Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 18, 2014
Majority of minors engage in sexting, unaware of harsh legal consequences
Sexting among youth is more prevalent than previously thought, according to a new study from Drexel University.

Study finds difference in way bipolar disorder affects brains of children versus adults
A new study from Bradley Hospital has found that bipolar children have greater activation in the right amygdala -- a brain region very important for emotional reaction -- than bipolar adults when viewing emotional faces.

Group doctor visits may improve life for people with muscle disorders
A new study suggests that people with muscle diseases such as muscular dystrophies may benefit more from group doctor visits than individual appointments.

Pharmacy study expects to lower hospital readmissions
Researchers at the University of Cincinnati's James L. Winkle College of Pharmacy estimate that readmissions could be lowered by as much as 20 percent if, after a hospital stay, high-risk patients received counseling and medication management by a pharmacist in a community pharmacy.

Groundbreaking model explains how the brain learns to ignore familiar stimuli
A neuroscientist from Trinity College Dublin has proposed a new, ground-breaking explanation for the fundamental process of 'habituation,' which has never been completely understood by neuroscientists.

Job loss linked with higher incidence of depression in Americans compared with Europeans
A new study published online in the International Journal of Epidemiology today shows that while job loss is associated with depressive symptoms in both the USA and Europe, the effects of job loss due to plant closure are much stronger in American workers as compared with European workers.

New report offers a primer for doctors' use of clinical genome and exome sequencing
Sooner than almost anyone expected, a new, genome-based technology for demystifying undiagnosed illnesses -- particularly rare childhood diseases -- is moving from research laboratories into general medical practice.

Unintended danger from antidepressant warnings
Following 2003 FDA warnings about a potential danger to young people taking antidepressants, antidepressant use plummeted and attempted suicide by psychotropic drug poisoning increased proportionally by 22 percent.

Probing Fukushima with cosmic rays should speed cleanup
A Los Alamos technique called muon tomography can safely peer inside the cores of the Fukushima Daiichi reactors and create high-resolution images of the damaged nuclear material inside without ever breaching the cores themselves.

Breathalyzer test may detect deadliest cancer
Lung cancer causes more deaths in the US than the next three most common cancers combined.

Only 16 percent of Ph.D.s work in the private sector in Spain, half the OECD average
Spain produces Ph.D.s at levels comparable to other countries in its situation.

When it comes to numbers, culture counts
MIT study finds that in a Bolivian rainforest society, children learn to count just like in the US, but on a delayed timetable.

Animals conceal sickness symptoms in certain social situations
Animals have the ability to conceal their sickness in certain social situations.

Supplements of calcium and vitamin D may have too much for some older women
Calcium and vitamin D are commonly recommended for older women, but the usual supplements may send calcium excretion and blood levels too high for some of them, shows a new study published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society.

New horned dinosaur reveals unique wing-shaped headgear
Scientists have named a new species of horned dinosaur based on fossils collected from Montana in the United States and Alberta, Canada.

New research can improve heart health
For the first time, researchers at the University of Copenhagen and Rigshospitalet are able to show that a particular gene variant lowers the risk of arteriosclerosis by 41 percent, making the variant an obvious target for future drugs for cardiovascular disease treatment.

Self-repairing mechanism can help to preserve brain function in neurodegenerative diseases
New research, led by scientists at the University of Southampton, has found that neurogenesis, the self-repairing mechanism of the adult brain, can help to preserve brain function in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Prion or Parkinson's.

New study is first to identify, clarify MERS-related abnormality distribution on CT
Researchers in Saudi Arabia have identified key defining characteristics of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in CT imaging of patients confirmed as having the disease.

Moral tales with positive outcomes motivate kids to be honest
A moral story that praises a character's honesty is more effective at getting young children to tell the truth than a story that emphasizes the negative repercussions of lying, according to research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Scientists about sequencing data: We drown in data but thirst for knowledge
The availability of genome data has revolutionized modern biology and molecular medicine.

Racial disparities in sentinel lymph node biopsy in women with breast cancer
The use of sentinel lymph node biopsy to stage early breast cancer increased in both black and white women from 2002 to 2007, but the rates remained lower in black than white patients, a disparity that contributed to disparities in the risk for lymphedema (arm swelling common after breast cancer treatment because of damage to the lymphatic system).

Three accomplished physicians awarded ASTRO's highest honor
The American Society for Radiation Oncology will award Mary K.

SwRI-led CubeSat mission selected by NASA to study solar particles and space weather
NASA has selected Southwest Research Institute to develop CuSPP, a CubeSat mission to study Solar Particles over the Earth's Poles.

