Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 16, 2014
Borneo deforested 30 percent over past 40 years
Forest cover in Borneo may have declined by up to 30 percent over the past 40 years.

Worm study provides hope for deadly disease of the brain
An untreatable and deadly neurodegenerative disease has been modelled and treated in worms by University of Liverpool researchers, suggesting a cure could be found for humans.

Study: Robot-assisted surgery for prostate cancer controls the disease for 10 years
Robot-assisted surgery to remove cancerous prostate glands is effective in controlling the disease for 10 years, according to a new study led by researchers at Henry Ford Hospital.

Fair cake cutting gets its own algorithm
Mathematician Julius Barbanel of Union College, and political scientist Steven Brams of New York University, both in the US, published an algorithm in Springer's The Mathematical Intelligencer by which they show how to optimally share cake between two people efficiently, in equal pieces and in such a way that no one feels robbed.

A natural way to monitor, and possibly control populations of, stink bugs
Anyone who has squashed a stink bug knows why they got their name.

Scientists find way to trap, kill malaria parasite
Scientists may be able to entomb the malaria parasite in a prison of its own making, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St.

Drug's effect on Alzheimer's may depend on severity of disease
A cancer drug that has shown promise against Alzheimer's disease in mice and has begun early clinical trials has yielded perplexing results in a novel mouse model of AD that mimics the genetics and pathology of the human disease more closely than any other animal model.

The race is on to power the next generation of electric cars
A major shift from gasoline-powered to affordable electric vehicles feels tantalizingly close, but the battery technology that could make it happen still needs to catch up to its own hype.

Walking on all fours is not backward evolution, study shows
UT Austin anthropologist finds quadrupedal humans with Uner Tan Syndrome do not walk in the diagonal pattern characteristic of nonhuman primates such as apes and monkeys.

An anti-glare, anti-reflective display for mobile devices?
If you've ever tried to watch a video on a tablet on a sunny day, you know you have to tilt it at just the right angle to get rid of glare or invest in a special filter.

Internationally renowned surgeon Angelita Habr-Gama, MD, PhD, named 2014 ASTRO Honorary Member
The American Society for Radiation Oncology has selected internationally renowned surgeon Angelita Habr-Gama, MD, PhD, as the 2014 Honorary Member, the highest honor ASTRO bestows on distinguished cancer researchers, scientists and leaders in disciplines other than radiation oncology, radiobiology or radiation physics.

Sexual harassment and assault are common on scientific field studies, survey indicates
A survey of 142 men and 516 women with experience in field studies in anthropology, archaeology, geology and other scientific disciplines reveals that many of them -- particularly the younger ones -- suffered or witnessed sexual harassment or sexual assault while at work in the field.

Indus river dolphin's declining range
Removal of river water for irrigation and habitat fragmentation by irrigation dams were shown to be the principal factors contributing to the decline of the Indus river dolphin.

Brain of world's first known predators discovered
Scientists have found the fossilized remains of the brain of the world's earliest known predators, from a time when life teemed in the oceans but had not yet colonized the land.

New study links dredging to diseased corals
In a world-first study published today, researchers say dredging activity near coral reefs can increase the frequency of diseases affecting corals.

Study: Smoking may contribute to suicide risk
Cigarette smokers are more likely to commit suicide than people who don't smoke, a relationship that has been attributed to the fact that numerous people with psychiatric disorders, who have higher suicide rates, also tend to smoke.

When it comes to food, obese women's learning is impaired
Obese women were better able to identify cues that predict monetary rewards than those that predict food rewards, according to a study by Yale School of Medicine researchers and their colleagues in the journal Current Biology.

Asthma drugs suppress growth
Corticosteroid drugs that are given by inhalers to children with asthma may suppress their growth, evidence suggests.

Taking great ideas from the lab to the fab
A 'valley of death' is well-known to entrepreneurs -- the lull between government funding for research and industry support for prototypes and products.

