Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

June 30, 2014
DNA analysis reveals queen bumblebees disperse far from birthplace before setting up home
In the new study, published today in the journal Molecular Ecology, a combination of DNA analysis and landscape mapping was used to reveal the relationships between hundreds of wild bumblebee colonies of five different species, including four common and one rare species, in an area of nearly 20 square kilometers of farmland in southern England.

Joint education standards help GI, hepatology programs meet accreditation requirements
A team of representatives from five gastroenterology and hepatology societies have created a toolbox designed to help gastroenterology training directors meet the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Internal Medicine Subspecialty Reporting Milestones requirements while training fellows to independently care for patients.

St. John's wort can cause dangerous interactions with many common medications
St. John's wort is the most frequently used complementary and alternative medicine treatment in the US for depression and similar psychiatric disorders.

EMBO and EMBL to host anniversary science and policy meeting
Scientists, politicians and policy makers will meet at the EMBL Advanced Training Centre in Heidelberg, Germany, on July 2-3 for the EMBO-EMBL Anniversary Science and Policy Meeting.

'Master switch' for myelination in human brain stem cells is identified
Scientists at the University at Buffalo have identified the single transcription factor or 'master switch' that initiates the critical myelination process in the brain.

In human evolution, changes in skin's barrier set Northern Europeans apart
The popular idea that Northern Europeans developed light skin to absorb more UV light so they could make more vitamin D -- vital for healthy bones and immune function -- is questioned by UC San Francisco researchers in a new study published online in the journal Evolutionary Biology.

New method to grow zebrafish embryonic stem cells can regenerate whole fish
Zebrafish, a model organism that plays an important role in biological research and the discovery and development of new drugs and cell-based therapies, can form embryonic stem cells.

The outcome of fertility treatments using donor sperm is dependent on the quality of sperm
Despite emerging evidence of a decline in sperm quality with increasing age, an analysis of every first fertility treatment cycle performed in the UK using sperm donation shows that outcome in terms of live birth is not affected by the age of the sperm donor.

Women's groups recommended by WHO as an intervention to cut newborn deaths
The World Health Organisation has recommended an intervention developed and tested by partners in four countries and UCL researchers to improve maternal and newborn health.

Study: Four Habits Model prepares pediatric nurses for emotionally difficult discussions
A new study reports that the Four Habits Model of Highly Effective Clinicians, a core set of communication skills developed to help physicians communicate with patients, can successfully prepare inexperienced nurses for emotionally difficult conversations with parents of pediatric patients.

Researchers unzip nanotubes by shooting them at 15,000 mph
Rice University scientists discover they can unzip nanotubes into graphene nanoribbons without chemicals by firing them at a target at 15,000 miles per hour.

Gene variants found that increase pain sensation after common childhood surgery
In the first genome-wide analysis of postsurgical pain in children, researchers identified variants in genes that affect a child's need for pain-control drugs.

Reigning in chaos in particle colliders yields big results
In a special focus issue of the journal Chaos, from AIP Publishing, a physicist at the European Organization for Nuclear Research details an important method of detecting and correcting unwanted chaotic behavior in particle colliders.

Insights from nature for more efficient water splitting
In a study published in Nature Communications, a team from the RIKEN Center for Sustainable Resource Center led by Ryuhei Nakamura has reported the discovery of a mineral-based catalyst that can efficiently split water into oxygen and hydrogen ions at neutral pH.

Hibernating frogs give clues to halting muscle wastage
Scientists at the University of Queensland, Australia, have identified key genes that help burrowing frogs avoid muscle wastage whilst they are dormant.

Gas-charged fluids creating seismicity associated with a Louisiana sinkhole
In August 2012, the emergence of a very large sinkhole at the Napoleonville Salt Dome in Louisiana offered University of California, Berkeley scientists the opportunity to detect, locate and analyze a rich sequence of 62 seismic events that occurred one day prior to its discovery.

New insights on the factors that intensified the 2008 financial crisis
Fair value accounting is often cast as the culprit for accelerating the economic downturn, but a new study from Columbia Business School, published in the Journal of Accounting and Public Policy, examines FVA's role in the financial crisis and considers the advantages it offers relative to other methods of accounting.

Study helps unlock mystery of high-temp superconductors
A Binghamton University physicist and his colleagues say they have unlocked one key mystery surrounding high-temperature superconductivity.

One-third of knee replacements classified as inappropriate
New research reports that more than one third of total knee replacements in the US were classified as 'inappropriate' using a patient classification system developed and validated in Spain.

