Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 25, 2014
New research shows link unlikely between insomnia symptoms and high blood pressure
New research from St. Michael's Hospital has found that insomnia does not put them at increased risk of developing high blood pressure.

Invasive watersnakes introduced to California may pose risk to native species
Watersnakes, commonly seen in the lakes, rivers and streams of the eastern United States, are invading California waterways and may pose a threat to native and endangered species in the state, according to a University of California, Davis, study.

Obesity before pregnancy linked to earliest preterm births, Stanford/Packard study finds
Women who are obese before they become pregnant face an increased risk of delivering a very premature baby, according to a new study of nearly 1 million California births.

Money in the bank: Why does feeling powerful help people save more?
In a materialistic culture, saving money is a challenge many of us face long before our retirement years.

UMN research uncovers structure, protein elements critical to human function and disease
New structures discovered within cilia show a relationship between certain proteins and juvenile myoclonic epilepsy.

What's in a name?
Standardized scientific names for biological species have been in use for nearly 300 years, but -- as global biodiversity databases grow deficiencies such as duplication and various name meanings become obvious.

Using multiple pictures in an ad? Different perspectives can confuse consumers
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to see the ocean from a private balcony at a luxury resort?

Incentives as effective as penalties for slowing Amazon deforestation
An international team of scientists, including one from Virginia Tech, reviewed published research and determined that positive incentives for farmers, counties, and states can do as much to preserve forests as public policies that call for penalties.

Downside to disaster relief: Why do photos of attractive children backfire?
When it comes to asking a stranger for help, being young, pretty, and the opposite sex greatly improve your odds.

The lowdown on triclosan's effects on health and the environment
Earlier this year, mounting concerns over the potential health effects of triclosan, a common antimicrobial ingredient, prompted Minnesota to ban the germ-killer from consumer soaps statewide starting in 2017.

Reorganization of crop production and trade could save China's water supply
China's rapid socioeconomic growth continues to tax national water resources -- especially in the agricultural sector -- due to increasing demands for food.

Evidence of the big fix?
The theory of wormholes and multiverse suggests that the parameters of the Standard Model are fixed such that the total entropy at the late stage of the universe is maximized.

Recent progress in whole-lifecycle software architecture modeling
Software complexity is an important factor leading to software crisis.

Women having babies later in life more likely to live longer
Women who had their children later in life will be happy to learn that a new study suggests an association between older maternal age at birth of the last child and greater odds for surviving to an unusually old age.

New technology to treat sepsis, a global killer
Engineers are developing a new technology that they believe could revolutionize the treatment and prevention of sepsis.

Mathematical models explain how a wrinkle becomes a crease
Wrinkles, creases and folds are everywhere in nature, from the surface of human skin to the buckled crust of the Earth.

New math technique improves atomic property predictions to historic accuracy
By combining advanced mathematics with high-performance computing, scientists at NIST and Indiana University have developed a tool that allowed them to calculate a fundamental property of most atoms on the periodic table to historic accuracy, reducing error by a factor of a thousand in many cases.

Changes in forage fish abundance alter Atlantic cod distribution, affect fishery success
A shift in the prey available to Atlantic cod in the Gulf of Maine that began nearly a decade ago contributed to the controversy that surrounded the 2011 assessment for this stock.

Scientists unearth what may be secret weapon against antibiotic resistance
A fungus living in the soils of Nova Scotia could offer new hope in the pressing battle against drug-resistant germs that kill tens of thousands of people every year, including one considered a serious global threat.

Smart gating nanochannels for confined water developed by CAS researchers
Confined water exists widely and plays important roles in natural environments, biological nanochannels being a case in point.

Fruit flies help scientists uncover genes responsible for human communication
Toddlers acquire communication skills by babbling until what they utter is rewarded; however, the genes involved in learning language skills are far from completely understood.

Peer problem solving leads to operational efficiency
Boston College Marketing Professor Kay Lemon is the co-author and researcher of a study that shows peer-to-peer problem solving can lessen the need for firms to actually have to contact their supplier for a traditional customer support service call.

'Cosmic own goal' another clue in hunt for dark matter
The hunt for dark matter has taken another step forward thanks to new supercomputer simulations showing the evolution of our 'local Universe' from the Big Bang to the present day.

Watching too much TV may increase risk of early death in adults
Adults who watch TV three hours or more a day may double their risk of premature death from any cause.

Street football boosts fitness and health in socially deprived men
Research carried out by the Copenhagen Centre for Team Sport and Health in Denmark shows that street football (soccer) improves fitness and multiple health markers in homeless men.