Preeclampsia may share cause with disorders such as Alzheimer's
New research has identified a potential cause of and a better diagnostic method for preeclampsia, one of the most deadly and poorly understood pregnancy-related conditions in the world.

Even mild traumatic brain injury may cause brain damage
Even mild traumatic brain injury may cause brain damage and thinking and memory problems, according to a study published in the July 16, 2014, online issue of Neurology, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology.

National Psoriasis Foundation awards $1.05 million in research grants
Thirteen scientists received a total of $1.05 million in funding from the National Psoriasis Foundation for projects that aim to identify new treatments and a cure for psoriasis -- an autoimmune disease that appears on the skin, affecting 7.5 million Americans -- and psoriatic arthritis -- an inflammatory arthritis that affects the joints and tendons, occurring in up to 30 percent of people with psoriasis.

Efficient structures help build a sustainable future
Researchers from the University of Miami and the Milwaukee School of Engineering find that the selection of steel cable structural system for long spans has considerably less environmental impact than a steel truss system to achieve the same structural requirements, through the entire life cycle of the structure.

Making a mental match: Pairing a mechanical device with stroke patients
Georgia Tech researchers have created a functional MRI-compatible hemiparesis rehab device that creates a long latency stretch reflex at the exact time as a brain signal.

Cell membrane proteins give up their secrets
Rice scientists have succeeded in analyzing transmembrane proteins in the same way they study how globular proteins fold.

Transplanting gene into injured hearts creates biological pacemakers
Cardiologists at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute have developed a minimally invasive gene transplant procedure that changes unspecialized heart cells into 'biological pacemaker' cells that keep the heart steadily beating.

Squid skin protein could improve biomedical technologies, UCI study shows
The common pencil squid may hold the key to a new generation of medical technologies that could communicate more directly with the human body.

Donating a kidney may make it difficult to change or initiate life and health insurance
People who selflessly step up and donate a kidney can face insurance challenges afterwards, despite the lack of evidence that they have increased health risks.

Recommendations prioritize strategies to prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia
Thousands of critically ill patients on life support develop ventilator-associated pneumonia each year.

Who are responsible for protecting against neuron and synapse injury in immature rats?
Who are responsible for protecting against neuron and synapse injury in immature rats?

Attenuated inhibition of neuron membrane excitability contributes to childhood depression
Accumulating evidence suggests that the nucleus accumbens, which is involved in mechanisms of reward and addiction, plays a role in the pathogenesis of depression and in the action of antidepressants.

Business groups, capital market participation have complementary effects for Indian companies
Being a part of a business group and participating in capital markets can have a significant positive impact on an Indian company's performance in the stock market, according to a new study on Indian entrepreneurship by emerging-economy experts at Rice University, the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad, India, and the graduate business school INSEAD Singapore.

Dispersant from Deepwater Horizon spill found to persist in the environment
A new study has found that the dispersant compound DOSS, which decreases the size of oil droplets and hampers the formation of large oil slicks, remains associated with oil and can persist in the environment for up to four years.

Intrathecal bumetanide has analgesic effects through inhibition of NKCC1
Accumulating evidence has demonstrated that the sodium-potassium-chloride co-transporter 1 and potassium-chloride co-transporter 2 have a role in the modulation of pain transmission at the spinal level through chloride regulation in the pain pathway and by effecting neuronal excitability and pain sensitization.

Oregon study details brain pathways linking visual function, running
A new study by researchers at the University of Oregon published today in the journal Neuron describes a brainstem circuit in mice that may help explain how active movement impacts the way the brain processes sensory information.

One injection stops diabetes in its tracks
In mice with diet-induced diabetes -- the equivalent of type 2 diabetes in humans -- a single injection of the protein FGF1 is enough to restore blood sugar levels to a healthy range for more than two days.

Elsevier announces the launch of open access journal: Bone Reports
Elsevier, world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, is pleased to announce the launch of a new open access journal: Bone Reports.

