Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 09, 2014
Affordable housing linked to children's test scores
It's long been accepted -- with little science to back it up -- that people should spend roughly a third of their income on housing.

Does 'free will' stem from brain noise?
Our ability to make choices -- and sometimes mistakes -- might arise from random fluctuations in the brain's background electrical noise, according to a recent study from the Center for Mind and Brain at UC Davis.

Einstein & Montefiore present research at American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions
Investigators at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and Montefiore Medical Center will present their latest research at the American Diabetes Association's 74th Scientific Sessions.

In fighting obesity, targeting popular teens not all that effective
In the fight against teenage obesity, some researchers have proposed targeting popular teens, in the belief that such kids would have an outsize influence on their peers.

UF study: One-third of English adults have prediabetes
Rates of prediabetes have risen sharply in England, and without intervention, the nation may experience a steep increase in diabetes in the coming years, according to University of Florida researchers working with the University of Leicester in England.

Humanitarian liking on Facebook
'Liking' a page on the social networking site Facebook is a new form of civic engagement and humanitarian support, so concludes research published in the International Journal of Web Based Communities.

Specific protein may help beta cells survive in type 1 diabetes
Over the past several years, JDRF-funded researchers have found evidence that beta cell stress may play a role in the onset of T1D, and are exploring possible ways to stop it from occurring, thus potentially protecting beta cell health and maintaining normal beta cell function.

Researchers recast addiction as a manageable disease
The societal scourge of addiction is a case of good evolution gone bad in modern contexts, but scientists are closing in on new biomedical interventions.

Coral, human cells linked in death
Humans and corals are about as different from one another as living creatures get, but a new finding reveals that in one important way, they are more similar than anyone ever realized.

Penn receives $10 million award to study asbestos adverse health effects, remediation
Researchers at the Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, have been awarded a $10 million grant from the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences over the next four years to study asbestos exposure pathways that lead to mesothelioma, the bioremediation of this hazardous material, and mechanisms that lead to asbestos-related diseases.

News from Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet -- June 10, 2014
The June 10 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine contains articles titled 'Increase screening rates to prevent cervical cancer, experts suggest' and 'Experts explain merits and shortcomings of Medicare data release.'

Molecular breast imaging protocol unmasks more cancer
Patients with advanced breast cancer that may have spread to their lymph nodes could benefit from a more robust dose of a molecular imaging agent called Tc-99m filtered sulfur colloid when undergoing lymphoscintigraphy, a functional imaging technique that scouts new cancer as it begins to metastasize.

Science and technology advances in microbial forensics needed to better prepare
Much as human DNA can be used as evidence in criminal trials, genetic information about microorganisms can be analyzed to identify pathogens or other biological agents in the event of a suspicious disease outbreak.

Penn Medicine at the International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders
Penn Medicine researchers will be among the featured presenters at the 18th International Congress of Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders in Stockholm, Sweden, from Sunday, June 8 to Thursday, June 12, 2014.

Tangled path of Alzheimer's-linked brain cells mapped in mice
By studying laboratory mice, scientists at The Johns Hopkins University have succeeded in plotting the labyrinthine paths of some of the largest nerve cells in the mammalian brain: cholinergic neurons, the first cells to degenerate in people with Alzheimer's disease.

To recover consciousness, brain activity passes through newly detected states
Research shows that recovery from deep anesthesia is not a smooth, linear process but is instead a dynamic journey with specific states of activity the brain must temporarily occupy on the way to full recovery.

CU researchers explain mechanism that helps viruses spread
In an article published in the scientific journal Nature, a University of Colorado School of Medicine researcher and colleagues explain how RNA molecules found in certain viruses mimic the shape of other molecules as part of a strategy to 'hijack' the cell and make more viruses.

New teaching approach touted for engineering education
Purdue University researchers who developed a new approach to more effectively teach large numbers of engineering students are recommending that the approach be considered for adoption by universities globally.