The breakthrough of hypervelocity launch performed on 3-stage light gas gun in CAEP
In the past 20 years, the Laboratory for Shock Wave and Detonation Physics Research in IFP, CAEP has conducted the research in hypervelocity launch technology, in which significant progresses have been made in physical design, material processing and experimental measurement technology.

Scientists develop a 'nanosubmarine' that delivers complementary molecules inside cells
Recently, researchers created nanoparticles that under the right conditions, self-assemble -- trapping complementary guest molecules within their structure.

Taking the 'random' out: New approach to medical studies could boost participation
A new approach to designing clinical trials -- so that patients' odds of getting the better-performing treatment improve -- may help increase the number of people who agree to take part in medical studies.

A win-win-win solution for biofuel, climate, and biodiversity
In Brazil, the demand for alternative energy sources has led to an increase in biofuel crops.

Northwestern Medicine researchers discover new way to prevent some strokes
New research published in New England Journal of Medicine links stroke and atrial fibrillation: findings will help better treat and prevent strokes.

Advanced light source provides new look at skyrmions
At Berkeley Lab's Advanced Light Source, researchers for the first time have used x-rays to observe and study skyrmions, subatomic quasiparticles that could play a key role in future spintronic technologies.

Invisibility cloak for immune cells
The various cells in the immune system have to protect themselves from one another so that they don't kill each other.

Fifty percent of quality improvement studies fail to change medical practices
Over the last two decades, nearly half of all initiatives that review and provide feedback to clinicians on healthcare practices show little to no impact on quality of care, according to a new study by Women's College Hospital's Dr.

Special edition of the Red Journal highlights the need for radiation oncology services in LMICs
The July 1, 2014 edition of the International Journal of Radiation Oncology ● Biology ● Physics, the official scientific journal of the American Society for Radiation Oncology, features a special section of 10 articles focusing on global health and radiation oncology in low- and middle-income countries.

Major meeting to propose large-scale solutions to landscape challenges in Africa
How will African farmers deal with climate change? Can we preserve biodiversity while lifting millions of rural Africans out of poverty?

Few obstetricians counsel patients on environmental toxics
In the first national survey of US obstetricians' attitudes towards counseling pregnant patients about environmental health hazards, nearly 80 percent agreed that physicians have a role to play in helping patients reduce their exposures, but only a small minority use their limited time with patients to discuss how they might avoid exposure to toxics, according to a UCSF-led study.

Curiosity travels through ancient glaciers on Mars
3,500 million years ago the Martian crater Gale, through which the NASA rover Curiosity is currently traversing, was covered with glaciers, mainly over its central mound.

New study quantifies the effects of climate change in Europe
If no further action is taken and global temperature increases by 3.5°C, climate damages in the EU could amount to at least €190 billion, a net welfare loss of 1.8 percent of its current GDP.

Fast, portable device for 'on-the-go,' laboratory-quality cocaine testing
Testing for cocaine and other drugs usually involves two steps: a quick on-site prescreen, and then a more accurate confirmatory test at a distant laboratory.

Managing specialized microbes to clean stubborn chemicals from the environment
In a series of new studies, Anca Delgado, a researcher at Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute, examines unique groups of microorganisms, capable of converting hazardous chlorinated chemicals like trichloroetheene into ethene, a benign end product of microbial biodegradation.

Alcohol use increases over generation in study of moms, daughters in Australia
Drinking alcohol has increased over a generation in a study of mothers and daughters in Australia.

Researchers 1 step closer to countering deadly Nipah virus
An interdisciplinary research team from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and three groups within the National Institutes of Health reports a new breakthrough in countering the deadly Nipah virus.

Natural resources worth more than US$40 trillion must be accounted for
Governments and companies must do more to account for their impact and dependence on the natural environment -- according to researchers at the University of East Anglia.

Resolving apparent inconsistencies in optimality principles for flow processes in geosystems
In a recent article published in the Chinese Science Bulletin, Hui-Hai Liu, a scientist in the Earth Sciences Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory of the University of California, proposed a new thermodynamic hypothesis.

Stanley Miller's forgotten experiments, analyzed
Stanley Miller, the chemist whose landmark experiment published in 1953 showed how some of the molecules of life could have formed on a young Earth, left behind boxes of experimental samples that he never analyzed.

LSTM Researchers demonstrate adaptive potential of hybridization in mosquito species
Researchers from LSTM have exploited a natural experiment created by insecticidal pressure to determine how the most important malaria vectors -- A. gambiae s.s. and A. coluzzii -- respond rapidly to environmental change.

New material improves wound healing, keeps bacteria from sticking
As many patients know, treating wounds has become far more sophisticated than sewing stitches and applying gauze, but dressings still have shortcomings.