What do Google searches tell us about our climate change fears?
Republicans search the Net for information about the weather, climate change and global warming during extremely hot or cold spells.

Breast cancer: DMP is largely consistent with guidelines
There are only few discrepancies between the disease management programme for breast cancer and current guidelines.

RNs' delayed retirement boosts US nursing supplies, study finds
The size of the registered nurse workforce has surpassed forecasts from a decade ago, growing to 2.7 million in 2012 instead of peaking at 2.2 million.

Marginal life expectancy benefit from contralateral prophylactic mastectomy
The choice of contralateral prophylactic mastectomy by women with breast cancer diagnosed in one breast has recently increased in the US but may confer only a marginal life expectancy benefit depending on the type and stage of cancer, according to a study published July 16 in the JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Niacin too dangerous for routine cholesterol therapy
Niacin should no longer be prescribed for most patients due to a potential increased risk of death and dangerous side effects such as excess bleeding and diabetes.

ORNL, UTGSM study compares structures of Huntington's disease protein
Neutron scattering research has revealed clear structural differences in the normal and pathological forms of a protein involved in Huntington's disease.

The 'obesity paradox': Cardiovascular mortality lowest among overweight patients
High body mass index is associated with multiple cardiovascular diseases.

Whale shark fringe migration
At the fringe of the whale shark range, the volcanic Azore islands may play an increasing role for the north Atlantic population as sea surface temperatures rise.

NASA sees Typhoon Rammasun exit the Philippines
Typhoon Rammasun passed through the central Philippines overnight and NASA satellite imagery showed that the storm's center moved into the South China Sea.

Aqueous two-phase systems enable multiplexing of homogeneous immunoassays
A novel test simplifies disease detection by enabling simultaneous detection of multiple proteins in blood plasma.

Cases of drug-resistant superbug significantly rise in southeastern US
Cases of the highly contagious, drug-resistant bacteria, carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae, have increased fivefold in community hospitals in the Southeastern United States, according to a new study published in the August issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America.

Are ants the answer to carbon dioxide sequestration?
A 25-year-long study published in Geology on July 14th provides the first quantitative measurement of in situ calcium-magnesium silicate mineral dissolution by ants, termites, tree roots, and bare ground.

Study examines shift in resuscitation practices in military combat hospitals
Widespread military adoption of damage control resuscitation policies has shifted resuscitation practices at combat hospitals during conflicts.

Abdominal aortic aneurysms: Mayo Clinic surgeon explains who needs screening, treatment
An abdominal aortic aneurysm is a potentially life-threatening condition: If the body's major blood vessel ruptures, it can prove deadly.

Decoding dengue
Scientists have discovered a new pathway the dengue virus takes to suppress the human immune system.

LSUHSC'S Sothern pens new book on safe exercise for overweight kids
Safe and Effective Exercise for Overweight Youth by Melinda Sothern, PhD, Professor and Director of Behavioral & Community Health Sciences at LSU Health Sciences Center New Orleans School of Public Health, provides exercise recommendations and guidelines specifically designed for overweight youth.

New view of Rainier's volcanic plumbing
By measuring how fast Earth conducts electricity and seismic waves, a University of Utah researcher and colleagues made a detailed picture of Mount Rainier's deep volcanic plumbing and partly molten rock that will erupt again someday.

Chinese researchers describe impaired self-face recognition in those with major depressive disorder
Major depressive disorder is a common type of mental illness that occurs across the world.

Bubble wrap serves as sheet of tiny test tubes in resource-limited regions
Popping the blisters on the bubble wrap might be the most enjoyable thing about moving.

Cholesterol-lowering drugs may reduce cardiovascular death in Type 2 diabetes
Heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death and disability among people with Type 2 diabetes.

Poor sleep quality linked to lower physical activity in people with PTSD
A new study shows that worse sleep quality predicts lower physical activity in people with post-traumatic stress disorder.