Global forum calls for urgent action to curb health inequities, cut maternal and child mortality
More than 800 leaders and public health experts from around the world opened a landmark two-day meeting in Johannesburg to review new data and call for accelerated action to improve maternal, newborn and child health.

19th century math tactic gets a makeover -- and yields answers up to 200 times faster
A relic from long before the age of supercomputers, the 169-year-old math strategy called the Jacobi iterative method is widely dismissed today as too slow to be useful.

Climate change could stop fish finding their friends
Like humans, fish prefer to group with individuals with whom they are familiar, rather than strangers.

Body odor reveals malarial infection
An infection with malaria pathogens changes the scent of infected mice, making those infected more attractive to mosquitos.

A new method to detect infrared energy using a nanoporous ZnO/n-Si photodetector
Scientists in Beijing have proposed a new type of photo-energy detector -- of infrared pulsed laser light -- using a nanoporous ZnO/n-Si structure that would be relatively simple and inexpensive to develop.

Forelimb bone data predicts predator style
In their quest to understand what kind of hunter the extinct marsupial Thylacine was, two paleobiologists built a dataset of forelimb bone measurements that predict the predation style of a wide variety of carnivorous mammals.

It's a girl! Gene silencing technology alters sex of prawns
Israeli scientists have developed a novel method for generating single-sex populations of prawns.

Study of animal urination could lead to better-engineered products
A new Georgia Institute of Technology study investigated how quickly 32 animals urinate.

New Tel Aviv University research links Alzheimer's to brain hyperactivity
A new study by Dr. Inna Slutsky of Tel Aviv University pinpoints the precise molecular mechanism that may trigger elevated neuronal activity in Alzheimer's patients, which subsequently damages memory and learning functions.

Study reveals that many people are oblivious to how they come across to counterparts and colleagues
The research shows that many people seen by others as under-assertive or over-assertive think they're appropriately assertive.

Elsevier announces the launch of a new journal: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, today announced the launch of a new review journal: Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences.

It may take guts to cure diabetes
By switching off a single gene, scientists at Columbia University's Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center have converted human gastrointestinal cells into insulin-producing cells, demonstrating in principle that a drug could retrain cells inside a person's GI tract to produce insulin.

Studies provide important new information on genetic risk of sudden cardiac death
Two international research studies, both led by investigators affiliated with Massachusetts General Hospital and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, have uncovered new information about genes that may increase the risk of serious cardiac arrhythmias.

With climate change, heat more than natural disasters will drive people away
Princeton University researchers reported that increases in the average yearly temperature took a detrimental toll on people's economic well-being and resulted in permanent migrations, whereas natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes had a much smaller to nonexistent impact on permanent relocations.

BMC study: Treat patients with addiction during, after hospitalization
The results of a new study demonstrate that starting hospitalized patients who have an opioid addiction on buprenorphine treatment in the hospital and seamlessly connecting them with an outpatient office based treatment program can greatly reduce whether they relapse after they are discharged.

Moffitt researchers develop new way to combat drug resistance for melanoma patients
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers developed a new way to identify possible therapeutic targets for patients with drug resistant melanoma.

Insulin, other drugs may do more harm than good for some type 2 diabetes patients
Many patients with type 2 diabetes may be overtreated with insulin and other glucose-lowering drugs.

Washington University's Joseph Jez is one of 15 'million dollar professors'
Joseph Jez, a biologist at Washington University in St. Louis, is one of 15 professors nationwide to receive a $1 million HHMI grant to bring the creativity he has shown in the lab to the undergraduate classroom.

Earth-Kind roses analyzed for salt tolerance
A greenhouse study conducted at two locations in Texas evaluated 18 Earth-Kind rose cultivars' response to two salinity levels at electrical conductivity of 1.2 and 10.0 dSm-1.

University of Strathclyde and NYU join in landmark research and academic partnership
The University of Strathclyde and New York University have cemented a flagship partnership, paving the way for a range of research and collaboration opportunities.

Artificial enzyme mimics the natural detoxification mechanism in liver cells
Scientists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz in Germany have discovered that molybdenum trioxide nanoparticles oxidize sulfite to sulfate in liver cells in analogy to the enzyme sulfite oxidase.

Bosses use private social media more than staff
Managers are most critical to private social media use at work.

Children born to women after fertility treatment at greater risk of psychiatric disorders
Children born to women with fertility problems have a higher risk of psychiatric disorders than naturally conceived children.

Scientists develop force sensor from carbon nanotubes
A group of researchers from Russia, Belarus and Spain, including Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology professor Yury Lozovik, have developed a microscopic force sensor based on carbon nanotubes.

