Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 17, 2014
Plasmon-enhanced Polarization-selective filter
This structure composed of multiple holes array by filling it with nonlinear medium combines the characteristics of selectable wavelength, enhanced transmission, polarization separation and output control by the intensity of incident light.

First ab initio method for characterizing hot carriers
Berkeley Lab researchers have developed the first ab initio method for characterizing the properties of 'hot carriers' in semiconductors.

A national study of colleges identifies gaps in efforts to enforce alcohol laws
A new study has examined campus police/security responses to serious, underage, and less-serious alcohol incidents on and off campus at 343 colleges across the United States.

Discovery may make it easier to develop life-saving stem cells
Not unlike looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack, a team of Michigan State University researchers have found a gene that could be key to the development of stem cells -- cells that can potentially save millions of lives by morphing into practically any cell in the body.

Carstensen earns GSA's 2014 Robert W. Kleemeier Award
The Gerontological Society of America -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has chosen Laura Carstensen, PhD, of Stanford University as the 2014 recipient of the Robert W.

NIH system to monitor emerging drug trends
An innovative National Drug Early Warning System is being developed to monitor emerging trends that will help health experts respond quickly to potential outbreaks of illicit drugs such as heroin and to identify increased use of designer synthetic compounds.

Bernard selected for GSA's 2014 Donald P. Kent Award
The Gerontological Society of America -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has chosen Marie A.

Ultrafast X-ray laser sheds new light on fundamental ultrafast dynamics
Physics researchers studied how an electron moves between different atoms in an exploding molecule.

Investing in sexual and reproductive health of 10 to 14 year olds yields lifetime benefits
Globally there are over half a billion 10 to 14 year olds.

Women's professional self-identity impacts on childcare balance, but not men's
Research shows that a mother's self-identity impacts on the amount of time her partner spends on childcare -- with strong professional identity in women creating a more equal childcare balance in a couple.

Adolescent alcohol abuse disrupts transitions into early adulthood
Adolescent alcohol abuse is known to be associated with adverse outcomes in early adulthood.

'Nanocamera' takes pictures at distances smaller than light's own wavelength
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have demonstrated that an array of novel gold, pillar-bowtie nanoantennas can be used like traditional photographic film to record light for distances that are much smaller than the wavelength of light.

Is the US National Flood Insurance Program affordable?
The paper examines the challenges in offering risk-based premiums and affordability of flood insurance through a case study of Ocean County, New Jersey, an area heavily damaged by Hurricane Sandy.

No evidence that California cellphone ban decreased accidents, says Colorado University Boulder researcher
In a recent study, a researcher at the University of Colorado Boulder found no evidence that a California ban on using hand-held cellphones while driving decreased the number of traffic accidents in the state in the first six months following the ban.

Scharlach earns GSA's 2014 Maxwell A. Pollack Award for Productive Aging
The Gerontological Society of America -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has chosen Andrew Scharlach, PhD, of the University of California at Berkeley as the 2014 recipient of the Maxwell A.

National Xenopus resource at the MBL innovates new way to study proteins
In a collaborative study between scientists at Harvard Medical School and the MBL's National Xenopus Resource, published in Current Biology, researchers used mRNA sequences, rather than DNA, to more efficiently create a reference database that can be used for proteomic analysis of Xenopus frogs.

GW researcher unlocks next step in creating HIV-1 immunotherapy using fossil virus
Douglas Nixon, chair of the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Tropical Medicine at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, was published in the Cutting Edge section of the Journal of Immunology for his discovery of an antibody that can neutralize the HIV-1 fossil virus.

Carstensen to receive GSA's 2014 Distinguished Mentorship in Gerontology Award
The Gerontological Society of America -- the nation's largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to the field of aging -- has chosen Laura Carstensen, Ph.D., of Stanford University as the 2014 recipient of the Distinguished Mentorship in Gerontology Award.

Eating lean beef daily can help lower blood pressure
Contrary to conventional wisdom, a growing body of evidence shows that eating lean beef can reduce risk factors for heart disease, according to recent research by nutritional scientists.