The Academy of Radiology Research featured in Nature Biotechnology journal
The Academy of Radiology Research reported in the current issue of Nature Biotechnology that patent output from the National Institutes of Health is vital to understanding which various areas of science are contributing most to America's innovation economy.

RIT engineering team designs online math and science activities for K-12 community
An engineering team from Rochester Institute of Technology developed the REMS Program -- Relevant Education in Math and Science -- a series of online STEM activities that can provide a way to associate math and science with solving engineering problems.

Online marketing schemes can still lure in customers
Despite warnings and legislation, online consumers may still be susceptible to post-transaction marketing schemes, according to Penn State researchers.

Mobile phones negatively affect male fertility, new study suggests
Men who keep a mobile phone in their trouser pocket could be inadvertently damaging their chances of becoming a father, according to a new study led by the University of Exeter.

New study finds text messaging program benefits pregnant women
The leading mobile health service in the nation, Text4baby, was found to significantly benefit pregnant women, according to a new study led by Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University and the Madigan Army Medical Center.

Using Twitter to track flu, Lady Gaga
Interested in the number of tweets about the flu in recent days, weeks or months?

Opti-SPECT/PET/CT: 5 different imaging systems now combined
their pick, biomedical researchers can now conduct five different imaging studies in one scan with a state-of-the-art preclinical molecular imaging system that scientists unveiled during the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging's 2014 Annual Meeting.

UNC researchers pinpoint new role for enzyme in DNA repair, kidney cancer
Twelve years ago, UNC School of Medicine researcher Brian Strahl, PhD, found that a protein called Set2 plays a role in how yeast genes are expressed -- specifically how DNA gets transcribed into messenger RNA.

Combination therapy may help patients with follicular lymphoma
Follicular lymphoma is an incurable form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that is diagnosed each year in 120,000 people worldwide.

A new methodology developed to monitor traffic flow
The most recent edition of the scientific journal Transportation Research Part B has published the research conducted, amongst others, by Fermín Mallor of the NUP/UPNA-Public University of Navarre.

Presurgical SPECT/CT shows more cancer than current standard
Startling data from an international multi-center trial provide growing evidence that sentinel node imaging is more effectively accomplished with hybrid functional imaging with single photon emission computed tomography and computed tomography than with another molecular imaging technique called lymphoscintigraphy.

Lifetime costs for autism spectrum disorder may reach $2.4 million per patient, Penn study finds
Costs for a lifetime of support for each individual with autism spectrum disorder may reach $2.4 million, according to a new study from researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

Lifetime cancer risk from heart imaging low for most children; rises with complex tests
Children with heart disease are exposed to low levels of radiation during X-rays, which do not significantly raise their lifetime cancer risk.

Game technology teaches mice and men to hear better in noisy environments
Researchers from the Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Harvard Medical School and Harvard University programmed a new type of game that trained both mice and humans to enhance their ability to discriminate soft sounds in noisy backgrounds.

Public gets first view of a live vampire squid and other deep-sea cephalopods
From the vampire squid to the flapjack octopus, deep-sea cephalopods are both fascinating and mysterious.

What causes garlic breath? (video)
Garlic is good for your body, great for your taste buds, but terrible for your breath.

Barry A. Siegel, M.D., receives 2014 Benedict Cassen Prize for Research in Nuclear Medicine
Barry A. Siegel, M.D., known for his pioneering work in positron emission tomography, was awarded the Benedict Cassen Prize during the 2014 Annual Meeting of the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging in St.

JCI online ahead of print contents for June 9, 2014
This release contains summaries, links to PDFs, and contact information for the following newsworthy papers published online, June 9, 2014, in the JCI: 'Clinical trial evaluates ex vivo cultured cord blood,' 'Murine model of Ewing's sarcoma reveals tumor origins,' 'Vitamin B12-dependent taurine synthesis regulates growth and bone mass,' 'Hypomorphic PCNA mutation underlies a human DNA repair disorder,' 'Characterization of pandemic influenza immune memory signature after vaccination or infection,' and more.