Common herbal supplement can cause dangerous interactions
St. John's wort, the leading complementary and alternative treatment for depression in the United States, can be dangerous when taken with many commonly prescribed drugs, according to a study by researchers at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.

Study finds low hand hygiene compliance rates during anesthesia administration
Anesthesia providers are missing opportunities to clean their hands during surgical procedures, according to a study published in the July issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

Newly identified gene provides reliable visual cue for oil palm fruit ripeness
A genetic discovery by a team of scientists from the Malaysian Palm Oil Board, aided by scientists from Orion Genomics, paves the way for increased production of palm oil, which accounts for 45 percent of the world's edible oil, while also helping to conserve sensitive wild habitats at risk of being turned into agricultural land.

All the world's oceans have plastic debris on their surface
The Malaspina Expedition, led by the Spanish National Research Council, have demonstrated that there are five large accumulations of plastic debris in the open ocean that match with the five major twists of oceanic surface water circulation.

Research reveals a gender gap in the nation's biology labs
MIT study of 24 top institutions finds 'elite' male faculty in the life sciences employ fewer women.

More carbohydrates make trees more resistant to drought
How well tropical trees weather periods of drought depends on the carbohydrates stored, as revealed by a novel experiment conducted by an international team of researchers headed by ecologists from the University of Zurich in contribution to the University Research Priority Program on 'Global Change and Biodiversity'.

Study finds videoconferencing with family, friends lowers stress for pediatric patients
To ease isolation during extended hospitalizations, UC Davis Children's Hospital offers secure videoconferencing for patients and families.

A key component of cell division comes to light
The in vivo visualization and monitoring of the starting points of microtubules -- filaments responsible for organising the mitotic spindle -- provides novel insight into the dynamic architecture of this structure.

Cocaine addiction: Phase-specific biology and treatment?
Current pharmacotherapies for addiction follow the dictum 'one size fits all'.

Stem cells may be more widespread and with greater potential than previously believed
With the plethora of research and published studies on stem cells over the last decade, many would say that the definition of stem cells is well established and commonly agreed upon.

Sixth class of Global Health Corps fellows begin year of service to advance health equity
Global Health Corps welcomed its sixth class of fellows today at Yale University, for the opening of its annual Leadership Training Institute.

Bacterial colonies evolve amazing diversity
Like human societies -- think New York City -- bacterial colonies have immense diversity among their inhabitants, often generated in the absence of specific selection pressures, according to a paper published ahead of print in the Journal of Bacteriology.

Silver in the washing machine
The antibacterial properties of silver-coated textiles are popular in the fields of sport and medicine.

Scientists engineer nanoparticles to prevent bone cancer, strengthen bones
A research collaboration between Brigham and Women's Hospital and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute has utilized nanomedicine technologies to develop a drug-delivery system that can precisely target and attack cancer cells in the bone, as well as increase bone strength and volume to prevent bone cancer progression.

Evolution of life's operating system revealed in detail
The evolution of the ribosome, a large molecular structure found in the cells of all species, has been revealed in unprecedented detail in a new study.

WSU researchers chart an ancient baby boom
Washington State University researchers have sketched out one of the greatest baby booms in North American history, a centuries-long 'growth blip' among southwestern Native Americans between 500 to 1300 A.D.

Comparison study of planting methods shows drilling favorable for organic farming
Experiments were conducted with winter- and spring-sown cover crops to compare drilling and broadcasting methods for establishing rye mixed with either purple or common vetch on beds.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for July 1, 2014
The July 1, 2014, issue of Annals of Internal Medicine contains the following articles: 'American College of Physicians recommends against routine pelvic exam, finds harms outweigh any demonstrated benefit'; 'Initial treatment with efavirenz-containing antiretroviral regimen doubles risk for suicidal behaviors'; and 'Daily prophylactic oral tenofovir protects against herpes simplex virus 2.'

A first: Scientists show bacteria can evolve a biological timer to survive antibiotics
Hebrew University of Jerusalem researchers have demonstrated that when exposed to repeated cycles of antibiotics, within days bacteria can evolve a new adaptation, by remaining dormant for the treatment period to survive antibiotic stress.

Blood lead levels associated with increased behavioral problems in kids in China
Elevated blood lead levels appear to be associated with teacher-reported behavioral problems in a study of preschool children in China.

Who are the UK's ICT Pioneers 2014?
The winners of a prestigious national competition for researchers who are pioneers in Information and Communication Technology were announced last night at The Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, London.

Adults can undo heart disease risk
The heart is more forgiving than you may think -- especially to adults who try to take charge of their health, a new Northwestern Medicine study has found.

