Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 21, 2014
Mammoth and mastodon behavior was less roam, more stay at home
UC research on mammoths and mastodons could benefit modern-day elephants.

Comparing deep vein thrombosis treatments
Utilization of catheter-directed thrombolysis where imaging is used to guide treatment to the site of a blood clot in order to dissolve it, has increased in patients with deep vein thrombosis and there appeared to be no difference in in-hospital mortality rates for patients treated with catheter-directed thrombolysis compared with anticoagulation alone, although patients treated with catheter-directed thrombolysis had more adverse events.

New accurate epigenetic test could eliminate unnecessary repeat biopsies for prostate cancer
More than one million prostate biopsies are performed each year in the US alone, including many repeat biopsies for fear of cancer missed.

NIH-supported scientists demonstrate very early formation of SIV reservoir
Scientists have generally believed that HIV and its monkey equivalent, SIV, gain a permanent foothold in the body very early after infection, making it difficult to completely eliminate the virus even after antiretroviral therapy has controlled it.

Try, try again? Study says no
MIT neuroscientists find that trying harder makes it more difficult to learn some aspects of language.

NRL reveals new meteorological insight into mid-level clouds
At medium altitudes ranging from 6,000 feet to 20,000 feet above mean sea level, water droplets in altocumulus clouds can remain in a supercooled liquid phase that cannot be reasonably resolved in current atmospheric models.

Dr. Surendra Sharma honored by professional association
Surendra Sharma, M.D., Ph.D., a research scientist and professor in the Department of Pediatrics at Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island and The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, was recently presented with the Distinguished Service Award at the 34th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Reproductive Immunology.

Typhoon Rammasun made final landfall near China and Vietnam border
Typhoon Rammasun made landfall in southern China on July 19 bringing heavy rain and typhoon-strength winds to the south China/Vietnam border.

Strategies to preserve myelin during secondary degeneration following neurotrauma
Following injury to the central nervous system, functional loss is exacerbated by spreading damage causing secondary degeneration of surrounding tissue.

Parenting skills tied to reduced inflammation in low-income children
A new Northwestern University study suggests that an intervention focused on strengthening families can reduce inflammation, a chronic over activation of parts of the immune system that is important for long-term health.

New research links bad diet to loss of smell
Could stuffing yourself full of high-fat foods cause you to lose your sense of smell?

University wins national contract for new health research dissemination center
The University of Southampton has been awarded a national contract worth £5.1m to share new research findings with clinicians, patients and managers in health and social care.

Study offers new clues about the source of racial health disparities
The use of specific ethnicities in public health messaging can have unexpected negative consequences.

LEDs shine in bedding plant production study
Bedding plant seedlings were grown at 21C under ambient solar light and supplemental lighting from either high-pressure sodium lamps or LED arrays with varying proportions of red:blue light.

Tropical Storm Wali no more, but remnants soaked Hawaii
On July 19, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Central Pacific Hurricane Center noted that Wali didn't even make it to the Big Island, but moisture associated with the storm did.

Refined biological evolution model
Models for the evolution of life try and clarify the long term dynamics of an evolving system of species.

Low-income students in charter high schools less likely to engage in risky behavior
Low-income minority adolescents who were admitted to high-performing public charter high schools in Los Angeles were significantly less likely to engage in risky health behaviors than their peers who were not admitted to those schools.

International team sheds new light on biology underlying schizophrenia
As part of a multinational, collaborative effort, researchers from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine and scores of other institutions from all over the world have helped identify over 100 locations in the human genome associated with the risk of developing schizophrenia, in what is the largest genomic study published on any psychiatric disorder to date.

NASA satellite sees Typhoon Matmo brush eastern Philippines
A NASA satellite captured an image of the western quadrant of Typhoon Matmo brushing over the eastern Philippines on July 20.

When temperatures get cold, newly discovered process helps fruit flies cope
Cold-blooded animals cannot regulate their body temperature, so their cells are stressed when facing temperature extremes.