Pathway between gut and liver regulates bone mass
Researchers have uncovered a previously unknown biological process that regulates the production of new bone cells.

How much fertilizer is too much for the climate?
Helping farmers around the globe apply more-precise amounts of nitrogen-based fertilizer can help combat climate change.

Rates of prediabetes have tripled over past decade in England
The prevalence of prediabetes -- higher than normal blood glucose levels -- has tripled within the space of eight years in England, reveals research published in the online journal BMJ Open.

'Hello, world!' NASA beams video from space station via laser
The high-definition video via laser transmission from space to ground, stating 'Hello, World!' was the first of its kind for the Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science from the International Space Station.

Distance from a conflict may promote wiser reasoning
If you're faced with a troubling personal dilemma, such as a cheating spouse, you may think about it more wisely if you consider it as an outside observer would, according to research forthcoming in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Berkeley Lab researchers create nanoparticle thin films that self-assemble in 1 minute
Berkeley Lab researchers have devised a technique whereby self-assembling nanoparticle arrays can form a highly ordered thin film over macroscopic distances in one minute.

Stem cell-stimulating therapy saves heart attack patients
Researchers at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging's 2014 Annual Meeting revealed how a protein encourages the production of stem cells that regenerate damaged tissues of the heart following an acute attack (myocardial infarction).

Engineers design systems to help children with special needs
A group of Kansas State University engineers have developed technology that helps children with severe developmental disabilities.

African-American women more likely to be diagnosed with higher risk breast cancer
A research study led by cancer specialists at MedStar Washington Hospital Center's Washington Cancer Institute found that African-American women frequently present with biologically less favorable subtypes of breast cancer.

Protein could put antibiotic-resistant bugs in handcuffs
A team from Duke and the University of Sydney has solved the structure of a key protein that drives DNA copying in the plasmids that make staphylococcus bacteria antibiotic resistant.

With distance comes greater wisdom, research finds
If you're faced with a troubling personal dilemma, such as a cheating spouse, you are more likely to think wisely about it if you consider it as an observer would, says a study led by a professor at the University of Waterloo.

55-year old dark side of the moon mystery solved
The Man in the Moon appeared when meteoroids struck the Earth-facing side of the moon creating large flat seas of basalt that we see as dark areas called maria.

Angry faces back up verbal threats, making them seem more credible
Angry expressions seem to boost the effectiveness of threats without actual aggression, according to research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Fox Chase doctors urge caution over new analysis of Medicare payments
There's much to learn from the recent release of unprecedented amounts of data from the nation's second largest health insurer, Medicare, but only if interpreted cautiously, write two doctors at Fox Chase Cancer Center in the June 9 online edition of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Viewing plant cells in 3-D (no glasses required)
Focused ion beam-scanning electron microscopy (FIB-SEM) has been used in both materials science and in the study of animal tissue, but has not previously been used in plant imaging.

Connecting dead ends increases power grid stability
Climate change mitigation strategies such as the German Energiewende require linking vast numbers of new power generation facilities to the grid.

Combined MMRV vaccine shows slight rise in adverse events
The combined measles-mumps-rubella-varicella (MMRV) vaccine shows a slightly increased risk of febrile seizures in children, compared with the previously separate vaccines for MMR and varicella (chickenpox) (MMR+V), according to an article in CMAJ.

'Jekyll and Hyde' protein linked to type 1 diabetes
Researchers are a step closer to establishing the link between a protein with a split personality and type 1 diabetes.

City of Hope links specific gene to adult growth of brain cells, learning and memory
Learning and memory are regulated by a region of the brain known as the hippocampus.

Study puts price tag on lifetime support for individuals with autism
Lifetime support for individuals with autism spectrum disorders ranges from a cost of $1.4 million to $2.4 million in the United States and the United Kingdom.