Danish DNA could be key to happiness
Genetics could be the key to explaining nation's levels of happiness, according to research from the University of Warwick.

Tak Mak study in Cancer Cell maps decade of discovery to potential anticancer agent
The journal Cancer Cell today published research led by Dr.

Sexual abuse in childhood linked to signs of atherosclerosis in midlife
Women sexually abused in childhood may show signs of atherosclerosis, an early marker of cardiovascular disease in midlife.

Study: Hour-long home coaching decreases re-admission, costs for Medicare patients
A new study in Journal of General Internal Medicine reports that an hour-long educational coaching session and two or three follow-up phone calls after a hospital stay reduced re-admission odds by 39 percent among Medicare patients.

What are the risks of post-traumatic stress disorder after an accident?
Many patients continue to suffer from symptoms (headaches, pain) several months after an accident.

For the sickest emergency patients, death risk is lowest at busiest emergency centers
When a medical emergency strikes, our gut tells us to get to the nearest hospital quickly.

Weight management program also reduces depression among black women
An intervention program aimed at helping obese women maintain their weight without adding pounds also significantly reduced depression in nearly half the participants, according to a new study from Duke University.

Estimating earthquake frequency and patterns in the Puget Lowland
The hazard posed by large earthquakes is difficult to estimate because they often occur hundreds to thousands of years apart.

Lunar pits could shelter astronauts, reveal details of how 'man in the moon' formed
While the moon's surface is battered by millions of craters, it also has over 200 holes -- steep-walled pits that in some cases might lead to caves that future astronauts could explore and use for shelter, according to new observations from NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft.

Splice-switching oligonucleotide therapeutics is new method for editing gene transcript
In splice-switching, an innovative therapeutic approach, targeted oligonucleotide drugs alter the editing of a gene transcript to produce the desired form of a protein.

Physicists reveal random nature of metastasis
The spreading of a cancerous tumour from one part of the body to another may occur through pure chance instead of key genetic mutations, a new study has shown.

Intranasal nerve growth factor repairs injured spinal cord neurons
Nerve growth factor can be delivered to the brain by intranasal administration without risk for treatment of brain diseases.

Choosing cheese
After studying 137 varieties of cheese collected in 10 different countries, Harvard researchers have been able to identify three general types of microbial communities that live on cheese, opening the door to using each as a 'model' community for the study of whether and how various microbes and fungi compete or cooperate as they form communities, what molecules may be involved in the process and what mechanisms may be involved.

Improving the cost and efficiency of renewable energy storage
Scientists at EPFL have developed a method for improving the catalysis of water-splitting reactions used for storing wind and solar energy.

The Lancet: Causes of death shifting in people with HIV
HIV-positive adults in high income countries face a substantially reduced risk of death from AIDS-related causes, cardiovascular disease, and liver disease compared with a decade ago, according to a large international study published in The Lancet.

Biomarker discovery may lead to new HIV treatment
Further analysis of a Phase II study of therapeutic HIV vaccine candidate Vacc-4x revealed a potential biomarker associated with participants who experienced a more profound viral load reduction after receiving the vaccine.

How does L-carnitine maintain the normal structure of sciatic nerve in crush injury?
Several studies have demonstrated that L-carnitine exhibits neuroprotective effects on injured sciatic nerve of rats with diabetes mellitus.

Brown fat found to be at the root of cancer-related wasting syndrome
Many patients with advanced stages of cancer, AIDS, tuberculosis, and other diseases die from a condition called cachexia, which is characterized as a 'wasting' syndrome that causes extreme thinness with muscle weakness.

Transplant patients who receive livers from living donors more likely to survive
The first data-driven study in over a decade disputes the notion that deceased donor liver transplants offer patients better survival rates.

Crohn's disease research
University of Delaware researchers have identified a protein, hiding in plain sight, that acts like a bodyguard to help protect and stabilize another key protein, that when unstable, is involved in Crohn's disease.