Brain waves show learning to read does not end in 4th grade, contrary to popular theory
Teachers-in-training have long been taught that fourth grade is when students stop learning to read and start reading to learn.

New technique uses 'simulated' human heart to screen drugs
A Coventry University scientist has developed a pioneering new way -- using samples of beating heart tissue -- to test the effect of drugs on the heart without using human or animal trials.

National survey from AP-NORC examines perceptions of health-care provider quality
The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research has released the results of a major survey examining the public's opinions about what it means to be a quality health-care provider in the United States.

Unique study focuses on combined treatment approach for locally advanced pancreatic cancer
Investigators at the Cedars-Sinai Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute are developing a novel, multistep investigational treatment for one of the most complex and difficult-to-treat forms of the disease, locally advanced pancreatic cancer.

Communication about female condom vital to young adults, UT Arlington researchers say
UT Arlington communication researchers examine sexual health messages aimed at young college adults about the female condom.

'Moral victories' might spare you from losing again
Research finds that coaches tend to overreact to close losses, and their hasty personnel adjustments tend to backfire in the long run.

International team sheds new light on biology underlying schizophrenia
As part of a multinational, collaborative effort, researchers from Canada's Centre for Addiction and Mental Health have helped identify over 100 locations in the human genome associated with the risk of developing schizophrenia.

Replacing coal and oil with natural gas will not help fight global warming
Both shale gas and conventional natural gas have a larger greenhouse gas footprint than do coal or oil, especially for the primary uses of residential and commercial heating.

Fires in Indonesia, July 2014
Terra and Aqua satellites detected 154 hotspots in areas across Riau province on Sunday, July 20, indicating forest and land fires had increased again following a decline in rainfall.

Seals forage at offshore wind farms
By using sophisticated GPS tracking to monitor seals' every movement, researchers have shown for the first time that some individuals are repeatedly drawn to offshore wind farms and pipelines.

New research from Africa on pharmacomicrobiomics
The Human Microbiome Project is a global initiative to identify and characterize the microorganisms present at multiple sites in the human body.

Parents want info about circumcision, not directives from health-care providers
Parents want questions answered by health-care provider, but only 23 percent want recommendation, according to U-M's National Poll on Children's Health.

Penn study: Understanding graphene's electrical properties on an atomic level
For the first time, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania have used a cutting-edge microscope to study the relationship between the atomic geometry of a ribbon of graphene and its electrical properties.

Mental health issues in children with relatives who participated in manhunt after Boston Marathon
Children with relatives who were called upon to participate in the interagency manhunt following the Boston Marathon attack carried a particularly heavy mental health burden, according to a Depression and Anxiety study that included surveys of Boston-area parents and other caretakers.

Louisiana Tech University professor presents at International Bioprinting Congress
Dr. Mark DeCoster, the James E. Wyche III Endowed Professor in Biomedical Engineering at Louisiana Tech University, will present 'Bioprinting interfaces for 2-D and 3-D cell and tissue models' focusing on the development of a novel, matrix-free method for generating 3-D cell spheroids that are combining knowledge from bioprinting methods on 2-D surfaces to link 3-D cellular structures.

The Lancet: Control of HIV pandemic will not be achieved without radical improvement in support for sex workers
Across the world, in high- and low-income countries, women, men, and transgender people who sell sex are subjected to repressive and discriminatory law, policy, and practice, which in turn fuel human rights violations against them, including violence and discrimination.

Previous stroke, vascular disease: Seniors at higher risk of stroke after heart surgery
Older people who have had strokes or who have vascular disease are at risk of stroke both immediately after cardiac surgery and during the following two years, according to a new study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Potential new flu drugs target immune response, not virus
The seriousness of disease often results from the strength of immune response, rather than with the virus, itself.

Large twin study suggests that language delay due more to nature than nurture
A study of 473 sets of twins followed since birth found twins have twice the rate of language delay as do single-born children.