MedDiet has varied effects on cognitive decline among different races -- Ben-Gurion University researcher
'In a population of initially well-functioning older adults, we found a significant correlation between strong adherence to the Mediterranean diet and a slower rate of cognitive decline among African American, but not white, older adults.

Pioneer in next generation sequencing receives 2014 HudsonAlpha Life Sciences Prize
Noted scientist and geneticist Jay Shendure, M.D., Ph.D., was today presented with the 2014 HudsonAlpha Life Science Prize for his innovative work in the development and application of genomic technology, including completing a detailed sequence of DNA from HeLa cells, the first 'immortal' human cell line grown in a lab.

Persistent symptoms following concussion may be posttraumatic stress disorder
The long-lasting symptoms that many patients contend with following mild traumatic brain injury, also known as concussion, may be posttraumatic disorder and not postconcussion syndrome.

Promising medication counteracts constipation caused by opioid painkillers
Opioids -- strong morphine-based painkillers -- are widely prescribed to patients experiencing chronic severe pain.

Acupuncture and moxibustion reduces neuronal edema in Alzheimer's disease rats
Aberrant Wnt signaling is possibly related to the pathological changes in Alzheimer's disease.

People in leadership positions may sacrifice privacy for security
People with higher job status may be more willing to compromise privacy for security reasons and also be more determined to carry out those decisions, according to researchers.

Seeing the glass as half full: Taking a new look at cognition and aging
From a cognitive perspective, aging is typically associated with decline.

Expert guidance on hand hygiene in healthcare settings
Expert guidance released today offers updated evidence reviews and recommendations for hand hygiene in healthcare facilities.

Chemokine receptor 4 gene silencing blocks neuroblastoma metastasis in vitro
Chemokine receptor 4 is a chemokine receptor that participates in tumor occurrence, growth and metastasis in vitro and its expression is upregulated during neuroblastoma metastasis.

Tooth plaque provides unique insights into our prehistoric ancestors' diet
An international team of researchers has found new evidence that our prehistoric ancestors had a detailed understanding of plants long before the development of agriculture.

No-wait data centers
A new system could reduce data-transmission delays across server farms by 99.6 percent.

Duck migration study reveals importance of conserving wetlands, MU researchers find
During the 2011 and 2012 migration seasons, University of Missouri researchers monitored mallard ducks with new remote satellite tracking technology, marking the first time ducks have been tracked closely during the entirety of their migration from Canada to the American Midwest and back.

Potassium supplements may increase survival in patients taking diuretics for heart failure
Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that patients taking prescription potassium supplements together with loop diuretics for heart failure have better survival rates than patients taking diuretics without the potassium.

ITN's TrialShare wins National Academies Board on Research Data and Information challenge
The Immune Tolerance Network's TrialShare Clinical Trials Research Portal has won the National Academy of Sciences Data and Information Challenge.

Tracking the breakup of Arctic summer sea ice
An international team has placed sensors on and under Arctic sea ice to monitor this season's retreat.

Tooth plaque provides insight into our prehistoric ancestors' diet
A new study may provide evidence that our prehistoric ancestors understood plant consumption and processing long before the development of agriculture.

Self-assembling nanoparticle could improve MRI scanning for cancer diagnosis
Scientists have designed a new self-assembling nanoparticle that targets tumours, to help doctors diagnose cancer earlier.

Research connects pregnancy loss and cardiovascular disease
The Annals of Family Medicine today published an article detailing research showing that women with a history of pregnancy loss are at higher risk for cardiovascular disease later in adulthood than other women, work completed by physicians in the Center for Primary Care and Prevention at Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island.

Study: Climate-cooling arctic lakes soak up greenhouse gases
New University of Alaska Fairbanks research indicates that arctic thermokarst lakes stabilize climate change by storing more greenhouse gases than they emit into the atmosphere.

Winners of the 2014 Reaxys PhD Prize Announced
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, today announced the winners of the 2014 Reaxys PhD Prize.