Identifying opposite patterns of climate change between the middle latitude areas
Overturns common ideas about the different types of climate changes between the middle latitude areas of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres

University of Southampton to study antisocial behaviour in teenage girls
The University of Southampton has received EU funding to explore the causes of Conduct Disorder in teenage girls.

Proposed children's study needs refinement, report finds
A study that would track the health of 100,000 babies to age 21 has been put on hold following the release of an assessment report issued June 16 by the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine.

Making smartphones smarter with see-through sensors
Researchers have developed a new laser-writing technique that embeds smartphone display glass with layer-upon-layer of see-through sensors -- enabling applications like temperature sensors and biomedical monitors to be manufactured directly into the display.

Childhood maltreatment associated with cerebral grey matter abnormalities
An international study has analysed the association between childhood maltreatment and the volume of cerebral grey matter, responsible for processing information.

Fight-or-flight chemical prepares cells to shift brain from subdued to alert
A new study from The Johns Hopkins University shows that the brain cells surrounding a mouse's neurons do much more than fill space.

Depression linked to higher heart disease death risk in younger women
Women 55 and younger are twice as likely to suffer a heart attack, die or require artery-opening procedures if they're depressed.

Space Station top results for biotechnology, health and education announced
At the third annual ISS Research and Development conference June 17, four individuals and their teams received awards for their work in Biotechnology, Health and Education.

Study shows cost-effectiveness of smoking cessation counseling during hospitalization
In a recent study published in Tobacco Control, researchers at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute have demonstrated the cost-effectiveness of the Ottawa Model for Smoking Cessation, an intervention that includes in-hospital counseling, pharmacotherapy and post-hospital follow-up, compared to usual care among smokers hospitalized with acute myocardial infarction, unstable angina, heart failure, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Nature's chem lab: How microorganisms manufacture drugs
Researchers at the University of Michigan have obtained the first three-dimensional snapshots of the 'assembly line' within microorganisms that naturally produces antibiotics and other drugs.

Nanoparticles from dietary supplement drinks likely to reach environment, say scientists
Nanoparticles are becoming ubiquitous in food packaging, personal care products and are even being added to food directly.

Trap-jaw ants spreading in southeastern United States
Trap-jaw ant species are active hunters with venomous stings and jaws powerful enough to fling themselves through the air.

Scientists take first dip into water's mysterious 'no-man's land'
Scientists at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory have made the first structural observations of liquid water at temperatures down to minus 51 degrees Fahrenheit, within an elusive 'no-man's land' where water's strange properties are super-amplified.

Eight undergraduate students receive travel awards from the Genetics Society of America
The Genetics Society of America (GSA) is pleased to name the recipients of the GSA Undergraduate Travel Awards for summer/fall 2014.

Broken gene found to protect against heart disease
By scouring the DNA of thousands of patients, researchers at the Broad Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, and their colleagues have discovered four rare gene mutations that not only lower the levels of triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood, but also significantly reduce a person's risk of coronary heart disease -- dropping it by 40 percent.

Litter-dwelling thrips live mainly in tropical and subtropical regions
Chinese zoologists have documented the effect of latitudinal change on the species diversity of litter-dwelling thrips.

Spanish slug -- Busting an invasion myth
Spanish slugs are known to do their fair share of damage in fields and gardens.

New Stanford blood test identifies heart-transplant rejection earlier than biopsy can
Stanford University researchers have devised a noninvasive way to detect heart-transplant rejection weeks or months earlier than previously possible.

Unlocking the therapeutic potential of SLC13 transporters
A new study provides the first functional analysis of a member of a family of transporter proteins implicated in diabetes, obesity, and lifespan, potentially providing the key that will enable researchers to unlock their therapeutic potential.

Penn team links placental marker of prenatal stress to brain mitochondrial dysfunction
New findings by University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine scientists suggest that an enzyme found in the placenta is likely playing an important role in translating stress experienced by a mother early in pregnancy into a reprogramming of her developing baby's brain.

U of MD researchers receive NIH grant to study personalized medicine for genetic diabetes
The National Institutes of Health has awarded a four-year, $3.7 million grant to researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine to develop a personalized medicine program to help doctors diagnose and treat monogenic diabetes -- a form of diabetes caused by a mutation in a single gene.

Fish-eating spiders discovered around the world
Spiders from five different families prey on small fish in the wild.