The Lancet Diabetes & Endocrinology: Genetic study suggests causal link between vitamin D deficiency and hypertension
New genetic research provides compelling evidence that low levels of vitamin D have a causal role in the development of high blood pressure -- hypertension.

Freedom of choice: When rejection and discrimination hinder minority entrepreneurs
When it comes to The American Dream, freedom of choice is a central value for entrepreneurs.

Achieving Your Goals: Does removing yourself from the big picture help?
Consider the case of the adult student attending night school to earn a degree that will result in a better job with higher pay.

Aging with HIV and AIDS: A growing social issue
As the first people with HIV grow old, a new study from St.

GW leads clinical trial to reduce epileptic seizures in people with temporal lobe epilepsy
Mohamad Koubeissi, M.D., director of the Epilepsy Center and associate professor of neurology at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, is leading a clinical trial employing low-frequency deep brain stimulation to potentially help reduce epileptic seizures in patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy.

MM-398 added to standard treatment shows survival benefit in mets pancreatic cancer
Adding the novel MM-398 to standard treatment for metastatic pancreatic cancer patients who have already received gemcitabine improves survival, researchers said at the ESMO 16th World Congress on Gastrointestinal Cancer in Barcelona.

Nanoscale velcro used for molecule transport
Biological membranes separate the cell from the environment and at the same time control the import and export of molecules.

Potent neurotoxin found in flatworm
The neurotoxin tetrodotoxin has been found for the first time in two species living out of water.

For the next generation: Democracy ensures we don't take it all with us
Given the chance to vote, people will leave behind a legacy of resources that ensures the survival of the next generation, a series of experiments by Yale and Harvard psychologists show.

People with tinnitus process emotions differently from their peers, researchers report
Patients with persistent ringing in the ears -- a condition known as tinnitus -- process emotions differently in the brain from those with normal hearing, researchers report in the journal Brain Research.

New treatment option in development for individuals with food allergy
For some children an allergic reaction to common foods such as milk, eggs, or peanuts can cause an anaphylactic reaction.

Reproduction later in life is a marker for longevity in women
Women who are able to naturally have children later in life tend to live longer and the genetic variants that allow them to do so might also facilitate exceptionally long life spans, according to a Boston University School of Medicine study.

First comprehensive pediatric concussion guidelines, available now
Evidence-based recommendations to standardize the diagnosis and management of concussion in children aged five to 18 years old have just been published.

Study highlights carbon monoxide hazards on houseboats
Boaters and marina workers should exercise caution this summer before taking to the seas.

When does rude service at luxury stores make consumers go back for more?
For many people, the idea of purchasing a luxury product in a high-end boutique comes with the stigma of snobbery and rude salesclerks.

World's first magnetic hose created
An international team of scientists led by researchers from the Department of Physics of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona has developed a material which guides and transports a magnetic field from one location to the other, similar to how an optical fiber transports light or a hose transports water.

Net energy analysis should become a standard policy tool, Stanford scientists say
To be viable, wind farms, power plants and other energy technologies should deliver more energy than they consume.

Black hole trio holds promise for gravity wave hunt
The discovery of three closely orbiting supermassive black holes in a galaxy more than four billion light years away could help astronomers in the search for gravitational waves: the 'ripples in spacetime' predicted by Einstein.

Northwestern Medicine cardiologist is American Heart Association Physician of the Year
Neil J. Stone, MD, a Northwestern Medicine cardiologist for more than four decades, was named the American Heart Association's 2014 Physician of the Year, the organization's honor given annually to a physician who has rendered 'outstanding accomplishments.'

Restoring thyroid hormones in heart may prevent heart disease from diabetes
Administering low doses of a thyroid hormone to rats with diabetes helps restore hormone levels in their hearts and prevented deterioration of heart function and pathology.

NASA's STEREO maps much larger solar atmosphere than previously observed
Using NASA's Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory, scientists have found that this atmosphere, called the corona, is even larger than thought, extending out some 5 million miles above the sun's surface -- the equivalent of 12 solar radii.

Neural sweet talk: Taste metaphors emotionally engage the brain
Researchers from Princeton University and the Free University of Berlin found that taste-related metaphors such as 'sweet' actually engage the emotional centers of the brain more than literal words such as 'kind' that have the same meaning.

Sequencing efforts miss DNA crucial to bacteria's disease causing power
Pieces of DNA, including viruses, found outside a microbe's chromosomes may play a role in disease, but are nearly impossible to identify and sequence using conventional techniques.