Researchers provide guide to household water conservation
A paper co-written by an Indiana University researcher and published in the current issue of the journal Environment describes how households can reduce water use substantially by simple actions such as installing more efficient appliances and changing day-to-day habits involving water consumption.

Can amyloid plaque in Alzheimer's disease affect remote regions of the brain?
Important new study results showing that plaque buildup in one area of the brain can negatively affect metabolism in a more distant brain region have been published in Brain Connectivity.

40th COSPAR: Media registration now open
Media registration for the COSPAR Scientific Assemblies (Aug. 2-10, 2014), the most important meetings in space research, is now open.

X-ray irradiation at a certain dose alters the neuronal cytoskeleton and cytomechanics
Cranial radiotherapy is one of the most important therapeutic methods for the treatment of various types of primary and metastatic brain tumors.

The economic territory of Upper Palaeolithic groups is specified by flint
A piece of research by the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country has determined, on the basis of the Ametzagaina site, in San Sebastian, the mobility patterns and management of lithic resources.

ROS1 gene fusions are found in 2.4 percent of Asian patients with lung adenocarcinoma
ROS1 fusion genes were successfully detected independent of gender or smoking history in young East Asian patients with lung adenocarcinoma, a histological subgroup in non-small cell lung cancer, using multiplex reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction and immunohistochemistry diagnostic tests.

Regulating the regulators: Degradation is key to the activity of the miR-21 oncomiR
Scientists from the RIKEN Center for Life Science Technologies in Japan have gained new clues that suggest the existence of a regulatory network that contributes to the irregular proliferation of cells in diseases such as cancers and psoriasis.

The Lancet: Most comprehensive study to date shows success of the Millennium
A major new analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 published in The Lancet, shows that accelerated progress against the global burden of HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis (TB) has been made since 2000 when governments worldwide adopted Millennium Development Goal 6 to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and TB.

Parents rank their obese children as 'very healthy'
A University of California, San Diego School of Medicine-led study suggests that parents of obese children often do not recognize the potentially serious health consequences of childhood weight gain or the importance of daily physical activity in helping their child reach a healthy weight.

Global warming 'pause' since 1998 reflects natural fluctuation
Statistical analysis of average global temperatures between 1998 and 2013 shows that the slowdown in global warming during this period is consistent with natural variations in temperature, according to research by McGill University physics professor Shaun Lovejoy.

Mammals metabolize some pesticides to limit their biomagnification
The concentrations of many historically used, and now widely banned, pesticides and other toxic chemicals -- called legacy contaminants -- can become magnified in an animal that eats contaminated food; however, a new Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry study has found that Arctic mammals metabolize some currently used pesticides, preventing such 'biomagnification.'

Circumcision does not promote risky behavior by African men
Men do not engage in riskier behaviors after they are circumcised, according to a study in Kenya by University of Illinois at Chicago researchers.

Diagnostic criteria for Christianson syndrome
A new study provides the most definitive characterization of the autism-like intellectual disability disorder Christianson syndrome and provides the first diagnostic criteria to help doctors and families identify and understand the condition.

Missing sleep may hurt your memory
Lack of sleep, already considered a public health epidemic, can also lead to errors in memory, finds a new study by researchers at Michigan State University and the University of California, Irvine.

Study links enzyme to Alzheimer's disease
Unclogging the body's protein disposal system may improve memory in patients with Alzheimer's disease, according to researchers in Korea.

Climate: Meat turns up the heat
Eating meat contributes to climate change, due to greenhouse gasses emitted by livestock.

Temple University researchers eliminate the HIV virus from cultured human cells for first time
The HIV-1 virus has proved to be tenacious, inserting its genome permanently into its victims' DNA, forcing patients to take a lifelong drug regimen to control the virus and prevent a fresh attack.

Marmoset sequence sheds new light on primate biology and evolution
An international team of scientists led by the Baylor College of Medicine and Washington University St.

