Brightsurf Science News & Current Events

July 28, 2014
Facial features are the key to first impressions
A new study by researchers in the Department of Psychology at the University of York shows that it is possible to accurately predict first impressions using measurements of physical features in everyday images of faces, such as those found on social media.

Cell's recycling center implicated in division decisions
Most cells do not divide unless there is enough oxygen present to support their offspring, but certain cancer cells and other cell types circumvent this rule.

Scientists discover genetic switch that can prevent peripheral vascular disease in mice
Millions of people in the United States have a circulatory problem of the legs called peripheral vascular disease.

Non-endoscopic migraine surgery provides significant symptom relief
A revised version of a surgical procedure to treat severe chronic migraine headaches led to significant symptom relief more than 90 percent of the time in 35 patients treated at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Seeing is bead-lieving
Rice scientists make models for polymer macromolecules using magnets and DNA 'springs' that can be tuned for flexibility.

Gender inequalities in health: A matter of policies
Gender inequalities in health vary in European countries according to their family policies model.

Refrigerator magnets
A new theory from researchers at MIT predicts magnets may act as wireless cooling agents.

Potential 'universal' blood test for cancer discovered
Researchers from the University of Bradford, UK, have devised a simple blood test that can be used to diagnose whether people have cancer or not.

Study suggests both high physical activity and less sitting in leisure time may be required to substantially reduce risk of obesity
New research published in Diabetologia, the journal of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, suggests that both higher levels of physical activity and lower levels of sitting in leisure time may be required to substantially reduce the risk of obesity.

Strategies identified to improve oral contraceptive success with obese women
The findings of a new study suggest two ways to effectively address the problem that birth control pills may not work as well in obese women, compared to women of a normal body mass index.

Researchers identify potential biomarker for AD
Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine report variants in a new gene, PLXNA4, which may increase the risk of developing Alzheimer's disease.

First controlled malaria infection trial in Africa paves way for drug and vaccine development
An international research team today reports the first-ever clinical trial demonstrating controlled malaria infection in an African nation in the modern era.

New research to tackle treatment for lung disease
Research into improving treatment for patients with one of the UK's most common respiratory diseases has received a £810,000 funding boost.

New species of mayfly discovered in India
Scientists have discovered a new species of mayfly in the southern Western Ghats, a mountain range along the west coast of India.

Green spaces found to increase birth weight -- Ben-Gurion U. researcher
'We found that that overall, an increase of surrounding greenery near the home was associated with a significant increase of birth weight and decreased risk for low birth weight,' says professor Michael Friger, of BGU's Department of Public Health.

Nicotine found to inhibit DNA-strand break caused by a certain carcinogen in smoke
A new in vitro study has revealed that nicotine and cotinine, a metabolite of nicotine, can potentially inhibit DNA damage caused by a certain carcinogen in smoke.

Building 'invisible' materials with light
A new technique which uses light like a needle to thread long chains of particles could help bring sci-fi concepts such as cloaking devices one step closer to reality.

Cancer: Tumors absorb sugar for mobility
Researchers were able to demonstrate that appetite for sugar and 'mesenchymal behavior' result from the same mechanism.

Satellite sees Genevieve's remnants chased by 2 more systems
Tropical Storm Genevieve may be a remnant low pressure area but there's still a chance it could make a comeback.

Serial time-encoded amplified microscopy for ultrafast imaging based on multi-wavelength laser
Serial time-encoded amplified microscopy (STEAM) is an effective and important tool for studying dynamical events.

Researchers discover cool-burning flames in space, could lead to better engines on earth
A team of international researchers has discovered a new type of cool burning flames that could lead to cleaner, more efficient engines for cars.

How sweet it is
JBEI researchers have developed a powerful new tool that can help advance the genetic engineering of 'fuel' crops for clean, green and renewable bioenergy -- an assay that enables scientists to identify and characterize the function of nucleotide sugar transporters, critical components in the biosynthesis of plant cell walls.

Wearable device for the early detection of common diabetes-related neurological condition
Thanks to a small, wearable device that can hang on a pair of eyeglasses, a common complication of diabetes may get caught sooner.

Vaccine website could increase uptake
Giving parents access to a dedicated website on the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine is the most cost-effective way to increase uptake, say experts.

ACS NSQIP database helps hospital identify and curb its surgical risk
A case study on how one surgical team prevented venous thromboembolisms in their patients placed in isolation was presented today by researchers from the department of surgery at Carilion Clinic Roanoke Memorial Hospital, Roanoke, Va., at the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (ACS NSQIP) National Conference in New York City.