As economy declines, African-Americans appear 'blacker,' NYU study shows
When the economy declines, African-Americans are more likely to be seen as 'blacker' and to bear stereotypical features, according to a new study by psychology researchers at NYU.

Newly identified B-cell selection process adds to understanding of antibody diversity
Findings from Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center add a new dimension to our understanding of antibody repertoires and their potential to fight disease.

Earth's breathable atmosphere a result of continents taking control of the carbon cycle
Scientists investigating one of the greatest riddles of the Earth's past may have discovered a mechanism to help determine how oxygen levels in the atmosphere expanded to allow life to evolve.

Most breast cancer patients may not be getting enough exercise
Physical activity after breast cancer diagnosis has been linked with prolonged survival and improved quality of life, but most participants in a large breast cancer study did not meet national physical activity guidelines after they were diagnosed.

Surgery prices are elusive
Patients who want to compare prices for prostate-cancer surgery may find it rough going: A University of Iowa study found a 13-fold difference in prices quoted by 100 hospitals nationwide.

Depression in the elderly linked to Alzheimer's risk
Many people develop depression in the latest stages of life, but until now doctors had no idea that it could point to a build up of a naturally occurring protein in the brain called beta-amyloid, a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease.

Needle biopsy underused in breast cancer diagnosis, negatively impacting diagnosis and care
Needle biopsy, the standard of care radiological procedure for diagnosing breast cancer, is underused with too many patients undergoing the more invasive, excisional biopsy to detect their disease, according to research from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

PSMA-based imaging traces even treatment-resistant prostate cancer
Anti-androgen hormonal therapy, also called chemical castration, can be an important defense against further disease progression for patients with prostate cancer that has traveled and grown in other areas, or metastasized -- but some cases simply do not respond to this treatment.

Parent and child must get enough sleep to protect against child obesity
Is sleep one of your most important family values? A new University of Illinois study suggests that it should be, reporting that more parental sleep is related to more child sleep, which is related to decreased child obesity.

Exercise boosts diversity of gut bacteria
Exercise boosts the diversity of the bacteria found in the gut, indicates the first study of its kind published online in the journal Gut.

SPECT/CT reveals best treatment for low back pain
Low back pain is not only excruciating but also debilitating for countless sufferers.

Carcinogens in hairdressers' blood linked to frequency of dye and perm use
The levels of a particular type of carcinogen in hairdressers' blood seem to be linked to how often these professionals use permanent dyes and perming treatments on clients' hair, indicates research published online in Occupational & Environmental Medicine.

Scientists put mankind's technological impact on the planet to the test
University of Leicester geologists suggest human phenomenon lies at the heart of the Anthropocene.

Did violence shape our faces?
University of Utah biologist David Carrier and Michael H. Morgan, a University of Utah physician, contend that human faces -- especially those of our australopith ancestors -- evolved to minimize injury from punches to the face during fights between males.

New from Garland Science -- now available: 'Genetics and Genomics in Medicine'
Garland Science is proud to announce the publication of 'Genetics and Genomics in Medicine' by Tom Strachan, Judith Goodship, and Patrick Chinnery.

Adolescent bullies, victims more likely to carry weapons
Adolescent bullies, victims and bully-victims -- defined as those who are simultaneously both bullies and victims -- were more likely to carry weapons.

Satellite sees System 90L dissipating over Mexico
System 90L was an area of tropical low pressure that never managed to form into a tropical depression during its lifetime, but did drop heavy rainfall on eastern and southeastern Mexico before dissipating.

A few circulating cancer cells could cue risk of metastases
A simple noninvasive blood test matched with state-of-the-art molecular imaging of individual cells could help oncologists understand their patients' chances of survival, say researchers at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging's 2014 Annual Meeting.

Virginia Tech architect reveals 'green roofs' need not go to great depths to work
With more people moving into cities, architects need tools to make good decisions about green roofs.