Vanderbilt discovery may advance colorectal cancer diagnosis and treatment
A Vanderbilt University-led research team has identified protein 'signatures' of genetic mutations that drive colorectal cancer, the nation's second leading cause of cancer deaths after lung cancer.

Filter bed substrates, plant types recommended for rain gardens
Researchers analyzed the effectiveness of three different filter bed substrates to support plant growth and remove nutrients from urban stormwater runoff.

Three PNNL staff elected to membership in state academy
Don Baer, Alain Bonneville, and Jud Virden, three scientists at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, have been selected to join the Washington State Academy of Sciences.

Heart disease: First Canadian survey shows women unaware of symptoms and risk factors
A new survey, ordered by the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, shows that a majority of Canadian women lack knowledge of heart disease symptoms and risk factors, and that a significant proportion is even unaware of their own risk status.

Nearsightedness increases with level of education and longer schooling
Education and behavior have a greater impact on the development of nearsightedness than do genetic factors: with each school year completed, a person becomes more nearsighted.

Carbyne morphs when stretched
Applying just the right amount of tension to a chain of carbon atoms can turn it from a metallic conductor to an insulator.

More than glitter
A new study from MIT materials scientists reveals that these nanoparticles enter cells by taking advantage of a route normally used in vesicle-vesicle fusion, a crucial process that allows signal transmission between neurons.

Our daily bread
Scientists at the Helmholtz Zentrum München have conducted research in frame of the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Initiative.

Study examines blood markers, survival in patients with ALS
The blood biomarkers serum albumin and creatinine appear to be associated with survival in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and may help define prognosis in patients after they are diagnosed with the fatal neurodegenerative disorder commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

Examining the causes of a devastating debris flow
Storm-triggered landslides cause loss of life, property damage, and landscape alterations.

Young women with a heart attack continue to fare worse than men
While awareness campaigns may be getting women to go to the hospital more quickly during a heart attack, a new look at hospital data shows women have longer hospital stays and are more likely than men to die in the hospital after a heart attack.

Increased overall survival for advanced stage non-small cell lung cancer patients is associated with availability of less toxic chemotherapy
A 10-year population-based study shows that increased availability of better systemic chemo- and targeted-therapies for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer coincides with increased usage of these therapies.

Philosopher uses game theory to understand how words, actions acquire meaning
The latest work from a Kansas State University philosopher appears in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, which is a rarity for philosophy research.

Water, water -- not everywhere: Mapping water trends for African maize
Researchers at Princeton University analyzed trends in the water cycle in 21 African countries between 1979 and 2010 and found that the majority of maize-growing areas experienced increased water availability, although the trends varied by region.

LSU's Mark Batzer contributes to Nature Genetics article on marmoset genome
LSU's Mark Batzer, Boyd Professor and Dr. Mary Lou Applewhite Distinguished Professor in Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Science, contributed to an article in the scientific journal Nature Genetics, titled 'The Common Marmoset Genome Provides Insight into Primate Biology and Evolution,' published on July 20.

Gene variant linked to schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and alcoholism
A rare gene variant discovered by University College London scientists is associated with an increased risk of developing schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and alcoholism, confirms new research.

Temple study compares deep vein thrombosis therapies
Patients who have a clot in their legs and are considering whether to be treated with traditional blood-thinning medication or undergo a minimally-invasive catheter-based clot removal procedure should feel comfortable that there is no difference in death rates between the two treatments, although there are more bleeding risks with the catheter procedure, according to a study by Temple University School of Medicine researchers.

Studying estrogens made by the brain may offer new insights in learning and memory
New studies being launched by neurobiologist Luke Remage-Healey at the University of Massachusetts Amherst will investigate how estrogens produced in the brains of young birds enhance their ability to learn songs during a critical window during development.

HIF 1α viral vector inhibits hippocampal neuronal apoptosis: The future of gene therapy
Hypoxia-inducible factor 1 attenuates amyloid-beta protein neurotoxicity and decreases apoptosis induced by oxidative stress or hypoxia in cortical neurons.