News from Annals of Internal Medicine tip sheet July 29, 2014
The July 29, 2014, issue of Annals of Internal Medicines includes articles titled: 'Early menopausal hormone therapy shows no effect on atherosclerosis progression'; 'More information needed to determine the effectiveness of different types of decision'; and 'Safety lapses at government labs raise serious bioterror concerns.'

Google searches hold key to future market crashes
A team of researchers from Warwick Business School and Boston University have developed a method to automatically identify topics that people search for on Google before subsequent stock market falls.

Stress-tolerant tomato relative sequenced
The genome of Solanum pennellii, a wild relative of the domestic tomato, has been published by an international group of researchers including labs at the UC Davis Department of Plant Biology.

Electronic screening tool to triage teenagers and risk of substance misuse
An electronic screening tool that starts with a single question to assess the frequency of substance misuse appears to be an easy way to screen teenagers who visited a physician for routine medical care.

Measuring the smallest magnets
Strapping two individual electrons to two ions enabled Weizmann physicists to measure the magnetic interactions between them.

Glucose 'control switch' in the brain key to both types of diabetes
Researchers at Yale School of Medicine have pinpointed a mechanism in part of the brain that is key to sensing glucose levels in the blood, linking it to both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

New research reveals Pele is powerful, even in the sky
One might assume that a tropical storm moving through volcanic smog (vog) would sweep up the tainted air and march on, unchanged.

Hepatitis C virus genotype 1 is most prevalent worldwide
In one of the largest prevalence studies to date, researchers from the UK provide national, regional, and global genotype prevalence estimates for the hepatitis C virus.

Researcher using next-generation sequencing to rapidly identify pathogens
A recent study looks at porcine enterovirus G, which is an important find in the United States.

Physicists unlock nature of high-temperature superconductivity
Physicists have identified the 'quantum glue' that underlies a promising type of superconductivity -- a crucial step towards the creation of energy superhighways that conduct electricity without current loss.

Scissoring the lipids
A new strategy which enables molecules to be disconnected essentially anywhere, even remote from functionality, is described by researchers from the University of Bristol in Nature Chemistry today.

New pill regimens published in The Lancet cure hardest-to-treat hepatitis C patients
Today, July 28, 2014, is World Hepatitis Day. Dr. Eric Lawitz, from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and the Texas Liver Institute, led a national study that identified a simple, pill-only treatment for hepatitis C that can cure 93 percent of patients in 12 weeks.

Study finds Europe's habitat and wildlife is vulnerable to climate change
New research has identified areas of the Earth that are high priorities for conservation in the face of climate change.

Interfering with interferon
Virus-killing molecules may need all their skills, including inflammation, to fight HIV infection.

Mineral magic? Common mineral capable of making and breaking bonds
A team of researchers from Arizona State University have demonstrated how a common mineral acts as a catalysts for specific hydrothermal organic reactions -- negating the need for toxic solvents or expensive reagents.

Scripps Florida scientists find genetic mutations linked to salivary gland tumors
Research conducted at the Florida campus of the Scripps Research Institute has discovered links between a set of genes known to promote tumor growth and mucoepidermoid carcinoma, an oral cancer that affects the salivary glands.

Study suggests disruptive effects of anesthesia on brain cell connections are temporary
A study of juvenile rat brain cells suggests that the effects of a commonly used anesthetic drug on the connections between brain cells are temporary.

Study helps compare risks of treatments for early esophageal cancer
A new study, published in the July 2014 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute by Northwestern Medicine researchers, sheds new light on the risks associated with the growing popularity of endoscopic resection in the treatment of localized, early-stage esophageal cancer.

NOAA: 'Nuisance flooding' an increasing problem as coastal sea levels rise
Eight of the top 10 US cities that have seen an increase in so-called 'nuisance flooding' -- which causes such public inconveniences as frequent road closures, overwhelmed storm drains and compromised infrastructure -- are on the East Coast, according to a new NOAA technical report.

Tennessee Surgical Quality Collaborative saves 533 lives and $75 million in 3 years
Ten hospitals in the Tennessee Surgical Quality Collaborative have reduced surgical complications by 19.7 percent since 2009, resulting in at least 533 lives saved and $75.2 million in reduced costs, according to new results presented today at the American College of Surgeons National Surgical Quality Improvement Program National Conference in New York City.