Scientists chart a baby boom -- in southwestern Native-Americans from 500 to 1300 A.D.
Scientists have sketched out one of the greatest baby booms in North American history, a centuries-long 'growth blip' among southwestern Native-Americans between 500 and 1300 A.D.

Potential drug target for PTSD prevention
Scientists have identified a drug that appears to make memories of fearsome events less durable in mice.

New research study shows huge savings for health care
Recently published findings in Annals of Internal Medicine by Steven Lipshultz, M.D., Wayne State University professor and chair of pediatrics and pediatrician-in-chief at the Children's Hospital of Michigan, part of the Detroit Medical Center, and colleagues could help to reduce health care charges while also protecting childhood cancer survivors from heart ailments caused by drug therapy.

'Molecular movies' will enable extraordinary gains in bioimaging, health research
Researchers have created an imaging technology more powerful than anything that has existed before, and is fast enough to observe life processes as they actually happen at the molecular level.

Young teens who receive sexts are 6 times more likely to report having had sex
A study provides new understanding of the relationship between 'sexting' and sexual behavior in early adolescence, contributing to the ongoing conversation about whether sexually explicit text messaging is a risk behavior or just a technologically enabled extension of normal teenage flirtation.

Tropical countries' growing wealth may aid conservation
Attainment of upper middle income in Brazil, Costa Rica, Mexico, Gabon, Malaysia, Peru and Thailand -- nations that contain nearly 80 percent of the world's primary tropical forests -- may shift the financial burden for tropical forest conservation.

Fat damages the lungs of heavy drinkers
So called fatty liver disease that long time drinkers develop may extend to the lung in a newly discovered side effect of drinking in rats that researchers are calling fatty lung disease.

'Microbe sniffer' could point the way to next-generation bio-refining
A new biosensor invented at the University of British Columbia could help optimize bio-refining processes that produce fuels, fine chemicals and advanced materials.

Surgical treatment for metastatic melanoma of the liver increases overall survival
Surgical resection markedly improves survival among metastatic melanoma patients whose disease is isolated to a few areas in the liver, according to new study findings published in the July issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

Case Western Reserve, University Hospitals fundraising for adolescent, young adult cancer
Leaders from Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals this evening announced a new collaborative fundraising effort focused on Adolescent and Young Adult cancer.

Childhood malnutrition linked to higher blood pressure in adults
Malnutrition during childhood is associated with higher diastolic blood pressure, higher resistance to blood flow, and poor heart function during adulthood.

The carbon footprint of flowering trees
Researchers determined economic costs of component horticultural systems while conducting a life cycle assessment of field-grown 'Forest Pansy'.

Research proves shock wave from explosives causes significant eye damage
With funding from the US Department of Defense, researchers at UTSA, US Army Institute of Surgical Research at Joint Base San Antonio Fort Sam Houston and the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio study the unseen effects that can occur as a result of a blast injury.

Cellular team players
Many enzymes work only with a co-trainer, of sorts. Scientists at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen and the Cluster of Excellence Nanosystems Initiative Munich show what this kind of cooperation looks like in detail using a novel methodology applied to the heat shock protein Hsp90.

No link between fertility drugs and breast, ovarian and uterine cancers
There is 'little evidence' that the use of conventional fertility hormones used for ovarian stimulation in the treatment of infertility increases the long-term risk of breast and gynecological cancers, according to the results of a substantial 30-year follow-up study.

The chemistry of fireworks: Fourth of July science (video)
The Fourth of July is just days away, and that means millions of Americans will soon enjoy eye-popping fireworks displays around the country.

New study: Ancient Arctic sharks tolerated brackish water 50 million years ago
Sharks were a tolerant bunch some 50 million years ago, cruising an Arctic Ocean that contained about the same percentage of freshwater as Louisiana's Lake Ponchatrain does today, says a new study involving the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Chicago.

2014 SNMMI Annual Meeting highlights research and looks to future
Top research from around the world and the latest advances in technology were brought together for the 2014 Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging Annual Meeting in St.

The Lancet: Dramatic slowdown in growth of US health expenditure over last decade closes gap between USA and other high-spending countries
Growth in health expenditure in the USA slowed dramatically between 2000 and 2011, bringing the growth rate of the country's health budget in line with other high-spending countries, according to new research published in The Lancet as part of a new Series, 'The Health of Americans.'

Progress in the fight against tuberculosis
At the 64th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Germany, leading immunologists express confidence that clear advances in the fight against tuberculosis are within reach.

Efficacy doubts over pre-IVF hysteroscopy
A large multicenter trial seems finally to have resolved one of IVF's long-running controversies -- whether the outlook for women with a poor IVF record can be improved by routine hysteroscopy performed before further IVF treatment.