$2.5 million grant will establish patient-centered outcomes research training program at Einstein and Montefiore
Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center have received a $2.5 million grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to establish a training program to improve the practice of healthcare in real-world settings.

NYU research on persons w/ HIV/AIDS not taking medication and not engaged in care
The study describes factors believed to contribute to these critical public health issues, with a focus on African American and Latino/Hispanic PLHAs, the racial/ethnic groups most affected by HIV/AIDS.

NASA's TRMM satellite adds up Typhoon Rammasun's Philippines deluge
Typhoon Rammasun dropped large amounts of rainfall over the Philippines, and the TRMM satellite was used to measure it from space.

Adding alcohol to energy drinks leads to an increased urge to drink
Public-health concerns continue to grow concerning the combining of alcohol with energy drinks (A+ED).

First comprehensive library of master genetic switches in plants
Researchers have created the first comprehensive library of genetic switches in plants, setting the stage for scientists around the globe to better understand how plants adapt to environmental changes and to design more robust plants for future food security.

CNIO researchers discover a gene that links stem cells, aging and cancer
An organism is healthy thanks to a good maintenance system: the normal functioning of organs and environmental exposure cause damage to tissues, which need to be continuously repaired.

New study shows how existing cropland could feed billions more
Feeding a growing human population without increasing stresses on Earth's strained land and water resources may seem like an impossible challenge.

ARUP Labs signs agreement with UH Case Medical Center to distribute novel DEEPGEN HIV test
University Hospitals Case Medical Center has signed an agreement with ARUP Laboratories, a major national clinical reference laboratory, which will include in its menu of tests an HIV diagnostic test invented at University Hospitals' Translational Laboratory by Miguel Quinones-Mateu, PhD.

Incidence of stroke in the elderly has dropped by 40 percent over the last 20 years
A new analysis of data from 1988-2008 has revealed a 40 percent decrease in the incidence of stroke in Medicare patients 65 years of age and older.

A new stable and cost-cutting type of perovskite solar cell
Scientists at the Michael Grätzel Center for Mesoscopic Cells in Wuhan China in cooperation with the Laboratory for Photonics and Interfaces at EPFL directed by Michael Grätzel have made a very efficient perovskite solar cell that does not require a hole-conducting layer.

The rate at which groundwater reservoirs are being depleted is increasing
In what parts of the world and to what degree have groundwater reservoirs been depleted over the past 50 years?

PIWI proteins and piRNAs regulate genes in the germline and beyond
PIWI proteins associate with PIWI-interacting RNAs, which are a class of 24-32 nucleotide small non-coding RNAs.

How does working part-time versus working full-time affect breastfeeding goals?
While many women intend to breastfeed despite returning to work, a new study finds that mothers who plan to breastfeed for at least three months but return to work full-time are less likely to meet their breastfeeding goals.

Tiniest catch: University of Arizona scientists' fishing expedition reveals viral diversity in the sea
Using bacteria as bait, University of Arizona scientists caught wild ocean viruses and then deciphered their genomes.

Gut microbes turn carbs into colorectal cancer
Colorectal cancer has been linked to carbohydrate-rich western diets, but the underlying mechanisms have been unclear.

Measuring nurture: Study shows how 'good mothering' hardwires infant brain
By carefully watching nearly a hundred hours of video showing mother rats protecting, warming, and feeding their young pups, and then matching up what they saw to real-time electrical readings from the pups' brains, researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center have found that the mother's presence and social interactions -- her nurturing role -- directly molds the early neural activity and growth of her offsprings' brain.

Scripps Florida scientists identify gene that plays a surprising role in combating aging
Scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute have found in animal models that a single gene plays a surprising role in aging that can be detected early in development, a discovery that could point toward the possibility of one day using therapeutics, even some commonly used ones, to manipulate the aging process itself.

Pitt-led study suggests cystic fibrosis is 2 diseases, 1 doesn't affect lungs
Cystic fibrosis could be considered two diseases, one that affects multiple organs including the lungs, and one that doesn't affect the lungs at all, according to a multicenter team led by researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Older adults who walk out of necessity are at highest risk for outdoor falls
Older adults are at a greater danger of falling when walking for utilitarian purposes such as shopping and appointments than when walking for recreation, according to a study from UMass Medical School.