Birds evolve 'signature' patterns to distinguish cuckoo eggs from their own
Using new 'pattern recognition algorithm,' latest research highlights how birds are 'fighting back' against the parasitic common cuckoo in what scientists describe as an evolutionary 'arms race.' They found that birds with the most sophisticated and distinctive egg patterning are those most intensely targeted by the cuckoo's egg mimicry.

Maybe birds can have it all: Dazzling colors and pretty songs
A study of one of the world's largest and most colorful bird families has dispelled a long-held notion, first proposed by Charles Darwin, that animals are limited in their options to evolve showiness.

Innovative technologies in rural areas improve agriculture, health care
This issue of Technology and Innovation features articles on innovations in rural regions and on technology and innovation, including one from the National Academy of Inventors on the value of technology transfer for universities beyond money, an analysis of the value of networks for European organic and conventional farmers, the use of technology for rural health care organizations, precision agriculture in the Northern Great Plains, and how modern communications technologies are changing communities in India.

False negative results found in prognostic testing for breast cancer
Researchers retested tumor samples from a large group of women and found that 22 out of 530 women had their tumor type incorrectly classified in local labs, which precluded them from effective treatment options.

Shortage of cybersecurity professionals poses risk to national security
The nationwide shortage of cybersecurity professionals -- particularly for positions within the federal government -- creates risks for national and homeland security, according to a new study from the RAND Corporation.

Familiar yet strange: Water's 'split personality' revealed by computer model
Using computer models, Princeton University researchers found that as water freezes it takes on a sort of split personality wherein, at very cold temperatures and above a certain pressure, it may spontaneously split into two liquid forms.

Horizontal levitation: The ultimate solution to particle separation
Magnetic separators exploit the difference in magnetic properties between minerals, for example when separating magnetite from quartz.

Evolutionary biology: Why cattle only have 2 toes
During evolutionary diversification of vertebrate limbs, the number of toes in even-toed ungulates such as cattle and pigs was reduced and transformed into paired hooves.

NSF and NIH collaborate to accelerate advance of biomedical innovations into the marketplace
A new collaboration between the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will give NIH-funded researchers training to help them evaluate their scientific discoveries for commercial potential with the aim of accelerating the translation of biomedical innovations into applied health technologies.

Scripps Florida scientists pinpoint how genetic mutation causes early brain damage
Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have shed light on how a specific kind of genetic mutation can cause damage during early brain development that results in lifelong learning and behavioral disabilities.

Collecting light with artificial moth eyes
All over the world researchers are investigating solar cells which imitate plant photosynthesis, using sunlight and water to create synthetic fuels such as hydrogen.

Ban on pavement sealant lowered levels of potentially harmful compounds in lake
In 2006, Austin, Texas, became the first city in the country to ban a commonly used pavement sealant over concerns that it was a major source of cancer-causing compounds in the environment.

UEA researchers discover Achilles' heel in antibiotic-resistant bacteria
Scientists at the University of East Anglia have made a breakthrough in the race to solve antibiotic resistance.

Groundbreaking research finds human sweat can reduce bacteria defenses
University of Leicester researchers discover sweat can cause corrosion of protective qualities of door knobs and taps within an hour of contact.

Scientists break the genetic code for diabetes in Greenland
New Danish genetics research explains the high incidence of type 2 diabetes in the Greenlandic population.

New quantum mechanism to trigger the emission of tunable light at terahertz frequencies
Scientists have found that two-dimensional nanostructures with asymmetric design enable a new quantum mechanism, triggering the emission of tunable light at terahertz frequencies -- with unprecedented efficiency.

2013's most compelling International Space Station results announced
Four compelling results from the research performed aboard the International Space Station were recognized June 17, 2014, as awardees in the category of Most Compelling Results from the space station in 2013.

Combatting cuckoos
In a new study, researchers from Harvard University and the University of Cambridge show that many birds parasitized by the Common Cuckoo have evolved distinctive pattern signatures on their eggs in order to distinguish them from those laid by a cuckoo cheat.

Blocking brain's 'internal marijuana' may trigger early Alzheimer's deficits, study shows
A new study led by investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine has implicated the blocking of endocannabinoids -- signaling substances that are the brain's internal versions of the psychoactive chemicals in marijuana and hashish -- in the early pathology of Alzheimer's disease.

Evolution depends on rare chance events, 'molecular time travel' experiments show
While historians can only speculate on what might have been, a team of evolutionary biologists studying ancient proteins has turned speculation into experiment.