New research shows freshers struggle to remember basic A-level concepts
University freshers struggle to remember basic concepts from their A-level studies according to new research from the University of East Anglia.

New insights for coping with personality changes in acquired brain injury
Individuals with brain injury and their families often struggle to accept the associated personality changes.

Deploying midwives in poorest nations could avert millions of maternal and newborn deaths
A modest increase in the number of skilled midwives in the world's poorest nations could save the lives of a substantial number of women and their babies, according to new analyses by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

New method increases targeted bone volume by 30 percent
In an important development for the health of elderly people, University of Liverpool researchers have developed a new method to target bone growth.

Are fish near extinction?
A new study from Tel Aviv University has uncovered the reason why 90 percent of fish larvae are biologically doomed to die mere days after hatching.

Collaborative learning -- for robots
An algorithm lets independent agents collectively produce a machine-learning model without aggregating data.

Marriage and healthy hearts
The affairs of the heart may actually affect the affairs of the heart in ways previously not understood.

NHCGNE awards new fellows, scholars
The National Hartford Centers of Gerontological Nursing Excellence, located at The Gerontological Society of America, has announced $1.2 million in awards to the latest cohort of Claire M.

2014 World Stem Cell Summit presented by GPI, Mary Ann Liebert, Inc, and GEN
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers and Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News are proud to announce that they will again serve as joint platinum media sponsors of the Genetics Policy Institute 2014 World Stem Cell Summit.

Ludwik Leibler awarded the EPJE Pierre-Gilles de Gennes Lecture Prize for 2014
The journal EPJE Soft Matter and Biological Physics has awarded French physicist Ludwik Leibler the 2014 EPJE Pierre-Gilles de Gennes Lecture Prize.

Researchers treat incarceration as a disease epidemic, discover small changes help
By treating incarceration as an infectious disease, researchers show that small differences in prison sentences can lead to large differences in incarceration rates.

Kaiser Permanente paper: E-surveillance program targets care gaps in outpatient settings
An innovative framework for identifying and addressing potential gaps in health care in outpatient settings using electronic clinical surveillance tools has been used to target patient safety across a variety of conditions, according to a study published today in the journal eGEMs.

Researcher shines light on the search for new drugs
They are the largest family of receptors on the surface of our cells, and they help us maintain basics like blood pressure and heart rate.

Army leads collaborative effort to establish standards for sequencing viral genomes
Scientists at the US Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases have proposed a set of standards aimed at developing a common 'language' among investigators working to sequence viral genomes and characterize viral stocks.

Double standard? The use of performance-enhancing products
When professional athletes are found to be using performance-enhancing drugs, many people consider this an unfair advantage and say they are cheating.

USC scientists create new battery that's cheap, clean, rechargeable... and organic
Sri Narayan and his team have developed a rechargeable battery that is all organic and could be scaled up easily for use in power plants.

MicroRNA that blocks bone destruction could offer new therapeutic target for osteoporosis
UT Southwestern cancer researchers have identified a promising molecule that blocks bone destruction and, therefore, could provide a potential therapeutic target for osteoporosis and bone metastases of cancer.

Early surgical follow-up with primary care physicians can cut hospital readmissions
Patients who have post-operative complications following high-risk surgery have a significantly lower risk of being readmitted to the hospital within 30 days if they go see their primary care physician soon following discharge, a new study in JAMA Surgery shows.

Another concern arises over groundwater contamination from fracking accidents
The oil and gas extraction method known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, could potentially contribute more pollutants to groundwater than past research has suggested, according to a new study in ACS' journal Environmental Science & Technology.

Nanoscale ruler reveals organization of the cell membrane
Professor Dr. Michael Reth from University of Freiburg has developed a method that allows him to monitor how the antigen receptor, which B cells of the immune system use to recognize foreign substances, changes after activation.

Study: Motivational interviewing helps reduce home secondhand smoke exposure
A Johns Hopkins-led research team has found that motivational interviewing, along with standard education and awareness programs, significantly reduced secondhand smoke exposure among children living in those households.

First positive results toward a therapeutic vaccine against brain cancer
A prerequisite to the development of a tumor vaccine is to find protein structures in cancer cells that differ from those of healthy cells.

Earlier snowmelt prompting earlier breeding of Arctic birds
A new collaborative study that included the work of Wildlife Conservation Society biologists has revealed that migratory birds that breed in Arctic Alaska are initiating nests earlier in the spring, and that snowmelt occurring earlier in the season is a big reason why.

Distorting the past: Why do impulsive consumers forget their past indulgences?
Activities like dieting, saving money, and studying require goal setting and self-control.