Organismal biologists needed to interpret new trees of life
Molecular information forces the revision of many ideas about the evolution of animal body plans, but providing persuasive explanations for events that occurred in the remote past is likely to remain a major challenge.

New book reveals student life of Charles Darwin
Darwin's years in Cambridge were some of the most important and formative of his early life.

Does practice really make perfect?
Does practice really make perfect? It's an age-old question, and a new study from Rice University, Princeton University and Michigan State University finds that while practice won't make you perfect, it will usually make you better at what you're practicing.

Marijuana dependence alters the brain's response to drug paraphernalia
New research from The University of Texas at Dallas demonstrates that drug paraphernalia triggers the reward areas of the brain differently in dependent and non-dependent marijuana users.

Screening costs increased in older women without changing detection rates of ESBC
Medicare spending on breast cancer screening increased substantially between 2001 and 2009 but the detection rates of early stage tumors were unchanged, according to a new study published July 16 in the JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

Preventing foodborne illness, naturally -- with cinnamon
Cinnamomum cassia oil was shown to be effective as a natural antibacterial agent against several strains of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli, known to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as 'non-O157 STEC'.

Anti-tank missile detector joins the fight against malaria
State-of-the-art military hardware could soon fight malaria, one of the most deadly diseases on the planet.

NIH turns to crowdsourcing to repurpose drugs
Experimental drugs proven safe but perhaps not sufficiently effective in initial testing or against a first disease target may sit gathering dust on the shelves of pharmaceutical companies.

70-foot-long, 52-ton concrete bridge survives series of simulated earthquakes
A 70-foot-long, 52-ton concrete bridge survived a series of earthquakes in the first multiple-shake-table experiment in the University of Nevada, Reno's new Earthquake Engineering Lab, the newest addition to the world-renowned earthquake and seismic engineering facility.

New knowledge about the brain's effective bouncer
Research from the University of Copenhagen is shedding new light on the brain's complicated barrier tissue.

Researchers advance understanding in immune response to infectious disease
University of Leicester researchers -- including three PhD graduates -- contribute significantly to knowledge in immunology.

California State Senator Darrell Steinberg named as ESA Regional Policy Award winner
On Sunday, August 10, 2014, the Ecological Society of America (ESA) will present its seventh annual Regional Policy Award to California Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg during the Society's 99th Annual Meeting conference in Sacramento, CA.

Arizona State University, US Geological Survey project yields sharpest map of Mars surface properties
The most detailed global map yet made of Martian surface properties is the result of a joint project between Arizona State University and the US Geological Survey.

Asteroid Vesta to reshape theories of planet formation
EPFL researchers have a better understanding of the asteroid Vesta and its internal structure, thanks to numerical simulations and data from the space mission Dawn.

Researchers demonstrate health risks posed by 'third hand' tobacco smoke
Research led by the University of York has highlighted the potential cancer risk in non-smokers -- particularly young children -- of tobacco smoke gases and particles deposited to surfaces and dust in the home.

Improving tumor radiation therapy: When basic ions break DNA down
Scientists now have a better understanding of how short DNA strands decompose in microseconds.

Researchers develop EHR algorithms to identify undiagnosed hypertension
A new study authored by Northwestern Medicine researchers found that reviewing electronic health records using algorithms can successfully identify patients with previously undiagnosed hypertension, or high blood pressure, with a high rate of accuracy.

Fundamental research is paving the way for development of first vaccine for heart disease
Researchers at Wayne State University have made a fundamental discovery and, in subsequent collaboration with scientists at La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, are one step closer to the goal of developing the world's first T-cell peptide-based vaccine for heart disease -- the number one killer in the nation.

Live kidney donors face 'pointless' insurance troubles
Healthy living kidney donors often face pointless post-donation hurdles when seeking or changing health or life insurance, according to results of a new study by Johns Hopkins researchers.

NIH scientists identify gene linked to fatal inflammatory disease in children
Investigators have identified a gene that underlies a very rare but devastating autoinflammatory condition in children. 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