Arizona State's Krauss and MIT's Wilczek honored by Gravity Research Foundation
Arizona State University professors Lawrence Krauss and Nobel Laureate Frank Wilczek have been named first place winners of the 2014 Awards for Essays from the Gravity Research Foundation, Wellesley Hills, Mass.

PET/MR is superior for verifying coronary arterial disease
Ischemic heart disease, a narrowing of the arteries supplying blood to the heart, is a leading cause of death throughout the world.

SNMMI image of the year: In vivo selective imaging of tau pathology in Alzheimer's disease with F-18
A PET image using F-18 THK5117, a novel tracer that labels neurofibrillary tangles with high selectivity, has been selected as the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging's (SNMMI) 2014 Image of the Year.

Statins associated with modestly lower physical activity in older men
Older men who were prescribed statins (the cholesterol-lowering medications associated with muscle pain, fatigue and weakness) engaged in modestly lower physical activity.

Faster, higher, stronger: A protein that enables powerful initial immune response
A team of Wistar scientists offer evidence that a protein, called Foxp1, is a key controller of our immune system's ability to generate an antibody response.

Designing ion 'highway systems' for batteries
Northwestern University professor Monica Olvera de la Cruz and her research group have married two traditional theories that advance the understanding of plastics for battery application.

U of M researcher investigates impact of road salt on butterflies
A study by Emilie Snell-Rood published in the June 9 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that the availability of the micronutrient could alter selection on foraging behavior for butterflies and other roadside developing invertebrates.

Statin use associated with less physical activity
One of the longest studies of its type has found that use of statins in older men is associated with less physical activity, a significant issue for a population that's already sedentary.

New class of nanoparticle brings cheaper, lighter solar cells outdoors
Researchers in the University of Toronto's Edward S. Rogers Sr.

Seafarers brought Neolithic culture to Europe, gene study indicates
Genetic evidence in modern populations suggests that Neolithic farmers from the Levant traveled mostly by sea to reach Europe.

Molecular imaging finds novel way to knock down breast cancer
For years researchers have been developing molecular imaging techniques that visualize hormonally active breast cancer cells -- specifically those testing positive for human epidermal growth factor receptor 2.

Scientists may have identified echoes of ancient Earth
A previously unexplained isotopic ratio may represent the echoes of the ancient Earth, which existed prior to the proposed Theia collision 4.5 billion years ago.

NASA's TRMM satellite analyzes Mexico's soaking tropical rains
The movement of tropical storm Boris into southern Mexico and a nearly stationary low pressure system in the southern Gulf of Mexico caused heavy rainfall in that area.

NOAA scientists find mosquito control pesticide low risk to juvenile oysters, hard clams
Four of the most common mosquito pesticides used along the east and Gulf coasts show little risk to juvenile hard clams and oysters, according to a NOAA study.

Stem cells are a soft touch for nano-engineered biomaterials
Scientists from Queen Mary University of London have shown that stem cell behavior can be modified by manipulating the nanoscale properties of the material they are grown on -- improving the potential of regenerative medicine and tissue engineering as a result.

EcoHealth 2014 connects researchers addressing impacts of global change on health and ecosystems
EcoHealth 2014 is a key forum for researchers, practitioners and educators whose work spans the fields of ecology, human and veterinarian medicine, planning, social sciences, international development and beyond.

Reptile Atlas a first for southern Africa
It took seven editors and 26 authors nine years to compile the first ever Reptile Atlas for all reptiles found in the southern tip of Africa.

Researchers find major West Antarctic glacier melting from geothermal sources
New research on the Thwaits Glacier will help ice sheet modeling efforts needed to determine when the collapse of the glacier will begin in earnest and at what rate the sea level will increase as it proceeds.

Lifetime cancer risk from heart imaging tests is low for most children
Standard X-rays don't significantly raise cancer risks among young children.

Emergency/trauma care post-master's program to go online with grant funding
New funding in the amount of $1,103,048 from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board's Emergency and Trauma Care Education Partnership grants program has been awarded to Elda G.