Genomic technology enters the mainstream practice of medicine
Clinical genome and exome sequencing was once deemed exotic, but is increasingly being used by clinical geneticists and other specialists to diagnose rare, clinically unrecognizable, or puzzling disorders that are suspected to be genetic in origin.

Fish-eating spiders discovered in all parts of the world
Spiders are traditionally viewed as predators of insects. Zoologists from Switzerland and Australia have now published a study that shows: spiders all over the world also prey on fish.

New printing method for mass production of thin film transistors has been developed
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has developed a method for the manufacture of thin film transistors using a roll-to-roll technique only.

UC Riverside to lead new Energy Frontier Research Center project
A UC Riverside-led research project is among the 32 named today by US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz as an Energy Frontier Research Center, designed to accelerate the scientific breakthroughs needed to build a new 21st-century energy economy in the United States.

New methods and tools for sustainable manufacturing
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has led the way in developing new innovative methods and tools.

Quest for education creating graying ghost towns at top of the world
Ethnic Tibetan communities in Nepal's highlands are rapidly shrinking as more parents send their children away for a better education and modern careers, a trend that threatens to create a region of graying ghost towns at the top of the world, according to a study that includes Dartmouth College.

Many doctors concerned about physician involvement in concealed-weapon permit process
A new survey of North Carolina doctors finds that many are concerned about the increasing number of requests they are receiving to assess their patients' competency to carry concealed weapons.

Portable brain-mapping device allows UT Arlington researchers to 'see' where memory fails
A published paper details the use of functional near infrared spectroscopy to map brain activity responses during cognitive activities.

Study examines how brain 'reboots' itself to consciousness after anesthesia
One of the great mysteries of anesthesia is how patients can be temporarily rendered completely unresponsive during surgery and then wake up again, with their memories and skills intact.

Following direction: How neurons can tell top from bottom and front from back
The question of how neurons and their axons establish spatial polarity and direction in tissues and organs is a fundamental question of any organism or biological system.

New method to identify inks could help preserve historical documents
The inks on historical documents can hold many secrets. Its ingredients can help trace trade routes and help understand a work's historical significance.

Expert awarded $8.5 million to enlist African-American barbers in fight against hypertension
A Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute physician has been awarded an $8.5 million grant aimed at enlisting African-American barbers in the fight against hypertension, a deadly condition that can cause strokes, heart attacks and organ failure, and which is particularly devastating to African-American men.

Stem pipeline problems to aid STEM diversity
Educators and policymakers have spent decades trying to recruit and retain more underrepresented minority students into the science, technology, engineering, and math pipeline.

Dismisses link between suicidal behaviour and ADHD drugs
A new register-based study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden shows that drug therapy for ADHD does not entail an increased risk of suicide attempts or suicide, as was previously feared.

Kids whose time is less structured are better able to meet their own goals
Children who spend more time in less structured activities -- from playing outside to reading books to visiting the zoo -- are better able to set their own goals and take actions to meet those goals without prodding from adults, according to a new study by the University of Colorado Boulder.

Parents of children with autism curtail reproduction after signs of disorder
Parents of children with autism spectrum disorder appear to curtail attempts to have more children after the first signs of the disorder manifest or a diagnosis is made.

Wildlife scientists map fishing resources to assist land managers, anglers
Researchers mapped a cultural ecosystem service approach by identifying the key features that influence anglers' enjoyment, such as environmental quality, accessibility, and fish abundance.

New manufacturing methods needed for 'soft' machines, robots
Researchers have developed a technique that might be used to produce 'soft machines' made of elastic materials and liquid metals for potential applications in robotics, medical devices and consumer electronics.

Vaccine 'reprograms' pancreatic cancers to respond to immunotherapy
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center have developed and tested a vaccine that triggered the growth of immune cell nodules within pancreatic tumors, essentially reprogramming these intractable cancers and potentially making them vulnerable to immune-based therapies.

10th International Symposium on Earthworm Ecology
The US Forest Service Southern Research Station Center for Forest Disturbance Science will host the 10th International Symposium on Earthworm Ecology (ISEE) in Athens, Georgia, on June 22 - 27, 2014.

Telephone call is effective support when breast cancer treatment includes weight loss
A series of simple telephone calls can make a profound difference in helping women to meet their treatment goals for breast cancer, according to a randomized trial of women who are also obese.

Scripps Research Institute scientists reveal molecular 'yin-yang' of blood vessel growth
Biologists at The Scripps Research Institute have discovered a crucial process that regulates the development of blood vessels.

