabetes treatment
Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery resulted in the greatest average weight and appears to be the best treatment for type 2 diabetes mellitus compared to gastric banding and lifestyle intervention in a clinical trial that also highlights the challenges to completing a larger trial with patients with a body mass index of 30 to 40.

New antibiotic proven effective to treat acute bacterial skin infections
A study published in today's New England Journal of Medicine reports that the antibiotic dalbavancin is as effective as vancomycin, the current standard-of-care antibiotic used to treat serious bacterial skin and skin-structure infections.

International committee re-defines how multiple sclerosis is described and understood
Multiple sclerosis manifests in many different ways and courses. A recent effort to fine-tune descriptions (phenotypes) of MS was undertaken by an international team of leaders in MS research and clinical care.

Team packs butterfly nets for summer research expedition
A project funded by the National Science Foundation highlights UC's undergraduate research on a global scale.

New proactive approach unveiled to malware in networked computers and data
Computer scientists at Virginia Tech have developed a unique anomaly protection security approach for the detection of malicious activities on networked computers.

Testing the waters to fight infections like fish
A novel technology developed at Worcester Polytechnic Institute to block human infections by taking a lesson from fish has landed a $50,000 grant from the National Science Foundation's Innovation Corps program.

Multilingual or not, infants learn words best when it sounds like home
Growing up in a multilingual home has many advantages, but many parents worry that exposure to multiple languages might delay language acquisition.

Quantum criticality observed in new class of materials
Quantum criticality, the strange electronic state that may be intimately related to high-temperature superconductivity, is notoriously difficult to study, but the first findings of a 'quantum critical point' in a category of materials known as 'oxypnictides' could lead to a broader understanding of the quantum phenomenon.

Genes/adversity linked to crime in incarcerated sample
Researchers at Sam Houston State University have found a genetic characteristic that interacts with childhood adversity to predict higher rates of crime in an incarcerated sample.

Tree hugging helps koalas keep their cool
Australia's koalas cope with extreme heat by resting against cooler tree trunks, new research has revealed.

BMJ urged to widen its approach to transparency
A group of New Zealand health policy researchers from the University of Otago's Dunedin and Christchurch campuses has called on the leading medical journal BMJ to be much more even handed in scrutinizing the transparency of what it publishes.

Short intervals between pregnancies result in decreased pregnancy length
Women who have short intervals between pregnancies of less than 18 months are more likely to see a decrease in the length of subsequent pregnancies, finds a new study published June 4 in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Canes Football teams up with University of Miami neuroscientist for 'Cane Brain Project'
The Jha-Hurricanes football collaboration is the first phase of a larger 'Cane Brain Project,' which aims to determine if mindfulness training may be brain protective in collegiate football players.

Faster DNA sleuthing saves critically ill boy
A 14-year-old boy's turnaround and quick recovery after mysteriously being stricken by brain-inflaming encephalitis -- which led to him being hospitalized for six weeks and put into a medically induced coma after falling critically ill -- shows that the newest generation of DNA analysis tools can be harnessed to reveal the cause of a life-threatening infection even when physicians have no suspects.

First demonstration in human cells of chromosomal translocations that cause certain cancer
The findings will influence the study of new therapies and therapeutic targets.

UCLA researchers identify new gene involved in Parkinson's disease
A team of UCLA researchers has identified a new gene involved in Parkinson's disease, a finding that may one day provide a target for a new drug to prevent and potentially even cure the debilitating neurological disorder.

NASA sees Depression Boris mOVING over Mexico with heavy rainfall
Tropical Depression 2E strengthened into Tropical Storm Boris briefly on June 3 before making landfall in southern Mexico and weakening into a depression.

NIDA review summarizes research on marijuana's negative health effects
The current state of science on the adverse health effects of marijuana use links the drug to several significant adverse effects including addiction, a review reports.

Four new genes confirmed to increase familial breast cancer risk
Four new genes have been added to the growing list of those known to cause increased breast cancer risk when mutated through the efforts of researchers at Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, who lead an international consortium working to find more gene mutations that cause inherited breast cancer susceptibilities.

First intact skull of Mediterranean worm lizard found
The first intact skull of a Mediterranean worm lizard has been found in Spain.

Are squiggly lines the future of password security?
As more people use smart phones and tablets to store personal information and perform financial transactions, the need for robust password security is more critical than ever.

WSU researchers confirm 60-year-old prediction of atomic behavior
Researchers at Washington State University have used a super-cold cloud of atoms that behaves like a single atom to see a phenomenon predicted 60 years ago and witnessed only once since.