Water found to provide blueprints for root architecture
Soil is a microscopic maze of nooks and crannies that hosts a wide array of life.

NHAES research: New England lakes recovering rapidly from acid rain
For more than 40 years, policy makers have been working to reduce acid rain, a serious environmental problem that can devastate lakes, streams, and forests and the plants and animals that live in these ecosystems.

First atlas of Inuit Arctic trails launched
New digital resource brings together centuries of cultural knowledge for the first time, showing that networks of trails over snow and sea ice, seemingly unconnected to the untrained eye, in fact span a continent -- and that the Inuit have long-occupied one of the most resource-rich and contested areas on the planet.

Mount Sinai researchers identify protein that keeps blood stem cells healthy as they age
A protein may be the key to maintaining the health of aging blood stem cells, according to work by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai recently published online in Stem Cell Reports.

Iron supplements improve anemia, quality of life for women with heavy periods
A study by researchers from Finland found that diagnosis and treatment of anemia is important to improve quality of life among women with heavy periods.

REM sleep disturbance signals future neurodegenerative disease
How many millions of people suffer from sleep disturbance? One sleep disorder in particular, called REM behavior disorder, could be a sign of impending neurodegenerative disease, including Parkinson's and dementia, say scientists presenting their research at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging's 2014 Annual Meeting.

Molecular imaging gets to the root of rheumatoid arthritis
Study uses SPECT, PET systems and respective imaging agents to detect the inflammation involved in the ongoing pathology of osteoarthritis.

Antiviral therapy may prevent liver cancer in hepatitis B patients
Researchers have found that antiviral therapy may be successful in preventing hepatitis B virus from developing into the most common form of liver cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma.

Land quality and deforestation in Mato Grosso, Brazil
In the last decade, Brazil's skyrocketing agricultural production worried some observers who were concerned about the loss of forestland.

Princeton Plasma Lab funded to explore nanoparticles with plasma
The US Department of Energy's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory has received some $4.3 million of DOE Office of Science funding, over three years, to develop an increased understanding of the role of plasma in the synthesis of nanoparticles.

What's the best test for cervical cancer? Pap, HPV or both?
Should US women be screened for cervical cancer with Pap tests, HPV tests or both?

Resistance to lung cancer targeted therapy can be reversed, study suggests
Up to 40 percent of lung cancer patients do not respond to a targeted therapy designed to block tumor growth -- a puzzling clinical setback that researchers have long tried to solve.

Grain legume crops sustainable, nutritious
A new study examined the mineral micronutrient content of four types of grain legumes.

Chemo-radionuclide therapy halts neuroendocrine cancer
Advanced cancer of the neuroendocrine system can lead to dismal prognoses, but a novel therapy is packing a punch by uniting powerful radionuclide treatment and chemotherapy drugs, revealed researchers at the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging's 2014 Annual Meeting.

New selective badger cull risks spreading bovine TB
A new bovine TB control strategy to be piloted in Northern Ireland risks spreading the disease rather than supressing it, scientists warn.

'Tomato pill' improves function of blood vessels in patients with cardiovascular disease
A daily supplement of an extract found in tomatoes may improve the function of blood vessels in patients with cardiovascular disease, according to new research from the University of Cambridge.

Women and health-care providers differ on what matters most about contraception
When women are choosing a contraceptive, health care providers should be aware that the things they want to discuss may differ from what women want to hear, according to a survey published in the recent issue of the journal Contraception.

Enzyme-inhibition could revolutionize molecular imaging
The prominent role a single enzyme plays in cancer imaging has eluded researchers for years, but not anymore.

Radioluminescence tells the story of single cells
With a new molecular imaging system powerful enough to peer down to 20-micrometer resolution, researchers can now use radioluminescence to examine the characteristics of single, unconnected cells.

Seeing how a lithium-ion battery works
Exotic 'solid solution' affects ion, electron movements in lithium-ion batteries. 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