Montreal hosts International Union of Microbiology Societies congresses
Emerging infectious diseases, vaccination, antibiotic resistance, and cheating in science are among the topics to be discussed by leading bacteriology, virology, and mycology experts in Montreal at the three International Union of Microbiological Societies congresses from July 27-Aug.

Cost of World Cup may be too high for Brazil
Brazil's World Cup has been estimated to be the priciest of any yet, with a projected cost of $11.5 billion.

Eating probiotics regularly may improve your blood pressure
Probiotics -- a bacteria in yogurt and supplements -- appear to modestly lower blood pressure, according to a review of nine studies.

Investigators identify genes that contribute to radiation resistance
A team of researchers from the University of Wisconsin have identified 46 genes in Escherichia coli that are necessary for its survival at exceptionally high levels of radiation.

International Space Station researcher guides aim to maximize science
The International Space Station Program Science Office's new 15-book Researcher's Guide Series launched online on May 14 with three books already available for download and online viewing.

Described novel regulator of a protein inactive in over 50 percent of human tumors
Researchers at the Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute and the University of Barcelona have discovered the interaction between HERC2 proteins with another protein called p53 that is inactivated in more than half of human tumors.

'Beyond the North-South Culture Wars'
The book 'Beyond the North-South Culture Wars,' published by Springer, explores the conflicts which exist between northern and southern Australia.

Another advancement in imaging from INRS professor François Légaré's team
François Légaré's team at the Institut national de la recherche scientifique's Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications Research Centre successfully imaged a chemical reaction with a spatial and temporal resolution greatly exceeding that obtained to date using microscopes.

Elsevier conference Global Food Security honored at 2014 UK Conference Award Ceremony
Elsevier, a world-leading provider of scientific, technical and medical information products and services, is pleased to announce that for the second year running an Elsevier Conference was honored at the prestigious UK Conference Awards ceremony held annually in London.

UCI researchers find epigenetic tie to neuropsychiatric disorders
Dysfunction in dopamine signaling profoundly changes the activity level of about 2,000 genes in the brain's prefrontal cortex and may be an underlying cause of certain complex neuropsychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia, according to UC Irvine scientists.

Acupuncture at the Taixi activates cerebral neurons in old patients with MCI
Previous findings have demonstrated that acupuncture at the Taixi acupoint in healthy youths can activate neurons in cognitive-related cerebral cortex.

Age-related macular degeneration occurs much earlier than previously assumed
Investigations to determine the incidence of age-related macular degeneration undertaken as part of the Gutenberg Health Study of the University Medical Center of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz have shown that even persons under the age of 50 years may be affected by an early form of the eye disease.

Schizophrenia's genetic 'skyline' rising
The largest genomic dragnet of any psychiatric disorder to date has unmasked 108 chromosomal sites harboring inherited variations in the genetic code linked to schizophrenia, 83 of which had not been previously reported.

Advanced cancer patients can benefit from programs combining exercise, nutrition
Patients with advanced cancer can benefit from a rehabilitation program combining exercise, nutritional counselling and symptom control, according to an evidence review in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

Oregon chemists eye improved thin films with metal substitution
The yield so far is small, but chemists at the University of Oregon have developed a low-energy, solution-based mineral substitution process to make a precursor to transparent thin films that could find use in electronics and alternative energy devices.

Study provides insights into birds' migration routes
By tracking hybrids between songbird species, investigators have found that migration routes are under genetic control and could be preventing interbreeding.

Catching grease to cut grill pollution
A team of University of California, Riverside Bourns College of Engineering students have designed a tray that when placed under the grates of a backyard grill reduces by 70 percent the level of a harmful pollutant produced during cooking.

Mothers of children with autism benefit from peer-led intervention
Peer-led interventions that target parental well-being can significantly reduce stress, depression and anxiety in mothers of children with disabilities, according to new findings released today in the journal Pediatrics.