Astronomers discover first Thorne-Zytkow object, a bizarre type of hybrid star
In a discovery decades in the making, scientists have detected the first of a 'theoretical' class of stars first proposed in 1975 by physicist Kip Thorne and astronomer Anna ┼╗ytkow.

Study discovers the downside of African-American success stories
A new study finds there is a downside to African-American success stories: these positive examples prompt white Americans to think less successful African-Americans simply need to apply more effort to achieve their own success.

UCS: Report highlights successful efforts to stem deforestation in 17 countries
Programs and policies to reduce tropical deforestation, and the global warming emissions resulting from deforestation, are seeing broad success in 17 countries across four continents, according to a new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

American Aging Association Meeting presents latest developments in aging research
The American Aging Association Meeting drew experts from all over the world to present the most advanced scholarship in the field of aging research.

Soda consumers may be drinking more fructose than labels reveal
Soda consumers may be getting a much higher dose of the harmful sugar fructose than they have been led to believe, according to a new study by the Childhood Obesity Research Center at the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California, part of Keck Medicine of USC.

Light treatment improves sleep, depression, agitation in Alzheimer's
A new study suggests that light treatment tailored to increase circadian stimulation during the day may improve sleep, depression and agitation in people with Alzheimer's disease and related dementia.

You catch (and kill) more flies with this sweetener
In a study that began as a sixth-grade science fair project, researchers at Drexel University have found that a popular non-nutritive sweetener may be an effective and human-safe insecticide.

Weight loss surgery also safeguards obese people against cancer
Weight loss surgery might have more value than simply helping morbidly obese people to shed unhealthy extra pounds.

Howard Hughes Medical Institute awards University of Miami $1.5 million
UM's five-year grant of $1.5 million will focus on course-based research experiences, building on previous grants from HHMI that created innovative biology labs to engage freshman students in 'discovering knowledge, not just being receptacles of knowledge,' according to program director Dr.

Shared mission of health equity joins NYU GIPH and HealthRight International
A unique collaboration between New York University's Global Institute of Public Health (NYU GIPH) and the global health and human rights organization HealthRight International, Inc. was announced today by Robert Berne, New York University executive vice president for health, Dr.

A new approach to Alzheimer's disease research
As part of its ongoing research to better understand the complexities of the human brain, the Allen Institute for Brain Science is embarking on the first effort to map connectivity patterns across the whole brain in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease, through its recent award of a $3.4 million grant over five years from the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health.

Hemorrhagic fevers can be caused by body's antiviral interferon response
Virologists and immunologists at The Scripps Research Institute have found a major clue to the mystery of 'hemorrhagic fever' syndromes.

How red tide knocks out its competition
New research reveals how the algae behind red tide thoroughly disables -- but doesn't kill -- other species of algae.

Divorce may be linked to higher risk of overweight/obesity among kids involved
Divorce may be linked to a higher risk of overweight and obesity among children affected by the marital split, suggests research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

Genetics provide blueprint for new heart disease therapies
Advances in the understanding of the genetics of coronary artery disease, or CAD, will revitalize the field and lead to more therapeutic targets for new medicines to combat this common disease, suggests a genetics expert from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in a Perspective article in the new issue of Science Translational Medicine.

Feeding increases coral transplant survival
Feeding juvenile corals prior to transplantation into a new reef may increase their survival.

A professor's plan to protect the environment wins $125 million
An NJIT professor is the leader of a design team that won $125 million from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development to protect Nassau County's South Shore from storm surges and rising sea levels.

Disinfection caps successful in CLABSI prevention
Use of disinfection caps helps Loyola achieve a 68 percent decrease in central line bloodstream infections.

Mayo Clinic researchers decode how the brain miswires, possibly causing ADHD
Neuroscientists at Mayo Clinic in Florida and at Aarhus University in Denmark have shed light on why neurons in the brain's reward system can be miswired, potentially contributing to disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Sperm size and shape in young men affected by cannabis use
Young men who use cannabis may be putting their fertility at risk by inadvertently affecting the size and shape of their sperm according to research published Thursday, June 5, 2014.

Cleaning the air with roof tiles
A team of University of California, Riverside's Bourns College of Engineering students created a roof tile coating that when applied to an average-sized residential roof breaks down the same amount of smog-causing nitrogen oxides per year as a car driven 11,000 miles.

FAPESP announces the SPRINT -- Sao Paulo Researchers in International Collaboration
FAPESP announces the SPRINT -- Sao Paulo Researchers in International Collaboration, a strategy designed to encourage and promote the advancement of scientific research through the engagement of researchers affiliated with research institutions in the Brazilian State of Sao Paulo with researcher partners abroad. 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