A new view of the world
New research out of Queen's University has shed light on how exercise and relaxation activities like yoga can positively impact people with social anxiety disorders.

Untangling spider's webs
The largest-ever phylogenetic study of spiders, conducted by postdoctoral student Rosa Fernández, Gonzalo Giribet, Alexander Agassiz Professor of Zoology, and Gustavo Hormiga, a professor at George Washington University, shows that, contrary to long-held popular opinion, the two groups of spiders that weave orb-shaped webs do not share a single origin.

NYU Langone investigators to present new research at 2014 Alzheimer's Association International Conference
Researchers from NYU Langone Medical Center, NYU School of Medicine and the Nathan S.

Oregon geologist says Curiosity's images show Earth-like soils on Mars
Soil deep in a crater dating to some 3.7 billion years ago contains evidence that Mars was once much warmer and wetter, says University of Oregon geologist Gregory Retallack, based on images and data captured by the rover Curiosity.

Study led by indigenous people uncovers grizzly bear 'highway'
A novel, First Nations-led research collaboration has revealed a previously undocumented grizzly bear aggregation in coastal British Columbia, one of the most southerly aggregations of salmon-feeding grizzlies in North America.

Birdsongs automatically decoded by computer scientists
Scientists from Queen Mary University of London have found a successful way of identifying bird sounds from large audio collections, which could be useful for expert and amateur bird-watchers alike.

Eye movements reveal difference between love and lust
A new study by University of Chicago researchers suggests the difference between love and lust might be in the eyes after all.

NASA's Aqua satellite sees birth of Tropical Depression 10W
The tenth tropical depression of the Northwestern Pacific Ocean was born as NASA's Aqua satellite passed overhead.

Best anticoagulants after orthopedic procedures depends on type of surgery
Current guidelines do not distinguish between aspirin and more potent blood thinners for protecting against blood clots in patients who undergo major orthopedic operations, leaving the decision up to individual clinicians.

USC, UCLA and UCSF put their heads together to find cures for craniofacial defects
One in every 2,000 babies is born with a skull that can't grow normally.

Politically driven legislation targeting dangerous dogs has had little impact
UK legislation that targets 'dangerous dogs' has not been shown to reduce dog bites and policies should be based on evidence and risk assessment, suggests a personal view published on today.

New potential way to control spread of insect-borne disease
A cross-disciplinary team is calling for public discussion about a potential new way to solve longstanding global ecological problems by using an emerging technology called 'gene drives.' The advance could potentially lead to powerful new ways of combating malaria and other insect-borne diseases, controlling invasive species and promoting sustainable agriculture.

IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Society Merit Award honors Sandia radiation effects expert
Sandia radiation effects researcher Jim Schwank has won the 2014 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society Merit Award, which recognizes outstanding technical contributions to the fields of nuclear and plasma sciences.

Exploiting gastric vulnerability
Helicobacter pylori infection promotes stomach ulcers and cancer. How H.

Orthopedic surgery generally safe for patients age 80 and older
Over the past decade, a greater number of patients, age 80 and older, are having elective orthopedic surgery.

Losing sleep over your divorce? Your blood pressure could suffer
It's normal for people to experience trouble sleeping after a divorce, but if sleep problems last too long, they can lead to potentially harmful increases in blood pressure, a new University of Arizona study finds.

High rates of violence suffered by unstably housed women in San Francisco
'We looked at all types of violence -- physical, sexual and emotional.

International research team discovers genetic dysfunction connected to hydrocephalus
The mysterious condition once known as 'water on the brain' became less murky, thanks to a global research group led in part by a Case Western Reserve researcher.

Obese women may have learning deficit specific to food
Obese women have a deficit in reward-based learning, but only when food is involved.