Scientists successfully generate human platelets using next-generation bioreactor
Scientists at Brigham and Women's Hospital have developed a scalable, next-generation platelet bioreactor to generate fully functional human platelets in vitro.

Transiting exoplanet with longest known year
Astronomers have discovered a transiting exoplanet with the longest known year.

Ginkgo biloba enhances neurogenesis and improves recovery following a stroke in mice
Stroke is a fourth leading cause of death and a major cause of long-term disability, which inflicts substantial economic and societal burdens.

UC Riverside entomologist receives international honor for chemical ecology contributions
Jocelyn Millar, a professor of entomology and cooperating faculty member in the Department of Chemistry at the University of California, Riverside, has been awarded the Silver Medal for career achievement by the International Society of Chemical Ecology (ISCE).

Iodine may alleviate swelling in retinitis pigmentosa patients' retinas
Researchers from the Massachusetts Eye and Ear, Harvard Medical School, and Boston University School of Medicine tested whether the extent of retinal swelling due to cystoid macular edema was inversely related to dietary iodine intake in patients with retinitis pigmentosa and found that it was.

Mycobacteria metabolism discovery may pave way for new TB drugs
The mystery of why mycobacteria -- a family that includes the microbe that causes TB -- are extraordinarily hardy organisms is being unravelled by University of Otago, New Zealand, research that offers new hope for developing a revolutionary class of antibiotics to tackle TB.

Healing the heart with fat
A diet enriched in 18-HEPE might help prevent heart failure in patients with cardiovascular diseases, according to researchers from Japan.

Overcoming barriers to physical activity for African-American women
A study conducted by the Center for African American Health and the University of Colorado School of Medicine's Center for Women's Health Research finds that African-American women whose hairstyle is affected by perspiration may avoid physical activity altogether.

Bacteria swim with whole body, not just propellers
Many bacteria swim using flagella, corkscrew-like appendages that push or pull bacterial cells like tiny propellers.

Stem cells aid muscle repair and strengthening after resistance exercise
By injecting mesenchymal stem cells into mouse leg muscles prior to several bouts of eccentric exercise (similar to the lengthening contractions performed during resistance training in humans), researchers were able to increase the rate of repair and enhance the growth and strength of those muscles in the exercising mice.

Syracuse University chemist to use NSF grant to study materials chemistry, nanoscience
Mathew M. Maye, associate professor of chemistry, has been awarded a three-year, $360,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

Fires and smoke in Canada's Northern Territories
Environment Canada has issued a high health risk warning for Yellowknife and surrounding area because of heavy smoke in the region due to forest fires.

The real price of steak
New research reveals the comparative environmental costs of livestock-based foods.

Deaths and infections from HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria plummet globally
Today, fewer people are dying from HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria, according to a new, first-of-its-kind analysis of trend data from 188 countries.

Researchers simplify process to purify water using seed extracts
Researchers have streamlined and simplified a process that uses extracts from seeds of Moringa oleifa trees to purify water, reducing levels of harmful bacteria by 90 percent to 99 percent.

Tecnalia designs an app to help elderly people get around on public transport
Getting around in a town or city is a necessity in order to carry out everyday tasks.

Organic apple orchards benefit from green compost applications
Researchers evaluated the effects of groundcover management systems and nutrient sources on soil organic matter, carbon and nitrogen concentration, and soil carbon and nitrogen sequestration over time in an organically managed orchard.

Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet for July 22, 2014
The July 22 issue of Annals of Internal Medicine contains articles titled 'National Quality Forum cautions hospital performance measures must adjust for patient sociodemographic status or risk widening the care gap' and 'Long-term remission of HIV returns after patients stop antiretroviral treatment.'

Largest gene discovery 'kick-starts' new search for schizophrenia treatments
The discovery of over a hundred genetic risk factors linked to schizophrenia provides vital new clues in understanding what causes the condition and will kick-start the search for new treatments, according to leading British scientists. 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