Engineered red blood cells could carry precious therapeutic cargo
Whitehead Institute scientists have genetically and enzymatically modified red blood cells to carry a range of valuable payloads -- from drugs, to vaccines, to imaging agents -- for delivery to specific sites throughout the body.

Researchers seek to tackle transplant tolerance using patients' own T cells
A new Northwestern Medicine clinical trial aims to remove the need for organ transplant patients to take immunosuppressive drugs by increasing the number of their own regulatory T cells.

New study from population and development review finds flaws in mortality projections
A new study by Population Council demographer John Bongaarts has found that mortality projections from most low-mortality countries are more pessimistic than they should be.

Clot-building nanoparticles raise survival rate following blast trauma
In preclinical tests led by a Case Western Reserve University researcher, artificial platelets, called 'hemostatic nanoparticles,' when injected after blast trauma increased survival rates to 95 percent from 60 percent, and showed no signs of interfering with healing or causing other complications weeks afterward.

Using geometry, researchers coax human embryonic stem cells to organize themselves
By confining colonies of human embryonic stem cells to tiny circular patterns on glass plates, researchers have for the first time coaxed them into organizing themselves just as they would under natural conditions.

First pediatric autism study conducted entirely online
UC San Francisco researchers have completed the first Internet-based clinical trial for children with autism, establishing it as a viable and cost effective method of conducting high-quality and rapid clinical trials in this population.

Arizona State faculty member named Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor
Biogeochemist Ariel Anbar has been selected as Arizona State University's first Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor.

Interlayer distance in graphite oxide gradually changes when water is added
Physicists from UmeƄ University and Humboldt University in Berlin have solved a mystery that has puzzled scientists for half a century.

Up in flames: Evidence confirms combustion theory
Researchers at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Berkeley Lab) and the University of Hawaii have uncovered the first step in the process that transforms gas-phase molecules into solid particles like soot and other carbon-based compounds.

ACP recommends against pelvic exam in asymptomatic, average risk, non-pregnant women
ACP's new evidence-based guideline finds that harms of screening pelvic examination outweigh any demonstrated benefits.

HIV-positive people with early-stage cancer up to 4 times more likely to go untreated for cancer
HIV-infected people diagnosed with cancer are two to four times more likely to go untreated for their cancer compared to uninfected cancer patients, according to a new, large retrospective study from researchers in Penn Medicine's Abramson Cancer Center and the National Cancer Institute published online ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Oil palm plantations threaten water quality, Stanford scientists say
Indonesia pays a price for a lucrative crop used in many household products.

Research letter examines reports of chronic pain, opioid use by US soldiers
In a survey of US soldiers returned from deployment, 44 percent reported chronic pain and 15.1 percent reported recent use of opioid pain relievers.

The Lancet: Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act catalyses unprecedented collaboration between health care and public health
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed into law by US President Barack Obama in 2010, can advance public health in the USA by supporting increased emphasis on prevention, and reversing the historic division between public health and private health care services, according to the authors of new research published in The Lancet as part of a new Series, 'The Health of Americans.'

Research team pursues techniques to improve elusive stem cell therapy
Harvard Stem Cell Institute scientists at Boston Children's Hospital recently found that transplanting mesenchymal stem cells along with blood vessel-forming cells naturally found in circulation improves transplantation results.

In study of individual neuron activity, key brain region responds to subjective perception
When evaluating another person's emotions -- happy, sad, angry, afraid -- humans take cues from facial expressions.

A step closer to bio-printing transplantable tissues and organs: Study
Researchers have made a giant leap towards the goal of 'bio-printing' transplantable tissues and organs for people affected by major diseases and trauma injuries, a new study reports.

Green planning needed to maintain city buildings
Green spaces in towns and cities need extra consideration as they may be damaging buildings in the area, according to new research from the Universities of Southampton and Surrey.

The influence of westernization spells danger for public health in Nigeria
The lifestyle altering effects of westernization could be responsible for the high prevalence of obesity, and associated health risks in sub-Saharan Africa, researchers have found.

Malaria parasite manipulates host's scent
Malaria parasites alter the chemical odor signal of their hosts to attract mosquitoes and better spread their offspring, according to researchers, who believe this scent change could be used as a diagnostic tool.

Is the next 'new' cancer drug already in your medicine cabinet?
The same types of drugs that help reduce watery eyes and runny noses during allergy season might also help ward off tumors too.

Lead in kids' blood linked with behavioral and emotional problems
Emotional and behavioral problems show up even with low exposure to lead, and as blood lead levels increase in children, so do the problems, according to research funded by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health. 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