Carnegie Mellon combines hundreds of videos to reconstruct 3D motion without markers
Carnegie Mellon University researchers have developed techniques for combining the views of 480 video cameras mounted in a two-story geodesic dome to perform large-scale 3D motion reconstruction, including volleyball games, the swirl of air currents and even a cascade of confetti.

Do urban casinos increase local crime? Not in this case study
Residents protested the opening of Philadelphia's SugarHouse Casino in 2010, but Drexel University and Temple University researchers found that crime rates were largely unaffected by the introduction of the gaming establishment.

Help wanted: Principals who love change
Teacher evaluation is key to President Obama's Race to the Top education reform initiative, which in turn places demands on principals' expertise and time.

When is a molecule a molecule?
Using ultra-short X-ray flashes, an international team of researchers watched electrons jumping between the fragments of exploding molecules.

Study shows how effects of starvation can be passed to future generations
A new study, involving roundworms, shows that starvation induces specific changes in small RNAs and that these changes are inherited through at least three consecutive generations, without any DNA involvement.

University of Houston researchers create new method to draw molecules from live cells
University of Houston researchers have devised a new method for extracting molecules from live cells without disrupting cell development, work that could provide new avenues for the diagnosis of cancer and other diseases.

Viral relics show cancer's 'footprint' on our evolution
Cancer has left its 'footprint' on our evolution, according to a study which examined how the relics of ancient viruses are preserved in the genomes of 38 mammal species.

Huntsman Cancer Institute receives NIH grant to establish national clinical trials site
A team of physician-researchers from Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah has received nearly $3.6 million over the next five years in a cooperative agreement with the National Institutes of Health to establish a Network Lead Academic Participating Site.

Potential new therapy with brain-on-a-chip axonal strain injury model
Researchers from the Biomedical Engineering Department of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey recently demonstrated the use of their 'Brain-on-a-Chip' microsystem to assess specific effects of traumatic axonal injury.

Alcohol-programming outreach is especially important for female Black and Latina drinkers
Ethnic minorities and non-English speakers have more difficulty accessing needed health care services.

Cost of kidney donation may be too much for potential donors with low income
Between 1999 and 2010, lower income regions in the US consistently had lower rates of living donation compared with higher income populations.

Is the universe a bubble? Let's check
Perimeter Associate Faculty member Matthew Johnson and his colleagues are working to bring the multiverse hypothesis, which to some sounds like a fanciful tale, firmly into the realm of testable science.

High rates of violence suffered by unstably housed women in San Francisco
New research from UC San Francisco found that 60 percent of the city's homeless and unstably housed women who are HIV-infected or at high risk to become infected have endured a recent experience of some form of violence.

Economists behind the FCC'S Spectrum Auctions to receive Golden Goose Award
Robert Wilson, Paul Milgrom and R. Preston McAfee, whose basic research on game theory and auctions enabled the Federal Communications Commission to first auction spectrum licenses in 1994, were announced today as recipients of the 2014 Golden Goose Award.

Findings suggest antivirals underprescribed for patients at risk for flu complications
Patients likely to benefit the most from antiviral therapy for influenza were prescribed these drugs infrequently during the 2012-2013 influenza season, while antibiotics may have been overprescribed.

Scientists complete chromosome-based draft of the wheat genome
Scientists have completed a chromosome-based draft sequence of the bread wheat genome as well as the first reference sequence of chromosome 3B, the largest chromosome in wheat.

How the brain stabilizes its connections in order to learn better
Throughout our lives, our brains adapt to what we learn and memorize.

Study identifies molecular key to healthy pregnancy
Scientists have identified a crucial molecular key to healthy embryo implantation and pregnancy in a study that may offer new clues about the medical challenges of infertility/subfertility, abnormal placentation, and placenta previa.

Future electronics may depend on lasers, not quartz
Nearly all electronics require devices called oscillators that create precise frequencies -- frequencies used to keep time in wristwatches or to transmit reliable signals to radios.

Atlantic salmon also show capacity to adapt to warmer waters
Populations of Atlantic salmon have a surprisingly good capacity to adjust to warmer temperatures that are being seen with climate change, a group of scientists at the University of Oslo and University of British Columbia have discovered.