New protein structure could help treat Alzheimer's, related diseases
University of Washington bioengineers have a designed a peptide structure that can stop the harmful changes of the body's normal proteins into a state that's linked to widespread diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and Lou Gehrig's disease.

Lead pollution beat explorers to South Pole, persists today
Using data from 16 ice cores, industrial lead contamination was pervasive throughout Antarctica by the late 19th century.

NASA sees Tropical Storm Hernan near Mexico's Baja California
Tropical Storm Hernan developed over this past weekend and reached hurricane strength before vertical wind shear kicked in and kicked the storm down.

Booming mobile health app market needs more FDA oversight for consumer safety, confidence
While the mobile health apps market offers tremendous potential, several health law experts say in a July 24 New England Journal of Medicine report that more oversight is needed by the US Food and Drug Administration to ensure consumer confidence and safety.

Unhealthy habits more than double risk of metabolic syndrome in childhood cancer survivors
A St. Jude Children's Research Hospital study found that 73 percent of adult survivors of childhood cancer more than doubled their risk of developing metabolic syndrome and related health problems by failing to follow a heart-healthy lifestyle.

Memory relies on astrocytes, the brain's lesser known cells
Salk scientists show that the little-known supportive cells are vital in cognitive function.

Gender disparities in cognition will not diminish
Improved living conditions and less gender-restricted educational opportunities reduce the cognitive disparities between men and women or improve the gap in favor of women, according to new research by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and the Karolinska Institutet.

Same cancer, different time zone
Just as no two people possess the same genetic makeup, a recent study has shown that no two single tumor cells in breast cancer patients have an identical genome.

Dinosaurs fell victim to perfect storm of events, study shows
Dinosaurs might have survived the asteroid strike that wiped them out if it had taken place slightly earlier or later in history, scientists say.

HIV research findings made possible by a test developed at CU School of Pharmacy
An influential new test, discovered and developed in the Colorado Antiviral Pharmacology Laboratory at the CU School of Pharmacy, helps monitor the effectiveness of the HIV prevention drug called Truvada (a combination of tenofovir/emtricitabine), which is taken once daily to prevent HIV infection.

Mutations from Venus, mutations from Mars
Weizmann Institute researchers explain why genetic fertility problems can persist in a population.

Herpes remains active even when no symptoms appear
A large percentage of people carry the herpes virus -- and although it mostly seems dormant, Australian National University virologists have found our cells are having to fight the virus constantly.

ESC Congress 2014 focuses on innovations in cardiology
ESC Congress 2014 promises to be bigger, better and more interactive than ever before, says professor Keith Fox, Chair of the Congress Programme Committee.

New study confirms water vapor as global warming amplifier
A new study from scientists at the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and colleagues confirms rising levels of water vapor in the upper troposphere -- a key amplifier of global warming -- will intensify climate change impacts over the next decades.

Preschoolers with special needs benefit from peers' strong language skills
A new study provides empirical evidence that peers really can have an impact on a child's language abilities, for better or worse.

The bit of your brain that signals how bad things could be
An evolutionarily ancient and tiny part of the brain tracks expectations about nasty events, finds new UCL research.

Wait, wait -- don't tell me the good news yet
New research from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business finds that the positive reaction one would have when succeeding is lessened if it doesn't follow the expected course.

Wyss Institute's technology translation engine launches 'Organs-on-Chips' company
The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University today announced that its human 'Organs-on-Chips' technology will be commercialized by a newly formed private company to accelerate development of pharmaceutical, chemical, cosmetic, and personalized medicine products.

The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation names winners of Klerman and Freedman Prizes
The Brain & Behavior Research Foundation today announced the winners of its annual Klerman and Freedman Prizes, recognizing exceptional clinical and basic research by young scientists who have been supported by NARSAD Young Investigator Grants.

Study suggests disruptive effects of anesthesia on brain cell connections are temporary
A study of juvenile rat brain cells suggests that the effects of a commonly used anesthetic drug on the connections between brain cells are temporary.

Learning the smell of fear: Mothers teach babies their own fears via odor, research finds
Babies can learn what to fear in the first days of life just by smelling the odor of their distressed mothers', new research suggests.

Prolonged electrical stimulation causes no damage to sacral nerve roots in rabbits
In a recent study reported in Neural Regeneration Research, Dr.

Generating a genome to feed the world: UA-led team sequences African rice
An international team of scientists led by the UA has sequenced the genome of African rice.