Lowering toxicity of new HIV drugs predicted to improve life expectancy
While bringing new drugs to market is important for increasing life expectancy in younger people with HIV, lowering the toxicity of those drugs may have an even greater health impact on all HIV patients, a University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health analysis reveals.

Scientists devloping novel technique that could facilitate nuclear disarmament
Scientist at Princeton University and Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory are developing a novel 'zero-knowledge protocol' for nuclear-warhead verification.

Study: Traumatic brain injury in veterans may increase risk of dementia
Older veterans who have experienced a traumatic brain injury are 60 percent more likely to later develop dementia than veterans without TBI, according to a study published in the June 25, 2014, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

Patient safety violations and poor record keeping common in clinical trial concerns
Failure to protect patient safety and poor record keeping were among the most common violations picked up by the US regulator in the running of clinical trials over a period of seven years, reveals a study published online in the Journal of Medical Ethics.

Carbon-fiber epoxy honeycombs mimic the material performance of balsa wood
Materials scientists at Harvard SEAS have developed cellular composite materials of unprecedented light weight and stiffness.

Carnegie Mellon method automatically cuts boring parts from long videos
Smartphones, GoPro cameras and Google Glass are making it easy for anyone to shoot video anywhere.

Home sweet messy home: How do consumers cope with disorder at home?
From hanging up our coats to organizing our bookshelves and kitchen cupboards, some people keep their homes tidy and others seem to live in complete chaos.

Deep brain stimulation improves non motor symptoms in Parkinson's disease
Deep brain stimulation (DBS) has become a well-recognized non-pharmacologic treatment that improves motor symptoms of patients with early and advanced Parkinson's disease.

Wild Connection: What Animal Mating and Courtship Tell Us About Human Relationships
Sex-crazed turtles, confused bees, and cheating swans. These are just a few of the things animal behavior expert Dr.

New NASA model gives glimpse into the invisible world of electric asteroids
Space may appear empty -- a soundless vacuum, but it's not an absolute void.

STRIATUS/JBJS, Inc., announces American Diabetes Association participation in PRE-val
STRIATUS/JBJS, Inc. is proud to announce that the American Diabetes Association (ADA) -- publishers of the journals Diabetes®, Diabetes Care®, Clinical Diabetes®, and Diabetes Spectrum® -- has signed on to participate in PRE-val.

Study links Greenland ice sheet collapse, sea level rise 400,000 years ago
A new study suggests that a warming period more than 400,000 years ago pushed the Greenland ice sheet past its stability threshold, resulting in a nearly complete deglaciation of southern Greenland and raising global sea levels some four to six meters.

Did Neanderthals eat their vegetables?
Scientists from MIT and the University of La Laguna in Spain have identified human fecal remains from El Salt, a known site of Neanderthal occupation in southern Spain that dates back 50,000 years.

The Jackson Laboratory Cancer Center earns NCI renewal
The Jackson Laboratory Cancer Center has once again earned the renewal of its Cancer Center Support Grant from the National Cancer Institute.

Chronic brain damage not as prevalent in NFL players, say researchers
A study published online today in Sports Health: A Multidisciplinary Approach provides a different take on previous information regarding the prevalence of chronic brain damage in retired NFL players.

Georgia State receives $2 million grant to prevent child maltreatment
The Georgia State University School of Public Health has received a four-year grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in the US Department of Health and Human Services totaling nearly $2 million to support programs and research related to prevention of child abuse and neglect.

Fracking flowback could pollute groundwater with heavy metals
The chemical makeup of wastewater generated by 'hydrofracking' could cause the release of tiny particles in soils that often strongly bind heavy metals and pollutants, exacerbating the environmental risks during accidental spills, Cornell University researchers have found.

Finding elusive emperor penguins
Field surveys and satellites complement each other when studying remote penguin populations.

Oldest human poop provides dietary insights
Neanderthals from Spain may have consumed more vegetables than previously thought.

First estimates of newborns needing treatment for bacterial infection show 7 million cases
Seven million babies in South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America in 2012 required treatment for bacterial infections including sepsis, meningitis and pneumonia, according to research overseen by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

A vote for cooperation
Using a series of public goods 'games,' Harvard faculty and colleagues demonstrated that allowing people to vote on the harvesting of resources encouraged more people to preserve resources for future generations.

Animal testing methods for endocrine disruptors should change, team argues
UMass Amherst environmental scientist Laura Vandenberg, with colleagues at the University of Missouri-Columbia and Université de Toulouse, conclude that 'gavage may be preferred over other routes for some environmental chemicals in some circumstances, but it does not appropriately model human dietary exposures for many chemicals. 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