Counterterrorism, ethics, and global health
The surge in murders of polio vaccination workers in Pakistan has made headlines this year, but little attention has been devoted to the ethical issues surrounding the global health impact of current counterterrorism policy and practice.

Inflammation in fat tissue helps prevent metabolic disease
Chronic tissue inflammation is typically associated with obesity and metabolic disease, but new research from UT Southwestern Medical Center now finds that a level of 'healthy' inflammation is necessary to prevent metabolic diseases.

NIH and NSF collaborate to accelerate biomedical research innovations into the marketplace
A collaboration between the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health will give NIH-funded researchers training to help them evaluate their scientific discoveries for commercial potential, with the aim of accelerating biomedical innovations into applied health technologies.

Developing an improved liposuction technique that melts fat
Although liposuction is one of the most common and well-established cosmetic surgery procedures in the U.S., it still has its drawbacks.

NJIT researchers probe links between vision problems and cognition in a pioneering study
The ability to perceive the world in three dimensions and to see clearly at near and far ranges is coordinated by key eye motor functions, including a mechanism called convergence and accommodation that allows us to see objects at different spatial depths by controlling two sets of muscles to reduce double and blurry vision.

Springer launches comprehensive open access journal
Springer has just launched a new open access journal in Mathematics.

Bioengineer receives $2.9 million grant to improve brain implants
Less than two years ago, a brain-computer interface designed at the University of Pittsburgh allowed Jan Scheuermann to control a robotic arm solely with her thoughts.

March of Dimes Canada invests to advance research in acquired brain injury at U of T
Today, March of Dimes Canada and the University of Toronto signed a $1.5 million agreement to advance research in recovery from brain injuries and stroke, making the donation to the University the largest made by the national charitable organization in its over 60 year history.

Columbia Engineering team finds thousands of secret keys in Android apps
Columbia Engineering computer scientists reported at SIGMETRICS 2014 that they have discovered a crucial security problem in Google Play, the official Android app store where millions get their apps.

Modeling how neurons work together
A highly accurate model of how neurons behave when performing complex movements could aid in the design of robotic limbs which behave more realistically.

Low cortisol levels may increase risk of depression in bipolar disorder
Depression is almost twice as common, and poor quality of life almost five times as common, in people with bipolar disorder who have elevated or low levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the blood.

Study: Controllable optical steady behavior obtainable from nonradiation coherence
Controllable optical steady behaviors including multi-stability and optical bistability are revealed for GaAs quantum wells driving by a single elliptically polarized field and a π-polarized probe field.

Families with an autistic child are a third less likely to have more kids
Parents who have a child with autism spectrum disorder are about one third less likely to have more children than families without an affected child, according to a study led by a UC San Francisco researcher.

Exposure to TV violence related to irregular attention and brain structure
Young adult men who watched more violence on television showed indications of less mature brain development and poorer executive functioning, according to research from Indiana University School of Medicine.

Two low-cost, car battery-sized Canadian space telescopes launched today
Two nanosatellites were launched from Yasny, Russia, at 15:11:11 Eastern Daylight Time today by Anthony Moffat, of the University of Montreal and the Centre for Research in Astrophysics of Quebec, and the Canadian research and technology team he leads.

'Smart glass' micro-iris for smartphone cameras
A small, low-powered camera component made from a 'smart glass' material has been created by a group of researchers in Germany with the hope of inspiring the next generation of smartphone cameras.

BU-lead study shows surprising spread of spring leaf-out times
Despite conventional wisdom among gardeners, foresters and botanists that woody plants all 'leaf out' at about the same time each spring, a new study organized by a Boston University biologist found a surprisingly wide span of as much as three months in leaf-out times.

Re-routing flights could reduce climate impact, research suggests
Aircraft can become more environmentally friendly by choosing flight paths that reduce the formation of their distinctive condensation trails, new research suggests.

Genomic 'dark matter' of embryonic lungs controls proper development of airways
Researchers have identified hundreds of long non-coding RNAs expressed in developing and adult lungs.

How a new approach to funding Alzheimer's research could pay off
Model indicates that diverse research approaches to the disease would be a rewarding investment.

No link found between soy food and endometrial cancer risk, say researchers
Researchers have found no evidence of a protective association between soy food and endometrial cancer risk, says a new study published June 18 in BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology.

Demand for diabetes, thyroid care outpaces supply of endocrinologists
As more people are diagnosed with diabetes and other hormone conditions, a growing shortage of endocrinologists could force patients to wait longer to see a doctor, according to a new Endocrine Society workforce analysis published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 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