Endurance runners more likely to die of heat stroke than heart condition
Heat stroke is 10 times more likely than cardiac events to be life-threatening for runners during endurance races in warm climates, according to a study published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Why do dogs smell each other's behinds? Chemical communication explained (video)
Here at Reactions, we ask the tough questions to get to the bottom of the biggest scientific quandaries.

Two-step decision tree analysis helps inform updates of RT best practices, quality standards
A two-step decision tree analysis, incorporating Donabedian's model, is a feasible process to evaluate and distill the many available quality standards, guidelines, recommendations and indicators in order to update national and international quality standards for radiation therapy, according to a study published in the July-August 2014 issue of Practical Radiation Oncology, the official clinical practice journal of the American Society for Radiation Oncology.

How does microRNA-124 promote the neuronal differentiation of BMSCs?
In a study released on the Neural Regeneration Research, researchers used GeneChip technology to analyze the expression of miRNAs in bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells, neural stem cells and neurons.

Forced mutations doom HIV
A new study from MIT researchers reveals how a potential HIV drug exacts its toll on viral populations.

Impact of Deepwater Horizon oil spill on coral is deeper and broader than predicted
A new discovery of two additional coral communities showing signs of damage from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill expands the impact footprint of the 2010 spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Henry Ford study: Burnout impacts transplant surgeons
Despite saving thousands of lives yearly, nearly half of organ transplant surgeons report a low sense of personal accomplishment and 40 percent feel emotionally exhausted, according to a new national study on transplant surgeon burnout.

Lifestyle choices may affect the long-term heart health of childhood cancer survivors
A new study has found that following a healthy lifestyle may lower childhood cancer survivors' risk of developing the metabolic syndrome.

Social network research may boost prairie dog conservation efforts
Researchers using statistical tools to map social connections in prairie dogs have uncovered relationships that escaped traditional observational techniques, shedding light on prairie dog communities that may help limit the spread of bubonic plague and guide future conservation efforts.

Evolution in rainforest flies points to climate change survival
Scientists believe some tropical species may be able to evolve and adapt to the effects of climate change.

Stem cell advance may increase efficiency of tissue regeneration
A new stem-cell discovery might one day lead to a more streamlined process for obtaining stem cells, which in turn could be used in the development of replacement tissue for failing body parts, according to UC San Francisco scientists.

Dementia patients more likely to get implanted pacemakers, says Pitt study
People with dementia are more likely to get implanted pacemakers for heart rhythm irregularities, such as atrial fibrillation, than people who don't have cognitive difficulties, according to researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Glow in space is evidence of a hot bubble in our galaxy
A recent study shows that the emission is dominated by the local hot bubble of gas -- 1 million degrees -- with, at most, 40 percent of emission originating within the solar system.

Stimulation of brain region restores consciousness to animals under general anesthesia
Stimulating the ventral tegmental area, one of two dopamine-producing regions in the brain, was able to arouse animals receiving general anesthesia with either isoflurane or propofol.

Children with disabilities benefit from classroom inclusion
The secret to boosting the language skills of preschoolers with disabilities may be to put them in classrooms with typically developing peers, a new study finds.

Motivation explains disconnect between testing and real-life functioning for seniors
A psychology researcher at North Carolina State University is proposing a new theory to explain why older adults show declining cognitive ability with age, but don't necessarily show declines in the workplace or daily life.

Many people never grow out of their growing pains
A new research project from Aarhus University shows that many adolescents suffer from knee pain for several years.

Superconductivity could form at high temperatures in layered 2-D crystals
An elusive state of matter called superconductivity could be realized in stacks of sheetlike crystals just a few atoms thick, new analysis determined.

Running reduces risk of death regardless of duration, speed
Running for only a few minutes a day or at slow speeds may significantly reduce a person's risk of death from cardiovascular disease compared to someone who does not run, according to a study published today in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.

Research letter examines pacemaker use in patients with cognitive impairment
Patients with dementia were more likely to receive a pacemaker then patients without cognitive impairment.

Industrial lead pollution beat explorers to the South Pole by 22 years and persists today
Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen became the first man to reach the South Pole in December of 1911.

Fist-bumping beats germ-spreading handshake, study reports
'Fist-bumping' transmits significantly fewer bacteria than either handshaking or high-fiving, while still addressing the cultural expectation of hand-to-hand contact between patients and clinicians, according to a study published in the August issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the official publication of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology.

UTSW cancer researchers identify irreversible inhibitor for KRAS gene mutation
UT Southwestern Medical Center cancer researchers have found a molecule that selectively and irreversibly interferes with the activity of a mutated cancer gene common in 30 percent of tumors. 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