How does language capacity recover right after a stroke?
An interdisciplinary team of University of Arizona researchers has received a $2.098 million grant to study recovery of language in the first few months after a stroke.

The human δ2 glutamate receptor gene is not mutated in spinocerebellar ataxia patients
Recent studies have demonstrated that glutamate receptor δ2 gene (GRID2) is closely related to cerebellar functions in mice.

In alcohol abusers, fish oil may reduce risk of neurodegeneration and ensuing dementia
Omega-3 fish oil might help protect against alcohol-related neurodamage and the risk of eventual dementia, according to a study published in the journal PLOS ONE.

One third of cancer patients are killed by a 'fat-burning' process termed 'cachexia'
Erwin Wagner's team at the Spanish National Cancer Research Center has uncovered that cachexia is triggered by a process thoroughly studied in the fight against obesity: the conversion of white fat into brown fat.

Faithful cell division requires tightly controlled protein placement at the centromeres
The protein CENP-A, which is integrated into human DNA at the centromere on each chromosome, has a vital role in cell division.

Researchers discover new link between obesity, inflammation, and insulin resistance
Study finds that the NBR1 protein plays a critical role in regulating obesity-induced inflammation that leads to metabolic disease.

Scientists track gene activity when honey bees do and don't eat honey
In a new study, described in Scientific Reports, researchers took a broad look at changes in gene activity in response to diet in the Western honey bee, and found significant differences occur depending on what the bees eat.

Peering into giant planets from in and out of this world
Lawrence Livermore scientists for the first time have experimentally re-created the conditions that exist deep inside giant planets, such as Jupiter, Uranus and many of the planets recently discovered outside our solar system.

A rhesus monkey model of radial nerve injury for evaluating peripheral nerve repair
Current research on bone marrow stem cell transplantation and autologous or xenogenic nerve transplantation for peripheral nerve regeneration has mainly focused on the repair of peripheral nerve defects in rodents.

In development, it's all about the timing
Closely related organisms share most of their genes, but these similarities belie major differences in behavior, intelligence, and physical appearance.

Lipoic acid helps restore, synchronize the 'biological clock'
Researchers have discovered a possible explanation for the surprisingly large range of biological effects that are linked to a micronutrient called lipoic acid: It appears to reset and synchronize circadian rhythms, or the 'biological clock' found in most life forms.

New gene discovered that stops the spread of deadly cancer
Scientists at the Salk Institute have identified a gene responsible for stopping the movement of cancer from the lungs to other parts of the body, indicating a new way to fight one of the world's deadliest cancers.

Eradicating fatal sleeping sickness by killing off the tsetse fly
Steven L. Peck, a BYU professor of biology, has lent his expertise in understanding insect movement to help shape a UN-sanctioned eradication effort of the tsetse fly -- a creature that passes the fatal African sleeping sickness to humans, domestic animals, and wildlife.

Gender quotas work in 'tight' cultures, says new paper from the University of Toronto
Quotas probably won't get more women into the boardroom in places like the US and Canada.

Vision loss associated with work status
Vision loss is associated with a higher likelihood of not working.

Genetic blueprint of bread wheat genome unveiled
The International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium published today in the international journal Science a draft sequence of the bread wheat genome.

A region and pathway found crucial for facial development in vertebrate embryos
A signaling pathway once thought to have little if any role during embryogenesis is a key player in the formation of the front-most portion of developing vertebrate embryos.

Scientists find protein-building enzymes have metamorphosed & evolved new functions
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and their collaborators have found that ancient enzymes, known for their fundamental role in translating genetic information into proteins, evolved myriad other functions in humans.

The differentially expressed genes in DRG that influence neural regeneration after SNI
Slit-Robo GTPase-activating protein 3 contains a Rho GAP domain that regulates the activities of Rho family GTPases and affects actin polymerization, which influences dendrite elaboration, neurite outgrowth and axon guidance, contributing to neural regeneration. 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